Monday, 2 February 2009

Historic Day for Wales

Courtesy Alun Ffred Jones...........
See the video:;ID=1079;lID=1

Historic Day for Future of Welsh Language

Dear Friend

Today we start another important chapter in the history of the Welsh language, and I wanted to let you know what this will mean to the people of our nation, and ask for your help in making this a reality. I have recorded a quick video message for you.

Today I have published the Welsh Language Legislative Competence Order (LCO). The order's aim is to transfer the power to legislate over the Welsh Language from Westminster to Wales. With this order we aim to achieve 3 main objectives.

1.Confirm official status for both Welsh and English.

2.Ensure Linguistic rights to Welsh speakers whilst receiving services.

3.Establishment of the post of Language Commissioner to protect these rights.

This legislation is an exciting and important milestone in the history of our language and of our nation. The people of Wales have fought tirelessly, often against all odds, on behalf of our language. What makes this such an historic event is that it will be a Welsh government, a government directly elected by the people of Wales, that will have the power to legislate on the Welsh language from now on.

You Can help us

On this historic day, some MPs and business leaders have already been vocal in their opposition to transferring the power to legislate from Westminster to Wales. Some still believe that decisions on the Welsh language should continue to be taken by themselves in London, rather than our democratically elected Assembly here in Wales. This is where we need your help. You can help us in a number of ways listed below.

For Wales

Alun Ffred Jones AM and Minister for Heritage

You Can Help.

TELL YOUR MP! - by email, phone and letter

You can write to your MP, and ask them to support the transfer of powers to legislate over the Welsh Language from Westminster to Wales. It is only right that here in Wales is the place to decide on our own language, not by MPs in London. Click here to contact your MP

Phone-ins and News programmes

It is likely that the Welsh language will be discussed on news programmes throughout today,
There's no doubt that people opposing the transfer of powers be out in force peddling myths and untruths about this issue. Help us spread the truth by listening out for discussions on the subject and contributing your views.

Richard Evans phone-in - Radio Wales
12:00 – 14:00
Call 03700 100 110 or text 81012

Taro’r Post – Radio Cymru
12:00 – 13:15 Radio Cymru
03703 500 500 or text 67500

Wales Tonight
ITV 6:00 – 6:30
Text WALES followed by message to 63332

You can also keep an eye out on the following websites, and leave your comments on their discussions boards and forums.

Wales Online (Western Mail Online)
Daily Post
Vaughan Roderick's Blog Blog Vaughan Roderick
Blog Betsan Powys Blog Betsan Powys
Bloggers4Plaid Bloggers4Plaid

Write a letter to the Press

Write to the Western Mail

Write to the Daily Post

Write to the South Wales Echo

Write to the Wales on Sunday

South Wales Argus

Write to the South Wales Evening Post

Expect chaos - Cardiff’s language legislation
February 2nd, 2009 · Posted by cambriapolitico ·

t is a sad situation when the biggest concern when Cardiff publishes a Legislative Competence Order is not its proposed contents but the changes which can be imposed on it by a “foreign” legislature.

The Assembly proudly announced this morning that it has “begun the process of applying for the right to legislate on the Welsh language to be transferred from Westminster to the National Assembly”.

The press release then reiterated the Government’s expressed intention to seek “the responsibility for legislating on the Welsh language”.

The short five-page LCO will now be handed to committees for scrutiny. But two of those committees are not in Cardiff, but in a “foreign” legislature. One of them is the Welsh Affairs Select Committee of the House of Commons,.

The big question now is how far that particular committee will go beyond its originally-intended rights; how far it will second-guess everything discussed in Cardiff; proceeding how much beyond the line taken by the House of Lords (which is also allowed to carry out parallel hearings); and how much the Conservative MPs on the Commons committee will try to impose their own political, anti-devolution views on Cardiff’s legislation.

And to what extent certain Labour MPs will tag along behind them ? Alun Michael, our former First Minister, hardly covered himself in glory in helping to deal with the recent housing LCO - which was seriously weakened after some of his questioning.

And you don’t have to offer any incentive to the two Tory members to try and wreck (in the cause of “improvement”, of course !) anything from the Assembly. Both David Davies (Monmouth) and David Jones (Clwyd West) are veteran anti-devolutionists.

As the Tory party has a manifesto commitment to prevent any Welsh-language legislation impinging on the private sector, they will believe they have a god-given to cause chaos. The rights of democracy as presented through the Welsh Assembly will, of course, have no place at all.

Already, the LCO has been grievously delayed - by Whitehall, its civil servants and ministers, we understand.

Cardiff civil servants clearly see more problems ahead. Asked in a briefing how long the LCO process will take, an official replied, “We hope it will be in place by the end of this particular Assembly.” That means May 2100 !

And that’s only the principle allowing the Assembly to pass its own laws in the area.

The actual laws - which are called Measures - will then have to start on their time-consuming passage through Cardiff.

At least - supposing the LCO gets that far (to be fair, it almost certainly will, in some form or other) - that Measure will by then be entirely in Cardiff’s hands…

There’s plenty in the LCO which could provide feeding-fodder for anti-devolutionists - such as the Western Mail’s friend David Davies. The LCO attempts to place once again under Welsh language law the host of public organisations which have been privatised.

Expect a Tory row over the extension to cover telephones and mobiles.

A change as major would place under language law any organisation receiving £200,000-a-year in public cash. That idea is taken from Ireland. That fact alone might prove a bit much for anti-Assembly MPs to swallow.

As in on cue, the Assembly’s Tories put out a statement saying they did not want to see “any barriers erected to businesses…particularly at a time of economic recession”.

Plaid’s Dai Lloyd (South West) give the official response - the LCO deals with “large private sector companies”, and not “smaller businesses”.

Has Dai Jones in Clwyd West heard ?

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