Ain’t no mountain high enough . . . to escape the ravages of saturation tourism

PLEASE APPRECIATE THAT I GET SENT MORE INFORMATION AND LEADS THAN I CAN USE. I TRY TO RESPOND TO EVERYONE WHO CONTACTS ME BUT I CANNOT POSSIBLY USE EVERY BIT OF INFORMATION I’M SENT. DIOLCH YN FAWR

TURNING THE TAPS ON A BIT MORE

Wales has just experienced another Bank Holiday. Even so, I hadn’t intended writing anything relating to it until I read this piece on the BBC Wales website in which Elfyn Jones of the British Mountaineering Council argued for ‘investment’.

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According to Elfyn: “It’s great to see tens, if not hundreds of thousands of people enjoying the Welsh countryside – but how can we cope and deal with so many people? . . . Footpaths are being eroded, car parks are overflowing and we don’t have enough facilities for litter or toilets . . . “We need to invest in our infrastructure if we are to maintain this growth in people coming here . . . “It’s also absolute chaos for the locals trying to live amongst it.”

Elfyn sounds a bit confused. Is it really “great” to see hundreds of thousands of people swarming over the Welsh countryside, especially when so many are concentrated in certain locations?

Though in his favour, Elfyn Jones admits that footpaths are being eroded, that there are many other problems, yet rather than promote the obvious remedy – a reduction in tourist numbers – he insists we must accept and cater for the increase.

This is insane, especially as he admits that locals are suffering from the problems brought by the current numbers. For God’s sake, Elfyn, if your bathroom was flooded you wouldn’t turn the taps on a bit more, would you!

As we’ve seen, Elfyn Jones was speaking on behalf of the British Mountaineering Council, an organisation to be found nestling among the intimidating peaks of . . . West Didsbury, in Manchester.

Naturally, I went to the BMC website, and below you’ll a screen capture from that site. I was immediately struck by there being no mention of Scotland, where I’m told there are quite a few mountains.

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The absence of the Munros is due to the fact that the ‘British’ Mountaineering Council, like the Green Party, and the Planning Inspectorate, and countless other bodies we have to live with, covers only England and Wales.

Having established that the use of the term ‘Britain’ is misleading I was surprised to read elsewhere on the website that the BMC has a ‘National Council’. How can there be a National Council when there are two countries involved that do not together form a political unit?

Perhaps the answer is that there may be two countries making up the BMC but – with the exceptions of Elfyn Jones and chairman Gareth Pierce – the hierarchy and the membership comes from just one nation.

This is more than mere semantics, for it betrays the BMC as an Englandandwales body. Or to put it another way, English climbers and Welsh mountains. Just more ‘Playground Wales’.

No one should be surprised by this. Let’s not forget that the Plas y Brenin National Outdoor Centre at Capel Curig is owned by Sport England.

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The truth is that we already have too many visitors to Yr Wyddfa, Pen y Fan and other sites. Anyone arguing that bigger car parks and more toilets is the answer either doesn’t understand the problem or else is trying to avoid it.

And this problem I’m referring to is not confined to Wales, it is global: any place attracting large numbers of visitors will pay the price in noise, disruption, strain on local services, traffic gridlock, environmental degradation and cultural erosion.

Even Mount Everest is suffering.

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The ‘British’ Mountaineering Council reminds us of the colonial relationship between Wales and England and it also leads on to the wider problem, which is tourism in general, and tourism’s effects on Wales.

Last word: Maybe Elfyn Jones and Gareth Pierce should consider their positions as token Taffs in this English organisation. Why not form a Welsh mountaineering group? Why not reclaim Plas y Brenin? Also ‘Mount Snowdon’?

CUI BONO?

The subject I’m writing about is of course referred to by journalists and politicians as ‘Welsh tourism’. But to regard it as Welsh in any sense other than the locational would be a mistake.

The companies that own the major tourism enterprises in Wales are almost all owned by outsiders. The same applies to smaller businesses like hotels, pubs, restaurants and shops. This is especially so in those areas and communities that nowadays have no raison d’être other than ‘tourist destination’.

