Carmarthen business denies ‘anti-Welsh language’ comments after bad reviews

Busy Ladies Boutique

A Carmarthen shop has responded after being pelted with bad reviews after a businesswoman bemoaned the Welsh language on Twitter.

Joan Willson, who describes herself on Twitter as a businesswoman and professional seamstress, had taken to social media to say that “We English here in Wales are holding the Welsh Language at bay”.

She also argued that “Children are not going to benifit [sic] from Welsh in England” and “you want to learn a language then learn one which will be useful outside Wales”.

The Facebook page of the Busy Lady Boutiques shop in Carmarthen denied any association with the comments after seeing a deluge of one-star reviews.

The page responded by saying: “To all our customers who were offended as we are by the unpleasant Posts which a few people posted tonight.

“I can assure all, that my sister and I are not anti-Welsh or racist in any way. Joan and Pat.”

The Facebook page had received 21 one-star reviews and one two-star review in the last 10 hours.

“Very disappointed by the anti-Welsh comments as you are a business owner in Wales,” Siriol Teifi Edwards wrote. “Definitely won’t be shopping here.”

“I don’t care what is being sold here but you get one star for your post against the Welsh language in Carmarthen,” wrote Christopher Griffiths.

“You live in a Welsh language area, if you don’t like it you can always live in a non-Welsh speaking area.”


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JD
Guest
JD

Will this ever end? And no, I don’t think it’s Welsh speakers being thin skinned. I hear so much Welsh spoken when I go shopping in Carmarthen – do they really think they’re going to attract customers by saying something like this?

Rose
Guest
Rose

I met a gentleman in Nantwich where I now live who said that he loved hearing myself and my husband speaking Welsh as we shopped. Went on to say as its one of our native languages it should be taught in all schools in the UK. Dyn neis Iawn.

Simon G F
Guest
Simon G F

Although I don’t agree with the anti-Welsh language sentiments expressed by Joan Willson, she has the right to hold them and express them – and suffer the consequences – which would appear to be a decline in customers. This is how things work in a free society. Here in Bridgend, Siop yr Hen Bont, a focal point for Welsh language speakers in these parts closed after many decades. Presumably it was no longer financially viable to remain open. In time, this may be the fate Joan Wilson’s business in Carmarthen. Spending money is like voting. It is a very powerful… Read more »

JD
Guest
JD

Very true. My experience of most English people who move to west Wales is that they utterly fail to integrate and naively think local people have the money or interest to buy their tasteless, overpriced crafts, go bust, get bored and move home. And the cycle continues. The very best stay and succeed and melt into the community.

Benjiman L. Angwin
Guest
Benjiman L. Angwin

Agree to large extend, byddwn i’n dweud, every penny spent is a vote.

If Cymry choose as a block to not support businesses and products that do not cater to Cymraeg then it will simply become economically unviable to not do business in Welsh across much of Wales.

Money is the measurement of power. If you give someone a pound, you are giving he or she power.

Edeyrn
Guest

Cytuno’n llwyr Ben … your money is much stronger than your vote in this corrupted half-baked democracy 😀

Tudor Rees
Guest
Tudor Rees

Mae’n amlwg fod clefyd Greggs Llambed wedi llydaenu I Gaerfyrddin.

Capitalist and Welshnash
Guest
Capitalist and Welshnash

Mae angen sefydlu’r Fro Gymraeg er mynnu parch i’r iaith.

Ynys Môn, Gwynedd, Ceredigion, Sir Gâr, rhannau o ogledd Penfro, Powys a de Conwy.
Arwyddion uniaith Gymraeg i ddechrau.

JD
Guest
JD

Syniad diddorol. Yn bersonol dwi’n credu bod rhaid dychwelyd at fformat 8 sir fel yr oedd cyn 1996. Gwynedd, Clwyd, Dyfed, Powys, a Gorllewin Morgannwg i weithredu drwy’r Gymraeg.

Benjiman L. Angwin
Guest
Benjiman L. Angwin

Cefnogwn i’r syniad hwn.

Rhys
Guest
Rhys

If you look at her comment and swap Wales and Welsh Language for Ireland and Irish Language you see how bigoted it is. Behind her comment is a view that culture and language is irrelevant unless it’s hers. A bigoted view in private or public is still the same, so personally I’d say there’s a responsibility to tackle dickhead views head on. Her neighbours are responding.

Kairdiff Kid
Guest
Kairdiff Kid

While I agree with all the comments and money and custom etc, the larger point here is that Wales is the only country in Europe which actively welcomes, and fears to criticise, people who hold it (its history, culture, people and language) in contempt. A labour party that stuck up for Wales or a Plaid Cymru that wasn’t self-destructing in West Wales would, as the dominant political parties in that area, give a basic signal that respect for the place you move to is a moral obligation and an ethical win-win situation for all concerned. Instead, the anti-Welsh lobby feel… Read more »

Nic
Guest
Nic

Gwych! Well said.

