Mar 132017
 

In which I try to explain how Plaid Cymru became a serious political party in the 1960s, why it was derailed in the 1980 and 1990s, and how we’ve ended up with a self-emasculating party that sees no role for itself other than as Labour’s little helper.

BLOWN INTO THE LIMELIGHT

I can write about the 1960s with some authority because I was there, I was involved, and I knew many of the players. Most weekends would see a gang of us pile into a hired transit van to attend some rally or protest, and there were real issues for us to focus on; we had Tryweryn (plus the other drownings), Aberfan, the Investiture – how could anyone not believe that Wales would be better off if she was independent?

There was a widespread perception among those I mixed with of there being a broad nationalist front, with Plaid Cymru as the political wing. Many people I knew were members of both Plaid and Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (The Welsh Language Society), I even knew people who were members of Plaid, CyIG and the Free Wales Army. There was most definitely ‘overlap’.

Though Plaid’s leadership, Gwynfor Evans especially, attributed the bombing campaigns to MI5 and sought to distance the party from them. Whatever the response, the truth is that in the 1960s Plaid Cymru rode the coat-tails of Mudiad Amddiffyn Cymru and the FWA to became a serious political party, winning Carmarthen in the 1966 by-election and pushing Labour close in subsequent by-elections in the Valleys.

‘That Charles is a lovely boy, Mam . . . I think I’m in love!’

The lesson was clear, get the people to focus on Welsh issues, particularly exploitation and injustice, and Plaid Cymru would reap the electoral reward. Without the reaction to Tryweryn and the protests of Cymdeithas yr Iaith, it’s unlikely that Gwynfor Evans would have beaten Gwilym Prys-Davies in Carmarthen. And Gwynfor’s victory in July 1966 is often cited as the inspiration for Winnie Ewing winning the Hamilton by-election for the SNP in November 1967. Can we go so far as to attribute the impending independence of Scotland to the greed and insensitivity of Liverpool Corporation?

Plaid Cymru’s leaders don’t like being told that the party owes its boost in the 1960s to Owain WilliamsJohn Jenkins and Cayo Evans, but the party certainly lost impetus when MAC and the FWA were broken up. With little to excite and involve the voters Plaid Cymru’s support in the 1970s fell back in the south, but the party entrenched itself in the west and the north, appealing primarily now to Welsh speakers, a trend that damaged its appeal outside the Fro Gymraeg.

Again, I speak from personal experience, having stood as a Plaid Cymru candidate for both Swansea city council and West Glamorgan county council in the mid 1970s. I’d knock on a door, introduce myself as one of the local Plaid Cymru candidates and often get the response, ‘Sorry, love, we don’t speak Welsh’. There was rarely hostility, more the feeling that whatever Plaid Cymru might be (and few knew, or cared), it was definitely a party for Welsh speakers only. Plaid Cymru in the 1970s and 1980s was a national party with a very narrow appeal just bumbling aimlessly along.

PLAID GOES LEFT, AND GREEN, AND DISAPPEARS UP ITS OWN ARSE

Nineteen-seventy-nine was a significant year in Wales for three main reasons.

On March 1st, St David’s Day, Wales rejected the Labour Party’s devolution proposals, with just 20.26% in support. Despite it being a Labour initiative most Labour politicians, led by Neil Kinnock and George Thomas, campaigned vigorously and viciously against devolution.

Then on May 3rd Margaret Thatcher and the Conservatives were elected to power in Westminster, with the party gaining 32.2% of the Welsh vote and eleven of the thirty-six Welsh seats. In the general election of 1983 – and despite the war in the south Atlantic and the losses suffered by the Welsh Guards on the Sir Galahad – the Tories still gained 32% of the Welsh vote. From a high point of 11.5% in the general election of 1970 Plaid Cymru’s share of the vote slipped to 8.1% in 1979 and 7.8% in 1983.

Finally, on December 11th, we saw the first holiday home arson attacks by Meibion Glyndŵr.

Plaid Cymru continued to bumble along, going nowhere. The party was so rudderless, so unattractive to voters outside of the rural west, that the MG campaign was unable to give the boost that MAC and the FWA had done in the 1960s, possibly because holiday homes were not an issue in the areas where Plaid needed to grow. Plaid Cymru was a weak party of dispirited members, ripe for change, or takeover . . . preferably not a takeover by nationalists.

Gwynfor Evans stepped down as president in 1981 and a new generation stepped into his shoes. First, Dafydd Wigley, who’d been elected MP for Caernarfon in 1974, and then, more significantly, from 1984, Dafydd Elis Thomas, who’d been elected in the same year for the neighbouring constituency of Meirionnydd.

Now things begin to get strange. Because although the obvious problem was that Plaid Cymru was not getting enough support from the anglophone Welsh, under Dafydd Elis Thomas the party started reaching out in other directions, primarily to the hairier fringes of the Left, and to even more hirsute elements of the environmental movement. It will be noted that none of these new ‘allies’ had a snowball’s chance in hell of increasing Plaid’s vote in Swansea East or Merthyr or Wrecsam.

Another in Plaid’s hierarchy keen on ‘reaching out’ was Cynog Dafis, who believed there was common ground between Plaid Cymru and the Greens. These Greens were of course overwhelmingly English and many of them were openly dismissive of Welsh identity. As far as they were concerned, they had moved to ‘the country’, not to someone else’s country.

The Plaid-Green Summer Solstice Conference, Pontrhydfendigaid, 1991

This contempt was returned in kind, for most Plaid Cymru supporters had no time for the Greens, and some, especially those involved in farming and other activities, thoroughly detested these arrogant interlopers who threatened their livelihoods. Yet to Cynog Dafis the hippies and the rest were “those who had moved here to live for progressive and enlightened purposes”.

This episode provides us with an example from thirty years ago of Plaid Cymru’s leadership being out of step with the party’s rank and file, and of course the wider population. Guilty of going off on tangents that did nothing to address Plaid Cymru’s fundamental problem. I wrote a few years ago about this rather silly flirtation with the Greens in Plaid Cymru and the Green Party of Englandandwales.

AN AMERICAN FRIEND

When he was Plaid’s head honcho Dafydd El’s consort was an American named Marjorie Thompson. An interesting woman from an impeccably WASP-Republican background who, after a stint as assistant to a Republican Congressman, crossed the Pond and soon joined the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, rising to be chair of that body. More remarkably, perhaps, she also served as chair of Scottish CND, though this is not mentioned in her Linkedin profile.

I’m not sure when her relationship with DET began but it lasted some seven years and intrigued observers. Having served her time among the ‘progressives’ in CND and other groups Ms Thompson eventually joined Saatchi & Saatchi, Margaret Thatcher’s favourite ad agency, in 1997, and returned ‘home’, as it were, by joining the Conservative Party in 2009.

I seem to recall that there was interest at the time in a brother of Marjorie Ellis Thompson who, it was alleged, worked for a US intelligence agency. But I could be mistaken, it was all a long time ago. Maybe someone remembers?

By 1992, after all the changes, and all the ‘reaching out’, Plaid Cymru’s percentage of the vote in that year’s general election barely moved. Nevertheless, the party did hold its three seats in the north west and Cynog Dafis added Ceredigion and Pembroke North, almost certainly due to the thousands of bearded ones turning out to vote for him.

Though the only constituency that saw an official Plaid-Green alliance was Monmouth, where the candidate Mel Witherden got 0.8% of the vote, the lowest Plaid vote in the country. Witherden was quite open in stating that many Greens were anti-Welsh in a racist and colonialist way.

Plaid was now firmly located on the political left, it was a ‘welcoming’ party concerned with all manner of ishoos and -isms, and more interested in the opinions of Islington than with what people were thinking in Islwyn.

DESIGNED TO FAIL

Plaid Cymru, the party I joined in the mid-’60s because it – and I – wanted to make Wales a better place for the Welsh people, had become a regional rainbow alliance for which nationhood and independence were dirty words. Wales no longer mattered except for the votes and seats it provided that then allowed the Plaid leadership to rub shoulders with other ‘progressives’.

This party had no chance of winning seats outside of the Welsh-speaking areas, where most of Plaid’s voters supported the party for cultural reasons, and didn’t really care about Plaid’s policies (even if they knew what they were). If this electorate had one concern it was the influx that was breaking up communities and slowly destroying a Welsh way of life.

Plaid Cymru had no intention of making a stand against colonisation; in fact, as we’ve seen, Plaid’s leadership was happy to co-operate with elements of this influx. Never was an electorate taken for granted and treated with such contempt as Plaid Cymru’s rural voters. It’s no exaggeration to say that Meibion Glyndŵr spoke for these people better than Plaid Cymru.

Courtesy of BBC

Plaid Cymru was successfully subverted in the late 1980s and early 1990s into a political party that would never get more than 10-12% of the vote in UK general elections and therefore pose no threat to the integrity of the UK state. It would have been easy to interpret this catastrophic re-alignment to foolishness, were it not for the removal of Dafydd Wigley in 2000.

