Plaid Cymru, where to now?

PLEASE APPRECIATE THAT I GET SENT MORE INFORMATION AND LEADS THAN I CAN USE. I TRY TO RESPOND TO EVERYONE WHO CONTACTS ME BUT I CANNOT POSSIBLY USE EVERY BIT OF INFORMATION I’M SENT. DIOLCH YN FAWR

BOBBY MUGABE LIVES!

Plaid Cymru held its annual conference last Friday and Saturday in the Grand Theatre in Swansea. Very few of those attending would have been familiar with the venue, or even the city.

For Plaid Cymru is invisible in Swansea; not a single councillor, moribund branches, and little or no interest from the Jack-in-the-street. This can be explained by a perception among my ain folk that Plaid Cymru is a party for rural Welsh speakers, leftie extremists and the Cardiff middle class.

That said, YesCymru has a healthy presence in the city, but this is one of the branches mercifully free of Plaid Cymru control. Which probably explains why it flourishes.

But back to the conference, where there was an election for the position of chair, between incumbent Alun Ffred Jones and Dr Dewi Evans. Alun Ffred represented the party establishment while Dr Evans was the outsider, promising to readmit Neil McEvoy AM to the party.

Click to enlarge

Alun Ffred won quite handsomely in the end, by 400 votes to 135, which was only to be expected, all things considered. For around 8,500 members were unable to vote.

By which I mean that (and despite their unfamiliarity with Swansea) the venue favoured the Leannistas. This vociferous claque augmented by the party hierarchy plus the lobbyists and third sector meme sahibs found in the Bay Bubble. For the great majority of these live in the south.

In addition, everybody and his uncle who might support Alun Ffred was dragged to the Grand. For example, I’m told that the family of Mr Bethan Sayed was well represented.

‘But, surely’, you interject (almost plaintively), ‘in order to properly gauge the wishes of the members postal votes were allowed?’ Yes, you’d think so . . . but no, for this is Plaid Cymru. In an existential interpretation of the democratic process, if you weren’t there then you didn’t exist.

There is no chance of a Plaid government in 2021, or any other time. Click to enlarge

And even if you were there, there was no guarantee you’d be allowed to vote, certainly not if there was any suspicion you might vote for Dr Evans. I’ve been told of one group from Wrecsam that had reluctantly renewed their memberships, gone down to Swansea – only to be told they had no votes.

It seems there was an arbitrary cut-off point in September for joining the party or renewing memberships, one that few were informed about.

And talking of keeping things within certain circles, Dr Evans was denied access to the membership lists, so he was unable to reach all the members. While some establishment branches refused to let him address their members!

Comment to Nation.Cymru, Saturday evening. Click to enlarge

I could go on, but I’m sure you get the picture. The shade of Bobby Mugabe was playing the Grand on Saturday.

“CARIN’, WE ARE, INNIT”

Apart from the election, what else happened? Well, in a nutshell, Plaid Cymru reminded us that it has lost interest in the great majority of us, the leadership preferring to play gesture politics while riding unicorns.

What do I mean?

For a start, the big thing now is Brexit, or rather, no Brexit . . . or is it no deal Brexit? No, wait! it’s avoiding no deal Brexit. The question is, how.

I quote Cemlyn Davies, BBC Wales political correspondent:

“A few weeks ago senior Plaid Cymru figures were pushing the line that the party would head into a general election with a clear commitment to revoke Article 50 and stop Brexit.

Since then they’ve rowed back slightly: the party’s official position now – backed by conference delegates – is that it favours a second referendum, unless the prospect of a no-deal Brexit remains.

Faced with the prospect of leaving the EU without a deal Plaid would revert to revoke.

In reality, it is hard to see how the prospect of a no-deal Brexit could be taken off the table completely ahead of any general election, and a senior Plaid figure told me it is inevitable therefore the party’s manifesto commitment will be to stop Brexit in its tracks.

How that plays out in the leave-voting areas the party’s targeting for the next assembly elections remains to be seen.”

Got it?

Plaid Cymru is of course in some electoral arrangement with the Liberal Democrats, led by Jo Swinson. The woman who has urged Scots to vote Tory to halt the SNP, and who has said that in the event of a second referendum giving another Leave vote she would refuse to accept it.

There are the other issues, such as her being funded by a fracking company and her hubby receiving EU money. Then there’s her record of voting with the Tories, a party with which Plaid Cymru sees itself in a permanent state of war.

From, ‘They Work For You’. Click to enlarge

How can a socialist party like Plaid Cymru possibly do deals with a party led by this woman? Clearly Brexit clouds the judgement and brings on a severe bout of myopia.

Then, as if to reassert its socialist credentials, Plaid reiterated it’s commitment to giving £35 a week for every child in every low income family in Wales. Which sounds fine, until you realise that there will be no such legislation in England, which will mean that the kind of women who have seven or eight semi-feral children by half a dozen different fathers will view this as an incentive to move to Wales.

Worse, agencies in England, in daily contact with our ‘Welsh’ third sector and social housing bodies, will ensure there is a steady supply of such people.

The developed world has a problem with its ageing population. This problem is exacerbated in Wales by people from England retiring to Wales. And yet, while the problem is universally acknowledged, here in Wales our self-styled ‘Welsh Government’ sees an ageing population as an asset, something be proud of.

Part of a response I received to a FoI to the ‘Welsh Government’. Click to enlarge.

Wales is more attractive to England’s elderly because here they can have £50,000 under the mattress before care home charges kick in, whereas in England – a richer country! – the figure is a measly £23,250.

