Wednesday, 24 July 2019
"O Bydded I’r Hen Iaith Barhau by David Shinn - for discussion at 2nd Welsh Socialist Republican Congress
As someone who is far from fluent in Cymraeg (I’m barely even able to hold a conversation in my mother tongue) I almost feel unqualified to be writing an article about the Welsh language. But then, that’s probably the exact reason why I should be writing this.
My mam’s first language is Cymraeg, but as my dad (who is English) doesn’t speak the language it was never spoken at home, other than when mam was speaking to Nain or Taid.
Growing up in north east Wales, I never really saw the importance of it nor did I appreciate it. Don’t get me wrong, I have always loved hearing it and seeing it on our road signs etc – I always knew
I was home when I could see the Clwydian mountains and Cymraeg road signs and even though I didn’t understand a lot of the words, I have always found comfort in seeing it around me.
However, as I have gotten older I’ve become acutely aware of how much culture and history I have missed out on by being unable to speak Cymraeg and have recently started learning again, spurred on by the fact that my daughter is being educated in a Welsh language school (as will my son come September) and that aged 5 she is far more confident and proficient in using the language than I am, although I converse with her yn Cymraeg as much as I can and learn from her on a daily basis.
Two things to note here; firstly that I stated I have recently started learning again, and secondly, that I believe confidence in ability is a big problem, not just for me, but many learners of the language.
I did my GCSEs in 2000, and I was among the last secondary school pupils in Cymru to have had the choice to opt out of studying Welsh at GCSE level. Foolishly I opted out, thinking that I would be able to learn from my mam (although that never came to fruition, for a multitude of reasons) and instead studied French and German.
As I grew older and became more involved with politics, especially the struggle for independence, and learnt more about our history and the suppression of Cymraeg, I started wanting to learn again, and about 10 years ago I enrolled on to a beginner’s course at Glyndwr University.
Although I was doing well, circumstances changed; I became homeless and had to choose between going to an evening class or finding somewhere warm and dry to sleep. Learning Cymraeg had to be shelved.
Since then I have developed a fierce love of the language, and although I am a long way away from being fluent (although thanks to my daughter, the “Say Something In Welsh” app, the help of good comrades and the recent story of Geordan Burress, I am more determined than ever to get there) I will always defend our language from those who belittle or mock it.
I have also begun to look at what can be done to promote the language and encourage people like myself to not only learn it, but also use it in daily life. I use it on a daily basis, although it’s only in small ways; I always say “nos dawch” to my children at bed time as opposed to “good night”, I try to say “diolch” to bus drivers and customers in work instead of “thank you”, I say “dwi’n caru ti” to my partner rather than “I love you”. Although only small, they are things I feel confident in saying, even though I know so much more than that.
As I have already said, confidence is a major contributing factor, especially for someone who is a perfectionist to a fault. But there’s a lot more to the state of the Welsh language than the confidence of individual learners.
It seems an almost weekly, if not daily occurrence now that the language is attacked and ridiculed by all manner of people. From the Sun’s scathing headline after it emerged that Geordan Burress, a woman from the USA had taught herself the language, Omid Djalili’s pathetic attempts at “humour” and KFC workers in Bangor being told they can’t communicate in their own language.
If only there was some sort of legislation in place to protect our language.
Oh, that’s right, I forgot. There is.
On the face of it, the Welsh Language Act 1993 is a good thing, and admittedly the protections it affords have gone some way to preserving the language, but it’s clearly not enough.
As I previously stated, I opted out of doing Welsh at GCSE level. After 2000, it became mandatory for all pupils in Cymru to study Welsh at GCSE level. On paper, this sounds brilliant, but the reality is that someone who studies Welsh as a second language at GCSE level will leave secondary education with the conversational ability of a 5 year old who has Welsh as their first language.
It is tokenistic at best, put in place simply to try and placate the likes of Cymdeithas yr Iaith, who fought and protested for language rights, leading to the formation of the first Welsh Language Act in 1967.
While the current language act has given Cymraeg “equal status”, the attitude to the language by the British state, and even some “Welsh” people, is one of derision and mockery.
"It is blindingly obvious that in order for Cymraeg to not only survive, but flourish once again we need to be an independent nation and implement radical changes that will actively put the language at the forefront of everyday life. To quote Tolkien;
"Welsh is of this soil, this island, the senior language of the men of Britain; and Welsh is beautiful".
It is time it was treated with the respect it deserves.
Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr calls for a new Welsh Language Act that does just this; not a tokenistic piece of legislation to keep us quiet, but an Act that will actually, tangibly see the language being not only equal, but becoming the official first language of the Welsh state and promoted as such."
