Miscellany 03.11.2020

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

This week’s piece takes us all over the place to meet interesting characters. Most you’ll be familiar with, but there are some new faces.

JAKE BERRY MP

We start with someone you all know, Ynys Môn landowner and MP for Rossendale and Darwen, Jake Berry.

I’ve written about Berry a number of times. It started when it was reported that, in May, during the first lockdown, he had broken the rules and gone to ground at his holiday home in Rhoscolyn. Yet still travelled regularly to London and his constituency.

More recently, now mindful of the wind direction, and still bitter at being sacked from the cabinet, Berry led a rebellion of sorts by a group of Tory MPs from northern English constituencies.

This did not go down well in No 10 and he was almost certainly reprimanded. (If not debagged and radished.)

So, on Saturday, he appeared in the Times with a ‘good man hard done by’ piece in the hope of gaining sympathy and detracting attention from his perceived treachery. (Unfortunately, it’s behind a paywall.)

I have little interest in the machinations of the Conservative and Unionist Party, but in his orgy of self-pity he pointed a finger at those who had criticised his earlier behaviour, and in doing so he made some wild accusations.

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The issue was not that he was a ‘newcomer’; the issue was breaking lockdown restrictions and lying about it. Or getting local MP, Virginia Crosbie, to lie for him.

As for the alleged threats to “burn the house down”, who made these threats? Or maybe the question should be – Did anybody make such a threat?

I invite North Wales Police to clarify whether or not they warned Jake Berry that he was a target for arsonists.

But even if he believed he was a target, why would Berry take a pickaxe handle to bed? It would be useless in the event of a fire.

The story took life on Twitter. With what seemed to be mainly anti-abortion Anglo-Catholics jumping in to support Berry, slag off the NHS (for the treatment of Berry’s wife), and of course attack would-be arsonists.

Among them was ‘Petra’. The account looks like a bot, but it still pointed me out as one of the “Ultra-nationalists”. Done in two tweets; or rather, the second seems to be the first re-written.

UPDATE: ‘Petra’ has left the building.

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What is going on?

Anyway, on Saturday afternoon Gwlad put out a statement making it clear that neither that party nor I had made any threat against Jake Berry.

If Jake Berry believes his business dealings should remain private, if he thinks Welsh people should be ignorant of his growing property portfolio, if he believes rules are for little people, if he can’t take criticism, then he shouldn’t be an MP.

Saturday afternoon was a bit hectic, what with me trying to take in what Berry was suggesting while also watching the rugby (we lost), keeping up with the Swans score (won 2 – 0), and doing a few other things.

And then, by a strange coincidence, and to complicate matters further, I received unrelated information from a source in Berry’s constituency. To explain . . .

In a previous post I wrote about secret funders to the Conservative Party, The Portcullis Club and The United and Cecil Club. These are unincorporated associations, a legal loophole that allows funding to reach the party without anyone knowing the origin of that money.

The money usually goes to the constituency association, but not always. Sometimes it takes devious routes, such as we read about in this story. (‘Aide to Grant Shapps’! God Almighty! Imagine having to put that on your CV.)

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I’ve dealt with similar deceits in my earlier pieces on Berry.

The report says that the £12,000 involved came via Rossendale and Darwen Portcullis Club. Yet the address given for this ‘donor’ is 6 Manitoba Court, London SE16 7AY, the address of Berry’s parliamentary researcher. Scroll down and click on the number in the left hand column.

Other underhand donations came from The Portcullis Club that year but without the name of the constituency. Though using the same London address.

But then, in 2017, The Portcullis Club seems to have found a local base at Whins House, near Clitheroe. The first mention I can find of Whins House in that connection is here (click on left hand column again). Though strangely, it’s just The Portcullis Club, with no mention of Rossendale and Darwen.

So, what do we know about Whins House?

Well, it’s not just The Portcullis Club that can be found there, for it was the original address for Palatine Hill Ltd. The officers / directors of which are Maria Bernadette Duckworth, Ford Bridge Farm Ltd, Duckworth Estate Company Ltd, with Paul Worrall Fitton as secretary.

So who are they?

Maria Bernadette Duckworth lives – or formerly lived – at Whins House, along with hubby Andrew John Duckworth. Ford Bridge Farm Ltd – aka Rhyd y Bont – is the company of Mr and Jake Mrs Berry, with their solicitor Fitton again serving as secretary. Duckworth Estate Company Ltd is, predictably, the Duckworths’ company.

I use the caveat in relation to the occupants of Whins House because it was for sale earlier this year. Probably linked with what I interpret to be the bankruptcy of Andrew John Duckworth, as suggested in B4 of the Land Registry title document. My source directed me to this report by way of explanation.

The linked companies with stakes in each other make it clear the Duckworths and the Berrys are close. With the Duckworths being quite happy to use their home address for the channelling to Jake Berry of funding from God knows where.

I’m sure their local MP will therefore find some way to return the favour in his friends’ hour of need. Perhaps he’ll add Whins House to his property portfolio.

FUNDING ENVIROBOLLOCKS

This section takes us back a bit, to the days before Natural Resources Wales, when our woodlands were the responsibility of Forestry Commission Wales. It also takes us back to the time before OPDs were legalised with TAN 6, published in July 2010.

And it brings Objective One funding into the mix, reminding us how most of that EU funding was squandered.

The story seems to start in 1996, when Calon yn Tyfu was formed . . . as a ‘workers co-operative’ at Henparcau farm, near Boncath in north Pembrokeshire. Certainly, the company was Incorporated in March of that year.

The website tells us: “Having run an organic fruit vegetable holding at Henparcau for over 15 years, we decided to give the lands and ourselves a rest in 2010 after a frozen winter where we lost our winter crops we refocused towards the woodland work.”

