Choices, Choices

I notice that a new response is being employed against those of us who can, loosely, be termed, the more patriotic element within the nation. This response boils down to quoting President Clinton – “It’s the economy, stupid!”. Which tries to suggest that those wanting to preserve and strengthen Welsh identity are ignorant of economic realities. More misleadingly, it even suggests: ‘You can either have a vibrant Welsh identity, more people speaking Welsh, etc . . . in an economic backwater, or you can have a prosperous Wales with the inevitable corollary of it becoming less Welsh – but you can’t have a Wales that is both prosperous and Welsh’.

The thing about this argument is that while those using it today quote a recent President of the USA we Welsh have been hearing this ‘anglicise yourselves to progress’ argument for centuries. As far back as 1283, or the Laws in Wales Acts (1535, 1542). A more recent example would be the Blue Books of 1847. These, produced by the Commission of Enquiry into the State of Education in Wales, concluded that we Welsh had no hope of joining the human race until the Welsh language was killed off. A few decades later Wales saw the British Labour Party hijack and emasculate the indigenous movements for workers’ rights and social justice on the march to the sunlit uplands. Because for the posturing ‘revolutionaries’ of Labour the future was not only bright and proletarian, it was also utterly English. To the point where ‘hanging on’ to the language or anything else distinctively Welsh was either pitied as being a waste of time or else frowned upon as a sign of reaction, perhaps coded support for the murdered Romanovs!

Yet here we are in 2013 and we’re hearing almost the same insulting argument about the incompatibility of Welshness and prosperity! Why? In my opinion, it boils down to attitudes – to the Union, and to the relationship between Wales and England. What I mean here is that the stronger one’s support for the Union then, almost inevitably, the higher will be one’s regard for England and things English. The other side of this coin is a tendency to undervalue things Welsh. Even though this is denied, or disguised, behind the ‘Union of equals’ rationale. A more extreme position states that all things Welsh, including people, are inherently inferior to their English equivalents or counterparts.

Countering this we have the nationalist position that regards prosperity as being perfectly compatible with Welsh identity. I mean, do Finns have to forsake their cultural heritage and become Swedish in order for Finland to prosper! When we use an example like that we can see how absurd the ‘anglicise to prosper’ position becomes. It stands exposed, either as outright bigotry, or else a defence of England’s exploitation of Wales within an unequal Union. For if we did live in a political and economic union of equals, then our rural areas would now have healthy economies, rather than suffering economic decline and loss of population disguised only by English colonisation; the workforces of our declining urban areas would have enjoyed retraining in the industries of the twenty-first century rather than being ignored, or sacrificed to Labour’s cronies in the Third Sector.

Of course, the nationalist vision for Wales can only be fully realised in an independent Wales, which makes it easy to dismiss as ‘romantic’ or ‘unrealistic’. (Though there is a certain irony to be enjoyed in hearing this criticism from ‘socialists’ who have been promising us ‘jam tomorrow’ for over a century.) And yet, the more I think about this, the more I realise there is an obvious intermediate position for nationalists; one that both addresses the ‘bread and butter issues’ beloved of our critics, while also defending Welsh identity, without which independence is impossible. And this approach has the advantage of not even relying on an economic upturn to improve the situation of our people.

This position seeks to do the best for Welsh people within the present constitutional and economic parameters. And on the very issue our detractors say we ignore – the economy. Let us demand that Welsh natural resources be used in the Welsh national interest – no matter what disadvantageous agreements were made by Peter Hain and others. Let us insist on a charge being levied for all energy produced in Wales for England, demand a percentage of the massive docking fees paid at Milford Haven and other Welsh ports, insist on supermarkets sourcing Welsh produce, ensure that contracts within Wales go to Welsh firms, levy a tourist tax . . . And let us help individuals by insisting that Welsh people have first claim on all jobs in Wales, irrespective of deals struck between English employers and English trade unions. If Cwmscwt needs a new postman then the Royal Mail will recruit a local, rather than transferring in Joe Bloggs from Brummagem. Welsh people must also enjoy priority in the allocation of social housing, with no obligation on any provider to meet an external demand. In private housing, build only what we need.

Serve Welsh interests and we help maintain Welsh identity. Do this and we do more to ensure independence at some future date than any amount of faffing about down Cardiff docks can ever achieve. In fact, defending and strengthening Welsh identity through argument, protest, even confrontation, must be the priority from now on. Partly because Welsh national identity is the only thing that gives meaning to ‘Wales’, and partly because it’s the only game in town, seeing as electoral politics is a dead-end in the one-party State that is Wales.

The opposition ranged against us may appear united and strong, but that could be nothing more than an impression. Consider this. How many times have we heard it said that nothing can be done about English colonisation because to do so would contravene EU law on the free movement of labour and goods? I’ve lost count. It was used by Edwina Hart, Minister for Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science in response to my petition to the Assembly asking for Welsh jobs to go to Welsh people. She wrote, to the Petitions Committee, “The free movement of workers within the European Union, and internationally, is a non-devolved matter”. (See full letter here.)

