Letter from Wales: Local snouts in the devolved trough

by Julian Ruck

I was born in Wales, Swansea to be precise. At 18 I went off to London to train as a lawyer and didn’t return to my place of birth until 30 years had passed. I have lived in various parts of the world and all over the UK.

I had missed the beauty of Wales, its innate humour and radical spirit but when I returned, I found a different place. A foreign place. Devolution is admirable in intent, but in Wales it has allowed a self-serving and extreme minority to step on and abuse the will of the majority.

A Welsh language nationalism has been allowed to run riot and ruthlessly suppress the moderate views of an emasculated majority – these nationalist cliques, coteries and cabals have also been allowed to spend tax-payers’ money (your money) at will and without any proper scrutiny or accountability. And please remember here that 80% plus of Welsh GDP comes from Westminster.

Wales is now run by a Welsh speaking elite that adds a new dimension to the word “entitled” and considers itself to be the noble successor to the duffed up Owen Glendower (without his Indentures) at the height of his nationalist misery – never mind of course, that he was rampaging around the Welsh marches some six hundred years ago!

Now, I can hear all you English folk saying to yourselves, “How boring, another bitter Taffy having a good rant about how hard done by he is and how we English raped his fair country and ran off with all the dosh.”

Not so, do please read on and discover what happens to a Welshman living in Wales when he stands up and speaks the truth.

Some nine months ago I dared to put some Freedom of Information Act 2000 requests to various Welsh literati quangos e.g. the Arts Council of Wales, the Welsh Books Council and Literature Wales.

You may or may not be aware, that millions of pounds of tax-payers’ money goes to Welsh publishers, poets and authors for books that don’t sell and on subjects as diverse as ‘Independent Bus Operators in North Wales’, oh and not forgetting ‘Welsh Airfields’?

You may also be interested to know that a Welsh writer can also obtain up to £10,000 to stay at home and write, regardless of whether the work is published or not.

Well, some of you may think what’s wrong with this? The arts need state funding, good for the economy, cultural fibre and endeavour etc etc. Fair enough. But, and here’s the thing, these grants didn’t go out to our young, up and coming writers. They weren’t used to nurture the best of our new generation.

Instead thousands of pounds have helped support BBC Wales staffers, Welsh establishment hacks and celebrities bring the world their cherished work.

For example: the previous controller of BBC Wales, Geraint Talfan Davies (and father of present controller of BBC Wales, Rhodri Talfan Davies), had the pleasure the of his life story finding its way into print, “At Arm’s Length,” thanks to a publisher partially subsidised by the Welsh Books Council. This has sold a princely 179 copies in four years (Nielsen Book Data).

Then there’s Carolyn Hitt of the Western Mail. She took exception when this sorry tale was aired in the national press, earlier this year, in her column, but omitted to mention her own book had been supported by the tax payer.

And not forgetting, Gwyneth Lewis, the ex-national poet of Wales. She took to the Guardian to defend these scandalous subsidies but failed to declare that she had received £11,000 from the tax-payer for her own work.

These are just a small sample of the lucky few. The over-indulged and supremely arrogant elite that enables this cosy distribution of funds is destroying Wales. It has embarked upon an insidious backward spiral, that insists on ignoring the future and what might be.

It is making Wales a world-wide laughing stock, and this perhaps is the saddest thing of all.

Julian Ruck is a columnist and author of the Ragged Cliffs Trilogy and recently published legal thriller, the Bent Brief. He has never applied for a tax-payer handout, received a penny from the tax-payer for his novels and neither has his publisher

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50 Responses to “Letter from Wales: Local snouts in the devolved trough”

  1. *grabs popcorn and sits back*

  2. John Poll says:

    This is an absolutely ludicrous article from a self-serving, self-loathing, clown.

    For those who don’t know, Mr Ruck is a self-publishing author. Read his books and come to your own conclusions as to why.

    For those who don’t know, Mr Ruck no longer has a column with the Llanelli Star. I wonder, does four published articles in your entire life constitute a legitimate claim to being a ‘columnist’?

    Why does Mr Ruck choose to call Owain Glyndwr ‘Owen Glendower’? Could it be that he is a troll? Read his article and decide for yourselves; it is embarrassing.

    I met Mr Ruck once and asked him what he thought about the Welsh Government’s decision to implement the Finnish approach to primary education via the foundation phase; he had no clue to what I was referring. This absence of any kind of political insight, from one who purports to ‘care’ about Welsh politics, astounded me. Then I read his blogs, nearly all deleted now, and I understood.

    It is quite astonishing that he has been allowed to publish this article. I shouldn’t respond because all it will do is give his self-hating, meta Dick Dastardly brand oxygen for another sorry week.

  3. Joao Morais says:

    Julian – I must commend you for having an article published in a place where you can’t delete any and all replies that you don’t agree with, or that challenge what you have to say. Seeing as you have one of the most heavily regulated blogs on the internet, this is a brave step on your behalf.

    To start off, you say that “A Welsh language nationalism has been allowed to run riot and ruthlessly suppress the moderate views of an emasculated majority.”

    This is big news! How have I missed this?? where is this Welsh Language Nationalism that you write so bitterly about? Saying it does not make it true. In one of your many responses to your plagiarism of Christopher Hitchens you said that you admired the man. In that case, I hope you know one of his favourite maxims and you attempt to remember it in the future – “That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”

    (Also I would like to point out that the rest of your blogpost is an attempt at an attack of the ENGLISH LANGUAGE publishing sphere in Wales, which has little at all to do with the so-called Welsh language nationalist cabal. Just sayin’).

    Who is this Welsh-speaking elite you talk so dastardly about? Let us look at two of the most powerful figures, one private sector, one public sector. Is Sir Terry Matthews, the billionaire business tycoon who owns Celtic Manor, in the Welsh speaking elite? He doesn’t speak Welsh. Is David Anderson OBE, the General Director of Museum Wales (and former director of the V&A), with his South-East English accent, part of the Welsh speaking elite? He doesn’t speak Welsh.

    How about Welsh politicians then? In the Assembly, Carwyn Jones is the only political party leader whose first language is Welsh (including Plaid Cymru) – hardly a Welsh speaking elite there.

    When has there ever been a Welsh speaking political elite controlling Wales? Think of all the Secretaries of State we’ve had and you’ll have to go back a long way to find one that does. There is a mixture of Welsh and non-Welsh speakers, as you would expect in a country with two official national languages. And when it comes to public jobs, sometimes it is just unavoidable. How, for instance, you would expect the Director General of BBC Wales to do his job, as described in the BBC Wales charter, without knowledge of Welsh is beyond me.

