Miscellany 27.07.2022

This week’s offering kicks off with assorted musings from here and there before returning home to focus on issues that have caught my eye. And if these have a theme then it’s assorted companies and individuals pretending to be what they’re not. In this case, Welsh.

This is another biggie, just over 4,000 words, but you know the spiel – ‘nourishing, easily-digestible chunks, etc., etc‘.

First stop, England, where the Conservatives have committed electoral suicide by getting rid of Boris Johnson and now have to make the choice between Sunak and Truss! Like having to choose which foot to shoot yourself in.

I don’t know the minds of Tory politicians and strategists but I do know that among the working class – male and female – there’s always been a guilty liking for a roguish toff.

And that’s what Johnson is. Nobody ever accused him of having his hand in the till or anything heinous; it was a bit of bullshitting here, a few drinks there, and an over-fondness for the ladies.

Those ‘failings’ might mean some tosser needing to be fanned with a copy of the Guardian in Islington, but they wouldn’t have lost BoJo many votes in Scunthorpe, St Helens, or Sunderland.

“Grand lad is Boris”.

The only ray of sunshine for the Tories comes in the soporific form of Labour leader Keir Starmer.

Now across the Pond, to where Joe Biden – after two injections and two boosters – has caught Covid. Oh dear, what a pity, how sad.

Sleepy Joe is, without a doubt, the worst US president of my lifetime. And I remember Gerald Ford, of whom it was said that chewing gum and tying his shoelaces at the same time was too intellectually demanding.

Though in fairness, Ford could be relied on to do as he was told. Which explains how he got to serve on the Warren Commission looking into the JFK assassination.

Joe Biden clearly has dementia or a similar condition, and looming ever larger over his presidency are the multiple horrors contained in his son Hunter’s laptop.

Many of you will be unaware of this because the left-leaning mainstream media has largely ignored the story. They can’t deny it, because they’ve all read the e-mails and seen the videos. (And laughed along with the rest of us.)

In a nutshell, crack-smoking, sex-addicted Hunter saw himself as an international businessman. Making deals in China, Russia, Ukraine and other places by trading on his father’s name when dad was Obama’s VP.

Joe Biden’s brother James was certainly getting a cut and it looks increasingly likely that Joe himself was also in on it.

The problem is that Hunter just had to keep records. And they were all stored on a laptop he took to be repaired in Wilmington, Delaware, then forgot to collect it, and so the laptop became the property of the repair shop owner.

The only questions now are: 1/ How much longer can Sleepy Joe last? and 2/ What method will his party use to get rid of him?

Finally, in Ukraine, the war grinds on with Russian forces advancing slowly and steadily on all fronts. It seems likely that the whole of the Donbass will soon be in Russian hands, and so will large swathes of territory across the south, perhaps even lovely Odessa.

Basically, those areas where a majority of the population identify as Russian. Areas where the population was treated abominably by Ukrainian forces – often Nazi units – for protesting against the US-engineered Maidan coup of 2014.

This outcome could have been achieved by a plebiscite, but certain interests in the West were determined that corruption-ridden Ukraine, generously supplied with weapons and money – which will never be accounted for – should wage a proxy war.

Jugoslavia all over again; with Russia in the role of ‘baddie’ Serbia, and Ukraine playing the white hat parts of Croatian Ustaše fascists, Bosnian Muslims and their Jihadist allies, and the organ-harvesting, gun-running, drug-smuggling gangsters of the (Albanian) Kosovo Liberation Army

On the plus side . . . it looks like Russia turning off the gas taps has killed Net Zero.

EAT YOUR HEART OUT, ELON MUSK!

An announcement last Thursday from the self-styled ‘Welsh Government’ told of an exciting development hoping to overcome the problem of reliance on China for supplies of rare earth elements for electric car batteries.

Followed by a word-for-word ‘article’ in the Wasting Mule on Friday.

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What most people don’t realise (because the media prefers not to tell us), is that electric cars, wind turbines, and solar panels, all need rare earth elements, and we are too reliant for these on China.

Being an expansionist Communist country China is obviously a potential enemy. Then there’s the fact that extracting these metals is dirty and dangerous work, which might be done by members of religious or ethnic minorities undergoing ‘re-education’.

The pieces linked to say the project is being funded by the Ford Low Carbon Vehicle Transformation Fund and uses fewer of the rare earth elements.

Naturally, I got to wondering about the company involved in this exciting venture, named as, ‘Caerphilly-based Deregallera’. And that was the first disappointment, for the company seems to be based near Bradford, in West Yorkshire.

Though in fairness, it was at one time using a Caerphilly address. So let’s put that into its contextual timeline.

Deregallera began life in 2011 in Southampton. Then it was Pontypridd. Then in March 2013 it was down to Cardiff. September 2019 saw a move within Cardiff. In December 2020 it was over to Bristol. Then in April this year it was up to Bingley.

Getting further and further away from the claimed base in Caerffili.

The driving force behind Deregallera is Martin Hugh Boughtwood. His Linkedin profile modestly describes him as a ‘visionary leader’. He has a host of US patents.

So it should go without saying that he’s been involved with a number of companies. Quite a few using the ‘Deregallera’ name. Here they are in a table.

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Among them we see D G Innovate PLC. Which last year was taken over by Path Investments for £32m in a ‘reverse merger transaction’, according to the Annual Report and Financial Statements for Deregallera Ltd (March 2021).

D G Innovate was known by that name between 29.01.2021 and 05.04.2022. Before that it was Deregallera Holdings Ltd (from formation 26.11.2009). And now, since April 5, it’s Deregallera Holdings again!

