Tis a Monday morning, time methinks to award my prestigious and coveted "Prat of The Week" award.
This time it goes to the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) in Wales.
Seemingly Nanny's chums in the Welsh branch of the CRE have got their knickers in a right old twist, over the speaking of Welsh.
You may recall a wee while ago that Nanny banned her own minions in the civil service from speaking Welsh, because it was a health and safety risk to their vocal boxes.
However, now the boot is on the other foot; isn't it funny with Nanny how she keeps changing the rules, so that whatever we do or think we are always in the wrong?
The CRE says that it will write to Thomas Cook asking the firm to explain why staff have been asked not to speak Welsh.
Staff at the travel agents' Bangor shop in Gwynedd have recently been told all work conversations must be in English.
Thomas Cook told staff they must conduct business conversations in English, as it is the UK's common language.
They have a point do they not?
I mean, English is what we are all meant to speak isn't it???
The Welsh Language Board thinks otherwise, and has said it was "disappointed" and it would ask the company to change its position.
Thomas Cook confirmed the policy applied to all non-English languages, not just Welsh.
A company statement said:
"Thomas Cook requests that all staff speak English
when discussing work-related matters in the work place.
This ensures clear communication at all times
and is respectful to team members who do not speak other languages.
Thomas Cook employs staff from many cultural backgrounds,
therefore the company appreciates its staff
may want to talk to colleagues in other languages
for anything that is not business related".
To my simple mind, that seems a pretty fair and sensible policy.
However, Nanny has a different way of looking at things. The good old boys in the CRE in Wales have warned that the policy might be in breach of the Race Relations Act.
Note how they say "might", in the hope of intimidating Thomas Cook. Threats like this are always a nasty way to do things.
Wales Commissioner, the Reverend Aled Edwards, said the promotion of good relations was their "paramount concern".
"The Commission for Racial Equality does have
a power to investigate through its legal committee
and also if it sees fit to start a formal investigation
but I think common sense and courtesy would be the best option."
Common sense and courtesy would dictate, from my perspective, that the CRE butt out of this.
Meri Huws, chair of the Welsh Language Board, said:
"a very surprising decision, in the light of the number
of private sector companies, large and small,
that are choosing to use the language
in terms of marketing, in terms of services
to their customers, and generally in
day-to-day work place activity".
The key point here is that it is up to the companies how they work to best serve the market. Thomas Cook have made their decision in good faith, and should be left in peace.
It can be assumed that the person who doubtless complained about this speaks perfectly good English, I wonder what the real motivation for the complaint was?
CRE Wales, well deserved "Prats of The Week".
Drop them an email, to let them know that they have won: InformationWales@cre.gov.uk
I couldn't find "prats" in an on line Welsh dictionary, but here is part of it in Welsh: "Prats am y wythnos".