2019: A Year to Remember?

Although it’s still 2018, in this post I look forward to the year ahead.

Already, at Westminster, we see chaos and in-fighting in both major parties, though there is within the Conservative Party an element that knows where it wants to take us. Maybe the question is how big this element is and how much support it has within the wider establishment and elsewhere.

Here in Wales we also see chaos, infused with hopelessness. For after twenty years of managing decline the Labour Party has given up all pretence at serving Wales and elected Mark Drakeford as ‘leader’. Apart from Neil McEvoy there seems to be no effective opposition to the slow drift towards greater deprivation and ultimately assimilation.

The latter may even be offered as a solution to the former – for as we’ll hear, ‘devolution has obviously failed Wales’. Many, unable to differentiate between the Labour Party and devolution, will agree with that.

Beyond the chambers of government politics is returning to the streets, with the far right resurgent. The element I’ve referred to within the Tories wonders whether these Wetherspoon’s warriors could be used to advance its agenda; but it needs the excuse, the crisis, to justify such an alliance. Will Brexit provide it, or perhaps some other unforeseen eventuality?

Let’s start by asking how we got here.

THE FETISHISATION OF THE POPPY

After the Scottish National Party took control of the Scottish Parliament in 2011, and a referendum on independence loomed, the UK establishment had cause to be grateful to an almost forgotten Serb nationalist. Though Gavrilo Princip could never have known that the events he set in train at Sarajevo in 1914 would be so shamelessly exploited by another tottering empire a century later.

For the one hundredth anniversary of World War One allowed our masters to fetishise the poppy and go so far over the top that, had they been at the first day of the Somme, they could have been half way to Berlin by nightfall.

Hiding behind ‘The Glorious Dead’ and piously mumbling ‘Lest we forget’ became mantras against the threatened departure of the Scots, Sinn Féin on the brink of becoming the largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly, and mounting divisions within England.

I’m not suggesting that hopes of Scottish independence were drowned in a sea of poppies, partly because the referendum took place on 18 September 2014, when the poppy cult had not yet reached tsunami proportions, with ‘weeping windows’ and other examples of necrolatry.

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But the BritNat offensive had already opened on other fronts. Television playing a major role. Consider this: in the final year of the Labour–Lib Dem coalition in the Scottish Parliament (to May 3, 2007) there were just 25 separate shows that had ‘Britain’ or ‘British’ in the title.

By January 2014, with the SNP in power, and with the independence referendum looming, the number of ‘Britain’ / ‘British’ programmes had rocketed to 516! This was no coincidence.

More recently, the ‘Everything is British’ agenda became almost laughable in its desperation when compliant supermarkets branded whisky and even haggis as ‘British’. (Though in fairness, the German supermarket chains Aldi and Lidl did not surrender to this diktat, most probably delivered as, ‘A quiet word, old chap . . . ‘.)

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There is no escaping it; the fear of Scottish independence coupled with the turning tide in the north east of Ireland, with Brexit thrown into the mix, has combined to give us a very nervous British establishment.

Just how desperate that establishment is, and how far it might go to preserve it’s influence, or hold the Union together, remains to be seen. But the augurs are worrying.

ENTER STAGE RIGHT, THE FAR RIGHT

A taste of what to expect was perhaps seen in George Square, Glasgow, when ‘celebrating’ Loyalists went on the rampage on September 19, 2014, the day after Scotland voted to remain in the UK.

It was all there in plain sight – union flags, Nazi salutes, destroying Saltires and attacking anyone who didn’t agree with their interpretation of Britishness. (White, Protestant, monolingual, royalist, Islamophobic, misogynist, homophobic, xenophobic.)

The problem posed by a state becoming more diverse yet containing a growing minority moving in the opposite direction is pretty obvious.

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The extract below taken from The Herald makes clear who was behind the George Square violence, for it explains the connection between a certain Glasgow Rangers supporters group, the English far right, and Northern Ireland paramilitaries.

“The entire loyalist demonstration had indeed been orchestrated online, it turned out. You sent us the online poster headed “Scotland Said No” asking for demonstrators to come to the city centre at 6pm. The poster was circulated widely by Britain First, the far-right party set up by ex-BNP members, which has a strong following in Northern Ireland and the west of Scotland.

