Welsh Independence And The Left

I’m kicking off 2023 with thoughts on independence; more exactly, the kind of independence being offered by those who’ll be gathering in the Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, on the 28th of this month.

Ah! the Brangwyn Hall. I remember being slung out of there many years ago. It was a Labour Party do, with that son of Abersychan, Roy Jenkins, topping the bill. (Ere he and others left to form the SDP.)

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Anyway, Woy had got to the bit in his peroration where he proclaimed to the assembly that he too was Welsh . . . at which point a young Jac jumped up and shouted ‘You’re no Welshman!’ (My outburst may have contained an expletive attributive.)

I was immediately attacked by some old crow sitting behind me, who laid into me with her umbrella! A possible headline from the Evening Post flashed through my mind – ‘Nationalist yob beaten to death by umbrella-wielding Labour granny’.

I was saved from this undignified and premature fate by the ‘stewards’ (i.e. Labour heavies) dragging me off towards the huge front doors. With a few reminders along the way that my contribution was not appreciated. (‘Troublemaker, ew are!’)

Happy days!

‘PROGRESSIVE’ MELIN DRAFOD

In this section I shall refer more than once to the briefly successful far Left takeover of YesCymru in 2020 and 2021.

I wrote about this extensively at the time and so, to catch up with what I wrote, type ‘YesCymru’ in the search box atop the sidebar.

The event later this month in the Brangwyn is organised by think tank Melin Drafod. And you don’t need to think too hard to realise what anyone attending is likely to hear.

All the speakers are on the Left. Or the far Left. Or the Woke Left. Call it what you will.

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But ‘progressive’ is the label behind which they all hide nowadays. Such a nice word, harmless and unthreatening. Who among us could object to ‘progress‘?

Me. Because I recognise rebranded Marxism.

Helping me appreciate that the ‘progress’ demanded by those who’ll gather where a young Jac was assaulted by a Bolshie harridan is worrying.

But let Melin Drafod speak for itself:

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‘Not independence for its own sake’. What is that trying to say – patriotism is not enough? Or is it a veiled threat to scupper any form of independence that doesn’t meet with the approval of the far Left?

There is so much to read into that section.

My views on ‘climate change’ are well known – it’s not happening. The myth is being kept alive by ‘environmentalists’ and others who’ve staked their reputations on it and can’t afford to backtrack, with supranational bodies thinking ‘global warming’ gives them the excuse to control human behaviour worldwide.

And does anyone seriously believe that racism is a ‘scourge’ in modern Wales? Who but the seriously unhinged could insult us by equating Wales in 2023 with Arkansas or the Transvaal a few decades back?

Only perhaps those with a vested interest in using the allegation of ‘racism’ to slander political opponents and to promote their own interests.

The latter might apply to Melin Drafod National Committee member Harriet Protheroe-Soltani, of the Wales Refugee Council. Like all third sector bodies, this one thrives by inventing or exaggerating a problem – and then demanding funding to tackle that problem.

Ms Protheroe-Soltani of Momentum was also employed by YesCymru when it fell briefly under the control of the far Left in 2020 / 2021.

Sam Coates is another member of the National Committee.

His Twitter account tells that he is a socialist first, then a Welshman. Which would appear to bear out that for these ‘progressives’ Wales comes second to their ideological priorities.

Significantly, perhaps, there’s no mention of independence.

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And, again, it’s worth returning to the far Left takeover of YesCymru, for Coates wrote this essay in July 2021, and it’s revealing. (Available here in pdf format.) Not just about Coates but about the others who’ll be at the Brangwyn later this month.

He writes: ‘In 2017, I rocked up to the Hen Coleg yn Aberystwyth on a baking hot day to attend YesCymru’s AGM. It was a friendly room of about 50 people, mostly middle age, and mostly white.’

‘Mostly white’ – in a country that is 95% White! Would Coates and the comrades be happier if YesCymru was a majority non-White organisation, and therefore grotesquely unrepresentative of Wales?

As unrepresentative as those who’ll be at the Brangwyn Hall.

Referring to the rigged YesCymru elections of May 2021 that saw the far Left briefly take control, Coates writes: ‘Hundreds of members attended the online event, and used a voting tool used by many other political organisations to choose members of the new Central Committee’.

It would appear that when he wrote of those ‘hundreds’ voting Coates had forgotten that a few paragraphs earlier he’d talked of YesCymru having 18,000 members. Presenting us with the obvious question: why were just 2-3% of the members able / allowed to vote?

But let’s remember some of the tweets from ‘progressives’ celebrating victory!

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Coates’ whole essay is an apology for an attempted far Left takeover; and it’s riddled with inaccuracies, misrepresentations and outright lies.

The other members of Melin Drafod’s National Committee seem to be Plaid Cymru members, and others who were involved in the near-destruction of YesCymru in 2021. I’m thinking of Llywelyn ap Gwilym, and Siôn Jobbins, Chair of YesCymru who eventually jumped ship.

Then we have Elin Hywel and Colin Nosworthy of Undod, the source of so much of the poison that almost finished off YesCymru.

And of course there are one or two on the National Committee from the Labour Party.

WHO’S COMING TO THE SUMMIT AND WHO’S NOT INVITED?

Let’s start by listing those political parties and organisations that are not invited by Melin Drafod (or whoever) to the portentously dubbed ‘Independence Summit’.

First off, there’s the party to which I belong, Gwlad. Then there’s Propel. There’s also the Sovereign Party / Plaid Sofren. So without going too far, we’ve already found three registered political parties, with councillors, made up of serious and experienced people, with all three parties committed to Welsh independence.

So why didn’t Melin Drafod invite them?

The listed speakers are advertised as follows . . .

‘Anthony Slaughter (Wales Green Party Leader), Adam Price MS (Plaid Cymru Leader), Cllr Rachel Garrick (Welsh Labour for Independence), Sam Coates (Undod), Gwern Evans (YesCymru), Luke Fletcher MS, Mirain Owen (Cymdeithas yr Iaith) and others’.

So let’s begin with Slaughter, and remind everyone that there is no Wales Green Party! There is only the Wales branch of the Green Party of England.

In 2018 Green Party members in Wales had the chance to create a separate Wales Green Party, they voted not to. The main reason for that was that most Green Party members in Wales are English.

Then, last year, the Green Party of England in Wales claimed to be in favour of Welsh independence! Plaid Cymru fell for it and was happy to enter some sort of agreement with them.

No individual, group, or party, sincere about Welsh independence, should even talk to a colonialist outfit that refuses to even recognise the existence of our country.

Plaid Cymru I’ll leave until last.

‘Welsh Labour for Independence’ (WLfI) is another piece of nonsense. Labour is a Unionist party. Any Labour member who wants independence is in the wrong party. Maybe some now realise that.

But is (WLfI) the same as Labour for an Independent Wales (LfIW)? Or, and this is the frightening bit – are there two of them!

During the struggle for YesCymru LfIW was prominent in undermining sensible committee members and replacing them with some real nutters. Working from the shadows was Rob Lloyd of Prestatyn, while out there on the Welshpool barricades was Benji Gwalchmai.

Where are they now? How I miss them!

We already know all we need to know about Sam Coates and Undod.

Luke Fletcher is a Plaid Cymru Senedd Member. With a beard.

YesCymru is represented by Gwern Gwynfil Evans. He was announced as YC’s first-ever full-time CEO in September. The piece I’ve linked to says he has ‘a business background’. Which is true; one of his companies was Dissolved in the very month he was appointed.

Yet he brings another Aberystwyth connection to the party. Which I’ll explore shortly.

Cymdeithas yr Iaith is not worth dwelling on. Hopelessly Woke it overlaps with Undod and other far Left groups like Plaid Cymru’s youth wing, Plaid Ifanc, where pronouns are of paramount importance.

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So, finally, let’s give some thought to Plaid Cymru which, in most people’s eyes, is ‘the nationalist party’, and the leading voice for Welsh independence.

On the one hand, Plaid activists seem to be more at home at Gay Pride parades than at marches for independence; while the party is being eaten away from the inside by a combination of back-stabbing and sexual misbehaviour.

The party tries to keep things under wraps but news of the obsession with other people’s ‘bits’ inevitably reaches the public domain.

MS Rhys ab Owen was suspended a few months ago for unwanted sexual advances to a female. But he was only suspended after the party had sat on the case for some time in the hope the complainant would go away.

Last month, the party’s chief executive, Carl Harris, finally stepped down after it emerged he had made unwanted sexual advances to a young party worker.

When it’s like this at the top of the party – and I mean, the very top – then no one should be surprised that lower down the pecking order we find bizarre behaviour.

The image below (which I pixelated) is of someone who works for a Plaid Cymru MS showing what he proposes to do when he catches whoever is behind an anonymous ‘I know what you did!’ Twitter account accusing him of . . .

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And, yes, that is a crowbar.

No wonder a former Plaid Cymru Police and Crime Commissioner recently called on party leader Adam Price to resign.

Plaid Cymru is a mess, however you look at it, and from top to bottom. To say it’s lost its way would be wrong . . . for that would suggest Plaid’s leadership in recent decades ever knew where it was going.

I think Plaid Cymru is now too far gone for the change of leadership Arfon Jones calls for to make any difference. My view is that Plaid should do the honest thing and merge with Labour.

They deserve each other.

RUM, REGGAE, AND ‘AN UNTAINTED, LEFT-WING, WELSH ALTERNATIVE’

I mentioned earlier that Aberystwyth businessman, Gwern Evans, is CEO of YesCymru. And he’s not the only one speaking at the Brangwyn bash from that lovely town where a dashing young blade spent a weekend in the police cells.

Happy days!

For Melin Drafod Chair, Dr Talat Chaudhri is mayor of the town. Also living in Aber’ is secretary Mererid Boswell, and former chair of YesCymru, Siôn Jobbins.

UPDATE: I am indebted to Jon Coles for telling us that Colin Nosworthy is a press officer for Aberystwyth University.

And there may be others with Aberystwyth connections. Not Sam Coates, obviously; not after his chastening experience of stumbling into a gathering of the Llanbadarn chapter of the Afrikaner Broederbond.

However you cut it, Aber’ will be over-represented at this Swansea gig. And then I came across something last week, which is intriguing, but needs an intro.

There is an intermittent column in the Cambrian News by a Gareth James.

This was the piece drawn to my attention, last November. It contained this line: ‘Like it or not, mid Wales is woke, for mid Wales is about sharing mid Wales with everyone’, plus a few passages that the source interpreted as threats against those who refused to accept Wokeness.

Then, a couple of weeks later, came this extraordinary piece calling for Dyfed Powys Police to be more ‘woke’, following what the writer interpreted as racial profiling that targets his sons. (Here in pdf format.)

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You’ll also see, at the top of the article ‘The View from the Vaults’, these being the Weston Vaults pub in Aberystwyth. Now renamed Irie’s Rum Bar and Reggae Lounge.

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Gareth James, the man in the picture, runs the bar. This piece from the Cambrian News last September makes that clear. What you see above is something of a resurrection, for Irie’s closed in March 2016, apparently for good.

The building that houses the Rum Bar is owned by Cyngor Ceredigion. Do councils normally buy pubs? This other Land Registry title document tells us that a lease was taken out (or taken over) in April 2015 by Irie’s (Aberystwyth) Ltd.

Aberystwyth is a fairly small town, so I’d be surprised if the ‘progressives’ of YesCymru, Melin Drafod, etc, don’t frequent a bar run by a man who wants Plod to be more Woke.

A consideration that brings us to the most recent contribution from Gareth James, that appeared in the Cambrian News last week. (Available here in pdf format.) Also available on Irie’s Blog.

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Another long, rambling piece, but when I read the final paragraph a light went on in my head – a new political party that is ‘an untainted, left-wing, Welsh alternative’.

Is Gareth James trying to tell us something?

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Is this what Talat Chaudhri, Sam Coates and the rest have in mind? Is this what Melin Drafod is hoping comes out of the Brangwyn Hall meeting?

Whether it’s a new party or simply closer co-operation between existing far Left groups, this Independence Summit looks like another attempt by the far Left to take over the independence movement.

If so, then it becomes the duty of those of us with a broader view of Wales to challenge these people. For if it became accepted among the general public that these fanatics are the only ones wanting independence then Wales is finished.

Independence must promise, and deliver, the inclusivity the far Left always demands of others but never practices itself.

CONCLUSION

I have warned many times before, and I make no apologies for doing so again, that what these Green-Woke-Leftists want is independence for a small country whose politicians can then be bullied and blackmailed into implementing their fantasies.

This capture from the website of Labour for an Independent Wales reminds us that, for them, independence is simply the route to socialism.

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It’ll be something like the Wales we know today: a country falling apart at the seams because weak politicians are dominated by lobbyists, pressure groups and third sector organisations. But it’ll be a hell of a lot worse!

There’ll be nothing in it for you and me, Dai. For our people; or for our Wales.

Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!

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© Royston Jones 2023


Child Abuse in a One-party State

Just over two years ago I published Do you know where your child is tonight? In which I explained how children are being taken into care, often in Cardiff, then moved by private companies to Swansea and other areas where property is cheaper.

This was being done with the consent or even the connivance of Labour-controlled Cardiff council and implemented by – and to the financial benefit of – persons who often enjoyed Labour Party connections.

It was even alleged that children were being taken into care unnecessarily. Often from single mothers, and others it was felt would be ignored if they complained to anyone.

At the other end of this trafficking we saw homes opening in Swansea about which Swansea council knew nothing. This inevitably meant that these establishments were often not monitored and the children in them vulnerable to many dangers.

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As the article in WalesOnline (from which the above image is taken) put it: ‘Swansea currently has 13 homes registered with Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW), with at least four more due to open in the next year. Only one of them is a Swansea Council-registered home.’

But of course, Swansea council is also controlled by Labour.

A major player in this racket was Priority Childcare Ltd, run by Paul Anthony O’Donnell and Leonard Charles Drane. (Companies House entry.) With Priority Childcare in turn owned by another of their companies, POLD Holdings Ltd.

On March 31 last year O’Donnell and Drane bade farewell to both companies. They no doubt made a handsome profit from selling out to Orbis Education and Care Ltd.

Orbis had itself been sold in 2017 for £28m to August Equity LLP. One of a whole stable of investment vehicles under the ‘August’ label. With these ultimately controlled – apparently – by David Timothy Lonsdale and Philip Michael Rattle.

Which means that many children’s homes in southern Wales are now run by – private equity funds. A curse on anyone who dares think that making money may henceforth be the priority!

It always was. And the problem is not confined to Wales. As this report from the Guardian a few days ago makes clear.

Another report from last week telling us Swansea council is buying property for children’s homes, also says: ‘ . . . some independent children’s care providers were . . . withdrawing offers to place Welsh children because the Welsh Government wanted profit to be removed from the sector.’

Will owners of children’s homes in Wales, like Orbis Equity LLP, sell up . . . or will they bring in children from England, where the profit motive is still allowed?

If it’s the latter, what will be the status of English-owned children’s homes in Wales housing children from England? Who will register, inspect, and regulate them?

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If the profit motive is to be removed from children’s homes then the beneficiaries could well be Labour’s cronies in the third sector.

O’Donnell and Drane being aware in advance of the intention to remove the profit motive might explain them selling Priority Childcare. But they saw a fresh opening in supplying staff, which explains why, a short time before selling out, they set up Allcare and Education Recruitment Ltd (Inc. 12 February, 2020), and Allcare and Education Recruiters Ltd (9 September, 2020).

And here’s the Allcare website.

For their first year the companies had just one director, Marc David Elsey of Trelewis, then O’Donnell and Drane showed up. Was there a reason the two did not wish to be associated with the old company and the new companies simultaneously?

Could it be because these new companies recruit staff for . . . the old company? Come to that, have they really severed all links with Priority Childcare Ltd? We know they’re no longer directors, but do they still hold shares?

Then, for some reason, the dynamic duo has a third recruitment company, Ace Recruiters Ltd, formed in September 2020. Which means that during the first year of Covid-19 lockdown, O’Donnell and Drane set up three new recruitment companies.

Cooperating with Allcare we find Noble Training Solutions. Despite the rather impressive website this company is a one-man band with, according to the accounts filed for y/e 30.04.2021, no employees.

