Apr 232017
 

WHEN WAS YMCA WALES?

The answer to that question is, from the mid-1980s until some time in August or September of 2014, when YMCA Wales went into administration. In the report I’ve linked to you’ll read, “While the head office for YMCA Wales is in the Llansamlet area of Swansea, the majority of the staff are based in West Wales where the charity ran an outdoor education centre at Newgale.”

The “outdoor education centre at Newgale” in Pembrokeshire was YMCA Wales’ prize asset, worth some half a million pounds. Like a restless spirit that refuses to pass over the Newgale website is still available, though of course it hasn’t been updated since 2014.

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From the information I’ve been able to gather it would appear that the Centre was bought in June 2015 for £507,000 by Captiva Holdings of Haverfordwest, and is run by another company at the same address known as The Development Company.

While I’m glad to see that this property (made up of three bunkhouses) was bought by a local company (Land Registry document), I was disappointed when told that all the money raised went to pay off creditors, with the administrators of course taking their cut, rather than it being distributed among the surviving YMCAs scattered about the land.

With the parent body demised, the jewel in the crown flogged off, and the coffers empty, it seems that the various YMCAs left standing affiliated themselves to YMCA England. The clip below is taken from page 3 of YMCA England’s Annual Report 2015/6.

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I put this clip out on Twitter a few days ago and one response likened it to an acclamation of Hitler’s Anschluss of Austria in 1938. For there is something chilling and totalitarian about making the “federation stronger” and adopting “the national brand”, which of course can only mean the English national brand.

YMCA Wales was put into administration at the start of September 2014. Its CEO until July had been Mo Sykes, though she had not been at work for a few months, it’s possible she had been suspended. She certainly left under something of a cloud, to the extent that the ‘Welsh’ Government called Plod in to sniff around.

Courtesy of ‘Third Sector’

The feedback I was getting in 2014 and earlier argued that the real problem lay in affiliated YMCA groups being taken over and asset-stripped in order to a) fund the parent body run by Mo Sykes, b) pay off its debts, c) benefit projects favoured by Ms Sykes or d) any combination of those three.

One of the more bizarre of those projects was YMCA Wales wanting to build housing on land it claimed to own in Penrhyndeudraeth, just south of Porthmadog in Gwynedd. I wrote about this in July 2013 with YMCA ‘Wales’, Another Trojan Horse At The Trough. It soon became clear that YMCA Wales was in fact fronting for an evangelical church, Green Pastures, which has, quite unashamedly, commercialised homelessness, to the extent of seeking investors and partners. I explained this linkage in YMCA ‘Wales’ And The Green, Green Pastures.

A curious feature of this arrangement was the link between Green Pastures and YMCA Flint. To begin with, it appeared that YMCA Flint was not affiliated to YMCA Wales yet YMCA Wales seemed to be paying its salaries; also, there was funding coming from Flintshire County Council.

It only made sense when I realised that Green Pastures, an outfit with a presence all across Lancashire and Yorkshire, was invisible on Merseyside, instead it seemed to be dealing with the homeless of that conurbation through a group of evangelical churches in Flintshire, assisted by the local YMCA.

Another disturbing tale concerned Bargoed YMCA, where Mo Sykes and YMCA Wales displaced the locals who had been running this local outpost. A dispute arose, which went legal, and with perfect Christian timing those who dared challenge Mo Sykes and YMCA Wales were served with a notice to pay £9,800 – on Christmas Eve!

Though perhaps the major casualty was the YMCA Wales Community College, a multi-million pound adult education business that had been going well, expanding year on year. There seem to have been issues in certain quarters over ‘duplication’ and the Community College has since merged with the Workers’ Educational Association Cymru to form Addysg Oedolion Cymru / Adult Learning Wales.

Even though YMCAs in Wales have affiliated to YMCA England that body still brought out a Welsh Manifesto . . . or, rather, a YMCAs in Wales Manifesto 2016, ahead of last year’s Assembly elections. Why? Because the YMCA is a social landlord and a Third Sector body, so it wants to continue screwing money out of the ‘Welsh’ Government.

LLANDOVERY YMCA

Having dealt with the more general picture, I’m now going to focus on a specific example of how a YMCA operates. I’ve written a few times about this subject, trying to explain what a racket it is. Unfortunately, it’s a familiar story and not confined to Llandovery.

