Tutti Frutti, Good Booty (Little Richard)

No, this is not a homage to the founder of Rock ‘n’ Roll, but I’ve used the title of his timeless classic because it kinda fits. But my use of it is not an endorsement of the original (and thankfully expunged) lyrics.

Truth is, I used the song because Tutti Frutti can of course refer to ice cream. It’s Italian for ‘all fruits’.

To explain . . . About a month or so back someone drew my attention to an article in the Daily Post about an ice cream company on Ynys Môn coming back from the dead.

This report can be read as written, though my source hints there’s more to it than meets the eye. So I delved, and it took me on quite a journey.

MAYDAY! MAYDAY! RED BOAT SINKING!

The company you’re going to read about is The Red Boat (Ice Cream Parlour) Ltd. Set up 9 December 2012. The two shareholders / directors, Anthony Green and Lynda Green. Presumably husband and wife.

To set the scene, here’s the company’s main retail outlet, 34 Castle Street, Beaumaris. (Image from December 2021.) There were other outlets, including Prestatyn.

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Also, a ‘production hub‘ on Pen yr Orsedd industrial estate in Llangefni.

Though just down Castle Street, at the Liverpool Arms Hotel, we find a company called Red Boat Ltd. Owned by a couple named Ormond. It was formed over two years before Red Boat (Ice Cream Parlour) Ltd.

Seeing as it’s always filed as dormant it might be a ‘spoiler’, set up to grab the ‘Red Boat’ name. Which would account for the brackets in the other company’s name.

The Red Boat (Ice Cream Parlour) Ltd (hereinafter referred to as RBICP) was put into administration on January 30. After which things moved very quickly.

And for a small company there are interesting players involved, some as far away as San Francisco; and considerable governmental involvement.

I just hope I can make sense of it all. Anyway, sit back and enjoy!

THE SHAPE-SHIFTING ACCOUNTANTS OF FLINTSHIRE

RBICP used as its registered address accountants Hill & Roberts, at 50 High Street, Mold, Flintshire. It’s the doorway next to the bank, plus the top floor.

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There seem to be a number of entries with Companies House for Hill & Roberts Ltd, but the only entry I can find for the company itself is this one.

The address is right, but the company name uses ‘and’ rather than an ampersand (&). And if that wasn’t confusing enough, the only director of Hill and Roberts Ltd is Dylan Vaughan Evans.

There was a Maes Hyfryd Cyf, of Mold, formerly known as Cyfrifwyr Hill & Roberts Accountants Ltd (until 31.10.2019). The directors were Hilary Baines, Ffion Eleri Hampson, and Richard Andrew Roberts.

And also Baines & Roberts Ltd (27.06.2017 – 05.01.2021), with Roberts the majority shareholder. Ffion Eleri Hampson set up Cyfrifwyr H & R Accountants Ltd, again in Mold.

But let’s not overlook HB Accountants, found behind another Mold doorway. This one 8A Chester Street, next-door to and above the constituency office of Bob Roberts MP.

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Heading into the sunset, I also found a Hill & Roberts office in Bala. At 76 High Street, behind the war memorial.

The entities not using ‘Ltd’ or ‘Cyf’, are almost certainly partnerships. Perfectly legal, but confusing when we see the same people pop up in different combinations and under slightly different labels.

But what might cause me some concern would be that the companies registered with Companies House (apart from Hill and Roberts Ltd) seem to be very short-lived, and file hardly anything.

Anyway, let’s zip along the A55 back to Beaumaris.

REARRANGING THE DECK CHAIRS?

As the article I linked to explains, to get around the financial difficulties afflicting RBICP, a new company was formed in January this year. This was The Artisan Gelato Group Ltd (TAGG). When formed, with a single penny share, the sole director was named as Kelly Donald Pattullo.

TAGG then bought RBICP. To quote the Daily Post article . . .

KBL Advisory approached in January. After discussions it was decided that a pre-pack administration was the best way forward . . . A formal offer was received by (sic) Artisan Gelato Group Ltd.

This was recommended for acceptance by JPS Chartered Surveyors. It was sold to them for £42,000. Employees were transferred over to the new business . . . 

So, in February 2024, RBICP went into receivership owing trade creditors money; £213,000 to the ‘Welsh Government’s Development Bank of Wales, and over a hundred thousand to solicitors, administrators, and other professionals.

Another debt mentioned in the administrator’s report (2.6), alongside DBW, is ‘White Oak’, which I hadn’t encountered in the company’s accounts. White Oak Europe, Ltd offers credit facilities, with the directors all US citizens giving the same San Francisco address.

RBICP’s two outstanding debts with the Development Bank of Wales seem to have transferred to TAGG.

So who is Kelly Donald Pattullo? Well, that’s a good question. And while I may not have the full answer, I can at least give you some more information.

It seems Kelly Frances Donald-Pattullo and Samuel Malcolm Pattullo now own the premises used by Red Boat (Ice Cream Parlour) Ltd at 34 Castle Street in Beaumaris. They bought it at the end of May 2022. The stated price being £525,000.

This is corroborated in the Administrator’s report (2.5).

From the Administrator’s report / proposals for Red Boat (Ice Cream Parlour) Ltd. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

A year later the Pattullos formed 34Castle Ltd, a company involved in the ‘Manufacture of ice cream’. So what’s the relationship between the Pattullos and the Greens?

There has to be one. And it must go back to at least the May 2022 purchase of 34 Castle Street. Almost two years before Kelly Pattullo formed TAGG and took over Red Boat (Ice Cream Parlour) Ltd.

Yet to read the documents filed with Companies House one might think that TAGG came out of the blue.

(Seeing as we’re talking of Italian ice cream, and in case you’re thinking the ‘Pattullo’ name is Italian, it is in fact Scottish. I believe the first element is Pictish, the second Gaelic.)

In the documents filed with Companies House, and specifically the Administrator’s report, we read that Covid is claimed to have played a big part in the RBICP downfall. But the company was already in trouble before the Covid virus was released from a Chinese laboratory.

This is shown in the accounts up to 31 March 2020. These figures cover the summer of 2019 when people were sauntering around Beaumaris enjoying their ice creams.

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The accounts suggest that the little Red Boat was heading up Shit Creek at a rate of knots. Just look under ‘Creditors’ (page 2). That figure, £524,678, has gone up over half a million quid in one year!

And while much of it will be accounted for by the DBW loans most, I suspect, refers to the LDF-White Oak hire purchase loans. For it ties in with the rise in ‘Tangible fixed assets’ (page 6) from £246,829 in 2019 to £648,006 in 2020.

The unaudited financial statement submitted by Cyfrifwyr Hill & Roberts of 8a Chester Street, Mold, does not identify the tangible fixed assets, nor does it tell us on what the borrowed money was spent.

As you’ve read, the Administrator’s report of February 2024 says: ‘In May 2022, the Company sold one of its former business premises to support the cash position.’

This has to refer to 34 Castle Street, sold to the Pattullos for £525,000. This influx of cash should then show in the accounts up to 31 March 2023. But I can’t see it.

Where did it go?

THE RESCUE SHIPS TAKE ON SURVIVORS!

Once it started pulling away from the doomed craft the good ship Artisan Gelato saw many changes on board in a short space of time.

To begin with, two weeks after launch, Kelly Pattullo was joined at TAGG by Anthony Green, who’d presumably swum from the Red Boat. Then we learnt that Green had taken control of the new company at the start of February.

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But of more interest, maybe, was the piping aboard of Richard Elmitt. (Am I overdoing the nautical references? “Yes, Jac”.)

Here’s his Linkedin details. In May 2012 he made a couple of career moves.

First, he formed his own company, Redatum Ltd. (Though according to Companies House, this actually happened in April 2011.)

But of more interest to us is that he joined BIC Innovation Ltd, a management consultancy. This outfit is based in Gaerwen, on Ynys Môn. (Though the Linkedin page says Bridgend.) ‘Significant influence’ is exercised by Huw Geraint Watkins.

Watkins is director at a number of other companies. Including Sector Development Wales Partnership Ltd, an agency of the so-called ‘Welsh Government’, trading as ‘Industry Wales‘.

The thought of those socialist buffoons in Corruption Bay directing any ‘strategy’ for our SMEs is quite terrifying. Especially as the Industry Wales website doesn’t seem to have been updated for years.

You may recall Nicola Kneale, a director of RBICP from January 2016 to January 2018, when she worked for Denbighshire County Council. This was likely connected with RBICP leasing the Roundhouse on Prestatyn prom from the council.

Well, last December, Nicola joined Local Partnerships LLP. Here’s the website, and here’s the Companies House entry.

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I’m fairly sure there’s a connection between Local Partnerships, owned by the Treasury, LGA, ‘Welsh Government’; Industry Wales, owned by ‘Welsh Government’; and BIC Innovation on Ynys Môn, where the Treasury is a major shareholder.

On the surface, all would now appear to be hunky-dory. Everything and everyone has been salvaged, spruced up, and the re-named Red Boat (Ice Cream Parlour) Ltd is ready to sail serenely on as The Artisan Gelato Group Ltd.

CONCLUSION

Fundamentally, I believe we are dealing with a kind of deception; not necessarily illegal, but still naughty.

Clearly, the Greens of Red Boat (Ice Cream Parlour) Ltd and Kelly Pattullo of The Artisan Gelato Group Ltd knew each other from at least May 2022, when she and Samuel Pattullo are said to have bought the ice cream shop at 34 Castle Street, Beaumaris.

Next, I believe it was decided to do away with RBICP. A speedy disposal via a pre-pack administration deal was decided upon, and at the start of 2024 the company was ‘put up for sale’.

Along came TAGG, with sole director Kelly Pattullo, snapping up RBICP for a bargain-basement price of £42,000. Soon after, Anthony Green of RBICP became a director, and now he controls the new company.

But with Tony Green in charge of The Artisan Gelato Group Ltd  since 1 February he effectively sold Red Boat (Ice Cream Parlour) Ltd to himself.

That was always the intention. The ‘sale’ was a charade.

Another worry concerns 34 Castle Street. Was it really sold in May 2022, or was it simply a ploy by a company in financial difficulties to remove a valuable asset from the reach of creditors?

Because as I’ve said, according to the Administrator’s report the money from this sale was ploughed back into RBICP. But I see no evidence of this in the 2023 accounts.

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Which would make sense if the property wasn’t really sold, but merely transferred under some clever arrangement to disguise ownership. These things are done.

So many questions. If you know any of the answers, stick ’em in a bottle and chuck it in the sea. I’ll get it eventually.

To help you follow this saga, I’ve drawn up a little timeline of events.

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2024

Wildlife Trusts – Not To Be Trusted

In a sense, this is a follow-up to a piece I put out in February called ‘Wildlife Trusts, Crazy Money, Hidden Agendas‘. Perhaps a variation on a theme.

Though this is not quite the piece I originally promised. Perhaps I’ll return to the sweat lodges and other joys in the ‘Bhutan of Wales’ (“ample parking space“) at some later date.

ABOUT MUCH MORE THAN NEWTS

What you have to understand about modern environmentalism, certainly in Wales, is that it’s no longer fleece-jacketed innocents protecting red squirrels or tagging birds. It is now intensely political. And financially lucrative.

Lucrative, as long as it promotes a certain interpretation of the world.

Which means, in practice, that environmentalists work for BlackRock and other Globalist corporations; Bill ‘jabs and bugs’ Gates, Klaus Schwab and the World Economic Forum.

And even if environmentalists don’t realise it, if they’re just useful idiots, then that don’t matter none – what matters is that they do what they do.

And as I suggested, they’re getting paid handsomely for it. Here’s one example.

Total income for the North Wales Wildlife Trust went up from £1.83m in 2019 to £6.17 in 2023, a rise of 237%. But in the same period, funding from the ‘Welsh Government’ rose from £309,480 to £3,760,000, an increase of 1,115%.

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Similar increases in the funding awarded to the other wildlife trusts, river groups, etc, correlates with the ramping up of the ‘Welsh Government’s war on farmers.

Which meant blaming just about anybody other than Dŵr Cymru for river pollution.

But environmentalists weren’t confining themselves to persecuting cows, and matters scatological; for they were also pushing the anti-car agenda.

THE WAR ON CARS I

An example of this would be defeating plans to upgrade the M4 around Newport. Here’s Friends of the Earth reminding us of its role in that campaign.

Which is fine with me because that’s the raison d’être of environmental groups. But if opposing M4 improvements was ‘Welsh Government’ policy, and if ‘WG’ funded various groups to support that policy, then that puts a different complexion on things.

As FoE stated, one of the major reasons for rejecting improvements to the M4 was to protect the Gwent Levels. Which was also the reasoning given by the first minister.

Mark Drakeford said he would not have gone ahead even if it was affordable because of the impact on the Gwent Levels.

But the environmentalists’ war on roads didn’t end with saving the Gwent Levels. (Though not from solar farms.)

I’ve written a number of times about the ‘Welsh Government’s decision to abandon all new road schemes. Let’s begin in June 2021, with the announcement of a ‘freeze’ on new road building.

Then, in September 2021, came news of a panel . . .

. . . of climate change and transport specialists . . . led by Dr Lynn Sloman MBE, a transport consultant based in Wales

Despite what the ‘Welsh Government’ wanted us to believe, Dr Lynn Sloman is not ‘based in Wales’; she actually lives in London, where she sits on the Transport for London board, headed by mayor Sadiq Ulez Khan.

Dr Lynn Sloman is, predictably, an anti-car fanatic. And her connection to Wales is a holiday home in Cwm Einion, near Machynlleth. To which she presumably drives.

Dr Sloman’s panel delivered the result required in February 2023 – no new roads!

This impacted on just about every part of the country, and deprived communities of long-awaited and much-needed, improvements. It meant no third crossing of the Menai, no by-pass for Llanbedr, no by-pass for Llandeilo.

This was of course welcomed by both Rachel Sharp, CEO of  the officially defunct Wildlife Trusts Wales; and her trusty henchman, Tim Birch, of Extinction Rebellion.

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But there is one issue on which environmentalists could and should be more vocal.

We’ll ignore the energy consumed in manufacturing wind turbines, then the damage inflicted on the environment from shipping them to Wales; widening roads, felling trees, ripping out hedgerows to get them to where they’re being erected.

Instead’ let’s just focus on the damage they cause in situ.

Wind turbines destroy peat deposits. They scar hillsides with access roads and cable trenches. Hundreds of pylons are needed to carry whatever’s generated in Wales to England. The turbine blades kill birds, bats, and all manner of insects.

There are also threats to human health from infrasound, flicker, and worrying over your home losing value due to its proximity to wind turbines.

Yet environmentalists have little to say against wind turbines. That’s because their ‘outrage’ can be switched off and on, as required, by their paymasters.

THE ‘FOXES’ OF ENVIRONMENTALISM

We often hear: “Farming occupies around 90% of ‘our’ land“, as if it’s something undesirable. It’s very revealing, because those who say it seem genuinely horrified that so much of Wales belongs to hairy-arsed peasants.

A recent example of the ‘90%’ fixation came in an article in ‘Welsh Government’ mouthpiece Nation.Cymru by Dr Malcolm Smith. He was ostensibly writing about the ‘Welsh Government’s Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS).

Smith wants us to believe that carbon emissions increase global temperatures when there is no link whatsoever, and then rather gives away his own position on SFS with:

Trees, it seems, aren’t welcomed by most farmers.

This obsession with the amount of land held by farmers seems most prevalent among politicians and middle class enviro-grifters who want Welsh farmers off the land they and their corporate patrons covet.

I say that because no one has ever come up to me in a pub, a supermarket, or any other setting, grabbed me by the lapels and shouted – ‘Isn’t it bloody awful that farmers have so much land?

Nobody. Honestly!

Which makes the support these spivs get from Welsh socialists difficult to fathom. And the support from those socialists who claim they want independence inexplicable.

Maybe this subservience can be explained by something I read last week. Someone was trying to explain why Sinn Féin has fallen for the Globalist-Woke-Left agenda.

It is a lingering symptom of what Ruairi Ó Bradaigh once described as the intellectual inferiority complex of men who were absurdly impressed by . . . bourgeois lefties and liberals

I think that explains a lot of what we see in Wales. Particularly the insecure among us, who can’t resist a bit of flannel delivered in a ‘posh’ accent.

What Ruairi Ó Bradaigh called “the intellectual inferiority complex” always lurks in the Welsh psyche. And it seems to afflict socialists far more than it affects those of us on the political right.

Welsh leftists like to see themselves as ‘progressive’, which then leaves them wide open to the blandishments of the ‘foxes’ Malcom X refers to here.

