Incredible! Prime Minister of Wales against .cymru domain!
Absolutely incredible, Carwyn Jones, the First Minister of Wales has come out against having a domain for Wales in Welsh - the indigenous language of the country he governs!
At a debate at the National Assembly of Wales in Cardiff today (8 November 2011), the First Minister, a native Welsh speaker, in an answer to Elin Jones AM, said that he would not support a .cymru domain. The inference being he would only support .wales. There seemed to be no notion of supporting both domain names for his country.
Not only does he not favour the .cymru domain, but by his answer he is denying those thousands of members of the Welsh nation and community - thousands of whom don’t speak Welsh - the choice of using a .cymru domain too.
It rather raises the question of what is the point of having a Welsh Government at all if it won’t promote a language spoken by 20% of its population and supported by the vast majority of the population - what ever their language and background?
It begs the question - where is the Minister with responsibility for the Welsh language Leighton Andrews AM (who’s done sterling work in normalising the use of Welsh in education)? Was he ignored or not consulted? How does this decision fit with the Welsh Government’s commitment towards the Welsh language? Is the Welsh language Measure and the remit of the Welsh Language Commissioner worth the paper it’s written on - or is it just a ‘piece of paper’ to be waved in the air?
Leaving aside the Welsh language issue, the use of ‘Cymru’ has become increasingly commonplace with companies and institutions, especially since Devolution more than a decade ago. ‘Cymru’ is used proudly and with no problem by Welsh institutions and Welsh branches of UK institutions such as Shelter Cymru (housing), NFU Cymru (farming), RSPB Cymru (birdlife) etc. Carwyn Jones and the Labour party in Wales are now effectively turning the clock back for the Welsh language and the development of Welsh society.