God, this is confusing! With all the name changes, all the comings and goings of directors, do those involved know which company is which any more?

Talking of directors, D G Innovate PLC seems to have recruited a few this year.

Worth a mention are, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, former governor of Jersey; Dr Patrick Bruce Reith Symonds, formerly of Williams Grand Prix Engineering; and Trevor Gabriel, managing director at Monaco Villas. (Monaco Villas!)

I’m sure they’ll be very happy together in what is obviously another great Welsh venture.

As far as I’m concerned, the jury is out on this one. Those involved have got their hands on money from a fund administered by the ‘Welsh Government’ (which often spells disaster), but how much of that money Wales will see is another matter.

One to watch.

‘WE’RE WELSH, HONEST!’

Another company desperately trying to prove it’s Welsh is our old friend, Bute Energy. Which began life in London, then used an Edinburgh address, but now most Bute companies also use a broom cupboard in Hodge House, Cardiff.

Named of course after Julian Hodge, banker to the Labour Party. Friend and confidante of PM Jim Callaghan and George “Order, Order!” Thomas.

Remember George, Lord Tonypandy? Even by the standards of the ‘Welsh’ Labour Party George Thomas was one of the most odious bastards ever to draw breath.

Not content with a Cardiff address to prove how Welsh it is Bute has recruited Dafydd Williams as a project manager to traverse the land addressing community councils and concerned locals, promising they’ll hardly notice 250 metre tall wind turbines . . . 36 here, another 30 there . . .

Is Dafydd a replacement for David George Taylor? For more on Taylor, and Bute’s Welsh Advisory Board, click here and scroll down to the section ‘Labour Party Freedom of Information Request’.

In search of enlightenment I joined a Zoom meeting of New Radnor community council a few weeks back, where I managed to put some questions to Dafydd Williams, but all I got in return was waffle.

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One Bute site now threatened with 250m (to tip) turbines is Moelfre, inland of Abergele. To put that into perspective, the turbines put up 15 – 20 years ago were rarely more than 100m (often less), the turbines at Pen-y-Cymoedd are 145m.

But locals are fighting back. The image above is taken from a protest leaflet they’ve produced. Read the full leaflet here.

Another area threatened is to the east of Llandrindod. This being Bute’s Nant Mithil site. Here’s the briefing paper produced by Bute.

Bute has set up a company for each of its 20 planned wind farms, or as they now prefer to call them, ‘Energy Parks’. Here’s a map to help you locate them. And here’s more information on the various companies and individuals involved.

The proposal for Nant Mithil is for 36 x 220m (to hub) turbines, with ‘solar energy and battery technology’ not ruled out.

In both the Moelfre protest leaflet and the Bute briefing paper for Nant Mithil you will have seen reference to these being in a ‘Pre-Assessed Area for Wind Energy in Future Wales: The National Plan 2040’. Here’s a link to that document.

On page 94 you’ll find the map you see below. The areas bordered in black have been given over to wind farms. Planning permission is virtually guaranteed. Local resistance will prove futile. (Certainly, that’s the hope in Corruption Bay.)

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Moelfre is in area 1, and Nant Mithil in area 4. Though sources tell me that as much as 75% of Bute’s 200 hectare Nant Mithil site is outside area 4. It’ll be interesting to see how that pans out.

Progress is also being made on other sites. Here’s the Scoping Report for Rhiwlas, near Llangurig. Compiled for Bute Energy by RSK of Bristol.

Other news is that new directors, Forrest, Gruescu and Parkhouse, have joined the gang in certain companies. Aberedw Energy Park Ltd being one. These new boys represent the interests of Bute’s Danish investors.

I covered this development in February, in ‘Bute Energy Selling Wales For Danegeld?’.

Everybody’s ripping off Mam Cymru, thanks to those assholes in Corruption Bay and their obsession with a non-existent ‘Climate Emergency’.

Maybe it’s time the old girl’s sons stirred themselves again, and put a stop to this abuse and exploitation taking place before their eyes.

GILESTONE, REVISITED, AGAIN

To recap: The ‘Welsh Government’ paid £4.25m for Gilestone farm near Talybont-on-Usk which it says will be leased to the Green Man Festival.

I’ll try to avoid some of the rumours I’ve been hearing . . . oh, what the hell!

One has Green Man boss Fiona Stewart telling Minister for Economy  – ‘economy’! – Vaughan Gething that if the ‘Welsh Government’ didn’t buy her a farm she would move the Green Man Festival to England.

Another wanted me to believe that the Green Man will move to Gilestone farm in 2026 because current host, Harry Legge-Bourke of the Glanusk Estate, is getting a divorce. Which seems rather protracted. And why should a divorce make any difference?

Finally, some believe there has long been a relationship between Fiona Stewart and former Gilestone owner, Charles Weston. I had to confirm that this was a business relationship not, er . . . well, you know.

I could find nothing linking them. To help my enquiries I drew up a table of Fiona Stewart’s companies. Which makes strange reading.

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Throughout this saga we’ve been told that the ‘Welsh Government’ has been dealing with the Green Man Festival. Yet the company, Green Man Festival Ltd, formed September 2015, has always filed as a dormant company. The only director, Fiona Stewart.

What’s more, Green Man is controlled by Tree Trunk Ltd. Formed May 2012, this also files as a dormant company. And it’s behind with its filings to Companies House.

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There are two directors. Stewart and Paul Abraham Betesh of Manchester. Betesh has been involved with a number of companies.

