General Election 2019

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

Well, what an election that was, for all sorts of reasons. I shall start this analysis with a quick look around the other countries before homing in on Wales.

NORTHERN IRELAND

If we are to believe the BBC then the results were bad for both major parties, the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Féin. Certainly SF lost Foyle (Derry) but it was to the nationalist Social Democratic and Labour Party. To compensate, the party won North Belfast, where Belfast Lord Mayor John Finucane triumphed.

John Finucane was just a lad in 1989 when Loyalist assassins burst into the family home and killed his solicitor father, Pat. Loyalist killers controlled by MI5.

Yes, votes for both Sinn Féin and the Democratic Unionist Party were down but it was the DUP that lost (in total) two seats, not SF. The cross-community Alliance Party won North Down, and in addition to Foyle the SDLP won Belfast South.

For someone who remembers the Troubles – and even the time before the Troubles – it’s quite amazing how politics has changed in the Six Counties.

Until the Reverend Dr Ian Paisley formed the DUP in 1971 the Ulster Unionist Party dominated the political scene, and it wasn’t until 2004 that the DUP became the largest Unionist party in terms of seats at Stormont and in Westminster. Now the UUP has no MPs and got just 11.7% of the vote last week, but even that was an improvement of 1.4% on 2017.

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On the other side, the similarly hegemonic SDLP has been eclipsed by a party that until quite recently was dismissed by the British media as the mouthpiece of the IRA. I can recall when we weren’t allowed to actually hear SF spokespersons – we could see them, and see their lips move, but the words had to be spoken by actors!

That was one of the more bizarre episodes in British broadcasting history. If we were allowed to hear what they said but not them say it, then I can only conclude that we were being protected from the harsh Ulster accent.

Northern Ireland, with more Republican/Nationalist MPs than Unionist MPs, plus one MP representing a party that is neutral on the border, and with Brexit thrown into the mix, is probably moving towards a referendum on Irish reunification.

For this debate is no longer framed by tribal loyalties. The old Protestant-Unionist objections to unifying with a poor, ‘priest-ridden’ country to the south are gone. The Republic today is both more liberal and richer than the North. What’s more, it’s in the EU, and Northern Ireland voted to Remain.

In any future referendum it will not just be Republicans and Nationalists voting for reunification, it will also be members of the Protestant middle class, business people and, especially, the young.

SCOTLAND

The headline result is of course that the SNP ‘won’ the election with 48 out of Scotland’s 59 seats. Though as we know, Boris Johnson has already refused to allow a second independence referendum, so how might events unfold?

Some suggest that the Tory government in London should play the SNP like a fish, paying out a little line (concessions), then reeling in (refusal) . . . until its energy is exhausted and it can be ‘landed’ (accepts no referendum).

Basically, faffing about in the kind of way that would suit Johnson perfectly.

An interesting metaphor that ignores too many unavoidable pitfalls and a number of imponderables.

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First, there’s ‘Getting Brexit done’, which served as Johnson’s mantra throughout the recent election campaign. Yet 62% of Scots and every single council area voted against leaving the European Union. That is a fact that cannot be changed – Scotland voted by a large majority to remain in the EU.

Which means that in fulfilling this election pledge he cannot possibly renege on Johnson will further antagonise many Scots. Even some of those who voted Leave but now wish to respect the majority vote.

Then there’s the Scottish parliamentary elections of May 2021. If London proves obstructive and the SNP turns this election into a mandate for independence we could enter a Catalonia-style morass. God knows where that might lead.

Another imponderable is how Labour supporters might vote in a referendum. They’ll be confronted with a choice between independence and Tory rule. Some will choose independence. How many take this option could prove decisive.

Then there are those who voted Leave but want independence, and may have lent their votes to the Tories last week in order to ‘Get Brexit done’. How many of these are there?

Imponderables aside, four fundamental facts are unavoidable:

1/ The SNP has won a massive victory.

2/ Consequently, the Tory government in London has no mandate to rule Scotland.

3/ Scotland voted to remain in the European Union.

4/ Consequently, London has no mandate to take Scotland out of the EU against its will.

Looking beyond the SNP – difficult given how it dominates the scene – we see that once-mighty Labour is reduced to a single seat, Edinburgh South. The Liberal Democrats are holding on to Orkney and Shetland, Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross in the far north, Edinburgh West and Fife North East.

The last of those is interesting because the SNP held this seat by just two votes, the smallest majority in the House of Commons. This time around the anti-SNP vote piled in behind the Lib Dem again and pushed Wendy Chamberlain over the winning line with a majority of 1,316.

Though the Lib Dem’s UK leader, Jo Swinson, she who had talked of becoming prime minister not so long ago, narrowly lost her Dunbartonshire East seat to the SNP.

Elsewhere, the Tories, who had been shaping up to become the natural home for Unionist votes lost seven seats to bring their total down to six. Given that they now hold large, rural constituencies (especially the three along the border) this means that the map gives a somewhat inflated view of Tory support.

Though it should be remembered that in all six Conservative seats the SNP is second, sometimes just a few hundred votes behind.

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Sometimes a party’s share of the vote can tell as much if not more about its overall performance than the number of its MPs. The figures for Scotland make poor reading for Unionists in general and for the new government in London in particular.

‘Getting Brexit done’ may have worked as a slogan in England, and Wales, but it seems to have had the opposite effect in the land that gave us the very word sluagh-ghairm. Which is perfectly understandable given that Scotland voted Remain.

With its separate legal and education systems, with the Kirk, with its banks and different banknotes, Scotland always was a different country. Soon it might be a very different country.

Whatever happens, we can guarantee that the greater the prospect of Scottish independence the dirtier the British state will play. And it certainly played dirty in the 2014 independence referendum campaign. Explained in this remarkable video, London Calling: BBC bias during the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.

I urge you to set aside an hour of your time over Christmas to watch it. Those you’ll see in the film are not wild-eyed conspiracy theorists, these are people who know the score. On the plus side, the BBC is now so discredited that it could never again play the influential role it played in 2014.

Scotland will soon regain the independence that was surrendered in 1707 by an unrepresentative parliament whose members had been bullied or bribed into supporting the Act of Union.

 As Robert Burns put it: Such A Parcel Of Rogues In A Nation.

ENGLAND

Reporting of the election in England was dominated by words like ‘landslide’ and talk of crumbling ‘red walls’. The reality is rather more nuanced, and disturbing for anyone wanting cultural harmony and social cohesion.

The truth is that in England the Conservative share of the vote increased by just 1.7% on 2017. The real story is the collapse of the Labour vote, down 8.0% on 2017. The Liberal Democrats were up 4.6%, the Brexit Party 2.0%, and the Greens 1.2%.

But if we look behind those bare figures we find where and why the Tories did so well. Those areas of the Midlands and the North that voted Leave in June 2016 saw the Tory vote increase substantially, while Remain areas saw the Tory vote go down.

The problem for Labour was that they lost out in both. That’s what happens to ditherers.

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The cities remain Labour, especially London; which meant that in the Midlands and the North the cities and conurbations did not collapse with the rest of the ‘red wall’. The West Midlands conurbation remained largely Labour, as did Merseyside, and Manchester, Sheffield, the Leeds-Bradford conurbation, plus Hull, while in the north east – Sedgefield and Blyth Valley not withstanding – Labour holds a swathe of seats from Newcastle upon Tyne North all the way down to Middlesbrough.

It is the smaller towns and cities, the former mining districts, that will be represented by Conservative MPs for the next few years. Without doing an in-depth check it looks to me as if Stoke on Trent was the largest English city to ‘defect’.

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So why did Manchester and Birmingham stay Labour while Bury, Scunthorpe, Dewsbury, Wakefield and many similar towns go Conservative? Almost certainly because the major cities of the Midlands and the North share certain features with London that make them more challenging for the Tories.

These features are:

1/ A generally younger population, with many students.

2/ Large immigrant populations plus settled ethnic minority communities.

3/ The presence of a ‘progressive’ middle class.

4/ More diversified economies that have coped with recession better than coalfield areas and towns built on a single industry.

5/ They attract more investment.

Which results in the rich and poor of England linking arms and facing off against those in between. Which is a strange thought, because for the greater part of the twentieth century politics in England split along class lines, a division that pitted Tory-voting shires and suburbs against Labour voting cities and industrial regions.

Going further back, to the nineteenth century, it was the new industrialists and others – through the Liberal Party – that represented the interests of the lower orders against the Oxbridge-educated Establishment of aristocracy, landowners, bankers, Church of England, army, civil service.

But last Thursday we entered a new paradigm. When so many people on the minimum wage are prepared to vote Tory then you know something has changed.

Students of politics will immediately recognise the parallels with the USA, where Donald Trump managed to get support from the richest sectors of US society and some of the poorest. Leaving the Democrats with a minority of the white working class supplemented by ethnic minorities, immigrants, and white liberals.

Brexit may have brought these US divisions into sharper focus in the UK but they would be there even without a debate over EU membership. People in the ‘neglected’ areas might have voted Tory last Thursday even without Brexit.

I say that because another reason they voted Conservative was because Labour, the party they once regarded as theirs, has drifted away, hijacked by the hard left, the detested metropolitan elite, and others who look down on them and regard their patriotism with revulsion.

Remember this from the Rochester by-election in 2014? Thornberry is back, and now one of the leading contenders to succeed Corbyn. Click to enlarge

As Jon Sopel, the BBC’s North American editor put it in this article (which is well worth reading): ‘Labour in the UK lost the working class, but gained the woke. And that will give the party sleepless nights over the coming months and years.’

Labour lost the election because it has alienated too many of the patriotic white working class. An as yet unquantifiable percentage of which might be mopped up by whatever party Nigel Farage comes up with next.

WALES

Let’s be brutally frank, there were just two things that saved ‘Welsh’ Labour from a worse kicking last Thursday.

The first was the terror felt by too many in the region twixt Blaenafon and Kidwelly at the prospect of rotating grandparents in the graveyards of Salem, Jerusalem, and yea! even Caersalem.

