I was horrified when I read yesterday's Daily Telegraph. Not often that Wales features in the London-based media, but we did yesterday. It reported that one of our Chief Constables described Wales as a nation of violent p***heads. I was just about recovered from the shock when Matt Withers of the Western Mail contacted me, seeking my comments on what Barbara Wilding had said. This was my response;
"I do not recognise the Wales that the Chief Constable has been describing. It is certainly not a remotely accurate picture of rural Wales. I accept that Barbara Wilding may be referring to her experiences in Cardiff and other Welsh cities, but even then, I cannot accept that Wales is any different from other cities across the UK.
In general, I agree with what the Chief Constable is trying to achieve by highlighting the problems of binge drinking, and I support the aims of the 'Enough is Enough' campaign. But its very damaging for Wales that her comments are being reproduced in the London based newspapers, giving a very poor impression of our nation to those who might want to visit.
I hope that Barbara Wilding will 'clarify' her comments, or produce the evidence to justify what she has said. My opinion is that there is too much binge drinking, and too much violence flowing from it, but its no worse in Wales than in other parts of the UK."