In addition, hundreds of millions of pounds are showered every year on magic bean salesmen (and saleswomen), many of whom are from outside of Wales but can sniff easy money.
BLACK CAT COUNTRY
That heading’s a reference to Cydweli (Kidwelly). It’s explained here . . . sort of. Though I loved the reference to the “zealous Welsh” attacking the Norman castle and the town full of alien settlers.
If the town was destroyed and the inhabitants killed then describing our ancestors as ‘zealous’ seems a little inadequate. Even trivialising. Though I’m not criticising our forbears, for all nations have the right to respond to invasion and the threat of becoming strangers in their own country.
Some of you will remember that I’ve written about Cydweli before, a little town west of Llanelli, just up the road from Porth Tywyn, where I’ve often sojourned.
In fact, this piece is a follow-up to something I wrote back in January last year. Here’s a link to that earlier post, ‘Tourism or Survival: Wales Must Choose‘, scroll down to the section, ‘Tourism Making Life Difficult for Locals’.
Last year I looked at attempts to re-vitalise the local economy through tourism, which of course brought the threat of the usual problems – holiday homes, few worthwhile jobs, the area attracting retirees and good-lifers, etc.
That attempt was called the Black Cat Tourism Strategy, and in the summer of 2021 we learnt that it had secured £270,000, “to implement a two-year strategy aimed at growing the visitor economy in Kidwelly and Mynydd-y-garreg” (a village to the north east of the town).
To judge by its Facebook page, the Hub has come to the end of the line. Confirmed, it would seem, by this notice from the town council.
Though I was amused by the fact that most of the comments to the Hub’s valedictory FB post last October were of the, “When can I have my – – – – back?” type, rather than, “We’ll miss you”.
If you scroll down a wee bit further, you’ll come to the FB post you see below. And this is our destination – The Gwên Gwen Festival 2022. (‘Gwen’s smile’?)
My information is that the bulk of the grant money spend in 2022 went on the Gwên Gwen festival, and it’ll be the same again this year. Most locals believe this is not money well spent. Few turned up last year, and this year’s event doesn’t promise to pull in the punters either.
One person who recently contacted me was relaying the concerns of others about what the £270,000 allocated to The Black Cat Tourism Strategy had actually been spent on.
My source wrote, referring to last year’s Gwên Gwen bash:
“Tried getting answers as to where the cash has gone. A massive spend of funds where no one turned up apart from organisers families and a bunch of local hippies. Labour councillor involved and now director of CIC company for same festival this year. Council would not give me figures for cash lost.”
I tried to dig the figures out for myself. There seemed to be three obvious places to look: the town council records, the Hub accounts, and the company I assumed would have been set up to manage the Black Cat Tourism initiative.
Working backwards, the Gwên Community and Regeneration CIC wasn’t set up until February this year. (The grant, remember, was allocated in June 2021.) Thus far, the only document filed with Companies House is the Certificate of Incorporation.
Towards the end of that document we read this minor masterpiece in grant-grab waffle. It really is a gem. I speak as someone who’s read many over the years, and penned a few myself.
If we go back to the clip above from the town council minutes of October 2021, we see four names listed in connection with the Black Cat Tourism Strategy. These are: Christine Lamble-Davies, Michelle Collins, Suki Baynton, Aled Westlake.
I believe they’re in this video from March 2022, asking for suggestions. Which could be seen as being open to ideas . . . or possibly not having a clue themselves what to do.
So, in no particular order, here are brief bios . . .
But apart from that early mention, I’m not sure what role, if any, Collins played thereafter. There’s certainly no mention of Black Cat on her Linkedin. But she does get a mention here, on the Saatchi Art website.
Aled Guto Westlake, is another artistic type, who lived in Llansamlet, on the east side of Swansea, but seems to have moved to Mynyddygarreg.
His Linkedin profile suggests that he still sees himself as being part of the Black Cat set-up. This, plus his side-line in photography, would appear to be his employment.
What a cosy place Mynyddygarreg must be! Dare I suggest, incestuous?
Suki Baynton I mentioned in the earlier piece, so I might as well lift something from that to give her bio.
The Black Cat project lead is Suki Baynton, who recently arrived from the Cynon Valley, where I’m told she was Contaminated Land Officer for Rhondda Cynon Taf council. She was certainly Property Manager for Ashfield Solutions for a while.
We see Suki in the above picture, on the right, in the red coat. (See image below.)
Suki has also launched her own company, Room Publishing Ltd. The website tells me it’s a load of New Age bollocks; but then, I’m a cynical old bastard who grew up in the real world.
Clearly, Labour councillor ‘Crish’ Davies is the continuity factor. The one who’s been there throughout.
This new company could be seen as the Hub reborn. Though why did it take so long, because the Hub didn’t expire unexpectedly?
While these three directors are presumably entrusted with salvaging something from the disaster, and seeing out Gwên Gwen 2, are any of the four we read about earlier, and saw in the video, still involved?
If not, why?
I don’t like banging on about money, but seeing it wasted annoys me. Especially when Cydweli needs money spent on infrastructure repairs and other things.
But certainly not a hippy gathering that was a disaster last year, and with not a hope in hell that this year’s Gwên Gwen will be any more successful.
Here are some photos I was sent of the town. They show, clockwise: the old town hall, falling down and resulting in detours; the town square; the field opposite the Co-op, home to the Gwên Gwen festival; and the building that was used by the Hub.
A few pints of Felinfoel might help. Perhaps many pints of Felinfoel.
P.S. Last year’s headline act, Kosheen, also come from Bristol.
I don’t want anyone to think I’m picking on Cydweli. I’m just using it as an example for something that’s happening all over Wales.
My introduction gave a litany of some big scandals that got reported, but it’s also the few hundred grand here, a million or so there, that escape wider attention. Call it political patronage, call it rewarding grass-roots activism, call it anything you damn well like, but by and large it achieves next to nothing.
This system of dishing out grants to anyone with connections, or who can put together the kind of tosh we read earlier, is damaging Wales. It’s a major reason three dollops of European structural funding achieved nothing.
This was unique. All other countries and regions of Europe that received this funding used it wisely. None remained poor enough to qualify for a third hand-out.
But Labour Party stooges like the WCVA will pretend this wasted money achieved something. That’s how the system works: Labour gives money to its cronies who then produce reports telling us what good use was made of the funding.
But then, if I give my grandchildren money will they admit they wasted it?
The biggest beneficiary of EU funding was the third sector. Now that EU funding has ended – but to ensure these shysters continue living high on the hog – other budgets must be raided. (“Your promised by-pass! What by-pass?”)
Unfortunately, it’s no longer just local groups; for under devolution Wales has seen a tidal wave of gobshites preaching climate disaster, poisoned rivers and habitat loss; berating us for our racism and our transphobia – and demanding that we pay them well for their insulting rants.
But enough of those colonialist parasites, let’s finish in that nice little town where an underage Jac used to drink when him and his mates would get the train down from Swansea to go camping. Happy days!
He was the new owner of that establishment in the Powys town of the same name. He’d picked up the property from the liquidators, following the collapse of the Paul and Rowena Williams property empire. (Covered in the ‘Weep for Wales’ series.)
In the belief that anyone had to be an improvement on the Gruesome Twosome, I welcomed young Na’Ím to Wales. But concluded with a warning: ‘If he takes a wrong path, then I’m sure I’ll be writing about him again’.
The fact that I’ve written the post you’re reading proves that the boy has indeed strayed. He may have strayed big time.
NORTHOP HALL HOTEL
I’m writing about Paymán again because of the publicity generated by a more recent Welsh purchase; this time, Northop Hall Hotel, just south of the village of that name. The property itself situated between Chester Road and the A55 Expressway.
Last August this piece appeared saying that Paymán had bought the hotel, and ‘has reached out to local residents in the hope of making the hotel a “focal point of community life”.’
The purchase was not exactly straightforward, and the complicating factor may help explain the current planning application.
For in last year’s report we read: ‘As the hotel’s previous owners offered each room to individual investors on long-term leaseholds, Payman Investments will only own the building’s function rooms and land, not its rooms.’
So Na’Ím Anís Paymán bought a hotel . . . without the rooms that had made it a hotel!
Which explains what we read in last week’s report: ‘Payman Holdings 3 Ltd, based near Hull, wants to install two-storey modular accommodation for 250 people up to seven years at Northop Hall Country House Hotel. It has also applied for change of use consent for the hotel to house 150 refugees.
People have taken out leases on rooms at Northop Hall Hotel, from which they would make money by those rooms being rented out to short-stay guests. It’s a business model I’ve dealt with a few times on this blog.
We have to assume that the NWL report was correct and Na’Ím Anís Paymán has bought Plas Bellin. We’ll just have to wait for the Land Registry to catch up.
Okay, so we know that young Na’Ím has at least two properties in Flintshire. Then there’s the Knighton Hotel in Powys, which I’m told is run more as a hostel than a hotel; self-service, often no service at all because there’s nothing to serve yourself with.
Sad, really. It’s a big place in a small town, and the way it’s being run doesn’t do Knighton any favours.
But there you go, that’s how a property speculator like Na’Ím Anís Paymán operates. He buys as cheaply as possible, often from the Receiver, spends as little on his properties as he can get away with, and will then seek to maximise his income by charging top whack.
Which might be difficult if these properties were run commercially, but by taking in ‘refugees’, and with the UK government paying, he just can’t lose.
Where it must be very cosy with all the other Paymán companies at the same address. Here they are (ignore 17 and 18). These are / were all Paymán companies, with what look like two notable exceptions.
One is Yazdan Autohaus Ltd, s second-hand car dealership! The other, Yazdan Logistics Ltd, in the business of cargo handling and land freight. For both, the sole director is named as Pakistani Farhan Yazdan.
The new address at Kensington Chambers is in bustling downtown St Helier. (Though I hope the new owners have replaced the missing letters from the name.)
Despite Paymán Holdings 3 Ltd owning Northop Hall Hotel and Plas Bellin(?) it filed as a dormant company on June 30 last year, with its only declared asset being a single £1 share.
Even though Northop Hall Hotel cost £850,000, and Plas Bellin had previously been marketed at £1.2m.
In fairness, the most recent accounts are dated June 30, 2022, just before the purchase of Northop Hall Hotel, registered with the Land Registry on September 23, 2022.
Paymán Holdings 3 is just one of a host of Paymán companies, many more than we encountered at 15 Sherbourne Close. According to Companies House Na’Ím Anís Paymán has been involved with 34 companies since February 2015. And the only director at almost all of them.
But there are few if any charges referring to loans or mortgages taken out against the properties bought. For example, and as I’ve just mentioned, no loans for the two Flintshire properties.
Which leads me to conclude that Paymán is a wealthy young man. Either that, or someone else is putting up the money. If it’s the latter, then who might it be?
Because in addition to the three properties we know of in Wales he’s also buying up property in England and Scotland. Here are a few I’ve found.
Note also, as in Flintshire, the bullshit about ‘community involvement’: “And new owner Na’ím Anís Paymán confirmed he is keen to get the community involved.”
Keezark also files as a dormant company.
Moving further north, the Stromness Hotel on Orkney has stopped selling alcohol since it was bought by Paymán Investments. A move that will be explained in the concluding sub-section.
Of course, this means I shall now have to rearrange the cycling tour of the Northern Isles I’d planned for next January.
Na’Ím Anís Paymán belongs to the Baha’i faith. “Who them?” you ask; and to be perfectly honest, I’m not really sure. All I know is that it’s an offshoot of Islam with origins in Iran. Read what they have to say about themselves.
And they don’t drink. Which is fine, I won’t force them into John Barleycorn’s embrace. But just as with the increasingly intolerant vegans, I’m getting more than a wee bit pissed off with zealots imposing their lifestyle choices on me.
I have never in my life forced a vegan to eat a rump steak, and so I will not accept a pallid, undernourished nutter equating my dietary choices with those of Hannibal Lecter.
That off my chest . . . I can’t help wondering if the Baha’i faith has wealthy, do-gooder members who believe they’re engaged in some noble humanitarian work by funding Paymán?
Is he buying these properties on behalf of the Baha’is?
Unfortunately, the Jersey Financial Services Commission doesn’t tell us who owns the 10,000 shares in parent company Paymán Investments Ltd. If it did, then we’d be closer to knowing who really owns the various Paymán properties.
We might also know where the profits go, for little or nothing is shown in the companies I’ve found.
Though I suppose one possibility must be . . .
THE ALBANIAN CONNECTIONS
Na’Ím Anís Paymán gives his nationality on Companies House documents as German, and I have no reason to doubt that he is a German / EU citizen. But his ancestral roots are in Iran. And he was brought up in Albania.