The second was the absolute fucking uselessness of Plaid Cymru. Because if Jon Sopel is right, about the Labour Party in England, then here in Wales the woke have become Plaid Cymru.

Yes, I know, Plaid held its four seats . . . and failed to come second in any of the other seats it contested. Leaving Plaid Cymru in serious danger of becoming a regional party within a small country, representing a constituency that is rural and largely Welsh speaking in an urbanised and largely anglophone country. Now there’s a party with a future!

Though, in fairness, Plaid Cymru has tried to break away from the ‘rural, Welsh-speaking’ strait-jacket. Unfortunately, rather than appealing to patriotic English speakers in the cities and towns the party allowed (encouraged?) the takeover by socialists who tar any critic with the ‘fascist’ brush, and those who insist that anyone who doesn’t accept a man with a penis as a woman is a ‘transphobe’.

Pick the bones out of that. Click to enlarge

Then, before the election, Plaid’s strategists (don’t laugh!) decided that it would be a splendid idea to go into a Remainer pact in a few seats with the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party of Englandandwales. In a country that voted Leave!!

This is why, last Thursday, when presented with the open goal of a Labour Party in chaos, a Conservative Party made untouchable by the fear of spinning sounds from the local boneyard, and the Lib Dems led by a delusional woman, Plaid Cymru’s vote actually fell, in real and percentage terms!

The only consolation is that Plaid Cymru is probably finished. No party with such limited appeal, making such disastrous decisions, is entitled to any future. What’s worse, in Plaid’s four seats the party’s supporters are social conservatives of the kind despised by those who now control the party. How long can this misalliance last?

Maybe it would be best for Plaid Cymru to drop the pretence that it’s a mainstream party and rebrand itself as the loony left party it has become. This would allow the emergence of another national party on the right to represent the ‘fascists’ and the ‘transphobes’, the patriots and those who’d like to build up an indigenous economy rather than rely on a begging-bowl variant of devolution.

At heart, Plaid Cymru is a Devo Max party securing the maximum number of careers, sinecures, peerages, etc., for those it represents, within the colonial system. Which means having enough power to indulge its lunacies without the responsibility of having to fund any of it.

Here we have a woman whose party has just had a truly dismal election congratulating winning candidates from other parties – just because they’re women! Click to enlarge

But things are not looking too good for this model of devolution at the moment. For a start, Labour is in deep and serious trouble on a UK level and this might extend to the 2021 Assembly elections, with Plaid Cymru in no position to keep the gravy train on the tracks.

Who’s to say the Tories won’t win an outright majority in 2021?

Worse, Plaid Cymru’s obvious weaknesses coupled with Labour’s self-destruction might encourage the new Conservative government to undermine or do away entirely with devolution.

At the very least, London could take more control over funding. An article by Martin Shipton dealt with this possibility in Saturday’s Llais y Sais. Here’s a link to the WalesOnline version, with a clip from it below.

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Now picture the scene . . . Boris Johnson rocks up in Swansea (or it could be Wrexham, Merthyr, Blaenau Ffestiniog or Pembroke) and says, ‘Now listen chaps, I can see that with this bally devolution most of the moolah stays in Cardiff, and that’s jolly unfair. In future, the Bozmeister will dish out the goodies himself – and I guarantee that it will be fair shares for all!’ 

This will of course result in demonstrations in all corners of the land defending the status quo, demanding that the money be given to the ‘Welsh Government’ . . . for it to divert into the poverty racket (third sector, to you). I foresee hastily-scribbled placards being borne aloft insisting that even spads and lobbyists have to eat.

Yes, I’m joking.

But it won’t be BoJo undermining devolution. Labour and Plaid Cymru, plus their parasite friends down Corruption Bay and elsewhere, have already done the job for him, to the point where few would put up much of a fight if the Tories tried to do away with devolution altogether.

Devolution has been an abysmal failure because nobody wanted to make it work for anyone but themselves. Nobody in London or Cardiff.

CONCLUSION

I have chosen to look at all the countries of the United Kingdom because while the Tories’ campaign was all about getting Brexit done, everyone knows that achieving that objective will jeopardise the unity of the state.

I have argued since the EU referendum in 2016 that Brexit and the chaos it could unleash, the knock-on effects in Scotland and Ireland, would offer great advantages to Wales if we only had the sense and the determination to seize them.

But for Wales to capitalise on these opportunities we need politicians, and political parties or movements that want Wales to be a country that benefits the Welsh, rather than a haven for retirees, refugees, colonists, third sector parasites and ‘investors’ looking for easy money.

But I’m deeply pessimistic; for this election suggests that Wales will be in no position to take advantage of the opportunities coming our way. We shall just drift towards assimilation.

♦ end ♦

 

191 thoughts on “General Election 2019

  1. Mel Morgan

    Like the St. David’s Day Referendum of 1979, and the Scottish Referendum of 2014, this Westminster General Election has been a victory for what Professor J.R. Jones called Prydeindod. Pessimism is entirely justified.

    1. Mel Morgan

      While we’re on the subject of JR, does anybody have any gen on the urban legend that links him with a skiffle group.

        1. Mel Morgan

          It was a way for some of Wales’ foremost thinkers and artists to get away from everything for a few hours.

          1. Mel Morgan

            ‘I don’t smoke, I don’t drink Bourbon,
            I just wanna shake my turban.’

            *Y feri un’.

    2. Rob Edwards

      Thank you Jac for your honest assessment of the political position. Facts without the bullshit. The next Boris game of chess will prove interesting especially any future plans for the NHS.

  2. Mel Morgan

    Johnson’s victory is a clear danger in Scotland, and a clear and present danger in Ireland.

    1. In Scotland and Ireland Johnson presents opportunities. In Ireland, he has to watch his step in case he precipitates a border poll; while in Scotland the SNP and the independence movement also mean he needs to tread carefully. While in Wales he can do whatever he likes.

      1. Mel Morgan

        Johnson displays no signs of any interest in Ireland, and fewer of any understanding. On top of this, he has given Loyalists to believe that they had his support, and then dropped them as if the Loyalist population were some discarded mistress. Rhetoric is heating up, and acts of very serious violence have occurred. The whole thing could slide suddenly and heavily out of control.

          1. Mel Morgan

            Although the parallel is not particularly close (for example, I cannot imagine the Loyalists in any circumstances abandoning their homes en masse), it is certainly less remote than Vietnam. And it is always helpful to reflect on the Home Rule Crisis of 1912-1914.

            1. The parallel is valid in as much as there would be a violent reaction to reunification, and right wing elements in Britain would support those resisting reunification to pursue a wider agenda. Though with Boris Johnson leading a majority Tory government this prospect is much more remote than it would be under a Labour government.

              Though remember, the colons and sections of the army turned on de Gaulle because they’d thought he was one of them, and had betrayed them. Will BoJo do a de Gaulle?

              In 1912 Ireland was united, it was the promise of Home Rule – for the whole island – that led to the crisis, the Curragh ‘Mutiny’, etc, and then resulted in Partition. The days when the British army would threaten to mutiny over Ireland are long gone.

            2. Mel Morgan

              The parallel is valid, on so far as parellels ever are. But as dear old Euclid reminds us, parallel lines, produced to infinity, never meet.

            3. Mel Morgan

              The Curragh Mutiny, must remind ourselves, was in support of the Ulster Volunteers. This armed and trained military force (of which Padraig Pearse spoke with great admiration) had just imported 25,000 rifles and three million rounds of ammunition.

            4. Without checking, I don’t think the Curragh ‘Mutiny’ was actually in direct support of the Ulster Volunteers, it was an implied threat made to the British government if the army was forced to move against the Ulster Volunteers.

          2. Mel Morgan

            De Gaulle (whose uncle, by the way, was a pioneer Breton nationalist) solved the question of Algeria (give or take some assassination attempts and the odd coup attempt as well) by shipping the colons and the harkis (the latter much against the grain) to the Hexagon.

            This option is not available in respect of the Ulster Loyalists. They are not colons their families have lived their longer than most Americans’ families have lived in the USA. Quite simply, they will not leave unless taken away by overwhelming force.

            1. I’m not aware of any plan to expel or deport the Ulster Loyalists in the event of reunification, I’m simply saying that a minority of them will not accept a united Ireland without a fight.

            2. Mel Morgan

              Exactly. Enough of them will fight to prevent unification’s being a credible option for the forseeable future. Many of them believe, however (in my view, erroneously) that it is being cooked up in a conspiracy involving London, Dublin, and (in some narratives, at least) Brussels. A lot of people are afraid, and fear such as this can seriously cloud both perceptions and judgment.

            3. Red Flag

              The Question of Irish unity isnt just a question of the North – whose voters would be facing the reality of voting themselves out of the NHS and into the euro.

              The Republic would also have to have a vote as to whether they want the North – and the thought of a huge chunk of beligerent loyalists, with a very large block vote that could hold the balance of power in the Dail, and a territory that is an economic basket case may not meet with their approval.

              What would happen if the North voted to join the Republic, but the Republic sensibly stuck two fingers up.

              The issue is not as clear cut as people think, and in the privacy of a ballot box people will behave differently than how they portray outside.

            4. Mel Morgan

              One possible outcome, which got a certain airing in the Seventies and Eighties, would be Repartition. This would not, however, be patient of a neat shifting of the Border.

            5. Mel Morgan

              That’s one of the biggest impediments – and most frightening possible outcomes.

      2. Mel Morgan

        Many North British Unionists are in an increasingly ugly mood. Some of them, especially in the West of the country, have some very sulphurous connections.

        There is a further dimension. For some years now, a number of NBUs have been thinking out loud about Partition as a response to Independence. The regions most often cited are the Borders, the Northern Isles, and the North-east. The latter two, of course, are oleoferous areas. Orkney and Shetland could probably be seized by a coup de main, and the geography and logistics of the Borders could make partitioning there pretty feasible. As to the North-east, however, I couldn’t even begin to guess how such a venture would pan out there.

