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. Ed Parke says:

    This is too funny for words – definitely the best satire of the ‘intentional troll’ style of journalism that is becoming more popular right now. Mangled figures, blatant agenda, hyperbolic, thinly veiled prejudice – just pathetic really. I forgot self-loathing! Classic!

    Another ‘Ruck’ article, another shot in the arm for devolution! Keep it up.

    The idea that anyone in any position of responsibility would reply to this buffoon is comical – a classic trope of the delusional character.

  2. Cliffoch Ap Cliffoch says:

    Looks like a perfectly reasonable article to me. Which part of the article do you object to, Ed?

  3. Mr Akira Origami says:

    To be fair to the Welsh Assembly Government in the Senate, they do have some experience in the aviation industry.

    http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/anglesey-cardiff-air-link-subsidy-rise-2644663

  4. ‘Cliffoch ap Cliffoch?’

    Mmmmm…….you wouldn’t be making sport out of pun upon pun now, would you?

    JR

  5. Tafia says:

    This is total rubbish. The person that wrote it was either taking the mickey or mentally ill.

  6. John Tyler says:

    You may not like the message, you might find the writing style not to your taste, but Julian Ruck is absolutely right to remind the electorate of Wales there is no scrutiny and little accountability of the Welsh Assembly Government. The Assembly that might be expected to hold Carwyn and Co to account are pretty inept, watch the Assembly recording for examples, so name calling of Mr Ruck diverts attention once again from the message to the messenger … is incognito WAG at work on these pages ?

  7. dave rodway says:

    Anyone else have a problem with Welsh people being referred to as Taffies and ‘druids’ and their accents and language mocked?

  8. dave rodway says:

    Let me alert readers of this august magazine to Julian Ruck’s own blog, where a string of 20 totally pisstake comments flattering the old clown has resulted in Rucky himself being unable to tell he is being massively sent up.

    Here is his reply to one of the provocations (Labour Uncut – you’re very lucky having such a n intelligent political writer on your “staff” !)

    :
    julianruck · August 17, 2013 at 7:38 PM ·
    I’m not sure I know how to take that!

    The only way to treat Welsh literary and nationalist Yahoos, is to view them the way one would a child who has just farted in company and doesn’t quite know what to do.

    Own up or employ the last resort of leaving some smelly baggage in his underpants for nanny to clean up later.

    Either way,he has no fear of being spanked as his elders have already realised that he enjoys this too much.

    A threat of closing down his taxpayer sweet shop is far more effective.

    All the best,

    Julian

    PS I believe my books are in the process of being available to American readers through Barnes and Noble. This may already be the case.

  9. edd the duck says:

    BBC News Wales this morning reports that the Welsh government say the purchase price of the airport is normal for the public sector.What is the reason for overpaying for something in the public sector?
    Surely the surplus could be used for more worthwhile causes to make a difference.What was the difference used for?I hope not for kick backs!

  10. dave rodway says:

    Oh my word Labour Uncut, you’ve managed to elicit a response from the well-known Welsh-bashing crank John Tyler, banned form the BBC website for, among other things, claiming that Welsh-speakers were preparing ‘ethnic cleansing’ against English speakers and that we and our children were not safe any longer.

  11. Mr Akira Origami says:

    Dave… Mr Ruck was taking the ‘piss’ out of the ‘pisstakers’ in his comments on his blog. In my opinion his replies were quite amusing and astute – a lesson in how to deal with a pathetic bunch of anarchists….

  12. belowthelandsker says:

    Dave Rodway says:
    “Anyone else have a problem with Welsh people being referred to as Taffies and ‘druids’ and their accents and language mocked?”

    ‘Taffies’ i do a little but it only relates to a river in Wales so I’ve bigger things to worry about really. As for ‘druids’ well that one is tough luck… that’s what Carwyn is! A card carrying Gorsedd druid, so there is nothing offensive in calling him a druid.

    p.s. I presume the string of comments on Julian’s site from various 90’s WWF wrestlers were yours then? Tragic!

  13. Mr Akira Origami says:

    Interesting Dave…..what did the BBC actually say in their statement concerning Mr Tyler?

