Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Carwyn the Censor.

I think it must be clear that I'm not in the Cardiff bay Bubble, because in a previous post  I wrote that 
"I imagine that First Minister Carwyn Jones is prowling the corridors of the Asembly Building trying to find out what idiot demanded S4C cancel a repeat of an episode of Welsh soap opera Pobol y Cwm because of its portrayal of the government policy on badgers".

It seems that Carwyn, only had to look in the mirror in order to find that Idiot.. It had been earlier revealed that 

"A spokesman for the Welsh Government confirmed that it had made an official complaint to the BBC and S4C about a “serious breach” of BBC and Ofcom guidelines in a storyline about tuberculosis in cattle.
The government believes last night’s episode of the Welsh language soap breached the public broadcasters’ duty of impartiality and have asked for tonight’s repeat (Thursday) - scheduled for 6.30pm - be cancelled".

Now Carwyn . has admitted he authorised a complaint about the soap opera, after a character criticised his government's decision not to cull badgers.

At first minister's questions, Plaid Cymru AM Simon Thomas asked if he had 
"taken advantage of the excellent S4C service online Clic in order to view the whole Pobol y Cwm episode before authorising the letter asking them not to repeat the programme".

He added  
"Did you actually watch the programme?"

Start Quote

A letter was written by press officers and I authorised that action”
Carwyn Jones AMFirst Minister
Mr Jones said he had seen the programme and its script. (Though he seemed to miss a scene where other characters gave an opposing point of view, saying farmers were to blame for the spread of TB in cattle)
 He said 
"A letter was written by press officers and I authorised that action," the Welsh government was waiting for responses from the BBC - which produces the soap - S4C and the regulator Ofcom."There is a public policy issue here that has to be debated," 

Perhaps  Carwyn  thinks Pobol y Cwm, should look back to the early days of the radio soap the Archers, which was originally produced with collaborative input from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, and  was conceived as a means of disseminating information to farmers and smallholders to help increase productivity in the post-World War II years of rationing and food shortages.

One can Imagine the Welsh Labour Party in particular envisaging Pobol Y Cwm being a format to explain Welsh Assembly Government. 

Will we in future be seeing the title of Welsh Assembly Script Editor appearing on the cast list after every episode?

This may look like a small spat but it is a dangerous move where the Welsh Government seeks to make our media doesn't portray them in a bad light.

They may have had  a reason to complain to the BBC  that the programme was inaccurate.Though how you can portray a farmer devastated  by TB calmly weighing up the pros and cons of government policy and make it believable is beyond me.

Carwyn should apologise for this attempt at censorship . He has the right to complain how his government is portrayed but he should do so bearing in mind that interfering in the way he did is a dangerous precedent.

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