It goes something like this: a bunch of incomers/good-lifers get together and wonder how the area – Wales, even – managed without them. This acceptance of their missionary duty is coupled with the realisation that there’s a lot of easy moolah sloshing around. Next step is to get some semi-numerate ‘adviser’ to concoct a business plan, spew forth bollocks about ‘community space’, providing ‘facilities’, blah, blah, blah, then whack in grant applications to all and sundry.

The real purpose of these schemes is of course to further boost the egos of those involved while also providing salaries and pension pots.

You can find these schemes all over the country but certain areas are affected worse than others because a number of factors come into play. One being whether an area receives EU structural funding (pissed away by the Labour Party at a rate which makes the half-time deluge at rugby internationals look like a trickle). Another consideration is how attractive an area is to good-lifers, white flighters, hippies, enviro-shysters and others. Finally, there’s the local council’s attitude towards such parasites.

By way of example, the Heads of the Valleys may qualify for Objective One funding, but Ebbw Vale, Merthyr and other towns won’t attract many belonging to the groups I’ve listed; furthermore, the local Labour hetmen have always been reluctant to see money over which they have any control pass out of the ‘family’.

On the other hand, the more scenically attractive and rural areas suffer greatly from this influx. One such area is the Tywi valley, and one such town is Llanymddyfri. Which is where we encounter Jill Tatman and her friends.

One source of funding made available to Tatman and her gang was Carmarthenshire County Council’s Rural Development Plan: Supporting Rural Carmarthenshire. Here’s a RDP video put out in September 2013, you don’t need to be a nationalist to be struck by the fact that the only Welsh voice we hear is in the introduction.

What we see here explains why the funding allocated to Wales has achieved so little. In the world of funding, dishing out the money so as not to jeopardise next year’s dollop is all that really matters. When the system is run on such lines then funding becomes nothing more than a box-ticking exercise, and money is inevitably wasted.

Thankfully, the Llandovery racket seems to be coming to an end. For I hear that the gang is no longer allowed to use the YMCA name, the Lottery funding may have stopped, and now they hope to keep afloat solely on what they make from room hire. Which means that it might all come tumbling down fairly soon.

It should not surprise anyone to learn that Jill Tatman, educated at a privately run evangelical college in Derbyshire, was for a time a trustee of YMCA Wales; in fact she was personal assistant to the CEO, which probably explains why Mo Sykes became a trustee of Llandovery YMCA, and was almost certainly instrumental in securing the grants and other benefits for her friend Tatman Llandovery YMCA.

WHO’S WHO IN LLANDOVERY YMCA

Those still involved are an interesting crew, and serve to remind us yet again that our rural areas are being ripped apart by a combination of neglect, tourism and colonisation.

  • First of course we have Jill Tatman herself. I hear that the CPS will not be pressing charges against her husband but it’s suggested there are questions about the wisdom of allowing children near the (former) YMCA building in future.
  • Next up is Andrew Barker, owner of the Tŷ Gwyn tea rooms in Llanwrda. He tweets as Pastor Emeritus @barkerswoof. Barker was a teacher in Essex who married one of his pupils, moved to Wales, and now has eight children. A religious cove, our Andrew, who obviously went forth and multiplied.
  • Julie Richards is another ex-teacher, this time from northern England. She taught for a while at Ysgol Pantycelyn, but had to give up teaching due to bipolar disorder. She now helps run the Gwynfe Cat Welfare in Llandovery, which rescues cats . . . from whom or from what I know not.
  • Then there’s the man described to me as “a self-ordained and self-appointed ‘rural pastor'”, Simon Bowkett who runs a charity called Y Grwp or, to give it its full name, Grace Rural Wales Partnership. To judge by the photograph he wears the Horse and Hound clothing no authentic Welsh countryman would ever wear.
  • Another member of this circus may be encountered at the Cibola emporium in Llandovery. Owner Diane Fontenoy supplements her income by fostering children on her farm near Llandovery. I have it from more than one source that fostering is regarded as a nice little earner among the colon population.
  • Moving on . . . Anna Battek-Kosiorowska is – as the name might suggest – Polish, a vet and a friend of Julie Richards.
  • Let’s not forget one of the current trustees, Anne Swift, an elderly spinster, retired barrister and High Tory. Said to be from Gower, but might respond with the Duke of Wellington’s horse and stable analogy if accused of being Welsh. To judge by her Twitter account she has little time for people, being one of those elderly women who is obsessed with cats and dogs.
  • Finally, let’s remember two more seen in the video (at 1:47), Gill Wright and Jane Ryall. They took over the old North Western pub and had it converted into a bunkhouse called the Level Crossing. I don’t know how much public money went into this venture, but however much it was it was wasted. The venture collapsed last year after less than three years in ‘business’.

