Paul Nuttall told hecklers at a meeting in Porthmadog that they should speak English at ukip meetings in Wales, “We are one country, the majority of people in Wales speak English, if people come here they should learn English.”
Mr Nuttall, a here today, gone tomorrow politician, might care to reflect on the words of a former Member of Parliament for the constituency in which Porthmadog stood when that Right Honourable Gentleman was alive:
“Two thousand years ago the great Empire of Rome came with its battalions and conquered that part of Caernarvonshire in which my constituency is situated. They built walls and fortifications as the tokens of their conquest, and they proscribed the use of the Cymric tongue. The other day I was glancing at the ruins of those walls. Underneath I noted the children at play, and I could hear them speaking, with undiminished force and vigour, the proscribed language of the conquered nation. Close by there was a school, where the language of the Roman conquerors was being taught, but taught as a dead language!”
The Welsh language is one of the languages of the British. English is a mere stripling interloper in comparison. May be it too will be taught as a dead language some day?
May I further suggest to Mr Nuttall that he study well the style of the Welsh Wizard, a man who knew how to handle hecklers with finesse. One of his best retorts in his early days was to a Conservative who came to a Liberal meeting determined to stand no nonsense. “We must give Home Rule,” declared David Lloyd George, “not only to Ireland, but to Scotland as well, and to Wales.” “And Home Rule for Hell,” shouted a man in the audience. “Quite right,” said Lloyd George; “let every person stick up for his own country.”
Good advice, Mr Nuttall, you speak up for your idea of your country and let the rest of us stick up for ours. In doing so, you will be in line with ukip’s 2010 Manifesto commitment that “All cultures, languages and traditions from around the British Isles will be celebrated.”