Cliffoch ap Cliffoch

Nov 142013
 

BE SURE TO READ THE UPDATE (15.11.13) AT THE FOOT OF THIS POST

Soon after I’d posted Swansea Council, etc., etc., Part the Fourth on February 25th, it got a comment signed ‘Elena_Handkaart’. (Geddit?) This comment came from e-mail address ‘gretacarbo@————–‘, while four subsequent comments from ‘Elena’ came via ‘portal_bot@————–‘. Five comments in all to this one post. I heard no more from ‘Elena’.

Swansea Labour Party 5 (March 20) and Swansea Labour Party 6: Incest and Sybaritism (April 23) received a number of comments from the same, ‘greta’, e-mail account, but this time signed ‘Nick O’Seer’ (Geddit?) and ‘Greta’. I received a further twenty comments from the same address, all signed ‘Greta’ apart from two, which were signed ‘C Mibabijive’ (Geddit?)  and ‘Gonzoland’ (which might mean something to someone out there). Even though these all came from the same e-mail address there were many different IP Addresses. Something else worth noting is that ‘Greta’ seems to respond only to posts concerning Swansea and / or the local Labour Party.

While the first comment from ‘Gonzoland’ came from the ‘gretacarbo’ e-mail address, subsequent comments using that name came from different addresses. The first being daleygleephart@——— and the second a Gmail address with a recognisable name. In total, I received nine comments signed ‘Daley Gleephart’ and all came from the address of that name. More recently, and from the named Gmail address, I have received comments signed ‘Opera Wynn4Me’ (Geddit?) and ‘Dredj and Waffel’. With one ‘Dredj and Waffel’ comment from the ‘daleygleephart’ address, leaving me in no doubt that I was dealing with the same Dredj and Waffelperson using a number of aliases.

There may even have been comments from this person that I’ve missed, using yet more aliases. I’m sure there are; for someone with so much to say, and such a talent for aliases, would know no bounds. So who is it? Well, I am ninety-nine per cent certain that it’s a Labour councillor in Swansea. Certainly the Gmail address carries the same name as a Swansea Labour councillor. (I also dug out from old comments a BT address with the same name.)

Seeing as he – unlike ‘Cliffoch’ and a few others – has not been offensive or threatening, I won’t name him. Though I do wonder how many aliases he uses, and how many blogs, newspapers, etc., he posts comments on. If he’s got something to say – and clearly he has – then why doesn’t he say it in his own name? It all seems . . . well, so underhand, so typical of Labour. And of others who oppose us, as I’ve tried to explain in other posts.

Here’s my message to Councillor X. You are welcome to contribute comments to this blog, but you will do so in your own name. Because in future I shall not publish any comments from your host of imaginative aliases.Jacques

UPDATE 14.11.13: Received a comment from ‘Jacques du Nord’ using the e-mail address jaconorth@btinternet.com. Fame of a kind, I suppose. He joins this one (below) who appeared soon after my Google blog was shut down almost a year ago. And there have been others. Encouraging, in a way. I’m obviously pissing somebody off.

Jaco

UPDATE  15.11.13: I am now satisfied that the subject of this post, the person who has been posting comments on the blog, using a variety of e-mail addresses and aliases, is not a Labour councillor in Swansea. It is someone else in that city  with the same name, who also happens to be a Labour member or supporter. Which explains the confusion. I can’t really say much more, partly because to identify the troll would be to identify the councillor, and vice versa, which I don’t want to do. For as I said in the post, despite being annoying, this troll has not been abusive or threatening so, unlike others I’ve dealt with, he doesn’t deserve to be named.

Oct 252013
 

When I was a boy (yes, a long time ago now) summer meant cricket. We’d play in the park until the park keepers threw us out (remember ‘parkies’?) then it would be any patch of waste ground or even the street. We’d play all day until we were stopped not so much by bad light as total darkness. And it was the same with kids everywhere. Not only that, we’d follow the fortunes of Glamorgan County Cricket Club and, if they were playing in Swansea, we’d try to sneak in to St. Helen’s to watch. Innocents that we were, we even supported the England test team. (Ah!)Hedges Black

