Saturday, 28 February 2009

Bourne: Tories are united

Crisis. What crisis?

Despite claims to the contrary Nick Bourne has told Politics Cymru that the Welsh Conservative party are united in the wake of a reshuffle last week.

In a brief interview yesterday at a random service station off the M4, he also said that he expects to be leading his party into the next Assembly election and that his new shadow cabinet is stronger than before.

Has he finally turned it all around or is this just wishful thinking?
Check out the interview for yourselves:

Dewi Tri


Council's budget controversy

Cardiff County Council’s controversial budget meeting ended dramatically on Thursday night after the leader walked out moments after the opposition party accused the majority group of Nazi-style tactics.

Cardiff County Council Leader Rodney Berman left the chamber in protest and Labour leader Ralph Cook was asked to leave after his accusations. Upset his group had not outlined their opposition to the 4.3 per cent council tax rise, he said: "This is the kind of thing that happened in Nazi Germany, the majority party is using the system to stifle debate."

Tempers flared after the budget was voted on just 35 minutes into the 138 minutes allocated for the debate. Members of Labour and the Independents had passed up the opportunity to voice their opposition before the debate was opened to the floor.

The budget was then passed with 41 votes in favour, 31 against and one abstention.

Speaking during a 15-minute recess, Cllrs Cowan and Robson branded the events “disgraceful”.
Cllr Robson said: “We are thinking about what future action we can take. We are all very disheartened by this and intend to contact the standard and ethics committee.”

Cllr Cowan added: “This is very disappointing and has not happened in my nine years on this council. We knew we were not going to win but we just wanted our say. This is completely undemocratic.”

It was when the meeting reconvened Ralph Cook was challenged over remarks he was overheard saying in the break. He repeated his allegation and was asked by Cllr Howells to leave the chamber.

As he left he said: "There is no need to tell me, I was going anyway."

Rachel Quigley is a print journalist based in South-east Wales.

She attended Thursday's council meeting on behalf of Politics Cymru.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Podcast #11

In this week's podcast: are Plaid Ministers right to back Labour policy in cabinet against the will of their party members? The future of S4C: who should control it and should it stay close to the BBC? And a little bit about Bethan Jenkins and Sir Emyr Jones Parry - more than enough to keep you amused!

Thanks for listening.

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Y Tri Dewi


Morgan out?

No not Rhodri but interesting stuff nonetheless. This from Vaughan Roderick and translated here:

Things aren't all well in the Conservatives' offices. It appears Nick Bourne's efforts to reshuffle his cabinet have been shambolic and the members who were sharpening their knives and who failed to strike a blow before Christmas are fuming. One Tory described the situation as "appalling".

The rumour is that Jonathan Morgan, the favourite to succeed Nick has left the the cabinet after failing to accept the post of education spokesperson.


What does this mean? Why has Jonathan Morgan - currently the Tories' spokesman on health - turned this opportunity down? Is he planning a challenge to the leadership?

Translation by Dewi Dau


Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Welsh response to the death of Ivan Cameron

Just got this from the Welsh Conservatives:

In a joint statement on the death of David and Samantha Cameron’s son Ivan, Shadow Secretary of State for Wales Cheryl Gillan MP and Assembly leader Nick Bourne AM said:

"We are devastated for David, Samantha and their whole family. They are devoted parents and we can only begin to imagine the scale of their loss.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this terribly difficult time."

Politics Cymru also send our condolences to the Cameron family after their devastating news.

Y Tri Dewi


Ffioedd Dysgu - y diweddara'

Mewn cynhadledd i'r wasg ddoe fe gadarnhaodd Elin Jones ei bod hi a gweinidogion eraill Plaid Cymru yn y Cynulliad yn bwriadu cefnogi cynllun y Llywodraeth i gyflwyno ffioedd dysgu. Mae hyn er gwaethaf canlyniad pleidlais a ddigwyddodd yn Aberystwyth ddydd Sadwrn.

