Conservatives' debate on Welsh cultural identity


The first minister announced Wales would have St David's awards from 2014, on 27 February 2013.

Carwyn Jones made the announcement during the Conservatives' debate on national identity.

The conservatives used the debate to call on the government to support calls for St David's day to be a national holiday in Wales.

Leader of the Conservatives in the Assembly Andrew RT Davies said it was the best way to promote Welsh as a destination.

He said "there is great understanding around Northern Ireland and Scotland but Wales is very much a footnote in people's minds …others have stolen a march on Wales"

Making St David's Day a bank holiday has been a Welsh Conservative manifesto commitment since 2007 according to the Pembrokeshire AM Paul Davies.

He said it would not be in addition to present bank holidays but one that could take the place of one of the public holidays in May.

Liberal Democrat AM Peter Black said he was in favour of a public holiday on St David's Day.

The Assembly voted unanimously in favour of it in 2000.

But he warned that addressing the decline in the Welsh language should be a greater concern for politicians.

Deciding on such matters should be the responsibility of the Welsh assembly according to Plaid Cymru's Lindsey Whittle.

"We shouldn't have to go cap in hand to the UK government; this national assembly should make the decision."

The Conservatives also want to see the creation of a Welsh honours system.

"The order of St David" as it was put by Conservative David Melding, would, he says, project Wales to a worldwide audience.

Labour AM Ken Skates said an honours system should reflect the fact that Wales is a country that does things very differently and called for a powerful degree of democratic participation in a Welsh honour system.

Replying to the debate the First Minister said he would support calls for both a new bank holiday and an honours system.

Although the government would not want to undermine the current system, Carwyn Jones said from 2014 he will be awarding the St David award.

It would be organised but not delivered by Government.

Recipients would be "ordinary people who do ordinary things, people who do more than they need to, people who raise the profile of Wales abroad".

Carwyn Jones stated that a bank holiday has no legal effect but added he's open to suggestion to seek the power to declare a public holiday in Wales.

Darllenwch hwn yn Gymraeg

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