Sep 112013
 

Regular readers of Welsh blogs, Tweeters and others, will be familiar with the name ‘Cliffoch ap Cliffoch‘, one of the many anti-Welsh trolls to be found in those spheres. Though of course, to Twitterbelieve him, he’s not anti-Welsh at all. When it comes to the Welsh language he’s just against the teaching of it, and the displaying of it . . . in fact his attitude seems to be that Welsh should – like homosexuality in the 1950s – be restricted to consenting adults in private. He is, predictably, also opposed to devolution and many other things, but insists that he loves Wales. It’s just . . . well, he doesn’t like anything that makes Wales different to England. Even if it benefits Wales. When he’s pinned down, the truth is that his ‘Wales’ must be no different to England in any important respect. Well, maybe a rugby team.

‘Cliffoch’ came on mighty strong to my post yesterday on my Tumblr blog. This was a harmless enough report on the squashing of the Severn Barrage project. I can only assume that he was animated by the reference I made to ‘Howell Morgan’, who had posted a comment to the WalesOnline version of the story. There, and in various tweets, he called me a coward, a cretin and a few other things my Mam would never have called me. I admitted I am no hero, but still confirmed that my name is Royston Jones and asked Cliffoch to give us his real name. He declined. (All this can be found on the Tumblr blog.) So I decided to make enquiries myself. The first stop was obviously the IP address, which gave me Geneologya German or German-Swiss provider and located ‘Cliffoch’ in Switzerland. Next, overnight, ‘Colwyn’ was able to provide two links. The first (left) to a geneology site and the second (below) to a petition to the Assembly asking for Welsh speakers to have their tongues cut out . . . sorry, sorry, I’ve mis-read that, the petition is against the compulsory teaching of Welsh. (I.e. any teaching of Welsh.) It now seems likely beyond peradventure that ‘Cliffoch ap Cliffoch’ is Christopher Stephen Clifford, born – or “originally born” (as he puts it) – in Neath, working in Zurich, but with a home base in the Aberavon constituency.

What I find remarkable is that here we have a man who claims to have a Welsh-speaking mother, to have spent a lot of time when young with a grandmother who spoke more Welsh than English, who claims to have bilingual children, who has lived for years in a country with four official languages, and yet is so intolerant of another language – his maternal language – in Wales. Either this man is a liar, or his head is seriously screwed up. Or could his time in multilingual Switzerland have made him into what he is today? Another absurdity is that ‘Cliffoch’ is forever spouting how the Welsh language deters investors. Yet he lives in one of the most petitionprosperous countries on earth, where people speak German, French, Italian and Romansch, with yet more languages spoken by the many immigrant groups. Multilingualism doesn’t seem to have done Switzerland any harm, yet we dumb Taffs are expected to believe that teaching Welsh will impoverish Wales! As if the Labour Party hasn’t already done that!

STATEMENT: I have spent a lot of time recently on a bunch of scumbags I’d rather have nothing to do with. It is demeaning, distasteful and distracting, and I don’t intend to do any more of it. There are far bigger fish to fry in Wales, organisations and individuals doing far more damage than the individual ranter. So in future I shall be focusing on more important issues than swivel-eyed Brit bigots. People who hide behind regularly changing pseudonyms that makes tracking them down akin to chasing one’s tail. Worse, perhaps, treating them seriously gives them a respect they don’t deserve, but of course it’s what they crave, so don’t engage with them, just let them talk to each other. When you are unfortunate enough to encounter one of them, just wipe the shit from your shoe and move on.

 

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16 Comments on "‘Cliffoch’ Unmasked!"

