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.
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.
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.)
Thorpe was clearly recovering from a stroke, which he attributed to ‘climate anxiety’.
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.
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.)
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“.
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.
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 was responding to a completely unrehearsed and piercing question from Huw Irranca-Davies MS. Here’s the transcript.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
(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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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)’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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‘ . . .
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.
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.
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’.
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’.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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 hour All 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’.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
‘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.
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’.
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’?
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.
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.
It’s difficult to comprehend why so much money was pumped into a lost cause. Was it to help out certain well-connected persons?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?”
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.
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?
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.
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.)
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.’
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.
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.
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.
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This week’s offering kicks off with assorted musings from here and there before returning home to focus on issues that have caught my eye. And if these have a theme then it’s assorted companies and individuals pretending to be what they’re not. In this case, Welsh.
This is another biggie, just over 4,000 words, but you know the spiel – ‘nourishing, easily-digestible chunks, etc., etc‘.
First stop, England, where the Conservatives have committed electoral suicide by getting rid of Boris Johnson and now have to make the choice between Sunak and Truss! Like having to choose which foot to shoot yourself in.
I don’t know the minds of Tory politicians and strategists but I do know that among the working class – male and female – there’s always been a guilty liking for a roguish toff.
And that’s what Johnson is. Nobody ever accused him of having his hand in the till or anything heinous; it was a bit of bullshitting here, a few drinks there, and an over-fondness for the ladies.
Those ‘failings’ might mean some tosser needing to be fanned with a copy of the Guardian in Islington, but they wouldn’t have lost BoJo many votes in Scunthorpe, St Helens, or Sunderland.
“Grand lad is Boris”.
The only ray of sunshine for the Tories comes in the soporific form of Labour leader Keir Starmer.
Now across the Pond, to where Joe Biden – after two injections and two boosters – has caught Covid. Oh dear, what a pity, how sad.
Sleepy Joe is, without a doubt, the worst US president of my lifetime. And I remember Gerald Ford, of whom it was said that chewing gum and tying his shoelaces at the same time was too intellectually demanding.
Though in fairness, Ford could be relied on to do as he was told. Which explains how he got to serve on the Warren Commission looking into the JFK assassination.
Joe Biden clearly has dementia or a similar condition, and looming ever larger over his presidency are the multiple horrors contained in his son Hunter’s laptop.
Many of you will be unaware of this because the left-leaning mainstream media has largely ignored the story. They can’t deny it, because they’ve all read the e-mails and seen the videos. (And laughed along with the rest of us.)
In a nutshell, crack-smoking, sex-addicted Hunter saw himself as an international businessman. Making deals in China, Russia, Ukraine and other places by trading on his father’s name when dad was Obama’s VP.
Joe Biden’s brother James was certainly getting a cut and it looks increasingly likely that Joe himself was also in on it.
The problem is that Hunter just had to keep records. And they were all stored on a laptop he took to be repaired in Wilmington, Delaware, then forgot to collect it, and so the laptop became the property of the repair shop owner.
The only questions now are: 1/ How much longer can Sleepy Joe last? and 2/ What method will his party use to get rid of him?
Finally, in Ukraine, the war grinds on with Russian forces advancing slowly and steadily on all fronts. It seems likely that the whole of the Donbass will soon be in Russian hands, and so will large swathes of territory across the south, perhaps even lovely Odessa.
Basically, those areas where a majority of the population identify as Russian. Areas where the population was treated abominably by Ukrainian forces – often Nazi units – for protesting against the US-engineered Maidan coup of 2014.
This outcome could have been achieved by a plebiscite, but certain interests in the West were determined that corruption-ridden Ukraine, generously supplied with weapons and money – which will never be accounted for – should wage a proxy war.
Jugoslavia all over again; with Russia in the role of ‘baddie’ Serbia, and Ukraine playing the white hat parts of Croatian Ustaše fascists, Bosnian Muslims and their Jihadist allies, and the organ-harvesting, gun-running, drug-smuggling gangsters of the (Albanian) Kosovo Liberation Army
On the plus side . . . it looks like Russia turning off the gas taps has killed Net Zero.
Followed by a word-for-word ‘article’ in the Wasting Mule on Friday.
What most people don’t realise (because the media prefers not to tell us), is that electric cars, wind turbines, and solar panels, all need rare earth elements, and we are too reliant for these on China.
Being an expansionist Communist country China is obviously a potential enemy. Then there’s the fact that extracting these metals is dirty and dangerous work, which might be done by members of religious or ethnic minorities undergoing ‘re-education’.
Naturally, I got to wondering about the company involved in this exciting venture, named as, ‘Caerphilly-based Deregallera’. And that was the first disappointment, for the company seems to be based near Bradford, in West Yorkshire.
Though in fairness, it was at one time using a Caerphilly address. So let’s put that into its contextual timeline.
Deregallera began life in 2011 in Southampton. Then it was Pontypridd. Then in March 2013 it was down to Cardiff. September 2019 saw a move within Cardiff. In December 2020 it was over to Bristol. Then in April this year it was up to Bingley.
Getting further and further away from the claimed base in Caerffili.
Among them we see D G Innovate PLC. Which last year was taken over by Path Investments for £32m in a ‘reverse merger transaction’, according to the Annual Report and Financial Statements for Deregallera Ltd (March 2021).
D G Innovate was known by that name between 29.01.2021 and 05.04.2022. Before that it was Deregallera Holdings Ltd (from formation 26.11.2009). And now, since April 5, it’s Deregallera Holdings again!
God, this is confusing! With all the name changes, all the comings and goings of directors, do those involved know which company is which any more?
Talking of directors, D G Innovate PLC seems to have recruited a few this year.
I’m sure they’ll be very happy together in what is obviously another great Welsh venture.
As far as I’m concerned, the jury is out on this one. Those involved have got their hands on money from a fund administered by the ‘Welsh Government’ (which often spells disaster), but how much of that money Wales will see is another matter.
One to watch.
‘WE’RE WELSH, HONEST!’
Another company desperately trying to prove it’s Welsh is our old friend, Bute Energy. Which began life in London, then used an Edinburgh address, but now most Bute companies also use a broom cupboard in Hodge House, Cardiff.
Named of course after Julian Hodge, banker to the Labour Party. Friend and confidante of PM Jim Callaghan and George “Order, Order!” Thomas.
Remember George, Lord Tonypandy? Even by the standards of the ‘Welsh’ Labour Party George Thomas was one of the most odious bastards ever to draw breath.
Not content with a Cardiff address to prove how Welsh it is Bute has recruited Dafydd Williams as a project manager to traverse the land addressing community councils and concerned locals, promising they’ll hardly notice 250 metre tall wind turbines . . . 36 here, another 30 there . . .
Is Dafydd a replacement for David George Taylor? For more on Taylor, and Bute’s Welsh Advisory Board, click here and scroll down to the section ‘Labour Party Freedom of Information Request’.
In search of enlightenment I joined a Zoom meeting of New Radnor community council a few weeks back, where I managed to put some questions to Dafydd Williams, but all I got in return was waffle.
One Bute site now threatened with 250m (to tip) turbines is Moelfre, inland of Abergele. To put that into perspective, the turbines put up 15 – 20 years ago were rarely more than 100m (often less), the turbines at Pen-y-Cymoedd are 145m.
The proposal for Nant Mithil is for 36 x 220m (to hub) turbines, with ‘solar energy and battery technology’ not ruled out.
In both the Moelfre protest leaflet and the Bute briefing paper for Nant Mithil you will have seen reference to these being in a ‘Pre-Assessed Area for Wind Energy in Future Wales: The National Plan 2040’. Here’s a link to that document.
On page 94 you’ll find the map you see below. The areas bordered in black have been given over to wind farms. Planning permission is virtually guaranteed. Local resistance will prove futile. (Certainly, that’s the hope in Corruption Bay.)
Moelfre is in area 1, and Nant Mithil in area 4. Though sources tell me that as much as 75% of Bute’s 200 hectare Nant Mithil site is outside area 4. It’ll be interesting to see how that pans out.
Other news is that new directors, Forrest, Gruescu and Parkhouse, have joined the gang in certain companies. Aberedw Energy Park Ltd being one. These new boys represent the interests of Bute’s Danish investors.
I’ll try to avoid some of the rumours I’ve been hearing . . . oh, what the hell!
One has Green Man boss Fiona Stewart telling Minister for Economy – ‘economy’! – Vaughan Gething that if the ‘Welsh Government’ didn’t buy her a farm she would move the Green Man Festival to England.
Another wanted me to believe that the Green Man will move to Gilestone farm in 2026 because current host, Harry Legge-Bourke of the Glanusk Estate, is getting a divorce. Which seems rather protracted. And why should a divorce make any difference?
Finally, some believe there has long been a relationship between Fiona Stewart and former Gilestone owner, Charles Weston. I had to confirm that this was a business relationship not, er . . . well, you know.
I could find nothing linking them. To help my enquiries I drew up a table of Fiona Stewart’s companies. Which makes strange reading.
