Dawnus 2

PLEASE APPRECIATE THAT I GET SENT MORE INFORMATION AND LEADS THAN I CAN USE. I TRY TO RESPOND TO EVERYONE WHO CONTACTS ME BUT I CANNOT POSSIBLY USE EVERY BIT OF INFORMATION I’M SENT. DIOLCH YN FAWR

Following on from the previous article, information received justifies a fresh post rather than just an update to the original ‘Dawnus’.

Some of this fresh information gives further support to the theory that much of Dawnus’s tangible assets, in the form of heavy machinery worth millions of pounds, was shipped out to Sierra Leone before Christmas. But it goes much further than that.

Before pushing on let me say that I got something wrong in the previous post (forgiveable, given how many companies and charges are involved). I interpreted this (also below) to be a fresh charge against Dawnus Sierra Leone when in fact it was issued because someone didn’t spell Sierra Leone correctly in the original document!

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MISCELLANEOUS UPDATES

I’m beginning to realise how busy Dawnus was in different parts of the country. For example, the council on Ynys Môn seems to have relied on Dawnus to a great extent, even for services such as road gritting that we would normally expect to undertaken by the council itself.

So embedded was Dawnus into the council’s structure that last year, when it had already become obvious that Dawnus was in trouble, the council was paying for Dawnus’s supplies as the company’s own accounts were blocked. Despite that, Cyngor Sir Ynys Môn handed Dawnus a two million pound contract to alleviate flooding in Beaumaris. A job that was left unfinished when Dawnus finally collapsed.

Another contract in the north was with Natural Resources Wales at the Gwydir Forest, where Dawnus was strengthening four reservoirs. And NRW had other contracts with Dawnus. One project I passed regularly was the tree-felling above the A487 a few miles north of Machynlleth.

The amazing thing perhaps about this whole business is that anyone dealing with Dawnus knew long before the event that the company was in serious financial trouble, so why was Dawnus allowed to limp on?

TRYING TO FOLLOW THE MONEY

This Swansea company that grew from nothing into an international operator with a £200 million annual turnover started to go downhill in 2014/15 after the Ebola outbreak affected its operations in Sierra Leone. At least, that’s the generally accepted theory.

Soon after this Ebola-inspired downturn we see the arrival of Nicholas Charles Down, whose Linkedin profile tells us that, “After 30 plus years of working in overseas locations , mainly the Middle East and Canada I am finally returning to work in the UK. Dawnus Construction wish to grow their operations in London and the South East and this represents a new challenge for me.”

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He says he joined Dawnus Construction Ltd as director for London and the South East, and his Linkedin profile says this was in October 2015, but Companies House insists Down wasn’t a director of any Dawnus company until 15 April 2016. That was when he joined Dawnus Southern Ltd, Ashbridge Construction Ltd and Dawnus Construction Holdings Ltd (which had been Dawnus Construction Ltd until 22 October 2013).

Later that year, on 11 November, he became a partner in Medrus Plant Hire (Swansea) LLP (resigning 1 October 2018), before joining Dawnus Group Ltd as a director on 15 February 2017.

I don’t know what to make of this discrepancy over his initial involvement because I can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t know who they’re working for, or when they started. Though I suppose we have to accept the rest of his Linkedin entry, which tells us he had previously worked for Laing O’Rourke and Carillion.

Linkedin also tells us Down became Dawnus group managing director in January 2018. Before becoming a director of all the other companies in the group 10/12 March 2018. By which time the skids were well and truly greased.

All of which makes Down joining Dawnus a strange career move, unless he was assured that there was a future at Dawnus, maybe a future guaranteed by players keeping a low profile.

Soon after Down took control a Chattel Mortgage was secured from HSBC Bank plc, on 16 March 2018. This was added to seven other charges taken out between August 2017 and February 2018, either with Lloyds Bank or HSBC. These earlier loans were all against land and property owned by the company.

On 28 March two charges were delivered by ‘Welsh Ministers’ against Dawnus Construction Holdings Ltd (DCH). But only one of them appears to have been delivered against other Dawnus companies in the group.

The one specific to DCH being charge number 042305790020, and if we scroll down to page 10, we start a long list of construction site material, much of it heavy and expensive machinery. By the time we get to page 17 we can see that much of this machinery is in Liberia, with some in neighbouring Sierra Leone.