I’ve been giving this statement, and the general argument on which it is premised, some thought. The first doubt to enter my head was, ‘Surely, this legislation relates to the free movement of workers between EU Member States, not within them?’ The kind of thing that is now vexing English xenophobes as they look for ways to avert the impending ‘invasion’ of Vlachs and Bulgars. Note also that Edwina Hart refers to “workers”. She was of course answering my petition, but the same ‘EU legislation’ is used to justify, or excuse, the movement of non-workers, indigents and retired people, from England to Wales. So could it be that the EU has no legislation in place at all relating to movement of people within a Member State? If so, then this whole ‘EU’ argument could be what we lawyers call ‘a load of old bollocks’.

But let’s not upset ourselves any more with thoughts of politicians, bureaucrats and other shysters, whether at EU, UK or Welsh level. None of them are worth it; and wasting time and hope on non-existent political solutions has done enough damage already. In the absence of a nationalist party the priority must be the defence of Welsh national identity by other means. Make our people more prosperous by demanding those things that are ours by right. Succeed in this and not only will we achieve improvements for our people in the here and now, but we shall also be laying the foundations for an independent Wales.

The alternatives? Well, if you’re really, really optimistic you could wait until the 2020 Assembly elections and hope that Plaid Cymru forms a coalition with Labour. By which time there will be even less of Wales left to save. Certainly the real Wales. The Wales of the Welsh. The choice is yours.

A Tale of Modern Wales

Once upon a time . . . in a big city in Englandland lived four friends, Jacqui, Jenni, Jimmi and Maximilian. They’d been friends since they’d first met, some ten years earlier, at Lowestoft University (formerly Suffolk Fish-boners’ Polytechnic). They weren’t happy in the big city. For one thing, they didn’t like the work they did, nor the people they worked for . . . or even the people they worked with. What they really wanted was to work for themselves and to live somewhere nice, perhaps in the country.

One Friday evening, the four friends were having a candle-lit dinner in Jimmi’s basement flat and, just before Jimmi opened another bottle of Lidl’s famed Afghan red wine (‘£2.99 for 3! This month only!’), Jenni piped up with, “Do you remember Primrose . . . was in college with us . . . real swot, got a 2/2?” The question got a mixed response, but undeterred Jenni went on, “Well, she runs some charity or something, down in Wales, catering for trans-sexual trawler men. I was thinking we might do something like that.” This information was greeted with a more interested response, and it was Maximilian who articulated the thoughts of the other two, “Sounds good, but . . . Wales!” “Yes”, answered Jenni, “It’s not that bad, honestly. Let me explain”. And she went on.

“You see, the way Primrose explained it to me there’s oodles of money being dished out in Wales to anybody who can come up with the right idea. What you have to do is find a ‘niche market’ that no one else has thought of. Once you’ve identified it, and set up your group, you apply for the grants.” “Like trans-sexual trawler men, you mean?” interjected Jimmi. “Exactly”, she replied, “We’d be working for ourselves; and it wouldn’t be like running a real business . . . y’know, capitalism and all that . . . ripping people off, taking money for nothing. We’d be helping people . . . wouldn’t we?” The others nodded thoughtfully.

“The other thing Primrose said was that Labour Party connections help. Well, Max is a member . . . and we’ve all helped out in some way or another over the years. I mean, we share the values, right?” Jimmi gave a half-hearted clenched fist salute before contributing, “Yeah, this could work. But how do we identify a niche market?” There was a silence for a moment before Jacqui – who up until then had been under the table doing something – patted her hair into place and made her contribution.“There must be a list somewhere of all the groups currently being funded, so we avoid these and think up something really imaginative that’s not on the list. Simples!” This met with general approval, and it was decided that Jenni should make a trip to Wales to learn more from Primrose, do a little networking, and get the lie of the land.

So off Jenni went to Wales. Rather than travel all the way to Pembrokeshire – where Primrose had her ‘Mission’ for sexually confused net yankers – they had decided to meet in Swansea. Primrose was waiting on the platform, excitedly waving her Andean recycled llama wool scarf as the train pulled in. They hugged and kissed effusively, attracting much attention. Then, as they gaily waltzed out of the station, they were confronted by the harsh realities of modern Wales . . . in the form of a foul-smelling beggar shouting, “Gis a tenner for a cuppa, you slag!” They both moved quickly away from her, and as they pulled away saw many others of the same type, drinking from bottles, fighting, urinating and generally making mayhem. They jumped into the nearest taxi and sped off to an agreeable little bistro down Mumbles.