Throughout this saga we’ve been told that the ‘Welsh Government’ has been dealing with the Green Man Festival. Yet the company, Green Man Festival Ltd, formed September 2015, has always filed as a dormant company. The only director, Fiona Stewart.
What’s more, Green Man is controlled by Tree Trunk Ltd. Formed May 2012, this also files as a dormant company. And it’s behind with its filings to Companies House.
Two of the four directors / trustees are Stewart and long-time business associate, Ian Myers Fielder, with these two exercising control. The other directors / trustees are Natasha Hale, and Joanna Owen, a solicitor working for Commission for Equality and Human Rights in London.
Flicking through the accounts I was struck by some of the other funders, Performing Rights Society Foundation, Ashley Family Foundation, and Cardiff University.
Then, a few days ago, a secretary was appointed, Joana Margarida Martins Rodrigues. Clearly Portuguese, perhaps one of the many Lusitanians to be found in Crughywel.
If we look at the total income for the Green Man Trust we see that it’s risen from £152,643 in year ending 31.12.2020 to £347,417 in y/e 31.12.2021. Which means that the income more than doubled, and is perhaps more than the Trust knows what to do with.
I suggest that because the latest accounts show £266,835 as ‘cash at bank and in hand’.
An interesting contribution to the Gilestone saga came a couple of weeks back from senior civil servant Andrew Slade. To give him his title, Director General, Economy, Skills and Natural Resources.
Here’s the article, in which Slade says that Gilestone may not be a done deal, but also describing the Green Man Festival as the “jewel in Wales’ crown”. A curious remark, and an indicator of Slade’s ignorance of Wales.
Most of those who attend come from England. Many more Welsh people go to the National Eisteddfod, then there’s ‘The Show’ (which was on last week), and even Dolgellau’s Sesiwn Fawr. I wouldn’t expect Slade to know much about the first or the third, but he’s been to Llanelwedd a few times.
It wouldn’t be stretching it to describe the Green Man Festival as an event for the English middle classes, for less than a quarter of the attendees live in Wales.
I even found a photo of Slade with a bunch of young farmers. (He’s right centre.) Next to him, carefully coiffed, is Gary Haggaty, looking as if he’s about to go on stage to give Mr and Mrs Gripe of Wisbech the chance to win a week for two in sunny Scunthorpe.
Both Slade and Haggaty have appeared on this blog before. They are civil servants with Defra backgrounds, sent down to keep the natives in check and do whatever damage they could to Welsh farming.
In The Welsh Clearances from October 2018 I used an image from January 2014 of Slade alongside Alun Davies, then Minister for Natural Resources and Food, as Davies announced taking EU funding from farmers and turning it over to ‘Rural Development Projects’. (And we all know what that means!)
Haggaty eventually shacked up with his boss, Lesley Griffiths.
I quote from her official bio: ‘Lesley was appointed Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs on 3 November 2017. On 13 December 2018 Lesley was appointed Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs. On 13 May 2021 Lesley was appointed Minister for Rural Affairs, North Wales and Trefnydd’.
Enough of digression, back to Fiona Stewart and her companies.
The only company I can find that seems to have any serious money is Plantpot Ltd; originally GMF Festival Ltd, before changing into Pot Plant Ltd. This is also controlled by Tree Trunk Ltd.
And let’s remind ourselves that Tree Trunk Ltd is a dormant company behind with its Companies House filings.
At the end of 2020 Plantpot had £1,179,096 ‘cash at bank and in hand’. Up from £656,213 the previous year. Not bad considering the Covid ‘pandemic’. But most of this money is owed to unidentified creditors. Who are they?
With £169,900 owed to ‘group undertakings’. So does this mean it’s owed to other companies in the Tree Trunk group?
Another concern is that there’s no indication of where the £1m+ in cash came from. What we have instead of audited accounts for Plantpot Ltd is an ‘Unaudited Financial Statement’ made out by Ms Stewart herself.
I’m not suggesting dishonesty, but I am saying there’s a lack of clarity. Which might not matter had the ‘Welsh Government’ not paid £4.25m for Gilestone farm.
Because if the Green Man is the major event it’s said to be, then it must take in millions of pounds, so where is that money accounted for? It certainly doesn’t go through any company using the Green Man name. Is there a company I’ve missed?
If we go back to the table of Fiona Stewart’s companies we see that the newest is Cwningar Ltd, formed in February this year, with its formation almost certainly linked to the purchase of Gilestone farm.
Which is why I suspect that talk of an agreement between the ‘Welsh Government’ and the Green Man Festival is misleading. Fiona Stewart is the Green Man. I believe the farm was bought for Fiona Stewart herself. And for some new venture loosely connected with the Green Man.
I suggest that because Ms Stewart is nothing if not well connected in Cardiff.
This article from May 2017 says, ‘Cardiff University and Green Man will build upon their existing partnership’. Fiona Stewart gushed . . .
“Green Man works with world class talent and Cardiff University is one of the most respected universities on the planet, so it’s definitely top of the bill with me.”
(Pass the sick bag!)
Then think back to the item about the electric car motor, telling us that ‘academics at Cardiff University’ are involved. Dafydd Williams of Bute Energy ‘holds a BSc and MSc from Cardiff University’s School of City and Regional Planning’.
Cardiff University is almost an extension of the ‘Welsh Government’. If you’re well in with Cardiff Uni then doors – and cheque books – open for you in Corruption Bay.
And if, like Fiona Stewart, you’re also connected to Coleg Soros Talgarth, then you can write your own cheque. Which may explain how she acquired Gilestone.
Does anyone really think there are 1,500 jobs created on site? If so, there must be almost as many people working at the festival as there are attending!
And no matter what the figure is, those are very, very temporary jobs.
Like I say, bullshit!
We live in dangerous times.
Obviously, there’s a war in Ukraine. But then we have supranational organisations like the World Health Organisation and the World Economic Forum trying to impose themselves as some kind of unelected global government.
And recently we’ve had to put up with the swivel-eyed who got really swivelly because of a few fine days – in July! You could sense their disappointment when the bodies weren’t piling up in the streets; their ‘We warned you!’ taunts dying on their lips.
All joking aside, one threat, a very real threat, is shaping up under our noses, with the full support of the ‘Welsh Government’ and the Corruption Bay establishment. Because both have been infiltrated, indoctrinated, or intimidated into supporting Stonewall.
For Stonewall, which started out defending and promoting the interests of gays and lesbians, is now nothing more than a group getting ever more extreme in its promotion of ‘trans rights’ and other issues.
Stonewall is favoured in Corruption Bay, we know that from the amount of funding it’s received from the ‘Welsh Government’.
Seeing as the Wales Council for Voluntary Action is also funded by the ‘Welsh Government’ the total comes to £241,781. Only UK government departments gave more to Stonewall in the period covered.
Specifically, the Equality Act 2010. There are 9 protected characteristics under the Act, and this is how the ‘Welsh Government’ interpreted them. They’re correct apart from the one I’ve highlighted.
What the Act protects is gender reassignment. That is, someone who has undergone surgery. Stonewall would like it to promote ‘chicks with dicks’, and give free rein to male sexual predators pretending to be women.
The ‘Welsh Government’ chose to accept Stonewall’s wishful thinking over the law. And then desperately tried to explain its mistake as being in ‘the spirit of the law’.
The spirit of the law can be elusive, a difficult thing to pin down. But there can be no mistaking the letter of the law. In this case it is quite unambiguous. (Doesn’t the ‘Welsh Government’ have lawyers?)
The ‘Welsh Government’ got it wrong because it listened to Stonewall. That’s because Stonewall has allies in the Bay among Labour insiders.
Which helped Stonewall influence the new curriculum for Welsh schools. But the fightback has started. There will now be a judicial review of the ‘Welsh Government’s proposals.
But it doesn’t end there, for Stonewall also wants to corrupt pre-school children. Those who attend playgroups. Here’s a tweet put out by Stonewall last week.
When asked to produce the ‘research’ referred to, Stonewall was unable to do so.
Make no mistake, Stonewall wants to push its vile agenda that results in mutilating confused kids into every sphere of our lives, and certain elements on the Left will give all the assistance they can.
Of course, many nursery or pre-school groups in Wales are run by Mudiad Meithrin. Which has, unfortunately, also been infiltrated.
When I look at the Mudiad Meithrin board of directors I can see a few possible advocates for this dangerous nonsense. One in particular, who was deeply involved in attempts last year to turn YesCymru into TransCymru.
Another, who has recently left the Mudiad Meithrin board, also did great damage to YesCymru before moving on to other things. I’m told he played a big part in turning Cymdeithas yr Iaith Woke.
Stonewall has walked into a trap of its own making. When you argue there is an ever-expanding universe of genders you will inevitably attract the exhibitionists and the unhinged, and the general public will stop taking you seriously.
Start talking about the sexuality of children and you’ll draw the perverts and the paedophiles. And then the general public will start seeing you as a threat.
An organisation in Stonewall’s position has two options:
Paddle back and regain some credibility.
Keep paddling furiously for the rapids and prove your critics right.
