.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Wednesday, March 09, 2022

Swansea Labour loses plot in vanity naming saga

Having borrowed £130 million to build a so-called state of the art arena and coastal park, Labour council chiefs in Swansea are slapping themselves on the back and bathing in their own adulation. 

Whether this arena will bring the footfall and jobs to the city centre it is claimed, has to be seen, but there is no doubting that it is an impressive addition to the city, even if, as a result, council borrowing is set to hit £800m, with all that entails for future council tax rises. That level of investment in the city's failing roads and pavements should be the next project.

There are signs however, that those responsible have rather lost the plot with self-congratulation turning into the sort of crass vanity that could well backfire on them.

As Nation Cymru reports, three of the rooms in the arena have been named after serving Labour cabinet members Robert Francis-Davies, David Hopkins and Andrea Lewis.

Council leader Rob Stewart told a committee yesterday that the thinking was “to recognise the unique contribution” the councillors had made to the project and that it was a cost-free thing to do. He also said that he was considering naming other rooms in the Guildhall in a similar fashion.

Personally, I have no problem with naming places after local personalities. After all I had a new street in my ward named after a former (and deceased) Labour Councillor for my area, who was also a political opponent, in honour of his contribution to the community, which went beyond local poltics. And I initiated the naming of another development after the footballer John Charles, who was born and brought up nearby.

However, once you start to honour members of your own cabinet, by naming things after them while they are still alive, kicking and standing for election, then you go down a very strange rabbit hole, the sort of warren previously occupied by dodgy communist regimes around the world.

If we are going to honour people in a major entertainment venue, then why not look to some of the city's past entertainers such as Harry Secombe, or living ones such as Catherine Zeta Jones and Bonnie Tyler. Indeed, why not stretch the city boundaries a bit and bring in Ryan Davies, Richard Burton, Anthony Hopkins, Ivor Emmanuel, international opera singer Rebecca Evans, or singer and songwriter Geraint Griffiths, to name just a few?

Time for a rethink, I believe.

Ahem - Skewen's Bonnie Tyler was awarded the Freedom of the county borough of Neath Port Talbot.

I know, I was there. She also has a home in Mumbles
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?