It all started when it was brought to my attention that properties in Swansea used by housing associations were leased or rented from Link. After a bit of digging I was satisfied that, in various forms and under different names, Link had been operating in and around Swansea, and across the south, for decades.
But, as I say, due to the various entities being offshore, and information hard to come by, there was a limit to how far I could go. In the end I just had to leave it and move on.
Even so, to help you understand better what you’re going to read, and for me to avoid repeating myself too much, I suggest you read the piece from 2016.
THE LEASEHOLD SAGA
We are going to deal with an issue that’s been rumbling on for a long, long time; with politicians of all stripes promising to tackle it. For those unclear what I’m talking about, the leasehold system is explained here.
Which would of course save the so-called ‘Welsh Government’ from having to do anything. Though it might have some powers now.
I say that because the ‘Welsh Government’ has given thought to leasehold. Here’s a July 2019 report, Residential Leasehold Reform, from a task and finish group.
With the quote below from page 29, made in March 2018 by the Minister for Housing and Regeneration, Rebecca Evans.
But this report from March 2021, despite containing ‘next steps’ in the title, suggests that ‘Welsh Government’ is just kicking the can down the road.
In fairness, and as I’ve suggested, leasehold reform might be an Englandandwales matter; but if so, it hasn’t stopped Corruption Bay from creating the post of Head of Leasehold Reform. Does that job title suggest he has staff!
You won’t be surprised to learn that this job went to an insider. His name is Timothy Mann, formerly with the Labour party’s favourite housing association, Wales & West.
But FFS! If ‘Welsh Government has the power to act on leasehold, then why doesn’t it? But if it doesn’t have the power to act then why waste time and money faffing about with task and finish bullshit and sinecures for cronies?
It would appear that Labour in Wales has rowed back from outright opposition to leasehold to merely being against the sale of leases on new-build properties.
One reason might be Registered Social Landlords (housing associations), which are funded by the ‘Welsh Government’. For since their privatisation in 2018 many, perhaps most, have set up subsidiaries, which now build private housing for the open market . . . often leasehold, or ‘shared ownership’.
Also, and as I reported in the 2016 piece, housing associations are quite happy to lease property from Link Holdings (Gibraltar) Ltd, and perhaps other companies. With the ‘Welsh Government’ fully aware of this.
To make sense of it, understand that housing associations, especially in the urban south, are extensions of the Labour party. So if housing associations are doing lots of business with leasehold firms, or selling leaseholds themselves, then this might explain why ‘Welsh Government’ is reluctant to implement leasehold reform.
But if intervention comes from the next Labour government in London then the bruvvers down here can hold their hands up and say, “Nothing to do with us“.
OK, that’s a more general picture on leasehold, time now to turn to the latest news about Link Holdings (Gibraltar) Ltd, and what I’ve unearthed.
WHY I’M REVISITING THE SUBJECT
This return to Link Holdings (Gibraltar) Ltd was prompted by an e-mail I received last week. Let the senders explain with this extract from that e-mail.
You must admit, it’s a worrying tale. If the couple that wrote to me hadn’t opened the innocuous-looking letter from Companies House they might have lost their home.
You’ll see Castlebeg mentioned, that we encountered earlier in the Davies-Edwards House of Commons exchange. This was another horse out of the Link stable, based in Jersey. I use the past tense because the company’s dissolved.
Also based in Jersey were Cymru Management Ltd and Cymru Investments Ltd, both of which were connected with Link Holdings. The former has filed nothing since January 2021, and the latter was dissolved in September of that year.
Was this in anticipation of the new legislation you’ll soon be reading about?
And yet . . . another document I unearthed, for a UK-registered company owned by the family I believe is behind Link Holdings, suggests there is still a company using the ‘Gwalia’ name. This document is dated 24 January 2023.
The Cymru Investments Ltd just mentioned was once known as Gwalia Investments Ltd, but the name changed many years ago. The date of the filing above suggests an active company. But in which jurisdiction?
Let’s return to the reason for this update.
Here’s the title document sent by my source (already highlighted.) I’ve made redactions for obvious reasons but you can see that in January, this property, for which both leasehold and freehold had been purchased by my contacts, was still, according to the Land Registry, owned by Link Holdings (Gibraltar) Ltd.
There are other title numbers mentioned on the document I’ve just linked to, and these refer to a property on Neath Road in Plasmarl. The freehold is held of course by Link, but the leasehold by Caredig Housing Association. Again, we see a connection between Link and a housing association.
Anyway, after reading and digesting the information I’d been sent, it was time to make fresh enquiries into Link, maybe pick up where I’d left off in 2016.
There’s nothing really to see on the Companies House entry apart from the Registration document itself (OE01). Though it is quite revealing. For if you scroll down to ‘Part 13 Disposal of land’, you’ll hit a few pages of Land Registry title numbers.
Forty-nine titles in all. From my quick dip I’m guessing that most if not all of them are ‘multiples’, covering a number of properties, with a total running into the hundreds.
It would have been too much work, and too expensive, to check them all; so with each page containing 8 titles I settled for one from each page.
Despite being chosen at random, all were in the Swansea area, the furthest out being Ammanford. The others in Penclawdd, Sketty, Waunarlwydd, and Dunvant.
Sketty is 16 properties on an older development. There seem to be 8 properties in the Waunarlwydd development. Finally, at Dunvant, we find (by my figuring) the title covering 35 separate properties. I won’t link to the title document because lessees are named. These properties are scattered about on Hendrefoilan Road, Derlwyn, Gwelfor, and a few other nooks and crannies.
All the Killay / Dunvant properties would seem to be covered by this map.
That’s a total of 90 properties on five randomly chosen Link Holdings titles.
And remember, these are just the titles disposed of between 28 February 2022 and the dates of the application, the latest of which was 7 November 2022. There will be many, many more titles held by Link.
For example, the Hirwaun title that started the ball rolling again is not listed.
To give some understanding of how much property Link owns go to Private Eye‘s Tax Haven map. Or try the Excel database (the link for this is just above the map). Admittedly, these only go up to 2014, but they’re revealing; and this research helped bring about the law to register overseas entities owning UK property.
Open the Excel file and, even though there are many Link properties before, and after, if you start at 73397 (left-hand column) you’ll hit a long sequence of Link properties due to the ‘WA’ Land Registry prefix.
Most seem to be in the Swansea area, but they’re spread across the south (with the exception of Blaenau Gwent), though perhaps no further west than Llanelli.
If you’re smart enough with Excel then you can probably extract all the Link properties from the document. (In fact, I’d appreciate it if someone could do that.)
The area we’re looking at next is north east Swansea, either side of the M4. The properties in orange in the Private Eye map on the left are relatively new and all Link Holdings leaseholds.
Funny, isn’t it? ‘Welsh Government’ says it’s opposed to new builds being leasehold, but this seems to be exactly what Link’s been doing for decades.
If you look at the Land Registry title documents I’ve used in this article you’ll see addresses given on the first page, against ‘Registered owners’. Link Holdings is obviously listed but beneath the company name the contact details given are:
Sovereign Fiduciary Services Ltd, Po Box No 564,
Sovereign Place, 117 Main Street, Gibraltar, GX11 1AA
107 Charterhouse Street, London EC1M 6HW
3rd Floor, 11-12 Wind Street, Swansea SA1 1DP
The Gibraltar address is obviously Link’s representative on The Rock, but the other two are solicitors. One is Sayers Butterworth LLP in London, the other Smith Llewelyn in Swansea.
I saw no point in contacting Sovereign Fiduciary Services at its plush downtown offices. But I thought it might be worth approaching the solicitors, to see if they had anything to say about their client.
I sent each solicitor an e-mail, on Wednesday last week. But I’ve received no reply. I think they’re waiting to see what I write before contacting me.
I’m 90% sure I know who’s behind Link Holdings. It’s an established business family in Swansea. The name suggests their ancestors might have been part of the Cornish migration of the 18th and 19th centuries, following the tin and the copper to Swansea.
Though they seem to have deserted the City of My Dreams for Hampshire, Fulham, and God knows what other hell-holes!
My many admirers on the left might describe those behind Link as, “bloodsucking capitalists!“, or some other carefully-honed and rationally presented response such as we hear from the comrades nowadays.
But me, well, I see it differently. A moral and regulated capitalist system is the only way to create wealth and employment. With the prosperous and egalitarian democracy that results the surest guarantee against the extremes of left and right.
There’s more I could say about the leasehold model; for this throwback to feudalism should have been abolished a long time ago along with droit du seigneur.
Such as people contacting me who thought they’d bought their new house outright, only to discover the hard (and expensive) way that what they’d actually bought was a lease. Leasehold is a system that invites deception and corruption. It should be abolished.
But instead of signing off with a rant I’ve decided to wind up this wee opus with some harmless musing.
How many others have found themselves in the position of my Hirwaun contacts, with Link Holdings claiming to own their home?
How many others are in that situation without knowing it because they haven’t checked what’s filed with the Land Registry?
Given that in recent decades Link has concentrated on new build properties, what is the company’s relationship with the builders involved? Is Link buying ‘off plan’? Or is Link commissioning the building of these developments in order to sell the leaseholds and retain the freeholds?
What is Link’s relationship with Swansea council, which cannot be unaware of the company’s activities? What would the council say to those who’ve been denied the opportunity to buy a home outright by Link hoovering up the freeholds and only offering leasehold agreements?
Labour has argued against the leasehold system for at least 60 years, yet in 24 years of devolution has done nothing. Is this another example of Labour making promises out of power and failing to deliver when it has power?
Is the ‘Welsh Government’ comfortable with certain Welsh housing associations renting / leasing property from a company of unknown ownership hiding away in a tax haven?
(It seems there’d been a foul-up in communications between cops and Mob who were normally tipped off if NYPD was about to visit.)
The organisation that resulted from the riots was the Gay Liberation Front, designed to protect the interests of lesbian, gay and bisexual people. But there were a number of similar groups.
The 1980s saw the AIDS epidemic which was believed by many in the gay community to have led to in increased hostility towards homosexuals. It was out of such perceptions that Stonewall was founded in 1989.
First, as The Stonewall Lobby Group Ltd, and then, from March 16, 2004, as Stonewall Equality Ltd.
Stonewall grew, gaining in acceptance and respectability, and going almost mainstream as a political lobbying group. Everything was coming up roses.
Until 2015, that is, because when Stonewall “became trans inclusive”, things changed. What had been a LGB organisation became LGBTQ+. To the point where many people – including gays and lesbians – thought Stonewall was obsessed with ‘trans rights’.
As a result of which, many gays and lesbians have disassociated themselves from Stonewall, and formed other groups. Chief among these is perhaps the LGB Alliance.
From gay friends I hear that one reason for them rejecting Stonewall is that gay boys confused about their sexuality (as they were) are pushed towards surgery to turn them into infertile, incontinent, and miserable ‘girls’ prone to thoughts of suicide.
Which makes sense; and speaking as a straight man, butchering confused kids doesn’t strike me as progress in any direction. It sounds more like regression to something that might have been performed at an Aztec religious ceremony.
Another objection was the pretence that men who dressed as women, even rapists, must be regarded as ‘transwomen’.
However we got here, in the past few years Stonewall, once the darling of left-liberals everywhere, has hit a rocky patch.
Its Diversity Champions Programme raised millions of pounds from private companies, charities, government departments and other bodies, desperate to get the Stonewall seal of approval.
But that scheme started failing as people realised that promoting child mutilation and trying to erase women was not that appealing to the public.
There was also a growing suspicion that the year-long Pride month, talk of “minor attracted persons”, and the promotion of drag shows for children, were just means for softening people up to accept paedophilia.
All of which helps explain why the skids are now well and truly under Stonewall.
But despite it all, the so-called ‘Welsh Government’ remains true in its support for what has degenerated into a dangerous organisation.
‘WE’LL KEEP A WELCOME . . . ‘
From the documents available on the Companies House website, the first payment I can find from the then Welsh Assembly Government to Stonewall was in 2003. Though before that, individual donors are not listed.
The accounts for 2003 tell that WAG gave £50,000 for “lesbian and gay equality work”. In addition, Stonewall received £13,371 from Comic Relief for “a media project in Wales”.
Which suggests that Stonewall asked Comic Relief to fund a project specific to Wales. Why would it do that? And does anyone remember what that media project was?
In recent years, as other funders pulled back from Stonewall, the ‘Welsh Government’ continued to fund this now subversive organisation. Between September 30, 2017 and March 31, 2022 ‘Welsh Government’ and the Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA), controlled by WG, gave Stonewall £728,381.
Below you’ll see Stonewall’s grant funding for the past five years, the funding from Wales highlighted. The purpose for which grants are made is no longer stated, so there may be grants from organisations outside Wales intended for projects within our country.
So why has the ‘Welsh Government’ given so much more to Stonewall than the Scottish Government? We can see that NHS Scotland contributed separately, but the combined Scottish figure is still less than that for Wales.
