Corruption Is Such An Ugly Word . . . But I Can’t Think Of Anything Else To Call It!

My intention was to start winding down this blog, spend more time with my wife, grand-children, books, Malbec . . . but things keep cropping up. That said, it’s very unlikely I shall undertake major new investigations. Diolch yn fawr.

In recent months I have written about wind farms threatening the Welsh countryside. In particular, the 16 ‘energy parks’ planned by Bute Energy and its subsidiaries. You can get the details from reading the following piece from October, England’s wind turbines – in Wales!

I’m returning to the subject now because the links between Bute Energy and the local branch of the UK Labour Party have become so close as to warrant calls for resignation and investigation.

The general locations of the 20 ‘energy parks’ planned by Bute Energy. Click to open image enlarged in separate tab

We shall look at four individuals. Two of them Labour insiders. One the partner of a Labour MS. The fourth, the MS herself.

UPDATE 07.12.2021: There have been yet more companies formed under the Bute umbrella. (It’s getting difficult to keep up!) They are:

Windward Cambria Ltd. Bryn Glas Energy Park Ltd. Maesnant Energy Park Ltd. Bryngwyn Energy Park Ltd, Blaencothi Energy Park Ltd. Grayling Capital Investments Ltd. Grayling Capital Operations Ltd.

Telling us there are four more wind farms planned. Bryngwyn has yet to be located. Blaencothi is east of Lampeter. Maesnant is close to Nant y Moch reservoir, inland of Aberystwyth. Then there’s Bryn Glas – do these buggers really intend to desecrate the site of Glyndŵr’s victory over Mortimer in 1402?

DAVID JAMES TAYLOR has served as spad to a number of high-profile Welsh Labour politicians. He was also the unsuccessful Labour Police and Crime Commissioner candidate for North Wales in 2016.

Taylor now does the groundwork in Wales for Bute Energy Ltd. For example, getting people who’ll be affected by Bute’s developments to sign agreements to the benefit of Bute Energy.

David Taylor out canvassing in 2016 for his friend Lesley Griffiths, the MS for Wrexham, who has done so much to smooth the path for wind farms. Click to open image enlarged in separate tab

For his efforts he’s been made a Member of Grayling Capital LLP, along with Oliver James Millican, Stuart Allan George, and Lawson Douglas Steele, the troika running Bute Energy.

He has also been given shares in Windward Enterprises Ltd, another Millican, George, Steele production.

And in a further show of gratitude the Bute boys shovel money into David Taylor’s Moblake Ltd; from whence he has ‘loaned’ himself £605,872 over the past three years.

For the accounts tell us this is an ‘interest free loan and does not have a set repayment date’. Well of course not – he’d just be repaying himself!

Click to open image enlarged in separate tab

David James Taylor, with no knowledge of renewables, wind power, or the generation of electricity, has been hired by Bute Energy for his contacts within the so-called ‘Welsh Government’.

DEREK VAUGHAN CBE was a Labour MEP who of course became redundant in 2019 – and available for hire. His encyclopaedic knowledge of the renewables industry has secured for him the post of chairman of Bute Energy’s Welsh Advisory Board.

Click to open image enlarged in separate tab

As with Taylor, there could be some other reason for him being given this sinecure. A reason not unrelated to his familiarity with the levers of power in the Labour Party, and his connections within the ‘Welsh Government’.

But what kind of cynical bastard would entertain such a thought?

Er, me.

JOHN UDEN is the partner of Jenny Rathbone MS.

Let’s start with Nant yr Odyn Ltd, formed in October 2009 and dissolved in May 2011. (The significance of May 2011 will soon become clear.) The company name refers to the stream that meets the Alwen at Llanfihangel Glyn Myfyr.

Alongside the stream we find the property known as Maes yr Odyn. Both Rathbone and Uden were on the Electoral Register there in 2002. Which makes sense because that was the year Rathbone lost her seat on Islington council.

The Jenny Rathbone entries on, suggesting that she and Uden were living at Maes yr Odyn in 2002. (Though why is she later described as a ‘director’?) Click to open image enlarged in separate tab

Though the Senedd website tells us, ‘From 2002 to 2007, Jenny was programme manager of an award-winning Sure Start programme in north London’.

