Thursday, 30 August 2007

Reinventing the Dodo and the Blame Game

Time marches on, and those who are left behind busy themselves with an inward-looking, introspective examination of what went wrong and who was to blame for the situation which they had endeavoured not to create but did, through their own misreading of events and their compounding of political errors. Along with Wales 20/20 (Huw Lewis) comes the reinventing of Welsh New Labour, which is as much as to say the reinvention and revival of the Dodo, a real and not mythical creature which unfortunately is now as dead as a doornail.
Then comes a pamphlet (Peter Black) seeking to provide reasons for the failure of the Rainbow Coalition and laying the blame at the door of Plaid Cymru. There is no mention of the volte-face of the Lib Dems which is the real and obvious cause of the decision to go along with Labour and to reject the All Wales Accord for the One Wales Agreement. It was of course the most appropriate thing to do, to ensure stable government and advance progressive policies in the best interests of the people of Wales.
Any savvy and clear-sighted politician would not fail to see that what transpired was meant to happen, and no matter how the disaffected politicians might try to cover up the truth of the circumstances to mislead the public into thinking that the blame lies with Plaid, or the blame lies with Rhodri's Labour (not Huw's), the facts remain indisputably apparent to all but those who hide their heads in the sand and refuse to face the realities. The Dodo was a proud and intelligent creature and never hid its face, or tried to misconstrue the facts of any situation and, though it is now extinct it lives on in the imagination. Yet it is the mythical Dragon which marches on invincibly to victory with no concern for the snares and political tracts that lie strewn in its path.


Anonymous said...

This is one of the best satires I've ever read. Good work.

Jacky said...

Nice posting, agreed.

Alan, was wondering-- what's the status of Welsh as the fundamental medium of education in Wales?

One of the pleasant surprises I've encountered in following the Scottish scene, is how popular it is among Scottish parents to have their kids' education in the Scottish Gaelic medium. (Again, this is the *medium* of education, not just a language class on Gaelic taught in English-- i.e., classes like history, literature, science, math, geography and so on are taught in Gaelic.)

Along with providing popular media and feature films in the Celtic languages, using the language as the medium of instruction is the most essential tool in ensuring the transmission and active use of the language among youth-- it makes it feel more "natural" as the medium of daily communication and conveyance of ideas.

Ireland has been doing this extensively as well for Irish Gaelic-- in fact, with Ireland's immigration levels (mostly among non-English speakers), Ireland's been using the opportunity to boost the status of Irish Gaelic by making it the medium of education for children in general there, both Irish children and the immigrants' children.

Is this also taking place in Wales? Is Cymraeg becoming the standard medium of education? IMHO this may be the single biggest "bang for the buck" approach to reviving Scottish and Irish Gaelic as well as Welsh as the national languages: Undertake focused efforts for both voluntary and compulsory education within the medium of the Welsh tongue (and Scottish/Irish Gaelic), and increasingly, it will also become the creative medium for the next generation. Already in Scotland, there are far more children with a working knowledge of Scottish Gaelic than the adults!

Mr. Jacky

alanindyfed said...

Jacky (Tam) : thanks for your comments and I have corrected your gender. i hope you feel better as a result!
Welsh is a medium of education in some purely Welsh schools, but the majority of schools teach it as a subject and it is not the medium of general instruction. I think this is not the best way forward and that a bilingual policy should be introduced so that children become truly bilingual in both languages. This would mean a change in policy. Welsh schools appear to have a good reputation in terms of results and behaviour, which is interesting.
We are awaiting a new Welsh Language Act to provide equal status for the language in all aspects of Welsh life.