Extract from HSBC Chattel Mortgage on Dawnus Construction Holdings Ltd, click to enlarge

This looks to be exactly the same equipment listed in the HSBC Chattel Mortgage. Which suggests that Dawnus took out a mortgage with HSBC and then, less than two weeks later, the ‘Welsh Ministers’ seemed to ‘cover’ the HSBC loan (or part of it).

This raises a number of issues. To begin with, it might disprove the theory that a great deal of machinery came home from Sierra Leone when Ebola struck in 2014/15. Did it move down the road to Liberia, or was there always equipment in Liberia?

What we know is that more equipment went out from Swansea to west Africa before Christmas. I have now seen photographs and other evidence for these shipments.

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And we are talking big money here. Even second-hand machines can cost hundreds of thousands of pounds. While a source tells me there’s a thriving export market in second-hand equipment to the land of Uncle Sam, due to the fact that all new machinery sold there must be made in the USA.

The ‘Welsh Government’ is said to have handed over £3.5m, of which two million has been repaid. This was done in early July and the ‘Description of Assets’ would appear to be machines at the Swansea depot, now cleared for export.

But was the ‘Welsh Government’ actually repaid some of the money it was owed, or was it a charade to justify releasing those machines? Perhaps under instructions from a higher authority? Something we’ll consider in a moment.

A FLOCK OF PHOENIX!

In the previous post I told you that since the ‘collapse’ of Dawnus a new company had been formed, called Dawnus International Group Ltd, formed 22 March. Well, it’s already shed the Dawnus name to become DIG International Group Ltd.

And now there’s another new company, Dawnus Commercial Consulting Ltd, Incorporated 28 March. The sole director is Andrew Kenneth Keay of Cardiff.

You may recall that we met Keay in the previous post. He was sole director of Dawnus Commercial Management Ltd from its Incorporation 20 February 2013 until its dissolution 9 June 2015. Dawnus Commercial Management Ltd was resurrected 25 August 2015 with Keay again as sole director.

Keay has also been in business using his own name with Keay Cost Value Engineering Ltd, 9 August 2004 until 28 July 2015.

I’m sure it’s no coincidence that the original Dawnus Commercial Management folded in June 2015, Keay Cost Value Engineering folded in July, and then Dawnus Commercial Management Ltd was re-born in August.

But that still doesn’t tell us who Keay is, how he fits into the Dawnus picture, and why he uses the name.

Another company I mentioned earlier was Legsun Ltd, where we find Nick Down as director and Timothy Alun Lowe serving as both director and secretary. While not a new company, Legsun had life breathed into a couple of weeks ago when it was able to satisfy three charges with the National Westminster Bank plc.

Legsun Ltd accounts for y/e 31.12.2017, click to enlarge

Quite an achievement for a company that returned a loss of £4,147,000 on turnover of £9,298,000 for year ending 31.12.2017, compared with £1,184,000 and £17,496,000 respectively for the previous year. So how was Legsun able to do it?

These charges were satisfied on the very day it became publicly known that Dawnus had collapsed.

All of which makes it quite obvious that ‘Dawnus’ may have collapsed but certain parts of the group are being hived off to carry on. They may eventually drop the Dawnus name, and will probably be operating overseas.

FLYING THE FLAG?

I am now convinced that the UK government was instrumental in the Dawnus disaster. I believe that Dawnus was propped up – with the help of the ‘Welsh Government’ – for as long as was necessary to prepare things in Africa, then the prop was removed.

Which is a hell of a thing to say, but the evidence is out there. Or rather, as I hope to prove, it’s here, and you’re going to read it.

As I’ve said, everybody knew Dawnus was up Shit Creek, and it’s been known for well over a year, Cyngor Sir Ynys Môn paying Dawnus’ bills is just one example of this. But Dawnus couldn’t be allowed to collapse until things were ready.

The rot had set in some time before that, maybe it was down to the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. Maybe not. Whatever the truth is, the problems confronting Dawnus, and the company’s resultant vulnerability, probably explain the arrival of Nicholas Charles Down.

Down tells us that he had worked in senior positions overseas for most of his working life, much of it in a sensitive region like the Middle East. He would therefore have had regular contact with the Foreign Office, and perhaps other agencies.

This explains his being sent to Dawnus. The exact manner of his appointment I’m still unsure about, but that doesn’t really matter, what’s important is his background and the timing of his arrival.

