Jan 132018
 

Llais y Sais (Voice of the English) is an alternative name for our much-reviled and laughingly self-styled ‘National Newspaper of Wales’. It’s readership has plummeted over the years and I think it’s now down to me and some old bird in Ponty.

Yes, I still read it, but then, I’m a masochist; I have to be to stay in Wales and witness the idiocy, duplicity and corruption at all levels of our national life. What’s more, as a blogger, I feel it’s my duty to read it so that you may be spared, with me bringing you the occasional report here or on Twitter. (God! the things I do for you.)

Today is your lucky day because I’m going to give you four stories from today’s issue. So relax, and enjoy.

BIGOT FODDER

First up is a strange little story about someone complaining that a Santa Claus couldn’t speak Welsh. Does this really merit half a page?

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As I suggest, this is a curious non-story designed to get the likes of Jacques Protic and Clements of Llangyfelach pounding their keyboards. It’s news value is zero, especially weeks after Christmas, which makes it nothing more than a ‘Welsh bastards!’ story designed to suggest intolerance or extremism on the part of Welsh speakers.

Which makes it entirely predictable that this ‘story’ originated with English Heritage West (aka Cadw) and ended up in Llais y Sais.

‘A BIGOT WRITES . . . ‘

It would be easy to dismiss this reader’s letter from today’s issue as more bigot fodder . . . but it comes from a bigot.

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If I’m reading this letter correctly, then Dennis Coughlin believes that ‘Welsh’ Labour’s undemocratic internal processes are there to keep in power “dominant quasi-nationalists whose raison d’etre is to placate those of a direct lineage to the sons of Owen Glendower”. He seems to hate things Welsh so much that he can’t even bring himself to write Owain Glyndŵr.

As if that wasn’t enough, in his final paragraph he goes on to accuse these ‘quasi-nationalists’ of racism, for there’s no other way to interpret his reference to skin colour.

And yet, this idiot does represent traditional Labour in Wales – the anti-Welsh Labour Party of George Thomas and Neil Kinnock. That party we’d hoped was behind us . . . but maybe it’s just been biding its time.

Is he a member of the Labour Party, and if so, will he be disciplined? And why did Llais y Sais publish such a disgraceful, anti-Welsh smear?

Out of curiosity I Googled ‘Dennis Coughlin’, and came up with this letter, published by Llais y Sais on January 8th. This man clearly has a problem with the Welsh language. Rather than pander to it maybe Llais y Sais should have a word with his family.

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And not publish any more bigoted garbage like the two letters it’s published this week from Dennis Coughlin.

TAX AND SPEND

A regular columnist in Llais y Sais is economist Dylan Jones-Evans. I read him with no great enthusiasm but it helps pass the time. In today’s piece he again attacked the possibility – no more at this stage – of the ‘Welsh’ Government introducing a tourism tax.

Some of what he’s written deserves comment.

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As you may know, I support a tourism tax because I would like to see the money raised spent on those areas suffering excessive levels of tourism. I live in such an area and I know that the great majority of local people see no benefit from tourism.

Worse, they are disadvantaged in a number of ways: tourism provides low skill, low pay and often seasonal employment; tourism results in people wanting to settle, which leads to higher house prices and, due to the age profile of these immigrants, increased strain on our NHS and other services; tourism also results in Anglicisation; then we have the issues of traffic congestion, environmental degradation, waste, etc.

So if we are to have a tourism tax then I would want to see the revenue collected used to alleviate some of these problems, perhaps by helping local young people get on the housing ladder.

But Dylan Jones-Evans questions if the revenue from a tourist tax, “will really go towards improving the tourism facilities as promised”. Promised by whom? What is the point of levying a tax on tourism only to put it straight back into tourism?

Any tourism tax in Wales must be compensatory or it’s not worth bothering.

