Jun 302013
 

The first responsibility of any government is the protection of its people, from threats internal and external. Yet with its ‘no border’ policy not only is the ‘Welsh’ Government putting at risk the survival of Welsh identity, it also risks the lives of individuals, too many of whom have died at the hands of criminals who would not have been allowed entry to any country with a government mindful of its primary responsibility.

doguedebordeauxZygosSo in this post I shall deal with some of the more notorious cases from recent years. Or rather, just those I happen to have noticed, or were brought to my attention. Had any of these individuals you’ll read about below sought entry to Canada or Australia they would have been laughed at, and then turned back to England.

First, and before getting down to the gruesome and the repulsive, let’s look at some less serious cases, some almost humorous. Such as the woman in this story, who is obviously some kind of nutter drawn to large and aggressive dogs that she clearly cannot control. Which explains why, for a while, she wrought havoc in the corner of Ynys Môn where she lived. In addition to the two American bulldogs mentioned in the link, she also kept a Dogue de Bordeaux aka Bordeaux Mastiff or French Mastiff. (Shown left.) All nice cuddly poochie-woochies.

UPDATE 06.05.2015: The woman at the centre of this story may have had good reason to be in Wales, and in need of ferocious dogs. For as this report tells us she was a central character in a particularly brutal murder.

UPDATE 29.09.2015: She has now been jailed for 21 months.

Staying with animals, here’s the case of a couple who moved from the south east of England to a former pub in Gilfach Goch, where they kept animals in appalling conditions. When asked why they kept so many animals, suffering because they were obviously incapable of looking after them, the husband simply replied, “Why not?”.

Or how about Reginald Gill, who claimed he could cure women of cancer by groping them. Then there was Heather Stokes, who shouted “Welsh bastards” at a group of workmen who had the temerity to slow her regal progress. More recently we have had a case of four hippy women living near Tregaron charged with preventing the lawful and decent burial of a man who had been dead for four and a half years in order to keep claiming his disability allowance and pension credits. One of the accused is the deceased’s wife! We can safely assume that the late – though regrettably unburied – Geoffrey StuBatley Residencerdey, was a lot lighter than the 880 pound teenager who was moved from Kent to Aberdare. It took thirty people to get her from her social housing property into the ambulance when she needed to visit her local hospital. Now we must move on to the more serious cases.

One I dealt with a couple of years ago was that of Colin Batley, paedophile and English patriot. His sexual tastes were known before he came to Wales, they may have been the reason he and his gang left London, but Grwp Gwalia Cyf of Swansea was quite happy to house these creatures and to inflict them on Kidwelly. Despite being warned of his behaviour in 2002 Carmarthenshire social services did nothing. Here are some more peripatetic pervs, this time from Wolverhampton. A father and son act, Barry Ford and Craig McKellar, jailed at Mold Crown court last December for a total of 28 years. Here’s another, named Brian Sturley from London; this bastard was molesting kids in Swansea.

SeabridgesA really weird, and disturbing case, is that of a couple living in Ceredigion. Glynn and Julie Seabridge (left) are charged with neglecting their eight-year-old son so badly that he died of scurvy. Who, in Western Europe, dies of scurvy in the twenty-first century! (Update January 29, 2015.) What no one is saying is that these two are not Cardis at all. If Seabridgemy information is correct, they almost certainly moved from Stoke-on-Trent (see right, click to enlarge). And if other reports reaching me are correct, then the Potteries seems to be the source of an increasing number of our problems. Note the walking sticks in the photo. It’s amazing how many of these bastards turn up for court appearances sporting walking sticks or crutches. Are judges or juries fooled by this? Now we must move up a level, for regretably we also have to suffer an influx of murderers.

George Johnson (below left) was jailed in Wolverhampton in 1986 after killing someone in their own home for just £3. Some time after being released he moved to Rhyl (where else?) and there –George Johnson high on drugs in 2011 – he killed an eighty-nine-year-old woman for £25. Another avoidable tragedy was the rape and murder of sixty-seven-year-old Irene Lawless in Llanllwni, Carmarthenshire in 2011 by Darren Jackson of Kent..

More recently Wales received unwanted global publicity over the murder of little April Jones of Machynlleth. The media tended to overlook the fact that Mark Bridger was born in Surrey, the son of a London cop, and moved to Wales after getting into trouble over possession of a firearm, theft, and obtaining property by deception. It seems he was packed off to Wales, where no one knew him, to ‘make a fresh start’. I’ve known a few like him – camouflage clothing, they usually carry a knife, and tell stories of having served in the SAS or the Foreign Legion. Bullshitting weirdoes no country should ever allow in. But it seems most towns and villages in rural Wales nowadays have their resident nutter in combat trousers.

Finally, in recent days we’ve been reading about the tragedy of three generations of the same family killed by Carl Mills, an alcoholic psycopath from Manchester who decided to give himself a change of scenery in Cwmbran. Perhaps another ‘fresh start’. Read the reports. Did no one realise the danger these people were in from this unhinged, alcoholic degenerate? Take a look at him – he could have stepped straight out of Deliverance! (‘Is that Central Casting? – send me a weird, inbred-looking hillbilly type’.) Or am I being my usual intolerant, judgemental and Carl Millsreactionary self? Well, if any smug leftie out there is nodding in agreement, he or she might care to remind themselves that before this bastard killed three generations, including his own daughter, he even threatened to dig up the child’s stillborn twin. This is one sick fucker!

What have all the misfits, paedophiles and murderers involved in these recent cases got in common? Answer: none of them had any good reason for being in Wales. Many were brought here or encouraged to move here by social housing providers, unscrupulous private landlords or other ‘agencies’. Or simply because Wales is a soft touch. For these people making a fresh start does not mean reforming, it does not mean changing their ways, it simply means the luxury of being able to carry on with the same behaviour in communities where they aren’t known. Which is bad enough, but why are there agencies in Wales helping them?

We must have more control over who comes to Wales because it has now become, quite literally, a matter of life or death. People are being killed, children are being raped, communities are being disrupted and made to live in fear, because the ‘Welsh’ Government is failing in its primary responsibility to the Welsh people.

The first scumbag, Frederick Lawlor, is both a murderer and a paedophile. After killing his partner in Rochdale, and burying her body in the cellar of the house they shared, he moved to Abergele, where he used a 13-year-old-girl for sex with dozens of men. It’s unclear if he came to Wales of his own volition, but the anonymity provided by the north coast’s ‘fluid’ population is a big attraction for individuals like Lawlor and the agencies looking to relocate (i.e. dump) dangerous individuals.