For Dawnus was to become a company run at arms-length by the UK government to serve the UK’s strategic interests in another sensitive region, Africa. For while there had been a tendency to ignore sub-Saharan Africa in the post-colonial period recent Chinese investment in the continent had changed all that.

Where’s the evidence?

OK, let’s go back to August last year, when the prime minister Theresa May was in South Africa, and we heard of a ‘Swansea consortium’, involving Dawnus, Swansea University, and Hydro Industries Ltd of Llangennech. (The Uni and Hydro Industries had in fact shacked up in January.)

Image courtesy of Getty Images, click to enlarge

So who or what is Hydro Industries? Well, it seems to have been a small company, bumping along, under the directorship of David Pickering and a couple of others. That is Dai Pickering formerly of the Welsh Rugby Union, arch-Brit and obsequious royalist.

Pickering, together with Wayne Preece and Robert Lovering, took over the company in January 2013 from its founders. After more than five years of glorious obscurity they were joined on the board in June 2018 by Guto Harri, former BBC journalist and later ‘communications director’ for Boris Johnson.

Why would Tory insider Harri join a small company in Carmarthenshire? What’s more, one in a very poor financial state.

For the most recent accounts for Hydro Industries, up to 31 March 2017, make for grim reading. Yet despite being in such a parlous state the three director still paid themselves £290,489, and also made a political donation of £20,000! (Socialist Workers Party, probably.)

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Harri was soon followed by other big hitters, check them out for yourself. If you’re wondering who Diane Marguerite Marie Briere De L’isle is I can tell you that she’s the French wife of Henry Englehardt, American founder of Admiral Insurance.

So one minute we have a little company in Carmarthenshire up to its neck in debt, and the next minute it’s attracting rich and influential people, who now control and own the company, with Dai and his mates kept on for appearance’ sake . . . though I’m sure they’re getting well paid for it.

And all this happens at the same time as troubled Dawnus is taken over, hollowed out and asset stripped, with the expensive equipment shipped off to Africa, and once that’s all done Dawnus is allowed to collapse. And we know these events are linked because the prime minister is in RSA pushing a ‘Swansea Consortium’.

Dawnus was kept alive and then put down, throwing Welsh people out of work, leaving Welsh sub-contractors and Welsh suppliers unpaid. Leaving contracts across Wales unfinished, causing misery and disruption to many, many people.

And the ‘Welsh Government’ collaborated enthusiastically in this conspiracy to inflict misery on Welsh people. ‘Welsh’ Labour became a willing party to England’s protection of her post-colonial interests in Africa by doing down, yet again, her first and oldest colony.

This about sums up the Labour Party . . . and devolution . . . and Wales’ relationship with England. When are we going to learn?

♦ end ♦

UPDATE 09:00: Something in the back of my mind told me, ‘Check on Dai Pickering – haven’t you read something somewhere?’ So I did. And I had. Pickering ‘bought’ the Llangennech site where we find Hydro Industries.

Initially Carmarthenshire County Council bought the site from the MoD and sold it on in a ‘no other bidders’ deal to Pickering. Or so it was assumed, but the Land Registry makes clear that the site is actually owned by his partner Robert Lovering.

But Pickering was the perfect door-opener – Oh, Dai Pickering, played for Wales. Tidy boy, mun – what do he wunt?’ And he had debts. But his record as a rugby player and then as a WRU official meant he was perfect for whoever wanted to impress the locals and make use of the Llangennech site.

Among those that took up residence on the Llangennech site was the Prince’s Trust, and wouldn’t you know it – Brigadier Rick Libbey, now Chief Operating Officer of Hydro Industries, “spent four years as the Director of The Prince’s Trust Cymru and Director for South West England”.

I suggest you read Cneifiwr’s article in which he refers to a piece by Paddy French of Rebecca Television. Also worth a read is this Carmarthenshire Planning item from October 2017. These explain the background to the Llangennech deal. And they make clear that certain people have friends in very high places.

Given the involvement of Mark James and Swansea University I do hope the UK government isn’t planning to further rip off the Swansea City deal to serve its interests in Africa.

35 thoughts on “Dawnus 2

    1. The more I dig the more I come to believe that Wales is utterly corrupt. And it’s not just the criminals I’m talking about, because some of the worst corruption involves politicians and civil servants, at all levels of government.

