Climate Cult Killing The Welsh Family Farm

In this piece I’ll explain that the ‘Welsh Government”s Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS) is just the latest in a long series of attacks on the Welsh family farm, and all that that means.

The SFS demands that 10% of every farm be given over to trees, with a further 10% to ‘habitat’. Many farms will become unprofitable. Which is the whole point of the SFS – to release more land for other uses.

Today’s piece is bigger than others I’ve put out recently, some 3,400 words; but it’s broken up into sections, so take it a chunk at a time.

2008: ONE WALES: ONE PLANET

I’ve chosen to start in May 2008 with the publication One Wales: One Planet. Sub-titled, ‘The Sustainable Development Scheme of the Welsh Assembly Government’. You’ll find a revealing extract below.

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Let’s look at the first bullet point. Who decides Wales’s “environmental limits“? Who calculates our “fair share of the Earth’s resources“? Who measures our “ecological footprint“? (I’m a size 9.) And how can anyone work out, “the global average availability of resources“.

This is the kind of gobbledegook you can only get away with when you live a very sheltered life, mixing only with others in your bubble.

The final paragraph (below, my emphasis) leaves us in no doubt that everything that’s done in Wales from now on will be predicated on the belief that human beings are killing the planet.

To achieve this, sustainable development (the process that leads to Wales becoming a sustainable nation) will be the central organising principle of the Welsh Assembly Government, and we will encourage and enable others to embrace sustainable development as their central organising principle.

But as I’ve explained, there’s something more sinister behind it all. Which is not to say that those pushing the nonsense don’t believe it, I’m sure many of them do. But there are also many who go along with it because it’s become the accepted wisdom of the circles in which they mix.

Before I forget, chapter 8 is headed: ‘The Wellbeing of Wales’. (Now there’s a clue!)

The administration at the time was a Labour-Plaid Cymru coalition, and to jog your memory, here’s a cabinet group photo. The minister for environment and sustainability was Jane Davidson.

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2010: TECHNICAL ADVICE NOTE 6, ONE PLANET DEVELOPMENTS

July of 2010 brought joy unbounded with the announcement that hippy encampments, thrown up illegally (but with a nod and a wink from Corruption Bay), were now to be legitimised

Making TAN 6 little more than a general amnesty, or granting retrospective planning approval.

Dressed up as ‘sustainable living’, ‘self-sufficiency’, and God knows what else, they were in reality just a way around planning regulations for hippies and others to build ugly shacks in open country.

There were conditions attached, of course, not least, being able to prove that these impositions were to some degree self-sufficient . . . but nobody ever checks.

Interestingly, OPDs came to the notice of the World Economic Forum, which exposed the fundamental contradiction by urging people to move to Wales.

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For OPDs were justified by arguing they’d reduce Wales’ carbon footprint. But this could only happen if local people moved out of traditional dwellings into OPD shacks. That never happened.

Instead, people moved from England to previously unused land . . . where they kept farting animals, burned wood, and drove old diesel vehicles; so that by these and other means increased Wales’ carbon footprint.

In a recent publication I noticed that DEI had been added to the chicken entrails in the voodoo stew. This news came from Sophie Howe herself, just before she stepped down as Future Generations Commission in 2022:

I am pleased to see the emphasis given to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, a key component of sustainability . . .

But despite the posturing, OPDs remain exclusively English, White, middle class.

2011 OCTOBER: ALUN DAVIES AND ORGANIC ARABLE FARMING

Then there was the plan to help farmers go organic.

Alun Davies, deputy minister of agriculture, announced that priority would be given to arable farmers, and those converting to arable farming . . . in a country where climate and topography dictate that livestock farming will dominate.

But let’s not be picky, for I’m sure this news was welcomed in the pomegranate groves of Pembrokeshire and the broccoli orchards enhancing the Vale of Clwyd, but it offered sod all to most Welsh farmers.

This initiative might reveal the growing vegan influence. For these had been brought in from the fringes to serve the Globalists’ plan to eliminate livestock farming and take control of the land and the food supply.

2013 DECEMBER: ALUN DAVIES AND HIS TWO-PILLAR TRICK

The above date was when Alun Davies, now farm minister, announced that funding from the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Pillar 1 (direct payment to farmers) would be moved to Pillar 2 (‘other rural activities’).

Davies could have transferred anything up to 15%. Almost inevitably, he opted for the full whack. Defending the decision by saying Pillar 1 should not be seen as a “never-ending subsidy“.

To understand Alun Davies, and the socialist attitude to farming, here’s an outburst from him in October 2014.

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The former minister in the Labour ‘Welsh Assembly Government’ (for he was  sacked in July 2014) rails against ‘subsidies’; yet his administration had built up a vast third sector of cronies – all living off public funding!

And things have got worse, for now the ‘Welsh Government’ throws millions of pounds at Sustrans, Stonewall, wildlife trusts, and other pressure groups.

Clearly, in the eyes of Labour politicians there’s nothing wrong with subsidies per se, it all depends who’s getting them.

UPDATE 05.03.2024: But has Alun Davies recanted?

2015: WELL-BEING OF FUTURE GENERATIONS (WALES) ACT

This legislation was a long time in the planning, but we know who wrote it.

For this article from Sustainable Brands (scroll down) tells us it was Jane Davidson, who we met earlier as the minister for environment and sustainability in the 2007 – 2011 Labour-Plaid Cymru coalition.

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The article also says Davidson, ” . . . had her damascene moment at the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992“. But I don’t buy that.

For at the time she was a researcher for Labour MP for Cardiff West, Rhodri Morgan, who of course went on to become first minister of the Assembly. So was she representing him, or the Labour party, at Rio?

I think she’d already had her ‘damascene moment’, and she was there as one of the converted.

When she became Assembly Member for Pontypridd in 1999 Ponty was her ticket to more power and influence to push the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) narrative.

Which she did relentlessly and effectively.

And even though she stepped down as an AM in 2011 she never really left. For she was always in the shadows, nudging, hectoring, demanding. Now she chairs the ‘Welsh Government’s Wales Net Zero 2035 Challenge Group.

The significance of the Well-being Act is that, as was hinted in One Wales: One Planet in 2008, all other considerations must be subordinated to fighting the so-called ‘climate crisis’.

And this being the socialist hell that is Wales, the Act introduced yet more pointless bureaucracy and more opportunities for virtue signalling, with Public Services Boards for each of our 22 local authorities. (Yes, that’s right, 22 local authorities for a country of 3.2 million people.)

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Perhaps the real lesson Wales could teach the world is how to bring a country to its knees. For this is the Globalist plan for the West.

The politicians and their pet parasites who achieved this resent giving money to farmers and others, who actually work, and produce necessities.

2016 SEPTEMBER: START OF NVZ ‘CONSULTATION’

A Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ) is, according to the ‘Welsh Government’, “an area of land draining into ground or surface waters that are currently high in nitrate, or may become so if appropriate actions are not taken“.

It had always been accepted there was a problem, but it had also been understood that the problem was very localised, and seemed to be associated with dairy cattle.

Ostensibly to get a better understanding of the situation, the ‘Welsh Government’ launched a consultation process in September 2016.

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The map above, produced by Natural Resources Wales (NRW), shows that Water Framework Directive (WFD) catchment areas covering some 90% of the country reported 0 – 4 incidents in the period 01.01.2010 to 01.01.2016.

The problem was clearly very localised.

Which is why NRW suggested increasing the area covered by NVZ legislation from 2.4% (750 farm holdings) to 8%. But, and here I quote from:

The (now) Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, responded to the consultation replies a year later, in December 2017. She said she was “minded to introduce a whole Wales approach”.

Truth is, that had been the plan all along.

As an example of politicians going out of their way to make life more difficult for farmers – because of course there would be more expense and increased form-filling – the handling of NVZ legislation would be difficult to surpass.

This is how NFU Cymru described it:

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As things stand, the ‘Welsh Government’ has been forced to be marginally less vindictive. With slightly less punitive measures being introduced in stages, the next due in August.

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NVZ was part of a wider campaign to blame farmers for all pollution. To the extent of bribing river groups and other ‘environmentalists’. Done to protect the bigger culprit, Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water.

2018 JULY: ‘BREXIT AND OUR LAND’

Wales voted to leave the European Union 23 June 2016.

That is, the people voted to leave. The political class was outraged at the stupidity of the hoi polloi. The media agreed. While the ever-multiplying legions of third sector parasites were aghast at the thought of losing such a lucrative funding stream.

In response the ‘Welsh Government’ produced ‘Brexit and our Land‘. Wherein we read (page 3) what was to replace the CAP.

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But how can it talk of “food production” when we know Labour’s attitude towards farmers? While the reference to timber did not mean developing a genuine timber industry, it referred to what I’m now going to highlight.

Idly flicking through the annual accounts of Stoke engineering firm Goodwin Plc the other night I found this, on page 17.

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The site of this enviro-colonialism is north west of Llanwrtyd. But it’s happening all over Wales.

This is how it works: Land is bought and trees are planted by investors like Goodwin, who will own the land, the trees, and the carbon they capture. This carbon can not be included in Wales’ carbon inventory.

Which means that outside investors could buy up 50% of Welsh land, make billions from carbon capture, none of which would contribute to Wales’ national figure (or economy) – and the ‘Welsh Government’ would pay them to do it!

The rest of rural Wales, and the post-industrial areas, will be surrendered to foreign-owned wind farms whose owners will dole out beads and blankets to the desperate inhabitants of doomed communities.

And it’s all built on a scam, for carbon is no threat to the environment.

As for “Public Goods“, this is a phrase picked up from the bad company Welsh politicians keep. It can mean whatever the person using it wants it to mean.

Just think of it as bollocks; usually delivered in Estuary English.

2018 AUGUST: SUMMIT TO SEA

This project links with Brexit, and the publication you read about in the previous section. It’s ‘environmentalists’ seeking to capitalise on the new reality to grab a huge swathe of Welsh land.

The project began before the date I’ve just given, but I used that date because it’s the first time I mentioned the project on this blog. Click here and scroll down to the section ‘Re-wilding’.

In essence, a number of individuals and organisations came together and hatched a plan to requisition 10,000 hectares, from Pumlumon up to the Dyfi estuary, and out to sea for a few miles.

Below you’ll see two maps. The one on the left was produced by those behind the project; the one on the right tells us who’s really behind it. But I’m not sure who produced the second.

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Admittedly, this was not a ‘Welsh Government’ policy . . . but I believe those involved had discussions with politicians and civil servants, and had been assured that Brexit could be the excuse used to withhold or ‘redirect’ farm subsidies.

Those involved were so confident of success, so arrogant, that they saw no need to engage with those whose land they wanted to appropriate. For it was a done deal.

Among the partners with Rewilding Britain was the Woodland Trust (WT). Here is Natalie Buttriss of the WT being interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today in October 2018. And she plays the admonishing memsahib for all she’s worth.

Summit to Sea met its Waterloo at a public meeting in Talybont, north of Aberystwyth on 31 July 2019, when locals made their feelings unmistakably clear to even the thick-skinned individuals involved.

Partners such as Ecodyfi and Rewilding Britain soon withdrew, and the project was then taken over by the RSPB. The organisation that cares so much for birds, but has no issue with bird-killing wind turbines. (I wonder how much that silence costs.)

The Woodland Trust is still taking over Welsh land to plant trees and profit from the carbon capture scam you read about earlier. But all done of course to save the planet.

Summit to Sea was an attempt by ‘environmentalists’ and ‘conservationists’ to grab Welsh farmland using the threat of subsidy withdrawal. So it’s no surprise to learn that many see the Sustainable Farming Scheme as Summit to Sea repackaged.

LATE 2018: TIT-BITS

In September, Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, was in Frisco, at a UN bunfight giving business leaders a chance to impress politicians from the sub-national level.

What could possibly go wrong?

Griffiths came back, her rechargeable batteries humming, and a week or so after her return delivered this speech.

A month later the Daily Post produced this article in which farmers accused wildlife groups of lying about bio-diversity loss in order to grab farm funding. I include it because it introduces an important new tactic into the ‘Welsh Government’s war on farmers.

Hoping to hide the source of the attacks the Corruption Bay establishment was now funding wildlife trusts and other groups to do the dirty work. I wrote about this just last month, in Wildlife Trusts, Crazy Money, Hidden Agendas.

Quoted in the DP article was Katie-Jo Luxton of the RSPB:

Writing in today’s Daily Post, RSPB Cymru director Katie-jo Luxton said it was in farming’s interest to work with wildlife groups – and take what’s being offered.

Only by doing this can the industry justify its receipt of taxpayers’ money, she said. Otherwise the industry risks losing out in the post-Brexit scramble for public funding.

That sounds like dialogue from a very bad Mob movie! “Dis is da best deal ya gonna get, Louie, take it – if ya knows what’s good for ya!

Also note, another reference to “taxpayers’ money“, and “the post-Brexit scramble for public funding“. They’re all reading from the same script.

Having pissed off many, many people, Luxton left the RSPB towards the end of 2021 and joined BirdLife International.

In four years between 2018 and 2022 BirdLife’s income shot up from £22 million to over £40 million. Another indicator of how governments and corporations are using wildlife groups and conservationists to undermine agriculture globally.

Wildlife trusts here saw their income more than double between 2019 and 2022. But income from ‘Welsh Government’ grants and contracts rocketed from £769,310 to £6,821,800 in the same period.

2019 APRIL: ‘WELSH GOVERNMENT’ DECLARES CLIMSATE EMERGENCY

April 2019 was tough in Wales. I recall people running into the streets screaming, “Lesley Griffiths (and Gary) have declared a climate emergency!

Well, maybe I exaggerate a wee bit. For truth is, nobody really paid any attention to this pronunciamento.

Nevertheless, it was followed, in June, with a ‘10-point Plan To Fund Wales’ Climate Emergency‘ from the Future Generations Commissioner.

As might be expected, planting trees and making life even more difficult for farmers figured big in this mercifully short document.

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The reality is that despite all the grandstanding, no other country on this doomed planet has allowed OPDs, created the useless post of Future Generations Commission, or declared a climate emergency.

There’s a message there.

2019 OCTOBER: ‘WALES MAY BE A SMALL NATION . . . ‘

In full: “Wales may be a small nation, but we have a big ambition“.  The words spoken by Lesley Griffiths, at a Climate Change conference in Cardiff City Hall.

Among the world-renowned climate experts attending was “ITV weather presenter Ruth Wignall“. Further down we read:

For every attendee at the conference a tree will also be planted in Mbale, Eastern Uganda, as part of the Welsh Government’s Wales for Africa programme.

Farmer Nimrod Wambette, from Mbale, will speak at the conference about how his home region is already feeling the impacts of climate change.

After enjoying an expenses-paid trip to Cardiff and a bit of pocket money Nimrod could be guaranteed to stick to the script.

It’s just more of the same, a rather sad and desperate combination of hyperbole and hysteria for which, in kinder and saner times, people would have received treatment. But what really caught my eye was this sentence:

Representatives from Extinction Rebellion will be attending to share some of their ideas about how we should be responding to the climate emergency

When you read that you know the nutters have really taken over the asylum.

2023 NOVEMBER: AGRICULTURE (WALES) ACT 2023

This new legislation is designed to increase the influence of ‘environmentalists’ and ‘conservationists’ over Welsh farming. How do I know? Because the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) takes credit for influencing it.

