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Danger of creating ‘two tier’ society that excludes non-Welsh speakers says Conservative Senedd Member

15 Aug 2022 3 minute read
Joel James. Picture by Senedd Cymru.

A Conservative Senedd Member has said that there is a danger of Wales creating a “two-tier society” that “excludes those who do not speak Welsh”.

Joel James MS, the Senedd Member for South Wales Central, said that supporting the Welsh language and Welsh heritage was “one of many priorities to the Welsh Conservatives”.

However, writing in the Barry and District News following a visit to the National Eisteddfod he said that to attract businesses “we need other languages in Wales as well”.

“While we recognise that Welsh identity is a hugely important aspect in helping communities to flourish, we need also to be acutely aware that we do not end up creating a two-tier society which excludes those who do not speak Welsh,” he said.

“As a modern economy it is important that we can attract businesses to set up here, create jobs and encourage those with specific skills to move to Wales, and therefore we need to be mindful that if we are to compete in a global market we need other languages in Wales as well.”

He added: “I argue that while it is good to encourage the Welsh language and its use we should not forget that to be part of a global world we need to embrace other languages too.”

‘Cultural hub’

However, he said that he was “particularly pleased” to visit the National Eisteddfod in Tregaron the week before last, and called for the creation of a National Poetry Library for Wales.

“As always I was glad to see such a proud display of Welsh culture and heritage and celebration of the identity of Wales,” he said.

“I was also pleased to see the Secretary of State for Wales and so many Conservative MS’ welcomed and join in the celebrations, I believe it shows just how much Conservative principles and values are a major part of Wales’s political identity.

“This year’s Eisteddfod theme focused on encouraging the Welsh language and including Welsh learners to take part in events. Supporting Welsh language and Welsh heritage is a one of many priorities to the Welsh Conservatives and I am proudly supporting the Welsh Conservative calls to establish a National Poetry Library for Wales to ensure that Welsh culture is protected and accessible to all.

“It is unfortunate that Wales is the only country in the UK without a poetry library and this will allow us to not only look back at poets like Dylan Thomas, but also allow us to encourage and celebrate the Welsh poets of today and tomorrow.

“The library will celebrate both English and Welsh poetry and be a place for poetry lovers both home and across the world – thus helping to ensure that Wales is valued as a cultural hub.”


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Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
1 month ago

Oh aye, yeah…of course……absolutely. I can speak about six sentences of Welsh(ish) despite having tried many times to learn more ….and as we know in Cymru, the place where Welsh comes from, there are no English signs, books or media, no one speaks it. That’s why I’m so fat, I have to live off biscuits because it’s the only food for which I know the Welsh word for. I’d love to go to the cinema and watch either that Marvel film they keep making or one of those period dramas where the lady feels a bit wibbly because some toff… Read more »

Llefain
Llefain
1 month ago
Reply to  Cathy Jones

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

CJPh
CJPh
1 month ago
Reply to  Cathy Jones

I was wondering why all that popcorn was floating in the shallow end…

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
1 month ago

Always amazes me how countries like France, Germany and Spain have or did have lots of english and other nationalities living and working in them without an issue, yet Wales is only allowed to speak english, because it’s just too confusing otherwise, another thing that amazes me, is just how much hatred the Welsh tory has for Wales.

Gareth C
Gareth C
1 month ago

It’s a bit rich for a Tory to warn about creating a two tier society. Pot, kettle, black comes to mind. This sort of divisive rhetoric is a typical strategy to undermine unity across Wales and emphasise the North South cultural divide that Westminster politicians have exploited over generations.

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago

I know exactly what he is saying, as I recently visited Sweden, mess of a place, people living in caves, no cars or transport, no medical facilities only witch doctors, all because they all speak Swedish. England being the multilingual society that it is, where you can enter a shop and be understood in any language, points the way forward. The clever part about the English strategy is, that when they travel, English is so versatile, that just by shouting out loud in English gets one understood in most places on the planet.