Stonewall seems to have chosen the second option. Which is bad news for them, but I won’t be shedding any tears.
We must protect our kids from discredited and dangerous beliefs promoted by a few influential individuals who decided those beliefs were ‘progressive’, then bullied others into accepting Stonewall’s lunacies.
It’s time for the ‘Welsh Government’, Mudiad Meithrin, and others, to paddle back, and to root out the influence of Stonewall from all areas of Welsh life.
♦ end ♦
August is normally a slow month for news so, unless the Gorsedd starts an insurrection, the ‘Welsh Government’ announces major investment outside of Cardiff, or Powys is invaded by enviroshysters (damn! too late for that one!), I’ll be back, bright eyed and bushy-tailed, in September.
Attention then seemed to switch to global warming, but with this prospect still bringing colder weather for north west Europe. For it was believed that global warming would detach huge sheets of ice from the Greenland shelf; these would float southwards and redirect the Gulf Stream.
As a student of history brought up in a moderately religious family it’s fascinating to see a combination of a (would-be) global elite, scientists, politicians and political activists, set up what is in effect their own ‘church’.
Those listed could be compared to a College of Cardinals, bishops, priests, and lay brethren. So it’s worth remembering that . . .
The medieval Church frightened our forefathers with the prospect of eternal damnation, while the new orthodoxy offers lurid prophesies of global disaster; the striking similarity due to the same desired outcome – to exert control over people by frightening them with the prospect of a terrible but unverifiable fate if they don’t obey.
If we accept that analogy, then we are in some kind of time-warp where blind obedience is demanded, and no questions are tolerated. Rejecting the prevailing orthodoxy makes one a heretic.
I say that because anyone questioning the ‘science’ today is treated as a heretic would have been in the time of the Inquisition. With today’s heretics, like their predecessors, usually knowing more about the ‘science’ than their persecutors and the whipped-up mob demanding its entertainment.
Thankfully, there’s a ‘Reformation’ in the offing. It will inevitably lead to a ‘Counter-Reformation’; which will – through an excess of zealotry coupled with a paucity of supporting evidence – succeed only in further discrediting what had previously been so widely accepted.
CONTROL THE MESSAGE
The current spell of warm weather being exaggerated by the Met Office and the media into a threat to the human race will be of short duration compared to 1976.
People having to choose between heating their homes and eating this coming winter will be due to environmental zealots forcing on us measures to combat a non-existent climate emergency. As a result, winter deaths will be ignored; or if they are noted they will be attributed to ‘extreme weather’, which will of course be linked to the climate emergency.
Another parallel we can draw between today’s environmental establishment and earlier belief systems is their need to control what people see, read, and hear.
That means radio, television, newspapers and magazines.
Which is why, in spite of censorship, and algorithms, ‘fact-checking’ and Big Tech rooting out ‘disinformation’ (i.e. ‘heretical’ thoughts), we should still be grateful for the internet. Fulfilling as it does the role of a latter-day printing press.
This control over the established media is both global – though especially pernicious in the Anglophone world – and local.
Wales is not immune to attempts to promote the globalists’ Word at all costs. Even when it means misrepresentation and outright lies.
SOMEONE’S TELLING PORKIES
Monday last week saw the ‘Welsh media’ mount what was clearly a concerted effort to frighten us with images of a dried-up river in Pembrokeshire. All due, it was inferred, to global warming.
But things were not as they seemed. Here are the images.
Now, at first sight, and to those who might not know the area, those images of dried and cracked mud would suggest a river drying up. But as I say, things are not as they seem.
For the Carew River – that’s Carew Castle in the images – is nothing more than a tidal creek. It flows into the Cleddau and on past Milford Haven to the sea.
Not only that, but there’s a dam, which holds back water to create a mill pond. Although no longer operational, the mill has been restored. And it’s the only tidal mill in Wales.
Which means that the expanse of mud shown in the images is indicative of nothing more than the extent of the mill pond when the tide is in, or when the dam is operating.
This clip from an Ordnance Survey map might explain it better.
And if you click here you’ll go to a site that tells you more about the mill. Scroll down to the bottom and you’ll see a nice picture of all that ugly mud covered over. In fact, I’m told the mill pond is normally full.
People, myself included, pointed out on Twitter and elsewhere that the images used by the BBC and WalesOnline were misleading. And so, by Wednesday, the caption had changed to say that the image showed the Carew River at ‘low tide’.
Fair enough. But if that’s the Carew at low tide, what’s the message?
The photographer, Matthew Horwood, had clearly gone up in his balloon for the image used by the Telegraph on Wednesday. But at least, in this image the dam is clearly visible.
Yet the caption still claims that the image shows ‘low water levels’. Which is wrong. The level of water in the Carew is quite normal – just look beyond the dam.
For he was at it again on Saturday. This time, with photographs of Llwyn-on reservoir, near Merthyr Tudful. Though the person who sent me the link remarked that the grass we see might suggest the ground has been exposed for some time.
Someone else noticed that the photographs used on Saturday seemed very similar to photographs used in this report from 2020.
Yes, the economy tanked; yes, the people were hungry. But it came about because the political elite in Sri Lanka followed the dictates of the World Economic Forum (WEF) and made its farmers go organic.
Nearer to home, the government of the Netherlands also wants farmers to use less fertiliser, which the government knows will put many farmers out of business, and so the government has offered to buy their farms.
But nothing is being reported by the BBC or the rest of the mainstream media. Because the WEF doesn’t want it reported.
About the only mainstream TV coverage I see is from Sky News in Australia!
The agenda of the globalists, and by that term I mean, the United Nations (IPCC), the World Health Organisation (which wants to override national governments in order to impose lockdowns and other measures), and of course, the World Economic Forum, can be summed up as follows.
A global government. (For which of course there will be no elections.)
In the meantime, national governments should be in the hands of oleaginous creatures who’ve been groomed by the globalists. (Trudeau in Canada and Rutte in the Netherlands are two examples.)
Eventually, there will be an end to the nation state. (And, by extension, nations. Especially majority white nations.)
An end to farming. (To be justified by claiming that farming causes great environmental damage.)
To speed up the end of farming governments, corporations, and individuals, will be encouraged to buy farmland. (Already happening in Wales, elsewhere, and of course, Bill Gates is now the largest private owner of farmland in the USA.)
The land released by the end of farming will in many cases be used for ‘habitat restoration’. (That is, rewilding, done by organisations and individuals that are close to the globalist cabal.)
Without farming we shall eat insects, and food produced in laboratories. (By happy coincidence Bill Gates, Amazon owner Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, and others have been pushing this for a few years.)
There will be a cashless society. Everyone will use online banking and every transaction will be recorded. (After all, only criminals use cash!)
To increase personal security and reduce crime and terrorism everyone will have a biometric passport or ID. (Maybe a chip implanted, like your dog! Does he complain?)
We shall be regularly injected with whatever our globalist masters say is good for us. (Especially those who reject the yummy artificial food.)
We must all drive electric vehicles. (Can’t afford one? Don’t worry, walking is good exercise.)
There really are too many of us in the world, so we must reduce numbers. (This is where the game is often given away, with the focus on countries where the birth-rate is below replacement level.)
I could go on, but I’m sure you get the picture. Thankfully, the agenda is coming off the rails because it’s been pushed a little too crudely, and events beyond the globalists’ control could now deal it a death-blow.
Even before the unrest across Europe Justin Trudeau in Canada made a revealing move when he froze the bank accounts of the truckers protesting against the Canadian government’s over-reaction to Covid.
But fundamental to the agenda is the myth of a planet in danger, for this is the justification for everything else. The planet must be saved by giving up fossil fuels, fertilisers, private transport, real meat, and a host of other things that underpin an advanced society.
Those over-arching priorities coupled with individual mistakes and events beyond our control explain why we are where we are.
Remember . . .
We’re up Shit Creek now partly because we believed Angela Merkel when she downplayed how much the world relies on Russia for gas and raw materials. Partly because ‘renewables’ are expensive and unreliable nonsense. And partly because the globalists will now make us pay for them engineering a war with Russia.
MEANWHILE, IN WALES . . .
The ‘Welsh Government’ surrendered to the globalists without firing a shot in defence of Wales.
Worse, the collaborationist clowns in Corruption Bay see themselves as trailblazers in implementing the globalists’ agenda. Forever claiming to be the ‘first government in the world’ to introduce this, or that.
‘This’ and ‘that’ invariably translate into expensive gestures, and pandering to alien lobbies, neither of which deliver anything tangible or of material benefit for the Welsh people.
And of course, destroying the agricultural sector. For as a regular contributor to the Welsh debate, an academic from Bristol, put it recently . . .
But now this enthusiasm is taking a more sinister and authoritarian turn.
Last Wednesday, from this tweet, I learned that a motion had been tabled in the Senedd by Jane Dodds, the Liberal Democrat MS for Brecon & Radnor. It was supported by the ‘Welsh Government’ and its little helpers in Plaid Cymru.
I’ve highlighted a few sections and I’ll explain why.
