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Huw Edwards hits out at Jeremy Bowen’s Welsh language comments

04 Feb 2022 2 minute read
Jeremy Bowen photo by Nick from Bristol (CC 2.0). Huw Edwards Photo by Brian Minkoff-London Pixels (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Huw Edwards has hit out at the comments BBC colleague Jeremy Bowen made about the Welsh language.

The broadcaster responded after the veteran BBC Middle East Editor claimed that the “determination” of the Welsh Government “to spread” the Welsh language “risks devaluing” his identity.

In response to an article on Nation.Cymru about the remarks, Edwards said he does “like and respect” Bowen, but added that his “take is 1970s Cardiff”.

He also asked whether people should “stop speaking Welsh to make him feel better” and that he “thought criticising government policy was against” the BBC’s “rules”.

Cardiff born-Bowen, whose grandfather spoke the language, made the suggestion about Welsh on the BBC Radio 4 programme This Union: Being Welsh.

In the three-part series, Bowen, who lives in the district of Camberwell, in London “returns home to Wales in search of what it means to be Welsh.”

He said: “A Welsh Government survey says now 70% in Wales can’t speak Welsh. About 20% of the population speak it regularly.

“Welsh Government’s determination to spread the language risks devaluing the identities of Welsh people like me”.


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Grayham Jones
7 months ago

Welsh is the first language in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 if you don’t like it cross the border into England ok

Bachgen bach o Garnant
Bachgen bach o Garnant
7 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

Narrow minded bigots inhabit these pages. Oh God I hope Wales becomes independent and frees England.

Carol Loughlin
Carol Loughlin
7 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

*Wales

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
7 months ago
Reply to  Carol Loughlin

He got the capital letter on Welsh so 1 out of 2 ain’t bad.

Bachgen o Sir Caerfyrddin.
Bachgen o Sir Caerfyrddin.
7 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

Why do so few people bother learning it.

Ap Lloyd
Ap Lloyd
7 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

How can a language most Welsh people can’t speak be FIRST?

Blodyn Cari
Blodyn Cari
7 months ago
Reply to  Ap Lloyd

Early Welsh/Brythonic language was here first! spoken across much of Britain before English developed through invasions?! Nowadays thought Cymraeg & English are both official languages here yng Nghymru?

Frank
Frank
2 days ago
Reply to  Ap Lloyd

The English language became “first” in Wales way back when the language of Wales was 100% Welsh. Short memories.

Quornby
Quornby
7 months ago

He can’t be totally stupid to hold down the job he does. Strange he can’t recognise that he’s a victim of cultural theft. He could do what I’m doing and learn…. That would add value to his Welshness, not that his nationality was ever in doubt.

Blodyn Cari
Blodyn Cari
7 months ago
Reply to  Quornby

Hollol. Agree totally.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
7 months ago

I thought you would not be far behind Huw…

hdavies15
hdavies15
7 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

When confronted by “muscular Unionism” you need to be assertive and confident. Da iawn Huw.

1970’s Cardiff was beginning to wake up out in the community although the ruling regime in City Hall was made up almost entirely of Unionist lackeys who craved the occasional royal visit with some smarmy camp follower like George “mam’s boy” Thomas in tow. They were good for a laff though because the kowtowing and arse licking was real panto material. Perhaps that’s what Bowen really identifies with.

Dave
Dave
7 months ago

great to see the first President of Wales give his view #IndyWales #abolishthemonarchy

phil edwards
phil edwards
7 months ago

Jeremy Bowen is still living with a 60/70s Cardiff attitude. He hasn’t moved along with what’s happened in Wales over the last 50 years. That is hardly surprising when he hasn’t lived in Wales for many decades. And how very sad that the BBC gave such an outsider the opportunity to air such outdated views.

Last edited 7 months ago by phil edwards
Quornby
Quornby
7 months ago

I went to a Camberwell pub and they were all speaking a German dialect. Originated in the Black Forest I’m told.

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
7 months ago
Reply to  Quornby

Perhaps it was “forced down their throat’s”…

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
7 months ago
Reply to  Quornby

Did they all start speaking the German dialect the moment you walked into the pub?

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
7 months ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

The number of jobs that require Welsh language skills are still shamefully small. There are some where different levels of Welsh language competency are required and they are regarded as skills for the job. Quite simply, if you don’t have those skills, then you aren’t competent to do the job. There is nothing stopping you learning Welsh, and the notion that Welsh speakers in general are somehow privileged is risible. The Welsh Baccalaureate is not compulsory, and a quick check on the Welsh Government website would have confirmed that: “There are no statutory requirements for learners to undertake any qualification.… Read more »

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
7 months ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

This could simply be an elaborate piece of trolling by our resident right-wing troll using yet another new name. If it really is genuine, then maybe your feeling of alienation fro devolved, modern Wales owing to the outdated misapprehension and attitudes that you have brought with you to the land of your father’s, in the manner of Jeremy Bowen himself. Ditch these prejudices and false assumptions and you’ll be a lot happier while in this country.

