Broadcasting can’t be devolved because it ‘creates shared UK culture’ says minister

Dafydd Elis-Thomas. Picture by the National Assembly (CC BY 2.0)

Wales’ culture minister has been criticised by campaigners after saying that broadcasting can’t be devolved to Wales because it has an important role in creating a “shared culture” for people across the UK.

In a letter to Cymdeithas yr Iaith, the Welsh language society, Dafydd Elis-Thomas said that there could be “significant financial risks” to devolving broadcasting to Wales.

He also noted that broadcasting “plays an essential role in creating a shared cultural citizenship for people across the United Kingdom”.

Ffred Ffransis of the Welsh language society said that his comments amounted to an admission that the aim was to “turn us all into Brits”.

“It’s incredible that he wants Westminster to control Wales’ broadcasting, rather than himself, because he shares their ideal of creating a shared cultural citizenship for people across the UK’,” he said.

“What’s next – support for a GB football team?”

In the latter, Dafydd Elis-Thomas goes on to say that he does not believe that the BBC should only be answerable to Westminster.

“We want to ensure that the UK’s broadcasters are answerable to the National Assembly and the listeners and viewers of Wales,” he said.

Report

At the end of February, Assembly Members backed a motion saying that “broadcasters should be fully accountable to all national parliaments of the United Kingdom”.

The Welsh Language Society subsequently called for an inquiry into the feasibility of devolving broadcasting powers to Wales.

At the beginning of the month, Chair Heledd Gwyndaf wrote to the Chair of the Culture Committee asking for them to look at the issue.

“Asking for full accountability to our Senedd is something that needs defining and working out in detail,” she said.

“It appears the Welsh Government is not willing to do that research in terms of how and to what extent broadcasting powers should be devolved.

“So, we are asking your committee to produce a report outlining the various options, and how that new full accountability works.

“As you know, this is a matter that’s absolutely central to Welsh democracy’s sustainability as well as the growth of the Welsh language.”

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sibrydionmawr
Guest

Dic Siôn Dafydd Elis Thomas. Wncl Twm… Digon yw digon, a gyda ‘ffrindiau’ fel hyn, oes angen cael gelynion? Ac mae’n nonses llwyr i ddisgwyl maes fel darlledu i fod yn atebol i ddau bos. Mae’r arglwydd yn gywyliddus.

Mae Cymru yn ddigon mawr i gael rheolaeth dros ddarlledu cenedlaethol. Mae an Gwlad yr Iâ gwasanaeth darlledu ei hun, ac hefyd mae gan Ynysoedd Ffero rheolaeth dros darlledu, ac rwy’n siwr bod gan Latfia, Estonia ac Lithiwania rheolaeth dros darlledu hefyd, ac mae pob un o rhain un llai na Chymru!

Edeyrn
Guest

Dafydd Elis Thomas….. Anyone deluded enough to call themselves a “Lord” in 2018 obviously needs psychological help and care regarding delusions of grandeur. I wish him all the best with treatment

Rhys Jones
Guest

Anhygoel, cachgi dau wynebog, dylai fod wedi ymddiswyddo o’i etholaeth ers hen dro.

CambroUiDunlainge
Guest
CambroUiDunlainge

I don’t think it does create a shared culture. What it does is control the narrative – which is the reason it needs to be devolved. The narrative regarding Wales and the Assembly in woefully inadequate. However even though devolving it will give us a chance to push another narrative and sway opinions those opinions can easily be swayed back. We need to reinforce a shared identity and culture… its far more difficult to change than an opinion.

JE Lloyd
Guest
JE Lloyd

Dafydd El admits central propaganda role of WM controlled broadcasting in manufacturing a Brit identity. Have never before heard such shocking candour from the most redblooded of Brit nationalists. Implications are even more shocking. The flip side of manufacturing a common Brit identity is eliminating that which makes the historic nations of these isles distinctive. The same reasoning would support destruction of the Welsh language

Hywel Nantceiro
Guest
Hywel Nantceiro

Beth sy’n bod a’r dyn?

paul-neath
Guest
paul-neath

Bradwr. That’s the most polite description I can think of describing this man. Whatever happened to him ? Baffling.

Wrexhamian
Guest
Wrexhamian

It was only a matter of time before someone used the B word (bradwr) to describe DET, and with justification. He is as firmly in the pocket of the British establishment as Kinnock, and this letter of his is the proof. Thomas has gone against Plaid Cymru’s stated policy in writing this letter, and yet he still has an important position in the party. Neil McEvoy rattled the cages of Third-Sector bigwigs and did Wales a favour by protesting against lobbying scams in the Senedd. Plaid Cymru have a duty of care for the Welsh people, otherwise what’s the point… Read more »

Tim Richards
Guest
Tim Richards

Check your facts – Neither of them are in Plaid Cymru group in the Senedd but Neil has not been thrown out of the party. As for DET still having an important position in the party all I can say is that you must be joking – Didn’t you see Liz Saville Roberts MP having a go at DET on TV recently? Since he has finally joined the Welsh establishment aka the Labour party, I would argue that his “membership” of the Blaid is merely theoretical.

Wrexhamian
Guest
Wrexhamian

As soon as I sent it I remembered that McEvoy was only chucked out of the Plaid Assembly Group. You can’t edit these things. Isn’t D.E. Thomas in Plaid Cymru any more, then?