I suspect that the sole director given for Noble Training Solutions, ‘Mr Gareth John Noble’, is in fact Dr Gareth Noble of Swansea University, though a resident of Cardiff, and a specialist in autism.

I do hope the day job doesn’t interfere too much with his money-making side-line.

A question for the local authorities of south Wales: You are taking children from their parents (often single mothers), and regularly placing them in homes some distance away – do you know who ultimately owns and runs those homes? Do you care?

What you are about to read is from the perspective of an ex-Swansea council employee who was offered 17K in return for her silence about the unethical practices of Swansea council and South Wales Police.

So take it away, Dr Gail John . . .

I was a primary teacher/special educational needs (SEN) teacher who worked for Swansea local authority for twenty years from 1994-2014. I am a fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health, a tutor of postgraduate university students at Goldsmiths London, an academic and is a member of the Bar Human Rights Committee. I stood as one of six Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) candidates in last year’s elections as the only trauma informed candidate and attained a respectable 13K votes (attaining this without any leaflets).

My extensive advocacy work since 2012 helping and supporting vulnerable children and families right across the South Wales region opened my eyes wide to the large-scale corruption, financial abuse and exploitation that exists within Welsh public services, which some might reference as ‘legal human trafficking’.

I am currently calling for a public inquiry into South Wales Police,  based on the case documented within this book.

At the beginning at this month, March 2022, I was contacted by a distraught mother who told me of her horrific experience of how Swansea council tried to coerce her into signing a Section 47 and it is thought that this was to have her son wrongfully removed into care. This happened directly after her son disclosed child sexual abuse within a Swansea primary school.

I was absolutely appalled that the practise of ‘legal human trafficking’ is still ongoing in Swansea, that I immediately made attempts to safeguard this lady from the unethical practises of the Labour council.

Just like many others right across the region, I reference Alexis Jay (2022) and her findings regarding the failure to follow child protection procedures in the Labour run council.

I have also personally experienced the Labour council trying to financially profit through a thwarted attempt to unethically ‘legally traffick’ my own daughter into care after I exposed fraud and child abuse at the school where I was working as a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) at the time.

I have evidence of Swansea councillors abusing their powers of trust when children themselves asked for financial help to pay for GCSEs. One child who contacted Councillor Jennifer Raynor in 2015, ended up becoming a target and potential victim of Swansea council’s financial exploitation as directly after Jennifer Raynor stated that the council wouldn’t waste public money on SEN children who were ‘bound to fail’ (breaching her ethical code of public office, Human Rights Act 1998 and the Equality Act 2010), this child became the subject of a child protection investigation where it emerged that there was no evidence to justify Swansea council’s decision to initiate this.

Furthermore, I had been working hard with this fourteen-year-old child to prepare her for her Sociology GCSE which the family paid over £200 for the exam at a private exam centre (I taught the child for free). This child had one exam on the Friday and the second exam on the Monday. However, after successfully sitting the exam on the Friday, the letter from Swansea social services arrived in the family home and the child never sat the second exam on the Monday. This fourteen-year-old child attained a B grade in the first exam and was on target for a high grade until Swansea council saw this child through the lens of making themselves a quick £32000 (equivalent rate 2022).

Many people across the Swansea region know that instead of following correct child protection procedures when allegations of child abuse are brought before Swansea council, the council and South Wales Police prefer making up lies, and believe they are above the law.

After receiving the information from the Swansea mother who was yet another victim of the unethical practices of Swansea council, I detailed some of the problems I have encountered in the city, with the education authority, the wider council, the police, and the local health board. This ranged from denial to intimidation to a laughable attempt to buy my silence!

Jac adds . . .

What Dr John has to say is set out in the form of a letter addressed to Councillor Robert Smith, cabinet member for Education Improvement, Learning & Skills at Swansea Council. I have withheld a number of names.

This being Swansea, and as we’re dealing with the Labour Party, I was not in the least surprised to read in Smiffy’s Register of Interests:

Son in receipt of grant from the Thomas and Elizabeth Williams Trust administered by the Council for postgraduate study (awarded 06.11.19)
Wife employed as exam invigilator occasionally in Swansea schools, on a casual basis

The Labour family that troughs together, stays together.

Now read Dr John’s letter to Councillor Smith.

Dear Mr Robert Smith, Education Councillor for Swansea,

Thank you for taking the time to talk briefly on the phone last night.

I understand that (a Swansea parent) has presented very alarming evidence, concerning bullying and systematic abuse after she disclosed the child sexual abuse of her son at a Swansea primary school. After making this disclosure, this mother was further bullied by social services (and police) who tried to trick her into signing a Section 47 to remove her son into care and implied that she was mentally ill.

I can verify that this lady is not an isolated case but it seems that bullying and scapegoating is a common practice in Swansea when it comes to covering up child abuse, medical negligence, fraud, miscarriages of justice or educational incompetence in Swansea (see Serious Child Practice Review Report submission and multiple evidence below).

The information in this email is presented in four parts:

  1. National research evidence driven from England due to the high social poverty statistics in Swansea.
  2. The reasons why I help so many people in Swansea and beyond South Wales. Evidence to back up and support (a Swansea parent). Personal experiences that are almost identical to this lady.
  3. Helping others caught as victims of abuse and victims of educational failure  in Swansea, including Serious Concise Child Practice Reviews where a child died due to medical negligence in Swansea.
  4. Trauma Informed solutions to try to bring investment to reverse the pain and poverty from the abusive practice.

1/ National research evidence driven from England due to the high social poverty statistics in Swansea.

The recent Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse IICSA (February, 2022) has also recently highlighted this systematic bullying in Swansea regarding the covering up of child abuse in the Alexis Jay 2022 report. This concurs with the voice of Swansea participants who were involved in my six-year education doctorate about adverse childhood experiences and their impact upon educational failure (published by University of Sheffield 2019).

You will see all the social poverty statistics about Swansea in this thesis.

To briefly summarise, I focused on educational failure and this is what I found out –

Participant 6 – was targeted/terrified by Swansea social services and police after her mother raised child abuse concerns concerning both an educational professional and a church member.

Participant 7 – was raped in foster care aged 9. This was covered up by Swansea education and social services. Instead of being safeguarded, the victim was victim-blamed and received psychiatric diagnosis of ADHD (against CSA specialist advice as her symptoms were because of the abuse she suffered) and drugged with Ritalin.

Participant 8 – sexually assaulted in school, school did not follow child protection policy, got child to shake hands with her abuser.

Participant 9 – was raped, no safeguarding procedures followed, instead he was sectioned aged nineteen and diagnosed with schizophrenia put on multiple drugs. Financially exploited and abused under social services care.

Participant 10 – talked about being attacked in her dormitory in a Swansea university, South Wales Police lied to her to cover it up and make her drop the case. The victim was made to drop out of university while the perpetrator was protected.

Participant 11 – sexually abused at school and home, ended up sexually exploited aged 14 by gangs and prostituted out to men three times her age when she was living under Swansea children’s services. When she brought gang rape allegations to South Wales Police, they laughed at her and one officer ‘tried it on with her’. Instead of following safeguarding procedures, she was given psychiatric diagnosis of ADHD and given strong drugs. Her child was removed from her with her own child abuse used as evidence against her.

2/  The reasons why I help so many people in Swansea and beyond South Wales. Evidence to back up and support (redacted name to protect identity). Personal experiences that are almost identical to this lady.

My background

I worked as a primary teacher for nearly twenty years employed by Swansea council from 1994-2013/2014. During this time, I worked extremely hard, obtained promotions in the three schools I taught at, contributed to four successful inspections, along with working exceptionally hard to self-fund my multiple postgraduate qualifications to improve outcomes for all my students. My postgraduate qualifications included a Doctorate in Education (2012-2019), Master’s Degree in Education (1994-1998), British Dyslexia QTS qualified teacher status and postgraduate certificate in Special Learning Difficulties or Dyslexia (SpLD) (1996-1997), Graduate Diploma in Special educational Needs (GradDipSEN) – Qualified Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO) status (2009-2011), Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) (2014).

In October 2012, my outstanding educational results for all children (especially the SEN children under my care and leadership) especially the SEN children in Pontybrenin (a Gorseinon school) were recognised by the University of Sheffield who nominated me to speak at largest teacher conference in the UK and I was invited to be a speaker at this conference (January 2013).

I worked at Pontybrenin Primary from October 2000 and was promoted to SENCO at Pontybrenin Primary by (a former head teacher) and started this position in January 2009. Education councillor Will Evans was a governor at the school during this time period. (Jac: Labour councillor Evans is a former senior police officer.)

Acting headteacher Matthew O’Brien joined the school January 2009, the same time I started this position of SENCO, and he informed everyone that the SEN children had failed under the provision of SENCO A. B. Next, Matthew O’Brien informed everyone that the school needed to be put into Special Measures in order to access a substantial amount of government money which was to be spent on the SEN children.

Strangely enough, after being informed that the SEN children and provision had failed under A. B. (January 2009), A B was given a glowing reference and received a promotion to deputy headteacher at Tre-Uchaf (Easter 2009) and was made an ESTYN inspector. (A. B. is now also running her own therapy outfit in Llandeilo.)

In March 2009, it also emerged that a staff member was summoned to attend court and admitted three counts of fraud which took place years before in 2007 over a long time-period. She had not disclosed her crime to headteacher at the time of her crime, Alison Jenkins. Alison Jenkins was bullied out of her job and left December 2008, after being targeted (like some of the other staff, myself included) with malicious anonymous letters.

The barrage of malicious anonymous letters were written about staff members including myself from the end of July 2008-December 2008 and suddenly stopped after the Headteacher Alison Jenkins handed in her resignation. Alison Jenkins was an excellent headteacher and a lady with integrity who safeguarded children and staff first.

According to governor, M. C., one of the last malicious letters that went to the police from office staff, B. J., attacked and denigrating my character for receiving a promotion in the school under Alison Jenkins and also viciously attacking Alison Jenkins for demoting (perpetrator of fraud) for having a poor attendance. Just two months after the last of these nasty letters stopped, (perpetrator’s) fraud came into the public domain where she admitted three counts of fraud (March 2009). Alison Jenkins who had left the school at this point, knew nothing about the crime until she saw it/read it on the news.

Acting headteacher Matthew O’Brien (January 2009-April 2009) did not follow correct safeguarding regulations in reporting (perpetrator) to the GTCW, instead she was given a glowing reference and so obtained another teaching job. During a similar time-frame, malicious letters also emerged in ex-Pontybrenin headteacher David Greenaway’s church where it emerged that similar scapegoating practices of covering over abuse where pastor protected an adult male sexual predator who sent explicit pictures of himself to a vulnerable young person.

Instead of the pastor reporting this crime to the police, he hid it and gave this perpetrator a glowing reference, sent him to Bible College, and then gave him a job back in his church.

Pastor Michael Williams of Elim City Church, Swansea, enjoying a buffet with Liberty Church / Bible College safeguarding officer Hugh Griffiths who did not follow child protection procedures regarding Charmain Speirs. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

As SENCO at Pontybrenin school, I can verify that none of the Special Measures’ additional money was ever spent on the Special Educational Needs children. I also examined the SEN results which were deemed as failing under A. B. and used as a reason to put the school into special measures to acquire money for the SEN children. However, there was no failure and the money was never spent on the SEN children. It was all a farce, and fraudulent activity.

Instead of the SEN children having the money spent on them, under Phil Williams, the school had major construction work, walls and partitions and outdoor provisions. When I met Alison Jenkins, neither of us could understand where all the money had come from and how the school all of a sudden had gone from a school struggling to a school that had money to lavish on new carpets, desks, etc. However, when money is obtained for SEN children under the guise of special measures and not spent on SEN children – this amounts to FRAUD.

Moreover, when Phil Williams was asked awkward questions about where the money had come from to pay for the building work, new desks, etc – he began to display bullying types of behaviour especially to SEN children and those asking these questions. In May 2012 he came into my class to observe one of my lessons on a Monday (it emerged he had deliberately hit a SEN child over the head with a book on the previous Friday). Phil Williams stated it was an unsatisfactory lesson and his reason was because I had used peer tutoring. However, peer tutoring was a teaching and learning strategy recommended by the Welsh Government. The University of Sheffield submitted my excellent results from this time period in 2012, where I was asked to speak at an educational conference about the power of peer tutoring (January 2013),

At this time, at least three female staff members were forced to go to their unions about the bullying behaviour of Phil Williams.

In March 2013, as SENCO of Pontybrenin Primary School, I raised serious concerns about the abusive behaviour of headteacher Phil Williams towards the SEN children to Swansea Local Authority head of inclusion Robin Brown / Lesley Evans and the Education Minister Leighton Andrews, who resigned a few months later.

In March/April 2013, Phil Williams was put in charge of his own child abuse investigation about himself in his own organisation backed by safeguarding officer Paul Henwood and chair of governors Jeffrey Lewis. This was against all child protection laws.

In September/October 2013 – six months after I raised the concerns – Pontybrenin school and Swansea council abused their positions of trust and to cover up child abuse. They used unethical Swansea social services (E.R.) and police friend of Phil Williams – Jonathan Bainbridge – to abuse their positions of trust to try to bully me into silence. The police abused their positions to intimidate my friend Charmain Speirs (who was murdered just 18 months later) and made fun of her SEN (family member name redacted to protect identity) who the police described as a child with demons (evidenced by Jonathan Bainbridge’s document).

Inept social worker E.R. accidentally left a nasty anonymous malicious letter and police friend of the headteacher, Jonathan Bainbridge’s police document which contained 8 out of 10 breaches of police professional standards. Headteacher Phil Williams had given his police friend Jonathan Bainbridge’s wife Lisa Bainbridge a job in Pontybrenin school with no interview or qualifications.

I asked my very well qualified colleagues (social workers / police) at the University of Sheffield who told me that these professionals had broken the law. Therefore, I removed consent and disengaged from Swansea inept professionals in order to safeguard my family from the abuse which is rife in Swansea council.

April 1st 2014 – I resigned from my teaching position as I could not work for a council that allows abuse towards (SEN) children.

April 2nd 2014 – I was offered £17,000 by Pontybrenin School / Swansea council to keep my mouth shut but I would have had to sign a gagging order which I did not do. I did not receive their silencing money.

Click to enlarge in separate tab

June 2014 – Head of Inclusion Robin Brown makes threats to me – he told me to destroy all my evidence of Swansea’s abuse or he would report me to GTCW. I spoke to GTCW and found out Robin Brown was just trying to bully me as I was told I had not done anything wrong. Instead I found out that I could report Phil Williams and multiple professionals for their part in abusive practice towards SEN children. GTCW did nothing about any of the unethical abusive practice. They chose to ignore the abuse towards the SEN children, and the only thing they did was publish the fact that Swansea teacher Ellen Lloyd’s fraud in 2007 came to their knowledge 7 years later and was not even reported accurately.

In 2016, I was requested to go to police professional standards after ESTYN reported TWO MALE Police for unethical practices towards Charmain Speirs who was murdered in bizarre circumstances just 18 months after police abused their positions of trust in going to her house under false pretences as part of their retaliation towards me. The police did not follow procedures, the IPCC upheld the complaint while South Wales police scapegoated TWO FEMALE police officers who had never even been part of the complaint in the first place.

In 2018, Leighton Andrews (Education Minister in 2013) apologised after I contacted him to offer him support when he was being bullied after Carl Sargeant committed suicide. He apologised that proper child protection procedures were not followed in 2013 and stated that lessons had been learned. However, this is just a phrase that is used as a sticking plaster and the truth is that NO LESSONS HAVE BEEN LEARNED.

ABUSE TOWARDS CHILDREN IS STILL BEING COVERED UP IN SWANSEA.

3/ Helping others caught as victims of abuse and victims of educational failure in Swansea, including Serious Concise Child Practice Reviews where I have included a report where a child died as a result of medical negligence in Swansea.

I’ve been involved in helping multiple people who have been targeted and abused throughout the city. I was requested to appear as an expert witness in court by a judge and have helped lots of people acquire qualifications after they were failed at school, including tutoring master degree students. I conducted an in-depth doctoral research study (2012-2019) about Adverse Childhood Experiences in Swansea and found that systematic abuse is a common occurrence. Alexis Jay Report February 2022 found similar findings.

