Alun Cairns, Severnside, the Union


Llais y Sais last Saturday published a curious report – presumably written by Martin Shipton – of a speech made to the Welsh Conservative Spring Conference by Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns (below).

It was almost in the form of an apologia, though of course Cairns didn’t write the article himself. The piece was clearly a response to the criticism he’s received over ‘his’ decision to rename the Second Severn Crossing the Prince of Wales Bridge.

In this post I shall examine what he said and then give my interpretations and opinions.

click to enlarge

Let’s start with Cairns’ reference to “the important connections Wales has with the Royal Family”. These were helpfully listed in the article: Welsh gold, Felinfoel beer and Pembrokeshire corgis. Let’s take them one by one.

Gold. During the Roman empire there were people across Europe wearing Welsh gold. So all this ‘connection’ tells us is that Wales has gold and people like wearing gold. And if I’m not mistaken, the English royals don’t even pay for theirs.

Beer. So Big Ears likes a drop of Feelingfoul (so we’re told), but then he and the rest of his family pretend to like all sorts of things to please people, that’s their job. And there must be a good geographical spread – Pontefract cakes, Highland whisky, Cornish pasties, etc., etc.

Pembrokeshire corgis. Is this supposed to prove love for Wales, or Pembrokeshire? I used to have Airedales, but I didn’t break into Ilkla Moor baht ‘at at the drop of a flat cap.

Let’s be honest, these are not meaningful ‘connections’, this is clutching at straws. So let’s move on.

The Bridge inevitably figures strongly in his oration, as does his beloved Severnside, which he described as a “cross-border economic region”, and went on to laud:

  • A financial services sector worth £2.5bn a year.
  • A creative industry cluster employing 15,000 people, including the BBC drama village in Cardiff Bay and its Natural History Unit in Bristol.
  • The world’s largest compound semiconductor cluster in Newport working with quantum technology at Bristol University.
  • Nine universities with nearly 170,000 students, three of which are members of the Russell Group.
  • The new Qatar Airlines link to Doha which put Cardiff at the heart of this new economic region on the western side of the UK.

Again, desperate stuff, with the claims unclear or impossible to justify.

For example, what does “worth £2.5bn a year” mean? Who calculated that figure?

“Nine universities with nearly 170,000 students” might sound impressive, until you realise that it’s too many of both. Universities are now businesses, turning out too many unemployable young people with degrees nobody wants and debts most of them will never pay off.

But where the wee man went for broke was in having the nerve to mention Cardiff airport after not so long ago prioritising the interests of Bristol airport by refusing to devolve Air Passenger Duty, despite Cardiff Wales airport being in his Vale of Glamorgan constituency!

And as for Qatar Airlines, let’s wait and see what ‘inducements’ were offered by Carwyn Jones and his band of economic whizz-kids. Because some argue that no company using the airport pays its whack, and the ‘Welsh’ Government has to bribe and beg users to come, and then bribe them to stay.

Cairns believes Severnside should be “learning from and achieving the same dynamism as the north Wales/North West axis”. So how’s that working out?

Investment and employment goes to north west England but northern Wales builds thousands of new homes for those wishing to move out of Greater Manchester and Merseyside but who find no welcome in Cheshire communities fearful of over-development resulting in falling property values.

click to enlarge

In addition, the decaying towns of the littoral – particularly Rhyl – will continue their decline as more and more of England’s underclass and criminal elements are dumped there

In addition to commuters and degenerates the north can expect the flood of elderly people to continue until our NHS and social services finally collapse under the strain.

The ‘achievements’ of the Mersey-Dee Alliance are nothing to crow about, much less emulate.

Cairns’ ended his speech with: “The socialist and nationalist parochial and protectionist agenda lacks confidence in our people and stifles the innovation and entrepreneurialism they show. Now, more than ever, we must be confident and outward-looking”.

