Mar 242017
 

Swansea Labour Party

I have it on good authority that the all-conquering Swansea Labour Party is raring to go in May’s council elections. Well oiled, with palms greased and muscles flexed from Clydach High Street to Caswell Bay. Even as you read this leafleting teams – each member carrying a 90kg rucksack – will be training by racing up and down Kilvey Hill. Platitudes are being practised and – should honeyed words fail – brass knuckles polished.

Well, perhaps I exaggerate.

It is at this point I must apologise to whoever sent me interesting information about the line-up for May . . . information I’m afraid I’ve lost, sorry. The problem is that I’m still trying to get straight after my recent computer disaster. But never mind, I shall press on with what I’ve got.

It seems that things are not well for the bruvvers on my home patch, and even worse as we look around the Bay.

First, the Clays, Bob and Uta, have upped sticks and gone. They drifted into town a few years ago, he’s English and a former MP for Sunderland North, she’s Austrian. They were immediately accepted as candidates by the Labour Party, yet they’ve spent their brief time in the city playing left wing politics and plotting against ‘colleagues’, now they’re moving on having done sod all for Swansea, their only contribution being to keep up Labour numbers on the council.

One of those hoping to replace the Clays in the Llansamlet ward is Maureen ‘Mo’ Sykes, who has appeared in this blog afore, due to her connection with the YMCA. See here, here and here.

Like the Clays and so many of the city’s recent Labour councillors Sykes is not native to Swansea or to Wales. But what the hell! Labour is an internationalist party . . . or was until it realised that most Labour voters went for Brexit due to concerns over immigration. So if Labour don’t fall into line, then those voters will switch to Ukip (even if they remain sceptical about Paul Nuttall’s claim to have scored the winning goal in the 1966 World Cup Final).

Plaid Cymru

‘But, surely’ you cry, ‘Plaid Cymru must be strong in Swansea, and putting up a raft of of inspiring candidates?’ I fear not. The last time the Jack electorate was offered credible Plaid candidates with whom they could identify was when me and my mates stood back in the ’60s and ’70s. You want to know why Plaid Cymru is almost invisible in Swansea?

First, there’s the widespread perception that Plaid is a ‘Cardiff party’. In other words, part of the ‘bubble’ that sees Cardiff get a disproportionate share of investment and everything else. This may be felt in other areas, but is more keenly felt in Cardiff’s only rival.

Second, and another reason that the party has difficulty connecting with ordinary people, is because of its obsession with ‘progressive’ politics and other bollocks that makes it hostage to single-issue obsessives and outright charlatans. Here’s an example.

Mynydd y Gwair

The long saga of Mynydd y Gwair is drawing to a close. A windfarm will soon rise on an unspoilt landscape on the edge of Swansea. Local graziers – all Welsh – will lose out to the German energy company erecting the turbines, and the Duke of Beaufort, who owns the land, much of it acquired in confiscations from Welsh landowners (among them, it is suggested, Owain Glyndŵr). Yet Plaid Cymru has done nothing to help the people of the area.

Plaid Cymru may indeed be ‘the Party of Wales’ but in its pathetic attempt to avoid the ‘narrow nationalist’ slander it refuses to acknowledge the existence of a distinct, Welsh people, promoting instead something called ‘civic nationalism’ which, when used by Plaid Cymru, is just a cop-out.

On Mynydd y Gwair, Plaid’s desperation to avoid the slander, coupled with its support for environmentalist shysters, has led the party to support a German energy company and an English aristocrat against Welsh people.

What sort of a national party is this? Perhaps one for which ‘Wales’ is just a geographical expression.

Plod, Plod, Plodding Along

Before leaving Swansea I must return to the case of Jenny Lee Clarke who, you may remember, was a colleague of Carolyn Harris, now the MP for Swansea East, and claims to have suffered a homophobic assault at the hands of Harris. (An incident that Plaid Cymru, opposed to bullying and homophobia, chose to ignore.)