Elsewhere he tells us that “the tourism industry generates nearly £9bn for the economy and supports around 242,000 jobs”. Which if nothing else, reminds us that when it comes to tourism figures can be plucked out of thin air, because there is no independent source for figures on tourism and no trustworthy verification.

To illustrate the problem, and even though Dylan Jones-Evans tells us that tourism “supports” 242,000 jobs, StatsWales gives a figure of just 131,300 jobs in “tourism-related industries”, for 2015, so your guess is as good as mine as to where his figure came from.

Perhaps it came from some body run by tourism operators, which looks at towns like Llandudno and Tenby, or areas like Snowdonia and Gower, and concludes that everyone working there must be involved in tourism. Deceitful and deliberately misleading.

And the same can be said for the figure of £9bn.

‘AS LONG AS HE’S FROM CARDIFF’

As you probably know, I’m a football fan. Obviously I support the Swans and Wales, but I also watch games involving other clubs and countries. In this year’s World Cup I shall again be supporting Argentina, though I had hoped to be swearing at the telly wearing red, but a combination of bad luck and cynical Irish tactics put paid to that prospect.

So football coverage is one reason I buy Llais y Sais, though even this is marred by the contributions of Paul Abbandonato, ‘Head of Sport’, no less. But I should be used to it because I remember when that shyster Sam Hammam took over Cardiff City Abbandonato went into overdrive using photos of the National Stadium and insisting that Cardiff City would soon need to play there because they’d be entertaining the likes of Barcelona.

Hammam it was who played his role in Swans-Bluebirds relations by insisting that Swans’ fans should switch their allegiance to Cardiff City. And Abbandonato lapped it up. Abbandonato is not just biased towards the football club, he’s something of a Cardiff nationalist, singing from the ‘Welsh’ media’s Cardiff über Alles song sheet.

Today’s contribution from Abbandonato was in keeping with all that has preceded it except that it wasn’t a report or a preview of a game, instead it was an attempt to influence a decision soon to be made by the Football Association of Wales.

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As far as Abbandonato is concerned the FAW’s decision is between Ryan Giggs and Craig Bellamy, there’s nobody else in the frame.

Though if you read the article there is – given its subject matter – one glaring lacuna, and that is that despite bigging up his favourites he has nothing to say about their experience. Because quite simply they have none. Which means that Abbandonato wants our national football team to be managed by a man with no experience and for no better reason than that he comes from Cardiff.

But there are other considerations, especially with Giggs. To begin with, I don’t think most fans would accept him due to his reluctance to turn out for the national team when selected (which he has blamed on his manager at Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson).

But then there’s a question mark over what kind of a man he is. I’m referring now to his eight-year affair with his brother Rhodri’s wife, which seems to have taken its toll on his brother. Do we really want such a man in charge of our national football team, and impressionable young men?

I believe that following the performance of our national team in Euro 2016 the FAW could aim a bit higher and get a top coach, someone with experience. So I urge the FAW not to be swayed by Abbandonato and the Cardiff lobby and to cast the net wider, find an experienced coach and a man we can all respect.

UPDATE 16.01.2017: And lo! it came to pass as predicted that the selection committee empowered by the FAW did appoint the aforementioned Ryan Giggs as the new manager of our national football team. The media was forced to admit that the news was not welcomed by all Welsh fans but tried to play down the hostility.

Unfortunately for the BBC it ran a poll which showed that only a minority thought it was a good decision. And this, remember, was on the UK BBC website, which means that a lot of Manchester United fans would have voted ‘Yes’ for a club legend. Which tells us that most Welsh fans oppose the decision.

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So there you are, I’ve reminded you why you no longer read Llais y Sais – I bet you’re glad!

♦ end ♦

  32 Responses to “‘Llais y Sais’ – what you’re missing!”

  1.  

    I thought that the Santa story was significant, in so much as it provided a concise description of our status as a nation, viz.:

    “…even though Father Christmas was unable to speak Welsh, Cadw said the elves working at that site could”.

    That seems to encapsulate our position better than any academic study could.