The problem of the ‘Welsh Government’s links with Stonewall go beyond money. Because if it was confined to funding for a hands-off organisation then there’d be fewer complaints.
But as we know, Stonewall, especially in Wales, is not hands-off. Stonewall has influence throughout Welsh life; most worryingly, with the education curriculum for our children.
So how did Stonewall achieve its position of influence in Wales? Well, I suppose the answer is, partly due to politicians desperate to be seen as onside with every Guardian issue, and partly due to the ‘easy-going’ attitude towards probity and impartiality found in Corruption Bay.
Here’s a relevant example.
Back in 2021 a few activists pulled together a group calling itself the LGBTQ+ Expert Panel and presented its ‘findings’ to the ‘Welsh Government’.
Here’s the opening paragraph of the ‘report’:
These findings were published by the ‘Welsh Government’. Suggesting this was another example of the Corruption Bay Clown Show approaching a pressure group and basically asking: “What would you like us to do for you?”
When we look at the composition of the group we can see how unrepresentative it is. To begin with, membership is confined to those who agree with Stonewall. Then, it’s geographically limited to Cardiff. Finally, there’s the mis-labelling.
I’m referring now to Lu Thomas, who is described as ‘Independent’. Independent of what, or whom? To help you understand Lu Thomas, read this article.
And of course, she’s a Labour insider who, over the years, has landed a number of profitable gigs by, er . . . well, by being a Labour insider. On official documents Lu usually becomes ‘Rebecca Louise Thomas’.
But her Linkedin profile (here in pdf format) reveals none of this. Indeed, from that source it’s difficult to see how she keeps the wolf from the door of her dream home in Penarth.
For five years she was chair of Pride Cymru. Was that a paying job? Then, “Managing Director of Final Say Wales” sounds grand, but what the hell was it? I assume it linked with the ‘Welsh Government’s attempt to overturn the Brexit vote.
But again, was there a salary?
Because there’s nothing using the handle ‘Final Say Wales’ registered with Companies House, the Charity Commission, or the Financial Conduct Authority (for Mutuals).
Next up, Lu Thomas claims to be a director of a company called Re:Cognition. There is indeed such a company, with a turnover last year of £11.5m, but Lu Thomas has nothing to do with it.
She’s referring to a tuppenny-ha’penny outfit run by another Labour hack, Jon Luxton, Re:Cognition Training CIC. But Thomas isn’t a director. Never has been.
We know the ‘Welsh Government’ is taking over countless organisations, perhaps an insurance policy to – should the worst happen – make life difficult for an incoming non-Labour administration. I wrote about these takeovers recently in Taking Control, Of Everything.
Is Gypsies and Travellers Wales another takeover? The ‘Welsh Government’ is not currently listed among the organisation’s funders, but I bet that’ll change now that Lu Thomas is on board. Though there’ll be a price to pay.
Can’t you see it: “You must give up the Range Rovers and the £100,000 trailers and go back to the horse-drawn caravan – picturesque and environmentally friendly”.
And ‘trans rights’ should go down a bomb with a socially conservative group.
Then again, there are many Gypsy and Traveller groups, and so I wonder how representative of the community the one Lu Thomas has joined really is.
I’ve got nothing personal against Lu Thomas. I mention her because she represents so much that is wrong with devolution. Without a vote to her name she can access and direct public funding, and influence ‘Welsh Government’ policy.
So to whom is she and the others like her accountable?
They make interesting reading in a number of ways. For example, this paragraph seems to confirm our worst fears.
The first meeting is chaired by Alyson Francis of the ‘Welsh Government’s Communities Division’. Lu Thomas is listed, but not representing any organisation.
For the second meeting we read: “Alyson explained that a suggestion had been received for Lu Thomas and Alyson to co-chair the group”. We aren’t told who made the suggestion, or why it was made.
In the third meeting, Lu Thomas welcomes everyone, and seems to be in charge, despite co-chair Alyson Francis also being at the meeting. Lu Thomas appears to have taken over from a WG official, but on what authority?
The other thing that struck me was the absence of any representatives of Glitter Cymru in the three monthly meetings, yet three are listed in the final report as being members of the Expert Panel.
One of the three, Ourania Vamvaka-Tatsi, attended all the monthly meetings, but representing ‘MEAD Cardiff University‘.
WE’RE COMING FOR YOUR CHILDREN
There can be no doubt that Stonewall has a great deal of influence within the ‘Welsh Government’ and its associated agencies. The generous funding Stonewall receives is proof enough of that.
And yet, this is no more than we’ve come to expect in Wales – pressure groups forcing their agendas onto an administration with few ideas of its own and a pathetic desire to comply with the Globalists’ Woke-Green-Left agenda.
And the pressure groups actually get paid for it! Like a comedian’s gag writers.
But over and above the money is the worry about Stonewall’s influence on the education system, and our children. Though it’s strange that those involved with Stonewall and similar organisations are so concerned about children, considering so few of them have children of their own.
(If anybody thinks the previous paragraph is homophobic, or transphobic, or any bloodyphobic, well, “Frankly, my dear . . . “.)
Fundamentally, “the world around us” remains very much the same as it has for millennia. Human males inseminate human females, who have babies, and most children are still brought up by a mother and father within a wider family network.
It’s still the case that women do not have penises, and men can not have babies.
Yet attempts to undermine the nuclear family still come from Stonewall and other pervert-friendly groups that are far too close to the ‘Welsh Government’.
Small wonder that more parents in Wales are choosing to home school their children, as this interview (in Welsh) confirms.
As Catherine says: “They’re my children, not Mark Drakeford’s children, or (education minister) Jeremy Miles’ children”.
She might have added, “And they’re certainly not Stonewall’s children“.
I expect children to be taught the irrefutable: The Earth is round, 2 + 2 = 4, Moscow is the capital of Russia, etc. Beyond that I would want children to be taught critical thinking so they can make up their own minds.
A balanced, “But on the other hand . . . “ approach.
But that’s not happening because there are so many pressure groups demanding input into the education system, and so many brainwashed teachers, that we are producing programmed kids who believe that regurgitating slogans and prejudices is thinking for themselves.
A word that’s always intrigued me is ‘stakeholder’. It’s all the rage, you see and hear it everywhere, but who or what is a stakeholder? How do you become a stakeholder?
I posed that question to a regular contact who directed me to a list of the ‘stakeholders’ involved in the education of Welsh children. And there are some surprising, even worrying, names among them.
The first thing that struck me was the number of trade unions on that list. Ten, by my count. But what input do trade unions need to our education system? Or, to put it another way, how do our children benefit from any such input?
And why so many voices for the ‘Welsh Government’? Are those different departments in competition?
Then I noticed three BAME outfits. Race Council Cymru (BAME Alliance), Race Equality First (BAME Alliance), and EYST. What’s their contribution – “White people are evil“? Because that seems to be all they have to say nowadays.
I would almost bet my house on the fact that ALL the organisations on that list have been won over or coerced into accepting the Globalist Woke-Green-Left agenda. So where is the balance of an alternative interpretation?
And do you know what else I don’t see there – an organisation representing parents. You know, those ultimately responsiblefor children.
The Western world is in a bad place at the moment. For we live in a dictatorship. It might still be a relatively benign dictatorship, but a dictatorship nonetheless.
We went through a Covid lockdown in order to inject us with God knows what. We are allowed to hold only certain views, and if you move beyond this groupthink then you will be deplatformed, blocked on social media, and even lose your job.
This is because we have very rich and powerful individuals seeking to control what we eat, what’s injected into us, where we live, who lives among us, how far we can travel, and of course, what we think.
“We’ll provide the crises – and the solutions!”, says Klaus Schwab.
To further their ambitions the oligarchs have on their side people who pretend to believe or – God help them! – may genuinely believe that anyone opposing The Agenda must be far right or fascist, racist, transphobe, climate denier, etc, etc.
We seem to have reached a point of maximum lunacy. Biology can be denied. History can be re-written. Climate records can be changed.
“War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”
The problem for the Globalists is that they regularly come into contact with reality – and lose. Though the loss can usually be covered up by their apologists, especially those in their bought media.
Nowhere is the lie more obvious just now than with ‘refugees’. I’m referring to the thousands of young men, many of Muslim and African backgrounds, who land in Europe every day.
Everyone knows they are not genuine refugees, even those defending them. So we have to deal in euphemisms; ‘migrant’ being the current favourite. But we are still asked to believe that they are fleeing war or persecution or natural disaster.
Which is why recent events at the Stradey Park Hotel in Llanelli have been so fascinating, and revelatory.
To cut a long story short . . . the UK Home Office, working with the hotel’s owners, decided to move 300 undocumented ‘migrants’ into the four star Stradey Park Hotel.
The locals decided they didn’t want it to happen, and so they protested, and blocked the entrance. There has been a stand-off for a few weeks, and at the time of writing, no ‘migrants’ have arrived.
These locals are now far right, fascists, racists, etc.
And yet, who are the real extremists?
Is it decent, hard-working, law-abiding Welsh people defending their community, or is it left wing fanatics driven by a corrupt ideology who don’t give a damn about Llanelli and have been bused in from as far away as Bristol?
The answer seems obvious to me.
The bigger message should also be clear. If you want to save your kids from Stonewall, if you want to protect your communities from unvetted ‘migrants’, if you want to retain your freedom of thought and movement – stop voting for socialists.
Because when it gave up on the White working class the left transferred its allegiance to the Globalists and their pressure groups. You only have to look at the state of Wales today, and where the money goes, to realise that.
If the title strikes you as over-stated, just hold your judgement until you’ve read what I have to say. And if you still disagree with me, then you can claim your refund from the Reimbursements Unit of the Finance Department at Jac Towers.
Seeing as last week’s offering was a little long, at over 3,000 words (and there were complaints!), I’ll try to make up for my previous verbosity with this shorter piece.
TON UP LABOUR
Last year Labour celebrated a century of being the political party sending the most MPs from Wales to Westminster.
Since the advent of devolved government in 1999 it’s been a similar picture in the Senedd (formerly Assembly), with Labour always the largest party.
Because if we gauge success by making life better for people, or by improving a country, then it’s a different story.
Because since we’ve had devolution Wales has fallen behind the other countries of the UK in economic performance and in education; our health service is falling apart, and our standing-room-only, no refreshments, blocked toilets trains would shame a third world country.
On top of which, money is diverted to lunatic schemes while essential services suffer.
At the most recent elections, in May 2021, Labour won 30 of the 60 Senedd seats, all of them in the south and the north east, with 39.9% of the vote, an increase of 5.2% points on 2016.
But that was from a turnout of just 46.6% (which was still an increase of 1.2% on 2021.) In 2003 the turnout went as low as 38.2%, and in 2011 it was just 42.2%
Which means that in the 2021 Senedd elections Labour gained the support 18.6% of those eligible to vote. But thanks to an electoral system favouring the largest party Labour took half the seats, and further strengthened its grip through an alliance with Plaid Cymru, a party that has become almost a Labour subsidiary.
A control that Labour now intends to make permanent. Partly through taking over national institutions and other bodies, partly through introducing a new electoral system that will favour Labour even more.
More on the first tactic in the next section, more on the vote rigging later.
Over the years I’ve explained how Labour holds onto power through the use of lobbyists, a tame media, opposition parties incapable of mounting effective opposition, crony-run third sector organisations and other bodies the ‘Welsh Government’ funds to tell it what it wants to hear.
The advantage of this relationship for the ‘Welsh Government’ is that it can quote these organisations as “experts“, in order to push on with plans and projects that had already been mutually agreed.
These groups are international in nature, or just English. But they send somebody down to Cardiff, rent a cupboard, stick ‘Cymru’ in the name, and pretend to be Welsh – with our best interests at heart!
I followed up that piece on pressure groups with ‘Taking Control, Of Everything‘ (19.06.2023) where I outlined my observations that the ‘Welsh Government’ also seems to be taking over a number of national institutions and other bodies.
Referring to recent events at the Welsh Rugby Union I wrote:
After creating what was reported by a loyal media as “turmoil” in our sporting bodies the ‘Welsh Government’, with the help of certain individuals ‘on the inside’, was able to engineer a situation that saw people parachuted in who are dependent on ‘Welsh Government’ patronage.
If I had to link the two pieces I would say that this is straight out of the World Economic Forum playbook. The WEF invents or exacerbates problems in order to capitalise on them and offer solutions; then, through this deception, exercise control.
The big WEF threat of recent decades has of course been climate hysteria which, because it’s global, can be used in attempts to control human behaviour around the world. Of course, there is no climate crisis. But it serves its purpose.
Other than partnerships with pressure groups and taking over national bodies the ‘Welsh Government’ tries to extend its reach and enhance its credibility in other ways, too many to list here.
