Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union unmasked

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 the third posting on the report accepted by the Arts Council of Wales and the National Museum from the mysterious and hitherto unidentified Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union (WAARU).

The WAARU submission was one of three (out of 34 applications) accepted by the two bodies ‘to undertake a series of in-depth research conversations’, with a view to ‘widening engagement‘ in the arts.

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Before starting, let’s just pause to consider the name of the group, Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union (WAARU). Clearly, whoever set up this group had already decided that there were racists in the Welsh arts scene. The kind of report the WAARU would produce was therefore entirely predictable.

I am now almost certain that I know who was involved in producing this scandalous report. Though many questions remain.

First, we’ll consider the report itself, then I’ll identify those I believe are responsible for the report, and finally, pose some questions.

THE REPORT

We don’t have space to go through the full report so instead, I’ll do what many of us do in such circumstances and head for the Recommendations. Except that in the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union document there are no Recommendations.

Instead we find, beginning on page 27, ‘Our List of Demands’.

These Demands are broken down into ‘Immediate’, which must be met within 14 days of the two bodies concerned receiving the report. ‘Short Term’, within six months. ‘Medium Term’, 6 to 12 months. ‘Long Term’, 1 to 2 years.

Before looking at the Demands themselves I’ve taken the following extract from ‘Principles’ on page 29, which sets the tone for what follows.

‘NMW-AC and ACW cannot accept that the racist situation we find ourselves in needs to change without equally accepting the role they play in maintaining it. As a result of this, they cannot be trusted to lead us out of this situation and must hand over significant power to Black and non-Black people of colour . . . .NMW-AC and ACW have been upholding white supremacist ideology.’

Suggesting that the Arts Council of Wales and Amgueddfa Cymru are irredeemably racist and should hand over the reins to, presumably, the authors of the report.

Moving on to the Demands themselves, starting at the foot of page 29 we read:

‘A budget commitment for at least five years offering regular and substantial grants for Black and non-Black artists of colour (prioritising people who experience multiple marginalisation). Access to the grant will not be conditional or selective.

Funding to shift from being governed by ‘outcomes’ (including artwork production, public exhibition and ‘community’ workshops) and towards self-identified/ self-measured artist development or community activity.

The only way I can interpret this is that Black and non-Black artists of colour should get paid for doing nothing. Perhaps get paid just for being, er, Black and non-Black artists of colour.

On page 30 we read an appeal for ‘democratisation and transparency’ . . . in a report that is itself unsigned and completely anonymous! (Page 23 is even headed: ‘The need for transparency’!)

On page 31:

‘All expressions of interest / applications longer than 500 words and interviews involving preparation tasks must offer payment to people from marginalised backgrounds as a means of positive action towards more diverse applicants. In a similar vein, all interview offers must come with a clear offer of access costs towards child care, time off work etc (which can be accessed anonymously).’

Demanding payment for completing application forms. But only for people from ‘marginalised backgrounds’.

I think we can safely assume that ‘marginalised backgrounds’ is another way of saying, ‘Black and non-Black artists of colour’.

On page 33:

‘If an employee from a marginalised community feels they need to leave their place of work due to discrimination, they will receive their full salary over the duration that they were contracted to work.’

‘Marginalised community’ is yet more code.

Here’s something else that caught my eye, this time from page 34:

‘NMW-AC and ACW should not be the sole bodies in charge of large budgets and / or distribution of funds. This process should be decentralised to other individuals and organisations, to increase transparency.’

That word ‘transparency’ again. And, again, it’s about money. Money. Money.

Towards the bottom of the same page we encounter:

‘A transformative justice and care fund made available for Black and non-Black people of colour, disabled and neurodivergent people, trans and queer people, people on low-income and people with refugee/asylum seeker status who work as freelance artists or as art workers, who have experienced harm and traumatic experiences within NMW-AC, ACW and all their funded organisations.’

