Jan 082017
 

I’ve argued many times that Wales is in a bad way, a condition I described in a recent blog as “a basket case country with a begging bowl ‘economy'”. We’re at the bottom of every table measuring the state of the nation – PISA results are woeful, GVA figure are terrible and the number of economically inactive people is worrying.

Devolution has achieved nothing; in my more cynical moments I think it’s just a distraction, or a placebo.

All that seems to matter is that the money keeps rolling in to prop up the edifice and keep the politicians and their legions of cronies in jobs; with Labour trying to soothe away every damning statistic or latest piece of bad news with yet more platitudinous bollocks. Despite having had almost 18 years to improve things, the truth is that ‘Welsh’ Labour has made things worse.

The only conclusion to draw is that the party is either incapable or unwilling to improve things for our people. (Or maybe that devolution is designed to fail.) Which makes you wonder why so many Welsh people have stuck with Labour for so long. But now, after a hundred years of failure, I sense that more and more people realise that these clowns will never deliver a democratic, prosperous and confident Wales.

Despite Labour’s countless shortcomings there always seemed to be little point in looking to Plaid Cymru for meaningful change. (Regular readers will know my views on that score.) Though that said, one new face among Plaid politicians has caught my eye, I’m referring now to South Wales Central AM Neil McEvoy.

Let me make clear that I have never met Neil McEvoy, but it’s obvious from a distance that he’s cut from a different cloth to most Plaid politicians. He comes from neither the cultural nationalist wing nor from the Left-Green wing. He seems to be a man with both feet firmly planted in his own community, not looking to save the planet or pander to Guardianistas. This rootedness makes it almost inevitable that he confronts Labour head-on, and exposes the corruption at the heart of the ‘Welsh’ Government.

In addition, he seems to be that rarity among Plaid politicians, a street fighter, a species of which Labour has always had plenty, but dear parchus Plaid always found rather, well . . . not neis.

I find this refreshing, because as I’ve always argued, there are too many in Plaid Cymru who allow outdated and discredited ideology to dominate their thinking, and then they pile one mistake on another by lining up with their Guardianista friends in seeing the Tories as the enemy. But the biggest party in Wales, and therefore the real enemy of Wales, is Labour.

As I said just now, McEvoy fights Labour on their own turf. And it’s working. In the May 2016 Assembly elections voters in the working class estates in the west of Cardiff turned out to get him within 1,000 votes of unseating Mark Drakeford, Labour Health Minister at the time. That means that the former seat of Rhodri Morgan, head of the Morgan dynasty, is now a key marginal for the next election.

Understandably, this has sent Labour into something of a panic, and it’s not solely attributable to the votes McEvoy’s taken from them. For example, since being elected AM he’s called for an official Welsh register of lobbyists. When Carwyn Jones said lobbyists had no access to Labour Ministers McEvoy produced photographic evidence of Labour Ministers meeting with lobbyists. Backtracking followed, and Jones had to confirm that lobbyists do have access, just not formal access. In other words, and like so much else with ‘Welsh’ Labour, it’s all done in the shadows.

I’m also glad to report that McEvoy has been asking questions about David Goldstone and his influence on the ‘Welsh’ Government’s property deals. Questions that other politicians should have been asking a long, long time ago. He exposed the scarcely believable loss of £1m on just 2 shops sold by the ‘Welsh’ Government, without a valuation, in Pontypridd. (My 9-year-old grandson could have got a better deal than that! Come to think of it, so could his kid brother.)

UPDATE, 13.01.2017: We were paying for Goldstone’s trips to Cardiff, and his stays at the Hilton Hotel.

Now I hear he’s chasing up something unearthed by the Public Accounts Committee, on which he sits. It seems Cardiff Aviation at St Athan doesn’t pay rent; one suggestion being that someone, somewhere, possibly belonging to a certain political party, gave the OK for Cardiff Aviation to enjoy the St Athan facilities rent free. Then there’s an issue with planes being unable to land in fog, which it seems lost Cardiff the EasyJet link. And if that’s not enough to get the bruvvers worked up, allegations of institutionalised corruption have been made against Cardiff’s Labour-controlled council.

Despite that litany of nasal intrusions what may have really marked the South Wales Central Member’s card with ‘Welsh’ Labour is his objection to the billions likely to be made on the Cardiff Local Development Plan. Labour campaigned on the promise to protect Cardiff’s green fields. As soon as they were elected they announced plans to build on most of them. Contrived population projections from the English Planning Inspectorate (dealt with more than once on this blog) being used as the justification.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, some of the land has already been sold off at knock-down, agricultural prices. Read my posts Pies, Planes and Property Development and Pies, Planes and Property Development 2.

Make no mistake, there is something very shady about the Cardiff LDP, and challenging it will make you a target. Though I don’t think anyone expected Labour to be so desperate as to try to tarnish McEvoy a racist for his objections (a default position for Labour politicos), with even the First Minister getting involved. Bizarre in the extreme given Neil McEvoy’s multi-ethnic family background.

So deeply under Labour’s thick hide has Neil McEvoy managed to wriggle that I have it on very good authority (a former Labour councillor) that up to a third of Labour group meetings in Cardiff are dedicated to plotting his downfall. I was unable to confirm if voodoo dolls and pins are involved.

