Cardigan Castle: Bullies and Cowards, Liars and Victims

The ‘resignation’ of Glen Johnson due to “online harassment” and “virtual persecution” continues to reverberate, here’s an update. (Though what is virtual persecution? Is it something less than real persecution?)

To begin with, it’s worth remembering that the press release announcing the resignation was issued by Equinox, the Castle’s PR company. Given how these things are done, with the Castle paying the bills, it’s reasonable to assume that the press release was sent to Equinox ready-written, with instructions for the agency to merely issue it to its media contacts.

Glen Johnson Cambrian News
CLICK TO ENLARGE

One of those contacts was of course the Cambrian News . . . or maybe the Cambrian News got the resignation story directly from the Castle . . . or maybe the Cambrian News didn’t need to be informed at all . . .

Seeing as both my blog and I were mentioned in the Cambrian News report I wrote to managing editor Beverly Davies making it clear that the only references to Glen Johnson on my blog were positive, and so I should not have been mentioned in a way that obviously tried to implicate me in the alleged ‘harassment’. I was refused an apology but given a few hours to make a comment to a follow-up story . . . without being given any details of that follow-up!

Even so, I did give her a statement, though I doubt if it will be published. Here it is. ‘I want nothing to do with the Cambrian News because it cannot be trusted to report honestly on any issue where its over-riding political, ethno-cultural and constitutional prejudices come into play’.

In my exchange of e-mails with Beverly Davies I made the point that, “The Facilities Officer at Cardigan Castle is Sue Lewis, who was, prior to that job being created for her, a trustee. She is one of those I have criticised in my blog. She is also a freelance reporter for your newspaper, and her husband Mike is your South Ceredigion reporter. What a cosy arrangement!”

Beverly Davies responded with, “While Sue Lewis does do some freelance work for our paper, she only covers Aberporth Town (sic) Council and Cardigan Town Council meetings. She has had no involvement in our Cardigan castle stories.” My incredulity becomes clear in my response, “Do you seriously expect me, or any other sentient being, to believe that Sue Lewis has no input to articles written by her husband (or even his colleagues) about the place she works!”

But what if it’s true! Picture the scene chez Lewis, gentle reader, He: ‘I’m working on a story about the place where you work, Sweetie Pie, but you mustn’t tell me anything, or try to influence the article in any way – is that clear?‘ She (eyelashes fluttering): ‘Of course not, Big Boy, you know I wouldn’t do that, I’m an obedient lickle wifey‘. Yes, that must be how things are done in the Lewis household, or maybe not . . .

For there must, regrettably, be the possibility that that image of connubial bliss exists nowhere but in my imagination, and that in the real world the press release and the Cambrian News article were both written by Sue Lewis. In which case, is Glen Johnson just a willing dupe in the machinations of others? If not, if he is the author of the resignation statement, how does he feel about the trustees and the Cambrian News using his resignation to attack me, a man who has done him no wrong, and said nothing about him that was hurtful or even critical?

Let’s have some straight answers, Glen. Are you accusing me of harassing you? If not, how about correcting the impression your resignation has allowed others to create  – people you recently worked with – that I am some kind of ogre stalking the internet terrorising women and children. The time for vague allegations and innuendo is past. Things are coming to a head. Let’s have some straight answers, Glen.

Elsewhere, an old comrade, completely unprompted, complained to the BBC about its treatment of the Johnson resignation. His point about cut and paste journalism, and treating press releases as news items, are worrying reminders of the state of the Welsh media. Read it here.

Time now to turn to a recurring theme in the saga of Cardigan Castle, money being squandered.

*

WEBSITE? THAT’LL BE FORTY-FOUR GRAND, LOVE.

One of the complaints levelled again and again against the project is that there is little to see for the £12m expenditure. People go there and wonder what that vast sum was spent on. One specific complaint made more than once is that the display cabinets are of a similar standard – and cost – to those housing the English crown jewels in London, even though Cardigan Castle has little if anything of value to display. This complaint puzzled me, but recent information may throw some some light on this issue.

A former trustee has sent me a quote, from September 2012, to set up a website for the Castle. The quote comes from a firm called Haley Sharpe Design of Leicester, in England. The quotation – just for a website, remember! – is £44,000. Read it here for yourself; read it through, item by item, and you’ll realise what a rip-off it would have been. Of course, this was three years ago, no doubt HSD would now charge £50,000.

This is what happens when public money is involved and there is no adequate oversight from the funders’ representatives, as is the case with Cardigan Castle. The customer thinks, ‘What the hell, it’s not our money!’ and the supplier rubs his sweaty hands thinking, ‘They’re getting millions in grants, let’s get our snouts in the trough’. Incidentally, I’m told that all the other quotes for a website came in under £5,000.

One obvious question is, why did the trustees ever go to a firm like this, so far away, so expensive, to get a quote for something that could have been provided by Dai Jones down the road for one tenth of the price? Does someone connected with the Castle know someone involved with HSD?

Thankfully, HSD did not get the website contract. An outlay like that would have been difficult to explain, even with the cosy relationship between Lady Tucker and the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Gareth ‘Yes, Ma’am’ Gregory. The website now running appears to the creation of Sugar Creative of Cardiff, though there are many firms much nearer to Cardigan that could – and should – have been given the work.