The other company using the Green Man label is the Green Man Trust Ltd. You’ll note that it receives funding from the ‘Welsh Government’, the Arts Council of Wales, and Arts Council England.

As well as being a company registered with Companies House it’s also registered with the Charity Commission.

Two of the four directors / trustees are Stewart and long-time business associate, Ian Myers Fielder, with these two exercising control. The other directors / trustees are Natasha Hale, and Joanna Owen, a solicitor working for Commission for Equality and Human Rights in London.

Flicking through the accounts I was struck by some of the other funders, Performing Rights Society Foundation, Ashley Family Foundation, and Cardiff University.

Then, a few days ago, a secretary was appointed, Joana Margarida Martins Rodrigues. Clearly Portuguese, perhaps one of the many Lusitanians to be found in Crughywel.

If we look at the total income for the Green Man Trust we see that it’s risen from £152,643 in year ending 31.12.2020 to £347,417 in y/e 31.12.2021. Which means that the income more than doubled, and is perhaps more than the Trust knows what to do with.

I suggest that because the latest accounts show £266,835 as ‘cash at bank and in hand’.

An interesting contribution to the Gilestone saga came a couple of weeks back from senior civil servant Andrew Slade. To give him his title, Director General, Economy, Skills and Natural Resources.

Here’s the article, in which Slade says that Gilestone may not be a done deal, but also describing the Green Man Festival as the “jewel in Wales’ crown”. A curious remark, and an indicator of Slade’s ignorance of Wales.

Most of those who attend come from England. Many more Welsh people go to the National Eisteddfod, then there’s ‘The Show’ (which was on last week), and even Dolgellau’s Sesiwn Fawr. I wouldn’t expect Slade to know much about the first or the third, but he’s been to Llanelwedd a few times.

It wouldn’t be stretching it to describe the Green Man Festival as an event for the English middle classes, for less than a quarter of the attendees live in Wales.

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I even found a photo of Slade with a bunch of young farmers. (He’s right centre.) Next to him, carefully coiffed, is Gary Haggaty, looking as if he’s about to go on stage to give Mr and Mrs Gripe of Wisbech the chance to win a week for two in sunny Scunthorpe.

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Both Slade and Haggaty have appeared on this blog before. They are civil servants with Defra backgrounds, sent down to keep the natives in check and do whatever damage they could to Welsh farming.

In The Welsh Clearances from October 2018 I used an image from January 2014 of Slade alongside Alun Davies, then Minister for Natural Resources and Food, as Davies announced taking EU funding from farmers and turning it over to ‘Rural Development Projects’. (And we all know what that means!)

Haggaty eventually shacked up with his boss, Lesley Griffiths.

I quote from her official bio: ‘Lesley was appointed Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs on 3 November 2017. On 13 December 2018 Lesley was appointed Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs. On 13 May 2021 Lesley was appointed Minister for Rural Affairs, North Wales and Trefnydd’.

Enough of digression, back to Fiona Stewart and her companies.

The only company I can find that seems to have any serious money is Plantpot Ltd; originally GMF Festival Ltd, before changing into Pot Plant Ltd. This is also controlled by Tree Trunk Ltd.

And let’s remind ourselves that Tree Trunk Ltd is a dormant company behind with its Companies House filings.

At the end of 2020 Plantpot had £1,179,096 ‘cash at bank and in hand’. Up from £656,213 the previous year. Not bad considering the Covid ‘pandemic’. But most of this money is owed to unidentified creditors. Who are they?

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With £169,900 owed to ‘group undertakings’. So does this mean it’s owed to other companies in the Tree Trunk group?

Another concern is that there’s no indication of where the £1m+ in cash came from. What we have instead of audited accounts for Plantpot Ltd is an ‘Unaudited Financial Statement’ made out by Ms Stewart herself.

I’m not suggesting dishonesty, but I am saying there’s a lack of clarity. Which might not matter had the ‘Welsh Government’ not paid £4.25m for Gilestone farm.

Because if the Green Man is the major event it’s said to be, then it must take in millions of pounds, so where is that money accounted for? It certainly doesn’t go through any company using the Green Man name. Is there a company I’ve missed?

If we go back to the table of Fiona Stewart’s companies we see that the newest is Cwningar Ltd, formed in February this year, with its formation almost certainly linked to the purchase of Gilestone farm.

Which is why I suspect that talk of an agreement between the ‘Welsh Government’ and the Green Man Festival is misleading. Fiona Stewart is the Green Man. I believe the farm was bought for Fiona Stewart herself. And for some new venture loosely connected with the Green Man.

I suggest that because Ms Stewart is nothing if not well connected in Cardiff.

This article from May 2017 says, ‘Cardiff University and Green Man will build upon their existing partnership’. Fiona Stewart gushed . . .

“Green Man works with world class talent and Cardiff University is one of the most respected universities on the planet, so it’s definitely top of the bill with me.”

(Pass the sick bag!)

Then think back to the item about the electric car motor, telling us that ‘academics at Cardiff University’ are involved. Dafydd Williams of Bute Energy ‘holds a BSc and MSc from Cardiff University’s School of City and Regional Planning’.

Cardiff University is almost an extension of the ‘Welsh Government’. If you’re well in with Cardiff Uni then doors – and cheque books – open for you in Corruption Bay.

And if, like Fiona Stewart, you’re also connected to Coleg Soros Talgarth, then you can write your own cheque. Which may explain how she acquired Gilestone.

Apart from its location there’s nothing Welsh about the Green Man Festival – just look at the line-up for this year. If Stewart wants to move to England, let her go.