So no one should be surprised that he’s now being investigated by Wales’ Public Services Ombudsman in a desperate attempt to find him guilty of bringing the Council into disrepute – after trying to stop a bedroom tax eviction! How could anyone be charged with bringing a Labour council into disrepute!

The ‘charge’ seems to be that he was overheard saying that he can’t wait for Cardiff Council to be re-structured after May’s election. ‘Welsh’ Labour’s hope is to get the Local Government Panel to ban him from council elections – for talking about a policy of restructuring! The PSO, Nick Bennett, is hardly politically neutral himself (see my previous article here).

The article linked to reminds us that in an earlier existence Bennett was the business partner of an up and coming Labour politician who went on to become a Minister. Combine this with his lobbying for the tobacco industry and his role in huge wage increases for executives at Community Housing Cymru – the umbrella group for our housing associations (of which he was then CEO) – and it all tends to tarnish his credentials as an impartial arbiter of behaviour in political and public life.

Nick Bennett is an insider, he’s part of the ‘machine’, and in a working democracy he would never have been appointed Public Services Ombudsman.

But things go beyond run-of-the-mill political corruption when we remember that twice in the last 12 months Neil McEvoy has been burgled. In 2016 he came home from a public meeting about a landfill site to find the house ransacked by intruders, but while they took a great deal of trouble to break in they ignored the money, jewellery and pocket-sized iPads. Preferring to rifle through his paperwork, stealing some documents.

And McEvoy’s ‘Welcome to 2017, you bastard!’ was an office burglary, with valuable items once again ignored, but papers rummaged through and locked drawers broken open. This is simply too much of a coincidence not to be coordinated.

When the two burglaries are linked to the persistent allegations of the stalking of his sister, with the boys in blue refusing to interview independent witnesses, to the mass theft of placards during his election campaign (some removed by a Labour-controlled housing association!), we begin to get an understanding of the breadth, the depth, and the bitterness of the campaign against him.

I cannot think of any Plaid politician who has got under the skin of Labour in the way Neil McEvoy has – too many haven’t even tried. No Plaid politician before has ever stood up in the Assembly and named just some of the Labour cronies earning huge salaries in the public and third sectors. And no other Plaid politician has had the guts to take on the corrupt land deals that the Labour Party waived through.

One bad apple may spoil the barrel, but one good apple doesn’t save the cider either. Plaid is still too cosy with the liberal, statist, anti-Brexit, ‘Isn’t Trump ghastly’ elite, so embittered since they learnt what ordinary people really think of them and their ideas. But whether you support Plaid Cymru or not, if you believe in honesty and democracy, then you should support Neil McEvoy.

If devolution is ever going to be more than a chimera then at the very least we need more AMs prepared to take on the corrupt establishment and stand up to the vested interests. If that establishment can be so rattled by one ballsy Plaid politician then it makes you realise what effect a few more could have.

But from where I’m sitting too many in Plaid’s hierarchy seem to be ‘uncomfortable’ with Neil McEvoy. Because there have always been people in Plaid Cymru reluctant to make a ‘fuss’, terrified of actually succeeding, some have even worked to undermine the party when success threatened.

By comparison, the Labour Party in Wales has always been ruthless in maintaining its hold on power in order to support its networks of cronyism and corruption. Labour has been so dominant for so long that people seemed resigned to these abuses, but times are changing, and with Labour losing electoral support – getting just a third of the vote in last May’s Assembly election – there’s a growing perception that a century of political control – and the power of patronage that goes with it – may be coming to an end.

Which is wonderful news for Wales, but this fin-de-siècle moment is not with us yet. The system is decayed and rotten, like a dangerous tree, but while we are trying to push it over there are still many people reliant on it for sustenance, and they’ll fight dirty to keep it standing. But it will fall, that’s now certain; so it’s up to us to make sure that when it comes down it topples on the right people.

Let it be clearly understood – in case any lawyers read this – that I am not for one minute suggesting that the Labour and Unionist Party was implicated in the break-ins suffered by Neil McEvoy. No, sir. It could well be that these offences were committed by an insomniac with an insatiable urge to read political documents by torchlight. If so, then that person clearly needs help.

If there is no help available then I shall set up the Welsh Insomniac Burglars Aid Society and whack in a grant application for a couple of mill to tackle this horrendous problem; then it’ll be a new motor . . . a few months of wine-tasting in Argentina, maybe go watch Boca . . . apartment down Mumbles . . . conferences in St. Petersburg, Hong Kong, Rio . . . Why not? That’s how Labour’s Third Sector operates.

I’d have to use a false name of course, and pretend to be an English Labourite luvvie who’s just arrived in Wales.

end ♦

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128 Comments on "Neil McEvoy and the Night Visitors"

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Patagonia Pete
Guest

Plenty of corruption for you to get your teeth in over here in Argentina, so hurry on over!!

Big Gee
Admin

An absolutely brilliant post Jac. If there had been more McEvoys around in my political days, and a few more Adam Prices I might still be a Plaid member.

As you rightly say, too much ‘parchusrwydd‘ and ‘bydd yn neis‘ attitude and also too many crachach and sons of the manse around in the past & not enough Rottweilers – maybe things are changing for the better. At least this young man is not a closet Labour lover or a Guardianista. In fact if he stood near where I live I would definitely vote for him & maybe he might help drag Plaid out from behind the sofa!