‘I’ve had a traumatic experience with the vending machine – pay me!’ No, I’m not being flippant; it’s just that this section doesn’t explain what qualifies as ‘traumatic’. Though I’m sure we can guess who will qualify – and it won’t be no old honky like Jac!

You may – like many others – be confused by the report’s use of the term ‘Black and non-Black people of colour’. Helpfully, it’s explained in a footnote to page 3.

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It’s all-embracing: Navajo and Nepalese, Hausa and Han, Mongol and Melanesian.  Lumping non-white humanity under one clunky label to align them all against the pith-helmeted white supremacists of the Arts Council and the National Museum.

It’s really sad, almost delusional; the idea that non-white people everywhere share the views of some far left malcontents in the Cardiff arts scene.

This ‘report’ from the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union is a ransom note. And like all ransom notes its authors remain anonymous. The other similarity with a ransom note is that its primary purpose is to extract money.

THE UNMASKING

In case you’re new to this saga, it may be worth glancing at the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union (WAARU) Twitter account, which suggests the WAARU was born in early July, 2020.

As I wrote in ‘Corruption Bay and a tale of Cymrophobia‘: ‘The first tweet was on July 6, 2020, followed by a flurry of tweets that ended on August 11. There was nothing then until a retweet on Oct 20. A further retweet in November, another in December. Then nothing until April 18 and 19. A final retweet on May 14, attacking Israel, and nothing since.’

What’s remarkable about this Twitter account is that there is no mention of the tender to the Arts Council, or of the tender being accepted, or of the WAARU getting paid for the report, and then the report being published.

Yet this is the sole achievement of the WAARU. It’s almost certainly why the WAARU was set up. So why are those involved so reticent to claim the accolade?

This is a question that will probably remain unanswered. Though one possibility is that tweets were deleted before I saw the Twitter account. I suggest that because the response to its publication guaranteed the report would be an orphan.

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And yet, the answers to who is involved in the WAARU can be found in the documents I’ve used or referred to in the previous two posts.

Let’s start with something that appeared in an update to the previous post. Put up after a source suggested that when dealing with anonymous Twitter accounts it can often be rewarding to check on the first followers.

Here they are. Reading from the bottom up, we see that the first follower was @radha_sophia. Then comes @Durre_Shahwar, then @tayloredmonds, and so on.

A number of the other early followers have appeared in the previous blogs. Who could forget that master of the iambic hexameter Beau W Beakhouse? And then there’s BLM supporter Letty Clarke of Artes Mundi.

Note also that one follower is @WICFCardiff, which is a group called Where I’m Coming From. Of the first five followers, one is the group itself, and three of the others appear to be members.

WAARU Twitter follower number one, @radha_sophia, does not list Where I’m Coming From in her bio, but she is certainly linked. As this testifies. Note also the reference to ‘Sadia Hameed’. This being Sadia Pineda Hameed, the partner of Beau W Beakhouse.

Here’s @radha_sophia retweeting the WAARU launch tweet almost immediately it was issued. Do you find her message mildly threatening?

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You’ll see in the link to the WICF piece that @radha_sophia is named as Radha Patel. Which is her real name. Or, in full, Radha Mukesh Patel.

The Arts Council / Amgueddfa Cymru advertisement for tenders went out June 29, 2020 on the Sell2Wales site. In an update, on September 29, 2020 – giving the names of the successful applicants – we find an address for the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union.

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That address is in Pyle, just outside Bridgend.

The Land Registry website gave me ownership details for the property, and I recognised the family name. Next, it was over to 192.com to check on who actually lives there. And guess what – living at that address is Radha Mukesh Patel.

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So Patel’s family home in Pyle was given to the Arts Council as the address of the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union.

But how much of a hand did Patel herself have in the writing of the report for which the Arts Council and Amgueddfa Cymru were happy to part with a few thousand pounds of our money?

Maybe not a lot. She’s more likely to be one of a number of contributors.

Either way, here’s another tweet from Radha Patel, from August 2020, when she was presumably in Scotland. She doesn’t want to eat in a white-owned establishment.