On this issue Plaid Cymru agrees with ‘Welsh’ Labour (it usually does) and wants to go further, by introducing legislation that will make Wales even more attractive to elderly English people by abolishing care home charges altogether!

Click to enlarge

Which means that Plaid Cymru is going for a double-whammy of further Anglicising Wales while simultaneously making us poorer. Some national party!

I say ‘poorer’ because of course Plaid Cymru has no economic strategy, no ideas on how to build a healthy Welsh economy to provide well-paid jobs for our people. A socialist party like Plaid Cymru prefers not to think about ugly things like making money, encouraging economic growth, etc.

So how does Plaid Cymru expect to pay for this generosity, this ‘Caring Wales’?

THE ‘KEPT WOMAN’ SYSTEM OF DEVOLUTION

Let’s get something straight – the upper echelons of Plaid Cymru do not want independence. That the leadership occasionally mentions independence should not be taken seriously, it’s only done to dupe the rank and file.

All this stratum wants is a Wales that creates institutions in which a colonial elite of politicians, professionals and administrators can prosper. We are almost there; with a few more powers devolved to the Assembly, such as justice and policing, this colonial elite might be satisfied.

Let me explain what I mean by a colonial elite.

A ‘kept woman’ is maintained for his pleasure by a wealthy man. She has a place of her own, enjoys the good things of life, is allowed her opinions and foibles . . . but must never forget who pays the bills.

Over the past twenty years we have seen a ‘kept woman’ class emerge in Cardiff Bay. (And not just women of course.) And just like a kept woman this class is expected to ‘repay’ the one picking up the tab.

In Wales, this takes the form of legislation and ‘strategies’ that are usually of more benefit to England. Such as promoting a crass form of tourism that is destroying Wales, but keeps English tourists’ money in the UK. Or ‘saving the planet’, which in practice means allowing English investors to cover Wales with wind and solar farms, or forcing Welsh farmers off their land to make way for ‘rewilders’. Then there’s reducing the threshold for care home payments to less than half that of England to encourage English retirees. Now Plaid Cymru wants to do away with care home fees entirely, while also encouraging an influx of undesirables.

In return, and just like a kept woman, the colonial elite is allowed to indulge its whims and fancies, but must avoid issues that might annoy the London pay-masters.

Made obvious by the truth of contemporary Wales. Our post-industrial areas are in managed decline, our rural areas are being colonised, Clwyd disappears into north west England . . . but while Wales dies Leannista-controlled Plaid Cymru is only concerned with niche issues and minorities.

Regional AM visits Swansea but it’s woke issues and third sector concerns. No interest whatsoever in the people born in the city. Click to enlarge

All because we live under a colonial system from which the only native beneficiaries are the colonial elite and its hangers-on. That’s how it must be.

Made easier by having a civil service operating in Wales that answers to London, and two political parties (Labour and Plaid Cymru) that together know less about economics than I do about the Large Hadron Collider. (And I know sod all.)

Which is why what passes for ‘the Welsh economy’ is increasingly controlled by major English companies, cross-border utilities and others, or else we have spivs arriving with a sackful of promises and pockets stuffed with grant application forms.

SOMETIME, MAYBE, NEVER

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price tells us there will be a referendum on independence before 2030. Mmm. Five years from now Scotland could be independent and Ireland reunified.

Setting a target of 2030 makes it look as if Plaid Cymru isn’t exactly enthusiastic about independence. (Which, as I’ve explained, it isn’t.) And then there’s Brexit.

Image courtesy of BBC Wales News. Click to enlarge

If the UK crashes out of the EU, and if this results in serious shortages of medicines, foodstuffs and other essentials leading to civil disorder, to troops on the streets holding back hungry people at bayonet point, are we seriously expected to wait for a referendum some time ‘before 2030’?

Looking at it from the other side; if Plaid Cymru and other Remainers get their way, and we stay in the EU, there will still be civil unrest, probably far right terrorism and maybe a real coup. So do we accept it all, patiently waiting for a referendum some time ‘before 2030’?

There are troubles ahead whether the UK stays in the EU or not.

So does Plaid Cymru have a contingency plan for a chaotic post-Brexit/no Brexit period and its possible constitutional consequences? At the very least, why not insist that a referendum on Welsh independence be triggered by a Scottish Yes vote?

In fact, does Plaid Cymru have any plan beyond staying in the EU (and the UK) and then having a referendum some time ‘before 2030’?

I’m reminded of the wisdom imparted by great-aunt Fastidia before she went on the lam. She clutched me to her bosom (I can still smell those lavender moth-balls!) and said, ‘Always remember, lovely boy, when the shit hits the fan it’s time to leave the room’.

The time to leave the room is fast approaching. But all Plaid Cymru can offer Wales is the delusion that if we stay in the EU it’ll be daisy-chains and puppy dogs all the way to a nice referendum . . . some time ‘before 2030’.

Wales deserves better than a system of ‘kept woman’ devolution serving only a colonial elite. We deserve a more open, more honest, and more democratic political party, concerned solely with Wales, its people and their problems.

A party that is ready to seize the opportunities that Brexit will present.

♦ end ♦

 

65 thoughts on “Plaid Cymru, where to now?

  1. Dafis

    You have to laff though, less than 500 votes to decide the election of Chairman and over 8500 members disenfranchised. Even the Chinese try to be a touch more democratic.

    1. Brychan

      Alun Ffred Jones 400, Dr Dewi Evans 135, unable to vote 8500.