Posted by nickglais at 04:18
Sunday, 14 July 2019
This video was posted on Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr and was REMOVED not by the editor but by someone who has access to blogger - it shows that any posts can be removed at any time without informing us.It also means FAKE POSTS can be inserted anytime BE ALERT to strange posts
"I would never campaign against something like the investiture again when there are more important things to do , like building a new Wales".Dafydd Iwan
Posted by nickglais at 10:33
Wednesday, 10 July 2019
Prince Charles PR Campaign: "They will not have Dominion over us" - we will have Independence from British State
Caernarfon Anti Investiture Protests 1969
Plaid Cymru 1925.
"To secure independence for Wales in Europe. To ensure economic prosperity, social justice and the health of the natural environment, based on decentralist socialism. To build a national community based on equal citizenship, respect for different traditions and cultures and the equal worth of all individuals, whatever their race, nationality, gender, colour, creed, sexuality, age, ability or social background.
We demand that Wales be an equal, free and self-governing member of the Association of British Nations.
This is the status that is, in political terms, generally called Dominion Status which is enjoyed by the Dominions of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Union of South Africa and that was recently granted to the Irish Free State"
Plaid Cymru since its inception has never really stood for a Independent Wales.
That is a Wales Independent of the British State and its Monarchy they have been Dominion Status or Confederalism advocates - a Federalism is currently promoted by Dafydd Ellis Thomas they are all the British State in new form and the British Monarch at the centre.
In the latest British State Prince Charles PR campaign for Investiture 3 to undermine the 50th Anniversary of antInvestiture protests Dafydd Iwan has said while affirming his republicanism
"I would never campaign against something like the investiture again when there are more important things to do , like building a new Wales".
What is more important than taking Wales out of the British State and preventing its reintegration under the false banner of Federalism and Monarchism - the British State in yet another form.
Opposing Investiture 3 and promoting Republicanism is part of our differentiation from the British State but Dafydd Iwan either fails to see this or has simply given up the ghost.
Of Course Dafydd Elis Thomas who serves the British State just like Lloyd George goes even further he wants to legitimize Prince Charles and the Monarchy in Wales.
We have not made enough of him in my view because of opposition in certain quarters.
I do not think he (Prince Charles) feels as well that enough has been made of the opportunity of marketing Wales through the Prince of Wales.
Part of my job is promote the culture of Wales and if we had a more determined drive to work with the Prince of Wales in promoting Wales throughout the period of his Principality - I think we could have achieved a lot more.
Lord Dafydd Elis Thomas
Let the Voice of a True Socialist Republican speak to us from the past - not the siren songs calling us to the death of our ideals by Dafydd Iwan and Lord Dafydd Elis Thomas
Under this Treaty the Irish people are going to be committed within the British Empire. We have always in this country protested against being included within the British Empire. Now we are told that we are going into it with our heads up.
The British Empire stands to me in the same relationship as the devil stands to religion.
The British Empire represents to me nothing but the concentrated tyranny of ages. You may talk about your constitution in Canada, your united South Africa or Commonwealth of Australia, but the British Empire to me does not mean that. It means to me that terrible thing that has spread its tentacles all over the earth, that has crushed the lives out of people and exploited its own when it could not exploit anybody else.
That British Empire is the thing that has crushed this country; yet we are told that we are going into it now with our heads up. We are going into the British Empire now to participate in the Empire's shame even though we do not actually commit the act, to participate in the shame and the erucifixion of India and the degradation of Egypt.
Is that what the Irish people fought for freedom for?
We are told damn principles. Aye, if Ireland was fighting for nothing only to become as most of the other rich countries of the world have become, this fight should never have been entered upon.
We hoped to make this country something the world should be proud on and we did not enter into the fight to make this country as the other countries, where its word was not its bond, and where a treaty was something to be struggled for.
That was not the ideal that inspired men in this cause in every age, and it is not the ideal which inspires us to-day.
We do not seek to make this country a materially great country at the expense of its honour in any way whatsoever.
We would rather have this country poor and indigent, we would rather have the people of Ireland eking out a poor existence on the soil; as long as they possessed their souls, their minds, and their honour.
This fight has been for something more than the fleshpots of Empire
Posted by nickglais at 23:55
Monday, 8 July 2019
The Welsh Road to Ecosocialism by Martin J Shrewsbury - for Discussion at 2nd Welsh Socialist Republican Congress
Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr has always been a deep real green organisation but opposes superficial ideas like the Green Market Economy which are ill thought through in Plaid Cymru and have the opposite effects from those intended.
This is a particularly relevant to the scams around the windmilling of Wales and the anti democratic processes involved in aiding corporates against the people of Wales even by the Welsh Assembly riding roughshod over democratic rights.
See also :http://democracyandclasstruggle.blogspot.com/2012/08/real-green-solution-to-climate-change.html
Monday musings and some thoughts on the fiftieth anniversary of the 1969 Investiture...Some fifty years ago I was a child of 11 at an English Prep School. I knew that as the staff and pupils at the school waxed lyrically and sycophantically of the House of Saxe-Coberg-Gotha.
