Miscellany 28.09.2022

I hadn’t planned on putting out a post this week. But people contact me and say, ‘Have you seen this, Jac?’; and most of the time I can politely respond and let it pass. But now and again I get a clutch of reports or leads that are worth bringing together in a post like this.

It’s big, 4,500+ words, but as I always say, you can take it a section at a time.

And because it’s so big, and it’s taken so much work, don’t expect anything next week.

SYCHARTH UPDATE

The previous post was about my visit to Sycharth on September 16, and my disappointment with state of the site. Which prompted a reader to write to Cadw, the agency responsible for conserving our heritage.

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Here are the points he raised with Cadw:

  • The stile to Sycharth is in a poor condition.
  • Car parking is insufficient.
  • The whole site is in a mess. An hour with a strimmer would do wonders.
  • The information board does not mention much of  Cymru’s history.
  • Its neglect is a travesty and an insult to our past and heritage.
  • Utterly shameful behaviour on your part.

To which Cadw responded with this. Which tells us the site belongs to the Llangedwyn Estate. More particularly, Nicholas Watkin Williams-Wynn.

A couple of phrases from the Cadw response are worth focusing on.

‘Sycharth  . . . forms part of a working tenant farm under the Llangedwyn estate with permissive public access and parking at its discretion’.

‘Cadw installed the car park (four cars max) and access works (stile?) in 2010-2011 but their maintenance is again the responsibility of the owners.’

So it’s up to the Llangedwyn Estate whether people are allowed to visit Sycharth. And could, presumably, block public access. It’s also the Estate’s responsibility to maintain car parking and access. To judge by what I saw there, the Estate is doing its best to discourage visitors.

Is this some old dynastic feud being played out in the 21st century?

So I ask again: If the so-called ‘Welsh Government’ can find £4.25m to buy Gilestone farm for an English music festival, for purposes that are yet to be explained, why can’t it find the money to buy a site of national if not international importance and maintain it adequately and respectfully?

FREELOADERS IN FREEPORTS

Freeports are back in the news. And it seems Wales is getting one. Either in Holyhead or Milford Haven and Port Talbot.

Let’s start in Holyhead.

Now the Conservative MP for Ynys Môn, Virginia Crosbie, is a big supporter of freeports, and has staked her reputation on turning a run-down ferry port into a beacon of global trade that will bring into Caergybi the riches of the Orient, the gold of the Indies, and of course – Guinness from Dublin.

Here she is setting out her ambition in a mercifully short video.

Though in truth, freeports rarely live up to their billing. And often involve very murky dealings. Private Eye has been following the evolution of the Tees Freeport in north east England. And produced the report below in the issue before last. (Available here in pdf format.)

N.B. Political donations are not to be confused with bribes and backhanders; and if friends of London politicians get juicy contracts then it can only be because their firms are best able to deliver.

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Tees-side is a heavily built-up area, with a population pushing 380,000. And after the loss of its heavy industry – particularly steel – there is a widespread perception that the area is ‘owed something’.

Holyhead, by comparison, is a small town, with not much to speak about other than the ferry port to Ireland.

Until it closed in 2009, a major local employer was the Anglesey Aluminium smelter, with its private jetty. The plant received its electricity from Wylfa nuclear power station, some 15 miles away, another major employer that is now gone.

Roughly one thousand jobs paying good wages lost, but never mind, we’ll obey those who know best and stick in a few wind turbines and wave machines – plenty of jobs and unlimited cheap energy. Not.

The vacant site was taken over by Anglesey Aluminium Metal Renewables Ltd which in January 2016 became Orthios Power (Anglesey) Ltd. The site eventually being used for a plastics-to-oil operation.

But this folded earlier this year, with debts estimated at some £200m. And the end came suddenly, certainly for the staff. I’m told there was just a 10-minute warning not to start the next shift!

There are many Orthios companies listed with Companies House, none going back further than 2009 and most formed in the past three years. The ultimate holding company seems to be Orthios Operations Ltd, formerly Orthios Group (Holdings) Ltd.

So what happens now?

Well, the old smelter site has been bought by ferry operator Stena, and this is how a source on the island explains it . . .

‘Now of course they (Stena) can shift the dockside car parks elsewhere leaving nice waterside development plots. Just the sort of place to build a cable plant so they can load directly onto ships. The sort of cable company Virginia Crosbie MP was courting … the one owned by a Tory donor’.

He’s referring to Tratos, another local company hoping to benefit from offshore wind farms. Well, when I say ‘local’, it might be local if you were living in Italy. As the report makes clear.

From North West Wales Conservatives website. Click to open enlarged in separate tab.

This further report will explain a bit more of what’s going. Though you may not need to read beyond the headline: ‘Holyhead could get 300 cable jobs if area gets freeport status – says firm run by Tory party donor’.

Not much more to say really. Stena is leading the Freeport bid, and now Stena is pulling out the stops to get an ‘anchor’ company located in Holyhead. As is the local MP.

To finish this piece on Holyhead I have to mention Jake Berry MP. Now Jake is MP for a constituency in north west England, but he owns a number of properties on Ynys Môn. During the Covid lockdown it was rumoured that Virginia Crosbie was living in a property owned by Berry.

In addition to his post as party chairman, new Prime Minister, Liz Truss (I know you’re all impressed!), has made Berry Minister without Portfolio. Which may not sound much, but it kind of gives him a free hand.

That appointment was announced September 7. The day before the announcement, Berry resigned from the Northern Research Group Ltd (northern English Tory MPs), where he held the controlling interest. Also from Ford Bridge Farm Ltd.

Now why would he do that?

Ford Bridge Farm is of course an English rendering of his – or his wife’s – Rhyd y Bont farm at Rhoscolyn, on Holy Island. This is the smaller island, off the main island, and where Holyhead is located. Which means that Jake would be very close should the freeport materialise. A neighbour!