In the first elections to the new Welsh Assembly in May 1999 Plaid Cymru gained 28.4% of the constituency vote (Labour 37.6%) and 30.5% of the second or regional vote (Labour 35.4%). In addition to predictably winning its western, rural seats the party also won Llanelli, Rhondda and Islwyn. This result sent shock waves way beyond Wales.

In June 2000 an internal plot removed Dafydd Wigley, persuading him to cite health grounds for ‘his’ decision. Seventeen years later he leads a full life travelling up to London regularly to sit in the House of Lords and is actively involved in many other, more worthwhile, activities.

HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF

In my previous post I wrote of the strange case of Plaid Cymru councillor and AM Neil McEvoy, stitched up on a ludicrous ‘bullying’ charge by the Labour corruption machine and then, instead of being supported by his party, he found Plaid’s leadership siding with Labour and assorted organisations on Labour’s Third Sector payroll such as Welsh Women’s Aid.

In that post – and if you haven’t read it then I urge you to do so – I talked of the ‘consensus’, a delusion prevalent among Plaid Cymru’s hierarchy that they and ‘Welsh’ Labour are natural allies in the fight against the forces of darkness. This results in Plaid Cymru refusing to take Labour on in the way that the SNP has so successfully done in Scotland. But it goes deeper than that, and it’s more sinister.

Like all advanced states, the UK has a ‘permanent government’ which may or may not be made up of military brass, top businessmen, intelligence chiefs, senior civil servants and others. Whatever their attitude towards the Labour Party – and this will vary depending on who’s leading Labour – they understand full well that Labour is the bulwark against Welsh nationalism simply because it’s the largest party in Wales.

Equally, those I’m talking about understand that due to its corruption and incompetence, and the quality of its elected representatives, Labour in Wales is highly vulnerable, and must therefore be protected from any threat to its hegemony. The best way of doing this is from within. From within Plaid Cymru.

It’s no coincidence that Dafydd Wigley, Plaid Cymru’s most successful ever leader, was removed when the party he led threatened to dislodge Labour in the Valleys. And no coincidence that it was done with a palace coup.

Now Neil McEvoy, a politician from a different mould to most other Plaid MPs and AMs, is gaining popularity in working class Cardiff, so he is stitched up by Labour and hung out to dry by his own party.

To achieve this control over Plaid Cymru the permanent government doesn’t need many on the inside, just enough, in senior positions, to ensure that the right kind of left-liberal losers are recruited and promoted, and that nationalists, or anyone threatening Labour’s domination, is sidelined.

THE DOG IN THE MANGER

Since the Neil McEvoy affair blew up I have spoken with people I know inside Plaid Cymru and they are surprised, annoyed or outraged by the actions of the party leadership. No one I have spoken to supports the party leadership. The confusion extended to surprising quarters, like Martin Shipton in the Wasting Mule. Plaid’s leadership must know that they’ve got this one badly wrong.

But then, this is exactly how Plaid Cymru has been programmed to react in a situation like this. As I said earlier, Plaid Cymru was “subverted in the late 1980s and early 1990s into a political party that would never get more than 10-12% of the vote in UK general elections”, achieved by the simple expedient of taking the party in directions that made it unattractive to the great majority of Welsh voters.

Update that figure for devolution and we are talking of less than 25% in Assembly elections. Anything higher sets the alarm bells ringing in the marbled corridors of the permanent government. And action is taken.

 

Plaid Cymru since the bright young things took control has been a party promising everything to everybody . . . and delivering nothing, apart from minor concessions allowed by our masters to delude the rank and file that their leaders can deliver, and that the long-heralded ‘breakthrough’ is just around the corner. The ‘breakthrough’ that never comes . . . and was scuppered from within when it threatened to happen.

But perhaps Plaid Cymru’s most useful role has been as a dog in the manger party, because for as long as Plaid is in place, gaining just enough votes, it blocks the emergence of an alternative that could confront and defeat ‘Welsh’ Labour.

MY MESSAGE TO PLAID CYMRU MEMBERS

Whether you accept my theory or not, you know that your party is going nowhere. Which means that you are probably confused or disappointed by the treatment of Neil McEvoy, your party’s most effective politician.

You know that ‘Welsh’ Labour is there for the taking – so why is Plaid Cymru propping up this stumblebum party?

Or ask yourself why your party is so unattractive that Ukip got more votes in the last general election. And not just in Clwyd, but in Blaenau Gwent, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhymni, Swansea East, etcCome on! wise up!

My belief remains that Plaid Cymru has been compromised. For appearances’ sake, and to block the emergence of a credible alternative, it is allowed a certain level of support, in return for which it must deal with anyone threatening to upset the status quo.

To make Plaid Cymru the party it should be, the party most of you want it to be, you need to give our people the message of hope they want to hear. But to achieve this you must remove the deadwood at the top of the party.

Plaid Cymru needs a new leadership prepared to put the interests of Wales and the Welsh people first, no matter what other parties, the commentariat, or the ‘progressives’ of Islington, may say.

♦ end ♦

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139 Comments on "Plaid Cymru, Going Nowhere, by Design"

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Ben
Guest

Interesting blog Jac. Interesting also that you didn’t mention Nigel Copner, a supporter of McEvoy and somebody who did extremely well in the Assembly election. In fact, Plaid beat Ukip in Blaenau Gwent. Agree though that it’s fucking disgusting How McEvoy has been treated. Maybe it’s the leadership that’s the issue rather than the whole party?

Jonathan Edwards
Guest

Yes, Jac you are correct. I would add a little comment and a big comment.
Cynog Dafis: my roots are in (Welsh) North Pembrokeshire (aka Cemaes as in Cemaes Rural District Council). Yet we have been yoked to (British) South Pembrokeshire and therefore suppressed. But for a time, N.Pembs had a Plaid = Welsh MP ie Cynog Dafis. I happily drove Cynog canvassing round the Gwaun Valley – a sunlit and fleeting memory of a very decent and sincere man. That’s my little comment.
The big comment is that people should understand that Plaid was the subject of deliberate and organised take-over by something called the National Left in the 1980s. They succeeded. These people included the sisterhood who liked Plaid because they could create there a safe space which they could control, as they still do. These are the ones who would rather team up with Labour against Neil McEvoy, than support him. And the Plaid constitution has been subverted – the constitutional function of a Plaid member now is to work for a constituency, the sole function of which is to support a Plaid AM in a part-time sinecure for life. Blocking all other ways forward for Wales, as you say.
But this is not inevitable. Perceptibly, this stage in the life of Plaid is beginning to crumble and end. As it needs to. We should all get ready for the next stage. The opportunities opened up by the fag-end of a Queens reign and the Brexit-shambles are amazing. We should recover some nerve and seize the day.

Big Gee
Admin

That pretty much sums it up Jac. Being a tad younger than you my active involvement with the party started as you left. What you describe from the turn of this century on I was in the thick of. It was for the very reasons that you describe, – about the disillusionment of Plaid Members – that some of us got together to form ‘Cymuned’. We were venomously turned on by the Plaid party, although at least 90% of us were Plaid Cymru Nationalists. The way that Seimon Glyn, Simon Brooks & I were treated is an epitaph to Plaids ‘dog in the manger’ behaviour. Shortly afterwards they turned on Wigley. They wre panicking like a rat in a ferret’s cage. They were scared stiff that we would form a second Nationalist Party, we never did, but you could feel the upsurge in support, because some felt a bit of hope at last. That didn’t seem to suite Plaid.

The exact same scenario was played out in Ceredigion when Llais Ceredigion (containing many Cymuned members) started to rock the boat, by becoming a regional party and putting up candidates in the County Council elections. At that point Plaid wet themselves, and immediately jumped into bed with the Independents (who up to that point were supposed to be their sworn enemies – read Labour for Independents when it comes to Y Senedd) just to get away, and in the process they rained on our parade, no not ‘rain on our parade’, they smothered us out of existence – they haven’t had a Plaid MP in Ceredigion since. Which goes part way to explaining what the patriotic voters of the county think about their shenanigans.

They are gutless at the top. If they are also compromised – as you suggest – then that would explain a lot of their actions, just when the ‘natives’ are starting to warm to them. It’s too much of a coincidence that they commit Hara-kiri every time it looks as if they may be progressing through support at ground level. It could quite simply be a sabotage job from within on each occasion, for obvious reasons. No one could be that out of step with their natural supporters. It certainly makes you think.

gohebydd
Guest

There’s no conspiracy here Jac. All national movements are driven by the self-interest of a country’s middle class, and it’s in the interests of Wales’ middle-class to have a national movement but not one that campaigns for independence.

In those countries that have become independent of the UK, there was an obvious benefit to the middle-class – they were being taxed but they had no chance of getting good jobs in the bargain (No taxation without representation, as the Americans had it). So they engineered the support of the working class for independence through the media that they controlled.