    What were the ‘other things’ Dave?……

  14. dave rodway says:

    Not so sure about that ‘Akira’: Mr Ruck replied with sincere pleasure when a pisstake email reached his blog saying that ‘Henceforth the names Martin Luther King and Julian Ruck will be spoken in the same breath by all who care about the truth’, and thanked the poster profusely.

    When told it was in fact a piece of egregious sarcasm, it disappeared from his blog, like much else that shows him up.

    FOI eh?

  15. stevemosby says:

    If Julian had realised the comments were from professional wrestlers, he would have removed them. His comment threads are for self-promotion, not discussion, as I’ve learned to my cost, having comments removed rather than addressed.

    I have little to add to this article – it seems a complicated issue, where allowing an airport to fail could have financial consequences above and beyond the direct cost of the infrastructure, and there are no easy answers as to the correct thing to do. I would say that most of what is in the article appears to have been gone over numerous times already in the media, albeit without the “jokes” and insinuations of criminality, and that individuals have commented on proceedings, just not personally to Julian himself.

    In the interests of freedom of information, can I ask something? Does Labour Uncut receive any money from either Julian Ruck or his publicity company? It’s a simple question, and a simple yes or no will suffice. It would help for context. I’m curious.

  16. Editor says:

    Hi Steve, v simple answer – no money, in fact no-one at Uncut receives any payment. We specifically take no adverts, sponsorship or donations from any source to ensure we are not beholden to any vested interest – ed

  17. dave rodway says:

    Belowskander … I comment under my own name, unlike you, so no, I don’t comment with fake wrestlers’ names. You however are multiple-pseudonym-using Welsh-hating troll. I think we’re clear on our relative merits
    ‘Akira’, same goes. John Tyler’s comments about Welsh-speakers preparing ‘ethnic cleansing’ was disgusting, frankly, and shows how much the anti-Welsh lobby insult the memory of people who have genuinely suffered in order to express their outdated victim-fetish.
    I invite you to defend such comments. How about it Mr Origami, give it a go: ‘ethnic cleansing’ against English speakers, tell me, please, if that isn’t a filthy piece of anti-minority viciousness, as well as an insult to many who have suffered in the 20th century.
    I’d just love to hear your defence of Mr Tyler!

  18. stevemosby says:

    Editor –

    Thanks for this, and I appreciate it. The mystery continues then. All best.

  19. One remains curious. Mr Ruck is clearly no Labour supporter at heart, of any shade. His ‘farts’ and ‘underpants’ comment above don’t exactly have the Orwellian tones to which the rest of this site aspires.

    Where exactly did you find him? Given he’s provided you with a plethora of ill-founded and downright wrong ‘stories’ what purpose does he serve exactly? Is it just for the clicks? And how wrong does he have to get things before you say enough is enough?

    Come on Labour Uncut. Don’t you owe your readers an explanation?

  20. stevemosby says:

    Julian,

    Some simple, quick questions. They’re slightly off-topic, but then, what isn’t?

    1) How many FOI requests about myself and David Hewson have you submitted? This answer should be a number.

    2) What was the cost to the taxpayer of your requests? This answer should be a figure.

    3) What did you discover? This answer could take a number of forms, but it will likely be fairly short – probably shorter than the article you promised to write on here. A reference to your answer to 2) should probably be included, though.

  21. Jamie says:

    As a socialist, I love this idea. We should be buying out Arriva trains and First Cymru too. A Cardiff-Swansea-Aberystwyth rail link would be brilliant.

    And really, why should we care about Bristol Airport? Surely the point here is to encourage and help Welsh industry, tourism, economy, rather than to worry about private bodies on the the other side of the Severn Estuary.

    What have we got next week then? MADE-UP BUSINESSMAN OUTRAGED AS CARS CHARGED TO ENTER WALES OVER BRIDGE?

    Re-nationalisation, and prioritising Welsh interests are important. We need industry, tourism, culture, health and education. Not Ruck and his anti-everything agenda. But then, he’s clearly a Tory…

  22. Crazyhorse says:

    ‘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?’

