Dec 122017
 

Tis the time of giving, and goodwill to all men – but not on this blog!

A few old favourites return and I take another look at scams with which we are familiar . . . all too familiar. It’s Deck the Halls indeed – with oodles of public funding. For this is Wales, and it’s always Christmas!

~~~

NEIGHBOURS

Following the previous post I wrote to Wrecsam planning department over the weekend, and was answered very promptly on Monday morning. I think I’m now a little nearer to understanding what’s been going on at 33 Grosvenor Road.

To recap: there are adjoining, semi-detached properties at 31 and 33 Grosvenor Road in Wrecsam town centre. The first is owned by the ever-expanding homelessness charity and third sector outfit the Wallich; the second by Bawso, a similar body dedicated to helping women from ethnic minorities.

Both properties have been substantially extended to the rear, as shown in the title plan to 31a (which I assume is the address of the extension).

click to enlarge, below

When I consulted the Wrexham County Borough Council website I only went back as far as 2006. Which meant that I did not find the planning permission granted in July 2002 to then owner Castlemead Homes for an extension to the rear for a “two and half storey rear extension comprising covered car parking area and additional office accommodation”. A completion certificate was issued 16 November 2004.

Which would appear to put Bawso on the right side of planning regulations . . . or maybe not.

Because, if you recall, when we looked at planning permissions granted to the Wallich property at 31 we found that there was an authorised change of use in 2008 to a House of Multiple Occupation, and later that year there was further permission for a “Change of use of upper floors from office accommodation to a hostel for homeless people”.

I guarantee that the Bawso property at 33 is used for a very similar purpose to the Wallich property, but no permission for change of use has ever been granted.

I have therefore suggested to the Planning Enforcement team at Wrexham County Borough Council that they might wish to make enquiries in order to establish whether Bawso at 33 Grosvenor Road has planning permission for the uses to which the building is being put.

To be continued . . .

UPDATE 14.12.2015: The Planning Enforcement team at WCBC inspected 33 Grosvenor Road and the response I got said:

“I have been to visit 33 Grosvenor Road.  They are not running a homeless shelter there, the business merely provides advice and assistance to their customers; there is no overnight accommodation at the building.” After querying the size of the building I was sent a plan. Just look at it!

Over three floors we find fourteen separate offices plus a conference room and a former drawing office. Does Bawso really need such a building? It was probably bought in a job lot with 31 from the previous owner. For remember, Bawso ‘paid’ £457,000 for this building in 2009, a building that, if it’s not used for accommodation, is clearly too big for Bawso’s needs.

So who gave Bawso the money to buy a building it doesn’t need, was it the ‘Welsh’ Government or the Home Office?’

UPDATE 02.01.2018: As I suspected, it was indeed our wonderful ‘Welsh’ Government that paid for this large building Bawso may not even need (for I’m told they’re certainly not using much of it). This capture is from the Accounts for year ending 31 March 2009.

click to enlarge

GARDEN PATHS

I may have mentioned that last month I submitted a FoI to the ‘Welsh’ Government asking how many homelessness organisations the WG funds and how much funding is involved. Here’s the response I received last Friday from a Carl Spiller of the Housing Policy Division.

To say I was disappointed with that response would be an understatement. Though I’m not surprised to read that there are 48 different organisations receiving funding to alleviate homelessness; no, what disappoints me is the funding quoted, which is an absurd underestimate.

Let us put this into perspective by referring back to the Wallich, an organisation based in Wales and dealing solely with homelessness. Here are the accounts for year ending 31 March 2017. Go to page 25 and you’ll see that the Wallich alone received almost seven million pounds from the ‘Welsh’ Government, yet the reply I got wants us to believe that funding for homelessness is never much more than eight million pounds a year – for 48 organisations!

click to enlarge

Clearly Mr Spiller has latched onto the Homelessness Prevention Grant Programme, perhaps because it helpfully uses the term ‘homelessness’ in its name. Yet there are many other funding streams for homelessness, not least the Supporting People Programme Grant from which the Wallich gained over six million pounds in the past year.

I don’t know whether Mr Spiller is confused, or whether he thinks my mother bred an idiot; but whichever it is I have written to him again asking for the right answer, which might indeed be 48 organisations, but I know damn well it involves more than one programme, with the amount of money running into hundreds of millions of pounds.

To be continued . . .

FARAWAY PLACES

Staying with the Wallich for a minute, something else that caught my eye in the 2017 Accounts was on page 31, in the section headed ’13 Investments’. Where we see this:

click to enlarge

Overseas Equities!!

Can anyone offer an explanation as to why an outfit like this, ministering to the homeless of Wales (and beyond), totally dependent on the public purse – plus the income derived from assets and investments paid for from the public purse – should have overseas equities?

What might these equities be? Dare we imagine this £938,478 (a mere £409,412 the year before) resting in some sun-blest tax haven?

When a third sector body reliant on public largesse has so much spare moolah then it’s reasonable to assume that it’s getting too much in the first place.

A LITTLE PLACE IN THE WEST

In this recent post there was a section headed ‘The “Bedsit Baron” of Pembroke Dock’ based on an article in the Pembrokeshire Herald about Cathal Eamonn McCosker. Well he’s made the news again.

There’s been a fire at one of his properties and someone has been badly burned.

click to enlarge

You’ll notice that there’s no mention of McCosker in the report, but there is a reference to E-Lettings being the owner of the property. This is the company set up by McCosker partly because local estate agents were loath to deal with him and partly because it maximised his profits.

Here’s another reference to E-Lettings from the same edition of the Pembrokeshire Herald, this time reporting a complaint made by E-Lettings against the councillor named in the account of the fire. The complainant is named as E-Lettings “proprietor, Miss Jill Evans”. I can only assume that Ms Evans works for McCosker, because there is no doubt about who owns E-Lettings.

McCosker is just another unscrupulous individual of the sort that has flocked to Wales since devolution turned on the tap of easy money.

It doesn’t really matter whether they speak Estuary English, attend conferences and lie to us about ‘helping people’, or whether they’re more honest about ripping off the public purse like McCosker . . . in many ways I’d prefer to deal with an unashamed rogue like McCosker than the hypocritical bastards I normally write about. You know where you are.

That said, McCosker’s reign of terror in Pembroke Dock must be brought to an end before someone dies, no matter how far up the political food chain the blame extends for corruptly funding his slum landlord empire.

To be continued . . .

THOMAS HARRY SHADY SCARROTT – SURELY NOT!

Someone else who has graced these pages in recent months is Tom Scarrott of Vale Holiday Parks Ltd. Read about him in The Caravanserai of Ceredigion. What a lad!

Our little contretemps started with a difference of opinion over the benefits of tourism. He of course wants us to believe that tourism provides lots of wonderful, full-time, well-paid jobs, it is – as the ‘Welsh’ Government would also have us believe – the economic salvation of rural Wales.

It soon became clear, even in a Twitter exchange, that Scarrott has a problem with the truth on all sorts of matters.

I was not surprised then to have a few people draw my attention to a wee piece that appeared in WalesOnline last week, headed The Welsh firms named and shamed for not paying the national minimum wage’. and to see Vale Holiday Parks appear.

So the man who claims his firm brings prosperity to Ceredigion can’t even pay the minimum wage. Like I say, he’s got a problem with the truth, that boy.

RESORTING WITH UNDESIRABLES

Staying with tourism we head from Ceredigion in a south-easterly direction towards the city of my dreams, before taking a slight detour to the Afan Valley. Of which I have writ before, first with English Tourism in the Colony of Wales, then with Colonial Investments.

This project was apparently dreamed up a Yorkshireman named Gavin Lee Woodhouse who pulled aboard that master of self-promotion, ‘Bear’ Grylls. For public consumption Woodhouse seems to have been replaced to some extent by Peter Moore, “the man who brought Center Parcs to the UK”, and Grylls is also less prominent now.

There was yet another piece extolling the benefits of this venture in yesterday’s Llais y Sais.

click to enlarge

Let me spell out what we’re dealing with here, why there is a valid comparison to be made with what Scarrott does at his Ocean Heights Leisure Park near Cei Newydd, and why they are so damaging to a country without independence and lacking politicians with the balls to impose certain conditions.