You will have noticed that a number of those involved are of a religious bent but do not belong to anything most of us would regard as mainstream religion, more the ‘happy clappy’ element, Evangelicals of the kind we met earlier in Penrhyndeudraeth. Nothing wrong with this, or course, but the Land Registry title document for the building makes interesting reading in this context.

You’ll see that the property was transferred to YMCA Wales by the Church in Wales, with certain covenants. I have no reason to suspect that Tatman and her clique hold Bacchanalian orgies in the building so it’s reasonable to assume that the conditions outlined in 2.1 have been adhered to, but what of 2.2?

Clearly the building has been used “other than for residential purposes”, indeed, except for Lee Mattocks – who can be found on the video at 2:53 – living there rent free for two years, I’m not sure the building has ever been used for residential purposes.

Perhaps of more worry should be that the building is said to be regularly used for happy clappy gatherings, which clearly contravenes 2.2 in that these belong to a “religious denomination or sect” other than Anglican.

The latest news is that the remaining Welsh trustees are being elbowed out and Tatman and her gang are seeking new sources of funding.

Though anyone minded to fund these people should insist on a rather more transparent accounting system than the one I’m told is currently in use. For La Tatman is said to pay for things with her personal debit card and then reimburse herself from YMCA funds!

And although there is only one known YMCA bank account some wonder where the £18,000 magically appeared from when that account was running low. Suspicions persist that there may be accounts existing that are unknown to those outside a gilded circle. Perhaps YMCA money is ‘resting’ in personal accounts, away from prying eyes.

RETURN TO LLANSAMLET

Mo Sykes walked away from the wreckage of YMCA Wales and set herself up as a consultant before landing the post of New Beginnings Manager with the Swansea Young Single Homeless Project in November 2016, yet another ride on the Third Sector merry-go-round. SYSHP income for y/e 31.03.2017 was £1,190,550 (down from £1,349,594 y/e 31.03.2012) and salaries took a very hefty £860,031 of that (£994,721 y/e 31.03.2012).

Under her full name of Maureen Patricia Sykes she also started, in December 2015, a company called Clydach Craft House Ltd which appears to be dormant. Her next planned career move is to become a Labour councillor for the Llansamlet ward in Swansea next month, though the website I’ve linked to suggests she’s already a councillor – that’s confidence for you!

(I bet you’re surprised to learn that Mo Sykes is a member of the Labour Party! And this being Swansea, it should go without saying that she’s not Welsh. Sykes is from the Six Counties.)

Llansamlet is a ward I know quite well. I recall my old mate John Ball becoming the first Plaid Cymru councillor in Swansea when he won Llansamlet back in the early ’70s. I sank many a pint with Phil Henri in the Smiths and the Star. And I think the last time I ever spoke with Viv Davies the FWA veteran was in the Smiths. It all seems a lifetime ago now.

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The vacancies in Llansamlet were caused by the departure of Bob and Uta Clay, the Anglo-Austrian Trotskyist duo, of whom I have writ more than once. I shall miss them. But I’m sure Mo Sykes will provide me with inspiration. I can say that because Labour never fails to give me something to write about. Add the Third Sector and it often becomes an embarrassment of riches.

And so we’ve come full circle to Llansamlet. I wonder if, when she’s out canvassing, any local will ask Mo Sykes, ‘What happened to YMCA Wales?’. I’d certainly like to know. Anyone out there with answers is more than welcome to get in touch.

EPILOGUE

When it comes to grant-grabbers I take the view that they’ll always be with us, as will those, with their Labour Party connections, who think that a ‘career’ in the Third Sector puts them on a par with people who contribute to the economy by creating wealth and jobs. But they should be slapped down not encouraged and patronised.

What really concerns me in the case of YMCA Wales is that a body serving our country was wrecked, almost certainly by people with Labour Party connections, and the debris was then hoovered up by YMCA England without anyone raising a murmur. And this was happening 16 years into devolution. Unfortunately YMCA Wales is no isolated example.