  2.  

    I think that seemingly-trivial issues such as this should be made a biggish deal of, with the aim of normalising the requirement for some ability in Welsh until it becomes the norm in such situations.
    Dwi’n hoff iawn eich blog, gyda llaw.

  3.  

    I haven’t bought the rag version for years but scan the online most days. Waste of time really but on odd occasions I either spot a “gem”normally written or ghost written by a guest writer, a politician, academic or businessman, or more often spot a real stinker which highlights the extreme “anti anything native” stance of the Trinity organisation giving aplatform to attacks on language, culture, traditions etc etc. These articles tend to bring out multiple comments full of the parrot garbage spewed by the likes of the Coughlin twat that you mentioned above.

  4.  

    As usual, you have exposed how poorly we are treated as a Nation and clearly pointed out some of the many shortcomings of our so called ‘National’ paper. Surely it shouldn’t be long before it disappears. The future is news by the internet but thanks for the update, which you so generously carry out and share with us. Much appreciated.
    Do you think that there is any chance that so called ‘Welsh Labour’ will start serving the interests of Wales any time soon?

  5.  

    Off topic, that Change.org petition defaming McEvoy is heading towards 20k signatures. Amazing what gullible people will sign without knowing or suspecting any skullduggery on the part of all those nice ladies driving the project.

    •  

      Don’t knock it Dafis – it inches him closer to diving overboard before the Plaid pirates push him off the plank.

      •  

        If hes sticking with Plaid… I think if Plaid Newydd rocks the boat and makes them shake things up a bit hes quite possible a shoe in for leader. But there’s lots of people wanting to change Plaid… quite a few with some good ideas… in some ways its a real shame because it just needs a good vision and good leadership. I don’t question the quality of its members and I think some of its AM’s just need a little more directing… even Leanne… I wouldn’t question her campaigning skills I think she grifted hard for her seat in 2016. But not a leader – and sometimes i fear not actually a nationalist.

        There’s even talk of allowing a chance for a leadership change in October but she doesn’t strike me as the letting go of power type.

      •  

        My concern isn’t necessarily limited to Neil Mc, although I do have a strongly positive view of him. The concern is that such a shit storm can be stirred up by gang front loaded with malice, mostly women with a very murky agenda but backed up with a load of “modern” men who just can’t bring themselves to see that agenda for its utter shallowness and faux “virtues”. Mr Mc will either end up leading Plaid or will become eventually a valued member of the alternative

  6.  

    Giggs is pretty much the Dafydd El of Welsh football. I think that sums it up perfectly. I think Bellamy or Osian Roberts – or maybe both in some capacity. Wonder if Bellamy would settle for Osian’s job to get the experience…

    •  

      As of today..

      (a) we will dribbe the ball for 45mins before giving away a corner,
      (b) if that fails, do the Culverhouse Cross, which is kick it anywhere,
      (c) there will be no need to turn up for friendlies
      (d) corner posts will be shoved up arses just like ‘Jase’ of BBC Wales,
      (e) the cross bar will be a club for Manchester transsexuals,
      (f) games will be shown on Sky Two, analysed by three English blokes you don’t know,
      (g) all players get a night off to shag your best mates wife.

      Cymdeithas bêl-droed Cymru

  7.  

    Jac, thanks for the update regarding Councillor Louise Hughes & for the efforts you have put in to this matter.

    I have renewed my request to Gwynedd Council to investigate whether she has broken the Councillor’s Code of Conduct. When I asked 6 months ago, they gave the classic procrastinator’s answer — we can’t do anything right at the moment because it is the subject of a police investigation.

    Still, Dennis Coughlin seems to outdo even Councillor Louise Hughes in vileness & bigotry.

    Googling his letters to the Cardiff press reveals someone who is the Julius Streicher our our time. Here is another outpouring of hate:

    https://preview.tinyurl.com/ycq4xh2a

    “The Welsh Language Society operates in cells and it seems that the Labour Party’s hierarchy has been infiltrated by several of these fifth columnists.

