The wisest advice I ever received came courtesy of Nurilbek Atajanov, deputy director of the Shymkent Brandy Distillery in Kazakhstan.
"Never drink five-star Shymkent brandy," he said.
"Because we don't make any."
I was reminded of Nuri, who went on to design Kazakhstan's first combination ski-slope/catwalk for spry models, when considering The Guardian newspaper and the dismal advice it proffers.
"What are you doing, considering The Guardian?" the reader might venture, knowing how pressed I am for time. The answer is that the other reader has asked whether, given that newspaper's repeated failure to advance the progressive cause, The Guardian might be part of the Welsh plot to give the English and those easily mistaken for them a bad time.
These are serious charges. Like sappers, we Elders of Capel Seion don't make more than one mistake at a time, and The Guardian looks and smells like a great big Bong full of Wrong.
I have therefore undertaken a case study of three Guardian "advices", as the K Man would have it, to assess them for signs of crypto-Cambrian cupidity.
Operation Clark County
The Liberal Moment Has Come; and
These campaigns had several traits in common, apart from the albatross of Guardian endorsement:
They backed causes close to the liberal/progressive heart
They boasted sophisticated use of the media, and
They not only failed, but possibly harmed their objects of desire.
This does indeed-to-goodness sound like Welsh work, so let us peer into the anthracite pit and see what slurry it yields. Today we shall consider Disaster Number One:
1. Operation Clark County. Not, as you might imagine, an attempt to rename Glamorgan after Clarks's excellent radioactive meat pies, but rather a Guardian campaign to persuade the cussed, gun-hugging folk of that swing country in the swinging state of Ohio to cherish the lute-like sensibilities of Liberal Europe and vote against George W Bush in the 2004 US presidential election.
If you want to influence US public opinion you'd be well-advised to enist the support of fellow-countrymen whom the average American might have heard of, such as some golfers, "House" or Mr Bean.
You'd get them to do a breezy, 30-second television ad, ending with a signoff like "This illegal campaign broadcast was brought to you by the concerned citizenry of Notting Hill and Four Weddings & a Funeraland. Have an absolutely topping one".
In practice, a hector of Darwinists, thespians and book-writin' types sent letters - actual, pen & ink letters - clattering through the peaceful post boxes of their transatlantic targets, combining insults with a solipsistic sense of injury. Americans responded with an equally predictable brace of threats, invitations to involuntary dental surgery and thanks from Republican campaign managers.
The Guardian eventually acknowledged that this was doing little to advance Senator Kerry's cause and halted the operation. The result had been a swing towards the Godly if unlettered President Bush in Clark Country, alone of all the counties of Ohio.
It was as if all the good work of cultural ambassadors like the Spice Girls, Tony Blair and Helen Mirren had been crushed under a giant statue of Terry-Thomas relieving himself into a Jesus-shaped apple pie while waving a North Vietnamese flag.
Plus President Bush was helped back in for another four years of colliding with international affairs and the banking system like a flatulent toddler.
All very good, but was it Welsh? Intense research has uncovered two apparent culprits. Droll Australian dopebaiter Tim Blair claimed that The Guardian had simply acted on his suggestion. This had itself been prompted by Guardian tentacle Jonathan Freedland's novel complaint that he and other foreigners were not allowed to vote in the US election.
(As the Mighty Professor Geras noted, Freedland didn't demand the right to pay US taxes that would usually accompany such a privilege).
The Guardian denied the Blair Thesis, but failed to name names. So could there be a Welsh collier at the bottom or it all, deconstructing the campaign coalface? My conclusion is negative.
We Welsh like to parade our peccadilloes, not sheathe them in silence. Now, with hindsight Operation Clark County might loom doomed out of the liberal fog like a Citroën 2CV at a Tennessee demolition derby, but The Guardian wasn't to know at the time that the Jihad Jocelyns and mad lady librarians with Henry V hairdos who make up their readership would outnumber solicitous Atlanticists in the Clark County mail bag.
Common sense, empirical study of the data and an element of self-awareness would have made this obvious, but, chwarae teg, we are dealing with The Guardian.
Conclusion: Welsh involvement not proven (The K Man insists on Scottish Law, modified by Norse practices)
The evidence of the 2010 UK General Election and a cinematic campaign advocating the detonation of schoolchildren in defence of the envirnonment will be considered in due course.