    You say that millions of pounds of tax-payer’s money goes to Welsh publishers, and you mention two specific books. ‘Independent Bus Operators in North Wales’ is published by Venture Publications ltd, who run from Glossop, and publish books about transport – not just Welsh transport. Have a look if you don’t believe me: http://www.transportdiversions.com/catalog.asp?publisherid=46

    When it comes to ‘Welsh Airfields’ nothing comes up on google or amazon, so I will have to assume you mean ‘Welsh Military Airfields’ by Alan Phillips which came out last year: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Welsh-Military-Airfields-Through-Time/dp/1445609932 – Surprise surprise, this book is published by Amberley Publishing….. in Stroud. The most Welsh place in the world!

    You chose these two books as examples to ridicule Welsh publishing, yet they are both published by small specific English companies that have nothing to do with Welsh publishing. This is misleading and should be removed from your article at once.

    You also fail to mention the many successes in Welsh publishing, instead concentrating your efforts on books not from Wales. Where is your mention of Patrick McGuinness’s ‘Last Hundred Days,’ which as Gwyneth Lewis pointed out ‘won the Writers’ Guild Award for best fiction book, was longlisted for the Man Booker prize, the Costa first novel award, the Desmond Elliot prize and the Authors’ Club best first novel award’? How about Richard Gwyn’s ‘Colour of a Dog Running Away,’ which Waterstones called “the word of mouth bestseller of the summer”? I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.

    You also point out that Welsh writers can also obtain up to £10,000 to stay at home and write, regardless of whether the work is published or not. This is the maximum, and you don’t mention that the figures have been going down year-on-year since 2006, with the average being £5000 – you have to take a sabbatical to receive one of these (if you work) so it is not a great amount of money if you have been living off twice that for the last six months (around the median average wage). Check yourself if you don’t believe me: http://www.literaturewales.org/services-for-writers/i/124046/

    Your mention of Geraint Talfan Davies’s book, which includes data from Nielsen (which covers 90% of UK retailers, but not sales made directly from the publisher or exports) crucially fails to omit the publishers figures. Gwyneth Lewis again points out that the figure when taking into account the publisher’s figures four and a half times that, which ‘is no disgrace in commercial terms, regardless of subject or size of market.’

    And what’s wrong with Carolyn Hitt’s character assassination of you? She is not allowed to have an opinion on you just because she received a bursary? Same with Gwyneth Lewis. Please try harder, Mr Ruck.

    Finally, you say that you have never applied for a tax-payer handout, received a penny from the tax-payer for your novels and neither has your publisher. While saying that you’ve ‘never received a penny from the tax-payer’ might be factually accurate in the most pedantic of ways, Why does it state on the inside cover of your books that they are distributed by the Welsh Books Council then?

  4. alun williams says:

    If you don’t know about Julian Ruck, he’s kind of the village idiot of the cultural scene in Wales.

    1. He is infamous for this E-Book Festival in Kidwelly or the ‘Farce in Ffos Las’ as one attende describe it as. Tin Larrick, one of the poor victims of the debacle, wrote a wonderful blogpost of the car crash: http://tinlarrick.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/i-have-idea-for-episode-of-gavin-stacey.html

    Mike Tea wrote another good one: http://mikes4tea.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/one-of-our-authors-is-missing.html

    2. One of the books publisher (who have published a booker nominated book) that did make an effort to turn up and support the festival in the end received an email from Julian saying that he was going to destroy their reputation in the media: “Your name is going to be bounced around the airwaves over the coming weeks faster than Jordan’s t*ts on a trampoline” was his exact words.

    3. He regularly attacks other writers on his blog, but somehow when people attack back he threatens them legally and taking the matter with the police.

    4. His writing his terrible. Here is passage from the Bent Brief:

    “Slopping out’ was, without doubt, one of the more stomach wrenching highlights of the day. Ignoring the order of navy blue authority to dispose of my now cloudy and unappetising urine”.

    An Equal Judge: “Judge! Judge! The jury is out. Come on now.” Charlotte’s eyes opened and glanced upwards. The formidable Doris Dobbs ( or ‘Double D’ as she was called by some on account of her eye shattering bosom) her clerk, hovered over her, the hazel eyes staring down at her as brutish and uncompromising as ever.”

    This is my favourite:

    “Fortunately the man’s sexual staying power has been less transitory and indeed he had also observed strict but necessary protocols.”

    In a nutshell, he’s a numpty.

  5. Julian Ruck says:

    Thank you for your comment, Jaoa Morias.

    If I may be so bold as to point out one or two facts that you omit to mention:-

    1 If the Welsh writers you refer to are indeed so successful, what do they need the tax-payer for? You will further note that Seren Books, the publisher’s of Patrick McGuinesse’s book ‘Last Hundred Days’ was paid by the tax-payer to publish it -oddly enough Mr McGuiness is a Director of said Seren Books.

    Indeed, do please furnish this blog with actual sales figures (Neilsens backed,so that readers will at least see verifiable evidence of your claims).

    2 Never mind the books on North Wales Bus Operators and Welsh Airfields, what about 10 books on Welsh Place Names, 140 books on Snowdonia, 10 books on Kyffin Williams, 120 books on Pembrokeshire, How to fry a Welsh Cake, five books on Real Cardiff and even one follow up titled Cardiff by Bike, all by the same author and all tax-payer funded…..need I go on?

    3 The following sums of tax-payers’ money have been paid to Welsh publishers (over a 2yr10 month period) for books that neither sell, nor have an audince apart from those who frequent the frothy Cardiff Bay coffee shops to discuss the 100th translation of the Mabinogion –

    Gomer Press – £1,409, 493

    Y Lolfa – £687,507

    Seren Books – £557,078

    Honno – £239, 708

    Grants to Welsh writers to stay at home and write, regardless of whether their self-indulgent efforts are published – £1, 409,493, some of these have been BBC Wales presenters, sports and popular music personalities and journalists. For names please see my own blog.

    NB The tax-payer pays all the above, and mostly English tax-payers’ at that. Who would believe that we live in an Age of Austerity and that Welsh patients have to wait for hours in stacked up ambulances outside Welsh hospitals??