Datgelodd hefyd fod dau o Aelodau Cynulliad Plaid Cymru wedi gofyn i gael eu hesgusodi o unrhyw bleidlais sy'n digwydd. Mae gennym ni'n tri yma yn Politics Cymru syniad eithaf da o bwy y gall y ddau berson yna fod. Pwy dybiech chi?

Dywedodd Elin Jones bod "y mwyafrif" o'r grwp yn y Cynulliad yn cefnogi'r syniad.

Er mwyn medru cynnig mwy o arian i'r rhai sydd â'r angen mwyaf amdano y mae Llywodraeth y Cynulliad am fabwysiadu'r cynllun hwn, ond am resymau amlwg mae'r gwrthwynebiad o rengoedd Plaid Cymru (a Llafur efallai?) yn fyddarol. Mae'n bolisi gan y Blaid i wrthwynebu ffioedd dysgu ac mae aelodau Plaid Cymru'n mynnu nad yw'r polisi yma'n cael ei newid.

Yn ôl y Llywodraeth nid yw'r cynllun presennol ble does dim modd codi ffioedd dysgu ychwanegol (topup fees) ar fyfyrwyr Cymraeg sy'n astudio yng Nghymru, yn gynaliadwy oherwydd pwysau ariannol. A oes angen felly cynyddu cyllideb y Cynulliad?

Syniad diddorol arall yw'r honno a'i chynigwyd gan Adam Price. Yn ôl Aelod Seneddol Dwyrain Caerfyrddin a Dinefwr dylir aros tan y flwyddyn nesaf a gadael i'r pleidiau frwydro dros ffioedd dysgu yn eu hymgyrchoedd etholiadol. Pleidleisodd Elin Jones yn erbyn y syniad honno yr wythnos diwethaf.

Beth yw'ch barn chi ar hyn oll?

Dewi Dau


Tuesday, 24 February 2009

The Role of Presiding Officer?

Lord Elis-Thomas (prominent Plaid Cymru Assembly Member and the Presiding Officer of the Welsh Assembly) told Cardiff Business Club last night that the power to oversee S4C should lie with the Assembly and not with Department of Work and Pensions in Whitehall.

It's curious to me that the Presiding Officer (effectively the speaker in the Chamber) can drive the news agenda so easily and come out so publicly with a view that is not the view of the whole Chamber – especially when he was speaking at the dinner not as Assembly Member for Dwyfor Merionnydd.

Can you imagine the Speaker in the House of Commons, for instance, coming out like this to propose an item of legislation which falls outside his jurisdiction as the Presiding Officer of the chamber?

I'm well aware that the Assembly's Presiding Officer is not bound by any of the same rules like the Speaker in the House of Commons (Lord Elis-Thomas still sits for Plaid while Speaker Martin at Westminster is re-elected on a partyless ticket) but there are surely reasons and benefits for neutrality in such a position – is an independent chair not usually seen as a fairer judge?

It's the role of the Assembly Government to make representations for the people of Wales, the Presiding Officer is supposed to represent the interests of the Chamber – does the control of S4C really fall under that remit?

Dewi Tri


Sunday, 22 February 2009

Plaid Ministers Unable to deliver Plaid Policy?

There's just been a very interesting interview with John Dixon, Chair of Plaid Cymru, on the Politics Show Wales.

At a conference of Plaid members yesterday, the party voted to continue to oppose top-up fees in Wales. This is out of line with Labour's position and that's the position that's likely to be followed through.

So one might ask what is the point of having Plaid in government at all?

John Dixon did not deny that there was a void between Plaid policy and government action and said that compromise was an important part of being in government.

So where should Plaid be drawing the line?

Dewi Tri


Lembit Takeaway

The three Dewis here at Politics Cymru would like to extend our deepest sympathies to Lembit Opik who was last night eliminated in ruthless and heartless fashion from Ant's team on Saturday Night Takeaway.