Last year I was involved in two Serious Concise Child Practice Reviews where two children died because of professional negligence. One report is attached (link above). I helped the man in the report (he’s given consent for you to see the report) move into a house after his daughter had died and he was bullied by social services and police. He was deliberately made homeless by social services. This was after his daughter had died due to medical negligence. The bullying towards him was relentless.

4/ Trauma Informed solutions to try to bring investment to reverse the pain and poverty from the abusive practice

Just recently I had a meeting with head of housing Steve Porter, 2/2/22, where I have acquired PDNES who are linked to multi-million pound investors willing to bring investment and regeneration to Swansea. PDNES are an award winning trauma informed supportive housing organisation who specialise in CSA, trauma and recovery using a person-centred approach. There is nothing like this in Wales. Steve Porter recognised that Swansea like other councils in Wales have a need and asked PDNES to write out their model in order to write letters of intent and demand to give to PDNES so they could give these to the investors in order to bring regeneration to Swansea to reverse poverty statistics. We are still waiting.

Unfortunately, it appears that Swansea Council is still denying that they have a problem.

However, in recent weeks. journalists from ITV (Dean), Sky News (Owen) and the BBC (Gavin) have made contact through Adele Rose-Morgan who sits on many of your boards along with Jason Lovell Plaid Cymru wanting to meet Adam Price of Plaid Cymru; and Wayne Erasmus, of Gwlad, wanting to investigate the revelations about the scandal of the abuse towards SEN families in Swansea ABMU/Swansea Bay and the Child Sexual Abuse IICSA (2022) report.

I hope with the elections coming up, it will motivate the council to see the need to start properly protecting children and young people in Swansea.

I am trying my best to bring solutions to Swansea through bringing high quality trauma informed supportive housing provision to our city linked to award-winning Gary Crooks and Nevres Kemal (social worker and Baby P whistle-blower) who Steve Porter head of housing had the privilege of meeting with me last month. The consequences of failed provision and underperformance under Will Evans, Rob Stewart and others’ leadership in Swansea council has resulted in high social poverty, homelessness, etc and this is not a good investment of tax payers’ money!

Unfortunately, Swansea council appear to be ignoring the problem and continuing to turn a blind eye to all the published research and their own statistics. However, turning a blind eye is not effective child protection. This is incompetence. Those who can do, do; those who can’t do their jobs bully others to cover-up for their own incompetence.

I will be keeping a close eye on safeguarding (name redacted to protect identity), as I know that previous systematic abuse, bullying and retaliation from Swansea council has brought much anxiety to this lady. Bullying towards SEN children and women by men and women in professional positions of power in Swansea council IS ABUSE and should be challenged. There needs to be accountability because NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW. OUR SOCIAL POVERTY STATISTICS ARE CRYING OUT FOR JUSTICE!

(Please read: HUMAN RIGHTS IN PUBLIC OFFICE RESPONSIBILITIES).

I look forward to your swift response.

Kindest regards
Dr Gail John

JAC’S EPILOGUE

Childcare in Wales is degenerating from a bit of a mess into a national scandal. Children are being taken into care at almost double the rate for England.

The stark figures. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

The reasons for this are complex, but most can be traced back to the problem of one political party exercising too much control, for too long. Not just in the political sphere, but also in the fields of health and education.

That, coupled with no effective political opposition, and no media worthy of the name.

Though one fascinating feature, cropping up again and again, is the linkage between the Labour Party and evangelical churches. (Perhaps we might add the police.) Even the husband of Charmain Speirs, who died in strange circumstances in Kenya (and who Dr John met when Speirs spent time in Swansea), is ‘a pastor with the Global Light Revival Ministries’.

Another example of what I’m talking about would be the Jonathan Norbury case. Norbury, a teacher at Pontarddulais School, seems to have escaped jail by persuading jurors that the schoolgirls he was having sex with were over 16.

When the allegations first came to light Swansea Council allowed Norbury to write his own reference – and then gave him £8,000. For what?

I mention Norbury because in addition to being a teacher he was a deacon, and a ‘youth pastor’, at an evangelical church. (No, I am not making this up.)

Then there’s Robin Brown, Head of Inclusion at Swansea council, who Dr John mentioned in her letter. I’m told he belongs to the Lifepoint Church.

It is suggested that the link between the Swansea Labour Party and these Evangelical churches may be provided by Freemasonry.

In my introduction I suggested that if the ‘Welsh Government’ intends removing the profit motive from child care then the beneficiaries could be third sector groups. I suppose we shouldn’t rule out certain favoured churches.

However our tribunes may try to explain it, the fact is that Wales has a shameful record for taking children into care. ‘Shameful’, because in many cases it’s being done for the wrong reasons. And in other cases, for no reason at all.

This BBC report from last June tells us that the percentage of children being taken into care has almost doubled in less than twenty years. But only in Wales. Which is why it cannot be divorced from devolution.

‘Wales now has the highest proportion of children in the UK being cared for by the state, prompting one expert to raise concerns.

There are 7,170 (latest: 7,265) children being looked after away from home in Wales – which is 1.14% of children. The current UK average is 0.72% of children.’

While the Wales Centre for Public Policy in its report, Children’s social services and care rates in Wales: A survey of the sector, confirms the problem.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

As I say, something is very wrong here, and the problem is getting worse.

Given the cross-border operations of the third sector, housing associations, and others there must be the possibility that the figures for Wales are skewed by children being brought in from England.

If so, then this must stop.

Though if that is not the answer then we need to explain the glaring differences in the percentages for children taken into care in Wales and those taken into care in the other administrations of these islands.

We also need to analyse the differences within Wales. By and large these differences are between urban areas, which generally have higher percentages, and rural areas, with lower percentages. In other words, areas controlled by the Labour Party and areas run by other political parties, or coalitions, or ‘Independents’.

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Though the tragic tale reported (above) in last Wednesday’s Daily Post might suggest that the system isn’t too good in rural areas either, and that children who perhaps should be in care are being ignored.

And who could forget the poor boy in rural Ceredigion who died of scurvy.

Whatever the fuller picture, the situation in Wales has worsened under devolution and 23 years of Labour Party domination. Which means that either children are being taken into care unnecessarily, or else Wales has become materially poorer under devolution and one result is more children being taken into care.

Neither possibility reflects well on the Labour Party / ‘Welsh Government’.

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Things could be about to get worse. For since March 21 it is unlawful to administer physical punishment to a child. Which means that good parents having a momentary lapse risk having their children taken from them.

To be placed in homes that are badly regulated, often not known to the local authority where they are located, and owned by City of London investors.

Forget the propaganda and the gestures from Corruption Bay about saving the planet, welcoming refugees, etc., etc, what you’ve read here is the reality of modern Wales for too many of our people.

As an example of gesture politics, we have a Children’s Commissioner who seems more concerned with obeying the quasi-Marxist demands of Black Lives Matter than with looking after our kids.

Priorities, eh!

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Wales needs the kind of fundamental change that is impossible while the dead hand of the Labour Party allows its vampiric cronies to prey on us.

At the very least, we are entitled to a statement from the so-called ‘Welsh Government’ giving us their explanation for why an ever-increasing number of Welsh children are being taken into care.

♦ end

 

© Royston Jones 2022


Misplaced Trust

Retirement remains the ambition. That said, this post is produced in the hope of drawing attention to developments in one locality that may link with wider, national concerns.

‘Y FOEL’

Today’s piece took wing with the article you see below. It appeared in last Thursday’s Daily Post. A strange piece in a number of ways; not least because the more I read it the less sure I was of what it was trying to say.

One thing’s for sure – it has little to do with slate landscapes.

Image 1: Click to open enlarged in separate tab

To begin with, the article tells us that the land in question ‘lies south of Conwy’. Which indeed it does; but the same could be said of Cape Town. Actually, it’s quite a way from Conwy, but just a few miles east of Blaenau Ffestiniog. So why use Conwy as a reference point?

The proximity to Blaenau is evidenced by the fact that the land we’ll be looking at contains a few old slate quarry workings. Which gave the writer the excuse to tell us that back in the industry’s heyday, ‘Wales was known as “the place that roofed the world”‘. ‘The place’!

Then, there’s the ownership. The opening paragraph talks of the land ‘being brought into the care of National Trust Cymru’. Does that mean the NT has bought the land? Is it merely looking after the land?

Finally, another possible cause of confusion are the references to ‘Y Foel’. The area we’re looking for is actually, and variously, called, ‘Foel Marchyrau’, ‘Foel Marcherau’, or even – according to the Land Registry – ‘Moel Marchyria’. Whatever you choose to call it, this area lies not far from the hamlet of Cwm Penmachno.

So who wrote the piece?

Well, it wasn’t anyone at the Daily Post. The article came from the National Trust’s website. Here’s the link. It’s a sad indictment of our media when a full-page news story turns out to be a copy and paste job.

THE TREASURY TAKETH AWAY AND THE TREASURY GIVETH

I suppose my interest was piqued when I read, in paragraph 5: ‘It is estimated that the site could lock up over 350,000 tonnes of carbon once restored, the equivalent of taking almost 80,000 cars off the road for a year’.

I know carbon capture is all the rage in Wales at the moment but why would someone at the National Trust go to the trouble of making that calculation?

I also read . . .

Image 2: Click to open enlarged in separate tab

This mention of the ‘Ysbyty Estate‘ reminds us that the National Trust is a major landowner in Wales. This sizeable chunk of our country was passed to the Trust in 1951 by the Treasury, which had received it in lieu of death duties.

(What a metaphor for Wales’ relationship with England.)

Don’t mention ‘Penrhyn’ to the Wokies! Click to open enlarged in separate tab

In the hope of getting a clearer picture of what is planned for these 1,600 acres I e-mailed the National Trust and Natural Resources Wales. Both were helpful.

From the National Trust I learnt that it will be working with Natural Resources Wales, the RSPB, the Snowdonia National Park, locals and busybody retirees, to ‘restore’ Y Foel to a more eco-friendly habitat.

But this will not be done at the expense of farming. For we read in the piece we started with that the land ‘will continue to be grazed by sheep and cattle’.

In its response, Natural Resources Wales wrote:

‘We are committed to carrying on the good work and are in regular discussions with National Trust regarding . . . the Cwm Penmachno area. These opportunities have been enhanced now Natural (sic) Trust have purchased y Foel which surrounds a forest block we manage on behalf of Welsh Government.’

QUESTIONS

So from Natural Resources Wales we learn that the National Trust has bought Y Foel. And the NT then confirmed it with: ‘The Trust has acquired farmland called Foel from the late Miss O.M. Williams, Freehold.’

Later, in the same message, the NT employee wrote: ‘We will also reduce sheep numbers significantly which will allow trees to regenerate naturally across the ffridd and mountain’.

But wait! The piece in the Daily Post said the land, ‘will continue to be grazed by sheep and cattle’, there was no mention of numbers being ‘significantly’ reduced.

To understand the background to, or the justification for, what’s being done in the Cwm Penmachno area, this video below might help.

In a nutshell, drainage ditches cut into peat deposits have lessened the amount of rainwater the peat can retain. With the problem exacerbated by embankments built by farmers to protect their land and livestock from flooding.

These combine to interfere with natural flooding and send more water down Afon Conwy to afflict communities like Llanrwst.

There can be little argument with saving Llanrwst and other communities from flooding.

But when terms like ‘climate change’ and ‘climate crisis’ are introduced, and used in conjunction with the promise of less grazing, and this comes with talk of carbon capture, then I think we need to be alert.

Image 3: From the National Trust website. Does it refer to a very localised ‘climate crisis’? Click to open enlarged in separate tab

The report in the Shropshire Star – a daily newspaper that circulates widely in central Wales (though of course the jobs and the money stay in Shrewsbury) – certainly gave prominence to the climate change / carbon capture aspects of the story.

Though to judge by the photographs used by the Star they were more confused than me as to the location of ‘Y Foel’. But take my word for it, boys and girls – it definitely doesn’t overlook the Dyfi estuary.

Image 4: Click to open enlarged in separate tab

One more thing, Shropshire Star; the highest mountain in Belgium and Wales is not called ‘Mount Snowdon’. Ever.

THOUGHTS

Let’s go back to the ownership of Y Foel. It seems the National Trust bought the property following the death of Miss Olwen Mai Williams in April, 2018. Described in her obituary as the last of the Foel Marcherau family.

Though according to the Land Registry Miss Williams is still the owner of two tiles bearing that name.

Image 5: Ordnance Survey. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

The first is for, ‘Foel Machyrau’. Scroll down to the plan and you’ll see that this title appears to cover the farmhouse, outbuildings and land nearby. The neighbour to the north east is Carrog, mentioned in Image 2, and belonging to the National Trust.

Even though it’s claimed Carrog is a working farm it’s clearly undergoing – in addition to the water works – a kind of carbon capture makeover as well, with the planting of thousands of trees and hedging plants.

The second Foel title is for, ‘Land lying to the south of Foel Marcherau’. Comparing the OS map on the left with the Land Registry plan on the right, you’ll see that it makes an obvious extension to the existing woodland managed by Natural Resources Wales.

Image 6: Click to open enlarged in separate tab

But then I uncovered a third Land Registry title for ‘Land at Foel Marcherau’. (Unfortunately there’s no plan available.) I have redacted the owners’ names, but both are Williams; one lives in Carmarthenshire, the other in the West Midlands.

Putting it all together the cynic in me thinks, ‘Well, if flooding in Llanrwst is caused by peat loss and levees upstream, then dealing with those issues will solve the problem?’

The fact that so much more is planned leads to me to suspect that this extra work, additional to peat restoration and embankment removal, serves a wider agenda.

I mean, is re-forestation an activity we normally associate with the National Trust? Then, there’s the close co-operation between Natural Resources Wales and the National Trust. Almost a partnership.

Among other things, Natural Resources Wales looks after the public forestry estate, and is (nominally, at least) answerable to the ‘Welsh Government’. Yet Corruption Bay has no control at all over the National Trust.

Suspicions that carbon capture for profit is the motive, with ‘drying peatlands’ the excuse, come from elsewhere in Wales. I’m thinking now of Abergwesyn, where farmers, or more accurately, their sheep, are again being blamed.

The article I’ve linked to says that farmers and commoners are being consulted all the way, but local sources say they’re being ignored, as ‘Welsh Government’ pushes through its carbon capture plans at the expense of another Welsh community.

No matter how it’s portrayed, what we see at Cwm Penmachno, Abergwesyn and elsewhere seems to be the National Trust muscling in on the carbon capture racket.

CONCLUSIONS

I have never been happy with the National Trust owning so much of Wales. It’s currently 50,000 hectares, with the size of the NT estate growing year on year.

Yet there’s nothing Welsh about the Trust. Adding ‘Cymru’ can’t hide how alien it is, and how Wales is viewed as little more than a region . . . of England, presumably. It’s just window dressing. Done to please the easily pleased.

There is only the National Trust, with income of £508,000,000 a year. Its remit: ‘To look after places of historic interest or natural beauty permanently for the benefit of the nation across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.’

So we’re one nation!

It should go without saying that Scotland has its own National Trust, a separate body. Registered in Scotland (SC007410).

Image 7: Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Just a few miles to the north of Cwm Penmachno is Tŷ Mawr, Wybrnant, home to Bishop William Morgan, who, in the late sixteenth century, translated the Bible into Welsh.

It would be difficult to over-estimate how important his work was to standardising and safeguarding the Welsh language. To proving that the Welsh language was no crude patois. And to confirming our status as a nation.

But Tŷ Mawr is owned by the National Trust. The same National Trust that believes we are not a nation. Let’s be honest here – the National Trust in Wales is just fleece jacket colonialism.

The English National Trust should have been replaced with a Welsh body soon after we entered the era of devolution. But devolution has been a disappointment in so many ways. Especially for us Welsh.

THE ONLY WAY FOWARD

Let’s consider the options available to Welsh voters. Then you’ll understandable why the National Trust and other ineffably English organisations can so easily exploit Wales.

Unionists, especially those of the Right, will never object to England owning Wales; be it on an individual level, a corporate level, or of course, the national level.

Their commitment to Wales is entirely superficial. And conditional upon Wales being part of the Union. A Union that benefits only England.

On the Left, both Unionists and those claiming to want independence, reject the working class – the greater part of the nation – in order to impose ‘diversity’, support a parasitic third sector, and cheer a ‘Welsh Government’ throwing money at Stonewall.

