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Follow your leader

Betsan Powys | 22:55 UK time, Monday, 25 May 2009

I wonder whether All Wales Convention member Aled Edwards spent today thinking about the event that kept me busy for most of the day?

He's been thinking about two events in fact.

"One had too much English in it and the other had too much Welsh. There is a wisdom that in the world of bilingualism if you get two sides complaining at the same time, you may just be getting the thing right.

Alternatively, you may be getting both wrong".

He's not naming names but is he, perhaps, wondering about the "national event" where I spent much of the day - the Urdd Eisteddfod that's taken over Cardiff Bay? The programme is bilingual. Those taking part are bilingual, or getting there. There is a welcome for all, bilingual or not. The event, however, happens in Welsh.

Not a case of too much Welsh, more like Welsh only.

But even yn Gymraeg, there was no escaping the expenses saga.

There was the competition for Year 6 pupils to prepare a project on the subject "On my iPod".

There was the teacher who wondered in passing whether Mr Urdd, who is selling non-alcoholic cocktails in his "luxurious flat" (looked like a tent to me) to the crowds who came to the Bay, will cough up Capital Gains Tax when he comes to sell it.

And the Senedd itself? That was home to the art, design and technology exhibition of works by children from schools all over Wales. The subject set to inspire them? "Arwain" or "To lead".

Over 2500 people came through the doors on day one to find that one winner had sketched a none-too flattering portrait of Rhodri Morgan and that President Obama was a favourite in textile pieces and print. But given the surroundings - home to the National Assembly and national debate - it seemed to me that a discomforting number of competitors had plumped for the idea of a crowd obediently, blindly, unquestioningly following their leader.

Kids eh?


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