Sep 192017
 

TWENTY YEARS ON

We are currently celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the referendum that gave us devolution. Ron Davies described it at the time as “a process not an event”, but little if any progress has been made.

In yesterday’s Llais y Sais Ron Davies was allowed to explain why he thinks devolution has failed to deliver, why it has not improved the lives of Welsh people. This seems to have been a print version of what he said the day before on radio (06:00) and television (15:26).

Llais y Sais allowed Carwyn Jones to respond, and his response was pathetic; hiding behind the shade of Rhodri Morgan and talking of increased powers rather than addressing the point raised by Ron Davies, which was that Wales is worse off today – in terms of wealth, health, education and other indices – than she was 20 years ago ergo devolution has failed to deliver. Few outside the Bay Bubble would disagree with Ron Davies.

But lurking in the shadows I perceive another threat, an existential threat to the continuing existence of Wales. A threat made easier to carry out because devolution has failed and because so many people in certain parts of Wales feel that devolution has delivered nothing for their area.

FERRY ‘CROSS THE MERSEY . . . AND MOVING TO BANGOR

Unlike Ireland and Scotland Wales does not have geography or topography on her side, we have a long border with England  and all but one of England’s major population centres are within two hours travelling time of Wales.

This plan for a ‘North Wales Metro’ rather gives the game away (click to enlarge)

Which made it relatively easy for Roman, Norman and English invaders to detach the more fertile, lowland areas from our control, largely confining our ancestors to the uplands. That Welsh nationhood survived was largely due to the fact that Wales had little else invaders coveted.

This helped preserve Welsh identity until the arrival of industrialisation, which impacted on areas that were overwhelmingly Welsh in character, and while the new-found prosperity naturally attracted immigrants these were largely assimilated. But time, an English education system, the resultant decline of the Welsh language, colonisation, tourism, lack of national leadership and other factors have taken their toll, to the point where plans are now being drawn up to finally do away with Wales altogether by dismembering our country.

Of course, these plans will never be called by their true name, they will always be presented as being ‘beneficial to Wales’.

Let’s start in the north east. The decline started with the arrival of the railways, and with them mass tourism. The Rhyl station of the Chester & Holyhead Railway Co opened on 1 May 1848. In the more industrial areas closer to the border Anglicisation took a different form with the importation of English workers and the banning of the Welsh language. Perhaps the most notorious example were the events that provoked the Mold Riots of 1869.

Despite it all, the north east remained Welsh, but it was inevitable that the factors I’ve mentioned eventually took their toll. The Flintshire of Daniel Owen, David Lloyd and Emlyn Williams is gone, replaced by what can often be mistaken for semi-rural suburbs of Merseyside.

Rhyl, the once-bustling holiday resort, is now a dumping ground for English criminals, with the town’s streets haunted by drug-addicts and their dealers. (The only plus would appear to be that the gangsters are killing each other quite regularly.) The same fate has befallen smaller communities on the north coast. And as this chaos wreaks havoc on Welsh communities Welsh politicians have done nothing.

So we arrive at the point where someone asks, ‘Oh dear, what can we do to ‘revitalise’ this region? I know! we’ll have closer cross-border co-operation.’ This was certainly the recommendation of the ‘Welsh’ Government’s City Regions Task and Finish Group’s Final Report, the group chaired by Elizabeth Haywood.

Who is Elizabeth Haywood? You don’t remember voting for this woman who wants to dismember Wales? Of course you never voted for her, nobody did; she’s Mrs Peter Hain, or Lady Hain, I suppose, since the Orange Man was ennobled. (You really should get all silly ideas about democracy and accountability out of your head, they’ll only confuse you in one-party Wales.)

The Mersey Dee Alliance to which Lady Hain refers is a body that has been in existence for some time, though it seems to have a strange idea of Welsh geography, or to go by this map that appeared on the MDA website it doesn’t accept the existence of Wales at all.

The prospect of our north east (or the whole north) being swallowed up by north west England would be bad enough, but as I explained last month in Gwynedd LDP, and Wider Considerations, the threat is not restricted to the old unitary authority of Clwyd.

Nor is this encroachment, this gradual takeover, confined to the north. If anyone was in any doubt about that, then statements made over the past few days should have made the threat very clear.

ENGLAND’S LITTLE MOUTHPIECE

One of the great conundrums of Welsh politics concerns the role of Secretary of State for Wales, and boils down to the question: ‘Is the Secretary of State for Wales the voice of Wales in the cabinet or the voice of the cabinet in Wales?’

Different Secretaries of State have provided different answers, but the current incumbent of that post, Alun Cairns MP, is most definitely – and perhaps more emphatically than any predecessor – the voice of the cabinet in Wales. Little more than a mouthpiece, but because he is a mouthpiece, we can more easily tell the plans of those who put the words into his mouth.

The thinking in London towards Wales now seems to come in two parts – gradually undo devolution and then dismember Wales.

On the first element of that dual-thrust approach I call to the witness stand Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales. The heading gives a clue to the content in “Brexit: Carwyn Jones objects to ‘hijack of devolved powers'”,  or “Ministers in London are trying to get the power to rewrite laws made in Wales – Carwyn Jones”, and a host of similar articles to be found on the internet.

Just about everyone outside of the Conservative and Unionist Party believes that Brexit will provide the excuse for Westminster to a) withhold powers repatriated from the EU, and b) ‘retrieve’ powers already devolved. While those inside the party know it but won’t openly admit it.

