Arts Council of Wales and Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union, an update

I’M IN SEMI-RETIREMENT AND THIS BLOG IS WINDING DOWN. I INTEND CALLING IT A DAY IN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS. POSTINGS WILL PROBABLY BE LESS FREQUENT AND I WILL NOT UNDERTAKE ANY MAJOR NEW INVESTIGATIONS. DIOLCH YN FAWR.

This is a follow-up to last week’s post, ‘Corruption Bay and a tale of Cymrophobia‘. You’ll remember that we looked at how Labour Party insiders were paid to produce reports that would guide more ‘inclusive’ policy at the commissioning bodies, the Arts Council of Wales and the National Museum.

UPDATE

One of these submissions, from the mysterious Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union, painted a picture of Wales as some kind of Hell on Earth where ‘creatives’ of a non-Caucasian pigmentation are brutally discriminated against.

It was reminiscent of the hysteria I’ve been writing about in connection with YesCymru. Where some of those involved in the failed Woke-Left takeover wanted us to believe that ‘women with penises’ are being butchered on Welsh streets by mobs of transphobes.

What I found revealing was that neither those suggesting rampant transphobia or a whites-only arts scene are prepared to debate. Any dialogue must start from a blind acceptance of their ‘facts’.

A few tit-bits have come to light since the previous post went out. For example, someone drew my attention to the metadata naming authors for the three reports.

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The report from Labour insiders Lu Thomas and Jon Luxton named Luxton as the author. But the other two reports listed Arts Council employees as authors. Which might at first sight seem a bit odd, though there could be a simple explanation.

Such as the reports being submitted in MS Word or some other format and the Arts Council converting them to PDF.

If that is not the explanation, then what is?

Despite the ‘authorship’, there is no real issue with the Richie Turner Associates’ report because the contributors are named in the report.

It’s the third report, from the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union, that’s causing concern. Because no individual or contributor is named anywhere.

Anyway, in the hope of helping me make sense of the bigger picture, a few people made suggestions. Pointed me in certain directions. So off I went.

NATURE OF THE BEAST

It’s fair to say that Amgueddfa Cymru was almost a ‘passenger’ in this exercise, so I’m ruling them out to focus on The Arts Council of Wales.

The current Chair is Phil George, who I speculated was a Labour Party supporter. His immediate predecessor in the post, from 2007 – 2016, was David Burton Smith, whose political leanings have never been in doubt.

For Dai Smith – father of unsuccessful challenger to Jeremy Corbyn, Owen Smith – is another creature of the left. One of those historians who, like Neil Kinnock, believes Wales isn’t worthy of study until the Industrial Revolution and the creation of a proletariat.

Smith worked for the BBC in Cardiff, from 1994, as, ‘Head of Broadcast (English Language). He was responsible for commissioning programmes on the arts and in drama and has also presented award-winning documentaries on the people and culture of south Wales’.

Through a socialist prism, of course.

An interesting insight into colonial Wales, this. For while the Labour Party rails against Tory cronyism, Old Boy networks and the rest, the Buttybond practises something very similar in Wales.

And the Tories are more than happy to let them do it. I’ll explain why a bit later.

Phil George has a long history with The National Theatre of Wales (NTW). In fact, he was one of the founding directors on September 9, 2008. He seems to have left NTW in March 2016, around the time he was appointed Chair of the Arts Council.

I’m told the National Theatre of Wales was always well favoured in Cardiff. One source reports: ‘”BBC Wales” used and uses every opportunity to promote this company. Hardly any arts documentaries are done but in its formative years, 2010, it commissioned a 30 minute advertorial dressed up as a documentary on a National Theatre production’.

It was thanks to Phil George and NTW that Abdul Shayek of London got his foot in the Welsh public funding door.  For Shayek’s Linkedin page tells us that from April 2011 until April 2013 he was a Creative Associate with NTW.

