Cymdeithas yr Iaith has rejected the findings of a BBC Opinion Poll which purports to show a majority opposed to a Language Act which would require private corporations to make full use of Welsh. Cymdeithas claim that opposition from 63% of those questioned was due to the choice of the emotive word "force" by the BBC. Using such a prejudicial term the BBC are doing the CBI's work of rejectingthe idea of giving people in wales linguistic rights for them.
Cymdeithas yr Iaith Chairman, Hywel Griffiths said:"Employer organisations have a record of opposing in advance all reforming legislation - be it the Minimum Wage, the need to respect the environment or now the need to respect Welsh. It is well understood in PR circles that if you use a negative and prejudicial term such as 'force' or 'make' you will also get a negative response from the public. If however these questions were re-phrased in a positive light such as 'Are you in favour of a Language Act which would ensure that services are provided bilingually' or 'Are you in favour of a Language Act which would give people full rights to receive their services bilingually' then we are certain that there would be a substantial majority in favour.""We are at a loss to understand why the BBC wishes to compromise it's impartiality and try to do the CBI's lobbying for them by using such a prejudicial form of wording. We would also question if the survey was conducted in English only - which would again prejudice the results in a bilingual community. The real significance of this survey is that feelings are so strong on this issue that a third of those questioned still responded positively despite the negative wording, and a quarter wanted to go much further than Cymdeithas by placing immediate requirements on every single business in Wales. In this context, our call for a plan of incremental action to ensure bilingual services in the private sector is modest indeed."