Monday, 12 November 2012

History in the making

For all those that voted in the referendum to give the Assembly law making powers, today is an historic day. 

The first bill passed by the Welsh assembly is to become law.

And what pray was the the bill in question? A bill that passed the eagle eye of the Attorney general and allowed the Queen to pick up her pen and sign it into law. Well, its the National Assembly for Wales (Official Languages) Bill.

Well, it’s not the kind of bill that sets the pulse raising. Historic it might be, but who says history has to be interesting. This new law gives equal status to the Welsh and English languages in the Assembly. 

Worthy, yes, historic, maybe, but how many are going to be turned on by it. Not many, I’d wager. Whichever, language you read the proceedings of the Assembly in, you can be sure that it’s main effect will be, to cure insomnia.

Never mind, we Welsh love our ceremonies. So in a ceremony the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, fixed an official seal to the document. ‘Cos Carwyn Jones is not only the first minister but he’s also Keeper of the Welsh Seal. 

It’s aways so in Welsh life, you get rewarded with one title and others follow with monotonous regularity. 

But back to the ceremony.

The ceremony will consist of the first minister applying the seal and handing it to the clerk of the assembly. 

Ok, not much of a pageant granted. But it’s history, see. And in the famous words of “1066 and all that.” A thoroughly good thing


  1. I didn't know we had a seal of our own Gareth. I'm quite excited. But then I'm a politcis nerd, and a medeiveal history buff, so that not a surprise! And I'd accept I'm probably in a minority, possibly of one. Good to see you quoting 1066 and all that. Love that book. Think we need a Welsh version

  2. What's wrong with some ceremony gareth? We've had a summer full of English ceremony - Jubilee etc. Why not celebrate something Welsh for a change and give some status to our own senedd, language, culture and nationality.

    I also think it's very fitting that the first Bill is a Welsh language. This is a language which is unique to Wales and so could not be passed by anyone else but ourselves. Any other bill would be a variation of a bill any other country would pass. It's not boring it is historic. The language was banned for centuries, people were too embarrassed or cowered to speak it in public, it was a small language which thousands of people didn't pass on to their children 'cos the British state said it was worthless. No, don't be so begrudging.

    Despite everything, this is a good day for us. Let's celebrate.

    ... not so sure about the design of he seal though - I thought it was going to be a variation of Llywelyn's seal. In any case, let's celebrate.