Miscellany 05.08.2019

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

RHIGOS VIEWPOINT/CRAIG Y LLYN CAR PARK

In the previous post, Family silver, I wondered what exactly is planned for the Rhigos area with the arrival of Zip World. A question worth asking after ZW recently took on Greg Evans, a man whose background is in the storage of nuclear waste and offshore wind turbines.

And not just him, for another recent recruit was Giles Alexander Thorley . . . the CEO of the Development Bank of Wales.

I concluded that whatever is planned for Rhigos goes way beyond zip wires.

Suspicions raised by the curious tale of the sale – or non-sale – of the Rhigos Viewpoint, overlooking the area in which Zip World claims it will be operating. Picking up from where we left off in my previous post, here’s an update.

Rhigos Viewpoint looking towards (right centre) Craig y Llyn, a jumping off point for one of the zip wires. Image courtesy of Google. Click to enlarge.

First, a good source, familiar with the workings of the ‘Welsh Government’, suggested that the area was put up for sale to comply with the requirement to advertise public land . . . before claiming there was ‘no interest’ and then handing it over to a favoured party, in this case, probably Zip World.

Going through the motions like that makes sense.

But then, on Friday, someone else got in touch to say that he had seen the advertisement – and made an enquiry. So now it gets interesting.

The reply he received from Natural Resources Wales said, rather curtly: “Thank you for your enquiry. I can advise that Craig y Llyn Carpark (sic) is not for sale.”

So my source wrote back asking why it had appeared on the register of public property for sale. Here’s the second answer he received:

“Please accept my apologies for this area of land appearing on the gov.uk site.

Back in 2014, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) considered selling this area of land along with a number of other sites and they were added to the government register as potential surplus sites that other public bodies could express an interest in before being offered on the open-market.

However, after further consideration NRW decided to retain the land. Unfortunately the government register was not updated. I confirm that NRW currently has no plans to sell this land and the record has now been updated to reflect that the site is to be retained.”

First, note that the link provided by NRW is to a UK Government portal rather than to any specific site for sale of public assets, for which there’s a link in my sidebar.

Then the NRW response says that the land was put up for sale in 2014 so that other ” . . . public bodies could express a interest . . . before being offered on the open-market (sic)”. Clearly suggesting that the Rhigos Viewpoint was advertised internally and then withdrawn without appearing on the public/open market register.

Craig y Llyn and Llyn Fawr from the Rhigos Viewpoint. Click to enlarge

In which case, how did my source – and others – see it on the open register? And why does the register give the date 27/06/2019?

This response from Natural Resources Wales bears the hallmark of someone told to tell porkies but not understanding the full story and only making things worse.

‘Oh, what a tangled web we weave . . .’.

A DOSE OF REALITY

Last Monday saw the release of a new Welsh Political Barometer/YouGov poll which makes for interesting reading for people like me, but depressing reading for many others.

Here are the findings of the poll. The figures in brackets represent the changes from previous WPB/YouGov poll conducted before the EU elections in May.

All parties seemed to take hope from the results except for Labour, obviously. (And perhaps the Greens, but who gives a toss about them.). Though what do the figures really tell us?

For the first time ever, Plaid Cymru leads in the constituency vote for the Assembly . . . without any gain in support! Also, in the regional vote, gaining just one percentage point. For Westminster elections, and despite going up by two points, Plaid Cymru is now in fifth place.

Plaid Cymru spokespersons can crow all they like, but it can’t hide the fact that with the Labour vote in free-fall Plaid Cymru is not gaining by that much. This is worth saying because the assumption always was that as Labour’s century of dominance started coming to an end its ‘socialist’ voters would transfer to Plaid Cymru.

With PM Boris Johnson heading for a No Deal Brexit, the Labour Party in London and Cardiff ‘led’ by men who seem to be more shadow than substance, Welsh voters still find a Liberal Democrat Party led by a woman nobody’s heard of and Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party more attractive than Plaid Cymru.

Why is Plaid Cymru so woefully unable to carpe the old diem? For a number of surveys tell of increased support for independence, so why isn’t this reflected in backing for Plaid Cymru?