In what was almost certainly a tit-for-tat move Clarke was accused of stealing money by somehow paying herself more than she was due. I’m not sure when she was initially charged (lost documents again) but I know that she was bailed, and that this initial bail period was extended until November 7th . . . when it was extended again to February 17th . . . now it’s been extended again to May 17th.

. . . for Labour politicians?

If the police have a case then they should take it to court, if they don’t have a case then they should give this poor woman a break and put an end to her worrying. I cannot believe that it takes so long to investigate a single allegation against one woman – it’s not as if we’re dealing with a complicated conspiracy involving offshore accounts used by Russian hackers.

The way the police have treated Jenny Lee Clarke makes them look incompetent. An alternative explanation, seeing as the allegation against Clarke comes from a Labour MP, one against whom she had made a serious allegation, and remembering that the South Wales PCC, Alun Michael, is a former Labour MP, might be that political influence explains this woman’s appalling treatment.

Comrades Lost on the Port Talbot Front

Around the Bay, in Neath Port Talbot, there has been internecine blood-letting on a scale unrecorded since the Peloponnesian War. The ground in Port Talbot is said to be red with the blood of fallen comrades, knives protruding from their backs, with as many as half of the sitting Labour councillors deselected, and perhaps eleven of them planning to stand as Independents in May. This could get really nasty. (Rubs hands gleefully!)

A similar situation is reported from Bridgend council, especially up around Maesteg, and from other areas such as Caerfilli, and Cardiff. It would appear that in some local authority areas ‘Welsh’ Labour is fighting a – largely unreported – civil war.

Llandovery YMCA

Hesitantly now, I cross the mighty Llwchwr into Carmarthenshire, but give Sosban a wide berth, for Cneifiwr is doing a grand job there in exposing the manifest shortcomings of the oddballs, dissemblers and grotesques collectively known as Llanelli Labour Party. I shall instead hie me away to Llandovery.

Intelligence reached me that the con trick going by the name of Llandovery YMCA had closed its doors. I call it a con trick because its greatest achievement has been to pull in hundreds of thousands of pounds of public funding to create non-jobs for good-lifers. I suggest you read Ancestral Turf and The Impoverishment of Wales (scroll down to ‘YMCA Wales’). There you will encounter in a previous incarnation ‘Mo’ Sykes, would-be successor to the Clays.

put up on March 4th, still closed

Of more immediate relevance could be that the driving force behind this scam, one Jill Tatman, is being prevented from returning to work by other trustees after a period looking after her ‘sick’ husband. I’m told that her husband is not sick at all, but perhaps keeping his own company while on bail for – it is alleged – offences involving children.

A great deal of public money has been poured into Llandovery YMCA for the benefit of a small group of recent arrivals. Given that the whole project seems to have folded there should now be an investigation of the accounts and the wider running of this good-lifers’ benefit fund.

In my Ancestral Turf post you will see a video featuring Gill Wright who branched out by taking over the old North Western Hotel, near the railway station, to run as the Level Crossing bunkhouse. Public funding was secured, but again, the venture collapsed, after just two years.

The old pile has now been bought again, this time to be run as a commercial venture, with no public funding involved. How know I this? Because the new owners sent a message to the contact box you’ll see in the sidebar.

I get some very interesting messages through my ‘Contact Me Directly’ box. Oh yes.

Sweet Charity

News from the north, now.

Over the years I’ve dealt with countless examples of the ‘Welsh’ Government blindly throwing money around in the vain hope that this will be mistaken for an economic strategy. As we know, much of this money goes to Labour Party members and hangers-on in the Third Sector; Naz Malik and the family business AWEMA being a classic example.

When it’s not going to Labourites other ways are found to squander public funding, such as showering money on the grant grabbers of Llandovery and their counterparts across the land. I’ve often thought that this group seems to make up for the lack of a Labour presence in rural areas.