    Now the thing is, that in spite of numerous and polite requests not one, and I mean not one, of these Welsh publishers will put their sales figures into the public domain. They wouldn’t give them to the Guardian (Seren) and they wouldn’t give them to me.

    Why do you suppose that is?

    As for your defence of Gwyneth Lewis, a fully subsidised Welsh poet who has little if any experience of the real, hard-core world of publishing, surely it was unwise of her to attack me in the Guardian, using spurious sales figures, omitting to mention her own receipts of tax-payer-payer largesse and the fact that she had been a special assistant to Geraint Talfan Davies, the subject of her disquiet.

    Are you honestly suggesting on this blog, that the Guardian corrected and retracted parts of her article within five hours of publication, for the benefit of their health?

    As for Hitt of the Western Mail, again are you suggesting that it is fine for her to make a personal attack on me, without declaring her own vested interests ie that her own books was paid for by the tax-payer?

    Dear, dear me. What is your definition of the word ‘hypocricy’?

    Lastly, you are of the view, that I somehow benefit from the tax-payer for my books being distributed by the WBC (one of many distributors I may add). May I humbly point out. that I must be one of the few Welsh authors living in Wales that actually makes the WBC money.

    The WBC achieves a nett profit on any of my books they distribute. 5% of retail to be exact. I am sure the Chief Executive Elwyn Jones will confirm this, so do please feel free to conatct him.


    PS Oh, and say £5000 isn’t ‘a great amount of money’ for doing damn all, to a single mother who has just lost her job and has three children to feed.

    PPS And do read my blog more carefully. There are plenty of contrary views published, I only block those that are unnecessarily abusive and insulting – and believe me there are plenty of those, I live in Wales after all.

  6. Julian Ruck says:

    To John Poll,

    Yet another name! You’re an inventive fellow I’ll say that for you. Your deadpan impression of the fabled Brothers Grimm makes you stand out from the crowd as it were – the ‘Glyndwr’ bit is a definite give away too!

    I’m not sure about your ‘four published articles’ though. Only last Wednesday my column appeared in the press and as far as I know, the editor hasn’t given me the boot. I’ve actually been writing for the Sar for the past eight months on a weekly basis, not to mention articles in other newspapers and magazines.

    And as for that old chestnut about my being self-published, believe me I don’t pay my publisher one penny for the publication of my books.

    Do please feel free to give them a ring to confirm.

    All the best,

    Self-loathing Ruck

  7. Julian Ruck says:

    Dear Mr Williams,

    You do indeed have my admiration.

    For not short of a year now, you have delighted readers with your worldly Welsh-language enthusiam and frivolous but always amusing attempts at such informed literary appreciation.

    Do be so good as to tell readers of this blog, mostly English God forbid!, about your own stellar successes with literary endeavour. I am cofident that they are waiting with bated breath, your Welsh language nom de plume is, after all, Ezra ap Pound is it not?

    Best wishes,


    PS Maybe you should try being a ‘numpty’ (or should that be numptio – Welsh translation?), you would be surprised where it can get you.

  8. Crazy Horse says:

    Oh Dear.
    I thought this was a Joke. Julian Ruck is actually writing for Labour Uncut. I was surprised he was allowed to do a few columns for the Western Mail, until they found out he plagiarised his articles.


    I can’t imagine it will take long for them to realise their mistake. And yes, Ruck’s publisher goes not receive any ‘tax-payer’ funding, because he self publishes- they are basically just a printer.

    I know what will happen here, unable to delete peoples critical comments he will simply spout lies and hope causal readers don’t fact check. Well, how about this Julian, each time you make a statement, do the honourable thing and put the link to the source.

    For example , you say on you blog you used to be represented by Andrew Nurnberg along with Jackie Collins. Please give us a shred of proof that that was the case.

    I know it is a shame to descend too personal attacks, but there is little point trying to argue with Ruck because he is simply a someone who is bitter that he got rejected from the Welsh arts council and subsequently flushed 50K down the drain on a festival no one went to. Arts funding has been cut repeatedly over the last few years, and now it represents the minutest of government expenses, yet bitter old ruck just won’t let it go.

    And it’s a bit rick for him to complain about wasting taxes, he called the police because someone wrote a critical piece about him on the internet!

    [the article has been removed as the Western mail is distancing itself from his sexist views, but google :‘police probe threats into welsh author’ and you can still get an extract.]

  9. Crazy Horse says:

    Oh, and in terms of my favourite extract from a Ruck Novel…

    Suddenly he leapt up from the table and dashed for the dilapidated toilet situated next to the stables. It had to be this toilet; it was reasonably sound proof and hardly ever used by anyone. He reached the toilet door, yanked it open in a thorough state of panic and let loose a surging Niagara of vomit, at the same moment his bowels detonated and nearly lifted him off the ground. For one hour his arse and stomach continued to ambush him. All he could do was sit on the toilet and wail ‘Oh God!… Oh God!… Oh God! over and over again. He wanted to die.’

  10. Julian Ruck says:

    And ‘hello’ Crazy Horse, back again are we?!

    With you around, I really don’t have to write anything do I?

    Keep up the good work!

    All the best,


  11. Joao Morais says:

    Mr Ruck – I was quoting an article that you linked to in your original blogpost, where it clearly states that Nielsen don’t take into account every sale – are you discounting what the publisher says, which no doubt gets filed with Companies House at the end of the financial year? Oh dear.

    I didn’t say that those authors are so successful that they don’t need the taxpayer, so please don’t misquote me. But as you mention it, that was McGuinness’s fiction debut and I have no idea where his next book will be published – but if you get longlisted for the Booker then your options are about as open as you can get. Fair play to Seren for taking a chance with him, it has been repaid off exponentially. Richard Gwyn is no longer published by Parthian, but by Snow Books. Rachel Trezise, who was published by Parthian, is now published by Blue Door. Gwyneth Lewis is published by Bloodaxe and Harper Collins, and only publishes in Wales when she’s writing in Welsh (wonder why?) I hope you can see the pattern here… From the evidence, it looks like the support for emerging writers is essential.

    And here’s a few questions for you, based on your own logic: if Carcanet Press are so successful, what do they need the tax-payer for? If Arcadia are so successful, what do they need the tax-payer for? Both received funding from Arts Council England. And what about the Royal Opera House? If they are so successful, what do they need the tax-payer for? If the Royal National Theatre Company is so successful, what do they need the tax-payer for?

    ‘Never mind the books on North Wales Bus Operators and Welsh Airfields,’ Julian? I caught you out for lying. Yes, I do mind because your credibility is all but shot on that one point.