Seeing as the great majority of the visitors come from England moving to that country would be the environmentally sensible thing to do.

Then sell Gilestone and put the money from the sale back into the public purse. Where it belongs. And don’t do the bidding of any other pushy memsahibs.

In conclusion, it’s worth remembering that a great deal of bullshit is talked about the Green Man Festival. Take this June 2019 submission from UK Music to the Senedd’s Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee. (Page 7.)

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Does anyone really think there are 1,500 jobs created on site? If so, there must be almost as many people working at the festival as there are attending!

And no matter what the figure is, those are very, very temporary jobs.

Like I say, bullshit!

CHILD PROTECTION

We live in dangerous times.

Obviously, there’s a war in Ukraine. But then we have supranational organisations like the World Health Organisation and the World Economic Forum trying to impose themselves as some kind of unelected global government.

And recently we’ve had to put up with the swivel-eyed who got really swivelly because of a few fine days – in July! You could sense their disappointment when the bodies weren’t piling up in the streets; their ‘We warned you!’ taunts dying on their lips.

All joking aside, one threat, a very real threat, is shaping up under our noses, with the full support of the ‘Welsh Government’ and the Corruption Bay establishment. Because both have been infiltrated, indoctrinated, or intimidated into supporting Stonewall.

For Stonewall, which started out defending and promoting the interests of gays and lesbians, is now nothing more than a group getting ever more extreme in its promotion of ‘trans rights’ and other issues.

Stonewall is favoured in Corruption Bay, we know that from the amount of funding it’s received from the ‘Welsh Government’.

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Seeing as the Wales Council for Voluntary Action is also funded by the ‘Welsh Government’ the total comes to £241,781. Only UK government departments gave more to Stonewall in the period covered.

Being so favoured Stonewall also has influence in Wales. Influence over legislation. Even to the extent of deliberately misrepresenting existing legislation.

Specifically, the Equality Act 2010. There are 9 protected characteristics under the Act, and this is how the ‘Welsh Government’ interpreted them. They’re correct apart from the one I’ve highlighted.

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What the Act protects is gender reassignment. That is, someone who has undergone surgery. Stonewall would like it to promote ‘chicks with dicks’, and give free rein to male sexual predators pretending to be women.

The ‘Welsh Government’ chose to accept Stonewall’s wishful thinking over the law. And then desperately tried to explain its mistake as being in ‘the spirit of the law’.

The spirit of the law can be elusive, a difficult thing to pin down. But there can be no mistaking the letter of the law. In this case it is quite unambiguous. (Doesn’t the ‘Welsh Government’ have lawyers?)

The ‘Welsh Government’ got it wrong because it listened to Stonewall. That’s because Stonewall has allies in the Bay among Labour insiders.

Which helped Stonewall influence the new curriculum for Welsh schools. But the fightback has started. There will now be a judicial review of the ‘Welsh Government’s proposals.

Here’s a rather long video (almost 2 hours) of a meeting in Bethel, near Caernarfon, where opposition is being organised to the imposition of certain elements of the curriculum.

But it doesn’t end there, for Stonewall also wants to corrupt pre-school children. Those who attend playgroups. Here’s a tweet put out by Stonewall last week.

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When asked to produce the ‘research’ referred to, Stonewall was unable to do so.

Make no mistake, Stonewall wants to push its vile agenda that results in mutilating confused kids into every sphere of our lives, and certain elements on the Left will give all the assistance they can.

Of course, many nursery or pre-school groups in Wales are run by Mudiad Meithrin. Which has, unfortunately, also been infiltrated.

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When I look at the Mudiad Meithrin board of directors I can see a few possible advocates for this dangerous nonsense. One in particular, who was deeply involved in attempts last year to turn YesCymru into TransCymru.

Another, who has recently left the Mudiad Meithrin board, also did great damage to YesCymru before moving on to other things. I’m told he played a big part in turning  Cymdeithas yr Iaith Woke.

Stonewall has walked into a trap of its own making. When you argue there is an ever-expanding universe of genders you will inevitably attract the exhibitionists and the unhinged, and the general public will stop taking you seriously.

Start talking about the sexuality of children and you’ll draw the perverts and the paedophiles. And then the general public will start seeing you as a threat.

An organisation in Stonewall’s position has two options:

    • Paddle back and regain some credibility.
    • Keep paddling furiously for the rapids and prove your critics right.

Stonewall seems to have chosen the second option. Which is bad news for them, but I won’t be shedding any tears.

We must protect our kids from discredited and dangerous beliefs promoted by a few influential individuals who decided those beliefs were ‘progressive’, then bullied others into accepting Stonewall’s lunacies.

It’s time for the ‘Welsh Government’, Mudiad Meithrin, and others, to paddle back, and to root out the influence of Stonewall from all areas of Welsh life.

♦ end ♦

August is normally a slow month for news so, unless the Gorsedd starts an insurrection, the ‘Welsh Government’ announces major investment outside of Cardiff, or Powys is invaded by enviroshysters (damn! too late for that one!), I’ll be back, bright eyed and bushy-tailed, in September.

 

© Royston Jones 2022


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Dafis

Good to see Shipton picking up the scent on the Gileston Farm scam. Shame it took so long especially as the stink was so high a dead asthmatic could have sussed it ! Nice to know that the equally smelly Cathy has left her paw prints all over the sordid episode. Not that surprising. Maybe that’s why the mostly dopey Plaid contingent haven’t piped up as they are still being manipulated by the Deryn mob. Mabon may have raised a query but no one else has broken the surface. Strange what being wedded to a toxic mix of green junk, inclusivity, diversity, equality and other perceived wrongs does to politicians’ ability to see wood from trees.

