I apologise for this piece being a bit long, but it’s still less than 2,800 words. And worth sticking with.
THE BIGGER PICTURE
Much of the background to this new legislation was covered a few weeks back in ‘20mph, A Disaster Unfolds’.
What’s absolutely clear now is that 20mph did not suddenly appear, it’s been hatching for a while. To explain what I mean, here’s a table I’ve drawn up, though I’m sure it’s incomplete, so if you can add to it . . . .
And here it is in pdf format with working links.
And it’s failed her on almost every count. But then, grand gestures done for dramatic effect rather than to deliver lasting benefits will invariably fail.
Next, we look at the Wales Act 2017. There, in Section 26, we see that power to vary or regulate speed limits is now conferred on the ‘Welsh Ministers’.
Which makes sense if, as some suggest, Wales is being used as a testing ground for the wackier planet-saving ideas.
Now we move on to an undated publication by Public Health Wales recommending 20mph on our roads. I assume this is by Huw Brunt and Sarah Jones of Public Health Wales. It mentions the new powers to lower speed limits.
Then there’s the Clean Air Zone Framework for Wales (April 2018) where, on page 20, we read:
Consideration should be given to lowering speed limits in a CAZ from 30mph to 20mph, which some research suggests would deliver overall benefits27. Safety benefits from reduced road speed can also encourage modal shift from private cars.
Perhaps, state-owned, chauffeur-driven cars are OK?
The call was taken up by Sustrans who, in a publication dated 1 January 2019, called for 20mph speed limits across the UK, quoting Public Health Wales. Does this also show Wales being used as a testing ground?
Another example of pearl-clutching theatricality was Wales declaring a climate emergency. This happened in April 2019, just before Environment Minister Lesley Griffiths (and Gary) met with Scottish and UK counterparts.
Here’s the plan for funding the responses deemed necessary to combat this ’emergency’, produced by Future Generations Commissioner and Labour party insider, Sophie Howe. From which I’ve extracted the graphic for ‘Transport’ below.
Those who compiled that table obviously view increased car ownership as something deplorable, which must be reversed. Yet for me, and I suspect for most people, those figures represent progress and increased prosperity.
Finally, we see 20mph again in Labour’s 2021 manifesto ahead of the Senedd elections. The original manifesto seems to have disappeared, so I can only link to the update put out following the agreement with Plaid Cymru.
It’s a pity the original’s disappeared because I’m told it proposed risk-based approaches to assessing trunk road speeds. Basically, ‘Welsh Government’, or an individual minister, wanted lower speed limits on A and B roads.
Perhaps Plaid Cymru, a party of rural areas with sparse traffic on open roads, realised this would not go down well in Trawsfynydd or Nant y Caws.
So we see that the call for 20mph, and associated demands, goes back at least 5 years, and probably further. We’ll briefly consider associated issues before turning to an unattainable fantasy.
One of the associated matters is 15- 0r 20-minute cities / neighbourhoods. Which can be viewed in two ways.
The optimist might say: ‘Wow! everything I need will be within easy travelling distance; Waitrose, Pilates, accountant, Skivvyhire, Green Party constituency office, ballet class, tattooist, florist, saddler, doctor, dentist, plastic surgeon . . . .’
(Dentist? In Wales!)
The cynic might ask: ‘Yes, but is that 20 minutes there, or 20 minutes there and back? And what if I want to travel for longer than 20 minutes . . . and just keep going, into the wide blue yonder?’
Sustrans was promoting the idea in November 2019, just ahead of December’s UK general election. The local chief of Sustrans for over six years (2007 – 2013) was Lee Waters, now Deputy Minister for Climate Change.
Make no mistake, Sustrans is an anti-car organisation. And Waters himself is said to be a cycling and walking “fanatic“. Which is fine with me. Veganism is fine with me. It’s when zealots and fringe outfits are allowed or encouraged to push their beliefs onto the rest of us that I object.
The Future Generations Commissioner was backing 20-minute neighbourhoods by September 2020. To show loyal, Plaid Cymru chimed in in April 2021.
Labour-controlled Cardiff council was also on board with the “20-minute neighbourhood or 15-minute city“, as this motion from March 2021 puts it. Even crediting Sustrans.
Erm, let’s think about that for a minute. A city is made up of neighbourhoods. So obviously a city is bigger than a neighbourhood. That being so, how can a city be traversed, and its services accessed, quicker than those of a neighbourhood?
I’ll touch briefly on three more elements of the grand design.