ANOTHER WARNING FROM IRELAND

For some time now I’ve been paying closer than usual attention to what’s happening in Ireland, where the uniparty establishment has enthusiastically signed up to the Globalist agenda. It’s been open borders, war on farmers, and recently, referendums that hoped to re-define ‘woman’ and ‘family’.

Both referendums were heavily defeated, and the preening, obnoxious, Varadkar soon resigned in the hope of salvaging his political reputation. Because he fears there’s worse to come as the people wake up and fight back. (Something the Irish have a history of doing.)

And the Irish people are waking up. And demanding a return to sanity. Especially when they look around and see who’s been allowed into their country.

For example, one result of open borders is that Ireland is now home to the Nigerian Black Axe gang, which deals in romance fraud and other online scams . . . with a little murder, drugs, and extortion thrown in.

Just think about that. A Nigerian criminal network is actually based in Ireland. How the hell was that allowed to happen!

Well, as I just mentioned, because the Irish establishment obeys the Globalist agenda; and no-questions-asked immigration is an integral part of that agenda, designed to destabilise western societies.

Then, last week I was directed to news about moves to punish people who want to live in the countryside. (Unless, presumably, they’re Nigerian gangsters.)

You can read the whole publication if you like. But the opening paragraph tells you exactly where it’s going. And how it’s justified.

Moving Together . . . a commitment in the Climate Action Plan 2023 . . . to alleviate the impacts of car-dependency

Someone wants the Irish countryside emptied, and populations concentrated in urban areas. Now why should that be?

Wales may be heading in the same direction.

THE WAR ON CARS II

I say Wales may be headed in the same direction because the ‘pieces’ are already there, we just need to put them together to see the bigger picture.

Earlier, we looked at environmentalists, funded by the ‘Welsh Government’ or Globalist corporations and multi-billionaires, campaigning against road improvements. In league with former Sustrans rep in Wales, and until so very recently, chauffeur-driven deputy minister for climate change, Lee Waters.

Waters welcomed the halt on new road projects with:

As the review points out the by-pass that was demanded to relieve congestion often ends up leading to extra traffic, which in time brings further demands for extra lanes, wider junctions and more roads

I suggest Waters and his allies stand for half an hour one summer day outside the ‘Vic’ in Llanbedr, or The Castle in Llandeilo; and ponder that the shit forming a skin on their iced tea, the shit they’re also inhaling, comes from cars and trucks in low gear inching their way through a traffic bottleneck.

And it could all be avoided with a by-pass!

Consider this, gentle reader: the man who can ignore the effects of low-gear emissions on human health – because it serves an element of the agenda – can also impose 20mph speed limits, guaranteed to increase harmful emissions – and justify doing so on health and safety grounds!

But when it can be used to serve another element of the agenda, air quality becomes a consideration. For Nicola Lund recently reminded us in ‘Message to Wales – On Yer Bike (Part 2)‘ that the Welsh Government’ is also promising air quality legislation, and a ‘national road user charging framework’.

So where might that lead, if we put it all together?

Let’s look at Llanbedr, which sits on the A496 running up the coast from Barmouth. A busy road, and especially so in summer.

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With a combination of no by-pass, air quality legislation, and a ‘national road user charging framework’ in place, many people will give Llanbedr a miss. Some will avoid that road altogether.

The map above shows that travellers between north and south will still have the A470, so the effects would be very localised, but highly damaging.

There’s one more consideration I want to throw into the mix.

I have consistently supported plans to raise council tax on holiday homes and restrict numbers of holiday lets*. And I will continue to back measures that might return domestic properties to local use. But . . .

Tourism means cars, camper vans, etc. So are the measures against the worst excesses of tourism doing the right thing for the wrong reason? By which I mean, are they just part of the bigger plan to restrict car journeys in Wales?

Putting it all together – and irrespective of the stated justifications – what we’ve just looked at will result in a seriously damaged rural economy, and could lead to the kind of rural clearances being talked about in Ireland and elsewhere.

Yet it all fits perfectly with the Globalist-environmentalist agenda.

*I received a communication on this very matter yesterday!

CONCLUSION

Where the Globalists have been clever is in funding or promoting ideas, organisations and lobbies that push their agenda.

This includes, cyclists, vegans, renewable energy enthusiasts, advocates of CBDC, and of course, environmentalists.

We’re at a stage now where an environmental lobby is waging war on our farmers while also working with the ‘Welsh Government’ to make us view cars as something evil, to be done away with.

But what’s being targeted is not really farmers and motorists, but land and freedoms. Which is the essence of the Globalists’ power grab – promote fear and confusion in order to seize assets, restrict freedoms, and exert control.

As I said earlier, ‘environmentalists’ are no longer fleece-jacketed innocents. So see them for what they really are. Who they work for. And treat them accordingly.

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2024

Senedd Cymru (Electoral Candidate Lists) Bill

This is my submission to the Reform Bill Committee regarding Senedd Cymru (Electoral Candidate Lists) Bill. The attempt to hijack ‘Senedd reform’ with a closed list system that even hopes to keep candidates’ names from us.

Stripped of the self-serving bullshit it’s a crude attempt by the Labour party to guarantee itself permanent rule. With full support from Plaid Cymru.

Here’s a link to the (slightly different) version I submitted to the Committee.

I urge everyone to make a submission to SeneddReform@senedd.wales.

EXPERT PANEL

I shall start with the appointment of the Expert Panel in February 2017. Set up to look into reforming and enlarging the (then) Assembly.

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The group reported in November 2017. Here is a link to their report. On page 29, the report recommended three electoral systems. The favoured one being the Single Transferable Vote.

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On page 128 of the report we read the ‘closed list proportional representation’ system was rejected. It’s ‘weakness’ spelled out as, “No choice for voters between individual candidates. No accountability for individual Members directly to voters.”

Yet this is the system now being proposed.

COMMITTEE ON SENEDD ELECTORAL REFORM

This group was set up in January 2020, and comprised Huw Irranca-Davies MS, Dawn Bowden MS, and Dai Lloyd MS. The first two representing the Labour party, the third Plaid Cymru.

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Here’s the Committee’s Report from September 2020, and here’s a summary of its recommendations. Note that it agrees with the Expert Panel in recommending the Single Transferable Vote.

Though it also makes a reference to diversity quotas for protected characteristics other than gender”, without making it clear what these ‘characteristics’ might be.

SPECIAL PURPOSE COMMITTEE ON SENEDD REFORM

Now we move on to October 2021 and a new group, with Huw Irranca-Davies MS providing continuity.

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Their report, ‘Reforming our Senedd: A stronger voice for the people of Wales’ was published on 30 May 2022. Here’s a link to that report.

The Expert Panel’s favoured system of the Single Transferable Vote, endorsed by the Committee on Senedd Electoral Reform, was rejected by this latest group because it:

. . . was an unfamiliar system in Wales and that the method of translating votes into seats would be seen as complex and difficult to explain.

Which means that electorates around the world manage to cope with STV, but it seems Welsh voters are uniquely stupid!

The reasoning is so absurd, and insulting, that it suggests something else was going on beneath the surface. With hindsight, we know this to be true.

After considering the three options of the Open List, the Flexible List, and the Closed List, the Special Purpose Committee recommended the least representational of the three.

And when comparing the respective merits of the d’Hondt and Sainte-Laguë divisor systems the committee opted for d’Hondt, which is, again, the less representational.

Now we come to the most remarkable and worrying thing I encountered in all 92 pages. Scroll to page 38, and there you’ll see . . .

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We would anticipate . . . some of the names . . . of candidates will appear . . . “.

There was clearly an attempt from somewhere, by someone, to promote the idea of giving only the party name, and not naming the candidates!

Which means that from the Single Transferable Vote system recommended by the Expert Panel what is now being offered is 16 huge and impersonal constituencies*, and a closed list system using the less representational d’Hondt system. Even an attempt to have anonymised lists.

*The Boundary Commission has recommended that Wales in future has 32, not the current 40, seats for Westminster elections. The proposals being discussed ‘pair’ these 32 constituencies to give us 16 ‘super’ constituencies, each electing 6 Members by the closed list system.

REFORM BILL COMMITTEE

This group was established in July 2023. Its role was to go through the Bill that resulted from the report of The Special Purpose Committee on Electoral Reform. Making recommendations where it felt the need.

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The Reform Bill Committee’s report was published in January, and debated in the Senedd 30 January (No 8).

In his Introduction, the chair, Labour’s David Rees MS, makes clear that he is unhappy with the proposed closed list system.

“We have not reached consensus on all matters . . . But, we are unanimous in our concerns about the proposed closed list electoral system . . . We believe the link between voters and the Members who represent them is paramount.

We therefore urge all political parties in the Senedd to work together to ensure the electoral system in the Bill provides greater voter choice and improved accountability for future Members to their electorates.”

The closed list system was by now drawing fire from many quarters, and from outside of Wales. One notable contribution was from former Labour Home Secretary Lord David Blunkett, in a letter to the Western Mail.

I naturally wondered what the report had to say about ballot papers.

On page 105 the ‘Member in charge’, Mick Antoniw MS, defends the recommendations of the Special Purpose Committee on Senedd Reform.

When asked by David Rees (page 111) why the Bill being presented to the Senedd does not state categorically that candidates’ names will appear on the ballot paper, Antoniw responds that it is being dealt with in “secondary legislation”.

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On page 129 David Rees MS makes it clear that he believes candidates’ names on ballot papers should be stipulated in the Bill itself, not left to secondary legislation.

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A search of the published Bill for ‘ballot paper’ will draw a blank.

CONCLUSION

What may have started out as a genuine attempt to ‘improve democracy’, and by doing that make Wales a better place to live and work, has been subverted by the Labour party, willingly assisted by Plaid Cymru.

To hide the true nature and purpose of the exercise it must be dressed up in self-serving distractions such as ‘gender equality’, but with 26 out of 60 AMs being women we almost have gender equality now, without any special legislation.

Let me explain what I believe is behind this emphasis on ‘women’. For on the Senedd website, under ‘Information about the Bill’, we read: “Require all candidates on a party’s list to state either whether they are, or are not, a woman”.

I think we’re now in the realm of self-identification, and are no longer talking about biological women. I suggest this because the Welsh Government is the largest single funder to the trans activist group, Stonewall, and Labour and Plaid Senedd Members have made their positions quite clear.

Last year Dawn Bowden MS and colleagues insisted we allow biological males to play rugby with and against women and girls – if they identify as women.

You’ll recall that she sat on the Committee on Senedd Electoral Reform which talked of “diversity quotas for protected characteristics other than gender”.

And this goes some way to explaining the attempt to keep candidates’ names off the ballot paper. Because men pretending to be women will not be elected. Unless they can stand anonymously.

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I suspect that another reason for trying to keep candidates’ names off the ballot paper is to facilitate the election of lobbyists, and members of the pressure groups that now seem to direct both Labour and Plaid Cymru.

Again, these would be unlikely to get elected if voters saw their names on the ballot paper and could check on their backgrounds and associations.

Seeing as so many of these ‘campaigners’ are alien to and ignorant of our country, if elected they would simply push their agendas. No matter how damaging those were to the interests of Wales.

We already see it, with Stonewall, but also with 20mph, with the constant attacks on our farmers, and in a host of other ways; serving narrow agendas, but not Wales.

RECOMMENDATION

As it stands, I consider the Bill to be the most dangerous and damaging piece of legislation in 25 years of devolution. A naked power grab.

For in addition to the issues already dealt with, the Bill also makes it more difficult for smaller parties and independent candidates to be elected. This is no accident.

It would have been bad enough if we’d arrived at this point through a mistake, or even incompetence, but I believe we are where we are because this was always the destination.

The Expert Panel was pure window-dressing. It’s hoped we’ll believe that what’s now being offered is merely a ‘tweaking’ of the Panel’s recommendations.

This deception has presented us with a Bill that has nothing to recommend it, and there is nothing of it worth salvaging. It is a step backwards; an affront to common sense, and a threat to democracy.

It must be scrapped.

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2024

‘Welsh Government’ Wages Propaganda War Against Welsh Farmers

This is an unplanned ‘quickie’ that I want to get out while the humour is on me and before I lose the details. It also needs to be said before the ‘Welsh Government’s campaign goes any further.

‘FAR RIGHT’ SUPPORT

I’m going to start by looking at a piece from the BBC Wales website a few days ago. Written by an S4C reporter it worried that the farmers’ campaign against the ‘Welsh Government’s Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS) was being exploited by far right elements with hidden agendas.

The article even provided a photograph of the ogress Katie Hopkins. Whatever one may think of her (and I don’t think about her at all) I suggest she’s rather too public to have anything hidden.

But just mentioning her name is guaranteed to get the comrades hyperventilating, and finger-pointing. Though providing a picture as well may have got a few spluttering to a point where their mams would have been seriously concerned.

(Unless of course they were out. Then it might be a three-day wait for an ambulance.)

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As I say, the report was written by a journalist from state-funded S4C. And by pure coincidence, one of the two farmers quoted has a gig with the same broadcaster! The other farmer had a beef with something Price had said about the Welsh language.

The farmer with the S4C job was quoted:

A responsible government will listen. Because no government’s role is to make the life of its citizens more difficult

But this is Wales. The ‘Welsh Government’ only listens to, and is then directed by, pressure groups and other fanatics. If S4C wants to find ‘hidden agendas’ then that’s where it needs to look.

If you want proof just look at who’s on the Active Travel Board, plotting to get private cars off the roads of Wales – three cycling organisations, plus Sustrans!

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Which of those lycra-clad wankers is supposed to speak for me?

I don’t believe that ‘farmers’ fear the wrong kind of support. They’re sensible enough to spot it. What I know a number of them really fear is a black propaganda campaign being mounted against them using ‘far right’ accusations.

And that’s exactly what this story was all about. It was a contrived and distasteful attempt to discredit the farmer’s protests using the most tenuous connection with somebody the left despises.

LE PETIT TRIANON SUR ELWY?

The next report I’m going to use came out last night. Again, on the BBC website, and it actually says ‘climate change’ in the headline. (So there’s no arguing, right!)

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There were two journalists involved. Erin Sharrocks Lister is yet another English journalist taken on by BBC Wales, with Eirian Jones presumably serving as her native guide on this assignment.

(Unnecessary doubling up, and you’re paying for it.)

On a superficial level this story was about a farming family – Alex and Sam Kenyon – that had coped, in a very nature-friendly way, with increased flooding of their land caused by climate change. But so many buttons were being pressed in this story that it soon became a dizzying whirl of digits.

For example, we read:

With advice from Natural Resources Wales and the Nature Friendly Farming Network (NFFN), Sam discovered a method to preserve the riverbanks

Can you not see the cavalry coming over the hill and splashing through the flood plain? What a sight it was!

Sam then consulted her notes from Lesley Griffiths, and we read:

Sam said she was very determined to show nature-based solutions were practical and can benefit farmed landscapes and their biodiversity, especially in the face of climate change

As you’ve read, the ‘Welsh Government’s stooge, the Nature Friendly Farming Network (NFFN), was involved here.

And on consulting the instructions he’d received from Lesley (and Gary?), Phil Carson, head of policy at NFFN, said:

We need government schemes that reward farmers to take these actions, alongside the right training, advice and support for farmers to embrace them with confidence

You know me, I got to wondering about Alex and Sam Kenyon.

I quickly found the website for Glanllyn farm. On it, Sam Kenyon describes herself as a “goat servant“. I don’t know any genuine Welsh farmer that would use a phrase like that. Come to that, I don’t think I know any genuine Welsh farmers that keep goats.

Sam is also supportive of the World Wildlife Fund (WFF). (Scroll down and you’ll find her among the Supporters.) There are few organisations doing more to undermine traditional farming today than the WWF.

The next step was Companies House, where I found Glanllyn Farm Produce Ltd. And where the humble ‘Alex’ is elevated to The Hon Alexander Simon Tyrell-Kenyon.

It seems he inherited the farm from an aunt.

After starting the business in 2016, she built the farm up from scratch on land that her husband, Alex, inherited from his family

I don’t wish to be too critical, for I see the name Hanmer in Alex’s bloodline. But the fact remains, the Tyrell-Kenyons are not representative of Welsh farmers.

Perhaps a generous interpretation might be the one I allude to in the section heading. That of Marie-Antoinette playing a shepherdess at her ‘cottage’ in the grounds of Versailles.

Whether Sam Kenyon knew she was being used to push a policy deeply unpopular with real farmers, I just don’t know. But we’ll leave it there.