A clearly dejected Lembit had earlier starred in the team's impressive rendition of 'Don't Stop moving'. He waved graciously at the crowd as he made his way from the stage knowing yet another adventure into the world of entertainment was ending in tears for him.

But at least the people of Montgomeryshire won't have to worry their elected representative has any extra-curricular distractions. For now.

What must make matters worse for poor old Lembit is the fact that not one but both Cheeky Girls are still part of the programme. They're trying to escape from Takeaway Prison!

Dewi Dau

PS. Edwina Currie is still very much part of our Saturday night entertainment. She made for some compelling viewing as Dec's team sang their version of 'Wake me up before you go-go'.


Thursday, 19 February 2009

Podcast #10: Politician's Half Term

This week we're talking about Mr Cameron's trip to Wales, the launch of Labour's Euro campaign and guess the constituency! Try and contain your excitement!

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Y Tri Dewi


Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Watching the watchmen

Last week we translated this blog post from Vaughan Roderick for you. We did not, however, translate this one.

After what Jenny Randerson has had to say today, however, perhaps it's worth doing so:

It's Friday morning. Before bringing things to a close before half term we need to update the story about Rhodri Morgan and the Treganna schools.

Yesterday the Liberal Democrats made an official complaint that Rhodri had broken the Assembly Ministers' code of conduct. That code can be very vague at times and all of Rome's theologians would be needed to fully understand its exact meaning. To continue with the religious theme Rhodri must act like the holy trinity in this case. As First Minister it's his role to judge if a minister (in this case himself) has broken the rules.

Rhodri has responded to the complaint by claiming it's a "political observation" rather than a serious complaint. The Lib Dems have written back noting their belief that the First Minister has broken them.

The First Minister again rejected the claims in a second response to Jenny Randerson and here's Jenny's reaction - in a press release dramatically entitled Who watches the watchmen?:

“I am extremely concerned that the First Minister will not investigate this legitimate complaint that he may have broken the Ministerial Code, a code of conduct for the Ministers of Wales, policed by himself.

“By not setting up an independent investigation, he is effectively acting as the judge and the accused in his own case. What sort of precedent is this supposed to give to this young democracy if the First Minister of Wales won’t allow himself to be investigated?

“If the First Minister believes that he has not breached his own Ministerial Code, he should have the confidence to set up an independent body to investigate this claim to dismiss the allegations."

Ms Randerson is now apparently taking legal advice before making her next move against the First Minister.

Given his remarks were - eventually - made as the elected representative of the families who use the Treganna schools, is it not only right for him to have his say on this issue, even if it does raise questions about the code of conduct.

And where does one draw the line between using race for political aims and simply being brave enough to discuss questions of "ethnic polarisation" at all? Sometimes it is simply unreasonable (and undesirable) to expect a minister to keep quiet about the ethnic repercussions that any move may have - particularly when it's a move which has created so much protest and tension within his/her own constituency. And which has the potential to create even more hostility in the future.

What do you think?

Dewi Dau


Politicians Get Tweeting

Some people call it a fad, most people probably don't know what it is, but Twitter has been in the headlines plenty in the past few weeks thanks to the likes of Chris Moyles, Jonathan Ross and Stephen Fry.

Now Wales' politicians are getting in on the act – Bethan Jenkins has been at it for some time but she's now in good company, at a glance I found a further 8 of our elected officials (or prospective candidates) on the microblogging site.

PC is of course following them all but if you're interested you can find them too at:

@AdamPriceMP – Plaid MP for Carmathen East and Dinefwr
@BethanJenkins – Plaid AM for South Wales West
@HuwLewis – Labour AM (and potential leadership contender) for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney
@JeffCuthbert – Labour AM for Caerphilly
@JocelynPlaid – Plaid AM for South Wales East and Deputy Minister for Housing
@KirstyAM – Lib Dem leader and AM for Brecon and Radnorshire
@lembitopik – Lib Dem MP for Montgomeryshire
@LisaStevens80 – Labour European candiadate
@NerysEvans – Plaid AM for Mid and West Wales

Is this really them? Are we missing anyone? Do let us know!