But things have changed, I can’t recall the last time I saw kids playing an impromptu game of cricket. Glamorgan is now Cardiff City Cricket Club, and cricket more generally has become a minority sport, kept alive only by ever more garish and desperate attempts to make it ‘interesting’. Necessary, because, with its instant gratifications, modern life has given most people under the age of 50 the attention span of a goldfish; so for these, sitting through a three-day county game or a five-day test, watching men all dressed in white, is akin to being forced to read War and Peace in Russian. So it has to be gaudy colours, shorter and shorter games, more and more sixes, and all the distractionary razzmatazz the organisers can muster to get the goldfish interested. Subtle, it ain’t. Which is not to deny that the game is still big (and thoroughly corrupt) in India and Pakistan, but it’s losing popularity in many former strongholds, such as the West Indies, as those Caribbean islands pass from England’s to America’s sphere of cultural influence.

Some of you will have guessed that I’m dragging you down Memory Lane and various other byways because on Wednesday the Assembly debated whether to support the creation of a national cricket team for Wales, a subject I have dealt with previously. The filmed record of the debate can be found here. There were a number of interesting contributions, not least that from Mohammad Asghar, a man who can recognise a sticky wicket better than most. ‘Oscar’, as he is known to his colleagues in the Conservative Party (and his former colleagues in Plaid Cymru and Labour), was fully supportive of the idea, informing other AMs that he himself had played the game at the highest level before leaving Pakistan. Less surprising was the negativity from other quarters.Peter Black

Let’s start with Peter Black, the Liberal Democrat and regional member for South West Wales. In his spare time he’s a councillor in Swansea. Black is an Englishman who washed up in my home town – like so many of those on the council today – as a student, in the late 1970s. I first came across the name on visits home in the 1980s, when the Liberals were into ‘pavement politics’ – remember that? What it boiled down to was not a lot different to the pestering behaviour of religious sects and chuggers. Anyway, Black’s take on the subject is summed up in the quote on the right, but it merits a few words from me.

He talks of St. Helen’s in the 1960s, which he’s perfectly entitled to do, but of course at this time, he was just out of nappies and living on the Wirral. Whereas I remember St. Helen’s in the ’60s – I was there, son, winter and summer. Talking of St. Helen’s, maybe Black should remind himself how many games Glamorgan play there nowadays. Not many, is it? Here we have a man, elected by the people of Swansea as a councillor and an AM, defending the interests of a body that has treated Swansea abominably due to the fact that he is a self-serving politico who doesn’t really give a shit about the city. Worse, his attitude towards a Wales cricket team is coloured by his own nationality, a truth he tries to disguise by getting his retaliation in first and condemning the proposal’s backers as nationalists. Of course they are, Come December, I’ll be singing rebel songs with ‘Oscar’ at Cilmeri, him resplendent as usual in his FWA uniform.

Mike HedgesThe other contribution that caught my jaundiced eye came from another Swansea politician, Mike ‘Mr. Bean’ Hedges. Of whom I have spoken in the recent past. Squeaked he (or possibly Teddy), “There is a Welsh team which plays in the Minor Counties League”. On that logic, if we didn’t already have a national rugby team, but ‘Wales’ played in the English County Championship, Bean would be quite satisfied! He then goes on to defend the benefits accruing to Cardiff City Cricket Club and the city of Cardiff”! But, again, this is a politician supposedly representing Swansea. TELL US, BEAN, WHAT BENEFIT DOES THE CITY YOU REPRESENT SEE FROM THE CURRENT ARRANGEMENT? I’ll help. The answer is sod all, and that’s been the case since Glamorgan County Cricket Club morphed into Cardiff City Cricket Club and abandoned St. Helen’s – so why are you defending it? Because . . . Bean-Hedges belongs to the Wales haters of the Labour Party who cannot tolerate anything that differentiates Wales from England, however beneficial to Wales. Jonathan Edwards MP summed it up perfectly in this tweet.J Ed cricket

So what have we learnt from this debate? In some respects, it had little to do with cricket. It was the usual suspects on both sides lining up on another issue and exposing  ‘the package’. Though those proposing and supporting the creation of a national cricket team belong, by and large, to the ‘positive’ or ‘ambitious’ element of Wales’ population. While those opposing the initiative are drawn from the ‘be happy with your lot’ and ‘Wales can’t do this, that . . .’ element. Though, interestingly, a third element emerged – and not just ‘Oscar’ – of people no one would describe as ‘nationalist’ but who could nevertheless see the benefits to Wales, and her international profile, from having a national cricket team playing in international competitions. On a more parochial level, I was, as you may have guessed, disgusted with the ignorance, or the short memories, of some of those representing Swansea. What has my beloved city done to deserve assholes like this? Cliff ap criced May 1