This piece from the Mirror a few months ago would have us believe that Albanian gangs have been warned to stay out of Liverpool. But if the Albanians were planning to infiltrate that city, then I suppose properties close to the border in Flintshire might be ideal bases from which to operate.
Most of the properties I’ve mentioned here, from Torquay to Stromness are run by Paymán Club. A UK company, operating in the UK . . . so why does the Office Manager, Qazim Gega, live in Albania? Does he commute every day?
We have Na’Ím Anís Paymán, who was brought up in Albania.
He has an expanding portfolio of properties in which he says he plans to house ‘refugees’.
His portfolio seems to have grown in direct ratio to the numbers of Albanians landing in southern England.
The UK has an influx of unvetted Albanian men between the ages of 18 and 35 who are clearly not refugees.
Albanians now control the UK drugs rackets.
Putting it all together I would suggest that no local authority in Wales should give Na’Ím Anís Paymán planning permission for any ‘refugee’ accommodation. I would also urge local communities to fight this man’s plans every inch of the way.
Because those who’ll be forced on your community are unlikely to be genuine refugees; and those making millions from this scam are not nice people.
We must also deny the Left the chance to exploit the situation by misrepresenting the situation; the kind of thing we see below from Green MP Caroline “I’m so caring!” Lucas quoting sententious Leftist twaddle.
Confusing genuine refugees with young men looking for easy money and obliging women obviously serves the Left’s Open Borders / Disrupt Society agenda, but it does nothing for those women and children in boats we are urged to consider.
Yet by refusing to differentiate between the two the Left can’t really complain if critics of uncontrolled immigration also fail to make the distinction. (Maybe that’s what the Left wants.)
So let’s help genuine refugees, in the hope they’ll one day be able to return to their homes. But always refuse entry to the young men hoping to land a billet on Easy Street. We owe it to the former to ensure they are never confused with the latter.
And we have an obligation to the young men themselves. For after landing, too many of them will be drawn into criminal activity. We don’t want that, do we?
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.
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.
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.
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?)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
So everything looks just tickety-boo on the financial front for our English-registered wildlife trusts.
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 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’.
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’.
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.
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 . . .
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.
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.
For decades we’ve been hearing that water is a diminishing commodity, and with an ever-expanding global population we’ll soon be fighting over water resources.
Though these predictions often came from the same people who at different times – or even simultaneously – could predict icebergs in Swansea Bay and no snow on Yr Wyddfa.
It was the usual nonsense from the usual sources.
And yet, in Wales now, water is being used as a weapon. Not by us against our village-drowning neighbours but by politicians and others, supposedly serving Wales and Welsh interests, against a section of the Welsh population.
If that necessitates twisting the facts, and taking control of certain bodies, either through funding or placement of personnel, then so be it.
This is another big one, so I’ll say what I always say: Don’t rush it, take your time, savour it, and you’ll enjoy it far more.
BULLSHIT FOR WHICH BULLS ARE BLAMELESS
It’s been accepted for many years that there might be a problem with nitrate discharges, from some dairy farms, mostly in the south west. This highly localised problem explained why Natural Resources Wales classified just 2.4% of Welsh farmland as ‘vulnerable’.
When asked to revisit the issue NRW produced a report in September 2016 that (on page 13) suggested, ‘Adoption of the targeted approach would mean an increase in the total area designated from 2.4% to approximately 8% which includes those areas newly identified by NRW’.
A targeted approach was obviously the sensible and fair way to go, but then the politicians got involved. One politician in particular.
The elections of May 2016 saw Lesley Griffiths re-elected for Labour in Wrecsam. Her Senedd bio then tracks her meteoric rise to voodoo doll status in farmhouses across the land. (Soon to be accompanied by Gary.)
First, she was made Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs. In November 2017 the job title changed to Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs. Then, 0n 13 December 2018, she was handed her baton as Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs.
Despite the facts of the matter, and the sensible proposal from NRW, just before Christmas 2017 Lesley Griffiths declared that the whole of Wales was at risk of NVZ pollution. Using this to announce an all-Wales regime.
After a year of being fed a diet of undiluted pollution La Griffiths announced in November 2018 that her mind was made up and she would introduce what she considered to be the necessary legislation.
After a slight delay due to Covid the implementation date was set for April 1, 2021.
But then things started to go awry for the so-called ‘Welsh Government’.
For in addition to the all-Wales approach the acceptable nitrogen level in Wales was to be 170kg/ha, compared to 250kg/ha in England and Scotland. This was so obviously unfair, in a country where farmers are, on average, less affluent than their English and Scottish counterparts, that it tended to give the game away.
Because there would of course be a financial burden for farmers. Though I’m sure that those trying to put livestock farmers out of business knew exactly what they were doing
The backtracking had begun. With Plaid Cymru taking the credit. For despite being Labour’s partner in a coalition that dare not speak its name, the reaction from Plaid’s large rural vote was giving the party’s leaders serious concerns.
Some cynics – not me! – might wonder what Plaid has offered in return.
The NVZ proposals couldn’t withstand scrutiny from any fair-minded observer because they had little to do with pollution. NVZ was a stick with which to beat livestock farmers, hopefully putting many out of business to release land for other purposes. Land coveted by many in the offstage chorus influencing our Lesley.
To support and legitimise this attack on livestock farming we were expected to believe that only farmers are responsible for polluting our waterways and seas.
Which meant that Dŵr Cymru (Welsh Water), the worst culprit, got a free pass. How did that come about?
All will be explained later in this piece.
THE MEMSAHIBS OF KNIGHTON AND CONSIDERATIONS OF CHICKENSHIT
This section is part digression, part lead-in.
A group that has figured on this blog a few times is a coven of Green-Left-Woke crones who’ve imposed themselves on the border town of Knighton. There are a few men associated with them, perhaps even more unhinged than their female comrades.
Rather than doing the honest thing and just staying away altogether on Remembrance Sunday they insist on making a nuisance of themselves by placing wreaths of white poppies on the war memorial. (Dressed à la mode Michael Foot.)
You will not be surprised to learn that these biddies have formed a Knighton and District Refugee Support Group. Reluctance to welcome with open arms complete strangers from far-off lands will see you labelled a ‘racist’.
An epithet also hurled at those not condemning the fascists of the Israeli state.
The gang’s environmental credentials are on extravagant display with Sustainable Food Knighton. Which, in practice, is little more than a vendetta against a local chicken farm.
The attack is mounted on two fronts. One, it’s cruel to the chickens. Two, intensive chicken farms are a big, big source of river pollution.
Without being able to consult the chickens it may be impossible to address the first point. The second is more relevant to this article because it’s used over and over again by environmental Non-Governmental Organisations (eNGOs).
Especially those that allege chicken farms in Powys are severely damaging the rivers Usk and Wye.
But what are the facts?
Well, for a start, there are more, and bigger, chicken farms in Shropshire and Herefordshire, as the map below shows. So if chicken shit is a problem in Wales then it could well be coming from over the border.
Then again, it might not be a problem at all. Or, it’s a problem that’s being exaggerated.
For anecdotal evidence suggests there are even more chicken farms in the Severn catchment area, the Trent catchment area, etc. But there are far fewer complaints from these areas.
Which could mean that either shit from Welsh chickens is particularly toxic – in which case every one of the little buggers should be killed immediately! – or there’s a purpose behind the lying.
Confirmed by this graphic released by the Environment Agency relating to the Wye in England. Note the section I’ve highlighted in the second level. The tributaries mentioned are also in England.
Something also worth contributing here is that arable farmers use chicken manure as a fertiliser.
So even if chicken shit is the problem, it’s more likely to come from over the border; either directly from chicken farms or indirectly from arable farms.
And there’s yet another consideration to take into account. Certain interests are pushing us towards a meat-free diet, and in this scenario many view arable farmers as part of the solution. Which might explain them also getting a free pass.
The suspicion of an anti-livestock farming agenda being served was strengthened last month by a ‘report’ on BBC Wales about pollution on the Wye. One of the most biased pieces of television journalism I have ever seen.
Let me explain why I say that:
Passing references were made to sewage, but we were left in no doubt that the real culprits are farmers.
But only livestock farmers, with the programme focusing on one particular chicken farm.
There was no reference to the fact that the Wye is a cross-border river.
And the situation herein described is very much the same with more terrestrial eNGOs. ‘Environmentalists’ opposed to livestock farming take control of existing groups or set up new ones – and never go unfunded again!
Time now to turn our attention to the increasingly well-funded bodies looking after our various rivers, and we find new ones forming all the time. With the money available perhaps explaining the proliferation?
Here’s a table I’ve draw up, in pdf format (with working links) that I hope lists all the various river outfits operating in Wales. If you know one I’ve left out, then please let me know.
You’ll see that some are specific to one river while others are more general, some even claiming to be national in their scope.
Let me say at the outset, there are many genuine people involved in river trusts, boards, etc; not least, anglers, whose only concerns are for the health of our rivers, fish stocks, and other environmental matters.
But unfortunately, there are others, either looking out for themselves, or involved for a different purpose.
Go through the table I’ve linked to, particularly the ‘Comments’ section, and you’ll see substantial inputs of official funding in recent years.
Take the North Wales Rivers Trust for example. Total income in the year ending 31.03.2022 was £241,790. Of which £241,690 came in ‘Welsh Government’ grants.
And it’s a similar story with other river bodies. Though much of the increase, instead of being shown as coming from ‘government grants’ or ‘government contracts’, is disguised as, ‘Income – charitable activities’ on the Charity Commission entry.
That is one hell of a jump in just four years! One way of interpreting the big increase is the ‘Welsh Government’ – or Dŵr Cymru? – paying CEO Harriet Alvis’s salary.
Because don’t you find that strange?
A river group that has meandered happily along for 15 years suddenly needs a CEO.
Equally thought-provoking is Gail Davies-Walsh becoming CEO of Afonydd Cymru.
Making me wonder if Gail Davies-Walsh and Harriet Alvis were ‘placed’ in the West Wales Rivers Trust and Afonydd Cymru to push the ‘Welsh Government’s anti-farming campaign, and also to protect Dŵr Cymru.
For there is a certain ‘circularity’ to it all. ‘Welsh Government’ and Dŵr Cymru would no doubt explain the increase in funding by the ‘state of the rivers’, which then justifies the attack on livestock farming.
A ‘circularity’ made even more suspicious by the fact that these vast increases in funding occur at exactly the same time Lesley Griffiths was hatching the absurd and punitive NVZ legislation.
If I’m wrong then maybe someone can give another reason for our river bodies being showered with cash from 2016.
Not far away is the South East Wales Rivers Trust, which also saw its income more than double between 2017 and 2021. Explained as funding from, ‘Natural Resources Wales, Welsh Water, Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, Welsh Government with European Funds’.
The ‘disguised grants’ I referred to earlier was money paid to Afonydd Cymru Cyf and then distributed to the individual water groups. Afonydd Cymru’s own accounts tell us ‘Income from government grants’ jumped from zero in 2019 to £894,700 in 2020.
Afonydd Cymru may operate like the Wales Council for Voluntary Action does in relation to the third sector. That is, acting as a conduit for ‘Welsh Government’ funding in the hope of disguising the source of the funding.
But the money filtered through Afonydd Cymru is small beer compared to the £13.8m up for grabs in the Four Rivers For Life project, administered by Natural Resources Wales. (Though £4.5m actually goes towards ‘quaking bogs’.) The four rivers being the Tywi, Teifi, Cleddau and – it should go without saying – the Usk.
This might explain the recent formation of the Save the Teifi campaign. Though information is difficult to find. For example, the social media links at the foot of the website home page don’t work.
The only name mentioned in the Tivy-side article is ‘Councillor John Davies’. This must be ‘John Cwmbetws’, of Bute Energy’s Welsh Advisory Board. Bute being a Scottish company that wants to build twenty or more wind farms in Wales, some with the tallest towers yet seen on land.
Well connected, is John. In Llanelwedd, Corruption Bay, and other places.
The Ffynnone group might be trying to stay anonymous, but one name has been given to me. It’s Jessica McQuade who, I’m told, not long ago moved to Llandudoch, across the Teifi estuary from Aberteifi.
Her Twitter account confirms the link with the Save the Teifi campaign.
What struck me was that McQuade and Harriet Alvis, the CEO at the West Wales Rivers Trust and, since last month, a director at Afonydd Cymru, are both followed by the Brecon Beacons Mega Catchment.
But what is McQuade’s and Alvis’s connection with this Dŵr Cymru outfit? And with Dŵr Cymru itself?
Jessica McQuade’s Save the Teifi / Ffynnone group has already received ‘Welsh Government’ funding. She could be another one ‘placed’ to push the ‘Welsh Government’s anti-farming campaign / WEF’s Agenda 2030 and, of course, to shield Dŵr Cymru.
As I suggested earlier, all the money recently being splashing around, with a veritable tsunami of new funding approaching, may also explain the new groups springing up. Here are some more.
