Just add "for Wales" and we'll swallow it

The Western Mail has made a big thing of an article it published today under this headline:

    

Gosh, I thought. Things must be quiet if these two men had time to write an article about Wales. There might be some good in them after all. And it would be quite a scoop for the Western Mail too, maybe they can halt their decline in sales.

So I read it, but something didn't quite ring true. Yes, they mentioned Wales a few times, but it wasn't really about Wales at all. So I googled one of the paragraphs and found that it was just a recycled version of a story that they had written for Politics Home last week:

     George Osborne and Danny Alexander: Govt credibility can boost infrastructure

Word for word, the story is exactly the same, apart from the fact that the words in bold have been rather awkwardly added to these four paragraphs:

The credibility the Government has earned by tackling the deficit is already benefiting millions of British taxpayers, families and businesses across Wales through consistently low interest rates.

With the Bank of England, we launched action to make loans and mortgages cheaper and more easily available, providing welcome support to families and businesses throughout Wales.

Last week we committed to the biggest overhaul of our rail system since the Victorian times – including electrification of the lines from Cardiff to Swansea and the Welsh Valleys.

But as coalition partners in these difficult economic times – as difficult perhaps as any our country or our continent has faced outside of war – we are totally committed to working together to 2015 to put our economy, and Wales’ economy, back on track.

It's a trick that's been pulled many times before, but we can draw these conclusions from it:

     •  First, that Osborne and Alexander were not writing for the Western Mail.
     The paper is just trying to big itself up to make it look as if it's more important
     than it actually is.

     •  Second, that Osborne and Alexander don't have any specific policies for
     Wales at all.

Who knows, perhaps the same story will appear in other newspapers with tags like "across the West Midlands", "throughout the North East", "including electrification of the line to Sheffield", and "Scotland's economy".

Or perhaps not.

Somehow I think we'll find that only the Western Mail thought people in Wales would be gullible enough to believe that this was a story about Wales.

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13 comments:

Jac o' the North said...

Question is . . . who's responsible. Obviously the WM published it but the use of "Welsh Valleys" rather than simply 'Valleys' suggests the deception comes from people unfamiliar with Wales and the usual terms employed. The Wales Office, perhaps?

Cneifiwr said...

Depressing to see a serious newspaper do something as tacky as this. On the other hand, Jac's comment has to be one of the best I've read in quite a while. Cheered me up no end.

Welsh not British said...

I thought we were all boycotting the WM and it's online rag?

Must be just me then.

Valleys Mam said...

i would be more concerned if they knew about Wales That would mean he were going to target us for their own purposes.
This way we know they are still useless piles of poo

Anonymous said...

We know, Welsh not British. But it's OK to read the paper if you don't pay for it......plenty available on park benches, buses and trains, and it's OK to read the online version if you block the ads. Simplez :)

Siônnyn said...

The WM online has been full of re-cycled, often anti-welsh stories of late. The comments sections appear to be tolerant of the anglosupremacist element that brands Plaid as a party sympathetic to the Nazi ideal, or models its leader on the N Korean system. Sorry - can't help myself, but I have to challenge them at every turn! I'all be surprised if they are still solvent in 6 months.

Anonymous said...

Well Osborne and Alexander's article looks pretty pathetic now that UK Q2 GDP growth has come out at -0.7. This represents a deepening of the recession. Austerity is worsening the recovery, not helping it.

The downside in Wales is that this will, as in the UK more widely, benefit the Labour party. The difficuly for Plaid is that even when we say the right things (or rather, hold the right values and beliefs) it doesn't necessarily benefit the party electorally.

Neilyn said...

Strangely enough, all is not lost for the Mule. A relatively simple rebranding and reformatting exercise and I anticipate sales would go through the roof. I envisage something along the lines of :

"WWMMM - the National Papur Ty Bach of Wales.....when you're in the shit, we're there for you".....

Welsh not British said...

"I'll be surprised if they are still solvent in 6 months."

I worked it out that 1 in 118 people in Wales buys the rag, even less view the site. The number of nats that read them must be FAR higher because everywhere I turn I see people saying they have to challenge them.

Just boycott it, don't buy it, don't read it, don't share links and it will eventually die.

Ambiorix said...

Siônnyn said...
The WM online has been full of re-cycled, often anti-welsh stories of late. The comments sections appear to be tolerant of the anglosupremacist element that brands Plaid as a party sympathetic to the Nazi ideal, or models its leader on the N Korean system. Sorry - can't help myself, but I have to challenge them at every turn! I'all be surprised if they are still solvent in 6 months.
==============================================

Lets hope they go bankrupt in one month.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen the Tories trying to stop Wales legislating! Pathetic. Are you going to blog about this M H?

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