Both Ocean Heights and the planned ‘resort’ in the Afan valley are self-contained, by which I mean the intention is to get people to stay there and also make them spend as much of their money as possible on site, rather than have them wander abroad and spend some money in the Wales beyond their electric fences and guard dogs.

This inevitably means that most of the money earned will leave Wales. In Scarrott’s case we know that he banks in England, his auditors are in England – it’s almost as if he fears a coup! The company behind the Afan valley venture is of course an English company.

‘Oh, come on, Jac, you cynical old git, what about the jobs?’

Read the bit in the article where Moore says, “There will be in the region of 1,000, all-year-round, permanent, direct jobs, plus significant indirect employment, the majority of which will be relatively local”. Rarely does one encounter a single sentence containing so many weasel words. Treasure it!

We don’t have independence, but if we had politicians with balls they would insist that: 1/ All direct jobs go to locals. 2/ Indirect employment also goes to locals by using local contractors and suppliers. 3/ Profits will be re-invested in Wales.

But who have we had representing us – why! Ken Skates! The same Ken Skates who thought the Flint Ring was a wonderful idea. Now ably assisted by Dafydd Elis Thomas.

This is flim-flam all the way. In one quote Moore describes the Afan Valley as a rural area, but the truth is the resort will be 10 miles from Swansea city centre and less from Port Talbot steelworks. Rural, yes, but guests are not going to be kept awake by the howling of wolves.

But enough! feast your eyes on the artist’s impression here.

click to enlarge

Look at it! Bloody wonderful, innit . . . I mean, look at them, er, umbrellas, and that bridge – tidy bridge, that is. Makes ew proud to be Welsh, mun . . . not that there’ll be much about it that’s Welsh, apart from its location.

But then, that sums up tourism in Wales.

To be continued . . .

♦ end ♦

 

  56 Responses to “Updates 12.12.2017”

  1.  

    I am also involved in correspondence with Carl Spiller Housing Policy Division Welsh Government. Copy below of my recent 7-point enquiry followed by response from Mr Spiller.

    Enquiries to: Welsh Government – Housing Policy Division – Carl Spiller
    I refer to Welsh Government publication entitled “National Pathway for Homeless Services to Children, Young People and Adults in the Secure Estate” published December 2015. You are listed in the document as the point of contact with Welsh Government. I am currently reviewing operational arrangements in Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire in West Wales and would be grateful if you could respond to the enquiries listed below to inform the review.
    1. On offender release from the Secure Estate is the “National Probation Service” {NPS} responsible for managing in the community high risk serious offenders with “Wales Community Rehabilitation Company” {Wales CRC} responsible for managing in the community low to medium risk offenders.
    2. I note that the NPS and Wales CRC “Offender Manager” has oversight of risk management processes in Wales. Are you able to provide the contact details of the designated Offender Managers in Wales.
    3. I note that high risk offenders on release from the secure estate are provided accommodation in “Approved Premises {AP}”. Who is responsible for approving these premises. Are the location of AP’s known to elected representatives of the community {Councillors, Members of Parliament and / or Assembly Members}. Is the risk assessment {including risk of harm to the general public} undertaken by NPS / Wales CRC or by the Local Authority.
    4. When a former prisoner presents to a Local Authority in Wales following release from a prison in England what “emergency support” is the Local Authority obliged to provide under the new legislation, now introduced in Wales.
    5. I note the requirement for Annex 9 {Housing Risk Assessment} and Annex 10 {Personal Housing Plan} to be completed. Copy attached. Given the involvement of private landlords in housing high risk offenders, is the information contained in these documents available for inspection / scrutiny by any elected representative of the community {Councillors, Members of Parliament and / or Assembly Members}.
    6. As private landlords are able to charge higher rents for housing high risk offenders how is this funded. Is this funded by the taxpayer through homelessness prevention grants provided by Prison Link Cymru and “supporting people” grants provided by Welsh Government and managed by Local Authorities. Who is responsible for undertaking the evaluations to ensure value for money in accordance with grant conditions.
    7. Under S.95 of Housing {Wales} Act 2014 Housing Associations are expected to cooperate with a Local Authority to discharge its duties under the Act, unless it is “incompatible” with the Housing Association’s own duties. Under the new legislation, are Housing Associations able to delegate this role to other third sector societies with Estates and Letting Agency subsidiaries.
    Your response to these enquiries will help to avoid “grey areas” and confirm where responsibility rests along the pathway from prison to rehabilitation of offender in the community. I look forward to receiving clarification at your convenience.
    Regards
    Wynne Jones

    Response from Welsh Government – Housing Policy Division – Carl Spiller
    Mr Jones – my apologies for the delay in responding. I have been awaiting contributions before submitting a response.

    Yes, the National Probation Service is expected to supervise those considered higher risk with the Community Rehabilitation Company medium to low risk.
    As an un-devolved matter, the Welsh Government does not retain details of each Offender Manager in Wales. You should refer the question to the National Probation Service and Wales Community Rehabilitation Company.
    In Wales there are currently 4 Approved Premises and risk assessments are completed by National Probation Service Officers. Each Approved Premises holds an annual open day during which members of the community, including councillors are invited. For details on the process for establishing a new facility, please refer your question to Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service.
    The level of ‘emergency support’ provided to any homeless person who presents to a Welsh local authority would depend on the details of the individual case. Whether temporary accommodation, under s.68, is provided would depend on whether the local authority have reason to believe that the individual falls within the definition of one of the ten priority need categories under s.70. The general homelessness support provided under prevention (s.66) and relief (s.73) duties are blind to local connection and blind to the background of the applicant.
    It is not appropriate to make personal data available publicly. Where there is a public safety concern, information can be shared with relevant organisations. It should be noted that where risks are considered high, cases will likely fall within the parameters of the multi-agency MAPPA process rather than the National Pathway process.
    The resource allocated to the Prison Link Cymru project cannot be used to support the actual rent costs of housing those who have left the secure estate. Likewise, Supporting People does not support direct rent costs for any recipients.
    A Housing Association is not able to delegate their duty under s.95 to another body.

    Regards.
    Carl Spiller

    •  

      I may have missed something, but looking at the penultimate paragraph of his reply I’m inclined to ask who does pay the rent costs?

      •  

        Yes, good point.

      •  

        I suspect the MoJ, topped up with the housing element of Universal Credit.

        When the Westminster House passed the Offender Rehabilitation Act 2014 also came a chunk of cash from HM Treasury to be spent on a defined category of non-violent offenders who commit large numbers of petty crime. They are the ‘prolifics’. This is just one scheme that arose out of the legislation. It delivers an intensive schedule of rehabilitation and punishment to tackle the root causes of their offending. It includes stuff like drugs screening and curfew orders.

        The evidence provided to the Westminster House was that the costs to “society” of one prolific offender in this category in committing crime per year is £178,640. Imprisoning then for a year comes out at £45,000. So a new scheme was established, Choices and Consequences (C2) Programme with a budget of £3,000 per offender per year. This is the ‘accommodation’ element of funding.

        In England, each county council has a “Probation Trust” which administers the scheme. In Wales it is the “Wales Community Rehabilitation Company” who gets to spend this cash. I suggest a FoI request on the C2 spend in Wales and how many offenders are included. In England where the county police force footprint (hence the PCC) is the same as a local authority (Kent, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire) they publish the ‘success’ of this scheme and spend per offender, so I’d be very surprised to learn if WCRC are reluctant to provide this information.

        Obviously, if this is not ‘prolifics’ spend, then another category of offender is being housed, known as the ‘dangerous’, which would usually be provided directly (various secure half-way house units) by the prison estate.

  2.  

    You do well to bring the corruption of Labour run Wales to light, Jac. But how about some positive ideas for the New Year. Something to inspire the kids and maybe the new party?

    •  

      Jac’s function on this blog, along with others, is to bring these things to light, and he’s doing an absolutely brilliant job of it. Do you expect him, single handedly, to come up with “positive ideas” as well?