It’s there, on page 4 of the WWF Annual Report.

We launched and led a successful campaign to help put the climate and nature emergencies at the core of the new Agriculture (Wales) Bill. Through a survey of rural Wales, an open letter signed by more than 50 organisations, a petition and more, WWF Cymru’s Land of Our Future/Gwlad Ein Dyfodol campaign advocated for agroecology to be central to the bill

Those experts on Welsh farming, the British Mountaineering Council, signed the WWF petition . . . but our farming unions did not.

The same WWF that’s in partnership / funded by Tesco which, like other supermarket chains, is screwing our farmers.

Makes you think, eh!

CONCLUSION

And so we come to the Sustainable Farming Scheme, for which ‘consultations’ end on Thursday. Though I suspect that, as with NVZ and other proposals, it’s a done deal.

For Labour’s attitude towards farmers is clear. In recent months we’ve heard Joyce Watson, Mike Hedges, and first minister Drakeford himself express contempt.

To leave us in no doubt about Labour’s hatred for farmers Anna McMorrin, (former?) partner of Alun Davies, called hard-working Welsh farmers extremists, climate deniers, and conspiracy theorists in the House of Commons last week.

I could have introduced other examples of the ‘Welsh Government’s contempt, such as the refusal to do anything about bTB . . . other than to order the killing of cattle.

But I’ve given enough clues for you to guess how I see the big picture.

Wildlife and environmental groups, and more recently the ‘Welsh Government’, tell us that 80/90% of Wales’s land is taken up by farming. There’s a reason for that.

By ‘farming’ they mean livestock farming. But it’s not really about farming, it’s about the land used by farming. The talk of farting cows, dirty rivers, biodiversity loss, etc, are the excuses used to destroy farming and to facilitate a land grab.

Land that’s wanted for carbon capture trees and rewilding. Which go together. Can’t have beavers without trees. And almost all the critters planned to be re-introduced are forest dwellers.

UPDATE 05.03.2024: I’ve been sent a pro forma letter that English ‘environmental’ groups have asked members and supporters to submit to the SFS consultation.

In the first line of the second paragraph: ” . . . upwards of 84% of land in Wales managed for farming”. It really chokes them, all this land – and they want it!

This also explains the involvement of vegans, and the backing for organic arable farming. Meat will be an imported luxury item that most of us will be unable to afford. (We’ll be offered insects, and factory-made ‘meat’.)

The countryside of the future will belong to an elite that will justify its advantages, and the restrictions placed on the rest of us, car-less in our 15-minute, constantly-surveiled cities, as being necessary to save the planet.

Having submitted to this cult-agenda, Labour politicians will destroy Welsh farming as we know it. And with it, a culture, a language, and a way of life.

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2024

It’s Getting Sinister

This quickie begins with the response to a Freedom of Information request. It concerns ‘Welsh Government’ dealings with an outfit called Lynn, which former Future Generations Commissioner, Sophie Howe, joined in May as a ‘Global Strategic Partner’.

‘Global Strategic Partner’! Has she ever lived outside of Cardiff?

The sole director and shareholder of Lynn Group Ltd and Lynn Global Ltd – the latter formed just a month after Howe joined – remains Shayoni Sarkar Lynn. She studied at Cardiff University (where else?) and is married to a Welshman.

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So let’s turn to the FoI mentioned at the top, and the reason I’m writing this piece.

TOO MUCH TO HANDLE

This FoI request, dated 27 July, simply asked for . . .

a copy of all correspondence, digital or otherwise, both internal and external (including time sent) that reasonably relate to Welsh Government’s use of communications consultancy Lynn to promote the 20 MPH zone law, from 1 July 2022 to date.

It seems straightforward enough, and surely a request easy enough to satisfy, covering just a year, and a single topic.

But the response, as you can read below, makes clear that there was a lot of traffic between Lynn and the ‘Welsh Government’ in that period. For a quick shufty turned up over 2,000 documents!

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Of course, the accounts for the period covered in the FoI have not yet been filed with Companies House. But the accounts for the previous year, ending 31 March, 2022 are available. And they make for interesting reading.

The number of employees went up from 5 the previous year to 12 in y/e 31 March, 2022, and money in the bank went up from £199,227 to £1,650,756. I’ll repeat that for the hard of reading. Cash in hand, for a small company, went up by £1.45m in a single year.

Yes, creditors account for £1,172,195, but most of that figure is covered by ‘accruals and deferred income’. This probably means income from the previous year, but it’s not money owed to anybody.

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And remember, that previous year, ending 31 March, 2021, was the first year in business for the Lynn Group (originally Lynn PR). Which tells us that Shayoni Sarkar Lynn hit the ground running. Dare we assume the work was already promised and all she had to do was set up the company?

How much did Lynn earn in year ending 31.03.2023, the period largely covered by the FoI request, and how much of it came from ‘WelshGovernment’?

Did Lynn have any other clients, or was it just the ‘Welsh Government’? The Spartan website certainly mentions no clients. There are a few campaigns listed, but no claim that Lynn was involved in them.

Come to that, what exactly does Lynn do? What does it offer clients? Here’s Shayoni Lynn to tell us.

Well, whaddya know, it’s “behavioural science“. Which is getting people to believe in things they wouldn’t readily believe in. A kind of brainwashing. Or coercion.

The kind of thing politicians do when trying to push unpopular policies, like, er . . . oh I don’t know, maybe 20mph zones. Which is of course what the FoI request was about.

And she makes no secret of her admiration for the MS for Llanelli (resident in Penarth). Though given the money that association has brought her I can understand why she’s delighted to support Lee Waters and 20mph.

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But we are still no nearer to understanding exactly what she did for that money.

The Twitter / X account I grabbed the above image from contains a number of gems that leave us in no doubt as to how Shayoni Lynn operates. It’s the “Scare them shitless” UN-WEF strategy used to get people to believe in the ‘climate crisis’.

Lynn describes it as, “impactful fear appeals“. Yeah, like I said – “Scare ’em shitless“.

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From what I can see, the wonderful and universally respected ‘Welsh Government’ is paying this woman – and others – to frighten us into accepting their Globalist agenda.

Is this a proper use of public funding? And how much are we talking about?

SOPHIE HOWE

Now we have to consider where and how Sophie Howe fits into the picture.

After leaving her sinecure as the Future Generations Commissioner in February Sophie Howe was soon putting herself about.

She started her own company, Sophie Howe Associates Ltd . . . with her as the only associate. In June she became a trustee of Coleg Soros. And a Scottish source tells me she’s also got a seat aboard the Bute Energy gravy train.

And of course she joined Lynn. But why?

It couldn’t be because Shayoni Lynn needed influence in Corruption Bay, for she was already living high on the hog of Welsh public funding. There had to be another reason.

Being an aficionado of Mafia movies I know there’s often a scene when the local kingpin insists on a job for a relative. Just think of The Godfather, when young Vito Corleone loses his job in the grocery store to Don Fanucci’s nephew.

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Alternatively, the Mob moves somebody into a business they’ve invested in in order to protect that investment.

Which is it with Lynn and Sophie Howe?

Don’t get me wrong, I am not for one minute doubting Sophie Howe’s talents; but let’s be honest, we’re dealing here with ‘Welsh’ Labour, and as political parties go, this lot comes bloody close to being a criminal enterprise.

(Though mentioning ‘enterprise’ in their company might get you whacked!)

CONCLUSION

I’ve written a lot about those clowns down in Corruption Bay, and the system of third sector spongers, funded pressure groups, and assorted cronies, that serves as an echo chamber protecting them from the reality of an increasingly restless population.

But with Shayoni Sarkar Lynn we have entered new and dangerous territory. For we are being manipulated and frightened into accepting policy decisions over which we were never consulted and with which the majority of us do not agree.

This is a form of totalitarianism. And yet we are paying for it!

And it comes with a failing NHS; with our poorest kids going without meals this summer; with a community in Llanelli on edge as it waits for ‘refugees’ every man and his dog knows are not refugees; as rural Wales is turned into an open-air power station with turbines and pylons – to supply England; and as the no roads, ‘degrowth’ agenda demanded by demented Globalists is imposed.

I therefore call on opposition politicians to demand that this Freedom of Information request be answered properly. Because we are entitled to know how much public money has been paid to Shayoni Lynn and her Lynn Group Ltd to lie to us, and to frighten us.

Because if opposition politicians don’t oppose, and the will of the people can be ignored by a cult-like minority that’s persuaded itself we, the common herd, are stupid and bigoted (and they have), then democracy is as good as dead.

UPDATE: A good source directs me to this Sell2Wales entry (22/12/2021) seeking tenders for: “NPS Media Buying, Integrated Marketing Campaigns and Public Relations Services Framework”. Of 16 applications 12 were accepted.

The 12 were approached for what was now the, “20 mph National Campaign” (17/08/2022), only 5 tendered, and if we click on the tab ‘Full Notice Text’ we see Lynn PR was successful. For some reason, ‘Estimated Total Value’ is left blank.

My source points out: a) Lynn was competing with more experienced and better resourced competitors; b) tenders are not accepted from companies with less than 3 years experience, which should have ruled Lynn PR out.

That Lynn PR got the 20mph contract suggests that someone in Corruption Bay smiled on Shayoni Lynn. That Sophie Howe, the ultimate Labour insider, has joined Lynn, would seem to confirms this suspicion.

But that still leaves the mystery of the work Lynn PR was doing that paid so well before being awarded the 20mph contract.

I promised a piece on Bute Energy, its links with the ‘Welsh Government’, and a few associated snippets, but it’ll have to wait until next week.

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2023

Wales, Idiots And Envirogrifters

Yes, I’ve postponed the piece on the Globalists, again, but it’s a story with no real deadline. Whereas what I’m offering below is a kind of follow-up to a piece I put out in June: Wales: Ruled By Pressure Groups. And I want to get it out before this year’s Show in Llanelwedd becomes a distant memory.

This is another biggie, but it’s segmented. So, as Buddy Holly sang, Take Your Time.

EXTINCTION REBELLION, AN UPDATE

In the piece I just linked to I established that the so-called ‘Welsh Government’ (‘WG’) has been meeting with the extremists of Extinction Rebellion since at least May 2019.

I can now confirm that first minister Drakeford himself met with Extinction Rebellion in July 2019. Did he meet them even earlier, because the letter below doesn’t say it was their first meeting?

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I can’t take it back further (unsurprising seeing as XR didn’t launch until October 31, 2018), but I can reinforce the point that XR and WG are close, and establish beyond any doubt that the pressure group is giving orders to our elected representatives.

Exhibit A, M’lud: An e-mail from XR Cymru to Julie James, who’d been re-elected in the May 6 Senedd elections and made Minister for Climate Change. Basically, the message says, ‘You’re not going far enough or fast enough’.

The message ends with a reference to, ” . . . the good relationship with Welsh Government developed in the last few years”. On the right you’ll see Julie James’ response.

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The next communication I have is from XR Cymru Political Circle and it’s to Julie James and Llyr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru chair of the Senedd’s Climate Change, Environment, and Infrastructure Committee, and it’s dated December 7, 2021.

I should add that the highlighting is not mine. And I was unable to locate the attachment referred to. (Yes, you’re welcome to try.)

Extinction Rebellion, with nary a vote to their name, tell the ‘Welsh Government’: “Of course there are areas where we want to see more action and faster responses“.

I’d tell them to fuck right off . . . but then, that’s me.

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The next billet-doux was sent on July 13, 2022, at 7:26 in the morning! From XR Cymru Political Circle to Julie James, and the subject matter, in upper case, read: “URGENT REQUEST FOR A MEETING”.

This is an interesting (and amusing) communication. For it might suggest that Julie James was not giving XR the personal attention they thought they deserved. In fact, it reads as if she fobbed them off with her deputy Lee Waters, and they weren’t impressed.

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There is the usual ‘Must do better! reprimand, but what I really want to focus on is the reference, in bold type, to “Behaviour Change Strategy“. Also, the introduction of Claire Chappell, who is said to be ” . . . working as quickly as possible with substantial resources . . . “.

So who is Claire Chappell?

Her Linkedin page (here in pdf) describes her as, ‘Head of Brand Performance’ at the ‘Welsh Government’, and she’s been in the job for more than 8 years. But what is the job? And what is ‘brand performance’?

Well, I found this explanation, and if the definition below is to be believed, then Clair Chappell and her employer are dismal failures.

Brand performance marketing, also known as brand purpose marketing, focuses on improving your brand’s reputation and of course, its performance.

Finally, we’ll read this e-mail from December 13, 2022. From XR Cymru Political Circle to Julie James and Lee Waters, cc Mark Drakeford and Llyr Gruffydd.

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Again, that reference to “behaviour change“. How exactly are we supposed to change? And change into what – mugs taking orders from Extinction Rebellion channelled through the ‘Welsh Government’?

Here endeth the chapter on Extinction Rebellion. I’m hoping the ‘Welsh Government’ and Plaid Cymru now remember that we are judged by the company we keep.

Though I suppose that advice could also be given to Extinction Rebellion.

MISCELLANEA

In this chunk of the opus I want to deal with stories that either made it into the news recently, or else came to my attention by some other route. Some of these broke at the Show, others lead on from things that broke at the Show.

That make sense?

RULE OF SIX

I’m referring to the Six Principles, and Extinction Rebellion was also involved in this nonsense from before the May 2021 Senedd elections. It’s in the form of an appeal to politicos to sign up to six principles somebody’s dreamed up at their Pilates class.

Here’s a composite of the appeal, the six principles set out, and a list of the signatories.

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One of the six organisations involved is Whale and Dolphin Conservation. Which I was delighted to see, for we really must stop the annual slaughter of dolphins at Abergele, and scupper the Aberaeron whaling fleet.

Also among the signatory bodies is CAFOD, the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development. When did Wales become ‘overseas’? Or why does CAFOD keep cropping up in these envirogrifter pronunciamentos?

THE ENVIROGRIFTERS’ MILITIA

Now we’re expected to fall into line with the National Nature Service, and I bet you didn’t even know we had one. Neither did I.

I just can’t keep up with all these new bodies, overlapping, duplicating each other’s work, the same people popping up wearing different hats, and all in receipt of public funding and / or time that politicians and civil servants should be spending on real problems.

Clearly following the third sector model.

And just like the third sector envirogrifters will identify a ‘problem’, and demand funding to solve said problem; but never actually solve the problem because that would mean the end of the funding. That’s how this scam works.

I described this plan on Twitter as a militia for hobby farmers and hippies, and I see no reason to change that view. With perhaps XR providing the commissars. Just scroll down here and see who’s involved in this latest scam.

Now think about it, here we have an organisation promising to revitalise rural Wales, and yet the two farming unions are not involved, and neither is the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales.

What we see instead, are the usual suspects. Envirogrifters, Swamp dwellers, and ‘Welsh Government’ departments.

Which makes this capture from the militia website dishonest. Unless of course it refers to hippies and hobby farmers. Which I suppose makes a certain sense, given that the ‘Welsh Government wants these to replace traditional Welsh farming.

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The website is very basic and uninformative, giving it a work in progress feel but, unsurprisingly, we read that the previous Future Generations Commissioner had a big hand in its production.

Though the Commissioner is only the Welsh agent for a bit of UK-wide silliness, as we read below. The links will tell you more.

