Bute Energy: Who’s Really Behind It?

I’m returning to the ‘Bute’ stable of companies, a subject I’ve ignored for a while. More especially, some aspects of Bute’s operations that may have been overlooked.

1/ How did investment company and property developers the Parabola group, from which Bute emerged, learn about the opportunities offered by wind turbines in Wales?

2/ We’ve been told the funding for Bute’s projects will come from Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and the Wales Pension Partnership. But is that true?

I’m starting with some background, which I think sets the scene. So please indulge me there before we move on later to the ‘meat’ of the piece.

THE TRAILBLAZER GETTING A LITTLE HELP FROM THE COMRADES

Before the boys from Parabola ever heard of Nant Mithil, Waun Hesgog, or Blaencothi, other nobly-intentioned businessmen, alarmed by the impending climate crisis, were trying their damnedest to cover central Wales in wind turbines.

I’m going to focus on one of those wind farms; Hendy, to the east of Llandrindod.

Planning permission was refused by Powys County Council in April 2017, and that decision was upheld by a planning inspector a year later. But then, Lesley Griffiths, Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs Secretary for the self-styled ‘Welsh Government’ intervened, to ignore the inspector’s decision and give Hendy the green light.

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Prior to this, an inspector’s decision was almost the final word. But now it was being over-ridden using the legislation that gave us Developments of National Significance.

From now on ‘Welsh Ministers’ had authority to rule on electricity generation projects with a maximum installed capacity of 10MW to 50MW. Below that, responsibility lies with local authorities; and above, it’s the UK government.

Which means that developers pitch their projects in the 10 – 50MW ‘sweet spot’.

The main director of Hendy Wind Farm Ltd was Stephen John Radford. He had other wind companies including, in Wales, Rhoscrowther Wind Farm Ltd, on the Haven, and Bryn Blaen Wind Farm Ltd, near Llangurig.

Radford was very close to, if not fronting for, the U+I group. Though it seemed he also had his own piggy-bank in Njord Energy Ltd.

Lobbying Powys councillors on behalf of the Hendy wind farm was Anna McMorrin. She was seen at a meeting on 27 April 2017, desperately trying to hand a note to councillors considering the project.

She was working for Invicta Public Affairs, which has its headquarters in Newcastle, but also a presence in Edinburgh, and Glasgow.

She had been working as a Spad in Corruption Bay, for which she was rewarded by being selected as the Labour candidate for Cardiff North. In June 2017 she became the MP.

Maybe this is the first instance of someone working simultaneously for the Labour party and wind energy developers. There have been many more since Anna McMorrin.

Once they got to know each other, I’m sure Radford made the boys from Parabola understand that to get anything done in Wales you must have people working for you inside the Labour party.

THEY MEET, AND THE BOYS FROM PARABOLA BECOME BUTE

In September 2018 Windward Generation Ltd was launched; the name changed to Bute Energy the following month, and finally became RSCO 3750 Ltd in March 2020.

The founding directors were Oliver James Millican and Lawson Douglas Steele, who were joined a week later by Radford. The man from Hendy left in December 2019 and was replaced by Stuart Allan George, who’d left Parabola with Millican and Steele.

But I want to go back a little further, and consider the ‘Windward’ name.

Just before Christmas 2014 Windward Enterprises Ltd was launched. This company’s stated business was ‘Financial management’. The sole director was Oliver James Millican, using secretarial services in Edinburgh, but a Newcastle office address for himself. (Newcastle being where Parabola started out.)

This was a long time before any interest was expressed in wind turbines.

In November 2016 the address switched to Broadgate Tower in London, where we now find Parabola; and the company name changed in August 2018 to WELN1 Ltd.

We encounter the ‘Windward’ name a number of times early on in this saga, but what if it has nothing to do with wind power, and instead refers to the Windward Islands in the Caribbean?

I’m thinking now of tax havens. Just a thought.

If you study the timeline of company formations, you’ll see that the first ‘Bute’ company, Windward Global Ltd, wasn’t formed until May 2017. This is now the holding company for the Bute empire, controlled by Oliver James Millican.

Millican’s father, Peter John Millican, runs the Parabola property empire, with more companies under the umbrella than I was able to count. As we’ve seen, son Oliver ceased being a director at Parabola late in 2017.

Steele was employed as Investment Director at Parabola. He left in October 2017.

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Stuart George was also a Parabola employee.

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And there seems to have been a fourth departure. For on 31 May 2018, in addition to Windward LS Ltd (Lawson Steele), and Windward SG Ltd (Stuart George), a company called Windward BW Ltd was launched.

The ‘BW’ is Barry Woods. I can’t tell you much about him, except that he’s Irish, and he’d also worked for Parabola. In fact, he was a designated partner, along with Parabola Real Estate Investment Management LLP, in Parabola Partners LLP.

Just like Millican, Steele and George, Woods quit Parabola in November 2017.

He then seems to have parted company with the other three on 24 September 2019. The last trace of Woods sees him running Woods Investment Management Ltd in Edinburgh, which folded after a couple of years, in March 2021.

So we have four men, all in their thirties, and all working for a major property and investment group (one of them the boss’s son); but late in 2017 they apparently hear the planet calling, sever their ties with Parabola, and go off to erect wind turbines in Wales.

Do you buy that?

Something else that gives off a bit of a whiff is that if the four of them had started up on their own, I would have expected to see them as partners. But Millican Junior in control suggests a continuing link with his father’s business empire.

Using the Parabola address at the Broadgate Tower, 20 Primrose Street, London EC2A 2EW is also a bit iffy.

It’s far more likely that, in 2017, the four turbineers started setting up companies in Wales, ultimately owned and controlled by Parabola, to capitalise on the ‘How many turbines would you like, duckie?’ DNS system.

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY

Funding is a vital consideration because more than 20 wind farms, an unknown number of solar arrays, at least 6 Battery Energy Storage System (BESS), and mile after mile of pylons, requiring connectors and other whatsits, do not come cheap.

Admittedly, nothing has yet been built, but even so, Bute employs dozens of people, rents or leases office space, and promotes itself relentlessly by sponsoring everything from the Ystradgynlais Wet T-shirt Olympics to the Llanfair Caereinion Refuge for Distressed Ferrets.

So where’s the money coming from to fund this unrivalled extravaganza of bird dicing?

We can (perhaps surprisingly) rule out the Development Bank of Wales, a soft touch that throws moolah at magic bean salesmen and landfill-owning friends of politicians.

Instead, our attention must turn to the two stated funding sources: Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), and the local councils’ Wales Pension Partnership (WPP).

The WPP involvement is a bit of nonsense that it’s hoped will give the impression Wales is benefitting from wind power. Though on a more practical and political level I suppose it gives Bute even more leverage in Corruption Bay.

I’m going to focus on Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and see where that takes us.

Now the first thing to make clear is that CIP is not a bank, it does not provide funding. The clue appears to be in ‘Partners’, for it seems investors looking for green projects go to CIP, which then finds them the right fit.

Or it could be t’other way around. Either way, we can be sure CIP takes its cut.

The funding from CIP for Bute is channelled through CI IV Dragon Lender Ltd. This is owned by CI IV Dragon Holdco Ltd. Both companies are based in Rotherham, South Yorkshire.

The latest accounts for CI IV Dragon Holdco (y/e 31.12.2022) give a list of ‘Subsidiary undertakings’ (page 20) in which the company holds a ‘golden share’. These are Bute companies, including Green Generation Energy Networks Cymru Ltd, which wants to build a network of pylons.

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And as you can see below, since October last year all 79,000,000 shares in the holding company are in the possession of Copenhagen Infrastructure V SCSp.

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Which can be found at 16 Rue Eugene Ruppert, L2453, Luxembourg, the EU’s internal tax haven.

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And at that address we find an outfit called Vistra. So who are they? It turns out they’re a Fortune 500 company from the Lone Star State. Well, Ye haw!

Vistra is big itself in electricity production and supply, but it also ‘partners with suppliers’, which would presumably include Bute.

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But why is Bute dealing with Copenhagen Investment Partners which is dealing with a US company working out of an office in Luxembourg? Especially when Vistra has offices in the UK.

Among them, a very familiar address in Edinburgh. In fact, if you close in on this Google maps capture you’ll see the Vistra plate, top right.

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The name Vistra was vaguely familiar, but not in connection with Bute. It was linked more with the Bristol address you see above, and Galileo, which wants a wind farm at Bryn Cadwgan, to the east of Lampeter.

All explained in this piece from last November, A Change Of Tack?

Galileo is based in Zurich, Switzerland. It began life locally at Vistra’s Bristol office before moving to Edinburgh. But there’s also Galileo Empower Wales Ltd which has a presence on Cathedral Road in Cardiff.

Its directors are Italian, German, Scottish and Irish. A typical ‘Welsh’ company.

The Bute companies are fronting for Vistra of Texas through Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners. The ‘golden share’ in so many Bute companies means that those projects are effectively owned by Vistra.

With an obvious connection via Oliver Millican to his father’s Parabola group. Which we must assume is also getting a cut.

The sequence would appear to be: Parabola spawns Bute, Bute goes to CIP, CIP finds Vistra, and Vistra either puts in its own money, or it finds funding from . . .

UPDATE 30.04.2024: A reliable source draws my attention to another link between Copenhagen and Vistra. There are many more.

UPDATE 2: 30.04.2024: Another source reminded me there are many Njord companies. Often linked to CIP. A little digging brought up yet another, and an intriguing connection.

Copenhagen Offshore Partners A/S has an office at 10 George Street, Edinburgh. At the same address we find Rathbone Investment Management (£60bn assets). A member of the Rathbone family is Jenny Rathbone MS, who sits on the Climate Change Committee.

Her Partner, John Uden, was recruited (for no obvious reason) to sit on Bute’s Welsh Advisory Board.

I think we’re at the stage now where so many Labour people (some I’ve never mentioned) are benefitting financially from Bute / CIP  that an independent inquiry is needed.

CONCLUSION

The situation is that through Developments of National Significance, and now the Infrastructure Bill, Wales is being desecrated and exploited by foreign corporations.

The ferrets of Llanfair Caereinion notwithstanding, there are no real benefits for us; nothing in terms of jobs, or anything else.

The real beneficiary is England, where communities can and do object to wind farms. Which is why, as reliable sources of electricity generation are phased out on the orders of Globalist ‘environmentalists’, electricity generated in Wales must go to England, and this explains the need for so many pylons.

The wind farms, solar arrays and pylons in Wales (and Scotland), are also needed to help the UK / England meet its Net Zero commitments. Which I suppose raises the possibility of political pressure being applied from London.

What’s happening is so obvious that I even find myself in agreement with the leftist(s) who wrote, ‘Neoliberalism Has Quietly Flourished Under Welsh Labour – It’s Time To Break The Silence‘. (The comrades love slick and catchy titles!)

Joking aside, and looming over all other considerations, my biggest worry is that even though we can now identify Bute, and Parabola, and CIP, and Vistra, we still can’t be sure where the money for these projects begins its journey.

Which provides two major headaches.

If the Bute funding needs to be ‘filtered’ so many times (with everybody taking a slice) then it raises suspicions that the original funder may not be entirely acceptable.

And if we don’t know who ultimately owns the installations, then how do we get these sites restored when they come to the end of their working lives?

Instead of being suckered by those fronting these projects those pretending to run this country need to establish who is ultimately funding each and every project operating in Wales or proposed for Wales.

We also need to look into the relationship between Bute Energy / Parabola / CIP / Vistra and the ‘Welsh Government’. In particular, how it’s grown to the point where Bute has a position close to being a state-sponsored monopoly.

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2024

Climate Cult Killing The Welsh Family Farm

In this piece I’ll explain that the ‘Welsh Government”s Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS) is just the latest in a long series of attacks on the Welsh family farm, and all that that means.

The SFS demands that 10% of every farm be given over to trees, with a further 10% to ‘habitat’. Many farms will become unprofitable. Which is the whole point of the SFS – to release more land for other uses.

Today’s piece is bigger than others I’ve put out recently, some 3,400 words; but it’s broken up into sections, so take it a chunk at a time.

2008: ONE WALES: ONE PLANET

I’ve chosen to start in May 2008 with the publication One Wales: One Planet. Sub-titled, ‘The Sustainable Development Scheme of the Welsh Assembly Government’. You’ll find a revealing extract below.

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Let’s look at the first bullet point. Who decides Wales’s “environmental limits“? Who calculates our “fair share of the Earth’s resources“? Who measures our “ecological footprint“? (I’m a size 9.) And how can anyone work out, “the global average availability of resources“.

This is the kind of gobbledegook you can only get away with when you live a very sheltered life, mixing only with others in your bubble.

The final paragraph (below, my emphasis) leaves us in no doubt that everything that’s done in Wales from now on will be predicated on the belief that human beings are killing the planet.

To achieve this, sustainable development (the process that leads to Wales becoming a sustainable nation) will be the central organising principle of the Welsh Assembly Government, and we will encourage and enable others to embrace sustainable development as their central organising principle.

But as I’ve explained, there’s something more sinister behind it all. Which is not to say that those pushing the nonsense don’t believe it, I’m sure many of them do. But there are also many who go along with it because it’s become the accepted wisdom of the circles in which they mix.

Before I forget, chapter 8 is headed: ‘The Wellbeing of Wales’. (Now there’s a clue!)

The administration at the time was a Labour-Plaid Cymru coalition, and to jog your memory, here’s a cabinet group photo. The minister for environment and sustainability was Jane Davidson.

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2010: TECHNICAL ADVICE NOTE 6, ONE PLANET DEVELOPMENTS

July of 2010 brought joy unbounded with the announcement that hippy encampments, thrown up illegally (but with a nod and a wink from Corruption Bay), were now to be legitimised

Making TAN 6 little more than a general amnesty, or granting retrospective planning approval.

Dressed up as ‘sustainable living’, ‘self-sufficiency’, and God knows what else, they were in reality just a way around planning regulations for hippies and others to build ugly shacks in open country.

There were conditions attached, of course, not least, being able to prove that these impositions were to some degree self-sufficient . . . but nobody ever checks.

Interestingly, OPDs came to the notice of the World Economic Forum, which exposed the fundamental contradiction by urging people to move to Wales.

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For OPDs were justified by arguing they’d reduce Wales’ carbon footprint. But this could only happen if local people moved out of traditional dwellings into OPD shacks. That never happened.

Instead, people moved from England to previously unused land . . . where they kept farting animals, burned wood, and drove old diesel vehicles; so that by these and other means increased Wales’ carbon footprint.

In a recent publication I noticed that DEI had been added to the chicken entrails in the voodoo stew. This news came from Sophie Howe herself, just before she stepped down as Future Generations Commission in 2022:

I am pleased to see the emphasis given to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, a key component of sustainability . . .

But despite the posturing, OPDs remain exclusively English, White, middle class.

2011 OCTOBER: ALUN DAVIES AND ORGANIC ARABLE FARMING

Then there was the plan to help farmers go organic.

Alun Davies, deputy minister of agriculture, announced that priority would be given to arable farmers, and those converting to arable farming . . . in a country where climate and topography dictate that livestock farming will dominate.

But let’s not be picky, for I’m sure this news was welcomed in the pomegranate groves of Pembrokeshire and the broccoli orchards enhancing the Vale of Clwyd, but it offered sod all to most Welsh farmers.

This initiative might reveal the growing vegan influence. For these had been brought in from the fringes to serve the Globalists’ plan to eliminate livestock farming and take control of the land and the food supply.

2013 DECEMBER: ALUN DAVIES AND HIS TWO-PILLAR TRICK

The above date was when Alun Davies, now farm minister, announced that funding from the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Pillar 1 (direct payment to farmers) would be moved to Pillar 2 (‘other rural activities’).

Davies could have transferred anything up to 15%. Almost inevitably, he opted for the full whack. Defending the decision by saying Pillar 1 should not be seen as a “never-ending subsidy“.

To understand Alun Davies, and the socialist attitude to farming, here’s an outburst from him in October 2014.

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The former minister in the Labour ‘Welsh Assembly Government’ (for he was  sacked in July 2014) rails against ‘subsidies’; yet his administration had built up a vast third sector of cronies – all living off public funding!

And things have got worse, for now the ‘Welsh Government’ throws millions of pounds at Sustrans, Stonewall, wildlife trusts, and other pressure groups.

Clearly, in the eyes of Labour politicians there’s nothing wrong with subsidies per se, it all depends who’s getting them.

UPDATE 05.03.2024: But has Alun Davies recanted?

2015: WELL-BEING OF FUTURE GENERATIONS (WALES) ACT

This legislation was a long time in the planning, but we know who wrote it.

For this article from Sustainable Brands (scroll down) tells us it was Jane Davidson, who we met earlier as the minister for environment and sustainability in the 2007 – 2011 Labour-Plaid Cymru coalition.

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The article also says Davidson, ” . . . had her damascene moment at the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992“. But I don’t buy that.

For at the time she was a researcher for Labour MP for Cardiff West, Rhodri Morgan, who of course went on to become first minister of the Assembly. So was she representing him, or the Labour party, at Rio?

I think she’d already had her ‘damascene moment’, and she was there as one of the converted.

When she became Assembly Member for Pontypridd in 1999 Ponty was her ticket to more power and influence to push the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) narrative.

Which she did relentlessly and effectively.

And even though she stepped down as an AM in 2011 she never really left. For she was always in the shadows, nudging, hectoring, demanding. Now she chairs the ‘Welsh Government’s Wales Net Zero 2035 Challenge Group.

The significance of the Well-being Act is that, as was hinted in One Wales: One Planet in 2008, all other considerations must be subordinated to fighting the so-called ‘climate crisis’.

And this being the socialist hell that is Wales, the Act introduced yet more pointless bureaucracy and more opportunities for virtue signalling, with Public Services Boards for each of our 22 local authorities. (Yes, that’s right, 22 local authorities for a country of 3.2 million people.)

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Perhaps the real lesson Wales could teach the world is how to bring a country to its knees. For this is the Globalist plan for the West.

The politicians and their pet parasites who achieved this resent giving money to farmers and others, who actually work, and produce necessities.

2016 SEPTEMBER: START OF NVZ ‘CONSULTATION’

A Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ) is, according to the ‘Welsh Government’, “an area of land draining into ground or surface waters that are currently high in nitrate, or may become so if appropriate actions are not taken“.

It had always been accepted there was a problem, but it had also been understood that the problem was very localised, and seemed to be associated with dairy cattle.

Ostensibly to get a better understanding of the situation, the ‘Welsh Government’ launched a consultation process in September 2016.

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The map above, produced by Natural Resources Wales (NRW), shows that Water Framework Directive (WFD) catchment areas covering some 90% of the country reported 0 – 4 incidents in the period 01.01.2010 to 01.01.2016.

The problem was clearly very localised.

Which is why NRW suggested increasing the area covered by NVZ legislation from 2.4% (750 farm holdings) to 8%. But, and here I quote from:

The (now) Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, responded to the consultation replies a year later, in December 2017. She said she was “minded to introduce a whole Wales approach”.

Truth is, that had been the plan all along.

As an example of politicians going out of their way to make life more difficult for farmers – because of course there would be more expense and increased form-filling – the handling of NVZ legislation would be difficult to surpass.

This is how NFU Cymru described it:

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As things stand, the ‘Welsh Government’ has been forced to be marginally less vindictive. With slightly less punitive measures being introduced in stages, the next due in August.

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NVZ was part of a wider campaign to blame farmers for all pollution. To the extent of bribing river groups and other ‘environmentalists’. Done to protect the bigger culprit, Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water.

2018 JULY: ‘BREXIT AND OUR LAND’

Wales voted to leave the European Union 23 June 2016.

That is, the people voted to leave. The political class was outraged at the stupidity of the hoi polloi. The media agreed. While the ever-multiplying legions of third sector parasites were aghast at the thought of losing such a lucrative funding stream.

In response the ‘Welsh Government’ produced ‘Brexit and our Land‘. Wherein we read (page 3) what was to replace the CAP.

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But how can it talk of “food production” when we know Labour’s attitude towards farmers? While the reference to timber did not mean developing a genuine timber industry, it referred to what I’m now going to highlight.

Idly flicking through the annual accounts of Stoke engineering firm Goodwin Plc the other night I found this, on page 17.

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The site of this enviro-colonialism is north west of Llanwrtyd. But it’s happening all over Wales.

This is how it works: Land is bought and trees are planted by investors like Goodwin, who will own the land, the trees, and the carbon they capture. This carbon can not be included in Wales’ carbon inventory.

Which means that outside investors could buy up 50% of Welsh land, make billions from carbon capture, none of which would contribute to Wales’ national figure (or economy) – and the ‘Welsh Government’ would pay them to do it!

The rest of rural Wales, and the post-industrial areas, will be surrendered to foreign-owned wind farms whose owners will dole out beads and blankets to the desperate inhabitants of doomed communities.

And it’s all built on a scam, for carbon is no threat to the environment.

As for “Public Goods“, this is a phrase picked up from the bad company Welsh politicians keep. It can mean whatever the person using it wants it to mean.

Just think of it as bollocks; usually delivered in Estuary English.

2018 AUGUST: SUMMIT TO SEA

This project links with Brexit, and the publication you read about in the previous section. It’s ‘environmentalists’ seeking to capitalise on the new reality to grab a huge swathe of Welsh land.

