Oct 312014
 

‘Surely you’re not going to write favourably about Ukip, Jac?’ I hear you plaintively inquire. Well, yes and no. What I’m going to try to say is that if we learn the right lesson from Ukip’s recent success then that lesson can be used for the benefit of Wales. So let’s first remind ourselves of what the party achieved in the May European elections. (Click on table to enlarge.)

The party won 27.6% of the vote, against just 15.3% for Plaid Cymru and only 28.1% for Labour. And for those who used to argue that the Ukip vote came almost entirely from disaffected Tories, the Conservative vote held fairly steady at 17.4%. If you wanted to be even more dismissive, and self-deluding, then you would have written off this success as the kind of protest vote in which people indulge at Euro elections. It was not. It was much, much more. ‘Something’ was happening. It was observable then and it has become unmistakable since May.

Euro votes 2014

So what was the response from the other political parties to the Euro results? Initially, there was a stubborn refusal to accept the changed landscape of Englandandwales politics. (Ukip is irrelevant in Scotland.) Precious, simpering Leftists and liberals held their noses at the very mention of Ukip, as if it were unwholesome and repugnant, while many leading Tories tended to see Ukip members as oiks, the products of minor public schools. But that soon changed.

Because more recently we have seen  the defections of a couple of Conservative MPs (with more expected to follow). One of those MPs, Douglas Carswell, has already won for Ukip the Clacton seat he vacated when he resigned from the Tories. While on the same night, at the Heywood & Middleton by-election in Greater Manchester, Labour held on to one of its ‘safe’ seats by getting just 617 votes more than Ukip. Ukip is odds-on favourite to win the Rochester and Strood by-election next month when another Tory defector, Mark Reckless, stands for his former constituency.

Finally, and very reluctantly, the other political parties have been forced to accept that something very worrying is happening, and it’s no flash in the pan. The growing contempt for Westminster and the ‘established’ parties is manifesting itself in increased support for what voters see, and welcome, as an ‘outsider’ party, an untainted, maverick presence that can shake everything up – and articulate their concerns. And there is one issue more than any other on which Ukip has captured the public imagination – immigration.

*

As I have made clear more than once on this blog, the biggest threat facing Wales is not fracking, or the lack or primary legislative powers, but the steady and engineered colonisation witnessed by every one of us every single day. It is taboo to raise the subject of English colonisation, and it results in being shouted down as a ‘racist’, or else have it pointed out that there is nothing that can be done about immigration due to EU laws on free movement of labour. Another argument employed is that as citizens of the UK English people are perfectly free to move to Wales.

Ukip’s success, and it’s focus on immigration, has not only legitimised immigration as a subject for debate, but it has even changed the terms of reference. To the extent that even Ed Miliband, the nerdy and disconnected leader of the Labour Party, now agrees that something needs to be done about immigration. This, remember, is the same Labour Party that not so long ago was in favour of unrestricted immigration in order to create a multiracial society. A policy that they believed would lead to better race relations(!) and of course, more votes for Labour.

The Conservative Party has always talked tough on immigration, accused Labour of being ‘soft’, but since regaining power in 2010 has done nothing itself to curb the flow. That’s because today’s Tories are not the patriots one would have found in the Conservative Party in earlier generations; the current crop contains too many of the selfish and short-sighted who know the price of everything and the value of nothing. In the view of such people immigration equals cheap labour, which in turn helps to depress wages more generally. Therefore, no matter what they might say for public consumption, and to hang onto their seats, if immigration is good for them and their friends then they aren’t going to knock themselves out doing anything about it.

This is the split one finds on the Right across the Western world. On the one hand, there are those that oppose unskilled or non-professional immigration. Then there are those that appreciate the economic benefits unskilled migrants can bring to farmers and others, using well-rehearsed arguments such as ‘locals don’t want these jobs’. Finally, there is the extreme Right that opposes virtually all immigration. Most Conservative MPs today belong to the second category but, under the increasing threat from UPlaid logokip, are being forced to adopt the rhetoric of the third. To the extent that a government minister this week talked of English communities being “swamped” by immigrants.