Then there’s road charging, mentioned on page 21 of Llwybr Newydd The Wales Transport Strategy 2021. Where it’s spelled out quite unambiguously:
We will develop a framework for fair and equitable road-user charging in Wales and explore other disincentives to car use, taking into account equality issues including the needs of people in rural areas, people who share protected characteristics and people on low incomes
“ . . . and explore other disincentives to car use“.
Something I found odd about this was that it said, “in Wales“. But this was produced by the ‘Welsh Government’, so which other country would it refer to? Or was it written by someone else, perhaps not based in Wales?
The reference to “protected characteristics” I assume means that women with penises won’t have to pay. (Where’s my wig?)
Finally, let us never forget that it was Lee Waters who announced earlier this year that all new road-building projects were cancelled.
To achieve this result the Welsh Roads Review Panel was created with orders to deliver the desired ‘findings’. And to guarantee that outcome the group was chaired by Dr Lynn Sloman. Who wrote ‘Car Sick‘, which rather gives away her position.
I wrote about this episode in March, scroll down to the relevant section.
THE WORLD OF MAKE-BELIEVE
‘Vision Zero’ seems to have appeared in September 2012. In the ‘Welsh Government’s Road Safety Delivery Plan. Explained here in a written statement from the late Carl Sargeant, then Minister for Local Government and Communities.
Here’s how Road Safety GB reported it.
Vision Zero was a vague promise to reduce road accidents. It was re-affirmed in this ‘Welsh Government’ publication from May 2018 (pp 6, 13).
But then, just a year or so later, on page 24 of the Manifesto for the 2019 UK general election, we read that Vision Zero has become a plan to eliminate road deaths and injuries entirely!
Let’s give a little more thought to this idea of Vision Zero.
It should be obvious that Vision Zero can only be achieved by banning all vehicles, whether powered by the internal combustion engine, battery, or hydrogen.
But with more bicycles and pedestrians on the roads – as is hoped – there will still be fatalities and injuries. Either cyclists crashing or cyclists colliding with pedestrians. It happens now. With more cyclists, and with cyclists having freedom of the highways, some will be even more reckless and inconsiderate than they are now.
With vehicular transport banned – and that must also mean public transport – then people will spend far more time at home.
But most accidents happen in the home, so spending more time at home will result in more accidents. Don’t take my word for it, read what RoSPA says on the subject. So how is transferring death and injury from the highway to the home an improvement?
It’s not an improvement at all. It only makes sense if the real goal is to ban cars.
More people spending more time at home will create other problems. I can predict with certainty there’ll be more cases of domestic violence, and murder. There will be more children physically and sexually abused. Even more cruelty towards domestic pets.
Also, more suicides, due to the stress of being cooped up at home. It will be a kind of lockdown. And it will be done despite us knowing the social and psychological damage inflicted by Covid lockdown.
But then, it may be dressed up as climate lockdown. And if so, then we must accept that chasing each other round the house with meat cleavers is an acceptable price to pay for saving the planet.
Think about what you’ve just read. Put it all together and tell me it’s not a war on cars, on private transport, and the freedom the car gives us.
RULE FROM THE SHADOWS
I’m returning to the idea of Wales being used as a testing ground. With most people unaware of it, and the lack of awareness even extending to the ‘Welsh Government’.
But testing ground status is easy to achieve when our politicians are controlled by pressure groups. These often directed and / or funded by individuals and organisations making up the Globalist network.
I’ve written about this phenomenon a number of times recently. In Wales: Ruled By Pressure Groups. And Who The Hell Are These People!. The ‘Welsh Government’ even pays through the nose for this Globalist influence, as I explained in Lynn Global Pushes Globalist Agenda.
The bigger picture only makes sense when you remember how it started.
Klaus Schwab, founder and chairperson of the World Economic Forum (WEF), makes an appearance. Schwab is also a member of the Club of Rome.
This programme of control was easy to sell to third-rate leftist politicians in Wales because socialism is fundamentally anti-human; viewing us as classes or identities, even “protected characteristics“, rather than gloriously varied individuals.
And of course, socialists love imposing “Can’t do that!” restrictions.
Now for the new faces I promised.
NORTH STAR TRANSITION
This company was formed just over three years ago by Jyotir Banerjee. The website is full of silly phrases interspersed with impenetrable jargon: “multi-capital metrics” . . . “radical reframing and holistic transformation” . . .
It’s not often one encounters so much bullshit on a single website. Thankfully.
The clue to North Star’s real purpose comes in a piece written a few weeks ago by Banerjee himself. We are told that “biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change” can all be remedied – by “large-scale investment funding“.