The project began before the date I’ve just given, but I used that date because it’s the first time I mentioned the project on this blog. Click here and scroll down to the section ‘Re-wilding’.

In essence, a number of individuals and organisations came together and hatched a plan to requisition 10,000 hectares, from Pumlumon up to the Dyfi estuary, and out to sea for a few miles.

Below you’ll see two maps. The one on the left was produced by those behind the project; the one on the right tells us who’s really behind it. But I’m not sure who produced the second.

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Admittedly, this was not a ‘Welsh Government’ policy . . . but I believe those involved had discussions with politicians and civil servants, and had been assured that Brexit could be the excuse used to withhold or ‘redirect’ farm subsidies.

Those involved were so confident of success, so arrogant, that they saw no need to engage with those whose land they wanted to appropriate. For it was a done deal.

Among the partners with Rewilding Britain was the Woodland Trust (WT). Here is Natalie Buttriss of the WT being interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today in October 2018. And she plays the admonishing memsahib for all she’s worth.

Summit to Sea met its Waterloo at a public meeting in Talybont, north of Aberystwyth on 31 July 2019, when locals made their feelings unmistakably clear to even the thick-skinned individuals involved.

Partners such as Ecodyfi and Rewilding Britain soon withdrew, and the project was then taken over by the RSPB. The organisation that cares so much for birds, but has no issue with bird-killing wind turbines. (I wonder how much that silence costs.)

The Woodland Trust is still taking over Welsh land to plant trees and profit from the carbon capture scam you read about earlier. But all done of course to save the planet.

Summit to Sea was an attempt by ‘environmentalists’ and ‘conservationists’ to grab Welsh farmland using the threat of subsidy withdrawal. So it’s no surprise to learn that many see the Sustainable Farming Scheme as Summit to Sea repackaged.

LATE 2018: TIT-BITS

In September, Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, was in Frisco, at a UN bunfight giving business leaders a chance to impress politicians from the sub-national level.

What could possibly go wrong?

Griffiths came back, her rechargeable batteries humming, and a week or so after her return delivered this speech.

A month later the Daily Post produced this article in which farmers accused wildlife groups of lying about bio-diversity loss in order to grab farm funding. I include it because it introduces an important new tactic into the ‘Welsh Government’s war on farmers.

Hoping to hide the source of the attacks the Corruption Bay establishment was now funding wildlife trusts and other groups to do the dirty work. I wrote about this just last month, in Wildlife Trusts, Crazy Money, Hidden Agendas.

Quoted in the DP article was Katie-Jo Luxton of the RSPB:

Writing in today’s Daily Post, RSPB Cymru director Katie-jo Luxton said it was in farming’s interest to work with wildlife groups – and take what’s being offered.

Only by doing this can the industry justify its receipt of taxpayers’ money, she said. Otherwise the industry risks losing out in the post-Brexit scramble for public funding.

That sounds like dialogue from a very bad Mob movie! “Dis is da best deal ya gonna get, Louie, take it – if ya knows what’s good for ya!

Also note, another reference to “taxpayers’ money“, and “the post-Brexit scramble for public funding“. They’re all reading from the same script.

Having pissed off many, many people, Luxton left the RSPB towards the end of 2021 and joined BirdLife International.

In four years between 2018 and 2022 BirdLife’s income shot up from £22 million to over £40 million. Another indicator of how governments and corporations are using wildlife groups and conservationists to undermine agriculture globally.

Wildlife trusts here saw their income more than double between 2019 and 2022. But income from ‘Welsh Government’ grants and contracts rocketed from £769,310 to £6,821,800 in the same period.

2019 APRIL: ‘WELSH GOVERNMENT’ DECLARES CLIMSATE EMERGENCY

April 2019 was tough in Wales. I recall people running into the streets screaming, “Lesley Griffiths (and Gary) have declared a climate emergency!

Well, maybe I exaggerate a wee bit. For truth is, nobody really paid any attention to this pronunciamento.

Nevertheless, it was followed, in June, with a ‘10-point Plan To Fund Wales’ Climate Emergency‘ from the Future Generations Commissioner.

As might be expected, planting trees and making life even more difficult for farmers figured big in this mercifully short document.

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The reality is that despite all the grandstanding, no other country on this doomed planet has allowed OPDs, created the useless post of Future Generations Commission, or declared a climate emergency.

There’s a message there.

2019 OCTOBER: ‘WALES MAY BE A SMALL NATION . . . ‘

In full: “Wales may be a small nation, but we have a big ambition“.  The words spoken by Lesley Griffiths, at a Climate Change conference in Cardiff City Hall.

Among the world-renowned climate experts attending was “ITV weather presenter Ruth Wignall“. Further down we read:

For every attendee at the conference a tree will also be planted in Mbale, Eastern Uganda, as part of the Welsh Government’s Wales for Africa programme.

Farmer Nimrod Wambette, from Mbale, will speak at the conference about how his home region is already feeling the impacts of climate change.

After enjoying an expenses-paid trip to Cardiff and a bit of pocket money Nimrod could be guaranteed to stick to the script.

It’s just more of the same, a rather sad and desperate combination of hyperbole and hysteria for which, in kinder and saner times, people would have received treatment. But what really caught my eye was this sentence:

Representatives from Extinction Rebellion will be attending to share some of their ideas about how we should be responding to the climate emergency

When you read that you know the nutters have really taken over the asylum.

2023 NOVEMBER: AGRICULTURE (WALES) ACT 2023

This new legislation is designed to increase the influence of ‘environmentalists’ and ‘conservationists’ over Welsh farming. How do I know? Because the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) takes credit for influencing it.

It’s there, on page 4 of the WWF Annual Report.

We launched and led a successful campaign to help put the climate and nature emergencies at the core of the new Agriculture (Wales) Bill. Through a survey of rural Wales, an open letter signed by more than 50 organisations, a petition and more, WWF Cymru’s Land of Our Future/Gwlad Ein Dyfodol campaign advocated for agroecology to be central to the bill

Those experts on Welsh farming, the British Mountaineering Council, signed the WWF petition . . . but our farming unions did not.

The same WWF that’s in partnership / funded by Tesco which, like other supermarket chains, is screwing our farmers.

Makes you think, eh!

CONCLUSION

And so we come to the Sustainable Farming Scheme, for which ‘consultations’ end on Thursday. Though I suspect that, as with NVZ and other proposals, it’s a done deal.

For Labour’s attitude towards farmers is clear. In recent months we’ve heard Joyce Watson, Mike Hedges, and first minister Drakeford himself express contempt.

To leave us in no doubt about Labour’s hatred for farmers Anna McMorrin, (former?) partner of Alun Davies, called hard-working Welsh farmers extremists, climate deniers, and conspiracy theorists in the House of Commons last week.

I could have introduced other examples of the ‘Welsh Government’s contempt, such as the refusal to do anything about bTB . . . other than to order the killing of cattle.

But I’ve given enough clues for you to guess how I see the big picture.

Wildlife and environmental groups, and more recently the ‘Welsh Government’, tell us that 80/90% of Wales’s land is taken up by farming. There’s a reason for that.

By ‘farming’ they mean livestock farming. But it’s not really about farming, it’s about the land used by farming. The talk of farting cows, dirty rivers, biodiversity loss, etc, are the excuses used to destroy farming and to facilitate a land grab.

Land that’s wanted for carbon capture trees and rewilding. Which go together. Can’t have beavers without trees. And almost all the critters planned to be re-introduced are forest dwellers.

UPDATE 05.03.2024: I’ve been sent a pro forma letter that English ‘environmental’ groups have asked members and supporters to submit to the SFS consultation.

In the first line of the second paragraph: ” . . . upwards of 84% of land in Wales managed for farming”. It really chokes them, all this land – and they want it!

This also explains the involvement of vegans, and the backing for organic arable farming. Meat will be an imported luxury item that most of us will be unable to afford. (We’ll be offered insects, and factory-made ‘meat’.)

The countryside of the future will belong to an elite that will justify its advantages, and the restrictions placed on the rest of us, car-less in our 15-minute, constantly-surveiled cities, as being necessary to save the planet.

Having submitted to this cult-agenda, Labour politicians will destroy Welsh farming as we know it. And with it, a culture, a language, and a way of life.

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2024

Wildlife Trusts, Crazy Money, Hidden Agendas

This is a follow-up to last week’s piece on the enviro-shysters blaming farmers for everything wrong with our rivers, and those behind them hoping to get their corporate claws into farmland.

MERGERS

First, let’s make sure you know where our five wildlife trusts are located. On the image below you can also see the difference in the sizes of the areas they cover.

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Given the other mergers that have taken place over the years it might be worth asking why Montgomeryshire and Radnorshire didn’t join with Breconshire to form a Powys trust? For until 2018 there was a Brecknockshire Wildlife Trust, but then it merged with the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales.

The Wildlife Trusts Wales Ltd, the umbrella body, dissolved itself 22 March 2022 and the individual trusts joined the English Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts. (Trading name: ‘The Wildlife Trusts’.)

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The WTW charity de-registered.

What had been the Welsh umbrella outfit may even have joined the English body as a separate and individual trust. Certainly, that’s what the website seems to tell us.

When the end came for WTW, the funds were distributed to the five trusts, which makes sense. But I was surprised to see an inrush of grants in the final year.

Why was that, and why couldn’t the money have been given directly to the individual trusts? Finally, what the hell is a ‘Strategic Allocation Grant’?

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Anyway, that’s how we got to where we are now, Wales has five wildlife trusts. Also, Wildlife Trusts Wales, existing is some kind of limbo.

WILD THINGS

Let’s stick with finances, which suggest to me that wildlife trusts have recently been ‘repurposed’. Let me try to explain . . .

There seem to be three main sources of income for wildlife trusts: One is donations or legacies, and a bequest of £1,000,000 in 2003 must have helped keep Brecknock afloat for a while.

The others sources are, either the Lottery (which is little more than disguised UK government funding), and grants and contracts from our ‘Welsh Government’. The table below might help.

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Amazing figures. While total income for the five trusts increased by 133% between 2019 and 2023, for the same period ‘Welsh Government’ funding went up by 760%.

In fact it was more. I didn’t include Radnorshire because I wasn’t sure how to express that increase as a percentage. Should it be 579,620%?

Below I use Charity Commission graphs that I find very helpful. (Here in pdf format.) You can see them individually by clicking on these links: North, Montgomeryshire, Radnorshire, Gwent, South and West.

The other tabs bring up further information.

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For the South and West there’s been little discernible increase. There’s been no startling increase for Montgomeryshire or Gwent either.

Though Montgomeryshire has been getting money for old rope through the Wild Skills Wild Spaces project, worth £700,000 and which, from what I can see, does little more than show people how to go for a walk.

The big jumps in funding are clearly in Radnorshire and the north. In percentage terms Radnorshire really stands out. But why?

One reason may be that the local trust now has a farm, Pentwyn, which is planned to become ‘Wilder Pentwyn‘. The Trust is well-favoured in Corruption Bay, and gets visits from Minister for Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths (and Gary?), helping her promote the Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS).

The SFS demands that all Welsh farms give over 10% of their land for trees, and a further 10% for ‘wildlife habitat’. Farmers are, understandably, resisting. And things may be coming to the boil.

But it could get worse, for in its latest annual report the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust (RWT) demands that by 2030: ” . . . 30% of land and water in Radnorshire is managed in a way that creates extensive natural habitats for a wide variety of species”.

How will RWT achieve that target in just six years, considering it owns only one farm?

And how much input did RWT have to the Sustainable Farming Scheme?

Here’s an interesting group photograph. Unfortunately, I don’t have a date, but it can’t be that old. We’ll work left to right:

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Far left is Martin Wilkie, another environmentalist who’s come to tell us how to look after the country we’ve been looking after for over 2,000 years. Wilkie was with the RWT but has now branched out on his own with Wild Borders Ecology.

Next to him of course is Lesley Griffiths.

In the centre is James Hitchcock, RWT CEO.

To his right is Jenny Chryss, an investigative journalist. I’m told she broke with RWT when the Trust became, as my source put it, “corporate shills“. Chryss now fights Bute’s wind farm plans.

Far right is Rachel Sharp, CEO of Wildlife Trusts Wales (WTW). No friend of farmers, that one.

And talking of WTW, let’s not forget Tim Birch. A few years back he was virtually run out of Derbyshire for his extreme views . . . so he came to Wales, where he was welcomed with open arms by the ‘Welsh Government’.

For as I pointed out not so long ago, the ‘Welsh Government’ has regular chats with Extinction Rebellion.

Birch did somersaults when Lee Waters announced the end to road-building in Wales. This legislation was the brainchild of Dr Lynn Sloman, author of ‘Car Sick‘ . . . who lives in London but drives to her holiday home near Machynlleth.

These are the people deciding the future of rural Wales.

They don’t give a toss about us. For them our country is just one big experiment to see how many of their lunacies our idiot politicians will implement.

What we’ll see with Radnorshire Wildlife Trust at Pentwyn (and with others elsewhere), is that nature reserves will have a few sheep, a couple of cows, a rescued donkey for kiddies to pet – and they’ll be hailed as “the future of farming in Wales“.

In fact, that’s exactly what it says on the website: “A new model farm for the future“.

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I believe Radnorshire has been chosen by the ‘Welsh Government’ for a number of ‘initiatives’, and it’s been thrown open to all-comers.

For example, a source drew my attention to Protect Earth, a charity that’s applied for a grant to plant 14,000 trees at Goytre wood, near Knighton. No matter how it’s dressed up, this is just another carbon sequestration scam – and we’ll pay for it!

Protect Earth seems to have other projects in Wales.

Staying in Radnorshire, another new venture is Wilba Conservation Ltd, formed in April 2022, and also into ‘silviculture’. So more carbon sequestration scams.

Wilba is owned by Marches Business Group Ventures Ltd, which itself was formed just a month earlier.

When Wilba need a professional ecologist they turn to Martin Wilkie of Wild Borders Ecology. Ain’t it cosy?

‘Environmentalism’ has become a racket.

As I explained, Wildlife Trusts Wales Ltd was dissolved as a company 22 March 2022, and is no longer registered with the Charity Commission. Yet the website is still active and quotes the defunct registration numbers.

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Rachel Sharp’s LinkedIn page confirms she’s still with WTW, and we know Tim Birch works with her. How many more work for this non-existent outfit?

Seeing as Sharp and Birch serve as the ‘Welsh Government’s attack dogs I’m beginning to wonder if WTW is now ‘in-house’, funded by Lesley Griffiths and her gang.

Here are three questions for The Wildlife Trusts Wales:

  • What is the legal status of Wildlife Trusts Wales?
  • Where does the money to run it come from?
  • Where can I examine the accounts?

WHAT BORDER?

A few years back I was surprised to learn that the Shropshire Hills AONB might be extended into Wales. Here’s one reference from 2019. The article also suggests that the current AONB might be elevated to National Park status.

But if it were to cross the border, where would it go?

To help answer that question I’ve been busy on Photoshop. And when you fit the pieces together it makes a lot of sense, it even ties in with what I described earlier.

On the right in the diptych below we see a tourist map of Shropshire with the AONB shaded in darker green, in the south west. While on the left, I have fitted that map into the wildlife trusts map I used earlier.

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Any extension into Wales would affect both Montgomeryshire and Radnorshire, but more so the latter.

Which I’m sure would make Trust CEO James Hitchcock ecstatic. For he is on record as saying: “We’re in the Welsh Marches. The Marches is a mindset and a cultural identity. Nature does not heed boundaries.”

And let’s remember that before crossing the border Hitchcock was CEO of Herefordshire WT. Which presents a puzzle.

When Hitchcock left Herefordshire that trust was pulling down an average of £1.6m a year. By comparison, Radnorshire wasn’t scraping together a third of that. So it could be argued that Hitchcock took a step down when he started his new job 1 February 2021.

Two months after Hitchcock laid out his pens on the CEO’s desk Wildlife Trusts Wales decided to dissolve itself, with the individual trusts joining the English body. Is that just a coincidence?

No.

I believe Hitchcock was recruited to promote the ‘Welsh Government’s agenda. (Maybe a bigger agenda.) And this explains why he and the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust are feted by Lesley Griffiths and other denizens of the Bay.

Yes, I’m flying a kite by theorising on why Hitchcock came to Wales, but extending the Shropshire Hills AONB into Wales came from somewhere else. And it all ties in perfectly with the ‘Wilder Marches’ project.

But plans for new National Parks and AONBs do not end with a cross-border extension of the Shropshire Hills.

You must be aware of the decision to make the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB into Wales’s fourth National Park. Here are some details from Natural Resources Wales.

An argument I’ve heard used to justify the new NP is that the south east has one with Bannau Brycheiniog; the south west has the Pembrokeshire Coast; the north west, Eryri; so it’s only fair that the north east should also have a National Park.

But if the ‘geographical fairness’ argument has been accepted, then there’ll be just one area without a National Park – central Wales. And why not make it a cross-border National Park?

Co-operation, innit? ‘Hands across the Dyke’ an’ all that.

UPDATE: A comment to this blog reminds us that the area covered by the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust and it’s Montgomeryshire neighbour is almost the same as the area of  Severn Trent Water.

Given that environmental groups and river ‘saviours’ in other parts of Wales have been used (and funded) to blame farmers, in order to cover up for Dŵr Cymru’s spillages and other misdemeanours, might that also be happening in Powys?

CONCLUSION

There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with National Parks, AONBs, wildlife trusts and nature reserves. But they’re no longer just about protecting landscapes, nurturing flora and fauna. They have been politicised, and funded, to serve other agendas.

And the attacks against farming keep coming. Saturday saw the contribution below from Jenny Rathbone MS. And if you want a full tote bag of Green-left hysteria then here it is. And here’s the link to the article she quotes.

She brings Brexit into a truly weird conspiracy theory. Most absurdly she seems to believe that putting our farmers out of business somehow guarantees food security. What do these people have between their ears?

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And what “nature catastrophe“? Things have never been  better. Hasn’t she heard that ospreys are nesting on the farm her government bought for £4.25m?

Though we won’t know if they’re coming back, or not, until Vaughan Gething is safely installed as the new Labour leader. Phew!

But they were definitely there last year, oh yes . . . even though nobody saw them. And no photos or videos have emerged.

By “food security” what Rathbone means is an endless supply of free range radishes from the OPD that daddy bought for Guy and Clarissa.

Rathbone herself is sprung of a wealthy Liverpool family and does well from her cut of the various trusts and other bodies bearing the Rathbone name.

She sits on the Senedd’s Climate Change Environment and Rural Affairs Committee. Her partner, John Uden, was given a no-show job by Bute Energy, the Scottish company wanting to throw up a few dozen wind farms in Wales.

How the other half lives, eh!

I was directed to another Saturday posting on X, this one from Jeremy Clarkson.

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Other people have the same problem, Jeremy. And the explanation is that the ‘Welsh Government’ tells porkies.

Lesley Griffiths, Julie James, Jenny Rathbone et al say they’re saving the planet, fighting a “climate catastrophe“, but in reality they’re forcing farmers out of business so that big corporations can buy the land, and make yet more money, from carbon sequestration, wind farms, and other scams.

With ‘environmentalists’ disguising this land grab and hoping to be rewarded with vast acreages for rewilding and other anti-human activities.

And that’s why only 3% of farmers trust the ‘Welsh Government’. (Though I’m surprised it’s that high.) It also explains why the protests have started.

This dishonest behaviour is not confined to agriculture,

Last year the ‘Welsh Government’ introduced it’s 20mph legislation. The justification was road safety. But Lee Waters and the rest also want to sneak in legislation on noise, and emissions; to make ‘idling’ an offence, introduce road charging.

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‘Safety’ was just the pretty wrapping – it is ultimately about taking away our cars, and keeping us penned in 15-minute ghettos.

Environmentalism and restoring biodiversity are also pretty wrapping for something more sinister. And it’s not just farmers under attack.

The ‘Welsh Government’ is implementing the Globalists’ de-growth agenda. And among other targets this agenda wants to destroy traditional farming and food production because if they can control the food supply, then the Globalists will control the world.

Don’t let it happen. The farmers’ fight is your fight. Stand with the farmers!

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2024

River Action UK Investments Inc

This week’s piece links Globalist corporations, environmental groups, and politicians. What unites this unsavoury trio is their shared desire to destroy livestock farming.

THE CIRCUS COMES TO TOWN

Last week there was a court case brought by the charity River Action UK against the Environment Agency (EA) for not dealing with the problem of chicken manure pollution on the river Wye. Even though the EA is responsible for England, the High Court case was heard in Cardiff.

Which encouraged a bunch of exhibitionists to turn up and piss people off with their ‘street theatre’. Even Morris dancing! Here’s the report from Llais y Sais last Thursday.

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As you can read, the article itself reported: “A large amount of organic manure has been spread over the area . . .

Yet it also reported: “River Action insists a loophole in the law is allowing poultry farming to poison the Wye“.

The first quote makes clear the problem is caused by arable farms using chicken manure as organic fertiliser. Yet River Action UK chooses to blame chicken farms.

Of course, most of these arable farms are on the English side of the border, which makes the nonsense in Cardiff last week even more misplaced.

