Friday, 16 September 2011

Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg, in need of a ...

... reality check, the Public Bodies Bill currently going through Parliament lists those organisations that require public funding in its scope, including S4C.  An amendment tabled to exclude S4C from the Bill was defeated in committee, following the defeat Bethan Williams, Chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg, was led out of the committee room shouting (in Welsh) "This vote is an insult to the people of Wales", how many in the room would have understood her.

Elsewhere the House of Commons passed an amendment which says that the secretary of state shall secure that S4C is provided with sufficient funds to cover the cost of delivering its television services, seemingly a contradiction.

As a public body S4C is not in any way exceptional, nor can it be made an exception where public funding is used, the public should expect scrutiny of the organisation and its funding by our members of parliament, for a decade or more S4C has benefited from a £ Billion without effective scrutiny, the current state of this organisation tells a story of ineptitude of almost biblical proportions.

If the language activists wish to have total control over S4C they must ask for it as a gift from government to do as they wish, becoming a private organisation much as Sky TV, I'm sure such a request would be met with a positive response.  The funding then could be arranged through the Welsh Assembly Government, on an annual basis, in public, competing with all the other demands for public funds.  An organisation such as Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg might consider buying the TV channel and making it a pay-per-view option of the airways, then they would be able to do as they wished.

The bottom line is scrutiny, if you want taxpayers pennies expect it, scrutiny is the only way in a democracy.

Notable that Leanne Wood A.M. has refused to pay her license fee in protest against good governance, she also wants to have control over all broadcasting in Wales, what would the audience do if politicians screwed up in the same way our Wales education and our young peoples futures have been effectively destroyed, switch to Sky is my prediction.


  1. John, the issue is not so much the S4C cuts - everyone, including Cymdeithas, excepts cuts are inevitable in the current climate. As they say 'We're all in this together.' The issue is that the S4C cuts are deeper than those hitting other public broadcasters, that S4C is losing its independence to the BBC and that kneejerk rush to this decision and the lack of consultation about the whole sorry affair.

  2. I don't disagree with what you write ed, Wales needs an S4C to underpin its language, but I do not agree it should have a blank check and I believe it should have scrutiny as the funds are public.

    When I read of politicians demanding control over the broadcaster, and broadcasting in Wales as a whole, it worries me.

    When I read of politicians breaking the law to achieve their ends I am anxious for democracy.

    When I read of what S4C has been reduced too, I wonder if it has been destroying itself over the last decade because of politics.