Even so, the clues come thick and fast. Alun Cairns was given a lot of space in Llais y Sais – with David Williamson serving as his amanuensis – to promote the idea of Cardiff detaching itself from Wales and linking up with Bristol in a Severnside region. (For some reason I can’t find the piece on the WalesOnline site.)

To ram home the message Llais y Sais chipped in with an editorial, one that went beyond Bristol to “the string of cities along the M4” which of course take us to London.

click to enlarge

I was so vexed by what I read, and incensed by the lies spouted by Cairns, that I took the unusual step of putting out a short post on my Facebook page.

On Monday morning Cairns maintained his assault on honesty with the claim that too much power is centralised in Cardiff . . . and this, remember, is the voice of the Conservative and Unionist Party that wants to centralise even more power in London!

Some might be tempted to agree with him, until they remember there’s little real power in Cardiff because Wales lacks an effective form of devolution. Of course, most people would agree that Cardiff gets more than its fair share of investment and jobs, and it was this resentment that Cairns hoped to tap into.

But let’s take him at his word. He says he wants to devolve power to the regions, he even talks of elected mayors. So would Wil Pughe of Llanfair Caereinion, like his counterparts in London and Manchester, have power over policing? Would Wil – as he has long desired – have control over local PCSO Cerys Evans?

Having one day advocated a Severnside region Cairns pushes on with a back-of-a-fag-packet suggestion masking a deeper message – ‘Devolution isn’t working for most of Wales. In fact, devolution isn’t working at all – let’s get rid of it.’

“Give power to the regions” is something trotted our regularly by the Tories, but it displays no real concern for the regions at all, it’s just a method of doing away with devolution and undermining our sense of nationhood.

DIVIDED, DISMEMBERED, DESTROYED

What of the areas left outside the shining megalopolis of ManPool and the ‘string of cities’ from Cardiff to London?

The remainder of the northern coastal strip along the A55, or those areas not being used to house drug addicts and criminals from over the border, or serving as geriatric ghettoes, will become commuter communities, even over the bridge onto Ynys Môn, as I found out by accident.

For when trawling the internet I often turn up things I wasn’t looking for, such as the map below, produced by Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners. They know that there are three Strategic Development Areas (or Strategic Planning Areas) for Wales, the two city regions and the A55 Corridor. I found a number of other references to the A55 Corridor: here’s one, here’s another.

All the sources tell us that these three SDAs/SPAs will be brought into existence by the Planning (Wales) Act 2015, which received Royal Assent on July 6.

click to enlarge

So why, two years on, are the chattering classes only talking of the two city regions? Is the A55 Corridor a dirty secret being proceeded with by stealth? Interestingly, one feature demanded by a SDA/SPA is joint Local Development Plans, which might explain why Gwynedd and Ynys Môn were recently required to produce one.

The area between the A55 Corridor and the urban south is to become one vast recreation and retirement area for England, offering everything from granny farms and zip wires to Cheshire-sur-Mer (Abersoch), the Birmingham Riviera (Cardigan Bay), and Bear Grylls parting suckers from their money with his ‘get-muddy-and-pretend-you’re-in-the-SAS!’ bollocks.

With assorted ‘Care’ bodies, probation companies and housing associations taking in England’s decrepit, dysfunction, delinquent and downright criminal. For housing ex-cons pays well.

The Valleys are to endure yet more managed decline, the Swansea region will be offered scraps from Cardiff’s table, while Cardiff itself expands and grows fat through exploiting its capital status but simultaneously playing the English provincial city, increasingly linked to Bristol and “the string of cities along the M4”.

Cardiff being a player in Severnside will be welcomed by those Cardiff politicians, such as Russell Goodway, who have always wanted Cardiff to enjoy all the benefits of being capital of Wales while looking down their noses at everything Welsh.

Result: Wales enfeebled, fragmented and exploited as never before. There can only be one outcome.

WHO CAN WE TRUST?

It should go without saying that we cannot trust an individual, or a political party, that has allowed this situation to develop.

Wales is being assaulted from all sides, yet Carwyn Jones may be motivated by loss of prestige rather than the loss of nationhood, or maybe it’s the thought of his party losing its vast network of patronage that moves him to stand alongside Nicola Sturgeon.

The Tories of course are driving this project and they’ll be supported by Ukip. As for the Lib Dems, well, who cares? Which leaves only Plaid Cymru.

Seeing as the destruction of Wales has little to do with Donald Trump, refugees, or trans-gender toilets, and is only tangentially connected with another of Plaid’s current obsessions, Brexit, it would be unrealistic to expect any opposition from Plaid Cymru.

In addition, Plaid Cymru is unsuited for the coming fight because, being a civic nationalist party that welcomes everyone (especially those with ‘ishoos’) – and by so doing supports the colonialist system that sees Wales exporting talent and importing problems – it is psychologically incapable of standing up in a struggle in which it will have to be said, ‘No, you’re not dumping any more of your problems in our country!’

And yet, one doesn’t even need to be a nationalist, or a believer in independence, to become involved in the forthcoming struggle. All that’s needed is the belief that Wales is a nation, with a defined and accepted territory, and that both must be respected.

But our enemies are gathering, they’ve laid their plans, they’ve even told us their plans, so we must resist.

Are you up for the coming fight?

♦ end ♦

  69 Responses to “An Existential Threat to Wales”

  1.  

    A “tour de force”. I hope politicians of any political party can provide a rejoinder, I doubt they can or will.

  2.  