I don’t understand it. I mean, a party so concerned with transgender ishoos, and then – when it’s not smooching Labour and Deryn – outing misogynists, homophobes and fascists (apparently I’m all three – and more!); surely such a party, especially with its promise to remedy these ills by delivering a Marxist-Leninist-woke-feminist republic, should be at least 20 points ahead in the polls.

I shall have to take me up unto an high place and ponder this conundrum . . . if I can find any space on the moral high ground.

GWYNEDD PLANNERS

You may recall that I have written a few times about how easy it is to run rings around Gwynedd’s planners.

One notable case was Plas Pistyll (of blesséd memory) where, over time, holiday-only replacements for trailer homes metamorphosed – by incremental changes to the original planning permission – into luxury year-round dwellings. And nobody in the planning department noticed!

Click to enlarge

Give yourself a treat and read all about it in Wilmslow-sur-Mer.

Another Gwynedd planning disaster was that at Bryn Llys, Nebo, where a bunch of crooks from over the border bought a traditional Welsh dwelling, extended it, extended it again without planning permission, got retrospective planning permission, exceeded that, ended up with an extension three times the size of the original house, then demolished the original building, and put the ‘extension’ on the market for £850,000.

To help you grasp the full horror of this case, here’s a photograph I received recently showing the original Bryn Llys and outbuildings overshadowed by the vile ‘extension’.

Click to enlarge

While this saga unfolded neighbours and others kept Gwynedd planners informed and asked for action to be taken. Nothing was done.

Now I hear that Gwynedd’s planners may finally be stirring, with a “pre-trial hearing” of some kind scheduled for 6 September.

But don’t hold your breath, for my belief is that this case has gone too far. There is no way that Cyngor Gwynedd will insist on the demolition of a property up for sale with a price tag of £850,000.

The crook who seems to own the property is Jonathan James Duggan (aka Ripley) of West Yorkshire, who lives on the site, with his large family, in a shed he has been ordered to demolish. One way he and his father (currently in prison) make their money is by ordering expensive goods and equipment, not paying for them, then selling on those goods.

This probably explains how Duggan found the money to build Bryn Llys Newydd, for when he appeared in court on a criminal damage charge in September 2016 he claimed to be surviving on state benefits.

He has as one of his sidekicks a would-be rocker and English supremacist from the Bristol area by the name of Shane Baker. There are others in the gang.

In addition to laughing at Cyngor Gwynedd this crew has also intimidated and terrorised neighbours, and caused great damage by trying to steal land, often in attempts to improve the access to Bryn Llys. Done to facilitate whatever plans may be in the pipeline, because there’s quite a bit more land. Glamping and even zip wires have been mooted by Duggan.

Despite the wealth of information and witness testimony North Wales Police seems uninterested in Duggan and his gang at Bryn Llys. Yes, there was a police raid in April last year, but that wasn’t GogPlod.

I look at cases like Bryn Llys (and God knows, I’ve looked at plenty!) where decent people have their lives fucked over by scumbags like this and I think to myself: ‘There’s no point in appealing to any authority because ultimately all authority in Wales answers to London.’ 

Maybe we need something more. Some organisation beleaguered Welsh communities could turn to to run bastards like these out of Wales.

UPDATE 09.08.2019: I have been informed that a new company was formed on 27 June named Bryn Llys Ltd, which you’ll see is in the business of ‘Holiday centres and villages’. The secretary, sole director, and holder of all the shares, is Andrew Battye of Huddersfield, long suspected of being the money behind Bryn Llys.

Maybe the question now should be, where does the money come from? Battye was in business with Duggan Jnr in a company called Bridge Glazing Systems Ltd, which went out of business after a few years and without filing any accounts.

Let us hope that both Cyngor Gwynedd and North Wales Police do their jobs, because what has already been built at Bryn Llys, and what might be planned for Bryn Llys (and perhaps elsewhere), will be funded from criminal activity, and is almost certainly a form of money laundering.

IS THE RIGHT BEING MOBILISED?

There was a rally in Swansea on Saturday ahead of the Swans’ opening match of the season against Hull City. (Won 2 – 1, seeing as you asked.) Or maybe it was two rallies, I’m not sure. Because the WalesOnline report mentioned both the Never Surrender Veterans Group and Million Veteran(s) March.

