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Saturday, August 02, 2008


Talk of the ill-fated tenure of Rhodri Glyn Thomas as Heritage Minister continues to rumble on, irrespective of the fact that he resigned two weeks ago and that his successor is busily getting his feet under the table, with a letter from author Tom Bullough in this morning's Western Mail.

Those with an interest in Welsh politics may recall that Rhodri Glyn boobed in announcing the winner of the Wales Book of the Year Prize. He mistakenly read out the name of Tom Bullough, whose excellent novel, The Claude Glass was narrowly pipped for first prize by Danny Abse's moving account of life following the death of his wife - The Presence. Mr. Bullough got all the way to the podium before a red-faced Minister realised his mistake and summoned Mr. Abse instead.

Understandably, Mr. Bullough found the experience humiliating though to be frank there was no need to feel this way. Not only was it not his fault but he has everybody's sympathy as well as our acknowledgement of the excellence of his work. Nevertheless, the Western Mail managed to re-open some wounds a couple of days ago when they suggested that sales of The Claude Glass, have surged since the incident.

Mr. Bullough's letter points out that this is not the case but then goes on to say:

The reality is, I was made an international laughing stock through no fault of my own, my confidence as a writer has been ruined, my sales have scarcely altered and I have yet to receive any kind of compensation from anyone.

Of course, I am pleased if a few more people have come to read my book, but to imply that this “national embarrassment” (a phrase, incidentally, I used to describe the awards ceremony, not my own experience) has brought me an equivalent benefit is not only untrue, it is unkind.

Although we all feel his pain I think that Mr. Bullough has over-egged the pudding somewhat. Rhodri Glyn Thomas did make a mistake but it was a genuine error and one for which he has apologised on a number of occasions. There is no reason to get precious. It is time that everybody moved on.
I agree Peter.
I have not read his book but hes lucky enough to be a published author whos making a few quid from writing. Hes not a laughing stock to anyone.

what for?

what IS our society coming to?
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