        1. These ‘sulphurous connections’ have been there for generations, it’s the ‘kith and kin’ argument. I find it incredible that you are suggesting a coup de main anywhere in these islands. Can you provide links to these discussions on the partitioning of Scotland that encourage such action?

          1. Mel Morgan

            It’s all over Twitter, is aired from time to time in the Daily Borisgraph, and is often seen in the Press of what a certain class of person used to call NB. I will search out some useful links for you.

            At one time, I too would have found incredible the idea of a coup de main in the North-east Atlantic Archipelago. By now, however, I wouldn’t bet against anything.

    2. Mel Morgan

      It is extremely unlikely that the Crown Forces, especially in their current depleted state, would wish to reprise that 30-year operation in Ireland. On Scotland, however, there are many causes of instability. I al not as optimistic about Scotland as I would like to be.

      1. What you have to remember is that from the perspective of the British army and the intelligence services the Troubles provided a wonderful ‘live ammunition’ training exercise contained within a relatively small area. Sure, there were casualties, but the experience gained gave Britain a certain advantage, certainly over European rivals.

        It was when the IRA started targeting the City of London and the prospect of major banks and investment houses relocating to Frankfurt, Paris or Timbuktu reared it’s head that the British authorities got serious about peace talks. I suggest that it’s no coincidence that the Troubles ending was soon followed by ‘humanitarian interventions’ in the Middle East and elsewhere. For squaddies and spooks must be kept on their toes.

        And while I’m not suggesting that the army will be sent in to give the Jocks what for (too many Scottish regiments for that), if a referendum is organised the 77th Brigade and army intelligence will be working overtime, as will those who operate from the shadowy fringes of the state apparatus. With the latter definitely operating through proxies.

        1. Mel Morgan

          Quite how would the various Scots in the Crown Forces react to a declaration of independence? There is no way of knowing which way individual cats might jump. However, a diplomat remarked that Edinburgh seemed to be crawling with men in false beards studiously ignoring one another.

          1. I suspect that Scots in the Crown Forces would react to independence in much the same way as the nation at large, with perhaps slightly more opposed to independence. But what you brought up was a Scottish ‘Troubles’ scenario, with the British army intervening to, presumably, either stop a referendum or halt moves towards independence post referendum. And it was this I addressed.

            Scots in the British army would I’m sure react unfavourably to their English comrades patrolling their cities and towns treating their families as hostiles.

            1. David Smith

              It is an interesting one to ponder – if there ever is a Yes vote, what, if any, civil unrest could we expect? My guess would be that the majority opposed will just grumble and complain, with the far-right, cro-magnon, Rangers supporting knucklehead types throwing a riot or two. What causes of instability does Mel Morgan refer to up there, are they of the type I’ve just mentioned?

            2. Mel Morgan

              While this comparison is unfair to the Cro-Magnon people, I take your general point. If you want to make yourself boak, type ‘Famine Song’ into YouTube.

              In addition, Scottish identity (like that of many countries) contains important linguistic, cultural, confessional, and regional fault-lines. We must assume that HMG Will, if necessary, make full use of these.

            3. Red Flag

              The Scots serving in the Armed Forces swore allegiance to the Crown, not the UK. They will probably quite happily remain.

              There has always been a heavy foreign element in the Forces. In my Infantry Regiment during my time we had a Yank, a couple of New Zealanders, Fijains (one of whom was a commissioned officer) some Aussies, Canadians, some Ukranians (including two brothers), a Sri Lankan, an Indian, a Zimbabwean, Jamaicans (including three brothers one of whom is now a copper in Aberdeen), a Bermudan, some Belizeans, a couple of Hong Kong Chinese and (in the context of this chain) several lads from the Republic of Ireland (from where the Forces have always heavily recruited) and other places too numerous to mention.

            4. Mel Morgan

              This sounds like every recorded army since the boys of the II Augusta breezed into Caerllion. The regiment is, in effect, a sort of substitute extended family.

        2. David Smith

          Do you think that accounts of the type ‘@jimbo6048453′, always with either no profile picture at all or one that never shows a human face, never hesitant with a pro-Union contribution to make to any and all debate on the matter (we all know the sort), are strong candidates for ’77th Brigadiers’?

        3. Red Flag

          I did intelligence work in Northern Ireland in both East Tyrone and South Armagh for a while. Nothing ‘James Bondey’, just low level stuff..

          You’d be surprised what the intelligence community knew and how far reaching it was – very surprised. Even down to weapons being found, damaged so they wouldn’t work, trackers inserted into them and left in situ so that the terrorists would carry on moving them around , thus revealing other hides, their courier system, safe routes etc.

          Most of the serious effort was to ‘manouevre’ PIRA operatives and units into situations where the SAS could legally despatch them – such as Loughall.

          Probably in 100 years or so they will declassify and if there are any people around still interested, they will be staggered.

  3. Dafis

    Jac says ” But I’m deeply pessimistic; for this election suggests that Wales will be in no position to take advantage of the opportunities coming our way. We shall just drift towards assimilation.”

    Sometime yesterday in a dark mood I scribbled …….” I detect a distinct absence of real motivation, even the degree of nastiness, that it takes to rear up and bite some bastard (metaphorically of course). I may be wrong but if it ain’t showing by end of 2020 I reckon 2021 will be an electoral washout and integration/assimilation will follow rapidly.”

    Either we were under similar mood and weather conditions with plenty of dark clouds or we just happen to agree that turning that corner is going to be a massive challenge, mostly because we have politicians posing as nationalists who have conceded priorities to other fashionable ishoos, and quite enjoy being dependent on their opponents for the goodies and the gravy train.

  4. CapM

    “Worse, Plaid Cymru’s obvious weaknesses coupled with Labour’s self-destruction might encourage the new Conservative government to undermine or do away entirely with devolution.”

    But haven’t you been saying repeatedly that Devolution hasn’t worked and it should be done away with?

    I think that your suggestion that Johnson will take over the role of distributing money around Cymru is very likely to happen. I imagine that the new Blue Wall in the northeast will get significant funds in order to better engulf it within the Liverpool/Manchester economic and demographic region.

    In the General election you’ve been clear about advocating that in certain constituencies people should vote Conservative (in the short term) in order to promote independence.
    In the coming Assembly elections will we see you advocating that in certain constituencies people should vote Labour ((in the short term) to promote independence.

    1. What I’ve said is that because devolution has failed it makes it easier for London to do away with it knowing there will be few defenders beyond direct beneficiaries. I have also said that I would find it difficult to defend devolution myself. As would an impartial observer if considering devolution’s record and achievements.

      1. CapM

        Just over a week ago in an article you wrote
        “I would probably support the abolition of the Assembly, reasoning that it might be necessary to take a step back before we can move forward.”

        Today you write
        “I have also said that I would find it difficult to defend devolution myself.”

        So if you would probably support the abolition of the Assembly and find it difficult to defend devolution doesn’t that confirm my conclusion that for you -Devolution hasn’t worked and it should be done away with.

        Would you, for two horse race constituencies, advocate voting for the pro Devolution Labour candidate or the abolish devolution Tory candidate?

        1. My position is that devolution as we have known it for 20 years is a complete failure. It has achieved nothing for the great majority of the people and the greater part of the country. Anyone arguing otherwise is either delusional or else belongs to the minority that has benefited. In a nutshell, devolution cannot be defended on its record.

          I have consistently argued that we are stuck in a rut, and that devolution is a placebo. I do not believe that we can progress from devolution to the independence I want because too many in the Welsh political sphere, the third sector, local government and many other spheres are content with devolution. They can all strut their stuff and spend the money without the responsibility of raising it.

          One analogy I used was that of Willie Cicci in The Godfather, who tells a Congressional hearing that the Corleone family has a lot of ‘buffers’, which protects those at the top who give the orders. And so it is with devolution. The whole thing is controlled by London through civil servants in Wales who answer to London ‘advising’ our politicians. But for public consumption, and if we complain, we are told – ‘But you’ve got devolution now’. This is the ‘Welsh Government’ serving as a buffer or shield and disguising where real power still lies.

          What I believe is that by removing this ‘buffer’ more people will see the truth and want to move to a constitutional arrangement beyond that we have at present.

          In the choice you offer I’d vote Tory. By voting Labour I’d simply be perpetuating the con and condemning Wales to yet more sham devolution, more falling standards.

          1. Mel Morgan

            A sort of hyperhomeopathic approach to politics. Where an orthodox homeopath would hold that a little of what harms you does you good, Jac believes that a lot of what harms you does you even more good.

            1. Mel Morgan

              This assumes, of course, that the patient is robust enough to withstand further massive self-inflicted trauma.

          2. CapM

            Orang Utans are quite possibly the most intelligent of non-human primates. As they move through the trees they never let go of one branch until they have a firm grip on another one that they calculate can support their weight,

            If Orang Utans are smart enough to know that they should not release their grip and just hope that another branch will materialize for them to grasp to save them from crashing to the forest floor we as the most intelligent primate should be at least as smart. .
            .
            Letting go of devolution and hoping for something else to just materialize is a big gamble or a matter of faith. You wouldn’t see an Orang Utan acting on either.

            1. Red Flag

              Which is why Orag Utans still live in trees and we send men to the moon. Carpe Diem, fortune favours the brave

            2. Mel Morgan

              You are right. We could well learn from the amiable ‘ Man of the Woods’. A similar principle is incorporated in many health and safety procedures.

  5. Of course there is a movement fitting your description of what is needed, namely Gwlad Gwlad. We put our first toe in the electoral water in this election by standing in three of Plaid’s abandoned seats – namely Montgomeryshire, Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff Central.

    As our first electoral outing, we had modest expectations and these were justified; we didn’t save any of our deposits. But it gave us some insights which will serve us well in the 2021 elections.

    The most salient of these is the need to raise our profile, especially in ‘conventional’ media (newspapers, radio etc.) which is easier said than done. In Montgomeryshire, where I was the Agent, we were sending out Press Releases to all the local media almost daily, via a local PR consultant who knew most of the editors by name and could make follow-up phone calls – yet not one of them received any coverage.