For the electoral map tells us that there are fewer opportunities to reward party loyalty when we travel west of Wrecsam and Llanelli, or north of Merthyr. But little outposts of bruvverdom can still be found. One such example would be the patch of Councillor Siôn Wyn Jones in Bethel, a village to the north east of Caernarfon on the B4366.

Now I’m sure that one-time estate agent Siôn is a conscientious councillor working hard for his community, for he never tires of telling people how hard he works and how much money he’s raised for that community. But questions are being asked about his running of the village hall, Neuadd Goffa Bethel.

Back in 2013 the Neuadd was given £294,811.88 in capital grants by the ‘Welsh’ Government for a revamp. Which gave Carwyn Jones the opportunity to venture into Plaid Cymru territory to remind locals how much ‘Welsh’ Labour was doing for them.

The revamped Neuadd is a fine asset for Bethel, but questions persist. Such as, why have no accounts or annual returns been filed with the Charity Commission for two years? And why is Siôn Wyn Jones the sole trustee of the Neuadd? Because the Charity Commission recommends at least three trustees. We know young Siôn is multi-talented, but is he serving as chairman, secretary and treasurer?

I’m sure there are simple answers to these questions and equally sure that Siôn Wyn Jones will ensure that everything is soon tickety-boo. For hark! I hear the returning officer call the candidates to the stage.

P.S. I should have mentioned that even though Gwynedd Council is controlled by Plaid Cymru the local funding agency, Mantell Gwynedd, is firmly under Labour Party control. Described to me as a “Labour closed shop”. Which means that even in an area where Labour is weak, ‘loyalty’ can still be bought and rewarded. An interesting insight into how ‘Welsh’ Labour manages to control the purse-strings even in those areas where it is rejected by the electorate.

‘J Jones’

Those of us who spend too much time on the internet, and especially on sites that deal with Wales, will be familiar with ‘J Jones’, an exceptionally prolific writer whose mission in life seems to be proving that we’d all be eating caviare in the backs of our chauffeur-driven Rollers . . . if only we killed off the Welsh language.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: I believe that ‘J Jones’ is our old friend, that son of the Balkans, Jacques Protic. I say that for a number of reasons. To begin with, over the years Protic has used many aliases, he may even have been Bilingo, for what really brings down the red mist for Protic is kids being taught Welsh, or worse, being educated through the medium of Welsh.

A further link is that ‘J Jones’ claims to be living on Ynys Môn, which, by a strange coincidence, is where Jacques Protic lives.

Until quite recently, Protic and ‘J Jones’ seemed to work as a team, appearing on the same blog or website feeding off each other. But we seem to be reading less from Protic nowadays and more from ‘J Jones’, who may be trying to explain the Protic reticence in the comment below, made in December to a Cardiff University blog by Professor Roger Scully.

Significantly, the police doing “nothing” to protect Jacques Protic from nationalist lynch mobs is a refrain we’ve heard from Protic himself. It has even been taken up by Labour blogger Phil Parry. To savour his take on the persecution of Jacques Protic – and my role in it! – work back from (takes deep breath), If Third-Rate Journalism Reliant On Endless Repetition Was A Crime Then Phil Parry Would Have Been Banged Up Long Ago.

‘J Jones’ of course shares the Protic obsession with education, to the extent that towards the end of 2015 he even commissioned a survey with YouGov into attitudes to Welsh language education. How much does it cost to have your own survey? How much of an obsessive do you have to be to arrange one? Or is someone else paying?

I suggest that newspapers, magazines, blogs and websites, take rather more care than hitherto when dealing with comments and other contributions from ‘J Jones’, if only because he doesn’t exist.

Brexit

To finish, a little contribution from another source who tells me that Whitehall mandarins are in a tizzy because they fear May and her Three Brexiteers may be planning to do a runner so as to avoid the €60bn ‘divorce settlement’ and other punitive measures that Johnny Foreigner will seek to impose.