Sam Choules

Your article on one planet developments is bullshit and your a prick! Vegans, Hippies and dangerous buildings lol! Most people who want to do this want to look after the planet while/or getting away from the rat race that is called life, Society where you have to do this and do that, Alot of the working class, going to work just to get by! Living away from that in a house you’ve built yourself, Not having to worry about work everyday and general everyday life stress, Living off the land eating veg you have grown yourself and meat from animals you have reared! Sounds Amazing to me, sign me up

Dafis

Sounds like another trust fund socialist. Full of self righteous smug we know what’s best for you nonsense. Without that inheritance or family handout he/she would be slaving away at a hedge fund somewhere making big bucks manipulating shares, commodities etc.

One Planner Rules for all !

Same Slouch you are probably a parasite, most probably willing to accept services of the NHS that the rest of us paid for. Probably you will also accept care and a pension when elderly and you probably had a state education we paid for, and YOU ARE certainly poor in Saxon grammar.

teilosant

Yea so do it in England mate

Tim Heald

Jac, I think your remarks about Joe Biden and his family are simply outrageous. If Biden has done nothing else, he’s restored dignity to the office of President of the USA. He doesn’t lie. He doesn’t cosy up to vile Dictators. He’s invariably pleasant. And now that Joe Manchin has been persuaded to come “onboard”, Biden’s attempts to change America for the better, in the form of revolutionary legislation appear to have every chance.
Why don’t you mention Trump when you lambast Biden? Are you a right wing fascist? You’ll no doubt be sorry to see Trump in an orange jumpsuit before too long. Merrick Garland is about to strike.

Wynne

Your analysis is spot on Jac. Tim has obviously been brainwashed by BBC propaganda.

Tim Heald, Joe Biden defender.

It’s quite obvious that Trump and his fellow conspirators are not only going to end up in jail, but that they will go down in total infamy when the history books are written. The only President in USA history who not only failed to protect the Constitution, but actively sought to undermine it in a pathetic attempt to remain in power.
It’s obvious from your comments Jac and from some of your crackpot followers that you’re living in political cuckoo land. Haven’t you been watching the January sixth hearings? And all that nonsense about Hunter Biden-utter conspiracy theories.
I’ll bet the sight of the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers attacking the Capitol made you look back on the Good Old Days of the FWA with great nostalgia.

Trump is the only U.S. President since WW2 not to start a war somewhere in the world. If Trump was still President, Putin would not have invaded Ukraine and China would not be kicking off. It is the corrupt Biden crime family which will find itself in jail, but only after the corrupt FBI has been fumigated of extreme left wing activists.

Red Flag

And he is now the most unpopular President in US history and has been for nearly 5 months. To make matters worse for him, his Vice – Kamala Harries, is more unpopular than him.

As a result, later this year the Republicans will seize the House with an overwhelming majority and completely screw whats left of his Presidency into the floor. You fit very neratly into Jac’s group of Islingtonistas that need fanning with a Guardian.

Dafis

Some people in UK and others outside of USA are so relieved to se the back of Trump that they suck up any old crap that comes out of the Biden regime. Creepy Joe is consciously (or otherwise !) enabling the advancement of the totalitarian dictatorial corporate state while playing footsie with any old ishoo driven militant sect. He and his guides are bound up by the apostles of various versions of the Green gospels. The end result is a blend of ill conceived extreme responses to a crisis when a more rational mature government would separate the real issues from the crap and respond accordingly.

As for Trump, he was built up into something that he could never be. Perhaps he aspired to be the man who “made America great again” but that was fudge, and his downside was over elaborated. His rhetoric was far more potent than his deeds.

David Smith

I never danced to the tune of any pro- or con- hysteria when Trump was in charge, but when he denied the election result and as-much-as-dammit incited all those ‘good old boys’ (read: rubes, hayseeds and belligerent simpletons) to storm the Capitol, I’d put him up there as probably the worst president ever by virtue of his pissing all over the office like a spoilt bastard that he is.

As for ‘our’ head of government, no matter how immaterial the infraction, how can a Prime Minister carry on, with popular support, as a brazen hypocrite who flouted rules his own government put in place? The position is untenable.

Brychan

“Basically, those areas where a majority of the population identify as Russian.”

Not true. In the independence referendum the results were all in favour leaving Russia. Donetsk 84%, Luhansk 83% and even Crimea 54%. Since then there has been, if it was anywhere else in the world, ethnic cleansing. Just because you speak English, Jac, doesn’t mean you’re English.

Brychan

The independence vote in Ukraine was December 1991, all that Yeltsin stuff on a tank in Moscow was already over but the August of that year. There was no threat of ‘return to communism’ when Ukraine voted on independence.

Far from inspiring the 2014 uprising the EU and US urged a peaceful end and supported Yanukovych. It was his failure to sign trade agreements on which he was elected on caused the protests and his eventual defection to Russia. In the subsequent election it was Poroshenko who won, of landslide, by which time Crimea was annexed and half of Donbass already invaded and cleansed.

Brychan

Yes. A bit like the ‘Fucking Welsh’ remark by Tony Blair in Westminster cabinet after the 1999 Senedd election where Labour lost and resorted to fix a coalition of associate Brits. Doesn’t change the election result though. It’s the people who decide not the pundits. Have no doubt it will happen again when Drakeford is forced to munch on cheese.

