Devolution has made Wales poorer


Before you start, let me warn you that this is quite a long piece, it’s long because it deals with the fundamental problems of devolution, and explains why devolution has resulted in Wales becoming poorer.

Though you can console yourselves with the knowledge that unless some bastards really annoy me between now and Hogmanay this will be my last posting of 2017.

Here’s how devolution makes Wales poorer, with a few of the consequences:

  1. Fundamentally, devolution makes Wales poorer due to the way devolution is funded
  2. A problem exacerbated by separate legislation and funding allowing England to impose burdens on Wales that would be impossible without devolution
  3. That said, Wales being poor suits the interests of the Labour Party, which blames others for the state of Wales while exploiting the poverty for electoral gain and to build a crony empire
  4. As there is no party or alliance of parties capable of breaking Labour’s stranglehold Wales is condemned to ever-worsening poverty
  5. With devolution being so disastrous for Wales we are left with only two realistic alternatives: independence or being treated more fairly as part of England

I shall deal with all of the above points but not necessarily separately (or even in that order) because of linkages that I hope become clear.


There is no question that Wales is worse off today than when we had the first elections to the Welsh Assembly in May 1999. The evidence is everywhere, and not only is the Wales of 2017 poorer than the Wales of 1999, we are also poorer relative to other parts of the UK than we were in 1999, and falling further behind every year.

It doesn’t really matter which index you use – GVA, GDPwages, child poverty – the picture painted is the same. (While our GVA may have grown faster than the other countries of the UK in recent years that growth seems to be restricted to Cardiff.)

One of the major reasons for Wales’ relative poverty is the funding arrangement known as the Barnett Formula. This article on the BBC Northern Ireland website explains it in simple terms.

Note that it admits, “The figures vary slightly every year, but in 2012-2013 Northern Ireland got the most – £10,876 per head. Scotland got £10,152 per head and Wales, despite being much poorer, got £9,709.” (My underline.)

So we see that, to begin with, Wales is disadvantaged in the allocation of funding, but it gets worse. For in the article we also read, “Some argue a needs-based system – which would take into account factors such as the age of the population and levels of poverty – would be a fairer formula.”

The importance of the reference to “the age of the population” will be explained in a minute.


Now in any normal country this deteriorating situation might have resulted in a change of government, if not social upheaval, but this is Wales and such things never happen, partly because there’s a scapegoat. For since 2010 there’s been a Conservative government in London, and so for ‘Welsh’ Labour and its little helper it’s all the fault of them wicked Tories.

But Wales had been in decline since the beginning of the devolution era, and from 1999 until 2010 there was a Labour government in London, first led by Tony Blair and then by Gordon Brown. So did Labour and Plaid Cymru blame ‘London’ then? Well, obviously, Labour didn’t, and Plaid’s criticism was usually muted, certainly after the palace coup that removed leader Dafydd Wigley in 2000 (after he’d led his party to its greatest electoral success), and also during the Labour-Plaid coalition of 2007 – 2011.

To reverse this decline would require radical change, but ‘Welsh’ Labour is as afraid of radical change as the stone throwers of Saudi Arabia; for Labour in Wales is a very conservative party. It wants things to stay the same because the status quo serves its interests, with no change countenanced unless it can benefit the party.

‘ . . . and it’all the fault of them wicked Tories up in Lundun’. Bollocks! Try looking closer to home, Leanne.

The other consideration is that change of a radical nature, i.e. Wales doing things for itself, to benefit itself, might unleash demons that could inflame a hitherto resigned populace with ideas of Welsh competence. Clearly, a dangerous road to take for a party that, when it comes to the relationship with England, may be viewed as the DUP without the bowlers and the sashes.

To understand Plaid Cymru you need to know that Plaid today is a bound-for-oblivion alliance of a socially conservative rural grass-roots with a leadership stratum made up of ‘progressives’ fighting UK-wide or even global battles against the forces of darkness.

While Trump is president, Brexit looms, the globe warms, the right marches in Freedonia, and Wales lacks transgender toilets in every coffee shop, Wales is too small and too poor to interest such ‘progressives’.


I’ve said that Wales will never prosper under devolution, but in the heading to this article I suggest that devolution by its very nature is partly responsible for our decline. So let me explain.

Fundamentally, devolution has made it easier for England to impose financial and other burdens on us that would have been almost impossible prior to 1999. This has inevitably contributed to our decline.

In that article from the BBC Northern Ireland website that I used you read, regarding the Barnett Formula, the suggestion that, “a needs-based system – which would take into account factors such as the age of the population and levels of poverty – would be a fairer formula.”

This would definitely help us in Wales because our population is older than those in the other administrations, and ageing faster. The percentage of our population in the 65+ bracket in 2008 was 21.4%, while in Northern Ireland it was 16.7%, England 19.1%, and Scotland 19.7%.

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A major reason for the high proportion of elderly people in the Welsh population is the large numbers of English people retiring to Wales. And this influx inevitably increases the burden on our NHS and other services.

In some areas a majority of the over 65s was born in England. Here’s a table I compiled a while back using figures gleaned from the 2011 census. In 2011 only 68.8% of the 65+ age group in Wales was actually born here.

In Conwy only 37.1% of the over 65s were born in Wales. That’s a staggering statistic.

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This should be a cause for concern, because every western country worries about the ‘ticking timebomb’ of an ageing population, but don’t worry, because in Wales a rapidly ageing population is seen as a positive.

A letter I received from the Office of the First Minister assured me, “There are almost 800,000 people aged 60 and over in Wales, over a quarter of the population, and, in the next twenty years, this is expected to exceed one million people. The fact that Wales is a nation of older people should be seen as something positive”.

So there you have it, here in Wales we’ve found the right wire to snip in order to de-activate the demographic time-bomb. So why aren’t economists, health professionals and others flocking here from around the world to learn from us? Because it’s all bullshit, that’s why.

And there’s another reason for lying, because to prop up the NHS and related services education and all sorts of other budgets have to be raided. One organisation suffering badly is Natural Resources Wales, which looks after our forests, rivers and other assets.