And this remember was said by a representative of a BritNat government withdrawing inelegantly from the EU, deporting people who’ve lived here for decades, and exploring all sorts of measures to stop Johnny Foreigner coming to live here in the first place.

It would be easy to laugh, but it’s too serious for that.


There are countless synonyms for union: association, alliance, harmony, concord are just a few. Whether it’s a plumbing part or marriage, whether we consider the USA or the Farmers Union of Wales, a union brings together two or more parts for the mutual and equal benefit of those entering into or joining the union.

And yet, by any criterion we apply, Wales is worse off than England, and the gap between us widens every year. Significantly, perhaps, Scotland was not a lot better, but in recent years Scotland’s economy, health service and so many other yardsticks used to measure a country’s well-being have improved relative to England, and left Wales lagging further behind.

Which means that if Alun Cairns was defending the Union then he would be fighting to ensure that Llanelli was as prosperous as Weybridge; that Wales did not lose out in spending on railways and other infrastructure; that we received fair payment for the water that is taken, the electricity exported, that Air Passenger Duty is devolved, and many other things.

But he does none of this, he simply defends the inequalities that make a mockery of the term ‘Union’ with insulting nonsense about corgis and beer. Proving that this is no union as that word is globally understood. It is clearly some other form of political arrangement, one that is less than equal, and this explains why Wales is so much poorer than England.

It is often at this point that the cavalry of the Brit left rides over the hill with, ‘Ah, but there are deprived towns and cities in England – have you ever been to Stoke on Trent, or Blackpool? ‘ Er, yes, I have, but so what? These and all the other run-down towns and districts are England’s problem, and can be remedied with better distribution of the wealth England so obviously possesses.

Wales has no such wealth to distribute, and will never be treated as an equal member of a Union. Wales suffers because she is different; we know it and the difference is recognised by the English, and acknowledged in more ways than the casual racism that has become the norm.

Having mentioned the Brit left in Wales, let’s also remember its foundation myth, which relates how Wales came into existence with the Industrial Revolution, emerging from the void. The same Brit left that has collaborated with Alun Cairns and his predecessors to undermine and impoverish Wales for over a century in order to maintain its fiefdom.

“Take from the colonies”. That’s how it works.

There is no measurable or practical difference between the Labour and Conservative parties in Wales, both seek to keep Wales a colony of England. Making this non-Union they both defend nothing less than a crude and increasingly obvious form of internal colonialism from which they benefit so well.

In addition to the managed decline of our post-industrial areas we see social engineering in our rural areas, accompanied by the ridicule of our language, the changing of our place names, adding up to the destruction of our national identity. All done under the guise of tourism and other idiocies that deliver nothing but minority status for us in our own land.

Political debate in Wales must no longer be shaped by the false paradigm of left and right but by whether Wales remains an impoverished and exploited colony of England or whether we make Wales the country she should be, through independence.

To conclude, Alun Cairns is clearly no Unionist, for you cannot defend what does not exist; Cairns is simply putting a gloss on colonialism and exploitation founded in racism. Which makes him nothing more than a willing mouthpiece for his political masters and his social superiors; those whose predecessors – and not so long ago – traded slaves, and sent children down coal mines.

This cannot continue, the Wales we love will not long survive this system of colonialism. But there is hope, for a new force is emerging in Welsh politics. If you want to be part of this fight against colonialism, this drive for independence, then show your support for Ein Gwlad today.

♦ end ♦


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[…] Jac o’ the North on Alun Cairns, Severnside and The Union. […]

Big Gee

The word I would use is “gwallgofrwydd” (gwallgof – mad). Further north the word “gwiriondeb” may be used.


Slightly off topic…….but does anybody know the Cymraeg word for insanity?

P.S. Last night! What an amazing goal from Gareth Bale! The goalkeeper was amazing too!


lovely bit of irony…. Bale showing rest of Europe how to do the job. Top Anglo clubs love going off signing expensive foreign “stars” but when the heat is on this man, proud of Cymru, bags goals and makes a simple gesture of loyalty. Stay in Europe Gareth, those English clubs don’t deserve you.


