Nov 202016
 

SWANSEA

Persecution

Where better to start than the old home town. (Which still ‘looks the same as I step down from the train, and there to greet me’ – is a welcoming committee from the local Labour Party. ‘Good old Jac’, they cry. Well, laff!)

As you may recall, I wrote a while back about the case of Swansea East MP Carolyn Harris and her alleged homophobic assault on Jenny Lee Clarke, when both worked in Labour’s Swansea East  constituency office for MP Siân James. It even made the London ‘papers, here’s how the Telegraph treated it.

Meryl

This picture has nothing to do with the article . . . but I just can’t resist it! That hat!

Harris took over from James as MP in May 2015, the story about the alleged assault made the news in the second half of November then, on January 28, Clarke was dismissed from her job with immediate effect. I’ve seen the letter from Carolyn Harris; it’s one of those, ‘Clear your desk and sod off – now!  letters. We’ve all had them, I’ve got a drawer full. Things have not gone well for Clarke since then.

For not only did she lose her job, she was also accused of stealing money from her erstwhile employer (one C. Harris); and the most recent assault on her peace of mind, in September, was to be told by Swansea council that they’d stopped her housing benefit because someone had informed them she’d died! Naturally she reported this to the police, but they just messed her about a bit and refused to proceed with the case.

As for Labour-controlled Swansea council, you have to ask whose word they took that Jenny Clarke was dead. There was obviously no death certificate produced . . . or if there was then it was a forgery. But they are unable to explain how they came to accept that Jenny Clarke was demised. A third party points the finger at a close associate of Harris within the council – but who’s gonna investigate? This is Wales. This is the Labour Party.

As for the theft allegation, well this drags on . . . and on. The cops just keep extending her ‘Pre-Charge Conditional Bail’ (as it’s described on the form); the police bail was extended until November 7, and now it’s been extended again until February 17. I doubt if there will be charges; this is just the cops playing mind games.

This is a disgusting episode even for a corrupt and backward country like ours. The dominant political party engages in the kind of vindictive behaviour for which it is infamous, and yet what’s really worrying is that the police seem to be going along with this persecution of a woman whose only mistake was crossing the local political machine.

Persecution Complex?

Someone who may have good reason to be looking over his shoulder is the leader of Swansea council, Rob Stewart, one of the Morriston councillors. For the word echoing along the corridors is that conspirators are grouping around his ousted predecessor David ‘Il Duce’ Phillips, he of the red duffle coat (click to view).Benito Phillips, Il Duce Abertawe

As we speak, plots are being hatched, alliances formed, and positions of power allotted in the post-coup council. But back to the present.

One of the popular programmes on the Swansea Sound radio station is The Sunday Hotline presented by Kevin Johns. People phone in and have a moan about this and that, you know the sort of thing.

Any criticism of Swansea council is immediately answered by Stewart, who doesn’t phone in to defend himself, but sends an e-mail! –  ‘And following that heartfelt complaint from Mrs Lloyd of Penclawdd about the council doing nothing to arrest and castrate Romanian cockle-pickers we’ve had an e-mail from council leader Rob Stewart, who argues . . . ‘.

Can’t you just picture him of a Sunday morning, still fizzy from too much lemonade the night before, in his marmalade-streaked pyjamas, trembling finger hovering over the keyboard as he listens to the bile spewing forth from his radio. It’s not a pretty sight, is it? But who knows, after next May, he might be able to cwtsh in under his duvet on a Sunday, unless of course he decides to put on strange voices and start phoning in complaints about his successor.

‘Good Night, John Boy’

Someone else I’ve written about more times than I wanted to is councillor John Charles ‘John Boy’ Bayliss, perhaps the last of the student councillors recruited by Davidbayliss-twitter-nov-2016 Phillips and his wife Sybil Crouch, who works in Swansea university. Though I suppose there could be a few new ones in May.