So the property in Llanfihangel Glyn Myfyr was presumably being used as a holiday home, or a weekend retreat?

There are two titles at the Land Registry relating to Maes yr Odyn. One for the property itself, where Jenny Rathbone is joint owner with Andrew Lyle Rathbone; the other for ‘land and outbuildings’, where she is the sole owner. The address Rathbone gives on the second of those title documents is ‘Hen Maes yr Odyn’. The house next door.

It looks as if the dwelling Maes yr Odyn has been in the ownership of the Rathbone family for some time. The title document suggests the property was bought in 1962 by Elizabeth Eleanor Rathbone, then gifted to the current owners in 1992.

Then, and perhaps to ‘re-unite’ the property, the outbuildings and land were bought by Jenny Rathbone in July 2008 for £120,000.

Incidentally, Maes yr Odyn seems to be a mile or two from Mwdwl Eithin, one of Bute Energy’s planned wind farms. Here’s the company that’s been set up.

Image: Ordnance Survey. Click to open image enlarged in separate tab

In May, 2011 Rathbone was elected to the National Assembly for Wales as Labour AM for Cardiff Central. A city and a constituency of which she knew nothing.

Her career has not been without its ups and downs. Playing the environmentalist got her sacked from Carwyn Jones’ cabinet over the M4 ‘improvements’. Then, a couple of years back, there were allegations of anti-Semitism. More recently, she urged us to ‘get real’ because poor people don’t go to rugby matches, football matches, or the cinema.

But we’re neglecting her partner!

John Uden got his position on Bute’s Welsh Advisory Board due to Rathbone’s influence. And, possibly, the proximity of Maes yr Odyn to the planned Mwdwl Eithin ‘energy park’.

Bute Energy, John Uden, and Jenny Rathbone’s own shares, could all benefit from decisions taken and recommendations made by the Senedd’s Climate Change, Environment and Infrastructure Committee on which she sits.

Jenny Rathbone’s Register of Interests (Category 8, ‘Land and property’) lists ’Barn used as community centre and two acres of land, Llanfihangel GM, Conwy’ . . . but makes no mention of her shared ownership of the house itself, Maes yr Odyn, which must be worth considerably more. (Here in pdf format.)

Maes yr Odyn. Click to open image enlarged in separate tab

As stated, the co-owner of the house is Andrew Lyle Rathbone, who we can assume is related. For both sit as Trustees on the Miss E F Rathbone Charitable Trust. Along with a couple of other Rathbones.

The Rathbones are a very wealthy family. With a number of companies and trusts bearing the name, such as Rathbone Investment Management Ltd (total assets £3.1bn), based at the Port of Liverpool Building. Though that company is in turn owned by Rathbones Group Plc.

I suppose many or most of the shares we see on Jenny Rathbone’s Register of Interests are her allocation of investments made by the various entities handling the Rathbone family fortune.

In which case, is there income / dividends from those shares?

Among the shares held by Jenny Rathbone are those in AstraZeneca Plc, which makes the Covid-19 vaccine – what foresight!

Returning to ‘renewables’, Rathbone Investment Management has gone gung-ho for wind turbines. As we see from the cover of the Summer 2021 issue of Rathbones Review.

I wonder if Rathbones are investing in wind farms in Wales?


This squalid relationship between Bute Energy and leading figures within or close to the Labour Party in Wales is corruption.

Businessmen have recruited people to ease their projects through the political system and the planning process. To pretend there’s any other explanation for Bute Energy recruiting Taylor, Vaughan, and Uden, would be to insult our intelligence.

Just ask yourself – Why did Bute Energy feel the need to create a ‘Welsh Advisory Board’? To provide a fig leaf, in the form of ‘jobs’ for Vaughan and Uden.

Taylor, Vaughan and Uden must sever their connections with Bute Energy Ltd and its associated companies. Failure to do so by any one of them must invalidate any planning application received from Bute Energy or its associated companies.

This may already have gone too far, I would therefore suggest that any planning application received from a Bute company should be reviewed by a body independent of both the ‘Welsh Government’ and its in-house Planning Inspectorate.

Jenny Rathbone MS. Click to open image enlarged in separate tab

In the case of Jennifer Ann Rathbone MS; for failing to register ownership of Maes yr Odyn, for the fear that she might bring political influence to bear on behalf of her partner and a company with many projects planned in Wales, I feel that her fitness to serve as a Senedd Member is severely compromised.

