You would expect a bloke called Davis to have a better grasp of what’s going on in Wales

Labour list MP Kelvin Davis, a bloke who was a school principal before becoming a parliamentarian, should go back to school as a bloody student and swot up on Welsh demographics.

Even better, he could bugger off to Wales tomorrow (howz about permanently???) His surname suggests that’s where he belongs.

He would soon find it’s a 50:50 bet the first bloke or bint he bumps into is a bastard.

Wikipedia gives the supportive data for that observation:

Wales accounted for 4.9% of the UK population in 2005, down from 5% in the period from the mid 1970s to the late 1990s.[1] Of the four countries of the United Kingdom, Wales had the highest percentage of births outside marriage (52.4%), and it was the only one where the majority of births were outside marriage in 2005.

Next, Davis would find that 74% of the Welsh population are self-identified as Welsh (identifying as Welsh only: 67%; Welsh and another national identity: a further 7%)

Oh, and then there’s the matter of the Welsh language and Welsh use of it:

* Percentage of the population aged 3 or more knowing spoken Welsh only: 4.93%;

* Percentage of the population aged 3 or more speaking Welsh but not reading or writing it: 2.83%

* Percentage of the population aged 3 or more speaking and reading Welsh but not writing it: 1.37%

* Percentage of the population aged 3 or more speaking, reading, and writing Welsh: 16.32%

* Percentage of the population aged 3 or more with some other skills combination: 2.98%

* Percentage of the population aged 3 or more with no knowledge of Welsh: 71.57%

Alf urges Davis to take those data on board and then to reconsider his silly use of Wales and Welsh as an examplar for we Kiwis when we contemplate how best to keep Te Reo alive.

Yes, they are 2001 census figures, but they are the best Alf could find and the Welsh Language Board has nothing more recent.

Davis would not normally bother Alf. But he has been banging on about the need for the Maori Language Act of 1987 to be given more clout if the Maori Language is to survive.

Alf’s constituents will sigh with exasperation at this typical Labour cure-all: the answer is always to change the bloody law or introduce a new one.

Davis goes on to recommend we consider taking a lead from Wales to keepi Te Reo alive.

“Forty years ago the Welsh language was where the Maori language is now. But because of steps that country has taken recently, Welsh is now spoken by the critical mass and is commonly used.

“The Welsh Language Act 1993 makes it mandatory for all public bodies to make it crystal clear what measures they’ll take to conduct public business in the Welsh language on an equal basis with English.

“All public services in New Zealand should be made to do the same – to explain exactly how they will conduct their affairs in both Te Reo Maori and English equally.

“For this to happen though, the present Maori Language Act must be beefed up.”

Well bugger me, Alf murmered on reading this pap.

What planet has Davis come from?

Oh, yes. Te Tai Tokerau .

Most people in Wales are Welsh.

Only 15% or so of people in New Zealand are Maori (but we do have plenty of bastards) and many Maori don’t much want to learn Maori.

Moreover, according to the data Alf presented above, Davis has more than somewhat overstated his case when he reckons Welsh is now spoken by the critical mass and is commonly used.

Mind you, Davis has the good grace to fall short of demanding compulsion, but he is calling for changes in attitudes towards Te Reo Maori in the private sector.

“While we can’t make it compulsory, it would be great if businesses that employ more than twenty staff and deal regularly with the public, like banks and supermarkets, had a person fluent in Te Reo available for anyone wishing to conduct their transactions in the Maori language.”

Alf wonders if Davis has stopped to wonder how many people in banks and supermarkets in fact wish to transact their business in Te Reo.

Not too many, surely, or the businesses would have responded already by hiring staff who can speak the language. The profit motive is powerful.

Davis obviously is aware there is a widespread disinclination to want to learn Te Reo or to use it when buying the groceries.

Otherwise he wouldn’t be talking about fabricating an environment in which Te Reo might be artificially nurtured.

“The conditions need to be created whereby Te Reo Maori is spoken, heard and read wherever you are in New Zealand.

“Other ideas that could be considered include introducing compulsory bilingual road signs, place names and other public signage, like on train platforms.

“It would also help if publicly funded English language TV programmes had Maori language sub-titles, newspapers provided bilingual headlines and stories and if TV hosts were bilingual.”

Davis concludes:

“If Maori is to be an everyday language, everyday New Zealanders need to be able to use it, not just Maori.”

The reality is that everyday New Zealanders don’t need to be able to use it and so don’t bother.

2 Responses to You would expect a bloke called Davis to have a better grasp of what’s going on in Wales

  1. adam2314 says:

    The reality is that everyday New Zealanders don’t need to be able to use it and so don’t bother.

    Right on BRO !!..

    Why are we spending so much money on attempting to preserve this nonsense, when so many of the Bro’s could not care less so long as the Welfare cheque keeps coming in ??..

    Come on Alf.. It is time for you to make your voice louder in the chamber.. To the point where Lockwood notices you :-))

    • Alf Grumble says:

      Thanks for the encouragement, adam2314. Trouble is, last time he noticed Alf, The Speaker threw him out of the chamber because of something said that was ruled unparliamentary.

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