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Wales ‘linguistic fascism’ claim sparks reprimand at Westminster

14 Mar 2024 4 minute read
Lord_Moylan. Photo Roger Harris is marked CC BY 3.0

Wales is in the grip of “linguistic fascism”, it has been claimed at Westminster – triggering a swift slap down.

Tory peer Lord Moylan argued language was used as “a tool for promoting nationalist sentiment” and said he was “deeply concerned” about the situation across the border.

He cited the example of Sinn Fein’s promotion of the Irish language in Northern Ireland.

His remarks sparked controversy, with critics branding them “high-handed”.

Although a devolved matter, a minister also made clear the UK government supported the promotion and use of the Welsh language.

Cardiff Bay has set a target to have one million Welsh speakers by 2050.

Affection

Speaking during a parliamentary debate on safeguarding the union, Lord Moylan said: “We remain a voluntary union and that voluntary union is essentially based on affection. We are attracted to each other.

“The fact we choose to stay together is because of the affection that exists. Not coercion but affection. That is our strength and that is what we need to build on.”

Turning to the issue of language, he told peers: “It is a sensitive subject but we shouldn’t be too sensitive about discussing it.

“There is no doubt, and Sinn Fein will appreciate this, that the use of language is a tool for promoting national nationalist sentiment.”

Sparking cries of dissent, he added: “When I look at Wales and see the almost linguistic fascism that now exists in parts of it, I am deeply concerned that we will find ourselves, on some occasion in the future, in a situation rather like we were with Scotland in 2014, when, half way through the referendum campaign, we realised that unionism might lose the referendum, so out of touch we were.

“I do not want to see something like that happen in Wales.”

Bilingual nation

Baroness Humphreys, who is deputy leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said: “I really object to the term language fascism.

“People fail to understand that Wales is a bilingual nation and people have the right to use their first language, whichever language that is, or both languages if they want to.”

Labour frontbencher Baroness Chapman of Darlington said: “I was sorry to hear Lord Moylan refer to linguistic fascism in Wales.

“I would invite him gently and with a great deal of respect to consider his use of language and also whether I think what could be perceived as a high-handed tone that he deployed in that remark would actually serve in the longer term to strengthen or weaken the union.”

Support

Tory frontbencher Lord Cameron of Lochiel, who was making his maiden speech at the despatch box, said: “In relation to the Welsh language, I would like to be clear that the UK government fully supports the Welsh government’s aim of there being one million speakers of Welsh by 2050.

“The Welsh language is devolved but the UK government is committed to supporting the promotion and use of the Welsh language in Wales.”

He added: “Languages belong to everyone. I have taken a long interest in promoting the Gaelic language and hark back to the UK Conservative governments of the 80s and 90s and their contribution to Gaelic broadcasting.”

Lord Cameron told peers: “This government will never cease to be a government that puts the safeguarding and strengthening of our union at the centre of our work.

“However, we must never be complacent. We must always remember the safeguarding of our union is an ongoing mission, not simply a short-term response to temporary political turbulence.

“All parts of our great nation contribute to the strength of the United Kingdom which remains the most successful political and economic union the world has ever seen.”


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hdavies15
hdavies15
27 days ago

Language fascism ? Good term that as it sums up neatly what the Anglo Brit institutions have been inflicting on us for centuries. Legislation of recent decades is being ignored, flouted with impunity by big business all egged on by the Anglophonic idlers in London and Cardiff. Thank you Lord Twatface.

Riki
Riki
26 days ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Well, why they needed the language to survive in to the 21 century is no longer needed. So they are returning to their real view of the Native British language.