Then you sent us Facebook postings from ordinary Rangers fans, horrified at what their fellow fans were planning. One read: ‘I am a Rangers supporter. The Rangers pages have been drumming up support to riot at George Square all day. It’s disgusting. I am ashamed of them.'”

I was surprised no one asked if there was official involvement in the George Square riot. Because we know that during The Troubles Loyalist terrorists were almost an extension of the UK state due to the intelligence, training and arms they received. While the intelligence services formed links with the National Front during the exile in England of Roberto Fiore.

Thankfully, Wales has been largely immune to this evil, though there is a little clique in Swansea, associated with the city’s football club. They used to call themselves Swansea Loyals and had a website showing photographs of their visits to Glasgow and Belfast. The website was taken down but the gang remained.

Some made their continued presence felt with the display of a union flag at the Liberty Stadium, but now, perhaps encouraged or motivated by the developments we’ve considered they feel emboldened. New banners have appeared, such as the one you see below.

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For those unable to ‘read’ the symbols, let me interpret. ‘Swansea Loyal’ is self-explanatory, loyal to the interpretation of ‘Britishness’ we saw in George Square. The badge on the right is that of Swansea City, on the left Glasgow Rangers, with those badges flanking the red hand symbol of Ulster. ‘Quis Separabit’ (‘Who shall separate [us]?) is the motto of the outlawed Ulster Defence Association (UDA).

Let me make clear that not all Rangers fans are bigots, not all Rangers fans support the UDA, and some Rangers fans even support Scottish independence, but let us also remember that among the various ditties sung by Gers’ fans is the notorious Famine Song which urges those of Irish Catholic descent in Scotland to ‘go home’.

Defenders of the banner have argued on Twitter that the motto has also been used by the British army regiment the Connaught Rangers (disbanded 1922), the Order of St Patrick (dormant order of chivalry), and the Irish Guards regiment, which is still active but – like so many units of the British Army – recruits from just about anywhere bar Russia. (Though my old mate Vladimir Vladimirovich has other ways of knowing what’s going on.)

I have tried before to explain how intertwined the histories of Scotland and Ireland are; exemplified by Glasgow Rangers being supported by the descendants of Scots who settled in Ulster, while Celtic fans are often the descendants of Irish immigrants to Scotland.

Wales has no such links. For which we should be thankful, it means we have been spared the hatred and the violence that results from these connections. And I don’t want to see this poison introduced into Wales, which is one reason why I oppose the Swansea Loyals.

The other reason I oppose these buggers is because they are anti-Welsh. They would destroy everything that distinguishes us as a nation and merge Wales into England.

Having felt marginalised for many years the far right must feel it’s being invited in from the cold when it sees a Tory MP threaten the Irish (Catholics) with food shortages; hears an SNP MP told to “Go back to Skye”; reads of a Plaid Cymru MP mocked for his accent.

Image courtesy of The National, click to enlarge

It’s unsurprising then that going into coalition with an extremist party such as the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) presented no dilemma for modern Tories.

Further encouragement for the fringes came from the rise of Ukip, while out on the streets and in social media the far right has found its voice in Tommy Robinson and others. A few years ago such people would have been ostracised, now they’re invited onto Newsnight, Question Time and other television programmes. (Though the invitations are usually from the BBC.)

What we’re dealing with here could be viewed as a continuum, one that extends, in one direction, from the BNP or the EDL or National Action to Ukip and then the Conservative Party; and in the other direction to Glasgow Rangers, affiliated ‘Loyal’ groups with other clubs, the Orange Order, and assorted terrorist groups. Giving us an extended continuum from the Tory Party to Loyalist terrorists.

And there seem to be extreme BritNat parties springing up all the time. I drew your attention in November to the Democrats & Veterans Party, which has a presence in Swansea and even a Welsh co-ordinator. (Though of course he’s not Welsh.) And who could forget Shane Baker, the bargain basement Baldrick of Nebo, another who has come to live among us.

As we’ve seen, this atmosphere of over-zealous and intolerant Britishism affects everything from haggis to Nicholas Soames of ‘Skye’ fame, grandson of Sir Winston Churchill – it even infects darts players!

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The far right is today more accepted by the establishment and the mainstream media than at any time I can recall. I remember Margaret Thatcher back in the 1980s urging people to reclaim the union flag from the National Front, but we hear no such calls today. ‘Unity’, is the cry, under the umbrella of unquestioning and increasingly intolerant Englishness/Britishness.

