Since my delving into various ‘Welsh Establishment’ institutions about a year ago, with Freedom of Information requests etc, I remain shocked, profoundly disappointed and in many respects utterly disgusted with the endemic 1950’s cronyism, nepotism and ‘jobs for the boys’ mentality, that still infuses its insidious way throughout Welsh public life.
Yes, we all know it goes on. It’s the price we pay for democracy.
Northern Ireland, Scotland and England, all have their problems with the political classes, the self-serving elites, vested interests and the liberal intelligentsia etc etc – actually, the Welsh ‘intelligentsia’ are far from liberal, most of ’em still think another translation of the Mabinogion to be cutting-edge 21st century literature, not to mention books on ‘Independent Bus Operators in North Wales’ and re-printing titles that no-one had heard of sixty years ago, let alone now!! All, courtesy of the tax-payer of course.
Wales is however, different.
It is extraordinarily blatant about it.
Scrutiny? Accountability? As I have said before, don’t be silly, this is Wales. The tax-payer gravy train must keep on going at all costs!
All the following institutions I have encountered, have done nothing but evade, prevaricate, pass the buck and on occasions been downright dishonest:-
BBC ap Wales – they have been one of the worse offenders, when it comes to truth and honest journalism, and I’m not just talking about Savile and McAlpine. I always thought that part of the BBC’s remit was to scrutinise those with influence and power. How positively naive of me. BBC ap Wales is nothing less than a tool of nationalist Welsh zionism and yet another sop to Welsh language extremism.
The organisation is an abject mockery of the word, and does nothing but bring the distinguished reputation of the BBC into disrepute. It would do Lord Patten and the BBC Trustees no disservice, to cast more challenging eyes upon the ‘goings on’ at BBC ap Wales – they might also teach the book worm presenter, Top Shelf Phil Rickman some manners,while they’re at it!
Western Mail – not far behind the above. It led me down a grand old garden path made of broken glass, and clobbered me for freebie articles in the process. It should change its name to ‘Western Shiftiness’.
Welsh Government – they make the late Tommy Cooper and Morcambe and Wise combined, look more bland and serious, than a GP’s surgery on flu-jab day, with their total and amateur disregard for how tax-payers’ money is spent. The examples are legion.
Huw Lewis, the Welsh Government’s Heritage Minister, also appears to have writer’s block where the distribution of tax-payers’ money to the Welsh literary elites are concerned.
Wales Audit Office – this lot couldn’t audit the accounts of a school tuck shop and are in the pockets of the Welsh Government anyway. Yet another farcical take on so-called ‘Independence’.
Institute of Welsh Affairs – a self-indulgent, nationalist propaganda machine, set up by the so-called Welsh intelligentsia and paid for by the tax-payer, that will have no truck with honest debate. ‘Independent?’ Don’t make me laugh! Another ‘Institution’ not keen on the truth.
NB Our Geraint Talfan Davies was one of its founders. In case you have forgotten, Mr Davies was once the Controller of BBC ap Wales and is now Chairman of the Welsh National Opera. Oh and lest we forget, the Welsh publisher of his autobiography ‘At Arms Length’, Subsidised Sour Seren Books no less, was paid a handsome sum by the tax-payer to publish it!
Literature Wales – this good for nothing bunch of deluded ne’er-do-wells, add a new dimension to the words ‘transparency’ and ‘openness’, and frankly are below contempt. You have as much chance of squeezing information out of this sorry lot, as you do of buying a bacon sarnie in a kosher restaurant on Ben Yehuda Street!
Omerta is the name of the game, as is the case with all the tax-payer dependent Welsh publishers – but then they are the Taffy Mafia, so what can one expect?
Arts Council of Wales – ‘scrutiny’ and ‘accountability’? Again, don’t be silly. In spite of having been hauled before a Westminster Public Accounts Committee in the past and being denounced by both Houses of Parliament, it continues to carry on in its own supremely arrogant and secretive way.
Welsh Books Council – they mean well, but do not operate in the real world and have yet to understand the new publishing reality. The academics running the WBC show are hardly likely to be any threat to Branson or Sugar are they? Most of them wouldn’t know one end of a balance sheet from another, or hard-core commercial awareness, if it hit them on their collective heads!
Does the WBC honestly believe, that books no-one wants to read, are going to sell at £15-20 retail???
When one speaks with all these little coteries and self-serving bastions of Welsh nationalism (BBC Wales is a salutary example, oh and not to mention its Medici-like propensity for ‘keeping it in the family’, nepotism on a grand scale in other words), one cannot help but be reminded of times gone by.
Attlee and Wilson are alive and well in Wales.
The crude, unsophisticated and bully-boy tactics of tin-pot Council Chamber cronyism and preferment, rule the Principality waves. The Welsh establishment stinks to high heaven with the odious stench of ‘it’s not what you know, but make bloody sure your Christian name is ‘Dai’ or at the very least a Welsh translation’, but worse than all this put together, the madding hoi-polloi of Welsh public life are forcing Wales into a downward spiral and a slow death from backwater ignorance, ‘Old labour’ rough and tumble obsessions with an inglorious past and xenophobic schizophrenia.
Wales is better than this, it has courage and it has indomitable spirit.
It is time the Welsh people stood up and said ‘Enough!’