This change of course was possible thanks to the acquisition of Ffynone and Cilgwyn woodland, part of the old Ffynone estate. Over 300 acres then in the stewardship of Forestry Commission Wales, which was distributing some of the Objective One bonanza under a scheme called Cydcoed.

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In this report Nick Powell of ITV Wales quotes someone describing Cydcoed as, ‘one of the most successful Objective One programmes that ran in Wales … it used woodlands to provide new jobs and opportunities, promote healthy recreation, education and conservation’. It boasts that ‘more than 160 community groups across some of the poorest areas of Wales benefited’.

The subsequent criticism hinged on that term, ‘community group’. For Calon yn Tyfu may have called itself a workers co-operative but it was in fact a private company run by a husband and wife and a third person.

These being Robert David McDowell – who seems to have signed all the company documents I’ve found – Kate Maria Moore, and Andrew Peter Lowe, ‘Laird of Camster’. (In much the same way as I am Tsar of All the Russias.)

Calon yn Tyfu obtained the woodland in 2007 . . . with an Objective One (Cydcoed) grant of £502,000 from Forestry Commission Wales! Just think about that – FCW gave public money to a gang of good-lifers so they could buy public property.

We know that Objective One funding was wasted in Wales thanks to the Labour Party and Plaid Cymru being ideologically opposed to enterprise and business, but there can be few examples of such blatant and indefensible waste.

In total, £18m was dished out under the FCW Cydcoed scheme. And what do we have to show for it?

Manordeifi community council was so unimpressed by the deal that it petitioned the Welsh Assembly which referred the matter to the Auditor General for Wales.

She concluded that no rules had been broken. Which might suggest it was no surprise that schemes for distributing Objective One cash wasted money.

The Auditor General also noted that, “Calon yn Tyfu have made a commitment to dedicate the site under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act, which should allow public access to the woodland in perpetuity.”

I’ve searched the Calon Tyfu website but I can’t find any reference to such a commitment. Has it been made?

If not, then in 2027, the company will be able to sell off at a very handsome price what it was given for nothing. That said, ownership in all but name now seems to be exercised by Dutch bank Triodos N V.

Triodos first appeared on the scene in May 2013 with a loan enabling Calon yn Tyfu Cyf to buy Pontnewydd cottage and land nearby for £150,000. Here’s the title document.

In April 2015 Calon yn Tyfu went back to Triodos. This time taking out a loan against the Ffynone woodland. The title document tells us that in 2007 Calon yn Tyfu paid £460,000 for this forest (out of the £502,000 grant from Forestry Commission Wales).

I believe that the money borrowed from Triodos was used, later that year, to purchase Hen Parcau – where Calon yn Tyfu had always been based – for £225,000. That’s what the title document suggests. And although the loan was taken out in the name of the company the house is registered in the name of Robert David McDowell.

The third engagement with Triodos begins on 21 April, 2015, the same day as the second, but leads to a hearing at the County Court in Swansea in October, and what is described as a ‘Charles Court order’. (No doubt, someone will explain.)

This would appear to give Triodos a claim against the whole Calon yn Tyfu operation.

Now were that to happen, then McDowell would still have enjoyed the income from almost 20 years of forestry operations. And of course he would also have the dwelling, Hen Parcau, and the land around it. And it won’t have cost him a penny!

For their part, Dutch bank Triodos will be happy because they’ll own over 300 acres of Wales.

So, everybody’s a winner! Not quite, because of course we Welsh have lost out again. Not only have we lost a bit more of our homeland, but those useless bastards down in Corruption Bay paid somebody to take it over!

I’ve referred to Calon yn Tyfu as envirobollocks, and so it is. A pretentious precursor to the One Planet nonsense. How else are we to read:

“We are interested in working towards a sustainable future, survival cooperation is the concept of exploring what might be required to survive in a post-industrial world and exploring the process of cooperation that we  can start with now that will lead us towards a  sustainable path.”

“Post-industrial world”, be buggered! There are hundreds of thousands of Welsh families living in a post-industrial world of managed decline created by the Labour Party and Plaid Cymru, parties that have fallen over themselves to favour shysters like those we see at Calon yn Tyfu.

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Having mentioned OPDs I have to introduce ‘Dr’ Jane Davidson. And provide further proof that she is indeed the mother goddess of the OPD firmament, worshipped by those who toil below filling out grant application forms.

A good source tells me, “She (Davidson) does claim that she wrote OPD into TAN 6 expressly to help Lammas rather than interfere in their planning application directly as a then minister”.

What this means is that we suffer OPDs for no better reason than Jane Davidson wanted to help the eco-colonists at Lammas.

When it was suggested that Planning Policy Wales – which TAN 6 supplements –  could be used to help farm succession, Davidson is said to have sneered, “I didn’t write that policy for farmers!”. (With the emphasis on farmers.)

‘Dr’ Davidson became an Assembly Member in 1999. It’s reasonable to assume that she was acquainted with the crew at Calon yn Tyfu. Did she have a hand in this incredible waste of money?

GWYNFRYN

Now we head north to Plas Gwynfryn / Gwynfryn Plas, just outside Lloyd George’s village of Llanystumdwy on Llŷn. I’ve written about it a number of times in recent months so you might want to search for what I’ve written and catch up.

The old mansion ended up as a hotel and is now just a ruin following a fire in 1982. Some suggest the fire was arson.

Y Plas. Click to enlarge

A curious development has been this advert for 17 acres of woodland on the right-hand side of the drive leading up to the Plas. That is, opposite the gate house.

Because if we refer to the Land Registry title document, and scroll down to the plan, we see something odd. The strip in yellow cuts right across the drive, and as A2 in the title document talks of “a good and substantial stockproof fence” it suggests that the drive is effectively blocked! There is certainly no mention of a gate.

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Another curious feature is that no one in the area knows the owners of this 17 acres. They bought it less than a year ago and are selling it for less than they paid.

Though owner Keith Varley seems to be a genuine businessman with a number of companies to his name. Among them Glan Gors Training Ltd and Glan Gors Management Ltd. Digression alert!

