I took a week off last week. It was too hot for blogging. For which we must all blame anthropogenic global warming. Then again, it might just have been normal summer weather.
It certainly was when the rain arrived. So different to when I was a boy . . .
Back then, summer started in mid-March, many over the age of 50 were dead from heatstroke and malaria by the time we celebrated the Feast of Saint Blodwen of Cwmrhydyceirw. And we played cricket ‘frae morning sun till dine’.
For these and other reasons I suggested the Green Man angle was perhaps a distraction. I’ll go further now and suggest that Gilestone itself might not be the thread to follow if we want to know what’s really going on.
There seem to be two possible ways of explaining it. Both start from the same point.
WATERSHED AGRICULTURAL COUNCIL
And that point is the visit to Wales in March 2018 by a delegation from the Watershed Agricultural Council (WAC), based in the Catskill Mountains of New York State. This trip was organised and hosted by Dŵr Cymru / Welsh Water.
This northern reach of the Appalachian mountain chain supplies New York City with its drinking water, and of course NYC wishes to ensure a supply of good drinking water.
As the video below explains, legislation introduced in 1990 meant that water for NYC would need to be more rigorously treated, but one option was prohibitively expensive, even for the Big Apple.
The need to find a cheaper alternative to the $5 – 7bn outlay on a new filtration plant led to the link-up between NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Catskill farmers, foresters and others.
Following that visit to Wales in March 2018 for the Watersource conference the next contact was in June 2019, when a party representing Dŵr Cymru visited the Catskills.
The next step was the formation, in May 2020, of the Beacons Water Group CIC (BWG). Roderick and Davies were among the six directors, as was Charles Weston, who owned Gilestone. But at the formation of BWG – some two years before Gilestone was sold to the ‘Welsh Government’ – Weston gave a Crai address.
Had he already vacated Gilestone? Had it already been bought?
A fourth Founding Father was Anthony Hugh Martineau. He farms land at Llangorse lake owned by the Raikes family of Treberfydd House.
Martineau is also an ‘advisor’ in sustainable agriculture at Black Mountains College in Talgarth. Which is interesting because back in New York State there’s Bard College, another George Soros-backed institution.
And Bard College seems to work with the Watershed Agricultural Council.
Perhaps to complete the circle, Dŵr Cymru is chummy with Soros College, Talgarth. Our water supplier is sponsoring an Ecological Futures Camp in August.
So if you want to learn how to catch and skin an illegally released beaver, and then turn the pelt into a nice pair of slippers for Auntie Ceinwen, get your name down now!
Oh, I can’t wait!
‘WATER, WATER, EVERYWHERE . . . ‘
So, as I suggested in a tweet last week, the events around the Gilestone purchase could be all about Dŵr Cymru getting together with farmers to ensure a constant supply of good drinking water.
But if we were simply talking about clean drinking water, then I might not be writing this. For who could argue against?
There has to be more to it.
Let’s think back to the video we looked at earlier. The one in which we were told that the Watershed Agricultural Council came into being as a result of new and more stringent regulations regarding water quality.
That’s true, though things got off to a rocky start. There was clearly local opposition to what them folks from the big city wanted to do.
Though relations between NYC authorities and Catskill farmers seem to have improved, perhaps because (penultimate paragraph): “Farmers have been given 100% funding from WAC for infrastructure to improve water quality. WAC is trusted intermediary and all work is locally led, science based and voluntary with no regulations.”
By comparison, I get the impression that the ‘Welsh Government’ and Natural Resources Wales hope to use new regulations to bankrupt farmers and free up land.
Though I’m writing about the USA I still don’t understand why Dŵr Cymru needed to go there to learn about clean drinking water. They could have gone anywhere in Europe without the cost and environmental damage of transatlantic flights.
Some might conclude – as I have done – that certain agencies in Wales were attracted to New York City’s watershed model for reasons other than just clean water.
Either way, I’d like to know how or through whom Dŵr Cymru first made contact with those US organisations.
Whatever the answer, it would not justify spaffing £4.25m of public money.
SO WHAT ELSE COULD IT BE?
The Watershed Agricultural Council website has a page on Conservation Easements. A term and a concept with which I was unfamiliar. I found it fascinating.
‘In the United States, a conservation easement (also called conservation covenant, conservation restriction or conservation servitude) is a power invested in a qualified private land conservation organization (often called a “land trust“) or government (municipal, county, state or federal) to constrain, as to a specified land area, the exercise of rights otherwise held by a landowner so as to achieve certain conservation purposes.’
The Environment Act 2021 that comes into effect in England on September 30 allows for Conservation Covenants. Read about it here. Note the references to “carbon offsetting” and “carbon insetting”.
I’m not aware of similar Welsh legislation, but the ‘Welsh Government’ usually follows London’s lead. Often with ‘variations to accommodate local circumstances’.
‘The CWC was officially born January 17, 1997 with the signing of the landmark New York City Watershed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between City, State, Federal and environmental entities and Watershed municipalities. The MOA and associated Filtration Avoidance Determination (FAD), allowed the City to avoid building an expensive facility to filter its Catskill-Delaware Water Supply as long as it proved it could keep this surface supply clean through land acquisition, regulations and city-funded, locally-administered environmental protection programs.’
‘In the late 1990s, DEP began a Land Acquisition Program to protect water quality in its reservoirs by preserving key parcels of land in the watershed. Since then, DEP has acquired more than 100,000 acres of land in the Catskills, including many tracts that were historically used for agriculture or rented by neighboring farmers.’
“Land Acquisition Program . . . tracts that were historically used for agriculture”.
I guess whether Conservation Easements / Covenants benefit farmers depends on who’s wielding the power.
Statements made and attitudes displayed in recent years by representatives of the ‘Welsh Government’ towards the farming community and the countryside in general make me pessimistic.
BEACONS WATER GROUP
I’m intrigued by the rather mysterious Beacons Water Group CIC. One thing I find odd is that – even allowing for Covid – a Community Interest Company has gained no new members in over two years of its existence.
Is it a closed shop?
Come to that, which ‘community’ does it represent? And in which way? When I checked the BWG entry on the Companies House website, and in particular the Certificate of Incorporation, there, under ‘Objects’, I found what you see below.
It struck me as being rather vague. With no mention of water despite ‘Water’ appearing in the company name. And why ‘visitors’ (before ‘residents’) – is it a tourism group?
Two were taken on a trip to the USA by Dŵr Cymru, and ‘debriefed’ on their return by Natural Resources Wales. A third had his farm bought by the ‘Welsh Government’ for a grossly inflated price. A fourth farms land owned by a local squire and is connected to a Soros-backed institution.
The other two directors I haven’t really checked on yet.
It stinks! (And I’m not talking agricultural pollution of watercourses!)
We have been lied to about the purchase of Gilestone farm. Especially the reason given for buying it. The Green Man festival is peripheral to these machinations, if it’s involved at all.
Gilestone being bought for an insane amount of money cannot be divorced from the owner, Charles Weston, belonging to the in-crowd Beacons Water Group.
Is Gilestone the first of many purchases of farms close to a watercourse? Though how many farms in Wales are not close to a watercourse!
There may be partnership in the USA between farmers and officialdom but that won’t happen in Wales, where too many civil servants and politicians regard George Monbiot as the ultimate authority on Welsh farming.
What you’ve read here is about water only in so far as water quality might in future be used to appropriate farmland. This explains the attraction of the Catskills model to certain agencies in Wales.
As I’ve suggested, it was no coincidence that the absurd ‘NVZ’ legislation, pretending a highly localised issue is a nationwide crisis, was dreamed up at the very time others were to-ing and fro-ing across the Atlantic.
Because the NVZ regulations are also about land, rather than water.
This week I bring yet more tales of colonialism dressed up as ‘saving the planet’; involving assorted enviroshysters, multifarious con men; all aided, abetted, and funded, by those collaborating buffoons down Corruption Bay.
This is another biggie, but broken down into easily-digestible chunks. (Add condiments and flavourings to taste.)
Let’s begin with a piece from the Cambrian News, a ‘paper that circulates along Cardigan Bay, with its main office in Aberystwyth.
For reasons I’ve never been able to fathom, I’m blocked from the CN Twitter account. Me! I can only assume it’s a case of mistaken identity.
Though when I tried to find out from the Land Registry website who owns what I drew a blank. Using the LR map search brought up what you see below. Yet this area must be part of the estate, with Hafod church, the public park, even a car park.
It was the same across the whole site, apart from the individual dwellings. Nor could I find a definitive map of the estate.
It could be the same lease arrangement for the whole estate. So, with the lease coming to an end in just over three years, NRW and / or the ‘Welsh Government’ decided that instead of renewing the lease with the Hafod Trust they’d turn to the National Trust.
I suspect the Hafod Trust has been largely left to its own devices at the estate, but now it looks as if it’s either relinquishing control over Hafod, or else it’s being elbowed out.
What we see happening at Hafod is in keeping with NRW’s activities. Which include undermining Welsh agriculture, encouraging corporate greenwash, and giving away bits of Wales to enviroshysters and assorted bodies from over the Dyke.
At Hafod the beneficiary is a quintessentially English organisation, the National Trust. Yes, it adds ‘Cymru’ to fool gullible natives, but fundamentally it remains manicured lawns, print frocks, and, “More tea, vicar?”
Though there was attempted infiltration by Wokies. So maybe now it’s, “Pour your own tea, you myth-peddling, white supremacist running-dog of imperialism”.
Note, “National Trust Cymru and Natural Resources Wales have come together with support from Welsh Government to secure the estate’s future.” This, I assume, means financial support.
But why should the ‘Welsh Government’ pay a wealthy organisation like the National Trust anything to take over an asset from which the NT is guaranteed to make money?
Any payment should have been by the National Trust to the ‘Welsh Government’, which is entrusted with getting the best possible value from the disposal of publicly-owned assets.
And there was no mention of the HT trustees. Though a few other people are mentioned.
First, there’s Lhosa Daly, the “Interim Director of National Trust Cymru”.
Then there’s Clare Pillman, chief executive of Natural Resources Wales. She has a fascinating background, and has been involved in numerous extravaganzas of the ‘Rule Britannia’ variety.
Finally, speaking for the self-styled ‘Welsh Government’ we have, “Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden“. Which a correspondent thought was odd, wondering why it wasn’t someone with an environmental or conservation portfolio.
He has a point. But after a bit of digging, it all became clear. Certainly after seeing Daly’s Twitter account.
Daly was appointed to the Western Gateway board just over a year ago. Which I find interesting. For she joins the Greater Bristol gang and then she’s made head of the National Trust in Wales. Are these appointments connected?
I ask because I’m sure the National Trust in Wales will be one of the bodies contributing to the development of the ‘Western Gateway’, ostensibly speaking for Wales.
Which hat will Lhosa Daly be wearing?
Oh, I almost forgot, she would also have the option of wearing her Wales Arts Council hat.
I’m certain Ms Daly lives in Bristol. Which is fitting, because Dawn Bowden, the Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, who has been instrumental in the deal for the NT to take over Hafod, is also from Bristol.
Did Bowden and Lhosa Daly know each other before the discussions over the Hafod Estate? And if it wasn’t due to the Bristol connection, why was Bowden involved at all? It’s outside her remit.
The map below shows Hafod Estate contains a lot of trees, part of which is said to be a “working forest”. But if Hafod is to be devoted to tourism (which is what the National Trust is all about) will there be a place for a commercial timber operation?
Perhaps not. But as we know, nowadays there are other ways of making money from trees – without touching them! And so I predict that Hafod will prove a nice little earner for the National Trust.
One of the first acts of a devolved government should have been setting up a Welsh organisation to do the work of the National Trust. A body looking after our heritage, on our behalf, and answering to us, the Welsh people. But the opportunity was spurned.
Which is why, after 23 years of devolution, we are discussing an Englishwoman representing our ‘Welsh Government’; another, Natural Resources Wales; with the two handing over another Welsh treasure to an English organisation run locally by a third Englishwoman.
This is colonialism. And even without the Bristol connection, this reeks of yet another ‘Welsh Government’ gift to a favoured body in a deal done behind closed doors with no pretence of a tendering process.
LOCAL BENEFITS (WELL, LOCAL TO SOMEWHERE)
The next report also comes from the Cambrian News, and concerns that other enviroshyster money-spinner – wind turbines.
Specifically, a test mast to be erected at Bryn Brawd, the highest point in an area described in the caption accompanying the image used by the CN as being, “on the outskirts of Llanddewi Brefi”.
In fact, it’s quite some distance from the south-eastern suburbs of that metropolis lying between Cwmann and Tregaron.
On the plus side, the company involved is Waun Maenllwyd Wind Energy Hub Ltd. Probably a Welsh company. Phew!
But of course Foresight only manage other people’s money. In the case of the two windfarms we’ve looked at, the clue as to whose money it could be might be found in the ‘Belltown’ element of the names.
Because I suspect that Foresight has linked up with Belltown Power, a company now based in London but founded by US citizen Michael Joshua Kaplan.
I can’t tell you much more about this company, I certainly couldn’t find a website, only various company profiles. What I do know is that it’s linked to Foresight, it was based in Bristol, though one entry gives an address in Mold.
Now who do we know in Mold? Thinks . . .
The accounts for y/e April 1, 2021 show ‘Plant and Machinery’ valued at £53,672,808 (before depreciation). That kind of money is not to be sniffed at.
How come we haven’t heard of this great Welsh success story?
I’ll spare you another twisty-turny route, but ultimate ownership of Awel Newydd Cyf rests with Stephen George Geddes, who’s married to Clarissa vom Hagen-Plettenberg, is the grandson of the 1st Baron Geddes, and great-grandson of Archduchess Maria Christina of Austria.
Takes me back to fin de siècle Vienna! You should have seen me in my hussars uniform! Waltzing the night away.
That may all have come crashing down in 1918, but over a hundred years later we find Hapsburg descendants exploiting us!
Staying with Foresight, it seems they’re busy across Wales.
These links tell they’re in league with Tilhill Forestry and Coleg Cambria Llysfai in the north east. But Foresight is based in the Shard! Those working for Foresight don’t know one bloody tree from another. But here they are burnishing their environmental credentials by paying Tilhill to give courses.
There’s even a video!
And Foresight seems to be embedded in the ‘Welsh Government’, for the name crops up everywhere in WG publications. Such as here (page 22).
The sole director is Clive David Osborne. Yet in all the reports on the ‘magic wallpaper’ his name was never mentioned, just the incomplete and misleading name of his company. So what’s his record?
I’ve drawn up a list of companies he’s been involved with in recent years. There have been others, but I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt that he played a minor role in their demise.
I’ve included Crush Holdings because it may link with something else I’ll be telling you.
With so many failures I began to wonder how he kept the wolf (re-introduced to Berkshire in a rewilding project) from his door. The answer may be provided by the Paradise Papers.
For Clive David Osborne is linked to an enterprise in Malta. An island where just about anything goes. “You want an EU passport, Mr Putin? No problemo”. “You want an annoying blogger whacked? Leave it to us”.
So what is the connection between Clive David Osborne and the Mosta Electronics Centre? I can’t know for sure, but one possibility might take us back to his flirtation with those Sons of Nippon.
For a bloke in the pub told me it’s possible to buy equipment online that can access satellite TV, for free, and that this equipment can be had from certain Mediterranean islands where rules about such things are somewhat lax.
Alternatively, and seeing as Mosta Electronics sells Chinese brands such as (the German-sounding) Haier, maybe this ‘magic wallpaper’ technology comes from the land of the Uyghur concentration camps. A country whose most noteworthy contribution to humanity in recent years has been Covid.
Whatever the answer, we know enough about Clive David Osborne to ask why the hell Melin Homes let him in the door, and why the ‘Welsh Government’ is funding his ‘magic wallpaper’.
I look forward to hearing the answers.
ISLAND IN THE SUN
The Conservative and Unionist Party MP for Ynys Môn is Virginia Crosbie, and she’s appeared on this blog in the recent past. This was when Covid first hit and questions were being asked about where she was living, and whether she was breaking lockdown.
Similar questions were asked of her friend and parliamentary colleague, Jake Berry, who owns a number of properties in the constituency she represents. Questions were also being asked about his movements during the pandemic.
Just type their names into the search box to get more information.