Among those convicted for abusing the girl was Freemason Raymond Ketland, who claimed to have been asked, by a fellow Mason in the group already abusing the girl, “do you want to have a bit of fun?” Ketland is yet another who’d recently moved to the north coast, but he hadn’t been relocated by any agency, for Ketland was a former Birmingham detective. Ketland takes us into the murky and constantly overlapping worlds of Freemasonry and the police, dealt with extensively by Paddy French at Rebecca.

Moving down to Ceredigion, we find David Thomas Clapton. In order to get near children Clapton set up a charity, Harvest Trust, and arranged holidays for English kids in the Welsh countryside. To show his love for children, Clapton also became a foster parent, accepted as such by Cyngor Ceredigion. One worry here is that in just a few years Harvest Trust received hundreds of thousands of pounds in grants and donations. From where? The Cambrian News article I link with is wrong when it says that Harvest Trust sent no accounts to the Charity Commission  after 2009, here’s a link to the 2011 accounts.

Finally (until the next update) we shall look at the case of Gavin Benit who, as the prosecution lawyer said at his trial, “likes to have sex with under-age girls”. This little ‘weakness’ first attracted the attention of the police while Benit was living in his native Oldham. Although his offences against a 13-year-old girl took place there, by the time he came to trial in Manchester, in September 2008, Benit had moved to Colwyn Bay. He was sentenced to four years in prison. This month he was sentGavin Benitenced at Caernarfon Crown Court to 10 years for raping a 15-year-old girl in Colwyn Bay. Or as BBC Wales says: “The rape took place at a Colwyn Bay hotel where he was placed in a flat”. “Placed in a flat” by whom? My guess is the Probation Service (for Englandandwales). I further speculate that the Probation Service moved him to Bae Colwyn some time between his arrest and sentencing in 2008.

At least the BBC had the balls to say that Benit had been “placed” in Colwyn Bay, but other elements of the ‘Welsh’ media either infer that the guilty are Welsh, or state it outright! Take the Daily Post, which said that Benit is “from Rhyl”, and also mentioned the Colwyn Bay connection. Yet while the Daily Post also mentioned Benit’s previous conviction it refused to say that this was in Manchester, and that Benit was then living in Oldham. Worse, is this coverage from Trinity Mirror’s WalesOnline which, in reporting the 2006 convictions of four others involved in the Lawlor case, begins thus, “Four more Welsh monsters are facing jail . . . “. Looking at the names of the four men convicted, one, from Wrecsam, is clearly Welsh . . . but the other three, from Prestatyn, Colwyn Bay and Rhyl? WalesOnline has no way of knowing their nationality, so why call them Welsh?

Scumbag ExpressEven though it was established in court that Lawlor, Benit, et al are English the ‘Welsh’ media are not allowed to report that fact because in colonial Wales the description ‘English’ can only be used in positive contexts. The only exception, or ‘safety-valve’, is the sporting arena or some other triviality. Among the other directives for our colonial media is putting the best possible gloss on the English connection. This of course is difficult in a third world country unless we natives are blamed for all that’s wrong and our masters given credit for the little that is good. The dumping of English criminals in Wales shows how this works in practice. 1/ Ignore the issue. 2/ When cases come to court report on them but never mention the English origins of the convicted, and certainly not the routes by which they arrived in Wales. 3/ If you really want to go for broke, then – and with no evidence beyond addresses – describe the convicted perverts as Welsh – better yet, “Welsh monsters”.

The Housing (Wales) Bill I have dealt with in my most recent posts will, if implemented, make the existing situation even worse. For it forces Welsh housing associations into accepting any murderous, child molesting scumbag from across the border. (Though many of them need no persuasion.) The problems the north coast has experienced up to now will be nothing compared to what the Bill promises. It will be time to rename the Costa Geriatrica the Costa del Pervert.

UPDATE 25.01.14:

The case of London gangster Joland Giwa turning up in Newport seems to have surprised a lot of people, including local MPs and others. It’s as if they were unaware that hundreds, possibly thousands, of murderers, paedophiles, ex-cons, substance abusers, etc., arJoland Giwae either being encouraged to move to Wales or being given no choice in the matter and dumped here. Here are a few other cases I’ve noted since I wrote the original post. (Though before moving on, let me make it clear that, unlike others dealt with in this post, I am not aware that Mr Giwa has committed any offences in Wales.)

UPDATE 19.06.2015: Joland Giwa has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison for robbing a Newport bookmaker’s office. Despite it all, I feel a certain sympathy for the boy (unlike the others dealt with here), I don’t think he ever had a chance to make more of his life. We are no nearer knowing who decided to move him to Wales.

Jun 272013
 

A comment to my previous post put me to wondering if it might be possible to go back to earlier censuses (censi?) to make some comparisons with the findings from 2011. So I sent off an e-mail to the Office for National Statistics asking if the figures I needed were available. Within a few hours I was telephoned by a lady from the ONS who gave me the information! For further figures I requested she suggested I contact Nomis (which appears to be a related body). I sent off another e-mail and again, within hours, a lady from Nomis rang me and talked me through the Nomis website to the information I wanted! Just ask yourself – would I have got service like that from any department of the ‘Welsh’ Government? (Don’t misinterpret this as an argument for maintaining the Union, it’s an argument for a real Welsh Government, and a real Welsh civil service.)

What I was looking for were the figures, going back to 1981, showing country of birth, or the respective percentages for the Welsh born and English born components in the population, and how these have changed over the past 30 years. I also decided to throw in the total population change over the same period to give Country of Birthsome context and a point of comparison for different areas. Click on the table to view it better, or click here for a PDF version.

The headline figures are as follows: Between 1981 and 2011 the Welsh born element of our population fell from 79.5 to 72.7, that is, 6.8 percentage points. In the same period the English born percentage rose from 17.0 to 20.8, an increase of 3.8 percentage points. In the same period the population of Wales rose from 2,716,828 to 3,063,456, an increase of 346,628 or, in percentage terms, 12.8. That may be the national picture but, as ever, it encompasses some fascinating local and regional figures, and quite a few that should cause concern. Let’s start with our capital city.

CARDIFF  In the thirty years covered by the table, the population of Cardiff soared by 75,162 to 346,090. That’s an increase more than the total population of Blaenau Gwent, Merthyr Tydfil or Anglesey. The Welsh born component dropped in the same period from 81.1% to just 68.7%, though the English born element rose by only 4.6%.  Telling us that Cardiff is now becoming a real European capital: sucking in investment and talent from the rest of the country while also attracting people from around the world. With the higher education racket making a major contribution.

