Now, I can remember a headline that said, ‘All Welsh must speak Welsh’. A bit irresistible you must admit.
In case any of you have forgotten, the article concerned Carmarthenshire County Council’s passionate foray into film making ie producing a promotional video for the leisure and tourist industry, you know the sort of thing, pull in English tourists to enjoy all our hotels, B&B’s etc And no harm in that, we need the business. We’ll leave schools out of it, they have already done a great deal to demolish education.
The thing is they employed a young Welsh lad to do the talking on the video, give the English a bit of genuine Welsh way of life seemed to be the idea. Fair enough again, just one problem. No-one in England could understand what the young chap was saying! According to some market research done in Sheffield of all places (come to think of it, have you ever tried understanding what Sheffieldonians are saying?), the boy’s accent was far too strong and therefore difficult to understand for those of a non-Welsh persuasion, come to think of it, those people who are Welsh too!!!
But here’s the best bit, a spokeswoman for the council was heard to ponder, “the young boy had lost his two front teeth just prior to filming, which made him more difficult to understand”.
Good job then, he wasn’t auditioning for the Milky Bar Kid!
Naturally, the Army of Home Rulers (Plaid Cymru) got in on the act and declared, “Local accents should be treasured (what happens if you can’t understand them?) and they play an important part in our identities”. Well fair play here, local accents are indeed de rigueur in broadcasting at the moment, so far be it for me to start open warfare with Plaid – these aficionados for independence, nothing like self-righteous delusions where this type of thing is discussed, where on earth they are going to get the billions of pounds subsidised by Westminster from heaven knows – the thing is though should ‘local’ deter bucks coming into the coffers of our cash-strapped leisure and tourism providers?
Finally, the article reminded me of an occasion recently (you may well have read something about this), when I had to do a 101 to Dyfed Powys Police. The recorded voice that came on the line was so ‘local’ I couldn’t understand a word. And the fellow wasn’t speaking Welsh either!
Conclusion? God help any foreigners who come to Wales with toothache or have their dentures pinched!