  1. Brychan

    How was Cyngor Ynys Môn reliant on Dawnus for road gritting?

    Grit/Salt stocks in Wales are purchased centrally by SWTRA and NMWTRA. In the south, for example, the main dump is on the Coryton interchange of the M4 and all the surrounding councils just ‘pull off’ their allocation from the on a needs basis. Owned plant load the lorries from the central dump and there’s an inter-availability contract in place. Isn’t there something similar in place on the A55 in the north? Carmarthenshire, Powys and Ceredigion have joint auxiliary arrangements for geographic reasons and have dedicated salt barns from which councils claim to be distributed by owned plant.

    Is Ynys Môn just weird exception or did Dawnus have an arrangement across Wales we don’t yet know about?

  2. Dafis

    Alternative theory – not yet examined in detail – is that an opportunistic executive (Down), and probably a small team, saw the writing on the wall and re-engineered the weakened finances within the group of companies. Essentially shifted liabilities into one or more corners and assets into other corners. Then ring the bell, call in the administrators to deal with the “bad bits” and waltz off with a strengthened remainder. Legally this cannot and should not be done but UK has a recent history littered with creditors and shareholders left with little or nothing while a Phoenix and its supporting institutions waltz off feeling a lot healthier.

    That theory does not exclude the possibility of HMG’s involvement at various stages as we all know that nothing much is too hot or too heavy for those bastards.

    1. Down the opportunist might make sense were it not for certain other suspicions and considerable evidence.

      1/ I suspect that Down had links with HMG when he was working in the Middle East. Which means he might have been ‘seconded’ to Dawnus. Because I still don’t understand how or why he got involved with a company in deep poo-poo.
      2/ There is clear HMG involvement with Hydro Industries.
      3/ We have two companies – Legsun and Hydro – massively in debt, the kind of debt that would mean bankruptcy for any normal company. But these are not ‘normal’ companies because they are underwritten by HMG.
      4/ Then we have ‘Teflon’ Mark James of Carmarthenshire county council. For years people have wondered why nothing ever stuck to him. Well, if he was doing favours for HMG, and for people and companies favoured by HMG, then that explains a lot.
      5/ Recently we seem to have witnessed some kind of denouement as Dawnus goes tits up, Mark James announces his retirement, an obscure company in Llangennech starts attracting the good and the great, Swansea University is hung out to dry, and the City deal is jeopardised.
      6/ It now looks as if Dai Pickering and his mates have ridden off into the sunset to form a new property company which, if I’m right, will be well ‘looked after’.

      1. Dafis

        You say – “I suspect that Down had links with HMG……he might have been ‘seconded’ to Dawnus. Because I still don’t understand how or why he got involved with a company in deep pooh-pooh.”

        Stuff like this happened often in my time in industry. Guys, and it was mostly guys, reached a plateau with a major group, or dropped a bollock, or just got passed over for a promotion, got a chance of a handsome “senior exec” severance and were helped into their next job by a well placed influential contact. That contact could have been a mutual acquaintance at another major business with clout and contacts in the industry, or a “Search ” consultant doing much the same thing or a well placed politician or some other guy plugged into the same network. Bingo the boy ends up at Dawnus, at first maybe just thinking it might keep his feet warm and family fed while he found a number more in line with his “track record”. While there he sees a developing situation and things then move on to where we are today.

        1. I can understand what you’re saying, Dafis, and I know it happens. And it would explain Down’s presence in Wales (even though he appears to live in England!) but then there’s the other little oddities I listed. Especially the link-up with Hydro Industries which is definitely being used by HMG.

          Another factor is that ‘Aid’ to third world countries is the façade behind which governments promote their strategic and economic interests. With both Hydro Industries and what remains of Dawnus involved in this work, and when we consider the massive changes both have undergone in the past year or two, then I believe that HMG involvement is, on the balance of probability, very likely.

          1. Dafis

            …. and Mr Down will most likely to have been much more agreeable to such a relationship than R Jones and other founders. Those founding team were still around when Dawnus started off in W Africa creating a road network and other infrastructure mainly into mining & extractive related areas. Now that’s strategic ! Then along comes Ebola and possibly some other factors driving cost overruns such as the bribes budget not being big enough for all those local chiefs wanting a decent bung. This makes the company a touch more vulnerable, Jones &Co move on into retirement in this period, and the new regime begins to settle in and the serious manoeuvring /manipulation begins. Bung culture is just as big in W Africa as it ever was in places like Saudi & Gulf States so it was quite possibly the real root cause of failure.

