November 01, 2010
Correcting The Guardian
From time to time I have to correct the Guardian's metrocentric mendacity (see letter published under that heading at http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/2007/jan/08/leadersandreply.mainsection) towards Wales and the West and oh dear it happened again last week in their otherwise excellent cock and bull Brydon and Coogan article. Here's a correction letter they were too ashamed to publish:
"The first steam locomotive was actually in Wales not Manchester - Methyr Tydful downhill to Abercynon, 1804. And like most people educated in England, Coogan seriously underplays the leading role played by the mighty Welsh coalfield (the largest in the UK by some square miles) in the transformation of the world, including the construction of the entire iron railway networks of the USA and the USSR out of Blaenafon. We will grant him the Manchester Co-op and the North much else that is noble and progressive but there is no need to claim an offside goal against Wales to do it."
My readers will be relieved to hear that these hard facts are, because of my stint as writer and editor for Collins education, available to a generation of British and world schoolchildren in the pages of Aiming At Level 4 Reading (Collins Education, 2008) currently Isambard Kingdom Brunel steaming into classrooms all over the world. One can only hope that future editors of the Guardian will have been taught from these books.