The Road To Hell

The previous post got considerable attention and it also unlocked fascinating new information. And that explains this follow-up. Which I hope will result in further revelations.

WHERE ARE WE?

In the previous post I dealt with the Bryn Cadwgan wind farm planned by Galileo Green Energy. This is a Swiss company that set up a UK operation a few years ago to cash in on the Welsh wind turbine rip-off.

Different rules in England mean that complaints from local communities must be listened to which, in practical terms, means that no onshore wind farms get built. This sees Wales and Scotland increasingly used to supply electricity to England from a source the English don’t want.

Even to the extent of electricity from wind farms off Scotland’s west coast coming by undersea cable to Bangor, then down to Swansea, where it can connect with the main transmission lines from Pembroke power station to England.

Here in Wales, every project of 10MW or above is classed as a Development of National Significance (DNS), which means locals, and their elected representatives on local councils, will always be over-ruled by politicians in Corruption Bay who’ve declared war on a people they regard as racist, climate-denying, car-driving, transphobes.

It’s succinctly explained here. The chronology is intriguing.

In addition to the Galileo proposal I also knew that Bute Energy, a Scottish firm that rents a cupboard in Cardiff to fool us into thinking it’s Welsh, had a plan for an installation they were calling Blaencothi. Though details were scarce.

But true to form, Bute has again recruited a local to proselytise on its behalf. This one is Cilycwm community councillor Jamie Pickup. We can no doubt expect Pickup to be speaking up for all three projects.

But the third project, Waun Maenllwyd Wind Hub, being pushed by Belltown Power of Bristol, was a bit of a surprise. Possibly because it had previously been known as ‘Bryn Brawd’, and I’d perhaps assumed it had fallen though because I’d heard no more of it by that name.

Anyway . . . since putting out last week’s piece I have been told that the companies behind these three projects are combining to share a route to the plateau that forms the southern end of the Cambrian Mountains of central Wales.

In fact, the route is described here on the Belltown website (scroll down):

The proposed access route to the site for abnormal indivisible loads (such as blades, hub, nacelle and tower sections) will be from the port of origin (which is likely to be Swansea) via the M4, A48 and A40. Loads would turn off the public highway at Pumsaint and travel north for approximately 14km on a combination of existing commercial forestry tracks and new tracks to reach the wind farm location. No significant traffic flows will be associated with the operational phase of the site.

Who could argue with that? A motorway and nice wide trunk roads all the way. Problem is, the route as given is sort of incomplete. Let me explain.

As written, deliveries will turn off the A40 at Pumsaint . . . but the A40 goes nowhere near Pumsaint. Which makes what Belltown says misleading, if not dishonest. And if they could get this so wrong, what else might they have got wrong?

The truth is that after leaving Llandeilo the huge low loaders will turn onto the B4302 and head for Talyllychau (Talley). Then on to Crugybar and the Bridgend Inn (where I sank a few pints in the good old days), where they’ll join the A482 to reach Pumsaint.

Using my bestest crayons I’ve conjured up this map that might explain it better.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

For those of you unfamiliar with this road, take my word for it, it will struggle to accommodate massive low loaders carrying huge turbine blades and tower sections.

Below is a capture from Google Maps showing the B4302 just after leaving Talyllychau on its way to Crugybar. Those hedgerows will have to go. And so will many other trees and hedgerows on the 13 miles from the A40 to Pumsaint.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Now we’re going to move on to Stage 2 of the environmental vandalism associated with these projects. The section that involves the National Trust (NT) and the ‘Welsh Government’.

UPDATE: I should have mentioned that Belltown is closely linked with the Foresight Group. And if that name rings a bell it’s because Foresight has been buying up farms in this area for carbon offsetting.

With the Foresight reputation damaged locally Belltown may be fronting for Foresight. Questions need to be asked. And answers demanded.

UPDATE 10.11.2023: It was learnt last night that Belltown will be taking the A482 from Llanwrda to Pumsaint. Galileo will take the Talyllychau route suggested above. No information yet on the Bute route, but it doesn’t really matter. Because there will now be two roads suffering expensive damage.

DON’T TRUST THE NATIONAL TRUST

Once the huge low loaders reach Pumsaint, or just outside the village, they’ll take a right turn onto National Trust property.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

This is the Dolaucothi estate, home to the famous ‘Roman’ gold mines, once owned by the Johnes family, who also owned the Hafod estate, to the north. Hafod fell into the clutches of the National Trust last year. With a 99-year lease and £700,000 gift from the ‘Welsh Government’.

In other words, the ‘Welsh Government’ paid an organisation worth billions £700,000 to take over a prime Welsh estate.

Despite the excuse given by Corruption Bay for this generosity it might have been due to the involvement of Dawn Bowden MS. As Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport the Hafod deal should have had nothing to do with her. But Tourism’ has since been added to her portfolio. Fancy that!

Response from ‘Welsh Government’ to FoI request. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

I wrote about it in this post, scroll to the section ‘Bristol Fashion’. And then in this post, in the section, ‘”Welsh Government” funds National Trust’.

It’s instructive to consider the organisation of the National Trust in Wales, and what happened at Hafod. Not least because it might provide clues as to why the NT would be a willing party to this planned environmental disaster.

It was early June last year when we learnt that the Trust was taking over the Hafod estate. Which seems to be owned by the ‘Welsh Government’ through Natural Resources Wales, and had until then been run by the Hafod Trust.

Just three months earlier, in March, Lhosa Daly of Bristol, had taken on the role of NT’s Acting Director for Wales, and was appointed to the post officially in September. I mention Bristol because that’s where she lives.

If we look at her career background we see that in the past seven or eight years Daly’s been chair of the Bristol branch of the Institute of directors, vice chair of the Bristol Law Centre, and she is still a business ambassador for the Western Gateway.

These positions would have brought her into contact with the glitterati of Bristol’s business community. Including, perhaps, the directors of Belltown Power, the company planning to desecrate our country with Waun Maenllwyd Wind Hub.

With Belltown, Bute and Galileo hoping to reach the site by traversing land owned or managed by Lhosa Daly’s National Trust and the ‘Welsh Government’.

The mystery of Dawn Bowden representing the ‘Welsh Government’ last year, despite it being beyond her responsibilities, could be accounted for by her also being from Bristol. She and Daly might have already known each other.

And if that’s too fanciful an explanation for you, then try this: Bowden should have known Lhosa Daly through her being Deputy Minister for Arts since May 2021 and Daly being an advisor to the Arts Council of Wales since April 2019.

Come to that, how did Bristol-based Daly get that gig with the Arts Council of Wales?

FINAL THOUGHTS

I’m told deals have been done with farmers and other landowners along the route between Llandeilo and Pumsaint to cut corners, destroy hedges, and in places widen the B4302, and even perhaps the A482.

This will cost a considerable amount of money. So who’ll pay for it? Will it be the ‘developers’? The county council? The so-called ‘Welsh Government’? Or will there be a whip-round in the Dolaucothi Arms?

And then there’s the question of how the National Trust squares being a conservation body with the damage it’s helping inflict on the Welsh landscape by these wind farms. What would NT members say, if they knew?

Not just in the road ‘improvements’ I’ve just described, but also on the 14km journey to the sites after the low loaders turn off the A482. And then the on-site destruction.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

There’ll be the vast concrete bases to support these huge turbines, the access roads, the deep trenches for the cables. How many trees will be felled? How much peat bog damaged? And let’s not forget the pylons.

I ask about the trees because I’m told new populations of red squirrels and pine martens are establishing themselves. Will they adapt to climbing pylons and turbines?

I suggest that even if they stick around they’ll be so traumatised by what’s being done to their habitat they might stop breeding.

As if that wasn’t enough, someone then tells me . . .

We also have two breeding maternity colonies of soprano pipistrelle bats on my land, they will love the sonic signature of wind turbines of course.

Don’t worry – once the poor little buggers are disorientated enough the blades will finish them off pretty quickly. (If they’re turning!)

Them and the kites, and other birds. And insects by the million.

Nothing here really surprises me, because I’ve always regarded the National Trust as a very commercial organisation and, in Wales, rather colonialist. Lhosa Daly playing the memsahib is entirely in keeping.

Not only that, but there’s something of the vulture about the NT in Wales, picking up land and estates as old Welsh families die out. Or more recently, acquiring property from the ‘Welsh Government’ or Natural Resources Wales.

For example, Daly is also a director of a National Trust company called Porthdinlleyn Harbour Company (The). This relates to Porthdinllaen at Morfa Nefyn.

Porthdinllaen once belonged to the Jones-Parry (Madryn) family. Sir Love Jones-Parry MP, was very supportive of the Patagonia settlement. Which explains why a town over there is called Puerto Madryn; and is twinned with Nefyn, I believe.

Another example of this sad phenomenon is located not far from me, a place I love to visit. I’m directing you now to Llynnoedd Cregennan.

Llynnoedd Cregennan. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Major C L Wynne-Jones lost both his sons in WWII, so in 1959 he handed over this 285-hectare estate to the National Trust.

As I hope I’ve made clear, I’m not surprised by the National Trust’s behaviour with these wind farms, and the damage they’ll cause . . . what really pisses me off is that the National Trust is still operating in Wales.

Devolution should have brought Wales a new organisation to replace the colonialist parasite that is the National Trust. We should by now have a Welsh body conserving our heritage and our history, safeguarding our landscapes.

But to set up such a body would have required political leaders with vision and courage, rather than the grubby, ishoo-of-the-month puppets Wales is cursed with.

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2023

A Little Place In The Country

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

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

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

GARRISON OPD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

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.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

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

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

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

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

So let’s see what else we can learn.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DRAKEFORD SPEAKS!

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

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

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

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

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

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

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

THE EXAMPLES DRAKEFORD QUOTED

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

Let’s look at them, working backwards.

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

Now let’s turn to Solfa.

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

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

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

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

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

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

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.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

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

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

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

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

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

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

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

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2023

Wales, Idiots And Envirogrifters

Yes, I’ve postponed the piece on the Globalists, again, but it’s a story with no real deadline. Whereas what I’m offering below is a kind of follow-up to a piece I put out in June: Wales: Ruled By Pressure Groups. And I want to get it out before this year’s Show in Llanelwedd becomes a distant memory.

This is another biggie, but it’s segmented. So, as Buddy Holly sang, Take Your Time.

EXTINCTION REBELLION, AN UPDATE

In the piece I just linked to I established that the so-called ‘Welsh Government’ (‘WG’) has been meeting with the extremists of Extinction Rebellion since at least May 2019.

I can now confirm that first minister Drakeford himself met with Extinction Rebellion in July 2019. Did he meet them even earlier, because the letter below doesn’t say it was their first meeting?

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

I can’t take it back further (unsurprising seeing as XR didn’t launch until October 31, 2018), but I can reinforce the point that XR and WG are close, and establish beyond any doubt that the pressure group is giving orders to our elected representatives.

Exhibit A, M’lud: An e-mail from XR Cymru to Julie James, who’d been re-elected in the May 6 Senedd elections and made Minister for Climate Change. Basically, the message says, ‘You’re not going far enough or fast enough’.

The message ends with a reference to, ” . . . the good relationship with Welsh Government developed in the last few years”. On the right you’ll see Julie James’ response.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

The next communication I have is from XR Cymru Political Circle and it’s to Julie James and Llyr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru chair of the Senedd’s Climate Change, Environment, and Infrastructure Committee, and it’s dated December 7, 2021.

I should add that the highlighting is not mine. And I was unable to locate the attachment referred to. (Yes, you’re welcome to try.)

Extinction Rebellion, with nary a vote to their name, tell the ‘Welsh Government’: “Of course there are areas where we want to see more action and faster responses“.

I’d tell them to fuck right off . . . but then, that’s me.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

The next billet-doux was sent on July 13, 2022, at 7:26 in the morning! From XR Cymru Political Circle to Julie James, and the subject matter, in upper case, read: “URGENT REQUEST FOR A MEETING”.

This is an interesting (and amusing) communication. For it might suggest that Julie James was not giving XR the personal attention they thought they deserved. In fact, it reads as if she fobbed them off with her deputy Lee Waters, and they weren’t impressed.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

There is the usual ‘Must do better! reprimand, but what I really want to focus on is the reference, in bold type, to “Behaviour Change Strategy“. Also, the introduction of Claire Chappell, who is said to be ” . . . working as quickly as possible with substantial resources . . . “.

So who is Claire Chappell?

Her Linkedin page (here in pdf) describes her as, ‘Head of Brand Performance’ at the ‘Welsh Government’, and she’s been in the job for more than 8 years. But what is the job? And what is ‘brand performance’?

Well, I found this explanation, and if the definition below is to be believed, then Clair Chappell and her employer are dismal failures.

Brand performance marketing, also known as brand purpose marketing, focuses on improving your brand’s reputation and of course, its performance.

Finally, we’ll read this e-mail from December 13, 2022. From XR Cymru Political Circle to Julie James and Lee Waters, cc Mark Drakeford and Llyr Gruffydd.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Again, that reference to “behaviour change“. How exactly are we supposed to change? And change into what – mugs taking orders from Extinction Rebellion channelled through the ‘Welsh Government’?

Here endeth the chapter on Extinction Rebellion. I’m hoping the ‘Welsh Government’ and Plaid Cymru now remember that we are judged by the company we keep.

Though I suppose that advice could also be given to Extinction Rebellion.

MISCELLANEA

In this chunk of the opus I want to deal with stories that either made it into the news recently, or else came to my attention by some other route. Some of these broke at the Show, others lead on from things that broke at the Show.

That make sense?

RULE OF SIX

I’m referring to the Six Principles, and Extinction Rebellion was also involved in this nonsense from before the May 2021 Senedd elections. It’s in the form of an appeal to politicos to sign up to six principles somebody’s dreamed up at their Pilates class.

Here’s a composite of the appeal, the six principles set out, and a list of the signatories.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

One of the six organisations involved is Whale and Dolphin Conservation. Which I was delighted to see, for we really must stop the annual slaughter of dolphins at Abergele, and scupper the Aberaeron whaling fleet.

Also among the signatory bodies is CAFOD, the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development. When did Wales become ‘overseas’? Or why does CAFOD keep cropping up in these envirogrifter pronunciamentos?

THE ENVIROGRIFTERS’ MILITIA

Now we’re expected to fall into line with the National Nature Service, and I bet you didn’t even know we had one. Neither did I.

I just can’t keep up with all these new bodies, overlapping, duplicating each other’s work, the same people popping up wearing different hats, and all in receipt of public funding and / or time that politicians and civil servants should be spending on real problems.

Clearly following the third sector model.

And just like the third sector envirogrifters will identify a ‘problem’, and demand funding to solve said problem; but never actually solve the problem because that would mean the end of the funding. That’s how this scam works.

I described this plan on Twitter as a militia for hobby farmers and hippies, and I see no reason to change that view. With perhaps XR providing the commissars. Just scroll down here and see who’s involved in this latest scam.

Now think about it, here we have an organisation promising to revitalise rural Wales, and yet the two farming unions are not involved, and neither is the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales.

What we see instead, are the usual suspects. Envirogrifters, Swamp dwellers, and ‘Welsh Government’ departments.

Which makes this capture from the militia website dishonest. Unless of course it refers to hippies and hobby farmers. Which I suppose makes a certain sense, given that the ‘Welsh Government wants these to replace traditional Welsh farming.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

The website is very basic and uninformative, giving it a work in progress feel but, unsurprisingly, we read that the previous Future Generations Commissioner had a big hand in its production.

Though the Commissioner is only the Welsh agent for a bit of UK-wide silliness, as we read below. The links will tell you more.

The process is being organised by the Wales Inquiry of the Food, Farming & Countryside Commission, with support from the Office of the Future Generations Commissioner, under the auspices of the Green Recovery Task Group – a cross sector group convened to act quickly and creatively in response to the impacts of the pandemic.

The Future Generations Commissioner for Wales included the proposal to create a national nature service in her Fit for the Future Programme for Government

Envirobollocks piled so high it’s in danger of blocking out the sun . . . Hang on! – is that the cunning plan?

NFU REJECTS ‘WELSH GOVERNMENT’ TREES PLAN

One of the big stories of the Show was NFU Cymru rejecting ‘Welsh Government’s demand that farmers set aside 10% of their land for tree planting. Hedgerows do not count, but possibly trees in hedgerows do count!