So Welsh nationalists should thank Ukip for bringing immigration to the forefront of political debate. What’s more, the debate now is not about legal rights – for ‘Europeans’ have legal rights to be in the UK – but effects on the host community. If ten per cent of the population of Peterborough being immigrants is legitimate cause for concern, then fifty per cent of the population of Powys being English should be cause for immediate action.

The other reason true Welsh nationalists should thank Ukip is for exposing the sheer bloody uselessness of Plaid Cymru. Last May, in the kind of election in which people say, ‘What the hell!’, Ukip was able to get more votes than Plaid Cymru; worse than that, Ukip gained the ‘soft’ Labour, or non-voter, vote in the south that Plaid Clymru claims to have been chasing for half a century. Plaid Cymru can now look forward to coming fourth at the 2016 Assembly elections.

Ukip has opened a door, but Plaid Cymru won’t go through because it’s afraid to point up the hypocrisy in the position of English politicians and media being outraged when a few thousand poor people turn up in a prosperous English town to take the low-paid jobs, yet condemn us as ‘racist’ for drawing attention to wealthy English people buying up our homeland and, in the process, destroying our very identity! No, instead, Plaid Cymru snuggles up to a party the SNP has all but destroyed in Scotland and cobbles together election pacts with the Green Party of Englandandwales and it’s colon representatives here.

With events in Scotland threatening the Westminster consensus on another front there has never been a better time for a radical Welsh party to make a breakthrough. Plaid Cymru is not that party. It never was. It looks jaded, even part of that now-detested Westminster consensus. Maybe that’s the price you pay for being ‘respectable’ and ‘responsible’, being written about favourably in the Guardian and the New Statesman. And Wales pays the price.

*

Having got that off my chest, let me end on a lighter note, with something I’ve wanted to say about Ukip for a long time – I find Nigel Farage and his gang incredibly funny. Let me explain.

As a child growing up in the 1950s one sub-species of humanity then to be observed was the somewhat louche individual who favoured cavalry twill trousers and a badge-embazoned blazer, or a sports coat. For neckware there was the choice of regimental / old school tie, cravat or bow tie, and above that a moustache he hoped would help him further promote the image of a man who’d done his bit of derrFarage T-Ting-do, don’t y’know. The favoured mode of transport was a sports car, in which our specimen would cruise around hoping to pick up ‘crumpet’. Despite his natural habitat being the Home Counties and certain areas of west London, this fascinating creature could even be found in Swansea, often at the more acceptable ‘watering holes’ on Gower or in Mumbles drinking half pints in glasses with dimples and handles. (Never a straight glass!) These they would obtain by marching into a pub demanding to be served with ‘A half of your very best bitter, squire’. (It should be noted that during this period many innocents were elevated to the ranks of the squirarchy without ever understanding how or why.) They seemed a hearty crew exhuding bonhomie and guffawing at lame jokes about ‘shirt-lifters’ and ‘darkies’ while slapping each other vigorously on the back. They were almost a stock character in English films of the period, played by none better than Terry-Thomas. In a yet earlier age many of them might have been remittance men.

Remittance men

Anyway, the point I’m making is that I had assumed this sub-species of homo britannicus (‘Homo’, geddit? nudge, nudge) had been rendered extinct by the decline of the English sports car industry, or Rock ‘n’ Roll, or loss of habitat, but I was wrong – they were just hiding, biding their time, and now they’ve re-emeged from the collective apoplexy of the golf club and the piss-take pageantry of the masonic lodge – as Ukip! This realisation has been quite disconcerting for me, even disorientating, though it brought memories flooding back. I suppose younger readers will suspect that the creatures I’ve described never existed. Believe me, boys and girls, they did – just look at Farage and his chums and you’ll get some idea of what they were like!

 *

Of course, nothing I’ve written here changes my opinion of Nathan Gill, the Ukip MEP for Wales. (Pick up the story from here.) He is still a lying shite. He and his brothers-in-law – possibly others – are unscrupulous, hypocritical, exploitive bastards prepared to make money out of desperate immigrants from the ‘Europe’ they claim to hate, and then hide away the cash-in-hand income from the tax authorities. When they aren’t exporting dangerous used tyres to West Africa, that is. Don’t y’know.

