In my previous post I wrote that there is a nasty side to the upsurge in support for the Conservative Party in Scotland. Imagine my surprise, and pleasure, to read Scottish commentators saying roughly the same thing.
This piece by Mike Small on the Bella Caledonia site talks of “British nationalism combining with a brutal lumpen extremism”. Michael Gray on CommonSpace introduces us to some of the uglier Conservative councillors elected in Scotland on May 4: one who called Nicola Sturgeon a “drooling hag”, one who’s obviously been a member of the BNP, one very confused individual who attacked an SNP opponent for being born in King Billy’s homeland, and another who thinks that poor people shouldn’t be allowed to have children. Yes, there are some beauts here!
Obviously such stars will appeal to the single-issue element now being attracted to the Conservative cause by the party playing the BritNat card, but what of those who might prefer a glass of chilled Pinot Grigio to a piss-warm bottle of Bucky? Will the burghers of Morningside and the denizens of the West End march to the beat of the Lambeg drum? Because one problem for the Tories in attracting the Loyalist-Orange-Rangers-BNP-UKIP vote is that such support risks alienating natural Conservative supporters whose world view is not determined by what might have happened near an Irish river in 1690.
But perhaps the most worrying consideration of all for the Conservatives might be the effect this new support has on those who backed Labour because of what they wanted it to deliver, rather than because it would stop the SNP. Those Labour supporters who care about a decent health service, class sizes and affordable housing, and want to remain part of the EU. Clearly these will not switch to the new tub-thumping ‘Scottish’ Conservatives.
Ideally, these ‘progressive’ Labour voters want a Labour government in London, but with that looking unlikely for perhaps a decade or more, there’ll be a major re-think. Many will conclude that now the Tories have invoked Article 50, are set to impose measures that make Margaret Thatcher look like a social liberal, then independence is the only option to serve their aspirations. And there could be enough of them to swing the next referendum.
So let the Tories rejoice at their growing strength in Scotland while they may, let them gloat over Labour’s demise, but it could all come at a cost – the delivery of Scottish independence. If that happened we’d need to invent a new word to describe a situation for which ‘irony’ was no longer adequate.
LOOKING BACK TO MAY 4
Lost in the Plaid landslide in Cardiff’s Fairwater ward was our old friend ‘John Boy’ Bayliss, former Labour councillor for the Uplands ward in Swansea. Regular readers will be familiar with ‘John Boy’ and, like me, I’m sure, will be wondering where he’s going to turn up next.
Another notable casualty was to found in Wrexham’s Ponciau ward, where Aled Roberts, one-time council leader and former Lib Dem AM, came bottom of the poll in his home ward. While we shouldn’t extrapolate too much from a single result this does not bode well for his party.
Down in Swansea my old mucker Ioan Richard has pissed off his last opponent after 41 years as an elected representative for the semi-rural Mawr ward, north of Morriston. His seat on the council will be filled by Brigette Jane Rowlands, a Conservative. She beat Plaid into second place and Labour into third, with the ‘Other’ candidate coming fourth. Ioan, a good Welshman who – like me – lost faith in Plaid years ago, supported Ms Rowlands because she’s local and hard-working, just like him.
Having mentioned ‘John Boy’ there was an interesting twist in his old ward, where two of the four seats were taken by candidates of the new Uplands Party, which might be a reaction to this area being previously represented in the Labour interest by here-today-and-gone-tomorrow ex-students like . . . well, like ‘John Boy’.
While over in Llansamlet someone else who has appeared on this blog recently, Mo Sykes, got in for Labour, but came last of the four comrades elected. Swept home on a tide of apathy by the ‘donkey vote’.
The Remarkable Rob James
Crossing over to Llanelli, one of the more remarkable results was to be found in the Lliedi ward, where Labour’s Rob James romped home by 20 lengths, cleared the grandstand and kept running. I use that exaggerated analogy because if the Lliedi contest had been a horse race then the stewards might be taking an interest.
Until November or December James was a councillor in Neath – with an appalling attendance record (scroll down) – so few people in the Lliedi ward would have known him. Which suggests that it was the Labour ticket that got him elected . . . in which case, why was his running-mate, a local, ten percentage points behind?
In 2012 there were six candidates and seven last week which, all things being equal, should have reduced the percentage of the vote gained by each candidate this time, which is how it panned out . . . except in the case of newcomer Rob James. In a higher turnout than 2012 it seems that all the extra votes went to James.
Of the previous Labour councillors Janice Williams, a director of the local Polish-Welsh Association, stood down, but hard-working local Bill Thomas was deselected. Which only adds to the suspicion that James is well favoured by persons higher up Labour’s food chain. But even if that’s true, how could it possibly explain this remarkable vote?
He’s obviously done well in Llanelli, but how did Labour in Neath cope without him? I am once again indebted to STaN of the Neath Ferret for bringing us news of Rob James’s old seat of Bryncoch South. You’ll see that with Rob gone the Labour candidates in this two-seat ward came a poor third and fourth to Plaid Cymru.
Leading me to conclude that either Rob James has magnetism and charisma that have escaped the notice of observers, or there’s some other factor in play of which we are as yet unaware.
Unlawful Election Literature
I have been trying hard to initiate action against those responsible for the vile leaflets distributed prior to the council elections by, among others, Louise Hughes, the ‘Independent’ councillor for Gwynedd’s Llangelynin ward. Catch up with the story here in Dirty, Dirty Politics.
First I contacted the Electoral Commission. On the 8th I received an e-mail from Geraint Rhys Edwards at the EC who wrote, “If you believe an offence has been committed and are prepared to substantiate this complaint through a written allegation, this should be brought to the attention of the police”. So I contacted North Wales Police, who told me it was a matter for Gwynedd Council.
I phoned Gwynedd Council and spoke with Iwan Evans (who I believe works in the legal department), he reaffirmed the Electoral Commission information and gave me the telephone number of DCI Neil Harrison, the Single Point of Contact at NWP. I phoned the number, someone answered and said that Harrison wasn’t there but a message would be passed to him. No contact was made and subsequent calls to Harrison’s number were not answered.
There being no telephone number given on the NWP website I next used the Live Chat service. I was promised a) that I would receive a copy of the exchange by e-mail and b) Neil Harrison would either telephone me or send me an e-mail. I have received no copy and Harrison has made no contact. So on Friday, during my third attempt to get somewhere with Live Chat, I took a screen capture.
I suspect that North Wales Police know who I am, they know why I’m trying to contact Neil Harrison, and they’re hoping I’ll go away because they don’t want to deal with this case. I shall probably now write to him.
I shall keep you informed as much as I can, for this case is progressing on a number of fronts.
Wrapping Themselves in the Flag
Another old friend, Dennis Morris, ran for Pembrokeshire County Council in Fishguard, and might have won if someone hadn’t spread the rumour that he was a member of Meibion Glyndŵr!
Dennis does sit though on Fishguard town council, and has been fighting for a long time – before he even became a councillor – over which flags should fly on the town hall; the town clerk and others – all outsiders – insist on flying the BritNat flag.
Dennis phoned county hall in Haverfordwest in the hope of clarifying the issue, but was told that the ‘rule’ is that our flag must be accompanied by the other one. He asked to see that rule in writing . . . to be told that it was ‘convention’ . . . and ‘at the chief executive’s discretion’ . . . blah bollocks, blah bollocks.
Dennis would like to see the Ddraig Goch and the flag of St David fly on the town hall of his home town, and so they were once – but for St. David’s Day only. For the rest of the year it’s the situation I’ve explained. In fact, it used to be worse, because until Dennis started making a fuss their flag flew above ours!
Another example of true Welsh sentiment being overwhelmed by the unholy union of settlers and their local allies who don’t deserve to be called Welsh. Do you have to put up with the flag of our colonial masters flying over your community?
LOOKING FORWARD TO JUNE 8
‘Carwyn is our Leader’
Well, no, I’m not really looking forward to June 8, but I can’t ignore it completely. Not least because it’s already looking rather bizarre.
What I mean by that is that ‘Welsh’ Labour has decided to fight a UK general election without mentioning their UK leader Jeremy Corbyn. Yet at Assembly elections this same party mobilises the donkey vote with ‘Send a message to London, keep the Tories out’, in the hope that gullible people will believe it’s a UK rather than a Welsh election and conclude that a vote for a third party will be wasted.