The process is being organised by the Wales Inquiry of the Food, Farming & Countryside Commission, with support from the Office of the Future Generations Commissioner, under the auspices of the Green Recovery Task Group – a cross sector group convened to act quickly and creatively in response to the impacts of the pandemic.

The Future Generations Commissioner for Wales included the proposal to create a national nature service in her Fit for the Future Programme for Government

Envirobollocks piled so high it’s in danger of blocking out the sun . . . Hang on! – is that the cunning plan?

NFU REJECTS ‘WELSH GOVERNMENT’ TREES PLAN

One of the big stories of the Show was NFU Cymru rejecting ‘Welsh Government’s demand that farmers set aside 10% of their land for tree planting. Hedgerows do not count, but possibly trees in hedgerows do count!

The proposal might work on some farms, but not others. Which is why the ‘Welsh Government’s blanket approach reveals the failing of inflexibility that we see time and time again.

We saw it with the NVZ legislation, brought in to tackle a very localised problem, yet the politicians adopted a sledgehammer and nut approach and made the legislation both national and unreasonably strict. Though the ‘Welsh Government’ has subsequently backed down a couple of times.

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But then, Labour politicians in Wales know little about farming or the countryside. Theirs is a party of cities, post-industrial areas, chip-on-shoulder minorities, and agitators with useless degrees and colourful hair.

To compound the problem Labour politicians are advised by civil servants – like Lesley Griffiths’ former paramour Gary – who’ve been shipped in from England to run down Welsh agriculture.

Further, the draconian NVZ rules were based on the false premise that farmers are solely responsible for poor water quality. Because, for reasons given elsewhere, it suited a number of agendas to give Dŵr Cymru / Welsh Water a free ride.

Among the agendas served was that of environmental / river groups, in receipt of public funds and, in many cases, seeking to appropriate farmland.

FUTURE GENERATIONS COMMISSIONER LOOKS INTO THE, ER, FUTURE

Now we turn to one of my favourite sites, Nation.Cymru. Though the unkind among you dismiss it as just another ‘Welsh Government’ propaganda outlet.

And after reading ‘We need a new long-term vision for food in Wales‘ I can see why.

This little gem was penned by Derek Walker, the new £95,000 a year Future Generations Commissioner; and just like his predecessor, Sophie Howe, he got the gig not because of any particular talent, but because he’s a trusted Labour insider.

Not only that, but Derek worked for Stonewall. In fact, he helped Stonewall set up in Wales. How much more of an insider can you be?

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So what did Derek have to say?

High food prices mean one in five people in Wales are hungry, disproportionally affecting more disabled people, Black, Asian and minority ethnic people.”

Mmm. Does that mean Derek thinks it’s OK for able-bodied White people to starve? Is this another example of ‘inclusivity’ that discriminates against the majority?

But let’s give the boy another chance. Carry on, Derek . . .

Agricultural waste pollutes our rivers” Oh dear, that may be the party line, but I was expecting better. But alright, one more chance.

And the boy comes good with: “Farmers are critical to our nation’s health, rural communities and a thriving Welsh language – they helped maintain the food chain through the pandemic, play a leading role in restoring nature and reducing emissions, and should be a vital part of this long-term food plan.”

But it raises the obvious question – if you think our farmers are so important, Derek, why is your government making life so difficult for them?

Finally, we read:

This autumn, I will publish my priorities for my role for the next seven years, and the long-term questions I’m exploring include – how can we involve communities to shift diets to meet the nature and climate emergencies and create green jobs?

What does “shift diets” mean, Derek? Because I suspect it means away from meat. I suspect that because you link it with “the nature and climate emergencies”, which I further suspect alludes to farting cows.

In a country of livestock farming you want people to stop eating meat?

And as for “green jobs” this often means hobby farmers, OPDs, etc., which don’t create many jobs. Or cheap food. It’s also used to describe greenwashing . . . often on land that was previously productive farmland.

All in all, Derek, your piece shows the confused if not contradictory thinking we’ve come to expect from Corruption Bay. Which resulted in it being cliched and vacuous.

DEVELOPMENTS OF NATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE

I’ve had occasion to commend the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW) recently and I am delighted to do so again. On Monday we saw the release of a map compiled by the CPRW showing Developments of National Significance.

Here’s a link to the press release, and here’s a link to the map. Understandably, the map is big, and detailed; so set aside some time to make sense of it. And remember, these are just the projects where planning applications have been submitted.

There are many more in the pipeline, including quite a few of Bute Energy’s 23 known projects.

This was a useful exercise by the CPRW because the ‘Welsh Government’ seems unable or unwilling to produce such a map. But also because it exposes the hypocrisy of those we are dealing with.

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It’s become obvious in recent years, and perhaps especially in Wales, that as the threat of ‘climate crisis’ loses its power to frighten people the message has linked with ‘biodiversity loss’ or ‘habitat loss’. This coupling is clear in all the documents I’ve linked with and organisations I’ve mentioned.

Taken at face value it says there has been a depletion or degradation of the natural habitat, with a resultant loss of species or of numbers within a species. And yet . . .

Those who now trumpet climate crisis and biodiversity / habitat loss refuse to criticise tens of thousands of acres of pristine upland being ruined by wind farms, or fertile lowland by solar arrays. 

For example, the RSPB refuses to acknowledge the problem despite birds being killed by turbines, especially larger birds, often belonging to rare or endangered species.

And there are wider issues. Such as China’s near-monopoly of the rare earth metals needed to produce turbines and solar panels. Transporting materials and finished products vast distances by ship. Finally, the fact that neither wind turbine blades nor solar panels can be recycled.

How environmentally friendly is all that for intermittent and very expensive power!

It’s clear that for environmentalists biodiversity loss is restricted to farmland. Explained, again, by support and funding they receive in order to follow Labour’s anti-farming agenda and thereby grab farmland for themselves.

An agenda the envirogrifters are increasingly dictating!

CONCLUSION

We are lumbered with a bunch of third-rate politicians elected in the main for no better reason than, “My nanna would turn in her grave if I didn’t vote Labour”. Blind loyalty allowing Labour to win with the support of just 20% of the electorate.

Being third-rate they tend to be impressionable. Not only did they buy in early to the Globalists’ Fear = Control agenda but went for broke by implementing legislation to prove that, “Wales can show the world . . . ” . . . how a country can impoverish itself by adopting a Green policy of degrowth.

In the early days, this idiocy came from within the administration, from people like Jane Davidson, Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing from 2007 – 2011, and now chair of Wales Net Zero 2035.

But as word spread others took notice. By 2018 the principal Globalist organisation, the World Economic Forum, was advising envirogrifters to move to Wales!

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But let’s go back to the trees for a minute. The 10% of farmland for trees demand is a condition of ‘Welsh Government’s Sustainable Farming Scheme, a replacement for EU funding.

Speaking last year, just ahead of the Llanelwedd Show, Mark Drakeford said that subsidies to Welsh farmers must be justified to Bangladeshi taxi drivers in Cardiff.

To suggest that the views of a small immigrant community are more important than the views of thousands of Welsh farmers looks like another example of ‘inclusivity’ at the expense of the indigenous majority.

Ask yourself – would Drakeford suggest consulting Ceredigion farmers if taxi drivers in Cardiff wanted to increase their charges?

Wales, a country being run into the ground by clowns who prioritise feelings above biological reality, preach economic gibberish, practice discriminatory ‘inclusivity’, and have been suckered by a global power grab calling itself “the climate crisis”.

How much more of this are you going to take? How much more can Wales afford?

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2023

Arts Council of Wales and Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union, an update

I’M IN SEMI-RETIREMENT AND THIS BLOG IS WINDING DOWN. I INTEND CALLING IT A DAY IN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS. POSTINGS WILL PROBABLY BE LESS FREQUENT AND I WILL NOT UNDERTAKE ANY MAJOR NEW INVESTIGATIONS. DIOLCH YN FAWR.

This is a follow-up to last week’s post, ‘Corruption Bay and a tale of Cymrophobia‘. You’ll remember that we looked at how Labour Party insiders were paid to produce reports that would guide more ‘inclusive’ policy at the commissioning bodies, the Arts Council of Wales and the National Museum.

UPDATE

One of these submissions, from the mysterious Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union, painted a picture of Wales as some kind of Hell on Earth where ‘creatives’ of a non-Caucasian pigmentation are brutally discriminated against.

It was reminiscent of the hysteria I’ve been writing about in connection with YesCymru. Where some of those involved in the failed Woke-Left takeover wanted us to believe that ‘women with penises’ are being butchered on Welsh streets by mobs of transphobes.

What I found revealing was that neither those suggesting rampant transphobia or a whites-only arts scene are prepared to debate. Any dialogue must start from a blind acceptance of their ‘facts’.

A few tit-bits have come to light since the previous post went out. For example, someone drew my attention to the metadata naming authors for the three reports.

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The report from Labour insiders Lu Thomas and Jon Luxton named Luxton as the author. But the other two reports listed Arts Council employees as authors. Which might at first sight seem a bit odd, though there could be a simple explanation.

Such as the reports being submitted in MS Word or some other format and the Arts Council converting them to PDF.

If that is not the explanation, then what is?

Despite the ‘authorship’, there is no real issue with the Richie Turner Associates’ report because the contributors are named in the report.

It’s the third report, from the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union, that’s causing concern. Because no individual or contributor is named anywhere.

Anyway, in the hope of helping me make sense of the bigger picture, a few people made suggestions. Pointed me in certain directions. So off I went.

NATURE OF THE BEAST

It’s fair to say that Amgueddfa Cymru was almost a ‘passenger’ in this exercise, so I’m ruling them out to focus on The Arts Council of Wales.

The current Chair is Phil George, who I speculated was a Labour Party supporter. His immediate predecessor in the post, from 2007 – 2016, was David Burton Smith, whose political leanings have never been in doubt.

For Dai Smith – father of unsuccessful challenger to Jeremy Corbyn, Owen Smith – is another creature of the left. One of those historians who, like Neil Kinnock, believes Wales isn’t worthy of study until the Industrial Revolution and the creation of a proletariat.

Smith worked for the BBC in Cardiff, from 1994, as, ‘Head of Broadcast (English Language). He was responsible for commissioning programmes on the arts and in drama and has also presented award-winning documentaries on the people and culture of south Wales’.

Through a socialist prism, of course.

An interesting insight into colonial Wales, this. For while the Labour Party rails against Tory cronyism, Old Boy networks and the rest, the Buttybond practises something very similar in Wales.

And the Tories are more than happy to let them do it. I’ll explain why a bit later.

Phil George has a long history with The National Theatre of Wales (NTW). In fact, he was one of the founding directors on September 9, 2008. He seems to have left NTW in March 2016, around the time he was appointed Chair of the Arts Council.

I’m told the National Theatre of Wales was always well favoured in Cardiff. One source reports: ‘”BBC Wales” used and uses every opportunity to promote this company. Hardly any arts documentaries are done but in its formative years, 2010, it commissioned a 30 minute advertorial dressed up as a documentary on a National Theatre production’.

It was thanks to Phil George and NTW that Abdul Shayek of London got his foot in the Welsh public funding door.  For Shayek’s Linkedin page tells us that from April 2011 until April 2013 he was a Creative Associate with NTW.

Shayek then branched out to form FIO, a BAME theatre group. Though apparently reliant on funding from the Welsh public purse this didn’t stop FIO taking plays to India. And Shayek ‘representing’ FIO at symposia and the like in Sri Lanka and Australia.

Nice work if you can get it! And especially if someone else is paying.

Another source tells me FIO got some £400,000 in funding over 3 or 4 three years. (It might have been more.) Which pays for quite a few trips to Oz and old Serendip.

Going back to Shayek’s Linkedin bio we see that he left FIO in August 2020 to join Tara Theatre. No, this has nothing to do with halls and High Kings, it’s yet another ‘ethnically diverse’ theatre group. This time in London.

I’m not sure of the reasons for Shayek’s departure, or where this leaves his creation, FIO. The website suggests it’s still going, and the Charity Commission entry implies he’s still involved.

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Whatever the relationship between Abdul Shayek and FIO he still appears to be involved with the arts scene in Wales. And pissing off quite a few people with his involvement in the Wales Culture and Race Taskforce (WCRT).

Which was set up in June 2020 to, ‘challenge the lack of diversity within the arts in Wales and demand systemic change’.

I’m not sure if this was Abdul Shayek’s brainchild or if he just got involved somehow. Certainly, his creation FIO was holding the money donated to WCRT by other arts groups. Said to be £20,000.

You’ll get a flavour of the dispute from the Critically Speaking blog of Jafar Iqbal. (A supporter of Leyton Orient football club.) In particular, read the lengthy comment from ‘pledging organisations’.

If you want to know more about the role envisaged for the Wales Culture and Race Taskforce then you should read this document prepared for the ‘Welsh Government’.

Strangely, in just 452 words this document manages to use the term ‘white-led’ three times. In the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union ‘report’ we encounter the phrase ‘white-led’ 10 times.

When checking the metadata for the document I’ve just linked to, I found the author named as Letty Clarke. So obviously, I wondered who she might be.

You will not be surprised to learn that Letty is also from England, but since January 2020 she has been Curator of Public Programmes at Artes Mundi Prize Ltd. From the Artes Mundi website we learn:

‘Artes Mundi Prize Ltd is a registered non-profit charity that annually relies on support from individuals, corporations, sponsors, trusts and foundations to fund the costs of all our programmes, alongside our core public revenue from Arts Council of Wales and Cardiff City Council’.

The name may sound like a character from a forgotten novel set in 19th century New England, but Letty is of the here and now. And, unfortunately, the ‘here’ is Wales.

Letty Clarke’s Linkedin profile makes it clear that she supports Black Lives Matter, and her Twitter account provides a few gems.

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As many of you will know, investigations are continuing into the death of Mohamud Mohammed Hassan, who died some hours after leaving police custody. But Letty Clarke, after being in Wales for a short time, has already made her mind up.

For according to her Hassan was a victim of ‘police brutality’ and ‘state violence in Wales’. What the hell does she mean by ‘state violence’? There is no Welsh state!

Let me explain the relationship to you, Letty . . . Your country robs my country and by way of compensation doles out money to those buffoons down Corruption Bay, who in turn distribute far too much of that cash to people like you and your friends.

Which means that, one way and another, most Welsh people get screwed twice over.

Up to now in this painful trawl through the ‘Welsh’ arts scene I don’t think we’ve met anyone who is actually Welsh, apart from a few cocks atop the dung heap.

Let’s see if we have any more luck in the next section.

THE SEARCH CONTINUES FOR THE WELSH ARTS ANTI-RACIST UNION

In December 2019 the Wales Audit Office produced a snappily-entitled report, ‘Well-being of Future Generations Increasing Participation in Areas with Under-developed Reach of the Arts – Arts Council of Wales’. You can read it here.

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The Introduction says: ‘This document has been prepared for the internal use of the Arts Council of Wales’. Reminding us that this is an example of the additional public money wasted since the implementation of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, and the creation of the post of Future Generations Commissioner, with of course, a whole new department.

The job of Commissioner was given to Labour time-server Sophie Howe. She had previously worked under Alun Michael, the former Labour MP and now Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales.

Under ‘Contents’ we read: ‘In its efforts to increase participation, inclusion and engagement in areas with under-developed reach of the arts, the Arts Council of Wales (Arts Council) is demonstrating commitment to the sustainable development principle but it recognises the need to further embed the five ways of working.’