These are now wedded to passing fancies that demand they engage in combat with ‘fascists’, ‘racists’, ‘climate deniers’, ‘transphobes’, ‘terfs’, and other figments of their easily-manipulated imaginations.

Yet this bizarre alliance, supporters of colonialism on the one hand and wokie clowns on the other, fight over ‘Welsh Government’ policy. To the detriment of the Welsh people.

Conclusion: There is only one way to escape this nightmare.

♦ end ♦

 

© Royston Jones 2022


YesCymru, the beginning of the end?

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.

After recent postings on YesCymru it’s time to analyse what happened at last Saturday’s AGM before considering where it might lead.

DEMOCRACY AND THE LEFT

Let me start by spelling out what happened. And then explain why.

In a nutshell: the left, operating from its bases in Undod and elsewhere, captured YesCymru using its woke ‘guerrillas’ advancing under the smokescreen of ‘diversity’.

Among themselves the leftists justify both the coup and the future direction of travel by claiming that ‘Wales is a socialist country’. A claim supported by pointing to the fact that most of us vote for Labour and Plaid Cymru. Which in turn depends on accepting that a) these parties are indeed socialist and b) all who vote for them are socialists.

Which is just one misconception piled upon another.

While Plaid Cymru could credibly be called a socialist party Labour can be anything you want it to be, certainly the Welsh branch of the party.

As for the voters, most of those who vote Labour in Wales do so out of self-interest, believing Labour will keep taxes low, benefits high, while looking after the NHS. These Labour voters tend to be social conservatives, and most voted for Brexit.

Plaid Cymru is more obviously socialist than Labour, but the distance between the party policy-makers and the party’s voters may be greater than in Labour. People from across the ideological spectrum vote for Plaid Cymru because they want independence, while others – especially in western areas – vote for the party because they see it as the party that best supports the Welsh language.

So, only a minority of those who vote for Labour and Plaid Cymru are socialists. With self-identifying socialists increasingly concentrated in an anti-Brexit, climate conscious, gender-obsessed middle class bubble that every year drifts further away from most Labour and Plaid Cymru voters.

To the point where many on the ‘Welsh’ left now identify better with the English middle class and the metropolitan elite than with working class Welsh people.

It’s important to stress that the Conservative Party does not have this problem. People know exactly what they’re voting for because it does what it says on the tin. (This greatly annoys the left . . . but they still don’t get it!)

The reality of the mismatch was brought home to the comrades in the Plaid Cymru leadership contest of September 2018, when the socialist candidate, and then leader, Leanne Wood, came a poor third in a three-horse race.

That election was open to all members of the party. The left has not made the same mistake again.

In the Plaid Cymru party conference held in Swansea just over a year later only those present in the venue – just over 500 people – were allowed to vote. (And it was ensured that the ‘right’ people were in attendance.)

I covered these shenanigans in ‘Plaid Cymru, where to now?’

Which meant that most party members were effectively disenfranchised even though a postal ballot could easily have been organised, as was done with the leadership contest the previous year.

The scheming involved was so obvious that academic and writer Seimon Brooks was moved to compare the 2019 result with that of the previous year. While Alwyn ap Huw described the machinations as a Stalinist coup.

“2021 Plaid Government”. ? Click to enlarge

These Plaid Cymru votes from 2018 and 2019 explain why YesCymru did not allow a postal ballot for the Central Committee elections and motions submitted to last Saturday’s AGM.

Instead, debate was restricted to 400 or so logged in to the online deliberations. Representing less than 3% of the 18,500 members.

Yes, Alwyn, another Stalinist coup.

Though, as you know, I’m a generous old bugger, so I’ll give YesCymru a chance to explain why it couldn’t organise a postal ballot.

I don’t expect an answer because I already know it – the left cannot afford open and fair elections because it knows it will lose. 

Proving that there is nothing new in all the world. For this is how the old Communist Party used to operate in places I worked over 50 years ago. Call a meeting at short notice, at a time and place awkward for most people but for which your people are ready. At the meeting, control the agenda, decide who can and can’t speak, and then – make sure you count the votes.

What the left did with Plaid Cymru in October 2019 and YesCymru last Saturday is the old Communist Party playbook updated for the 21st century.

BRAVE NEW WORLD

You’ll get a good idea of what sort of people support the takeover from celebratory tweets put out very soon after the AGM. Here are a couple for you to savour.

Click to enlarge

To explain . . .

‘TERF’ means trans-exclusionary radical feminist. A silly and insulting term used to describe any woman who refuses to accept a man with penis and testicles as a woman. In other words, the attitude of most people in the real world.

This is the term that has been constantly used in the recent attacks on Dr Dilys Davies and Plaid Cymru’s Helen Mary Jones.

“Fashy phobes” means fascist transphobes. Because of course, in the black and white world of these fanatics, if you don’t agree with them then you must be a fascist. A transphobe is anyone – usually a man – who agrees with the ‘TERFs’. Roughly 95% of the population.

As of Saturday, who’s running the show?

Three of the four officers are: Siôn Jobbins (Chair); Sarah Rees (Vice-Chair); and Gwyn Llewelyn (Treasurer); all of whom were returned unopposed.

Though Jobbins may not be as secure as being returned unopposed might suggest. Someone sent me this tweet, posted on the very day of the AGM. As you’ll see, @thbuff98 was in an exchange with ‘BVB’, who appears in the panel above.

What does “playing privy” mean?

Jobbins may be too easy-going, and has perhaps not appreciated the approaching danger; so it might be karma if he is the left’s next victim. Though I’m sure he has no connection with the political party Gwlad.

Will this be the excuse used to remove him?

I can’t tell you a lot about Shane Brennan because his election statement to the members has been taken down. Perhaps because he became a shoo-in for Secretary after Iestyn ap Rhobert withdrew.

Though I do know that he first came to Wales to study at Aberystwyth, joined Plaid Cymru around twenty years ago, went home to England to work for a few years, before coming back to Wales to take a job in finance.

He was the Plaid Cymru candidate in the 2011 Assembly elections for the Alyn and Deeside constituency, and supported Leanne Wood for the party leadership.

Now let’s introduce the other members of the Central Committee. I shall do this by providing a link to their election statement supplemented perhaps by a comment.

Most of these statements contain a link to a video by the candidate.

CARYS ELERI (re-elected) Seems to be a performing artist with a YouTube channel.

LLYWELYN AP GWILYM (re-elected) Is the son of Eurfyl ap Gwilym (of Paxman interview fame). I don’t know if he’s in a relationship with Carys Eleri but his Twitter account carries the quote: “A wonderful human”@caryseleri

NIKITA JONES May be one of the more rational among the new intake. Certainly, in her favour is the fact that the wokie jackal pack turned on her just before the AGM. This is often a good sign. Time will tell.

BEN GWALCHMAI Seems to be the head honcho of that bizarre outfit, Labour for an Independent Wales. About as convincing as ‘DUP for a United Ireland’.

As I’ve pointed out before, Labour for an Independent Wales is quite clear about its objective: “Socialism through independence”. Meaning independence is only desirable if it delivers socialism.

Does that mean that if an independent Wales votes to not be socialist Gwalchmai and his mates will campaign for re-joining whatever is left of the UK? Especially if there’s a Labour government in Westminster?

TORI WEST (re-elected) Is another artist. In this ‘get to know . . . ‘ piece from Dazed digital magazine in June 2020 there’s no mention of Wales, let alone Welsh independence. Which is odd, seeing as West was on the YC Central Committee.

(But then, as a number of people have pointed out, independence wasn’t mentioned during Saturday’s AGM either.)

Soon after the AGM West put out this rather worrying tweet.

Spare a thought for “marginalised Welsh creatives”. ?

I describe it as worrying because a possible motive for takeover I’ve avoided mentioning until now – despite numerous people suggesting it – is YesCymru’s money. The balance sheet given at the AGM showed an annual income of £365,413, expenditure of £156,792; with almost £198,348 in the bank, and stock valued at £23,500.

(As one of those “marginalised Welsh creatives” I shall of course be applying for a grant.)

ANDREW O’BRIEN Comes from Port Talbot, he’s a Swans fan (which is obviously in his favour), and seems to want independence with no distractions. Time will tell.

RACHEL COOZE Perhaps the kindest thing to say about Rachel Cooze is that she comes from Swansea. Other than that, she seems to have ordered every dish on the Woke menu. To the point where she now sees YesCymru as the agency to rid Wales of the fascists, racists, transphobes, etc that are everywhere. Everywhere!

Cooze appeared prominently in an earlier post, ‘Hopes of Welsh independence being jeopardised by the hard left’.

ELIN HYWEL Seems to live a relatively quiet life. She has written for far left Undod (not encouraging) but I can’t tell you much more about her.

UPDATE 27.05.2021: This tweet, and the fact that is was re-tweeted by Mark Hooper, strongly suggests that Elin Hywel also belongs to the woke left.

In addition, YesCymru now has two full-time officials. One, the Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Jessica (formerly Matthew) Harvey, is a transsexual woman. While the other, the Campaigns Officer, is Harriet Protheroe-Soltani, of Momentum.

They complement each other perfectly because the issue nowadays for the far left is ‘transsexual rights’. With the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights being controlled by hard left Momentum.

The AGM also agreed to create an Equality and Diversity Sub-committee.

Why no place for straight white bloggers?

Put it all together and if it doesn’t convince you of the direction YesCymru is headed, then you must be a bit dim or part of the problem.

Click to enlarge

Or maybe this will help. Put out late last night by the ‘Communalism or Barbarism’ Twitter account.

First, it somehow conflates the left’s takeover of YesCymru with the recent Senedd elections, and presents the result in the manner of a Wikipedia entry on a war or a battle.

Some of the ‘combatants’ are unknown to me, and I’m not sure that all those on the side of the left would welcome their inclusion in those ranks.

Like those behind it, it’s puerile, amusing, even superficially clever; but it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

Though it confirms and celebrates that the left has taken over YesCymru . . . but justifies it by arguing that YC has been saved from fascism!

For as I suggested earlier, when dealing with these extremists you soon learn that everyone who opposes them, and everyone they attack, is a fascist. So that makes it OK.

‘Fascist’ has been devalued to a catch-all term for a political opponent. I’m not sure who benefits from this devaluation, except perhaps, genuine fascists.

Here’s a link to a pdf version of the tweet.

BEGINNING OF THE END?

Regular readers will know that I’m not a big fan of Nation.Cymru, but my attention was drawn to something  published on that site last Saturday, almost certainly to coincide with the YesCymru AGM.

Penned by Ifan Morgan Jones it had the catchy title: The big question YesCymru needs to answer is: ‘What went right in 2020?’ The important section is worth quoting in full:

“I think that changing YesCymru’s central tenet as a neutral movement would be a big mistake, for a few reasons:

Firstly, while I agree that independence for the sake of it would be pointless, no kind of independence is independence for the sake of it. Any kind would transfer more democratic power away from an established political elite at Westminster and into the hands of the people of Wales. There is no independence ‘for the sake of it’ – it’s a massive constitutional upheaval in itself and will radically change how Wales is run. Either that is, in and of itself, a fundamentally good idea or YesCymru should stop campaigning now because nothing beyond that is guaranteed.

Secondly, because nothing beyond independence is guaranteed, no one can honestly promise a single vision of an independent Wales to the people of the nation. The future ideological direction of an independent Wales would be chosen by the people of Wales, at a Senedd election after the referendum, not by any promises made by YesCymru beforehand. As much as I would personally like to see a socialist, progressive independent Wales, that’s dependent not just on independence but the public deciding, in an independent Wales, to throw their weight behind socialist, progressive parties.

Thirdly, there is no guarantee that selling a particular ideological vision to the people of Wales would be in any way effective. While everyone in YesCymru may have an idea of what a post-independence Wales would look like, they’re likely to all have different ones, and backing one of them would alienate others. As Plaid Cymru demonstrated at the recent Senedd election, voters don’t necessarily want a laundry list of specific promises. In fact, the party with the vaguest manifesto of all ended up winning.”

The fraction of YesCymru members that voted at Saturday’s AGM didn’t heed those wise words. Those who now control YesCymru intend promoting a plethora of diversionary concerns, and independence will soon be relegated to just another issue, or dropped altogether.

You’ve already read Tori West suggesting that those in control start divvying up the YesCymru money among their friends. Sorry! “marginalised Welsh creatives”.

Someone else quick off the blocks was ‘Kemp’, of @YesYBynie.

And so it begins . . . Click to enlarge

Can anyone explain what this has to do with the campaign for an independent Wales? And where will the money come from to pay ‘contributors’? (And I bet there’ll be no mention of Abram Wood.)

As I’ve said before, Yes Y Bynie (Bynea) is a one-woman show, set up because she found YesCymru Llanelli to be uncongenial, as it’s membership is made up of level-headed people who want to focus on independence.

But perhaps the most important reason that YesCymru is heading down a blind alley is because of recent developments around protected characteristics and related matters.

To explain (as best I can) . . .

I’m sure you’ve heard of Stonewall. In recent years this LGBTQ+ organisation has built up a great business advising government departments, police forces, universities, private companies, and other bodies on matters sexual and gender related.

But recent developments have exposed Stonewall to be both partisan and dishonest.

The problem is one that Stonewall brought on itself by becoming fixated with trans issues. Sound familiar?

Stonewall’s promotion of ‘trans rights’ resulted in academics being ‘no-platformed’, feminists and others being hounded as ‘TERFs’ and ‘transphobes’, and lies being told about ‘persecution’ suffered by trans people.

It all came crashing down last week with a number of announcements. These included:

Stonewall had been telling lies to Essex University. This resulted in the university being forced into apologising to two academics for them being no-platformed following protests by trans extremists egged on by Stonewall.

As this article from the Spectator put it: “Both professors Jo Phoenix and Rosa Freedman have views which accord with our current laws on gender identity”. But Stonewall was deliberately misinterpreting the law to serve its trans agenda.

Other organisations severed their links with Stonewall and yesterday the Guardian, in this report, told us that the Equality and Human Rights Commission would no longer be linked to Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme.

You know how far Stonewall has fallen when it tries to get a Black lesbian lawyer sacked.

And so it was no surprise to read that the Stonewall UK media director was standing back due to a ‘tsunami of transphobia’. The truth is of course that he’s leaving because Stonewall has been caught out in lies.

But that can’t be admitted, so it has to be ‘transphobia’. Which, if you think about it, should be a reason for staying, because isn’t ‘transphobia’ what Stonewall is fighting?

It would be reasonable therefore to conclude that Stonewall has capitulated.

At the head of this section, and in the title of this posting, I suggest that YesCymru could be heading for the rocks, and there are two main reasons for me thinking this.

First, following the AGM, YesCymru is firmly under the control of ishoo-mongers, obsessives, and the hard left. These will insist on YC fighting on many different fronts, thereby dissipating its energies and making enemies unnecessarily.

Second, the one issue that unites the dangerous and intolerant fanatics that hounded Helen Mary Jones and Dr Dilys Davies, the jackal pack that piles in on its victims, is ‘trans rights’. That’s because the hard left has weaponised this issue.

With the left having relied on Stonewall for guidance and credibility, and Stonewall now itself discredited, dismissing legitimate critics of certain trans lunacies as TERFs and transphobes will no longer work. The scam is exposed.

Put the two together and we see that the present Central Committee is now on the wrong side of history. But it’s still a tragedy for YesCymru. That said, those at the top had plenty of warnings, and time enough to lance the boil.

Perhaps Ifan Morgan Jones should start working on, ‘The big question YesCymru needs to answer is: “What went wrong in 2021?”‘

♦ end ♦

 




This is where I came in

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.

Well, the election is over, a rather disappointing election for the national cause and those wanting independence.

Though the performance of Gwlad, the party to which I belong, was not surprising. A new party trying to get itself known in a pandemic, and almost ignored by the colonial media, was always going to struggle.

The other new party, Propel, is probably disappointed, and I’m not sure what went wrong. Though I do know that in the Cardiff West constituency dirty tricks may have affected party leader Neil McEvoy’s vote. Though perhaps not enough to cost him victory.

But the real under-achievers were, again, Plaid Cymru. With the 2016 figures bracketed, this was the party’s result last week: Seats 13 (12), constituency vote 20.3% (20.5%), regional vote 20.7% (20.8%).