Now there are two schools of thought to explain why ‘Welsh’ Labour promotes Assembly elections as UK elections while treating UK elections as if they are Welsh elections. One says that ‘Welsh’ Labour simply gets confused, while the rival school insists that Labour are lying bastards. After giving the matter a great deal of thought, I have concluded that they’re lying bastards.
As if ignoring your party leader in a general election campaign wasn’t weird enough, there was a piece in today’s Wasting Mule that went for broke. ‘Welsh’ Labour’ rejects the UK manifesto on the grounds that it isn’t really a UK manifesto because “Labour doesn’t stand in Northern Ireland”. Er, no, but it does stand in Wales.
Semantics aside, who the hell wrote that headline; are we to believe that ‘Welsh’ Labour is detaching itself from reality and the political mainstream to the extent of forming a cult around Carwyn Jones? But, wait, the headline tells us that Labour is ‘reviving’ this cult, so was anyone aware that it had previously existed?
This is worrying. As you read this, deep in the crypt beneath Labour HQ there could be cowled figures, their movements distorted by flickering candles, chanting ‘Carwyn is our leader’ as they raise their sacred daggers over the latest human sacrifice. Maybe a previous sacrifice explains the success of Rob James, cos nothing else can explain it.
And “charisma”, be buggered! Are we talking about the same Carwyn Jones, the tried and tested cure for insomnia? And what’s with all the alliteration? Though if the headline writer wanted a word beginning with ‘c’ then I’m sure most of you reading this could provide one.
Then again, maybe that whole article is a piss-take, because unless ‘Welsh’ Labour breaks away it remains what it’s always been – the local branch of the British Labour Party (not UK because of course Labour doesn’t stand in Northern Ireland). And that’s the truth . . . no matter how much charismatic Carwyn seeks to capitalise on his cult status.
It’s all getting a bit too much, I’m tempted to go to bed until the election is over . . . but I might miss the call from North Wales Police.
♦ end ♦
87 thoughts on “Elections 2017”
Jac, Perhaps not relevant to this thread, but in a recent post you mentioned how you thought Plaid Cymru may have been compromised in the 1970s. This article discusses how a paedophilia promoting, activist called Roger Moody, managed to compromise Gwynfor Evans and consequently, Plaid Cymru, into giving a ‘glowing’ character reference, at Moody’s trial for child abuse. Apparently Gwynfor Evans had been friends with Moody for 10 years, why was he friends with such a dubious character and why, most worryingly, was he prepared to compromise Plaid Cymru? I want to support our National Party, but it has to be one that is not compromised and has a clear agenda for putting Wales first.
No, that’s not what I had in mind. My suspicions are located in a later period and concern different Plaid Cymru luminaries. Disappointing though it is to read that about Gwynfor I put it down to naivete, an essentially decent man who sees good in others, and is often unable to recognise a wrong’un.
Myfanwy – hope that Jac doesn’t mind me replying to your ‘off the thread’ comment. For the last six months I have been blogging about the serious problems in the mental health services in North Wales – the history of these problems is bound up with the State’s attempts to conceal the paedophile ring that is now known to have caused havoc in north Wales in the 70s, 80s and 90s. I have interviewed many people and gained access to court papers and other original documents. I’m sorry to say that ALL political parties are utterly compromised regarding this matter, which is no doubt why every new ‘inquiry’ into the north Wales child abuse ring results in a redacted report or a cover up. Scores of lawyers, judges, ‘expert witnesses’ and politicians undoubtedly concealed what was going on – the real problems seemed to have been at the very top of Thatcher’s Government in the 80s. At that time the Welsh Office had both a crooked lawyer in its legal dept – one Andrew Park – and a crooked Medical Ombudsman, Professor Robert Owen. They concealed criminal activity at the North Wales Hospital and at Ysbyty Gwynedd – people from the north Wales children’s homes were being sectioned by psychiatrists employed in those institutions. Both the psychiatrists involved were networked with a number of Plaid politicians. Of course Thatcher’s chums in the Welsh Office were networked into a different group of even more powerful people. Labour does not escape – the north Wales lot were networked into London boroughs such as Islington/Haringey and Lambeth – those councils/services were being run by people like Ken Livingstone, Margaret Hodge and Tessa Jowell. And of course Harriet Harman, Jack Dromey, Henry Hodge and Patricia Hewitt were all involved with NCCL (now known as ‘Liberty’) when PIE were busy associating with them. There were also links to the mental health charity MIND. There are links to a number of LibDem politicians as well. I am prepared to believe that some of these politicians were duped – but some undoubtedly knew damn well what was going on and knew that their political careers would be sunk if any of it ever got out. If you are interested in following all this up further, I have blogged extensively about it, named the people involved and presented the evidence on my site ‘Service Shenanigans’ (or you can find it by googling drsallybaker, you’ll soon get there…)
Your observations regarding Tory political activity in Scotland are very interesting. We forget how ruthless the British state can be in undermining the national aspirations of the client nations and defending the Union. The Tories would love to take the Scottish Borders constituency to enable the British state to start making the case for partition (as for Ireland 90 years ago). “The United Kingdom of Englandandwales, Southern Scotland and Northern Ireland”. There have already been mutterings about Shetland being severed from Scotland in the event of a Scottish independence vote. See: http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/768331/Shetland-islands-bid-breakaway-scotland-closer-UK
Dafis – regarding your prediction re Wales’s Universities. We have already arrived precisely at the situation that you summarise. No critical thinking, no in-depth exploration or reading and in the case of Bangor, the institution that I have good knowledge of, over the last three or four years, they seemed to have systematically promoted the shallowest ‘researchers’, or those that are known to be producing dodgy research – the main offenders being the ‘healthcare’, ‘mental healthcare’ and ‘psychology’ researchers. Everyone knows what is going on and the high quality staff who are being buried alive up there are in despair as the fuckwits and fools dominate the institution. There is much talk of exactly what is going on in the grandly titled ‘Centre for Mental Health and Society’, who’s ‘co-directors’ are a psychiatrist who was previously discussed in the Senedd so serious was his mistreatment of one patient and a psychologist who has tried to reinvent herself as a sociologist who is very obviously out of her depth. I am told that these two are never seen in the university, that no publications have come out of that ‘centre’ for a long time and that every time they are required to present their ‘research’, they wheel out a very good but obviously long suffering researcher who is very obviously the only person doing any work. This ‘centre’ I understand is/was funded by the Betsi and works in ‘partnership’ with it – my God, the Betsi’s record on mental healthcare??? Er currently in special measures after the ‘institutionalised abuse’ of elderly mentally ill patients leading to the biggest healthcare scandal that the country had experienced – by the way no staff were ever disciplined, except for the whistleblower who had fallacious allegations levelled at her, faced a police investigation and has now left to work in England (although she trained in Bangor and envisaged a career in Wales). And of course there’s the constant supply of patients dying at the Hergest Unit at Ysbyty Gwynedd, the man who was released from the Ablett Unit near Rhyl with no aftercare who then beheaded someone, I could go on for months here… The ‘centre’ is now busying itself toadying to CAIS, the ‘Third sector’ organisation who has received MILLIONS from the Welsh Govt for its ‘work’ with drug users – so that’ll be why Wrexham has such a big drugs problem that it hit the London based media a few weeks ago (CAIS has a ‘detox’ centre in Wrexham – a patient died there a few weeks ago, but there won’t be any investigation). CAIS has now produced a love-child with HAFAL (who I always thought were rather more reputable than CAIS), a thing called CANIAD, to explore the ‘lived experience of service users’ – that’ll be a hard task, the ‘service users’ are dying so prematurely and in such great numbers that there’s not much ‘lived experience’ there. Of course CAIS were paid more than I million for this would you believe – and I have previously blogged details of the ‘commissioning process’ by which they acquired that ‘contract’, a process that could not in any way be described as ‘transparent and open’. Whilst these dipsticks all have their noses deep in the trough, patients continue to die. As for your comments re overseas students – my young postgrad friend who walked out of Cardiff ‘don’t tell anybody that we’re anything to do with Wales’ University on the grounds that she wasn’t paying thousands for old rope and pretentious fuckwittery, observed that the new Masters students in their induction were repeatedly told that Cardiff was an ‘elite’ ‘international’ university. They were then told to ‘go around the room and see if you can meet anyone from another country’ (sounds more like an instruction to the new kiddies starting at Big School rather than to postgrads) – my mate observed that nearly all the students were from Cardiff, having completed their first degrees the year before and been strongly encouraged to hand over many more thousands for this rather unimpressive Masters course. There were only two people who were ‘from another country’ and my friend was the only person from north Wales! So we have an ‘elite’ ‘international’ university, who is desperate not to be ‘Welsh’ or even admit that it is in Wales, whom I am told has many staff who are very hostile to the Welsh language, but doesn’t have a contingent of ‘international’ students either and whose idea of a Masters degree is actually the equivalent of a first year Bachelors course in other institutions. Oh and if any readers are wondering why my young friend didn’t think of applying to do her PhD in Bangor which does still have a social sciences dept and an excellent professor involved in the sociology of communities in north Wales – a few years ago, it was decided that there would only be one ‘doctoral training centre’ in Wales receiving ESRC funding. Guess where it was located? Cardiff! So if a student wants to do a PhD in Wales funded by the ESRC its Cardiff for them – I really don’t rate the chances of the future of the study of rural sociology in Wales too highly. It has been strangled and quite deliberately it would seem.