    Our candidate, Gwyn Wigley Evans, spoke at seven different hustings events across the constituency, and spoke extremely well – yet in each case the audiences consisted almost entirely of other parties’ activists (the same ones at each meeting), and again there was no media coverage of any of them.

    Although we sent an election leaflet to every household in the county, I expect that most of these were put straight in the bin (which is certainly what I did with all the electoral leaflets that landed in my house), so most electors would have known nothing about us until the point where they encountered our name on the ballot paper.

    So we’re not going to burn the world up overnight but you have to start somewhere. It took Plaid Cymru over 40 years from being founded to seeing their first MP elected. We don’t have that sort of time, but we’re going to press on to make the fastest progress we can.

    1. Vlad the Inhaler

      Your modest expectations weren’t justified – you were slaughtered.
      You put up three candidates and got less than 1500 votes in total.
      If Plaid had also stood in those three seats you’d have been lucky to get a few hundred votes.

      1. Dafis

        Vlad You forget one thing. Had Plaid stood in those seats Gwlad would not have stood at all. That new party’s aim is to compete for places at Y Cynulliad. It was only Plaid’s useless compromise with the flip flopping LibDems that prompted Gwlad at short notice to stand at all. It can now revert to its original intent, that is until Plaid Cymru bottles out of something else.

        The electorate may warm to Gwlad as much of their material seems quite rational and grounded unlike some of the immature bullshit put out by a party that’s been in business a lot longer. To snuff out Gwlad all Plaid Cymru has to do is to rediscover its political purpose, dump the frills and the ishoo laden angst and start battering the incumbent Cynulliad government on the grounds of its abyssmal track record.

        There again farting around on matters of little or no concern to us common herd out in the electorate seems much more enjoyable. Boris must be laughing his cock off, he’s got trouble in Scotland, building up trouble in N.Ireland, but Wales is tucked up nicely with its political “activists” engaging in silly games of no consequence.

        1. What he said; couldn’t put it better. Nothing would please us more than getting snuffed out by a resurgent Plaid that shows some sign of being remotely bothered by the plight of ordinary people in Wales.

  6. Peter Bloggs

    Very readable as always but a bit adrift in some areas.

    “1/ The SNP has won a massive victory.

    2/ Consequently, the Tory government in London has no mandate to rule Scotland.

    3/ Scotland voted to remain in the European Union.

    4/ Consequently, London has no mandate to take Scotland out of the EU against its will.”

    2 and 4 are ignoring the fact that Scotland is still part of the United Kingdom. Act of Union ?

    Who really cares what the wee ‘Jimmie Krankie’ claims ?

    Additionally, the Scots that voted remain did so KNOWING it was the overall result that counted (as in any Referendum). The Remoaners may whinge all they like because the result, arguably skewed a bit by the Scots, was not what they wanted. “Sore losers” ?

    As for Labour … Here’s hoping they vote in another ‘useless’ leader.
    Emily Thornberry would do. Or should that be Lady Nugee to ignore her attempt to retain ‘street cred’ ?
    Someone should put forward that brilliant mathematician Diane Abbott.
    Or the permanently-vacant-looking Mr Starmer …

    Interesting comments about Plaid. Couldn’t believe that speech when their ‘leader’ claimed England should give £20 billion to help Wales rebuild. Reckoning the English had taken all their money by mining coal etc. No mention of the many thousands of jobs or the money that flowed into communities as a direct result.

    Generally Lib Dems deserved to do badly. Yet another useless ‘leader’ (they have had several).
    Purveyors of Fake News. Jane Dodds stood in a Conservative seat previously and her paper leaflet said ‘Jane Dodds is winning.’ Despite this Ms Dodds actually lost by a huge margin.

    Don’t mention the Greens. Still only 1 MP (the gabbling Diane Lucas) but a highly disproportionate amount of airtime as 1 out of 650.

    Who invented “woke” ? – some trendy somewhere or an older person trying to appear ‘with it’ (probably say “cool” frequently …)

    1. You may have had some good points but the reference to ‘wee “Jimmie Krankie”‘ undermined all that followed.

      1. Dafis

        Applying a derogatory nickname indicates that the wee lassie is putting the wind up the bastards big time.I may not agree with everything she says but I just love the way she gets stuck into the task. Our collective shower of wankers would do well to emulate her for a change instead of prancing around with their endless daisy chain of ishoos. They just don’t appear to have that sustained energy and commitment. Scots &SNP in particular are damned lucky to have in that job.

          1. Dafis

            I suspect that when I’m injecting a note of sarcasm in future I will need to use some alternative script or code to make sure that you don’t get offended. You may have noted from previous contributions that I am seriously impressed by Scotland’s leader and envious that they, the Scots, get such a determined and focussed character while we across the entire Cynulliad cannot muster one leader who comes close to her level of ability and performance.

            1. Dafis

              They all got a bit touchy last night. Must have been all that cloud and gloom in the weather combined with some snapshots of Boris grinning and Drakeford moping.

    2. Jason Evans

      “Who really cares what the ‘wee Jimmie Krankie’ claims ?”. You obviously do, your fear of the SNP & Nicola Sturgeon pours out from every word you write !

      Adam Price’s claims for restitution may have been a bit ambitious, maybe he should have highlighted how much the resources and the people of Cymru punched above our weight and helped to kickstart the Industrial Revolution and given the opportunities (which will never happen while we are tied to Westminster) Cymru could kickstart a “Green Revolution”.

      1. David Robins

        A reparations claim is no basis for a nationalist movement. It would be every bit as valid in Barrow or Jarrow. Cymru’s Industrial Revolution relied as much on the Cornish and the English as on any indigenous efforts. Think Trevithick, Vivian, Crawshay, Guest, Homfray… Then there’s that Crichton-Stuart fellow, and all the nameless Irish.

        Adam’s begging bowl mentality is just a tiresome echo of Leanne’s bleating about the need for more resources. Cymru has massive resources; it just doesn’t manage them for Cymru’s benefit. As Jac reminds us, the language used is that of people who want the power to spend money but not the responsibility of raising it. Saying that Cymru lacks the means to make its own way in the world may reflect what the Union has made of its potential but it hardly builds a case for sustained independence.

      2. Peter Bloggs

        As someone with 1000 years of Scots ancestry I find Ms Sturgeon (AKA Wee Burney and Jimmy Krankie) hardly “frightening” – just plain annoying and a touch dishonest. Did anyone ever hear her or indeed any Scottish Remoaner talk about the true cost of ‘independence and rejoining the EU’ ? (please bear in mind the massive fall in oil prices … not to mention the alleged inability of Scotland to meet EU tests …).
        Please answer with factual/verifiable details.

        As for your vaunted ‘Green Revolution’ – did you ever hear an ‘activist’ mention the fact that we [according to an ‘expert’] are in an “Inter-glacial warm period”.

        I believe we SHOULD reduce greenhouse gases [persuading China, India etc. might be quite hard … ] but despair of those ‘believers’ who claim blindly “man-made global warming.”

        I thought Green Revolutionaries would put many farmers out of business in their efforts to greenwash us that raising animals/eating meat was bad ?

        It is just dawning on a few touting ‘GR’ that plastering hilltops with windmills (AKA ‘turbines’) and permanent huge masses of concrete – is altering the age-old sequestration of rainwater and thus exacerbating flooding elsewhere.
        I don’t want to rely on solar either [until there is viable/safe storage that does not pollute other areas].

    3. Wrexhamian

      You do understand why most of Scotland would disagree with you about Boris’s alleged ‘mandate’ to take their country out of the EU, don’t you, Peter?

      And you know about the coal, and water, and the rest of it, in Wales, yes? And the stuff about money flowing into the community from your country was a joke, am I right?

      Bear in mind that Nicola Sturgeon is by and large admired in Wales, so perhaps it’s best to think before you make an insensitive comment of that kind to a Welsh audience. But it was a silly attempt at a joke, I’m sure.

      You did make one correct statement though, which made you sound quite grown up, namely Adam Price and his reparations; you would not find many Welsh people who didn’t cringe at his demand for compo.

      1. Peter Bloggs

        Act of Union ? Maybe ” … most of Scotland” don’t understand it.

        I joke not.

        Study the life of Welshman David Davies who built Barry Docks and sank many mines. Ask yourself where the employee’s wages were spent.

        Admire Ms Sturgeon all you want – just as many admired Ms Swinson.

        Rather than childish attacks – why not just accept others may hold different views to your own ?

        1. Wrexhamian

          David Davies was factored in when I referenced the exploitation in the coalfields, Peter. His daughters donated the art collection and Gregynog to the Welsh nation, but most mines were owned by businessmen from over the border who contributed little or nothing to the material wellbeing of the mining villages.

          After your remark about Nicola Sturgeon, it was hard to know at what level to couch my comment, but the tone of your remark suggested that i should aim it at a person in his early teens.

            1. David Smith

              My days as a Latin scholar are long behind me. That was addressed at “Peter Bloggs”.

      2. Red Flag

        Scotland is not and never has been a member of the EU. Same is true of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Even the EU regatds Scotland as merely a region of a member-state.

        The UK is a member of the EU and its the UK that’s leaving and it’s only the UK the EU will negotiate with.

