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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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)… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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,… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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,… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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.… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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”… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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