    Isn’t that treading into libel territory? Basically implying there were financial kickback involved in the public acquisition of something? Of course, you might have proof that this was the case, if so, please share.

  23. alan jones says:

    What’s happened to the much touted article about messrs hewson and mosby and the welsh literary conspiracy Julian?

  24. I remain curious, dear Mr Hewson as to why , if you are indeed are the professional writer you say you are , and yet have the time and inclination to pursue a man you appear to have such a loathing for.

    Obviously you have run out of your own creativity if you have to resort to writing, ‘the book’ of ‘a Danish television series’ – THE KILLING .Talk about mixing metaphors ,but this is mixing genres.

    I recommend a course of creative writing therapy at a Welsh University.

  25. To authors Mosby and Hewson,

    There have been no specific FofI requests relating to you two gentleman personally, indeed I am at a loss as to where I have indicated that this is the case.

    Enquiries have been made however, in respect of the taxpayer funding arrangements for the Dylan Thomas Festival to be held later this year.

    Julian Ruck

  26. David says:

    Fairly big misunderstanding on the title. He’s brought an airport not an airline… Not really the same at all.

    As an aside, there’s not enough public info to assess whether the price paid is reasonable or not. You should compare the Debt assumed (net of cash) plus any other liabilities (EV) and the equity paid to the earnings before interest, tax and depreciation/amortisation (EBTIDA) to getter a better idea. Even then, you need some sophisticated analysis – the range of multiple paid for UK airports ranges from c.9 to c.30x.

  27. Mr Akira Origami says:

    I personally wouldn’t use such terms as ethnic cleansing Dave……

    The BBC seems to neatly to have stayed away from this issue…

    http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/new-blow-welsh-language-communities-3901514

  28. john abell says:

    Another daft article by the king of daft articles.

    I think it is great that Cardiff airport has been nationalised and great if it brings more business to Wales. I am supportive of the state giving it unfair advantage over Bristol and gives a Wales a world class airport by it’s capital city. What kind of Welshman would not want a dynamic airport in Wales, with huge state investment? A Welsh hating Welshman called Julian Ruck, that’s who.

    I agree entirely with James’ sentiment above, 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.

    Why do you keep mentioning Carwyn’s religious beliefs? Would you use such a mocking tone if he was an imam or rabbi?

    Why do you think Wales is uniquely corrupt and Westminster a bastion of accountability? Do you ignore things like the expenses scandal, of which nothing comparable has happened in the Senydd?

    Julian, for around the third time, of course no Welsh politician (or any) would waste there time talking to you. You are not a journalist, and are perceived as a joke in Wales, not as an insightful, original and probing voice, which is how you think of yourself.

    The string of comments by WWF wrestlers on Julian’s blog was pretty funny, showing him up as a bit of a novice internet user and a colossal egotist to boost. Just say he’s great, no matter how bizarre and daft, and it’s published by him. Any hint of critique and it is censored. That is how this self proclaimed democracy and debate advocate operates, with rigorous and all encompassing censorship.

    After ‘campaigning’ for over a year on the ‘corrupt’ Welsh book publishers, why have you recently turned down a debate with Richard Davies of Parthian at a literary festival in September? You say it is for other commitments, but is this not your mission as a ‘writer’ to clean up Welsh publishing? I put it to you that, really, you don’t care that much on the subject, and all you care about is having a pastiched rant like version of something you’ve read by someone else in the Western Fail, or plagiarising Tory politicians blogs, miraculously published by Labour Uncut.

    I must ask the editor, I just want to know, why do you publish this garbage? I think it would be possible, quite easily, to replace Julian with a writer with credibility, and it would vastly increase you standing with actual Welsh Labour activists, many of whom I’ve spoken to, and who think this is garbage.

  29. Mr Akira Origami says:

    It would be reaaly nice to ‘buy’ out Arriva and First Cymru. Where do you suggest we get the money form Jamie, the WAG has been into the Health and Education pot. Are you saying we should now borrow money and go on a nationalisation spree?

    Should we nationalise Swansea railway station because it’s decor is a bit drab? Why should Cardiff get all the benefits – is the Senate’s ideology now:”all flights lead to Cardiff”?