    The ever expanding employment discrimination has now reached the Welsh Assembly, the heart of democracy in Wales, to those who do not speak or won’t learn Welsh and is part of a scandalous attempted bloodless coup by the nationalists.

    Fifty-eight of the 60 AMs are white. Apart from banning 80% of the population based on cultural impurity, racism is now rife, as Welsh speaking is a white preserve and they will, if not stopped, dominate public life, education and employment.”

    •  

      It says a lot for Trinity Mirror that it publishes such bigotry.

      •  

        I’m surprised that Trinity & others haven’t jumped onto the “racism” bandwagon with attacks on Leanne Wood & Welsh Labour for picking on Neil McEvoy who is of mixed ethnicity ! Really how did they miss that one ? Of course, McEvoy is public enemy no.1 for the Labour clique so Trinity gives that priority over any other matter. Had Plaid had an ounce of street smarts they could have rolled this back on the City Council Labour gang that is dominated by racist pigs, but they missed their chance, cos they too had another agenda to pursue.

        With all this jumbled thinking, what chance do have of ever being governed properly when these dopey muppets can’t even get their bandwagons moving in a straight line !

    •  

      Has anyone ever seen Dennis Coughlin and Jacques Protic in the same room? They are the same person, surely?

  8.  

    I see that Leanne launched yet another radical strategy today. Can anyone enlighten me – how has “radical” become one of those words commonly used when “uninspiring”, “dull”, “boring”or “unimaginative” would be far more accurate ? . Response from Plaidos most welcome as you may have something in there written in code that I don’t get.

    •  

      It very much seemed she was speaking on behalf of an establishment party. I find some of the stuff she said was contrary to what I feel Plaid is doing… learning from history but they’re not showing much love for the history in schools petition.

      The problem is that the Assembly was created to head off Welsh nationalism. It’s done that in two ways – its given us powers to rule over ourselves therefor counteracting the effects of situations such as Capel Celyn and also brought an external movement in and made it internal. Its embraced the core issue with Welsh nationalists revolving around language and internalised it. Look at the SNP… its stuck… the longer its stuck the more it participates in the very system its trying to get away from. The more the lines will become blurred.

      History is incompatible – which is why I am so fervently in favour of it. It essentially splits Welsh identity from British identity. When we look at the Assembly we see Welsh politicians – but its a Welsh politician which is synonymous with being a British one. They are ultimately offering Wales the false promise of change through the Assembly while they keep their colonial policies in place.

      So the question comes down too… how would Plaid Newydd be seen as external to the British system while being able to operate within the confines of the Welsh Assembly? Because that is the Nationalist cause… to create a nation… you cannot create a nation by actively seen to be being part of and embracing another.

      /thoughtfulrambleover

  9.  

    More evidence today of the Cardiff City Deal aiming to reduce the rest of the S.E quarter of Wales to commuter dormitory status

    https://businessnewswales.com/cardiff-announces-plans-180m-investment-project/?utm_source=BNW+%7C+Newsletter+16th+Jan+2017&utm_campaign=UA-62466858-1&utm_medium=email

    •  

      When will the other areas wise up?

      •  

        Judging by the comment attributed to the learned Leader of Rhondda Coucil it is highly unlikely that they ever will see what’s coming. “It’s Labour, see, got to be good, innit ?”

    •  

      These are a couple of the responses on the Swans fansnetwork site in relation to the Cardiff investment, the first a very interesting question with our new party due to be created.

      Totally agree- but where is the party to stop this happening. Its seems that the Cardiff/S. East Wales project is a fast moving supertanker that cannot be slowed down or reversed.