It’s a pattern that sees Wales being integrated with England at a faster rate than we’ve known since the Tudors. It shows itself in countless ways, from the England (andwales) Cricket Board to Dee Valley Water being taken over by Severn Trent. Yet the politicians in our Assembly, which is supposed to be serving Welsh interests, say little and do nothing.

When they do put on a show of ‘doing something’, it often turns out to be the kind of thing I wrote about in the previous post – handing Wales over to the likes of Bear Grylls and Gavin Lee Woodhouse.

HOW BUSINESS IS CONDUCTED BETWEEN WALES AND ENGLAND           English businessman to Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure: ‘We’re prepared to take this valuable asset off your hands, but you’ll have to give us a lot of money’. Ken thinks, ‘Yes, sir, anything you want, and we’ll throw in some women too’.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, devolution is a chimera; the civil servants who run Wales change a few words in laws that have already been passed in England, add (Wales), and then get the BBC or Trinity Mirror to pretend it’s all the work of a real government. And while we’re being lied to in this way Wales is either being killed off or sold off all around us.

From now on Wales needs people who will not get bogged down debating whether registration of denture makers should be devolved; now that we can see devolution has failed we must reject it, and push for independence. There is no acceptable alternative.

♦ end ♦

  26 Responses to “YMCA England(andwales)”

  1.  

    […] post YMCA England(andwales) appeared first on Jac o’ the […]

  2.  

    Nice to see all these aspirational English types coming here to educate us and enrich our lives, whatever would we do without them. Addum errantum Jac, you should realise by now that prospective Labour councillors do not canvass, they are specialists in litter collection, but only at election when there is a photo opportunity to be had. A fine, indepth piece of investigative expose but for heavens sake consider appointing a researcher before this blog consumes you.

    •  

      Much of the information I put out on this blog is supplied by others. Obviously I check it, and usually supplement it, but you mustn’t think that every story is all my own work.

  3.  

    Quite right! The energy and public money wasted in all of these schemes and scams is astronomical! I have the feeling “city deals” may be the next troughs for public money to feed the parasites!

    •  

      Largely because ‘Welsh’ Labour never had a clear strategy on how to spend the funding it was receiving. And the EU was never firm enough about seeing results. And yet, I can recall Rhodri Morgan saying, when the EU funding was announced, that it wouldn’t be spent on village halls. But it was.

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        Many village halls have been sponsored by EU money, but in my experience a greater number register as a charity and dip into Big Lottery funds for their halls. In this area at least.

        EU funding doesn’t actually come directly to Cymru. As our country, in the EU’s eyes, is administered from London (we are represented in Brussels by the IK government in London), any funding (Objective 1 etc.) that we are entitled to due to our economic situation, is paid into Westminster’s coffers, and then distributed as glorified pocket money to Y Senedd. They deduct from those amounts what is paid by the London government (under the Barnett Formula). We only have access to anything handed to us by the EU less our Block Grant.

        The Secretaries of State make payments to the devolved administrations from the DEL as block grants, which means that they can be spent by the devolved legislatures on any devolved responsibility however they see fit. However that is taken out of the grants we are entitled to from the EU. London pockets the rest! In effect our ‘daddy’ in Westminster hands over our pocket money AFTER he has taken out what he thinks he has already spent on us. And the donkeys in Cymru don’t want independence? GASP!

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          From personal experience, having led the project in our village to demolish the old hall and build a new one, I can say that our main funder was the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO). At the time they had an office in Machynlleth.

    •  

      We are now at a point where any kind of public spending is vulnerable to exploitation and commandeering by assorted chancers and “professionals” who see the funds allocated purely in terms of amounts to be diverted away from the alleged purpose.

      Thus we see funds purporting to be devoted to confronting social problems like drug abuse, vulnerable people, restoring common rights like footpaths, even local fly tipping and related reclamation projects all taken over by organisations with very noble articles, charters, mission statements and all the other crap that gives a veneer of sincerity and good intentions. The outcome as we well know is very little gets done about the real problem but a clique of people is created who are very skilled at sucking money out of the public purse often because they are linked in some way to the politician. civl servant responsible for deploying funds.