Once safely ensconced at a table overlooking the bay, and waiting for their Indian filter coffee to arrive, Jenni felt safe enough to ask, “What the hell was that all about up at the station?” Primrose grimaced before explaining. “Well, thing is . . . homelessness is something of a cottage industry in Swansea. The way it works, right . . . you argue that there’s many homeless people in the city, so you get funding . . . then – and this is the clever bit – you make Swansea attractive to homeless people from all over the place. Bingo! More homeless equals more funding; more funding attracts more homeless; which then results in more funding. It’s what we in the Third Sector call a virtuous circle.

“Now a few more things to remember. First, get to know your local Labour councillors and officials. Second, make sure you put ‘Cymru’ (it means ‘Wales’) in the name of your organisation. Third, employ somebody with a Welsh accent to answer the phone, maybe give the odd interview (otherwise certain people will try to undermine the good work we’re doing). Fourth, identify a disadvantaged group that didn’t even realise it was a group (let alone that it was disadvantaged), then start a campaign saying how this group is losing out. Fifth, finally, and most importantly! don’t ever succeed in solving the problem you’re being funded to deal with. Because if you do that, the funding stops and you join the ranks of the unemployed”.

The following Friday it was dinner again at Jimmi’s. Jenni explained what she’d learnt in Wales and the discussion was soon in full swing. All sorts of ideas were aired for the new group – someone wondered if gay and lesbian ramblers were catered for. Or could they get funding for bar staff to get breast implants. (Or was that sexist?) Jenni reminded the others that ‘Helping people back into employment’ was a very popular area for funding, but all possible angles seemed covered: black and ethnic minorities, battered wives, east Europeans, defrocked vicars, etc. There was even a group in Cardiff getting funding to help find employment for Vietnamese waiters with speech impediments – of whom there were two! (Possibly one, if the European-looking one is in fact – as many suspect – named Evans, and comes from Brecon.) It was then that Maximilian had his moment of inspiration. “Wait! I’ve just thought of a group not covered in all these lists we’ve been looking at. How about – wait for it! – holistic car mechanics? Instead of all those spanners and stuff, we train car mechanics to repair cars holistically. What about that?” The others looked nonplussed to begin with but their faces changed as they gave the idea more thought. Eventually it was enthusiastically agreed (even by Jacqui under the table). They would set up the Holistic Car Mechanics’ Co-operative Cymru and unveil it after meeting with the local Labour hierarchy in Cwmscwt, with whom they had made initial contact, Cwmscwt being where they had decided to set up base camp.

And lo! it came to pass. The founders of HCMCC changed trains in Cardiff and soon arrived in Cwmscwt, with its long rows of terraced houses climbing up the sides of the valley. It was raining. They looked for a taxi outside the station, but all they could see was a burnt-out car and a few supermarket trolleys in only slightly better condition. So they trudged up the hill to their guest house. After freshening up, they went down for tea. They were greeted by the proprietrix, Mrs Lucrezia Leyshon who, after scanning the signing-in book, felt confident enough to suggest, “From away, are ew?” Not entirely sure how to respond, they simply nodded. In a desperate attempt at conversation Jimmi informed Mrs Leyshon that in a couple of hours they would be in the Labour Club meeting with Councillor Josef S. Lloyd. This seemed to leave the good woman unimpressed, for after extracting another bogie, and flicking it at the cat, merely responded with, “Mmm . . . I yeard ʼe was out.” Unsure what to make of this remark, or indeed, what to make of the taciturn Mrs Leyshon, the group tucked in to their guinea pig and cockle pie with feigned gusto.

It was still raining as they walked up the hill towards the Lord Tonypandy Memorial Labour Club. The proud banner fluttering above the building carried the inspiring motto – ‘It’s Always Somebody Else’s Fault’. Upon enquiring at the bar they learnt that Councillor Lloyd was waiting for them in the committee room, along with a couple of other local party officials. As the representatives of HCMCC made their way across the large bar area towards the committee room they couldn’t help but feel the many eyes (some in working pairs) scrutinising them. For the lack of scar tissue and the full complements of natural teeth betrayed them as strangers, as did the four unbroken noses.

They reached the door of the committee room unmolested, though not without many ribald and sexually explicit remarks being directed at the women. (Jimmi and Max certainly hoped they were directed at the women.) They knocked on the door, and were invited in. Seated at a table before them were, in the centre, a large man with a bulbous nose and a curiously shaped ear; to his right, an even larger man bearing a number of tattoos and other adornments; and on the other side, a skinny, rather gormless looking youth with a lazy eye. The man in the centre spoke: “I am Councillor Lloyd; this gentleman on my right is David, our branch secretary, and this young man on my left, is Klarence . . . um, my, er (clearing his throat), sister’s boy. Now then, ʼow can we ʼelp ew?”