Shayek then branched out to form FIO, a BAME theatre group. Though apparently reliant on funding from the Welsh public purse this didn’t stop FIO taking plays to India. And Shayek ‘representing’ FIO at symposia and the like in Sri Lanka and Australia.

Nice work if you can get it! And especially if someone else is paying.

Another source tells me FIO got some £400,000 in funding over 3 or 4 three years. (It might have been more.) Which pays for quite a few trips to Oz and old Serendip.

Going back to Shayek’s Linkedin bio we see that he left FIO in August 2020 to join Tara Theatre. No, this has nothing to do with halls and High Kings, it’s yet another ‘ethnically diverse’ theatre group. This time in London.

I’m not sure of the reasons for Shayek’s departure, or where this leaves his creation, FIO. The website suggests it’s still going, and the Charity Commission entry implies he’s still involved.

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Whatever the relationship between Abdul Shayek and FIO he still appears to be involved with the arts scene in Wales. And pissing off quite a few people with his involvement in the Wales Culture and Race Taskforce (WCRT).

Which was set up in June 2020 to, ‘challenge the lack of diversity within the arts in Wales and demand systemic change’.

I’m not sure if this was Abdul Shayek’s brainchild or if he just got involved somehow. Certainly, his creation FIO was holding the money donated to WCRT by other arts groups. Said to be £20,000.

You’ll get a flavour of the dispute from the Critically Speaking blog of Jafar Iqbal. (A supporter of Leyton Orient football club.) In particular, read the lengthy comment from ‘pledging organisations’.

If you want to know more about the role envisaged for the Wales Culture and Race Taskforce then you should read this document prepared for the ‘Welsh Government’.

Strangely, in just 452 words this document manages to use the term ‘white-led’ three times. In the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union ‘report’ we encounter the phrase ‘white-led’ 10 times.

When checking the metadata for the document I’ve just linked to, I found the author named as Letty Clarke. So obviously, I wondered who she might be.

You will not be surprised to learn that Letty is also from England, but since January 2020 she has been Curator of Public Programmes at Artes Mundi Prize Ltd. From the Artes Mundi website we learn:

‘Artes Mundi Prize Ltd is a registered non-profit charity that annually relies on support from individuals, corporations, sponsors, trusts and foundations to fund the costs of all our programmes, alongside our core public revenue from Arts Council of Wales and Cardiff City Council’.

The name may sound like a character from a forgotten novel set in 19th century New England, but Letty is of the here and now. And, unfortunately, the ‘here’ is Wales.

Letty Clarke’s Linkedin profile makes it clear that she supports Black Lives Matter, and her Twitter account provides a few gems.

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As many of you will know, investigations are continuing into the death of Mohamud Mohammed Hassan, who died some hours after leaving police custody. But Letty Clarke, after being in Wales for a short time, has already made her mind up.

For according to her Hassan was a victim of ‘police brutality’ and ‘state violence in Wales’. What the hell does she mean by ‘state violence’? There is no Welsh state!

Let me explain the relationship to you, Letty . . . Your country robs my country and by way of compensation doles out money to those buffoons down Corruption Bay, who in turn distribute far too much of that cash to people like you and your friends.

Which means that, one way and another, most Welsh people get screwed twice over.

Up to now in this painful trawl through the ‘Welsh’ arts scene I don’t think we’ve met anyone who is actually Welsh, apart from a few cocks atop the dung heap.

Let’s see if we have any more luck in the next section.

THE SEARCH CONTINUES FOR THE WELSH ARTS ANTI-RACIST UNION

In December 2019 the Wales Audit Office produced a snappily-entitled report, ‘Well-being of Future Generations Increasing Participation in Areas with Under-developed Reach of the Arts – Arts Council of Wales’. You can read it here.

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The Introduction says: ‘This document has been prepared for the internal use of the Arts Council of Wales’. Reminding us that this is an example of the additional public money wasted since the implementation of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, and the creation of the post of Future Generations Commissioner, with of course, a whole new department.

The job of Commissioner was given to Labour time-server Sophie Howe. She had previously worked under Alun Michael, the former Labour MP and now Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales.

