As I don't live in Wales, perhaps its presumptious of me to try to
answer this. But the question prompted me to try scanning the on-line
version of 'The Times' for references to Wales in the past two years.
"Welsh Nationalism" yielded only passing references - no editorials
or serious comment, even during the election coverage.
"Welsh language" yielded some good news. The 1991 census data
relating to the language is now available. Some 500,000 people speak
Welsh - about 1 in 5 of the population. Although there has been a
slight decrease, the good news is that the figures for children
speaking Welsh are rising - by 6%. Overall the figure is one in four,
though in some parts of Wales its as high as 3 in 4. This is put down
to the growth of Welsh-language schools, even in less
(linguistically speaking) Welsh areas.
The Welsh language radio station, Radio Cymru, has increased its
share of the audience from 4 to 7%.
A new Welsh Language Bill has been published (I'm not sure if that
measn it is now law?). The government claim it will help strengthen
the position of the language; perhaps inevitably Welsh supporters say
that it does not go far enough. One definite ommission is that a
Welsh speaker taken to Court cannot demand a Welsh-speaking jury -
they therefore have to give their evidence in what may well be their
second language, or trust to the accuracy of the translation of their
evidence. (And hope that there is no one on the jury who is actively
opposed to the language.)
I hope someone with more contact with Wales will respond to this
question - though I don't live far away from Wales it is amazing how
little Welsh events/controversies/news get reported in the English
press. And since a recent gale misaligned my TV aerial, I can no
longer pick up S4C (the Welsh TV channel)!!!
John Rylands University Library of Manchester.