Letter from Wales: Still the establishment evasion goes on

by Julian Ruck

Whatever one’s point of view in respect of political malfeasance where Westminster is concerned ,we still have the cleanest political system in Europe. It has its faults but that’s democracy for you, and call me naïve but I still believe that 99% of politicians do not set out to harm the country or voters.

They make mistakes, they are human but it’s so easy to sit an armchair and criticise. I know one thing, I wouldn’t want their job for all the political tea in China!

This being said, there is a profound difference between the political landscape of Westminster and that which obtains in Wales. Whatever else, Westminster enjoys a certain maturity, a certain sophistication of political endeavour and to a large degree, openness – one only has to consider the public accounts committee for evidence of this, not to mention the fact that scandals are at least exposed on a regular basis.

None of this is the case where Wales is concerned.

Allow me to give you just one out of many examples of Welsh political backwardness, immaturity and crude deliberation when faced with a public interest challenge.

A couple of weeks ago you may remember, I requested some interviews and comment from minister’s Edwina Hart (business and economy) and John Griffiths (culture). The former in respect of a £130m private investment in north Wales going AWOL and the latter in respect of millions being wasted on Welsh arts, more particularly book publishing.

After some blatant evasion, Welsh Labour’s head of news finally entered the fray, indeed he is now the only person who is allowed to deal with me, it seems. I suppose I should be rather flattered.

His response to my initial enquiries were, “We do not reply to blogs”, to which I replied as follows:-

“Dear Simon,

I must remind you that so far this year, in respect of public funding for the Welsh publishing industry and the Arts, I personally have been interviewed on the BBC’s Sunday Politics Show, Jeremy Vine Show, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru etc. Articles have appeared in the Guardian (parts of which had to be corrected and retracted following libellous accusations by Gwyneth Lewis), the Telegraph and the Daily Mail, not to mention my own articles in the Star and Western Mail.

None of these media outlets are I believe, ‘blogging’ platforms.

Further, only last week the Western Mail carried an article re the public funding for employees of the Arts Council of Wales to enjoy a trip to Venice and I have a further article coming up in the Star.

In spite of all this media attention, please confirm that the Minister for Culture John Griffiths, is still refusing outright to be interviewed on these matters or to even comment, on them?

Many thanks,


The response to the above? Once again, “We do not reply to blogs”. One can only assume then, that the BBC and national and local press are blogs, according to the Head of News for the Welsh Labour administration??

Now, you may be thinking Mr Jenkins has a point re political blogs? But then Alex Navalny started out with a blog and look what has happened to him – although to be fair I can’t see the proposed Carwyn’s Cymru police force ever trying to bang me up for five years, on the other hand I do live in Wales so….. Perhaps I should try writing for the Taffia Chronicle, no doubt if I did it would be all Welsh whisky and welshcakes on a pleasure cruiser in Cardiff bay.

So what happened to all my constant and determined attempts to get some answers out of Welsh Labour ministers?

Well, I finally thought I was getting somewhere when Mr Jenkins responded with a ‘What would you like the Minister to comment on’. I duly sent same but to date, nothing.

Edwina Hart is quite obviously out of the country receiving advice from the IMF, but here’s the best one, in spite of all my exposures in the press and media following FoI requests, John Griffiths was seen on Welsh telly on Thursday 18.7.13 dishing out cheques (all from the taxpayer) and gongs to Welsh writers at the Wales book of the year!

To hell with the same Welsh poets and writers getting multiple taxpayer bursaries, to hell with Welsh publishers getting millions of taxpayers’ money to publish books that no-one wants to read or buy, to hell with 7 arty farty types from the Arts Council of Wales enjoying the sights of Venice at taxpayers’ expense plus £400,000 for a man snoring in a telescope and to hell with scrutiny and accountability!

And you in the rest of the UK think you have problems? Sport loving culture minister John Griffiths, was smirking like a Welshman who has just won the five nations cup, as he dished out the dosh – your dosh that is.

He’s had all the fully verifiable data (as has Edwina Hart), and yet he stands there and tortures the taxpayer yet again.