This woman has obviously bought into laboratory ‘food’. Then, high priest of the planet savers, and regular Guardian columnist, George Monbiot, gets a mention or two.
Handing back “vast swathes of our land to nature” means nothing of the sort. To begin with, Carolyn Thomas is talking about the Welsh family farm. And the land will be handed over to people like George Monbiot and his cronies, who thankfully failed in one colonialist land grab with Summit to Sea.
“Harnessed by the state” and “kept out of private hands” means nothing more or less than the ‘Welsh Government’ taking over Welsh family farms. Collectivisation that we’ve seen in Communist states.
“A basic income and state-owned green jobs to today’s farmers” means that having bought their farms, perhaps compulsorily, the ‘Welsh Government’ will now employ former farmers on the land they once owned.
If the jobs are state-owned, then those doing the jobs will also be state-owned. We could be going beyond nationalisation here to a form of serfdom.
I’d like to dismiss Carolyn Thomas as just another unbalanced Green activist. Or someone who’s been overdoing it on the ganja.
But she’s a politician, a Member of ‘our’ Senedd, belonging to the ruling party. And because no one felt the need to apologise for her attack on the ‘kulaks’ I conclude that her contribution is ‘Welsh Government’ policy.
This is the kind of moral corruption and intellectual vacuity that led to the medieval Church losing its authority. It grew distanced and divorced from the concerns of the people it claimed to serve.
We are at that point now. We may even have passed it.
The globalists’ dream of being leaders in a new world order, with them knowing where each and every one of us is at all times, what we’ve eaten that day, and what we’ve recently bought, is dead.
Killed by a combination of arrogance, economic realities, and Vladimir Putin.
There’ll be very few politicians pushing Net Zero in January, and I guarantee that for future WEF knees-ups the message for Klaus Schwab will be (adapting Bismarck’s Canossa allusion), “Nach Davos gehen wir nicht, Klaus”.
It would therefore be tragic if those assholes down Corruption Bay ignored the changing realities and tried to implement Carolyn Thomas’s nightmare.
As the title suggests, this week’s offering is a miscellany, bits and pieces from hither and yon. Covering . . .
Wind turbine disposal.
Fears for the planning system in the north west.
Awkward locals opposing the hundreds of executive homes Aberdyfi so desperately needs.
A development in the ongoing saga of the Llanbedr by-pass.
A new environmental group (cos we haven’t got enough).
More on Gilestone farm.
My unanswered FoI to the ‘Welsh’ Labour Party.
‘Welsh Government’ funds National Trust (cos NT’s a bit short at the moment).
Is ‘Welsh Government’ flogging off executive homes in Cardiff?
Enviroloonies saving Wales from the curse of employment.
Stumping up for the ‘Welsh Government’s favourite farmer.
‘Welsh Government’ wants more trees . . . but fewer farmers.
Enlarging the Senedd, or making the pig-sty bigger.
This is a monster issue, over 5,000 words; but you can take it a piece at a time. And because it is such a substantial offering late in the week, don’t expect anything next week.
WHERE WILL ALL THE TURBINES GO?
A couple of weeks ago I submitted a Freedom of Information request to the self-styled ‘Welsh Government’ asking who was responsible for disposing of wind turbines when they come to the end of their working lives.
Given that the lifespan of a turbine is 15 – 25 years we must have in Wales a few hundred turbines approaching decrepitude. With hundreds more in their ‘middle age’, and plans in the system to erect God knows how many others. (Bute Energy alone wants 20 new wind farms.)
It seems to me to be an important question. Hence the FoI request.
It tells me that, ‘Responsibility for decommissioning wind turbines lies with the developer/operator of the site’.
Richard Spear of the Planning Inspectorate concludes his response with: ‘In addition, developers/operators should ensure that sufficient finance is set aside to enable them to meet restoration obligations. A local planning authority may require financial guarantees by way of a Section 106 planning obligation / agreement, as part of the approval of planning permission to ensure that restoration will be fully achieved.’
It’s worth pointing out that in most cases it was the ‘Welsh Government’ that gave planning permission for wind turbines, often over-riding local authorities. The ‘Welsh Government’ should therefore have seen to it that each developer paid a ‘bond’, up front, to ensure there will be enough money to restore each site.
But those buffoons down Corruption Bay were so concerned with making ‘planet-saving’ gestures that they couldn’t see beyond their own wagging fingers.
I predict with certainty that in the near future, we – by which I mean Wales – will find ourselves lumbered with ‘orphan’ wind turbines that will cost us a hell of a lot of money to demolish. And then more money to restore the sites they’ve come from.
On the plus side, it means that turbine blades from the Continent can come to landfill sites in Wales!
Should this come to pass then it will doubtless be claimed as ‘foreign investment’.
WILD WEST SHOW?
I am indebted to a regular source for news of concerns about the Gwynedd and Môn Joint Planning Policy Committee. To be clear, this is not the planning committee, deciding on planning applications, but the policy committee that determines in more general terms where development will be allowed.
Although Gwynedd is a large council in area, much of the planning responsibility falls to the Snowdonia National Park; which leaves the council to oversee a few ‘islands’ – Tywyn, Barmouth, Blaenau Ffestiniog – then Porthmadog and Llŷn, and finally, the northern coastal strip taking in Caernarfon and Bangor and running to Abergwyngregyn.
For like many rural authorities Ynys Môn is prone to being controlled by a few forceful individuals, often holding sway through membership of an organisation claiming to be heirs to the Knights Templar and other exotic fraternities.
Never more true than in keeping to the Templar talent for accruing wealth. Though I’m unsure if the medieval predecessors were as cunning as their heirs in planning matters and the allocation of contracts.
For who could forget Ceredigion when Dai Lloyd Evans and his merry men ruled the roost? Those were the days! The late Paul Flynn, sitting on the House of Commons Welsh Affairs Select Committee, referred to Ceredigion Council as “The Wild West Show”.
But then, as we saw in Carmarthenshire during the halcyon days of Mark James, sometimes, with largely rural authorities, the boss man doesn’t even have to be a councillor.
My source’s concern is that the chairman of the joint planning policy committee is a member of this group to which I have alluded. And while I’m sure he’s a splendid fellow, with a good firm handshake, I can understand my source’s misgivings.
Someone else giving my informant food for thought is the young man who’s now Senior Executive Officer at Gwynedd’s Housing and Property Department.
Don’t get me wrong, he’s an educated boy, studied . . . Welsh, and, er . . . Music.
But then, it is suggested by cynics that the boy’s father’s friendship with Gwynedd’s Head of Finance may have played a role in the appointment.
O tempora! O mores!
ABERDYFI EXECUTIVES MUST BE HOUSED!
When I first saw this news item I thought to myself, ‘Hang on, Jones, isn’t this the development Ann Clwyd was banging on about decades ago?’ And I’m sure it is.
For the woman who went on to become MP for the Cynon Valley has connections to Aberdyfi and the wider Dysynni area. I have a photo of a young Ann Clwyd with my sister-in-law when the latter was the village carnival queen back in the mid-sixties.
It’s difficult to comprehend how this project has resurfaced, or why it wasn’t killed off decades ago. What does it say about our planning system?
Aberdyfi may be a sizeable village; a few pubs, a few caffs, shops, and an unhealthy number of estate agents. But it backs up to a cliff, with the sea on the other side, and there’s just one road in and out, the A493. A crash or some other hold-up on that road and Aberdyfi is almost inaccessible except by boat or helicopter.
Sticking to housing, Aberdyfi may be the financial, commercial, and industrial hub of the south Meirionnydd coast, but the village needs 401 ‘executive homes’ like our cat needs fleas.
One of the more intriguing stories to make the news recently was the report that Gwynedd County Council is to appeal to the UK government for funding to build the Llanbedr by-pass, a project cancelled last year by the ‘Welsh Government’.
The reason this is intriguing is because the council is controlled by Plaid Cymru, and down in Corruption Bay that party is in cahoots with the local branch of the Labour Party, an arrangement generally referred to as an ‘alliance’.
Though the Senedd Member representing Llanbedr seems to be going out of his way to piss off his supposed allies.
Last month he dared ask the ‘Welsh Government’ why it paid £4.25m for Gilestone farm when the asking price appeared to be £3.25m. A good question. We’d all like to hear the answer. (More on Gilestone below.)
Another explanation might be that despite most Plaid SMs self-flagellating for the heinous sins of the White man and the harm they themselves do the planet by simply existing, many Plaid supporters still associate ‘woke’ with getting up in the morning.
They inhabit the real world where decent infrastructure and communications still matter. That mythic land far, far away, where people have to drive to work. And to the shops. To the doctor, dentist, etc., etc.
You know, the Welsh countryside, of which Labour is so wilfully ignorant.
I’ve tweeted a few times about this rather mysterious group, I may even have mentioned it here, on the blog. One reason I call it mysterious is because all I knew about it was gleaned from a GoFundMe page. (You’ll see there’ve been two donations in the past three months.)
