by Julian Ruck
We all know that Wikipedia has to be treated with caution, but now and again it does come up with something that enjoys the virtue of both brilliant clarity and pointed accuracy.
Recently, I was drawn to a Wiki entry about the welsh Crachach.
The Wiki definition of “Crachach” is as follows:
“A pejorative term, it refers to those of the establishment in Wales who are thought of as snobs. Often welsh-speaking, they are found in influential positions in the arts, politics, academia and the media.”
Wiki goes on, “An anonymous Welsh poet was quoted in an article in the Independent as saying, “ The Crachach as we know it, has really been built up over the last 30-40 years when the establishment of Wales gravitated toward Cardiff. Its ruling elite, a lot of whom are related, when it comes to networking make the Masons look inadequate.”
And the Western Mail’s Carolyn Hitt, says “The older crachach can be fiercely nationalistic yet not averse to receiving gongs from the Queen. Younger arty crachach will always get their projects funded, however rubbish they may be. If the crachach had a coat of arms, its motto would be that old chestnut ‘It’s who you know not what you know and make sure you belong to someone on the committee’.”
To add substance to the above may I also point out, that a cursory glance at the head honchos of all Welsh institutions will be white, middle-aged and Welsh-speaking – many of them will also have translated their registered birth names to a Welsh language equivalent, and if there isn’t one then they will just make it up eg Lleucu Siencyn ie Lucy Jenkins (CEO of Literature Wales by the way, and there are plenty more of them) .
Bizarre I know, but that’s the Crachach (or Taffia as it is also sometimes referred to) for you.
Look at BBC Wales, full to the brim with sneaky top-job preference eg Rhodri Talfan Davies Director of BBC Wales (ie Controller job re-named) since 2011, son of former Controller (1990-2000) Geraint Talfan Davies, grandson of Aneurin Talfan Davies, former Head of Programmes at BBC Wales (1966-1970), and finally Godson of Menna Richards, former Controller of BBC Wales (2000-2011).
You may also be wondering about whether 21st Century equal opportunities has ever even been a blip on the 20th Century welsh establishment’s radar, let alone the 21st’s? And I’m not even going to start on all the others eg Bestan Powys, Vaughan Roderick……….