Letter from Wales: Here come “Carwyn’s Carriers,” the new Welsh budget airline!

by Julian Ruck

It seems that Carwyn Jones now fancies himself as a latter day Biggles, without the goggles.

Allow me to give you yet another classic example of Welsh Labour’s fantasy economics.

On the 27th March 2013, the Welsh Government announced it had purchased Cardiff International Airport Ltd from TBI Ltd as a going concern for £52,000,000, claiming that technically, this was not a “nationalisation” as TBI was a “willing seller” and not being compelled to flog the asset – a bit of Carwyn’s legal training here if you ask me, semantic gymnastics at its best.

First minister Carwyn further announced,” The airport will not be operated by the Welsh government. It will be managed at arm’s length from government on a commercial basis and over time, I expect to see a return to the public purse on the investment.”

The  £34,311,000 valuation in 2010 (calculated as shareholders funds minus intangible assets) – the accounts of Cardiff international airport  filed with Companies House in 2011, showed  a £319,000 loss – seemed to have passed Carwyn by, he was probably too busy with his tailor trying to work out what colour robes to wear at his next druidical extravaganza.

For the record, the chief executive of Cardiff’s main rival, Bristol airport, one Robert Sinclair, observed that the £52,000,000 paid was “well above market value when compared to recent transactions involving UK airports – it gives us concern that ongoing  government involvement and support is highly likely.”

In other words Carwyn will give Cardiff an unfair advantage over its competitors and to hell with competition law, he’s a togged up blue druid after all, so he can do what he likes.

So far, he has yet to provide any evidence or business model that supports value for money for the taxpayer, due diligence tests prior to the announcement and how on earth he is going to make up the losses?

But then this is Welsh Labour, so openness and evidential justification for decision making tends to be for the seagulls hovering around Cardiff bay. It’s the same old approach: throw taxpayers’ money at it and to hell with sustainability.

It should be noted here, that the administration has refused to respond to a FoI request (par for the course it must be said, there are umpteen examples of this lot’s  aversion to democratic oversight) for the publication of Cardiff task force meeting minutes. This being the case, with the best will in the world one cannot help but wonder if any brown envelopes have been passed around, who exactly benefits from this aviation farce, who are the contractors involved?

To readers of Uncut, can you imagine the firestorm that would erupt in Westminster if any one of the political parties tried to exercise such secrecy and lack of transparency?

No scrutiny? No accountability? Margaret Hodge would have a field day!

Ed, you really must start taking a closer look at Welsh Labour, they are bringing the whole Labour movement into disrepute, on a grand scale.

NB Carwyn Jones, first minister; Mark Drakeford, health minister; Edwina Hart, minister for economy; John Griffiths, minister for culture; Huw Lewis, minister for education.

All the above have refused outright to even comment let alone be interviewed, on the serious issues I have raised both on Uncut and in my Welsh press columns.

Such is the respect for democratic accountability we have from our Welsh leaders.

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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55 Responses to “Letter from Wales: Here come “Carwyn’s Carriers,” the new Welsh budget airline!”

  1. Mr Akira Origami says:

    To Mr Abell

    You say: “The Eistedfodd commissioned me to make a huge map of Wales, which of course sold well.”…..

    The Eistedfodd is funded by tax-payers in Wales, is it not Mr Abell.

    This could explain your stance here on Labour Uncut, could it not ?

    Oh dear!…..Mr Abell.

    Mr Origami

  2. dave rodway says:

    Oh dear indeed Gillian. At least Julian actually got rejected for grants and publishing deals – you actually snaffled a few grand from the taxpayer to produce, or not produce, your unreadable dross.
    I’m afraid it doesn’t take much to make the link, in both your cases, between rejection and failure as a cause and vitriol at other writers, proper writers, as an effect.
    When exactly, Gillian, did the Welsh ‘scene’ become nepotistic? When they stopped giving you grants, turned down your writing, or before?
    What a dreadful pair. If Mr Ruck is the standard-bearer for the anti-Welsh lobby, then I understand why they lost the devolution referendum so roundly.
    Here is Mr Ruck’s latest thought on writing, from his blog:

    “I haven’t read any fiction for some twenty years by the way, which may be of interest to all you students aspiring to be the next Hemingway,mind you look what happened to him?”

    Er… well, Julian, Hemingway won the Nobel prize and wrote a dozen or so classic books (published by actual publishers). I’m not sure what entitles you, in your self-published, plagiarism and porky-strewn career, to mock him. As for not reading fiction in 20 years, it shows, old bean, it shows.

  3. alan jones says:

    I’m looking forward to mr ruck s answers to the accusations of telling lies. That sho u ld be interesting! As a keen mark Billingham fan myself id be especially keen to hear why julian used his name to entice people to his festival and whether mr Billingham himself was aware he was judging a prize with Julian!
    In your own time though Jools…

  4. Mr Akira Origami says:

    I dont know if Ernest Heminway was a pro or anti-devolutionist or would he have got a grant from the Arts Council of Wales if he wrote a novel for the Wales Book of the Year Award.

    Getting back to the article…..

    Mr Abell has said: “As a predominantly socialist nation, why not buy out and nationalise the railways, lower the fares, and invest in a high speed north south coastal route? Great idea.”

    As a predominantly socialist nation should we not lower the air fares for flights from Cardiff airport?

    I haven’t thought the idea through but why not give Carwynsian Economic Theory a go?

    PS…We could also nationalise the refinery in Milford Haven and aboish tax on avation fuel in Wales!

  5. Point of Information:

    Ernest Hemingway was a world – class writer not bound by national boundaries.
    His first book was published in Paris , and he lived in Spain taking part as an ambulance driver during the Civil War and later Italy writing , A FAREWELL TO ARMS.

    For the most part the rest of his life was lived in Cuba.

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