Racist overtones Pobol Y Cwm - anyone got a contact email?

Hi everyone, and I’m sorry that my first hello is a whine, but I was really shocked to hear last night episode when Sion White, in an interchange with Dai and Dianne over their possible purchase of a house (Carreg Gwen?) comment that a sale to (a) Welsh people and (b) local ones in particular would be preferable to someone from outside.

Being just such an ‘outsider’, who with my partner were the subject of a particularly unpleasant episode of racial abuse outside our own home last week over just this issue, I have to say hearing those words from a supposed man of the cloth, who is prepared to give convicts and murderers (Gwyneth) a second chance came as a bit of a shock!

I’d like to raise my concerns with S4C but their ‘complaints’ form doesn’t seem to work (I think there must be an unstated character/word limit). So does anyone have a direct email for them - I really don’t want to use ‘traceable’ phones or post after our experience (which was horrible!) Not even my best SSiW helped stave off the vile venom! Fortunately apart from this person, we’ve met with nothing but kindness, but we’re still feeling very upset and raw.

I’m very sad to hear of the abuse experienced by you and your partner. As a Welshman, I hope the episode fades into insignificance as you continue to be treated with “kindness” by the majority of my countrymen and women.

Don’t forget that you can always involve the police if you are subject to racial abuse in the future.

I’m sorry that you’ve been subjected to abuse David, presumably as a newcomer in a Welsh speaking community. People are highly mobile today; it is commendable that you are making an effort to learn the language and you deserve the support that you appear to be getting from most people. However I struggle with the notion that objections to too many English people buying houses in Welsh speaking areas are racist. Racially there is no difference between the English and the Welsh but there are important linguistic and cultural issues at stake. That does not justify an individual behaving badly towards you but some people are unreasonable and fail to treat others decently and that is the case wherever we live. Pob lwc efo eich Cymraeg.

Thanks to you both for those words; Huw, I couldn’t even begin to say how generous ppl have been -from lending tools, time and local knowledge to suffering our pitiful first steps in Welsh (God bless our long suffering postie - he has no escape as we corner him most mornings!)

Guy, mmm not quite so sure I agree with you there (the racist thing, not about a few unreasonable people being found in all places which is sadly true). All I can say is that when faced with a long, long tirade about the f******ing English, f***ing coming over here and buying houses and tell us Welsh what to do and f*** off we don’t want you here, delivered in the most venomous fashion I’ve ever encountered (and I once got beaten up for the uniform I wore) it certainly SEEMED pretty racially directed to me. Still, maybe you just had to be there to be sure!

Anyway, diolch for your thoughts (and please be assured, we’re not looking to take offence - we just want the world to be a nice plays, and everyone play nice with the other kids!) Hwyl

"All I can say is that when faced with a long, long tirade about the f*****ing English, f**ing coming over here and buying houses and tell us Welsh what to do and f** off we don’t want you here, delivered in the most venomous fashion I’ve ever encountered…"

This happened to me once in Llanlyfni, Gwynedd. It came to physical blows like a scene from, The Quite Man. We fought blow for blow in the middle of the main road north/south before the by-pass came…With the traffic it was a heavy scene.
He made much the same comments which I brushed aside until he called us English gutless…That was a mistake…that was fighting talk. Amazingly, he said sorry the next day.
I have to say though in my twenty years of living and visiting Wales such things are rare.

Good grief, dinas, what a sight that must have been!

I’m sure you’re right, and this was just very bad luck - a nasty one-off, but (fingers crossed) nothing more, Our upset will doubtless pass - just a bit raw at the moment.

Anyway on a very positive note, I’ve just made contact with S4C and the nice person there has given me a real email address and so I’ve sent my comments about the episode to her. Be interesting to hear what they say - not least 'cos we really love our nightly fix of PYC (the only prog like it we watch in any language!).

Diolch pawb!

@David Kane: Obviously I strongly disapprove of the abuse you were subject to, and hope indeed that it is a rare occurrence.