‘PSST, WANNA HEAR SOME MISINFORMATION?’

Not a lot of people know this, but the self-styled ‘Welsh Government’ uses a private company as a propaganda unit, to push its message and slander its opponents. And of course, this is done with your money.

The company I’m referring to is Lynn. It seems to have begun with Lynn Group Ltd. Though another company formed more recently is Lynn Global Ltd. The deadline for submitting the first accounts for Lynn Global is March 20.

The sole director of both companies is Shayoni Sarkar Lynn.

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I wrote about Lynn last year, in ‘It’s Getting Sinister‘, and then I followed it with ‘Lynn Global Pushes Globalist Agenda‘. Lynn has a BS Unit. (As if the ‘Welsh Government’ doesn’t have enough in-house BS units!)

‘BS’ in the make-believe world of ‘nudge’ units stands for ‘behavioural science’. And that, in practice, means getting people to accept what their better judgement tells them is the other kind of BS.

In other words, and as George Orwell put it in 1984:

The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command

Which means that Lynn Global serves as the ‘Welsh Government’s Ministry of Truth. But instead of a questioning Winston Smith we find an enthusiastic Stefan Rollnick.

Though since he starred on this blog, Stefan’s presence on Linkedin has disappeared. Fortunately, I saved it ere it drifted off into the ether, for both posterity and your delectation. Here it is.

The briefest perusal of Rollnick’s background makes it clear that he’s Labour through and through. Which makes his job of defending the shower in Corruption Bay and slagging off their opponents almost instinctive.

His output confirms that view. A gem appeared on Nation.Cymru, but I can’t seem to find it now on the site. Fortunately, again, I saved it.

What’s striking is that the term “far-right” is used a dozen times in this relatively short article. “Conspiracy” is there six times. But nowhere do we see ‘far-left’. What does this tell us . . . apart from the fact that it’s a bit of a leftist rant?

Well, on one level, we have a website funded by the ‘Welsh Government’ putting out BS from another outfit funded by Drakeford and his crew. (Will you miss him?) So no surprises there.

But as I suggest, there is a dangerously ideological – and therefore divisive – edge to everything put out by the ‘Welsh Government’, or by Lynn, BBC and other mouthpieces.

CONCLUSION

The message we are being force-fed is that the ‘goodies’ of the Globalist-Green-Left are trying to save the planet, but are being opposed by the wicked ‘far-right’, and these villains are now manipulating farmers protests.

Come on, this is pure pantomime.

Why would I, a creature of the rational and reasoning right, a man who has loved nature all his life; who has children, grandchildren (and soon, great-grandchildren), want to destroy nature and the planet on which we all live?

It makes no sense.

What does make sense is a man who’s been around a bit, studied human nature, known quite a few con men (friends, some of them), many liars, a few sociopaths, understands how politics and control operate, and recognises a dirty campaign when he sees it.

And so I’ve put out this unplanned and rather hasty post to warn people that there are dangerous and unscrupulous actors pushing the ‘Welsh Government’s message.

They are prepared to lie, to vilify decent people, and to do just about anything to promote their agenda. So be warned!

And remember! Behavioural science and bullshit have the same initials, and they amount to the same thing.

And that’s where you’ll find the true ‘hidden agendas’.

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2024

A Welsh Take On Irish Politics

At the end of January I gave an outsider’s view of the two referendums being held in Ireland in early March on Articles 39 and 40 of the Constitution. (Click and scroll down.)

The Family Amendment‘ was seen as a move away from the heterosexual nuclear family towards the vacuous “durable relationship“, with the added worry that illegal aliens could use the change to bring in just about anybody, claiming there was a relationship.

The vote was 67.7% No.

The ‘The Care Amendment‘ was presented as rejecting the ‘old-fashioned’ thinking of a woman’s place being in the home, but widely seen as rejecting motherhood altogether, and opening the door to other interpretations of ‘woman’.

The vote was 73.9% No.

The highest No vote ever recorded in a referendum. Higher even than that against the suggestion to reduce the age of eligibility for election to the office of President to 21.

RESULTS, LOSERS, WINNERS

You can’t really argue with figures like that, but of course some will try. Predictably, the Irish Times had a stab at it with:

The timing was rushed, the rationale unclear, the propositions confusing and the campaigning lacklustre.

Of course. If only things had been better explained . . .

Whereas the Guardian would have us believe: “Critics said they (the government) ran a lacklustre, confusing campaign that perplexed voters and alienated progressive allies“.

Both use “confusing” and “lacklustre“.

The problem for the Irish Times is that it’s part of the problem, in that it belongs to the metropolitan elite. Which means that to honestly address the problem, and the reasons behind the referendum defeats, would need a degree of self-examination that might be too painful.

For the truth is that, in Ireland, as throughout the Western world, the uniparty Globalist system supported by the Irish Times is cracking, and the disconnect between rulers and ruled has rarely been wider, except in those periods prior to revolutions.

In Ireland, that uniparty is made up of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, Labour, and of course, the Greens.

I’m sure that in Dublin’s better restaurants, this elite looked at returns like those from Donegal and Mayo, and gave each other the kind of knowing looks it was hoped would convey sagacity, but in reality merely confirmed their prejudices.

Because they’re unlikely to learn from these votes. The bubbles in which they live, across the Western world, are linked to each other, support each other, reinforce the Globalist message – and are hermetically sealed against the views of the people.

But their problems were not confined to the rural West, for working class Dublin also said No very forcefully. As did other urban centres like Cork, Galway, Wexford, Limerick, Waterford.

Even the posher parts of the capital went rogue. It was left to the outlying southern suburbs to return the only Yes vote. And that was by a hair’s breadth.

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One explanation I heard – and we’ve all heard this one before – was that unpopular governments shouldn’t give the mob a chance to vent their anger with by-elections and referendums.

But that simply reinforces how out of touch Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s government is. For they didn’t seem to realise that a lot of people out there really hate them.

And let’s remember that the whole uniparty political establishment urged a Yes vote.

And yet, we can see why this disaster happened. For in addition to a political class and its hangers-on talking to no one but themselves, even those they trusted to inform them got it badly wrong.

I’m referring now to the opinion polls. Below you see polls conducted weeks and days before the votes predicting comfortable Yes votes. Who the hell were they asking?

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Are opinion polls also part of the problem? Or are they just a waste of time, completely unreliable?

The unity of the Irish political establishment was in marked contrast to referendums I remember in Wales: joining the EU, Sunday opening of pubs, devolution in ’79, devolution again in ’97, the Brexit vote.

For these, political parties often lined up in opposition to each other, and we even saw divisions within parties.

That’s why these Irish No votes are so significant. A monolithic political establishment, its loyal media, and the serried ranks of its NGO grifters, was told to go away unto a far place, and there do unspeakable things to themselves and to each other. (Shudders!)

The size of the anti-establishment majorities in these referendums could mean that the proposed hate speech legislation is now dead. Because the establishment always knew it was unpopular at home, and drawing critical attention abroad.

So it will perhaps be shelved. I mean, they can’t push it through as if nothing has happened. And they certainly can’t afford another referendum.

Time to go into laager.

IS SINN FĒIN ON THE WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY?

Few things brought home to me the almost surreal nature of unfolding events more than the leader of Sinn Féin, Mary Lou McDonald, being called “a traitor to the Irish people”.

And in Dublin Castle of all places!

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To understand what I’m getting at, you have to remember that for centuries Dublin Castle was the centre of British rule in Ireland. To the point where “The Castle” could even be used as a synonym for British rule.

McDonald’s predecessors would not have seen the inside of Dublin Castle unless they’d been taken in for the kind of ‘questioning’ that sometimes ended with a bullet or a noose. In the Civil War (1922-1923) it was the turn of IRA men to be tortured and killed by Free State forces.

Modern leftists will put a class spin on the Civil War, but those who fought on were holding out for what had always been the objective – a 32 county Republic completely independent of England. They remained true to their ideals.

Whereas those who’d sold out, accepted Partition, Dominion status, and the rest, liked to portray themselves as realists, or pragmatists.

Armed anti-Treaty members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in Grafton Street, Dublin during the Irish Civil War. (Photo by Walshe/Getty Images) Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Nothing should show how much things have changed from the days of British rule than a leader of Sinn Féin strolling around Dublin Castle to public acclaim. I stress should – but Mary Lou McDonald was heckled by Irish nationalists!

Another reason for that hostility was the elephant in the room – immigration. Large numbers of undocumented young men being imposed, hundreds at a time, on towns and villages across the land. Sinn Féin supports open borders.

With no pretence any longer that those arriving are refugees.

They now apply for international protection status. You start your trip, then before arriving in Ireland you destroy your documents, when interviewed you claim some nasty men back home want to kill you, and bingo! – you get a house and hundreds of Euros every week to stroll the streets making a nuisance of yourself. Or worse.

Said to be the best deal in Europe.

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The Dublin Castle incident links with immigration to inform us that a new kind of nationalism seems to be emerging, one that’s more focused on Irish identity than the ‘progressive’ mish-mash that’s corrupted Sinn Féin.

Immigration is increasingly described as the new ‘Plantation’, with all that that implies given the history of Ireland.

But then, traditional Irish nationalism, Fenians, Republicans, always spoke primarily for the Gaelic Catholic Irish. Even Connolly, the socialist, talked of “the Irish race“.

Certainly Tone, Emmett, Parnell and others were Protestant, and there was always an open (if unrealistically optimistic) invitation to northern Unionists; but fundamentally, it was Ireland for the indigenous Irish.

We seem to have come full circle. It’s now ‘Ireland for the Irish’ again.

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And why not! How can our leftist brethren (whom I cherish, dearly!) shout that Palestine belongs to the Palestinians yet argue that Ireland belongs to anyone other than the Irish?

But that’s exactly what they do argue. For according to them only the ‘far right’ believes in nations . . . well, European nations, anyway.

And, finally, what’s happening in Ireland now throws up another bizarre twist, in that through its rejection of the Globalist agenda, and its reaffirmation of eternal verities, the new Irish nationalism is finding admirers among Six Counties Loyalists.

As people wake up to the Globalist agenda for the West; with Net Zero, the ‘de-growth’ strategy, the promotion of cultural Marxism, and waves of migrants, we shall see many alliances that would once have been regarded as impossible.

THE YEAR AHEAD; IN IRELAND AND BEYOND

Next for Ireland are the European elections and the local council elections, to be held on the same day in June, but at a date yet to be announced. (Maybe the uniparty will only tell its own supporters the date, to avoid another hiding!)

Here’s the current state of the parties.

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While I’m hoping for the best, I still worry that contesting national elections may be too much, too soon, for the Irish Freedom Party and the Farmers’ Alliance. I hope I’m wrong. I’m certainly more confident after the referendum results.

I know the IFP is standing candidates for the Euro elections, but I’m not sure about the locals. Nor am I sure if the Farmers’ Alliance is standing in any elections.

Of course, the elections across the EU will be fascinating because of the anti-Globalist surge, and the (correct) perception that the EU is part of the problem, facilitating the Globalist agenda through legislation, funding, and other means.

Then there’s the UK general election at some time in 2024. With the WEF’s choice for prime minister, Rishi Sunak, finally facing the electorate. But in Westminster Labour, Lib Dems, SNP, Plaid Cymru and Greens form a uniparty with the Tories, so the only option is to vote for Reform.

Then, as if I needed to remind you, in November it’s the US presidential elections. Donald Trump has seen off all challengers for the Republican nomination, while Joe Biden never really had much opposition. Which would worry me if I was a Democrat.

(But also keep an eye on the Independent candidate, Robert F Kennedy Jr.)

Biden cannot win a fair election against Trump. A Trump victory should mark the beginning of the end for the Globalists’ plans. And this is why I fear that those with most to lose might try something stupid, and sell it to their lapdog media and their cultish supporters as ‘defending democracy’.

For, yesterday, after both men’s nominations were confirmed, someone got Sleepy Joe to say, “the threat Trump poses is greater than ever“. ‘There you go. If Trump is such a ‘threat’, then maybe the rules don’t apply.

Whatever happens, I’m reasonably sure we’re at the high-water mark of Globalism. From now on it must ebb. Too many people have woken up.

The only question is whether Globalism goes out with a bang, or a whimper. And that is a very big question.

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2024

Climate Cult Killing The Welsh Family Farm

In this piece I’ll explain that the ‘Welsh Government”s Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS) is just the latest in a long series of attacks on the Welsh family farm, and all that that means.

The SFS demands that 10% of every farm be given over to trees, with a further 10% to ‘habitat’. Many farms will become unprofitable. Which is the whole point of the SFS – to release more land for other uses.

Today’s piece is bigger than others I’ve put out recently, some 3,400 words; but it’s broken up into sections, so take it a chunk at a time.

2008: ONE WALES: ONE PLANET

I’ve chosen to start in May 2008 with the publication One Wales: One Planet. Sub-titled, ‘The Sustainable Development Scheme of the Welsh Assembly Government’. You’ll find a revealing extract below.

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Let’s look at the first bullet point. Who decides Wales’s “environmental limits“? Who calculates our “fair share of the Earth’s resources“? Who measures our “ecological footprint“? (I’m a size 9.) And how can anyone work out, “the global average availability of resources“.

This is the kind of gobbledegook you can only get away with when you live a very sheltered life, mixing only with others in your bubble.

The final paragraph (below, my emphasis) leaves us in no doubt that everything that’s done in Wales from now on will be predicated on the belief that human beings are killing the planet.

To achieve this, sustainable development (the process that leads to Wales becoming a sustainable nation) will be the central organising principle of the Welsh Assembly Government, and we will encourage and enable others to embrace sustainable development as their central organising principle.

But as I’ve explained, there’s something more sinister behind it all. Which is not to say that those pushing the nonsense don’t believe it, I’m sure many of them do. But there are also many who go along with it because it’s become the accepted wisdom of the circles in which they mix.

Before I forget, chapter 8 is headed: ‘The Wellbeing of Wales’. (Now there’s a clue!)

The administration at the time was a Labour-Plaid Cymru coalition, and to jog your memory, here’s a cabinet group photo. The minister for environment and sustainability was Jane Davidson.

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2010: TECHNICAL ADVICE NOTE 6, ONE PLANET DEVELOPMENTS

July of 2010 brought joy unbounded with the announcement that hippy encampments, thrown up illegally (but with a nod and a wink from Corruption Bay), were now to be legitimised

Making TAN 6 little more than a general amnesty, or granting retrospective planning approval.

Dressed up as ‘sustainable living’, ‘self-sufficiency’, and God knows what else, they were in reality just a way around planning regulations for hippies and others to build ugly shacks in open country.

There were conditions attached, of course, not least, being able to prove that these impositions were to some degree self-sufficient . . . but nobody ever checks.

Interestingly, OPDs came to the notice of the World Economic Forum, which exposed the fundamental contradiction by urging people to move to Wales.

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For OPDs were justified by arguing they’d reduce Wales’ carbon footprint. But this could only happen if local people moved out of traditional dwellings into OPD shacks. That never happened.

Instead, people moved from England to previously unused land . . . where they kept farting animals, burned wood, and drove old diesel vehicles; so that by these and other means increased Wales’ carbon footprint.

In a recent publication I noticed that DEI had been added to the chicken entrails in the voodoo stew. This news came from Sophie Howe herself, just before she stepped down as Future Generations Commission in 2022:

I am pleased to see the emphasis given to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, a key component of sustainability . . .

But despite the posturing, OPDs remain exclusively English, White, middle class.

2011 OCTOBER: ALUN DAVIES AND ORGANIC ARABLE FARMING

Then there was the plan to help farmers go organic.

Alun Davies, deputy minister of agriculture, announced that priority would be given to arable farmers, and those converting to arable farming . . . in a country where climate and topography dictate that livestock farming will dominate.

But let’s not be picky, for I’m sure this news was welcomed in the pomegranate groves of Pembrokeshire and the broccoli orchards enhancing the Vale of Clwyd, but it offered sod all to most Welsh farmers.

This initiative might reveal the growing vegan influence. For these had been brought in from the fringes to serve the Globalists’ plan to eliminate livestock farming and take control of the land and the food supply.

2013 DECEMBER: ALUN DAVIES AND HIS TWO-PILLAR TRICK

The above date was when Alun Davies, now farm minister, announced that funding from the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Pillar 1 (direct payment to farmers) would be moved to Pillar 2 (‘other rural activities’).

Davies could have transferred anything up to 15%. Almost inevitably, he opted for the full whack. Defending the decision by saying Pillar 1 should not be seen as a “never-ending subsidy“.

To understand Alun Davies, and the socialist attitude to farming, here’s an outburst from him in October 2014.

