GE2019: runners, riders and early fallers


There’s to be a general election on December 12 (haven’t you heard!) and already the parties are stumbling, mainly over their selection processes, or lack of them.

Looking beyond candidate selection, I can honestly say that none of the four established parties in Wales has emerged with any credit.


Things got off to a bad start when news leaked that the Assembly candidate for the Vale of Glamorgan, Ross England, had sabotaged a rape trial involving a friend by regaling the court with details of his own relationship with the complainant.

This prompted the judge to say: “You have managed single-handed, and I have no doubt it was deliberate on your part, to sabotage this trial . . . get out of my court.”

Now even though England was the candidate for the Welsh Assembly his behaviour impacted on GE 2019 because the Conservative Party had endorsed him as a candidate knowing what he had done.

Image courtesy of BBC Wales. Click to enlarge

When the facts became known, the furore resulted in England being suspended by the party, and his sponsor, Alun Cairns, standing down as Secretary of State for Wales. Though Cairns dug in his substantial heels to remain the candidate for the Vale.

Things didn’t get any better for the Tories.

I don’t always trust what I read on Nation.Cymru but I’ll accept that a third of the Tory candidates in Wales are domiciled in England. It could even be more, with one or two hiding behind accommodation addresses. But there’s nothing surprising about this.

For this is the old imperial way. Send some promising young chap off to a far-flung corner of the empire, and if he survives the mosquitoes and doesn’t start a bush war then mark him down for advancement. BoJo himself has been through the system, standing for Clwyd South in 1997.

I can imagine the scene in Tory Central Office. ‘Now then, Fothergill, I hear you want to be an MP, eh. Well we’re sending you to this place in Wales . . . nice scenery, I’m told. If the natives don’t eat you and you make it back then, who knows, we could find you a nice little seat in the shires or some agreeable suburb’.

Which is why we have a number of ‘Fothergills’ every election.

Sometimes of course, the party just gets overtaken by events and has little alternative but to parachute in a candidate who’ll need a trusty native guide. This is what has happened in Ynys Môn.

For reasons that may never become clear the Tories on the island initially selected Chris Davies as their candidate. Superficially, it makes sense, because the man was MP for Brecon and Radnor . . . until his conviction for fraudulent expenses claims. There was a successful petition to recall him and he lost the subsequent by-election.

When Davies was forced out from Ynys Môn Central Office had to come up with a replacement pretty damn quick. And so they produced Virginia Crosbie, who knows Wales like the back of her hand, having previously been parachuted into the Rhondda in 2017.

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You’ll see that according to this bio (from which the panel above was extracted), she did very well in the Rhondda, increasing the party’s vote by 58%. Though I can’t help thinking that the way that’s phrased is designed to mislead, because most people like to know a party’s percentage share of the total vote, which is something entirely different.

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What Virginia Crosbie did in the Rhondda in 2017 was to increase the Conservative vote from 2,116 in 2015 (6.7% of the total vote) to 3,333 (10.1%). With most of the increase coming from post-referendum, ‘job done’ Ukip; whose vote dived from 3,998 (12.7%) in 2015 to 880 (2.7%) in 2017. And there was also a higher turnout in 2017.

Which tends to put things into a rather different perspective. But never mind, for Virginia Crosbie might still be worth a punt in Ynys Môn where the Tories came second in 2017, and with Labour MP Albert Owen standing down it’s a wide open race.

Then, just when the Conservative and Unionist Party must have thought the worst was over, their deputy chairman, Lee Canning, defected to the Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party. Here’s Canning’s resignation letter – the boy been bullied!

Let’s finish this section with Francesca O’Brien who’s standing in the target constituency of Gower, briefly held for the Tories by Byron Davies until he was defeated – in a dirty campaign – by shrinking violet Tonia Antoniazzi of Labour. Francesca believes that poor people should be ‘put down’.

Small wonder that senior Tory AM Nick Ramsay felt there were ‘lessons to be learnt’. Amen to that, brother.


The Labour Party’s customary talent for shooting itself in the foot remains undiminished, and as much as I enjoy putting the old size 9s into ‘Welsh’ Labour the cock-up I’m about to relate may be attributable to HQ. (If indeed cock-up it be.)

On Sunday news broke that the party’s candidate in Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, Maria Carroll, had run a Facebook page advising Labour Party members who had been suspended or otherwise disciplined over anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial and other issues currently bedevilling the bruvvers.

There seemed to be genuine concern over this. Alun Davies, AM for Blaenau Gwent, hoped that ‘Welsh’ Labour would deal with Ms Carroll. Some hope! It was referred to London, who responded with ‘Nothing to see here, move along’.

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Which got me wondering about Maria Carroll. So I tried to find out more, but apart from non-specific references to the NHS, trade unions, charities (i.e. third sector), there was very little. I dug up this Linkedin profile, which might be her. If so, then it appears she still works for the NHS in England.