Wrexhamian
Guest
Wrexhamian

No, you’re quite right. Thomas left PC in 2016. Didn’t know that. But I still want Neil back in the party.

Wrexhamian
Guest
Wrexhamian

Hello? Are you still there? Tim? Tim!

Coch-y-bonddu
Guest
Coch-y-bonddu

I think this bitter man should quit politics and take up gardening or something useful. You would have to question his mental state. Sad if it wasn’t so damaging to Cymru.

Paul Hoskins
Guest
Paul Hoskins

This is a very strange response from a minister with a degree of responsibility for Welsh culture. He appears to be more concerned with protecting ‘British’ culture, if such a thing exists. Should he not now consider where his loyalty really lies?

Nic
Guest
Nic

DWI’N CASAU’R ****** HWN.

JR Humphreys
Guest
JR Humphreys

Deculture minister.

Anarchist and Welsh Nash
Guest
Anarchist and Welsh Nash

It seems to me that Lord Elis Thomas’s main delight in life, apart from living it up as a said Lord, is to constantly cock a snoop at Welsh nationalist causes. He seems to take some bizarre pleasure in showing how he has ‘ evolved’ beyond the cause- the cause that has fuelled his grandiose existence in the Bay and God’s waiting room, the House of Lords. His behaviour is beyond bizarre- but what’s more incomprehensible is why on earth do the PC members in Meirion-Dwyfor, a supposedly nationalist stronghold, tolerate all this? For God’s sake- grow a spine and… Read more »

Benjiman L. Angwin
Guest
Benjiman L. Angwin

Mr. Anarchist. Let’s not attack the people of Meirionydd a Dwyfor. Dydy na ddim byd perthnasol i hyn.

Nor is His Lordship’s title relevant, nor the personal choice to face such scrutiny and and join the Labour Party because of petty disagreements with Plaid leadership.

What is relevant is that he believes in homogenisation via the media. He believes in getting rid of what makes us unique.

Soviet Russia wanted the same ‘shared culture’, and I believe that says it all. It is the Left which threatens Welshness in this particular case.

JR Humphreys
Guest
JR Humphreys

Yes, Trotsky referred to slavic nationalists as rasists (history of russian revolution, Gollancz, p29). This the first use of the word?

Red Dragon Jim
Guest
Red Dragon Jim

Nationalists in Dwyfor Meirionnydd can’t do anything about him now, except beat him at the next election (hopefully with Liz Saville Roberts).

They re-selected him in 2016 unfortunately although a friend who was there said it was close. This was a massive mistake and gave Labour a majority. Far too many Plaid members saw him as some kind of “free spirit” who had been hard done-by. Even after he left Plaid, some people claimed he was the victim or should have been “managed”. The man has been independent for years!

woganjonesblog
Guest

Dafydd Ellis Tomos – Not so much ‘turned to the dark side’ but rather more like turned to it, liked it on Facebook, taken a out a time-share on the Death Star and ordered the Vader costume and evil-coloured light-sabre on Amazon.

Disgrace, thy name is Dafydd Hellish Toomuch.

Mabon Tseina
Guest
Mabon Tseina

Dafydd Hellish Toomuch – Haha

Cefyn H.
Guest

This concept is surely already at work.How many S4C programmes have you seen lately that do not contain long tracts of English.Also there is a definate increase in Welsh orientated questions in quizzes etc.
Presumably using the occasional Welsh word in English programmes will satisfy the majority of our lukewarm patriots.Unfortunately the backroom anti-Welsh plotters are probably right,there will be a lot of hot air and complaining and then we will go back to sleep.

JR Humphreys
Guest
JR Humphreys

By the way, here in Finland they use subtitles, not overdubs, on TV. This is a really good way for children to spell, and us foreign adults to grasp the language. It is also useful even for understanding regional english, and sometimes programmes such as The Brokenwood Mysteries from NZ. We have a fair amount of German, Spanish and Swedish programmes, and it is so much better when you link the spoken word with the subtitles. Imagine Stan and Ollie spoken in a gruff voice instead of the original, and you have overdubs. Bought in entertainment from France and Germany,… Read more »

Dai
Guest
Dai

He seems to be working completely against what he stood for in the past. Can a man so completely change his position? Having done so, how can he in all conscience continue without going back to the public to make his new postion clear and ask for a new mandate for that?

Is it too much to wonder whether someone else has something over him and is pulling the strings?

Red Dragon Jim
Guest
Red Dragon Jim

Yes, it’s all him. Nobody would be able to pull his strings, even from the Labour party.

Alun
Guest
Alun

I bet those who supported DET for the leadership of Plaid Cymru are feeling rather foolish. Can anyone remember any high profile people who supported DET?

Steffan ap Breian
Guest
Steffan ap Breian

Who else did The British plant as a sleeper many years ago?

Capitalist and Welshnash
Guest
Capitalist and Welshnash

We know her name. But she herself does not realise she is a sleeper for the British.

Ever to the Left, aye?

Davydh Trethewey (@MawKernewek)
Guest

Black magic within the House of Lords? I’m not necessarily saying that anything supernatural is involved but some people are susceptible to the ritual, pomp and ceremony such as is associated with that institution. A cautionary tale for those who seek to change the system from within, that most such people are changed by the system rather than the other way around.