There are rumours that Alun Cairns was going to come out of the closet and identify himself as a women in order to get a vertical boost from a pair of six inch high heels and to get onto the shortlist to become the third female British Prime Minister. In the end “tippy toes” decided against it because Chris Graying said if Cairns decided to do that, he would come out too and that would make him six foot ten and Cairns would still be a little short arse.

Re: Bank Holiday reading: Bookends: Carwyn Jones the Betrayer Alun Cairns, Severnside, the Union
comment image:large

When I look at the picture of May, Cairns and Jones discussing Wales’ post-devolution reorganization, I can’t stop thinking of that iconic photo of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Premier Joseph Stalin at the Yalta conference.

It also makes me think – in the future is South East Wales going to be some kind of an English Sudetenland?

Donkey Ostler

I made a simple mistake above in my haste. FACTS are that the Swansea Lagoon could peak at 299 MW but AVERAGE at 60 MW (from NIL up to 299 MW), Although the proposed Developer now says the peak could be another 21 MW at 320 MW. The key figure is AVERAGE 60 MW and UK consumes on average about 40,000 MW whilst Wales is about 2,000 MW.
Now then “Greenies” – tell us how just 60 MW of Green Energy at a cost of over a £billion plus long term subsidies will cut Global Carbon and halt climate change. The only good point for Tidal is that it is a reliable predictable minor output whereas Wind Power and Solar Power is insignificant and a totally unpredictable tiny amount.

Donkey Ostler

Brychan if the Swansea Lagoon will only provide a peak 60 MW and will only work for about 14 hours a day, how will that power more than a small town part time? What will its costs be? In £billions for just a pittance of power !
It will of course be a reliable pittance.


I got storage heaters for winter. Also got a digital switch on my immersion heater which comes on at set times. Had it for years. Thing is, with the tide, you know what times they are. The rest of my demand is pittance. My phone can tell me when the tide is racing in Swansea, just marry the two technologies.

Donkey Ostler

The proposed Swansea Lagoon is a bit of a headache for our Secretary of State for Wales. Consider the FACTS:-
The Swansea Lagoon, I just wish everyone, especially Politicians, would realise how all these “Renewable Energy” schemes are no replacement for the immense mass of Power / Energy we really need – and we do consume.
Aberthaw Coal at 1800 MW is to close and will need THIRTY Swansea Bay size Lagoons, in high level tide change areas, of 60MW each to replace Aberthaw alone – plus gas power imported to Milford Haven from unreliable hostile / volatile countries for ten hours out of every 24 hour day as back up on slack tide times in the daily lunar cycle. Nice man Putin’s hand is on the gas valve!
Again we need to get over the FACT that UK only produces about just under 2% of global carbon emissions and only a third of that comes from carbon based electric power (the rest comes from industry & vehicles & domestic heating). Whilst UK energy use is rising the other big countries and the developing countries are increasing at a faster rate – so our UK % contribution ratio is effectively getting less and less than 2%.
If the UK was in a very silly Science Fiction Disaster Film and got swallowed up in a gigantic fictional earthquake by moving earth’s tectonic plates (all fiction) – if UK totally disappeared – the Global Carbon emissions would still rise as if nothing had happened, and Global Climate change would still go on – up – or down – probably because of the stellar moods of our star the SUN !!
I’m not a practising worshipper of any religious sect or denomination, but my opinion is that all this “green mantra” is a fake replacement religion for all the “greenies”, and politicians, who are all frightened to confront the mad “preachers” of green ideology.
There is a wonderful account to be read on the internet of the great Religious Revival Preacher Evan Roberts going to Bonymaen in Swansea to preach in Tabor Chapel in 1905 and being denounced as a fake by two brave young miners in the congregation. We need denouncers today to expose the nonsense of green mantra.
We need to understand Renewable Energy and we do need to use it, but we need reality before we destroy our economy in electric black outs!
I am a great “fan” of Mr Corbyn – I do not mean Jeremy – I mean his brother Piers Corbyn. Watch him here on the internet:-
Piers Corbyn