Rhyd y Bont circled. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Does Jake Berry anticipate benefitting in some way from a freeport at Holyhead? Or am I being too cynical? Cynical! Moi!

By comparison, the southern rival seems far less well advanced. In fact, we could be forgiven for thinking it’s hardly off the ground. This report would suggest that it was launched as recently as last week.

Though this piece from November 2020 suggests the Port of Milford Haven has been thinking about a freeport for some time.

Milford Waterway. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

The more recent activity may be due to the fact that in May it was announced that the 45km limit (for the extent of freeport status) could be extended in Wales. This could certainly explain the southern bid combining Milford Haven with Port Talbot.

Which are 87km apart, as the fabled crow flies.

This somewhat bizarre combination is presumably justified by links between Milford Haven and Swansea Bay. As show in the image below. Which strikes me as being a wee bit desperate. For example, the Llandarcy refinery closed in 1998.

And would a freeport in Milford make the oil, gas, or electricity flow any faster?

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My insular source believes that for all sorts of reasons the southern bid will win out. I’m not so sure. For with local boy Jake Berry working his magic behind the scenes, and his good friend Virginia Crosbie staking her political reputation on it, I would not be at all surprised to see the £26m freeport pot head up the A5 rather than down the M4.

But whichever direction the loot heads the lucky recipients will need to watch out for sharks circling – but these won’t be in the water. They’ll be arriving in Beemers and hoping to dazzle with PowerPoint presentations and insincere smiles.

And, dare I say it, ‘inducements’. There, I’ve said it.

And I say it because a freeport in either Holyhead or Milford / Port Talbot will attract grifters like the fresh laverbread stall in Swansea market draws discerning gourmets.

NAILING THE VOICES?

This section is decidedly odd, and I wasn’t sure about using it, so please understand if certain details are withheld. (Especially towards the end.) But I do have the information and the relevant documents.

It started when someone got in touch, saying she had information on Gilestone, but what she offered was unconnected incidents jumbled up with snippets from hither and yon.

The long and winding road somehow took us to Ammanford. And Alan Delaney Tait. If the name rings a bell it’s because Tait claims to hear voices of women and children being abused, hurt, even killed. These sounds either come from beneath his property or from tunnels nearby.

Tait has turned his ‘voices’ into a cottage industry. With many videos on YouTube and other platforms. That said, they don’t get many views. This one, with 40k, is probably the most popular.

Most people, including the local police, dismiss Tait as a publicity-seeking crank. No tangible evidence of human trafficking has ever been found. In fact, there is nothing beyond Tait’s recordings; and as has been pointed out, these could have been made anywhere.

Doing a quick check for Tait on the Companies House website turned up some interesting stuff. Now I’m not sure from where Tait originates, but he’s been living in Ammanford in recent years.

And yet Companies House gives out eight companies for ‘Alan Delaney Tait’ with addresses in Ystalyfera, in the Swansea Valley.

With other companies where he drops the ‘Delaney’ and becomes plain ‘Alan Tait’.

Such as Alan Dee UK Ltd. (I love the way some use ‘UK’, hoping their enterprise will be mistaken for the local branch of a global empire.) Then there’s UKWide Contract Services Ltd,  ADT UK Wide Ltd and, finally, Number Plates Online Ltd.

In recent years the focus of operations seems to have switched to Derbyshire, in the East Midlands. With The Three Boars Guesthouse Ltd and Chal Rentals Ltd.

For these Derbyshire-based companies Tait has as co-director the gloriously monikered Carlos von Gallo. Who has his own YouTube channel, where he puts out nothing but Tait’s Ammanford ‘recordings’.

‘Von Gallo’ is listed as the sole shareholder at the two companies’ deaths, but does he really exist?

What the 14 companies I’ve given here have in common is that after a short life – in some cases very short – they all went under. There are no survivors.

Something else I found intriguing was that for almost all Tait’s companies there was an issue of a single £1 share (if it was him alone) or £2 if there was another director (Tait’s wife or ‘von Gallo’). With two notable exceptions.

These were The Old Coal Store, with a share issue of £25,000, and Barlas Eren Sezer Ltd, with a share issue of £125,000.

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I don’t wish to cast aspersions but, if I had money I couldn’t account for, then disguising it as a share capital in a company doomed to fail, might have its attractions.

In his ‘voices’ videos Tait points the finger at the nearby Sophia Nails. He further claims that the leaseholder was a Vietnamese woman named Trang Thanh Tran. She is now said to run T Nail Spa in the centre of Swansea.

There is a company of that name where she is listed as sole director. But the single £15,000 share is held by Thi Hai Nhung Nguyen who gives as his address another nail bar, this one on Chepstow Road in Newport.

Tran’s partner, or husband, Quang Lam, was the leaseholder in Ammanford and also at Heaven Nails in Llanelli. He was sent down for 5 years for belonging to a gang growing and distributing cannabis.

There are a number of ‘Heaven Nail’ companies, all but one run by Vietnamese nationals.

The Vietnamese connection may be significant because some comments to the YouTube videos claim to have heard Vietnamese being spoken by the ‘voices’.

But the problem with Tait is that even if he’s telling the truth about the voices, and the Vietnamese connection, one look at his business record tells us that he is, to put it generously, ‘unlucky’, with so many failed companies to his name. 

Despite Tait being so ‘unlucky’, I was still left wondering . . . and so, motivated by nothing beyond idle curiosity, I Googled ‘Sophia Nails’, the name of the Ammanford salon. What popped up was the Sophia Nail Spa in Porth, in the Rhondda.

At which point things got a bit strange.

For in February this year a company, Sophia Nail Spa Ltd, was launched. The only director is a 23-year-old Vietnamese named Thien Van Hoang.

And although the company uses 22 Hannah Street, Porth, as its correspondence address, the Certificate of Incorporation gives Hoang’s address as 31 Ridley Terrace, Sunderland.

