Huw Lewis, probably the biggest fish in the valley contingent that we all assumed Eluned and Carwyn meant, calls the claim nonsense, bonkers and self-deluded. Apparently Huw Lewis has never come across any person in his party who is against the Welsh Language. Everyone in Labour loves the Welsh language!
Well, Eluned and Carwyn may be trying to distance themselves from the matter, but this is certaintly not the first time that prominent Labour members have made such comments...
The Wales Labour Party has been attacked by one of its own MPs for "shamefully" ignoring the state of the Welsh language in order to further the party's electoral position. Newport West MP Paul Flynn, speaking in the Welsh language current affairs magazine Barn, said greater efforts had to be made to protect the Welsh language. MrFlynn said some Labour politicians were guilty of joining a tabloid "witchhunt" against the language "in the belief that it is politically advantageous". (BBC 2001)
Paul’s (Murphy) antagonism to the Welsh language is not skin deep. He shares with MPs Alan Williams (Swansea West) and Llew Smith a tribal phobia of Welsh (Paul Flynn 2008)
Does Mr Lewis consider Paul Flynn to be bonkers then?
The one quote from Huw Lewis that made me laugh most however was this...
What people expect from Labour is first of all that they are a unifying force across Wales, [and] any party that sets out to pit one part of Wales against another is doing a bad thing.”Considering the organised assault on the Welsh language back in 2000/01 which I discussed in my earlier post and which Paul Flynn was talking about in the first quote, I assume that Huw Lewis will admit that back in 2001 Welsh Labour was "doing a bad thing"?
P.S. If Huw Lewis wants to do some investigating into finding the anti-Welsh language parts of Labour, I'd suggest he starts here:
Chris Bryant, Paul Murphy, Don Touhig, Alun Michael, Ian Lucas, Nick Ainger, Ann Clwyd, Andrew Pelling and John McDonell
Those were the signatories of the Early Day Motion to ensure Welsh was never announced before English in train stations in the majority of Wales. (What the hell was the MP for Hayes and Harlington and the MP for Croydon doing signing such an EDM!?)