Just had an election leaflet through my door from Plaid, Nigel Copner will their candidate here in Blaenau Gwent. This creates a very interesting situation considering how close he came to winning here at the Welsh Assembly elections. Considering the level of disillusionment surrounding the Labour party generally and Blaenau Gwent CBC in particular Plaid and Copner have evey chance of taking this seat. It would also appear that our former MP, Dai Davies who was recently elected onto the local authority is endorsing Copner since he appears on the literature standing next to Copner.
And Labour didn’t do themselves any favours by refusing to give the decision on the Circuit of Wales until after the general election, which probably means that it ain’t gonna happen.
Yes but an even bigger issue in this constituency is the imposition of a new recycling scheme last year, that residents thought unworkable and were aggrieved that they were not consulted over. The issue continues to rumble on and remains the achilles heel for the Labour party here. As you pointed out recently the CoW has been pushed into the long grass until after 8th June, unfortunately many people in Blaenau Gwent cannot see how this will play out and will still vote for the Red donkey. thinking they eventually support the project.
They’re temporary, they’ll be around a for a lot less time than those Norman castles. Even if some Cymry find them an eyesore the “goodlifers’ etc seem to find them a lot worse. Do they bring down property prices? Are locals then able to buy?
The money trail is another matter though.
To most people it means toffs on horses . Having a bunch of the well heeled indulging it what most people think is a ridiculous and cruel activity seems helpful to me as for the large part those charging around are staunch British rather than Welsh nationalists. Does foxhunting offer an opportunity to use an unpopular British tradition to chip away at British nationalism?
Food for thought. Glad you didn’t call them ‘wind mills’ because that sentimental and idyllic vision certainly doesn’t fit them.
I see old Rhodri popped his clogs last night. More food for thought. The British Bullshit Corporation’s gone into overdrive this morning on the Welsh radio channels – flashbacks to the malleable public’s whipped up hysteria, (mostly propagated by the BBC) when we had the Diana fiasco. Look out for the Wasting Mule’s tsunami of coverage tomorrow – they missed the deadline to get it out today, although others managed it, but that’s no surprise!
One wonders how Rhodri Morgan’s well timed departure will impact on the Labour vote in Cymru come the elections in a few weeks? I’m sure even ‘Charismatic’ Carwyn should be able to make a bit of use of a little hand-up like that, but there again these ‘charismatic’ types don’t need help do they?
The ‘National Newspaper of Wales” has an earlier copy to ink deadline now, as the presses are in Birmingham.
Re – Rhodri Morgan. My Plaid Cymru election placard at the front of my house is now draped with a black ribbon. Can someone tell the Labour households to do likewise? Respect, mun.
It’s very sad for Rhodri Morgan’s family and close friends that he’s has passed away as it is for other people who die and leave grieving family etc. But was Rhodri that good for Wales? He was very much a Labour man and claimed to be against the ‘Crachach’ who were Welsh speaking I believe in his use of the word. But he conveniently forgot that he was one of the himself being the son of professor of Welsh and university lecturer T J Morgan. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T._J._Morgan . He tried to portray himself as a member of the working class which he certainly wasn’t. I see a lot of Plaid politicians are falling over themselves in praising him with Elin Jones leading the way on how Mwnt will be without him this year. On Elin’s FB timeline someone asks where Mwnt is exactly and the reply “next to ferwig Ty Gwyn Caravan and Camping Park, Mwnt” (Translated from Welsh). Brought a smile that one. I understand that none of his children speak Welsh. But all I’m hearing now is for his great love of Wales and it’s people and all things Welsh. Correct me if I am wrong about his children.
Daffy2012 – although I was one of the many who appreciated Rhodri Morgan distancing Wales from the excesses of Blair, whilst he was FM I wrote again and again and again to people in authority with evidence of terrible things happening in the north Wales NHS, including criminal activity. I was ignored. Brian Gibbons, the Health Minister appointed on Rhodri’s watch, wrote me a letter saying ‘this correspondence is closed’ when I told him that I had evidence of staff abusing patients and breaking the law. The barrel of shit that finally exploded on Carwyn’s watch should have been and could have been dealt with many years earlier. I had enough documentary evidence to have had some of the staff and managers prosecuted. The one person who did try and help was to be fair Edwina Hart. She faced an all out hate campaign from the BMA – who were fully complicit with the wrongdoing – and was moved from her post. Presumably by Rhodri. Rhodri could and should have investigated my claims and had he done that fifteen years ago the Betsi Health Board would not be the irretrievable train crash that it is now. I was not basing my allegations upon rumour or speculation – there were witness statements and incriminating documents signed by NHS staff. God knows where Rhodri’s head was at the time – and as far as Gibbons was concerned, I’m afraid that only the word ‘corrupt’ describes his actions.
Fromthe perspective of the ‘mass’, there are only three choices in this election here on the mainland.
Brexit to go ahead deal or no deal – Tory
Brexit to go ahead but not without a deal over the SM – Labour
Second Referendum(to attempt to reverse it) Lib Dem/Plaid/SNP.
(UKIP are no longer relevant and neverwere in outside England anyway)
The electorate at large knows it and is lining up accordingly.
Everything else is distraction, faff, flannel and bollocks.
Well analysed Red Flag, you’re absolutely right. And well put as you say “Everything else is distraction, faff, flannel and bollocks“.
Incidentally, on the Aberdeen councillors subject, I now understand that the Labour councillors have been suspended by their party following the deadline, but they then promptly jumped ship and set themselves up as a group calling themselves “Aberdeen Labour” – in effect a regional party of their own making. You couldn’t make shit like that up if you were writing a satirical novel! What it does show however is that Labour in Scotland is not only decimated, but seems to be unravelling further into splinter groups. Bye, bye & a fair wind after them say I!
Want to know how this election is changing everything? Look to Scotland today.
Scottish Labour have suspended the Aberdeen Labour Group of 9 councillors for going into coalition with Tories. So no Labour councillors in Aberdeen.
1. A signed coalition agreement Labour/Tory/Ind was lodged with the council
2. Scottish Labour leadership then said all Labour councillors had until 5pm this evening to pull out of deal with Tories or be suspended.
3. A LibDem councillor also ‘stood aside’ from LibDems to go independent to in order to join coalition in a forlorn attempt to forge a majority.
Coalition of chaos rings a bell.
The Labour-SNP coalition in Edinburgh Council is on hold till after GE because Ian Murray Labour MP for Edinburgh South needs Tory votes to keep his seat and no Tory will switch to Labour if they are seen to be in cahoots with the SNP at any level.
I want to see a sovereign and independent Wales in my lifetime. Frankly, I would settle for an independent Wales with a government of the left or right, in or out of the EU, foxhunting or non-foxhunting. Until we have a sovereign state with a government accountable to the people of Wales, all of these other issues seem trivial.
Hear, hear. It can be fine-tuned later.
I can buy into that stance quite easily. My point was simply that we have this P.M of U.K who has to wheel out this old chestnut at a time when there are probably a 1001 bigger priorities that need sorting ( although none of those are likely to be addressed properly ) . It also reveals her fuckin’ world class capacity for dimness/ignorance as evidenced by the statement about “least cruel way of culling”. I have difficulty recalling anything so evidently detached from reality for a long time in an era where politicians have been eminently able to wheel out some outrageous tripe.
