Thursday, September 29, 2005

Small Nation Blog

Thanks to Mr Nwdls for pointing out an interesting blog called Small Nation. It's description is:
News, opinion and reflection on Scotland and Ireland, along with comparisons with other small countries and views on local and global issues.

There's also a link from this blog to Global Voices, which is a blog aggregator of blogs from all over the world (obviously).

Freeloading Cymru

A blog called Freeloading Cymru, by Tony as he travels through the 22 local authorities of Wales without spending a penny on transport, food or accomodation. He hopes to publish a book about his experiences.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Irish Gaelic no longer required by Garda recruits

My knowledge of Gaeilge (Irish Gaelic) is very limited, but I understand that the language is not in very good health even though there are many laws in the republic that are supposed to proctect it and guarantee peoples rights to use it, especially in the public sector. By reading many blogs, including Slugger O'Toole, I get the impression that there are more 'language haters' in Ireland than we have in Wales. The situation of Gaeilge
is often used here as an excuse aginst creating laws top safeguard welsh speakers' rights to use Welsh in Wales.

Eurolang points out that there are going to be changes, where it will no longer be required that applicants who wish to join an Garda Síochána (police force) are able to spaek Gaeilge. The reasoning given is that this is to increase the number of police officers from the ethnic community. This is basically implying that people form ethnic minoraties are not able to learn the language for some reason. In Wales, some language haters use the presence of an ethnic population as a reason against a bilingualism (English/Welsh) even though many of these people are multi-lingual. It's no wonder then that one of the groups who have voiced their unhappiness with the changes are iMeasc, which is a group of Irish speakers that are immigrants or that come from an ethnic background.

I'm really intrigued by the existence of such a group as iMeasc, but can't find much about them on the web, any links would be greatly welcomed. Here in Wales the nearest we would have is CYD, but this organisation aimed at all learners regardless of nationality or ethnicity, but is more of an umbarella for local socialising groups rather than a lobby/pressure group. Although I don't have any statistic to hand at the moment, 25% of the population of Wales were born outside Wales. Roughly 20% of the whole population is able to speak Welsh, and 7% of resident who are born outside Wales can speak Welsh (17% of immigrants can speak Welsh in Gwynedd in the north west where 64% of the whole population can speak Welsh).

More on the
Back Seat Drivers
and Raiméis blogs

Monday, September 19, 2005

Wrexham fans protest in Woking

Before the away match in London against Leyton Orient on Saturday, 150 Wrexham fans went to Woking to march and protest outside the offices of Andy Smith and his company UPA, who want to buy Wrexham FC. No one's really sure what Andy Smith's intentions are, but one thing's obvious is that he doesn't have the cash, and some believe that he's part of a scheme by the present owner Alex Hamilton to stall things and prevent other buyers from coming in and providing the club with stability. A local business man (Neville Dickens) with links to the club, and the Supporters Trust are ready to take ownership of the club, but Alex Hamilton would rather see the club disappear so that he can develop the land.
A spokesperson for the fans said::
"There is an offer on the table from the Moss/Dickens consortium which all Wrexham fans are backing, however Hamilton is unlikely to take that offer whilst UPA is offering silly money that they don't seem to have. We do not know what UPAs plans are but they seem incapable of finding backers willing to fund the deal for them. They are currently 3 months into a 3 week lockout agreement with Hamilton and that tells you all you need to know about UPA and Andy Smith. We will not accept any deal that does not put the club first."

Story on BBC Wales, Red Passion a Times Online

of the march and protest (by SE18)

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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Chief of TF1, condemns France for Breton cultural genocide

O Eurolang
On September 1st Patrick le Lay, the Breton chief of France’s main TV channel TF1, hit the French headlines following a frank interview with 'Bretons' magazine. In the interview he denounces the French government’s cultural genocide of the Breton people, jacobinist centralist policies, and how in France he feels that he is a foreigner.

