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Disciplinary action into Welsh language ‘apartheid’ comments still not concluded

30 Mar 2021 3 minute read
Ambiwlans. Picture by the Welsh Government

The fate of a Welsh Ambulance Service staff member who compared the treatment of non-Welsh speakers to “apartheid” has still not been resolved.

James Moore made the comparison on Facebook in response to a story about plans to introduce more Welsh medium education in local schools.

Moore used to be responsible for Organisational Design and Development at Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW), which sits within NHS Wales. He’d been working on a secondment contract for 18 months.

However, shortly after backlash to his remarks, he left that post on February 28, following “internal discussions” with his former employer.

He returned to his “substantive employment” with the Welsh Ambulance Service, which announced that it was launching “disciplinary” action against its employee.

The process, which was launched over a month ago, has yet to come to a conclusion.

A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesperson told Nation.Cymru: “As the relevant employment policy process in now underway, it would be inappropriate to comment further on this matter.”

When the disciplinary process was launched, a Welsh Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We are aware of ill-judged and inflammatory comments by a member of our staff who until recently had been on secondment to Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) for 18 months.

“We neither condone nor support these comments, which fly in the face of our commitment to the Welsh language and our role as the national ambulance service of Wales. The appropriate action has been initiated in line with the NHS Wales disciplinary policy.”

‘Nationalist zealotry’

In response to a story about plans to introduce more Welsh-medium education in schools, James Moore said: “The English language is the single most important export from the UK and gives us all a huge advantage in the world. Anything that undermines this in the cause of meeting nationalist zealotry harms us all.

“Just imagine if you changed the word English to ‘black’ or (historically in South Africa) ‘coloured’… perhaps non-Welsh speakers should use different buses? Maybe different drinking fountains?

James Moore Welsh language comments

“As was the case in South Africa where the whites were a small minority, is it time for the 80% non-Welsh speakers to stand up to the oppressors to stop the ongoing apartheid?!”

He added: “Bilingualism is great in many parts of the world; however, narrow mindedness, insularity and petty nationalism (which seems to be entirely linked to the Welsh language) opens your mind only to yourself…leaving Wales trailing even further behind in an increasingly global world.”

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