Miscellany 07.07.2022

As the title suggests, this week’s offering is a miscellany, bits and pieces from hither and yon. Covering . . .

  • Wind turbine disposal.
  • Fears for the planning system in the north west.
  • Awkward locals opposing the hundreds of executive homes Aberdyfi so desperately needs.
  • A development in the ongoing saga of the Llanbedr by-pass.
  • A new environmental group (cos we haven’t got enough).
  • More on Gilestone farm. 
  • My unanswered FoI to the ‘Welsh’ Labour Party.
  • ‘Welsh Government’ funds National Trust (cos NT’s a bit short at the moment).
  • Is ‘Welsh Government’ flogging off executive homes in Cardiff?
  • Enviroloonies saving Wales from the curse of employment.
  • Stumping up for the ‘Welsh Government’s favourite farmer.
  • ‘Welsh Government’ wants more trees . . . but fewer farmers.
  • Ukraine.
  • Enlarging the Senedd, or making the pig-sty bigger.

This is a monster issue, over 5,000 words; but you can take it a piece at a time. And because it is such a substantial offering late in the week, don’t expect anything next week.

Capice?

WHERE WILL ALL THE TURBINES GO?

A couple of weeks ago I submitted a Freedom of Information request to the self-styled ‘Welsh Government’ asking who was responsible for disposing of wind turbines when they come to the end of their working lives.

Given that the lifespan of a turbine is 15 – 25 years we must have in Wales a few hundred turbines approaching decrepitude. With hundreds more in their ‘middle age’, and plans in the system to erect God knows how many others. (Bute Energy alone wants 20 new wind farms.)

It seems to me to be an important question. Hence the FoI request.

I was also mindful of what happened when certain opencast mining sites came to the end of their working lives . . . and it was found that responsibility for restoring those sites had been transferred to companies located in the British Virgin Islands.

You might also like to read this 2014 report produced for the ‘Welsh Government’ and entitled, ‘Research into the failure to Restore Opencast Coal Sites in South Wales’.

When we add the birds and bats they kill wind turbines’ environmental credentials are on a par with Jack the Ripper’s contribution to the welfare and well-being of streetwalkers. Click to open enlarged in separate tab.

Here’s the response I received to my FoI.

It tells me that, ‘Responsibility for decommissioning wind turbines lies with the developer/operator of the site’.

Richard Spear of the Planning Inspectorate concludes his response with: ‘In addition, developers/operators should ensure that sufficient finance is set aside to enable them to meet restoration obligations. A local planning authority may require financial guarantees by way of a Section 106 planning obligation / agreement, as part of the approval of planning permission to ensure that restoration will be fully achieved.’

It’s worth pointing out that in most cases it was the ‘Welsh Government’ that gave planning permission for wind turbines, often over-riding local authorities. The ‘Welsh Government’ should therefore have seen to it that each developer paid a ‘bond’, up front, to ensure there will be enough money to restore each site.

But those buffoons down Corruption Bay were so concerned with making ‘planet-saving’ gestures that they couldn’t see beyond their own wagging fingers.

I predict with certainty that in the near future, we – by which I mean Wales – will find ourselves lumbered with ‘orphan’ wind turbines that will cost us a hell of a lot of money to demolish. And then more money to restore the sites they’ve come from.

And that’s without deciding what to do with the blades, because they cannot be recycled. Most go into landfill. Just as well we’ve left the European Union, because the EU has banned landfill disposal.

On the plus side, it means that turbine blades from the Continent can come to landfill sites in Wales!

Should this come to pass then it will doubtless be claimed as ‘foreign investment’.

WILD WEST SHOW?

I am indebted to a regular source for news of concerns about the Gwynedd and Môn Joint Planning Policy Committee. To be clear, this is not the planning committee, deciding on planning applications, but the policy committee that determines in more general terms where development will be allowed.

Although Gwynedd is a large council in area, much of the planning responsibility falls to the Snowdonia National Park; which leaves the council to oversee a few ‘islands’ – Tywyn, Barmouth, Blaenau Ffestiniog – then Porthmadog and Llŷn, and finally, the northern coastal strip taking in Caernarfon and Bangor and running to Abergwyngregyn.

Crossing over, readers may remember that for a few years Ynys Môn council was in special measures. This was ostensibly for failings in education delivery, but it went well beyond that.

For like many rural authorities Ynys Môn is prone to being controlled by a few forceful individuals, often holding sway through membership of an organisation claiming to be heirs to the Knights Templar and other exotic fraternities.

Never more true than in keeping to the Templar talent for accruing wealth. Though I’m unsure if the medieval predecessors were as cunning as their heirs in planning matters and the allocation of contracts.

For who could forget Ceredigion when Dai Lloyd Evans and his merry men ruled the roost? Those were the days! The late Paul Flynn, sitting on the House of Commons Welsh Affairs Select Committee, referred to Ceredigion Council as “The Wild West Show”.

But then, as we saw in Carmarthenshire during the halcyon days of Mark James, sometimes, with largely rural authorities, the boss man doesn’t even have to be a councillor.

My source’s concern is that the chairman of the joint planning policy committee is a member of this group to which I have alluded. And while I’m sure he’s a splendid fellow, with a good firm handshake, I can understand my source’s misgivings.

Someone else giving my informant food for thought is the young man who’s now Senior Executive Officer at Gwynedd’s Housing and Property Department.

Don’t get me wrong, he’s an educated boy, studied . . . Welsh, and, er . . .  Music.

But then, it is suggested by cynics that the boy’s father’s friendship with Gwynedd’s Head of Finance may have played a role in the appointment.

O tempora! O mores!

ABERDYFI EXECUTIVES MUST BE HOUSED!

When I first saw this news item I thought to myself, ‘Hang on, Jones, isn’t this the development Ann Clwyd was banging on about decades ago?’ And I’m sure it is.