Let us conclude this section by returning to Haley Sharpe Design, for despite losing out on the website rip-off contract the company was asked to fit out the Castle with display cabinets and similar equipment, and also to hold exhibitions. (See left sidebar when page opens.) Knowing how much HSD wanted to charge for a website we can be fairly sure that Cardigan Castle has paid over the odds for its display cases and much else. But then, it’s only public money.

I ask again, who is the link between Cardigan Castle and HSD?

Alas, problems rarely come singly, do they, boys and girls? and poor old Jac has also been assailed by that master of the vituperative, that Woodward and Bernstein of the Welsh blogosphere, Phil Parry of Wales Eye.

*

IS THAT SUPPOSED TO BE ME?

Every so often, when the bile rises, or I have criticised his belovéd Labour Party too effectively, Phil Parry girds his loins and sallies forth to engage with the evil dragon of nationalism – me! These attacks invariably take the form of Parry telling his vast readership that I am about to be banged up because someone has reported me to the police. This ‘someone’ is usually Jacques Protic, a Serbian gent living on Ynys Môn, a man who manages to be a Labour Party member while simultaneously believing that Rhodri Morgan and Carwyn Jones are closet nationalists! (No, I did not make that up, as the panel below testifies. It is a comment Protic made to a BBC blog.)

Parry’s latest assault on the dragon can be found here. I recommend that you be sitting down when you read it, and without a hot drink in your hand. (I should also warn you that in this latest piece Parry offers links to earlier works of fiction in which I star – apparently forgetting that these are behind a paywall!) Now, where to start?

Protic-Labour
CLICK TO ENLARGE

Well, Parry begins with some bizarre story about an investigation by GogPlod into comments on my blog. He writes, “An investigation was launched by North Wales Police after a complaint from a member of the public about the website ‘Jac o’ the North’, and the Editor, Royston Jones, was officially warned to remove abusive comments or it may be closed down, according to sources.” I have received no such warning. North Wales Police has not contacted me.

Other than that, almost everything in the article is a re-hash of what he’s written before. Protic predictably appears, there is yet another mention of the Cayo Evans photograph, the social housing petition is regurgitated, and then he flaunts his powers of investigation with, “Mr Jones is currently embroiled in a controversy which centres on Cardigan castle”. Wow!

The thing about Parry is that he is consistent . . . consistent in attacking me for things I have not done. Let’s start with Protic. The basis for this story is that Protic alleges he was threatened over the telephone and had his car’s tyres slashed, and all because of something I’d written about him on my blog. As if Protic doesn’t draw enough attention to himself by expressing his odious views on every forum he can find.

The Cayo Evans photograph. I don’t know who took it, I don’t appear in it, but putting it up on my blog makes me guilty of . . . well, something. The social housing petition was launched by Dennis Morris of Plaid Glyndŵr. I put it on my sidebar because I’m unreasonable enough to believe that local people should enjoy priority in the allocation of social housing. And of course the ‘hook’ for the latest Parry article is that someone – but not me – wrote something some arsehole somewhere considers ‘racist’.

If online racism really concerns Phil Parry then let him visit MailOnline or Guido Fawkes or a host of other ‘mainstream’ sites, where he will find all the racist comments a man in search of them could desire, made against the Welsh and just about every nation other than the English. But of course Parry won’t do that, because he’s not really interested in racism per se; he is, just like the Cambrian News, and politicians in Wales and elsewhere, simply interested in using the slur of racism to silence people whose views he doesn’t like.

Though let us not be too harsh on Phil Parry for I fear he may be losing it, or maybe someone is playing jokes on him. In what I assume to have been a desperate attempt to say something new about me Parry wrote, “He retired as director of a Barmouth air conditioning firm . . . “ Who? Me! Accusing me of being a gun-toting, ethnic-cleansing, bodice-ripping, baby-eating nationalist I can live with, but you go too far when you accuse me of being a director of an air conditioning firm in – of all places – Barmouth!

I don’t know who, or what, you’re talking about, Parry . . . and neither, I suspect, do you.

*

IT WAS THE CAMBRIAN NEWS WOT WON IT!

Apart from learning that Beverly Davies has a sense of humour, something else I learnt yesterday was that Elin Jones AM has been asked for a comment on the Johnson resignation, and it will appear in this week’s issue of the rag. No doubt it will be in with the comments from the Pope and the mayor of Wagga Wagga, both outraged by my criticisms of certain Cardigan Castle trustees.

This, I’m told, is what she will say: “Glen Johnson has been a long-time champion of the castle and its history. He is one of the local experts and was influential in convincing me and others of the merits of the need to invest and restore the castle. I am sure he has spent years of voluntary effort in researching and supporting the castle. It is a travesty that he now feels pressured by social media to withdraw as a trustee. We need to thank him for all he has done and hopefully he can continue to contribute in other ways to the project.” So the local AM appears to have swallowed the Cambrian News story hook line and sinker . . . or maybe not, because here’s my interpretation.

Elin Jonres

Elin Jones will be standing for re-election next May which, let me remind you, is just over eight months away. She is very mindful of how the Cambrian News may have destroyed her colleague Mike Parker’s chances of becoming Ceredigion’s Plaid Cymru MP just three months ago, in the May General Election. For anyone who has perhaps forgotten, check out my post, Mike Parker and Huw ‘Tipp-Ex’ Thomas in Full Agreement.