Dewi Tri


Monday, 16 February 2009

Cameron Direct

I have just returned from an evening with the Conservatives (and Dewi Tri) so I thought I'd give you my thoughts on the night.
First thing's first, Barry Comprehensive must be congratulated for their good spread of cakes.
Secondly, please read and listen to the post that Dewi Tri has just put up regarding the Tories' confused position on further law making powers for Wales, I think you’ll find it interesting.

What struck me primarily was how little David Cameron had to sweat tonight, not once was he moved out of his comfort zone. He gave a smooth polished performance but was on autopilot for the duration. I’m not suggesting that the crowd wasn’t authentic, I was there and it felt pretty authentic to me, one gentleman even walked out following a response by DC on St Athan. However I did feel as if the room was largely full of Tory sympathisers which as Nick Robinson explains is understandable.

Having now seen him ‘up close and personal’ I understand why the comparison with a car salesman makes so much sense. Cameron is affable on stage, engages well with his audience and has the ability to improvise to the spot. Obviously here in lies his success, as has been much written about and comparisons with a young Tony Blair made. What Cameron’s charisma does is soften the Conservatives' message making it palatable to the public.

But seeing him up close and personal also exposes his weaknesses. Every answer today reverted to the bigger picture, and rarely were concrete policies discussed at length, some were alluded to but no effort was made to show a ‘real’ Tory policy and show how it would impact upon the local people. I doubt it's because Cameron is too lightweight to handle the questions but rather a policy of the political machine behind him. His performance tonight, although substance-light, could easily have won over the few floating voters that were there, purely because of the skill of his delivery and style.

Tonight’s festivities reminded me heavily of the American political scene. The style and approach was very much like a primary caucus and very direct. It showed off the more modern approach of the Tories, and their slick backroom staff.

Will Cameron be the man to unlock Wales for the Conservatives? Well after tonight I think that they will make some gains at the next election, but not nearly enough to challenge the overall majority of Labour seats here.

Let me know your thoughts,

Dewi Un


Cameron and Bourne out of step on devolution

Dewi Un and I went off to see David Cameron in Barry tonight. In amongst a few iffy jokes and a light-hearted ‘grilling’ one interesting nugget stood out. Mr Cameron was asked if a full law-making Parliament would be a benefit to Wales and bring more prosperity to Wales.

He said no.

He said that he didn’t support a full law-making Parliament for Wales and that we have to “make the current settlement work”.

Interestingly, in the wake of the Robert’s Report last year (in which the Conservatives outlined their position on devolution) Nick Bourne said that there was still a very real prospect of a referendum under a Conservative government and that he was confident that the “next stage” of devolution would be delivered under a Conservative government.

It seems Mr Bourne and Mr Cameron aren’t quite singing from the same hymn sheet on the subject of devolution…

Hear David Cameron in Barry tonight (apologies for extremely poor audio):

And hear Nick Bourne speaking to me back in November last year:

Dewi Tri


Sunday, 15 February 2009

yr LCO iaith - eich barn chi

Gobeithio eich bod oll wedi mwynhau'r gem ddoe!

Dyma ganlyniad terfynol ein pol opiniwn ar yr LCO iaith:

Mae'r LCO iaith yn rhy pell-gyrhaeddiol - 1 pleidlais
Nid yw'r LCO yn mynd yn ddigon pell - 17
Nid dyma'r amser i fod yn trafod y pwnc hwn - 3

Dyna'r ffigurau. Cewch chi benderfynu sut mae eu dadansoddi!

Diolch i chi am daro'ch pleidlais.

Dewi Dau


Thursday, 12 February 2009

Podcast #9: A Quiet Week?