      That’s the job of our new party, in fact, it’s thanks to Jac and the other contributors on here that we have been inspired to form our new party. If everyone responded in kind to what you have written, we’d get nowhere. But thankfully we are not here to be negative, and not to throw cold water on things.

      These matters are the responsibility of the new party. Make no mistake, ‘positive ideas’ will be rolled out when we publish our policies.

      If you’re genuinely interested, and not a borderline Troll click HERE.

  3.  

    “Something to inspire the kids and maybe the new party?” – well, if you don’t get inspired to act/react by all the evidence of crackpot corruption and incompetence then you are not likely to be inspired by ideas, policies, dreams, visions, even prophesies.
    Exposing the cancer of corruption and incompetence is stage one – a vital stage as it explains WHY dissent exists and why that dissent needs to be pursued further.
    Stage two – which I grant should come fairly soon – will be to articulate ideas for reformation, rejuvenation and other assorted remedial actions to address the problems described earlier.
    Stage three will be the setting out of bare bones of policy and the action plans for delivery of those policies if mandated by the electorate.
    Given the mountain of crap that evidently exists, prioritising of remedies will be a contentious issue. At least we will not need to bother much with adopting postures towards Trump, Putin or the N.Korean tosser as they are all someone else’s problems and outwith our range for solving. However having upitty incomers pay people under the legally defined Min wage while wishing to create even more jobs in the exploitation sector will become a piece of low hanging fruit ripe for sorting on day 1. And there’s plenty more like that. We can act to put our housing provision into better shape by limiting or eliminating the excess baggage that inhabits the area of social housing and its boundaries with social”care” and rehabilitation in particular, while in the private build to sell segment of the market, use planning to ensure that the new stock meets actual demands not the wild dreams of some marketing tart !

  4.  

    So what policy is required for homelessness in Wales?

    We know that the Welsh Government has a ‘scatter gun’ approach to tackling the issue, and that there is a rampant array of third sector organisations getting massive funding, most who spend the cash on themselves in terms of staff salaries, and we have the issue of ‘importing’ homeless people and the various social problems that accompany them from across the border.

    Here is a real measure of the issue in Wales.
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DP5Q3jEWsAAR0Rx.jpg

    I am of the opinion that you cannot tackle the issue of homelessness without looking at the causes.

    (.A.) Addiction. Gambling, drugs and alcohol. Unless this issue is addressed the homeless person, when housed, gets a revolving door, and in some cases you just end up with a crack-house, a wrecked flat, further rent arrears, and a crime hot-spot. We saw with the Rhoserchan project that only 12 of the 32 places were occupied from Welsh referrals, the rest imported from England.

    (.M.) Mental illness. Ever since ‘care in the community’ was introduced and asylums closed down, there have been a significant number of sufferers from a mental illness ending up homeless. This is due to the failure of the mental health services in NHS Wales to properly care and monitor those in their charge.

    (.C.) Convicts. A significant issue is those released from the prison estate ending up homeless. This is due to difficulties finding employment due to their past record, the reformed, and those who continue their criminal activity, the offenders.

    (.V.) Veterans. There is a higher incidence of homelessness of those discharged from the armed services. This is due to their recruitment at a young age and their exit from service without developing the life skills of civilian living.

    My views are

    (.A.) divert public money towards rehab, and those that fail will continue to remain homeless. Death certificates rarely record the cause of death as homeless, it’s usually overdose, liver failure, or alcohol related hypothermia. Those who think that a ‘do-nothing’ policy is harsh tend never to house addicted individuals in their middle class suburban spare bedroom. They expect working class taxpayers to pick up the tab and live cheek-by-jowl next to the crack houses and drinking dens, as long as the problem is not in their back yard.

    (.M.) The NHS is the key. Anyone diagnosed with an affliction should be allocated a health worker, and social care package arranged along similar lines as the elderly and infirm. This is what is done in Scotland.

    (.C.) If they are continuing to re-offend then a protective sheet should be used in the police car, and the full force of the law should be employed to return them to custody. Those that don’t re-offend should be provided with accommodation upon release from the prison estate, in the local authority area that meets the ‘local-connection’ rule already employed by these local authorities.

    (.V.) As will most other countries in Europe a ‘discharge’ involves transfer to civilian work related activity. In Sweden it’s the Forestry or National Parks, the same organisations that used to care for those opting out of national service. They remain on the defence payroll as reservists until ‘adapted’ for civilian life, by which these individuals are skilled and well sought after in the employment market. I suggest veterans from Wales be discharged to NRW, Dwr Cymru, Highways Agency Cymru, etc. Those who took the shilling in England should apply there.

    Right approach?

    •  

      The Wallich provides case studies on its own website. Here are a few..

      Antony is from Devon and “tried going to different places in England” without success but then “got on the wrong train from Devon and ended up in Cardiff”.
      https://thewallich.com/story/anthonys-story/

      Peter “decided to get away from Birmingham as I didn’t feel safe there and come to Swansea. I knew I needed a fresh start.”
      https://thewallich.com/story/peters-story/

      Kerry “came to live in Wales from Northern Ireland in July of 2010 through domestic violence. When I first came to Wales I was in a Women’s Aid hostel for seven months before I got my own property for me and my two children.”
      https://thewallich.com/story/kerrys-story/

      Of the £7million Wallich got from the Welsh Government (who claim they only spent £8million in total). Why is it being spent on homeless people shipped in from Newtownabbey, Birmingham and Plymouth?

      •  

        I’m surprised they can be so blatant about it. But then, the ‘Welsh’ Government won’t cut off their funding, so what have they got to worry about.

        •  

          Yes, and while we see the Welsh Government handing out huge dollops of cash to these ‘charities’ to cater for these unfortunate imports from England, we also see a massive cut in the amount that Natural Resources Wales gets from the Welsh Government.

          2013/14 139m
          2014/15 124m
          2015/16 116m
          2016/17 111m
          2017/18 73m
          2018/19 68m
          2019/20 65m

          Yet the amount of ‘Block Grant’ handed over by HM Treasury to the Welsh Government over the same period does not fall so sharply, in fact starts to increase.

          2013/14 15.0bn
          2014/15 14.5bn
          2015/16 14.3bn
          2016/17 14.2bn
          2017/18 14.0bn
          2018/19 14.2bn
          2019/20 15.0bn

          We see a statement today from Diane McCrea the chair of Natural Resources Wales.

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-42340157

          The Welsh Government say that the funding cuts is down too the “ongoing austerity agenda”.

          This is clearly a lie.

          NRW is probably the only department of the Welsh Government that employs staff and spends resources throughout Wales. It covers forestry, natural habitats and countryside, so most of its work is outside of Cardiff. It has also has extra responsibilities under the Environment Act (increased standards) and Future Generations Act (wonderfully worded eco-manifesto).

          This raises two questions.

          (1) When will Carwyn Jones stop being a lying bastard?
          (2) When will plaid Cymru stop voting for his cuts in the budget?

          We also see today, that strain illicit drug use at HMP Berwyn could place on Wrexham Maelor Hospital. This new prison was built mainly to house inmates from England. Not only has this new facility admitted it has an illicit drug problem, but they are taking these prisoners when they overdose to A&E at the local Welsh Hospital.

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-42338546

          So if you’re Welsh and waiting hours to be seen at A&E don’t be surprised if English paedophiles, rapists, and murderers from the new prison jump the queue in front of you.

          •  

            Well said Brychan. When Welsh Government introduce new legislation {e.g. Future Generations Act} they are required to undertake a Regulatory Impact Assessment {RIA}. That requires a Cost / Benefit analysis. The National Assembly Finance Committee recently criticised the poor standard to assessments provided by “Bill Teams” at Welsh Government when promoting new legislation. The extra resources required to implement new legislation should be clearly identified by Welsh Government. A case in point is the recent legislation regarding registration / licensing of private landlords in Wales. Welsh Government estimated 10 additional staff needed to administer the system. Cardiff Council ended up employing 100.

          •  

            I glanced at the article about NRW but I hadn’t grasped the full extent of the cut in funding.

            The NRW might have contributed to this funding cut by being a little too ‘independent’. For example opposing the M4 expansion, which the ‘Welsh’ Government is determined to push through, for the benefit of Cardiff, against all objections.