Glan Gors rang a bell and so I checked, and yes, it is Glan Gors in Harlech; where my old mate, the late Barri Edwards, the busking harpist, used to live. Spent some time there. Got some good memories.

I remember calling one morning, planning to take Barri for a pint, but he was boycotting the local pubs (or possibly he was banned). So we sat there, him unshaven, in his underpants. By midday he was on his third can of Guinness. He looked at me and said, “I don’t understand why I can’t pull the women any more, Jac”.

I was lost for words. I just sat there and nodded. God bless you, Barri.

I have no idea why Varley and his partner bought the woodland in the first place or why they’re selling it. And as for the ‘stockproof’ fence across the driveway . . . your guess is as good as mine. I’m open to suggestions.

But it might have had a knock-on effect. Because reports tell that the owner of the land around the old pile, Philip Andrew Bush, of Kent, has been a busy boy of late. He has been harassing neighbours and threatening to knock down a wall that has been in place since 1948 so that he can open up what he claims is a right of way.

He made no answer when asked why he couldn’t use the driveway.

Philip Bush taking a photo of someone taking a photo of Philip Bush taking a photo of . . . Click to enlarge

The truth is of course that even if Bush had access via the driveway it would not be enough for the highways department to agree to the planned 30 residential units in the old Plas. Or perhaps that should read, on the site of the Plas, because it’s in a poor state of repair.

For planning permission to be given for 30 residential units when the only entrance / exit is so close to a junction is not going to happen. (Click here for image.) The council will insist on two entrances, or one entrance and one exit.

Another reason Bush insists on reclaiming his alleged right of way is to gain access to the old laundry, which he says he plans to renovate.

And the best of luck with that. First, because the old laundry has almost collapsed. Second, because it was purpose-built as a laundry, to serve the Plas, and has been used for no other purpose, which means a ‘change of use’ will probably be required.

Gwynfryn laundry. In estate agent jargon, ‘Ripe for renovation’. Click to enlarge

Regular readers will recall that Bush kept the Gwynfryn land after selling the old pile to his good buddy, Aaron Hill, who we’ve encountered before in connection with the crooks at Bryn Llys – who appear in the next section!

The word is that Hill has sold the chapel he was living in in Bontnewydd and his whereabouts are unknown. Though a dicky bird tells me that Hill and Bush have a project planned in Scotland, and that Hill might have already taken the high road.

I know I have readers in Scotland, so be on your guard for Aaron Hill and Philip Bush, two not-to-be-trusted Sassenachs.

I conclude this section with another curiosity. If you go to the Google map for Llanystumdwy, grab the little yellow man, and try to place him on the road that runs past the woodlands that are now for sale, and you’ll find that the road is somehow closed.

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I’m assured by locals that this stretch of road has always been visually ‘accessible’ on Google maps before. How strange!

BRYN LLYS

Never a dull moment with the Bryn Llys gang.

Let’s start with another court appearance, this one by erstwhile rocker Shane Baker, aka ‘ShakingShane’ (or variants thereof) when he wants to comment on newspaper reports.

He was up before the bench in Caernarfon on Monday last week charged with criminal damage caused whilst driving a large excavator from Bryn Llys to the main road where a buyer was collecting it. He might just be a poor driver or, more likely, this was another crude attempt to widen the access to Bryn Llys.

Baker’s fines and costs came to £660.

His boss, professional fraudster Jonathan Duggan, was in attendance. As was a barrister! For people with no money these buggers seem able to afford everything.

Duggan’s attempts to persuade authorities he’s a farmer continue. A source writes:

“Mr. Duggan has brought more animals onto Bryn Llys, cows, pigs and goats – he is probably going to claim that he is a farmer to justify his road. His goats have already broken a fence and escaped onto neighbouring land as there is no grass left at Bryn Llys.

The neighbouring land owner complained to the police that he was intimidated by a group of people from Bryn Llys and its collection of sheds and caravans as he and a helper returned the animals to the Bryn Llys land and repaired the fence.

I understand that a large police officer visited Bryn Llys over the incident and was subjected to a torrent of swearing and abuse by Mr. Duggan who was told that everything was being recorded by the officer’s camera and it would appear on the police log dealing with the Community Protection Notice warning already served on Mr. Duggan.

Bryn Llys has already had a visit from the RSPCA after someone who came to buy a horse was so shocked about conditions that they contacted the RSPCA. The place is overstocked with animals, hardly a blade of grass and the animal sheds are full of human beings.

What looks like a bird hide with windows has been erected by the lake which was recently dug – I expect that Bryn Llys will be claiming to be promoting wildlife after destroying much of the habitat.”

This report reminds us that quite a settlement is developing at Bryn Llys in various sheds and caravans. All crooks from over the border. How long will this be allowed to continue?

Oh, yes . . . the ‘bird hide’ blew down in last weekend’s storm.

But never mind all that, would you like a holiday at Bryn Llys? Or rather, Snowdon Summit View. You – yes, you – can “win a 3 or 4 night stay in our luxury holiday home in North Wales”. Here’s the Facebook page on which you’ll find the details.

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So if you want to spend a few days surrounded by criminals, kept awake at night by starving animals, enter the competition.

The blurb says, “set within 30 acres of woodland”. Actually, there is no woodland at all. In fact, there is hardly any grass – that’s why the animals break out onto neighbours’ land looking for something to eat.

Bryn Llys / Snowdon Summit View is a wasteland, a lunar landscape. The nearest trees are in a conifer plantation across the river on someone else’s property. Even the images used on the FB page make it clear there are no trees.

These bastards just can’t stop lying.

Though there is a funny side. Someone set up a phoney competition using the same details. Here’s the link.

This is appalling! Click to enlarge

I hope GogPlod has its finest detectives working on the case to protect the reputations of Jon Duggan, Shane Baker and the other shy and retiring souls at the Snowdon Summit View Meditation Centre.