Dafydd
Dafydd
7 months ago
Reply to  Quornby

Not the Black forest, but further north, the area of Angeln and the Friesian coast… hence ‘Anglo’.

Sian
Sian
7 months ago

Sadly living out of Wales for so long means he hasn’t kept up with the change of attitude towards the Welsh language i.e. Iaith Pawb. It’s seen as everyone’s language now regardless of your background and where you live. In the 70s we had to travel out of Cardiff to be educated in our own language post 11 years old. Things have changed for the better, but still more to do. Yma o hyd.

Meic Alger
Meic Alger
7 months ago

As a Welsh-speaker I often hear, “I suppose because you speak Welsh you think you are more Welsh than me.” I usually answer that it doesn’t matter what I think, it’s a question of what they think, (Then I mention that I was born in the U.S. and live in Barcelona)

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
7 months ago
Reply to  Meic Alger

My gosh! You certainly present them with a quandry: how to think of being Welsh in a positive light. They’d no doubt struggle with that in anything beyond rugby nationalism.

Though they’ll never admit it, and maybe they’re not even conscious of it, but what they are actually saying is that they have something of an inferiority complex about being Welsh, but not speaking Cymraeg, as if somehow they aren’t ‘proper’ Welsh..

Mark Wiles
Mark Wiles
7 months ago
Reply to  Meic Alger

I had the misfortune to be born in England (albeit in a town that is a corruption of “Welsh Hall”) but within a fortnight of moving to Wales I started Welsh classes, and it was the best thing I ever did. Opened doors to a whole new way of thinking, of culture, of entertainment and built bridges with the majority of people in the area who use Welsh as their “mamiath”. My monoglot English friends have dubbed me a “plastic Welsh nationalist” but I couldn’t care less. Da iawn Huw “am alw allan” Mr Bowen a’i farn sarhaus.

Blodyn Cari
Blodyn Cari
7 months ago
Reply to  Mark Wiles

Da iawn i chdi Mark 🙂

Ed Jones
Ed Jones
7 months ago

Da iawn Huw, the true Prince of Wales!

Llinos
7 months ago

I lived in Germany for years, and every time I walked onto a pub, they all spoke German. Isn’t that a terrible thing to do in their own country? How dare they speak their national language in front of me?

ho is this man anyway? Never gheard of him. Is it important to anybody what he thinks? CYMRU A CHYMRAEG AM BYTH

Darren Christian
Darren Christian
7 months ago

I’m not a Welsh speaker ,but I feel generally encouraged when hear Welsh spoken , wouldn’t encourage or discourage , certainly not the latter ..if it wasn’t for our neighbours whom so many bow down to like sheep . We would all be conversing in it. Probably bi lingual too . So his job would be safe??. Go to Syria tell him to stop speaking Arabic. Tell Palestinians must speak Hebrew , see the response . I cannot fathom anybody stating that it’s wrong to speak your mother tongue . . And I as said.not fluent Welsh speaker

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
7 months ago

This might be nothing more than a very elaborate piece of trolling. But supposing that it’s actually true, then the likely reason you are feeling alienated from modern, devolved Wales is that you’ve come with a set of preconceived misconceptions and outdated views, in the manner of Jeremy Bowen. Change your attitude towards the land of your father’s, and you’ll feel less of a fish out of water.

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
7 months ago

So you alleged earlier.

Kenneth Brown
Kenneth Brown
7 months ago

I was born in South Wales 69 years ago and when i was growing up and went to school we weren’t encouraged to learn the Welsh language but i am so sorry i didn’t and for the past 48 years i have lived in the Midlands but just because i can’t speak my mother language doesn’t make me any less Welsh i proud to say that i am Welsh

Bern
Bern
7 months ago
Reply to  Kenneth Brown

Totally understand that, as I was similarly affected, even going to a Welsh Grammar school!

Howard Edwards
Howard Edwards
7 months ago

Instead of snapping from the sides at the heals of the Welsh language, why doesn’t learn it? It’s never too late. Many thousands of adults. have learnt it, including a very large number of non-Welsh-by-birth people. People from all over the world are currently learning Welsh. With so many resources available, distance is no object. Many traditional Welsh-for-Adults organisations have had to offer on-line courses in the wake of the pandemic, and as a result, they have received enrollments from way way outside their traditional geographical areas. Thus even busy people who travel widely can learn Welsh. Many such people… Read more »

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