But why would River Action want to blame chicken farmers when they know the run-offs causing the pollution are coming from arable farms? Stick with me and I’ll explain.

First, let’s see what we can learn about River Action UK.

WHO’S WHO: JAMES EDWARD MACPHERSON

River Action UK registered as a CIO-Foundation 29 June, 2021. Though as you’ll see in a minute, it existed in some form from 01 January 2021.

Though new, it’s expanding, and the most recently filed accounts, for year ending 31.03.2023, showed a healthy income of £485,398 (previous year, £278,080), ‘Cash at bank and in hand’ £249,786 (£48,202), and three employees (none).

That’s quite impressive. So who’s running this outfit?

Well, according to the website, there is a veritable host involved, none of whom seem to be Welsh. Unless we include a Vietnamese woman named Bic Jones, who is said to live in that mythic realm, ‘North Wales’.

Among the others listed I see Jeremy Wade, who is often on the telly, filmed in exotic locales wrassling with big ugly fish.

And of course George Monbiot is there, his icon-like countenance staring back at us planet-destroying sinners.

But we’re going to focus on James Edward MacPherson, who’s bio we find to the right of Wade’s.

Because according to the Charity Commission, MacPherson was the first trustee to be registered, which gives him a kind of founder status, I suppose. So why isn’t he playing a more prominent role in River Action?

Or to put it another way, why was he the founding trustee? Come to that, who is he?

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His Linkedin profile tells us that he’s a big shot in the world of finance and investment. Having worked for Warburg Pincus, Merrill Lynch, and BlackRock.

To bring us up to date . . . he became a non-executive director of J P Morgan Global Growth & Income Plc in April 2021, and since March 2023 has also been a senior advisor at Hambro Perks Environmental Technology.

At the foot of MacPherson’s Linkedin profile we see a kind of ‘Jimmy loves Larry’.

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However you look at it, that’s an impressive CV. But it also suggests MacPherson sees the great outdoors as an investment opportunity.

At the time he became founder-trustee of River Action UK MacPherson was a director of The Investor Forum. And if you want to know the meaning of ‘vacuous’, then just turn to ‘What we do‘.

It seems to be a collection of commercial entities burnishing their environmental credentials by investing in Green stuff. MacPherson ceased to be a director just two weeks after becoming the original trustee of River Action UK.

Before moving on, I’d like to point out that among the Investor Forum Members we see Hambro, J P Morgan, Rothschild, and Rathbones.

The Rathbones are a wealthy Liverpool family, and family members still get their cut from associated companies. And that includes Jenny Rathbone MS.

She sits on the Senedd’s Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee. Her partner, John Uden, was given a no-show job by Bute Energy, the Scottish company wanting to throw up a few dozen wind farms in Wales.

WHO’S WHO: CHARLES BASIL LUCAS WATSON

Described as “founder and chair” is Charles Watson, who you can see in the mercifully short video below. Charles also has an interesting background in the world of business, which we’ll look at in a mo’.

Also in the video is Nicola Cutcher, who made the Rivercide video with Monbiot. Which is of course about the Wye. Delivered with the balance that so delights Monbiot’s fans.

I’m sure that most appearing on the website have only a tenuous connection with River Action. So what do the filings with the Charity Commission tell us?

As we can see above, the trustees other than MacPherson, are: Charles Basil Lucas Watson, who we just saw in the video, and Marina Gibson, who appears on the Advisory Board next to fish-wrassler Jeremy Wade.

Like MacPherson, Watson has a fascinating business background. According to Companies House these are the companies he’s been involved with. Though I can only see one active company where he’s still on board.

Two that he left in May and June 2020 were companies in the Teneo group. And among Teneo’s ‘People’ we find Lord Davies of Abersoch and Lord Hague of Richmond, but resident in Powys.

In 2019 Teneo sold a majority stake to CVC Capital Partners, which has assets of $140 billion (2022).

The third company that Watson left, in May 2020, is Blue Rubicon (Holdings) Ltd. Another part of the Teneo setup. Specialising in ‘PR and Communications’.

The only active company that Watson is still with is The Conduit Connect Ltd.

Conduit Connect directors. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Most of the companies Watson has been involved with have had a US presence on the board. Sometimes more than one American director.

WHO’S WHO: MARINA GIBSON

Ms Gibson is the third of the trustees named on the filings with the Charity Commission. Here’s her Linkedin profile.

And here’s a clip from the River Action website.

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Seeing as Marina Gibson knows her fish, and was taken on as trustee a year after MacPherson and Watson, I guess she was recruited to give River Action some credibility.

Her Linkedin profile says she is a ‘brand ambassador’ for YETI, a big company making ‘outdoor’ stuff. So it would make sense to team up with Marina Gibson. And yet . . .

YETI came knocking at the very time Gibson joined River Action, which was at the beginning of 2021. And YETI is another big US company, headquartered in Austin, Texas. But it does have a UK presence, registered with Companies House.

And although the company’s address is in London, the two US directors give a Bristol address. River Action UK is also based in central Bristol.

And YETI UK must be doing something right, because turnover leapt from £901,389 at the end of December 2019 to £18,712,613 31 December 2022.

WHO’S WHO: THE LOST BEATLE

According to this River Action website article, from two days before Christmas 2021, another trustee was to have been James Wallace. Instead, he became CEO.

Now I can’t tell you much about Wallace except that he’s keen on rewilding, especially re-introducing beavers. His bio on the River Action website makes him sound like Indiana Attenborough:

James is Chief Executive of River Action. He is a naturalist, archaeologist and social entrepreneur and has established enterprises ranging from renewable energy, regenerative agriculture and green finance to ecotourism, nature restoration and deep sea exploration. Prior to helping Charles Watson develop River Action into a national charity, James was CEO and Co-founder of Beaver Trust where he led the coalition to protect and live alongside native beavers.

He’s also concerned with London going short of water. And while the Independent may say this is due to, over-abstraction, over-use and wastage through leaking pipes“, we know from where, in the long-term, London hopes to get its water.

Was it not foretold by Boris Johnson?

SUB-CONTRACTING

In the filings with the Charity Commission I noticed a mention of the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust. So I wondered what it was about.

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Looking at the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust accounts two possibilities present themselves. (Highlighted in green.) First, the Trust is being paid to host a ‘beaver project officer’, and we know that River Action CEO James Wallace is into beavers.

Another possibility is that the payments were connected with a ‘Save the Wye’ petition put out by the Trust. Which, of course, targets chicken farmers.

But if so, why couldn’t River Action have put out that petition itself?

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Talking of money, and as you can see from the panel above, Radnorshire Wildlife Trust received £1,862,146 in y/e 31.03.2023, and its property portfolio qualifies for farming grants and funding from just about everywhere.

By my calculations, in y/e 31.03.2023, Radnorshire Wildlife Trust received £666,103 from ‘Welsh Government’ sources alone. (Highlighted in pink.) Here’s one example.

That’s the state of Wales in 2024. Those who’ve farmed the land for centuries are being driven off, while environmentalists and investors are showered with money to take over the cleared land.

THE GREEN MONSTER DEVOURING WALES

In case you haven’t already guessed, I’ll spell out for you why (and despite evidence to the contrary) River Action UK chose to blame chicken farmers for the pollution in the Wye.

In 1971 the Club of Rome issued an apocalyptic vision of the future dreamed up by a few scientists using ‘models’ from primitive computers. In 1991 the ‘threat’ was re-framed to replace the collapsed Soviet Union.

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Globalists have used that ‘threat’ to bend politicians and populations to their will. Corporations like BlackRock, Vanguard and the rest, want to take over farmland in order to capitalise on that scam.

The land can be used in a number of ways; such as planting trees to grab the carbon offset and other grants they’ve fooled politicians into offering; or putting up wind farms and solar farms, then raking in the exorbitant profits from these unreliable forms of electricity generation.

Here is Wales we see the problem manifest itself in many ways, and in many different places. In Carmarthenshire, a company called Foresight is buying up farms to plant trees.

It should surprise no-one that Foresight is working with BlackRock. Foresight may even be owned by BlackRock.

So unless we believe in Damascene conversions it’s obvious to me that River Action is just another environmental group fronting for Globalist investors seeking to undermine livestock farming in order to grab the land.

The same applies to many other bodies. In Wales we have a constantly growing number of ecological and river groups funded by the ‘Welsh Government’ and other bodies for no reason other than to tell lies about farmers.

And it has to be livestock farming rather than arable farming (for now), because the Globalists have been clever in recruiting vegans.

A few years ago vegans were cranks that nobody paid much attention to, but now fanatical vegans are found leading the fight against livestock farming – and it has nothing to do with pollution, or the loss of biodiversity.

This is why Wales is especially at risk.

Earlier we read that the first trustee of River Action, James Edward MacPherson, works for the giant US bank and investment house J P Morgan.

Last year top man of J P Morgan, Jamie Dimon, came straight out and said private property should be confiscated in order to meet the net zero targets he and the other Globalists had set!

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And he wasn’t talking about Auntie Megan’s back garden.

Outfits like the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust know the score; they accept that the major landowners in a post-farming world will be Globalist corporations, even governments, but these will – they believe – allow window dressing in the form of rewilding and other fantasies.

That’s the deal they’ve struck.

But what of the politicians?

If the politicians we suffer in Wales have genuinely fallen for the Globalists’ climate / net zero scam, then they’re too stupid to hold public office.

If they know it’s a scam but still push on with it because they’re too weak to resist those directing them, then they deserve nothing but contempt.

But if they enjoy the power enforcing the scam gives them over people fighting for their livelihoods and their way of life, then they are, “lower than vermin”.

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2024

Send Us Your ‘Homeless’, Your . . .

This post, the last before Christmas, deals with a ‘consultation process’ that could result in changes being implemented that will prove very damaging to Welsh communities.

PANELS, REPORTS, RECOMMENDATIONS

You may remember that some six years ago I submitted a Freedom of Information request to the ‘Welsh Government’ asking how many homelessness organisations there were in Wales. The answer I got was 48.

It may be more by now. It will certainly be more in the future if the desired changes are made to the legislation relating to homelessness.

Let’s begin in June 2019 with the ‘Welsh Government’ setting up a Homelessness Action Groupto recommend the steps needed to end homelessness in Wales“.

This is the group’s final report to the ‘Welsh Government‘ in July 2020. In it I noticed a reference to the Ending Homelessness National Advisory Board (previously known as the Housing Support National Advisory Board).

This second group also promises to end homelessness. Here’s a link to their riveting report from August this year.

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Let’s return to the Homelessness Action Group. Its report is heavy on recommendations but nowhere could I find the names of those who sit on the group. Nor was it signed off by the chair or secretary.

I eventually found the names of the group members on the website of an organisation called Crisis, the driving force behind the whole exercise. An English outfit that’s done what so many do by renting a cupboard in Cardiff and pretending to be Welsh.

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When I saw the name Jon Sparkes my soul soared, for I hoped it might be a misspelling, and a reference to that great observer of Welsh life who gave us Hugh Pugh, Shadwell, Old Mr Fffff et al; but no, for it was definitely Jon, not John.

Jon Sparkes OBE has moved on from Crisis to become CEO of UNICEF UK.

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Before considering the outcomes of these deliberations and their possible consequences, I want to mention a third assemblage of the wise and the caring. This is the Expert Review Panel, or Legal Reform Panel, announced by Julie James 30 March 2022.

The Expert Review Panel reported to James, Minister for Climate Change, in October. Here’s the report. It was delivered to Chez James because she was the Minister for Housing and Local Government who set up the original Homelessness Action Group back in 2019.

Here’s how Crisis celebrated the Panel’s findings.

Apart from three local authority representatives I don’t see much Welsh representation. It’s the usual melange of third sector chisellers and memsahibs living high on the hog of public funding. (Though don’t get me wrong! – I’m sure they’re all vegans.)

Cardiff University and the Labour party (virtually one and the same nowadays) are also in the mix.

And again, Crisis seems to be playing the leading role in this farce.

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Named with the Crisis Wales policy team is Abi Renshaw. But since October she’s been Business Support Coordination Officer for  Community Housing Cymru (CHC), the umbrella organisation for our Registered Social Landlords (RSLs).

CHC is controlled by the ‘Welsh Government’. Which means that someone who moved from Bristol last year, a woman who knows sod all about Wales, has landed a cushy, well-paid (and almost certainly unnecessary) job, in Corruption Bay.

That’s modern Wales in a nutshell.

On page 88 of the report we read that some on the panel – you can guess who! – wanted to create a new post of Housing / Homelessness Regulator.

I often lie awake at night wondering how we manage without a Housing / Homelessness Regulator, on £100,000 a year. Of course we’d need a Deputy Regulator. And perhaps an Assistant Regulator.

With a staff of 50 . . . until the new department finds its feet and expands.

After all, Wales can afford it.

WHITE PAPER, CONSULTATION

What you’ve read so far leads us to the White Paper put out by the ‘Welsh Government’ on October 10 asking for feedback. So here’s a link to the Consultation on the White Paper on Ending Homelessness in Wales.

As you flick through it you’ll see that it’s laid out in chapters, each one concluding with ‘Consultation questions’.

A number of highlighted ‘proposal’ sections are designed to catch the eye. Here’s a selection, together with my comments:

The first will put you in the mood for the unhinged ramblings that follow. And it would be impossible to surpass this example of what German academics call Bollockssprecht.

. . . the local housing authority should be obliged to ask an applicant from the Gypsy, Roma and Travelling Community whether or not they are culturally averse to bricks and mortar“.

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If they are not “culturally averse“, and they take a Welsh home, does that mean they no longer qualify as members of the, “Gypsy, Roma and Travelling Community” – and can they expect to be evicted?

Come to that, why would anyone from those communities be applying for a home of the hated “bricks and mortar” variety in the first place?

Who could write that bollocks and keep a straight face? But if it was written with a straight face then the poor soul who wrote it needs help.

I’m getting a headache just thinking about it, so let’s move on.

Next up, ‘Intentionality’. A clumsy-looking word that refers to persons making themselves deliberately homeless.

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In practice, changes here could result in someone giving up a secure tenancy in Yorkshire – thereby making themselves intentionally homeless – and then being able to demand housing in Pembrokeshire.

It is a very, very bad idea.

One of the current safeguards against abuse of the system is the ‘local connection’ rule, which says you must have lived in an area for at least six months to qualify for social housing. The qualification period is far too short, but it’s something.

Yet some regard it as asking too much.

This passage from the consultation document exposes the split between third sector chisellers and local authorities. The second paragraph makes clear that the push to drop the local connection rule entirely came from the English cupboard-dwellers in Crisis.

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An existing way of getting around the local qualification rule has been to claim a family connection with the area. I’ve seen this operate.

Someone with no local connection gets housed after claiming some exceptional status, and before you know it, the extended family has moved to the area through being able to claim a ‘familial connection’.

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This proposal seems to suggest keeping the already inadequate ‘familial ties’ rule, but watering it down to where it would be meaningless.

The paragraphs above suggest removing the local connection rule altogether; but something else I’ve lifted, and you can see below, suggests achieving the same objective by a series of changes rather than in one fell swoop.

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I would guess that the reference to “Prison leavers” refers to the massive new prison in Wrecsam, HMP Berwyn, where most of the prisoners are from England. Think how that might work out.

There are clearly three main ‘targets’ where change is sought by the chisellers heretofore mentioned.

Local connection and intentionality we’ve looked at, which leaves access to public funds. The situation at present is that persons subject to immigration control cannot claim public funds unless an exception applies.

A footnote to page 93 reads: “The Welsh Government have (sic) recently launched a supplementary Migrant Victim of Abuse Support Fund, which will be piloted for a year by BAWSO. We intend to use the learning from this pilot, together with the evaluation of the Home Office’s Support for Migrant Victims Scheme to shape the design of longer-term support to meet the needs of migrant victims in Wales.”

BAWSO is an organisation catering for women of colour. It has received vast amounts of funding over the years – over £3m in ‘Welsh Government’ grants and contracts in the twelve months ending 31.03.2022 – and is now a major property owner. Its founder, Mutale Merrill, also has a nice property portfolio of her own.

Though the original, Homelessness Action Group, set up in 2019, in its report recommended, in the section headed ‘Ending Migrant Homelessness’ (page 26), “Providing guidance to local authorities, clearly setting out the duties owed to migrant households with no recourse to public funds.

I suspect that the ‘Welsh Government’ and its third sector cronies are trying to circumvent as much as they can the UK immigration control legislation.

Let’s be clear: Any attempts to weaken or remove the existing requirements can only mean that the intention is to commandeer Welsh housing for people with no connection to Wales. This can only be done at the expense of Welsh people hoping for a home in their own country.

I appreciate that it’s quite a daunting task to read all this stuff, so for a quicker read, here’s the Children’s and Young Person’s version.

BUT WHY?

What we see here is a struggle between three different interests.

First, we have NGO shysters with no commitment to Wales or the Welsh people, concerned only with groups they’ve decided are ‘marginalised’, assorted ishoos, and themselves. These charlatans would flood Wales with ‘homeless’ and others from God knows where in order to increase their funding and their political clout.

Next, we have Welsh local authorities who are in the front line and can see the dangers from further relaxing regulations that are already too lax.

Finally, we have the ‘Welsh Government’, which invariably succumbs to Left-Woke pressure, but doesn’t want to risk alienating local councils too much, virtually all of which are run by Labour or its partner Plaid Cymru.

Though another factor in play with the ‘Welsh Government’ is virtue signalling on the world stage. For Corruption Bay loves to crow about measures it hopes might win plaudits from elsewhere.

We’ve already seen it with One Planet Developments, which has even been noticed by the World Economic Forum.

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Then there was the Well-being of Future Generation Act, and the boast that, “The Act is unique to Wales attracting interest from countries across the world“.

But no other country has copied Wales’ lead. Revealing, that!

And how about the ‘Welsh Government’ being the first in the world to declare a climate emergency? Even though there’s no agreed definition of a climate emergency.

Perhaps the most recent example would be the disastrous introduction of 20mph speed limits. Overwhelmingly rejected in a poll published this week.

And the pattern is repeating itself with what at present is just a White Paper out for consultation. “World-leading“, be buggered!

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But that claim is already being echoed by The Big Issue.

This is no way to run a country; standing on a stage, ignoring your own people to shout over their heads in the hope of attracting the attention of others who really don’t give a fuck what you get up to.

There’s something sad about it. Like a neglected or insecure child desperately seeking the attention and the approval of the adults in the room.

To satisfy these pathetic ambitions the ‘Welsh Government’ might implement the dangerous suggestions of organisations flooding into Wales because they view our country as more ‘receptive’ to their ideas, more ‘manageable’ than England.

I believe a majority of the Welsh public has run out of patience with the virtue-signalling clowns in Corruption Bay.

And increasingly, the politicians there realise it. This explains Drakeford’s departure. Either he realised his time was up, or his colleagues knew he had to go for them to have any chance of saving themselves.

Let’s keep up the pressure.

Make them realise we’ve had enough of grifters living off the Welsh public purse. Enough of perverts being allowed into schools. Enough of the ‘Saving the planet’ bullshit that encourages the exploitation of Wales. Enough of pandering to imaginary or contrived ‘minorities’. Enough of the war on farmers. Enough of the subservience to the Globalists’ anti-human agenda.

They can make a start by rejecting any and all suggestions to weaken the already inadequate rules on who qualifies for housing and other assistance in Wales.

Do that by telling Crisis where they can stick their agenda. And instead, remember our people, who are not “culturally averse to bricks and mortar“.

♦ end ♦ 

© Royston Jones 2023

A Little Place In The Country

In this piece I shall look at what might be a renewed attempt to promote OPDs, or perhaps it’s just another bit of ‘affordable housing’ flim-flam. Maybe a bit of both.

For newcomers . . . the OPD system is unique to Wales; it allows people to build a dwelling in open country as long as they promise to worship the sun, name their sprogs Earthworm and Beelzebub, and grow a couple of carrots to prove they’re ‘farmers’.

I’ve written about OPDs many times. Just type ‘OPD’ in the search bar.

GARRISON OPD

Three years ago I introduced Garrison Farm CIC, you’ll find it in this post, scroll down to the relevant section. The two principals were Ross Edwards and Chris Carree. Carree left the company in June 2021 but Edwards is still there.

I assume Garrison Farm is still a going concern because three new directors have joined since Carree left. Let’s look at them in the order they joined.

First, 04.10.2021, was Kevin John Foley, who’s worked for Admiral insurance for 20 years. Is his employer chipping in?

Next we have, 30.06.2023, Christopher Mark Kelshaw. Another Army veteran.

Finally, we have Michael Paul Smith, 05.08.2023, who is Senior Facilities and Project Officer for Swansea council, and has worked for the council for over 20 years. Swansea council contributing?

The plan is to set up – possibly in Swansea, or maybe Carmarthenshire – a kind of OPD community for former military personnel. That’s the impression I get in this video from February last year. (Watch from 38:00.)

The webinar is hosted by David Thorpe, founder / director of the One Planet Centre and co-founder / patron of the One Planet Council.

Thorpe was clearly recovering from a stroke, which he attributed to ‘climate anxiety’.

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Thorpe has crossed my path a few times over the years as I’ve researched OPDs. And the idea of a community of OPDs is not new. As this tweet of Thorpe’s from January 2018 makes clear.