Under ‘Contents’ we read: ‘In its efforts to increase participation, inclusion and engagement in areas with under-developed reach of the arts, the Arts Council of Wales (Arts Council) is demonstrating commitment to the sustainable development principle but it recognises the need to further embed the five ways of working.’

Clearly, the Audit Office looked into inclusion in the arts, and made recommendations to the Arts Council. So why, just six months later, did the ACW spaff another £50,000 (minimum) doing what looks like exactly the same thing?

(Note that the Sell2Wales notice I link to is from June 2020. Which is when the Wales Culture and Race Taskforce was set up.)

This duplication produced the three reports dealt with in the previous post, including the submission from the mysterious Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union.

This digression takes us nowhere nearer identifying the person or persons behind the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union. In fact, it’s difficult to get any handle on the WAARU.

One mention I did find was on what I assume to be a podcast. It seems to be called Mostyn, or Lumin, the latter described as, ‘an artist-run radio and publisher led by Sadia Pineda Hameed and Beau W Beakhouse’.

If you scroll down to the bios of others involved, you’ll see this for the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union. But again, no name.

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I’d like to be able to tell you that Hameed is from Froncysyllte and Beakhouse from Llangyfelach, but alas . . .

Beau tells us: ‘I’m originally from Bournemouth but moved around . . . I come from a nature & craft background . . .  My parents were self-employed gardeners, who then went into woodcraft . . . Eventually, I managed to study English Literature at Cardiff University’.

Hameed: ‘I’m from London. I also came to Cardiff to study English Literature at uni and decided to stay ‒ in part because I didn’t really have the money to pursue the arts back in London, but also because I really liked how open the arts scene in Wales is.’

Yes indeedy; the ‘arts scene’ in Wales is open to just about anybody . . . artistic talent is unnecessary, and knowledge of Wales undesirable.

Here’s an example of Beakhouse’s poetry from 2017.

Don’t give up the day job, Beau. Whatever it is.

That we are no nearer fingering who wrote the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union report is understandable, given its reception. But the Arts Council of Wales must know because the WAARU was paid well to insult us.

Which is why I have submitted a Freedom of Information request to the ACW.

But over and above that, this situation of strangers being paid to insult us could only happen in the peculiar circumstances of devolution, which sees politicians and others who superficially oppose each other agree when it comes to Wales, and the Welsh.

UPDATE: Since publishing this piece I have received feedback, including someone drawing my attention to The Future Generations Report 2020. On page 355 we read what you see in the panel:

I have two points to make.

First, ‘learning Welsh on the job’ sounds like a good idea, until you realise it’s often a ruse to give jobs to people most of whom will do no more than go through the motions of taking a few Welsh lessons.

Mark James, former chief executive of Carmarthenshire County Council, would be a great example of this scam in practise.

Second, The Future Generations Commissioner in her 2020 report is quoting Race Alliance Wales (RAW), a body formally launched on December 19, 2019. How the hell did a newly-constituted body become so influential so quickly?

The answer is that those behind RAW are based almost exclusively in Cardiff and well connected in Corruption Bay.

While organisations elsewhere in Wales, established for far longer, representing many more people, but outside the Bay Bubble, are ignored.

This is not healthy; this is not democratic; this should not be the Wales any of us wants to see.

But it’s the Wales we live in.

FURTHER UPDATE: Someone else has been in touch with an intriguing suggestion. Which is, that when an anonymous Twitter account is launched the author is often to be found among the early followers.

In the case of the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union Twitter account the first ten followers can be found here. (Read from the bottom up.) There are quite a few names there that appear in this article.

THE BIT AT THE END WHERE COLOMBO PUFFS ON HIS CIGAR AND . . .

Picking up again on the shared motivations, what I’m hinting at is that these otherwise squabbling interests agree that Wales must be carefully ‘managed’.