The four missionaries explained their plan to use holistic car mechanics as a means of encouraging local youths to take responsibility for their lives; to lay off the drugs and the booze, to desist from thieving, impregnating the local females, and in other ways blighting society. (Though it should be said that most local youths would have thought that, far from blighting society, the activities listed were all that gave meaning to their otherwise empty lives.) All the while Councillor Lloyd nodded sagely, “I loves it, I loves it! ʼOlistic car mechanics. Nobody’s thought of that scam before . . . scheme! I meant to say scheme. I can’t see no problem” the local worthy continued. “Sounds just the kind uh thing they loves to fund. We’ll be ‘appy to join ewer organisation”. The four were not sure how to take this last remark, so it fell to Maximilian to ask, “How do you mean, ‘join’? What exactly will you be doing in our organisation?” Before Maximilian could continue Councillor Lloyd was on his feet . . .

After a pause that took in a quizzical, even pitying look at the putative Board of HCMCC, he continued: “Ew don’ understand ʼow it works, do ew? Le’ me spell it out. Ew people comes ʼere lookin’ to get ew ʼands on funding. Fair enough! We controls the fundin’. People like me puts in a good word, ew gets ew fundin’. In return, ew shows ew gratitude by puttin’ me on the books . . . and Dai by here, and Klarence. Ew scratches our backs, we scratches ewers. Tidy!” Slowly it dawned on our four ingénues that they were lumbered with Josef Stalin Lloyd, his minder, and his nephew. (Klarence was by now making Jacqui slightly uneasy. He was staring at her and drooling but she couldn’t be sure if he was also winking because of the eye.)

And so it came to pass that the Holistic Car Mechanics Co-operative Cymru received £2.3 million in EU Structural Funds and – because it was such an “imaginative scheme” (local Labour AM) and a worthwhile idea – another £750,000 from one of the Welsh Government’s own funds. Councillor Lloyd was paid a fee for ‘advisory services’, but these ‘on book’ figures made no mention of the other payments. And the expenses claims were things of great imagination and no little literary merit. (As the auditors confirmed in the unpublished codicil to their report.) Josef Stalin Lloyd went on to become Leader of the local authority, a position from which he was able to provide for both his henchman and his simple-minded kinsman.

No cars were holistically repaired. No local youths were ever trained to perform this miracle. Jenni became a local Labour councillor. Jacqui had a breakdown, but recovered enough to ‘pull down’ more grants for her Indonesian Massage treatment for Tourette’s Syndrome, a ‘technique’ she had picked up while a guest at Doctor McLoony’s Retreat in Aberdeenshire. Jimmi took to the bottle and eventually went to live with a Chinese herbalist in Trimsaran. Only Maximilian ever made it back to Englandland. He had thought of writing a book about their experiences in Wales, but soon realised no one would believe it.

No matter; for a great purpose was served. The Holistic Car Mechanics Co-operative Cymru, and countless similar ‘projects’, allow civil servants in Cardiff to report to civil servants in Brussels that over one billion pounds of EU funding has been well spent, with remarkable ‘outcomes’. The wheel will turn and more funding will arrive. To be spent in exactly the same way. So keep voting Labour. Keep sending the message to those wicked Tories up in Lundun. We don’t want their type down by ‘ere. For Labour is more than capable of wrecking Wales on its own.

BiLingo Victorious?

It has been announced that the Children’s Commissioner for Wales will not be investigating the claims made by anonymous, anti-Welsh language website BiLingo. (While the website seems to be still open the Twitter account has closed.) There could have been no other decision. The real mystery is why the Commissioner ever took the slanderous and unfounded allegations seriously.

And yet, despite failing to persuade the Commissioner to get involved ‘BiLingo’ was a huge success. For the Children’s Commissioner wasn’t the real target at all, it was major English newspapers like the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph, both of which accepted the allegations and even embellished them! Which meant that BiLingo’s unfounded allegations reached millions of people. Just think about that. Add all the other anti-Welsh propaganda in the English media in recent months, including gems like Roger Lewis’ ‘Welsh Taliban‘ piece in the Daily Mail (though the term itself was quickly dropped from MailOnline) and appreciate what we’re up against.John Bull

In the run-up to the Scottish referendum in the autumn of 2014 we can expect more racist bullshit such as we’ve been subjected to in recent months. It might even get worse. My reason for saying that is as follows.

In the run-up to the referendum the eyes of the world will, increasingly, be on this island. With memories of the Irish Troubles still fresh, people from Trondheim to Tierra del Fuego will wonder why many Scots now want to break away from England. That the Scottish referendum is happening at all will reflect badly on England’s reputation and prestige around the world. Also, foreign journalists will simplify the debate into a Scots versus English thing; and the Scots have a head-start in the popularity battle: Great people – gave the world golf and whisky . . . red hair and kilts . . . Wully off The Simpsons . . . bagpipes . . . Scotty from Star Trek . . . Braveheart . . . never oppressed other countries . . . Making Scots instantly recognisable and popular; the English less so, for all sorts of reasons: attitudes to the EU, imperial legacy, even Hollywood casting so many English villains nowadays.