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Though I seem to recall reading somewhere that she had bought a little shop in the constituency, possibly in Cilycwm. Which might suggest that she has either retired to or is planning to retire to this village north of Llandovery, an area suffering a high level of English colonisation.

Making the ‘local’ Labour Party about as local to the area as I am to Chelsea. For Labour in rural Wales is increasingly reliant on the local college or university, an influx of 1960s generation retirees (still playing at being radical), transferred trade unionists, memsahibs who’ve gone ‘rogue’, assorted freaks and exhibitionists, etc.

Exemplified by the protest in Haverfordwest last week, organised by Pembrokeshire People’s Assembly (PPA) and Momentum West Wales, against local MP Stephen Crabb. The convener for the PPA quoted in this report is Jim Scott. In a different guise Scott is a leading light in the Green Party of Englandandwales.

Also at the rally was the Labour candidate, Phillipa Thompson. This co-operation between Greens and Labour explains why the planet-savers have stuffed Plaid Cymru by pulling their candidates in Sir Benfro and telling their supporters to vote Labour.

Anti-Tory rally in Haverfordwest. There may be no one in this photograph who was born in Pembrokeshire, for in addition to the ‘local’ Greens and other weirdos leftie activists were shipped down – it’s said – from Swansea. Note the old, ‘Space yourselves out so it’ll look as if there’s more of us’ tactic. Click to enlarge

But I’ve digressed, back to Maria Carroll.

It seems pretty obvious that she has been imposed on ‘Welsh’ Labour by their London masters. It’s equally reasonable to assume that she is favoured by Momentum. And she wants us to believe that while she herself is not anti-Semitic, she’s prepared to help those who are.

Other than that, Maria Carroll’s defence seems to be that it was all a long time ago . . . but perhaps it wasn’t, for she seems to have still been involved last month.

This case exposes yet again how impotent ‘Welsh’ Labour is, even in Wales. Labour Party HQ in London wanted Maria Carroll to stand in Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, and that’s what happened.

Who is she? Where’s she from? What’s her background? Does she know anything about the constituency? Who cares? Certainly not those who’ll be out canvassing for Maria Carroll; for like her, most of them will be new to Wales.

STOP PRESS: Fingers are now also being pointed at Cardiff councillor Darren Williams, said to be the operator of the Welsh Labour Grassroots (Momentum) Twitter account, which rushed to Maria Carroll’s defence.

Questions are being asked by Euan Phillips, spokesperson for Labour Against anti-Semitism and AM Alun Davies.

While much of this can be put down to Labour in-fighting it nevertheless reaffirms that Labour has a problem with anti-Semitism, one that won’t go away any time soon.

UPDATE: I now learn that Maria Rose Carroll stood for the county council in the Cilycwm ward in 2017, losing to an Independent. She is said to be into ‘herbal remedies’ and is given to impromptu dancing. I leave readers to draw their own conclusions as to whether there may be a connection.

When not paying homage to Terpsichore I’m told she deals out ‘personal advice and counselling’. Which I suppose we already knew.


This is the pact between the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Greens to fight Brexit and persuade people to vote for the candidate who opposes Brexit. Which is both absurd and insulting on a number of levels:

  • Without the Labour Party what is essentially an anti-Tory pact is pointless.
  • It’s anti-democratic in that the Lib Dems have said they want a second referendum on EU membership . . . and if the electorate votes to leave, again, then they’ll just refuse to accept that decision.
  • Wales voted to leave the EU in June 2016.
  • The Greens are a deeply un-Welsh if not anti-Welsh party or grouping. Last year members in Wales had the chance to set up a Wales Green Party, but they voted to stay part of the England Green Party. And as we’ve seen in Pembrokeshire, the English Greens in our midst would rather cut off their dreadlocks than vote for Plaid Cymru.
  • What’s more, Plaid Cymru, a party of the left, has done a deal with the Liberal Democrats, the party that was in coalition with David Cameron’s Tories, 2010 – 2016, and whose leader, Jo Swinson, is now doing deals with the Tories against the SNP and refusing to allow a second independence referendum.

This is Through the Looking-Glass politics, where nothing is what it seems, but those who’ve stepped through have chosen to immerse themselves in some alternative reality.

As you know, I write about the Lib Dems as little as possible, regarding them as unprincipled political whores and the worst possible advertisement for a multi-party political system and proportional representation.

Whereas the Greens in Wales are a colonialist excrescence on the Welsh body politic, so let us be thankful that they are largely irrelevant in the wider scheme of things.

Though this irrelevance has not deterred Plaid Cymru from becoming besotted with the Greens in recent decades. The infatuation can be traced back to Dafydd Elis Thomas’s tenure as leader in the 1980s. I remember one particularly ghastly Plaid conference where hippy chieftain Brig Oubridge was feted. Éminence grise Cynog Dafis was another who fell under the Green spell.

