Wales in 2012 - the year of ...



First, some firsts:

The first Act passed by the Assembly, the first visit by the Welsh government and the Assembly to the Supreme Court in London, the first woman elected to lead Plaid, the first tranche of the Silk Commission's work done and - they hope - not left on a shelf to be dusted in years to come.

Labour flew through the local elections. only to land slightly awkwardly when the very first Police Commissioners were elected.

Definitely not firsts? Floods again, more dire economic predictions, the row over child abuse in North Wales rekindled and Awema, the 19th report in a row from the Wales Audit Office criticising the way the Welsh government deals with grant management.

2012 gave rise to a new double act in Westminster - Smith and Jones. Owen and David will take up the cudgels again come 2013. In Cardiff, the rumoured first shake up of Carwyn Jones' cabinet never came. Will there be one after Christmas, he was asked last week? "There is nothing planned" he said, "though after Christmas is pretty open ended ..."

Differences borne from devolution grew in 2012 - what it is to learn, qualify, teach in Wales and England will diverge all the more in 2013. What it is to fall ill, prevent, treat and care in Wales and England looked increasingly distinctive too.

2013? Feel free to predict what it'll bring.

Until then, a very merry Christmas to you all, with a special mention and an extra glass or two for the cheery lot who've kept the comments flowing all year long.

Nadolig llawen i chi un ag oll a blwyddyn newydd dda!

Betsan Powys Article written by Betsan Powys Betsan Powys Former political editor, Wales

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  • rate this

    Comment number 37.

    34 Boxer, Yes I'm a Taff, monoglot English, understand basic Welsh greetings (Tredegar born)

    32 Alf
    I work in the public sector in Wales. English speaking colleagues are told to answer the phone in Welsh, even though they cannot converse further if the conversation continues in Welsh,but still To me that's silly, but still forcing in any language

  • rate this

    Comment number 36.

    32: Alf: We are all forced from birth to speak English and in extreme circumstances at the end of a whip or cane. It makes my blood boil when these clowns say Welsh is forced when all we require is equality for a language once percecuted by English decree. Why is language racism the acceptable face of prejudice in 2012?

  • rate this

    Comment number 35.

    First congrats to Betsan on another year of unquestioning cheerleading. As for 2013, well further steps towards the insular oblivion of devolution and delusion. Breaking news from a welshman working in England, the border is a line on the map, it isnt real. Love and good wishes to you all.

  • rate this

    Comment number 34.

    Assuming Celticace is Welsh, which he seems to be, even if he doesn't seek that as a label, then his opposition to the onward encroachment of Welsh cannot be xenophobic. Stick to the shorter words in English, it can be a tricky language for those that do not have it as their native tongue. All those confusing apostrophes.

  • rate this

    Comment number 33.


    Come on, re instate the post at 26

    I believe I wrote that when I was growing up I was taught my nationality was British.
    I have a new passport issued in December, I have to admit I haven't as yet read much Welsh in it. I'll take another look and let you know if I find any.
    FTR, I have absolutely no issue with the Welsh language. Giving it priority over other issues atm however is idiotic

  • rate this

    Comment number 32.

    24 gonoph. Where is the evdidence that Welsh is being forced on you. Are you being frogmarched to Welsh classes against your will at gun point. If you don't want to speak Welsh or learn it that is your democratic right. As it is the democratic right of those who do speak the language to use it. They are able to use it on equal terms as English by Law. The problem is yours not theirs.

  • rate this

    Comment number 31.

    30: This from a person who said he never regarded himself as Welsh in a past post but attacks me for lambasting a buffoon for language hate towards Cymraeg. Do you hear me attacking the use of English? Answer: NO but I do attack you and others use xenophobic rhetoric towards Welsh or Wales in general. Is it April the 1st already as the clowns are out and about?

  • rate this

    Comment number 30.

    The post at 26 should not have been removed.
    Such was the level of bile and vitriol it should have been left as a reference point for us all, one we could have referred the author toward for some reflective thinking. It actually showed the authors true feelings and contempt of English speaking Welsh folk!

  • rate this

    Comment number 29.

    28: And your post was a virtue of peace and goodwill and in no way full of menace towards anothers native language. 2013 will fast approach but you remain in the past, ignorant and full of bile. I on the other hand have a clear conscience, happy in the fact that you hate so much to the point of having an ulcer not to mention the progression of Devolution. Happy Xmas Mr Scrooge!

  • rate this

    Comment number 28.

    MabionGlyndwr @ 22.

    Be careful with that tongue.

    It must be difficult sharpening one that is so forked.

    A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all the residents of this small but lovely part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 27.

    (since the language rules seemed to have slipped) I shall, in my voluntary learnt whilst at school, native tongue wish you all:

    Nollick Ghennal as Blein Vie Noa


  • Comment number 26.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 25.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 24.

    So, leighrichards @ 15, just what do you mean by "denigration"?

    Do you mean that those who disagree with the viewpoints of the language fanatics are to be guilty of this heinous hate 'crime'. I do not agree with Welsh being forced upon we, the unwilling.

    Welsh has no part in our lives and is useless to us. Let it die a natural death. We won't miss it

    Is that denigratory enough for you?

  • rate this

    Comment number 23.

    Mab you are a tonic He he he

  • rate this

    Comment number 22.

    A Merry Christmas/ Nadolig Llawen to all that want our beautiful nation of Wales to prosper financially & politically. To the minority that don't please remove your giblets before receiving a good stuffing on Gas mark: OMG whilst always washing your hands afterwards. Mabionglyndwr (sharpening his tongue ready for 2013)

  • rate this

    Comment number 21.

    19.To put it as mildly as possible he was the man as SoSoW who was instumental in taking money from the Aberfan Fund to pay for the removal of the tips the Government, through the NCB were responsible for. Ron Davies later appologised for it and called it a wrong. that had to be righted.

  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    19 That man!!!!!!!! please if I put on here what any Welsh person worth their salt thought of him and I don't mean Lloyd George. I would be banned for life from here. The mention of the name raises the hair on the back of my head. This comment probably won't even get past the first hurdle. Aghhhhh!!!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    Although my father did not know Lloyd George he was friends with George Thomas, who I remember was very vocal in his opposition to compulsory "Welshification" A sentiment I share. A beautiful language, but one that should be learned voluntarily, not by a minority ramming it down the throats of the majority

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    A happy Christmas and healthy and prosperous new year to you all.


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