We’ve seen how the ‘Welsh Government’ pretends it’s been ‘advised by pressure groups and other bodies it’s in cahoots with, but this deception extends to bodies it has itself created, such as the Welsh Youth Parliament.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against listening to kids, I’ve got teenage grandchildren. But how much weight are we supposed to give to the views of children with no experience of life, who’ve been brainwashed by an education system influenced nowadays by people some of whom are unsavoury and some of whom are positively dangerous?
Again, it’s a case of, “I’m listening . . . but only if you tell me what I want to hear”.
It’s as if those who inhabit the Bay bubble have become so self-engrossed, and so dismissive of opinions outside their little world, that they’ve lost all sense of reality.
FIXING THE ODDS
Since the inception of devolution in 1999 we’ve heard politicians say that with just 60 members the Assembly / Senedd is too small to do its job properly. An argument not without merit.
These voices have got louder as Corruption Bay gained more powers, which admittedly makes the case stronger for having more members.
Things are now coming to a head.
Before I start explaining this, let me say that I can only hope I’ve got all the details right, because the subject is not easy to follow on the ‘Welsh Government’ website, and I don’t think the media has given it the attention it deserves.
I’m referring to the plan to increase the number of Senedd Members, but more importantly, the way it’s proposed this should be done.
The Senedd should have 96 members. Elected from 16 constituencies, these achieved by ‘pairing’ the 32 new Westminster seats; with each one electing 6 MSs by the “closed proportional lists” system. These changes should in place for the 2026 Senedd elections.
This may have been agreed by Drakeford and Price, but few others were in favour.
The Expert Panel previously noted that higher district magnitudes create greater potential for proportionality, and that if constituencies become too big, it can result in ‘hyperproportionality.’35 Hyperproportionality describes the circumstance whereby a party that gained a very low level of public support nevertheless secures seats in the legislature- and thereby the legitimacy of elected platform
But these misgivings were dismissed. Of course they were!
While there are positive elements of this deal, there are also those that require further thought . . . concerns remain about the use of closed lists due to the lack of choice voters will have. This system was rejected by the Expert Panel on Assembly Electoral Reform who said it left “No choice for voters between individual candidates” and “No accountability for individual Members directly to voters”.
The decision to use the D’Hondt method of allocating votes also threatens the proportionality of this new system, by creating a high bar for smaller parties to reach to ensure representation and see members elected. The use of D’Hondt is likely to make the end result only as proportional or even slightly less than the current system.
And, finally, Professor Laura McAllister, who is co-chair of the Independent Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales, and previously chaired the Assembly Expert Panel on Electoral Reform, referred to above.
The concerns are over the “closed proportional lists“, which are not proportional. In each of the 16 mega-constituencies voters will be offered a list of six candidates for each party. You will vote for the party, and get all six candidates.
The Electoral Reform Society warned that the proposed system is, “likely to make the end result only as proportional or even slightly less than the current system”. What this means in practice is that Labour could win a majority of the seats with an even smaller percentage of the vote than it achieved in the 2021 Senedd elections.
A combination of clever pairing coupled with the loss of regional seats could see the Conservatives almost wiped out.
Let’s call it what it is – it’s a stitch-up. I can understand Labour doing it, because this is how Labour has always operated; but Plaid Cymru have done themselves serious damage by going along with this corruption.
I’m dealing with it now because the Senedd is scheduled to vote on the proposals some time between now and September.
UPDATE 08.07.2023: This may be more complicated than I thought. But still designed to benefit Labour. A comment suggests that the six seats can be divided between different parties. Which means that a party winning 50% of the vote would get 3 seats. But what it also means is that there is a 16.6% threshold before a party can win a single seat. Which will of course rule out smaller parties.
UPDATE 09.07.2023: A further comment tells us there is to be an element of proportionality in the proposed system, “Within the super constituency, whichever party tops the poll gets the first seat, their vote then halved and whichever party is then top gets the second etc etc until all six are allocated”.
I begin to understand why we’ve had so little discussion – there may be few people who understand what’s being proposed. (I’m certainly sorry I started down this road.)
Devolution was sold to us as “bringing democracy closer to the people of Wales“. And indeed it could have done exactly that. But the Labour party in Wales is not very good at democracy; it never has been.
Labour in Wales has always been about power, patronage, and corruption. And because Labour has controlled devolved politics since 1999 not only have we seen our economy decline, our educational standards drop, and our NHS collapse, we’ve also seen a gradual erosion of democracy and accountability.
Despite what you’ve read some might still think I’m over-egging it by linking the World Economic Form with the Labour party, Extinction Rebellion and the rest, but hear me out.
What we see increasingly in Wales, at every level, and also across the globe, is the implementation of agendas without a democratic mandate or, in most cases, even public consultation.
After decades of grooming and influencing political leaders from across the Western world the WEF may be the most influential body on Earth. But do you remember ever voting for Klaus Schwab and the rest?
The ‘Welsh Government’ has an unconvincing mandate at the moment, but it wants to introduce an electoral system that is clearly intended to give the Labour party more power with even less support.
And then we complete the circle with the Green-Woke-Left pressure groups, most of them now funded by leading players at the WEF to ensure administrations follow the WEF agenda.
Where do you figure in all this? Where and when are your views asked for?
For Wales to be a prosperous, healthy country, and progressive in the true sense of the word, the people must have faith in those running the country, and the processes that put them in power, while also believing that the interests of Wales are being served, not those of swivel-eyed strangers imposing their damaging agendas.
That dream can never be realised as long as Labour uses a corrupt electoral system and other tactics to pursue what begins to look like a form of totalitarian control.
I hadn’t planned on writing this, but thinking about what’s happening to our major sporting bodies left me little alternative. It’s dressed up as reorganisation, or combatting sexism, misogyny, and other evils, but I believe these are a smokescreen for the true motivations.
Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about the promised piece on Bute Energy. That will still come out early next week.
My first thought – betraying the parochial side to my otherwise angelic nature – was, “I don’t remember any of them playing for the Swans“. I immediately slapped myself on the wrist and went on to read the article.
So who are these Independent Non-executive Directors of the FAW?
Chair Alys Carlton, on the left in the image above, was educated at Cheltenham Ladies College, Edinburgh University (French, Italian), and Nottingham Trent (Law).
She is clearly a ‘Welsh Government’ insider because nobody who wasn’t well-regarded in the Swamp would be ‘Vice Chair of Welsh Government’s Expert Panel on Supporting Entrepreneurial Women’. Nor would they be, ‘First Tier Judge – Mental Health Review Tribunal for Wales’.
Before branching out on her own, with Alys Carlton Consulting Ltd, in April 202o, Alys worked for Capital Law, one of the ‘Welsh Government’s favourite law firms, an outfit that sees a great deal of our money.
And I’m sure Capital Law has written to Old Jac after someone went running to them. “Tell him to stop being nasty!”
This guy would also appear to be well-connected with the movers and shakers in that city some 40-odd miles east of Swansea. I suggest that because he is also a non-executive director of the Millennium Stadium and Glamorgan County Cricket Club. The latter being the reason Wales has no national cricket team.
And after a career in ‘Data’ he too went solo, in April 2021, with Datamonet Ltd. Things seem to be going splendidly, with our boy as CEO and, er, sole employee.
The third member of this troika is Dr Carol Bell. (No ding-dong jokes!) Though in her case, she was re-‘elected’.
A coalminer’s grand-daughter from Felindre, north Swansea, she made important contacts at Cambridge which may have helped her land a job with Rio Tinto on graduating.
A former investment banker in the energy field, now turned archaeologist, and another Welsh speaker. Here’s her Linkedin page (Here in pdf format.)
Dr Bell is as well connected in Corruption Bay as the other two, and perhaps well beyond the Bay. We see Millennium Stadium in her trophy cabinet too, along with a few intriguing appointments. Such as non-executive director at the Development Bank of Wales.
We begin this section with a piece from last Friday’s Llais y Sais. As you can see below, it deals with two appointments to the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU).
Richard Collier-Keywood is described as the WRU’s “first independent chair“. Which I take to mean that he was not elected by the Union’s member clubs, as has been done in the past.
The piece also tells us that these are “appointments“, but not who made them. Which is odd. And the WRU website makes it clear that Collier-Keywood is to take over from current chair, Ieuan Evans. So can we assume that the appointments have been made by the WRU Board?
Now, we all know who Ieuan Evans is, he’s one of our all-time great players, but most of you will be wondering, “Who the hell is Richard Collier-Keywood, and where by do he come from?”.
I can tell you it’s not from round by ‘ere. Though both sources are keen to tell us that his mother had some connection to Maesteg and he may have enjoyed an ice cream or two in Porthcawl.
I’ll have more for you on Richard Collier-Keywood later.
Alison Thorne is another interesting appointment. Her Linkedin page will fill in more details. (Here in pdf format.) I draw particular attention to the most recent of her appointments, which you can see below.
Beyond any question of a doubt we are dealing with another denizen of the Swamp. A charming lady, no doubt, but as great-aunt Fastidia would say, in her characteristically earthy way: “Shit in the same latrine and you’ll share the smell“.
She even works for the ‘Welsh Government’ on public appointments!
And wearing a different hat, she’s the chair of the National Dance Company of Wales. Which – and I kid you not! – seeks “to deliver social change through dance“. Another way of saying, ‘Straight White men need not apply’.
Finally, she is the chair of trustees at housing association Barcud. This is interesting because, in theory, housing associations are now private companies. But a control-freak administration such as we see in Corruption Bay won’t give up control of anything.
A firm grip maintained by social housing bodies either having outstanding loans, or taking out fresh loans, or acquiring land from, the ‘Welsh Government’.
Maybe someone decided that giving Jones the job would have been too obviously political. Though on the plus side, he is Welsh, and knows something about rugby.
Instead, Richard Collier-Keywood was appointed. And it’s an odd appointment. As was suggested to me by someone who was in university with him.
My source told me the WRU’s new chair was a good tennis player in his younger days, with an interest in other racquet sports. But no interest in rugby; and Collier-Keywood never mentioned Wales, despite knowing that my source is 100% Welsh.
Strange that, for a man with a Welsh mam.
Let’s be clear. These are political appointments.
After creating what was reported by a loyal media as “turmoil” in our sporting bodies the ‘Welsh Government’, with the help of certain individuals ‘on the inside’, was able to engineer a situation that saw people parachuted in who are dependent on ‘Welsh Government’ patronage.
In the case of the WRU influence can be exerted because there are two outstanding loans on the Millennium Stadium (October 2020 and March 2022) with “The Welsh Ministers of the Welsh Government“. So it can be claimed that the appointees are simply there to safeguard the public interest.
This is the model alluded to earlier with housing associations. “We lend you money and to safeguard our investment we’ll have a big say in the running of your organisation“. Tony Soprano would immediately understand that model.
But is it ethical to use public assets to exercise political control, and promote a political agenda lacking public support?
It’s less clear how Corruption Bay got its claws into the Welsh FA.
But the important point is that both the Football Association of Wales and The Welsh Rugby Union are very high profile organisations. Many Welsh people can be influenced by them. Controlling them therefore becomes politically desirable.
Not least because either or both might go ‘off-message’. With fans supporting the national football team singing Yma o Hyd some people were getting worried.
Talking of using our sporting associations to influence public opinion, I wonder what Billy Meredith or John Charles would have made of what you see below, from last Saturday’s Pride parade in Cardiff?
Incredible welcome from everyone @PrideCymru march for @FAWales showcasing that football is for everyone!
The tweet was put out by Jason Webber, who is – and you’d never have guessed! – ‘Senior Equality, Diversity, Inclusion & Integrity Manager at the Football Association of Wales’. If he’s the senior manager, then there must be lesser mortals doing similar work.
Yeah, that’ll help us qualify for Euros and World Cups.
My worry is that, “Football is for everyone” means that full-grown men pretending to be women will be allowed to play with and against young girls. And of course, they must also be allowed to share facilities.
Because on matters like this the ‘Welsh Government’ takes orders from Stonewall.
What we see at the WRU and FAW are not isolated examples of political interference. For I’ve detected a growing trend of such ‘appointments’. One I wrote about earlier this year involved the then Brecon Beacons National Park Authority (BBNPA).
These appointments were justified as being done to promote inclusivity and diversity. Woman of colour, disabled man . . .
We then had a contrived and very public debate over the change of name to Bannau Brycheiniog. Which served to draw attention away from the fact that what had really changed was that Labour had now taken full control of the BBNPA.
So, on one level, these manoeuvrings increase the ‘Welsh Government’s control over public and other bodies. And then, given what I explained in my previous blog piece, it also gives easier access to pressure groups, whose diktats the clown show in the Bay will dress up as its own policies.
But there’s also a third element that becomes obvious the more we look at these appointments.
THOSE WHO WOULD BE KINGS
The rash of appointments being made in Wales obviously extends the influence of the ‘Welsh Government’, for the Swamp is the immediate and obvious beneficiary; and then there are the pressure groups, but it doesn’t end there.
The appointments are also being made in order to implement ESG. And if those letters mean nothing to you, let me explain that they stand for Environmental and Social Governance.