  3. Sian Caiach

    Quite right about Pickering and the involvement of Mark James. The site in Llangennech, confusingly named “Stradey Business Park” was bought for Pickering and his partner by Carmarthenshire County Council form the MOD which was disposing of the site. I was a new Plaid councillor at the time, both county councillors for the Llangennech Ward were Plaid, Gwyn Hopkins and Gwyneth Thomas and both were very supportive of the scheme with the promise of fantasy jobs etc..

    Although the documents we were shown, but not allowed to keep, were quite open in that CCC was buying the site as the MOD would not countenance the sale to the persons who wanted it as they were disqualified in some way, our group was whipped to support it.

    Plaid were all for the council paying out £600K for the land which would be “sold” to the new owners for the same sum. I was assured by the Plaid Group leader that it was all kosher and despite my reservations “loyally”, I voted for it. I left Plaid soon after.

    I was told later that Llanegennech Community Council had got into financial difficulties when they built a new Community Hall. Funding promised by the local authority did not materialise and the local County Councillors were also Community councillors and were persuaded that the best way to settle the debts was to approve the building of large residential estates to provide increased income for paying off the debts, by the community precept on the council tax. The promised jobs and possible housing of the new project was the bait.

    To be fair, Mark James manipulated all the other political groups in the council but I’m sure he enjoyed messing Plaid around the most..Llangennech’s commuter and retiree targeted new estates have changed a very welsh community into a much less welsh one and changed the electoral balance against Plaid. The business Park has not produced the jobs in the numbers promised. How on earth do we allow these people to get away with it?.

    1. I was also told that the local football club was offered new facilities as part of the ‘sweetener’. No facilities materialised.

    2. Neil Singleton

      Also resident at Strady Business Park is a company called Thales, an “international defence and aerospace company”. Thales’s interest in locating in Dafen was the real reason Carmarthenshire County Council stepped in to buy the estate from the MOD, and it was top, top secret!!!, because Thales assemble state of the art troop carriers and armoured vehicles for the British Army. Thales did not wish to buy premises, so the estate was onward sold to Lovering so that he would refurbish and let buildings there to tenants. So hush hush was this operation that when Rhodri Morgan subsequently paid a visit, he and his accompanied band of acolytes had to sign confidentiality documents and were not allowed to peer inside the vehicles because the computerised systems were so top secret. Thales did not and do not manufacture the vehicles there. They are manufactured in Singapore and shipped over. The component parts are then assembled and the top secret gizmos fitted inside.

      1. Dafis

        Presence of Thales was not a big “secret” at all. Wales Gov always jumps to announce the arrival of new investments and Thales was no exception when several years ago they pitched up to finally assemble kit into pre built vehicles. Indeed the present CEO of Hydro, Wayne Preece, was one time a senior Ops/Production Mgr at the Thales site before getting lifted for his present post.

        It was said that the Thales contract was for a finite term but they have evidently had the product life extended or brought in a further stream of work, all M.O.D or foreign defence contracts for which some class of M.O.D approval is required otherwise they’d all be banging out kit for Putin and the Chinese and we can’t have that, can we ?

        As for confidentiality/secrecy well it’s all well and good signing bits of paper but some of these people have been known to chatter like demented monkeys when they think they are in the “right company” !

        1. Obviously Thales is no secret but what I find fascinating is the links between Thales and certain local companies. Making it clear to me that Lovering, Preece and Pickering have sponsors or guardians in the MoD and perhaps also the Foreign Office. I’m convinced the same applies to Down at Dawnus. Giving us companies that are ostensibly commercial enterprises but are in reality ‘fronts’ for the UK government. We’re into James Bond territory here.

          It’s this cosy network that allows certain ‘companies’ to trade with massive debts while poor old Dawnus was pushed off a cliff – certainly, the unwanted bits were – to the detriment of many hundreds of people.

          How much ‘Welsh Government involvement was there in the asset stripping and carving up of Dawnus?

  4. Jonesy

    Sorry for being thick but can you explain the above blog in an easier way. I am totally confused and why is the gvt buying a companh in llangennech

    1. I’m not saying the UK government is buying Hydro Industries, what I’m saying is that the company will be controlled and used by the UK government to promote its interests in west Africa behind a smokescreen of aid work.