THE STARS OF ILL OMEN ALIGN

I believe that the poppy cult, tabloid campaigns against ‘Ungrateful Jock bastards’, Great British Cushions (BBC2, also available on iPlayer), all contributed towards the Brexit vote.

Whether that was the intention of those who whipped up this spittle-speckled BritNat hysteria is something that might become clear in the years ahead.

And it seems I’m not the only one feeling concerned. Already the UK government has put troops on standby for a no-deal Brexit, and I’m sure Cobra has other plans that we won’t hear of.

But the threat doesn’t really come from this direction, and I’m not sure that Brexit, even a no-deal Brexit, would be enough to prompt a putsch that had any hope of support within the establishment. The best hope for the putsch-minded in the period of uncertainty and recriminations following a no deal or bad deal Brexit might be to take over the Conservative Party and by extension the government.

Maybe the bigger threat comes from the fall-out from Brexit, in Scotland and Ireland. For I can predict with certainty that the bigger the cock-up over Brexit, or the more damaging the consequences, the greater the likelihood of Scottish independence and Irish reunification.

The threat of either could be the ‘trigger’ for the putsch. Both could plunge us into an Algeria/OAS (Day of the Jackal) situation with ‘loyalist’ rebels in the ‘breakaway’ territory linking with the far right and certain politicians in the ‘mother country’ . . . justifying ‘intervention’.

Another trigger could be the death of the Queen, now 92. There would be wide-spread resistance to Charles becoming king, and attempts to by-pass him and install his son William would stir up a constitutional hornets’ nest.

Or how about economic collapse leading to civil unrest? There was a major wobble in the markets over Christmas.

Tommy Robinson is obviously popular with these squaddies. Picture courtesy of Sky News. Click to enlarge

I mentioned earlier that the UK government has troops on stand-by but how reliable is the British Army, drawn largely from the same disgruntled white working class that fills the ranks of the far right? And it’s not just a few smiling squaddies posing with Tommy Robinson we need to worry about, there are some nasty buggers hiding in khaki.

The reason Brexit is dangerous – and the very reason we are facing Brexit – is because we Welsh are trapped in a state in irreversible decline where political leaders and a great portion of the population refuse to accept this reality.

A deluded populace enduring falling living standards guarantees the volatile political atmosphere welcomed by those promising to restore England’s greatness. And if that means curbing ‘the excesses of democracy’ and banging up a few ‘traitors’, then it will be done.

And because the English are masters of the political euphemism we shall never hear the words coup or putsch. It will be: ‘Uncertain times . . . national emergency . . . desperate measures . . . great reluctance . . . avoidance of civil unrest . . . suspension of habeas corpus . . . unfortunate necessity . . . national unity . . . abolition of Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly . . . necessary . . . recruitment of auxiliaries . . . ‘

WHAT WILL BE THE WELSH RESPONSE?

Despite the foot soldiers being ready and the plotters dreaming up titles for themselves, any talk of a putsch, or even a coup within the Conservative government, remains speculation. Yet it cannot be ruled out, while staying in the EU would excite the far right even more.

So what should be the Welsh response to any economic, constitutional or other crisis in 2019? Nationalists like myself will obviously argue even more strongly for breaking away from a divided and dysfunctional UK state. After all, the confusion I’ve described here is one reason I voted for Brexit.

You might argue that, ‘Wales also voted for Brexit, so Wales too is divided’. Wales voted for something, but the majority of Leave voters are to be found in the pissed-off but Welsh-identifying population from Blaenau Gwent to Swansea Bay. Present these with a different vision, a Welsh vision, and many can be won over.

But what of the left? Knowing the left as I do, many will view a putsch, even a half-hearted power grab, as a ‘British’ issue and start organising trips to London to be seen at whatever pointless rally metropolitan luvvies have organised.

That’s because too many on the left in Wales are trapped in a British mindset, which they like to disguise as ‘internationalist’ and flaunt in contradistinction to what they depict as ‘narrow nationalism’. But it’s never been anything other than a cop-out, just another way of saying, ‘We don’t really care about Wales’.

As a result, the left in Wales has been English colonialism’s greatest asset for a century, ever since Labour replaced that ‘too Welsh’ Liberalism that so alarmed Alderman Bird. Aided in more recent times by a left-controlled Plaid Cymru.

