The world is currently experiencing the worst economic crisis in living memory, due to the ‘advanced’ economies paddling wilfully up Shit Creek and then losing their paddles. The UK canoe is badly holed and despite assurances from our political masters that we’re all in it together it is clear that, yet again, we Welsh are going to experience rather more ordure than the rest.
To this backdrop of impending financial meltdown two stories caught my eye today that I could not allow to pass without comment.
The first I picked up on the BBC website. A curious tale about how, due to the economic climate, English councils will have to cut back, possibly close, their ‘outdoor education centres’ in Wales. The piece made great play of the fact that such centres employ 450 people in north Wales alone. Which may be true, but apart from a few cooks and cleaners, I guarantee that few if any of those employees are Welsh.
I could see no point to this story other than flying a kite for a future appeal to the Notional Assembly or local councils, especially Cyngor Gwynedd, for funding. It would appear that these English councils are hoping we will fund their colonial outposts in Wales and pay the salaries of the English staff running them! Nice try – now let’s tell them where to get off. What Cyngor Gwynedd should do is let these places close then re-open them with Welsh staff and charge the English councils – or anyone else – prepared to pay to spend time in our hills. Thereby creating WELSH jobs and generating income. But not a penny from the Welsh public purse must go to sustaining the current colonialist system.
The other story is of course the news that Prinz Wilhelm Saxe-Coburg-Gotha is to marry his girlfriend Kate Middleton in late spring or early summer next year. Good luck to them both.
Given that Wilhelm is the son of Karl, soi-disant Prince of Wales, there will doubtless be calls from the usual suspects for Wales to ‘celebrate’ the event. (Especially as he is a pilot at a family air base on Ynys Môn.) This will involve spending a great deal of money that Wales can not afford on toadying to the English royal family. On showing ‘loyalty’. Let us get this straight now, so that there can be no misunderstanding in the next few months; let us put down a marker for the Assembly, our local authorities, and anyone else wanting to spend public money on celebrating Wilhelm’s nuptials: don’t even think about it!!
Wales is the poorest part of a basket-case economy so don’t expect us to stand idly by while you waste money Wales can not afford on celebrating a marriage that means nothing to most of us. Because if you do, you risk a re-run of 1969, and this time it won’t just be nationalists causing problems.
UPDATE November 17: As if to confirm my suspicions about the forthcoming circus Newsnight last night had a ‘debate’. The invited guests were: David Starkey, Simon Schama and Rachel Johnson. Want to trivialise the monarchy and turn people off? Then have a studio event involving two flouncing TV ‘historians’ and Boris’s kid sister. Couldn’t do better myself. (Though given the left-wing slant of Newsnight this was probably the intention.)