Clearly, the Audit Office looked into inclusion in the arts, and made recommendations to the Arts Council. So why, just six months later, did the ACW spaff another £50,000 (minimum) doing what looks like exactly the same thing?

(Note that the Sell2Wales notice I link to is from June 2020. Which is when the Wales Culture and Race Taskforce was set up.)

This duplication produced the three reports dealt with in the previous post, including the submission from the mysterious Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union.

This digression takes us nowhere nearer identifying the person or persons behind the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union. In fact, it’s difficult to get any handle on the WAARU.

One mention I did find was on what I assume to be a podcast. It seems to be called Mostyn, or Lumin, the latter described as, ‘an artist-run radio and publisher led by Sadia Pineda Hameed and Beau W Beakhouse’.

If you scroll down to the bios of others involved, you’ll see this for the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union. But again, no name.

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I’d like to be able to tell you that Hameed is from Froncysyllte and Beakhouse from Llangyfelach, but alas . . .

Beau tells us: ‘I’m originally from Bournemouth but moved around . . . I come from a nature & craft background . . .  My parents were self-employed gardeners, who then went into woodcraft . . . Eventually, I managed to study English Literature at Cardiff University’.

Hameed: ‘I’m from London. I also came to Cardiff to study English Literature at uni and decided to stay ‒ in part because I didn’t really have the money to pursue the arts back in London, but also because I really liked how open the arts scene in Wales is.’

Yes indeedy; the ‘arts scene’ in Wales is open to just about anybody . . . artistic talent is unnecessary, and knowledge of Wales undesirable.

Here’s an example of Beakhouse’s poetry from 2017.

Don’t give up the day job, Beau. Whatever it is.

That we are no nearer fingering who wrote the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union report is understandable, given its reception. But the Arts Council of Wales must know because the WAARU was paid well to insult us.

Which is why I have submitted a Freedom of Information request to the ACW.

But over and above that, this situation of strangers being paid to insult us could only happen in the peculiar circumstances of devolution, which sees politicians and others who superficially oppose each other agree when it comes to Wales, and the Welsh.

UPDATE: Since publishing this piece I have received feedback, including someone drawing my attention to The Future Generations Report 2020. On page 355 we read what you see in the panel:

I have two points to make.

First, ‘learning Welsh on the job’ sounds like a good idea, until you realise it’s often a ruse to give jobs to people most of whom will do no more than go through the motions of taking a few Welsh lessons.

Mark James, former chief executive of Carmarthenshire County Council, would be a great example of this scam in practise.

Second, The Future Generations Commissioner in her 2020 report is quoting Race Alliance Wales (RAW), a body formally launched on December 19, 2019. How the hell did a newly-constituted body become so influential so quickly?

The answer is that those behind RAW are based almost exclusively in Cardiff and well connected in Corruption Bay.

While organisations elsewhere in Wales, established for far longer, representing many more people, but outside the Bay Bubble, are ignored.

This is not healthy; this is not democratic; this should not be the Wales any of us wants to see.

But it’s the Wales we live in.

FURTHER UPDATE: Someone else has been in touch with an intriguing suggestion. Which is, that when an anonymous Twitter account is launched the author is often to be found among the early followers.

In the case of the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union Twitter account the first ten followers can be found here. (Read from the bottom up.) There are quite a few names there that appear in this article.

THE BIT AT THE END WHERE COLOMBO PUFFS ON HIS CIGAR AND . . .

Picking up again on the shared motivations, what I’m hinting at is that these otherwise squabbling interests agree that Wales must be carefully ‘managed’.

Which is why what passes for entertainment on television and elsewhere is banal and superficial. Welsh politics, social issues, and other specifically Welsh matters (when dealt with in English) are often quarantined in programmes broadcast at awkward times . . . which results in hardly anyone watching them.

The same applies more widely, in the fields so copiously manured by the Arts Council. For example, there’s not a hope in Hell of Wales having its own Abbey Theatre.

We are at a stage now where if two plays are in competition for funding, one about Welsh villages being destroyed by excessive tourism, the other about the absence of obstetric facilities for low caste birthing persons in Tamil Nadu, then you can predict with certainty which will enjoy an opening night.

Researching this piece I stumbled on an hour-long lecture by former Arts Council Chair Dai Smith, built around writer Raymond Williams. Smith is speaking at a ‘Cultural Democracy Workshop’ in November 2020.

This was of course delivered at a time when the three reports commissioned by the Arts Council were being prepared. Yes, it was all happening around that time.

Smith makes the point that in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, when Williams was at the height of his intellectual and creative powers, his writing was framed by what he saw as a class struggle. But things have moved on.

(Interestingly, a piece on Williams appeared in UnHerd yesterday.)

Most importantly, the political left in Europe and North America has lost the working class. Which is why Marxism is now promoted through race, environmentalism and gender. And the harder the left pushes these the more it alienates the working class.

No one living just thirty years ago could have envisioned the crazy situation we have reached today. And few political activists of the left under the age of 40 can believe that their ideological predecessors idolised those they regard as stupid, racist, transphobic, climate denying Brexiteers.

The sons and grandsons of Marxist miners are fascist white van men!

A hazy understanding of Marxism re-interpreted by Black Lives Matter almost certainly lies behind the report submitted by the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union. It also explains the report’s acceptance by the Arts Council.

But why would the Old Etonians in Westminster and their civil servant alumni of lesser schools want to push such drivel? The answer is that they share with the Woke-Left establishment in Corruption Bay a desired outcome.

This explains the funding and other encouragement for people from around the world to come here, take funding that should go to Welsh arts, and then call us racist.

London likes the ‘The Welsh are racist’ message because it explains why we oppose holiday homes, and resent being colonised. (It’s why the Telegraph used the WAARU report.) Corruption Bay modifies it to read, ‘Nationalism is racist’ because that can slander those suggesting there is a better way for Cymru than devolution’s cronyism and exploitation. 

Together they tell us why the ‘Welsh’ arts scene today is a revolting mess of talentless dreamers and grant-grabbing shysters. Overwhelmingly alien; with some of those involved positively racist in their attitudes towards us.

Modern Wales in microcosm.

♦ end ♦

 




A guest post on . . . YesCymru!

I’M IN SEMI-RETIREMENT AND THIS BLOG IS WINDING DOWN. I INTEND CALLING IT A DAY SOON AFTER THIS YEAR’S SENEDD ELECTIONS. POSTINGS WILL NOW BE LESS FREQUENT AND I WILL NOT UNDERTAKE ANY MAJOR NEW INVESTIGATIONS. DIOLCH YN FAWR.

This week’s offering is a short guest post on an organisation currently providing a great deal of entertainment and amusement. To which I’ve added a contribution of my own.

You only have to remind yourself of the sort of people now running this three-ring circus to immediately understand why so many people are spellbound.

I am of course referring to YesCymru.

Now read on . . .

With the dust and smoke from YesCymru’s AGM on 22 May still thick on the social media battlefield, we can now look forward to another election to the Politburo. This time it’s for the post of Secretary, and first out of the traps is Scott Mackay from Swansea.

Scott’s brief moment in the sun on Twitter as he announced his decision to stand quickly clouded over as he was reminded of some of his more recent pronouncements:

In other words, those unhappy with the direction the movement has taken are just a bunch of far-right fashies, with their “almost entirely baseless” complaints.

Whatever message Scott chooses for his campaign, it seems pretty clear that he does not see himself as a unifying peacemaker.

It won’t surprise readers to learn that Scott has the enthusiastic support of our old friend Aled Williams (and Teifi by proxy):

With an endorsement from the man who has done more to wreck the independence movement than anyone else alive, Scott should be home and dry.

UPDATE (by Jac): Scott Mackay yesterday issued an apology . . . of sorts.

The last week was not without its lighter moments as whoever is handling the movement’s Twitter account mysteriously announced “What a great idea” in response to a tweet that many members found themselves unable to read.

It turned out that the message called on members to meet up in railway stations to campaign and that it came from Rachel Cooze, one of the recently elected central committee members. La Cooze and YesCymru had momentarily forgotten that, in a demonstration of her commitment to inclusivity, she has blocked a huge swathe of the membership from her Twitter account.

Complaints rolled in from disgruntled punters who had never had any interaction with her, but had been blocked anyway.

The effect that this has on potential new YesCymru members when they discover they have been blocked by a senior representative of the movement is not hard to predict. Whatever Rachel Cooze’s objectives are, maintaining and growing the membership are not on the list.

Perhaps recognising that using a personal Twitter account to transact YesCymru business has its drawbacks, Ben Gwalchmai recently announced he was setting up a second account to deal exclusively with YC matters.

Ben has set his Twitter account to autodelete every 24 hours, but an eagle-eyed passer-by did manage to spot this intriguing message on his personal account (you know, the one that doesn’t deal with YC matters):

“KatieMonVie” is a peripheral member of the group which has risen to prominence within YC, but she won’t be joining YC until it has been purged of all transphobes, TERFs, fashies, etc., etc.

So what had rattled her cage?

After a little prompting, Katie revealed that the dodgy, ableist, transphobic and now homophobic committee member concerned was Niki Jones, and that Niki’s latest crime was to like a tweet from someone wondering why Aled Williams seems to have become the voice of the Indy movement:

Fair enough, “the don” could have used slightly more polished English, and the use of “it” was either a little careless or just a clumsy attempt to use inclusive non-binary pronouns, but a lot of people are asking the same question.

Clearly, Ben made a note of this outrage, and no doubt the matter will be raised when the central committee undergoes compulsory diversity and inclusivity training:

The movement’s new LGBTQ+ three-step process was excitedly announced by Comrade Gwalchmai as an example of his drive for increased “transparency and professionalism” by the movement’s leadership.

Quite how this will make the Politburo more transparent, let alone professional, is not clear, but only cynics would see this new process as a mechanism for weeding out members and committee members who are found guilty of being on La Cooze’s blocked list.

Meanwhile, writing from London where she edits Bricks Magazine, “an independent queer led publication rerouting the intersections between fashion and our precarious social systems”, another member of the central committee, Tori West, has announced that she is going on strike less than a month after being re-elected:

Ymlaen!

— ♦ —

Jac adds . . .

Those being written about here used to depict me as some rare and malevolent presence. A lone voice howling into the void.

In the past few months they’ve been made to realise that not only I am not alone, but that they are far less popular than they once believed. With the result that Twitter accounts have been closed, tweets deleted and, as we saw with Scott Mackay, apologies issued.

These things would never have happened just a few months ago when Aled and Teifi could saunter around Ceredigion cocking their legs against ‘Cofiwch Dryweryn’ walls and growling at Dr Dilys Davies.

(But it couldn’t last. She’s back. Come on, where’s she gonna post her selfies?)

Not only is a pillar of their belief system collapsing as Stonewall is dismantled, but in addition they draw the contempt of decent people because so many of them are just very unpleasant. And extreme in their beliefs.

Our guest writer referred to YesCymru Central Committee member Rachel Cooze blocking people on Twitter. Many of these would have committed the crime of following me. For Cooze and some allies went through my Twitter followers requesting they stop following me.

But someone Cooze or one of her allies contacted went even further.

Who the hell is ‘Tess’, linked with #SavetheNorthernMeadows, and why is she saying these lies about me? She doesn’t even know me!

The answer is that she is Tessa Hannah Marshall, of Cardiff, and clearly involved with the Save Cardiff Northern Meadows campaign. Her Linkedin profile tells us that she’s part of the UpRising Leadership organisation, an English third sector body that views Wales as a region of England.

More specifically, Marshall seems to be involved with the Environmental Leadership Programme (ELP). But now it gets a wee bit odd.

The plan to put the new Velindre cancer centre on Cardiff’s Northern Meadows is ‘Welsh Government’ policy. Yet the UpRising / ELP presence in Wales is in partnership with Labour-run Cardiff City Council, and is a ‘delivery partner’ for the Future Generations Commissioner, who is of course Labour time-server, Sophie Howe.

‘Diversity’, ‘inclusion’. Now where have we heard that? Click to enlarge.

Are Cardiff council and the Future Generations Commissioner helping protesters against a ‘Welsh Government’s policy? Or is this some cunning game in which the Labour Party is on both sides, and therefore can’t lose?

Or another example of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing?

Either way, yet more Welsh public funding is wasted on Woke-Left-Green ‘activists’.

It might be significant that Tessa Marshall has written for the Undod blog, because in its short life Undod has become the mother church for leftist extremists in Wales.

No doubt I shall be attacked for ‘harassing’ or ‘doxxing’ Tessa Marshall. Because in the demi-monde of the Woke-Left people can be slandered with impunity; ‘targets’ can be vilified, and in other ways attacked. But defend yourself, or expose what ugly people they are, and the pack will feign outrage before turning on you.

After studying those involved in trying to take over YesCymru, and slander anyone who dares to criticise them, I detect three categories.

First, we have those claiming to be socialists, even communists. Often embittered individuals who maybe can’t understand why their 2:2 in Media Studies didn’t land them that £70k job.

Second, we have the sexuality / gender-obsessed. These can be ‘uncomfortable’ gays and lesbians. They can also be confused young people, and even those who have transitioned.

Third, we have those who pay lip service to the causes espoused by Categories 1 and 2 but also enjoy saying and doing things to outrage people. (As long as Mam and Dad don’t find out!)

Members of Category 1 exploit members of Category 2 who regard members of Category 1 as friends and protectors. Many of both Categories see themselves as involved in some noble crusade. While those in Category 3 are just there for the craic.

If you put them all together you’d be hard-pressed to find many rounded, reasonable, and successful individuals in sound mental health.

And that’s why their hold on the indy movement must be broken.

♦ end ♦



Wales 2019: state-subsidised colonisation

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

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You’ll recall that in the post before Easter I reported on ‘Welsh Government’ generosity in Aberteifi. Now another case has been brought to my attention.

This one in Talyllychau, a village not far from Llandeilo, where a gang called Talley Community Amenity Association (TCAA) is lined up for £522,653 from the self-styled ‘Welsh Government’.

You’ll have noticed that in my playful way I just referred to them as a ‘gang’, but they couldn’t really be a gang because one of them is an an ex-copper, who seems to have bought ‘a place in Wales’ and then got a transfer for the final few years of his service.

In fact, many police officers get pre-retirement transfers to Dyfed Powys and North Wales. To which we can add others who get transfers because they can’t cope with the pressure in England’s towns and cities.

And this phenomenon is not confined to the police service, it’s widespread with cross-border employers, Royal Mail would be another example. I wonder how many jobs we Welsh lose due to transferees filling vacancies in scenically attractive parts of the country?

But I digress, let us hie back to Talyllychau.

WHO ARE THEY AND WHAT DO THEY DO?

In the hope of learning more about Talley Community Amenity Association I turned to documents filed with Companies House. The company was Incorporated 18 July 2002 and gives as its business, ‘Support services to forestry’. The TCAA also registered as a charity – number 1097539 – 15 May 2003, where its ‘Activities’ are listed as ‘Management of local woodland’.

Clearly, TCAA is interested in woodland around Talyllychau, partly explained in a piece by one of the company’s original directors, Stephen Upson. This document also makes clear that TCAA existed in some unspecified form before it became a company and a charity, and that it was in discussions with both Forestry Commission Wales and the Welsh Development Agency to acquire local woodland as a community amenity. (This map might help you better understand the area. The village proper is just visible on the far right centre.)