Fi
Guest

Apart from your ignoring grassroots Plaid politicians who say it like it is (no surprise knowing your background) pretty good article. Too windy and not much about the real scandal (ever heard of RIFW?) keep at it

Anonymous
Guest

nice one jaoo but unfair on many in plaid. Sure i know what your talkin about, but that is too black n white with neil being othe only whitey in town. (ironic icon)
Well written and with the passionate support Neil deserves.

Anonymous
Guest

Food for thought. Absolutely brilliant, well written and very interesting. Looking forward to seeing more from you

Nia Marshall Lloyd
Guest

Excellent piece yet again JOTN

innovatehypnotherapy
Guest

Great article. I can assure you that there’s a new wave of Plaid Cymru supporters working closely with Neil and hoping for election to Cardiff Council in May. More work can then be done. This thought scares the tatty knickers of the Labour group.

dafis
Guest

I have just read through your submission to the Public Accounts Committee Inquiry into Regulatory Oversight of Housing Associations. It covers a lot of ground, and, as we know, there is a lot to investigate anyway.

While I remain pessimistic regarding the Committee’s response in general, the real benefit may come through Opposition parties getting sufficiently motivated to repeatedly challenge the incumbent Labour regime on this and a series of other “hot” topics. Examples of evasive, wishy washy responses should be publicised at the time and stored for use again when the next Election campaign starts and at that point a dossier of incompetence, greed and corruption should be prepared and distributed.

Gareth Turner
Guest

At no point do you mention that McEcoy is a former Labour member.
Do you think that explains somewhat a) his hatred for Labour and b) Labour’s hatred of him? That would be especially interesting if your suggestion tat 1 in 3 Cardiff Labour meetings are to plot his downfall.

At no point do you mention his desire to become leader of Cardiff Council (salary £55k pa) whilst simultaneously serving as an AM (salary £65k pa). Yet you’re happy elsewhere on your blog to highlight high salaries in the Welsh public sector.

For the record I am no fan of McEvoy his rude and abrupt style of politics turns me off. And before you say it too I am certainly no Labour member or supporter either – far from it!

neiljmcevoy
Guest

Of course I was a Labour member! More and more people in our country are going through the same journey I went through. Nothing wrong with that.I enjoy guiding people along; it is my duty.

It is also well known I want root and branch restructure of Cardiff Council. A Plaid run Cardiff will investigate all land deals with the Welsh Government. We will do so openly, line by line in public. I want the Council end of the equation on RIFW and I want to know who knew what, how and when. I want the Lisvane land deal broken open again.There are other deals and contracts on our Cardiff Plaid radar also.

I am standing for re-election to the Council, as I know the organisation inside out. I will not profit personally from any extra money off the Council, should I be successful.

We have a vision of a Council for the Capital of Wales. A prosperous Capital wanting to share the wealth around Wales, not suck it up into one over developed, polluted mess.

Anonymous
Guest

No mention of his business dealings, (whiskey, boxing, houses, gratis chips in Vegas) his aggressive use of litigation, blocking FOIs for transparency and the forgotten hypocritical policies when he was deputy leader of cardiff council, the list is endless with this guy. As they say, he’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy. Now dismiss me as a labour stalker/troll etc and stay in your own delusions.

neiljmcevoy
Guest

a) Boxing: I attended the WBC World Boxing Conventions (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012). The Council did not pay for me to attend. Cardiff successfully bid for & hosted the Night of Champions in 2010 (the biggest gathering of world and ex-world boxing champions ever in Europe). 2011, Cardiff was successful in beating Dubai and Croatia to host the 2013 WBC World Boxing Convention. I was the lead presenter and negotiator; being fluent in Spanish and French was an advantage in this. The event was binned by Labour who didn’t feel that Convention attendees like Muhammad Ali were famous enough for Cardiff. (I am not joking, check the “rich, but not famous” quote in the link.): http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/wbc-world-boxing-convention-2013-2028063).

RE: Vegas 2011, I didn’t claim the subsistence allowance as I could have done; I used my own money. In 2012, in order to repair Labour’s damaging of relations, I paid my own way to the Convention and had excellent meetings, which could now bring fruit. I want to make Cardiff and Wales a hub for world boxing.

b) Whisky: I used my time from 2012 until elections took over to sow interest from the whisky industry in Wales. I tried to sell North Wales to the Industry. No issue in saying Wales should have a whisky industry. There is progress in this area and http://www.walesonline.co.uk/business/business-news/new-distillery-first-north-wales-12397325 I believe there may be more developments.

c) Happy with my record as Deputy Leader of Cardiff 2008/12 and stand by that.

d) I welcome FOIs, unlike the Comrades. I has an open door policy as Deputy Leader and always took questions from the floor and answered during Executive Meetings. Answers were also given out before meetings in my time to make supplementary questions more meaningful and difficult. Labour abolished both these things, when they found questions too hard to deal with.

e) Aggressive used of litigation? Not really; more last recourse. You go after my family and I am coming for you with everything I have. No apologies and I assume those who have tried it on have learned a lesson. I was fully insured for my last case: my opponent had no insurance. The £120,000 with a full insurance pay out was less than half the final bill. The rest was not my responsibility.

