Thursday, 29 November 2007

Wales' Delayed Law-Making Powers and a "Welsh" Secretary Discredited

Work and Pensions Secretary Peter Hain has admitted that he failed to register a £5,000 donation to his deputy leadership campaign by Labour's new chief fund raiser.
Mr Hain blamed an "administrative error" for the failure to inform the Electoral Commission of the donation by Jon Mendelsohn.
"In the light of recent events, it has come to my attention that a donation from Jon Mendelsohn to my deputy leadership campaign was mistakenly not registered with the Electoral Commission," Mr Hain said in a statement on Thursday night.
"Jon Mendelsohn made a personal contribution of £5,000 at the end of June 2007. We wish to make clear that this was entirely an administrative error on the part of my campaign.
"I very much regret that the donation was not registered as it should have been and I am taking immediate steps to do so."
Mr Mendelsohn, who was not the party's fund raiser at the time, is already facing calls for his resignation after the disclosure that he was aware two months ago of the proxy donations to the party made by property developer David Abrahams.

Mr Peter Hain has made it clear that he is all in favour of a Welsh referendum on the establishment of a Welsh Parliament. It appears that he intends to slow down the process as best he can (along with the approval of LCO's handed down from the Assembly) so that it may be another 50 years before Wales has full self-governing powers, by which time the population of Wales will be so multi-ethnic that nobody will care very much whether Wales is an independent nation or not, and all this silly hullabaloo about national status will be dead in the water. Unfortunately for him, he has not reckoned with the dogged determination of patriotic countrymen and women of Wales who see Britain as an archaic irrelevance in this contemporary European setting.

Occasionally comments are offered on this blog which deserve to be given prominence, so please read on:
Evan has left a new comment on your post "Wales' Delayed Law-Making Powers":

You know, you make a solid point in this post, which is something I worry about-- what if Nulabour winds up flooding Wales so much with newcomers that Welsh identity dissipates? Thus far this has chiefly been a problem for England, much more than Wales and Scotland but it could be an issue long-term.

One suggestion I have here-- strengthen Welsh cultural markers enough, especially the Welsh language, such that any immigrants to Wales who want a work permit as well as their children, must learn Cymraeg. Especially for doing public sector jobs.

This way, Wales can absorb the newcomers but make sure that they are integrated into the broader Welsh society and cultural structure. If we fail to do this, then it's just Anglicization by other means, and a further submission of Welsh identity to the English.

Along with your own emphasis here-- on accelerated devolution of powers to a Welsh parliament-- placing a stronger emphasis on the Welsh language may be the best safeguard to ensuring that newcomers to Wales are connected up to Welsh society and integrate, rather than diluting it out. Welsh should also be used increasingly as the medium for schools and for media. This is similar to what the Irish are increasingly doing in Ireland-- requiring that Irish Gaelic be used in schools, in media, and also that immigrants to Ireland and their children learn and actively use Irish Gaelic for their daily business.

When a country, especially a small country with a small base population (such as Wales) accepts immigrants, it is imperative to require the immigrants to learn and absorb the local culture in return for the privilege of immigrating and working here. For us, that means compulsory learning and usage of the Welsh language.

1 comment:

Evan said...

You know, you make a solid point in this post, which is something I worry about-- what if Nulabour winds up flooding Wales so much with newcomers that Welsh identity dissipates? Thus far this has chiefly been a problem for England, much more than Wales and Scotland but it could be an issue long-term.

One suggestion I have here-- strengthen Welsh cultural markers enough, especially the Welsh language, such that any immigrants to Wales who want a work permit as well as their children, must learn Cymraeg. Especially for doing public sector jobs.

This way, Wales can absorb the newcomers but make sure that they are integrated into the broader Welsh society and cultural structure. If we fail to do this, then it's just Anglicization by other means, and a further submission of Welsh identity to the English.

Along with your own emphasis here-- on accelerated devolution of powers to a Welsh parliament-- placing a stronger emphasis on the Welsh language may be the best safeguard to ensuring that newcomers to Wales are connected up to Welsh society and integrate, rather than diluting it out. Welsh should also be used increasingly as the medium for schools and for media. This is similar to what the Irish are increasingly doing in Ireland-- requiring that Irish Gaelic be used in schools, in media, and also that immigrants to Ireland and their children learn and actively use Irish Gaelic for their daily business.

When a country, especially a small country with a small base population (such as Wales) accepts immigrants, it is imperative to require the immigrants to learn and absorb the local culture in return for the privilege of immigrating and working here. For us, that means compulsory learning and usage of the Welsh language.