      Governments all over the world use private companies to do their work and disguise their involvement. If you want a famous or notorious example, there was Air America, which posed as a legitimate passenger and cargo airline but was in fact run by the CIA and used to transport money, arms, drugs and God knows what else.

      So the UK government controlling what’s left of Dawnus, plus Hydro Industries and a couple of other companies shouldn’t surprise anyone. In fact, it’s almost normal.

      My beef is that a Welsh company and hundreds of its employees, suppliers and sub-contractors suffered because the UK government – with the enthusiastic assistance of those bastards in Cardiff Bay – could asset strip Dawnus, keep what it wanted, and throw the rest away.

  5. Dafis

    Worth a look too, Dr Alice giving the Bundestag a lecture on the EU and its obese overpowerful structure.

    With this dame leading the show I suspect that a lot of people would be happier signing up to a leaned down EU single market and lot less political nonsense.

      1. Dafis

        I may find some of AfD’s “core values” not to my taste, but that woman’s ability to cut through the crap and make a series of valid observations about where HER country stands in the middle of the Brexit mess is admirable. Assuming the translation was accurate she was not diverted into the garbled mess that politicians in Westminster and Cardiff seem to regard as their normal medium. No chance I suppose of Drakeford taking lessons from her in use of facts and succinct presentation.

    1. Brychan

      There are three features of ANY single market, (a) free movement of goods and services, (b) free movement of the labour that makes them, and (c) free movement of capital that invests in them. Cameron sought to have restrictions on (b). This is not possible in a single market. The debate in the Westminster House is the struggle over all three. A mission to cherry pick. The reality is that there is no such thing as a ‘deal’. That is just smoke and mirrors, as is a ‘customs union’ or ‘Canada Plus’, which affords access for specific purposes, stuff that the EU does not have, like Islandic prawns, Turkish coffee or Canadian lumber.

      Time to face up.

      There is only two realistic options. Membership of the EU or hard Brexit. It’s just a question of what polish to use on the turd. I have no doubt that a momentum is in place, which involves the unification of Ireland, an independent Scotland (who will no doubt join the single market – oil) and the economy in England will revolve around thick skanks from places like Souffend wearing high viz jackets emblazoned with Serco or G4S checking border crossings. The destiny of Wales will be a Hi-Di-Hi colony for supervisory staff with a few zip-wires for summer.

      That is unless there is a serious discussion in Wales over an independent destiny.
      Time to face up.

      1. Brychan

        There is already a ‘suckers list’ of people who have failed the entry qualification from the recent recruitment drive for 200 additional officers to UKBA at Folkestone and Dover.

        This ‘suckers list’ will be people prepared to work zero hours contracts to do stuff like marshalling HGVs from domestic traffic for ‘Operation Brock’ on the A2, M20, and M26 in Kent. These suckers will be required to do stuff like hand out bottles of water to stranded vehicles on hot days, record lorry driver diving licenses against vehicle registrations, and any corralling or low level administration which the police or full time UKBA staff still do not have the manpower to do.

        These ‘suckers’ will also have extra pay and expenses to work outside of Kent at locations such as Harwich, Fishguard, Holyhead, Portsmouth, etc, as required. Of particular concern is the ‘landbridge traffic’ to and from Ireland.

        These ‘border suckers’ will have high viz jackets with Union Jacks on the back and a company logo (G4S and Serco are favourite for the contract) and they will have the power to stop and hold domestic traffic on approaches to ports and operate existing facilities currently operated by HMRC and UKBA. In Wales this will include sites such as the one at Kilgetty on the A40, and Fishguard harbour. In Wales they will not need to abide by devolved legislation (language, pay etc) since the UK government told the Welsh Government to drop the ‘Continuity Act’ to allow it (unlike Scotland).

        The Royal Military Police and their vehicles are already on active patrol with some domestic police forces for purposes of ‘familiarisation’ in dealing with situations should they arise.

  6. Dafis

    I see that great Welshman Neil “brown bag” Hamilton pipped Plaid candidate in Newport bi-election. Doesn’t reflect well on the party’s capacity for penetrating new areas within Wales. Given their heartland is rapidly being diluted by Anglo plantations will they hold on to anything in next GE. Strength of personality may get LSR through but others are in vulnerable seats.