Finally, as if to prove what I’m saying about ‘the package’, as an illustration of how one can predict reactions to an issue like this from an individual’s known views on related matters, here’s a little contribution to a WalesOnline debate back in May, something I found when Googling. It’s our old friend ‘Cliffoch ap Cliffoch’ or, as we now know him, Chris Clifford, being true to form in expressing his hatred and / or contempt for anything distinctively or differently Welsh. Though I like the ‘score’!

P.S. More info here from the Welsh Cricket Team blog.

Sep 112013
 

Regular readers of Welsh blogs, Tweeters and others, will be familiar with the name ‘Cliffoch ap Cliffoch‘, one of the many anti-Welsh trolls to be found in those spheres. Though of course, to Twitterbelieve him, he’s not anti-Welsh at all. When it comes to the Welsh language he’s just against the teaching of it, and the displaying of it . . . in fact his attitude seems to be that Welsh should – like homosexuality in the 1950s – be restricted to consenting adults in private. He is, predictably, also opposed to devolution and many other things, but insists that he loves Wales. It’s just . . . well, he doesn’t like anything that makes Wales different to England. Even if it benefits Wales. When he’s pinned down, the truth is that his ‘Wales’ must be no different to England in any important respect. Well, maybe a rugby team.

‘Cliffoch’ came on mighty strong to my post yesterday on my Tumblr blog. This was a harmless enough report on the squashing of the Severn Barrage project. I can only assume that he was animated by the reference I made to ‘Howell Morgan’, who had posted a comment to the WalesOnline version of the story. There, and in various tweets, he called me a coward, a cretin and a few other things my Mam would never have called me. I admitted I am no hero, but still confirmed that my name is Royston Jones and asked Cliffoch to give us his real name. He declined. (All this can be found on the Tumblr blog.) So I decided to make enquiries myself. The first stop was obviously the IP address, which gave me Geneologya German or German-Swiss provider and located ‘Cliffoch’ in Switzerland. Next, overnight, ‘Colwyn’ was able to provide two links. The first (left) to a geneology site and the second (below) to a petition to the Assembly asking for Welsh speakers to have their tongues cut out . . . sorry, sorry, I’ve mis-read that, the petition is against the compulsory teaching of Welsh. (I.e. any teaching of Welsh.) It now seems likely beyond peradventure that ‘Cliffoch ap Cliffoch’ is Christopher Stephen Clifford, born – or “originally born” (as he puts it) – in Neath, working in Zurich, but with a home base in the Aberavon constituency.

What I find remarkable is that here we have a man who claims to have a Welsh-speaking mother, to have spent a lot of time when young with a grandmother who spoke more Welsh than English, who claims to have bilingual children, who has lived for years in a country with four official languages, and yet is so intolerant of another language – his maternal language – in Wales. Either this man is a liar, or his head is seriously screwed up. Or could his time in multilingual Switzerland have made him into what he is today? Another absurdity is that ‘Cliffoch’ is forever spouting how the Welsh language deters investors. Yet he lives in one of the most petitionprosperous countries on earth, where people speak German, French, Italian and Romansch, with yet more languages spoken by the many immigrant groups. Multilingualism doesn’t seem to have done Switzerland any harm, yet we dumb Taffs are expected to believe that teaching Welsh will impoverish Wales! As if the Labour Party hasn’t already done that!

STATEMENT: I have spent a lot of time recently on a bunch of scumbags I’d rather have nothing to do with. It is demeaning, distasteful and distracting, and I don’t intend to do any more of it. There are far bigger fish to fry in Wales, organisations and individuals doing far more damage than the individual ranter. So in future I shall be focusing on more important issues than swivel-eyed Brit bigots. People who hide behind regularly changing pseudonyms that makes tracking them down akin to chasing one’s tail. Worse, perhaps, treating them seriously gives them a respect they don’t deserve, but of course it’s what they crave, so don’t engage with them, just let them talk to each other. When you are unfortunate enough to encounter one of them, just wipe the shit from your shoe and move on.