Oubridge has since relocated from Tipi Valley, like some latter-day bluestone he has made the journey from south west Wales to Salisbury Plain. Where he stood in the 2017 general election, coming a very distant fourth, but at least he beat ‘Arthur Pendragon’. (Though isn’t that lèse majesté?)

But now to focus on Plaid Cymru, a party that has given me a lot to write about.

You know things have gone to hell when one of the party’s most capable politicians says what you read in the panel below. Wales is one the poorest countries in Europe, yet rather than try to improve the lives of those who belong here Plaid Cymru prefers to play gesture politics by pretending that Wales can accept, take care of, and integrate, an unspecified number of people from God knows where.

For Plaid Cymru, ‘refugee’ is anyone who claims to be a refugee. It’s code for open borders. Click to enlarge.

I’m not sure if Sahar Al-Faifi qualifies a a refugee, but she’s certainly caused Plaid Cymru embarrassment in recent days. To explain . . .

Last Friday, Plaid Cymru put out a tweet using Al-Faifi to promote its party political broadcast later that day in which she appeared. This attracted the usual response from the usual suspects, but also more measured criticism from other quarters, for it soon emerged that she had an anti-Semitic past.

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I think it was @bubblewales that first broke the news she was a wrong ‘un with this piece. Expanded on here. It was then taken up by Guido Fawkes and others. On Monday, as her Plaid Cymru defenders began to fall silent, Sahar Al-Faifi issued an ‘apology’.

A very brief ‘apology’ followed by a wonderful example of whataboutery. Click to enlarge

You’ll note that she claims to have taken “anti-Semitism training, both formally through the (Jewish) Board of Deputies and informally with Jewish colleagues”.

But then things took another turn for the worse for her, and for Plaid Cymru, when the Board of Deputies issued a statement in which we read: “We met Sahar Al-Faifi to confront her over concerns we had over antisemitic social media postings . . . Ms Al-Faifi apologised to us and made some amendments to her social media output. However, we were clear that the situation still remained unsatisfactory”.

It seems there was no formal training in anti-Semitism. In the statement you’ll note mention of an organisation called MEND (Muslim Engagement and Development), to which Ms Al-Faifi belongs, being described as a “highly problematic organisation whose activity risks increasing hostility and suspicion between the Jewish and Muslim communities”.

‘Counter-extremism’ organisation Quilliam International had more to say on MEND. The article was advertised with the hard-hitting tweet below. Had Plaid Cymru been ‘mainstreaming’ Islamist extremists?

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Sahar Al-Faifi has now been suspended by Plaid Cymru, but how did they get themselves into such a mess in the first place? I think we can go back to Liz Saville Roberts’ wish to turn Wales into a nation of ‘sanctuary’.

Plaid Cymru is up on the moral high ground where the air is too thin to allow clear thinking. So when someone like Sahar Al-Faifi shows an interest in the party they see a woman in a niqab who must be a victim of something or other, and who will make Plaid look good to those they’re anxious to impress. So she’s accepted without question.

More cautious minds might think that an educated single woman living in the West choosing to dress like that might be making a political statement. A simple enquiry would then have established that she is the local representative for MEND, and someone who has expressed anti-Semitic views . . . at which point alarm bells should have rung.

And consider this. At the same time as party leader Adam Price was getting stick for quite rightly stating that Wales is a colony of England (though I disagree with him about reparations) others in Plaid Cymru were laying out the red carpet for a woman who clearly believes that there can be no white victims of colonialism.

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Another mystery is why certain influential grouplets in Plaid Cymru rushed to her defence. What sort of treatment do gays, transsexuals and others think they’d receive under the rule or influence of Al-Faifi and her friends?

Plaid Cymru has now reached the stage where we Welsh, needing decent housing and jobs, being marginalised by colonisation, living in the poorest country in Europe, are a distraction from the more important things in this world – a world that Plaid Cymru must save!

Plaid Cymru has betrayed the Welsh nation in order to be regarded as ‘progressive’ by our enemies. I hope they get humiliated in GE2019. Because that’s what they deserve.

Though my fear is that Plaid’s self-destruction may be disguised by the upsurge in support for independence and the lack of an alternative for nationalists. At least Gwlad Gwlad is standing in a few seats.


A lot of what I’ve written about is faux outrage in the fevered conditions of an election campaign. Social media just adds fuel to the flames. Something silly said years ago after a glass of two should not be used to destroy a reputation today.

Yet anti-Semitism is something altogether different, not least because I see a bizarre and disturbing parallel between anti-Semitism today and what has gone before.

Hitler hated the Jews because he believed they controlled the economic life of Germany. Today’s socialists use Zionism and the West Bank as fig leaves but much of their animosity towards the Jews is attributable to the same, age-old perception of the usurer Jew’s role in the hated capitalist system.

This also helps explain why extreme variants of Islam get such an easy ride from many Western leftists.

Both the Labour Party and Plaid Cymru must learn that anti-Semitism is no more acceptable when mouthed by an educated woman of colour in a niqab or a business suit than when it’s barked by a thuggish white man in jackboots wearing a swastika armband.