Who could object to such desirable ambitions? Er, me. The awkward bugger at the back.
Because as with so much else produced by the WEF, you have to poke around behind the words to see what they really mean. Read the panel below, from the WEF website I’ve just linked to, and then I’ll explain it.
” . . . social justice protests have drawn attention to gaps in diversity, equity, and inclusion; and the impacts of climate change and the importance of environmental sustainability are becoming harder, if not impossible, to ignore.”
“Social justice protests” is a euphemism for the riots that caused death and destruction in so many US cities following the death of George Floyd during a botched police arrest.
And then we get “climate change” and and “environmental sustainability“, straight out of the climate alarmists’ handbook.
Which ties in neatly with Dr Carol Bell of the FAW working for Blackrock.
And it explains Alison Thorne of the WRU delivering “social change through dance“. (Did youse ever in yer natural read such sententious bollocks!)
The terpsichoreans seeking to deliver this social change can be found – in case you’re minded to join! – at Dance House, which is in the Millennium Stadium.
The self-styled ‘Welsh Government’ is taking control, through appointees, and by other means, such as funding, of as many organisations as it possibly can.
Which means that a political party gaining roughly one fifth of the available votes will soon exert a stranglehold on Welsh life. With Drakeford and his sorry troupe of inadequates just puppets operated by pressure groups and Globalists lacking any mandate at all.
For betraying Wales in this way the so-called ‘Welsh Government’ will get a pat on the head from Uncle Claus in Davos. And then everybody’s happy – ‘Welsh Government’, pressure groups, and World Economic Forum.
I hadn’t planned on writing this, but you know how it is, you learn of 300 ‘refugees’ coming to a place where you’ve sunk a few pints, and then you discover a previously unknown publishing empire in the same town . . . well, it becomes difficult to turn down the opportunity.
Maybe I should explain that ‘Sosban’ is the nickname for Llanelli, after the local anthem, Sosban Fach, which was always sung at Stradey Park, the old home of Llanelli RFC, and after which the Stradey Park Hotel is named. This being the destination for those 300 ‘refugees’.
And yes, I was there at Stradey Park on the great day in 1972 when the Scarlets beat the All Blacks 9 – 3. A few of us travelled down from Harlech, stayed at the Ivy Bush in Carmarthen. I got utterly rat-arsed that night.
I suppose I should conclude this intro by explaining that the indigenes of ‘Sosban’, with their unique accent, are called ‘Turks’. I have no idea why. Does anybody know?
The assumption that some of these ‘refugees’ will be Turks or Turkish Kurds explains the title of this little offering. Clever, innit?
Then, yesterday, came the report below in Llais y Sais, by Branwen Jones, telling that a ‘network’ had been set up to help the “asylum seekers“. Before even reading the piece I knew what it was about – Leftists exploiting illegal immigrants to attack the working class and decent, concerned locals.
Which is how it works nowadays.
Since the Left gave up on the working class, and aligned itself with many of the biggest corporations and some of the richest men on the planet, the formerly downtrodden victims of capitalism have become ‘racists’, ‘transphobes’, ‘Islamophobes’, etc.
Not that the working class has changed. It’s just that the Left and its brainwashed followers now march to the sound of the Globalists’ drum. They don’t understand where they’re marching to, but then, the modern Left is about theatrics not socialist theory.
As the reports make clear, locals were understandably concerned by these reports of 300 or more unvetted migrants being brought into their community, and so a public meeting was held on Sunday night at the Selwyn Samuel Centre. The biggest public meeting seen in Llanelli for some years.
The BBC was invited to attend, but did not show. If anybody from the Beeb had turned up they would have heard ex-cop Steve Williams lay into the council for not informing local people about the plan, let alone consulting them. (Genuine Turk accent.)
A name you’ll see mentioned in the piece about the ‘network’ is Steve Kelshaw. Local Leftist who’s been involved with refugees in the past. (I omit the quotes because the Syrians Kelshaw was working with may have been genuine refugees.)
After reading the piece in yesterday’s ‘paper I went online to see what else I could turn up. And blow me! there was an online version of the same piece, but from last Saturday, and with a different headline; this one saying, “community unites to support asylum seekers“.
Which as we know is absolute bollocks!
For as you’ve read, the “local community” turned up in their hundreds, at the Selwyn Samuel Centre, to show how pissed off they are with the whole farrago.
But the online version was written before the public meeting. And obviously, after that meeting, there was no hope of sustaining the claim made in the original headline. So “community” had to become “network“.
The Cambrian News report is basically the one followed by the others. Except that the CN piece quoted a council spokesperson saying:
“The proposal and engagement by Clearsprings (the Home Office private housing provider) has been disappointing, giving the council no confidence that they understand the local or national context they intend to work within”.
The other reports neglected to mention the role of controversial Clearsprings.
Local journalist Robert Lloyd tells us the BBC was invited to the public meeting but did not turn up. Lloyd seems to work as an In Your Area stringer for Retch, which owns Llais y Sais and its online version, WalesOnline.
But why has he got it in for the BBC?
Because Tuesday’s Wales at Six opened with, “Some local people are protesting . . . “. Then it covered the cancelled wedding . . . . But later, it reported, ” . . . on Sunday around 400 people attended a public meeting . . . “.
But that was 6:30pm on the 30th. Lloyd’s tweet is timed at 7:10am that day. Had earlier BBC versions not mentioned the public meeting?
Anyway, let’s not get bogged down in what may be personal. We can reasonably assume that Branwen Jones of Llais y Sais got her version of the story from stringer Robert Lloyd. But if so, why didn’t she mention the public meeting?
All very confusing. But then I got to wondering who else might have been pushing the story with their own interpretation.
THE SOSBANWIDE WEB
My search of the interweb was now taking me up some blind alleys, but then I found another report from May 26, and from the Llanelli Standard.
It’s basically a shorter version of the other ‘support network’ reports.
I must confess, I’d never heard of the Llanelli Standard. Perhaps most people west of the Llwchwr have never heard of it either. But the website says: “The Llanelli Standard is the new newspaper for Llanelli, by people from Llanelli and based in Llanelli. The Llanelli Standard is managed by Red Brand Media”.
So, it’s obviously, er, Llanelli.
But it does seem to have crossed that mighty torrent to launch the Swansea Standard. I just hope that it’s “a newspaper for Swansea, by people from Swansea and based in Swansea”.
The ‘About’ page of the Llanelli Standard is good for a few laughs. Not least this claim, for I would suggest otherwise.
The West Wales Chronicle and the Llanelli Standard are both politically neutral
And as evidence I would present the headline we read earlier suggesting that the community around the Stradey Park Hotel was preparing a carpet of fragrant blooms to welcome the Sons of the Prophet who will surely appear.
Unless of course they’re representatives of Albanian drugs gangs, or others of an entrepreneurial bent.
The ‘About’ page also says, “The Llanelli Standard is published by Red Brand Media and owned by CETMA”. So who are they?
There’s Keith Elwyn Evans-Hurley, who in other entries prefixes his name with ‘Lord’. There’s David Jonathan Williams. And then there’s 83-year-old Eunydd Ashley Brynmor Thomas.
Interesting character, our Eunydd.
He was the Labour councillor for Llwynhendy on Carmarthenshire county council. But, in 2004, he took advantage of a scheme by the Notional Assembly for Wales to retire, and trousered a golden handshake of at least £16,000.
People are reluctant to vote for the undead, even in Llwynhendy.
Fellow candidate Meilyr Bowen Hughes, of Plaid Cymru, said: “It’s a loophole that should have plugged by the Welsh Assembly Government.” He added he was “very unhappy” with explanations given to him why that had not happened.
That’s enough distractions. What I’ve tried to do with these detours is open a few eyes as to how a story makes it into the national news.
THE BIT AT THE END
Given that the council knew of the plan for three to four weeks before it eventually broke it’s reasonable to assume that the council was the source of the story.
There is massive public outrage over the plan, and over the council hiding it from the public for so long. But this element of the story is either being ignored, or massaged to push the line taken by Llais y Sais and others – the burghers of Llanelli offering up their wives and daughters to comfort the eagerly-awaited ‘asylum seekers’.
Yesterday’s piece in Llais y Sais focused entirely on the Leftist support network with no mention of the public meeting. This is not balanced journalism.
Clearly, the media emphasis has shifted from protest to ‘support network’, with some wanting us to believe there are no protestors. Or that the few there are can be dismissed with the usual slanders.
Which would be bullshit. But they may be getting away with it! And that should make you wonder how much of what you are told in the ‘Welsh’ media is bullshit.
Because everything put out by the media in Wales must meet certain criteria. And so to help you – well, you know me! – here they are. But remember! they’ll be inferred or alluded to, rather than stated outright:
Reporting must adhere to the Unionist line. Supporting devolution is allowed but nothing going any further.
The Woke-Left diktats must be obeyed. Men can have babies; ‘refugees’ are all genuine, and must be welcomed; White people are usually racist.
The biggest threat to humankind is the ‘climate catastrophe’.
Basically, the Globalist agenda. Understand that and you’ll make far more sense of the bilge coming out of Cardiff every day.
And I’ll leave you with something else to think about. As our local press declines it is being increasingly replaced by political activists funded directly or, more usually, indirectly, by the ‘Welsh Government’ in ‘community journalism’.
But all done in the interests of “maintaining a healthy local democracy“.
I’m sorry I haven’t put out anything for a few weeks, but there’s just been too much to write about, and my lack of self-discipline has resulted in me being too easily distracted, too often.
So here goes, again. With a story that in my opinion is not being properly interpreted. What you’re about to read is my explanation for the adoption of the name Bannau Brycheiniog by the national park formerly known as the Brecon Beacons.
Unless you’ve been trapped underground, cast away on a desert island, or living in Treherbert, you’ll know that the Brecon Beacons National Park recently dropped the English version of its name to be known exclusively as Bannau Brycheiniog.
And the rebranding produced an outpouring of balderdash such as this old blogger has rarely seen.
Though few reached the depth of silliness plumbed by the Park’s chief executive, Catherine Mealing-Jones. The traditional flaming brazier logo had been discarded because it didn’t fit with these times of global warming, she wailed, as she zipped up her Eskimo Nell™ anorak to avoid the icy April blasts.
Here’s the headline from The Times.
But the ‘climate crisis’ is a global fear campaign engendered by those, in the UN and the World Economic Forum, wishing to control your behaviour.
They’ve influenced governments around the world to brainwash millions of kids. That we then have so many worried or even unhinged youngsters is used as proof of the ‘climate crisis’, when in reality it’s proof of brainwashing.
In the Bannau debate the climate hysteria angle was bad enough, but certain sections of the English media seemed to view the changes as Woke. Here’s the headline from the Telegraph.
Now you know me, nobody’s more alert to the lunacies of Wokeness than old Jac, but I didn’t quite see it that way. Worse, for some English writers, Wokeness seemed to be code for anti-Englishness.
Yet the name change, the rebranding, and the bollocks about climate change, was all a distraction from the real story. So pay attention!
Let’s begin by saying that in my view there’s nothing wrong with the name change. ‘Beacons’ may have been a misnomer anyway. Were there ever warning beacons lit there? If so, who were they warning? And who were they warning against?
Look out! A charabanc from Dowlais is heading up the A470!
And as a regular contact pointed out, few people will use the new name anyway. Partly because, unlike the recent name change of ‘Snowdonia’ to ‘Eryri’, it’s too long, and fewer people speak Welsh in Bannau Brycheiniog than in Eryri.
Though to end this section on a lighter note, our ‘Welsh’ TV newsreaders should provide hours of mirth with their mangled pronunciations of Bannau Brycheiniog.
For a few years I’ve been writing about the ‘interesting’ people turning up in south Powys, an area almost co-terminus with Bannau Brycheiniog.
There’s a temptation to just dismiss them as good-lifers, but I believe there’s more to it than that. Some are on a mission.
That latter interpretation certainly applies to those involved at Black Mountains College (BMC). An institution founded by people who had previously worked for George Soros, a man viewed by some as a philanthropist, and by others – including me – as someone on a mission to undermine Western society.
The video below, produced by BMC, makes it clear that the college seeks to enrol those who have already been frightened witless over climate change. Attracting scared kids to Coleg Soros with the promise that they can, “re-engineer the future”.
The video also tells us: “our current predicament is man-made”. And indeed it is.
I believe that Black Mountains College now acts as a ‘hub’ or information exchange for climate alarmists, and this role is encouraged – and funded – by Corruption Bay. Which uses the same illusory threat as justification for imposing 20mph speed limits, waging war on farmers, and generally making us poorer, and our lives more miserable.
The hub may be needed because there’s quite a lot happening in the area.
For a start, let’s remember that Gilestone farm is just a few miles from Coleg Soros. Whatever was planned for Gilestone before the fan was overwhelmed with excrement, I guarantee it would have been justified on ‘environmental’ grounds.