      It might be wise to remind the ‘progressive left’ in Plaid Cymru that an issue arose in the party many years ago. It was between the ‘traditionalists’ and the ‘progressives’. This was manifest in the issue of selection of candidates for the newly established European Parliament. The party was required to put forward an ‘all-Wales’ list of candidates. The breakthrough for the ‘progs’ came with the introduction of the internal ballot. Jill Evans, Rhondda (who’s been an MEP ever since) consistently comes top in this internal ballot. It does appear strange that the party has an internal poll of members for this but not for their own national roles.

      Plaid Cymru members – You can be trusted for Europe but not for Wales.

  2. Dafis

    To continue on this theme …..Any modern organisation would have enabled voting by e-mail, or post, to ensure mass participation in the “democratic process” and that big fashionable word – inclusivity. after all it is (not) the Party of the “masses”. And before anyone starts burping on about security tried and tested systems have been developed and refined for a good while so stop faffing about and do it.

    Unless, of course, someone doesn’t want it done ! What %age of the membership were able to vote ? Interesting to see how the %ages compare with , for example, the “infamous” Brexit vote which has been hailed by so many as not truly democratic.

    AlunFfred ‘s reselection may not prove to be a disaster especially if he sees it as an opportunity to heal some wounds. On the other hand if he sees it as an endorsement for some gratuitous revenge, that will be noted by the wider electorate that the Party wants to win over.

    Time for a re-think, and a deep one not a quick groupthink before moving on to the mid morning latte and the next ishoo.

    1. The trouble is that Alun Ffred and others are fronting for the Leannista extremists who would be defeated were they to stand as themselves. The question then has to be – why does he do it?

      1. Dafis

        Maybe one or more of them are meeting some “undisclosed needs”. It can’t be just Boris that gets a sudden urge to mount up or some other more obscure pleasure. Politicians are notorious for having strange appetites in their less visible hours.

  3. Wynne

    Given the way Plaid are behaving it’s difficult to see why Neil McEvoy AM would want to re-join the party. I hope he decides, at some stage, to join Gwlad Gwlad [Ein Gwlad].

    1. Dafis

      Agreed. I thought I had written a brief comment to that effect on here when the result of that great example of inclusive democracy was announced from Abertawe ( perhaps I was just having a dream !).

      Anyway, Neil might go Independent first, and with grass roots support – his main weapon – he might still knock out Drakeford and turn Cardiff West into a Plaid free zone. Then up to EG to persuade him to link up with them. After 2021 Plaid could well be a small minority party, haven for all sorts of strange people with odd preferences, while NM would be leading a growing movement of people who are seriously active in their community tackling real issues instead of aping Plaid’s default style of swilling lattes while looking for new ishoos to prance around.

      1. Stan

        I just can’t see Neil resubmitting his application to rejoin Plaid, though he may feel he has nothing to lose in doing so. I guess if he doesn’t, that would leave him fighting the Cardiff West seat as an independent. Aren’t we past the deadline for a Plaid candidate being named for Cardiff West? I believe we are, in which case things will soon get very interesting, and probably heated, in that neck of the woods.

        The great pity of all this is that Drakeford will probably retain his seat, and you never know, just that one Labour seat may make all the difference in numbers within the Assembly. Let’s hope his ability to sport a well fitted suit and shirt doesn’t improve. We can all continue to put ours on and pat ourselves on the back, safe in the knowledge that no matter how scruffy we look, we’ll never look as bad as our own First Minister. Just imagine the photo, if you will. Mark Drakeford (First Minister), Christina Rees (Secretary of State for Wales, maybe), Jeremy Corbyn (Prime Minister). Cheered up my Monday morning depression no end.

      2. Stan

        Oh, and just seen Neil McEvoy tweet that no way back (into Plaid, presumably) so clearly will now pursue other options.

  4. Anne Greagsby

    Delighted to hear Bethan Sayeds family managed to vote
    to keep me, her aunt out of the party! What a hypercrite.

  5. Stan

    From voting figures given in Jac’s blog and members who did not vote it seems Plaid Cymru’s membership is just over 9,000? Where does this figure come from? I think I’ve seen something of that order on social media from other sources too recently. According to party membership figures in an August 2019 House of Commons Report, Plaid’s membership was just over 10,000 exactly one year ago.

    “Plaid Cymru has above 10,000 members, as of October 2018. This was a rise from 8,000 members in April 2018.

    The Daily Express reported 8,273 members in 2017. This was a slight increase compared to 8,015 in December 2015. In January 2012, the Guardian reported the party’s membership as 7,863.”

    The reported rise of 2,000 coincided with the leadership battle and the gratis membership offered to give the Party a boost following Price’s election as leader. Not encouraging if it’s already gone into decline, I’d have thought, and we have yet to see what will happen following other key issues that might yet play out for membership of the Party. Specifically:

    Its stance on Brexit and how it will now fight the next general election
    Its deals with the Lib Dems and other anti-Brexit Parties
    The dissatisfaction of members who feel disenfranchised following conference and pissed off with an increasingly remote clique and claque within the organisation
    The McEvoy affect and how that will play out, not just in Cardiff West but further afield.

    Good luck to Plaid in winning votes in the valley areas I come from. Unless there’s a marked turnaround they’ll be lucky to have one councillor in the Dulais and Neath valleys in NPT following the next local elections. Equally good luck in knocking on the doors of the Brexit voting majority in these areas and telling them we (Plaid) were the ones who helped fuck up your vote for Brexit because, after all, you’re thick as two short planks and a bunch of racists and can’t be trusted to vote the way we wanted you to.