This being so, the last thing England needs in the autumn of 2014 is a third troublesome province. Because if that happened, governments and journalists around the world would really go to town. (Just imagine how it would rankle with London if the Chinese government accused England of treating its ‘minorities’ badly!) So we Welsh must be cowed into submission and silence. And it will be easy. As we saw before Christmas with BiLingo, and the attacks in the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph, we have no media to question and expose such slanders; certainly not to take on a London daily! Our political class is nothing more than a desperate collection of drunks, dilettantes and deadbeats. There is no extra-parliamentary opposition. So to all intents and purposes, we Welsh are defenceless. And silent. Which means we shall be ignored.

A great pity, because as I say, there will be journalists in Britain from all over the world looking for stories. They will soon realise there are three countries, and three administrations; which will, inevitably, lead them to ask about Wales. What answers will they get? If we leave it to the Welsh Management, or the Wales Office, or BBC West Anglia, they’ll get some cheesy, touristy image telling them that everything is just hunky-dory. So do we stay silent . . . or do we capitalise on this media attention to publicise the wreck that is Wales? Exposing the poverty, the deprivation, the colonisation, and all the other ills. I say it’s an opportunity too good to miss. Start preparing!

Western Mail: Terminal Decline?

We all like to have a go at the Wasting Mule; we ridicule its falling circulation, its Cardiff-centricity, its anti-Welsh position on most issues, but in addition to these and other conscious faults the problems may also be due to the simple and fundamental fact that it’s a poorly produced newspaper. This thought was brought home to me with a few pieces in today’s issue.

I’ll gloss over the fact that Huw Lewis, the Welsh Management’s ‘Housing Minister’, was given the front page and two inside pages for blatant party political propaganda. Or that columnist Caroline Hitt tried to get serious with a whole page of politics . . . well, not really, more, sort of, about politicians. (Though nothing Welsh, of course). Instead I’ll focus on two items that bear out what a bloody awful paper the Mule has become.

  • First piece of evidence for the prosecution is the story on page 14, where one Graham Henry, billed as the ‘Senedd Correspondent’, wondered whether the decline in water-retaining upland peat bogs might not have contributed to the recent flooding. Amazingly, this half-page piece managed to deal with the decline in upland peat bogs – even mentioning the villages north of Aberystwyth so badly affected by flooding last year – without touching on wind turbines, each of which needs a concrete base the size of a football pitch, plus access roads to each turbine, often at the expense of peat bog. Which makes pretending to deal with upland peat bog loss and the resultant flooding, yet without mentioning wind turbines, a bit like discussing the Titanic without mentioning the iceberg!
  • Turning to the sports pages, our old friend Paul Abbandonato came up trumps again. This time in a curious, rambling piece about Real Madrid fans making Swans’ boss Michael Laudrup their third favourite to replace manager Jose Mourinho, when ‘The Special One’ leaves the Bernabeu in the summer. After commending the Dane on the job he’s doing at the Liberty Stadium Abbo went in with studs showing and, “Every week you sense the Swans are going to blow up . . .”. Er, no, I don’t. Nor do thousands of other Swans fans; a host being boosted weekly by neutrals who think the Swans are a fairly good side. As a Cardiff fan, possibly jealous of the Swans’ success, you may be hoping the Swans ‘blow up’, but that’s entirely different. Can’t the Mule find a Swans’ fan, or a neutral, to write about the club, rather than this man who obviously finds it difficult to be positive or fair about the biggest rival to the club he supports? (Unfortunately the “blow up” part of the article does not appear in the online version.)

After all that, the obvious question – and I hear it rise from a thousand devices! – ‘Why buy the bloody rag, then?’ Good question. I regularly ask it of myself. But as I have explained before, if I want my daily fix of Welsh football and rugby, with a dose of Welsh news – however prejudiced and badly written – then there is no alternative. I suspect that most Mule readers are like me: patriotically Welsh, interested in sport, therefore a captive audience. Which might make the Mule unique, in being a ‘paper that knowingly takes a different political line to the one shared by most of its readers.

Which in turn should be a recipe for a publication’s demise. But the Wasting Mule gets away with antagonising its diminishing readership because of the generous payments received from serving as the Welsh Mangement’s in-house publication, not just for ‘news’ but also for public notices and advertisements. Though with the Mule’s falling circulation and ageing readership, how much longer can Carwyn’s gang justify this generosity?


Eric Pickles worries about a few tens of thousands of Bulgarians and Romanians moving to a country of 60 million people and this is perfectly acceptable, even ‘responsible’. But when we Welsh raise the issue of being outnumbered by English colonists in our country we are ‘bigots’, ‘racists’. Even called these names by the ‘Welsh’ media. What hypocrites we are up against!

A Glimpse Behind The ‘Curtain’

My son lives and works in Machynlleth, with his partner and their two young children in a small house they’re buying in a cul-de-sac. Last night his partner was parking their W Reg car when she had a slight coming together with the vehicle from the larger house next door, coming out of that property’s driveway.