Adrian Meagher
Adrian Meagher
1 month ago

Obviously Wales should follow the example of England which has succeeded in avoiding a two-tier society that excludes those who do not speak English.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

To be born without any notion of irony…

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
1 month ago

The ‘two tier society’ was a construct of Thatcher. The haves and the have nots. This is now multi tiered due to the ravages of social injustice. This Tory is attempting a ruse of being clever with words and failing. The English language is not under threat here and hypocrisy spews forth once more. It is a requirement of anyone coming to Britain that they speak English to qualify to work anywhere. There are roles in Wales where Welsh speaking is essential but this is regarded by the likes of this man as leading to unfair exclusion. Far from supporting… Read more »

Erisian
Erisian
1 month ago

Not excluded, just 2nd tier. Like the English treat everyone who isn’t a white, native English speaker. Seems fair if they won’t make an effort

defaid
defaid
1 month ago
Reply to  Erisian

This.

“everyone who isn’t a white, native English speaker.”

Basically everyone who is multilingual.

Llewelyn Ein Llyw Nesaf
Llewelyn Ein Llyw Nesaf
1 month ago

“It is unfortunate that Wales is the only country in the UK without a poetry library”

Yeah, we should build a really big building, perhaps in Aberystwyth, where we could store all our poetry (and other books).

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
1 month ago

Yes that sounds like a great idea. We could call it the National Library of Wales or something.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
1 month ago

But putting it up a great big hill won’t work as fat little Toryboys won’t make it up there.

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
1 month ago

Don’t be daft, that will never work.

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
1 month ago

They just don’t have a clue do they?
Oppressors playing victim. Poor, poor English monoglot majority. They are so picked on. 🙄

Brian
Brian
1 month ago

Clearly the conservative principles and values he espouses have little or no democratic legitimacy in Wales – thankfully. I never have and never will vote for the Tory scum. Like it or not, there a large number of people in Wales who are concerned about being considered as second-class citizens if they don’t speak Welsh (I live in the South Wales valleys and this is a commonly held sentiment – personally I don’t share this view). There is however one thing in particular that particularly annoys me – it is when people refer to themselves as a “first-language Welsh speaker”,… Read more »

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
1 month ago
Reply to  Brian

My mother speaks / spoke Welsh as a first language. TBH this is only ever used as a fact. Not as a badge of honour. My daughter (South Walian) is in Uni in Gwynedd and works part time. Every now and again someone will call her “Plastic Welsh” for not speaking Cymraeg. This doesn’t bother her because she’s worked retail before and knows that everywhere has its jerks. It’s only now and again though and she is talking about living there after Uni. I am not sure the rumours of an elite Welsh speaking “Taffia” have any truth in them.… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by One of the two witnesses
hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago

I’m quite prepared to accept/believe in the existence of Taffia, Crachach and their derivatives. They exist in multiple clusters cutting across various facets of our communities. Pobol pwysig, often positioned just nicely so they can influence decisions and attend major events free of charge as an “honoured guest”. Rugby is teeming with them, as is the Royal Welsh and the Eisteddfod. Overlapping slices of society with some seriously well placed people who manage to slide (dis-)gracefully between most of those slices. Some of them make Don Corleone look like an amateur !

Mawkernewek
1 month ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Of course almost every society has its elites and dignitaries etc. The trouble is though, the anti-Cymraeg crowd want it both ways. They will talk about the all-powerful crachach/Taffia ruling Wales with an iron fist and imposing Cymraeg on all and sundry, but they will also talk about Cymraeg being only spoken by a minority people, who all speak English anyway so why do we need as a society to consider the needs of Welsh speakers? They want to simultaneously think of Cymraeg as being big and threatening, and also small and ignorable, and they will deploy one of a… Read more »

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
1 month ago
Reply to  Mawkernewek

Good point. Schroedinger’s Crachach. Simultaneously a tiny minority whose language is not worth saving AND a cabal of elitists forcing Welsh on poor the poor little monoglot English vast majority

Gaynor
Gaynor
1 month ago

Dai Smith, Welsh Labour actually

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

Learning Welsh Posters are available and it would not take long to learn to shop (sell or buy) in simple Welsh…English speaker walks into Welsh pub, 10 seconds later they would be basking in the knowledge of how to order a drink in Welsh…anywhere else in the world no problemo…

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
1 month ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Oh agreed. And she’s picking up bits. Someone calls her plastic, she says “teach me a phrase and I’ll practice it and repeat it back to you next time you’re in” (Making sure to check with her Mamgu that they aren’t trying to teach her something rude).
If she settles there, she intends to pick up the language I am told.