Let me conclude this section with a tweet from Jessica McQuade who, you’ll remember, is busy with the Save the Teifi campaign since moving to north Pembrokeshire, but whose day job is with the World Wildlife Fund.
Now why would the WWF be interested in food? And trust me – that is human food she’s referring to.
Because, gentle reader, the WWF is no longer about saving pandas; it is a full-on, far left organisation totally committed to the anti-farming and the anti-human – ‘reduce the population’ – agenda.
And also believe me when I tell you that the WWF wields great influence with the ‘Welsh Government’, and in the Bay more generally.
Both posit that burping, farting farm animals are destroying the environment; so we should switch to eating plant-based foods, insects, and gunge marketed as ‘artificial meat’.
Obviously, this will mean many fewer livestock farmers in Wales. Perhaps none. But that’s no problem, because the land vacated is already earmarked for tree planting, rewilding, conservation projects and other activities from which Welsh people will be largely excluded unless needed for window-dressing.
To facilitate this clearance programme livestock farmers must be blamed for things that are not their fault. This frees Dŵr Cymru from criticism. An objective easy to achieve given the influence the water company wields within ‘Welsh Government’.
To ensure that everyone sings from the same hymn sheet the ‘Welsh Government’, Dŵr Cymru and other official bodies are more than willing to fund assorted eNGOs which, in return, may accept ‘appointees’.
What I’m alluding to is little different to Bill Gates funding the BBC, the Guardian, New York Times, CNN and countless other media outlets around the world. He doesn’t do it in defence of the truth, he does it to ensure the media he funds will promote his and the World Economic Forum’s agenda.
‘He who pays the piper calls the tune’.
Wales, being a poor country, and a corrupt, one-party state, with no effective political opposition, and no functioning media, is especially vulnerable to powerful forces seeking to impose an agenda.
If farmers can be defeated, and the food supply controlled by forces you will have difficulty identifying, let alone challenging, then we will have already lost. Because who controls the food supply controls the world.
It’ll be too late to complain when your car is confiscated, or when your access to your bank account is blocked because you said something on social media that somebody, somewhere, didn’t like.
So stand with the farmers, and stand up to those who threaten them. Because those who threaten the farmers also threaten you.
I had considered making up a table of the companies with which the Gruesome Twosome are or have been involved, but there are just too many. Another problem is that they’ve also been involved in companies where they were not shown as directors on the Companies House website.
UPDATE 14.07.2022: What the hell! I trawled the Companies House website and found 57 companies one or both of them has been involved with. Here’s the list, most recent at the top, each name is a hyperlink that will take you to the relevant CH entry.
To explain what I mean by that suggestion of the ‘hidden hand’, let’s look at a care home in Newport, which got a mention in the earlier post and then an update.
The two registered directors of Dreams Care Homes are Bishwa Tara Ghimire and Basanta Nepal. Both were aboard 3 December, 2021 when the company was launched.
Nepal joined the Danygraig Company 17 May, 2022, and Ghimire followed on June 6, the very day of the DBW loans. Nepal is said to control the company. The DBW loan relates to this company also.
Even though there’s no mention of Raqia Bibi and Mohanananthan Kuhananthan I suggest that the ‘(RB)’ in Dreams Care Homes (RB) Ltd is a bit of a giveaway.
So where might Kuhananthan have gone after ostensibly severing ties with the Newport home? Well, I was as surprised as you’re going be, to learn that in June 24, 2021, the imaginative Mr Kuhananthan launched MK Global Movie Production Ltd.
Like most of his companies, this venture is already heading for the rocks. And yet, what I found fascinating was that there was an initial issue of 1000 x £1,000 shares. Which works out at exactly £1,000,000!
I’m not for one minute suggesting it’s the same money, but just weeks after the Development Bank of Wales slipped the readies to the care home in Newport – where he’d been a director – our boy set up a new company with capital of one million pounds.
A company that I guarantee is planned to fold as soon as is decently possible. Which will effectively write off £1,000,000.
And look at the address for this imaginative departure from granny farming – ‘RB Management Consultancy, 1 Bromley Lane, Chislehurst Business Centre, Chislehurst, England, BR7 6LH’.
Again, I suggest we can all guess what the ‘RB’ stands for.
The company providing that accommodation address is otherwise known as RBMC Global Ltd, set up by Raqia Bibi in February 2017. She was joined by Kuhananthan in April 2021. Though you have to wonder why he bothered, seeing as RBMC Global files as a dormant company.
Which means that Kuhananthan joined a dormant company just two months before he decided to become a movie mogul. (Was he inspired by The Producers?)
On the very same day as RMBC Global was launched, another Bibi-Kuhananthan epic was unleashed on an unsuspecting world. This being RB Care Homes Ltd. Which is also filing as dormant.
Those who bought the leases have formed a group, The RB Action Group(?), claiming £2,074,984.
If it was done at one care home, then it’s reasonable to assume that Kuhananthan and Bibi were pulling the same stunt at their other homes. In fact, the report I’ve linked to talks of ‘associated companies’.
Questions need be asked as to how ‘Welsh Government, Care Inspectorate Wales, and local authorities, allowed these shysters to operate for so long.
Which fits with the curious arrangements I mentioned in the previous post, in which the company supposedly owning a business or property is, effectively, dormant, while an unknown entity actually owns the building and runs the business.
In the recent case in Pontypridd, the company mentioned as running things is RB Care Homes Ltd, which produced the brochure yet, as you’ve just read, files as a dormant company, and has nothing in the way of assets other than £1,000 in the bank.
The property was in fact owned by Nant-y-Gaer Ltd (the former name of the home). Bibi was a director there at the death, but Kuhananthan had departed in October 2015.
Finally, there was also Nant-y-Gaer Hall Ltd, wound-up in March 2020, Bibi ceased to be a director 15 July, 2019, Kuhananthan 21 April 2017.
Yet the June 2019 report in the Leader says the home was run by Raqia Bibi and Mohanananthan Kuhananthan. But in June 2019 Kuhananthan was not a director of any of the three connected companies.
His involvement was limited to Nant-y-Gaer Hall Ltd where, after ceasing to be a director in April 2017, he remained in control until the bad publicity of June 2019 may have forced him out 18 July, 2019.
Were the council and Care Inspectorate Wales even aware of Nant-y-Gaer Hall Ltd?
Which, by a roundabout route, brings us back to RBMC Global and RB Care Homes, and the same questions – if both have been filing as dormant, who’s running the show, and what happened to the money attracted by that ‘imaginative’ sales brochure?
Bibi and Kuhananthan dabbling in the lease / buy-a-room business was not of itself illegal, but it offers great scope for criminality, including money laundering.
I referred earlier to this being an MO we had encountered before, and indeed we have. Just think back to Gavin Lee Woodhouse, of Northern Powerhouse Developments, the self-styled ‘Wolf of Wharf Street’.
Grand lad, our Gavin . . . apart from being a lyin’, thievin’ little bastard.
Despite it all, not so long ago representatives of the ‘Welsh Government’ were fighting to shake Gavin’s hand. I treasure the image below. But what happened to little Kenny Skates? Did he disappear one moonlit night while dancing in the Flint Ring?
I do so miss him!
Gavin took a great liking to Wales, buying up hotels from Llandudno to Tenby. Then leasing the rooms individually, a kind of timeshare arrangement. You lease a room from Gavin, then you get paid when someone stays in it.
At the time I was writing about Woodhouse I also bought a few of the lease documents from the Land Registry, and my suspicions were raised.
It seemed to me that not all the stated lessees were kosher. There were exotic addresses given that would have been difficult if not impossible for HMRC or anyone else to trace.
Then I remembered that the timeshare business, which is very similar to what we’re discussing here provided golden opportunities for money laundering.
You buy a run-down hotel or apartment block in some Mediterranean locale. Next, you form a timeshare company. Then, you tart up the building, get some glossy brochures printed. Finally, you start selling leases to genuine buyers. But you can also sell the same leases to entirely fictitious buyers and take in money you can’t otherwise account for.
Buy a few hotels and you can defraud any number of people, and launder a hell of a lot of money. The same applies to care homes.
I’m not sure if Gavin Woodhouse went in for retirement homes in Wales, but as the video above makes clear, that was certainly his planned route to riches over the border. But he wasn’t interested in buying existing care homes like Bibi and Kuhananthan – Gavin was going to build new.
Described by a high court judge as ‘thoroughly dishonest’. No shit, Sherlock!
The Wolf of Wharf Street had other plans to bring joy and prosperity to Wales, as we see in the image above of Woodhouse with Labour luminaries.
For he is said to have come up with the idea for the Afan Valley Adventure Resort. He even roped in no less a personality than Bore Grylls. (Who is probably in Ukraine right now stealthily and mercilessly dispatching Russian generals.)
All joking aside, there are so many questions.
How many homes are Raqia Bibi and Mohanananthan Kuhananthan still involved with in Wales, directly or indirectly? How many of them are run on the ‘invest-in-a-room’ model?
Does anyone know? Is anyone asking?
What’s the legal situation if some old dear gets raped, robbed, or dies in an accident in a room where responsibility might be difficult to establish because ownership rests with a shady company in the British Virgin Islands?
Finally, let me suggest that it would be a good idea for ‘Welsh Government’, Care Inspectorate Wales, our councils, to establish exactly who ultimately owns each and every care home, if only to ensure they’re not dealing with shell companies.
As they have been too often in the very recent past.
As the title suggests, this week’s offering is a miscellany, bits and pieces from hither and yon. Covering . . .
Wind turbine disposal.
Fears for the planning system in the north west.
Awkward locals opposing the hundreds of executive homes Aberdyfi so desperately needs.
A development in the ongoing saga of the Llanbedr by-pass.
A new environmental group (cos we haven’t got enough).
More on Gilestone farm.
My unanswered FoI to the ‘Welsh’ Labour Party.
‘Welsh Government’ funds National Trust (cos NT’s a bit short at the moment).
Is ‘Welsh Government’ flogging off executive homes in Cardiff?
Enviroloonies saving Wales from the curse of employment.
Stumping up for the ‘Welsh Government’s favourite farmer.
‘Welsh Government’ wants more trees . . . but fewer farmers.
Enlarging the Senedd, or making the pig-sty bigger.
This is a monster issue, over 5,000 words; but you can take it a piece at a time. And because it is such a substantial offering late in the week, don’t expect anything next week.
WHERE WILL ALL THE TURBINES GO?
A couple of weeks ago I submitted a Freedom of Information request to the self-styled ‘Welsh Government’ asking who was responsible for disposing of wind turbines when they come to the end of their working lives.
Given that the lifespan of a turbine is 15 – 25 years we must have in Wales a few hundred turbines approaching decrepitude. With hundreds more in their ‘middle age’, and plans in the system to erect God knows how many others. (Bute Energy alone wants 20 new wind farms.)
It seems to me to be an important question. Hence the FoI request.
It tells me that, ‘Responsibility for decommissioning wind turbines lies with the developer/operator of the site’.
Richard Spear of the Planning Inspectorate concludes his response with: ‘In addition, developers/operators should ensure that sufficient finance is set aside to enable them to meet restoration obligations. A local planning authority may require financial guarantees by way of a Section 106 planning obligation / agreement, as part of the approval of planning permission to ensure that restoration will be fully achieved.’
It’s worth pointing out that in most cases it was the ‘Welsh Government’ that gave planning permission for wind turbines, often over-riding local authorities. The ‘Welsh Government’ should therefore have seen to it that each developer paid a ‘bond’, up front, to ensure there will be enough money to restore each site.
But those buffoons down Corruption Bay were so concerned with making ‘planet-saving’ gestures that they couldn’t see beyond their own wagging fingers.
I predict with certainty that in the near future, we – by which I mean Wales – will find ourselves lumbered with ‘orphan’ wind turbines that will cost us a hell of a lot of money to demolish. And then more money to restore the sites they’ve come from.
On the plus side, it means that turbine blades from the Continent can come to landfill sites in Wales!
Should this come to pass then it will doubtless be claimed as ‘foreign investment’.
WILD WEST SHOW?
I am indebted to a regular source for news of concerns about the Gwynedd and Môn Joint Planning Policy Committee. To be clear, this is not the planning committee, deciding on planning applications, but the policy committee that determines in more general terms where development will be allowed.
Although Gwynedd is a large council in area, much of the planning responsibility falls to the Snowdonia National Park; which leaves the council to oversee a few ‘islands’ – Tywyn, Barmouth, Blaenau Ffestiniog – then Porthmadog and Llŷn, and finally, the northern coastal strip taking in Caernarfon and Bangor and running to Abergwyngregyn.
For like many rural authorities Ynys Môn is prone to being controlled by a few forceful individuals, often holding sway through membership of an organisation claiming to be heirs to the Knights Templar and other exotic fraternities.