Let me make clear that I’m not sentimental about foxes. In this area the local farmers go out before lambing starts, on foot, with dogs, to keep fox numbers down and protect their lambs. That is perfectly understandable and justifiable. My real concern is that there are human beings who take pleasure from killing animals, because it’s proven that such people are more liable to inflict injury on other human beings. Fox hunting attracts the social superiors of those who attend dog fights. The only real difference is one of class.
Your local farmers know what works for them in containing fox numbers and protecting stock ( poultry also very vulnerable ). Their solution is very efficient and quick with little or no “ceremony” far removed from the carnivals with all sorts of tossers dressed up for the event.
Is the correct answer.
The story of the Tywi and Cothi Farmers Hunt is here…
These are not ‘English Gentry’ or ‘Toffs’, and they are not ‘more likely to inflict injury on other human beings’. The only politically incorrect aspect of such events was the gender separation of the ‘ladies sharabang’, but I’m told much joy was had by all.
In the process the lambs were safe.
What is wrong is (a) a foreign parliament saying it’s no longer allowed, (b) an influx of English ToryKippers hijacking it for cash and prestige, and (c) self serving middle class fleece jacketed elite in who issue lectures about ‘cruelty’.
The photo montage and song is here…
Of course, one problem was – and I remember arguing this – that Welsh farmers allowed themselves to get mixed up with the Countryside Alliance, which was a front for the talley-ho! mob. This allowed the prats in pink to argue that they were not elitist, etc.
As I remember it Jac, at least in the West Country, the Countryside Alliance very skilfully capitalised on Blair’s Gov’t being only concerned in ‘metropolitan’ issues. Blair et al had for example no interest or idea of rural poverty. This idea that disadvantage only happens to those in cities also had a really big knock on effect in academia. I was attempting to research and publish on rural poverty in north Wales during the Blair years and it was virtually impossible to do this. Funding was there in the millions if you wanted to write about ‘inner city’ deprivation but there was bugger all available if you wanted to study eg. rural disadvantage in declining quarry villages in Wales. I did much of my research unfunded because I was determined to get this on the agenda – but the next problem was ‘peer review’ when I submitted to sociology journals. Again and again the ignorance of the reviewers regarding Wales or rural matters was staggering. I remember one article on the recent sociology of north west Wales was rejected because I had described the poverty that mid-twentieth century hill farmers in Snowdonia experienced – the article came back with a comment that ‘farmers are not poor’. They bloody well were in 1950s Trawsfynydd… On another occasion I was at a conference on poverty in Manchester at a presentation by two of the UK’s biggest names in the sociology of social class. They were describing an analysis that they done and I noticed that they hadn’t accounted for people who didn’t have a car. They replied that everyone has a car, people without a car are so few in number that they weren’t worth considering. I wonder why the Bethesda and Deiniolen buses in and out of Bangor were so full then. I eventually found one journal, Sociologia Ruralis, that was not dominated by sociologists advising on Blair’s policies – most of which failed – and they loved the stuff on Wales, because it was a journal concerned with rural issues across Europe where there is still an awareness that rural life matters and can be very difficult…
Things are not much better at present. I have a young friend who has just finished a degree in Social Anthropology at SOAS in London and she wanted to come home to Wales to do a PhD – on rural disadvantage. There is no university in Wales that has a social anthropology dept anymore since Swansea closed their (very good) dept down and she could not find funding for a PhD in Wales on rural poverty. So she’s off to Sussex – although she really wanted to be back in Wales. (She did enrol for a Masters in Social Sciences at Cardiff so determined was she to return to Wales but after two weeks she concluded that what was on offer was nowhere near worth the tuition fees being charged – the Masters at Cardiff was about the same level as the first year of her Bachelors Degree at SOAS. And Cardiff kept desperately trying to pretend that they were nothing to do with Wales! My friend didn’t turn her back on Wales, she feels that the Welsh HE system has turned its back on her. She didn’t really want to go to Cardiff and have to pretend to be English.)
depressing comments but so true. The manipulative scheming morons that run our institutions are either part of a plan to wreck the bloody things, or are aiming to neutralise any form of identity that ties them closely to their hinterland. They will soon end up with sterile abstract entities teaching empty standardised bullshit and sucking 9k or more out of unsuspecting students (and even more from foreign students daft enough to come here !)
She has indicated that it will be intomorrow’s Manifesto as a pledge to allow a free vote on the issue of amending the Hunting Act (England & Wales).
That means it has to be a private members Bill, with no ‘whipping’ and the government remaining impartial.
That is a million miles away from a manifesto pledge to restore it. It would be defeated – heavily – in Parliament no matter how big May’s majority. Most Tory MPs do not support it hence why Cameron abandoned a similar pledge right at the last minute post GE-2015.
May is just tossing a bone to so the rural die-hards on her backbenches to keep them quiet.
Even if by some bizarre outcome it actually passed it would still have major problems because it would require compliance with Local Authority regulations regarding public events and insurance etc, the hunt meeting the cost of policing – which because of guarenteed mass demonstrations would be enormous etc etc
Insurance – Landowners are responsible for their own liability insurance.
Policing –Compared with the Nato Summit (Newport) and the Champions league (Cardiff) appointing PCSO to chase a vegan (Llanwrda) on Boxing day is not going to be an issue.
Jac makes an important point about how the ban came into effect. It was when ‘New Labour’ wanted to impose their will on rural England. The Tories in the home counties of England and genuine toffs set up the ‘countryside alliance’ an ideological opposition to Blair. That ignored the cultural variances, both in England and a very different Wales.
If a private members bill is introduced in the Westminster House to repeal the Hunting Ban, it should be replaced with “an assumed ban unless local authorities in England or the Welsh government opt to licence” then think it would get passed. I think the Tories would relish putting any remaining Labour MPs from Wales on the spot over devolving the last reserved legislation that applies to agriculture.
The SNP will abstain as there is no consequential for Scotland.
The Tory shire MPs will vote in favour. LibDem West Country MPs will vote in favour. Plaid Cymru MPs will vote in favour. Tory MPs from Wales and Townhouse Toff Tories of Kensington and Harrogate will vote in favour.
Those against will be Labour MPs from the London metropolitan elite, and any residual cloth caps from the Mersey and the Tyne. Any Labour MPs from Wales will have the stark choice to vote against or vote in favour of maintaining a Westminster ban or devolving the matter to Wales.
The hunts cross public roads and public land.
These people involved are the ‘public’.
There is no law against riding a horse on a public highway, especially the remote rural lanes that would be used. For this purpose all riders should obtain their own personal accident insurance, most do, whether hunting or not, but it is not compulsory. What is compulsory is insurance of motor vehicles, usually the liable party in any accident likely to occur.
Wholeheartedly agree JE!
On the fox hunting subject – it’s an irrelevance in the context of this political discussion. However I would like it noted that I also wholeheartedly agree with Jac & dafis on the subject. Where foxes are a pest then they have to be controlled – humanely – you don’t need ceremonial clothing, horns to blow, hounds to trespass at will or a snort of alcohol to carry out the job, that’s before the ‘blooding’ custom is invoked. All that is a vestige of the past where the lords did as they pleased and paraded their blood lust before the peasants. Fucking aristocracy behaving badly at it’s worst, it doesn’t belong here in our country – we all know where it’s originated.
I also understand the point you were making re. the ‘ides of May’ dafis, as I was making a point about the naivety of politicians who can be swayed so easily due to their lack of knowledge and understanding on a specific subject. The wind turbine scam is a classic example where thick politicians with zero technical knowledge have been hoodwinked and fed a load of crap by the renewable energy lobby who saw an opportunity to siphon public money from the governments with a technically unsound racket to make money.
I too agree with Jac & dafis on the subject, licensed hunts only where there’s an agricultural requirement. The garb, however, is not ceremonial. It’s purely practical. The outfit consists of a high viz jacket, a hard hat, and tight trousers, essential for riding a large horse across open farm/moor land in winter. It could be updated, but somehow, lycra, spandex and a plastic helmet would make you look like a mountain biker.
As for the land, and aristocracy (in Wales our native aristos were massacred, replaced by Anglo-Norman), the most current notable is the Duke of Beaufort. I think it’s a bit hypocritical to criticise Welsh horses at Banwen or Mynyddygwair, yet decimate those very commons with wind turbines where the Welsh have no financial reward, or install caravan plantations.
Here is the latest lovvie of the Labour Party in Wales.
More astonishing revelations to follow.