Think about that. You’ve lived in your town or village all your life, it’s where you ran around with your mates when you were young, you met a girl and got married, had children, but to some hack writing in a magazine nobody reads except in a dentist’s waiting room, the place you call home is just a tourist destination.

But it makes sense, because tourism seeks to lessen the claim of indigenes to a city, a region, or a country; and then, in the interests of those who pay hacks to write about ‘tourism destinations’, pretend these places ‘belong to everybody’, and exist solely ‘to be enjoyed’.

So if we Welsh don’t own the businesses making the money, what benefits do we see from tourism? Well of course there’s jobs.

The most recent figures available with StatsWales are for 2015 (don’t ask me why there are none more recent). And they claim that in that year tourism-related industries provided 131,300 jobs. Though I’ve always been concerned about that term ‘tourist-related’, suspecting that it’s somewhat ‘elastic’.

This elasticity might explain why ‘tourism-related industries’ provided 5,700 jobs in Rhondda Cynon Taf but only 4,600 in Denbighshire, despite the northern county having the coastal resorts of Rhyl and Prestatyn plus a number of inland hot spots, the most notable of which would probably be Llangollen, home to the International Musical Eisteddfod. (In which I competed one year.)

I’m not sure what fun spots lie hidden within the borders of Rhondda Cynon Taf to compete with Denbighshire’s attractions.

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Maybe the job numbers for RCT are exaggerated, with ‘tourism-related’ giving the game away. Whatever the answer, jobs in tourism are nothing to brag about, tending to be low skill, low pay and seasonal.

Tourism certainly doesn’t provide the kind of employment that enables people to buy a home; certainly not in those areas where property prices are inflated by tourists buying holiday homes, and moving in, or retiring. No local employee in tourism could buy a home in Abersoch, Rhosneigr, Aberdyfi or ‘Sand Banks‘.

Moving on . . .

You’d think that so few positives would be reason enough to discourage saturation tourism, and the picture gets even bleaker when we consider the negatives. One of the downsides would be traffic congestion, resulting in many areas being so overwhelmed with tourists that the quality of life for locals is seriously impaired.

Another consequence of tourism is that many operators drop Welsh names in favour of English. There are so many examples that I can’t list them all, but Happy Donkey Hill is one I’ve written about, then there’s Stallion Valley, not forgetting Wynnborn, and more recently, Slate Mountain.

The ‘phlegm’ comments were eventually removed, but only after complaints. Either the site is not moderated, or else the moderator accepts borderline racism, as long as it’s anti-Welsh. Click to enlarge

This is a result of having an English tourism industry in Wales that – despite the desperate marketing of Visit Wales – wants its customers to think they’re in a part of England with nicer scenery, cleaner beaches, higher mountains, etc – so do away with names that when spoken sound as if someone is bringing up phlegm.

Another issue guaranteed to raise emotions is holiday homes. Though I recall (Ifan) Prys Edwards, when he was chairman of the old Wales Tourist Board, and probably during the Meibion Glyndŵr campaign, appearing on television and proclaiming that holiday homes had nothing to do with tourism!

I forget which programme it was, and I can’t recall the ‘interviewer’, but I remember being amazed, and angry, that Edwards was allowed to get away with such a statement. The ‘Welsh media’, eh!

About three years ago, Cyngor Gwynedd was considering raising council tax on holiday homes, leading to a debate in the Cambrian News. Some of the comments from the defenders of holiday homes, and tourism generally, were not only absurd, they were insulting.