Scotland has been slower breaking away from the UK because for a long time, there was no real incentive for them to do so. There was no barrier on the road to London and the jobs on offer there. What’s changed is that because of devolution Scottish political institutions have grown to a point where the middle-class realise they can have both the power that comes with independence, and keep their jobs.

The problem in Wales is that there is no such incentive for the middle class to argue for independence. There is a benefit in having a national movement – national institutions such as the Assembly, the National Library, etc, create jobs for them. But if the national movement went too far and managed to get independence, then they’d lose their jobs as the money to pay for these institutions comes from the Treasury. Unlike Scotland, there’s no real prospect that Wales would be able to keep public spending at its current level if it became independent.

Westminster is of course dimly aware of this. While they keep the Welsh middle-class dependent on their largesse there’s little incentive for independence at all.

Therefore, Plaid Cymru is stuck at 20% or so. That’s just enough that the Welsh middle class are kept secure, but not enough so that it threatens their jobs.

There’s no conspiracy here. No one is aware that they’re doing this. This is just how nationalism works, and this is how it works in every country. There’s nothing heroic about national movements. It’s all about what benefits the middle class at the end of the day.

The only thing that may have changed in the last few years is that, for the first time in a hundred and fifty years or so, the means of controlling the media has been taken out of the hands of the middle class. Hence this blog and Facebook groups like the one I just clicked through from. This has led to a populist uprising – could a Welsh nationalist movement be amongst them?

It’s an interesting time.

Big Gee
Admin

Gohebydd: “But if the national movement went too far and managed to get independence, then they’d lose their jobs as the money to pay for these institutions comes from the Treasury” – bollocks. You can start helping the cause by chocking this myth you perpetuate – that was created by the English Empire – that Wales cannot support itself economically. It is just that – a myth. We are a nation of approx 3 million. We have natural resources coming out of our ears and an industrial infrastructure (purposely run down by now – granted). You reckon we couldn’t even pay for our own institutions?

In the early naughties Prof. Phil Williams (an Astro physicist and not a stupid person with figures, who was Plaid’s economics spokesman at the time), sat down and compiled a detailed spreadsheet of the income and outgoings of Cymru.

What he discovered at the end of his epic exercise – which took EVERYTHING into account was that Cymru actually contributed £13 billion to the UK economy every year, and took out just over £8 billion. It caused the majority of jaws to drop (within Plaid) and others to accuse him of cooking his results, because they simply couldn’t believe it. It shot the myth that we can’t support ourselves clean out of the water. Things may have deteriorated since his review, but that’s because of political incompetence, not a lack of resources. It was interesting to hear Leanne Wood touch on the subject of potential today in an interview.

Here’s a list of European countries with fewer than 3,000,00 population in 2015:
 Lithuania – 2,906,000
 Albania – 2,887,000
 Macedonia – 2,071,000
 Slovenia – 2,065,000
 Latvia – 1,979,000
 Kosovo – 1,867,000
 Estonia – 1,315,000
 Cyprus – 876,000
 Montenegro – 620,000
  Luxembourg – 570,000
 Transnistria ( Moldova) – 505,153
 Malta – 425,000
 Iceland -331,000
 Jersey – 103,000
 Isle of Man – 89,000
 Andorra – 78,000
 Guernsey – 66,000
 Faroe Islands (Denmark) – 49,000
 Liechtenstein – 37,000
 Monaco – 37,000

WAKE UP STUPID PEOPLE! Stop listening to lies & propaganda from the politicians of the colonisers who would love to have you THINK you can’t support yourselves, or are not capable of it. They want you to marry into this concept that we can only survive with a begging bowl.

They’ve shouted this lie for so long that most people in our country believe it. Do you honestly think they would have hung on to us for so long if they weren’t benefiting from it? Believe me the London Government is not a charity – how stupid are you to believe that they support us out of their loving kindness and warm hearts. Not exactly their historical style is it?

This is one subject that truly pisses me off!

gohebydd
Guest

‘Bollocks’ or not – the affect is the same if people believe it! So my point stands. 🙂

Big Gee
Admin

I wouldn’t disagree with that comment. But the lie needs to be revealed and not perpetuated by implying that it’s true.

John Young
Guest

I’ve tried to find the paper produced by Prof Phil Williams that Big Gee refers to. And failed. Does anyone have a link ?

Big Gee
Admin

Contact the Plaid office, someone should have a copy of it. I don’t expect it’s been published on the Internet – it was nearly twenty years ago and the web was in it’s infancy then. He died in 2003. I’m pleased to say I spent many hours in his company. One of the ‘good guys’ within Plaid.

I’m not a Telegraph fan, but there’s a nice piece about him here:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1432815/Professor-Phil-Williams.html

John Young
Guest

Many thanks Big Gee. Email sent to PC office.

sirihi
Guest
John Young
Guest

As mentioned I emailed the PC office for help and got no reply Big Gee. Then I followed sirihi’s suggestion and have just read through the publication for the first time.

On first reading some pretty incredible stuff. I’ll re-read a few more times for it to sink in a bit. Many thanks to both of you

Wynne
Guest

Jac, your analysis again spot on. I attended Carmarthen College for a few years after Gwynfor Evans was elected. The good old days ! The subsequent downward spiral culminating in the current leaderships’ misjudgement and failure to support Neil McEvoy is the reason I can not support PC until there is a change of direction, a change of leadership.

Albert Hill
Guest

Like a third of Sturgeon’s voters I’m pro-independence but anti EU, where does that leave us.

My Twitter feed is full of “nationalists” backing independence. What they really mean is that they’re desperate for some means to stay in the EU. Don’t people listen to what the EU elite actually want – an end to nations, including of course the Welsh nation.

We’re going to be inspired by the Scottish example, but what exactly is that other than swapping one Union for another, and a Union which is going to be even harder to escape than the present one. Scotland will have to accept the Euro, will have to accept the EU’s neo liberal economics and imperialism and in all probability a hard border with its major market. We in Wales will be encouraged to travel the same path. A path that leads from subservience to London to subservience to even more remote and unsympathetic powers.

Plaid has been the party of the Welsh speaking middle class, folk who have become ever more dependent on the public purse…. little wonder that they find common cause with similar groups in England and Europe. Like them they exhibit an increasingly open contempt for the working class, the undesirables who fail to follow the example of their betters, and the democracy that gives a voice to such folk who don’t even tweet.

I’m not going to take Dylan’s advice, I’m going to go gentle into that good night while greater forces than myself or even Plaid Cymru decide the fate of this small corner of the earth.

Nigel Stapley
Guest

At the risk of turning this off at a tangent, I have to counter some of your points, Albert.

1. “We’re going to be inspired by the Scottish example, but what exactly is that other than swapping one Union for another…”

What something is called isn’t necessarily what it is. The so-called ‘Union’ that Scotland is in at the moment is one whereby it is in a postion of permanent subservience, whose views – however strongly expressed – can be (and almost always are) ignored, belittled and over-ridden. The EU – for all its multitude of faults – would regard Scotland as an equal in terms of rights, powers and esteem.

2. “Scotland will have to accept the Euro […] and in all probability a hard border with its major market.”

Put simply, butt; no. No existing member state of the EU or any candidate for membership is required to adopt the Euro. There is a general and vague commitment to start using it at some unspecified point in the future, but given that membership of the Eurozone requires membership of the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM2), and that membership of that isn’t obligatory either, then your point falls.

(Sweden has spent the last twenty years studiously narrowly avoiding meeting the criteria, which shows a great sense of humour on their part, if nothing else).

And if there were to be a ‘hard border’ between Scotland and England, it won’t be the Scots – or the EU – who put it there.

To get back on topic: Plaid is the only party I have ever been a member of, back in my student days. It wasn’t for long, simply because I realised that I wasn’t a ‘party animal’ in any sense of the term. Up here in the north-east at that time, Plaid was, indeed, middle class; but these were people who nevertheless put as a matter of principle the nation before and above any ideology; people like Dafydd Franklin Jones, Alun Emanuel, Hefin Jones. This was around the time of Gwynfor’s departure.

Yes, the ‘National Left’ were the worm in the apple right enough, who turned the party into a glee club for trendies. Given Ms Thompson’s connections, I wonder if she turned DDT…sorry, DET into an agent?

Like with the nation itself – where the only credible alternatives are outright independence or total assimilation into Greater England – Plaid’s only potential futures are either as an outright nationalist party (where the best policies for the nation will be pushed, whether they come from ‘left’, ‘right’ or ‘way over yonder’) or as a mere appendage to be eaten by the maggots of the Brit Labour Party’s Wales branch.

Big Gee
Admin

You are bang on target with your observation Albert Hill. Nigel Stapley’s response is a wonderful example of someone who has swallowed the propaganda hook line & sinker.

The EU is nothing more than a regional block, designed to swallow up individual countries and dissolve their cultures and identities (why do you think they encourage the influx of refugees into places like Germany? Not because the Germans are renowned humanitarians that’s for sure).