The proposal might work on some farms, but not others. Which is why the ‘Welsh Government’s blanket approach reveals the failing of inflexibility that we see time and time again.

We saw it with the NVZ legislation, brought in to tackle a very localised problem, yet the politicians adopted a sledgehammer and nut approach and made the legislation both national and unreasonably strict. Though the ‘Welsh Government’ has subsequently backed down a couple of times.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

But then, Labour politicians in Wales know little about farming or the countryside. Theirs is a party of cities, post-industrial areas, chip-on-shoulder minorities, and agitators with useless degrees and colourful hair.

To compound the problem Labour politicians are advised by civil servants – like Lesley Griffiths’ former paramour Gary – who’ve been shipped in from England to run down Welsh agriculture.

Further, the draconian NVZ rules were based on the false premise that farmers are solely responsible for poor water quality. Because, for reasons given elsewhere, it suited a number of agendas to give Dŵr Cymru / Welsh Water a free ride.

Among the agendas served was that of environmental / river groups, in receipt of public funds and, in many cases, seeking to appropriate farmland.

FUTURE GENERATIONS COMMISSIONER LOOKS INTO THE, ER, FUTURE

Now we turn to one of my favourite sites, Nation.Cymru. Though the unkind among you dismiss it as just another ‘Welsh Government’ propaganda outlet.

And after reading ‘We need a new long-term vision for food in Wales‘ I can see why.

This little gem was penned by Derek Walker, the new £95,000 a year Future Generations Commissioner; and just like his predecessor, Sophie Howe, he got the gig not because of any particular talent, but because he’s a trusted Labour insider.

Not only that, but Derek worked for Stonewall. In fact, he helped Stonewall set up in Wales. How much more of an insider can you be?

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

So what did Derek have to say?

High food prices mean one in five people in Wales are hungry, disproportionally affecting more disabled people, Black, Asian and minority ethnic people.”

Mmm. Does that mean Derek thinks it’s OK for able-bodied White people to starve? Is this another example of ‘inclusivity’ that discriminates against the majority?

But let’s give the boy another chance. Carry on, Derek . . .

Agricultural waste pollutes our rivers” Oh dear, that may be the party line, but I was expecting better. But alright, one more chance.

And the boy comes good with: “Farmers are critical to our nation’s health, rural communities and a thriving Welsh language – they helped maintain the food chain through the pandemic, play a leading role in restoring nature and reducing emissions, and should be a vital part of this long-term food plan.”

But it raises the obvious question – if you think our farmers are so important, Derek, why is your government making life so difficult for them?

Finally, we read:

This autumn, I will publish my priorities for my role for the next seven years, and the long-term questions I’m exploring include – how can we involve communities to shift diets to meet the nature and climate emergencies and create green jobs?

What does “shift diets” mean, Derek? Because I suspect it means away from meat. I suspect that because you link it with “the nature and climate emergencies”, which I further suspect alludes to farting cows.

In a country of livestock farming you want people to stop eating meat?

And as for “green jobs” this often means hobby farmers, OPDs, etc., which don’t create many jobs. Or cheap food. It’s also used to describe greenwashing . . . often on land that was previously productive farmland.

All in all, Derek, your piece shows the confused if not contradictory thinking we’ve come to expect from Corruption Bay. Which resulted in it being cliched and vacuous.

DEVELOPMENTS OF NATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE

I’ve had occasion to commend the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW) recently and I am delighted to do so again. On Monday we saw the release of a map compiled by the CPRW showing Developments of National Significance.

Here’s a link to the press release, and here’s a link to the map. Understandably, the map is big, and detailed; so set aside some time to make sense of it. And remember, these are just the projects where planning applications have been submitted.

There are many more in the pipeline, including quite a few of Bute Energy’s 23 known projects.

This was a useful exercise by the CPRW because the ‘Welsh Government’ seems unable or unwilling to produce such a map. But also because it exposes the hypocrisy of those we are dealing with.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

It’s become obvious in recent years, and perhaps especially in Wales, that as the threat of ‘climate crisis’ loses its power to frighten people the message has linked with ‘biodiversity loss’ or ‘habitat loss’. This coupling is clear in all the documents I’ve linked with and organisations I’ve mentioned.

Taken at face value it says there has been a depletion or degradation of the natural habitat, with a resultant loss of species or of numbers within a species. And yet . . .

Those who now trumpet climate crisis and biodiversity / habitat loss refuse to criticise tens of thousands of acres of pristine upland being ruined by wind farms, or fertile lowland by solar arrays. 

For example, the RSPB refuses to acknowledge the problem despite birds being killed by turbines, especially larger birds, often belonging to rare or endangered species.

And there are wider issues. Such as China’s near-monopoly of the rare earth metals needed to produce turbines and solar panels. Transporting materials and finished products vast distances by ship. Finally, the fact that neither wind turbine blades nor solar panels can be recycled.

How environmentally friendly is all that for intermittent and very expensive power!

It’s clear that for environmentalists biodiversity loss is restricted to farmland. Explained, again, by support and funding they receive in order to follow Labour’s anti-farming agenda and thereby grab farmland for themselves.

An agenda the envirogrifters are increasingly dictating!

CONCLUSION

We are lumbered with a bunch of third-rate politicians elected in the main for no better reason than, “My nanna would turn in her grave if I didn’t vote Labour”. Blind loyalty allowing Labour to win with the support of just 20% of the electorate.

Being third-rate they tend to be impressionable. Not only did they buy in early to the Globalists’ Fear = Control agenda but went for broke by implementing legislation to prove that, “Wales can show the world . . . ” . . . how a country can impoverish itself by adopting a Green policy of degrowth.

In the early days, this idiocy came from within the administration, from people like Jane Davidson, Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing from 2007 – 2011, and now chair of Wales Net Zero 2035.

But as word spread others took notice. By 2018 the principal Globalist organisation, the World Economic Forum, was advising envirogrifters to move to Wales!

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

But let’s go back to the trees for a minute. The 10% of farmland for trees demand is a condition of ‘Welsh Government’s Sustainable Farming Scheme, a replacement for EU funding.

Speaking last year, just ahead of the Llanelwedd Show, Mark Drakeford said that subsidies to Welsh farmers must be justified to Bangladeshi taxi drivers in Cardiff.

To suggest that the views of a small immigrant community are more important than the views of thousands of Welsh farmers looks like another example of ‘inclusivity’ at the expense of the indigenous majority.

Ask yourself – would Drakeford suggest consulting Ceredigion farmers if taxi drivers in Cardiff wanted to increase their charges?

Wales, a country being run into the ground by clowns who prioritise feelings above biological reality, preach economic gibberish, practice discriminatory ‘inclusivity’, and have been suckered by a global power grab calling itself “the climate crisis”.

How much more of this are you going to take? How much more can Wales afford?

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2023

Nicola Sturgeon: Her Fall In Context

There’s something odd, even tragic, about an intelligent woman destroying her political legacy and damaging the cause she believes in to argue that women have penises and men can give birth.

How can anyone, let alone someone as smart as Nicola Sturgeon, believe such nonsense? The answer is that she might not believe it at all. And I strongly suspect that many of the zealots pushing this lunacy do not believe it either. Few people are that bloody stupid.

But people can be brainwashed into believing that promoting such idiocy is the right thing to do; partly because it’s ‘progressive’, and partly because it pisses off the ‘fascists’.

But what straight man could possibly object – it’s a ‘feminine penis’! Click to open engorged in separate tab

For you must remember that we live in an age when everything is ideological, and agendas are promoted for political gain and / or social change, but definitely not for the public good; which means that whether what is being propounded is true or not is irrelevant.

In the post-truth era the end definitely justifies the means.

But how did we get here?

POST-SOVIET MARXISM

Following World War Two, and the USSR’s leading role in defeating Nazi Germany, Communism enjoyed a surge in popularity in western Europe, particularly in Italy and France. There were worries in Washington that Europe might even go Red without the need for direct Soviet intervention.

That appeal faded as the economy of Europe improved. Communism lost even more of its appeal with the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956, and its ‘freedom-loving’ credentials took a near-fatal knock in 1968 when Red Army tanks put down the wholly peaceful ‘Prague Spring‘.

By the late 1980s, with the Soviet Union losing a war in Afghanistan, queueing for bread becoming a national pastime, and Russians themselves admitting the game was up, it was clear to most people that Communism was an experiment that had failed. Certainly clear to those of us inhabiting the ‘real’ world. (And that included the babushkas in the bread queues.)

But there remained others who insisted Communism hadn’t been given a proper chance, or hadn’t been implemented correctly. Many of those who argued like this belonged to the middle classes, a disproportionate number of them academics.

Though by the late 1980s even its staunchest adherents knew Communism could never be sold as an economic model, certainly not as a replacement for capitalism – it couldn’t deliver the goods a consumer society demanded.

A change of tack was needed.

But for the diehards the objective remained the same – to undermine, weaken, and then, hopefully, take over the Western, capitalist world. But how was this to be done now that the socialist economic model was proven to be unworkable?

The answer came in the form of ‘Cultural Marxism’, succinctly explained here.

Though according to Wikipedia (and an editor who can’t spell ‘anti-Semitic’): “The term ‘Cultural Marxism’ refers to a far-right antisemitic conspiracy theory which claims that Western Marxism is the basis of continuing academic and intellectual efforts to subvert Western culture.”

Ah, yes: “Far-right conspiracy theory”. Remember when the Wuhan lab origin of Covid was a Far Right conspiracy theory? Even ‘racist’? And so was the growing evidence that the vaccines did more harm than good.

Though “academic and intellectual efforts to subvert Western cultures” is a rather good description of, um, Cultural Marxism. Because anyone choosing to argue that our academic institutions today are bastions of free speech has an impossible job on their hands.

But how was the grand design to be put into practice?

THE ROUTE TO THE SUNLIT UPLANDS, AND THE GUIDES TO GET US THERE

With Marxists being so influential in academe this guaranteed that in Western universities students would be indoctrinated, with the new converts spreading the gospel as they dispersed into the wider world.

For a phenomenon of the past 30 years has been an increasingly bloated higher education sector catering in the main for semi-literate and impressionable natives and rich foreigners, which inevitably couples with falling academic standards.

Little more than a production line churning out the blinkered but earnest young people needed to fill the ranks of pressure groups, third sector bodies, and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).

With the result that politics today is little more than politicians implementing the wishes of these groups, usually at the expense of the people who elected them.

Which means that democracy has, effectively, been subverted. Who you or I vote for is largely irrelevant. And it’s not just pressure groups undermining democracy, as I’ll explain later.

Which brings us back to the recent debacle in Scotland.

Nicola Sturgeon, and too many others in the Scottish National Party-Green Party coalition, fell under the influence of Stonewall pushing, among other things, the self-ID agenda that said your gender is whatever you claim it to be at any given time.

What began as an absurd and almost laughable fantasy turned darker when Adam Graham decided during his trial for raping two women that he was now transgender, and as ‘Isla Bryson’ he expected to be sent to a female prison, so he could be among more, vulnerable women

The self-inflicted disaster from which the SNP is now struggling to emerge could only have come about when politicians are beguiled by a pressure group to the point where they lose sight of reality and simply don’t care what the public really thinks.

We also have this problem in Wales, in every sphere of our national life. We suffer pressure groups and campaigners – many from outside the country – pushing agendas that are against the best interests of the Welsh people.

And the politicians in Corruption Bay obey them like zombies.

A few weeks back readers of the Western Mail were treated to the headline you see below. Pay attention to the section I’ve circled. Who is Dr Lynn Sloman?

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Well, she lives in London, where she’s a board member of Transport for London. The bio I’ve linked to tells us she has a holiday home near Machynlleth. (To be exact, in Cwm Einion aka ‘Artists Valley’.)

So a cycling zealot who lives in London, and hates cars – but has a holiday home in Wales, to which she presumably drives – is allowed to dictate ‘Welsh Government’ policy.

Yeah, that’s how I imagined devolution panning out.

More recently, my attention was drawn to a ‘Welsh Government’ document with the snappy title, Wales Innovates: Creating a Stronger, Fairer, Greener Wales. When you see ‘stronger’, ‘fairer’ and ‘greener’ grouped like that you can guarantee that we, the people, are going to be shafted.

This is what I was directed to on page 45.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Look at that phrase, ‘Mobility as a service’. No. Mobility, and freedom of movement within one’s own country, are fundamental human rights.

I want to be able to jump in my car and drive anywhere I bloody well please. I will not be deprived of this freedom by some swivel-eyed fanatic using the excuse of a ‘climate catastrophe’ that’s just not happening.

Though I’m intrigued by the possibilities opened up by ‘bike-sharing’. Does this mean different people using the same bike at different times, or can I fantasise about some buxom lovely of a playful nature astride my crossbar?

2016 AND ALL THAT

Cultural Marxism has became more shrill and divisive in recent years, and its toxicity has increased. This I believe is due to a number of factors.

In 2016 the Anglosphere suffered two unexpected political jolts. In June of that year the UK voted to leave the European Union (or rather, England and Wales voted to leave; Scotland and Northern Ireland wanted to stay).

Then came the election of Donald Trump in November.

The far left had long been losing faith in the White working class, there was clearly a lack of revolutionary zeal among these dullards who wanted a decent home for their family and a good education for their kids. Brexit and Trump confirmed the comrades’ worst fears.

A counter-offensive was needed. And the weapons needed were already to hand.

TWO OTHER DONKEYS OF THE CULTURAL MARXIST APOCALYPSE

THE ENVIRONMENT

Concerns about global warming or climate change had been gaining traction for a couple of decades, in part due to showmen like Al Gore, who understands climate as well as I understand nuclear fusion.

Who among you could not be convinced by those “boiling oceans“?

But the Far Left wasn’t really interested in saving the planet; the Cultural Marxists simply saw a problem that could be blamed on capitalism, and could be remedied by undermining Western economies.

For it was of course the West that would have to reduce its emissions to defeat those fortune cookie ‘predictions’.

Essentially, a programme of ‘degrowth’. Being discussed here in the What’s Up With That blog quoting Japanese Marxist academic Kohei Saito.

(Not for nothing are Greens called ‘watermelons’ – green on the outside, red on the inside.)

Or to put it another way, the populations of the advanced countries would have to suffer rising fuel bills, food shortages, travel restrictions, 15-minute cities . . . all for the good of the planet.

By comparison, countries in the developing world, China in particular, could build as many coal-fired power stations as they pleased. (Two a week, at the last count.) Further proof that the Left was less interested in saving the planet than with damaging the West.

The truth is that none of the absurd predictions made over the past 50 years has come to pass. The world may be warming, slightly, but it has little to do with us humans, and far more to do with the fact that we are in an inter-glacial warm period.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Entire nations wiped off the face of the Earth! Wow! How did I miss that?

Though a more generous interpretation that crosses my mind, especially after a glass or twa of Malbec, might be that climate hysteria is a variation on Pascal’s Wager. Or, at least, that’s how it might play out.

The great 17th century French thinker argued that believing in God was the sensible thing to do. Because if there was a God, and you’d lived a good life, then you went to Heaven. If there was no God, then you’d still lived a good life, helping others, etc.

If after all the sacrifices we are being forced to make it becomes clear there is no global warming, then those who promoted climate disaster might argue: “OK, so there’s no global warming – but those sacrifices made you a better person”.

     RACE

Another tool in the Cultural Marxists’ destabilisation armoury is race; more specifically, reminding us of the terrible things the White man has done. For as everyone knows, only Europeans ever conquered other peoples, and slavery was always and only a relationship between White masters and Black slaves.

(Anyone who knows their history and tries to speak the truth is of course a ‘racist’.)

To the point where in the eyes of many, White people can do little right, and Black people can do nothing wrong. As we saw in Minneapolis when career criminal George Floyd died in a botched arrest. And that’s all it was.

But his death led to his immediate martyrdom and resulted in riots applauded by the mainstream media.

Riots that were not simply applauded but deliberately misrepresented, even when the evidence was just over the reporter’s shoulder.

The answer to rioting was obvious – ‘Defund the police!‘.

Because if the police were not there then the riots could proceed uninterrupted, the buildings burn down quicker, and everybody could go home with their looted goods.

Surely any fool could see the advantages? (Well, obviously, not the ‘racists’.)

The USA has arrived at a situation where, one hundred and sixty years after Lincoln freed the slaves (in the Confederate states he didn’t control), and sixty years since the Civil Rights Act, the Far Left is deliberately and irresponsibly reintroducing segregation and racism into the USA.