Never more true than in keeping to the Templar talent for accruing wealth. Though I’m unsure if the medieval predecessors were as cunning as their heirs in planning matters and the allocation of contracts.
For who could forget Ceredigion when Dai Lloyd Evans and his merry men ruled the roost? Those were the days! The late Paul Flynn, sitting on the House of Commons Welsh Affairs Select Committee, referred to Ceredigion Council as “The Wild West Show”.
But then, as we saw in Carmarthenshire during the halcyon days of Mark James, sometimes, with largely rural authorities, the boss man doesn’t even have to be a councillor.
My source’s concern is that the chairman of the joint planning policy committee is a member of this group to which I have alluded. And while I’m sure he’s a splendid fellow, with a good firm handshake, I can understand my source’s misgivings.
Someone else giving my informant food for thought is the young man who’s now Senior Executive Officer at Gwynedd’s Housing and Property Department.
Don’t get me wrong, he’s an educated boy, studied . . . Welsh, and, er . . . Music.
But then, it is suggested by cynics that the boy’s father’s friendship with Gwynedd’s Head of Finance may have played a role in the appointment.
O tempora! O mores!
ABERDYFI EXECUTIVES MUST BE HOUSED!
When I first saw this news item I thought to myself, ‘Hang on, Jones, isn’t this the development Ann Clwyd was banging on about decades ago?’ And I’m sure it is.
For the woman who went on to become MP for the Cynon Valley has connections to Aberdyfi and the wider Dysynni area. I have a photo of a young Ann Clwyd with my sister-in-law when the latter was the village carnival queen back in the mid-sixties.
It’s difficult to comprehend how this project has resurfaced, or why it wasn’t killed off decades ago. What does it say about our planning system?
Aberdyfi may be a sizeable village; a few pubs, a few caffs, shops, and an unhealthy number of estate agents. But it backs up to a cliff, with the sea on the other side, and there’s just one road in and out, the A493. A crash or some other hold-up on that road and Aberdyfi is almost inaccessible except by boat or helicopter.
Sticking to housing, Aberdyfi may be the financial, commercial, and industrial hub of the south Meirionnydd coast, but the village needs 401 ‘executive homes’ like our cat needs fleas.
One of the more intriguing stories to make the news recently was the report that Gwynedd County Council is to appeal to the UK government for funding to build the Llanbedr by-pass, a project cancelled last year by the ‘Welsh Government’.
The reason this is intriguing is because the council is controlled by Plaid Cymru, and down in Corruption Bay that party is in cahoots with the local branch of the Labour Party, an arrangement generally referred to as an ‘alliance’.
Though the Senedd Member representing Llanbedr seems to be going out of his way to piss off his supposed allies.
Last month he dared ask the ‘Welsh Government’ why it paid £4.25m for Gilestone farm when the asking price appeared to be £3.25m. A good question. We’d all like to hear the answer. (More on Gilestone below.)
Another explanation might be that despite most Plaid SMs self-flagellating for the heinous sins of the White man and the harm they themselves do the planet by simply existing, many Plaid supporters still associate ‘woke’ with getting up in the morning.
They inhabit the real world where decent infrastructure and communications still matter. That mythic land far, far away, where people have to drive to work. And to the shops. To the doctor, dentist, etc., etc.
You know, the Welsh countryside, of which Labour is so wilfully ignorant.
I’ve tweeted a few times about this rather mysterious group, I may even have mentioned it here, on the blog. One reason I call it mysterious is because all I knew about it was gleaned from a GoFundMe page. (You’ll see there’ve been two donations in the past three months.)
Another reason for the ‘mysterious’ tag was that neither the website nor the GoFundMe page gave any names. And I get rather suspicious of organisations that run themselves.
And when you read the justification for Tir Natur you immediately think, ‘Hang on, I’ve read that before!’ And so you have, many times. It probably comes from an environmental / rewilding template available online.
Now a source informs me that Tir Natur has finally gone legit and registered as a charity. This move is mentioned on the GoFundMe page, though when I checked a few days ago it hadn’t been updated since the application in March to the Charity Commission.
The contact address given on the Charity Commission website is, ‘Y Beudy, Lanlwyd, Pennant, Llanon, Ceredigion SY23 5JH’. This is on the B4577 between Cross Inn and Llanarth.
To confuse the picture, the GoFundMe page says, ‘Newport, Pembrokeshire’. Though my source and I suspect those involved don’t live in either Ceredigion or Pembrokeshire.
And does Wales really need yet another environmental / rewilding group?
My source has now sent me this from a recent release by Tir Natur. Knowing more of such things than I he tells me that the image shows a European bison and a golden eagle. Neither of which of course is native to Wales.
They were introduced to the Trust’s other site in Devon, but removed due to fears of bTB. And they had to leave another site in Scotland when the government concluded they were dangerous and non-native.
I was a bit perplexed by the reference in the second FoI to the ‘James Report’. And then it came back to me . . .
Julie James, the current Minister for Climate Change in the ‘Welsh Government’ has been involved with Gilestone for many years, before she was even elected to what was then the Welsh Assembly in 2011.
It’s a strange affair, with some dark corners, some very dark corners indeed. What I’ve been told involves the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, certain environmental busybodies, previous owners of Gilestone and a supporting cast that includes a retired Met cop with an ‘interesting’ record.
And of course, Julie James, then a solicitor in Swansea; whose relationship with some of those involved is worth looking into. No, nothing like that. (Really!)
I may be in a position to say more in the near future.
Also worth mentioning is that a number of people are convinced the money to buy Gilestone came from Julie James’ department’s piggy-bank.
If true, then why did Vaughan Gething, Minister for Economy, take the rap in the Senedd? Maybe his ignorance of the deal explains why he spent so much time extoling the virtues of the Green Man festival rather than answering questions he’d been asked about the purchase of Gilestone.
Though another explanation for the delayed accounts might be that the ‘Welsh Government’ is virtually broke. For that’s what another source tells me.
If true, then this might explain the Llanbedr by-pass and other projects being scrapped.
‘O what a tangled web we weave . . . ‘.
LABOUR PARTY FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST
As you know, I’ve written about Bute Energy a number of times. They even got a mention at the end of paragraph 2 in the first section of this post.
What became clear once I started looking into Bute’s activities in Wales was that this company had very quickly realised that Labour Party support would be a big help in realising its plans for 20+ wind farms.
Which explains why Bute recruited to its Welsh Advisory Board redundant Labour MEP Derek Vaughan, and John Uden, the partner of Labour MS Jenny Rathbone, who sits on the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee.
Quite what this Welsh Advisory Board advises on is not stated, but I think we can all guess. And the recruitment didn’t end there.
Also taken aboard the treasure ship Bute was David James Taylor, former spad to Labour stars, from Peter Hain to Rhodri Morgan and Carwyn Jones. Taylor was made a partner in Bute-linked outfit Grayling Capital LLP (though he’s since left), and also given shares in Windward Enterprises Ltd, another Bute company. (Which he still holds.)
It occurred to me that if Bute Energy was so keen to cwtsh up to Labour then political donations should be considered. And so I wrote to the Bruvvers’ HQ in Cardiff.
On June 8 I sent this e-mail:
‘Bute Energy Ltd (Co No: 12474011), in various guises, seeks to build – or at least, obtain planning permission for – some 20 wind farms in Wales. A company has been formed for each wind farm.
Has the Labour Party in Wales / ‘Welsh Labour’ party received a donation or donations from Bute Energy Ltd, or from companies under the Bute Energy umbrella, or from leading director Oliver James Millican, or from other persons, perhaps former employees of Labour politicians?’
But I have received neither acknowledgement nor reply. Can you believe that – the Comrades ignoring me!
The ‘Welsh Government’ has gifted an English organisation worth billions of pounds a Welsh asset and also handed over £700,000 for ‘capital investment’. From which the National Trust will profit, through charging visitors.
Many of whom will be Welsh.
And there will almost certainly be more than £700,000. For a well-informed contact with whom I shared this information in advance reminded me that the National Trust will now be eligible for Glastir woodland grants.
Note that this generosity is explained by quoting the “‘Welsh Government’ wellbeing objectives”. This refers to the Well-being of Future Generation (Wales) Act 2015. Airy-fairy nonsense that has since been used to justify every insanity hiding under the ‘environmental’ blanket.
Environmental concerns are used to disguise giving away our homeland piece by piece – ‘Cos we are savin’ the planet, like’.
The truth of course is that this legislation simply rolled out the red carpet for colonialist exploitation.
It even talks of future generations. But those future generations won’t be Welsh.
Main points seem to be that negotiations with the National Trust have been going on since June 2019; no one else was invited to express an interest; NRW has no idea why Dawn Bowden was involved; NRW will continue to manage the Hafod Estate forestry operation.
My attention has been drawn to this rather curious site which suggests some kind of partnership between the ‘Welsh Government’, the National Eisteddfod, and a company called LivEco, to build “sustainable homes at affordable prices”.
The location of these desirable properties being Great House Farm in Cardiff, between Culverhouse Cross and St Fagan’s National Museum of History.
So let’s look at this company, LivEco. Companies House tells us LivEco Homes Ltd was formed in September 2018, but it’s dormant. The sole director is a Welshman, Daniel James Ball, who seems to live in West Sussex.
Ball’s active company is Mulcare-Ball Ltd. The other director being a woman I assume to be his wife.
So why are we being asked to believe that a dormant company is building these dwellings at Great House Farm?
Mulcare-Ball has an arrangement (charge) with the Principality Building Society. Though the date given here is February 2, 2013, the document itself takes us back a year and also mentions Hale Construction Ltd.
If it’s this company, then Hale Construction was a one-man band on Merseyside, Incorporated December 2011 and Dissolved August 2015 without, apparently, making a penny.
Another company worth mentioning is Great House Farm Community Ltd, which I assume to be a residents’ association. This was Incorporated in March 2013, which makes sense; though the only director or member was Ball until June 25 last year. When he was replaced by two others using Great House addresses.
First, it tells us that Daniel James Ball and his wife bought this land in July 2009. We also learn that the properties built by Mulcare-Ball Ltd are being leased rather than sold.
The ‘Welsh Government’ has more than once expressed a desire to phase out leasehold in Wales, so why is it in partnership with a company building properties to lease?
Or, to put it another way, why does the ‘Welsh Government’ need to be involved at all? The same question could be asked of the Eisteddfod.
I may return to this subject.
The Aberpergwm mine, near Glyn-Neath, produces highest quality anthracite coal that is used for all manner of purposes, including water filtration. But it will not be chucked on a fire or shovelled into a furnace.
And it is a standard, commercial entity. Not a Community Interest Company (CIC), or any form of community benefit framework. I suspect it claims to be an umbrella group for smaller, more local organisations.
Though I’m not aware of any genuinely local opposition at Aberpergwm itself. Certainly not from the 200 or so people who work there. Nor from the businesses benefitting from the money those workers put into the local economy.
The address given for the Coal Action Network is Halton Mill, in Lancaster, north west England, owned by Green property developer Lancaster Cohousing. Which suggests it’s little more than an accommodation address for CAN. They certainly don’t get a mention on the website.
It would be easy to dismiss the Coal Action Network as just another little gang of over-excited eco zealots. But these groups often front for bigger players, or there’s serious money behind them.
So be watchful out there. Protect Welsh jobs and Welsh interests from the misguided attention of the brainwashed foot-soldiers of the World Economic Forum and others with globalist agendas designed to crush the little guy. Agendas enthusiastically endorsed by socialists.
And, finally, look out for these clowns sending letters to local papers, lobbying politicians, and pretending they’re local objectors.
Though cut through the enviro-bullshit and SUFT seems to be little more than a greenwashing operation for Utility Warehouse.
Most of those involved with SUFT have either relocated to Wales or don’t even live in Wales. For as with all these ‘conservation’ land grabs, Welsh involvement is minimal.
Though the website informs us, of the man in the photograph, and founder of SUFT, ‘Dr Keith Powell is a seventh-generation Black Mountains farmer and a vet’. Though I don’t think he’s actually done much farming, and came home when he realised there was serious money to be made in trees.
Stump Up For Trees is registered as a charity. Though when I went to the Charity Commission website to check the details I was somewhat surprised not to see Powell listed as a trustee. I assume the desired impression is that of hands-off trustees.
Then he and his companion on the US trip (and at the debriefing), Keri Davies, set up the Beacons Water Group. And do you know who joined them at BWG – none other than Charles Weston, the man who sold Gilestone to the ‘Welsh Government’ for the ludicrous sum of £4.25m!
As if that wasn’t enough, another BWG director, Tony Martineau, teaches at Coleg Soros, Talgarth. While George Soros’ favourite educational establishment, Bard College, has links with the Watershed Agricultural Council, the hosts for the 2018 US trip.