When it comes to tear-jerking evasion, Griffiths, Hart and their press officers make Mandleson and Campell look like schoolboys on a Sunday School outing to the seaside. Bibles ‘an all!

And as for arrogance, stupendous stupidity and the most extraordinary lack of political acumen, look no further than Cardiff bay.

Welsh Assembly? Welsh amateurs more like!

PS Following phone calls to BBC Wales and BBC London, both are refusing outright to confirm or deny Fo I data in respect of BBC journalists, presenters and celebrities, receiving thousands of pounds of tax-payers’ money for their autobiographies.

Julian Ruck is an author, columnist and freedom of information campaigner. He also makes contributions to both Welsh and national broadcasting and media

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30 Responses to “Letter from Wales: Still the establishment evasion goes on”

  1. Danny says:

    Putting aside the fictional accusations, the judgements formed by a bitterness borne from rejection, the childish insults and the pathetic conjecture that form Julian Ruck’s writings, the man’s atrocious writing skills and grammar alone should be sufficient to deem him unsuitable for a regular blog on this website.

    If you take a red-pen to the above blog you’d run out of ink before the end of the article with all the schoolboy errors.

    On the evidence of this blog alone, your rejections from publishers has nothing to do with a “Welsh establishment” or a bias towards Welsh-speaking authors. Your rejections have come from the simple fact that you are an awful, talentless writer.

    You should find a new career Mr. Ruck. I’m useless at cooking. Awful. I burn everything, can never get the timings right and when I do attempt at making a meal, my wife has the takeaway menu at the ready. Your attempts at being a writer would be tantamount to me embarking on a career as a chef. I don’t mean to be unpleasant but you have really fallen into the wrong vacation.

  2. Nick says:

    So why are the Lords getting the Clerk of Parliament to sign state secrecy certificates about Peers expeneses so that the details can be kept hidden?

    Westminster is a cess pit of corruption.

  3. MrsPennThomas says:

    Not that I want to be pedantic or anything but isn’t it the Six Nations cup these days. A small point of accuracy but as serious journalism relies upon the accuracy of the facts conveyed I thought it only proper to correct you.

  4. dave rodway says:

    I myself have written to one of the publishers who rejected you (though you deny this) asking them to confirm the fact and pass on your reaction. They have not replied, so I can synpathise with you re their evasion! Come to think of it, are you sure you haven;t threatened them with some sort of breach of confidence malarkey? I do hope not, you being a FOI campaigner and all that.
    Can you confirm please?

  5. Julian Ruck says:

    To Penny Thomas,

    Still on the ‘Let’s Get Ruck’ scene I note.

    Five nations, six nations, United Nations? They are all as one to me.

    Sport has never been a strong point of mine.

    I hope you enjoyed yourself at the Wales book of the year the other evening.


  6. dave says:

    Rucky…. you’re not answering my questions…
    come now, FOI hero: were you rejected by Welsh publishers and are you trying to prevent it from getting out?

  7. Ed Parke says:

    ‘Ruck’ plunges to new depths here, and it makes great reading. Epic levels of delusion to think that anyone from any respectable organisation would reply to a crackpot such as him – made all the more entertaining by him showing his responses but never theirs (I wonder why?)

    This was a better blog than last time as it made ‘Ruck’ seem utterly hapless and deluded but it did so without the hate filled vitriol of recent posts.

    Whoever writes ‘Ruck’ lays their influences bare: ‘The King of Comedy’, ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’, even a bit of ‘The Simpsons’. I’d be interested in a one off interview with them – they need congratulating for strengthening devolution with every one of their posts!

  8. Joao Morais says:

    Point of order.

    Julian Ruck wrote,

    “The former in respect of a £130m private investment in north Wales going AWOL”…

    Mr Ruck, nothing went AWOL as there was nothing to go AWOL with. Your source Jeremy Oakley claims to have been awarded €130m private funding for a north Wales renewable energy plant and needed moral support from WAG. It was never physically given to him or his company- if indeed it was presented to him at all. You had one source which you took at face value from a letter – journalism usually depends on two sources being given in support of said claim, unless it comes from the Press Association, Reuters, Agence France Presse or the Associated Press, in which case one source is deemed as confirmation. Jeremy Oakley sent you a letter outlining his story with some huge claims in it yet he is untraceable and so is the story anywhere else on the internet. The money was never ‘AWOL’ as it was never handed over/returned etc so this is a misleading term; I suggest for the sake of clarity it is removed or changed.