For the woman who went on to become MP for the Cynon Valley has connections to Aberdyfi and the wider Dysynni area. I have a photo of a young Ann Clwyd with my sister-in-law when the latter was the village carnival queen back in the mid-sixties.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

It’s difficult to comprehend how this project has resurfaced, or why it wasn’t killed off decades ago. What does it say about our planning system?

Aberdyfi may be a sizeable village; a few pubs, a few caffs, shops, and an unhealthy number of estate agents. But it backs up to a cliff, with the sea on the other side, and there’s just one road in and out, the A493. A crash or some other hold-up on that road and Aberdyfi is almost inaccessible except by boat or helicopter.

Sticking to housing, Aberdyfi may be the financial, commercial, and industrial hub of the south Meirionnydd coast, but the village needs 401 ‘executive homes’ like our cat needs fleas.

The company behind this zombie scheme is Hillside Parks Ltd, run by Christopher John Madin, who I believe is the son of John Hardcastle Dalton Madin, the architect responsible for much of post-War central Birmingham.

So stick that up your Bullring!

LLANBEDR BY-PASS

One of the more intriguing stories to make the news recently was the report that Gwynedd County Council is to appeal to the UK government for funding to build the Llanbedr by-pass, a project cancelled last year by the ‘Welsh Government’.

The reason this is intriguing is because the council is controlled by Plaid Cymru, and down in Corruption Bay that party is in cahoots with the local branch of the Labour Party, an arrangement generally referred to as an ‘alliance’.

Though the Senedd Member representing Llanbedr seems to be going out of his way to piss off his supposed allies.

Last month he dared ask the ‘Welsh Government’ why it paid £4.25m for Gilestone farm when the asking price appeared to be £3.25m. A good question. We’d all like to hear the answer. (More on Gilestone below.)

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Another explanation might be that despite most Plaid SMs self-flagellating for the heinous sins of the White man and the harm they themselves do the planet by simply existing, many Plaid supporters still associate ‘woke’ with getting up in the morning.

They inhabit the real world where decent infrastructure and communications still matter. That mythic land far, far away, where people have to drive to work. And to the shops. To the doctor, dentist, etc., etc.

You know, the Welsh countryside, of which Labour is so wilfully ignorant.

TIR NATUR

I’ve tweeted a few times about this rather mysterious group, I may even have mentioned it here, on the blog. One reason I call it mysterious is because all I knew about it was gleaned from a GoFundMe page. (You’ll see there’ve been two donations in the past three months.)

Another reason for the ‘mysterious’ tag was that neither the website nor the GoFundMe page gave any names. And I get rather suspicious of organisations that run themselves.

Why ‘Wales-Based’, can’t they bring themselves to say ‘Welsh’? Click to open enlarged in separate tab

As I say, there was a rudimentary website. And a mention a year ago on the Cardiff Greenpeace Facebook page. (But no names there either.)

And when you read the justification for Tir Natur you immediately think, ‘Hang on, I’ve read that before!’ And so you have, many times. It probably comes from an environmental / rewilding template available online.

Now a source informs me that Tir Natur has finally gone legit and registered as a charity. This move is mentioned on the GoFundMe page, though when I checked a few days ago it hadn’t been updated since the application in March to the Charity Commission.

The contact address given on the Charity Commission website is, ‘Y Beudy, Lanlwyd, Pennant, Llanon, Ceredigion SY23 5JH’. This is on the B4577 between Cross Inn and Llanarth.

To confuse the picture, the GoFundMe page says, ‘Newport, Pembrokeshire’. Though my source and I suspect those involved don’t live in either Ceredigion or Pembrokeshire.

But at least the Charity Commission gives us names. So who are these four people named as Tir Natur trustees? Do you know them? What are their plans?

And does Wales really need yet another environmental / rewilding group?

STOP PRESS!

My source has now sent me this from a recent release by Tir Natur. Knowing more of such things than I he tells me that the image shows a European bison and a golden eagle. Neither of which of course is native to Wales.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Though breeding pairs of European bison can be found at the Wildwood Trust’s Wildlife Discovery Centre in Kent.

They were introduced to the Trust’s other site in Devon, but removed due to fears of bTB. And they had to leave another site in Scotland when the government concluded they were dangerous and non-native.

Are they now destined for Wales?

Incidentally, that place in Kent is where the poor lynx that ended up at Borth ‘Zoo’ came from.

GILESTONE FARM, AGAIN

A number of Freedom of Information requests – in addition to my own – have been submitted regarding the purchase by the ‘Welsh Government’, for £4.25m, of Gilestone Farm at Talybont-on-Usk.

Here’s one. Here’s another.

I was a bit perplexed by the reference in the second FoI to the ‘James Report’. And then it came back to me . . .

Julie James. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Julie James, the current Minister for Climate Change in the ‘Welsh Government’ has been involved with Gilestone for many years, before she was even elected to what was then the Welsh Assembly in 2011.

It’s a strange affair, with some dark corners, some very dark corners indeed. What I’ve been told involves the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, certain environmental busybodies, previous owners of Gilestone and a supporting cast that includes a retired Met cop with an ‘interesting’ record.

And of course, Julie James, then a solicitor in Swansea; whose relationship with some of those involved is worth looking into. No, nothing like that. (Really!)

I may be in a position to say more in the near future.

Also worth mentioning is that a number of people are convinced the money to buy Gilestone came from Julie James’ department’s piggy-bank.

If true, then why did Vaughan Gething, Minister for Economy, take the rap in the Senedd? Maybe his ignorance of the deal explains why he spent so much time extoling the virtues of the Green Man festival rather than answering questions he’d been asked about the purchase of Gilestone.

Finally, might these shenanigans explain why the ‘Welsh Government’ is so far behind with its accounts?

Though another explanation for the delayed accounts might be that the ‘Welsh Government’ is virtually broke. For that’s what another source tells me.

If true, then this might explain the Llanbedr by-pass and other projects being scrapped.