            I also read the piece about the burden HMP Berwyn will impose on Wrexham Maelor hospital, which makes me wonder if there’ll be extra funding for Wales to take account of this, and if not, will Carwyn dare ask for it?

            •  

              I don’t think NRW opposition to the M4 expansion around Newport was a political statement. Just a clear scientific opinion on the environmental payback. They took the Traffic Wales stats that found the most congested road in South Wales being the A470 at Upper Boat, followed by the M4 round Port Talbot, with the Brynglas tunnels around Newport coming in third. The Welsh Government argument is that failing to tackle congestion on the Newport section is economically more costly. In other words cheap labour commuting down from the valleys or steelworkers going on shift at Tata are worth less than the more valuable suits getting to Cardiff from England. There’s a basic reality in the NRW report. Better to spend the road cash around Swansea Bay and the A470. Make HGVs drive past Newport at night, and English suits should dump the Merc and catch the train to Cardiff. Dim problem, £3bn better spent.

              Here’s two photo’s…

              (1) New electric railway line in Uganda (see the electric cables).
              http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/image/view/-/3815806/medRes/1455015/-/maxw/600/-/mv0jkr/-/etrain1.jpg
              (2) Swansea Railway station (no cables with shit on the tracks).
              http://www.trscaffolding.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/IMG_2071.jpg

              So why are ‘charities’ financed by the Welsh Government doing ‘missionary work’ to Uganda?

              •  

                Have you got links to the stories for those photos, Brychan?

                •  

                  The new electrification of standard gauge railway in Uganda is expected to cost $12.8bn, making it the most expensive infrastructure project in Uganda’s history. Construction has already started and it will run from Nairobi in Kenya to Kampala in Uganda. It will be financed by borrowing $2.8bn (85% financing) for construction of the line that falls within the Uganda border. Each kilometre will cost $8.4m. The technical direction is from China, which has underwritten the project. The photo I linked to is the Kampala section.
                  http://allafrica.com/stories/201703010022.html
                  By comparison, you know the shithole that is Swansea railway station. You also know the details of the recent cancellation of the electrification of the SWML west of Cardiff. The photo is from Trscaffolding a company based in Bristol who had the contract to fix the leaks in the platform canopy at Swansea station. It shows the turds and toilet paper on the tracks, as well as the rolling stock.

                  •  

                    African nations benefit from massive Chinese investments mainly to secure supplies of minerals from Congo and adjacent states. Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi,Malawi and Zambia all provides routes to Indian Ocean ports in Mozambique ( Beira), Tanzania( Dar es Salaam) and Kenya ( Mombasa ) . The upside is that key bits of infrastructure will be radically improved. The downside ? Very little long term gain when the show is over, although given the predicted scale of mineral deposits across much of the Congo in particular they could be enjoying some benefit for a good while. Just hope the Chinese show more compassion than earlier European colonialists.

                    In the meantime charities flit back and forth to Uganda and elsewhere in Africa with a chunk of their handouts being diverted to benefit the crooks who seem to position themselves just nicely wherever whitey comes along to patronise and ease his conscience. Entire project funding disappears so that some native boss can boost his offshore accounts ready for the day when there’s a bit of local turbulence and he gets to fuck off sharpish to a safe haven, unless the locals take his head off first !.

                    And Swansea station is a constant reminder of how an E European terminus might look like had their politburos stayed in charge for another 25-30 years. Well done Carwyn & Co. You made your case for investment so eloquently no bastard wanted to listen.

                    •  

                      It may surprise you to learn that Mr Naz Malik of Awema fame had interests in that region, in Kenya to be precise. It warmed the cockles of my heart to learn that Welsh public money was being used in Kenya – from whence the Maliks had arrived in the UK – and also in Pakistan, the ancestral homeland.

                    •  

                      Dafis – I heard the sociologist Saskia Sassen give a lecture at a conference years ago about the Chinese buying up the land – literally buying the earth AND IT’S MINERALS – in Africa. Saskia was onto this a long time before anyone else. She pointed out that they weren’t doing it because they were going to become farmers. Although that’s probably what Jane Hutt, Julie Morgan and the other Strong Wimmin down at Cardiff Bay think is going on. They’ll have presumed that it is something to do with Fair Trade and an organic cafe.

                      We should be thankful that Hutt hasn’t given the Chinese funding for an equalities charity – although the only reason that she hasn’t is that she probably doesn’t know what ‘Chwarae Teg’ is in Mandarin.

                      By the way, remember the wimmin’s march against Trump in Cardiff last year, led by Leanne and Charlotte Church? Does anyone know why they didn’t protest when Lilibet invited the Chinese dictator to the State banquet in Buck House not so long ago? I heard Stella Creasy on Radio 4 saying that she will be wearing shocking pink to protest if Trump arrives at Buck House next year. Don’t remember Stella saying anything about the Chinese dictator either.

                    •  

                      Ho,ho. Indeed, nothing surprises me about slimy old Malik after all you’ve revealed about him on these pages. The man is a parasitic pest and should be repatriated to Kenya, maybe just south of the Somali border. A quick e-mail to Al Shabaab with a tip that he’s an agent of Welsh Labour should ensure an early termination. If he prefers Pakistan then there’s plenty of radicals out there who would enjoy a bit of fun with him before he pops off to see Allah.

                    •  

                      Jac has rightly asked the WAG how many homeless charities they are funding. Seeing the Maliks and AWEMA reappear in the comments here, plus the article dealing with BAWSO, has equally got me wondering just how many ethnic minority charities/organisations get public funding, and how much moolah they get?

                      I still find it hard to believe Naz employed his daughter and her salary shot up from £20K to £50K in just three years and they almost got away with it. I wonder if they are all still in the Labour Party, because weren’t they suspended during the investigations?

                    •  

                      The Chinese investment [in Africa and elsewhere] is entirely for their own purposes and you will find that instead of employing locals they ship in more Chinese. The investment is fully under their control and direction, hence there has been tension in some countries, Zambia I think was one as the locals got restless about it. They are building ports and roads all round the world to facilitate movement of their goods and supplies eg New Silk Road.

                      What’s happening in Hinckley Point Nuclear plant – local jobs for locals or what?, anyone know? If the Chinese build the Swansea lagoon maybe the Assembly diversity targets will shoot through the roof at the expense of community benefits in the form of local jobs?

                    •  

                      DP – re Hinkley Point. It’s the sort of situation that often occurs in Wales – in order to win the locals over, Hinkley was advertised as a thing which would bring well paid jobs to Somerset. However it is quite obvious that west Somerset isn’t full of nuclear physicists and managers of nuclear installations so of course those jobs won’t be for locals. Even the people constructing the new plant will be largely brought in from outside.

                      It was exactly the same when Hinkley was first built. It was up and running whilst I was at school in Bridgwater in the 70s and although some local people did get jobs there which paid them far more than the work on farms which was what the alternative was for many, the professional jobs went to people from elsewhere who moved into Somerset. The few kids at my school who could really be categorised as middle class usually had dads who worked at Hinkley – they had all come from elsewhere. They were so obviously different from the locals that they were known as Hinkley Point people.

                      As for the latest development at Hinkley – they’ve built a massive new road out to the location and Bridgwater College is getting excited because it thinks that its going to end up with a big dept training nuclear engineers. But there’s doubt as to whether the new Hinkley is now going to go ahead. What there is however in a pub in a village near Hinkley is a load of ghurkas no less staying there who are being paid an absolute bomb to work as security men at Hinkley.

                    •  

                      drsallybaker – What there is however in a pub in a village near Hinkley is a load of ghurkas no less staying there who are being paid an absolute bomb to work as security men at Hinkley.

                      I know some of the Gurkhas involved – I worked with them for a while when they were up here on Anglesey at the new Wylfa site. They work for G4S and aren’t paid ‘a bomb’ at all – quite the opposite. They are on around 8.50 an hour, working 12 hour shifts, 4 days on, 4 off, 365 days a year.

            •  

              When I say ‘mainly outside Cardiff’ the exception being in cases where NRW is so under-resourced that they can be bullied by a Labour into desecrating prime inner-city parkland so the council doesn’t have to continue to maintain urban watercourses.