SWANSEA / NEWPORT  Something similar, though less damaging to the rest of Wales, seems to be happening in Swansea, and indeed, Newport. In Swansea, the Welsh born figure is down 7.8% in thirty years with the English up 3.2%, against a total increase of 17,953. For Newport it’s -2.2 and -2.5 with an increase of 13,935. Yes, that’s two minuses. It would appear that both Swansea and Newport, but more so Newport, are attracting people from outside the UK. Next door to Newport, in Torfaen, the Welsh born figure has actually risen by 0.1% and the English element is down 0.6%. Returning to Swansea Bay, there’s little change to report from Neath Port Talbot. While Bridgend seems to prosper still, with a population increase of 15,387 (12.4%) with the Welsh born element dropping by 2.8% and the English rising by only 1.1%.

VALLEYS  While Torfaen and Caerphilly both saw population increases the three Heads of the Valleys authorities – RCT, Merthyr, Blaenau Gwent – all saw population falls. The biggest fall was in the last of those. In the thirty years covered by the table this area saw its population decline from 75,237 to 68,814. Curiously, though, the same period saw the Welsh born element decline by 3.1% and the English born element increase by 1.6%. Which is weird. If there’s no work in Blaenau Gwent, and Welsh people are leaving, why is the English element increasing? I can only think that, in a desperate attempt to keep up the numbers, the ‘Welsh’ Government, using its proxies in housing associations and other agencies, is bringing in a benefit-dependent population from England. As is suggested here.

NORTH EAST  Even allowing for the fact that many locals are born in Chester, the 2011 figure for Flintshire of just 50.% Welsh born is very depressing. Wrexham is more encouraging, but even here the percentage of Welsh by birth has now slipped below 70%. Denbighshire presents something of an anomaly, with both Welsh born and English born percentages down between ’81 and 2011. Again we can infer movement into the area from places other than England. As is the case with Conwy, which I’ll include in this section because of Llandudno and the coastal strip. Incidentally, Conwy has a higher percentage of Scots and Irish in the population than can be found Cardiff. (Not a lot of people know that!) In this region the spread of the Manchester-Merseyside commuter belt is also a growing problem.

RURAL AREAS  In this category we need to consider Pembrokeshire, Monmouthshire and Powys. The first has seen a population increase of 18,688 (+18%). With the oil refineries gone and little alternative work, this increase is down almost entirely to people moving in to the county. Shown in the country of birth figures. Monmouthshire has seen a population growth that, in percentage terms (+26.2%) is not far behind Cardiff, but with little change in the percentages for where born. Which can not be said for Powys.

Here, in the most rural county in Wales, the population between 1981 and 2011 jumped from 109,903 to 132,976, and the percentage of Welsh born within that population dropped from 67.8% to just 49.8%. The same caveat of over-the-border births applies here as applies to Flintshire, but the situation was the same in the past. There is no question that Powys is being systematically colonised. Aided by (the legacy of) the Development Board for Rural Wales, an Independent (i.e. disproportionately landowner) council, and officers desperate to boost the population in the hope of guaranteeing the council’s survival in any local government reorganisation. I would have thought that the survival of Welsh identity is far more important.

Y FRO GYMRAEG If some of the news thus far has been bad, then it’s about to get a whole lot worse. But let’s start with Anglesey. Not a great deal of change on the island in the percentages or the population level. Partly a reflection on the economic condition. Gwynedd, however, gives cause for concern. Between 1981 and 2011 the Welsh born percentage of Gwynedd’s population fell by 10.3%, against a total population growth of 12,603 or 17%. This can be partly explained by the growth in Bangor university but more generally by the attraction of Gwynedd to retirees and downsizers.

Moving south, Carmarthenshire saw an increase in population of 23,276 (14.5%), which is surprising given the loss of jobs in coal, tinplate and other industries in Llanelli and its hinterland during this period. Again, the growth can only be attributed to population movement into the county of a largely non-working population. The real horror story, though, is Ceredigion. Where the Welsh born element has fallen from 72.8% in 1981 to 55.3% in 2011. While, in percentage terms, Ceredigion has seen an even bigger increase in population than Cardiff, from 55,349 to 75,922 (+39.2%). But there has been no gold rush, no economic miracle. The tragedy of Ceredigion is attributable to (again) higher education; (again) the legacy of the DBRW; plus the machinations of former council leader Dai Lloyd Evans and his gang, building expensive houses for local youngsters to buy . . . well, that’s how it was explained at the time.

CONCLUSION  It’s only a matter of time before we Welsh are a minority in our own country . . . or what was our country. In some areas we probably are already a minority. It is not happening by accident. Though it happens partly by doing nothing . . . By which I mean that politicians can neglect scenically attractive areas knowing that there will be no empty houses, no deserted villages, to damn their ineptitude, for there are a million potential buyers in England for every empty Welsh property. It’s a good system, and of course it also weakens a secessionist threat and destroys a ‘divergent’ cultural identity.

What’s happening in Wales though is also due in part to direct intervention from the English Planning Inspectorate and other agents. Were this being done to any other people, they would resist, but we are Welsh. After centuries of having it hammered into us that we are inferior to the English, many of us are now flattered that so many English want to settle among us. This, and more, helps account for the lack of resistance to what is being done to us, and to our country.

But this programme could not operate were it not for the Welsh people who profit by it. The landowners, the builders, the tradesmen, the estate agents, the shopkeepers and countless others. Many of them the kind of people who like to gather convivially and discreetly, to discuss and decide important matters, before letting those matters be aired in what passes for the democratic forum. Many can even persuade themselves they’re doing the right thing for everybody, or ‘the community’, by supporting that new housing development!

And remember! not all those born in Wales are Welsh. As I pointed out in my previous post, even though 72.7% of the population in 2011 was born in Wales only 65.8% identified themselves in any way as Welsh. So minority status will probably come when the Welsh born figure is around 60%. How we face up to this unfolding tragedy will decide what sort of people we are. Whether we are a people deserving of a national future.

P.S. This comes with the usual health warning. If you find that I’ve made a mistake, please let me know and I’ll correct it.

Jun 212013
 

 

A great deal has already been written about the findings of the 2011 Census; some bloggers have dug deep into the data and burned the midnight oil analysing and collating said data. Among those deserving of special mention are Oggy Bloggy Ogwr, Syniadau and Welsh Not British. I’ve even had a go once or twice myself, despite an aversion to numbers and figuring.Welsh born

(Left click on images to enlarge.)

In addition to those on the side of the angels we have also seen desperate attempts to put a positive gloss on some pretty damning and disheartening findings. You know just how desperate, when some are reduced to suggesting that large numbers of elderly English people moving to Wales is to be welcomed. Or that Ceredigion on the point of becoming an English county is somehow compensated for by a couple of Welsh schools in Cardiff, or the Welsh Government being given power over yellow lines.

Over the past few days I’ve done a bit of fresh delving into the findings of the 2011 census, specifically into these two tables: QS203EW Country of Birth and KS202EW National Identity. (Download to open in Excel.) They have provided me with some interesting facts, one of which I have not previously read mentioned anywhere else. In fact, a statistic I find rather disturbing.