But as far as Pobol y Cwm is concerned, is it not fair enough that such a subject is tackled? Sion has been accused of hypocrisy before (not least by his wife), so maybe that’s part of his character that is being portrayed, even though at heart he seems to be a decent sort. I didn’t see the episode, but I wonder if his concern was more that the language and culture would be at risk of further dilution, rather than any overt racism. I speak as someone whose family has no known “Welsh blood”, although there is plenty of Irish, Scottish, Guinness, and Bell’s in the mix.

Fair point, Mike - you might well be right. I did suggest to S4C that if this was the start of a major story arc showing how wonderful incomers were, then I’d wind my beak in and apologise unreservedly, so I may yet have cause to eat my words! Oh well, wouldn’t be the first time…:slight_smile:

All a bit raw still - so a sensitive issue here - but hearing it is pretty rare, and getting a bit of tlc from all the SSiWers certainly helps.

With you on the Guinness and Bell’s btw - will be watching Scotland’s indyref results tomorrow with one or other (probably both) in hand.


Pobl is supposed to be reflective of “reality” like other soaps though, so if people hold those opinions in real life then you’re likely to see them in Pobl too.

There was something of a scuffle in the media when one of the characters mentioned the badger cull wasn’t there?

Both issues are of real concern to many people and I know plenty of very good people, very welcoming, encouraging supportive decent people who DO think, for the best of reasons that housing policy has a role to play in securing Wales’ language and economy.

I don’t watch Pobl so can’t speak for whether the character is meant to be “nice” in which case all of the “he thinks that for the right reasons” was probably taken as read - or assumed by the writers that people would take it as read, rather than as “he’s nice and he’s condonding racism and therefore so are we as a channel”.

Guy, mmm not quite so sure I agree with you there (the racist thing, not about a few unreasonable people being found in all places which is sadly true)

Guy was not disagreeing with the issue just the choice of wording. The word you want is Xenophobic which is a disdain for foreign people/culture.

There is certainly some bad will going on both sides. Living in England for a while I have seen some peoples faces contorted in what could only be described as hatred when they were speaking of people daring to speak Welsh around them.

Arseholes, as it seems the bloke you ran across was.

It does seem his insults were rather generic, though. Just vaguely anti English rather than reacting to any specific incident, so it may be he had “problems” of his own.

Still, as you say, it is good that “er gwaetha pawb a phopeth” the general reaction of Welsh people is friendly! Certainly what I have seen through my life, and I hope that this incident doesn’t affect your opinion of the Welsh!

On the wider point, I have to agree that it would be good if a local house went to a native Welsh speaker (rather than a learner such as myself).

I won’t get into condemning Carmarthenshire council for their building vast estates to encourage non-Welsh speakers from outside to back up the labour vote (oh, hang on, I just did! Oops!)…

But no, I don’t think that what was said on pobol y cwm was the same as what you were subjected to by that arsehole.

Oh, and in the initial question on your post, two things.

Firstly, you don’t want to leave a contact possibility with S4C?
Fair enough. I would say that it is unlikely that S4C would either use such a contact to annoy you or pass it on to a third party, but if your experience has left you wary of that, fair enough.

If you can’t send emails without giving a return email, I would suggest the easiest thing is simply to send them a letter without giving a return address? It would mean you would not learn the outcome of the complaint, but no one would be able to trace it. Just a suggestion!

Diolch pawb, eto.

Always great to get other people’s opinions to bring you back to a consensus of sensible reality.

@Leia Fee, you’re probably right. Just being a bit (over?) sensitive I suppose. I recall Ceredigion in the Meibion Glyndwr cottage burning days, scary times to live through and many multi-generation, born-and-bred Welsh landlords around where I was living at the time went in fear.

But that was then, and this is now, so I’m probably over reacting to it – and after all Sion’s character is supposed to be a bit of a passionate one re the language, so maybe I’m making much ado about nothing.