The solution is a Welsh Land Trust, take the commons into public ownership, and local authorities locally to decide about licensing hunting on them. As for the rest of the year profits from selling water from the reservoirs and electricity from the hillsides to be kept in Wales for the benefit of the people of Wales.
that link sums it all up – it’s a panto, carnival, circus, call it what you like but anything that needs a horse as a central feature nowadays is highly suspect. Dogs are dead handy for locating and hopefully driving the target to guns whereas the horses do a lot of damage to land, hedgerows, drainage courses as well as carrying folk who appear clueless about simple tasks like closing gates properly ! A matter best managed by farmers & colleagues with a disciplined team of guns and dogs. No redcoats & ceremonies needed.
somewhat off the main thread of this topic but of interest, more evidence today that Mad Maggie May is completely bonkers. She is reported as being supportive of fox hunting, because “other ways of killing them are cruel” ! The woman knows nothing. Anyone who thinks that a pack of dogs running the fox down and tearing it apart is the least cruel way of culling is as demented as she looks. Crazy woman, and it now looks like more Welsh people are likely to vote Tory than at any other time in last 40 years. Makes Farron, Nuttall and Corbyn look almost normal.
I suspect that May supporting fox hunting may get her Brownie points among many of those that she seeks to ingratiate herself to. I think I remember from your previous comments that you came from a farming background Dafis – so did I, but Somerset not Wales. By the time I was in my late teens/early twenties when I used to return to Somerset I noticed that the place was filling up with affluent former city dwellers. Now some were Guardian readers who’d moved to a country cottage who were horrified by hunting, but there was a Thatcherite contingent as well who were reinventing themselves as country gentry and ‘riding to hounds’ (as they always called it) became quite popular among them. Roger Scruton, Thatchers favourite philosopher, started writing articles about how he loved hunting at about this time – and he came from a modest background – and of course Charles Moore also started reinventing himself as rural. By that time Paul Johnson of Spectator fame had purchased an estate in a village near where I grew up. Areas like the Quantocks just filled up with these people and their mates – when I was a kid Auberon Waugh had been the only such specimen in the region. Friends who still live in Somerset tell me that Cameron’s mates are gaining a real hold on the region – they are alleged to be packing out all the ‘rural’ charities (and of course the Countryside Alliance, a staunch defender of hunting, was established and run by financiers from the City). The Rees-Mogg clan have colonised north Somerset and as if Jacob wasn’t bad enough, his sister Anunciata ran as a Tory candidate too, but called herself ‘Nancy Mogg’ (presumably in the hope that no-one would associate her with her tosser of a brother). The latest is the vacuous Rachel Johnson, writer of shite in the Mail On Sunday and sister of Boris, who has a second home on Exmoor, making noises about standing in Bath, but for the Lib Dems rather than the Tories. Dunno what the details are, but it will centre around self-promotion, the whole bloody family are unable to do anything else… Obviously there’s no language issue in Somerset but the house situation is pretty similar to that in parts of north Wales – locals have been squeezed out of the market completely by these pillocks and what were once farm workers cottages are now occupied by affluent professionals. My best friend from school still lives near the village where she grew up which was a farming village – there is now only one farm left and the place is full of Tories from London who have frozen her and her husband out because they are not loaded. Of course Somerset was always conservative, but there was affordable accommodation for people on limited incomes and there was not this rampant pretentiousness. Such is the snobbery there that my mates children don’t get invited to the other kids houses – it is extraordinary. I know that rural life can’t be preserved in aspic, but rural Somerset is now a play park for the wealthy. Theresa knows it – her support for hunting may not be as daft as everyone thinks it is… My mate feels like a fish out of water in the village where her family have lived for three generations…
The problems experienced in rural Wales are not unique to those areas. The West Country, which you cite, and Cumbria are 2 areas particularly blighted by toff & pseudo toff infestation either buying up land & estates or just moving in part time with second homes in the regions. Add to that the peculiarities that come with excessive reliance on tourism and you get the sort of mess that you write about. Somerset may have been socially conservative, small ‘c’, but now it has the big ‘C’ and its twisted values.
I am fed up of the metropolitan elite in another county telling people in rural Wales what they can or cannot do. I am also fed up of English eco-settlers and good lifer retirees descending into rural communities in Wales espousing some kind of moral superiority as if Welsh people are spear-wielding savages. So, to take power and responsibility in our own country I suggest the following logic tree be applied on fox hunting in Wales…
10 Is there an agricultural requirement to cull foxes in the area?
11 Yes Goto 20
12 No Goto 99
20 Is the culling process best done with horse and hound, given the terrain?
21 Yes Goto 30
22 No Goto 99
30 Does the hound method prevent unnecessary suffering to the fox?
31 Yes Goto 70
32 No Goto 99
40 Is there any economic benefit to the indigenous community?
41 Yes Goto 60
42 No Goto 99
60 Will the hunt take place within the footprint defined by the Welsh Government?
61 Yes Goto 90
62 No Goto 99
90 Local authority, by chamber majority, can license the hunt, with fee payable.
99 Hunt banned by the local authority.
Some people might disagree with my logic, and if so, I suggest going to the local phone box in Ceredigion and dailing up Tower Hamlets Council in London telling them that the strychnine baits they’ve put out around the dumpster compound underneath Holborn House tower block is cruel to rats. Also mention that Cardi’s on the banks of the Teifi have the right to tell them what they can or cannot do, so cockneys visiting pie and mash shops and jellied eel stalls will also be banned in London as it glorifies animal killing.
Politicians are like that dafis. They often talk like experts on subjects they know next to nothing about. Your bit about May reminds me of a breathtaking ‘U’ turn by Cynog Dafis years ago. He’d been hooting on about banning fox-hunting (probably using material he’d cribbed from his ‘Green’ pals at the time). He vehemently preached against fox-hunting.
Enter the fox-hunting fraternity of sleepy Tregaron town. Now they may be sleepy, and occupy what appears to be a backward ‘gwerin cefn gwlad’ slot to many outsiders BUT peasant cunning they have an abundance of – that’s why they’ve survived so long.
They nonchalantly invited Mr. Dafis (basically a townie) up to the Talbot for a chat. They quietly argued in a friendly manner that there was nothing cruel or wrong with fox-hunting and to prove their point they invited him back to a hunt meet at the Talbot at a later date – to see for himself. He agreed and arrived a few weeks later. They then courteously and calmly plied him with their best hospitality of food and drink and then took him up to the mountains behind the Talbot with the local hunt’s pack of hounds.
On his return he proudly declared that he had changed his mind about opposing fox-hunting. When later asked what revelations he had been exposed to up on those wild mountains, he simply said that not only was fox-hunting OK, but that the number of foxes killed was so small as to be insignificant. He also said that as far as he could see, the main purpose of these ‘meets’ was for the historical social benefit of the community, and that the ‘fox-hunting’ was just a vehicle for these nice ‘gwerinwyr cefn gwlad’. He added that on the day he was taken to the mountains he had not even seen one fox, let alone seen one killed by the hounds. (Funny that).
Job done. The farmers took off in their 4 x 4s with smiles on their faces. Cynog went back to sea level feeling proud that he had been enlightened.
That was the day that ‘Cynog y Cadno’ got outfoxed by a band of peasant farmers, many of whom were probably related to Twm Siôn Cati!
The moral of the story – which is true – never underestimate the ability of politicians to be so naive and utterly stupid and gullible. They crop up amongst all parties.
The key to uncovering postal vote fraud is to find the evidence.
The Labour Party was found guilty of such fraud in Blackburn a few years ago. In this case, the scam worked by Labour activists and candidates using ‘drop houses’. These were properties which were unoccupied or properties which were of multiple occupancy, particularly with foreign nationals who were eligible to vote due to being EU or commonwealth citizens, and registering numerous electors at the address, and filling these fake postal vote ballot papers, which were cast in favour of the Labour candidate.
Getting the evidence is simple for a warranted police officer, which can gain access to a suspected ‘drop house’ by just calling at the address and asking to be let in to examine the paperwork. The occupier of the address can refuse access until a search warrant is required to do a search, but initial refusal can be an indicator of something amiss.
Obviously, many properties of multiple occupancy have a ‘communal area’ and the letter box serves the hallway or lobby. Getting a buzz-in, just after the postman has called on the day the notice of postal ballot forms start dropping on door mats is relatively easy for pizza delivery, home delivery, or tradesmen calls, and the evidence is taking photo’s of the names on the postal ballot envelopes on the communal mat.
