Letter from Wales: Wales is a living, breathing example of what can be achieved in power!

by Julian Ruck

On hearing this I didn’t know whether to burst out loud laughing or nip up to Asda’s for a crate of Johnie Walker to kick me back into reality!

The full quote from Carwyn Jones, first minister of the Welsh government, at the Labour conference is “We are building a Wales that’s a living, breathing example of what Labour can achieve when in government.”

Carwyn then went on to defend Welsh Labour’s record on jobs, the NHS and schools.

Well now, let’s take the jobs angle first. There aren’t any in Wales. And the principality has the highest youth unemployment in the UK.

The Welsh NHS. According to the Welsh government’s own statistics for the quarter ending June 2013 not one of the six Welsh LHB’s reached their cancer waiting times targets and this has been an on-going trend. Keep an eye out for my next column wherein I will be exploring the outrageous failures of the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, the resignation of its Chairman, Professor Mervyn Jones and Welsh health refugees.

Schools. According to the Estyn Report last year, 40% of Welsh school children entering secondary education receive an education that is “barely adequate,” the worst in Europe along with the Czech Republic. Recruitment at Welsh universities is also in terminal decline.

The Welsh economy isn’t referred to in the quote, but Wales has the lowest GDP in Europe and is also one of the most public sector dependent.

Druid Carwyn (member of the Gorsedd of the Bards, blue robes an’ all) must have picked up his particular strain of political mood music from some ancient druidical song being given voice at this year’s Welsh Eisteddfod.

He goes on, “We have different policies in Wales because they’re right for our people.” Well excuse me here, but as far as I know we’re all Brits and the only thing that distinguishes the Welsh from the rest of the English speaking peoples in the UK is the fact that we have mounds of laver bread and a propensity to sing loudest when in a state of lovely inebriation.

There is also that tiny inconvenience of all British taxpayers having to fork out for Carwyn’s delusions and attempts to turn Wales into a Welsh speaking third world dystopia.


If Ed listens to the lesson according to Carwyn the venerable, then be assured that Labour will be waiting a long time to sit on the green government benches of democratic power and deliverance.

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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25 Responses to “Letter from Wales: Wales is a living, breathing example of what can be achieved in power!”

  1. Darren Almond says:

    ‘Schools. According to the Estyn Report last year, 40% of Welsh school children entering secondary education receive an education that is “barely adequate,” the worst in Europe along with the Czech Republic.’

    Could I get some clarification here, are you saying that Wales has the worst education system in Wales, bar the Czech Republic? That does not sound right.

  2. Robert says:

    Brilliant New Labour has gone and you cannot see it….

  3. Rhys Jones says:

    ‘According to the Estyn Report last year, 40% of Welsh school children entering secondary education receive an education that is “barely adequate,” the worst in Europe along with the Czech Republic.’

    Do you have a link for this please, Julian?

  4. Daniel says:

    Read that quote again Darren, he said in Europe, not Wales! 🙂

  5. John Abell says:

    Rhys Jones has raised some interesting points. Julian, where do you get your ‘facts’ from?

  6. Tafia says:

    Get used to it Julian – when Ed is in Number 10 the whole country will be run like Wales.

    You are of course free to leave – and we are free not to mourn your passing.

  7. Daren Almond says:

    Good point Daniel.

    But the question remains, I would really like to see some proof that Wales and CR have the worst Education systems in Europe.

  8. Ian says:

    The relevant study is the PISA study and the comparative data for Wales is in this report. They last ran the study in 2009 – it is every three years so the 2012 results should be out soon.


    It says that in reading and maths only Rumania and Bulgaria have lower scores so not sure where the Czech Republic fact comes from.

  9. Mr Akira Origami says:

    Today it looks to me as if the Welsh people have been declared redundant.

    Wales is a museum, who is forcing us into this museum?

    How have we got into the mess we are into today?

    Who are the people being carried on the backs of the majority?

    What does the future hold? – another 1500 years in a permanent state of emergency?


  10. Julian Ruck says:

    Dear Ian,

    Thank you for pointing this out.

    All the countries referred to are part of an historical Eastern European tragedy, so what does this say about Wales?


    Julian Ruck

  11. Mr Akira Origami says:

    The Welsh Health: Special Debate was interesting last night.

    Not one representative from the Labour government had the balls to go on the show.


    I don’t suppose there was any chance of Mark ‘no public inquiry’ Drakeford turning up.


    The term “GP deserts” was used on the show. Apparently GP’s don’t want to go to West Wales or North West Wales – I wonder why?

  12. Mr Akira Origami says:

    Perhaps Carwyn was hoping Ed would have turned up on the show last night?

    Labour leader Ed Miliband has defended the Welsh government’s handling of the NHS.

    Asked whether he could name Wales’ Health Minister, Mr Miliband said he did not want to get into “quizzes”…….


  13. Mr Akira Origami says:

    …and I suppose Ed hasn’t heard of Betsi Cadwaladr either.


  14. John Abell says:

    At least it seems that Cardiff is the best place to live in the Uk if your young.


    Lighten up chaps it’s not all doom and gloom in Wales!

  15. Rhys says:

    Ian, thanks for the link, but as far as I can see, it doesn’t say that. Have a look at page 16 (or screen 28) of the PDF:


    Wales is below the OECD mean, yes, but there are 10 countries which are, statistically, ‘similar to Wales’ in terms of reading, including Greece, Spain and Austria. There are 25 countries which are statistically ‘below Wales’ in terms of pupils’ reading achievement.

    I’d still really like to get chapter and verse on Julian Ruck’s assertion that Wales has ‘…the worst [education] in Europe along with the Czech Republic’. Could you chuck us a weblink or similar on that one please, Julian?

  16. Darren Almond says:

    Agree with Rhys here. Still no data to back up Ruck’s statment on the state of Wales’ education. Would like to see some source to back it up.

  17. Mr Akira Origami says:

    Interesting when there can be some kind of” Spanish Inquisition” on Torfaen council……


    ….and yet when people are dying while waiting for treatment at Cardiff’s University Hospital of Wales there is no inquiry?


    A case of strange priorities?

  18. John Abell says:

    Mr Origami, go away! People are trying to have an adult, on topic discussion here.

  19. Mr Akira Origami says:

    Mr Abell

    Excellent….and as an “adult” what is your opinion on the case of strange priorities above?

    Please tell me, I am sure your answer would lighten up the doom and gloom merchants!

  20. Rhys Jones says:

    I’m afraid the list of Assertions Julian Ruck Needs To Back Up With Actual Data isn’t getting shorter here. I’m rapidly turning into Tim Harford, I realise, but I’m not about to apologise for that…

  21. Darren Almond says:

    Aggree with Abel, not sure why such off topic stuff is getting through.

  22. To Whom it May Concern

    To anyone who would like clarification of Julian’s ‘facts’ re: above comment, I would refer that person to last night’s ITV Wales debate on the, SHARP END with Andrew Masters.Here much of what has been said by Mr.Ruck on this blog was given equal credibility by the discussion between the Welsh politicians who appeared on last night ‘s programme at 10.35pm.


  23. Rhys Jones says:

    Do you have a transcript please, GK Brightmore? Which reports did they reference? I always like to look at the raw data myself (probably my software background coming through there). Politicians are generally not mathematicians, sadly, which means that when it comes to tables and numbers, they can be easily swayed by spin doctors with axes to grind…

  24. RHYS
    Check it out – THE SHARP END on iPlayer.

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