Her position is almost untenable. She should consider resigning.

Finally, I also feel that the Welsh public is entitled to a statement from Y Prif Weinidog. With assurances that the guilty parties will not prosper, and that there will be no repeat of this squalid affair.

A register of lobbyists might help in this respect.

Looking at the bigger picture, I fear we are at a dangerous juncture in Welsh political development. There seems to be a growing belief that it’s acceptable to do the wrong things for the ‘right’ reasons.

This outlook is no longer confined to the far left, it has spread to the mainstream, to the virtuouser-than-thou ‘progressives’. If you persuade yourself that those who oppose you are fascists, or transphobes, or climate deniers – then anything goes!

Perhaps to the point where, ‘Yeah, I may be lining my own pockets, but I’m also saving the planet – so that makes it OK’.

♦ end  ♦


36 thoughts on “Corruption Is Such An Ugly Word . . . But I Can’t Think Of Anything Else To Call It!

  1. Dafis

    Just saw this on N.C –

    A think tank has said that they will bring together different pro-independence groups to outline a plan for how Wales can become a “fair, green and progressive” free state.

    Have they been in touch to offer you a seat, or is it a bench, in this tank ? Given the amount of info you have generated for ages and updated at regular intervals I thought you should be a shoe in for this type of activity. A gathering of open minds exploring beyond the horizons of present knowledge and collective experience/expertise. Should be good.

      1. DAVID LEWIS

        Jaco…… are you and your pals aware of the ‘(Far) Right Voice of Wales’ thuggery and bullyboy tactics in Jack’s Ville in the last few days? Activities led by that visionary – Neil McEvoy, “walking a Moseleyite path … (that some) predicted he would two years ago”.
        Do you find it reassuring to read that you and your pals have additional support providing a nice counter balance to all those corrupt lefties in Wales???

        1. Now then, Dai, let’s disentangle a few things here.

          I am aware of the so-called ‘Voice of Wales’ crew. As with the far left it seems to be the usual suspects coming together under a new banner. They were sounding off a week or two ago about migrants being moved to the Dragon Hotel.

          After making a few enquiries I was satisfied that findings on the Companies House website and Land Registry site suggest a few changes in the leasehold arrangements. And a company now involved with the Dragon is in the lucrative business of housing migrants.

          But the Dragon story seems to have died a death. Let’s wait and see.

          Suggesting a link between the VoW people and Neil McEvoy is stretching things a bit. I’m not aware of any connection. Are you?

          And the reference to Moseley is just silly, Dai. I’m disappointed in you.

          1. DAVID LEWIS

            Sorry…I thought you might have seen it! He was there at the event clearly ‘controlling’ matters.

        2. In reply to you Dai, particularly to some of your more fuddled comments, that in veracity we could count on fingers on one hand, you are correct about McEvoy. He has left ‘Planet Plaid Cardiff’ to concentrate wildly on defending a ‘Child Murderer’ and ‘a stupid beyond salvation Cinema owner’. McEvoy is now yesterday’s rebel. This is sad. With his defunct ‘Mendus man’ , they are both as said politically ‘Dead as Dodos’. All of you, join another bandwagon with FACTS not shite!

  2. Dafis

    I’m not a “told you so” type of person but I can smell a bad’un a mile off. With or without Covid my senses were always strong enough to know that the takeover of YC earlier this year by a mixed bag of pirates, deviants and political saboteurs was going to cause lasting damage. Your tweet citing someone called “Afal”, and a seriously rotten apple to boot, reinforces my sense that YC is a goner. That anyone involved in any admin of a democratic process can bring his/her own oddball predisposition/prejudices to the role is proof if any was needed that the cancer is still alive and eating away at the body, soon to be a corpse.

    Elsewhere you tweeted that Mabon has declared an intention to vote for a policy that will enable our kids to be taught there is no such thing as biological sex, that women have penises and men have cervixes. Now unlike the YC debacle I expected better things from Mabon. Sadly, he too is now getting carted off on a bandwagon and willingly by the looks of it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Plaid has been circling the plughole for a while. Carry on like this and we’ll be getting the final drop soon.