    Note what Alan Cairns is saying about the Assembly and how, in his view, the regions are neglected. I agree that Cardiff gets the lion’s share, but anyone believing that duplicitous shit, Cairns, and the rest of the Tory rabble are genuinely concerned about Wales and its people is an idiot.

    •  

      Daley, where’ve you been, we’ve missed you! And you’re right, again.

    •  

      Been out of the loop for a couple of days, but good to come back to such a succinct accurate view of Mr Cairns’ stance on matters Welsh.

      Between London’s creeping plans to dismember Wales by bolting bits of it on to the regimes leading English conurbations and the passivity of Welsh Labour and our drippy Plaid, guardians of Wales,we are definitely into a period of extreme danger to our nation’s future identity. Bits deemed “not worth a lot” will get handed over to “entrepreneurs” like Bare Grills to develop into leisure/recreation amenities for tired Anglos. The native Welsh won’t be able to afford such treats unless employed in the bankster/political/corporate bubble.

  3.  

    Old Ron Davies is a good sort, I’ve always had a lot of time for him. I’ve often contemplated that deep down he is more Nationalistic and less ‘Socialist’ than many in Plaid’s hierarchy. In fact there was a time when it was whispered that he was going to defect to Plaid. Maybe that would have been a positive step for us ‘Welshies’.

    Devolution however is not a failure. A devolved Cymru, run by a one party system is a TOTAL disaster – that’s why our country is now, in terms of wealth, health, education and other indices – worse off than she was 20 years ago.

    The problem is Welsh Labour and not devolution per sey

    On the question of ‘regionalisation’ has no one wondered why we have such a strong east – west road and rail infrastructure connecting us with England? On the other hand, why is the north – south connection ignored, simple, it’s designed to divide our country, whilst strengthening our connection with Gwlad Y Sais. It is a planned strategy to allow the flow of demographic colonial flooding. As for those ludicrously labelled “corridors”, that’s exactly what they are easy access corridors into our country by the colonisers, whilst limiting the flow of our own country’s population. Simple innit?

    As for the ‘Wasting Mule’ – surprised? I’m not in the least. I’m just surprised that it’s comment was toned down from what they actually mean to say. Who reads that crap anyway? I wouldn’t put it down on my dog’s kennel floor for him to shit on it – it’s that bad!

  4.  

    Funny this one. I’ve been commenting on a Guradian thread as “wiliwonka” on an article by Huw Edwards: Comments such as these crop up:

    SwanseaPeacefulguy 9h ago

    In reality, the idea that Wales is a country of closely related communities bound by a common culture is a myth. I was born and raised in Swansea and feel a far greater affinity with Bristol than I do with, say, Rhyl. In fact, I would go as far as to say that while many people in Swansea and Cardiff could easily negotiate the streets of Clifton and the Broadmead and may have friends across the Seven Bridge, they would struggle to locate Bangor or Wrexham on a map.

    I would suggest that people in north Wales would likewise feel a greater affinity with neighbouring English cities, such as Liverpool or Manchester, than they do with Swansea or Cardiff. The culture of the former coal-mining Welsh Valleys is again totally different from Welsh speaking rural Wales and the relatively cosmopolitan cities of the south Wales coast.

    While there are definitely factors that identify Wales as being a distinct country, separate from England, they are not as strong as the nationalists might like us to believe, and I would contend that outside of sport (where there is a passionate and very vocal support of any Welsh national team) there is little to bind the regions.

    •  

      Guardian is a useless rag. I used to spend a fair bit of time reading it… then i realised I had very little in common with many of those who commented there and the articles they posted. I then stopped going there. Their kind of Liberalism does not accommodate Welsh identity. There is also similarities between Guardian ideals and many prominent features of Plaid Cymru’s ideals these days… explains why Welsh identity seems to have disappeared from the main menu doesn’t it?

      •  

        Totally agree, but Huw wrote a nice piece yesterday that grabbed my eye. You can’t just ignore them, when lots of people are reading them and getting their ideas from them. I think Plaid has just shot themselves in the foot again – suspending Neil McEvoy yet again – how much of that is he going to put up with?.

        •  

          No doubt Bethan Jenkins has got the daggers out (behind closed doors)yet again for her ex partner Neil 🙁

        •  

          If there were that many people reading it, they’d not be begging for money – nor turning out so much clickbait.

          As for the McEvoy fiasco… when the leadership was mentioned a few months ago Bethan Jenkins immediately implied McEvoy. When this issue started she rather publicly challenged him on Facebook. I found that amateur for starters and there’s clearly dirty laundry being aired which reflects back on Plaid and Welsh nationalism. Suspension seems a bit much for disagreeing on something like RTB… personally I think neither option is perfect its just personal preference. However for it to get so serious as that… i see the suspension being more controversial than the reason for being suspended in the first place.

          Honestly I think Plaid set me off early this week. It was Owain Glyndwr day on Saturday. The leader of Plaid Cymru managed one re-post on Facebook of Adam Price about the flag being flown over the Senedd. A Welsh national hero who managed to unite Wales and formed a Welsh parliament. Surely the leader of Plaid Cymru could have made more of an effort?

          Respect to Adam Price on it though.

          •  

            It’s advertising, not sales of copies, that provides the printed media with a sustainable income. The Guardian is a liberal (note small ‘l’) that continues to keep news and opinion separate and that’s something its rivals cannot claim without lying.
            The Guardian posts comments from readers without them going through a vetting process. Many newspapers will only publish comments that meet with the approval of the editors. Consequently, you’ll get all sorts posting btl comments such as the one Trailorboy quotes from the Huw Edwards opinion piece. On the same thread as used by SwanseaPeacefulguy, someone accuses Huw E of bias and praises Andrew Neil for impartiality – Iesu Mawr !