Here’s a taste:

  • “Holiday homes put a lot of money into the local economy”. Response: More than would be put into the local economy if a holiday home was lived in 52 weeks of the year?
  • “I do worry about a return to the burning of holiday homes by Nationalist extremists”. Response: what special kind of idiot believes that tackling the issue of holiday homes, and reducing their numbers, would result in another arson campaign?
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  • (Increasing council tax on holiday homes) “borders on racism”. Response: There is no sensible or reasonable argument against holiday homes not paying extra council tax, and anyone who has to resort to ‘racism’ is only confirming that.
  • ” . . . coastal towns and villages came into being because of tourism in Victorian times”. Response: This is classic colonialism – ‘They had nothing before we arrived’. In fact, the population of Merioneth was higher in 1841, before the first train arrived, than in 2011, after almost a century and a half of tourism. It’s worth remembering that ‘resorts’ like Barmouth, Aberdyfi and Porthmadog were busy ports and shipbuilding centres in the 19th century.

The arsehole who contributed that last comment, Andrew Currie, lives just up the road from me. In addition to being an arrogant colonialist he’s also a Green. We don’t talk.

To conclude, ‘Welsh’ tourism was never intended to benefit Wales, or the Welsh. We suffer saturation tourism today for three reasons:

  • CULTURAL: Tourism Anglicises Wales, partly through the regular invasions, but more insidiously through the population movement it encourages. (Though I’m sure Prys Edwards would argue differently.)
  • ECONOMIC: Tourism serves England economically because money spent by English tourists in Wales will make its way back to England by one route or another. Unlike money spent abroad.
  • POLITICAL: Tourism encourages a dependency mindset by encouraging us to believe that we’d all starve without English tourists . . . who would still be welcome in an independent Wales that could legislate on numbers and keep the money they’d spend in the country.

THE ‘WELSH GOVERNMENT’

The attitude of the ‘Welsh Government’ is dictated by the tourism industry itself, and can be spelled out as, ‘There’s no such thing as too many tourists (go and wash your mouth out!)’. Wales would need to be gridlocked for a few days, with communities cut off and resorting to cannibalism before anyone in the tourist industry admitted, ‘Well, maybe we do need to manage things a bit better’.

If they won’t reduce numbers then the complacent clowns down Corruption Bay could introduce a tourism tax, so that money raised in the worst affected areas was used to compensate the indigenous population in some way. But no, they listen to the advice of those running the ‘Welsh’ tourism industry, greedy and insensitive bastards who should not be allowed within half a mile of a golden goose.

The sad fact is that the self-styled ‘Welsh Government’ is more than happy to see scenes like this inflicted regularly on our precious and fragile landscape.

Yes, how frightfully British. Unfortunately it’s happening in Wales. Click to enlarge

And yet, these politicians I refer to recently made a climate emergency declaration. The same twats who – after promising they wouldn’t – gave over large areas on the outskirts of Cardiff to English house building companies, firms that will bank their profits and leave the mess behind for us sort out. Labour will also cave in and allow the redevelopment of the M4, because it’s what London wants, not what Wales needs.

Even before the climate emergency declaration the ‘Welsh’ Government introduced legislation like the One Planet con and The Well-being of Future Generation Act, all designed – we were told – to bring Wales into closer harmony with Nature and reduce our carbon footprint. But not if it means upsetting the strangers who exploit and despoil our country, who change our ancient names and regard us as some inferior species to be elbowed aside.

When it come to saving the planet, the ‘Welsh’ Labour Government says the right things but is betrayed time after time by its actions in some areas and its lack of action in others. But then, that’s the deceitful, gimmicky shites they are.

All piss and wind, and ever obedient to England’s wishes.

♦ END ♦

 

35 thoughts on “Ain’t no mountain high enough . . . to escape the ravages of saturation tourism

  1. Anonymous

    Bore da Jac , completely off topic

    Just recovering from the barrage of jingoistic bullshit from the media about the upcoming Euro final between 2 “great” English clubs, densely populated by imported foreign stars from a number of different nations and indeed were it not for those foreigners those 2 clubs would have not gone very far in the competition. So to all England, calm down and for once recognise the debt you owe to Johnny Foreigner, without whom you would be NOTHING.

    Perhaps they will reflect on the truth in a sober moment and realise how little of value they have given the rest of the world and how much they have taken away.

    1. Dafis

      Good morning again, Dafis here. Anon above is ME ! Don’t know why but my identity was lost on that last posting.