Welsh only

Anyway, to begin with, here are three maps showing, by local authority unit, and percentages those, 1/ Welsh born, 2/ Welsh identifying, 3/ Rejecting all Welsh identity. Click to enlarge on all three. Two more things need to be said. Yes, the maps are hand drawn, by me, but they aren’t that bad. (I had thought of blaming the grandchildren, but they would probably have done a better job!) I’ve already confessed to not being enamoured of figures so I ask you to check with the original table if you’re in any doubt about my interpretations. I could have made a mistake (it’s not unknown). I have also tried to present the figures in table form. My attempt can be found below right. (Again, click to enlarge.)

Now a lot has been made of the number choosing to describe themselves in 2011 as ‘Welsh only’, rejecting other identities including British. Up to a point, I can agree, this is encouraging . . . but only up to a point. I say that because looking at the bigger picture, nationally, or even more so, locally, tends to take the gloss off the fact that the vast majority of our people describe themselves as ‘Welsh only’. For example, in Table 1, there’s the fact that only 49.8% of Powys’s population is Welsh born. Yes, I know it’s a border county, with no major hospital, and many locals are born over the border. But even so . . . And what about Ceredigion? Even allowing for the large numbers of students –No Welsh and even the recent activities of Dai Lloyd Evans’ gang – only 55.3% Welsh born is frightening.

The local authority area with the highest percentage of Welsh born is Blaenau Gwent, with 90.3%. Which looks good . . . but only when compared to the other Welsh local authorities. Blaenau Gwent’s figure is just normal, or even low, when set against roughly comparable English local authorities. For example, 95.2% of Barnsley’s population was born in England; St Helens’ (Merseyside) figure is 95.9%; even the figure for Sunderland, in the Tyne-Wear conurbation, is 94.4%. For a deprived, post-industrial, high unemployment area like Blaenau Gwent, 90.3% born in Wales is, in reality, remarkably low. For despite there being little employment in the area it seems people are still moving – or being moved – in to Blaenau Gwent. Going back to the worrying anomaly I mentioned earlier, it was Blaenau Gwent that first alerted me.

For if we look more closely at the figures for Blaenau Gwent we see that while 90.3% of the population is Welsh born we see the following figures for identification: Welsh only 72.4, Welsh and British 8.2, Welsh Combined – e.g. Welsh-Russian if your Mam is from Omsk (or even Tomsk) – 0.8. If we total up these three it gives us 81.4%. Deduct that from 90.3 and we are left with 8.9% . . . that was born in Wales, lives in Wales, but does not regard itself as being in any way Welsh! Struck by this figure I decided to look at the national picture. I soon Full Tablefound that Blaenau Gwent is not unique.

The national picture tells us that out of a total population of 3,063,456 only 2,226,005 is Welsh born. Of this Welsh-born population 1,761,673 (79.1% of Welsh born) considers itself to be Welsh only. A further 217,880 (9.8%) Welsh and British. With a final 38,128 (1.7%) of ‘combined’ identity. Total up the three designations and deduct them from the total Welsh born and we are left with 208,324 people who were born in Wales, live in Wales, but reject any Welsh identification. How do we explain this?

I can understand someone born to Chinese parents describing themselves as Chinese. This could apply to other non-European groups with a strong sense of cultural or religious identity. But there are relatively few members of such groups in Wales. The vast majority of the non-Welsh in Wales are English. So does this anomaly mean that we have over two hundred thousand people living among us, born in our country, who have chosen to reject any identification with us or our country? If so, what a worryingly colonialist or racist attitude this suggests.

The more I look at the Census 2011 findings the more I see a divided country. Due entirely to Wales being systematically and deliberately colonised. To realise the truth of this one only needs to study the recent activities of the Planning Inspectorate, council chief executives and other senior officers, the Third Sector, assorted civil servants (supposedly answering to the Welsh Government), social housing providers, etc., etc.

A policy of colonisation so pervasive and successful that we might already be living alongside an entrenched and growing colonist population, our own Anglo-Irish or pieds-noirs. While we Welsh become poorer and more marginalised. Leading us to reject in ever increasing numbers any political or national label other than ‘Welsh’. How long will it be before this growing resentment and polarisation finds expression beyond the census form, the Eisteddfod Maes, and the rugby stadium?

Jun 182013
 

Here’s a merry and eclectic miscellany of tit-bits and tales that have caught my attention over the past week or so. Or at least, it’s those I deemed worthy of comment.

NOT CRICKET, SURELY? (THOUGH PERHAPS STILL VERY ENGLISH)

A strange story from the Nicholas Insurance Pembrokeshire Cricket League (Division Six), not a source of news I’ve used before, nor one I ever thought I would use, but there you are. It seems that in a game last Saturday Crymych Seconds were batting against Lamphey Seconds when the Crymych batsmen walked off complaining they’d been abused by Lamphey players for speaking Welsh. An official complaint has been made to the League by the Crymych club.

Now obviously, Crymych is in north, or ‘Welsh’, Pembrokeshire, and Lamphey is south of the ‘Landsker’ (near Pembroke town); but even so, in this day and age who objects to people speaking Welsh to each other? And what would have happened if Lamphey had been playing a touring side from, say, Pakistan? Would they have subjected the Pakistani batsmen to the same treatment? If they had, I guarantee that it would have made more ripples than this story, now being quickly and quietly brushed under the carpet.

IEUAN WYN JONES STANDS DOWN . . .

. . . about twenty years too late. All Plaid Cymru needs now is a leader . . . and policies . . . and politicians someone other than a political anorak might recognise . . . and a sense of purpose . . . and a commitment to the Welsh people (rather than to ‘Wales’) . . . and a clear-out of the dead-wood . . . and an acceptance that Wales cannot save the planet by being covered in wind turbines . . . and an abandonment of (lower) sixth form socialism by joining the real world . . .

SWANSEA, MY SWANSEA

Clay OuterThe Llansamlet by-election campaign is up and running. Hitting the straps early is Robert – ‘call me “Bob”‘ – Clay, public school educated Trotskyite, former MP, political adventurer, friend of George ‘Indefatigability’ Galloway and now refugee. I was sent a copy of what I assume will be his main election leaflet, which I am pleased to share with you here. (Click to enlarge.) There are a number of observations worth making.

1/ Despite it being a large, and very wordy, example of its kind, Comrade Bob could find no room for a single word of Welsh other than the ‘Llafur’ in the party logo.

Clay Inside2/ He admits that he and his Austrian wife – elected to the council last year – are political migrants, having come to Wales after hearing Rhodri Morgan talk of “clear red water”. So there you are, if anyone was still in doubt, you now know who to blame for carpetbaggers, Third Sector grant-grabbers and other undesirables coming over the border.