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The former minister in the Labour ‘Welsh Assembly Government’ (for he was  sacked in July 2014) rails against ‘subsidies’; yet his administration had built up a vast third sector of cronies – all living off public funding!

And things have got worse, for now the ‘Welsh Government’ throws millions of pounds at Sustrans, Stonewall, wildlife trusts, and other pressure groups.

Clearly, in the eyes of Labour politicians there’s nothing wrong with subsidies per se, it all depends who’s getting them.

UPDATE 05.03.2024: But has Alun Davies recanted?

2015: WELL-BEING OF FUTURE GENERATIONS (WALES) ACT

This legislation was a long time in the planning, but we know who wrote it.

For this article from Sustainable Brands (scroll down) tells us it was Jane Davidson, who we met earlier as the minister for environment and sustainability in the 2007 – 2011 Labour-Plaid Cymru coalition.

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The article also says Davidson, ” . . . had her damascene moment at the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992“. But I don’t buy that.

For at the time she was a researcher for Labour MP for Cardiff West, Rhodri Morgan, who of course went on to become first minister of the Assembly. So was she representing him, or the Labour party, at Rio?

I think she’d already had her ‘damascene moment’, and she was there as one of the converted.

When she became Assembly Member for Pontypridd in 1999 Ponty was her ticket to more power and influence to push the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) narrative.

Which she did relentlessly and effectively.

And even though she stepped down as an AM in 2011 she never really left. For she was always in the shadows, nudging, hectoring, demanding. Now she chairs the ‘Welsh Government’s Wales Net Zero 2035 Challenge Group.

The significance of the Well-being Act is that, as was hinted in One Wales: One Planet in 2008, all other considerations must be subordinated to fighting the so-called ‘climate crisis’.

And this being the socialist hell that is Wales, the Act introduced yet more pointless bureaucracy and more opportunities for virtue signalling, with Public Services Boards for each of our 22 local authorities. (Yes, that’s right, 22 local authorities for a country of 3.2 million people.)

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Perhaps the real lesson Wales could teach the world is how to bring a country to its knees. For this is the Globalist plan for the West.

The politicians and their pet parasites who achieved this resent giving money to farmers and others, who actually work, and produce necessities.

2016 SEPTEMBER: START OF NVZ ‘CONSULTATION’

A Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ) is, according to the ‘Welsh Government’, “an area of land draining into ground or surface waters that are currently high in nitrate, or may become so if appropriate actions are not taken“.

It had always been accepted there was a problem, but it had also been understood that the problem was very localised, and seemed to be associated with dairy cattle.

Ostensibly to get a better understanding of the situation, the ‘Welsh Government’ launched a consultation process in September 2016.

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The map above, produced by Natural Resources Wales (NRW), shows that Water Framework Directive (WFD) catchment areas covering some 90% of the country reported 0 – 4 incidents in the period 01.01.2010 to 01.01.2016.

The problem was clearly very localised.

Which is why NRW suggested increasing the area covered by NVZ legislation from 2.4% (750 farm holdings) to 8%. But, and here I quote from:

The (now) Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, responded to the consultation replies a year later, in December 2017. She said she was “minded to introduce a whole Wales approach”.

Truth is, that had been the plan all along.

As an example of politicians going out of their way to make life more difficult for farmers – because of course there would be more expense and increased form-filling – the handling of NVZ legislation would be difficult to surpass.

This is how NFU Cymru described it:

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As things stand, the ‘Welsh Government’ has been forced to be marginally less vindictive. With slightly less punitive measures being introduced in stages, the next due in August.

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NVZ was part of a wider campaign to blame farmers for all pollution. To the extent of bribing river groups and other ‘environmentalists’. Done to protect the bigger culprit, Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water.

2018 JULY: ‘BREXIT AND OUR LAND’

Wales voted to leave the European Union 23 June 2016.

That is, the people voted to leave. The political class was outraged at the stupidity of the hoi polloi. The media agreed. While the ever-multiplying legions of third sector parasites were aghast at the thought of losing such a lucrative funding stream.

In response the ‘Welsh Government’ produced ‘Brexit and our Land‘. Wherein we read (page 3) what was to replace the CAP.

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But how can it talk of “food production” when we know Labour’s attitude towards farmers? While the reference to timber did not mean developing a genuine timber industry, it referred to what I’m now going to highlight.

Idly flicking through the annual accounts of Stoke engineering firm Goodwin Plc the other night I found this, on page 17.

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The site of this enviro-colonialism is north west of Llanwrtyd. But it’s happening all over Wales.

This is how it works: Land is bought and trees are planted by investors like Goodwin, who will own the land, the trees, and the carbon they capture. This carbon can not be included in Wales’ carbon inventory.

Which means that outside investors could buy up 50% of Welsh land, make billions from carbon capture, none of which would contribute to Wales’ national figure (or economy) – and the ‘Welsh Government’ would pay them to do it!

The rest of rural Wales, and the post-industrial areas, will be surrendered to foreign-owned wind farms whose owners will dole out beads and blankets to the desperate inhabitants of doomed communities.

And it’s all built on a scam, for carbon is no threat to the environment.

As for “Public Goods“, this is a phrase picked up from the bad company Welsh politicians keep. It can mean whatever the person using it wants it to mean.

Just think of it as bollocks; usually delivered in Estuary English.

2018 AUGUST: SUMMIT TO SEA

This project links with Brexit, and the publication you read about in the previous section. It’s ‘environmentalists’ seeking to capitalise on the new reality to grab a huge swathe of Welsh land.

The project began before the date I’ve just given, but I used that date because it’s the first time I mentioned the project on this blog. Click here and scroll down to the section ‘Re-wilding’.

In essence, a number of individuals and organisations came together and hatched a plan to requisition 10,000 hectares, from Pumlumon up to the Dyfi estuary, and out to sea for a few miles.

Below you’ll see two maps. The one on the left was produced by those behind the project; the one on the right tells us who’s really behind it. But I’m not sure who produced the second.

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Admittedly, this was not a ‘Welsh Government’ policy . . . but I believe those involved had discussions with politicians and civil servants, and had been assured that Brexit could be the excuse used to withhold or ‘redirect’ farm subsidies.

Those involved were so confident of success, so arrogant, that they saw no need to engage with those whose land they wanted to appropriate. For it was a done deal.

Among the partners with Rewilding Britain was the Woodland Trust (WT). Here is Natalie Buttriss of the WT being interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today in October 2018. And she plays the admonishing memsahib for all she’s worth.

Summit to Sea met its Waterloo at a public meeting in Talybont, north of Aberystwyth on 31 July 2019, when locals made their feelings unmistakably clear to even the thick-skinned individuals involved.

Partners such as Ecodyfi and Rewilding Britain soon withdrew, and the project was then taken over by the RSPB. The organisation that cares so much for birds, but has no issue with bird-killing wind turbines. (I wonder how much that silence costs.)

The Woodland Trust is still taking over Welsh land to plant trees and profit from the carbon capture scam you read about earlier. But all done of course to save the planet.

Summit to Sea was an attempt by ‘environmentalists’ and ‘conservationists’ to grab Welsh farmland using the threat of subsidy withdrawal. So it’s no surprise to learn that many see the Sustainable Farming Scheme as Summit to Sea repackaged.

LATE 2018: TIT-BITS

In September, Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, was in Frisco, at a UN bunfight giving business leaders a chance to impress politicians from the sub-national level.

What could possibly go wrong?

Griffiths came back, her rechargeable batteries humming, and a week or so after her return delivered this speech.

A month later the Daily Post produced this article in which farmers accused wildlife groups of lying about bio-diversity loss in order to grab farm funding. I include it because it introduces an important new tactic into the ‘Welsh Government’s war on farmers.

Hoping to hide the source of the attacks the Corruption Bay establishment was now funding wildlife trusts and other groups to do the dirty work. I wrote about this just last month, in Wildlife Trusts, Crazy Money, Hidden Agendas.

Quoted in the DP article was Katie-Jo Luxton of the RSPB:

Writing in today’s Daily Post, RSPB Cymru director Katie-jo Luxton said it was in farming’s interest to work with wildlife groups – and take what’s being offered.

Only by doing this can the industry justify its receipt of taxpayers’ money, she said. Otherwise the industry risks losing out in the post-Brexit scramble for public funding.

That sounds like dialogue from a very bad Mob movie! “Dis is da best deal ya gonna get, Louie, take it – if ya knows what’s good for ya!

Also note, another reference to “taxpayers’ money“, and “the post-Brexit scramble for public funding“. They’re all reading from the same script.

Having pissed off many, many people, Luxton left the RSPB towards the end of 2021 and joined BirdLife International.

In four years between 2018 and 2022 BirdLife’s income shot up from £22 million to over £40 million. Another indicator of how governments and corporations are using wildlife groups and conservationists to undermine agriculture globally.

Wildlife trusts here saw their income more than double between 2019 and 2022. But income from ‘Welsh Government’ grants and contracts rocketed from £769,310 to £6,821,800 in the same period.

2019 APRIL: ‘WELSH GOVERNMENT’ DECLARES CLIMSATE EMERGENCY

April 2019 was tough in Wales. I recall people running into the streets screaming, “Lesley Griffiths (and Gary) have declared a climate emergency!

Well, maybe I exaggerate a wee bit. For truth is, nobody really paid any attention to this pronunciamento.

Nevertheless, it was followed, in June, with a ‘10-point Plan To Fund Wales’ Climate Emergency‘ from the Future Generations Commissioner.

As might be expected, planting trees and making life even more difficult for farmers figured big in this mercifully short document.

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The reality is that despite all the grandstanding, no other country on this doomed planet has allowed OPDs, created the useless post of Future Generations Commission, or declared a climate emergency.

There’s a message there.

2019 OCTOBER: ‘WALES MAY BE A SMALL NATION . . . ‘

In full: “Wales may be a small nation, but we have a big ambition“.  The words spoken by Lesley Griffiths, at a Climate Change conference in Cardiff City Hall.

Among the world-renowned climate experts attending was “ITV weather presenter Ruth Wignall“. Further down we read:

For every attendee at the conference a tree will also be planted in Mbale, Eastern Uganda, as part of the Welsh Government’s Wales for Africa programme.

Farmer Nimrod Wambette, from Mbale, will speak at the conference about how his home region is already feeling the impacts of climate change.

After enjoying an expenses-paid trip to Cardiff and a bit of pocket money Nimrod could be guaranteed to stick to the script.

It’s just more of the same, a rather sad and desperate combination of hyperbole and hysteria for which, in kinder and saner times, people would have received treatment. But what really caught my eye was this sentence:

Representatives from Extinction Rebellion will be attending to share some of their ideas about how we should be responding to the climate emergency

When you read that you know the nutters have really taken over the asylum.

2023 NOVEMBER: AGRICULTURE (WALES) ACT 2023

This new legislation is designed to increase the influence of ‘environmentalists’ and ‘conservationists’ over Welsh farming. How do I know? Because the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) takes credit for influencing it.

It’s there, on page 4 of the WWF Annual Report.

We launched and led a successful campaign to help put the climate and nature emergencies at the core of the new Agriculture (Wales) Bill. Through a survey of rural Wales, an open letter signed by more than 50 organisations, a petition and more, WWF Cymru’s Land of Our Future/Gwlad Ein Dyfodol campaign advocated for agroecology to be central to the bill

Those experts on Welsh farming, the British Mountaineering Council, signed the WWF petition . . . but our farming unions did not.

The same WWF that’s in partnership / funded by Tesco which, like other supermarket chains, is screwing our farmers.

Makes you think, eh!

CONCLUSION

And so we come to the Sustainable Farming Scheme, for which ‘consultations’ end on Thursday. Though I suspect that, as with NVZ and other proposals, it’s a done deal.

For Labour’s attitude towards farmers is clear. In recent months we’ve heard Joyce Watson, Mike Hedges, and first minister Drakeford himself express contempt.

To leave us in no doubt about Labour’s hatred for farmers Anna McMorrin, (former?) partner of Alun Davies, called hard-working Welsh farmers extremists, climate deniers, and conspiracy theorists in the House of Commons last week.

I could have introduced other examples of the ‘Welsh Government’s contempt, such as the refusal to do anything about bTB . . . other than to order the killing of cattle.

But I’ve given enough clues for you to guess how I see the big picture.

Wildlife and environmental groups, and more recently the ‘Welsh Government’, tell us that 80/90% of Wales’s land is taken up by farming. There’s a reason for that.

By ‘farming’ they mean livestock farming. But it’s not really about farming, it’s about the land used by farming. The talk of farting cows, dirty rivers, biodiversity loss, etc, are the excuses used to destroy farming and to facilitate a land grab.

Land that’s wanted for carbon capture trees and rewilding. Which go together. Can’t have beavers without trees. And almost all the critters planned to be re-introduced are forest dwellers.

UPDATE 05.03.2024: I’ve been sent a pro forma letter that English ‘environmental’ groups have asked members and supporters to submit to the SFS consultation.

In the first line of the second paragraph: ” . . . upwards of 84% of land in Wales managed for farming”. It really chokes them, all this land – and they want it!

This also explains the involvement of vegans, and the backing for organic arable farming. Meat will be an imported luxury item that most of us will be unable to afford. (We’ll be offered insects, and factory-made ‘meat’.)

The countryside of the future will belong to an elite that will justify its advantages, and the restrictions placed on the rest of us, car-less in our 15-minute, constantly-surveiled cities, as being necessary to save the planet.

Having submitted to this cult-agenda, Labour politicians will destroy Welsh farming as we know it. And with it, a culture, a language, and a way of life.

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2024

Wildlife Trusts, Crazy Money, Hidden Agendas

This is a follow-up to last week’s piece on the enviro-shysters blaming farmers for everything wrong with our rivers, and those behind them hoping to get their corporate claws into farmland.

MERGERS

First, let’s make sure you know where our five wildlife trusts are located. On the image below you can also see the difference in the sizes of the areas they cover.

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Given the other mergers that have taken place over the years it might be worth asking why Montgomeryshire and Radnorshire didn’t join with Breconshire to form a Powys trust? For until 2018 there was a Brecknockshire Wildlife Trust, but then it merged with the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales.

The Wildlife Trusts Wales Ltd, the umbrella body, dissolved itself 22 March 2022 and the individual trusts joined the English Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts. (Trading name: ‘The Wildlife Trusts’.)

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The WTW charity de-registered.

What had been the Welsh umbrella outfit may even have joined the English body as a separate and individual trust. Certainly, that’s what the website seems to tell us.

When the end came for WTW, the funds were distributed to the five trusts, which makes sense. But I was surprised to see an inrush of grants in the final year.

Why was that, and why couldn’t the money have been given directly to the individual trusts? Finally, what the hell is a ‘Strategic Allocation Grant’?

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Anyway, that’s how we got to where we are now, Wales has five wildlife trusts. Also, Wildlife Trusts Wales, existing is some kind of limbo.

WILD THINGS

Let’s stick with finances, which suggest to me that wildlife trusts have recently been ‘repurposed’. Let me try to explain . . .

There seem to be three main sources of income for wildlife trusts: One is donations or legacies, and a bequest of £1,000,000 in 2003 must have helped keep Brecknock afloat for a while.

The others sources are, either the Lottery (which is little more than disguised UK government funding), and grants and contracts from our ‘Welsh Government’. The table below might help.

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Amazing figures. While total income for the five trusts increased by 133% between 2019 and 2023, for the same period ‘Welsh Government’ funding went up by 760%.

In fact it was more. I didn’t include Radnorshire because I wasn’t sure how to express that increase as a percentage. Should it be 579,620%?

Below I use Charity Commission graphs that I find very helpful. (Here in pdf format.) You can see them individually by clicking on these links: North, Montgomeryshire, Radnorshire, Gwent, South and West.

The other tabs bring up further information.

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For the South and West there’s been little discernible increase. There’s been no startling increase for Montgomeryshire or Gwent either.

Though Montgomeryshire has been getting money for old rope through the Wild Skills Wild Spaces project, worth £700,000 and which, from what I can see, does little more than show people how to go for a walk.

The big jumps in funding are clearly in Radnorshire and the north. In percentage terms Radnorshire really stands out. But why?

One reason may be that the local trust now has a farm, Pentwyn, which is planned to become ‘Wilder Pentwyn‘. The Trust is well-favoured in Corruption Bay, and gets visits from Minister for Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths (and Gary?), helping her promote the Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS).

The SFS demands that all Welsh farms give over 10% of their land for trees, and a further 10% for ‘wildlife habitat’. Farmers are, understandably, resisting. And things may be coming to the boil.

