We all know that Wikipedia has to be treated with caution, but now and again it does come up with something that enjoys the virtue of both brilliant clarity and pointed accuracy.
Recently, I was drawn to a Wiki entry about the Welsh Crachach.
The Wiki definition of ‘Crachach’ is as follows:
‘A pejorative term, it refers to those of the Establishment in Wales who are thought of as snobs. Often Welsh-speaking, they are found in influential positions in the arts, politics, academia and the media’.
Wiki goes on, ‘An anonymous* Welsh poet was quoted in an article in the Independent as saying, “ The Crachach as we know it, has really been built up over the last 30-40 years when the Establishment of Wales gravitated toward Cardiff. Its ruling elite, a lot of whom are related, when it comes to networking make the Masons look inadequate.”
And the Western Mail’s Carolyn Hitt, says “The older crachach can be fiercely nationalistic yet not averse to receiving gongs from the Queen. Younger arty crachach will always get their projects funded, however rubbish they may be*. If the crachach had a coat of arms, its motto would be that old chestnut ‘It’s who you know not what you know and make sure you belong to someone on the Committee”.
To add substance to the above may I also point out, that a cursory glance at the head honchos of all Welsh institutions will be white, middle-aged and Welsh-speaking – many of them will also have translated their registered birth names to a Welsh language equivalent, and if there isn’t one then they will just make it up eg Lleucu Siencyn ie Lucy Jenkins (CEO of Literature Wales by the way, and there are plenty more of them) .
Bizarre I know, but that’s the Crachach (or Taffia as it is also sometimes referred to) for you.
Look at BBC Wales, full to the brim with sneaky top-job preference eg Rhodri Talfan Davies Director of BBC Wales (ie Controller job re-named) since 2011, son of former Controller (1990-2000) Geraint Talfan Davies, grandson of Aneurin Talfan Davies, former Head of Programmes at BBC Wales (1966-1970), and finally Godson of Menna Richards, former Controller of BBC Wales (2000-2011).
I also have it on good authority, that he was parachuted into the job, his name not having been in the initial long list of potential candidates or even on the 2nd list. You may also be wondering about whether 21st Century Equal Opportunities has ever even been a blip on the 20th Century Welsh Establishment’s radar, let alone the 21st’s? And I’m not even going to start on all the others eg Bestan Powys, Vaughan Roderick……….
Think of all those staffers at BBC Wales, who can’t even get a glance at the organisation’s top jobs?
How is this for keeping it in the family?! And note, for all of them, Welsh is their first language. This might be fine for some, except that the BBC is a high-profile publicly funded, publicly accountable organisation, not a family firm!
It really is shameful and it is still going on, in all its nepotistic glory!
Look at Welsh academia, the ubiquitous Dai’s, ap Joneses, ap Evanses are here there and everywhere?
Look at the politicos, many are Welsh-speaking or trying to learn, and God help ‘em if they don’t at least try?
Look at the Wales Audit Office or the Institute of Welsh Affairs? Neither would know independence of intent or scrutiny if they were smacked in the face with them. Both are manned by the usual old suspects.
The Welsh police are up there with the best of them too. You just try and get them to take action against Welsh-speaking nationalists intent or threat and harassment and see how far you will get (you might also try telephoning them, you would think you were in a foreign country, and that’s when they are speaking English !).
There is also another common denominator amongst those who slither and lurk in the bowels of the Welsh Establishment ie most will have gone to Welsh schools and Welsh universities – nothing like diversity of intellect and broad cosmopolitan inclination is there?
The Welsh elites would shame the patronising antics of Cosimo de’Medici, although sometimes even he tended to respect the necessities of discretion.
Not so with the Welsh Crachach, they delight in throwing their special taxpayer funded Welsh-language status in the faces of an 80% English-speaking majority.
It really is time the citadels of in your face nepotism, jobs for the boys Welsh establishment arrogance and towering entitlement were demolished once and for all and the Welsh elites banished to England for a while to find out how the real world works.
I’m also told that these days one is obliged to produce a passport when entering Cardiff West – a hotspot of Crachach/Taffia secessionist autonomy.
PS Before I go, I must tell you about a story that cropped up on this new Ch 4 ‘Eye Spy’ programme. The production team left a 100 open birthday cards enclosing a fiver in public places all over the country to test how honest we Brits are. England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
Guess where, by far the highest number of cards containing the fiver were forwarded back to the return address on the card (to a six year old) came from?
And there you have it. The real Welsh are kind, passionate, full of humour and welcoming to all comers.
They are not the self-serving Crachach that give Wales a bad name!
*Most dissenters in Wales choose anonymity; I don’t, albeit that Crachach nationalists have tried every dirty trick in the book to silence me.
*The same applies to the Welsh literati.