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75 Comments on "Why Welsh Nationalists Should Applaud Ukip"

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Bill Chapman
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What an entertaining piece! You write well. Months ago I noticed the similarity between the SNP and UKIP. Both were crying “We want to take our country back!”

Your throw-away comment that “Ukip is irrelevant in Scotland” is wrong, I feel. Both Scotland and Wales have a UKIP MEP. Indeed, I don’t think their MEP is as subtle, straightforward and honest as Nathan Gill.

You referred to the “growing contempt for Westminster and the ‘established’ parties”. The same contempt exists in relation to the Welsh Assembly and our county councils, in my experience. There is throughout the U.K. contempt for politics in general. There is a hint that the situation might be changing in Scotland, but I would not bet on it.

What you refer to as the “piss-take pageantry of the masonic lodge” plays its part in Welsh public life, by the way. I have the honour to have turned down three invitations to become a freemason. I don’t quite know what that says about me!

Anonymous
Guest

If Scotland’s UKIP MEP is not as “honest as Nathan Gill” then that is a damning verdict on the far-right extremists, considering that at the time of the May elections Nathan Gill hid his religion, failed to mention that he was a career politician (working in Brussels for the previous UKIP MEP for Wales) and running a campaign focussing on anti-immigration, while all along himself having employed scores of immigrants from countries and with skills that UKIP have never thought should be allowed to enter the UK under any of their manifestos.

Alan
Guest

Nigel Farage has the advantage of having a seemingly sympathetic press. The BBC is keen to give him maximum exposure at all times. Now, imagine the furore from the above media (and Welsh politicians) if a Welsh politician dared echo the same sentiments as the government minister did last week about immigrants moving to England that Welsh communities were also being swamped by English settlers. He or she would be crucified.

nonny
Guest

We need some serious analysis of who exactly these migrants are, how many are economically active, retirees, in the public service, where they live, are their children integrating or maintaining an English identity.

Is the problem really the Welsh. Plaid Cymru seem to be very anxious to be seen as a nice party by the metropolitan types who despise UKIP and the working class people who are increasingly voting for this populist party.

That London elite who Welsh intellectual types seem to worship are a decadent irrelevance as far as the 21st century is concerned. Their papers are dismal, their television is abysmal, there’s a whole world of information and contacts at our fingertips yet we continue to look up to these entities. The Australians call it the cultural cringe and in Wales it seems to be on the increase. No wonder we’re so often the butt of English contempt.

nonny
Guest

I should have said nonentities. BTW the BBC have given UKIP so much coverage because they think it hurts the Tories. They don’t give coverage to the greens because they think it will hurt Labour – simple really, they know Labour will protect the licence fee.

Marconatrix
Guest

Utter cads, Sir! You know some of them wear the ties of schools to which they did not go! You may know the verse that ends, “… go out and govern New South Wales!” Seems like they’ve simply dropped the ‘New’ then?

Anonymous
Guest

If Plaid Cymru cannot be depended on to lead Wales forward in to a fairer future on an equal footing with Scotland, who can? A new alternative pro independance party for Wales? If so who and when?

Dafydd
Guest

If Plaid cannot be depended on to take Wales forward in to a fairer, more prosperous future on the same footing as Scotland who else can we depend on? Is there an alternative to Plaid for nationalists? If not why ,given the desperate situation we in the fro Gymraeg find ourselves, clinging hopelessly to the vestiges of our language and culture, being denied daily of our right to live through the medium of our language in the only few square miles of weather beaten land on the planet left to us whilst the monoglot English colonists pour in unchallenged for fear of us being branded as racists and radicalists! Too long have the people of Wales stood by and permitted the systematic dismantling of their country at the hands of the English colonial machine.