From £139m in 2013/2014 the ‘Welsh’ Government grant to NRW will fall to £65m in 2019/20. Falling by more than half in six years, in a country supposedly dedicated to protecting the natural environment (if only to attract tourists).

Of course people were retiring to Wales long before we had devolution, but if health services were not devolved then we would almost certainly have seen an increase in funding, but with devolution and the block grant the attitude is, ‘You’ve had your money, it’s up to you how you allocate it’.

This is just one of the ways in which devolution allows England to dump on Wales, but there are many others, which I shall deal with soon.


As we’ve seen, Labour blames the Conservative government in London for all our ills, and conveniently ignores the fact that it was in power in the UK until 2010 and could have reformed the Barnett Formula. But Labour prefers to exploit Welsh poverty by blaming the Tories for causing it in order to maintain Labour’s hold on Wales.

Plaid Cymru’s position is marginally less discreditable, but in attacking them wicked Tories up in London too many in Plaid tend to forget who runs the administration nearer home. For them, perceptions of ideological solidarity with Labour blur the reality.

Giving us two parties for which what’s best for Wales will always take second place to (for Labour) hanging onto power, and (for Plaid) being a peripheral part of some UK leftist-‘progressive’ front.

On the other side, the Tories turn up to slag off the left and carry tales to their bosses in London for them to use in order to warn English voters of the perils of voting Labour. Former prime minister David Cameron even described the Wales-England border as the “line between life and death” due to the state of the NHS in Wales.

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But Cameron was right, the Welsh NHS is crumbling, and it’s partly due to the influx of elderly English, most of them Tory voters, but he’s not going to admit that, is he?

So we see that the Tories also exploit Wales’ poverty for electoral gain. Great system, eh! – ‘Let’s keep Wales poor so both the main English parties can use it to their advantage’.

We’ve seen that Labour’s response to Wales’ plight is not to reform the Barnett Formula, not to fight the invasion of the blue rinses, not to stand up for Wales in any way. So how does Labour respond?

Well, in addition to blaming everything on them wicked Tories, Labour sets up one organisation after another to ‘combat poverty’, or ‘deprivation’, or ‘discrimination’, or homelessness, or whatever else third sector shysters can persuade civil servants and politicians needs to be combated.

For Labour, the advantage is that those who make up the third sector tend to be on the luvvie left, which makes them natural Labour sympathisers; while the bloated third sector these parasites create also provides opportunities for ‘Welsh’ Labour to practice the patronage and cronyism for which it is rightly famed. Which gives Wales a third sector providing sinecures for both those who could smell the money from afar and failed local politicians and loyal hangers-on.

Labour also responds with gimmicks, especially gimmicks designed to gain favourable reporting in the friendly English media. One that made big news was of course free prescriptions back in 2007. Scotland and Northern Ireland followed suit . . . but not England, where the charge is now £8.60 per item.

Inevitably, this has resulted in a movement of people from England to Wales to take advantage of our generosity, people with long-term medical conditions, which further increase the burden on our NHS. Something that, again, would have been impossible without devolution.

But to talk of such things would make us ‘uncaring’, or ‘selfish’, heinous crimes in a country as rich as Wales.


I’ve written many times about Registered Social Landlords, more usually known as housing associations, and so I don’t propose to go into any great depth here, suffice it to say that we have a system of social housing so mismanaged and damaging to Welsh interests that it could only have been developed with objectives other than providing good rented accommodation for Welsh people.

For a start, our social housing is – despite ‘devolution’ – part of an Englandandwales system that, through the Housing (Wales) Act 2014, awards priority status to English criminals, drug addicts, problems families and others. To the extent that social housing, especially in some rural towns, is now often referred to as ‘anti-social housing’ due to the problems it imports.

To make matters worse, there is now an ‘arms race’ under way as it becomes obvious that we have too many social housing providers and the number must be reduced. So all manner of ill-considered and irresponsible ‘agreements’ are being entered into with probation companies and other English or cross-border agencies.

Also, in this era of ‘consolidation’, we see Labour blatantly backing housing associations controlled by its supporters – RSLs such as Wales & West, Pobl Group – to expand and take over housing bodies concerned with providing a decent service rather than with spreading ‘Welsh’ Labour influence.

Closely linked with social housing is the ‘homelessness’ racket, that ships in homeless people from England and elsewhere in order to increase the problem of ‘Welsh’ homelessness and guarantee funding increases for third sector bodies, due to another ‘arms race’ under way here.

A letter I recently received from the ‘Welsh’ Government told me there are 48 homelessness agencies operating in Wales and being funded by the WG (though the figure given for the amount of funding involved was wildly – and I hope not deliberately – misleading). This is obviously a ludicrous and unsustainable number and so I can guarantee a cull.

To give specific examples we’ll go to the website of the Wallich, one of the big boys in the homelessness industry with an income for year ended 31 March 2017 of almost £13m, £7.8m of which went on salaries, but still left £2.8m for investments, £938,478 of it in ‘overseas equities’. (Read the accounts for yourselves.)

Here are some Wallich case studies: First, Anthony, who (we are asked to believe) got on the wrong train in Devon and arrived in Cardiff. Then there’s Peter, who (of his own volition, honest) moved from Birmingham to Swansea. Finally, there’s Kerry, a victim of domestic violence with a drink problem herself who made the move from Northern Ireland to Wales, presumably because there were no nearer refuges.

‘Support that Helps’ to provide lots of cushy jobs, overseas investments, and of course, funding to look after many of England’s homeless.

Another major player in the homelessness business is Llamau which is currently reminding us that if you want to stay afloat in a cut-throat market then you’ve got to be innovative, find yourself a niche, get celebs on board. Which is what they believe they’ve done by focusing on homelessness among young people. (Apparently the other 47 homelessness outfits are turning youngsters away!)

And of course, you’ve also got to use the media, something the third sector is very good at, with newspaper articles and a television series. Until quite recently the chair of the Llamau board was Angela Gascoigne, who represents the trans-Severn future planned for our south east.