Despite being a councillor for the Uplands ward, and despite living in Swansea, you wouldn’t be aware of that from his Twitter account; but ‘Uplands, Swansea’ or ‘Uplands ward in Swansea’ appeared on all his previous Twitter incarnations. (Two examples here and here.) And although it says “2017 local election candidate” it doesn’t say where. He’s certainly not standing for re-election in the Uplands (here’s Labour’s Magnificent Four for May, including the balding Lili Marlene), so where is he standing, is it even in Wales?

Maybe he’s standing in Bristol, where he works. Or is he going home to mummy and daddy in Sussex? Who cares? It looks like he’s leaving Swansea, and that’s the main thing. The only one who might miss him is Il Duce.

UPDATE 21.11.2016: A good source informs me that Bayliss may be standing for Cardiff council in May, either in Fairwater or Llandaff. Which makes sense, as he works in Bristol. But he was only recruited by the Remarkable Group because he was a Swansea Labour councillor and Remarkable was involved with the contentious Mynydd y Gwair wind farm. What use might a lobbying company like Remarkable have for him in Cardiff? P.S. Now confirmed by a second source.

LLANELLI

The Invisible Man Moves

Sticking with the topic of Labour councillors on the move, we cross the tumbling waters of the mighty Llwchwr to Llanelli, where many people are asking why Rob James is moving there from Neath. At present James is the Labour councillor for the Bryncoch South ward . . . though you’d be forgiven for not knowing that, certainly if you were going by his attendance record.

For as Stan at the Neath Ferret tells us, between May and the end of October, James had attended 2/5 full council meetings; 0/3 meetings of the Environmental and Highways Scrutiny Committee; 0/4 Social Care, Health and Housing Scrutiny Committee; 0/1 Licensing and Gambling Acts Committee; 0/3 Registration and Licensing Committee: and as might be expected, he didn’t bother turning up for the council’s Annual Meeting in May either. Impressive, no?

rob-james

He may not bother turning up for meetings, but Councillor Rob James recognises a photo opportunity when he sees one. Look out, Llanelli – he’s coming your way!

What’s worse, to accommodate the Invisible Man from Neath Llanelli Labour has deselected Lliedi ward councillor Bill Thomas. Who’s he? Let Cneifiwr tell us, “Bill Thomas has ploughed his lonely furrow for 17 years, doing the sort of things which most people would like to imagine that all councillors do. For starters, he has a mind of his own, which marks him out from a good many of his colleagues. He has stood up for his ward through thick and thin, fought a long campaign to try to get justice for the cocklers whose livelihoods have been wrecked by releases of raw sewage into the Burry Inlet. He has fought an even longer and equally fruitless campaign to get justice for Mr and Mrs Clive and Pam Edwards, victims of incredible incompetence and an even more incredible refusal to put matters right by the council. He has banged on for years about the madness of building new homes on flood plains, and he played a key role in uncovering Mark and Meryl’s plans to flog off Parc Howard in Llanelli – while Labour was running the council.”

So it’s pretty obvious why Labour should want to remove a conscientious councillor and replace him with someone who’ll cause no problems, but that doesn’t explain why James is making the move. He could just as easily not turn up in Neath as Llanelli, so why go through the hassle of switching, filling in those forms and risking defeat?

In all seriousness, how does Llanelli Labour Party justify dumping a good councillor and replacing him with an outsider, especially an outsider with James’ attendance record? It really is taking the electorate for granted.

Now a Labour Politician Who Didn’t Move, Allegedly

Staying in Sosban . . . well, maybe, we look at the AM for the town, young Lee Waters. Now no one disputes that Lee was raised in Ammanford, but he’s spent recent years in the Cardiff area, and it’s being suggested that he still lives in the Vale, in Barry to be precise.

Which might be fine, had he not told the Turk electorate in May that his happy abode was in New Zealand Street, Llanelli. He pipped the Plaid Cymru candidate by 382 votes.