Nonsense of course. It was done to give the ‘Welsh Government’ greater control over the policies and direction of the national park.
The last Conservative member of the park authority, Iain McIntosh, has now resigned. Which leaves a national park authority, with control over planning and other matters, and in a constituency represented in London by a Tory MP, and in Cardiff by a Tory MS, controlled by the Labour party.
But this is how Labour has always operated in Wales. And we see it again with yet another new body ‘tacking climate change’.
Topping the bill is former Labour Assembly Member and Minister for Saving Welsh Polar Bears Jane Davidson. She it was who gave Wales One Planet Developments. Hoping to realise her vision of the Welsh countryside repopulated with frightfully nice English smallholders and OPD dwellers.
Little room for the Welsh in that vision. And there’s little Welsh presence in the group headed by La Davidson.
What we do see is the Green Heath Robinsons at the Centre for Alternative Technology, who’ve received tens of millions of public funding. Our non-Welsh universities are of course represented. As is Coleg Soros, in the form of Art Garfunkel lookalike Ben Rawlence.
(How many such bodies and publications does one small country need!)
It’s a strange document. A mixture of platitudes, anguished concerns for the future, and the kind of ‘Welshness’ John Ford gave us with his adaptation of How Green Was My Valley.
For example, there are regular appearances by an imaginary family named Brychan. They also have impeccably Welsh forenames – Ioan, Mair, Dafydd – in an area becoming less and less Welsh through the activities of the kind of people you’re reading about.
There’s even a Brychan family tree (page 127)! It’s truly weird. Almost unsettling.
Take the ‘Letter from Sian (sic) Brychan to her daughter Megan’, February 20th 2042 (page 75). I suppose some reading this will be reassured to think that we’ll still be writing letters in 2042. Or at least the Brychans will.
In fact, they’re writing to each other all the bloody time. Don’t they talk?
By a painful irony the Brychans are described as, “seventh generation farmers here in the Bannau Brycheiniog” . . . which makes them the very people Green zealots want to remove from the area.
Aside from the Brychans a number of old favourites appear in Y Bannau. Coleg Soros, again; the greenwashers at Stump up for Trees; the secretive Beacons Water Group; and many more favourites that have appeared on this blog.
Perhaps all you really need to know about this management plan is that the foreword comes from Julie James, Minister for Climate Change, and the document first saw the light of day in Corruption Bay, not Brecon.
This is the ‘Welsh Government’s plan for Y Bannau. And if they and their cronies can get away with it, they’ll try it on elsewhere.
There must now be hundreds of Labour-connected enviro-shysters whizzing around Wales – in cars we pay for – attending meetings where they earnestly discuss how to cut emissions and save the planet.
Which tells that the genius behind the re-branding was one Jordan Thorne, who is 34 and has a company called Creo, described by the Mail as “a Cardiff-based marketing agency which has in recent years won a series of lucrative public sector contracts”.
Let’s just flick through the accounts for the Creo companies, see if anything catches Jac’s jaundiced eye. (Though, actually, they’re skeletal ‘unaudited financial statements’.)
Creo Digital shows total assets of £300,172 but has a net deficit of -£55,253.
Creo Interactive Ltd reveals total assets of £522,250 (previous year £365,043); reducing to net assets of £466,437.
Creo Group Holdings Ltd shows total assets of £375,100, made up of fixed assets of £375,000. Taking out liabilities leaves a net figure of -£4,529.
Control over Creo Interactive is exercised by Creo Digital; and Creo Digital is, predictably, controlled by the holding company. Where the 100 shares are split equally between Ward, Coakley, Thorne and Shaw.
Maybe the fixed asset is the Creo premises in the old St Cadoc’s church at 76 Wells Street, Cardiff. Naturally, I wondered who owned it, so I shuffled over to the Land Registry website.
I’m a ‘creative’, do you think I could get a DBW loan?
On a more serious note, seeing as it’s wholly owned by the ‘Welsh Government’, is there genuine scrutiny or oversight of the DBW? And while I’m not suggesting that Labour supporters are favoured by the DBW with its loans policy, I can understand why some might think that.
The MailOnline went big on Thorne’s politics, without properly understanding them. Though the boy has said some nasty things. As the headline put it:
Corbyn-loving Twitter troll and Welsh separatist whose vile posts tell Margaret Thatcher to ‘burn in hell’ and call Conservative ministers ‘Tory scum’
Why are modern Leftists so thoroughly unpleasant? So vindictive? So personal? The kindest thing one can say is that it’s infantile. For let’s remember that Thorne is too young to even remember Margaret Thatcher.
Clearly, he’s far left, and was a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn. Then, like a number of other Corbynistas, he turned to Yes Cymru. Though not because he cares about Wales but because he sees Welsh independence as a vehicle for his socialism.
Jordan Thorne wants a Welsh socialist republic. Just like the other Corbyn entryists who nearly wrecked Yes Cymru a couple of years back. (I wrote about it extensively.)
I must admit that I’d never heard of Jordan Thorne. Yet it seems Yes Cymru values him highly enough to have put out a tweet in his defence on Saturday.
I believe that leaping to his defence can be put down to Thorne being a socialist, and the attack coming from a ‘Tory’ source.
Yes Cymru then tried to reassure us that it is neither left nor right, with this tweet yesterday morning. But just a few hours before, had put out the tweet below.
What the hell has Welsh independence got to do with illegal immigrants crossing from France to England? The answer should be – Nothing.
But what the tweet above reveals is that whoever wrote it wants an independent Wales with open borders. A socialist Wales. A Wales following the Globalist agenda.
The stances taken by the loudest elements in Yes Cymru; on immigration, gender ID, climate hysteria, ‘White supremacy’, and all the other Woke nonsense only serves to alienate many in a socially conservative country, making independence less likely.
Jordan Thorne and Creo got the rebranding contract due to Labour party connections. Thorne joining Yes Cymru may be part of Labour’s infiltration of that organisation.
For there have been other attempts, such as the absurd ‘Labour for an Independent Wales‘ (linked with, ‘DUP for a 32-County Republic’). Plus individual Corbynistas and Momentum members have been identified on this blog and elsewhere.
And let’s not forget that Labour is a control-freak party that wants to run just about every organisation in the country. Labour will often use the Welsh language to placate the easily duped, and to disguise its true intentions.
The name change was the dead cat thrown on the table to distract the media and those who rely on the media to do their thinking for them. It’s really about the takeover of Bannau Brycheiniog by a political party with no democratic mandate.
Done so that it can implement the Globalists’ Net Zero lunacies, and in so doing, ‘re-model’ the landscape, the economy, even the demographics of the area.
Having succeeded in south Powys Labour can now impose its will – and its supporters – on other areas that do not vote Labour. It must be done this way because . . .
Despite its dominant role Labour is a minority party. Winning the votes of less than 20% of the electorate in 2021. This is another reason why the party must rely on corruption and cronyism to exert control. With many of the cronies imported.
In practical terms this insidious spread of Labour influence, this crony shadow state, means that even if Labour was to lose the next Senedd elections in 2026 (unlikely given the rigged ‘party list’ system it wants to introduce) it could carry on running Wales – for it would take years to dismantle the system Labour had created.
Clearly, Wales is not a democracy. Wales is run as a one-party state. Shame on Plaid Cymru for lending this corrupt system a veneer of credibility with its support.
I for one would shed no tears if Westminster chose to restore some semblance of democracy to Wales.
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!
Ah! the Brangwyn Hall. I remember being slung out of there many years ago. It was a Labour Party do, with that son of Abersychan, Roy Jenkins, topping the bill. (Ere he and others left to form the SDP.)
Anyway, Woy had got to the bit in his peroration where he proclaimed to the assembly that he too was Welsh . . . at which point a young Jac jumped up and shouted ‘You’re no Welshman!’ (My outburst may have contained an expletive attributive.)
I was immediately attacked by some old crow sitting behind me, who laid into me with her umbrella! A possible headline from the Evening Post flashed through my mind – ‘Nationalist yob beaten to death by umbrella-wielding Labour granny’.
I was saved from this undignified and premature fate by the ‘stewards’ (i.e. Labour heavies) dragging me off towards the huge front doors. With a few reminders along the way that my contribution was not appreciated. (‘Troublemaker, ew are!’)
‘PROGRESSIVE’ MELIN DRAFOD
In this section I shall refer more than once to the briefly successful far Left takeover of YesCymru in 2020 and 2021.
I wrote about this extensively at the time and so, to catch up with what I wrote, type ‘YesCymru’ in the search box atop the sidebar.
The event later this month in the Brangwyn is organised by think tank Melin Drafod. And you don’t need to think too hard to realise what anyone attending is likely to hear.
All the speakers are on the Left. Or the far Left. Or the Woke Left. Call it what you will.
But ‘progressive’ is the label behind which they all hide nowadays. Such a nice word, harmless and unthreatening. Who among us could object to ‘progress‘?
Me. Because I recognise rebranded Marxism.
Helping me appreciate that the ‘progress’ demanded by those who’ll gather where a young Jac was assaulted by a Bolshie harridan is worrying.
But let Melin Drafod speak for itself:
‘Not independence for its own sake’. What is that trying to say – patriotism is not enough? Or is it a veiled threat to scupper any form of independence that doesn’t meet with the approval of the far Left?
There is so much to read into that section.
My views on ‘climate change’ are well known – it’s not happening. The myth is being kept alive by ‘environmentalists’ and others who’ve staked their reputations on it and can’t afford to backtrack, with supranational bodies thinking ‘global warming’ gives them the excuse to control human behaviour worldwide.
And does anyone seriously believe that racism is a ‘scourge’ in modern Wales? Who but the seriously unhinged could insult us by equating Wales in 2023 with Arkansas or the Transvaal a few decades back?
Only perhaps those with a vested interest in using the allegation of ‘racism’ to slander political opponents and to promote their own interests.
The latter might apply to Melin Drafod National Committee member Harriet Protheroe-Soltani, of the Wales Refugee Council. Like all third sector bodies, this one thrives by inventing or exaggerating a problem – and then demanding funding to tackle that problem.
Ms Protheroe-Soltani of Momentum was also employed by YesCymru when it fell briefly under the control of the far Left in 2020 / 2021.
Sam Coates is another member of the National Committee.
His Twitter account tells that he is a socialist first, then a Welshman. Which would appear to bear out that for these ‘progressives’ Wales comes second to their ideological priorities.
Significantly, perhaps, there’s no mention of independence.
And, again, it’s worth returning to the far Left takeover of YesCymru, for Coates wrote this essay in July 2021, and it’s revealing. (Available here in pdf format.) Not just about Coates but about the others who’ll be at the Brangwyn later this month.
He writes: ‘In 2017, I rocked up to the Hen Coleg yn Aberystwyth on a baking hot day to attend YesCymru’s AGM. It was a friendly room of about 50 people, mostly middle age, and mostly white.’
‘Mostly white’ – in a country that is 95% White! Would Coates and the comrades be happier if YesCymru was a majority non-White organisation, and therefore grotesquely unrepresentative of Wales?
As unrepresentative as those who’ll be at the Brangwyn Hall.
Referring to the rigged YesCymru elections of May 2021 that saw the far Left briefly take control, Coates writes: ‘Hundreds of members attended the online event, and used a voting tool used by many other political organisations to choose members of the new Central Committee’.
It would appear that when he wrote of those ‘hundreds’ voting Coates had forgotten that a few paragraphs earlier he’d talked of YesCymru having 18,000 members. Presenting us with the obvious question: why were just 2-3% of the members able / allowed to vote?
But let’s remember some of the tweets from ‘progressives’ celebrating victory!
Coates’ whole essay is an apology for an attempted far Left takeover; and it’s riddled with inaccuracies, misrepresentations and outright lies.
The other members of Melin Drafod’s National Committee seem to be Plaid Cymru members, and others who were involved in the near-destruction of YesCymru in 2021. I’m thinking of Llywelyn ap Gwilym, and Siôn Jobbins, Chair of YesCymru who eventually jumped ship.
Then we have Elin Hywel and Colin Nosworthy of Undod, the source of so much of the poison that almost finished off YesCymru.
And of course there are one or two on the National Committee from the Labour Party.
WHO’S COMING TO THE SUMMIT AND WHO’S NOT INVITED?
Let’s start by listing those political parties and organisations that are not invited by Melin Drafod (or whoever) to the portentously dubbed ‘Independence Summit’.
First off, there’s the party to which I belong, Gwlad. Then there’s Propel. There’s also the Sovereign Party / Plaid Sofren. So without going too far, we’ve already found three registered political parties, with councillors, made up of serious and experienced people, with all three parties committed to Welsh independence.
So why didn’t Melin Drafod invite them?
The listed speakers are advertised as follows . . .
