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Lloyd George wisdom about language recalled in Oklahoma (of all places)

January 22, 2008 6:14 PM

Oklahoma state capitol and flagThe state of Oklahoma has a reputation for being one of the most conservative states in the USA. Both its US Senators are Republicans, although the current governor is a Democrat. Oklahoma has voted Republican in every presidential election as far back as 1964, and that was to elect Lyndon Baines Johnson that good ol' boy from neighbouring Texas.

It was slightly surprising therefore to read a recent article from the newspaper the Edmond Sun which recalled the career and wisdom of David Lloyd George in positive and approving terms. Edmond, Oklahoma is a growing community just to the north of Oklahoma City. The article suggests that a proposal to enact legislation to make English the official language of Oklahoma is being considered and this is presumably as a political response to a growing non-white population and a net increase in population from immigration. The census of 2006 indicated that immigration to Oklahoma from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 36,546 people.

The article starts by reminding American readers who Lloyd George was and some of his major achievements, not only his status as a successful war leader but his social reform legislation and his anti-war stance during the Boer War. The article then goes on to recall Lloyd George's observation to his Welsh speaking constituents that, although the Romans had conquered and occupied much of Wales, they were unable to force the Welsh to speak Latin over Welsh and that of the two, Latin was now the dead language.

The article shrewdly observes that: "It is somewhat ironic that conservative politicians and commentators who are quick to remind us that there are limits to what government can do and the power of government should be used sparingly in a free society now are among those who believe legislation should be enacted that mandate that English be our official language".

The full article can be read at the following url:

http://www.edmondsun.com/opinion/local_story_008120559.html?keyword=topstory