♦ end ♦


67 thoughts on “GE2019: runners, riders and early fallers

  1. CapM

    Reply to Jac
    “First past the post has not inhibited the SNP. Plaid Cymru needs to copy the SNP in being a broad-based and focused party that takes on Labour. Don’t blame the electoral system, the votes are there for a party more like the SNP.”

    Scotland is a different country and there are other factors that were not of SNP design that contributed to their success beside taking on Labour.
    FPTP inhibited the SNP for generations.

    I’d question your opinion that the SNP are a “broad-based” party. Can you supply evidence that indicates that they are not left of centre and not anti Brexit?
    If some of their voters are right of centre and pro Brexit doesn’t this indicate that those voters see a bigger picture and are willing to hold their noses in the short term?

    1. FPTP imposes a ‘hurdle’ that the SNP has overcome but Plaid Cymru will not.

      I’m not saying that the SNP is no left of centre, but what I am saying is that the SNP has not allowed itself to be hijacked by tiny and intolerant groups pushing obscure and exotic interpretations of human sexuality.

      As for Brexit, the SNP is in tune with Scottish opinion. Plaid Cymru is not in tune with Welsh opinion.

      Perhaps Plaid’s real problem is trying to be too ‘progressive’ in a socially conservative country. And by so doing offering very little to those whose votes it must have to emulate the SNP.

      1. CapM

        “As for Brexit, the SNP is in tune with Scottish opinion. Plaid Cymru is not in tune with Welsh opinion.”

        Or consider two sides of the coin-
        The Scots are pro EU because they are significantly pro Scottish independence.
        In contrast the Welsh are anti EU because we are significantly anti Welsh independence.

        Also a result of the greater confidence Scots have in their ability to hold their own as a member of the EU Just as the Rep of Ireland has shown everyone they can.
        A lot of anti EU sentiment in Cymru is based on thinking we can’t cope and so must hold onto Mummy England’s apron and go where Mummy goes.

        1. Brychan

          I don’t think that there is a natural propensity for Scotland to be more pro-independence than Wales. The difference is that Scotland has a proactive political movement, so effectively represented by the SNP. In Wales, Plaid Cymru is essentially a barrier to independence playing second fiddle to the Labour Party. Plaid sweeps up pro-independence inertia and dissipates it into side issues, the elected clique just feathering their own nests, grabbing a slice of the Labour pie.

          1. CapM

            The Scots I’ve met with are adamant that Scottish institutions such as legal and educational are superior to England’s.
            That they would never give up their banknotes for English ones.
            That they are members of the Union because they chose to unite with England to form the UK and not because they were forced or conquered (reinforced at school).

            And that even applies to those Scots who are very keen Conservatives and Unionists.
            The Welsh in general have no such sense of superiority as a component of the UK. Not unexpected as we don’t have the institutions or even the banknotes that each day reinforce the feeling that we too are exceptional. (And of course we were conquered).
            All the above and other factors make for a more receptive base for independence in Scotland than Cymru

            You must have had a different experience of Scotland and Scots than I have.

            1. It should also be remembered that in addition to the institutions – Kirk, Scots Law, education system and banking – Scots played a disproportionate role in building up and running the British empire, whether as soldiers, merchants or diplomats. This all combined to support the ‘equal partners’ argument that undermined any drive for independence.

              To which must be added the Irish dimension. For most Scots looked favourably on those they regarded as kith and kin across the water, whose position and status was threatened by Irish nationalism. Unionism good, nationalism bad. This started to unravel in the 1980s, partly due to Margaret Thatcher’s treatment of Scotland and partly due to links with the Unionists and Loyalists of Ireland becoming less attractive due to the Troubles.

              As a result, Scottish nationalism and support for the SNP began to rise, a) because it became more difficult to promote the ‘Union of equals’ argument, and b) because the SNP began picking up votes from the previously Labour-voting Catholics of Irish ancestry found in Glasgow and west central Scotland.

              Today, even though the SNP has largely stayed out of the Irish debate, and regularly condemned sectarianism, its most vicious and visceral opponents are to be found in the Unionist/Loyalist/Rangers camp which, at election time, usually votes Tory. As a result, and because independence v the Union dominates Scottish politics, Labour has faced a double whammy and a near wipe-out.

    1. D

      Maybe he can sit opposite parents of the children who were killed or suffered abuse due to public servant neglect. His office has covered up so much. Yet he sits there with his pen and book and rictus grin like a politician at a grant giving ceremony.

      He has failed so many people and covered public servants and Labours asre like a true colonial whilst the citizens have to do with poor and failing public services which is continuing.