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Though I don’t know what project was being discussed, or even if there was a specific project mooted. So much OPD discussion is little more than pipedreams.

But to return to Swansea, where there was certainly a project launched that could plausibly be called a community. This was Killan-Fach Eco-farm on the Gower side of the city. (Marginally more attractive than the Port Talbot side.)

I wrote about it in June 2020 in One Planet Developments, just scroll down to the section ‘Farmlets’.

The council knocked it back for a number of reasons. One being that . . .

There is also no evidence of how the development would meet local affordable housing needs

Which tells me that ‘affordable housing’ was one of the angles used in the hope of getting planning consent for an OPD project. This is interesting, because you’ll be reading more about affordable housing, and ‘co-operative social housing’, in a minute.

But before that it might be worth focusing on Ross Edwards a little.

From his Linkedin profile we learn that since January this year he’s been Business Development Manager for Rouute. Here’s the website. It describes its product as a, “road-based energy harvesting system“.

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If I understand it . . . pads or sensors are placed on the road surface and vehicles driving over them generate electricity. Even if it works, we’re unlikely to see this technology in Wales because we’re heading towards a vehicle-free future.

There’s another military connection here at Rouute. For CEO is Antony Edmondson-Bennett, a former army officer who, according to his now disappeared Linkedin bio, is trained in ‘close protection’. (It was there last week when I was researching this.)

The Rouute website announces a link-up with a firm called Carma. Here’s a very short video starring the founder of Carma, Jim Holland.

I found the Carma website easily enough, but there is no company of that name registered with Companies House. It was only by scrolling down to the small print at the bottom that I found, “Carma is a trading name of Rewards.Earth LTD 13315107“.

So let’s see what else we can learn.

I THINK THAT I SHALL NEVER SEE . . . ‘.

The arrangement between the two, as spoken by Jim Holland of Carma, is that . . .

Rouute Technologies Ltd will be planting trees for every single unit they sell in the UK or abroad.

While on the Carma website we read of: “UK trees planted by veterans via The Green Task Force“. Here’s the Companies House entry.

On the ‘Meet the Team‘ page of the website we see: “Our target is to plant tens of millions of trees in the next five years“. That is some ambition!

Rooting around for more information I naturally looked up Holland’s Linkedin page, where we see that he was in the Royal Navy for 13 years. So another military connection.

In this rooting around ‘South Wales’ appeared more than once.

One mention involved Paul Webb of Pontypool, who spent 12 years in the Royal Navy. The other mention was about planting trees for Sussex software company Tillo. On that Tillo website we read:

This March, ten members of the Tillo team will be making their way to South Wales for a day of tree planting in partnership with Carma.

Despite the nonsense about saving the planet, what we’re looking at here is greenwash; and it must be bracketed with outfits like Stump Up For Trees, and investment vehicles like Foresight, buying up Welsh farms.

Too much of Wales is being lost in this way. We don’t need any more of it.

DRAKEFORD SPEAKS!

I’ve got a treat for you now – a video clip of our Glorious Leader! It’s from Tuesday last week (Oct 17).

Drakeford was responding to a completely unrehearsed and piercing question from Huw Irranca-Davies MS. Here’s the transcript.

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Seeing ‘Mike Hedges’ and ‘fascinating’ in the same sentence is quite hilarious.

But here’s where I want to focus, on this section referencing “co-operative social housing managed and owned by the people who live in them“:

And the good news is, Llywydd, that we have a new wave of initiatives being led in different parts of Wales: the Solva community land trust, the Gower community land trust, the Taf Fechan Housing Co-operative in Merthyr—all of them initiatives designed to develop housing that will be run and managed by the people who live in them.

In his ‘question’ Irranca-Davies makes reference to “international youth leaders” in attendance, though God knows why anyone would travel to listen to those clowns. Let alone travel any distance.

THE EXAMPLES DRAKEFORD QUOTED

Drakeford mentioned three examples of co-operative social housing. These were, to quote him verbatim: “the Solva community land trust, the Gower community land trust, the Taf Fechan Housing Co-operative in Merthyr”.

Let’s look at them, working backwards.

Taf Fechan looks like an offshoot of housing association Merthyr Valley Homes. I guess it takes over or runs MVH properties. If so, then it’s not a group of locals coming together afresh to build and manage their own community.

Now let’s turn to Solfa.

The Solva Community Land Trust was launched under the direction of, or with the help of, Planed in September 2019. “Planed delivers sustainable outcomes for communities by a collaborative, people-led approach“.

But I’m not sure what if anything’s happened since.

There’s this report from the Western Telegraph (19.02.2021) telling us that 18 affordable homes will be built on Solfa football field. But were they built?

Adding to the uncertainty is that nothing’s been posted on the ‘News’ section of the group’s website (scroll down) since January 2021. Nothing added to the SolvaCLT Twitter / X account since January 2022. And the latest accounts filed with the Financial Conduct Authority show just a few quid in the kitty.

An internet search turned up this from March this year, which suggests the properties are still not built.

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The third project mentioned by Drakeford was in Gower. And I assume he was referring to Gŵyr Community Land Trust. Here’s the website.

Though it’s registered with Companies House as Gower Land Trust CIC, launched May 2021. And with just a few hundred in the piggy-bank it’s also difficult to see where this is going without a major injection of funding.

But it seems to have a rival in the Gwyr Community Land Trust Ltd, launched August 2023. This is a one-man band run by a local, Roger Brace.

I mention that Roger Brace is local because, looking at those involved in Gŵyr Community Land Trust, I see that a number of them are newcomers to Wales.

Director Adam Jefferson Land was not long ago pushing a similar venture over in Devon. (Fellow-director Niaomh Convery came to Swansea with him.) Another of the three directors, Emily Robertson, came to Wales a few years ago after working for Solace Women’s Aid in London.

Going by the bios and other evidence, this crew is sure to appeal to ‘progressive’ politicians. An impression strengthened by the image used in this WalesOnline report in November 2021.

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THE BIT AT THE END WHERE I PULL IT ALL TOGETHER

OPDs, as originally conceived, never really took off. While throwing up a shack in the countryside might appeal to many, needing to prove that you were living a largely self-sufficient lifestyle seems to have put many off the idea.

To make things worse, the idea was highjacked by unscrupulous, often unsavoury individuals and groups, buying land, often tracts of forestry, then selling or renting plots for people to put up cabins or bring in mobile homes.

The examples below are from Llangynog, Carmarthenshire, and they were sent to me a couple of years back. They’re not OPDs, and they don’t have planning permission.

But those who live in them will employ the OPD defence against council planners.

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I’m not suggesting that Wade William Heames is either unscrupulous or unsavoury, but his Edible Forest projects have come in for a lot of criticism. Much of it from people who’d been tempted to buy in, or even had bought in.

Also, from those threatened with being neighbours to one of his projects.

Which brings me back to Ross Edwards and Garrison Farm. I might accept this project if it was home to Welsh ex-service personnel. But if it’s nothing more than a smokescreen for greenwashing, then I would object.

The video you saw earlier, starring Ross Edwards and David Thorpe was produced by Cwmpas. (Formerly, Wales Co-operative Development & Training Centre Ltd.)

Cwmpas is pushing co-operative and community-led housing. Naturally, I went to the Financial Conduct Authority website to get some info on Cwmpas. Here’s the annual return and accounts for year ending 31.03.2022.

Income of £6.5m from “‘Welsh Government’, European funding, other grants and sources of income“. With two-thirds of that income going on the 100 staff.

And I bet you’d never heard of Cwmpas until you read this. How many more such beasties are out there, lurking in the shadows, devouring unwary maidens and feasting on public funds?

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You’ll see that the Cwmpas accounts were signed off by the then secretary, D Walker. Now Derek Walker – for it is he! – is the Future Generations Commissioner. Does he plan to breathe new life into OPDs in his new role?

Whatever Walker may have planned, Drakeford was talking about more conventional housing. But to understand why we are where we are, you need some background information.

It was always my belief that the left wing administration in Corruption Bay wanted rented housing to be the sole preserve of housing associations . . . with these in turn funded and controlled from the Bay.

But the close relationship that developed led the ONS to decide that Welsh housing associations were, effectively, public bodies. This resulted in them being privatised. Explained here from a ‘Welsh Government’ perspective.

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Welsh housing associations are now building many fewer homes for rent. Some are building none at all. They, and their subsidiaries, are focused almost exclusively on private, open market housing.

This helps explain why some councils are trying to make up the shortfall.

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Adding to the problem is the ‘Welsh Government’s ongoing campaign against private landlords.

Finally, and especially in rural areas, we have the issue of holiday homes, also retirees and others buying property and moving in permanently.

So . . . fewer housing association properties for rent; private landlords quitting the business; councils spending money they may not have trying to fill the gap; politicians tickling rather than tackling the rural housing crisis; to a backdrop of recession, a ‘de-growth’ agenda, and increasing economic hardship enforced by following the lunacies of Net Zero.

There could be a perfect storm approaching . . . and this storm will have bugger all to do with any imaginary ‘climate crisis’.

Which is why I would hope to see official support for local people getting together to help themselves. But the examples quoted by Drakeford do not inspire confidence.

One thing for sure – a government making major expenditure cuts, and councils that are also feeling the pinch, should not be funding good-lifers hoping to settle in scenically attractive areas with which they have only the most tenuous connection.

The only real solution is a comprehensive and national housing strategy. But it would need joined-up thinking and hard work – from a ‘Welsh Government’ that prefers soundbites and virtue signalling!

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2023

The State Of Wales

I’m sorry I haven’t put out anything for a few weeks, but there’s just been too much to write about, and my lack of self-discipline has resulted in me being too easily distracted, too often.

So here goes, again. With a story that in my opinion is not being properly interpreted. What you’re about to read is my explanation for the adoption of the name Bannau Brycheiniog by the national park formerly known as the Brecon Beacons.

BANNAU BRYCHEINIOG

Unless you’ve been trapped underground, cast away on a desert island, or living in Treherbert, you’ll know that the Brecon Beacons National Park recently dropped the English version of its name to be known exclusively as Bannau Brycheiniog.

And the rebranding produced an outpouring of balderdash such as this old blogger has rarely seen.

Though few reached the depth of silliness plumbed by the Park’s chief executive, Catherine Mealing-Jones. The traditional flaming brazier logo had been discarded because it didn’t fit with these times of global warming, she wailed, as she zipped up her Eskimo Nell™ anorak to avoid the icy April blasts.

Here’s the headline from The Times.

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But the ‘climate crisis’ is a global fear campaign engendered by those, in the UN and the World Economic Forum, wishing to control your behaviour.

They’ve influenced governments around the world to brainwash millions of kids. That we then have so many worried or even unhinged youngsters is used as proof of the ‘climate crisis’, when in reality it’s proof of brainwashing.

In the Bannau debate the climate hysteria angle was bad enough, but certain sections of the English media seemed to view the changes as Woke. Here’s the headline from the Telegraph.

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Now you know me, nobody’s more alert to the lunacies of Wokeness than old Jac, but I didn’t quite see it that way. Worse, for some English writers, Wokeness seemed to be code for anti-Englishness.

The Daily Mail viewed with horror the prospect of Swansea ‘becoming’ Abertawe, and Aberdovey changing to the unrecognisable Aberdyfi.

Yet the name change, the rebranding, and the bollocks about climate change, was all a distraction from the real story. So pay attention!

Let’s begin by saying that in my view there’s nothing wrong with the name change. ‘Beacons’ may have been a misnomer anyway. Were there ever warning beacons lit there? If so, who were they warning? And who were they warning against?

Look out! A charabanc from Dowlais is heading up the A470!

And as a regular contact pointed out, few people will use the new name anyway. Partly because, unlike the recent name change of ‘Snowdonia’ to ‘Eryri’, it’s too long, and fewer people speak Welsh in Bannau Brycheiniog than in Eryri.

Though to end this section on a lighter note, our ‘Welsh’ TV newsreaders should provide hours of mirth with their mangled pronunciations of Bannau Brycheiniog.

THE TAKEOVER

For a few years I’ve been writing about the ‘interesting’ people turning up in south Powys, an area almost co-terminus with Bannau Brycheiniog.

There’s a temptation to just dismiss them as good-lifers, but I believe there’s more to it than that. Some are on a mission.

That latter interpretation certainly applies to those involved at Black Mountains College (BMC). An institution founded by people who had previously worked for George Soros, a man viewed by some as a philanthropist, and by others – including me – as someone on a mission to undermine Western society.

Black Mountains College is a member of Soros’s Open Society University Network.

The video below, produced by BMC, makes it clear that the college seeks to enrol those who have already been frightened witless over climate change. Attracting scared kids to Coleg Soros with the promise that they can, “re-engineer the future”.

The video also tells us: “our current predicament is man-made”. And indeed it is.

 

I believe that Black Mountains College now acts as a ‘hub’ or information exchange for climate alarmists, and this role is encouraged – and funded – by Corruption Bay. Which uses the same illusory threat as justification for imposing 20mph speed limits, waging war on farmers, and generally making us poorer, and our lives more miserable.

The hub may be needed because there’s quite a lot happening in the area.

For a start, let’s remember that Gilestone farm is just a few miles from Coleg Soros. Whatever was planned for Gilestone before the fan was overwhelmed with excrement, I guarantee it would have been justified on ‘environmental’ grounds.

Then, earlier this year, the ‘Welsh Government’ made a number of appointments to the (then) Brecon Beacons National Park Authority. This was done in the name of ‘diversity’ and ‘access’, for it seems Persons of Colour and homosexuals had previously been barred from entering our national parks.

Who knew?

Nonsense of course. It was done to give the ‘Welsh Government’ greater control over the policies and direction of the national park.

The last Conservative member of the park authority, Iain McIntosh, has now resigned. Which leaves a national park authority, with control over planning and other matters, and in a constituency represented in London by a Tory MP, and in Cardiff by a Tory MS, controlled by the Labour party.

But this is how Labour has always operated in Wales. And we see it again with yet another new body ‘tacking climate change’.

The latest is the Wales Net Zero 2035 Challenge Group. Below is a panel from the ‘About’ tab. It’s funny. I mean, just look at who’s involved.

Topping the bill is former Labour Assembly Member and Minister for Saving Welsh Polar Bears Jane Davidson. She it was who gave Wales One Planet Developments. Hoping to realise her vision of the Welsh countryside repopulated with frightfully nice English smallholders and OPD dwellers.

Little room for the Welsh in that vision. And there’s little Welsh presence in the group headed by La Davidson.

What we do see is the Green Heath Robinsons at the Centre for Alternative Technology, who’ve received tens of millions of public funding. Our non-Welsh universities are of course represented. As is Coleg Soros, in the form of Art Garfunkel lookalike Ben Rawlence.

Returning to the bigger picture, we can’t ignore Y Bannau, the management plan for the national park. (Full version here.)

(How many such bodies and publications does one small country need!)

It’s a strange document. A mixture of platitudes, anguished concerns for the future, and the kind of ‘Welshness’ John Ford gave us with his adaptation of How Green Was My Valley.

For example, there are regular appearances by an imaginary family named Brychan. They also have impeccably Welsh forenames – Ioan, Mair, Dafydd – in an area becoming less and less Welsh through the activities of the kind of people you’re reading about.

There’s even a Brychan family tree (page 127)! It’s truly weird. Almost unsettling.

Take the ‘Letter from Sian (sic) Brychan to her daughter Megan’, February 20th 2042 (page 75). I suppose some reading this will be reassured to think that we’ll still be writing letters in 2042. Or at least the Brychans will.

In fact, they’re writing to each other all the bloody time. Don’t they talk?

By a painful irony the Brychans are described as, “seventh generation farmers here in the Bannau Brycheiniog” . . . which makes them the very people Green zealots want to remove from the area.

Aside from the Brychans a number of old favourites appear in Y Bannau. Coleg Soros, again; the greenwashers at Stump up for Trees; the secretive Beacons Water Group; and many more favourites that have appeared on this blog.

Perhaps all you really need to know about this management plan is that the foreword comes from Julie James, Minister for Climate Change, and the document first saw the light of day in Corruption Bay, not Brecon.

This is the ‘Welsh Government’s plan for Y Bannau. And if they and their cronies can get away with it, they’ll try it on elsewhere.

There must now be hundreds of Labour-connected enviro-shysters whizzing around Wales – in cars we pay for – attending meetings where they earnestly discuss how to cut emissions and save the planet.

A planet in no danger whatsoever.

UPDATE 03.05.2023: It should go without saying that the new Future Generations Commissioner was at the launch of Y Bannau.

WHO’S A LUCKY BOY, THEN!

The most recent development in the Beacons / Bannau saga came last Friday with a fascinating article in the MailOnline.

Which tells that the genius behind the re-branding was one Jordan Thorne, who is 34 and has a company called Creo, described by the Mail as “a Cardiff-based marketing agency which has in recent years won a series of lucrative public sector contracts”. 

Including of course the Beacons to Bannau gig.

So, what can we learn about Thorne and Creo?

Starting with Creo, there seem to be three companies of that name. They are: Creo Digital Ltd; Creo Interactive Ltd; and Creo Group Holdings Ltd. Here’s the Creo website.

Where we can read Jordan Thorne telling us how he sees himself.

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I get a wee bit queasy when I hear anyone say they’re ‘trapped’ in the wrong body because it puts me in mind of weirdos and perverts who pretend they can’t tell men from women.

But back to more wholesome thoughts.

Creo was acquired, in a management buy-out, just over a year ago, when Thorne and a couple of others bought out founder Richard Ward. Though Ward retains a 25% share.

As you’ve just read, the buy-out was funded by the Development Bank of Wales (DBW). Which is owned by the ‘Welsh Government’. Here’s a link to more details of that act of generosity. Just click on ‘View PDF’ for the details.

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But it wasn’t the first time DBW has looked kindly on Creo, for there was an earlier example in December 2018. (Ditto.)

Let’s just flick through the accounts for the Creo companies, see if anything catches Jac’s jaundiced eye. (Though, actually, they’re skeletal ‘unaudited financial statements’.)

Creo Digital shows total assets of £300,172 but has a net deficit of -£55,253.

Creo Interactive Ltd reveals total assets of £522,250 (previous year £365,043); reducing to net assets of £466,437.

Creo Group Holdings Ltd shows total assets of £375,100, made up of fixed assets of £375,000. Taking out liabilities leaves a net figure of -£4,529.

Control over Creo Interactive is exercised by Creo Digital; and Creo Digital is, predictably, controlled by the holding company. Where the 100 shares are split equally between Ward, Coakley, Thorne and Shaw.

Maybe the fixed asset is the Creo premises in the old St Cadoc’s church at 76 Wells Street, Cardiff. Naturally, I wondered who owned it, so I shuffled over to the Land Registry website.

The freehold title document shows four owners. Two are Ward and Coakley, from the image above. A third is Personal Pension Trustees Ltd. The fourth is Andrew Paul Ashton, who was formerly a director of Creo Interactive Ltd.

Turning to the leasehold document we see the two leaseholders named as “David McLeod Lea and others” and Creo Interactive Ltd.

Lea’s another ‘creative’, who shared the old church premises for a while. He was involved with company Still Works Ltd that went bust a few years back owing Development Bank of Wales money.

I’m a ‘creative’, do you think I could get a DBW loan?

On a more serious note, seeing as it’s wholly owned by the ‘Welsh Government’, is there genuine scrutiny or oversight of the DBW? And while I’m not suggesting that Labour supporters are favoured by the DBW with its loans policy, I can understand why some might think that.

The MailOnline went big on Thorne’s politics, without properly understanding them. Though the boy has said some nasty things. As the headline put it:

Corbyn-loving Twitter troll and Welsh separatist whose vile posts tell Margaret Thatcher to ‘burn in hell’ and call Conservative ministers ‘Tory scum’

Why are modern Leftists so thoroughly unpleasant? So vindictive? So personal? The kindest thing one can say is that it’s infantile. For let’s remember that Thorne is too young to even remember Margaret Thatcher.

Clearly, he’s far left, and was a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn. Then, like a number of other Corbynistas, he turned to Yes Cymru. Though not because he cares about Wales but because he sees Welsh independence as a vehicle for his socialism.

Jordan Thorne wants a Welsh socialist republic. Just like the other Corbyn entryists who nearly wrecked Yes Cymru a couple of years back. (I wrote about it extensively.)

I must admit that I’d never heard of Jordan Thorne. Yet it seems Yes Cymru values him highly enough to have put out a tweet in his defence on Saturday.

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I believe that leaping to his defence can be put down to Thorne being a socialist, and the attack coming from a ‘Tory’ source.

Yes Cymru then tried to reassure us that it is neither left nor right, with this tweet yesterday morning. But just a few hours before, had put out the tweet below.

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What the hell has Welsh independence got to do with illegal immigrants crossing from France to England? The answer should be – Nothing.

But what the tweet above reveals is that whoever wrote it wants an independent Wales with open borders. A socialist Wales. A Wales following the Globalist agenda.

The stances taken by the loudest elements in Yes Cymru; on immigration, gender ID, climate hysteria, ‘White supremacy’, and all the other Woke nonsense only serves to alienate many in a socially conservative country, making independence less likely.