  30. Mr Akira Origami says:

    To Mr Hewson. On the subject of ‘farts and underpants’…..

    I have re-read the article and find no reference?

  31. Mr Akira Origami says:

    To Mr Mosby…..

    I thought freedom of information requests are corncerned with public sector organisations?

  32. To Jamie,

    Your comment epitomises so brilliantly, the crazed and denialist history of Welsh Nationalist belief in frollocking fairy orgies at the bottom of Snowdonia taking palce during a Welsh Summer Solstice.

    1 ‘Why should we care about Bristol Airport?’ – It is a direct competitor to Cardiff Airport that is why.

    2’…..rather than worry about private bodies on the other side of the Severn Estuary?’ If Wales doesn’t worry about them then it is finished. Simple.

    3 As for your ‘re-nationalisation’ epic, I really can’t see Labour going for a reversal of its Clause Four Moment any day soon, neither I hazard, will it be inclined to write yet another ‘Longest suicide note in history’.

    – although the suppressed melancholy of Plaid Cymru may well be inclined to such catastrophic notions of ‘Wales for the Welsh!!’ and to hell with everyone else?

    Julian Ruck

  33. stevemosby says:

    Julian –

    “There have been no specific FofI requests relating to you two gentleman personally, indeed I am at a loss as to where I have indicated that this is the case.”

    In the comment thread here:
    http://julianruck.wordpress.com/2013/08/13/hewsons-folly/

    And the second paragraph in the PS to this post here:
    http://julianruck.wordpress.com/2013/08/11/authors-mr-david-hewson-and-mr-steve-mosby/

    And possibly other places. So the answer to 1) is none? Are you sure? What about 2)?

  34. Ruck

    You are being disingenuous to say the least. Here are the three emails you sent me over the space of a few hours on August 20.

    First….

    ‘Dear Mr Hewson, In the interests of journalistic probity, of which you are so admirably passionate about, would you please confirm whether or not you have ever been invited to or indeed attended (apart from Hay) any Welsh book festival prior to the Dylan Thomas event this October. I won’t presume to ask you about the fee you are being paid, I can find this out for myself. Many thanks, Julian Ruck.’

    Second, not long after…

    ‘Dear Mr Hewson, Again, in the interests of journalistic probity, I advise you that I am writing an article for both Uncut and the Welsh press in respect of your involvement with the Welsh literature establishment, more particularly in respect of your year long and relentless attempts to smear and denigrate my name. In the interests of journalist accuracy, I am therefore affording you an opportunity to comment on the above before said article is published. Many thanks, Julian Ruck.’

    And the third… hours later.

    ‘Dear Mr Hewson, As you have chosen to resist a right of reply as it were, I must write my article accordingly, which will include the information I have obtained today from the Arts Council of Wales, Literature Wales and the Dylan Thomas Centre. As a matter of courtesy, my investigations are continuing. Many thanks, Julian Ruck.’

    As I’ve already said I don’t respond to emails from people who tell me to ‘chisel “I’m a twat”‘ on my head. Even if I were so minded it would have been difficult given you didn’t include the article to which I was supposed to be offered a right of reply.

    Do kindly inform us of the following.

    1. From whom have you been seeking information about us (‘my investigations are continuing’)?

    2. What exactly did they say?

    3. Do you intend to put in an FoI request asking the British authorities how much the frivolous FoI requests of one Julian Edwin Ruck have cost us all in pursuit of his personal vendettas?

    4. When may we expect the illuminating article you speak of above?

  35. And, of course, as Steve Mosby has already pointed out we have it that you’ve pursued FoI requests in this matter… from your own lips.

    http://sdrv.ms/172BB0D

  36. Rhys Jones says:

    You know what? I think Julian might be right: not on the substance of the original blog post (I think nationalising Cardiff Airport was a timely, necessary, and welcome move), but on the first two points he makes in his last comment. Wales, and South Wales in particular, absolutely does need to worry about Bristol Airport. Its location is far more accessible than Rhoose, whether by rail or coach, especially given this:

    http://www.greyhounduk.com/news/20130308/travel-between-swansea-cardiff-and-bristol-airport-by-intermediate-stops/

    (Note also the reference to UWE, the University of the West of England, in that news item, something I bet is going down like a dose of raging dysentry at the University of South Wales.)