‘O what a tangled web we weave . . . ‘.

LABOUR PARTY FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST

As you know, I’ve written about Bute Energy a number of times. They even got a mention at the end of paragraph 2 in the first section of this post.

What became clear once I started looking into Bute’s activities in Wales was that this company had very quickly realised that Labour Party support would be a big help in realising its plans for 20+ wind farms.

Which explains why Bute recruited to its Welsh Advisory Board redundant Labour MEP Derek Vaughan, and John Uden, the partner of Labour MS Jenny Rathbone, who sits on the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee.

Bute Energy’s Welsh Advisory Board. Click to open enlarged in open tab

Quite what this Welsh Advisory Board advises on is not stated, but I think we can all guess. And the recruitment didn’t end there.

Also taken aboard the treasure ship Bute was David James Taylor, former spad to Labour stars, from Peter Hain to Rhodri Morgan and Carwyn Jones. Taylor was made a partner in Bute-linked outfit Grayling Capital LLP (though he’s since left), and also given shares in Windward Enterprises Ltd, another Bute company. (Which he still holds.)

It occurred to me that if Bute Energy was so keen to cwtsh up to Labour then political donations should be considered. And so I wrote to the Bruvvers’ HQ in Cardiff.

On June 8 I sent this e-mail:

‘Bute Energy Ltd (Co No: 12474011), in various guises, seeks to build – or at least, obtain planning permission for – some 20 wind farms in Wales. A company has been formed for each wind farm.

Has the Labour Party in Wales / ‘Welsh Labour’ party received a donation or donations from Bute Energy Ltd, or from companies under the Bute Energy umbrella, or from leading director Oliver James Millican, or from other persons, perhaps former employees of Labour politicians?’

But I have received neither acknowledgement nor reply. Can you believe that – the Comrades ignoring me!

‘WELSH GOVERNMENT’ FUNDS NATIONAL TRUST

About a month or so ago we heard that the National Trust was taking over the Hafod Estate in Ceredigion. I covered it here, in the section ‘Bristol fashion’.

The article in the Cambrian News to which I’ve linked suggests there may have been funding involved. To clarify this point I submitted a Freedom of Information request to the ‘Welsh Government’.

Here is the response I received yesterday. With the important bit extracted below.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

The ‘Welsh Government’ has gifted an English organisation worth billions of pounds a Welsh asset and also handed over £700,000 for ‘capital investment’. From which the National Trust will profit, through charging visitors.

Many of whom will be Welsh.

And there will almost certainly be more than £700,000. For a well-informed contact with whom I shared this information in advance reminded me that the National Trust will now be eligible for Glastir woodland grants.

As if that wasn’t enough, my contact also suggests that, because the announcement was made by Dawn Bowden, Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, there will probably be Arts grants as well.

Note that this generosity is explained by quoting the “‘Welsh Government’ wellbeing objectives”. This refers to the Well-being of Future Generation (Wales) Act 2015. Airy-fairy nonsense that has since been used to justify every insanity hiding under the ‘environmental’ blanket.

Environmental concerns are used to disguise giving away our homeland piece by piece – ‘Cos we are savin’ the planet, like’.

The truth of course is that this legislation simply rolled out the red carpet for colonialist exploitation.

It even talks of future generations. But those future generations won’t be Welsh.

UPDATE: Well, whaddya know, a couple of hours after putting out this post I got a reply from Natural Resources Wales to my FoI of June 16.

Main points seem to be that negotiations with the National Trust have been going on since June 2019; no one else was invited to express an interest; NRW has no idea why Dawn Bowden was involved; NRW will continue to manage the Hafod Estate forestry operation.

GREEN HOUSING

My attention has been drawn  to this rather curious site which suggests some kind of partnership between the ‘Welsh Government’, the National Eisteddfod, and a company called LivEco, to build “sustainable homes at affordable prices”.

The location of these desirable properties being Great House Farm in Cardiff, between Culverhouse Cross and St Fagan’s National Museum of History.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

So let’s look at this company, LivEco. Companies House tells us LivEco Homes Ltd was formed in September 2018, but it’s dormant. The sole director is a Welshman, Daniel James Ball, who seems to live in West Sussex.

Ball’s active company is Mulcare-Ball Ltd. The other director being a woman I assume to be his wife.

So why are we being asked to believe that a dormant company is building these dwellings at Great House Farm?

Mulcare-Ball has an arrangement (charge) with the Principality Building Society. Though the date given here is February 2, 2013, the document itself takes us back a year and also mentions Hale Construction Ltd.

If it’s this company, then Hale Construction was a one-man band on Merseyside, Incorporated December 2011 and Dissolved August 2015 without, apparently, making a penny.

Another company worth mentioning is Great House Farm Community Ltd, which I assume to be a residents’ association. This was Incorporated in March 2013, which makes sense; though the only director or member was Ball until June 25 last year. When he was replaced by two others using Great House addresses.

Something else that makes me a little wary of this whole project is what I learnt from the Land Registry title register.

First, it tells us that Daniel James Ball and his wife bought this land in July 2009. We also learn that the properties built by Mulcare-Ball Ltd are being leased rather than sold.

The ‘Welsh Government’ has more than once expressed a desire to phase out leasehold in Wales, so why is it in partnership with a company building properties to lease?

Or, to put it another way, why does the ‘Welsh Government’ need to be involved at all? The same question could be asked of the Eisteddfod.

I may return to this subject.

NO COAL

The Aberpergwm mine, near Glyn-Neath, produces highest quality anthracite coal that is used for all manner of purposes, including water filtration. But it will not be chucked on a fire or shovelled into a furnace.

It is rarely if ever burned.

In January, approval was given for mining operations to continue. This prompted the Green Party of Englandandwales to burst into, ‘When will they ever learn’, with Julie James’ deputy Lee Waters joining in the chorus.

(In an eye-watering falsetto because someone had him by the balls!)