  6. Peter

    Jac.
    Much food for thought – as ever …
    Caught a few minutes of the Plaid Conference on TV and Mr Price was DEMANDING that England (i.e. English taxpayers) give Wales £20BILLION to “restructure”.
    Not quite sure what planet he is on … But I would say there is little hope for him.

    As to Ms Swinson – she at least has joined the wavy-hands faction as beloved by little Cleggie.
    Cleggie helped sever my allegiance to the Lib-Dems – as well as helping bring the party to its knees in terms of MPs.

    I had to quietly laugh when I read “Or ‘saving the planet’, which in practice means allowing English investors to cover Wales with wind and solar farms, …”

    I always thought Europeans ran the biggest windmill businesses.
    No-one has ever explained cogently why/how a solar ‘farm’ can supply useful on-demand power on a dark winter’s evening.
    Beware snake-oil salesmen (and lobbyists)?

  7. Dr Dewi Evans

    Just read my first Jac O the North blog. Diddorol iawn.
    Need to get used to this Social Media stuff. Might improve my performance in Plaid Cymru elections. Even if 95% of the potential electorate was disfranchised.

    1. Dafis

      Your attempt at getting elected through a seriously defective procedure has served to highlight the corrupt nature of your party’s management and leadership team. As stated earlier there are tried and tested methods – online and postal – that enable maximum member participation including those wishing to register “abstention”.
      Your declared interest in repairing broken relationships must have gone down a treat with easily identifiable cliques more concerned with promoting their own narrow agendas than delivering a coherent and sustained attack on the shocking track record of government in the Bay. If you can win over enough of the rank & file membership to support and secure necessary changes you will do that party a great service and restore the interest and confidence that the general electorate is rapidly losing in it.

      Dymuniadau gorau

    2. Stan

      You won’t know me from Adam but that’s the name of my son, who you took such good care of when he was gravely ill (Neath area) in the late 1980s. Thanks to you and your fellow workers in the NHS he bounced back and I now have the pleasure of a granddaughter we never thought we’d see. I’m just one of very many who owe you big time.

      What this leads onto is that the abuse and shit I’ve seen thrown at you for trying to heal other wounds – in Plaid – has absolutely gutted me. Those that have done so would do well to question their behaviour and their humanity.

      Welcome to Jac’s blog!

    3. Big Gee

      Croeso i Flog Jac Dewi. Lle gellir gweld ‘y gwir yn erbyn y byd’ yn ddiflewyn ar dafod! Rhywbeth sy’n brin iawn yn y Gymru gyfoes.

  8. Jac you are correct. Plaid Cymru are really dead in Swansea. What they doing about their Chair of Mawr Community Council in Swansea? The answer is nothing, because there are none of them left in Swansea to consider this Community Councillor’s position since Darren Price led them to self destruction on Swansea Council. Why isn’t Mrs Sayed intervening? It is her regional seat area!

    1. It pains me, because I can remember back in the 60s and 70s we had a good crew in Swansea. On the one hand you had the cheese and wine / ‘cultural’ nationalists, but on the other hand there was the more ‘earthy’ element, from areas like Plasmarl and Fforestfach and Manselton. Those that aren’t dead – like you, John Ball, me, and a few others – have just given up on Plaid Cymru.

    2. Dai Protheroe

      Now that Neil McEvoy is out of the picture, maybe Mrs Sayed can use the Twitter time she spent constantly sticking knives into him doing just that.

    3. Brychan

      There are some Plaid Cymru members in Swansea, but they appear to have completely dissolved themselves into the ‘ishoo’.

      They have set up a homelessness relief operation and do a ‘soup run’. They get unsold organic vegetables from their friends on a good life encampment near Bishopston on the Gower, brew up broth of sorts in one of their members town house, and then run around the city on Sunday nights purveying this broth to the street drinkers and druggies.

      It’s an activity that gives these last remaining signed up party members a kind of solace to sooth the guilt complex sometimes held by the affluent middle class upon discovering dirty tramps cluttering the subways and bin compounds of the city.

      You can see them in action.

      If you alight from the late train into Swansea High Street and take the subway under the railway down into Parc Tawe. You will see their clients under duvets holding cans of Special Brew and most have London or Bristol accents. They are being provided with paper cups of nutritious broth by the ones oozing affluent platitudes and Brangwyn Hall accents, sporting Plaid Cymru sweatshirts.

      Fortunately, this allows Bethan Sayed AM an opportunity to visit the city to consume nouveau-ethnic cuisine in well appointed restaurants after a viewing of niche films at the production studio, a building which used to make car transmissions. This avoiding being bothered by English aresholes on spice asking ‘scuse me luv, can I sponge a rollie’.

      I think this just about sums up what Plaid Cymru has become.

  9. David Smith

    Firstly, once again stirring and illuminating stuff, you bring into sharp relief the condition Wales is in like nobody else I’ve read. I would like to think with Price’s conference speech that the times may be a-changing, because I can’t recall in my own living memory at least, such potent and unequivocal anti-Westminster invective from a Plaid leader. I could not bear to read the comments on the piece though, no doubt the usual cocksure BritNat wankers with their half baked clichés and pat lines. These arseholes seem to have defeatism beaten in to them, seeing as that, in their worldview, Wales is unique amongst all small nations of Europe, in that none of the diverse qualities these countries possess that confer on them the ability of their own viable self sufficiency, applies, or could ever apply. Fancy that! It is almost sport to these people to reel off reasons why Iceland has this in its favour but we don’t, Norway has this and we don’t, Ireland got bailed out by “us”, and other such undeniable truths.

