"The arms that you wield now are not such as your forefathers wielded; but they are infinitely more effective, and infinitely more irresistable" ~ Cymru Fydd leaflet, 1890

Sunday 24 January 2016


They've only gone and done it again. The Western Fail, the self-titled 'national newspaper of Wales' has insulted Welsh speakers once again in a piece that made Welsh education sound like a disability.

There's no such thing as bad publicity, right? - Share via twitter | facebook
Screenshots via Rhun ap Iorwerth and Nic from Wales
Newsreader Lucy Owen is pictured speaking with rugby international Jamie Roberts. Jamie is telling Lucy about the benefits of Welsh medium education. The Western Mail and its ghastly website Wales Online decided to run with the following.

"She goes to see Wales rugby star Jamie Roberts, who, despite being taught in Welsh until we was 18, is now a qualified doctor and currently studying for his Master in (sic) Science degree at Queen's College, Cambridge."
Perhaps if he was studying in a French university you could argue that this wording be acceptable. But since we all know that those who attend Welsh medium education have fluency in both Welsh and English then this is not an excuse that is going to fly.

The website made a quick edit to it's story but the screen shots had already been taken and circulated. The hashtag #DespiteBeingTaughtInWelsh trended across Cardiff (you can only select cities or the UK as a whole) and later across the UK. Another shit storm had erupted, you can see countless more examples via the #WesternFail tag on twitter.

The Treachery of the Western Fail. Share via twitter
Later in the evening they tweeted what they believed to have been an apology. and in typical Wales Online fashion you had to visit their ghastly site to be able to read it. You can view an archived copy of the tweet and the replies it received via this link.

So here's what they think is an apology.

"* We sincerely apologise, of course, for unintended offence caused by the use of the word 'despite' in the Western Mail version of this article and in an earlier online version. The context of the piece is about the merits of Welsh medium education, which we love and admire.

The reporter's intention was to make the point that having to or choosing to study later in English at university did not create a disadvantage for a pupil taught in the Welsh language. Far from it, in fact. We are mortified that a different view has come across."

To me it sounds like they are only sorry because of the shit storm it created since their newspaper is failing so badly that they cannot afford to lose more readers. They also make it quite clear that if you were offended by the use of the word 'despite' then this is your fault for being a thicko and you should have realised what the professional journalist writing it actually meant instead of just assuming it was a Freudian slip.

I'm not fortunate enough to be able to blame my stupidity on Welsh medium education, I was probably just born stupid. But it does explain why I am only fluent in English and not fluent in both Welsh and English.

As I'm such a nice guy I've added a little widget so you can see some of the #DespiteBeingTaughtInWelsh tweets.

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