Enough! Old Jac can’t take any more connections.
Why should the ‘Welsh Government’s favourite farmer be involved with Stump Up For Trees? Then again, why not, he seems to be involved in everything else?
To make sense of the ‘Welsh Government’s latest assault on the farming industry you must understand the Labour Party’s relationship with the Welsh countryside.
Labour has no MPs and no SMs representing rural constituencies. For these seats either vote Conservative, Plaid Cymru or, irregularly, usually in Powys, Liberal Democrat.
It wasn’t always so.
There was a time within living memory when Labour could rely on the votes of farm labourers, and even smaller farmers. Also, other rural, working class people. The Merionethshire seat – now part of Dwyfor Meirionnydd and held by Plaid Cymru for almost 50 years – was a straight fight between Labour, centred on the slate town of Blaenau Ffestiniog, and the Liberals, still relying to a great extent on the chapel vote.
Then came the 1960s, and the national reawakening. The protests and the bombs. Tryweryn, Mudiad Amddiffyn Cymru (MAC), the Free Wales Army (FWA), Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg CyIG) . . . and the rise of Plaid Cymru.
Labour now saw its hegemony in Wales threatened by a new force that it believed to be essentially rural in character. Certainly rural in origin. And Labour has been wary of the countryside, and its native inhabitants, ever since.
In many Labour politicians this suspicion became outright and undisguised hostility.
The rise of the environmental movement, coupled with the powers given by devolution, have allowed the Labour Party through successive ‘Welsh Governments’ to exert control over rural areas where it has little or no electoral support. While more recently, under the influence of ‘environmentalists’ eyeing Welsh land, exacting what can only be interpreted as revenge.
Which brings us up to date.
Labour’s activists in rural areas tend to be English, middle class, vegetarian (if not vegan, or subsisting entirely on water and good karma), most of them climate / environment ranters who compare hard-working farmers to concentration camp guards.
Though this latest pronunciamiento from Corruption Bay also helps us understand the long-term objectives. And makes a few other things clear.
The ‘Welsh Government is attempting a divide and rule strategy with farmers. Certain farmers are being wooed, and so perhaps is the National Farmers Union. And it seems to be working.
It’s no coincidence that these favoured farmers tend to be Tory-voters, on better land, suited to tree planting, and in almost exclusively English-speaking areas.
Which means that the excluded farmers are more likely to be found on marginal land, more difficult for growing trees, possibly tenant farmers, and certainly more likely to be Welsh speaking. (And Farmers Union of Wales members?)
In fact, areas such as the Summit to Sea rewilding project was hoping – with ‘Welsh Government’ support – to take over. The areas from where Labour, in the 1960s, perceived the ‘threat’ to have emerged.
Which means that this assault on farmers might be interpreted as an attack on the Welsh language, and Welsh rural culture in general. If so, then the politicos in Corruption Bay, and the enviroshyster land-grabbers whispering in their ears, are in for a fight.
Predictably, the announcement was welcomed by Kate Beavan. Who’s she? You haven’t been paying attention, or following the links, have you?
Kate Beavan may have been recruited to Coed Cymru by director Philip David Jayne, who lives in Crughywel.
Yet more bloody connections!
To explain . . .
Coed Cymru is one of the 357 (and rising) ‘woodland’ groups currently operating in Wales. Fighting like ferrets in a sack to take over Welsh land and get their sweaty mitts on Welsh public funding.
When you check out the Companies House entry for Coed Cymru Cyf you realise that, despite the company name, there’s little Welsh involvement.
But plenty of Welsh funding.
‘Plus ça change . . . ‘.
UKRAINE AND THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM
It would be inhuman to suggest that anything good is coming from the death and suffering in Ukraine. And I won’t do that, but harsh lessons are being learnt.
Among them, the realisation that to pretend an advanced economy can rely on intermittent renewables to supply its energy needs is madness. As Germany is learning.
The drive for ‘Net Zero’, orchestrated by The United Nations and the World Economic Forum, is taking hits daily as collateral damage from the conflict in Ukraine. With Germany perhaps the biggest loser.
We are in dangerous times. Supranational bodies like those mentioned want to regulate all aspects of human behaviour. They have captured many national governments, media outlets, and social media giants, who are urged to suppress divergent views as ‘disinformation’.
The justification being that the planet is in grave danger, and so we need to be saved from ourselves . . . all for our own good, of course.
With the result that we are sleepwalking into a form of totalitarianism that sits astride the unicorn of environmentalism.
And this is another reason we – through arming and exploiting brave Ukrainians – are waging war on Russia – because Vladimir Putin refused to bow to these supranational tyrants.
But the ‘Welsh Government’ surrendered long ago. And gave up Wales for sacrifice.
But part of the bigger package was a change in how Senedd members will be elected in future. And this proved much more contentious. With four constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) – Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda, Swansea East, Llanelli – voting against.
To explain . . .
Under revised parliamentary boundaries Wales will have 32 Westminster seats. (Down from the current 40.) What Labour proposes (and Plaid Cymru presumably agrees with) is that these new constituencies should be paired, giving us 16, and that each of them should elect six Senedd Members, thus making up the 96 total.
This is to be done using the ‘closed list’ system. Voters choose a party and have to then accept the party’s choice of candidates.
This is a system designed to favour larger parties and to inhibit the emergence of new parties. Which is no more than we should expect from Labour. For like so many political parties with a socialist heritage Labour is fundamentally undemocratic.
I’m still waiting for Labour’s partner in the current alliance down Corruption Bay to explain why it’s gone along with this system. Though I get the impression Plaid would rather not discuss it.
Labour has tried desperately to polish this turd by promising gender equality. But as Labour has signed up to self-identification, and is a major financial backer of Stonewall, it will obviously accept as ‘women’ men who identify as women.
Which could mean that the new system, designed to achieve gender balance, actually gives us a lower percentage of biological females than we see in the Senedd today!
And then there are other minorities, those so vocal in “breaking down barriers” . . . most of which they themselves have erected. (Or simply imagined.) They’ll demand to be ‘excluded’ no longer. And because they support the Labour Party because the Labour Party funds them their wishes will be granted.
That could give us a Senedd in which the majority is grossly underrepresented.
But who cares – ‘Cos it’s progressive, innit!’
My position is that I do not accept this anti-democratic nonsense. And I would support the UK government stepping in to block it. In fact, I would support the UK government putting an end to devolution itself.
For devolution has delivered nothing to those with whom I identify.
Whereas the SNP in Scotland, returned time after time, has made many Scots believe their country could be even better with independence, here in Wales, the incompetence and waste our people have experienced from malleable mediocrities in Corruption Bay for 23 years makes too many Welsh believe that independence would be even worse.
I remain a nationalist who wants independence, but I see devolution not as a stepping-stone but an obstacle. Maybe that was the intention all along.
And when you think back to what you’ve read here, can you disagree?
This week I bring yet more tales of colonialism dressed up as ‘saving the planet’; involving assorted enviroshysters, multifarious con men; all aided, abetted, and funded, by those collaborating buffoons down Corruption Bay.
This is another biggie, but broken down into easily-digestible chunks. (Add condiments and flavourings to taste.)
Let’s begin with a piece from the Cambrian News, a ‘paper that circulates along Cardigan Bay, with its main office in Aberystwyth.
For reasons I’ve never been able to fathom, I’m blocked from the CN Twitter account. Me! I can only assume it’s a case of mistaken identity.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
Note, “National Trust Cymru and Natural Resources Wales have come together with support from Welsh Government to secure the estate’s future.” This, I assume, means financial support.
But why should the ‘Welsh Government’ pay a wealthy organisation like the National Trust anything to take over an asset from which the NT is guaranteed to make money?
Any payment should have been by the National Trust to the ‘Welsh Government’, which is entrusted with getting the best possible value from the disposal of publicly-owned assets.
And there was no mention of the HT trustees. Though a few other people are mentioned.
First, there’s Lhosa Daly, the “Interim Director of National Trust Cymru”.
Then there’s Clare Pillman, chief executive of Natural Resources Wales. She has a fascinating background, and has been involved in numerous extravaganzas of the ‘Rule Britannia’ variety.
Finally, speaking for the self-styled ‘Welsh Government’ we have, “Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden“. Which a correspondent thought was odd, wondering why it wasn’t someone with an environmental or conservation portfolio.
He has a point. But after a bit of digging, it all became clear. Certainly after seeing Daly’s Twitter account.
Daly was appointed to the Western Gateway board just over a year ago. Which I find interesting. For she joins the Greater Bristol gang and then she’s made head of the National Trust in Wales. Are these appointments connected?
I ask because I’m sure the National Trust in Wales will be one of the bodies contributing to the development of the ‘Western Gateway’, ostensibly speaking for Wales.
Which hat will Lhosa Daly be wearing?
Oh, I almost forgot, she would also have the option of wearing her Wales Arts Council hat.
I’m certain Ms Daly lives in Bristol. Which is fitting, because Dawn Bowden, the Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, who has been instrumental in the deal for the NT to take over Hafod, is also from Bristol.
Did Bowden and Lhosa Daly know each other before the discussions over the Hafod Estate? And if it wasn’t due to the Bristol connection, why was Bowden involved at all? It’s outside her remit.
The map below shows Hafod Estate contains a lot of trees, part of which is said to be a “working forest”. But if Hafod is to be devoted to tourism (which is what the National Trust is all about) will there be a place for a commercial timber operation?
Perhaps not. But as we know, nowadays there are other ways of making money from trees – without touching them! And so I predict that Hafod will prove a nice little earner for the National Trust.
One of the first acts of a devolved government should have been setting up a Welsh organisation to do the work of the National Trust. A body looking after our heritage, on our behalf, and answering to us, the Welsh people. But the opportunity was spurned.
Which is why, after 23 years of devolution, we are discussing an Englishwoman representing our ‘Welsh Government’; another, Natural Resources Wales; with the two handing over another Welsh treasure to an English organisation run locally by a third Englishwoman.
This is colonialism. And even without the Bristol connection, this reeks of yet another ‘Welsh Government’ gift to a favoured body in a deal done behind closed doors with no pretence of a tendering process.
LOCAL BENEFITS (WELL, LOCAL TO SOMEWHERE)
The next report also comes from the Cambrian News, and concerns that other enviroshyster money-spinner – wind turbines.
Specifically, a test mast to be erected at Bryn Brawd, the highest point in an area described in the caption accompanying the image used by the CN as being, “on the outskirts of Llanddewi Brefi”.
In fact, it’s quite some distance from the south-eastern suburbs of that metropolis lying between Cwmann and Tregaron.
On the plus side, the company involved is Waun Maenllwyd Wind Energy Hub Ltd. Probably a Welsh company. Phew!
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.
I can’t tell you much more about this company, I certainly couldn’t find a website, only various company profiles. What I do know is that it’s linked to Foresight, it was based in Bristol, though one entry gives an address in Mold.
Now who do we know in Mold? Thinks . . .
The accounts for y/e April 1, 2021 show ‘Plant and Machinery’ valued at £53,672,808 (before depreciation). That kind of money is not to be sniffed at.
How come we haven’t heard of this great Welsh success story?
I’ll spare you another twisty-turny route, but ultimate ownership of Awel Newydd Cyf rests with Stephen George Geddes, who’s married to Clarissa vom Hagen-Plettenberg, is the grandson of the 1st Baron Geddes, and great-grandson of Archduchess Maria Christina of Austria.
Takes me back to fin de siècle Vienna! You should have seen me in my hussars uniform! Waltzing the night away.
That may all have come crashing down in 1918, but over a hundred years later we find Hapsburg descendants exploiting us!
Staying with Foresight, it seems they’re busy across Wales.
These links tell they’re in league with Tilhill Forestry and Coleg Cambria Llysfai in the north east. But Foresight is based in the Shard! Those working for Foresight don’t know one bloody tree from another. But here they are burnishing their environmental credentials by paying Tilhill to give courses.
There’s even a video!
And Foresight seems to be embedded in the ‘Welsh Government’, for the name crops up everywhere in WG publications. Such as here (page 22).
The sole director is Clive David Osborne. Yet in all the reports on the ‘magic wallpaper’ his name was never mentioned, just the incomplete and misleading name of his company. So what’s his record?
I’ve drawn up a list of companies he’s been involved with in recent years. There have been others, but I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt that he played a minor role in their demise.
I’ve included Crush Holdings because it may link with something else I’ll be telling you.
With so many failures I began to wonder how he kept the wolf (re-introduced to Berkshire in a rewilding project) from his door. The answer may be provided by the Paradise Papers.
For Clive David Osborne is linked to an enterprise in Malta. An island where just about anything goes. “You want an EU passport, Mr Putin? No problemo”. “You want an annoying blogger whacked? Leave it to us”.