The latest news is that a legal challenge is to be mounted by a group called the Coal Action Network (CAN). If you’ve never heard of them, that may be because the company wasn’t formed until February 16.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

And it is a standard, commercial entity. Not a Community Interest Company (CIC), or any form of community benefit framework. I suspect it claims to be an umbrella group for smaller, more local organisations.

Though I’m not aware of any genuinely local opposition at Aberpergwm itself. Certainly not from the 200 or so people who work there. Nor from the businesses benefitting from the money those workers put into the local economy.

The address given for the Coal Action Network is Halton Mill, in Lancaster, north west England, owned by Green property developer Lancaster Cohousing. Which suggests it’s little more than an accommodation address for CAN. They certainly don’t get a mention on the website.

It would be easy to dismiss the Coal Action Network as just another little gang of over-excited eco zealots. But these groups often front for bigger players, or there’s serious money behind them.

So be watchful out there. Protect Welsh jobs and Welsh interests from the misguided attention of the brainwashed foot-soldiers of the World Economic Forum and others with globalist agendas designed to crush the little guy. Agendas enthusiastically endorsed by socialists.

And, finally, look out for these clowns sending letters to local papers, lobbying politicians, and pretending they’re local objectors.

STUMP UP FOR TREES, INTERTWINING

A group getting a lot of publicity, and regular attention from the ‘Welsh Government’, is Stump Up For Trees (SUFT). Predictably, and like so many others of its type, this little enterprise is based in south Powys.

Though cut through the enviro-bullshit and SUFT seems to be little more than a greenwashing operation for Utility Warehouse.

Click to enlarge in separate tab

Most of those involved with SUFT have either relocated to Wales or don’t even live in Wales. For as with all these ‘conservation’ land grabs, Welsh involvement is minimal.

Though the website informs us, of the man in the photograph, and founder of SUFT, ‘Dr Keith Powell is a seventh-generation Black Mountains farmer and a vet’. Though I don’t think he’s actually done much farming, and came home when he realised there was serious money to be made in trees.

Stump Up For Trees is registered as a charity. Though when I went to the Charity Commission website to check the details I was somewhat surprised not to see Powell listed as a trustee. I assume the desired impression is that of hands-off trustees.

But who do we see there!

Why! it’s Richard James Roderick, who farms across the Usk from Gilestone farm. As I told you in my earlier post ‘Gilestone Revisited’, Roderick was taken to the USA in 2018 by Dŵr Cymru. After which he was debriefed by Natural Resources Wales’ Land Management Forum Agri-Pollution Sub Group.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Then he and his companion on the US trip (and at the debriefing), Keri Davies, set up the Beacons Water Group. And do you know who joined them at BWG – none other than Charles Weston, the man who sold Gilestone to the ‘Welsh Government’ for the ludicrous sum of £4.25m!

As if that wasn’t enough, another BWG director, Tony Martineau, teaches at Coleg Soros, Talgarth. While George Soros’ favourite educational establishment, Bard College, has links with the Watershed Agricultural Council, the hosts for the 2018 US trip.

Enough! Old Jac can’t take any more connections.

Why should the ‘Welsh Government’s favourite farmer be involved with Stump Up For Trees? Then again, why not, he seems to be involved in everything else?

And even though the Bruvvers in Corruption Bay love Roderick, he’s a ronk Tory.

MORE TREES . . . OR ELSE!

To make sense of the ‘Welsh Government’s latest assault on the farming industry you must understand the Labour Party’s relationship with the Welsh countryside.

Labour has no MPs and no SMs representing rural constituencies. For these seats either vote Conservative, Plaid Cymru or, irregularly, usually in Powys, Liberal Democrat.

It wasn’t always so.

There was a time within living memory when Labour could rely on the votes of farm labourers, and even smaller farmers. Also, other rural, working class people. The Merionethshire seat – now part of Dwyfor Meirionnydd and held by Plaid Cymru for almost 50 years – was a straight fight between Labour, centred on the slate town of Blaenau Ffestiniog, and the Liberals, still relying to a great extent on the chapel vote.

Will Edwards, last Labour MP for Merionethshire, 1966 – 1974. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Then came the 1960s, and the national reawakening. The protests and the bombs. Tryweryn, Mudiad Amddiffyn Cymru (MAC), the Free Wales Army (FWA), Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg  CyIG) . . . and the rise of Plaid Cymru.

Labour now saw its hegemony in Wales threatened by a new force that it believed to be essentially rural in character. Certainly rural in origin. And Labour has been wary of the countryside, and its native inhabitants, ever since.

In many Labour politicians this suspicion became outright and undisguised hostility.

The rise of the environmental movement, coupled with the powers given by devolution, have allowed the Labour Party through successive ‘Welsh Governments’ to exert control over rural areas where it has little or no electoral support. While more recently, under the influence of ‘environmentalists’ eyeing Welsh land, exacting what can only be interpreted as revenge.

Which brings us up to date.

Labour’s activists in rural areas tend to be English, middle class, vegetarian (if not vegan, or subsisting entirely on water and good karma), most of them climate / environment ranters who compare hard-working farmers to concentration camp guards.

This is the background for understanding the Welsh Government’s latest attack on farmers encouraged by – possibly written by – the aforementioned environmental groups.

Though this latest pronunciamiento from Corruption Bay also helps us understand the long-term objectives. And makes a few other things clear.

The ‘Welsh Government is attempting a divide and rule strategy with farmers. Certain farmers are being wooed, and so perhaps is the National Farmers Union. And it seems to be working.

It’s no coincidence that these favoured farmers tend to be Tory-voters, on better land, suited to tree planting, and in almost exclusively English-speaking areas.

Which means that the excluded farmers are more likely to be found on marginal land, more difficult for growing trees, possibly tenant farmers, and certainly more likely to be Welsh speaking. (And Farmers Union of Wales members?)

