Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Letter re: Welsh language

Below is a letter by Emyr Gruffyd which appears in today's Western Mail.

"SIR – I was rather disappointed to read some of Dr Sibani Roy’s comments (Letters, May 12). I am aware that Dr Roy is a well-respected councillor for the party and works hard, especially on the issue of ethnic minority community cohesion.

However, I could not help noticing that she had fundamentally misunderstood many of Plaid Cymru’s policies on the Welsh language.

Plaid policy does not in any way advocate forcing people to learn the language to obtain employment, as Dr Roy seems to be suggesting. However, she must realise that many jobs in the public sector in North Wales ask for a qualification in Welsh as it is a region where the language is widely spoken, and a language of preference for a large proportion of the population.

As she herself will know, Plaid is strongly in favour of welcoming people of all backgrounds to settle into our communities, while at the same time increasing opportunities for people to use the Welsh language in all aspects of life, especially in the workplace and in business.

Dr Roy is also mistaken in suggesting that language policy is the cause of Plaid’s mediocre performance in the General Election; our share of the vote increased greatly in English-speaking constituencies such as Rhondda and Cynon Valley, while it suffered in the Welsh-speaking heartlands.

Dr Roy must realise that Plaid has been the only party that has cared and fought for the interests of the Welsh language since its establishment in 1925.

Unlike the Labour Party, which has thrown all its socialist principles out of the window, Plaid Cymru will never forget our core commitment to ensuring that the Welsh language is given the respect and the attention that it deserves.

Chairman of Cardiff Cymru X – Young Plaid Ifanc"


MH said...

It was a strange letter considering Dr Roy's own situation. She said last year in this interview that:

" ... I went on to gain a doctorate in medical ethics, studying part-time whilst working as a house manager for Abbeyfield. All this was achieved against the disadvantages of being a woman from a different ethnicity, unfamiliar with academic English usage and holding down a full-time job."

If she considers it reasonable that her unfamiliarity with English—at least to the level needed to get a doctorate—is something that she herself needed to address rather than complain that Liverpool and Keele universities should soften their policy on English; then why is her unfamiliarity with Welsh—at least to the level needed to get a job that requires some measure of competence in Welsh—any different?

And why single out Plaid? The legislation that allows employers to stipulate that the ability to speak Welsh is either desirable or essential for some jobs was not passed by any Plaid government. The language legislation that we have has been passed on the basis of broad consensus between all four political parties.

D Hughes said...

I found her letter rather odd. I understand that the Doctor is actually learning Welsh, so why give more ammunition to the enemies of the language.

Beth bynnag, rhaid i mi ddweud da iawn am y llythyr, llythyr arbennig o dda.