    •  

      Always use quotation marks, please 😉

      Anyway, the comment itself from ‘SwanseaPeacefulguy’ is absolute nonsense but a typical tactic of the english nationalists, “I was born and raised” followed by anti-Welsh racist diatribe etc

      •  

        No I think there is more here – admittedly I’ve been baiting a bit to get comments, but the responses are too well developed in my mind, to be random trolls.

        They will close down the comments on that article soon – worth a look.

  5.  

    The Mersey Dee Alliance with their West Cheshire sub region land grabbing b******s need to go. It costs the north east authorities tens of thousands to be part of the MDA, fuming looking at that map but their plans go back to at least 2006, probably further. We tried in Wrexham over a decade ago now to shine a light on all this.

    •  

      Could you explain about the land grabbing, Carrie?

      •  

        A reference to the North East Wales/West Cheshire sub regional strategy, devised by the MDA to ‘create a new sub region with it’s own distinct identity’ between the north West of England and north east Wales. Essentially about building thousands of houses across north Wales due to land supply/planning issues around Chester/Cheshire etc and to act as supply for the Liverpool City region. This is the plan we collected 24,000 signatures against and delivered to the Petitions Committee. They scrapped the plan as a result of the campaign (in name at least) but the plan was always to deliver the housing through the LDP’s, which is exactly what has happened since.

  6.  

    And the luvvie-lickers, crook-coddlers and hippie-huggers in what passes for the ‘leadership’ of Ddy Parti Of Wêls have just suspended one of the few worthwhile politicians they have yet again!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-41320685

    •  

      The problem for Plaid Cymru is that the very ones who don’t like McEvoy and his style, those who still exert influence from the shadows, are the ones driving Plaid into oblivion.

      •  

        From the shadows? Like who? Name and shame the traitors!

        •  

          His ex-partner Bethan Jenkins for one 🙁

          •  

            Yes, anon. You are correct.

            The McEvoy suspension is nothing to do with ‘party policy’ but a personal vendetta from an ex-partner, namely Bethan Jenkins, who had led a ‘rule book’ charge, quoting standing orders, procedural litigation and personal sniping. It’s a bizarre situation where a political party which seeks to be the government of Wales and lead the nation to self determination is wracked by ‘you said – she said’ domestics. It might be suitable for student caucuses and ‘demo politics’ of the campus. An snotty email I got from Bethan was the final straw. It read like a drunk semi-pubescent twitter whinge. Not what you’d expect from a Plaid AM.

            To clarify matters…

            Neil McEvoy actually voted according to the group responsibility and in favour of an outright ban on the sale on council houses. All Plaid Cymru AMs were unanimous in this, and supported. His crime was to suggest that in certain circumstances a local authority should have the option to sell council houses to long-tem tenants, not in the asset stripping way of the Tories, but so the income can be used to build replacement council stock. It would apply where the existing private purchase housing market is beyond the life earnings of the working class (like Cardiff), allow poor people to buy their homes, and in return build a replacement council property. It’s a valid point of flexibility.

            The reality is that failure to allow this to happen in cities like Cardiff is the same effect as it does in London. Social cleansing, the creation of sink estate ghettos and social exclusion. Incidently, it was the socialist Labour government of 1945 to 1951 that created the concept of purchasing equity in state housing, as in new towns like Cwmbran Corporation.

            It should also be noted that Plaid Cymru party policy is against Nuclear power, yet not one Plaid AM has been suspended for supporting Wylfa. It’s also party policy to support badger culling as a measure to tackle bTB, yet no Plaid AM has been suspended for speaking against. It’s only Neil McEvoy that’s been singled out. On a speech that suggests a possible solution to housing issues that may apply, even though he voted with the collective responsibility of the Plaid group in the Senedd.

            I had expected Leanne Wood to lead the party in an inclusive manner, not be bossed about by a self interested executive, some of whom are just motivated by petty domestics and others who don’t have the character or backbone to develop a legislative competence to represent ALL the communities of Wales. I have diverted my membership subscription and occasional election donation to the SNP. They can show how it’s done. I can still do on-the-ground campaigning for Plaid candidates who are (a) representative of the diverse communities which they purport to unite and represent, and (b) where the candidate is from and chosen by those very communities.

            Here’s a guitarist who grew up on a street where the Derry Housing Action Committee demanded to same access to corporation housing and the right to buy as those more privileged and ostracised in that fine city. He never forgot where he came from…

            Apt?

            •  

              before it disappears into a puddle of its own fluids Plaid would do well to sign you and a few like you to write up some clear articulate thoughts. McEvoy aside, there is now considerable evidence that the so called leadership group are set up as some sort of gang and they and their own discreet self interests will set the pace and direction of policy and activity.

              •  

                I bet its a bunch of people sat around a table too afraid to talk for fear of getting drowned out by those who talk loudest… something like you’d find in a school.

      •  

        Seems like the whole Party is going down the pan big time. McEvoy gets hung out to dry by the bunch of careerists grey people who couldn’t excite any enthusiasm among the very communities that are crying out for representation. I wouldn’t single out any of the tossers as it looks like the entire leadership is corrupted by an urge to be seen to be compliant with some perverse standards they have absorbed from groupthink influencers/pace setters acting like a rampant virus within Plaid.

  7.  

    The short answer to your question Jac. Yes, we are up for the coming fight. Where you lead we will follow.