Plaid Cymru’s disappointment didn’t end with the Senedd elections. In 2016 the party’s candidates won the Police and Crime Commissioner elections for North Wales and Dyfed Powys. Last week they lost North Wales.

Better was expected. One reason being that after 22 years of decline under Labour, and a bunch of Tory chancers running things up in London, it was felt that many voters would be seeking a third option.

Also, Plaid Cymru was supposed to be the main beneficiary of 16 and 17 year olds being given the vote.

Alas, it did not come to pass.

TWO STEPS FORWARD, THREE STEPS BACK

The title of this week’s offering is of course something you’d have heard in cinemas when I was a bright young thing adorning the salons of Manselton, Brynhyfryd and contiguous neighbourhoods. (Yea, even unto Cwmbwrla and ‘the cowin’ Hafod’.)

I use the phrase here because the position of Plaid Cymru today is not greatly dissimilar to when I joined the party in the mid 1960s, before Gwynfor Evans’ famous Carmarthen by-election victory of July, 1966

Back then Plaid Cymru was perceived by most people to be a party for Welsh speakers, and for rural areas. Due to that perception, Plaid Cymru was unable to make much of an impression east of Carmarthen and Conwy.

What’s changed?

Well, obviously, Plaid Cymru now has MPs, and we have a devolved parliament . . . but as a political force, Plaid Cymru is penned into its western strongholds as much as it ever was in the past.

And yet, it could all have been so different. For in 1999, in the first Assembly elections, Plaid Cymru came within a fat whisker of winning. The threat of victory so frightened certain people, in Wales and elsewhere, that inspirational leader Dafydd Wigley was removed.

It was downhill for Plaid Cymru from then on.

Click to enlarge

To the point where Plaid Cymru’s plight today should surprise no one. Because the party now labours (no pun intended) under a double handicap, the second element self-inflicted.

To begin with, it is still perceived as a Welsh language party; second, it moved to the left – in the hope of taking Labour votes – at the same time as the (white) working class across the Western world was moving to the right.

The move to the left might have been in response to Tony Blair and his successor Gordon Brown making the Labour Party more centrist. If so, then it was a silly and damaging response to the success of New Labour.

YES CYMRU

Since my previous pieces Hopes of Welsh independence being jeopardised by the hard left and Senedd elections: Hard left to win by stealth I’ve received more information about goings-on inside Yes Cymru.

I won’t say any more about Dr Dilys Davies and her treatment by that organisation because lawyers may now be involved. And as regular readers will know, I already have enough solicitors’ letters.

Pile 7 (/36) of my legal correspondence. Click to enlarge

But there’s still plenty to report. First, here’s the agenda for the AGM on the 22nd.

Obviously there will be elections to the Yes Cymru Central Committee but there will also be discussion of submitted motions. Most of these appear to be procedural, so I’ll just mention Motions 1 and 2.

Click to enlarge

You will see in Motion 1 considerable emphasis on Central Committee members being or identifying as female or non-binary. These posts are unlikely to be filled by anyone you or I would regard as a woman. (Henceforth to be known as a ‘birthing person’.)

Which raises an interesting question.

Can someone decide to identify as a woman / birthing person simply to stand for election? Or to put it another way, for how long will someone have had to identify as such before they can stand? Is there a ‘qualification period’? (Should I have used the word ‘period’?)

Thinking about the whole issue of self-identification . . .

If someone can ‘identify’ as a woman / birthing person when they are clearly a man then should self-identification be restricted to the human race? For example, could I identify as a rabbit, then demand to be recognised as belonging to a persecuted group, and insist on joining Yes Cymru’s Central Committee? Because wabbits have all sorts of enemies, human and animal.

(Though I would insist that the Central Committee contained no one identifying as a fox or a stoat. We must not tolerate coneyphobes!)

Motion 2, to set up an Equality and Diversity Sub-committee, is an obvious attempt by the left and the wokies to further strengthen their grip on the running of Yes Cymru.

God only knows how Yes Cymru has survived for so long, and flourished, without an Equality and Diversity Sub-Committee.

Clearly, ‘diversity’ is being used to fill the Central Committee and other roles with more leftists. For almost all those being co-opted or put up for election under various labels are from the far left / woke faction.

Which means that in pursuit of ‘diversity’ Yes Cymru will in fact become less diverse, just more of a far left organisation.

But why would the far left and its wokie foot-soldiers want to take over Yes Cymru? Are they really that supportive of Welsh independence?

After sifting through information received, following various contributions on social media, and asking pertinent questions of people in the know, I think I’ve figured out the left’s plan.

NO CYMRY?

Mark Hooper, prominent member of Plaid Cymru, heads up the Banc Cambria project, and he’s stepping down from the Central Committee of Yes Cymru at the upcoming AGM. I’ve always found Mark to be a decent bloke and, for a socialist, quite clubbable and real world rooted.

On Saturday Mark put out a curious tweet, which you can read below, together with a response.

Like Chantel Mathias, I too wondered what making Wales, “a safe space for everyone who chooses Wales as their home” has to do with the campaign for independence.

If it had just been Mark Hooper saying it then perhaps I might have passed over it and moved on, but I keep hearing this sentiment from others in Yes Cymru. Even from those seeking to join the Central Committee at the AGM.

For example, among the latter we find Scott Mackay of Yes Cymru Abertawe. His statement contains the phrase, ” . . . an inclusive, diverse Wales where anyone who wants to call it home is welcome”.

Click to enlarge

Laudable, no doubt. But what I found strange about Scott Mackay’s pitch to the YC members is that while he mentions “engaging with the Welsh independence movement” I’m not sure if he actually supports independence.

That’s because ‘engaging’ is such a strange word to use in this context. Kind of detached. I would have expected to read ‘joining’ or ‘supporting’.

Anyway, you know me; I may be a bastard but I try to be a fair-minded bastard, so I dropped Mark Hooper a DM: “You get a wee mention in tomorrow’s blog piece. What did you mean by “safe space for everyone who chooses Wales as their home”? Does that extend to the Cheshire Set who’ve taken over Abersoch? The retirees pricing locals out of the housing market and overburdening the NHS?”

He responded in his usual courteous fashion, but he didn’t answer my question.

Anyway, moving on . . .

Someone rejecting nomination to the Central Committee is Dr Jen Llywelyn. While one who yesterday announced that he was standing down is founder-member Iestyn ap Rhobert. I think both could be described as moderates who’ve focused on independence.

Click to enlarge

LEFT TURN . . . FAR LEFT TURN

With moderates pulling out it would appear that the far left has been given a clear run. But let’s return to the question of why the far left would want to take over Yes Cymru, and how it might use that control.

There are a number of ways of looking at this.

To begin with, let’s remind ourselves that the far left’s influence in Plaid Cymru was slightly weakened when Leanne Wood so disastrously lost the 2018 leadership contest. More recently, the influence of the far left was curbed in the Labour Party after Jeremy Corbyn was toppled following the general election debacle in December 2019.

It’s in these parties that we find the far left in Wales. Being the beast it is, the far left is forever looking for fresh organisations to take over and use to promote the socialist message.

In the Welsh context, Yes Cymru, with its 18,000 members, was an obvious target. Those pre-Covid Yes Cymru marches were the most impressive shows of public support for any political cause that Wales has seen for decades. With all the flags and the good-natured crowds, who could fail to be impressed?

We can guarantee that the committee of the Karl Marx Social Club (Bingo Tuesday and Friday) were attracted. It explains what we now see being played out – a takeover of Yes Cymru by the hard left.

Click to enlarge

If the takeover is successful then Yes Cymru will go in for further ‘diversification’. In practice, this will mean issuing statements, perhaps organising marches, against the usual bugbears of the left: police brutality, Israeli brutality, racism, transphobia, Islamophobia, a Tory government in London, Robertsons golliwog badges being sold under the counter at car boot sales, etc., etc.

And of course, there will be support for unlimited immigration. Because the left always supports unlimited immigration. (Spouting ‘diversity’ and humanitarian considerations, but prepared to cause social dislocation in the hope of increasing the vote for leftist parties.)

And socialism is the driving force here, not considerations of what’s best for Wales, or the Welsh. Not so long ago Aled Gwyn Williams was a loyal and vocal member of Plaid Cymru, and remains influential in Yes Cymru (though he has been told to tone it down a bit), but socialism is what really matters to him.

Speaking of Williams, someone contacted my server claiming copyright infringement. This relates to images I’ve recently used on this blog, which I believe were picked up from Twitter. They show Aled Gwyn Williams on his trip west to harass Dr Dilys Davies, and another showing Williams wining and dining with a few friends.

Who could have made this complaint? Will it result in yet more correspondence from yet another shyster lawyer?

I suggest the sentiments we’ve heard expressed show support for unlimited immigration because the ‘Welsh Government’ already has a plan to make Wales a ‘Nation of Sanctuary’. The document I’ve linked to is remarkable in a number of ways. Not least the fact that it differentiates between asylum seekers and refugees, but finds no room to mention economic migrants.

Suggesting that this document, like so many carrying the imprimatur of the ‘Welsh Government’ was written by a third sector group hoping to squeeze more money out of a poor country.

This would certainly explain the talk of,” . . . an inclusive, diverse Wales where anyone who wants to call it home is welcome”.

And as I suggested in my DM to Mark Hooper, if you believe in open borders then you must accept the ethnic cleansing taking place in our rural areas, and especially in our coastal communities.

Click to enlarge

Nor can those holding up the Croeso! banners complain about Welsh communities being blighted by drug addicts and petty criminals dumped on them by third sector bodies working with private landlords and housing associations.

This social dumping has been a problem on the north coast for decades, especially in Rhyl. But now southern towns with cheap properties are experiencing it. Towns such as Llanelli, Neath, and even Briton Ferry.

But everybody is welcome in diverse and inclusive Wales! No matter what the cost.

When the left takes over Yes Cymru it will have far more important things to worry about than community cohesion, law and order, the economy, Welsh nationhood, Wales being colonised . . . or independence.

Because if it isn’t dropped entirely, then expect independence to become just one issue among many.

LAST CHANCE

Yes Cymru members have one last chance to offer our people what Dr Craig Dalzell of Common Weal describes as a ‘Future neutral’ campaign for independence.

Yes Cymru must be a broad church, welcoming all who want independence, and it must focus solely on independence; because the alternative is an organisation in which unity is compromised by members being herded into different pens, classified by gender, race, sexuality, etc.

With the thought police deciding who is allowed in to what will quickly degenerate into just another far left protest group. Those same thought police will unleash the pack on anyone who dares challenge them, or expose their intolerance.

Just ask Dr Dilys Davies.

The odds are already stacked in favour of the left and the wokies because the proceedings of the 22nd will be online, which will favour their youthful supporters.

But if those with Wales’ best interests at heart are not prepared to stand up to the extremists and the obsessives then you can kiss goodbye to the Yes Cymru you joined. The Yes Cymru you helped build.

Because after May 22 it will exist in name only.

♦ end ♦

 




Senedd Elections 2021

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 is the first of my promised reviews of next month’s elections. This initial foray into a crowded field is longer than intended, so take your time.

I’ve concentrated on those parties with a chance of winning seats, so apologies to the Communist Party of Britain, Captain Beany, the Freedom Alliance, the Socialist Party of Great Britain, the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition, the Welsh Christian Party, the Workers Party, and any others I may have missed.

A more specific and detailed approach may follow in subsequent pieces . . . unless I lose interest entirely.

The risk of simply switching off is real, partly because we lack inspiring politicians and partly because the liars and the bullshitters are already at work and – unchallenged by our wonderful media – spewing forth all manner of nonsense.

Not content with being conduits for misinformation certain elements of the media themselves contribute to the confusion by pretending that only ‘establishment’ parties are standing. Or maybe they believe that only establishment parties should be heard.

WHO’S STANDING?

This time round there are more candidates representing a wider range of political perspectives than in any previous Assembly / Senedd elections. From the genuinely nationalist Gwlad to the extremes of the BritNat fringe.

While many are trying to paint these elections as being about Covid, the truth is that the big question lurking in the shadows is whether Wales should become independent or cease to exist in any meaningful form.

As for what we have now, there are few ready to speak up for it. In fact, I’m amazed that anyone has the chutzpah to defend devolution on the record of the past 22 years.

LABOUR

Which might explain why the Labour Party is asking for another 5 years to do the things it’s failed to do over the past two decades and more. An example would be introducing a register of lobbyists.

On BBC Radio 4 last week, Vaughan Gething, the ‘Welsh Government’s health minister, told listeners that his party was “entirely open” to introducing such a register. Yet they could have done so in January 2018. And even earlier in 2013.

The truth is that, in Wales, the term ‘lobbyist’ is interchangeable with ‘third sector’. And the third sector is ‘Welsh’ Labour’s private army, soaking up hundreds of millions of pounds of public money in providing sinecures for Labour cronies, in return for which the third sector will support Labour in any way it can, including attacking Labour’s opponents.

Image BBC. (I used to have a suit like that, but it was more of a powder blue, with narrower lapels.)

Perhaps the major problem for Labour is that it’s beginning to look clapped out, devoid of fresh ideas, and relying more than ever on voters’ blind, family loyalty – and not being, ‘them wicked Tories’.

Which no longer works, as we saw in the December 2019 UK general election, when Welsh Labour seats fell to, ‘them wicked Tories’. More may go the same way next month. Certainly, there’s not a hope in Hell of Labour getting near the 30 seats needed to form an administration.

That said, there is a widespread perception that Labour is faring less badly here in the popularity stakes than in England. (In Scotland, of course, Labour is now neck-and-neck with the Monster Raving Loony Party.)

Why this might be so mystifies me. Could it be the magnetic personality of Mark Drakeford? Or maybe the abundance of talent we see lined up behind him? Or could it be that the other ‘major’ parties are so unappealing that by comparison any bunch of muppets might look half competent?

(Please don’t think that I’m trying to insult muppets by comparing them to ‘Welsh’ Labour politicians!)

Some argue that Drakeford has handled the pandemic and its restrictions better than Boris Johnson. I don’t buy that. Labour in Wales clearly panicked when restrictions on pubs, gyms and other establishments were lifted in England, and this explains why they brought forward the lifting of restrictions in Wales . . . which now take effect before the elections on May 6 rather than after.

Of course, there may be another explanation for the timing. If so, then it escapes me. I’m open to suggestions.

What’s not in doubt is that Labour will need all the help it can get. Poll findings published last Friday by YouGov put Labour on just 29%, with the Conservatives romping ahead on 43%. These are of course UK figures, but even so, Labour is also in trouble in Wales.

The only question is how far short of the target 30 seats Labour will fall.

PLAID CYMRU

I’m turning to Plaid Cymru now not because it’s the second largest party in Wales (it’s not, by a long way) but because to have any hope of staying in control Labour will probably need to go into coalition with Plaid Cymru.

And the terms of this coalition have been discussed for months. So it makes sense to lump Plaid Cymru in with Labour. So remember, folks . . .

A vote for Plaid Cymru will be a vote for Labour.

Yes, Plaid Cymru talks of winning the election, and of becoming the largest party, but the kindest way of describing such suggestions is wishful thinking.

Because for many years Plaid Cymru has been drifting ever further left. This course to political irrelevance might appear to have changed with the crushing defeat inflicted by party members on far left leader Leanne Wood in 2018, but that would be to misinterpret the situation.

The 77.7% that voted against Leanne Wood is the silent majority, playing little part in the running of the party. Those who support Wood – a vociferous and nasty minority – still control the party’s direction of travel. Largely through intimidation.

Intimidation of the kind that can get a Member of the Senedd to apologise for daring believe that a person with a penis and testicles could be anything other than a woman. And worse, suggesting that transphobia may be rather less heinous and genocidal than pushing Jewish children into gas chambers.

Happier times. Helen Mary Jones MS meets Teifi, and a dog’s best friend, Aled Gwyn Williams.

These are the sort of people that might reluctantly agree to take action against child trafficking, but only on condition that it didn’t involve discrimination against the ‘child-trafficking community’. Because in their world just everyone belongs to a ‘community’ – which is of course oppressed – except those who are part of the white, western patriarchal system, which does the oppressing.

What a fucked-up world these lunatics have invented! Worse, many of them genuinely believe they are living this nightmare. Others just encourage them in that belief.