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.
Let me make clear that I was against the proposed Wylfa B because the construction phase would have damaged a fragile cultural identity, and that’s without considering the strain that would be put on local infrastructure and housing by thousands of workers, almost all of whom would come from outside of Wales.
But I am not opposed to nuclear in principle, and there are smaller options to Wylfa B.
Previously known as Lightsource Renewable Investments Ltd, and then Lightsource Renewable Energy Investments Ltd, the ‘BP’ was added in February 2018 when BP Alternative Energy Investments Ltd (formerly BP Biofuels UK Ltd) took over.
Fossil fuel giant BP getting into renewables is the most obvious kind of greenwash.
But don’t get me wrong, old Jac’s got nothing against oil and gas, because I’ve still got enough operational grey matter to know that we can’t live well without them, whether there’s a war in eastern Europe or not.
What’s more, I know who’s pushing us towards expensive and unreliable alternatives to oil, gas, coal, and nuclear. And I know why they’re doing it. They are not friends of Western society.
If the ‘Welsh Government’, and our local authorities, were sincere in their commitment to the environment, they’d tell BP and all the other enviroshysters to reduce their carbon footprint rather than cover good land with wind turbines, solar farms, and sterile, monoculture forests.
But that would deny our politicians the opportunities they crave to ponce around and posture, claiming to be saving the planet.
Because that’s what it’s all about – political posturing.
Let me draw your attention to something happening in east Africa. As I understand it, the Tanzanian government has agreed to enclose land for ‘reserves’ on which Gulf royals can go trophy shooting.
There are so many wrong things bundled up in what I’ve just written. But no doubt a great deal of money changed hands.
Wouldn’t it be great if shyster greenwashers and land-grabbing ‘environmentalists’ got that kind of reception in Wales!
The international message: This land is our land!
Finally, a few weeks ago, in Green Man, Red Herring?, I reported on the curious business of the ‘Welsh Government’ paying £4.25m for Gilestone Farm, at Talybont-on-Usk.
The purchase was allegedly made for the Green Man festival . . . which said it had no intention of relocating from the Glanusk Estate, had not submitted a business plan, and seemed almost as surprised as the rest of us by the news of its good fortune.
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.
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”.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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!
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 . . .
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lurking behind the barns in the Gilestone saga I published last week were environmental / wildlife groups. Now I think they need some sunlight.
What prompted my decision was a tweet I saw just over a week ago. The idea that a wildlife trust should be directing the ‘Welsh Government’s farm funding is bizarre.
As I asked in a tweet of my own: “Is the ‘Welsh Government now consulting foxes on chicken coop security?”
The wildlife trusts and environmental groups I’ve encountered in Wales tend to be run by zealots believing the Welsh countryside faces few problems that couldn’t be solved by getting rid of livestock farmers.
Predictable when we remember that these groups contain a worryingly high percentage of vegetarians and vegans. And others of a dictatorial bent.
The Trust is doing very well for itself. With net assets of £2,196,206 in 2021, against £1,899,611 the year before. And £288,436 in the bank (£147,097 in 2020).
That was despite writing off a debt of £10,296 owed by Radnorshire Wildlife Services Ltd. (In all my years of blogging I have encountered few successful ‘trading arms’. They must serve some other purpose.)
In its latest report and accounts (at the foot of page 1) Wildlife Trusts Wales says, “WTW Council unanimously agreed that Wildlife Trust Wales should dissolve as a separate charity”, so why hasn’t it happened?
Wildlife Trusts Wales has chosen to be the local branch of an English body and hopes we’ll generously view it as having a separate existence. A bit like the Green Party.
OUT OF THE WOODWORK
After casting in the direction of James Hitchcock I hooked a few fish.
One specimen I dragged up from the murky depths was a Dr Paul Tubb. (I was tempted to take it easy on him because he might be related to Ernest of that ilk, who gave Hank Williams one of his best songs.)
It wasn’t long into our exchange, with me being the restrained and muted presence I always am, before Tubb came out with this!
As I was quick to clarify – ain’t nothing “so-called” about my nationalism.
Another attempt to silence us by playing the ‘ugly nationalism’ card. Opposing the takeover of our country regularly draws this response, but the takeover itself is just fine. Perhaps even a moral crusade.
I introduce that elevating consideration after being confronted by it in a document produced by Woodknowledge Wales. Which is about as Welsh as the East India Company was Indian.
On page 17 you’ll find the section above. Here’s my interpretation of what it says.
In addition to taking England’s wind turbines, and providing England’s water, Wales should also become England’s forest.
Farming is in the way of “re-forestation”.
“Natural colonisation of land” (by flora and fauna) is not a “morally justifiable . . . option for Wales”.
The claim that there is a moral dimension to this scam is self-deluding bullshit. These are grant-grabbing tree-planters, not theologians or moral philosophers.
But enough of that, for I’ve been neglecting Tubby. He and I exchanged a bit more banter before it died a death.
Then, on the Monday, I received an e-mail from a complete stranger. It contained a link to the tweet you see below.
The glasnost reference is to a blog produced by the late Dušan ‘Jacques’ Protić, who believed that both Rhodri Morgan and Carwyn Jones were dangerous nationalists . . . because they spoke Welsh! To Protic the Welsh language was the root cause of all Wales’ problems.
Protic was a ranter, and always good for a laugh. I often pictured him, crowned with a battered šajkača, pounding furiously away on his laptop . . . never dreaming he had a fan in Dr Paul Tubb.
Another irritating little git who popped up was a certain Rob Thomas. A twitcher from Cardiff Met. His party piece was referring to me as “anonymous tweeter and conspiracy theorist ‘Jac'”.
In fact, it’s quite amazing – and worrying – how many ‘afforestation’ groups there are out there. And how few of them, if any, are genuinely Welsh.
HOW MANY GROUPS DOES IT TAKE TO PLANT A TREE?
One, very influential outfit, is the Woodland Trust, which seems to be involved in most wood-related scams. An English organisation that followed the time-honoured route of opening a branch within whispering distance of Corruption Bay and giving itself a Welsh name, Coed Cadw.
But it’s simply a flag of convenience, for ‘Coed Cadw’ doesn’t exist for Companies House, or the Charity Commission, or the Financial Conduct Authority.
Another organisation I haven’t yet mentioned, but which has increasing influence over the ‘Welsh Government’, is the World Wildlife Fund. Which has an office and a website but, again, no existence independent of its UK / England HQ.
Then there’s a crew I may have neglected until now, Wales Environment Link (WEL), which sees itself as an umbrella organisation for environmental groups.
Thomas is also a director at the Centre for Alternative Technology.
Another trustee is Natalie Roxanne Buttriss. Who deserves special mention.
Back in October 2018 she appeared in The Welsh Clearances. She was then Wales Director of the Woodland Trust, which was a partner with Rewilding Britain in the Summit to Sea project, a very ambitious land grab that was derailed by colonialist arrogance rousing local resistance.
I reproduce a photo from that post. It says so much. It shows Buttriss presenting a petition to Mike Hedges, Labour AM for Swansea East, I don’t know what post he held then. (Don’t care.)
A petition demanding – what else? – more trees! But it only managed to get a miserable 2,385 signatures. Yet it was still accorded an official presentation and media coverage . . . while petitions with many more signatures are effectively binned.
When the memsahibs shout, the native politics-wallahs come running.
Among the full-time staff at WEN we find Llinos Price, of whom the less said the better. (Put her name into the search box atop the sidebar.) Also, former Labour spad, Liz Smith. Then there’s Rory Francis, who too has worked as a spad, and more recently for Friends of the Earth and Coed Cadw / Woodland Trust.
It really is revolving doors between ‘charities’ and politics, with none of those involved having any experience of business, and a lifetime spent wholly reliant on public funds.
But it’s not just identifiable organisations we should worry about; there are also loners, operating below the radar, who surface for other reasons.
We’ve looked at the one for Radnorshire, but there is also the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust, and there was a Brecknock Wildlife Trust until it merged with WTSWW.
Quite remarkable when you think about it. Powys, with less than 5% of Wales’ population, had 60% of the country’s wildlife trusts. And post merger, still has 50%.
How do we explain this? Being so large, and sparsely-populated, Powys obviously attracts the kind of people we’ve encountered in this article. But there may be other factors at work.
A number of those I encountered in my research still live over the border, often just over the border. Wales obviously attracts them because funding is more readily available here.
James Hitchcock, the CEO of Radnorshire Wildlife Trust, with whose tweet this piece began, was formerly Estates Senior Manager at Herefordshire Wildlife Trusts.
Powys is also within reasonable travelling distance of almost any part of England, which makes it convenient for greenwash ‘investors’.
There are other organisations helping to turn Harri Webb’s ‘Green Desert’ into a wooded wildlife paradise; among them, Soros College, Talgarth.
I know the boys and girls at Black Mountains College don’t like me harping on about their George Soros connection . . . so I shall keep doing it!
By accepted yardsticks such as health service delivery, education, infrastructure, standard of living, etc., we Welsh are worse off today than we were in 1999.
Unless they can serve as commuter communities for Cardiff and Newport the towns and villages of the Valleys undergo managed decline; Swansea is fed crumbs; the north east is being merged with north west England; the north coast is becoming the A55 commuter belt for Merseyside, Manchester, and Cheshire; our western coastal areas are no-go areas for our people due to property prices; while the rural heartland is bought up by carbon capture scammers and enviroshysters – with the support of the ‘Welsh Government’.
If it’s not the ‘Welsh Government’ buying up land for the claimed climate emergency then it’s Natural Resources Wales (NRW). Among their recent acquisitions is Ty’n y Mynydd on Ynys Môn.
But what can we expect from an organisation that puts out 1960s peace and love bollocks like: ” . . . reflective walk . . . ‘Children of the Revolution’ . . . thanks and love . . . for what we’d done for Wales”.
What they’d done for Wales!!! They are buying up our country with our money and handing it over to strangers. (And look at the goody bags! We also paid for them.)
Every last one of them should be deported. Along with the others mentioned here. Plus the politicians, the civil servants, the lobbyists, and anyone else linked to the cess-pit that is Corruption Bay.
Let’s have a clean sweep so we can all breathe purer air.
Dominic Driver, who was responsible for that toe-curling tweet, is Head of Land Stewardship at NRW, so he presumably had a hand in the purchase at Ty’n y Mynydd. He taught at Harrow School and lives in the Cotswolds. Neis.
But that’s Wales for you. Or rather, for them.
The writing is on the wall. And the message reads: “R.I.P. Wales, the country that sacrificed itself pandering to strangers ‘saving’ a planet that was never in danger”.
The Merriam-Webster definition of Nirvana is, “a place or state of oblivion to care, pain, or external reality”. Oblivion to reality certainly applies to the socialist lunacies besetting Wales.
Who but those oblivious to truth could believe that Wales can save the planet, that decent jobs, infrastructure, education and heath care are for sissies, and that women have penises?
Merriam-Webster also mentions, “alcohol-induced nirvana”. Bloody hell! I’ve been there a few times. Does that make me a Buddhist?
IT ALL BEGAN . . .
. . . with a couple of tweets on Sunday from the BBC. Both linked to this article.
The Women’s Equality Network (WEN) Wales is worried that not enough candidates from ethnic minorities are standing in next month’s council elections. But WEN is not an organisation dealing with ethnic minorities, so why raise the issue?
Before answering that, let’s take a look at WEN.
WEN is registered as a company limited by guarantee (‘Ltd’ exempt), and a charity. It depends mainly on funding from the self-styled ‘Welsh Government’ in the form of an Equality and Inclusion Grant. In 2021 this amounted to £145,000, up from £119,904 in 2020.
There are five employees in 2022 (in addition to the Director), up from four last year. The panel below shows the staff members towards the end of last year (left) compared to the staff members now as shown on the WEN website.
With the Director pulling down £47,677 we can be fairly certain that most of the remaining £109,375 (from a total 2021 income of £157,052) went on the other four salaries. We can also assume that the grant will be increased in 2022 because there’s now another staff member.
And it seems growth doesn’t end there. This advertisement is for a ‘Senior Partnerships Fundraiser’ on a one-year contract at £31,365.
“We particularly welcome Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME), disabled and LGBTQ+ candidates”. Mmm, does that mean straight, White, able-bodied Welsh need not apply?
“Homebased anywhere in the UK”. Does that mean that knowledge of Wales is not required?
“Lived experience of . . . a protected characteristic”. ‘Lived experience’, that phrase so beloved of the Woke. Does WEN – like the ‘Welsh Government’ – accept Stonewall’s interpretation of ‘protected characteristics’, or does it stick to the law?
So, WEN is complaining there aren’t enough ethnic minority council candidates. Horrified that just 1.8% of candidates in 2017 came from ethnic minorities, while the figure quoted for the “ethnically diverse population” of Wales (2021) is 5.2%.
