Wednesday, 31 August 2011

When the Rebeccas destroyed the Bolgoed ...

... toll-gate on the outskirts of Pontarddulais, 6 July 1843, I wonder if they realised their descendants would become the toll-gate builders of the 21st century.

Not built of stone and lime mortar with the perspiration of the mason as was the 17th century toll-gate, but paper and ink and a certain prejudice against anything East of the River Loughor where Pontardulais is located, by those with a certain agenda to keep out the steady march of time.

And this new toll-booth is the "Action Plan" published by members of the Assembly Government who consider a particular Identity to be preferable to prosperity, the identity of Welshness as demonstrated though the use of the Welsh language, as opposed to Welshness being expressed in the English language.  Is there a difference I wonder?
Background information can be found at "New homes seen as threat to Welsh language in Carmarthen".
It seems this action plan is deemed preferable to prosperity, the prosperity that might be brought by people whose only crime is to chase success as measured by the return on capital.  This action plan makes it markedly more difficult for inward investment, not because of the language, but because the Assembly Government has created another hurdle to be jumped, an unnecessary hurdle.  Try convincing the manufacturer intent on expanding into Carmarthenshire that it is not enough to be neutral towards language, to be indifferent, the business will have to add to the local definition of Wales through positive linguistic action, otherwise approval for the manufacturing plant could be disallowed.

On the wall of our 21st century toll-booth there is a very small sign under the price list, under the tariff that determines whether a proposition might gain entry, the very, very small sign tells the travellers ...
"survival of the language ultimately depends on individuals taking ownership of the language."
... but it doesn't add that there is always a place in Wales for success, there is a place for the entrepreneur, there is a place for difference, it is a sad piece of government ...

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