Which is why what passes for entertainment on television and elsewhere is banal and superficial. Welsh politics, social issues, and other specifically Welsh matters (when dealt with in English) are often quarantined in programmes broadcast at awkward times . . . which results in hardly anyone watching them.

The same applies more widely, in the fields so copiously manured by the Arts Council. For example, there’s not a hope in Hell of Wales having its own Abbey Theatre.

We are at a stage now where if two plays are in competition for funding, one about Welsh villages being destroyed by excessive tourism, the other about the absence of obstetric facilities for low caste birthing persons in Tamil Nadu, then you can predict with certainty which will enjoy an opening night.

Researching this piece I stumbled on an hour-long lecture by former Arts Council Chair Dai Smith, built around writer Raymond Williams. Smith is speaking at a ‘Cultural Democracy Workshop’ in November 2020.

This was of course delivered at a time when the three reports commissioned by the Arts Council were being prepared. Yes, it was all happening around that time.

Smith makes the point that in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, when Williams was at the height of his intellectual and creative powers, his writing was framed by what he saw as a class struggle. But things have moved on.

(Interestingly, a piece on Williams appeared in UnHerd yesterday.)

Most importantly, the political left in Europe and North America has lost the working class. Which is why Marxism is now promoted through race, environmentalism and gender. And the harder the left pushes these the more it alienates the working class.

No one living just thirty years ago could have envisioned the crazy situation we have reached today. And few political activists of the left under the age of 40 can believe that their ideological predecessors idolised those they regard as stupid, racist, transphobic, climate denying Brexiteers.

The sons and grandsons of Marxist miners are fascist white van men!

A hazy understanding of Marxism re-interpreted by Black Lives Matter almost certainly lies behind the report submitted by the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union. It also explains the report’s acceptance by the Arts Council.

But why would the Old Etonians in Westminster and their civil servant alumni of lesser schools want to push such drivel? The answer is that they share with the Woke-Left establishment in Corruption Bay a desired outcome.

This explains the funding and other encouragement for people from around the world to come here, take funding that should go to Welsh arts, and then call us racist.

London likes the ‘The Welsh are racist’ message because it explains why we oppose holiday homes, and resent being colonised. (It’s why the Telegraph used the WAARU report.) Corruption Bay modifies it to read, ‘Nationalism is racist’ because that can slander those suggesting there is a better way for Cymru than devolution’s cronyism and exploitation. 

Together they tell us why the ‘Welsh’ arts scene today is a revolting mess of talentless dreamers and grant-grabbing shysters. Overwhelmingly alien; with some of those involved positively racist in their attitudes towards us.

Modern Wales in microcosm.

♦ end ♦

 




32 thoughts on “Arts Council of Wales and Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union, an update

  1. Dafis

    Your tweet about that pollution incident at Penallta is yet another example of how Welsh Government flip flops in its attempts to feed the hatred of anything remotely Welsh especially if it’s rural, like agriculture yet ducks tackiling offenders in other sectors. All sorts of toxic shit spewed out of that fire at that junk yard yet Lazy Idle Lesley remained very silent. Had that been a couple of trailer loads of slurry off a farm she would have been there with some obedient talking head from NRW threatening all sorts of fire and brimstone.

    Time she buggered off and took one of those vacant jobs in the care sector although I would prefer that she wasn’t caring for anyone in my extended family. After all she’d probably exterminate him/her just for shitting in the wrong place. Thus she seems unemployable.

      1. Dafis

        If she got slung out of work she could devote ALL her time and energies into meeting his needs ! Or is it more a case of him seeing to her needs ? Mind boggling.

  2. A butty of mine phoned earlier to tell me of an incident on the A55 today. Seemingly two North Wales Police Officers NWP Plod were on Highway Patrol on the Liverpool to Yr Wyddfa A55 road when they saw a scabby old VW Camper driving West with four hippy Scousers in it. The NWP Plod stopped the vehicle and asked “Where are you going and for what purpose?” and the Scousers replied “We are going to invade North Wales and Yr Wyddfa!”. The NWP Plod fell about laughing and said “What? Just the four of you!”. The Scousers replied “No, we are just the last four, following the 250,000 that went before us during the Covid Lockdowns!”. A story from Cilly Anne Sara Howes (Silly but Serious).