CONCLUSION

Jordan Thorne and Creo got the rebranding contract due to Labour party connections. Thorne joining Yes Cymru may be part of Labour’s infiltration of that organisation.

For there have been other attempts, such as the absurd ‘Labour for an Independent Wales‘ (linked with, ‘DUP for a 32-County Republic’). Plus individual Corbynistas and Momentum members have been identified on this blog and elsewhere.

And let’s not forget that Labour is a control-freak party that wants to run just about every organisation in the country. Labour will often use the Welsh language to placate the easily duped, and to disguise its true intentions.

The name change was the dead cat thrown on the table to distract the media and those who rely on the media to do their thinking for them. It’s really about the takeover of Bannau Brycheiniog by a political party with no democratic mandate.

Done so that it can implement the Globalists’ Net Zero lunacies, and in so doing, ‘re-model’ the landscape, the economy, even the demographics of the area.

Having succeeded in south Powys Labour can now impose its will – and its supporters – on other areas that do not vote Labour. It must be done this way because . . .

Despite its dominant role Labour is a minority party. Winning the votes of less than 20% of the electorate in 2021. This is another reason why the party must rely on corruption and cronyism to exert control. With many of the cronies imported.

In practical terms this insidious spread of Labour influence, this crony shadow state, means that even if Labour was to lose the next Senedd elections in 2026 (unlikely given the rigged ‘party list’ system it wants to introduce) it could carry on running Wales – for it would take years to dismantle the system Labour had created.

Clearly, Wales is not a democracy. Wales is run as a one-party state. Shame on Plaid Cymru for lending this corrupt system a veneer of credibility with its support.

I for one would shed no tears if Westminster chose to restore some semblance of democracy to Wales.

♦ end ♦

 

Weep for Wales 20

Well, here we are again, with the latest instalment in this saga, and the first since Weep for Wales 19 in November 2021. As that title tells you, there were 18 previous instalments (and a few updates scattered about), so set a day aside if you want to catch up with it all.

For this latest chapter I’ve had to buy quite a few documents from the Land Registry, so why not help out by making a contribution? Just click on the ‘Donate’ button in the sidebar. (Believe me, you’ll feel better for it!)

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I should add that WfW 20 contains, inevitably, a considerable amount of update; because without understanding the past it’s difficult to make sense of the present, and impossible to make informed assessments of what lies ahead.

Though I’m hoping this contribution ends the saga; and that the current owners, and future owners, give me no reason to return to Plas Glynllifon.

BACKGROUND

Let’s start with the location. Plas Glynllifon is an impressive old pile found just outside the village of Llandwrog, on the A499, a few miles south west of Caernarfon.

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That said, it’s not that old, having been built in the decade after 1836 for Spencer Bulkeley Wynn, third Baron Newborough. But on the site of at least three earlier houses. (The eighth baron can now be found at the Rhug Estate.)

By one route or another the Glynllifon estate passed to Caernarvon County Council, then its successor authority, Cyngor Gwynedd, before it became the responsibility of Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor, which merged in 2012 with with Coleg Llandrillo and Coleg Menai to form Grŵp Llandrillo Menai.

But soon after the handover in 2001 – maybe even before – it became clear that while a further education college could certainly use the other buildings it had no need of the mansion, and so it was put up for sale.

Which saw the mansion being sold in 2003 to Glynllifon Ltd.

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Though I find it odd that this company was set up as early as 7 November, 2000, by pharmacist Dr Devendra Shah. For this was even before the site was officially handed over to Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor.

Such foresight!

But it was two and a half years after its formation when Glynllifon Ltd bought the mansion for a stated £500,000. Though by then Shah was long gone, and the only director at the time of the purchase was Pravin Gabhubha Jadeja.

Their company is still alive, with four outstanding charges. The long-departed Welsh Development Agency is owed an unspecified amount from March 2004, and Cyngor Gwynedd £130,000 from a month later. (The two may be linked.)

All the various purchases and Land Registry titles involved can be found in this table I’ve drawn up for you. (Available here in pdf format with working hyperlinks.)

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The way this 2003 transfer was done, or perhaps the way it wasn’t done, has caused confusion for many people over the years, myself included.

I say that because if we consult the original Land Registry title number CYM 8531 we see that ‘The Mansion House and Glynllifon Estate, Glynllifon, Caernarfon’, is still shown as belonging to Grŵp Llandrillo Menai. Which is obviously not the case.

Confusion added to by the real title document for the mansion, CYM127981, referring to ‘land adjoining Glynllifon College, Clynnog Road, Caernarfon (LL54 5DU)’.

The separation is explained in this document. (Scroll down.)

I’m sure this mess could be tidied up without too much trouble or expense.

Despite liabilities pushing two million pounds Glynllifon Ltd hoped to give out an impression of liquidity by valuing the mansion at £2,245,053 and claiming a share issue of £400,000.

No one was fooled. And so the company was voluntarily liquidated in April 2016 with the mansion, Plas Glynllifon, now ‘Estimated to realise’ £720,000. A third of the valuation.

What I found strange was that, despite the charges still being outstanding, neither the Welsh Development Agency nor its successor body – the self-styled ‘Welsh Government’ – was listed among Glynllifon Ltd’s creditors.

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Had the debt been written off?

THE ERA OF THE CRIME FAMILIES

Now we enter the glorious chapter when Paul and Rowena Williams appear on the scene. And what a splash they made. Without going into too much detail, the Gruesome Twosome were (among other things) mortgage fraudsters.

They operated like this . . .

Step 1: Buy a property – maybe from a liquidator – for, say, £200,000.

Step 2: Set up a company to ‘buy’ that property, from yourself.

Step 3: Get a qualified (but bent) valuer to say the property is worth £1,000,000.

Step 4: Ask a bank to loan the new company £500,000 to help buy the property.

The bank is happy to lend the money in the belief that even if the company goes bust it can recoup its ½ million loan because it has first call on a property worth £1m.

The most outrageous example would be the Radnorshire Arms in Presteigne. It was claimed that Leisure & Development Ltd, in August 2015, paid £3,487,049 for this modest pub with a restaurant and a few rooms.

(After the collapse it sold, in April 2020, for £240,000.)

By the time Paul and Rowena Williams bought Plas Glynllifon for £630,000 in April 2016, their property empire was in big trouble; the Radnorshire Arms and the Knighton Hotel had both closed suddenly.

With the closures explained by those and other properties having been sold for £11m to their associate, convicted fraudster Keith Harvey Part(d)ridge.

Leisure & Development Ltd went under with 12 outstanding charges against it for various properties, owing millions to the National Westminster Bank. And more again to Together Commercial Finance Ltd.

The panel below, from the Administrator’s report of July 2020, tells us that of £6.2m loaned to Leisure & Development Ltd by the NatWest, only £1.7m was repaid (realised from the sale of the properties against which the loans had been secured), leaving a shortfall of £4.5m.

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But spare a thought for the unsecured creditors, owed £306,961.36, who got sod all; these were the employees, the tradesmen, the suppliers, and all the small people who lost out to Paul and Rowena Williams, and their equally crooked associates.

Plas Glynllifon was bought through a new company, Plas Glynllifon Ltd. Which soon racked up debts with the ever-obliging Together Commercial Finance. Eight charges in all, unpaid when that company went into liquidation in January 2022.

Before liquidation, with the whole scam now being exposed, help arrived in the form of Myles Cunliffe, described at the time, by Paul Williams, as a “finance guy”.

Which would be one way of putting it. For Cunliffe and his mentor, Jon Disley, were certainly involved in money, and on an international scale.

One of their specialities was targeting companies in trouble. How this might have operated, with more on Cunliffe and Disley, in Weep for Wales 11 – 19. They even advertised for struggling businesses through their stable of ‘Goldmann’ companies.

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One of the ‘Goldmann’ companies was Goldmann and Sons (Thailand), which became The European Clothing Company Ltd, run by Danish con man Benny Falk. Being a con man it was inevitable that Benny would get involved in ‘Green’ energy.

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Eventually it all turned to dark comedy, especially after Paul and Rowena Williams fell out with Cunliffe and Disley, with each pair suggesting the other was dishonest. Well, laff!

But the poor buggers working for the new management saw no real change. For just like those the Williamses had abandoned in Powys and elsewhere, the staff at Seiont Manor were left high and dry, unpaid, just before Christmas 2019.

From the Daily Post. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

This hotel was owned by Rural Retreats & Development Ltd, another Williams family venture, with Cunliffe also on board for a while. Although over three years behind with its accounts it’s still active on the Companies House register. Perhaps kept from liquidating itself by creditors.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

We left off with the media telling us the new owner of Plas Glynllifon was David Savage of Dragon Investments Ltd. But as I explained, that was not true.

David Savage and Dragon Investments were simply a front for David Russell and his Property Alliance Group Ltd.

The first development to report is that Seiont Manor and its ‘gatehouse’ property, Llwyn y Brain Lodge, which were owned by Paul and Rowena Williams and then the Disley-Cunliffe gang, have now been separated from Plas Glynllifon. These properties are situated just outside the village of Llanrug, north east of Caernarfon.

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They remain in the possession of David Russell, through Caernarfon Properties Ltd. Which is owned by Dragon Investments Ltd. With Dragon in turn owned by Russell’s Property Alliance Group Ltd.

Though the ever-loyal front man David Savage is the only director of both Caernarfon Properties and Dragon Investments.

As I explained in the table I drew up, the mansion itself was owned by Cowm Top Properties, a company launched by David Russell in September 2014.

He was relieved of his post by Savage in July 2020, and Savage left two years later to be replaced by Christopher Stephen Nedic. Which means that Nedic is now the owner of Plas Glynllifon.

So who is he? Well, the Nedic family, headed by Christopher Stephen Nedic, seems to have a few different lines of business.

On the one hand, they have a heavy haulage operation in Wolverhampton, with Nedic Transport & Plant Hire. Here’s the Companies House entry. But then there’s Shadwell Park Estates, which is a quarrying company.

And there are a few of what appear to be caravan / chalet sites, such as Cotswold Grange. Perhaps also Nedic Park Estates Ltd. Though the two Nedic sons seem to have behaved irresponsibility on at least one occasion.

Finally, there are the film companies. Arcade Films 4 LLP, Chelmer Films LLP, and Swale Films LLP, all of which Christopher Stephen Nedic has been involved with for over a decade.

The address given for these companies is, ‘The Khyber, Holyhead Road, Kingswood, Albrighton, Wolverhampton’. I couldn’t find that establishment, but I did find an Indian eatery on Waterhouse Lane, off Holyhead Road, named The New Khyber. A successor?

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I have no idea what the Nedic family’s plans are for Plas Glynllifon, but last June they set up a new company, Glynllifon Estates Ltd. So, given their established interest in caravans and chalets, maybe this is the future planned for Plas Glynllifon.

Watch this space?

God knows, the old pile has suffered enough indignities in recent years, often at the hands of television. Also social media. The latter culprit includes this 37 minutes of faux terror and bullshit by some silly buggers with American accents making money out of videos for even sillier buggers.

We can but hope that the future for Plas Glynllifon is an improvement on the recent past. But this cynical old bastard is not optimistic.

And the problem is not limited to Glynllifon, for there are big, unloved old houses all over Wales.

One in the news of late stands where once stood a house that Glyndŵr knew. For Nannau is the estate where legend says the great man killed his traitorous cousin Hywel Sele, and stuffed the body into a hollow oak.

But Nannau is owned by somebody in England who doesn’t care, or doesn’t have the money to save it, and so it’s falling down.

It Nannau had belonged to Horace FitzLandgrabber, and if he had killed and cleared the Welsh off the land, no doubt our ‘Welsh Government’ and Cadw would be throwing money at it.

Maybe if the name was changed to ‘Gilestone‘ . . .

DIGRESSION-CONCLUSION

We have a problem in Wales that too many people would rather ignore. That many have never even thought about. I’m referring to the ownership of domestic property and smaller commercial buildings, also farms and land.

So many issues could be resolved by addressing that problem with a simple piece of legislation. Legislation that has been introduced in other countries.

A recent example is the Balearic Islands, part of Spain with a devolved administration. This interesting article cites both independent states and sub-national territories where such legislation exists.

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There is a system in the Channel Islands that divides the housing market into ‘Open’ and ‘Closed’ sectors. A majority of domestic properties is in the ‘Closed’ sector, which is restricted to local buyers.

To qualify for ‘Entitled status’, ‘You must live on Jersey for a combined period of 10 years before you’re 40’. Which seems designed to rule out retirees.

By restricting ownership of domestic property and smaller commercial property to permanent residents of Wales, with a qualification period of 10 years, we could, in one fell swoop, solve a number of current problems. Such as . . .

  • The ‘Welsh Government’ has empowered councils to increase council tax on holiday homes to 300%. But even if raised to 300% these new provisions will only reduce the numbers of holiday homes not eradicate them altogether. 
  • A bigger obstacle to Welsh people being unable to buy a home is those moving to Wales as permanent residents. With too many of these falling into the older age brackets, with the inevitable strain on our NHS and other services.
  • Thanks to climate hysteria and the scams it encourages we see Welsh farms bought by hedge funds for ‘greenwashing’. Welsh farms now owned by money-shufflers who can’t even pronounce the names of those farms! 

I can already hear the Conservative and Unionist Party, and other defenders of England’s hegemony, tut-tutting and dismissing the very idea. One argument I guarantee we’d hear would be that the property market would collapse.

But it wouldn’t. Because its effects would be gradual. And in some areas of the country the impact would be minimal.

What’s more, in the early stages few would notice because no one would be thrown out of their home, or off their land. And we could allow properties to be passed on to (inherited by), but not sold to, non-residents.

Flexibility would be one of the keys to making the policy work. Flexibility without losing track of the objective.

Obviously, domestic property prices would fall, allowing many Welsh families to buy a home. Perhaps their first home. Who could object to that?

Just think, Gwent could be saved from degenerating into the outer suburbs of Bristol. And the north would be spared any more commuter communities linking to the A55.

But legislation such as I’m advocating would obviously have its greatest impact in our rural areas, where the indigenous Welsh population is on the point of becoming a minority. In some areas it’s passed that point.

Whereas in our cities, major towns, and post-industrial areas, where property is more affordable, and incomes generally higher, there would be less impact because there’s less cross-border ownership.

I’m open to suggestions, even criticism; but let’s at least debate the idea.

If nothing else, it would mean that I wouldn’t have to write about any more of the con artists, money launderers and other crooks I’ve written about over the years. I could instead turn my hand to embroidery.

Which is what I’ve always wanted to do . . .

♦ end ♦

 

© Royston Jones 2023


Clear Water, Poisoned Debate

For decades we’ve been hearing that water is a diminishing commodity, and with an ever-expanding global population we’ll soon be fighting over water resources.

Though these predictions often came from the same people who at different times – or even simultaneously – could predict icebergs in Swansea Bay and no snow on Yr Wyddfa.

It was the usual nonsense from the usual sources.

And yet, in Wales now, water is being used as a weapon. Not by us against our village-drowning neighbours but by politicians and others, supposedly serving Wales and Welsh interests, against a section of the Welsh population.

If that necessitates twisting the facts, and taking control of certain bodies, either through funding or placement of personnel, then so be it.

This is another big one, so I’ll say what I always say: Don’t rush it, take your time, savour it, and you’ll enjoy it far more.

BULLSHIT FOR WHICH BULLS ARE BLAMELESS

It’s been accepted for many years that there might be a problem with nitrate discharges, from some dairy farms, mostly in the south west. This highly localised problem explained why Natural Resources Wales classified just 2.4% of Welsh farmland as ‘vulnerable’.

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When asked to revisit the issue NRW produced a report in September 2016 that (on page 13) suggested, ‘Adoption of the targeted approach would mean an increase in the total area designated from 2.4% to approximately 8% which includes those areas newly identified by NRW’.

A targeted approach was obviously the sensible and fair way to go, but then the politicians got involved. One politician in particular.

The elections of May 2016 saw Lesley Griffiths re-elected for Labour in Wrecsam. Her Senedd bio then tracks her meteoric rise to voodoo doll status in farmhouses across the land. (Soon to be accompanied by Gary.)

First, she was made Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs. In November 2017 the job title changed to Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs. Then, 0n 13 December 2018, she was handed her baton as Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs.

Despite the facts of the matter, and the sensible proposal from NRW, just before Christmas 2017 Lesley Griffiths declared that the whole of Wales was at risk of NVZ pollution. Using this to announce an all-Wales regime.

After a year of being fed a diet of undiluted pollution La Griffiths announced in November 2018 that her mind was made up and she would introduce what she considered to be the necessary legislation.

After a slight delay due to Covid the implementation date was set for April 1, 2021.

But then things started to go awry for the so-called ‘Welsh Government’.

Despite an (unsuccessful) appeal by NFU Cymru the debate was noticeably widening as others took an interest, and could see how disproportionate to the scale of the problem Cruella de Griff’s proposals were.

For in addition to the all-Wales approach the acceptable nitrogen level in Wales was to be 170kg/ha, compared to 250kg/ha in England and Scotland. This was so obviously unfair, in a country where farmers are, on average, less affluent than their English and Scottish counterparts, that it tended to give the game away.

Because there would of course be a financial burden for farmers. Though I’m sure that those trying to put livestock farmers out of business knew exactly what they were doing

The backtracking had begun. With Plaid Cymru taking the credit. For despite being Labour’s partner in a coalition that dare not speak its name, the reaction from Plaid’s large rural vote was giving the party’s leaders serious concerns.

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A Plaid Cymru source said their party had pushed Labour ministers to act‘.

Some cynics – not me! – might wonder what Plaid has offered in return.

The NVZ proposals couldn’t withstand scrutiny from any fair-minded observer because they had little to do with pollution. NVZ was a stick with which to beat livestock farmers, hopefully putting many out of business to release land for other purposes. Land coveted by many in the offstage chorus influencing our Lesley.

To support and legitimise this attack on livestock farming we were expected to believe that only farmers are responsible for polluting our waterways and seas.

Which meant that Dŵr Cymru (Welsh Water), the worst culprit, got a free pass. How did that come about?

All will be explained later in this piece.

THE MEMSAHIBS OF KNIGHTON AND CONSIDERATIONS OF CHICKENSHIT

This section is part digression, part lead-in.

A group that has figured on this blog a few times is a coven of Green-Left-Woke crones who’ve imposed themselves on the border town of Knighton. There are a few men associated with them, perhaps even more unhinged than their female comrades.

Catch up with them in Colonialism in microcosm, or Knighton.

They perform the full far left agenda:

Rather than doing the honest thing and just staying away altogether on Remembrance Sunday they insist on making a nuisance of themselves by placing wreaths of white poppies on the war memorial. (Dressed à la mode Michael Foot.)

Are they reprising a scene from a horror movie? Click to open enlarged in separate tab

You will not be surprised to learn that these biddies have formed a Knighton and District Refugee Support Group. Reluctance to welcome with open arms complete strangers from far-off lands will see you labelled a ‘racist’.

An epithet also hurled at those not condemning the fascists of the Israeli state.

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The gang’s environmental credentials are on extravagant display with Sustainable Food Knighton. Which, in practice, is little more than a vendetta against a local chicken farm.

The attack is mounted on two fronts. One, it’s cruel to the chickens. Two, intensive chicken farms are a big, big source of river pollution.

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Without being able to consult the chickens it may be impossible to address the first point. The second is more relevant to this article because it’s used over and over again by environmental Non-Governmental Organisations (eNGOs).

Especially those that allege chicken farms in Powys are severely damaging the rivers Usk and Wye.

But what are the facts?

Well, for a start, there are more, and bigger, chicken farms in Shropshire and Herefordshire, as the map below shows. So if chicken shit is a problem in Wales then it could well be coming from over the border.

Then again, it might not be a problem at all. Or, it’s a problem that’s being exaggerated.

Knighton is circled in green. Note on which side of the border the chicken farms south of the town are to found. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

For anecdotal evidence suggests there are even more chicken farms in the Severn catchment area, the Trent catchment area, etc. But there are far fewer complaints from these areas.

Which could mean that either shit from Welsh chickens is particularly toxic – in which case every one of the little buggers should be killed immediately! – or there’s a purpose behind the lying.

It’s the latter.

A suspicion reinforced by the Environment Agency recently concluding that the bigger culprit in the Wye catchment is arable farmers, who are mainly found on the England side of the border.

Confirmed by this graphic released by the Environment Agency relating to the Wye in England. Note the section I’ve highlighted in the second level. The tributaries mentioned are also in England.

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Something also worth contributing here is that arable farmers use chicken manure as a fertiliser.

So even if chicken shit is the problem, it’s more likely to come from over the border; either directly from chicken farms or indirectly from arable farms.

And there’s yet another consideration to take into account. Certain interests are pushing us towards a meat-free diet, and in this scenario many view arable farmers as part of the solution. Which might explain them also getting a free pass.

The suspicion of an anti-livestock farming agenda being served was strengthened last month by a ‘report’ on BBC Wales about pollution on the Wye. One of the most biased pieces of television journalism I have ever seen.