    As to your main point, which seems to be that the Senedd and the WAG are corrupt and Westminster and Whitehall are outstanding models of democracy and accountability…. Further to earlier answers (and the overwhelming evidence in the media over the last few years that no governmental institution is free from error and scandal) you will be pleased to know, Julian, that every AM’s expenses have been available to view online since at least 2006 http://www.assemblywales.org/memhome/pay-expenses-financial-interests-standards/mem-expenses-2.htm which is something that Westminster needed the Telegraph to do for them in 2008!

  9. David Hewson says:

    This appears to be a blatant rerun of the earlier ‘There’s no democracy in Wales because I’ve been refused a press pass (even though I’m not a journalist)’ whine.

    Does Ruck have nothing original to say?

    Surely Labour’s head of news is being very diplomatic in stating, ‘We do not reply to blogs.’

    He could so easily have said, ‘We don’t reply to clowns, charlatans and fantasists’.

  10. Darren Almond says:

    ‘Whatever one’s point of view in respect of political malfeasance where Westminster is concerned ,we still have the cleanest political system in Europe.’

    Do you have a source to back this up? I have never heard of countries govs rated by ‘cleanness’. And if you mean transparency or lack of corruption, I am sure I have seen plenty of sources that rate the Scandinavian countries way above us.

  11. John Abell says:

    Another week, another bout of wanton idiocy from Julian Ruck.

    Julian, no serious politician is going to give you there time, as you are not a journalist and are merely a fantasist with intellectual delusions. The WAG government has always been more transparent than Westminster, see the link Joao has put up.

    Julian, Westminster is so scandal prone it is unbelievable. Serious journalists link to sources, whilst you deem conjecture to be fine.

    As for a blown investment to North Wales to the tune of €130 million, why has no real journalist picked up on this? The answer to that is, you made up your source or took Jeremy Oakley at face value without checking! Poor journalism old boy.

    You mistake, again and again, Mrs Penn Thomas and Penny Thomas of Seren. She is right to point out 6 nations and your use of 5 nations to describe the rugby tournament. It shows you to be the factually inaccurate anachronism that you are.

    You dislike the Welsh cultural and publishing scene because it rejected you for it’s awfulness, and have now decided because of your egomania, to try to become a political writer, but of course, the politicians see through you just like everyone else.

  12. James says:

    A half-decent politics website that cared about facts, evidence, literary standards, originality (rather than plagiarism) of content and some evidence of political understanding would consider this charlatan’s tripe to be an embarrassment.
    But not Labour Uncut, who seem to think it’s acceptable.

  13. James says:

    “but of course, the politicians see through you just like everyone else.”

    some do, but Labour Uncut clearly don’t – how many times now has he ranted on about Welsh artists and writers on this ostensibly ‘political’ website?

    You should be embarrassed to host this claptrap and its author’s bigotry. Unless you’re doing it as a sort of joke.

  14. stevemosby says:

    Julian –

    While I think, on the face of it, it’s admirable that the Welsh political establishment refuse to respond to you (it would be a waste of tax-payers’ money to take the time, after all), I still believe your story about Jeremy Oakley is worthy of exposure and comment.

    If it’s true, then now is probably the moment (it’s actually somewhat past the moment, but still) for you to reveal more information about the case. If you can’t substantiate the existence of Mr Oakley and his €130 million beyond what you mentioned in a previous column, then – I’m sorry to be hurtful – it’s fairly self-explanatory why nobody in a position of authority will reply to you about him.

    I am genuinely baffled as to why you don’t do this. Any serious journalist would. They would leap on the chance. The obvious explanation is that he doesn’t exist, but surely Labour Uncut would have corroborated this before printing your columns?