    •  

      I’m now minded to call an open meeting in Aberystwyth before the end of the year to decide on a way forward. But my involvement is very unlikely to extend beyond calling and advertising the meeting.

      •  

        You arrange it – and if you want a hand in some way give me a call. We’re overdue for our regular cafe mug of coffee meet anyway. When are you in Aber next?

  8.  

    Just re-reading the original posting and found – “……the destruction of Wales has little to do with Donald Trump, refugees, or trans-gender toilets, and is only tangentially connected with another of Plaid’s current obsessions, Brexit, it would be unrealistic to expect any opposition from Plaid Cymru.”

    Excellent summing up of the Party suffering the most self inflicted impotence in history.No appetite for real confrontational politics, loves a cuddle with peripheral causes.

  9.  

    When and where is the next Plaid annual conference ? You know that thing where one or two serious issues are touched upon before everyone hops onto the current flavour of the month, probably the debate about colour schemes for transgender toilets at football stadiums being insufficiently inclusive.

    Now that might be a good time for a number of entryists ( is that a Kinnockian, Blairite or Corbynite term ?) to turn up and start giving the lentil munching, millimetre-deep thinkers a hard time. Just pick the lazy bastards up on 5 or 6 key points relevant to the making /revival of a nation. Adam Price,Neil McEvoy & young Ben Lake might have some ideas, not all to my liking, but at least they have ideas. Then I start scratching to find anyone with that blend of intellectual depth and hitting power to drive arguments assertively right through to conclusion a few years down the track. This band of dippy souls like to embrace common causes that come pre-resolved so that political confrontation is avoided or becomes a matter of grandstanding pretence.

    So out with the fuckin’ lot of them and in with a new leadership team. Let all the prancing pretenders waltz off to Carwyn’s mob where they won’t last long with the class of gorilla that’s beating around in that jungle. Maybe they’ll be happiest in Vince’s yellow LibDem cart where not many will trouble them and they can embrace whatever daft causes that takes their fancy.

  10.  

    This ‘final solution’ of splitting Wales between Merseyside and Severnside seems to be the motivation behind every single thing Alun Cairns says at the moment. Here he is again endorsing the idea of a new ferry between South Wales and Devon which, according to this story, he states will ‘bind the two regions’ together:

    •  

      Taken in isolation I wouldn’t normally worry about this, I remember as a boy using the old paddle steamer between Swansea and Ilfracombe. But when it’s added to his other pronouncements, then it makes you wonder if someone has put some grand design in his head and it’s coming out in flat pack format for us to put together.

      •  

        I’m a bit surprised that he hasn’t yet advocated a ferry or bridge or a tunnel from somewhere on the South side of Pembroke right across to Hartland Point ( c.50 miles !) just to create a jumbo concept of being inclusive which all these tossers advocate as they think we fall for it every time. Token gestures, even a speed boat from Penarth to Weston every 5 minutes, aren’t worth a light unless people are earning a decent wage to fund these trips, or business activity is such that new ways of getting from A to B are warranted. I think we can tuck this one away with the rest in the 2017(Summer)volume of Cairns’ scrapbook of daft ideas.

        •  

          I would suggest keeping on tunneling beyond Hartland Point and surface in Bude:

          •  

            Excellent creativity !

            •  

              O/T
              I was listening to Radio Cymru a couple of days ago and there was talk of an event in Cardiff to end homelessness in Wales in 10 years. Llamau were mentioned. I just did a search on them to see that Jac’s already given them a mention http://jacothenorth.net/blog/tag/frances-beecher/ . I just felt like wanting to pop down to Cardiff and grabbing the BBC reporter and giving him a few slaps across the face for being so unquestionably accepting of what was said. If homelessness in Wales was in theory eradicated then every single homeless person from England and further afield would make their way here. In fact, as it stands, wouldn’t every person who is homeless and an EU citizen make his or her way to the UK to be housed in Wales? Am I missing something? Incidentally, LlamauUK’s (where does the UK part fit into this?) twitter feed is more or less a party political broadcast or was that Frances Beecher’s feed? ‘She says she was inspired by one of the speeches of Jane Hutt, a Welsh Minister and Assembly Member.’

              http://www.jomec.co.uk/intercardiff/global-city/10-influential-women-in-cardiff

              Mutual admiration:

              http://www.llamau.org.uk/news/i/214/

              We need somebody to be asking difficult questions of these third sector orgs as you’ve pointed out Jac.

              •  

                As someone with a keen interest in the Third Sector, I’m wondering if Jac has been following the Daily Post online over the last few days. The stories galore re the drug problems and homelessness that are now blighting much of north Wales with hot spots in Rhyl and Wrexham reached a peak a couple of days ago when the Post reported that Councillors in Rhyl summoned the Chief Constable Mark Polin before them to tell him that the police are ‘failing miserably’, that local residents now feel unsafe even in their own homes such are the turf wars between drug dealers and street crime.

                The Welsh Gov’t continues to give millions to CAIS to provide ‘substance abuse services’ as well as services for the homeless in north Wales. CAIS was established in the late 70s. They have held the contract for substance abuse and alcohol services for north Wales since the mid 1990s. CAIS can’t do it. They are not, in the parlance of management-speak ‘delivering’. I wonder when the Welsh Gov’t are going to notice.

                Jane Hutt has built her career on ‘inspiring’ other women. As a woman myself presumably I am too supposed to be inspired by Jane. I am not. Jane actually epitomises the worst sort of female politician – except perhaps for people like Margaret Thatcher and Beata Brooks who repackaged greed and callousness as ‘strength’.