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Moving on . . .

If we’re looking for a group that might have co-ordinated this exercise, then the previously mentioned Where I’m Coming From fits the bill very well.

As we’ve seen, its founder-members are among the earliest followers of WAARU and it connects with other significant actors in this scam. For I have no hesitation in using that word.

Beakhouse and Hameed of Lumin may be in the mix, but I think it would be more rewarding to focus on the Arts Council – specifically, Artes Mundi – and the Future Generations Commissioner’s office.

For if we look at the Artes Mundi Twitter account we see that it is currently co-operating with Where I’m Coming From. And if you click on the short video, there, at 0:41, we see Letty Clarke herself.

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While in the latest tweet on her personal Twitter account Letty Clarke promotes Hanan Issa, who comes in at number 5 in the WAARU Twitter followers.

Letty Clarke is a busy woman, and she’s named in its metadata as the author of the ‘Wales, Culture & Race Taskforce‘ (WCRT) document of June 2020. Prepared for the Senedd by yet another group of disgruntled BAME arts sector operators.

What happened to the WCRT, and the cash it was promised, is still debated.

I believe Letty Clarke had a hand in producing the WAARU report. But the involvement of Artes Mundi may not be limited to her.

For also listed among the first followers of the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union we find another Artes Mundi Curator, Melissa Hinkin.

Responsibility for the report may extend further.

The ‘widening engagement’ exercise undertaken by the Arts Council was probably initiated by this report, ‘Well-being of Future Generations Increasing Participation in Areas with Under-developed Reach of the Arts – Arts Council of Wales’.

Sure enough, at number 3 among the first ten WAARU followers we find Taylor Edmonds, the Poet in Residence at the Future Generations Commissioner’s office. She is also a ‘team member of @WICFCardiff’.

What the hell does a Poet in Residence do, anyway? Wander around the office sighing, looking for a chaise longue on which to drape oneself in the hope of attracting the muse?

But what if the muse appears at 4:55 and everybody’s off down the pub at 5 for Sharon from Accounts’ birthday piss-up?

‘Oh, Muse, it’s a bit awkward now . . . can you come back tomorrow?’

The impetus for the WAARU and the Mary Celeste-like Wales, Culture and Race Taskforce was the killing of George Floyd 5,000 miles away.

An event irrelevant to Wales encouraged some in the Cardiff arts scene to make unfounded allegations of racism and demand money for perceived injustices. Encouraged by a ‘progressive’ Cardiff Bay establishment ready to roll over and take the blame for slavery, colonialism, and a raft of other crimes of which we Welsh are innocent.

I’ve drawn up a timeline that might help. (The links all work.)

I am now 85% certain that the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union report was compiled by persons named above. Employees of publicly-funded bodies and others involved in the arts sector in Wales.

This sordid episode raises a number of questions.

UPDATE 08.09.2021: The update is just too big to put up on the blog, so it’s available here in PDF format.

WE NEED ANSWERS

A well-connected source tells me that in his experience no public body gives a contract such as we’ve discussed to a group with no record, no references, no money, no nothing.

Especially when there were 34 applications to choose from.

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Another source thinks that if this had taken place in the world of finance it would be called insider dealing. Which is why I earlier referred to what we’re discussing as a scam.

Now for the questions:

  1. Whose decision was it to advertise for organisations to tender for the ‘widening engagement’ research?
  2. Can we see a copy of the tender brief?
  3. Who sat on the scoring panel to select the successful tenders?
  4. Can we see a breakdown of the scores awarded to each tender?
  5. Who at the Arts Council of Wales signed off the award of the contracts?
  6. Why did no one at the Arts Council appreciate the contradiction in a report repeatedly calling for ‘transparency’ itself being anonymous?
  7. Into whose bank account was payment for the WAARU report paid?
  8. Have the Welsh Arts Council and Amgueddfa Cymru already met or do they intend meeting any of the ‘Demands’ in the WAARU report?
  9. How far up the Arts Council totem pole does knowledge of and participation in the WAARU deception extend?
  10. Will those responsible for this deception now be dismissed?
  11. What safeguards will ‘Welsh Government’ put in place to ensure that no more public funding is siphoned to cronies in this way? (Or is that the wrong question to ask of a political party and an administration built on cronyism?)
  12. Will the Wales Audit Office investigate the procedures by which public funding was used to produce what is little more than a racist ransom note?