    1. I’ve been warned that ‘Afal’ is a trap, perhaps set for me, by the usual suspects. The problem with that is that ‘Afal’ is all too credible as the kind of loony that tried to turn YesCymru into TransCymru. For such a ploy to work it would need to be something outrageous that would make me look stupid for believing it. Something like . . . Aled and Teifi have been abducted by aliens. Or the Mad Axeman has joined a monastery.

      In further developments, I saw a tweet in which Benji Gwalchmai is threatening to use YC members’ personal data that he obtained when serving on the politburo. This might have legs.

      While the man who did nothing to stop it, Sion Jobbins, has openly thrown in his lot with the gang he refused to oppose when they took over YC. Which makes sense.

      As for my MS, Mabon ap Gwynfor, he and the rest of Plaid Cachwr will support Labour and Stonewall tomorrow in accepting that our kids should be taught women have penises, men have cervixes, and it’s perfectly acceptable for a ‘woman’ with an erection to parade naked in front of children. To argue otherwise is ‘transphobic’, and makes them feel ‘unsafe’.

      Such views are part of the package progressives must sign up to to to be accepted as ‘progressive’. But this isn’t over. Common sense is breaking out all over.

      Even on the US West Coast, where Antifa thugs are finally being arrested. But that probably owes much to next year’s mid-term elections, where the Democrats fear they’ll get a hammering. So they’re trying to reassure their more moderate supporters.

      An interesting comparison there. Most Democrat voters are hard-working, law-abiding, patriotic Americans, but the party has fallen to a hard left minority. This mismatch can only survive for so long. Either the voters start deserting or the hard left is put back in its box.

  3. Dafis

    Re : Yes Cymru Dysynni. Simple question – How do you think they could exist without you ? You were and are an essential part of their composition. They need you, mun. Probably want you to be an honorary life member so that it acts as a deterrent to any prospective wokish entryist, much like certain herbs were used to keep out witches in bygone days. It will catch on and soon every branch in the country will be out looking for sane rational people, male or female (but not both !), to act in a similar capacity.

    1. I used to get e-mails from YesCymru Machynlleth. They obviously believed I was a member. Now, after the e-mail last night, I’m wondering who’s in this new branch.

  4. Dafis

    Some of your current crop of tweets refer to the dilemma some of our politicians struggle with every day, like the “country or cause” issue that may or may not bother Lee Waters. Another is our man Mabon who goes into N.C to argue for the by-pass for Llanbedr, a piece of road which is needed because of tourism and inmigration of sundry Anglos – goodlifers, retired folk, one or two self employed types perhaps, but mainly due to the steady flow of tourists.

    How can he back a piece of road just to ease the passage of tourists when he knows damn well that tourism is a prime factor in killing the native Welshness of the area ? Or is that now fait accompli as far as Plaid is concerned and may as well build a piece of road so Cheshire types in their fast cars and caravans etc can whizz around without the bother of being stuck behind some old native farmer or some other tourist twat whose machine can’t muster the speed ?

  5. Dafis

    All this corruption and selective rule making means that a smallish elite gets away with fiddling of state’s funds and behaving without restraint while the rest of us are expected to constrain ourselves in accordance with all sorts of rules, big and petty. There is no doubt now that the freeloading spirit of Boris and Co suits Labour down to the ground because they too are led by and contain elements who share those same corrupt values and ambitions. I don’t think they will change their ways which suggests that the normal democratic processes are approaching redundancy and it will become necessary to make some of these deviants pay a bigger price than that normally charged in this country for white collar crime.

    Now may be the time to invest in a rope manufacturer if you are of the venture capitalist inclination

    1. I believe that trust in politicians is at an all-time low. With Boris and his gang up in London doing whatever they please, and the Christmas parties the last straw for many people, it should have played into the hands of Labour in Corruption Bay. But no, they’ve lost the moral high ground with that video of Drakeford and his crew having a mask-less party of their own.

      At least the Tories were celebrating Christmas. Down in the Bay they were celebrating that old Welsh festival of Diwali! No doubt Christmas and Easter are tainted with transphobic white supremacism.