Another reason for the ‘mysterious’ tag was that neither the website nor the GoFundMe page gave any names. And I get rather suspicious of organisations that run themselves.
And when you read the justification for Tir Natur you immediately think, ‘Hang on, I’ve read that before!’ And so you have, many times. It probably comes from an environmental / rewilding template available online.
Now a source informs me that Tir Natur has finally gone legit and registered as a charity. This move is mentioned on the GoFundMe page, though when I checked a few days ago it hadn’t been updated since the application in March to the Charity Commission.
The contact address given on the Charity Commission website is, ‘Y Beudy, Lanlwyd, Pennant, Llanon, Ceredigion SY23 5JH’. This is on the B4577 between Cross Inn and Llanarth.
To confuse the picture, the GoFundMe page says, ‘Newport, Pembrokeshire’. Though my source and I suspect those involved don’t live in either Ceredigion or Pembrokeshire.
And does Wales really need yet another environmental / rewilding group?
My source has now sent me this from a recent release by Tir Natur. Knowing more of such things than I he tells me that the image shows a European bison and a golden eagle. Neither of which of course is native to Wales.
They were introduced to the Trust’s other site in Devon, but removed due to fears of bTB. And they had to leave another site in Scotland when the government concluded they were dangerous and non-native.
I was a bit perplexed by the reference in the second FoI to the ‘James Report’. And then it came back to me . . .
Julie James, the current Minister for Climate Change in the ‘Welsh Government’ has been involved with Gilestone for many years, before she was even elected to what was then the Welsh Assembly in 2011.
It’s a strange affair, with some dark corners, some very dark corners indeed. What I’ve been told involves the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, certain environmental busybodies, previous owners of Gilestone and a supporting cast that includes a retired Met cop with an ‘interesting’ record.
And of course, Julie James, then a solicitor in Swansea; whose relationship with some of those involved is worth looking into. No, nothing like that. (Really!)
I may be in a position to say more in the near future.
Also worth mentioning is that a number of people are convinced the money to buy Gilestone came from Julie James’ department’s piggy-bank.
If true, then why did Vaughan Gething, Minister for Economy, take the rap in the Senedd? Maybe his ignorance of the deal explains why he spent so much time extoling the virtues of the Green Man festival rather than answering questions he’d been asked about the purchase of Gilestone.
Though another explanation for the delayed accounts might be that the ‘Welsh Government’ is virtually broke. For that’s what another source tells me.
If true, then this might explain the Llanbedr by-pass and other projects being scrapped.
‘O what a tangled web we weave . . . ‘.
LABOUR PARTY FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST
As you know, I’ve written about Bute Energy a number of times. They even got a mention at the end of paragraph 2 in the first section of this post.
What became clear once I started looking into Bute’s activities in Wales was that this company had very quickly realised that Labour Party support would be a big help in realising its plans for 20+ wind farms.
Which explains why Bute recruited to its Welsh Advisory Board redundant Labour MEP Derek Vaughan, and John Uden, the partner of Labour MS Jenny Rathbone, who sits on the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee.
Quite what this Welsh Advisory Board advises on is not stated, but I think we can all guess. And the recruitment didn’t end there.
Also taken aboard the treasure ship Bute was David James Taylor, former spad to Labour stars, from Peter Hain to Rhodri Morgan and Carwyn Jones. Taylor was made a partner in Bute-linked outfit Grayling Capital LLP (though he’s since left), and also given shares in Windward Enterprises Ltd, another Bute company. (Which he still holds.)
It occurred to me that if Bute Energy was so keen to cwtsh up to Labour then political donations should be considered. And so I wrote to the Bruvvers’ HQ in Cardiff.
On June 8 I sent this e-mail:
‘Bute Energy Ltd (Co No: 12474011), in various guises, seeks to build – or at least, obtain planning permission for – some 20 wind farms in Wales. A company has been formed for each wind farm.
Has the Labour Party in Wales / ‘Welsh Labour’ party received a donation or donations from Bute Energy Ltd, or from companies under the Bute Energy umbrella, or from leading director Oliver James Millican, or from other persons, perhaps former employees of Labour politicians?’
But I have received neither acknowledgement nor reply. Can you believe that – the Comrades ignoring me!
The ‘Welsh Government’ has gifted an English organisation worth billions of pounds a Welsh asset and also handed over £700,000 for ‘capital investment’. From which the National Trust will profit, through charging visitors.
Many of whom will be Welsh.
And there will almost certainly be more than £700,000. For a well-informed contact with whom I shared this information in advance reminded me that the National Trust will now be eligible for Glastir woodland grants.
Note that this generosity is explained by quoting the “‘Welsh Government’ wellbeing objectives”. This refers to the Well-being of Future Generation (Wales) Act 2015. Airy-fairy nonsense that has since been used to justify every insanity hiding under the ‘environmental’ blanket.
Environmental concerns are used to disguise giving away our homeland piece by piece – ‘Cos we are savin’ the planet, like’.
The truth of course is that this legislation simply rolled out the red carpet for colonialist exploitation.
It even talks of future generations. But those future generations won’t be Welsh.
Main points seem to be that negotiations with the National Trust have been going on since June 2019; no one else was invited to express an interest; NRW has no idea why Dawn Bowden was involved; NRW will continue to manage the Hafod Estate forestry operation.
My attention has been drawn to this rather curious site which suggests some kind of partnership between the ‘Welsh Government’, the National Eisteddfod, and a company called LivEco, to build “sustainable homes at affordable prices”.
The location of these desirable properties being Great House Farm in Cardiff, between Culverhouse Cross and St Fagan’s National Museum of History.
So let’s look at this company, LivEco. Companies House tells us LivEco Homes Ltd was formed in September 2018, but it’s dormant. The sole director is a Welshman, Daniel James Ball, who seems to live in West Sussex.
Ball’s active company is Mulcare-Ball Ltd. The other director being a woman I assume to be his wife.
So why are we being asked to believe that a dormant company is building these dwellings at Great House Farm?
Mulcare-Ball has an arrangement (charge) with the Principality Building Society. Though the date given here is February 2, 2013, the document itself takes us back a year and also mentions Hale Construction Ltd.
If it’s this company, then Hale Construction was a one-man band on Merseyside, Incorporated December 2011 and Dissolved August 2015 without, apparently, making a penny.
Another company worth mentioning is Great House Farm Community Ltd, which I assume to be a residents’ association. This was Incorporated in March 2013, which makes sense; though the only director or member was Ball until June 25 last year. When he was replaced by two others using Great House addresses.
First, it tells us that Daniel James Ball and his wife bought this land in July 2009. We also learn that the properties built by Mulcare-Ball Ltd are being leased rather than sold.
The ‘Welsh Government’ has more than once expressed a desire to phase out leasehold in Wales, so why is it in partnership with a company building properties to lease?
Or, to put it another way, why does the ‘Welsh Government’ need to be involved at all? The same question could be asked of the Eisteddfod.
I may return to this subject.
The Aberpergwm mine, near Glyn-Neath, produces highest quality anthracite coal that is used for all manner of purposes, including water filtration. But it will not be chucked on a fire or shovelled into a furnace.
And it is a standard, commercial entity. Not a Community Interest Company (CIC), or any form of community benefit framework. I suspect it claims to be an umbrella group for smaller, more local organisations.
Though I’m not aware of any genuinely local opposition at Aberpergwm itself. Certainly not from the 200 or so people who work there. Nor from the businesses benefitting from the money those workers put into the local economy.
The address given for the Coal Action Network is Halton Mill, in Lancaster, north west England, owned by Green property developer Lancaster Cohousing. Which suggests it’s little more than an accommodation address for CAN. They certainly don’t get a mention on the website.
It would be easy to dismiss the Coal Action Network as just another little gang of over-excited eco zealots. But these groups often front for bigger players, or there’s serious money behind them.
So be watchful out there. Protect Welsh jobs and Welsh interests from the misguided attention of the brainwashed foot-soldiers of the World Economic Forum and others with globalist agendas designed to crush the little guy. Agendas enthusiastically endorsed by socialists.
And, finally, look out for these clowns sending letters to local papers, lobbying politicians, and pretending they’re local objectors.
Though cut through the enviro-bullshit and SUFT seems to be little more than a greenwashing operation for Utility Warehouse.
Most of those involved with SUFT have either relocated to Wales or don’t even live in Wales. For as with all these ‘conservation’ land grabs, Welsh involvement is minimal.
Though the website informs us, of the man in the photograph, and founder of SUFT, ‘Dr Keith Powell is a seventh-generation Black Mountains farmer and a vet’. Though I don’t think he’s actually done much farming, and came home when he realised there was serious money to be made in trees.
Stump Up For Trees is registered as a charity. Though when I went to the Charity Commission website to check the details I was somewhat surprised not to see Powell listed as a trustee. I assume the desired impression is that of hands-off trustees.
Then he and his companion on the US trip (and at the debriefing), Keri Davies, set up the Beacons Water Group. And do you know who joined them at BWG – none other than Charles Weston, the man who sold Gilestone to the ‘Welsh Government’ for the ludicrous sum of £4.25m!