CONCLUSION

When people on the Far Left work themselves into a frenzy of Woke self-righteousness, to the point where they claim to see ‘fascism’ and ‘racists’ everywhere, then campaigns against racism often end up being racist themselves.

Even more so when they contain unsubtle references to what those behind the report clearly regard as an over-emphasis on Welsh cultural identity.

What makes this case even worse is that there appears to have been collusion from within Welsh public bodies and national institutions. Public bodies and institutions funded by the Welsh public purse.

Wales is a tolerant and welcoming country. When those who claim otherwise use imported terms like ‘systemic racism’, resort to silly words like ‘microaggressions’, and flirt with anti-Semitism and Cymrophobia then they invalidate whatever cause they think they serve.

What I also found revealing about this report was that it contained a litany of vague complaints but a complete absence of specific examples; with not a single case that could be investigated. Let alone substantiated.

Innuendo and hyperbole, sloganising and insults, are no substitute for hard facts.

To the members of the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union, and others like them, I say: Instead of standing outside shouting and chucking stones, why not come in; join us, integrate?

We really aren’t that bad.

♦ end ♦

 




21 thoughts on “Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union unmasked

  1. David Smith

    These do-gooding pricks insult hundreds, if not thousands of nations the planet over, in all their infinite diversity of culture, language and social mores by lumping them all into homogenised, amorphous lumps of white/not white. What was that saying about the paving used on the road to hell again?

  2. Rhosddu

    It’s quite possible that the WAARU was set up specifically to compile the report to the Arts Council and Amgueddfa Cymru, by Cardiff-based lesser lights in the art scene who were looking for funding — representatives of the “marginalised creatives” that Tori West had been hoping to hand out money to before the dodgy central committee were sent packing by the membership. With that potential funding stream blocked, the ACW and the Museum were any easy replacement source of money once the emphasis was put on race. These two organisations, I suspect, were played, rather than being the players.

    1. I’ve searched for a link between Tori West and the WAARU but I couldn’t find one. The report produced by the WAARU almost certainly pre-dates West’s tweet about funding ‘marginalised Welsh creatives’. Which doesn’t rule out that she was aware of the report.

      A good source had this to say:

      ‘I’ve been picking my way through the Arts Wales Corporate Plan to 2023. I think I can see why the WARRU issue has arisen.

      The corporate plan is all about making the arts in Wales more accessible. The Wales Audit Office report then rounded on Arts Wales failings in this area and now WARRU, if you believe a word of it.

      In short, the organisation is failing to deliver its strategic objectives within its own corporate plan and is literally flailing around trying to work out what to do. My thoughts are that this has led to the ‘wild card’ process of involving WARRU, telling them what they need to hear.

      I’ve always been a bit perplexed as to what Arts Wales actually funds? They seem to have become ever more niche, marginalised and distanced from some of Wales’s more established arts themes . . .

      I think I would come to a conclusion of questioning whether Arts Wales is fit for purpose, but more importantly what anyone can do about it. For Arts Wales is established by Royal Charter and is a charity in its own right. Welsh Gov provides funding, but it recognises the arms length independence of the organisation. Like some Uni’s in Wales, the Royal Charter aspect means that certain elements of the organisation such as detailed accounts do not have to be published.’

      1. Dafis

        That update of 8th Sept is pretty damning. Pushy dame chucks her weight around then finds that it has no influence ( or weight!). The anonymous feedback is also evidence that these gangsters are bullying within their own “artistic” and ethnic communities Sounds like small scale organised crime. Guess Alun Michael won’t want to know though as it would offend his Labour sentiment and bias.