                Jane worked as a social worker at a time where it is now acknowledged that gangs of paedophiles with links to organised crime actively infiltrated children’s social services across the UK, including of course in Wales. This problem became so great that one could not work in social work and not know that something was terribly wrong. Most of the profession remained either in complete denial or scared shitless into silence.

                The other group of people who knew what was happening were people who worked with mental health charities or Women’s Aid. Both of these sectors had extensive contact with vulnerable low income people many of whom had been abused whilst in care or who had relatives who were.

                A number of people who worked in social work in the 70s and 80s were also involved in Women’s Aid. Jane Hutt is one such person. Hutt then established Chwarae Teg, a huge Third Sector organisation committed to women’s equality. She then became an AM, then Minister for Health and Social Services.

                Hutt held the Health/Social Services remit during and after the Waterhouse Inquiry, the biggest inquiry into child abuse that the UK had ever seen. Even that cover-up had to admit that a paedophile ring had been operating through the social services in north Wales. A number of witnesses had been found dead in questionable circumstances.

                I do not remember Hutt even squeaking about any of this. She was eventually forced to resign as Health Minister because of the plummeting performance of the NHS. Whilst Hutt was Health Minister, I was being subjected to an all out vendetta – which included threats and assault – by the associates of the North Wales Paedophile Ring employed in the social services and the NHS. Hutt ran those services whilst it all happened. There was massive, entrenched institutional corruption at work and Hutt knew it.

                I believe that Hutt knew about the abuse of children and psychiatric patients decades ago – if I did and friends of mine in social work and Women’s Aid did, she will have. She has remained completely silent. (Hutt was also a Councillor in the Cardiff area when the scam that was Corruption Bay was underway.)

                Hutt has done absolutely nothing for disadvantaged women (or of course men) – she and women like her who built careers in politics after careers in social work and similar professions whilst advertising their alleged feminist credentials have cheated and leeched off other women.

                The Hutt route became a well-established path for women to enter politics. Julie Morgan was a social worker who thinks that she’s a feminist who entered politics. Julie was married to Rhodri, the First Minister, who gave Hutt her job as Health Minister. The two are old friends. Rhodri was the man who appointed Dr Brian Gibbons as Health Minister after the failure that was Hutt. Gibbons was the man who wrote me a letter saying ‘this correspondence is closed’ after I told him that I had documentary and witness evidence of criminal activity in the north Wales NHS and social services.

                There are many more Hutts in both the Sennedd and Parliament – female politicians who have followed previous careers in social work or the Third Sector and are remaining silent about some real horrors. Leanne is one in Wales and the Labour Party in England is full to bursting with them – Lisa Nandy is the most nakedly ambitious one, she hopes to push Corbyn out and succeed him. Lisa describes herself as the first women MP for her constituency (Wigan)and as an Asian MP from a Bengali family.

                Who actually is Lisa Nandy? She is the granddaughter of Lord Frank Byers, the Liberal Peer who concealed the barrel of shit that was Jeremy Thorpe. Norman Scott appeared in front of Byers at a secret inquiry in 1971 and TOLD him about Thorpe. Byers hurled abuse at him. Norman Scott was so distressed at Byers that he then went to the police (who of course did bugger all). At Thorpe’s trial in 1979 it was revealed that Thorpe first discussed having Norman Scott murdered in 1969. Two years before Lisa’s granddad hurled abuse because Scott had raised his concerns about Thorpe’s behaviour.

                Norman Scott only got as far as Frank Byers in the first place because his friend with whom he shared a house was a Liberal activist whose father had known Emlyn Hooson. She was so concerned at what Thorpe was doing to Scott that she wrote to Hooson and he subsequently set up the inquiry with Byers leading it. A year later the lady concerned was found dead. The inquest verdict was ‘alcohol poisoning’. Norman Scott gave evidence at the inquest that she had committed suicide because she was so horrified at what had gone on in the Liberal Party and at her failure to be able to help him. But then Norman was mad wasn’t he – he also claimed that he feared for his life at the hands of Thorpe’s friends…

                (The full details of Lisa’s granddad and the sordid details of his friends’ activities are on my own blog, so I won’t go further into them here.)

                As for Lisa being ‘Asian’ from a ‘Bengali family’ – her mum, Lord Frank Byers’s daughter, is no more Bengali than I am, although her father is. Which makes Lisa mixed race. As well as 1/4 Frank Byers of course.

                But what’s honesty and transparency got to do with anything when you’re in pursuit of a political career Jane?

                Jane’s husband, Michael Trickey, is a member of Wales Public Services 2025. My heart sank when I found this out, because I presumed that he would simply ensure that Jane’s gravy train continued for many more years. However I was entertained to see him on TV somewhat flummoxed after the recent report that confirms that Wales is running out of dosh fast and in 4 yrs time there will be no money for any other services than the NHS if the NHS budget is not reined in. Mark Drakeford admits that he is faced with a problem. The Mark Drakeford who is now the Finance Minister, who used to be the Health Minister, who sat down for a paned with the BMA and ignored the abuse and neglect that was endemic in the mental health services in the Betsi Health Board. The Mark Drakeford who was Rhodri’s advisor when I was begging someone to DO SOMETHING about the NHS in north Wales. The Mark Drakeford who used to be a social worker…

                The chickens are finally coming home to roost. But unfortunately Wales has been completely fucked in the process, people have endured misery and have even died unnecessarily and the public services are broken. Jane is talking about retiring soon. No doubt Mark will be thinking about the same thing. Off to live out their retirements on their pension pots funded from the public purse.

