Thursday, 6 August 2009

Labour mask slips again

According to a report which went to the Executive Board of Carmarthenshire County Council recently, "The upsurge in demand for Welsh-medium places" (in primary schools) "in Llanelli has arrived with little warning…".

Given that the proportion of children receiving a primarily English-medium education is higher in Llanelli than anywhere else in the county, and given that the demand for Welsh-medium education has been growing across the whole of Wales for many years, I found it surprising that anyone could really be caught unawares by the upsurge. It looks to me more like a natural correction of an unexpected anomaly.

Being surprised by the upsurge seems particularly strange for an authority which is formally committed to actively promoting Welsh-medium education in the county; although, of course, that's one of those commitments which is more honoured in the breach than in the observance.

The council is now struggling to respond to the demand, but has laid plans for some significant increases in capacity at existing schools, and has also recognised that there will be a need to open one or more new Welsh-medium schools in the town.

What was quite astounding during the discussion was to find that old Labour attitudes towards the language linger so long. The leader of the Labour group on the council (who is also deputy leader of the council) managed to trot out the old line about the "Welsh language education elite". He seems unable, or unwilling, to recognise that the demand for Welsh-medium education comes from right across the social spectrum - or that the attitude towards the language has changed dramatically in recent years.

It's no coincidence that Labour have lost so much ground in areas like Carmarthenshire, and as long as they remain unable to understand how out of touch they are on the issue of the language, that's a trend which will only continue.


ex-labour boyo said...

The Labour party is severely anti-Welsh, and it's only to be expected that the mask slips from time to time. Anti-Welsh Labour. As an ex-party member once quite involved in South and west Wales I can tell you some quite shocking stories of Labour Welsh-bashing. Usually disguised as class politics. They obviously take their cue from nepotistic millionaire multi-property -owning welsh-haters like the Kinnocks.

Cibwr said...

If you want examples of how much Labour and hard line Tories oppose anything that has Welsh in the title, be it language or nation, just look at the BBC Wales English Language Blog... quite a few Labourites spitting bile there.