              There’s a bit of a stink in the Penylan area of Cardiff where NRW falsified a consultation where it was claimed there was a 20% chance of flooding, when in fact it was a less than 2% risk. An area which has NEVER flooded. It’s the ‘Roath Brook’ a stream that runs through the green area in Roath, and NRW has been bullied into cutting down all the mature trees.

              When Neil McEvoy AM raised the matter in the Senedd, the minister responded with the vacant phrase of “we have to prepare for winter preparedness”. The reality is that NRW has so been emasculated that it’s now Labours puppet, and the minister refers to the organisation as a third party ‘sponsor’. Instead of protecting the natural environment throughout Wales, they are being used as a taxpayer funded tree surgery firm for inner-Cardiff to reduce the parks budget for the city council. In doing so they are desecrating one of the few natural habitats remaining within the city.

              •  

                You are spot on there Brychan. Strips of green space are becoming like the proverbial rocking horse droppings in Cardiff, and you get some of the real pillocks who think that a bit of grass suffices and there is no real need for trees. I lived in that area about 40-45 years ago and the trees and general ambience was good antidote to the toxicity of the city centre even then. So you can well imagine how much more it’s needed now. I accept that trees can be a bit of a hazard but regular monitoring, takes next to no time, would enable the maintenance guys to identify timber that needs trimming or felling. Wholesale harvesting is a silly irresponsible response to a risk which can be mitigated by a digger and a few blokes with hand tools clearing water courses of growth. There again bodies like Cardiff Council and Y Cynulliad appear more concerned about defending trans rights and services to that very rare human species while killing off other natural inhabitants of that water course without giving a hoot.

                •  

                  When the Forestry Commission (commercial production of timber) and the Countryside Commission (habitat and nature conservation) and Environment Agency (Flood prevention and pollution control) were separate bodies, all three had an active dialectic on what was to be done. Now that Labour has merged all three into Natural Resources Wales, this ‘pros v cons’ approach disappeared. Hence we find, as in this example that suddenly trees need to be cut down for a flood risk that never previously existed, and wildlife and habitat destroyed. This instance has only reached public attention because of the proximity of the populous of Cardiff. Imagine what’s being destroyed in more rural parts of Wales? Many years ago I was part of a joint school campaign called ‘Plant a tree in ‘73’ that ran in Wales. Now we have the ‘Chop in down revenue for Crown’ campaign by Carwyns’ bully boys.

              •  

                The people ‘leading’ Natural Resources Wales’ may well know nothing about Natural Resources or indeed Wales. ‘Portfolio’ careers are now booming and there is a sizeable group of people who simply circulate around between senior positions on the Boards of Third Sector organisations, quangos, NHS Trusts etc. Many of Jac’s friends running the scams that are housing associations, charities for addicts, the homeless, the mentally ill etc are now turning up on the Boards of seemingly unrelated organisations such as the Wildlife Trusts, RSPB etc. I have a friend who is involved in trying to achieve something re wildlife in Somerset and he tells me that ALL the natural history charities down there are now stuffed with friends of David Cameron and his mates – wealthy landowners who have totally hijacked those organisations.

                In Wales it’s not so much Cameron’s mates but the idiots who have ruined the NHS, the social services and the rest of the Third Sector who are now turning up in places like Natural Resources Wales. I blogged about someone the other day who had disgraced themselves in another sphere who has now popped over to Natural Resources Wales to help them all out. What Natural Resources Wales will want these folk for is their links to the Welsh Gov’t to open purse strings. The other group of people that are valuable are people who’ve worked in the media, particularly TV/radio, because they’re be able to bury scandals and provide good PR. The Director of the disaster that is MIND Cymru is a former BBC journalist who knows nothing about mental health, the third sector or very probably Wales, but she does know a lot of people at the BBC.

                One of the present senior managers of the Betsi Health Board, Martin Jones, has been trying to find another position that will pay an incompetent with a toxic reputation a small fortune since it became clear to him that the Board is in terrible trouble and he’ll be going down with it, but no-one seems to have made Martin an offer so far….

    •  

      You need to be very careful in the use of the word ‘veteran’ – its probably not what you think. The authorities class anyone who has a sevice number as a veteran irrespective of how long they served and irespective of whether they served inthe regular forces or the TA. As an example there is a beggar in Chester who claims to have served in my regiment. His total service consisted of 10 days of basic training where he then left because it was t for him. He is legally a veteran and is dealt with by both the local authority and several organisations as such.

      You consider him a veteran?

      •  

        Point taken, Andy.

        •  

          It causes an enormous amount of anger amongst us ex-soldiers that the local authorities and various organisations have effectively diluted the word ‘veteran. to be almost meaningless and include a large amount of dross who were incapable of even completing the opening phases of their basic training,

          We would prefer a definition of ‘completed basic training and served as a regular or reservist on all or part of an operational deployment, or, someone who has completed basic training and a minimum of 3 years service, or completed basic training and subsequently having been discharged due to injury or illness sustained as a result of their service’ – which is roughly what most people would class as a veteran. Someone who has been on Operations, someone who has a bit of time under their belt, or someone who ended up being discharged through injury or illness sustained in service.

          •  

            You’ve illuminated a mystery for me Red Flag. There used to be a ‘nursing home’ for ‘veterans’ with PTSD in Llandudno. I knew both a patient who had stayed there and a former member of staff. Both told me that the ‘care’ was non-existent, the nursing home was nothing more than a money-spinner and that most of the patients did not have PTSD, they were actually people with alcohol and drug problems who had committed offences and had booked in for a favourable Court report to escape prison. Edwina Hart when she was Health Minister refused Welsh Gov’t funding for this scam and what a row there was – tear-jerking articles in the Daily Post about how the veterans would suffer, Llyr Huws Gruffydd the Plaid AM describing the con as a ‘beacon of excellence’. Edwina stood her ground and the place shut down. The psychiatrist who owned the place then started various other charity initiatives for ‘veterans’ and his other charity, CAIS, now has a whole branch dedicated to ‘care’ for veterans. Some of those on the various ‘initiatives’ freely admit that they have never been in the Forces. Money from sources dedicated to supporting ‘veterans’ continues to pour into the coffers – including more than £1 million from George Osborne’s LIBOR fund, which was obtained by misrepresentation.

            I cannot understand how CAIS and the psychiatrist are getting away with all this. The con that is the care for veterans is very widely known. Furthermore, some years ago, one man who told everyone that he was a Falklands veteran was drumming up publicity for the ‘nursing home’ in Llandudno and singing its praises. About five years ago he was convicted of two counts of attempted murder after attacking his neighbours with a machete. It was revealed at his trial that he had been in the Army, many years ago but had been dishonourably discharged after a short while. Now that man told me that he was in receipt of an Army pension as a result of his PTSD and it was this psychiatrist that provided the expert opinion that secured him his pension. I didn’t realise that he was a fraud until I read about him when he was prosecuted – because when he met me, he showed me documents relating to his Army service and medical problems.

            So somebody also has a line in false documents as well as dishonest expert medical opinion.

      •  

        RF – In the BBC documentary first broadcast last January “Cardiff-Living on the streets” they interview a chap called Alan and he claims he “grew up in Telford had joined the French Foreign Legion and fought in Iraq.” The programme included “veterans” doing the ‘homeless gig” in Cardiff.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/wales/entries/ad24328b-4144-47a2-aa23-488bf9973386

        Strange really, as the French Foreign Legion was NOT DEPLOYED to the most recent Iraq war.

        If his claims are true he would have been in 6th Foreign Engineer Regiment (From Feb91 to Apr91) doing EOD as part of Division Daguet during the first ‘Gulf War’. At that time he must have been 18, done the one year “indoctrination” completed EOD training, prior of combat deployment.

        He would also get “Français par le sang verse” citizenship, if his story were true.
        A ‘veteran’ or a ‘fantasist’?

        The documentary has been recycled and to be shown again tonight on BBC1 at 2240hrs.
        I wonder if they own up to it being repeat from last winter.

