Clive Betts is the longest-serving political journalist in Wales.
He goes back to the appointment of the first Secretary of State, and before, and vividly remembers hard-fought battles against the narrow-mindedness of the office’s worst incumbent, George Thomas (who was eventually enobled to a hereditary peerage; but who has, fortunately, never felt a need to reproduce).
Clive headed the Western Mail’s two-man office at the National Assembly from its opening in 1999 until it was abrubtly closed by the current editor in 2002. In spite of this apparent setback, Clive has continued working professionally in the Assembly Press Gallery, which, funnily enough, is only next door to his old office.
These days, there is so much policy news being produced by the Welsh Assembly Government and being wrangled over in the Assembly committees, that Clive can now make a living as a political freelance and commentator serving specialist magazines with stories that his previous employer never discovered at all or not until months after they had been printed in London. Ironically, the Western Mail has recently appointed his replacement in a belated attempt to catch up on all the political coverage and gossip being missed by this ‘self-proclaimed’ national Newspaper of Wales. Fat chance.
Keeping up with the new trends in Internet journalism, with this new political blog for Cambria Magazine, Clive is now moving into the ‘blogosphere’ with ambitions to publish ‘up to the minute’ news of all that is happening in Welsh Politics and Government.
Clive believes that the people of Wales deserve more information about the antics of their rulers in the ‘Cardiff Bay Village’ and need more ‘independent’ better informed opinion from the heart of Welsh Government.
Please contact Clive by email if you have a story, rumour or hot gossip for him. Comment on the articles published here are also welcomed.