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.

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    • ffat chance
    • June 13th, 2012

    “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”

    Lol! I’ll bet the gogwatchers are welcome alright! With their 400+ comments per article compared to eye-on-wales’ one or two I bet you’d welcome them with open arms. Like it or not, gogwatch is setting the Welsh blogosphere alight at the moment.. with the kind of hits and comment count that so called major influential Welsh blogs like ‘Syniaddau’ could only dream of.

    Yes there is a lot of nonsense on there but if you cut away the vitriol of the uninformed posters who claim to have ‘simply had enough’ there is actually a lot of hard facts and evidence! All of which is never countered by the resident ‘non-gogwatchers’. This attitude of immediately slamming anyone who questions Welsh language funding or prioritisation as ‘anti-welsh’ or a bigot has done for a while but it is simply not going to fly much longer. The arguements and exposing of facts on gogwatch are getting stronger by the week. Martin Shipton and the Western Mail are now asking questions, MPs are asking questions and next month a Swansea University Professor will be asking questions. These questions are not going to go away and your answers are going to have to get a heck of a lot stronger to pacify the great apethetic non-Welsh speaking public.

  1. As stressed above, this is not a one issue site chasing hits, indeed it is more travel and sports blog than politically driven. The welcome is there to contend with comments that a welcome does not exist. It does, if the welcome is not accepted and ignored, there’s not much we can do about that, but it remains nonetheless.

    ‘Hard facts’ as you allude to are always welcome in any debate. The problem is that more often than not, hard facts are not relied upon, vitriol is. I checked in today and saw the BBC Wales news report on Wales not welcoming immigrants, based on a sample size of 130 was it? Comments made on gogwatch took that as a platform to infer that Welsh speaking communities were at the heart of this attitude towards immigrants, based on…well, based on nothing. Unfortunately far too much of what gogwatch relies upon serves to undermine the validity of their own arguments, while often appearing contradictory (the use of languages in schools being a particular problem in this instance).

    As for immediately slamming, not the case either. We have had one gogwatch fan drop in so far, make the daft claim if you can speak a language you can therefore write in it, and little else. Daft comments and noisy finger pointing will receive due treatment, debate will be welcomed. As for the questions? Well, the Western Mail dumping on translation services is fine, yet their embracing of festivities costing the public purse several times the amount of money spent on Welsh language provision seems a tad hypocritical no? Equally, the standard of journalism from the WM is hardly anything to hang a banner on. Finally, your Swansea Professor, well, it sounds like you are citing him because he is an academic favoring your argument yes? Where is the platform on gogwatch for all the academics who disagree with your platform then? If equal footing was provided, gogwatch may well have a much wider audience than it’s currently loud but highly insular audience. As things stand, the argument and voice that serves gogwatch most effectively, is the one provided with a platform – cherry picking that which fits best. We don’t doubt that gogwatch has it’s fan base, equally we don’t doubt that there are many in Wales who do not share their views, equally many who are appalled by them.

    But thanks for dropping by, after all, we are clearly in need of more comments 😉

    • ffat chance
    • June 13th, 2012

    a few points:

    – I dont condone the linking speaking Welsh to how welcoming one is to immigrants. That is perhaps the sort of thing that I was talking about when I said there was a lot of nonsense on their. However, anybody who disagrees with the widly held perception that Gwynedd is less welcoming to outsiders than the South Wales valleys is burying their head in the sand.

    – Re: the Western Mail… it is a Welsh paper essential to democracy in Wales. Welsh government funding for extra translation when other services are being slashed is within it’s remit. The Jubilee funding is a UK issue which has been rightly scrutinised by UK media. Your arguement is tired and default for many a Welsh nationalist… 2 wrongs dont make a right butty 🙂

    – he’s not ‘my’ Swansea professor and I doubt very much he’ll be writing an article for gogwatch…. rather a series of lecture around the country regarding the Welsh language.

    – Finally, I really do disagree with this labelling of those concerned with Welsh language spending and prioritisation as ‘noisy’. Surely it’s quite the opposite… after all when was the last time you heard of somebody chaining themselves to railings, plastering “where’s the english?” stickers round town centres, glueing up locks or storming radio stations on account of say ‘welsh speaking essential’ requirements on job applications. The same is slowly becoming true on the internet, with the majority of the empty noise seems to be coming from the side of the arguement that resorts to shouting “anti-Welsh” when they dont have a reasonable response.

    I really do suggest you go to gogwatch, ignore the noise and vitriol and look for the last post by someone like ‘GOGTOO’. Look at the points they make and respond accordingly. If your post is not published by gogwatch then I’ll hang my head in shame and admit I was wrong

    • Hi again. Okay, we can do this point by point, keeps things neat.

      – Glad to see that you appear to be one of the more rational voices on the topic. The problem inherent in much of the debate though is that sense of perspective is sadly often missing. Gogwatch operates as a community of voices, I don’t think it is inappropriate to describe it that way, and that community often relies on such methods. Now you are right in saying that if you wade through the mire you will find valid debate, but the fact that you have to go digging for it is problematic in the type of arguments attracted by the movement.

      – Not saying the Western Mail should or should not exist, more tackling the fact that it’s standard of journalism is far from consistently high, high fans and non fans of gogwatch alike I’m sure can agree on that point at least. On the Jubilee, it’s not quite as clear cut as that. UK government spending is still, unless independence happened in the last week, still Welsh spending, less direct perhaps but still derived from the Welsh purse. How can a paper lambaste one Government for translation costs, yet celebrate another for party costs? I don’t think you can separate UK spending from Welsh spending, not yet at least.

      – The point on the prof was more that he is being celebrated by some comments on gogwatch for speaking on the subject, when those profs who speak against the gogwatch line are not discussed. Professors are being cited where it is convenient, not necessarily when they represent a broader school of thought.

      – On the final point, surely you note the inconsistency in your own argument, you say much of the ‘noise’ comes from pro Welsh language bloggers, yet you then suggest that you have to ignore the ‘noise’ on gogwatch to get to the real arguments. While it is clear that not everyone in the gogwatch community is there to shout down the Welsh language, the weight of the comments do lean that direction. It’s not just a case of article themes, is a case of what mindset the commenting community represent that is often quite concerning. If you have to fight through the noise, surely that indicates that the noise is in the majority? That is a key factor in driving alternative views from the site, rather than encourage them.

      Thanks for posting.

    • Erikson
    • June 13th, 2012

    Gogwatch is the unedifying screech of the school bully having been kicked in the shins by the smallest boy in the class.

    • Mathew
    • June 14th, 2012

    Gogwatch does occasionally achieve about 400+ comments per article, but the majority are left by the same old people who rotate endlessly on the same tired points.

    The silent majority’s ‘inner circle’ are a dedicated few, who celebrate and revere each others ‘Breaking News’ stories.

    There is never anything distinct or proffound found in any article published on gogwatch. Usually they’re little more than a slightly modified version of the last one, some clearly inspired by a comment posted in the last.

    The only creativity on offer is displayed in the way they try and bend the subject matter to suit their agenda. In that manner, gogwatch’s techinques reflect the arguments used by people who deny the existance of global warming. Focuss on something small, expand it, and make it appear significant.

    The latest gogwatch groundbreaker points out that someone called James Whale said some things on Sky News the other day. One of those things was that he agreed with something Jeremy Clarkson said…

    Whale incidentally also believes Global Warming is a ‘Scandal’, and has often stated his admiration for Margaret Thatcher, (but his mum’s from the Rhondda so…..).

      • ffat chance
      • June 14th, 2012

      The article about James Whale is particularly poor… that I grant you. However, continually and somewhat arrogantly belittling the blog that is generating more hits and comments than every other in the Welsh blogosphere put together is becoming tiresome.

      I dont think gogwatch has ever tried to hide the fact that there are many people out there who are angry about having their communities changed by inorganic and unnatural Welsh language legislation/enforcement. When these people stumble across gogwatch they do tend to ‘let rip’ in an unconstructive and illogical manner… that I grant you. However, as I said before, immediately dismissing all 400 + comments per week (or whatever it is they get) is ignorant and very much indicative of having something to hide. As for threatening to ‘identify’ and ‘name’ contributors on gogwatch… well that to me positively stinks of having something to hide.

        • Mathew
        • June 14th, 2012

        Gogwatch is generating more hits than any other Welsh blog because it tags every article with every peripheral key word it can in order to attract attention.

        Most people in Wales will have been exposed to brands like Mc Donalds, but it doesn’t make Mc Donalds Wales’ best food.

        Good blogs attract attention by being good blogs, not by intentionally optimising their appearance in search results. It’s about quality not quantity, I often read interesting blogs but don’t comment repeatedly stating how interesting I find them.

        The gogwatch family have obviously set their stall out as wind up merchants. All it does is massage predisposed support while provoking all others into an argument.

        It claims to facilitate debate, but in fact it purposefully seeks to stir up emotion on both sides. If gogwatch was human, it would be the archetypical ‘bitch’, who prefers pitching people against each other to seeing people get on.

        The people who run the site aren’t fit to chair debate, they’re undeniably biased, and openly encourage posts that support them, while contesting points against.

        Gogwatch does not have Wales’ best interests at heart, it simply seeks to stoke up support against the Welsh language, along with anything they can loosely associate with nationalism.

        It’s a genuine shame that any valid points made by its contributors get overwhelmed by bigotry.

