Fleece Jacket Fascists 2

Back at the beginning of August I wrote a piece called Fleece Jacket Fascists, in which I tried to expose those British or Englandandwales organisations that want Wales to be run in the interests of middle class English settlers and visitors. Those working for these fleece jacketorganisations can invariably be identified by their ‘uniform’ of the fleece jacket, hence the title. I am returning to the subject for two reasons.

First, one of the issues I dealt with in the earlier post, something that had resulted in a concerted attack by regiments of ‘fascists’, is back in the news. I’m referring now to the planned motor racing circuit in Ebbw Vale, a subject I dealt with in June, in this post. The developers are now promising that work will start on the project before Christmas. So who are these developers?

In recent media coverage they have been named as the Heads of the Valleys Development Company Ltd (HVDC), yet it’s difficult to get any further information. For example, I can find no website, nothing really except for snapshots on business information websites. Such as this. The HVDC has its registered office in Cambridgeshire, and appears to have no local directors. Though DueDil suggests that the HVDC is only a subsidiary of the (non-trading) Rassau Track and Leisure Company Ltd., registered at the same Cambridgeshire address. The RTL has a single director, Michael Anthony Carrick, who is also a director and the investment manager for the HVDC.

Despite these companies being little more than shells the enviro-fascists seem to have understood that public opinion was against them and have backed down. Even though one obstacle has been removed I doubt if this £280m project will come anywhere near realising that figure from private sources. Which means it will need a massive injection of public funding, possibly from the third round of EU Structural Funds (beginning next year). Despite that, I can see no grounds to object to such funding . . . as long as the project delivers the promised benefits for local people. That would be a far better way to spend EU funding than wasting it on the Poverty Promotion Sector that creates jobs for Labour cronies but never for those they are supposedly helping.

The second reasonVisit Wales canoeists for returning to the subject of the Fleece Jacket Fascists is that visitors to the ‘Welsh’ Government’s Visit Wales website were recently asked to complete a questionnaire on outdoor activity tourism. Excluded from the survey were road cycling, rambling, shooting, horse riding and angling. How do we explain the exclusion of the most popular outdoor activities? The answer almost certainly lies in the picture used on the Visit Wales website to advertise the survey. (Click to enlarge.) That’s right, it’s really just about canoeists, with this fact disguised by throwing in a few other outdoor activities.

We can safely assume that this survey first saw life with lobbying from Canoe Wales, which manages the National White Water Centre on Afon Tryweryn, near Bala. Don’t be fooled by ‘Wales’ in the title, or the location near Bala, these are English bodies; it is the English national centre. The clues are all over the website. Such as describing Bala as being in the “heart of Snowdonia”! There is no Welsh on the website. Note also the e-mail address for the Bala site, info@ukrafting.co.uk. So we are not just talking about aggressive and confrontational canoeists, we are also threatened with gangs of drunken middle managers hurling beer cans from rafts. Fundamentally, this is about the outdoor activity sector in Wales, which employs few if any Welsh, wanting to make yet more money out of our country by being allowed access to all Welsh waterways, where they will disturb Welsh anglers and do untold environmental damage.

That the Labour Party should support this move is no surprise, for Labour hates real country people. And as I pointed out in the original post, canoeists have always had friends in the Labour Party. Let me quote from that original post: “One (friend in high places) was Jane Davidson, Minister for Environment and Sustainability from 2007 to 2011. Among the policies Davidson wanted to introduce was that of opening all Welsh rivers, lakes and Conwywaterways to her canoeist friends. It is of course entirely coincidental that Jane Davidson is English, and went to a private school; as is the fact that upon leaving politics she became Director of the Wales Institute of Sustainability and a spokesperson for the Ramblers Association.”

More surprising is that Plaid Cymru is also said to support opening up Welsh waterways to arrogant and irresponsible English canoeists. The specific names mentioned to me as supporters of ‘open access’ were Leanne Wood, the party leader, and Rhodri Glyn Thomas, AM for Carmarthen East & Dinefrw. I e-mailed both. I had no reply from Leanne Wood, but Rhodri Glyn responded with, “I’m opposed to granting access without accepting responsibilities”. Which, I suppose, could mean anything, or nothing. Though I do hope he means that it’s the canoeists who have to accept responsibilities.

Unlike the situation in Scotland and England 80 per cent or more of angling rights on Welsh rivers are locally owned, by clubs, some of which are over 100 years old. Many of these clubs were formed by miners, quarrymen, steelworkers and others for whom angling provided fresh air and relaxation, and also put food on the table. Now the descendents of those men, the members of those clubs that have maintained our rivers, regularly restocking them with fish that provided not just pleasure for anglers but also prey for kingfisher, otter, and countless other species, are to be brushed aside by Welsh ‘socialists’ pandering to people who think ‘Wales’ is nothing more than their playground.

This is Wales in 2013. Fourteen years into ‘devolution’. It is the patriotic duty of every good Welshman and Welshwoman to oppose ‘open access’.

UPDATE 25.10.13: I have now received a response from Leanne Wood, leader of Plaid Cymru. I am glad to say that it is rather more helpful than the earlier response from Rhodri Glyn Thomas, mentioned in the post above. Also, rather more encouraging. Interestingly, Leanne Wood seems to confirm what I had been told – that the so-called ‘consultation process’ seemed designed to exclude those the ‘Welsh’ Government didn’t want to hear from, i.e. anglers and others likely to object to granting open access to visiting gangs of Hooray Henrys with paddles.

I shall maintain a watching brief.

Dear Royston, 

Thank you for your correspondence regarding access to waterways in proposed changes in legislation in Wales, and please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to you. Our Environment spokesperson Llyr Huws Gruffydd has already raised his concerns with the Minister on some of these issues.