Now you know me, when a chancer crosses my path I like to know more about him or her. Did I really say, “chancer“? (Inner voice: “Yes you did, Jac.”)
First stop was Companies House, to see what our boy has been up to over the years. There are a number of companies to his name, which are either dissolved, dormant or, if still trading, then none too buoyant, to judge by the accounts submitted.
The address currently used for Banerjee’s empire is 1 Pembroke Villas, The Green, Richmond. And a very nice gaff it looks too. But according to the Land Registry this property is leased to a firm of accountants.
The reason I’m writing about Banerjee is his Wales Transition Lab.
But what is Wales to be ‘transitioned’ into? And by whom? And for whose benefit?
Since October 2020, a group of 35 thought leaders across Wales have listened to each other and imagined a country that future generations could thrive in.
“Listened to each other“! I see a gang of interlopers discussing the future of our homeland without consulting us. This is often called colonialism.
Topham continues . . .
Why Wales? With a population of 3m people, Wales is the right size for such a living laboratory.
Now she’s gone full-on memsahib. For her and her ‘thought leaders’ our Wales is just a testing ground. With us indigenes as guinea-pigs? Or are we to be removed?
Despite this clique being anonymous one name found on the North Star website is, inevitably, Jane Davidson, who seems to serve as a kind of chatelaine to that demi-monde where enviroshysters have the ear of politicians and civil servants.
After claiming to have initially been reluctant to get involved Banerjee eventually joined Davidson’s Wales Net Zero 2035 Challenge Group. (How many different target years do these people use?)
In his homage to La Davidson Banerjee writes: “Olivier Boutellis and I set up North Star Transition to tackle the climate emergency . . . “.
My cue to introduce Olivier Boutellis and explain what I think is really happening.
Despite what Banerjee says, Boutellis was not there at the start (unless he was keeping his head down). For North Star Transition was launched 10 June 2020 and the company Olivier Boutellis-Taft SPRL climbed aboard 3 February 2021.
This company was registered in Belgium 04 October 2011.
So who is Olivier Boutellis, or Boutellis-Taft?
But it’s his Linkedin profile that I found fascinating. The screen capture below will explain why.
It tells us Olivier Boutellis-Taft joined the Club of Rome EU Chapter at exactly the same time he got involved with Jyotir Banerjee and North Star Transition.
There is also a Linkedin page of the most elementary kind. But it claims the Club of Rome EU Chapter has 11 employees and that its focus is on “sustainability” and “environmental services“.
But understandable doubts to one side, let’s accept Banerjee and Boutellis-Taft at face value. I believe they’re promising to find ‘investors’ looking to buy Welsh farmland for carbon offsetting, or in other ways take land out of agricultural production.
Which fits perfectly with the Globalist agenda to destroy small- to medium-sized farms so that corporations can take control of the food supply. Because if you control the food supply then you control the people.
The opening part of this 2-minute video explains it succinctly.
This Globalist agenda is welcomed by the environmental pressure groups because it destroys farming, especially livestock farming, and most of these activists seem to be vegans.
They also anticipate getting some of the grabbed land for their rewilding fantasies.
Because of course there’ll be fewer people living in the countryside. Take out the main industry and the decline begins. Impose travel restrictions, run down public transport and impose other obstacles and rural living becomes even less attractive.
At the top and the bottom both Globalists and environmental activists know what they want, and are guaranteed to benefit. It’s those in the middle of the scam who, along with the people, will lose out.
Because politicians don’t seem to realise that in the New World Order they are surplus to requirements. As Klaus Schwab explains in this very short video – in the future we won’t need elections.
“Can you imagine such a world?“, he asks. Yes, I can; and while losing politicians has its attractions . . .
Without elections we won’t need politicians, except to serve as ‘managers’ for their Globalist masters. Which is not a lot different to what they’re doing now.
Our politicians have been fooled into thinking they’re saving the planet when what they’re really doing is sacrificing Wales and other countries to the psychotic ambitions of the Globalists.
And this explains dreamers, chancers, shysters and con men flocking to Wales.
As I hope I’ve explained, 20mph speed restrictions should not be viewed in isolation. They are part of something much, much bigger.
You’re free to dismiss me as a conspiracy theorist. It’s a free world. For now. But before you go . . .
Justify Vision Zero transferring deaths and injuries from highway to home without admitting it’s a plan to do away with cars. Do you think Jyotir Banerjee’s “large-scale investment funding” is designed to save the Welsh family farm? And why does Klaus Schwab talk about abolishing elections?
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© Royston Jones 2023