Thursday, December 16, 2010

Double Standards?

Now just imagine that a Westminster based Conservative Minister, Jeremy Hunt or Ed Vaisey has said this. "I don't see any point protecting the name or the brand of S4C." and "The idea that our priority should be to save a television channel appears to me to be bizarre because what we want to be looking for is as much Welsh language content, with sufficient choice, across as many platforms as possible" - and a whole lot more in similar vein. Cymdeithas yr Iaith would be marching from Aberystwyh to London to smash up Government minister's offices. Angharad would be very very cross indeed - furious even. Posters of Conservative MP's would be plastered across the billboards of Wales, adorned with horns.

But wait. These words were spoken by Plaid Cymru's most respected (by me anyway) and admired (by me again) politicians ever to represent the Party - Lord Dafydd Elis Thomas, Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales. So we've not heard a peep of objection from the usual suspects. Where is the 'rally' to defend the Welsh Language? Where is the uprising of national outrage? Nowhere to be seen or heard - because its not a Conservative who uttered these words.

Just imagine if Jeremy Hunt or Ed Vaisey had described the performances of Rheon Tomos, Vice Chairman of S4C and Arwel Ellis Owen, acting Chief Executive before the Welsh Select Committee as "appalling" with "no understanding of governance". The carnage that would have been visited upon Westminster is fearful to contemplate. Welsh Language activists would have called down the wrath of the Gods on these 'English Tories'. The truth is that Westminster Conservatives have fought like dragons to save S4C, (I know. I was there) and Jeremy Hunt has ensured that the channel has a sustainable budget into the future, and when we have some sensible discussion, a deal with the BBC which ensures S4C's operational and editorial independence will be hammered out. And its worth mentioning in passing that his noble Lordship has always supported this sort of relationship between S4C and the BBC!!

Now I've had my concerns about some aspects of how S4C has been managed, but I've tried to be circumspect in what I've said in public. And unlike my great noble friend, the most glamorous tribune the daffodil party, I support retaining S4C as an independent Welsh Language channel. I believe it has a vital role to play if we are to retain and grow our beautiful national language. Thankfully, I'm not alone at Westminster in this opinion.


Matthew said...

the difference glyn i guess is that dafydd ellis thomas has no control over S4C. The culture minister who has been so out of touch and who has treated S4C with so much contempt, no legal advice taken, didnt even bother to tell S4C or the WAG that this deal with the BBC had been done etc, has.

Anonymous said...

Daf Ell
"admired" and "respected"
by himself I think!!.

I think you've mixed with the wrong Dafydd there Glyn, I'm sure you should've meant Dafydd Wigley!

MH said...

Isn't that exactly the point, Glyn? You might admire and respect Dafydd Elis-Thomas, but that might equally explain why so many people in Plaid Cymru don't ... well, not in recent years at least.

As Llywydd he has become almost like the Speaker in the Commons. He doesn't take part in the party politics of the Assembly, and that's probably for the best. The unfortunate thing for us is that it deprives Plaid (for he is in a rock solid seat) of a politician who would be able to more actively contribute to policy in the Welsh Government.

To me he is obviously following a private—and to be frank, personal—agenda of his own with regard to S4C. As I mentioned here, I was struck by the viciousness of what he said in the Politics Show over the weekend, and this is just more of the same. It's embarrassing to see him behave in this way and if, as he said in the interview, he really isn't sure about wanting to remain as Llywydd for a fourth term, I think he would be well advised to let someone else stand for the constituency in the next election.

Anonymous said...

trying to stir up trouble and strife in the plaid camp are we glyn and comments suggest that you have managed to do it

Glyn Davies said...

Mathew - thanks for offering such a good example of the point I was trying to make!

Anon - Must admit I have huge respect for Lord Wigley as well. Saw him last week and he was looking in splendid form. He will bring great credit to the red benches. Plaid Cymru will be well represented by their Lords.

MH - but the Plaid Cymru AMs all vote for him - and in my opinion will all vote for him again next May. You may not like it, but its the way it is.

Anon 2 - me!! never let it be said.

MH said...

Yes Glyn, the Plaid AMs vote for him to be Llywydd ... but you are wrong to think I don't like it.

Had it never occurred to you that some/many/most might do it in order to keep him away from front line policy matters ;-)

Glyn Davies said...

MH - I genuinely believe he has been one of the two outstanding AMs since the Assembly was created, the other being Sue Essex. The different way we see things is why politics is so interesting.

Anonymous said...

S4C really is a bit of a joke. Poor programmes, most in English and only kept going pretty much by English advertisments. I don't think there will be many people ezcept for the hard core Welsh Nats that will mourn its demise.

Anonymous said...

Well said Anon. Goodbye S4C, we should not be subsidising any broadcaster (BBC included) with taxpayers' money in these crunch times. Live on your advertising revenue or become extinct. Law of the jungle in which we now live.