  10. David Robins

    Those with very long memories may recall that in 1956 Gwynfor Evans, Roy Lewis and J. E. Jones contributed the Welsh chapter to ‘Our Three Nations’, published jointly with the SNP and the English radical party, Common Wealth. (CW, unlike Labour, had a thoroughly consistent view of what decolonisation means.) One, possibly the only one, of the nine authors still with us is Douglas Stuckey from CW, now aged 95.

    Douglas tells me that he sounded out the Blaid on whether they’d like him to say a few words at conference. Apparently not. Despite speaking to some interested and interesting people, he got the impression that “the word came down from high that I wasn’t to be let loose. I think they’re too anxious about their relations with Labour at the moment”. That’s a shame, given that he knows more about the Blaid than any of the members.

    1. Plaid Cymru is always reluctant to offend Labour because, despite the sound-bites about independence, Plaid’s ambition extends no further than being in coalition with Labour after the 2021 elections.

  11. Gruff Williams

    I notice that you have been frequently accused of bigotry on Facebook and various blogs. However, all requests for referenced examples of this bigotry have been studiously ignored. Rather telling.

  12. Dr John Ball

    Thanks for the mention!
    I smell a bloody big rat. A little while ago I was chatting to a fellow member of Yes Cymru. He noted Adam Price’s sudden enthusiasm for independence coincided with the amazing growth of Yes Cymru – with a dead party (notably in Swansea) he no doubt sees support from us in Yes Cymru. Which he’s not going to get!
    And now a referendum – in 2030!
    And was this the same Dafydd Wigley who’s infamous “PC has never believed in independence” drove away many, many committed nationalists?
    The rat I smell – suggesting a referendum far into the future means Price’s ishoo chums can pretend to believe but the idea is really now in the long grass. In the meantime, he no doubt hopes that it might be just enough of a promise to real nationalists ensure a few more (list) seats in the Assembly, so he doesn’t have to actually do anything. List seats mean of course that his (party faithful) candidates don’t actually have to work or mix with the common people….

    1. Welcome to the rebel redoubt, John.

      My understanding on Yes Cymru is that, enthused by events in Scotland, and despairing of Plaid Cymru under Leanne Wood’s leadership, a few people got together and formed Yes Cymru. Obviously, this reflected badly on Plaid Cymru and this explains subsequent attempts to infiltrate and take over YC.

      But Plaid Cymru now has a number of problems and embarrassments to deal with beyond Yes Cymru.

      With Leanne Wood’s position strengthened last Saturday more fanatics will join and this will drive the more rational and level-headed away.

      Then there’s the growing practice of parachuting in candidates, Llanelli was one example, and Ynys Mon the most recent.

      The Neil McEvoy saga will continue to damage the party for years to come, and not just in Cardiff West.

      The Carl Sargeant affair, and Plaid supporting Labour in hiding the truth, at the behest of Deryn, will rumble on and on.

      Doing deals with the Lib Dems and the Greens sends out a very bad signal. Jo Swinson is not to be trusted (more Tory than many Tories) and the Greens regard Wales as part of England!

      Being so hysterically anti-Brexit sends out the signal that Plaid is a middle class party that aligns with the metropolitan elite better than with those of us in abandoned post-industrial communities that – in desperation – voted Brexit.

      With the UK about to implode, Scotland and Ireland perhaps on the point of leaving, the best that the leader of Plaid Cymru can offer is ‘a referendum before 2030’!

      And you know what, John? ALL these problems are self-inflicted. Plaid Cymru deserves all it gets.

      We’ll meet up next time I’m down.

        1. A lot depends on whether we look at the overall, national figure or the local figures.

          On the national level, it’s reasonable to assume that the votes of English people in Wales proved decisive, and without them Wales would have voted Remain. Yet when we look at the urban belt running from Blaenafon to Llanelli we can assume that in this region, accounting for almost 50% of our population, there was a Welsh majority for Leave.

          Which is why blaming the English is wrong, and is being used by some to avoid asking why so many Welsh voted Leave. Because in Cardiff, I guarantee that those in better jobs – disproportionately English – voted Remain whereas the poorer Welsh voted Leave.

          Put aside all other factors and it might come down to how you felt about yourself and your circumstances. If life was good, then you were more likely to vote Remain; if you lived in a post-industrial shithole doing a dead-end job on the minimum wage, then you voted Leave.

          As we know, in England, nationalism, nostalgia for empire, even xenophobia, fed into the mix, but this would not have been so evident in Wales. And even in England it was Stoke that voted Leave while Surbiton voted to Remain.

          1. David Smith

            Is that a typo there, and if so was the intended verbiage “also evident in Wales” or “not so evident in Wales”?

          2. David Smith

            RE: top jobs disproportionately being filled by incomers. I was told of Unilever setting up a plant Deeside way, I recall inklings of some kind of govt bung factoring into the location decision (EU Objective One, some WAG pot or other, etc) and yet the workforce was almost entirely bussed in from the Liverpool area. Have you heard of anything along these lines? Of course the argument in favour is being near an open border the company, in an absence of protectionist measures to prevent such, is simply tapping into the labour pool of the geographical hinterland, obviously disproportionately skewed towards the large conurbations of Merseyside.

            1. Deeside Industrial Estate has soaked up tens of millions of Welsh public funding to provide jobs for Merseyside. But that’s how colonialism works.

