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