                Unlike you I’m a leftie Jac, but I really cannot defend ‘socialists’ like these.

                •  

                  Daffy2012 – I’ve just read the links that you supplied. Oh God if these are inspiring women I think that I’m going to have to change sex…

                  (I don’t think that I can be a real woman anyway – I’m not ‘passionate’ or ‘inspirational’ or a ‘strong woman’. I understand that all these things necessary these days to pass as being female.)

                •  

                  sally

                  very interesting about Jane Hutt – she covered up for Swansea Social Services. The death of Aaron Gilbert precipitated an inquiry [of sorts] which dealt with some of the failures but never dealt with the one’s she was informed of – and where Women’s Aid effectively run or direct its child protection services.

                  •  

                    I remember the case of Aaron well, but I didn’t know that Hutt or Women’s Aid was involved. I researched and wrote about Aaron for a book that I co-authored five years ago.

                    The case was shot through with the most dreadful stupidities – ‘failure’ does not even begin to describe it.

                    Aaron’s parents were two volatile young people know to be in need of care and support themselves – no-one ever asked why that hadn’t been forthcoming. As in the case of Baby P, after the baby’s death, senior managers of the social services shrieked ‘we weren’t the one’s who killed him, we can’t do anything about wicked mad people’. Then in that case we’ll sack the lot of you and save on your salaries.

                    I think it was in Aaron’s case where a neighbour had rung the social services to tell them that Aaron was in danger, but the call had been ignored because the neighbour used ‘inappropriate’ language. I think the neighbour had said that Aaron’s mother was hanging about with ‘slags and junkies’ or something and was neglecting Aaron. That may not be terminology used by social workers in their reports but can you imagine people so stupid that they are unable in translate vernacular language??

                    After Aaron was killed I seem to remember that it was revealed that Swansea Social Services had been in meltdown for years. I think that someone was sacked – but then won an appeal.

                    It is utterly hopeless. Hutt and co have so much to answer for. I know good women who have walked away from Women’s Aid, unhappy at what was going on.

            •  

              I tend to reserve this for 1st April but I made another map post-election:

              England to gain six new counties in post-election shakeup but plans criticised by Plaid Cymru:

              •  

                Most of our place names are already English. Swansea… Cardiff. Away with Anglicised place names! Most simple thing in the world… Plaid Cymru disappeared too far up its own arsehole to think of that one!

                •  

                  If your intention is to to divide Wales irrevocably then put that into practice. Swansea (Sven’s ey) is a Norse name and has been the name of the town for over a thousand years and has been used by scores of generations of its people. They are no less Welsh for that. To deny them of their history and folk memory will not only gratuitously insult them but will ensure that they will always oppose rather than support. Have you thought that through ?

                  •  

                    It’s already divided for one. For two that’s a gross exaggeration of simply dropping the English name for it. It’s not a name change. Abertawe has been its name for a thousand years… and considering its the Welsh name probably longer. Scores of generations? Same could be said about the Welsh name. I guess it all comes down to what the dominant language was in the area a hundred years ago doesn’t it? 1891… there were about 46% Welsh speakers in Swansea… and that is post blue books. Go back 10 years before I bet Welsh was the dominant language to the populous… what do you think they called it? Swansea or Abertawe?

                    I never said the people inside Swansea were any less Welsh. I merely pointed out that we shouldn’t need to have Anglicised place names on signs. To deny them their history and folk memory? Ever thought that accepting the name in the first place was that? Denying that its a Welsh place in Wales sounds pretty colonial to me. In fact I bet its only called Swansea in the modern day for the same reason as Caerdydd is Cardiff… the product of some clerical decision which was just accepted.

                    I think you’re talking a lot of hypotheticals.

                  •  

                    Swansea (Sven’s ey) is a Norse name and has been the name of the town for over a thousand years and has been used by scores of generations of its people. They are no less Welsh for that.

                    You’re off on a tangent my friend – the same tangent that gets habitually rolled out by those with a chip on their shoulder, bourne out of a misplaced belief that they are perceived as inferior Cymry by others who have a full compliment of attributes – including their native language. Get over it.

                    The number of times I’ve heard that monotonous quip “I’m no less of a Welshman than you are – just because I don’t speak Welsh”, that was mostly during the 30 years I spent in Caerdydd, Cwmbrân and Y Rhondda. It amounts to a cartload of bollocks.

                    By the way who gave ‘Sven’ the right to call it “Sven’s ey” (which is a disputed urban myth anyway). What the hell do you think it was called before it was invaded by Vikings? Happy with colonial place names are you?

                •  

                  I’ve been moaning about the ridiculousness of ‘dual’ place names for more years than I care to count. E.g. Aberteifi/Cardigan, Abergwaun/ Fishguard, Abertawe/ Swansea, Caerdydd/ Cardiff etc. etc. All these places have the unnecessary Anglo name on every sign.

                  Then some twat spouts – “it’s good to be bilingual” (although the only truly bilingual people in our country are the Welsh speakers!). Or a better one is – “people who can’t read Welsh would be confused”.

                  So how come there’s no problem with Machynlleth, Dolgellau or Llanelli – probably the hardest place names to pronounce for an English speaking monoglot!

                  It’s a bloody madness. And Plaid will steer a mile from the debate. Why? Because a) they’re spineless and b) they’re scared shitless of upsetting the Brit Nats in our midst. A real recipe for success there then. Make no mistake, Plaid is a chocolate tea-pot. Not fit for purpose.