I asked my teacher why this had no real meaning either to Wales or of history. I was mocked by Miss Seranck for that question. I told her I had read of the Edwardian conquest of 1282 and of the great lie of Edward the First. She told me not to be a silly little boy.
Yet she sat me on the road that led to my Welsh Republican Socialism. Fifty years later the shy little boy of 1969 is looking back over fifty years and reflecting on the possible routes to a Welsh EcoSocialist Republic.
My thoughts have changed and developed over those fifty years and I have during that time been the Leader of the Welsh Green Party, and for the last few years an activist within the Labour Party and branch Secretary of Ystradgynlais Labour Party.
As I glance at the Welsh Green Party I observe that it's claim to have a Welsh identity was done to death when it voted two to one against becoming a separate party.
I had long argued that for a vibrant Green Party to turn it's back on the Welsh National Movement was a profound error.
The principle of an independent Green Party in an independent Wales would have been a powerful tool in critiquing both Plaid and the Welsh Labour Party and of providing a treasury of ideas that would have enriched the Welsh political tradition and added a significant Welsh dimension..
As it is the Greens now do nothing but feed the socially conservative and reactionary rants of Jac o the North and the growing nature of a Welsh home grown far right that is populist and best illustrated in the confused males of groups like Ein Gwlad.
The Welsh Greens at best seem to be little more and rather unfairly as incomers telling the Welsh people what to do.
Within Plaid we have a tension. While there are perfectly competent Ecosocialist here and a long honourable tradition of community activity in individuals such as Leanne Wood and Bethan Sayeed there is within Plaid a long tradition of Social Conservatism.
This can be essentially seen in what I would call the Neil MeEvoy Syndrome. Here we see an essentially unreconstructed masculinity that is essentially tolerant and in support of a Welsh masculinity and outlook that dislikes "Greenies, wimmin and lefties" .
The men around him are often worse and I saw during the Plaid leadership campaign a vile misogyny from many of them. I saw the trashing of transgender rights by social conservative supporters of Neil McEvoy arguing that the main issue was an independent Wales and that social diversity was not an essentially important part of a new Wales.
Adam Price must decide soon if he allows Prince Neil back into the party. If he does the pressures against Eco Socialism within Plaid will increase dramatically as Prince Neil and his followers will seek to change Plaid into a Welsh UKIP lite party far removed from ecosocialism and a tolerant and diverse Welsh identity.
As it is I hear that the Plaid group within the Assembly will not allow him back. Indeed I suspect that if he returns it is highly possible that Leanne Wood and Bethan Sayeed would probably leave Plaid and form a Welsh Republican Socialist faction..
I note also with interest that Cardiff West Plaid have renamed itself 'Plaid and independent" you can clearly see the trajectory and possibilities considered by the social conservatism of Prince Neil and his allies.
And so I conclude my observations on Plaid by noting the opposition to a Welsh Ecosocialism clearly emerging here.
Plaids inner demons over opposition to renewables and it's schizoid attitude to Nuclear power also provides serious problems to it's emergence as an Eco Socialist party.
I joined Labour some years ago largely because it seems to me the best party to develop an Ecosocialist teach in an Eco Socialist Wales. Mark Drakefords commitment to Socialism.
The role of Momentum and Welsh Labour Grass roots make this transformation possible. I feel at home within this tradition and have found many former Green Party and Plaid Ecosocialists there.
There is a commitment to diversity and multiple identities there .
The emergence of Jeremy Corbyn and alternative non capitalist policies all create the circumstances and policies to make Labour the best means for creating a Welsh Ecosocialist tradition,.
This would involve new models of ownership, and an open tolerant and diverse Wales.
It may well be that Ecosocialists from within Plaid like Leanne Wood and Bethan Sayeed would feed radical ideas into an Ecosocialust Welsh Labour.
It would also offer the capacity of those Ecosocialist from the Green Party to influence and provide ideas for the future.
The road to Welsh Ecosocialism is near but the road is still a long and winding one.
These thoughts run through my mind and I am a committed Welsh Republican Socialist of some 61 years of age.
I look forward to the future of the Welsh people and the Welsh nation. There is much to do and the dogs of reaction are barking and yet my mind is clear as is the method and direction of a new Wales that is socialist, tolerant, green and diverse...
Posted by nickglais at 04:28
What has become of Dafydd Elis Thomas ? he has not kept the faith despite warning from Raymond Williams.
Raymond Williams was one of Wales key thinkers who lectured at many Plaid Cymru Summer schools.
It is to shame of today that ignorance of his thinking abounds and proto Fascism has emerged in Wales based on that ignorance.
We have come from literally the same school as Raymond Williams and know his family and will never forget his contribution to our understanding of Socialism and what it means to be Welsh.