March 1, 2010
Not quite Gaelic;
HERE'S a sobering nugget for St David''s Day.
Reading UKIP's policy document Restoring Britishness, published on February 12,
I came across this sentence in the section on Educational, Art and Music
Measures, concerning what schools would be required to teach under a UKIP
government: All cultures, languages and traditions from around the British
Isles, such as Gaelic, would be celebrated.
' No mention of Welsh culture and traditions?'' I thought.
I read on, and came to: UKIP believes Britishness is inclusive and should
celebrate all cultures, languages and traditions emanating from the British
Isles. UKIP does not regard Gaelic or expressions of Home Nation identities as
being in conflict with Britishness.
' Still no mention of Welsh?'' I thought.
Next: UK citizens can be proud Scotsmen, Welshmen and Ulstermen as well as proud
Britons. At last, an honourable mention for the Welsh, after several disparaging
references to Welsh nationalism and the Assembly.
Then I came to the next sentence: UKIP will enthusiastically support teaching of
the various Gaelic languages and histories within the UK, in Scotland, Ireland,
Wales and Cornwall.
Suddenly, the penny dropped. I realised that UKIP's policy-makers are so
clueless about anything that doesn''t relate to England that they think Welsh is
a Gaelic language.
You couldn''t make it up.
Wyn Hobson, Tal-y-bont, Gwynedd