dafis
Guest

I tend to agree with your conclusions regarding Plaid and the fundemental weakness highlighted by the recent UKIP experiences. However the solution has to lie with changing Plaid from within rather than forming yet another (confusing ) identity.
Cymru is small yet we have an ample supply of party, pressure groups, movements etc, each at pains to differentiate themselves while not moving the identity/ independence agenda forward much. To secure modest success there needs to be a change from within. The leadership has to adopt, indeed embrace, realistic aims at ground level, such as driving the movement for affordable housing for local people rather than feeding the needs of migrants. Similarly, with economic/industrial policy – it should support ventures that have a genuinely positive local impact enabling people to stay in their root communities, or move within those, eventually meeting some individual aspirations like job progression and lifestyle. In Scotland we saw a real support for Yes from the business community. Here in Wales the business community is mostly totally indifferent or scared stiff of anything remotely “Welsh”. That has to be tackled through “contact” with real people not the bureaucratic “threat” of a language commissar !
I have just completed 40 years working life and probably did business in Welsh with only handful of contacts in Welsh. In some companies there were Welsh speakers who quite cheerfully told me that they were sourcing services from “someone big in London/elsewhere in England” yet gleefully jumping on every grant/aid bandwagon rolled out by the Welsh Office/Assembly.
Which just brings me back to one of my old hobby horses – the good old “dependency culture” so prevalent amongst us. This is often portrayed as an issue relating to “benefit scroungers”, “cliamants” and all the other suspects, but the grim reality is that large slices of the business community is also geared to feeding off the public purse, indeed prefers to seek “initiative” -led activity rather than get off its arse and compete properly in UK and international markets. The EU is seen not as a market but as a major source of aid/initiative money in Wales, and that is more likely to bring out the pro-EU vote in that particular segment of the community.

So Plaid has a big mess to tackle, and it can be addressed better if some of the fringe “metropolitan pink” stuff gets junked. A more balanced concern about how we create resouces, then we can start arguing again about cutting the cake, cos the way we are at present there will be no cake, only crumbs off assorted tables in London, Brussels etc

Rant over !

dafis
Guest

on a totally different matter, but relevant in that again it shows how the conspiratorial nature of UK government works. Saw this earlier

BBC News – Abuse inquiry: Fiona Woolf steps down as chairwoman

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-29855265

It strikes me that the “establishment” will keep putting up nominations for this Chair job, knowing that the do-gooders purporting to represent the abused will reject each nomination. This serves to delay the process, which is going to be long winded affair anyway. In the meantime the assorted well connected shirtlifters, kiddy fiddlers, and fellow travellers will have more time to cover tracks, bribe victims, and engage in all sorts of evasive action.

We’ll end up with a billion pound bill for no outcome at all, but the do gooders will have had their way. I have no affection for Fiona Woolf but she strikes me as the sort of old witch who could have done a half tidy job on digging out some of the dirt ( you’ll never get all of it anyway ) and could have been some way into the process by the time the show eventually gets started, if it ever gets on the road

Any nominations ?

Bill Chapman
Guest

Homo britannicus (or perhaps non-homo britannicus) lives on in UKIP MEP Roger (‘Geddit?) Helmer

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2014/11/01/massage-parlour-visiting-mep-who-claimed-gays-undermine-marriage-to-divorce/

I only found that site by looking for UKIP – honest.

The Earthshaker
Guest

UKIP are chancers and opportunists whose lies and half truths have become ‘cast iron facts’ because mainstream politicians see no downside to mass immigration, before beatifying them I’ll wait to see if they perform as well or better across Wales in next May’s election, but they’ve cleverly positioned themselves as outsiders and an alternative voice to the Labour/Tory/Lib Dem consensus and that Plaid Cymru is seen as part of the establishment or worse irrelevant.

But back to the problem at hand, if the Scottish referendum taught us anything it’s that if we want things to change we need to start doing it ourselves, it’s daunting but if we don’t start somewhere we never get anywhere

Here’s some ideas of the top of my head from the Scottish referendum that could help change the dynamics here

Start embracing Crowdfunding, that’s asking ordinary people to contribute a few quid each to help fund any ideas we have to change Wales, the influential WingsOverScotland’s website and Wee Blue book were crowd funded, as is Bella Caledonia, the Common Weal Think Tank, the Radical Independence Collective and more