Thankfully this is not a problem at WEN. From a total complement of six, at least three of the staff belong to ethnic minorities. Two seem to be White English. While the sixth is the obligatory token Welsh person.
UPDATE 29.04.2022: I’ve found a petition for: “more Black, Asian, and ethnic minority women, LGBTQ+ women, disabled women, and women with other protected characteristics in . . . a Senedd that is gender balanced and reflective of the whole Welsh population.”
It gained just 199 signatures. Take out WEN staff, their friends, family, and the members of the Splott Intersectional Mud Wrestling Club and this petition does not suggest massive support from the real world.
(Of the 199 votes only 148 came from Wales (74%). The others came from: Nigeria 32, England 10, Netherlands 6, and one each from Scotland, Germany, China. So which WEN staff member has contacts in Nigeria?)
DIVERSITY! WHAT BOLLOCKS IS SPOUTED IN THY NAME!
So who are the six women running Women’s Equality Network (WEN) Wales? Let’s start at the top, with the director, Catherine Fookes.
Her Linkedin page tells us that she was privately educated in England (Godolphin) before attending Middlesex University where she studied Business (with two years in France). Her Masters in Development Studies was done at Bath, her thesis on Plan International.
Catherine Fookes is the longest serving staff member at WEN, having joined in September 2017. Perhaps her appointment was reward for her valiant efforts to become Labour’s Welsh Assembly Member for Monmouthshire in 2016. Here’s her election leaflet.
Her Twitter account tells she’s standing again for Labour in next month’s council elections. (And she was elected.)
The only other survivor from those named as WEN staff in the accounts signed off in November last year is Megan Evans, the token Welsh presence.
I can’t find much information on Megan Evans, but her profile on the WEN website tells us: “She is passionate about gender equality, intersectional feminism, LGBT rights, and racial justice”. We only need climate hysteria for a Woke nap hand.
Evelyn James, the Diverse5050 Campaign Manager was recruited, presumably, as result of this advertisement:
The Diverse5050 Campaign is an agreement between Labour and Plaid Cymru that certain groups – primarily ethnic and (self-ID) gender – should be over-represented in politics.
The campaign is “run in partnership with our steering group ERS Cymru, Race Council Cymru, and EYST Wales”. These are bodies run by Labour Party cronies, are funded by the ‘Welsh Government’ (though it should be the Labour Party), and have appeared on this blog.
Which leaves Jessica Laimann, Policy and Public Affairs Officer.
She was recruited by WEN last year, and before taking up the post she was “Assistant Democratic Services Officer at Carmarthenshire County Council”.
I almost choked on my laverbread sandwich when my rheumy old eyes alighted upon “Democratic” and “Carmarthenshire County Council” in the same sentence. Somebody must have a sense of humour!
Or else things have really gone to the dogs since Mark James ceased being CEO and de facto council leader.
SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW, SAME INTENTION
To understand Diversity Quotas it may be worth considering a couple of references: one from the past; the other bang up to date. And then try to synthesise them.
Writing this I was immediately struck by a parallel from the recent past and across the water. Unlikely as it might at first sound, that example is political gerrymandering in the Six Counties.
In Derry, for example, gerrymandering guaranteed the Protestant-Unionist minority control of the Corporation in a city with a Catholic and Nationalist / Republican majority. (Explained here in a one-minute video.)
Classic gerrymandering along those lines can’t work in Wales because we do not have segregation. Which leaves the Left seeking to limit the number of representatives from the majority population in other ways.
Of course they will deny this. Whining that they simply want “fair representation” for “under-represented” groups, and only “racists” would oppose this innovation.
But it don’t matter how you cut it, the end result will be the same – minorities enjoying representation disproportionate to their numbers in a given council area, or in Wales as a whole.
Coming up to date, and back to the poisoned well of Wokeism from which WEN has clearly drawn too many buckets . . . the demand for quotas also smacks of Critical Race Theory ‘equity’ (not to be confused with equality).
CRT’s ‘equity’ is race-obsessed discrimination that guarantees everybody loses out.
But it still gives the Left power and influence out of all proportion to the support it enjoys among the population at large. Worse, it’s the tail of the extreme Left wagging dogs like Labour, Plaid Cymru, Greens.
But this should not surprise anyone familiar with Welsh politics; for too many of those now involved in politics and public life in Wales have previously worked for ‘charities’ and pressure groups. These outfits get their agenda implemented through influencing politicians – not from selling their programme to the public.
This is one reason Corruption Bay has no register of lobbyists.
Additionally, there are two fundamental flaws in what passes for the reasoning underpinning minority candidate quotas. These fallacies are:
That only a member of an identified minority can represent other members of that minority.
That members of a minority will only accept being represented by someone from their minority.
And if the candidate quotas WEN is calling for are introduced, then how long until the Left demands we introduce a new method for counting the votes? Surely, it will be argued, votes from members of the majority community should count for less than votes from members of “disadvantaged” or “traditionally oppressed” minorities?
That question is not entirely rhetorical. Because that is the direction many on the Left want to take us.
At present, anyone can apply to join a political party and then seek to become a candidate. Political parties are then free to choose their candidates without any outside interference.
This is how it should remain. To deviate from a system that treats all as equal could be the first step on a very slippery slope.
Retirement remains the ambition. That said, this post is produced in the hope of drawing attention to developments in one locality that may link with wider, national concerns.
Today’s piece took wing with the article you see below. It appeared in last Thursday’s Daily Post. A strange piece in a number of ways; not least because the more I read it the less sure I was of what it was trying to say.
To begin with, the article tells us that the land in question ‘lies south of Conwy’. Which indeed it does; but the same could be said of Cape Town. Actually, it’s quite a way from Conwy, but just a few miles east of Blaenau Ffestiniog. So why use Conwy as a reference point?
The proximity to Blaenau is evidenced by the fact that the land we’ll be looking at contains a few old slate quarry workings. Which gave the writer the excuse to tell us that back in the industry’s heyday, ‘Wales was known as “the place that roofed the world”‘. ‘The place’!
Then, there’s the ownership. The opening paragraph talks of the land ‘being brought into the care of National Trust Cymru’. Does that mean the NT has bought the land? Is it merely looking after the land?
Finally, another possible cause of confusion are the references to ‘Y Foel’. The area we’re looking for is actually, and variously, called, ‘Foel Marchyrau’, ‘Foel Marcherau’, or even – according to the Land Registry – ‘Moel Marchyria’. Whatever you choose to call it, this area lies not far from the hamlet of Cwm Penmachno.
So who wrote the piece?
Well, it wasn’t anyone at the Daily Post. The article came from the National Trust’s website. Here’s the link. It’s a sad indictment of our media when a full-page news story turns out to be a copy and paste job.
THE TREASURY TAKETH AWAY AND THE TREASURY GIVETH
I suppose my interest was piqued when I read, in paragraph 5: ‘It is estimated that the site could lock up over 350,000 tonnes of carbon once restored, the equivalent of taking almost 80,000 cars off the road for a year’.
This mention of the ‘Ysbyty Estate‘ reminds us that the National Trust is a major landowner in Wales. This sizeable chunk of our country was passed to the Trust in 1951 by the Treasury, which had received it in lieu of death duties.
(What a metaphor for Wales’ relationship with England.)
In the hope of getting a clearer picture of what is planned for these 1,600 acres I e-mailed the National Trust and Natural Resources Wales. Both were helpful.
From the National Trust I learnt that it will be working with Natural Resources Wales, the RSPB, the Snowdonia National Park, locals and busybody retirees, to ‘restore’ Y Foel to a more eco-friendly habitat.
But this will not be done at the expense of farming. For we read in the piece we started with that the land ‘will continue to be grazed by sheep and cattle’.
In its response, Natural Resources Wales wrote:
‘We are committed to carrying on the good work and are in regular discussions with National Trust regarding . . . the Cwm Penmachno area. These opportunities have been enhanced now Natural (sic) Trust have purchased y Foel which surrounds a forest block we manage on behalf of Welsh Government.’
So from Natural Resources Wales we learn that the National Trust has bought Y Foel. And the NT then confirmed it with: ‘The Trust has acquired farmland called Foel from the late Miss O.M. Williams, Freehold.’
Later, in the same message, the NT employee wrote: ‘We will also reduce sheep numbers significantly which will allow trees to regenerate naturally across the ffridd and mountain’.
But wait! The piece in the Daily Post said the land, ‘will continue to be grazed by sheep and cattle’, there was no mention of numbers being ‘significantly’ reduced.
To understand the background to, or the justification for, what’s being done in the Cwm Penmachno area, this video below might help.
In a nutshell, drainage ditches cut into peat deposits have lessened the amount of rainwater the peat can retain. With the problem exacerbated by embankments built by farmers to protect their land and livestock from flooding.
These combine to interfere with natural flooding and send more water down Afon Conwy to afflict communities like Llanrwst.
There can be little argument with saving Llanrwst and other communities from flooding.
But when terms like ‘climate change’ and ‘climate crisis’ are introduced, and used in conjunction with the promise of less grazing, and this comes with talk of carbon capture, then I think we need to be alert.
The report in the Shropshire Star – a daily newspaper that circulates widely in central Wales (though of course the jobs and the money stay in Shrewsbury) – certainly gave prominence to the climate change / carbon capture aspects of the story.
Though to judge by the photographs used by the Star they were more confused than me as to the location of ‘Y Foel’. But take my word for it, boys and girls – it definitely doesn’t overlook the Dyfi estuary.
One more thing, Shropshire Star; the highest mountain in Belgium and Wales is not called ‘Mount Snowdon’. Ever.
Let’s go back to the ownership of Y Foel. It seems the National Trust bought the property following the death of Miss Olwen Mai Williams in April, 2018. Described in her obituary as the last of the Foel Marcherau family.
Though according to the Land Registry Miss Williams is still the owner of two tiles bearing that name.
The first is for, ‘Foel Machyrau’. Scroll down to the plan and you’ll see that this title appears to cover the farmhouse, outbuildings and land nearby. The neighbour to the north east is Carrog, mentioned in Image 2, and belonging to the National Trust.
The second Foel title is for, ‘Land lying to the south of Foel Marcherau’. Comparing the OS map on the left with the Land Registry plan on the right, you’ll see that it makes an obvious extension to the existing woodland managed by Natural Resources Wales.
But then I uncovered a third Land Registry title for ‘Land at Foel Marcherau’. (Unfortunately there’s no plan available.) I have redacted the owners’ names, but both are Williams; one lives in Carmarthenshire, the other in the West Midlands.
Putting it all together the cynic in me thinks, ‘Well, if flooding in Llanrwst is caused by peat loss and levees upstream, then dealing with those issues will solve the problem?’
The fact that so much more is planned leads to me to suspect that this extra work, additional to peat restoration and embankment removal, serves a wider agenda.
I mean, is re-forestation an activity we normally associate with the National Trust? Then, there’s the close co-operation between Natural Resources Wales and the National Trust. Almost a partnership.
Among other things, Natural Resources Wales looks after the public forestry estate, and is (nominally, at least) answerable to the ‘Welsh Government’. Yet Corruption Bay has no control at all over the National Trust.
The article I’ve linked to says that farmers and commoners are being consulted all the way, but local sources say they’re being ignored, as ‘Welsh Government’ pushes through its carbon capture plans at the expense of another Welsh community.
No matter how it’s portrayed, what we see at Cwm Penmachno, Abergwesyn and elsewhere seems to be the National Trust muscling in on the carbon capture racket.
I have never been happy with the National Trust owning so much of Wales. It’s currently 50,000 hectares, with the size of the NT estate growing year on year.
Yet there’s nothing Welsh about the Trust. Adding ‘Cymru’ can’t hide how alien it is, and how Wales is viewed as little more than a region . . . of England, presumably. It’s just window dressing. Done to please the easily pleased.
There is only the National Trust, with income of £508,000,000 a year. Its remit: ‘To look after places of historic interest or natural beauty permanently for the benefit of the nation across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.’
Just a few miles to the north of Cwm Penmachno is Tŷ Mawr, Wybrnant, home to Bishop William Morgan, who, in the late sixteenth century, translated the Bible into Welsh.
It would be difficult to over-estimate how important his work was to standardising and safeguarding the Welsh language. To proving that the Welsh language was no crude patois. And to confirming our status as a nation.
But Tŷ Mawr is owned by the National Trust. The same National Trust that believes we are not a nation. Let’s be honest here – the National Trust in Wales is just fleece jacket colonialism.
The English National Trust should have been replaced with a Welsh body soon after we entered the era of devolution. But devolution has been a disappointment in so many ways. Especially for us Welsh.