            2. David Smith

              Another facet of a “cross border” system that gifts us “Transport for Wales” who run services that wholly or partially operate in England, the Mersey-Dee Alliance and a proposed “North Wales Metro” that will also serve part of North West England. No doubt these any any number of others are fudged financially as wholly “Welsh” projects in a comparable but opposite way to how Crossrail and HS2 are funded from the UK pot. Don’t get me wrong, hard borders and cutting yourself off from your neighbours are never good things, but neither are tilted, one sided initiatives such as these.

          3. Brychan

            One of the problems that Plaid Cymru has in Wales is that they have based their policy on fake assumptions. These fake assumptions are likely to be damaging. There are two MYTHS that the Remain voting middle class has about those who voted to Leave.

            (1) That immigration/racism/fear was an issue in the voting pattern.
            (2) That perceived prospects for economic well-being played a role.

            http://blog.whatscotlandthinks.org/2016/10/why-did-scotland-vote-to-remain/table-2/

            There is also the MYTH that age or educational attainment was a determining factor in automatically voting for remain or leave. Whilst there was a variance in voting pattern, this was equally represented in Scotland who voted remain as it was in England and Wales who voted to Leave.

            http://blog.whatscotlandthinks.org/2016/10/why-did-scotland-vote-to-remain/table-1/

            The reality is that people voted Leave in Wales, not on the basis of being thick, or being misinformed, or being older, or being racist, or a sophisticated analysis of the prospects for the national economy. They voted Leave because they feel politically excluded, disengaged, and a kind of rebellion against the political establishment. This dissatisfaction is very evident in England and Wales but not so in Scotland.

            SNP – Fighting against the establishment for an independent Scotland.
            Plaid – Part of the establishment propping up Labour and the status quo.

            The poor, economically struggling, working class people of Tredegar, Tonypandy or Llanelli are no more stupid, racist, misinformed or self destructive than the same type of person in Govan, Greenock or Cumbernauld. Those in Scotland just have a political party that represents their interests, cherishes them, not fear, expell, block, denigrate, and hide away from them.

            1. Mel Morgan

              No disgrace in being misinformed (which, in my experience, most Brexit voters were): we all do it from time to time.

            2. Neil Singleton

              The element of support for the SNP which you have not mentioned Brychan is the sectarian dimension. SNP is part funded by Sinn Fein and the vast majority of SNP supporters are republican catholic, whilst the vast majority of “Stay in the UK” supporters are protestant. In other words, just as in Northern Ireland, a catholic would never vote for the DUP (or protestants for the political wing of the IRA) these voting preferences are deeply entrenched. Wales does not have this secterian divide. Not saying that’s a bad thing, just opining that it’s tricky to equate other country’s independance aspirations with the same voting demographic.

            3. This is such absolute bollocks that it’s difficult to know where to start.

              So let me start by saying that the SNP is not funded in any way by Sinn Fein. If you can prove otherwise, then let’s see the evidence.

              The vast majority of SNP voters are Protestant or non-religious Scots; some of whom are republican, others might want a restoration of the Stuart monarchy. Very few are Irish Republicans.

              You’re right about the majority of the ‘Stay in the UK’ supporters being Protestant . . . because the great majority of Scots are of Protestant heritage. And many of the Catholics who support independence have a very tenuous connection with Ireland. What I’m talking about here is many of the Highland clans remaining Catholic after the Reformation. This was one of the reasons that the Jacobites had to be resisted, because there was a fear they’d reintroduce Catholicism. It goes back to 1688, when James II/VII was overthrown to be replaced by his Protestant daughter Mary and her Dutch hubby, King Billy.

              I suggest you’re paying too much attention to Glasgow Rangers fans. Just because they are are overwhelmingly Protestant and Unionist one should not extrapolate from that source that all Protestants are sectarian bigots who support Ulster Loyalists and believe all ‘Taigs’ are Fenians.

          4. Jonesy

            Agree totally with you here, the evidence is plainly clear when you talk to both English and Welsh people in you community. It depends a lot on the social demographic.
            Talking of Migrants from England, did aybody hear the item about Fairbourne on 5 live this morning. Ancient Englanders moaning thT their village was being decommissioned due to the sea eventually reclaiming that piece of low lying coastal land. What are they complaining about? They will all be dead by 2035 anyway. Who gives a toss about theIR falling house prices in a 20th century shanty town stupidly allowed to develop on land under sea level ( notice all pre20th century housing is on the high land behind the village) . The place is a total eyesore. Nature and global warming will run its course…. should bee a sign put up on the road in… Welcome to Cantre’r Gwaelod… they wouldn’t get the irony anyway.

            1. Dafis

              Your comment about Fairbourne prompts a memory of a few years ago about a TV news report from Fairbourne or some other coastal village on the North Wales coast favoured by English migrants. There was a guy moaning about lack of flood defences standing in front of a road sign saying something like Lon y Gors – Marsh Lane ! What did the twat expect ? Estuaries and coastlines have a nasty habit of being at roughly zero feet elevation.

            2. Perhaps the worst example was the famous Towyn floods of 1990. Houses and bungalows built on land that any local could have told the builders was prone to flooding. But the builders didn’t care because the properties they were building were intended for buyers who didn’t know the area.

            3. Brychan

              The ‘Summit to Sea’ project has got millions to spend on enhancing habitat diversity. Why don’t they give grants to the residents of Fairbourne to dig their own holes in the sea wall? It would make a wonderful extension to the diversity of marine species, or is ‘Summit to Sea’ only interested in cleansing Welsh people off the hill and not English people on the foreshore?