The scenario runs thus: Once the German elections are out of the way at the end of September a spat will be contrived that will see the UK raise two fingers to her erstwhile partners in the EU and walk away without paying anything.

I’m still trying to get my head around this, and figure out how it might impact on Scotland. Surely it would be a gift for the SNP? And what about us?

I’m sure my erudite and imaginative readers will have opinions on this and the other matters raised in this post.

♦ end ♦

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46 Comments on "News Round-up 24.03.2017"

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Red Flag
Guest

It would appear that in some local authority areas ‘Welsh’ Labour is fighting a – largely unreported – civil war.

Surely not. To suggest such a thing would mean you are accusing the nation’s two esteemed regional rags (Western Mail and Daily Post) of being little more than Labour Party sock puppets and propaganda sheets – which as we all know is a totally scurrilous and groundless accusation.

treforus
Guest
On that subject, the decision by Trinity Mirror to subsume the Evening Post website into Walesonline has gone down like a cup of cold vomit in Swansea. Having the section for Swansea news surrounded by an advert for season tickets for Cardiff City on week one of the change was decidedly unfortunate. And in the great tradition of South West Wales, no-one can find the “deaths” anymore, the main attraction… Read more »
Red Flag
Guest
May and her Three Brexiteers may be planning to do a runner so as to avoid the €60bn ‘divorce settlement’ and other punitive measures that Johnny Foreigner will seek to impose I’ve always thought that there is ni way we will waste two years exchanging meaningless pleasantries chatting to the gibbering clowns of the EU. I’ve always thought that the more logical thing to do would be to shove in… Read more »
Private_Partz
Guest
I would bet my last fiver that the EU is far better prepared for the talks than May and her no hopers. It is in the EU’s interests to make the UK suffer. The choice, once the button is pressed, is either Hard Brexit or Continued membership at additional cost. I agree with your previous comments regarding our joke of a National Media. They are a bunch of rugby supporting,… Read more »
dafis
Guest
Just love the way all those M.P’s are basking in the bravery of 1 or 2 members who did jump in and responded to the demented assassin but most of them were quite happy to be in lock down as long as they had access to a shithouse as they were( mostly) shitting bricks. Now they want greater security while they will use the incident to justify even more snooping… Read more »
Red Flag
Guest
How prepared each side is or is not isn’t that important, the bottom line is we can walk away the same day as we trigger A50 and just opt for WTO tariffs and ignore the EU from then on if we so choose and there is nothing the EU can do about it – they are a paper tiger and they know it and their main worry is if other… Read more »
dafis
Guest
wandering off topic before we even get started – Private Eye confirms itself as a less than half-witty piece of recreational reading for Anglo Brits who like to take a sly dig at the “Establishment” but in reality are very content with their stake in it. As for Lincoln Grove, well that sounds like some suburban city street where perverts gather to play with little boys. Maybe he could write… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest

The UK is legally obliged to pay its divorce bill under treaty obligations. If it reneges on its financial contracts with the EU the Bond Markets will slaughter the UK.

