Irrespective of the issue involved, yesterday’s discussion was an uplifting and refreshing experience and showed that the county council is capable of sharing a common vision and sound leadership. It gave us a glimpse of what could be achieved if all three political groups worked together as a coalition. Unfortunately, the destructive system which gives all the power to the Labour-Independent group while denying formal input from Plaid Cymru (the largest group on the council) often results in us being at each others throats in Full Council meetings. While accepting the need for robust internal political scrutiny, it means that the experience and expertise of Plaid members go to waste. In this rare example of pooling cross-party talent through the Welsh Language Census Working Group, Cefin Cambell’s professional expertise in the linguistic field proved priceless. Yesterday’s event also showed that the Welsh language can be an issue which unites people of goodwill, whichever language(s) they speak and irrespective of party politics.
Cllr Alun Lenny
What remains to be seen, Cllr Lenny, is whether the vision shared by the Councillors is the same as the vision of the electors.
For myself I think that if I was part of the majority non-fluent Welsh speaking in Carmarthenshire and I'd just seen my councillor smilingly give away my own and my child's job opportunities to an already pampered Welsh speaking elite minority I would be seriously considering where my vote would go next time.
Cefin Cambells linguistic expertise didn't stretch so far as to tell the council that, when Welsh Medium schools are benchmarked against English medium schools for Free School Meals, then the WM schools underperform in core subjects on average.
His linguistic progression project is of course well known and universally loathed...except amongst Nationalists and Welsh speakers who see it as "pay back time" for the Welsh Not.
this sounds great from Mr Lenny, but this is what actually happened at the beginning of the Council term:
Plaid approached Labour for a coalition- they offered 2 cabinet members for Labour, and 8 for Plaid. Plaid said that they would not allow the Labour Group leader a position and they would choose which Labour councillors would be on the cabinet. I'm sure you would agree Labour could not agree to that. Kevin Madge has kept a copy of the offer for the record, to show that Plaid never had any intention of going into coalition with Labour. It was an offer designed to fail.
At the same time, Plaid approached the independents. But instead of approaching them as a group, they approached individuals and tried to pick off 10 councillors. the purpose of this was to leave half the independent group out of the administration and allow more cabinet positions for Plaid Cymru. Unfortunately this backfired as the independent group were approached by Labour and given a straight 50/50 offer, on the basis that Plaid were negotiation behind the backs of half the independent group.
Plaid did not offer any of the other two parties a politically balanced council as an option, and as the largest party the cards were all in their hands. It was poor negotiation management from their group leadership which left them completely aghast when Labour and the indies said they felt insulted by PHG's offers. If PHG had offered 4 Plaid, 3 Lab, 3 ind, it could have worked.
by the time Plaid did offer a three way coalition, most in the indy and Lab groups felt that Plaid were only going three way because they've been forced too after their mess of a negotiation in the beginning.
ultimately, this is why PHG has been nominated to the vice chair, to save the embarrassment of being ousted by members who feel angry about the way things went in May 2012.
When they are "Marketing" the advantages of WM schooling will they tell parents this:-
In 2013 at GCSE average attainment for maths in WM/EM schools benchmarked for Free School Meals was as follows:-
Up to 9% FSMs WM 72% EM 77%
9% to 12% FSMs WM 66% EM 68%
12% to 15%FSMs WM 65% EM 68%
15% to 18.4%FSMs WM 60% EM 62%
Will they tell Parents who have enthusiastically sent their child to WM primary school that the subject with the lowest Key stage2 assessment outcomes is...Welsh first language. Despite this (it's mostly the pupils from English speaking homes that have failed) other subjects, including maths, are taught through the medium of Welsh when a significant number of pupils are incapable of absorbing the information in Welsh.
In situations like this it should be law that the Cabinet is proportionate.
Interesting - it sounds as if they need a new leader - one that does not talk with forked tongue or one that is not a bit of a fanatic re language i.e. CC No wonder Labour did not trust Plaid -
When Plaid fights for the language they are fighting for their political life. No Welsh language, no Plaid. No Welsh language, no preferential treatment for the children of their electorate.
An excellent and positive message from Alun Lenny.
Might it all have gone so well because the CEO is no longer whispering in ears?
I see that the language trolls are active here too - its a real shame that some people have a real chip on their shoulders that they have to constantly spread misinformation.
I've got a question; when this all Welsh Council office is operating who is contracted to do the extra translation necessary?
"In this rare example of pooling cross-party talent through the Welsh Language Census Working Group, Cefin Cambell’s professional expertise in the linguistic field proved priceless."
Surely not priceless....Isn't he a paid subcontractor to Carmarthenshire CC advising on Welsh Medium education etc.
I don't know about translation Anon 15.21
What a load of rubbish what about people's human rights if it was the other way around Mr Lenny would be on the steps of county hall , this should be investigated by the police
This policy is one of the most frightening I have encountered. Where does personal choice regarding a child's education come into play? This is a basic right of a parent and surely contradicts the Human Rights Act. What a narrow and blinkered outlook.
For evil to triumph it is enough for men of good will to do .....nothing.
As long as there is no come back on the people who steal the rights and freedoms of the majority to further the ends of a cultural elite the march towards linguistic apartheid will continue unchecked.
At the moment any act, no matter how outrageous, that is designated as being..."To save the Welsh language" is unchallengable. Say that it is unjust and you will be branded "Un-Welsh" and a bigot. This is how Mccarthyism came to dominate the US.
You're just bitter Anon 20.47; Cefin Cambell has played a blinder; who would have thought that Labour would so easily be duped into throwing away council seats.
It's just the archetypal "Trojan Horse" ploy; wheel in a policy under the guise of something all rigt thinking people would agree with and sit back as it transpires that it's hugely divisive and favours one side to the detriment of the other.
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