The EU – for all its multitude of faults – would regard Scotland as an equal in terms of rights, powers and esteem

BUNKUM. It is designed to do the very opposite, it erodes the identity of all it’s member nations into a regional blob, they become enslaved to a faceless unelected mob that dictates EVERYTHING from their lair in Brussels. Scotland is about to jump from the frying pan & into the fire.

I argued this point relentlessly during the run up to the Brexit referendum. It has nothing to do with immigrants, the economy or anything else – they are all red herring arguments. The EU is a totalitarian tip-toe process towards a world government, a fascist regime ruled by one government, one military and zero choice or democracy.

The Scots, if they win independence from the UK (and I sincerely hope they do), and then remain in the EU they will in effect be transferring their balls from the fist of a baby into the fist of a gorilla! Lambs to the slaughter (sadly).

Click HERE and have a long hard think about the facts concerning the EU Mr. Stapley..

Nigel Stapley
Guest

Leaving aside your attempted insult (I can tell the difference between propaganda and fact: I’ve never worked for the BBC and my name isn’t Donald), can you point me to where what I said vis-à-vis membership of the Eurozone wasn’t correct?

On the rest of your response, there will always be a need for a suprantional layer of political structures in the world. If not the EU (and I agree that it has been in recent times an engine of neo-liberal economic voodoo; that doesn’t mean it always will be), then what would you have instead?

Besides which, can you imagine the French holding still for something …”designed to swallow up individual countries and dissolve their cultures and identities”? Sounds like a combination of Dave Spart and Mr Farrago to me (with a side order of Ickean conspiracism).

Big Gee
Admin

Call it an “Ickean conspiracy” if you like – it doesn’t change the facts

What interests me more is your belief that the the world requires a “suprantional layer of political structure”, presumably this boils down – in it’s final analysis & logical conclusion – to a world that requires the supervisory governing powers of an Anglo-American elitist world government (see New World Order/ Project for the New American Century) in order to function? Where the sub divisions are regions – starting with the EU.

Believe that and you prove that you CAN’T tell the difference between propaganda & fact. You have been assimilated into the perception deception world of Wells & Huxley. Both being accurate harbingers of what has become of our world.

Interestingly, yours is the very argument that was projected to justify the colonial outworking of the English Empire back in previous centuries. Where they believed a suprantional overlord was required (Anglo Saxon of course) to bring order & civilization to the heathen natives of a chaotic world, who were too stupid and backward to rule themselves. Failing in the process to realise that those ‘savages’ had done an extremely good job of looking after themselves – sometimes in very complex and organised ways, since time immemorial AND had proved to be very competent and successful respecters and keepers of our earth, not least the indigenous tribes of what we today call America.

Time to shake free from the hypnotic trance that you have been placed under by those who wish to enslave you.

Nigel Stapley
Guest

You’re projecting so much here that a job in the Coliseum in Porthmadog would have been made for you.

If you don’t have some kind of international structure, then you end up with an awful lot of squabbling and fractiousness between nations. Going on about ‘Anglo-American élitist world government’ is simply taking what I actually said and running off with it over the horizon of reason to play with Alex Jones and the Breitbart crew.

I ask again, what would you have instead of the current arrangements (or similar)?

Big Gee
Admin

Simple. In an ideal world, of peaceful nations who are not obsessed with stealing each other’s land, waging wars and dominating others you would have a situation where each nation rules itself without interference from outside. as it suits the unique inhabitants of those countries.

All the problems that have accumulated thus far lead to just a handful of dominant countries who have caused mayhem in their attempt to bring about what you seem to subscribe to. By no coincidence these have been colonial powers who have dominated others to their detriment, and continue to do so – escalating the levels of injustices and poverty amongst the 90% who only have access to 1% of the world’s resources.

Bigger is not better and one size does not fit all. The reality is that the VAST majority of the world’s inhabitants want exactly the same things, simple peace and security, whether you’re a Muslim in Morocco or a Christian in Chicago. It is the tiny handful of powerful and influential elites who who perpetuate this nightmare, that is designed to bring about a world order dominance by a miniscule few whilst the rest are enslaved to them.

This belief that you need organisations like NATO, the EU & the UN is a fallacy, promoted by those who wish to use such institutions to bring about their new world order agenda.

Incidentally I don’t need any Alex Jones or Breitbart ‘crew’ to tell me how to think. Anyone with half a firing neuron should be able to see it for themselves. On the contrary it’s those who believe that there is no alternative, and need these illusionary crutches – conjured up by the elites – to lean on, because they have been duped (by incessant propaganda and brainwashing from birth) into believing that they are doomed without these giant, unnecessary institutions to care for their well-being.

John Loaring
Guest

Well said, Jac. The problem with Plaid is that they are still seen as a party for Welsh speakers only. Neil McEvoy is just the sort of representative the party needs: a non-Welsh speaker of mixed ethnic background who works tirelessly for his constituents. I am horrified that he has been hung out to dry by the party leadership. The party should have supported Neil to the hilt and demonstrated that support bu declaring openly that this was a trumped-up charge.

Mabon
Guest

I was just wondering if you, Jac, and anyone else had read a book entitled ‘For Wales, See England’, and if anyone here is also planning to read the book by Simon Brooks entitled ‘Why Wales Never Was’ (coming out in May I think). I think they both give a good perspective on the failure of Welsh Nationalism and I think that you, Jac, would very much agree with what they both have to say.

Big Gee
Admin

Diolch Mabon.

A great book by Martyn Ford. It needs to be promoted wherever possible.

I’d heard my old mate Seimon Brooks was working on a translation of his latest book as well. Knowing Seimon it should also be a good read for those who cannot read it in it’s original language.

Mabon
Guest

The fact that ‘For Wales see England’ was written by a ukipper just says it all, doesn’t it?

JE Lloyd
Guest

Really interesting post. I can see that Plaid has lost its way and is squandering the opportunities afforded by the current political constellation.

However, I am really struggling where to place the suggestion that Plaid has been nobbled by the Deep State on the spectrum between cranky conspiracy theory and plausible and deeply troubling window on the workings of the British state. Your account seems to rest on (1) Dafydd El’s romantic attachment to an American lady on a somewhat erratic political trajectory and (2) the extraordinary resignation of Dafydd Wigley at the moment of Plaid’s greatest electoral successes. Then I suppose there are also the McEvoy burglaries. Is there any more?

One other observation. In developing its electoral strategy, Plaid (or any successor party) would do well to reflect on the reasons underlying the success of the SNP. First of all, they succeeded in overcoming their internal ideological struggles of the 1970s and 80s to develop as a broad church, tolerant and respectful of all those who shared in the common goal of independence.

dafis
Guest

and there you have it – “a common goal of independence” There is no big ideological schism within Plaid, indeed there is very little ideological content other than vague pseudo-socialist platitudes and some kind of competition to see who can come up with a new one every few weeks. Instead the party has drifted haphazardly on a voyage through nearly every fashionable line of bullshit that’s been trotted out for the last 30 odd years. During that trance period it has shifted further away from any real strategy aiming at independence, occasionally bleating halfheartedly about it, but its core stance nowadays is endless chunterning about not ‘avin’ its fair share from London and the prospect of no share from EU after 2019. Dependency ? it makes a junky on Wrexham’s town square look like a paragon of restraint !

Simon Gruffydd
Guest

A very interesting read, including the comments .. it’s amusing to see any discussion of politics online these days almost inevitable descend into a rehashing of the Brexit debate.

Regarding Scotland’s prospects, if they can pull off a Yes this time around, I’d put money on the notion that the EU may not even be around to re-join by that time. If Wilders’ PVV comes out tops in the Netherlands this week, I’ll double that bet! If Le Pen take France I’ll triple it !!!

Commenters have proffered different reasons and angles to Plaid Cymru’s metamorphosis into elitist identity politics mush, but all seem to agree that it either needs:
1. an internal revolution, or
2. to be superseded by a genuine Welsh nationalist movement that can offer hope and courage to the working class majority.

One of the biggest obstacle to option 2 is something I will call “Welsh guilt”. It works on the meme that to oppose Plaid Cymru is to split and weaken the Welsh vote making you a traitor to ‘the cause’. And no body wants to be regarded as a traitor to their country.

The strength of this argument partly lies in the name – Plaid Cymru – The Party of Wales. To oppose The Party of Wales is to oppose Wales, or they would have us believe.

As a former member, I can say that Plaid Cymru is run more like a cult than a political movement. There is no tolerance of dissent. Neil?

If the “populist” wave continues to gather momentum over the next few years, then Plaid Cymru may have to enact option 1 to avoid being overtaken by option 2.