What the Cambrian News did with that piece of gutter journalism was deliberately misrepresent something Parker had written many years earlier. For soon after moving to Wales he wrote a piece for Planet magazine telling of his shock at realising many English people move to rural Wales to escape the multiracial towns and cities of England. (But he never used the word ‘Nazi’.) He also told us that many of the English who move to Wales look down on their Welsh neighbours with contempt. Read the original 2001 article here. Compare it with what the Cambrian News wrote and you’ll realise what a squalid distortion the latter was.

Remarkably, it was left to the Western Mail to put this story into its correct perspective, with Martin Shipton writing, “The purpose of this attack on Mr Parker, of course, is to dissuade people from voting for him.” In other words, it was an attempt by the Cambrian News to influence the outcome of the General Election in Ceredigion by telling lies about the candidate the ‘paper did not want to win. And it may have worked.

*

THREAT TO DEMOCRACY?

Its victory over Mike Parker, and the muted response from Plaid Cymru, has emboldened the Cambrian News, making it believe that it can control the political debate, certainly in Ceredigion, and perhaps beyond. Given who owns the ‘paper there is nothing surprising here.

The Cambrian News is part of the Tindle Group, still run by the eponymous, and 88-year-old Sir Ray Tindle. Sir Ray is a patriot of the old school, the man who told his editors, once Bush and Blair began their illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003, “to ensure that nothing appears in your newspapers which attacks the decision to conduct the war”. (Read full article here.)

When it comes to Wales, we can be sure that Sir Ray’s views are unequivocally Unionist, which means doing everything possible to portray nationalists as a dangerous and evil enemy . . . especially when they look like winning. The only way dissenting voices can hope to avoid the Tindle treatment is to dissent as little as possible . . . the course Elin Jones has so clearly adopted. With the result that debate is stifled, truth takes a kicking, and democracy in Wales is further weakened.

This assault on truth and democracy in the service of English interests becomes increasingly more obvious as Tindle and other owners ship in journalists recruited in England, journalists who don’t know their patch, and thus make a mockery of ‘local journalism’. The pretence can only be maintained with the assistance of a ‘Welsh’ veneer provided by the likes of Beverly Davies.

The Cambrian News and many other ‘local’ newspapers are now a threat to the democratic process. They promote a viewpoint that is hostile to Welsh interests, they try to intimidate those who dare challenge them and their viewpoint, and they have lost that fundamental connection with local communities that should justify their existence.

The Elin Jones approach is nothing less than surrendering to the diktats of a warped old man who cares nothing for Wales. How does a Plaid Cymru politician justify such a stance, even to herself? The way forward must be to challenge the Cambrian News and all the other BritNat propaganda rags. If Plaid Cymru isn’t prepared to stand up to this bullying, then it does not deserve to survive.

UPDATE 27.08.2015: Yesterday, some 30 people, including ex-volunteers, gathered outside the Castle to make a presentation to sacked Director Cris Tomos. There were young and old there, Welsh and English, to present him with gifts, including a blooming apple tree, showing the gratitude of the townspeople for all the work he has done for Cardigan. Inside, the remaining trustees plotted at their monthly meeting.

UPDATE II 27.08.2015: In this week’s online South Ceredigion edition of the Cambrian News Glen Johnson seems to saying something different regarding his family. Last week it was, “The main reason for my resignation is to protect my family from the virtual persecution being dealt out . . . “. This week, the writer of the article says, ” . . . with his family bearing the brunt of ‘overheard conversations'”.

The implication is inescapable – nothing was said directly to his family. That his family overheard unflattering conversations around the town only proves what a hot topic the running of the Castle has become. Even then, I guarantee that if ‘them trustees’ were getting a slagging, it wasn’t Glen Johnson the critics had in mind. I’m beginning to worry that the saintly Glen Johnson may be developing a martyr complex.

Curiously, although the article is headed ‘AM steps into Cardigan Castle row’ there is no quote from Elin Jones. Perhaps you have to pay for the full edition to read what Elin Jones said. Which I’m sure you’re prepared to do, especially after seeing the subscription page.

47 thoughts on “Cardigan Castle: Bullies and Cowards, Liars and Victims

  1. vicky moller

    phew I was steaming, Plaid Cymru candidate here happy to besiege the castle with love tomorrow 4.15 pm when we will be publically thanking Cris Tomos for his prodigious work for Cardigan, culture, history, economy as director of the castle who survived long enough to get it open without loss of time or budget. We will present him with flowers, chocolates and an artists card signed by shop keepers of the town and staff of the castle. So join in to add to the popular army at the gate thanking their exiled king.. And if you will attack Plaid Cymru remember there are all sorts in the party with different skills and characters. The one writing is not above taking on critics with old fashioned duels, or will be in a couple of weeks when I am a great granny and ffancy a bit of headline re-enactment around the castle.

    1. Will Lady Tucker and her gels be at this do tomorrow?

      There are bound to be all types in Plaid Cymru, but for too long there have been too many of the wrong type. And they seem to be in control. So, yes, I will attack Plaid Cymru, relentlessly and without mercy, because Wales is more important.

  2. E Jenkins

    I’ve read Phil Parry off and on for years. To put it bluntly, he is crap. I can understand him wanting to have a blog of his very own, but why on earth does the IWA give this bloke a forum. His articles are invariably badly researched and even more badly written. Seriously, giving space to writing of such low caliber undermines the reputation of the IWA.