Let me make clear that I was against the proposed Wylfa B because the construction phase would have damaged a fragile cultural identity, and that’s without considering the strain that would be put on local infrastructure and housing by thousands of workers, almost all of whom would come from outside of Wales.
But I am not opposed to nuclear in principle, and there are smaller options to Wylfa B.
Previously known as Lightsource Renewable Investments Ltd, and then Lightsource Renewable Energy Investments Ltd, the ‘BP’ was added in February 2018 when BP Alternative Energy Investments Ltd (formerly BP Biofuels UK Ltd) took over.
Fossil fuel giant BP getting into renewables is the most obvious kind of greenwash.
But don’t get me wrong, old Jac’s got nothing against oil and gas, because I’ve still got enough operational grey matter to know that we can’t live well without them, whether there’s a war in eastern Europe or not.
What’s more, I know who’s pushing us towards expensive and unreliable alternatives to oil, gas, coal, and nuclear. And I know why they’re doing it. They are not friends of Western society.
If the ‘Welsh Government’, and our local authorities, were sincere in their commitment to the environment, they’d tell BP and all the other enviroshysters to reduce their carbon footprint rather than cover good land with wind turbines, solar farms, and sterile, monoculture forests.
But that would deny our politicians the opportunities they crave to ponce around and posture, claiming to be saving the planet.
Because that’s what it’s all about – political posturing.
Let me draw your attention to something happening in east Africa. As I understand it, the Tanzanian government has agreed to enclose land for ‘reserves’ on which Gulf royals can go trophy shooting.
There are so many wrong things bundled up in what I’ve just written. But no doubt a great deal of money changed hands.
Wouldn’t it be great if shyster greenwashers and land-grabbing ‘environmentalists’ got that kind of reception in Wales!
The international message: This land is our land!
Finally, a few weeks ago, in Green Man, Red Herring?, I reported on the curious business of the ‘Welsh Government’ paying £4.25m for Gilestone Farm, at Talybont-on-Usk.
The purchase was allegedly made for the Green Man festival . . . which said it had no intention of relocating from the Glanusk Estate, had not submitted a business plan, and seemed almost as surprised as the rest of us by the news of its good fortune.
It confirms there was no tendering process to invite bids from others who might have been interested, no business plan has been received from Green Man, but the purchase was still made on solid economic grounds. Absolutely absurd!
Previous owners of the land had stressed to me that while the farm was indeed valuable, the real value lies in the substantial deposits of sand and gravel on which the farm sits.
So in my FoI I asked who now holds the mineral rights to the land.
The question was not answered, on the grounds that the information is available elsewhere. Which would be true if the details of the recent purchase were available on the Land Registry website. But for whatever reason, the most recent title register available lists the sale in 2010.
So, really, I know little more than I’d already learnt from my own enquiries.
The purchase of Gilestone Farm is yet another deal done with public money, in secret, by an administration that is out of control, out of its depth, and no longer cares what people think.
This piece is prompted by the ‘Welsh Government’ suggesting it wants to address the issue of lobbying. As the website puts it: “The Standards of Conduct Committee is undertaking an inquiry into lobbying and is keen to establish whether lobbying is a matter of concern to the people of Wales”.
A disingenuously worded paragraph because the hope is that few people will even know about the exercise, fewer still will respond, and that will allow the self-styled ‘Welsh Government’ to claim that lobbying is not “a matter of concern” and everything can just carry on as before.
The truth is that Wales desperately needs reform in this area, and it needs to go well beyond a simple register of lobbyists. I say this because lobbying takes a different form in Wales to most other Western countries.
What I’m going to try here is to give examples of different lobbying sectors (that would probably not regard themselves as lobbyists), while also looking at more obvious examples of lobbying.
I warn you, this is a ‘biggie’, pushing 4,000 words. But broken up into sections so you don’t have to take in the full horror of the situation all at once.
So go make a cuppa.
THE ENVIRONMENTAL LOBBY
Since before the first elections to the then Assembly for Wales in May 1999, those looking to benefit from devolution were positioning themselves, even relocating.
For example, the RSPB, which had until then been based – very centrally for an essentially rural organisation – in Powys, decided the time had come to move its Wales regional office to Cardiff.
This had nothing to do with bird migrations, or even the rediscovery of the Lesser-spotted Splott Warbler (previously thought extinct).
No, it was all to do with access to the new decision makers.
For the RSPB and the wider environmental lobby, devolution has been like Christmas, with a constant supply of prezzies delivered by yo ho ho-ing politicians.
“At the centre of government decision making” can only mean that the WEL lobbies to influence decisions made by the ‘Welsh Government’.
But do you remember voting for the Wales Environmental Link? Do you remember being offered the chance of voting for the Wales Environmental Link? No, nor me.
As I say, the ‘Save the Planet!’ lobby was out of the blocks early on in the devolution era. Helped to a great extent by ‘insiders’. These came in two forms.
First, civil servants, often from England, always answering to London, and working to a vision of a Welsh countryside without farming.
Second, politicians who, despite what they were elected and paid to concentrate on, always prioritised their real interest of ‘reconfiguring’ – even repopulating – rural Wales.
Inevitably, the two elements worked closely together. Never more so than when Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales* Lesley Griffiths shacked up with her civil servant adviser Gary Haggaty.
But the grande dame of the sector is Jane Davidson. “Minister for Environment and Sustainability from 2007 to 2011 where she was responsible for the Welsh Government agreeing to make sustainable development its central organising principle”, as Wikipedia tells us.
Sustainable development became the “central organising principle” of governing Wales. Let that sink in.
After leaving the Assembly in 2011 Davidson took up a post of Director of the Wales Institute for Sustainability at Trinity St David University, Lampeter.
Davidson was, supposedly, Assembly Member for Pontypridd, but she’d already bought a place down west and was more concerned with pushing through the Hippies’ Charter (One Planet legislation) than with anything happening in Ponty.
From ivory tower to organic cabbage patch Jane Davidson and those she can marshal and organise have wielded an unhealthy influence over successive administrations in Corruption Bay.
The environmental lobby is now one of the most powerful in Wales. It’s why farmers have their backs to the wall, it’s why the M4 was not improved, and why smaller projects, such as the Llanbedr by-pass, have been scrapped.
If this lobby could close Port Talbot steelworks, take away our cars, confiscate all farmland, and turn us into vegans, it would. And the ‘Welsh Government’ would pass the necessary legislation without quibbling.
As gesture politics go, few things are more damaging to the Welsh national interest than deluding yourself that you’re saving the planet while damaging Wales.
*A bizarre title that makes ‘North Wales’ sound like an overseas colony of Corruption Bay.
THE RACE LOBBY
At it’s crudest this is little more than, ‘You Welsh are racist – give us funding’. I examined this racket not so long ago, when the so-called Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union successfully blackmailed the Wales Arts Council and the National Museum.
In brief, the Arts Council of Wales was pressured into ‘commissioning’ a report from the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union. An ad hoc group capitalising on the George Floyd killing by using ‘discrimination’ as the key to future funding.
In the race lobby sector we find another grande dame, in the form of Rose Mutale Nyoni Merrill, who you can read about in the first section of this miscellany from May 2018.
Her empire is founded on Bawso, which has accumulated quite a few properties around Wales over the years. And you’ll be glad to hear that Mrs Merrill has not neglected her own property portfolio.
But that’s how it is in the ‘Welsh’ Labour Party. You work for and promote the party, and preferment and funding will be your reward. Even if it’s public money down the drain.
And the showering of goodies can extend to your loved ones, involved in other fields.
As happened with Travers Merrill, Mutale’s hubby; given the cushy number of chief executive at Rhondda Life, a ‘regeneration’ project in the Rhondda Fach. What could possibly go wrong?
Everything, by the look of it.
It 2012 it was announced that the project was in receivership. And having looked through the documents filed with Companies House I get the impression there was something akin to jiggery-pokery going on in Ferndale.
For example, in the last accounts filed, for y/e July 31, 2012, the company is said to own freehold property valued at £1.5m. This is presumably the building you see in the image above.
The property eventually realised £295,000. Even allowing for the way liquidators dispose of such properties, that is quite a difference. But the bottom line is that the building was never worth £1.5m.
Over-valuing assets is a tactic used by many who’ve appeared on this blog over the years: money launderers, mortgage fraudsters, and other crooks.
But of course, this being Wales, a ‘Welsh Government’ cock-up leads to a cover-up. It was years before the truth started coming out. Due in no small part to the persistence of Leanne Wood, a politician for whom I have the highest regard.
THE HOMELESSNESS LOBBY
A few years back I submitted an FoI request asking about organisations in Wales “combatting homelessness”. Specifically, how many were there?
The response told me there were 48! In a country of just over 3 million people. There are probably more by now. “It’s them wicked Tories, innit”.
But then, when you think about it, when you remember the kind of country Wales is, and the kind of lobbying I’ve described, 48 shouldn’t surprise anyone. The more the merrier. It’s only public money after all.
As with the other sectors, many of the homelessness racketeers have moved to Wales in the era of devolution. Which is bad enough, but to keep the funding flowing these people – just like their counterparts in other sectors – will import a steady stream of ‘clients’ from over the border.
It’s a form of human trafficking.
We see here the fundamental and uncomfortable truth about third sector lobbyists in Wales.
Identify or invent a ‘problem’ in order to get funding. Then, with the help of an ever-compliant media and understanding politicians, the ‘problem’ must persist – to guarantee continued funding!
Let the good times roll!
Many of those now running the dozens of homelessness organisations have worked for the Labour Party or for Plaid Cymru, others will move on to work for these parties.
Or join some other publicly-funded gravy train.
To get a taste of what I’ve written over the years on this subject try, ‘Another “homelessness” outfit!’ (16.04.2020). Or just put ‘homelessness’ into the search box on top of the sidebar to open up a library.
THE “WOMEN WITH PENISES” LOBBY
A relatively recent arrival on the lobbying scene in Wales is the transsexual lobby. Represented by Stonewall, the former lesbian and gay organisation.
To begin with, and as you’ve probably guessed, Stonewall has its claws into the ‘Welsh Government’ for funding. The panel below shows that in the 18 months up to March 31, 2021, only the UK government gave more money to Stonewall than the boys and girls of Corruption Bay.
But this being Wales, Stonewall has also been able to influence – if not dictate – legislation. To the extent of the ‘Welsh Government’ agreeing to what Stonewall would like to see in law rather than what the 2010 Equalities Act actually says.
As Irving Berlin put it: There May Be Trouble Ahead.
It appears that the voice of Stonewall in Wales is Lu Thomas. You’ll have noticed her name if you followed the links in the section on the race lobby. She’s a Labour insider with far too much influence in the Bay.
As I suggest, she was deeply involved, with her business partner, Jon Luxton, another Labour insider, in the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union scam.
Her Linkedin profile says she’s managing director of Final Say Wales, which seems to be a rather sad attempt to roll back Brexit. I dug this out, but I couldn’t find much more. My guess would be it’s died a natural death in the face of reality.
This probably helped inform the ‘Welsh Government’s current – and possibly unlawful – position on “trans rights”. But then, when it comes to surveys, it all depends who you talk to.
What Lu Thomas and others have learned from many years of working with and influencing politicians is that if you put your mind to it you can find racism, environmental damage, transphobia, etc., etc., just about anywhere.
And then you can capitalise on your ‘find’.
THE REFRESHINGLY HONEST AND CORRUPT COMMERCIAL LOBBY
Those we’ve looked at so far have been insiders, dealing with civil servants and politicians they know. These activist-lobbyists have, in a number of cases, previously worked for the ‘Welsh Government’, or for individual politicians.
They are invariably associated with not-for-profit organisations. Which means few jobs for anyone not linked to a particular clique of insiders, and little by way of a contribution to the wider economy beyond the increased spending power of clique members.
But we are asked to ignore this and focus instead on the incalculable benefits to society as a whole from ‘doing good’.
Though I fail to understand how a Welsh community is improved by a third sector body or a housing association importing into that community from England ex-cons, petty criminals and drug addicts.
Nor do I pretend to understand the doublespeak that gave us a policy (OPDs) designed, we were told, to reduce Wales’ carbon footprint . . . that invites into Wales people to live on previously unused land; who drive elderly diesel vehicles, keep farting animals, and cannot live without wood-burning stoves.
It’s refreshing then to be able to focus on a lobbying activity motivated by unalloyed greed and promoted through in-yer-face corruption. Though it adheres to the model herein explained in that it is facilitated using Corruption Bay insiders.
I’m referring now to the many, many companies under the Bute Energy umbrella, and their plans for at least 20 new wind farms in Wales. Shown in red print in the map below.
To understand the brazen corruption involved you’ll need a few introductions. Let us look first at Bute Energy’s ‘Welsh Advisory Board’. A totally unnecessary group formed purely to justify paying certain people for their influence with the ‘Welsh Government’.
On the left, we see Derek Vaughan, former Labour MEP. Not known to have any knowledge of or interest in wind turbines or renewable energy of any kind.
On the right is John Uden, partner of Labour MS, Jenny Rathbone, who sits on the Senedd’s Climate Committee. His knowledge of three-arm bandits is believed to be on a par with Vaughan’s.
The other two may be there to act as a distraction. The jury’s out on them. Though I’m told ‘John Cwmbetws’ already has a bloody big turbine on his land.
Indeed, a beneficiary of the planned Moelfre site is vice-chair of the Board, Harry Fetherstonhaugh.
But of even more interest is David James Taylor, who has served as a spad to former First Ministers Rhodri Morgan and Carwyn Jones, and also former Secretary of State for Wales, Peter Hain. Quite the lad about the corridors of power, our Dai.
Taylor tends to work under the radar and is nowhere mentioned on the Bute website. But he, like Vaughan and Uden, was recruited by Bute Energy for one reason and one reason only – his contacts in the Labour Party.
His lucre from Bute Energy was channelled through Moblake Ltd. This company was wound up in April with sole director Taylor owing the company £605,872 that he’d taken out in interest-free ‘loans’ with no repayment date.
But no mention of where the money came from!
Taylor has set up a new company, Earthcott Ltd, so maybe Bute’s future payments will be channelled through this new venture. Then again, seeing as we know about it . . .
Yes, folks, Scots, Danes, everyone gets a slice of the action, except the native Welsh. Unless of course you’re well connected down Corruption Bay.
That’s how a corrupt, third world country operates.
THE PROFESSIONAL LOBBYISTS
In addition to those already looked at, who might be termed ‘amateur lobbyists’, there are also companies that are quite open about what they do. Which is, helping commercial outfits, often from outside of Wales, get what they want from the ‘Welsh Government’.
But they also dabble in politics. And for unregulated bodies they have far too much influence.
Let’s just look at two of them.
Starting with a company that’s appeared on this blog a number of times, Deryn Consulting. Run by former politicians and spads, but keeping up with the Woke agenda by recruiting enviromarxists and promoters of BLM.
The majority of Deryn’s shares are owned by former Labour spad Cathy Owens, with a minority nestling in the neatly-manicured hands of former Plaid Cymru Welsh Assembly Member Nerys Evans.
Over the years Deryn has been involved in a number of unsavoury incidents, I’ll just mention two.
The first was the Ofcom contract, a gem of its kind. This report from October 2017 will give you the story. And the image below of a WalesOnline headline from August 2017 leads on to another element of the Deryn saga.
You’ll see that Neil McEvoy, was at that time, still a Plaid Cymru AM, but he’d blotted his copybook big time by challenging third sector shenanigans and exposing Deryn.
For party leader at that time was Leanne Wood, a personal friend of those whose lives were being made difficult by Neil McEvoy. He’s told me more than once that he was ordered to lay off Deryn. He didn’t.
He was too honest to stay silent when surrounded by institutionalised corruption, and so he had to go. First from Plaid Cymru, and then from the Senedd.
Around the time of the Ofcom scandal people at Deryn were briefing against Carl Sargeant, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children in the ‘Welsh Government’.
Those at Deryn employed in this dirty work were colluding with over-wrought but ever-cooperative third sector women. Some of whom had also made unfounded allegations against Neil McEvoy.
What’s worse, there were politicians, supposed allies of Sargeant, also briefing Deryn. The conduit here was Jo Kiernan, former senior spad to First Minister Carwyn Jones.
From Carwyn Jones’ staff Kiernan knew that Carl Sargeant was to be sacked before the poor bugger himself knew, and she was briefing others.