Richard 1
Richard 1
27 days ago

Pot; kettle; black

Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
27 days ago

Saying we are a voluntary union i do not think so we where invaded by a foreign country called england though it was hundreds of years ago we will have to go cap in hand to ask for a referendum for independence and if they allow it

Riki
Riki
26 days ago
Reply to  Dai Ponty

Wrong, the actions of 1284 have nothing to do with why Wales and England are joined. We are joined thanks to a traitorous Tudor, after his Father Beat England at Bosworth Field in 1485. Same with Scotland, they are joined thanks to a Scottish King. The Real Problem with the Union is how it’s run and all the advantages England has within it.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
27 days ago

A promoter of Braverman lectures on the use of language…

His name translates from the Irish as son of the bald man…

Jeff
Jeff
27 days ago

Moylan? Shoe horned into the upper house by Johnson. Really need to check this fools utterances from the recent past. He thinks brexit is a massive win and supported Johnson a lot (through party gate as well if my memory serves) and supported Braverman.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
27 days ago
Reply to  Jeff

A proper wrong ‘un then.

Neilyn
Neilyn
27 days ago

This man has precisely the same attitude towards the Welsh language and Wales’s nationhood as Putin does towards the Ukrainian language and Ukraine’s nationhood.

Shout it from the rooftops people.

Johnny Gamble
Johnny Gamble
27 days ago
Reply to  Neilyn

Actually it was the Ukrainian government since 2014 that suppressed the use of The Russian language in Eastern Ukraine

Dewi
Dewi
27 days ago
Reply to  Johnny Gamble

and also the use of Hungarian and Romanian lanuages in the areas with sizeable populations who speak those languages.Zelensky is trying to impose Ukrainian in those areas.

Rob
Rob
26 days ago
Reply to  Dewi

If thats true then I don’t condone it. Putin however made it very clear in his interview with Tucker Carlson he believed that Ukraine had no right to exist as a sovereign nation and for historical reasons should be a part of Russia. Suppressing the right to speak a language or one is one thing, suppressing the right to speak a language of when that language is the national tongue of that particular country is something else entirely.

Last edited 26 days ago by Rob
Riki
Riki
26 days ago
Reply to  Rob

That’s incorrect, he clearly said that if Ukraine see themselves as a separate country, he’d respect it. But he won’t accept their position in NATO.

Riki
Riki
26 days ago
Reply to  Johnny Gamble

You are right, Ukraine banned Russian, you’d think people who care for our language would know this and understand what is actually going on there. Russia intervened in Ukraine because they are defending what they see as ethnic Russians. Something the UN should be doing for the Palestinians!!!

CapM
CapM
26 days ago
Reply to  Riki

Have you been reactivated.

Riki
Riki
26 days ago
Reply to  CapM

Mate, people who hold different opinion aren’t Bots. People can disagree and provide evidence for why they disagree. Any old excuse huh?!

CapM
CapM
25 days ago
Reply to  Riki

That’s a Yes then.

karl
karl
27 days ago

Your language is a huge part of your heriate and daily life. If he thinks its fascism, what is the UK trying to rob us of who we are in Cymru. I used a cash machine for the first time in probably 5 yrs. It had several European language options, not Cymraeg though. Go on a train to Cardiff and our language is disappearing off them also.

Annibendod
Annibendod
27 days ago

Disgusting comment, bigoted attitude, outright lies and propaganda about the “Union”. This people are unashamed British Nationalists. In their deluded minds there is only a singular British Nation, English in language and character. The elimination of Cymraeg and Gaelic to them is desireable, as if it in some demented measure of progress, represented an improvement. Sweep them away, let’s never speak of them again. These people exist in an a-historical bubble of right-wing, English imperialist twaddle and for all I care, they can go forth. I’ve nothing against normal decent folk from England – I’m the grandson of one. I… Read more »

Mr David J Thomas
Mr David J Thomas
27 days ago

Oh dear, oh dear, how out of touch can you be?! Here’s somebody who is obviously ignorant of the WN and the Blue Books or the “linguistic fascism” of suppressing native languages in every colony of the British Empire worldwide. But, also: “We remain a voluntary union and that voluntary union is essentially based on affection. We are attracted to each other. The fact we choose to stay together is because of the affection that exists. Not coercion but affection” hardly sits easily with his government’s refusal to allow Scotland to hold another referendum on independence or its refusal to… Read more »