      1. Dafis

        The Labour condemnation of the Downing St antics was quite subdued initially. They probably had to pause for a few beats to check whether they had any clangers of their own which were not well covered up before going all out to yank Boris’ chain. I could go on at length but the bottom line is that they are all as bad as each other so far down in the sump that the scum is way above their heads. Then we had Drakeford’s denial of any intent to impose another round of draconian measures. For me the killer clause was – ” at the moment” which give him and his crew leeway to react harshly to Eluned ‘s predicted cataclysm and plague of frogs, fire, brimstone and blocked drains sometime in early 2022. So we may get away with Xmas but will be lucky to get to Calan without the clamps being reinstated and by mid late January we’ll be into a full on curfew again.

        What’s to like about modern politicians ?

      2. Daiiroko

        Jac…surprised you didn’t use your brilliant investigative skills to find that the proceedings at the Diwali event were totally in keeping with the WG legislation/directives etc, etc.
        The obvious clue was that no one was wearing a mask! NOT even the excited photographer.

  6. Dafis

    You mentioned Blaen Cothi in your tweet as yet another prospective wind farm site being touted by Bute or some other parasitic entity. Interesting to discover that Llywodraeth Cymru and its agency , then Forestry Commission Wales, now part of Natural Resources Wales were sufficiently interested in the protection and promotion of certain indigenous species, the red squirrel, to get a long winded report produced regarding that endangered species’ “needs” in that area known as Elenydd of which Blaen Cothi forms a part of its South Western boundary.

    Sometime during the last 10 years the creeping influence of the “green at all costs” lobby has re-shaped the thinking to a point where if any more of this goes ahead the poor old squirrel’s life chances will be reduced to zero a damned sight faster that the level of carbon ! Trashing large swathes of the eco system to enable the building of turbines, seriously big buggers, is killing the environment for so many species not just the squirrel which may already been exterminated or told to fuck off to the urban areas and develop a new life style like its grey rival. At times I suspect that likes of Rathbone is aiming at a sanitised new environment devoid of traces of carbon and other “harmful” minerals in which only a new breed of mutant humans can survive. Thinking aloud a lot of these green evangelists have that kind of slightly mutant look about them which may explain their strident militancy about such evidently destructive technology.

    1. This ‘renewables at all cost’ is a kind of tunnel vision. Or else those promoting it know it’s bullshit but they spout their nonsense because they can’t admit that the real purpose is to allow gangs of well-connected shysters, with no connection to Wales, to make a lot of money from the available subsidies.

      In the case of Bute, we have a new entity, with no background in renewables, and an Edinburgh address, now planning 20 wind farms in Wales. And the number keeps rising! With, as far as I can see, none planned in their native Scotland, or England. I don’t believe these buggers will erect a single turbine. What they’re after is planning permission, once they’ve got that, they’ll sell these sites for huge profits.

      That they’re just after the planning permission explains why they’re taken on board David Taylor, Derek Vaughan, and Jenny Rathbone’s boyfriend.

    2. Does anyone know where “Old Mr Fix It” is in the form of the former compromise candidate as Labour MP for Gower. He became really big in Wales Forestry and then semi retired and became a blatant lobbyist to Planning Committees on Renewable Energy, most blatantly at Cockett Valley Swansea. That episode cost a decent Fforestfach Ward Councillor a seat by swallowing the selfish blurb of “Old Mr Fix It” and ignoring Constituents’ opposition. This Bute gang is just perpetuating that system. “Old Mr Fix It” must be 76 years old now. He once had the gall himself to lead a Committee in Parliament that called the Independents running Ceredigion Council “the wild West of Wales” (which they were)! Yet in semi retirement he emulated them and now Bute emulate him. It just goes on and on and on. Check out this old link :-

      1. ‘The Wild West Show’ was used by the late Paul Flynn MP to describe the antics of Dai Lloyd Evans and his gang.

        1. Yes Jac it was Paul Flynn who said it in a House of Commons Welsh Committee chaired by “Old Mr Fix It” who was used to gossip in a Barber’s shed shop. What happened to Dai Lloyd Evans? He’d really have field day today with the Bute lot!

  7. David

    So what next? Can this be raised in the senedd for a more thorough debate/enquiry? If there is a suggestion of wrong doing doesn’t she have to publicly declare all of her interests. Are the Welsh Tory party pursuing this?