Red Flag
Guest
The UK is legally obliged to pay its divorce bill under treaty obligations. If it reneges on its financial contracts with the EU the Bond Markets will slaughter the UK. It isn’t actually. Under international law treaties aren’t actually legally binding – they are just ‘gentlemen’s agreements’. And the bond markets won’t slaughter the UK at all – quite the opposite. The UK possesses a sovereign currency and the government… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest
That’s not how markets work. The UK debt is over $1 trillion – who do you think owns this debt, the UK government. NO – International Capital Markets. When Carney says the UK relies on the kindness of strangers that’s what he is talking about. The UKs divorce bill are commitments its contractually obliged to pay for – a bit like staying at a hotel and before you leave your… Read more »
Red Flag
Guest
It is how the international markets work actually. One of my daughters is a banker for a major German bank and is based in Luxembourg. You’d be surprised at what the international money markets think of us leaving the EU – but I’ll give you a clue. given the option of investing in us or investing in the EU, it’s us they prefer and us they see as the more… Read more »
Brychan
Guest
Surely a German bank already based in Luxembourg will already be a specialist in overseas activity, anyway. Such a bank already operates there for purpose of being inside the EU but in a domestic tax and regulation regime to maximise returns of current activity outside the EU. Brexit provides an opportunity for such a bank. So what your daughter is telling you is opportunities for that particular bank and nothing… Read more »
Andrew Williams
Guest
Her job is in a department where they specifically ,dispose, of anything euro-based for their clients (which includes countries). They do it by slicing and dicing (remember where that ended up in 2008?) and dumping them, usually into the pension market where the organisations (including them funnily enough) are only interested in commission, – not long term viability. The reason that department is in Luxembourg is because of the secrecy… Read more »
Brychan
Guest
I don’t actually envy your British Army experience, getting the natives to work as maids and waiters, in far-flung parts of the colonies, and a tidy villa in India. However, you are correct to point out the importance of ‘what you can buy with a pay rise’ being important. The pound is worth 23% less!! I also don’t buy into your Brexit bring back the empire ‘forecasts’. We have to… Read more »
Red Flag
Guest
Oh, and under the Article 50 procedure, we are for want of a better description susoended from the minute we trigger it. Very earky on in the negotiations we will lose our place on the Council, our MEPs will no longer take part, we will not be involved in any of the committees or planning units etc etc..\\Inshort, from that moment on, anything the EU does has got nothing to… Read more »
daffy2012
Guest
Andrew Williams
Guest

It’s a simplistic thing. A lot of that debt isn’t actually a problem.

daffy2012
Guest
I don’t want to take this discussion away from Jac’s post but that’s nonsense. That debt still has to be repayed. And the money which the BOE has pulled out of a hat is just ‘money’ it’s created out of thin air. You mention Red Flag that the BOE will continue in this way ‘as it has always done’. But the financial trickery they and other central banks in many… Read more »
Brychan
Guest

There was a crowd funding attempt to raise cash for Llandovery YMCA.
It is here..http://www.leetchi.com/c/nonprofit-charity-club-jill-tatman
So far they have raised only £640 for the £10,000.

You will notice that the contact phone number for this funding attempt is
01550 777149.
This is the landline for the Ty Gwyn Tea Rooms, Llanwrda.
http://www.tygwyn.co.uk/index.htm

Big Gee
Admin
Apparently the UK has no legal duty to pay a multi-million pound Brexit divorce bill, or so say the peers (or at least the ones who still show some signs of life). The EU has signalled it wants the UK to cough up 60 billion euro (£52billion) to cover outstanding budget contributions and cover pension liabilities for Brussels staff. Some say the cost of the ‘divorce’ settlement threatens to derail… Read more »
The Earthshaker
Guest
more on the Brexit goings on in Whitehall, Phil Rycroft senior civil servant for ‘nations and regions’ is moving to Brexit department with orders to keep the Union together, by making sure he can thwart the SNP at every turn and stop them gaining political advantage over the upcoming negotiations. Very noticeable the total lack of talk about Wales for being a good servile lap dog supporting the Union unquestionably… Read more »
Big Gee
Admin

Indeed, that just about sums it up my friend. Sadly we HAVE become “a good servile lap dog supporting the Union unquestionably”. It makes your heart heavy doesn’t it? That’s what nearly twenty years of the likes of Brit loving people like Carwyn Jones and his cronies before him leading the political process in our country does to our nation of previously proud people. Bradwyr taeog.