  3. Ian Perryman

    I just followed your link to the web hosting proposal.
    I noted on line in particular which said:

    “Hosting package (if able to provide) Approx. £200 per month”
    TWO HUNDRED QUID A MONTH !!!??????!!!

    I have a much bigger (and probably far more traffic heavy) site than Cardigan castle and I pay a fiver a month with a very reputable and established hosting company.

    1. I thought someone with knowledge of these things would find those figures interesting. This package is an absolute rip-off, which is why I ask, who is the connection between between HSD in Leicester and Cardigan Castle? And now that we have an idea of HSD’s charges we can be almost certain that they are charging over the odds for the work they are doing for the Castle.

  4. Ian Perryman

    Not sure why Phil Parry keeps banging on about that housing petition. What the petition called for is not only allowable under UK law but positively encouraged by the Westminster Government.

    Quote:

    The Localisation Act 2011 provides for reform to ensure that decisions about housing are taken locally.

    The Act: enables local authorities to make their own decisions to adapt housing provision to local needs, and make the system fairer and more effective.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/5959/1896534.pdf

    In December 2013 The Department for Communities and Local Government provided this advice for England.

    Providing social housing for local people.
    Statutory guidance on social housing allocations for local authorities in England

    This investment in new affordable housing will help to meet housing need. We now want to see local authorities take an approach to social housing allocations which gives greater priority to those in need who have invested in and demonstrated a commitment to their local community.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/269035/131219_circular_for_pdf.pdf

      1. dafis

        Poor old Parry – he must be sniffing some very rich stuff ! Just read his latest “expose” about you and an even less informed piece of tosh about Mark Clement, erstwhile Vice – Chancellor ( a.k.a boss ! ) at Univ of Wales which ceased to have any effective operational independence when integrated with/absorbed into the Trinity St David Empire ( also includes Swansea Met but name got so long they thought of using it on a banner to protect a mile long stretch of A48 from cross winds) . Now Clement may not be lilywhite because there were a few blunders during his shift but Parry has got all crosseyed trying to take aim at the guy. The net effect is a pile of speculative garbage that leads one to ask whether Dr Clement belongs to some group who have attracted the intense disapproval of Mr Parry’s backers ?

        1. Which group? Which backers?

          Though I have noticed that Parry takes aim quite regularly at the academic community, and especially its members based in Swansea. Does this tell of some unhappy experience in that city, maybe cold-shouldered by by some pretty undergrad on a night out down Mumbles?

          I think we should be told.

    1. Colin

      Well I wasn’t aware of that Ian, I doubt many are really which is what I imagine this Parry arsehole (Am I being Parryist?) is relying on to try and cause a backlash.

      I’m rather chuffed he quoted me, even if it was out of context and made to sound like something else; fame at last! Role on the day we can have out of the UK, maybe not in my lifetime but hopefully if the Scots can make something of their current success we might as a nation start to dream again

  5. Colin

    Racism? He’s having a laugh isn’t he? Well that’s what might be expected if you start asking for answers from people who seem to shy away from wanting to let the truth be known. Perhaps a police investigation would be a good thing all round if it brings on an investigation into Cadwgan, let the truth be known

    1. I know the name of the man who made a complaint to my blog host about ‘racism’, hoping to get my blog closed down. He may be the one who complained to NWP, assuming a complaint was made. Unsurprisingly, this man lives in Aberporth.

  6. Dai Dom Da

    It’s a funny old world. According to the castle’s leading trustees and their friends and relatives in the media, critics of the set-up in Cardigan are a bunch of snarling bigots, trolls and persecutors of the innocent, but yesterday around 30 people gathered outside the main entrance of the castle to honour and show their appreciation for sacked director Cris Tomos.

    There were old ladies and silver-haired men, younger people who had stepped out of work for a short while to show their support, a couple of children and a feisty Jack Russell. At least half of those present were not Welsh speakers.

    There were short speeches of thanks from Vicky Moller and Hefin Wyn, thanking Cris for all his hard work, and in response Cris Tomos thanked all those who had sent him messages of support during his illness earlier this year and during the “very difficult times” which followed.

    The castle project had been delivered, he said, and it was now up to the people of the town to make it a success.

    There was no bitterness or rancour, and Cris was presented with an apple tree and a picture signed by a large number of well-wishers from the town.

    Cris Tomos will not be in line to receive an MBE or any other establishment bauble, but he has won a place in the hearts of the people of Aberteifi.

    Diolch o galon i ti Cris. Ti’n sbesial.

  7. Hefin Wyn

    Mae Dai Dom Da yn llygad ei le. It was a joyous occasion. Controlled emotion was felt. Tears were not far away. As always Cris Tomos conducted himself with dignity

    None of those present are involved in ‘on-line harassment’ or ‘virtual persecution’ of anyone.

    A series of searing englynion have been composed by the town’s National bard, Ceri Wyn Jones, and published in the current issue of Barddas. They neatly describe the situation at Castell Aberteifi.

    Ni fyddwn yn synnu pe bai’r awen yn ei gyffroi i dalu teyrnged i Cris Pantymaen yn y man. I would not be surprised if the muse soon moves him to compose a poem in praise of Cris Tomos.

  8. You know and I know, that there is no ‘Welsh media’ to speak of certainly in respect of political commentary and scrutiny, and what there is in the pockets of the Welsh government.

    As for the noble Mr Shipton, he can’t even write a book without the Welsh government paying for it, as is the case with many other WM hacks past and present.