    Grants to Welsh Writers I will have to assume that you mean the bursaries awarded by Literature Wales, as you provide no link or evidence. Can you tell me where you get your figure from? It can’t be over the same two year, ten month period that you talk about because It would total £260,000, divided up between 73 writers, which works out as £3561.64 each, on average (look here http://www.literaturewales.org/services-for-writers/i/124047/ )

    Now you go on to rubbish the work of Welsh Writers as if they just sit at home, but it sounds like you haven’t read up on the entry criteria or the mid-term report. As you haven’t checked I will give them to you in brief: Bursaries are highly competitive and are ‘awarded first and foremost according to excellence.’ Furthermore, ‘due to the competitive nature of the scheme, and limited funds available, applications which reach this standard may then be prioritised by the Bursaries Panel according to need.’ Your picture of the gravy train being given to lackeys sipping lattes in Pontcanna is both false and misleading.

    Bursaries are primarily ‘aimed at buying time, [so] applicants must ensure that they are able take the time out if they are successful.’ – Say you need to take six months out, £3500 isn’t going to be a great deal of money really, is it?

    Further to this again, LiteratureWales goes on to state that ‘Successful bursary recipients will be required to send a brief mid-term report to Literature Wales together with a sample of work-in-progress. Literature Wales appreciates that progress may be slow, however we nevertheless need to see examples of what the bursary is buying. The final payment will be released on receipt of an end-of-term report. At this point we shall require to see evidence of work achieved, whether successful or not. Literature Wales will ask for complimentary copies of any work published as a result of the bursary.’

    So please, Mr Ruck, don’t patronise us with your semantics about Welsh authors ‘doing damn all,’ when you haven’t read up and evidently don’t even know what you’re on about.

    You go on to say ‘Who would believe that we live in an Age of Austerity and that Welsh patients have to wait for hours in stacked up ambulances outside Welsh hospitals??’ Apart from the semantics you’ve used again, let’s put the £4.5m grant that the Welsh Books Council which covers everything we’ve talked about into perspective (figure pointed out in the Guardian article). The budget for the NHS this year in Wales is £5.5bn. The Education budget is £1.9bn. To fund the NHS costs £628,000 PER HOUR of EVERY DAY. According to the 1988 Education Act there are 196 school days every year in the UK. That means it costs £970,000 PER DAY to fund education in Wales. That money for the WBC 9which would have been pretty far down the list of priorities in the budget anyway) would not have gone far had it been scrapped, no?

    I still don’t see why you have a problem with what Hitt and Lewis had to say. Are they not entitled to have an opinion on you? Information was clarified on the Guardian blog, which still stands, and is still published – if you cannot see how it shows you to be wrong both morally and economically then you are deluding yourself.

    You ask me what my definition of the word ‘hypocricy’ [sic] is – my definition in this context would be ‘an author who posts a negative article about an organisation that uses funding, yet still uses that same organisation’s services instead of sticking to his principles and refusing to use them.’

    PS incidentally you say that Lewis has little experience of the real hard-core world of publishing, and you go on to say that you are not self-published – Your publishers are Dinefwr of Llandybie, are they not? Is this them? Genuine question.


    PPS I do read your blog. Unfortunately I have taken to taking screen shots of whenever something contrary to what you write goes up, because I know that you will delete it before long – I have some great ones that Steve Mosby put on your blog that you deleted. And it is not just malicious things (and you are right, you do attract it) – it seems to be anything that you don’t like.

  12. John Poll says:

    Mr Ruck,

    Why do you choose to spell Owain Glyndwr as ‘Owen Glendower’ – what is the reason for you to choose to translate his name (other than petty spite / self-hatred).

    Also, why do you have conversations with yourself in the comments section on your blog?

    You are a curious, yet dreadfully uninteresting, person. Quite the paradox.

  13. dave rodway says:

    Julian Ruck submitted his rotten novel to two Welsh publishers. They rejected him, though he denied this for a while until he was caught out. Then he plagiarised Hitchens and told porkies about having a bigshot agent. Since then he has attacked Welsh and their authors relentlessly and mostly inaccurately. Shame on this blog for publishing his bilious crap. He is the McGonigal of prose.

  14. keith says:

    I too returned to Wales after living away for 28 years but I don’t share your ludicrous views Mr Ruck.

    First, you should celebrate and be proud of the Welsh language. This is a language which was spoken by over 95% of the Welsh population at the start of the last century. A miraculous achievement when you consider that two attempt’s were made to exterpate the Welsh language. First by Henry VIII and then in the 1870’s by the English Education Act which introduced the Welsh-not penalties for anyone caught speaking Welsh. Even then the Welsh language survived and it was only when the huge numbers of immigrants poured into Wales in the early part of the 20th century to man the coal and steel industries that the numbers of people speaking Welsh finally started falling.The Welsh language continues to thrive despite the powerful impact of the English media and neighbour (England) which outnumber the Welsh by 20 to 1.

    Also, the elite you talk about is nonsense because the Welsh elected representatives have more of a mandate than the UK Parliament. For the Welsh Parliament has more of a proportional basis in their electoral system. This is why Welsh Labour struggle to secure majorities in the Welsh Parliament. Yet in the UK polls, Labour can exploit the first past the post unproportional system. For example, Labour, in the 2005 general election, were given a 50+ majority on a 36% share of the vote. Little wonder that UK voters are disillusioned with the main parties and desserting them all in droves. By contrast, Rhodri Morgan and Carwyn Jones (the last two First Ministers in Wales) both record large support by the Welsh people in opinion polls because they have worked hard to overcome the unease emanating from the narrow majority secured in the referendum in 1997.

    Wales, unlike Scotland, is totally ignored and often treated contemptuously by the English media. Your negative ranting about Wales is not only incorrect but helps feed them with this negative image.

    I could not be happier following my return to Wales two years ago. And whilst I recognise that the Welsh political system is not perfect, it is certainly no worse than UK politics. The MPs expenses scandal and the UK taxpayers having to bail out UK banks for over £85 billion prove my point.

  15. John Poll says:

    Ruck, I should add: as an Englishman who has lived in Wales for over twenty years, I have seen Wales benefit massively as a result of the continued devolution process – this makes me very happy. Your view is as tragic as it is skewed. You appear to be aiming for a Richard Littlejohn-esque gap in the market; whilst you appear to hold the same contemptuous, anti-intellectual and spite fuelled views, you appear incapable of using basic English language grammar – I would suggest brushing up on that first.