Pembroke Power station which opened in 2012 runs on imported gas is 2000 MW more than compensates for the closure of Aberthaw. It is claimed that Pembroke alone generates enough electricity to supply 3.5 million homes, more than twice the number as the whole of Wales. Then we have the proposed new Wylfa C nuclear power station coming in at 2700 MW, unnecessary with enough to power the whole of Wales three times over and with twice the subsidy as the Swansea Lagoon.

The reality is that Wales doesn’t need Aberthaw, Wylfa, nor Pembroke. Our colonial masters just use our country as a place to put dirty production, for which we gain no benefit. All we actually need is the Swansea Lagoon, already have more than enough other renewable capacity, and alongside the bio-mass unit at Baglan (which could use small scale coal from a new deep drift at Onllwyn) to balance the long troughs and Dinorwig to balance the short toughs, and we’re self sufficient, without needing to supply/subsidise England at all.

As for north-south Welsh grid interconnectivity, we already have one under the sea from Rush North near Dublin to Shotton, which in turn is connected to two overland EirGrid connectors down to Waterford. Seems to me if Wales was independent, not only could we be self sufficient in energy, but also able to strike deals with Ireland and England to buy at commercial rates our surplus capacity.


Had a conversation with an old friend in darkest Ceredigion the other evening during which over 30 mins or so a number of the issues that have turned up repeatedly on this site cropped up without any prompting. The guy is a farmer, very worried about the post Brexit landscape, doesn’t trust anyone. Thinks the Tories will shit on anybody while protecting their inner circle so large landowners will be looked after while working farmers will see cuts in all sorts of support. However he also thinks that our “shield” down the Bay is made of tissue paper as the Labour regime and its Plaid playmates will be far more concerned about urban deprivation to give a toss about farmers many of whom are either on or below minimum wage if you divide their earnings by hours worked.

Chat then moved onto property as he has owned 2 properties in Aber for c.25 years letting them to mostly students. Multiple occupant houses have been a pain in the arse for years with increasingly onerous regulation yet little or no scope for getting the tenants to behave responsibly and uphold their side of the deal. Situation has worsened over recent years with RentSmart scheme ( another licence for government to filch at least £200 every 5 years or so from landlords with nowt in return) and in Aber the surge in new builds by the Uni and H.A’s. So landlords who invested heavily over 20 + years are now getting shafted by those who at one time encouraged them to come into the market. No wonder the town is going to the dogs !

Staying with property. My old friend just reinforced what I already grasped, that house prices are prohibitive for most young newly weds on modest joint incomes. Cardis like the rest of us like a good deal so older property owners like taking money off people moving in to the area, often cash buyers or “trading down”, to get their des res by the sea or in the country. However it means that local youth are stuck living with mam and dad or renting for years ( and H.A’s don’t help by jacking up rents regularly )

Job opportunities are very thin on the ground for young people and older workers who may be made redundant. Some are now self employed although earnings are pitiful, again reinforcing their lack of chances of getting a home and developing a bit of financial independence. Urban poverty attracts a lot of attention among our politicians, although even there the “solutions” are often rather pathetic. However rural poverty is treated like an invisible disease despite its symptoms being just as evident, just fewer per square mile. However these problems are far from Cardiff so they are lower down the Richter scale of vulnerability ( to loss of power )


just been over on, prompted by your tweet column. Read through Stephen Morris’ script on Ein Gwlad which frankly was straight to the point without frills, no hysteria, giving a neat synopsis of the general direction and some differentiated points.