As if that wasn’t enough, another BWG director, Tony Martineau, teaches at Coleg Soros, Talgarth. While George Soros’ favourite educational establishment, Bard College, has links with the Watershed Agricultural Council, the hosts for the 2018 US trip.
Enough! Old Jac can’t take any more connections.
Why should the ‘Welsh Government’s favourite farmer be involved with Stump Up For Trees? Then again, why not, he seems to be involved in everything else?
To make sense of the ‘Welsh Government’s latest assault on the farming industry you must understand the Labour Party’s relationship with the Welsh countryside.
Labour has no MPs and no SMs representing rural constituencies. For these seats either vote Conservative, Plaid Cymru or, irregularly, usually in Powys, Liberal Democrat.
It wasn’t always so.
There was a time within living memory when Labour could rely on the votes of farm labourers, and even smaller farmers. Also, other rural, working class people. The Merionethshire seat – now part of Dwyfor Meirionnydd and held by Plaid Cymru for almost 50 years – was a straight fight between Labour, centred on the slate town of Blaenau Ffestiniog, and the Liberals, still relying to a great extent on the chapel vote.
Then came the 1960s, and the national reawakening. The protests and the bombs. Tryweryn, Mudiad Amddiffyn Cymru (MAC), the Free Wales Army (FWA), Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg CyIG) . . . and the rise of Plaid Cymru.
Labour now saw its hegemony in Wales threatened by a new force that it believed to be essentially rural in character. Certainly rural in origin. And Labour has been wary of the countryside, and its native inhabitants, ever since.
In many Labour politicians this suspicion became outright and undisguised hostility.
The rise of the environmental movement, coupled with the powers given by devolution, have allowed the Labour Party through successive ‘Welsh Governments’ to exert control over rural areas where it has little or no electoral support. While more recently, under the influence of ‘environmentalists’ eyeing Welsh land, exacting what can only be interpreted as revenge.
Which brings us up to date.
Labour’s activists in rural areas tend to be English, middle class, vegetarian (if not vegan, or subsisting entirely on water and good karma), most of them climate / environment ranters who compare hard-working farmers to concentration camp guards.
Though this latest pronunciamiento from Corruption Bay also helps us understand the long-term objectives. And makes a few other things clear.
The ‘Welsh Government is attempting a divide and rule strategy with farmers. Certain farmers are being wooed, and so perhaps is the National Farmers Union. And it seems to be working.
It’s no coincidence that these favoured farmers tend to be Tory-voters, on better land, suited to tree planting, and in almost exclusively English-speaking areas.
Which means that the excluded farmers are more likely to be found on marginal land, more difficult for growing trees, possibly tenant farmers, and certainly more likely to be Welsh speaking. (And Farmers Union of Wales members?)
In fact, areas such as the Summit to Sea rewilding project was hoping – with ‘Welsh Government’ support – to take over. The areas from where Labour, in the 1960s, perceived the ‘threat’ to have emerged.
Which means that this assault on farmers might be interpreted as an attack on the Welsh language, and Welsh rural culture in general. If so, then the politicos in Corruption Bay, and the enviroshyster land-grabbers whispering in their ears, are in for a fight.
Predictably, the announcement was welcomed by Kate Beavan. Who’s she? You haven’t been paying attention, or following the links, have you?
Kate Beavan may have been recruited to Coed Cymru by director Philip David Jayne, who lives in Crughywel.
Yet more bloody connections!
To explain . . .
Coed Cymru is one of the 357 (and rising) ‘woodland’ groups currently operating in Wales. Fighting like ferrets in a sack to take over Welsh land and get their sweaty mitts on Welsh public funding.
When you check out the Companies House entry for Coed Cymru Cyf you realise that, despite the company name, there’s little Welsh involvement.
But plenty of Welsh funding.
‘Plus ça change . . . ‘.
UKRAINE AND THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM
It would be inhuman to suggest that anything good is coming from the death and suffering in Ukraine. And I won’t do that, but harsh lessons are being learnt.
Among them, the realisation that to pretend an advanced economy can rely on intermittent renewables to supply its energy needs is madness. As Germany is learning.
The drive for ‘Net Zero’, orchestrated by The United Nations and the World Economic Forum, is taking hits daily as collateral damage from the conflict in Ukraine. With Germany perhaps the biggest loser.
We are in dangerous times. Supranational bodies like those mentioned want to regulate all aspects of human behaviour. They have captured many national governments, media outlets, and social media giants, who are urged to suppress divergent views as ‘disinformation’.
The justification being that the planet is in grave danger, and so we need to be saved from ourselves . . . all for our own good, of course.
With the result that we are sleepwalking into a form of totalitarianism that sits astride the unicorn of environmentalism.
And this is another reason we – through arming and exploiting brave Ukrainians – are waging war on Russia – because Vladimir Putin refused to bow to these supranational tyrants.
But the ‘Welsh Government’ surrendered long ago. And gave up Wales for sacrifice.
But part of the bigger package was a change in how Senedd members will be elected in future. And this proved much more contentious. With four constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) – Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda, Swansea East, Llanelli – voting against.
To explain . . .
Under revised parliamentary boundaries Wales will have 32 Westminster seats. (Down from the current 40.) What Labour proposes (and Plaid Cymru presumably agrees with) is that these new constituencies should be paired, giving us 16, and that each of them should elect six Senedd Members, thus making up the 96 total.
This is to be done using the ‘closed list’ system. Voters choose a party and have to then accept the party’s choice of candidates.
This is a system designed to favour larger parties and to inhibit the emergence of new parties. Which is no more than we should expect from Labour. For like so many political parties with a socialist heritage Labour is fundamentally undemocratic.
I’m still waiting for Labour’s partner in the current alliance down Corruption Bay to explain why it’s gone along with this system. Though I get the impression Plaid would rather not discuss it.
Labour has tried desperately to polish this turd by promising gender equality. But as Labour has signed up to self-identification, and is a major financial backer of Stonewall, it will obviously accept as ‘women’ men who identify as women.
Which could mean that the new system, designed to achieve gender balance, actually gives us a lower percentage of biological females than we see in the Senedd today!
And then there are other minorities, those so vocal in “breaking down barriers” . . . most of which they themselves have erected. (Or simply imagined.) They’ll demand to be ‘excluded’ no longer. And because they support the Labour Party because the Labour Party funds them their wishes will be granted.
That could give us a Senedd in which the majority is grossly underrepresented.
But who cares – ‘Cos it’s progressive, innit!’
My position is that I do not accept this anti-democratic nonsense. And I would support the UK government stepping in to block it. In fact, I would support the UK government putting an end to devolution itself.
For devolution has delivered nothing to those with whom I identify.
Whereas the SNP in Scotland, returned time after time, has made many Scots believe their country could be even better with independence, here in Wales, the incompetence and waste our people have experienced from malleable mediocrities in Corruption Bay for 23 years makes too many Welsh believe that independence would be even worse.
I remain a nationalist who wants independence, but I see devolution not as a stepping-stone but an obstacle. Maybe that was the intention all along.
And when you think back to what you’ve read here, can you disagree?
This is a guest post by Gruffydd Meredith. It considers important but overlooked aspects of the housing crisis in Wales.
For while holiday homes get most of the attention the problem of properties being bought for other reasons tends to slip beneath the radar. I’m thinking now of properties bought by those settling permanently in rural and coastal areas.
These will often be retirees (who seem to get younger every year), people making a lifestyle choice, those who’ve bought a local business (most of which are now sold online), and others moving to Wales for a whole range of reasons from white flight to health considerations.
And the effects go beyond housing. All the way from village schools closing to social tensions as newcomers try a little too hard to ‘involve themselves’ in village life, with this being perceived by many locals as ‘taking over’.
The basic premise of the article is this; that Wales should follow the example of the island of Guernsey (and many other countries such as Switzerland and New Zealand) and that all Welsh housing should be divided into two basic groups; a 90% group for the local / national priority market for the present and long term resident citizens of Wales, and the remaining 10% group for the open market and for anyone to buy – with local authorities across Wales also deciding annually how much of the 90% local/national priority market would be available for citizens within the local authority and how much would be available to citizens from the rest of Wales. The 90% / 10% ratio would be an approximate figure to aim for and would unlikely be arrived at perfectly all the time of course.
Ultimately we’re relying on those elected to come up with decent policies and laws in this and other areas but I’ll use this opportunity here to try and respond to some of the main comments, questions or concerns made in response to the original article in the hope of adding to a constructive discussion.
How would you separate the open market housing from the local/national priority housing? How do you decide which property is in which category?
Like in Guernsey, this plan wouldn’t happen overnight. In Guernsey, these two separate priority and open market groups gradually came in after the Second World War with the Housing Control law 1948, when locals were getting pushed out and priced out of the market after the war – it’s taken them many years to gradually develop the two different markets in a rational and reasoned way so that when people buy and sell property in Guernsey they know what sector they are buying or selling in to. And it has naturally developed that open market housing tends to often be more expensive than those on the local priority market. The same could happen in Wales in my view. And if introduced in Wales there will be a transition period to give people plenty of time to know which group they’re buying or selling in to.