    I’m not even going to start on nationalist BBC ap Wales.

    It is a fact however, that our UK brethren generally couldn’t give a flying fxxx about what goes on in Wales and understandably so.

    It is an irrelevance .

    Julian Ruck

    1. DNW

      Tend to agree. Therefore why don’t they just let us go it alone.

      This complete irrelevance makes you post. Interesting!

  9. Anonymous

    Great you’ve managed to get Julian Ruck on here – the scourge of the Welsh literati who began his campaign against Welsh publishing after his rotten novel was rejected by (at least) 2 Welsh publishers, who set up a festival no-one went to, and who got caught out plagiarising a Tory blog on a Labour site.
    What a character – even less credible than one of his own inventions, waging a one-man war against literacy and correct punctuation.
    I once left a glutinously ironic comment on his blog comparing him to Martin Luther King and he thanks me and proudly left it up.

  10. Dai o'r Bae

    There’s an interesting little Twitter spat going on in Cardiff at the moment between Menter Caerdydd and Cymdeithas yr Iaith. It began when Menter Caerdydd tweeted a link to an article in the Wasting Mule and expressed its support for the council’s Labour leader, Phil Bale.

    Bale had got himself into a spot of bother earlier this week when he was defending the city’s draft Local Development Plan and declared that Welsh was not part of the social fabric of Cardiff.

    Cymdeithas yr Iaith wondered whether this meant that Menter Caerdydd supported the draft LDP, and someobody else expressed disappointment that the Menter should be getting involved in party politics.

    Menter replied saying that they weren’t being political. Of course not. They were just showing their support for a (Labour) politician involved in a political controversy.

    Cymdeithas pointed out that the article, written by Bale, supported the draft LDP, and asked again whether Menter Caerdydd agreed with the way in which the draft plan treats the language.

    Menter Caerdydd is probably now consulting with its PR advisers on how to deal with this tricky situation. Fortunately, they don’t have very far to go because their chair is Eryl Jones whose day job involves running Equinox, the PR shop which has recently been kept busy advising Cardigan Castle on how to deal with criticism of its less than whole-hearted support for the language and culture.

    Heaven forbid that anyone should imagine that Menter Caerdydd is yet another one of those Labour client quangos, but another of its directors, Ashok Ahir, has also been busy tweeting messages of support for Phil Bale in his hour of need. Coincidentally, Ahir also runs a PR company in addition to his duties as director of Menter Caerdydd.

    Ahir is a former BBC journalist who was once short-listed as Welsh Learner of the Year. Surprisingly for a director of Menter Caerdydd, Ahir seems to agree with Bale’s view that Welsh is not part of the social fabric in Cardiff as nearly all of his tweets are in English only.

    1. Here’s a link to part of the exchange you refer to.

      Let us not forget that Gareth Gregory, the heritage Lottery Fund ‘advisor’ to Cardigan Castle, and drinking partner of Lady Tucker, has also been involved with the Menter Iaith movement. His area being Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen a Mynwy. This would almost certainly have brought him into contact with Eryl Jones of Menter Caerdydd and Equinox, the latter being Cardigan Castle’s PR outfit.

      It is indeed a small and inter-related world, especially when dealing with those willing – for a price! – to put a Welsh gloss on the machinations of the Labour Party and the colonial administrative apparatus.

      1. dafis

        While the “mentrau iaith” should be unreservedly pushing the case for the language in all aspects of life in their “territories” the sad fact is that most of them end up being run by self seeking, greasy pole climbing people of a bureaucratic tendency. This type of grey boring moron appears to be eminently well suited to the Welsh Labour “power community”, or its almost identical alternative Plaid Cymru, which is also home to a lot of dull boring drones. So it’s a bit of a daisy chain populated by a series of selfcentred merchants who will from time to time get round to doing something positive for the language but will for most of the time be positioning themselves for the next juicy political posting or contract.

        Another variation on the dependency culture theme so rife in our little country, but gets passed off as networking by the participants. Another crowd self selecting for some serious culling in due course.

  11. Rhodri Dafis

    I am curious if anyone who reads this Blog is a paid up current member of Cadwgan Building Preservation Trust. If they are they should be entitled to request a full list of current members which might I suspect make interesting reading.

    They are I believe entitled to receive a current membership list, as without it how can they possibly nominate anyone to be a Trustee, as all nominees have to be current members.

    The list they request should include names and addresses, and when they paid their subscription.

    Perhaps if anyone can obtain it, they would care to post it to this Blog.

    If Cadwgan/Cardigan Castle have nothing to hide or are not trying to manipulate the results of the election of Trustees, they will post it themselves.

    If they do not, then there will always be an element of doubt about whether they are honest or simply manipulating things for their own “tunnel vision” view of what is best for the “ignorant savages” of West Wales.

    Here is a copy of an E-Mail I sent to info@cardigancastle.com

    “Dear Sir or Madam or even Lady,

    Cadwgan Trust operates as both a Registered Charity and a Limited Company.

    Both of these will set out Rules and Regulations, that should be followed.

    Can you please provide with a Copy of the Charities Constitution and also the Memorandum and Articles of Association for the Limited Company.

    As you appear to specialise in “smoke and mirrors”, I expect you to provide the relevant documentation for each separate entity.

    Please let me know, when I can arrange for them to be collected from your offices/shop.

    If you wish to E-mail them, then fair enough.