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At this point is might be worth suggesting a few things.

  • First, whoever’s running the Porth nail bar may know nothing about the company that’s using the same name.
  • Next, Thien Van Hoang may not even know he is named as director of Sophia Nail Spa Ltd. I have come across other examples of people being listed as company directors without their knowledge.
  • Finally, Thien Van Hoang may never have visited Sunderland.

But to find another Vietnamese connection is intriguing. Not least because it seems nail bars are used by Vietnamese criminals for exploiting women and girls, also for money laundering. The same gangs that are involved with cannabis. And not just in the UK.

Just type ‘Vietnamese nail bars trafficking’ into your search engine and you’ll bring up countless news reports. It’s big business.

Which may also explain Sophia’s Nail Bar at 9 Oxford Street, Mountain Ash. (Shown in image below.) Which more recently seems to have been known as New Star Nails. Which again is odd, because a company of that name folded in July 2018.

The secretary and the only director are both of Vietnamese extraction.

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Returning to Porth, if we look at the building in which Sophia Nail Spa is located we see a block – 20-25 Hannah Street – with a second floor and, in part, a third floor.

Another company listed at this block was a sporting establishment (darts, snooker, etc), on the first floor, which in July changed its name and apparently became a bar. All the old directors left and a single new director arrived, a 22-year-old woman with an unmistakably Welsh name.

I’m not saying young Welsh women shouldn’t run bars, but . . .

For a start, ingress and egress to a bar on the first floor will only be possible by a flight of stairs from the street. Would a council – even Rhondda Cynon Tâf – grant a drinks licence to a place where people would regularly fall or be pushed down the stairs?

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On a weekend a fleet of ambulances would be needed to carry away the injured. And as we know, Wales doesn’t have a working fleet of ambulances.

Something’s not right. The old Jac nose is all a-quiver.

From countless previous cases in Wales and across Europe, Vietnamese nationals owning or running nail bars should have aroused the suspicions of both local councils and the police. 

Finally, the company that owns that 20-25 block on Hannah Street in Porth is based just a mile and a half, as the crow flies, from Gilestone Farm!

I am not suggesting anything. It’s just a small world and Wales is a small country.

THE OLD FOLKS AT HOME

Someone contacted me suggesting I might be interested in the latest in a series of bad news stories about care homes. And this one really is bad.

Like so many of the care homes in Wales, Pontypridd Nursing Home is run by a company based outside of Wales. In this case, RB Care Homes Ltd, of Chislehurst in Kent. The RB stands, presumably, for director Raqia Bibi.

I can’t find a website but there is a Twitter account with nothing posted for three years. It’s a similar story with the Facebook page.

I suspect this company has gone under. Maybe not officially, but Companies House is still waiting for accounts that should have been submitted by November 30 last year. I don’t think they’re coming.

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Despite the parlous state of RB Care Homes, and other companies of hers we’ll look at in a minute, Raqia Bibi was, as late as June this year, being held up as an exemplar of good practice in the sector!

Truly amazing!

Pontypridd Nursing Home wasn’t Ms Bibi’s first venture into care homes, nor her first foray into Wales. For she has a string of companies behind her, including you’ll notice, Wrexham Care Centre.

Where some three years ago she also made the news for the wrong reasons. You’ll see that her partner in Wrecsam was Mohanananthan Kuhananthan. With whom the story takes a bit of a twist. But be patient.

For a start, Wrexham Care Centre Ltd was always a dormant company, with money going through Nant-y-Gaer Ltd, which is also in administration.

Then, you’ll remember that the news report I linked to at the top of this section said that the Pontypridd Nursing Home is run by RB Care Homes Ltd, which may be true. But that company has also been filing as dormant since it was Incorporated in February 2017.

The report made no mention of Pontypridd Care Home Ltd, owned by Mohanananthan Kuhananthan. With Raqia Bibi as co-director. Which may be explained by the fact that it’s this company that actually owns the property on Maesycoed Road, for which it claims to have paid £1.5m in May 2012.

Which means that while local authorities and others go chasing dormant companies for money those companies don’t have, the assets themselves are owned by companies they may know nothing about. It’s a popular trick.

Maybe Wrecsam and Rhondda Cynon Tâf councils, or anyone else owed money from the collapse of nursing / care homes, should consult their lawyers about refocusing any claims.

Kuhananthan has other companies. Many companies. Four under the Comfort Care Homes brand suggest operations in Wales. With, in some cases, money owed to the Development Bank of Wales. These relate to the Danygraig Nursing Home, in Newport.

What I find extraordinary is that these DBW loans were made in June, when it would have been obvious, after the most cursory of enquiries, that not only are Kuhananthan’s companies in deep trouble, but that the man himself may not be entirely above board.

UPDATE 10.10.2022: It may be worth clarifying that Kuhananthan was no longer a director of Comfort Care Homes (Danygraig) Ltd when the DBW loans were made, and Bibi had never been a director. But this company is owned by Dream Care Homes (RB) Ltd, formed in December 2021. And while they’re not shown as directors of this company either, I suspect the ‘RB’ tells us something.

Kuhananthan’s Welsh involvement doesn’t end with the examples given.

Through the company Mufulira Ltd, which Kuhananthan joined in May 2018, and was followed by Raqia Bibi in July 2021, they own Ridgeway Care Centre in Pembrokeshire, which must be worth a few bob.

The entrance to the Ridgeway Care Centre, Llawhaden, Pembrokeshire. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

In fact, the latest accounts seem to value Ridgeway at just short of two million pounds. That said, while it might be owned by Mufulira – another company in trouble – Mufulira itself is owned by Comfort Care Homes Ltd, which we know is yet another Kuhananthan and Bibi company.

Maybe Pembrokeshire County Council should also be on alert, and realise who owns Ridgeway. But then, Kuhananthan-Bibi companies appear to have no assets beyond the buildings, all of which have loans or mortgages against them.