But it can’t stop over there. For as we’ve seen, ‘racism’ must be used everywhere, and interpolated into everything nowadays, even Covid.

And football. For during the recent Word Cup Finals a Black US academic, writing in the Washington Post (where else?) accused winners Argentina of being too White. Truth is that well under one percent of the Argentine population is Black.

It gets worse – for the countryside is racist! All those jackbooted farmers belting out the Horst Wessel Lied as they round up the sheep! Back in the 1940s the West fought those who sang that song. Now we fund and arm them.

Funny old world, innit!

And if ‘racism’ is to be fully exploited there must be unrestricted immigration to Western countries. Disruptive, unjustified, increasingly unpopular . . . so now these migrants are being called ‘climate refugees‘.

And if you fall for that, then you’ll fall for anything!

THE QUISLING LEFT AND THE NEW WORLD ORDER

The Cultural Marxism I’ve described has, in recent years, come to be known as ‘Wokeness’, or ‘Wokeism’. Before that, perhaps, ‘political correctness’. There’s no point in looking for differences between them because there are too few.

The others were just Cultural Marxism rebranded, because those pushing it knew that the ‘M’ word was unpopular, far better to hide under other labels. ‘Progressive’ being particularly popular with the Far Left today.

But whatever the tag, it remains a war on the West. And given that non-White majority countries get a free ride, Cultural Marxism / Wokeism can even be seen as racist.

And why not, for the Far Left has always been unpatriotic, so there’s no great leap needed for it to extend its hatred from individual nations and states to a whole racial and cultural identity.

It was noticeable during the Covid pandemic how eagerly the Far Left embraced the restrictions on human freedoms demanded by the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO) and other bodies.

Which was not surprising, for the comrades have always believed that for society to function efficiently the common herd must be directed and led by morally, intellectually and ideologically superior beings. People like Stalin. Mao. Pol Pot.

With this justified because however it might look, it’s really being done in the interests of the ruled. Little different to a theocracy. And the vision of the World Economic Forum.

I bring in the WEF because this shared belief in rule by, ‘Those Who Know Best’ has brought Cultural Marxists into alliance with mega corporations like Blackrock, Big Pharma, Big Tech, multi-billionaires, and others who want to act as an unelected world government.

Reducing our elected governments to little more than middle-men, or facilitators; implementing orders from above and obeying demands from below.

A MARRIAGE MADE IN HELL

The fundamental problem for Cultural Marxists is that, well, they spout bollocks. Whether it’s climate hysteria, anti-White racism, women with penises and, more recently, Covid.

Confronted with these realities Cultural Marxists, unable to defend the positions in which they’ve entrenched themselves, must resort to silencing critics before the truth can emerge. Which is why they openly advocate ‘No debate’.

Hoping to convey the message that the position(s) they have taken up are so incontrovertibly correct that debate is unnecessary.

Anyone suggesting maybe, just maybe, the world is not coming to a fiery end is a ‘climate denier’. Those who argue that cross-dressers are not women are ‘transphobes’. While those who believe that White people are not evil are, of course, ‘racists’.

But the catch-all term Leftists often reach for to slander their opponents when they’re cornered is ‘Far Right’. Which is what London mayor Sadiq Khan did last week to those protesting against 15-minute cites.

This is definitely a fascist sign. Click to open enlarged in separate tab.

These attempts to intimidate and silence opponents with silly labels is further enforced by denying a platform to those with the courage to speak. This of course is ‘cancel culture’.

Silencing critics is greatly aided by WEF control of the mainstream media and most social media. Resulting in newspapers and TV channels presenting only approved narratives, even ignoring some news stories altogether.

Now they want to introduce bans on what they – or their AI algorithms – will decide is ‘hate speech’. In other words: “All voices that challenge us will be silenced”.

It’s worth considering the role of Bill Gates in all this. For in many ways he is the public face of the World Economic Forum.

To begin with, Bill Gates is the second biggest donor to the WHO, and it was pure coincidence that during the Covid pandemic ‘Dr’ Gates was urging people to get vaccinated . . . with products from companies in which he’d heavily invested.

The same WHO that issued global directives during Covid, and now wants to take on itself the power to instruct democratically-elected governments to close their country down. Even the power to enforce global lockdowns.

Gates is also a big donor to media around the world, including the BBC. Now why would he do that? His fellow-‘philanthropist’, George Soros, another Globalist meddler, also gives vast sums to the media.

My understanding of the BBC was that it is funded by the licence fee in order to ensure its impartiality. (Don’t laugh!) So why is the BBC allowed to accept funding from Bill Gates? And who else is funding the BBC?

Bill Gates, friend of the late Jeffrey Epstein. (‘Suicide’, remember? Sad.)

CONCLUSIONS

The West is in a dangerous place. Those we are asked to believe are in control have been reduced to figureheads. Cardboard cut-outs.

As I explained, our elected politicians answer to the Globalists above them, and the Cultural Marxists below. With the latter acting as the ‘feet on the ground’ for the former. Neither source of real power has a democratic mandate.

Which results in the diktats of the unelected being ‘legitimised’ by being fed through national and sub-national governments.

But their agenda is clear: to make our lives more expensive and more miserable; with fewer freedoms, in expression, movement, and so much else.

To get a feel for the promised future read, ‘Welcome to 2030: I Own Nothing, Have No Privacy And Life Has Never Been Better‘, written in 2016 by Ida Auken, member of the Global Future Council on Cities and Urbanization of the World Economic Forum.

‘No privacy’ will be dressed up as ‘smart’ and ‘convenient’.

And forget the Sunday joint, for vegans are another of the fringe outfits found among the screeching mass of Cultural Marxists. And it’s why livestock farmers are being hounded out of business around the world.

The WEF wants to control the global food supply. Vegans want us to stop eating meat. To achieve this, both will target farmers. (Though the vegans may disguise themselves as environmentalists.)

Intolerant and unreasonable vegans would never have such influence today, with a media free ride, if they weren’t carrying out the WEF agenda.

This also explains why Bill Gates is said to be the largest private owner of farmland in the USA. Not only that, but ‘Farmer’ Gates is also cornering the market in seeds.

The future is spelling itself out before our eyes.

To return to where we started . . .

Were I a cynical bastard I might wonder what really happened in Scotland. For with both Globalists and Cultural Marxists wanting to put an end to nation states why get involved with a party and a government wanting to create a new nation state?

And then I think of what happened in Wales in 2021. When a thriving organisation campaigning for independence, that had quickly gained 18,000 members, was almost destroyed by fanatics – all of a Far Left background – trying to turn YesCymru into TransCymru.

It’s a hell of a coincidence.

CONCLUSION

I believe in the family, the nation, and Western civilisation. Proud to be a husband, father and grandfather; proud to be Welsh; proud of what Europeans, people of the West, have contributed to the world.

The same West that’s being targeted today, and for a number of reasons.

Partly because Russia, China, and other states know how to deal with the kind of disruptive fanatics we’ve dealt with here. So the Cultural Marxists focus on their unfinished business with the capitalist West.

The WEF targets the West because that’s where the power and the money lies. But Klaus Schwab and his gang also understand that the obstacles to their takeover – love of democracy, respect for individual liberty, and a belief in freedom of expression – are more cherished in the West than elsewhere.

Which explains the concerted vilification of White people, and the existential threat.

No matter how it’s disguised, we are facing a global power grab. And for complete power over our lives. So let’s unite, across national boundaries, across continents, to defeat the crazies trying to ‘soften us’ up for the Bond villains.

Arise ye “useless eaters“!

♦ end ♦

 

© Royston Jones 2023


Time To Call In The OPD Scam

This week I’m revisiting One Planet Developments. The system, unique to Wales, that allows people to buy a plot of land, build a house, exempt from normal planning regulations, and pretend to be farmers.

Of course, once you’ve erected your house you have a dwelling in open country for which you would never have received planning permission through the normal channels. And which can then be sold for a massive profit.

Not only is the OPD system an affront to planning laws, an insult to local people, but its very premise is nonsense. For this legislation was justified as “reducing Wales’ carbon footprint”. Yet it actually increases our carbon footprint.

For it attracts people into Wales who keep farting animals, drive old diesel vehicles, and have wood-burning stoves. With these now living on land that was previously unused.

LIVING OFF THE (FAT OF THE) LAND

This latest piece was prompted by news reaching me from north Pembrokeshire that someone was looking to buy a farm (or may has already bought one) to be split into One Planet Development plots.

The development is near the village of Mynachlog-ddu. Which explains what you see below. It was sent to me and I assume it’s a Facebook entry.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

My source was upset by a number of things; not least, the suggestion that another Welsh name was to be lost.

But the way it’s explained in the image above, by project mastermind, Wade William Heames, makes no sense. The village itself is Mynachlog-ddu (‘Black Monastery’), there is no farm of that name.

The farm that’s been identified to me is Caermeini Ganol, just outside the village, on the Crymych road. Below you see, on the left, a plan put out by Heames; and on the right, an OS map on which I’ve coloured in the land in question.

Here’s the sales guff from Savills.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

There was a Crowdfunder appeal in the name of The Edible Forest that claimed to have raised (or been promised) £650,000. But there’s no update after April 2019. Which I suppose might be explained by the appeal having reached its target.

Scroll down to the bottom and alongside Heames (‘MIQ’?) you’ll see the name ‘Rosie Maunder’. I believe this to be her. An abandoned Twitter account tells us Rosie is / was a Human Geographer at Cardiff Uni (where else?) with an interest in . . . rewilding.

But nowhere in the appeal do I see a location given for this fund-raising. Was it a case of, “Give us the money and we’ll find the land”?

What I do know is that there was a company called The Edible Forest CIC. But it wasn’t formed until five months after the last update on the fundraiser of the same name; it filed no accounts, and was voluntarily dissolved on St David’s Day 2022.

Here’s the Facebook page. We’ll return to it in a minute.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

And then there’s the name, ‘The Edible Forest’, which seems to be quite popular. I found it in Australia. Also in England. In fact, the term, ‘edible forest’, seems to be in common usage in environmental and vegan circles.

But I still don’t understand why the name was being used to raise money before the company of that name was even formed. And why fundraising ceased before the company was formed.

That seems to be a problem with Wade William Heames. Companies come and go, there’s a vagueness about what’s being purchased, we find multiple social media accounts, and commercial entities mentioned that seem devoid of corporate substance.

Such as . . .

A short-lived, one-man band, Food For Wales Ltd. Launched 12 May, 2020, Dissolved 18 October, 2022. What was its purpose? The SIC says, ‘Retail sale of fruit and vegetables in specialised stores’. So what happened?

There was also a Crowdfunder appeal for this company. Maybe it didn’t raise enough money?

It’s a strange business model. Set up a company, in which you own all the shares, and then ask for donations. Though I can see the advantages!

Someone following developments has suggested that the company actually buying land and then selling it off in parcels is Heames Ltd. A suggestion supported by the fact that nine new directors joined this company in recent months. Would these be investors?

To go back to social media for a minute. Here is Heames’ Linkedin page. But if you go to the column on the right you’ll see three other Wade Heames Linkedin pages. Which he seems to have started, and then perhaps forgotten about.

One, is for Jean Lamour Pest Control, another for Jean Lamour Environmental Services. Are these real companies, or just flights of fancy? There’s certainly nothing registered with Companies House under ‘Jean Lamour’.

Though Googling ‘Jean Lamour’, brought up a restaurant in the French city of Nancy. And it seems Heames was there in 2010, according to ‘Life events’ on this, yet another, FB page.

Is a French restauranteur branching out into catching rats and ‘roaches, with Wade William Heames his local agent? Or is it just a bit of harmless whimsy on Heames’ part?

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Another imaginary entity might be Unleash The Drones. What the hell is that about?

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

It’s all very confusing, and might make it tempting to dismiss Wade Heames as a bit of a fantasist . . . if it wasn’t for the fact that one of his projects appears to be taking off. Though this is not in Mynachlog-ddu, but in Pontypridd.

To be exact, Lan farm, off Graigwen Road. (Or maybe it’s just the land.) Which he calls ‘Graigwen Farm’. Here’s the estate agent’s puff.

Read more about it as we make the promised return to the Edible Forest Facebook page. You’ll recall that the company of that name was Dissolved almost a year ago. Yet in this recent FB entry Heames promises riches beyond the dreams of avarice.

An acre of land with planning permission for a big house in a nice village or an upmarket suburb would be worth £40,000, perhaps more. Otherwise, stop dreaming. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

And it attracted many unkind comments. When asked to justify the extravagant claims, and valuations, Heames’ response could be interpreted as suggesting using OPD legislation to greatly increase the value of the original purchase with a house in open country for which planning permission would almost certainly have been refused without employing the OPD angle.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab.

I referred just now to a rather confusing number of companies, and there seem to be intriguing women involved. You’ll remember that we saw ‘rewilder’ Rosie Maunder with the Crowdfunder appeal that claimed to have raised £650,000.

The person with significant control over The Edible Forest CIC before Heames returned to the helm was Italian Giulia Pacciotti. This lady has also exercised significant control over Heames Ltd.

Now there’s a company called Heames II Ltd. The company address is 117 Llangrannog Road, Llanishen. (The one that’s ‘rewilding’ the front garden.) Set up in February 2021, yet Wade Heames is not listed as a director. The only director is Czech citizen Vera Schweitzerova. Ms Schweitzerova is also a director of Heames Ltd.

Heames II is obviously a Wade Heames company, so where is he?

Almost every angle of investigation runs up against more questions or dead-ends. And causes for concern.

Another example is a recent entry on the Edible Forest Facebook page (January 6) suggesting that Wade Heames now intends applying to the Development Bank of Wales (DBW) for funding.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

My understanding has always been that the DBW funds businesses that will create employment and generate wealth within Welsh communities. Surely OPD plots don’t qualify? And anyway, aren’t Heames’ projects self-financing?

Does the DBW do bridging loans?

CONCLUSION

The way OPD was sold to us by Jane Davidson and others suggested it would attract relics of the Swinging Sixties, who’d buy a couple of acres of unproductive land from a Welsh farmer, and live out their twilight years in a fug of marijuana smoke and joss sticks.

All set out in the so-called ‘Welsh Government’s Technical Advice Note (TAN) 6.

The reality soon proved to be very different. Here are some examples I’ve encountered in recent years.

There’s the cult-like commune with an authoritarian leader and its own temple. (Though the planning permission was for ‘a dwellinghouse’.) The leader’s wife’s got a nice line in £185 a head ‘Day Retreat of Powerful Transformation’.

How much time is actually spent tending the organic kumquat?

Then there’s OPDs that are just used on weekends. This is unlawful by the OPD rules laid down by the ‘Welsh Government’. Yet this is what I found at Rhiw Las.

There was a couple there with the husband working in the Met Office in Bristol, while his wife was a Fellow at the LSE.

There have been other examples where both the spirit and the word of the OPD legislation has been flouted by people who soon after first contact realised that Welsh politicians would paint their arses green and chase each other around wind turbines to prove their environmental credentials.

(Try not to visualise that!)

Yet perhaps the most egregious flouting of the legislation comes in examples that are very often never registered as OPDs.

I’m thinking now of unscrupulous, sometimes criminal, operators, who buy sections of woodland and sell them off in plots for people to live on, in trailer homes or chalets: “They can’t touch you, pal – if the council comes snooping, just say ‘OPD'”.

This practice very often follows planning permission secured for a ‘forestry road’.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

The images above show chalets and trailer homes at ‘Coedfryn Woods’, near Llangynog, Carmarthenshire. None of the properties shown had planning permission when the images were sent to me in early January last year.

The council, however, showed little appetite for getting involved.

I’m aware of forest squatting elsewhere. Meidrim, in north Carmarthenshire, for example. And while most residents of these plots will never apply for official OPD status, they will try to hide behind the legislation when challenged.

Secure in the knowledge that local authorities are reluctant to instigate proceedings because OPD planning consent is assured. So both parties save time and money by accepting these unofficial OPDs as the real deal.

And how could I overlook the ‘farmlets’ in Killay, on the western outskirts of Swansea. Read about them here, just scroll down to the section ‘Back to Gower’. (Though the whole article is worth reading.)

And now we have Wade William Heames and his plans for OPD collectives in Pontypridd and Mynachlog-ddu. All funded by others, including, he hopes, The Development Bank of Wales!