    If you wish to post them, then they have to signed for and proof of posting otherwise if they never materialise you have proof they have been posted and can track them.

    I doubt that even Cardigan Castle has the GPO in its pocket.

    Diolch,

    Rhodri Dafis”

    24 Hours later I have not received an acknowledgement, let alone a response.

  12. Rhodri Dafis

    Was Glen Johnson pushed or did he Jump Ship?

    I have to declare that in a private E-mail to Glen in May, long before Cardigan Castle became a topic of discussion on this Blog, I did suggest to Glen that he should consider his position.

    Charity Law states that anyone who his deemed to have knowledge or suggests he has the necessary knowledge can be held liable for damages,

    Here is an extract from my E-mail to Glen on the 22nd May.

    “To come closer to home, you are a current Trustee of Cardigan Castle, and are therefore jointly and severally liable for the disinformation that they promulgate.

    As the self proclaimed Tivy Estuary History Man, in a Court of Law, you would be expected to have the knowledge, to prevent Cardigan Castle and the Trustees being open to charges on various counts.

    I have already found out and have E-mails that confirm that the powers that be at Cardigan Castle will happily lie through their teeth, and blame someone else for their own negligence.

    Think about your position and check the facts, and don’t rely on anyone else to do so.”

    A few weeks later he announced he would step down at the AGM.

    There are apparently or should be nine elected Trustees in and addition to a Trustee nominated by Ceredigion County Council (The present Trustee being Gareth Lloyd, Clettwr) and a Trustee nominated by Cardigan Town Council (Position vacant and has been for many months, which does suggest they are simply not interested.) I may be wrong, but understood there should be 12 Trustees. If only nine are elected, who nominates the 12th?

    The constitution states according to their Website that a third of all Trustees have to retire by rotation, but may put themselves up for re-election.

    Glen had announced his intention to retire at the AGM, but an expression of intent is no Guarantee that it would come to pass.

    While Glen was one of 5 elected Trustees, the closest round number to a third of 5 = 2.

    Two Trustees would have had to be put up for re-election.

    With Glen gone there are 4 elected Trustees, and closest round number to a third of 4 = 1.

    Glen was pushed, and made a scapegoat to divert attention from the others.

    Dicki’r Vet is harmless and out of his depth.

    I am not a gravedigger, and I have yet to find a grave digger in my ancestry.

    I am however a researcher and a digger, and by the time I finished many will have dug their own graves.

    Rhodri

  13. Hefin Wyn

    Now that we have the total irrelevance of Julian Ruck out of the way – or have we? – let us turn our forensic skills to deciphering the ‘on-line harassment’ and ‘virtual persecution’ saga initiated by Sue Lewis, the Acting Director appointed by Cadwgan Trustees to lead the Cardigan Castle Project, and Eryl Jones, Managing Director of Cardiff based Equinox public relations agency. Glen Johnson, the renowned Cardigan local historian, was unwittingly, to play a major part in the hatched plan.

    Do dwell on the following scenario. On Monday morning August 17 I received an invitation from Eryl Jones to meet un-named trustees for a ‘private’ meeting on Thursday morning. He knew then of course of the impending press release initiated by Sue Lewis. Eryl Jones had taken no heed of a reply given to a previous invitation to a hurriedly arranged ‘private’ meeting. Assurances were asked for the presence of senior trustees and HLF representative along with a substantive agenda. Cyfeillion Rhys ap Gruffudd are not interested in a public relations exercise of a meeting.

    Eryl Jones is the man who took three months to acknowledge our initial request for a meeting. When he did get in touch, via a telephone call, and was asked why it had taken him so long, his only response was a nervous laugh. A sixth sense told me there was something that was not quite genuine about the intended Thursday morning ‘private’ meeting. Why ‘private’ and not just a meeting has not been explained.

    On Tuesday morning the poisoned press release was distributed and targeted specifically for the Cambrian News. The Tivyside Advertiser, the Cardigan based weekly of which Sue Lewis was the editor until recently, had already hit the streets. The press release was massaged according to plan. Hefin Wyn and Cyfeillion Rhys ap Gruffudd were implicated in a way that there would be no doubts in the mind of readers that they were responsible for harassing and persecuting Glen Johnson to such an extent he had no choice but to resign his significantly short trusteeship.

    Guilt by association was established. But no quotes though from Mr Johnson to confirm who he had in mind as the guilty parties. In fact it seems they did not even approach Mr Johnson for confirmation as would be the golden rule of responsible journalism. But, of course, they did not have to because their trusted freelance journalist, Sue Lewis, who covers both Aberporth and Cardigan Town Council meetings for the paper, would have spoken to Mr Johnson wouldn’t she? Although, again, she did not supply any direct quotes from the man who increasingly appears to be the victim of this whole sorry saga.

    Dylan Davies, the paper’s deputy editor, got in touch by e-mail around mid-day, as the printing deadline was fast approaching, asking whether I would care to respond to Glen Johnson’s decision to step down because of ‘on-line harassment’. No details given. I failed to see what relevance it had with me. Surely he should approach Cadwgan Trustee’s for a response. He should approach the alleged harassers if there were any. He should approach Equinox for more factual details (though I did not know of Equinox’s involvement at the time). He should approach the police to confirm whether Glen Johnson had made a formal complaint of alleged harassment and whether it was being pursued. If not, perhaps, the story should have been ‘spiked’, as they used to say in newsrooms in days gone by.