  2. L M

    Regarding your comments about Maria Carroll, interesting perhaps to note that the twitter groups (LAAS/Gnasher) who passed information to the Daily Mail have confirmed via a twitter exchange that they have a “network of accounts” and have been “watching” certain groups/individuals “for years”
    The group Ms Caroll was an admin of and then a member was a secret group due to safeguarding mental health issues of some members and some members under 18 – so classed as a child within GDPR.
    LAAS/gnasher hacked into the group Ms Carroll was a member of, screenshotted comments from other private/secret facebook groups (which they had also presumably hacked into) and superimposed them onto comments made by Ms Carroll; she never has access to those groups as she wasn’ta member of them, so short of telepathy, she could not have reasonably known what was contained within them.

    The matter is now in the hands of the police as a potential breach of s106 Representation of the Peoples Act (criminal offence) , complaints have been made to IPSO regarding the inaccuracies contained in the Daily Mail article about her and the ICO as the LAAS/gnasher accounts have no exemption under processing information for domestic purposes and so should be registered as a data controller.

    Oh, and before I forget, the Daily Mail.have had to shell out money for a copyright breach as they used a photo from Ms Carrolls personal facebook which had been copyrighted.

    It will be interesting to see what happens when the police, IPSO and ICO have concluded their enquiries.

    1. The defence being used here seems to be, ‘He may have killed lots of people but he managed to contain his homicidal tendencies during the many happy times we spent together’. Hitler was a joy to be with for children and animals. This is all about the company we keep. And judgement.

      1. Dafis

        Bit like people in the late 60’s who met Charles Manson and found him a ” bit intense but quite nice, would never have thought he was a bad’un”.

        That judgement thing is what’s missing in most of our representative politicians whether it’s about the company they keep or the liberties they take through not fully “understanding” rules and regulations. Smack around the earhole might sharpen their senses.

      2. L M

        If that comment is a response to mine, I don’t agree with it I’m afraid.

        The twitter accounts implied that the secret facebook group were helping its’ members “dodge” disciplinary action, with no explanation as to how they allege that was achieved.

        The secret facebook group was set up in 2016 and there was and still is very little support for members of the Labour Party who had been suspended pending an investigation.
        As you will be aware, an allegation made against someone is not a presumption of guilt.

        The assistance given to members of the secret facebook group who were under investigation comprised mainly of:

        · Assisting the member with writing their letter of appeal

        · Emotional support

        · Assisting with writing subject access requests to obtain information as very little in the way of evidence was supplied by the Labour Party (although there has been a slight improvement with that in recent months)

        · Helping the suspended member (in the case of a warning to be left on file letter issued by the Labour Party) to write a letter to the Labour Party to ascertain how long the warning was to remain on file and to obtain objective justification from the Party for warnings kept on file indefinitely.

        Those twitter accounts have retained data for at least 4 years that I know of and yet they are not registered as a data controller, which would enable the individuals whose data they have obtained (by stealth) and are retaining for nefarious purposes, to make a subject access request for all and any information held upon them by these groups.

        This flies in the face of the rhetoric the twitter accounts
        spout, which is that they are fighting antisemitism and yet they have sat upon it for years and have not reported it to the police, which is what someone would do if they felt a hate crime (which is what antisemitism is) had been committed because the UK police are the only authority who are authorised to investigate hate crime.

        The current treatment of hate crime is based on recommendations from the McPherson report; which to summarise means that the police will record an incident as a hate crime if the “victim” perceives it as so.

        The police will then investigate; looking at evidence, taking statements from witnesses etc. and if the police conclude that it was indeed a hate crime, then a harsher tariff is imposed by the CPS in terms of sentencing.

        So for the accounts to purport that they are fighting antisemitism, it seems at odds that they would retain the data obtained until there was a General Election (or something similar) and “expose” the information on social media at a time when it could not only do damage to the Labour Party but also jeopardise a confidential disciplinary process.

    1. Dafis

      That should go down a treat with farming communities. Even townies who enjoy a beef dinner, lamb chop, or umpteen other tasty dishes will see that as taking more liberties than they can stomach. I suppose we can all set up in business shipping in exotic green stuff from other side of the globe with no regard for “food miles” or any other form of distribution pollution. Adam sure knows how to pick his friends.

      1. Brychan

        Supermarkets like to put pictures of a ‘wholesome farmer’ on their packaging of meat and dairy products, but I notice they don’t put photos of Thai children on their packs of lentils, or burnt rainforest on their cartons of soya milk. It’s also the case that all those out-of-season fruit & veg from the Mediterranean arrive in lorries powered by fairy dust, not diesel, nicely seasoned with peppers and coriander arriving by Kerosene-free airplanes where the wings flap.

    2. CapM

      “This is the party that has an electoral pact with Plaid Cymru.”

      You appear to be another who hasn’t realized(or wants to accept) that the “pact” is for a single issue – Brexit.
      There are probably some who are aghast that the LibDems have a “pact” with a party that isn’t a British Nationalist one and others that are equally aghast that the E&w Greens have a “pact” with a party that can accept nuclear power.

      Any “pact” between parties with significantly differing views is going to involve a degree of -holding one’s nose – in this case PC, LD and G noses.