    1. Dafis

      Oddly enough I spoke to a Scouser last weekend who was egg-static about Abbasock and Poolhelly. Sold on North Wales she said that she would next time visit Tenby cos she’d seen it on the telly. When I asked her if she knew where Tenby is she said “just below Abbawhistwith” . I said “yeah about 15 miles further on, then turn right and follow the edge of the sea for a while”

  3. Sian Caiach

    I’m bemused by the “Non-Black people of colour label” does the term Non-Black People of Colour refer to the dark skinned Caucasians who populate much of South Asia, North Africa and the Middle East and who have many communities in Wales?

    Is my mixed race niece “Black” because she has a Jamaican Mother or a Non-Black Person of colour due to her Welsh Father’s genetic contribution of a lighter skin colour and freckles?..
    .
    This is more bizarre than “Life of Brian”.

    1. I’m sure ‘non-Black people of colour is intended to cover everyone who is neither of European stock nor of sub-Sahara African background. Which covers most of humankind.

      And yet, in many years of dealing with and writing about those who try to make a career out of their skin colour or their ethnic background, I don’t think I’ve ever met a Chinese person. Which means that the largest nation on Earth is either excluded, or just not interested in playing this identity / victim politics. Same goes for the Japanese, Indonesians, and people from other large groups or countries.

      My experience is that those running the show in Wales may claim to be representing everyone who isn’t white but, in reality, they represent a very narrow section of society. And a very small number of people.

      That they have such influence is due to the ‘progressive’ culture of Corruption Bay, which believes anything and everything non-white must be supported and also, more recently, the left adopting race, gender and the environment as sticks with which to beat us since the working class told the left to go do one.

      1. Another line of questioning in this vein is how much a factor does ‘one drop’ play? I’m reminded of the much hullabaloo’d recent HRH Hewitt interview with Oprah, in which their son was referred to being “Of colour”. Now, the mother is about as dark in complexion as perhaps an Italian or a Spaniard, and father is a well known ginge, so I’d be very surprised if the kid was anything but Caucasian in outward appearance. Ergo, nobody in their right mind could call him Black.

        These sorts of situations get me wondering as to whether ‘of colour’ is a sort of euphemism for ‘one drop’-ness, which gets logically silly very quickly as you traverse back though probably almost anyone’s ethnic ancestry. Ironically, the thinking behind what was originally terminology for classifying people by ‘blackness’ in the days of slavery, Quadroons and the like, has in a sense been co-opted by modern day leftist do-gooders.

    2. Brychan

      It’s a cynical and manipulative reduction of culture and diversity to a skin colour. It is a founded on the concept that a Welsh citizen of part Caribbean culture shares the same ‘ishoos’ as someone from India and lumping them in with the whole of Africa. It’s the British Imperial classification of ‘black’. As if the Matabele culture is the same as that of the Hausa or Somali, all of which have vastly different and unique culture and language. It is to classify ‘blacks’, in the same way as Cecil Rhodes did, a colonial grouping founded on racism. To reduce a person only to define then by colour of skin, and it’s being funded by the Welsh Government.

  4. Jac, Yesterday one comment on your BLOG said to you – ” Please don’t retire. No one else is doing this”. I’m sure most of us feel the same sentiment, I get the feeling Jac, that you must be tired and frustrated with your own followers. Why? Very few of them take action on what you make public. If you are exposing corruption or sleaze or nepotism or Monopoly Party abuse or crime Jac, on their doorstep, your readers need to take action and contact their MP and their FIVE local Senedd Members and their local newspapers and possibly their County Council and their Councillors and the Police to express their outrage and demand action. YES DEMAND ACTION.
    I get the feeling that not many, if any, of your readers are doing that. That must be frustrating for you Jac. Little wonder you are retiring. Sadly who will fill the gap? Readers, think hard now – how many of you have demanded action to rectify the slime that permeates Wales. JAC READERS WITHOUT YOUR FOLLOW UP ACTIONS, THIS WONDERFUL BLOG HAS BEEN JUST AN INTERESTING WASTE OF TIME. Pay tribute to Jac by demanding actions now from all those in Authority.