It begins to look like big business. And a wee bit shady. One source described it: “Buy for £5k an acre and sell for 10” (or more). If this is really what it’s come to, then we’re a long way from the old hippy looking for isolation and contentment in his declining years.

There are few Welsh people interested in OPDs, and northern Wales seems to have escaped the plague. This is explained because even Pembrokeshire has good access, via the A48 and M4, to southern England, where OPD-lovers originate.

And so, for the reasons given here (and elsewhere), I urge an end to this failed experiment that invites abuse. And which, like too much of the legislation from Corruption Bay, serves the agendas of others, offering nothing to Wales, or to Welsh people.

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2023


Welsh Independence And The Left

I’m kicking off 2023 with thoughts on independence; more exactly, the kind of independence being offered by those who’ll be gathering in the Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, on the 28th of this month.

Ah! the Brangwyn Hall. I remember being slung out of there many years ago. It was a Labour Party do, with that son of Abersychan, Roy Jenkins, topping the bill. (Ere he and others left to form the SDP.)

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Anyway, Woy had got to the bit in his peroration where he proclaimed to the assembly that he too was Welsh . . . at which point a young Jac jumped up and shouted ‘You’re no Welshman!’ (My outburst may have contained an expletive attributive.)

I was immediately attacked by some old crow sitting behind me, who laid into me with her umbrella! A possible headline from the Evening Post flashed through my mind – ‘Nationalist yob beaten to death by umbrella-wielding Labour granny’.

I was saved from this undignified and premature fate by the ‘stewards’ (i.e. Labour heavies) dragging me off towards the huge front doors. With a few reminders along the way that my contribution was not appreciated. (‘Troublemaker, ew are!’)

Happy days!

‘PROGRESSIVE’ MELIN DRAFOD

In this section I shall refer more than once to the briefly successful far Left takeover of YesCymru in 2020 and 2021.

I wrote about this extensively at the time and so, to catch up with what I wrote, type ‘YesCymru’ in the search box atop the sidebar.

The event later this month in the Brangwyn is organised by think tank Melin Drafod. And you don’t need to think too hard to realise what anyone attending is likely to hear.

All the speakers are on the Left. Or the far Left. Or the Woke Left. Call it what you will.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

But ‘progressive’ is the label behind which they all hide nowadays. Such a nice word, harmless and unthreatening. Who among us could object to ‘progress‘?

Me. Because I recognise rebranded Marxism.

Helping me appreciate that the ‘progress’ demanded by those who’ll gather where a young Jac was assaulted by a Bolshie harridan is worrying.

But let Melin Drafod speak for itself:

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

‘Not independence for its own sake’. What is that trying to say – patriotism is not enough? Or is it a veiled threat to scupper any form of independence that doesn’t meet with the approval of the far Left?

There is so much to read into that section.

My views on ‘climate change’ are well known – it’s not happening. The myth is being kept alive by ‘environmentalists’ and others who’ve staked their reputations on it and can’t afford to backtrack, with supranational bodies thinking ‘global warming’ gives them the excuse to control human behaviour worldwide.

And does anyone seriously believe that racism is a ‘scourge’ in modern Wales? Who but the seriously unhinged could insult us by equating Wales in 2023 with Arkansas or the Transvaal a few decades back?

Only perhaps those with a vested interest in using the allegation of ‘racism’ to slander political opponents and to promote their own interests.

The latter might apply to Melin Drafod National Committee member Harriet Protheroe-Soltani, of the Wales Refugee Council. Like all third sector bodies, this one thrives by inventing or exaggerating a problem – and then demanding funding to tackle that problem.

Ms Protheroe-Soltani of Momentum was also employed by YesCymru when it fell briefly under the control of the far Left in 2020 / 2021.

Sam Coates is another member of the National Committee.

His Twitter account tells that he is a socialist first, then a Welshman. Which would appear to bear out that for these ‘progressives’ Wales comes second to their ideological priorities.

Significantly, perhaps, there’s no mention of independence.

Click to enlarge in separate tab

And, again, it’s worth returning to the far Left takeover of YesCymru, for Coates wrote this essay in July 2021, and it’s revealing. (Available here in pdf format.) Not just about Coates but about the others who’ll be at the Brangwyn later this month.

He writes: ‘In 2017, I rocked up to the Hen Coleg yn Aberystwyth on a baking hot day to attend YesCymru’s AGM. It was a friendly room of about 50 people, mostly middle age, and mostly white.’

‘Mostly white’ – in a country that is 95% White! Would Coates and the comrades be happier if YesCymru was a majority non-White organisation, and therefore grotesquely unrepresentative of Wales?

As unrepresentative as those who’ll be at the Brangwyn Hall.

Referring to the rigged YesCymru elections of May 2021 that saw the far Left briefly take control, Coates writes: ‘Hundreds of members attended the online event, and used a voting tool used by many other political organisations to choose members of the new Central Committee’.

It would appear that when he wrote of those ‘hundreds’ voting Coates had forgotten that a few paragraphs earlier he’d talked of YesCymru having 18,000 members. Presenting us with the obvious question: why were just 2-3% of the members able / allowed to vote?

But let’s remember some of the tweets from ‘progressives’ celebrating victory!

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Coates’ whole essay is an apology for an attempted far Left takeover; and it’s riddled with inaccuracies, misrepresentations and outright lies.

The other members of Melin Drafod’s National Committee seem to be Plaid Cymru members, and others who were involved in the near-destruction of YesCymru in 2021. I’m thinking of Llywelyn ap Gwilym, and Siôn Jobbins, Chair of YesCymru who eventually jumped ship.

Then we have Elin Hywel and Colin Nosworthy of Undod, the source of so much of the poison that almost finished off YesCymru.

And of course there are one or two on the National Committee from the Labour Party.

WHO’S COMING TO THE SUMMIT AND WHO’S NOT INVITED?

Let’s start by listing those political parties and organisations that are not invited by Melin Drafod (or whoever) to the portentously dubbed ‘Independence Summit’.

First off, there’s the party to which I belong, Gwlad. Then there’s Propel. There’s also the Sovereign Party / Plaid Sofren. So without going too far, we’ve already found three registered political parties, with councillors, made up of serious and experienced people, with all three parties committed to Welsh independence.

So why didn’t Melin Drafod invite them?

The listed speakers are advertised as follows . . .

‘Anthony Slaughter (Wales Green Party Leader), Adam Price MS (Plaid Cymru Leader), Cllr Rachel Garrick (Welsh Labour for Independence), Sam Coates (Undod), Gwern Evans (YesCymru), Luke Fletcher MS, Mirain Owen (Cymdeithas yr Iaith) and others’.

So let’s begin with Slaughter, and remind everyone that there is no Wales Green Party! There is only the Wales branch of the Green Party of England.

In 2018 Green Party members in Wales had the chance to create a separate Wales Green Party, they voted not to. The main reason for that was that most Green Party members in Wales are English.

Then, last year, the Green Party of England in Wales claimed to be in favour of Welsh independence! Plaid Cymru fell for it and was happy to enter some sort of agreement with them.

No individual, group, or party, sincere about Welsh independence, should even talk to a colonialist outfit that refuses to even recognise the existence of our country.

Plaid Cymru I’ll leave until last.

‘Welsh Labour for Independence’ (WLfI) is another piece of nonsense. Labour is a Unionist party. Any Labour member who wants independence is in the wrong party. Maybe some now realise that.

But is (WLfI) the same as Labour for an Independent Wales (LfIW)? Or, and this is the frightening bit – are there two of them!

During the struggle for YesCymru LfIW was prominent in undermining sensible committee members and replacing them with some real nutters. Working from the shadows was Rob Lloyd of Prestatyn, while out there on the Welshpool barricades was Benji Gwalchmai.

Where are they now? How I miss them!

We already know all we need to know about Sam Coates and Undod.

Luke Fletcher is a Plaid Cymru Senedd Member. With a beard.

YesCymru is represented by Gwern Gwynfil Evans. He was announced as YC’s first-ever full-time CEO in September. The piece I’ve linked to says he has ‘a business background’. Which is true; one of his companies was Dissolved in the very month he was appointed.

Yet he brings another Aberystwyth connection to the party. Which I’ll explore shortly.

Cymdeithas yr Iaith is not worth dwelling on. Hopelessly Woke it overlaps with Undod and other far Left groups like Plaid Cymru’s youth wing, Plaid Ifanc, where pronouns are of paramount importance.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

So, finally, let’s give some thought to Plaid Cymru which, in most people’s eyes, is ‘the nationalist party’, and the leading voice for Welsh independence.

On the one hand, Plaid activists seem to be more at home at Gay Pride parades than at marches for independence; while the party is being eaten away from the inside by a combination of back-stabbing and sexual misbehaviour.

The party tries to keep things under wraps but news of the obsession with other people’s ‘bits’ inevitably reaches the public domain.

MS Rhys ab Owen was suspended a few months ago for unwanted sexual advances to a female. But he was only suspended after the party had sat on the case for some time in the hope the complainant would go away.

Last month, the party’s chief executive, Carl Harris, finally stepped down after it emerged he had made unwanted sexual advances to a young party worker.

When it’s like this at the top of the party – and I mean, the very top – then no one should be surprised that lower down the pecking order we find bizarre behaviour.

The image below (which I pixelated) is of someone who works for a Plaid Cymru MS showing what he proposes to do when he catches whoever is behind an anonymous ‘I know what you did!’ Twitter account accusing him of . . .

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

And, yes, that is a crowbar.

No wonder a former Plaid Cymru Police and Crime Commissioner recently called on party leader Adam Price to resign.

Plaid Cymru is a mess, however you look at it, and from top to bottom. To say it’s lost its way would be wrong . . . for that would suggest Plaid’s leadership in recent decades ever knew where it was going.

I think Plaid Cymru is now too far gone for the change of leadership Arfon Jones calls for to make any difference. My view is that Plaid should do the honest thing and merge with Labour.

They deserve each other.

RUM, REGGAE, AND ‘AN UNTAINTED, LEFT-WING, WELSH ALTERNATIVE’

I mentioned earlier that Aberystwyth businessman, Gwern Evans, is CEO of YesCymru. And he’s not the only one speaking at the Brangwyn bash from that lovely town where a dashing young blade spent a weekend in the police cells.

Happy days!

For Melin Drafod Chair, Dr Talat Chaudhri is mayor of the town. Also living in Aber’ is secretary Mererid Boswell, and former chair of YesCymru, Siôn Jobbins.

UPDATE: I am indebted to Jon Coles for telling us that Colin Nosworthy is a press officer for Aberystwyth University.

And there may be others with Aberystwyth connections. Not Sam Coates, obviously; not after his chastening experience of stumbling into a gathering of the Llanbadarn chapter of the Afrikaner Broederbond.

However you cut it, Aber’ will be over-represented at this Swansea gig. And then I came across something last week, which is intriguing, but needs an intro.

There is an intermittent column in the Cambrian News by a Gareth James.

This was the piece drawn to my attention, last November. It contained this line: ‘Like it or not, mid Wales is woke, for mid Wales is about sharing mid Wales with everyone’, plus a few passages that the source interpreted as threats against those who refused to accept Wokeness.

Then, a couple of weeks later, came this extraordinary piece calling for Dyfed Powys Police to be more ‘woke’, following what the writer interpreted as racial profiling that targets his sons. (Here in pdf format.)

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

You’ll also see, at the top of the article ‘The View from the Vaults’, these being the Weston Vaults pub in Aberystwyth. Now renamed Irie’s Rum Bar and Reggae Lounge.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Gareth James, the man in the picture, runs the bar. This piece from the Cambrian News last September makes that clear. What you see above is something of a resurrection, for Irie’s closed in March 2016, apparently for good.

The building that houses the Rum Bar is owned by Cyngor Ceredigion. Do councils normally buy pubs? This other Land Registry title document tells us that a lease was taken out (or taken over) in April 2015 by Irie’s (Aberystwyth) Ltd.

Aberystwyth is a fairly small town, so I’d be surprised if the ‘progressives’ of YesCymru, Melin Drafod, etc, don’t frequent a bar run by a man who wants Plod to be more Woke.

A consideration that brings us to the most recent contribution from Gareth James, that appeared in the Cambrian News last week. (Available here in pdf format.) Also available on Irie’s Blog.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Another long, rambling piece, but when I read the final paragraph a light went on in my head – a new political party that is ‘an untainted, left-wing, Welsh alternative’.

Is Gareth James trying to tell us something?

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Is this what Talat Chaudhri, Sam Coates and the rest have in mind? Is this what Melin Drafod is hoping comes out of the Brangwyn Hall meeting?

Whether it’s a new party or simply closer co-operation between existing far Left groups, this Independence Summit looks like another attempt by the far Left to take over the independence movement.

If so, then it becomes the duty of those of us with a broader view of Wales to challenge these people. For if it became accepted among the general public that these fanatics are the only ones wanting independence then Wales is finished.

Independence must promise, and deliver, the inclusivity the far Left always demands of others but never practices itself.

CONCLUSION

I have warned many times before, and I make no apologies for doing so again, that what these Green-Woke-Leftists want is independence for a small country whose politicians can then be bullied and blackmailed into implementing their fantasies.

This capture from the website of Labour for an Independent Wales reminds us that, for them, independence is simply the route to socialism.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

It’ll be something like the Wales we know today: a country falling apart at the seams because weak politicians are dominated by lobbyists, pressure groups and third sector organisations. But it’ll be a hell of a lot worse!

There’ll be nothing in it for you and me, Dai. For our people; or for our Wales.

Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!

♦ end ♦

 

© Royston Jones 2023


The Alliance Against Livestock Farming

This week’s piece about wildlife trusts and environmental groups complements what I put out last week about the assorted river charities.

For both seem to be funded to shield Dŵr Cymru (Welsh Water) and others from criticism by blaming livestock farmers for all river pollution. Also, to pursue the so-called ‘Welsh Government’s Net Zero lunacy and, in so doing, serve the globalist agenda.

With a few twists.

Wildlife and environmental groups tend to contain more ‘zealots’, which results in hysteria, and a readiness to tell lies. Which in this context is often accompanied by a thinly-disguised contempt for Wales and Welsh identity.

One example might be the charity Wildlife Trusts Wales (WTW) choosing to dissolve itself, while the local trusts for which it served as the umbrella organisation joined England’s Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts. You’ll learn more about this as you read on.

As I say, there will be similarities with last week’s piece, but also differences. And I promise a bit more in the way of polemic. Ol’ Jac gonna let rip!

It’s fairly big, so go make a mug of something before settling down to enjoy it.

WHO’S WHO IN THE FLEECE JACKETS

Let’s start by looking at the organisational setup.

As I said in the intro, Wildlife Trusts Wales recently put itself out of business so that the five regional trusts – North, Montgomeryshire, Radnorshire, South and West, Gwent – could become full members of the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts (RSWT).

Explained at the foot of page 1 in the 2021 WTW accounts.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

The clip below from the Charity Commission entry tells us that the RSWT now views Wales and England as a single unit, whereas Scotland and Northern Ireland are treated separately. Even the Isle of Man gets more respect than us.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

But then, when you surrender your separate identity this is what you can expect.

And yet, the pretence of an independent existence is maintained by a Wildlife Trusts Wales website. Where WTW describes itself as: ‘one of five Wildlife Trusts in Wales’ which, again, makes no sense. Yes, there are five, I just listed them, and they’re all area specific, so where and how does WTW fit in?

It’s all very confusing. Perhaps deliberately so.

At the foot of the WTW website home page we are given Companies House and Charity Commission numbers. The latter draws a blank because the charity was closed March 31, 2021. While the Companies House entry tells us that the company voluntarily dissolved earlier this year.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

So why hasn’t the information on the website been updated? If it’s claimed WTW still exists, then what form does that existence take?

And what happened to the money?

Well, the final accounts for the WTW (y/e 31.03.2021) seem to show, at the foot of page 19, that the cash left when the company folded was divvied up among four of the five trusts I mentioned earlier.

Brecknock received nowt because it had not long before merged with the South and West Wales Wildlife Trust, which for some reason was itself left out. (Why didn’t ‘Brecknock’ make the obvious merger, with Radnorshire? Or why not a Powys trust?)

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

You’ll see that £234,320 went to the ‘All Wales Conservation Strategy’. Does anyone know what that is? I’ve tried Googling but nothing comes up. Do the funders know where their money’s going?