Either way, I think big change could be around the corner for the UK, Europe and Wales. These are very interesting times.

dimdydd7
Guest

Leanne achieved more than Neil in last years elections. She won her constituency and has never been a member of the Labour Party. Since her victory in the leadership contest, she has been at the mercy of the traitors to Wales – and to Plaid – that infest the national movement at its highest levels. You should give her a break. She has achieved far more than Neil and remember, she gives back £20000 of her salary while he takes the full £75000 for his two jobs.

There’s no doubt that Plaid has been infiltrated: by Labour, by the UK security services and by agents of the EU. Most of the infiltrators work behind the scenes, they are not politicians. Having worked at HQ relatively recently I know what is going on.

dafis
Guest

Let’s not reduce this to a debate about “how much Leanne donates compared to McEvoy/A.NOther”. Donations to charities have to be very carefully assessed because there has been a huge surge in the proportion of donations and other incomes “absorbed” by overheads, mainly salaries and travel. There is some debate about the pattern of well rewarded types leaving the public sector and financial institutions where they enjoyed salaries, pensions etc and securing those “goodies” in the charity sector. I don’t expect people to work for peanuts but senior execs teams on 6 figure salaries doesn’t fill me with enthusiasm to donate. I hope therefore that Leanne’s giving is focussed on local community charities where generally more of the cash gets to the frontline.

As for McEvoy’s £75k, I hope he’s saving some of it because his role is far more risky given that he’s got enemies as well as opponents. I wish him well but there is a growing suspicion that those bastards will do their utmost to get him out of the Cynulliad as he rocks too many boats.

Mabon
Guest

Erthygl da, Jac. What I would say though, is that there are Mike Parkers around, there are incomers who do learn Welsh and do respect and enjoy Wales’s existence, me being one of them, although I 100% agree that there aren’t enough of us who are like that. I myself was having my furniture moved in a removal van driven by a driver who kept sounding off against the ‘fucking Welsh’, he was a Brummie who had moved to Aberystwyth, but as different from Mike Parker as you could possibly imagine. I have met other incomers and the children of incomers who study at Aberystwyth with me, and some of them have the most outrageous views towards the Welsh Language imaginable.

Anyway, with regards to the relations between Plaid Cymru and the British left, this is a problem that is very old, and in fact pre-dates the very existence of Plaid Cymru. The reformist and revolutionary movements of the Early 19th century, such as the chartists and other radicals were not so much about achieving Welsh independence, as about democratizing the UK as a whole. Later on, of course, you had Liberalism, rather than welsh nationalism, being the dominant electoral force in Wales from the second half of the 19th century to the Early 20th century, at a time when stateless nations from Ireland to Finland to the Balkans were asserting their rights as distinct nations. The Cymru Fydd movement of the 1890s refused to work outside of the Liberal Party and they shouldn’t have been surprised when the Liberal leadership refused to consider Home Rule for Wales. Now of course, you have the situation, which you of course have explained extremely well time and time again, where Plaid Cymru now refuses to be anything other than a left-of-labour party.

I myself am from a family in London where everyone in my immediate family reads the Guardian and my extended family, political views range from staunchly labour, to fairly moderate labour (Liz Kendall’s views if you like) to centrist Internationalists. All are staunchly pro-EU and have exactly the same views of UKIP that you or any decent guy would have. Therefore, I know what the centre and left of British politics are like. While the Welsh Labour government seems pretty appalling, my view is that the British left itself should not be seen as enemy number one. Yes, aim to unseat the Labour and the Lib dems in Wales, but recognize that their supporters in England can be ideological allies quite often. Just as the Irish Nationalists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries chose to be distinct and separate from the British Liberals, yet also be coalition partners with them often since the Liberals were more sympathetic to emancipatory politics, and a bit less imperialistic, than the Tories were, Plaid Cymru today should be separate from the British left, and of course compete against them in Wales, yet recognize that they can be allies too, particularly in Westminster. For example, left wingers in England are the very people, by definition, who abhor those who are hostile to non-English cultures, are the very people who support anti-imperalism and I can almost safely say that nobody in that category likes the idea of languages and cultures dying. Many family friends in London ask me if I have Welsh speaking friends in Aber, are impressed by me trying to learn it, and love the idea that there is more than just one language and culture that on this island. They are the very same people who support multiculturalism. Surely they are less of an enemy to Welsh nationalism than the English extreme right that sees anything non-Anglo-Saxon as either subordinate or as dirt? Thus my advice to Plaid Cymru is that they should be separate from the British Left but be willing to work with them at least in certain situations.

The good news I think Jac, is that an understanding of the fact that Welsh Nationalists, (or would be welsh nationalists) along with Wales in general, being too left wing has done Wales no favors is only going to become more widespread with the publication of several books, and in particular I am thinking ‘For Wales, See England’ by Martyn Ford and ‘Why Wales Never Was’ by Simon Brooks, the latter coming out in English this may and the former already out in book shops. Thus, I feel there is cause for hope. My belief is that Plaid Cymru can be changed, with an internal revolution perhaps, from within, and hopefully these books help to provide that chance.

dafis
Guest

We need many more Mike Parkers and fewer Neil Hamiltons. The current evidence is that in migrants from beyond Clawdd Offa fleeing the influences of foreign cultures are imposing their own foreign culture on Wales with drastic consequences.

Big Gee
Admin

That is exactly what Mike Parker has said in the past. It’s the white flight of racists from the other side of Clawdd Offa (Nick Griffin & Co.). Not surprisingly Parker also commented on conversations that some of these have struck up with him in the past, where comments are made about the “fucking Welsh” – as they mistook his expected stance to be like theirs – due to his West Midlands accent (even the war criminal Blair referred to us in that way – but not much fuss was made about it in the media – surprise, surprise).

Mabon commented on the same attitude when conversing with his Brummie van driver in Aberystwyth. This is something that most of us natives have been aware of for a very long time. It comes to the surface (and is viewed with surprise) by those healthy thinking ‘converts’ who come to live amongst us.

Reality is cruel isn’t it? You don’t get prepared for it by reading English newspapers like the Guardian, but they’d be the first to jump on the soap box when we reveal truths about us being a dumping ground for oddballs, social misfits, society drop-outs and RACISTS from England. Can you imagine the furore if we referred to these immigrants as the “fucking English”?

drsallybaker
Guest

Interested to read your comments here Big Gee – I am an English immigrant who has indeed got used to some other immigrants hearing my accent (which I am told sounds like ‘posh’ English) and saying the most appalling things about ‘the Welsh’ because they assume that I will think like them. I was indeed surprised when it first happened because it was pure naked bigotry and the same people would never have dared to make similar comments about black people, Asian people, Jewish people etc. The best example of this occurred when I went to a BBC ‘meet the governors’ function some years ago in Cardiff. The BBC governors were all there, including their Chairman, that oaf ‘Lord’ Michal Grade, supposedly meeting the people of Wales and my God, the racist shite that came out of them was unbelievable. I didn’t realise what was happening at first because I didn’t understand the initial ‘jokes’ – obviously I’d been infected by living in Wales so long – but when Rhun ap Iorwerth stood up to take the microphone (this was when Rhun was still working for the BBC), Grade kept bellowing out ‘well you’re tall aren’t you?’ I was totally confused, but Grade continued to comment on Rhun’s height with all these tossers laughing along with Grade – then I clicked; Welsh men are supposed to be short! And in the end Grade said it, oohh ho ho, you must be the tallest man in Wales. It didn’t stop – the offensive comments continued, until one member of the audience tried to raise the subject of the dreadful Ann Robinson with Grade, the Ann Robinson who had insulted Welsh people on prime TV and said that she’d like to put them all in a dustbin. (If she’d said that about Black/Asian/Jewish people, she’d have been sacked.) They still didn’t get it – Governor Ruth Deech – now Lady Deech – then waxed lyrical about how when she thought of Wales, she thought of choirs and chapels and valleys and just about every other lame Welsh stereotype that emanates from the BBC itself. Now throughout all this, the Governor for Wales, a Welsh speaking Welshman, did try to draw attention to just how offensive the rest of them were – it went right over their empty pompous heads. They then started simply stopping him from commenting by becoming even louder and more pompous, Grade and Deech being the main offenders here. After this there was an ‘answer the questions from the audience’ bit – someone asked about the BBC weather forecasts and it started again, with Grade ordering the Governor for Wales to answer this, because it rains so much in Wales. Then something very interesting happened – a member of the audience asked a ‘difficult’ question, that needed someone with a brain to answer it because it involved complex knowledge of demography and population and Grade turned straight to the Governor for Wales and asked him if he could answer it because he knew damn well that the other Governors were too ignorant to be able to do so. Oh and just to show how much respect Michael Grade has for his colleagues from Wales, when Grade was introducing the other Governors at the start of the evening, it turned out that he didn’t know the surname of the Governor for Wales. But of course Grade knew the name of Richard Tait, that fool from Cardiff University, whose contribution to the broadcasting world was I believe ‘Nationwide’, the 70s light entertainment show that featured Frank Bough of cocaine and prostitutes fame – Grade introduced him as an eminent academic, PROFESSOR Richard Tait. Richard bloody Tait, an ’eminent’ academic – Nationwide??? oh please…the only reason Richard Tait ended up with a Chair at Cardiff was because Cardiff University toadys to anyone who it thinks might be able to provide it with links to powerful people in the British establishment – people like Michael Grade. Oh and ‘Lady’ Deech was later appointed as head of an Oxford University College – this was the woman who was completely unable to answer the one question that I put to her, about the constant portrayal of mentally ill people on TV as axe murderers…These people are utterly mindless and so obviously attain their positions through doing powerful people favours rather than ability (indeed I saw documentary evidence that this was how Michael Grade obtained his position, but that’s another story…)

Red Flag
Guest

herefore, I know what the centre and left of British politics are like.

