On 3 April, the Sunday Times travel editor Duncan Craig wrote about his cycling trip through Brecon Beacons in the south of Wales. Craig said he was trying to “burn off some lockdown pounds in the ‘cycling hub’ of Wales”. He was a guest of Discover Carmarthenshire.
He was open about his own cycling limitations, and he was equally open about his linguistic bigotry which came in the form of “derogatory” humour. Because rather than simply write the names of the villages that he passed through – Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen and Ystradgynlais – he chose to mock them:
We drop down into villages with names of cat-walking-across-the-keyboard impenetrability (Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen; Ystradgynlais)
But despite his humour, nobody was laughing. At least, nobody was laughing with him.
A “racist trope”
Craig’s words naturally angered people. So they took to social media to express that anger:
Read on...Support us and go ad-free
— Hels Bels 🏴🇪🇺 (@helenlouise1973) April 3, 2021
@duncancraig_ apologize for the racist trope.
— YesCymruAnkhMorpork (@Ankh_YesCymru) April 3, 2021
What is it with people constantly being derogatory toward the Welsh Language?
A quote from the article referring to Welsh place names:
"We drop down into villages with names of cat-walking-across-the-keyboard impenetrability…" https://t.co/CaPmcYZ2uO
— Louvain Rees 🕯 (@hellohistoria) April 3, 2021
There was disbelief that a guest of the area would write such a thing:
i.e. they paid for his visit…
Duw mawr. 🏴 https://t.co/AyOOVKzgxI
— Tegid Roberts (@TegidRoberts) April 3, 2021
And this Welsh linguist put Craig’s ‘humour’ in the bigoted context it deserves:
— Gareth Roberts would love to be vaccinated (@garicgymro) April 3, 2021
But he wasn’t done yet
Not content with mocking Welsh place names, Craig also mocked the language. He said:
In the morning, with calves burning and kit still wet, we rationalise shelving the day-two ride in favour of lying in bed, eating Pringles and enjoying Robyn’s wonderfully mellifluous (albeit entirely incomprehensible) commentary of the Giro.
I wonder if he met a Italian cycling tv journalist he would describe their commentary as incomprehensible? What do you say @duncancraig
— David Davies 🏴💙 (@DavidDa80731355) April 3, 2021
In the article he uses English, French, Italian & Cymraeg, and openly mocks the the country he’s visiting & his cycling companion and friend’s language. As a travel writer for UK-wide paper, he pushes his derisory words to many readers. His mate must be really happy with that. 👎🏻
— _honez 🏴🇦🇺 (@_honez) April 3, 2021
An ignorant “bigot”
Instead of enjoying the privilege of travelling during lockdown, Craig chose to mock. And as travel writers experience many different languages, it’s galling he’d write such a piece.
It’s bigotry regardless of the person’s job, and it shows a complete misunderstanding of the place he’s visiting.
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?