The more I thought about this wildlife trusts reconfiguration the stranger it appeared. I mean, just think about it.

Before devolution we had local wildlife trusts with Wildlife Trusts Wales serving as the umbrella body. Yet now, when wildlife trusts deal with Y Senedd, when there’s separate Welsh funding, different legislation, they do away with their national body in order to, effectively, become English wildlife trusts.

This move makes no sense on any rational or practical level. How then can it be explained? I really would like to know.

Whatever ethereal form Wildlife Trusts Wales now takes the wraith clearly retains the strength to use a Twitter account. Here’s a gem put out on Monday.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

To describe Wales as ‘one of the most nature depleted countries in the world’ is hysterical nonsense and an insult to us as a nation.

While suggesting that farming is to blame rather gives the game away.

The image used in the tweet comes from this source, linked with Denmark farm, near Lampeter, where we find another gang of alien envirogrifters. A farming source tells me the allegation made in the image may be libellous.

The Denmark Farm Conservation Centre has gone the way of so many outfits that appear on this blog – it was Dissolved earlier this year. With two outstanding charges.

FILTHY LUCRE

We saw in last week’s piece that river charities saw a remarkable increase in official funding at the very time Minister for Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths (and Gary) was formulating her draconian and ‘unworkable’ NVZ legislation.

Such propinquity!

Well, no. It’s explained by the fact that Lesley (and Gary) wanted a stream of pollution stories in order to justify that NVZ legislation.

Stories that were also music to the ears of Dŵr Cymru (Welsh Water) bosses, because it deflected attention from the water company’s pollution.

We see something very similar in wildlife trusts.

Let’s start with the North Wales Wildlife Trust. Where total income more than doubled between 2017 and 2021. The largest element of that increase is (in various forms) government funding, up from £180,440 in 2017 to £1,970,000 in 2021.

Plus assets of around £3m.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

A ten-fold increase in government funding will support a few beavers.

The picture at the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust shows a more modest but still healthy increase in funding. To which we must also add assets pushing £3m.

Moving south we come to the intriguing anomaly of the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust. Intriguing for in the old 13-county arrangement you will recall that Radnorshire was quite small in size and had the lowest population of all our counties.

But the local wildlife trust paints a different picture. Total income doubled between 2017 and 2021 and there are assets of over £2m. There were no assets in 2019.

The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales has seen income increase by 50% in the period we’re looking at, but government grants increased from £21,300 in 2017 to £748,050 in 2021. Then throw in assets of some £5m.

Finally, to Gwent. Where income has increased at a more modest rate apart from a huge blip in 2018 accounted for by Heritage Lottery funding for a project on the Gwent Levels. But with assets around the three million pound mark.

So everything looks just tickety-boo on the financial front for our English-registered wildlife trusts.

BARE-FACED LIES

I am indebted to one of the few honest journalists left in Wales for drawing my attention to a disgraceful incident last November, at a hearing of the Senedd’s Economy, Trade and Rural Affairs Committee.

Rachel Sharp of the zombie-like Wildlife Trusts Wales and Wales Environmental Link (WEL) alleged that along with all the other evils livestock farmers are responsible for they also use growth hormones, which eventually end up in our streams and rivers.

The transcript is here (123) and the video here.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

The truth is that growth hormones have been banned in the UK since 1981. Welsh livestock farmers do not use growth hormones.

After protests from farming unions and Tory MS Sam Kurtz apologies were issued. But as we’ve come to expect from these envirofanatics it’s never an honest ‘I was wrong’. It’s always qualified, position shifting, hoping the original lie lingers.

But this time they’d gone too far, and it wasn’t just Rachel Sharp telling porkies. Also there representing Wales Environmental Link was Creighton Harvey, also a trustee of Afonydd Cymru Cyf.

Here’s how the Pembrokeshire Herald reported it.

‘The evidence of Ms Sharp’s fellow representative from Wales Environment Link was also riddled with errors.

Creighton Harvey told the Committee that agriculture was the largest polluter of Wales’s watercourses.

The largest polluters are water companies, industrial users, and domestic users’.

So who is Rachel Sharp?

Well, as we know, she’s a trustee of Wales Environmental Link. But this profile from the ‘Welsh Government’ website tells us a bit more. And it’s fascinating.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

To begin with, it keeps up the pretence of the defunct Wildlife Trusts of Wales. But concludes by informing us that Rachel Sharp is also ‘a group member of the Welsh Water Independent Environment Advisory Panel’.

So what’s that? Here’s a clue from the Dŵr Cymru website.

We’re told, ‘The Chair is Mari Arthur, Director of Cynal (sic) Cymru’. But Mari Arthur left Cynnal Cymru in July 2018, after just 4 months. Is this another site in need of updating?

Mari Arthur now runs Mari Arthur Marketing, but hasn’t yet registered it as a company. Among her clients we find Cynnal Cymru. Also, joined-at-the-hip ‘Welsh Government’ and Cardiff University.

Her other companies include Afallen LLP and Tetrimteas Cyf.

If the name Mari Arthur rings a bell it’s because she so badly damaged Plaid Cymru in Llanelli, a seat the party had been nurturing since the days of the great Carwyn James.

She was forced on the constituency party by her friends in both Plaid Cymru and Labour. For in the Corruption Bay circles in which Mari Arthur moves party labels mean little as long as you’re ‘on the right side of history’.

The Independent Environmental Advisory Panel is clearly a group that allows Dŵr Cymru and envirozealots to agree their narratives in the war on livestock farmers and draw attention away from Dŵr Cymru itself, the biggest culprit.

There should be no place in Welsh public life for Rachel Sharp of the mythical Wales Wildlife Trusts, the all too corporeal Wales Environmental Link, and the Dŵr Cymru claque in the laughably named Independent Environmental Advisory Panel.

I suspect Rachel Sharp’s mask slipped last November when she forgot where she was; because when she and others of her ilk usually talk with politicians and civil servants – and of course, Dŵr Cymru – they tend to reinforce each other’s self-serving prejudices about livestock farmers.

But she’ll survive. For she has powerful friends, among those who’ve been elected, and those we’ve never heard of.

Another name that caught my eye among the Wales Environmental Link luminaries was Natalie Buttriss, whose Linkedin profile (here in pdf) tells us she’s ‘Director of Wales The Woodland Trust’. This outfit previously used the name Coed Cadw for its Welsh operations, but this pandering to the indigenes seems to have been dropped.

Native of Bristol Buttriss was in at the start of the Summit to Sea land grab. For which she appeared on this blog four years ago in The Welsh Clearances. Her contempt for farmers was made obvious in this radio interview with the BBC’s Farming Today.

I have always believed that Buttriss was so arrogant, so dismissive of the interests of livestock farmers, because she believed she had the full support of the ‘Welsh Government’.

For in that interview she suggests that subsidies would be withheld or cut to make farmers fall into line. She wouldn’t have said that unless certain Bay politicians had promised to play the heavies.

The ‘Welsh Government’s hand was not revealed because the opposition to Summit to Sea made backers like Rewilding Britain pull out and the whole thing seemed to fall apart.

Or maybe it’s still out there, lurking in the undergrowth, waiting to re-emerge.

As we know, climate alarmists have too much influence with the media, partly through having brainwashed two generations of schoolchildren and college students, and partly through funding – ever wondered why Bill Gates gives money to the BBC?

Or perhaps, more pertinently, why the BBC is allowed to accept his funding?

But the propagandising is not confined to the BBC.

Last Friday ITV’s Wales at Six ran a piece about cooperation between the Rhug Estate and the Welsh Dee Trust. A relatively harmless little filler.

But the newsreader, Andrea Byrne, dropped into the report: “Rivers like the Wye and the Usk are virtually dead and no longer able to support an abundance of fish like trout and salmon and other wildlife“.

Bizarre, and completely untrue. But from where did ITV Wales get that lie?

 

Because if it’s true then somebody should tell Harry Legge-Bourke of the Glanusk estate; for he advertises, ‘fantastic fishing on 5 miles of double bank fishing on the River Usk offering day tickets for Trout and Salmon rods’.

No one disputes that these rivers could be healthier, but they’re far from ‘virtually dead’, as ITV Wales would have us believe.

And if these rivers are in decline, then whose fault is that? Because if the finger of guilt is being pointed in the wrong direction to protect the guilty party then things are unlikely to improve.

There is constant financial backing and other support for those who tell lies about livestock farmers from those who benefit from and capitalise on those lies.

I’m often inclined to believe in coincidences. But not this time. What I’m describing is too widespread, across too many sectors.

If it quacks like a duck, and it waddles like a duck . . . 

CONCLUSION

The environmental / wildlife / Nature bodies in Wales are like exotic organisms in a Petri dish. Forever growing, dividing, re-forming, changing appearance and colour, and multiplying through the introduction of fresh viruses.

There are many reasons why there should be no further public funding for these groups. You’ve read some of those reasons here. But Sebastian and Claudia needn’t go without because there are plenty of funding streams they could tap into.

For example, and seeing as they’re promoting the agendas of the UN and WEF, one possibility must be the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Another option would be George Soros. Contact details can be had from Coleg Soros in Talgarth, where environmental and wildlife groups already have many contacts.

Bottom line, and last word . . .

It’s obscene that a country – especially our country – gives tens of millions of pounds every year for truth-averse zealots to enjoy sinecures fretting over toads and butterflies while our people die because ambulances don’t turn up.

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2022


Clear Water, Poisoned Debate

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

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

It was the usual nonsense from the usual sources.

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

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

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

BULLSHIT FOR WHICH BULLS ARE BLAMELESS

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

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

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

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

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

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

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

All will be explained later in this piece.

THE MEMSAHIBS OF KNIGHTON AND CONSIDERATIONS OF CHICKENSHIT

This section is part digression, part lead-in.

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

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

They perform the full far left agenda:

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

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

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

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

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

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.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

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

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

But what are the facts?

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

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

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

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

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

It’s the latter.

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

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

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

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

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

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

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

Let me explain why I say that:

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

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

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

More on both in a mo.

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

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

TINKLING RILLS AND STREAMS OF POLLUTING CASH

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Because don’t you find that strange?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back to the riverbank . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

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

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

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

‘FIRST THEY CAME FOR THE FARMERS . . . ‘

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘He who pays the piper calls the tune’.

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

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

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

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

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

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2022


Gilestone Farm: It’s Who You Know!

As evidence trickles out about the purchase – by the so-called ‘Welsh Government’, for £4.25m – of Gilestone farm, the picture just seems to get murkier.

That’s because every new revelation, or attempted explanation, raises more questions. Though one thing becoming clear is that in this area of southern Powys and rural Gwent, there is a network of well-connected individuals profiting from political patronage, and the public purse.

CONNECTIONS

It was difficult deciding which thread to start with. The one I’ve chosen may seem innocuous enough, but stick with it because it does lead somewhere, and connections will reveal themselves.

Let’s start in July 2018, when the ‘Welsh Government’ published Achieving our low-carbon pathway to 2030. This is what it says at the top of the Introduction.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

To explain. The World Economic Forum, using the pretext of a ‘climate catastrophe’ that isn’t happening, seeks to impose an unelected global government made up of political leaders, major corporations like Vanguard and Blackrock, and multi-billionaires such as Gates, Soros, Zuckerberg and others.

One of the ploys being used to exert control over us is the claim that there is too much carbon about. We are expected to believe that an element essential to life on this planet is in fact killing us! So the world needs to ‘decarbonise’.

The document to which I’ve linked invites responses. And here’s a further link, this time to the summary of those responses.

Being badly advertised outside of environmental circles the responses predictably suggested fewer cars, more wind turbines, and increased brainwashing of children. (Scroll down to page 84 for the organisations that responded.)

You’ll see that the report on the responses was compiled by Miller Research (UK) Ltd. Here’s the company website, and if you scroll down you’ll see that the main office is in Abergavenny, fast becoming the enviroshyster epicentre of our Wye-Usk Fertile Crescent.

On the Companies House entry for Miller we see that the sole director of the company is the eponymous Nicholas FitzHardinge Miller. The unaudited financial statement (y/e 31.07.2021) would suggest that the company is doing fairly well, with 12 employees and retained earnings of £473,108.

While the website makes it obvious where the money comes from. For in addition to the ‘Welsh Government’ Miller does work for other bodies I guarantee you’re familiar with.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

There are no entities there that I’d regard as genuine commercial clients. They seem to be the kind of lucrative gigs you’d get if you were well-connected down in Corruption Bay. Or to the Labour Party.

Miller Research is also used by the ‘Welsh Government’ to research and evaluate. Here are examples. ‘Rural Wales – Evidence Base Research‘ and ‘Evaluation of the Wales Rural Network Support Unit‘. Yet I can’t see a link to any findings, any final report.

While there’s a company Twitter account Miller also has his own account where, a few months back, he recommended a book approved by the otherworldly fanatics of Extinction Rebellion.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

‘Degrowth’ is code for turning the clock back on human progress. Especially in the West, or perhaps only in the West. And not for everybody.

An administration in thrall to the World Economic Forum employed a company owned by an individual who supports Extinction Rebellion. The outcome of the ‘consultation’ on decarbonisation was beyond predictable. It was pre-determined.

GOOD MONEY AFTER BAD

Another company Miller has been associated with is Blurrt Ltd. Which is, alas, no longer with us, having gone the way of so many of the companies that appear on this blog.

As a Victorian headstone might have put it, ‘Received into the bosom of the Great . . . ‘ er, well, Receiver.

But Blurrt is a story worth telling. Here’s the link to the Companies House entry that will help you follow the tale.

Formed in June 2012, by Jason Robert Smith, Blurrt’s product, ‘allows users to listen, analyse, showcase and engage with social audiences in real time’, which television companies thought might be useful.

And yet, confusingly, in his Twitter bio, Nick Miller, of ‘Monmouthshire, UK’, describes himself as, ‘Founder at Blurrt’.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

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’?

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

The day Cargill left, two new directors joined. These were Lloyd Gooding (son of Alf Gooding), and would-be media tycoon Huw Marshall. Marshall was representing S4C, for the following month we read, S4C takes stake in Blurrt.

By an amazing coincidence, Marshall gets a mention in the latest issue of Private Eye. 

The involvement of S4C links with investment made in Blurrt Ltd. Though around the same time the company was also seeking other funding and seems to have raised £504,135 from 182 investors.

In a return made to Companies House June 26, 2014 we see that the largest shareholder was Nicholas FitzHardinge Miller, with 360 in his own name and a further 240 in the name of Miller Research.

Marshall was replaced as S4C’s representative on July 6, 2015 by Phillip Gwynne Evans, who lasted until December 21, 2018.

The investment did not work out. We know that because this report of Westminster’s Welsh Affairs Committee, from July 2019, says that: ‘S4C has confirmed to the Committee that its investments in Blurrt have since been written down to zero.’

Is that saying the debt from 2014 was written off? Presumably because there was no hope of it being recovered. And yet . . .

There was a further loan from S4C Digital to Blurrt in July 2017. A month or so later there was a loan from Finance Wales Investments (now the Development Bank of Wales). These are both outstanding.

Founder Jason Robert Smith ceased being a director in October 2017. Which left Lloyd Gooding and Nicholas FitzHardinge Miller minding the shop.

I have difficulty understanding these further loans. Partly because S4C may have had to write off the 2014 loan, and partly because by 2017, when the two loans were made, the good ship Blurrt was securely moored up Shit Creek.

The accounts for year ending December 31, 2017 show debts of £467,329. While some of this may be attributed to the two loans, the debt for the previous year was a worrying £118,085.

This looks like a gambler on a losing streak throwing good money after bad. But let’s remember who the ‘gamblers’ were, and whose money they were squandering!

The last Blurrt accounts filed were for year ending December 31, 2018. And they are not a pretty sight. It might help if you visualise the bracketed figures in red.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

It’s difficult to comprehend why so much money was pumped into a lost cause. Was it to help out certain well-connected persons?

BABYLON-ON-USK

There are a couple of other companies with which Nick Miller is associated that are worthy of mention as they help fill out the picture.

First, we have Llanvetherine Properties Ltd. This seems to be the company for the  cottages rented out at Pen-y-Wyrlod farm. This is where Nick lives with his partner, Sarah Dickins. That is, the Sarah Dickins, Economics Correspondent for BBC Wales.

Sarah is a star, and if you want to book her you’ll have to go through her agent.