    2. Liverpool is American-owned, managed by a German, and the scorers on Tuesday night were Dutch and Belgian. Spurs is owned by ENIC International Ltd, managed by an Argentine, and the scorer last night comes from Brazil.

      Tonight it’s the semi-finals of the Europa League, with US-owned Arsenal playing Valencia and Russian-owned Chelsea playing Eintracht Frankfurt. The Arsenal manager is a Spanish Basque and the Chelsea manager is Italian. The likely scorers for both sides are non-English.

      Certainly, the results this week argue for the strength of the English Premier League and the foreign investment it attracts, but what it says about English football is less easy to determine.

      1. Neil Singleton

        Not Premiership (yet) but my beloved Derby County is owned by an Englishman (Mel Morris), born and bred in Derby. Our manager is one Frank Lampard, English, and the majority of playing staff are British……..just saying.

        1. If Derby County makes it to the Premier League, and if it wants to be more than a perennial relegation contender, then it will need to sign overseas players and almost certainly get a foreign manager.

  2. Brychan

    In the village of Bosherston in South Pembrokeshire there’s a rather quaint tea-room. There’s a sign in their car park saying “Patrons Only”.

    https://worldspanmedia.s3.amazonaws.com/media/wotga/carousel/image/marion-davies-bosherston-village.jpg

    I went there and asked for a pot of tea for two and a round of assorted scones. The waitress asked us if we actually wanted scones, and eat. This got me wondering as to what other people do with their scones. A confused looking seagull was loitering.

    An explanation was forthcoming “Some people just opt to pay for the scones in order to get a parking space when the National Trust car park [next door] is full. We then donate some of the price tendered to the National Trust. If you just want to pay for them but don’t actually need them, just let us know.”

    https://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/07/ff/d9/51/lily-ponds.jpg

    The National Trust is a charity and donations are exempt from VAT, but a tea-room of such significant turnover and be registered for VAT. This is payable on the full value of tendered sale. Does HMRC know about this ‘ad-hoc arrangement”?

  3. Wrexhamian

    English ownership of small businesses: My Mam watches ‘The Antiques Road Trip’, in which antiques experts drive around the UK hunting bargains in antique shops. Whenever they come to Wales, I always make a mental note of how many of the antique shops are owned by people with a Welsh accent. Average figure: about one in ten.

    Colonisation through environmentalist smoke-and-mirrors: Does anyone know if ‘re-wilding’, or ‘One-Planet’-type actions, and other such projects are being promoted in the English countryside? Or is Wales alone to enjoy its ‘benefits’?

    1. David Smith

      You really think the Chipping Norton set would allow these hippies within 100 miles of their toff enclaves?

    2. The UK Gov’t wants to to plant more trees. The ‘Welsh Government’ is using Brexit to cut payments to farmers. Monbiot and the rewilders see their chance to take over large swathes of Wales.

      Partly explained in this article from Llais y Sais a few days ago.
      https://drive.google.com/file/d/1wzvR0MwYUIXyL6Ljq_isPTfVD1-UDR_U/view?usp=sharing

      The Scottish Government has promised to maintain payment levels to farmers after Brexit. Which might explain why, last week, Michael Gove floated the idea of Westminster taking back certain responsibilities over agriculture from the devolved administrations. This could well tie in with the SNP not playing ball and freeing up vast acreages by pushing farming families off the land.

      1. Dafis

        As I wrote in my earlier comment on Gove’s ideas, I suspect that he will meet a stonewall response from Madame Sturgeon who will see it for what it is and will turn it to her advantage.

        Here in Wales we are lumbered with a compliant, insipid bunch in the Bay most of whom don’t see much if any value in farming, particularly the traditional family unit. Combine that with some spaced-out fantasist notions about re-wilding and a cynical dismissal of farming and rural communities as not fetching enough votes and you have a recipe for wholesale betrayal. Tories should care but one gets the feeling that they too have become urban-focussed and would be easily swayed if there was a buck to be made from adopting such absurd policies.

