It’s mostly about the people, yes, you and those around you and your reaction to commentary… And it’s not a pleasant tale.

As is right and proper, on Friday I posted commentary on the Welsh Governments announcement, that we would not be walking the hills anytime soon. I posted this to this blog and then copied that post as a link to the Wales Outdoors Facebook Page. The subsequent interest in the post has been pretty impressive and positive, with it gaining, in a couple of days, as much traffic as any other of my posts, ever, and more comments on the blog and on Facebook than any of my posts have previously received.

My personal take on todays announcement by the Welsh Government…

Posted by Wales Outdoors on Friday, 29 May 2020

Here are the stats:

There were 45 of these

6 of these

And one of these

Comments on Facebook:

Of the headline comments on Facebook fourteen we in agreement with the post and three were not. There was one headline comment that was indecipherable, could have been positive or negative. Of the responses to the headline comments, that remained on topic and counting one time for one person in a thread no matter how many times they engaged and excluding my responses, there were eleven comments for and ten comments against. I think that it is interesting to note that a few people commented multiple times on different headlines and so have skewed these statistics by having an inordinately loud voice in comparison to others.

What’s of particular note is that there were NONE of these

Comments on the Wale Outdoors Blog:

Of the 22 responses eleven were mine and in response to people engaging, eight were positive, two negative and one was indeterminable.

HOWEVER, a brief look at the post on Facebook and you might think that it’s content were being attacked by all and sundry and that it was well beyond the bounds of what we ought to be thinking, in a crisis, in a decent society. Before I explain why this needs to be corrected I think it’s important to share my experience post posting the post 😉

I’ve been indirectly and directly contacted with messages of support and links to others voicing the same or similar opinions. There is obviously a groundswell of opinion that feels that there is something very wrong with the national and international response to the crisis. I have been contacted by a good few people clearly stating that they were encouraged and feel validated by my post. They were waiting for this view to be out there in the public domain. Not a small group have commended me for being brave enough to question the mainstream and in doing so have supported their mental health and given them the strength to get out and into the bright and cleansing sunshine. The experience of sharing the post has, in the main, been wholly positive and encouraging.


There are those that seek to shut down discussion using tired mechanisms of manipulation and abuse. For example, one commentator stated that people were selfish in wanting the same freedoms as in the UK, several times. I was personally called selfish, a bigot, an armchair scientist…

Enlightening is the discrepancy between constructive commentary and vapid platitude. Those commenting positively in the main did so with a simple ‘totally agree’ or an insight into their understanding of the situation while those commenting negatively, in the main, did so with louder voices, so often responding to multiple threads and multiple times and also with abuse BUT offering up nothing concrete, no well constructed reaction or disputing of the claims that I have made. I am still waiting, for example, for someone to have the balls to explain to me why a few thousand UK lives are worth more than a few million developing country lives (based on UN assertion that economic lockdown will cause 130 Million extra deaths by starvation).

I believe that what we are looking at here is those that have spent little to no time looking at the wealth of information publicly available that absolutely denies the right in the UK Government and obviously the Welsh Government’s position and are speaking out from an emotional place, perhaps out of fear, perhaps out of prejudice or perhaps because they are selfish themselves. But definitely they come from ignorance. And I’ll prove it.

One thread was all about the rights and wrongs of being political on the Wales Outdoors page. I assert that you understand nothing if you think that walking isn’t political. Because in every action and word you make you are being political. Will Self, the great modernist man of letters believes walking is political. Are we to argue with him? Or you might want to read Des Garrahan’s piece in Red Pepper for a socialist Ramblers perspective…

In being told that I was damaging my business and that people were unliking the Wales Outdoors page I was being arm twisted into the bland, being told to shut up otherwise I would loose income. Well, that is not and never has been the way that I work. I have ethics. But the thing is, that was a false assertion. Numbers liking the Facebook Page have not gone down. In fact they have gone up slightly. Never trust statisticians!

In being accused of being an armchair scientist the person who made that statement was hoping to shut down the conversation by belittling me and my opinion. This is not a positive contribution to a debate and this type of intervention is usually made by those who feel angry but have no counter argument apart from a gut feeling. We saw this type of behaviour throughout the Brexit campaign and subsequently with the elections and discussions based around that decision. We are polarised. People have knee jerk ‘I believe’ ‘I’m against’ reactions. That’s fine if they have understanding of the subject and can apply their brains to debating the minutia but not fine if they just feel a certain way. THAT is bigotry!

The power that the weekly hand clap and draconian legislation and the sloganising and the shaming has had upon our society will not readily be undone. We have given those with little understanding, or indeed desire to put in the effort to understand, the confidence to become keyboard warriors and to ride roughshod over others opinions, to shout down those who stick their heads above the parapet.

Well, not on my watch!

All opinion is valid. Debate is key to democratic processes (I’m appalled that our politicians, in the matter of the crisis, had no debate). Inclusiveness is paramount.

I am therefore offering up NO answers. I’m not asking you to believe me. I’m not, in this, asking you to Join Me! But I am asking you to research things for yourselves. Take time out during lockdown to have a think about the narrative that the government have been spinning and to listen to the mass of intelligent thinkers, historians, scientists and doctors who clearly align themselves AGAINST the UK Government.

Join Us!

The ‘following links’ were there to encourage you to research, to think and to question. They may or may not align with my personal opinion. Apple have flagged the videos as inappropriate for an app on their store, stating that in need to be a government or health service to post any comment on the crisis, and so I have removed the embedded video and added a short description, which if you wish you can add to a search engine search term bar and easily find them.


Peter Hitchens – Crisis Talks

Dr David Starkey – Britain’s Disastrous Response

DR. ERICKSON – Briefing

Tucker Carlson – Big Tech Censors Dissent

Nobel prize winning scientist Dr Michael Levitt

Much of the dissent has been banned. Youtube has taken down numerous accounts that have content in opposition to the flawed WHO. Check out for yourself the changing advice offered up by that organisation.


And for current statistics just type into any browser ‘death rate’ and compare the UK to the rest of the world… I think Boris and his advisors have some questions to answer.


Walk leader @ Wales Outdoors, life model @ Cardiff Life Models and poet @ Self Published I opened the first mountain bike hire business in the Brecon Beacons National Park in 1995. Since then my business, Wales Outdoors, has grown and morphed and is now the most active and most popular guided walks and adventure travel provider in Wales. Andy has been a volunteer co-ordinator, guided walks programme organiser and part time central area warden for the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, chair of Brecon Beacons Tourism, a Duke of Edinburghs area co-ordinator, a Princes Trust social inclusion manager, the catalyst for the Brecon Beacons National Park Environment Charter and a key motivator for the inception of the outdoor activity peer group, SWOAPG. Join Me! for a walk or two :)