I note the anonymity.

Big Gee
Admin

‘Gratis chips in Vegas’ & ‘housing’ is quite intriguing – can you elaborate – without hiding behind the ‘Anonymous’ label? As for ‘boxing’ & ‘whiskey’ are they illegal? I know they’re an anomaly for the Methodist non conformist types that have plagued Plaid in the past.

As a dedicated Boxing News reader, a third generation family participator/ follower of boxing for many years, and who’s youngest son is currently an amateur boxer at the Prizefighter Gym in Carmarthen, I take umbrage at your suggestion that McEvoy’s involvement in that sport is something shady or deplorable – assuming that’s what you’re driving at.

I didn’t realise McEvoy was involved with boxing, if he is, then he’s gone further up in my estimation. Unless he’s involved in match fixing or similar, and not the provision of a sport that teaches youngsters character building self discipline, rescues many from poor under privileged working class backgrounds and instead provides an opportunity to better themselves and regain some self respect and dignity – then where’s the problem with boxing?. The sport has saved many from the street, where drugs and crime would be their only ladder out of their predicament.

We could do with a few more politicians who have boxing skills (of the mental kind and not necessarily the physical kind). It would be a great departure from the ‘powder puff’ parchus ‘sons of the manse’ crachach types that have infested our only Nationalist party in the past – well, since the pacifist/ socialist Gwynfor Evans mob took over anyway.

‘Boxers’ – whether in the ring or in political circles don’t go and cry in the corner when they’re punched – they punch back. I have a feeling that McEvoy is not a cry and feel sorry for yourself in the corner type. Good – much needed.

Anonymous
Guest

another x20 McEvoy please

JE Lloyd
Guest

Jac, your piece on Neil McEvoy is excellent. I have had the pleasure of meeting Neil and hearing him speak. Two things struck me about him. First, his deep roots in the community he serves and commitment to working for them an to achieve real, tangible improvements for them. Secondly, his amazing optimism: through hard work and a focus on real needs and interests of real people, he is convinced that Lazy Labour can be taken on and replaced, both in Cardiff and nationally.

S
Guest

DOWN WITH THE CRACH!

Big Gee
Admin

Clywch, clywch

Stan
Guest

Great article, Jac, hugely informative and entertaining. I see that it has deservedly made lots of waves already.

Yesterday, Lee Waters AM tweeted “The future of Plaid Cymru is Neil McEvoy, says Jac o’ the North” in response to your post. Whether he hoped some of his acolytes would take up the cudgel and try and beat you and NM with it I don’t know, but his tweet hasn’t elicited any response, and only about 4 “likes”. Most of your readers will already be familiar with the spat between Waters and McEvoy last year when NM raised the question of just where Waters was living at the time of the Assembly elections. Was it in a modest street somewhere in Carmarthenshire as per electoral records, or somewhere in the Vale of Glamorgan? Whereas too many of our elected politicians of all sides in Westminster and Cardiff Bay treat the whole experience like the membership of some exclusive club, it strikes me that NM is just the man to shake up that old boys’ network. A great pity there are not more like him.

You’ve even got Daran Hill agreeing with the thrust of your article, saying “Had several conversations where I’ve stressed plausibility of @neiljmcevoy as a future leader – represents a very clear strand and brand”.

But keep this up, Jac, and you may find unwelcome intruders rifling through your own home. Make sure you’ve got your future storylines and that cellar of Malbec under firm lock and key!

Anonymous
Guest

What was the purpose of Reyes global interest which was another business set up with a WBC official when he was still deputy leader of the council. Was it a council business?

dafis
Guest

Interesting question – you obviously have an answer, so don’t be shy out with it. Or is this just a loaded intro to a big mystery game with no real purpose ?

Big Gee
Admin

A bit of boxing advice Anonymous – don’t go in the ring with an opponent that’s in two or three weight divisions above you – you could land on your arse quite sharpishly – always an embarrassing situation! Mind you there are advantages to being a straw weight contender – they have less trouble squeezing in through windows after dark!

On a more serious note, as dafis says in other words – “spit it out son” – don’t keep it to yourself with cryptic clues.

neiljmcevoy
Guest

Hi Anonymous, I think we know each other, don’t we?! Reyes? Set it up as an option, before stopping being Deputy Leader in April 2012. Decided not to do anything with it. Hardly a drama.

Phil
Guest

The fact Mcevoy is described in such glowing terms on a nationalist far right blog is bad enough but to have him come on basking in the adulation reveals all we need to know about the man.

neiljmcevoy
Guest

More smear, no substance Phil. All personal; nothing political.

Phil
Guest

Trouble for people like you Neil is British people don’t like politicians who only show concern for certain types of people whether it be colour of skin or what side of a man made line on a map they were born. Nationalism is easy to defeat because its always vulnerable to the racist and bigot accusations especially in Wales where it stems from culture, pureness and sense a entitlement of more similar to 1930’s Japan than left or right.

Plaid Cymru knows this to be true or it wouldn’t have to water itself down so much it barely resembles a nationalist party at all.