        Therefore it will come down to the farmers themselves. Common sense dictates that they should get seriously militant, join a movement that would welcome and support them ( I wonder who ?) and show some real interest in defending their way of life into the future. That would mean looking beyond the immediate EU funds question at matters relating to the shape of our evolving society.

      2. David Smith

        Westminster needs to burn, and at this stage I’ll settle for metaphorically or literally. The worst fact is so many blinded imbeciles are in thrall to this cunt of an imperial overlordship because of state propaganda lines like “standing together in the war”, “breaking up Britain” and other such misleading, blatantly emotive or entirely irrelevant soundbites.

    3. Anonymous

      So an Independant Wales would mean compulsory repatriation of all non – Welsh? How about non – Welsh speaking Welsh too?

  4. Tony

    Not often do I agree with a large part of your article. As a native of Bangor but now living near Criccieth, I’ve said for years tourism in North Wales is saturated. In the 90’s I remember walking behind my Nain’s small holding in Nant Peris, and then partly walking up Elidir and not seeing any people in doing so. That would have been the summer holidays . Space!

    Now that’s not the case, even in winter. Don’t get me started on the Llyn. Its like a play ground and us locals get treated like safari park exhibits “do you live here? ” “do you speak Welsh? ” Surprised I’ve not been thrown an apple or something while sitting on bench outside cottage.

    Tourism has its place in a balanced economy but its now taking too much of the pie. Of course its not just wales, Barcelona and Venice are suffering the same fate.

    I’m not too bothered by holiday homes but more of the attitude “we’re here now!”

  5. Eos Pengwern

    I spent the bank holiday weekend very pleasantly in Eifionydd, where I had also spent my primary school years so I know the area well. What struck me was that most of the tourist infrastructure is run by outsiders and is almost a parallel universe to the local population. I’m sure I could have gone there as a tourist without ever speaking to a Welsh person, let alone hearing any Welsh spoken.

    So, for example, the reception and coffee shop at Plas Brondanw, Clough Williams-Ellis’s old home, was entirely staffed by English people. I went in and asked for admission in Welsh, but was told (politely enough, but even so) that no-one there spoke it. I then went to the village shop in nearby Llanfrothen; same story, three staff, all English. Since they didn’t have what I needed, I went on to the Spar in Penrhydeudraeth where out of two staff behind the counter, one was Welsh but the other English.

    In Dylan’s on Criccieth sea front on Saturday night, all except one of the half-dozen front-of-house staff who served us were obviously English, not so much as a Welsh accent between them. One of them, to her great credit, sounded English when she spoke English but could also speak Welsh.

    Yet get away from the tourist traps and coast, and a different picture emerged. Povey’s butchers in Chwilog is still solidly local, and I was able to converse in Welsh with all the staff there and pick up copies of the two local papurau bro (Y Ffynnon, serving Eifionydd, and Llanw Llŷn serving Penllŷn).

    In church in Criccieth on Sunday morning (Criccieth Family Church on Lon Ednyfed), the congregation of ~200 or so was inflated with visitors but a real bilingual mix; the service was led by a Scotsman who opened it in perfect Welsh before switching to English, the minister there is a Welsh-speaker from Flint who preaches in English but switches into Welsh occasionally, and the hymns came up on the screen in both languages so that people could sing in whichever one they chose.

    Visiting my old next-door neighbours on Sunday afternoon, they reassured me that the village is as Welsh-speaking as ever, my old school is full and all the kids speak Welsh in the playground.

    Yet walking around Borth-y-Gest the following morning I didn’t hear a single accent that wasn’t English. I suppose that wasn’t surprising on a bank holiday Monday.

    What seems clear is that for whatever reason, the tourist trade is run by the English rather than the Welsh; and I can’t tell whether that’s because (a) the locals are deliberately excluded from it, (b) the locals have no interest in it and have better things to do with their lives, (c) the tourist trade is run and staffed by incomers, or (d) because the tourism trade is seasonal it brings its staff in seasonally from the same places as it brings its customers.