THE ONLY WAY FOWARD
Let’s consider the options available to Welsh voters. Then you’ll understandable why the National Trust and other ineffably English organisations can so easily exploit Wales.
Unionists, especially those of the Right, will never object to England owning Wales; be it on an individual level, a corporate level, or of course, the national level.
Their commitment to Wales is entirely superficial. And conditional upon Wales being part of the Union. A Union that benefits only England.
On the Left, both Unionists and those claiming to want independence, reject the working class – the greater part of the nation – in order to impose ‘diversity’, support a parasitic third sector, and cheer a ‘Welsh Government’ throwing money at Stonewall.
These are now wedded to passing fancies that demand they engage in combat with ‘fascists’, ‘racists’, ‘climate deniers’, ‘transphobes’, ‘terfs’, and other figments of their easily-manipulated imaginations.
Yet this bizarre alliance, supporters of colonialism on the one hand and wokie clowns on the other, fight over ‘Welsh Government’ policy. To the detriment of the Welsh people.
I’M IN SEMI-RETIREMENT AND THIS BLOG IS WINDING DOWN. I INTEND CALLING IT A DAY IN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS. POSTINGS WILL PROBABLY BE LESS FREQUENT AND I WILL NOT UNDERTAKE ANY MAJOR NEW INVESTIGATIONS. DIOLCH YN FAWR.
This is the third posting on the report accepted by the Arts Council of Wales and the National Museum from the mysterious and hitherto unidentified Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union (WAARU).
The WAARU submission was one of three (out of 34 applications) accepted by the two bodies ‘to undertake a series of in-depth research conversations’, with a view to ‘widening engagement‘ in the arts.
Before starting, let’s just pause to consider the name of the group, Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union (WAARU). Clearly, whoever set up this group had already decided that there were racists in the Welsh arts scene. The kind of report the WAARU would produce was therefore entirely predictable.
I am now almost certain that I know who was involved in producing this scandalous report. Though many questions remain.
First, we’ll consider the report itself, then I’ll identify those I believe are responsible for the report, and finally, pose some questions.
We don’t have space to go through the full report so instead, I’ll do what many of us do in such circumstances and head for the Recommendations. Except that in the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union document there are no Recommendations.
Instead we find, beginning on page 27, ‘Our List of Demands’.
These Demands are broken down into ‘Immediate’, which must be met within 14 days of the two bodies concerned receiving the report. ‘Short Term’, within six months. ‘Medium Term’, 6 to 12 months. ‘Long Term’, 1 to 2 years.
Before looking at the Demands themselves I’ve taken the following extract from ‘Principles’ on page 29, which sets the tone for what follows.
‘NMW-AC and ACW cannot accept that the racist situation we find ourselves in needs to change without equally accepting the role they play in maintaining it. As a result of this, they cannot be trusted to lead us out of this situation and must hand over significant power to Black and non-Black people of colour . . . .NMW-AC and ACW have been upholding white supremacist ideology.’
Suggesting that the Arts Council of Wales and Amgueddfa Cymru are irredeemably racist and should hand over the reins to, presumably, the authors of the report.
Moving on to the Demands themselves, starting at the foot of page 29 we read:
‘A budget commitment for at least five years offering regular and substantial grants for Black and non-Black artists of colour (prioritising people who experience multiple marginalisation). Access to the grant will not be conditional or selective.
Funding to shift from being governed by ‘outcomes’ (including artwork production, public exhibition and ‘community’ workshops) and towards self-identified/ self-measured artist development or community activity.
The only way I can interpret this is that Black and non-Black artists of colour should get paid for doing nothing. Perhaps get paid just for being, er, Black and non-Black artists of colour.
On page 30 we read an appeal for ‘democratisation and transparency’ . . . in a report that is itself unsigned and completely anonymous! (Page 23 is even headed: ‘The need for transparency’!)
On page 31:
‘All expressions of interest / applications longer than 500 words and interviews involving preparation tasks must offer payment to people from marginalised backgrounds as a means of positive action towards more diverse applicants. In a similar vein, all interview offers must come with a clear offer of access costs towards child care, time off work etc (which can be accessed anonymously).’
Demanding payment for completing application forms. But only for people from ‘marginalised backgrounds’.
I think we can safely assume that ‘marginalised backgrounds’ is another way of saying, ‘Black and non-Black artists of colour’.
On page 33:
‘If an employee from a marginalised community feels they need to leave their place of work due to discrimination, they will receive their full salary over the duration that they were contracted to work.’
‘Marginalised community’ is yet more code.
Here’s something else that caught my eye, this time from page 34:
‘NMW-AC and ACW should not be the sole bodies in charge of large budgets and / or distribution of funds. This process should be decentralised to other individuals and organisations, to increase transparency.’
That word ‘transparency’ again. And, again, it’s about money. Money. Money.
Towards the bottom of the same page we encounter:
‘A transformative justice and care fund made available for Black and non-Black people of colour, disabled and neurodivergent people, trans and queer people, people on low-income and people with refugee/asylum seeker status who work as freelance artists or as art workers, who have experienced harm and traumatic experiences within NMW-AC, ACW and all their funded organisations.’
‘I’ve had a traumatic experience with the vending machine – pay me!’ No, I’m not being flippant; it’s just that this section doesn’t explain what qualifies as ‘traumatic’. Though I’m sure we can guess who will qualify – and it won’t be no old honky like Jac!
You may – like many others – be confused by the report’s use of the term ‘Black and non-Black people of colour’. Helpfully, it’s explained in a footnote to page 3.
It’s all-embracing: Navajo and Nepalese, Hausa and Han, Mongol and Melanesian. Lumping non-white humanity under one clunky label to align them all against the pith-helmeted white supremacists of the Arts Council and the National Museum.
It’s really sad, almost delusional; the idea that non-white people everywhere share the views of some far left malcontents in the Cardiff arts scene.
This ‘report’ from the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union is a ransom note. And like all ransom notes its authors remain anonymous. The other similarity with a ransom note is that its primary purpose is to extract money.
What’s remarkable about this Twitter account is that there is no mention of the tender to the Arts Council, or of the tender being accepted, or of the WAARU getting paid for the report, and then the report being published.
Yet this is the sole achievement of the WAARU. It’s almost certainly why the WAARU was set up. So why are those involved so reticent to claim the accolade?
This is a question that will probably remain unanswered. Though one possibility is that tweets were deleted before I saw the Twitter account. I suggest that because the response to its publication guaranteed the report would be an orphan.
And yet, the answers to who is involved in the WAARU can be found in the documents I’ve used or referred to in the previous two posts.
Let’s start with something that appeared in an update to the previous post. Put up after a source suggested that when dealing with anonymous Twitter accounts it can often be rewarding to check on the first followers.
A number of the other early followers have appeared in the previous blogs. Who could forget that master of the iambic hexameter Beau W Beakhouse? And then there’s BLM supporter Letty Clarke of Artes Mundi.
Note also that one follower is @WICFCardiff, which is a group called Where I’m Coming From. Of the first five followers, one is the group itself, and three of the others appear to be members.
WAARU Twitter follower number one, @radha_sophia, does not list Where I’m Coming From in her bio, but she is certainly linked. As this testifies. Note also the reference to ‘Sadia Hameed’. This being Sadia Pineda Hameed, the partner of Beau W Beakhouse.
Here’s @radha_sophia retweeting the WAARU launch tweet almost immediately it was issued. Do you find her message mildly threatening?
You’ll see in the link to the WICF piece that @radha_sophia is named as Radha Patel. Which is her real name. Or, in full, Radha Mukesh Patel.
The Land Registry website gave me ownership details for the property, and I recognised the family name. Next, it was over to 192.com to check on who actually lives there. And guess what – living at that address is Radha Mukesh Patel.
So Patel’s family home in Pyle was given to the Arts Council as the address of the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union.
But how much of a hand did Patel herself have in the writing of the report for which the Arts Council and Amgueddfa Cymru were happy to part with a few thousand pounds of our money?
Maybe not a lot. She’s more likely to be one of a number of contributors.
Either way, here’s another tweet from Radha Patel, from August 2020, when she was presumably in Scotland. She doesn’t want to eat in a white-owned establishment.
Moving on . . .
If we’re looking for a group that might have co-ordinated this exercise, then the previously mentioned Where I’m Coming From fits the bill very well.
As we’ve seen, its founder-members are among the earliest followers of WAARU and it connects with other significant actors in this scam. For I have no hesitation in using that word.
Beakhouse and Hameed of Lumin may be in the mix, but I think it would be more rewarding to focus on the Arts Council – specifically, Artes Mundi – and the Future Generations Commissioner’s office.
For if we look at the Artes Mundi Twitter account we see that it is currently co-operating with Where I’m Coming From. And if you click on the short video, there, at 0:41, we see Letty Clarke herself.
Letty Clarke is a busy woman, and she’s named in its metadata as the author of the ‘Wales, Culture & Race Taskforce‘ (WCRT) document of June 2020. Prepared for the Senedd by yet another group of disgruntled BAME arts sector operators.
What happened to the WCRT, and the cash it was promised, is still debated.
I believe Letty Clarke had a hand in producing the WAARU report. But the involvement of Artes Mundi may not be limited to her.
For also listed among the first followers of the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union we find another Artes Mundi Curator, Melissa Hinkin.
Sure enough, at number 3 among the first ten WAARU followers we find Taylor Edmonds, the Poet in Residence at the Future Generations Commissioner’s office. She is also a ‘team member of @WICFCardiff’.
What the hell does a Poet in Residence do, anyway? Wander around the office sighing, looking for a chaise longue on which to drape oneself in the hope of attracting the muse?
But what if the muse appears at 4:55 and everybody’s off down the pub at 5 for Sharon from Accounts’ birthday piss-up?
‘Oh, Muse, it’s a bit awkward now . . . can you come back tomorrow?’
The impetus for the WAARU and the Mary Celeste-like Wales, Culture and Race Taskforce was the killing of George Floyd 5,000 miles away.
An event irrelevant to Wales encouraged some in the Cardiff arts scene to make unfounded allegations of racism and demand money for perceived injustices. Encouraged by a ‘progressive’ Cardiff Bay establishment ready to roll over and take the blame for slavery, colonialism, and a raft of other crimes of which we Welsh are innocent.
I am now 85% certain that the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union report was compiled by persons named above. Employees of publicly-funded bodies and others involved in the arts sector in Wales.
This sordid episode raises a number of questions.
UPDATE 08.09.2021: The update is just too big to put up on the blog, so it’s available here in PDF format.
WE NEED ANSWERS
A well-connected source tells me that in his experience no public body gives a contract such as we’ve discussed to a group with no record, no references, no money, no nothing.
Especially when there were 34 applications to choose from.
Another source thinks that if this had taken place in the world of finance it would be called insider dealing. Which is why I earlier referred to what we’re discussing as a scam.
Now for the questions:
Whose decision was it to advertise for organisations to tender for the ‘widening engagement’ research?
Can we see a copy of the tender brief?
Who sat on the scoring panel to select the successful tenders?
Can we see a breakdown of the scores awarded to each tender?
Who at the Arts Council of Wales signed off the award of the contracts?
Why did no one at the Arts Council appreciate the contradiction in a report repeatedly calling for ‘transparency’ itself being anonymous?
Into whose bank account was payment for the WAARU report paid?
Have the Welsh Arts Council and Amgueddfa Cymru already met or do they intend meeting any of the ‘Demands’ in the WAARU report?
How far up the Arts Council totem pole does knowledge of and participation in the WAARU deception extend?
Will those responsible for this deception now be dismissed?
What safeguards will ‘Welsh Government’ put in place to ensure that no more public funding is siphoned to cronies in this way? (Or is that the wrong question to ask of a political party and an administration built on cronyism?)
Will the Wales Audit Office investigate the procedures by which public funding was used to produce what is little more than a racist ransom note?
When people on the Far Left work themselves into a frenzy of Woke self-righteousness, to the point where they claim to see ‘fascism’ and ‘racists’ everywhere, then campaigns against racism often end up being racist themselves.
Even more so when they contain unsubtle references to what those behind the report clearly regard as an over-emphasis on Welsh cultural identity.
What makes this case even worse is that there appears to have been collusion from within Welsh public bodies and national institutions. Public bodies and institutions funded by the Welsh public purse.
Wales is a tolerant and welcoming country. When those who claim otherwise use imported terms like ‘systemic racism’, resort to silly words like ‘microaggressions’, and flirt with anti-Semitism and Cymrophobia then they invalidate whatever cause they think they serve.
What I also found revealing about this report was that it contained a litany of vague complaints but a complete absence of specific examples; with not a single case that could be investigated. Let alone substantiated.
Innuendo and hyperbole, sloganising and insults, are no substitute for hard facts.
To the members of the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union, and others like them, I say: Instead of standing outside shouting and chucking stones, why not come in; join us, integrate?