These negotiations probably explain the need to become registered, for in the first ‘Financial statement’, for 2003, we see that the money is rolling in, and there is now £81,733 in the pot, but no mention of whence it came. Though I couldn’t help noticing that these accounts were prepared by ‘Gray & Associates, Accountancy Services, Talley House, Talley’. This is presumably the Sarah Ellen Gray who became a director of the company on 12 September 2005.

Isn’t this cosy!

The balance sheet for year ending 31 July 2004 shows fixed assets of £64,999, explained as ‘Land sold to the Association by WDA repayable 9 May 2029’. Elsewhere on this filing we read of ‘grant funding’ of £112,021, but again, no clue as to the source of this moolah. But don’t worry, because ‘Grant work completed’ amounts to £111,748, leaving just £273 for tea bags, sugar and biccies.

These second ‘accounts’ – and I use that term loosely – give no indication as to who prepared them, who audited them, who the company’s solicitors are, or its bankers. Talley Community Amenity Association seems to be using every loophole in the Companies Act to give out the bare minimum of information.

The newly-acquired asset is further explained by a Welsh Development Agency charge against TCAA for ‘land at Plas farm’. But by the time we reach the 2008 accounts the £65,000 ex-WDA asset has disappeared. Where’d it go?

Well, according to the title document for ‘Land at Plas farm’ the asset passed into the ownership of the ‘National Assembly for Wales’ 28.03.2007. Which throws up a wee conundrum.

click to enlarge

I mean, if the land was returned to the ‘Welsh Government’, or the Notional Assembly, then surely the charge held by the WDA would have been satisfied. Or if the happy band at ‘Talley’ had been paid £65,000 – as the title document suggests – then they would have used that money to pay off the WDA, wouldn’t they?

Yet the charge remains and there is no sign of any income – or little activity of any kind – in the accounts after 2008. The Talley Community Amenity Association has just been ticking over with a few thousand in the bank gaining interest.

Am I missing something in the Plas farm land transfers and sales? Or is something being omitted from the minimalist documents submitted to Companies House?

THE CAVALRY ARRIVES – IT’S BOOTS AND SADDLES!

A recent addition to the ‘Talley belongs to us’ crew is Angela Gail Hastilow, who seems to have arrived in 2012, along with husband Ian, from West Sussex. The Hastilows are saddle-makers. The firm seems to be still based in England, for the website tells us ‘Angie runs the office from Wales’.

I’d like to refer you now to a document filed with Companies House 27 July 2018 telling us that Angela Gail Hastilow replaced Peter Graham Knott as a ‘person with significant control’ (PSC), which usually means the person running the show.

Let me quote Companies House, which words it thus: ‘A person with significant control (PSC) is someone who owns or controls your company. They’re sometimes called ‘beneficial owners’.’

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What is also strange is that this occurred on the same day as Mrs Hastilow became a director. I’m sure there’s no legislation forbidding someone joining a company and becoming the PSC on the same day, but it’s unusual.

The only times I’ve come across it is when someone buys out a company. But Talley Community Amenity Association is not that kind of company; for example, it has no shares to be bought or transferred, so it’s difficult to see how anyone could take it over. Or why it would be allowed.

Yet that’s what Angela Hastilow appears to have done. Not only is she now PSC but the company’s registered office has moved to her house in Talyllychau. And it’s the same with the TCAA charity. Hers is the address and she is the contact for the charity. It appears to be a clean sweep.

This takeover throws up another conundrum. I’ve told you that Hastilow became a director and the person with significant control on 27 July 2018, and yet there is another document filed with Companies House that suggests otherwise.

According to this other form, Hastilow became a/the person with significant control 02 September 2017 . . . before she even became a director!

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Of course, it may be a genuine mistake. But if Angela Hastilow did really take the reins in September 2017 how was this achieved without her having any declared links with TCAA?

This anomaly has been reported to Companies House.

And now Talley Community Amenity Association is lined up for £522,653 of our money; and it also looks as if they’re going to be gifted – or at least given control over – 800 hectares of prime Welsh land. That is, land we own.

Yet who can blame them for this very human acquisitiveness, for Talyllychau is an idyllic location. Its has lakes, a ruined abbey, and is reasonably close to the M4; all features that make it very attractive to well-heeled English folk.

And the area around Talyllychau has great tourism potential.

Despite all the talk of ‘biodiversity’ and ‘community benefits’ it is being suggested to me that more mercenary motives may be at work. So before money or land is given to Talley Community Amenity Association certain things need to be established:

  • Why are the TCAA accounts so rudimentary and uninformative?
  • Where did the £81,733 come from that appears in the 2003 accounts?
  • What is the source of the ‘grant funding’ of £112,021 shown in the 2004 accounts?
  • For what was this grant funding given and was its spending monitored?
  • If the TCAA was paid £65,000 in 2007 for the Plas farm land why didn’t it use that money to clear the WDA debt?
  • And if TCAA was paid £65,000 then what happened to the money?
  • If the TCAA was not paid £65,000 then by what route did the ‘National Assembly for Wales’ gain the land?
  • How was it possible for Mrs Angela Gail Hastilow to become the ‘person with significant control’ of TCAA before she’d even become a director?
  • Does Mrs Angela Gail Hastilow now control TCAA?
  • If so, how did this come about?
  • What are the terms under which the 800 hectares mentioned in the newspaper report will be made available to TCAA?
  • Will the 800 hectares remain in public ownership if this project goes ahead?
  • Will the directors and trustees of TCAA be allowed to use the land to further their own business interests?
  • If this project proceeds will the ‘Welsh Government’ require TCAA to produce full and independently audited annual accounts available for public scrutiny?
  • How representative of the wider community is TCAA?
  • Why is there so little Welsh involvement in TCAA?

BOTTOM LINE: Why is the ‘Welsh Government’ paying wealthy outsiders to take over publicly-owned Welsh land that they will almost certainly use to make money for themselves?

PART OF A PATTERN

Returning to the article that appeared last week in the South Wales Guardian we read that the scheme delivering the loot and the land is ‘the Sustainable Management Scheme (SMS)’, administered by the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme’.

Alun Davies reading his lines, click to enlarge

This scheme can be traced back to 2013 when then Minister for Natural Resources and Food, Alun Davies, acting under orders from ‘his’ civil servants, transferred 15% of EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) funding from Pillar 1 (farmers) to Pillar 2 (‘rural development projects’).

Despite the order coming from London, via its Wales-based civil servants, ‘Welsh’ Labour enthusiastically endorsed this diktat and justified the decision by waffling about ‘biodiversity’, ‘sustainability’, ‘parsnip trees’, etc.

For the bruvvers had already been moving in that direction by becoming the first administration on Earth to surrender to a rabble of hippies by implementing the One Planet legislation in 2011. Since when things have snowballed.

click to enlarge

Next came the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 with a Future Generations Commissar. And as I mentioned at the top, before Easter I reported on the ‘Welsh Government’ ‘selling’ five acres of good land on the outskirts of Aberteifi for just £1 to yet another a bunch of ‘Gimme! Gimme!’ Greens.

Though I’m pleased to report that resistance to this invasion is growing. People are angry that the planning regulations they must abide by can be flouted with impunity by people they are funding!

Resistance encouraged by those with designs on our country over-reaching themselves with their Summit to Sea extravaganza, a vast project that has George Monbiot and his playmates hoping to take over 10,000 hectares of land (and even more of sea!)

The Rewilding Britain website tells us that its partner in Summit to Sea is the Woodland Trust. To understand the quintessentially colonialist nature of this project listen to Natalie Buttriss, the Woodland Trust’s Director of Wales, speaking about the project on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Farming Today’ programme.

Or watch Rebecca Wrigley, Director of Rewilding Britain.

The attitude of these latter-day memsahibs is clear – ‘If the locals don’t like our plans then they can jolly well fuck off’. (From their own country.)

The truth must be faced that we have reached a stage where things done in the name of ‘Wales’ that are antithetical to the interests of the Welsh. Which in turn reveals, among other things, that devolution is nothing more than a confidence trick that allows our masters to filter their colonialist ambitions through their local management team.

This ‘Welsh Government’ is only too willing to comply because ‘Welsh’ Labour hates country people, and especially indigenous country people; with hairy-arsed, Welsh-speaking rustics being the favoured targets down at the Lord Tonypandy Memorial Firing Range. (Garters optional.)

And because it’s a party of very woke and posturing planet-savers Plaid Cymru will support Monbiot and his memsahibs against Welsh farmers and the interest of the nation.

Everywhere we look we see Welsh people being elbowed out of attractive localities like Talyllychau. And as locals are squeezed out they are replaced by white flighters and good-lifers, grant grabbers, retirees and the human detritus of urban England. (This last category brought in by our housing associations.)

With these incomers funded with hundreds of millions of pounds that for some reason was never available for locals.

As we approach the third decade of the twenty-first century there’s a welcome in the hillsides for just about anybody . . . except us. Last year I reminded you of the term coined by Martiniquais poet and political activist Aimé Césaire to describe this phenomenon, it was ‘genocide by substitution’.

This is exactly what we see happening in Wales today – a deliberate and systematic strategy of replacing one people with another. A bloodless form of ethnic cleansing.

♦ end ♦

 

Pot Pourri 12.12.2018

As you can see, this is another big one. But it’s made up of five separate reports: Hendy wind farm, recent events in Swansea and Llanelli which may – or may not – be linked, the Bodnant Welsh Food Centre, the redevelopment of the Tower opencast site, and finally, the leadership election in a non-existent political party.

So you can either make yourself a panad, settle down and go through the lot in one go. Alternatively, you can take them one at a time. The choice is yours.

Unless something big crops up this might be my last posting until 2019. If that’s how it turns out, then . . .

HENDY WIND FARM: WHO GAVE THE WORD? WHEN? WHY?

A few weeks ago, in Corruption in the Wind, I looked at three wind farms: Bryn Blaen, near Llangurig; Rhoscrowther, near Milford Haven; and Hendy, near Crossgates. All being promoted by the same property company. 

Hendy wind farm merits another visit.

You’ll recall that Hendy was refused planning permission by Powys County Council and this decision was upheld by a planning inspector in May this year. But then, in late October, Lesley Griffiths, Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs Secretary for the management team in Cardiff docks, said that she would over-rule the planning inspector’s decision and allow Hendy to proceed.

The landscape to be desecrated by Hendy wind farm, click to enlarge

In the earlier piece I argued that what triggered the change of heart over Hendy was the High Court decision in September to finally put a stop to the Rhoscrowther project on the Milford Haven Waterway.

Prior to that High Court decision the developers had Bryn Blaen in the bag, were hopeful of getting Rhoscrowther, and were probably resigned to writing off Hendy, taking the view that two out of three ain’t that bad. But once Rhoscrowther was lost they were down to one out of three – they had to have Hendy.

Here’s the sequence of events leading to where we are at present.

The Construction Environmental Management Plan we encountered in the bullet points above should have been produced before work started, but in the case of Hendy it’s dated November 19, six weeks after on-site work started. 

The more I think about it, the more I believe there’s only one way to explain the panicky happenings at Hendy.

The decision to allow the Hendy wind farm was taken in London after approaches by the developers following the Rhoscrowther decision. (For despite the Planning Inspectorate having a desk in Cardiff it answers to the Department for Communities and Local Government in London.)

A political decision taken in London was passed to the Planning Inspectorate and only belatedly relayed to Lesley Griffiths when someone remembered about devolution. (Further proof that what masquerades as the ‘Welsh Government’ is just London’s management team in Wales.)

Worth mentioning may be that the landowner at Hendy is Sir Robert John Green-Price 5th Bt. It’s reasonable to assume that Sandhurst-educated Sir Robert has influential friends. It’s equally reasonable to assume that the developers, Marcus Owen Shepherd, Matthew Simon Weiner and Richard Upton, also ‘know people’.

Last week the developers were pile-driving at the source of the Edw, a Special Area of Conservation. All being done in the name of ‘conservation’ and ‘the environment’. The Edw runs south to join the Wye at Aberedw.

Pile-driving in an SAC at the source of the Edw, click to enlarge

Where, last Sunday, a day after the Cilmeri commemoration, people remembered a hero who may have been betrayed. How fitting that they should gather at Aberedw, by a river being polluted by modern invaders assisted by today’s traitors.

TIDAL LAGOON PUTTING WIND UP WIND FARMERS?

One of the more interesting schemes promoted in Wales in recent years was the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon. It eventually failed because the UK government refused to support it.

Yet it had a great deal of backing from people who pointed out that the electricity generated by the Swansea lagoon, a relatively small prototype, was bound to be expensive, but the possibilities of tidal power are immense and larger lagoons would be cheaper all round. For one thing tides, unlike wind, are entirely predictable and therefore reliable.

Not far away from the proposed tidal lagoon we saw one of the more extravagant schemes mooted in recent years in the £225m Wellness Village in Llanelli’s Delta swamp, being promoted chiefly by Carmarthenshire chief executive Mark James and Swansea academic Marc Clement, the latter a Turk by birth.

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This project was to be part-funded from the £1.3bn Swansea Bay city deal.

Clement and a few other senior academics in Swansea, including the vice-chancellor, were recently suspended and it was generally agreed that this was somehow connected with the Wellness Village, certainly Clement was connected. Though no Llanelli connection could be established for vice-chancellor Richard B Davies or the other two, unnamed, persons who were suspended.

It was no surprise then that following the Swansea suspensions the Wellness Village seemed to get poorly. Within a very short time the infection spread and now a review has been ordered of the whole city region deal.

But why should the London government suddenly be so concerned about doings in south west Wales?

I’ve been giving this matter some thought, and here’s what I think.

Just a few miles from Swansea Bay lies Mynydd y Gwair, on the northern outskirts of the city. This was an area of wild and unspoilt upland . . . until fat grants were introduced for wind turbines.

Then the owner of Mynydd y Gwair, the Beaufort Estate (Prop. Duke of Beaufort), decided it could make millions by covering this beautiful area with ugly, useless, bird-killing wind turbines. This is the same Beaufort Estate that ten years ago charged the city council £280,000 to put a footbridge over the Tawe near the Liberty Stadium.

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Beaufort and his ilk are descended from medieval robber barons, and they still know how to extract money from the rest of us.

It’s the same across this island. In Scotland the descendants of the Parcel of Rogues and assorted foreign landowners are minting it with wind turbines; while in England it’s a similar story, with former PM David Cameron’s father-in-law among those raking it in.

And linked with them are the property men and experts who will do all the dirty work, and reap their own rewards, those we see behind the Hendy wind farm.

And so there must be a possibility that the UK government is ‘reviewing’ the Swansea Bay city deal because Swansea council is threatening to resurrect the tidal lagoon, for that might be disastrous for the wind farmers who are so close to the Tory party, and in many instances, fund it.

‘But, Jac, what about the suspensions at Swansea University and the Wellness Village?’

The Wellness Village was up Shit Creek anyway, no private money was going to appear. It has simply been written off early before any more public money is wasted. As for the suspensions, the Wellness Village might have been a useful distraction.

Put the Wellness Village to one side and remember that the university is also heavily involved with Tidal Lagoon Mk II. It was the university that commissioned the recent report – on behalf of the Swansea Bay City Region – into reviving the barrage project.

