Student goes hungry to boost Welsh broadcasting
AYOUNG farmer is going to go without food for seven days as part of a campaign for Wales to have powers over broadcasting.
Elfed Wyn Jones, 20, was born and raised on the family farm at Trawsfynydd in Gwynedd.
He will start his fast next Tuesday and continue until February 27.
Although he is studying for a degree at Aberystwyth University, Mr Jones is still working on the farm during his course.
He said: “I believe strongly in democracy and so I’m very concerned about something important that is lacking in Welsh politics. We as a country can’t move towards our goals without voices that are critical of our Government, but that also explain to us how the system works, noting what is devolved – such as agriculture, health, education – and the things that are not, such as the legal system.
“We don’t see the Welsh perspective in our news and on our television stations. This is also a barrier to the development of channels and streams to develop more Welsh-language channels and stations, and the lack of respect for the language by the BBC is glaringly obvious.
“Change is needed and the system needs to develop by having a voice for Wales that comes from Wales, so we can strengthen our democracy.”
According to a YouGov poll last year, 65% of people in Wales support giving broadcasting powers to the National Assembly while only 35% want politicians in Westminster to keep control. But the UK Government opposes the devolution of broadcasting powers, arguing that the issue transcends geographical boundaries.
Mr Jones added: “I hope that my action will show just how serious the need for Wales to have control over broadcasting is. I accept my responsibility for taking the action – not in order to force the authorities or anyone else, but in order to encourage others to accept their responsibility.
“From the lack of a Welsh-language presence on commercial radio and local television, to the serious cuts to S4C, it’s clear that London is not governing the media in the interests of the people of Wales. The time has come to devolve broadcasting to Wales so that we can shape our own system.”
A report on the future of S4C, due to be published soon, will consider whether responsibility for S4C should be devolved to the Assembly.
> Campaigner Elfed Wyn Jones wants broadcasting powers to be devolved to the Welsh Assembly
> Elfed Wyn Jones