‘Poumista’

Another recently announced candidate for May’s county council elections is Gary Robert Jones. You’ll recognise the name from my posts on the ongoing campaign of bigotry against Welsh language education in Llangennech. No doubt ‘poumista’ is hoping to capitalise on his notoriety.

poumista

His Twitter handle is taken from the Spanish initials of the Workers Party of Marxist Unification, an extremist party active in the Spanish Civil War, mainly in Catalonia. (It might even have the same initials in Catalan.) POUM seemed to be opposed to everybody else involved, on both sides. Here’s a short write-up from 1936, but don’t all rush to join, POUM was thankfully dissolved in 1980.

That POUM no longer exists seems not to bother Jones one bit. In fact, to judge by his Twitter account, I’m not sure he realises WWII is over either. If in the modern era we judge politicians by their tweets and re-tweets then there should be some concerns about @poumista. Here’s one re-tweet I salvaged, put out late last Saturday night; it’s of a female Russian sniper under a photo of one the biggest butchers in human history. Such taste!

poumista-russian-sniper

I urge you to check out the Twitter account of the Labour hopeful for Llangennech and Bryn before he starts deleting. There are some very revealing tweets and re-tweets there. Including of course re-tweets of Lee Waters telling us of his occasional trips from Barry to Llanelli.

To finish with Llanelli I must mention a curious message I received to my ‘contact me’ box in the sidebar. It named a very prominent individual in the Llanelli Labour Party and seemed to suggest that this person had – perhaps by questionable means – come into possession of a number of former council properties. Any further information would be appreciated.

THE LEAVING OF LABOUR

It’s not just Labour politicians moving (or not, as the case may be), or putting themselves up for election, there are other movements with ‘Welsh’ Labour, and very encouraging they are too.

The first story I picked on was from Caerffili, where two Labour councillors resigned last month promising to set up their own party. One of them, Allan Rees, alleged that “nepotism and cronyism is rife” within the local Labour Party. Not just your local party, Allan, come and talk with Uncle Jac.

Then, a few days ago, we learnt that six councillors had been ‘de-selected’ (a term I’m sure the man in the photo would have approved of) by the Ogmore Constituency Labour Party.

On top of that, Labour has lost a couple of seats on Cardiff city council in recent by-elections. First, the Lib Dem candidate won in the Plasnewydd ward; then Plaid Cymru took one of the Grangetown seats.

But remember, these upheavals for Labour have nothing to do with Jeremy Corbyn and his hard left supporters eliminating the hated ‘Blairites’ – that storm has yet to break in Wales! Labour has real problems, but this is no time to stand around gloating – put the boot in!

OUR HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS

Link Holdings (Gibraltar) Ltd is, as the name might suggest, a secretive offshore company, one owning a great deal of property across southern Wales, from Llanelli eastwards. Here’s a list of Link’s properties compiled from the Private Eye database.

link-gibraltar

Offshore property ownership is disturbing enough of itself, but the reason I wrote Link Holdings (Gibraltar) Ltd was because I’d learnt that housing associations are leasing, and possibly renting, from Link. So naturally I wrote to the ‘Welsh’ Government seeking answers. Here’s a combined pdf of my original request, the reply, and my response to that reply. (Read it now or keep it for a rainy afternoon.)

I kept a number of politicians informed of my concerns regarding Link Holdings, and also with the bizarre – possibly unique – relationship between Pembrokeshire Housing and its offspring Mill Bay Homes. One of these politicians showed me the response received from minister Carl Sargeant. It’s worth sharing. Here it is.

You’ll note that in the first part of the letter, talking of the Social Housing Grant with regard to Pembrokeshire Housing, Sargeant, or whoever wrote the letter, is clear that SHG must be “spent on pre-determined developments and projects”. Which is what I would expect, because I’ve always regarded the SHG as a capital grant for new housing, creating jobs and putting money into an area.

