Nanny Knows Best

Nanny Knows Best
Dedicated to exposing, and resisting, the all pervasive nanny state that is corroding the way of life and the freedom of the people of Britain.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Prats of The Week

Prats of The WeekTis 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:

I couldn't find "prats" in an on line Welsh dictionary, but here is part of it in Welsh: "Prats am y wythnos".


  1. Grant5:46 PM

    Sounds like quango justification to me.

    Put any old bollocks out to get in the media and ensure that one's emergence without trace to a level of command and control does not go unnoticed.

    Frankly I think all the cost of dual language government (documents, web sites, road signs and so on) should be eliminated. Think of all the extra energy waste and climate change that could be avoided, etc., etc.

    All complete bollocks.

  2. Such intolerance!

    Let's be clear on a few facts and less invective.

    Welsh is the national language of Wales.

    In Bangor Welsh is the first language of 85% of the local population.

    For a foreign company to dictate that staff shouldn't use their first language amongst themselves but be (and I quote from their own press release) "allowed to speak Welsh to their customers if their customers prefer" is as ignorant as your sad attitude.

    It's not about winning or losing.

    It's about having the freedom to speak one's first language in one's own country.

  3. 1 It's a British compnay not a foreign one

    2 The staff are allowed to speak Welsh amongst themselves, just not when conducting business

  4. 2. Not quite correct. The company's ludicrious rules are that the staff are allowed to speak Welsh amongst themselves but not concerning training. The company allows the staff to speak professionally in Welsh to customers where customers express that preference (as the majority of people in that region have Welsh as their first language, let's take that as a given, shall we?).

    1. There is no such language as British (and the outdated concept of 'Britain' is all but dead and buried to everyone except the 'turn back the clock' brigade). Welsh is an internationally-recognised language and the first language of Wales. Staff should be allowed to speak, not be proscribed from speaking, their first language. It is the banning in this 'sometimes ok, sometimes not ok' manner that is invidious.

  5. Anonymous9:32 AM

    >Let's be clear on a few facts

    Ok, if we're having facts... please cite your source for that 85% figure. On census figures, only 20% of the population can speak Welsh at all.