The damage was slight, but words were exchanged and my son’s partner called the police. They turned up and calmed things down. This morning, the woman next door shouted at my son’s partner, “Time to put up the ‘For Sale’ sign. We’re gonna make your lives hell”. The neighbours were reported to their landlord, Powys County Council.Cadillac-Escalade

My son’s partner – who, in addition to bringing up two children under 5 works as a part-time carer – is Machynlleth born and bred. The neighbours moved in about five years ago, from somewhere in the English Midlands. These neighbours, neither of whom works, have seven (7) kids and they drive around in a 6.2 litre, 4 x 4, 15mpg, LHD Cadillac Escalade. Nice.

Now obviously, ‘benefit scroungers’ with 7 kids and a massive and very expensive to run American car would normally be meat and drink for the Daily Mail, but we know they’re not going to be interested in this one. If these people were Welsh, maybe. For as we know, the English media is very keen to run anti-Welsh stories at the moment.

Though our own ‘Welsh’ media is not blameless. Jason Mohammad did a phone-in on Radio ‘Wales’ this week about some young man badly beaten in Cardiff because, allegedly, he was English. The suggestion of an ethnic motive came from no one but the victim himself, who thought the attack might have been provoked by his English accent. Not much to go on, but of course that didn’t stop Radio West Anglia reporting it as Gospel. Though I wonder if ‘Jase’ would have been interested in a case of English on Welsh Jason Mohammadviolence, even with hard evidence? No, he wouldn’t have touched it.

Inevitably, the English media – including the aforementioned Daily Mail – ran with this story about racist Welsh thugs attacking entirely innocent English people. But that’s what we expect. What I found really disturbing was that there was no appeal for moderation from either our political establishment or our police. I can only assume that both decided it was best to say nothing, and to let this smearing of a nation (and possibly influencing of judicial process) go unchallenged.

I wonder if any Welsh people living in England were verbally or physically abused as a result of this gutter press journalism? If they were, then we can guarantee that the Daily Mail would not have reported it. Worse, the ‘Welsh’ media would not have reported it either.

It has become clear of late that Wales and all things Welsh are under attack from all sides. It’s almost as if someone has declared open season on us. Part of this offensive is selective and prejudicial reporting by news media, both in England and in Wales. Another aspect is an attempt at redefining what Welshness means; thereby making anyone who steps beyond this definition an ‘extremist’. The sort of idiot who kicks shit out of someone because they have an English accent.

This brings me back to ‘Jase’ Mohammad and others, such as Wasting Mule columnist Caroline Hitt. (But there are plenty more.) For this group ‘Wales’ is defined by (and confined to) things like sport, tourism, showbiz, Cardiff. It is the dumbing down of any consideration of Welshness to the point where someone from Wales appearing on a ‘reality’ TV show becomes the most important thing happening in the country. No place here for history, traditions, culture, language, economics, politics, or the worsening poverty and increasing deprivation. In fact, no place for anything of real consequence. This is bread and circuses tailored for twenty-first century Wales.Carolyn Hitt

All done to distract us from the colonisation, the exploitation, the calculated attacks on Welsh identity from all quarters. Those who should be defending us are part of the problem rather than part of the solution. While the English media can attack us head-on, what remains of the ‘Welsh’ media operates more subtly. It’s message is, ‘Oh, don’t get worked up over that (you’ll be an ‘extremist’) . . . ‘Look! Catherine Zeta Jones is home in Swansea’ . . . ‘George North’s injured’ . . . ‘There’s a new branch of Gobshite & Co opening in Cardiff’ . . . ‘Prince William lives on Anglesey’ . . . ‘Some twat said something stupid on Facebook’, etc., etc. Weaving a ‘curtain’ of trivia and superficiliality behind which to hide the uncomfortable truths of modern Wales.

I can’t predict the outcome of my son’s spat with his Cadillac-owning neighbour, but I guarantee the neighbour will be blameless of anything – he’s English, my son’s Welsh. No one will dare ask why these undesirables moved to Wales. Or why a Welsh local authority is housing them. Or why they are getting so much benefit they can afford to own a vehicle with three or four times the running costs of a normal car. There are people like my son’s neighbours all over Wales, their numbers increasing; but we mustn’t complain, it makes us ‘racist’.

Yet it’s not racist to relentlessly vilify, intimidate, exploit, traduce, atomise, ridicule, colonise a nation . . . and make it clear that we can expect even worse treatment if we stand up for ourselves! When a minority is treated like this it is often the precursor to something even uglier. So I say, ‘Fuck ’em!’ Enough is enough. Reject the stinking English system and its Welsh quislings. Fight it wherever you can. However you choose.