But it could get worse, for in its latest annual report the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust (RWT) demands that by 2030: ” . . . 30% of land and water in Radnorshire is managed in a way that creates extensive natural habitats for a wide variety of species”.

How will RWT achieve that target in just six years, considering it owns only one farm?

And how much input did RWT have to the Sustainable Farming Scheme?

Here’s an interesting group photograph. Unfortunately, I don’t have a date, but it can’t be that old. We’ll work left to right:

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Far left is Martin Wilkie, another environmentalist who’s come to tell us how to look after the country we’ve been looking after for over 2,000 years. Wilkie was with the RWT but has now branched out on his own with Wild Borders Ecology.

Next to him of course is Lesley Griffiths.

In the centre is James Hitchcock, RWT CEO.

To his right is Jenny Chryss, an investigative journalist. I’m told she broke with RWT when the Trust became, as my source put it, “corporate shills“. Chryss now fights Bute’s wind farm plans.

Far right is Rachel Sharp, CEO of Wildlife Trusts Wales (WTW). No friend of farmers, that one.

And talking of WTW, let’s not forget Tim Birch. A few years back he was virtually run out of Derbyshire for his extreme views . . . so he came to Wales, where he was welcomed with open arms by the ‘Welsh Government’.

For as I pointed out not so long ago, the ‘Welsh Government’ has regular chats with Extinction Rebellion.

Birch did somersaults when Lee Waters announced the end to road-building in Wales. This legislation was the brainchild of Dr Lynn Sloman, author of ‘Car Sick‘ . . . who lives in London but drives to her holiday home near Machynlleth.

These are the people deciding the future of rural Wales.

They don’t give a toss about us. For them our country is just one big experiment to see how many of their lunacies our idiot politicians will implement.

What we’ll see with Radnorshire Wildlife Trust at Pentwyn (and with others elsewhere), is that nature reserves will have a few sheep, a couple of cows, a rescued donkey for kiddies to pet – and they’ll be hailed as “the future of farming in Wales“.

In fact, that’s exactly what it says on the website: “A new model farm for the future“.

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I believe Radnorshire has been chosen by the ‘Welsh Government’ for a number of ‘initiatives’, and it’s been thrown open to all-comers.

For example, a source drew my attention to Protect Earth, a charity that’s applied for a grant to plant 14,000 trees at Goytre wood, near Knighton. No matter how it’s dressed up, this is just another carbon sequestration scam – and we’ll pay for it!

Protect Earth seems to have other projects in Wales.

Staying in Radnorshire, another new venture is Wilba Conservation Ltd, formed in April 2022, and also into ‘silviculture’. So more carbon sequestration scams.

Wilba is owned by Marches Business Group Ventures Ltd, which itself was formed just a month earlier.

When Wilba need a professional ecologist they turn to Martin Wilkie of Wild Borders Ecology. Ain’t it cosy?

‘Environmentalism’ has become a racket.

As I explained, Wildlife Trusts Wales Ltd was dissolved as a company 22 March 2022, and is no longer registered with the Charity Commission. Yet the website is still active and quotes the defunct registration numbers.

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Rachel Sharp’s LinkedIn page confirms she’s still with WTW, and we know Tim Birch works with her. How many more work for this non-existent outfit?

Seeing as Sharp and Birch serve as the ‘Welsh Government’s attack dogs I’m beginning to wonder if WTW is now ‘in-house’, funded by Lesley Griffiths and her gang.

Here are three questions for The Wildlife Trusts Wales:

  • What is the legal status of Wildlife Trusts Wales?
  • Where does the money to run it come from?
  • Where can I examine the accounts?

WHAT BORDER?

A few years back I was surprised to learn that the Shropshire Hills AONB might be extended into Wales. Here’s one reference from 2019. The article also suggests that the current AONB might be elevated to National Park status.

But if it were to cross the border, where would it go?

To help answer that question I’ve been busy on Photoshop. And when you fit the pieces together it makes a lot of sense, it even ties in with what I described earlier.

On the right in the diptych below we see a tourist map of Shropshire with the AONB shaded in darker green, in the south west. While on the left, I have fitted that map into the wildlife trusts map I used earlier.

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Any extension into Wales would affect both Montgomeryshire and Radnorshire, but more so the latter.

Which I’m sure would make Trust CEO James Hitchcock ecstatic. For he is on record as saying: “We’re in the Welsh Marches. The Marches is a mindset and a cultural identity. Nature does not heed boundaries.”

And let’s remember that before crossing the border Hitchcock was CEO of Herefordshire WT. Which presents a puzzle.

When Hitchcock left Herefordshire that trust was pulling down an average of £1.6m a year. By comparison, Radnorshire wasn’t scraping together a third of that. So it could be argued that Hitchcock took a step down when he started his new job 1 February 2021.

Two months after Hitchcock laid out his pens on the CEO’s desk Wildlife Trusts Wales decided to dissolve itself, with the individual trusts joining the English body. Is that just a coincidence?

No.

I believe Hitchcock was recruited to promote the ‘Welsh Government’s agenda. (Maybe a bigger agenda.) And this explains why he and the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust are feted by Lesley Griffiths and other denizens of the Bay.

Yes, I’m flying a kite by theorising on why Hitchcock came to Wales, but extending the Shropshire Hills AONB into Wales came from somewhere else. And it all ties in perfectly with the ‘Wilder Marches’ project.

But plans for new National Parks and AONBs do not end with a cross-border extension of the Shropshire Hills.

You must be aware of the decision to make the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB into Wales’s fourth National Park. Here are some details from Natural Resources Wales.

An argument I’ve heard used to justify the new NP is that the south east has one with Bannau Brycheiniog; the south west has the Pembrokeshire Coast; the north west, Eryri; so it’s only fair that the north east should also have a National Park.

But if the ‘geographical fairness’ argument has been accepted, then there’ll be just one area without a National Park – central Wales. And why not make it a cross-border National Park?

Co-operation, innit? ‘Hands across the Dyke’ an’ all that.

UPDATE: A comment to this blog reminds us that the area covered by the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust and it’s Montgomeryshire neighbour is almost the same as the area of  Severn Trent Water.

Given that environmental groups and river ‘saviours’ in other parts of Wales have been used (and funded) to blame farmers, in order to cover up for Dŵr Cymru’s spillages and other misdemeanours, might that also be happening in Powys?

CONCLUSION

There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with National Parks, AONBs, wildlife trusts and nature reserves. But they’re no longer just about protecting landscapes, nurturing flora and fauna. They have been politicised, and funded, to serve other agendas.

And the attacks against farming keep coming. Saturday saw the contribution below from Jenny Rathbone MS. And if you want a full tote bag of Green-left hysteria then here it is. And here’s the link to the article she quotes.

She brings Brexit into a truly weird conspiracy theory. Most absurdly she seems to believe that putting our farmers out of business somehow guarantees food security. What do these people have between their ears?

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And what “nature catastrophe“? Things have never been  better. Hasn’t she heard that ospreys are nesting on the farm her government bought for £4.25m?

Though we won’t know if they’re coming back, or not, until Vaughan Gething is safely installed as the new Labour leader. Phew!

But they were definitely there last year, oh yes . . . even though nobody saw them. And no photos or videos have emerged.

By “food security” what Rathbone means is an endless supply of free range radishes from the OPD that daddy bought for Guy and Clarissa.

Rathbone herself is sprung of a wealthy Liverpool family and does well from her cut of the various trusts and other bodies bearing the Rathbone name.

She sits on the Senedd’s Climate Change Environment and Rural Affairs Committee. Her partner, John Uden, was given a no-show job by Bute Energy, the Scottish company wanting to throw up a few dozen wind farms in Wales.

How the other half lives, eh!

I was directed to another Saturday posting on X, this one from Jeremy Clarkson.

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Other people have the same problem, Jeremy. And the explanation is that the ‘Welsh Government’ tells porkies.

Lesley Griffiths, Julie James, Jenny Rathbone et al say they’re saving the planet, fighting a “climate catastrophe“, but in reality they’re forcing farmers out of business so that big corporations can buy the land, and make yet more money, from carbon sequestration, wind farms, and other scams.

With ‘environmentalists’ disguising this land grab and hoping to be rewarded with vast acreages for rewilding and other anti-human activities.

And that’s why only 3% of farmers trust the ‘Welsh Government’. (Though I’m surprised it’s that high.) It also explains why the protests have started.

This dishonest behaviour is not confined to agriculture,

Last year the ‘Welsh Government’ introduced it’s 20mph legislation. The justification was road safety. But Lee Waters and the rest also want to sneak in legislation on noise, and emissions; to make ‘idling’ an offence, introduce road charging.

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‘Safety’ was just the pretty wrapping – it is ultimately about taking away our cars, and keeping us penned in 15-minute ghettos.

Environmentalism and restoring biodiversity are also pretty wrapping for something more sinister. And it’s not just farmers under attack.

The ‘Welsh Government’ is implementing the Globalists’ de-growth agenda. And among other targets this agenda wants to destroy traditional farming and food production because if they can control the food supply, then the Globalists will control the world.

Don’t let it happen. The farmers’ fight is your fight. Stand with the farmers!

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2024

River Action UK Investments Inc

This week’s piece links Globalist corporations, environmental groups, and politicians. What unites this unsavoury trio is their shared desire to destroy livestock farming.

THE CIRCUS COMES TO TOWN

Last week there was a court case brought by the charity River Action UK against the Environment Agency (EA) for not dealing with the problem of chicken manure pollution on the river Wye. Even though the EA is responsible for England, the High Court case was heard in Cardiff.

Which encouraged a bunch of exhibitionists to turn up and piss people off with their ‘street theatre’. Even Morris dancing! Here’s the report from Llais y Sais last Thursday.

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As you can read, the article itself reported: “A large amount of organic manure has been spread over the area . . .

Yet it also reported: “River Action insists a loophole in the law is allowing poultry farming to poison the Wye“.

The first quote makes clear the problem is caused by arable farms using chicken manure as organic fertiliser. Yet River Action UK chooses to blame chicken farms.

Of course, most of these arable farms are on the English side of the border, which makes the nonsense in Cardiff last week even more misplaced.

But why would River Action want to blame chicken farmers when they know the run-offs causing the pollution are coming from arable farms? Stick with me and I’ll explain.

First, let’s see what we can learn about River Action UK.

WHO’S WHO: JAMES EDWARD MACPHERSON

River Action UK registered as a CIO-Foundation 29 June, 2021. Though as you’ll see in a minute, it existed in some form from 01 January 2021.

Though new, it’s expanding, and the most recently filed accounts, for year ending 31.03.2023, showed a healthy income of £485,398 (previous year, £278,080), ‘Cash at bank and in hand’ £249,786 (£48,202), and three employees (none).

That’s quite impressive. So who’s running this outfit?

Well, according to the website, there is a veritable host involved, none of whom seem to be Welsh. Unless we include a Vietnamese woman named Bic Jones, who is said to live in that mythic realm, ‘North Wales’.

Among the others listed I see Jeremy Wade, who is often on the telly, filmed in exotic locales wrassling with big ugly fish.

And of course George Monbiot is there, his icon-like countenance staring back at us planet-destroying sinners.

But we’re going to focus on James Edward MacPherson, who’s bio we find to the right of Wade’s.

Because according to the Charity Commission, MacPherson was the first trustee to be registered, which gives him a kind of founder status, I suppose. So why isn’t he playing a more prominent role in River Action?

Or to put it another way, why was he the founding trustee? Come to that, who is he?

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His Linkedin profile tells us that he’s a big shot in the world of finance and investment. Having worked for Warburg Pincus, Merrill Lynch, and BlackRock.

To bring us up to date . . . he became a non-executive director of J P Morgan Global Growth & Income Plc in April 2021, and since March 2023 has also been a senior advisor at Hambro Perks Environmental Technology.

At the foot of MacPherson’s Linkedin profile we see a kind of ‘Jimmy loves Larry’.

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However you look at it, that’s an impressive CV. But it also suggests MacPherson sees the great outdoors as an investment opportunity.

At the time he became founder-trustee of River Action UK MacPherson was a director of The Investor Forum. And if you want to know the meaning of ‘vacuous’, then just turn to ‘What we do‘.

It seems to be a collection of commercial entities burnishing their environmental credentials by investing in Green stuff. MacPherson ceased to be a director just two weeks after becoming the original trustee of River Action UK.

Before moving on, I’d like to point out that among the Investor Forum Members we see Hambro, J P Morgan, Rothschild, and Rathbones.

The Rathbones are a wealthy Liverpool family, and family members still get their cut from associated companies. And that includes Jenny Rathbone MS.

She sits on the Senedd’s Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee. Her partner, John Uden, was given a no-show job by Bute Energy, the Scottish company wanting to throw up a few dozen wind farms in Wales.

WHO’S WHO: CHARLES BASIL LUCAS WATSON

Described as “founder and chair” is Charles Watson, who you can see in the mercifully short video below. Charles also has an interesting background in the world of business, which we’ll look at in a mo’.

Also in the video is Nicola Cutcher, who made the Rivercide video with Monbiot. Which is of course about the Wye. Delivered with the balance that so delights Monbiot’s fans.

I’m sure that most appearing on the website have only a tenuous connection with River Action. So what do the filings with the Charity Commission tell us?

As we can see above, the trustees other than MacPherson, are: Charles Basil Lucas Watson, who we just saw in the video, and Marina Gibson, who appears on the Advisory Board next to fish-wrassler Jeremy Wade.

Like MacPherson, Watson has a fascinating business background. According to Companies House these are the companies he’s been involved with. Though I can only see one active company where he’s still on board.

Two that he left in May and June 2020 were companies in the Teneo group. And among Teneo’s ‘People’ we find Lord Davies of Abersoch and Lord Hague of Richmond, but resident in Powys.

In 2019 Teneo sold a majority stake to CVC Capital Partners, which has assets of $140 billion (2022).

The third company that Watson left, in May 2020, is Blue Rubicon (Holdings) Ltd. Another part of the Teneo setup. Specialising in ‘PR and Communications’.

The only active company that Watson is still with is The Conduit Connect Ltd.

Conduit Connect directors. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Most of the companies Watson has been involved with have had a US presence on the board. Sometimes more than one American director.

WHO’S WHO: MARINA GIBSON

Ms Gibson is the third of the trustees named on the filings with the Charity Commission. Here’s her Linkedin profile.

And here’s a clip from the River Action website.

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Seeing as Marina Gibson knows her fish, and was taken on as trustee a year after MacPherson and Watson, I guess she was recruited to give River Action some credibility.

Her Linkedin profile says she is a ‘brand ambassador’ for YETI, a big company making ‘outdoor’ stuff. So it would make sense to team up with Marina Gibson. And yet . . .

YETI came knocking at the very time Gibson joined River Action, which was at the beginning of 2021. And YETI is another big US company, headquartered in Austin, Texas. But it does have a UK presence, registered with Companies House.

And although the company’s address is in London, the two US directors give a Bristol address. River Action UK is also based in central Bristol.

And YETI UK must be doing something right, because turnover leapt from £901,389 at the end of December 2019 to £18,712,613 31 December 2022.

WHO’S WHO: THE LOST BEATLE

According to this River Action website article, from two days before Christmas 2021, another trustee was to have been James Wallace. Instead, he became CEO.

Now I can’t tell you much about Wallace except that he’s keen on rewilding, especially re-introducing beavers. His bio on the River Action website makes him sound like Indiana Attenborough:

James is Chief Executive of River Action. He is a naturalist, archaeologist and social entrepreneur and has established enterprises ranging from renewable energy, regenerative agriculture and green finance to ecotourism, nature restoration and deep sea exploration. Prior to helping Charles Watson develop River Action into a national charity, James was CEO and Co-founder of Beaver Trust where he led the coalition to protect and live alongside native beavers.

He’s also concerned with London going short of water. And while the Independent may say this is due to, over-abstraction, over-use and wastage through leaking pipes“, we know from where, in the long-term, London hopes to get its water.

Was it not foretold by Boris Johnson?

SUB-CONTRACTING

In the filings with the Charity Commission I noticed a mention of the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust. So I wondered what it was about.

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Looking at the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust accounts two possibilities present themselves. (Highlighted in green.) First, the Trust is being paid to host a ‘beaver project officer’, and we know that River Action CEO James Wallace is into beavers.

Another possibility is that the payments were connected with a ‘Save the Wye’ petition put out by the Trust. Which, of course, targets chicken farmers.

But if so, why couldn’t River Action have put out that petition itself?