      Cracking opportunity for some party to commit to a serious cull, yet the silence is deafening. You’d think that this would be ripe for an intervention by the good old reactionary “right” ( sorry Big Gee but I use it to get readers to understand my drift ! ) but on closer examination one realises that Top “professional” firms are well connected in that camp – no vested interest there ! As for UKIP well it’s mostly led by chancers who may call the 3rd sector rotten but would be happy to dive into their trough at any time ! And all those trendy “left” parties ? well they just need more 3rd sector ventures to make the country feel even more warm and cuddly.

      The City Deals will be troughing on a bigger scale. Recent disclosure about the corporate backscratching that’s already happened on HS2 is shocking. These guys are playing for serious money and none, none of it belongs to them. It’s the public purse and they are draining it as fast as they can with collusion from the Tory government and its indifferent ( possibly corrupted ) civil servants.

      •  

        Another aspect of the Third Sector is that politicians and civil servants will seek ‘professional advice’ on what is needed and where the money is to be spent – from the very people who will be at the head of the queue when the loot is being distributed.

        ‘What can we do about homelessness?’ they cry ‘Give us more money! reply the charities and others in the homelessness racket.

        This system is dangerous anywhere, but in a small country like Wales, and within the Bay Bubble, there is bound to be waste and corruption.

  4.  

    Selling off & assimilating our country has been a part of the colonising project since the seventies. It was a subject of special concern to Cymuned in the early naughties. There was a flurry of slogan painting and protest, but totally opposed by the WAG & ignored by Plaid, who in fact did everything they could to dismantle us, although swathes of their ordinary members supported our actions.

    Here’s an example of what we tried to do – to draw public attention to the problem:

    But with hindsight it was a bleat for help (the sheep in the foreground is very appropriate) rather than a proper aggressive fight against it. Although the tactic was to try and make our country hostile looking to incoming colonisers, but it got snuffed out. The problem has now grown to gigantic proportions since those days. Aided and abetted by grants and hand-outs from sleazy Cardiff Bay Labourites.

    Here’s another example:

    Pissing into the wind unfortunately. It needs more than a few signs and the odd bucket of paint.

    •  

      The fundamental problem, I believe, is that we have been brainwashed into being ‘welcoming’, which only facilitates the invasion and the destruction of Welsh identity.

      I firmly believe that a selective use of a simple ‘Fuck off, we don’t want you here’, would be of far more benefit to us. No doubt the Labour Party and it’s propaganda arm, Trinity Mirror, would call us all sorts of names, but who cares about them? The stakes are too high, and the cost of losing too great, for us to be influenced by vermin that don’t give a shit about Wales.

  5.  

    The third paragraph of your Epilogue strikes a chord with me. Our nation is being – literally – dismembered before our eyes.

    The increasingly surreal Insitute of ‘Welsh’ Affairs (which was, of course, long the spiritual home of that great statesman Lee Waters, although his actual home is – as Cneifiwr has pointed out – in Barry) recently published some guff from a Professor at Kaaardiff Uni about the so-called ‘Great Western Force’, which is an English government plan to absorb the whole of the south east into Greater Bristol.

    I made the following comment, which was – of course – not published, despite the fact that they’ve regularly published variegated bollocks from the like of Protic-Jones:

    “…this is a further step on the road to dismembering our nation as a viable or meaningful entity. First we had the whole hoop-la over the ‘Cardiff city region’ (intended to ‘big up’ our so-called capital at the expense of the towns around it), then we’ve had the poisonous ‘Mersey Dee Alliance Partnership’ which is designed to turn not merely the north-east of our country but the whole of the north into no more than a cheap-housing dormitory suburb for Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Cheshire, along with Drakeford’s (*) stated wish to turn our midlands into even more of a colony of the English midlands than it already is, with its ‘white-flighters’ moving in because they don’t want to live near anyone of a different colour to them (whilst – with a bitter irony – refusing to accept that they’ve moved to a different country to do so)..

    “If anything like the same degree of enthusiasm had been shown by those within the charmed (or, to be more exact, crooked) circles of power in our land for properly developing and connecting our own different regions. then we wouldn’t need to have bits of our country sawn off and joined to chunks of England.

    “Our rulers seem content – once more – to sell us out. Our nation’s identity and integrity are meaningless to them. Time to replace them before they destroy it altogether.”

    (*) I may have meant ‘Skates’, here; same arse, different cheek.

    I think it’s time to start chucking things…

    •  

      “I think it’s time to start chucking things…”, you say. I agree entirely. The political process has failed us.