      Carwyn pretends to back a dead horse to try and make us think he just might give an eff about anything other than WAG’s doorstep. Then at least £40m is thrown at this latest Cardiff ego trip a few days later.
      These figures, whilst appearing to be wildly high to justify the means, could be right. The answer however is to redistribute wealth across Wales to stop Cardif overheating. Not glorifying in it and building a City State at the expense of the rest if the Principality.
      It is our taxes that continue to support these farces.
      Leanne has made timid noises about redressing the balance across Wales but talk of Transport and Football museums is just pathetically too little. We need massive transport infrastructure to encourage investment.
      Meanwhile the comatose Hedges and James, along with all AMs outside of the SE, should hang their heads in shame.

      •  

        A couple more.

        We can’t be far away from the formation of the ‘Rest of Wales Party’
        I forecast astronomic success for them throughout Wales in the next election.

        It is such a shame Plaid is not filling this void.
        I know the ‘I’ word will hamper them somewhat but a Party that wants to govern for the whole of Wales has to be a winner. I suspect many in the SE even would vote for it as there is a realisation by some that the Cardiff Centric policies are wrecking Wales rather than promoting it.
        Plaid are far too timid. Leanne telling posters in here that she cannot get her message out because the Cardiff media will not run with it is just not good enough.
        Go National, get the media involved there. I am sure some of them would love a story on media bias in Wales. Not the Beeb obviously but even there it could result in Cental Offive pressurising Cardiff to up it’s game.

  10.  

    with these city deals and the infrastructure improvements that are supposed to come from them – who will actually benefit. The commuter city of Cardiff or Bristol? The train journey times to Bristol will shorten and expand to more areas. It may suck economic benefits from the valleys and south wales to south west England.

    The hot air will be generated in Cardiff but the economics will be in Bristol?

    Only time will tell.

  11.  

    When it comes to shitting on your own team, try this for size

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-42711839

    McEvoy expelled from Plaid assembly group.

    Authoritative political comment – What a bunch of cunts !

  12.  

    With regard to the news just breaking about Neil McEvoy: “Jac and Big Gee, Jac and Big Gee, sign him up!”
    (with apologies to Sir Alex Ferguson)

  13.  

    On the ball as always, Jac. Does anyone know how this affects his position as a Plaid councillor? Is he expelled from the party as a whole or is it some fudge and just something to do with the Senedd?

    •  

      He now sits as an independent AM and perhaps an Independent councillor, while still being a Plaid Cymru member. He hasn’t – yet – been expelled from the party.

      •  

        It’s all coming together. Neil McEvoy 4 leader.

      •  

        It doesn’t sound very significant at first reading, but given that our new party is consistently drawing attention to the ‘old brigade’ parties’ inadequacy and out of date way of doing things, it is VERY significant.

        Because for the same reason as we have highlighted repeatedly, the people are fed up with the antics, insincerity and self gratifying actions of these old style parties- specially Plaid Cymru in this case. They are screaming out for someone to change things. The public have given up on these dinosaurs – they don’t trust them anymore, and for good reason. They are rotten to the core. It is time to move into the vacuum that they have created.

        Neil McEvoy quote:

        “I’ll keep representing those people who have been left behind and given up on politicians.”

  14.  

    Your tweet referring to McEvoy says that this could be the end of Plaid…with the anglophone working class. Fair comment, but don’t think it ends there. Plenty of us old Welsh speaking country boys recognise more value in McEvoy than in any of that cluster of soft, grey pussyboys and screechy wimmin most of whom have not done a proper day’s worth of hard graft all their lousy lives.
    In many ways they outdo Labour in producing twats utterly detached from the realities that we all have to confront. Insulated from the chill of living here by the bubble of excellent salaries and perks, the Plaid A.M’s and parasitic entities like Deryn ( awful abuse of a nice word ! ) muddle on creating a messy mix of daft ideas and no semblance of how to deliver on anything.
    They know they will never win in their present guise but their laziness and lack of applied common sense stops them from digging their way out of this hole, preferring to lie back and enjoy the rewards of their corrupt little dark corner of politics.

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