Let me explain why I say that:

  • Passing references were made to sewage, but we were left in no doubt that the real culprits are farmers.
  • But only livestock farmers, with the programme focusing on one particular chicken farm.
  • There was no reference to the fact that the Wye is a cross-border river.
  • Despite being fronted by Wyre Davies the star of the show was Gail Davies-Walsh, who became CEO of Afonydd Cymru Cyf on February 22 2021, and secretary on March 11.
  • Afonydd Cymru (Rivers of Wales) serves as the umbrella body for the more local river groups.
  • Her Linkedin profile (here in pdf) tells us that until September she was Head of Natural Capital for the Wye and Usk Foundation‘. ‘Natural Capital’ seems to be code for, among other things, greenwashing. Certainly tree planting.
  •  Revealingly, Linkedin also tells us that Gail Davies-Walsh worked for Dŵr Cymru for almost 14 years, up until January 2020.
Gail Davies-Walsh. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Gail Davies-Walsh took the idea for the programme to the BBC. Which would raise more concerns about linkages, and influence.

Another who joined Afonydd Cymru recently is Harriet Alvis, (Linkedin in pdf) CEO at West Wales Rivers Trust, and co-editor of FISH, the magazine of the Institute of Fisheries Management.

More on both in a mo.

And the situation herein described is very much the same with more terrestrial eNGOs. ‘Environmentalists’ opposed to livestock farming take control of existing groups or set up new ones – and never go unfunded again!

A phenomenon reported on this blog many times. Try Enviroshysters flock to Wales for easy money, Invasion of the Enviroshysters (PG), or Back to the Land!.

TINKLING RILLS AND STREAMS OF POLLUTING CASH

Time now to turn our attention to the increasingly well-funded bodies looking after our various rivers, and we find new ones forming all the time. With the money available perhaps explaining the proliferation?

Here’s a table I’ve draw up, in pdf format (with working links) that I hope lists all the various river outfits operating in Wales. If you know one I’ve left out, then please let me know.

You’ll see that some are specific to one river while others are more general, some even claiming to be national in their scope.

Let me say at the outset, there are many genuine people involved in river trusts, boards, etc; not least, anglers, whose only concerns are for the health of our rivers, fish stocks, and other environmental matters.

But unfortunately, there are others, either looking out for themselves, or involved for a different purpose.

Go through the table I’ve linked to, particularly the ‘Comments’ section, and you’ll see substantial inputs of official funding in recent years.

Take the North Wales Rivers Trust for example. Total income in the year ending 31.03.2022 was £241,790. Of which £241,690 came in ‘Welsh Government’ grants.

From the Charity Commission entry under ‘Financial history. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

And it’s a similar story with other river bodies. Though much of the increase, instead of being shown as coming from ‘government grants’ or ‘government contracts’, is disguised as, ‘Income – charitable activities’ on the Charity Commission entry.

Such as here with the West Wales Rivers Trust. The Charity Commission graph shows income soaring from just £3,750 in y/e 31.03.2017 to £541,140 for y/e 31.03.2021.

That is one hell of a jump in just four years! One way of interpreting the big increase is the ‘Welsh Government’ – or Dŵr Cymru? – paying CEO Harriet Alvis’s salary.

Because don’t you find that strange?

A river group that has meandered happily along for 15 years suddenly needs a CEO.

Equally thought-provoking is Gail Davies-Walsh becoming CEO of Afonydd Cymru.

Making me wonder if Gail Davies-Walsh and Harriet Alvis were ‘placed’ in the West Wales Rivers Trust and Afonydd Cymru to push the ‘Welsh Government’s anti-farming campaign, and also to protect Dŵr Cymru.

For there is a certain ‘circularity’ to it all. ‘Welsh Government’ and Dŵr Cymru would no doubt explain the increase in funding by the ‘state of the rivers’, which then justifies the attack on livestock farming.

A ‘circularity’ made even more suspicious by the fact that these vast increases in funding occur at exactly the same time Lesley Griffiths was hatching the absurd and punitive NVZ legislation.

If I’m wrong then maybe someone can give another reason for our river bodies being showered with cash from 2016.

Back to the riverbank . . .

On the other side of the country the wealthy Wye and Usk Foundation’s income from government grants and contracts jumped from £404,950 in 2018 to £934,670 in 2020.

Not far away is the South East Wales Rivers Trust, which also saw its income more than double between 2017 and 2021. Explained as funding from, ‘Natural Resources Wales, Welsh Water, Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, Welsh Government with European Funds’.

The ‘disguised grants’ I referred to earlier was money paid to Afonydd Cymru Cyf and then distributed to the individual water groups. Afonydd Cymru’s own accounts tell us ‘Income from government grants’ jumped from zero in 2019 to £894,700 in 2020.

Afonydd Cymru may operate like the Wales Council for Voluntary Action does in relation to the third sector. That is, acting as a conduit for ‘Welsh Government’ funding in the hope of disguising the source of the funding.

But the money filtered through Afonydd Cymru is small beer compared to the £13.8m up for grabs in the Four Rivers For Life project, administered by Natural Resources Wales. (Though £4.5m actually goes towards ‘quaking bogs’.) The four rivers being the Tywi, Teifi, Cleddau and – it should go without saying – the Usk.

This might explain the recent formation of the Save the Teifi campaign. Though information is difficult to find. For example, the social media links at the foot of the website home page don’t work.

This report in the Tivy-side Advertiser in August links the group with Ffynnone-Community Resilience and mentions ‘spokespersons’, but gives no names. Is it a secret society?

The only name mentioned in the Tivy-side article is ‘Councillor John Davies’. This must be ‘John Cwmbetws’, of Bute Energy’s Welsh Advisory Board. Bute being a Scottish company that wants to build twenty or more wind farms in Wales, some with the tallest towers yet seen on land.

Well connected, is John. In Llanelwedd, Corruption Bay, and other places.

The Ffynnone group might be trying to stay anonymous, but one name has been given to me. It’s Jessica McQuade who, I’m told, not long ago moved to Llandudoch, across the Teifi estuary from Aberteifi.

Her Twitter account confirms the link with the Save the Teifi campaign.

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What struck me was that McQuade and Harriet Alvis, the CEO at the West Wales Rivers Trust and, since last month, a director at Afonydd Cymru, are both followed by the Brecon Beacons Mega Catchment.

This is the group created by Dŵr Cymru following its link-up with the Watershed Agricultural Council in New York State, in the area that supplies New York City with water. I wrote about this group in my previous post. It’s another outfit with very little information publicly available.

But what is McQuade’s and Alvis’s connection with this Dŵr Cymru outfit? And with Dŵr Cymru itself?

Jessica McQuade’s Save the Teifi / Ffynnone group has already received ‘Welsh Government’ funding. She could be another one ‘placed’ to push the ‘Welsh Government’s anti-farming campaign / WEF’s Agenda 2030 and, of course, to shield Dŵr Cymru.

As I suggested earlier, all the money recently being splashing around, with a veritable tsunami of new funding approaching, may also explain the new groups springing up. Here are some more.

There’s the Cardiff Rivers Group, containing a few Sherman luvvies, set up in October 2020. Bay-watchers may recognise one or two of the trustees.

Then there’s the Welsh Rivers Union, which has a website, and a Twitter account from February last year, but seems to be unregistered as either a company or a charity.

Next, there’s the Wye Salmon Association, whose Twitter account started in September last year. This too seems unregistered.

Finally, and most recently, there’s Friends of the Upper Wye. Which registered as a charity in March this year.

Let me conclude this section with a tweet from Jessica McQuade who, you’ll remember, is busy with the Save the Teifi campaign since moving to north Pembrokeshire, but whose day job is with the World Wildlife Fund.

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Now why would the WWF be interested in food? And trust me – that is human food she’s referring to.

Because, gentle reader, the WWF is no longer about saving pandas; it is a full-on, far left organisation totally committed to the anti-farming and the anti-human – ‘reduce the population’ – agenda.

And also believe me when I tell you that the WWF wields great influence with the ‘Welsh Government’, and in the Bay more generally.

‘FIRST THEY CAME FOR THE FARMERS . . . ‘

The ‘Welsh Government’ – and, indeed, the Bay establishment – has bought into the UN’s Agenda 2030 and the World Economic Forum’s Great Reset.

Both posit that burping, farting farm animals are destroying the environment; so we should switch to eating plant-based foods, insects, and gunge marketed as ‘artificial meat’.

Obviously, this will mean many fewer livestock farmers in Wales. Perhaps none. But that’s no problem, because the land vacated is already earmarked for tree planting, rewilding, conservation projects and other activities from which Welsh people will be largely excluded unless needed for window-dressing.

To facilitate this clearance programme livestock farmers must be blamed for things that are not their fault. This frees Dŵr Cymru from criticism. An objective easy to achieve given the influence the water company wields within ‘Welsh Government’.

To ensure that everyone sings from the same hymn sheet the ‘Welsh Government’, Dŵr Cymru and other official bodies are more than willing to fund assorted eNGOs which, in return, may accept ‘appointees’.

What I’m alluding to is little different to Bill Gates funding the BBC, the Guardian, New York Times, CNN and countless other media outlets around the world. He doesn’t do it in defence of the truth, he does it to ensure the media he funds will promote his and the World Economic Forum’s agenda.

‘He who pays the piper calls the tune’.

Headlines like this, frightening people into obeying the WEF agenda, don’t come cheap. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Wales, being a poor country, and a corrupt, one-party state, with no effective political opposition, and no functioning media, is especially vulnerable to powerful forces seeking to impose an agenda.

If farmers can be defeated, and the food supply controlled by forces you will have difficulty identifying, let alone challenging, then we will have already lost. Because who controls the food supply controls the world.

It’ll be too late to complain when your car is confiscated, or when your access to your bank account is blocked because you said something on social media that somebody, somewhere, didn’t like.

So stand with the farmers, and stand up to those who threaten them. Because those who threaten the farmers also threaten you.

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2022


Miscellany 28.09.2022

I hadn’t planned on putting out a post this week. But people contact me and say, ‘Have you seen this, Jac?’; and most of the time I can politely respond and let it pass. But now and again I get a clutch of reports or leads that are worth bringing together in a post like this.

It’s big, 4,500+ words, but as I always say, you can take it a section at a time.

And because it’s so big, and it’s taken so much work, don’t expect anything next week.

SYCHARTH UPDATE

The previous post was about my visit to Sycharth on September 16, and my disappointment with state of the site. Which prompted a reader to write to Cadw, the agency responsible for conserving our heritage.

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Here are the points he raised with Cadw:

  • The stile to Sycharth is in a poor condition.
  • Car parking is insufficient.
  • The whole site is in a mess. An hour with a strimmer would do wonders.
  • The information board does not mention much of  Cymru’s history.
  • Its neglect is a travesty and an insult to our past and heritage.
  • Utterly shameful behaviour on your part.

To which Cadw responded with this. Which tells us the site belongs to the Llangedwyn Estate. More particularly, Nicholas Watkin Williams-Wynn.

A couple of phrases from the Cadw response are worth focusing on.

‘Sycharth  . . . forms part of a working tenant farm under the Llangedwyn estate with permissive public access and parking at its discretion’.

‘Cadw installed the car park (four cars max) and access works (stile?) in 2010-2011 but their maintenance is again the responsibility of the owners.’

So it’s up to the Llangedwyn Estate whether people are allowed to visit Sycharth. And could, presumably, block public access. It’s also the Estate’s responsibility to maintain car parking and access. To judge by what I saw there, the Estate is doing its best to discourage visitors.

Is this some old dynastic feud being played out in the 21st century?

So I ask again: If the so-called ‘Welsh Government’ can find £4.25m to buy Gilestone farm for an English music festival, for purposes that are yet to be explained, why can’t it find the money to buy a site of national if not international importance and maintain it adequately and respectfully?

FREELOADERS IN FREEPORTS

Freeports are back in the news. And it seems Wales is getting one. Either in Holyhead or Milford Haven and Port Talbot.

Let’s start in Holyhead.

Now the Conservative MP for Ynys Môn, Virginia Crosbie, is a big supporter of freeports, and has staked her reputation on turning a run-down ferry port into a beacon of global trade that will bring into Caergybi the riches of the Orient, the gold of the Indies, and of course – Guinness from Dublin.

Here she is setting out her ambition in a mercifully short video.

Though in truth, freeports rarely live up to their billing. And often involve very murky dealings. Private Eye has been following the evolution of the Tees Freeport in north east England. And produced the report below in the issue before last. (Available here in pdf format.)

N.B. Political donations are not to be confused with bribes and backhanders; and if friends of London politicians get juicy contracts then it can only be because their firms are best able to deliver.

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Tees-side is a heavily built-up area, with a population pushing 380,000. And after the loss of its heavy industry – particularly steel – there is a widespread perception that the area is ‘owed something’.

Holyhead, by comparison, is a small town, with not much to speak about other than the ferry port to Ireland.

Until it closed in 2009, a major local employer was the Anglesey Aluminium smelter, with its private jetty. The plant received its electricity from Wylfa nuclear power station, some 15 miles away, another major employer that is now gone.

Roughly one thousand jobs paying good wages lost, but never mind, we’ll obey those who know best and stick in a few wind turbines and wave machines – plenty of jobs and unlimited cheap energy. Not.

The vacant site was taken over by Anglesey Aluminium Metal Renewables Ltd which in January 2016 became Orthios Power (Anglesey) Ltd. The site eventually being used for a plastics-to-oil operation.

But this folded earlier this year, with debts estimated at some £200m. And the end came suddenly, certainly for the staff. I’m told there was just a 10-minute warning not to start the next shift!

There are many Orthios companies listed with Companies House, none going back further than 2009 and most formed in the past three years. The ultimate holding company seems to be Orthios Operations Ltd, formerly Orthios Group (Holdings) Ltd.

So what happens now?

Well, the old smelter site has been bought by ferry operator Stena, and this is how a source on the island explains it . . .

‘Now of course they (Stena) can shift the dockside car parks elsewhere leaving nice waterside development plots. Just the sort of place to build a cable plant so they can load directly onto ships. The sort of cable company Virginia Crosbie MP was courting … the one owned by a Tory donor’.

He’s referring to Tratos, another local company hoping to benefit from offshore wind farms. Well, when I say ‘local’, it might be local if you were living in Italy. As the report makes clear.

From North West Wales Conservatives website. Click to open enlarged in separate tab.

This further report will explain a bit more of what’s going. Though you may not need to read beyond the headline: ‘Holyhead could get 300 cable jobs if area gets freeport status – says firm run by Tory party donor’.

Not much more to say really. Stena is leading the Freeport bid, and now Stena is pulling out the stops to get an ‘anchor’ company located in Holyhead. As is the local MP.

To finish this piece on Holyhead I have to mention Jake Berry MP. Now Jake is MP for a constituency in north west England, but he owns a number of properties on Ynys Môn. During the Covid lockdown it was rumoured that Virginia Crosbie was living in a property owned by Berry.

In addition to his post as party chairman, new Prime Minister, Liz Truss (I know you’re all impressed!), has made Berry Minister without Portfolio. Which may not sound much, but it kind of gives him a free hand.

That appointment was announced September 7. The day before the announcement, Berry resigned from the Northern Research Group Ltd (northern English Tory MPs), where he held the controlling interest. Also from Ford Bridge Farm Ltd.

Now why would he do that?

Ford Bridge Farm is of course an English rendering of his – or his wife’s – Rhyd y Bont farm at Rhoscolyn, on Holy Island. This is the smaller island, off the main island, and where Holyhead is located. Which means that Jake would be very close should the freeport materialise. A neighbour!

Rhyd y Bont circled. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Does Jake Berry anticipate benefitting in some way from a freeport at Holyhead? Or am I being too cynical? Cynical! Moi!

By comparison, the southern rival seems far less well advanced. In fact, we could be forgiven for thinking it’s hardly off the ground. This report would suggest that it was launched as recently as last week.

Though this piece from November 2020 suggests the Port of Milford Haven has been thinking about a freeport for some time.

Milford Waterway. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

The more recent activity may be due to the fact that in May it was announced that the 45km limit (for the extent of freeport status) could be extended in Wales. This could certainly explain the southern bid combining Milford Haven with Port Talbot.

Which are 87km apart, as the fabled crow flies.

This somewhat bizarre combination is presumably justified by links between Milford Haven and Swansea Bay. As show in the image below. Which strikes me as being a wee bit desperate. For example, the Llandarcy refinery closed in 1998.

And would a freeport in Milford make the oil, gas, or electricity flow any faster?

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My insular source believes that for all sorts of reasons the southern bid will win out. I’m not so sure. For with local boy Jake Berry working his magic behind the scenes, and his good friend Virginia Crosbie staking her political reputation on it, I would not be at all surprised to see the £26m freeport pot head up the A5 rather than down the M4.

But whichever direction the loot heads the lucky recipients will need to watch out for sharks circling – but these won’t be in the water. They’ll be arriving in Beemers and hoping to dazzle with PowerPoint presentations and insincere smiles.

And, dare I say it, ‘inducements’. There, I’ve said it.

And I say it because a freeport in either Holyhead or Milford / Port Talbot will attract grifters like the fresh laverbread stall in Swansea market draws discerning gourmets.

NAILING THE VOICES?

This section is decidedly odd, and I wasn’t sure about using it, so please understand if certain details are withheld. (Especially towards the end.) But I do have the information and the relevant documents.

It started when someone got in touch, saying she had information on Gilestone, but what she offered was unconnected incidents jumbled up with snippets from hither and yon.

The long and winding road somehow took us to Ammanford. And Alan Delaney Tait. If the name rings a bell it’s because Tait claims to hear voices of women and children being abused, hurt, even killed. These sounds either come from beneath his property or from tunnels nearby.

Tait has turned his ‘voices’ into a cottage industry. With many videos on YouTube and other platforms. That said, they don’t get many views. This one, with 40k, is probably the most popular.

https://youtu.be/eQvcSSl2GJo

Most people, including the local police, dismiss Tait as a publicity-seeking crank. No tangible evidence of human trafficking has ever been found. In fact, there is nothing beyond Tait’s recordings; and as has been pointed out, these could have been made anywhere.

Doing a quick check for Tait on the Companies House website turned up some interesting stuff. Now I’m not sure from where Tait originates, but he’s been living in Ammanford in recent years.

And yet Companies House gives out eight companies for ‘Alan Delaney Tait’ with addresses in Ystalyfera, in the Swansea Valley.

With other companies where he drops the ‘Delaney’ and becomes plain ‘Alan Tait’.

Such as Alan Dee UK Ltd. (I love the way some use ‘UK’, hoping their enterprise will be mistaken for the local branch of a global empire.) Then there’s UKWide Contract Services Ltd,  ADT UK Wide Ltd and, finally, Number Plates Online Ltd.

In recent years the focus of operations seems to have switched to Derbyshire, in the East Midlands. With The Three Boars Guesthouse Ltd and Chal Rentals Ltd.

For these Derbyshire-based companies Tait has as co-director the gloriously monikered Carlos von Gallo. Who has his own YouTube channel, where he puts out nothing but Tait’s Ammanford ‘recordings’.

‘Von Gallo’ is listed as the sole shareholder at the two companies’ deaths, but does he really exist?

What the 14 companies I’ve given here have in common is that after a short life – in some cases very short – they all went under. There are no survivors.

Something else I found intriguing was that for almost all Tait’s companies there was an issue of a single £1 share (if it was him alone) or £2 if there was another director (Tait’s wife or ‘von Gallo’). With two notable exceptions.

These were The Old Coal Store, with a share issue of £25,000, and Barlas Eren Sezer Ltd, with a share issue of £125,000.

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I don’t wish to cast aspersions but, if I had money I couldn’t account for, then disguising it as a share capital in a company doomed to fail, might have its attractions.

In his ‘voices’ videos Tait points the finger at the nearby Sophia Nails. He further claims that the leaseholder was a Vietnamese woman named Trang Thanh Tran. She is now said to run T Nail Spa in the centre of Swansea.

There is a company of that name where she is listed as sole director. But the single £15,000 share is held by Thi Hai Nhung Nguyen who gives as his address another nail bar, this one on Chepstow Road in Newport.

Tran’s partner, or husband, Quang Lam, was the leaseholder in Ammanford and also at Heaven Nails in Llanelli. He was sent down for 5 years for belonging to a gang growing and distributing cannabis.

There are a number of ‘Heaven Nail’ companies, all but one run by Vietnamese nationals.

The Vietnamese connection may be significant because some comments to the YouTube videos claim to have heard Vietnamese being spoken by the ‘voices’.

But the problem with Tait is that even if he’s telling the truth about the voices, and the Vietnamese connection, one look at his business record tells us that he is, to put it generously, ‘unlucky’, with so many failed companies to his name. 

Despite Tait being so ‘unlucky’, I was still left wondering . . . and so, motivated by nothing beyond idle curiosity, I Googled ‘Sophia Nails’, the name of the Ammanford salon. What popped up was the Sophia Nail Spa in Porth, in the Rhondda.

At which point things got a bit strange.

For in February this year a company, Sophia Nail Spa Ltd, was launched. The only director is a 23-year-old Vietnamese named Thien Van Hoang.

And although the company uses 22 Hannah Street, Porth, as its correspondence address, the Certificate of Incorporation gives Hoang’s address as 31 Ridley Terrace, Sunderland.

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At this point is might be worth suggesting a few things.