Big Gee
Admin

FAR right? Now correct me if I’m wrong ‘Phil’, but is that a veiled attempt at a suggestion of fascism? If so you better think hard about what you are suggesting.

Although Jac describes his blog as “interpreting Wales from a right of centre Nationalist perspective” I don’t think he, any more than I do, subscribes to this illusionary perception that politics has a ‘right’ or ‘left’. It is a manufactured label to help morons get an idea of how things work in their little heads. Mention ‘far left’ and you’re accused of being communist. Mention ‘far right’ and you’re accused of being a fascist. It’s ludicrous – as is your daft comment about this blog and McEvoy’s standing.

Study so called ‘far right’ politics, and then study ‘far left’ politics and you arrive at the same destination. You need to go away and study a bit more on the subject of politics.

It’s evident that your comment is a case of ’empty vessels making the most noise’. We can do without empty vessels on here. We pride ourselves on political comment that is deeper than the average rain puddle.

david jones
Guest

A handful of McEvoys in the Valleys, a handful in North East Wales, and a few dotted around in places like Holyhead, Wrexham, Newport etc, and the tide will turn. Labour are shit scared of him because 1) he knows them, 2) he fights as dirty as they do, and 3) takes them on on their own terms. Personally, I think it’s what Plaid needs now.
As for this blog being ‘far right’, that is of course bollocks. It is certainly right wing but in UK terms it’s mainstream right. You just don’t like it because it turns the tables. I don’t share its anti-state, Brexit stance, but let’s face it it is tame compared with the mainstream of English conservative thought, and certainly UKIP. What you’re really saying ‘Phil’ is that a Welsh blog that dares apply the same right-wing standards to the English is ‘far right’, which is very different.

Big Gee
Admin

Agreed!

Brychan
Guest

Jac makes a very pertinent observation.

No valuable items like tablets, phones or other valuables were removed during the constituency office break-in. Also evident in the press reports of the crime scene, there was no ‘wanton’ smash-up as you’d expect with wayward youths. The break in was purposeful and direct. A steel security bar was cut, possibly with an angle grinder, access to the rear, and a professional pop of a widow seal, and subsequent rifling into paperwork. The crime scene tells the story. I’m familiar with two previous crime scenes of this type…

(a) An agricultural business that was broken into. No laptops or cash taken. No keys to valuable plant removed. However, documentation was rifled through. The perpetrators turned out to be part of an animal rights gang who wanted details of suppliers and business contacts relating the veal trade. The motive was purely political; they wanted invoices and delivery notes from the filing cabinet.

(b) A railway contactors office was broken into. No keys to valuable plant removed. However, documentation was rifled through. The perpetrators were scrap metal thieves who wanted to know when and where cable was being delivered as it’s easier to steal cable when it’s trackside (not in a secure compound), not connected (avoids electrocution), and not yet inside heavy troughing. They wanted jobs sheets and signalling diagrams.

So what type of people did the McEvoy job ?
What did they want?
From Cardiff, or the valleys?
Did the dogs smell any evidence of an accelerant?
(usual MO is the scene would be torched to remove evidence, but was not in this case as they de-camped when the security alarm was triggered to the inner office)

It would be helpful if Neil posted the incident reference on here. It will be a number suffixed with the date, or the crime number recorded by SWP. In this way if anyone reading this blog has any information they can report it to 101. Or if they wish to remain anonymous, provide information to CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111.

Given the heightened security concerns for elected representatives after the Joe Cox murder, I would expect CID to investigate this incident with utmost priority. Failure to do so might prompt questions about progress to ministers, both in Cardiff and London.

Jacothenorth CSI (or maybe UCOS)?

I also find it strange that no statement has been made by the Labour Party. It is not yet known what the motive was. It could be an attempt to obtain constituent correspondence just as applicable to what any AM does, regardless of political party. A person who has contacted their AM and there be an aggrieved person in dispute.. The Labour Party should be stating that they wish the perpetrators to be apprehended asap, an affront to democracy, not posting abusive remarks on this blog and on twitter.

Lee Waters should hang his head in shame.

philip parry
Guest

You have put into words exactly what i have believed of Labour for a long time, and i come from a Labour voting Family [no more]. Last time i went with Plaid but you are word perfect in describing them.Plaid AM`s are scared of EVERYTHING and if you happen to mention any thing to them about our Culture, our history, and our sadly neglected hero`s of old they instinctively reach for their running shoes while taking a good mouthful of Prozac and scorning you for being a Nash !!??, such is the panic which breaks out in their ranks. Plaid as it stands is a party without any credibility and Lianne Wood is woolly headed and her views and policies are far too much like Labour rather than the National Party of Wales – a lost cause. You will find her making sincere speeches about culture and the need to protect history when she lends her heart felt support for the Native American Indians of Standing Rock, yet Lianne Wood or any of her party lent no support what so ever to the campaign to save Garth Celyn, the principle LLys of the Princes of Gwynedd in Abergwyngregyn and which the late President of Plaid Cymru, Gwynfor Evans described as, “The most important site in Wales”..