Link is here with all the details https://www.indiegogo.com/

If we want to grow and promote welsh business of all sizes to create jobs and wealth and start tackling the dependency culture, we need any organisation like Business for Scotland that was set up to promote the business case for independence during the referendum and is a network of pro independence supporters who meet to discuss ideas and policies, there are entrepreneurial welsh business who would prefer to be a part of a Business for Wales than UK bodies with UK interest like the Federation of Small Business Wales, CBI Wales and Institute of Directors

Their website is here http://www.businessforscotland.co.uk/

One or more Pro Wales Think Tanks preferably with a business or economic remit, lobbying for Welsh policy solution, as I’ve mentioned Scotland’s Common Weal Think Tank is crowd funded monthly and they have just submitted a submission to the Devolution Commission following the referendum that is as radical in terms of devolved powers as it can be without full independence http://allofusfirst.org/tasks/render/file/?fileID=70E842BC-E45E-4455-2F8D81315929E91D

We also need to start challenging the Oxford Economics think tank figures from report from 2008 that showed that Wales needs £9 billion from the rest of the UK to survive and therefore could not be independent and begin stating how Wales could narrow or close that gap.

We also need a mass non payment of TV licences campaign to give the BBC a fright and let them know were on to them, I could go keep going but that’s enough to for a rainy Saturday night.

All this can be done without Plaid Cymru and when each project is successful and well supported, the politicians will follow, that’s the key thing to remember and by doing something we take our minds off the depressing situation we find ourselves in.

Marconatrix
Guest

I fully support Earthshakers’ views. Good luck! Pob hwyl!

Political Tourist
Guest

Thirty plus years ago i asked somebody about politics in Wales.
“It’s full of English people” was the answer.
In 2014 i feel your pain.
Btw, Ukip in Scotland managed to find 140,000 votes and got a Euro MEP elected with about 5 paid up members.
Scary stuff.
Who says nobody watches the BBC political programmes?

Glyn Erasmus
Guest

“Plaid isn’t so much anti-business as completely un-business, it doesn’t have a clue!”
You’re not keeping up Jac. Check out the young Turks.

Albert Hill
Guest

Jac asks why should an English nationalist party do so well in the valleys. My answer because they are outsiders. By this I mean they are not part of the respectable centre. Their views cause tut tuts from the great and the good.

The truth is the great and the good and the four respectable centre parties haven’t made much of a fist of running the country and show precious little respect for the majority. They mock their lifestyles, the food they eat, the holidays they take, their intellectual capabilities. So the majority feel like outsiders themselves and every snide attack on UKIP just increases their popularity amongst those outside the magic circle of graduates and the superannuated talkers.

Look back to when Plaid did well in the valleys. It was a time when the occasional bomb rocked the scene, JCE and his boys had a high profile in the media. Nationalists were outsiders too and the voters responded positively.

Nowadays the Guardianistas pat Leanne on the head like a good little girl. For all her talk of socialism she threatens no-one, certainly not the powerful elites. The day Plaid is as disliked by the respectable papers as much as it is by the Mail is the day it might really appeal to the abandoned voters of the valleys.

Taran
Guest

“The day Plaid is as disliked by the respectable papers as much as it is by the Mail is the day it might really appeal to the abandoned voters of the valleys”

Exactly. We’ll never win over the English vote, so it makes sense to point out that they’re a drain on our resources! People in the Valleys have seen too many feckless families from Bristol, Birmingham and London move into their communities. They take up hospital beds, put strain on our social services and are responsible for a substantial amount of crimes in Wales. We have no duty to look after them. They are crippling our economy and killing our shared sense of nationhood.

Bill Chapman
Guest

One factor not mentioned here is that Plaid Cymru has a relatively elderly membership. No doubt there is a handful of “Young Turks” but the PC of 2014 is elderly in comparison with the PC of the 1960s. A second factor concerns the lack of door-knocking by PC. No doubt some takes place, but very little, it seems to me. Mary Wimbury’s team of Welsh Labour volunteers is out in Aberconwy a couple of times a week, talking to people and listening to them. It’s true that UKIP does not have an army of foot-soldiers, but UKIP has novelty value.

Carnabwth
Guest

‘Welsh’ Labour? No such thing.