        “As for threatening to ‘identify’ and ‘name’ contributors on gogwatch… ”

        I didn’t say anything about that, but if you want me to, I’ll give you this.

        I think it’s cheap when gogwatchers talk about this apparent ‘risk of retribution’, talking like their lives are at risk.

        Especially while there are people who face imprisonment, torture or death for wanting to bring about political change in their own countries over REAL human rights issues.

      • I do really wish some people would read the entries properly. On ‘revealing identities’ we have categorically stated that any comments doing so will be removed. We are now actively doing the opposite of what you accuse, as is covered in the last paragraph of this entry – please read the whole entry.

      • As other posters have mentioned, the volume of comments is no great indication of the value of an argument. As we’ve already discussed, and you yourself have conceded, there is a great deal of ‘noise’ on the site, artificially boosting the face value weight of discussion.

    • Ahab
    • June 14th, 2012

    I’d never heard of Whale either. But he fits the gogwatch profile perfectly: 60+, opinionated, wanted to be a UKIP candidate and very reminiscent of the new US right. Great catch!

    • Mathew
    • June 14th, 2012

    I just read this comment on Gogwatch

    Glasnost.Org.UK says:
    June 14, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Perhaps I’m different or perhaps mad as I always put human rights issues, democracy and freedom of speech above anything else and yes over the years it has got me in difficult situations in different parts of the world and I never backed down. I am currently subject to a huge smear campaign and threats by Welsh nationalists and whilst I have involved the police primarily to protect my young kids I have no fear of them,

    Jacques

    “I am currently subject to a huge smear campaign”

    Does anyone know anything about this HUGE smear campaign?

    Had a look at this:

    http://www.facebook.com/GlasnostOrgUk

    I found these comments:

    “No ‘likes’ on this page! Not even from the sad person who set it up”

    “Zero likes and one follower on twitter.”

    Have I missed something or is that it?

    • I’m aware that some on gogwatch were upset by some people commenting here, speculating on the identities of bloggers involved with gogwatch. We took action here to remove all comments relating to that subject, and have been keen to stress with this post that we really have no interest in citing individuals, and will remove any references to individuals identities. If whoever is involved with gogwatch is searching for a smear campaign, they won’t find it on these pages.

        • Mathew
        • June 14th, 2012

        I obviously missed those comments, but I do remember seeing a comment on another blog somewhere that named the ‘mastermind’ behind glasnost.

        I’m just curious about how huge was (or is) this smear campaign.

        I can find plenty of people who take issue with the glasnost agenda, but I’m having real trouble finding anything that resembles one.

        What I can’t help noticing is how gogwatch itself and many comments from it’s contributors could easily be deemed a smear campaign against people who support the Welsh language.

        “A smear campaign is an intentional, premeditated effort to undermine an individual’s or group’s reputation, credibility, and character. “Mud slinging”, like negative campaigning, most often targets government officials, politicians, political candidates, and other public figures. However, private persons or groups may also become targets of smear campaigns perpetrated in schools, companies, institutions, families, and other social groups.

        Smear tactics differ from normal discourse or debate in that they do not bear upon the issues or arguments in question. A smear is a simple attempt to malign a group or an individual and to attempt to undermine their credibility.

        Smears often consist of ad hominem attacks in the form of unverifiable rumors and are often distortions, half-truths, or even outright lies; smear campaigns are often propagated by gossip spreading. Even when the facts behind a smear are shown to lack proper foundation, the tactic is often effective because the target’s reputation is tarnished before the truth is known.”

        This definition of a smear campaign taken from Wikipedia isn’t an inaccurate description of how gogwatch does buisness (in my opinion).

  2. Matthew, I would not be surprised if this is part of a wider paranoia. Again exploring gogwatch comments, several there seem to think that they would be subject to some manner of witch hunt were they to be ‘exposed’, frankly those sentiments smack of an overly inflated sense of self importance, but, those are the stated concerns, and we are happy enough to respect them (even if those who are leading such claims do not write under a pseudonym anyway, largely nullifying the debate about anonymity in the first place – regardless, names and identities really are of no interest, views and comments are). As stressed before, eyeonwales has no agenda to identify people, just to draw attention to comments made on the site and consider the many short comings of those views.

    We would certainly agree that much of gogwatch activity does indeed fit the criteria of a smear campaign against Welsh language provision, indeed, against the Welsh language in general – and it is that that we take most offence at. There is little in terms of balanced debate, merely agenda driven campaigning, one indeed best described as a smear.

      • Mathew
      • June 15th, 2012

      I understand you respect the wishes of those who choose to remain anonymous. I also notice how you feel the need to re-iterate this fact despite having clearly stated your position in the blog.

      It appears there may be retribution on its way for those responsible for naming and shaming the glasnost oligarch formerly known as J.Putyatin.

      “I will not allow these people whom I see as the low life of blind racism and the true enemies of Wales and I am not going to let them get away with it but whatever I do it will be strictly within the legal frame work… Watch this space.

      Jacques”

      June 12, 2012 at 10:54 am

      http://www.gogwatch.com/2012/05/30/and-is-this-the-first-politician-to-stand-up-for-gogwatchers/

      I don’t have a problem with people wanting to remain anonymous either, but it shouldn’t be all that surprising to them when some people might start to wonder who these people actually are.

      I wonder whether this paranoia is less to do with a pseudo risk of retribution, and more to do with the fact the majority of the driving force behind gogwatch / glasnost appear to be from people who have chosen to move themselves to live in Welsh speaking areas. (A dedicated trek through the gogwatch swamp will confirm this)

      It would clearly not be beneficial for them if this fact was made clear to their primary target audience.

      It seems like much more of an incentive for them to maintain their anonymity than the risk of beign at the recieving end of a small amount of facebook name calling.

      • Indeed, sadly we have to keep stressing the point because certain voices seem intent on ignoring that point. If we say it enough times, they might just listen…though no bets placed.

        The paranoia on anonymity is a fascinating one, given that the figure at the center of this does not post anonymously, but there we go. We have no interest in being dragged into any legal nonsense over it, so we’ll keep banging the drum that we really don’t care who is behind the posts. I

        Seems the case that if you are involved in mainstream politics you can be the target of as much verbal batterings from mainstream media sources as you can fit in one day, take batterings as an anonymous voice and it’s a hate campaign, funny how these things work.

    • Mathew
    • June 16th, 2012

    eyeonwales :
    We have no interest in being dragged into any legal nonsense over it,

    Why am I not suprised that they’d be the type to threaten legal action.

    Perhaps I’d best watch my back… I might have made myself a target.

    I suppose we’ll see what kind of people lie behind these websites when this Jaques person satisfies his need to exact revenge.

    eyeonwales :
    take batterings as an anonymous voice and it’s a hate campaign, funny how these things work.

    In fairness, the right to anonymity is important, but I cannot see how someone who is anonymous can be the victim of a hate campaign. Can one express an opinion about an anonymous person that you can’t express if you happen to know who they actually are? What if you’re still referring to them by a pseudonym?

    Perhaps the means to how a person lost their anonymity is the most important thing to consider. (eyeonwales does not support, or endorse the removal of anonymity in any way). I suppose much of the legality of a person being named may depend on the method used in which an individual’s identity has been obtained, and whether it was through deception, or abuse of power.

    One quite interesting anonymity related ‘thing’ I’d like to point out about Gogwatch.com is its privacy statement. Most of it is pretty standard, but noticeably long winded for a blog, and there are some statements worth highlighting.

    ‘Some services on this website require us to collect information from you. To comply with the Data Protection Act, we have a duty to tell you how we store the information we collect and how it is used.’

    ‘People who post comments on Gogwatch may do so anonymously but do so as long as they do not abuse the system.’

    ‘Except as stated already, Gogwatch will make no attempt to identify individual users.’

    ‘As a condition of use of this site, all users must give permission for Gogwatch to use its access logs to attempt to track users who are reasonably suspected of acting in a malicious way against Gogwatch.’

    http://www.gogwatch.com/gogwatch-privacy-statement/

    This privacy statement outlines how the Gogwatch Team (and its partner agencies) reserve the right to identify anyone who they decide to be abusing the system, or acting in a malicious way against gogwatch.

    Their fetish to preserve the identities of their ‘own’, seem to contrast with the freedoms they allow themselves. They reserve the right to identify anyone, should they choose to deem it justified.

    By the way, I’m led to believe that eye-on-wales.com does not support, or endorse the removal of anonymity in any way (just in case).

    • I had not noticed that. Asks some very interesting questions as to what defines ‘ abusing the system, or acting in a malicious way against gogwatch’, and who determines if anyone has. I wonder if this extends to solid arguments presented on the site. I think that is what we call a muddy policy.

        • Mathew
        • June 17th, 2012

        It certainly is muddy, especially as these terms and conditions are not made clear to anyone upon visiting the site and are kept right out of the way at the bottom of the page.

  3. It would seem that some members of gogwatch show traits of a “Cluster B” disorder. They hide behind a cloak of upstanding heroism and feigned innocence in an attempt to make as many people as possible think their efforts are based not on their vindictiveness,but on outstanding concern. They positively seethe with rage, use lies exaggerate and set out to punish anyone having opinions that differ from their own.They often play the “victim” role. The best way to deal with them is to totally ignore them.