  • First, whoever’s running the Porth nail bar may know nothing about the company that’s using the same name.
  • Next, Thien Van Hoang may not even know he is named as director of Sophia Nail Spa Ltd. I have come across other examples of people being listed as company directors without their knowledge.
  • Finally, Thien Van Hoang may never have visited Sunderland.

But to find another Vietnamese connection is intriguing. Not least because it seems nail bars are used by Vietnamese criminals for exploiting women and girls, also for money laundering. The same gangs that are involved with cannabis. And not just in the UK.

Just type ‘Vietnamese nail bars trafficking’ into your search engine and you’ll bring up countless news reports. It’s big business.

Which may also explain Sophia’s Nail Bar at 9 Oxford Street, Mountain Ash. (Shown in image below.) Which more recently seems to have been known as New Star Nails. Which again is odd, because a company of that name folded in July 2018.

The secretary and the only director are both of Vietnamese extraction.

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Returning to Porth, if we look at the building in which Sophia Nail Spa is located we see a block – 20-25 Hannah Street – with a second floor and, in part, a third floor.

Another company listed at this block was a sporting establishment (darts, snooker, etc), on the first floor, which in July changed its name and apparently became a bar. All the old directors left and a single new director arrived, a 22-year-old woman with an unmistakably Welsh name.

I’m not saying young Welsh women shouldn’t run bars, but . . .

For a start, ingress and egress to a bar on the first floor will only be possible by a flight of stairs from the street. Would a council – even Rhondda Cynon Tâf – grant a drinks licence to a place where people would regularly fall or be pushed down the stairs?

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On a weekend a fleet of ambulances would be needed to carry away the injured. And as we know, Wales doesn’t have a working fleet of ambulances.

Something’s not right. The old Jac nose is all a-quiver.

From countless previous cases in Wales and across Europe, Vietnamese nationals owning or running nail bars should have aroused the suspicions of both local councils and the police. 

Finally, the company that owns that 20-25 block on Hannah Street in Porth is based just a mile and a half, as the crow flies, from Gilestone Farm!

I am not suggesting anything. It’s just a small world and Wales is a small country.

THE OLD FOLKS AT HOME

Someone contacted me suggesting I might be interested in the latest in a series of bad news stories about care homes. And this one really is bad.

Like so many of the care homes in Wales, Pontypridd Nursing Home is run by a company based outside of Wales. In this case, RB Care Homes Ltd, of Chislehurst in Kent. The RB stands, presumably, for director Raqia Bibi.

I can’t find a website but there is a Twitter account with nothing posted for three years. It’s a similar story with the Facebook page.

I suspect this company has gone under. Maybe not officially, but Companies House is still waiting for accounts that should have been submitted by November 30 last year. I don’t think they’re coming.

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Despite the parlous state of RB Care Homes, and other companies of hers we’ll look at in a minute, Raqia Bibi was, as late as June this year, being held up as an exemplar of good practice in the sector!

Truly amazing!

Pontypridd Nursing Home wasn’t Ms Bibi’s first venture into care homes, nor her first foray into Wales. For she has a string of companies behind her, including you’ll notice, Wrexham Care Centre.

Where some three years ago she also made the news for the wrong reasons. You’ll see that her partner in Wrecsam was Mohanananthan Kuhananthan. With whom the story takes a bit of a twist. But be patient.

For a start, Wrexham Care Centre Ltd was always a dormant company, with money going through Nant-y-Gaer Ltd, which is also in administration.

Then, you’ll remember that the news report I linked to at the top of this section said that the Pontypridd Nursing Home is run by RB Care Homes Ltd, which may be true. But that company has also been filing as dormant since it was Incorporated in February 2017.

The report made no mention of Pontypridd Care Home Ltd, owned by Mohanananthan Kuhananthan. With Raqia Bibi as co-director. Which may be explained by the fact that it’s this company that actually owns the property on Maesycoed Road, for which it claims to have paid £1.5m in May 2012.

Which means that while local authorities and others go chasing dormant companies for money those companies don’t have, the assets themselves are owned by companies they may know nothing about. It’s a popular trick.

Maybe Wrecsam and Rhondda Cynon Tâf councils, or anyone else owed money from the collapse of nursing / care homes, should consult their lawyers about refocusing any claims.

Kuhananthan has other companies. Many companies. Four under the Comfort Care Homes brand suggest operations in Wales. With, in some cases, money owed to the Development Bank of Wales. These relate to the Danygraig Nursing Home, in Newport.

What I find extraordinary is that these DBW loans were made in June, when it would have been obvious, after the most cursory of enquiries, that not only are Kuhananthan’s companies in deep trouble, but that the man himself may not be entirely above board.

UPDATE 10.10.2022: It may be worth clarifying that Kuhananthan was no longer a director of Comfort Care Homes (Danygraig) Ltd when the DBW loans were made, and Bibi had never been a director. But this company is owned by Dream Care Homes (RB) Ltd, formed in December 2021. And while they’re not shown as directors of this company either, I suspect the ‘RB’ tells us something.

Kuhananthan’s Welsh involvement doesn’t end with the examples given.

Through the company Mufulira Ltd, which Kuhananthan joined in May 2018, and was followed by Raqia Bibi in July 2021, they own Ridgeway Care Centre in Pembrokeshire, which must be worth a few bob.

The entrance to the Ridgeway Care Centre, Llawhaden, Pembrokeshire. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

In fact, the latest accounts seem to value Ridgeway at just short of two million pounds. That said, while it might be owned by Mufulira – another company in trouble – Mufulira itself is owned by Comfort Care Homes Ltd, which we know is yet another Kuhananthan and Bibi company.

Maybe Pembrokeshire County Council should also be on alert, and realise who owns Ridgeway. But then, Kuhananthan-Bibi companies appear to have no assets beyond the buildings, all of which have loans or mortgages against them.

I didn’t have the time to go any deeper, but I suggest for anyone so inclined, that Kuhananthan and Bibi are worthy of further investigation.

Before finishing this section, here’s another interesting connection.

We earlier encountered Nant-y-Gaer Ltd, which I suggested was the Kuhananthan-Bibi company actually running the home of that name in Wrecsam. (Now ‘Wrexham Care Centre’.) But there’s also a Nant-y-Gaer Hall Ltd.

When going through the details for Nant-y-Gaer Hall Ltd I noticed that Kuhananthan gave as his address 83 Dyserth Road in Rhyl. Where we find Sandy Lodge Hospital, run buy Medirose Healthcare.

A company formed as recently as November 2020 and filing as dormant.

However, 83 Dyserth Road is owned by HuaTong Ltd, a company that somehow manages to make a loss every year. The directors and owners are Chinese citizen, Wang Liu, and Sharvanandan Arnold, who has cropped up before in connection with fellow Sri Lankan Mohanananthan Kuhananthan

I conclude that care for the elderly in Wales is an utter shambles. It’s attracting unscrupulous if not crooked operators. They’re drawn by easy money and the lack of adequate oversight.

As a start, and a show of intent, I would like the ‘Welsh Government’ and Care Inspectorate Wales to announce they will not register or deal with any care home, nursing home, or other facility, where Mohanananthan Kuhananthan and Raqia Bibi are involved.

To lighten the mood a little, though not too much . . .

I genuinely worry about the care of the elderly because I’m not getting any younger myself. Will I be properly taken care of when my kids dump me in the Uncle Joe Sunshine Home for Unrepentant Fascists and Incorrigible Transphobes?

SOURCES

I had planned to have a section dealing with information I’d received from a source somewhere within the ‘Welsh Government’ detailing the nepotism and corruption all around.

And of the power wielded by those connected with housing associations, often in areas that have nothing to do with housing, and how the Wales Council for Voluntary Action is almost an arm of government.

Also some of the names I’m called in Corruption Bay. Some so bad he / she couldn’t even put them into print! Well, I was mortified. Mortified, I was!

But on reflection I feel it could be dangerous for this person if I was to go into details. So I’ll leave it there.

The information I’ve received thus far was posted anonymously to Gwlad and passed on to me. But I do wish to maintain contact.

So we need to think how this might be achieved.

GLOBALISTS

In recent years it has become increasingly clear to me that much of what I report on is simply the ‘Welsh Government’ and various agencies in Wales adopting and promoting agendas dreamt up elsewhere.

‘London’, is only part of the answer. And an increasingly irrelevant part.

A few years ago I wouldn’t have been writing this, but the Covid ‘pandemic’ and the way it was seized upon by politicians and others opened my eyes, and it helped me see the bigger picture.

That bigger picture of unelected, supranational bodies imposing agendas on governments and other institutions that impact on just about everybody on Earth.

In particular, I’m referring to the World Economic Forum. Made up of politicians, bankers, and multi-billionaires like Bill Gates, George Soros and Mark Zuckerberg. This self-electing elite – like almost all previous elites in human history – believes it is made up of essentially decent people, who are obviously smarter than the rest of us, and should therefore run the world.

Klaus Schwab and the World Economic Forum. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

It reminds me of a couple of lines from Tom Paxton’s 1960s protest song, Daily News.

J. Edgar Hoover is the man of the hourAll that he needs is just a little more power

Just like J Edgar Hoover all the new global elite needs is a little more power. And then a little more. And then . . .

(Never agreed with his politics but I always thought Paxton was the best – certainly the most versatile – of the 60s folk / protest singer-songwriters. Love songs, political songs, humorous songs, kids’ songs, he could do them all.)

The principal tool the new elite uses to exert control and impose its agenda is climate disaster. Just like the Nazis they realise that to impose your will you need to frighten people with an imagined or overblown ‘threat’.

For the Nazis, it was the Jews, the Communists, Versailles; but for Klaus Schwab and his gang it’s global warming – and it’s all our fault. So we must change our behaviour to make up for the damage we cause, in ways that will be decided for us.

And it’s the West that must be targeted. Partly because the West is the richest and most advanced area of the globe, and also because concepts of individual liberty are more highly developed and valued in the West than most other parts of the world.

This explains the many-fronted attack on Western civilisation by the globalists and their foot-soldiers on the Left. With their initiatives denied / defended / promoted / hidden / (depending on requirements) by their allies in Mainstream Media and Big Tech.

It also explains much of what we see in Wales: the war on farmers, the lack of spending on infrastructure, the 20mph speed limit, our hills being ravaged by wind farms.

The crises we see approaching, food shortages due to the war on farmers, power cuts thanks to a campaign against fossil fuels and increased reliance on useless ‘renewables’, no petrol or diesel to run our vehicles, being locked out of your bank account for holding the ‘wrong’ views, political unrest resulting from these problems, unnecessary lockdowns and dangerous vaccinations justified by a virus with increasingly suspect origins, even the war in the Ukraine, have all been engineered, and could all have been avoided.

Because it’s all about control. Over us. By them.

Compared to forced chipping of children, and silencing those who challenge the WEF narrative, Lee Waters stuffing the National Infrastructure Commission with cronies representing housing associations, Sustrans / Deryn (Waters is ex Sustrans himself), and the M4 corridor, is small beer.

And no less than we have come to expect from Welsh politicians.

I’ll end with a little history lesson cum allegory that might explain how I see things.

Carlos Marcello was the Mafia boss of New Orleans for many years, and one of the most powerful gangsters in the USA. Then in 1960 John F Kennedy became President; he appointed his brother Bobby as Attorney-General, and Bobby went after the Mob.

Predictably, many leading figures in organised crime wanted to whack Bobby Kennedy; but Marcello sagely observed that if you cut off a dog’s tail he can still bite you, so it was better to go for the head.

Which helps explain why Marcello is strongly suspected of being implicated in JFK’s assassination in Dallas on November 22, 1963. He probably was involved, but this wasn’t a straightforward Mafia hit, and they didn’t act alone.

The point I’m making is that I’m spending too much time on a ‘tail’. And while I shall continue to report idiocy like Gilestone, in future I intend paying more attention to the ‘head’.

♦ end ♦

 

© Royston Jones 2022


Gilestone Farm: It’s Who You Know!

As evidence trickles out about the purchase – by the so-called ‘Welsh Government’, for £4.25m – of Gilestone farm, the picture just seems to get murkier.

That’s because every new revelation, or attempted explanation, raises more questions. Though one thing becoming clear is that in this area of southern Powys and rural Gwent, there is a network of well-connected individuals profiting from political patronage, and the public purse.

CONNECTIONS

It was difficult deciding which thread to start with. The one I’ve chosen may seem innocuous enough, but stick with it because it does lead somewhere, and connections will reveal themselves.

Let’s start in July 2018, when the ‘Welsh Government’ published Achieving our low-carbon pathway to 2030. This is what it says at the top of the Introduction.

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To explain. The World Economic Forum, using the pretext of a ‘climate catastrophe’ that isn’t happening, seeks to impose an unelected global government made up of political leaders, major corporations like Vanguard and Blackrock, and multi-billionaires such as Gates, Soros, Zuckerberg and others.

One of the ploys being used to exert control over us is the claim that there is too much carbon about. We are expected to believe that an element essential to life on this planet is in fact killing us! So the world needs to ‘decarbonise’.

The document to which I’ve linked invites responses. And here’s a further link, this time to the summary of those responses.

Being badly advertised outside of environmental circles the responses predictably suggested fewer cars, more wind turbines, and increased brainwashing of children. (Scroll down to page 84 for the organisations that responded.)

You’ll see that the report on the responses was compiled by Miller Research (UK) Ltd. Here’s the company website, and if you scroll down you’ll see that the main office is in Abergavenny, fast becoming the enviroshyster epicentre of our Wye-Usk Fertile Crescent.

On the Companies House entry for Miller we see that the sole director of the company is the eponymous Nicholas FitzHardinge Miller. The unaudited financial statement (y/e 31.07.2021) would suggest that the company is doing fairly well, with 12 employees and retained earnings of £473,108.

While the website makes it obvious where the money comes from. For in addition to the ‘Welsh Government’ Miller does work for other bodies I guarantee you’re familiar with.

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There are no entities there that I’d regard as genuine commercial clients. They seem to be the kind of lucrative gigs you’d get if you were well-connected down in Corruption Bay. Or to the Labour Party.

Miller Research is also used by the ‘Welsh Government’ to research and evaluate. Here are examples. ‘Rural Wales – Evidence Base Research‘ and ‘Evaluation of the Wales Rural Network Support Unit‘. Yet I can’t see a link to any findings, any final report.

While there’s a company Twitter account Miller also has his own account where, a few months back, he recommended a book approved by the otherworldly fanatics of Extinction Rebellion.

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‘Degrowth’ is code for turning the clock back on human progress. Especially in the West, or perhaps only in the West. And not for everybody.

An administration in thrall to the World Economic Forum employed a company owned by an individual who supports Extinction Rebellion. The outcome of the ‘consultation’ on decarbonisation was beyond predictable. It was pre-determined.

GOOD MONEY AFTER BAD

Another company Miller has been associated with is Blurrt Ltd. Which is, alas, no longer with us, having gone the way of so many of the companies that appear on this blog.

As a Victorian headstone might have put it, ‘Received into the bosom of the Great . . . ‘ er, well, Receiver.

But Blurrt is a story worth telling. Here’s the link to the Companies House entry that will help you follow the tale.

Formed in June 2012, by Jason Robert Smith, Blurrt’s product, ‘allows users to listen, analyse, showcase and engage with social audiences in real time’, which television companies thought might be useful.

And yet, confusingly, in his Twitter bio, Nick Miller, of ‘Monmouthshire, UK’, describes himself as, ‘Founder at Blurrt’.

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It’s confusing because according to the documents filed with Companies House Smith alone formed the company and wasn’t joined by Miller and Andrew Paul Cargill until October of 2012. (Cargill left on February 12, 2014.)

Is Miller saying he was involved before becoming a director and a shareholder? But if so, then what form might that involvement have taken? And would it allow him to claim that he was the ‘founder’?

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The day Cargill left, two new directors joined. These were Lloyd Gooding (son of Alf Gooding), and would-be media tycoon Huw Marshall. Marshall was representing S4C, for the following month we read, S4C takes stake in Blurrt.

By an amazing coincidence, Marshall gets a mention in the latest issue of Private Eye. 

The involvement of S4C links with investment made in Blurrt Ltd. Though around the same time the company was also seeking other funding and seems to have raised £504,135 from 182 investors.

In a return made to Companies House June 26, 2014 we see that the largest shareholder was Nicholas FitzHardinge Miller, with 360 in his own name and a further 240 in the name of Miller Research.

Marshall was replaced as S4C’s representative on July 6, 2015 by Phillip Gwynne Evans, who lasted until December 21, 2018.

The investment did not work out. We know that because this report of Westminster’s Welsh Affairs Committee, from July 2019, says that: ‘S4C has confirmed to the Committee that its investments in Blurrt have since been written down to zero.’

Is that saying the debt from 2014 was written off? Presumably because there was no hope of it being recovered. And yet . . .

There was a further loan from S4C Digital to Blurrt in July 2017. A month or so later there was a loan from Finance Wales Investments (now the Development Bank of Wales). These are both outstanding.

Founder Jason Robert Smith ceased being a director in October 2017. Which left Lloyd Gooding and Nicholas FitzHardinge Miller minding the shop.

I have difficulty understanding these further loans. Partly because S4C may have had to write off the 2014 loan, and partly because by 2017, when the two loans were made, the good ship Blurrt was securely moored up Shit Creek.

The accounts for year ending December 31, 2017 show debts of £467,329. While some of this may be attributed to the two loans, the debt for the previous year was a worrying £118,085.

This looks like a gambler on a losing streak throwing good money after bad. But let’s remember who the ‘gamblers’ were, and whose money they were squandering!

The last Blurrt accounts filed were for year ending December 31, 2018. And they are not a pretty sight. It might help if you visualise the bracketed figures in red.

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It’s difficult to comprehend why so much money was pumped into a lost cause. Was it to help out certain well-connected persons?

BABYLON-ON-USK

There are a couple of other companies with which Nick Miller is associated that are worthy of mention as they help fill out the picture.

First, we have Llanvetherine Properties Ltd. This seems to be the company for the  cottages rented out at Pen-y-Wyrlod farm. This is where Nick lives with his partner, Sarah Dickins. That is, the Sarah Dickins, Economics Correspondent for BBC Wales.

Sarah is a star, and if you want to book her you’ll have to go through her agent.

Just last week Sarah Dickins did a piece on the Green Man Festival and Gilestone farm. I’m prepared to bet that Sarah Dickins and the Green Man’s Fiona Stewart know each other. Maybe quite well.

The piece told us that the new venture at Gilestone – whatever it is – will support farmers and young people. Did we ever doubt it! But will it be intersectional and carbon-neutral, that’s what we all want to know.

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In all seriousness, I get the impression that the Gilestone / Green Man story is changing from week to week. And not one version I’ve heard is plausible. Perhaps the truth can’t be told because it’s too embarrassing for certain politicians.

No wonder the ‘Welsh Government’ is now refusing to answer Freedom of Information requests about this shambles.

Nicholas FitzHardinge Miller and Sarah Dickins are of course denizens of the Fertile Crescent, where a certain milieu is especially favoured by Corruption Bay.

In addition, I bet Sarah Dickins has connections all over the place that could be of use to a company ready to . . . oh, I don’t know, maybe help various bodies go through sham consultations in order to arrive at pre-determined conclusions.

Another company registered at Pen-y-Wyrlod is Blue Egg Productions Ltd. As Sarah Dickins holds the shares this may be the vehicle through which her BBC salary is paid.

If so, didn’t the BBC put a stop to this practice some years ago?

Or is this the piggy-bank for the money earned from the speaking engagements and opening food banks?

Another of Sarah Dickins’ interests is the Abergavenny Food Festival, where she’s a director. It takes place this coming weekend. One of those performing will be Rob Penn of greenwash outfit Stump up for Trees.

An outfit looked on with great favour down the Bay.

I can’t help wondering if telling us trees are edible might be advice, preparing us for the dark times after the WEF has put farmers out of business and we are being forced to eat insects and ‘meat’ produced by Bill Gates.

Earlier we saw Sarah Dickins’ partner Nick Miller recommend Jason Hickel’s book Less is More. Sarah is also a Hickel fan. Here she is retweeting him misrepresenting this year’s monsoon in Pakistan as evidence of global climate catastrophe.

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Note the political bias and dishonesty that underpins the Green movement. To believe those carefully selected maps China, which opens a new coal-fired power station almost every day, is one of the good guys, a victim of the evil White man.

PULLING SOME THREADS TOGETHER

I’ve elsewhere referred to southern Powys and rural Gwent as ‘Cotswolds-on-the-cheap’, which on reflection is unfair, because it’s scenically and in other ways more attractive than the Cotswolds.

But property is certainly cheaper, and this draws people to the area. Which helps expand the network, that will in turn support the UN’s Agenda 2030 and the World Economic Forum’s Great Reset.

Or ‘Build back better’, as Charles III urges.

Which leads to the belief – shared by the ‘Welsh Government’ – that these objectives are so existentially important they must be achieved at any cost. Which in turn explains the war on traditional Welsh farming; covering our hills with unreliable, bird-slicing wind turbines; and making the rest of us poorer, colder, and hungrier.

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For of course it’s we who will sacrifice for these agendas, not those who promote them.

Being fundamentally Green Left the network is obviously short on political allies in a region which, at Westminster and Senedd levels, votes Conservative.