In fact, areas such as the Summit to Sea rewilding project was hoping – with ‘Welsh Government’ support – to take over. The areas from where Labour, in the 1960s, perceived the ‘threat’ to have emerged.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Which means that this assault on farmers might be interpreted as an attack on the Welsh language, and Welsh rural culture in general. If so, then the politicos in Corruption Bay, and the enviroshyster land-grabbers whispering in their ears, are in for a fight.

Predictably, the announcement was welcomed by Kate Beavan. Who’s she? You haven’t been paying attention, or following the links, have you?

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Kate Beavan, as the Stump Up For Trees website tells us, ‘ . . . joined SUFT at the beginning of 2021. She is actually employed by our partners and friends, Coed Cymru.’

Kate Beavan may have been recruited to Coed Cymru by director Philip David Jayne, who lives in Crughywel.

Yet more bloody connections!

To explain . . .

Coed Cymru is one of the 357 (and rising) ‘woodland’ groups currently operating in Wales. Fighting like ferrets in a sack to take over Welsh land and get their sweaty mitts on Welsh public funding.

When you check out the Companies House entry for Coed Cymru Cyf you realise that, despite the company name, there’s little Welsh involvement.

But plenty of Welsh funding.

‘Plus ça change . . . ‘.

UKRAINE AND THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM

It would be inhuman to suggest that anything good is coming from the death and suffering in Ukraine. And I won’t do that, but harsh lessons are being learnt.

Among them, the realisation that to pretend an advanced economy can rely on intermittent renewables to supply its energy needs is madness. As Germany is learning.

The drive for ‘Net Zero’, orchestrated by The United Nations and the World Economic Forum, is taking hits daily as collateral damage from the conflict in Ukraine. With Germany perhaps the biggest loser.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Another casualty could be the Netherlands, where farmers, fishermen, truckers and others are protesting because the government wants to reduce the number of farms by 30 per cent.

But the mainstream media largely ignores this!

We are in dangerous times. Supranational bodies like those mentioned want to regulate all aspects of human behaviour. They have captured many national governments, media outlets, and social media giants, who are urged to suppress divergent views as ‘disinformation’.

The justification being that the planet is in grave danger, and so we need to be saved from ourselves . . . all for our own good, of course.

With the result that we are sleepwalking into a form of totalitarianism that sits astride the unicorn of environmentalism.

And this is another reason we – through arming and exploiting brave Ukrainians – are waging war on Russia – because Vladimir Putin refused to bow to these supranational tyrants.

But the ‘Welsh Government’ surrendered long ago. And gave up Wales for sacrifice.

ENLARGED SENEDD

Last weekend in a smoke-free conference room ‘Welsh’ Labour decided to back the plan for increasing Senedd numbers from the current 60 to 96. Which was widely supported, I believe only the Conservative and Unionist Party was opposed.

But part of the bigger package was a change in how Senedd members will be elected in future. And this proved much more contentious. With four constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) – Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda, Swansea East, Llanelli – voting against.

To explain . . .

Under revised parliamentary boundaries Wales will have 32 Westminster seats. (Down from the current 40.) What Labour proposes (and Plaid Cymru presumably agrees with) is that these new constituencies should be paired, giving us 16, and that each of them should elect six Senedd Members, thus making up the 96 total.

This is to be done using the ‘closed list’ system. Voters choose a party and have to then accept the party’s choice of candidates.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

This is a system designed to favour larger parties and to inhibit the emergence of new parties. Which is no more than we should expect from Labour. For like so many political parties with a socialist heritage Labour is fundamentally undemocratic.

I’m still waiting for Labour’s partner in the current alliance down Corruption Bay to explain why it’s gone along with this system. Though I get the impression Plaid would rather not discuss it.

Labour has tried desperately to polish this turd by promising gender equality. But as Labour has signed up to self-identification, and is a major financial backer of Stonewall, it will obviously accept as ‘women’ men who identify as women.

Which could mean that the new system, designed to achieve gender balance, actually gives us a lower percentage of biological females than we see in the Senedd today!

And then there are other minorities, those so vocal in “breaking down barriers” . . . most of which they themselves have erected. (Or simply imagined.) They’ll demand to be ‘excluded’ no longer. And because they support the Labour Party because the Labour Party funds them their wishes will be granted.

That could give us a Senedd in which the majority is grossly underrepresented.

But who cares – ‘Cos it’s progressive, innit!’

My position is that I do not accept this anti-democratic nonsense. And I would support the UK government stepping in to block it. In fact, I would support the UK government putting an end to devolution itself.

For devolution has delivered nothing to those with whom I identify.

Whereas the SNP in Scotland, returned time after time, has made many Scots believe their country could be even better with independence, here in Wales, the incompetence and waste our people have experienced from malleable mediocrities in Corruption Bay for 23 years makes too many Welsh believe that independence would be even worse.

I remain a nationalist who wants independence, but I see devolution not as a stepping-stone but an obstacle. Maybe that was the intention all along.

And when you think back to what you’ve read here, can you disagree?

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2022


55 thoughts on “Miscellany 07.07.2022

  1. Brychan

    I see that the BBC are reporting a new record temperature in Wales as being “unprecedented”. A record. It’s hit 35.3 at Gogerddan near Aberystwyth. That’s just over half a degree higher than a previous record of 34.6 also recorded at Gogerddan, near Aberystwyth in 1906. Jac, did you jump onto your penny farthing and tell everyone the news about global warming at the time? Cardi’s are always hot. Strangely, the BBC report lists lower more recent temperatures as a comparison and to illustrate the report the BBC have again included a photo of the river Carew in Pembrokeshire in drought. Please tell them the river is tidal at this location, and the photo is taken with the tide out.

    1. I couldn’t afford a penny-farthing – I ran! Afon Caeriw gets a big mention in the blog piece out tomorrow. So does the photographer.