Just last week Sarah Dickins did a piece on the Green Man Festival and Gilestone farm. I’m prepared to bet that Sarah Dickins and the Green Man’s Fiona Stewart know each other. Maybe quite well.

The piece told us that the new venture at Gilestone – whatever it is – will support farmers and young people. Did we ever doubt it! But will it be intersectional and carbon-neutral, that’s what we all want to know.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

In all seriousness, I get the impression that the Gilestone / Green Man story is changing from week to week. And not one version I’ve heard is plausible. Perhaps the truth can’t be told because it’s too embarrassing for certain politicians.

No wonder the ‘Welsh Government’ is now refusing to answer Freedom of Information requests about this shambles.

Nicholas FitzHardinge Miller and Sarah Dickins are of course denizens of the Fertile Crescent, where a certain milieu is especially favoured by Corruption Bay.

In addition, I bet Sarah Dickins has connections all over the place that could be of use to a company ready to . . . oh, I don’t know, maybe help various bodies go through sham consultations in order to arrive at pre-determined conclusions.

Another company registered at Pen-y-Wyrlod is Blue Egg Productions Ltd. As Sarah Dickins holds the shares this may be the vehicle through which her BBC salary is paid.

If so, didn’t the BBC put a stop to this practice some years ago?

Or is this the piggy-bank for the money earned from the speaking engagements and opening food banks?

Another of Sarah Dickins’ interests is the Abergavenny Food Festival, where she’s a director. It takes place this coming weekend. One of those performing will be Rob Penn of greenwash outfit Stump up for Trees.

An outfit looked on with great favour down the Bay.

I can’t help wondering if telling us trees are edible might be advice, preparing us for the dark times after the WEF has put farmers out of business and we are being forced to eat insects and ‘meat’ produced by Bill Gates.

Earlier we saw Sarah Dickins’ partner Nick Miller recommend Jason Hickel’s book Less is More. Sarah is also a Hickel fan. Here she is retweeting him misrepresenting this year’s monsoon in Pakistan as evidence of global climate catastrophe.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Note the political bias and dishonesty that underpins the Green movement. To believe those carefully selected maps China, which opens a new coal-fired power station almost every day, is one of the good guys, a victim of the evil White man.

PULLING SOME THREADS TOGETHER

I’ve elsewhere referred to southern Powys and rural Gwent as ‘Cotswolds-on-the-cheap’, which on reflection is unfair, because it’s scenically and in other ways more attractive than the Cotswolds.

But property is certainly cheaper, and this draws people to the area. Which helps expand the network, that will in turn support the UN’s Agenda 2030 and the World Economic Forum’s Great Reset.

Or ‘Build back better’, as Charles III urges.

Which leads to the belief – shared by the ‘Welsh Government’ – that these objectives are so existentially important they must be achieved at any cost. Which in turn explains the war on traditional Welsh farming; covering our hills with unreliable, bird-slicing wind turbines; and making the rest of us poorer, colder, and hungrier.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

For of course it’s we who will sacrifice for these agendas, not those who promote them.

Being fundamentally Green Left the network is obviously short on political allies in a region which, at Westminster and Senedd levels, votes Conservative.

At Powys County Council level there are 9 Labour members, all from Brecon town and the top end of the Swansea Valley, otherwise it’s mainly Lib Dem and Tory, with what appear to be three unaligned groups, and three Plaid Cymru members.

Which is why, when viewed from a Labour Party perspective, funding and generally supporting its few but high-profile supporters is seen as a good investment – it gives Labour influence in an area where it has very little electoral support.

The purchase of Gilestone farm is part and parcel of the culture of cronyism and corruption that has developed under devolution, that sees the ‘Welsh Government’ and its agencies favouring organisations and individuals with a preferred ‘outlook’.

But this funding and favouritism is not like me slipping my grandson a tenner; for what Labour is doing impacts adversely on others. It involves public money. In some cases it will have national implications.

That’s because Labour’s system of cronyism and patronage works both ways. For example a few zealots in the system explains the ‘Welsh Government’ becoming a major funder for trans extremist group Stonewall, and how that group was able to influence policy decisions in Corruption Bay.

QUESTIONS

I’m going to finish with a few questions addressed to no one in particular down in Corruption Bay. Cynics might suggest I’m simply howling into the void. Again.

That void where there should be a system of accountability.

  • Was the contract to produce findings of the consultation exercise on ‘Achieving our low carbon pathway to 2030’ put out to tender? 
  • If so, how was this done?
  • How many responses were there?
  • If there was no tendering process, why not?
  • Given Nicholas FitzHardinge Miller’s clear and zealous belief in anthropogenic climate change, was Miller Research Ltd the right choice for this work?
  • Or does that bias explain why Miller Research Ltd was chosen?
  • The same questions on tendering and bias attach to the other contracts this company has secured with the ‘Welsh Government’ and other Welsh public bodies and institutions.
  • Why did S4C and Finance Wales Investments make further loans to Blurrt Ltd in 2017 when that company was clearly in financial difficulties and after S4C had seemingly written off a previous loan made in 2014?
  • Seeing as Blurrt Ltd was Dissolved in July 2021 are we to assume that these two loans from 2017 have also been written off?
  • Whether they’ve been written off or not, what amounts are involved?
  • If they have not been written off, then what steps are being taken to secure their repayment?
  • Will Miller Research Ltd be tasked with evaluating whether the purchase of Gilestone farm was public money well spent . . . and recommend that more farms be bought?

As I say, these questions are rhetorical. For the ‘Welsh Government’ is now refusing to answer FoI requests on a range of embarrassing issues, using all sorts of unconvincing reasons.

But then, when you have so much to hide . . .

♦ end ♦

 

© Royston Jones 2022


Miscellany 07.07.2022

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.
  • Ukraine.
  • 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.

Capice?

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.

I was also mindful of what happened when certain opencast mining sites came to the end of their working lives . . . and it was found that responsibility for restoring those sites had been transferred to companies located in the British Virgin Islands.

You might also like to read this 2014 report produced for the ‘Welsh Government’ and entitled, ‘Research into the failure to Restore Opencast Coal Sites in South Wales’.

When we add the birds and bats they kill wind turbines’ environmental credentials are on a par with Jack the Ripper’s contribution to the welfare and well-being of streetwalkers. Click to open enlarged in separate tab.

Here’s the response I received to my FoI.

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.

And that’s without deciding what to do with the blades, because they cannot be recycled. Most go into landfill. Just as well we’ve left the European Union, because the EU has banned landfill disposal.

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.

Crossing over, readers may remember that for a few years Ynys Môn council was in special measures. This was ostensibly for failings in education delivery, but it went well beyond that.

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.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

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.

The company behind this zombie scheme is Hillside Parks Ltd, run by Christopher John Madin, who I believe is the son of John Hardcastle Dalton Madin, the architect responsible for much of post-War central Birmingham.

So stick that up your Bullring!

LLANBEDR BY-PASS

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.)

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

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.

TIR NATUR

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.

Why ‘Wales-Based’, can’t they bring themselves to say ‘Welsh’? Click to open enlarged in separate tab

As I say, there was a rudimentary website. And a mention a year ago on the Cardiff Greenpeace Facebook page. (But no names there either.)

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.

But at least the Charity Commission gives us names. So who are these four people named as Tir Natur trustees? Do you know them? What are their plans?

And does Wales really need yet another environmental / rewilding group?

STOP PRESS!

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.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Though breeding pairs of European bison can be found at the Wildwood Trust’s Wildlife Discovery Centre in Kent.

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.

Are they now destined for Wales?

Incidentally, that place in Kent is where the poor lynx that ended up at Borth ‘Zoo’ came from.

GILESTONE FARM, AGAIN

A number of Freedom of Information requests – in addition to my own – have been submitted regarding the purchase by the ‘Welsh Government’, for £4.25m, of Gilestone Farm at Talybont-on-Usk.

Here’s one. Here’s another.

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. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

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.

Finally, might these shenanigans explain why the ‘Welsh Government’ is so far behind with its accounts?

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.

Bute Energy’s Welsh Advisory Board. Click to open enlarged in open tab

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!

‘WELSH GOVERNMENT’ FUNDS NATIONAL TRUST

About a month or so ago we heard that the National Trust was taking over the Hafod Estate in Ceredigion. I covered it here, in the section ‘Bristol fashion’.

The article in the Cambrian News to which I’ve linked suggests there may have been funding involved. To clarify this point I submitted a Freedom of Information request to the ‘Welsh Government’.

Here is the response I received yesterday. With the important bit extracted below.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

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.

As if that wasn’t enough, my contact also suggests that, because the announcement was made by Dawn Bowden, Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, there will probably be Arts grants as well.

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.

UPDATE: Well, whaddya know, a couple of hours after putting out this post I got a reply from Natural Resources Wales to my FoI of June 16.

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.

GREEN HOUSING

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.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

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.

Something else that makes me a little wary of this whole project is what I learnt from the Land Registry title register.

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.

NO COAL

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.

It is rarely if ever burned.

In January, approval was given for mining operations to continue. This prompted the Green Party of Englandandwales to burst into, ‘When will they ever learn’, with Julie James’ deputy Lee Waters joining in the chorus.

(In an eye-watering falsetto because someone had him by the balls!)

The latest news is that a legal challenge is to be mounted by a group called the Coal Action Network (CAN). If you’ve never heard of them, that may be because the company wasn’t formed until February 16.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

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.

STUMP UP FOR TREES, INTERTWINING

A group getting a lot of publicity, and regular attention from the ‘Welsh Government’, is Stump Up For Trees (SUFT). Predictably, and like so many others of its type, this little enterprise is based in south Powys.

Though cut through the enviro-bullshit and SUFT seems to be little more than a greenwashing operation for Utility Warehouse.

Click to enlarge in separate tab

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.

But who do we see there!

Why! it’s Richard James Roderick, who farms across the Usk from Gilestone farm. As I told you in my earlier post ‘Gilestone Revisited’, Roderick was taken to the USA in 2018 by Dŵr Cymru. After which he was debriefed by Natural Resources Wales’ Land Management Forum Agri-Pollution Sub Group.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

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?

And even though the Bruvvers in Corruption Bay love Roderick, he’s a ronk Tory.

MORE TREES . . . OR 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.

Will Edwards, last Labour MP for Merionethshire, 1966 – 1974. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

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.

This is the background for understanding the Welsh Government’s latest attack on farmers encouraged by – possibly written by – the aforementioned environmental groups.

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.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

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?

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Kate Beavan, as the Stump Up For Trees website tells us, ‘ . . . joined SUFT at the beginning of 2021. She is actually employed by our partners and friends, Coed Cymru.’

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.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Another casualty could be the Netherlands, where farmers, fishermen, truckers and others are protesting because the government wants to reduce the number of farms by 30 per cent.

But the mainstream media largely ignores this!

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.

ENLARGED SENEDD

Last weekend in a smoke-free conference room ‘Welsh’ Labour decided to back the plan for increasing Senedd numbers from the current 60 to 96. Which was widely supported, I believe only the Conservative and Unionist Party was opposed.

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.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

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?

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2022


Bristol Fashion, Local Benefits, Magic Wallpaper, Island In The Sun, Maasai Resistance, Gilestone Update

This week I bring yet more tales of colonialism dressed up as ‘saving the planet’; involving assorted enviroshysters, multifarious con men; all aided, abetted, and funded, by those collaborating buffoons down Corruption Bay.

This is another biggie, but broken down into easily-digestible chunks. (Add condiments and flavourings to taste.)

BRISTOL FASHION

Let’s begin with a piece from the Cambrian News, a ‘paper that circulates along Cardigan Bay, with its main office in Aberystwyth.

For reasons I’ve never been able to fathom, I’m blocked from the CN Twitter account. Me! I can only assume it’s a case of mistaken identity.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

The story we’re going to look at tells that the National Trust is to take over the running of the Hafod (Uchtryd) Estate, inland of Aberystwyth, just east of Pont-Rhyd-y-Groes. The estate seems to be owned by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and run in partnership with the Hafod Trust (HT).

Here’s the leaflet on Hafod issued by NRW.

Though when I tried to find out from the Land Registry website who owns what I drew a blank. Using the LR map search brought up what you see below. Yet this area must be part of the estate, with Hafod church, the public park, even a car park.

It was the same across the whole site, apart from the individual dwellings. Nor could I find a definitive map of the estate.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

But as I say, it seems NRW owns the estate, but leases it to HT. Confirmed by the HT accounts referring to a holiday cottage known as Hawthorne Cottage / Pwll Pendre, and the title document saying this property was leased in December 2000 for 25 years from The National Assembly for Wales.

It could be the same lease arrangement for the whole estate. So, with the lease coming to an end in just over three years, NRW and / or the ‘Welsh Government’ decided that instead of renewing the lease with the Hafod Trust they’d turn to the National Trust.

I suspect the Hafod Trust has been largely left to its own devices at the estate, but now it looks as if it’s either relinquishing control over Hafod, or else it’s being elbowed out.

The Hafod Trust had one full-time and a few part-time employees. These are joining the National Trust.

What we see happening at Hafod is in keeping with NRW’s activities. Which include undermining Welsh agriculture, encouraging corporate greenwash, and giving away bits of Wales to enviroshysters and assorted bodies from over the Dyke.

Or else buying land as a stage for its own planet-saver posturing.

At Hafod the beneficiary is a quintessentially English organisation, the National Trust. Yes, it adds ‘Cymru’ to fool gullible natives, but fundamentally it remains manicured lawns, print frocks, and, “More tea, vicar?

Though there was attempted infiltration by Wokies. So maybe now it’s, “Pour your own tea, you myth-peddling, white supremacist running-dog of imperialism”.

Or not, as the case may be.

Whatever, here’s how the takeover is described on the NT website.

Note, “National Trust Cymru and Natural Resources Wales have come together with support from Welsh Government to secure the estate’s future.” This, I assume, means financial support.

But why should the ‘Welsh Government’ pay a wealthy organisation like the National Trust anything to take over an asset from which the NT is guaranteed to make money?

Any payment should have been by the National Trust to the ‘Welsh Government’, which is entrusted with getting the best possible value from the disposal of publicly-owned assets.

And there was no mention of the HT trustees. Though a few other people are mentioned.

First, there’s Lhosa Daly, the “Interim Director of National Trust Cymru”.

Then there’s Clare Pillman, chief executive of Natural Resources Wales. She has a fascinating background, and has been involved in numerous extravaganzas of the ‘Rule Britannia’ variety.

Finally, speaking for the self-styled ‘Welsh Government’ we have, “Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden“. Which a correspondent thought was odd, wondering why it wasn’t someone with an environmental or conservation portfolio.

He has a point. But after a bit of digging, it all became clear. Certainly after seeing Daly’s Twitter account.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Daly is a solicitor, and has been chair of the Bristol branch of the Institute of Directors. She first came to Wales in September 2018 to work for the National Trust as assistant director of operations for South Wales.

She gives as her location on Twitter, “Western Gateway”. Which seems to have begun life as a ‘Sub-national Transport Body’ for local authorities in south west England, but has somehow morphed into a plan for a cross-border “powerhouse”.

In other words, the Greater Bristol Region.

Daly was appointed to the Western Gateway board just over a year ago. Which I find interesting. For she joins the Greater Bristol gang and then she’s made head of the National Trust in Wales. Are these appointments connected?

I ask because I’m sure the National Trust in Wales will be one of the bodies contributing to the development of the ‘Western Gateway’, ostensibly speaking for Wales.

Which hat will Lhosa Daly be wearing?

Oh, I almost forgot, she would also have the option of wearing her Wales Arts Council hat.

I’m certain Ms Daly lives in Bristol. Which is fitting, because Dawn Bowden, the Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, who has been instrumental in the deal for the NT to take over Hafod, is also from Bristol.

Did Bowden and Lhosa Daly know each other before the discussions over the Hafod Estate? And if it wasn’t due to the Bristol connection, why was Bowden involved at all? It’s outside her remit.

The map below shows Hafod Estate contains a lot of trees, part of which is said to be a “working forest”. But if Hafod is to be devoted to tourism (which is what the National Trust is all about) will there be a place for a commercial timber operation?

Perhaps not. But as we know, nowadays there are other ways of making money from trees – without touching them! And so I predict that Hafod will prove a nice little earner for the National Trust.

Image OS Maps. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

One of the first acts of a devolved government should have been setting up a Welsh organisation to do the work of the National Trust. A body looking after our heritage, on our behalf, and answering to us, the Welsh people. But the opportunity was spurned.