Thursday night means it's Podcast time. This week Nick Bourne's performance, Syr Emyr's trip to Bosnia and guess the AM!

Thoughts, comments and general feelings are always welcome.

RSS Feed:
(give it a go and let us know how you get on!)

(enjoy this weekend's rugby - come on Wales!)

Y Tri Dewi


What Use is Welsh?

More children across the UK are learning celtic languages (Welsh, Scottish Gaelic and Irish) and they were talking about it on this morning's Today programme - in case you missed it you can have a listen here.

Dewi Tri


What a cuffufle!

In what has been quite a quiet week for Welsh politics, at least Vaughan has kept us going. Here's his latest post: Siop Shafins

Because I have family connections with one of the schools I've been leaving the task of reporting on the situation of the Treganna schools in Cardiff to my colleagues. But blogging is a bit too much of a temptation for me today with the latest turn of events being quite farcical.

A bit of the background first. The trouble started after a Labour councillor (and one of Rhodri Morgan's constituency workers), Ramesh Patel described a plan to close Lansdowne Primary School and use the building to expand one of the local Welsh schools as "ethnic cleansing". Though some have accused the BBC of dragging their feet on this story it's worth noting that it first appeared here, on this blog. After Neil McEvoy, leader of Cardiff County Council's Plaid Cymru group made an official complaint to the council, Cllr. Patel apologised for his choice of words, but not for the substance of his message. The Police are also conducting an investigation following a complaint from a parent.

Yesterday in the Assembly, without naming Lansdowne School, Rhodri Morgan suggested that he agreed that closing the English school would lead to "ethnic polarisation". Those remarks drew more complaints, this time from the Conservatives and Plaid Cymru.

The two parties' complaints are different. Cllr. McEvoy and Plaid Cymru are accusing the First Minister of breaking an agreement between the parties not to use race for political ends. The Equality Commission drafted that agreement and Plaid Cymru has asked the Commission to analyse the First Minister's remarks.

This afternoon Rhodri also decided to write to the Commission to ask for an investigation into the Council's plan for closing the school. Rhodri could be on dangerous ground here - the exact same ground that was subject to a Tory complaint.

The opposition party is spot on in saying the Assembly Government has a statutory judicial role in the saga. If the Council goes ahead with the plans any appeal would be a matter for the education minister. The Tories suspect Rhodri has broken the rules and mangled the process in prejudging the situation.

What complicated things is that Rhodri is the local Assembly member. Great care was taken today therefore to ensure that today's statement came from the Labour Party and not from the government. So it was a mistake for that statement to have the headline "First Minister requests Equality Commission ruling on school closure". The correction arrived within minutes: "Rhodri was speaking in his capacity as AM for Cardiff North". Of Course Rhodri's constituency is Cardiff West, not Cardiff North!

Innocent mistakes or signs of panic? Both conclusions are possible but this story could be much more important and less parochial than it first appeared.

Translation by Dewi Dau


Wednesday, 11 February 2009


Translation of 'Er gwybodaeth' - Vaughan Roderick

There's a very interesting argument doing the blog rounds about the the alleged bias of BBC Wales. It's not my place to comment but I feel the arguments will be of interest to readers of this blog. The sites are Blog Menai, WelshPoliticalHistory and Guerilla-Welsh-Fare.

Two things that aren't noted by the Bloggers is that BBC Wales' journalists were the first to publish Ramesh Patel's comments and it was one of BBC Wales' programmes - Dragon's Eye - that brought attention to Rhys Williams' controversial article. With this context in mind the arguments are worth a read...

Translation by Dewi Dau


Rhodri, Nick and Joe

Translation of Vaughan Roderick's post: "Rhodri, Nick a Joe"

Copying one of Neil Kinnock's speeches was enough of a sin to force Joe Biden to bring an end to efforts to become the President of America in 1988. The only other memorable event in that election was the one that took place during an argument between the two vice-presidential candidates was when Lloyd Bentsen turned to Dan Quayle and destroyed him by saying: "Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy: I knew Jack Kennedy; Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy."