Carl Sargeant was sacked on November 3, 2017 and took his own life four days later.
This skeletal document tells us that Deryn, with 9 employees, has assets of just £63,836.
But where are the real figures? Where’s the rest of the money? Where’s the turnover for the year? Is everything done with brown envelopes?
There’s something squalid and distasteful about Deryn. More worrying is that Owens, Evans and Kiernan seem able to open any door in Corruption Bay.
The bad news is that Deryn isn’t the biggest PR company down the Bay. The big kid on the block now is Camlas, formerly Positif Politics Ltd. The change of name last November is linked to the departure of Positif founder Daran Hill, who ceased to be a director in September. (Though he still seems to hold a majority of the shares.)
I’ve heard rumours, involving the local gendarmerie; but you know me, I try to avoid tittle-tattle in favour of facts and informed speculation.
Back in August 2020, in the early days of investigating Bute Energy and David Taylor, I ran across Hill’s name in connection with a wind farm planning application, so I contacted him. The resultant Twitter exchange can be read below.
The Bute account at Camlas is currently handled by Matt Hexter.
Did David Taylor direct Bute Energy to his mate Daran Hill, or was it vice versa?
But with Plaid Cymru firmly in control through Managing Partner and Co-Owner Rhodri ab Owen, brother to Plaid Cymru MS Rhys ab Owen; while the other Managing Director and Co-Owner Naomi Williams was a spad to former Plaid AMs Dafydd Elis Thomas and Dai Lloyd.
Plaid Cymru is of course in an alliance with the Labour Party in the Senedd. And even without an alliance, the two parties are never far apart.
I’m sure these minimalist filings are perfectly legal, but I believe that with companies such as Deryn and Camlas exercising unaccountable influence in Welsh public life we are entitled to know more about them.
In normal countries, with normal economies, lobbying is conducted by business interests and often involves donations to political parties. In other words: lobbying decides which company or corporation gets the contracts.
And while this may be undesirable, it usually delivers jobs and generates wealth. The country benefits, the losers tend to be commercial competitors. Who, had they been successful, would also have created jobs and generated wealth.
The political elite controlling Wales wants a quasi-socialist state in which they exercise power through patronage and hand-outs. The last thing this elite wants is a decent economy and an entrepreneurial class challenging its diktats and exposing its weaknesses.
And this explains why, in Wales, lobbying takes the form of fawning and cajoling by pressure groups that share the political outlook of the elite. These demand legislation beneficial to their cause, also funding and publicly-owned assets.
This must then be disguised with flim-flam like, “public good”, “future generations”, and other specious and unquantifiable ‘benefits’. Which we are told to accept as some kind of substitute for a decent economy and a prosperous country.
To begin with, we obviously need a definition of lobbying.
I would suggest: Anyone seeking to influence politicians, either directly or indirectly, through civil servants, advisers, or by any other means, in the hope of securing personal or corporate financial gain, or in order to influence legislation.
There should be a register of such persons. And a diary kept of all meetings between lobbyists and politicians, civil servants or advisers; both those meetings that have been held, and those planned for the future. The subject matter of these meetings must also be stated clearly and unambiguously.
Both the register and the diary should be updated daily and made available online.
To monitor lobbying will require a new post, and it will need to be filled by someone untainted by Corruption Bay. For once, I would have no objection to filling an important post in Wales with a complete stranger.
But I remain open to suggestion, so let’s have your comments. The ‘Welsh Government’ is also asking for your views, so don’t forget to write.
They’ll be delighted to hear from you! Or maybe not.
Lurking behind the barns in the Gilestone saga I published last week were environmental / wildlife groups. Now I think they need some sunlight.
What prompted my decision was a tweet I saw just over a week ago. The idea that a wildlife trust should be directing the ‘Welsh Government’s farm funding is bizarre.
As I asked in a tweet of my own: “Is the ‘Welsh Government now consulting foxes on chicken coop security?”
The wildlife trusts and environmental groups I’ve encountered in Wales tend to be run by zealots believing the Welsh countryside faces few problems that couldn’t be solved by getting rid of livestock farmers.
Predictable when we remember that these groups contain a worryingly high percentage of vegetarians and vegans. And others of a dictatorial bent.
The Trust is doing very well for itself. With net assets of £2,196,206 in 2021, against £1,899,611 the year before. And £288,436 in the bank (£147,097 in 2020).
That was despite writing off a debt of £10,296 owed by Radnorshire Wildlife Services Ltd. (In all my years of blogging I have encountered few successful ‘trading arms’. They must serve some other purpose.)
In its latest report and accounts (at the foot of page 1) Wildlife Trusts Wales says, “WTW Council unanimously agreed that Wildlife Trust Wales should dissolve as a separate charity”, so why hasn’t it happened?
Wildlife Trusts Wales has chosen to be the local branch of an English body and hopes we’ll generously view it as having a separate existence. A bit like the Green Party.
OUT OF THE WOODWORK
After casting in the direction of James Hitchcock I hooked a few fish.
One specimen I dragged up from the murky depths was a Dr Paul Tubb. (I was tempted to take it easy on him because he might be related to Ernest of that ilk, who gave Hank Williams one of his best songs.)
It wasn’t long into our exchange, with me being the restrained and muted presence I always am, before Tubb came out with this!
As I was quick to clarify – ain’t nothing “so-called” about my nationalism.
Another attempt to silence us by playing the ‘ugly nationalism’ card. Opposing the takeover of our country regularly draws this response, but the takeover itself is just fine. Perhaps even a moral crusade.
I introduce that elevating consideration after being confronted by it in a document produced by Woodknowledge Wales. Which is about as Welsh as the East India Company was Indian.
On page 17 you’ll find the section above. Here’s my interpretation of what it says.
In addition to taking England’s wind turbines, and providing England’s water, Wales should also become England’s forest.
Farming is in the way of “re-forestation”.
“Natural colonisation of land” (by flora and fauna) is not a “morally justifiable . . . option for Wales”.
The claim that there is a moral dimension to this scam is self-deluding bullshit. These are grant-grabbing tree-planters, not theologians or moral philosophers.
But enough of that, for I’ve been neglecting Tubby. He and I exchanged a bit more banter before it died a death.
Then, on the Monday, I received an e-mail from a complete stranger. It contained a link to the tweet you see below.
The glasnost reference is to a blog produced by the late Dušan ‘Jacques’ Protić, who believed that both Rhodri Morgan and Carwyn Jones were dangerous nationalists . . . because they spoke Welsh! To Protic the Welsh language was the root cause of all Wales’ problems.
Protic was a ranter, and always good for a laugh. I often pictured him, crowned with a battered šajkača, pounding furiously away on his laptop . . . never dreaming he had a fan in Dr Paul Tubb.
Another irritating little git who popped up was a certain Rob Thomas. A twitcher from Cardiff Met. His party piece was referring to me as “anonymous tweeter and conspiracy theorist ‘Jac'”.
In fact, it’s quite amazing – and worrying – how many ‘afforestation’ groups there are out there. And how few of them, if any, are genuinely Welsh.
HOW MANY GROUPS DOES IT TAKE TO PLANT A TREE?
One, very influential outfit, is the Woodland Trust, which seems to be involved in most wood-related scams. An English organisation that followed the time-honoured route of opening a branch within whispering distance of Corruption Bay and giving itself a Welsh name, Coed Cadw.
But it’s simply a flag of convenience, for ‘Coed Cadw’ doesn’t exist for Companies House, or the Charity Commission, or the Financial Conduct Authority.
Another organisation I haven’t yet mentioned, but which has increasing influence over the ‘Welsh Government’, is the World Wildlife Fund. Which has an office and a website but, again, no existence independent of its UK / England HQ.
Then there’s a crew I may have neglected until now, Wales Environment Link (WEL), which sees itself as an umbrella organisation for environmental groups.
Thomas is also a director at the Centre for Alternative Technology.
Another trustee is Natalie Roxanne Buttriss. Who deserves special mention.
Back in October 2018 she appeared in The Welsh Clearances. She was then Wales Director of the Woodland Trust, which was a partner with Rewilding Britain in the Summit to Sea project, a very ambitious land grab that was derailed by colonialist arrogance rousing local resistance.
I reproduce a photo from that post. It says so much. It shows Buttriss presenting a petition to Mike Hedges, Labour AM for Swansea East, I don’t know what post he held then. (Don’t care.)
A petition demanding – what else? – more trees! But it only managed to get a miserable 2,385 signatures. Yet it was still accorded an official presentation and media coverage . . . while petitions with many more signatures are effectively binned.
When the memsahibs shout, the native politics-wallahs come running.
Among the full-time staff at WEN we find Llinos Price, of whom the less said the better. (Put her name into the search box atop the sidebar.) Also, former Labour spad, Liz Smith. Then there’s Rory Francis, who too has worked as a spad, and more recently for Friends of the Earth and Coed Cadw / Woodland Trust.
It really is revolving doors between ‘charities’ and politics, with none of those involved having any experience of business, and a lifetime spent wholly reliant on public funds.
But it’s not just identifiable organisations we should worry about; there are also loners, operating below the radar, who surface for other reasons.
We’ve looked at the one for Radnorshire, but there is also the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust, and there was a Brecknock Wildlife Trust until it merged with WTSWW.
Quite remarkable when you think about it. Powys, with less than 5% of Wales’ population, had 60% of the country’s wildlife trusts. And post merger, still has 50%.
How do we explain this? Being so large, and sparsely-populated, Powys obviously attracts the kind of people we’ve encountered in this article. But there may be other factors at work.
A number of those I encountered in my research still live over the border, often just over the border. Wales obviously attracts them because funding is more readily available here.
James Hitchcock, the CEO of Radnorshire Wildlife Trust, with whose tweet this piece began, was formerly Estates Senior Manager at Herefordshire Wildlife Trusts.
Powys is also within reasonable travelling distance of almost any part of England, which makes it convenient for greenwash ‘investors’.
There are other organisations helping to turn Harri Webb’s ‘Green Desert’ into a wooded wildlife paradise; among them, Soros College, Talgarth.
I know the boys and girls at Black Mountains College don’t like me harping on about their George Soros connection . . . so I shall keep doing it!
By accepted yardsticks such as health service delivery, education, infrastructure, standard of living, etc., we Welsh are worse off today than we were in 1999.
Unless they can serve as commuter communities for Cardiff and Newport the towns and villages of the Valleys undergo managed decline; Swansea is fed crumbs; the north east is being merged with north west England; the north coast is becoming the A55 commuter belt for Merseyside, Manchester, and Cheshire; our western coastal areas are no-go areas for our people due to property prices; while the rural heartland is bought up by carbon capture scammers and enviroshysters – with the support of the ‘Welsh Government’.
If it’s not the ‘Welsh Government’ buying up land for the claimed climate emergency then it’s Natural Resources Wales (NRW). Among their recent acquisitions is Ty’n y Mynydd on Ynys Môn.
But what can we expect from an organisation that puts out 1960s peace and love bollocks like: ” . . . reflective walk . . . ‘Children of the Revolution’ . . . thanks and love . . . for what we’d done for Wales”.
What they’d done for Wales!!! They are buying up our country with our money and handing it over to strangers. (And look at the goody bags! We also paid for them.)
Every last one of them should be deported. Along with the others mentioned here. Plus the politicians, the civil servants, the lobbyists, and anyone else linked to the cess-pit that is Corruption Bay.
Let’s have a clean sweep so we can all breathe purer air.
Dominic Driver, who was responsible for that toe-curling tweet, is Head of Land Stewardship at NRW, so he presumably had a hand in the purchase at Ty’n y Mynydd. He taught at Harrow School and lives in the Cotswolds. Neis.
But that’s Wales for you. Or rather, for them.
The writing is on the wall. And the message reads: “R.I.P. Wales, the country that sacrificed itself pandering to strangers ‘saving’ a planet that was never in danger”.
When someone drew my attention to the Green Man festival being gifted a farm by the so-called ‘Welsh Government’ I thought to myself, “I’m sure I’ve written about those buggers recently”; but no, I was thinking of the Green Gathering.
There are just so many using the ‘Green’ label, desperately trying to look enviro-virtuous! Bullshit, most of the time.
The more recent story I’m referring to appeared last Friday on the BBC Wales website. A strange piece in many ways. For a start, why would the ‘Welsh Government’ buy a farm and then hand it over to people running a music event?
As is so often the case in these investigations, one thing leads to another. And that’s what happened here.
As you’ve seen from the link above, the story begins with, Gilestone farm, near Talybont-on-Usk. The property can be found on the map below, with the farm name highlighted in the centre.
To understand what’s happening now, and the anger it’s causing, we need to step back a bit, some 17 years.
And let’s introduce Geraint John Thomas, whose family has farmed in the Talybont area for centuries, maybe a millennium. He owned Gilestone Farm.
I won’t go into too much detail, partly because I may be meeting up with Geraint and his wife Chris early next week. But enough has already emerged to put out what you’re about to read.
Which will make any Part 2 I produce a kind of prequel. (Just think Godfather.)
Another reason for doing it this way is that my digging has unearthed intriguing links that may help us understand what’s happened at Gilestone.
Anyway, let’s sketch in the background. The problems began with planning permission granted by the Brecon Beacons National Park planning department in 2005 for caravans and camping at Gilestone farm.
By 2007 it had become clear that the BBNP, or certain individuals, had screwed up rather badly. (Which might explain the record being scrubbed, for I could find nothing on the BBNP website relating to that planning case.)
Then, just a year ago, their story was updated by WalesOnline. They’re obviously prospering . . . which is not always popular in socialist Wales.
But then, last Friday, all the bad memories were brought back with the report I linked to earlier. Though what I found odd was that neither the ‘Welsh Government’ nor the Green Man was prepared to talk to the media, so who leaked the story?
“We had sheds burnt down, we were banned from local shops and pubs, the children were bullied every day in school- it was horrific All because we had planning for a caravan park, and the locals did not want valleys people there The welsh government were instrumental in what happened to us-
HANDS ACROSS THE POND
The man who bought Gilestone Farm from Geraint and Chris Thomas was Charles William Weston, who made the purchase in the name of Sharpness and Severn Transport Ltd, which has been renamed – rather modestly – CWW Farming Ltd.
I had trouble figuring out exactly what Weston owned at Gilestone because the property seems to have been broken up into a number of different titles. There is even an instance of the same title number relating to different sections of the overall holding.
To keep himself busy, Weston has also joined the recently-formed Beacons Water Group CIC (BWG). An interesting outfit this, which you’ll be reading more about.
There are six directors. Four have surnames we’d expect to find in a Welsh farmers’ organisation, the other two are Weston, and Anthony Hugh Martineau. The latter lives on a farm and is also Head of Sustainability at Map of Ag.
Another member is Richard James Roderick, chairman of the Brecon and Radnor branch of the National Farmers Union (NFU).
The BWG is generally described as a “farmer-led” group set up to guarantee water quality in the area. And who could argue with that? As ever, the truth is rather more complex. Let’s start with this extract from the BWG 2021 accounts.
We learn the inspiration for the Beacons Water Group came from Dŵr Cymru / Welsh Water, following a visit made to the Catskills region of New York state. The Catskills form the northern end of the Appalachian mountain chain.
The Catskills initiative is called the Watershed Agricultural Council (WAC) and is controlled to some extent, and funded, by New York City – to which the area supplies water – and the US federal government.
Though on reading about the WAC, the question that formed in the old Jac noggin was, “How did Dŵr Cymru even learn about this initiative so far away?”
The panel above goes some way towards answering that question by mentioning two trans-Atlantic visits. The first was in March 2018, when a group from the WAC visited Wales. As we see from the Dŵr Cymru tweet below, retweeted by the WAC.
Then, in October 2019, a contingent from Dŵr Cymru reciprocated with a visit to the Catskills. But I could find no mention of this on the WAC Twitter account.
Though what you see below from around the time of the Dŵr Cymru visit may put us on the path to enlightenment.
The Bard College mentioned in the tweet is a Woke-Left institution in New York State favoured and funded by George Soros. The Manipulative Magyar’s influence in Wales is often channelled through Black Mountains College in Talgarth.
That’s right! – just a few miles from Gilestone Farm.
BMC Trustee Dr William Herbert Newton Smith was, as the BMC website tells us: ” . . . for 20 years head of George Soros’s higher education programme, establishing over 20 universities around the world.”