Even figurehead party leader Adam Price was forced to grovel to this carnival of grotesques. Because they call the shots nowadays in Plaid Cymru. Them and the anti-Semites, and those who believe that the priority for Wales should be extending Harri Webb’s Green Desert to the whole country.

The long-gone Lamb Inn, Merthyr, which Dic Penderyn is said to have frequented, and where a young Jac sank many a pint. Happy days!

A green desert with no nation, no jobs (not for us, anyway), no homes; an emptiness exploited by foreign enviroshysters and renewables mountebanks in order to ‘Save the Planet!’.

It’s no coincidence that Labour pretends to have bought into this planet-saving bollocks. Because if you’re saving the planet, then it stands to reason we don’t need jobs; for example, Port Talbot steelworks can go. And the only roads we’ll need are those to bring our neighbours to and from their holiday homes. We Welsh won’t need roads because we won’t be able to afford cars. But don’t worry, because we’ve always got our rail system – a mere three days to travel from Carmarthen to Aberystwyth. (Don’t forget to change at Scunthorpe Low Level!)

Let’s cut the bullshit. ‘Wales saving the planet’, ‘Green jobs’ (that never materialise), are simply excuses for Wales being a basket-case economy.

Anyone arguing that the future economy of Wales lies in foreign-made and foreign-owned wind turbines and solar panels, providing not a single Welsh job, is either a fool or a liar.

Regrettably, the left in Wales is replete with both.

Perhaps to distract us from its internal problems, and the lack of an economic strategy not approved of by Saint Greta, Plaid Cymru promises a referendum on independence in the first term of a Plaid administration.

Cynics will point out that Plaid is not going to win the elections. Also, that there’ll be many in the Party of Wales happy to ‘lose’ such a referendum.

I’ll conclude this section with an observation I’ve made before, and I’m not the only one to have said it. There is a growing interest in independence; one recent poll put it as high as 39%, but Plaid Cymru’s support has remained static.

It’s as if a growing section of the Welsh public is considering independence . . . but they don’t want it delivered by Plaid Cymru. To think the unthinkable (for some, anyway) . . . Plaid Cymru may be the reason more people aren’t considering independence.

My interpretation is that while it’s well chronicled that socialist parties in the West have largely lost the (white) working class through pursuing policies designed to appeal to ethnic minorities and middle class left liberals, the problem for Plaid Cymru is that it had few working class votes to begin with.

Which leaves Plaid Cymru fighting a 20th century class war with 21st century ‘Woke’ warriors. This, and the elitist obsession with ‘the environment’ – rather than the issues people care about – will not pull in many new punters.

CONSERVATIVE AND UNIONIST PARTY

There’s no question that the Tories are riding high, but considering the opposition they face, maybe they should be doing even better.

For as we’ve seen, the opposition is composed of a Labour Party with 22 years of failure to its name, and a party even further to the left in thrall to identity politics extremists.

Add to that the popularity of BoJo and his jolly band up in London and the Conservatives should be heading for control in Corruption Bay. But that may not be the case.

One problem the Tories face is a combined opposition, one that works well because Plaid Cymru wins seats in areas where Labour is a lost cause. Whereas the Tory vote is more evenly spread across the land than the more ‘focused’ support enjoyed by their socialist opponents.

But this time around things might be different. I say that because of the BritNat parties. If I can remember them all . . . There’s the Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party, then there’s Reform UK (formerly the Brexit Party), and, finally, Ukip.

I suggest that they could combine because, with the demotion of Suzy Davies and other broad hints – not least the promotion of Suzy’s anti-devolution son – the Conservative and Unionist Party has made clear that it’s worried by the rise of the BritNats, and will defend its lawn from their tanks.

Yet when all is said and done, they have so much in common.

Where it could get very interesting would be if the Conservatives emerged from next month’s elections as the largest party.

(It should go without saying that sometimes, my brain enlivened with the produce of Argentina, I dream of Labour and Plaid Cymru combined falling short of 30 seats!)

Andrew R T Davies, Leader, again, of the Conservative and Unionist Party in Wales. Another blue suit? Mmm . . .

As the largest party the Tories could just plough on and test the resolve of opponents with popular policies. I mean, if they promised to take a chainsaw to the third sector and invest the money saved where it could do more good, who would dare object?

Well, obviously, the Labour Party would object because it wants to keep Wales poor, blame the Tories, and keep getting elected. The third sector, constantly moaning about Welsh deprivation while doing little or nothing to remedy it, is essential to this scam. Plaid Cymru’s attitude to the third sector is little different to Labour’s.

But what of the others heretofore mentioned, the Queen and Country boys; what if they cobbled together enough seats to push the Tories towards the required 30?

It’s possible, because even though this election is difficult to call, due to the number of parties and candidates involved, we can be almost sure that the three largest parties will get fewer second preference votes and therefore fewer regional members.

I could live with a Conservative-BritNat parties coalition for a number of reasons.

In the short term, I would expect it to undo the socialist webs that Labour has spun to enmesh and enfeeble Wales over the past two decades. I would also expect such a coalition to put an end to Labour’s war against Welsh farmers.

In the longer term, the unrelenting Britishness might be the kick in the nuts some people need to accept that independence is the only option.

LIBERAL DEMOCRATS

Well, what can I say without being cruel?

I will say this . . . I’d be pleased to see William Powell back in the Senedd. He’s a decent man and his heart’s in the right place, which is more than can be said for most of those who’ll be elected on May 6.

THE GREEN PARTY OF ENGLANDANDWALES

This is a party made up largely of Green white settlers, some of whom espouse colonialist views that might have embarrassed old Leopold II.

An attitude exemplified by their refusal a few years back to actually create a Wales Green Party, preferring to stay part of the England Green Party. In Scotland, the Green Party is Scottish, and has long supported independence.

The non-existent ‘Wales Green Party’ now claims to also believe in independence, not because they care about me or you, but because they see an independent Wales as somewhere they can wield influence that will in no way be hindered by their lack of electoral support.

Which, in a sense, takes us back to lobbying.

The shameless opportunism of the Greens is not a lot different to the entryism we’ve seen recently from far left loonies who have jumped on the indy bandwagon since Comrade Corbyn was given the bum’s rush.

The one consolation, of sorts, is that just about every other party now pays lip-service to the Greens’ message. Which is not good for Wales but, on the plus side, it makes the Green Party of Englandandwales largely redundant.

That can only be good.

THE BRITNAT PARTIES

As I said earlier, these are Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party, Reform and Ukip. They are almost guaranteed to win some seats, and they will naturally align with the Conservative and Unionist Party.

These possibilities are discussed above and there’s not a lot to add.

Beowulf Headbanger celebrating VE day. Now that he’s recovered a little he’s allowed out to canvass for the Abolish the Welsh Party.

No doubt the BritNats will insist there are great ideological differences between them, but these are little more than degrees of anti-Welshness.

Of course, they’ll say they aren’t anti-Welsh, just anti-devolution. But as we know, let someone talk long enough about their opposition to devolution and before long hostility to the Welsh language and other indicators of a separate Welsh identity emerge. Such as the existence of Welsh national sporting teams.

And yet, they’re right. Devolution, and the corruption-infested swamp that is Cardiff Bay, should be done away with. But in favour of independence.

That’s why I believe the BritNats can be useful idiots in realising their worst nightmare.

NORTHERN LIGHT

In the next couple of years Scotland will either become independent or else the UK will slip into some kind of ‘soft’ (maybe not so soft) totalitarianism in order to thwart Scottish independence. At this moment I can’t see any other outcome.

Either of those eventualities will be a wake-up call for Wales. Either of them will tell us that it’s time to go, time to leave the United Kingdom.

When we’ve reached either outcome, anyone still arguing in favour of the UK will be acting out of self-interest or contempt for Wales. Among them we’ll find people like the Kinnocks, discredited Tories, holiday home owners, and others whose objections must be brushed aside.

This is why I tell everyone to watch what’s happening in Scotland. Because events in the Old North could have a bigger impact on Wales’ future than anything we do down here.

WALES’ BEST HOPES

As many readers will know, I had a hand in the formation of new, conservative-ish nationalist party, Gwlad. A party that was desperately needed to represent those who reject incompetent Labour, Rule Britannia Conservatives and BritNats, and Woke Plaid Cymru.

Gwlad is standing a good slate of candidates in next month’s elections. As WalesOnline said in an article last week: “Gwlad has put forward 14 constituency candidates and 21 candidates across the regional lists. Aside from Labour, Tories, Plaid, Lib Dems and Reform UK, they have the most candidates seeking election on May 6.”

Not bad for a party formed just a few years ago. Click here to download the full Manifesto.

Among the many excellent candidates is Rhydian Hughes, standing in his own patch of Clwyd West. Here’s a leaflet being distributed in the constituency.

Though I won’t be able to vote for Gwlad in my constituency of Dwyfor Meirionnydd, that’s because the party is not standing in seats held by Plaid Cymru. But I will be able to vote for our excellent list candidates in Mid and West Wales.

My constituency vote will probably go to the Propel candidate, Peter Read; but the Llais Gwynedd candidate, Glyn Daniels, is also in with a shout.

Having mentioned Propel it’s only right that I tell you a little more about this other new and genuinely Welsh party.

Most of you will have heard of Neil McEvoy. Despite what his opponents would like you to believe, Propel is not a one-man band; Neil is the leader, but he has a good team around him.

As a Member of the Senedd Neil McEvoy has made himself unpopular with Labour and Plaid Cymru through exposing the corruption and duplicity that characterises Cardiff Bay. (Anybody who can piss off both Labour and Plaid Cymru is OK with me.)

Also because, when standing for Plaid Cymru in 2016, he came within 1,176 votes of defeating Mark Drakeford in Cardiff West. Neil McEvoy is standing against Drakeford again, making this one of the more intriguing constituency contests.

(As an example of the way the media is misreporting these elections, Cardiff West is being portrayed by some as a straight fight between Labour and Plaid Cymru!)

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The fact that Labour and Plaid Cymru attack Neil McEvoy with almost equal vehemence helps expose a long-standing relationship between two self-styled ‘progressive’ parties. The coalition that might emerge after May 6 would be just a continuation of this co-operation.

I’m not absolutely sure, but I’m fairly confident that Gwlad and Propel are not standing against each other in any constituency. I’m not aware of any electoral pact, I think it just panned out that way.

My advice therefore is to put Wales first by voting for Gwlad or Propel. Both parties are new, but fresh thinking is exactly what Wales needs at this critical juncture.

Because, and I repeat: the next few years are about choosing between independence and assimilation. Which do you want?

♦ end

 




Colonialism in microcosm, or Knighton

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

I know . . . I promised a round-up of assorted stories, but I’m afraid it didn’t work out.

One story I was counting on fell through, though I am assured that what will eventually be provided will be worth the wait.

And then, what you see below, the report from Knighton, just grew to the point where it took over and knocked out a couple of other topics I’d planned to cover.

REMEMBER DARREN?

A couple of weeks ago we met Darren Knipe, who starred in Miscellany 03.11.2020. Scroll down to the section ‘A Wandering Shyster I (after Gilbert & Sullivan)’.

More news has come in of Darren and a host of drifters and good-lifers trying to take over the border town of Tref y Clawdd / Knighton in central Powys.

First, let’s pad out Darren’s CV, for since writing the earlier piece I have learnt that he spent time in the City of my Dreams. When I say ‘time’ I do not mean as a resident of Cox’s Farm down on Oystermouth Road.

It seems that Darren first came to Wales to study at Aberystwyth University in 1990. Which reminds us that our universities have a lot to answer for. Having expanded beyond Wales’s needs they had to take in just about anybody to fill the places.

Which gave us the problem today of the areas around Lampeter, Aberystwyth and Bangor being infested with drug-wrecked loafers who forgot to go home.

At Aberystwyth Darren claims to have gained a joint honours degree in Economics, Finance and Accountancy, which resulted in him being offered the chance to become a stockbroker in the City of London. But he turned it down!

Why the hell would anyone study those subjects if they had no intention of going into business, banking or finance? It makes no sense. So what did Darren do next? I’ll let him tell you in his own words . . .

“I became an events promoter, and designed an accredited OCN training course at Pembrokeshire College in Music and Entertainment Technology which came 2nd in Country for the Times Education Award for Widening Participation.”

I ran my own nightclub in Swansea for a few years, called The Palace. Some of you may have jumped on a bus organised by local promoter, Ben, and come to one of his drum n bass nights.

I designed and toured a solar powered cinema/stage around UK festivals, called Star Bar. I then ran a mobile organic bar, called WonderBar, running an operation for up to 80,000 people.

I moved to Chester with my then wife, and helped design and deliver cultural events for an organisation that is now called Storyhouse. It is from doing this for nearly 10 years, that we formed our own company, Dark Olive, which produces and delivers production contracts for local authorities and Arts Council funded cultural organisations.”

The Palace referred to is the old Palace Theatre, a lovely little ‘flat iron’ building just up from High Street station. It’s fallen on hard times and a succession of owners has allowed the building to deteriorate. Instead of lending money to people who have no intention of saving the building, Swansea’s Labour council has finally pulled its finger out.

In June, 2002 a drinks licence was granted to Darren Knipe and the co-directors of their company The Palace Swansea Ltd.

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At the time, Darren was living in Pembrokeshire, as were the other directors. Ian Stone could be found at Llawhaden, near Narberth, with Knipe living in the town itself; while the third director, James King, was at Llanfallteg, just outside Whitland. King doubled up as company secretary. Each of them held 500 £1 shares.

As with most if not all of Darren Knipe’s ventures, the night club did not last long, being compulsorily wound up towards the end of 2003 by The Commissioners of Customs and Excise under the Insolvency Act 1996.

Darren Knipe may claim, “I ran my own nightclub in Swansea for a few years”, but the Commissioners of Customs and Excise would disagree. His tenure of the theatre where Charlie Chaplin once trod the boards lasted about a year.

And ended in insolvency. He seems to have left that bit out.

As I told you in the earlier piece, after Pembrokeshire, Darren moved up to Aberystwyth before landing, around 2010, in Llandegla, west of Wrecsam, where a few companies sprang to life.

One was Datcloud Ltd, dissolved in the second half of 2016. Knipe’s partner in this venture was Duncan Charles Ion. Ion was also a member of the community council, which might explain how Knipe got the job as clerk.

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I can’t be sure when he took up the job because the online records go back no further than March 2015. But he was definitely in post by then.

Darren Knipe left around the time of an external auditors’ report, but I’m sure there was no connection. He must think he’s still cut out for this kind of work because I hear he’s been angling for the clerk’s job with Knighton town council since he arrived in the area.

Here’s a link to that external auditors’ report. To turn the pages scroll down and use the arrows found at the bottom left.

After his stay in Llandegla Darren Knipe was on the move again and he landed in Llanfair Waterdine, which lies in Y Tiroedd Coll. Where he’s asked to be co-opted onto the community council.

Though his main focus is Knighton, where he has aligned himself with the settler element. Of whom there are quite a few.

COLONIAL KNIGHTON

Those I’m referring to are members of the English bourgeoisie who’ve imposed themselves on the area. They have plenty of money and too much time on their hands, so they feel they should be ‘doing something’.

Even if it means making nuisances of themselves and getting up people’s noses.

Their local citadel, from whence they sally forth to dispense wisdom, do good, and generally uplift benighted natives, is the Knighton and District Community Centre.

Locals tell me that in a previous era the community centre was like any other in a village or small town, with discos, rugby club dos, wedding receptions, etc.

But about twelve years ago a couple blew in from Hong Kong by the name of Christopher and Karen Plant. Where he had been a teacher for the UK military. Under the reign of the Plants locals were made to feel unwelcome, and so they drifted away.

For where locals had once bopped the night away, drinking pints from the pumps, under the Plants it became Sounds of Soweto and wine only – the beer pumps disappeared!

Someone has described the wine-drinking Plants to me as “sociopaths and bullies”. Which seems a bit strong, until we learn that the Plants had to sling their hook following allegations of . . . bullying.

And the beer pumps returned!

One talent these colons possess is that of being able to secure public funding. Over half a million pounds was handed over a few years back by the so-called ‘Welsh Government’ for a new community centre roof, after the local library moved in. Described to me as “the world’s most expensive box profile tin roof”.

My old mucker Dafydd El was there for the opening. Probably sent up by his boss, Little Kenny Skates, he of the pearly white gnashers.