The first of which ” . . . is a group largely made up of ex-veterans who support servicemen and women”. I’ve never heard of this group so I tried to find out more.

All I could find was a mixed martial arts group in Kansas and another US group helping disabled veterans have specially adapted transport. The Welsh group has a closed Facebook page created four months ago, and that seems to be it.

The Million Veteran March also appears to draw its inspiration from the USA and seems to take its name from another US organisation. Though the name also crops up in recent UK news reports. With quite extensive coverage on a site new to me called Unity News Network.

The organisers and the WO report made great play of the number of bikers attending. To judge by the photographs most if not all of them belong to the Valley Commandos. This club started out as a Cardiff City supporters group so I don’t understand how they’ve drifted into right wing Unionist politics.

Because make no mistake about it, Soldier F, is now a rallying cry, not just for supportive veterans, but also for the usual suspects on the far right. And they were also there on Saturday, Swansea’s gang of Rangers supporters and ‘Loyalists’.

As Fred Astaire sang, ‘There may be trouble ahead . . . ‘ because there could be problems, maybe civil unrest, in the coming year no matter which way things pan out with Brexit. Was what we saw in Swansea on Saturday – with a rally in Brecon to follow – a glimpse of things to come?

The UK leaves the EU on October 31; after which Scotland will be threatening to secede, more and more Welsh people will be questioning the English connection, and God only knows what will be happening over the water.

In a shit-storm like that, overseen by politicians following those titans of statecraft, Micawber and Trump, blind and unquestioning British patriotism will be demanded of us all. Or else!

CLARIFICATION: Let me make clear that this is not a criticism of service personnel past or present voicing sincerely-held concerns or remembering fallen comrades. This is a warning against hangers-on, the far right, Walter Mitty types and unscrupulous politicians.

A MESSAGE FROM UNCLE JAC

Strangely enough, there were no representatives in Swansea of the very vocal element on the fringes of Plaid Cymru that targets ‘fascists’.

No, it wasn’t really surprising because the truth is they only use the ‘fascist!’ smear against those who challenge Plaid Cymru, and more especially the party’s extreme left wing fringe. I’m talking now of Plaid Ifanc, Undod, Undeb Plaid Cymru and a few individuals.

(Defending Neil McEvoy, criticising Deryn, attacking Labour, questioning the role of the third sector, asking who was involved in the Carl Sargeant affair, etc . . . these and other crimes also incur the wrath of those I’m talking about.)

There’s no question that these left wing extremists – no more than a few dozen in total – are trying to influence if not direct the growing independence movement. It became apparent – not long after YesCymru first appeared – with this piece from ‘Sawel ap Harri’ entitled The Marxist case for Welsh independence.

That gem appeared on Nation.Cymru which has more recently given space to a number of similar pieces. We were blest with two on the first day of this month. One was, The independence movement must embody the principles of the nation we want to live in, by Plaid Ifanc; and the other, Why the lack of diversity in the independence movement is a problem, by Leia Fee.

The second of those is a real hoot about ‘intersectionality’, ‘under-represented demographics’ and other terms I’m sure you use every day. Basically, it argued for breaking down the population of Wales into lots of different and competing groups.

The comments to that piece made it clear that most people thought Leia Fee was talking bollocks, and dangerous bollocks at that, at a time when we should all be promoting unity in the push for independence.

Though perhaps the best response came on Twitter.

Click to enlarge

But the idiocies come thick and fast, as does the hypocrisy. I’ve recently written about the attacks on me from young Aled Gwyn Williams of Maesteg (and his dog, Teifi). Aled wants the world to know that I’m an absolute brute, guilty of all manner of heinous crimes, including misogyny.

I’m sure my laughter could be heard miles away when someone sent me this recent tweet by Aled Gwyn Williams. (If Teifi’s ears pricked up, son, it was because he heard me.)

I understand some people are looking for examples of misogyny, I submit this example for consideration. Click to enlarge

The left is playing a dangerous and divisive game, perhaps egged on by someone whose absence from the independence marches in Cardiff and Caernarfon has not gone unnoticed.