Rob
Rob
27 days ago

If you move to Germany and want to get anywhere within German society, you have to speak German. If you move to France you would have to speak French, if you move to England, you would have to speak English. Is this linguistic fascism? No, its common sense. Wales is a country with its own democratically elected government. Every party that was democratically elected into the Senedd supports measures that to strengthen the Welsh language. If any party came out with a manifesto that called for policies that could be perceived as ‘fascist’ against non-Welsh speakers then it wouldn’t stand… Read more »

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
27 days ago

For fascism, look in the mirror and this in Goveys’ extremism week. I’d like to thank all who slapped him down. He should learn to confine these views to England only but even then, he’d still be out of order. Someone needs to tell him we’re having our language and a 96 seat Senedd to be a good old regular, normal, free standing independent country. Y’know, like all the others?

Rhian Davies
Rhian Davies
27 days ago

His fascism in claiming: “The fact we choose to stay together is because of the affection that exists. Not coercion but affection. That is our strength and that is what we need to build on.” is pure lies. Well my father forced me to live in ‘Angerland’ as I call it, from the age of 14 and I didn’t manage to ‘escape’ from there till 2005 after the death of my father in 1999. If anyone knew of the treatment of myself and other ‘vulnerable’ Celtic people who were dumped in Angerland, by their political families, then they would perhaps… Read more »

Cymro Penperllenni
Cymro Penperllenni
27 days ago

If it is a voluntary union based on affection, why do we have to beg for our annual pocket money and then to be told that is what we are getting and we should be grateful. These Tories all take us for mugs. Annibyniaeth

onedragonontheshirt
onedragonontheshirt
27 days ago

“…so out of touch we were”

That’s the only sensible thing this inbred Tory pillock says in the whole article.

Paul ap Gareth
Paul ap Gareth
27 days ago

A Peer in the Westminster Parliament complaining about Linguistic Fascism when English is the only language permitted in Westminster. Welsh is not allowed, Scots Gaelic is not allowed, Irish Gaelic is not allowed, Ulster Scots is not allowed, Cornish is not allowed in the Parliament of this “voluntary union”.

Erisian
Erisian
27 days ago

I’ll see your Oxford English Dictionary… and raise you Eileen Beasly, Dafyd Iwan, Saunders Lewis amd 10,000 more

Nia James
Nia James
27 days ago

If I had a £1 for every time I’ve been told that speaking Welsh amounts to racism, and that Cymdeithias is a terrorist organisation, I’d be cruising around the Med.

Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
27 days ago

Llawer iawn o ffasgwyr ieithyddol yng Nghymru, yn ceisio fy ngorfodi i siarad Saesneg. Naw wfft i’r tacle, cywion Alys, feibion Hengist, gwladychwyr ac imperialwyr. Dw i’n rhy hen i hidio botwm corn bellach. Gwell peiriant hunanwasanaeth Cymraeg na gwladychwr ar y til. “Daear hardd a roddir hon, daear gofal ein calon, yn wastraff o dan estron.” “Ymaith â’ch gwarth o’n parthau, wŷr brwnt a segurwur brau, di-lên a di-ydlannau.”

Neilyn
Neilyn
26 days ago
Reply to  Rhufawn Jones

Cytuno a chydymdeimlo’n llwyr.

Geraint
Geraint
26 days ago

Mae pobl fel Moylan yn edrych yn y drych a gweld adlewyrchiad ei hun. Pa iaith a gafodd ei wthio ar bwy? Pwy fu’n gormesu pwy? Ond ers pleidlais Brexit, mae gwleidyddiaeth Lloegr wedi troi’n fwy asgell-dde, gyda’r Ceidwadwyr yn cystadlu efo UKIP, Reform UK I weld pwy sydd fwyaf Prydeinig-Seisnig neu sy’n hyrwyddo Lloegr Fawr. Little Englanders, Greater England…

Riki
Riki
26 days ago

Oh bless em, they keep equating saving a dying language with what they did. How is educating someone to speak it in order to save it as the same as forcing someone to not speak it in order to destroy it. They have no self awareness or understanding of History.

Ed Jones
Ed Jones
26 days ago

Why are these Tories so threatened by the Welsh language? The man is a pillock!

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