    1. Plaid Cymru is so supportive of ‘renewables’ that it will turn a blind eye to wrongdoing if it’s for the ‘right’ reason. And anyway, Plaid is now in bed with Labour.

      As for the Tories, they will never object to their friends from London making money out of Wales.

      And of course, we have no media in Wales.

      So corruption like this will go unreported, and unchecked.

    2. Nothing will ever get raised in the Senedd on these issues without Neil McEvoy being there. He has stupidly blown his own reputation here in the Swansea Valley, and with me personally, by supporting a double convicted vicious late child murderer, just for his own Propel and personal kudos, without knowing any of the facts! What a very silly man. We needed you, and now you are yesterday’s man. There is nobody left after Neil McEvoy to challenge Labour or Plaid in their sordid ‘sold out Third Sector partnership of leeches’ – only a few weak incapable Tories. Scrutiny and opposition in Tiger Bay is dead, as are all the remaining ‘Tigers’ who are now totally toothless!

      1. Jonathan Edwards

        Oh ffs you trolled me in the Evening Post before there was trolling and now you complain that Neil McE has blown his own reputation but is nevertheless Y Mab Darogan. Can’t we pull together for once?

  8. Mel+Morgan

    Of which does this more vividly remind us? The Enclosures? The Clearances?

    As Lady Bracknell would have put it … BOTH, if necessary.

  9. Jonathan F Dean

    Who actually owns the house? Was it gifted to the family trust, the popular, widely used and perfectly legal method of reducing inheritance tax exposure? Being named on the land registry details would only make her a registered owner, not a beneficial owner, the details of which are rarely made public. An entirely “reasonable” explanation could be, that the house is owned by the trust, and that she is a trustee of the trust, so she has no need to declare it. But who knows?

    1. The Land Registry says she’s the owner, and she has definitely lived there, with Uden. Even if it’s in trust, it should be declared because she stays there and therefore benefits. Little different to the shares, many of which I’m sure are her allocation from family trusts, etc.

      Though if it’s owned by some family trust then that’s what it should say on the title document. But the title document, as I say, suggests it was gifted to her and her brother or cousin in 1992 by some older relative.

      People in Corruption Bay must know she has a place in that area. Declaring the outbuildings might be an attempt to throw people off the scent.

      1. Jonathan F Dean

        It’s the gifting that makes me think the trust owns it. If gifted to her (and others) they have a tax liability in the value of the gift, but if gifted to a trust for which they are trustees, there is no tax liability. When I quizzed LR about who should be registered as owner, it seems it’s anyone you like. It seems registered title holder has very little meaning or status. However, I agree, if she benefits from it’s use she should declare that benefit

        1. It was transferred by ‘Deed of Gift’ in August 1992 from Elizabeth Eleanor Rathbone to Jennifer Ann Rathbone and Andrew Lyle Rathbone, who could be siblings or cousins. It Elizabeth Rathbone had still been alive then one advantage of doing it this way might be that if the grantor lives for seven years after making the grant the gift is exempt from Inheritance Tax. (Something us rich buggers always have to consider!)

          Am I right in thinking that if it was gifted to a trust or a charity, then Inheritance Tax would not apply?

          Unless we have evidence to the contrary, we have to assume that the property is owned by the individuals named on the title document. Because I see no reason why a trust or charity could not be mentioned on LR documents.

          1. Jonathan F Dean

            Fairly sure the seven year inheritance tax rule still applies if gifted to a trust, in a sliding scale. If gifted to them as individuals they would have been taxed on the value over £3k (basically income tax), if gifted to the trust then no tax

            1. The seven-year rule applies to private individuals. I don’t think IT or CGT applies at all to gifts to charities.

              But we are splitting hairs here. The fact is that the Land registry says that Jenny Rathbone is the co-owner of Maes yr Odyn, but it is not itemised on her Register of Interests. She needs to explain that.

              The bigger issue is a company planning 16 wind farms in Wales recruiting Labour insiders. There is only one interpretation for this.

                1. That does muddle things. On the title document for the ‘land and outbuildings’ Rathbone gives her address as ‘Hen Maes yr Odyn’. She can’t be living in the chapel, so that can’t be ‘Hen Maes yr Odyn’.

                  But looking at the picture of the chapel, there’s a dwelling attached. That could be Hen Maes yr Odyn.

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