Chopper Harley
Guest
While Leanne Wood was something less than inspiring on Question Time last Thursday, listening to Nia Griffiths spouting the Westminster ” we are better together ” line really turned my stomach over. How the woman had the audacity of accuse Leanne Wood of living in “fantasyland ” re a Welsh independence referendum highlights just how introverted and contained within their own little bubble the Labour party really are, both at… Read more »
The Earthshaker
Guest
it breaks my heart daily especially as you reminded us Wales used to be politically and religiously radical in all sort of ways, but not any more. Someone wrote on Twitter earlier that Welsh Independence may be Utopian, but no one should be arguing that Wales is doing well under the status quo and that’s what we need to keep repeating to others and telling ourselves when we feel frustrated… Read more »
Big Gee
Admin
I’m not at all impressed by Dr Martin Johns. He sees Cymru from inside a modern hybrid Anglo-Welsh bubble, reflective of the post industrial south Wales mindset. His understanding of traditional Welsh culture and history is as shallow as a rain puddle. His views and comments are carved out of the assumed reality born out of a hybrid (Wenglish) view of Cymru and it’s people. His focus is on Cymru… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest
I don’t know what you interpret as ‘traditional’ in terms of Welsh culture and history as you have neglected to point us to some sources. Dr Martin Johns may well have a shallow understanding, but unless someone provides alternate sources of information refuting his interpretations we will never know. Gwyn Alf Williams was a lot of things, and I’m sure that his interpretations would indeed get under the skin of… Read more »
di-enw
Guest
@ Anonomous “…the history of the Cymry can only really go back about 2,000 years. History, as any historian will tell you, is based on documentary evidence, so by definition, Welsh history can only go back 2,000 years or so. Previous to that it’s prehistory, ” The history prehistory boundary is only well defined if you insist on basing it on the etymology of the word history. In practice for… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest
I didn’t make any reference to the history/prehistory boundary being well defined, and anyone who knows anything at all about history would have already been tutored about the ‘fuzzyness’ of that boundary. I think it’s a given that it’s only those who can write can leave a documentary legacy, which is indeed why we tend to know more about the more powerful than we do about the ordinary person in… Read more »
JE Lloyd
Guest
The essence of history is the struggle to make sense of the past in order to define who we are, what we stand for, and where we are headed. As such, it is gloriously fluid from one generation to another. At the core of history is a national myth — a coherent narrative which provides the backbone for our identity, values and destiny. That having been said, there are elements… Read more »
Big Gee
Admin
Absolutely SPOT-ON JE! That first sentence of your post has been my mantra for years. It also closely ties in with what I’ve been preaching (mostly on deaf years – especially when it comes to our politicians) for a very long time, regarding the vacuum that has been injected into our children’s education since the first Compulsory Education Act of 1870. Our deterioration as an unique nation and the wipe-out… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest
Spot on indeed. Given the demographic drowning of Wales by ‘white settler’ types, my guess is that the only future for the Cymry is to have the biggest families possible and raise as many little nashies as possible. (‘Mudiad Magu Mwy’ I think is what Eleri Carrog called it.) So, which is the best use of time: (a) delivering 1,000 leaflets to apathetic voters, (b) presenting an 8-year-old with a… Read more »
CambroUiDunlainge
Member
Glyndwr should only be used in the context of the way in which we’re treated then and now – and how we are seen by the upper level of London politics – then and now. But I think what is the most important aspect of Glyndwr’s portrayal is that while the English were fighting pretty much everyone Owain was able to treat with the French, Scots and even Marcher and… Read more »
The Earthshaker
Guest
I didn’t expect you to agree with any of it mate, I agreed with very little and apologise for wasting your time, my point that you missed is that he was offering a narrative to get more people interested in welsh independence because not everyone in Wales has the same hard core right wing nationalist beliefs as yourself, Jac and the majority of readers on here. And deriding every welsh… Read more »
drsallybaker
Guest
Jac, I have just noted your PS about Mantell Gwynedd and your informant telling you that it is a closed shop controlled by the Labour Party. I have never heard that it is under Labour Party control but I have been told again and again that it is indeed a closed job, rife with nepotism. The Chief Exec of Mantell Gwynedd for the last 10 years has been Bethan Russell… Read more »
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