Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Article excerpt

ENGLISH is, by general agreement, rapidly becoming the world's common language - to Britain's huge benefit. But there is one little corner of the world where, it seems, legislators are intent on eradicating the English language: west of Offa's Dyke. Two female journalists have been moved to complain to the Commission for Racial Equality after they were turned down at job interviews at BBC Radio Wales for failing to speak the Welsh language.

One was apparently told that she was 'good, but English'; the other, of Asian extraction, that 'we are not an Asian channel'. Since Radio Wales caters for the 80 per cent of residents of Wales who speak not a word of Welsh (there is another publicly funded channel, Radio Cymru, which broadcasts in Welsh), it is not immediately obvious why every journalist should have to speak the language.

Yet the suppression of English has become a popular cause among civil servants and populist MPs: 31 Westminster MPs, including some rather unconvincing Welshmen like Peter Temple-Morris, George Galloway and Jeremy Corbyn, recently signed a motion calling for the Welsh Grand Committee to use the Welsh language. …

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