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Talking of money, and as you can see from the panel above, Radnorshire Wildlife Trust received £1,862,146 in y/e 31.03.2023, and its property portfolio qualifies for farming grants and funding from just about everywhere.

By my calculations, in y/e 31.03.2023, Radnorshire Wildlife Trust received £666,103 from ‘Welsh Government’ sources alone. (Highlighted in pink.) Here’s one example.

That’s the state of Wales in 2024. Those who’ve farmed the land for centuries are being driven off, while environmentalists and investors are showered with money to take over the cleared land.

THE GREEN MONSTER DEVOURING WALES

In case you haven’t already guessed, I’ll spell out for you why (and despite evidence to the contrary) River Action UK chose to blame chicken farmers for the pollution in the Wye.

In 1971 the Club of Rome issued an apocalyptic vision of the future dreamed up by a few scientists using ‘models’ from primitive computers. In 1991 the ‘threat’ was re-framed to replace the collapsed Soviet Union.

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Globalists have used that ‘threat’ to bend politicians and populations to their will. Corporations like BlackRock, Vanguard and the rest, want to take over farmland in order to capitalise on that scam.

The land can be used in a number of ways; such as planting trees to grab the carbon offset and other grants they’ve fooled politicians into offering; or putting up wind farms and solar farms, then raking in the exorbitant profits from these unreliable forms of electricity generation.

Here is Wales we see the problem manifest itself in many ways, and in many different places. In Carmarthenshire, a company called Foresight is buying up farms to plant trees.

It should surprise no-one that Foresight is working with BlackRock. Foresight may even be owned by BlackRock.

So unless we believe in Damascene conversions it’s obvious to me that River Action is just another environmental group fronting for Globalist investors seeking to undermine livestock farming in order to grab the land.

The same applies to many other bodies. In Wales we have a constantly growing number of ecological and river groups funded by the ‘Welsh Government’ and other bodies for no reason other than to tell lies about farmers.

And it has to be livestock farming rather than arable farming (for now), because the Globalists have been clever in recruiting vegans.

A few years ago vegans were cranks that nobody paid much attention to, but now fanatical vegans are found leading the fight against livestock farming – and it has nothing to do with pollution, or the loss of biodiversity.

This is why Wales is especially at risk.

Earlier we read that the first trustee of River Action, James Edward MacPherson, works for the giant US bank and investment house J P Morgan.

Last year top man of J P Morgan, Jamie Dimon, came straight out and said private property should be confiscated in order to meet the net zero targets he and the other Globalists had set!

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And he wasn’t talking about Auntie Megan’s back garden.

Outfits like the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust know the score; they accept that the major landowners in a post-farming world will be Globalist corporations, even governments, but these will – they believe – allow window dressing in the form of rewilding and other fantasies.

That’s the deal they’ve struck.

But what of the politicians?

If the politicians we suffer in Wales have genuinely fallen for the Globalists’ climate / net zero scam, then they’re too stupid to hold public office.

If they know it’s a scam but still push on with it because they’re too weak to resist those directing them, then they deserve nothing but contempt.

But if they enjoy the power enforcing the scam gives them over people fighting for their livelihoods and their way of life, then they are, “lower than vermin”.

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2024

Labour And Plaid Cymru Plot To Destroy Welsh Democracy

In this post we’ll look at the proposed Senedd ‘reforms’, focusing on the closed list system, the method of counting the votes, the design of the ballot paper, and then I’ll try to explain it all.

There have been calls for many years for a bigger Senedd so that it can give better ‘scrutiny’. That may have been the original intention, but I believe other considerations came into play. And these account for the deviations from the original proposals made by the Expert Panel in 2017.

At present, we have 60 Senedd Members. One from each of our 40 Westminster constituencies, elected by first past the post; the other 20 from 5 regions, each returning four Members, these elected by the less than perfect d’Hondt system. Explained here by Labour MS Mike Hedges.

Wales’s representation at Westminster is being reduced to 32 MPs. Those controlling Senedd reform have decided to ‘pair’ these seats to give 16 huge and unwieldy constituencies each of which will elect 6 Members by the d’Hondt method.

1/ THE EXPERT PANEL

The process that brought us to this point seems to have begun with the appointment in February 2017 of an Expert Panel (EP) to look into expanding the (then) Assembly.

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This group reported in November 2017. And among other things, suggested three possible electoral systems (p 129). These were:

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The system favoured by the Panel was the Single Transferable Vote.

You’ll perhaps note, by it’s absence, any mention of the closed list system that has been decided upon, and is now being widely criticised.

Or rather, the closed list was mentioned, and rejected (p 128).

This EP report was studied by our esteemed tribunes, its recommendations initially accepted, before being cast aside. Not because it wasn’t a fine piece of academic work, but because, as time went on, it could not deliver changed priorities.

Making the whole EP exercise a waste of time. Unless the hope was that the public would think what politicians subsequently came up with had the imprimatur of those experts.

2/ COMMITTEE ON SENEDD ELECTORAL REFORM

The next step was the Committee on Senedd Electoral Reform, which first met in January 2020. The Committee was dissolved following a debate on its report on Wednesday 7 October 2020.

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Here’s the Committee’s Report from September 2020, and here’s a summary of its recommendations. Note that it agrees with the Expert Panel in recommending the Single Transferable Vote.

Though it also makes a reference to “diversity quotas for protected characteristics other than gender”. I think we can guess where that’s heading.

3/ SPECIAL PURPOSE COMMITTEE ON SENEDD REFORM

Now we move on to October 2021, when a fresh Committee was established to take things forward, with Huw Irranca-Davies providing continuity.

Here are all the members. From what I can see, the only Conservative, Darren Millar, soon distanced himself. I guess he could see the direction of travel.

The remit and the committee. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

The Special Purpose Committee on Senedd Reform published its report ‘Reforming our Senedd: A stronger voice for the people of Wales’ on 30 May 2022. Here’s a link to that report. Let’s pick out a few choice bits.

In the ‘Recommendation’ (pages 9-12) two that caught my eye were . . .

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In 14 we read that all political parties are to be ‘encouraged’ to publish “a diversity and inclusion strategy”. More ‘diversity’!

I found 17 remarkable in that it says those framing these proposals fear being referred to the Supreme Court. Suggesting that what they’re proposing may be unlawful.

Moving on to ‘Electoral System’, on page 26, where we read, solemnly inscribed: “Electoral systems are one of the fundamental building blocks of democracy”.

Too bloody right, Comrade! Let’s all remember that.

The Expert Panel’s favoured system of the Single Transferable Vote, endorsed by the Committee on Senedd Electoral Reform, was rejected by Huw Irranca-Davies and his new playmates because it, ” . . . was an unfamiliar system in Wales and that the method of translating votes into seats would be seen as complex and difficult to explain”.

In other words, electorates around the world may have got used to STV, but Welsh voters are uniquely stupid.

So why not elect three Members from each of the 32 new constituencies in the same way we elect councillors? It’s a system we twp Taffs are familiar with.

Jane Dodds (Liberal Democrat) favoured STV, so did Siân Gwenllian (Plaid Cymru), but, “in the spirit of achieving the supermajority required to deliver Senedd reform” Siân Gwenllian fell into line.

Not a whimper of dissent was heard from Elin Jones (Plaid Cymru).

So the Committee rejected the Single Transferable Vote, also the other two options  recommended by the Expert Panel. Instead, and for no obvious reason, went for what it calls, “the closed proportional list” system.

Certainly, the current method for electing our regional list MSs is a closed list, but does any country elect all its politicians by the closed list system?

When it comes to working out who gets to go to Corruption Bay the EP looked at two methods. The d’Hondt and Saint-Lagué divisor systems. The latter gives a more proportional outcome, and also gives more of a chance to smaller parties and independents.

Irranca-Davies and his friends of course plumped for the d’Hondt method.

Now we come to the most remarkable and worrying thing I encountered in all 92 pages. Scroll to page 38, and there you’ll see under ‘Ballot Papers’ . . .

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We would anticipate . . . some of the names . . . of candidates will appear . . . “.

ALL candidates’ names on the ballot paper should be a ‘given’. That it’s even being discussed strengthens my suspicions of the true motives behind this exercise.

So, let’s recap . . .

This Committee not only rejected the voting system recommended by the Expert Panel and accepted by the Committee on Senedd Electoral Reform in favour of the closed list, it also opted for the less proportional system for allocating seats, and finally, it even suggested not naming candidates.

How the hell does this improve democracy in Wales?

Moving on . . .

4/ REFORM BILL COMMITTEE

A Reform Bill Committee was established 12 July 2023. In the panel below you can see the Committee’s remit and its members.

The role of this group was to go through the Bill that resulted from the report of The Special Purpose Committee on Electoral Reform. Making Recommendations where it felt the need.

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The Reform Bill Committee’s report was published last month, and debated in the Senedd 30 January (No 8).

The motion: ‘To propose that Senedd Cymru in accordance with Standing Order 26.11: Agrees to the general principles of the Senedd Cymru (Members and Elections) Bill.’ was passed by 39 votes to 14. All Conservatives voted against.

It’s a weighty tome, 224 pages, and you can read it if you’re so minded. But I’ll focus on the issues I’ve already discussed, and see what, if anything, has changed.

In his Introduction, the chair, Labour’s David Rees MS, has this to say:

We have not reached consensus on all matters . . . But, we are unanimous in our concerns about the proposed closed list electoral system . . . We believe the link between voters and the Members who represent them is paramount.

We therefore urge all political parties in the Senedd to work together to ensure the electoral system in the Bill provides greater voter choice and improved accountability for future Members to their electorates.

He’s clearly not happy with the closed list. Neither is former Labour minister Lord David Blunkett. But as things stand, we’re stuck with it.

Next, I went to check on the design of the ballot paper, which Huw Irranca-Davies’s Committee had suggested need not carry the names of the candidates.

On page 105 I found what you see below. The ‘Member in charge’ is Mick Antoniw MS, Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution, who defends the recommendations of Huw Irranca-Davies’s group.

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If the closed list is used in 2026 then it’s unlikely it will ever be changed, because those who’ve benefitted from it, and then control the Senedd, will not vote to change it.

On page 111 Antoniw is pressed as to why the Bill being presented to the Senedd does not state categorically that candidates’ names will appear on the ballot paper. He gives the mealy-mouthed reply that it didn’t need to be set out in the Bill, but the matter will be addressed in “secondary legislation“.

On page 129 David Rees makes it clear that he believes candidates’ names on ballot papers should be stipulated in the Bill itself, not left to secondary legislation . . . which may never happen:

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In fact, a search of the published Bill for ‘ballot paper’ draws a blank.

I cannot believe that we have got this far in the passage of a ‘reform’ Bill that won’t promise candidates’ names on ballot papers.

But then, Antoniw is Zelensky’s man in Corruption Bay. And Zelensky’s not a big fan of democracy; he’s banned opposition parties and closed churches. But we’re still expected to believe that he’s fighting the Ivans in defence of democracy.

MAKING SENSE OF IT

When this process started, back in early 2017, with the appointment of the Expert Panel, there may have been a genuine intention to ‘improve democracy in Wales’.

Somewhere along the way the focus changed, it became more politicised, more partisan, and less democratic. I believe we can pinpoint when this happened. And also explain it.

It happened some time between the Committee on Senedd Electoral Reform reporting in September 2020 and the Special Purpose Committee on Senedd Reform publishing its report 30 May 2022. A year and a half in the time of Covid.

And here’s why it happened . . .

There’s a phenomenon I’ve reported on more than once and why, last June, I published, Wales: Ruled By Pressure Groups.

Pressure groups and organisations, some global, others organised on a UK-wide basis with a Welsh branch, but all pushing the Globalist holy trinity designed to destabilise and weaken the West:

  1. A climate-nature ‘crisis’ that demands a ruinous drive to net zero
  2. Constantly reminding White people how evil and privileged we are
  3. 101 genders that means men can have babies by ‘chicks with dicks’

This also explains calls to constantly lower the voting age. For children who’ve come through a school system influenced by Stonewall and other groups may be unable to read and write but they’re more likely to be suckered by a charlatan pushing the Globalist agenda.

The so-called ‘Welsh Government’ is now controlled by Agenda-loyal pressure groups. Having just mentioned Stonewall, you can see from this table that the ‘Welsh Government’, whether directly or through bodies it controls, is now that group’s largest single UK funder.

Another worrying feature that I’ve observed recently is the ‘Welsh Government’ taking over various organisations that should be independent. This is invariably achieved through funding, in the form of loans or grants, which is then used to justify ‘appointees’.

We’ve seen it across the board, from the Welsh Rugby Union and the Football Association of Wales to Bannau Brycheiniog National Park. I wrote about this dangerous trend, also last June, in ‘Taking Control, Of Everything‘.

What we see happening with the subverting of the Senedd reform process is a synthesis between the growing power of pressure groups and the increasing control freakery of a Labour party wholly committed to the Globalist agenda.

It will give Labour bosses control over the electoral system, and Senedd seats for pressure group parasitoids. Making the Senedd less representative because it will have more Members for whom the interests of Wales will be largely irrelevant.

It will also give the Senedd a near-permanent left / far left majority.

The only way to achieve a Senedd that works solely in the the interests of Labour and its rural variant (Plaid Cymru) is through a closed and anonymised list system.

Such a system also makes Plaid Cymru more of a hostage than a partner.

CONCLUSION & RECOMMENDATION

Until I started flicking through the various reports and other documentation I hadn’t fully appreciated how corrupted and dangerous the ‘reform’ plan had become.

Ask yourself – would anyone believe that in a European democracy in 2024 politicians could seriously propose closed list elections that are also anonymised?

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Why recruit an Expert Panel and then reject all three of its proposals for organising elections? And then, after comparing the d’Hondt and Saint-Lagué divisor systems, why choose the one that’s less proportional?

The answer is obvious, and so I repeat – these ‘reforms’ are not to make Wales more democratic, or provide ‘greater scrutiny’. They’re intended to give the leftist political class total control through an electoral system that can almost ignore the wishes of the people.

It’s a very obvious power grab. 

Power to serve The Agenda, that will demand the end of farming; 10mph (or no traffic at all to allow for daily Pride parades); 15-minute ghettoes; butchering confused 12-year-olds on the NHS; re-writing history; more foreign-owned wind farms; ‘inclusivity’ that will exclude most Welsh people, etc., etc.

While away from the noise of articulated idiocies and the din of clashing egos, out ‘there’, in the real Wales, people die in ambulances outside hospitals, and kids go hungry.

What has been stitched up by Labour and Plaid Cymru is so obviously anti-democratic, bordering on the dangerous, that it must be fought all the way.

To the Supreme Court, if necessary.

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2024

Miscellany 30.01.2024

For the first time in quite a while I’m putting out a Miscellany, an assortment of unrelated stories. There’s one from Wales and then we’re off to the USA, Ireland and the Eastern Front.

This is longer than recent posts but it’s four separate pieces with a wee monologue to end. So it should be easy enough to manage.

ASPIRING TO INSPIRE

Let’s start with someone who tried to cash in on the culturally destructive tourism afflicting Eryri by offering ‘adventure’, in the form of ‘bonding’ weekends for the staff of companies like Shyster and Scumbag (UK) Ltd of Rickmansworth.

Working backwards, this story takes life with a report that came out last week about fund-raising hikers left stranded near Mount Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania. The trip had been organised by Aspire Adventures Ltd, which left the 26 hikers stranded in Africa after they’d paid the company as much as £3,500 each.

Aspire Adventure and Expeds Ltd is now filing for liquidation. Though the company was only formed last April.

The mountain man involved is Jason Rawles. Let’s go to a site called Tales to Inspire, and this piece from November 2021. (Here in pdf format.) The article is presumably written by Rawles, but the foreword, the passage in bold print, this I assume has been added by the site publishers.

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What follows is an intriguing story about a kid from the slums . . . of St Albans. Doesn’t have the same menacing ring as the Gorbals, but there you go. The article, and the style, suggests someone with . . . well, I suppose the mot juste would have to be ‘imagination’.

What I find interesting is that although the Aspire company we’ve just looked at wasn’t formed until last year, Rawles was using the name back in 2021. So what’s his business background?

It’s clear that he’s unlucky when it comes to money. Here’s a report from October 2020 telling us that Rawles lost £250,000 overnight! (When his mattress caught fire?)

This earlier piece from September 2015 mentions a company called JR Mountaineering. But I can’t find any such company. Nor can I find a record of mountaineering / outdoor companies using the ‘Aspire’ name other than what looks to be an entirely unconnected outfit in the Peak District.