      Where Proportional Representation systems operate the usual end result is the formation of coalition governments, ie government based on a “pact”. In the UK we really need to mature in our political thinking and recognise that governing in a democracy is more than having a Punch and Judy show every few years with either Punch or Judy winning and then implementing pure Punchism or pure Judyism until the next Show.

      1. Dafis

        Holding your nose doesn’t suffice when you are only 6ft tall standing in a 9ft deep effluent pipe. You need to cleanse the pipe, geddit ? I don’t mind Plaid being opposed to Brexit but teaming up, however loosely, with two faced shites like the LibDems and downright nut jobs like the Greens totally torpedos any credibility. Bad enough spending so much time as Labour’s tame poodles down the Bay.

      2. Brychan

        Whist ‘Brexit’ might be the issue for this pact, an MP is elected for 5 years.

        There are a number of constituencies where a rural Welsh vote might damage Plaids chances. Plaid voters have been offered a sour taste. Ynys Mon could be lost to the Tories, Arfon lost to Labour and Plaid eradication in Llanelli will continue. All these constituencies have an important livestock/dairy agricultural contingent to the vote.

        How the Brexit pact damages Plaid Cymru.

        ARFON – Plaid majority of only 92 votes. LibDems last time had 648 votes and no not standing due to pact. It’s wrong to assume these are Lib-Dem metro centric urban interlectuals. They are old traditional Welsh Liberal, who deliberately chose not to vote Plaid last time. They are most likely to migrate to Labour. I also suspect the English student Lib-Dems in Bangor Uni will not vote Plaid but also go Labour. The pact will deprive Plaid of an MP.

        YNYS MON – The Plaid vote is the centre of the island and the rural communities. The Labour vote is mainly in Holyhead. Even if all the LibDems vote (479) defected to Plaid it would not out-weigh the Ukip (624) vote migrating to Tories. The ‘pact’ does nothing to help Plaid win the seat, and the English student contingent in Bangor Uni who reside just over the bridge are more likely to migrate to Labour rather than Plaid.

        This only leaves DM and CE&D as winnable Plaid seats.

        Ceredigion is ‘outside the pact’ and could well fall to LibDem as the pact does not apply. Jo Swine was right to take Adam for a fool. The pact results in Plaid MPs being cut from 4 to 2, with the chances of gaining their only challenge seat being made more difficult. All to give LibDems a free run in the whole of mid Wales, Maldwyn, B&R. English Greens in the pact just puts the loyalty of Plaid Cymru to rural Wales under question. In the Vale of Glamorgan Plaid votes (2295) will find a home with Labour to oust Cairns, the Greens (419) will barely get out of the vegan coffee shop in Peterson-Super-Ely and will do nothing to change the Brexit balance in Westminster.

        Adam has screwed up big time.

        1. CapM

          You identify real risks that Plaid is taking and if the worst of what you suggest happens it will bring into focus just how soft the support for an independent Cymru is that a bit of short term holding their noses puts people off.


          1. It’s not short-term holding noses at all. For many years Plaid has been alienating many who want independence, this pact is either more of the same or, for some, the last straw. But none of us here were 100% supporters of Plaid Cymru who suddenly flipped because of this pact. Plaid or no, we believe in independence.

            1. CapM

              Plaid has and I expect will make more mistakes. It’s something that happens with all political parties. Supporters of independence aren’t clones what you might see as a mistake by Plaid others will not and vice versa.

              I get the impression that Plaid Cymru is held to higher and basically impossible standard by those who support independence for Cymru because it is the only (until very recently) party that is not British nationalist. It cannot be all things to all Welsh Nationalists.

              The First Past the Post electoral system is the single most damaging condition that’s stifling the growth of the pro independence vote and political parties. Can you suggest what we do at the moment other than play the system (and do a bit of nose holding) to combat this?.

              1. First past the post has not inhibited the SNP. Plaid Cymru needs to copy the SNP in being a broad-based and focused party that takes on Labour. Don’t blame the electoral system, the votes are there for a party more like the SNP.

  3. Dafis

    I tend to agree with Plaid that we need to go green to “clean things up a good bit” but they seem to favour all the high priced, often low return tech that’s the domain of the grant grabbing corporate gangs. Old Max Wallis got some useful thoughts but he’s a bit taboo among the weird cluster of groupthinkers at Plaid’s lofty towers. Shame.

    1. I have no objection to renewable energy as long as it provides reliable and reasonably cheap electricity. Which rules out wind power.

    2. Brychan

      I’m thinking Cardiff Bay barrage, Menai Straihts, Swansea Marina, Loughor bridge, Mawddach viaduct, Conwy bridge, and then I look at this…

      All these tidal barriers are already built in Wales with 33Kv feeds at all locations already in place. The tidal variance in Wales is twice that of the Netherlands.

  4. Fatty Poncho

    This is the first time I have happened across this thing called ‘Bubble Wales’. Its not bad, is it? Do we know who runs it?