    Finally, the way you attempted to brush off the initial comment by Joao Morais (who a quick Google search reveals is less than half your age but has already eclipsed your paltry, or rather – non-existent, achievements as a writer) exposes you as a sad bluff artist and utterly contemptible philistine.

    Do go away; perhaps if you despise Wales and Welsh culture so much, you should just take yourself off to a Ukip stronghold somewhere in England? That would be doing us all a favour.

  16. John Abell says:

    I think that £11,000 for an artist of the calibre of Gwyneth Lewis to write astonishing poetry over a two year period is not unreasonable.
    As Joao has said in his previous response, in the grand scheme of government expenditure, the money the arts receive in Wales is nothing really.
    I put that Julian Ruck is a liar (show us your sales figures Julian), a plagiarist and a terminal sufferer of the sour grapes. Because no publisher in Wales would take on his turgid ‘novels’, he has started a campaign of hate against arts funding.
    This is my take on meeting Julian, an astonishing experience I must admit

  17. Julian Ruck says:

    Well I must say, you folk of a nationalist and Welsh language persuasion never cease to impress, albeit that your insults do lack shall I say, a certain sparkle and originality?

    Pax vobiscum to you all, and may you one day enjoy a nirvana of Brythonic delectation – sadly, I doubt my own humble existence will survive long enough to have some fun with it!

    Best wishes,


    PS To Keith, may I politely ask you to consider why the media treats Wales with such contempt and negativity?

    PS And to Mr Poll, I have always spelt ‘Gower ‘ as Gower not ‘Gywr’ as those of a Welsh language incination are inclined to do. As I was born and bred in that area, I rather think I have a right to spell it as I was taught; I would also point out that all who live in this particualr part of Wales also adopt the spelling ‘Gower’.

    I doubt your minority diktat will get you very far with them?

    So ‘Glendower’ it is.

  18. Julian Ruck says:

    To Keith,

    May I respectfully point out, that you are mistaken where the English- beating myth of the ‘Welshnot’ is concerned. The Welshnot was imposed on Welsh schoolchildren by their Welsh teachers long before the ‘Treacherous Blue Books’ of 1847 were written.

    95% of Welsh people may well have spoken Welsh at the beginning of the 20th Century, in spite of Tudorial malfeasance ( a somewhat anachronistic argument to put it mildly, if I may say so) but in the present day it is about 18% and a great many of these speak Wenglish (a mixture of Welsh and English) and can’t read or write the language.


    I repeat, that in spite of having had billions of tax-payers’ money thrown at it over the last 30 odd years, in spite of all the sneeky legislation used to impose it, in spite of radio and television stations promoting it – it is in decline and dying whether you like it or not.

    The figures of the last Census say it all.

    Need I say more?


  19. John Poll says:

    Ruck, you are embarrassingly inept at affecting a disingenuous stance:

    As you well know, I am not talking about place names that have both Welsh and English spellings, I am talking about a person’s name: Owain Glyndwr.

    I can only assume that you translate all non-English language names into English? That is unless you are a pitiful, malevolent, self-hating toad who feels compelled to spew anti-Welsh hate and ignorance at every given opportunity; tell me, why do you write Lleucu Siencyn as ‘Lucy Jenkins’ at every given opportunity?

    Oh, and linking via your blog to praise of your views that have been made by a BNP supporting blog is a rather odd decision don’t you think? Don’t bother deleting it, the page has already been saved and screen-shotted.

  20. Julian Ruck says:

    As for Messrs Mosby and Hewson, their commnets relating to the first ebook Festival in the UK together with its £10,000 ebook prize, and my 50 odd word ‘plagiarism’ of Christopher Hitchens, can all be found on the internet – plus of course their responses to the courteous invitations to attend the Festival.

    I leave it entirely to readers of this blog to draw their own conclusions and opinions on said responses.

    I would furher add and for the record, that although the Festival failed miserably to attract the anticipated number of visitors, creditors’ liablities to the tune of £55,000 (accounts are filed with Companies House for verification) were settled extremely quickly out of private funds – a rare occurrence for Wales believe me.

    These private funds came from myself and one other investor. Not one penny was taken in grants, not one penny from the tax-payer, and I defy anyone to prove otherwise.

    Finally, I would ask readers to note, that it would have been the easiest thing in the world for me to have wound up Kidwelly Festival Ltd and reneged on its liabilites.

    Neither myself nor co-invester did this, instead we honoured the Company’s obligations.



  21. John Poll says:

    Ruck, just to counter your response to Keith: no, what you say is not ‘fact’.

    I came here twenty years ago and am now happy to converse in Welsh. Both of my children, now at university, speak fluent Welsh. To say the language is ‘dying’ is just moronic – get a grip you sad little man.

    I attended your talk in Cardiff with an open mind; you embarrassed yourself – you behaved like a child and spoke such utter nonsense I was convinced that you had created a kind of ‘performance piece’ where ‘Julian Ruck’ was a bitter loser with delusions of purpose (a classic trope in comedy). But when you threatened to assault a man (swiftly redacted once the realisation of what fate would befall you should you carry out your threat), I saw a look come across your face that said it all: you were scared, alone, and stupid. A ghost, a life-sucking, greyed out, pariah.

    Keep on spreading your hate. The truth is: no one is listening.

  22. Joao Morais says:

    Julian – it is Y Gwyr in Welsh, not ‘Gywr.’ it Has nothing either etymologically nor geographically to do with Owain Glyndwr. Glyn means valley or glen, dwr means water. Calling him Glendower reflects pretty anachronistically badly on the user of the term, as it isn’t used any more. I can understand why you would want to use Gower, or Swansea instead of Abertawe, or even Llantwit Major instead of Llanilltud Fawr, as these aere the accepted names. But calling him Owen Glendower makes me cringe for you as it is an embarrassing term to use as Anglicisation is old-fashioned and quite embarrassing to use as an argument in the context of someone’s name. You wouldn’t call the president of the USA Barry O. Bamber, would you? Or the President of France by the moniker Frankie Holland either, no?

    And what’s with calling everyone who has opposed you a nationalist? Has everyone surreptitiously disclosed their political allegiances here? I must have missed it.

  23. stevemosby says:

    “As for Messrs Mosby and Hewson, their commnets relating to the first ebook Festival in the UK together with its £10,000 ebook prize, and my 50 odd word ‘plagiarism’ of Christopher Hitchens, can all be found on the internet – plus of course their responses to the courteous invitations to attend the Festival.

