Good Luck With That

Some hills are worth dying on. This is probably not one of them.

A Welsh driver issued with a £60 parking fine written only in English is refusing to pay.

Arwyn Groe received a parking charge at a car park in Llangrannog, Ceredigion, in July and has now been told the fine has been passed on to debt collectors.

I don’t have a lot of time for these parking management companies. All too often they are a bunch of sharks. However, this is just downright silly. It went to court but was thrown out because the parking company didn’t turn up. This isn’t unusual and this is where it would normally end. However…

According to Welsh-language pressure group, Cymdeithas yr Iaith, the company is now pursuing Mr Groe through a debt company for the same reason.

This could get interesting.

The vice-chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith Tamsin Davies said: ‘It is clear that neither the owner of the car park nor the company running it have any respect for or interest in the Welsh language.

Why should they? They are based in Worthing and while they deal with sites in Wales, Wales is a bilingual country and no one outside of the place has the slightest interest in this ridiculous language that stopped properly developing long before I lived there. I recall locals talking in Welsh and was able to discern the subject matter because of the frequent use of bastardised English (usually the standard English word with ‘io’ added to the end) where the local tongue had no suitable words. All these people are doing is keeping an inconsequential language alive artificially – it’s been brain dead for over a century. No, really, no one cares but the obsessives determined to keep it alive. The fact that the ticket was written in English is only an issue because these people have nothing better to worry about. In this instance, I’m with the parking company. And now that it’s with the debt collectors, the costs will rise exponentially.

‘One campaigner has been to court after refusing to pay an English-only fine, and the company has decided not to listen. ‘Private companies are not under an obligation to provide any Welsh language provision so they don’t.

‘Supermarkets and banks have told us many times in the past that they will not provide any services in Welsh until they are obliged to do so by law.

Indeed. And why should they?

‘So the answer is obvious – the current Language Measure needs to be extended to include private companies. And it is about time to do that.

Fuck off. Or should that be fuckio offio.


  1. As a Scot who is pleased that efforts are being made to stop Gaelic from being lost, I have sympathy with the Welsh who want to keep their language alive (this is not to say that I agree with the stance being taken in the story above). The culture of a people/country should be treasured and that naturally includes the language. I feel rather aggrieved that, during my childhood, the use of Scots was punishable; I think that it isn’t spoken in any part of Scotland now.

    • Gaelic still exists in various islands like Harris, Skye and parts of the Highlands.
      I think however it was never spoken throughout all of Scotland. A Scot was once told me that it was never the main language in Edinburgh.
      Scotland has of course lost 2 languages in the last 1000 years Norn and Pictish.
      (England has just lost Cornish)

      • Language evolves. English is the dominant language across the British Isles. As a consequence, earlier languages will be either absorbed or die out.

        If people want to try and keep them alive, well, that’s up to them. I object when they try to force others to use it, which is the case here.

          • Want to see a truly dead language? Try Cornish. Cornish, like for example Manx, died out although Cornish died off in the late 1700s and there was a ‘revival’ only relatively recently. Manx was preserved, in part by the Irish Government sending over recording equipment in the Fifties.

            Irish is relatively healthy by comparison, although a lot of money is spent keeping it alive.

      • “A Scot was once told me that it was never the main language in Edinburgh.”

        Yup. I spent the last twenty minutes writing a whole historical screed, but nobody wants to read that. The TL;DR is that south-eastern Scotland might be thought of as “occupied Northumbria”. They’re basically Geordies.

      • One of my officers in a far south County Force (note – ‘Force’, not ‘service’) was from Skye and his first language was Gaelic. He was registered with HQ as an officially recognised translator for Police and Court purposes. To the best of my knowledge, in his 30 years of service his skills were never called upon!

      • FWIW, the last time I visited Tesco in Oban (pre-Coronathingy) most if not all of the corporate signs by the main entrance were in both Gaelic and English. I don’t recall the internal signage (e.g. above the aisles, etc) but I suspect that was bilingual as well.
        In Switzerland different valleys have different “flavours” of Romansch – I wonder if it’s the same with the Gaelic?

  2. I currently live in Wales and the vast majority of people I know don’t give a rat’s backside about Welsh.
    Most know maybe a few words.

