Another BBC misquote

I must admit to not having much time for navel-gazing programmes about what being Welsh is, but I read this report about today's Eye on Wales radio programme and saw that Adam Price was being quoted:

Former Plaid Cymru MP Adam Price believes the language issues "cuts both ways".

"It creates a deeper sense of national identity and gives us a tangible source of distinctiveness," said Mr Price. "On the other hand, it does divide us between two communities."

That sounded a little odd, so I listened to the programme on iPlayer and found that what he actually said was much fuller than that. This is the relevant extact:


Yet the BBC not only puts its very edited version in direct quotation marks, but actually manages to reverse the point he had made by missing out the "in some people's eyes" from:

"On the other hand it does divide us, in some people's eyes, between two communities ..."

There's something reassuring about the BBC's editorial bias. Like an ugly factory on a hillside, it would be quite a shock to wake up one morning and find it had disappeared.

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Anonymous said...

The reason Wales's isn't as 'developed' as the other two Celtic nations (Ireland and Scotland I assume) isn't because of the Welsh language. If it wasn't for the Welsh language I doubt there would be any definable Welsh national identity at all.

The Welsh language hasn't 'held back' the national movement it's created the national movement. It's the ability to speak Welsh or feeling of loss for not being able to speak it, which has been the galvinising force and the bed-rock for the national movement and ultimately for the foundation of the National Assembly.

Does it 'devide us'. Possibly, if only some non-Welsh speakers (and Welsh-speakers) have campaigned to keep it 'dividing' us by being against any concession or legitimacy for the language.

It's not the language which devides us, it's ideology. An adherence to an ideology that Britain is Best against an ideology that Wales is a colonised country, which is working through that colonised experience and can bring people together to create a new confident Welsh identity which is as a self-governing (or for some, independent) nation which is bilingual.

MH said...

That's the point, Anon. It's not the language that divides us, it's the attitude of some people to the language that divides us. Adam made the second point, but the BBC decided to "quote" him as having said the first.

I agree with your analysis: if it wasn't for the language, Wales would have become a part of England long ago.

Carl Morris said...

What's annoying about BBC journalism is this insistence that balance means "both sides" of any debate, where in reality there might actually be 7 sides or 10,000 sides or just 1 factual reading.

Anonymous said...

And honestly.. I don't see anything wrong, with seeing culture and heritage as somesort of slider. I'm not really German myself (only half), yet i'm more adapted to german culture as any other. So... why shouldn't, if someone is more adapted to a culture, language etc, be more german than others? I know many... 'germans' who can't even speak german - IN GERMANY! Honestly, that word in the ID is nothing more but that. A word and says nothing about the real identity behind it or the person. So.. why should one call someone german, who a) does not speak german b) does not even TRY to learn the language, c) does not WANT to integrate d)... ? Because he was born here, by chance? Sorry, but it doesn't make much sense to me soemhow. Culture etc is something one can learn and adapt to - if one only wants it.

Anonymous said...

addition: d) is possiblyn ot even partially genetically german ...

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