    There’s a general argument that giving better road links to Rhoose, and maybe even an M4 spur, would in the long run drive more investment to that part of the Vale of Glamorgan. It could be argued that such investment might be a better use of public money than buying up an airport: personally, I’d hope that the WG use Cardiff Airport’s nationalisation as a sticking plaster which enables them to explore wider transport issues in that region.

    So yes, I don’t go for the general dig at Plaid Cymru being insular, but Wales absolutely needs to worry about private bodies in England, and indeed the rest of the world. I’d say that every single serious* political party in Wales agrees with and acknowledges that.

    Anyway, I’ve agreed with Julian Ruck on something. The clopping you hear behind me is War, Famine and Death just catching up. Gotta dash!

    * (By which I mean the main four/five, lest Julian use this as an excuse to rubbish the Lib Dems/Plaid Cymru again)

  37. dave rodway says:

    I don’t suppose Ruck has questioned why the bloke who runs Bristol airport and wanted to buy Cardiff airport claimed, as Ruck says, that Wales had ‘overpaid’? It’s standard procedure to diss your competitor when they got what you wanted, then to say you didn’t want it and they’ve overpaid.
    Not sure what ‘evidence’ that constitutes.
    Intrigued by the allegation of ‘brown envelopes’ – any proof of this, or will it just be the usual Ruck smear then careful avoidance of answering the charges?
    Still puzzled as to why you publish this drivel…

  38. To Rhys Jones,

    Well, thank you for a balanced and fair comment and one that is on topic and devoid of personal insult and irrelevance.

    It is appreciated.

    Wales needs more bridges across the Severn Estuary not less, both in a metaphorical and physical sense. It also needs an international airport with an infrastructure that makes it viable for economic growth and outside investment – I couldn’t agree with you more.

    I have to dash now too, my pestilential fourth horse is getting frisky but don’t worry, he’s not neighing at Mr Rhys Jones!

    Julian Ruck

    PS By the way and for the record, my issues are with Welsh Labour NOT Westminster Labour. Two entirely different political parties in my view, as the Morgan/Blair and beyond contretemps clearly illustrate.

  39. @ CAVALIER HEWSON

    To many of us in Wales it beggars belief what place a talk on, ‘ the book -of -the – DANISH TV series’ – The Kiling has in at a festival of the Welsh iconic poet ,and short fiction writer- DYLAN THOMAS.

    How Dylan himself would have laughed ,who incidentally hardly earned a penny from his own work in his lifetime how these present day, ‘culture vultures’ [his words] pick over the bones of his legacy to feed off it in this unseemly manner : in fact it is A KILLING !

    Having approached the D.T.Festival Director, Nick McDonald I have learned that this very Hewson , who I might add is neither “young nor easy ” [ FERN HILL- D.T.] nor has any affinity to such an icon himself is actually appearing at a festival in Swansea , the home town of the poet that is to be, “funded through our core budget”, ie. by courtesy of the Welsh taxpayer.
    I think I need say no more.

  40. John Abell says:

    @ IDIOT BRIGHTMORE

    Gill, do you not understand the point of literary festivals? The Dylan Thomas festival is not an exhibition dedicated to the life of Dylan. That is not it’s sole purpose, of course not.
    There is a huge list of events designed to celebrate contemporary writing, not Welsh writing, just writing in general.
    The Killing is a remarkably popular TV series and the books are immensely popular too Gill, books are things that writers make Gill, did you give the Welsh taxpayer the money back for that book you didn’t finish? For popularity, as well as good writing, is why Mr Hewson has been invited to the Dylan Thomas festival.
    Dylan made a fortune off writing in his lifetime Gill, what are you talking about?
    And for the last ‘point’ you make, Mr Hewson’s publisher is paying travel costs and he is waiving his fee, so what is your problem? Aside from the fact that your writing ‘career’ has been a dire failure.