Rhodri Morgan did some borrowing of his own in today's [Tuesday's] questions session. For some reason "I know Jane Hutt...I work with Jane Hutt..." didn't work so well.

Despite that, Rhodri managed to destroy Nick Bourne today after he asked why Jane wasn't present in last Friday's economic summit. Unfortunately for Nick Jane attended the meeting and answered questions. Rhodri floored the Conservative leader by saying that.

To rub salt in the wound, minutes later Kirsty Williams gave her best performance since being elected leader of the Liberal Democrats.

Nick will be spitting blood knowing his leadership is being questioned. Another performance like today's could be fatal

Translation by Dewi Dau


Sunday, 8 February 2009

A matter of principle

Vaughan Roderick's thoughts on the language LCO

"I don't want to go on and on about the language LCO but one little thing worries me. The government in the bay is arguing that, as a matter of principle, the Assembly is the appropriate body for drafting language measures. But if it's the principle that is important why agree to any limitations at all on this right? As a matter of principle shouldn't the Assembly be able to legislate to enforce chip shops and cinemas to operate bilingually?"


Thursday, 5 February 2009

'Hope sex' and O babies!

Not a very 'PC' post title I know but at least we got your attention!

This from yesterday's Times 2:

"I was highly delighted when Tony Blair won the 1997 general election but I can't, in truth, say I was so ecstatic that I dragged some man off the street for a bit of celebratory coitus. Not so in America, apparently.

"High on the euphoria of Obama's presidency we're told that people have been jumping on each other just like after the 9/11 terror attacks. Then it was called “apocalypse sex”, now it is being called “hope sex” - expressing one's new-found optimism via the act of fornication.

“It felt like it was a natural extension of our celebrations,” one Obama copulater tells Grazia magazine...It would be nice to believe that ordinary, hard-working Americans are enjoying a love in (which we're told will be followed by a baby boom - O babies - as couples throw contraceptions to the wind). Because, on a micro level, it would represent natural justice."


I wonder if Rhodri Morgan's successor will have a similar effect here?!

Dewi Dau


Podcast #8 - the language one!

"Diwrnod hanesyddol i'r iaith Gymraeg".

Monday was billed as a historic day for the Welsh langauge so it's no surprise that this week's podcast is dominated by the Welsh language LCO. Is it far reaching enough? Does it go too far?

Also this week: How many houses has the Assembly built? What is the Welsh name for Brecon? And - most importantly - do we need a jingle?

Diolch am wrando,

Y tri Dewi


Menna Machreth yn Mynnu Mwy

Yn dilyn "diwrnod hanesyddol i'r iaith" ges i sgwrs efo Menna Machreth, cadeirydd Cymdeithas yr Iaith. Fe gawsom ni gyfle i drafod ymateb CYI at gynnwys yr LCO ac fe rannodd Menna ei gobeithion ar gyfer dyfodol yr iaith Gymraeg.

Hoffwn i ymddiheuro am ansawdd y recordiad: roedd Menna ar drên ar ei ffordd adref o Ferthyr ble y cyhoeddwyd yr LCO iaith ddydd Llun.

Diolch i Menna am roi o'i hamser.

Dewi Dau


Don Quixote

Translation of Vaughan Roderick's latest musings

One of the few Welsh words that Don Touhig is familiar with is "crachach". He uses it frequently, usually as part of an attack against the Assembly or language-promoting measures. Here he is in the House of Commons in February 2008.

"The chattering classes, the crachach, who believe that they know best for Wales, swoon at the prospect of more powers for the National Assembly. Many in the media think that more powers for Cardiff is the story of the decade--tosh, rubbish. The real people of Wales, the werin, have no time for all of this, and I stand with them."

