Farmer hits back after abuse over Rees Mogg visit
A Welsh upland farmer has hit back at social media abuse he has received after giving Jacob Rees Mogg MP a tour of his farm.
Gareth Wyn Jones, the upland farmer from Llanfairfechan, became the subject of keyboard fury yesterday when he posted a video of himself talking to Rees Mogg on the Carneddau where he and his family have farmed sheep and supported the mountain ponies for generations.
As the views of the video went up into the thousands, many critics lambasted Wyn Jones for participating in the visit, saying that Rees Mogg knew little and cared less about Wales, and was merely performing a publicity stunt.
This morning, in a response to the criticisms, Wyn Jones posted another video hitting back at people’s willingness to attack and be unkind on social media.
He said: “I was a bit shocked by some of the feedback, my wife was really upset by some of the things that have been said, and friends and family too.”
He explained that he was approached by someone in parliament asking for an immersive tour for a Politician about a month ago, and only found out that the visitor was Rees Mogg on Wednesday this week.
He defended his right to raise awareness and educate visitors, regardless of their politics, and said he would always welcome the opportunity to do so.
“This is about opening a conversation; this is about educating people and hopefully Jacob Rees-Mogg and his team have gone back down to London know in a little bit more of what we do here.
“This was not party-political showcase. It was an invitation, and I would give that invitation to any politician, to any AM, to come up and see what we do here. But, it’s up to them if they want to.
“I’ve had Leanne Wood standing on top of that mountain when she was Plaid leader and I’ve had Lesley Griffiths the environmental and Secretary sitting in my kitchen talking about problems in farming.
“So, pointing the finger and giving me a hard time for what we do and especially yesterday – which is quite surreal really on the world suicide prevention day – to see so many people being so nasty and so negative and so personal, I really can’t believe it. Be kind!”
“I’m trying to protect my livelihood; I’m trying to get politicians, whoever they stand for, to understand how farming in the uplands work so we can have a look at how they can drive that forward to helping us.”
After yesterday farm visit . https://t.co/SoDdUIjyqH
— Gareth Wyn Jones (@1GarethWynJones) September 11, 2021
Acknowledging that Rees Mogg is a controversial figure in Wales, he said that at times the meeting was confrontational with some heated debate and some serious questions.
He added: “We’re never going to be everybody’s friend, but we can be respectful of people and we could show them what we’re doing.”
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