Then look at the plan. Swansea University’s new Bay Campus is at the eastern landfall of the proposed lagoon. Students would have fought to get into a university with its own private beach which also overlooked a ground-breaking tidal lagoon offering many recreational facilities.

click to enlarge

But as I say, a revived Swansea tidal lagoon might be bad news for those behind Hendy wind farm, and for Lord Beaufort, also for the repackaged Parcel of Rogues, and of course for Sam Cam’s daddy.

We may need to look no further to explain the UK government’s decision to ‘review’ the Swansea Bay city deal.

BODNANT WELSH FOOD CENTRE

Another recent business failure was the collapse of the Bodnant Welsh Food Centre in Dyffryn Conwy. Though it now looks as though it has been saved by local teacake tycoon Richard Reynolds (who I’m sure is no relation to Rikki Reynolds of Weep for Wales notoriety).

In all the excitement too many have neglected to ask the basic questions about Bodnant, such as: Who’s calling the shots? Why was a grant of £6.5m made? Should that money have been allocated? Was the money used well? Why did Bodnant Food Centre collapse? What happens now?

The first thing to explain – and this is fundamental to understanding the bigger picture – is that the Bodnant Welsh Food Centre, opened in 2012 by Charles Windsor, is part of the Bodnant Estate, run by The Hon Michael Duncan McLaren QC, educated at Eton and Cambridge.

Michael McLaren’s father was the third Baron Aberconway, but this son has not succeeded to the title because he’s trumped by an older half-brother, Henry Charles McLaren, from his father’s first marriage (though there may be a dispute over entitlement).

Bodnant Estate, click to enlarge

You won’t find Bodnant Welsh Food Centre on the Companies House website because it trades as Furnace Farm Ltd, and this company was Incorporated with Companies House 20 October 2005. Furnace Farm is where we find the venture that received the £6.5m grant, but this is little more than a fancy shop selling overpriced food. 

For as a source put it to me: Dry home cured bacon for sale at £23/kg, yet both butchers at Llanrwst, some four miles away, were selling at £7.55/kg! Both butchers from known local sources!!”

Maybe at this point I should explain that despite not having succeeded to the title, Michael McLaren owns the whole shooting match, for in this document (page 5), the financial statement for year ending 31.01.2013, we read, “The company (Furnace Farm Ltd) entered into transactions with the Bodnant Estate which is owned by The Hon Michael McLaren”.

In addition to the Bodnant Estate and the Welsh Food Centre we have of course the well-known Bodnant Garden, owned by the National Trust but run by Michael McLaren as if he owns it. Then there’s Bodnant Garden Nursery Ltd, a private company with directors Michael McLaren, his wife Caroline, his mother, Lady Aberconwy, and Brian Eric Alcock.

The McLarens have three children: Angus John Melville, Iona Ann Mariel and Hamish Charles Duncan. Nice to see our Welsh aristocracy keeping with those names that resonate through our history.

Alcock’s background is in furniture, in north west England, with a previous directorship in Malbry Furniture (Sales) Ltd (wound up in May 1992), then Burford House Furniture Ltd (dissolved in August 2013).

So how did Alcock, with his IKEA-rivalling career in furniture, get involved with Michael McLaren in Bodnant Garden Nursery Ltd?

The other company in the family group is Bodnant Joinery Ltd, directors Michael and Caroline McLaren.

Giving us a number of interlinked enterprises on the Bodnant Estate, and all of them controlled by The Hon Michael McLaren QC. Invariably, with such an arrangement, there will be trading and lending between the different entities.

For example, that document I linked to earlier tells us that by January 2013 Furnace Farm Ltd owed Michael McLaren £4,969,122. By 31.01.2014 it’s up to £5,997,109. On 31.01.2015 it’s down a little to £5,862,901. A year later there is no specific mention of McLaren but the amount owed to all creditors has increased from £6,804,203 in 2015 to £7,921,963. By 2017 the figure is up to £8,981,591.

In that final financial statement we are also told that Furnace Farm Ltd lost before tax £1,497,444, up from £1,088,324 the previous year.

Just as well the company had a grant of £6.5m.

The problem with assessing how the grant was spent is that Furnace Farm Ltd is much more than just The Welsh Food Centre. For it also includes accommodation, at the farmhouse. In fact, the Estate offers plenty of accommodation.

And let’s not forget the National Beekeeping Centre of Wales.

To complicate the picture further, when I went to the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) website I could find nothing for either Furnace Farm Ltd or Bodnant Welsh Food Centre.

So eventually I telephoned WEFO, and I was surprised to learn that the name of the project was in fact the Centre of Excellence for Welsh Food, a name I have not seen used.(But I am only too familiar with this practice for making it difficult to make enquiries.) Here are the details

So the question becomes – on what was the £6,444,107 spent? And after going back to WEFO I was told that, “Furnace Farm Ltd received funding of £237,032 from the Processing and Marketing Grant scheme . . . enabled the company to erect a new bespoke building complex . . . “.

So that’s £6,681,139, and counting?

The document I’ve linked to reads: “Centre of Excellence for Welsh Food The adaptation of abandoned farm buildings for economic use . . . 5 minutes from the A55 . . . private investor is providing 50% of the costs . . . project aims to create a retail outlet for local products, catering facilities for innovation with local food and a culinary school.”

Bodnant Welsh Food Centre, image courtesy of Business Leader, click to enlarge

The mention of “abandoned farm buildings” being adapted “for economic use” may refer to the farmhouse I mentioned earlier, now being used as a holiday let, rather than having anything to do with food excellence.

The latest update tells us that the new owner of the food centre, who plans to re-open on February 1st, and is said to be leasing the buildings from the McLarens, told the Daily Post: “It (Bodnant Welsh Food Centre) has been poorly run and we want to bring it back to what it was . . . with genuine authentic local produce in the shop . . . We can’t get away with charging a premium for something you can pick up in the supermarket.”

How very true. But then, if civil servants and/or politicians want to give someone millions of pounds to spend on property he already owns, then whether a retail outlet succeeds or not may be of little consequence in the bigger scheme of things.

The big question for me is: Why did anyone think it was a good use of EU funding to give millions of pounds to a wealthy aristocrat to open a London-prices shop in the Conwy Valley, especially as such funding was not supposed to be given for retail purposes?

And what guarantees do we have that such ‘misjudgements’ will never occur again?

THE LEFT BETRAYS WALES, AGAIN

This is another little tale that gets rather complicated, so let me set the scene with some background information. (Sorry, no music.)

You’ll recall that in December 1994, under threat of closure, Tower Colliery at Hirwaun was bought out by its miners under the leadership of Tyrone O’Sullivan. This made them mine-owners but paradoxically they also became deities in the socialist pantheon.

Tower Colliery was worked until it became uneconomic and closed in January 2008. What is less well known is that following the closure there was a period of opencast mining in the area.

This explains the formation of Tower Newco Ltd which soon changed its name to Tower Regeneration Ltd, a company dedicated to, “Open cast coal working” and “Development of building projects”. The second of those presumably following the ensuing clean-up operations.

Opencast mining began in May 2012, and if it hasn’t already ended, it is scheduled to end this month.

At its birth, Tower Newco Ltd had a single director named on the Certificate of Incorporation, a Kevin Dougan, of Durham. He was soon joined by others including O’Sullivan and also by Ian Anthony Charles Parkin, another businessman from north east England.

If we turn to the Tower Regeneration website, and scroll down to the bottom we find a link to a company called Hargreaves. It’s no surprise to learn that Hargreaves Services plc is also based in Durham, and among its directors we find Kevin James Stewart Dougan.

Almost immediately it was set up Tower Regeneration Ltd took out a loan with Forward Sound Ltd, of Durham, a company that had been set up less than a year before Tower Regeneration. In fact, it’s difficult to escape the conclusion that Forward Sound was set up specifically to capitalise on the Tower opencast project.

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Why the strong Durham connection? Well, on a practical level it was a coal-mining area, but on the emotional plane Durham to the bruvvers means the annual Miners’ Gala; it conjures up images of comradely solidarity, fluttering banners and fiery speeches.

On 1 December 2017 the ubiquitous Dougan ceased to be a director at Hargreaves Services, Tower Regeneration, and Forward Sound, but rejoined Tower Regeneration the very next day . . . though Companies House wasn’t notified until 27 April this year!

So from the outset, the Tower opencast and regeneration project has been funded and controlled by English interests. And now they’re lining up to get their hands on the money available for ‘restoration’ work. And we are talking many millions of pounds here.

And as might be expected, the English Labour Party in Wales is eager to play its allotted role in short-changing Wales, again.

It seems that the prettying up is to be done by The Land Restoration Trust, which is both a charity (No 1138337) and a company, though for some reason, on its website it’s called The Land Trust. Its headquarters are in Warrington and it specialises in “open space for community benefit”, much of that open space seems to be reclaimed industrial land, especially in former coalfields.

The Land Restoration Trust was set up by the Coalfields and Joint Ventures Division of the now defunct English Partnerships, “the national regeneration agency for England”, which was succeeded in December 2008 by the Homes and Communities Agency, since re-named Homes England.

Clearly the Land Restoration Trust is an England-only body. Though the website has pages for Scotland and Wales both read: “We currently do not manage any sites in (Scotland/Wales) although we are working hard to do so. If you would like discuss any potential opportunities please contact our Business Development team.”

Despite having no sites in Wales Alison Whitehead, described as ‘Development Manager’, enjoys visiting sites in Wales! But then, Alison, as her Linkedin profile tells us, was ‘Development Manager for North of England and North Wales’.

On 31 January 2018 a reception was held for the ‘Land Trust’ at the Senedd. It was hosted by Vikki Howells the Labour AM for Cynon Valley. Here’s the report from the Land Restoration Trust website.

And below you’ll see what Howells put out on Facebook the following day. Note that she mentions “ownership and management options”. In fact, it had already been decided behind the scenes, and years ago, making the Senedd reception no more than a PR exercise.

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Vikki Howells is involved for no better reason than she’s the local AM, having been elected in 2016 because she was the donkey with the red rosette. Does she really understand what’s gone on at Tower and who owns what?

Though if Ms Howells was so keen to inform the Cynon Valley public then she should have explained why her administration has abrogated its responsibilities and rolled back devolution. And also explained why the profits from developing this local site will be leaving Wales.

The Tower opencast operation didn’t last for much more than six years, it employed few, and when repayment of loans, leasing and hiring are taken into account, it wasn’t that profitable, certainly not for Tower. The big beneficiary appears to have been Hargreaves Surface Mining Ltd, renamed Hargreaves Land Ltd in June 2018.

(It should go without saying that Kevin James Stewart Dougan ceased to be a director of Hargreaves Land on 1 December 2017. What is the significance of that date?)

Hargreaves Surface Mining was set up in October 2011, just before opencast mining began at Tower. The timing is no coincidence. Hargreaves Surface Mining Ltd joined a host of new companies that had been created in north east England to make big bucks out of a mining operation in Wales.

An operation that put little money into the local economy but enriched strangers. It also served the purpose of being the necessary precursor to the second stage of the project that will inherit a large tract of land together with millions of pounds to landscape and redevelop it.

Who knows what will be done on the old Tower opencast site. Housing? A leisure resort such as we see not far away in the Afan Valley? One thing I predict with certainty – as with the opencast site, the profits will leave Wales.

Vikki Howells seems to envision the development at Tower linking with the Rhondda Tunnel . . . owned by Highways England!

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Or maybe it’ll be more wind turbines, for while they generate little or no electricity they certainly produce massive incomes for those who operate them, and the landowners involved. 

It’s difficult to believe that all this is happening after twenty years of devolution. But as I’ve argued many times, devolution is a sham, a façade; and behind that façade Wales is being ripped off and inexorably assimilated into England.

This assimilation along with the exploitation we see at Hendy and Mynydd y Gwair, Bodnant and Tower, is being facilitated by socialists, and the Labour Party, doing what they always do – selling Wales down the river.

GREEN PARTY OF ENGLANDANDWALES

Earlier this year members of the self-styled ‘Wales Green Party’ voted against becoming a Wales Green Party, choosing to remain part of the Green Party of Englandandwales and calling themselves The Green Party in Wales. Whereupon the party ‘leader’ defected to Plaid Cymru.

The confusion that resulted may be reflected in the fact that the party website seems to have been abandoned, with nothing posted since 10 July.

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Yet despite all the recent tribulations this Green Party of England in Wales is currently holding a leadership election. Yes, that’s a leadership contest to a non-existent party! Among those standing is Anthony Slaughter.

So who is he? Well, it should go without saying that he’s not Welsh. He lives in Penarth and seems to have a high regard for himself, adopting that tone of moral and intellectual superiority that so endears the Greens to me.

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And he spreads his talents wide, for when he’s not saving the planet he’s up in London demanding something called A People’s Vote, supporting the Stansted 15, and arguing for 20 mph speed limits. Sainthood can’t be far away.

But being a Green he’s probably a practising pagan. (Or am I thinking, vegan?)

Obviously there’s no such thing as the Wales Green Party, but then, there’s no such thing as the Welsh Labour Party either, it’s just a label, there’s nothing registered with the Electoral Commission. 

So maybe the Greens take their lead from the Labour Party, because they often seem close, almost as if the Greens are the idealistic younger relative indulged by the more staid Labour Party. 

And the closeness isn’t confined to the Greens, it seems to extend to the environmentalist movement as a whole, maybe it’s something to do with the self-absorbed regarding themselves as ‘progressive’

This perhaps explains why public money was recently spent on foot massage by the Future Generations Commissioner, that very close friend of the late Carl Sargeant.

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But it’s not just Labour that likes to cwtch up to those who think that the examples of Hendy and Mynydd y Gwair should be replicated on every pristine landscape in Wales. Who believe that carving up the countryside to lay thousands of tons of concrete is good environmental practice.

I mentioned that Slaughter, the would-be leader of the non-existent party, lives in Penarth. Where I’m told certain Plaidistas – the names Clubb and Wilton were mentioned – have been keen to do electoral deals with these Wales-rejecting colonialists.

But then, nothing surprises me any more, whether it’s the Greens, Plaid Cymru, or the Labour Party. They all pursue their own agendas, driven by narrow ideology and trapped within dogmas, rather than pragmatically promoting what’s best for the Welsh people.

That’s why they’ve failed us, and that’s why time is running out for all of them.

end ♦

 

The Green Smokescreen

AND THIS LITTLE PIGGY CAME TO WALES

To properly understand this article it’s best to know a little of the legislative and other background, and when we put it all together it should warn us that what we see at Red Pig Farm (yes, honestly, Red Pig Farm) is one element of the dystopian future envisioned for the Welsh countryside by our masters down in Cardiff Bay. (ALT = Agroecology Land Trust Ltd.)

Red Pig farm logo

‘WELSH’ LABOUR, DAVIES OUT, HOWE IN

First, though, let us reflect on the role of Alun Davies AM (then Minister for Natural Resources and Food) who, in January 2014, announced that the government he represented had decided to transfer 15% of EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) funding from Pillar 1 to Pillar 2. (See it here.) Which meant that henceforth this money, instead of going to our farmers, would be spent on “rural development projects”, most of which will have nothing to do with real farming, and little or nothing to do with Welsh people.

