THE MONDAY MOAN – A once a week spot for us to moan about the stuff that perhaps we should all be moaning about that little bit more… 

So, I’ve been on a bit of a moaning mission, one that has seen me frustrated and angered and laughing and bemused, all at the same time…  

It would appear that there is no justice, no desire to see the right thing done. And so where does that leave the average ‘want to do the right thing’ person? Your guess is as good as mine…

I’m currently engaged with a serious complaint against TripAdvisor, a skirmish with Google, a do the right thing discussion with the Welsh Government and an hilarious ding dong with the Vale of Glamorgan council and another ‘do the right thing’ thing with the Arts Council. Oh, and Welsh Tourism in general…And I’m getting nowhere… 

It was interesting that within two hours of me copying in my MP when chasing both the Welsh Government and the Vale of Glamorgan, after a month of being ignored, that I had short ‘responses’ of a sort. Who do these council employees think they are! Well, in actuality, they are public servants and they ought to respond in good time to requests for assistance or information, no matter how unpalatable that may seem to them.

The Welsh Government moan is all about displacement of existing business by grant funding new enterprise, as is the Arts Council moan. For years I’ve lost clients or opportunities to business start-ups supported by grants from the public purse, and so able to, for a time, mimic my provision and at a lower cost. This simply is a waste of public money and a disruption of the market place. I’ve left adventure activity provision, in part, for this very reason. 

The Vale of Glamorgan moan is simply about the red brick pavements of Penarth. They are lethal when it rains and I’ve asked who authorised them as a paving surface and what is the council going to do to remedy the situation. After over a month of waiting I’ve managed to get a kind of admittance of liability with the council stating that they are slippery when wet but that ‘the council cannot do anything about the weather’!

TripAdvisor is slightly different as they are one of these tech giants from across the pond and although they do correspond for a time they seem to lose interest when they are unable to adequately answer questions. Currently, my words are populating the about section for Cardiff Sea Safaris and TripAdvisor have no intention of deleting my business description from that collapsed company…

Google is worse than TripAdvisor though, and by a million miles. Google are evil is all I think I need say. Google have embedded themselves into each and every one of our days. And they are too big to fail. They are, unfortunately, here to stay.

Welsh Tourism by way of the Welsh Government (again) and Visit Wales are my most recent target… I want to know why, given that Wales Outdoors is THE MOST active and popular BY FAR of adventure business’ specialising in guided walks in Wales and beyond, why have we never been contacted by any tourism body be it local association or official government department. The question here and also aimed at the Arts Council re my other business, Cardiff Life Model Collective, it’s one of outreach. Where ffs is it! 

This doesn’t all mean that I devote my life to moaning… But it does mean I will pursue officials and large entities and pressure them into explaining why they are such a ‘waste of space’. That’s what it comes down to. ‘They’ are effectively as impotent and sitting in the carriage of a runaway train just like the rest of us. I’ll never win against Google or TripAdvisor, the pavements of Penarth will never be ripped up and replaced because I ask for this to be done, the Welsh Government will not stop wasting your money…

But the thing is I know I have no power, I know that I’m on this runaway train and that there is no driver whereas they think they are on a passenger trains journey and that they have the power to change course, that ‘they’ are the drivers. Silly them…

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Walk leader @ Wales Outdoors, life model @ Cardiff Life Models and poet @ Self Published

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