AR 07/11/121276 NODYNAR 07/10/12871 NODYNAR 07/01/120 NODYN
Anonymous said: wnest ti ffeindio gwahoddiad wefan golyg eto? Ti'n medru gofyn ar sgwrsio/irc ar golyg
Do, ges i un, diolch! :)AR 06/28/129 NODYNAR 06/27/1226 NODYNAR 06/27/12380 NODYNAR 05/29/12182 NODYNAR 05/26/129 NODYNAR 05/24/1278 NODYNAR 05/24/12114 NODYNAR 05/23/120 NODYN
Oes digwydd bod gwahoddiad gan unrhywun i Golyg? Roedd arfer bod cyfrif ‘da fi ond mae e wedi diflannu i grombil y wê, a dyw Clic S4C ddim yn gweithio yn yr Almaen :(AR 05/23/126 NODYN
Having read Martin Shipton’s shocking comment piece in today’s Western Mail, I’ve emailed some thoughts to the newspaper’s editor. I doubt they’ll be read, but I just had to respond to some of things Mr Shipton said.
I wanted to take a moment to respond to the comment piece written by Martin Shipton published in today’s Western Mail regarding the recommendation being made by the Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee at the National Assembly for Wales, the members of which is in the process of scrutinising the National Assembly for Wales (Official Languages) Bill.
From a strategic point-of-view for your newspaper, the publication of Mr Shipton’s article is worrying. Let’s face it – a vast majority of people in the Welsh-speaking community in Wales buy the Western Mail in order to support Wales’s only true national newspaper. Many of them will boycott your newspaper now. You seem to have gone to a special effort to alienate your core readership, somehow and for some reason forgetting that times are not good at the Western Mail. I have noticed on social networking sites that many have predicted that this is the final nail in the coffin, as it were, and aside from being angry, I am upset by that; it is massively important that we retain our national newspaper.
As a matter of principle, this piece was at best misguided, at worst offensive. Mr Shipton suggests that translating written records of Assembly proceedings into Welsh is a ‘luxury we cannot afford.’ I would put it to him that it isn’t a luxury; Welsh and English are official languages of our country and of the National Assembly for Wales and so, it is a matter of principle that proceedings of the National Assembly are wholly available in both those languages. It is neither appropriate nor acceptable to suggest that those who wish to scrutinise the work of their National Assembly in Welsh would simply have to put up with doing it in English because times are hard, which, more or less, is what Mr Shipton is suggesting.
As for the suggestion that the recommendation, if implemented, would cost the Assembly Commission in the region of £400,000 a year, I too call on Mr Shipton and on your paper to explain how exactly that is the case. He says that that is what he was told by a ‘senior Assembly source’, whatever that means, but it is interesting to note that Bethan Jenkins AM and Mike Hedges AM, members of the committee in question, have doubted the claim that this would cost £400,000 a year. If a ‘senior Assembly source’ has told Mr Shipton that it would cost £400,000, it is only right that that source explains his/her views to the National Assembly, especially when making suggestions like this, which two committee members from differing parties do not recognise.
In his article, Mr Shipton notes that ‘we are not alone: the committee report itself quotes a legal adviser to the Assembly Commission as saying: “… there would be huge implications as regards the budget if absolutely everything was done bilingually.”’ I think it is important that Mr Shipton realises that saying that there would be financial implications is not the same as saying that it is ‘a step too far at this time of austerity’, as he puts it. That is nothing more than cheap spin and poor journalism on his part, which being that the Western Mail is our national newspaper, is shameful.
Towards the end of his piece, Mr Shipton says that ‘at a time when public services are being cut back and hundreds of thousands of poorer people in Wales will be getting less help with their council tax bills, for example, is simply unjustifiable.’ I would put it to him that being that the Welsh language is a cornerstone of our culture, and that Welsh is already under-threat what with Westminster’s careless attitude towards S4/C, it is wholly appropriate that the National Assembly for Wales makes moves to improve its Welsh-medium accessibility.
Furthermore, I would suggest that Mr Shipton’s piece is nothing more than scaremongering. Even if the budget needed for this recommendation, if implemented, were £400,000 per annum, that would be an extremely small proportion of the Assembly Commission’s annual (and, notably, rising) budget, and for that matter, it would be a tiny fraction of Wales’s annual budget from the Treasury.
I find it amusing that Mr Shipton should attack moves to further enhance the position of the Welsh language on financial grounds like this, when overall, this year’s London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will cost the state in the region of £15 billion, and the Jubilee celebrations will cost in the region of £1.3 billion. If Mr Shipton thinks that £400,000 a year in order to have a fully bilingual national legislature is ‘extraordinary’, ‘astounding’, ‘unaffordable’, and ‘unjustifiable’, as he puts it, then I suggest he thinks about the Olympics and the Jubilee, and perhaps write an article on those. Next time, let’s have something which is fitting for the national newspaper of Wales.
Cerith Rhys Jones