UK: Policy towards Non-Welsh Speaking Welsh Natives

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Tue Oct 30 14:23:53 UTC 2007

Policy towards Non-Welsh Speaking Welsh Natives
Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2007 08:52:34 EDT

I advocate a policy of not forcing this sector to learn Welsh, that
will just bring about a reaction as we minority Welsh speakers well
know. The right thing to do is to persuade this sector of the fact
that the Welsh language is a form of the ancient British Celtic
languages, and that it would be a cultural disaster for it to die out.
It was once the language of the whole of Britain, essentially
speaking. The problem to which the BBC was apparently referring in the
note sent by Mr Rajpal in New Delhi is that a new wave of people are
buying up property in Wales and from manifest personal experience have
no sympathy whatsoever with any kind of culture as far as I can see,
least of all with the Welsh language and culture. They have no idea
that their own ancestors once spoke British Celtic. What has that got
to do with the price of property? This is vividly put across in the
poetry of R. S. Thomas, but what has poetry got to do with the price
of property? It is that kind of cultureless desert referred to also in
the poetry of my Civil List predecessor for Wales, Vernon Watkins.
This kind of cultureless attitude is prevalent all over Europe, not
just in Wales. The EEC has well defined laws to protect minority
languages all over Europe.

cc Prime Minister's Office and Welsh Assembly

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