Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Pity the fools...

A few weekends back, I read about a log called Speak You're Branes (sic), which records some of the many ignorant and sometimes down right racist comments that appear on the BBC's message boards.
A collection of ignorance, narcissism, stupidity, hypocrisy and bad grammar.
All the comments quoted were found on the BBC "Have Your Say" site. Yes, people really have written them. On purpose as far as I can tell.
is the description on the blog, and here's the inspiration behind the blog according to it's author in article in the Guardian:
I was addicted to clicking around the "Have Your Say" section of the BBC's website. In case you're not familiar with it, it's the bit of the site where someone at the Beeb asks a question like "Are radical Muslim clerics interfering with your wheelie bin collection schedule?" and then a gang of multi-chinned nincompoops compete to see who can get the most startlingly stupid, pompous or racist response past the moderators. Back then I was only spending a couple of hours a week sifting through the deranged mooing. Occasionally I'd pull out a particularly entertaining example and mail it to a few friends. Eventually, I think one of them asked me to stop and so I started collecting them on a website instead.
This is a great idea for a blog, listing those published in the Western Mail and the South Wales Echo. Here are two that would go straight in.

The Taffia will never shut up
Awst 9 2008, South Wales Echo

IN reply to Lyndon Rosser’s letter (Viewpoints, August 1) urging us all to shut up about Welsh speakers, like the vast majority of people in this region of the UK I don’t speak Welsh.

I, and many like me, would be delighted to shut up about Welsh but unfortunately the Taffia, who control the Welsh Assembly Government, councils and BBC Wales, to name a few, will never shut up.

It is their aim in life to shove it down people’s throats whether they like it or not. Their children will not thank them when they are older and stuck in a dead-end council or WAG job, which is only there because that’s all they were taught at school.

At the same time they will see their ex-English medium school friends in better-paid, exciting jobs working anywhere in the world. Of course that does not matter to the Taffia. Wales was good enough for them, so it’s good enough for everyone else.

I am proud to be Welsh-born, and deeply embarrassed that we cannot be more like the Scots, who speak English without an ounce of national pride being compromised.

Peter Reed, Church Road, Barry

Forcing Welsh
Awst 19 2008, Western Mail

SIR – It is not enough to provide Welsh Nationalists with Welsh-medium schools; they also insist that all state school children should be compulsorily indoctrinated in the Welsh language, even though timetable space is paramount.

If we want to attract investment into Wales to create more jobs, we need to give curricular priority to science, technology, basic English literacy and numeracy, not Welsh.

Authorised bilingual graffiti disfigures public walls, train windows, street signs and motorway gantries, confusing visitors and annoying most residents. Our ears are abused by Welsh rasped at us over electronic amplifiers in post offices, railway stations and even in supermarkets.

The objection is not that Welsh is spoken by Welsh speakers (good luck to them) but that we non-Welsh speakers are forced to hear it, to read it and, more significantly, to pay for it.

Welsh Labour Party complacency and apathy among the Anglo-Welsh population has allowed Plaid Cymru, a minority party in South Wales, championed by voters from outside the area, a disproportionate amount of power as reward for coalition in the Assembly.

Language Acts have been rushed through and fluency in Welsh has become the pre-requisite for employment and promotion in top jobs in areas of Wales which had formerly felt enlightened to be exempt from its parochial constraints.

Scottish Nationalists are realistic about their ancient language and look forward and outward, not backward and inward to their place in the real world.

There are indeed some useful tips to be learned.

Beryl Roberts
Waun Erw, Caerphilly

I'd love it if Peter a Beryl started their own blogs.



Blogger Hen Ferchetan said...

Great idea Rhys. If I find some spare time in the next week or so I might just steal it from you ;-)

9/10/2008 8:01 pm  
Blogger Rhys Wynne said...

Be my guest, I'm blogged-out with all the other blogs I try to keep.

The only downside is that it means you have to read the Western Mail frequently - I'm lucky there's always a copy laying around work.

9/11/2008 8:42 am  
Blogger Hen Ferchetan said...

I read the thing every day, it's a mine of blogging opportunities! I posted Beryl Roberts' masterpiece myself, a piece of literary genius isn't it!

9/11/2008 2:06 pm  
Blogger Alex said...

Beryl Roberts is right. It is unacceptable that people should have to hear and read other languages in this day and age. Next they'll be making kids learn French.

9/16/2008 8:06 pm  
Blogger Hen Ferchetan said...

And again...

SIR – Plaid Cymru and Welsh language enthusiasts are pursuing their aim of promoting a bilingual Wales with such intensity, rigidity of purpose and narrowness of outlook that their energy and ideology would have won plaudits from any of the European totalitarian dictatorships of the 1930s.

If hostility, aggression and conflict could be practically described as an infection of the common sky then the nationalism and nationalistic hubris that is so often its precursor might be designated a contagion of the popular reason that obscures all logic, balance and perspective with a xenophobic hatred.

Unfamiliar languages have become razor edges of division and zones of utter bafflement and misunderstanding to those who have not absorbed their rhythms, cadences and speech patterns from infancy, while the legally sanctioned imposition of Welsh in the school curriculum, employment market and official information services can only result in widespread disaffection among the English-speaking majority, and emphasise the absurdity of trying to overturn established cultural trends, habits and lifestyles through saturational linguistic overkill.

The single-minded frenzy and desperation with which the nationalists pursue their cause give an indication of the fragile, superficial and transient nature of their whole political ethos and their obsession with the Welsh language, a romanticised view of the past and a concern with everything Welsh, no matter how trivial, will do little to address the social and economic problems of modern Wales.

Morriston, Swansea

9/16/2008 8:30 pm  

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