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Through the keyhole

Betsan Powys | 16:44 UK time, Wednesday, 10 November 2010

So the Assembly Government plans to close its office - "mini embassy" to quote the Welsh Conservatives - in the Chrysler Building in New York. You can add Paris, Amsterdam, Dublin, Milan and Munich to the list.

Offices in Sydney, China, the United States and Brussels live to fight another day. Who knows what happens to others in Dubai, Hong Kong, Bangalore, Delhi, and Tokyo.

But that reminds me: who lives in an office like this?

Thursday 15.30

The answer is Cheryl Gillan, when she's in Cardiff and her colleagues in the Wales Office.

On the wall of the office block just opposite the Assembly is a plaque that gives the name of the building - Discovery House. The only other plaque is the one that tells visitors where to find the Consulate of Iceland. First-time visitors to the Wales Office are told that if they've got to the little Italian coffee shop on the corner, they've gone too far.

At least you hope that those who've got lost trying to find Discovery House appreciate the irony ...

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  • 1. At 10:29pm on 10 Nov 2010, John Henry wrote:

    Betsan wrote ... Who lives in an office like this ?

    ... is it the same person who said ...

    "That's it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college!"

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  • 2. At 10:47pm on 10 Nov 2010, cleverelliejo wrote:

    I wonder who is staffing these grandiose edifices ?
    Was it jobs for the boys? or did one have to speak the preferred language?
    How much do they cost? What was the return for all the cost?
    Could it have been enough to save some of our small precious village schools?

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  • 3. At 00:25am on 11 Nov 2010, Arrrgh wrote:

    Do these other nations know where Wales is? And, will they pay the bridge toll? Going up again!

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  • 4. At 08:47am on 11 Nov 2010, TellingmewhatIknowalready wrote:

    Looks like part of King Rhodri's empire is to face extinction,however why as the humble taxpayers arent we being told the reason for said decision.It was all part of the external 'nation building' exercise carried out by the WAG,which is continuing apace within this little region of UK.It wont be the first thing to go as the vast numbers of white elephants (including offices) developed in last 10 years are subject to necessary economic laws the same as ordinary people are going to face because of crass mismanagement in UK.

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  • 5. At 09:38am on 11 Nov 2010, Lyn David Thomas wrote:

    While some of these offices have not given the return that we had hoped do people really think that the Department of Culture/Sport in England (which has absorbed the English Tourist Board) can represent Wales' interests abroad? Likewise the Welsh business community? Can I ask what people would feel would be a better option, or should we just turn our back at the world and not promote Wales at all. If people have forgotten once there was an institution called the British Tourism Authority. It was supposed to promote Britain abroad, all of it. 90% of its publiciity was for London and a tiny fraction was for Wales. As a result the Wales Tourist Board started international promotion, which included offices abroad.

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  • 6. At 11:19am on 11 Nov 2010, mr beige wrote:

    I am totally unaware of any benefit these offices produced - if they did it clearly hasn't been sung from the rooftops and that in itself must be a travesty. State your objectives and then see if to achieve them you need embassies and not cheaper forms of publicity ie. the internet, direct targeting of companies etc...You have to shout to make yourself heard these days but surely such outmoded diplomacy has no place in the 21 century - unless of course you are one of the boys!

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  • 7. At 11:33am on 11 Nov 2010, dontblameme wrote:

    Mr Beige
    No disguising your views on this attempt at inflating the importance of Wales and it's position in the worldwide scheme of things. However before we knock this attempt into touch, How about a supporter or two giving a link to a proven benefit of the largesse.

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  • 8. At 1:12pm on 11 Nov 2010, mr beige wrote:

    to dontblameme (7) - can you hear the tumbleweed?

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  • 9. At 3:51pm on 11 Nov 2010, comeoffit wrote:

    Cleverelliojo wrote:

    "I wonder who is staffing these grandiose edifices ?
    Was it jobs for the boys? or did one have to speak the preferred language?"

    Oh here we go... the usual anti-welsh language brit nat drivel! Of course these offices are staffed by bilingual Welsh speakers and why shouldnt they be! Wales is a bilingual country and therefore the many monoglot Welsh speakers living and working in Tokyo should have the right to receive assistance and services from their local Welsh embassy through the medium of Welsh :)

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  • 10. At 5:54pm on 13 Nov 2010, cleverelliejo wrote:

    M 9
    Enough said.!!

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  • 11. At 7:02pm on 13 Nov 2010, Crossroads wrote:

    9. At 3:51pm on 11 Nov 2010, comeoffit wrote:
    QUOTE.
    Oh here we go... the usual anti-welsh langauge brit nat drivel! Of course these offices are staffed by bilingual Welsh speakers and why shouldnt they be! Wales is a bilingual country and therefore the many monoglot Welsh speakers living and working in Tokyo should have the right to receive assistance and services from their local Welsh embassy through the medium of Welsh :)
    ENDQUOTE

    I notice that you are allowed by the moderators on here to refer to those you disagree with as "anti-Welsh langugae" and "brit nat drivel"..How satisfying it must be for you to be allowed to use language like that when many of us (not anti-Welsh by the way)have posts withdrawn for far far less.The moderators responsible for allowing such disgustingly offensive language(we all know what 'Brit nat' refers to) on here should be ashamed of both their poor judgement and obvious bias, which is sadly there for all to see.

    To continue, Comeoffit's comments about "the many monoglot Welsh speakers living and working in Tokyo" is unbelievable.

    Comeoffit...You are aware are you not, of the tiny (if any) number of monoglot Welsh speakers IN WALES...never mind Tokyo!!!

    Such is the level of exaggeration regarding the Welsh language nowadays that there is now a distinct possibillity that this post will be withdrawn...The ultimate irony !

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  • 12. At 11:40pm on 13 Nov 2010, FoDafydd wrote:

    Re 9,10,11

    How hilarious that Clever (sic) and Noa can't see that it's one of their own - comeoffit - trying to be clever, funny and ironic here. Some things never change...

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