‘Anthony Slaughter (Wales Green Party Leader), Adam Price MS (Plaid Cymru Leader), Cllr Rachel Garrick (Welsh Labour for Independence), Sam Coates (Undod), Gwern Evans (YesCymru), Luke Fletcher MS, Mirain Owen (Cymdeithas yr Iaith) and others’.
So let’s begin with Slaughter, and remind everyone that there is no Wales Green Party! There is only the Wales branch of the Green Party of England.
In 2018 Green Party members in Wales had the chance to create a separate Wales Green Party, they voted not to. The main reason for that was that most Green Party members in Wales are English.
Then, last year, the Green Party of England in Wales claimed to be in favour of Welsh independence! Plaid Cymru fell for it and was happy to enter some sort of agreement with them.
No individual, group, or party, sincere about Welsh independence, should even talk to a colonialist outfit that refuses to even recognise the existence of our country.
Plaid Cymru I’ll leave until last.
‘Welsh Labour for Independence’ (WLfI) is another piece of nonsense. Labour is a Unionist party. Any Labour member who wants independence is in the wrong party. Maybe some now realise that.
During the struggle for YesCymru LfIW was prominent in undermining sensible committee members and replacing them with some real nutters. Working from the shadows was Rob Lloyd of Prestatyn, while out there on the Welshpool barricades was Benji Gwalchmai.
Where are they now? How I miss them!
We already know all we need to know about Sam Coates and Undod.
Yet he brings another Aberystwyth connection to the party. Which I’ll explore shortly.
Cymdeithas yr Iaith is not worth dwelling on. Hopelessly Woke it overlaps with Undod and other far Left groups like Plaid Cymru’s youth wing, Plaid Ifanc, where pronouns are of paramount importance.
So, finally, let’s give some thought to Plaid Cymru which, in most people’s eyes, is ‘the nationalist party’, and the leading voice for Welsh independence.
On the one hand, Plaid activists seem to be more at home at Gay Pride parades than at marches for independence; while the party is being eaten away from the inside by a combination of back-stabbing and sexual misbehaviour.
The party tries to keep things under wraps but news of the obsession with other people’s ‘bits’ inevitably reaches the public domain.
When it’s like this at the top of the party – and I mean, the very top – then no one should be surprised that lower down the pecking order we find bizarre behaviour.
The image below (which I pixelated) is of someone who works for a Plaid Cymru MS showing what he proposes to do when he catches whoever is behind an anonymous ‘I know what you did!’ Twitter account accusing him of . . .
Plaid Cymru is a mess, however you look at it, and from top to bottom. To say it’s lost its way would be wrong . . . for that would suggest Plaid’s leadership in recent decades ever knew where it was going.
I think Plaid Cymru is now too far gone for the change of leadership Arfon Jones calls for to make any difference. My view is that Plaid should do the honest thing and merge with Labour.
They deserve each other.
RUM, REGGAE, AND ‘AN UNTAINTED, LEFT-WING, WELSH ALTERNATIVE’
I mentioned earlier that Aberystwyth businessman, Gwern Evans, is CEO of YesCymru. And he’s not the only one speaking at the Brangwyn bash from that lovely town where a dashing young blade spent a weekend in the police cells.
For Melin Drafod Chair, Dr Talat Chaudhri is mayor of the town. Also living in Aber’ is secretary Mererid Boswell, and former chair of YesCymru, Siôn Jobbins.
UPDATE: I am indebted to Jon Coles for telling us that Colin Nosworthy is a press officer for Aberystwyth University.
And there may be others with Aberystwyth connections. Not Sam Coates, obviously; not after his chastening experience of stumbling into a gathering of the Llanbadarn chapter of the Afrikaner Broederbond.
However you cut it, Aber’ will be over-represented at this Swansea gig. And then I came across something last week, which is intriguing, but needs an intro.
There is an intermittent column in the Cambrian News by a Gareth James.
This was the piece drawn to my attention, last November. It contained this line: ‘Like it or not, mid Wales is woke, for mid Wales is about sharing mid Wales with everyone’, plus a few passages that the source interpreted as threats against those who refused to accept Wokeness.
Then, a couple of weeks later, came this extraordinary piece calling for Dyfed Powys Police to be more ‘woke’, following what the writer interpreted as racial profiling that targets his sons. (Here in pdf format.)
You’ll also see, at the top of the article ‘The View from the Vaults’, these being the Weston Vaults pub in Aberystwyth. Now renamed Irie’s Rum Bar and Reggae Lounge.
Another long, rambling piece, but when I read the final paragraph a light went on in my head – a new political party that is ‘an untainted, left-wing, Welsh alternative’.
Is Gareth James trying to tell us something?
Is this what Talat Chaudhri, Sam Coates and the rest have in mind? Is this what Melin Drafod is hoping comes out of the Brangwyn Hall meeting?
Whether it’s a new party or simply closer co-operation between existing far Left groups, this Independence Summit looks like another attempt by the far Left to take over the independence movement.
If so, then it becomes the duty of those of us with a broader view of Wales to challenge these people. For if it became accepted among the general public that these fanatics are the only ones wanting independence then Wales is finished.
Independence must promise, and deliver, the inclusivity the far Left always demands of others but never practices itself.
I have warned many times before, and I make no apologies for doing so again, that what these Green-Woke-Leftists want is independence for a small country whose politicians can then be bullied and blackmailed into implementing their fantasies.
This capture from the website of Labour for an Independent Wales reminds us that, for them, independence is simply the route to socialism.
It’ll be something like the Wales we know today: a country falling apart at the seams because weak politicians are dominated by lobbyists, pressure groups and third sector organisations. But it’ll be a hell of a lot worse!
There’ll be nothing in it for you and me, Dai. For our people; or for our Wales.
Attention then seemed to switch to global warming, but with this prospect still bringing colder weather for north west Europe. For it was believed that global warming would detach huge sheets of ice from the Greenland shelf; these would float southwards and redirect the Gulf Stream.
As a student of history brought up in a moderately religious family it’s fascinating to see a combination of a (would-be) global elite, scientists, politicians and political activists, set up what is in effect their own ‘church’.
Those listed could be compared to a College of Cardinals, bishops, priests, and lay brethren. So it’s worth remembering that . . .
The medieval Church frightened our forefathers with the prospect of eternal damnation, while the new orthodoxy offers lurid prophesies of global disaster; the striking similarity due to the same desired outcome – to exert control over people by frightening them with the prospect of a terrible but unverifiable fate if they don’t obey.
If we accept that analogy, then we are in some kind of time-warp where blind obedience is demanded, and no questions are tolerated. Rejecting the prevailing orthodoxy makes one a heretic.
I say that because anyone questioning the ‘science’ today is treated as a heretic would have been in the time of the Inquisition. With today’s heretics, like their predecessors, usually knowing more about the ‘science’ than their persecutors and the whipped-up mob demanding its entertainment.
Thankfully, there’s a ‘Reformation’ in the offing. It will inevitably lead to a ‘Counter-Reformation’; which will – through an excess of zealotry coupled with a paucity of supporting evidence – succeed only in further discrediting what had previously been so widely accepted.
CONTROL THE MESSAGE
The current spell of warm weather being exaggerated by the Met Office and the media into a threat to the human race will be of short duration compared to 1976.
People having to choose between heating their homes and eating this coming winter will be due to environmental zealots forcing on us measures to combat a non-existent climate emergency. As a result, winter deaths will be ignored; or if they are noted they will be attributed to ‘extreme weather’, which will of course be linked to the climate emergency.
Another parallel we can draw between today’s environmental establishment and earlier belief systems is their need to control what people see, read, and hear.
That means radio, television, newspapers and magazines.
Which is why, in spite of censorship, and algorithms, ‘fact-checking’ and Big Tech rooting out ‘disinformation’ (i.e. ‘heretical’ thoughts), we should still be grateful for the internet. Fulfilling as it does the role of a latter-day printing press.
This control over the established media is both global – though especially pernicious in the Anglophone world – and local.
Wales is not immune to attempts to promote the globalists’ Word at all costs. Even when it means misrepresentation and outright lies.
SOMEONE’S TELLING PORKIES
Monday last week saw the ‘Welsh media’ mount what was clearly a concerted effort to frighten us with images of a dried-up river in Pembrokeshire. All due, it was inferred, to global warming.
But things were not as they seemed. Here are the images.
Now, at first sight, and to those who might not know the area, those images of dried and cracked mud would suggest a river drying up. But as I say, things are not as they seem.
For the Carew River – that’s Carew Castle in the images – is nothing more than a tidal creek. It flows into the Cleddau and on past Milford Haven to the sea.
Not only that, but there’s a dam, which holds back water to create a mill pond. Although no longer operational, the mill has been restored. And it’s the only tidal mill in Wales.
Which means that the expanse of mud shown in the images is indicative of nothing more than the extent of the mill pond when the tide is in, or when the dam is operating.
This clip from an Ordnance Survey map might explain it better.
And if you click here you’ll go to a site that tells you more about the mill. Scroll down to the bottom and you’ll see a nice picture of all that ugly mud covered over. In fact, I’m told the mill pond is normally full.
People, myself included, pointed out on Twitter and elsewhere that the images used by the BBC and WalesOnline were misleading. And so, by Wednesday, the caption had changed to say that the image showed the Carew River at ‘low tide’.
Fair enough. But if that’s the Carew at low tide, what’s the message?
The photographer, Matthew Horwood, had clearly gone up in his balloon for the image used by the Telegraph on Wednesday. But at least, in this image the dam is clearly visible.
Yet the caption still claims that the image shows ‘low water levels’. Which is wrong. The level of water in the Carew is quite normal – just look beyond the dam.
For he was at it again on Saturday. This time, with photographs of Llwyn-on reservoir, near Merthyr Tudful. Though the person who sent me the link remarked that the grass we see might suggest the ground has been exposed for some time.
Someone else noticed that the photographs used on Saturday seemed very similar to photographs used in this report from 2020.
Yes, the economy tanked; yes, the people were hungry. But it came about because the political elite in Sri Lanka followed the dictates of the World Economic Forum (WEF) and made its farmers go organic.
Nearer to home, the government of the Netherlands also wants farmers to use less fertiliser, which the government knows will put many farmers out of business, and so the government has offered to buy their farms.
But nothing is being reported by the BBC or the rest of the mainstream media. Because the WEF doesn’t want it reported.
About the only mainstream TV coverage I see is from Sky News in Australia!
The agenda of the globalists, and by that term I mean, the United Nations (IPCC), the World Health Organisation (which wants to override national governments in order to impose lockdowns and other measures), and of course, the World Economic Forum, can be summed up as follows.
A global government. (For which of course there will be no elections.)
In the meantime, national governments should be in the hands of oleaginous creatures who’ve been groomed by the globalists. (Trudeau in Canada and Rutte in the Netherlands are two examples.)
Eventually, there will be an end to the nation state. (And, by extension, nations. Especially majority white nations.)
An end to farming. (To be justified by claiming that farming causes great environmental damage.)
To speed up the end of farming governments, corporations, and individuals, will be encouraged to buy farmland. (Already happening in Wales, elsewhere, and of course, Bill Gates is now the largest private owner of farmland in the USA.)
The land released by the end of farming will in many cases be used for ‘habitat restoration’. (That is, rewilding, done by organisations and individuals that are close to the globalist cabal.)
Without farming we shall eat insects, and food produced in laboratories. (By happy coincidence Bill Gates, Amazon owner Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, and others have been pushing this for a few years.)
There will be a cashless society. Everyone will use online banking and every transaction will be recorded. (After all, only criminals use cash!)
To increase personal security and reduce crime and terrorism everyone will have a biometric passport or ID. (Maybe a chip implanted, like your dog! Does he complain?)
We shall be regularly injected with whatever our globalist masters say is good for us. (Especially those who reject the yummy artificial food.)
We must all drive electric vehicles. (Can’t afford one? Don’t worry, walking is good exercise.)
There really are too many of us in the world, so we must reduce numbers. (This is where the game is often given away, with the focus on countries where the birth-rate is below replacement level.)
I could go on, but I’m sure you get the picture. Thankfully, the agenda is coming off the rails because it’s been pushed a little too crudely, and events beyond the globalists’ control could now deal it a death-blow.
Even before the unrest across Europe Justin Trudeau in Canada made a revealing move when he froze the bank accounts of the truckers protesting against the Canadian government’s over-reaction to Covid.
But fundamental to the agenda is the myth of a planet in danger, for this is the justification for everything else. The planet must be saved by giving up fossil fuels, fertilisers, private transport, real meat, and a host of other things that underpin an advanced society.
Those over-arching priorities coupled with individual mistakes and events beyond our control explain why we are where we are.
Remember . . .
We’re up Shit Creek now partly because we believed Angela Merkel when she downplayed how much the world relies on Russia for gas and raw materials. Partly because ‘renewables’ are expensive and unreliable nonsense. And partly because the globalists will now make us pay for them engineering a war with Russia.
MEANWHILE, IN WALES . . .
The ‘Welsh Government’ surrendered to the globalists without firing a shot in defence of Wales.