A WANDERING SHYSTER I (after Gilbert & Sullivan)

I am indebted to a source in Powys for bringing to my attention a would-be impresario by the name of Darren Knipe. Darren has plans for the old library in Knighton.

For he organises things, events and the like. Every community should have a Darren. In fact, it seems that every community in Wales does have one, and at least one. They appear as if by magic when they sniff funding in the air.

As I say, Darren now has plans for Knighton’s old library. It’s all explained on the Facebook page. So let’s go through what it offers.

Darren plans, “an accredited training centre in Community Event Management”. To be funded by . . . The governments new scheme, kickstart . . . the lost generation of 16-25 yr olds . . . making over £3bn available to pay 6 months salary and training”.

Actually it’s £2bn across the UK, though the ‘Welsh Government’ is participating.

He continues . . . “We will be working with Welsh Council of Voluntary Associations (WCVA) as our gateway partner, and will use a mix of mortgages, loans, and Social Enterprise grants to purchase building and startup costs.”

No, Darren, it’s the Wales Council for Voluntary Action. Though this section does take us to the meat – loans, grants, etc.

This is clearly an opportunity that Knighton cannot miss, and Darren warns, “I can run this anywhere, and currently looking at Newtown and Welshpool as options, which will be Knighton’s loss.”

I don’t know how to break this to you, Darren, but I suspect you wouldn’t be missed if you carried out your threat.

Now the thing about Darren is that he has history in these imaginative schemes. Which means that when Darren talks grant-grabbing bollocks he does so with some authority.

Though his business career has not been a cloudless sky.

Last year there was the attempt at crowdfunding, which raised . . . sod all! The money was wanted to teach people how to party. No doubt he does a sideline teaching cats how to catch mice.

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In his favour, Darren does get about, though success is never a travelling companion.

A tool I use is 192.com and when I checked for Darren Knipe I came up with 14 results, 8 of which I suspect are him. His stay in Pembrokeshire ended in bankruptcy in 2003 or 2004.

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From there he seems to have moved up to Aberystwyth before operating for a while at Llandegla, just west of Wrecsam. I’m told another bankruptcy or insolvency resulted.

In Llandegla we find Datcloud Ltd, where his partner was a Duncan Charles Ion. The company was formed in August 2014, with Knipe making it to the lifeboat in August 2015 before the good ship Datcloud went down.

Another information technology launch that had them quaking in Silicon Valley was Hootso Ltd. It filed as a dormant company and was eventually put down earlier this year.

Then there’s Dark Olive CIC. (The CIC he refers to on Facebook?) Now, chwarae teg, the latest accounts show a gross profit of £33,985.82, but it was almost all swallowed up in salaries, expenses and other running costs.

The website seems a little ‘threadbare’, as if he had one gig in 2018 and that was it.

The latest venture in which he’s involved, set up in March, is Robins Retreat Ltd, which sees our hero team up with the eponymous Robin Wealleans of Llanybydder. They can rest easy in Silicon Valley and Hollywood because this latest venture is in the holiday business.

Though anyone who thinks there are mountains in Carmarthenshire really should stop taking whatever makes him imagine them. It’s as bad as Duggan’s woodland.

“Mountains of West Wales”! Click to enlarge

In addition to Robins Retreat Ltd there is also Robins Realm Ltd, but Knipe is not involved in this one. Though I would have expected to see him on board another of Wealleans’ new companies as it could be named for him – My Catastrophe Ltd.

Listen to me, Darren . . . stop fantasising about being Knighton’s (publicly-funded) Jean-Michel Jarre and just get a real bloody job.

CONCLUSION

Was any country that hadn’t been militarily invaded and taken over ever cursed with so many undesirable outsiders?

But they come, and they keep coming, because we have politicians that encourage some of these buggers and do nothing to stop the others. Worse, they even fund them!

♦ end ♦

 




58 thoughts on “Miscellany 03.11.2020

  1. Dafis

    early in this piece you ask – “….why would Berry take a pickaxe handle to bed?” Obviously the boy has a serious case of inferiority complex and taking his cue from Boris and other ministers he set out to display “the biggest, the best …..” in his own pitiful inadequate way.

    I’ll revert to more relevant comments later but had to get that off my chest.

  2. To Jac and all readers – the more I read this Blog I get depressed. Initially it depressed me about the amount of sleaziness that goes on in our small nation. It is now at a critical blood sucking level. However, more and more another depressing factor is taking over that is worse than the sleaze. What’s that you may ask? What now depresses me most is how nearly 99% of our Politicians in our small nation do nothing about tackling this sleaze. Worse still is they feed it with our money with all sorts of enabling public money grants and favoured planning policies.
    You might expect the Tories to support business people of all sorts, both the honourable and the disreputable, but what of the other Parties? The Lib Dems are past it and dying out as a Welsh species. They will disappear with Kirsty Williams – a woman who sold her soul to Labour as Clegg did to the Tories. What is disgusting is that Welsh Labour, aided by the relics of Plaid Cymru, are not interested in tackling the sleaze problem as they thrive on it. They absolutely disgust me. We know many of the Politicians in Wales read this Blog. So both Labour and Plaid Cymru when you read this, you will have no shame and the Welsh electorate will vote Labour again next May. Hopefully a few Senedd Members, from Ein Gwlad and WNP with Neil MCeVoy, will replace Plaid Cymru’s relics to at least hold Labour to account via scrutiny.
    I note that Momentum’s Corbynites are still strong in Labour in Wales under their Wales’ title “Welsh Grass Roots Labour”. I looked at their web site last week and strangely there were lots of ways of contacting them via E Mail BOXES but they do not give out any actual names of their activists anywhere – not even as contacts. What a shitty secret pathetic trendy lefty lot – frightened to identify themselves as being the dross residue rusty red sediment of Corbynism. This gives the implied hint that many are elected Councillors and Senedd Members and MPs hiding their true colours from the electorate that has rejected their ideology. What arseholes!
    If any of this BLOG’s readership can prove that any of their Councillors and Senedd Members are still active in Momentum / Grass Root Labour then please bring it out into the open. They should be declaring their secret memberships on their Public Registers of Interest. Report them to the Ombudsman if you have the proof of any failures of declarations of interests..

