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A brief 2009 Hansard trawl - featuring welsh bashing (not by me), and multiple proofs that not only are we governed by philistines, but we are philistines too.

Just how long is a piece a string?:

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what criteria his Department uses to determine whether to mark anniversaries of cultural and sporting events in the UK's national history.

Mr. Sutcliffe: We do not have set criteria to determine whether to mark sporting and cultural anniversaries.

This was a follow up to Simpson discovering that all that is being done to mark the 400th anniversary of the first publication of the King James Bible - one of the cornerstones not only of our language but of our culture - is that a copy will be exhibited at the British Library.  Well whoopee do. 

Toby Ellwood opts to speak for England, as it were:

Mr. Ellwood:  To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 16 October 2009,  Official Report, columns 1144W, on licensing laws: languages, in how many languages tests relating to obtaining a personal licence for the retail sale of alcohol can be taken in; and if he will amend his Department's criteria for accredited personal licence course providers to stipulate that examinations must be taken in English.

Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 22 October 2009]: Accredited licence course providers decide what languages tests can be taken in. I have no plans to make it a requirement that exams be taken in English only, not least as this would be contrary to the Department’s Welsh language policy

Given that Welsh has a greater claim to being an indigenous language to these islands than English, I'm on Sutcliffe's side here.  Ellwood represents the less than Cambrian seat of Bournemouth East.  I doubt that he has lodged the question because the landlord of his local looks non-plussed if he orders 'a half of light ale and a sweet sherry for my good lady', being a monoglot welsh speaker.

The English may not like music, but they absolutely love the noise it makes

Or perhaps not.

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate his Department has made of the number of adults who have (a) participated in musical activity and (b) attended a music event in each region in each of the last five years.

Mr. Simon: The information is as follows:

And lo, and indeed, behold, it has dropped from 14.7% to 12.8%.   In my own fair city it has dumped from 17.6% to 12.8%.  Given that this probably includes singing in the shower, one must note what a sterling job the DCMS is doing, eh?

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Blogger All Seeing Eye said... 4:14 pm

So what defines "musical activity"? Humming whilst I type this comment? Shouting abuse at the neighbour who has his radio turned up too loudly? And this being a family blog'n'all we'll steer well clear of including the coloured oboe made famous in the late Peter Cook's 'Here Comes the Judge' speech.

And how on earth can you estimate such a thing? Words like 'air' and 'plucking' and 'totally made up at random' spring to mind.  

Blogger James Higham said... 7:58 pm

Alas, I'd sing in the shower if I had one.  

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