  7. Taffyman27

    Key messages for me:

    Once again Labour faces a period of introspection, as was the case following Michael Foot’s disastrous campaign of 1983, it is faced with a choice being a radical left wing socialist party which can win no more than circa 200 seats or being a more inclusive social democratic party which can appeal to larger electoral base.
    The SNP faces a problem, wining most of the seats in Scotland does not give them the power to get a second referendum, and while they may be the third largest party at Westminster, with a 60 plus Tory majority they are of no real consequence in Westminster. power politics.
    The fact that there is now a majority of Republican MP’s being elected for Northern Ireland, is interesting, but as the SF members will not take their seats, it will be a very quiet Republican voice at Westminster. I suspect there are many in Britain who would happily let Dublin take over the mess, but I doubt the Irish Government really wants to have to deal with all those drum beating Unionists any more than we do.
    Plaid has failed to pull off the same political “slight of hand” as their colleagues in the SNP, and despite everything which is wrong with Labour in Wales Plaid cannot make any real breakthrough outside its traditional home in rural Welsh speaking North and West Wales. The heart of Plaid’s problems and the major task facing any alternative nationalist party is uncoupling the nationalist cause from the language, and I am not sure how that could be done. For the largely English speaking population of South East Wales, Plaid will always be seen as a party for Welsh speakers, and that is their problem. I love the language and despite living in England for 30 plus years I still consider it my first language. As a nation. we should by rightly proud of our success in maintaining Welsh as a living, breathing language, but as bizarre as this sounds, in doing so, we may have fatally wounded political nationalism, we may yet be the only country to maintain our cultural nationalism at the cost of our national political identity.

    1. Sibrydionmawr

      With all due respect, all that you are saying about the language is utter tosh, and plays directly into the rhetoric Welsh Labour has used for years. They’ve played the language card in a way that is truly despicable, to engender fear and insecurity for their political gain. I’ve heard the argument you’re promoting so many times from hambons who constantly want to appease the nay sayers. Most Welsh people, and by this I mean those who don’t speak Welsh are mostly either indifferent or quite positive towards the language, certainly in South East Wales. The notion that Plaid Cymru is the party of Welsh speakers is entirely a Welsh Labour conconction, Plaid, as usual, like the hambons constantly either wants to remains silent even to the extent of refusing to refute the slur or seeks to appease. It’s a situation analogous to Corbyn and anti-semitism, and Plaid shouldn’t be expected to be apologists for Welsh Labour’s smears.

      Oh if it were true that Plaid Cymru were defenders of the Welsh language! One of the reasons Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg were formed nearly 60 years ago was because there was a general feeling that the language wasn’t safe in Plaid’s hands as Plaid always worries what the bloody Sais think, as if it’s got anything to do with the fucking Sais. Apologies to those of you who moved here from wherever and who have integrated to life here, put down roots and contribute, this isn’t aimed at you. Plaid still reflects the terrible parchus image that the socially conservatives who are its mainstay. Sorry, Gwynfor Evans and his ilk were well meaning, but somewhat naive leaders who thought that if the English beast could be appeased things would be fine, unfortunately this meant that we Welsh were expected to lose our backbones somewhere along the way, to always “cadw’r desgil yn wastad”.

      It’s true that Welsh government policies, with the connivance of those in the Welsh language education sector seek to kick the issue into the long grass with the, to be perfectly honest, ineffectual plan to have a million speakers of Welsh by 2050. This will just replicate the system we have at the current time where 80% of those who leave Welsh medium education subsequently never use the language again because there is simply hardly anywhere where it can be spoken as part of everyday life in most areas. The plan to have a million speakers in and of itself is fine, bar it perhaps lacking in ambition, however it will only deliver a million people able to speak Welsh. Unless something fundamental and radical changes, such as the language of administration in government gradually changes from English to Welsh, and far more is done to promote Welsh language culture in a bilingual environment then the position of the language will pretty much remain unchanged, but perhaps even more marginalised than it is at present.

      Certainly if the language is cynically used for divisive political purposes it will have an effect, just as the barrage of hate directed against Corbyn was in the recent election campaign. When asked most people, ie. those who do not have any malice aforethought towards the language, (the vast majority) if they have been recently primed will spout the usual rubbish that Welsh Labour still on occasions pumps out. Present it positively, as in presenting opportunities for those who would probably see themselves as Welsh, but not nationalist for their children to attend Welsh medium schools, thus reclaiming a birthright and a surprisingly large proportion will avail themselves of it. Most people don’t of course even think about it from one day to the next simply because it’s not on their radar, and even if they would, given the option, send their kids to Welsh medium school, the simple lack of that option means it’s not even worth considering.

      The reason the language is a problem is because politicians on all sides persist in regarding it as a problem rather than as an opportunity. Perhaps it’s time to look to places like New Zealand where Te reo Māori is being widely embraced with pride as one of the badges of nationhood that reflects who they are.

      1. Big Gee

        I wish I’d written that Sibrydionmawr. I agree wholeheartedly with you. Too many sons of the manse, with their twisted view of the reality. And sons of the manse go a long way back in the Plaid tradition.

        The ones outside those spheres have been historically silenced within the party. It’s that ‘parchusrwydd’ and ‘uchel ael’ attitude that makes the patriotic south Walians feel that they are being viewed down the noses of the ‘crachach’ that give the impression that anyone who is not of their ilke are second class citizens. And as you rightly say, Labour have spotted and leapt on that and made sure that the division are magnified to work in their favour.

        Then you have the new breed of Plaid people who are just trendy, progressive liberal Marxists – don’t get me started on that shower . . . .

        1. Mel Morgan

          Manses still dedicated to their original purpose are by now thin on the ground, and sons thereof even more so.

  8. Dafis

    Completely off topic, but worth noting – a strange silence from the usual Plaid suspects today. Someone has dug up old SS man Heydrich’s grave in Berlin yet not one call of “It’s them Nazis” from Plaid Towers. Emotionally spent, I guess.

    1. Almost complete radio silence. Seeing as you mentioned ‘Smiler’ Heydrich perhaps we can compare it to a U-boat crew silently listening for the sound of propellers and the depth charges that might follow.

      1. Dafis

        Fortunately for Plaid they now have Boyd Clack on board. He should be able to convert that into a 5 minute sketch and use it as a party political broadcast. ….. “Dive ! Dive ! We’re doomed, we’re doomed.” …….”Where are our allies the LimpDems when we need them ?”

        Could use it for their final broadcast before they shut up shop.

    2. Mel Morgan

      Not quite sure why Plaid should want to make a statement on this incident until more information is available.

    3. Jonesy

      Now i have torally lost the thread of this dicussion or is it just post polling traumatic stress syndrome?

        1. Dafis

          Humour briefing required. Do you send out a standard pamphlet or is there a programme tailored to meet the needs of each case ?

        2. Mel Morgan

          See my remarks above. Let’s wait until the Berlin police come up with something definite.

          Still can’t see what this has to do with the present discussion.

          1. Dafis

            Ugh Mel, check my opening phrase on the comment – it reads “completely off topic …….”. It’s intended as a swipe at certain Plaid personalities’ tendency to rely on default cliches like “It’s those Nazis again” Geddit ?

            1. Mel Morgan

              This does not hold water. Plaid spokespersons do not habitually reference Nazis, and the particular incident may well have Nazi involvement

            2. There is an element within Plaid Cymru for whom those they disagree with are either, ‘racists’, ‘Alt-Right’, ‘fascists’, ‘Nazis’, ‘transphobes’, ‘homophobes’, ‘xenophobes’, or Jac o’ the North.

            3. Mel Morgan

              This is a smidgeon too scattershot to be peripheral, let alone relevant.

            4. Mel Morgan

              In any event, in order to have the remotest chance of being, er, funny, the jibe would have needed to reference some patently non-Nazi incident, rather than one in which they may very well have been involved.

  9. David Robins

    The ‘UK Shared Prosperity Fund’ reminds me far too much of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. Yuk.

  10. Vlad the Inhaler

    Several minor points:

    Votes for Sinn Féin were down partly because they stood aside for other candidates in some seats. The same applies to Plaid.
    A bit contradictory to say:
    “The truth is that in England the Conservative share of the vote increased by just 1.7% on 2017.”
    Then:-
    “But last Thursday we entered a new paradigm. When so many people on the minimum wage are prepared to vote Tory then you know something has changed.”
    The concept that devolution has failed is not true. Originally it worked quite well back in the days of Rhodri Morgan – but it’s now turned into the Mid Glamorgan on stilts he feared.
    It’s the Labour Party that has failed, largely because it sees itself as a branch office of the English version, which has itself been in decline for years. We no longer have the ‘clear red water’ between us.
    “The only consolation is that Plaid Cymru is probably finished.”

    That’s just the delusional ravings of a Brexit fuelled Conservative voter.

    Plaid will be here long after you, and your blog, have disappeared into the mists of time – and in your heart I’m sure you know it.
    It’s quite disappointing to see your normally intelligent, informative and well balanced blog turn turn into the pig-vomit outpourings of the Daily Mail when it comes to Welsh politics.

    1. I’m sure Plaid will still be here long after me and my blog have departed, but what I was implying is that Plaid Cymru is not a major political force and time may be running out for it to achieve such a status.

    2. Sibrydionmawr

      Oh would that Ron Davies had had a chance… I think we’d be a lot further on by now, but to be perfectly honest, he was about the only one in Welsh Labour’s top team who was entusiastic. Even Rhodri was somewhat lukewarm by comparison.

      1. Mel Morgan

        Don’t disagree. Can’t see Ron Davies tolerating Paul Starling’s bigoted campaign against the Welsh language and those who speak it.

  11. Brychan

    You’re being too kind to Plaid, Jac. There’s a stark reality in these election results. The people of the valleys would rather vote Brexit Party or Conservative than Plaid. Here are the results…

    Merthyr
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/politics/constituencies/W07000071
    Cynon
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/politics/constituencies/W07000070
    Rhondda
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/politics/constituencies/W07000052

    The ‘Cynon Valley Party’ got as many votes in a Westminster election as would get them an AM on the regional run-off for the Senedd.

    Well done!! Apparently these people are ‘thick’ and “do not understand Brexit.” They know more about their valley than the scum who cream the EU cash they’ve never seen.

    In Merthyr strap line to vote Plaid was that the EU paid for the car park in town. Pathetic. In Rhondda there was a council by-election a week before the Westminster one. Even Adam Price was spotted knocking doors in Wattstown. They lost the seat. Leanne better stick to collecting tins of beans for Adref. Tories get more votes than Plaid Cymru in Rhondda!!

    Party of Wales be fucked. First they don’t stand candidates in huge swathes of Cymru and then they get hammered in the very places that they need to win. Fucking joke, mun.