From what I see, the French state is very hypocritical in the way it treat's it's minority languages, but trying to maintain an image of taking pride in it's linguistic diversity.
The rection of the press is dissapointing, but I can imagine that it would be the same in Britain with the London based media if a Welshman voiced the something similar.
Since the news broke most of the French press, TV and radio have covered the story, many aiming to laugh off the matter. Liberation described le Lay as getting "too much sunburn this summer", l’Express said that he had " lost his mind", le Monde said the at least he had a "strong sense of humour". However, the press failed to discuss the real issues affecting Breton language and culture, one Breton political commentator commented that le Lay is merely stating what Bretons know already.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Winners and Winners

I'm not sure what this says about me, but since the Katrina disaster I've been thinking about the work of cleaning and re-building the region and who will do the work. The answer was in the Observer with the news that the Republicans favourite company, i.e. Halliburton have won some of the biggest contracts. While I understand someboday has to undertake the work, this is the company that has strong connections to vie-president Dick Cheney, and that's been accused of getting contracts in Iraq without competition and then ripping off the government by increasing prices.

Observer 11/9/05: All eyes on Halliburton as contacts turn into contracts
Observer 11/9/05: Congress probes hurricane clean-up contracts

Info pack about Wales for incomers

A new scheme to raise awareness of the linguistic and cultural nature of Wales among poeple who are about to move to here. Moving to Wales is a partnership between the Welsh Language Board, Welsh Langauge Initiatives and estate agents, and will be put into action when people contact estate agents.

Although I read about this on BBC Cymru's website, there's no mention of this story (at the moment) in English on BBC Wales' website, even though I'd have thought it's of equal relevance if not more to non-Welsh speakers. This is something I've noticed before about stories regarding the Welsh language which only appear on the Welsh version even though it's more relevant for non-Welsh speakers, such as the porposals for allowing teachers to have time off to learn Welsh.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Language Act - Now is the time

I've recieved an e-mail from the Welsh Language Society about a Rally calling for a new Welsh Language Act which takes place in Cardiff on the 1st of October 2005 (2:00pm outside the National Assembly's Office in Cathay's Park)

When the Conservative Party were pushing the Act through back in 1993, Rhodri Morgan from the opposition Labour Party refused to back it claiming it didn't go far enough, his words at the time were:
"The Government calls this a Welsh Language Bill, but it would be better described as a Welsh Language Quango Bill. What one could call a Quango for the lingo ...... We shall be abstaining tonight because we hope to have the opportunity before long to do the job properly. That will be done when we revisit the question of a Welsh language messure when we are in Government."

But during this years National Eisteddfod, when Rhodir Morgan was asked about a new Welsh Language Act, conidering that there is now a National Asembly and that he leads his party in Government, his reply was:
"Boring, Boring , Boring"

To raise awareness of the rally, Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg intend to place advertisments in the press. This is going to cost money of course, so if you can contribute, please do.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Love Thy Neighbor

As much as I enjoyed the visit from our neighbors on Saturday, I would'nt like to share a football team with them. While the Scottish F.A. have stated clearly they want nothing to do with a British team, the English F.A.'s director seems quite keen for it (no clear message from the F.A.W. surprise surprise). Thankfully not everyone in England is so enthusiastic about it and the Little Man in Toque has made an excellent poster and started to gather names aginst the plan on his blog. In a comment on this blog he urges co-operation between Welsh, English and Scottish fans. Why not copy the image below onto your blog and link to his petition.

Alfie the Ok raises a good point and reminds David Taylor of the English F.A. that he's actually employed to guard the interest of English football and nothing else.

Edited: It should be David Taylor not David Davies (although I'm sure both share the same vision)!

A good article from a Scottish perspective in the Sunday Herald, but the points are just as relevant for Wales.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Taking the piss

From the BBC.
Being the sensitive young chap that I am, seeing cut out posters of Michael Owen and David Beckham in stores across Wales during World Cup Finals and Euro Championships makes my blood boil, but in an attempt to remain calm, I tell myself it's because Wales failed to qualify once again and the bright marketing guru's at Sainsbury's or whatever assume that we'd be rooting for our fellow Brits (yeah right!).

This is the final straw however, now that Wales are playing England, Carlsberg are sending posters to pubs in Wales urging drinkers to get behind England. AAAARGH. Not only does this set nationalists like myself frothing in the mouth, it also angers Welsh ex-servicemen.