Obvipously you don’t. The default setting of the proper socialist left is anti-EU. Of the 168 unions etc affiliated to the TUC less than 10 actively supported Remain, most were neutral, more than 10 supported Leave. Nearly all of the unaffiliated unions etc supported Leave also.

It’s the public sector/middle class thieves that stole Labour that supported Remain.

di-enw
Guest

The late 1960s early 70s in Cymru shouldn’t be looked at in isolation. The escalating situation in Northern Ireland contributed to the de-escalation of force or threat of force and any political sympathies they might have had here. Protest was a characteristic of those times but CyrIG’s actions were viewed as extreme but many probably most Welsh speakers at the time. Reflected badly on what those critics thought was the good reputation the country had. It was also a time of increasing affluence across Cymru and there was little incentive or interest in changing the status quo of the UK nation state.
I think it’s fantasy to imagine that any Welsh nationalist political party would have gained any significant measure of support with an attachment to the FWA or similar.

I don’t buy into a conspiracy as I think the history of Plaid Cymru can be put down to bad decisions, wrong options self interest, etc. You just have to see what a mess the Labour party is in now both at Westminster and Llangennech for examples of that unless someone would like to suggest a conspiracy as the cause for those.

And as conspiracies go who got the FWA (or other group if I’ve got that wrong) to dress up in uniforms that looked like they were playing the baddies in a WW2 film. There’s even a German shepherd dog on parade in some photos I’ve seen. And then there’s that stylized white eagle motif!

Big Gee
Admin

Off on a bit of a tangent. If you’re not already aware, there’s another sub plot in the independence referendum conundrum for Theresa May. The clouds are gathering and there’s going to be a mighty headache for England, and we will be deaf & dumb spectators on the touch line. Deaf because the mainstream British media government propaganda machine are not reporting it, nothing new there, (bury embarrassing bad news, and promote drivel to keep the public quiet). Dumb, because we have a nationalist party (so called) that will keep shtum about it, instead of seizing the opportunity to jump on the independence wagon of Scotland & Northern Ireland.

Michelle O’Neill – who replaced Martin McGuinness as Sinn Féin’s leader in the Northern Ireland Assembly in January of this year, has asked for an independence referendum for the people of the six counties, giving them an opportunity to unite with the republic. She announced that only hours after Nicola Sturgeon’s bombshell.

What should we be doing? Getting stuck in with our Celtic cousins of course. What do we actually do? Suck our thumb behind the sofa whilst making ogle eyes at Labour, whose leader in Cymru immediately announced that ‘we are stronger together in the Union’. Real opportunities to shake things up and make changes don’t come very often. The Irish secretly offered us an invitation to be involved in their ‘party’ at the beginning of the birth of the Irish Republic. In classic fashion we turned our backs on that opportunity – due to an absence of balls and a selfish,economic self interest – if we’re honest about it – fuck you ‘Jack’ I’m OK. At the time we were supplying all the coal and iron to fuel the industrial revolution the world over here in Cymru (although the money was shovelled straight back to the coffers in London – we twpsod were happy to slave like moles underground just for the chance to earn a pitiful wage – talk about being gullible & naive). Ireland was piss-pot poor, it’s only natural resource was peat, and immediately after they broke away their rugby team couldn’t afford a coach to take them from the ferry in Liverpool down to Caerdydd. Shit-pots in Cymru were afraid that we would land up in the same pickle. Some things never change. What the Irish had was pride and principle, and they’ve shown what they’re capable of when given their freedom. I envy them as a nation.

Of course both Scotland & N. Ireland are at this moment rocking the boat for all the wrong reasons. It’s all about Brexit & the EU. However they’ve seized the opportunity to get what they’ve wanted for centuries – freedom. They won’t get freedom in the EU – just a swap of masters. BUT depending on how things pan out with the elections on the continent, there may not be an EU for much longer – thank goodness. In that event both Scotland & N. Ireland will have broken out of the prison. Leaving us to languish at the hands & whims of our oppressive jailers.

Anonymous
Guest

Big Gee
1: To be fair to Leanne, she did call for a debate on Wales Constitutional future: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-39259738 perhaps not as forthright but does she have a choice. Wales voted for Brexit and support for independence is at what 3% or is 28%. She does not have the electoral support Sinn Fein has just received in the recent elections (for the first time unionist parties are not in a majority in Stormont) and NI voted in favour of remaining like Scotland did. So all the Welsh can do is happily jump off the cliff with Mother England. NI has the get out of jail clause called reunification, Scotland has a pending Independence referendum. Wales has nothing. By voting out you have no leverage no voice nothing. You just have to sit there and take whats handed to you.
2: With regards to EU elections in the Netherlands – the land of the polder model and coalition governments there are 28 political parties contesting the elections today and even if Gert Wilders wins the election on 24% of the vote all the other parties have already stated they will not go into coalition government with him, so his destination is the opposition benches. In France Marine le Pen will get to the second round like her father did against Chirac and whichever candidate gets to the second round – Macron, will solidly beat her like Chirac did her father. The only people in Europe who think Marine Le Pen will be President of France and Gert Wilders will be PM of the Netherlands are Brexiters who have very little understanding of European National Elections.

Big Gee
Admin

You can’t bake a cake five minutes before the wedding.

This is why Plaid, since it plucked up the supreme courage to openly say that it supported independence (after denying it for years, although everyone knew what it’s members wanted, so they landed up making a total arse of the party and everyone associated with it) they have to all intents & purposes shut up about it. What they should have been doing was putting the issue at the top of their agenda and then campaigned at full throttle, to get their argument over – as the SNP have and Sinn Féin always have. What does Plaid do? Run to hide behind the sofa and whisper about independence in the dark. Great move!

Don’t be so smug about the upcoming elections. The anti establishment tide is a lot stronger than the media portrays it. I remember the same smugness amongst the ‘remainers’ – most of whom are still wiping the egg off their faces, or are recovering from nervous breakdowns.

So it’s only Brexiteers that are ignorant about European National Elections? Do me a favour – I would say their ignorance does not even come close to the ignorance of the remainers when it comes to referenda or the ‘political experts’ who got the last general election totally wrong – and I won’t even mention what happened in the US.

Can I give you a little bit of advice ‘Mr. Establishment’? Don’t put your trust in the mutterings of establishment arse-holes. The times they are a’changing.

Marine Le Pen is the current favourite to win the upcoming French presidential election in April, and has come under fire by the establishment media and political system due to her outspoken anti-globalist views”. Check it out <a href="http://Marine Le Pen is the current favourite to win the upcoming French presidential election in April, and has come under fire by the establishment media and political system due to her outspoken anti-globalist views"</em

Check it out HERE

dafis
Guest

Business as usual today. Dai Lloyd and others tried to get a piece of law or regulation adopted to protect good old Welsh place names. Cynulliad in its supreme wisdom says “No”!

This indicates that any incoming migrant taking up residence will be at liberty to repeat the follies reported on this site over recent years. Penybryn could easily become Mendip View, Rhaeadr y nant could be turned into Raging torrent or given an utterly different identity having nothing to do with its traditions. Think of those “scwds” in the Beacons above Neath valley – will some imbecile turn that into something perverted just so he can pronounce it and muppets reading tourism literature get turned on to visit. After all, scud has a totally negative image beyond Clawdd Offa and we don’t want to frighten any tourists, do we.

Nigel Stapley
Guest

And guess who voted with Labour? Aye, Milord Elis Thomas!

Big Gee
Admin

No surprises there. In my personal opinion the man is a long time sufferer (probably from childhood) of what’s called histrionic personality disorder. I think I may have mentioned that in depth somewhere on this blog in the past.

That was never more evident than when he was in college, and would write extensive essays on subjects like free love, simply to be controversial and to draw attention to himself. This was quite inappropriate, especially given that his father was a well known Methodist minister of the old kind. Maybe his condition has been caused by the cloistered and pampered but emotionally ignored upbringing he may have experienced in a strict religious environment at the manse. Perhaps he felt neglected and needed to draw attention to himself, which may have become obsessive and followed him into adulthood.

