There are many good reasons why the Conservative Party should become full-blooded champions of the Welsh Language. The main reason is that its the right thing to do. Another (less honourable perhaps) is that it would be a big electoral plus for us. More so than any other political party in my opinion. We are still sometimes dismissed as being 'English', which offends me hugely - something to do with pit owners 100 yrs ago I think! Lord Roberts of Conwy challenged this perception brilliantly for many years, but I do think we need to take it more seriously again.
I don't mean token bilingualism. The odd "Bori Da" by non-Welsh speakers making a laudable effort is not enough. I mean standing up proud for a full-blooded bilingual nation named Wales. No leaflets produced by the central party anything but fully bilingual. All advertising material produced centrally fully bilingual. Major meetings equipped for translation. Constituency offices offering callers a bilingual service, transferring to a central bilingual contact if no Welsh speaker available. We must never force anyone to listen, or join in. That does more harm than good - breeding resentment. But the Welsh Language must be really special to us, and everyone should know its special to us.
Perhaps this is not going to happen. Perhaps its just my imagination on fire again. Anyway that's not the point. My point is that dreaming this dream, and shouting it from the tops of Snowdon and Plynlumon is what we Tories should be doing - not despite us being Tories but because we're Tories. And it will make us more popular, and morev people in Wales will vote for us.
Across the world, it is parties of the centre/right which support 'regional' government, and minority rights. Its a centre/right philosophy to accept freedom of minorities to live as they wish. Its libertarian right to respect people's right to diversity rather than forced compliance to the usual. Its the Welsh Language that makes Wales different. Sure, we have mountains - but so does Scotland. Better bigger mountains. We have a lovely coastline. So does Cornwall. But we are the only part of Britain which has a significantly used and living language. Its a great USP. We should build on it.
When it comes to it, its always been the Conservative Party that took the decisive steps which stopped the remorseless decline of the Welsh Language over the last 40 yrs. When I won a bardic chair for an essay on the future of the Welsh Language in the 1960s I concluded it would wither to academic use only within a century. Not now. Its been a dramatic turnaround, which the Tories can take a big part of the credit for. But sometimes we seem almost embarrassed about what we have achieved. I want to see the Tories loved by the Welsh people. I want to see the Tories admired and voted into power by the Welsh people. Let us become full-blooded champions of our unique language and it could happen.