Common Purpose Revisited

As those of you who followed my previous blog will know, I am rather suspicious of the ‘leadership development’ organisation known as Common Purpose. It seems to me to be a kind of ‘right-on’ freemasonry for Guardianistas. A network of liberals and Leftists for promoting certain agendas, controlling certain spheres of public life, and influencing political and other thinking. (It would have been nice at this point to be able to direct you to some of my previous postings on the subject, but the cowardice of Google, in surrendering to pressure, and killing my previous blog, makes this impossible.)

In my enquiries I came across a very interesting website called Common Purpose Exposed. Now I’m sure many people would like to dismiss everything said on this site, and I suppose it can’t all be true, but one thing I found there is unquestionably correct. I’m referring to the list of Common Purpose ‘graduates’. How do I know? Because I went through it and painstakingly extracted those with a Welsh connection. Having done that, there were many names I recognised; leaving me in little doubt that the rest were also correct.

This list, unfortunately, only takes us up to 2005; which makes it incomplete, rather than out of date. I say that because those who were ‘graduates’ in 2005 obviously remain graduates today. It’s just that we don’t have the names of those who have ‘graduated’ more recently. Even so, a clear pattern emerges of the kind of people who become Common Purpose ‘graduates’; the work they do; and the areas they live. The full list of ‘graduates’ can be found here, and the list of Welsh ‘graduates’ here. Regarding the latter, I should explain that, unable to access the original document (and perhaps sort it in Excel), the only way I could extract the Welsh connections was by going through the full list and then copying and pasting. This was time-consuming, but once I’d started I had no real alternative but to push on.

So what did all this work tell me? Looking at the bigger picture, over two islands, the following impressions were gained:

  • Southern England, if one removes London, the public sector and the third sector, provides Common Purpose with little business. Or to put it another way, private enterprise – other than legal firms and a few other, ‘niche’ areas – seems curiously resistant to the claimed benefits of paying for employees to attend Common Purpose courses.
  • A trend one sees repeated elsewhere in England, which results in CP being very busy in what might be termed Labour strongholds, or, another way of looking at it, in relatively poor areas. Those areas in need of a stronger economic base but which, instead, are lumbered with public and third sector bodies ‘preparing people for employment’ . . . employment that doesn’t exist, and wasting money that would be better spent on building an economy. Cities such as Hull, Newcastle, Sunderland and, especially, Liverpool. In fact, so many ‘graduates’ can be connected with Liverpool that CP might be a major employer on Merseyside.
  • Moving north of the border I was surprised by how active CP is in Scotland; and even more surprised by its level of activity in Northern Ireland. Indeed, flicking through the list I got the impression that just every public servant and Third Sector employee around Derry has been on a Common Purpose course. (The region referred to by CP as ‘Foyle’.) But this should not surprise us if Common Purpose does indeed serve the role many suggest, in being an organisation providing a very British mindset for those climbing the greasy pole.

Remove the small number of genuinely commercial organisations availing themselves of Common Purpose services and it becomes clear that the organisation is almost wholly dependent on a parasitic relationship with organisations funded with someone else’s money: charities, public sector bodies, third sector groups, local government, higher education, police and other emergency services. Is this right? If X amount is given to organisation Y to deliver Z is it right that some of that funding will be spent on Common Purpose courses? Is ‘Common Purpose training’ ever specified in an application for funding? If it is, then on what grounds does the funder accept it as a legitimate, or necessary, part of the project?

A couple of other things that struck me as I trawled through the list of Common Purpose ‘graduates’ were the size of the Welsh diaspora, evidenced by the large number of Welsh surnames encountered outside of Wales; and the surprisingly small percentage of Welsh surnames found among CP’s ‘Welsh’ alumni. Which supports personal, anecdotal and other evidence about the role and nature of the Third Sector in Wales.

The Third Sector in Wales is little more than a means of funding non-jobs for Labour Party members and supporters, most of whom appear to be English grant-spongers claiming to perform all manner of miracles but, in reality, simply creating jobs for themselves by exploiting Welsh deprivation. (And if they don’t find enough indigenous deprivation they import indigents, criminals, drug addicts, problem families, ‘the homeless’, and others.) Much as the Labour Party capitalises on ‘Poor Wales’ to rake in the votes of the intellectually challenged. Giving both Labour and its Third Sector allies a vested interest in keeping Wales poor.

Because if Wales has a healthy economy who’s going to fund Lucinda from Islington and her holistic vegan workshops for the unemployed? And how can Welsh voters be persuaded to ‘send a message’ to the baby-eating Tories in London if Wales is doing well? Good God! if Wales ever became even moderately prosperous the Labour Party would have to work for its votes, have to come up with policies instead of gimmicks, and find it much less easy to rely on deprivation, dumbo voters and pantomime villain opponents to gift them victory.

Against such institutionalised corruption and nepotism we Welsh need a party to expose this scandal, to stand up for Welsh interests, to question why so much money allocated to ‘Wales’ achieves nothing beyond providing sinecures for Labour’s Common Purpose allies in the Third Sector. All we’ve got is Plaid Cymru, as committed as Labour to turning Wales into a ‘caring’, socialist, basket-case. At least Labour benefits electorally from this strategy, but what does Plaid think it’s gaining?

