Letter from Wales – A land in the grip of the Crachach/Pub. Labour Uncut 19.7.13

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?

To conclude?

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.


10 thoughts on “Letter from Wales – A land in the grip of the Crachach/Pub. Labour Uncut 19.7.13

  1. Yeh, I agree with all you write about the arseholes or crahach for not only are they incestuous and corrupt they lack the intellect to understand radical thought that could lead to a better future for Wales! I gave Meic Stephens a kick up the arse in the late 1960’s and ever since I have been ignored by the so called lit lot. I have had five books of poetry published, two collections of short stories and three novels and these have received good reviews in England. Viv Griffiths. Date: Sat, 20 Jul 2013 18:34:30 +0000 To: griffstaff4@live.com

    • And hence Vivian, Mr. Meic Stephens, ex – WAC C.E. of course ,was short-listed at this week’s Welsh Book of the Year Awards twice I believe;’Welsh Lives’ & ‘Cofnodian’.
      The Taffia pass these awards ,but also job opportunities ,around like so many Smarties. Hence the level of culture and of public debate in 20/21st century Wales has sunk to an all time low.
      This is of course why the observations of Julian Ruck has created such a furore in their circle of power and priviledge.
      High time too .

  2. Julian,

    Maybe it’s time for you to take a look at the Welsh speakers who are not part of the “crachach”, not part
    of the Cardiff media set. Take a trip up to Bethesda, Pwllheli, Porthmadog or any other North Walian town
    that are not built on grants, jobs for the boys or “who you know syndrome”. These towns are full of
    working class Welsh speakers who go about their lives unaffected by the Welsh media, they’ve got
    no interest in the literati, s4c or BBC. It’s these people who are dragged into your “Welsh speakers get
    everything” argument, they are amongst the porest people in the U.K, and yet this is where the Welsh
    language thrives. So please, stop making every Welsh speaker out as a grant maintained entity!



    • Thank you for your comment Gareth.

      I accept entirely what you say but I must point out the last sentence in my Letter on Uncut (19.7.13):

      ‘The real Welsh are kind, passionate, full of humour and welcoming to all comers.’

      I don’t think the above is making every Welsh speaker out to be a grant maintained entity, quite the opposite in fact? I must also remind you, that I am on the public record (eg Radio Cymru no less and in my own writings) as being in support of the preservation and promotion of Welsh language writing ie if less taxpayers’ money was spent on silly English language books that simply have no audience and don’t sell, then there would be more in the pot for the promotion of Welsh language titles.

      For the hundreth time I AM NOT anti-Welsh language per se. The fact remains however, that the language is in decline in spite of billions having been thrown at it over the years. As I have stated, again publicly, persuasion and consent are the ways forward not coercion and the whip of the Statute book.

      But more important than any of this, instead of wasting taxpayers’ money on hopeless causes (Radio Cymru and S4C for instance), investment would be better employed keeping young Welsh speakers on board ie throw the bucks at social media etc. Because you know and I know, that if the language neglects the young, it neglects the future and it will ultimatley die.



      PS Oh and I had some happy times in Pwllheli with my first love. My God, that was a few years ago. Forty in fact!

  3. The Talfan Davieses really are extraordinary. It seems so unfair that so much talent should be concentrated in one family. I can think of only one recent parallel where a job passed from father to son to grandson: North Korea’s Kim dynasty. (Others may be better placed to judge whether the similarities end there.)

    • Needless to say RSP that Geraint Talfan Davies is now Chairman of the Welsh National Opera, so much for his book ‘At Arms Length!’.

      Believe me the list of ‘usual suspects’ goes on and on, and yet they fail to see how much damage they are doing to Wales with their two fingers to diversity and inclusion.

      Welsh politicians are no better, and believe me yet again I know. I’ve been in meetings with a few of them and they just plain beggar belief.

      Wales is becoming more of a ghetto by the day, which is of course the saddest thing of all.


  4. It is important, in my mind, to draw attention to this crippling set of circumstances, and I thank you for airing it on the ‘Labour Uncut’ site and here.

    Most are too afraid to speak out, as doing so often means being socially ostracized and professionally blacklisted.

    The one thing I would like to see more emphasis on when addressing this issue is the criminal nature of these acts. The overall loss to the public purse runs in the millions, which makes this a case of serious organized crime.

    • Dear yn wir,

      Thank you for your kind words.

      If it is any consolation, for once the corrupt machinations of the Welsh Crachach are finally being brought to the attention of a national audience who are outside the cosy, compliant and omnivorous Welsh media. It is not an exaggeration for me to state here that the Crachach are finally receiving some serious attention from the real political masters in Westminster.

      I take your point where so many Welsh people are afraid to speak out. No doubt you are as aware of the reasons for this as I am – an all consuming Welsh public sector. One can understand however, the gagged frustration when mortagages have to be paid and food put on the table.

      The malcontents and those with vested interests have tried everything in the book to discredit and smear me – it has of course got them nowhere. I am not in anyone’s pocket and I enjoy independent means.

      Finally, do keep an eye on my weekly columns for Uncut, there are some real beauties due to be published.

      The unscrutinised days of insidious Crachach self-indulgence and fancy back scratching are over.

      All the best,

      Julian Ruck

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