Yet in the second part of the letter, when dealing with Link Holdings (Gibraltar) Ltd, we read, “An RSL (registered Social Landlord aka housing association) is able to purchase the leasehold title of a property, and is able to receive Social Housing Grant Money to do so”.  How can a capital grant for “pre-determined developments and projects” be used to lease old properties from offshore companies?

As I’ve argued for years, housing associations are one the worst uses of public funding imaginable, but major change is on the horizon. Thank God!

HAPPY DONKEY HILL

Regular readers will recall that some time ago now I had cause to write about a rather unpleasant woman named Kate Clamp living near Llandysul. She changed the name of her property – actually owned by her multi-millionaire father – from Faerdre Fach to Happy Donkey Hill.

In one of my posts I used this image from her Facebook page, but I’d assumed the use of ‘Lady’ was a joke. (As would ‘lady’ be in this case.) But not so, for a series of messages I’ve received to my Facebook page tell me that Clamp and her current consort have taken to styling themselves ‘Lord and Lady Clamp’ in earnest.

Lady Kate Clamp Facebook

My contact has been in touch with Burke’s Peerage, Debrett’s and various other sources and is assured that the duo has no claim to any title. So have they bought one off some website? Or maybe they splashed out a few thousand on one of those ‘Lord of the Manor’ titles that allows you to make a nuisance of yourself. (I used to vaguely know a bloke who collected such ‘titles’.)

But the point is – as my contact was keen to stress – the Clamps are in a competitive business, and if they’re gaining an unfair advantage over their competitors by falsely claiming to be aristocrats, then surely they’re breaking some law? If nothing else, shouldn’t the local Trading Standards office be involved?

happy-donkey-hill

My contact also had something to say about a ‘missing’ donkey, and police involvement, but that can keep for another post, because I’m sure I’ll be writing about ‘Lord and Lady’ Clamp again in the near future.

♦ end ♦

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43 Comments on "Updates & Tit-bits, November 21, 2016"

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Wynne
Guest
With regard to your section on Housing Associations. There is a clear contradiction in the letter signed by the minister Carl Sargeant. The official who drafted the letter for his signature has some explaining to do. Evidence of wrongdoing has been presented to Welsh Government in a report but no response received to date. Instead they have issued what they refer to as a “closing down” letter. This appears to… Read more »
BR74
Guest

How on earth do either of you come to these conclusions? I’ve read the letters and can honestly say you appear to be making this up as you go along! I just can’t take you seriously.

Howell Williams
Guest
On a different Tac jac i have just read owain williams Tryweryn A nation awakes. a damn good read. a fact that i had not known and should be known by many is that after alwyn jones and george taylor were killed at abergele in 1969 the irish tricolour was flown at half mast outside the Thomas ashe hall in cork.to respect these brave men .Thank you people of Cork… Read more »
dafis
Guest
Will have to buy this book, or its download version,but shocked to be told by Lolfa that it’s not on sale in Welsh ! FFS, Tryweryn was all about the failure to defend Welsh communities from hostile external influences ( Anglo-Brits and Quisling welshies ) where those influences were using “legal” and “statutory” powers to deprive a community of its inherited homeland and way of life. Surely if Owain can’t… Read more »
Howell Williams
Guest

Owains book if you read the book Owain explains why he chose to write this book in english

dafis
Guest

I guess I’ll have to read the English if there’s no Welsh version available.

Stan
Guest
The treatment of Jenny Lee Clarke is scandalous in my opinion. The somewhat dubious looking “investigation” has been hanging over her since March this year for what one would think at the most would be minor fraud – if there’s a case to answer at all. No charges have yet even been brought after all this time, for Christ’s sake. A proper investigation by the police and decision by the… Read more »
Emlyn
Guest
Fair play to Lady Clamp (sounds like something used in adult entertainment, so they say), Faerdre Fach is still Faerdre Fach. They use it in their address, and when I passed by yesterday the sign is still up. The Happy Donkey stuff is just the branding they use for marketing purposes. Jac, you’ll be pleased to know her Ladyship was even flying y Ddraig Goch alongside the Union Flag and… Read more »
Beca
Guest

Interesting news to add is that Jacqueline Seward who’s one of the main protestors against Llangennech School has been unveiled by Gary Jones as the other Labour candidate for next year’s local elections.