I didn’t have the time to go any deeper, but I suggest for anyone so inclined, that Kuhananthan and Bibi are worthy of further investigation.

Before finishing this section, here’s another interesting connection.

We earlier encountered Nant-y-Gaer Ltd, which I suggested was the Kuhananthan-Bibi company actually running the home of that name in Wrecsam. (Now ‘Wrexham Care Centre’.) But there’s also a Nant-y-Gaer Hall Ltd.

When going through the details for Nant-y-Gaer Hall Ltd I noticed that Kuhananthan gave as his address 83 Dyserth Road in Rhyl. Where we find Sandy Lodge Hospital, run buy Medirose Healthcare.

A company formed as recently as November 2020 and filing as dormant.

However, 83 Dyserth Road is owned by HuaTong Ltd, a company that somehow manages to make a loss every year. The directors and owners are Chinese citizen, Wang Liu, and Sharvanandan Arnold, who has cropped up before in connection with fellow Sri Lankan Mohanananthan Kuhananthan

I conclude that care for the elderly in Wales is an utter shambles. It’s attracting unscrupulous if not crooked operators. They’re drawn by easy money and the lack of adequate oversight.

As a start, and a show of intent, I would like the ‘Welsh Government’ and Care Inspectorate Wales to announce they will not register or deal with any care home, nursing home, or other facility, where Mohanananthan Kuhananthan and Raqia Bibi are involved.

To lighten the mood a little, though not too much . . .

I genuinely worry about the care of the elderly because I’m not getting any younger myself. Will I be properly taken care of when my kids dump me in the Uncle Joe Sunshine Home for Unrepentant Fascists and Incorrigible Transphobes?

SOURCES

I had planned to have a section dealing with information I’d received from a source somewhere within the ‘Welsh Government’ detailing the nepotism and corruption all around.

And of the power wielded by those connected with housing associations, often in areas that have nothing to do with housing, and how the Wales Council for Voluntary Action is almost an arm of government.

Also some of the names I’m called in Corruption Bay. Some so bad he / she couldn’t even put them into print! Well, I was mortified. Mortified, I was!

But on reflection I feel it could be dangerous for this person if I was to go into details. So I’ll leave it there.

The information I’ve received thus far was posted anonymously to Gwlad and passed on to me. But I do wish to maintain contact.

So we need to think how this might be achieved.

GLOBALISTS

In recent years it has become increasingly clear to me that much of what I report on is simply the ‘Welsh Government’ and various agencies in Wales adopting and promoting agendas dreamt up elsewhere.

‘London’, is only part of the answer. And an increasingly irrelevant part.

A few years ago I wouldn’t have been writing this, but the Covid ‘pandemic’ and the way it was seized upon by politicians and others opened my eyes, and it helped me see the bigger picture.

That bigger picture of unelected, supranational bodies imposing agendas on governments and other institutions that impact on just about everybody on Earth.

In particular, I’m referring to the World Economic Forum. Made up of politicians, bankers, and multi-billionaires like Bill Gates, George Soros and Mark Zuckerberg. This self-electing elite – like almost all previous elites in human history – believes it is made up of essentially decent people, who are obviously smarter than the rest of us, and should therefore run the world.

Klaus Schwab and the World Economic Forum. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

It reminds me of a couple of lines from Tom Paxton’s 1960s protest song, Daily News.

J. Edgar Hoover is the man of the hourAll that he needs is just a little more power

Just like J Edgar Hoover all the new global elite needs is a little more power. And then a little more. And then . . .

(Never agreed with his politics but I always thought Paxton was the best – certainly the most versatile – of the 60s folk / protest singer-songwriters. Love songs, political songs, humorous songs, kids’ songs, he could do them all.)

The principal tool the new elite uses to exert control and impose its agenda is climate disaster. Just like the Nazis they realise that to impose your will you need to frighten people with an imagined or overblown ‘threat’.

For the Nazis, it was the Jews, the Communists, Versailles; but for Klaus Schwab and his gang it’s global warming – and it’s all our fault. So we must change our behaviour to make up for the damage we cause, in ways that will be decided for us.

And it’s the West that must be targeted. Partly because the West is the richest and most advanced area of the globe, and also because concepts of individual liberty are more highly developed and valued in the West than most other parts of the world.

This explains the many-fronted attack on Western civilisation by the globalists and their foot-soldiers on the Left. With their initiatives denied / defended / promoted / hidden / (depending on requirements) by their allies in Mainstream Media and Big Tech.

It also explains much of what we see in Wales: the war on farmers, the lack of spending on infrastructure, the 20mph speed limit, our hills being ravaged by wind farms.

The crises we see approaching, food shortages due to the war on farmers, power cuts thanks to a campaign against fossil fuels and increased reliance on useless ‘renewables’, no petrol or diesel to run our vehicles, being locked out of your bank account for holding the ‘wrong’ views, political unrest resulting from these problems, unnecessary lockdowns and dangerous vaccinations justified by a virus with increasingly suspect origins, even the war in the Ukraine, have all been engineered, and could all have been avoided.

Because it’s all about control. Over us. By them.

Compared to forced chipping of children, and silencing those who challenge the WEF narrative, Lee Waters stuffing the National Infrastructure Commission with cronies representing housing associations, Sustrans / Deryn (Waters is ex Sustrans himself), and the M4 corridor, is small beer.

And no less than we have come to expect from Welsh politicians.

I’ll end with a little history lesson cum allegory that might explain how I see things.

Carlos Marcello was the Mafia boss of New Orleans for many years, and one of the most powerful gangsters in the USA. Then in 1960 John F Kennedy became President; he appointed his brother Bobby as Attorney-General, and Bobby went after the Mob.

