Former Plaid Cymru candidate claims Welsh language is ‘forced’ on children
A former Plaid Cymru candidate has claimed that the Welsh language is being “forced” on children.
Nigel Copner, who stood for the party in Blaenau Gwent at the 2016 Senedd election, backed comments made by Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party candidate Mark Reckless on the subject.
Children learn Welsh at school because it is part of the National Curriculum, as is English, mathematics, and science.
But Copner claimed that children learning Wales’ national language were being “unduly distracted” and suggested that it should not be treated in the same way as those other subjects.
His comments have been slammed by Plaid Cymru Senedd candidate, Glenn Swingler, who is standing in the Vale of Clwyd, as “utter drivel”.
The former Plaid candidate, who came within 650 votes of winning the seat from Labour, subsequently quit the pro-independence party, and is now supporting candidates who don’t think Wales should have its own national parliament.
When he left, he complained about the party’s support for Welsh independence, which he said lost it “credibility”. Support for Wales becoming an independent nation stands at 39% according to a recent opinion poll.
Abolish candidate Mark Reckless said: “Gwynedd policy is to make everyone go to Welsh medium schools, falsely called ‘bilingual’, and English not even taught as a subject before kids are 7.”
Nigel Copner replied: “Forcing Welsh on people is wrong in my opinion. Having a few abolish MS in the Senedd would provide the basis for constructive and balanced discussions on devolution and Indy. Best of luck”.
‘Sunk to the bottom’
Plaid Cymru Senedd candidate Glenn Swingler said: “Ohh Nigel. You have sunk to the bottom of the pond with this utter drivel.”
Plaid Cymru councillor Ann Hopcyn said: “1. So you have no problem with English, maths, RE, history, geog, science, PE, MFL, music, art, IT, only Cymraeg”.
“2. According to this logic, there should be no children ‘struggling’ in England.”
Robin Edwards said: “You have issues Nigel. Welsh is the national language. No one is advocating banning the English language in schools.”
Copner added: “Get a lot of reports locally where parents are seeing their children struggling with core subjects and feel they are being unduly distracted by having to learn Welsh.
“We need to be reasonable and consider individual cases but Plaid are only looking to force on to people.”
Gwynedd councillor Olaf Cai Larsen replied: “But I’ve been to school in Gwynedd as have my children – & we all speak English & Welsh perfectly well.
“But had I been sent to an English medium school in another part of Wales I would have been forced to be monolingual in all probability.”