        It coincides with the re-launch of the charity collection by the “Huggard community War against Homelessness” collection, which his promoted within the programme. They raised £52k from this last year. This charity sits on £512,000 cash in the bank, and spent £1,255,000 on salaries to staff in the last financial year. It runs a hostel, a day centre, and supported housing at a cost of £2,162,000pa. It got £198k from the Welsh Government and £25k from Cardiff Council.

        Worth a watch, if you missed it last year, but always question the claims being made.

        •  

          There is no question that some of these third sector bodies and charities, especially those based in Cardiff, can use what remains of the Welsh media – also based in Cardiff – to promote themselves.

          Not a lot different to how Camila Batmanghelidjh was able to use the BBC and other elements of the London media to promote herself and Kids Company. And we know how that ended!

          This manipulation of the media is also another example of the damaging influence on Welsh life of concentrating everything in Cardiff, because the rest of Wales has to pay for the third sector.

  5.  

    I read in the Western Mule Mill Bay Homes , Pembrokeshire Housing Association , Swangate Developments , and Whitbread have proposals for 38 affordable properties in St Davids , together with a Premier Inn hotel .

    What next ?

    There is a statuary consultation period of 28 days from 2nd December .,and a NOPI ( NO to Premier Inn campaign

  6.  

    seen an article about stamp duty/tax somewhere today. Houses under £180,000 will pay no stamp duty in Wales.

    Makes it cheaper for all those chancers who have been picking up property in mid wales to convert and also for fostering kids. Monmouthshire probably already outpriced and more so once 7 bridge tolls drop/disappear.

    It may help some locals to buy but unless the chancers are kept out in some way then the locals will always lose out.

    Our AM’s are absolutely useless and I see unless you toe the general line on ishoos you can be excluded from the Assembly even when contributing to a debate. The assembly is meant to have diverse opinions not a uniform one even if one disagrees with some or all of it..

    •  

      You’ve put your finger on a fundamental flaw in devolution.

      If the ‘Welsh’ Government does anything that makes Wales more attractive to certain groups – for example, with free prescriptions – then it will encourage some people to move to Wales. These will invariably belong to non-working groups that may need expensive support and treatment. There may even be agencies in England that will encourage such movement.

      This of course transfers some of England’s burden onto Wales, helping make Wales poorer. But this applies across the board to, as you suggest, housing.

      The only way to stop Wales being taken advantage of, and bankrupted, is to insist on residency qualifications. But our Assembly Members would suffer an involuntary evacuation of the bowels were anyone to suggest such a move. Even though they would all understand the economic sense behind such a suggestion.

      Because the Assembly is all about role-playing, posturing, sounding off and looking good. There is a majority there that wants to get on its high horse and whisper in the direction of England (especially with Tories in power) ‘We are morally superior to you – look at the legislation we are introducing!’

      And of course there is also the acknowledged and inhibiting fear that were residency or other qualifications to be introduced that might prevent Wales being ripped off, then the Sun, the Daily Mail and all the others would rise up screaming ‘racism’, ‘anti-English bigots’, etc., etc.

      And while this pantomime is being played out those who really run this country, those who meet in the secret committees, the people of the shadows, are laughing like crazy, knowing that they are dealing with a self-emasculating political class in Wales that will always serve England’s interests by simply being what it is!

      Of course, I’m talking here of Labour and Plaid Cymru; throw Tories and Ukip into the mix and you can see how utterly useless devolution is. Or rather, Wales can now be exploited in ways that were impossible before devolution.

      Devolution has made things worse in Wales, for the Welsh.

  7.  

    Read elsewhere that members of our esteemed Cynulliad took time out to talk, yet again, about current flavour of the month – yes you’ve guessed right – transgender rights/ishoos. Well some turkey from UKIP got on his high horse and offended all sorts of people eager to flaunt their inclusive credentials, including our most solid of virtuous solidarity Leanne. Couldn’t resist yet another vacuous tweet blubbing the usual nonsense. No wonder hostile forces are gaining traction in their attempts to turn a significant slice of the electorate against any form of Cynulliad/Senedd for Wales.

    •  

      Dafis – I guessed that the UKIP/transgender rights row in the Senedd would soon be discussed on this blog! I am no UKIP supporter but the spectre of the Senedd – a body containing so many former social workers and Councillors who remained silent throughout the years of the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal as children on their patch were raped, starved, beaten and often found dead – suspending someone from the Chamber because he made comments that would offend a small percentage of the population in Wales was extraordinary.

      Now if Elin and co down in Cardiff really want to do something useful, they could look at a very worrying phenomenon. That is, young people who are having difficulties and who may be gay or have a history of being sexually abused being referred to third rate therapists who are out of their depth and believe that they are dealing with a person experiencing gender dysphoria – and then recommending the hormones and even the surgery….Which if you have enough money can be freely purchased in the private medical sector in the UK, no matter how confused or distressed you are. I am not simply being a reactionary old bat here – there is plenty of evidence that this is happening. It is a result of hopeless mental health services who cannot cope with straightforward problems let alone complex ones and a greedy unscrupulous private medical sector which will sell anybody anything if they’ve got the dosh. There are two such practitioners in north Wales AT THE MOMENT. They both call themselves gender identity specialists and have been receiving ‘referrals’ for some time. Both have been involved with the dismal failing mental health services in north Wales for years – which had an astronomical suicide rate and found themselves at the centre of a patient abuse scandal so big that the Health Board is now in special measures. I know people who have consulted those ‘experts’ – the ‘advice’ dispensed was terrifying. Oh – and both of the experts were involved in concealing the abuse of children and mental health patients in north Wales. At least one of them is now advertising his services on an international basis – and feedback left online suggests that he will write a psych assessment saying pretty much whatever is required to give the green light for gender realignment surgery.

      The lame old duffers down in Cardiff Bay simply do not have the brains or the courage to stand up and admit that something very worrying is happening. As for the north Wales expert who is going international with his assessments and recommendations – it is known that in countries like Thailand, young men working in prostitution are undergoing partial gender realignment because it increases their earnings. No other reason at all. There have been cases of people doing the same in the UK – the ‘memoirs’ of the comedian Paul O Grady aka Lily Savage cites such cases (before O Grady made it big in light entertainment, he lived a pretty sordid existence among some very desperate people).

      There is virtually no effective regulation of mental health and medical practitioners in the UK despite the pompousing of the GMC and BMA and medicine has become a very predatory business. People with ‘gender identity’ problems are like lambs to the slaughter and in the more sane circles there is great concern at what is happening.

      One of the comments above mentioned homeless mentally ill people who are not looked after by the mental health services – you bet that they’re not, they are absolutely abandoned. Or if they are young and attractive and gay are being told by certain practitioners that they are transgender…The person who left the comment mentioned Scotland and patients having named workers. They have named workers in Wales and England and there are mountains of guidelines and policies re caring for seriously ill people. It is all ignored. The GMC have stood by and watched this for years. There have been no disciplinary cases brought against doctors for grossly neglecting mental health patients. But don’t be fooled by Scotland – it is absolutely no better up there and Scottish mental health law is so oppressive that people are stripped of all rights – its bad enough in Wales and England, but Scotland – Christ Almighty… There have been some real horrors in Scotland re mental health – like the very existence of Parkhead Hospital in the East End of Glasgow for a start – but it has all been hushed up. Not a word gets into the media. Could this be because of the influence of Sir Kenneth Calman, a leading light in Glasgow University/the Scottish NHS, who also has a keen interest in politics and was an advisor in the devolution process to the SNP/to Nicola Sturgeon? Sir Ken has a famous daughter – the comedian Susan Calman, who appears on the BBC making jokes about being a little fat lesbian Scottish girl who has no confidence at all and keeps cats for company. Susan Calman is a former international lawyer and her dad is probably the most powerful man in Scotland.Sir Ken wields a lot of power in England as well – he’s the former Chief Medical Officer.