3/ He identifies a number of specific problems within the ward that he will tackle: listed as Rhyd-y-Felin, Lon Enfys, Trewen Road, Parc yr Helig . . . none of which he knows, nor can pronounce, for he only moved to Llansamlet last August. Though one issue he does not mention is the one he’s built his local reputation on – the fight against another Traveller site in Llansamlet. Why is he so reticent?

Staying in Swansea, but moving on to other carpetbagger Labour councillors who’ve been in Swansea no longer than the Clays, no one seems to know whether Pearleen Sangha is still in California. Her Twitter account @PearleenSangha has fallen silent, no tweet since June 13. Has she been ordered by the party to stay schtum, in the same way her equally embarrassing colleague, John Boy Bayliss, @JohnCBayliss, was ordered by the party to close his Twitter account? The third member of the student-councillor trio has also been making a fool of himself, again.Theaker 1

Gin drinker Mitchell Theaker, @mitchelltheaker, got in the habit of signing off council cabinet e-mails as ‘Mitchy’. (Yes, he’s in the cabinet, representing children and young people. I suspect he identifies better with the former.) Anyway, the suspicion is that the party took a dim view of this lack of protocol, coming Theaker 2on top of other little, um, annoyances. Does “signing off” mean he doesn’t write them? What exactly does he do for his £36,000 a year?

And come to think of it, ‘Mitchy’ has also gone very quiet on Twitter. Nothing since this gem last Saturday. (Left.) Maybe he hasn’t sobered up yet! Or perhaps some avuncular figure among the bruvvers has taken young Theaker Theakeraside and, in an arm-around- the-shoulder sort of way, whispered to him, Shut up! you embarrassing little sod!

UPDATE JULY 1, 2013: It appears that young ‘Mitchy’ is unable or unwilling to take advice. His latest indiscretion seems to have been tweeting nonsense while supposedly attending a cabinet meeting. (Right. Click to enlarge.)

STARSTRUCK LABOUR

The Welsh Labour Government is splashing out £50m to “attract world class scientists and their teams to Wales“. The first of these ‘stars’ has now pitched up at Cardiff University; he is Prof. Yves Barde, from Switzerland. Now you know me, I have the utmost faith in the judgement of our Welsh Government, but I can’t help wondering . . .

1/ How many jobs for Welsh people will this massive expenditure create?

2/ Haven’t we been down the road of publicity-grabbing, ‘prestige projects’ before, and don’t they invariably fail?

3/ Isn’t this scheme just disguised extra funding for Cardiff university? For how many of these academic ‘stars’ will other universities see?

4/ No disrespect to the Prof, but the high point of his career seems to have been in 1989, “with the discovery of a gene which creates a protein – brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) – which is involved in number of brain processes including memory”. Mightn’t he, and others who’ll follow, be rather like southern hemisphere rugby players, coming here towards the end of their careers to boost their retirement pots?

LABOUR SEEING THE LIGHT, AT LAST?

I was struck by something said by Edwina Hart (and it’s not often I can say that!). Watch the BBC clip I’ve linked to and see if you get the same impression – that Labour now admits pouring money into the Third Sector was a waste of EU funding. She rejects in future having “hundreds and hundreds of partners” with “pet projects”, she tallks of more involvement from the private sector, and gives other signals that a corner may have been turned.

I’d like to think I’ve helped in my small way to bring about this change of direction. What I’m certain of is that the EU funders have made it crystal clear to Edwina Hart and others in Cardiff that they’ve screwed up twice, and they’d better get it right with the third and final dollop of Structural Funds.

I’d love to be a fly on the wall when Edwina and the rest have to explain to their grant-grabbing hangers-on that the days of wine and roses are over, forever. That the EU funding will in future be used for alleviating Welsh poverty, not for subsidising the unemployable of the loony left to capitalise on that poverty.

Jun 172013
 

I don’t know how many of you are aware of this, but there’s a new £250m racetrack planned for Ebbw Vale, to be known as the Circuit of Wales. Promising to bring high tech, top-wage jobs; tens of thousands of high-spending visitors; and much more besides. All this promised by a company – the Heads of the Valleys Development Company – set up specifically and solely to deliver this project. I was unable to find a website in Ebbw Valethe name of HVDC so I assume this serves as the company’s website. So who’s behind the company?

Well, one of the founding directors is named as Peter Thomas. Is this ‘Peter the Pies’, the man behind that great Welsh success story, Cardiff Blues? Or is it Swansea’s Peter Thomas, who is obviously big in tyres? Either way or neither way, according to Company Check, Peter Thomas joined (set up?) the company on June 30th, 2011. Presumably with a Mr M. A. Carrick, who is listed as joining the Board on the same day. Though according to Company Check Peter Thomas left the Board roughly a year later, on July 13th, 2012.# Which appears to have left the company with just one director! Whatever, August 13th, 2012, saw four new Board Members appointed: Mr S. J. Kealey, Mr T. N. Murnane, Ms A. L. Lloyd-Carrick and Mr A. P. Woodbury. Can we assume that Ms Lloyd-Carrick is somehow related?

Oh, yes . . . perhaps I should have mentioned earlier that this exciting new Welsh venture has its global headquarters at The Coach House, 79 Mill Way, Grantchester, Cambridge CB3 9ND. (Yes, that is the Grantchester of Rupert Brooke fame: ‘Corner of a foreign field’ and all that.)

Let us return to the man who appears to have been the co-founder of the Heads of the Valleys Development Company / Circuit of Wales, M. A. Carrick. Not so long ago he was working for Merrill Lynch, which many people believe is more responsible for the current financial crisis than perhaps any other single company. In fact, he’s described as nothing less than ML’s “Managing Director and Global Head of infrastructure”. Carrick now plies his trade – whatever it might be – with Duet Asset Management, which, reassuringly, appears to specialise in hedge funds. But he also seems to run Aventa Capital Partners Ltd., which looks like another new company set up to promote, or capitalise on, the Ebbw Vale project. Listed with Carrick on the ‘Investment Committee’ of Aventa are Charles Grime and David Bates.

Another name I have unearthed in connection with this venture is Chris Herring, formerly of Honda Racing. Though he is not mentioned in the Company Check extract referred to above. Of those who are mentioned as joining the company in August 2012, information is sparse. Without, I admit, digging too deeply, I drew a complete blank with S. J. Kealey, T. N. Murnane and Ms A. L. Lloyd-Carrick. The search for A. P. Woodbury produced only this which might, or might not, be him.Neil and Glenys

One more name is worthy of mention in connection with this project . . . wait for it! – Neil Kinnock!!! Who is billed as the “Ambassador”. I don’t wish to appear cynical, or unkind (you know me!) – but any project needing Kinnochio to lend it “considerable credibility” is surely dead in the water. Though give him his due, he can still recognise a gravy train approaching, even one running on very expensive tyres.

