Senior staff member leaves Ambulance Service following Welsh language ‘apartheid’ comments
A senior member of staff has left the Welsh Ambulance Service after he compared the treatment of non-Welsh speakers to “apartheid”.
Disciplinary action was launched against James Moore after made the comparison on Facebook in response to a story about plans to introduce more Welsh medium education in local schools.
The Welsh Ambulance Service has now confirmed that he is “no longer an employee”, but refused to confirm whether he had been sacked or not.
When he made the comments, Moore was 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 a 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 then employee, which have now concluded.
In a statement to Nation.Cymru Claire Vaughan, Executive Director of Workforce and Organisational Development, at the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “We do not comment on internal processes that involve individuals. However, I can confirm that James Moore is no longer an employee of the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust.”
The Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust have previously described Moore’s comments as “ill-judged and inflammatory”, adding that they “fly in the face” of its “commitment to the Welsh language”.
Moore, who is from Sheffield, but lives in Llansteffan, suggested that it was time for non-Welsh speakers to “stand up to the oppressors”.
He compared Welsh speakers to white people in South Africa during the time the country was under a system of institutionalised racial segregation, which ended in the 1990s.
Moore also asked if non-Welsh speakers “should use different buses” or “different drinking fountains”.
Nation.Cymru contacted James Moore for comment but have not yet received a reply.
Carmarthenshire Council was preparing for a consultation exercise over proposals to introduce changes to Model Church in Wales School in Carmarthen and Ysgol y Felin in Llanelli, which would have seen them move towards introducing more Welsh medium education from September 2022.
The council later scrapped the consultation with the Model Church in Wales School following a backlash from staff at the school, along with trade and teaching unions.
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.”
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?
“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.”