        1. They claim to be representing a minority, or minorities, but they’re a minority within a minority themselves. And as the anonymous source pointed out, they’ve all worked for the organisations they’re slating.

          Someone else got in touch earlier with a piece telling us that same women involved in WAARU were pushing the same message in March 2019. The message seems to be: ‘People are nasty to us – give us money!’ How does money help combat racism?

  3. David Robins

    Still more amazing is that so many members of the cult are white self-loathers, parroting Franco-American neo-Marxist theory in a bid to be liked (and funded). They seem desperate to engage with the civil rights movement, but arrived half a century too late. I can’t see them being willing to listen to black voices, the likes of Thomas Sowell, Trevor Phillips or Shaun Bailey, who might puncture their monolithic illusions.

    1. ‘Monolith illusions’ are definitely coming under pressure. Here, I’ve touched on the absurdity of certain persons claiming that all non-white people share the same outlook and attitudes. On a different front, the Stonewall position of claiming to speak for all LGBTQ+ people is unravelling by the day.

      1. David Smith

        My earlier comment resonates here too. Who asked homosexual, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, transvestite, kinky, asexual, intersex, non-binary and who knows what other manner of people whether they’d be jolly fine and dandy with being lumped all in together as part of a continually expanding acronym? If I were gay, I can imagine being insulted by patronising reference to a ‘gay community’, more of this bollocks boxing off of people. Similarly, reference to ‘community leaders’ within ethnic minority groups, to me has implications of tribalism, as though these people are under the command of some high chief or something.

  4. David Robins

    For sheer audacity, I can only admire the concept of replacing artists’ ‘outcomes’ (‘work’) with a self-certified struggle for inner growth and a bit of larking about. And if the artists’ development fails to happen, apply more money? I guess they’re all having tremendous fun seeing how far they can push, and being paid handsomely for the joke. Wales being Wales, there’s a long way to go before most people realise how had they’ve been. And then they’ll blame the Tories, innit?

    1. What I find amazing about some of those who’ve appeared in recent weeks is that race and ethnicity influence everything they do and say. What dreams do they have?

      I was talking to a guy last Saturday morning, over an al fresco breakfast in Tywyn, and he told me that when he was younger he moved to Birmingham to work. But he kept thinking of home and how much he missed it, and so he came back. And felt much better for it.

      I can’t help thinking there might be a lesson there for some of those forever banging on about being ‘outsiders’ in countries ruled by ‘white supremacists’.

  5. I suggest you get a DNA test done on a family history website. You may be surprised to discover that your very distant ancestors may have been Indian or African slaves.
    You will then be able to call yourself Ali J, dress in vibrant ethnically celebratory garb like a regal chief tribesman, smoke cannabis joints which you roll outside police stations in an openly provocative way while complaining to anyone who will listen about stop and search and police oppression, speak in an affected grunge, ethnic patois ending every sentence with “innit bro?” and join an urban massiff or a possee somewhere in Sketty where you can “demand your rights” and claim compensation. Oh, you’ll have to go to Chapter and get on committees there, too.

    1. Thank you, Garry. Though I’m not sure your contribution really helps. While I can see you’re being sarcastic, those I’m writing about would probably describe you as a white supremacist. You tend to play off each other.

      In my piece I tried to focus on certain facts that do no favours to a corrupt system of cronyism and patronage so bad that certain people believed they could exploit this system with the deplorable report published a few weeks ago. A report that while claiming to be opposing racism came very close to being racist itself.

      1. Dafis

        “A report that while claiming to be opposing racism came very close to being racist itself.” I haven’t read the whole thing, but its drift is definitely racist. It’s one step removed from Anglo Brit supremacist junk, although it shares its odious creepy style by attacking the core Welsh culture as being in some way “exclusionary”, not inclusive. Well of course it is especially if the self appointed victims choose not to participate in Welsh culture but just sit outside moaning like stink.