Predictably, many leading figures in organised crime wanted to whack Bobby Kennedy; but Marcello sagely observed that if you cut off a dog’s tail he can still bite you, so it was better to go for the head.

Which helps explain why Marcello is strongly suspected of being implicated in JFK’s assassination in Dallas on November 22, 1963. He probably was involved, but this wasn’t a straightforward Mafia hit, and they didn’t act alone.

The point I’m making is that I’m spending too much time on a ‘tail’. And while I shall continue to report idiocy like Gilestone, in future I intend paying more attention to the ‘head’.

♦ end ♦

 

© Royston Jones 2022


56 thoughts on “Miscellany 28.09.2022

  1. Dafis

    You report that the “retired” ISIS pleasure bitch is retiring to Hay on Wye. Might get into a bit of book burning to rekindle her taste for being nasty to others. As long as she remains on the English side of the border they can keep her and worry about her. That’s to the east and north of the junction with the B road from Clyro into Hay. If this Anglo-islamofascist decides to enter Wales we should be at liberty to chop her fuckin’ head off just like her shitty mob used to dish it out when they had the whip hand. Or am I being too reasonable about this bitch and her depraved apologists ?

  2. Rob

    We’ve probably got 2 years before a Labour government with a large majority, so Liz Truss has nothing to lose – she might as well initiate the right wing policies she keeps threatening and put clear blue water between herself and Starmer.

    As someone right leaning I want to see a much smaller state and lower taxes, people know how to spend their own money better than any government so going into an election campaign where the tories can say ”vote Labour for higher taxes and a bigger state” will at least give them a fighting chance where they currently have none.

    This is all relevant to Wales because Drakeford and his sidekicks in Plaid will always be – and can get away with being openly much further to the left than Starmer can allow people to see in England, most English people don’t know who Drakeford is so when Starmer praises him it goes in one ear and out the other. Wales is in the grip of the left, the Conservatives are painted as ”English” despite having plenty of bona fide Welshmen within its ranks, the Welsh left is swollen by so called ”progressives” from England so the accusations are meaningless.

    The prospect of Welsh independence any time in the near future is a grim one, probably best put on the back burner till the right in Wales becomes stronger – but that’s just my opinion I understand many are impatient.

  3. Dafis

    Just caught sight of your tweet about GreenMan and Wales Gov. Am I correct in concluding that the hippy dame running that panto was dictating terms to Wales Gov ? That Wales Gov accepted those terms without significant modifications regarding future beneficiaries from any improvements or developments and proceeded to purchase the assets at the reported inflated price?

    There are people out there who want to give Drakeford a pasting for his duff management of the Covid crisis. After all, he was only a bit better than that ultimate clown Boris. I suggest that while they are at it they nail his bollox to a tree ( how appropriately green!) for this stupendous piece of incompetence in dealing with an upstart entitled madam.

    1. It looks like she’s been calling the shots for a while. ‘I say, you . . . you there – find one an estate or a nice big farm. And don’t expect one to pay for it.’

      As for nailing Drakeford’s bollox to a tree, I really couldn’t comment. But the mere thought of it brings a tear to the eye.

  4. Jonathan Gwyn Mendus Edwards

    Thanks for mentioning Freeports, you and Brychan. I am ex-P&O so am glad to see a discussion taking place. Read ‘Private Eye’ about Teeside. Considering how much shipping Wales used to do, how have we let it all go? Norway hasn’t. Is M.Haven really at capacity, with all those tankers? The Daugleddau is the second best harbour in the world. Second only to Trincomalee, according to Nelson. Assuming that Brychan is right about M.Haven, he’s right about Port Talbot. So how do we get this to work? Most Brits and all Councils think a port is about the land. Teeside is a good example of how the land gets sorted, or not. But there is definitely a place for your semi-pirate Freeport. The Mediterranean, the Hanseatic League, ports in the W.Indies grew very prosperous on lightly regulated trade. But this takes a certain attitude. I reckon Liverpool still has it. Sem-piratical. Can Wales do this? Wales was very good at piracy in the Golden Age, and our shipping did well on the back of coal, copper, steel etc. You need 2 things. Entrepreneurs (from anywhere). And clever light-touch regulators, to stop the thing getting out of hand. Difficult to get right but immensely valuable if you do. But if you abolish the WDA, you’re not going to get this right. Trueni

  5. Dafis

    Now we have yet another fine example of decision making by resolute Anglo Brit supremacists – the U turn on taxation policy by Truss and her boy Kwasi. No big deal really but just imagine if she’d gone off half cocked with the old nuclear option and lobbed one onto Moscow. Not much good coming back 10 days later (if we might still be around) with a bit of “we’ve listened and we’ve decided to do something else”! The whole lot of them need rounding up, and clowns like Drakeford thinks there’s mileage in associating with them.

  6. Rob

    I drove down to the march yesterday with an open mind, I’m neither a committed nationalist or a unionist but I have skin in the game should Wales break away from the UK.

    Can’t say as I learned much, I expected to see excitable youths there for the crack, a handful of men who think we’re still living in the 15th century and more worryingly from my point of view the loony left at the front and centre of everything. Welsh nationalism has a problem if it wants to attract sane people with something to lose.

    1. I’ve been saying that for some time. The crushing defeat suffered by Leanne Wood in the Plaid Cymru leadership contest should have alerted sane people to the realisation that following – or being led by – the loony left will take Wales nowhere. Because if her views have such little support in Plaid Cymru, then what hope is there for an independence movement controlled by people who share those views?

      1. Rob

        I voted to leave the EU not because I hate foreigners but in the hope the UK could undercut the over regulated leftist block

        Independent or not Wales is always going to be more intertwined with the much bigger economy next door so to be at an advantage we would ideally need to be more ”conservative” than England.

        I can’t see any circumstances how a small socialist over governed Welsh state can possibly prosper so close to an England that will be naturally further to the right and as you state in your blog WelshLabour/Plaid are 100% committed to the far left ideals of climate hysteria, WEF, gender issue etc etc.