She has strong links with housing and ex-offender bodies in England, she’s also on the board of the Wales Probation Trust (part of an Englandandwales set-up), and here we find her with Llamau, a body that has suddenly discovered there’s money to be made from housing homeless youngsters.

I assure you, Gasgoigne’s CV dovetailing so perfectly with Llamau’s latest scam scheme is not accidental, for Gascoigne’s English connections provide many of Llamau’s clients.

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Another lesson from Llamau is that if you want to rip off the Welsh public purse, but throw the locals off the scent, choose a Welsh name you can’t properly pronounce while stuffing the board and senior management with your English friends.

There are just too many other examples of how Wales is put upon, how our funding is stolen, for me to deal with them all, but here’s one final example that would be impossible to inflict on Wales without devolution.

I’ve told you that the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 guarantees homeless people and others with no Welsh connections priority treatment, and this explains both the funding wasted by housing associations and the plethora of homelessness organisations currently plaguing Wales. If they don’t ship them in themselves then both encourage homeless people and others to turn up in Wales and demand to be housed.

But in some areas the legislation is so specific that it’s quite striking. For example, if we go to 70 (1) (i) we read that Wales must also give priority to homeless ex-service personnel, but why doesn’t the comparable English legislation make the same demands of English social housing providers? Don’t you find that odd?

One doesn’t need to be ‘uncaring’, or even ‘callous’, to realise that homeless ex-service personnel in England are now being directed to Wales. And that 70 (1) (i) was a deliberate insertion into what is supposed to be Welsh legislation . . . which means it couldn’t have been done without devolution.

And it will of course cost the Welsh public purse a great deal of money. So how the hell did this little sub-clause appear in ‘Welsh’ legislation?


I hope I’ve lived up to the promise I made in the Introduction and explained why devolution has been disastrous for Wales, and why things can only get worse.

Only a liar or a fool will argue that devolution delivers for Wales and that we should stick with it, ‘make it work’. It is designed not to work . . . not for Wales, anyway. It’s clear that ‘Welsh’ devolution works better for England than it does for Wales. Labour and its third sector guarantee that.

Which is why I say in the Introduction that if we want to avoid Wales becoming a third world country for our people then we have only two alternatives: either we choose to officially and constitutionally become a part of England, or we push for independence.

If you agree with me that independence is the only acceptable route for anyone who truly cares about Wales, anyone with an ounce of patriotism, then you must also accept that no political party we have today is capable of delivering independence. It’s questionable if any of the parties we know today even wants independence.

Fortunately a new party was recently formed that will argue for Welsh interests to be given priority, for Welsh needs to be met, for Wales to aspire to prosperity and independence rather than virtue signalling poverty.

This new party is Wales’ only hope; perhaps our last hope. The choice is yours, but I urge you to get involved and play your part. Start now by clicking here to register your interest.

Unless of course you’re content with Wales remaining Labour’s poverty-stricken fiefdom and England’s dumped-on colony, where the only growth industry is the third sector, which maintains Labour’s control and facilitates England’s exploitation.

Personally, I think our people deserve better. And I know we can do better – if we give ourselves the chance.


♦ end ♦

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Big Gee

When was the last time you heard a ‘rumpus’ in Y Senedd Dafis?
Status quo and procrastination – makes for an easy life. Just wait until we get a foot in the door, we’ll teach them what a rumpus should sound like!

Have you registered your support yet old friend?


Post Christmas things carry on much as they did pre Xmas, surprise surprise.

Saw this in Times Online this morning :

1,000 jobs at risk as tidal power project is stranded

A thousand high-value manufacturing jobs are set to be lost in the Midlands because of the government’s continuing failure to decide whether to support tidal lagoon marine power
Read the full story

Serious concerns raised about the threat to c.1000 jobs in England and all the focus of most of the commenters is the “effect on England’s jobs” or the high costs of the project to the “English economy and public purse”. Plenty of reasons in there for someone to rear up and say well if you cnuts don’t want it cut us loose and we’ll do it ourselves funded by what we save by being out of all that wasteful spending on HS2, Palace refurbs, Trident upgrade, foreign “aid” etc etc.

Come on CJ, Leanne at al you should be out of your post Xmas doze by now and making a rumpus. There again that would require a serious modification of behaviour – no chance !


Palace refurbs are from Sovereign Grant. Not sure thats really anything we can complain about. Its not tax payers money… no more than the proceeds of any other private business anyway. As far as Welsh nationalism goes needs to begin with “Not our Monarchy” and ends with “It represents a long line of oppressive Kings, Queens and Governments”.


Palace of Westminster ?


Ohhh that place… whoops! Sorry. I forgot it existed.


…. and not to be outdone, this afternoon LlaisySais runs its repeating mantra from boy Cairns, and the little runt is organising a conference, a Severn Growth Summit no less, at Celtic Manor in January to generate even more hot air on this topic. 2018 promises to be very challenging !


Jac Planning ahead you should keep your diary open for 8th March 2018 as no doubt you could be asked to attend as an honoured guest and to present a couple of awards, say Best caravan etc, Best Attraction, best destination, plenty of choice there. Alternatively you could nominate one or two of your most “favoured” operators for one of these august awards in recognition of their contributions to ………….

To learn more of this unmissable shin dig read :


I shall write to Lord DET, now that he has Cabinet responsibilities for this so important segment of the National Destruction Plan, and give you a mention. If invited don’t forget to turn up with full regalia, including that hat ! And take a toy pistol in case Parry is about on the night. Better still take a real one.


You mention the fall in funding for Natural Resources Wales. £139m to £65m. Of course, £14.6million of NRW cash was handed over to the ‘third sector’, most notable being the CAN project.

Here’s a video of the project showing the receivers of this funding explaining their achievements. All have English accents apart from the Trawsfynydd fishing chap who’s built an angling platform for people in wheelchairs and the arty theatre tent man of Penllŷn who puts on Shakespeare plays.

Fourteen million quid to supply more tea rooms and ‘visitor centres’. The most idiotic one, however, is the “celtic roundhouse” at Felin Uchaf near Pwllheli where funding has employed a storyteller, Hugh Lupton, of the English Acoustic Collective.