Calling me a misogynist, or Ein Gwlad ‘fascistic’, and then trying to cause divisions in the independence movement by demanding that everyone be labelled, while insisting they’ll only accept independence on their terms, can only damage what should be a broad-based and inclusive national movement.

Some will dismiss such behaviour as juvenile, others find it suspicious. Worryingly, too many who should know better defend or support it. Either way, this behaviour is serving something other than the cause of Welsh independence.

♦ end ♦

 

25 thoughts on “Miscellany 05.08.2019

  1. Anonymous

    Hello Jac, I don’t agree with everything you say – however, your heart is in the right place and I take my hat off to you for the effort you put into trying to put things right. As an English person now living in Wales for 32 years, it has become apparent that folk who run councils here are either too long in the tooth (and cannot be bothered to change things) or completely incompetent. There is no in between! The ones with any brains – piss off!! They might come back when they are old for nostalgia but that’s about it.
    Just in case you are thinking why doesn’t this person go on the council – well, Jac, I would upset too many people with being too blunt and they would soon get rid of me.
    If you are passing mid Wales and would like a bed for the night (it’s alright I’m married and not hitting on you as the Americans say) and dinner – let me know! I would enjoy the exchange of communication!

  2. Observant

    ” … a Liberal Democrat Party led by a woman nobody’s heard of ..”

    Astute comment as always.
    BUT she has been to the same wavy-hands school as Cleggie…
    (essential for new and uncharismatic ‘leaders’)

    I once voted LD but never again after the disasters that were Cleggie, Timmy Farron and doddery Cable. What a succession of no-hopers!

  3. Dafis

    A sound reason for non-attendance of “fascist hunters” at the Swansea Loyalist event is that they fear any confrontation with real fascists as there is a prospect of violence. At this stage I am content to assume that many of those turning out at Swansea were not real fascists either, just people who genuinely feel a grievance that some soldier has been taken through the process nearly 50 years after the event while IRA operatives were given a pass in 1998. Nevertheless these people could cut up a bit rough if subjected to the usual limited vocabulary of an acne coated Plaid Youth “heavy”. It would get me sufficiently agitated to pass the kid an oily rag to clean up his fuckin’ face !

    On a serious note the dirty war of c.1970- 1998 had numerous episodes of unresolved attrocities committed by all the major participants. Either the government agrees to an all round amnesty for all “killers” who have not been tried by a court either in UK or Republic, or it presses on with a programme aimed at accounting for every death and identifying every perpetrator. This latter option, while desirable, is never likely to be feasible. Thus the book should be closed for those past events.

    Now another problem is the number of deaths since 1998. I don’t have data to hand but I suspect that there are a number of cases that remain unsolved. In the event of an alleged killer being identified I think he/she should be brought to justice as Good Friday was meant to be an end of hostilities. Arbitrary but necessary to draw a line somewhere.

    1. I can’t argue with closing the book. As for Saturday, no doubt most of those involved were sincere in their support for Soldier F. But the sight of berets always brings out the Mittys and the far right. With a bigger concern that if a Hard Brexit is to be pushed through then Bojo and his gang may decide they need ‘volunteers’. Where are they going to turn to find them?

    2. Brychan

      There are a number of British military personnel who have been given the ‘free pass’ who allegedly committed atrocities in the northern counties. Immunity has been granted. Some have been given ‘new identities’ and have resettled, some as far away as Australia. The reason why these are not publicised is for that very reason. It depends on the outcome of any internal military discipline, any pre-exiting civilian legal process concluded, and also the personal/family circumstances of the soldier concerned.

      There was a consideration for a blanket ‘truth and reconciliation’ treaty during the Good Friday agreement, similar to what was done in South Africa, but this was rejected by the British Government. The reasoning being (this has been shown in South Africa) that the paramilitary organisations on both sides were already financing their activity through organised crime, and removing paramilitary activity does not remove the criminal activity, drugs and extortion type stuff. It was therefore implemented as ‘selective’ on a tit for tat, case by case, basis.

      There was also concern from the MoD that certain individuals who were of the ‘special forces’ type do not exist, if you know what I mean, and cannot be lumped in with a ‘general amnesty’, personnel who may have been undercover informants, and may also have been involved with special forces activity in other theatres of engagement. This is a requirement stipulated by the British Government.

