Last month the Ordnance Survey (OS) released comprehensive and definitive geospatial data that plotted and mapped all the UK’s accessible green space. And, in that instant, at the click of a mouse, Cardiff’s oft-repeated claim that it has more green space than any other UK city was brutally exposed as not merely completely false but the precise opposite of the truth. It turns out that Cardiff actually has LESS green space than virtually every comparable UK city.
Even without the benefit of the OS database, it was never difficult to discover that the claim was just marketing bullshit put about by the platoons of vested interests paid to pimp Cardiff to the lowest bidder. A casual Google was all that was necessary to expose the blatant untruth and I have been trying to draw attention to it in a number of posts on this blog over the years. Now that I have been proved right (yet again, yawn), the corporate stooges and whores who rule Cardiff had better hurry up and remove the outrageous lie from all the many platforms and mouthpieces where it still suppurates, particularly those funded by the public like Cardiff council, Visit Wales, Visit Cardiff, Cardiff’s universities and the Welsh government.
The lie was never an innocent mistake; it was always deliberate, calculated and brazen, relying on the notorious passivity and apathy of Cardiff’s sheeple to let it pass unchallenged. This is shown by the way the lie was continually tweaked and diluted over the years whenever a member of the awkward squad (ie: me) questioned it. What began as the pretty sensational “more green space than any other UK city” evolved via the still striking “more green space per person than any other UK city” to eventually end up as the rather lame “more green space per person than any of the UK core cities” (these ‘core cities’ being a self-selected and self-appointed talking shop of just 10 Labour-controlled metropolitan areas). Now, following the OS revelations, the slogan will have to become something along the lines of “less green space per person than any of the UK core cities except Bristol and Leeds and any other UK city at all except Plymouth and Sunderland.” Hmm, not so impressive. Perhaps it might be best to abandon this self-defeating concentration on green space altogether. It can then go in the bin with other embarrassing big fibs Cardiff has quietly dropped, like “Europe’s youngest capital city”, “Europe’s most exciting waterfront” and “Proud capital”.
Cardiff has a pitiful total of just 8% accessible green space, and even that shameful figure is being rapidly reduced right now by huge speculative private developments marching across precious swathes of countryside at Fairwater, Llanedeyrn, Pontprennau and Radyr, while the few extant public spaces left over more by accident than design are being remorselessly eliminated. A stretch of grassland with some trees cannot be monetised, so the clueless, castrated, corrupt council, having handed the city over to fat cat scams, isn’t interested. For instance, since they were left to the city by aristocratic whim Cardiff’s outstanding chain of greenery alongside the river Taff has been diminished by 50% at Sophia Gardens, 25% at Bute Park and 20% at Llandaf/Pontcanna Fields. Meanwhile green lungs vital to physical health, mental well-being and social interaction are ever-shrinking at Fforest Ffarm, Heath Park, The Marl, Pentwyn, Rumney Rec, Splott Park and Tremorfa Park, while Associated British Ports have announced plans to entirely eradicate Waterfront Park, Cardiff Bay’s solitary green space – there being still more mileage, apparently, in catering to the buy-to-let and buy-to-leave brigades. At this rate Cardiff should comfortably reach the bottom of the green league by the time of the next OS comparison survey. How, I wonder, will that fresh disgrace be cooked up for the scarily compliant hive mind of contemporary Cardiff to easily digest?
If public bodies and public servants were subject to even the feeble advertising standards, consumer rights and trade description laws that apply in this offshore tax haven and rogue state, then Cardiff’s serial liars would be in trouble. But, of course, they are not. They keep getting away with it – and they will simply concoct new lies forever more unless and until Cardiffians get off their knees, remove their rose-tinted spectacles, unchain themselves from their algorithms, extract their tongues from the Anglo-American anus and rise up in revolt…I will pursue this theme further in blogs to come but at the moment I’ve got to fly: DFS are having a sale, and it must end Monday…