It’s clear that not enough has been done to ensure that all the voices are heard as part of the pre-legislation process. For example, we have been contacted by numerous groups who were angry at not having been invited to attend consultation events held to discuss the proposed Recreation and Access Bill.

You may recall that the same Minister was responsible for the Marine Conservation Zone debacle when proposals for new highly protected areas were published with little prior engagement of key stakeholders. As a result there was a huge uproar and he was forced to scrap the proposals and start again. I very much hope this is not replicating that shambles.

It is my understanding that a Green Paper will be published by the Government sometime around late 2013/early 2014 outlining their intentions. Whilst this will offer a more formal means of responding to particular proposals I would suggest that you write to the Minister expressing your views now. It’s always better to try and influence the proposals sooner rather than later.

As you can imagine, we will be scrutinising this particular legislation very closely.

Kindest regards,




Leanne Wood

Arweinydd Plaid Cymru ac Aelod Cynulliad Canol De Cymru

Leader of Plaid Cymru and South Wales Central Assembly Member

12 thoughts on “Fleece Jacket Fascists 2

  1. ellie12022

    Actually that proposition above breached planning laws in many respects and was thrown out by the council. For one thing, the site was far too close to homes & schools. (lorries, dust, noise) The travesty there is whoever sold the farmer the land has helped destroy his family’s future. If it had gone through, it could have had a devastating effect on the local community. It was only thanks to Andrew that a co-ordinated effort to research what was going on and oppose it could have happened. And the local angling group? Wouldn’t intervene until damage had actually been done to local rivers. A lot of people wouldn’t stick their necks out, due to not wanting to upset their mates on the council…

    1. Jac

      A good example of tourism denying locals employment. And I wonder how many locals are employed by the outdoor activities centre?

  2. chris aldred

    Some very good points, just one issue the English canoe Centre is at Holme Pierrepoint in Nottingham, but speaking as an English angler with a Welsh grandparent I agree about the canoe access, it mustn’t be allowed. I have been a member of North Wales angling clubs for over 20 years, one of which I left due to canoeists ruining the fishing.

  3. Jac

    The Welsh angling clubs I described and the waterways on which they enjoy rights are essentially community-owned assets with membership open to all. Private schools on the other hand exist solely to serve and perpetuate exclusivity within what purports to be an egalitarian and democratic society.

    Otherwise, you have a valid point.

  4. Glen

    Worth pointing out the WG’s ‘access to inland waterways’ inquiry that has cost us millions only came about because of a much-publicised Canoe Wales petition that circulated among canoeists / kayakers and other outdoor groups all over the UK and beyond.

    A Welsh angler who made a request under the FOI act asking exactly how many of the petitions signatories were resident or eligible to vote in Wales received the following reply:-

    Dear Mr ******,

    Thank you for your query regarding how many of the 10,000 signatories of the Welsh Canoe Association’s petition were resident in Wales or were registered to vote in Wales.

    If this had been an electronic (online) petition, we could have provided the information you requested quite easily, but because it was a paper petition, I’m afraid it would take one of our staff some significant time to collate the data by hand.

    To take a slightly different approach to your questions, we do not exclude petition signatories on account of where they live. As long as a petition is calling for action within the remit or responsibility of the National Assembly for Wales, we do not discrimate against any of its supporters. In this particular case, for example, petitioners might live outside Wales but be of Welsh origin, or they might not be Welsh but still have an interest in the issue because they work in Wales or are visitors to Wales for recreation or tourism.

    Neither do we discriminate on the grounds of whether a petitioner is a registered voter in Wales or not. The National Assembly’s petitions system is open to people of all ages, and many of our petitioners are too young to vote.

    It would be possible, of course, for you to submit a petition calling for the National Assembly’s petitions system to change its rules regarding the eligibility of petitioners?

    Yours sincerely,
    Siân Phipps

    Clerc i’r Pwyllgor Menter a Dysgu
    Clerk to the Enterprise and Learning Committee
    Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru
    National Assembly for Wales

    A few years back Radio Cymru planned to do a live debate regarding the access issue
    between Canoe Wales and representatives of the objecting anglers/farmers.
    The programme had to be pulled, because so called ‘Canoe Wales’ didn’t have any Welsh speaking officers to represent them.

    Yet the white water rivers they most covet for their sport are all in the languages heartlands.
    The upper Conwy&Llugwy, the Ogwen and Seiont flowing North, the Glaslyn, the Mawddach & Wnion and Teifi flowing West, and the upper reaches of the Tywi, Tawe and Nedd flowing South.

    These rivers are the ‘honey pots’ as far as the canoeing/ adventure sports fraternity are concerned and they are desperate to take control of them at no cost to themselves.
    Once they have a right of access many will then base their own lucrative ‘adventure sports’ business here which will have virtually no running costs as they will be using land and water that belongs to someone else free of charge, and all thanks to our benevolent WG.

    Meanwhile the local Welsh people who own and have lived, farmed, fished, swam or just strolled along these rivers for generations are not even being consulted.

    Democracy WG style.

    1. Jac

      Amazing. A petition signed entirely by people living in England calling on the Assembly to abolish the teaching of Welsh in schools would be debated by the ‘Welsh’ Assembly!

      So this ugly bit of colonialism is white water-specific. I suppose I should have guessed. It fits the historical pattern. We have something England or the English covet so they come and take it. This being 2013 not even the English can just march in and grab it, so they go through the proper channels, relying on the Assembly or the ‘Welsh’ Government to tell us that open access is in the best interests of us Welsh.

      Reminding us yet again that the real enemy isn’t the English, who are after all only looking after their own interests; the real enemy is the twats and the liars, the cowards and the quislings, we have on ‘our’ side, who through one shortcoming or another always end up serving England’s interests.

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