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Twyn-yr-Odyn Boy
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Fortunately, the police are taking a closer interest in these internet trolls, following the outcry over vulnerable women being targeted; as well as people who have experienced tragic incidents being taunted on Twitter, etc.
A piece in The Times last week reported research that trolls start off just shouting off about things generally, then the troll become almost addicted to delivering abuse and getting a kick out of inflicting casual hurt. A dangerously slippery slope, said people quoted in the article.
All this is a long, long way removed from the instances referred to in the above blog. This Clifford character is probably just some pathetic loser.
Nonetheless, he seems to be very much on the slope, and his modus operandi needs following. If a heightening of his addiction is detected, appropriate action must be taken to protect decent people.
Twyn-yr-Odyn Boy

Jac o' the North
Guest

That’s ‘Cliffoch’ in reasonable mode, with a comment he wanted me to publish. (And I did on my Tumblr blog.) Don’t kid yourself he’s always that reasonable. And why would the police be “carting him off” anyway? There was never any suggestion that a criminal offence had been committed.

Cliffoch Ap Cliffoch
Guest

I’m always in a reasonable mood/mode, Jac, and I don’t need to tone things down to get something published. You are free to ignore alternative points-of-view if you wish although ultimately it just results in a closed discussion between like-minded individuals which doesn’t really achieve anything.

Iestyn
Guest

Jac,

I’ve enjoyed your little investigations of people who are familiar to us, yet mysterious. The little snippets of “maybe” about Jaques, and this brief look at Cliffoch have been particularly interesting.

But there is a famous quote (sorry, I’m useless at remembering who said anything…) along the lines of “Little minds talk about people, medium minds about events, and big minds about ideas”.

In the end. I think your contribution to the national situation is much more valuable when you are unearthing the big ideological scandals – the anti devolution militias, the “common purpose” cartels and the like.

You won’t mind, i hope, if I say that I think you are a littel paranoid about some of these things, but on the other hand, when I see your evidence, I often start to wonder whether your paranoia is actually justified…

So, I’ll applaud your aim to leave off the midges – they are annoying but ultimately their biggest “contribution” is in distracting people from what they should be thinking about amnd working towards. And more importantly, I’ll look forward to more of your excellent investigations of the cracks behind the wallpaper and the occasional body un der tha patio.

Kep them coming, sir!

Jac o' the North
Guest

I agree entirely. Swatting mosquitos may provide momentary satisfaction but it’s no substitute for a cure for malaria.

Leigh Richards
Guest

certainly everyone who wants the best for the welsh nation owes you a debt of gratitude jac for the time you have taken in exposing the private faces behind some of the worst wales hating trolls on the web…..and is nice to know that thanks to your diligence on the matter the likes of ‘jon jones’ ‘mo patel’ and now ‘cliffoch ap cliffoch’ can no longer skulk around the blogosphere depositing whatever rabid anti-welsh bile takes their fancy, safe in the knowledge that their true identities will remain hidden away from the public’s gaze ….their cover has now been well and truly blown!

tho given we are dealing with what appear to be pathological misfits here it s reasonable to assume that the welsh blogosphere will once again be playing host to assorted manufactured identities trotting out the same old wales hating drivel ….

in relation to ‘cliffoch ap cliffoch’ readers might be interested to know that if the words ‘chris clifford swtzerland’ are typed into google a youtube channel for a certain ‘cliffoch’ appears…..and while the channel’s owner doesnt appear to be quite as prolific as he is on other parts of the web – it only featuring one video – in that video someone named ‘chris’ appears around 50 seconds in……is always good to be able to put a face to a name i think!

Robin
Guest

I think we should encourage Cliffoch to continue his contributions to the Welsh blogosphere. His Neath/Swiss/Warwick/banking background adds perspective to debates. He may be devosceptic but, after 14 years of Labour, aren’t we all. That said, I would humbly suggest that he drops the cliffochapcliffoch pseudonym. I accept that he does not mean to offend but to many of us it comes over as a rather ridiculous, crude and inelegant piss-take.