Cymrobach
Guest

There have been politicos from plaid in the NM mould-Ted Merrieman, Glyn Owen(Aberdar),Glyn James( Rhondda) in the 70s. They made Haycock and Squires into trembling wrecks

gkbrightmore
Guest

It’s high time someone shook up the Welsh Establishment (the hot-bed of nepotism ) and Neil McEvoy is that man it seems.

daffy2012
Guest

I do have respect for Leanne especially since she won the Rhondda Assembly seat. She is not leadership material though. I see that the latest opinion polls were revealed by Prof Scully show Plaid not making much ground electorally despite Labour’s woes. Time for a change I think.

Big Gee
Admin

Leanne is a lovely and genuine girl – I really like her very much as a person, I’ve spent a lot of time in her company in the past. However she’s not a Rottweiler, she’s very ‘nice’ hence the reason she’s seen as a safe pair of hands within the timid Plaid hierarchy. The last Plaid leader with bite was Dafydd Wigley, but because he spoke straight and punched from the shoulder he was viewed as a liability (how bloody stupid was that?). So when they saw their opportunity the ‘sons of the manse’ (Cynog Dafis & Ieuan Wyn Jones predominantly) did a Ceasar-like assassination job by stabbing him in the back. He never recovered, but is too much of a gentleman to expose what happened to him. He’s still quietly licking his wounds in the House of Lords.

It’s an obvious pattern. What they want is a ‘nice’ leader (preferably a socialist leaning Calvanist minister), who will get them nowhere – won’t rock any boats, and certainly won’t go for any jugulars!

gkbrightmore
Guest

“Girl “? She is a woman ! Watch your everyday misogyny .
As as for your later facile remarks that NE would attract ‘gay vote’ at universities I find that so conventional not to say , bigoted. It is 21st century and not 1950’s after all .

Big Gee
Admin

FFS – “everyday misogyny”? What the hell are you lathering about? We need more political correctness and semantics like a fish needs a bloody bicycle. Do you know what? I’d prefer to be in the fifties than in this frigging inside out and upside down world we live in at present, with prats like you promoting the madness. Get real, grow up and smell the coffee.

By the way, where did I link NE to a ‘gay vote’ at universities? Dafis was the contributor that mentioned Simon Thomas’ ear ring in the hope of attracting a university ‘gay’ vote. What I said was he should bin it because it doesn’t work.

If you’re going to come on here to make a prat of yourself, at least get your facts right.

“It is the 21st century and not the 1950s after all” My ARSE!

dafis
Guest

NE ? Last time I looked the subject of this article was N M ! There again when a guy gets into a bit of an agitated state his basic literacy may be one of the first things that gets derailed ! But all this bullshit about misogyny and hostility to gays just about sums up the writer, more focussed on superficial correctness than understanding the underlying manipulation that thrives on a diet of such correctness.

Suggest the writer changes his/her initials from gk to PC – pedantic creep ( or any other word you care to insert ! )

gkbrightmore
Guest

I fear it is not I ,but yourself (anonymised of course ,so why one wonders reluctant to reveal your identity ) who is the, “prat ” here. You certainly are a member of that loud-mouthed windbag elite (with all respect) .

Keith Parry
Guest

Jac you have been on about a new party since at least 1987. I am a candidate for Plaid Cymru in Cardiff local elections and support Neil McEvoy.If people dont like Plaid as it is they should get involved and change it from within. New parties are very difficult to get going. Keep up the good work. Keith.

Big Gee
Admin

You’re quite right Keith – it is VERY difficult to get a new party established and off the ground, especially if it gets strangled by an existing party who do a good imitation of a ‘dog in the manger’. Jac and others, (including myself) worked extremely hard to get the Independent Wales Party started around the turn of the millennium, but failed, because we were vehemently opposed by the ‘non independence’ crowd – including Plaid, who at the time were playing out some strange schizophrenic game, where they would run away from the ‘I’ word in public, but everyone within Plaid were all supposedly for independence when talking behind closed doors! What a farce that was – hence one of the reason I call them the ‘hide behind the sofa’ party.

They did the same thing when Seimon Brooks, Emyr Hywel & I established the Llais Ceredigion local party. They had a meltdown, and ganged up with all the other parties in Ceredigion Council (including the ruling Independents group) – to keep us out – despite our guarantees that we would not put candidates forward where Plaid candidates were standing. They would not even consult with us on the subject, as if it was a political taboo, we even had a private meeting with Elin Jones who simply wouldn’t even hear of it (mind you she was probably confused about what was going on around her). They had big nightmares because they thought that Cymuned – with a big backing at the time – were orchestrating things from the wings The final result was that they managed to kill us at birth. The final result was that they lost Simon Thomas, their MP for Ceredigion because people remembered their previous underhanded and stupid actions. The Lib-Dems have been in power here ever since.

As for changing a party from within – you have GOT to be joking! The number of times I’ve heard that old chestnut, notably when I decided to leave the party. Change from within is an impossible task within Plaid, because they will scheme and plot to stop it from above. Believe me I tried that as well (remember the ‘oddballs, social misfits and society dropouts’ furore?). Plaid are like the proverbial wife & child abuser. Outside the front door they are cowards, inside the home they can be ruthless and nasty – to their own family. As I said forget it – unless you expect a personal lifespan of about 500 years!