Worse, the collaborationist clowns in Corruption Bay see themselves as trailblazers in implementing the globalists’ agenda. Forever claiming to be the ‘first government in the world’ to introduce this, or that.
‘This’ and ‘that’ invariably translate into expensive gestures, and pandering to alien lobbies, neither of which deliver anything tangible or of material benefit for the Welsh people.
And of course, destroying the agricultural sector. For as a regular contributor to the Welsh debate, an academic from Bristol, put it recently . . .
But now this enthusiasm is taking a more sinister and authoritarian turn.
Last Wednesday, from this tweet, I learned that a motion had been tabled in the Senedd by Jane Dodds, the Liberal Democrat MS for Brecon & Radnor. It was supported by the ‘Welsh Government’ and its little helpers in Plaid Cymru.
I’ve highlighted a few sections and I’ll explain why.
This woman has obviously bought into laboratory ‘food’. Then, high priest of the planet savers, and regular Guardian columnist, George Monbiot, gets a mention or two.
Handing back “vast swathes of our land to nature” means nothing of the sort. To begin with, Carolyn Thomas is talking about the Welsh family farm. And the land will be handed over to people like George Monbiot and his cronies, who thankfully failed in one colonialist land grab with Summit to Sea.
“Harnessed by the state” and “kept out of private hands” means nothing more or less than the ‘Welsh Government’ taking over Welsh family farms. Collectivisation that we’ve seen in Communist states.
“A basic income and state-owned green jobs to today’s farmers” means that having bought their farms, perhaps compulsorily, the ‘Welsh Government’ will now employ former farmers on the land they once owned.
If the jobs are state-owned, then those doing the jobs will also be state-owned. We could be going beyond nationalisation here to a form of serfdom.
I’d like to dismiss Carolyn Thomas as just another unbalanced Green activist. Or someone who’s been overdoing it on the ganja.
But she’s a politician, a Member of ‘our’ Senedd, belonging to the ruling party. And because no one felt the need to apologise for her attack on the ‘kulaks’ I conclude that her contribution is ‘Welsh Government’ policy.
This is the kind of moral corruption and intellectual vacuity that led to the medieval Church losing its authority. It grew distanced and divorced from the concerns of the people it claimed to serve.
We are at that point now. We may even have passed it.
The globalists’ dream of being leaders in a new world order, with them knowing where each and every one of us is at all times, what we’ve eaten that day, and what we’ve recently bought, is dead.
Killed by a combination of arrogance, economic realities, and Vladimir Putin.
There’ll be very few politicians pushing Net Zero in January, and I guarantee that for future WEF knees-ups the message for Klaus Schwab will be (adapting Bismarck’s Canossa allusion), “Nach Davos gehen wir nicht, Klaus”.
It would therefore be tragic if those assholes down Corruption Bay ignored the changing realities and tried to implement Carolyn Thomas’s nightmare.
As the title suggests, this week’s offering is a miscellany, bits and pieces from hither and yon. Covering . . .
Wind turbine disposal.
Fears for the planning system in the north west.
Awkward locals opposing the hundreds of executive homes Aberdyfi so desperately needs.
A development in the ongoing saga of the Llanbedr by-pass.
A new environmental group (cos we haven’t got enough).
More on Gilestone farm.
My unanswered FoI to the ‘Welsh’ Labour Party.
‘Welsh Government’ funds National Trust (cos NT’s a bit short at the moment).
Is ‘Welsh Government’ flogging off executive homes in Cardiff?
Enviroloonies saving Wales from the curse of employment.
Stumping up for the ‘Welsh Government’s favourite farmer.
‘Welsh Government’ wants more trees . . . but fewer farmers.
Enlarging the Senedd, or making the pig-sty bigger.
This is a monster issue, over 5,000 words; but you can take it a piece at a time. And because it is such a substantial offering late in the week, don’t expect anything next week.
WHERE WILL ALL THE TURBINES GO?
A couple of weeks ago I submitted a Freedom of Information request to the self-styled ‘Welsh Government’ asking who was responsible for disposing of wind turbines when they come to the end of their working lives.
Given that the lifespan of a turbine is 15 – 25 years we must have in Wales a few hundred turbines approaching decrepitude. With hundreds more in their ‘middle age’, and plans in the system to erect God knows how many others. (Bute Energy alone wants 20 new wind farms.)
It seems to me to be an important question. Hence the FoI request.
It tells me that, ‘Responsibility for decommissioning wind turbines lies with the developer/operator of the site’.
Richard Spear of the Planning Inspectorate concludes his response with: ‘In addition, developers/operators should ensure that sufficient finance is set aside to enable them to meet restoration obligations. A local planning authority may require financial guarantees by way of a Section 106 planning obligation / agreement, as part of the approval of planning permission to ensure that restoration will be fully achieved.’
It’s worth pointing out that in most cases it was the ‘Welsh Government’ that gave planning permission for wind turbines, often over-riding local authorities. The ‘Welsh Government’ should therefore have seen to it that each developer paid a ‘bond’, up front, to ensure there will be enough money to restore each site.
But those buffoons down Corruption Bay were so concerned with making ‘planet-saving’ gestures that they couldn’t see beyond their own wagging fingers.
I predict with certainty that in the near future, we – by which I mean Wales – will find ourselves lumbered with ‘orphan’ wind turbines that will cost us a hell of a lot of money to demolish. And then more money to restore the sites they’ve come from.
On the plus side, it means that turbine blades from the Continent can come to landfill sites in Wales!
Should this come to pass then it will doubtless be claimed as ‘foreign investment’.
WILD WEST SHOW?
I am indebted to a regular source for news of concerns about the Gwynedd and Môn Joint Planning Policy Committee. To be clear, this is not the planning committee, deciding on planning applications, but the policy committee that determines in more general terms where development will be allowed.
Although Gwynedd is a large council in area, much of the planning responsibility falls to the Snowdonia National Park; which leaves the council to oversee a few ‘islands’ – Tywyn, Barmouth, Blaenau Ffestiniog – then Porthmadog and Llŷn, and finally, the northern coastal strip taking in Caernarfon and Bangor and running to Abergwyngregyn.
For like many rural authorities Ynys Môn is prone to being controlled by a few forceful individuals, often holding sway through membership of an organisation claiming to be heirs to the Knights Templar and other exotic fraternities.
Never more true than in keeping to the Templar talent for accruing wealth. Though I’m unsure if the medieval predecessors were as cunning as their heirs in planning matters and the allocation of contracts.
For who could forget Ceredigion when Dai Lloyd Evans and his merry men ruled the roost? Those were the days! The late Paul Flynn, sitting on the House of Commons Welsh Affairs Select Committee, referred to Ceredigion Council as “The Wild West Show”.
But then, as we saw in Carmarthenshire during the halcyon days of Mark James, sometimes, with largely rural authorities, the boss man doesn’t even have to be a councillor.
My source’s concern is that the chairman of the joint planning policy committee is a member of this group to which I have alluded. And while I’m sure he’s a splendid fellow, with a good firm handshake, I can understand my source’s misgivings.
Someone else giving my informant food for thought is the young man who’s now Senior Executive Officer at Gwynedd’s Housing and Property Department.
Don’t get me wrong, he’s an educated boy, studied . . . Welsh, and, er . . . Music.
But then, it is suggested by cynics that the boy’s father’s friendship with Gwynedd’s Head of Finance may have played a role in the appointment.
O tempora! O mores!
ABERDYFI EXECUTIVES MUST BE HOUSED!
When I first saw this news item I thought to myself, ‘Hang on, Jones, isn’t this the development Ann Clwyd was banging on about decades ago?’ And I’m sure it is.
For the woman who went on to become MP for the Cynon Valley has connections to Aberdyfi and the wider Dysynni area. I have a photo of a young Ann Clwyd with my sister-in-law when the latter was the village carnival queen back in the mid-sixties.
It’s difficult to comprehend how this project has resurfaced, or why it wasn’t killed off decades ago. What does it say about our planning system?
Aberdyfi may be a sizeable village; a few pubs, a few caffs, shops, and an unhealthy number of estate agents. But it backs up to a cliff, with the sea on the other side, and there’s just one road in and out, the A493. A crash or some other hold-up on that road and Aberdyfi is almost inaccessible except by boat or helicopter.
Sticking to housing, Aberdyfi may be the financial, commercial, and industrial hub of the south Meirionnydd coast, but the village needs 401 ‘executive homes’ like our cat needs fleas.
One of the more intriguing stories to make the news recently was the report that Gwynedd County Council is to appeal to the UK government for funding to build the Llanbedr by-pass, a project cancelled last year by the ‘Welsh Government’.
The reason this is intriguing is because the council is controlled by Plaid Cymru, and down in Corruption Bay that party is in cahoots with the local branch of the Labour Party, an arrangement generally referred to as an ‘alliance’.
Though the Senedd Member representing Llanbedr seems to be going out of his way to piss off his supposed allies.
Last month he dared ask the ‘Welsh Government’ why it paid £4.25m for Gilestone farm when the asking price appeared to be £3.25m. A good question. We’d all like to hear the answer. (More on Gilestone below.)
Another explanation might be that despite most Plaid SMs self-flagellating for the heinous sins of the White man and the harm they themselves do the planet by simply existing, many Plaid supporters still associate ‘woke’ with getting up in the morning.
They inhabit the real world where decent infrastructure and communications still matter. That mythic land far, far away, where people have to drive to work. And to the shops. To the doctor, dentist, etc., etc.
You know, the Welsh countryside, of which Labour is so wilfully ignorant.
I’ve tweeted a few times about this rather mysterious group, I may even have mentioned it here, on the blog. One reason I call it mysterious is because all I knew about it was gleaned from a GoFundMe page. (You’ll see there’ve been two donations in the past three months.)
Another reason for the ‘mysterious’ tag was that neither the website nor the GoFundMe page gave any names. And I get rather suspicious of organisations that run themselves.
And when you read the justification for Tir Natur you immediately think, ‘Hang on, I’ve read that before!’ And so you have, many times. It probably comes from an environmental / rewilding template available online.
Now a source informs me that Tir Natur has finally gone legit and registered as a charity. This move is mentioned on the GoFundMe page, though when I checked a few days ago it hadn’t been updated since the application in March to the Charity Commission.
The contact address given on the Charity Commission website is, ‘Y Beudy, Lanlwyd, Pennant, Llanon, Ceredigion SY23 5JH’. This is on the B4577 between Cross Inn and Llanarth.
To confuse the picture, the GoFundMe page says, ‘Newport, Pembrokeshire’. Though my source and I suspect those involved don’t live in either Ceredigion or Pembrokeshire.
And does Wales really need yet another environmental / rewilding group?
My source has now sent me this from a recent release by Tir Natur. Knowing more of such things than I he tells me that the image shows a European bison and a golden eagle. Neither of which of course is native to Wales.
They were introduced to the Trust’s other site in Devon, but removed due to fears of bTB. And they had to leave another site in Scotland when the government concluded they were dangerous and non-native.
I was a bit perplexed by the reference in the second FoI to the ‘James Report’. And then it came back to me . . .
Julie James, the current Minister for Climate Change in the ‘Welsh Government’ has been involved with Gilestone for many years, before she was even elected to what was then the Welsh Assembly in 2011.
It’s a strange affair, with some dark corners, some very dark corners indeed. What I’ve been told involves the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, certain environmental busybodies, previous owners of Gilestone and a supporting cast that includes a retired Met cop with an ‘interesting’ record.
And of course, Julie James, then a solicitor in Swansea; whose relationship with some of those involved is worth looking into. No, nothing like that. (Really!)
I may be in a position to say more in the near future.
Also worth mentioning is that a number of people are convinced the money to buy Gilestone came from Julie James’ department’s piggy-bank.
If true, then why did Vaughan Gething, Minister for Economy, take the rap in the Senedd? Maybe his ignorance of the deal explains why he spent so much time extoling the virtues of the Green Man festival rather than answering questions he’d been asked about the purchase of Gilestone.
Though another explanation for the delayed accounts might be that the ‘Welsh Government’ is virtually broke. For that’s what another source tells me.
If true, then this might explain the Llanbedr by-pass and other projects being scrapped.
‘O what a tangled web we weave . . . ‘.
LABOUR PARTY FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST
As you know, I’ve written about Bute Energy a number of times. They even got a mention at the end of paragraph 2 in the first section of this post.
What became clear once I started looking into Bute’s activities in Wales was that this company had very quickly realised that Labour Party support would be a big help in realising its plans for 20+ wind farms.
Which explains why Bute recruited to its Welsh Advisory Board redundant Labour MEP Derek Vaughan, and John Uden, the partner of Labour MS Jenny Rathbone, who sits on the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee.
Quite what this Welsh Advisory Board advises on is not stated, but I think we can all guess. And the recruitment didn’t end there.