A leftism that dismisses any critic as a fascist in the hope of silencing them. And the smug, sanctimonious bastards who employ this censorship argue they’re defending freedom of expression, and claim the moral high ground!

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If the worst happens and the lunatics take over the asylum the left in Wales will have a choice. It can either seek to restore the asylum’s management, or it can choose to escape the asylum and build an independent Wales.

Come to that, why wait for a Dad’s Army putsch? Wales is a rich country made poor by the system we have now – what are you waiting for?

♦ end ♦

 

31 thoughts on “2019: A Year to Remember?

  1. Robert George Morgan

    Well firstly, who the he’ll have we got in Wales to run a Welsh government? Just take a look at Swansea, a corrupt counsel, people with no business knowledge. People only interested in lining their own pockets. Good talkers and that’s it. Come on, I would love to see Wales be very prosperous, but it’s never going to happen when you have a perfect site like velindre going begging for a major manufacturing company to invest wasted.
    There’s more but, there would not be enough space.

    1. I agree with you about the Labour Party, but Wales is more than the Labour Party, and is never going to achieve anything until we dump the Labour Party.

      Wales must encourage talent and ambition. I want to see Welsh youngsters having the ambition to set up their own business and employ well-educated people at good salaries. So much better than a diploma in social work and a lifetime in the third sector living off public funds.

      1. Dafis

        Oh you are a heretic ! More of this and you will get carted off for “corrective therapy” administered, no doubt, by one of those 3rd sector operators. Topsy-turvy world where real problems get ignored while others are made up to keep party supporters in business.

      2. Taff jones

        Have you seen the shower of shit running the welsh assembly, you really believe a socialist voting and gov led country would generate the type of economy that would or could sustain the production of entrepeneurs from poor backgrounds?

        What in gods name are you smoking u fool?

        Youve written about the effects of socialism in other blogs. Its crazy to see this being ur view here in response to a comment after everything youve previously stated about socialism.

        When its not in regards to welsh independence socialism sucks, and rightly so, but here in order to counter a comment you adopt the position that independence somehow would be good for entrepeneurs aslong as its socialism as a consequence of independence from england.

        Thank the lord only 8% of wales agrees.

        Id love to hear your explanation of how an independent wales is somehow a way of inspiring entrepeneurs. I cant see any problems arising with supporting and maintaining that suppirt for those from poor backgrounds under a socialist parliament who lives to spend but as a self sufficient entity would raise much less than they needed for their spending sprees.

        People like you think welsh and scottish nationalism somehow have builtin credibility but english or british nationalism have none.

        The cognitive disonance displayed throughout your blog thoughts and comment responses shows your motivated idelogically rather than morally. You need to grow up and stop forming dishonest and inconsistent arguments in support of an end goal.

        P.s the only one on the fringe out of UKIP, Tommy Robinson and yourself is you my friend. Welsh independence is fringe as fuck. Theres nothing fringe about UKIP policy or tommys views.

  2. “when you have a perfect site like velindre going begging for a major manufacturing company to invest wasted”………

    Maybe investers are put off by Wales having a socialist government who’s archaic ethos is to ‘seize the means of production’.

    A nation and it’s mentality could be construed as the political party it keeps electing.

    Swedish election highlights decline of center-left parties across Western Europe…..

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/09/12/swedish-election-highlights-decline-of-center-left-parties-across-western-europe/

    We have two options: ‘seize the means of production’ or vote for something modern.

    As the ‘means of production’ seems to have been exported to China – I suggest that we vote for something modern in Wales.

  3. DiEnw

    I think that RG Morgan makes a good point.
    Are there the quantity and quality of potential officers to administer an independent Wales?
    It is my impression that a generation of young educated bilingual talent has left the locality to Bristol and further afield looking for jobs, opportunity and housing because they have been failed by the current administration.

    1. But you’ve answered your own question. Of course we produce the talent we need, every country does, but then too much of it has to leave.
      Build a country that makes them want to stay.