    1. Newport was always a hard nut to crack. Though given the rise in house prices due to the removal of bridge tolls leading to an influx of Bristol commuters Plaid should have done better. But of course Plaid Cymru would never play that card, it would be too ‘nationalist’.

      1. Big Gee

        That’s what you get with a “Hide Behind the Sofa” party. Sadly they’re not so gentle and timid when it comes to attacking their own within the ranks.

        Lee Felton provided a nice analysis on the by-election on our News Portal, I don’t know if you’ve read it. If not you can find it by clicking HERE.

        You’re right about Newport being a hard nut to crack, as are big swathes of old Monmouthshire. I lived and worked in the Cwmbran/ Newport area in the late seventies and early eighties. It was quite a culture shock to see how closely aligned with the Bristol area the public down there are. Of course historically they have been aligned with England and were administered from there until comparatively recently. The Gwent Valleys are a different proposition though, and ripe for the picking in my view.

        1. Brychan

          Newport West is very similar to Cardiff West in terms of cultural demographics. The fact that Neil McEvoy can draw half the vote in one constituency and Plaid Cymru can barely scrape 5% of the vote in the other tells a story. The narrative of Plaid Cymru does not engage the electorate. This is because Plaid is currently obsessed with ‘middle class coffee shop ishoos’ and is not relevant to ordinary working people of the inner city. It’s wrong to say that the people of Newport are any less Welsh than their compatriots elsewhere. They are ‘different’ and they have a unique Welsh identity, something that has not been ‘engaged’. The reality is that over 60% of the voters in Newport West did not vote at all and are turned off by ‘British’ politics and there is no party that is providing an Welsh alternative motivating them to turn out at the ballot box.

          1. Dafis

            Different and probably difficult to motivate out of that negative mindset. But radical pro-independence parties will have to make a sustained barrage of information in punchy succinct points to stimulate initial interest with more in-depth info to hand for those whose curiosity is sufficiently aroused. This will require people willing to discuss debate and argue, yet not resort to some abstract moral “high ground” in which so many of our present representative leaders are inclined to indulge.

  7. Dafis

    All those tweets about hospital services in N.E Wales and Chester are interesting. Chester quite rightly questions the current level of compensation for treating patients from the West side of the dyke. However how many of those patients were originally English but moved ( or were moved !) to live in Wales bringing their health conditions with them ? Also how many unwell English migrants present at hospitals in N.Wales as soon as they get set up in their new locale ? And how many patients travel from Cheshire into Wales to grab free presrciptions and any other goodies not available in England ? By all means pay the Countess of Chester a fair price but make sure that all the other stuff gets paid for too. Colonial powers very adept at “extracting value” from subordinate territories.

  8. D

    From my limited interface with the company, Dawnus, I find it sad that it expired – it was as far as I knew a strong local west wales based company where welsh seemed to be the main language of communication, certainly among the staff I bumped into. Now gone, never to return as it was.

    Maybe they should have found a tourism project and shovelled any grants received into the construction business instead?

    Will be interesting to see/watch who buys out the salvageable bits of the wreckage, may give a clue as to what happened.

    With regard to Neil Hamilton [and Missus?] – from some dealings in west wales people have found him far better at raising issues with councils than the plaid MP/MP, maybe a lesson for Caebrwyn as she tries valiantly to deal with Carms CC and its CE. Looks like Jonathan Edwards MP not quite cutting the mustard. NH not to my liking due to his past etc but if he does his day job in comparison to others then not to be dismissed.

  9. Andrew Keay

    My name is Andrew Keay & neither myself, Keay Cost Value Engineering, Dawnus Commercial Management, Dawnus Commercial Consulting, or any of my other companies have ever been associated in anyway with Dawnus Construction. I am nothing more than a service provider to the construction industry. As my previous post alluded it is now my intention to take civil action against you, as an individual, for breach of Article 17 of GDPR. If you understood anything about the Welsh language you would realise Dawnus means gifted/talented. Look at the Dawnus logo, ‘Dawnus, a talent for construction’.

    See you in court soon!

    1. Andrew Keay

      I notice you have also failed to publish my previous post here. One can only assume your faceless accusations and blatant attempts at deformation of character, have also resulted in your morphing to an invertebrate?

      1. Oi, Mush! I don’t man this blog 24/7; I have other things to do, football to watch, meals to eat. I have removed the piece you objected to – haven’t you checked? Now take yourself away unto a far place.

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