Lee Waters AM (Llanelli, Lab.) has asked for the following comments to be published.
There are some key points here that many readers will disagree with, and some claims which simply do not accord with the facts. Michaela Beddows did consider heself to be a member of the Labour Party, and broadcast that message on social media. Only last week she attended a Labour Party meeting in Gorseinon to hear Carwyn Jones with other members of her group. She also claimed that 13 members of the protest group would be standing as candidates for Labour. That was almost certainly a gross exaggeration, but more than two members of the group are Labour members and activists. One is standing for election as a county councillor, and others may be selected to stand as community councillors.
Almost nobody outside UKIP seriously believes that the Welsh Government's target of 1 million speakers can be achieved without Welsh-medium education. Dual stream schools will not help to achieve that target, and it is a great pity that Lee Waters is so equivocal about this. He does not seems to want to accept the work done in this field by Alun Davies or the Commissioner, Meri Huws.
As far as Llangennech is concerned, Lee's comments will bring little comfort. We are where we are, but the Assemby Member appears to have nothing to say aboutt he future.
The campaigners have lost their battle, and no good can come out of fighting on. Labour has close links to the group and could use its influence to bring that chapter to a close. To say that the process was predetermined is, under the circumstances, irresponsible and will serve only to prolong the bitterness.
What a pity it is that Lee is not telling his constituents that it is time to move on, accept a lawful and democratic decision and come together to make the school work.
Lee has his say below, and readers are invited to have theirs.
It is interesting to note what you say about Cymdeithas being advised to tread lightly as 'not to inflame an already sensitive situation'. It has been noted in your previous posts that I have dealt with the controversy 'quietly', but in my case you have projected more sinister motives onto my desire not to exacerbate divisions.
This is not the least bit surprising as this blog is a polemic, but there are those who should know better who see your posts as a form of hyper-local journalism. They are nothing of the sort, they are part of a partisan campaign with very clear intentions. Fair enough, but let's just be clear about it.
I have tried to deal with the issues around the categorisation of Llangenech in a sensitive and respectful way. I have written openly in the Llanelli Herald about my reservations about the focus of Carmarthenshire Council (under both parties) of achieving its Welsh Government targets to increase the number of Welsh medium places for 7 year-olds by turning all dual-stream schools in the county into Welsh medium schools.
There is no right or wrong about this, it is a matter of debate. We all agree about the objective of doubling the number of Welsh speakers by 2050 but there is no clear route map of how to do this - we need to discuss it.
In my view the way the local campaigners have conducted themselves is a separate matter to the policy issue of how the goal is achieved. However, in my experience the campaigners - who are overwhelmingly not political - have worked patiently in engaging in the consultation process the council have run. When it became clear that the process was predetermined some of them despaired.
When I became aware of the Neil Hamilton stunt (the day before) it was immediately clear that he was exploiting local discontent for party advantage. Much as I disagreed with the decision on categorisation I would never disrespect the parents or the school by taking part in a demo outside.
From what I have read Michella Beddows took the view that this was a non-party campaign and she would draw upon the support of anybody she could. I did my best to ensure the two members of the group I knew were Labour Party members did not take part.
I do not know Michella Beddows, and I can only remember meeting her once. I did not know she was a Labour member, and in fact after registering to join to support Jeremy Corbyn she did not in fact pay her membership fee so, it turns out, she does not consider herself as having ever been a party member. As soon as her role in organising the Hamilton stunt became evident the local Labour Party began moves to have her suspended - sometime before Jonathan Edwards started letter writing.
You have selectively quoted from the post I made on the group's Facebook page when they asked for people to join the demo. My intention was to gently warn them off their chosen course of action - this was a nonparty local campaign and is not my place to throw my weight around, nor my style.
"Careful about giving Hamilton a platform", you quote me as saying - with the implication that I was wilfully encouraging collusion. You do not quote the rest of my post: "They will grasp onto anything to make them look like a normal party. They are not. They promote intolerance and division".
I deplore UKIPs role in this. I share Huw Edwards's sadness of the way the village had been drawn into an ugly row.
As I tweeted over the weekend I genuinely believe if this had been handled more sensitively and patiently by the local Plaid Councillors at an earlier stage much of this could have been diffused.
In hindsight perhaps I could have be more vocal in warning of the dangers, but I was acutely aware of the sensitivities and I wanted no part in inflaming the situation.
Clearly lessons need to be learned from this whole affair. Openness and transparency around the future categorisation of schools is essential, as is a programme of genuine public engagement.
To my mind there are also broader questions about how the continuum is implemented and how we ensure that teaching of Welsh in English medium schools is dramatically improved, and we do not simply focus on one end of the continuum.
As the inquiry by the Assembly's Culture committee into how the policy of 1 million Welsh speakers is achieved has already found these are very complex questions. And they are not helped by inflammatory language, nor denunciations of anyone with a genuine concern as being anti-Welsh.