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Via @glynbeddau

News that that  he head of discount store Trago Mills has described Welsh language signage as “visual clutterâ€�, criticised Welsh-medium education and advised people to embrace English.In a letter that has enraged  not just language activists but many other people in Cymru , Bruce Robertson sent his comments to Welsh Language Commissioner Meri Huws in May.

The letter from the chairman of the Cornwall-based company whose latest outlet opened in Merthyr Tydfil in April was leaked to Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg, the Welsh Language Society.

A past donor to Ukip, he described Trago Mills’ policy towards bilingual signage: “Felicitations, departmental descriptions, directional, welfare and safety signage will ultimately display Welsh and English language [sic]. but beyond that we have no plans to cascade its use a great deal further at present.�

He may have been encouraged by the vote Ulip’s David Rowlands’s  who is now a Regional AM received  in the 2015 General Election.

 Did Mr Roberson visit the site during the election and make a donation to Dave Rowlands campaign?

 Mr Robertson stated that he had developed

 â€œan acute sense of what is important to … customers during the last 45 yearsâ€�, and held “similarly strong views on the avoidance of visual clutter, a topic that is gaining increasing awareness both in private and public sector circles, road signage being a case in point (I suffer poor eyesight thus find excessive verbiage tedious and unhelpful)â€�.

 Well he is clearly short sighted.

He said he had spent considerable time in Merthyr since the firm bought its first site in Pentrebach in the late 1980s.

“In all that time [I] have considered English to be the locals’ language of choice, the other tongues most commonly heard being Polish, Portuguese or possibly something further south again,” he said.

 Referring to Welsh-medium education, he wrote:

 â€œI also harbour misgivings upon the challenge to the educational system that teaching another language will pose, certainly if the existing standard of literacy is indicative, ‘furniture’ last week only being spelt by a [sic] employee as ‘fernicher’: forgive my ignorance but for all I know that may be the correct spelling … in Welsh!â€�

Mr Robertson also stated:

 â€œI will not trouble you by debating the broader economic benefits of exploiting our almost God-given gift of speaking the most dominant language in the world, as that case was made long before this brief correspondence between you and I.â€�

You know I can’t be botheredd to write paragraphs  pointing out the evidence that contradicts the absurd statements of Robinson, though many have, Wyn Williams, chair of the local branch of Cymdeithas yr Iaith, said:

 â€œThis anti-Welsh language rant is very offensive. It demonstrates a complete disrespect for our country as well as our unique national language.

“They also reflect imperialistic attitudes that belong in the far distant past. The comments about education are completely ignorant – experts are clear that Welsh-medium education means pupils become fluent in both Welsh and in English. There are tens of thousands of Welsh speakers in the area the store serves, and it’s insulting to them.
“But more than anything else this shows once again that strong legislation is needed to ensure the full use of Welsh in the private sector. We won’t see a thriving language if we depend on the goodwill of companies like this; the Labour Welsh Government’s plans to weaken the language law is music to their ears. It’s sad to say, but, at the moment, our own Government is behaving like the best friend of this ugly face of big business.�

Mr Robertson  father  once placed advertisements in the 1980s and 1990s calling for the castration of gay men. The United Kingdom Advertising Standards Authority ruled against Trago Mills and demanded the withdrawal of all advertisements in 1998 Trago still occasionally runs inflammatory copy within their ads, one entitled “For any cash strapped Moslems reading this…” appeared in the Falmouth Packet in 2009 to promote a book by senior UKIP official David Challice
With his son and successor, Bruce, Robertson supported Eurosceptic political parties, most recently the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP). Robertson famously threatened to refuse to stop using imperial measures in his stores, attributing UK metricisation to the European Union (Trago today sells goods in metric quantities, sometimes with imperial equivalents, in line with the law). He remains opposed to speculative immigration from Eastern Europeans. Robertson supports job-specific immigration, more liberally than some in UKIP.[ In January 2007, the Mid Devon Star noted his large Newton Abbot site employed around 30 Poles. So that may where his familiarity with that language cones from.

In September 2011, the company was fined £199,588 after admitting five breaches of the Environmental Protection Act. This followed the discovery of “several thousand tonnes” of dumped waste, including asbestos, at its Newton Abbot and Liskeard sites. The fine was reduced to £65,000 in January 2012 after an Exeter Crown Court judge accepted that Trago Mills had paid nearly £500,000 in clean-up costs.
In 2014, Trago Mills was featured on BBC’s Fake Britain, after local trading standards discovered fake top-brand shampoo on sale in store. Trago management said that the product had been purchased from a reliable source and they had worked closely with local trading standards to ensure that the product was taken off sale once it had been identified as a fake,Many have questioned how Trago Mill were even allowed planning pernission for their hideous building
I leave you with cartoon which needs no translation #
  10h10 hours ago

Cartŵn: yn taro llygad dros y busnes Trago Mills ‘ma