  4. Wynne

    Jac, your statement “advertise public land before claiming there was “no interest” and then handing it over to a favoured party” sounds familiar. Parc Teifi Cardigan is a case in point where 5 acres of land were transferred by Welsh Government to a Community Interest Company for a nominal sum of £1. Correspondence is continuing on the subject.

    Interesting post on Gwynedd Planners. And I thought dealing with Pembrokeshire planners was frustrating ! Always easier to turn a blind eye than take any planning enforcement action.

    1. And then, when it’s gone too far, justify ‘no further action’ on the grounds that it would be too expensive.

  5. taffyman27

    Jac

    Perhaps the beret, rather like the Union flag has, in recent years been hijacked by some rather unsavoury types, but for many of us wearing our regimental beret and cap badge at events like an armistice day parade is an important symbol of remembrance, a source of pride, and a way to remember those who never came back. They are nothing to do with politics, be it of the left or the right

    Cheers

    1. I agree with those sentiments. I don’t think anyone would argue against ex-service personnel remembering fallen comrades, but as you say, “Perhaps the beret, rather like the Union flag has, in recent years been hijacked by some rather unsavoury types”.

      For as was exposed on this blog recently, with the case of Camp Valour in Milford Haven, and alleged Paratrooper Fabian Sean Lucien Faversham-Pullen, the Paras more than most outfits attract the Walter Mitty types. Much of the information I got for that story came from ex-Paras pissed off with people like Fabian etc., etc.

      Unfortunately, sincere military commemorations, and various concerns, also attract the far right.

      Furthermore, and as you may be suggesting, politicians also try to exploit the military past and present. With Scotland threatening independence and Brexit possibly going pear-shaped, it’s almost inevitable that politicians will play the same card again.

      1. taffyman27

        Military service is by its very nature a non political act. You serve the government of the day, whatever your views as an individual may be.

        I have served with men of the left, men of the right and many whose politics were never discussed. They were all my brothers in arms and remain so to this day.

        Like most ex servicemen and women I have no time for politicians with no military experience who seek to bask in reflected glory, or who assume that those who take the shilling are little more than bully boys.

        1. How do you feel about those who did a few weekends, but seem to know what it’s all about, like ‘General’ Francois?

    2. Brychan

      I now shun those armistice parades that depict the recent arrival of Brit-Fest political agenda. Chose instead to put a wreath on the graves of my tadcu’s brothers in Flanders. If you visit, you’ll see that in amongst the ones depicting the cross, there are some with a half moon (Muslim) and some with the Star of David (Jewish). Every stone is given equal status and respect, whether officer or men, whether black skinned or white, whether Irish, Welsh or elsewhere. It’s what they died for, lest we forget. Perhaps those who try to fetishise war memorials or parade for a right wing British political agenda should be reminded of this.

  6. taffyman27

    To be frank I have very little time for those in public office who believe they have something in common with current and ex-service personnel because they once belonged to the boy scouts or spent the odd weekend with the TA.

    There are some MP’s, like Dan Jarvis or Bob Stewart, who had serious military careers before entering politics who are a very different animal.

  7. Penclawdd Donk

    I can’t remember when but around 2010 the Red Hand of Ulster, started to been seen at the Liberty, Brendan Rogers support? Nick Griffin, was a popular speaker in the Globe and Railway, pubs in Landore at about that time. Landore has been seen as very right wing, I don’t know why, it goes against the rest of the City.

    1. The Red Hand is the old (nine county) Ulster symbol, used more by Unionists than Nationalists, and Rogers was a Catholic, so it might have been some kind of protest against him. I’ve had a few pints in the Globe and the Railway over the years, though the Wern was my usual pub. Was Griffin on before or after the ventriloquist?

  8. Anonymous

    Go to Google maps to see the dreadful muck the land is around bryn llys. Not just the house, also the track that was meant to be removed and no-one has enforced it.