The only other company I can find is The Rawles Group Ltd, currently in its death-throes at Companies House. And it’s the company number for the Rawles Group that’s given at the foot of the website for the Aspire Leadership Academy. (Here in pdf version.)

And that’s about all I can find by way of companies: the Rawles Group and the outfit set up last year to arrange the Kilimanjaro jaunt. And I would guess that this second company had to be set up because the old one was heading down the Swannee.

But why did nobody check him out, especially after the allegations in 2021?

The address given for the company organising (or not, as the case may be) the Kilimanjaro trip is, Caban Cyf, Brynrefail. A village to the east of Caernarfon and just north of Llyn Padarn.

There is a company by that name that recently changed to a community interest company (CIC). Though Rawles doesn’t seem to be involved. It looks as if he was using the old school building as an accommodation address.

In the Caban building itself you can find Climb Snowdon, North Wales Sports Massage, and the Snowdonia Society. And within ice axe throwing distance, there’s Rock and Sea Adventures, Martin Chester – Guiding: Consulting : Coaching, Outdoor North Wales, and Gradient Adventure.

This helps explain how Coed Carreg y Fran becomes “The Mushroom Garden”, and Crib y Clogwyn Du turns into “Senior’s Ridge”.

For the area seems to have been invaded by fleece jacketed hearties of the kind destroying Welsh communities with their belief that Wales is England’s playground.

I’m sure they all know Jason Rawles. Maybe they’ll chip in to help him out.

TRUMP ON A ROLL

As I’ve mentioned a number of times, November sees the US presidential (and other) elections. At the moment it looks like Biden v Trump. But that could change.

Mainly because an increasing number of Democrat power-brokers, and others, know Biden can’t win, and some of them will be in trouble if Trump becomes president.

The Iowa caucus earlier this month, with Republican voters braving snow and ice, gave Trump 52% of the vote and 98 out of 99 counties. This was enough to make second-placed, Florida governor, Ron DeSantis abandon his campaign and get behind Trump. The result also pushed the other challenger, Nikki Haley, into third place.

It was argued by Trump’s opponents that Iowa is not ‘typical’ – but which state is?

Next it was New Hampshire, where Haley was expected to do better, and perhaps even win. In the end, and despite Democrats and Independents being allowed to vote for her, she ended up 11 percentage points behind Trump.

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Next up is South Carolina, Haley’s home state, on February 24. If she doesn’t win there by a big margin, then it’ll be all over, and Trump can be crowned.

Many in the Republican party distrust Haley. They think she’s a RINO (Republican In Name Only), or an agent of the uniparty Washington establishment, which amounts to much the same thing.

Among the other runners who have now pulled out is Vivek Ramaswamy, who impressed me greatly. He too has thrown his weight behind Trump. If he has a fault, it’s verbosity, but that can be curbed.

Remember the name.

Another great contribution was made by actor Burt Thakur, after Haley tried to play on the fact that she’s part-Indian. (Not that anybody had noticed or mentioned it.)

Ramaswamy and Thakur remind us of the contribution being made to the USA by Hindus. They work hard, they obey the law, they respect the country that has welcomed them, they don’t kill and rape its citizens.

It’s the same with Buddhists, Jews, Confucians, Sikhs, Taoists, Zoroastrians and the followers of Shintoism.

Incidentally, the tweet that contained the put-down from Thakur came from the X account of Simon Ateba, which I follow. Ateba’s African, and he’s rather conservative. The establishment hates him!

Ramaswamy, Thakur, Ateba and others expose the patronising basis of liberal-left race politics. Which says that anyone who isn’t White must be a victim of colonialism, slavery, white privilege, or whatever slogans are currently being screeched on campus.

Few things drive a Wokie crazy quicker than a non-White person saying, ‘Well, actually, I don’t feel oppressed. I worked hard in school, I got a good degree. Now I’m doing quite well. I believe in the USA, the nuclear family, and I think Donald Trump talks a lot of sense’.

The left-liberal response is wonderful to behold.

IRELAND: NO MORE WOMEN, NO MORE FAMILIES

I have mentioned Ireland a few times lately. There the Globalist agenda is being enthusiastically implemented and supported by the three main parties (Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin) and of course the Greens, who’ve gone so far down the rabbit-hole as to be at risk from dingoes.

Sinn Féin gained the most votes at the last general election (February 2020) and to keep them out of power an unlikely coalition was cobbled together between traditional rivals Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, plus the Greens.

Despite being excluded SF agrees with almost everything coming from the government, especially on climate, race, and gender. And of course, on the big issue in Ireland, mass immigration.

The opposition to the Globalist agenda comes from a growing number of politicians who’ve broken with their parties, and ‘insurgent’ parties such as the Irish Freedom Party and the even newer Farmers’ Alliance.

Irish Freedom Party Manifesto. Nothing there I would disagree with if applied to Wales. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

The European elections in June might indicate how much support there is for the new parties, and how much opposition to the establishment. Then again, getting new parties off the ground is not easy, and in Ireland, as elsewhere, the ‘mainstream’ media is in the Globalists’ pockets.

But before those elections, Ireland has a couple of linked referendums in March on changes to the Constitution. This is how the Electoral Commission explains it.

The first vote is being seen by many as an attack on the nuclear family; certainly, the nuclear family as most people understand it, which is a married heterosexual couple and their children.

It wants to replace family with the concept of a ‘durable relationship’. Which might seem acceptable, but as ever, the devil is in the detail. And the Electoral Commission didn’t help with this suggestion.

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So if young Dermot and the bird who’s now dumped him get a Christmas card addressed to both of them does that mean the relationship is back on? Mmm.

I have a long relationship with a number of Argentinean wine producers – does this make us ‘family’? (I hope so!)

It’s clear that the definition of ‘family’ is being extended beyond the heterosexual couple and their children to the “durable relationship”.

At which point the whole farce degenerates into a lawyers’ benefit fund. I mean, how do we even define “durable” – surely not by Christmas cards?

The second proposal removes “woman” from the Constitution. This might not arouse suspicion were it not that those proposing the change are the usual suspects who cannot define a woman but still think anyone can be one.

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Erasing “woman” from the Constitution has nothing to do with liberating adult human females and everything to do with pandering to deranged and dangerous men who want to be allowed to pretend to be women in any situation they choose.

Critics see another potential problem.

As I’ve said, the big issue in Ireland now is uncontrolled immigration. The arrival of large numbers of unvetted and almost exclusively male migrants. And it really is pushing people to the edge. A few weeks ago Mayo County Council in the west voted to refuse future cooperation with the Department of Integration. (i.e. immigration.)

If the proposals are accepted, then there’s little to stop each of these migrants bringing in others with whom they’ll claim a “durable relationship” of the kind the State says it will “strive to support”.

With or without Christmas cards.

PRODDING THE BEAR

Last week a former deputy commander of NATO, General Sir Richard Shirreff, suggested that the UK might need to bring back conscription.

Britain’s current numero uno, General Sir Patrick Sanders, chipped in by telling his troops to prepare to fight and beat Putin’s armies in a European land war.

This is pure Strangelove. I was half-expecting mention of bodily fluids. Then I learnt that the same calls were being made in other countries.

Clearly, there is a campaign to get people used to the idea of WWIII.

Germany, I can understand – but Australia! Click to open enlarged in separate tab

To explain what’s happening I think we need to start in Ukraine.

You know my take on events there. I set out my views soon after the conflict started. I haven’t updated it or changed anything.

To describe Russian action in Ukraine as ‘unprovoked aggression’ is like mistreating a dog over a long period of time and then feigning shock and outrage when it bites you.

Or maybe repeatedly poking a bear with a stick.

I say that because Russia didn’t want war in Ukraine, the Globalists wanted the war, the same people who engineered the 2014 coup, and then they despatched Boris Johnson to scupper the chance of peace.

It was hoped that by sending money and armaments to Ukraine a combination of Russian casualties and hardships at home would turn the people against Putin.

But the plan has failed. Ukraine is being bled white and is unlikely to hold out much longer. While the Russian economy may actually be stronger due to new markets, alliances, and trading partners. So a fresh approach is needed.

Which fits with US and Western foreign policy since WWII – engineer conflict and instigate regime change for corporate gain. We can trace this strategy back to at least 1953 and the removal of Mossadeqh.

(Cheeky blighter thought Iranians should benefit from Iran’s oil!)

The truth is that Russia lacks the manpower and other resources needed to mount an attack on Western Europe. And I don’t believe she plans to invade the countries that were formerly within the Soviet Union, or part of the Eastern bloc.

So rest easy, you won’t have telnyashka-clad Ivans larging it in your local.

By Kremlin.ru, CC BY 4.0, Link

But the facts remain. The Ukraine ploy has failed; so have sanctions; so maybe all-out war, or the threat of war, is the only way for the Globalists to get their hands on the wealth of Russia.

And note the number of times the issue is personalised. The message to Russians, from the highest-ranking general to the most wretched babushka, is clear: ‘Putin is the problem. Replace him with somebody we approve of, and there’ll be no war’.

If there is a land war with Russia, it will not be about ‘security’ or ‘deterring aggression’; it’ll be an asset grab, the biggest of all.

And of course, Russia cannot win a lengthy land war fought on a number of fronts. But she has new allies . . . and the biggest nuclear arsenal in the world.

So for God’s sake, somebody rein in these nutters!

But if you’re happy for your children, your grandchildren, to die for BlackRock, Vanguard and the WEF, then keep swallowing your daily dose of misinformation from the mainstream media.

Which is of course owned and / or funded by BlackRock, Vanguard, Bill Gates . . .

EPILOGUE

In recent years I have defended Western civilisation against the Quisling Left, Black racists, Islamists, and assorted muppets who portray all White people as descendants of slave-owners and colonialists, enjoying unspecified advantages over other races.

That’s the easy bit. For the benefits the White man has bestowed on humanity are incalculable and ubiquitous. Only twisted and embittered fools, or followers of a death-cult, would try to argue otherwise.

Much more difficult is defending the empty and battered shell of the modern West, hollowed out by anomie. A condition brought on by endless war, constant ‘threats’, ever-rising prices, engineered societal fractures, falling standards in public life – all serving to further enrich the already rich and give them more power over us.

The only way to break this cycle of decline is to return to those values that made the West great, and the world a better place.

Fundamental to any reformation must be an understanding of truth, a sense of right and wrong; and it’s almost irrelevant whether that’s premised on the Hellenistic tradition, the Judaeo-Christian, a simple form of dualism, or even Pinocchio.

What matters is knowing.

It begins with the individual who, in return for guarantees of personal freedom and security, abides by the laws agreed on by the elected representatives of the society in which he lives. And only those laws.

The individual will be part of a family, that most precious of all associations; always a target for dictators and totalitarian regimes.

Then we arrive at the nation. A number of people who, for whatever reason, feel a strong enough bond to regard themselves as a distinct grouping.

Nations may enter into any form of free and mutually-beneficial association, from which they should be free to withdraw at any time.

Truth, personal liberty, freedom of speech, the family, the nation, are all threatened by Globalism. Which is why it must be defeated, and not just for the benefit of those of us who see the threat but also, and perhaps more importantly, for those poor souls trapped in their silly cults about climate, gender, race.

So join the fight, even if it just means doing something simple like switching off the BBC, rejecting the Globalists’ political puppets, or supporting the farmers.

This is a fight we must win. Lose, and we may not get a second chance.

♦ end ♦

 

© Royston Jones 2024

Golden Grove: Past, Present, Future Generations

The piece you’re about to read poses as many questions as it provides answers. Which is unavoidable given the subject’s complexity. But as great-aunt Fastidia said when she organised Mussolini’s March on Rome  – “You gotta start somewhere, Benny”.

As an aperitif here’s a guest piece on this blog from 2016, just scroll down to the section ‘Golden Grant’.

BRIEF HISTORY

Golden Grove / Gelli Aur lies to the south west of Llandeilo. If we look at the map below we’ll find it in the bottom left quadrant.

The area immediately to the west of the town, shaded grey, is the Dinefwr estate, once home to the Rhys / Rice family, descended from The Lord Rhys. It’s now owned by the National Trust; with the castle ruins in the care of Cadw, and the woodlands entrusted to the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales.

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Another parcel of our land given over to people who think we Welsh are in the way.

Just down the road, Gelli Aur belonged to the Vaughan family, who claimed descent from the princes of Powys. They were a colourful bunch, experiencing their ups and downs; wealthy brides and royal favour to bankruptcies and beheadings.

The Vaughans became the Earls of Carbery. One was made Governor of Jamaica in 1674, with an even more colourful Welshman as his deputy. He was described by Pepys as “one of the lewdest fellows of the age”. Wow!

In 1804 the last John Vaughan died childless, and although there were many Vaughan relatives, including his sister, the estate passed to his friend, John Campbell, Earl Cawdor, who conveniently appeared with a will naming him heir.

Despite the obvious Scottish connection – with Nairnshire – Campbell’s mother was a Pryse of Gogerddan.

That’s enough nobs’ history. Let’s join the twenty-first century.

INTRODUCTION

After trying to set this out in the order suggested by Land Registry titles, and realising there was too much cross-referencing, I decided to go for chronological order dictated by those who’ve been involved at Gelli Aur over the past 20 years or so.

If I’ve missed anyone, then please get in touch, tell me your details, especially how much public funding you trousered.

Let’s start by saying that title number WA883292 ‘Golden Grove Mansion’, seems to have as its Registered owner, Carmarthenshire College of Technology and Art. Which makes sense as there is an agricultural college at Gelli Aur.

GELLI AUR LTD

The first outfit we’re going to look at is Gelli Aur Ltd. Formed 30 April 2001 and after lingering for years, finally departing this mortal coil in December 2010, leaving behind a stack of debts. Though a voluntary liquidator was appointed as early as July 2003.

The leading player in this company was Jeffrey Paul Thomas, based in the small town of Corsham, a mile or so from Chippenham, in Wiltshire.

Over the years Thomas has had many companies to his name.

At the demise of Gelli Aur Ltd there were three outstanding charges, two with Coleg Sir Gar, and one with the Welsh Development Agency. These were created just a year before the liquidator was appointed.

If you go to the ‘Filing History’ tab for Gelli Aur you’ll see, dated 29.03.2003, ‘Statement of affairs’ issued by the liquidator. I have extracted the final page and highlighted the debts with Welsh entities. (Here in pdf.)

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Among the non-Welsh creditors you’ll see Alkemi Group Plc, since re-named Alkemi Ventures Plc. Set up in February 2002, less than a year after Gelli Aur Ltd.

Alkemi was wound up April 2004 following a petition by the Commissioners of Inland Revenue. Here’s the relevant document. And finally dissolved in December 2010.

Yet in its brief spell on this Earth Gelli Aur Ltd managed to incur a debt of £685,347.00 with equally short-lived Alkemi. And bless me! – both companies were owned by Jeffrey Paul Thomas.

To claim when a company you own or owned goes belly-up that it owes you or another of your companies hefty sums is often a way of salvaging summat from the wreckage.

Who can forget how Paul and Rowena Williams of Plas Glynllifon claimed to be owed £11.75m when the company they’d passed on to an accomplice hit the rocks. Oh, how we laughed!

With Gelli Aur Ltd out of the picture the old pile was ready for the next ‘improvers’.

DIGRESSION 1

Though we see, picking up one of the pieces (from the liquidator), Golden Grove Estates Ltd, launched 24 October 2003, and which in April 2005 changed its name to Wingwest Ltd.

This company took over the Gelli Aur Ltd charge on the mansion. Here’s the relevant document. It was cleared in January 2007.

It makes sense because if we go back to the list of Welsh creditors we see ‘Stradform Ltd’ of Cardiff. Owed £317,000. The directors of Golden Grove Estates Ltd were also directors of Stradform.

We learnt at the start of 2008 that Stradform had been taken over for £7m.

Stradform was dissolved in October 2020.

BRIMASTON LTD

The title document linked to in the Introduction says: ‘Title closed (15.08.2002) – registration continued under CYM85255’. This title number refers to ‘Land to the east of Golden Grove Mansion’.

The registered owners of this title are Brimaston Ltd. A company Incorporated 16 September 2003, giving its address as 89 Hill Street, Haverfordwest. Its stated line of business was ‘Development of building projects’.

I use the past tense because Brimaston was Dissolved in May 2014. With no less than seven outstanding charges, all with Barclays Bank.

The first four were for Pembrokeshire farms, one fixed and floating charge, and then two relating to Gelli Aur. One for the mansion itself, the other for the West Lodge.

Unfortunately, none of the documents that would give more details about the charges are available on the Companies House website.