      1. DiEnw

        They would like to stay Jac but,especially here, there is nothing for them.
        No affordable housing, no jobs was that would enable them to afford the housing that is on the market in the area,which is brought up by those who move in from away with money in the bank.
        Unless they are born to farm there is little for them and even for them the future looks hard. Selling off land to the one planet crew will keep them going for a while.
        Weep for Wales

  4. Andy E

    I sat my two children (9 and 14) down a couple of weeks ago and explained I had lived through two periods of major political strife: The winter of discontent, as a young child, and then later, in my late teens, the miners strike of the early 80’s. I recalled my memories of those major political events and advised that there is a high likelihood that we are about to experience something of similar, if not greater magnitude. Your blog identifies the key battlegrounds for what is coming but like Brexit nobody knows where ‘we’ will end up.

    I concluded my conversation, with my kids, by saying there is nothing for them to worry about and explained that, like me, they will look back on this period as a notable point in the history of Wales and our troubled union with the UK (and EU), They both shrugged their shoulders with a ‘Dad what are you on about’ look and were soon back at their screens and the virtual world – Good on them.

    Jac – Keep up the good work and look forward to your continued take on unfolding events during 2019 including the next season Weep for Wales Episodes.

    1. As you say, Andy, nobody knows where this is heading.

      My motivation for writing this piece was that after thinking about it I couldn’t come up with a good outcome for Brexit. It’s either no deal, a bad deal, or staying in.

      The first two will have serious economic repercussions while the third option avoids economic disaster but it will piss off some very dangerous people. Which could lead to a lot more than an economic downturn.

      Even though it’s not being discussed openly a lot I know that in more moderate circles it’s dawning on people in positions of authority that the wrong deal, a hard border, could ‘lose’ both Ireland and Scotland. And if that happens then a lot of people in Wales will have a major re-think about our relationship with England.

      But more worrying is that people like JR-M, BJ, DD and others accept that there’s a risk in Ireland and Scotland but they want to push ahead anyway in the belief that they can somehow control events in these countries. It’s that nineteenth century mindset we’ve seen displayed too often in this farce. Does England have any gunboats nowadays?

      And of course it might help if we had a UK government that knew what the hell it was doing.

      No, this cannot end well, in the short term.

  5. Dafis

    Towards the end of his article Jac says : “A leftism that dismisses any critic as a fascist in the hope of silencing them. And the smug, sanctimonious bastards who employ this censorship argue they’re defending freedom of expression, and claim the moral high ground!”

    Left of what, God only knows. I sense an utter lack of understanding among these people as to what constitutes a left or a right, how they even manage to drive out of a side street must be purely down to chance. But self appointed guardians of the pseudo socialist orthodoxy they are and they are welcome to it. The tragedy is that we have more than our fair share of these muppets operating at a highly visible level of Welsh politics and they get away with it. Combine that lot with the deluded remnant-imperialists that inhabit the London bubble and as Jac says it won’t end well in the short term. But there is a glimmer of hope because these goons can do themselves a lot of damage, sufficient to arouse a renewed interest among the common people of this land ( and England, maybe ) in how they are governed. One good upheaval and the likes of JRM might just bugger off after his money overseas while our native pseudos might buzz off to Venezula or somewhere similar to enjoy their ideal of heaven on earth.

    1. One of the most shocking stories to come out recently was about the two Scandinavian tourists beheaded in Morocco. I’m sure they were unprepared for what happened to them by being brought up in a liberal and politically correct society teaching that the only bad people are white people with nasty ideas about others.

      Obviously those who killed these girls must be punished, but the society that brought them up and taught them that it was perfectly fine for unaccompanied white women to go camping in Morocco must also bear some blame.

      1. Brychan

        I think you will find the ‘Scandinavian normal’ of equality and liberty pre-date the recent British concept of ‘politically correct’ by many decades. In Sweden, they have a term for the ‘overseas new liberal left’ who have only recently woken up to the ‘normal’ politics of Scandinavia and weaponised it for their own domestic agenda. The term is ‘Svenska normer och världsbilder’. Best translated as Swedish standards and world image.

        There is an idealised view of Sweden espoused by the metro centric liberal elite elsewhere in the world with little understanding of the long history of the Swedish application of ‘normal common sense’.

        Your second paragraph is also completely incorrect. Swedish travel advise to muslim majority countries clearly explains caution for unaccompanied women, homosexuality, the bearing of flesh and dress code. The Morocco murders in Sweden was reported as ‘stupids who didn’t heed the travel advise’ whereas the British media centred on a ‘white pretty blonde females atrocity’.

        A Welsh nationalist should take care to find out how other nations see themselves not comment on it through the lens of the English papers or the BBC.