  15. John Abell says:

    ‘A couple of weeks ago you may remember, I requested some interviews and comment from minister’s Edwina Hart (business and economy) and John Griffiths (culture). The former in respect of a £130m private investment in north Wales going AWOL and the latter in respect of millions being wasted on Welsh arts, more particularly book publishing.’

    Julian, what investment went ‘AWOL’? Is it the fictional one you wrote about a few weeks ago?


    The article with no verifiable sources whatsover, a mysterious ‘Jeremy Oakley’, who can muster 130 million Euros but has no online presence whatsoever? You have been had Julian, and are an atrocious journalist even by amateur standards. Of course Edwina Hart would not waste her time responding to such garbage.

    You write to John Griffiths to tell him money has been was ‘wasted’ on Welsh art, particularly book publishing. Says who, you?


    If that is your opinion of Edvard Munch, why should anyone engage with you about culture? You only dislike publishing in Wales because Parthian and Seren rejected you? Is that not the case, that you have a chip on your shoulder? You know nothing of book publishing, Julian: this is your printer who ‘publishes’ your terrible novels


    So of course Mr Griffiths isn’t going to respond to you, you evidently do not know what you are talking about and both these politicians have serious work to be getting on with, not wasting time responding to self published fantasists.

    You are not a journalist, Julian, why do you keep pretending you are? No one gives you press passes, no one responds to you, especially as they are being paid by the taxpayer and have an important job to do, which of course you understand and sympathise with. If you call this journalism, you have frightful self delusions;


    Oh dear Julian.

    Let us look at another of your lies and compare it with some of your behaviour…

    ‘Articles have appeared in the Guardian (parts of which had to be corrected and retracted following libellous accusations by Gwyneth Lewis)’

    Of course no politician is going to respond to such a teller of fibs! Gwyneth Lewis ddid not make libellous accusations, you daft bugger! Here is the article in full, again revealing Ruck’s porky pies, of which he is fond;


    You keep talking of libellous, your only response to me was to call me a heroin addict, who is undergoing mental health treatment and is in receipt of disabilty benefits! All unfounded, as is the norm for you, but talk about hypocrisy!

    This is revealing of your self delusions, Julian;

    ”here’s the best one, in spite of all my exposures in the press and media following FoI requests, John Griffiths was seen on Welsh telly on Thursday 18.7.13 dishing out cheques (all from the taxpayer) and gongs to Welsh writers at the Wales book of the year!’

    In spite of all my exposure in the press? Taxpayers expense? Are you just annoyed that other, more talented writers, win prizes and get published? Julian, we are talking paltry amounts of money here, if WBOTY’s prize money was diverted to the NHS. it would keep it open for less than a second, so what is your argument, apart from rejection and spite?

    ‘And you in the rest of the UK think you have problems? Sport loving culture minister John Griffiths, was smirking like a Welshman who has just won the five nations cup, as he dished out the dosh – your dosh that is.’

    The five nations cup has not existed since 1999, Julian. Are the rest of your ‘facts’ as inaccurate as this or is this an exception? Is it common practise, Labour Uncut, to publish sub Daily Mail toss as this, or is Julian a special case? Can I write a letter from Scotland column for you please, using ‘facts’ I plucked from my bottom?

    ‘Five nations, six nations, United Nations? They are all as one to me.

    Sport has never been a strong point of mine.’

    That response, to Mrs Penn Thomas (not Penny Thomas of Seren, as you keep insinuating) makes you out to be the idiot you are.

    So, Julian, some questions, like you put to me, and, which I promptly answered;

    1. Were you rejected by Parthian and Seren?

    2. How many copies of your books have you sold, and are they distributed by the WBC at taxpayers expense?

    3. Who is ‘Jeremy Oakley’ and did you make him up?

    4. Is the Kidwell-E festival happening again this year and did you pay the three tenors?

    5. Do you regularly send threatening and abusive emails to Welsh publishers? Do they hang up the phone as soon as you call, which you do weekly? Is the same true of Lit Wales and the WBC?

    6. Have you been to prison for fraud, or was this a lie you made up?

    We will start with these questions, if we get anywhere there is some more I would like to ask you.

    Labour Uncut, why do you persist in publishing this crap by Julian? Can you answer that question too please?