Dafis

Not much point debating the relative “merits” of the Russian and Ukrainian regimes. Both are densely populated by scumbags, nasty bits of work with a propensity for racist, xenophobic tattoos and slogans and not so discreet extermination programmes. Of course most normal folk will have sympathy for the ordinary people in both countries who have to cope with the daily grind, but as for the leadership and power crazy echelons in both countries, well, they can go burn in hell. Any Western politician who devotes time to prodding these nests of vipers is also a grade A cnut, and is normally engaged in such activity as a distraction from his/her own country’s woes.

teilosant

I have much respect for the work you do in digging up unsavoury truths here in Wales. But i think you need to use your energy positively and wisely. forget what’s happening abroad and denying climate change

cymrosmith

What happens when places like Flintshire or South Pembrokeshire vote against Westminster rule but not England, or Britain? Admittedly being Old Nick’s advocate here…

Brychan

One thing I notice if you read media outside the British bubble, like Spain and now Sweden (Nato membership and all that) they do liken the fate of Crimea to that of Gibraltar. An isolated peninsular of strategic naval importance. Both were prior Islamic caliphates, became possessions of the ‘great powers’. Gibraltar to the British empire, Crimea to the Russian empire. You will not see this comparison on the BBC, but it is true. If Crimea belongs to Ukraine, then Gibraltar belongs to Spain. There is a huge difference between Donbass and Crimea, and the BBC (and Russian) narrative of lumping the two distinct provinces together is wrong. They are different, culturally, historically and politically.

David Smith

My take on Spain’s claim to Gibraltar, presumably primarily on the basis of it being next to it, is it becomes somewhat hypocritical when they themselves hang on to that city in North Africa. Oh and Gibraltar is not technically a peninsula it’s an isthmus ?

Brychan

Gibraltar was invaded by an Anglo-Dutch in 1704 and ceded to England under the British Empire in the Treaty of Utrecht. Crimea was invaded by a Russia in 1774 and ceded to Ukraine under the USSR in the Treaty of Pereyaslav. Undoubtedly, they share a similar legacy from the ‘great powers’. Both had had recent referendums where the majority of inhabitants that voted were dependent on plantation generations from the naval bases. They population refer to themselves as Crimeans not Russian or Ukrainian. Gibraltarians not English or Spanish. Both are bilingual. Elsewhere, Russia hangs onto an enclave at Kaliningrad in the same way as Spain hangs onto the enclave of Ceuta. The comparison is compelling.

Brychan

More recent history was when the indiginous Crimea Tatars established a modern democratic republic of Crimea in 1917, it didn’t last long and was occupied by the Russian Bolsheviks. Then in the 1930s, 100,000 died of starvation from the Stalin collectivisation and another 240,000 deported in 1944. The ethnic cleansing. The reality is that Crimea was a Russian plantation colony and is now operated as such. Nothing to do with BLM.

Brychan

Same excuse as when the British empire took possession of the Spanish slave islands in the Caribbean. Trinidad with Picton and all that. They were not, however, on a moral crusade. They wanted strategic occupation to control the seas. Enclaves of military occupation to dominate trade empires.

cymrosmith

I have a good friend from Gib and he emphasises their fiercely European identity. He’s still smarting over Brexit, which is somewhat at odds to their proud and defiant Britishness. He’s a fluent Spanish speaker as it happens, and I suppose the identity is one of openness and diverse heritage rather than, for comparison the ‘Kelpers’ (always a term I found fucking ridiculous).

Dafis

Come off it Jac. Seldom do I disagree with you but to dismiss Boris as just a bit of a “Jack the lad” fails to recognise the huge risk this country ( UK) took in placing him on that top perch and the damage he has contrived to do in a relatively short period of time. He may have been the man most likely to deliver on Brexit but the Brexit he delivered was built entirely on rhetoric and exceptionalist bullshit with scarcely an ounce of planning and real preparation. Politicians at the top level engaged in a continuous barrage of Remainer/ Leaver abuse for about 3 years, time that should have been spent getting down to the creation of detailed plans for post Exit relations with the rest of the world and the EU. Instead we had a prolonged period where they all behaved like lunatics and that continued into the Boris regime. He may not have had his hands in the till but he did a hell of a job of emptying it at regular intervals on any old blow out that took his fancy. Complete and utter self obsessed fuckin’ idiot.

Dafis

Winner by deception, most definitely. Speaks volumes about the fallen Red Wall that they were as much seduced by Jack the Lad as put off by Corbyn’s garbled mix of Islington pseudo socialism and old school 60’s Red/SWP junk. At this rate I can see that other bullshitter, Farage, making a comeback. I remain amazed that so called advanced societies like ours with an electorate of c.40-50 million can’t produce a handful of politicians with real skills instead of soundbite crap and over the top rhetoric. Even more shocked that USA with its 300+millions are reduced to the choice between Biden and Trump. No wonder people like Orban are treasured by their own countries.

Brychan

“In addition to those you mention we have that shallow bastard in France struggling on without a majority since the recent elections.”

The French have a presidential system. Macron won it in April by 58-41%. It’s quite usual for the president not to have a majority in the Parlement Francais. Same in the United States where a president often does not have a majority in Congress. This is not ‘struggling on’. It’s the way their democratic system works. Only in Russia does the president anoint the Duma.

David Robins

Rather more choice on the ballot paper for the parliamentary than for the second round of the presidential.

Red Flag

The french were given the choice between garbage and sewage. They chose garbage.

David Robins

In 2002, the advice was ‘vote for the crook, not the Nazi’. Neither had managed even 20% in the first round.

