>Although the Welsh are not a homogenous group, there is widespread support
>in Wales for yr hen iaith (the old language) (over 90% claim pride in it,
>even if they don't speak it). In other words - most people in Wales are
>already convinced that survival of the language is a good thing. The
>important issue is that those who speak it should not be obstructed from
>doing so by lack of English government support (eg legislation/policies
>safeguarding its use).
I was in South Wales at the weekend for my sister's wedding (in Swansea) and her reception (in Llanelli). I hadn't been to Wales for quite a long time by car - when you go by train you don't notice road-signs or place-names nearly as much as when you enter Wales by car. There seems to have been a significant increase in the use of Welsh on roadsigns, with signs for motorway roadworks or other information being in Welsh first and _then_ English - when I was waiting for a train at Llanelli station the weekend before last, all announcements were in Welsh _then_ English. It appears there is some (local?) government policy to encourage the use of it - and watching S4C gives the strong impression that a lot of people speak Welsh as an equal first language to English (not just the presenters, but people they interviewed on the news and stuff like that).
>Whose livelihood? By definition *all* Welsh speakers are bilingual (English)
>and so can conduct business in English with people inside/outside of Wales
>if they so choose. Within Wales, the qustion is: why should Welsh speakers,
>in their own country, be forced to use another language if they would rather
You tend to use the phrase "by definition" in an inappropriate way (sorry, I noticed on the message before that said "by definition westerners are english-speaking") - by definition all Welsh-speakers are 'people who speak Welsh' (fairly self-explanatory), not 'people who speak Welsh as a second language' / 'people who speak Welsh and English'. I've encountered at least one person (in their seventies, admittedly) who spoke only Welsh and no English.
>If the Americans knew they would die tomorrow unless they stopped being so
>bloody patronising, I'd guarantee the world would be minus 250 million
>people by breakfast.
LOL! (But not in any racist sense, of course)
>So let's not discuss politics at all then, unless it's in praise of some
>particular politician or the system as a whole. Sorry, but unless you're on
>valium or prozac, most discussions on politics end up with a critical analysis.
Oh - I was just about to sing Mo Molam's praises, I think she's great, but I don't think I will now.