Someone else plugging the project, sort of, was that famous Danish rugby international, Sebastian Barrett, writing for Click on Wales. Though he seemed to quickly lose interest in highly-tuned engines and soon started plugging the Cardiff city state and the planned Cardiff Metro system. So irrelevant had the Ebbw Vale project become to him that at one point he referred to the Circuit of Wales as the “Circle of Wales”! (What’s happened to the Institute of Welsh Affairs, it’s become just another mouthpiece for Cardiff?)

The reason I started writing this piece is that there is mounting opposition to the project from a particularly obnoxious sub-species of colon. You know who I mean, they’re always on the ‘Welsh’ News, fleece jackets and English accents; ‘Oh, you can’t do that!’ ‘Oh no, we oppose this’. All of them working for bodies funded by taxpayers, charity collections, old ladies’ legacies, EU or other funding. Dictatorial bastards who want to keep Wales unspoilt by jobs or prosperity, preserved in aspic for the English middle classes to which most of them belong. First, in November, it was the Gwent Wildlife Trust. Then in March the Open Spaces Society chipped in. Last week it was Natural Resources Wales. It begins to look co-ordinated on the part of those who ‘love’ Wales but don’t give a toss about the Welsh.

Weighing it all up, my position is as follows. If this project can deliver what it promises, primarily investment and well-paid jobs for local people, then I support it. But I have grave reservations as to whether it will deliver. Mainly because I have little faith in those behind it. I smell another Valleywood. So strong is the aroma that I would have expected ourCarrick wonderful Welsh Government to be asking many more questions about those behind a £250m project that will soon be asking for a hell of a lot of public funding. (Or does Kinnock’s involvement mean that this scheme gets nodded through?) I might also be worried by what appears to be the total lack of Welsh involvement. When does ‘outside investment’ become exploitation, colonialism? As for those objecting on what they allege to be environmental grounds . . . I’m sure you think you mean well, but shut up!

#Though on this page (shown right) of the Circuit of Wales website, in an undated piece, Peter Thomas is still listed as a director. He is also listed as CEO of Insight in Infrastructure, another new company (set up in September 2011) and also based in Cambridge. Though this company appears dormant, if not dead. Yet these are the people running a £250m racetrack project, with only one among them who appears to have any experience of motor sport, and no obvious assets. Doesn’t that fill you with confidence?

Jun 102013
 

Following the death of councillor Dennis James a by-election will be held for one of the seats in the Llansamlet ward of Swansea council. As dealt with here, Trotskyite Bob Clay, former Labour MP for Sunderland North, will be standing for Labour. While he may have been selected by the local branch there is still some confusion over whether the selection has been ratified, or welcomed, by the brothers and sisters higher up the greasy pole.

The other candidates announced before last Friday’s deadline were, for the Conservatives, James Peter Hatton, from Morriston. For the Liberal Democrats, Samuel Rees, from Brynmill. And for the Official National Front, Claire Thomas, of Townhill. So of the four candidates, only one – Bob Clay – actually lives in the ward, and he moved to Llansamlet less than a year ago! Of the others, one is at least from neighbouring Morriston, while the other two are from across town; the National Front candidate from the ‘troubled’ Townhill estate, the Lib Dem from an area given over to accommodation for students and other transients.

There is no Plaid Cymru candidate, because the party is all but dead in Swansea. (Sad, seeing as I can recall Llansamlet being Plaid’s first council seat in Swansea when it was won by my old friend John Ball back in the ’70s.) Surprisingly, the Independents were also unable to field a candidate due, it is suggested, to the favoured hopeful being away on holiday! So there you have it. Another example of non-local local politics in Swansea. Another example of how turned off the vast majority of local people are with their councils. Another example of how this disengagement makes it easier for political adventurers and extremists to grab the limelight, to expound their views, and perhaps even to get elected.

Putting this together with all the other local government problems – the Carmarthenshire dictatorship, the Caerphilly stitch-up, the incompetent authorities stripped of various responsibilities, local authorities increasingly run by senior officers – there are no arguments left for not reforming Welsh local government. And for not making a start tomorrow. Democracy is suffering under the present system.

Eight new authorities modelled on the pre-1996 counties would be ideal. (See above left, click to enlarge.) With no more than thirty or forty councillors each, representing ten to thirteen three-member wards in each authority; or possibly, smaller, single-member wards, for multi-member wards rarely deliver the promised ‘variety’, especially if the party popular locally puts up a full slate of candidates mercifully free of halitosis and capable of holding a short conversation without covering the listener in spittle.

P.S. In an earlier post I dealt with Swansea Labour’s ex-student councillors and their vacuous tweetings. Well, as I reported even more recently, John Boy Bayliss has now closed his Twitter account, @JohnCBayliss, on orders from above. His colleague, the California beach girl, Pearleen Sangha @PearleenSangha was, you may recall, home in March for a wedding. Well, here we are three months on, and whaddya know – she’s back in California! No doubt she’s there on important Labour Party business! Lucky, lucky Swansea!

UPDATE 12.06.2013: For using a picture of the Official National Front candidate for LSion Owenslansamlet in this post – since removed! – I was threatened with legal action by the South Wales National Front Organiser, Sion Owens. (See Comments to this post.) Mr Owens, of neighbouring Bonymaen, was a candidate himself not so long ago, in the council elections of 2012. Although he stood for the Official National Front last year (is there a Provisional National Front?) back in 2011 Mr Owens was a leading light in the BNP, and a candidate for the National Assembly. But he was cynically denied victory by a “politically motivated” arrest for burning a copy of the Koran.

Or at least, that’s how the BNP reported it. This is how ITV’s Wales Tonight covered it. You’ll note that the WT report mentions that Owens has also been in the ‘Welsh’ Defence League. So it looks like he’s moved between different organisations . . . but only if you believe that the BNP, NF (Official or otherwise), and the W/EDL are separate organisations. Sion Owens 2In case anyone thinks I’m taking this too seriously, just take a look at some of those we’re discussing – booze, bellies and Burberry. Who is going to vote for people like these, even in a suit and a (pre-knotted) tie? But be thankful for that. Because in many continental countries fascism has in recent decades produced charismatic leaders, it has gained sympathy from official quarters, including Christian churches. On this island all we have is an embittered section of the white underclass reacting blindly – but always reacting! – to forces it does not understand and, because it does not understand, it has no hope of directing or controlling.

And finally, remember, these are the people so proud to be “WELSH” that when they go watch the Swans they wave a flag that doesn’t even acknowledge the existence of Wales!