David Smith

Get Brexit Done. Slogan politics at its best. That’s what won it.

Red Flag

By and large it is. Bit of fine tuning to be done but it mostly is.

Red Flag

As a working class Tory, former Plaid member and committed hard Leaver ( I was even one of the union reps at the port of Holyhead for years.) who associates with other working class tories – lorry drivers, taxi drivers, shop workers, labourers, port workers etc etc, I can asure you he is seen as just a bit of a ‘jack the lad’ and that in our eyes, he did very little wrong. This is now showing where Sunalk is going to be utterly humiliated by an inferior candidate, purely because he knifed Boris and she didn’t. And yes, I shall be voting Truss for exactly the same reason – she didn’t knife Boris, even though Sunak is obviously the better candidate. And if Boris was on that ballot, he’d walk it.

David Smith

It’s a sad state of politics when it’s not merit or integrity people vote for but ‘colourful characters’.

cymrosmith

Starmer? I’ve not heard anything iffy about him; admittedly I haven’t all that much information on what he’s about.

David Smith

A hard leaver who worked at the port that relies on trade with the capital of an EU member state, who still backs a brazen hypocrite and serial liar? Whatever you’re smoking, pass me a toke! And as for the blue collar Boris backers you mention, well there’s a neat correlation between those lines of work and being taken in by this charlatan’s “I’m yer mate” act: a dearth of grey matter as a prerequisite.

Red Flag

Except that the 2 ferry companies are increasing tonnage on the route because freight and passenger levels have now surpassed what they were and they are looking at a record year. (The return of duty free shopping on-board has been a massive boost). Included in that increased tonnage are what will be the 2 largest ferries in the world. There are now more people working both on-board and at the port than in 2016,

The only ‘Battle Casualty’ was Road King – a truckstop on the outskirts of Holyhead, across the A55 from Morrisons and owned by Bet Fred. That employed nearly 30 people, mostly part-time and all bar 3 on minimum wage. They are all re-employed, most went straight to the new HMRC/Border Force facility at the same place and are now mostly full time, in significantly better paid jobs.

David Smith

Yes, as it turns out it has panned out alright, I’m aware of that. But we never did undergo a ‘hard’ Brexit. The CTA is still intact, for one. It could have been so much worse with tariffs, full-on goods inspections, visas and who knows what else, and where would Holyhead be then? I’m sure the ferry companies at least made preparations for additional routes direct to the continent when the final deal was still uncertain?

Red Flag

Even with a hard Brexit, the CTA would still apply.

It’s not really economically feasible to by-pass the UK for transport between Ireland and the continent because of what is actually being carried. Virtually all of the stuff coming over to Holyhead (the UK’s second busiest ferry port remember) is either from RoI for the UK market or from UK for the RoI market and is fresh foodstuffs – chilled meats, dairy products such as fresh cream, fruit & veg etc etc. There has always been a small direct rout to France – Rosslare-Cherbourg, but it has one small ferry, of limited capacity, that is prove to massive delays especially in autumn ansd spring because of weather, and the road network from Cherbourg s utterly dire.

Ireland has far more in common with the UK than language. We tend to eat the same foodstuffs, the same beers, a palate for the same meat types etc etc. Go to Germany (where I used to live) or France or Italy etc etc and try and nail down bacon that we and the Irish eat, our style of sausages, pork pies, sausage rolls, spam, luncheon meat, corned beef, cheese & onion crisps (or any of the other flavours we eat), baked beans, the humble sliced white loaf, decent tea bags, heinz tomato ketchup (not that revolting over-sweetened local stuff the Germans & French eat for example), proper chips, HP brown sauce, pickled onions – even the type of cigarette. Ireland exports and imports nearly as much to/from the UK as it does to the rest of the EU combined, purely because of common heritage.

get a grip.

Brychan

Nonsense. The Rosslare to France ferry operation is very buoyant and profitable. Now four very large ships. The land-bridge traffic before Brexit was just convenient for drivers’ hours and only operated at discounted rates to fill shoulder sailings on the Dover to Calais route. With the cost of fuel in the UK, it’s now a no brainer. Cannot comment on your sausage experience, if the pack has a jack I put it back.

Red Flag

That’s summer time sailings when they have 4 – something they have done for decades and they are always busy then because of carvaners mainly. And they are not large ships. The largest ferries on the Irish Sea are on the central corridor (Holyhead-Dublin, Liverpool-Dublin, Liverpool-Belfast), – in fact the foir largest ferries in Europe, two of which are the largest in the world, ply the Holyhead-Dublin route. The next biggest are on the northern corridor from Scotland to Belfast.

You also make the basic child-level error. Rosslare-Cherbourg is a very long crossing. Ferrties on the Holyhead route do 2 return trips a day each – the 4 largest ferries in europe doing 8 return trips a day between them. (Oh, and they have some medium ferries on that route as well that are bigger than Cherbourg-Rosslare covering the ‘shoulder’ sailing, and that’s before we get to the Liverpool-Dublin crossings). Rosslare Cherbourg not only are they smaller, more prone to cancellation and sigtnificantly reduced coverage during non-summer period, but they can only turn them around once every 36 hours.

What you think is a ‘large ship’ is probably you basing it on what you see on the channel. the Channel ferries are small-medium by todays standards and by what is sailing on other UK routes.

Holiday coverage for the summer on RO-CB is not the normal coverage.