If we were talking about young Welsh people from farming backgrounds they’d already know more than Martineau. Which means that the headline can only refer to those, almost certainly from outside of Wales, buying Welsh farms.
Or taking on Welsh farms someone else has bought for them?
The link between Black Mountains College, Bard College, and George Soros, was recently strengthened through the Open Society University Network (OSUN).
Soros unveiled OSUN at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2020. Read this article. This really is Orwell’s Ministry of Truth. We have arrived in 1984.
If we turn to Black Mountains College most recent accounts (page 4, under ‘Operations’) we read: “BMC was inducted into the global Open Society University Network (OSUN), allowing us to offer our programmes to students from 50 institutions around the world”.
But no mention of Uncle George!
I suggest you read the latest accounts to help you grasp the links between BMC and other institutions, such as the Centre for Alternative Technology. And the funding from the ‘Welsh Government’, through the Arwain programme and other sources.
One organisation linked to BMC – and don’t fall off your chair in surprise! – is Dŵr Cymru / Welsh Water, which is sponsoring the Ecological Futures Camp in late August – early September. (Take a look at the other sponsors!)
The accounts also mention (page 4) an anonymous gift of £50,000. Bloody hell! Should a small educational establishment in receipt of public funding be allowed to receive large, anonymous donations?
But this generosity is dwarfed by the gift from Jenny Mathilde Daneels Watt of Switzerland. Jenny splashed out £960,000 last year to buy Troed-yr-Harn, a 120-acre grassland farm and then, so we are told, she lets Black Mountains College have use of it for a peppercorn rent.
The question you’re all asking is, “Who the hell is Jenny Mathilde Daneels Watt of Switzerland and why would she be so generous to Black Mountains College?”
I’m asking the same question. Answers on a postcard, please!
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?
Why would the self-styled ‘Welsh Government’ pay £4.25m for a farm it seems unsure what to do with, and then say it will be rented or leased to an organisation that has yet to make a comment, and has presented no business plan?
Part of the answer is, in a word, control.
Understand that we are dealing here with the socialist mindset that wants to control Wales and almost every aspect of Welsh life. If this can’t be done openly and directly, then it will be done surreptitiously, through proxies.
This is how the Labour Party has operated in Wales for a century. It explains the corruption, the cronyism and, regrettably, Wales’ poverty relative to other countries.
Why should farming, or the land, be treated any differently?
But before explaining what I think is behind the purchase of Gilestone Farm take a few minutes to enjoy Vaughan Gething, Minister for Economy (‘economy’!), flim-flam his way through questions in the Senedd on Wednesday.
Also understand that the Labour Party is ideologically and emotionally hostile to farmers and landowners. I could bore you with an explanation that takes us from the Inclosure Act (1773) via the Tolpuddle Martyrs (1834) to Kinder Scout (1932), but I’ll spare you.
Let’s now focus on the sale of Gilestone Farm.
I can’t be sure how and by whom the trans-Atlantic link was established, but at some point the idea that the mayor of New York City can influence farmers many miles away in the Catskills became seen as a good idea, to be replicated in Wales.
Which explains why the Beacons Water Group CIC was set up soon after the link was established between our own water supplier and the area supplying NYC.
Among the directors of BWG we found Richard Roderick, the local NFU branch chairman. Interestingly, Roderick farms directly across the Usk from Gilestone Farm.
Another BMC director is Alun Thomas, who farms within waving distance over Llangorse lake of Hugh Martineau.
Making the Beacons Water Group a cosy little gang. What’s more, there are plans to extend the idea, thanks to Cardiff University, which often seems to be joined at the hip with the ‘Welsh Government’.
The link in the previous paragraph takes you to a page headed: “Environmental resilience for water in rural Wales”. We read of, “Creative partner collaboration with Mrs Penelope Turnbull”.
Penelope Turnbull designs the interiors of cruise ships! She’s also been a window-dresser for Harrods!
How the fuck did she get this gig!
What does she know about farming? Or water quality? Come to that, why does a group set up to improve water quality on Welsh farms need a “Creative partner”?
Has the world gone mad, or is it just Wales? This could drive me to drink!
End of digression-rant.
Those belonging to the BWG are viewed as ‘good’ farmers, environmentally responsible and therefore to be favoured by politicians and their minions.
‘Good farmers’ will promote the globalist agenda that seeks to destroy livestock farming and have us eat gunge made in a factory owned by the increasingly weird, if not sinister, Bill Gates.
This couples with a change of tack from the ‘Welsh Government’.
For it has become clear, even to the blinkered and insensitive denizens of Corruption Bay, that hedge funds and City investors buying up Welsh farmland for various forms of greenwash does not go down well with the Welsh public.
Far better for the ‘Welsh Government’ to buy farmland and hand it over to favoured individuals and groups. Or it may be Dŵr Cymru doing the buying, or Natural Resources Wales.
Without the trans-Atlantic link facilitated by Soros-backed institutions, we would not have seen the creation of the Beacons Water Group, and without the BWG the ‘Welsh Government’ would not have bought Gilestone Farm from Charles Weston.
The real story here may be the adoption and adaptation of a US arrangement that will be used by the ‘Welsh Government’ to reward those farmers who follow the globalist agenda while isolating those with principles.
Pour encourager les autres.
The Green Man? Even if this outfit is taking over Gilestone, it’s just a distraction.
. . . Wales Tourism Alliance, UK Hospitality Cymru, and Professional Association of Self Caterers UK. And the article below, which I reproduce from last week’s issue of the Cambrian News.
The article reports a desperate attempt to stop the closing of the loophole that allows holiday home owners to claim their property is a business and thereby avoid paying the council tax surcharge on holiday homes.
I have chosen to write this because rarely have I read such self-serving and unadulterated bilge / bollocks / bullshit. (Take your pick.)
It begins with the foundation lie that holiday homes in Wales are owned by locals; that is, Welsh people. Once the foundation is laid a whole house of lies can be built upon it.
It can be argued that to close the loophole, or to increase the council tax surcharge, will damage Welsh communities economically, will result in locals having to sell out to “wealthier outsiders” and – to cap it all – these moves will harm the Welsh language.
I propose to go through the article and address the points made in the order they were made. But let me begin by introducing the organisations being quoted in the article.
First, the Wales Tourism Alliance (WTA), formed in 1998 (I quote from the WTA website) ” . . . when the National Assembly for Wales was established and the responsibility for tourism was devolved from Westminster to Cardiff”.
The WTA website is in English only.
Explanation: Viewing devolution as a Welsh Nationalist plot the (largely English-run) tourism industry in Wales decided to draw the waggons into laager.
UK Hospitality Cymru (UKHC) is another of those English organisations that pretends to have a Welsh presence by adding “Cymru” to the name. The contact details are all for the London office.
Finally, we have the Professional Association of Self Caterers UK (PASC UK), which doesn’t even bother with the pretence of adding “Cymru” or “Wales”. It got involved in Wales when the Wales Association of Self-Catering Operators (WASCO) folded in 2020.
PASC UK would no doubt be treating Wales as a region of England were it not for the proposed legislation reminding its Board – none of whom seem to have any connection with Wales – that things are different here.
Here’s the article I’m referring to. I suggest you read it and as you read give some thought to what is really being said. (It’s available here in pdf format.)
Health warning! Those with a low boiling point should not proceed.
Let’s start the dissection of the article in paragraph 3.
It seems that the three organisations quoted believe that the proposed legislation will damage the tourism industry. By which I assume they mean that Wales will see fewer tourists, and the impact of tourism on Wales will be reduced.
Would that be a bad thing?
Tourism is Welsh communities taken over and anglicised. (Think Abersoch, Aberdyfi, and other places.) It’s increased traffic, environmental damage, shit on Yr Wyddfa. Do we really want to keep these things at their current level?
Of course not. These are things we should be seeking to reduce or banish entirely.
Turning to the economic argument . . . how many tourism businesses are owned by Welsh people? How many Welsh people have jobs in tourism that pay enough to enable them to buy a home in a tourism ‘hot-spot’, like Abersoch? (Or anywhere else?) How many people does the tourism industry employ in November, or February?
GREEN TOURISM, HONEST!
Moving on to paragraphs 9 and 10.
Paragraph 9 contains a plea to increase the letting threshold from 70 to just 105 days (rather than the proposed 182) in return for which the three groups will work towards making tourism “greener”.
Will tourists come by train and then use the extensive Welsh network to travel around the country? Or perhaps they’ll walk? Hire a mule?
Let’s be honest; these groups realise that the self-styled ‘Welsh Government’ has succumbed to climate hysteria and they’re just playing on that.
Though it does raise an interesting point. Because if the ‘Welsh Government’ wants higher self-catering occupancy rates then that will inevitably mean more tourists, and more car journeys, and more pollution.
How does that square with the ‘Welsh Government’s belief that Wales can single-handedly save the planet?
Paragraph 10 ends with the claim that the proposed legislation will have “a disproportionate and damaging economic impact on . . . communities”.
Presumably the communities being destroyed by holiday homes!
This claim seems to be based on the argument that people staying in rented accommodation put money into the local economy. Which is no doubt true.
Taken to its logical conclusion, the greatest benefit, with the most money going into the local economy, will be achieved if holiday homes become permanent homes for Welsh families.
FEWER HOLIDAY HOMES WOULD BE BAD FOR LOCALS
Paragraphs 11 and 12 (below) plumb new depths of desperation. And dishonesty.
The three organisations claim legislation that might force cheats into either paying what they’re supposed to pay, or else sell up, will be of no benefit to local people. “It will reduce local owners’ ability to earn an income”.
To begin with, few holiday homes are owned by local Welsh people. But here the ‘Welsh Government’ should simply make exemptions for those that are.
Will this be discriminatory? Of course it will, but it would also mean the ‘Welsh Government’ would be prioritising the best interests of the indigenous population.
Would it be anti-English? Of course not. People from Namibia, Bolivia and Kazakhstan with holiday homes in Wales would be equally affected.
There would, it’s claimed, be “a decline in secondary jobs in hospitality, retail, house maintenance and cleaning”. An old one, this. A variation on the theme of holiday homes putting money into the local economy.
It’s such obvious nonsense that those spouting it must think we’re idiots!
As for “house maintenance”, I live in a village with far too many holiday homes, and I’m amazed by the tradesmen’s vans I regularly see from exotic locations over the border. The areas where the holiday home owners live.
If I had the power I would introduce a fine for any home owner not employing local tradesmen. And a public flogging for a repeat offence.
Paragraph 12 reads, “(The proposed legislation) will not safeguard the Welsh language as these businesses will be lost to wealthier outsiders prepared to meet the higher costs of having a second home or self-catering business in Wales.”
Is it being suggested that holiday homes now safeguard the Welsh language? If so, then they really do think we’re stupid!
Though I agree with them that if the current loophole is closed, and the 300% council tax surcharge levied, then many properties will come on the market. But will they really be bought by “wealthier outsiders”?
And if they were, then what would it mean?
Nothing, really, except that our councils could be getting a good income from the 300% surcharge and those holiday homes that were falsely claiming to be businesses will have to be run as real self-catering businesses – providing all the benefits the three organisations claim such enterprises provide.
Everybody wins . . . except those currently cheating the system
In my opinion, closing the loophole and raising the surcharge to 300% would reduce the demand for and the attractiveness of holiday homes and result in property prices in rural areas of Wales falling. Which would mean more properties coming within the financial reach of local people.
And if the 300% holiday home council tax surcharge doesn’t bring enough properties within the reach of locals, then we should raise it to 500%.
“WITHOUT HOLIDAY HOMES YOU’D ALL STARVE!”
Finally, to paragraph 15, which warns that the economy of rural Wales will collapse if holiday home owners currently gaming the system are made to pay their full whack.
To begin with, let’s consider the term, “self-catering”. It means catering for oneself. And here’s an example of what it means.
I see people arriving in my village for a week or two in a holiday home and it often takes a good half an hour to unload the car – because they’ve brought just about everything bar the kitchen sink. (Same applies to those staying in caravans.)
Yes, they go to local restaurants, pubs, and other places. But what they spend in the local economy is – for obvious reasons – exaggerated.
It takes us back to the point I made earlier. No matter how much holiday homes may contribute to the local economy that contribution would be dwarfed by locals living in those properties for 12 months of the year.
A child could understand that. Why do the defenders of holiday homes pretend not to?
The report produced by the Wales Tourism Alliance, UK Hospitality Cymru, and Professional Association of Self Caterers UK purports to promote the self-catering sector but reads like a defence of those exploiting the existing loophole by pretending their private holiday homes are businesses.
Then, by proposing that the minimum occupancy time for a property to qualify as a genuine rental should increase from the current 70 days a year to just 1o5 days, the three organisations tend to undermine their own case.
Proposing such a low level of occupancy does nothing for the image of a thrusting, non-seasonal tourism sector without which we Welsh would be reduced to cannibalism.
Especially as on the PASC UK website we read of Council member Robert Kennedy and his wife that, “In just 3 years their non-agency on-line marketing strategy grew the business to 90% occupancy”. That’s 328 days a year.
But at the end of the day, we are discussing tourism. And as I have said repeatedly, the damage inflicted on Wales by tourism far outweighs any benefits seen by Welsh people.
Anything that can ameliorate or reduce the impact of tourism in general and holiday homes in particular should be supported. So back the closing of the loophole. Insist that your council imposes the 300% surcharge. And demand a tourism tax.
Then ensure that the money collected does not make its way to Corruption Bay, or to third sector bodies, or to housing associations. That money must be used in the areas damaged by tourism for the benefit of local people, especially younger people looking to buy a home in which they can raise a family.
What these three, essentially English, organisations, are saying is: “You couldn’t manage without us”. The traditional response to uppity natives.
Reminding us that tourism in Wales is a largely colonialist activity. One country being used for the benefit and enjoyment of another – and then told to be grateful for being exploited.
Everyone I think accepts that in Wales we have a dysfunctional housing or property sector; one not fit for purpose, and one that certainly doesn’t serve the needs of the Welsh people.
But I’m not simply talking about holiday homes and English migrants squeezing us out of the private housing market, though that is the biggest problem in rural areas, especially in the west.
No, the issues in Welsh housing go beyond asking £2.2m for a ‘fisherman’s cottage’. There are problems less obvious, that don’t attract such attention. And yet, if these problems were remedied, then the money saved could go towards solving other issues.
In this post I shall deal with two of those problems.
There have been persistent reports of trouble in Aberystwyth of a kind that almost beggars belief. I quote from this recent report, “There’s been a number of instances where a fight took place between rival gangs from the midlands (sic), apparently, who were fighting over a turf war.”
The area worst affected is close to the castle, in the Rheidol ward. Here’s a map of that ward, with one address marked with an x on Upper Great Darkgate Street. I’ve done this because I’m going to tell you a little story.
So make yourselves comfortable.
This part of the town, Upper Great Darkgate Street, between Clock Square and the castle, holds fond memories for me. For back in the ’60s it was home to two great pubs, The Angel and The Farmers, next-door to each other.
I sank many a pint in both. And oft-times in wonderful company. I have great memories of Cayo on his accordion leading the ensemble.
The Farmers is closed, but the Angel is still open, but obviously not what it used to be, to judge by this review. Though if they think this is the dirtiest, scruffiest pub in Wales, then the Sheppey family of Pontypool enjoy a very sheltered life.
Note the reference to this pub being “full of drug people”.
The reason you’re traipsing down Memory Lane with me is because, back in June 2019, I was in the vicinity when I came across a strange scene. The road around the clock tower was blocked off by the police and I could see somebody up on a second floor window sill, apparently threatening to jump.
I joined the small throng that had gathered to shout advice to the would-be jumpee. (For next to suspenders and stockings few things get the old Jac adrenalin pumping better than a raucous mob!)
Realising I was going to use this image sent me to the Land Registry website, where I was able to establish that the property in question – No 50 – is owned by our old friends Wales & West Housing.
The property was originally bought by Cymdeithas Tai Pumlumon in 1989, which merged with Cymdeithas Tai Dyffryn Teifi in 1993 to form Cymdeithas Tai Cantref. Cantref was eventually swallowed up by Wales & West in 2016.
Which is just before the problems in this part of Aberystwyth started.