At Powys County Council level there are 9 Labour members, all from Brecon town and the top end of the Swansea Valley, otherwise it’s mainly Lib Dem and Tory, with what appear to be three unaligned groups, and three Plaid Cymru members.

Which is why, when viewed from a Labour Party perspective, funding and generally supporting its few but high-profile supporters is seen as a good investment – it gives Labour influence in an area where it has very little electoral support.

The purchase of Gilestone farm is part and parcel of the culture of cronyism and corruption that has developed under devolution, that sees the ‘Welsh Government’ and its agencies favouring organisations and individuals with a preferred ‘outlook’.

But this funding and favouritism is not like me slipping my grandson a tenner; for what Labour is doing impacts adversely on others. It involves public money. In some cases it will have national implications.

That’s because Labour’s system of cronyism and patronage works both ways. For example a few zealots in the system explains the ‘Welsh Government’ becoming a major funder for trans extremist group Stonewall, and how that group was able to influence policy decisions in Corruption Bay.

QUESTIONS

I’m going to finish with a few questions addressed to no one in particular down in Corruption Bay. Cynics might suggest I’m simply howling into the void. Again.

That void where there should be a system of accountability.

  • Was the contract to produce findings of the consultation exercise on ‘Achieving our low carbon pathway to 2030’ put out to tender? 
  • If so, how was this done?
  • How many responses were there?
  • If there was no tendering process, why not?
  • Given Nicholas FitzHardinge Miller’s clear and zealous belief in anthropogenic climate change, was Miller Research Ltd the right choice for this work?
  • Or does that bias explain why Miller Research Ltd was chosen?
  • The same questions on tendering and bias attach to the other contracts this company has secured with the ‘Welsh Government’ and other Welsh public bodies and institutions.
  • Why did S4C and Finance Wales Investments make further loans to Blurrt Ltd in 2017 when that company was clearly in financial difficulties and after S4C had seemingly written off a previous loan made in 2014?
  • Seeing as Blurrt Ltd was Dissolved in July 2021 are we to assume that these two loans from 2017 have also been written off?
  • Whether they’ve been written off or not, what amounts are involved?
  • If they have not been written off, then what steps are being taken to secure their repayment?
  • Will Miller Research Ltd be tasked with evaluating whether the purchase of Gilestone farm was public money well spent . . . and recommend that more farms be bought?

As I say, these questions are rhetorical. For the ‘Welsh Government’ is now refusing to answer FoI requests on a range of embarrassing issues, using all sorts of unconvincing reasons.

But then, when you have so much to hide . . .

♦ end ♦

 

© Royston Jones 2022


Back to the Land!

After taking August off (and enjoying the break) I’m back to report on an event planned for later this month.

In fact, I enjoyed the break so much, and found writing this such hard going, that it might be a while before the next piece appears.

HOW IT BEGAN

A couple of weeks ago someone sent me news of a gathering to be held in the Community Centre, Knighton, on September 17, when many of us will be nursing hangovers from celebrating Glyndŵr’s Day.

Knighton Community Centre has been mentioned on this blog before, after falling into the clutches of white settler Labour activists; who now wage war on local farmers, welcome refugees to an area where they themselves are not universally welcome, and generally play latter-day left liberal colonialists.

For no longer is it Bible and bullets, now it’s saving us through a combination of uplifting sermons from the Rev Monbiot and those organic thingeys they eat at Felicity’s aerobic knife-throwing class.

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But I digress.

To expose the dishonesty behind this event I shall go through those named as being involved before concluding with . . . well, my conclusions. What else?

CAMPAIGN FOR THE PROTECTION OF RURAL WALES (CPRW)

Let’s start with some background. The CPRW has been pootling along for almost a century as a charity, but now things are changing. Most significantly, with the formation of a company in late May this year.

Though I’m assured there’s no significance to this other than the trustees ensuring they are not personally bankrupted by legal action against the CPRW.

Which also means that, at the moment, the CPRW has two charities with the same name registered with the Charity Commission. One will soon be closed.

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Previous CPRW presidents have included politician Megan Lloyd George and BBC broadcaster Wynford Vaughan Thomas. Clough Williams Ellis, of Portmeirion fame, was also deeply involved for many years as both chairman and president.

The current president of the CPRW is TV celeb Jules Hudson, who is believed to live in Herefordshire. Possibly Hertfordshire. But definitely not Wales. He’s famous for programmes like Escape to the Country and Countryfile.

In his favour, he has a Labrador called Iolo.

The chair of the Brecon & Radnor branch is Jonathan Halsey Luke Colchester, who has recently moved to Clyro. From where he runs his company, Courtenay Advisers Ltd.

I am informed by a very reliable source that the Brecon & Radnor branch of the CPRW is particularly hostile towards farmers.

That being so, why is the local CPRW branch organising a bash with the title ‘Welsh Food & Farming’? The answer to that question will become clear as you read on.

There are farmers, and there are farmers.

THE FERTILE CRESCENT

One of the CPRW’s recent recruits is associated with another new outfit, Friends of the Upper Wye (FUW), registered with the Charity Commission in March this year. (Though I’m assured she’s an admirable and well-intentioned lady.)

This will no doubt complement the Wye & Usk Foundation (WUF) which is about a lot more than just angling. The WUF is based in Talgarth, close to Coleg Soros.

Over the years the WUF has received millions in funding from or via the ‘Welsh Government’, much of it handed over by an official whose attitude to money might have been compared by my dear mamgu to that of an inebriated seafarer.

An amazing episode, with apparently no oversight whatsoever. It is even suggested that some favoured bodies didn’t even need to make an application – it was a case of, “Would you like some more money?”

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For the Fertile Crescent formed by the Usk and the Wye is something of a magnet for those seeking to save us benighted natives from ourselves. And for others with even less noble intent.

There’s yet another organisation, formed last year, in the Welsh Rivers Union (WRU), based on the Usk at Llanvihangel Gobion. This claims to be a collective of ‘citizen-funded’ community groups defending our rivers.

If it gets airborne it will be made up of the usual ‘community groups’ composed of people who were living somewhere else not so long ago.

Though as yet, it’s not registered as either a company or a charity. It may be just a website, and a Twitter account.

Oh, I almost forgot Afonydd Cymru Cyf, also based in Talgarth. Where income from government grants leapt like a returning salmon from £10,000 in 2018 to £894,704 in 2020.

Afonydd Cymru’s chair is Viscount Christopher Mills, of Kensington, who served as regional director of the Environment Agency in Wales (before the creation of Natural Resources Wales). Among the trustees is Joe Pimblett, CEO of the Severn Rivers Trust, based in Worcestershire.

When it comes to the Fertile Crescent even the Blesséd Monbiot has made a film, Rivercide (what a wit!), in which one of the supporting cast was Lesley Griffiths (sans Gary), and she reminded us that no matter what the facts may say, it’s always farmers wot we must blame.

St George thought the culprits were chickens, which appear at number 2, after humans, in his forthcoming opus, ‘Species To Be Exterminated If We Are To Save The Planet’. (Chickens have apparently deposed sheep in Monbiot’s demonography.)

Why this obsession with the Usk and the Wye? Is it because they’re close to Bristol? Or is their cross-border nature, demanding ‘co-operation’, the attraction?

Of course, there are rivers within Wales in far worse condition than the Wye and the Usk, so why are these ignored? Three reasons, perhaps.

First, these other rivers run through more populated areas with few stretches of open country attractive to those in search of a rural idyll, or intent on ‘habitat restoration’ (aka ‘rewilding’).

Second, while there may be areas meeting the criteria further west, there the Welsh language would be a consideration. And after the resistance to Summit to Sea the land-grabbers are wary of getting another bloody nose.

Third, they are entirely within Wales.

Never lose sight of the fact that for many, water quality is a stalking-horse, used against farmers so as to free up their land for other purposes. And the ‘Welsh Government’ wholeheartedly supports this agenda.

UPDATE: Here’s a recent example of pollution on the Wye that clearly has nothing to do with farmers.

LOCAL GROWERS AND FARMERS

A source informs me that the ‘local grower’ is the bloke from the organic food shop in Knighton, where you buy the knobbly carrots and the misshapen parsnips. Ach y fi!

(Though there may be others attending, more deserving of the billing.)

As for the ‘local farmers’, it seems these will both come from Herefordshire, which may be fairly local to Knighton (/Tref y Clawdd) but are not, unless we want to be irredentist about this, Welsh.

More pragmatically, whether we view Herefordshire as the ‘lost lands’ or not, the area will not be affected by any legislation or initiatives emanating from Corruption Bay.

Even so, to help give a fuller flavour of the event, I’ll tell you who they are.

One is ‘RegenBen’, of Townsend Farm, near Ross-on-Wye. Which, as the name suggests, is on the River Wye. Ben is a director of the Oxford Farming Conference, an organisation I’m told represents big landowners, yeoman farmers and the like.

(I was also told that a famous Welsh farmer went there to speak a few years ago, and has never felt more out of place.)

The makeup of the Oxford Farming Conference probably explains why a rival was set up in 2010 called the Oxford Real Farming Conference.

From what I can see the older body caters for those with inherited land while the upstart is more attractive for Greens looking to get their hands on someone else’s land. I wouldn’t be comfortable with either.

The other ‘local farmer’ is from ‘Wild by Nature’, of Lower House farm, just over the border from Llanthoney, close to Llanveynoe. (These corrupted spellings!)

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Looking at a map I see that both of them are close to the border, but neither is particularly ‘local’ to Knighton. The first is roughly 45 miles away, the second almost 50.

I suspect that both have been invited because they are well-connected, and have diversified into ‘artisanal’ food produce and other activities.

The Rhug Estate model, if you like.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve stopped many times at the Rhug restaurant and shop, and like some urchin from a Dickens novel gazed at goodies I can’t afford.

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Though ‘farm shop’ really is a misnomer. It suggests Mrs Evans in a shed at the bottom of the farm drive selling goods cheaper by cutting out the middle man. In reality it’s a place where the price of everything is marked up.

Few locals can afford to shop there. That’s why the Rhug ‘farm shop’ is on the A5.

Even so, I’m sure a farm shop can be a nice little earner, and so I wasn’t surprised to learn that ‘Wild by Nature’ already has one. While RegenBen’s website tells us: ‘Our plans are to share the fruits of our labour by opening a farm shop’.

There are of course some excellent farm shops in Wales. One is Bargoed Farm / The Moody Cow, near Aberaeron, run by the former owners of Gilestone Farm, and visited very recently by Conservative Senedd leader Andrew R T Davies MS.

But how many farm shops can Wales support?

SOIL ASSOCIATION

The Soil Association, headquartered in Bristol, is another of those English organisations that recognises the existence of Scotland, but not Wales. We, presumably, are part of England.

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The Soil Association is registered as both a company and a charity. And with an annual income of over £23m it is no shoestring outfit. Of course the Scottish Soil Association is registered separately in Scotland.

In addition, there is The Soil Association Land Trust ‘established to acquire and maintain farmland sustainably’. Which might be worth bearing in mind, and could explain The Soil Association’s interest in Wales, a country I’m sure it will quickly recognise if the ‘Welsh Government’ offers to buy it a farm.

NATURE FRIENDLY FARMING NETWORK

The company of that name was launched in July 2018. Though there has been quite a turnover of directors in the four years since then. Of the eight original directors, five have left, including two who were obviously Welsh.

NFFN has an impressive website, telling us of a Welsh Steering Group, with two group members serving as directors.

Here’s a page giving some responses from the Welsh Steering Group to the ‘Welsh Government’s Sustainable Farming Scheme that emerged in July.

Hilary Kehoe, the Chair, mentions the ‘changing climate’. Rhys Evans thinks the ‘devil will be in the detail’. But Hywel Morgan was ecstatic. I was not surprised to learn that Hywel is involved with the ‘Welsh Government’s Farming Connect scheme.

The Nature Friendly Farming Network is looking to hire a £29,000 a year Communications Officer. Having recently recruited a Farmer Engagement Officer on the same salary. But who’s funding these posts?

For the financial situation is not impressive. I appreciate that it’s a company limited by guarantee, but even so, I would have expected to see more than £69 in the kitty. Which is what the latest accounts (to y/e 30.06.2021) show.

Yes, NFFN has assets of £199,317, but this sum is exceeded by money owed to creditors.

On the ‘Nature Means Business‘ page we read: ‘Right now, farm businesses are facing a multitude of challenges: climate change, unpredictable weather patterns, changes to future farm payment schemes and adjusting to new consumer demands’.

To prioritise ‘climate change’ (when it’s becoming clear that climate change has been – at the very least – exaggerated), and then virtually repeat it with ‘unpredictable weather patterns’, before mentioning farm payments, is revealing.

With no mention at all of the threat from mandatory afforestation, farms being bought for greenwashing, and restrictions applied by politicians and administrations that are blatantly anti-farming.

These priorities are evident throughout the website. The image below is from the Fund Us page. And again it’s ‘climate in crisis’, ‘wildlife declining’, ‘habitats being lost’.

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The Nature Friendly Farming Network seems to be an environmental organisation that recruits farmers. There’s nothing wrong with that, farmers care deeply about the environment that provides livelihoods for them and their families.

But it’s a question of priorities. The first of which has to be supporting farmers – who will then look after the environment

STUMP UP FOR TREES

This organisation has appeared on this blog a number of times, so I won’t dwell on it again.

Based in Abergavenny Stump up for Trees is a greenwash outfit. It’s registered as a charity, and one of the three trustees is Richard James Roderick, who farms next to Gilestone.

By ‘greenwashing’ I mean that SUFT ‘saves the planet’ by planting trees in order for companies to offset their perceived ‘carbon footprint’, which allows them to go on putting out carbon. Its major partner seems to be Utility Warehouse.

Nonsense predicated on there being a ‘climate emergency’ (there isn’t); carbon being damaging to the environment (it’s not); and replacing agricultural land with sterile, monoculture pine forests making sense (it doesn’t).

Even so, Stump up for Trees seems to be well-regarded in Corruption Bay among the connoisseurs, practitioners and dispensers of flim-flam, bullshit, propaganda and other means of deceiving poor old Dai Public.

ABATTOIR SECTOR GROUP

This is yet another organisation based in Bristol and set up as recently as 2020. Though it’s not registered as either a company or a charity because it’s an offshoot of the Sustainable Food Trust.

The ABS is dedicated to keeping smaller, rural abattoirs open, and what carnivore (bares fangs!) could argue with that?

Parent body, the Sustainable Food Trust, is an international organisation with a wider remit to support ‘sustainable farming’. By which I assume that it seeks to avoid the wrath of the swivel-eyed with a modified kind of farming that’s less damaging to Mother Earth.

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It is, as I say, based in Bristol, and I see no mention of Wales on the website. The only Welsh connection I can find is founder Patrick Holden, an organic dairy farmer from the Lampeter area.

Holder is a founder of Sustainable Food Trust and current CEO. He was a former director of the Soil Association.

OUR FOOD

You may need to pay attention with this one. For just as with the previous section we have an organisation operating under a different label. There’s even a third label.

Let’s start with the Our Food website. Scroll down and you’ll read: A project of the Conservation Farming Trust Company Number 10823532′. Which the Companies House website confirms as the number for Conservation Farming Trust.

On the Our Food website we also read: ‘This website was built with support from Monmouthshire County Council, the Brecon Beacons National Park, and the Welsh Government. It is part of a process to build a new campaign in the region to secure 1200 acres for regenerative horticulture for local markets.’

The Our Food 1200 website confirms that the figure refers to the acreage the new organisation hopes to be given. At the time of writing 24 acres had been donated. Though, in fairness, Our Food 1200 was only launched in January. It’s registered as a Community Benefit Company.

Let’s go back to the parent organisation, Conservation Farming Trust. The registered office address is in London, and the three directors live in Ireland (1) and England (2). So no Welsh connections there.

And yet, it seems the only funding Our Food gets is from Welsh sources.

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This funding is presumably justified because Our Food 1200 is looking for Welsh land to be donated. This looks very much like One Planet Developments rebranded. (I’m sure I read a reference to ‘OPD’ on the website.)

As with OPDs, those we’ll find on these over-sized allotments are unlikely to be local. So why are we funding it?

And is it a safe bet? I ask because a driving force behind it all seems to be Duncan Mark Fisher, who serves as both secretary and a member of Our Food 1200. Companies House suggests Fisher’s business record is ‘patchy’, to say the least.

The Conservation Farming Trust may have no connection with Wales, but Our Land, and certainly Our Land 1200, are trying to put down roots. Maybe they’re hoping someone will buy them a farm!

More planet-savers promoting climate hysteria, with the ‘Welsh Government’ and others happy to go along with this exploitative, colonialist nonsense.

LANDWORKERS’ ALLIANCE

What you’ve read thus far has been unadulterated, unsubstantiated and unconvincing bullshit (however sincere some of those promoting it), but this final section outdoes it all. For we are now with the horny-handed sons of toil, straight out of The Grapes of Wrath.

Or those who would imagine themselves so to be.

For I now direct your attention to the Landworkers’ Alliance. Scroll down and you’ll see that this crew aligns itself with the International Peasants Movement. (I’m afraid I let my membership lapse.)

When you join you get given a pitchfork and the addresses of local landlords. (Bastards!)

When Dominic and Eugenie re-imagine themselves as peasants you know you’ve gone so far down the rabbit-hole that you run the risk of being shot by an Australian farmer.

And doesn’t it count as cultural appropriation?

The Landworkers’ Alliance was formed in 2015, and has its registered address in Dorset. Here’s the Companies House entry.

The ‘accounts’ – as with all the outfits I’ve dealt with here – are vague, being little more than unaudited statements. Though I can tell you that the latest such statement (y/e 30.09.2020) gives assets at £151,507 (previous year £66,523). But with no indication of where the money came from.

It would also appear to be a Woke organisation. For which we should be thankful, because trans peasants are never far from my thoughts. (I hope it’s the same for you!)

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The directors are resident in England and Scotland with the exceptions of Katharine Anne McEvoy and Gerald Davies Miles, both residents of Pembrokeshire. The former seems to live in Newport, with the latter to be found at Caerhys Organic Community Agriculture (COCA), near St David’s.

I feel a tear well in old Jac’s eye, for we may finally have found a genuine Welsh farmer! Though whether he’ll be in Knighton is another matter.

Looking briefly at the ‘accounts’ for COCA, or rather, the ‘statement of financial position’, we see a paltry £3,154 for y/e 31.03.2022.

I suspect that COCA is a virtue-signalling side-line, with Caerhys farm itself run as a commercial – if organic – agricultural business, including bed & breakfast.

But the irony.

We have sought for centuries to escape being peasants, in our own country; now we face an invasion of land-hungry Green-Left-Woke carrot-growing poseurs wanting to play at being peasants . . . in our country.

CONCLUSION

The sad truth is that farmers have been badly treated under devolution. And it’s happened in identifiable stages.

It began in 1999 with Labour taking control of the new Assembly. A Labour Party in which too many saw farmers as landowners, and therefore capitalists. Though anyone who can lump together a struggling Welsh hill farmer and the Duke of Westminster really does have a problem.

This encouraged others to join in. I’m thinking now of the environmentalists, the planet savers. Though all too often it was their own interests, and the interests of their cronies, that were being served, not those of the planet.

Chief among them was Jane Davidson, Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing from 2007 to 2011. When her Labour Party was in coalition with Plaid Cymru.

Davidson, a wealthy and privately-educated Englishwoman, was determined to impose her will on us, for the benefit of others like her, no matter what the cost. To us.

Thanks to Davidson we saw TAN 6 in July 2010, the ‘Hippies’ Charter’, which allows English drop-outs to build what they like, where they like.

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In January 2014, Alun Davies, the Minister for Natural Resources and Food, announced that 15% of CAP funding would in future be transferred from Pillar One (i.e. farmers) to Pillar 2 (rural development projects).

‘Rural Development Projects’ means those self-serving ‘community’ schemes dreamed up by Jane Davidson’s friends that benefit no one else.

Wales was further blessed, just a year later, with the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. Here you see the Act’s objectives, with my comments.

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This legislation is another example of the Left window dressing a looted store (after inciting the looters with talk of ‘victimhood’ and ensuring the police didn’t get involved.)

Bullshit dreamed up to please enviroshysters and pressure groups. Which has achieved nothing for us Welsh. But it allows the ‘Welsh Government’ to say: ‘We were the first government in the world . . . ‘.

And that, for our politicians, is all that really matters.

More recently, we saw Lesley Griffiths (and Gary), introduce legislation to curb pollution of Welsh waterways. This problem is localised, and there are many culprits, including water companies.

But Lesley (and Gary) pretended to believe that the problem is national, and that farmers are solely to blame.

If you believe that traditional farming methods contribute to anthropogenic global warming, then the sensible approach would have been to sit down with farmers and work out a better way forward.

Instead, and from the outset, Labour politicians chose vilification, lies, confrontation, punishment.

An approach that becomes inconsistent, even sinister, when we think again about Knighton on the 17th. Where ‘Welsh Government’ representatives will be rubbing shoulders with lots of . . . well, farmers.

Clearly, the ‘Welsh Government’ has no problem with farmers as such, so perhaps the problem is only with Welsh farmers.

♦ end ♦

 

© Royston Jones 2022