Bill Chapman
Guest

Oh, there is. It has its HQ in Cathedral Road, Cardiff. On Welsh Labour’s bilingual website, Carwyn Jones tells us,
“At the heart of all we do will be our determination to fight for jobs and grow the Welsh economy. Ours is an ambitious, positive vision of the nation we can become. In everything we do we will stand up for Wales and lead our country forward with ambition.”

Welsh Labour / Llafur Cymru won the Sandfields East by-election (NPT) held on 30 October. The UKIP candidate came a poor second. There was no Plaid candidate, by the way.

You might not like it, but exists – and not as a branch office of anything else.

treforus
Guest

I’m struggling to think of any positive solution to the points that you’ve raised. Since the end of heavy industry in the South we’ve simply acquired a culture of dependence and it’s poisoning us. We need new Welsh businesses to thrive to give us back self-confidence and a measure of self-sufficiency before there is any chance of political advancement. And I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

Albert Hill
Guest

One of the things that inspired me as a youngster growing up in the 60s were the painted Free Wales slogans that you’d see painted on walls in Wales.

They were a reminder to locals and visitors that we lived in an occupied country and connected us to all the other peoples throughout the world who have struggled for liberty.

Not Cofia Tryweryn or Deddf Faith or even Cymru Rydd just Free Wales, a demand for freedom for all of our people. Just a simple painted slogan but a reminder that not all our people were subservient to foreign rule.

Docks Soul
Guest

What Plaid needs most is an inspirational, attention-grabbing leader not afraid to say things that might upset a few people.

The media now dictates that party leaders have to be personable, larger than life, orators who can always be relied upon for a newsworthy soundbite if they want attention.
Unfortunately Leanne comes over like it’s your big sister talking.

Even the Welsh media seem largely to ignore her, you can go for weeks without even hearing her name mentioned. There must be many people in Wales who wouldn’t recognise her if she passed them in the street.

How would the SNP and Ukip be doing at the polls if they had leaders as bland and lightweight as Leanne?

M
Guest

Leanne Woods was a pointless answer in the BBC tv program “Pointless” a while back.

Carnabwth
Guest

Leanne Wood is a fine AM but not leadership material. The left leaning Guardianistas might not believe a leader is needed viewing any hierarchichal ‘sytem’ with suspicion. But unfortunately, the rest of humanity like to be led by somebody with charisma and a message that strikes a chord.

Llew
Guest

For all the talk about “Guardianistas” and so on it should be remembered, UKIP is actually categorically wrong on a whole range of issues. It’s not snide or sneering to point that out. Working class people are constantly duped by a right-wing media which doesn’t really give a damn about them, and which by the way is almost entirely English or Australian/non-UK owned.

None of the Welsh party leaders are known to the public. Polls have been taken on this and Leanne Wood is more well known than Andrew Davies and Kirsty Williams but less than Carwyn Jones. That said, Carwyn Jones, as FM, is far less known than Farage or any UK leader. In popularity terms Leanne Wood is second to Carwyn Jones and ahead of Farage, Miliband, Cameron, Clegg and all others. I don’t claim this is very promising news as the big issue is not being known, and Carwyn Jones remaining popular. But it’s a Welsh problem, not a Leanne-specific problem. I can provide the link to this data if people are genuinely interested.

dafis
Guest

just found this article online

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/european-immigrants-contribute-5bn-to-uk-economy-but-noneu-migrants-cost-118bn-9840170.html#

“Proof” if needed that its all those “imports” from the far flung corners that are wrecking the UK. Stopping EU migrants won’t do a thing for us but stopping non EU would help a lot. Discriminate on grounds of fact – Or is that a touch racist ? Can UKIP answer this question ?

Noted the comment that natives are a bit expensive to keep – But native Britons also received more than they contributed in the same 17-year period – amounting to a cost of £591 billion as the national deficit grew – and European arrivals gave a £4.4 billion boost……..

Remember a lot of the “expensive” Brits are the ones being shipped into various parts of Wales tipping the local negative balance further into a high dependency condition. Mix of Old codgers, dysfunctional families, and 3rd sector carpetbaggers, among other undesirables – oh boy !