Wales & West has an appalling record for dumping petty criminals and drug addicts on Welsh towns and villages. In this news report from January 2018 W&W admits there have been “issues” in Lampeter.
That’s because Wales & West is a business, and housing England’s problems pays well. Which goes hand in hand with W&W rejecting its responsibility to Welsh communities, or Wales in general, and its “Do we have to!” attitude towards the Welsh language.
Though this recent report from the Tivy-Side Advertiser about W&W’s plan to damage a community in north Pembrokeshire makes clear that locals now know exactly how Wales & West operates.
But Wales & West is not alone in causing the kind of problems we see in Aberystwyth. A few other housing associations do the same thing, then there are third sector bodies, and private landlords. Often working together, as we saw in Tyisha, Llanelli.
But what makes Wales & West especially damaging is that it’s the biggest housing association in Wales, and it achieved that position through favouritism and funding from the ‘Welsh’ Labour ‘Government’, and through operating a business model that a more responsible organisation would reject.
Can you imagine a Labour Party election manifesto that read: “We shall increase funding to housing associations and third sector bodies so they can bring into Wales more criminals, drug addicts and families from hell”?
It seems that Kayleigh Parnham can no longer afford to rent a home for herself and her three children in Kent and so, “in a few weeks’ time she will be moving more than 200 miles away to Wales”.
Later we read, “Miss Parnham says a friend who found herself in a similar situation moved to a town in Wales – so she has decided to follow suit, successfully applying for a council house.”
(Though of course “council house” in this instance could mean any kind of social housing, which would include housing association properties.)
The question many of you are now asking is – How does this woman qualify for social housing in Wales? So let’s examine some possibilities. (Here I am indebted to a couple of people who contacted me after I put out this tweet on Sunday.)
The article tells us that Kayleigh Parnham has lived in Kent all her life. This rules out her having local connections with any part of Wales. But it mentions her “friend” who made the move, so is she claiming kinship with this trailblazer and saying she needs to be near relatives?
Because this is a loophole often exploited.
This loophole also explains how a youngster who’s got into trouble is ‘adopted’ by Wales-based do-gooders and then, within months, his extended criminal family appears. And is immediately housed.
Cos there’s good money to be made.
Another scam, rife in coastal areas, is to move your family into a caravan – plenty available, especially in winter – claim “cramped living conditions”, etc, then tell the nice lady from Cwmscwt Housing Association that little Chardonnay is coughing all the time and you’ll soon be offered a nice big house.
Or, if that doesn’t appeal, then find anywhere to live, stick it out for six months and, bingo! – you qualify as ‘local’. Look you.
I even knew one guy, came down from Manchester, pitched a tent on Tywyn beach for himself, his wife, and their 5 kids. An absolute rogue. I used to go drinking with him. I even got talked into ferreting for rabbits one forgettable Sunday.
But these scenarios don’t seem to apply here. It looks as if Kayleigh Parnham, living in Kent, is just waltzing straight into a home in Wales. A country she may never even have visited.
The photo in the article I’ve linked to shows Ms Parnham with her two daughters, but there is a third child, her son, 12-year-old Alex. And as this article from the Daily Mirror informs us, Alex has ‘issues’.
Not only are we taking in a family with no Welsh connections, it looks as if one of the children will need expensive treatment.
Thank God Wales is a wealthy country!
But it’s not just Kayleigh Parnham and the friend who preceded her coming to Wales.
This story carried by CornwallLive is headlined: “Ponsanooth mum might be forced to move to Cardiff after eviction notice”.
I love the use of “forced”. But then, I’d have to be dragged kicking and screaming to live in Cardiff . . . and I’d leg it at the first opportunity.
To misquote that great Swansea poet, Harri Webb. Better a shed in Landore than a mansion in Lisvane.
The issue for mother-of-four Rae Layton in Cornwall is Section 21 notices, which allow a landlord to evict a tenant with just two months notice. Often done to switch that property to Airbnb or to sell as a retirement / holiday home.
Or else the sitting tenant is evicted and the property is rented out again at a greatly increased rent. Which is what seems to have happened to Laura Williams of Penzance, another woman with four children.
One contact on Sunday directed me to the Housing (Wales) Act 2014, and in particular sections 73 and 75. Where we read that Wales has an obligation to house the homeless, no matter where they come from. In some circumstances the obligation extends to those who are intentionally homeless.
This looks like another nice little earner.
Because I bet that a Welsh council or housing association taking in a family from almost anywhere in England will be able to charge the ‘home’ authority more than they could charge local tenants. And the ‘home’ authority won’t mind paying because it’ll still be cheaper than if they’d housed that family locally.
As with housing criminals, drug addicts, neighbours from Hell, it’s a business model.
But what about local people waiting for social housing, who see people with no local connections being housed ahead of them time after time after time, because they are “priority cases”?
I don’t wish to appear heartless, these women obviously need help. But they should not be our problem. Section 21 evictions are happening all over England – do we take them all in?
It doesn’t matter which vantage point you take, or which sector you focus on, the housing market in Wales is screwed.
In the village where I live every property that comes up for sale is bought by an English buyer. Either as a holiday home or somewhere to retire to.
There’s little demand for social housing because there is no employment locally, so young people leave. This explains the closure of the village school, the age profile, and the language shift.
I was only able to buy the house I live in thanks to Right to Buy legislation. This provided the only chance for most locals to buy a home in many parts of Wales. Especially coastal and rural areas.
But the socialists in Corruption Bay did away with Right to Buy. Hypocrites, many owning two or three properties. That’s ‘socialism’ for you.
A country with a modicum of self-government becoming increasingly less accommodating to its native population suggests either a malevolent guiding hand or incompetence such as no nation should be expected to tolerate.
Radical action is needed to put things right. Here are some suggestions:
Instead of tinkering with council tax rates that councils will never have the balls to implement, the ‘Welsh Government’ should itself impose a 500% national surcharge on all holiday homes.
Airbnb and similar operations should be banned from Wales.
Failing this, then we must have a split market such as operates on the Channel Islands. This sees most properties reserved for local buyers, with a smaller ‘open’ market accessible to everyone.
Something that could be implemented tomorrow – and should be – is the ‘Welsh Government’ ceasing to fund housing associations and third sector bodies that bring in criminals and other undesirables from England. (A practise that should surely compete with Einstein’s [alleged] definition of insanity.)
Close the loophole that allows the victim of a greedy landlord in the bucolic idyll of Scrotum Parva to qualify immediately for social housing in Wales. This is England’s problem, not ours.
Make local connection the overriding qualification for social housing in Wales. And someone has to have lived in Wales for at least 5 years before they qualify as ‘local’.
The options are endless for those with imagination and the will to implement the kind of legislation Welsh people need. Regrettably, both imagination and the will to act in the nation’s interests are alien to the political class that claims to be running Wales.
But something must be done to straighten out a housing sector currently working against Welsh interests; otherwise Welsh people becoming strangers in their own country will be perfectly justified in taking matters into their own hands.
Finally, and this should go without saying – don’t vote for a socialist party tomorrow. Vote for a party that is uncompromisingly Welsh or, seeing as these are local elections, give your vote to a decent independent candidate.
The Merriam-Webster definition of Nirvana is, “a place or state of oblivion to care, pain, or external reality”. Oblivion to reality certainly applies to the socialist lunacies besetting Wales.
Who but those oblivious to truth could believe that Wales can save the planet, that decent jobs, infrastructure, education and heath care are for sissies, and that women have penises?
Merriam-Webster also mentions, “alcohol-induced nirvana”. Bloody hell! I’ve been there a few times. Does that make me a Buddhist?
IT ALL BEGAN . . .
. . . with a couple of tweets on Sunday from the BBC. Both linked to this article.
The Women’s Equality Network (WEN) Wales is worried that not enough candidates from ethnic minorities are standing in next month’s council elections. But WEN is not an organisation dealing with ethnic minorities, so why raise the issue?
Before answering that, let’s take a look at WEN.
WEN is registered as a company limited by guarantee (‘Ltd’ exempt), and a charity. It depends mainly on funding from the self-styled ‘Welsh Government’ in the form of an Equality and Inclusion Grant. In 2021 this amounted to £145,000, up from £119,904 in 2020.
There are five employees in 2022 (in addition to the Director), up from four last year. The panel below shows the staff members towards the end of last year (left) compared to the staff members now as shown on the WEN website.
With the Director pulling down £47,677 we can be fairly certain that most of the remaining £109,375 (from a total 2021 income of £157,052) went on the other four salaries. We can also assume that the grant will be increased in 2022 because there’s now another staff member.
And it seems growth doesn’t end there. This advertisement is for a ‘Senior Partnerships Fundraiser’ on a one-year contract at £31,365.
“We particularly welcome Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME), disabled and LGBTQ+ candidates”. Mmm, does that mean straight, White, able-bodied Welsh need not apply?
“Homebased anywhere in the UK”. Does that mean that knowledge of Wales is not required?
“Lived experience of . . . a protected characteristic”. ‘Lived experience’, that phrase so beloved of the Woke. Does WEN – like the ‘Welsh Government’ – accept Stonewall’s interpretation of ‘protected characteristics’, or does it stick to the law?
So, WEN is complaining there aren’t enough ethnic minority council candidates. Horrified that just 1.8% of candidates in 2017 came from ethnic minorities, while the figure quoted for the “ethnically diverse population” of Wales (2021) is 5.2%.
Thankfully this is not a problem at WEN. From a total complement of six, at least three of the staff belong to ethnic minorities. Two seem to be White English. While the sixth is the obligatory token Welsh person.
UPDATE 29.04.2022: I’ve found a petition for: “more Black, Asian, and ethnic minority women, LGBTQ+ women, disabled women, and women with other protected characteristics in . . . a Senedd that is gender balanced and reflective of the whole Welsh population.”
It gained just 199 signatures. Take out WEN staff, their friends, family, and the members of the Splott Intersectional Mud Wrestling Club and this petition does not suggest massive support from the real world.
(Of the 199 votes only 148 came from Wales (74%). The others came from: Nigeria 32, England 10, Netherlands 6, and one each from Scotland, Germany, China. So which WEN staff member has contacts in Nigeria?)
DIVERSITY! WHAT BOLLOCKS IS SPOUTED IN THY NAME!
So who are the six women running Women’s Equality Network (WEN) Wales? Let’s start at the top, with the director, Catherine Fookes.
Her Linkedin page tells us that she was privately educated in England (Godolphin) before attending Middlesex University where she studied Business (with two years in France). Her Masters in Development Studies was done at Bath, her thesis on Plan International.
Catherine Fookes is the longest serving staff member at WEN, having joined in September 2017. Perhaps her appointment was reward for her valiant efforts to become Labour’s Welsh Assembly Member for Monmouthshire in 2016. Here’s her election leaflet.
Her Twitter account tells she’s standing again for Labour in next month’s council elections. (And she was elected.)
The only other survivor from those named as WEN staff in the accounts signed off in November last year is Megan Evans, the token Welsh presence.
I can’t find much information on Megan Evans, but her profile on the WEN website tells us: “She is passionate about gender equality, intersectional feminism, LGBT rights, and racial justice”. We only need climate hysteria for a Woke nap hand.
Evelyn James, the Diverse5050 Campaign Manager was recruited, presumably, as result of this advertisement:
The Diverse5050 Campaign is an agreement between Labour and Plaid Cymru that certain groups – primarily ethnic and (self-ID) gender – should be over-represented in politics.
The campaign is “run in partnership with our steering group ERS Cymru, Race Council Cymru, and EYST Wales”. These are bodies run by Labour Party cronies, are funded by the ‘Welsh Government’ (though it should be the Labour Party), and have appeared on this blog.
Which leaves Jessica Laimann, Policy and Public Affairs Officer.
She was recruited by WEN last year, and before taking up the post she was “Assistant Democratic Services Officer at Carmarthenshire County Council”.
I almost choked on my laverbread sandwich when my rheumy old eyes alighted upon “Democratic” and “Carmarthenshire County Council” in the same sentence. Somebody must have a sense of humour!
Or else things have really gone to the dogs since Mark James ceased being CEO and de facto council leader.
SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW, SAME INTENTION
To understand Diversity Quotas it may be worth considering a couple of references: one from the past; the other bang up to date. And then try to synthesise them.
Writing this I was immediately struck by a parallel from the recent past and across the water. Unlikely as it might at first sound, that example is political gerrymandering in the Six Counties.
In Derry, for example, gerrymandering guaranteed the Protestant-Unionist minority control of the Corporation in a city with a Catholic and Nationalist / Republican majority. (Explained here in a one-minute video.)
Classic gerrymandering along those lines can’t work in Wales because we do not have segregation. Which leaves the Left seeking to limit the number of representatives from the majority population in other ways.
Of course they will deny this. Whining that they simply want “fair representation” for “under-represented” groups, and only “racists” would oppose this innovation.
But it don’t matter how you cut it, the end result will be the same – minorities enjoying representation disproportionate to their numbers in a given council area, or in Wales as a whole.
Coming up to date, and back to the poisoned well of Wokeism from which WEN has clearly drawn too many buckets . . . the demand for quotas also smacks of Critical Race Theory ‘equity’ (not to be confused with equality).
CRT’s ‘equity’ is race-obsessed discrimination that guarantees everybody loses out.
But it still gives the Left power and influence out of all proportion to the support it enjoys among the population at large. Worse, it’s the tail of the extreme Left wagging dogs like Labour, Plaid Cymru, Greens.
But this should not surprise anyone familiar with Welsh politics; for too many of those now involved in politics and public life in Wales have previously worked for ‘charities’ and pressure groups. These outfits get their agenda implemented through influencing politicians – not from selling their programme to the public.
This is one reason Corruption Bay has no register of lobbyists.
Additionally, there are two fundamental flaws in what passes for the reasoning underpinning minority candidate quotas. These fallacies are:
That only a member of an identified minority can represent other members of that minority.
That members of a minority will only accept being represented by someone from their minority.
And if the candidate quotas WEN is calling for are introduced, then how long until the Left demands we introduce a new method for counting the votes? Surely, it will be argued, votes from members of the majority community should count for less than votes from members of “disadvantaged” or “traditionally oppressed” minorities?
That question is not entirely rhetorical. Because that is the direction many on the Left want to take us.
At present, anyone can apply to join a political party and then seek to become a candidate. Political parties are then free to choose their candidates without any outside interference.
This is how it should remain. To deviate from a system that treats all as equal could be the first step on a very slippery slope.
WA851663 “Land at Cynghordy, Llandovery”. This is indeed owned by The Carbon Community, and the lender is named as ‘Heather Allen’. And here we have a plan. Unfortunately, it came in four parts at the end of the title document. I’ve done my best to stitch them together.
What you see outlined in red is a large area of land lying east of Coed Alltygyrnig, which you’ll find in the centre of the OS map above.
Note also, page 3, paragraph 2: ‘”(21.04.2020) The price stated to have been paid on 20 March 2020 for the land in this title and in CYM119497, CYM119512, CYM800919 and WA852717 was £600,000.”
Which means that Heather Allen’s £200,000 only covered a third of the purchase price. Did the other directors put in £200,000 each? Or did the money come from somewhere else?
Here are the other relevant titles. (Or maybe just the ones I’ve found!)
WA852717 “Land at Cynghordy, Llandovery”. This lies to the south east of the main holding shown in the plan with WA851663 (above), separated by a field or two, and backing onto the railway line and Coed Gallt-y-gyrnig on the east.
While I was idly Googling various names that crop up in this narrative I ran across a planning application for Gallt y Gyrnig, elsewhere known as ‘Alltygyrnig’, even ‘Galt-y-gyrnig’. Here it is.
The planning application was for the, “Reinstatement of abandoned farmhouse along with the conversion of an adjoining redundant outbuilding to provide additional residential accommodation”.
Full planning approval was granted 21.10.2021.
That’ll cost a few quid.
The map that accompanied the planning application shows that the land in question is across the railway line, and south east of Coed Alltygyrnig.
Even though the planning application was submitted by Charles Nicholls, the property is owned by John Lloyd of Cynghordy Hall. The local Big House.
Has an arrangement been entered into between Nicholls and Lloyd that if planning permission was obtained then Gallt y gyrnig would be rented, leased, or bought?
In total, we’re looking at a substantial amount of land bought or being eyed up by The Carbon Community. And there may be more.