  16. Rhys says:

    Steve, I appreciate your concern for the truth, but I suspect that Julian Ruck needs to cut his teeth on a slightly easier journalistic task before he moves on to the big league, £130 million/€130 million question. (Incidentally, is it euros or pounds? We’ve not yet reached equivalence, Julian!)

    Julian Ruck seems insistent, despite the lack of supporting evidence, that Penny Thomas of Seren Books, and Mrs Penn-Thomas, who comments here, are one and the same. I challenge him to prove that assertion. He may say it’s impossible to do so, but ten minutes with a web browser has proved to me that they’re entirely different people. So, Julian, prove *me* wrong. After all, given your devotion to the truth, this should be an easy one for you to crack.

    For your next trick, you can prove that Jeremy Oakley exists and is a credible businessman. The easy stuff first though, eh?

  17. James says:

    These letters from Wales are crap. There’s a lot going on in Wales at the moment – hospital scandals, resignations of ministers, by-elections in crucial seats , the defection of a senior Welsh tory to UKIP etc, and yet all you publish on this site is some self-published plagiarist banging on about his personal vendetta against publishers who rejected his rotten novels.

    There’s just been a poll done with interesting results about the Labour party in Wales: they’d win an extra handful of Westminster seats PLUS a majority outright in the Assembly. This bulldozes the idiotic theory, put forward by your vanity-press ‘correspondent’ Julian Ruck about two weeks ago, that ‘Welsh Labour’ (which he doesn’t understand) is going down the pan and there’ll be a tory majority.

    The man is a political illiterate, a reactionary and self-obsessed and embittered clown, and also a documented liar and plagiarist who knows jack about politics and slings homophobic, sexist and anti-minority insults at all and sundry. Yet you go on publishing this drivel.

    This is why Labour Uncut are becoming a laughing stock.

  18. James says:

    All the evidence, Mr Ruck, points to the fact that you yourself were gagging to get onto this so-called gravy train, and desperate to get your so-called novels published by Welsh publishers. When they turned you down you turned nasty, and now you are reduced to a vanity-press printer in Carmarthen (a printer, mind you, which has received grant money to start up from the Welsh assembly).
    You also wrote your own (now deleted) Wikipedia entry, and reviewed yourself with 5 stars on Amazon, as has been established.

  19. James says:

    It goes without saying, of course, that replying to a semi-literate crank like Ruck would be a waste of taxpayers’ money. He can’s spell ‘ministers’ and instead writes ‘minister’s’, using the grocer’s apostrophe as a plural (this is the man who writes Labour Uncut letters about educational failings!), and uses phrases like ‘crude deliberation’ with no idea what ‘deliberation’ means.
    So far we have: an invented Mr Oakley, whose 130 million euros went, as Ruck claims, ‘AWOL’ (?!), and now we have, as evidence of the Welsh political system’s opacity, the fact that some ministers (minister’s as Ruck writes) ignore Ruck’s letters about Welsh publishing because he’s a well-knonw crank, failed writer and anti-Welsh bigot who can;t string together two sentences without a grammatical error, a solecism or a malapropism.
    He’s also known to lie and plagiarise.
    If I were living in Wales I’d be glad my politicians didn’t waste their time on people like him. I’d also be glad that no publisher with state subsidy published his dreadful books.
    Thanks for the link, John Abell: Dinefwr Press are just a printer, and Ruck, it appears, a self-published vanity egotist. He can;t be bringing them much good publicity!

  20. James says:

    “articles have appeared in the Guardian (parts of which had to be corrected and retracted following libellous accusations by Gwyneth Lewis)”

    This is Ruck’s assertion in a letter to the arts minister. It contains an outright lie: Gwyneth lewis never ‘libelled’ you you fool, she questioned your sales figures for a particular book by stating that you only counted figures form one outlet and not others.

    It’s because you’re a liar that no-one engages with you, and elected representatives are quite right to ignore your rants.

  21. belowlandsker says:

    Oh dear… it’s all getting a bit desperate here isnt James! Three ranting posts in a row?!? Lol! It would appear Julian Ruck has got right under your skin.