      •  

        You and I are a bit old to start ‘chucking’ things Jac, but Hell’s bells we can supply plenty of bricks for other younger ones to chuck!

        We are charitable, and welcoming as a nation, we’re renowned for it – we even write songs about it . . . “We’ll keep a welcome on the hillsides, we’ll keep a welcome in the vales . . . . ” etc. etc.

        THAT’S the problem. Nothing wrong with being hospitable and welcoming, unless someone takes advantage of your good nature. That is also the Achilles Heel of many, many nations and tribes on this earth that the psychopathic Anglo Saxon empires (not forgetting the Dutch, Spanish & Portugese colonisers – although it’s the English Empire that was most adept at it) have taken advantage of. Think of the New World, how the indegenous people’s tribes got taken advantage of ($24 for Manhatten Island and reputedly about 40 coloured beads! FFS).

        Everywhere you look the same pattern exists, it’s called taking sweets from a baby. All the empires were built by exploiting other nations’ good welcoming nature and naivety.

        I fully agree, the message, loud & clear should be “FUCK OFF from our country“. That – in a more ‘civilized’ way – was what Cymuned’s posters (shown above) were about. However what is needed is a few gears higher than posters. And to hell with the MSM backlash. As you say “who cares what they say anyway”?

        We’re choking on our own “parchusrwydd” and “croeso”. Perpetuated over the years by pacifists and their sons of the manse, the backbone of Plaid Cymru. “Don’t beat me any harder master, in case you damage your arm! If I’m a good slave you’ll take pity on me“. BOLLOCKS!

        •  

          But … but …but … you have your Assembly now, and if you really get behind them they might just manage to bargain successfully for say 45 beads, and hey! you might even get to choose some of the colours 🙂

          As for the sons and daughters of the manse, some words from the Good Book might have more appeal, like say “Ffrwythwch ac amlhewch!” (the things you can find online!)

    •  

      That article about the “Great Western Force” only received 2 comments!
      My guess is that yours was not the only unenthusiastic one that they excluded.

  6.  

    Great when you hear someone (Tateman) say “RDP funding enabled us to apply for other grants” – nice money spinner – but sustainable?

  7.  

    On a different note. It’s not just our land and money they take, they also rob us of our history, and with it our heritage. I’ve mentioned before in my comments on other past posts on here about shit talkers like Simon Schama (the clown who promotes the theory that Britain only existed after the Anglo Saxons arrived – remember his History of Britain series on the telly?). And our very own clown Gwyn Alf Williams who used to profess that we were just uncivilised scattered tribesmen until the Romans arrived. He insisted that Cymru as a nation never existed until the Romans arrived. These are the cretins that have worked hard to bury, hide, deny, corrupt and steal our history and used it as the history of England. Worse still, that kind of brainwashing crap is what our children have been taught from the emergence of the Compulsory Education Act in the nineteenth century. The Victorian era made an art of burying our history or twisting and corrupting it.

    Well proper research shows that we were a very advanced military nation a few thousand years before the Romans arrived (well argued by Alan Wilson – who is quite a maverick when it comes to history – worth checking him out, he has some fascinating theories). Anyway, check out this video I came across on my cyber travels – I found it fascinating. I hope you do too. Put the kettle on, make yourself a cuppa, put your feet up and enjoy. Then let me know what you think about it. In my opinion, THIS is what history lessons in our schools should be about.

  8.  

    The ‘scattered tribesmen’ theory is refuted by something these same people take such pride in – Stonehenge. It took structural organisation and co-operation over great distances to build Stonehenge, and it argues for a cultural unity that may in fact been destroyed by the Romans; if not by them, then certainly by the Anglo-Saxons. A recent TV series, fronted by Neil Oliver, argued that it all started in the Shetlands and then moved south.

    But we know that megaliths and stone circles are found all over Europe, more especially perhaps on the ‘Atlantic fringe’.

    There is a reluctance to admit that Europe has been culturally unified at two periods in the past in ways that Napoleon or Hitler could only dream of because they both represented, and were defeated by, the concept of nationality.

    Those two periods are the thousand years, possibly longer, prior to the emergence of the Mediterranean cultures and the period following the collapse of Rome when Europe (apart from Scandinavian, Baltic and Slavic peripheries) was a wholly Catholic continent run by a Latin-speaking intelligentsia closely associated with the Church of Rome.

