As you know, the editors of our staff newsletter kindly set aside this page for me to have the final word on matters of the moment, but this month I have decided to break with tradition and ask my old friend Dame Muriel to elaborate on comments she made at our most recent Executive Board Meeting on the subject of the new Welsh language policies which are being imposed upon us.
Sir Ephraim Jams CBE
Ever since I announced my intention of standing down at the next elections, thousands of you have written imploring me to reconsider my decision in view of the very dark times which now face us. "Dear Dame Muriel", the tear-stained letters begin, "we, your humble and loyal employees, beg of you to save us in our hour of greatest need and to act to save your wonderful legacy to the people of this county".
They refer, of course, to the twin threat of the so-called 'Safonau Iaith' cooked up by some mad woman with a dodgy dress sense in Cardiff called Mary Hughes, or as she would have it, Meri Huws, and a set of new language policies voted in by an extremist minority of 73 councillors when Sir Ephraim was unfortunately resting at home while the police investigated certain entirely lawful and reasonable payments.
Did you realise that everything will now have to be in Welsh? The Language Unit tells me that I will henceforth be known as Y Fonesig Cerrig Mân, while my dear friend Pam will become Y Foneddiges (that's not as important as a Fonesig, by the way!) Siani Flewog on the advice of someone called Bruce who told them that her name in Welsh meant a kind of loathsome hairy caterpillar.
Sheer madness. Poor old Pam.
But it does not stop there. Under the new policy, those of you not up to scratch will be forced to attend compulsory training in Cynghanedd and something called the Treiglad Trwynol. Any officer called upon to speak in the Council Chamber will first have to pass an examination in something called 'Llefaru'. All zumba classes in our leisure centres will be replaced by compulsory clocsio, and the staff canteen will in future serve only cawl and a concoction called Wyau Môn.
Pamela tells me that some staff have come to her distraught because e-mails they wrote in Welsh were returned to them with corrections to spelling and grammar. But much worse is to come. I understand that a squad of jack-booted inspectors from a body called Cylch yr Iaith will be deployed in all offices to weed out anyone who abuses the Treiglad Llaes.
Offenders will be sent to a boot camp in Llanybydder, and will be told "Dewch â phecyn bwyd".
All of this thanks to Kim Jong Dole and his merry men (and women).
Now, I'm not against the Welsh language, but consider this: when Wales enjoyed the independence these fanatics are agitating for, we didn't even have electricity or computers, and there were certainly no weekly bin collections. The economy consisted mainly of cattle rustling, and in view of what happened to a certain Mr William de Braose*, what English tourists in their right mind would want to come here?
As I have warned repeatedly, if we are not very careful, all of the wonderful regeneration work I have done will have been in vain, and investors will run a mile before you can say Croeso i Sir Gâr.
And finally, there may be those of you who think, "why should I worry? I don't work for the council, and I'm not planning to apply for grants to open a swanky new luxury B&B".
Well, let me tell you. Back in the bad old days when Wales ran its own affairs, leprosy and the Black Death stalked the land. If you insist on using your so-called rights under the Safonau Iaith and saying "Bore da, Doctor" when you go to your local surgery, there soon won't be any doctors and nurses. It'll be back to the druids with their remedies of mistletoe and boiled weeds mixed with dried cow dung for you.
So don't come crying to my wonderful new Wellness Village. You won't be able to afford it anyway.
I do not wish to spread alarm, but you have been warned.
* He was caught having an affair with the wife of Llywelyn Fawr, Prince of Wales, and she was made to watch from her bedroom window as he had his bits cut off before being hanged. Ed.
Brilliant as ever
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