        When I see our politicians on TV I don’t feel angry I feel embarrassed.

        1. In Wales socially conservative voters are being served a radical-left agenda by deception, because Labour and Plaid never state their true objectives. Labour is still picking up votes from people whose grandmothers had the hots for Nye Bevan, while many Plaid voters – certainly in the rural heartlands – think they’re voting for the party of Gwynfor Evans.

          For example, neither Labour nor Plaid is honest (or foolish) enough to say in their manifestos; ‘We believe in women with penises, and think they should be allowed into changing rooms with your daughters and grand-daughters’. But they believe it, and they implement legislation to facilitate it.

          1. Dafis

            Most likely a number of men in the Plaid and Labour leadership groups prefer to spend their private time in the company of “women with penises” but won’t come out and say so. To impose their fetish on the rest of us is not acceptable.

            1. Dafis

              I note from your tweet column that the militant promoters of the women must have penises ( one or more?) ideology are at it again spewing their hatred of women and any males who dare oppose their crackpot views on gender identity. Advocating that kind of violence reminds me of some of the stuff National Action churned out before they got stamped out. So what’s stopping the police from rounding up these deranged bastards ?

        2. David Smith

          The ‘over’ regulation is to harmonise standards and practices across the now 27 member states and those party to relevant agreements, to facilitate unfettered and frictionless free trade throughout the single market. If that’s ‘leftist’ ideology I’ll eat my hat. But yes for obvious geographical and cultural reasons I’d much rather be in a single market with England than France after independence.

  7. David Smith

    Regarding your to-do with that spivvy parking enforcement firm you mention on your Twitter, seeing as they’ve sent a letter to ‘Royston Joned’, surely that makes any claims or charges therein invalid? 😉

    1. You might be right, but what pisses me off is that I paid for every second I parked there. Whether they could see the ticket or not is irrelevant.
      I had a similar experience in Brecon a few years back, in a council-owned car park. I had a letter through the post saying I hadn’t paid, owed money, etc. Fortunately I’d kept the ticket, sent them a copy, that was the end of it.
      All this could be avoided in they issued adhesive tickets that could be fixed to the windscreen. But I think they choose not to do that.

      1. David Smith

        That whole sector private bailiffs, parking enforcers, security thugs etc are lower than pond scum. Bailiffs let themselves in to my mother’s place a few years ago because a previous Smith occupying the place owed money. If I was home they’d have had a flea in their ear at best and a bat around it at worst.

  8. David Smith

    You might be interested to know that the Trinity Mirror online rags seem to be not merely a rat’s nest of semi-literate yet staunch British Unionism in their comment threads anymore. Nope, actual overt anti-Welsh bigotry seems to be permitted (and upvoted) now, at least in the couple of articles I looked at today, through half-closed fingers of course.

      1. David Smith

        If this is an attempt to defeat nationalism and keep the Kingdom United, they’re being really quite thick in how they go about it eh?

  9. With regards to Holyhead and the freeport malarky, it’s a nailed-on dead cert that is where it is going to be. Last week, completely out of the blue and for no apparent reason Stena bought the old Anglesey Aluminium site (for those that don’t know, it’s about a mile from the port, just past Tesco.) – 213 acres, for an undisclosed sum (rumoured locally to be over £10m). It can’t be used for housing etc because of contamination and is only suitable for industrial use. It’s not in the port but it’s a mile down the road from it and also has a rail link to the port and the A55 is close by. It has all the infrastructure already on-site – gas, industrial level electric, a (disused) rail link, roads, buildings that can easily and quickly be refurbed, refitted and even expanded with new buildings. And not only that, directly opposite and just the other side of the A55, they also already own a load of land by the HMRC/IBF site already authorised to have warehousing slammed on it.

    In other words, they’ve been given a ‘nod & a wink’ that if they could procure a site for a freeport warehousing etc, the freeport would be Holyhead.

    Square pegs do indeed go in square holes. Especially in the old boys network.

    https://www.business-live.co.uk/economic-development/former-anglesey-aluminium-site-sold-25070180

    1. Jonathan Dean

      The question is, what industry will they put there? The only way the AA site could be dockside is with a new jetty down the middle of Penrhos beach!

  10. Dafis

    Here’s one for your growing album of infamous green enterprise failures.

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/sep/29/britishvolt-38bn-battery-factory-green-industry

    It looks like the top team at Britishvolt were getting their snouts into the trough before the trough had been created ! Another good example of spivs and shysters from all over the world turning up at good old UK to dip into the pot. And this is yet another dud that Welsh Gov was willing to shovel cash into but missed out at the initial beauty parade. No doubt those wise guys down the Bay will now claim that they gave it a wide berth displaying immense wisdom and capacity for business analysis !.

      1. Dafis

        Cairns taking a swipe out of habit. Doesn’t strike me that he’s got any more in his head than any of Drakeford’s mob. So much for cutting edge innovation. There again sharks teeth are always sharp.

      1. Dafis

        All shells waiting for any old sucker to chuck money into them. Really surprised that our dopey crew down the Bay didn’t fall for this one. Must have been too busy looking for a nice farm to buy !

  11. Veronika Hurbis

    Until I’d read your post about Sycharth, I confess I’d not heard of it. Although I am aware of Owain Glyndwr.

    And I am sure that Sycharth would have been mentioned in the brilliant Sharon K Penman Welsh Princes trilogy, but it has slipped my mind. (I have to double check, but she was spot on with so much of Welsh history that it was bound to have been mentioned.)

    But my “excuse” is that I am an “incomer”. Nevertheless, I am a lover of history, and I love Wales. It has been my home for 9 years and having been a perpetual migrant, I hope that this is where I will die.