Arwyn
1 month ago

Wedge issue. Don’t fall for their play. Attack them for making a wedge issue of yr iaith and expose the paper thin veneer of plausibility they’ve tagged on to their comments. It’s a political ploy. They think it’s a vote winner.

I Humphrys
I Humphrys
1 month ago
Reply to  Arwyn

Like “Corbyn is a Commie”…..and so the long day goes on………….

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago

Ironic innit – “he said that to attract businesses “we need other languages in Wales as well”.” What he really means is just settle for English, we don’t need any of that other gibberish. Funny how other nations manage alright with their own native tongues. Most other nations also manage to try out fluency in other lingos. It’s only the English who think shouting suffices as substitute for a foreign language.

Androw Bennett
Androw Bennett
1 month ago

“… a National Poetry Library…”?
And follow Bridgend’s example of street-naming: Longfellow Drive (named after an American poet), Browning, Byron, Keats, Masefield, Shelley all commemorated in various streets, closes, etc. Monoclot (sic) councillors no doubt behind those namings

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
1 month ago
Reply to  Androw Bennett

Ugh yeah. Poets corner (all English) Playwrights corner (all English), Little London (obvs)
But at least Saint’s Corner are all Welsh Saints

Quornby
Quornby
1 month ago

He’s probably thinking of the Eton/non Eton diivide.

I Humphrys
I Humphrys
1 month ago
Reply to  Quornby

Where did you get that posh accent?
Eton, old sausage.
Well, stop eatin old sausage, then!
(The Goon show)

George
George
1 month ago

We do need to ensure we don’t exclude non-Welsh speakers, we champion people speaking more than Welsh and English, and the language is welcoming to all – correct.

The idea that we’re anywhere close to a society where English speakers are excluded is laughable. Still, at least Welsh Tories have gone from “we don’t need Welsh” to “embracing Welshness is part of Welsh Tory party, but…”

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
1 month ago

All these politicians but particularly the Welsh tory come out with this absolute cr*p, and they’re not even embarrassed when they say it.

Gaynor
Gaynor
1 month ago

Saysthe man whosepartyhas actively discouraged the growth of modern language teaching in schools and universities.

Dean Thomas
Dean Thomas
1 month ago

If Joel James favours a globalised Wales then I’m assuming that he wants to see Mandarin as a compulsory subject in schools and our universities, alongside Spanish, for instance. Nah! He probably just wants more English, as that is the one thing that is very sadly lacking in Wales.

Maglocunos
Maglocunos
1 month ago

Stupid boy, does he think that businesses are put off investing in Poland because people there speak Polish, or in Spain or France or Italy or any other self respecting independent modern European state with its own languages?

His support for the Welsh language and culture is of course very welcome, but why does it always have to come with this big “but”?? We all know there are other languages and English is the language of global business and the internet, so where’s the problem?

A very stupid boy, but then he is a toraidh.

.

Paul Hoskins
Paul Hoskins
1 month ago

Tories consistently see ‘danger’ in all that is in any way progressive. They are reactionary by nature. Joel James conforms to that rule.

I Humphrys
I Humphrys
1 month ago

LOL!

Marc
Marc
1 month ago

Oh God not that old Chestnut 🤪

Llefain
Llefain
1 month ago

They’re just actively looking for reasons to moan about Cymraeg now. It’s pathetic.

Owain Morgan
Owain Morgan
1 month ago

We already have a two tier society created by his party 🙄

Charles Coombes
Charles Coombes
1 month ago

The tories have created tridivided society. Them, the working class and the underclass.
So dont talk about didiing the UK or creating a Welsh Two tire Society.

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