Red Flag

And your knowledge of the freight system is laughable. Most of the lorry freight transiting UK between Ireland and Europe is now unaccompanied. Driver takes oiit to Dublin, leaves it. Trailer is loaded on ferry by port staff. Unloaded in Holyhead by port staff. Coollected by shuttle-driver who then transports to to Dover, Hull etc and drops it, port staff then load it and it’s then collected by a third driver. There are literally hundreds of drivers for Irish companies (Virginia, Caffreys, Noone, Nolan, etc etc etc) who have never been to Irleland and have done nothing for years other than collect a load from Holyhead and dropped it in Dover, collecting a load in Dover and dropping it in Holyhead etc etc etc, Day in, day out – I know loads of them. (imagine driving Holyhead- A55-M62-Hull and back every day, 6 days a week for months on end.)

The ferry companies themselves prefer this method because for every three accompanied loads, they can take 4 unaccompanied loads – increasing freight capacity significantly. They can also charge less because they are not providing facilities for the driver and they need fewer crew because they are carrying fewer ‘souls’

It was hoped that Brexit would cause a lot of Irish-Continental freight to by-pass UK, thus reducing our carbon footpprint, and initailly that seemed to be happening but was actually the impact of reduced consumption because of Covid. It’s now only 4% less than it was prior to us leaving on 31 Dec 2019 and higher than before the referendum, although the shift in which ports it is passing through, probably because fo the NIP, is noticeable.

cymrosmith

I did write a long )and somewhat pointed!) reply, but the bastard signal went out on the train. I’ll submit this in lieu though: it could have gone badly, badly wrong with the hubris of those arseholes in Westminster in charge. Hard Brexit (your advocation): endless checks, trade war, jettisoning of the CTA. And you wanted that for the port? Human civilisation has told us that when the barriers to trade become too much, another way will be found. I have to ask, are you a believer in independence or just another conned and gullible specimen under the spell of Our Betters™?

Brychan

The size of vessel on the IE-FR routes is not from want of capacity but that of frequency.

One big departure per day will not capture the trade of two smaller ships operating two departures per day. This is the direction that Stena is going, they have much larger vessels on the Scandic routes and can charter or re-dispose at will should they wish, but that’s not the priority.

Irish Ferries currently run a take the scraps route between Dover and Calais which will soon be obsolete, repatriated. P&O will soon take delivery of their new mega-ferries. The pilot IE-FR routes were launched as a toe in the water. An experiment. It’s been successful. Now is poised to be better resourced.

Unaccompanied drops at Holyhead are a stop-gap measure until the dust settles on Brexit, customs and borders. Useful only for high value loads of single spot delivery. There are loads of customers between Holyhead and Hull, and despite what Westminster are up to in the northern counties, they don’t want sealed containers in England. Full land-bridge is also increasingly risky due to the situation at Dover. It’s very expensive to have a load sitting on the M20 in Kent. That situation will not be solved anytime soon.

HGV deck space (running surplus at Holyhead and Liverpool) nor its price is not a critical factor for ferry companies on the larger dedicated freight vessels. The ‘souls aboard’ is only critical when run in non-freight mode.

Pity that you comment my knowledge on such matters a laughable. The real joke is orange hauliers from the north who used to shoot for the UDA now calling for re-unification, and it’s a hand nosed business viewpoint. If you’re the jackmonkey for the Westminster organ grinder best check your uniform. Virginia, Caffreys, Noone and Nolan will go wherever the margin is. So will Interfrigo.

David Smith

The man is a self-admitted member of the Conservative and Unionist Party, with a working class job and working class mates in and around Holyhead. Obviously a card-carrying member of a cabal of inveterate thickoes if they think that shower of cunts are their mates in these parts.

Red Flag

The two large ships each company operates out of Holyhead have always done tw0o return trips daily other than during Covid and dusing the crash post-2010. How come you diodn’t know that?

Despite the withdrawal donkeys years ago of the HSS by Stena in 2014 (aviation turbines not being a cost effective method), the introduction of larger ships means that there is more capacity and lane length then ever on those routes.

Ratio of usage is seasonal and always has nbeen – the beat-up to Xmas from October and Easter from late Jan sees an increase in freight space demand, the beat up to school holidays, key dates such as Valentines, key sporting events etc etc sees an increase in passenger demand.

Day trips – particulalrly ‘non landers’ are going through the roof since the return of duty free shopping, which both companies regard as a gold mine and a half.

Demand both for freight and passenger is forecast to increase year on year for the next 5 years at least by both companies.and as a rsult more significant and major investments are in the final stages of planning. And some of them are massive.

Red Flag

David, I used to bhe a member of Plaid Cymru. Then I was weaned and toilet trained.

A country is only as good as it’s private sector. Hamper that, destroy the country.

Wynne

Wondering what the plus in LGBTQ+ stood for, I found the following helpful definition in the “LGBTQ+ Action Plan for Wales”.

“Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer / Questioning people [LGBTQ+] [with the + representing other identities including non-binary]”.

“Other identities” would appear to be a continuing grey area. Perhaps a clearer definition is required.

Have a well-earned break in August Jac.

Dafis

The + is there to enable any recently contrived bunch of new oddballs to add a letter to the alphabet soup. The identity industry is thriving among under employed deviants looking for a new ishoo to promote. Coming soon to your area , no doubt. Meanwhile real identities are harrased by the same weird bunch of militants as they do not fit the new template that these new fascist supremacists wish to impose.

Neil Singleton

I identify as God, and my pronouns are “My Lord and Master”. Anyone who does not address me as such is committing a hate crime.

David Smith

Asexuals and hermaphrodites are in there too I’m certain. Although, is certitude itself allowed in these ‘fluid’ times?