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.
The story we’re going to look at tells that the National Trust is to take over the running of the Hafod (Uchtryd) Estate, inland of Aberystwyth, just east of Pont-Rhyd-y-Groes. The estate seems to be owned by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and run in partnership with the Hafod Trust (HT).
Here’s the leaflet on Hafod issued by NRW.
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.
But as I say, it seems NRW owns the estate, but leases it to HT. Confirmed by the HT accounts referring to a holiday cottage known as Hawthorne Cottage / Pwll Pendre, and the title document saying this property was leased in December 2000 for 25 years from The National Assembly for Wales.
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.
The Hafod Trust had one full-time and a few part-time employees. These are joining the National Trust.
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.
Or else buying land as a stage for its own planet-saver posturing.
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”.
Or not, as the case may be.
Whatever, here’s how the takeover is described on the NT website.
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 is a solicitor, and has been chair of the Bristol branch of the Institute of Directors. She first came to Wales in September 2018 to work for the National Trust as assistant director of operations for South Wales.
She gives as her location on Twitter, “Western Gateway”. Which seems to have begun life as a ‘Sub-national Transport Body’ for local authorities in south west England, but has somehow morphed into a plan for a cross-border “powerhouse”.
In other words, the Greater Bristol Region.
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!
Well . . .
There is indeed a company of that name but – and you won’t believe this – it’s based in Bristol! And until March this year it was known as BPUWL 11 Ltd. In fact, there’s a slew of companies using those letters as a name.
From what I’ve learnt, Craig y Geifr is a ridge or an escarpment between Nant-y-Moel in the Ogwr Valley and Pentre in the Rhondda.
And it looks to be quite a beautiful area. A reminder of what our southern valleys were like before industrialisation.
Seeing as there are plantations close to Craig y Geifr, I assume that the land is owned by Natural Resources Wales. As for Bryn Brawd, I’m not sure. Unfortunately, the Land Registry offers no help.
So let’s focus on the two companies, Waun Maenllwyd Wind Energy Hub Ltd and Craig y Geifr Wind Energy Hub Ltd. What can the Companies House website tell us?
Now pay attention, because this may not be easy to follow.
When we click on the ‘People’ tab, and then, ‘Persons with significant control‘, we bring up the name, Belltown Power UK Wind Ltd. When we find the entry for this company, and go through the same procedure, we bring up Foresight Belltown UK Wind Development Ltd.
Averon Park has three directors. One is Philip Lloyd-Jones, described as ‘adviser’. The name is Welsh, so I got to wondering. And I found a solicitor of that name in Mold. Though since early in 2018 the practice has been part of Gamlins.
Unusually, for an enquiry like this, Gamlins is a Welsh company. Though Philip Lloyd-Jones is not listed among the directors. But we do find Vernon Oliver in what would otherwise be a Welsh girl band.
But I digress! Again.
Returning to Averon Park, all but one of the shares are held by Foresight Fund Managers Ltd. Which is in turn owned by Foresight Group Holdings (UK) Ltd. And, finally, Foresight Group Holdings (UK) Ltd is owned by Foresight Group founder Bernard William Fairman, using a Guernsey address.
The name ‘Foresight’ should ring a bell. These are the buggers who, thanks to the encouragement of the ‘Welsh Government’, have been buying up farms on which they’re going to plant ‘carbon capture’ trees.
Having received so much bad publicity over the trees scam it looks as if Foresight might be switching to wind farms. But staying in Wales because those assholes in Corruption Bay are such a pushover.
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.
North Data provides some information on Kaplan. Beneath the Network diagram it lists various companies, and the top one, Awel Newydd Cyf – owned through Petersham Holdco Ltd – should interest my Welsh readers.
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).
Finally, and most worryingly of all, Foresight is allowed to brainwash young children. Here they are, again collaborating with Tilhill, using kids from Talyllychau to plant trees on a farm Foresight has bought!
Did Carmarthenshire education authority know about this insulting bullshit? What the hell was the teacher thinking to allow the kids in his care to be brainwashed by a company buying up local farms?
And have you heard of a ‘seed portfolio transaction‘? No, nor me. But that’s the kind of business Foresight is doing at Banc Farm, where those kids were exploited.
There’s more information here. It looks as if money is being made by Foresight before the trees are even planted.
‘PSSST, I GOT A GREAT IDEA’
At a recent gathering of the Honourable Company of Magic Bean Salesmen many toasts were drunk to the ‘Welsh Government’ and associated bodies.
Hardly surprising when we recall how many schemes of dubious merit (I will say no more than that!) have received funding in Wales. A new one came to my attention a few weeks ago.
Here’s a report showing Julie James, Environment Minister in the ‘Welsh Government’ looking interested in magic wallpaper that it’s claimed can replace radiators as a source of heat. James should be interested because her lot are funding this project for Melin Homes in Torfaen.
So who is the lucky recipient of this ‘Welsh Government’ largesse? The company mentioned is NextGen. So, you know me . . .
Not a great start.
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”.
Here’s the link. (The nodes are moveable.)
It tells us that Osborne is director, secretary, and judicial representative for Mosta Electronics Centre on Constitution Street in the town of Mosta. Though the website only mentions founder, Joseph Zerata.
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.
The reason you’re reading about Crosbie is due to her opposition to a 1200-acre solar farm on the island. And anti-nuclear lefties telling her to “smell the coffee”. (Do people still use that silly expression?)
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.
The Maasai, who claim the land, are being denied access. But they’re fighting back. As this tweet explains. While Modern Ghana reports that a policeman has been killed.
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.
In the hope of getting a bit more information I submitted a Freedom of Information request. Here’s the link to the response received yesterday.
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.
♦ end ♦