Barry Horns backing hits bum note with Welsh Tories
The band has been awarded more than £17,000 from the £1.8 million World Cup Partner Support Fund, which is supporting 19 projects promoting culture, arts and heritage ahead of the tournament in Qatar.
Wales ended a 64-year World Cup drought after beating Ukraine 1-0 following captain Gareth Bale’s deflected free-kick to qualify for the competition.They kick off their first match against the US on November 21.
“Anyone who spends even a small amount of time on social media will see The Barry Horns is one of the most abusive and toxic social media accounts today,” he told the Senedd.
“Most of the content is unrepeatable in this chamber but they seek to castigate any individual with a different political viewpoint to their own.
“I have had to block them on Twitter for the way they have castigated me personally, and many of my colleagues on these Welsh Conservative benches have had to do the same.
“In a nation where the Welsh Conservatives are the second biggest party in terms of parliamentary representation, how can we legitimately use taxpayers’ money to fund an organisation which spreads hate and bile towards such a large proportion of the population?
“They don’t even try to hide their political affiliation. Bearing in mind that we have a game coming up against England at the World Cup, they recently said Wales is being destroyed by English rule.
‘Kick the Tories out of the Senedd’
“In the Senedd election they used the hashtag ‘Kick the Tories out of the Senedd’ and even last year they posted, ‘Have you joined Plaid Cymru yet? Do it now’.
“There is a long-established principle in this country that we shouldn’t be using taxpayers’ money to fund party political causes and we should take extra care to ensure the perception that this is happening is not allowed to take hold either.
“By funding them you could level the accusation at the Welsh Government that they endorse a number of their inflammatory comments.”
In reply, Wales’s Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said there was a need to be able to disconnect a political viewpoint posted on Twitter and the benefit of the band to Welsh football.
“Let’s be clear, the person who runs that Twitter account isn’t a supporter of me or my party either, and I don’t have a problem with that,” Mr Gething said.
“But the band itself is very much part of what takes place around the game, and if you’ve been to a number of games then you know that The Barry Horns within the fan base are something that people actually like and enjoy about the atmosphere that’s created, and that’s what we’re looking to promote.
“It’s not an endorsement of individual views of individual members in or around the band itself – it is about what the band does as a really positive projection and extension of the Red Wall.
“When they’re part of Team Wales and the Red Wall, I think all of us can see something to be proud of and that adds to the atmosphere and the environment.
“We’ll carry on having our differences on other matters in public life, but I am comfortable with our decision to support The Barry Horns and their engagement with the wider Red Wall in Qatar.”
Responding to the comments from Mr Giffard, a spokesman for the band said: “We used to have a particularly opinionated Eb tenor horn player who knew the Twitter account password, but since lost his place for various reasons.
“As it happened Twitter cleared us of any wrongdoing anyway, and cited spam reporting by bot accounts.
“Incidentally, if anyone else out there in the Red Wall is proficient at Eb tenor horn, please do get in touch for an audition.”
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