I earlier mentioned Philip Michael Stoyle, who owns or lives in Penlan or Pen-y-lan. I can’t positively link him with The Carbon Community, but you never know.
What I do know is that he set up two companies in 2014, both with addresses in England. Adviseinc Ltd (26.02.2014) and Philinc Ltd (30.06.2014). Adviseinc still uses a London address, whereas Philinc switched to Penlan in June 2017.
All three went belly-up and were finally dissolved in 2016 and 2017 owing millions of pounds to assorted creditors. The last Summary of Liabilities for SeeWhy Software quoted a deficiency of £5,465,866.50.
The last to go under was SeeWhy (UK) Ltd. The only share held by . . . SAP (UK) Ltd, a subsidiary of German company SAP SE (Societas Europaea).
Charles Nicholls’ background is obviously in computer software, yet he seems to have reinvented himself as an environmentalist!
Or maybe not. For I suggest this ‘transformation’ can be explained by looking more closely at his links with SAP, and how SAP now links with The Carbon Community.
Which means that when the SeeWhy companies with which Charles Nicholls was involved folded, in 2016 and 2017, he was perhaps, if indirectly, working for SAP.
SAP SE is a German software company. Wikipedia says: “SAP is the largest non-American software company by revenue, the world’s third-largest publicly-traded software company by revenue, and the largest German company by market capitalization”.
Possibly the largest company in Germany. Wow!
SAP SE is mentioned on The Carbon Community website but of course that rang no bells for me. But as we’ve seen, it is mentioned in connection with Seewhy (UK) Ltd, and then again in the Annual Report submitted to the Charity Commission, where we read:
And while The Carbon Community has relatively little to say about SAP, this major international player is proud to trumpet its involvement in Wales.
In March 2021 we learnt: “SAP announced its intention to become carbon-neutral in its own operations by the end of 2023 – two years earlier than previously stated.”
Later in the same announcement we read: ” . . . at local level. SAP UK has partnered with The Carbon Community to plant the SAP Forest UK in the Brecon Beacans (sic) in Wales, with the aim of capturing just under 2,000 tonnes of carbon over the next 35 years.”
I believe SAP is the real owner of what The Carbon Community calls ‘Glandwr Forest’. Which explains “SAP Forest UK” in the panel above.
I also feel confident enough to set out the following scenario:
Wanting to cash in on the Welsh carbon capture scam SAP turned to Charles Martin Nicholls and he set up The Carbon Community as a front.
If I’m right, then most of the money to buy land around Cynghordy came from SAP. Heather Allen had to contribute £200,000 because she lacked the SAP connection.
She may be representing a different party.
Among the documents on the Carmarthenshire planning portal relating to Gallt y gyrnig I found a letter of objection. It poignantly illustrates the tragedy being engineered in the Welsh countryside.
” . . . grandson . . . eleventh generation of farming in the valley . . . tradition of farming . . . I am not in posession of a computer or email”.
Oh, I bet the smart-arses sniggered when they read that.
But the farm is gone. Bought by persons fronting for a German software giant with the ‘Welsh Government’ chipping in to the tune of £32k. With perhaps more to come.
Paying a company this big and wealthy to buy Welsh land is beyond absurd; it is obscene.
The Glastir Woodland Creation scheme must be reformed. Payments should be made to established farmers only; in order to keep Welsh families on the land, and to defend our identity and our communities.
How many more little outfits, and ‘community’ ventures, apparently tootling along on donations and volunteers, are in fact fronting for corporate leviathans? Does the ‘Welsh Government’ know? Does the ‘Welsh Government’ care?
As a first step in cleaning up the carbon capture racket I urge the ‘Welsh Government’ and Natural Resources Wales to insist on the return of all funding given to SAP via The Carbon Community.
Finally, in the best interests of Wales – and their own credibility – those speaking on behalf of the self-styled ‘Welsh Government’ need to stop pretending that what I’ve described here isn’t happening.
Anyone expecting an armchair strategist’s take on the fighting in Ukraine should look elsewhere. This is a very personal attempt to explain how I believe we arrived at war between Russia and Ukraine.
This is a litany of lies, mistakes, personal failings, and geopolitical manoeuvrings.
HISTORY AND RUSSIA
Perhaps the only time Russia enjoyed near-unequivocal support in the West was when the Grand Armée was driven out in 1812. Even then, the West celebrated, not because we’d come to love Russians, but because we feared Napoleon.
After that, as England sought to extend her holdings in India she increasingly came into contact with Tsarist Russia pushing south, in what became known as ‘The Great Game’.
So hostile was the West to Russia – and so rehabilitated had France become – that Britain and France could even ally themselves with Ottoman Turkey against Russia in the Crimean War 1853 -1856.
An alliance of Protestants, Catholics and Muslims against Orthodox Russia. At a time when Muslim Turks were still enslaving Christian Europeans, including Russians.
Though when it became obvious that Kaiser Bill was shaping for a fight, and he’d roped in old Franz Joseph, then Russia proved a necessary eastern ally against Imperial Germany and the Hapsburg Empire.
That war over, and Russia now Communist, the Western powers and Japan invaded, but Lenin remained in power.
With Communism secured the Soviet Union became the enemy, admired in the West only by deluded leftists.
The role of ‘principal threat’ was temporarily usurped in the 1930s by Nazi Germany. Even so, had Germany focused its aggression exclusively on central and eastern Europe and invaded the USSR, it’s unlikely the West would have intervened.
Following WWII we entered the Cold War, and a series of proxy conflicts and situations from Korea to Cuba to Vietnam to Chile to . . . (pick any one from dozens).
Something often forgotten from this period is that the ‘Cuban Missile Crisis’ came about because the USA had placed ICBMs in Turkey, which bordered the USSR. Kennedy and Khrushchev eventually agreed to remove their missiles from both Turkey and Cuba.
The US military at this time contained a number of senior officers who sincerely believed that a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the Soviet Union was the best form of ‘defence’.
They looked almost comical when Stanley Kubrick gave them roles in Dr Strangelove. Though some of them were almost too off-the-wall to caricature.
The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in December 1979 to support a friendly regime, giving the USA its chance to arm fanatics and boost opium production. The kind of thought-through strategic decision-making – like supporting Iran against Iraq – all too common in recent US foreign policy decisions.
As US allies skinned alive Russian conscripts and took Afghanistan back to the Middle Ages the USA claimed another victory for democracy and progress.
A further Western dividend was that the Afghanistan debacle contributed directly to the disintegration of the Soviet Union between 1988 and 1991.
This encouraged NATO, a Cold War alliance set up to defend Western Europe from Warsaw Pact aggression, to move eastwards!
Before moving on to more recent events mention must be made of the Ukrainian Famine, or Holodomor, in which 3 – 4 million Ukrainians died during Stalin’s forced collectivisation of agriculture in 1932-33.
There was definitely an anti-Ukrainian aspect to the project, but Stalin wasn’t really fussed who he killed. This article suggests ‘that about 20 million died in labour camps, forced collectivisation, famine and executions.’
The demise of the Soviet Union saw an attempt at a reconfigured federation of sovereign states. A kind of east European EU. This was aired by Gorbachev at the Communist Party Congress of July 1990.
Ukraine supported joining the Union if she had first achieved independence.
This prompted a last-ditch attempt by hard-line Communists to save the Soviet Union through the attempted coup of August 19, 1991; which led to the Ukrainian parliament agreeing a Declaration of Independence on August 24, 1991.
Ukraine became independent in December 1991 following a referendum on the August Declaration. In a turnout of 84.18% some 92.3% voted to approve the Declaration of Independence drawn up a few months earlier. Roughly 55% of ethnic Russians voted for independence. Though turnout was lower in Russian-speaking areas.
Immediately following the vote both Boris Yeltsin(President of Russia) and Gorbachev congratulated Ukraine on voting for independence . . . as a first step towards a reconfigured federation along with Russia, Belarus, and some Central Asian republics.
The independence vote was able to paper over a crack that would soon become evident because it satisfied moderate Ukrainian nationalists without alarming ethnic Russians and Russian speakers.
But there were elements in the West looking to exploit divisions.
UKRAINE INDEPENDENCE 2
I suggest you find time to read this account of Ukrainian politics in the period of the October 2010 presidential (run-off) election and the 2012 parliamentary election. These saw victories for Russia-leaning Viktor Yanukovych and his Party of the Regions.
Though these elections also revealed that the ‘crack’ I just referred to had now become a chasm. Ukraine was divided. Geographically divided.
The ostensible trigger for the subsequent violence seems to have been President Yanukovych’s refusal to sign – or his delay in signing – an EU association agreement in November 2013.
This was obviously not true. Given that he had been democratically elected not long before there was widespread support for Yanukovych. But this support was mainly outside of Kyiv, and went largely unreported by the Western media.
Regime change was effected by the USA and NATO on February 22, 2014 when Viktor Yanukovych was forced to leave Ukraine.
This set in train a number of events, not least Russian military occupation of Crimea and the secession from Ukraine of territory in the east. Here’s a useful timeline for events in that period.
In April 2014 Hunter Biden, the current US president’s younger son, joined the board of Burisma, Ukraine’s largest oil and gas company. This was at a time when Burisma and its founder Mykola Zlochevsky were under investigation for corruption in a number of jurisdictions. Including England.
Apart from being the son of the then vice-president it’s difficult to know what use Hunter Biden was to Burisma.
The younger Biden was trading on his father’s name to further enrich himself through companies in Russia and China.
Then, as the brown stuff started moving towards the fan with Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin looking into Burisma, Biden Senior stepped in to protect his son by insisting that Shokin be sacked. Which he was, to be replaced by a man with no legal background.
The whole business stinks. There are even allegations that President Biden himself benefitted financially from his son’s business dealings. Which would be fitting in a way, because Hunter Biden would have struggled to get a job as a janitor if he wasn’t his father’s son.
Knowledge of nefarious dealings in Ukraine and elsewhere was widespread before the 2020 US Presidential election, but all was confirmed with the emergence of Hunter Biden’s laptop.
UPDATE 14.04.2022: After reading this fascinating article by Azra Dale it’s only right that I suggest that Mykola Zlochevsky was a front man for Ihor Kolomoisky, who seems to have a penchant for using puppets. Among them the current president of Ukraine and the son of the US President.
HUNTER BIDEN’S LAPTOP 1
In April 2019 Hunter Biden left a laptop to be repaired in Wilmington, Delaware. He was said to be in an ‘inebriated’ state when he called at John Paul Mac Isaac’s repair shop. He never went back to collect the laptop.
Eventually Isaac investigated the laptop’s hard drive. He found incriminating e-mails relating to Hunter Biden’s business dealings that traded on his father’s name and influence, also videos of the younger Biden’s drug taking and cavorting with prostitutes.
The news of the laptop was broken by the New York Post in October 2020, weeks before the Presidential election. And was immediately and unanimously rejected by the liberal media, Big Tech, FBI and CIA as ‘Russian disinformation’.
Twitter took down accounts daring to link to the New York Post story. Twitter even locked the account of the New York Post itself. (Reminder: the NYP is the oldest continuously published daily newspaper in America.)
This closing of ranks, this denial of the truth, put Joe Biden in the White House.
Today, with Biden’s presidency in tatters, the midterm elections already lost, the liberal media has decided the laptop story was true after all. New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, they’re all admitting what’s been known for a long time – the Bidens may have more than a few skeletons in the closet.
And the worst may be yet to come. It’s claimed there’s 450 GB of deleted material. And if that wasn’t bad enough, there are thought to be two other laptops (Hunter was a very careless boy); one is said to be safe with the FBI, but the other is believed to be in the hands of . . . Russian drug dealers with whom Hunter Biden partied!
HUNTER BIDEN’S LAPTOP 2
The message from the Hunter Biden laptop saga is one I am becoming increasingly familiar with. And it’s worrying.
The Woke left has persuaded itself that those ranged against it are evil. Not just wrong. Not just misinformed. But evil. That being so, then the Righteous are justified in saying and doing anything to combat this ‘evil’.
This took a new twist just this week when former Congressman Joe Walsh fabricated a statement about Ukraine and attributed it to Fox TV host Tucker Carlson, a bête noire of the left. This was relayed by thousands on Reddit, Twitter and other platforms.
When it was pointed out to Walsh that Carlson had not said what had been attributed to him, his response was, ‘No, but it’s the kind of thing he might have said’.
Thanks to the repackaged Marxism of identity politics we are in a post-reality world where ‘truth’ is whatever those who scream loudest say it is.
Which brings us back to Ukraine.
A PLEA FOR HONESTY
The USA, the EU, and NATO broke promises to Russia and made promises to Ukraine that Russia regarded as threats to her own security.
Then, to further promote Western interests, a democratically-elected leader was ousted in 2014 in yet another US-engineered regime change, with the muscle provided by, among others, Nazi militias, which now seem to be part of the Ukrainian army.
This is what President Putin talks of when he refers to ‘denazification’. He’s not making it up.
And through their interference these Western agencies irreparably fractured an already divided country.
And further corrupted an already corrupt country. With the Biden family playing its role.
So let’s have no more black and white interpretations from Western politicians, no more propaganda masquerading as news from an already discredited Western media.
Let’s hear no more talk of every civilian casualty being a ‘war crime’, or even ‘genocide’! Because when a government arms its civilians those civilians risk being viewed as combatants. And please, let’s see fewer staged photographs using teddy bears.
As with Hunter Biden’s laptop, the truth will out eventually. Let’s make a start tomorrow.
GOOD v EVIL? WHICH IS WHICH?
The war in Ukraine is presented as a struggle between Western liberal democracy and something evil. The truth is more complicated.
We in the West are now surveiled 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by CCTV, by our mobile phones, and by gizmos answering to stupid names like ‘Siri’ and ‘Alexa’.
What we are allowed to say online, what we are allowed to read, is determined by the brainwashed underlings of billionaire nerds in Silicon Valley. And their ‘fact-checkers’.
We are expected to line up like sheep to be injected with untested vaccines because of a virus developed under mysterious circumstances in a Chinese laboratory. Politicians like that demented woman in New Zealand have used this virus to put us all under house arrest and close down whole countries.
We must accept that women have penises and men have cervixes. To deny this will bring down the wrath of those who preach freedom and practise tyranny. Fanatics who have political support from Corruption Bay to the Oval Office.
That was a warning in 300-feet-high flashing neon letters with an accompanying wall of sound.
Our children are being taught that they’re evil because they’re White. Leftists and liberals support this demonisation of a race oblivious to the historical precedents. Justified, they argue, because Whites are ‘privileged’.
The Nazis said the same thing about the Jews – ‘too much money, too much influence’. Hardly surprising that anti-Semitism is back in vogue with the Left and we see the Comrades marching in step with the Jihadists.
Because both wish to destroy Western civilisation. Partly through undermining from within, partly through unlimited immigration from without.
The reality is that never before have individual and national liberties been under such threat as they are today in the Western – particularly the Anglophone – world. Because never before have those seeking to take away our freedoms possessed such power.
If I was a Russian I’d do everything I could to keep my country free of this repacked-for-the-twenty-first-century Marxism.
I wish I hadn’t felt the need to write this, but I believe Russia has been forced into a conflict she would have preferred to avoid.
Due to its history, Russia is understandably suspicious of the West. And the West has lived down to Russia’s expectations time after time. But still, it needn’t have come to this . . .
Not if the USA and NATO had kept the promise made to Mikhail Gorbachev.
Not if the USA and NATO hadn’t removed a democratically-elected President of Ukraine.
Not if the USA and NATO hadn’t encouraged Nazis and gangsters in Ukraine.
My real worry now is that there are in the USA and NATO people not a lot different to those ridiculed by Kubrick in Dr Strangelove – maniacs wanting full-scale war with Russia.
I hope I’m wrong. Or, if I’m right, then I hope to God they can be slapped down.
P.S. I have been critical of the USA for a reason. That’s because I think the USA is still the greatest country on Earth, and the best hope for mankind.
But the USA is in a bad place right now. Liars, hypocrites, and the seriously unhinged are calling the shots. They increasingly control the government, the media, and the education system. Thankfully, decent people are fighting back.
That fightback must intensify and win its first major victory in November’s midterm elections. Because if the USA can’t be saved from itself then we’re all fucked.