    • Possibly, but despite their insistence of representing a silent majority, what we feel is that they represent a very noisy minority. Those that shout loudest are often heard, whether you want to hear them or not, and it is for that reason we feel attention should be maintained on their activities. Ignoring a problem can sometimes result in the problem just running out of steam, equally ignoring it can see the problem become much bigger than you can handle, akin to a disease in many respects. ‘Spotting it early’ as they say in the medical profession.

      • Mathew
      • June 17th, 2012

      That sounds like good advice…… a bit like letting a baby cry itself to sleep…. It goes against your instincts, and it’s hard to know if you’re doing the right thing…… but it can be quite effective.

    • Mathew
    • June 17th, 2012

    Here’s a good example of some classic Gogwatch hypocrasy, courtesy of Jacques (the ‘brain’ behind Glasnost.org.uk).

    Glasnost.Org.UK says:
    June 12, 2012 at 10:54 am

    “As an individual with an impeccable background”

    “I have made my views public in many places I am actively lobbying Welsh MP’s and AM’ to make them stop this social engineering I want the Welsh Government to develop transparent and open policies where the two cultures can live and work together and have the Welsh society free of prejudice, discrimination and other racially motivated abuses, at all levels of Welsh society including education and public employment.

    Through my endeavours for justice and fairness in Wales I am perceived by the Welsh nationalists as being ‘Anti-Welsh’ which sadness me a lot because it simply it’s not true.”

    Jacques

    http://www.gogwatch.com/2012/05/30/and-is-this-the-first-politician-to-stand-up-for-gogwatchers/

    This is the induvidual who’s own website’s petition is titled:

    SCRAP ALL IMPOSED & PROPOSED WELSH LANGUAGE MEASURES IN EDUCATION & PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT.

    This induvidual demands the removal of all measures in the public sector that currently support the Welsh language…. (but he’s not ‘anti-Welsh’, like he said “it simply it’s not true”… )

    He appears to believe that this will allow these ‘two cultures’ (I assume he defines by language) can live and work together free of prejudice, discrimination and other racially motivated abuses???… (Racially motivated abuses?… I assumed this was about two cultures defined by language?.. Welsh language policy can hardly be likened to Srebrenica can it?).

    How does he think public bodies will be able to cater for these ‘two cultures’ equally without employing English & Welsh speakers?… (answers on a postcard)

    Is it only in Wales that such induviduals with or without these ‘impeccable backgrounds’ feel they can behave like this?

    Who would move to Catalunya and have the gall to complain that their children would be tought how to speak Catalan and will recieve their education in the language?

    Not only that, they themselves would also be required to speak Catalan if they were planning on starting a company, a shop, bar, restaurant, petrol station, etc or any other business otherwise related to public, individual customers within the Catalunya. They would also BY LAW be required to AT LEAST have the ability to communicate with customers, and to deliver all neccesary/required information in Catalan.

    Maybe the Glasnost human rights department should send out an agent to Catalunya to combat these ‘human rights abuses’. Obviously not someone who would appreciate and understand the value of their culture though, someone off gogwatch like nospin or Scudder maybe? It wouldn’t surprise me if they would, and probably have the brass neck to try and liken the Catalynuan government to Franco’s regime!

    • I think it’s a fair critique of the nature of debate on the site. It often appears that fairness and balance for all communities involved, depends on the stripping away of what provisions there are for the Welsh language, which are there in the first place to help establish a shared, balanced, bilingual country. Without those provisions, any sense of fairness towards those equipped with the language, goes out of the window.

      One of the more entertaining obsessions in these debates falls on the so called bias in favor of Welsh language users in the jobs market, as if such a designation for Welsh speakers leaves no room for English language speakers, which it clearly does not. As you point out, their are regions and nations which would be appalled at the prospect of their service providers not being able to communicate in the native tongue. Well gogwatchers, there are in practical terms, two ‘native’ tongues (though we can make this very complicated very easily if we bring a bit of history into the debate, though gogwatchers seem quite reluctant to cite historical sources unless it has something to do with Saunders Lewis), Welsh and English – which suggests the support facilities would need to be in place for both. Curbing support for the Welsh language would result in the undermining of a concept of a bilingual Wales, not encouraging it.

    • Mike
    • June 18th, 2012

    As far as I am concerned Gogwatch and its fellow traveller GlansonostOrgUK are being treated with kid gloves by this site and the media and frankly it is time that everybody stopped being politically correct and described them as they truly are.

    Both sites demonstrate a hatred of bilingualism and the Welsh language (a “foreign” language in Wales according to GlasnostOrgUK – “Councils accused of Welsh language education failings” 3:21 PM on 1/5/2012, Wales Online messageboard) and Welsh language speakers (described in the recent Gogwatch rant/article “So your considering Welsh medium education” – http://www.gogwatch.com/2012/01/10/guest-post-so-youre-considering-welsh-medium-education/ as not having “the best reputation in the work place”, “disruptive” and with English language skills that are “not always up to scratch”). Most disturbingly have a look at Gogwatch’s recent article which, with thousands of Welsh speakers living in Pembrokeshire, encourages ethnic cleansing – “I come from Pembrokeshire – the Welsh language doesn’t belong here” – http://www.gogwatch.com/2012/02/16/i-come-from-pembrokeshire-the-welsh-language-doesnt-belong-here/#comments.

    Would anyone disagree that if you were to replace the references above, from these websites, to Welsh language or Welsh language speakers with references to those of an ethnic race or a religion those comments would be beyond the pale? The answer is clearly no and therefore there can be no doubt that both Gogwatch and its fellow traveller website GlansonostOrgUK are the creatures of the extreme far-right.

    It must also be noted that the anonymous contributors to Gogwatch also inhabit other message boards (for example The Western Mail’s) and frequently demonstrate a visceral dislike of the EU and immigration, in common with far-right parties across Europe including Le Pen’s Front National and Griffin’s mob.

    • Oh I don’t know, our first encounter with gogwatch produced this: http://eye-on-wales.com/2012/03/07/gogwatch-and-the-execution-of-the-welsh-language/ I don’t think that there were any kid gloves on on that occasion. This particular blog entry was a response to the debate generated from the original post – if you want the EyeOnWales official position on gogwatch, it’s in the post entitled ‘the execution of the Welsh language’, I think that does a pretty effective job of describing how we view their agenda.

    • Mathew
    • June 18th, 2012

    News just in from ‘The Volt’.

    Glasnost.Org.UK says:
    June 18, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    “From my recent correspondence with Welsh Tories and specifically Oscar (Mohammad Asghar) the AM for South Wales East and the Shadow Minister for Human Rights tells me that Welsh Tories when in office will scrap the post of Welsh Language Commissioner and replace it with a Commissioner who will have responsibility for both languages.

    I assume this must be the official Welsh Tory Policy.”

    http://www.gogwatch.com/2012/06/13/james-whale-claims-welsh-language-is-wales-biggest-problem/

    Does this induvidual with his impeccable background think this would be a surprise, coming from the Conservatives?

    • Well, the Welsh Tories getting into power is an interesting notion to begin with, wont happen without a rainbow coalition including Plaid, but Mohammad Ashgar has been known for his eccentric ideas and behavior in the past (we included Oscar in our worst Welsh politicians of the year last time around: http://eye-on-wales.com/2011/12/29/part-34-the-top-ten-worst-welsh-politicians-2011/), fortunately it seems unlikely he will ever find himself in a position to put through any of his policies.

    • Also worth pondering the point that there seems to be a general attitude within the Conservative party to scrap the human rights act, but you know, whatever…

        • sian
        • June 19th, 2012

        Thanks eyeonwales! I’d not found the Gogwatch site until you highlighted it. What a FAB site!
        It provides the evidence, facts and statistics to prove what I have been suspecting for a long time, that the Welsh education system is failing my children.
        I thought I was worrying unneccessarily and mine was a lone voice. I can now see that many other parents are concerned that the Welsh Government is putting the language strategy before our childrens’ education, and the results are proving that concerns are justified.
        I will be following the Gogwatch site with interest. Thank-you for helping me find it!

    • Fletcher Reede
    • June 19th, 2012

    Sian

    There’s something about your post, can’t quite put my finger on it, that smacks of insincerity.

    • Mathew
    • June 19th, 2012

    sian :
    Thanks eyeonwales! I’d not found the Gogwatch site until you highlighted it. What a FAB site!
    It provides the evidence, facts and statistics to prove what I have been suspecting for a long time, that the Welsh education system is failing my children.

    Hi Sian.

    Have you never searched for any information about Welsh Education online? you undoubtedly would have found Gogwatch if you had!

    Your enthusiasm for the site must mean that Gogwatch has a new dedicated member?

    Judging by your enthusiasm you’ll be commenting on your own personal experiences on Gogwatch for months to come from now on!

    Bit surprised I haven’t found a single one from you yet though!..

    You seem so excited to find Gogwatch… you descided to come back here to post this, instead of at leaving a comment thanking gogwatch for their ‘ work’!…..

    Get somene else to do your Stooging for you Gogwatch, this one over egged it!

  4. sian :

    Thanks eyeonwales! I’d not found the Gogwatch site until you highlighted it. What a FAB site!
    It provides the evidence, facts and statistics to prove what I have been suspecting for a long time, that the Welsh education system is failing my children.
    I thought I was worrying unneccessarily and mine was a lone voice. I can now see that many other parents are concerned that the Welsh Government is putting the language strategy before our childrens’ education, and the results are proving that concerns are justified.
    I will be following the Gogwatch site with interest. Thank-you for helping me find it!