        The bottom line though is about money. These failures from another culture now fancy their chances of ripping off another culture and they stand a good chance of getting away with it because the Bay set will not protect anything much beyond their divine right to enjoy fat cat salaries and benefits while presiding over the slow decline into assimilation and decline into a province that’s good for producing green energy, clean water and cheap(ish) holidays.

        1. The two are linked, I think. The report seeks to diminish the importance of Welsh identity in order to release funding for those behind the report.

          1. Dafis

            Very much so. They have spotted an opportunity, or probably been told by some of the anti anything Welsh crew within the wider Welsh political and social scene, and are now stepping up the tempo. Full of false righteousness, if they paused and checked out where Welsh culture, language and history is placed they would find that it is subdued and glibly dismissed, unlike the white supremacist cultural norm with which they wrongly associate it. And that’s down to a deliberate dishonesty not lack of awareness.

    2. Sian Caiach

      The test shows, I’m 99% Western European 1% Asian. The Asian genetics break down as 0.5% Ashkenazi and 0.5% Yakut (Siberian mongoloid tribe currently desperately fighting forest fires in the Artic Soviet Republic of Yakutia).
      Worth a try though.

      1. Dafis

        When I go into one of my rare trance conditions I imagine that I am a Direct descendant of a Lakota warrior who participated in the annihilation of the Custer gang on a remote hillside along a tributary of the Missouri river. However that is impossible because the USA did a thorough job of extermination of the Lakota culture and their chiefs’ lineages.

        It suggests that subconsciously I am seeing the same old fate in store for my people although the processes being applied are more devious and deceitful. Assimilation is just another way of erasing identity.

        I used to think that Cymdeithas would do a good job of “aros yn y bwlch” and resist by defending language and culture but too many of them are now more interested in peripheral issues more in tune with the moronic drift of lifestyle leftie Anglo Americans. Will go down the same plughole as YC and Plaid.

        1. I saw a tweet a few days ago from Cymdeithas yr Iaith about holiday homes and ‘gentrification’. If they mean places like Abersoch and Aberdyfi being taken over why not say so? The word they’re looking for is colonisation. Could it be that new, Marxist CyI believes colonisation only happens to Black and non-Black people of colour? Otherwise, why adopt a term used in cities to describe a phenomenon affecting formerly proletarian neighbourhoods that is either inapplicable in Wales or does nothing but confuse?

          1. Dafis

            I suspect there is some guilt by association there too. Gentrification happens in places like Cardiff, even Swansea, and there are reports of some displacement in places like Newport. Now it affects Cymdeithas because some of their leading lights, close associates and former stars are now part of the latter day Yuppie invasion of places like Grangetown, Adamstown, Canton, Fairwater in Cardiff.

            Had some of those “migrants” stayed in Gwynedd or Dyfed there might not be so much proletarian resentment of middle class Welshies in Kairdiff, despite the fact that the are arguably only moving into their capital. However those who are on the receiving end of displacement feel much the same as the natives who are priced out of those beautiful coastal towns and villages in the North West of our country.

            I never thought I’d get around to using “proletarian” in my comments. Although I harbour some basic socialist views I could never tolerate the pretentious jargonising so dear to most lefties. Find it easy to use “colonising” as it does a clear job of describing what is happening around us, but most lefties see “colonisation” as happening exclusively to lands where the natives have a different tint to their skins.

            1. If we are talking about the gentrification of certain Cardiff neighbourhoods then I’m not sure what that has to do with the Welsh language. This is why I wondered if it was being used as a cade for the takeover of places like Aberdyfi and Abersoch.

              1. Dafis

                Well I suppose you could call the colonisation of the Cardigan Bay coast “gentrification” because the Cheshire set and others mostly from N.W England have used wealth and loans to price out the native people. The aforesaid suburbs of Cardiff have seen a lot of well paid “Welshies” drawn from the professions, academia, the media and business displacing the more traditional blue collar demographic. I guess you could excuse that as upward mobility.

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