Though most locals still feel unwelcome, for the bridgehead established by the Plants was soon strengthened. To the point where everyone now involved with the community centre has arrived from over the border.

I’ve even been supplied with a list of names and places of origin:

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It’s quite frightening, isn’t it, how a small group can so completely take over the hub of a community that’s not theirs? Almost an invasion. No, it is an invasion.

Of course, the jobs are not full time, more pocket money and status jobs, but then, those we’re talking about don’t need the money, but they revel in the status. The recruitment system was explained thus: “Job descriptions are rigged to suit the person already lined up for the job, qualification is basically being middle class and from England.”

Some will read this and say, ‘Oh, it doesn’t matter where they come from . . . doing good work, blahdy blah’. Others will claim that it’s anti-English, but it’s not. A takeover so complete would be remarkable if it happened in any part of England.

Can you imagine a situation like this in a small town in Yorkshire, with ‘southerners’ taking over everything – and locals not raising hell! Yet we are supposed to be silent because they’re all English.

And note the ‘jobs’ that are being funded. Basically, to build up networks of people like themselves from which locals can be more effectively excluded.

But this selfless devotion to ‘their’ community don’t come cheap. To hire Knighton community centre for a Saturday evening is £210 – with bar and kitchen extra. In the community centre in Knucklas, about a mile away, run by the community council, hiring the new community centre (2013) on a Saturday night would cost you £75 all in.

But then, when you’re paying one of your friends £15 an hour . . .

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The justification for the exorbitant charges at Knighton are that, “It’s cheap by London prices”. Yes, there must be a lot of competition from London venues.

I’ve mentioned the network-building ‘jobs’ but there is already a network in Knighton that extends beyond those we’ve encountered. Though this wider network is made up of the same kind of people, those who never miss an opportunity to put their virtue on public display.

For we are dealing here with do-gooders of the most exhibitionist variety.

Such as Angie Zelter, who we see in the photograph below. She lives in a big house in Knighton with her partner Camilla Saunders, who works in the third sector. (I bet that surprises you!)

For someone like her to protest, in Wales, about apartheid and ethnic cleansing, can only be accounted for by a complete absence of self-awareness.

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Angie is also big in Extinction Rebellion, and has the arrest to prove it. She winters in New Zealand, and of course she flies to Aotearoa.

Then there’s Knighton and District Refugee Support Group. Though you have to marvel at the arrogance of people who’ve invited themselves into someone else’s country and then believe they have the right to invite others.

It may have been this crowd that attracted Michael Richer up from southern England a few months ago. Richer wanted to take over the empty Knighton Hotel for a while. If ‘Knighton Hotel’ rings a bell that’s because it was owned by our old friends Paul and Rowena Williams, who went on to Plas Glynllifon. (All covered in my ‘Weep for Wales’ series.)

Although Richer claimed to want the hotel for men and women in abusive relationships it was widely suspected that he intended bringing to Knighton migrants who’d landed on the south coast of England. That may still be the plan.

Housing migrants can be a very lucrative business. And quite easy when there is already a local network of leftists and do-gooders, as we see in Pembrokeshire. Anyone who opposes dozens or hundreds of undocumented young men being brought into a rural area becomes a ‘fascist’.

The fact that Richer’s company, Misan Traders Ltd, was set up only 7 or eight months before he showed up in Powys might suggest that he was looking at other buildings. Perhaps any old building he could hire or lease cheaply for a short period.

On Armistice Day the Knighton and District Refugee Support Group insisted on laying their white poppy wreaths against the war memorial itself, and clambered over the red poppy wreaths to do so.

The white poppy wreaths disappeared overnight.

This caused considerable consternation in the KDRSG, but must also have confirmed the ‘backwardness’ of the indigenous population.

The Councillor Angelique Williams mentioned in one of the images below meets Darren Knipe in Knighton’s Little Black Sheep cafe. Around this time last year Angie Williams left the Independent group on Powys County Council to join another . . . independent, sort of, group.

Whatever your views on poppies, and commemorations, this was yet another example of a small group of outsiders trying to over-ride the feelings of local people. Many of those local people are related to, even descended from, the men named on the war memorial

The same ‘We know best!’ arrogance crops up time after time after time. Another example would be the campaign against local farmers, the Price family, by Sustainable Food Knighton. The spokesperson for this group is Camilla Saunders, partner of jet-setting planet-saver Angie Zelter.

Just look at this report from the County Times. It seems to be the same people, in the same place, just different placards. Maybe they meet regularly and think, ‘What’s the next thing we can do to piss off the locals?’

But it’s not just the Price family they’re trying to put out of business – they want the ‘Welsh Government’ to outlaw what they call ‘intensive farming’. Most of them are of course vegetarians, if not vegans, so we know where this is heading.

Relations between the in-crowd and the town council are strained, due in large part to a curious incident not so long ago. As I’ve mentioned, the town’s library has relocated to the community centre. I’ll let a source take it up:

“Community (centre) ended up housing the library, they did a deal with the community council whereby the council would pay the librarian’s wages, only afterwards they did a deal with Powys (county council) who agreed to pay for the librarian, only they didn’t tell the community council and it was only when Powys threatened to close the library that community council found out that they were being cheated out of the money.”

‘O, what a tangled web . . .’.

But enough of the virtue flaunters and the schemers, the do-gooders and the planet savers, for we are neglecting Darren Knipe.

DARREN FINDS A FRIEND

Knipe claims that – with the help of the Wales Council for Voluntary Action – he will be bringing to Knighton the benefits of the UK government’s Kickstart scheme. Starting in January 2021.

Maybe the WCVA can confirm?

As I reported in my earlier piece, Knipe has threatened, “I can run this anywhere, and currently looking at Newtown and Welshpool as options, which will be Knighton’s loss.”

What he’s really saying is – ‘Give me the empty library building’.

The problem is that others want to use the building, chief among them, Banc Cambria, the new cooperative bank for Wales.

Knipe is telling people that Banc Cambria is not interested in the old library. But I have it on impeccable authority that Banc Cambria is most definitely interested in the building, and them taking it over would bring more long-term benefits to the town than any hare-brained scheme of Darren Knipe.

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In addition to the memsahibs Darren has a new best friend in the form of Dr John Goodband, the husband of the vicar. Goodband recently came from Warwickshire when he married the vicar, Miss Beresford Webb, who had arrived in the area earlier.

And it should go without saying that he’s joined those wondering how Knighton managed before they arrived.

In this report from this week’s County Times we read of Goodband and Zelter opposing Banc Cambria and the town council. They even presented a petition with 67 signatures. Wow, 67 signatures!

I bet locals could guess most of the names on that petition!

There seems little doubt that Knighton town council is the next target of this gang.

News soon came from Warwickshire that Goodband was a repeat offender – for he had been attacking the parish council where he’d previously lived! Here’s a link to the Minutes of the Long Lawford Parish Council from February last year.

Goodband seems to be suggesting that Long Lawford Parish Council is part of the Corleone family, with the clerk trousering thousands of pounds!

As we’ve seen, allegations are now flying in Knighton, where his new mate Darren Knipe wants the job of clerk to the town council and the library building. Coincidence?

I’m no psychiatrist, so I don’t know what afflicts John Goodband. Is it just attention seeking, like a child throwing a tantrum? Does he have nothing better to do than accuse people he doesn’t know of things they haven’t done? Does it turn him on, is it a substitute for sex?

I really don’t care. When it comes to people like John Goodband I’m all out of sympathy, too many of them are washing up in Wales. And Knighton has more than its share. More than any small town deserves.

CONCLUSION

It would be bad enough if what we see in Tref y Clawdd was a one-off, unrepresentative of Wales as a whole, but it’s not.

Everywhere we look we see the same problem of Welsh people being patronised or insulted, and pushed aside by sharp-elbowed and arrogant immigrants. It’s no longer just about holiday homes. It never was.

And this deluge is being encouraged by the leftist consensus in Corruption Bay because our ‘progressives’ identify with these bullying charlatans better than they identify with Welsh people.

From the other side, neither the Conservative and Unionist Party nor any party on the BritNat fringe will object to Wales being colonised and assimilated into England.

That’s why we need the new parties Gwlad and the WNP. And more importantly, a fresh mindset that calls colonialism by its name. And fights back on every front.

♦ end ♦

 




Yes, there’s definitely an election on the way!

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

A few weeks back I wrote Elections, May 2021, which some may have thought was a bit premature. Well, things have hotted up and there’s no doubting it now – the election campaign has definitely started!

THE ‘NATIONAL MOVEMENT’

In this piece I’m going to focus on elements of what is often referred to as ‘the national movement’. Partly because I’ve been part of this movement for over 50 years and partly because that’s where much of the action seems to be at the moment.

Let’s start with Yes Cymru, which has seen phenomenal growth this year, with the trend accelerating in recent weeks. But this growing interest in independence has not resulted in any increase in support for Plaid Cymru

In fact, according to the latest Welsh Political Barometer Poll Plaid Cymru remains in third place for the constituency vote next May (but up by 2%), and in the same position for the regional list vote (down by 1%).

The poll predicts Plaid will win 15 seats, and if Labour only wins the 25 predicted then we’re in for a Labour-Plaid Cymru coalition. Five years of virtue signalling, pumping more money into the third sector, being told what to do by lobbyists and civil servants, while blaming every Tom Dick and Boris for Wales’ continuing economic and social woes.

In August, there had been a YouGov poll which suggested that, with Don’t knows removed, 51% of Labour voters would support independence if the option was put to them in a referendum. The same poll suggested that only 45% of those who voted for Plaid Cymru in December 2019 would definitely vote for independence.

Which highlights two problems for Plaid Cymru.

On the one hand, most of those who could be won over to independence do not vote for Plaid Cymru, and never will. While on the other hand, the party has in recent years attracted oddball cliques that see Plaid Cymru as just another mouthpiece for what really matters to them, and these have little or no interest in Wales or in Welsh independence.

This is bad news all round for Plaid Cymru, and yet it’s a problem that often afflicts socialist or ‘progressive’ parties, as this tweet, quoting Irish revolutionary, James Connolly, reminds us.

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The message there, and certainly the lesson for Plaid Cymru, is that in Ireland, in the early twentieth century, the socialist movement stayed focused on Ireland, and independence. It did not allow itself to be sidetracked by cranks and dilettantes.

Plaid Cymru not benefiting from the growth in support for Yes Cymru, or from the increasing interest in the option of independence, explains them desperately pushing the idea that anyone leaning in that direction must vote for the party – because there is no alternative.

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But when you think about the panel above, if Plaid Cymru was the party it pretends to be then it wouldn’t need people to ‘lend’ it their vote. Anyone wanting or even considering independence would already be a Plaid Cymru voter.

That Plaid’s support remains static, uninfluenced by the rise in support for independence, speaks volumes.

And of course, Plaid Cymru is no longer the only party promoting independence. We now have Gwlad and the WNP.

The argument used against these newcomers is that they will ‘split the nationalist vote’, which is laughable. By being unable to win over independence-minded supporters of other parties, and with so few in its own ranks wanting independence, Plaid Cymru is already splitting the nationalist vote.

Or, maybe, it has failed dismally to maximise the nationalist vote.

The truth is that the new parties can only increase the nationalist vote by attracting those who wouldn’t ‘lend’ their vote to Plaid Cymru if the offer came gift-wrapped and with a weekend in Tenby thrown in.

Plaid Cymru will, I’m sure, lose votes to Gwlad. I’m thinking of socially conservative nationalists who’ve stuck with the party despite the lurch to the left and who, more recently, have been alienated by the intolerant advocates of identity politics.

If these traditionalists desert in any substantial number then Plaid Cymru will be even more under the control of the aforementioned cranks and dilettantes. Irrespective of who is paraded as the party ‘leader’.

As for those Labour voters prepared to go for independence if a referendum was held, we know where they live. The great majority of them in the urban south between Burry Port and Blaenavon. And many of them voted for Brexit.

Yet Plaid Cymru has recently said that an independent Wales will be a member of the European Union, no ifs or buts. And with no mention of a referendum!

A political party talking down to those it claims to want as voters deserves to be rejected. But this contempt for the white working class seems to be the norm among socialist parties nowadays.

Though maybe some half-hearted effort will be made to reach out to the anglophone working class.

For Plaid Cymru recently applied to register a new descriptor with the Electoral Commission. That new descriptor is New Wales Party, NWP.

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What a coincidence! For earlier last month the WNP applied to register as the Welsh Nation Party, WNP.

After I’d been alerted to it I put out the above tweet last Friday. On Monday, there was an article in Llais y Sais. Now why the hell would something apparently so minor justify such an article?

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Though according to the article, the decision to apply to the Electoral Commission for the change was not made by the National Executive Committee of Plaid Cymru. So who was responsible? The cleaner at Tŷ Gwynfor?

Who’s running this show!

Something else that struck me about the article was that the writer, Martin Shipton, seemed to have forgotten that Plaid Cymru already had the English name Party of Wales. Is that to be dropped?

But it didn’t end with the article. There was even an editorial!

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So much coverage for Plaid Cymru, insisting the change had been under discussion for yonks! A cynic might suggest it sounds like Plaid Cymru desperately trying to explain itself after being caught out in a spoiling tactic intended to confuse voters.

It also suggests that Martin Shipton might be going soft on Plaid Cymru.

Plaid Cymru’s shortcomings may be exposed to the world but it still has options for promoting itself and attacking rivals. Within Yes Cymru, Plaid Cymru supporters urge members to join the party, and last weekend we saw Plaid use an old subsidiary in the form of Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (CyIG), the Welsh Language Society.

At the CyI AGM a motion was passed saying, “the pressure group would refuse to engage with anyone whom in their words: ‘promote and tolerate prejudice against any groups, be they LGBT +, black people, migrants or women’.”

And that included Gwlad!

An interesting choice of words, though. “Tolerate prejudice” rather than being prejudiced is straight from the BLM playbook, where not being racist isn’t enough. And I was struck by the use of “migrants” rather than ‘refugees’. Basically, anyone should be allowed to move anywhere without any checks.

Infantile, open borders, anti-Western drivel.

Though consistent. Because Cymdeithas yr Iaith wants Wales to be open to everybody. Which means that a group trying to keep Welsh alive as a community language seems unaware that the biggest threat to the language is inward migration to the language heartlands.

That motion suggests CyIG’s priority now is playing politics rather than saving the language.

Just like Plaid Cymru Cymdeithas suffers from the problem of grabbing off-the-shelf global positions and being unwilling or unable to modify them for Wales.

Look around Europe at small nations or minority groups, Basques, Corsicans and others. Yes, they have socialist parties or groups, but their socialism is used to benefit their people and promote their cause. Not so in Wales.

Saving the planet means covering Wales in foreign-owned wind turbines that create no jobs and put only crumbs into Welsh communities. While supporting migration makes it ‘racist’ to challenge the colonisation of Wales.

Which makes Wales unique in having ‘socialists’ unwilling to challenge colonialism in their own country!

Yet there’s humour in everything. And while Cymdeithas yr Iaith has clearly been  infiltrated by the ‘wokies’ there remains the long and embarrassing shadow of Saunders Lewis.

Saunders Lewis was a founder member of Plaid Cymru, an academic, WWI veteran, a playwright, author, convert to Catholicism, and well to the right of the political centre. His 1962 radio lecture, Tynged yr Iaith (the Future of the Language) was the inspiration for the formation of Cymdeithas yr Iaith.

But the wokies cannot acknowledge Saunders Lewis. He cannot even be named! As we see in the panel below taken from the Society’s website.

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It’s surely only a matter of time until the reference to “a leading academic” is also excised. I can see the next version – ‘Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg was formed at a congress of workers, peasants and intellectuals that had gathered to discuss sending volunteers to Cuba to fight US imperialist aggression’. Right on!

Joking aside, there’s little in the short term that Plaid Cymru, Yes Cymru, Cymdeithas yr Iaith, Gwlad or the WNP can do to bring Welsh independence nearer. I say that because factors beyond our control are likely to be much more influential.

I’m thinking now of Scottish independence, and the reaction to that of the Labour Party in Wales. Or perhaps it won’t be the party itself that puts Wales on the path to the final rupture but the party’s voters.

I’m suggesting that those who reject Plaid Cymru could help deliver independence. What irony that would be. So much for Plaid Cymru being ‘the only way’!