    1. When you look at those results, such as coming fourth behind Tories and Brexit Party in Merthyr, you realise what a mess Plaid Cymru is in. How can a party so miserably misjudge the mood of a population, and not understand what matters to people in the Valleys. The same could be said of Swansea. Plaid’s performance in Cardiff is greatly enhanced by the influx from the west and north yet, significantly, when a local comes along with the potential to take Plaid to another level – they ostracise him!

      And when you look at who does well where, it looks suspiciously like Plaid complementing Labour by focusing on those seats that Labour are less likely to win while not trying too hard in Labour citadels.

    2. I had the Brexit Party candidate for Merthyr round for Sunday dinner; he happens to the be the pastor of my church.

      Excellent chap, pleased to have garnered as much support as he did despite a series of dirty tricks by local Labour activists (such as circulating rumours that he was an alcoholic – despite his being a lifelong teetotaller – and organising hustings but failing to invite him, and then announcing that he’d failed to turn up).

      He didn’t really encounter Plaid much on the campaign trail, and as you say they came a distant fourth. If Plaid can’t make an impact in places like that, then they’re simply not what Wales needs.

    3. Mel Morgan

      My clear impression from a number of years in Local Government is that LAs are using European funding as a revenue replacement to maintain provision and services. Without that funding, provision will cease and services will close.

      1. Red Flag

        @Mel Morgan;- Yes but it’s not EU money is it. It’s our money, coming back to us, less a 20% handling charge, with strings attached.

        1. CapM

          Well the members of the EU put money into their EU membership pot.
          All the members get money back but with the less rich members getting more back than richer members do.
          As one of the richer members the UK gets less back than it puts in.
          However being one of the poorer parts of the EU and with relatively larger agriculture industry Cymru gets significantly more back from the EU pot than it puts into it.

          Also being a member of the EU means that the UK more than makes up for the deficit due to easy and unhindered access to the markets of all the other members.
          And further because Cymru has a greater proportion of manufacturing than the UK “average” it benefits from this access to a greater extent than other parts of the UK like England.

          Basically Cymru gets a lot of “their” money.
          Of course this is set to change,

        2. Mel Morgan

          For every £ we in Wales put in, we get ££££££ back. These extra ££££££ would never have been available tous” but for the European funding. As I said, *our provision and services will disappear. Dyna ddagrau pethau.

          1. Mel Morgan

            Anyway, the point is that we in Wales are net winners through EU membership. If Brexit goes through, services and provision will go.

  12. Big Gee

    You’ve hit the nail on it’s head Brychan. Spot-on. It seems so obvious to the rest of us, but when you’re imprisoned in your own bubble, and you can’t see beyond the ‘gold fish bowl’ that you swim around in circles within, then you can never break out of your heartland.

    Now there’s a Plaid Cymru (right of centre – whatever that means) trying to create a Plaid Cymru MK II again based on the heartlands. Will the scales ever fall from their eyes? I certainly hope so – time to wake up and smell the fresh coffee that’s brewing.

  13. David Smith

    That fucking obvious blow in on Anglesey irked me the most, and I suspect the gammon plantation of old duffers who still think the war is on swung it.

    1. I was getting feedback about unhappiness within Plaid Cymru about the candidate being parachuted in. There was also a question over whether he’d been a party member for long enough to qualify him to stand. These factors may have contributed to Plaid’s poor showing.

      1. David Smith

        I’m on about that one the Tories ponced in, from Kensington it seems. Virginia something or other. Woolfe possibly. The vibe I’ve always got, at least in Holyhead somewhat is a sense of loyalty to Albert Owen, being a local boy and that. My suspicions are that for ‘our’ representative, it was a vote for a “Get Brexit Done” government, bolstered by our worshipful company of superannuated supplanters who deign to bless us with their plantation efforts, voting to take back ‘their’ country.

        1. The fact that the Tories were able to win with such a candidate only makes the defeat suffered by Plaid Cymru worse and Labour worse.

        2. Red Flag

          Holyhead is a Plaid area now and has been for 3-4 years. Labour’s powerbase on Ynys Mon/Anglesey has shifted to Amlwch.

          1. David Smith

            I was using Albert Owen as an example of how people round here, at least in my anecdotal experience, appear to favour someone local and known over a colonial candidate. Then again there’s no shortage of thick people round these parts so there’s plenty of marks to be conned.

  14. David Smith

    Why no mention of FPTP and the Electoral College and the fudging effects they most obviously have on “The Public Mood”?

  15. Rían

    Very strange that there’s no analysis here about the laughable performance of Ein Gwlad / Gwlad Gwlad / Gwlad / Whatever the hell they call thesmselves nowadays.

    3 candidates (nobody could be bothered to stand in the other consitituency Plaid had stood down in). So much for filling a gap in Welsh nationalism.
    Between the three, a grand total of 1,515 votes and three lost deposits.
    Without counting anything they spent on the campaign, that’s almost a pound a vote.
    Laughable really.

    1. Dafis

      Laughable ? If you want a fuckin’ good laff then focus on Price’s deal with those LibDem jokers. You might spring a rib. Given the mostly crap performance from Plaid you got a lot more to worry about than the performance of a late entrant into the competition. As I said in response to Vlad above :

      “Had Plaid stood in those seats Gwlad would not have stood at all. That new party’s aim is to compete for places at Y Cynulliad. It was only Plaid’s useless compromise with the flip flopping LibDems that prompted Gwlad at short notice to stand at all. It can now revert to its original intent, that is until Plaid Cymru bottles out of something else.”

      Of course deflection from its own shitty performance is default conduct for Plaid. People like me, not a member of any political party, make voting decisions on how a Party is perceived, and it now becomes very difficult to persist with a personal “vote for Plaid” strategy. Plaid better shift itself or lots of other voters will have undergone a similar thought process by 2021.

      Not a laughing matter, is it ?.

    2. Brychan

      There was a previous ‘pathetic’ vote in Montgomeryshire, Rian.

      They were the votes that evicted Lembit Opik from Wales in 2010. Ironic but that lady is now the Plaid Cymru candidate for Pontypridd, 2021. Currently sits on RCT council having ousted Labour. Hope Plaid Cymru and Heledd notes my comments above. Never take people for granted. Be it Ynys Môn (isn’t she from there?) or Maldwyn.

      My comments about the ‘valleys’ should not be ignored.

    3. Wrexhamian

      Instead of ridiculing Gwlad, Gwlad for their symbolic but inevitably unsuccessful intervention (against their stated intention), it would be more useful if supporters of Plaid Cymru encouraged the Plaid hierarchy to engage in constructive dialogue with Gwlad. You seem to forget who the real political enemies are, Rian. 2021 isn’t that far off, and at the moment no-one connected with Plaid Cymru is in a position to claim the moral high ground.
      ..

  16. Alun Davies

    Chris Bryant on 2 tv stations this morning decrying the fact that his constituents will have to suffer more poverty and lack of of investment due to the Tories having been elected. Somebody should point out to him that he has had Labour in control at the Welsh Assembly since devolution. Should they take some responsibility for the plight of his constituents?

    1. Dafis

      Chris Bryant ? Obviously part of the problem, nothing to do with any solution. Useless parasitic sack of shite.

    2. The trouble is, he can get away with it. No journalist in Wales would remind him that his party has been screwing things up for 20 years down in Cardiff docks.

      This was one of Labour’s great vulnerabilities in the election campaign, when they promised to do away with zero hours contracts, improve the NHS, etc, and opponents simply asked, ‘Well why haven’t you done it in Wales?’

      1. Daiiroko

        “Useless parasitic sack of shite.” – Charming!

        I say Jaco, based on the outpourings of this site, day after day, after day, I hope you will agree that you surround yourself with a bunch of basket cases!

        Above, you, Alun Davies, and of course, Dafis, focus their brief, but significant contributions on recent comments by Chris Bryant.
        Bryant draws attention to ‘the fact’ that the valley communities over the last 9+ years have experienced Tory-led lack of investment. With a consequent impact on all services (including the NHS services) across Wales and particularly in the valley communities of South Wales.

        I do recognise your teams’ manic, even obsessive capacity to ‘research’ activities of a small number of individuals usually with roots in England. On the other hand it is remarkable that such skills are never directed at the hideous and massive cut in Central Government finance of the Welsh Government year on year.
        Well, perhaps it’s not surprising, considering their moronic, hate-fuelled myopia.
        Perhaps Jaco you direct your brilliant investigative skills to inform the Welsh population on the millions of Pounds which have been cut from Welsh Government budgets and consequently their services across the Country. As opposed to the activities of a handful of individuals engaged in a few property activities.

        As a starter, perhaps you might look at the alleged £100 million that has been cut from my local Councils’ budgets over this period.

        It’s customary for you and others to not make reference to the ’substance’ of my previous contributions. Somewhat pathetically, you and others usually highlight the fact that I have been posting in the early hours of the morning ‘fuelled by booze’….
        That is not the case! I am a chronic insomniac and occasionally turn to you and your ‘small’ site for a laugh, You never fail to provide.… Thank You!

        1. Glad to hear that this site provides you with both humour and enlightenment, Dai. What more could an insomniac ask for?

        2. Jonesy

          Most of the ire is targetted at the money scammed from the Welsh Gvt, due to lack of scrutiny, due diligence and mates rates, I assume the reason being it’s about Welsh Gvt not Westminster. Light could also be shone on those rogue Welshmen and women who scam us taxpayers, lining their pockets from the public purse to ‘save the lingo”, promote ‘racial harmony’, ‘provide employment and training for start up businesses”, or “charity work”. I know enough of them, but they are myriad, where would you start… and end?.. forgot, there is no end…

        3. Dafis

          Delighted to read that your visits to this site prompts you to laugh. Ponder on the root cause of your insomnia – might it be that you are, or have been, deeply involved with generations of lazy corrupt Labour regimes at Local authority and national level. By now you may be suffering pangs of guilt, subliminally perhaps, as on the face of it you probably present the smug self righteous facade that’s in common usage among your kind here in Wales. No more representative of the people than the other smug bastards who inhabit places like the City of London. Leeches and parasites feeding off the masses.