  2. We are told that Wales needs ‘rewilding’ i.e. get rid of Welsh Speaking Hill Farmers producing Beef and Lamb.
    We are told to let in City of London investors to buy up the farms to plant grant aided trees everywhere to save the planet.
    We allow into Wales foreign big companies to plant ineffective Wind turbines all over Wales.
    We allow these Wind Turbine developers to cut down millions of immature Welsh forestry trees to make room for the wind turbines. (Tree FACTS from NRW).
    We are led to believe Wales’ actions can counter global pollution from China and the USA and India and everywhere.
    We are led by our noses by innumerate politicians with no agenda interest in Wales or our people.
    We read their bullshit everyday in the media who never question it.
    We read that today England is now introducing Bison to clear English woodland.

  3. I see nobody challenged Aunty Jen Deer over her Tranny statement and core Gender Equality at the Senedd’s next election. So I suppose you Jac readers all agreed.
    Anyway let’s get back to who will soon be Prime Minister. My guess is the Tory MPs will place Rishi Sunak well on top of the Westminster Poll with a white woman trailing second for the final play off. Now the Tory UK Party membership is predominantly elderly rural white English Anglo Saxon who will vote on race and reject short statured Johnny Foreigner Rishi despite his good natured experience. So it will be a woman for next Prime Minister proving the English are anti Johnny Foreigner which is what really also won Brexit for Boris who just played to that grouping in all Party Spectrums. I’ll eat a leek flavoured rose if this prediction is wrong.

    1. Most people who come here have given up on the Senedd. With Labour and Plaid in cahoots there was never going to be any other outcome.

      As for the Tory leadership contest – who cares? What difference will it make to Wales?

    2. David Smith

      I’d be remiss if I never pointed out the irony of you branding 55 million English people as xenophobic.

      1. Dafis

        English are very tolerant of other races as long as they know their place and concede a large measure of exceptionalism. They ironic bit is they are quick to take offence if one has the temerity to point out that defect.

        1. David Smith

          Alright there are such things as national characteristics and cultural norms, but to describe the entire populus of any nation as some sort of monoculture thereof is just ridiculous.

    3. As a Tory member, Sunak is going to get rejected by the membership not because of his colour ( a very juvenile statement of you) because he knifed Boris – who would win a membership vote hands down, and he raised taxes. If Sunak were in the final 2 against Corbyn, Corbyn would win he is that despised for what he did. Look what’s happened to the other ‘ringleaders’. Javid fell at the first fence, Gove never even left the paddock. Even the membership in Sunak’s own local association in Ripon are appalled at what he did to Boris.

  4. Wynne

    General Comment

    A few general notes below from my experience in requesting information from Welsh Government [WG] under FOI Act 2000 / EIR 2004.

    If I have concerns regarding a new statute or regulation introduced by WG, I often request a copy of their “Regulatory Impact Assessment” [RIA] to justify the new statute or regulation or a change to existing statute or regulation. The RIA is a lengthy technical document and should contain a “Benefit v Cost analysis” of all options considered [not only WG preferred option]. WG may decline to provide a copy of the RIA and claim an exemption under S.22 FOI Act [information intended for future publication]. From my experience, public bodies often keep documents in draft format for years to enable them to withhold the information from the public and claim an exemption under S.22 of the Act.

    Under these circumstances, I normally re-direct my request to Welsh Parliament [WP] and request a copy of the final version of the RIA presented by WG to WP. It is difficult for WP to claim an exemption under S.22 of the Act as the document is no longer in draft format. They normally provide the information. In examining the content of the RIA, I normally find that the devil is in the detail. This enables more detailed requests for information to be submitted.

    Hope these brief notes – based on my experience – are helpful to your readers Jac.

    1. Thanks, Wynne. And thanks for introducing me to Benefit v Cost analyses some years back. If memory serves, very often there is no BvC done. And that’s when the official waffle starts.

      1. Wynne

        Yes Jac. My general message to your readers is: request information from Welsh Government in a calm professional manner but do not give up if they withhold the information and claim an exemption under S.22 of the FOI Act. Request the same information from Welsh Parliament. Their role is – or should be – to hold Welsh Government to account.

  5. Dafis

    MSM bleating on about the upcoming climate cataclysm yet it,s been great here today with a light breeze . Listening to news bulletins you’d think the end is nigh. They babble on about low reservoir levels yet little is done about leaking water mains – that’s the real scandal and has been since the 70s

    Later the newscaster said that energy prices escalated as result of Russian invasion of Ukraine. How does that square with my bill doubling 3 months before Vlad fired up his clapped out tank ?

    1. Wynne

      When I worked for the water industry the figure of 40% wastage from the mains water network was normal.

      1. Dafis

        Low standards set by men who didn’t want to be accountable. Easier to build a new reservoir than invest in an overhaul of networks. And this is the class of person that runs this fuckin’ country. All bloody wankers.

        1. Wynne

          Dafis. I recall at the time, that there was a general reluctance by the water industry to invest in new infrastructure to improve on the waste figure of around 40%. I would be surprised if the figure has dramatically improved since then. .

  6. Fechan

    20mph by order
    I can’t remember a blanket urban 20mph promise in Welsh Labour’s 2021 manifesto. If it is mentioned it is no more than that – a mention. Of course an unofficial Labour/Plaid coalition will waive it through. A 20mph limit enforced via even more suspension- bashing speed bumps will mean greater costs for motorists (repairing the suspension of their vehicles), probably more noise owing to lower gears, probably more pollution owing to lower gears, extra travel time and more frustration for the poor Welsh motorist already beset by record fuel prices. And with mobility scooters being able to hurtle along at 8mph legally, electric scooters even faster, cyclists ignoring 20mph limits in most instances (certainly downhill) then the average urban motorist travelling during busier periods may well find him(her)self travelling slower than all other road users apart from pedestrians.
    The Welsh government have already admitted that it will probably have a negative economic effect – as if the Welsh economy was anything to brag about before. And this line of “better for the environment”, “save money in the longer term owing to fewer road accidents” etc are just the usual patronising virtue signalling stuff you’d expect. Sure there are pros and cons to a 20mph limit where people live along streets but a blanket imposition such as this is reminiscent of a power-loving, slightly dictatorial government. I don’t welcome the introduction of this measure and I don’t like the attitude of this current Welsh administration.

