Monday, April 26, 2010

Equal Treatment?

I'm trying to avoid this fantasy election but I couldn't help noticing that all the London based parties, including the saintly Nick Clegg, are now demanding that immigrants have to learn English. Can you imagine the kerfuffle if someone suggested that incomers to Meirionydd, for example, should have to learn Welsh?

In a sane country it might happen but in Wales not a chance. Even the Assembly is quite content that 30% of the public servants in it's Caernarfon office can't speak Welsh, while in the Carmarthen and Aberystwyth offices monoglot English speakers make up a whopping 70% of the staff.


Anonymous said...

This is a point I've made several times but a lot of people just don't seem to 'get' it.
Why is moving from Poland to England 'immigration' and moving from England to Wales not? Why do British people living in their little enclaves in Spain not regard themselves as immigrants?
In any case, it's a myth that immigrants don't learn English - people who move here to improve their lives know that learning English is part of the deal - how else can they gain access to good quality employment or business opportunities.
Maybe some asylum seekers (who are not entitled to the same resources as 'official' immigrants) find it easier, safer and more comforting to group together into self-supporting 'ex-pat' communities, but anyone who has actually met immigrants from the both EU and outside will know that learning English is a high priority for them and their children.
Anyway, to get back to your main point, maybe if Welsh medium education was of lower quality, there might be a few more drones to fill junior civil service positions. Currently, the rule in much of Wales is that if you're clever and you want a decent career, you move out quick to England and beyond.

old radnor said...

Ask Joe Public and they'll say that the Assembly and the council offices are full of Welsh speakers. It's far from the truth. I remember a survey where the only pay grade in Powys where Welsh speakers matched up to the number of speakers in the community were the dustmen.

These institutions collect and publish data on the numbers of Irish travellors employed but not Welsh speakers. If they did we'd find the true position and it's institution prejudice against the Welsh, and Welsh speakers in particular, within the public service.

Just listen to the Chief Executives announcing the results on Election night. They'll sound like colonial officers in Nyasaland circs 1935 ..... for all the connection they have with the communities which they represent.