Here he is again in July discussing the Assembly Government.

"What we have in Wales at the moment is the priorities of the crachach and not the werin"

Syr Emyr Jones Parry? Crachach! Crachach! Crachach!

Now read what Paul Flynn has to say on the language LCO.

"In each devolution referendum, there has been a cabál of West Briton MPs campaigning against moves for self-government. They will be more negative drivel this time, too. It's sad to record that the Conservative Party has bravely enacted almost all Welsh language reforms. Labour now has a chance to show our respect to the unique language of our people. Welsh has traditionally been the language of the gwerin, while English was the language of the crachach."

I wonder who that snowball* was aimed at.

*slight improvisation in the translation - but you get the gist!

Translation by Dewi Dau


Wednesday, 4 February 2009

True Wales Interview

Should the Welsh Assembly have more powers or should the politicians try harder to make the current settlement work?

We hear a lot about Bethan Jenkins and the "Yes" campaign so in the name of balance here at Politics Cymru we thought we'd talk to True Wales who've been heading up the "No" campaign.

Yesterday, Dewi Un chatted to Labour Councillor David Rees from Caerphilly who's been an active member of True Wales.

Many thanks to Cllr Rees for his time.


Don Corleone

Translation of Vaughan Roderick's post

Paul Murphy's statement on the language LCO was rather lukewarm. More consultation is needed, he said. The demand could change. To use his own words: "It's not set in stone".

Some of Labour's Assembly Members were surprised by the statement but the Secretary of State for Wales is not the man being blamed. "The problem is Don Touhig", said one "Don is Paul's best friend and he spends a great amount of his time with him and his family. They're like two brothers."

And by the way, congratulations to Jenny Randerson for being brave enough to say in the Chamber what many of the members are saying in private. "If we wish to legislate to force a chip shop to use Welsh we should be allowed to do that - does anyone honestly believe the chip shop would close as a result?"

Congratulations must also go to Nick Bourne for addressing the Assembly in Welsh this afternoon. I wonder if he was trying to prove the ipod's worth.

Translation by Dewi Dau


Monday, 2 February 2009

Blog Review: A matter of competence

With the publication of the Welsh Language LCO earlier, the Welsh Political Blogosphere has got all excited – here's a look at what all the different bloggers are saying about this week's big news:

  • Betsan Powys looks into who might sit on the scrutiny committee
  • Heledd Fychan says history is being made
  • The Lib Dems have a far more pessimistic view
  • Gareth Hughes speculates about the trouble Plaid will find themselves in if the WASC water down the proposals at all
  • While Sweet and Tender Hooligan warns that adding burden's to businesses in Wales will lead to businesses staying away from Wales...

    Dewi Tri


  • Sunday, 1 February 2009

    “The Devil Will be in the Measure”

    So the Welsh Language LCO's finally being published tomorrow – and so what will undoubtedly be the long process of procrastination on the part of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee will soon be underway (I'll have to consult Dewi Un on the exact amount of time this whole process is likely to take...although if the Affordable Housing LCO is anything to go by his answer is likely to be something like “How long is a piece of string?”).

    Having just seen Betsan Powys on the Politics Show Wales exclusively revealing the contents of the LCO there doesn't seem to be much that can be complained about: the WAG is supposed to have control over Welsh Language policy which this LCO seems to reinforce.

    However, the point that has been argued (by people commenting on our blog amongst others) is that this isn't the right time to be talking about language when people's priorities are on keeping their jobs and paying the mortgage – but in all fairness, this LCO will in itself make no difference to businesses or to people in Wales – questions as to what extent Welsh businesses and authorities should be forced to go bilingual will have to wait until another day when (or indeed “if”) the Welsh Language Measure is proposed.

    So the question right now is this: should the WAG have the power to legislate over language in Wales?

    Answers on a postcard...

    Note to self: might be a good time to start establishing myself as a professional translator...

    Dewi Tri