Howell Williams
Guest

dafis you will be glad you did.

Troi
Guest
Nowadays, rightly or wrongly, one finds oneself asking in situations like these where it is taking forever for a file to be passed to the CPS (or the investigation ended) whether the Police Commissioner or his office have any involvement? One assumes that Mr Michael’s loyal team of handpicked Labour hacks in force HQ must be getting up to something for the cause. Since putting himself at the head of… Read more »
dafis
Guest
Liked your tweet about that 49th parallel story. Sort of reminds me of all those poor Anglos that troop across Offa’s Dyke to escape the Asian/Islamic hordes that have crossed the English Channel and the cynical exploitation of their predicament by the grasping Welsh ! Fillon’s Welsh wife was featured by assorted rags some years ago when he last appeared in the upper reaches of the Frog hierarchy. Quite forgettable… Read more »
Brychan
Guest
I am very concerned that South Wales Police did not investigate the false representation to Swansea City Council that Jenny Clarke was dead. This resulting in her housing benefit being stopped. I am familiar with the process and there is a strict protocol that Swansea City Council operates. In a genuine death, the coroner issues the death certificate as an ‘machinable interface record’ known as the MIR at .GOV. It’s… Read more »
Stan
Guest
Thank you, Brychan for that helpful explanation about MIRs and registration of deaths. So it would seem that whoever instigated the actions that led to the withdrawal of benefits from Ms Clarke would have to have known her National Insurance number. Hmmm. I’d best not take this point further – Jac’s had enough solicitors’ letters for 2016. I can appreciate with the pressures that Plod are under that they are… Read more »
Troi
Guest
Procedure probably varies, and may indeed have altered slightly post-Shipman, but based on my own experience, but I believe the initial death certificate is issued on the spot by the qualified doctor who pronounces the patient dead. If it’s natural causes and the coroner passes, or once the post-mortem is done and the cadaver released for burial, cremation or whatnot, the executor can then trek along to the relevant council’s… Read more »
Stan
Guest

Interesting comments Troi but I couldn’t accept it’s just someone getting mixed up at the council’s end. If it was confusing a Smith or Jones, possibly, but how many Jenny Lee Clarke’s can there be living in the Swansea catchment?

Troi
Guest
Neither of us were born yesterday Stan, but suspicions aren’t proof and unless the SWP do have something they are keeping quiet about it seems this investigation has run out of steam and should be closed – subject to any new evidence coming to SWP’s attention of course. Sadly I fear Gerry Murphy’s successors in Swansea are running rings around our police who are much better suited to handling petty… Read more »
Brychan
Guest
Not with the same NI number. Shipman was caught because he was unusual being the GP who treated the patient was also the GP who completed the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD). A manual process was used. Even then, this was irregular. It would usually be a different doctor other than the one treating the patient who does the MCCD. Shipman was sacked from previous medical practices for… Read more »
Troi
Guest
I see I must have misunderstood. I had not been aware that HB can only be stopped for reason of death if an MIR has been notified and had assumed that there were other mechanisms by which this could be done locally. It is fortunate for Ms Clarke that she didn’t commit a driving offence while being untaxed or insured by reason of being legally dead. An irony is that… Read more »
dafis
Guest
Castro has died. Some of us will mourn his passing as he was passionate about Cuba and its identity, moving it away from being a branch office of American big business and organized crime ( these 2 the same thing ? ). His socialism turned out to be a sorry mess but initially it was a real attempt at fetching the ordinary people out of their abject poverty. No doubt… Read more »
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