    I haven’t looked at the video yet, but I don’t believe Arthur had any real connection with a backward area like Wales. After reading about the period and studying the evidence, I believe he would have come from the Welsh between the walls.

    These would have had to defend themselves against Pictish and Irish incursions and so would have been the only sizeable Welsh population allowed to maintain their own military units, if only to act a trip-wire defence for the province.

    As a successful warlord, Arthur would have attracted the best fighting men (looking for fame and booty), and there you have a credible origin for the geographic spread found in the Knights of the Round Table.

  9.  

    I suggest that although extremely interesting you should not be diverted to devoting too much energy to a detailed investigation of our dim and distant past. Suffice to say that the Welsh were around along time ago, We are here now, and despite the best efforts of our overt and covert enemies we intend being here in the future.

    The blend of history, myth, and legend to which you have referred gives us historical and cultural validity much in the same way as our beloved neighbours, the English, also draw on a tangled web of history, myth and legend to establish their pedigree. However they have dipped into ours for some tasty bits to add to the quality of their blend. Hijacking history is bad enough, hijacking myth and legend is pretty fuckin’ miserable really – was our myth and legend that much more appealing than theirs ? Don’t answer as I don’t really care. All it tells me is that somewhere beneath that supremacist surface lurks a deeply insecure, inferior identity.

    Our concern needs to focus on the future and those things which are deployed to inhibit or frustrate the paths to that future. It is evident that the blockages are here and now, perhaps far more evident than at any time in our history since they gave up hanging, drawing and quartering rebels, traitors and any other person who didn’t toe the line. Now we don’t get that kind of overt oppression anymore ( well not that I know of anyway ) although the odd disappearance or unexplained death does arouse suspicions that the servants of opaque state agencies are at their work again.

    Nevertheless the State works to weed out or stifle any radical opposition to its grand plans. Witness the raft of laws and regulations introduced since the terror attack of 2001, aimed to enable the “war on terror”, but with a reach far beyond that, giving powers which can be used against the ordinary public who may have engaged in a measure of dissent beyond that which is tolerable to the Home Secretary. And now we have a P.M who was previously Home Secretary for 6 years and notable for indulging in oppressive regulation and intrusion. So not much hope of light relief from that direction !

    Sadly the solution of “chucking things” doesn’t really do it. Those opaque state agencies to which I referred earlier have capacity to penetrate and neutralise even long established “underground” operations. Witness the wasted lives of Northern Ireland where it is now understood that wholesale murders by secterian gangs of all persuasions were allowed to happen with the covert knowledge of the Brits. They aided and abetted UDA/UVF crimes and allowed IRA crimes to protect the identity of informants and agents provocateur. Nearer home it is said that much of the Meibion Glyndwr “campaign” was the work of trainees from Hereford and/or the Security Services/Special Branch. So I won’t be joining any “chucking ” campaigns and not because my throwing arm isn’t up to the mark any longer !.

    The hope that our Cynulliad would have served as some sort of foundation for further progress is fading fast. It has served to reinforce the condition of dependency throughout our nation. Sadly we now have a business community that cannot see further than grants, soft loans, subsidies, and other financial instruments, so the genuine entrepreneurial spirit is not present in sufficient quantity. At the other end of the spectrum we have people who have been distanced from the world of work for so long that they can’t think beyond the next allowance, benefit or free issue handout. Not much evidence of a national backbone wherever you look for it.

    And of course we have our public sector and its rapidly growing little brother, the 3rd sector, the bastard offspring of well-intentioned ideas that grow sour so fast it’s pretty unbelievable. These are the havens for the educated and crafty wasters who don’t want a proper job but like the idea of “rewards”. For these cnuts “service” is just a word not to be confused with any notion of making a genuine effort to identify needs and deploy resources and energy to meet those needs. Jac’s repeated articles on this increasingly deviant sector are enlightening yet we do not read anywhere else any kind of criticism of these money pits.

    Politically we appear to be in a desperate place. Will someone wake up in time for the June election ? I think not. They will all be preoccupied with posturing over Brexit – the one lot wanting to full pelt for it and the other lot hoping to find a new handbrake to bring the process to a juddering halt. Politicans in Wales need to define how the good of Wales can gain from Brexit, mitigate any shocks to our economy such as it is, and start thinking deeply about planning for the future rather than indulging in spin laden policy making which has never earned its corn in the 18 years since Cynulliad was created.