      2. Jonesy

        Journalists? News? Just listening to Radio Cymru morning new programme, you wpuld neber know that there has been a general election, gritting strikes, darts from Pontyberem, one mention of Assembly re combating climate change, the rest is papur bro stuff, day in day out.. Gwilym Owen must be turning in his grave

  17. Red Flag

    Johnson doesn’t have to do anything at all with regards Scotland and the SNP. Sooner or later Sturgeon’s support base will start to get frustrated and eventually dissent will break out and they will slip into an internal party civil war won’t be until after the Scottish elections – the rsult of which Johnson will ignore because he can, but it will happen.

    Plaid were goosed the moment they thought they could have mass appeal to the valleys and the blue collar working class – especially when that demographic voted Leave and has just voted Tory to get it done. Quite why they believe Price has done a good job staggers me. He climbed into bed with two English middle class parties. How on earth did he expect to take votes off Labour (who Plaid need to replace).

    Labour will be out of office a decade at least – several major factors are going against them. By 2024 the Boundary Review will be implemented levelling out the Constituencies. This works against Labour as the average Labour constituency has fewer voters than the average Tory one, so levelling (which is actually required) will see Labour urban constituencies merged and/or diluted. The number of seats in Scotland and Wales will be reduced (both are over-represented at present). Both are not Tory. Likewise Northern Ireland will be reduced.

    There will be legislation to have a verifiable approved photo-ID when you turn up at a polling station such as a driving licence, passport, official ID etc etc (already in place in NI)

    There will be a requirement to prove your identity before you can have a postal vote and it will be more difficult to get one.

    Labour have never won a majority without winning Scotland. Lib Dems and Greens have shown themselves to be non-entities yet again.

    UK-wide, Johnson just got the second highest vote ever, and more than any Labour vote ever, which when you consider Scotland, shows the hopelessness of Labour’s position and the total inability of Plaid to capitalise on it.

    1. A lot of good points there, Andy. I’d forgotten about the Boundary Commission, and as you say, it’ll be Labour that suffers most. Insisting on verifiable ID will also hit Labour which benefits from personation practised by certain immigrant groups. Postal votes also need to be looked at.

      1. Dafis

        You just wrote – “Insisting on verifiable ID will also hit Labour which benefits from personation practised by certain immigrant groups” That’s shocking you cad. Each ethnic minority has been vouched for by the Plaid hierarchy and are found to be beyond reproach. All the votes cast by each individual go to one party, and it’s not those wicked Tories so it doesn’t matter !

        The party is currently engaged in research on how to take the franchise away from white working class males who represent the biggest threats to an orderly (mis)-conduct of an election.

      2. Red Flag

        And analysis now shows Brexit Party prevented the Tories taking up to a further 20 Red Wall seats, notably those of Yvette Cooper, Rosie Winterton, Sarah Champion, Dan Jarvis and Ed Miliband as well as all three Hull seats in England and in Wales Rhondda. Blaenau and Cynon

      3. Mel Morgan

        No. Groups of people of all heritages are often ‘personated’ for all the Unionist parties. In my observation, the Tories do this most efficiently and most discreetly.

        1. The problem I’m highlighting extends beyond personalisation to something akin to intimidation. Found in ‘patriarchal’ societies/communities of sub-continental background where leading male members can tell people how to vote.

          1. Mel Morgan

            They can tell women how to vote … I’m reliably informed by friends on the ground that…. well, you can guess. Indeed to goodness, look you, yacky da, best not to let ourselves be taken in by stereotypes.

      4. Mel Morgan

        But will it cope with the well-known predilection of a certain Celtic minority West of Offa’s Dyke for carnal union with wool-bearing horned livestock?

      5. Brychan

        The constituency boundary review has already been done in Scotland (a specific exemption applied to the Northern and Western Isles) and it was decided not implement in the northern counties of Ireland due to sectarian issues. This leaves England and Wales to conduct a boundary review. At present there’s an average of 56,000 voters per Westminster constituency in Wales, 68,300 in Northern Ireland, 67,200 in Scotland and 72,200 in England.

        Within England there is a significant variance, Poplar and Limehouse (London) on 85,000 to Newcastle Central on 53,000. The boundary review is not likely to effect outcomes in England as the over populated metro-centric Labour seats would increase while at the same time as the northern Labour inner-cities would decrease. Tory seats tend to be mid-range.

        In Wales there are seats with a lower number of voters for two reasons (a) large area sparsely populated like Brecon and Radnorshire or (b) the valleys where there is a mountain that separates distinct communities like Rhondda. Both these examples have only 53,000 voters. Now that the LibDems have been eradicated, net result between the two remaining British Nationalist parties would be neutral. The only significant change in political balance in Wales would be when Ynys Môn and Arfon are merged, and possibly Ceredigion and Preseli. This exposes only Plaid Cymru, unless they break out of their self imposed bunker.

        On the issue of verifiable ID, it’s the driving license that will be used in almost all cases, and students (usually a provisional license) like them. It gives them entry to night clubs, trendy bars and festivals. However, this is likely to be at the parental address for purposes of cheaper vehicle insurance and an address lasting more than one year. This would result in less English students voting in Wales and Welsh students studying or working first job in England being still registered to vote in Wales. Also, verification of postal vote is done upon application not upon cast. It would also remove students registering to vote at two or more addresses.

        1. Red Flag

          Bychan, Johnson’s government are bringing back the full review, including the reduction to 600 MPs, which will see all the Home Narions reduced, but Wales Scotland and NI reduced significantly to bring them into line.

          When you have a majority so big you can send 70 MPs away on holiday at any given time and still command a majority and your opponents are splintered and in dissarray, you can punch things through pretty speedily and with little resistance of any interest or point.

          1. Brychan

            Just pointing out the facts, RF. Perhaps you misunderstand me. My opinion is that if you add the total number of MPs in the northern counties of Ireland to the total number of MPs in Scotland and then add in all the MPs in Wales, the total representation should be ZERO. Then England can decide their own constitutional arrangement.

    2. Mel Morgan

      The only way the ID requirement could work equitably would be through a universal identity document. As proposed, the measure will tend to exclude people unable to afford overseas holidays and cars. Like the Poll Tax, this is GOP-style voter suppression. Coupled with the proposed grand gerrymander, this will ensure Tory rule for decades.

      1. Red Flag

        Mel, you can no longer register for social housing now without sufficient verfiable identity. You can’t register for a doctor and you can’t register for benefits. You can’t rent a house in the private rental sector. You can’t get a mortgage and you can’t get a bank account. You can’t even go into further education. You can’t even get an SIA licence to be a minimum wage security guard on Tescos door. Employers now expect you to produce ID proving right of residence. You even need it now as you becoime due your state pension.

        So how exactly are these people even existing?

        My wife doesn’t drive, but has a provisonal driving licence purely for identity purposes.

        And levelling the Consituencies to roughly the same size is not gerry-mandering. It’s making it more fair, creating more marginals and making more peoples vote actually count.

        1. Mel Morgan

          The present provisions for ID are still too much of a lottery.

          FPTP is another lottery, also ensuring that some people’s votes are worth a great deal more than others’, and guaranteeinh a manority of seats to a minority of votes

          1. Red Flag

            The winner’s vote is always worth more than the losers – always has been, always will be no matter what the system.

            Every election we see this PR issue. Personally, I think it’s the Second Chamber that should be abolished and replaced by a PR Second Chamber, done at the same time as a General Election, using the weight of votes cast.

            PR would only work in the UK if it was regionalised.

            The first ‘cut’ being allocation of the seats to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, based on how many people in each region voted.

            Then the seats within each region then allocated on how each party did in that specific region.

            (I would go even further and regionalise England along the lines of NW, NE, Y&H, East Mid, West Mid, E Anglia, London, SW, SE and break their vote down as well to get an even more balanced and more representative allocation of seats and encourage more smaller parties etc in England.)

            I actually think this should be how are second Chamber is done and the HoL abolished.

            But a second chamber of 500,based on 2019’s results, spread fairly across how each component Home Nation voted roughly equates to:-
            England (420 seats)
            Scotland (40 seats)
            Wales (25 seats)
            NI (15 seats)

            And party-wise using 2% as a cut off and when rounding always doing it in favour of the underdog, (which is generous as in similar models 5% is the norm) that would be:

            ENGLAND (420)
            Con 200
            Lab 145
            LDem 54
            Green 12
            BXP 9

            SCOTLAND (40)
            SNP 18
            Con 10
            Lab 8
            LDem 4

            WALES (25)
            Lab 10
            Con 8
            Plaid 3
            LDem 2
            BXP 2

            NI (15)
            DUP 5
            SF 4
            AP 2
            SDLP 2
            UUP 2

            Which would then have produced a 2019 second chamber of:-

            Con 218
            Lab 163
            LDem 60
            SNP 18
            BXP 11
            Green 12
            DUP 5
            SF 4
            Plaid 3
            SDLP 2
            UUP 2
            AP 2

            You could make a case that England is further sub-divided into it’s regions ( Lon, SW, SE, WM, EM, EA, NW, YH, NE) to encourage regional party representation as I believe a PR-based Second Chamber should be as politically diverse as possible. One day I might even work a regionalised England’s out.

            1. Brychan

              The SNP, does not have any representation in the Lords chamber in Westminster. They see Lords as incompatible with an independent Scotland. Same with Sinn Féin. I don’t know why Plaid Cymru do. Perhaps it’s because they don’t really support independence. Obviously, Lords cannot be granted citizenship in an independent country.

              The constitutional arrangement in England is for citizens of that country to decide. Regionalisation imposed by anyone in Wales or Scotland would be wrong. It’s up to England. However, it would be polite to request that anyone born in Wales resident there to have their human rights to be respected by international standards.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taNFAiK6Dxs{removetoplay}
              Independence is a question of WHEN not just how.