                  •  

                    I’m an English speaking monoglot and I have no problem with any of them. Most places in the Valleys retain their Welsh names but as soon as you get to places the Welsh Assembly gives a shit about they get their English names… Cardiff! Bridgend! Or even down in popular English retirement locations… and of course Haverfordwest! Which regardless of some Viking naming it… there’s still a Welsh version of it: Hwlffordd!

                    Just no excuse for it. Gives people practice with Welsh words in regular conversation as well.

                    •  

                      Good on you CambroUiDunlainge. We could do with a few more of your ilke in our camp – regardless of where they come from – as long as they have a fair and healthy attitude towards these injustices and wrongs.

                    •  

                      Well the Valleys is exactly the area Welsh nationalism needs to flourish! (and I think our identity does in its own way)

                      Alas I’m merely a product of Welsh speaking families who moved into the south in recent generations and experienced whats been going on first hand… so I’m very much the wolf in sheeps clothing. 😉

  11.  

    Plaid’s annual smug fest is scheduled for 20th Oct at Galeri Caernarfon, with a big Dinner at Seiont Manor, Llanrug for those who desparately need to schmooze with Plaid’s “big names”. All for 40.00 plus grub thrown in. So the schmoozing can’t be worth much. Sounds more like a chance to do some cozy mutual admiration rather than influencing and introducing worthy ideas.

    Nice opportunity for discussing with Leanne and Co the value of her recent trip to a Basque education conference, no doubt telling them how to fuck up an education system within no time at all. Plaid’s input to the decline of standards in Wales is summed up in their unwillingness/inability to hold Labour to account for their systematic erosion of standards. Was that also part of a plot to produce a higher percentage of low achievers tailor made for those service industries they are so fond of attracting ?

  12.  

    I see that while the BBC has a news blackout on the events taking shape in Catalunya, they are also wiping out any mention of Welsh history in their coverage of events this weekend in Wales. We see here..

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-41361549

    The BBC reports : “Pendine became synonymous with land speed attempts since Sir Malcolm Campbell broke the record in the legendary Blue Bird in the 1920s. Welshman JG Parry-Thomas died trying to break the record at Pendine in 1927.” With a photo of ‘Blue Bird’, Cambells car.

    The actual events were that on April 28th 1926 the land speed record was set by Parry-Thomas in the car ‘Babs’, at 170mph. It was at Pendine. He broke Campbells previous record of 150mph.

    Parry-Thomas then held the world land speed record for a year.

    Campbell did win BACK the world title at Pendine on 4th April 1927 edging up to 174mph and whilst Parry-Thomas died on 3rd March of that year attempting to re-capture the title. Campbell only held the record for a month. The record being taken by Henry Segrave at Daytona Beach in the United Sates on 29th March of that same year, setting the record at 203mph.

    Here’s the photo of ‘Babs’ setting the record at Pendine which the BBC could not find.
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d3/Parry_Thomas_and_Babs%2C_Pendine%2C_April_1926_%28Our_Generation%2C_1938%29.jpg

    The BBC report the death of the Welshman yet fails to report that in fact he held the world land speed record for much longer, and it was set by a Welshman in Wales. The car, “Babs”, was retrieved at restored by Owen Wyn Owen of Capel Curig and now rests as one of the great “hidden” treasure of Carmarthenshire County Council. But don’t tell the BBC.

    •  

      Makes you wonder who writes the ‘Welsh’ news.

      Here’s a gem from yesterday’s Llais y Sais. The neo-Nazi squaddies were in court in London, one of them, Mikko Vevilainen is based in Brecon. I couldn’t understand why Llais y Sais described him as Welsh. So I put out a tweet and had a response from one of the reporters mentioned in the byline. (Both reporters work for the Press Association.) He said, “Hello, we never wrote that he was Welsh. That’s been added in by the paper.”

      Was that down to somebody in Cardiff trying to give the story a Welsh angle? If so, then it could have been done by stating that he’s based in Wales, there was no need to float the idea of Welsh neo-Nazis . . . unless of course, that was the intention.

  13.  

    I see that Carwyn is in “prophet of doom” mode again sounding off that London Tories will kill off the proposed Swansea Bay Barrage. No doubt he’s probably picked up some bad odour and decided to get his retaliation in first to show just how proactive a fat guy can be. Sadly his distinct lack of real enthusiasm for the project since it first became a real proposition is evidence that, once again, he is just an opportunist tuning up his lines of empty crap in time for the Labour conference where he will no doubt get the customary hug and pat on the back that all provincial nobodies get from Corbyn. Yet another open goal for Plaid to go for but sadly most of them are on a seminar on some new emerging faddish belief which will keep them well in with pseudo believers up and down the country, but mostly OUTSIDE of Wales.

  14.  

    As we know from our nation’s recent past, symbolic acts can be very powerful.

    I’ve worked out that there are 50-odd roads crossing the border (counting only the ‘M’, ‘A’ and ‘B’ roads). What if large signs were made and placed at the points where those roads enter our country, saying, “THIS ISN’T ENGLAND”, just so that the corridor commuters, the good-lifers and the village-grabbers would be put on notice that we know what they are, where they are, what they’re doing to us, and that we’re at the very least watching them?

    It would be a start; a small one, I grant you, but a start nonetheless, and one which could inspire others to useful action. Part of the problem we have is that nobody thinks that anyone is doing anything because the Imperial Broadcorping Castration and Trinity Mirror won’t report it.

Ok, you’ve read what I think, now what do you have to say?