    🙂 This one made my day. I rather like the mysterious Sian who seems to be posting all over the place at the moment, mainly because she uses some of most wonderfully out of date and inaccurate observations seen in some time.

    Joking aside, it’s hard though not to express some concern regarding your children’s welfare Sian, when the distant ravings of a certain James Whale can stand as ‘evidence, facts and statistics’ for you. Perhaps the education your children receive at home should be more cause for concern than what may or may not be happening in a Welsh medium school. Your comments elsewhere though do seem to rely on a similar quality of evidence, you know, inaccuracy, hyperbole and outdated ‘evidence’, so perhaps gogwatch is the best place for you.

    If we’ve helped to find you an online environment to share your paranoia in, we were glad to help, though something tells us you might just have known about it before… 😉

    • sian
    • June 19th, 2012

    Woah!! Hold on a minute, just coming up for air here….Stand in line please if you want to take a pot-shot.
    There’s nothing “mysterious” about me, but thanks for the observation.
    And I agree, education at home does play a huge part in my children’s education, in fact, it was this which alerted me to my children’s educational failings in the first place. Let me explain….
    Whilst revising with my children and going over work which they SHOULD have been covering for some time (according to the curriculum requirements), I was astounded to find that they were totally unfamiliar with the work which I was trying to do with them, because they hadn’t been doing it in school! Add this to the PISA report results and…HEY PRESTO!
    Didn’t even need James Whales’ comments to alert me to the failing education system in Wales, but thanks again, I can now research his comments too.
    Any more evidential comments/websites etc.. you can alert me to will be gratefully received, thank-you!

    • The mysterious element about you is the way in which you develop an argument. Anyone interest in Sian’s logic progression, have a ponder on http://eye-on-wales.com/2012/06/01/the-jubilee-a-tale-of-two-pensioners/, the leaps in logic are indeed mysterious!

      Your apparent commitment your children’s education at home is commendable, though again one wonders, given your propensity to drop in the most random and unconnected of points in the construction of an argument, how you might serve to hinder their progression, something to think about as you go forward. You cite PISA, well yes, PISA was pretty damning, but it was damning across the board, this was not a English language v Welsh language medium issue, this was highlighting problems across the education sector in Wales. You seem to be trying to spin this into a Welsh medium school problem only, which you would be flawed to do.

      While considering reading material for you, perhaps you would be interested in following up this blog entry, seeing as you are very open to new suggestions:
      http://syniadau–buildinganindependentwales.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/do-welsh-medium-schools-produce-better.html which provides some more up to date data and analysis on the respective results of Welsh and English medium schooling. Of course, not every school is going to fit the overall model of results, maybe you are just unlucky, maybe your children are not paying attention, who knows, the maybes remain maybes, the evidence, that which you are so fond of, is pointing in the direction of gradual improvement in the Welsh medium sector, whatever that expert James Whales might say ;).

      • Mathew
      • June 19th, 2012

      Next time you put yourself forward as a stooge, try and make it less obvious.

        • sian
        • June 19th, 2012

        Give up on the psychology. Keep your day job.

        • Mathew
        • June 19th, 2012

        Nothing to do with Psychology, just a blatantly ill thought out and over egged pro-gogwatch comment pretending to have “not found the Gogwatch site until” eye-on-wales “highlighted it.”

        Go back to your website, someone will soon come up with some other weak argument against the Welsh language for you all to chase your tails over.

    • sian
    • June 19th, 2012

    Like I said, keep the day job.

    • Fletcher Reede
    • June 19th, 2012

    Eyeonwales

    Does this web site have an email address?

    • Jeff
    • June 20th, 2012

    Interesting news today about the Welsh Health Service and Welsh students (lack of) literacy skills! – Bottom of the league in ALL of the uk. All this since the Welsh Assembly was formed and the forcing of the Welsh language on ALL welsh people (even those who do not want it)

    Right then – keep the puerile excuses coming. I suppose it will be of comfort to some that they will be able to fill in their unemployment forms in welsh.

    • Hello there Jeff. Not quite sure, but it seems like you are blaming budgetary problems in the NHS on the Welsh language? Fascinating viewpoint, I was unaware that the NHS and Welsh language shared a budget…must have missed that WG memo.

      Okay, okay, perhaps that one is a cheap shot on your ‘argument’, and you do ask for an avoidance on puerile excuses, so, shall we consider what the Estyn report actually says? While the results are far from what you would call a success, they do actually point to a rate of improvement in literacy on previous years (unless you simply don’t care about improvements?), it’s far from perfect, but it is an improving picture. What is really interesting for the gogwatchers, is that the Welsh language is the best performing element of those inspected with regard literacy. On the evidence from the report you cite, perhaps more Welsh language in schools is the way to go, rather than the less fought for so vehemently by gogwatch, but that’s just going on evidence, perhaps Mr Whale has some hyperbole you’d rather make use of?

  5. We only wrote this as a joke: http://eye-on-wales.com/2012/06/20/not-actual-welsh-nhs-spending-solutions/ but Jeff has done us proud by writing exactly the sort of reactionary statement regarding the NHS and the Welsh language that we have come to expect, just brilliant, that made my day Jeff, thank you 🙂

    • Jeff
    • June 20th, 2012

    Priceless! You state ” Results show an improvement in literacy on previous years” So if they are abysmal today, I dread to think what they were in previous years, and you actually seem proud of that fact. Unbelievable! I have printed out the comments to take to the office, it is always good to have a laugh.

    Doubt if you will print this though. You do not seem to print posts you do not like.

      • Mathew
      • June 20th, 2012

      Don’t they have an internet connection in the office?… or do you still work in the 80’s?.. Maybe you could fax it to them?

      “The Welsh language is the best performing element of those inspected with regard literacy”.

      You must dread the future too Jeff.

        • Jeff
        • June 20th, 2012

        Strangely enough in my office we use the computer for work – you must work for WAG

        • Mathew
        • June 20th, 2012

        What did you print out the comments for then?

        • Jeff
        • June 20th, 2012

        We have lunch breaks Mathew – we have not been forced to spend them taking welsh lessons -Yet!!

        • Mathew
        • June 20th, 2012

        I think most of us have lunch breaks, printing out a blog in order to show someone else still seems a bit retro to me…. To each their own.

    • What a very odd thing to suggest, why would we need to print things when they are very visible here? Anyway, each to their own I guess.

      And so on to your point, such as it is. Well, it’s a tricky one to respond to as there is no point as such, just exasperation. Improvements are the only indicators that we have of things getting better, they act as a sign that what is being done is having a positive effect. The goal now would be to target which areas are having the most positive impacts, likewise for the weakest, and further target those points. Flapping your arms in the air and saying ‘it might be improving but it’s still bad so hell to it all’ is not exactly constructive now is it Jeff? Are you so blind to evidence that you cannot acknowledge that there have been improvements? It would seem so. At no point have we said we are proud of the results, but we would not be so glib as to dismiss the improvements. However, we will take some pride in the Welsh language results, mainly because we know that any evidence that looks favorably on the Welsh language in schools has an entertainingly profound impact on gogwatchers ability to remain rational.

      Look forward to you engaging Jeff, should you choose to, on the strength of other comments, that would not appear to be the case I’m sorry to say.

    • Fletcher Reede
    • June 20th, 2012

    Jeez Jeff, with incisive comments like these you must be the world’s only living brain donor.

      • Jeff
      • June 20th, 2012

      Oh my! What a pithy comment – not of the usual calibre of Fletcher Reade though!

    • Jeff
    • June 20th, 2012

    When unable to find an answer I am not totally surprised that you find it necessary to try to resort to personal attack – very intelligent! So Mathew and “Fletcher Reade” I shall leave you to your puerile excuses and comments. A fair and honest debate and exchange of views? – I think not!!!!!

      • Mathew
      • June 20th, 2012

      I wish I had your imagination.

    • Jeff I think you created this slippery decent into shouting by attempting to mock the initial response by engaging no further than saying you would print comments ‘to have a laugh’ – your concept of debate was a little lacking I’m afraid, and was only likely to attract similar commentary in return. Do feel free to re-engage with the discussion though…or should that be engage with it in the first place?

        • Jeff
        • June 20th, 2012

        Yes – I accept what you say my comment about “having a laugh” may seem a little infantile, but I am frustrated about the state of welsh education in Wales today.

        Quite honestly you do not seem to brook any criticism of any kind and sometimes it is necessary. It can seem the equivalent of a child putting its fingers in its’ ears and refusing to listen. It also seems strange that every time someone ventures a alternative point of view they are accused of being a “gogwatcher”. I only visited both their and your site today – I am sure that not everyone who ventures an opposite point of view can be a “Gogwatcher”!

        Many years ago after my father died ,my mother took me to visit some friends in England, we stayed there for 3 months and I attended a local school for two of those months. The education I had received in Wales was so far in front of the school in England, that I had to be put in a form ahead. I know that would not happen today and I am saddened that we have fallen, and are still falling, so far behind.

      • Hi Jeff, thanks for coming back, and for the more rounded comment. These pages have become a little bogged down a little of late, so great to see you on topic, thanks as well for that. Apologies for jumping to the conclusion that you were a gogwatcher if that is not the case, just your first comment was a little remiss of previous visits from fans of the site.