    1. The problem is that the so-called ‘progressive’ parties – Labour, Plaid Cymru, Lib Dem – will also support enviroshysters and the like to get good reports in the Guardian. The Tories and the other BritNat parties will never object to English people coming to Wales and ripping us off. That’s why we need the new parties.

    2. Dafis

      It makes thoroughly unpleasant reading to follow the antics of those diverse groups that seem to enjoy feeding off Wales in a variety of ways. Spivs and shysters have for some time enjoyed open season on land and property dealing. Over the last decade or so, maybe longer, they have been elevated to a status where they are systematically dipping into Government funding on a grand scale. The speculator no longer has to scrape a respectable level of funding together to embark on some gravity defying scam, he/she just needs to pop into the Bay or local authority office and make a “case”. These “cases” are often grandiose works of fiction built on figures that bear little or no relationship to any kind of reality. But our government and its servants persistently fall for it, either too lazy or too dumb to assess things critically with a severe focus on value for money.

      Much the same can be said about OPD’s and other manifestations of sham environmentalism. Goodlifers have been among us for decades, some even managed a degree of integration. This more recent wave is far more virulent type with grasping acquisitive ambition dressed up in some cod environmentalism ( bollocks, as Jac calls it ). That Government gives these vermin a bean when our own young people, and some older, struggle to get homes is a travesty. It’s like having starving kids and putting good food out for the rats.

      Of course in a nation where virtue signalling is an epidemic almost as harmful as Covid it becomes heretical to call these people out. We struggle or indeed fail to deploy consistently good levels of service in the fields of health, education, social services, infrastructure etc, and the track record in fostering real business as opposed to yet more 3rd sector nonsense is appalling. The reasons for failure are couched in terms of “not enough money” “need to revise Barnett” “we’d do better if we had more decision making powers” etc etc. Nobody thinks in terms of “what if we stopped pissing cash down these various drains”, or what if we asked local communities what they think of these crazy programmes of “investment” that have drained major funds like Objective 1 yet show very little if any positive outcome that’s of value locally.

      Depressing really. Makes some people, me included, think about chucking in this kind of activity. But not yet you bastards. I’ll pack in when I decide it’s time to go. In the meantime I’m with those who stay vigilant, those who won’t back off quietly while wasters “govern” us while enabling all sorts of riff raff to dip into the public purse. No doubt we” be inundated with all sorts of promises and related crap from the party machines in the build up to 2021 and I look forward to hacking away at their bullshit and exposing their myths and shallowness.

      1. Another factor to consider is something I didn’t include in the section on Calon yn Tyfu, though it is mentioned in the HTV piece I link to. Forestry Commission Wales were worried that if they didn’t get rid of all the money they’d been allocated they’d get less the following year. So they gave half a million pounds to those shysters for said shysters to buy 300 acres from Forestry Commission Wales.

        When you have a system like that, where an agency cannot return money with a note saying, ‘Not enough credible applications’, then you have a system where large sums of money will inevitably be wasted.

        The failure of Objective One funding – funding that ALL other countries and regions used far better – is down to Welsh Labour’s refusal to encourage private enterprise coupled with the desire to control everything, Throw into the mix the need to tick boxes and it was obvious from the outset that Wales would see no long-term benefits from Objective One.

        1. Dafis

          As I recall other EU countries like Portugal and the less well off nations used O.1 to develop infrastructure and reshaped communities around new industries. Now whether that was done through Private/Public partnerships or some other agency is neither here or there, as the outcome is some visible benefit that communities really appreciate. Had Welsh Labour set up a 3rd Sector body that delivered benefits derived from O.1 funding then all well and good. Instead much of it was fritted away on jobs for the boys and girls delivering stacks of stuff like training which didn’t embed much skill in the recipients, possibly because many of the trainers were not particularly skilled either, but knew a good scam when they saw one.

          1. The truth is in the fact that no other part of Europe qualified for a third round of Objective One funding. Only Wales

      2. Rhosddu

        Attaboy, Dafis!
        Whichever of the two new pro-Wales Parties contests the OPD-infested areas of West Wales in the 2021 election should be publicly promising to end this waste of public money perpetrated by the Labour Government and highlighting Plaid Cymru’s failure to condemn it. Even the Welsh Tories should be calling it out, since Paul Davies likes to remind us how the “Assembly” wates our money.
        Constituents in those areas need to get as heartily sick of non-local conmen and goodlifers as I am.

        1. If it was a level playing field the growing antagonism might be avoided, but OPDs and other scams are given free rein while locals are stopped from doing the same kind of things. And the problem is not confined to the south west. I live in the Snowdonia National Park and locals – especially farmers – are always complaining that they are not allowed to do things that smooth-talking outsiders, who know the buttons to press, can do.

  3. Brychan

    I would be very surprised if an officer from North Wales Police called at his house to warn him that “they were threatening to burn the house down”. If this were true then the police have evidence to that effect, a suspect, and assessed the ability and opportunity of such a threat to being credible. I think old Berry Bollocks has been lying.

      1. Sion Blewyn Coch

        Same old politicians trick, used wherever they are. Get caught out for something ie not following certain rules/guidelines (because they don’t apply to them) and then turn it round so that they are the victim…..pathetic really. It’s been used too many times (expenses was a biggie). Trying to create a view that it was like the villagers in Frankenstein turning up on mass to torch his castle (house). Dicson of Llangefni said “‘ello, ‘ello, Mr Berry…Sir, we’ve heard rumours that wild welsh locals are going to burn you and your children to death…that’s all, I’ll be on my way now”…..absolute bollox.