    1. Wrexhamian

      Compare the situation in Gwynedd with that in Edinburgh. The locals own most of the tourism-based businesses (the tartan shops, the cafes, etc.), and as a result the money stays in Edinburgh. It may take some crafty use of legislation to create a Welsh tourism industry over which the Welsh have ownership and control.

      Unlike Scotland, the situation in Wales has the added dimension of the language. Welsh will never become the main language of the workplace in the tourism sector because Welsh-speaking tourism staff will always be expected to code-shift to English whenever someone from over the border walks through the door. And since Welsh tourism is largely owned by settlers and is primarily intended for the enjoyment of English visitors, those owners will always provide jobs for other white-flighters.

      Outside the Bro Gymraeg, I suspect the situation is even worse. The front-line staff at Wrecsam Museum are a mixture of incomers and locals, but hardly any of the locals can answer a question from a visitor in Welsh. The policy of the museum’s manager towards the Welsh language is to not facilitate its use by museum staff (he more or less said so on YouTube).

      If we have to have a Welsh tourism industry, then the whole thing needs a new approach.

  6. David Smith

    I need to ask. Because the naysayers wiĺl. What is the stance on the border with England. Undoubtedly a hard border is out of the question. Our highways and railways weave in and out. Indeed the quickest way to Wrexham from the north Wales coast is out and back in again.

    1. As with all other aspects of a future relationship the border must be approached from a position of mutual respect, and mutual benefit. Obviously there can’t be a hard border, but nor can we allow Chester, Shrewsbury and Hereford to prosper from their Welsh ‘hinterlands’ as they have done for centuries. For example, any organisation seeking to operate in Wales must do so from a Welsh base employing Welsh staff.

      To this end I would designate Wrecsam ‘capital’ of the north and central regions, improve communications, invest in the town so that Welsh shoppers are less tempted to spend their money in the towns I just mentioned. God knows how many millions of Welsh pounds are spent every year on shopping trips to Chester, Shrewsbury and, to a lesser extent, Hereford.

      1. David Smith

        As I’ve said elsewhere, the sheer drop in affluence as you cross over from Shropshire and Cheshire into Wales with no geographical or real administrative divide must be no accident.

    2. Eos Pengwern

      David,

      If I can enter an ‘Ein Gwlad’ answer here (recognising that Jac doesn’t speak for us, and we don’t speak for him, but he’s kind enough to give us some space on his sidebar), you may be interested in this article that I wrote: https://eingwlad.wales/NewsPortal/index.php/2019/01/03/the-cross-border-economy/

      And you may like to read section 13 of our manifesto, which may be downloaded from here: https://eingwlad.wales/index.php/our-manifesto/

      I can speak with some authority on this subject since I come from Wrexham and work there, but live in Shropshire, so I cross that border – usually on the very train you mention – a dozen times a week (including visiting my parents on the weekend).

      1. David Smith

        Yes I’ve read that article before interestingly enough. I believe a benefit of independence would be a positive reframing of the relationship between England and Wales. It will kill off one-sided colonial schemes the likes of which Jac talks about and produce a real, cross-border, mutually beneficial arrangement.

  7. Recommended by a Friend

    No banners! No Flags! No speakers pushed in at speeches at the end. March of three thousand in the capital. Historic day in this country. Where was Ein Gwlad?

    1. We were not invited to speak, and when we asked, there was no response. Though there were about 10 or a dozen there from Ein Gwlad, and a banner.

      All Under One Banner is a Plaid Cymru front, limited to the party and its offshoots, like Undod and Awoken.

      1. Dafis

        Next time out the AUOB ( maybe it stands for “anyone understand obscure bullshit” ? just asking !) organise an event perhaps they will have the civility to invite contributions from all those groups and movements who DIDN’T get a chance to contribute on Saturday and tell those who were doing the speeching yesterday to take a day off next time. Only fair, innit ?