Jun 052013
 

Over the past couple of days you’ve probably read or heard about what has been presented as a scandalous waste of public money on a silly idea for a “kung fu lodge” in Llangollen. This is how the BBC News website covered it. (The Public Accounts Committee reports can be found here.) Having followed this story for a couple of years, and spoken with Pol Wong, the man behind the project, quite a few times, I can tell you that the truth is very different. And rather worrying.

To get where we find ourselves today official documents have been altered; senior civil servants have been dishonest and partial; the Welsh Government deliberately misinformed the Public Accounts Committee; decent people have been scapegoated; while the former local Labour Assembly Member (Karen Sinclair) sank to a level of vindictiveness that would have drawn gasps of awed approval from the brothers and sisters down south.

A valuable and financially viable project, a project that could have become a national asset, was sabotaged because those behind it ‘didn’t fit’, they didn’t meet with the approval of the Labour Party and certain civil servants. Wales could have been home to the only officially-sanctioned Shaolin monastery outside China, but the party of Cledwyn Hughes and Jim Griffiths destroyed Pol Wongthe project because the man leading it is ‘too Welsh’.

Though I am convinced that the death-blow to the project was provoked by Pol’s simultaneous involvement in exposing the hitherto secret West Cheshire sub-regional strategy (in which ‘West Cheshire’ equates with north east Wales). The chronology persuades me that fighting this takeover of our north east made Pol enemies in high places, and they took their revenge.

For me there are three lessons to be drawn from this case:

1/ The Labour Party in Wales still contains too many anti-Welsh bigots. Bigots of the kind that would, in a normal country, be an embarrassment to any mainstream political party.

2/ Wales is in reality governed by civil servants, who can run rings around the buffoons sitting in the Assembly. Many of these civil servants operate with complete freedom because their authority comes from London, and this trumps anything in Cardiff. The perfect illustration of this would be the Local Development Plans being forced on Welsh local authorities by the English Planning Inspectorate.

3/ In a normal country, with a healthy and independent media, the story of Powys Fadog would be meat and drink for investigative reporters. In Wales today, all we have are sad and compliant outposts of London, or else regurgitators of press releases and promoters of Cardiff.

What follows is Pol Wong’s reponse the Public Accounts Committee report. It was originally issued – yesterday – as an e-mail. Pol has kindly allowed me to reprint it here, so that more people might learn the truth of the Powys Fadog / River Lodge project. (I decided to publish certain sections in bold type to highlight what I consider to be their significance.)

“Powys Fadog response to Welsh Government report on River Lodge – “half a story”.

The headline quote of the report is that “over £1.6m of public money has been wasted”. This is nonsense. The same could be said of any Welsh Government property bought at the top of the market and which has substantially reduced in value as a result of market forces. The Welsh Government still own a valuable asset in River Lodge, which they acknowledge is worth at least £500,000 in today’s market, so how can the money have been wasted? They still own the property. Similarly had the lease to Powys Fadog gone ahead, the Welsh Government would still have owned the building and Powys Fadog would have been obliged to pay a rent of £31,000 a year , which is an income for the public purse.

Value for money only became an issue from 2010 onwards, AFTER the Welsh Government stopped the project. The relevant officers with the relevant authority making the decisions, thought in their professional opinion that the project was value for money. Of course, these officers had read the business plan. It’s only many years later that these decision have been overturned without being quantified. As far as we know, the people who overturned these decisions don’t seem to know anything about the project.

Value for money is of course a very subjective issue. The purchase price was market value, this is now acknowledged through this report, therefore I think they need to explain why they think it was a waste of money.

If Powys Fadog had been successful then the value for money in terms of the project is proven. If it wasn’t successful then the building would have reverted back to the Government. Instead they’ve chosen to keep the building empty with a vague plan for a health centre, that has clearly been pushed through whilst holding back our project approval. Is that value for money?

We also need to look at value for money in terms of other projects and the criteria used for them. For example, Canolfan Cywain in Bala (more here and here), Nant Gwyrtheyrn*, the Royal Hotel in Llangollen. They’ve all received funding from the public purse which is many, many more times what Powys Fadog was looking for. Although we’re not knocking these projects, a hotel in Llangollen had £1m to refurbish the outside of their building,  and this was a private business. We are a not-for-profit social enterprise, the question we ask is: “what was different about our project?”

Generally, I think there is too much focus on what are very sweeping statements that are not detailed nor evidenced, concerning value for money. I think what is more important are some of the other issues that the report acknowledges. These point to much more worrying actions regarding the use of public money and public trust in the Government

The report clearly states that Powys Fadog had been treated unfairly. It also clearly states that there was a “tantamount communication blackout”, and explains that Powys Fadog were shut out of options for the site in 2010, when we were the most viable option on the table even according to the district valuer. Under those circumstances they ran our lease out of time and prevented us from securing any other funding. They did not act in good faith and even stopped our potential funders from viewing the site. We were never given chance to address any so called “issues”. None of the reasons for this treatment are addressed by the report.

Possibly the most concern should be the acknowledgement that a crucial document, which was an independent review of the project, that looked into all the issues raised by Karen Sinclair AM and those responsible for stopping the project, was altered. Again this was done AFTER the project was stopped not before. The report notes that the original review found no impropriety and that the value for money was fine. The amended report shows different conclusions.Karen Sinclair

When asked to provide the tracked changes of this vital evidence by the Committee, the Welsh Government refused to provide it to the Committee. This is unbelievable to any reasonable person and highlights serious issues in terms of honesty and integrity regarding the Governments story.

To summarise, we are happy to see that some things we’ve been saying for a long time have finally been acknowledged. We understand the remit of the report was quite narrow but it has flagged up some serious concerns which now need further investigation. There are far more serious issues raised in terms of public trust than the value for money headline, which seems to be a bit of a red herring.

The Welsh Government have a building that is sitting empty and deteriorating, instead of having a centre delivering jobs, a major development in health fitness, promoting the Welsh language and culture and history, along with education and community cohesion. The project has a viable business plan and will provide international out of season tourism to Llangollen. Is the money the Welsh Government spent stopping our project over the last 6 years value for money? Hundreds of thousand of pounds has been spent on solicitors and reports to avoid speaking to us. The whole way they’ve treated Powys Fadog and the message that gives out does not show the Welsh Government in a good light. The message is that the Welsh Government think it’s perfectly acceptable to do what they’ve done.

A substantial body of the evidence we submitted has not been considered, such as what was the legal issue that was raised to stop our project? This still hasn’t been answered. What is the value for money issue exactly? Also why was the Chris Munday report altered and why are they hiding it? Why did they close the door on us, was that fair? A lot of the evidence we submitted actually reveals another timeline of events, as yet undeclared, involving Karen Sinclair AM, Welsh Audit Office officers and Welsh Assembly officers and Ministers involved in the halting of the Powys Fadog project. Most of this evidence is already in the public domain.