  4. I just spotted this genuine request (below) on a north Swansea village FACEBOOK. Surely Cardiff Bay’s Senedd HQ has a good collection of “Faecal Sludge” in the Members Debating Chamber. Can someone point this genuine young Swansea University research student in the direction of the Chamber Room where Senedd Members meet :-

    Hi All, I’m a PhD student researching biochar made from faecal sludge – its as fun as it sounds 😁 Anyway due to covid, lab access has been restricted so I’ve written an online survey to evaluate peoples attitudes to faecal sludge biochar as a crop fertilizer. It only takes a minute of your time and it would massively help me during this awful crazy year.

  5. David Smith

    As I commented on the Gwlad article, if this poor lamb was in such fear for his and his family’s lives, why not decamp back to his actual permanent residence instead of resorting to toughing it out behind enemy lines with his pickaxe handle? Anne Frank, he weren’t.

  6. Sian Ifan

    NO USE JUST TALKING ABOUT IT ALL THE TIME SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE ABOUT IT AS A LAND AND LIBERTY CAMPAIGN MUCH AS THE IRISH ‘SIXTIES’ CAMPAIGN AGAINST CHEQUE BOOK CONQUEST – FIGHT BACK NOT JUST TALK BACK! Gethin

  7. Well well – the Ambassadors from the Owain Glyndwr Embassy – Sian and Gethin – have woken from a deep hibernation. You were the people (with Myron – a deranged late pseudo Scientist) who thought you could stop the Lord of Gower AKA Duke of Beaufort from destroying a Welsh Mountain by symbolically planting a single potato at 1200 ft above sea level and declaring the mountain a ‘Welsh Allotment’ whilst someone else read a poem. Is that what you call a “fight back”? Please go back to slumbering or graphic designing post cards. The issues here are real stuff.

  8. Brychan

    Off Topic – When Nigel Farage returns from Tucson, Arizona will he be accommodated in Wales, where the national lockdown will have ended but the English lockdown in mid term? 14 days isolation required. He entered the US by presidential decree and should he wish to return to the UK the British government always repatriates citizens. English territory might not present him with quarantine arrangements to his preference and it appears English politicians can use Ynys Môn as a colonial estate in such circumstances.

    1. Dafis

      Just the job – a pig pen on Ynys Mon. Must be a few within shouting distance of “honest” Jake, man of the people.

      Down in the deep South not far from Y Bae, easy walk if you can cope with diesel and petrol fumes, comes yet another giant step in the relentless gentrification of our dear capital city.
      https://www.walesonline.co.uk/lifestyle/welsh-homes/eight-1m-plus-townhouses-being-19211831
      Read all about it – enough to turn your guts. Nice pads for those denizens of Y Senedd and all the vultures and bloodsucking species that inhabit that “professional services” space around it.

      Gethin and Sian might want to set up siop on Llandaff Fields. Claim it as some sort of OPD project. Nice !

  9. Dafis

    You want some hot air ? Well just tune into the torrential bullshit coming from good ol’ US of A. Trump and his shower engaging in some seriously deranged nonsense while old Joe struggles to sound rational as he starts to get a hard-on ( probably his last, and first for a few years) about the possibility of winning. Are these guys seriously the best that politics in the USA can offer its electorate ? Please don’t answer in those evasive opaque terms those commentators are using. This is live evidence that US politics is up shit creek and the Deep State, aspiring NWO types are way out in front of all else as they own both horses in a two horse race.

  10. Dafis

    We commented on woodlands earlier this week. Just spotted this over on IMJ’s site :
    https://nation.cymru/news/welsh-government-choose-first-sites-for-national-forest-which-will-span-wales/.
    Very admirable in theory but in practice will we get another influx of woodland “experts” from beyond Clawdd Offa or will the key jobs and major contracts be awarded to competent people already living and working here ?. I would prefer a healthy slice of those to be native Cymry but I suspect the Bay bandits would recoil at the imagined racism of such a commitment. This will be yet another platform for rampant virtue signalling on a deafening scale.

  11. Dafis

    Headline news somewhere : “Steve Bannon Banned From Twitter After Suggesting He Would Like To Behead Anthony Fauci”

    Well I may not agree with some of the stuff Fauci has said but I can’t see the point of taking his head off. Loads of others would rank much higher in that particular pecking order. Come to think of it, while I sort out the priority for that nasty termination I think I could gleefully chop Bannon up just for the practice. Farage and Cummings might also be good practice rounds. Will need to Crowdfund the kit, after all I’m not that well in with those towel headed boyos so favoured by Plaid.

  12. Dafis

    Gwlad flagged up a tweet from the Blessed Rhun – “Tell you what… you have to be pretty brazen to move to another country and then start campaigning to effectively stop that country from existing.” Has he converted to Jac’s line of thinking or has he been messing with those mushrooms again ?

      1. Dafis

        I suspect that he’s addressing his bubble, engaging in his occasional fit of rebellious radicalism before he reverts to debating the size of the begging bowl and how much slop he wants from his colonial masters.

    1. If one lesson emerged from two World Wars it’s that an island is vulnerable, and must be supplied. But at least Britain was able to feed itself, now they want to put an end to that.

  13. Dafis

    On another gloomy note this turned up :

    https://golwg.360.cymru/newyddion/cymru/2021973-cymdeithas-iaith-derbyn-cynnig-beidio-ymwneud

    The colonial “fifth column” appear to have well and truly entered Cymdeithas yr Iaith and doing a damn good job of dividing the independence movement further. The drivel used to drag Gwlad into the same box as those ultra Loyalist parties is a disgrace. I guess they’ll be branding McEvoy a racist next. Good luck with that Orwellian stroke.