Just over two years ago I published Do you know where your child is tonight? In which I explained how children are being taken into care, often in Cardiff, then moved by private companies to Swansea and other areas where property is cheaper.
This was being done with the consent or even the connivance of Labour-controlled Cardiff council and implemented by – and to the financial benefit of – persons who often enjoyed Labour Party connections.
It was even alleged that children were being taken into care unnecessarily. Often from single mothers, and others it was felt would be ignored if they complained to anyone.
At the other end of this trafficking we saw homes opening in Swansea about which Swansea council knew nothing. This inevitably meant that these establishments were often not monitored and the children in them vulnerable to many dangers.
As the article in WalesOnline (from which the above image is taken) put it: ‘Swansea currently has 13 homes registered with Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW), with at least four more due to open in the next year. Only one of them is a Swansea Council-registered home.’
But of course, Swansea council is also controlled by Labour.
Another report from last week telling us Swansea council is buying property for children’s homes, also says: ‘ . . . some independent children’s care providers were . . . withdrawing offers to place Welsh children because the Welsh Government wanted profit to be removed from the sector.’
Will owners of children’s homes in Wales, like Orbis Equity LLP, sell up . . . or will they bring in children from England, where the profit motive is still allowed?
If it’s the latter, what will be the status of English-owned children’s homes in Wales housing children from England? Who will register, inspect, and regulate them?
If the profit motive is to be removed from children’s homes then the beneficiaries could well be Labour’s cronies in the third sector.
O’Donnell and Drane being aware in advance of the intention to remove the profit motive might explain them selling Priority Childcare. But they saw a fresh opening in supplying staff, which explains why, a short time before selling out, they set up Allcare and Education Recruitment Ltd (Inc. 12 February, 2020), and Allcare and Education Recruiters Ltd (9 September, 2020).
For their first year the companies had just one director, Marc David Elsey of Trelewis, then O’Donnell and Drane showed up. Was there a reason the two did not wish to be associated with the old company and the new companies simultaneously?
Could it be because these new companies recruit staff for . . . the old company? Come to that, have they really severed all links with Priority Childcare Ltd? We know they’re no longer directors, but do they still hold shares?
Then, for some reason, the dynamic duo has a third recruitment company, Ace Recruiters Ltd, formed in September 2020. Which means that during the first year of Covid-19 lockdown, O’Donnell and Drane set up three new recruitment companies.
Cooperating with Allcare we find Noble Training Solutions. Despite the rather impressive website this company is a one-man band with, according to the accounts filed for y/e 30.04.2021, no employees.
I suspect that the sole director given for Noble Training Solutions, ‘Mr Gareth John Noble’, is in fact Dr Gareth Noble of Swansea University, though a resident of Cardiff, and a specialist in autism.
I do hope the day job doesn’t interfere too much with his money-making side-line.
A question for the local authorities of south Wales: You are taking children from their parents (often single mothers), and regularly placing them in homes some distance away – do you know who ultimately owns and runs those homes? Do you care?
What you are about to read is from the perspective of an ex-Swansea council employee who was offered 17K in return for her silence about the unethical practices of Swansea council and South Wales Police.
My extensive advocacy work since 2012 helping and supporting vulnerable children and families right across the South Wales region opened my eyes wide to the large-scale corruption, financial abuse and exploitation that exists within Welsh public services, which some might reference as ‘legal human trafficking’.
At the beginning at this month, March 2022, I was contacted by a distraught mother who told me of her horrific experience of how Swansea council tried to coerce her into signing a Section 47 and it is thought that this was to have her son wrongfully removed into care. This happened directly after her son disclosed child sexual abuse within a Swansea primary school.
I was absolutely appalled that the practise of ‘legal human trafficking’ is still ongoing in Swansea, that I immediately made attempts to safeguard this lady from the unethical practises of the Labour council.
Just like many others right across the region, I reference Alexis Jay (2022) and her findings regarding the failure to follow child protection procedures in the Labour run council.
I have also personally experienced the Labour council trying to financially profit through a thwarted attempt to unethically ‘legally traffick’ my own daughter into care after I exposed fraud and child abuse at the school where I was working as a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) at the time.
I have evidence of Swansea councillors abusing their powers of trust when children themselves asked for financial help to pay for GCSEs. One child who contacted Councillor Jennifer Raynor in 2015, ended up becoming a target and potential victim of Swansea council’s financial exploitation as directly after Jennifer Raynor stated that the council wouldn’t waste public money on SEN children who were ‘bound to fail’ (breaching her ethical code of public office, Human Rights Act 1998 and the Equality Act 2010), this child became the subject of a child protection investigation where it emerged that there was no evidence to justify Swansea council’s decision to initiate this.
Furthermore, I had been working hard with this fourteen-year-old child to prepare her for her Sociology GCSE which the family paid over £200 for the exam at a private exam centre (I taught the child for free). This child had one exam on the Friday and the second exam on the Monday. However, after successfully sitting the exam on the Friday, the letter from Swansea social services arrived in the family home and the child never sat the second exam on the Monday. This fourteen-year-old child attained a B grade in the first exam and was on target for a high grade until Swansea council saw this child through the lens of making themselves a quick £32000 (equivalent rate 2022).
Many people across the Swansea region know that instead of following correct child protection procedures when allegations of child abuse are brought before Swansea council, the council and South Wales Police prefer making up lies, and believe they are above the law.
After receiving the information from the Swansea mother who was yet another victim of the unethical practices of Swansea council, I detailed some of the problems I have encountered in the city, with the education authority, the wider council, the police, and the local health board. This ranged from denial to intimidation to a laughable attempt to buy my silence!
Jac adds . . .
What Dr John has to say is set out in the form of a letter addressed to Councillor Robert Smith, cabinet member for Education Improvement, Learning & Skills at Swansea Council. I have withheld a number of names.
This being Swansea, and as we’re dealing with the Labour Party, I was not in the least surprised to read in Smiffy’s Register of Interests:
Son in receipt of grant from the Thomas and Elizabeth Williams Trust administered by the Council for postgraduate study (awarded 06.11.19)
Wife employed as exam invigilator occasionally in Swansea schools, on a casual basis
The Labour family that troughs together, stays together.
Now read Dr John’s letter to Councillor Smith.
Dear Mr Robert Smith, Education Councillor for Swansea,
Thank you for taking the time to talk briefly on the phone last night.
I understand that (a Swansea parent) has presented very alarming evidence, concerning bullying and systematic abuse after she disclosed the child sexual abuse of her son at a Swansea primary school. After making this disclosure, this mother was further bullied by social services (and police) who tried to trick her into signing a Section 47 to remove her son into care and implied that she was mentally ill.
I can verify that this lady is not an isolated case but it seems that bullying and scapegoating is a common practice in Swansea when it comes to covering up child abuse, medical negligence, fraud, miscarriages of justice or educational incompetence in Swansea (see Serious Child Practice Review Report submission and multiple evidence below).
The information in this email is presented in four parts:
National research evidence driven from England due to the high social poverty statistics in Swansea.
The reasons why I help so many people in Swansea and beyond South Wales. Evidence to back up and support (a Swansea parent). Personal experiences that are almost identical to this lady.
Helping others caught as victims of abuse and victims of educational failure in Swansea, including Serious Concise Child Practice Reviews where a child died due to medical negligence in Swansea.
Trauma Informed solutions to try to bring investment to reverse the pain and poverty from the abusive practice.
1/ National research evidence driven from England due to the high social poverty statistics in Swansea.
You will see all the social poverty statistics about Swansea in this thesis.
To briefly summarise, I focused on educational failure and this is what I found out –
Participant 6 – was targeted/terrified by Swansea social services and police after her mother raised child abuse concerns concerning both an educational professional and a church member.
Participant 7 – was raped in foster care aged 9. This was covered up by Swansea education and social services. Instead of being safeguarded, the victim was victim-blamed and received psychiatric diagnosis of ADHD (against CSA specialist advice as her symptoms were because of the abuse she suffered) and drugged with Ritalin.
Participant 8 – sexually assaulted in school, school did not follow child protection policy, got child to shake hands with her abuser.
Participant 9 – was raped, no safeguarding procedures followed, instead he was sectioned aged nineteen and diagnosed with schizophrenia put on multiple drugs. Financially exploited and abused under social services care.
Participant 10 – talked about being attacked in her dormitory in a Swansea university, South Wales Police lied to her to cover it up and make her drop the case. The victim was made to drop out of university while the perpetrator was protected.
Participant 11 – sexually abused at school and home, ended up sexually exploited aged 14 by gangs and prostituted out to men three times her age when she was living under Swansea children’s services. When she brought gang rape allegations to South Wales Police, they laughed at her and one officer ‘tried it on with her’. Instead of following safeguarding procedures, she was given psychiatric diagnosis of ADHD and given strong drugs. Her child was removed from her with her own child abuse used as evidence against her.
2/ The reasons why I help so many people in Swansea and beyond South Wales. Evidence to back up and support (redacted name to protect identity). Personal experiences that are almost identical to this lady.
I worked as a primary teacher for nearly twenty years employed by Swansea council from 1994-2013/2014. During this time, I worked extremely hard, obtained promotions in the three schools I taught at, contributed to four successful inspections, along with working exceptionally hard to self-fund my multiple postgraduate qualifications to improve outcomes for all my students. My postgraduate qualifications included a Doctorate in Education (2012-2019), Master’s Degree in Education (1994-1998), British Dyslexia QTS qualified teacher status and postgraduate certificate in Special Learning Difficulties or Dyslexia (SpLD) (1996-1997), Graduate Diploma in Special educational Needs (GradDipSEN) – Qualified Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO) status (2009-2011), Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) (2014).
In October 2012, my outstanding educational results for all children (especially the SEN children under my care and leadership) especially the SEN children in Pontybrenin (a Gorseinon school) were recognised by the University of Sheffield who nominated me to speak at largest teacher conference in the UK and I was invited to be a speaker at this conference (January 2013).
I worked at Pontybrenin Primary from October 2000 and was promoted to SENCO at Pontybrenin Primary by (a former head teacher) and started this position in January 2009. Education councillor Will Evans was a governor at the school during this time period. (Jac: Labour councillor Evans is a former senior police officer.)
Acting headteacher Matthew O’Brien joined the school January 2009, the same time I started this position of SENCO, and he informed everyone that the SEN children had failed under the provision of SENCO A. B. Next, Matthew O’Brien informed everyone that the school needed to be put into Special Measures in order to access a substantial amount of government money which was to be spent on the SEN children.
Strangely enough, after being informed that the SEN children and provision had failed under A. B. (January 2009), A B was given a glowing reference and received a promotion to deputy headteacher at Tre-Uchaf (Easter 2009) and was made an ESTYN inspector. (A. B. is now also running her own therapy outfit in Llandeilo.)
In March 2009, it also emerged that a staff member was summoned to attend court and admitted three counts of fraud which took place years before in 2007 over a long time-period. She had not disclosed her crime to headteacher at the time of her crime, Alison Jenkins. Alison Jenkins was bullied out of her job and left December 2008, after being targeted (like some of the other staff, myself included) with malicious anonymous letters.
The barrage of malicious anonymous letters were written about staff members including myself from the end of July 2008-December 2008 and suddenly stopped after the Headteacher Alison Jenkins handed in her resignation. Alison Jenkins was an excellent headteacher and a lady with integrity who safeguarded children and staff first.
According to governor, M. C., one of the last malicious letters that went to the police from office staff, B. J., attacked and denigrating my character for receiving a promotion in the school under Alison Jenkins and also viciously attacking Alison Jenkins for demoting (perpetrator of fraud) for having a poor attendance. Just two months after the last of these nasty letters stopped, (perpetrator’s) fraud came into the public domain where she admitted three counts of fraud (March 2009). Alison Jenkins who had left the school at this point, knew nothing about the crime until she saw it/read it on the news.
Acting headteacher Matthew O’Brien (January 2009-April 2009) did not follow correct safeguarding regulations in reporting (perpetrator) to the GTCW, instead she was given a glowing reference and so obtained another teaching job. During a similar time-frame, malicious letters also emerged in ex-Pontybrenin headteacher David Greenaway’s church where it emerged that similar scapegoating practices of covering over abuse where pastor protected an adult male sexual predator who sent explicit pictures of himself to a vulnerable young person.
Instead of the pastor reporting this crime to the police, he hid it and gave this perpetrator a glowing reference, sent him to Bible College, and then gave him a job back in his church.
As SENCO at Pontybrenin school, I can verify that none of the Special Measures’ additional money was ever spent on the Special Educational Needs children. I also examined the SEN results which were deemed as failing under A. B. and used as a reason to put the school into special measures to acquire money for the SEN children. However, there was no failure and the money was never spent on the SEN children. It was all a farce, and fraudulent activity.
Instead of the SEN children having the money spent on them, under Phil Williams, the school had major construction work, walls and partitions and outdoor provisions. When I met Alison Jenkins, neither of us could understand where all the money had come from and how the school all of a sudden had gone from a school struggling to a school that had money to lavish on new carpets, desks, etc. However, when money is obtained for SEN children under the guise of special measures and not spent on SEN children – this amounts to FRAUD.
Moreover, when Phil Williams was asked awkward questions about where the money had come from to pay for the building work, new desks, etc – he began to display bullying types of behaviour especially to SEN children and those asking these questions. In May 2012 he came into my class to observe one of my lessons on a Monday (it emerged he had deliberately hit a SEN child over the head with a book on the previous Friday). Phil Williams stated it was an unsatisfactory lesson and his reason was because I had used peer tutoring. However, peer tutoring was a teaching and learning strategy recommended by the Welsh Government. The University of Sheffield submitted my excellent results from this time period in 2012, where I was asked to speak at an educational conference about the power of peer tutoring (January 2013),
At this time, at least three female staff members were forced to go to their unions about the bullying behaviour of Phil Williams.
In March 2013, as SENCO of Pontybrenin Primary School, I raised serious concerns about the abusive behaviour of headteacher Phil Williams towards the SEN children to Swansea Local Authority head of inclusion Robin Brown / Lesley Evans and the Education Minister Leighton Andrews, who resigned a few months later.
In March/April 2013, Phil Williams was put in charge of his own child abuse investigation about himself in his own organisation backed by safeguarding officer Paul Henwood and chair of governors Jeffrey Lewis. This was against all child protection laws.
In September/October 2013 – six months after I raised the concerns – Pontybrenin school and Swansea council abused their positions of trust and to cover up child abuse. They used unethical Swansea social services (E.R.) and police friend of Phil Williams – Jonathan Bainbridge – to abuse their positions of trust to try to bully me into silence. The police abused their positions to intimidate my friend Charmain Speirs (who was murdered just 18 months later) and made fun of her SEN (family member name redacted to protect identity) who the police described as a child with demons (evidenced by Jonathan Bainbridge’s document).
Inept social worker E.R. accidentally left a nasty anonymous malicious letter and police friend of the headteacher, Jonathan Bainbridge’s police document which contained 8 out of 10 breaches of police professional standards. Headteacher Phil Williams had given his police friend Jonathan Bainbridge’s wife Lisa Bainbridge a job in Pontybrenin school with no interview or qualifications.
I asked my very well qualified colleagues (social workers / police) at the University of Sheffield who told me that these professionals had broken the law. Therefore, I removed consent and disengaged from Swansea inept professionals in order to safeguard my family from the abuse which is rife in Swansea council.
April 1st 2014 – I resigned from my teaching position as I could not work for a council that allows abuse towards (SEN) children.
April 2nd 2014 – I was offered £17,000 by Pontybrenin School / Swansea council to keep my mouth shut but I would have had to sign a gagging order which I did not do. I did not receive their silencing money.
June 2014 – Head of Inclusion Robin Brown makes threats to me – he told me to destroy all my evidence of Swansea’s abuse or he would report me to GTCW. I spoke to GTCW and found out Robin Brown was just trying to bully me as I was told I had not done anything wrong. Instead I found out that I could report Phil Williams and multiple professionals for their part in abusive practice towards SEN children. GTCW did nothing about any of the unethical abusive practice. They chose to ignore the abuse towards the SEN children, and the only thing they did was publish the fact that Swansea teacher Ellen Lloyd’s fraud in 2007 came to their knowledge 7 years later and was not even reported accurately.