        I don’t think it’s the case of not brooking any criticism, we were pretty quick to stress that this can in no way be described as a success, but what we are also quick to stress was that the Estyn report was not the harbinger of doom. We’ve known the education system in particular in Wales has struggled since devolution. Really positive initiatives at reception level have sadly not been followed through into later years, and hard work is required. What Estyn highlights is, though we are very far from reaching out targets, there are some positive indicators. Just because we remain last out of the UK does not mean that we are not moving forward. Everyone across the British Isles shares concerns on educational output of schools, it is not a Welsh specific issue, and likewise, our neighbours are not standing still on the issue.

        Is the report a ‘good news story’, of course not, literacy rates behind targets is nothing to be happy about. But equally, we should not look at the report and conclude that everything in the Welsh education system is wrong or bad, as the report indicates that we are, albeit slowly, improving. That element is something positive, and while we should concentrate on the overall concerns of the report, we should not dismiss the gains being made. As stressed before, figuring out where things are going well if the key to improving things, taking a broad brush negative approach to everything happening in the Welsh education system will only serve to undermine and lose sight of the positive efforts and impacts that have been put into addressing these concerns.

    • Fletcher Reede
    • June 20th, 2012

    Maybe fair comment, Jeff. But I have to put it to you that your opening statement and the claims you made were without foundation, without backing evidence and totally lacking in substance. In all honesty, how on earth do you expect us to react?

    • Mike
    • June 27th, 2012

    There’s a lovely hate filled article just added to the extreme far-right Gogwatch site. Have a look at their article from 26/6/12 entitled “Twitter shows what people think about the Welsh language” – http://www.gogwatch.com/2012/06/26/twitter-shows-what-people-think-about-the-welsh-language/ – The article tries to show that there’s “plenty of evidence that people, young and old, share our views” by reproducing tweets from the previous 7 days which corralete to the views of Gogwatch. They use such charming quotes as “Can’t wait till the welsh language dies out, its stupid and useless, end of” and “F*ck, I hate the Welsh language so much”.

      • Mathew
      • June 27th, 2012

      What a deeply thought out and intelligent approach.

      The Gogwatch commitee must have thought long and hard about this one.

      What do they think pointing out other people who have bigoted opinions proves?

      • I understand that next week they have an article coming out based on the ranting of a man on a street corner in Cardiff. No one is sure exactly what he is saying, but gogwatch are certain he is upset because of the Welsh language.

    • It is a thing of beauty Mike, such dedicated and time consuming research goes into these gogwatch articles no? It would be easy enough just to ignore this one, were it not for the way the comments section rambles on in a way that seemingly does acknowledge this as a form of valid research. Cherry picked tweets do not a nation represent – a new low for gogwatch land.

        • Alabama
        • June 27th, 2012

        Eyeonwales: How do you know what they’re planning to publish??

      • The sad thing is that the standard of debate there is only a step or two away from such a post!

        • Mathew
        • June 28th, 2012

        The most confusing thing about the latest Gogwatch creation is what they think it achieves.

        All it confirms is that there are other people that don’t like the Welsh language. Do the Gogwatch elders really think this is news?…

        “This site is not against the Welsh language, but it is critical of current Welsh language policy.” has yet again been repeated.

        It’s not hard to notice that not one of the anti-welsh language twitter comments make reference to education, the economy, or the critically aclaimed musings of the great James Whale. They’re just anti-Welsh language comments. None of them state, I don’t like the Welsh language as a result of Welsh language policy.

        I’m looking forward to reading what kind of ‘debate’ will get churned out from such a weak article. I think on this particular occasion, the Gogwatch dummy has been severely let down by his ventriloquist.

        How many of the inevitable 400 comments will be on topic? How many people know what the topic actually is?

    • Alabama
    • June 28th, 2012

    Sad and funny in equal measures.

      • Mathew
      • June 28th, 2012

      What’s funny to me is that they think they’re revealing some big secret by proving there are other people who hate the welsh language.

      • Indeed, I hate avocado, can’t stand the stuff. No doubt I can find people on twitter who think the same, therefore the majority of people in the world dislike avocado, it’s proof, of a sorts, well, not really, but it will do for gogwatch!

        • Mathew
        • June 28th, 2012

        That doesn’t make you anti-avocado though, you’re surely just being critical of how avacados are marketed.

    • Alabama
    • June 28th, 2012

    This sight is reluctant to speculate on identities but I think it’s legitimate to speculate on the possibility, even probability, that a number of the main Gogwatch participants are the creation of one single person.

    • Think we all know who is regulating gogwatch. Same person as glasnost. Posting comments using various names is almost funny. A person who craves attention and has nothing better to do perhaps should be pityed.

    • Alabama
    • June 30th, 2012

    Yes, an extremely able but ultimately sad character.

    • FFredFFlinstone
    • July 10th, 2012

    Paranoia is alive and well and living in the offices of eye-on-wales!!

    • Hello there Fred, thanks for dropping in. If paranoia is manifest as finding that there is a vocal group of people in Wales seemingly intent on the systematic weakening of the Welsh language, then we are certainly that. However, paranoia, to be defined as such, really requires the initial premise to be left unproven, thankfully gogwatch commentators serve to prove the point on a daily basis, thereby rendering the accusation of paranoia somewhat empty.

      Still Ffred, if it is paranoia you are looking for, might we suggest a little site called ‘gogwatch’, you’ll find plenty of paranoid sorts there 😉

    • Mathew
    • July 16th, 2012

    Who thinks the 2011 census will soon be featuring on Gogwatch’s hate pages?

    Place your bets now!

    • I think it has already drawn attention once or twice in passing, but yes, I’m expecting a full page spread!

      In other news, came across a wonderful response on the WalesOnline pages to the Olympic ring expenditure in Cardiff, and the first poster, a gogwatcher of the highest order, managed to turn it into a ‘cost of the Welsh language’ debate…they must jump at Welsh language shadows when walking home at night!

  6. Lowri :

    I remember reading on this forum, a comment from a lady, that a “gogwatcher” … was “well known in North Wales … for dealing drugs to young people” That post has now been deleted, but in my opinion it should never have been printed! Not paranoia – just common sense. Fair and sensible posts are much more effective than insults.

    We make a point of not censoring comments at point of contact. Granted that does mean that any post, regardless of content, goes live straight away, which sometimes requires moderation after the post is made. But it is a policy we stand by – only allowing moderated comments in the first place stifles debate, and leaves us open to accusations of only ever allowing comments which are supportive. That is not the case here.

    • Huw
    • July 21st, 2012

    I can understand your reasoning about not wanting to stifle debate but, and I could be wrong, I am sure I heard somewhere that blog “owners” could be held equally liable for libellous “posters”. Is this true?

    • It’s the understanding we work on. Don’t know that for certain, but equally don’t want to be taking any chances.

        • Mathew
        • July 22nd, 2012

        I think the gogwatch / glasnost “people” have so much time on their hands that they’d relish taking any opportunity to make themselves feel important. Especially if it meant making ‘important’ phone calls, appointing ‘very important’ laywers, shuffling lots of ‘top secret’ paperwok and examining ‘irrelevant’ legal frameworks.

        Most retired people (no matter how self-important they may be) don’t bother wasting their lives. In that respect you have to recognise the self sacrificing dedication(?) of these ‘revolutionaries’.

        As a child, I used to run around pretending the two fingers on my hand was a gun, I’d run around shooting imaginary ‘baddies’, Pchh.. Pchhh! Duhu duhuhu! and during that period when I allowed myself to ignore reality I only really remember it being fun. So on that level you can’t blame them for getting carried away with all this pseudo ‘Russian Agent’ on ‘important’ buisness stuff.

        When I retire I hope I’ll be capable of living in such a fantasy world. I’m going to be a bit more ambitious though, I’m talking deadly fish-monkeys, parrot-goblins, stealth-gimps, and turkey-panthers. The big boss general ‘Flock-wan’ will be my nemesis and in command of a notoriously ruthless colony of well dressed samurai-flamingos. (but don’t tell anyone- it’s TOP SECRET highly classified important business). SHhhhh!

        Oh, and in the name of Free Speech, I will crush anyone I suspect of making fun of me! (within any legal framework available- of course).. I’m going to be a top secret, highly importantant, international super-zero! -. People the world over will know me as ‘Shadow-Pratt’ – founding member of ‘The Arcane Logic Bandits’, (we’re going to get embroidered polo-shirts and everything).

        When I set up my very important blog, I’ll have a simple disclaimer stating that I’m not responsible, nor will I be held liable, for anything anyone says on my blog in the blog comments, nor the laws which any comment may break in my country or the country of the commentee. If I wanted to obtain personal information on the people who posted anonymously on my blog I’d probably consider subtly implementing a rediculously overcomplicated privacy statement.

        I can’t wait untill I retire.

    • Lowri
    • July 25th, 2012

    Mathew,

    All I am saying is that fair and reasonable posts may carry more weight than vicious ones.

    It stands to reason that it is dangerous to accuse someone/anyone of things that they may or may not be guilty of. If they are guilty then they should feel the full force of the law, if they are not then a public forum is not really the place to level unproven accusations.

    And no I am NOT a gogwatcher, and it is a pity but I am not yet retired (but counting the years!)

    • Agreed.