    So with that said, I find this noticeable lack of celebration of Welsh History appalling. How is it possible. I feel that Welsh pride will never be what it should be until places like Sycharth are properly celebrated. I am not suggesting a disneyworldesque type celebration, but, to be honest, why not? It would definitely be better than the current state of things.

    So, thank you for bringing it to my attention. Next time I am heading that way, I will make a point of stopping by and, genuinely, paying my respects. And I hope that one day there will be a generation of young welsh people who make it their mission to right these wrongs.

    1. I think the approach needs to be two-pronged. In the first instance, an appeal to the Llangedwyn Estate; and then pressure on Cadw and the ‘Welsh Government’.

      1. Dafis

        The Williams-Wynne family sounds like it’s trying hard to be awfully posh being landed gentry who are difficult to reach over a common sense matter like Sycharth. My memory of the distant past rings a bell, didn’t one or more of that family feature on the fringes of either Cayo’s romp around Wales or Owain Williams’ crew ?. As you are about the last of those with real memories of those times, as opposed to the fantasy of others,you may be able to shed light in that little dark corner.

        1. There are many branches of the Wynnes, Williams-Wynnes, Watkin-Williams-Wynns, Nanney-Wynns and various other combinations with or without the final ‘e’. You may be thinking of squire Wynne at Garthewin, near Llanfair Talhaiarn in Denbighshire. The squire was a decent old cove, and supportive of the cause. Interestingly, another convert to Catholicism, as I recall.

          I remember a wonderful weekend we spent there. We hired a Transit van in Swansea, filled it up with assorted malcontents and ne’er-do-wells, and headed north. We were having a somewhat raucous evening in one of the village’s two pubs and things got to the point where the landlord demanded we vacate the premises. So we decided to mosey on down to the other pub, but as we drew nigh – the big front door slammed shut! The bastard in the first pub had phoned a warning!

          Part of the mansion had been given over to nuns and we were told to stay out of that section. One of the boys, very drunk, got lost, came back gibbering that he’d seen penguins! We reassured him it was only nuns and no reason to give up the booze. One of the barns had been converted into a theatre, and that’s where we were quartered, with some sleeping on the stage. One of those on the stage fell off and landed head-first. But he reinterpreted it as breaking his fall – with his head!

          I think it must have been a Bank Holiday weekend, because there was a lot of traffic. Though we had plenty of space behind because one of the boys had gone overboard on a big bag of plums and kept throwing up out of the open back doors. Nose-to-tail traffic, but a huge gap behind our van!

          Happy days!

  12. Wynne

    Is there a technical problem with your blog Jac? I can read your latest post but the side bars on your site are not visible.

    Excellent section on Globalists and WEF. Spot on.

    1. When I switched on this morning my site was in a hell of a mess. I’ve managed to knock it back into shape but the sidebar is lost, will have to be rebuilt. Is it OK at your end apart from the sidebar?

      1. Wynne

        Yes, the main article is fine. Also minor improvements. Your header photo is back and the subscribe button on your side bar + one photo on side bar.

        1. That’s how it looks it at my end, but that isn’t always how it looks ‘out there’. Will now continue rebuilding sidebar. Good time to make changes.

  13. Brychan

    Freeports are just land based enclaves that have the same customs administration as if the transfer between vessels had taken place offshore in international waters, ship to ship. So, goods are not actually ‘landed’ and designated outside the boundary of the country, until they exit a freeport. Very useful for container operations. Immingham and London Container Port are the best examples where mega ships from the far east can split loads for onward shipping to other countries without the bother of them having been ‘imported’ and the ‘exported’.

    It does provide a few extra jobs.
    Crane drivers.
    A few operators in high viz vests on low wages.
    Welshies with brooms and clipboards.

    The only reason why Holyhead is being considered as a freeport is because since Brexit, Dublin is ‘foreign’, outside the free trade area. Rather than fare off trade arriving in Dublin and the Brit part imported, the requirement is that stuff is landed in Holyhead, split between UK and EU and onward transfer. The EU stuff technically does not enter the UK as Holyhead port will be in ‘international waters’.

    Making Port Talbot a freeport does make sense if an intermodal terminal was constructed. It has the advantage of a 7m draught which is regularly dredged for huge ships. Connects to rail and motorway. I have no doubt that under ‘project United Kingdom’ the future of the steelworks is somewhat compromised and the site would be ideal as a container operation and bulk (grain) wharf. It’s one of the only west coast assets suitable. The only other site, Milford Haven, is chocker with oil and gas tankers.

    1. I bow to your knowledge on this subject. My views are admittedly impressionistic, but freeports have a slightly ‘shady’ aura attaching to them. Perhaps a suggestion of contraband and smuggling. But then, with Virginia Crosbie, Jake Berry, and the ‘Welsh Government’ involved, what could possibly go wrong?

      1. Dafis

        Three more suspect entities you’d be hard pressed to find in a hurry unless you went for another recently formed combo – Truss, Kwasi and anyone of the other crooks in that new Cabinet of hers !

        Can confirm that earlier today your site looked like someone had used a fragmentation device on it ! Now coming back into shape.

        1. It was a nasty shock to see the site this morning. Fortunately, I had not been doing my bit for the Argentine economy the previous evening.

      2. David Smith

        Howard Marks made good use of Shannon freeport in Ireland for his cannabis smuggling operation.

    2. Jonathan Dean

      For the offshore energy industry, anything installed outside the 12 mile territorial waters limit is classed as an export … so imported copper, processed into cable on Ynys Môn and installed in the Irish Sea never has to be technically “imported”. The Aberdeen oil industry do the same using bonded warehouses for spare parts

      The main issue Holyhead has is that the port was built as a ferry terminal after the Dublin parliament was closed in 1800. It’s never been a place of industry or shipping other than ferries

      1. Never been a place of industry? What would you class RTZ-Anglesey Aluminium as then? Or the nearby Wylfa nuclear site when they were both up and running along with the rail-container terminal that used to be in the port? Or Eaton Electicals? For a town the size of Holyhead, they were massive. In fact for a county the size of Yntys Mon/Anglesey, they were massive.