    I knew Glen had already announced his resignation some time previously. By the time I had responded stating I did not wish to get involved with such trivia, without being told much more along the line of evidence, the paper had already gone to print apparently. Thus, following the perfunctory attempt to get in touch, they stated that ‘nobody from Cyfeillion Rhys ap Gruffudd was available to comment’, as if we were obliged to do, and, therefore, adding to the notion of implied guilt. Most responsible journalists will give at least a day’s grace for a response in such situations along with a resume of the background.

    By Wednesday the Cambrian News would be in the shops and by Thursday’s hoped for ‘private’ meeting with un-named Trustees, the insinuation that Hefin Wyn and Cyfeillion Rhys ap Gruffudd were responsible for the departure of Glen Johnson would have gathered momentum. By then, according to the masterplan, Hefin Wyn et all would have apologised and shown remorse for the non-existent on-line harassment and virtual persecution, in the attempted Cambrian News hatchet job article, and hence their position would be untenable. They would have been outed as rabble with no agenda bar harassing and persecuting the innocent Glen Johnson. They would have felt total disgrace for hounding the local history man from the trustee board. And they would be told so in a no uncertain manner and be obliged to leave Castell Aberteifi with their tails between their legs. Thus one hurdle would have been dealt with prior to the now jittery hurdle to be faced at the AGM.

    But it was not to be. The compliant Glen Johnson had failed to deliver just as the trust solicitor, Dr Robert Anthony, had failed to deliver, on being told by un-named trustees to silence critics rather than engage with their valid and justifiable criticisms. To do so would, of course, have challenged Dr Anthony’s probity, and made him nothing more than a mere scallywag.

    What must be remembered is that Glen Johnson is something of a serial committee quitter. On his face book account on July 3, as he intimated his decision to leave the Cadwgan Trust, after only a year’s membership (far, far shorter than the tenure of any of the other members), he stated that he had resigned from a total of 16 committees in 2005. He did not mention whether harassment or persecution was a factor. It is believed that one or more of those were to do with Castell Aberteifi. On July 22 he confirmed he had already tendered his resignation to three other committees, of which he was currently a member, and would bow out of the castle set up at the AGM in the autumn. All that was needed therefore was confirmation at the AGM, where he might divulge his reasons for standing down, along with the announcement of other possible resignations.

    I naturally asked the Cambrian News for a printed apology or else an unequivocal quote by Glen Johnson in the next issue as evidence that I had harassed or persecuted him. I had already approached Equinox with a similar request and an apology to be forwarded from Glen himself. That has not been received as yet. Meanwhile, in Aberystwyth, the Cambrian News don’t do apologies, and an invitation was received to contribute to their forthcoming updated article. This was to be written by Chris Betteley once he had been given a chance to familiarise himself with the story background, according to editor, Simon Middlehurst. At least I knew that he was not the journalist who wrote the initial story as you would expect that person to continue with a follow up unless there had been a reprimand delivered. Then, of course, it gives currency to the speculation that the story had already been written before it left Cardigan. No response given to the several times asked question ‘who wrote the original article?’.

    Interestingly, the follow up story was headlined ‘AM steps into Cardigan Castle row’ whereupon Elin Jones opines the loss of Glen Johnson without questioning the validity of alleged ‘pressure from social media’. Neither the terms ‘on-line harassment’ nor ‘virtual persecution’ are used in the article. Glen Johnson is quoted. But the best he can say is that his family had to bear the brunt of ‘overheard conversations’ and that he was ‘not looking for a fight with anyone’. Something of a climb-down if not an apology.

    The same pleasant photograph of Glen is used for the second week running where he looks surprisingly healthy for an ‘on-line harassed’ local historian. Indeed, he looks infinitely healthier than many men of his age, whom I have seen recently, who have never been harassed on-line.

    Given the circumstances, such a scenario as the above is perfectly plausible.

    What must be remembered is that Glen continues unabated with his prodigious voluntary work at Castell Aberteifi which takes up far more time than any of his trusteeship responsibilities. Why didn’t the alleged harassment and persecution drive him away from the castle in toto? If these alleged atrocities had taken place why didn’t Trustee chairman, Jann Tucker, in her paean of praise for Glen, in the press release, take a swipe at the perpetrators? All the allegations were attributed to the pliable Glen Johnson and no-one else. She omitted to mention, of course, that Glen was only elected last autumn. Quite a paean of praise for just a short stint compared to her own 14 years.

    Glen Johnson’s face book account has been strangely muted since the exposure of the lack of evidence for his allegations. Previously his account could be regarded as the unofficial Castell Aberteifi facebook site. It appears to have gone into meltdown.

    All very strange. The resignation of Jean Jones, widow of Archdruid Dic Jones, over six months ago, warranted far more publicity. No press release by Equinox on that occasion.

    And, of course, anyone would be hard put to even find any shred of evidence of personal criticism of Glen. The criticism, on the whole, has been of the mind-set adopted by the trustees with a few personal references to comments made, particularly in those notorious internal leaked e-mails, which show a total lack of understanding of what the whole heritage project is about. The trustees have failed to acknowledge criticism.

    Dr Robert Anthony, Jo Hutchings and Glen Johnson have all appeared to have gone to ground.

    By the way there might be other reasons why Glen is glad he has been able to shed the burden of the trusteeship, if we are to give credence to a note he wrote to a fellow volunteer when contemplating joining the so called ‘gang of four’ and their accomplices.

