YOUR MP WRITES: Islwyn MP Chris Evans

YOUR MP WRITES: Islwyn MP Chris Evans

YOUR MP WRITES: Islwyn MP Chris Evans

First published in News by

IF THERE is anything that us Welsh can learn from our Irish cousins, it is the way they have marketed their culture throughout the world. Their success has been outstanding – their tourist industry is absolutely thriving with 6.7million people visiting last year.

I do not think there is a city across Europe that does not have an Irish pub. Indeed New York City hosts a St Patrick’s Day parade each year on March 17. Even though millions will not have visited places like Donegal, Limerick and Cork they are known throughout the world.

That is why the NATO summit is a golden opportunity. For two days all eyes will be on Wales, and Gwent in particular. It will be the first NATO summit to be hosted in Wales, as well as the first time a serving US President has set foot on Welsh soil.

This really is our chance to put Wales - its people, culture and business - in the shop window of the world.

In particular, I am pleased Welsh food producers will be hosting a food market in the Celtic Manor for delegates. I especially hope that some foods made in Islwyn, like Brace’s bread and the Just Love Food Company’s nut-free cakes, will be sampled during the two-day summit.

Above all, I hope the NATO summit will be a launch pad to export Wales around the world in much the same way that Ireland has so successfully done in the past few years.

Like Ireland, we need to learn to capitalise on high-profile visits. President Obama’s 2011 stop-off in the country only lasted 24 hours, but images of him and his wife sipping Guinness in a Moneygall pub were broadcast globally.

These visits and events help business gain access to new markets; schools and colleges benefit from speakers and education programmes; and charities gain from the increased publicity. It provides an economic boost which, when added up, runs into the tens of millions.

This is why we need to grasp all the opportunities offered by this summit with both hands, and not shy away from boasting about what we have to offer.

Wales has a once in a lifetime opportunity to promote itself. It may not happen overnight, but let us hope Welsh culture becomes as familiar as the Irish in the years to come.

Comments (8)

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6:01pm Mon 1 Sep 14

Milkmanofhumankindness says...

Well Chris you are right about promoting our country’s culture, however if threes one thing
The Labour Party need to learn then its not from the Irish, its from their own ignorance “If the national Leader says one thing then the electorate that favours them will expect their Local politicians to echo that view.
Sadly that’s not the case!
We often hear Ed Milliband and other shadow members rambling on about fair pay and correct grading for the workforce, but councillors in Torfaen and other counties seem to be deaf to that view even where they have direct control over a workforce!!
There is according to Labour “a cost of living crisis”
So why are Labour councillors stubborn to workers fair pay demands when that decision is in their hands? Probably because they would rather spend on street furniture and sculptures that they think will get them recognised, its time to regenerate people and salaries not inanimate objects
They cant see the woods for the trees.
They cant even deliver in their own backyards.
There appears to be a wave of disillusionment with Labour voters, this
is something that I hear on my everyday travels more and more.
Its little wonder that Plaid cymru and the green Party are more attractive to the thinking socialist and Ukip are scooping up the ignorant voter.
The safe Labour seat of Islwyn and more so Torfaen may not be quite so safe as they once were especially if Labour keep treating their own kind this way.


https://dl.dropboxus
ercontent.com/u/7451
2993/ZuluTake8.pdf
Well Chris you are right about promoting our country’s culture, however if threes one thing The Labour Party need to learn then its not from the Irish, its from their own ignorance “If the national Leader says one thing then the electorate that favours them will expect their Local politicians to echo that view. Sadly that’s not the case! We often hear Ed Milliband and other shadow members rambling on about fair pay and correct grading for the workforce, but councillors in Torfaen and other counties seem to be deaf to that view even where they have direct control over a workforce!! There is according to Labour “a cost of living crisis” So why are Labour councillors stubborn to workers fair pay demands when that decision is in their hands? Probably because they would rather spend on street furniture and sculptures that they think will get them recognised, its time to regenerate people and salaries not inanimate objects They cant see the woods for the trees. They cant even deliver in their own backyards. There appears to be a wave of disillusionment with Labour voters, this is something that I hear on my everyday travels more and more. Its little wonder that Plaid cymru and the green Party are more attractive to the thinking socialist and Ukip are scooping up the ignorant voter. The safe Labour seat of Islwyn and more so Torfaen may not be quite so safe as they once were especially if Labour keep treating their own kind this way. https://dl.dropboxus ercontent.com/u/7451 2993/ZuluTake8.pdf Milkmanofhumankindness
  • Score: 10

9:59pm Mon 1 Sep 14

landyman3030 says...