    1. Cymdeithas yr Iaith lost the plot years ago. It has done nothing of practical value for decades. Just another wokie debating club.

    2. There are a few dozen very active ‘woke’ / hard left youngsters who now control Plaid Ifanc and CyIG and are trying to direct Yes Cymru.

      1. Dafis

        I knew that Plaid Jugend had a serious infestation of totalitarian wokies but what contact I’ve had with C.y.I left an impression that they were still focussed on the main objectives – protection and promotion of language, culture and community rights. Seriously, if they have been hijacked by idiots I see little hope for the future as these are mostly if not all young people from whom the next generation leadership and influencing groups should emerge.

        1. Not only has CyIG been infiltrated by these people but the old Plaid Cymru-CyIG connection has been strengthened. There must be an election in the offing.

          1. Dafis

            Must be a season for madness, or, to be precise, escalated madness !

            That said I don’t think that the Gwlad article about Trump vs Biden was well advised. Neither of those fuckers has anything to do with us and any attempt to parade Trump’s “virtues” without acknowledging that he is a 24 carat nut job leaves Gwlad exposed to the usual accusations of “Extreme right wing bias”. As for Biden he may make grampa Corbyn look like a bundle of energy.

            Best keep our noses out of US politics, let them get on with it after all it’s their problem. Can’t trust the fuckers anyway, Trump’s betrayal of Kurds being a good example of recent duplicity. As you know there are plenty more.

  14. Brychan

    Off Topic – Only a black hero if you’re English.

    I see the BBC, in tune with current events are doing the full bighty on Walter Tull, It’s actually a history unit in the national school curriculum in England.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/clips/zbdq6sg

    It is true that Tull was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant, Middlesex Regt, 30th May 1917 and had a black father. First black British officer? Just prior to signing up Tull played football for Tottenham, good all round Englishman having played in in the FA Amateur Cup, the London Amateur County Cup and the London Senior Cup.

    Good story for BBC on remembrance Sunday.
    But the British memory is rather selective.
    The truth is that George Bermand was actually the first black officer.

    George Bermand was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant, Royal Field Artillery, two years earlier, on 24th May 1915 and he had a black mother. So why is Bermand forgotten? Bemand had to fake is racial background in signing up to military service.

    https://greatwarlondon.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/bemand-app-form.jpg

    This is because he was born in Jamaica in 1892 and moved to Britain in 1908, having travelled on the Lusitania via New York at the age of 16.

    https://tshop.r10s.com/0b9/990/febf/8f97/90f9/00a0/f3c5/11f1e8b59254ab3a2959ed.jpg

    In May 1915 Bemand, two years earlier than Tull, was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Field Artillery. He went to the Front in August 1916 joining 148 Brigade’s Ammunition Column. In October 1916, he transferred to 5th Trench Mortar Battery, attached to 5th Division.

    On Boxing Day 1916, 2nd Lieutenant Bermand was killed by a shell.

    His brother also served in the artillery, Harold Bemand, in the ranks, and also served on the Western Front. He died of his wounds in Belgium in 1917. For Windrush see Lusitania.

    Lest we forget, even if the BBC does.

    1. Where did you get the information about Bermand?

      Both Tull and the Bermand brothers had one white parent and one black, so at what point does someone cease to be black – when they’re 1/4 black 1/8 black? Though I suspect the situation might be ‘fluid’.

      There have been a few cases in the USA recently of white women pretending to be black and getting good jobs on the strength of this deception. It says a lot about the USA, and the US academic world, that these deceptions were accepted. Any fool can see that these women are not black.

      We are through the Looking Glass. White women can ‘identify’ as black. Men can ‘identify’ as women. Tomorrow I shall identify as a water buffalo. Or possibly a chrysanthemum.

      1. Dafis

        Some Eastern religions profess that upon death our souls move onto new beings, not necessarily human. But this “identification” lark is a completely different thing and reveals how fragile is the mental equilibrium of so many humans. I’m coming around to the view that there is a great manipulation at work to reduce us all to some form of serfdom and this is all part of the preliminary conditioning or brain washing.

      2. Brychan

        I got the information from Stuart, who’s a London chap. He got a doctorate in Oxford on a research thesis on the impact of the First World War on the home front. It is here..

        https://greatwarlondon.wordpress.com/2012/10/07/george-edward-kingsley-bemand-the-first-black-officer-in-the-british-army/

        The research in 2012 and correlates war records with physical artefacts, and what it exposes is that the current revision of history is just a collection of sanitised snippets to accommodate the ignorant political ambitions of the trendy left with political imports like BLM.

        It exposes just one example of the false narrative of the ‘Black History’ units written into the National Curriculum for schools in England, soon to be transplanted into Wales which is just gesture and virtue signalling of a mainly white middle class accommodation of a modern guilt complex as a prop for the British state.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjawLFhBlfM{removetoplay}

        The real heritage of people of colour in Wales is embodied in Welsh people like Neil McEvoy, lived experience in real communities. He is refused the opportunity to speak on such matters in the Senedd. As McEvoy explains it’s ‘pure tokenism’ rather than a real voice.

        No water buffaloes required.

  15. Dave

    What is the answer to the endless hoards of grant sucking parasites hoovering up money that could be used for our benefit?

    Here in knighton we have had more than our fair share, the community centres million pound roof, and wages claimed for a non existent librarian, the ongoing adventures at the hotel, latest being a woman’s refuge that takes men and with a bar, and our youth unemployment being used as a vehicle yet more grants…

    Meanwhile the important things are left to rot, the sneering incomers demanding and inexplicably being allowed to be in charge of everything.

    1. I’d like to know more about the “woman’s refuge that takes men and with a bar” and the other cases you mention. Who runs this ‘refuge’?

  16. Brychan

    I see Bethan has tweeted her disgust about a bunch of lads playing football in the park as a lockdown breach. Anyone know where that is?