Garregddu
Guest
Garregddu

Wales really does have a bad case of Stockholm syndrome. Sad to say, but many of the most virulent anti-Welsh language people I have met have been Welsh. So depressing to negate our own language, identity and culture. Which other country expresses self loathing in such a comprehensive way? Why did the individual who caused this controversy move to the Fro Cymraeg in the first place? Perhaps she thought that Welsh was just for road signs, as someone from England once said to me in all seriousness. Meanwhile the UK government’s tawdry deal with the DUP give currency to this… Read more »

Wrexhamian
Guest
Wrexhamian

This is a most graphic example of colonialism, and she got what was coming to her, with, I suspect, worse to come when her business fails. What concerns me as much, though, is, the question: How was she allowed to set up shop here in the first place? There are now so many shops and businesses owned by settlers that the impact is not just on the Welsh language but on Welsh society and possibly on the Welsh economy. Wales is little more than a resource, and we have no control over who uses it, whether it’s a boutique, a… Read more »

sibrydionmawr
Guest

It’s difficult to stop people with attitudes such as this to come here and set up their businesses. However, we should be exposing them every time when they come out with this kind of insult. For far to long Welsh people have not reacted to this kind of thing. It’s fine complaining about the behaviour of these colonist types, but it won’t stop until we start to challenge it every time. It’s our country, so it’s really up to us to ensure that we are treated with the respect that we deserve.

Wrexhamian
Guest
Wrexhamian

There’s plenty of evidence of outrage in the Twitter responses her comments caused, and no doubt verbal condemnation among the locals. I see no reason why local authorities shouldn’t make it a condition requiring English settlers setting up shop in Wales to sign a declaration promising to respect Welsh culture and language. It can be officially waved in their face if they contravene it. The message has to be got across somehow. I think there is more visible protest against such incidents than there used to be, but it doesn’t yet involve direct action because the powers-that-be don’t intervene, although… Read more »

Tudor Rees
Guest
Tudor Rees

The Busy Ladies of Carmarthen display a very old fashioned linguistic attitude, harking back to colonial times when deference towards the English, and their language was expected from their servile inferiors. In the modern world we live in, a multilingual, multicultural mileau is the norm, for example, Bolivia alone has 37 official languages. However it is unfair and incorrect to lay all the problems of the Welsh language at the door of our monoglot English speaking friends. How many Welsh speakers lustily sing “.. O bydded i’r hen iaith parhau” before rugby internationals, but do not bother to pass it… Read more »

March Nerth
Guest
March Nerth

100:1 odds that it is a monoglot educating bilinguals and polyglots on the merits of other languages that aren’t Welsh in Wales. Its beyond irony as they don’t actually ‘get-it or even do it! Welsh has been nothing but an asset to me in my career that saw me working in over 8 countries – an asset if it only made me more open, aware, worldly wise and to know how not to be a total arrogant twit about others’ cultural assets and heritage. Less is never more which is why many of us manage English to a far better… Read more »

Tame Frontiersman
Guest
Tame Frontiersman

I suppose the message from the Colonial Office would be: oversensitive natives; keep itchy fingers off the I/O device – careless talk… and all that. Keep calm and carry on!

“Hush now, don’t you worry, don’t you cry,
They’ll be assimilated by and by”

Martin Evans
Guest
Martin Evans

Joan commented that most Afrikaners spoke English and had presumably never heard of the Dutch not which took the Welsh not to South Africa to beat Boer children for speaking Dutch.

Gwenda Owen
Guest
Gwenda Owen

Dim mwy! Been there shopped there! No more! End of story.

Gillian Fitzmartin
Guest
Gillian Fitzmartin

I have recently moved to wales to be with my husband to be and I am learning the language and I totally respect the Welsh people who have welcomed me to there community and helping me learn there language

Alun Llewelyn
Guest

I’m a bit confused by the news story above. The tweets were appalingly racist but the Busy Ladies Boutique seem to be disassociating themselves – is it a case of mistaken identity or owners with a similar name? i wouldnt want a small business to be inadvertently affected by the controversey. can anyone clarify?

March Nerth
Guest
March Nerth

Seems like it’s her and her sister’s business? Her sister seems to have been raised better and uses her brain more and so is a bit horrified at little sis’s casually broadcast imperialistic driven ignorance of the natives – either that or it’s about being stitched up in the money stakes! Siani Flewog (isod) – ti’n ddoniol o hirwyntog blodyn!!! Dy ffrind x

iantoddu
Guest

Yeah, I can understand where you are coming from, but they did not “deny any association with the comments”. They simply said on their Facebook page they were not racist or anti-Welsh.

sianiflewog
Guest
sianiflewog

Tyrd yn eich blaen chi genod/hogiau – gad lonydd i’r ddynes anwyl ‘na. Mae ganddi broblem a problem mawr ydy hi hefyd cofiwch. Fel aelod o’r uchaf dras, mae detholiad naturiol wedi chwynu i ffwrdd y genynau sydd eu hangen i ddysgu ieithoedd. Nid oes angen ar saeson, rwsiaid, sbaenwyr yn ne americia, na saeson y ‘diaspora’ i ddysgu unrhyw iaith. gan fel aelodau’r uwch dras mae’r fraint o ddysgu iaith brig y trasoedd yn disgyn ar ysgwyddau’r ‘brodorion’. Mae’r uwch drasau a enwir uchod i gyd wedi dysgu bod ddefnydd o bidog yn ‘arf’ – esgusodwch y pyn –… Read more »

Llinos Phillips
Guest

Your comment about Welsh language no use in England let me tell you my brother was born in England but we moved back to Wales when he was 1 so is flient like the rest of us in Welsh he did his BLl degree in England then did his Masters in Law followed by going to Chester to do his Solicitors qualification where not many people can get in . Anyway he’s worked with Notts police Leicester and is currently moving from Manchester to London . As there are very few Welsh speaking Circuit Judges he has been doing that… Read more »