    1. Wynne

      Just like the “blanket imposition” of Nitrate Vulnerable Zones in Wales to destroy the farming industry.

      1. Taken on the evidence available, and Natural Resources Wales suggesting that NV zones be increased from 2.4% t0 8% of holdings, for the ‘Welsh Government’ to make it national seemed almost inexplicable. At the time, I put it down it down to Labour’s war on farmers. But now, thanks to events in Sri Lanka, the Netherlands and elsewhere, it all makes sense. This is a global strategy dictated by the World Economic Forum.

        1. Wynne

          Yes, totally agree Jac. Implemented under UN Agenda 2030. 196 countries have signed up to implementing agenda goals. Actions cascade down to all levels of government even community council level.

    2. David Robins

      One-size-fits-all is absolutely Labour. NVZ, 20mph, and whatever’s coming next. Egalitarianism gone mad.

      1. Except when it comes to holiday homes, which is interesting. And revealing.

        Not least because most are in areas where Labour is a minority party. So different councils will set different rates, which will result in holiday owners complaining, maybe moving, and perhaps creating tension between different councils. And of course, residents within each council area will criticise their council for setting the rate too high / too low.

        It will be the same if a tourism tax is introduced and the power over whether or not to use it, or how much to levy, is left to councils.

        All of which could have been avoided by a national system for all holiday homes and holiday rentals. But that would have meant that anyone unhappy with the system would have been unhappy with Corruption Bay.

        The determining factor would appear to be the influence of the environmental lobby. When pressure is applied from that quarter then the ‘Welsh Government’ will introduce national ‘one size fits all’ legislation such as NVZ and 20mph. But when the Green lobby is uninterested, then the WG can consider its own interests and conclude that they are not best served with national legislation.

        1. David Smith

          What is unmitigated bollocks is that for decades the limit in built up areas (itself a wide-ranging concept, from industrial estates to school gates, outskirts to housing estates) was 30, and vehicle technologies, in friction materials, ABS, and who knows what else, are light years ahead of what they were in say, the 50s.

          OK, to play devil’s advocate, there are a shit ton more cars on the road and people around in general today, but what’s wrong with the current system where it seems like an elective, wherein councils enforce their own 20MPH limits in high risk areas, such as near schools? It smacks of centrally planned, do-gooding, “State knows best”, shite.

  7. Bill

    As an Englishman who has lived in Wales for decades I used to fear Plaid Cymru but that changed with Leanne Wood. My greatest fear isn’t nationalism its socialism.

    Many of the new converts to independence are doing so because they want to turn Wales into a socialist utopia, Adam Price is not only well known in England he’s very popular especially with the young. Alex Salmond and to a lesser extent Sturgeon are detested in England but Plaid are regarded as the lefts friend ?

    England’s working classes will always boot Labour out when it moves too far to the left but I’m not sure Wales will and if it becomes a ”nation of santuary” it’ll openly encourage and give citizenship to anyone who can get here – and a right wing English government will happily lend a hand.

  8. The old blades from the turbnes can’t be recycled at present because they contain toxic materials. How do I know? Because there is a yard full of them not far from where I work and loads of other yards dotted around the place. Apparently storing them is big money and easy money as well for the yard owners. Nice bit of concreted yard that nobody wants out on an industrial sitewhere people don’t notice, storing old turbine blades that need no special handling, no security or whatever, because they are too big to shove in the back of a van and too worthless to nick.

      1. Dafis

        One thing for sure, it won’t be the shysters who sucked out the grants and greenwash payments in the first place.

  9. Wynne

    Welsh Government Accounts: legal deadline missed. The phrase “potential post-balance sheet event” sounds interesting. We await details of the “event” with interest.

    1. Dafis

      Are you allowed to backdate the procurement of assets ? Farms, for instance ? Any deal would need to be of material significance to the account, in other words “bloody big”

  10. Dr John Ball

    I suppose I could contribute to this blog after every publication with the same, same, same question – what is the opposition in the Senedd doing? I know the answer, the mumbling fat farmer is simply useless and in love with Boris….and Plaid Cymru is so into Labour that there’s no point in their existence.
    I’m with Jac. I worked – with others – very hard in 97 for a yes. I wouldn’t now.

    1. Dafis

      Much as other governments and institutions have been hijacked by careerists, globalists and all sorts of other deviants with narrow agendas so too our piddling little Cynulliad/Senedd has been “occupied” by groups of people who have not a shred of interest in taking devolution forward along its natural course towards some kind of defined separation, secession, independence or whatever you wanna call it. It’s far easier to just pick up a decent salary for spouting bollox about the climate, social justice in some remote corner of the world, or embrace the latest fad to emerge from the founts of wisdom that drive the persistently incontinent wokey segment of society.

      Most of it has been catalogued in detail on this site over recent years yet the resilience of successive Bay cliques and their dependents dotted around our country is staggering. Confronted by the fact that most of our communities are on their collective arses, they deny their duty to raise them to a more acceptable level of economic activity, preferring to blame the UK government for the predicament of so many. There is not a bit of interest in letting these struggling communities have a slice of the action in the Great Green Economy as there is greater virtue in shovelling increasing amounts of loot into the coffers of large corporates and other spivs who see Wales as a land of opportunity – for easy money !

      There have been repeated attempts to get these wasters to see the light. Must it come to an outbreak of violent protest and possibly loss of life before they wake up to the real issues ?