    I leave it entirely to readers of this blog to draw their own conclusions and opinions on said responses.”

    Julian – don’t conflate issues.

    My response to the discourteous invite I received to your festival is one thing (although I happily stand by it).

    My response to your plagiarism is another. There is no need for you to put plagiarism in inverted commas. You are a plagiarist. You took an article by someone else, rearranged the words in a pathetic attempt to hide the fact, then tried to pass it off as your own.

    I repeat it for the cheap seats: you are a plagiarist. Shame on the Llanelli Star for continuing to publish your sorry excuse for a column. And shame on Labour Uncut for giving you space here.

  24. Dave Rodway says:

    Plagiarism is the worst thing a writer can do – as a writer. It is theft, deceit and disrespect, and for the great contrarian Hitchens to be plagiarised, word for word and idea by idea, by this illiterate, minority-hating, axe-grinding clown, is the most eye-popping piece of bathos you’re likely to encounter on the blogosphere.

  25. Julian Ruck says:

    Oh dear Mr Mosby, still following me around are you? I note you are a frequent visiter to my blog too.

    I hope your own books enjoy a litte more whizz and bang than your obsessive ‘Let’s Get Ruck’ campaign of hate.

    I’m not sure that your intemperate antics will endear you to readers though.

    Freedom of expression is all however, so keep up the good work.

    Best wishes,

    The conflated but not I assure you, deflated Ruck.

  26. Julian Ruck says:

    I’ve got to admit Mr Poll, your insults would delight even the late Christopher Hitchens.

    Keep ’em coming, they make my day, they really do!

    All the very best,

    Julian ap Ruck (there, you see I’ve even Welshified my name for you!)

  27. Dave says:

    What on earth is a ‘welsh language disposition’? Mr Ruck doesn’t seem to have much of an English language disposition…
    I heard Gwyneth Lewis on the radio yesyerday , radio four, talking very interestingly about the riches of bilingualism for her own poetry in English. It was way more enriching , sophistcated and intelligent, not to .ention more literate (in English) than anything Ruck has ever written.
    Tell me Julian – do you only plagiarise writers when you can’t make personal attacks against them ? No wonder seren and parthian (two wlsh publishers you attack) turned you down.
    You cannot write for toffee or Taffy !

  28. John Abell says:

    Julian, why on earth do you keep picking on Steve Mosby and David Hewson for? Two writers who have had more success than you could ever dream of, but they are more talented than you, a man with so little talent and an over large psychotic ego who genuinely believes he is an esteemed man of letters.
    I think you should refrain from mentioning Christopher Hitchens after your terrible piece of plagiarism. Julian, do you admit to plagiarising Hitchens or not? Do you admit that you have not ‘sold 7000 copies’ of your god awful books in Wales alone? Do you admit that your publisher, Dinefwr Printers, are not a publisher but a printers?


    As a man who goes on about the hardcore world of London publishing, I put that you Julian, do not have a clue what you are talking about? You also have your books distributed by the Welsh Books Council, at taxpayers expense. You are a bitter, failed writer. turned down by all the Welsh publishers and have a severe case of the sour grapes. What do you say to this?

    If there is one accolade you have earned though, it is as the most deeply philistine man in Wales.

  29. stevemosby says:

    Julian – I was mentioned three times in this comment thread before I posted. I’m like Candyman.

    And believe me, I don’t hate you. But yes, I do visit your blog, as you had a habit of mentioning me there quite a bit, and even now, it often amuses. Your latest post, for example, in which you are unrepentantly proud that the BNP have picked up on one of your blogs is a real hoot. Perhaps you could write about that in your next column here?

  30. Julian Ruck says:

    And one of the commentators above, fails to understand why Wales is treated with such contempt by the English media??

    A cursory perusal of the above, should resolve his passionate disdain.


  31. John Abell says:

    Julian, a ‘cursory perusal’ of the above just akes you look like a first class clown. Julian, why are you so proud a BNP activist is an admirer of your blog? I do not think that is something to be proud of!

    Plagiarism, lying about your sales figures, come on Julian, answer some of my previous questions?

  32. dave says:

    ‘And one of the commentators above, fails to understand why Wales is treated with such contempt by the English media??
    A cursory perusal of the above, should resolve his passionate disdain.’

    A perfect example of Ruckian borderline literacy: see how those commas, cheekily inserted there they should not be, acts create a mysterious space between the two halves of the sentences, not unlike a crack separating two buttocks.

    See, also, the familiar malapropisms and non-sequiturs that has become Mr Ruck’s trademark (or, as he would put it: ‘trade,mark’): how does one ‘resolve’ disdain’?

    Well, my disdain refuses to be resolved by a rotten self-published writer, a veteran of rejection who can barely string a sentence together, plagiarises other people’s writing and so dislikes minorities that he actually boasts about being approved of by BNP activists in their infidel patriot blog.

    Can Mr Ruck tell us where his inside knowledge of the legal system and prisons by any chance comes from ? Has he by any chance done time or have a criminal record?

  33. David Hewson says:

    Just for the record… my publicist declined Ruck’s invitation to his ridiculous ‘festival’ on my behalf and I’m sure did so politely. I had no direct correspondence with the man on that issue though Steve Mosby’s response seems entirely justified and prescient in the circumstances.

    My thoughts on the debacle – which seems to have inspired Julian Ruck’s sad need to throw my name around largely at random – are here – http://davidhewson.com/2012/07/31/car-crash-in-kidwelly-few-hurt-not-many-witnesses/

    Looking back I only regret the line at the end, ‘In a way I feel sorry for Julian Ruck too.’ It was rather off of Ruck to threaten to get his own back by ‘reviewing’ both Steve and Me in his column in the ‘Lanelli Star’ (as an Englishman I had to point out to him it’s actually ‘Llanelli’.) But that never happened, perhaps because the Llanelli Star who can’t spell the name of the paper he’s working for isn’t much cop really.

    He hooked onto ebooks as a way of generating publicity for his own unknown self published works. When that failed he now seems to be espousing his manufactured opposition to state funding for Welsh language arts.