    Could be handy to keep around though.
    Think Windtalkers where the Americans used Navaho (iirc) to defeat axis intelligence.
    We wouldn’t even need to encrypt the transmissions. There’s so few bloody vowels it looks encrypted anyway.

    • Strange thing is that if you can speak English with a very strong Scouse accent, some of the Welsh language words suddenly sound identical. Or if not, pretty similar.
      Case in point – Ysbyty. Which means ‘hospital’
      Say ‘ospita’ which is kind of how a Liverpudlian may say ‘hospital’ and you get a phonetic soundalike to Ysbyty.
      And don’t get me started on Caffi and Tacsi etc.

  3. You’d be a fan of the TUV’s stance then, which is to call Irish a “leprechaun language”, to brand them “fanatics”, and to stop all funding (including road signs) for Irish.

  4. You’re being accused of saying things that you didn’t say LR. On the parking ticket, it would appear that there is no legal basis for the guy’s claim as things stand. The sane thing to do would be to pay the fine now and then try to get the law changed. That would cost the parking company more than £60 to get the bilingual tickets printed. That would of course close his imaginary loophole, the best thing to do is to not park illegally in the first place.

  5. I agree with you. For now. When local companies round here start issuing stuff in Urdu (The dominant language of the next town), I might change my opinion

  6. As an English person in Wales I got a job in the local bakery. I was 15 and the area was in the North, very anti English. I was advised by one co worker that a certain elderly gentleman would not be served by an English person. So they told me his regular order and how to tell him the cost in Welsh etc. So throughout the summer I served him, he even commented to the other staff how lovely it was that they employed a Welsh girl. Of course we all just had a laugh about it. I supose it was good customer service. It is nice to keep the language alive and since so many Leaflets come in numerous translations a company working in Wales, even though not based there, should have showed more consideration. On the other hand why was he parking illegally.

    • On the other hand why was he parking illegally.

      Usually it is so that the culprit can walk five steps instead of ten. Maybe they need to get a sports watch that gets passive aggressive if they don’t take enough steps.

  7. “Supermarkets and banks have told us many times in the past that they will not provide any services in Welsh until they are obliged to do so by law.”

    At which point half of them will stop providing them at all because it isn’t worth the expense. Then the usual suspects will blame “capitalism”.

      • Honestly, you’d be a shoo-in for TUV. Alternatively, you would make friends with Irish in the Republic when they say Irish is a dead language. As do TUV.

      • You missed out adding “And massively subsidised by the taxpayer”.

        It is the same here in New Zealand. The Maori have a commission type thing to translate words into Maori (which is daft because there is not one Maori language throughout the tribes) such as CD – “Silver spinny thing that holds words or porn or pictures of cats” comes out as something ridiculous.

        And they want it to be compulsory in schools …

        One report I read a while ago told about a guy from Wales whose parents refused to allow him to speak English. When he went to University, all lectures were in English and there were, of course, no technical books written in Welsh for him to study.

        • OK, some of the comments here are getting downright silly, not to mention tedious given that I’m being repeatedly misrepresented. When I get time, I’ll put a post up about this. There’s too much to unpick in a comment.

  8. While the motorist appears to be in the wrong initially, and overreacted consequently, he could have had a bit of fun with the parking company. By, at first, requesting the initial appeal period be extended, and then by making his appeal as to why he shouldn’t pay, and write the letters in Welsh. He would probably still have to pay, but may feel there’s been a little victory in causing the parking parasites some inconvenience.

    • There are some abuses, no doubt, but until you have dealt with people parking on your property as if it was their right, or leave cars there forever that you cannot have removed because you just cannot do it legally, your opinion is moot.

      • If it’s on the road, you don’t own it. If it’s on your property that’s a different matter.

        • If it’s on the road, you have to deal withtraffic wardens.

          If it’s on private land, as seems to be the case here, one has to use a private parking company because of the various rules and regulations. I know from 1st hand experience that one, as the land owner, has mostly the right to clean up or pay for the mess of other people. When it comes to cars, again from experience, there is nothing you can do to remove them legally. The council will tell you to call the police, the police will tell you to call the breaker’s yard, the breaker’s yard will tell you to call the council and/or the police because you need the V5.

          My point is that I know there are abuses, from experience, but I also know that a lot of people behave like assholes. A lot more than you think.

  9. I’ll add my t’o penneth.

    Fuck cowboy parking companies and fuck uppity Welsh as well.

Comments are closed.