        An example – We’ve recently seen the Brit-fest over the centenary of the suffragette movement in Britain. This was when votes for women were awarded in 1918 but only to only those over 30 and owning real estate or a university degree. Sweden has had universal votes for women since 1909 as this was ‘normal common sense’. A fact ignored by a whole series of ‘Britishness documentaries’ during 2018 and the Welsh faux feminist twitterarti.

        Another “unreported issue” in Sweden is the housing shortage. It’s caused a bit of a stir at EU level because some municipalities have started to exclude affluent Danes who like to rent eco-apartments in places like Malmö at ‘affordable rents’ and commute across the Öresund Bridge. I wonder if the Welsh Government are now going to adopt this policy and levee a 10% stamp duty on house sales or ban access to affordable housing in Gwent to mitigate the surge of English people crossing Pont Hafren? Diawl, Swedish model innit.

  6. Dafis

    re your recent tweet – Welfare of Cats is of particular interest to the Bay Bubble brigade because some of them have been known to be partial to pussy, and we wouldn’t want any abuse perpetrated, would we!

    Bit surprised to see the odious Tommy Robinson in a photo with what must be serving squaddies although some of them look like they are out of a school play, lack of big ugly bastards there that might scare the odd IS or AQ fanatic. We know that the Armed Forces are part of the declining British Empire’s array of “policy tools” but consenting to that photo and allowing its continued presence is negligent in the extreme. They’ll have Black and Tans decked out in full kit next, although the number of PMC businesses operating out of U.K and its “dependencies” suggests that there is a force in waiting if the money is right.

    1. Red Flag

      They were recruits. The bulk of recruits in the British Army are and always have been, aged between 17 & 18.

  7. CambroUiDunlainge

    I think Ireland will probably have difficulties first (though I think they’ve never actually stopped). Scotland will ask for a referendum and probably be denied – wonder if we’ll see a Catalunya like situation arise there – it depends on how Westminster deals with it though. Situation in Ireland may well determine the mood of the establishment and how it deals with Scotland. Things really do have the ingredients to reach a level of “out of control” not seen for a few centuries though.

    As for us… hard to say. I think its about waiting and seeing what unfolds. The movement has become increasingly fractious and there’s plenty of people claiming the spoils of war before we’ve even fought a battle. So not feeling to hopeful at the moment but as long as all these different groups are winning hearts and minds towards Indy it’s not a total bust. Yet.

    1. There is a theory that says the Scottish Parliament could declare independence without a referendum. Which perhaps means that prior to the next election the SNP could say, ‘A vote for us is a vote for independence’. The Greens and a few other smaller parties could say the same and get a majority of the vote.
      Then there’s the debate over 1707 which says the sovereign Scottish parliament back then was prorogued not abolished. As it was prorogued it could be recalled – but by whom?
      It’s a constitutional minefield. Made worse by an unwritten constitution.

      1. CambroUiDunlainge

        I dare say we could also declare Independence without a referendum – provided we have a nationalist majority. Referendums will always be interfered with so a unilateral declaration is probably a preferred route – but I’d suspect Westminster would attempt to suspend devolution in Scotland – I dare say that’s potentially where the 1707 Act would be brought up by the SNP.

        Though I do wonder how we fit into it. When it was signed Wales was part of England (I don’t think we’re mentioned at all in the text). The Welsh language acts identify Wales as a nation unto itself within the Union. So… if Scotland leaves the Union breaks… and our status is a bit murky.

        1. Red Flag

          You can forget any idea at all of independence until you can come up with something that appeals to the majority of ethnic welsh – who are non-welsh speaking and have no desire to be otherwise, and appeals to a substantial chunk of the English settlers.

          To think otherwise is being pathetically naive – and that’s being polite. In fact it’s being Plaid Cymru, who are possibly the only political party in history to offer free membership and then see their membership fall and for them to decline in the opinion polls.

  8. Brychan

    I see that BBC Radio Wales are celebrating that the author, Philip Pullman has been awarded a knighthood in the New Years Honours list. For those who don’t know he was born in Norwich and is famous for writing books for children. The BBC considers him ‘Welsh’ because although raised in ‘Southern Rhodesia’ he spent some teenage years at Llanbedr in Gwynedd. This is when his RAF pilot dad accidently crashed in Kenya while machine gunning the Mau Mau. Philip Pullman himself is an ‘anti-Catholic’ known for objecting to the state visit of the Pope to the UK in 2010. So if you are the lovee circles of the cultural elite in London and spent a few years in Wales in the 1950s, the BBC considers you getting a knighthood as being a ‘Welsh intellectual’.