But then, it might be argued that Davies had form when it came to undermining Welsh agriculture, for after the heavy snow of March 2013, when farmers in the north east were particularly badly hit, he announced there would be no ‘Welsh’ Government aid. Justifying the decision with these priceless words (April 3, 2013, BBC Wales News), “You don’t create a strong business base by throwing public money at every problem you face”.

Yes, folks, that came from a ‘Welsh’ Government minister; a representative of an administration, and a political party, that believes there should be a Nobel Prize for frittering away public money.

Former Plaid Cymru member Davies eventually lost his job, in July 2014, after pressuring civil servants to find out how much some opposition AMs were receiving in farming subsidies! He was still at it in October. But then, it has to be said that even before his fall he was having trouble with farming subsidies. In fact, it often seemed that Davies thought of little else.

Alun Davies Subsidies WM
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The second legislative hammer-blow came last year with the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act. There’s even a video, accompanied by a monologue combining political correctness with envirobollocks. Whatever credibility the Act might have had all was lost with the appointment of Labour insider Sophie Howe as Future Generations Commissioner.

Despite these manifest idiocies and insults to the collective intelligence the Well-being of Future Generations Act (Wales) Ltd is now law, and is already being taken advantage of by those seeking to move to Wales.

Such as James Scrivens and Sara Tommerup, he English, she Danish. This enterprising duo are the proprietors of the Agroecology Land Trust Ltd, based at the above-mentioned Red Pig Farm, which was carved out of Forestry Commission land near Bethlehem, Carmarthenshire, some years ago, long before Scrivens and Tommerup discovered Wales. We shall return to them anon.

ENTER JANE DAVIDSON LABOUR(?) AM 

For in addition to the legislation I’ve mentioned, in 2011 those buffoons down Cardiff docks also accepted the diktats of the One Planet Council. As it says on its website, “The One Planet Council provides a bridge between applicants and local planning authorities, with guidance and tools to support anyone making the transition to this more sustainable way of life. It works also with those who have already made that leap, and with policymakers, academics and landowners.”

In other words, it helps good-lifers, bullock worshippers and others move to Wales and get retrospective planning permission for buildings they’ve erected without consent – even in National Parks. And they can do it because they have the support of the ‘Welsh’ Government. (By the way, that reads bullock . . . though I suppose bollocks-worshippers applies just as well.)

One Planet

A major reason for the direction taken by the ‘Welsh’ Government in this period is Jane Davidson, former AM for Pontypridd, and now chief Patron of the One Planet Council. It was she who persuaded her colleagues to agree to its agenda before she stood down in May 2011 as Minister for the Environment. After leaving the Assembly she also became director of the Wales Institute for Sustainability (INSPIRE) at Trinity St David Lampeter.

Jane Davidson is one of those middle class Englishwomen one finds in the National Trust, Cadw, and other bodies, who believes that the Welsh countryside is too naice to be left to us; it needs to be run by people like her and those she feels comfortable with, whose numbers can be increased by elbowing the backward locals aside.

For make no mistake, Davidson represents the Green lobby and others who want greater access to the Welsh countryside, and freedom to use and exploit our rural areas as they wish. One such group would obviously be the Ramblers Association, for whom she became ‘Welsh’ President almost immediately she’d left the Assembly.

At Davidson’s direction, fully supported by coalition partners Plaid Cymru, and groups and individuals unlikely to vote for either party, the ‘Welsh’ Government produced, in May 2009, One Wales: One Planet, a document setting out how we are to reduce Wales’ carbon footprint.

Among the ambitions articulated by this document, that could have been been written by Friends of the Earth (and might well have been), we find, “Within the lifetime of a generation, we want to see Wales using only its fair share of the earth’s resources, and where our ecological footprint is reduced to the global average availability of resources – 1.88 global hectares per person”.

So there you are, we’re all entitled to 1.88 global hectares per person – claim yours while stocks last!

Jane Davidson was able to walk into the post of Minister for the Environment because she was one of the few Labour AMs who knew anything about that mysterious world beyond Merthyr known as ‘The Countryside’, inhabited by strange creatures most of whom steadfastly refused to vote Labour.

So she had free rein in the Dark Regions and Plaid to vouch for her in quarters where she might have encountered suspicion or hostility.

Which meas that we could view her appointment at INSPIRE as the reward from the enviro-colon network she had so assiduously worked for while at the Assembly – cos she sure as hell didn’t represent the people of Pontypridd.

But as we know, politicians are not supposed to take up posts connected with their previous ministerial duties. Davidson obviously did by taking the job at INSPIRE and was reprimanded for it . . . but edited her Wikipedia page to hide her little embarrassment.

N.B. You may have noted that even though Wales is the only country to have adopted the One Planet agenda, and this outfit operates only in Wales, OP haven’t got round to doing a Welsh version of the website.

HIPPY, HIPPY STATE

Let’s wend our way back to Red Pig Farm and the happy couple. There can be no doubt that James Scrivens and Sara Tommerup relocated to Wales because of the favouritism shown towards their ilk by the ‘Welsh’ Government. For as it says on the Red Pig Farm website:

Red Pig Farm 1

I love that phrase “reactionary and conservative local council”. Translated, it means, ‘People who represent the wishes of the majority when confronted with the unreasonable demands of recently-arrived Alternatives’.

Before relocating to Carmarthenshire we find Scrivens and Tommerup in Gloucestershire, running the Yorkley Court Community Farm Ltd near Lydney, a company struck off in August 2015 without apparently doing any business. According to this BBC Points West report it seems that Yorkley Court Community Farm was in fact a squatter camp.

Another company they were involved with at that time was Agroecological Land Initiative Ltd, Incorporated February 24, 2015. The name was changed on April 14, 2015 to Agroecology Land Trust Ltd, and then, on June 26, 2016, to Red Pig Farm Ltd.

Scrivens and Tommerup have settled in quite well, among their ventures is a stake in the Llandeilo Food Hub in a disused railway wagon at the local station. As the report in the West Wales News Review tells us, this project is grant-aided by the ‘Welsh’ Government.

There now follows a short diversion . . .

The Llandeilo Food Hub seems to come under the umbrella of the Heart of Wales Line Development Company Ltd, yet another ‘community venture’ run by those whose parents and grandparents are buried somewhere else. In more senses than one, the company appears to be up a siding, for the latest accounts tell us it has net assets of only £20,169, and is kept in the black through the generosity of a director not insisting on payment of her £35,500 loan.

This benefactrix is Gillian Elizabeth Wright. Now if that name rings a bell then it might be because I wrote about her and her Llandovery Hub, in Ancestral Turf. (I’d like to tell you more about Llandovery Hub, but the website offers neither Companies House registration number nor Charity Commission number. Nothing turns up on the FCA website, either. What kind of outfit is this?)

Wright also ran, with Jane Ryall, The Level Crossing Community Interest Company, offering bed and breakfast accommodation in a converted pub, Incorporated with Companies House September 24, 2012. The most recent accounts, April 2, 2016, show liabilities of £55,271. The Level Crossing Community Interest Company is in the process of being struck off.

The Level Crossing Community Interest Company was yet another ‘community venture’ that was only ‘viable’ with public funding and, like thousands of others, that have swallowed hundreds of millions of pounds, it has been a complete waste of money.

UPDATE 07.09.2016: Here’s a report in a local paper from mid-July 2013, before the business opened, with the date suggesting that this tourism venture had already lost half the summer. The report tells us that the building was leased from the owner, Neo Neophyton. Does anyone know to whom it was leased, and the terms?

Moving back to Red Pig Farm we see that Scrivens and Tommerup are seeking human company, for they have submitted a planning application for more dwellings at the ‘farm’, which lies in open country and, remember, in a National Park! But thanks to the legislation passed by the ‘Welsh’ Government they anticipate no problems.

“We are fully aware of the many challenges in obtaining residential planning permission in the open countryside. However, thanks to the pioneering foresight of the Welsh government a planning framework to support low-impact rural developments known as One Planet Development is in place to guide applications that seek to demonstrate the ecological benefits from the creation of sustainable land based livelihoods”.

Finally, let me conclude this passage by highlighting an inconsistency. According to the One Planet gurus and others we must reduce our carbon emissions. Fair enough. Yet Red Pig Farm is also home to Black Mountain Wood Fuels, and as we know, burning wood creates higher carbon dioxide emissions than any other fuel.

Carbon Dioxide

Which seems to expose a contradiction in the back-to-nature schema. For the desire to protect the planet obviously conflicts with the wish to live ‘naturally’ by burning wood. And believe me, those seeking the ‘alternative’ lifestyle do love to burn wood.

Corris (Isaf) is home to many such people, thanks to the nearby Centre for Alternative Technology (of which, incidentally, Sara Tommerup is a ‘graduate’). One can drive the A487 past Corris on a still winter’s day and see a vast pall of smoke motionless above the village. It reminds me of the old films of London smog.

And I haven’t considered the issue of regenerating the stocks of wood.

SUMMARY

Let’s recap: through legislation and other measures the ‘Welsh’ Government has made life more difficult for Welsh farmers and others who were born and raised in the countryside, while making it much easier – with both funding and relaxation of planning rules – for outsiders to settle in our rural areas.

Now let’s put it all into its chronological sequence:

May 2007: Birmingham-born Jane Davidson appointed Minister for Environment and Sustainability in the Labour – Plaid Cymru coalition government.

May 2009: Publication of One Wales: One Planet.

July 2010: Publication of Technical Advice Note (TAN) 6 giving the green light for ‘sustainable’ dwellings in open countryside.

January 2012: INSPIRE launches at Trinity St David with former Minister Jane Davidson at the helm.

March 2013: Alun Davies’ response to snow-hit farmers asking for help,“You don’t create a strong business base by throwing public money at every problem you face”.

January 2014: Alun Davies announces transfer of EU Common Agricultural Policy funding from Pillar 1 to Pillar 2, in other words, from farmers to “rural development projects”.

January 2015: ‘Welsh’ Government announces cuts to funding for young farmers (i.e. Welsh young farmers).

March 17, 2015: Assembly passes Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. Basically, The Hippies’ Charter.

April 29, 2015: Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 becomes law.

Spring 2016: James Scrivens and Sara Tommerup arrive at Red Pig Farm, and almost immediately apply for planning permission to erect other dwellings, in open country, and in a National Park.

And all this takes place to the background drone of George Monbiot in his regular Guardian column and elsewhere calling on governments to remove farming subsidies, bankrupt Welsh farmers, and thereby remove sheep from the hills to allow ‘rewilding‘. His voice being one of a chorus. It may be no coincidence that Monbiot moved to the Machynlleth area in 2007.

CONCLUSION

I’m sure the envirofascists and their political allies would argue that Welsh people are free to get involved, and join them in building their carbon-free (well, apart from the wood stoves) Utopia in our green and pleasant land.

Trouble with that is that I don’t know any Welsh people who want to live in a turf house choking on fumes from a wood fire and shitting in the bushes before batting away the sheep turds while taking a bath in the stream.

The people I know want the best that modern life can offer, and wonder why they have to go without, especially when they see so much money being given a) to people who arrived here yesterday, and b) to activities from which they derive no benefit.

There are so many demands on the Welsh countryside today, from tourism, from the ‘outdoor activities’ industry, from the military (even more so if Scotland becomes independent), from white flighters, from good-lifers, and from so many other quarters. The problem, when viewed from the perspective of such people, is that far too much Welsh land is still in Welsh hands.

And while the Planning Inspectorate can demand tens of thousands of new homes surplus to local need, and housing associations can waste tens of millions of pounds building homes for tenants who have never been to Wales in their lives, and the local economy can be allowed to atrophy with the few jobs that remain increasingly filled by transfers from outside Wales and recruitment from within the local English population, something more is still needed.

♦ ♦ ♦

Which is why, when we consider the bigger picture, and remember the commitment of vast sums of public funding, we have to conclude that moving money around within the CAP, and One Planet, and TAN 6, and all the other ‘Green’ initiatives are just elements of a wider programme of engineered demographic change. A Clearance for the twenty-first century, done without the unsightly bloodshed and the blatant expropriation.

In my more generous moments I used to think that the Assembly and the ‘Welsh’ Government were merely incompetent for achieving so little for our people. But enough time has passed now to realise that this failure is quite deliberate. Worse, successive ‘Welsh’ Governments have actively discriminated against the native Welsh.

Nothing would change if Plaid Cymru had a majority in the Assembly, things might even be worse, because while many in Labour see the envirofascists as just a stick with which to beat those who refuse to vote for them, The Party of Wales has fallen completely under their spell.

The survival of the Welsh nation is under threat as never before. To save the nation we must reject all political parties, and the distraction of electoral politics. There is no hope of winning by that route, and not enough time.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ END ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

Drugaid – Another Councillor Lost? – Sophie Howe – Captain Cardiff – Profound Thoughts While Lying Abed Flicking Bogies

HOOKED ON FUNDING

Drugs is big business, as this recent case reminded us, and drugs generates lots of money for people other than drug dealers. Even the UK government has acknowledged that drug dealers buy cars, houses, boats, bling, foreign holidays, etc., etc. On top of that, the so-called ‘War on Drugs’ keeps cops, lawyers and prisons in business. And as if that wasn’t enough, we then have all those who’ve found jobs ‘helping’ drug addicts.

There must now be thousands of agencies, large and small, operating locally, at Wales level, UK level, which often overlap and duplicate each other’s work and, in total, receive billions of pounds in funding from various sources. The only losers in this situation are of course the drug addicts – but ‘it’s their own fault anyway’. A strange attitude to take towards those who keep this ship afloat.

Of course, the only other blot on this landscape of economic win-win is that those involved in manufacturing, importing and distributing drugs tend to keep their assets offshore, or under granny’s mattress, and therefore pay no tax. But since when have such practices ever troubled UK politicians, of any party?

If you wanted to be utterly cynical, you could argue that there are now so many people dependent on the drugs trade that if the ‘War on Drugs’ was, by some fluke, won, then it might have a seriously detrimental effect on the UK economy.

Drugaid

I am indebted to Brychan for reminding us that among the big players in Wales in the ‘helping drug addicts’ racket is The South Wales Association For Prevention Of Addiction Ltd (Charity No 265008), more usually known as Drugaid. Its four trustees are Professor Neil Frude, Miss Sylvia Diana Scarf, Mr William George David Smith and Mrs Linda Hodgson. As well Prof Frudeas being trustees of the charity these four are also the only directors of the cash-rich Newport-based company of the same name (No 01073381).

Professor Frude appears to be a somewhat unorthodox psychologist and one-time stand-up comedian, who runs the Happiness Consultancy in Berkshire. He is also an external professor at the University of South Wales and has some connection with Cardiff University. Though his main income is said to be from his work for BUPA, which no doubt contributes greatly to Frude’s personal happiness.

Miss Sylvia Diana Scarf is a retired lady of 79, who may live in Newport, or she may live in Oxford. I’m told that she recently got an OBE for her work with the Girl Guides. (When I tried to ‘work’ with Girl Guides during my Sea Scouts days all I ever got was ‘Get lost, you dirty sod’!) Miss Scarf is also said to be ‘big’ in the Anglican Church. When I read that it made me think of John Major’s old ladies cycling to Evensong after a skinfull of warm beer. Ah!