Do you REALLY believe that 6.7 million people will come to Wales just because Barack has popped in for a cup of tea?
The reality is that millions go to Ireland for the countryside and the attractions. Same reason they come to Wales.
What should be concerning our politicians in Wales and England is how we pay for the privilege of hosting NATO.
What is the overtime rate for a twelve hour shift x one week x 9500 coppers?
Three quarters of a million quid to dredge the channel to allow for the warships passage.
I hope that there are so many freedom of information requests for the cost of this international circus coming to town that the truth will come out.
Then we can see how many years of austerity do we have to put up with to pay for it all.
But as long as it's good for tourism that's okay then.
Do you REALLY believe that 6.7 million people will come to Wales just because Barack has popped in for a cup of tea? The reality is that millions go to Ireland for the countryside and the attractions. Same reason they come to Wales. What should be concerning our politicians in Wales and England is how we pay for the privilege of hosting NATO. What is the overtime rate for a twelve hour shift x one week x 9500 coppers? Three quarters of a million quid to dredge the channel to allow for the warships passage. I hope that there are so many freedom of information requests for the cost of this international circus coming to town that the truth will come out. Then we can see how many years of austerity do we have to put up with to pay for it all. But as long as it's good for tourism that's okay then. landyman3030
  • Score: 1

10:17pm Mon 1 Sep 14

Cwmbran1680 says...

Stupid badly written article. Agree that we should export welsh culture but where are the ideas?? 1 of the reasons we haven't exported welsh culture is that our politicians are to lightweight. Articles like this a prime example!
Stupid badly written article. Agree that we should export welsh culture but where are the ideas?? 1 of the reasons we haven't exported welsh culture is that our politicians are to lightweight. Articles like this a prime example! Cwmbran1680
  • Score: 3

12:13am Tue 2 Sep 14

Milkmanofhumankindness says...

Promoting our country’s culture and learning from other EU lifestyles is good and all very nice but who is actualy benefiting?
I do not think there is a town across Europe that does not have a UK twin town!
Town Twinning has had its day, a trawl of the local newspaper archives finds many mentions over the years of local dignitaries jetting off to various twin towns, but comparatively few tales about ordinary people benefiting. The traditional community involvement and school exchange programmes seem to have dwindled in significance and now business and commerce takes centre stage. Subsidised councillor trips are out of date and not wanted by the public, money could be better spent on employment and training in our own towns.
Scrap Twinning now
Promoting our country’s culture and learning from other EU lifestyles is good and all very nice but who is actualy benefiting? I do not think there is a town across Europe that does not have a UK twin town! Town Twinning has had its day, a trawl of the local newspaper archives finds many mentions over the years of local dignitaries jetting off to various twin towns, but comparatively few tales about ordinary people benefiting. The traditional community involvement and school exchange programmes seem to have dwindled in significance and now business and commerce takes centre stage. Subsidised councillor trips are out of date and not wanted by the public, money could be better spent on employment and training in our own towns. Scrap Twinning now Milkmanofhumankindness
  • Score: 6

1:48pm Tue 2 Sep 14

Cwmbran1680 says...

That's my point. How does Obama visiting a welsh pub help people living in the valleys? Chris Evans assumes that the money will just follow publicity. You can always tell when a politician has no economic background whatsoever!!! This summit is just a chance for politicians to pat themselves on the back. Wow the president is here we'll all be rich!!!!!

Twinning is laughable and has been for decades bet most people can't name the towns there village is twinned with.
That's my point. How does Obama visiting a welsh pub help people living in the valleys? Chris Evans assumes that the money will just follow publicity. You can always tell when a politician has no economic background whatsoever!!! This summit is just a chance for politicians to pat themselves on the back. Wow the president is here we'll all be rich!!!!! Twinning is laughable and has been for decades bet most people can't name the towns there village is twinned with. Cwmbran1680
  • Score: 2

3:56pm Tue 2 Sep 14

DavidMclean says...

It's a fair enough point to make that Wales should/could take a lead from Ireland in promoting itself globally. However, there are two big factors to consider...

1. Irish people have over the last century or three been highly mobile and have moved around the world, setting up Irish communities and taking their culture with them. For example, the 'Irish American' is a well known concept, but the same can't be said of the Welsh, who have been far less mobile as a people, and when they have moved away have been far less visible with regards to their culture and heritage.

Additionally, most Welsh people aren't clear on what Welsh culture actually is. Beyond rugby and 'anyone but the English' what is there to define us and promote abroad? We don't do Welsh music to the same degree as the Irish do Irish music. Unfortunately, most foreign people have difficulty differentiating us from the English.

2. A LOT of credit has got to be given to Guinness for spearheading Ireland's global marketing campaign. The two are inseparable and Guinness has been really clever in building awareness for St Patrick's Day, while making sure everybody celebrates with a couple of pints of the black stuff. Guinness even sends out the promotional stuff - flag, hats etc. Wales doesn't have a spearhead brand making the investment in time, effort and resources. Instead we have a multitude of cottage industries all doing their best, but separately and with far less effect.

Finally, if I hear another politician spew out the 'opportunity' word one more time I will scream!

