Saturday, November 22, 2008

Violent Wales?

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."


Dr. Christopher Wood said...

What is going on back home?!? There's Peter Black making a mockery of the Welsh National Assembly and now a Chief Constable has put her oar in.

It has been my experience that London likes to think of Wales in terms of silliness - so y oh y do we serve it up on a plate?

This nonsense is akin to what I read the other day. A Welshman who claimed online that he was both single and married at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Come to North Wales of a weekend Glyn, you may well then understand where she is coming from.
Cheap drink etc etc and no police on the beat.

Glyn Davies said...

Christopher - I've no doubt that the Chief Constable is deeply worried about violence and excessive drinking. Its just that I find it hard to believe its worse than what happens in cities in other areas. Lot of violence reported on in English inner city areas.

anon - I'm sure she would have been right to express her concern about violence and binge drinking - but is it correct to say its worse than anywhere else.

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Absolutely Glyn, one has to put things in perspective. One tends to speak from one's experience, but having lived in many towns and cities (Cardiff, Glasgow, London (including South and North of the Thames), Bath, Warrington, Preston, Chicago, Arlington (in the Washington metro area), I can honestly say that Wales does not stand out as a country that anyone should be put off visiting or settling in.

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Anonymous said...

I think you're right on this one Glyn. I'm not sure whether it's because people have no experience of other towns and cities that they complain.
The people of Llandudno are always complaining of the drunkenness and violence, especially at weekends.
Whilst there is some, it's not the wild west as some seem to think. They really need to visit other towns to see how bad it can get.

Anonymous said...

Hmm.. Don't get too excited about anything in the 'Daily Mailograph' as it's becoming known...

Obviously, the more townies are deterred from moving to the country, the more room there is for you..