Also taken aboard the treasure ship Bute was David James Taylor, former spad to Labour stars, from Peter Hain to Rhodri Morgan and Carwyn Jones. Taylor was made a partner in Bute-linked outfit Grayling Capital LLP (though he’s since left), and also given shares in Windward Enterprises Ltd, another Bute company. (Which he still holds.)
It occurred to me that if Bute Energy was so keen to cwtsh up to Labour then political donations should be considered. And so I wrote to the Bruvvers’ HQ in Cardiff.
On June 8 I sent this e-mail:
‘Bute Energy Ltd (Co No: 12474011), in various guises, seeks to build – or at least, obtain planning permission for – some 20 wind farms in Wales. A company has been formed for each wind farm.
Has the Labour Party in Wales / ‘Welsh Labour’ party received a donation or donations from Bute Energy Ltd, or from companies under the Bute Energy umbrella, or from leading director Oliver James Millican, or from other persons, perhaps former employees of Labour politicians?’
But I have received neither acknowledgement nor reply. Can you believe that – the Comrades ignoring me!
The ‘Welsh Government’ has gifted an English organisation worth billions of pounds a Welsh asset and also handed over £700,000 for ‘capital investment’. From which the National Trust will profit, through charging visitors.
Many of whom will be Welsh.
And there will almost certainly be more than £700,000. For a well-informed contact with whom I shared this information in advance reminded me that the National Trust will now be eligible for Glastir woodland grants.
Note that this generosity is explained by quoting the “‘Welsh Government’ wellbeing objectives”. This refers to the Well-being of Future Generation (Wales) Act 2015. Airy-fairy nonsense that has since been used to justify every insanity hiding under the ‘environmental’ blanket.
Environmental concerns are used to disguise giving away our homeland piece by piece – ‘Cos we are savin’ the planet, like’.
The truth of course is that this legislation simply rolled out the red carpet for colonialist exploitation.
It even talks of future generations. But those future generations won’t be Welsh.
Main points seem to be that negotiations with the National Trust have been going on since June 2019; no one else was invited to express an interest; NRW has no idea why Dawn Bowden was involved; NRW will continue to manage the Hafod Estate forestry operation.
My attention has been drawn to this rather curious site which suggests some kind of partnership between the ‘Welsh Government’, the National Eisteddfod, and a company called LivEco, to build “sustainable homes at affordable prices”.
The location of these desirable properties being Great House Farm in Cardiff, between Culverhouse Cross and St Fagan’s National Museum of History.
So let’s look at this company, LivEco. Companies House tells us LivEco Homes Ltd was formed in September 2018, but it’s dormant. The sole director is a Welshman, Daniel James Ball, who seems to live in West Sussex.
Ball’s active company is Mulcare-Ball Ltd. The other director being a woman I assume to be his wife.
So why are we being asked to believe that a dormant company is building these dwellings at Great House Farm?
Mulcare-Ball has an arrangement (charge) with the Principality Building Society. Though the date given here is February 2, 2013, the document itself takes us back a year and also mentions Hale Construction Ltd.
If it’s this company, then Hale Construction was a one-man band on Merseyside, Incorporated December 2011 and Dissolved August 2015 without, apparently, making a penny.
Another company worth mentioning is Great House Farm Community Ltd, which I assume to be a residents’ association. This was Incorporated in March 2013, which makes sense; though the only director or member was Ball until June 25 last year. When he was replaced by two others using Great House addresses.
First, it tells us that Daniel James Ball and his wife bought this land in July 2009. We also learn that the properties built by Mulcare-Ball Ltd are being leased rather than sold.
The ‘Welsh Government’ has more than once expressed a desire to phase out leasehold in Wales, so why is it in partnership with a company building properties to lease?
Or, to put it another way, why does the ‘Welsh Government’ need to be involved at all? The same question could be asked of the Eisteddfod.
I may return to this subject.
The Aberpergwm mine, near Glyn-Neath, produces highest quality anthracite coal that is used for all manner of purposes, including water filtration. But it will not be chucked on a fire or shovelled into a furnace.
And it is a standard, commercial entity. Not a Community Interest Company (CIC), or any form of community benefit framework. I suspect it claims to be an umbrella group for smaller, more local organisations.
Though I’m not aware of any genuinely local opposition at Aberpergwm itself. Certainly not from the 200 or so people who work there. Nor from the businesses benefitting from the money those workers put into the local economy.
The address given for the Coal Action Network is Halton Mill, in Lancaster, north west England, owned by Green property developer Lancaster Cohousing. Which suggests it’s little more than an accommodation address for CAN. They certainly don’t get a mention on the website.
It would be easy to dismiss the Coal Action Network as just another little gang of over-excited eco zealots. But these groups often front for bigger players, or there’s serious money behind them.
So be watchful out there. Protect Welsh jobs and Welsh interests from the misguided attention of the brainwashed foot-soldiers of the World Economic Forum and others with globalist agendas designed to crush the little guy. Agendas enthusiastically endorsed by socialists.
And, finally, look out for these clowns sending letters to local papers, lobbying politicians, and pretending they’re local objectors.
Though cut through the enviro-bullshit and SUFT seems to be little more than a greenwashing operation for Utility Warehouse.
Most of those involved with SUFT have either relocated to Wales or don’t even live in Wales. For as with all these ‘conservation’ land grabs, Welsh involvement is minimal.
Though the website informs us, of the man in the photograph, and founder of SUFT, ‘Dr Keith Powell is a seventh-generation Black Mountains farmer and a vet’. Though I don’t think he’s actually done much farming, and came home when he realised there was serious money to be made in trees.
Stump Up For Trees is registered as a charity. Though when I went to the Charity Commission website to check the details I was somewhat surprised not to see Powell listed as a trustee. I assume the desired impression is that of hands-off trustees.
Then he and his companion on the US trip (and at the debriefing), Keri Davies, set up the Beacons Water Group. And do you know who joined them at BWG – none other than Charles Weston, the man who sold Gilestone to the ‘Welsh Government’ for the ludicrous sum of £4.25m!
As if that wasn’t enough, another BWG director, Tony Martineau, teaches at Coleg Soros, Talgarth. While George Soros’ favourite educational establishment, Bard College, has links with the Watershed Agricultural Council, the hosts for the 2018 US trip.
Enough! Old Jac can’t take any more connections.
Why should the ‘Welsh Government’s favourite farmer be involved with Stump Up For Trees? Then again, why not, he seems to be involved in everything else?
To make sense of the ‘Welsh Government’s latest assault on the farming industry you must understand the Labour Party’s relationship with the Welsh countryside.
Labour has no MPs and no SMs representing rural constituencies. For these seats either vote Conservative, Plaid Cymru or, irregularly, usually in Powys, Liberal Democrat.
It wasn’t always so.
There was a time within living memory when Labour could rely on the votes of farm labourers, and even smaller farmers. Also, other rural, working class people. The Merionethshire seat – now part of Dwyfor Meirionnydd and held by Plaid Cymru for almost 50 years – was a straight fight between Labour, centred on the slate town of Blaenau Ffestiniog, and the Liberals, still relying to a great extent on the chapel vote.
Then came the 1960s, and the national reawakening. The protests and the bombs. Tryweryn, Mudiad Amddiffyn Cymru (MAC), the Free Wales Army (FWA), Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg CyIG) . . . and the rise of Plaid Cymru.
Labour now saw its hegemony in Wales threatened by a new force that it believed to be essentially rural in character. Certainly rural in origin. And Labour has been wary of the countryside, and its native inhabitants, ever since.
In many Labour politicians this suspicion became outright and undisguised hostility.
The rise of the environmental movement, coupled with the powers given by devolution, have allowed the Labour Party through successive ‘Welsh Governments’ to exert control over rural areas where it has little or no electoral support. While more recently, under the influence of ‘environmentalists’ eyeing Welsh land, exacting what can only be interpreted as revenge.
Which brings us up to date.
Labour’s activists in rural areas tend to be English, middle class, vegetarian (if not vegan, or subsisting entirely on water and good karma), most of them climate / environment ranters who compare hard-working farmers to concentration camp guards.
Though this latest pronunciamiento from Corruption Bay also helps us understand the long-term objectives. And makes a few other things clear.
The ‘Welsh Government is attempting a divide and rule strategy with farmers. Certain farmers are being wooed, and so perhaps is the National Farmers Union. And it seems to be working.
It’s no coincidence that these favoured farmers tend to be Tory-voters, on better land, suited to tree planting, and in almost exclusively English-speaking areas.
Which means that the excluded farmers are more likely to be found on marginal land, more difficult for growing trees, possibly tenant farmers, and certainly more likely to be Welsh speaking. (And Farmers Union of Wales members?)
In fact, areas such as the Summit to Sea rewilding project was hoping – with ‘Welsh Government’ support – to take over. The areas from where Labour, in the 1960s, perceived the ‘threat’ to have emerged.
Which means that this assault on farmers might be interpreted as an attack on the Welsh language, and Welsh rural culture in general. If so, then the politicos in Corruption Bay, and the enviroshyster land-grabbers whispering in their ears, are in for a fight.
Predictably, the announcement was welcomed by Kate Beavan. Who’s she? You haven’t been paying attention, or following the links, have you?
Kate Beavan may have been recruited to Coed Cymru by director Philip David Jayne, who lives in Crughywel.
Yet more bloody connections!
To explain . . .
Coed Cymru is one of the 357 (and rising) ‘woodland’ groups currently operating in Wales. Fighting like ferrets in a sack to take over Welsh land and get their sweaty mitts on Welsh public funding.
When you check out the Companies House entry for Coed Cymru Cyf you realise that, despite the company name, there’s little Welsh involvement.
But plenty of Welsh funding.
‘Plus ça change . . . ‘.
UKRAINE AND THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM
It would be inhuman to suggest that anything good is coming from the death and suffering in Ukraine. And I won’t do that, but harsh lessons are being learnt.
Among them, the realisation that to pretend an advanced economy can rely on intermittent renewables to supply its energy needs is madness. As Germany is learning.
The drive for ‘Net Zero’, orchestrated by The United Nations and the World Economic Forum, is taking hits daily as collateral damage from the conflict in Ukraine. With Germany perhaps the biggest loser.
We are in dangerous times. Supranational bodies like those mentioned want to regulate all aspects of human behaviour. They have captured many national governments, media outlets, and social media giants, who are urged to suppress divergent views as ‘disinformation’.
The justification being that the planet is in grave danger, and so we need to be saved from ourselves . . . all for our own good, of course.
With the result that we are sleepwalking into a form of totalitarianism that sits astride the unicorn of environmentalism.
And this is another reason we – through arming and exploiting brave Ukrainians – are waging war on Russia – because Vladimir Putin refused to bow to these supranational tyrants.
But the ‘Welsh Government’ surrendered long ago. And gave up Wales for sacrifice.
But part of the bigger package was a change in how Senedd members will be elected in future. And this proved much more contentious. With four constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) – Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda, Swansea East, Llanelli – voting against.
To explain . . .
Under revised parliamentary boundaries Wales will have 32 Westminster seats. (Down from the current 40.) What Labour proposes (and Plaid Cymru presumably agrees with) is that these new constituencies should be paired, giving us 16, and that each of them should elect six Senedd Members, thus making up the 96 total.
This is to be done using the ‘closed list’ system. Voters choose a party and have to then accept the party’s choice of candidates.
This is a system designed to favour larger parties and to inhibit the emergence of new parties. Which is no more than we should expect from Labour. For like so many political parties with a socialist heritage Labour is fundamentally undemocratic.
I’m still waiting for Labour’s partner in the current alliance down Corruption Bay to explain why it’s gone along with this system. Though I get the impression Plaid would rather not discuss it.
Labour has tried desperately to polish this turd by promising gender equality. But as Labour has signed up to self-identification, and is a major financial backer of Stonewall, it will obviously accept as ‘women’ men who identify as women.
Which could mean that the new system, designed to achieve gender balance, actually gives us a lower percentage of biological females than we see in the Senedd today!
And then there are other minorities, those so vocal in “breaking down barriers” . . . most of which they themselves have erected. (Or simply imagined.) They’ll demand to be ‘excluded’ no longer. And because they support the Labour Party because the Labour Party funds them their wishes will be granted.
That could give us a Senedd in which the majority is grossly underrepresented.
But who cares – ‘Cos it’s progressive, innit!’
My position is that I do not accept this anti-democratic nonsense. And I would support the UK government stepping in to block it. In fact, I would support the UK government putting an end to devolution itself.
For devolution has delivered nothing to those with whom I identify.
Whereas the SNP in Scotland, returned time after time, has made many Scots believe their country could be even better with independence, here in Wales, the incompetence and waste our people have experienced from malleable mediocrities in Corruption Bay for 23 years makes too many Welsh believe that independence would be even worse.
I remain a nationalist who wants independence, but I see devolution not as a stepping-stone but an obstacle. Maybe that was the intention all along.
And when you think back to what you’ve read here, can you disagree?
This 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.
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.