The symptoms are certainly evident in his political life. He also may have been the exact personality type to be recruited for a darker role, by those that Jac has mentioned previously! Nothing would surprise me. Remember his glee at being the escort of the inbred ‘Royal’ head at Y Senedd?

daffy2012
Guest

We now what needs doing. Plaid’s hierarchy needs to be gotten rid of. Now what are we going to do about it?

Anonymous
Guest

Interesting Poll (not scientific) on views about Scottish Independence based on where you live – see Wales. The colonial mentality and stockholm syndrome is strong! http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/poll/14-03-2017/should-scotland-be-an-independent-country-

Big Gee
Admin

You’re quite right about Cymru, but you have to take into account how many immigrant foreigners from beyond Clawdd offa we now have living here, and also the historic influence of the industrial in migration to the Anglicized regions of de Cymru. Not a surprise really.

The one that was really interesting was the NI poll. Also the increase in support in the Scottish poll.

Having said that there is definitely the effect of ‘colonial mentality’ and very likely some Stockholm syndrome effects at play here. That’s why the primary work in hand for the likes of Plaid should be the reversal of those factors. Instead they hold candlelight vigils for peace in far away lands and the promotion of gay & women’s rights – which has bugger all to do with our state as a nation or the disappearance of our culture, language and identity.

dafis
Guest

Jac Totally off topic, though nothing is ever really off topic here as it all relates quite well when viewed in the bigger picture.

I see that somebody is fancying setting up a space travel station at Llanbedr. Now that should create bags of jobs for local youths and others lounging around trying to dream up something useful to do. I’m surprised that Carwyn hasn’t asked you to assist as he will need “boots on the ground” applying creative flair to this newest piece of innovative thinking to take it forward successfully to its adoption phase.

I guess that location must be quite close to the Cambrian Coast railway, so Llanbedr Skyway Halt is a natural destination for prospective galaxy trippers. You will need to coordinate grant money from Network Rail, Croeso Cymru, and the newly created Cymru Intergalactic transportation agency which will be tasked with creaming off funds for no specific purpose other than to build monuments to Carwyn and the founding fathers of the Wales Dependency Region.

Exciting isn’t it ?

dafis
Guest

Today’s non story about Meibion Glyndwr – what is it about these episodes that motivates people into the “blame game” or a “whodunit” frenzy. Common sense suggests numerous participants as setting fire to stuff is quite a contagious activity. The early few were probably torched by genuine activists then in no particular order the security services, copy cat delinquents and serious arsonists joined in.

It became an “out of control” issue simply because the security services realised that some of these jobs were not their work or the work of those suspects who had been under close observation. That’s when cat got out of the bag, horse had bolted, pan boiled over etc and FFS it was time to put an end to it, panic setting in !

The bit that irritated the shit out of me today was to see that weasel Keith Best denying any possibility of security service involvement – what is the boy on ? he was discredited decades ago and should just retire to a dark room and lie down. No one would miss him.

Anonymous
Guest

Welsh nationalism is a new invention. I know there’s all these dreams of “making Wales independent again” which go back to the middle ages… but there was no Wales back then. A collection of Brythonic nations… and every “struggle for independence” has been more a struggle against oppression which has involved English and Welsh on both sides of it. Plaid has no real “nationalist” cause hence the branching out. All these causes politicians champion are just tools to ensure their own position – corruption, greed. Our Democracy has become nothing more than a vehicle for the upwardly greedy and power hungry.

Maybe that’s what Plaid should be standing up for as it fondles around a dark room for a light switch. The very same thing that Owain truly fought against: corruption, cronyism and greed. Those who would stand to serve others but only serve themselves. The political culture in Britain needs to be brought to account.

di-enw
Guest

“Maybe that’s what Plaid should be standing up for as it fondles around a dark room for a light switch”
Shouldn’t that be – fumbles around in the dark. Freudian slip perhaps.

Big Gee
Admin

That’s right Jac. Another ‘myth’ propagated by a few and swallowed by the many. What IS relatively new is the formation of a political awareness of our nationalism in the early twentieth century, but that is altogether a different thing. Nationalism in Cymru has been around for as long as we have been in existence as a nation, and that was before the Roman or Anglo Saxon invasions of AD 43 & circa AD 450 – when the Anglo Saxons came in enough numbers to cause damage. They’ve been causing us damage ever since! At least the Romans left us as a whole nation intact.

It’s unbelievable what the English compulsory education system has done to our knowledge of ourselves in Cymru!

di-enw
Guest

A flaw with Anonymous’s argument above is that in it Cymru exists only with reference to England, stuff happens here because of what happens over there. It’s the bubble of Anglocentric history. The linkages between these European islands and continental Europe are many, varied and intimate and have existed for thousands of years.
For much of the period referred to above England was not even the primary territory of the Normans which lay in what is now western France. Those Kings of England were also not top dogs and came below the King of France in the European order. Before the Normans much of England was for a time part of the King of Denmark’s realm and governed from his base in Denmark. A TV programme recently broke the news, well it would have been news to practically everyone in the UK that King Billy’s coronation was effectively a result of the invasion of England by the Dutch army facilitated by English plotters.

The assumption that England and now the UK is and was destined to be is the result of hundreds of years of propaganda where history is written by the English when they are the winners and also written by them when they are the losers. This Anglocentricity goes overwhelmingly unquestioned by the public and even many historians and is so ingrained in some that they can’t even comprehend that any other version might exist.

Big Gee
Admin

The most irritating example of this manufactured Anglo-centric version of the history of these islands was in the TV series A History of Britain by the Jewish historian (or so called ‘historian’) – Simon Schama – in which Schama wrote and presented the episodes himself. He was rewarded with excellent reviews and unexpectedly high ratings (as you’d expect from the ignorant English media). There has however been huge irritation and criticism expressed by a group of prominent and respected historians about Schama’s condensed recounting of the British Isles’ history that was projected in that TV programme, particularly by those specialising in the pre-Anglo-Saxon history of the Celtic civilisation.

I started watching one episode and was so incensed by his lop-sided and biased presentation that I switched off. A total imperialist propaganda tool (and a tool in more senses than one). If you recall he basically inferred that the English have always been here (even muddying the waters so as to associate them with the Roman period on these island). References to Y Brythoniaid and Y Celtiaid were just a blip – hardly mentioned – although they had been here for thousands of years before any Saxon appeared and set foot on our shores.

They do the same with our heritage. My guess is that most people in England believe that the monolith structures and ancient sites in ‘England’ were actually built by the English, although the Saxons didn’t appear here in any numbers until the middle of the fifth century, which is virtually yesterday in the time line of past and present dwellers of Prydain. Pathetic and disgusting. But there again, isn’t that par for the course? True and factual history of the defeated is always air-brushed out pf the history books by the conquerors.

di-enw
Guest

It’s entirely irrelevant that Schama is Jewish. What’s relevant is that he is a curren Anglocentric historian with and provided with opportunities to broadcast the Anglocentric version of history.

Big Gee
Admin

Don’t you start this politically correct bollocks with me, where any sentence that associates Jews with anything negative immediately brings out the ‘Anti Semitic’ brigade.

If I choose to highlight his ethnicity I will, and if that happens to coincide with anything negative about his work – then so be it. This fucking political correctness and the liberal progressives’ aggressive attempts to shut people up about Zionists – or anyone else – boils my blood.

The reason I mentioned he was Jewish (Latvian Jew a Khazar actually), which in my book makes him less than an appropriate historian to stuff false ‘British’ history down my throat. If he had been a Welshman and I said the Welsh historian, you wouldn’t have blinked an eye.

Now stop aping those Liberal progressive twats by interjecting anything written or spoken that may or may not involve Jews directly. It’s not ‘cool’ – you just make an arse of yourself by doing it. You sound like a first year Lib Dem supporting student.

You study a bit more about Zionism, anti semitism and the Jews before you start lecturing me about the relevance of what I post.

di-enw
Guest

We are talking about Anglocentric history, an approach which is not and never has been the preserve of Jewish Historians. That is why your choice to draw attention to Schama’s ethnicity/religion is irrelevant.
Clearly this issue of the perpetuation of Anglocentric history is not enough of a challenge for you to tackle so you’ve heaped onto it other issues that set you off.

Anonymous
Guest

Well if I was talking about Belgium I’d reference Spain, Netherlands, France and Germany. Because nations define each other. The difference between say… Viking or Gaelic incursions as compared to English incursions is that they were both some what repelled where as Wales and England have had a tug of war over what is essentially the same country. The difference is here is that my opinion is simply that Welsh nationalism needs to revise itself in order gain appeal to those in the South… it is gradually as Labour stumble around aimlessly but that is not choosing through belief… that is looking for an alternative that ain’t the Tories.

I don’t really care what defined England – Normans, Dutch, Saxe Coburg and Gotha… I care what defined us and how we can learn from that in a way that benefits us as a nation.