The plan obviously wouldn’t be retroactive, wouldn’t affect existing homes or those already living in Wales whomever they are, and would only come in to action at a pre determined point in the future where both home sellers and buyers in the local/national priority or open market group would know which market they are in or out of. So if a new housing law was passed stipulating the two different markets, both house sellers and house buyers in the future would know what they were doing. If existing home owners never want to sell their home then nothing would change anyhow.
In terms of how do you determine which home goes in to which category, I’d propose this as a starter:
It should be fairly straightforward to create a housing act that ensures that most new homes (although not all of course – some could also be in the open market sector) being built in Wales fit in to the local/national priority housing group – new homes that would then retain this local and national ownership priority clause in perpetuity should they be sold again the future.
When it comes to existing homes I’d propose that as a guide, like in Guernsey, a large amount (although not all) of the existing homes on the open market, would tend to be the more expensive homes above a certain rateable value – homes that are, say, over £400,000 in value (this is a suggested example – this figure could also be lower of course). Four hundred thousand pounds is also the point where the Welsh Transaction Tax changes from 5% to 7.5% which might make this a potentially useful place to introduce a small increase. So this housing law wouldn’t affect most of these homes above a suggested figure such as £400,000 or their owners if they wanted to sell their home at any point, which they could do on the open market as they wished and exempt from any housing controls.
This would mean that most homes generally below this example value of £400,000 (adjusted depending on inflation etc.) would then stay in the local/national priority group in perpetuity – therefore enabling a great deal more people to buy affordable homes within their own areas. A team of experienced valuers and deliberators including appointed estate agents within each local authority could fairly determine a balanced approach to decide on these two markets and to engage positively and constructively with home owners and buyers – a team that would also be accountable to the democratically elected local authority.
What would be my incentive to take part?
Financial incentives could also be offered to the home sellers taking part in the local/national priority scheme. They could be awarded for selling the homes to the priority market at a more affordable price by being guaranteed an upfront set sum from a pot coming from the extra council tax raised on holiday/second homes for example. This way, sellers wouldn’t be out of pocket and their conscience would be clear (if they had one!).
This incentive could also be made even more appealing if sellers in the priority group could also receive some of the Welsh Transaction Tax paid by buyers for homes above £400,000 in the open market group. This tax could perhaps be slightly and reasonably increased – raised from, say, 7.5% to 9% – generating more funds for this scheme and further compensating house sellers who are within the local/national priority group – this more than making up and perhaps exceeding any difference between an affordable local price and the potential market price. A similar arrangement could also be made when it comes to capital gains tax although that tax is not yet transferred to the Welsh Government. Welsh estate agents could also receive a reasonable percentage from the pot for each house sold (on top of their normal commissions) for making sure that the two different housing markets are properly regulated and administered.
And it might be reasonable that house sellers in the priority group who haven’t found a buyer after a certain time (perhaps after 1 or 2 years as a suggestion) could then sell on the open market.
How would you decide who is able to live where? What gives you the right to decide? Is this racist/sexist/some other ism or ist?
No, this plan isn’t any of the ists or isms and isn’t anti anyone. Nothing would change for anyone already living in Wales – wherever they are from in the world, whether that be Wales, Poland, Kenya, England or Timbuktu. All people who want to move to Wales after the date of the law being enacted would be treated equally. And whether you consider yourself Welsh, Welsh-British, British, English or any other ethnicity, nationality or identity and already live in Wales, this wouldn’t affect you or your home. The new plan would come in to being at a future date and then gradually develop over time as new homes are built and home sellers and buyers take part if buying or selling.
After that future point in time where the new law will come in, any person not already living in Wales having been offered a full time job in Wales who couldn’t find a house on the open market would also be eligible for a house in the priority market. As would any partner, wife or husband and any children. And as would those giving long term care for a family member or partner in Wales. Self employed people who could demonstrate that their work would benefit and contribute to the Welsh economy specifically could also be eligible.
And, like also happens in Guernsey, anyone could also rent in Wales following the same law as that for house buyers or sellers. And once anyone had rented a place in Wales for ten years they would be considered permanent Welsh resident citizens and therefore eligible to buy on the 90% priority market (unless they’ve already managed to rent or buy a place on the 10% open market).
Social housing could also follow similar priority/open market lines. There needs to be emergency social housing for those that really need it of course, but exploitation of this system has to be stopped to ensure that it’s only those that genuinely need emergency housing that are given it and that local authorities from outside of Wales also don’t fail in their own responsibilities and unfairly pass on the buck by sending people to live in social housing in Wales simply because it’s a cheaper or nicer place to live.
Land ownership laws should also follow similar lines in my view, as many countries such as New Zealand are now also instigating. The present situation of global corporations and financial investment firms buying up Welsh land on a large scale is nothing but very disturbing modern colonialism and land grabbing by modern day robber barons that needs urgent stopping.
Buyers and renters from outside of Wales could also be able to buy or rent a more relaxed, higher capped percentage of apartments and condos in apartment blocks etc. in the bigger towns and cities of Wales. The Swiss government for example, have decided that non-Swiss citizens can still own up to 50% percent of units in large, newly built apartment buildings, which are treated in a slightly more relaxed way in comparison to residential or family homes – whilst general residential properties belonging to non Swiss citizens, are limited to 20% of the housing stock in any Swiss community. The same could apply in Wales, giving a fair and balanced opportunity for all that want to live here and those that already live here.
The vast majority of countries and states in the world, including the present UK state, have tight control on housing and who can live there or not. Wales is a country in its own right and with its own legislative parliament and government, and is no different to any other country.
Not sure about a citizen of Wales being someone who had lived here for ten years… What if you were a nurse who didn’t have a Welsh parent but did have a job? Would you be forced to rent for ten years before being allowed to buy a “home for locals”. Seems rather unfair.
As mentioned, if you had a full time job or an offer of one in Wales I believe it would be reasonable that you should be able to buy or rent within both the priority local/national market or open market group regardless of anything else.
Who counts as a citizen of Wales?
Anyone who lives in Wales can be said to be a de facto citizen of Wales and Welsh law will apply to you whether you’re a person who’s lived in Wales for three months, three years or have always lived here and can trace your heritage to Wales since time immemorial. So when the specific date of this proposed law would come in, whether you’ve already lived in Wales for three months or a hundred years (many congratulations on that if so), whether you are Icelandic, Senegalese, Japanese, Scottish or English, nothing would change and no one would be chasing you out of the country with a broomstick or any other implement.
For the purpose of present or future priority housing eligibility after the official start of the proposed policy, the permanent resident citizens of Wales can be defined as people who were either born in Wales and have at least one parent born in Wales or people who have lived in Wales for a total of at least ten years in any given period/s (or have a full time job here or are long term carers for partners/relatives etc.). Those buying on the open market wouldn’t need any eligibility.
If you already own your own home in Wales you would keep your existing home and nothing would change. The only thing that would change under this proposal is that your home, if generally under a certain designated value as mentioned, would likely fall within the local/national priority group if you decide to sell in the future, for which you would be compensated to ensure the value would be around the open market price. And, after the law would be enacted, unless otherwise eligible, new people moving to Wales would need to wait ten years for eligibility to buy on the priority market unless they managed to find one on the open market. If someone had already been living here for 8 years and don’t meet the other eligibility criteria then they would need to wait another two years to become Welsh permanent resident citizens and be able to join the priority market if they want to buy a new place (unless they can find a house on the open market that is).
These points, I’d argue, give a good balance between those who are existing residents and/or have long term connections or family heritage in Wales, and those who have come here more recently and want to make Wales their home – I believe this type of plan would be beneficial to all involved. Stipulating a ten year period or ‘born here with a Welsh born parent’ – similar to the system in Guernsey and Japan as a few examples of many – should stop people exploiting the policy by travelling to Wales to have a child/children here before leaving again knowing that their child would be guaranteed a home in the future. As mentioned, the other 10% of open market housing would stay the same and would have no restrictions whether you are a Welsh permanent resident citizen or not.
Isn’t this kind of bad idea? Imagine the uproar if the English brought in a rule that 90% of homes are allocated only to English people. I can see the headline… “Welsh man trying to buy a home in London due to moving for work not allowed because he is Welsh.”
No, the principle would be fine and fair enough in England as well in my view, although this proposal suggests that people who work or have a full time offer of work in Wales should be able to buy a house or rent in Wales on the priority market (and can buy or rent on the open market without restrictions as well if they want).
Housing priority rules such as these are already in place in many parts of England such as the Peak District, the Lake District and the North York Moors, and this type of regulation is seen in most of the world’s countries including the Channel Islands (Jersey also has similar housing rules to Guernsey) and the UK state as a whole of course. This is increasingly becoming a global problem which is being tackled.
