Page last updated at 06:37 GMT, Thursday, 16 April 2009 07:37 UK

Row over 'offensive' Twitter link

Shot in Chip Alley
This man was photographed in Caroline Street by Maciej Dakowicz - more explicit scenes of others are shown on the Hungarian website

A row has flared over a Welsh assembly member's Twitter posting which links to scenes of drunken revellers in Cardiff.

Cardiff North Conservative AM Jonathan Morgan linked to photos on a Hungarian website which include people vomiting and urinating in a city centre street.

Another Cardiff AM, Labour's Lorraine Barrett, accused him of "promoting offensive pictures".

But Mr Morgan said they were already in the public domain and he was highlighting Cardiff's image problem.

The Tory AM wrote: "To cheer you up. This Hungarian site advising where not to visit. Cardiff features at the top!" with a link to the site.

The site includes dozens of pictures of revellers at night on St Mary Street.

Also among the images are scenes of young people, some of them blood-spattered, baring their backsides and brawling in the street.

The photos, by Polish PhD student Maciej Dakowicz, have been in the public domain for some time, and an edited selection was published by the BBC News website almost seven months ago.

This couple posed for a kiss in the street while  Maciej Dakowicz was taking photos
This couple posed for a kiss while Maciej Dakowicz was taking photos

Mr Dakowicz spent three years documenting city revellers for his Cardiff at Night photographic project.

But Ms Barrett, the AM for Cardiff South and Penarth, said for Mr Morgan to include a link to all the photos was disgraceful and accused him of running down the city.

"It is absolutely appalling that a senior Tory AM is promoting these offensive pictures on a social networking site that is popular with young people," she said.

"It shows a complete disregard for the people of Cardiff and as an assembly member representing the city I think Jonathan Morgan should publicly apologise."

I'm showing the image problem for Cardiff and Wales... the worst thing in the world is to ignore it
Jonathan Morgan AM, Conservative, Cardiff North

But Mr Morgan said he would not apologise and it was important to highlight the problem of binge drinking and how badly it affected Cardiff's image.

"Apologise for what? I'm showing the image problem for Cardiff and Wales," he said. "The worst thing in the world is to ignore it.

"I think Lorraine and her colleagues should be doing more to tackle binge-drinking.

"In the last 10 years Labour have encouraged the growth in the number of licensed premises, and supermarkets, which are open 24 hours a day, and where alcohol is for sale."

The row comes after an aide to a Welsh Assembly Government minister apologised over his Twitter posting which was accused of insulting fans of Liverpool FC.

David Taylor, an aide to deputy regeneration minister Leighton Andrews, wrote "you'll never walk again" and declared that he "hated Liverpool" more than Chelsea.

But he said he had no idea his comments could be connected to the Hillsborough tragedy 20 years ago when 96 Liverpool fans died.


Here are a selection of your comments.

Well done to someone who actually wants to stop this charade that Cardiff has a vibrant night life. Cardiff has a drunken night life. The sooner the Assembly, Council and Police start to crack down on under age drinking, anti social behaviour and start (horror of horrors) fining bars and pubs who create the problem, then the better life will be.
Bob Price, Cardiff

These pictures have indeed been in the public domain for a long time. Cardiff was my vacation choice last year, and once I booked my flight and hotel and such, I looked online for photos of what my visit might be like. Those were some of the photos I found! They didn't worry me a bit though - any city of any size looks like that at 2 am on a Friday or Saturday night. Binge drinking is a problem that is not limited to Cardiff or the UK - it's as much a problem here in Canada and indeed the US. I went to Cardiff with not a worry and had a wonderful time there, and I hope to return next year.
K. Zion, Toronto, Canada

Lorraine Barrett only accused him of "promoting offensive pictures" as a political point-scoring exercise because he's a Tory AM. Had he been a fellow Labour member, no doubt she'd have kept her trap shut.
Martin Pritchard, Llandrindod Wells, Wales

I agree with Mr Morgan, we should not brush these social problems under the carpet and continue to ignore the stress they cause to our police forces and A&E departments. Good for him. As for Lorraine Barrett, the increase of anti-social disorder caused by late night drinking has happend under your watch Mrs Barrett. What was Labour answer? 24 hours drinking. Brilliant! I'd say it is you who should say sorry.
P Hughes, Cardiff

Oh come on you guys, his twitter post wasn't about condemning - he was clearly linking to this appalling site to entertain his chums on Twitter. He shouldn't be so quick to point to the negatives in our capital city (scenes which are repeated in every city ad town in the UK). I would expect better from someone who is being paid to represent and promote our city. Grow up Jonathan!
Sally , Whitchurch, Cardiff

Good on Jonathan Morgan for showing the truth about binge drinking in our capital city. I don't go out at night here now. It is Lorraine Barrett who should be apologise for the mess she and her party have made of this country.
B Griffiths, Cardiff, Wales

I agree with Jack, any offence these images, which have been in the public domain for nearly 3 years, cause should be attributed to the culture that has manifested itself in Cardiff. I applaud Mr Morgan for trying to raise awareness of how Cardiff is being portrayed. With the Ryder Cup just a year away a lot needs to be done to improve Cardiff's and Newport's reputation.
Kate, Newport, Gwent

Finally! A politician facing up to today's issues. It seems that politics is now just cheap point scoring with one side demanding "apologies" from the other. Jonathan Morgan is correctly highlighting Cardiff's image while other politicians who ignore and avoid these matters would rather force others to "apologize" rather than tackling this problem. I hope that Jonathan Morgan's links enforce a change of attitude at the Senedd to start tackling a problem that is barely a mile away!
Llyr Owain, Gwaelod-y-Garth

Far from complaining about the "promotion" of these pictures, I wish to complain about the Assembly, Cardiff Council and Police, who do so little to prevent this sort of behaviour and thus allow this fine city to acquire an awful reputation.
Williams, Cardiff, Wales

He should certainly not apologise for the pictures. Cardiff on a Friday and Saturday night has become a sordid disgrace and something should be done to stop the antisocial behaviour that occurs there. The whole of St Mary Street is regularly blocked off with police vans to enable drunken revellers to stagger around freely, urinating and vomiting in doorways belonging to those of us who live in the centre of Cardiff, while the police stand by and watch. Maybe the embarrassment caused to the police and council of Cardiff by these pictures will spur them into taking decisive action.
Jack, Cardiff



SEE ALSO
City nightlife brought into focus
25 Sep 08 |  South East Wales
In pictures: Cardiff at night
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Apology for football Twitter post
14 Apr 09 |  Wales politics
Students seek Twitter restriction
01 Apr 09 |  Education
What is Twitter?
02 Dec 08 |  Front page

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