      • Mathew
      • July 27th, 2012

      False accusations or any slanderous remarks aren’t helpful or useful in any discussion, but most people should have the ability to recognise and ignore them for what they are.

      If I read a comment saying something like the Glasnost ‘mastermind’ likes to break into his local Welsh Mountain Zoo at night so that he can fiddle with the Meerkats (or something along those lines), I wouldn’t pay much attention to it! The same goes for anyone saying anything stupid, I never read any of these drug dealer comments, so i can’t judge how stupid or believable they were, but I’d suggest that they were quite likely to be the product of an adolescent mind.

      As far as I’m concerned I don’t care who or what the gogwatch/glasnost bunch are, or what they get up to in their spare time, apart from the fact they spend it campaigning against Welsh language provision. Even when we finally got some sunshine, the Gogwatch family were still sat at their computers formulating their latest article; unsurprisingly it was entirely based on a comment posted on a previous page which basically re-iterated something that was the basis of another Gogwatch newsflash several months ago!

      The only thing I’m really curious about is how this Jacques or J.Putyatin as he likes to be known, claims to be the ‘subject to a huge smear campaign’. Note the use of the word HUGE!

      I still can’t find any sign of it anywhere? I obviously missed the drug dealer accusations, but apart from that there’s a couple of comments mocking his ‘Russian Agent’ fantasy world, (he even used his J.Putyatin alias to sign off a letter published in the Western Mail), other than that there’s a few people calling him sad on facebook?

      Of course, my clearly ‘vicious’ satirical representation of the self-importance Captain Jacques affords himself while combating his invisible enemies, may now be included as part of it if you like. However my comments are clearly a bi-product of his claim to be the victim of a ‘huge’ smear campaign.

      I’ve not found anything that resembles a smear campaign, let alone a ‘HUGE’ one! It’s FANTASY!

      If Carlsberg did smear campaigns, I think it might have been their special brew division that took charge on this one and forgot to get on with it!

      If you ask me, he’s not far from running his own smear campaign on himself by doing all this anti-Welsh language nonsense, curiously under the banner of ‘human rights’?

      If his interest was truly in human rights, there are surely far more important things he could be tackling. He’s clearly just got a bee in his bonnet, perhaps he’s had a personal problem with a certain aspect of his local council, and he’s just out to make some kind of point?

      The Glasnost website mentions poverty as something it wishes to tackle, which IS a BIG issue in Wales, but for Jacques, that’s on the back burner until he’s satisfied his fetish to remove all ‘IMOPOSED & PROPOSED WELSH LANGUAGE MEASURES IN EDUCATION & PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT’.

      From his comments on Gogwatch we can deduce that this is going to keep him busy past the next election, so poverty in Wales will just have to wait!

      I’d like to state that to my knowledge, the illusive ‘Mr Glasnost’ has never broken into his local Welsh Mountain Zoo to fiddle with Meerkats (or any other small mammals for that matter).

      Mr Glasnost however in my opinion (and not of this site), is simply a self-important anti-welsh language campaigner with nothing better to do with his life!

      While he tries to disguise or justify his motives with ‘human rights’ issues, the only solution he seeks is to ‘SCRAP ALL IMPOSED & PROPOSED WELSH LANGUAGE MEASURES IN EDUCATION & PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT’.

      No sensible person who valued the Welsh language would ever support a petition titled as such, let alone set one up!

      • Indeed it is an impressively bad advert for the petitions scheme.

        Any thoughts on the gogwatch ‘summer break’? Would be interesting to know what they think they are taking a break from? Though being so angry every day must take up a lot of time and energy.

        • Mathew
        • July 27th, 2012

        I haven’t got a clue, it must be hard for any culturally inept tourists to go anywhere without finding some language or other that will innevitably infringe on their human rights!

        Perhaps for that reason they’ll feel more comfortable sticking with the ‘human rights’ abuses they know well and ‘suffer’ from here in Wales.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if Mr Glasnost was to take them on a school trip to The Hague in order to visualize their triumphant futures!

        I’d probably suggest they may also like to vistit Auschwitz or the Anne Frank museum while they’re there. That might inject some perspective into the void where the rest of us generally keep our sense of reality!

    • Pinocchio
    • July 30th, 2012

    It’s tough being a puppeteer. So many characters and so few hands. The man deserves a break.

    • Bless ‘im. It is a shame that they are down though. Usually liked to check in on them once a week for a giggle, you could always bank on several new, bizarre posts to enjoy.

        • Mathew
        • July 30th, 2012

        I wouldn’t be surprised if this ‘summer break’ was code for drastically altering or removing entirely some of the bizarreness on the site.

        Couldn’t the site just stay live with the comments temporarily disabled?

        If not, one would have assumed they’d have enough ‘trusted’ members/supporters who could moderate the site while the full time ‘Ultras’ put their feet up. They are ‘the voice of the majority’ after all, (or not) as is clearly the case!

  7. Mathew :

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this ‘summer break’ was code for drastically altering or removing entirely some of the bizarreness on the site.

    Couldn’t the site just stay live with the comments temporarily disabled?

    If not, one would have assumed they’d have enough ‘trusted’ members/supporters who could moderate the site while the full time ‘Ultras’ put their feet up. They are ‘the voice of the majority’ after all, (or not) as is clearly the case!

    Easy to wonder, with the Royal Welsh Show and the National Eisteddfod, that there might just be one too many positive Welsh language story platforms out there in the comings weeks for them to cope with. Hard to batter the language if you have thousands visiting a Welsh language festival. They may well have taken the site down for their own mental well-being in advance of next week.

      • Thomas
      • September 12th, 2012

      Not all visitors to the Royal Welsh Show and the National Eisteddfod were Welsh speakers!! If only Welsh speakers were allowed to these events they would go bankrupt.

      Do you honestly feel that these events would survive without the thousands of “Welsh but English speakers” patronage!

      Funny how the hated English language is allowed if it is necessary to keep Welsh events financially viable.

      • Hello there Thomas, very happy to take up your point, on the premise that you can illustrate where in the previous post any reference to all attendees being Welsh speakers? You seem to have rambled up an argument out of nothing, but well done for trying, pointless noise is always welcome.

  8. Generally speaking, I really do believe that Gogwatchers genuinely are under the (deluded) impression that they are not anti-Welsh language, anyone from Wales would recognise their paranoia as a very Welsh ‘tick’ . I suspect that deep down this extreme fear stems from a real feeling of inferiority, such as immediately obvious in statements such as, (and we’ve all heard this one) ‘I’m as Welsh as they are, even if I don’t speak Welsh’. And this kind of comment is rarely in response to anyone so much as suggesting that these people are indeed less Welsh than Welsh speakers. It may be the case that some Welsh speakers would question the Welshness of non Welsh speaking Welsh people, but in my experience is often a rather cruel playing upon someone’s sensitivities and insecurities about their Welshness – people who come out with exclamations like the above are so obviously victims of their own sense of inferiority, or perhaps the result of a genuine sense of confusion over identity. Imperialism is so clearly at base of much of what Gogwatch is about, and many of the commentators on that site seem to be of the kind of profile just described, or on the other hand, Colonel Blimp type characters who move to Wales and immediately expect the natives to defer to their obvious cultural superiority. Fortunately for them, Welsh people are not the MaoMao, and indeed, most Welsh people are far too polite to challenge the kind of bigoted comment that Gogwatchers seem to come out with. We are really far too tolerant for out own good, as, were they to make these same kinds of comments in the USA they would may well be the subject of litigation, as was someone a few years ago over their use of the term ‘welching’ on a deal – the case, was I believe, successful, and it was found that the term was a racial slur.

    In general I am in agreement with eyeonwales that a sense of perspective is essential, but that groups such as Gogwatch need to be watched – they need challenging too, and I believe, need to be taken on seriously when they get out of hand, which I honestly think they will do one day. They are akin to the early nazi party in Germany, an unpleasant gathering of people who share a sense of injury because they are unwilling/unable to make the grade – and wish to blame every conceivable ill on a relatively defenceless group – they know they wouldn’t be able to get away with saying the things they do about people from other countries/cultures/religions or who have a skin colour other than white, so they pick on a group they can smear with impunity. They may claim to be the voice of the silent majority, but they seem to have conveniently ignored the fact that at least 80% of the silent majority wholeheartedly support efforts to ensure a future for the Welsh language. They also try and maintain the fiction that it’s middle class Welsh speaking people who demand Welsh medium schools for their children, but I doubt very much that there are that many people in places like Splott who are either Welsh speaking, or (even less likely) middle class.

    In one thing I do agree with Gogwatch however, and that is that present WAG policy over the language is in a mess. It needs to be properly thought through, and a long term plan implemented that ensures there is a genuine opportunity to both learn Welsh, and also to able to use it on an everyday basis wherever in Wales – English is already a universal, and it would seem unlikely that this is going to change any time soon, so the rights and needs of English speakers are hardly going to be ignored wherever they may be in Wales. The Welsh language also needs to have more resources targeted at it, not less, and I would suggest that the figure be somewhere in the region of the 2% of the entire WAG budget that would put it in line with what the Basque government spends on the Basque language. I would also make sure that no public money went on the enrichment of individuals, or a class , which seems to have been the case with money earmarked for S4C. I am personally in favour of S4C being taken over in it’s entirety by the BBC (but it’d need to be properly devolved as part of a dedicated TV service for Wales) as then there would be proper scrutiny of the way that budgets are spent, and not going to the creation of private companies such as Tinopilis and their millionaire owners – all for producing such intelligence insulting trash as Wedi 3 and Wedi 7 and schedules equally filled with mind numbing pap. I watch more BBC Alba than I do S4C which speaks volumes, I don’t speak Scots Gaelic, but I do speak Welsh, but somehow BBC Alba has a much more interesting and appealing programme schedule – S4C insults my intelligence, and has done since day one. I can order Icelandic (Iceland has a population smaller than Cardiff, and there are fewer than half the numbers of Icelandic speakers than there are speakers of Welsh) movies from Amazon, but have a devil of a job finding the DVDs of the four Welsh language films that have been released anywhere – and when I do find them, have to pay through the nose for them.

