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Lembit Öpik: I am interested in the concept of inclusivity. Does the hon. Gentleman feel that there is a prospect of building in inclusivity in terms of performing arts events around Wales that feed into the central focus in Cardiff?
Kevin Brennan: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for that intervention. That is very much part of the bid. I commend the bid document to him; it is lengthy, but it contains a passage on that very idea, including events such as the Llangollen international eisteddfod that he mentioned. We need to build on existing cultural events.
The bid will also build on the existing and developing cultural infrastructure in our capital city. One of Cardiff's great features and strengths in terms of quality of life is the richness of its cultural infrastructure. We know about the new millennium centre that is to be built. The hon. Member for Ribble Valley (Mr. Evans) might support expenditure on developing the millennium centre even if he will not support the neighbouring new building of the National Assembly.
Partners in the bid include Cardiff castle, one of Wales's major tourist attractions; the Museum of Welsh Life, in my constituency; Coopers field, which will be developed into a permanent event site for 20,000 participantsthe Urdd eisteddfod is being held in Cardiff this year; the Millennium stadium; the Oval basin in the docks, to be renamed the Roald Dahl Plass, in honour of Cardiff's famous resident; the Bay arts studios; the Howard Gardens gallery in the Cardiff School of Art and Design; the Cardiff International Arena; City Hall; the Channel View centre; the Chapter arts centre; Llanover hall; Llandaff cathedral; the New Theatre; the National Museum and Galleries of Wales; the Norwegian Church arts centre; the Sherman theatre; St. David's hall; Techniquestthe hands-on science and technology museum in Cardiff bay; the centres for sports training and competition, including indoor athletics; the Welsh Institute of Sport and the Glamorgan county cricket club school of excellence; the BIG SHED project in the bay; the Cardiff City football club new stadium; and the multicultural arts centre for Wales. I could go on, but I do not have the time. We have a major cultural infrastructure in our capital city, and we can build on it.
The use of new technologies will also be part of the bid. It will be used as a transforming experience for Cardiff and for Wales, to try and change the perception of Wales in the world, raise its status and make people more aware of what modern Wales is all about. When Glasgow was European capital of culture, we saw the impact that can have on the image of a city and a country.
Donald Anderson (Swansea, East): We have had a remarkable debate, ranging from Gwyneth Lewisand Estoniato R.S. Thomasand Estoniato Gwyn Thomasand Estonia. We even had a suggestion from the hon. Member for Hertford and Stortford (Mr. Prisk), who is fairly new to Welsh debates, of an entrepreneurial deficit in Wales. As he is new, perhaps I should remind him of the story of what happened when Keith Joseph addressed a Swansea business club. He said that there was not an enterprise culture in Walesthat there was not even a Welsh word for entrepreneur. Of course, a heckler asked, "What is the English word for entrepreneur?"
I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Clwyd, South (Mr. Jones) and his Select Committee on the report, which is wide-ranging, like our debate today, the theme of which has been the unknown image of Wales. The product is not well known outside Wales, but I take the wise remark of my hon. Friend the Member for Gower (Mr. Caton) that while image and product identification must be considered, quality is of greater importance. We may have the greatest tourism marketing, but if our restaurants and hotels are poor, the quality of our product will not be worth having. That said, the theme was essentially the lack of product identification and the adverse effects on tourism and inward investment, to which reference is made in paragraphs 9 and 27 of the report.
I found much of what was said perhaps too defeatist. We have an unfortunate Welsh trait of folding our arms and saying, "It's all too difficult", or "The Irish are much more lucky." It is rather like the Llanelli-Leicester game last week, when the ball hovered and twice banged the post. We say, "That's Wales's fate. It always happens to us."
Incidentally, I agree wholly with what my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, West (Kevin Brennan) said about the millennium bid. My city, Swansea, is wholly in favour of that bid, but the challenge for Cardiff is to reach out to other parts of Wales. I recall that the people of Cardiff did not vote for devolution. Perhaps this is a debate for another day, but, in my judgment, the distance between Cardiff and other parts of Walesthe centralisationis still proceeding apace. Whether measured by office rents, by house prices or by availability and location decisions, that is clearly a major problem for Wales.
Perhaps I can quickly illustrate the nature of the problem. When I was a student in France, an elderly lady from the United States asked me where I was from. I said, "Wales", to which she replied by asking, "Is that anywhere near Stratford?" That gives some indication of the problem.
I should like to say a little about the US. The hon. Member for Town hill and Ribble Valley (Mr. Evans) mentioned an advert that he saw in New York. He will tell me if I am wrong, but it said something like, "Follow in your father's and your grandfather's footsteps." Well, when we consider the Irish in America, we may say that 40 million Americans look back to an Irish heritage, but let us not forget the strengths of Wales in the US. Let us analyse the foundations on which we can build not just in genealogy but in theme holidays and so on.
I stand to be corrected by my hon. Friend the Member for Aberavon (Dr. Francis) about our historical roots, but between a third and a half of the signatories of the declaration of independence were of Welsh extraction. Thomas Jefferson's father was a north Walian and called Snowdonia his home. As for the professions, some of the most eminent lawyers in US history were of Welsh origin, from Chief Justice Marshallthe seminal man in federalismto Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, a Welsh speaker, who was only narrowly defeated by Woodrow Wilson in the 1916 presidential election.
Others with a Welsh background include Frank Lloyd Wright, the great architect of Chicago, and John L. Lewis, the great trade union leaderand in terms of professional competence, I remind the House that Al Capone's accountant, a Mr. Humphreys, was from Breconshire.
Mr. Llwyd: I do not want to risk the right hon. Gentleman's wrath, but a former right hon. Member for Caernarfon was closely related to the said gentleman, Murray the Hump. I do not know whether that informs the debateit probably does not.
Donald Anderson: As for the regional impact, which we have to target, Scranton and Walkes-Barr were bastions of Welsh culture in the 19th century. In Philadelphia, most of the place names on the mainline railway are related to Wales. Those in the old south were not of English background as they claimed, but mainly of Celtic background. Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederacy, was a Welsh American, as, perhaps rather more importantly, was Jack Daniel, who founded the whiskey firm in Tennessee.
As for culture, the Irish may have their nostalgic and schmaltzy films with John Wayne, but John Ford's "How Green Was My Valley" is a hymn of praise to Welsh working-class solidarity and values. Our stars today range from Richard Burton and Anthony Hopkins to Catherine Zeta Jones and Ioan Gruffydd, who has a cult following because of "Hornblower". I was reminded by my hon. Friend the Member for Rhondda (Mr. Bryant) that Charlotte Church is billed as an English singer; there is a challenge for us.
In terms of cultural matters, President Carter came to Swansea on the Dylan Thomas trail. With regard to male voice choirs, the Swansea male choir, of which I have the honour to be president, has been in Chicago and elsewhere in Illinois in the past 12 months. The Morriston Orpheus choir from my constituency has sung not only on two occasions in the Sydney opera house but September in Carnegie hall, after 11 September. Why cannot we make visits by Welsh choirs opportunities for disseminating Welsh tourist literature? Why do we not send key historians to the United Statesto targeted areas, such as Pittsburgh, parts of Chicago and parts of the southto remind people there of the links with Wales? The distinguished Welsh historian, Professor Peter Stead, who happens to be a good personal friend, told me that he walked into a library in Wisconsin fairly recently and the first book that he saw was "Wisconsin and the Welsh". I should declare an interest, as he is a friend, but why do we not send such people on lecture tours around the United States?