    As I’ve said before, I have more than a passing interest in behavioral psychology and your hysterical smears reek of the desperate actions of a man with something to hide. If only you were just some crank with a vendetta against ruck… alas though, it seems from your writing style and name dropping that you are very much part of this clique that you ineptly trying to protect.

    there is nothing more pathetic than attacking someone’s grammar rather than the content of their arguement James:

    “He can’s spell ‘ministers’ and instead….”

    Oh wait, I ‘can’s’ believe it… I stand corrected! LOL!

  22. Rhys Jones says:

    I’d have hoped that we’re all beyond attacking people’s spelling. Julian Ruck can’t type ‘ministers’, James can’t type ‘can’t’ and, seemingly, belowlandsker can’t spell ‘argument’. What of it though? That all seems very petty. Can we move on from there, please?

  23. Mr Akira Origami says:

    Yes it is tie to move on. The standard of English is appalling, isn’t it time the English speaking people of Wales got their act together and created an English Language Commissioner. Look at the success of the Cymraeg speaking people of Wales with their own Language Commissioner standing up for execellence in Cymraeg.

    It’s time the English speaking community in Wales started to act against the falling standards of English in the Principality.

    There is £95,000 a year salary waiting for somebody out there!

    We need a vocal champion for the language!

    Hewson for English Langauage Commisioner! James..a close second………..


  24. David Hewson says:

    For someone without the courage to use a real name Mr ‘Origami’ you do sound remarkably pleased with yourself.

    I have to ask. If your case is so strong why are you such a coward that you have to hide behind a ridiculous pseudonym?

    And why do you keep writing ridiculous and libellous pieces on your ‘blog’ that reference the non-existent ‘Welsh Times and Farming Weekly’?


    Are you feeling OK?

  25. “Yes it is tie to move on. The standard of English is appalling…”


    “… Langauage…”

    I see Belowlansker’s post about attacking grammar (though in fact it was spelling that was attacked) but I do think there’s some irony in what I’ve just quoted, given the comment about the standard of English.

  26. Mr Akira Origami says:

    Dear Mr Hewson

    I am fine thanks! I’d rather use a pseudonym and not be hounding by a bunch of idiots.

    I am sorry you find my pseudonym ridiculous ….If I changed it to Carwyn Aman Ogwr Origami would you find it less ridiculous?

    My ‘blog’ is of course satirical.

    You still have my vote for the English Language Commissioner job.

    Yours sincerly

    Mr Origami

  27. David Hewson says:

    Mr Origami.

    I’m willing to use my real name and put up with being hounded (not ‘hounding’) by idiots like you. What makes you special?

    Your blog is not ‘satirical’. It is gutless gibberish, cut and repasted to become even greater gibberish. It is also libellous and nasty in telling blatant lies like this, ‘Carwyn jones has been charged with dangerous driving. There are also reports that Carwyn has suffered irreversible brain injury.’


    ‘There are reports that the First Minister for the Welsh principality is being questioned about theft.’


    You have my vote for cowardly weasel of the month. And no – you’re not fine at all. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  28. Mr Akira Origami says:

    Sorri Mr Hewson…….

    Ramsey Campbell for English Language Commissioner!!!

  29. Mr Akira Origami says:

    You are the gutless one Mr Hewson…..

    Go forth and lobby for an English Assembly,you seem to be a fervent supporter of devolution?

    You and your EDL chums should be ashamed of yourself continually mocking the grammar of people from Wales who have been inflicted by an inferior education system.

    You are a smug bully and you seem to derive great pleasure from mocking someone who is dyslecsig.

    Shame on you Mr Hewson…

  30. Mr Akira Origami says:

    Dear Mr Hewson

    When it come to art it is evident that you are a true Philistine.

    What you call gibberish I call art.

    I am submitting my blog to the the Arts Council of Wales for the next Cymru yn Fenis at the Bieanalle di Venezia.

    It is obvious that: nouveau, modern, progressive, thought provoking art is beyond your comprehension.

    Yours sincerly

    Mr Origami

    PS I have not been funded bt the Arts Council of Wales.

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