Big Gee
Admin

The difference in defining Belgium with reference to Spain, Netherlands, France and Germany, is very different, as they are all separate sovereign countries (although the EU has tried to stamp out their identity as separate nations, but thankfully the evil referred to as the EU will not be with us much longer – thank goodness for that – it was a close call). Now if you tried to talk about Catalonia by referencing Spain how do you think the Catalans would react? Probably in the same way as we react when all Americans and most people in England refer to us with reference to England. It’s also the reason why Spain, a traditionally imperialist country is so hotly opposed to the concept of independence for smaller nations within a colonised country.

Your point about defining us is very valid – but it depends on who is doing the defining and in what context. We have had the conundrum of how to appeal to those in the South since the end of the nineteenth century, because many are the product of colonisation during the industrial revolution. It takes an awful long time to dilute out the culture of a foreign country – many south Walians have progressed well – to the point where they now have pride in Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey and the WRU, and they refer to themselves as ‘proud Welshmen’. However mention independence or anything to do with our history, language and indigenous culture and they freeze. They also see us in the political context of England. That is the reason why they have a mental block to anything that isn’t Labour or Tory, because in their psyche they view Cymru and Lloegr as a merged identity, where the choice is between those two parties – as it is in England. I fear Leanne Woods may fall into that category, hence her urge to cosy up to Brit Labour, because she sees them as the only shield against the Tories. This of course is not true of everyone in the south. There are quite large pockets of true nationalists (many descendants of the flow of workers into the Valleys during the first wave of Welsh speaking migrants into the area from other parts of Cymru), and others who have had an awakening, because they have made the personal effort to discover their identity by their own study (God knows they wouldn’t get that knowledge by going to a school). But woefully, on the whole, it’s the Wenglish culture that prevails. That is why I have referred to them in the past as the hybrid Welsh – being neither true Cymry and not true English.

The reality is that we are fighting for our very existence as a nation, we are fighting to preserve our identity, which has been developed over many thousands of years. A nation with it’s own language, culture, traditions, heritage and history is not an accident – it’s the proof that we are an unique nation, whose basic human right is the freedom to rule ourselves, independently of all others.

di-enw
Guest

Anonymous what you wrote looked to me like you haven’t escaped an Anglocentric view of the history of Britain. You came back with “I don’t really care what defined England” but part of my point is that what defined England contributed to defining us. England did not set an agenda that resulted in a finished product the UK. Actions, non actions and not just reactions to England from Popes, Kings and others across Europe contributed to how things were and are.
Decisions made by governments from Portugal to Cyprus and from Malta to Finland will determine what form the UK future history over the next few years as well as the one in London. Something the present government don’t appear to have grasped.

CambroUiDunlainge
Member

What bit exactly suggests I have not escaped an “Anglo-centrist view on the history of Britain”? Not really following the point you’re making or if you’re actually disagreeing with me.

di-enw
Guest

Assuming that you are the Anonymous I was referring to.
There’s nothing in what you’ve written that indicates to me that you haven’t approached this discussion with an Anglocentric mindset regarding interpreting the history of Cymru.
As an example you said –
“…was referring to 1093 as that was the last time Princes/King’s etc.[of Cymru] were not vassals of an English King and were truly independent. ”
However at the time England was not even independent it was part of the Norman estate. King of England was a title not as the Anglocentric view insists indicative of a sovereign nation, England. .

Anonymous
Guest

Right well I’m still not really understanding what point you’re trying to make. Do you make issue with my usage of the terminology of “King of England” and not “King of the English”? Or that English lands were but an extension of Normandy? Or what? Explain your thought process with the relevant context please. (Not intending to sound rude)

Let me put it in the context that I do see it: By 1080, William had “harried the north” and put down the last holdouts of Anglo-Saxon rebellion from Eadric and erm Edgar? I think. He’d also come into conflict with the “King of France” or “King of the French” over Bretagne. Now it’s also worth pointing out here that at the death of William in 1087 William Rufus became “King of England” where as Curthose became “Duke of Normandy” now during that time we could assume it was independent… but that is irrelevant as William Rufus acted as regent for much of Curthose time as Duke and Henry I conquered after he became King anyway. The reason for William Rufus becoming King over the elder Curthose in 1087 was because one was born in England and the other not. So explain to me how I’m looking at this within some kind of Anglocentric view?

di-enw
Guest

The period you refer to covers a vicious family spat on a grand scale with stirring from others. The result being that the Norman holdings in present day Britain and France were split up then brought together again. The Norman’s expending much effort time and expense in consolidating and extending their holdings in both areas. Barons with estates in both parts chose to view the British and Normandy parts as one entity. As you know they fought to recreate a unified realm. Unfortunately for them although reunification subsequently did occur they ended up with (for them)the wrong brother as king. The one based in England rather than one based in Normandy
An Anglocentric view of history would have this as an expansion of the Kingdom of England/English interests into Normandy.

JE Lloyd
Guest

The idea of “Great Britain” as a political entity stretches back no further than the accession of James VI of Scotland to the English throne in the 17th century — and it remained no more than an idea, an aspiration of the Stuart kings, until 1707. Since then, the “British” state has proved remarkably fluid — gaining Ireland in 1801 and losing most of Ireland in 1922. Another change is well overdue. A race is now on between Scotland’s departure and the reunification of Ireland. Any objective student of history will see that the concept of Britain as a political community is a completely artificial contrivance and a device to lend some pseudo-historical credibility to a multi-national state in an era when the other multi-national states of Europe have crumbled to dust. Austrian. Ottoman. Russian. Swedish.

Big Gee
Admin

I think your comment is spot-on JE.

CambroUiDunlainge
Member

Interestingly… and make of this what you may… in a letter between Owain Glyndwr and Robert III of Scotland Owain refers to the island as “Great Britain”. So even though its present state is rather modern… the idea came from that romanticised view of ancient settlement by Brutus the Trojan (Owain directly references this – as at the time it was considered “a thing” and one would guess that it still remained so three hundred years later at the ascension of the Stuarts). Owain obviously used this to insinuate an ancient relationship between himself and Robert and highlight the foreign nature of the English (of whom, even in French he calls “Saeson” – a term which at the time was pretty loaded with terms like “pagan” and “barbarian”)

Abertaweman
Guest

I come from an English speaking, working class and Labour voting family in Gorseinon. My family and I have always identified as Welsh. I look back at the chaos and disruption of my youth caused by my father losing his job at Velindre Steelworks. I quickly came to the view that a Welsh state was essential to protect the Welsh people from policies people like Thatcher unleashed on a nation that didn’t vote for her. I looked to Plaid Cymru to put my weight behind the national cause. However I was soon confused to hear that leading Plaid figures didn’t even mention the word “Independence” The Plaid leadership were like a shy bunch of teenagers trying to buy condoms in a chemist but ending up walking out with toothpaste! When they did mention the “I” word – they ridiculed it, saying it was “old fashioned” and belonged in the 19th Century. But for me, it was always (and remains today) No 1 on the to-do list. Also at the same time Plaid embraced the idea of a “Europe of the Regions” I was really disheartened that the Plaid leadership were happy to aspire for Wales to become a region like Lombardy and Baden Wurtemburg but never an independent state. The SNP never did this.
Terrible social dislocation was taking place in Wales during this time and Plaid were otherworldly and irrelevant. I discounted Plaid for years. My father always said they were a party for farmers full of crachach who didn’t give a shit about us. However I eventually joined Plaid during the devolution campaign in Swansea in 1997 – and I have been a member ever since. But if Plaid managed to turn off a budding nationalist from a demographic background the party need to target like myself – It maybe explains why the party has lost ground in comparison to the SNP – If I was a youngster in 1980s Motherwell instead of 1980s Swansea – I would be looking at 30 years of SNP activity instead of my 20 years in Plaid Cymru.
Plaid with its middle class cultural nationalism is a handbrake on the Welsh national cause. Which is why Neil McEvoy is such a breath of fresh air – I think he is brilliant. He needs to be cloned and distributed throughout the cities and valleys of Wales. I was disgusted to see the Plaid leadership not supporting him and caving in to the Labour Bay bubble elite. More importantly, Plaid and these modern feminists did not give a damn about the mother and daughter McEvoy tried to protect from eviction. The Welsh working class are no mugs, they sensed that Plaid was not really on their side. This maybe explains why UKIP have stepped into a crease Plaid should be occupying.
However I am optimistic about Plaid’s future. Brexit and McEvoy are mortal wounds on Plaid’s “ancien regime” Brexit threatens the integrity of the UK like never before and Plaid’s EU comfort zone which mangled our unique selling point of independence will soon be no more. No more “Europe of the Regions”. No more “Full National Status” Now it is Independence or nothing. UKIP’s raison d’etre has been fulfilled and they will soon become an irrelevance. If Plaid can now start the task of becoming relevant to the Welsh people by supporting people like McEvoy and mounting a full-out attack on the soft underbelly of Welsh Labour – we could be the big winners. Wales can be ours and we can take the first steps onto the road to statehood.

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