  9. Dafis

    Cupid Stunt who writes the tweets LookoutWales@HughPugh should know that the guy who figures as Geraint Pillock is a fine fellow called Denzil from the Cenarth area. If Denzil has consented to this kind of piss take then no more can be said. However if Cupid Stunt is doing it without Denzil’s consent he might find need for corrective orthopaedic surgery. Maybe he can assure us through these columns that dear old Denz is O.K with all this.

    1. Wynne

      I often see Denzil in Three Horse Shoes Cenarth. My local pub on Friday night. Author of at least two books, one about Cenarth and the other “Bunch of Fives” about the lives of 5 boxers from South West Wales, including Chris Lawson from Cardigan.

      Happy new year to everyone. Blwythyn Newydd Dda I bawb.

      1. Dafis

        Dyna fe. Hen fachan hyfryd iawn.

        A Blwyddyn Newydd Dda, pan daw hi, i bawb sy’n troi mewn i’r llecyn hwn.

        1. I often have a chat with Denzil. I can remember him telling me that he doesn’t have a problem with ‘Geraint Pillock’ although he wasn’t too sure initially. I would sometimes pass through Cenarth and often see Denzil with the poet Eluned Phillips (now deceased and one time friend of Edith Piaf) and one or two others sitting on a chair chatting and watching the world go by as you enter the village. It was a nice scene almost from another era.

  10. Dafis

    Interesting tweet from Sian Gwenllian regarding an industrial park in Bangor that’s not got off the ground despite being available to tenants for 18 YEARS. She’s quite right to call it scandalous but coming a close second is Plaid Cymru’s reluctance until now to pipe up about the situation. I appreciate that Sian is a fairly recent recruit into the “cylch” down the Bay so a degree of mitigation there, but many of her comments mark her out to be cut from the same compliant cloth as longer serving Plaidistas who have found it well nigh impossible to confront Labour’s shoddy performance over the last 20 years. Is there any record of her raising this matter when the parc was say 10 years old as she was most likely a Plaid councillor in Gwynedd around that time and could have had an immediate local interest in the subject.

    1. Red Flag

      Said Parc is extraordinarily popular with fly-tippers and Gypos (soryy I mean loveable Irish travellers.).

      The council – God bless them, secure the area with basic ten bob padlocks and cheap chains – which as every one knows can withstand everything up to a thermo-nuclear device. (but not a transit van ‘leaning’ on the gates.)

      That said, as a result I have earned up to 800 a week guarding plant machinery stored there over night, Begorrah and God bless the Gypos I say and long may their total disrespect for the locality and general lawlessness continue.

    2. Red Flag

      And Parc Cybi on the outskirts of Holyhead has fared little better. Although in recent years a giant truck stop (Roadking) has opened and a Premier Inn is nearing completion.

      Not bad for something that was touted as going to be a hi-tech business park, soaked up £10M of Welsh government money installing infrastructure – including having 100Mbs fibre-optic internet laid all the way from England over 10 years ago (bizarrely stopping there rather than lay an extra half mile to the Holyhead BT exchange). Most of the Parc is used to this day for sheep-grazing.

      You really really couldn’t make it up.

      1. Dafis

        Such are the delights of targetted public sector investment in most parts of Wales, the value for money metrics can’t cope with such excellence. The Cynulliad must be awash with experts in industrial strategy ! I am in awe of their sheer mastery of their chosen discipline.

  11. Sian Ifan

    WAKE UP ALL TOO LATE, IF INDEPENDENCE BECAME A REALITY WHAT WOULD CHANGE? NOTHING! IT’S GAME OVER WALES, FIN! FOR LAST 50 YEARS ONLY CULTURAL NATIONALISM HAS BENEFITED OTHERWISE POLITICAL NATIONALISTS LIVE IN A FB GHETTO TOO SCARED TO SAY BOO TO ANYTHING TOO CHALLENGING AS NETFLIX IN CAERNARFON 2018. THAT PROVED YER ALL TALK AND NO ACTION. GETHIN.

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