Which is why, after 23 years of devolution, we are discussing an Englishwoman representing our ‘Welsh Government’; another, Natural Resources Wales; with the two handing over another Welsh treasure to an English organisation run locally by a third Englishwoman.

This is colonialism. And even without the Bristol connection, this reeks of yet another ‘Welsh Government’ gift to a favoured body in a deal done behind closed doors with no pretence of a tendering process.

LOCAL BENEFITS (WELL, LOCAL TO SOMEWHERE)

The next report also comes from the Cambrian News, and concerns that other enviroshyster money-spinner – wind turbines.

Specifically, a test mast to be erected at Bryn Brawd, the highest point in an area described in the caption accompanying the image used by the CN as being, “on the outskirts of Llanddewi Brefi”.

In fact, it’s quite some distance from the south-eastern suburbs of that metropolis lying between Cwmann and Tregaron.

Image OS Maps. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

On the plus side, the company involved is Waun Maenllwyd Wind Energy Hub Ltd. Probably a Welsh company. Phew!

Well . . .

There is indeed a company of that name but – and you won’t believe this – it’s based in Bristol! And until March this year it was known as BPUWL 11 Ltd. In fact, there’s a slew of companies using those letters as a name.

One of them, BPUWL 16 Ltd, also changed its name in March, to Craig y Geifr Wind Energy Hub Ltd. It shares the Bristol office address, and officers, with Maenllwyd Wind Energy Hub Ltd.

From what I’ve learnt, Craig y Geifr is a ridge or an escarpment between Nant-y-Moel in the Ogwr Valley and Pentre in the Rhondda.

Image: Bing Maps. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

And it looks to be quite a beautiful area. A reminder of what our southern valleys were like before industrialisation.

© Copyright Alan Hughes and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Seeing as there are plantations close to Craig y Geifr, I assume that the land is owned by Natural Resources Wales. As for Bryn Brawd, I’m not sure. Unfortunately, the Land Registry offers no help.

So let’s focus on the two companies, Waun Maenllwyd Wind Energy Hub Ltd and Craig y Geifr Wind Energy Hub Ltd. What can the Companies House website tell us?

Now pay attention, because this may not be easy to follow.

When we click on the ‘People’ tab, and then, ‘Persons with significant control‘, we bring up the name, Belltown Power UK Wind Ltd. When we find the entry for this company, and go through the same procedure, we bring up Foresight Belltown UK Wind Development Ltd.

Following the pattern with Foresight Belltown UK Wind Development Ltd we bring up Blackmead Infrastructure Ltd. Same procedure for Blackmead brings up Averon Park Ltd.

Wee digression.

Averon Park has three directors. One is Philip Lloyd-Jones, described as ‘adviser’. The name is Welsh, so I got to wondering. And I found a solicitor of that name in Mold. Though since early in 2018 the practice has been part of Gamlins.

Unusually, for an enquiry like this, Gamlins is a Welsh company. Though Philip Lloyd-Jones is not listed among the directors. But we do find Vernon Oliver in what would otherwise be a Welsh girl band.

But I digress! Again.

Returning to Averon Park, all but one of the shares are held by Foresight Fund Managers Ltd. Which is in turn owned by Foresight Group Holdings (UK) Ltd. And, finally, Foresight Group Holdings (UK) Ltd is owned by Foresight Group founder Bernard William Fairman, using a Guernsey address.

The name ‘Foresight’ should ring a bell. These are the buggers who, thanks to the encouragement of the ‘Welsh Government’, have been buying up farms on which they’re going to plant ‘carbon capture’ trees.

Having received so much bad publicity over the trees scam it looks as if Foresight might be switching to wind farms. But staying in Wales because those assholes in Corruption Bay are such a pushover.

But of course Foresight only manage other people’s money. In the case of the two windfarms we’ve looked at, the clue as to whose money it could be might be found in the ‘Belltown’ element of the names.

Because I suspect that Foresight has linked up with Belltown Power, a company now based in London but founded by US citizen Michael Joshua Kaplan.

North Data provides some information on Kaplan. Beneath the Network diagram it lists various companies, and the top one, Awel Newydd Cyf – owned through Petersham Holdco Ltd – should interest my Welsh readers.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

I can’t tell you much more about this company, I certainly couldn’t find a website, only various company profiles. What I do know is that it’s linked to Foresight, it was based in Bristol, though one entry gives an address in Mold.

Now who do we know in Mold? Thinks . . .

The accounts for y/e April 1, 2021 show ‘Plant and Machinery’ valued at £53,672,808 (before depreciation). That kind of money is not to be sniffed at.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

How come we haven’t heard of this great Welsh success story?

I’ll spare you another twisty-turny route, but ultimate ownership of Awel Newydd Cyf rests with Stephen George Geddes, who’s married to Clarissa vom Hagen-Plettenberg, is the grandson of the 1st Baron Geddes, and great-grandson of Archduchess Maria Christina of Austria.

Takes me back to fin de siècle Vienna! You should have seen me in my hussars uniform! Waltzing the night away. 

That may all have come crashing down in 1918, but over a hundred years later we find Hapsburg descendants exploiting us!

Staying with Foresight, it seems they’re busy across Wales.

These links tell they’re in league with Tilhill Forestry and Coleg Cambria Llysfai in the north east. But Foresight is based in the Shard! Those working for Foresight don’t know one bloody tree from another. But here they are burnishing their environmental credentials by paying Tilhill to give courses.

There’s even a video!

And Foresight seems to be embedded in the ‘Welsh Government’, for the name crops up everywhere in WG publications. Such as here (page 22).

Finally, and most worryingly of all, Foresight is allowed to brainwash young children. Here they are, again collaborating with Tilhill, using kids from Talyllychau to plant trees on a farm Foresight has bought!

Did Carmarthenshire education authority know about this insulting bullshit? What the hell was the teacher thinking to allow the kids in his care to be brainwashed by a company buying up local farms?

And have you heard of a ‘seed portfolio transaction‘? No, nor me. But that’s the kind of business Foresight is doing at Banc Farm, where those kids were exploited.

There’s more information here. It looks as if money is being made by Foresight before the trees are even planted.

‘PSSST, I GOT A GREAT IDEA’

At a recent gathering of the Honourable Company of Magic Bean Salesmen many toasts were drunk to the ‘Welsh Government’ and associated bodies.

Hardly surprising when we recall how many schemes of dubious merit (I will say no more than that!) have received funding in Wales. A new one came to my attention a few weeks ago.

Here’s a report showing Julie James, Environment Minister in the ‘Welsh Government’ looking interested in magic wallpaper that it’s claimed can replace radiators as a source of heat. James should be interested because her lot are funding this project for Melin Homes in Torfaen.

“Do it come in a nice red flock? Cos our tŷ bach is cowin’ freezin’ in the winter. Send some round to my office, love”. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

So who is the lucky recipient of this ‘Welsh Government’ largesse? The company mentioned is NextGen. So, you know me . . .

There are many, many ‘NextGen’ companies, but we need to look at this one. Despite the quite impressive website, NextGen Heating Ltd is a one-man band, and it’s in debt.

Not a great start.

The sole director is Clive David Osborne. Yet in all the reports on the ‘magic wallpaper’ his name was never mentioned, just the incomplete and misleading name of his company. So what’s his record?

I’ve drawn up a list of companies he’s been involved with in recent years. There have been others, but I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt that he played a minor role in their demise.

I’ve included Crush Holdings because it may link with something else I’ll be telling you.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

With so many failures I began to wonder how he kept the wolf (re-introduced to Berkshire in a rewilding project) from his door. The answer may be provided by the Paradise Papers.

For Clive David Osborne is linked to an enterprise in Malta. An island where just about anything goes. “You want an EU passport, Mr Putin? No problemo”. “You want an annoying blogger whacked? Leave it to us”.

Here’s the link. (The nodes are moveable.)

It tells us that Osborne is director, secretary, and judicial representative for Mosta Electronics Centre on Constitution Street in the town of Mosta. Though the website only mentions founder, Joseph Zerata.

The Mosta Electronics emporium in Mosta, Malta. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

So what is the connection between Clive David Osborne and the Mosta Electronics Centre? I can’t know for sure, but one possibility might take us back to his flirtation with those Sons of Nippon.

For a bloke in the pub told me it’s possible to buy equipment online that can access satellite TV, for free, and that this equipment can be had from certain Mediterranean islands where rules about such things are somewhat lax.

Alternatively, and seeing as Mosta Electronics sells Chinese brands such as (the German-sounding) Haier, maybe this ‘magic wallpaper’ technology comes from the land of the Uyghur concentration camps. A country whose most noteworthy contribution to humanity in recent years has been Covid.

Whatever the answer, we know enough about Clive David Osborne to ask why the hell Melin Homes let him in the door, and why the ‘Welsh Government’ is funding his ‘magic wallpaper’.

I look forward to hearing the answers.

ISLAND IN THE SUN

The Conservative and Unionist Party MP for Ynys Môn is Virginia Crosbie, and she’s appeared on this blog in the recent past. This was when Covid first hit and questions were being asked about where she was living, and whether she was breaking lockdown.

Similar questions were asked of her friend and parliamentary colleague, Jake Berry, who owns a number of properties in the constituency she represents. Questions were also being asked about his movements during the pandemic.

Just type their names into the search box to get more information.

The reason you’re reading about Crosbie is due to her opposition to a 1200-acre solar farm on the island. And anti-nuclear lefties telling her to “smell the coffee”. (Do people still use that silly expression?)

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Let me make clear that I was against the proposed Wylfa B because the construction phase would have damaged a fragile cultural identity, and that’s without considering the strain that would be put on local infrastructure and housing by thousands of workers, almost all of whom would come from outside of Wales.

But I am not opposed to nuclear in principle, and there are smaller options to Wylfa B.

The company behind this solar array is Lightsource BP Renewable Energy Investments Ltd. Here’s their website, and here’s their Companies House entry.

Previously known as Lightsource Renewable Investments Ltd, and then Lightsource Renewable Energy Investments Ltd, the ‘BP’ was added in February 2018 when BP Alternative Energy Investments Ltd (formerly BP Biofuels UK Ltd) took over.

Fossil fuel giant BP getting into renewables is the most obvious kind of greenwash.

But don’t get me wrong, old Jac’s got nothing against oil and gas, because I’ve still got enough operational grey matter to know that we can’t live well without them, whether there’s a war in eastern Europe or not.

What’s more, I know who’s pushing us towards expensive and unreliable alternatives to oil, gas, coal, and nuclear. And I know why they’re doing it. They are not friends of Western society.

If the ‘Welsh Government’, and our local authorities, were sincere in their commitment to the environment, they’d tell BP and all the other enviroshysters to reduce their carbon footprint rather than cover good land with wind turbines, solar farms, and sterile, monoculture forests.

But that would deny our politicians the opportunities they crave to ponce around and posture, claiming to be saving the planet. 

Because that’s what it’s all about – political posturing.

MAASAI RESISTANCE

Let me draw your attention to something happening in east Africa. As I understand it, the Tanzanian government has agreed to enclose land for ‘reserves’ on which Gulf royals can go trophy shooting.

There are so many wrong things bundled up in what I’ve just written. But no doubt a great deal of money changed hands.

The Maasai, who claim the land, are being denied access. But they’re fighting back. As this tweet explains. While Modern Ghana reports that a policeman has been killed.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Wouldn’t it be great if shyster greenwashers and land-grabbing ‘environmentalists’ got that kind of reception in Wales!

The international message: This land is our land!

GILESTONE UPDATE

Finally, a few weeks ago, in Green Man, Red Herring?, I reported on the curious business of the ‘Welsh Government’ paying £4.25m for Gilestone Farm, at Talybont-on-Usk.

The purchase was allegedly made for the Green Man festival . . . which said it had no intention of relocating from the Glanusk Estate, had not submitted a business plan, and seemed almost as surprised as the rest of us by the news of its good fortune.

In the hope of getting a bit more information I submitted a Freedom of Information request. Here’s the link to the response received yesterday.

It confirms there was no tendering process to invite bids from others who might have been interested, no business plan has been received from Green Man, but the purchase was still made on solid economic grounds. Absolutely absurd!

Previous owners of the land had stressed to me that while the farm was indeed valuable, the real value lies in the substantial deposits of sand and gravel on which the farm sits.

So in my FoI I asked who now holds the mineral rights to the land.

The question was not answered, on the grounds that the information is available elsewhere. Which would be true if the details of the recent purchase were available on the Land Registry website. But for whatever reason, the most recent title register available lists the sale in 2010.

So, really, I know little more than I’d already learnt from my own enquiries.

The purchase of Gilestone Farm is yet another deal done with public money, in secret, by an administration that is out of control, out of its depth, and no longer cares what people think.

♦ end ♦

 

© Royston Jones 2022


Lobbying in Wales

INTRODUCTION

This piece is prompted by the ‘Welsh Government’ suggesting it wants to address the issue of lobbying. As the website puts it: “The Standards of Conduct Committee is undertaking an inquiry into lobbying and is keen to establish whether lobbying is a matter of concern to the people of Wales”.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

A disingenuously worded paragraph because the hope is that few people will even know about the exercise, fewer still will respond, and that will allow the self-styled ‘Welsh Government’ to claim that lobbying is not “a matter of concern” and everything can just carry on as before.

The truth is that Wales desperately needs reform in this area, and it needs to go well beyond a simple register of lobbyists. I say this because lobbying takes a different form in Wales to most other Western countries.

What I’m going to try here is to give examples of different lobbying sectors (that would probably not regard themselves as lobbyists), while also looking at more obvious examples of lobbying.

I warn you, this is a ‘biggie’, pushing 4,000 words. But broken up into sections so you don’t have to take in the full horror of the situation all at once.

So go make a cuppa.

THE ENVIRONMENTAL LOBBY

Since before the first elections to the then Assembly for Wales in May 1999, those looking to benefit from devolution were positioning themselves, even relocating.

For example, the RSPB, which had until then been based – very centrally for an essentially rural organisation – in Powys, decided the time had come to move its Wales regional office to Cardiff.

This had nothing to do with bird migrations, or even the rediscovery of the Lesser-spotted Splott Warbler (previously thought extinct).

No, it was all to do with access to the new decision makers.

For the RSPB and the wider environmental lobby, devolution has been like Christmas, with a constant supply of prezzies delivered by yo ho ho-ing politicians.

Just cast your mind back to last week’s post on this blog, ‘Saving Wales From the Welsh’. One of the organisations mentioned was the Wales Environmental Link (WEL). And I reproduced the panel below, from the Charity Commission website.

Focus on the section I’ve highlighted.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

“At the centre of government decision making” can only mean that the WEL lobbies to influence decisions made by the ‘Welsh Government’.

But do you remember voting for the Wales Environmental Link? Do you remember being offered the chance of voting for the Wales Environmental Link? No, nor me.

As I say, the ‘Save the Planet!’ lobby was out of the blocks early on in the devolution era. Helped to a great extent by ‘insiders’. These came in two forms.

First, civil servants, often from England, always answering to London, and working to a vision of a Welsh countryside without farming.

Second, politicians who, despite what they were elected and paid to concentrate on, always prioritised their real interest of ‘reconfiguring’ – even repopulating – rural Wales.

Inevitably, the two elements worked closely together. Never more so than when Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales* Lesley Griffiths shacked up with her civil servant adviser Gary Haggaty.

But the grande dame of the sector is Jane Davidson. “Minister for Environment and Sustainability from 2007 to 2011 where she was responsible for the Welsh Government agreeing to make sustainable development its central organising principle”, as Wikipedia tells us.

Sustainable development became the “central organising principle” of governing Wales. Let that sink in.

After leaving the Assembly in 2011 Davidson took up a post of Director of the Wales Institute for Sustainability at Trinity St David University, Lampeter.

Davidson was, supposedly, Assembly Member for Pontypridd, but she’d already bought a place down west and was more concerned with pushing through the Hippies’ Charter (One Planet legislation) than with anything happening in Ponty.

From ivory tower to organic cabbage patch Jane Davidson and those she can marshal and organise have wielded an unhealthy influence over successive administrations in Corruption Bay.

The environmental lobby is now one of the most powerful in Wales. It’s why farmers have their backs to the wall, it’s why the M4 was not improved, and why smaller projects, such as the Llanbedr by-pass, have been scrapped.