Brychan – the explanation for the advanced fuckwittery at Natural Resources Wales will become clear if you visit their website and take a look at the Board members. Only three of them have any knowledge or experience of natural resources.

The Chair is Diane McCrea who previously worked for Which? magazine and was Chair of Shelter Cymru.
Another member is Nigel Reader, who’s background is in the Treasury and who is an advisor to Prince Charles. Dr Ruth Hall is a member too – Hall was a public health consultant in north Wales during the 1990s and was Chief Medical Officer for Wales, 1997-05. Sir Paul Williams is on the Board – Paul Williams is the former CEO of NHS Wales and the Civil Service Mandarin who ran the Health and Social Services in Wales. Hall and Williams were at the top of the NHS/Social Services in Wales when Wales had some of the worst health outcomes in Europe and when there was criminal activity in the NHS/ Social Services in order to conceal the paedophile gang which operated in the children’s homes in north Wales.

That’s why all that has been produced in return for millions is some tea shops which are only open between 10-4 two or three days a week employing one or two people on minimum wage who are laid off during the winter months.


Well spotted drsally. It seems that those who have spent a career wrecking the health of the human population then move on to have a go at doing the same for the environment. Goody !


You refer to Natural Resources Wales {NRW} Brychan. I previously worked for their predecessor Environment Agency Wales in the Flood Risk Management function. I have been following the fiasco of the flood alleviation scheme in Cardiff with interest. Those wishing to challenge the scheme {even at this late stage} should request a copy of the benefit v cost analysis approved by Welsh Government when funding was allocated. Any engineer familiar with the appraisal process may find the content of interest. The analysis aims to provide the justification for the scheme. I am personally reluctant to get involved in assessing the merits of a scheme at Cardiff as I am currently involved in protracted correspondence on so many other issues relating to third sector organisations operating in Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion. However, if a copy of the B v C analysis for the scheme becomes available in future I shall be happy to comment on the content. Nadolig Llawen.


Sickening to see earlier today at PMQ’s that witch May slagging off the performance of Labour in running Wales and particularly the NHS in Wales. She is right insofar as the Service is struggling but the sad old bat can’t see the irony of her position in that CJ and his mob are on the one hand doing her bidding and by so doing providing her, like Dave before her, with an easy target for odious comparisons. The London crowd may be minded to send the Service slowly down the plughole but Wales should not follow them. Of course the only way to ensure we don’t go the way of Englandandwales NHS is to secede from this rotting pile a.s.a.p


Have just seen the clip that you’re talking about on BBC News online Dafis – it made my blood boil. Not because the Welsh NHS is any good – it isn’t, but the problems of the Welsh NHS can be traced directly back to the snobbery of the medical establishment in England. I mentioned in my comment above how when I worked at St Georges Hospital Medical School in London a gynaecologist had sex with someone in one of the labs on medical school premises during working hours – the same doctor was a relentless sexual harasser of female staff, his forte being groping young cleaners from the Far East in the sluice room on the labour ward. He then failed his professional exams. He was such a problem that there were open discussions about plans to make sure that he was removed from the London hospitals. I was told that they were going to do what they always did with the worst doctors – they were going to ‘send him to Wales’. They weren’t joking either – this man is now a consultant gynaecologist in Cardiff. The hopeless Brian Gibbons gave him an award for excellence when Gibbons was Health Minister.

I also mentioned that St Georges were concealing a paedophile ring and that one of their own professors was jailed for his involvement – the paedophile ring in London was being supplied with boys from the paedophile gang in north Wales which caused havoc in the 70s, 80s and 90s. The Welsh NHS and social services have never recovered from the legacy of that paedophile gang.

After Operation Pallial was launched to reinvestigate the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal, the then Home Secretary set up a Review of the Waterhouse Report which had been denounced as a whitewash. When the Review – the Macur Review – was published it was so heavily redacted that it was meaningless. Who was that Home Secretary? One Theresa May.

The much boasted about Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse set up by May and colleagues has lost three Chairs, God knows how many barristers and most of the survivors have walked out as well. The Current Chair is Alexis Jay. Alexis Jay was the guiding hand that was behind the disaster that was the Orkney’s Satanic Panic in 1991 which resulted in children being removed from their families in the middle of the night and adults accused of ludicrous crimes. No charges were ever brought and compensation payments and apologies followed.

Theresa May needs to remember that the highest profile abuser of children in north Wales children’s homes was Sir Peter Morrison, Tory MP for Chester and a friend and aide of Thatcher. The key figure who concealed it all at the time was one Wyn Roberts, Tory MP for Aberconwy. He was rewarded with a peerage. One local solicitor who knew what was going on was David Jones – who later became a Tory MP and was appointed Secretary of State for Wales just as David Cameron and Theresa were organising the Macur Review. Readers may be aware that many of the people involved in the concealing of the abuse of children in north Wales were Freemasons and were linked together through that network – there have been constant allegations that Freemasonry was involved. The Grand Provincial Master of North Wales throughout the years when many of the witnesses were found dead and when police investigations resulted in no charges was Antoinette Sandbach’s father. Sandbach was a Tory AM but departed for the riches of Cheshire a few years ago – she is now a Tory MP representing a Cheshire constituency.

What happened in north Wales was terrible and many local people colluded with it – but the levers of power were held by Thatcher’s Gov’t, then Major’s – William Hague orchestrated the cover-up which was Waterhouse whilst he was Secretary of State for Wales. The root of the problems in the Welsh NHS lead straight to the door of the Tories in London.

Roger Jones

Until Wag takes Economic Development seriously Wales will struggle to get put of the ever decreasing circle of poverty

It needs to adopt a creditable industrial policy – such as that put forward by the Industrial Communities Alliance which covers the past industrial areas and covers the old coalfields areas of the valleys.