In 2016, I was requested to go to police professional standards after ESTYN reported TWO MALE Police for unethical practices towards Charmain Speirs who was murdered in bizarre circumstances just 18 months after police abused their positions of trust in going to her house under false pretences as part of their retaliation towards me. The police did not follow procedures, the IPCC upheld the complaint while South Wales police scapegoated TWO FEMALE police officers who had never even been part of the complaint in the first place.
In 2018, Leighton Andrews (Education Minister in 2013) apologised after I contacted him to offer him support when he was being bullied after Carl Sargeant committed suicide. He apologised that proper child protection procedures were not followed in 2013 and stated that lessons had been learned. However, this is just a phrase that is used as a sticking plaster and the truth is that NO LESSONS HAVE BEEN LEARNED.
ABUSE TOWARDS CHILDREN IS STILL BEING COVERED UP IN SWANSEA.
3/ Helping others caught as victims of abuse and victims of educational failure in Swansea, including Serious Concise Child Practice Reviews where I have included a report where a child died as a result of medical negligence in Swansea.
I’ve been involved in helping multiple people who have been targeted and abused throughout the city. I was requested to appear as an expert witness in court by a judge and have helped lots of people acquire qualifications after they were failed at school, including tutoring master degree students. I conducted an in-depth doctoral research study (2012-2019) about Adverse Childhood Experiences in Swansea and found that systematic abuse is a common occurrence. Alexis Jay Report February 2022 found similar findings.
Last year I was involved in two Serious Concise Child Practice Reviews where two children died because of professional negligence. One report is attached (link above). I helped the man in the report (he’s given consent for you to see the report) move into a house after his daughter had died and he was bullied by social services and police. He was deliberately made homeless by social services. This was after his daughter had died due to medical negligence. The bullying towards him was relentless.
4/ Trauma Informed solutions to try to bring investment to reverse the pain and poverty from the abusive practice
Just recently I had a meeting with head of housing Steve Porter, 2/2/22, where I have acquired PDNES who are linked to multi-million pound investors willing to bring investment and regeneration to Swansea. PDNES are an award winning trauma informed supportive housing organisation who specialise in CSA, trauma and recovery using a person-centred approach. There is nothing like this in Wales. Steve Porter recognised that Swansea like other councils in Wales have a need and asked PDNES to write out their model in order to write letters of intent and demand to give to PDNES so they could give these to the investors in order to bring regeneration to Swansea to reverse poverty statistics. We are still waiting.
Unfortunately, it appears that Swansea Council is still denying that they have a problem.
However, in recent weeks. journalists from ITV (Dean), Sky News (Owen) and the BBC (Gavin) have made contact through Adele Rose-Morgan who sits on many of your boards along with Jason Lovell Plaid Cymru wanting to meet Adam Price of Plaid Cymru; and Wayne Erasmus, of Gwlad, wanting to investigate the revelations about the scandal of the abuse towards SEN families in Swansea ABMU/Swansea Bay and the Child Sexual Abuse IICSA (2022) report.
I hope with the elections coming up, it will motivate the council to see the need to start properly protecting children and young people in Swansea.
I am trying my best to bring solutions to Swansea through bringing high quality trauma informed supportive housing provision to our city linked to award-winning Gary Crooks and Nevres Kemal (social worker and Baby P whistle-blower) who Steve Porter head of housing had the privilege of meeting with me last month. The consequences of failed provision and underperformance under Will Evans, Rob Stewart and others’ leadership in Swansea council has resulted in high social poverty, homelessness, etc and this is not a good investment of tax payers’ money!
Unfortunately, Swansea council appear to be ignoring the problem and continuing to turn a blind eye to all the published research and their own statistics. However, turning a blind eye is not effective child protection. This is incompetence. Those who can do, do; those who can’t do their jobs bully others to cover-up for their own incompetence.
I will be keeping a close eye on safeguarding (name redacted to protect identity), as I know that previous systematic abuse, bullying and retaliation from Swansea council has brought much anxiety to this lady. Bullying towards SEN children and women by men and women in professional positions of power in Swansea council IS ABUSE and should be challenged. There needs to be accountability because NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW. OUR SOCIAL POVERTY STATISTICS ARE CRYING OUT FOR JUSTICE!
(Please read: HUMAN RIGHTS IN PUBLIC OFFICE RESPONSIBILITIES).
I look forward to your swift response.
Kindest regards Dr Gail John
Childcare in Wales is degenerating from a bit of a mess into a national scandal. Children are being taken into care at almost double the rate for England.
The reasons for this are complex, but most can be traced back to the problem of one political party exercising too much control, for too long. Not just in the political sphere, but also in the fields of health and education.
That, coupled with no effective political opposition, and no media worthy of the name.
Though one fascinating feature, cropping up again and again, is the linkage between the Labour Party and evangelical churches. (Perhaps we might add the police.) Even the husband of Charmain Speirs, who died in strange circumstances in Kenya (and who Dr John met when Speirs spent time in Swansea), is ‘a pastor with the Global Light Revival Ministries’.
Another example of what I’m talking about would be the Jonathan Norbury case. Norbury, a teacher at Pontarddulais School, seems to have escaped jail by persuading jurors that the schoolgirls he was having sex with were over 16.
I mention Norbury because in addition to being a teacher he was a deacon, and a ‘youth pastor’, at an evangelical church. (No, I am not making this up.)
Then there’s Robin Brown, Head of Inclusion at Swansea council, who Dr John mentioned in her letter. I’m told he belongs to the Lifepoint Church.
It is suggested that the link between the Swansea Labour Party and these Evangelical churches may be provided by Freemasonry.
In my introduction I suggested that if the ‘Welsh Government’ intends removing the profit motive from child care then the beneficiaries could be third sector groups. I suppose we shouldn’t rule out certain favoured churches.
However our tribunes may try to explain it, the fact is that Wales has a shameful record for taking children into care. ‘Shameful’, because in many cases it’s being done for the wrong reasons. And in other cases, for no reason at all.
This BBC report from last June tells us that the percentage of children being taken into care has almost doubled in less than twenty years. But only in Wales. Which is why it cannot be divorced from devolution.
‘Wales now has the highest proportion of children in the UK being cared for by the state, prompting one expert to raise concerns.
There are 7,170 (latest: 7,265) children being looked after away from home in Wales – which is 1.14% of children. The current UK average is 0.72% of children.’
As I say, something is very wrong here, and the problem is getting worse.
Given the cross-border operations of the third sector, housing associations, and others there must be the possibility that the figures for Wales are skewed by children being brought in from England.
If so, then this must stop.
Though if that is not the answer then we need to explain the glaring differences in the percentages for children taken into care in Wales and those taken into care in the other administrations of these islands.
We also need to analyse the differences within Wales. By and large these differences are between urban areas, which generally have higher percentages, and rural areas, with lower percentages. In other words, areas controlled by the Labour Party and areas run by other political parties, or coalitions, or ‘Independents’.
Though the tragic tale reported (above) in last Wednesday’s Daily Post might suggest that the system isn’t too good in rural areas either, and that children who perhaps should be in care are being ignored.
Whatever the fuller picture, the situation in Wales has worsened under devolution and 23 years of Labour Party domination. Which means that either children are being taken into care unnecessarily, or else Wales has become materially poorer under devolution and one result is more children being taken into care.
Neither possibility reflects well on the Labour Party / ‘Welsh Government’.
On this blog I have consistently argued that I want Wales to operate less like a colonial possession and more like countries run by politicians who prioritise the material well-being of the people in those countries.
The so-called ‘Welsh Government’ clearly thinks I’m asking for too much. For it continues to encourage and facilitate the exploitation of our homeland by foreign companies and other agencies.
Methods now being employed to disguise the nature of the beast include a veneer of Welsh involvement. And it is no more than a veneer. An expensive veneer, because it’s often paid for from the Welsh public purse.
Another way of thinking about this ‘veneer’ is to view it as the classic variant of colonialism that allows members of a native elite to profit from the plundering of their country and its resources. It both buys their loyalty and disguises the colonialism.
This is what I’ve been reporting with Bute Energy, that multi-headed monster that emerged from nowhere, with no background in renewables, and no Welsh connection, but which is now hoping to erect 20 wind farms in Wales.
Bute set up a totally superfluous ‘Welsh Advisory Board’ in order to provide sinecures for redundant Labour MEP Derek Vaughan, and John Uden, partner of Labour MS Jenny Rathbone.
The only ‘advice’ Bute expected from this Board was to be told who they should see to get things done. Better still, to hear, ‘Leave it to me, I’ll have a word with ———-‘.
It stinks. But it didn’t end there.
Winner of the Farley’s Rusks Chubby Cheeks Competition 1986, and later spad to the Labour mighty, David James Taylor, also had his snout firmly in the Bute trough. Though his membership of linked Grayling Capital LLP ended in September, after the spotlight fell on him.
The lucre from his association with Bute seems to have been shovelled to his company Moblake Ltd, from which Taylor then paid himself £605,872 in roughly three years. This was done in the form of ‘loans’ that don’t need to be repaid!
Taylor’s latest venture, also based at 69 Lambeth Walk, is Earthcott Ltd. Set up just before he quit Grayling Capital. Unsurprisingly, this new company is also in the flim-flam and door-opening business.
So we have a company, Bute Energy, and its associated entities, hoping to make a lot of money out of Wales. Perhaps for the minimal outlay of 20 planning applications. Which I’m sure Bute believes will be waived through.
Now it’s time to move offshore, so don your oilskins and adopt a jaunty nautical stance. (But anyone attempting Robert Newton impersonations will be keelhauled!)
ALL AT SEA
It may have escaped your notice, but Wales has vibrant offshore wind and wave industries. Or at least, that’s what we’re being told.
Though the offshore wind turbines seem limited thus far to the north coast. Which presumably means they’re the profitable responsibility of the Crown Estate. (Devolved in Scotland but not in Wales.)
Which is why I was surprised that the Welsh National Marine Plan – produced by the ‘Welsh Government’ late in 2019 – only mentioned the Crown Estate in passing. Almost as if the ‘Welsh Government’ wants us to believe that Gwynt y Môr and the other arrays are all their own work, with the benefits accruing to Wales.
It should go without saying – this being Wales – that these offshore wind farms are all foreign-owned. Keeping to this template, the latest array proposed, Awel y Môr, will be owned by German company RWE.
But it’s not just wind turbines fixed to the sea bed that Corruption Bay encourages. There are also plans for floating turbines, and wave energy.
In fact, I’m wondering if this outfit is still afloat, because there seems to have been no activity on the very basic website for over a year.
It would be a pity if Cambrian Offshore sank without trace, because last August the Development Bank of Wales loaned the company £650,000. DBW tried to cover itself with a charge against the assets; though whether Cambrian Offshore has assets to that value is debatable.
Also, from January 2021, she’s been a self-employed ‘Renewable Energy Specialist’.
While from May 2021 Niamh Kenny has also been Project Developer at NMK Renewables and SBM Offshore. The first is, presumably, her company, using her initials; while the second is a major Dutch company.
Finally, we see that Niamh Kenny is a partner in Hiraeth Energy. And who could argue with this ‘local benefits’ mission statement:
Then I found Hiraeth in glorious isolation as Hiraeth Energy LLP (21.07.2021). That is, Limited Liability Partnership, an opaque arrangement often used to cover up shady dealings. A LLP doesn’t have directors, it has members. Which explains Niamh Kenny’s relationship.
And among the other members of Hiraeth we find the aforementioned Venn of Joseph Geraint Kidd.
Hiraeth, we know about, but who or what is Afallen LLP? For Afallen is also listed as a member for Hiraeth LLP. The Afallen website proclaims: “What Wales does today, the world will do tomorrow”.
I hope to God that is just hyperbole, because if it’s a prediction, and anywhere near true, then I’ll seriously consider drinking myself to death.
Can you imagine a world ruled by the kind of duplicitous and incompetent buffoons that inhabit Corruption Bay? No, don’t even think about it!
Companies House tells us that the original partners in Afallen LLP (04.10.2018) were Dr David Owain Clubb, Mari Frances Arthur, and RTRT Consulting Ltd of Penarth. Though Clubb was soon replaced by his company Cymorth Clubb Cyf (05.11.2018). They have of course been recently joined by Kidd’s Venn Associates. It’s all very incestuous.
If the names Clubb and Arthur sound familiar, it’s because . . .
This imposition resulted in mass resignations locally and Plaid Cymru handing the seat to Labour. A rum do. Very rum.
So, to sum up: Joseph Geraint Kidd of Pembrokeshire has linked with Niamh Kenny of County Cork who is knowledgeable about offshore renewables. It appears she is also familiar with some big hitters in the business.
Companies that might be interested in Pembrokeshire.
What I presume Ms Kenny does not have is political connections in Wales. Which is where I suggest Afallen comes in.
For Arthur and Clubb are also in the door-opening business. Just like those taken on by Bute Energy. And now, with Labour and Plaid in alliance, well-connected members of both parties can expect to be in demand.
These are the kind of people who flit between politics, third sector, and private companies; providing nothing in the way of public benefit, but always guaranteed publicity from a compliant media and access to their politician friends.
Though let me put your mind at rest in case you’re worrying about Welsh public funding being used to land a non-binary and intersectional party of Wokeonauts on a dreary rock, far, far away . . .
(Though the idea is not without its attractions.)
There is no Welsh space programme. It’s just the Corruption Bay gang trying to put a Welsh spin on orders from London. And not for the first time. Or the last.
Though we could still end up financing a scheme from which we’ll see no benefits.
Let’s look at this scam in greater detail. Starting with the front page from last week’s Cambrian News. Having a couple of comedians accompany the headline is very fitting. We’ll soon meet another.
The CN’s inside pages went for broke. Even giving us a piece by Vaughan Gething MS, Minister for the Economy. (There – what did I promise you!)
Having a Minister for the Economy in Wales is like having a Minister for Women’s Rights in Saudi Arabia. Neither’s expected to do much.
From that inside spread you’ll see Llanbedr and Aberporth mentioned. Which should give you a clue as to what we’re really talking about here. But if you’re still struggling . . . it’s drones and missiles, possibly satellites. But dressed up as a ‘space programme’.
Remarkably, a week after that final piece appeared, the loans Snowdonia Aerospace LLP had received from the Secretary of State for Defence and the ‘Welsh Ministers’ over 8 years earlier were paid off.
These loans were made so that Snowdonia Aerospace could lease Llanbedr from its nominal owner – ‘The National Assembly for Wales’. Which means that we paid an English company to lease property from us!
That’s how to run a country!
Though whether any money was really paid is another matter. Perhaps to avoid giving ammunition to a nosey blogger someone thought it best to write off those debts.
Alternatively, it was all a sham, with no money being loaned in the first place, with maybe Llanbedr staying in MoD ownership.
Whatever happened, the key player in this, in the assorted entities involved, the Byzantine dealings, seems to be Lee John Paul. Learn more about him in those earlier posts to which I’ve linked.
It’s reasonable to assume that Paul is well connected with the defence establishment. Otherwise the Ministry of Defence would not have loaned him money or allowed him to use Llanbedr airfield.
For Llanbedr was not Paul’s first venture with former MoD sites in Wales. He was also involved in a company promising to turn RAF Brawdy into a business park.
Brawdy Business Park Ltd gave up the ghost in April 2013 owing a lot of money. Some of it to the Welsh Development Agency.
This whole idea of a ‘spaceport’, and where to locate it, is political. It’s about flying the flag. The Union flag. Which is why a site in SNP-run Scotland beat Llanbedr to the prize.
So what we’re discussing here is at best the consolation prize; and an exercise in turd polishing on the part of the ‘Welsh Government’.
With that in mind, here’s what I think is really happening at Llanbedr . . .
By promising skilled jobs the Ministry of Defence – operating through, or in partnership with, private companies – hopes the ‘Welsh Government’ and Cyngor Gwynedd will cough up funding for a ‘spaceport’.
This, as we highly-trained defence analysts are wont to say, is a load of old bollocks. First, because the reality will just be upgraded drone and missile testing, Second, rural Wales does not have the skills needed, and training is unlikely to be provided.
Then there’d be the security dimension. I remember how RAE Llanbedr operated. All the best jobs went to retired service personal – who’d signed the Official Secrets Act – while cooks and cleaners were recruited locally.
The proof for me that the Llanbedr Spaceport is just a PR exercise lies in other actions by the ‘Welsh Government’.