    “I’m still reeling from what you told me earlier. The castle project is looking more like a lost cause by the day. What a disgraceful bunch! Even if we do all stand and get elected I have grave fears for the way the project is going . . . I can’t help feeling that poor Cardigan has been short-changed again – another example of heroically wringing failure out from the jaws of victory!”. (November 2014)

    Well, there we are then. It appears that Glen Kelsall Johnson, the self-proclaimed Teifi Estuary History Man, is ‘still reeling’ . . . from the manipulation of Sue Lewis.

    No doubt it will be raining questions at the AGM. Is Joff Timms a defensive batsman?

    There is a saying in modern day Mwnt the gist of which is ‘woman who shouts English, English, English will be silenced’.

    1. The hilariously stage-managed ‘resignation’ of Glen Johnson was designed to serve two main purposes. 1/ Make the critics of the trustees look bad, and hopefully silence them. 2/ To elicit sympathy for popular Glen Johnson that might, with any luck, wash over the Gang of Four. Because if Lady Tucker, Sue Lewis, Hedydd Jones or Sandra Davies had claimed they were being persecuted most people would have laughed and said ‘You deserve it’.

      But the mystery remains why Glen Johnson allowed his long-heralded resignation to be used in this way, with both press release and Cambrian News article almost certainly written by Sue Lewis. Because he had never been one of the inner circle and had, as you say, been very critical of the Gang of Four. The fundamental difference being that he is ‘The Teifi Estuary History Man’ and the Gang of Four don’t give a toss about history, for them Cardigan Castle is just a ‘venue’.

      That said, there may be another explanation, or at least a contributing factor, one that I shall explore in my next post if I can find the source material.

  14. Dai Dom Da

    I hope you both take this matter to the Independent Press Standards Organisation, as the Cambrian News piece clearly linked you both to online harassment and persecution of Glen Johnson, allegedly so severe that he had to take steps to “protect his family”.

    IPSO may not have much in the way of teeth, but it is time that the paper’s unethical and deceitful workings are exposed to a wider public.

  15. Colin

    Just an aside which relates to that Parry arsehole’s quotation of mine in his attempted hit on Jac and is slightly amusing (well to me it is)

    The arsehole next door (who happens to be English but is a plain arsehole whichever way you look at it) who was whining about my Cherry tree that ultimately got cut down, well I was left with a big space and a lot of sky. Having a degree in astrophysics I decided it was the ideal opportunity to build an observatory, so that’s what I have done, to within a couple of millimetres of not needing planning permission. Now the twll dyn is most upset having this thing spying on him (not that I actually can of course but he doesn’t know that) and he can’t do a thing about it. I can hear him ranting behind his garage but it’s laughs all round this side.

    Jac, how’s your magnum opus coming along?

    1. You are a very naughty boy for winding him up. Before you know it this episode will be picked up by Parry and used as another example of ‘racism’. As for my magnum opus, things progress slowly due to other calls on my time and the fact that the case of Cardigan Castle cannot be left, with more developments all the time (I’m working on another post at the moment.) Then on Sunday I’m off to Scotland, so that’ll be another week gone. At this rate it could be Christmas.

      1. Colin

        Well I’m gobsmacked at the success you’ve achieved through this blog with the castle, I suspect Parry is pissed off with you because you have more readers than him, well if he does keep publicising you….

        Keep at it!

          1. Daley Gleephart

            I posted a comment about Jools having a blog on the ‘Beans’ (rhyming slang for [South Wales] Evening Post) but it didn’t appear.

            1. I don’t know where it went. I certainly didn’t block it. Is it worth repeating? Now what are you telling us about Serco?

            2. Daley Gleephart

              In reverse order.
              Serco guard the Royal Navy Faslane base. I’m sure that North Korea could do it cheaper and replace the 22,000 police jobs likely to go in the next few years.

              The Julian Ruck Blog at the SWEP.
              Jools has a tendency to ask leading questions when interviewing.
              http://www.southwales-eveningpost.co.uk/Julian-Ruck-speaks-Hutton-state-Welsh-economy/story-27647578-detail/story.html
              I imagine an interview with the President of Russia would go as follows: –

              Putin on the Ritz.
              JR: The Ritz Hotel is good isn’t it?
              VP: Da, da.
              JR: Would you like to change to St Petersburg jail?
              VP: Nyet, nyet.
              JR: Would you like to break wind?
              VP: Da, da.
              JR: What is your favourite song?
              VP: Da dada da da da da da.
              JR: Ah! ‘The Working Class Can Kiss My Arse’. It’s my favourite too.

            3. I’d almost forgotten he was a soul-mate of Jacques Protic – Wales is poor because of the Welsh language! Everything is the fault of them Welsh nationalists who, at other times, and elsewhere, are derided for being an inconsequential minority. Can’t have it both ways. What a pompous twat!

              It says a lot about the Evening Post – and nothing good – that they gave Ruck a column.

  16. Ieu

    I don’t know if it’s important, but Glen Johnson resigned once before:” JOHNSON, Glen Kelsall
    YMDDIRIEDOLAETH CADWRAETH ADEILADAU CADWGAN BUILDING PRESERVATION TRUST (03955918)
    Company status Active
    Role Director Appointed on 18 March 2002 Resigned on 15 September 2004 ”
    From https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/
    which seems a very useful site. Keep up the good work Jac

Now what do you have to say?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.