            4. Wrexhamian

              Propaganda piece on ‘Wales Today’ (BBC Wales) this evening showing a delighted farmer explaining how he sold his sheep and took the thirty pieces of silver from Natural Resources Wales to transmogrify himself from a hill farmer into a land manager. Standing behind him (and dwarfed by him) was a female in her early twenties from NRW informing us that Wales was going to help save the planet, thanks to projects like Summit to Sea.

              This is the second time recently that I’ve seen ‘Wales Today’ plugging Summit to Sea. On paper, it sounds an excellent idea that will have a symbolically important (if marginal) impact on fighting environmental destruction. But it would have been better to have introduced it in England, where the almost inevitable disruption of Welsh-speaking communities would not be a factor.

            5. Brychan

              The theory that removing grazing livestock off the landscape to increase species diversity is flawed. This was done by NRW at Cors Caron. After two years they found that species diversity collapsed due to dominance by common grass species that was no longer being grazed, crowding out the diversity of the swathe. Here the link to a previous ‘get rid of the sheep’ by NRW.

              https://naturalresources.wales/about-us/news-and-events/blog/monster-mower-arrives-in-mid-wales/?lang=en

              You will see they that had to import a massive ‘lawn mower’ from the United States, fit it with bigger footprint caterpillar tacks to cope with the bog, and it consumes vast amounts of diesel. This is what the sheep would have done naturally, providing food.

              This does not ‘save the planet’.

              It just provides a country lifestyle for ignorant ‘environmentalists’. At best it changes sheep farmers into lawnmower drivers, and at worst removes the indigenous people from the landscape. All at public expense while at the same time reducing local food production.

            6. Wrexhamian

              It’s ridiculous, anyway, to allege that Welsh sheep farmers constitute a threat to the environment. If NRW were offering to green up Llanwern or Deeside, I might be more sympathetic, provided no-one ended up on Jobseeker’s. If Summit to Sea doesn’t even do what it says on the tin, then it should be actively opposed, and not just by the farming community. But no-one in our new, bilingually-named SeneddWelshParliament is likely to take that one on board. Seems they’re all for it.

  13. Dafis

    In your tweet column this morning “George Orwell” submits an article which summarises the defects of Tonia “tubthumper” Antoniazzi. This article may be quite accurate in its description of her, it certainly delivers a fitting description of a large number of A.M’s here in Wales whose appetite for single “ishoos” far exceeds their interest in addressing the grim realities of life for most of their constituents. Only 20 years in and that Cynulliad needs a good clear out, purge I think was the favoured word of my old uncle Joe.

  14. Dafis you just mentioned Tonia Antoniazzi the Labour MP for Llanelli. Have you read the language in her TWEETS. Here are are few examples she put publicly on the web on her Twitter site:-
    (1) Had to move from the bar this evening after the debate because markfrancois dropped his guts… Twice.
    (2) Yeah course … snowflake following the death of a colleague … fuck off.
    (3) Why don’t you just get stuffed tosser.
    (4) Get yourself a picture and stop being a complete tool.
    She says she was once a modern language teacher living on food bank hand outs.
    From the above quotes it seems she also has a qualification in Foul Language.

    1. Dai Protheroe

      You ought to check out some of the ones she deletes shortly after posting (search Politwoops). Was she ever married? If so, I presume her husband was a fisherman.

    2. Dai Protheroe

      One of my recent Twitter favourites (now deleted) of Ms Antoniazzi read:

      “Like I say every year dont (sic) worry If (sic) its (sic) all gone tits up with your A levels. I left school with no qualifications………”

      And don’t we know it!

  15. A Post Script P.S. to my POSTING above — Does a Head of Modern Languages in a UK Comprehensive School, the daughter of a successful middle class family, earn such a low salary that they have to use food banks? Remember she could not win a Community (Parish) Council Seat in her own village. Also she confuses Devolved issues with non Devolved issues, but the kind Speaker has been trying to educate her on the differences. She does not answer correspondence according to several constituents and blocks others who send her e mails. Her Office Staff seem incompetent to grasp issues and hostile if they know your not a Labour person. Worst of all – her Labour Party Constituency Committee seem content with her foul language tweets and the defamation of Byron Davies. That shows what low calibre of people the Labour Party have in Gower. Let’s hope the real Gower folk consider all of this in the imminent General Election!

  16. Dafis

    Some wag called Dafydd on Twitter asks – Why doesn’t @bethanjenkins ever fight a constituency seat? I am sure her charisma and hard work would carry her over the line. 😂.

    That made me grin after chewing my fingers for most of the match against Fiji. Anybody could think that the Welsh squad were the guys who don’t get much time together ! I think a threat, like “any more sloppy play and you will be packed off to spend 80 mins with with our Bethan” should suffice to restore focus. Or worse still, with Tonia !

    1. Mel Morgan

      Or BOTH, if necessary … as Lady Bracknell would have put it. Should this threat prove insufficiently compelling, I’m sure that the offer of 10 minutes in the company of, say, Me
      Carwyn Jones or Dr. Tim Williams, would ensure ready compliance.

  17. Dafis

    Just read about some manufacturing company relocating jobs from Sir Fon to West Bromwich. Apart for the dubious offer of a job for anyone who wishes to relocate, the other question that occurs to me is – were any grants or any other kind of “soft funding” provided by local authority or Welsh Government, and when did any contractual obligations on such funds lapse ?