1.Provide an economic context in which industry can prosper
2.Hold the line here: Britain should not abandon any more sectors of manufacturing production
3.Welcome free trade – but only on the basis of fair competition
4.Use public procurement as a tool to support British industry
5.Make sure the banks provide long-term finance to industry
6.Exploit the scope to provide aid to industry
7.Target resources at the high-level technical skills that industry needs
8.Invest more in the infrastructure schemes that really matter to industry
9.Support energy-intensive industries by reducing their bills
10.Harness Britain’s innovative strengths through effective research and

We must create proper jobs putting money into peoples pockets and stop promoting a low wage part time working environment based on retail and tourism and to some extend the food sector

Too much effort is concentrated in the Cardiff area and much more effort is needed in the areas of Wales

When was the last time a major announcement was made of investment in a factory or facility bringing a jobs boast that was outside Cardiff

Aston Martin is the only one I can remember in the last months and that’s in Cardiff again

Big Gee

Totally agree Roger. But with one point that needs amending.

We need to keep well away from putting our balls in the vice of banks. ALL central banks are privately owned by a banking cartel primarily the Rothschild empire – not governments – as people wrongly assume the world over. Their only aim is to capture and enslave both governments and their peoples in the loan interest scams. What we need is a totally independent People’s Bank of Wales that is not tied in to the Central Banking System.

Incidentally, didn’t you mean ‘ever INCREASING circle of poverty’?

Unfortunately without INDEPENDENCE we cannot achieve any of this.


There is a need to reexamine the nature of “business leadership” in Wales particularly those running subsidiaries of multinational corporations. Over the last 30 years or so we have an increasingly dependent culture among business “leaders”. Now it is more common to use this to describe the underclass and those who draw benefits to assist them with the basic costs of living but here in Wales we also have a business community which finds it difficult to get up in the morning unless someone chucks a grant or a “financial aid package” at them. Often represented by the CBI these parasites are NOT well equipped to lead a nation’s commercial campaign as they like to have it all laid on for them so they can draw a fat salary for doing next to nothing. No doubt there are plenty of talented men and women in Wales and we will need them to displace the community of limp flaccid risk averse babies that now occupy key positions.

If we can effect this change then we can move forward to tackiling R Jones’ agenda with more optimism.


” Hear in Waaales tha torees ave dun us ova so baad so give us sum munee”…. Meistrolaeth llwyr o’r Wenglish llipa a geir yn anffodus amal ymysg ein harweinyddion a ddyle wybod gwell erbyn hyn.

Daniels y Gwair

Casgliad da Jac a dwi’n cytuno. Mae gwleidyddiaeth Cymru wedi bod yn siom ers cenedlaethau erbyn hyn. Y rhan mwyaf siomedig yw Plaid Cymru. Am blaid a ddylai cyfleu’r ddadl dros lywodraeth Gymreig, dadl economeg cymaint ag y mae’n ddadl ddiwylliannol, dwi’n gwylltio i weld Leanne yn achwyn a chardota am ddarnau man o arian San Steffan. Os glywa’i “Hear in Waaales tha torees ave dun us ova so baad so give us sum munee” eto fe wnaf i hwdi. Warthus! Mae eisiau datgan yn union pa bŵer bydd gan Gymru annibynnol ac efo manylder sut gallwn ddefnyddio hynny i adeiladu economi’r wlad. Dangoswch i bobl Cymru sut gallwn wneud eu bywydau’n gwell ac anadlu bywyd yn ôl i’n ddiwylliant a’n hunaniaeth. Duw, am wlad o bobol sy’n plygu eu pennau’n israddoldeb, gwadu eu hiaith a phob un peth sy’n gwneud ni’n unigol ac yn arbennig! Hunan atgasedd llwyr. Mae ‘na thipyn i oresgyn!

Big Gee

Clywch, clywch!

Cytuno’n llwyr Daniels. Dyna’r hoelen ar ei chlopa. Yr ydym wedi colli’r yunig bethau sydd wedi ein cadw rhag diflannu o dan sawdl yr estron – hunan barch, ein hiaith a’n diwylliant. Yr UNIG ateb yw annibyniaeth..

Ond y mae gwaith caled o’m blaen. Rhowch eich cefnogaeth i’n plaid newydd (os nad ydych eisoes wedi gwneud) trwy roi clic ar y graffeg i’r dde ar frîg y dudalen hon, ac yna ymunwch yn y drafodaeth ar fforwm ein cefnogwyr.

Nigel Stapley

I used to disagree with you, Jac, on this point, considering any attack on the theory of devolution to be giving ammunition to our nation’s enemies (whilst, of course, agreeing that the practice was deeply flawed by that virulent wasting disease called ‘Westminsterism’).

I have modified my views of late, and especially when I see what the establishment figures who have dominated our political processes for so long say and do.

This is a roundabout way of saying that Milord Elis-Elis-Elis-Thomas has been talking sh!t again:

If we can do nothing else as a new party, then we can at least try our damnedest to get such as Dic-Siôn-Dafydd-El out of our politics for good.

Big Gee

It must be something to do with the surname ‘Thomas’. Here he is George Thomas (the big friend of Carlo and Jimmy Saville) the second! In fact he’s worse than George “We Musn’t Let The Language Divide Us Mam” Thomas.

George Thomas was a known traitorous, treacherous and paedophilic enemy, Thomas the second masquerades as a ‘Welshman’ whilst sticking the knife in our back. (Pass the spew bucket please . . . ).

Not to worry, he’ll soon fall out with his new mates. I notice WAG will not comment on his latest caper.

Big Gee

Come on Jac, It WAS tongue in cheek. You’re losing your sense of frivolity in your old age! I bet there’s a few shitty ‘Jones’ about as well – but not ALL obviously! Present company acceptable. 🙂


Surely “Dafydd” is key name here too. Going to go drink a pint of gaviscon now.


the man has now degenerated into a sad old git with worn down marbles. Hopefully Plaid Newydd or Liz Saville-Roberts for Plaid Cymru will blow the silly bastard out of his seat at Y Cynulliad.


Two pieces of contrasting journalism:

As you were adding the finishing touches to your article and laying blame were it squarely lies, a Guardian journalist was publishing their take on poverty in Ebbw Vale. You do not need to read the article to guess the author blames Ebbw Vale’s problems on the Thatcher years and claims these will be accentuated by globalisation, I am amazed that Brexit wasn’t thrown into the mix. The author offers tourism as the only glimmer of hope, which sounds painfully familiar!