Yes, the NATO is an 'opportunity. But as the saying goes 'Success is where preparation and opportunity meet'. Simply repeating the word 'opportunity' and hoping that we can take advantage does NOT qualify as preparation. The Summit is only a couple of days away and Chris Evans MP has not given any suggestion how we are going to grasp this 'opportunity'. Like all the rest he's just regurgitating a convenient soundbyte while simultaneously revealing how little real preparation has been done.
It's a fair enough point to make that Wales should/could take a lead from Ireland in promoting itself globally. However, there are two big factors to consider... 1. Irish people have over the last century or three been highly mobile and have moved around the world, setting up Irish communities and taking their culture with them. For example, the 'Irish American' is a well known concept, but the same can't be said of the Welsh, who have been far less mobile as a people, and when they have moved away have been far less visible with regards to their culture and heritage. Additionally, most Welsh people aren't clear on what Welsh culture actually is. Beyond rugby and 'anyone but the English' what is there to define us and promote abroad? We don't do Welsh music to the same degree as the Irish do Irish music. Unfortunately, most foreign people have difficulty differentiating us from the English. 2. A LOT of credit has got to be given to Guinness for spearheading Ireland's global marketing campaign. The two are inseparable and Guinness has been really clever in building awareness for St Patrick's Day, while making sure everybody celebrates with a couple of pints of the black stuff. Guinness even sends out the promotional stuff - flag, hats etc. Wales doesn't have a spearhead brand making the investment in time, effort and resources. Instead we have a multitude of cottage industries all doing their best, but separately and with far less effect. Finally, if I hear another politician spew out the 'opportunity' word one more time I will scream! Yes, the NATO is an 'opportunity. But as the saying goes 'Success is where preparation and opportunity meet'. Simply repeating the word 'opportunity' and hoping that we can take advantage does NOT qualify as preparation. The Summit is only a couple of days away and Chris Evans MP has not given any suggestion how we are going to grasp this 'opportunity'. Like all the rest he's just regurgitating a convenient soundbyte while simultaneously revealing how little real preparation has been done. DavidMclean
  • Score: 0

3:59pm Tue 2 Sep 14

DavidMclean says...

Cwmbran1680 wrote:
That's my point. How does Obama visiting a welsh pub help people living in the valleys? Chris Evans assumes that the money will just follow publicity. You can always tell when a politician has no economic background whatsoever!!! This summit is just a chance for politicians to pat themselves on the back. Wow the president is here we'll all be rich!!!!!

Twinning is laughable and has been for decades bet most people can't name the towns there village is twinned with.
"Chris Evans assumes that the money will just follow publicity."

They all seem to think that having the Newport name on the TV will result in a tidal wave of tourists and inward investment.

If it's that easy, perhaps all we need to do is spend ££££millions on a global advertising campaign and this time next year we will all be millionaires!
[quote][p][bold]Cwmbran1680[/bold] wrote: That's my point. How does Obama visiting a welsh pub help people living in the valleys? Chris Evans assumes that the money will just follow publicity. You can always tell when a politician has no economic background whatsoever!!! This summit is just a chance for politicians to pat themselves on the back. Wow the president is here we'll all be rich!!!!! Twinning is laughable and has been for decades bet most people can't name the towns there village is twinned with.[/p][/quote]"Chris Evans assumes that the money will just follow publicity." They all seem to think that having the Newport name on the TV will result in a tidal wave of tourists and inward investment. If it's that easy, perhaps all we need to do is spend ££££millions on a global advertising campaign and this time next year we will all be millionaires! DavidMclean
  • Score: 0

8:28pm Tue 2 Sep 14

Cwmbran1680 says...

DavidMclean wrote:
Cwmbran1680 wrote:
That's my point. How does Obama visiting a welsh pub help people living in the valleys? Chris Evans assumes that the money will just follow publicity. You can always tell when a politician has no economic background whatsoever!!! This summit is just a chance for politicians to pat themselves on the back. Wow the president is here we'll all be rich!!!!!

Twinning is laughable and has been for decades bet most people can't name the towns there village is twinned with.
"Chris Evans assumes that the money will just follow publicity."

They all seem to think that having the Newport name on the TV will result in a tidal wave of tourists and inward investment.

If it's that easy, perhaps all we need to do is spend ££££millions on a global advertising campaign and this time next year we will all be millionaires!
The problem is politicians trotting out boring articles which say the same thing! I'm sorry chris evans mp but you all need to do better than this .
[quote][p][bold]DavidMclean[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Cwmbran1680[/bold] wrote: That's my point. How does Obama visiting a welsh pub help people living in the valleys? Chris Evans assumes that the money will just follow publicity. You can always tell when a politician has no economic background whatsoever!!! This summit is just a chance for politicians to pat themselves on the back. Wow the president is here we'll all be rich!!!!! Twinning is laughable and has been for decades bet most people can't name the towns there village is twinned with.[/p][/quote]"Chris Evans assumes that the money will just follow publicity." They all seem to think that having the Newport name on the TV will result in a tidal wave of tourists and inward investment. If it's that easy, perhaps all we need to do is spend ££££millions on a global advertising campaign and this time next year we will all be millionaires![/p][/quote]The problem is politicians trotting out boring articles which say the same thing! I'm sorry chris evans mp but you all need to do better than this . Cwmbran1680
  • Score: 2

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