  5. Dafis

    On the international stage it hasn’t taken ER long to foul up on the antisemitic front. Mouthy leader goes to Germany of all places to be glib about the Holocaust. Should stick to the knitting he knows and understands ( if there is any !)

    But what is it about antisemitic thought that attracts so many of these ishoo driven wankers ?

  6. Sian Caiach

    Is this the Maria Carroll who stood for Carmarthenshire County Council, Cilycwm ward in 2017? Also stood in a previous by election. Local shopkeeper? If so a quite excitable lady.

  7. Mel Morgan

    For anybody who thinks that swathes of English cities are Islamic enclaves, it would be salutary to read the sectarian press in Wales from Victorian times, or the right-wing press in almost any European country before 1945. Papists … Jews .. . Muslims … plus ça ne change pas …

    1. Mel Morgan

      Or after 1945, come to that. The Daily Mail campaign against the lamentable Ed Milliband strummed on several familiar antisemitic chords.

      1. Dafis

        That rag has always had anti Jew undertones that sometimes come to the surface with a strident jarring note. Not surprising as it is, or was, run by the Rothermere clan who were part of Os Mosley’s happy band back in the immediate pre WW2 years. They continued to play that tune into the 2nd half of the 20th century because none of them got banged up as traitors. Too well connected for that sort of inconvenience. I suspect they would reappear today if they could find a creep big enough to front up a new Nasti party. Might even turn out to be the Tories if they could ditch the element that’s considered a bit soft on foreigners, scroungers, and unwilling to dictate within strict codes how the common herd should live their miserable lives.

    2. David Smith

      I’ve been to plenty of them, and I know what I’ve seen on the ground. Notice that I didn’t offer any judgment on whether this is in itself a good or a bad thing, and yet you still jump to imply bigotry and xenophobia. Congratulations, you just proved my point.

    1. Brychan

      Anon. Don’t you DARE tell me what I can and cannot say.
      I quote the Quilliam findings on Sahar Al-Faifi because they are correct.

      Quilliam openly acknowledges the funding that it receives. Over £1m from the UK government (all party support) for the PREVENT programme of counter terrorism, in 2009, but refused state cash since 2011 because of disagreements with the UK government since then. It is true they have indeed received some American Christian of conservative type cash for use in the US, which they publish along with all other donations. The article you link to is written by a Guardian journalist based on published accounts dressed up as a kind of ‘expose’, it’s just one example of hatred from the trendy middle class who have had their nose put out of joint by an organisation who work directly with Muslim youth to counter terrorism, rather than pocket cash into their own ‘community mentoring’.

      Inner city London and other English cities have a damaging ‘third sector industry’ in the same way as Wales has. The third sector hate organisations like Quilliam because they actually DO what they say rather than just farm a problem for grants and lifestyles of the affluent.

      There is nothing wrong with Islam. It’s just there are people who exploit the religion for their own ends, that includes terrorist organisations as well as budding publicity seekers like Sahar Al-Faifi. Perhaps Plaid Cymru would do better to recruit Welsh Muslims working KFC or Canton depot to reach such communities, rather than signing up fakes for films, poseurs in a niqab from a University campus.

      1. Mel Morgan

        I’m relieved to find that you reject the ad homem as fallacious after all. Your animadversions on Ms. Greta Thunberg had given cause for concern.

  8. David Smith

    But yeah there is some serious cognitive dissonance at play with what I like to call the pathological left, who can be summed up as the sorts of idiots who thought enlisting a wacky religious fundamentalist who wears what amounts to a balaclava out in public would resonate with voters in the Welsh heartlands.

    These people fight for a woman’s right to wear a burqa and shout down those who oppose swathes of English cities becoming by and large Islamic enclaves as racists, whilst experiencing monumental brain farts when it comes to treatment of women and homosexuals in the name of that same religion, these being of course two other (marginalised? Historically yes, today – open for debate) groups for whom they fight for.

    My take is that the traditional British left was always far more socially conservative, probably to the point of being xenophobic to a degree. I’m probably generalising with this statement, but as a thought experiment, does anyone really think Plaid’s campaign clanger or an equivalent would have gone down well in any Valleys mining town or Northern English mill town in the 60s, for example?

    1. The problem with Plaid’s AMs and upper echelons generally is that they have become divorced from those they claim to represent. Firstly through the incestuous and enclosed world of Cardiff Bay, and then by the wider ‘progressive’ circles in which they have chosen to mix.

      1. Brychan

        They have become so far detached from reality that you get buzzwords like this from the Senedd yesterday.

        “zero-carbon steel production” – This is where instead of using coke from coal in an blast furnace, steel will now be produced by bolting chunks of iron ore to wind turbines and asking butterflies to flutter around it in the hope that steel will magically appear.