The author concludes the piece …. as I leave the Brynmawr community centre and head back to the relative prosperity of Bristol, just 50 miles away….

There was only one mention of the of (semi-prosperous) Cardiff in the article, in a reference to the railway line from Ebbw Vale to Cardiff and there was no mention of devolution.

I include the link to the Guardian article in case anyone can be bothered to read it, whilst recommending you have a well deserved break and get ready for hopefully not more of the same in 2018!


The Grinder had a go months ago at the people of Ebbw Vale putting them down as a community engaged in self inflicted damage due to the majority who voted pro Brexit. They just could not see that EU spending in the area did little or nothing for the people but satisfied government and bureaucratic appetites for vanity projects with big signs posted on them.

Grinder journos are an irritating bunch. I read a fair amount of their stuff online, most of it is childish pseudo leftie moronic repetition of same old themes, with added flavour when it comes to Wales along lines of …..”well they are soooo far behind do they really matter “. There are rare gems in among the dross but it takes a lot of reading to find them so I just scan and am able to dismiss a lot of crap almost at first glance. Another useful clue is that comments are not allowed when certain favoured themes need to go unchallenged. In those cases I skip along to another article and upload a negative comment highlighting the Grinder’s attempts to evade criticism.

The Grinder’s position is so false on offshore finances and investment. Apparently it is primarily funded by an offshore trust, the very vehicle it is so fond of knocking. Twisted, or what ?


There might be a railway line from Ebbw Vale to Cardiff, but there’s a space-time continuum porthole between Nantyglo and Darlington. This should boost ‘tourism’.

Chapman (Labour MP for Darlington) who’s married to Smith (Labour MP for Blaenau Gwent) have the password to the magic porthole, but investigations find that the flux capacitor of the wormhole goes via a rather plush two million pound house owned jointly at Camden Lock, which is in the constituency of their dear leader of Islington.

I’m surprised the Guardian couldn’t find it.


Good news for Ebbw Vale >

The Welsh Gov. does actually do some good ‘occasionally’

Big Gee

The proof of the pudding will be in the eating

Come back in 10 years time and give us a progress report.


I sincerely hope that TVR works for Ebbw Vale. That factory’s first tenant didn’t last long but as I recall it was a brand new venture aiming at a market rather speculatively without having mastered its production processes. Producing board of highly variable quality was hardly going to fetch customers fighting to have some of that. I recall seeing a lorry load of soggy boards being taken out of there and was told it was a pretty regular event !

Some of the investments on that estate have survived and matured through turbulent times – Yuasa are still up there, EnviroWales, a lead recycler that I would prefer not to get too close, Sears seating (automotive) and Zorba Foods to name a few. Mind you, that probably represents a lot of grant aid but only a tiny percentage of the loot spent on follies elsewhere.


Andy – thanks for the link to the Guardian article. Unlike many contributors to this blog I’m a leftie but like a lot of other (genuine) lefties, we are getting very pissed off with the Guardian and this article exemplifies much of what pisses us off. A patronising uncritical piece about ‘poor’ people with no admission at all that society’s structures in place to assist disadvantaged people – such as the NHS and social services – are not doing what they should e doing. The article mentions people with severe mental health problems living in poverty – that is because the mental health system is leaving people unable to look after themselves destitute. The negligence is appalling – and well-known to anyone with knowledge of the mental health services. The article writes admiringly of MIND. This is the MIND which has never spoken out about the neglect and abuse of the mentally ill by the NHS/social services, the MIND which has kept schtum about the abuse of children in care, the MIND which employed a CEO – Paul Farmer – on a salary in excess of £100k pa who sat on the Tory Gov’ts ‘mental health task force’ and helped devise the current welfare reform policies which are seeing patients too ill to work losing their benefits and becoming homeless. Like the NHS and social services, the Third sector is not doing what it should – as Jac’s recent posts have so eloquently demonstrated.

The Guardian has turned into a very odd publication. It is basically the in-house publication for the NHS unions, the social work profession and the Third sector. Furthermore it represents the senior managers of those sectors,not the badly paid workers at the bottom of the organisations. The Guardian is I think now owned by a hedge fund or something similar. It is full of adverts for very expensive ‘masterclasses’ where one spends a day in the company of a Guardian journo or someone similar who will ‘teach’ you how to write. Kath Viner, the editor, makes daily appeals for money from readers reminding one that good journalism doesn’t come cheap. There is no good journalism in the Guardian – I know of huge scandals that have had a devastating effect on ‘poor people’ and not a word has been published by the Guardian.

Jac – regarding your quip that all Welsh people look the same to the metropolitan liberal elite. Not only do all Welsh people look alike to them but anyone who has lived in Wales and has a degree of sympathy for the problems that Wales is facing looks the same. Welsh people see me as English – I came from England, went to university in Bangor and stayed in Wales after graduation, made friends with locals etc. Later I went to work at St Georges Hospital Medical School in London. My boss down there was a truly appalling woman, a society figure who very obviously only landed her job through her connections – she was mates with the likes of Salman Rushdie and Angela Carter – and when she heard that I’d been living in Wales, she squealed ‘oohh we go to Wales’. I enquired further and found that she had once visited Pembrokeshire. During the following weeks it was made quite obvious to me that I was an inferior specimen for having gone to university in Wales and for being ‘Welsh’. They knew intellectually that I wasn’t actually Welsh (I’m Somerset), but I wasn’t one of them, I was, in their own words, a sheepshagger.

I worked there for two horrible years. I witnessed large scale research fraud, a gynaecologist having sex with a member of staff in a research lab during working hours, a patient nearly dying because of a serious error by a junior doctor – she was a woman in labour and the baby was brain damaged because of the mistake, but she and her husband were never told of the mistake or the baby’s brain damage because the hospital knew that they’d be sued – and the hospital was also concealing a paedophile gang of which their Professor of Paediatrics was a member. He was caught and jailed – the others never were. His colleagues in the psychiatry dept were concealing the gang – and writing expert witness reports for the Courts on paedophiles and their victims. The paedophile professor was let out of prison early on appeal. Years later a detective who had worked on the case said that the police were lived – the prof from St Georges had been a key figure in an pan-European paedophile ring.