    It’s a very transparent and unconvincing exercise which is clearly failing, though I too am unsure why a website like Labour Uncut should give space to a man who, on the basis of his own writing, not the opinion of others, makes Nigel Farage come across as the Dalai Lama. Odd…

  34. Julian Ruck says:

    Some final words on my first ‘Letter from Wales’:-

    1 None of the above commentators have been able to provide one word of factual or data-based challenge to the figures I have put into the public domain, apart from a correction to the publihsers of ‘Bus Operators in North Wales’, who nevertheless received tax-payer subsidy to publish the book. ‘Welsh airfields’ was distributed by the WBC, who no doubt can confirm this.

    2 None of the above have been able to present verifiable Welsh publisher sales figures (my own novels have sold in the thousands – fact, and fully verifiable).

    3 None of the above have challenged the recent Census data confirming that the Welsh language is dying or indeed my breakdown of the numbers who actually speak it.

    4 I was with Andrew Nurnberg’s London literary agents for five years, until deciding to move on to pastures new. Our parting of the ways was perfectly amicable, indeed an acknowledgement to Sarah Nundy of Nurnberg’s can be found at the beginning of An Equal Judge.

    5 The ‘plagiarism’ of Hitchen’s (all 50 odd words of him) was a simple error. The wrong draft went off, and the Star immediately published the error and an apology (with attribution) for any misunderstanding.

    6 None of the above have been able to challenge my statements in respect of Kidwelly Festival Ltd.

    I leave you the readers of this blog, to draw your own objective conclusions based solely upon the evidence stated – nothing more, nothing less.

    I really don’t think I need say anymore, apart from res ipsa loquitur.

    Julian Ruck

  35. dave rodway says:

    so – Mr Ruck admits to plagiarism, fails to verify his sales figures, claims to have a publisher when in fact he has a printer , lied that he was with an agent when he wasn’t, continued to claim that he was represented by Nurnberg when he wasn’t, and self-submitted to Welsh publishers despite allegedly being with an agent (writers with agents don’t submit themselves Julian), and lied about being rejected by Welsh publishers. Having been rejected by them, he now attacks them and their writers with nasty personal insults and allegations.
    Labour Uncut – why do you give airtime to this awful reactionary attention-seeker? the article is incoherent.

  36. dave rodway says:

    Let me also reiterate my question about where Julian’s knowledge of life at HM’s pleasure comes from.

  37. Joao Morais says:

    Some final words on Julian Ruck’s first ‘Letter from Wales’:-

    1 I have been able to provide many words of factual and data-based challenge [sic] to the figures Julian has put into the public domain, as evidenced in above replies, including a correction to the publihsers [sic] of ‘Bus Operators in North Wales’, who if they did receive a tax-payer subsidy to publish the book, would have received it from Arts Council England, as they are based in Glossop. ‘Welsh Airfields’ was distributed by the WBC, who also distribute the hypocrite Julian Ruck’s books, who no doubt can confirm this.

    2 I have been able to present as much verifiable Welsh publisher sales figures as is available in the public domain, accounted for in Gwyneth Lewis’s article in the Guardian, which Julian Ruck originally linked to (if Julian’s own novels have sold in the thousands, and this is ‘fact, and fully verifiable,’ I am yet to see the evidence – novelrank shows that ‘The Bent Brief’ sold 15 times since publication on Amazon http://www.novelrank.com/asin/B0095XBGE2 ).

    3 No-one challenged the recent Census data confirming that the Welsh language is in decline and no-one challenged Ruck’s breakdown of the numbers who actually speak it, as this is superfluous to Julian Ruck’s argument when it comes to ENGLISH LANGUAGE PUBLISHERS in Wales. That is an argument for another time and has nothing to do with Parthian, Seren et al. Just Sayin’. To say that the numbers of Welsh speakers is declining would mean that more investment is needed anyway, as outlined in the WAG’s Welsh Language Policy ( http://wales.gov.uk/topics/welshlanguage/grantswelshlanguage/;jsessionid=B0E5E85DA4022EAF9C564797A67DE094?lang=en )

    4 Julian was with Andrew Nurnberg’s London literary agents for four years, not the five that Julian states. I can confirm this as I emailed Ounie Christianson at Andrew Nurnberg & Associates, as I had to find out for myself. Here is a cut & paste: ‘Dear Joao, I am writing on behalf of Jenny Savill. Jenny has asked me to let you know that yes we did in fact represent Julian Ruck, but it was until September 2011, not 2012. Best wishes, Ounie.’ The relevant bit of my email read, ‘I understand that Julian Ruck was represented by Andrew Nurnberg and Associates between 2007 and 2012, as stated by the author in numerous interviews and Press Releases.’ I have no idea why Julian added an extra year to his association.

    5 The plagiarism of Hitchen’s [sic] was a simple bit of plagiarism. It is undeniable. If you want the evidence, look at Steve Mosby’s line-by-line breakdown here: http://www.theleftroom.co.uk/?p=1838 I also think that it is a shame that thisissouthwales.co.uk are still hosting stolen content ( here: http://www.thisissouthwales.co.uk/aren-t-women-funny/story-17446138-detail/story.html#axzz2TrQgMkjg ) and will write to them and Vanity Fair to make sure that it is removed.

    6 No-one has challenged Ruck’s statements in respect of Kidwelly Festival Ltd, but this has nothing to do with the argument (again) pertaining to English language publishers in Wales, so it is a straw man argument. Talking of Kidwelly, I wonder if Julian ever paid the three tenors? http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/three-welsh-tenors-angry-over-2023779

    I leave you, the readers of this blog, to draw your own objective conclusions based solely upon the evidence stated – nothing more, nothing less.

    I really don’t think I need write anymore, apart from Julian’s best form of defence wouldn’t be Res Ipsa Loquitur, but instead Non Compos Mentis.

    Joâo Morais

  38. John Abell says:

    Julian, why do you keep saying that your detractors are all Welsh nationalist or, ahem, ‘people of a Welsh language persuasion’, whatever that may be? No one here has said they speak Welsh or mentioned what political persuasion they are. I myself do not speak Welsh, though i wish i did. People tend not to agree with you because you are frankly ludicrous, bitter and wrong.

  39. dave rodway says:

    What, David Hewson, best-selling and highly successful (English) novelist who holds you in contempt, a Welsh language Welsh nationalist? Steve Mosby, a successful English novelist , a Welsh language nationalist? I think not, Julian. Messrs Abell and Morais, non-Welsh-speaking Welsh people, myself also a non-Welsh speaker (not even Welsh either, as it happens, just a resident of Wales who likes and respects it and its people), what is this divisive bilge your speak, trying to pit English against Welsh to raise your profile. Shocking vanity.
    You’ve just been caught out again and are desperately trying to to create linguistic tensions to cover your flatulent arse and raise your flatlining career prospects.
    Disgusting strategy, but , like your arse, it’s backfiring somewhat eh?
    Looks like only the BNP agree with you Julian.

