Kara Kennedy is a young Welsh journalist with a promising career ahead of her. Having graduated with her Master’s in journalism from Cardiff University last year, she has already landed work at the Daily Telegraph and the Express, as well as interning at The Spectator. On Wednesday evening, she tweeted with excitement about her first comment piece being published in the print edition of the Telegraph.
The article was a critique of the Welsh Labour government and its left-wing first minister Mark Drakeford. His government was, in Kennedy’s estimation, too fond of lockdowns, transgender ideology and universal basic income, the latter of which she warned would ‘universalise welfare dependency and sap what is left of Wales’s enterprise economy’. Kennedy also objected to England having to subsidise Drakeford’s lavish spending plans.
Welsh devolution, much like its Scottish counterpart, has institutionalised a grievance culture and fortified a political, civic and media establishment allergic to scrutiny or even the mildest criticism. Naturally, then, Kennedy’s op-ed has met with the displeasure of Senedd members from both Plaid Cymru (the Welsh nationalists) and Welsh Labour (Diet Plaid Cymru). A fellow Welsh journalist branded the piece ‘a disgrace’ and demanded to know ‘why you’d attack your own nation like this’. Sundry Welsh cybernats lined up to abuse Kennedy in both English and aggressive-looking strings of consonants.
All to be expected, perhaps, in the cut and thrust of opinion journalism. However, one reaction did stand out to Mr Steerpike. BBC News presenter Huw Edwards drew the attention of his 154,000 followers to Kennedy’s tweet and, despite admitting he had read no further than the opening paragraph, branded it ‘feeble’.
One of the most senior broadcasters in the country publicly venting his disdain at a young female journalist might strike some as punching down.