    1. Too kind, squire. There will be one more post (at least) about this shambles at the Arts Council. Actually, I think it’s a lot worse than just a confused shambles.

  5. Shuai

    Thanks for depressing me yet again, Jac! Just read your article on how terribly racist Wales is. I’m sitting on a GWR train on my way from London to Abertawe. Sorry, that’s Swansea. How come a company which operates services to and from Cymru has got away for so long without even paying lip service to the Welsh language? I’m sure Abdhul and Lotty would agree that it’s very racist. Just wish I had their knowhow into screwing the Welsh Government to give me some money, to set up campaign against GWR.

    1. Dafis

      The sentiment within that comment is so bang on the money, but when it comes to money you are more likely to secure Welsh Government funding if you are overtly, or discreetly, setting out to attack anything which resembles a native Welsh identity. The recent claim that immigrants find it hard to learn Welsh is absolute bollocks. It should have read that certain types of Anglo supremacist migrant consider it beneath their dignity, and that attitude also rubs off on some Welsh (why?) and some new arrivals from former colonies who think that integration is about being a good Sais. Perhaps the explanation for the resistance among the Anglo Welsh is best explained in Dafydd Iwan’s old ditty about “ishe bod yn Sais”.

      Back to the money because this is a scandal. We see seriously defective talentless people rocking up and getting a packet of funding and support which they wouldn’t get near in their own country. Positions of influence in the decision making processes are occupied by men and women of various shades of colonialist mindset. They may be divided on party lines but share a love for keeping Wales in subordinate condition and extracting what little wealth exists for the benefit of their cronies.

  6. Wrexhamian

    For such a small and tolerant country, Cymru (i.e. Cardiff) has a plethora of organisations established to combat racism. I’m sure they all do a great job, because I see very little evidence that any minority ethnic group is actively discriminated against here. There seems to be a considerable amount of duplication of a kind redolent of the Welsh Third Sector, but I’m assuming that these duplicated anti-racism set-ups are not publicly funded…

    Insofar as the remit of these organisations makes nlittle or no mention of the colonial status of Wales and the attacks on Welsh culture, they have at least not overtly put themselves in opposition to the safeguarding and promotion of Welsh culture and language.

    In contrast, by producing their alleged report, the WAARU have stepped into new territory by promoting an actively anti-Welsh language position and a desire to impose London cultural mores on the Welsh capital. Whether deliberately or not, they have (as Jac implies) allied themselves with the BritNat camp and have adopted a colonialist position and role. Faced with the latent threat of accusations of racism (the 21st-Century equivalent of excommunication or heresy), the leaders of two of Cymru’s most important cultural institutions have been led into adopting an anti-Welsh-language position of their own.

    1. The bottom line is – money. And third-rate ‘creatives’ who have persuaded themselves that the Welsh language stands between them and mountains of Welsh public funding.

    2. Very well said Wrexhamian. I have sent in several Freedom of Information Questions about WAARU to both the Wales Government and to Welsh Arts Council but suspect both organisations, for different reasons, will not answer my questions. If I get answers, I will ask Jac and GWLAD to publish them. One point Wrexhamian where you are wrong :- You wrote “I see very little evidence that any minority ethnic group is actively discriminated against here”. You forgot the discrimination that is rabidly active in most of Wales about Traveller Gypsies (and even Settled Gypsies – if the latter are an ‘ethnic group’), however, there is a possibility that a minority of them do bring some pariah problems on to themselves.

  7. Llewelyn Davis

    Organisers from Where I’m Coming From and Lumin Press are the ones who were doing the interviews and research for this piece.