Cliffoch Ap Cliffoch
Guest

Doubt if this will get published, Robin, but on the off-chance it does, I’ve changed my name on Twitter and will also do so on WoL (and here if I get a chance to express views). Yes, I am devosceptic and quite frankly I don’t see *any* of the parties in Wales having any bright ideas on how to improve our economy, which is really the key to everything else, whether we’re talking about communities with Welsh as first language, employment or almost anything else. It can be argued that Wales was not given fair treatment by the UK government pre-devolution, but the situation is far, far worse nowadays.

Robin
Guest

Cliffoch: Are you devosceptic when you promenade along the shores of Zurichsee, or is it simply an affliction that troubles you when you look out towards Swansea Bay?

Leigh Richards
Guest

would just like to point out to anyone who has posted a video of themselves to youtube and who for some strange reason very very recently removed it that, thanks to the miracles of video saving technology, it may have been saved for posterity…….:)

Cliffoch Ap Cliffoch
Guest

Whatever does it for you, Leigh, although I don’t actually know what you’re talking about.

Glyndwr
Guest

Good work Jac, unmasking all those fake welsh that are always trying to say us that England and Wales are the same thing, because is what many anti welsh people are trying to get. Are the rest of the names along with Jaques Protic in the second chart others anti welsh trolls you have identified?

Cliffoch Ap Cliffoch
Guest

So anyone with an alternative viewpoint is “anti-Welsh”? Incredible as I am absolutely 100% Welsh as are the majority of people in South Wales who would also oppose your viewpoint. I’ve never said that “England and Wales are the same thing”.

I’m not quite sure what the obsession with “exposing people” really achieves but whatever does it for you, I guess!

Glyndwr
Guest

Chris Clifford, I will say to you one more time. Anyone who is against the Welsh language is anti Welsh, it’s a matter of pure and simple logic and common sense. How can you be Welsh if you think that restoring the native and true tongue of Wales, Welsh language, to its original status, is a waste of time and money??. You have to admit that you are anti Welsh, or instead, you have a mental disease. Is it so hard to understand for you?.

Jac o' the North
Guest

There is no healthy discussion because those who share your views – on devolution, teaching Welsh, use of Welsh resources, population movements, etc., – control the media in England and, to a lesser extent, in Wales. In addition to the media ‘your side’ has countless influential organisations such as the Freemasons and others I’ve dealt with on this blog.

By comparison, those who share my views have little beyond blogs like this. So to allow my blog to be used as a forum by people like you would be insane. As I have regularly argued, the mistake Plaid Cymru and others have made over the years is in believing that people like you, Protic and others, are ‘reasonable’, and can be swayed by persuasive arguments. I don’t believe that. I take the view that our job is to push our case to the majority of our people who, despite what you argue, are open to persuasion on the matters mentioned above; simultaneously exposing as hysterical bigots those who argue that any more devolution, or the compulsory teaching of Welsh, will result in a return of the Black Death. Or that opposing the deliberate colonisation of Wales is ‘racist’.

Elsewhere you state that you have changed you name on Twitter. Have you? Now calling yourself ‘Cliff’ while still being ‘@CliffochapCliff’ is no big change. You are Christopher Clifford – remember? I also note that you accuse me of “very selective publishing” of your comments. That’s not true. I have published all your recent comments. (Though my decisions had nothing to do with your rather pathetic “Doubt if this will get published . . . ” and ” . . . on the off-chance . . . “.) In the same tweet you suggest that I don’t publish your comments because it gives me some feeling of “power and control”. Well, if I don’t control my own blog, what do I control?

Anyway, I set out to name you, and I have succeeded. No further comments from you will be published for the reason given above. So don’t waste your time. This exchange is over.

dafydd
Guest

Interesting talking to this guy. He only claims to live in Wales a few months a year if that. His kids are educated in Germany and he doesn’t see Wales as the place they will live and work. He admits they are disadvantaged in Wales due to lack of language and identity. His family seem to lack knowledge and any affinity in Wales. He is an individual who appears to have no regard for Wales, her people and her culture. Bigger fish for nationalists to fry so let him kiss his Queens butt while we all march onwards as one united Wales, inclusive of all.

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