Llew
Guest

Dafis, non-EU migrants are not wrecking the UK. As the research shows, the main reason non-EU migrants cost money is they have alot of kids (not racist to point that out). The future tax contribution of those kids isn’t measured.

I’m wary that alot of critics of Plaid from Welsh nationalism get things wrong. I’m not sneering by pointing that out but sometimes in a desire to not be seen as “guardian” or “new statesman” they make errors by going to far in the other direction. This might be a reason why right-wing nationalism has never taken off in Wales, but i’m sure there are a couple of factors.

dafis
Guest

Llew, I suspect you missed the tounge in cheek nature of 1st para my earlier comment. The main thrust of my note were paras 2 &3 where I try to reinforce the point about the costs of certain types of migrants into Wales. Migrants who come and make a real effort via doing a real job or providing a real service add to our nation’s quality of life, but unfortunately many from beyond Clawdd Offa are riding the 3rd sector wagon ( Jac’s gimmegrants ) or coming here post retirement, or worse still being relocated by a secretive agreement to shift a proportion of dysfunctional families from English cities to Wales authorities. All this serves to cause further imbalance in our impoverished social/community services, inject or increase assorted criminal tendencies, and mess up local property markets. Pretty negative sum of outcomes, I would argue. Even before you factor in the arrogant expectation that the native culture shall always be subordinated to the (good) tastes of our newer residents.

dafis
Guest

well summed up. You see, the debate is entirely different when you strip it down to “causes” and “effects” whether intended or not. The Anglo aversion to immigrants rests on a mix of economic realities and deep seated prejudicies born out of their long held view that they have a right to rule the roost, set the pace, and woe betide anyone who gets in their way. Our aversion to immigrants here in Wales is another complex mix of factors. Taken at the individual level a lot of the newcomers are nice people, or at least fairly agreeable. However they generally share a view that there is no need/point/value in learning a passable level of Welsh, that the values they bring in with them are wholeheartedly shared by the natives anyway, and that really you can’t see the “join” between England and Wales. This all adds up to a number of reasons why they see the move as one that’s easy to make. The great sadness is that a lot of natives either subscribe to that stance, or are too lazy/timid to enlighten our newcomers.

On a final “racist” note, I have tended to find that the ordinary joe/jane from any part of the old Empire/Commonwealth will respect Welshness even though he/she may have inhibitions about taking a few more steps towards consolidating the new identity. The new wave from “white” bits of the globe seem to aspire to Englishness and generally serve only to reinforce the colonial relationship. I once tried to explain to a Bosnian, who was very hung up about his ethnicity/ nationhood, that Wales also had issues with England. He couldn’t see it until I mentioned Serbia and Kosovo and then the penny dropped but I fancy that he was too hooked on becoming a jolly good Anglo to undergo any lasting change in attitude.

Taran
Guest

“I have tended to find that the ordinary joe/jane from any part of the old Empire/Commonwealth will respect Welshness even though he/she may have inhibitions about taking a few more steps towards consolidating the new identity”

I agree. They understand the colonial relationship between Wales and England. Mind you, it helps that Caribbean and Indian accents can morph into southern Welsh accents with relative ease! Continental Europeans, especially those that take up spaces at to our Universities tend to have a negative view of us. On my last trip to Cardiff I overheard a group of Eurotrash international students referring to locals as “Welsh peasants”. Bloody cheek.

trampie
Guest

Plaid need to appeal to the non Welsh speaking Welsh people across Wales if they are going to make any real headway.

On a cultural level lots of non Welsh speakers are Welsh through and through with Welsh/Celtic surnames and who’s families have only ever lived in Wales as far back as they can go, the irony is there are some children of immigrants, English and others with non Welsh/Celtic surnames that can speak Welsh due to the area they might have assimilated into and their children being sent to Welsh language schools in Welsh speaking areas, you can be 100% Welsh and not speak the language.

Plaid need to target a wider audience, should Plaid field candidates in the occupied territories of England and the Southern half of Scotland ?, what would Boudica and the girls and King Arthur and the boys think about giving up on Welsh/Celtic lands ?

