CaRT paying for blatant Guardian features

Published: Wednesday, 05 July 2017

TWO boaters brought our attention to the various Canal & River Trust features in the Guardian, but what we did not at first realise was they were not actual real news items at all but sheer propaganda by the Trust itself—and paid for!

Both John Hibbert and Andrew Bailes drew our attention to the massive features, but then realised at the bottom of the seven large articles were the words 'Paid for by Canal & River Trust'!

Not genuine

They were not genuine Guardian articles at all as first thought, even though somewhat 'over the top' in their claims of the wonders of Canal & River Trust, but actually written by Canal & River Trust people themselves.

It seems even its long serving supporter, The Guardian, would not wear such blatant self-congratulatory articles, so CaRT had to pay for them, but alas worse is to come, as we learn that the seven features cost many thousands of pounds of our licence money.

Own self worth

John referred to one of the articles that proclaimed the wonders of cycling on the towpaths, but later told us:

"I'm really annoyed with myself for not picking this up before, possibly you did. But the reality is that, what I thought were articles being published (for free) by the Guardian on behalf of the CaRT PR department are, in reality, 'advertisement' features created, bought and paid for by CaRT simply to publicise their own self worth in the Guardian newspaper and, thereby, to the general public."

Where the money goes

Then John asks, as no doubt will many other boaters:

"Is this where the money goes? Is it right that public funds should be spent in this way? Where else are they spending money like this? What was the cost of placing these advertisements?

But alas CaRT did not like John's Twitter comment about this so have now blocked him from receiving/answering its Twitter feed!  But John is refusing to be cowed and adds:

Refusing to face criticism

"This is how pathetic things have become—Canal & River Trust have now 'blocked' me from receiving/answering its Twitter feed. So juvenile and so indicative of a public body refusing to face up to any form of criticism.

"Between you and me I have just now 'followed' two CaRT executives on their personal Twitter accounts, let's see how long it takes for them to cotton-on and no doubt 'block' me at some future date. I must say that CaRT personnel do like to indulge themselves with their overblown titles—is there anyone employed at CaRT who isn't 'Head of Something or Other'?"

Very well put indeed John. Someone at least who is not afraid of CaRT and though it silenced him on Twitter, it is not able to on narrowboatworld!