      As for the glorious NHS which Vaughan Gething keeps telling us isn’t doing too badly at all – this morning there are reports that the NHS in north Wales has admitted that it can’t cope with the drug problems of the prisoners in HMP Berwyn and that it will not be able to cope with the increase in population if the proposed new Horizon development is built on Anglesey. Campaigners against that fucking prison told everyone that it would be a disaster and that there wasn’t the infrastructure to cope with it. I wrote to Leanne and Hywel Williams myself making that point. Hywel wrote me a rude reply saying ‘you have your opinion, I have mine’ and Leanne didn’t reply at all. They both begged for that prison – a prison that they were told would be housing thousands of desperate people with mental health and drug problems on the patch of a Health Board with one of the worst mental health services in the UK. As for Horizon – they have been told that they ought to make their own provision for the health care of their staff. QUE???? People have BEGGED Horizon to go to Anglesey, they promised them the fucking world if they provided all those jobs for Anglesey. Now its fuck off, you can’t use the NHS. Oh sorry – not only is that the height of hypocrisy and the opposite of fair play, but it is illegal. The NHS is there for everyone. The answer is to sack the bunch of crooks who are running the NHS in north Wales and appoint people who are not afraid to challenge the entrenched serious corruption surrounding them. Oooh, I forgot – when the Betsi Board was first formed, it did have three people who tried to do that – Chief Exec Mary Burrows, Chair Merfyn Jones and Vice Chair Lyndon Miles. They were hounded out – by the crooks. Time for a few prosecutions I think and no more guff from a bunch of ex-social workers in the Senedd who couldn’t make it as social workers or Councillors but fancied being Health Ministers.

    •  

      looks like Mcevoy has picked up on the Assembly groupthink on the nation cymru website/blog. As he rightly says UKIP may now have a martyr to rally around.

  8.  

    “Deck your biz with public money,
    Fa-la-la-la-laaa la-la-la-laa.
    Even if the deals are ‘funny’,
    Fa-la-la-la-laaa la-la-la-laa.
    Split the profits with your neighbour,
    Fa-la-la, fa-la-la, la-la-laa,
    And do the dirty work for Labour,
    Fa-la-la-la-laaa la-la-la-laa.”

    Well, it’s Chrismas, iznet? 🙂

  9.  

    Take a look at IMJ’s site – quite a heated discussion of a recent article in Walesonline by a young lady of Indian origin raised in South Wales who had negative experiences of trying to learn Welsh. This was meat and drink to the phobic rag who gave her convoluted message the full “scandal” treatment. On IMJ’s site another person of Asian origins raised in at least 2 countries, now settled in Wales took issue. While she has attracted some compliments and support there has been a volume of acidic criticism by others from overseas or of foreign extraction who have engaged in attacks on anyone daring to speak in defence of indigenous language and culture. Some of this stuff is quite structured in its prejudice using reversal of norms to enable them to deploy classic “victim of racism” stances. It is all an attack on things Welsh, not Anglo Welsh or any other grouping. This is the strongest yet as far as I know by WOL/Trinity although they did let their Comments in the Daily Post become a home for trolls last week when Owain had the temerity to pipe up about use of the language.

    It crossed my mind that some of these “so put upon” ethnics may be part of that shadowy Brit Army unit that engages in all sorts of cyber warfare and disinformation via comments on websites. Of course Trinity Mirror would be a very happy partner in such hanky panky.

  10.  

    Found this in the Guardian online just now :

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/dec/14/private-probation-firms-criticised-supervising-offenders-phone
    Private probation firms criticised for supervising offenders by phone
    Probation chief voices concern over lack of face-to-face meetings as report reveals privatised sector is struggling to deliver

    Evidently a massive failure in probation service, especially the privatised bit, never was a bright idea to render private that which is part of the crime and justice mandate. Anyway you can bet on this being one of the leaky bits that enables lower level crims to migrate to the easily accessible parts of Wales and thereby transfer the costs of dealing with their ishoos across the border. So simple yet no one chooses to see it ( other than those making a buck out of it).

    •  

      Dafis – you mention Trinity Mirror peddling propaganda. I became interested in them a few years ago when the Daily Post was publishing lies, downright lies, about the three senior managers at the Betsi who were trying to tackle entrenched corruption and improve things for patients. Trinity Mirror owned the Daily Post.At the same time the Daily Post and other Trinity Mirror publications in Wales were running features under the umbrella of ‘health advice’ that were no more than shameless plugs for private Spire Hospitals – which have sprung up everywhere in Wales. There is a Spire next to Wrexham Maelor, a Spire next to Ysbyty Glan Clwyd – the doctors staffing those Spires are the NHS consultants who are failing their NHS patients so badly. I know of two patients in north Wales who have been frankly told by their GPs to ‘go private’ for orthopaedic problems because by the time that they get to the top of the NHS list, the damage will be irreparable and they’ll not regain full mobility. Both were livid at being forced to go private but both were very active men in their 60s and didn’t want to be completely wrecked.

      At the time that the Daily Post was publishing lies I wrote to the then editor Alison Gow. She admitted that Trinity Mirror had a ‘commercial relationship’ with Spire but she refused to give me details. Trinity Mirror at the time were in very deep financial trouble. I’ve kept a blog for more than a year now about corruption, research fraud and the collusion of politicians with this in the health and welfare sector, but I haven’t had time to follow up all the stories that I want to – Trinity Mirror and its cosy friendship with Spire is one story that I haven’t had time to pursue.

      I used to work in biomedical research and I knew exactly how corrupt some of my former colleagues were – some of that lot have now picked up knighthoods and peerages and are sitting in the Lords. They sit on Gov’t advisory committees and because most politicians don’t know their arses from their elbows re science they pull the wool over their eyes repeatedly, recommending expensive drugs and interventions that are limited in effectiveness or damaging – because they are also working as paid consultants to the drug company or want a few more million for their research dept. The medical establishment both in England and Wales are currently in a Grade A war with the Gov’ts of both countries over money. The NHS is being bled dry by corruption within the medical establishment, it is nothing to do with ‘an ageing population’. Nearly all of these leading lights in medicine have their own agenda – and no matter how liberal they pretend to be, many of them are involved with private medicine.

      I am pretty certain that a group of powerful corrupt people in north Wales wanted to see the three senior managers who were trashed by the Daily Post brought down – whether Trinity Mirror knew what the real agenda was I do not know, but Trinity Mirror were happy to run stories that they knew weren’t true whilst accepting dosh from Spire – who were employing exactly the same dodgy doctors who desperately wanted to see the back of the three senior managers. I know that we hurl abuse at politicians from across the spectrum on this blog, but I do need to clear the name of one of them – Edwina Hart. The dodgy docs really hated her – because she was completely opposed to all private healthcare. There were as many untrue Edwina stories appearing in Trinity Mirror publications as there were about the three senior managers.

      Since Edwina and then the three managers who were targeted were forced out, things in the NHS in north Wales have imploded. But the dodgy docs? They’re making a fucking fortune next door at the Spire Hospital. Where people are now being forced to go if they want to retain their mobility or can’t endure the pain any longer.

    •  

      Here’s an example of an offender who was “supervised by phone”. When he chewed our his victims eyeball, he was tazered by a Gwent Police officer, and died. The formal investigation was by the IPCC who questioned whether the police officer was justified in using the tazer. This facility is now closed.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/11215697/Cannibal-murderer-Matthew-Williams-lured-victim-Cerys-Yemm-to-hotel.html

      Facilities are now centralised to four dedicated units (Swansea,Cardiff, Wrexham and Bangor) as explained by Mr Spiller in his reply to Wynne (above), so, for example, released paedophiles are now held near to a primary school at Plas Madoc, Wrexham, and the ‘monitoring’ phone call is now made from the Trefforest Industrial Estate near Pontypridd.

      https://www.chesterchronicle.co.uk/news/local-news/sentence-handed-out-paedophile-patrick-5221672

      Of course it’s not just the private sector agencies who’ve dumped face-to-face contract in favour of telephone consultations. Hence the famous Welsh GP question “How are you going to examine my vaginal discharge over the phone, Dr Locum? Have you got any antibiotics for a weak vodaphone signal?”

      •  

        Brychan – it wasn’t only the Probation Service that was crap in the Matthew Williams case – he had a serious mental illness and the only time that he had help for that was when he was in prison. The minute he left the glorious mental health services decided that they couldn’t be bothered with the likes of him, even when they were told by his friends and family that he was, basically, going mad. The police didn’t cover themselves in glory either.