Time To Get Real

Yesterday I tried to submit a petition to the Notional Assembly asking it to dissolve itself, seeing as it serves no useful purpose. My petition was refused, “As the Assembly does not have the power to dissolve itself, and matters relating to the devolution settlement in Wales remain the responsibility of the UK Government and Westminster, your petition is inadmissible.” The civil servant dealing with my petition went on to suggest that I might wish to submit a similar petition to the UK government. Though when I checked the relevant website I found someone had beaten me to it. PetitionWhile this petition also calls for the Assembly to be “abolished” I suspect the petitioner (see left, click to enlarge) is coming from the opposite direction to me. For my thwarted petition to the Assembly said: It is now clear that devolution has failed to improve the lives of the vast majority of Welsh people. Wales is becoming poorer year on year. In addition, successive Welsh Governments have done nothing to end the exploitation of Wales or challenge the colonisation programme. We therefore call on the Welsh Government to approach the UK government with a view to putting an end to the National Assembly for Wales.”

So why would I want to do away with the Assembly? First off, it’s obviously a waste of space and money, not least because it takes its orders from London. So it hardly matters that it is filled with drunks, deadbeats and dilettantes. This results in Wales now being a worse place for the Welsh than in the days before devolution: We are poorer, more marginalised, more heavily colonised, more exploited, even insulted with more vitriol and ridiculed with greater frequency than before. Yet, because the Assembly exists, it lulls too many into believing Wales is a better place because we have control over our own affairs! Only by removing the Assembly will the stark reality of our position become clear.

Of course there will be those, even those who should know better, who will argue that having an Assembly – even one run by Labour – is better than no devolution at all. Is it? These people tend to be on the Left, often Plaid members and supporters, dreaming of the day when Plaid will again be in coalition with Labour, acting as a restraining, Welshifying influence. (Yes, just think Clegg and his gang.) The harsh truth is that the next UK elections in May 2015 may return a Labour government, which will still be enjoying its ‘honeymoon period’ when the Assembly elections are held a year later. Result: a Labour ‘government’ in Cardiff. Alternatively, if the coalition gets returned in 2015, or the Tories win an outright majority, this scenario will see Welsh voters urged to ‘send a message’ to the Tories in London (by voting Labour in Assembly elections). Too many of us will. Result: a Labour ‘government’ in Cardiff. So, and assuming that Assembly elections return to their four-year term, the earliest chance of Plaid Cymru even getting into coalition with Labour down Cardiff docks is May 2020. Now ain’t that something to look forward to?

So we are lumbered with a Labour ‘Welsh Government’ until at least 2020 and a ‘national’ party that has no ambition beyond being a very junior partner in coalition with Labour. Further, this ‘national’ party is unable to accept – due to some twisted variant of socialist solidarity – that the Labour Party is the real obstacle to its progress and the well-being of this nation, preferring to conjure up all sorts of demons rather than think badly of fellow socialists.

‘But wait’ I hear you cry, ‘what about the influence of the Scottish referendum?’ Well, what about it? Our beloved and energetic First Minister has made a number of recent pronouncements on this very subject. Bizarrely arguing that if Scotland votes for independence in 2014 England might leave the Union! (That’s how I read it anyhow.) But whatever Carwyn Jones says, be assured of one thing: his – and his party’s – reaction to the Scottish referendum will be influenced by what is in the best interests of the Labour Party, not Wales. Also remember that with Scotland gone the Englandandwales Labour Party will need Welsh MPs more than ever. So forget any wet dreams about the party of George Thomas and Neil Kinnock, Don Touhig and Llew Smith, putting Welsh interests first.

Not only is the Assembly discredited but also, and by inevitable extension, so is the confidence trick of electoral politics. For we Welsh live in a one-party State that relies on the most deracinated and poorly educated members of the nation, and the most deprived areas of the country, to guarantee Labour’s hegemony – and they do it from fear of something worse!  ‘Uncle Joe’ would have been in awe of such brain-washing. I’m not sure how to describe this system, but it is not democracy. So it’s time we stopped pretending to believe it is democracy.

The priority from now on must be the defence of the nation from the obvious and increasing threats, not least colonisation and explotation. Make life as uncomfortable as possible for those who claim to run Wales, and for those who actually run Wales. Make Wales difficult to govern. Do this well enough and then, a few years down the line, we will be in a position to achieve far more than from a political game increasingly rigged against us. As great-aunt Gwladys used to say (drunk or sober): Politicians! boy bach – have nothing to do with the bastards unless you’ve got your hand on your wallet and your foot on their neck.

God bless you, great-aunt Gwladys. For you understood that politics is about power and influence, however exerted. Elections are for little people; silly little people who believe that elections change things.