  40. G says:

    I don’t think the writer is in any position to criticise our country seeing as he left thirty years ago. If you want to complain, then moan about something worthwhile. All this has turned out as is a rant against the Welsh language by someone who doesn’t know sod all about Wales because he buggered off when he was a kid.

    So excuse me if I don’t fall for your anti Welsh, self loathing, out of date pap, which I have read thousands of times before. Usually written best Welsh self loathing pensioners who were taught to look down on their own nation or a UKIP activists.

  41. Julian Ruck says:

    Well G, fair enough!

    At least there is nothing vindictive and spiteful in your comment – makes a change!

    Best wishes,


    PS Sadly there are no sheep near me, so I won’t be able to ‘bugger off’ for a while!

  42. dave says:

    I’d like an answer from Julian to my question about HMP.
    his knowledge of prison latrines is about the only realistic thing in his books.

  43. comeoffit says:

    Julian, I’m a massive fan of your desire to pull the rug from under the cosy clique of uber Welsh nationalists all feathering each others nests with backhanders… but bad sheep jokes make you look desperate, tragic and infinitely unwitty!

    As for all the rest of you cyber Welsh language jihadists terrorising this blog…. how about you play the ball and not the man for a change? You dont deserve a drop of respect until you do that.

  44. Julian Ruck says:

    To Dave (how many more fake ID’s are you going to come up?),

    I did a two year stretch in Swansea jail for Taffy bashing and breaking Carwyn’s Heresy Laws. Oh and not to mention sodomising a sheep named Blodwyn and strapping a 2ft dildo around the statue of Dylan Thomas at the Swansea Marina – in the interests of literary accuracy you understand,I gather he experienced erectile dysfunction from drinking too many schooners of sherry etc etc

    Thus the title The Bent Brief, I hope this helps.

    Best wishes,


  45. dave rodway says:

    I’m puzzled: Julian’s attack names not one single ‘Welsh language’ nationalist, attacks successful English authors, fails to declare his own interest in the saga (multiple rejections from very same publishers he now attacks), fails to declare his own plagiarism, fails to explain why he lies about bigshot agents, fails to publish sales figures for his own 12-year-old child’s novels, pretends his ‘publisher’ isn’t just a printer, and paranoiacally links the funding of English-language literature in Wales with some shady group of Welsh-speakers.
    Mr Ruck fails to mention that arts councils all over the UK, including regional arts councils, subsidise writers with grants and residencies and also subvent independent publishers – some of them extremely successful (who have also, I know, rejected Ruck’s books).
    Mr Ruck then starts a crusade against those who have turned him down, and tries to link this with some imagined linguistic struggle in Wales, in which he relentless bashes the Welsh-speaking community, mocks their words, their grammar, their culture and language, in a way that really just shows bigotry and – were it to be unleashed on another language community – racism. No wonder the BNP activists blog like his writing.
    The only person to come to his defence is ‘Comeoffit’, an anonymous anti-Welsh troll whose comments have frequently been removed from politics sites because he is interested only in attacking Welsh-speakers.
    The Ruck saga is an instructive instance of how personal and professional failure, along with a Walter Mitty streak, can result in some truly nasty behaviour.
    Like Mr Hewson, my first thought was ‘well, he’s not all there, he’s a bit bitter, these are the pressures of a failed writing life’. But now I just think he’s a nasty, plagiarising buffoon, a malapropism-studded borderline-illiterate, and a criminally poor writer, thinker and commentator.
    Ruckland is some parallel universe where the natives thrive on the poisonous gas of envy, minority-bashing, professional jealousy and plagiarism, and its landscape full of overgrown mounds where landfilled unsold books have been heaved into the poor ground, and in which English grammar, syntax, and especially punctuation are but a distant folk-memory, if not actually news from another planet.
    Ruck on guys!

  46. Julian Ruck says:

    Point taken Comeoffit, but sometimes I’m afraid my sense of humour gets the better of me.

    My sincere apologies for any offence caused.


  47. comeoffit says:

    Oh you wont cause offence with sheep jokes if they’re good ones Julian. Your second attempt was better but the “bugger off” one was just awful… it didnt even really make sense unless you were talking about a ram 😉

    “The only person to come to his defence is ‘Comeoffit’, an anonymous anti-Welsh troll whose comments have frequently been removed from politics sites because he is interested only in attacking Welsh-speakers.”

    lol Dave Rodway! I’m honoured that you’ve followed me from site to site. You may be right about me making short one line trolling comments but there’s a reason for that. I’ve been at this game a few years and used to make lengthy, researched posts regarding devolution and sometimes the Welsh language. However, organised groups of Welsh language activists falling over themselves to smear me and get my factual, fully referenced posts removed from websites have made me not want to bother. That is why I admire the stamina of Julian Ruck but I wouldnt say I defend him.

    Attack me for being anonymous if you want but I’m aware of many incidents involving the welsh language society and other groups that make me happier being anonymous…. one particular incident a few years ago at the Radio Carmarthen studios left a presenter with a broken arm as a result of not playing enough Welsh language music. I’ll stay anonymous thanks !

  48. dave rodway says:

    Comeoffit Comeoffit , don’t be too flattered: I just happen to notice that you do your anonymous minority-bashing on some of the news and comments sites I visit, and get your contributions removed because they’re single-issue minority-hating bigotry that break the house rules. This will be why you rush to the defence of people like Ruck.
    Never mind, I guess in the paranoid and bilie-filled troll-world we take our allies where we can find them. Julian was boasting on his blog just the other day that the BNP were sweet on his attacks on Welsh-speakers, and had linked his ‘article’ on their Infidel Patriot website. Comeoffit, I hear you say, Comeoffit…
    Julian: your classy and measured reply to my question about whether you’ve ever been detained at HM’s pleasure is , I take it, an example of your sense of humour getting the better of you.
    Now answer the question.

  49. My, my , still ‘getting the Ruck’ are we then gentlemen?

    If you all find Mr. Ruck so loathsome , many of the above comments suggest this, one would have thought you would have more important things to do than this endless campaign of drivel and banal inaccuracy.

    Really gents, get a life !

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