THE CRACHACH

The History of the Welsh Dragon - Symbol of Wales

Unlike me, do you consider yourself part of 'the establishment' here in Wales? 

As thousands gather for the Eisteddfod in Mold this morning, they will, according to some social commentators, not be participating in the greatest cultural festivals of Europe. Instead, they will merely be bit-part players in one of the annual gatherings of the great and good of Wales. 

Unkindly, this set of the movers and shakers in Welsh society is known as 'the crachach', and constitute a social class all of their own, dominating the educational, cultural and media sectors of Wales and allegedly looking down upon any outsider with new ideas, reinforcing mediocrity and failing to see beyond the limits of their own narrow experience. 

They are said to live in a comfort zone that awaits the expected invitation to the next glass of chilled chardonnay and canapés, forgetting that due to their lack of leadership and drive, Wales remains firmly rooted to the bottom of the UK prosperity league table, and has done so for the last decade. 

Many of us supported the Assembly's creation because it would mean greater democracy within Wales, but it would indeed seem that the vast majority of senior appointments within various institutions have been reinforcements of the old guard, with attitudes that appear to be based firmly on looking backwards rather than forwards to a better future for this nation. So how do you join this exclusive club? 

Well, make sure you don't rock the boat, keep your mouth closed when faced with any inequality, and be prepared to keep your eyes firmly shut when everything is falling to pieces around you. As a result, others in your elite club will look the other way and eventually reward your incompetence. 

As one writer recently stated, if the 'crachach' had a coat of arms, their motto would be 'It's who you know, not what you know". Given this, should it really be surprising that many people in Wales who have gained positions of authority in this way maintain their status through old fashioned means such as promotion, perks and protection. 

Such individuals are happy to enforce the status quo and keep things as they are, seeing any innovation or change as a threat rather than a way of achieving their organisation's goals. 

Like many, I had hoped that as the 'crachach' were moved from their positions of power, Wales could move on as a nation, but there remains a core who still seem to dominate certain aspects of Welsh civic society, despite having very few tangible leadership skills. 

There are a few exceptions but surely we should have more leaders in Wales with a vision that encourages and inspires others and releases the vast potential within this country? 

When are we going to finally wake up to new age in Wales where ability, rather than patronage, becomes the key to achieving success not only for individuals and organisations but for society as a whole? 

Only then can we really begin to make a difference to our great nation.