Why do you think that the ones we see as a ‘hope’ within their ranks never actually make it? Adam Price for example, and I hate to be negative, Neil McEvoy will excite some within Plaid ranks and many more on the fringes, but sadly I fear for any sort of leadership role for him in the near future – because he frightens the ones at the top of the party shitless. It’s only a matter of time before he spouts a truth. Labour and the media will wade in, Plaid will wobble like a jelly with fright, and then the writing will be on the wall – as happened to me.

Jac’s right, that what is needed IS a new genuine nationalist party, how that can be achieved in our cloistered nationalist environment is another matter and a big conundrum for all those who wish it.

Anonymous
Guest

change the record Keith you’ve been banging on about changing the party from within for years, as much as I dislike him G he’s right so take Royston’s advice help form a new party and while you’re at it take Mcevoy with you as leader.

Garry W Gibbs
Guest

Hi,
When you say “a right of centre nationalist perspective”, does that mean something like 1930s Germany with that kind of pride in nationhood and very active organised political impetus and call to action? What would the future look like for you in a “right of centre” Wales?
Does Neil McEvoy speak Welsh and what exactly are his Welsh credentials and what are his intrinsic nationalist values and motivation for independence? In essence, why is he Plaid and not any other party which would give him a platform? (I know, for instance, that Plaid has worked hard to recruit multi-ethnic people in inner cities who are neither Welsh nor speak the language. Look, for instance, at Mohammed Ashgar, who left to join the Tories.)
Has Plaid Cymru now abandoned their policy to insist that the language is spoken first, not second, and definitely not never? Have they in effect abandoned their purist principles regarding preserving and promoting the language and using it almost as a political protest and a central plank of their unique selling point?

Big Gee
Admin

‘Hi’ to you too . . . Gary W Gibbs (isn’t it strange how idiots often have a middle initial of ‘dublya’).

I won’t even try to dignify that post of yours with a reply. Unravel all the shit you’ve just spouted starting with your reference to “1930s Germany” – as Jac has requested. Then go down your list that resembles a pig’s breakfast of non coherent bullshit – one point at a time – and we’ll see if we can unravel it, and in the process it might be possible to hose out the crap from between your ears, that has obviously been shovelled in there from some other dodgy sources – probably some socialist/ liberal leaning false news, from the mainstream media rubbish that’s tossed about.

Richard Perkins
Guest

I admire Neil McEvoy for rejecting Plaid’s cosying up and being polite to a Labour Party that is at best complacent and incompetent.
Like most Welsh people he has a respect for the Welsh language and wishes to see it survive and prosper. Without it Wales would not exist.
But in Cardiff and the Assembly of now what other home is there for someone of integrity, of the centre left who also supports boxing other than Plaid, especially if you are utterly disenchanted with Labour ?
All parties are coalitions and involve internal power struggles.I think it says a lot for Plaid that someone like McEvoy, a real cardiff boy, can identify completely with it. I admire his energy and commitment to the people of Cardiff and Wales and utterly despise all the anonymous mud slinging and dirty tricks and people hiding behind noms de plumes.
I hope he does succeed in winning Cardiff for Plaid and also remain an AP. Why not?
More power to his elbow!

daffy2012
Guest

Well, as I said earlier, the polls aren’t showing a Plaid ‘surge’ during Labour weakness. What do Plaid people think should now happen? And another thing, I’d give Bethan, Simon and Dr Dai constituencies to fight for and let new blood in via the regionalist list seats. They’ve had enough time and publicity to make a mark now surely or are they a tad uninspiring?

JE Lloyd
Guest

A new party is not needed. Plaid’s policy positions and goals are fundamentally sound. What is needed is an organized grassroots movement to press the leadership to provide robust opposition to Lazy Labour and aggressively highlight the ways in which they have let down the Welsh people, to mobilize people and communities, to communicate a clear and compelling programme for government, and to target and campaign for power to deliver that programme. If the current leadership won’t respond, the goal should be to replace them with worthy substitutes.

Big Gee
Admin

And you’re going to funnel that ‘grassroots movement’ through the current entrenched Plaid AMs & PMs? Yeah sure – mind your head there’s a cloud of flying cows approaching!

Plaid’s policy position has become increasingly insipid since the socialists took over in Gwynfor Evans’ day. It’s got gradually worse ever since. God it’s only recently that they’ve reluctantly made it public they want independence! That wasn’t what the founding fathers of Plaid were about. Now they’re dismissed by the socialists in the party as ‘cultural nationalists’. The people of Cymru are sick of it.

JE Lloyd
Guest

Of course it should not be funnelled through Plaid AMs and MPs. Hesitate to draw any parallels with Islington Labour … but Momentum is not funnelled through the Parliamentary Labour Party. To be effective, it would need to be truly a grass roots organization. Although Neil McEvoy AM would be a great leader or mentor!

My view is that Plaid should be a broad church (chapel) and should warmly embrace all who subscribe to its essential values and are committed to the interests of the communities of Wales and to pursuing a national destiny. The SNP has eschewed to internal factionalism of the 1980s, and their progress since then is plain to see.

Any moves in Wales to increase petty Pythonesque factionalism of the he People’s Front of Judea vs. the Judean People’s Front is totally unnecessary and unhelpful.