    Now, to the burning issue of what Gogwatch are doing over the summer – no doubt attending the Royal Welsh Show at Llanelwedd, and the National Eisteddfod of course, gathering ‘evidence’ that the Welsh language is affecting the rate of lambing or that having the Eisteddfod in the Vale of Glamorgan is a hazard to air traffic to Cardiff International Airport. Whatever they have been doing over the summer, I’m sure that they will return in the Autumn refreshed from their holidays and ready to peddle their half-truths and paranoia to the gullible once again.

    If they have been abroad, you can bet your bottom dollar it will have been to one of those ‘British’ enclaves (colonies?) in Spain, or France where there is also the all too familiar paranoia about the locals who have the audacity to speak a ‘foreign’ language. There they will have commiserated with their friends and swapped notes on the antics of the ‘sub human’* (i.e. not good at/refusing to speak English) locals and ways of civilising them.

    * The locals may not be consciously thought of as ‘sub human’ as indeed I doubt that Gogwatchers consciously regard Welsh speakers as sub human, but nonetheless, this is the inference inherent in all their arguments; English is the ‘norm’ (confused with ‘normal’ after all, your average Gogwatcher is hardly that bright) ergo, any other language is by default abnormal, indicating inferior.

    • Thanks for the comment. Interesting views on the resources issue, I think in terms of actual support for the language, the picture is far less ‘rosy’ than the gogwatch lobby would like us all to believe.

  9. Yes, whilst something like 80% of the population of Wales would, if asked, say that they are in favour of supporting the Welsh language, it would be another matter entirely to persuade most of them to actively involve themselves in that support. However, in the mid 90s Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg campaigned against Marks & Spencers lack of willingness to accept cheques written in Welsh. As part of that campaign a picket was organised outside of the M&S branch on Queen Street in Cardiff on a Saturday morning, with the aim of collecting signatures on a petition – within a period of just over an hour and a half over one thousand signatures were collected. There were of course many who did not wish to sign, or who walked by ignoring us, but very little active hostility, and some incredulity on the part of a few signatories from ‘across the water’ in Bristol visiting Cardiff that day that private companies in Wales were not required to trade in Welsh as well as English in Wales.

    A similar picture appeared on a later campaign against the then popular electornics retailer Tandy. On one picket of the Pontypridd store many potential custoners, on enquiring about the puropose of the picket and discovering that it was about the company’s lack of willingness to use bilingual signage instore decided to turn around and shop eleswhere.

    Whilst the support of the Welsh language may be largely of a passive nature, this certainly makes it easier for those campaigning for increased rights for the language. I would personally prefer that absolute equality for both languages existed, which would be bureaucratically simple to administer as it would simply require bilingualism in every sphere – from council tax forms to the labels on Tesco Everyday Value baked beans tins. The only debate would be the timetable for implementation, which would have to favour smaller businesses as the bigger companies, especially those with an international presence already have sufficient resources to quickly implement such a policy. Of course, there would be the usual bleating of the tired, and by now extremely weak argument that it would be too expensive to implement. However, any decent Welsh government with a backbone would quickly point out that these large companies are quite happy to take our money, and make a profit. The bigger companies are actually in quite a weak position, as they have invested substantially in Wales as part of the ongoing supermarket ‘war’ and are hardy likely to shoot themselves in the foot and pull out of trading in Wales in some kind of hissy fit, as they know their competitors would only be too happy to fill the vacuum left by their departure. There would undoubtedly be costs involved in implementing such a policy. But those costs would not be high, and probably would amount to an infintessimally small percentage of, for example Tesco profits, (which incidentally is a company that uses other national languages in its stores in Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic.

    Maybe with sensible legislation like this, we could actualy arrive at the stated ideal of the Gogwatchers, that the two languages exist in parallell – but I doubt Gogwatchers are sincere in this, and of course, we lack a decent Welsh government with a backbone…

      • Mathew
      • September 6th, 2012

      It’s funny you mention supermarkets, Asda were apparently unable to provide a Welsh language option on their self service machines due to cost.

      They must keep their overheads low enough to give us the customers the cheapest prices….

      Bilingual software throughout their stores in wales is a cost they just can’t afford!

      However, a year later they’ve managed to find the money somewhere to quadruple the number of machines in store + are now renovating the whole store!

      • Trevor
      • September 12th, 2012

      No – Thank God we have a relatively realistic Welsh government who are trying to encourage business into Wales. New business would help consumers and workers alike! We do not need added barriers to restrict business. No wonder we cannot attract employers into Wales!!!!

      Wake up and smell the coffee – for goodness sake!!!

      • Hi Trevor, could you elaborate who you are responding to and on which point – that was quite a broad sweep there, lacking in substance. Happy to take up whatever point you are trying to make, but it’s not overly clear at this point.

  10. An English apologist…

    I have read many articles both on Gogwatch and internet discussions about the Welsh language and current policies. To instantly ‘pigeon-hole’ as anti-Welsh any person who questions the way Welsh is currently promoted is as insular and short-sighted as those that write Welsh off as dead.

    Having had a parent that was a fluent Welsh speaker I have no wrangle with the language and its general promotion. However, I feel that the level of promotion now (draconian through law) is gradually creating a divisive society. That is, those who speak the language and see themselves as ‘the real Welsh’ as opposed to native born Welsh who are English speakers. Unless you are Welsh born and Welsh speaker you are slowly becoming second class. This is never going to produce a happy end and I see this in action on an almost daily basis.

    I resent not being viewed as properly Welsh because I choose English as my native language – it is an insult. To dismiss huge numbers of people like me as ‘anti-Welsh’ is both wrong and provocative. My children are born Welsh and proud of it, and I’m damned if I’ll gradually be told I’m not properly Welsh because I speak English.

    The Welsh language Act taken to its extreme will without doubt create a more divided Wales. Equality in language may be a good thing, but the reality is that equality is not the aim. Anyone working in Government or Education will see that Welsh is slowly being given precedence – in fact the promotion is so aggressive that I am beginning to feel a stranger in my own land.

    What is trying to be achieved? Saving the language (perfectly justifible and desirable) or creating a two tier society? The Welsh language is fast becoming the currency equivalent of ‘the old school tie’ in England. A nod and a wink to the ‘real’ Welsh person when it comes to jobs and education.

    We are already witnessing the first fruits of a generation forced to learn Welsh to GCSE. When asked in class whether they liked Welsh (by their Welsh teacher) my child reported that 26 out of 30 said no. So, by forcing those 26 to use learn the language for 5 years, do we think we’ll engender a love and adoption of the language? I think not, more likely a fair dose of resentment about being forced to use Welsh.

    What will those well educated children do when they enter adulthood? When they realise that there are only good jobs or opportunities for Welsh language speakers, they will leave Wales. It will gradually create a society that loses some of its most capable young people. An unwritten and unspoken about culture of jobs for the supposed ‘real Welsh’ is developing.

    I for one will oppose the promotion of that type of society. In years past I started to learn conversational Welsh as I am proud of my Welsh background – I stopped when the Welsh language Act came into being. I will not support a society where people are forced by law to adopt a language to get on in their careers.

    Has a route has been embarked upon that will marginalise Wales in the UK and the wider world? Maybe that is what some Welsh language first speakers want. I personally think that the Welsh culture and identity is far more than just its language. Nationality cannot be distilled into such simplistic terms. I hope the Welsh identity is not that fragile that the introduction of controversial laws is the only way to preserve it.

    The Future
    This debate will not go away, it will intensify. Please can we listen to all sides of the debate and not polarise the argument so quickly. Doubtless some Welsh language first speakers will call me anti-Welsh after reading this. How sad and how wrong is all I can say. In fact, I was actively learning Welsh until legislation was brought in. Creating laws to keep it alive speaks of desperation… and ultimately will result in damaging the language and the country.

    When Gogwatch resumes from its current sabbatical, I shall submit this as a first article. I don’t want Welsh language to die out, neither do I want to feel second class in my own country. The only future I can see if this excessive policy continues is that Wales will risk becoming a backwater in the UK. A population of less than 4 million on an island of approx 60 million people, and those 4 million divided over their language. In employment terms, when precedence is given on the basis of Welsh language, then we have a country that will shrink in its importance and and regress economically.

    We’ll leave nationalism, independence and the bigger picture for another time!

      • Mathew
      • September 29th, 2012

      So you “have no wrangle with the language and its general promotion”, but you “feel that the level of promotion now is gradually creating a divisive society”?…. I do think one may refer to such a “feel” as a wrangle. Either way, I certainly have one with you and your views!