Then come the comments ! A more insipid sorry bunch you couldn’t dream up if you tried. The majority so far appear to be absolute nut jobs still seeing the solution being delivered by Plaid which leaves me with a slack jaw, despite some of them acknowledging that the party has real structural and other interpersonal problems. They can’t lead a party – how the fuck can they lead a country ? Then there’s an immature asshole who sets out to have a go at Jac, falls down his own hole, by bringing into play all sorts of strawman deflections – one can only conclude he was overdoing his meds or smoking/injecting some seriously dangerous stuff and dining out regularly on a mantra of “if you can’t muster an argument then just keep howling Fascist, Nazi.

Everytime I read comments of this kind I am drawn inevitably to one of James Connolly’s great insights – most of you will know the one I’m on about !


most likely a daisy chain – all stuck up each other !


I thought the level of comment on that Ein Gwlad item was poor 3 hours ago. Stuff that’s been posted on there since is even worse. Do Plaid employ a shed full of neurotic pseudo socialists and others of similar disposition to churn out vacuous tweets and comments all day long ? Full of the usual drivel that justifies inertia.


I had an interesting exchange with the Desolation Radio feed the other day about Socialism. The danger we have is that the hardcore Socialist element see the enemy of Wales as capitalism. But the heart of the capitalism that’s effected Wales is in another country and run by Westminster which treats us as a colony to exploit through that ideology (overlapping issues). A Wales, dependant or Independent cannot change England nor Westminster.

Nor can be have a country which is dedicated to one ideology. Because its people of all walks of life who corrupt ideology. Socialism, and even capitalism today may not be relevant in tomorrows world – and when people want to change a “Socialist Republic” into something else those who like that system will desperately defend it. An Independent Wales isn’t out for some Socialist or Capitalist crusade – at this point its about survival in the jungle.

Wealth redistribution and decentralisation are required but its also about making a wealthy country which will stand the test of time. The key to that is a content people in a system that allows for change.


I saw ‘Desolation Wales’ comment that socialism was more important than Wales. I lost some interest in them from then on.


I’ll have a look but it was days ago. But from today:


I see Mike Parker the one-time Ceredigion Plaid candidate had a bit of a pop at you today Jac on Nation.Cymru twitter feed. Thought that a bit naughty of him especially since you generally supported him on your blog.


I don’t know much about him. But I kind of met him when he was out campaigning before the election when I was up near Aberaeron. I was in a work vehicle and he was with a crowd of supporters knocking on doors. I had spoken to a group of them earlier. Good old fashioned and aged Plaid supporters. I wound down the mirror and called something like ‘Shwmae Mike?’ And he just looked at me in a way in which I can only describe as one of bewilderment. Not sure he quite understands commoners such as me.


There’s no proof that Plaid HQ had briefed a rent-a-comment team in advance of this, but if they did (which I doubt), then they chose people who were not up to the task of dismantling a very reasonable article.
More interesting was James Humphreys’s comment that former contributors (including himself) will no longer post comments. The articles (on the whole) remain pertinent and useful, the comments section is now a joke, monopolised by BritNats and Plaid Cymru drones.


The tie to Facebook is about the most irrational move N.C could have made particularly in view of the recent disclosures. Each time Mark Suckaberg turns up on a news programme he looks a touch more devious/deviant. Like many have commented before he realised a long time ago that by giving a free access he would get uncritical people busting to spill their beans and that info could be harvested for gain. Oh dear, has it never happened before ? Perhaps not on this scale but marketing wonks and other “influencers” have always set out to gain “insight” to improve their chances of creating a positive outcome for whatever scam they peddle.


After reading some (and interacting with another on the n.c post) I think the problem is that some people are just utterly consumed by the British political system and are either unaware of this or unable to separate themselves from it.

Nigel Stapley

Let us remember that the so-called ‘Act(s) of Union’ have never actually been called that; they are known officially as the ‘Laws In Wales Acts’. It is only Brit propaganda through the education system and the media which has led people to refer to them by the incorrect title.

Because what we have suffered is not a ‘Union’ in any sense (as you have rightly said, Jac). It is an ‘incorporation’, an ‘expropriation’.