  11. Aunty Jen Deer

    I note with dismay that both Labour and Plaid Cymru are in bed with each other over demanding the Senedd Membership should increase from 60 to 96 and that gender quotas should be the core of the reform. The increase in numbers is obviously in order to create jobs for their members and then overwhelmingly bear down on Local Authorities like Health Boards and Unitary Councils. I would not expect anything different from this time serving unofficial coalition.
    The Gender Quota raises a wry smile in my thinking. Gender allocation is to be a core matter of selection as they declare it. That means that talent and capability will come second to gender. However, these two Parties have not really thought that one through. Why? Because these two Political Parties are enthralled with Transitional People such as men who call themselves women, and vice versa, but retain their real biological status. There are lots of them in Welsh Politics and the issue gets quite nasty at times. It seems there is no gender quota in Trans Sexuality, it just depends on who makes the declarations of sex transition most, and at present men seem to have the upper hand in Trans Statistics. This is already causing problems in ‘contact sports’. That being so, as the situation currently stands in Welsh politics, we will get more men in the gender quotas sneaking in under their skirts as women and widening the gender gap far further not closing it. Come on Party Selection Committees in Labour and Plaid Cymru, wriggle out of this, without your Tranny Members getting over viciously agitated.

  12. David Smith

    The best way I feel to tackle the perception that devolution is halfway along a continuum of crappiness between the utopia of Westminster rule and the dystopia of independence, is to remind people that it is a Brit State project, and therefore not independence-lite in any regard. Indeed, throw in my personal favourite pat soubriquet, the Puppet Parliament. A little alliteration (say that ten times fast!) goes a long way in getting points to stick! Perhaps even deliver in the manner of a tuneful explainer a la Mary Poppins 😉.

    1. But it could still have been done better. Labour and Plaid Cymru need not have adopted the envirocolonists’ agenda so completely. The Green agenda could have been pursued by encouraging the growth of a Welsh renewables industry, but no, it was foreign companies, foreign-built equipment.

      Now it’s the same with afforestation. Outside interests not only profiting from planting trees in Wales but engineering the decline of the Welsh family farm in order to acquire land.

      Even within the constraints of devolution it can all have been done so much better, to the benefit of Wales.

      1. David Smith

        The SNP are far from perfect but at least they themselves, in aggregate as a party, and at the very least in their intentions, have Scotland’s interests front and centre.

  13. Dafis

    401 executive homes is a bit much. After all it just ruins any exclusivity that such a development might attract if it was a much smaller number. These days “Executive homes” is just an euphemism for a 4 or 5 bed detached house with borderline build quality. Now if they built 4 or 5 seriously grand pads with top drawer specs you might be tempted to trade in Royston Towers and its 100’s of game rich acres and retire to your new pad. Just lush to have such choices to make.

    Your map of the Ely valley on the outskirts of Cardiff shows the location of Great House Farm. The usual bullshit about sustainable and affordable is to be expected but isn’t that location on a flood plain or perilously close to it ? Do they think that Wales Gov will have sorted out all risks associated with climate change and any other cataclysms by the time they start digging the footings or is this another development that will get more than its fair share of run off and flooded water courses over the next few years. When will they ever learn ?

    1. For a place the size of Aberdyfi 401 homes virtually doubles its size. The sewerage system wouldn’t be able to cope, let alone the roads.

      As for Great House Farm, these are environmentally friendly dwellings. Which means either floods won’t touch them, or they’ll float.

      1. Dafis

        Odd isn’t it that the capacity of sewers are so often overlooked by wide boys aiming to build loads of houses. Local authorities love to have houses built cos it gives them a bigger council tax income stream but fail abysmally to ensure that Dwr Cymru adopt the infrastructure below ground promptly just as they are lax about adopting new access roads. Maybe those brown envelopes still influence decisions and subsequent lack of actions.

      2. David Smith

        Sounds like Bangor in microcosm. Sadly quite rare to hear a Welsh accent, let alone Cymraeg being spoken by a young person out and about socially. And before I’m accused of bigotry I’d have the same sentiment towards any town in the world flooded with outsiders.

        1. Yea but most of the young people in Bangor or students, most of whom don’t come from Wales and a significant proportion don’t even come from UK.

  14. Brychan

    Jenny Rathbone MS, previously sat as a Labour councillor in the London Borough of Islington, which is probably where she met her now partner, John Uden prior to her move to Wales, he was a previously high-ranking Met police officer who now lists his occupation now as ‘property owner’. She herself owns land and barn conversion at Llanfihangel Glyn Myfyr, Conwy, a long way from her constituency in Cardiff Central. She also declares share ownerships in Awel Ltd, iShares PLC, Siemens AG, Caledonia Investments PLC, IMPAX Environmental PLC, Gbl Sustainable Equity I Inc, JLEN Environmental Assets Group NPV and Renewables Infrastructure Group NPV. True socialist then?

    1. I’m not sure that Met guy is the same John Uden. I was surprised to find more than one.

      Their little hideaway in the north east, Maes-yr-odyn, is close to Mwdwl-eithin, one of the wind farms planned by Bute Energy.

      As for Rathbone’s investments, she comes from a very wealthy Liverpool family. Those assets may be investments made by the Miss E F Rathbone Charitable Trust or Rathbone Investment Management Ltd. Both owned by Rathbones Group Plc.

      1. Lot of wind turbine work going on at Bryn Ffynnon near Corwen at the moment as well. Never ending stream of componants transiting through here en-route

          1. Involved in what way? Erecting, operating or moving all the equipment? I know the answer to one and shall try and find out the answer to the other 2,

          2. The company that will be operaing them already has soe there – this is a significant expansion. Is called Energon or something similar.

          3. Enercon is the company that manufactured them. The site is operated by Manweb I think. The stuff lands at ports on the east coast – Hull/Immingham/Goole, and is then transported straight down the M62, M56, A55, A494.

  15. Matthew

    It’s almost as if the WEF cronies have realised that they’ll not get anyone to eat the bugs unless they first engineer a food shortage.

Would you like to comment?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.