One issue Plaid need to push is the teaching of Welsh/Ancient Britons history, not just this 1066 malarkey, education and the teaching of history particularly is a form of state control.

The language issue is holding Plaid back, its time for Plaid to be more inclusive just like the SNP and appeal to people outside the Welsh speaking heartlands, otherwise they and any other ‘Welsh’ parties will remain fringe parties only.

As regards UKIP, if they take Tory votes in some areas and Labour votes in others and the Lib-Dem votes collapses, Plaid who currently have 3 Westminster seats and was looking at possibly dropping down to 1 seat a few years ago might now not only retain their seats but might even increase their representation, an eye watering 6 seats is possible, unlikely but possible if Plaid get their act together, UKIP likely increase in votes might help Plaid even without Plaid greatly increasing their vote share [although they probably will have to increase their vote share to win more seats they wont have to increase their vote share by as much to win extra seats now as UKIP might take votes off Plaids rivals, all to be seen I suppose].

The next General Election might well be a pivotal election for Plaid and its future going forward.

Anonymous
Guest

UKIP are not perfect. But they just want like the rest of us to be in control of our country, unlike the other political parties who are ready to throw our sovereignty away!

I’ll be voting UKIP at the next general election.

dafis
Guest

Plaid may be ineffective, but UKIP is toxic. Give them power and us at the margins will be abandoned pretty sharpish especially if we happen to be on a patch of land that they fancy taking. Anglo centric, xenophobic they talk nice ( if at all ) about Wales now, but as they work down their tick list of dislikes – get out of EU, send blacks home, etc etc they will come to the other troublesome minorities who are not so distinctive ( language ? speak English man ! ) and smother or remove them.

Anonymous
Guest

Yes Jac I’m talking about pre Berlin wall East Germany, opps, sorry, Labour run Wales.

dafis, do you live in a dream world, are you that wet ?

dafis
Guest

on the contrary I see them ( UKIP) for what they are. No illusions about Anglos adopting hostile postures against all else. If you are one of them then, fair enough, you are what you are, but I will oppose you unreservedly. UKIP certainly will never do anything that fosters Welsh identity and independence – can you demonstrate anything to the contrary in their actions ? They hate the Welsh language & culture and wish to flood our land with more dross from the conurbations.

Brychan
Guest

The devil is in the detail, Jac. There is no indication that Ukip is eating into the core Tory vote in the home counties of England, just the social dumping grounds on the coast like Clacton, Isle of Sheppey (Stood&Rochester) and Thanet (Farage-land). These are towns populated by a white under-class of spongers and unemployables who have been dumped into seaside ghettos resulting from housing policy in England. This is your typical Ukip voter. The same applies in Wales. The statistics you display in this blog (above) show that the Ukip vote is highest in places like Rhyl where there is a high proportion of spongers and unemployables dumped from England. On EU immigration, I have to question why English arseholes are not prepared to pick apples in Kent orchards or pluck cabbages in the fields of Suffolk. That job is done by hard working Eastern Europeans. What’s the alternative? Let cheap fruit and veg rot in the fields? Ukip policies are a no-brainer.

dafis
Guest

what you describe is the classic neo fascist growth pattern. Always feed crap to the disaffected and get them “mobilised” against all sorts of bogeymen. No brown/blackshirts at present, but sports coat and check shirt is everywhere. Once some BNP types drift across, you’ll see the true nature of UKIP come to the surface & all hell will break loose.

Anonymous
Guest

“But how does this explain Ukip’s showing in south Wales in May?”

Simple Jac, they hate the political elite, bubble, and liars. We need/want a change.

Anonymous
Guest

“No doubt you’re right, but as I’ve asked in a number of earlier posts – why couldn’t Plaid Cymru benefit from this anti-Westminster sentiment? Is Plaid seen as party of the establishment, part of the problem? If so, then Plaid has major problems.”

A lot of people I speak too seem to think that UKIP would be bigger guns in Westminster than Plaid Cymru.
I doubt that people think Plaid are part of the establishment.

They think that Plaid are just a regional party, where as UKIP are a national party and would serve Wales better.

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