Gelli Aur mansion. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

From what I can see Brimaston was a company formed by the kind of people who move to Wales to run the ‘Welsh’ tourism industry. The farms they bought were to be used for ‘holiday barns’ and the like. Frightfully twee.

It seemed to go wrong when one of those involved succumbed to Parkinson’s, poor bugger, and perhaps when they realised that with Gelli Aur they’d bitten off more than they could chew.

Brimaston was struck off in May 2014.

On the Brimaston title document CYM85255 we read that it’s closed, and we are referred to CYM85254.

We’ll pick this up again in the section ‘Golden Grove Trust’.

DIGRESSION 2

Although they invested no money in Gelli Aur, interest was shown by a group from Bridgend who wanted to turn the old house into a home for ex-servicemen.

The Golden Grove Mansion Appeal Ltd was formed in December 2009 and, after a couple of name changes, was finally dissolved in December 2021.

It would appear that nothing came of it. Despite a lot of pennies being collected.

To complicate matters further, this entry on the Charity Commission website says the charity Healing The Wounds Ltd (the current name) is removed from the Charity Commission register, but is still raising funds.

Or am I reading it wrong? Your guess is as good as mine.

GOLDEN GROVE TRUST

As we can read: CYM85254 ‘Gelli Aur Country Park, Golden Grove’ was transferred 16 September 2011, for £1,360,000, to the Golden Grove Trust (then of London). (Other title numbers mentioned in CYM85254 refer to: Cilsane Isaf Farm, Allt y Wern, Golden Grove Home Farm.)

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Golden Grove Trust came in the form of art historian Richard Christopher Salmon and pointillist William Powell Wilkins. There is also a Golden Grove Trust charity.

Wilkins the Dots was gone by March 2013, but Salmon hung on until June 17 last year. Though David Nicholas Salmon, who I suppose is related, didn’t cease being a director until the 10th of this month.

I don’t want to get bogged down here, or to repeat rumours, but as you read in the guest piece from 2016, a considerable amount of public funding went into Gelli Aur when Salmon was there and people still ask what happened to it.

What I can tell you is that Salmon’s departure from Gelli Aur last June links with his being declared bankrupt in April.

The most recent (and very brief) accounts available were made up to 31 August 2022. The asset of £2.5m has to be the main house, etc., with the overall figure reduced to £1.5m by liabilities and debts.

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Those liabilities will be the three outstanding charges on: the mansion, the West Lodge, plus a floating charge over the whole shooting-match.

The charge against the East Lodge was paid off last October, after Salmon’s departure, and the name given on the statement of satisfaction was Hendrik Jan Smit.

Before leaving this section I should also mention Golden Grove Ventures Ltd. Which never ventured far, with the latest accounts showing a deficit of some £28,000.

This too has been taken over by the new boys.

SINGH AND SMIT

If we go back to the directors tab for Golden Grove Trust we see there are now three directors. These are, Smit, who I just introduced, Daljit Singh, and Bronwen Jones.

All give as their correspondence address, ‘Cwrt-Y-Gorffwys, Golden Grove, Carmarthen’. Cwrt-y-Gorffwys was bought in September 2022 for £535,000 by Daljit Singh. And it looks like a cash-down purchase.

And it seems to be a substantial gaff, with some land,. To get there you take the A476 (the Cross Hands road) from Ffairfach, turn off at Park Lane, and you’ll find Cwrt-y-Gorffwys after passing Thomas Motor Repairs.

The only extant company I can find with which Daljit Singh is involved is Ubiq Associates Ltd. The accounts suggest a tuppenny-ha’penny outfit, needing neither accountant nor auditor to help with the figures.

Although Dutchman Smit is not named as a director, he is a Ubiq shareholder. Dr Smit is from the School of Experimental Psychology at Bristol University.

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Now they’re trying to raise money. Though I’m not sure a Crowdfunder will raise the kind of sum Gelli Aur needs.

But we still don’t know why they rocked up at Gelli Aur in the first place. So here’s a shot in the dark. (And if I hit anybody I’ll plead insanity, as always.)

Singh and Smit have no obvious background in property development, and I’m fairly sure they have no experience in tourism, so why would they want a big old house far from their home area?

That home area being Bath / Corsham / Chippenham, the same as Jeffrey Paul Thomas of Gelli Aur Ltd. So maybe they know Thomas. Or is it just a coincidence?

DIGRESSION 3

Next we have CYM409991 ‘The Golden Grove Estate’. (Not to be confused with Golden Grove Estates Ltd, which we encountered in Digression 1.)

This company files as dormant, and is controlled by Sir Edward John Francis Dashwood. If the name sounds familiar it’s because an ancestor was the notorious Francis Dashwood of the Hellfire Club.

But this title is separate to the mansion and, I suspect, it’s grounds. It refers to land between Golden Grove and the Dinefwr Estate, offering sporting rights. Those rights extend to other titles, with more than 10 miles of sewin fishing on the Tywi.

Glanyrafon, circled, is the farmhouse mentioned in the Country Life article from 2017 I’ve linked to. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

The estate was on the market a few years ago, but did it sell? Apparently not. Unless the new owner has neglected to inform the Land Registry.

ADFER GELLI AUR CIC

Finally, we have Adfer Gelli Aur CIC. Which I thought would be another digression . . . until I looked into it.

As the name suggests, it’s a community interest company, formed as recently as April last year. It started with eight directors, but four quit 27 August.

I’m sure many of you’ll be familiar with a community interest company. In my experience, they’re set up to serve a village, or a rural area, or even for a specific project, such as a local hydro scheme.

With beneficiaries numbered in the hundreds, or at most, a few thousand. But when I checked the Certificate of Incorporation for Adfer Gelli Aur, I saw this:

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I said to myself . . . “Jac, my boy, that capitalisation must refer to the legislation of that name. But what does it all mean?

It becomes clear in the same document, under ‘Objects’:

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Elsewhere on the document we read that the agent for the CIC is Cwmpas (formerly Wales Co-operative Centre), much favoured by the ‘Welsh Government’, with 100 employees and an annual turnover in excess of seven million pounds.

Coincidentally, the new Future Generations Commissioner is Derek Walker who, until February last year, was the head of Cwmpas. Small world, innit!

The involvement of Cwmpas and the references to Future Generations suggest that Adfer Gelli Aur CIC might be the vehicle through which the ‘Welsh Government’ takes control of the Golden Grove mansion and grounds.

If nothing else, buying Golden Grove through a CIC might avoid the kind of bad publicity generated by the purchase of Gilestone farm at Talybont-on-Usk.

If so, then we can assume that a great deal of public money will be involved.

Though if Adfer Gelli Aur CIC is taking over, where does that leave Smit and Singh?

CONCLUSION

What’s seems to be proposed with Adfer Gelli Aur CIC shows up yet again a widespread and ongoing problem in Wales.

I can understand the desire to keep Gelli Aur / Golden Grove out of the hands of people like those you’ve been reading about. And I have no objection to it belonging to the nation. But a CIC is not the way to go about it.

Wales needs an organisation like the National Trust to own and safeguard all our important sites. Nothing shows that need better than the disgraceful state of Sycharth, site of Glyndŵr’s home.

Finally, let’s not forget the Barbour and tweed brigade. What does Future Generations legislation say about huntin’ shootin’ fishin’?

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© Royston Jones 2024

Landfill Is A Murky Business

Our story begins in Pembrokeshire, to the north of Haverfordwest. To be exact, at Withyhedge landfill site. Which lies to the east of the A40 and just south of the railway line to Fishguard.

WHERE?

You can see the site for yourselves in the OS map below. Circled towards the top.

I believe the site was originally managed by the county council. Then, 1995 saw a new arrangement involving Resources Management UK Ltd. This company was taken over by SITA UK – now Suez Recycling and Recovery UK – from whence it transferred to the Potter Group of Welshpool, Wales’ biggest recycling company.

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In March 2022 Potter sold Resource Management UK to the Dauson Environmental Group Ltd of Cardiff, helped by a loan of £1,143,000 from Walters Land Ltd of Hirwaun. (Though this may have taken the form of writing off a debt incurred in January 2020 by Potter.)

Throughout changes of ownership Resources Management UK Ltd has remained the registered operator of the Withyhedge site. Here’s the Land Registry title document complete with plan. (Which needs to be updated.)

It may be worth mentioning that some three years ago Walters extended the Withyhedge site for the Potter Group. And as the Walters Linkedin page tells us, “As a result of delivering this project, Walters have been awarded a new landfill cell construction project (by Potter) in Telford.”

Walters Land is part of the Walters Group of Hirwaun, which has a history in opencast mining but is now rehabilitating itself with the planet-botherers with wind turbines. Even wind turbines on former opencast sites.

Anyway, that’s the background, so let’s push on.

WHAT’S NEW?

I’m writing this because people living in the vicinity of the Withyhedge landfill site have had enough of the increasing smells from the site, suspected water pollution, and the traffic problems caused by a constant stream of trucks bringing waste from Cardiff and even from England (via Cardiff).

As if that wasn’t enough, a local farmer has even told me, “This site is why so many of us have gone down with (Bovine) TB in the last ten months! Cleared the woods and disturbed all the (badger) setts.”

Here are some very recent reports of locals complaining and politicians getting involved.

The Pembrokeshire Herald on December 21. Western Telegraph from the day after Boxing Day. And then a statement last week from Natural Resources Wales, which may have resulted from a complaint made by local Senedd Member Paul Davies.

In addition to the noise, the traffic, and the smells, there was also a fire on the site in July, 2018.

The image below shows trucks queuing up to dump their rubbish at Withyhedge. The blue trucks belong to Atlantic Recycling Ltd, part of the Dauson Group which, as we’ve seen, owns the site.

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The Dauson Group itself is owned by David John Neal of Rumney, Cardiff. Who runs many companies.

Neal seems to have been in this business for a long time and, perhaps inevitably, has had his brushes with regulatory authorities. Here’s a case from May 2013 involving the sensitive Gwent Levels.

Neal was in court again in November 2017 for having done nothing to clear up the mess he’d made. “Neal was fined £30,000, ordered to pay £20,000 costs, and given an 18 week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.”

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I must confess I hadn’t given landfill much thought lately, I assumed it was being phased out in favour of recycling. Because you don’t have to be an enviro-loony to think that putting thousands of tons of waste into the ground may be a bad idea.

So I was surprised to find so many landfill sites in Wales, and so many operators. Here’s the list provided by the self-styled ‘Welsh Government’. (Updated 16.08.2023.)

One that caught my eye was the site at the old Tir John power station in Swansea, where I had family and friends working. The site is operated by Enovert South Ltd of Stafford. There’s also an Enovert North Ltd, which runs the Hafod landfill in Wrecsam.

Both companies are owned by Enovert Management Ltd, which is in turn owned by Brad Scott Huntington, a Canadian living in the Cayman Islands.

In fact, most companies operating Welsh landfill sites are based over the border. Making me wonder if these sites are used for local waste, or if they’re taking – as at Withyhedge – garbage from England.

It seems obvious that David John Neal would not have been interested in the site unless there was money to be made. Either in the form of an extended lifespan for the site, or an increase in capacity. Maybe both.

And indeed, I’m told that a new 250,000 tonne extension has been issued. It is even suggested that old waste is being dug up to make way for new deliveries, and that this accounts for the recent deterioration in air and water quality in the vicinity.

What’s more, local sources say that last year the site accepted 44,000 tonnes more than its permit allowed.

CONNECTIONS

Despite the bad odour around landfills, and his record, Corruption Bay – in the form of the Development Bank of Wales (DBW) – has been generous to David John Neal and his many companies.

Despite the damage caused to the Gwent Levels DBW has made three loans since 2020 to Neal Soil Suppliers Ltd, one of the companies named in the court proceedings.

There are other outstanding DBW loans going back to 2013.

As we’ve seen, a name that crops up regularly in connection with David Neal and this saga is Dauson. The Dauson Group owns both the Withyhedge site and the ‘Atlantic’ trucks that deliver there.

I knew I’d seen the Dauson name before, and so I did a bit of digging. Sure enough, I turned it up – on this very blog!

Back in October 2019 I wrote about ambitious plans for the old Ferodo site in Caernarfon. Scroll down to the section ‘Brakes off at the Ferodo site’.

The Ferodo plant in Caernarfon in its hey-day. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

As originally written, this was a complicated story, a number of players. I’ll try to keep this recap simple, but you can read the original piece if you want the fuller picture.

So to cut a long story short . . . after the successor company to Ferodo pulled out, and the plant finally closed, the site passed into the possession of the ‘Welsh Government’. (Here’s the title document.)

In April 2009 there was an agreement between our respected tribunes and Bluefield Caernarfon Ltd, a company formed July 2007. There was also a Bluefield Caernarfon Management Ltd.

Both companies dissolved in January 2016. With Bluefield Caernarfon leaving four outstanding charges.

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A familiar name because Bluefield Land Ltd, formed in 2004, is another David John Neal company. With five outstanding charges with the Julian Hodge Bank.

Neal did not figure among the directors of the Bluefield manifestations in Gwynedd. He may have been represented by associates. But he definitely held shares.

The 100 shares for Bluefield Caernarfon were split 35 for Bluefield Land and 65 for Twenty20 Homes Ltd of Bridgend, which also dissolved in January 2016, the same month as the Bluefield Caernarfon companies.

A majority of the shares in Twenty20 Homes was held by Macob Property Holdings Ltd, also of Bridgend. Macob finally went belly-up in January 2020, though an administrator had been appointed as early as March 2014, just 26 months after formation.

We seem to be looking at considerable shuffling around and interplay between companies destined to fail.

One of the Neal ‘associates’ I find particularly interesting is Gary Goodman of Liverpool. Interesting because all the others involved are from south east Wales.

Goodman was a director of both Caernarfon Bluefield companies and the Cardiff company of the same name. But more than that, Goodman was also a director of Bluefield Sandbach Ltd.

And among the other directors of Bluefield Sandbach I saw a name I’d noticed earlier in the research for this piece, Daymion Jenkins. In fact, he seems to have had a Nap hand of Bluefield companies.

His Linkedin page mentions Bluefield but would have us believe he quit in 2009. But as we’ve just seen, according to Companies House he hung on until April 2014. Why the discrepancy?

Bluefield Sandbach also threw up a new name, Howard Wyn Evans of Haynes Watts, accountants of Cardiff. And yet another Bluefield company in Bluefield Energy Ltd. Though I can’t see any connection to David Neal.

Evans has been director of quite a few companies, many in the ‘renewables’ sector. One that caught my eye was Sundorne Products (Llanidloes) Ltd, owned by Potters Waste Management Ltd of Welshpool.

Remember Potters, former owners of the Withyhedge landfill site in Pembrokeshire? Small world, innit!

CONCLUSION

As I was writing this I kept thinking of the remarkable case of Stan ‘The Pies’ Thomas and the publicly-owned land he was able to buy at knockdown prices.

I wrote about the case early in 2016: Pies, Planes & Property Development, and Pies, Planes & Property Development 2. (I try to be imaginative in naming follow-ups.)

Back then, I and others tended to point the finger at the Regeneration Investment Fund for Wales LLP (RIFW), which had responsibility for disposing of public land for the best possible price. Or so we were led to believe.

Fingers were also pointed at one of the LLP partners, Amber Fund Management, and valuers Lambert Smith Hampton.

Following the Stan Thomas fiasco, RIFW was reorganised, with now just two partners (Amber was given the heave-ho), and has some £50m in the bank. What it actually does nowadays is open to question.

But thinking back, I can’t help wondering if instead of – even in addition to – dodgy dealings there might have been political intervention in favour of Stan Thomas. And perhaps others.

For over the years I’ve come to suspect that certain businessmen, in and around Cardiff, in positions to smooch Labour politicians, get favoured treatment. Maybe ‘pointed’ in certain directions.

This obviously works against those further from Cardiff, and those who would prefer not to get too close to those reptiles.

Looking back, with all we now know, there’s also something of a whiff about the Ferodo deal; the site being gifted by the ‘Welsh government’ to people who couldn’t find Caernarfon on a map – but were already known to Corruption Bay.

And when we learn that the principal in this case, David John Neal, was so generous towards his local Assembly Member you have to fight your rapidly elevating eyebrows.

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For God’s sake, three donations, from three different Neal companies, to Vaughan Gething’s 2018 leadership campaign! Was making it look like three separate funders supposed to help Gething?

Will Dai Neal be contributing to Gething’s current leadership campaign? Why not!

As a much-loved sitcom character might have put it – ‘Lubbly jubbly!’

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© Royston Jones 2024