        1. Jonathan Dean

          AA was massive, but it’s only connection to the port was the alumina conveyor, they weren’t loading and unloading ships of billets all day. I don’t recall any industry that relied on the fact you were adjacent to the dock

    3. Jonathan Dean

      Does much stuff come into Dublin and then the U.K. part imported via Holyhead?

      Every week I see the “Antwerp shuttle” passing Ynys Môn, shuffling containers to and from Liverpool after the really big container ships have come into Antwerp. I imagine there are similar for Dublin. I can’t see Holyhead having much attraction for the container trade as it doesn’t have that much room, currently has no container facilities and is at the wrong end of the A55, but it’s really not a business I know. But the Merseyside freeport can handle containers and is better placed logistically

      As far as I understand in, the freeport idea is no different to a regional development grant with a bit of tax thrown in

      1. Holyhead is not a container port – it is a ferry port and the ferries carry both conventional passengers and freight in a mix.

        It used to be a big rail freight terminal, but when the rail link was severed following the bridge fire in the 1970’s, the rail yards closed.

        1. Jonathan Dean

          Didn’t realise they had lots of rail freight pre the bridge fire … I guess that could be revived … using hydrogen fuelled trains from the “Holyhead Hydrogen Hub” that magically got funded … one there for Jac to investigate

      2. Brychan

        Stena Line are muscling in on the wind farm business.

        They have a company called Stena Adactum based in Gothenburg which is their new footprint operation. Recently a subsidiary of this SR Energy was formed and has been used to leverage on existing Stena group land assets. One of these is a similar parcel of land already acquired at Parkeston Quay (next to Harwich to Hoek Van Holland ferry route). It’s just opposite the Felixstowe container terminal. The container terminal is huge, but are not interested in dealing with awkward or specialist loads.

        You can’t get lorries of turbine blades across the Menai. They have to come by sea. The power lines to grid are already in place from Wylfa and the Cemaes to Parys to Amlwch triangle ideal for such an installation. I suspect their acquisition of the AA site in Holyhead is for such a purpose. Import and assembly.

        I bet the WG already have sent a cheque in the post.

        1. Stena Adactum is an investment company that invests money in other people’s businesses (provided they are big enough). SR energy is not a new company and Adactum has been investing in it since it’s start-up in 2005. It builds wind farms in Sweden. People don’t realise that Stena is a massive global corporation with it’s fingers in more pies than Greggs. Shipping is only a smalll part – which when you consider it is one of the biggest ferry companies in the world, shows how big the actual corporation is. It trades bonds in New York, plays the stock and commodities markets, drills for oil in difficult areas (arctic etc), services oil rigs, ships scrap metals, invests in other non-stena companies, provides relief crews and manpower, runs logistics operations, is in balls-deep in large-scale commercial property developments globally and many many more other things. It has at least 29 companies trading under the Stena flag and is invested into many many more of other people’s companies (such as Securitas – one of the largest security companies on earth, a major scandinavian bank and Conygar – a massive UK investment company that specialises in acquiring and developing land).

          You can get the blades and all the other bits across on the Brittania Bridge easily – Menai Bridge you wouldn’t stand a chance, but Britannia Bridge has more than enough clearance.. I work as a service provider to one of the big movement companies and I can assure you that not only will the blades and the tower segments for the massive ‘out at sea’ wind towers fit across the Britannia, but the land-based ones definately will.

          If you reckon they can’t get over the Britannia Bridge, how do you propose to get them a mile up the London Road from the port to the AA site? Or even get them out of the port itself? Because they definately won’t get up that by your measure (it would actually require road closure for each lorry and clearing all the parked cars parked down each side, not to mention cutting phone and power lines that criss-cross the road along with several trees – its a domestic housing area) And they can’t be brought direct in to the AA site by sea because the site has no sea access.

          Assembly is done at the actual erection site – not the storage areas. They are factory-made modularised systems, consisting of foundations, tower segments, the turbine & cowling and then three individual blades and there are specialist erector machines that lift the tower segments upright once they are next to the foundation slab and specialist cranes that lift the housing to the top, then lift the blades one at a time for the fitter tems to bolt in. (here’s a blade for a land-based windfarm being moved by our lot last summer. The sea-based ones dwarf that. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0FgqyXajI8).

          That’s why Mostyn Docks is the big boy for the whole of North Wales and Morecombe Bay for sea-based windfarms and where I currently work over in East Yorkshire, they are moving land-based ones by road from Goole, Hull and Immingham docks, straight down the M62, A55 and A494 to on-land windfarm sites in North Wales, down into South Wales, to Cornwall, East Anglia and even up into Scotland and out to the Hebrides.

          The only other conceivable use of that site other than free port warehousing is as a logistics hub if they’ve been tipped-off that Wylfa B is back on the cards with a vengeance.

          1. Jonathan Dean

            The documents submitted by BP to the Planning Inspectorate for the Mona wind farm name Holyhead (only) as the “construction port” and have it as an option for operations and maintenance. This may have nothing to do with the AA site though which is pretty landlocked

            The turbines will be 320 m to tip height, so I’m guessing 120 m blades which they say will come by sea direct to the installation location from Hull or IoW

            1. The big land-based ones, the blades are around 50-60m in length. For the sea-based ones, you have to take into account with the tower height that that’s from the sea bed.

              The big sea-based ones (of which there are hundreds off the coast of North Wales and up the Morecombe Bay), the current procedure is to ship it all to Mostyn Docks (between Flint & Prestatyn) – mostly the big components come direct from Denmark by ship whereas the stuff that can be transported overland lands on the east coast and is trucked there, and then from there specialist erection ships take them as and when to the actual installation/erection site.

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