But at least they weren’t Welsh – or Somerset!

If the general public actually knew what is going on in the NHS or in ‘charities’, there would be outrage. Which is why you’ll never read about it in the Guardian.

Big Gee

Sadly, we have become largely a nation of public servants, and relatively low paid factory fodder.

By an large that’s probably true. But I’ll tell you what else we really are – a nation of talkers rather than doers. Especially on the political front. We ‘talk the talk’ but don’t ‘walk the walk’. With the exception of a few noteworthy few, we are more comfortable talking about what’s wrong and how it should be rectified. However put the tools in our hands to actually do something and we suddenly become shrinking violets. We disappear to the back of the crowd.

Now I don’t know if this is apathy, laziness or just purely a lack of confidence. Because deep down in the psyche we have a confidence problem. We actually believe that we are not capable enough to do things as well as others can. Maybe it’s eight hundred years of living with the victor / vanquished syndrome. Or perhaps we’ve been groomed into a sense of dependency. I simply don’t know.

What I do know is that if we don’t wake up out of this trance we’re finished. Let’s hope our new party can help kindle a bit of fire and confidence. We are a clever nation, with bags of talent, but we have this incredibly annoying habit of hiding our light under a bushel.

I remember my grandfather giving me a bit of advice that I’ve carried with me all my life he said

Always remember that no one is better than you, but at the same time never think that you are better than anyone else

Wise words – I wish I could put that thought in the muddled minds of our people.


“Now I don’t know if this is apathy, laziness or just purely a lack of confidence.”

Its battered wife syndrome. Its by no means the fault of the average Welsh person. We just need something to rally around. The new party is definitely the right foot forward but there’s having that roar that will make our people and those would see us continue to beg for crumbs take note. Our Dragon had its head cut off long ago and finding the right person to fill that capacity is just important. They need to appeal to Welsh and English speaker alike as well as appearing non-political beyond the goal of bettering our nation… no matter where that may lead.



A fine argument, and I agree that the conduct of the devolved administration has done nothing to help the situation. But I wonder if we the Welsh people are also partly to blame.

I have long been frustrated by what I see as economic stagnation if not downright decline in Wales for many years, and sadly I am convinced that the economic history of Wales, and it’s people do not help. Let me expand if I may.

The economic boom that saw Wales prosper in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was based on heavy industry, largely steel and coal, which employed many thousands, but saw the wealth concentrated in few hands. Which is a pattern replicated across many other parts of the world.

When these industrial powerhouses began to decline in the second half of the 20th century, they were by and large replaced, not by local businesses, but by a government policy of looking to attract inward investment, by overseas companies which again brought by and large low paid jobs with little prospect of significant wealth generation.

At roughly the same time we saw the massive expansion of central government jobs in Wales, which were by and large better paid, and created a middle class with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.

Sadly, we have become largely a nation of public servants, and relatively low paid factory fodder.

Look at the number of the Welsh rich list who have made their money outside Wales.

We will never be an economically prosperous nation without a song a vibrant home grown business sector.


Good piece. I notice McEvoy has picked up on Llamau the last few days some one said that he was like a daily mailer or some rubbish. But completely agree with everything you’ve said on devolution.

Anyway I think you heap to much praise on Plaid Cymru in there. They’re a reactionary protest group. Lets not forget “Is this another case of far right terror in Barcelona?”. They have no initiative and they are not proactive. Issue they do latch onto have to be literally rock out with its cock out across the internet for them to notice. Those are just the causes they care about.

You see we have support for Catalonia and its cause… but the Trump bashing missed a beat in the aftermath of Puerto Rico getting devastated by Maria. An example of colonialism in some ways stronger than our own and in my mind their treatment was reminiscent to how our Gaelic brothers and sisters were treated during the famine. Ignored, exploited, the “other”. Leanne had the opportunity to bash Trump and also broach the subject of modern colonialism. Something we could all learn from. But no pro-activity, no initiative. Maybe because anti-colonialism is no longer Plaid’s cause?

I just wonder how its come to this. So many say modern Welsh nationalism was born in the last two hundred years. What has it accomplished but to see the near twilight of our nation and identity? Rewind a few hundred years more I say.

Max Rhydaman

Had an argument with one of the Labour faithful on this very subject the other day on Twitter pointing out the 20 years of failure in Wales under a Labour Government. But such people can’t see the wood for the trees due to the kool-aid they have been drinking.

Slightly off-topic, I was absolutely gobsmacked to read the Mark Drakeford has apparently been named ‘Welsh Politician Of The Year’. If he is the best that Wales has then it is a shocking indictment on how piss-poor the Welsh Assembly is.


Max – thank you for the link, I’ve not had such a laugh in ages. Three award winners – Mark Drakeford, Eluned Morgan and Carolyn Harris! Have not all these people been the subject of exposes and entertainment on Jac’s blog recently??? Jac, I think someone with a sense of humour is following your blog and has awarded these three numpties to take the piss. The pick of the bunch – Mark Drakeford, a member of a social work team whilst his colleagues were involved in a paedophile ring, a Health Minister who was repeatedly warned about criminal activities in the north Wales NHS, abuse and neglect of patients and research fraud. He ignored all the warnings and Tawel Fan blew up in his face, the biggest mental health scandal in the UK for decades.

By the way, Carolyn Harris has been going public on the trauma of people insulting politicians on social media – she said that she had come in for personal abuse herself and some people had even made comments about her weight. Now which blog took the piss out of Carolyn Harris and, I seem to remember, her weight, a few weeks ago??? Well it’s good to know that Carolyn Harris is one of your regular readers Jac…

As for Eluned, not only is she the woman who tells people all about her disadvantaged background and the estate in Ely that she grew up on – the Eluned who went to Atlantic College, who’s dad was a clergyman and who was well-connected to leading lights in the south Wales Labour Party – but Eluned’s deprivation narrative now extends to being the only woman from Cardiff who spoke Welsh. She was busy telling the media today that because she went to a Welsh medium school she had stones thrown at her school bus because speaking Welsh was so unacceptable and how glad she is that things have changed. Someone needs to tell the Baroness that kids in the north and west nearly all spoke Welsh – and to a very high standard as well – and if stones were being thrown at her bus it was far more likely to be because she was perceived to be a stuck up cow. Which bus was she on anyway, the Atlantic College bus??