Verifying genuine postal voters from fake ones is then just a matter of questioning the person named for the veracity of the person named. In the case of the Blackburn investigation accusations of ‘racism’ were made against the police as the names identified were Asian, usually non-existent fake or female spouse. The ‘race’ issue is unlikely to be an effective cover for any fakery in Wales. Also, the ‘head of household’ is no longer the person who applies for postal votes or to be on the electoral register, so the phantom vote scam is now specific to an individual.
There are two incidents of documentation that is sent out for postal voting….
(a) Notice card sent to the primary address detailing where the polling cards are sent to, i.e. the secondary address. These have already been sent or are already in the post for this year’s general election. These are not enveloped and both the primary and secondary address is visible to the casual observer.
(b) The actual ballot form that is sent to the secondary address inside a sealed envelope. These two addresses would usually be in different constituencies.
It should be noted that students can have two ballot forms, and on the electoral register twice. For both term time as well as home address. Although they are only allowed to vote once.
The Lliedi ward result in the local elections in Carmarthenshire is strange. 261 of the 890 Labour vote for Rob James failed to also vote for the other Labour candidate Shahana Namji. Voters had two votes in this ward. As Rob James is new to the area, this excess support is unlikely to be ‘personal’ in nature. It could be, however, that Labour voters are racist and could not bring themselves to put their second X next to the foreign name. There is no evidence that Rob James (formally of Bryncoch, NPT now resident in Lliedi, Llanelli) has done a Quesir Mahmood (formally of Wensley Fold, Blackburn and later resident of her majesty’s pleasure), but it is a tad strange. No doubt the Labour Party will be asking themselves why 261 people voted James but not Namji.
Racism is one explanation for the Lliedi ward result, but if so then it doesn’t say much for those who voted for a ‘progressive’ party like ‘Welsh’ Labour. That the local candidate should get so many fewer votes than the newcomer is bizarre. Equally bizarre is the newcomer should get so many more votes that his respected, and local, predecessor. Also odd, is that that respected predecessor was deselected.
I stand by what I’ve said; Rob James, who works for Swansea West Labour MP Geraint Davies, is marked out for rapid promotion, and that his victory in Lliedi owed a great deal to a manipulated postal vote, and that that postal contained an element of harvesting the local Polish vote.
It is difficult to detect the ‘postal vote harvesting’ in council elections as it could be effective ‘targeting’, unless there is evidence of personating. However, these individuals do not have a vote in the elections for the Westminster House, as this vote excludes EU citizens in favour of commonwealth citizens.
A ‘notice of postal vote card’ dropping on the lobby mat of a HMO in a name of Polish origin for the Westminster election is a sure indicator. When questioned, a person of naturalised status (eligible to vote in May) would usually have a good command of the English language, but a EU citizen (not eligible to vote in June) would usually have a reduced command of the English language, requiring further investigation.
The statistical anomaly suggests there are 261 ‘persons of interest’ in Lliedi ward, Llanelli should the Police wish to investigate. They will have Polish names on the notice of postal vote record held at county hall, and flagged with card to be issued in May but not in June.
A similar line of investigation was conducted by Greater Manchester Police in 2015 after a complaint by Oldham and Saddleworth Conservative Federation during the by-election. In this instance, Labour supporters had collected signed blank ballot papers from voters, and then filled them in elsewhere. The postman delivered the postal votes in a specific ward at 1030hrs and at 1035hrs there is a knock on the door ‘we have come to collect your postal vote, can we help fill it in?’ In this instance the scale of the fraud was not so significant as to affect the outcome of the election, and GMP decided to offer suspects ‘some words of advise’.
Rob James, who, as you say, works for Swansea West Labour MP Geraint Davies, so an ‘error of over-enthusiasm’ during an investigation is unlikely to wash.
I mention the possible use or misuse of Polish votes in Llanelli a) because we know there is a sizeable Polish vote in the town and b) we also know that Labour Party members control the Polish Welsh (or Welsh Polish) Mutual Association in Llanelli that ‘advises’ members of the local Polish community on a host of issues.
Knowing Labour as we do I’m sure our Polish guests are scared with, ‘Them Tories want to send you home, and the Welsh Nationalists want to burn down your HMOs – who you gonna vote for?’
But the Poles of Llanelli are recent arrivals, traditionally Labour politicians have harvested the vote from old peoples’ homes, care homes and the like, where those running the place either got the job due to Labour connections, or else need to keep local politicians sweet in order to hang onto their licenses.
The response from your FoI request to CCC saying…
“we do not hold information relevant to your request as the law requires us to mix the postal vote ballot papers with the ballot papers from polling stations before we separate into candidates, hence we have no way of knowing which postal voters voted for which candidates”
is true. In so much as there is an assumption that there are no ‘missing’ postal votes at the count. It is the count which validates what candidate gets a valid mark.
I draw you attention to an irregularity was discovered a few years back in Rhondda. I had a postal vote due to working away, and the ballot paper has a unique ‘blind’ reference number stamped upon it. At the count it’s possible to check to ensure this individual ballot paper is in the pile, using this unique reference. My vote had indeed been delivered to the count and was present in the Plaid pile. I was in what was then a Labour voting ward.
Up in Treochy, however, which was a Plaid Cymru voting ward, some postal votes were not delivered for counting. Not only was this highlighted by Plaid Cymru scrutinisers, but also the Labour candidate, himself had casted a postal vote, and this was also absent from the count. An investigation ensued, and the cause was an apparent ‘failure by the postman’ to process a collection in a timely manner to the sorting office, resulting in late delivery. Royal Mail issued an apology.
This is the importance of the candidates and agents being present at the count to do random checking.
There is no reason, however, why CCC has not replied to the question “How many postal votes were cast in Lliedi?”. I have no doubt that all the ballot papers arrived at the count. However, CCC, as with all returning officers in Wales, have a legal obligation to record and validate postal votes per ward. There is a two stage process in the documentation, the ballot paper, and the signed submission sheet, which is returned under separate cover (envelope in an envelope) to the council offices.
This submission receipt can be used to validate that the ballot paper has a legitimate postal vote. It is indexed by ward. The returning officers in Gwynedd (Llais moan), RCT (Fardre Tory winge) and Torfaen (the Coed Eva squabble) have no problems is replying stating the number of postal votes issued, and the number postal votes returned for counting.
I think you should get Mark James to answer the first part of you question, with the same professionalism displayed by other returning officers in Wales.
When you want to create a state, one thing is needed and it’s been behind the destruction of the Celtic languages on this island. That one thing is hegemony.
Rather dangerous for dubiously “Welsh” Labour to start building a political and ideological division between them and the UK mother party? Shame its based on the questionable leadership and charisma of Carwyn Jones, but the idea that only by dumping the UK party can “Welsh” Labour prosper must surely be encouraged?. After all, an Independent Wales will doubtless need a number of really Welsh political parties to contest elections etc.
Maybe I am misjudging what looks suspiciously like pure anti -Corbyn opportunism by a bunch of Wales based unionist politicians desperate only to keep their “regional” party in power and not be personally overrun by the local Tories or Plaid? If the valiant Carwynites truly want Wales to be their lifeboat, I doubt they they have thought through all of the likely political and career consequences of distancing themselves form the UK party.
Politics is a long game and politicians tend have excellent recall, especially if you stab them in the back. Will be interesting to see how many”Welsh” Labour Candidates will have Carwyn, rather than Corbyn on their leaflets,or just play it safe and keep them both out
I was listening to Radio Cymru earlier and Dei Tomos was interviewing Emrys Roberts about his new book ‘Ein Stori Ni’. (Translation: Our Story). It sounded like a fascinating brief look at Welsh history. Emrys Roberts was angry about the lack of teaching of Welsh history in our schools. We all know that. He was also surprised at how so many socialists and nationalists are supportive of the European project. He was vehemently against. He thought that this super-state would eventually want to kill off individual cultures. Well worth listening to. Here’s the book:
The book is also available at all Welsh language bookshops.
Well from what you said about his views on the EU it looks like Emrys Roberts will celebrating Brexit and an end in Cymru to the EU’s programme to kill off individual cultures.
“He thought that this super-state would eventually want to kill off individual cultures”.
