Magazine that published anti-Welsh language article lashes out at Huw Edwards and other critics
A magazine that published an anti-Welsh language article has lashed out at its critics on social media, including broadcaster Huw Edwards.
The Critic had published an article by writer Jonathan Meades that described attempts to increase the number of Welsh speakers as a “totalitarian project” and the “moribund” language itself as a tool of “self-harm and curtailment”.
Huw Edwards and others had criticised the publication of the article, with the newsreader saying: “Meades is a brilliant writer and I have enjoyed his work over many years.
“I can only assume he’s skint. Nothing else can explain this bilge.”
But The Critic hit back in a number of hot-tempered tweets, saying: “Huw Edwards wonders if Jonathan Meades is skint. No one wonders if Huw ‘half a million quid of taxpayers’ money a year’ Edwards is skint.”
It also took aim at criticism from Welsh Senedd Member Mabon ap Gwynfor who called the article “nausea inducing long form of written vomit which should only be read if you have a penchant for mental flagellation”.
Plaid Cymru councillor Sion Phillips also responded to ask: “How in 2022 is shit like this allowed to be published?”
The Critic responded to say: “Another politician. This time wondering why in this century people are still allowed to write what they want.”
It so criticised Glyndwr University head of law Dylan Rhys Jones, who called the article “race hate” saying that the lecturer was motivated by “journalism he doesn’t like”.
The magazine dubbed ‘contrarian conservative magazine’ had also taken aim at efforts to promote the Welsh language last year, describing “Welsh language zealots” who would criticise others “for the heinous crime of suggesting that large numbers of people in Wales did not really want to have Welsh foisted on them”.
It had also published an article describing the campaign to use the name Yr Wyddfa rather than Snowdon an “inward-facing, exclusionary campaigns of ethno-nationalist cultural revisionism”.
In his column for The Critic, Jonathan Meades wrote: “This is the Welsh Government’s totalitarian project which aims to have one million people speaking Welsh by that date. That’s twice the (much exaggerated) number that is currently claimed to speak the language. What, in this context, does ‘speak’ mean?
“The capacity to make a simple purchase? Or the ability to discuss why R.S. Thomas, a fundamentalist nationalist whose politics could be ugly and naive but whose poetry is thrillingly harsh, seldom composed in Welsh (which he had begun to learn in middle age) and then with a certain trepidation. Thomas wrote of his compatriots: ‘An impotent people sick with inbreeding.’
“In an effort to maintain that sickness, a minimum of 60 extra ‘Welsh-medium nursery groups’ will be opened by 2026. Why? Why teach a moribund language whose survival depends on ‘initiatives’? Policy decrees these speakers are needed. Needed for what? For the sake of Welshness perhaps, to give the bogus bardic tradition new legs?”
The writer also complained about the move to give Welsh and English “equal” status in Wales, and claimed that the Welsh Government has a “splendid breeding programme based on lebensborn: women will be paid to bear children so that they can be brought up Welsh”.
He suggested that the policy for a bilingual Wales was putting children in a “linguistic straightjacket”.
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