    Rant over.

    •  

      And a thoroughly enjoyable rant it was too dafis – I for one, thoroughly enjoyed it!

      HOWEVER I fear the main thrust of my reason for posting it was somewhat missed. I have no intention of diverting too much energy to our dim & distant past.

      The purpose for drawing attention to that video was to highlight the wealth of hidden history that we have, which has been ridiculed, mocked, corrupted, hidden and stolen. Any nation on earth is lost without knowledge of it’s history, legends & heroes. Unless you’re aware of your past, you are unaware of how you arrived here, or where you intend to go. That’s the position we find ourselves in as a nation in 2017 – LOST!

      This is the reason why I incessantly bang on about how vital it is for our survival as a nation for our young ones to be taught their true history. All I intended to do with that video was highlight the absolute enormous reservoir of history that we have. Lose that knowledge and you lose your identity.

      I am 100% convinced that the key to our survival is the overhaul of our education system. We need to break the shackles of colonialism which is strangling us through the Anglo Saxon curriculum that’s taught to our children through the medium of both Cymraeg & English in our schools.

      It’s pointless discussing plans for the shape and colour of the roof of our house if it has no foundation to stand on.

      •  

        Gee I get exactly the point you are making and how it would enhance our identity. Teach these matters as “Hanes a Treftadaeth” and maybe you can give the pupils that understanding of the nation’s roots that is totally missing now.

        To get the ball rolling the media should exploit these areas to a far greater extent, entering new territory for them. Sure we’ve seen sanitized versions of Arthur, Merlin &Co, but where are the fantasy films that use the wealth of the Mabinogion as source material ?. That isn’t history but it would give audiences today a taste of what enthralled and entertained children and adults for centuries. Some of it is quite scary but that’s part of its value. Prof Brian Morgan who has long experience as a business academic and participated in some start-ups made very valid points on that video you linked that there was stacks of raw material in Arthur alone. Well take all the other myths and legends, add a further dash of Cunedda, numerous pre-Norman princes and chieftains, then Llywelyn Fawr, Y Lliw Olaf, Owain Glyndwr, Owain Lawgoch the exiled soldier of fortune, even the true Henry Tudor, and you have enough to keep BBC Wales, ITV, Pinewood Wentloog Studios, Llanilid Pits, Tinopolis, Boom and a host of smaller producer units running at full capacity for years. Although Mel Gibson’s version of William Wallace was a bit heavy on the fiction it gave a huge push to the numbers wanting to read up and find out more about the real Wallace and the gritty politics of the Scottish independence movement of that time.

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          Exactly dafis – EXACTLY. Where are all the ones who could kick all of that into action? My guess is the knowledge is by now so diluted and hazy that very few people in the right places actually know about it. Thanks again to the corrosive and erosive effect of having our children taught through the education system of those who colonised our country, all of which started with the Elementary Education Act of 1870 and subsequent education acts up to our day.

          •  

            These media/production companies all have researchers employed within or ship in specialist contractors for complex subject areas. Given what you have presented onto this site over recent years you could be an asset at least directing these people to source materials and providing a Q.A /Q.C inspection service reviewing their outputs ( just in case some little cnut tried to dilute or corrupt the info generated ). Just following that link earlier onto youtube led to a number of other similar sources. A cursory googling of “hidden history of wales/britain” rolls out another ton of stuff that would take me the rest of my life just to scan !
            Now I know that a lot of this material is hypothesis, synthesis, “what if” stuff but it’s more than legit than a lot of the downright lies and misinterpretation that litters our official historical records. So let the folks out there see it, hear it and if it stimulates their curiosity you have got to first base of “learning by discovery”, the best way.

            I’m not joking about this. If we could find a company with the ability to finance, or raise the finance, it would be worth a punt to present you as the guy to provide the kind of overview service I describe above. Given their arrogance I suspect BBC would give the idea of involving a non -luvvie a wide berth, but who knows how other prospective producers/intermediaries might be stimulated. Successful offshore Welsh like Ioan Gruffydd, Matthew Rhys, or our eccentric Rhys Ifans might have the interest and the channels to develop the idea without corrupting it.

            Is there a reader or more out there who might be able to help open up some connections on this matter ? Does Mel Gibson by any chance have an interest in Wales ? Can’t say I’d want him as Y Lliw Olaf but if it helps get a message over I guess I’d just shut up and listen !

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