William George David Smith seems to be a chartered accountant in Cardiff and Linda Hodgson may, or may not, live in Porth, in the Rhondda. The contact and director for Drugaid is a Caroline Phipps from God knows where but currently domiciled in Caerffili. All in all, a typical ‘Welsh’ Third Sector outfit, made up of willing locals and those who can sniff out easy money from 500 miles away.

Drugaid first saw the light of day in Cardiff, in 1972, brought into this cruel world by the Reverend Peter Keward, and christened South Wales Action to Prevent Addiction (SWAPA). Since when it seems to have moved to Newport and concentrated its activities in the central and eastern Valleys, even into prosperous Monmouthshire. And despite what the outdated ‘About Us’ page says, Drugaid is also spreading west, yea unto Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion. In fact, the organisation now covers the whole of the south, from the border to the Irish Sea . . . apart from Cardiff and Swansea Bay, perhaps having been warned off the two main cities.

In figures submitted to the Charity Commission Drugaid had income for the year ended March 30, 2014 of £2,727,668 and expenditure of £2,789,439. It had 78 employees and 30 volunteers, so we are dealing here with a sizeable operation, and it’s still growing, currently advertising to fill 8 vacancies. (Here in screen capture.)

What does Drugaid actually do?

This is the tricky bit. Drugaid seems to work with ‘partner’ bodies, these include GPs, health services, various other Third Sector bodies, and the ‘National’ Probation Service (for Englandandwales). The latest available accounts show that these ‘partners’ (excluding local health boards and councils) put £1.74m into the Drugaid pot y/e 31.03.2014, with a further £606,397 coming from our wonderful ‘Welsh’ Government. So where does it go?

Drugaid income

Well, £1.83m went on wages and salaries, then there was ‘Hire of equipment and services’ (£211,870), ‘Motor and mileage costs’ (£88,151), ‘Light and heat’ (£80,287), ‘Telephone’ (£42,249), ‘Other operating leases’ (£162,854), ‘Sundries’ (£160,807), ‘Depreciation’ (£91,902), etc., etc. Apart from ‘Needles’ (£31,949), it’s difficult to identify any direct spending on those the charity is supposed to be helping, but let’s remember, this is a major employer, pushing towards 100 employees. (The two columns show y/e 31.03.2014 on the left, 2013 on the right.)

Drugaid spending

If one wished to be unkind it would easy to dismiss Drugaid as yet another charity where almost all the funding goes on salaries and administrative costs. A grotesquely bloated organisation, currently expanding beyond its ability to cope with this expansion and, as a result, not achieving a lot. Hardly surprising perhaps for a charity overseen by a stand-up comic.

I say that because in searching the Drugaid website I could find nothing boasting of ‘outcomes’, that word so beloved of Third Sector organisations, used in describing successes, numbers of ‘clients’ helped. Then my hopes soared as I saw ‘Drugaid Annual Review‘ . . . but the last one was posted in 2011! How is anyone – funders, for example – supposed to know whether Drugaid is actually doing any good? Or is Drugaid just part of some Third Sector merry-go-round where ‘cases’ get moved on from one agency to another with each agency taking its cut?

Drugaid gobbledegook

Another indicator that all may not be well is something else I found on the website, an invitation to tender, worded thus: “Drugaid is currently reviewing the provision of Supervision to our employees.  Following feedback from staff, a review of our Supervision Policy and research into best practice in Supervision, Drugaid has decided to redefine the supervision that is offered to all staff to provide a more inclusive, productive and efficient means of providing this vital support to all who work for us.”

Oh sorry, the closing date for that tender was 20th of February 2013!!! This is getting worrying. If the website is anything to go by, Drugaid is in one hell of a mess – but remember, this is an organisation that’s still expanding! Here’s a screen capture of the 2013 invitation to tender, because I guarantee it won’t be on the website much longer.

What else do we know?

I’ve already mentioned that in addition to the charity there is also a private company, limited by guarantee, with the same directors as are trustees of the charity. The company has a net worth of £1.1m, and £1.2m in cash.

Having also mentioned the situations currently vacant, it may be worthwhile focusing on one of these, the job in Merthyr catering for veterans. This caught Brychan’s eye due to a difference in legislation between Wales and England. Here in Wales, the Homeless Persons (Priority Need) (Wales) Order 2001 specifies that anyone who finds himself / herself homeless after leaving the armed forces is categorised as a priority for social housing. The Homelessness Act 2002, which applies to England only, allows local authorities there to reject applicants on the grounds of ‘no local connection’.

Given what we already know about the operations of the Third Sector and social housing bodies, and how lax legislation allows – even encourages – the importation of ‘clients’ from England, it demands no great leap of the imagination to envision Drugaid bringing in English ex-service personnel with drugs problems. Does this go some way to account for the recent expansion, both in personnel numbers and geographical reach?

Whatever Drugaid is doing, or supposed to be doing, it doesn’t seem to do it well. Nowhere does it give figures for those it has helped, as a result there seems to be no way whatsoever of gauging its success.  The percentage of its income spent on salaries and administrative charges is ludicrous, and should be unacceptable to its funders. The website, Drugaid’s window to the world, is an absolute shambles, full of gibberish and out-of-date pages. There has been no Yearly Review posted since that for 2011. How the hell can an organisation in such a state be allowed, even encouraged, to expand?

Finally, and being guided by the latest accounts, it’s difficult to escape the conclusion that Drugaid is no more than a glorified needle exchange. As such, it does not deserve the excessive funding it receives. It is surely time for partners and funders to review their support for Drugaid.

*

NEIL WOOLLARD, ANOTHER UPLANDS COUNCILLOR GONE MISSING?

Following on the recent news of the departure from Swansea of Uplands councillor John Charles ‘John Boy’ Bayliss, which itself followed on the departure last year of his friend Pearleen Sangha, I now hear that another Labour councillor from that ward may have disappeared.Phil Tanner

The name I’m hearing is Neil Woollard, an interesting character, Woollard, for in addition to his day job, and his council work, Neil and some friends are the Rag Foundation, a popular folk ensemble. The group’s repertoire draws heavily on the songs of Gower folk singer Phil Tanner (1862 – 1950), a man whose life covered the ending of south Gower’s ‘island’ status, those centuries when it had more in common with Somerset than with north Gower. I’ve even read somewhere that Woollard is Tanner’s grandson, but to my knowledge Tanner had no children, certainly none are recorded.

What I’m hearing is that Woollard is employed by ‘a company involved with the Swansea tidal lagoon’, yet for some reason this means that he now lives in the Cardiff area. Though this might not be as odd as it sounds, for the company behind the lagoon is based in Gloucester, so maybe he’s chosen to live somewhere roughly half way between Swansea and Gloucester. But I’m only guessing. My source is however adamant that Woollard now lives somewhere in the Cardiff area.

While Woollard’s attendance record at council meetings has not taken the dramatic turn for the worse we saw with Bayliss (and why should it, for Bayliss is further away, in Bristol), there has still been a marked decline. In the period 14.05.2015 – 06.11.2015 his attendance record was 30%, but for the six-month period before that it was 60%.

So the question on Woollard is roughly the same as I asked for Bayliss.Is he still able to properly discharge his duties as councillor for the Uplands ward in Swansea? If not, then there must be a by-election, not another lengthy period – as we saw with Sangha – of the Labour Party staying schtum or, when pressed, maintaining that he’s still, ‘livin’ down by ‘ere, mun’ and that nothing has changed.

Dylan Thomas’s old neighbourhood is now an area of flats and houses of multiple occupation, with a largely transient population of students and drifters, but that is no reason for this transient and footloose lifestyle to extend to the Labour councillors elected to represent the ward.

UPDATE 19:25: I am now informed by one of my alert readers that Woollard is actually working on the proposed Cardiff tidal lagoon, as Head of Local Engagement. The Cardiff Tidal Lagoon bio blurb makes it clear why Woollard was recruited – his contacts within the Labour Party.

Neil Woollard Tidal Lagoon

Strangely, or perhaps not, there is no mention that Woollard is a Swansea councillor. What do the rules say about elected councillors canvassing other councillors, AMs and ministers on behalf of a private company? And how should people back in Swansea feel about one of their councillors working on what could be viewed as a rival project to the Swansea tidal lagoon? Serious questions here for Woollard and Labour.

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SOPHIE HOWE, MORE LABOUR CRONYISM

Earlier this year I wrote about Sophie Howe, the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales. Well now her Labour cronies have given her another well-paid job, this time as Future Generations Commissioner, a flim-flam post created, it would appear, for no better reason than to pander to the Green lobby . . . and of course to create another cushy number for one of the insiderest of Labour insiders.

Howe is the daughter of a Labour councillor, who herself became a councillor at 22, she also worked as a Research / Casework Assistant for both Julie Morgan MP and Sue Essex AM, before moving up to do similar work for Julie Morgan’s husband and First Minister Rhodri Morgan, and then his successor in that post Carwyn Jones, before most recently becoming No 2 to former Labour MP Alun Michael in February 2013, after he became the PCC. She was hoping to find a safe seat for the May General Election, but failed, so this post could be viewed as a consolation prize. But I have no doubt that a safe seat will be found for her before 2020, so no one should expect her to see out the ‘seven-year term’ of this job.

Her father, Peter Howe, followed her into the office of Julie Morgan to, eventually, become office manager. A correspondent insists that Howe was a bully, a failing overlooked by his adoring daughter who was otherwise so interested in protecting women from male bullying. Though in this instance the suggested ‘trigger’ might have been jealousy, as the woman being bullied had been selected to stand for Cardiff City Council . . . whereas Peter Howe had been overlooked.

Sophie Howe

Reactions to the appointment varied. Tory leader Andrew R T Davies did his ‘Confused but Mildly Outraged of Cowbridge’ act while others were less charitable. Among them a rising star within Plaid Cymru, councillor Neil McEvoy. On a lighter note, Llanelli Plaid Cymru councillor Ruth Price made a Sharon Stone comment which unfortunately allowed Howe’s defenders to focus on this merry quip rather than on the appointment itself.

Howe’s boss, PCC Alun Michael, went into full feigned outrage mode and was quoted as saying, ‘There is no place for comments of this sort in a civilised society and it is particularly unacceptable in Wales.” What utter bollocks. A civilised society is judged by far, far more important things than an off-the-cuff remark like this. Among them, openness in public appointments. You sanctimonious little prick!

For her pains Ruth Price also took stick from her own party, including a Twitter DM from Llanelli Assembly candidate Helen Mary Jones. In fact, among Plaid’s big-wigs there seemed to be considerably more support for Sophie Howe than opposition. It even seemed to be decided by an individual’s attitudes to a Plaid coalition with Labour next year. Here’s what Plaid Cymru regional AM Jocelyn Davies tweeted almost as soon as the announcement was made public.

Jocelyn Davies tweet

Well, well, there was me thinking that this Sophie Howe appointment was about Labour cronyism corrupting the public and political life of Wales, a reminder that Wales is a one-party state, but no! – it’s a wimmin issue. And everything’s OK cos our Sophie is “a strong woman”. Is Jocelyn Davies standing again next year?

Using this rationale, perhaps it would have been acceptable for a misogynist communist to have sent Hitler a telegram in 1933, saying, ‘Good to see a strong man in charge, Mein Fuhrer‘ . . . before he was dragged off to the concentration camp.

It’s said that Sophie Howe is a lawyer, if so, she’s never used that training for anything other than political purposes. Every job she’s ever done has either been working directly for the Labour Party, or else was gained through her Labour Party connections. Consequently, there is no way of gauging this woman’s real ability because there has never been any politically impartial assessment. She should never have been appointed Future Generations Commissioner.

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SAM WARBURTON, CAPTAIN CARDIFF

The Rugby World Cup circus has departed, the ball has gone from the castle wall, and despite all the hype and expectation, we didn’t win the bloody thing, again. Yes, I know, we had lots of injuries, and biased refs (no, sorry, that was Scotland), but what struck me was that even when it was all over the ‘Welsh’ media couldn’t stop being . . . well, the Cardiff media.

Soon after the Final final whistle two of Wales’ great rugby pundits weighed in in the Wasting Mule to tell us that Sam Warburton, the Wales captain, is the best player we’ve got, and the only one who’d make it into the World XV to take on the tourists from Mars. First, on October 29th, it was former Wales captain Gwyn Jones, and a few days later, on November 1st, it was the turn of rugby correspondent Andy Howell.

Don’t get me wrong, Sam Warburton is a fine player, it’s just that the Cardiff media is besotted with him. Sometimes it’s possible to pick up the Llais y Sais and find him on the front page, a few of the sports pages, and a couple of inside pages. It’s bizarre, because it’s quite obvious that on the field of play – and I suspect in training and elsewhere – the national team is actually led by Alun Wyn Jones and Dan Biggar. Whereas Warburton, on the field, is almost silent, and certainly no captain. So is it a ceremonial role?

This adoration of Sam Warburton does not extend beyond Wales, or perhaps beyond Cardiff. Shown by another report I picked up around the same time, sandwiched between the two I’ve quoted, this being the six-player shortlist for the Rugby World Player of the Year. Who do we see on the shortlist – Sam Warburton, surely? No, the only Welshman there is Alun Wyn Jones. Suggesting that people outside of Wales have a better perspective on Welsh rugby than many inside Wales.Dan Biggar

This corrupted view of various players’ qualities is due to the fact that the Wasting Mule, and to a lesser degree the BBC and ITV, see a great part of their role in being to promote the city of Cardiff, and anyone or anything that can in turn be used to promote Cardiff. This can not be done with Biggar or Jones because both come from Swansea, which is the worst of all possible alternatives. So it has to be wall-to-wall Warburton.

Of course it was the Welsh Rugby Union not the media that made Warburton captain, and there’s little doubt in my mind that Warburton regarding himself as British rather than Welsh makes him the perfect captain for hard-line Unionists like WRU Chairman David Pickering, for whom Wales flickers into life only on the rugby field. A kind of sporting Brigadoon.

Why Wales coach Warren Gatland falls into line with this nonsense is no great mystery. He knows Alun Wyn will sing the anthem lustily enough for both himself and Warburton, and put himself about for the full 80 minutes; he also knows that Biggar will cajole and inspire his team-mates for as long as he’s left on, so if it keeps the WRU suits and the Cardiff media happy why not play along with the charade of a figurehead captain?

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WHERE WOULD THEY BE WITHOUT US?

Lying in bed the other morning, picking my nose and flicking bogies around the yet-dark room, I got to thinking about devolution, as you do when engaged in activity so conducive to deep, analytical thought.

It occurred to me that devolution, coupled with EU poverty funding, higher education, local government and other fields, have created in Wales tens of thousands of jobs in management roles for English administrators and others of moderate or even dubious ability who would struggle to land jobs offering anything like the same salaries and pension benefits in the private sector.

I’m thinking here of civil servants attached to the ‘Welsh’ Government and its various agencies, so many of the officers in our twenty-two local authorities, those innumerable managers in our seven health boards (plus the hospitals, clinics, centres, etc), housing associations beyond counting, third-rate academics in a higher education sector that ceased serving Welsh needs almost half a century ago, third sector organisations and other bodies too numerous to mention that have either come into existence since devolution or else have set up a ‘Welsh’ presence by transferring in staff.

Looking at it this way, devolution has been of more benefit to perhaps 30,000 members of England’s middle class than it has to 2.5 million Welsh. And most of this generosity is paid for out the Welsh public purse. But hey! that’s how colonialism operates.