    Looks to me like Roath Park Recreation ground in the north of Cardiff and it was a Saturday. She lives near Pontardawe and it’s way outside her constituency. Her office is in Port Talbot should she have needed to do some weekend admin.

    Plod just told the football lads to go home.

    However, Bethan the photographer is an adult, and should explain why she was there. Has she been Covid networking with the Cardiff third sector for a new job?

    1. Come, come, now, Brychan. You surely don’t expect someone like her to live in the area she claims to represent?

  17. For those of us who live in the Sennedd’s South West Wales’ Regional Constituency, the really big boring big question for many years has been “Bethan who? Never seen or heard of her!”.

    1. Dafis

      Some of a less than charitable nature might say “lucky old you”. Anyone who is a self confessed virtue signaller is admitting to her lack of utility and relevance.

  18. Dafis

    Jac tweeted regarding some out of court settlement of claim relating to the land assets disposal debacle of some years ago:

    I’m hearing that this cost @WelshGovernment £15m. This must be added to the loss incurred by selling the land off for next to nothing
    No doubt Llywydd @ElinCeredigion will allow @neiljmcevoy to ask a question about it.

    Now there is a catalogue of such blunders, some more suspicious types might suggest they were deliberate, which seldom see the light of day. Opposition parties are either unable or unwilling to hold Labour regime to account. This inertia will enable Mr Drakeford to ride to victory in the 2021 elections as he may just have a little bit of positive P.R from the Covid fiasco simply because so far he has done better than Boris ! Oh to have a bar set so low to be called a success.

    I am totally despairing of the posturing from Plaid Cymru’s Senedd mob who are spouting “same old same old” while preparing to be Labour’s junior partner in the event of the numbers not quite stacking up for Mr.D. Totally stuck in the morass of trendy ishoos with no real ambition to lead our country anywhere other than utter subservience to whatever fashionable cause gets handed down by the thought leaders in the wokey bubble. Their latest stunt with the naming of the party is a cheap shot purely aimed at McEvoy and that the ruling bureaucracy condones it without question shows who their real friends are. Well, fuck’em.

    1. Somebody’s just brought another one to my attention. Back in 2015 a Cypriot company bought the old Gulf refinery at Milford along with the old mine depot, promising hundreds of jobs in ‘renewables’. Nothing’s been done and not a job has been created. But of course back in 2015 it get plenty of publicity, good news all round. But nobody bothers checking up later.

      The company I suspect now owns the site has directors in the Ammanford area. The company is debt to the tune of millions and the only asset is the site in Milford Haven.

      1. Dafis

        I suspect that you could fetch one of these duds up every day and would “wallpaper” most of the calendar year ahead of us as a memorial to defective stewardship. No doubt the response would be of the “lessons learned” variety from Labour ministers accompanied by howls of “racist, fascist mysoginist ” from the ranks of Plaid’s leaders and influencers. That represents their level of genuine interest in the future economic well being of this country. They would sooner turn it into a 100% 3rd sector dependency. And we know where that will take us.

      2. Brychan

        The Prigmores of Ammanford had a pilot biomass plant in Capital Valley Eco Park near Tredegar. It wasn’t a success. As far as I know the patent applications were neither challenged nor proven.

        http://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Hudol-NRW-EIR-response.pdf

        Current thinking is that biofuels are just a method of exporting deforestation and are unlikely to succeed regardless of the veracity of cool conversion technology, then cracking isododicane ISO-C11H23-CH3.

        Of course, the quay (geddit) to the site at Blackbridge on the Haven is it’s strategic importance being the escape route for nukes from Faslane if Scotland gains independence. Which is probably why obscure Cypriots are land banking it.

        https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.7054283,-5.021229,871m/data=!3m1!1e3

        However, I do know a septic tanker driver from the Rhydamman way called Wyn. They call him Wynnie the Pooh after he retired as Evans the Spy. There’s lots of gas to be made in the alternative method of bacterial conversion, but my money is on the nukes arriving in Wales.

      3. Brychan

        They are not all Cypriot. The question arises as to who owns the jetty and land now?

        https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/09315365/officers

        A Jordanian and there’s also an American called Mohamed who, although is resident in Cyprus, has a correspondence address in the Modga building in Beirut. Here’s a view from the balcony.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnSr820S2Mk%5Bremovetoplay%5D

        Makes you wonder what they really have planned to bring into Milford Haven.

        1. When I get a chance I shall look into this a bit more. But you have to wonder why politicians and media haven’t been asking about the promised jobs (560) and investment (£1.6bn).

          1. Dafis

            Yet another bundle of big arbitrary numbers quoted by chancers to keep a bunch of fantasists happy.

            1. I can understand why dreamers or liars come out with figures like that, and I can understand why politicians and media pretend to believe it, and capitalise on it. But after five years of nothing happening surely somebody should be asking what the fuck has gone wrong.

              1. Brychan

                The wage bill would be 560 jobs at 25k a year is £14m a year. Capital cost alone is £1.6bn and if we assume a 30 year life span that’s results in an amortised amount of £53m a year. These would be direct annual costs of £67m even before moving to site.

                If we assume a gross margin between input fuel consumed to energy sold of 50%, as with the existing super efficient gas turbine power stations, you’d need an annual turnover of £134m just to recover initial capital cost and employee payroll.

                To put it in context of the Wylfa strike price of £75 per Mwh, that’s an annual push to grid of 2Twh just to cover the wage bill and the up-front costs. The whole annual energy consumption of the UK is only £2.2Twh. So it’s pure fantasy.

  19. David Smith

    If that waste of space Crosbie gets up to further episodes of blatant lying, which can surely only add more percentage points to the pro-indy contingent in the area, I have a pre-packed article title you can use: Crosbie Instils Nash. You’re welcome!

      1. David Smith

        As we discussed in another article, the demographics would bear that out. I’d like to think a few old’uns would be riled enough to get on board too, mind.

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