Disgusted of Llandrindod Wells

FT in a muddle about Wales
08/07/2009, 9:24 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

Hurrah! The Financial Times has remembered that Wales exists and given it – or rather Cardiff – rather glowing coverage a couple of days ago in a supplement. Jonathan Guthrie at the FT has a record of covering Wales. But lately it has been a very puzzling record. Two months ago Guthrie was decrying the Welsh dependency economy. His claims included,

  • “A deeper sense of Welshness is all very well, but Wales has continued to lag behind England economically. Business people say the assembly has done little to change that.”
  • “There is a price to pay, too, as political pressure mounts for companies to spend ever more on bilingual services.”

Then miraculously, two months later the Welsh had turned everything around and the benefits of devolution were starting to emerge:

  • “But this small nation has also been nimble in co-ordinating the efforts of politicians, civil servants and business leaders to woo footloose companies.”
  • “Wales has, however, taken a markedly business-friendly tack on recessionary wage subsidies.”
  • “These days, there is a greater emphasis on stimulating local start-ups. One result is the establishment of a Wales-wide chain of incubators, called “Techniums”.” (no mention that WAG civil service, err, wags have been calling them ’emptiums’.)
  • The byline for another piece read “Wales’s dual-language status is unlikely to inconvenience globe-trotting managers, writes Jonathan Guthrie.”

This devolution lark is confusing!


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Could the change of opinion be something to do with money spent on the supplement the article appeared in for the FT maybe?

Comment by a Change of Personnel

You could well be correct, but I don’t know much about that. Do you have any extra information? I have noticed those Doing Business In supplements do often lay it on a bit thick about how amazing a place is.

After reading both articles again I have to say I suspect the first piece was written in a hurry. His conclusions fall back heavily on the stereotypical view of Wales – with not much evidence – and he appears to have drawn most of his conclusions from brief chats he had with some Welsh people (Rosser, Clarke, Osmond etc). The second seems more considered.

Personally, I’m quite happy that we’ve had coverage like that. No need to grumble, although as a Welsh person (adopted) I do feel the urge.

Comment by disgustedofllandrindodwells

no extra info sorry just thinking out loud.

i agree with you, im glad that at least one UK newspaper remembers that Wales exists and the article is pretty positive about Wales and the welsh economy, you don’t get that every day.

Comment by a Change of Personnel

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