Big Gee
Admin

I see what you mean, when you mention ‘Momentum’. However you’re looking at a different beast there. Momentum is made up of hard core, union members, topped up with others who have jumped on the Corbyn wave of enthusiasm – a lot of it being seen as an anti establishment move – hence the sudden rush to be involved.

Plaid grass roots is a MUCH different animal. Plaid is divided between the ‘cultural nationalists’ (a term I don’t like) and the ‘socialist nationalists’ (a term I dislike even more). The reason there is no blend is in my opinion a case of a lack of education – as I’m sure you’ve read on this blog many times from me. We are a nation that is divorced from it’s roots because of ignorance and therefore naturally divided. A nation that has no knowledge whatsoever about it’s traditional culture, language, history & literary arts is a fragmented gathering of people who happen to be in an area to the west of England. Our young folk are like little ducklings hatched from their eggs, who follow the first thing that moves. The ‘thing’ they see moving around them from birth is English – culture, language, traditions and politics – they follow blindly.

To get a ‘grass roots’ swell would, in the first place, require the national support from it’s citizens who have merged together. That’s a BIG problem. Cymuned had hopes of creating that grass root support, however outside the nationalists’ ranks, no one south of Lampeter even knew of it’s existence. How many people in Cymru know what Plaid’s roots are – unless they’re members, and then it’s a hit or miss job.

Daley Gleephart
Guest

‘There exists a tribe of ants called “The Slave-Maker”. These insects raid the colonies of common ants, steal eggs back to their own nests, & after they hatch, why, the stolen slaves become workers of the greater empire & don’t even dream that they was ever stolen. Now if you ask me, Lord Jehovah crafted these ants as a model, Mr Ewing, aye, as a map.’ – Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.
Plaid Cymru or Plaid Cholmondeley?

JE Lloyd
Guest

Your analysis is rather depressing. But surely N McE points the way to a practical, community-based politics that can nourish and support a new form of nationalism that is not primarily “cultural” or “socialist”.

Stan
Guest

That last but one paragraph of Big Gee’s hits the nail smack on the head. Don’t they say, “Give me the child until he is seven and I will give you the man….” or something along those lines. It surely is all about education and catching ’em young. I never had the chance when a child but now as an old man looking back I so much which I did. That duckling analogy is brilliant and when I use it in the future, Gee, you might find your ears burning. Classic!

Big Gee
Admin

Well thank you Stan – for your very kind words! Bring on the ear scorch! Shout it from the mountain tops my friend “it’s the education system stupid . . . “

dafis
Guest

note your tweet re hospital services in Central Wales – virtual desert between Aber Bronglais and Shrewsbury. Plenty of land for a new investment in Health ( some might need a touch of flattening) between Caersws and Welshpool without siting on valley floor ! Given that the muppets at Hywel Dda have an urge to reduce any kind of major service at Aber preferring to ship sick people to Glangwili, or even contract serious stuff to the neighbouring ABM sites ! , it would be very smart to have a concentration of resource in the middle, and it might even be able to offer subcontracted services to our friends across the border!.
I saw Glyn Davies doing his best to stay civil in the House debate the other day with a patronising Tory from Shropshire using Welsh patients as leverage in the debate but interested in nothing other than his constituents.

dafis
Guest

Continuing with your theme of Health – delighted to see that Councillor Chippings’ innovative idea is still afloat despite being burdened with a swollen budget ( painful!). Perhaps she could roll out a chain of these to cover the “Western periphery” thereby relieving indifferent NHS Boards of any worries about reaching those inconvenient remote parts of their territories. Could be the next big idea from a Labour Cynulliad already suffering from all sorts of personality disorders.

dafis
Guest

the tweet from bwgan bran in your Tweet column caught my eye. It sums up our condition in its entirety.

We look like we are going to get the go-ahead for the Swansea Lagoon – good news. However we may have to settle, if we’re lucky, with about 50% of the spend here in Wales when Germany’s public procurement spends nearly all its money in their own country. Devastating.

However even more shocking is the fact that it will be difficult to spend much more than 50% of the budget in Wales because our industrial/manufacturing/engineering capacity and capability has been allowed to decline so badly over the last 30 years or so. Yes we have individual success stories, too few, but worthy nevertheless. But successive governments were seduced by the discredited bollocks of “investing” heavily in alternatives such as social enterprise – 3rd sector nonsense – and ploughing excessive grant aid into the windfarm game which has rewarded very few native participants while allowing the international grant grabbers to have a ball.

Too often government has totally excluded, or delayed for no good reason, local ventures harnessing advances in engineering despite ample evidence that such innovations could be made to work profitably creating a better balanced economy and a more contented wage earning working population. Instead these advances have played a very remote also-ran to the idlers and fiddlers who have recycled grants and other departmental funds fixing social “ailments” that need not have been there in the first place. We still await the true sums to be disclosed in connection with building of windfarms on remote heathlands which were themselves important long term stores of carbon until disturbed by the cack-handed methods used to prepare sites for the construction of these structures.

But will government wake up to this deficit ? Not on your nelly. Instead it will be used as an excuse for placing big orders, high added value stuff with major international contractors. Given that overpricing is a racing cert that means that “wealth” will be transferred from a potential Welsh chain of distribution to another chain which will inevitably lead to London or further afield. Howzat for an own goal?

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