ONE of the few growth industries in Wales at present seems to be cancel culture.
With the National Museum of Wales now caught up in the frenzy with news that the world’s first ever steam engine is to be investigated by the museum under the remit of this cancel culture.
The Waterfront Museum in Swansea have a replica of the original steam engine built in Wales in 1802 by Richard Trevithick.
But, the NMW are now to re-evaluate the presence of the steam engine at the museum as part of what they call their ‘charter for decolonisation’ audit.
The museum announced this week that: ‘links to slavery and colonisation were woven into warp and waft of Welsh society’, and as such it was appropriate to evaluate what part the steam engine and railways had played in the slave trade.
Although there’s no suggestion the steam engine itself could be cancelled, it appears it could be labelled as ‘problematical’ under the new charter.
A spokesperson for Gwlad said there was nothing wrong with re-evaluation of history, and every healthy nation should be able to re-visit all aspects of its past, both good and bad.
But there were genuine concerns here about the spread of an American-grown cancel culture agenda superseding a Welsh perspective.
‘You could call it the woke agenda in a way, exported by the United States into the West, insisting that we have to see things through a particular lens which puts race, and race relations, above all else’ he said.
‘The nuances and flavours of our own Welsh history are then bludgeoned into submission by this very narrow and partisan approach to the past’.
He added that the suggestion that the steam engine had somehow facilitated slavery in one sense was very problematical in itself.
The first inter-city railway was only built in 1830(between Liverpool and Manchester) with slavery itself prohibited in the UK in 1833.
‘So, it’s hard to see how you could argue that Trevithick’s steam engine is rooted in colonialism and slavery’ he said.
Even if it is just a matter of ‘relabelling’ the steam engine, it’s yet another example of this insidious process of shaming people about the past.
Which can often turn people against their own history as they perceive it to be tainted and oppressive in the light of modern-day sentiments.
What with Tchaikovsky also cancelled by the Cardiff Philharmonic last week just for being a Russian composer, cancel culture has got a firm foothold in Wales it seems.
But there’s also a new saying gaining ground at present which says : ‘Go woke, go broke’.
Suggesting that both in a financial sense and a practical sense, people can fight back against this agenda and restore common sense and balance within the public forum.