@Owain (Lurch) thanks for those suggestions, but to clarify the original question about contact, in the end I did the obvious thing (why didn’t I in the first place? Doh!) – asked S4C on their word-restricted form if they could let me have an email to explain myself directly – which as I mentioned they’ve kindly done, so we’ll see how that goes. Sorry if I sounded as if I was trying to do something anonymously (on re-reading my post I see how that seemed!) Happy to give them my email, just not a physical address or traceable telephone number, as I really don’t want to have what happened with us directly linked to what I had to say. OK, a bit paranoid, but no point in risking inflaming the situation and as Harold Finch says, only the paranoid survive!

@Craig F – thanks for that too. Again, I think I may have expressed myself less than clearly in my post. I did realise that Guy was questioning my use of the word racist, I really wasn’t suggesting he was disagreeing with the issue even for a moment. Thought I’d said that, but perhaps not explicitly enough.

I understand his viewpoint on ‘race’ in this contact, I’m just still not sure I agree with it. I guess it comes down to definition, but let’s not argue semantics, eh? I’ll give you xeno (ξένος) as ‘foreigner’, but phobia (from φόβος) is deffo fear not ‘distain’ – but thanks for sending me scuttling back to my Ancient Greek primer (not quite old enough to be a native speaker, but it was almost as long ago I learnt it at school!)

Anyway, as I say, thanks very much everyone for the collective thoughts; appreciate them – and I’ll see what S4C have to say. Could yet end up having to eat my words…………. But hey-ho!


I do think that Meibion Glyndwr and the views above given to someone on Pobol y Cwm are very different things to the abuse shouted by a random nutter which you seem to describe.

One can, of course, wholeheartedly condemn anyone being needlessly abusive in the way you describe.

I will leave discussing Meibion Glyndwr too deeply- though politics is not banned on this site, it would certainly derail the thread!

[Edited to add- except to say you of course have nothing to fear along those lines! But by the sound of it you realise that.]

Talking of derailing threads though, going back to what parts of a word meant in other languages they are derived from is not necessarily the best way of finding out the present meaning of a word.

“Xenophobia” can mean a hatred of foreigners, whatever the meaning of its component parts in the original Greek.

OK - I surrender! Sorry didn’t mean to stray into politics, just trying to explain why I feel a bit wary of anything to do with anti-anybody-just-for-being- anything-ism, whatever name it goes by - but apologies if that came out or went down wrong.

I didn’t really mean to air my own personal experience on this site - I was only hoping somebody might have a direct ‘in’ to S4C rather than the contact form on their site. Since that’s now been sorted, thanks again to one and all, and I’m off to keep my head down online and off! Sorry if my attempts to explain ended up doing the opposite.

Bye ppl, live long and prosper and diolch yn fawr.

“Sorry didn’t mean to stray into politics,”
I didn’t think you did! It’s impossible not to at least a bit sometimes anyway. And nothing wrong with doing that anyway! The only rule on this thread is to be nice, which is perfectly possible even when people disagree, and which you of course were being (despite your experience) so no idea why a Sorry or apologies are needed!

And always interesting and useful to hear other peoples experiences and opinions!

If Pobol y Cwm is raising an issue as experienced by real people then there’s nothing to complain about.

Of course though, people will always be offended or emotionally affected, either on others behalf or on situations they have or are presently experiencing. It’s always confused me however why they will edit a comical beheading scene or kidnapping in one programme because of recent events, but will hit you with a cancer or bullying story, out of the blue, that directly effects many more people - constantly - and leaves it in.

When the Twin Towers were brought down BBC cancelled a Thunderbirds episode that saw the destruction of a high rise car park. A puppet show!

What am I trying to say? Well, I’ll leave it there in case I upset/offend someone…

Llanfairfach said “It’s always confused me however why they will edit a comical beheading scene”

Sorry, I must have missed that in Faulty Towers, Monty Python’s Flying Circus or 'Sorry!". I do, however, look forward to a comic scene of the beheading of Jim Davidson in “Up the Elephant and Round the Castle”.

Sorry, now we are unable to delete or edit texts after a certain time, I just want to make it clear I am not actually calling for the beheading of Jim Davidson.