(I would have used the word ‘Anschluss’ here but for the fact that the incorporation of Austria into the Reich was – at least superficially – the result of a democratic vote).

We have been, are being and – unless we get our collective arses in gear – forever will be under a process of assimilation, whereby our society, our economy, our very existence as a meaningful entity itself are being gradually and assiduously dismantled around us.

It is a policy of assimilation, and as such the likes of Cairns, Mr Charisma, Skates, D**dd E and the like should be routinely referred to as ‘assimilationists’ or ‘colonialists’ rather than ‘Unionists’ (the very excellent Paul Kavanagh ( makes the same point, preferring to refer to Scotland’s ‘unionists’ being simply BritNats rather than anything to do with any genuine ‘union’).


I’ve often thought this ‘union’ of nations is much like the union between a brutish husband and a battered submissive wife. Of course the little wife should be happy, the husband guzzles down the food she cooks for him doesn’t he? Surely she should feel honoured and appreciated, he’s told her often enough how she’d never amount to anything without him. Mrs England, her indoors the world never sees, sadly that’s what we have become.


I’d say the wife is Scotland (as we’re not legally part of the union) and we’re the the decrepit parent to England under its care because we’re told we don’t know whats good for us anymore – but in actual fact its to make sure they leech off our resources and want to make sure they’re the sole beneficiary when we “pass on”.


smart analogy !


Your tweet referring to the growth in house prices is of interest as Ceredigion and Monmouthshire lead the pack.

Monmouth is easily explained by the Bristol connection. Property has been marketed “across the bridge” for ages and now the tolls are on their way down/out this will become a more attractive place to develop around villages and smaller towns away from Newport and Chepstow. Also there has been a steady inward creep of commuters from the north, people who travel to Gloucester/Cheltenham, Worcester and even up to the Birmingham conurbation.

Now Ceredigion is more of a problem. My suspicion is that it is mainly driven by well-to-do retired folk escaping England and Anglicised urban Wales to spend their later days enjoying a top quality residential environment and increasing the burden on social services and NHS when they start getting flaky (as most of us will). The other possible driver is Tourism, Y Cynulliad’s favorite industry especially in remote rural counties although now catching on in Merthyr as well ! It would be interesting to learn how much land and property has been converted to tourism related activity in the county since, say, the last local government re-organisation.

Rob ab Ioan

Dafis, you could well be right about house prices in Ceredigion and Monmouthshire. However it would be better if we looked at at the LDP. A good example is that Cardiff is expected to have an increase of something like 45,000 new houses, all will have decent jobs. Then look at Swansea’s LDP, something like 18,000 new homes and no jobs planned. Why? The answer is that most of the new development is in Bont, Gorseinon, Penllergaer and Felindre, all adjacent to the M4. All will become dormitory villages to feed Cardiff. Bloody traitorous Labour Councillors in Swansea. Trickle down, no, more like trickle in.

As for Cairns, Jac, once May has run her course he will end up with nothing but a very brown nose and the sooner the better.


No argument with that as there are different drivers in different areas. As far as I know Swansea hasn’t yet been overloaded with goodlifers and retired folks from points east. That may yet happen. As for the M4 commuter belt that will carry on growing until it becomes prohibitive to travel long distances to work daily. Lot of these office type jobs are made for home working anyway except managers don’t trust people to work without physically supervising them at close proximity, line of sight! Absolutely bonkers but that’s modern business for you. Cheap and bloody nasty.

Donkey Ostler

I believe some of Alun Cairns’ family attended the old Pontardawe Grammar School whose motto was “Bid Ben bid Bont”. He should understand that. If so, he should abide by it, and not suck up to Bristol and Liverpool and London.


Cairns Bach’s entire motivation seems to be making a quantum shift away from anything to do with his roots. He is an excellent role model for anyone aspiring to be a modern “Wncwl Dai”.