  9. Patience

    Glamping – a glorified camp site and an easy way to make money. Such as the farm next to where I live ‘ar wasgar’ in England. The farm was rundown and uncultivated because the elderly farmer was unable to cope. Sold for a song to a ‘townie’ who swiftly submitted a planning application for 100 glamping pods, a toilet block, and nothing else. And she also wanted the site to be car free in a village with virtually no public transport. I choose to live in a secluded rural location because it is secluded and did not want to wake up every day with the noise from a glamping site in the next door field. Those of you who are familiar with the sprawl of caravans along the coast of Gwynedd will know what I mean!
    No other facilities were to be provided and the nearest shop and pub about two miles away, which she was going to encourage glampers to use, no street lights or pavements along the winding way. The planning department works in unfathomable ways (although not as unfathomable as Gwynedd) BUT it is obsessive on matters relating to health and safety. I used that obsession to persuade the planning committee to refuse permission as it was madness for hundreds of people to be encouraged to jay walk to the nearest shop and pub. I was pleased that the committee agreed. That prime agricultural land is still lying barren and overgrown. Her choice not to cultivate but what a waste.
    Find a chink in the armour, then exploit it!

    1. Dafis

      When townies buy land they see it as an “investment” to be exploited. Don’t ask the wasters to grow something, that’s just beyond their abilities.

      So they come up with either a) house building, particularly the “executive home” variety or b) leisure and recreation, where a most elastic application of those words gets used. You are fortunate that you have council officers willing to listen to your concerns and nip this sort of crap in the bud.

      Most of Wales is administered by weak wankers who will bend over backwards at some point – either at application or appeal – to satisfy any old greedy speculator that comes shuffling along especially if he/she also demands some “aid” to create jobs – mostly seasonal or short term variety on piss poor wages. In the mother country things are often done well and correctly while out here in the colonies it’s open season and rules are there to decorate shelves in the offices of officials.

      1. Wynne

        Well said Dafis. I may nominate you for another coveted and prestigious “rant of the year” award !

        1. Dafis

          Please don’t Wynne, much as I’d like one ( only ever had nominations, never a winner !) I’m set on getting “Hate Preacher of the Year” this year. Never tried it before and I’m up against some seriously nasty Islamists on the one hand and a vicious bunch of AngloBrit supremacists on the other. I’m nearly down to my fighting weight and mustering my stock of bile and vitriol in case I’m called for a tie breaker.

          If I win I will retire to a nice part of the country. I’m told there’s some tidy houses being built by the publicly funded turd sector on the Gogledd Penfro / De Aberteifi coastal strip, and maybe I might even grab a piece of low cost space on a business park, get a grant from Skates’ coffers and set up an Academy for Ranting and Hate Preaching.

          Who knows ?

  10. DERRICK TOWLSON

    Good afternoon
    I have read several or your reports and think they are brilliant although scary as to some of the crime that is allowed to intrude into our beautiful country and not pursued by those in authority. Amazing how little of this info ever appears on mainstream news ??
    I am one of the many victims of the Northern Powerhouse Developments scandal. I am a founder of a closed group on Facebook trying to locate as many investors / victims as possible and also on a wattsapp group.
    I have made a report to the SFO and Actionfraud. They are asking me to supply more information so hoping they will take this very seriously. I have also done TV interviews for ITV and NorthWalesLive.
    So I am enquiring if it is possible to give them your link as you seem to have more information than most of us put together.
    I am suggesting members either pay a subscription or that we pay a one off group donation to your site.
    Regards
    Derrick Towlson

    1. Feel free, Derrick. The more information that’s out there, the less chance there is of someone else being fleeced.

      1. Dafis

        This could be a breakthrough case. If a UK Agency takes Jac o’ the North seriously when investigating and building a case then somewhere down the track a big cheese sitting in a posh office in London will say to his hatchet man – put Skates and ……… out to grass and if they don’t go quietly put them under the fuckin’ stuff ! This case will focus on people in the English shires and counties getting fleeced with Welsh Labour being a side show but a convenient stock of scapegoats. Tee hee they’ve had it coming for a while.

        And best wishes to Mr Towlson and Co-claimants.

    2. Philip

      No doubt you have heard but the Fourcroft Hotel was placed in administration yesterday Duff and Phelps are administrators.

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