          1. Brychan

            Pig iron, straight from the first blast, contains 4% carbon. If you just re-melt this in an open atmosphere the larger graphite nodules burn off, which makes the structure brittle, is called cast iron at 2% carbon. Then if you ‘puddle the melt’ or just hammer the hot forge in an open atmosphere, more carbon is burnt off, to less than 1% carbon. This is called wrought iron. To make mild steel, you have to pump pure oxygen into the pig melt, usually in a vessel called a Bessemer converter, the carbon content remains at 2% but the remaining graphite nodules are very small which makes the structure more malleable. This can be tempered by heating again, finishing of cast, like at Scunthorpe.

            Carbon content.
            Pig Iron – 4%
            Add air make to
            Cast Iron – 2% (big grain)
            Add more air by puddle or hot hammer
            Wrought Iron – 1%

            Carbon content.
            Pig Iron – 4%
            Add pure oxygen
            Mild Steel – 2% (small grain)
            Add other reactors.
            High tensile steel – 2% (some Nickel)
            Add other ionic metals
            Stainless Steel. – 1% plus 18% chromium.

            It’s the oxygen stage that makes the difference between iron and steel not the carbon content, which can vary in both.

            It’s also possible to add some trace elements of other ore, such as chrome or nickel, which binds in carbon even more, so it’s called high tensile steel. This is what Port Talbot produces. It is then rolled into sheets (coil) or sent down the road to pull into wire or sent to Trostre for plating.

            I expect homework to be handed in by Friday.

        1. Dafis

          Brychan You need to patent that a bit sharpish otherwise Smiler Skates will be fetching the next “Woodhouse type” in on substantial “incentives” to breed butterflies up on the Pen y Cymoedd turbine range.

        2. Mel Morgan

          Lepidopterous siderurgy … I LOVES it, I does.

          Sadly, I suspect the speaker was referring to something far more mundane. Less environmentally-damaging methods of production, perhaps?

      2. David Smith

        It’s another ivory tower but of a different stripe. As divorced from the man on the street as the London elite imperium of Lords, Hedge fund managers and career politicians.

  9. David Smith

    I’m sorry but anti Zionism and antisemitism are two different things. Blanket statements like that about the left do you no favours. We both hate the British state and want it to burn and I’m sure it pisses you off, as it does I, when people like us get called “Welsh Nash” and are accused of harbouring a hatred for English people. How do we like it when those who disagree with us chalk us up as being bigots, by conflating our disdain for a political construct with an imaginary one towards a nation of 50 odd million people.

    1. What I said was that being opposed to Zionism is often used as a cover for anti-Semitism. I did not say they were the same thing. It’s something we encounter regularly, when people say they’re ‘opposed to Welsh nationalism’ but when their arguments are examined more closely it’s often hostility to anything Welsh.

      1. David Smith

        I don’t doubt such disingenuousness exists but I don’t think it’s fair to tar all with that brush. On the flip side of the coin there are no doubt people who use concerns about house prices being driven up, lack of opportunities for our young people and other legitimate concerns in Wales as a mask for their virulent anti English xenophobia.

            1. Who knows? He probably doesn’t know himself. We get the occasional comment from Dai, usually written in the wee small hours after a drinky-poo.

  10. Dafis

    Jac Just spotted your tweet re. Leanne and Law & Order. You can be sure there will be gulags all over the place just to accommodate the worst offenders – people who just refuse to absorb the groupthink of the day. Good boys (and girls) will be let out if they repent and promise to chant specially designed phrases like “Jac is a mysoginist arsehole” on the hour ever hour. That little creep Aled (?) will probably have a job dishing out discipline while other approved oddballs will be given key roles in the reorientation programme.

    Eos’ translation of Wythnos yng Nghymru Fydd will have a real live version running alongside it !

    First sign of this crap coming to fruition and I’m off to Patagonia ( is that far enough ?)

    1. Stan

      I find the prospect of some of those angry young Berks in Plaid getting their hands on power in Wales more nightmarish than Jeremy Corbyn in No 10 and even John McDonnell next door to him.

      If they ever do, there’ll be a special place reserved for Jac, and it won’t be a gulag. Far more likely is a lamp-post in Tywyn for a public lynching. As far as Plaid’s progressives are concerned, he’s beyond reprogramming and rehabilitation. Even Santes Leanne has given up on turning him into a good ‘un.

  11. Mel Morgan

    This is beginning to look look even more serious than most of us would have supposed. Having long exorcised the antisemitic element in a way that the Labour Party should envy, Plaid Cymru seems in danger of letting it in again. Bad ideas, such as antisemitism, are like computer vira: they enter a system under cover of innocuous or admirable issues, and then overwrite the core ethos.

    1. Dafis

      Even GG seem to be making shortsighted decisions regarding candidates so need to be a touch more careful about welcoming new boys on the team without fully appreciating their backgrounds. There again we have those far better resourced “experienced” Unionist parties dropping huge clangers ( always or mostly dismissed as “oversights”) with Tories, Labour and Plaid producing live examples of horrible bastards within last week or two. Just waiting for the LibDem duffer to crawl out of the woodwork or most likely found importuning or kiddie molesting.

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