      You obviously feel some hostility from Welsh speakers as you seem to think they all believe they are more Welsh than you, but could I suggest that may be a slightly simplistic, insular, possibly short-sighted idea?

      “I resent not being viewed as properly Welsh because I choose English as my native language – it is an insult.” Could there be something else that’s making you feel that way?

      You consider yourself Welsh, but feel insecure because you don’t speak Welsh, yet you say this was a personal choice that you made. You had a parent who was a fluent Welsh speaker who seemingly didn’t bring you up to speak Welsh, so was it a personal choice or your fluent Welsh speaking parent’s choice? Perhaps it was the choice of the non-Welsh speaking parent?

      So what’s your solution? Are Welsh people who can speak Welsh supposed to stop speaking Welsh in case they offend you or other insecure non-Welsh speakers? Or is it Welsh speakers thoughts that insult you?…. If so, how do you know what they think?…. What if a Welsh speaker doesn’t disclose to you that they are a Welsh speaker…. Would you still feel insecure in their company?

      What about the non-Welsh speakers who are happy and don’t feel insecure? What if it turns out that Welsh speakers don’t think they’re more Welsh than you, and it’s actually just you that feels less Welsh than them for whatever reason?

      How about turning this round and looking at what Welsh speakers are more likely to think?

      Perhaps Welsh speakers may resent not being able to conduct their lives through the language they and their parents have spoken for centuries? What do you think about that? That’s something you can do is it not? You can conduct your life should you wish through the language you CHOSE to speak. Of course you might not be suited to a job requiring a Welsh speaker, but then surely that was your choice after all!

      If, as a Welsh person you believe it is right that people be allowed to live their lives through their native tongue (as you yourself do), then I assume you will understand why Welsh language services should be available to all Welsh speakers? (these services would obviously require Welsh speaking staff)

      Now, on to this paradoxic scenario of yours.

      “We are already witnessing the first fruits of a generation forced to learn Welsh to GCSE. When asked in class whether they liked Welsh (by their Welsh teacher) my child reported that 26 out of 30 said no.”

      It is difficult to reconcile the above statement with the following.

      “What will those well educated children do when they enter adulthood? When they realise that there are only good jobs or opportunities for Welsh language speakers,”

      Well perhaps if that is the case. they might kick themselves that they did NOT value their Welsh GCSE lessons? Perhaps they may wonder why their parents didn’t encourage them to learn to speak Welsh successfully?

      In one sentence you’re criticising the fact all children are given access to the Welsh language (or forced as you put it). In the next, you raise objection with the fact that certain jobs in Wales may require candidates to speak Welsh! Are you beginning to see what’s going on?

      If we analyse this further, we can only conclude that an integral aim of yours must be the removal of Welsh language services, or least confine them as a fringe section of employment. That surely can be the only outcome that would satisfy you.

      “I personally think that the Welsh culture and identity is far more than just its language.”

      If that’s the case, then why do you feel so paranoid about the way Welsh speakers may or may not judge you?

      “Nationality cannot be distilled into such simplistic terms.”

      That is true, especially in countries that have been invaded, conquered or “discovered” by other countries. Look at all the English speaking countries in the world, just because they speak English doesn’t mean they’re English does it.

      ” I hope the Welsh identity is not that fragile that the introduction of controversial laws is the only way to preserve it.”

      No offence, but I do believe it is your own identity that has appeared fragile here. I also thought you said that identity was more than language, yet it appears that these “controversial laws” as you put it do in fact relate to the Welsh language (not identity!).

      As for the Welsh language, I have no trouble admitting that it’s position certainly is fragile, and for whatever reason, there appears to be at least one apparent “patriot” who wishes to keep it that way.

      What is confusing is the fact that as someone who appears to be an intelligent person, questions are raised regarding your position on the Welsh language, especially when we focus on the obvious contradiction that undermines your argument.

      You’re either not as intelligent as you first appear, or you’ve designed a structured argument (albeit heavily flawed) in an attempt to undermine statutory support for the Welsh language. This stance strongly echoes the views expressed by the induvidual behind Glasnost.org.uk, who incidentally also claims not to be anti-Welsh.

      I sincerely hope the induvidual(s?) behind Gogwatch have come up with something a bit more robust than this after taking two months out!….

      • Thank you for the well written response, would be delighted to see a reply from Gwilym, but not holding the breath on it.

  11. Think the Gogwatch troll awakens. Welcome back.

  12. In response to Gwilym where he states that a majority of the children in his child’s class disliked Welsh as a subject comes as no surprise. Welsh is a language still usually taught in an amazingly bad way – and it seems to be about as popular in 2012 as it was when I last had regular Welsh lessons at school – in 1971!

    Perhaps it needs to be questioned why Welsh is so unpopular? Maybe it is because it is badly taught? Given that for many children Welsh will be taught in a complete vacuum, i.e. it has little relevance to their daily lives, that there is little or no youth orientated culture in the medium of Welsh accessible to them, it is hardly surprising that this is so. The premise that it may help in getting a job at some point in the future is hardly going to persuade teenagers to buckle down and get fluent, especially on two hours or so a week! I am of the opinion that the Welsh language is a vitally important part of our identity, but this isn’t to exclude, or to play down the importance of English either. However, at this point in time the existence and position of the Welsh language in our society isn’t as secure as that of English, and so I believe that Welsh should be prioritise.

    In my last post I argued that more resources need to be directed towards the Welsh language. Some of that resource needs to go towards the development and encouragement of youth orientated culture – though this must be Welsh language culture created by the young people themselves, not by a professional/cultural elite (and yes, I am taking a pop at the kind of thing that S4C does here) guided by youth workers who are from similar backgrounds to the young people themselves, categorically NOT teachers. (Yes, teachers in mainstream education are not my favourite people – they far too often blight Welsh language lessons (amongst others) for children at school, and also all too often, Welsh lessons for adults too). Basically the Welsh language has to have relevance, and that needs to be pump-primed in many areas of Wales.

    I also touched on my belief that we in Wales should control broadcasting in Wales, as much as it is possible to control it in this age of international multi-channel TV and radio. This may not be a sinecure, but at least locally produced programmes aimed at youth could reflect the bilingual notion of Wales, and we have, for example, programmes on the music scene in Wales that are required to cover music in both languages, thereby at least making young people aware that there is a cultural production relevant to them happening in Welsh, and that they too can be involved. ‘Cwl Cymru’ may have largely been a media creation, but for a short time Wales, and the Welsh language really did become ‘cool’ amongst many young people who had previously been turned off the Welsh language. Of course at this time it was coincidental with the rise of bands such as Catatonia, Manic Street Preachers, Stereophonics, Super Furry Animals, and to a lesser extent Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci as well as the (sligtht) fever surrounding the campaign and vote for a Welsh Assembly, but it was none the less significant. It may be that Wales won’t be fortunate enough for so many stars to be in the ascendant at the same time again, but I for one feel that it’s important not to underestimate the immediate importance to most young people of culture that is both relevant and accessible over such long-term benefits, such as possession of the Welsh language leading to better employment prospects. I guess what I am trying to say is that the Welsh language should be fun for young people and not the laborious, irrelevant chore it so often sadly is.

    Mind you, I also think that in an independent Wales we should adopt an education system that is participatory an optional (for the kids) that has the stated aim of turning out self-regulating human beings, and not trying to produce the cookie-cuttter worker drones the present schooling system tries to do. But that’s a different topic…

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    • Andy
    • August 20th, 2013

    Gogwatch? Almost certainly the work of a Serb living in North West Wales called Jaques Protic.

    Many of you may be unfamiliar with the name, but if you follow Welsh political blogs then you will have read his comments under a host of pseudonyms, ‘Jon Jones’, ‘Mo Patel’, etc. Once one is exposed another emerges. He also comments as Jacques Protic. The giveaway is that they often appear on the same post ‘supporting’ each other. On Twitter, Protic can – or could until recently – be found hiding behind a number of handles including: @gogwatch, @GLASNOSTORGUK, @cymnot, @Plaidodo (also used as an e-mail address), and @momopatel1960. This ‘Mo Patel’ Twitter account has now closed, but I’m told it started off using my gravatar with the eyes scratched out and the mouth taped over! There are almost certainly other identities. Though strangely, for a high-powered, international businessman, I can’t find a Twitter account in his own name.

    Protic is also, allegedly, the man behind the now defunct Gogwatch website and it is further suggested that he ran the Glasnost blog. Given his obsessive hatred for the teaching of Welsh (read this), there are many who believe that Protic was also BiLingo. Although not naming Protic this blog establishes the link between BiLingo and Gogwatch. BiLingo caused a great deal of hurt to good people, dedicated teachers, through having its lies repeated by English newspapers.

    Not only does Protic sometimes write in his own name, he has even stood for election. In May this year (2013) he offered himself to the electors of the Aethwy ward on Ynys Mon as an Independent candidate . . . he gained 3% of the vote.

  15. Ce Gouvernement est plut? Parfois bonnes,En supposant que des scientifiques aient raison d’attribuer le réchauffement UNIQUEMENT aux émissions de CO2, Je m’explique : Total de CO2 émis dans le monde : 30 Milliards de TonnesDont : Torchères des puits de pétrole : 400 Millions de T (150 Milliards de M3)Avions, sans faire de victimes. le Rassemblement pour le Mali (RPM), l’orage gronde. ce soir, ses métayers,]

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