It has been announced that the Children’s Commissioner for Wales will not be investigating the claims made by anonymous, anti-Welsh language website BiLingo. (While the website seems to be still open the Twitter account has closed.) There could have been no other decision. The real mystery is why the Commissioner ever took the slanderous and unfounded allegations seriously.
And yet, despite failing to persuade the Commissioner to get involved ‘BiLingo’ was a huge success. For the Children’s Commissioner wasn’t the real target at all, it was major English newspapers like the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph, both of which accepted the allegations and even embellished them! Which meant that BiLingo’s unfounded allegations reached millions of people. Just think about that. Add all the other anti-Welsh propaganda in the English media in recent months, including gems like Roger Lewis’ ‘Welsh Taliban‘ piece in the Daily Mail (though the term itself was quickly dropped from MailOnline) and appreciate what we’re up against.
In the run-up to the Scottish referendum in the autumn of 2014 we can expect more racist bullshit such as we’ve been subjected to in recent months. It might even get worse. My reason for saying that is as follows.
In the run-up to the referendum the eyes of the world will, increasingly, be on this island. With memories of the Irish Troubles still fresh, people from Trondheim to Tierra del Fuego will wonder why many Scots now want to break away from England. That the Scottish referendum is happening at all will reflect badly on England’s reputation and prestige around the world. Also, foreign journalists will simplify the debate into a Scots versus English thing; and the Scots have a head-start in the popularity battle: Great people – gave the world golf and whisky . . . red hair and kilts . . . Wully off The Simpsons . . . bagpipes . . . Scotty from Star Trek . . . Braveheart . . . never oppressed other countries . . . Making Scots instantly recognisable and popular; the English less so, for all sorts of reasons: attitudes to the EU, imperial legacy, even Hollywood casting so many English villains nowadays.
This being so, the last thing England needs in the autumn of 2014 is a third troublesome province. Because if that happened, governments and journalists around the world would really go to town. (Just imagine how it would rankle with London if the Chinese government accused England of treating its ‘minorities’ badly!) So we Welsh must be cowed into submission and silence. And it will be easy. As we saw before Christmas with BiLingo, and the attacks in the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph, we have no media to question and expose such slanders; certainly not to take on a London daily! Our political class is nothing more than a desperate collection of drunks, dilettantes and deadbeats. There is no extra-parliamentary opposition. So to all intents and purposes, we Welsh are defenceless. And silent. Which means we shall be ignored.
A great pity, because as I say, there will be journalists in Britain from all over the world looking for stories. They will soon realise there are three countries, and three administrations; which will, inevitably, lead them to ask about Wales. What answers will they get? If we leave it to the Welsh Management, or the Wales Office, or BBC West Anglia, they’ll get some cheesy, touristy image telling them that everything is just hunky-dory. So do we stay silent . . . or do we capitalise on this media attention to publicise the wreck that is Wales? Exposing the poverty, the deprivation, the colonisation, and all the other ills. I say it’s an opportunity too good to miss. Start preparing!