I am expecting Eluned at any moment to take a leaf out of the book of that middle class white American woman who used colour to darken her skin and hair and started telling people that she was black and even acquired a position as a representative of a Black Rights organisation. Surely to be truly oppressed the Baroness has to now declare herself mixed race at least? Or disabled – after all Theresa May managed to point to her diabetes when she was challenged about severely disabled people dying as a result of having disability benefits withdrawn in order to explain that she understood, what with being disabled herself.


Hi Sally, I’m not a fan Eluned’s political views, however I was in school with her. Whilst I can’t recall any stones being thrown at the bus that I traveled on to the Vale, it is very likely that there may have been to the Ely bus. Ely at the time had a seriously bad reputation due to the high unemployment. For example the Ely Bread Riots >

Also bear in mind this was the first WM comp in Cardiff, Eluned would have been one of its first pupils, and at the time the school building was shared with older EM pupils. Initially, there was lots of bullying by these older pupils, who came from the local estate.


Thanks for the info! I do know that Ely had a bad reputation and that WM education in Cardiff wasn’t the norm – what irritates me about the Baroness isn’t her political views, it is her hypocrisy. I didn’t express myself very well above, my comment was written with the memory of a previous Eluned-based conversation that I held on Jac’s blog with others not so long ago.

I have witnessed Eluned Morgan on a public platform spouting what she clearly believed were cuddly fluffy policies designed not to offend the New Labour Gov’t which were calling the shots in Westminster at the time – policies which were not working because they had been devised by people as ignorant and as arrogant as Eluned. I had recently completed my PhD on the topic that Eluned was spouting about and I challenged her. I got the usual politician’s response – a snotty look and a repetition that the policy was a good one and was bearing fruit. The policy in question is now being dismantled with the approval of all parties – because it has failed. Eluned didn’t know me from Adam and I didn’t expert her too – but her reaction to me was very interesting. I was there with my then Professor and we were specialists in the subject and knew that she was talking shite – she hadn’t considered that anyone in the audience of plebs might have been worth listening to.

Since that day I have found out that the Eluned stratospheric rise in the Labour Party was much more likely to be related to her social position – she advertises herself as a kid from Ely but I understand that her father was actually a clergyman there who was involved in the Labour Party and very well-connected. Then one of Jac’s correspondents told me that she went to Atlantic College.

If the Baroness really was a disadvantaged kid from Ely I would have a lot more respect for her – but I get the impression that she is actually the off-spring of a well-connected family who lived near some disadvantaged people and who is now rolling out a rather dishonest deprivation narrative. She also needs to listen when she is challenged by a member of the public – because they might know rather more than she does. The policy that the not very bright Baroness was defending has cost many millions of pounds, has wrecked universities, has devalued education and decreased social mobility. But she’s bagged a seat in the Lords by making friends with influential people and parroting nonsense in public because she thinks it will make her look ‘caring’.

The Baroness now holds the Welsh language portfolio. I am not a WM specialist but even I can see that she doesn’t have the knowledge to be successful in that post – but she won’t be asking anyone for advice…


PS. Anon – just read your link – there’s the Baroness’s dad in his fully glory – ‘the former leader of South Glamorgan Council’. Which illustrates my point. Furthermore, if Canon Morgan was the former leader of South Glamorgan Council, it suggests that the state of Ely had been something to do with him and his fellow Councillors…


Buses having stones thrown at them in Ely is hardly front page news, more of an occupational hazard! It’s so frequent that Cardiff Bus suspends services to all, or parts of Ely when attacks on the buses happen.

For Baroness Morgan (these Welsh Labour people don’t half love their aristocratic titles, don’t they?) to imply that people were throwing stones at her is a bit of an exaggeration. Personally I think the throwing stones at buses is just something local youth do to relieve the tedium of life in Ely


I suspect the phrase “I got stoned on the bus in Ely” has an entirely different meaning ……


Your analysis spot on again Jac. I hope many more will now register their interest in the new party. Thanks also to Big Gee for all his recent efforts in the one-man IT department.

Big Gee

Diolch Wynne,genuinely much appreciated. Good job the one man IT department doesn’t do ‘holidays’ – much to the chagrin of ‘Her Indoors’!!!! She’ll be citing the ‘Jac o’ the North’ blog and the ‘New Party’ when the divorce papers arrive!


I’ll split hairs with you – Devolution promised much but has done nothing to stop the slow decline into deeper poverty. You see it as causal link, I see it as a pathetic nonparticipating spectator. No big argument as we’re in the same shitty place whether we see it your way or mine.

This caper of handing out loot to 3rd sector operators is a classic case of shifting responsibility and accountability ( which is rapidly being allowed to become non existent ) Once the money gets transferred you might as well forget it unless someone does something really bang out of order (which is also defined by the Labour government). Strange that there doesn’t seem to be much accountability from Cardiff to Whitehall/ Westminster either. Indeed it seems to suit Tories ( especially in Dave’s day ) to have some misfit antics in Wales so that they could pour scorn ( Look at Wales if you want to see Labour in action …. ho, ho, ho …..) Now of course the default target for London is one of the deck of jokers working out of Brussels and Wales has fallen down the pecking order of objects for piss taking.

As I may have said before we have the makings of a banana republic that can’t grow bananas

Chopper Harley

Whew that was a long read Jac. Well worth it however, you hit the nail on the head in so many areas as to the reasons why we are slipping further down the multidimensional poverty index rankings.

One notable exception however, education, or to be more precise political education. Until the red rosette on a Welsh mountain goat mentality that exists in the major population centres of south east Wales is broken little is likely ti change.

Now about that new political party ?

Big Gee

Amen! (Translated from the Hebrew meaning “So be it”).

It’s independence or bust – literally.