              They should respect Lord Dafydd Elis’s care provision in Eastbourne for he thanks the Welsh he’s a Lord. Just as Baroness Eluned Morgan should have equal access to NHS in Islington. The same way as we currently provide such services in Fairbourne and Llandudno to English people. Surely such reciprocation is fair. Is this too impertinent to suggest?

            2. Mel Morgan

              Unfortunately, some losers’ votes are worth so much more that they gain a majority of seats.

              Some interesting points about regionalization. You might find Leopold Kohr’ Breakdown of Nations interesting.

  18. Rex

    The Conservatives can reach parts of Wales that the ”Party of Wales” can’t. I thought Leanne Wood’s Twiter account was a parody till I noticed the blue tick, as a part time political observer it seems Plaid are fixated by gender and sexuality? my experiences of Welsh nationalism was that of conservatism not liberalism. What’s the infatuation with the EU? surely the point of being a nationalist is to have a self governing nation? I’m confused.

    1. The obsession with Europe within Plaid Cymru goes back a very long way. Not long ago I was re-reading “Canlyn Arthur”, an anthology of Saunders Lewis’s early writings from the 20s and 30s, and even there he goes on at length about the desirability of being part of “Europe” in contrast to “the Empire”. Lewis’s Catholicism probably contributed to that sentiment as well.

      Plaid’s more recent preoccupation owes something to this, I’m sure, but it’s also connected with the idea – wrong in my view, but common among the sort of bien pensants that make up their leadership nowadays – that Brexit is the product of an inward-looking English nationalism with which they want nothing to do.

      If their premise had been correct then perhaps their conclusion would be as well – but in fact I’ve always seen Brexit as a healthy, outward-looking concept which will be of long-term benefit, as well as a complete prerequisite to achieving independence for Wales.

        1. Mel Morgan

          And he also freely acknowledged the European significance of the Reformation. He was at pains to point out that his conversion to Roman Catholicism was on purely theological grounds.

            1. Big Gee

              I know Jac – mentioning names from long ago is a dead giveaway! ‘Dead’ being the operative word – it’s frightening when you start to sum up the numbers of entertainers who have passed away since we were lads. Thanks for the depressing thought!!!

      1. CapM

        To Eos Pengwern
        ” I’ve always seen Brexit as a healthy, outward-looking concept which will be of long-term benefit, as well as a complete prerequisite to achieving independence for Wales.”

        Unfortunately the reality is that the vast majority of your compatriots who see Brexit ” as a healthy, outward-looking concept which will be of long-term benefit,” see it as a “complete prerequisite to achieving independence for Great Britain or at least Great England (includes a region called wales).

        Wanting Brexit, wanting it to fail and hoping that an independent Cymru emerges from a chaotic UK is in my opinion a faulty strategy but at least it is a strategy.
        Whereas your wanting Brexit, wanting it to succeed and hoping an independent Cymru emerges from an invigorated UK is taking a belief in Unicorns and adding wings to them!

        1. Brychan

          I think you’ll find that the SNP is one step ahead of Boris. I don’t think the SNP really believe that Boris would agree to IndyRef2, although it might be wise for him to do so. As of the end of next month, the 27 other member states of the European Union will no longer have a treaty commitment to the United Kingdom confirming its territorial integrity as a member state. Think about it.

          Wales is a different country.
          There’s more than one route to independence.

            1. Brychan

              Yes. Here are two examples of member states of the EU, who champion rights of self determination and where the national parliament and spokespeople for the elected government had previously expressed principled support for independence of Catalonia.

              https://www.government.se/statements/2017/10/statement—catalonia/

              and

              https://www.gov.si/en/news/2019-10-15-statement-by-minister-dr-miro-cerar-on-catalonia/

              The above statements were issued after a member state, Spain, made diplomatic representation under the provision of the treaties if the European Union on support for territorial integrity of member states. As of 31st January 2020, this no longer applies to the United Kingdom. A fixed term transitional arrangement applies.

      2. Mel Morgan

        Mrs. Rees-Mogg’s little boy thought that the benefits he foresaw from Brexit might take 50 years to arrive. Was he pessimistic? Optimistic?

        1. Dafis

          JRM is a good example of a chap who got loads of education but accumulated very little intelligence and application. Waste of scarce resources.

          1. Mel Morgan

            Sorry, Eos, for calling you ‘Rod’. I think I’ve got the spellcheck under control by now.

            1. I’ve been called worse things; and in any case, I was just coming to this. It’s been works’ Christmas Dinner day today so I’ve been somewhat out of the loop.

              Anyway, to answer your earlier question…

              Brychan has already provided part of the answer for why I see Brexit as a prerequisite to Welsh independence – because the EU is an organisation sworn to maintain the integrity of its member states at all costs. Hence its vocal opposition to Scottish independence in the 2014 referendum, and its complicity in the state violence perpetrated by the Spanish government upon Catalan independence supporters. It’s delusional to believe that Wales or Scotland’s path to independence will be eased within the EU – quite the opposite.

              But to get to the meat of it, you had two implied questions: why do I think Brexit will be good for the UK, and why do I think that something that’s good for the UK will help the cause of Welsh independence?

              For the first: the EU is a protectionist organisation that puts up significant trading barriers between itself and the rest of the world, particularly the developing world. It represents around 15% of the global market, and that share is decreasing. I strongly believe in free trade and free markets, so it seems clear to me that tying ourselves to the 15% of the world market that isn’t growing – when we should be lowering barriers between us and the 85% that is – makes no sense. Hence to me there is a clear economic upside to Brexit. How quickly that upside is realised depends upon how free our economy is, in order to be able to adapt and take advantage of the opportunities presented. Having a Conservative government in Westminster makes me much more optimistic about that than any other outcome would have done.

              As for the second, I’d expect a successful Brexit to point to the conclusions that (1) it’s possible for a country to separate itself from a Union, peacefully and by democratic means, and (2) that doing so leads to increased prosperity for the country that left.

              Consider the opposite outcomes. If a country with the international heft of the UK can’t leave a Union it’s been part of for less than 50 years, how would we ever persuade people that a country like Wales could leave a Union it’s been part of for over 700? And if the UK leaving the EU turned out to be a leap in the dark leading to economic collapse, who would want to risk the leap of Wales leaving the UK?

            2. Mel Morgan

              Thank you for that illuminating reply.

              Here is a supplementary question, arising from the second limb of your response. Brexit is a particularly powerful expression of Prydeindod. The only relevant ‘we’ is what JR called ‘Y Lloegr sy’n cynnwys popeth arall’. Given that Prydeindod is now very much in the ascendant in Wales, and looks to be so for the foreseeable future, how will this inspire a majority of people to seek independence? How long will it be before this ardent endorsement of the ‘forever hereunto annexed and incorporated’ provision of the Act of 1536 turns into its opposite?

            3. I had to hit the ‘reply; button under your earlier comment since I think this conversation has indented itself too much for the template to cope: but in case of doubt, this is a reply to your question of 08:22 this morning.

              Clearly it won’t automatically; it will only happen if people like us here on this blog campaign for it tirelessly – but I do believe that a successful post-Brexit Britain provides the benignest environment possible to do this.

              One argument I find compelling is that Brexit is often described by its supporters as the re-emergence of the nation-state. Yet by no possible construction can the UK be described as a nation-state – it simply and demonstrably isn’t. Therefore the logic of it leads inevitably to independence for each of the UK’s constituent nations (including England, of course).

              It reminds me of an interview I heard on the radio, when a Scottish Tory was asked why he wasn’t campaigning in Scotland for Brexit:

              “Do you support Brexit?”

              "Yes, I do."

              “Then why aren’t you out campaigning for it?”

              "Because I can't think of a single argument for Brexit which isn't also an argument for Scottish independence."

              The same self-evidently applies in Wales.

  19. Dafis

    Now this is an ironic headline. Ambition, oh my god !

    https://businessnewswales.com/north-wales-economic-ambition-board-seeks-private-sector-leader/

    They have already selected a lady with 24 years experience within BT to be the Programme Director.

    BT ? The very same organisation that taken loads of money off UK and Welsh governments yet fails to meet any of its performance targets with the roll out of a viable level of working broadband( as opposed to the 2 tin cans and bit of string variety !). This has all the makings of yet another of those initiatives that eats up budgets and creates next to nothing in terms of new and sustainable enterprise, but will yield loads of “going nowhere” reports that do a hell of a job in promoting enthusiasm for going nowhere.

  20. CapM

    To Eos Pengwern
    “Hence its [the EU] vocal opposition to Scottish independence in the 2014 ”

    That is not correct the EU is it’s members, all 28 of them (at that time) what you heard were the negative opinions of a very few EU officers non of whom had permanent positions and non of whom had the power of veto.
    However the British press and media used these voices as part of their anti independence campaign convincing some in Scotland and you too it seems.

    “Hence to me there is a clear economic upside to Brexit. ”

    That vocal champion of Brexit , Jacob Rees Mogg attached a timeframe to that clear economic upside materializing – up to fifty years!

    Your idea that the UK being more successful after leaving the EU provides an argument for Cymru leaving the UK ignores the inevitable counter that Cymru has even more to lose by leaving a more successful UK than it does now. There are two sides to an independence contest you are failing to recognize that the other side will act and react.

    “If a country with the international heft of the UK can’t leave a Union it’s been part of for less than 50 years, how would we ever persuade people that a country like Wales could leave a Union it’s been part of for over 700?”
    Any member of the EU can leave the EU at any time, whatever it’s heft is. The UK leaves in a few weeks but the delay has been entirely the fault of the UK. It’s much easier for the UK to leave the EU than it is for Cymru to leave the UK. the UK did NOT need the EU’s permission to leave.

    “And if the UK leaving the EU turned out to be a leap in the dark leading to economic collapse, who would want to risk the leap of Wales leaving the UK?”
    I think your faith in Brexit delivering sunny uplands is misplaced and if it is an economic hit you should realize that you’ve made a strong argument for Cymru not leaving the UK.

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