  41. I beg to differ with John Abell on a number of points.
    @ J.A.
    1
    If you read Dylan’s published letters & dairies , and you would see how impoverished he and his wife Caitlin in fact were . They releid on rich patrons for most of the time. Obviously you know nothing about the life history of the poet.
    2
    If you are , I quote , ” a talented artist” your career to date has hardly been a dazzling success, now has it ? Where have you exhibited for example ? What work have you sold?
    3
    While I’ve no wish to blow my own trumpet , it now needs to be said I have just had, this month , work accepted to be published in United States in the autumn. As you must well know by now I’ve no wish to be published in the small coterie that is Welsh the scene here consumed as it is with egoism , nepotism and in- fighting: yourself being an example of such petty mindedness, and even paranoia.
    4
    As further point of information John as you keep bringing it up like a bad curry , the short story collection I had a small bursary for way back in 2001 and worked on for two years well all of these stories ,but one, have now been published here and elsewhere. I have also written a crime novel.If you look at my profile on Link-In you will see some of these publications. I am also a member of the ‘Writers’ Guild’ UK.Any one knows to be a member one needs a record of having been published: I have .I have also published articles on mental health issues and an activist with a blog in that area.

    Finally John , why do you feel it so necessary to defend Hewson ? Can’t that man defend
    himself ,and why does he need you to do it like some lap dog.

    My advice to you is stay calm , and concentrate on your own creativity .
    All good wishes,G.K.B.

  42. Mr Akira Origami says:

    To Mr Abell

    Probably a Welshman that wanted a good health and education system and not huge amounts of money diverted from essential services?

    With the money that grows on trees needed to buy out and nationalise the railways, lower the fares, and invest in a high speed north south coastal route (for the sparse number of people who would use it ?) we could also develop a space agency and put a Welshman on Mars by the end of the decade. Great idea!

    A man in power that belongs to a secret society based on the bunkum of Iolo Morganwg whose creed was developed when he was off his head on laudanum should be closely scrutinised I would suggest.

    If Ed Milliband claimed he was a Jedi Knight – might alarm bells ring?

    Personally I have got nothing against religion except that it has caused countless millions of deaths throughout human history.

    I wouldn’t say Wales is uniquely corrupt. The Senate in Cardiff is a newly formed Institution that holds power for the people of Wales – criticism and scrutiny can only lead to government that represents good investment for tax-payers in devolution.

    I would not like the vacuum created by the brain drain in Wales filled by a bunch of whackos.

    Wales has some tough times ahead,we need a government of highly educated people with practical and achievable goals who have a grip on economic reality.

    Wales is a comparatively poor part of the UK. Let’s live within our means and be realistic.

    Let health and education be paramount, it is the people of Wales that will create it’s wealth.

  43. To G K Brightmore

    I am a member of the Society of Authors (not Associate) and like the Writers’ Guild one has to have a proven track record of published work – not self-published.

    Julian Ruck

  44. David Hewson says:

    Wrong again Ruck. The Society of Authors will take your money if you’re self published and sell a mere 500 copies within 12 months even at a penny a time. Which isn’t hard. You’re not an author and you and the world know it.

    Still waiting for answers to the questions above. Were you telling porkies on your website when you said you’d entered FoI requests on us? Or porkies here when you claimed you didn’t?

    Wouldn’t a better title for this column be ‘Liar from Wales’?

  45. dave rodway says:

    While Labour Uncut publishes the anti-art rants of a failed and multiply rejected self-published ‘novelist’ like Ruck, the world’s most played composer, Karl Jenkins (oh no, a Welsh speaking musician – quick! get out the minority-bashing bigots…), makes an important statement about how crucial arts funding is to the intellectual wellbeing of a nation, any nation:

    http://www.walesonline.co.uk/whats-on/music/germany-more-cultured-uk-says-5756215

    Who would you choose? An original , world-leading and internationally-famous composer and conductor, or a small-town self-publishing clown like Ruck?

    Mr Ruck, you are self-published, because your novels and their publication was paid for by you. Your current publisher is in fact a printer, and your previous publishers were vanity presses. This is why you tried to get published by proper commercial publishers, but also by proper arts-council funded publishers on both sides of Offa’s Dyke.