Although these proposals aren’t just about England and treat all people wishing to move to Wales equally, these issues are also relevant to England and her citizens. English citizens also have a right to have reasonable policies in place and to not be priced out and driven out of their local areas (including in London). As does Guernsey. As does Wales and any other country. Wales and the Welsh Government should, in my view, support a similar proportionate scheme in England and elsewhere if that is what the people of England or elsewhere want.
Rights of peoples and nations under international law
A final point about rights of peoples and nations under international treaty.
As mentioned, the vast majority of countries and states in the world, including the present UK state, have tight controls on housing and who can live there. Wales is a country in its own right, with its own legislative parliament and government, and is no different to any other country. Colonialism is also a crime as recognised in international law and as seen in The Geneva Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
No government needs to constantly apologise or justify why they work to have the interests of the country and the citizens of that country as its main focus. That is supposedly the whole point of a national government and of democracy in the first place and it doesn’t mean that that country is anti anything or anyone or doesn’t care and won’t reach out to others who are in need. We constantly (and rightly) hear protesting against colonialism and imperialism being used against countries and peoples all across the world, many of these seriously marginalised. Yet, according to some it’s perfectly acceptable for this to happen in Wales and if we try and manage the problem then we are somehow the narrow minded extremists.
I would suggest that it is those who strongly oppose any management of this issue and condone mass colonialism are the ones who are pushing narrow minded and dangerous extremism. We the citizens of Wales, whomever and wherever we are in Wales and whatever our background and origin, also have a right not to be colonised or be displaced from our own communities and land.
I took a week off last week. It was too hot for blogging. For which we must all blame anthropogenic global warming. Then again, it might just have been normal summer weather.
It certainly was when the rain arrived. So different to when I was a boy . . .
Back then, summer started in mid-March, many over the age of 50 were dead from heatstroke and malaria by the time we celebrated the Feast of Saint Blodwen of Cwmrhydyceirw. And we played cricket ‘frae morning sun till dine’.
For these and other reasons I suggested the Green Man angle was perhaps a distraction. I’ll go further now and suggest that Gilestone itself might not be the thread to follow if we want to know what’s really going on.
There seem to be two possible ways of explaining it. Both start from the same point.
WATERSHED AGRICULTURAL COUNCIL
And that point is the visit to Wales in March 2018 by a delegation from the Watershed Agricultural Council (WAC), based in the Catskill Mountains of New York State. This trip was organised and hosted by Dŵr Cymru / Welsh Water.
This northern reach of the Appalachian mountain chain supplies New York City with its drinking water, and of course NYC wishes to ensure a supply of good drinking water.
As the video below explains, legislation introduced in 1990 meant that water for NYC would need to be more rigorously treated, but one option was prohibitively expensive, even for the Big Apple.
The need to find a cheaper alternative to the $5 – 7bn outlay on a new filtration plant led to the link-up between NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Catskill farmers, foresters and others.
Following that visit to Wales in March 2018 for the Watersource conference the next contact was in June 2019, when a party representing Dŵr Cymru visited the Catskills.
The next step was the formation, in May 2020, of the Beacons Water Group CIC (BWG). Roderick and Davies were among the six directors, as was Charles Weston, who owned Gilestone. But at the formation of BWG – some two years before Gilestone was sold to the ‘Welsh Government’ – Weston gave a Crai address.
Had he already vacated Gilestone? Had it already been bought?
A fourth Founding Father was Anthony Hugh Martineau. He farms land at Llangorse lake owned by the Raikes family of Treberfydd House.
Martineau is also an ‘advisor’ in sustainable agriculture at Black Mountains College in Talgarth. Which is interesting because back in New York State there’s Bard College, another George Soros-backed institution.
And Bard College seems to work with the Watershed Agricultural Council.
Perhaps to complete the circle, Dŵr Cymru is chummy with Soros College, Talgarth. Our water supplier is sponsoring an Ecological Futures Camp in August.
So if you want to learn how to catch and skin an illegally released beaver, and then turn the pelt into a nice pair of slippers for Auntie Ceinwen, get your name down now!
Oh, I can’t wait!
‘WATER, WATER, EVERYWHERE . . . ‘
So, as I suggested in a tweet last week, the events around the Gilestone purchase could be all about Dŵr Cymru getting together with farmers to ensure a constant supply of good drinking water.
But if we were simply talking about clean drinking water, then I might not be writing this. For who could argue against?
There has to be more to it.
Let’s think back to the video we looked at earlier. The one in which we were told that the Watershed Agricultural Council came into being as a result of new and more stringent regulations regarding water quality.
That’s true, though things got off to a rocky start. There was clearly local opposition to what them folks from the big city wanted to do.
Though relations between NYC authorities and Catskill farmers seem to have improved, perhaps because (penultimate paragraph): “Farmers have been given 100% funding from WAC for infrastructure to improve water quality. WAC is trusted intermediary and all work is locally led, science based and voluntary with no regulations.”
By comparison, I get the impression that the ‘Welsh Government’ and Natural Resources Wales hope to use new regulations to bankrupt farmers and free up land.
Though I’m writing about the USA I still don’t understand why Dŵr Cymru needed to go there to learn about clean drinking water. They could have gone anywhere in Europe without the cost and environmental damage of transatlantic flights.
Some might conclude – as I have done – that certain agencies in Wales were attracted to New York City’s watershed model for reasons other than just clean water.
Either way, I’d like to know how or through whom Dŵr Cymru first made contact with those US organisations.
Whatever the answer, it would not justify spaffing £4.25m of public money.
SO WHAT ELSE COULD IT BE?
The Watershed Agricultural Council website has a page on Conservation Easements. A term and a concept with which I was unfamiliar. I found it fascinating.
‘In the United States, a conservation easement (also called conservation covenant, conservation restriction or conservation servitude) is a power invested in a qualified private land conservation organization (often called a “land trust“) or government (municipal, county, state or federal) to constrain, as to a specified land area, the exercise of rights otherwise held by a landowner so as to achieve certain conservation purposes.’
The Environment Act 2021 that comes into effect in England on September 30 allows for Conservation Covenants. Read about it here. Note the references to “carbon offsetting” and “carbon insetting”.
I’m not aware of similar Welsh legislation, but the ‘Welsh Government’ usually follows London’s lead. Often with ‘variations to accommodate local circumstances’.
‘The CWC was officially born January 17, 1997 with the signing of the landmark New York City Watershed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between City, State, Federal and environmental entities and Watershed municipalities. The MOA and associated Filtration Avoidance Determination (FAD), allowed the City to avoid building an expensive facility to filter its Catskill-Delaware Water Supply as long as it proved it could keep this surface supply clean through land acquisition, regulations and city-funded, locally-administered environmental protection programs.’
‘In the late 1990s, DEP began a Land Acquisition Program to protect water quality in its reservoirs by preserving key parcels of land in the watershed. Since then, DEP has acquired more than 100,000 acres of land in the Catskills, including many tracts that were historically used for agriculture or rented by neighboring farmers.’
“Land Acquisition Program . . . tracts that were historically used for agriculture”.
I guess whether Conservation Easements / Covenants benefit farmers depends on who’s wielding the power.
Statements made and attitudes displayed in recent years by representatives of the ‘Welsh Government’ towards the farming community and the countryside in general make me pessimistic.
BEACONS WATER GROUP
I’m intrigued by the rather mysterious Beacons Water Group CIC. One thing I find odd is that – even allowing for Covid – a Community Interest Company has gained no new members in over two years of its existence.
Is it a closed shop?
Come to that, which ‘community’ does it represent? And in which way? When I checked the BWG entry on the Companies House website, and in particular the Certificate of Incorporation, there, under ‘Objects’, I found what you see below.
It struck me as being rather vague. With no mention of water despite ‘Water’ appearing in the company name. And why ‘visitors’ (before ‘residents’) – is it a tourism group?
Two were taken on a trip to the USA by Dŵr Cymru, and ‘debriefed’ on their return by Natural Resources Wales. A third had his farm bought by the ‘Welsh Government’ for a grossly inflated price. A fourth farms land owned by a local squire and is connected to a Soros-backed institution.
The other two directors I haven’t really checked on yet.
It stinks! (And I’m not talking agricultural pollution of watercourses!)
We have been lied to about the purchase of Gilestone farm. Especially the reason given for buying it. The Green Man festival is peripheral to these machinations, if it’s involved at all.
Gilestone being bought for an insane amount of money cannot be divorced from the owner, Charles Weston, belonging to the in-crowd Beacons Water Group.
Is Gilestone the first of many purchases of farms close to a watercourse? Though how many farms in Wales are not close to a watercourse!
There may be partnership in the USA between farmers and officialdom but that won’t happen in Wales, where too many civil servants and politicians regard George Monbiot as the ultimate authority on Welsh farming.
What you’ve read here is about water only in so far as water quality might in future be used to appropriate farmland. This explains the attraction of the Catskills model to certain agencies in Wales.
As I’ve suggested, it was no coincidence that the absurd ‘NVZ’ legislation, pretending a highly localised issue is a nationwide crisis, was dreamed up at the very time others were to-ing and fro-ing across the Atlantic.
Because the NVZ regulations are also about land, rather than water.