  8. David Smith

    A general tip, which you’re probably aware of but I’ll pass along just in case, to extract ‘not immediately obvious’ data from webpages is to right click, ‘View Source’ and look for tags near the top, within the bounds of and . Similarly for photos, there’s the EXIF metadata which can be parsed out by any number of tools retrievable via Google.

    1. David Smith

      I should have guessed my tags would have been stripped. And I call myself a web developer! That was meant to refer to meta tags being within the bounds of head and ‘close head’.

  9. Gruff

    Another good piece

    I definately believe there may be a very good case to take the ‘Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union’ and their authors to court under The Equality Act 2010, as well as the Arts Council of Wales if they decide to act on what WAARU appear to be ‘demanding’.

    I believe what both are saying/pushing discriminates against white people – they obviously have a problem, based on skin colour, with anything that is ‘whie led’. This as well as against Welsh nationality/ethnicity of whatever colour based on the what I believe is also discrimination against the Welsh language.

    The Equality Act 2010 clearly states you musn’t be discriminated against because of your race which is is one of the protected characteristics under the Equality Act.

    Race discrimination is when you’re treated unfairly because of one of the following things:

    colour
    nationality
    ethnic origin
    national origin.

    The law says an ethnic group is a group who share the same history and cultural traditions. In addition, the group may share one or more of the following things:

    the same language
    the same religion
    the same literature
    the same geographical origin
    being an oppressed group
    being a minority.

    There are plenty of good law practioners out there who could take these extremists to court and make some decent money in the process

  10. Mel Morgan

    Carefull textual analysis, as practised by theologians engaged in the Higher Biblical Criticism, would probably establish the authorship(s) of some of these texts.

    Dai Smith – isn’t he a caution? For him to discuss Raymond Williams (whom I had the pleasure of meeting some 40 years ago) is rather like Mark Drakeford’s discussing Niclas y Glais, or Donald Trump’s discoursing on Abraham Lincoln. Some people have described him as the guru of Welsh historians. This is not a usage with which I can be comfortable. A ‘guru’ was originally a teacher, a bringer of light. It seems to have degenerated into a convenient label for those unfortunates unable to spell ‘charlatan’. (Incidentally, he is still royally jealous of John Bwlchllan.)

    The idea that My Lord Kinnock might be any kind of Marxist reminds me of Dai Francis’ famous put-down of Lord Loco. (In fact, the idea that Neil Kinnock might have any thoughts at all is denied by those who know this appalling couple: the informed view is that any actual ideas emanate from her.)
    “Do you remember when we was young, Dai, and we was going to change the world, and we was Marxists?”
    “The only Marx you ever understood, Llew bach, was Groucho.”

    And yes, I can confirm that Phil George, a genial enough cove, has been a paid-up member of the Taffia for over 30 years.

    1. A friendly contact of mine had the misfortune to be in the same circle as Neil Kinnock in his late teens. He recollects several memories of this sad misfit. Seemingly Kinnock was desperate to appear in an amateur Shakespeare production and bleating loudly (with his life long loud mouth) he harangued the Producer for a part. He finally got the role of ‘Bottom’ in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. That cynical move, by a weak minded Producer in succumbing, was befitting as we all know that Bottom is a character in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream who provides comic relief throughout the play. Bottom, a weaver by trade, is famously known for getting his head transformed into that of a braying donkey. My contact promises to air more embarrassing stories that our millionaire ex lefty would like to forget of the times before he met his minder from Ynys Mon. Do any other readers of this BLOG have any stories to share on ‘Bottom’.

      1. David Smith

        The Rt. Hon. Ron Davies also played Bottom on several occasions, as part of al fresco productions. He also performed in The Round.

    2. I assume we’re talking of Llew Heycock; if so, then Groucho may have been a bit over his head. These old-time Labour operators didn’t get to the top of the pile by being intellectual. They did it through the right balance of animal cunning and ruthlessness.

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