Geraint Talfan-Davies

From Powerbase
Jump to: navigation, search

Geraint Talfan-Davies is a member of the Radio Authority and was Controller of BBC Wales from 1990 to 2000. He is currently a non-executive director of Welsh Water company Glas Cymru Ltd, Chair of the Institute of Welsh Affairs, Chair of Welsh National Opera and Cardiff Bay Arts Trust, and a Governor of the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff. He is chair of the Institute of the Institute of Welsh Affairs (IWA). In a IWA essay, 'Ground Zero', [1] — the 9/11 tag put on to spice up a talk about the Welsh Assembly — Talfan-Davies had this to say.

It is only in recent years that we have come to pride ourselves on a concentration of highly valued aviation related businesses — British Aerospace at Broughton, British Airways jumbo maintenance at Cardiff Wales Airport, and avionics at Llantrisant, the RAF at St. Athan, as well as GE at Nantgarw. The ultimate effect on these Welsh outposts of the massive setback for the world aviation industry is difficult to predict in the round. However, we have some reason to fear the process of re-assessment. It is a dreadful addition to a roll-call of ill luck for the Welsh economy that is beginning to sound like a list of first world war battles — BSE, foot and mouth, Corus, New York.

It doesn't really matter where it takes place (and note the reference to the Somme) but clearly on this analysis a war would be a real boost for Wales. BBC reports spoke of intentions to build the RQ-1 Predator spy plane in Parc Aberporth in Wales [2]

His first point here is this:

So, our first contention is that public servants, as well as the public, must regain the capacity to be shocked.

The second point is that the Welsh assembly should seek 'transformative policy making,' here one wonders if he reads over his work:

To be realistic about this: one does not mean a kind of Khmer Rouge Year Zero approach to policy development. That too has its pitfalls.

He calls "for the creation of an independent organisation on the lines of the Irish Economic and Social Research Institute." He notes that the Irish institute was "Founded in 1960, with a grant from the Ford Foundation". The IWA contains several members of the Welsh Development Agency (WDA). In the early 1990s House of Commons Select Committee Reports [3] by the Public Administration Select Committee and the Welsh Affairs Committee were highly critical of financial and recruitment irregularities in the WDA and the monitoring role of the Welsh Office. A New Statesman article of October, 1993 The sleaze at the heart of Tory Britain stated that:

The Welsh Development Agency hired a conman to work for it, who interviewed call girls in a hotel room and was recently jailed for two years.

The Independent of 11 August, 1992, also discussed the 11 invoices submitted by Shapes Model Agency, Rhodri Morgan, Labour MP for Cardiff West, said:

I'm told that one invoice covered the attendance by a young lady at the Celtic Bay Hotel in the city for two and a half hours on a Sunday afternoon for the purpose of being interviewed for a position as a model with the agency.

The Independent of 15 August, 1993 extended this to mention that the Welsh Development Agency Accounts of 1991-92 is:

a lively page- turner complete with model girls, private detectives, a conman, blustering public servants, flights on Concorde, pay-offs galore, and above all money, money, money. All of it taxpayers', a lot of it heading in unorthodox directions [...] Barclays de Zoete Wedd was secretly hired in 1989 to advise on the possible privatisation of the WDA. Its charging agreement with the agency runs as follows: pounds per day Directors 1,920, Assistant directors 1,400, Senior managers 1,120, Managers 960, Executives 800.


  1. Geraint Talfan Davies, 'Ground Zero', IWA website
  2. 'Spy plane jobs promise', BBC website, 17 May, 2004.
  3. 'The Reform of Assembly Sponsored Public Bodies', Welsh Assembly Government website