        It’s also worth noting that the people running the new private probation companies are frequently the same probation officers who didn’t do their jobs that well before their service was privatised. I know of two probation officers in north Wales who got together to form a company, one of whom had kept quiet about the paedophile gang in north Wales and the other was selling drugs to her clients in her capacity as a ‘peer support worker’ with the ‘substance abuse charity’ CAIS.

        As for the NHS, my experience of one dirty doc in particular from north Wales suggests that any woman experiencing a vaginal discharge would be far better off keeping the info to herself than trusting that bunch of fools, fuckwits and crooks who have destroyed the NHS in north Wales.

      •  

        Wales Community Rehabilitation Company {Wales CRC} also has 18 “Community Hubs” at the following locations in Wales, with a further 7 under consideration.

        Hub Location Address
        Abergavenny One Stop Shop Abergavenny Cross Street NP7 5HD
        Abbey Road Community Centre Bangor 5-9 Abbey Road LL57 2EA
        Mantell Gwynedd Caernarfon 25 Bridge Street LL55 1AB
        Hafan Cymru Carmarthen 23 Bridge Street Carmarthen
        Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services Haverfordwest 36-38 High Street SA61 2DA
        Holyhead Town Council Holyhead Town Hall Newry Street LL65 1HN
        Arch Llangefni 1 Glanhwyfa Road LL77 7EN
        Hartshorn House Health Wellbeing Centre {G4S} Maesteg Neath Road CF34 9EE
        Teulu Multi-Agency Centre Merthyr Tydfil 47-48 Pontmorlais CF47 8UN
        Neath Domestic Abuse One Stop Shop Neath 17 Victoria Gardens SA11 3AY
        Dyfodol {G4S} Neath 5-6 London Road SA11 1HB
        Newport Women’s Aid Newport 56 Stow Hill NP19 1GJ
        The Lighthouse Pontypool George Street NP4 6BZ
        Oasis Wonen’s Centre Pontypridd Ty Ashgrove Upper Church Street CF37 2UF
        Canolfan Felin Fach Centre Pwllheli Stryd Penlan LL53 5DE
        Dwi Sant Community Centre Rhyl Clwyd Building Clwyd Street LL18 3LA
        Women’sCentre Rhyl 46-54 Water Street LL18 1SS
        The Hafan Cymru Partnership One Stop Shop Swansea Singleton Street SA1 3QN

        Coming to a town near you soon, as they say. Why do they need two at Rhyl I hear you say !

        •  

          The Wales CRC is owned by and a subsidiary of Working Links (Employment) Limited which is based in Middlesborough. It has form for looking after offenders in Wales – by being one.
          http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/working-links-accused-engaging-systemic-2031388

          •  

            Working Links was and probably remains a crock of shit from start to finish. Spawned in this country to “assist” speedy return to work for chronic benefit claimants it was soon engaging in misrepresentation to enable claims for extra moneys for exceeding certain performance milestones. It was supposed to be delivering quality programmes designed to improve people’s life chances but were doing little more than issuing simple guidance on filling forms and smartening up one’s “first impression”. Of course it enabled pricks like Cameron to say that they were doing something while senior execs got rich doing little or nothing at all. Good old Conservative philosophies put into practice.

            •  

              CAIS has landed huge DWP contracts for ‘training’ people – the training facilities boasted about are a cafe. Although the PR puff gives the impression that people will be trained for the ‘food and hospitality’ industry there aren’t the facilities to do that – there’s not a restaurant or a kitchen to learn chef’s skills. There is a cafe which is a glorified portacabin. Trainees from CAIS wouldn’t even be able to get a job as a barista in a Cafe Nero or a Starbucks because they won’t know how to do all the fancy coffees.

              It is what I saw Thatcher’s Gov’t do with the Manpower Services Commission in the 80s – they gave lots of public money to dodgy people who then ’employed’ disadvantaged young people, paying them about what they would get on benefits in non-jobs which came to an end after a few months anyway. The young people were then back unemployed in the same position as before because they hadn’t been ‘trained’ for anything and potential employers knew it.

  11.  

    Tasty mosel turned up on Guido the other day regarding that cluster of well connected witches lurking down the Bay and how they operate.

    https://order-order.com/2017/12/14/bullying-lobbyists-centre-carl-sargeant-investigation/

    Walesonline remarkably silent probably still hiding behind some sham excuse like being respectful to the family of the deceased. Well the family wants answers and sharpish, so no credit to anyone who decides to stay silent on this matter. With a bit of luck Deryn will get walloped by a Harris Hawk quite soon.

    •  

      Thanks for this Dafis. I note that Jo Kiernan, one of the partners in crime at Deryn, was employed by Rhodri Morgan as his media advisor in 2006 – she was previously ITV’s political journalist. Jo had responsibility for health – so THAT’S why all those scandals and deaths in the north Wales NHS didn’t hit the media! Of course when the Betsi was formed and three senior managers arrived who confronted the local corruption – nearly all of which was connected to the people who had concealed the paedophile ring in north Wales – suddenly a whole raft of bad news stories started hitting the media about those three managers. I knew most of those stories to be untrue. Bad news stories also appeared about Edwina Hart who had also attempted – but failed – to challenge the corruption. Edwina was removed as Health Minister and was replaced with the hopeless Lesley Griffiths – who as a Councillor in Wrexham had ignored the paedophile ring operating under her nose Griffths was succeeded by Mark Drakeford – a former social worker in west Wales, whilst a paedophile gang with connections to north Wales operated there.

      Jo Kiernan comes from and grew up in west Wales! So who was paying Kiernan to plant those stories?

      •  

        I must confess that I didn’t know a lot about about Jo Kiernan prior to reading that piece on Guido, though I vaguely remember her as a TV journalist. So I checked her Linkedin profile where – despite leaving out dates – we are told that she’s worked for both BBC and ITV Wales. Preceded by time at Cardiff University and Cardiff Journalism School, and followed by time as Chief Special Adviser to both Rhodri Morgan and Carwyn Jones.

        Then of course she sought to capitalise on her political and media contacts with Deryn.

        That we had to read this in Guido Fawkes may be an example of the incestuous Bay Bubble closing ranks to protect one of its own. Because I would have preferred to read this in a Welsh media outlet, but Ms Kiernan appears to have all bases covered, and gagged.

        •  

          Yes I noticed the Cardiff University background. Mark Drakeford was a professor at Cardiff University before he became an AM. Cardiff University acts as a receptacle for those with connections in the Bay – the hopeless Eluned Morgan has some sort of post there, as does Leighton Andrews and I think Leighton’s wife Ann Beynon does as well, she’s something to do with the Welsh Governance Centre if I remember rightly.

          The School of Journalism at Cardiff has links to shitbags of the highest order. Richard Tait who’s crowning glory was ‘Nationwide’ – which starred Frank Bough of cocaine and prostitutes fame – has a Chair there and he’s friendly with the big idiot Michael Grade. Now Lord Grade of course – who began his journey up a very greasy pole indeed by doing favours for people connected to Thatcher’s Gov’t, such as Samuel Brittan, Leon Brittan’s brother.

        •  

          Jac Others in the Deryn vulture coop include Nerys Evans, an ex A.M ( Plaid) who enjoys close relationship with Bethan “loose cannon” Jenkins and Leanne “ishoos” Wood , and Cathy Owen ( ex SpAd to Rhodri Morgan) who turned up on TV on Sunday a.m when the groping scandal first broke spouting righteous indignation by the bucketful about the toxic environment. Some guy came on to her apparently, fuck it must have been dark, or he was pissed or blind or both. Anyway only weeks before that outburst both these manipulative dames had been pulled up for securing contracted work from Ofcom while one or both of them were also sitting on some Ofcom advisory panel, board or some other mechanism for slipping fees to “good friends of the cause”. Deryn seems worth an investigation in its own right not by you Jac but by a Serious Fraud outfit as it represents a good example of the back hander, hand in glove conduct of business within large chunks of the Welsh public sector. I reckon that once one of these parasites gets pulled a bit sharpish there would be a bit of a downturn in fees spent on bullshit and hot air manufacture by Welsh government.

          •  

            So bilidowcar is dead. So who is the spadahari playing pilipala?
            The whole set-up is toxic.

Ok, you’ve read what I think, now what do you have to say?