  8. Recommended by a Friend

    Yes some of them should take a lot of days off. One lady seemed to think all those people were there to establish a Lesbian Republic. Another optimist represented ‘Labour for Independence” Strange people, but the march itself was amazing and the Yes Cymru, Plaid Cymru and Kurdish speakers were good.

    1. The march should have stuck to independence, nothing more. Every ‘add-on’ alienates somebody. And by Plaid trying to present itself as the only vision of independence it damages the possibility of achieving independence.

      If Plaid was serious about independence it would realise that Ein Gwlad could attract many of those alienated by Plaid’s leftist, woke, Remainer positions. By complementing each other we would increase the chance of independence. That Plaid won’t allow that makes me think – as I always have – that the ruling clique in Plaid Cymru has never wanted independence.

    2. Brychan

      I remember many years ago, the ‘speaking role’ issue came to the fore at the Miners Support Rally in Treorchy. The star speaker was Arthur Scargill, and it was the summer of 1984. Amongst the bill for the platform was Emlyn Williams (NUM South Wales Area), Ivor England (Communist Party and Maerdy Lodge) and the borough mayor (Rhondda Labour Party) who’s name escapes me. It was at a time when Labour (and specifically Kinnock) was using such platforms to attack the conduct of the strike, and this was seen, especially in Rhondda as an attack on the community.

      https://lisweb.swan.ac.uk/swcc/images/strike/scarbike.jpg
      A Rhondda bike.

      Plaid Cymru wanted a speaker but was initially refused, there was ‘already a woman on the platform’ from the Support Group’. This was challenged (Cwm and Tower) as they felt that all sections of civic representation in the valley was needed. Jill Evans was eventually platformed. She made a stunning speech and was universally applauded. Not only was this ‘section of support’ vital in the solidarity of the strike in the central valleys but it opened up a flourishing relationship of support in areas where Plaid were to the fore (Blaenau Ffestiniog, there may still be some up north who remember this) vital to sustaining the community in Rhondda throughout 84/85. It also opened up a consciousness in the Rhondda that maybe there’s a Welsh independence dimension is the destiny of our nation after crass betrayal.

      AUOB should be reminded that ‘exclusion’ is damaging and ‘inclusion’ opens up new avenues of support. Today, Jill Evans is seeking your vote. My example of the Treochy rally might concentrate a few minds at AUOB. We need to learn lessons from the past.

      1. Dafis

        Useful recall of events. Shame that most politicians today have no recall beyond their last freebie or soundbite/tweet. It would do the lot of them a great deal of good to better understand those paths already beaten, and that familiarity might wean them off the old nonsense that “Labour ain’t so bad after all “

  9. Dafis

    Nice to see the tweet regarding the Communist Party of GB – MarxistLeninist endorsing Brexit Party for upcoming Euro elections. So where’s all those empty headed flatearthers now, those blinkered tosspots who insist that all is linear with Left(good) and Right(bad) extremities. Back to school you fuckin’ dimwits. And that includes all those posturing pussies who flounced around Cardiff last Saturday having a good go at leading a willing crowd astray.

  10. Dafis

    Despite all the pro EU messages floating around especially from our friends at Plaid Towers, it is quite startling to see the utter lack of preparation among the pro EU parties for this upcoming 23rd May election. While AngloBrit Brexiteer extremists seem to have marshalled some kind of show and got it on the road quickly the others, despite the negative whining of 2-3 years, have the appearance of complete indifference, or have they surrendered already?

    If the Tories and Labour in particular have given up the ghost in Englandandwales then we are in for a big Brexit bloc at the next EU parliament and, possibly, a domestic UK parliament even more influenced by the more rabid tendency among BritNats. Now this will not trouble Ms Sturgeon much as she will convert it into some additional motive force for her campaigns in Scotland, and good for her. Sinn Fein may be reawakening to the scope this instability offers and may fine the time becoming right to work on an autonomous Ulster if not yet an United Ireland.