In my evidence I declared that I thought the Welsh audit office report was not impartial due to communication between Karen Sinclair AM and the Wales Audit Office. Since I made that declaration, more evidence has come out through FOI that in fact Karen Sinclair and Audit Office officials, and the officers responsible for blocking the project were meeting at her home. Some of this evidence contains an arrangement to meet and discuss an unfinished disciplinary report in march 2010, between Karen Sinclair AM, Arwel Thomas (Welsh Government officer responsible for recommending the project was stopped) and Richard Harries of the Welsh Audit Office. Surely this speaks for itself and at the same time letters between the Health Board, various Ministers and Karen Sinclair demonstrate that plans for a health centre on the site were well under way whilst we were being subjected to our ‘communication blackout’ and the review document was being altered.

It is beyond doubt from the evidence that we have seen that the Welsh Government and the Wales Audit Office have deliberately misinformed the Public Accounts Committee. This is a very serious matter and should be investigated as a matter of urgency.”

*One of the income streams planned for River Lodge was residential Welsh courses. As this piece shows, there is definitely a demand for such courses. It may be argued that this would have put River Lodge in competition with Nant Gwyrtheyrn, but NG is solely for language courses whereas at River Lodge such courses would have been part of a wide range of activities and courses on offer. Also bear in mind the distance – some 80 miles – between the two locations.

Jun 032013
 

It’s official! Vincent Tan’s Malaysian Red Dragon Hobby Team is “bigger by miles” than the Swans, and will soon be Wales’ equivalent of Barcelona. How know I these things? Because they were written by Craig Bellamy and published today in the Wasting Mule. Two sources that can be trusted to give balanced and impartial assessments of all things Cardiff. But there was more to it than simply having a pop at the Swans.Bellamy

For example, “We could control Merthyr, Rhondda, Caerphilly. We could have them in lockdown.” “Lockdown” is a term used in the penal system, it means prisoners confined to their cells. A loss of even limited freedom. (Maybe it ties in with a theme I explore below.) Used in this context it seems to suggest that Bellamy views the Valleys as a possession of imperial Cardiff. After reading that, and if I lived in the Valleys, I would be getting worried about the prospects offered by the Cardiff city region.

Then there’s his flawed understanding of the roles played by Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona. Bellamy says: “We can build on our regional identity in the way Athletic Bilbao have placed themselves at the centre of Basque culture and Barcelona have become a focus for Catalunya.” “Regional”! He seems to see Euzkadi and Catalunya as nothing but regions of Spain. He doesn’t seem to appreciate that both clubs (Bilbao with its Basque-only players rule) represent the desire of two small nations for independence. Something else Bellamy overlooks is tBellamy 2hat Bilbao and Barcelona are owned by those sharing this ambition. Neither Bilbao nor Barcelona is owned by an unknown Oriental tycoon for whom the club is just another investment . . . someone who could walk away tomorrow.

I don’t want to sound too harsh, but Craig Bellamy has had more clubs than Jack Nicklaus, most of which have been glad to see the back of him. For throughout his career he has displayed a genius for wearing out his welcome wherever he’s gone. And that’s without the court appearances for the odd ‘altercation’. To counter the image this projects he goes to Africa now and again to be photographed with poor black kids. Image management of the kind Al Capone – the philanthropist to Chicago’s poor during the Great Depression – would have understood.

His publishers seem to have appreciated this and run with the theme, to judoctor-with-stethoscopedge by the title of the book, GoodFella, an obvious reference to Martin Scorsese’s 1990 gangster epic, GoodFellas. So which one is Bellers? Not Henry Hill, played by Ray Liotta; nor Robert De Nero’s Jimmy ‘the Gent’ Conway; I see him more as Tommy De Vito, played by Joe Pesci; the short one with the hair-trigger temper. The gangster motif is so blatant that even the noir-grungy picture used for the cover makes Bellamy look like a long dead associate of the Krays.

So what have we got here? Yet another book written by a fading footballer who never realised his potential. His publishers hope to sell more copies of the book by promoting the ‘bad boy’ image and by being provocative. As a result, this book is only for the most blinkered of Cardiff fans. Because I predict with certainty that it will not fly off the shelves in Glasgow, Liverpool, Newcastle or any of the other cities where Bellamy has played. And I can’t see any Swansea bookshops running out of copies either . . . that’s if they bother stocking it.

 

Jun 022013
 

Although it has yet to be officially confirmed, it now seems certain that last Wednesday Bob Clay, former MP for Sunderland North, was selected by the Llansamlet branch of the Swansea Labour Party to fight the by-election made necessary by the death of councillor Dennis James. As I speculated here might happen.

For those unfamiliar with Bob Clay, he is a public school-educated Trotskyite and admirer of George ‘Indefatigability’ Galloway. He is married to Uta, an Austrian, who was elected to serve the same ward at last year’s council elections. The Clays washed up in Swansea about five years ago, and moved to Llansamlet in August 2012, three months after Uta had been elected to represent the ward in the May council elections. More on the Clays and the farce that is Swansea Labour Party can be found, in chronological order, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

The reason for the delay in officially confirming the glad tidings may be due to the fact that not everybody is overjoyed with the decision of the ‘local’ branch. For example, were I David Phillips, the Labour leader of Swansea Council, the thought of Bob Clay behind me Benito Phillips, Il Duce Abertawecould only conjure up images of steel blades and shoulder blades (or, possibly, lamp posts). Then there’s the reaction from further up the feeding chain . . . what will Carwyn and the gang have to say? Though if it goes as far as ‘London’, then the earlier over-turning by London of Uta Clay’s suspension by Welsh Labour suggests the Clays may have friends in high places.

If the selection stands, and Bob Clay is elected, then Swansea will have to suffer yet another councillor who doesn’t know the city and who will, like so many others, use his position to promote himself and his pet issues. Reminding us that the Labour Party in Wales is going the same way as the Anglican church – the only way it can maintain a semblance of structure and a facade of strength is through relying on English immigrants for both its ‘clerics’ and its ‘communicants’. So much for ‘local’ government, and ‘Welsh’ Labour.

Finally . . . As you know from my previous post, as part of a re-evaluation of my life and in order to reduce the time I spend at my computer, I have closed my Twitter and Facebook accounts. So I am unable to check that another Swansea councillor, ex-student  John Bayliss, has also closed his Twitter account, @JohnCBayliss. If true, then it was almost certainly done on instructions ‘from above’, for John Boy is becoming an embarrassment to the Labour Party, especially since his recent reprimand from the Local Government Ombudsman for “inappropriate and disrespectful” tweets.

Poor Swansea!