  18. I just had a reminder phone call from someone who should have been somewhere critical that could have altered the course of Plaid Cymru away from the nasty bitchiness of the situation now affecting the future of Wales and Plaid Cymru and of Neil McEvoy AM and Dr Dewi Evans in politics. We all should know the central characters. This phone call reminded me of a Plaid Cymru “Hustings” Meeting to adapt Candidates for the South Wales West regional Assembly seats a few years ago. It seems that the Husting Meeting was arranged for a room at Blancos Port Talbot – not the most convenient venue for members from the other Branches at Neath & Swansea East & Swansea West & Gower for 7.30 pm on the fateful evening. The Husting seems to have been hi-jacked by the few cronies of one candidate and the meeting started at 7pm prompt behind a locked door with only one candidate to speak. The meeting was over and closed in minutes. They could have held the meeting in a telephone kiosk by the numbers there. The Candidate became an AM and we know now what has happened down the line over the years. Malice and erratic conduct is now part of Wales’ national future in the hands of a select few more interested in attacking Neil McEvoy than contesting Labour’s stranglehold on Wales. Oddly a close relative of the successful candidate Tweeted boastfully at the time of voting for the Candidate despite not being a resident of South Wales West. Let’s hope a good historian reads this to record how such flawed character deceit led to the downfall of Wales and Plaid Cymru over malice towards just one AM. As happened a few years on, last week at Plaid’s conference most Party members were disenfranchised of a vote for Dewi Evans who would have fought to reinstate Neil McEvoy.

  19. Dafis

    Wrexhamian , BBC’s item on Summit to Sea was par for the course from a body that is devoutly statist especially where a policy/initiative like S to S is promulgated. It enables all their pseudo- green dimwits to waltz around gushing over the latest fad. Out of camera will be hidden their top of the range gas guzzling motors used to cart them to these remote locations. Most of these so called journalists are overpaid spoilt brats who have never done a useful days work in their stupid lives. But we tolerate it, even pay our licences ( most of us) because Big Brother likes to stamp heavy on those who show dissent by not paying.

    Eiris Llywelyn has acted for the Welsh language. Perhaps more of us should do it to protest against the epidemic of distortion and downright lies.

  20. Dafis

    The tweet about entryism into the SNP is of interest. It is quite likely that in their enthusiasm to recruit and expand member numbers that Party basically took in anyone who expressed an interest. Most entryists are also “willing” workers so were quick to volunteer into lowly positions which in turn gave them clearer insight on how to become more influential. I dread to think that bad publicity over the transgender issue will be the thin end of a crude wedge driven by Unionist parties and their media stooges. Like some commenters said on the WingsoverScotland site the majority of peple in transition are genuine in their intentions and have cracked on with their individual programmes diligently. Brave souls who deserve support and tolerance in spades.

    The damage is done by those militant minorities who continue to display male characteristics with no serious intention of transitioning but think it’s well within their right to gambol around in women’s kit in overthetop displays of self I/D.

    Either Sturgeon or her successor will take a fall over this unless they nip it in the bud. That point would apply to Plaid also but they seem to be doing lots of other things that will ensure they become an increasingly minor player in the Welsh independence arena. Others in that arena would do well to distance themselves from Plaid orthodoxy as it becomes more toxic over the next year or two.

      1. Dafis

        That’s my point. Plaid is now a haven for the weird and not so wonderful, sitting alongside the corrupt and compliant. A heady mix indeed. And that’s a rabble that thinks it can take control in 2021. I could spring a rib laffin’ at that !

  21. Anonymous

    I’ll bite.

    Plaid and an Indy referendum.

    We’re looking at a party that’s not won an election and failed to make any electoral progress in the last decade. A party which has had precious little to do with the growth of support for Independence as well. The danger here is with Labour talking the way it is that they may actually support a referendum with the intention of it failing and taking the wind out of the Indy movement.

    A referendum is a no-no. Must be UDI or something.

    Plaid winning that majority in 2021…

    It will not happen. The Lib Dem dalliance. The NM situation. Their Brexit position.

    Essentially if Plaid has an intention to lead Wales into Independence it’s got to be able to think for itself. So many people have gone along with the binary options put out by the British state – so many Indy supporters have bought into it as well. It’s cost Plaid Leave voters. The toxicity around it is just… insane. What Plaid needed to do is attack the states handling from the start. The “Owain Glyndwr fought for a Wales in Europe” post on Glyndwr Day was fucking dumb, and offensive in a multitude of ways as well.

    The Lib Dem dalliance – look when Adam took over what he really needed was some kind of electoral win. He needs the political capital to take the direction he did with the Lib Dems. Instead a party with low moral that chose him to lead them into government was told to accept a relationship – albeit temporary – with austerity enabling Unionists. That requires a lot of faith and sway by an unproven leader and I personally think it’s backfired and handed the “Remain” camp to the Lib Dems in Wales. Every opportunity Brexit provides as slowly slipping through its fingers.

    The NM situation. Ultimately… the worst thing that could have come out of Plaid during that was the idea that this was something external. It was – and is – internal. This isn’t just about McEvoy – it’s about that same disquiet that made Adam leader in the first place. It’s that Plaid treats its members like fools and the members now seeing it. What’s happened with Neil’s bid to rejoin has happened. HOWEVER… If Plaid select someone to stand against him in Cardiff West… I’d never vote for them again. I get not supporting him – but actively standing against him is going to do so much damage to the party.

    I’ve heard some of these things being excused away as acts of principle. But lets not sugar coat it: there’s no political strategy here. No sense. No clue. No chance.

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