If this lobby could close Port Talbot steelworks, take away our cars, confiscate all farmland, and turn us into vegans, it would. And the ‘Welsh Government’ would pass the necessary legislation without quibbling.

As gesture politics go, few things are more damaging to the Welsh national interest than deluding yourself that you’re saving the planet while damaging Wales.

*A bizarre title that makes ‘North Wales’ sound like an overseas colony of Corruption Bay.

THE RACE LOBBY

At it’s crudest this is little more than, ‘You Welsh are racist – give us funding’. I examined this racket not so long ago, when the so-called Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union successfully blackmailed the Wales Arts Council and the National Museum.

If you have the stomach for this tale of extortion and cowardice, then read, Corruption Bay and a tale of Cymrophobia (23.08.2021), Arts Council of Wales and Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union, an update (31.08.2021), and Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union Unmasked (06.09.2021).

In brief, the Arts Council of Wales was pressured into ‘commissioning’ a report from the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union. An ad hoc group capitalising on the George Floyd killing by using ‘discrimination’ as the key to future funding.

In the race lobby sector we find another grande dame, in the form of Rose Mutale Nyoni Merrill, who you can read about in the first section of this miscellany from May 2018.

Her empire is founded on Bawso, which has accumulated quite a few properties around Wales over the years. And you’ll be glad to hear that Mrs Merrill has not neglected her own property portfolio.

But that’s how it is in the ‘Welsh’ Labour Party. You work for and promote the party, and preferment and funding will be your reward. Even if it’s public money down the drain.

And the showering of goodies can extend to your loved ones, involved in other fields.

As happened with Travers Merrill, Mutale’s hubby; given the cushy number of chief executive at Rhondda Life, a ‘regeneration’ project in the Rhondda Fach. What could possibly go wrong?

Everything, by the look of it.

It 2012 it was announced that the project was in receivership. And having looked through the documents filed with Companies House I get the impression there was something akin to jiggery-pokery going on in Ferndale.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

For example, in the last accounts filed, for y/e July 31, 2012, the company is said to own freehold property valued at £1.5m. This is presumably the building you see in the image above.

The property eventually realised £295,000. Even allowing for the way liquidators dispose of such properties, that is quite a difference. But the bottom line is that the building was never worth £1.5m.

Over-valuing assets is a tactic used by many who’ve appeared on this blog over the years: money launderers, mortgage fraudsters, and other crooks.

(There is an obvious link in terms of directors between Rhondda Life and Blaenllechau Community Regeneration, which went belly-up around the same time.)

But of course, this being Wales, a ‘Welsh Government’ cock-up leads to a cover-up. It was years before the truth started coming out. Due in no small part to the persistence of Leanne Wood, a politician for whom I have the highest regard.

(Keyboard explodes!)

THE HOMELESSNESS LOBBY

A few years back I submitted an FoI request asking about organisations in Wales “combatting homelessness”. Specifically, how many were there?

The response told me there were 48! In a country of just over 3 million people. There are probably more by now. “It’s them wicked Tories, innit”.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

But then, when you think about it, when you remember the kind of country Wales is, and the kind of lobbying I’ve described, 48 shouldn’t surprise anyone. The more the merrier. It’s only public money after all.

As with the other sectors, many of the homelessness racketeers have moved to Wales in the era of devolution. Which is bad enough, but to keep the funding flowing these people – just like their counterparts in other sectors – will import a steady stream of ‘clients’ from over the border.

It’s a form of human trafficking.

We see here the fundamental and uncomfortable truth about third sector lobbyists in Wales.

Identify or invent a ‘problem’ in order to get funding. Then, with the help of an ever-compliant media and understanding politicians, the ‘problem’ must persist – to guarantee continued funding!

Let the good times roll!

Many of those now running the dozens of homelessness organisations have worked for the Labour Party or for Plaid Cymru, others will move on to work for these parties.

Or join some other publicly-funded gravy train.

To get a taste of what I’ve written over the years on this subject try, ‘Another “homelessness” outfit!’ (16.04.2020). Or just put ‘homelessness’ into the search box on top of the sidebar to open up a library.

THE “WOMEN WITH PENISES” LOBBY

A relatively recent arrival on the lobbying scene in Wales is the transsexual lobby. Represented by Stonewall, the former lesbian and gay organisation.

To begin with, and as you’ve probably guessed, Stonewall has its claws into the ‘Welsh Government’ for funding. The panel below shows that in the 18 months up to March 31, 2021, only the UK government gave more money to Stonewall than the boys and girls of Corruption Bay.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

But this being Wales, Stonewall has also been able to influence – if not dictate – legislation. To the extent of the ‘Welsh Government’ agreeing to what  Stonewall would like to see in law rather than what the 2010 Equalities Act actually says.

As Irving Berlin put it: There May Be Trouble Ahead.

Especially after First Minister Drakeford made an ass of himself. You used the term, so tell us, what is a, “transgender woman”?

It appears that the voice of Stonewall in Wales is Lu Thomas. You’ll have noticed her name if you followed the links in the section on the race lobby. She’s a Labour insider with far too much influence in the Bay.

As I suggest, she was deeply involved, with her business partner, Jon Luxton, another Labour insider, in the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union scam.

Her Linkedin profile says she’s managing director of Final Say Wales, which seems to be a rather sad attempt to roll back Brexit. I dug this out, but I couldn’t find much more. My guess would be it’s died a natural death in the face of reality.

The other outfit mentioned on her Linkedin page is Re:cognition. An odd fish, this; not least because there’s a reputable company with a very similar name.

Lu Thomas was previously director of a company known as Cognition Training Ltd, along with Jon Luxton. This went into liquidation in December 2018 owing close on £35,000, most of it to the tax man.

The latest incarnation, Re:cognition Training CIC has only Luxton as a director. So is Lu Thomas an employee?

Whatever the answer, through political connections Re:cognition gets commissions from the ‘Welsh Government’.

For as the latest accounts tell: “We chaired and developed an LGBTQ+ strategy for Welsh Government where we managed the LGBTQ+ stakeholder group, ensuring voices from across wales (sic) was heard.”

But I bet that only certain voices were allowed to be heard.

And you won’t be surprised to learn that Re:cognition has also been given a gig by Labour-controlled Cardiff City council.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

This probably helped inform the ‘Welsh Government’s current – and possibly unlawful – position on “trans rights”. But then, when it comes to surveys, it all depends who you talk to.

What Lu Thomas and others have learned from many years of working with and influencing politicians is that if you put your mind to it you can find racism, environmental damage, transphobia, etc., etc., just about anywhere.

And then you can capitalise on your ‘find’.

THE REFRESHINGLY HONEST AND CORRUPT COMMERCIAL LOBBY

Those we’ve looked at so far have been insiders, dealing with civil servants and politicians they know. These activist-lobbyists have, in a number of cases, previously worked for the ‘Welsh Government’, or for individual politicians.

They are invariably associated with not-for-profit organisations. Which means few jobs for anyone not linked to a particular clique of insiders, and little by way of a contribution to the wider economy beyond the increased spending power of clique members.

But we are asked to ignore this and focus instead on the incalculable benefits to society as a whole from ‘doing good’.

Though I fail to understand how a Welsh community is improved by a third sector body or a housing association importing into that community from England ex-cons, petty criminals and drug addicts.

Nor do I pretend to understand the doublespeak that gave us a policy (OPDs) designed, we were told, to reduce Wales’ carbon footprint . . . that invites into Wales people to live on previously unused land; who drive elderly diesel vehicles, keep farting animals, and cannot live without wood-burning stoves.

It’s refreshing then to be able to focus on a lobbying activity motivated by unalloyed greed and promoted through in-yer-face corruption. Though it adheres to the model herein explained in that it is facilitated using Corruption Bay insiders.

I’m referring now to the many, many companies under the Bute Energy umbrella, and their plans for at least 20 new wind farms in Wales. Shown in red print in the map below.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Here’s a pdf document listing the companies I’m aware of, but new ones are being formed all the time. (The company names are hyperlinks.)

To understand the brazen corruption involved you’ll need a few introductions. Let us look first at Bute Energy’s ‘Welsh Advisory Board’. A totally unnecessary group formed purely to justify paying certain people for their influence with the ‘Welsh Government’.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

On the left, we see Derek Vaughan, former Labour MEP. Not known to have any knowledge of or interest in wind turbines or renewable energy of any kind.

On the right is John Uden, partner of Labour MS, Jenny Rathbone, who sits on the Senedd’s Climate Committee. His knowledge of three-arm bandits is believed to be on a par with Vaughan’s.

The other two may be there to act as a distraction. The jury’s out on them. Though I’m told ‘John Cwmbetws’ already has a bloody big turbine on his land.

UPDATE 17.06.2022: John Davies is of course Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society. Which makes him an ideal influence within the farming community, and he might even be able to find sites for Bute.

Indeed, a beneficiary of the planned Moelfre site is vice-chair of the Board, Harry Fetherstonhaugh.

But of even more interest is David James Taylor, who has served as a spad to former First Ministers Rhodri Morgan and Carwyn Jones, and also former Secretary of State for Wales, Peter Hain. Quite the lad about the corridors of power, our Dai.

Taylor tends to work under the radar and is nowhere mentioned on the Bute website. But he, like Vaughan and Uden, was recruited by Bute Energy for one reason and one reason only – his contacts in the Labour Party.

He holds shares in Bute company, Windward Enterprises Ltd, both in his own name and that of his company Moblake Associates Ltd. Taylor was also – until people noticed – a partner in another Bute company, Grayling Capital LLP.

His lucre from Bute Energy was channelled through Moblake Ltd. This company was wound up in April with sole director Taylor owing the company £605,872 that he’d taken out in interest-free ‘loans’ with no repayment date.

But no mention of where the money came from!

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Taylor has set up a new company, Earthcott Ltd, so maybe Bute’s future payments will be channelled through this new venture. Then again, seeing as we know about it . . .

I won’t go over any more old ground, it’s all covered in previous pieces on this blog such as ‘Corruption Is Such An Ugly Word . . . But I Can’t Think Of Anything Else To Call It!’ (06.12.2021), and ‘Bute Energy Selling Wales For Danegeld‘ (21.02.2022), in which I explain how Scottish company Bute Energy has linked up with Danish investors.

Yes, folks, Scots, Danes, everyone gets a slice of the action, except the native Welsh. Unless of course you’re well connected down Corruption Bay.

That’s how a corrupt, third world country operates.

THE PROFESSIONAL LOBBYISTS

In addition to those already looked at, who might be termed ‘amateur lobbyists’, there are also companies that are quite open about what they do. Which is, helping commercial outfits, often from outside of Wales, get what they want from the ‘Welsh Government’.

But they also dabble in politics. And for unregulated bodies they have far too much influence.

Let’s just look at two of them.

Starting with a company that’s appeared on this blog a number of times, Deryn Consulting. Run by former politicians and spads, but keeping up with the Woke agenda by recruiting enviromarxists and promoters of BLM.

The majority of Deryn’s shares are owned by former Labour spad Cathy Owens, with a minority nestling in the neatly-manicured hands of former Plaid Cymru Welsh Assembly Member Nerys Evans.

Over the years Deryn has been involved in a number of unsavoury incidents, I’ll just mention two.

The first was the Ofcom contract, a gem of its kind. This report from October 2017 will give you the story. And the image below of a WalesOnline headline from August 2017 leads on to another element of the Deryn saga.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

You’ll see that Neil McEvoy, was at that time, still a Plaid Cymru AM, but he’d blotted his copybook big time by challenging third sector shenanigans and exposing Deryn.

For party leader at that time was Leanne Wood, a personal friend of those whose lives were being made difficult by Neil McEvoy. He’s told me more than once that he was ordered to lay off Deryn. He didn’t.

He was too honest to stay silent when surrounded by institutionalised corruption, and so he had to go. First from Plaid Cymru, and then from the Senedd.

Around the time of the Ofcom scandal people at Deryn were briefing against Carl Sargeant, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children in the ‘Welsh Government’.

Those at Deryn employed in this dirty work were colluding with over-wrought but ever-cooperative third sector women. Some of whom had also made unfounded allegations against Neil McEvoy.

What’s worse, there were politicians, supposed allies of Sargeant, also briefing Deryn. The conduit here was Jo Kiernan, former senior spad to First Minister Carwyn Jones.

From Carwyn Jones’ staff Kiernan knew that Carl Sargeant was to be sacked before the poor bugger himself knew, and she was briefing others.

Carl Sargeant was sacked on November 3, 2017 and took his own life four days later.

As I was writing this I got to wondering about the Deryn finances, and so I went to the Companies House website. Where I found the latest accounts. Or rather, the unaudited financial statement up to December 31, 2020.

This skeletal document tells us that Deryn, with 9 employees, has assets of just £63,836.

But where are the real figures? Where’s the rest of the money? Where’s the turnover for the year? Is everything done with brown envelopes?

There’s something squalid and distasteful about Deryn. More worrying is that Owens, Evans and Kiernan seem able to open any door in Corruption Bay.

The bad news is that Deryn isn’t the biggest PR company down the Bay. The big kid on the block now is Camlas, formerly Positif Politics Ltd. The change of name last November is linked to the departure of Positif founder Daran Hill, who ceased to be a director in September. (Though he still seems to hold a majority of the shares.)

I’ve heard rumours, involving the local gendarmerie; but you know me, I try to avoid tittle-tattle in favour of facts and informed speculation.

Back in August 2020, in the early days of investigating Bute Energy and David Taylor, I ran across Hill’s name in connection with a wind farm planning application, so I contacted him. The resultant Twitter exchange can be read below.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

The Bute account at Camlas is currently handled by Matt Hexter.

Did David Taylor direct Bute Energy to his mate Daran Hill, or was it vice versa?

Going through who’s who at Camlas brings up the usual list of former politicians and spads, Mainly Plaid Cymru, but also Labour and now, with the recruitment of former AM, Angela Burns, the Conservative and Unionist Party is also represented.

But with Plaid Cymru firmly in control through Managing Partner and Co-Owner Rhodri ab Owen, brother to Plaid Cymru MS Rhys ab Owen; while the other Managing Director and Co-Owner Naomi Williams was a spad to former Plaid AMs Dafydd Elis Thomas and Dai Lloyd.

Plaid Cymru is of course in an alliance with the Labour Party in the Senedd. And even without an alliance, the two parties are never far apart.

Finally, and turning to Companies House, Camlas is another disappointment. All that’s filed is another bare bones ‘financial statement’.

I’m sure these minimalist filings are perfectly legal, but I believe that with companies such as Deryn and Camlas exercising unaccountable influence in Welsh public life we are entitled to know more about them.

CONCLUSION

In normal countries, with normal economies, lobbying is conducted by business interests and often involves donations to political parties. In other words: lobbying decides which company or corporation gets the contracts.

And while this may be undesirable, it usually delivers jobs and generates wealth. The country benefits, the losers tend to be commercial competitors. Who, had they been successful, would also have created jobs and generated wealth.

The political elite controlling Wales wants a quasi-socialist state in which they exercise power through patronage and hand-outs. The last thing this elite wants is a decent economy and an entrepreneurial class challenging its diktats and exposing its weaknesses.

And this explains why, in Wales, lobbying takes the form of fawning and cajoling by pressure groups that share the political outlook of the elite. These demand legislation beneficial to their cause, also funding and publicly-owned assets.

This must then be disguised with flim-flam like, “public good”, “future generations”, and other specious and unquantifiable ‘benefits’. Which we are told to accept as some kind of substitute for a decent economy and a prosperous country.

RECOMMENDATIONS

To begin with, we obviously need a definition of lobbying.

I would suggest: Anyone seeking to influence politicians, either directly or indirectly, through civil servants, advisers, or by any other means, in the hope of securing personal or corporate financial gain, or in order to influence legislation.

There should be a register of such persons. And a diary kept of all meetings between lobbyists and politicians, civil servants or advisers; both those meetings that have been held, and those planned for the future. The subject matter of these meetings must also be stated clearly and unambiguously.

Both the register and the diary should be updated daily and made available online.

To monitor lobbying will require a new post, and it will need to be filled by someone untainted by Corruption Bay. For once, I would have no objection to filling an important post in Wales with a complete stranger.

But I remain open to suggestion, so let’s have your comments. The ‘Welsh Government’ is also asking for your views, so don’t forget to write.

They’ll be delighted to hear from you! Or maybe not.

♦ end ♦

 

© Royston Jones 2022