    And Wales, well we’ve got Plaid squatting in a comfy chair aiding and abetting the colonial Labour Party, who in their own sweet way closely resemble the worst traits of Mussolini’s State, cliaming to be made of Iron but turning to shit at the slightest touch. Is it a time for memorable speeches full of exotic ideology so distant from the ordinary public as to resemble a visit to the theatre ? Perhaps it would be better to identify the array of damage done to our communities and place the long list at the door of Drakeford and his cronies and serve notice – if you don’t tackle this mess sharpish you will be looking for new jobs in 2021. If you think that’s populism then tough shit, I just think it’s what representative politicans are for and it’s high time they shifted up a few gears and got cracking with it.

    1. On Newsnight last night Crispin Blunt talked of a Tory-Brexit Party coalition after the next general election. Farage is already saying that his new party, with no manifesto, and no elected representatives (yet), should be included in the Brexit negotiations.

      I voted Brexit because I wanted the shitstorm we now see. The worse it gets, the greater the opportunities for Wales. Plaid Cymru should let England fight it out and use the chaos to argue that, ‘We should leave them to it, and look after our own interests’, which is what will be heard in Scotland and the Six Counties.

      But Plaid Cymru won’t do that. Plaid will use all its energies wailing about staying in Europe and will almost certainly join some London-based crusade against the Brexit crew who will be portrayed as fascists, etc., etc., etc. Turning it into a ‘Progressives’ v Right wing affair.

      And failing Wales. Again.

      1. Dafis

        On this theme of Brexit Party it was interesting to read a comment piece on Guardian online this a.m. about an event in Yorkshire attended by Farage and some of his major allies. Liberal types now beginning to worry because the rant from Brexit Party is beginning to sound like Class war rhetoric – not much about Johnny Foreigner, more about remote elites and their indifference to those left behind in towns like Doncaster. That shift means Liberals can’t deflect along lines of “they are racists, xenophobes”. Now they have to confront real hostility towards themselves so it’s getting a bit close to home and having Commies endorsing Farage must be seriously ironic if not upsetting for sensitive souls.

        Farage is a fake, but in a way that doesn’t matter because he’s got some genuinely disadvantaged people up and running and that’s something Tories, Labour and LibDems failed to do. Plaid never got into that demographic in Wales because they, the plebs, weren’t polished enough. The Plaid player who looked like genuinely stimulating that segment of society was treated like a leper and shunted out ! Let no one claim they didn’t have it coming to them.

  11. Slightly adjacent to the topic (and very adjacent, geographically speaking, to you, Jac), have you seen this?

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/may/18/this-is-a-wake-up-call-the-villagers-who-could-be-britains-first-climate-refugees

    I mean, just look at at!

    ““It is a lovely spot when the sun comes out.” she says.[…] “Horrible when it rains.”

    “…when she sold her family home in Warwick and moved to Fairbourne, in north Wales, in 2002”

    “…it has developed sporadically into a thriving and joyously eccentric English-speaking village” (emphasis mine)

    “Many retired couples moved here from industrial towns and cities in the Midlands…”

    “The couple moved to the village from Staffordshire 18 years ago after falling in love with the area on family caravan holidays.”

    “I’ve been here 38 years. My house is paid for…”

    “His mother moved to the village from Sutton Coldfield in the Midlands shortly before he was born.”

    “One of the new arrivals is Angie Brown, a retired tax officer…”

    “He arrived from Buckinghamshire 40 years ago…”

    And (cue smallest ever violin):

    “”…where the hell are they going to go?””

    How about fucking off back to England where they all came from?

    I mean, if someone had set out deliberately to write a memoir from the Last Days Of The Raj it wouldn’t have turned out as emetically self-pitying as this.

    As for myself, I don’t know whether to laugh…or guffaw.

    1. The thing to understand about Fairbourne is that it’s a creation of 19th century railway tourism, there was no prior Welsh settlement there. The reason being that the sea regularly flooded the area. Now that NRW or the ‘Welsh Government’ has refused to fund the sea defences the sea will reclaim that area. But I’m not sure this has anything to do with global warming.

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