I wonder what evidence he used to predict this. Was it that the EU
has 24 official languages, including Irish.
want’s each person to be able to speak 2 languages in addition to their mother tongue.
funds minority language programmes
was instrumental in establishing the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.
The only evidence for killing off cultures within the EU comes from it’s members’ actions not the membership as a whole. The UK will want English to continue to be the overwhelmingly dominant language in Cymru just as France will want it to be French in Brittany. that’s irrelevant to their membership of the EU.
Whereas it is bonkers to imagine that for example (out of the many small EU states with their own language) the Danes would ditch the use of Danish in Denmark and adopt German or English even if it were for official purposes only.
Wakey wakey di-enw, you really should be old enough by now to see through that thin veil of deceitful crap.
Emrys Roberts is absolutely right. The EU is specifically designed to melt all individual cultures and identities within it’s borders into one big lump. It’s agenda is to form a ‘region’ within a world government, a fascist, dictatorial empire the likes of which has never before been seen. Have you ever come across any empire that takes into account the individual identities of those it absorbs? Why do you think they promote open borders, encourage immigration in all directions and try and form a multicultural soup? Why do you think they constantly push forward the Globalist agenda? It’s a takeover stupid!
Their mistake is that they’ve misread how big the steps in that takeover needs to be in their totalitarian tip-toe scheme. They centralised power in Brussels and started dictating without the support of the masses a tad too soon, triggering a backlash of resentment amongst the people of the individual nations. Blurting ear tickling crap about 24 languages and encouraging everyone to speak two languages is simply an exercise to throw dust in the eyes of the naive ‘sheeple’ that will believe everything at face value and follow each other blindly.
Do you know what? Those amongst us who are as naive as you, are akin to the clowns who don’t wish to see the steam roller until they are flat underneath it. FFS drop the scales from your eyes, and widen out your view of things in the light of reality. You’ve been given a pair of eyes two ears and a brain, don’t use them to download the propaganda crap and lies you hear from the mainstream media.
I interpret the evidence of what the UK and France does to diminish and discourage their minority languages as an indication that both the UK and France are seeking to diminish and discourage their minority languages.
I interpret the evidence of what the EU does to maintain and encourage minority languages as an indication that the EU is seeking to maintain and encourage minority languages.
You see all this evidence as an indication that the UK, France and the EU are all seeking to diminish and discourage minority languages.
And given the evidence you can only lump the EU with the UK and France if you make the EU’s positive actions part of a cunning plan to enable it to carry out it’s long term aim of eliminating those languages. Why does the EU need a cunning plan? Why doesn’t it just do what the UK and France are already doing very successfully?
You need bait to work a trap.
Spain ? Its inner turmoils with Catalan, Basque and ,I think, a Galician language/identity remain a big issue. No evidence here that EU is a progressive influence, more a case of ” here’s an idealistic policy statement but you guys go ahead and do as you please “
Exactly dafis – an ‘idealist policy’ – dust in the eyes.
Try telling that to the French government never mind the Front National .
The charter would make France provide speakers of regional languages with the legal and institutional means to ensure the survival of their cultural heritage and for example make it possible for parents to have their children study regional languages and have legal documents be published in them. France still hasn’t ratified it and the Front National described the charter as an attack against France.
Spain has ratified the charter and suggesting that the charter doesn’t assist the Catalans and Basques is based on what evidence?
You appear not to understand the difference between “policy” and the implications for EU member states of signing and ratifying the charter. I suggest you do some research.
If your definition of “progressive” includes protecting and promoting indigenous minority languages then there is irrefutable evidence that the EU is “progressive” on this issue and that some EU member states are not “progressive”. Given your views on the EU that is inconvenient for you but that’s your problem..
as I have said earlier, on numerous occasions, I have an hostility, suspicion, all sorts of negative feelings about these supranational bodies that purport to be there for the greater good. So no conflict for me.
As for FN, I have not had occasion to be enthused about it or its leadership. Much like the USA, France has found itself lumbered with a pretty lousy range of choices, and when it comes to the issue touched upon above none of them have ever earned much corn for standing up for indigenous minorities.
“So no conflict for me. ”
Only because you either ignore evidence that undermines the basis for your opinion or you interpret the contradictory evidence as being part of some distraction strategy. It’s a textbook example of a closed mind in (in)action..
You have settled for the pro EU story being trotted out, may indeed be part of the crowd who think that the EU will save us from something worse, like domination by our big neighbour ! Some hope.
Take a long hard look at yourself and you may find your silly little quip about “closed minds” relates to yourself far better than to others you don’t really know.
We know each other as far as what we write here.
We don’t agree about being pro or con the EU, that’s not the issue though. When it comes to forming our overall opinion of the EU the proven EU actions on minority languages should be an issue in the pro EU column for both of us.
Issues you put in the con column clearly outweigh this particular pro but that doesn’t alter the fact that the EU’s support of indigenous minority languages is something good the EU does.
The election and the need for the biggest mandate possible line pushed by the Tories was punctured by ITV’s Political Editor Robert Peston’s interview with David Davis the Brexit Secretary and reading between the lines, talks collapsing and no deal between the EU and UK is now a real possibility, that means farming and manufacturing two of Wales biggest sectors are screwed between lack of customs union and tariffs on goods, the interview is 14 mins, time well spent if you interested https://www.facebook.com/pestonitv/posts/1845503262441077
And for the record, no the Labour government in Cardiff Bay has no contingency plans for no deal that’s how naive they are believing Tory spin on best deal possible.
Jac, do keep us posted with regard to Councillor Louise Hughes.
Hitherto, I’d regarded her as a mild figure of fun, but there is obviously a sinister element to her clowning.
If North Wales Police don’t act, is it possible to take out a private prosecution?
I’m not sure about a private prosecution. On what grounds could an individual do it?
How the hell can you have a ‘personality cult’ around someone who is so nondescript that he’d had trouble getting noticed in his own living-room? But then, there are said still to be tribes in the south-west Pacific region who worship Phil The Greek (*), so little should surprise us.
(* Slight misnomer – he’s Danish; just as when the Swedes felt that they needed a monarchy, they got a cutting from the remaining French aristos, the Greeks grabbed an understandbly unwanted branch from København)
The more I look at that headline – and the alliteration – I think whoever wrote it was taking the piss, because as you say, the idea of a personality cult around Carwyn Jones is absurd. Does this mean that the Wasting Mule can see which way the wind is blowing and is now pulling away from ‘Welsh’ Labour.
..and that would be a seismic shift – not that ideology ever played a part in the thinking just a stance taken to be on side with the biggest power bloc in town. So someone may be judging that times are changin’ but don’t expect a move to objective analytical journalism just yet.
Read this – Death of ‘1.5m oldsters’ could swing second Brexit vote, says Ian McEwan | Politics | The Guardian.
Privileged scribbler Ian McEwan banging on about Brexit and how a shift in demographics could produce a different result by 2019. What a supertwat. These clowns also represent a real threat to our futures, just a different kind of threat to that posed by Bannon’s psywarfare ops company which the Guardian was oh so quick to expose and pontificate about. People like us, minorities with identities to protect and foster, are threatened by the entire spectrum of “know it all” manipulators, pseudo left and nouveau right and all the junk that’s stuck somewhere in the middle.
The problem with this line of thinking is that few people are as radical at 58 as they were at 18. Few people view the world with the same optimism at 58 as they did at 18. What happens is that as the older conservatives die off they get replaced by former radicals.
I don’t disagree with your view. It’s been said for ages that young rebels turn into old rednecks ( see Gee as a live example !!!! and some would point a finger at me also, shock horror ! ) However these Remainer lobbyists are posturing as radical thinkers when their reality is more akin to pseudo socialist dinosaurs.
And “posturing” is now the key poloitical activity with any reference to realities being purely coincidental. Watch mad Maggie May recently acting out some detached scenes which ignore the realities around her and then watch the puerile responses from the likes of Farron and the pack of dimwits around Corbyn and you feel like you are in some kind of absurd theatre rather than the real world.
I’m glad to say that the older I get (55 next month), the more radical I’ve become. I think it’s what comes of getting to the stage where you don’t give a flying kick at Rupert Moon what other people think.
Increased age was the second best indicator of a voter voting for Brexit in the EU referendum.
Generally the older a person is the more likely they are to die, therefore-
If there is a vote on Brexit/Brexit conditions it’s reasonable to predict that the result will be closer.
The same thing is happening with the support for independence for Scotland.
