Debate on Gogwatch: A response.
We seem to be getting all sorts of Gogwatch related traffic coming in at the moment, after seeming to peak the interest of some on the site. It would appear that our commentary on the site a few months ago has met with disapproval in some quarters (though it also stimulated plenty of agreement at the same time). Also, some comments posted on this blog in response seemed to have an agenda of identification against those involved with Gogwatch and related sites, so perhaps we should clarify some points in regard to such issues.
Categorically, we do not want to, or care about the so called ‘exposing’ of people involved with Gogwatch or related sites. What we are concerned with is the promotion of a set of political values which, were they to ever be successfully implemented, would directly lead to the death of the Welsh language. On that point we concede nothing. Articles and commentary on Gogwatch serve one purpose, that being to illustrate so called failings of the Welsh language, occasionally based on evidence, occasionally supported by anonymous ‘first hand experiences’, or indeed, opinion. In all the ‘articles’ included on Gogwatch, not one looks to argue in favour of the Welsh language, not one looks to present an example of the positives of the Welsh language, and lacks any sense of balance in doing so. While bloggers on Gogwatch insist that they do not hate the Welsh language, they can find nothing positive to say about it. Until they do in their main articles, it is difficult to conclude anything other than their position on the Welsh language is to see it as a threat and a danger to Wales. They may argue that they do not want the Welsh language to die out, yet their manifesto of cutbacks to Welsh language support would result in the exact opposite.
So on this point, nothing has changed, and we do regard those intent on undermining the Welsh language as traitors to the notion of Wales. You can certainly be Welsh while not being able to speak Welsh, but a Wales without Welsh would not be Wales, that which makes it culturally distinctive and unique is as important as anything else we have or do in Wales today. Gogwatch seems to have become entrenched in a manifesto verging on religious fervour, that the Welsh education system, healthcare system and economy would all somehow be magically enhanced were Welsh language provisions to be cut. Indeed, as noted in the past, the themes of deaths being caused because of the Welsh language have been considered on Gogwatch – such incendiary comments serve one purpose, and that is not to provide balanced debate. However if you don’t want to provide balance, that’s fine as well, just don’t expect to not be called out on it when presenting yourself as being in the ‘majority’.
However, we will be happy to monitor and edit comments that look to attempt to remove the anonymity of any blogger (and thanks to those who have illustrated such examples, there is no moderating team as such here so keeping track of everything that ends up in the comments section occasionally gets out of hand, yet we have no interest in applying a controlled ‘moderated comments only’ policy), on Gogwatch or any other site, this one included. What we want is debate, and debate not distracted by personal agendas. If someone has a suspicion that someone is posting comments under multiple names, frankly that is not a point of concern. No doubt some will critique the comment sections here, suggesting posts contrary to the obviously political leanings of the blog would be removed. Not the case. The only comments which have been removed related to the attempt to ‘identify’ individuals. We are happy to remove such comments, mainly as they do nothing to move the debate forward. What we care about are issues. We will respect people’s privacy and anonymity, while at the same time critiquing opinions and comments made on the subject of the Welsh language. If you are reading this blog, and find examples of ‘outing’ or similar themes that you find personally intrusive or offensive, get in touch, and we will remove them if we have missed them in the past.
Finally, can we reaffirm the fact that comments contrary to our position on these subjects will not be removed. Please do explore the posting on Gogwatch, there is an equal balance I feel between voices in agreement and in disagreement (though we make no apology for deriding daft half baked comments, though welcome derision in return, it’s not a blog that takes itself ‘that’ seriously) – debate is healthy. And to any Gogwatchers swinging by the site, you’ll note that this is not a one issue blog, however, if you want to debate the Welsh language, feel welcome to do so. We appreciate you have your own site for this, but do feel free to engage here as well. As stated, all bloggers and comments welcome, except those looking to divulge personal information, which will, categorically be removed.