    They rejected you and now you harass them with threats of legal action if they reveal your unpleasant correspondence with them. FOI indeed!

    Why you pretended you had a big agent in your festival press kit when you didn’t (you only came clean about this when Mr Morais found you out by writing to them), and why you claimed that Mark Billingham was going to judge one of your ‘prizes’, is beyond me. Your record of truthtelling is shocking, absolutely disgraceful.

    Your record of plagiarism and content-theft is consistent with someone who has no principles, and your literacy levels consistent with someone who left school at 12.

  46. I’m afraid that isn’t true, Mr Ruck (and I must say I’m not clear why you’ve turned on your good friend Ms Brightmore). From the eligibility criteria listed on the Society of Authors’ web site: “Membership is open to… those who have self-published or have had a work published on a print-on-demand/ebook only basis and have sold over 300 copies of a single title in print form or 500 copies in ebook form within a 12-month period.” This entitles you to full membership.

  47. John Abell says:

    @Taxpayer Nobbling Brightmore

    1) Thomas had slight on and off financial difficulties, but was never impoverished. He wrote for the BBC, in his 20’s was one of the most prominent poets in the English language, and had many wealthy patrons. Do not always trust a man, who knows history will remember him, and his letters, as they are not always accurate.

    2) As a 26 year old artist, my career has been very successful, in fact, much more successful than yours has been in your whole lifetime of writing! I will just mention the last few months, because of time constraints. I won the Josef Hermann print prize and got a residency at the Curwen Studio (where Moore, Hockney, Rego, Hepworth did lithography) and had my work printed by the greatest printer on earth, Stanley Jones. All the work I made there has sold out. My work has been shown in the last 4 months in 3 major surveys of contemporary graphic art in Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris. My work is in the Victoria and Albert museum in London and the Irish museum of contemporary art in Dublin. I exhibit regularly in Wales and England, all the time, and came overall runner up and winner of the print prize in Welsh artist of the year. I have recently illustrated 2 books, both due out in the next 6 months. The Eistedfodd commissioned me to make a huge map of Wales, which of course sold well. I’ll do a quick plug of my blog…

    http://johnabell.blogspot.co.uk/

    Which speaks for itself. Ask your friend Bill Garnett, he’s a print collector Gill, and
    owns a lot of my work, how my work is perceived amongst collectors. They sell really well!
    3)Here we go now Gill. You got awarded, at taxpayers expense, several thousand pounds to complete a book, which you failed to do. No one can help but see your brain farts on the Internet, and not concede that you are a lamentably awful writer. I’m not being caustic, you are genuinely bad. Published in the US, by whom, what publication? That statement on its own means nothing, Gill. The only people who have ever published you, to my knowledge, or that I can find, is Honno, Cinnamon and Parthian, but only in books with lots of other writers and only the odd poem or short story. Google John Abell artist then google Gill Brightmore writer, then take into account the lengths of our careers, and I clearly am doing a lot better.
    4) Gill, you’ve been in Planet once, and the odd Welsh publishers anthology. You got a grant of a few grand to take your next big step and have a big book of your own, but you didn’t complete it, and thus ‘nobbled’ as you like to say, the taxpayer. Gill you are a frightful writer, awful, and a blessing to anyone who dislike Julian’s views, you both succeed in making each other look ludicrous.

    Kind regards, John

  48. John Abell says:

    Gill, actually googling you is beyond funny, have a look at this, third down on the list…

    “I am writing and waiting for responbse to work sent out to BBC as well as publishers.Anyone wnat to start a support group for rejected writers? GillBrightmore”

    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=gill+brightmore+writer&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&client=safari

    Oh dear…

  49. To Ramsey Campbell,

    Thank you for pointing this out. The rules have obviously changed since I became a Member a good few years ago, no doubt due to the proliferation in self-published ebooks etc.

    I have to say Mr Campbell, your unrelenting propensity for petty nit-picking over everything I write is so very……..shall I say, non-Vidalian.

    What a busy life you must lead.

    Julian Ruck

  50. Mr Akira Origami says:

    Dear Editor

    “We specifically take no adverts”…

    It’s looking a tad like a billboard around here lately?

    Mr Origami

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