I understand that a similar link between increased age and pro Unionism was present there.
As to the “threat to our futures” well, harsh though it sounds the older we are the less of a future we have. Are the futures of 18 year olds being decided by 80 year olds.
where do you get the stats that support the argument that the tendency to be pro-Brexit correlates with increasing age of the voter. As far as I can see it’s just a convenient theory just like the one that says trade unionists always vote Labour and we know that they don’t.
In 5 years time you’ll have a new wedge of old codgers and will they go one way or another ? You don’t know. As far as England ( and probably Wales ) is concerned I strongly suspect, in view of recent disclosures, that heavy influence was deployed via MSM and social media to sway the undecideds. Even the Guardian have conceded indirectly that there was a strong hard core of anti-EU in England but the big decider was the drive by various manipulation forces to influence the undecided people.
Odd balls, like some of us, who have a profound hostility to any supranational/imperialist body don’t really figure as our stance doesn’t really count as far as the manipulators are concerned. It becomes a different issue of central concern to them if and when we have a referendum on independence and that’s why you get all the bullshit currently fed through a spray gun about the situation in Scotland.
I’m surprised that you missed the coverage of this –
“Other things being equal, support for leave was 30 percentage points higher among those with GCSE qualifications or below than it was for people with a degree. In contrast, support for leave was just 10 points higher among those on less than £20,000 per year than it was among those with incomes of more than £60,000 per year, and 20 points higher among those aged 65 than those aged 25.”
– which was in pretty much every newspaper and political tv and radio programme. I’ll leave it to you to look up the Scottish referendum voting patterns.
Of course you are right that today’s old codgers will be replaced by a new set of old codgers but they won’t have the same opinions, attitudes and preferences as the current ones. this is obviously the case as today’s 80 year olds don’t have the same norms as the 80 year olds of 1917 or 1817 or 1717 or …..
the Rowntree Foundation’s report is very well put together and presents a lot of “detail”. However it is not an analysis of actual voting patterns as (yet) individual votes are not recorded in the U.K, so the way the result is attributed to age groups or socio economic class or any grouping other than geography ( votes counted by constituency & region ) is open to error.
You can see that both sides of theEU debate are marshalling their resources in yet another serious attempt to influence and manipulate pre June 8th. Anything that genuinely informs is coincidental. Activists on the UK Remainer wing are now behaving in much the same way as those other deviants ( pro UK Brexit) that I touched upon in an earlier comment about recent disclosures regarding the (mainly)covert antics of the likes of Cambridge Analytica who have strong linkages to the likes of Steve Bannon, Robert Mercer, and Google’s Eric Schmidt. For a depth of detail check out a series of articles written by Carol Cadwalladr in the Guardian online.
While I don’t go along with any apologists for the EU racketeers I don’t share any sentiments with the corporate crooks who appear to have stuck their noses in deep on the Brexit case either. As I said above ( 14/05) many of us have a profound suspicion, indeed hostility, to the supranational/imperialist bodies that have been constructed to deliver world peace. Even the U.N , designed to arrest the rush to another world war and act as peacemaker in lesser regional conflicts, has failed abysmally. Why ? well there are lots of reasons but they all add up to a simple truth. Local,regional conflicts suit the purposes of the major powers and their corporate brethren. “It’s good for trade” – not kidding that’s how the likes of General Dynamics, Lockheed et al view the world.And it enables devious politicians to increase their powers of control by introducing draconian security laws when the insecurity is often of their own making. The EU itself has a track record of perverse behaviors and it is very evidently a party to a global carve up as evidenced by its collaboration with global corporate interests
P.S to above
Try this – More on the Brexit robbery here – https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/14/robert-mercer-cambridge-analytica-leave-eu-referendum-brexit-campaigns
There will always be margins of error but error is not the only thing you should take into account.
Of the research done none of the results contradict the – increased age = more likely to vote Leave effect but rather they support it.
You should therefore have more confidence that increasing age as a predictor of voting behavior is a phenomenon that is real..
The media including the Daily Mail presented the report (crudely and wrongly)as – It was the old and stupid that won it for Leave. The Daily Mail has the money to commission their own research to show for example that it was the smart voters whatever their age or education that won it for Leave.
However they didn’t, why not. When you’re looking at this type of research it’s useful to take into account the type of groups that have chosen not to have it done as well the ones who have.
Dafis, I Would not focus too much on the actions of Cambridge Analytica, there is a far greater danger to what is left of our democratic process in the form of a company called Wess Digital. Look them up, the main players are well known names with vested interests in seeing their agenda enacted.
Then add a few more names such as Andy Wigmore, Raheem Kassam, Nigel Farage, Arron Banks and Michael Heaver. Throw in a few other spin agents such as Breitbart News and Westmonster and Cambridge Analytica appear to be just the tip of the iceberg.
Delivering campaign literature door to door is old school, these guys are making an art form out of targeting their audience and controlling the politcal debate.
Dafis – this comment might be deviating from the thread, but whenever I see anything published by the JRF – even if I agree with every word of it which I often do – I always remember the info that I was given about the JRF by a senior academic in an English University a few years ago when I told her that I was thinking of applying for funding from the JRF to look at poverty in rural Wales: ‘don’t even bother, the JRF only ever fund the work of certain favoured academics – its a small select circle who have built up relationships with the JRF over years, who can be relied upon to produce what the JRF want and no-one else gets a look in’. I was advised that my only option was to look elsewhere for funding or begin toadying to the JRF which if I did so successfully, would probably ensure that I was in for a chance of funding in a few years time… I was appalled at the time, but ten years later I am well aware that this is exactly how business is conducted with many funding bodies. The bodies funding NHS research are some of the worst offenders here – take a long hard look at who is landing grants for what and then cross reference those names with the names of their co-authors and co-researchers and the names of the people sitting on the grant awarding bodies. And if you need any further evidence of the stitch up, take a look at the names of people sitting on the NICE committees who then advise the Gov’t on which interventions to make available on the NHS. It will become very clear indeed exactly how business is being conducted. Quality of research and efficacy do not enter into the equation as much as they ought to.
you are confirming my suspicions. Bodies like the Rowntree Foundation, established with noble intentions, have been penetrated by careerists with entirely different goals and objectives. No doubt some of the work is sound and is used for good purposes at the “sharp end” but these macro surveys posing as in depth authoritative research is purely ammo for devious purposes. Very similar to some of the crap trotted out by CA and their cohorts when producing films ( short and long ) issued on U Tube etc.
That doesn’t take into account that life is a conveyor belt and as one oldie drops off the end, a middle ager takes their place, a younger takes theirs etc etc.
There will always be a never-endibg supply of oldies who wil always be more conservative than they were when they were younger.
The point is that these replacement oldies will not as a group be as conservative as the ones they replace, there isn’t evidence to support the idea that they will be. There’s plenty of evidence to support the idea that current oldies have a less conservative attitude to race, gender, religious issues etc. as their grandparents did 50 years ago.
There’s plenty of evidence. Attlees ’45 victory and the Wilson years in the 60’s (both when Labour was at least as left as Corbyn) didn’t stop Thatcher coming to power but the oldies that voted for her must have voted Attlee & Wilson
We’re talking about older people not being as “conservative” as their grandparents which isn’t the same thing as them voting for the Conservative party. The Conservative party is less “conservative” compared to fifty or a hundred years ago.
As one obvious example the Conservative party is no longer against votes for women!
This idea of a charismatic Carwyn leading his faithful country into the arms of the Labour party is much beloved by the English press, but is not supported by the figures.
In the 2015 election Labour actually gained 15 seats in England and lost one in Wales.
In the recent council elections Labour lost almost one fifth of their sitting councillors in Wales.
In England it was slightly worse, at around 24%, but if you look at how the Tories were boosted by the collapsing UKIP vote in England, an effect not seen to the same extent in Wales, then the results are broadly similar.
“Carwyn Jones is a cult” says our leading national chip wrapper. Amazing how editorial control, particularly spelling, has become seriously shoddy since the end of grammars schools !.
I thought it was a typo.
or there’s some other factor in play of which we are as yet unaware.
I believe it’s more commonly referred to as postal voting. Has the postal element increased per chance?
Well, strange you should mention that, because the Labour Party in Llanelli controls the organisation that ‘advises’ and helps the local Poles. And it is suggested that Labour further ‘advises’ these Polish immigrants how to vote. I dealt with it in this post.