In the meantime, the UK state will do what it can to support Plaid Cymru. Because as I never tire of telling you, from London’s perspective Plaid Cymru is the ideal ‘national party’.

In a flattering light Plaid Cymru can pass for a national party, but its true benefit lies in its dog-in-a-manger role, blocking the emergence of genuine nationalist parties. Its leaders are biddable, easily seduced with peerages and other ‘honours’, but the party – and this extends to its subsidiary groups – is no threat whatsoever to the constitutional status quo or the colonisation of Wales.

For what more could Mother England ask?

IN OTHER NEWS . . .

Limbering up for May’s elections has not been confined to the disparate elements of the national movement, and confirmation of this has come from wildly differing directions.

Let’s start with an old favourite on this blog.

You’ll recall that a couple of years back, and by a substantial majority, members of the self-styled Wales Green Party voted against becoming . . . . the Wales Green Party. Thereby and irrevocably confirming that they were naught but the local branch of the Green Party of Englandandwales.

But lo! even these colonialist carpet-baggers have sensed the changing mood and are now in favour of Welsh independence! As reported here in Left Foot Forward. (Of which I am an avid reader.)

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“Wales can stand alone”, says Siân Berry . . . but not, apparently, her party’s members in Wales. Driving this inconsistency ad absurdum we could have an independent Wales in which elections are contested by the Green Party of Englandandwales.

At the very least, and if only, for once, to be consistent, the Greens in Wales should now break from England to form a genuine Wales Green Party. To not do so makes them look like opportunists jumping on a bandwagon.

Let me explain what drives this new-found enthusiasm for our national liberation. For it dovetails perfectly with what attracts the oddballs, cranks and dilettantes I mentioned earlier to Plaid Cymru.

Under devolution, and especially with the virtue-signallers managing the show, pressure groups and assorted cranks have realised they can wield influence in Wales to an extent that would not be tolerated in better regulated countries.

This unwelcome phenomenon explains, for example, why we have One Planet Developments. Put simply, Wales is becoming internationally known as a ‘soft touch’.

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The thinking therefore runs . . . ‘If we can get all this in a devolved Wales, then we could control an independent Wales’. Elections would be a minor inconvenience, for cohorts of Estuary English-speaking charlatans in Corruption Bay would control the political process and the spending priorities.

The only way out of this nightmare is to stop voting for politicians and political parties manipulated by people who simply want to use our country, and our money, to fulfil their fantasies.

In my earlier piece I told you about a new grouping called the Independent Alliance for Reform.

This has been formed by David Rowlands, who was elected in 2016 as the Ukip AM for South Wales East; Caroline Jones, elected at the same time for Ukip in South Wales West; and Mandy Jones, who took over the North Wales Ukip seat vacated when Nathan Gill resigned in 2018.

This could be a half-way house, and the word to emphasise may be Reform. I say that because the Electoral Commission’s website tells us that an application has recently been received, and is under consideration, to relaunch the Brexit Party as Reform UK.

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If I’m right, then this would leave Neil Hamilton as the last man standing of the 7 that made up Ukip’s 2016 intake.

The other player for the Brexit / London-knows-best vote is of course the Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party. No doubt, some time between now and next May they’ll realise that what they seek to abolish has changed its name.

CONCLUSION

For the first time in a long time Welsh politics is looking interesting. Partly because of what’s happening in Wales, but mainly because of what’s happening in London, and Scotland, and elsewhere.

For the arrogance, ineptitude and corruption we see from the Conservative government in Westminster has done more to make Welsh independence an attractive proposition than anything happening in Wales.

With the SNP more likely to deliver Welsh independence than Plaid Cymru.

And while Wales voted for Brexit, we did not vote for the looming disaster that will make us even poorer, perhaps turning Holyhead and Fishguard into ghost towns.

All that being so, it really is time for Plaid Cymru to adopt a little humility and accept the realities of modern Wales. Which are:

1/ Plaid Cymru is not the only party or group advocating independence.

2/ Most of those coming around to the idea of independence do not vote for Plaid Cymru and are unlikely to ever vote for Plaid Cymru.

3/ The independence movement contains individuals, groups and political parties with which Plaid Cymru will not see eye to eye. Grow up and accept it!

4/ However, if ideological purity is more important than independence, and if Plaid Cymru continues to align itself with Unionist parties, cranks and others exploiting Wales, then it must expect to be regarded with suspicion.

5/ Ultimately, Plaid Cymru is faced with a simple choice. Either be part of the movement for Welsh independence, or else remain a self-deluding obstacle to achieving independence.

6/ Things are moving in ways that leave Welsh politicians impotent. So look beyond the Corruption Bay bubble, take in the bigger picture, and be ready to seize the opportunities that will surely come our way.

♦ end ♦

 




Miscellany 03.11.2020

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

This week’s piece takes us all over the place to meet interesting characters. Most you’ll be familiar with, but there are some new faces.

JAKE BERRY MP

We start with someone you all know, Ynys Môn landowner and MP for Rossendale and Darwen, Jake Berry.

I’ve written about Berry a number of times. It started when it was reported that, in May, during the first lockdown, he had broken the rules and gone to ground at his holiday home in Rhoscolyn. Yet still travelled regularly to London and his constituency.

More recently, now mindful of the wind direction, and still bitter at being sacked from the cabinet, Berry led a rebellion of sorts by a group of Tory MPs from northern English constituencies.

This did not go down well in No 10 and he was almost certainly reprimanded. (If not debagged and radished.)

So, on Saturday, he appeared in the Times with a ‘good man hard done by’ piece in the hope of gaining sympathy and detracting attention from his perceived treachery. (Unfortunately, it’s behind a paywall.)

I have little interest in the machinations of the Conservative and Unionist Party, but in his orgy of self-pity he pointed a finger at those who had criticised his earlier behaviour, and in doing so he made some wild accusations.

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The issue was not that he was a ‘newcomer’; the issue was breaking lockdown restrictions and lying about it. Or getting local MP, Virginia Crosbie, to lie for him.

As for the alleged threats to “burn the house down”, who made these threats? Or maybe the question should be – Did anybody make such a threat?

I invite North Wales Police to clarify whether or not they warned Jake Berry that he was a target for arsonists.

But even if he believed he was a target, why would Berry take a pickaxe handle to bed? It would be useless in the event of a fire.

The story took life on Twitter. With what seemed to be mainly anti-abortion Anglo-Catholics jumping in to support Berry, slag off the NHS (for the treatment of Berry’s wife), and of course attack would-be arsonists.

Among them was ‘Petra’. The account looks like a bot, but it still pointed me out as one of the “Ultra-nationalists”. Done in two tweets; or rather, the second seems to be the first re-written.

UPDATE: ‘Petra’ has left the building.

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What is going on?

Anyway, on Saturday afternoon Gwlad put out a statement making it clear that neither that party nor I had made any threat against Jake Berry.

If Jake Berry believes his business dealings should remain private, if he thinks Welsh people should be ignorant of his growing property portfolio, if he believes rules are for little people, if he can’t take criticism, then he shouldn’t be an MP.

Saturday afternoon was a bit hectic, what with me trying to take in what Berry was suggesting while also watching the rugby (we lost), keeping up with the Swans score (won 2 – 0), and doing a few other things.

And then, by a strange coincidence, and to complicate matters further, I received unrelated information from a source in Berry’s constituency. To explain . . .

In a previous post I wrote about secret funders to the Conservative Party, The Portcullis Club and The United and Cecil Club. These are unincorporated associations, a legal loophole that allows funding to reach the party without anyone knowing the origin of that money.

The money usually goes to the constituency association, but not always. Sometimes it takes devious routes, such as we read about in this story. (‘Aide to Grant Shapps’! God Almighty! Imagine having to put that on your CV.)

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I’ve dealt with similar deceits in my earlier pieces on Berry.

The report says that the £12,000 involved came via Rossendale and Darwen Portcullis Club. Yet the address given for this ‘donor’ is 6 Manitoba Court, London SE16 7AY, the address of Berry’s parliamentary researcher. Scroll down and click on the number in the left hand column.

Other underhand donations came from The Portcullis Club that year but without the name of the constituency. Though using the same London address.

But then, in 2017, The Portcullis Club seems to have found a local base at Whins House, near Clitheroe. The first mention I can find of Whins House in that connection is here (click on left hand column again). Though strangely, it’s just The Portcullis Club, with no mention of Rossendale and Darwen.

So, what do we know about Whins House?

Well, it’s not just The Portcullis Club that can be found there, for it was the original address for Palatine Hill Ltd. The officers / directors of which are Maria Bernadette Duckworth, Ford Bridge Farm Ltd, Duckworth Estate Company Ltd, with Paul Worrall Fitton as secretary.

So who are they?

Maria Bernadette Duckworth lives – or formerly lived – at Whins House, along with hubby Andrew John Duckworth. Ford Bridge Farm Ltd – aka Rhyd y Bont – is the company of Mr and Jake Mrs Berry, with their solicitor Fitton again serving as secretary. Duckworth Estate Company Ltd is, predictably, the Duckworths’ company.

I use the caveat in relation to the occupants of Whins House because it was for sale earlier this year. Probably linked with what I interpret to be the bankruptcy of Andrew John Duckworth, as suggested in B4 of the Land Registry title document. My source directed me to this report by way of explanation.

The linked companies with stakes in each other make it clear the Duckworths and the Berrys are close. With the Duckworths being quite happy to use their home address for the channelling to Jake Berry of funding from God knows where.

I’m sure their local MP will therefore find some way to return the favour in his friends’ hour of need. Perhaps he’ll add Whins House to his property portfolio.

FUNDING ENVIROBOLLOCKS

This section takes us back a bit, to the days before Natural Resources Wales, when our woodlands were the responsibility of Forestry Commission Wales. It also takes us back to the time before OPDs were legalised with TAN 6, published in July 2010.

And it brings Objective One funding into the mix, reminding us how most of that EU funding was squandered.

The story seems to start in 1996, when Calon yn Tyfu was formed . . . as a ‘workers co-operative’ at Henparcau farm, near Boncath in north Pembrokeshire. Certainly, the company was Incorporated in March of that year.

The website tells us: “Having run an organic fruit vegetable holding at Henparcau for over 15 years, we decided to give the lands and ourselves a rest in 2010 after a frozen winter where we lost our winter crops we refocused towards the woodland work.”

This change of course was possible thanks to the acquisition of Ffynone and Cilgwyn woodland, part of the old Ffynone estate. Over 300 acres then in the stewardship of Forestry Commission Wales, which was distributing some of the Objective One bonanza under a scheme called Cydcoed.

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In this report Nick Powell of ITV Wales quotes someone describing Cydcoed as, ‘one of the most successful Objective One programmes that ran in Wales … it used woodlands to provide new jobs and opportunities, promote healthy recreation, education and conservation’. It boasts that ‘more than 160 community groups across some of the poorest areas of Wales benefited’.

The subsequent criticism hinged on that term, ‘community group’. For Calon yn Tyfu may have called itself a workers co-operative but it was in fact a private company run by a husband and wife and a third person.

These being Robert David McDowell – who seems to have signed all the company documents I’ve found – Kate Maria Moore, and Andrew Peter Lowe, ‘Laird of Camster’. (In much the same way as I am Tsar of All the Russias.)

Calon yn Tyfu obtained the woodland in 2007 . . . with an Objective One (Cydcoed) grant of £502,000 from Forestry Commission Wales! Just think about that – FCW gave public money to a gang of good-lifers so they could buy public property.

We know that Objective One funding was wasted in Wales thanks to the Labour Party and Plaid Cymru being ideologically opposed to enterprise and business, but there can be few examples of such blatant and indefensible waste.

In total, £18m was dished out under the FCW Cydcoed scheme. And what do we have to show for it?

Manordeifi community council was so unimpressed by the deal that it petitioned the Welsh Assembly which referred the matter to the Auditor General for Wales.

She concluded that no rules had been broken. Which might suggest it was no surprise that schemes for distributing Objective One cash wasted money.

The Auditor General also noted that, “Calon yn Tyfu have made a commitment to dedicate the site under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act, which should allow public access to the woodland in perpetuity.”

I’ve searched the Calon Tyfu website but I can’t find any reference to such a commitment. Has it been made?

If not, then in 2027, the company will be able to sell off at a very handsome price what it was given for nothing. That said, ownership in all but name now seems to be exercised by Dutch bank Triodos N V.

Triodos first appeared on the scene in May 2013 with a loan enabling Calon yn Tyfu Cyf to buy Pontnewydd cottage and land nearby for £150,000. Here’s the title document.

In April 2015 Calon yn Tyfu went back to Triodos. This time taking out a loan against the Ffynone woodland. The title document tells us that in 2007 Calon yn Tyfu paid £460,000 for this forest (out of the £502,000 grant from Forestry Commission Wales).

I believe that the money borrowed from Triodos was used, later that year, to purchase Hen Parcau – where Calon yn Tyfu had always been based – for £225,000. That’s what the title document suggests. And although the loan was taken out in the name of the company the house is registered in the name of Robert David McDowell.

The third engagement with Triodos begins on 21 April, 2015, the same day as the second, but leads to a hearing at the County Court in Swansea in October, and what is described as a ‘Charles Court order’. (No doubt, someone will explain.)

This would appear to give Triodos a claim against the whole Calon yn Tyfu operation.

Now were that to happen, then McDowell would still have enjoyed the income from almost 20 years of forestry operations. And of course he would also have the dwelling, Hen Parcau, and the land around it. And it won’t have cost him a penny!

For their part, Dutch bank Triodos will be happy because they’ll own over 300 acres of Wales.

So, everybody’s a winner! Not quite, because of course we Welsh have lost out again. Not only have we lost a bit more of our homeland, but those useless bastards down in Corruption Bay paid somebody to take it over!

I’ve referred to Calon yn Tyfu as envirobollocks, and so it is. A pretentious precursor to the One Planet nonsense. How else are we to read:

“We are interested in working towards a sustainable future, survival cooperation is the concept of exploring what might be required to survive in a post-industrial world and exploring the process of cooperation that we  can start with now that will lead us towards a  sustainable path.”

“Post-industrial world”, be buggered! There are hundreds of thousands of Welsh families living in a post-industrial world of managed decline created by the Labour Party and Plaid Cymru, parties that have fallen over themselves to favour shysters like those we see at Calon yn Tyfu.

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Having mentioned OPDs I have to introduce ‘Dr’ Jane Davidson. And provide further proof that she is indeed the mother goddess of the OPD firmament, worshipped by those who toil below filling out grant application forms.

A good source tells me, “She (Davidson) does claim that she wrote OPD into TAN 6 expressly to help Lammas rather than interfere in their planning application directly as a then minister”.

What this means is that we suffer OPDs for no better reason than Jane Davidson wanted to help the eco-colonists at Lammas.

When it was suggested that Planning Policy Wales – which TAN 6 supplements –  could be used to help farm succession, Davidson is said to have sneered, “I didn’t write that policy for farmers!”. (With the emphasis on farmers.)

‘Dr’ Davidson became an Assembly Member in 1999. It’s reasonable to assume that she was acquainted with the crew at Calon yn Tyfu. Did she have a hand in this incredible waste of money?

GWYNFRYN

Now we head north to Plas Gwynfryn / Gwynfryn Plas, just outside Lloyd George’s village of Llanystumdwy on Llŷn. I’ve written about it a number of times in recent months so you might want to search for what I’ve written and catch up.

The old mansion ended up as a hotel and is now just a ruin following a fire in 1982. Some suggest the fire was arson.

Y Plas. Click to enlarge

A curious development has been this advert for 17 acres of woodland on the right-hand side of the drive leading up to the Plas. That is, opposite the gate house.

Because if we refer to the Land Registry title document, and scroll down to the plan, we see something odd. The strip in yellow cuts right across the drive, and as A2 in the title document talks of “a good and substantial stockproof fence” it suggests that the drive is effectively blocked! There is certainly no mention of a gate.

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Another curious feature is that no one in the area knows the owners of this 17 acres. They bought it less than a year ago and are selling it for less than they paid.

Though owner Keith Varley seems to be a genuine businessman with a number of companies to his name. Among them Glan Gors Training Ltd and Glan Gors Management Ltd. Digression alert!

Glan Gors rang a bell and so I checked, and yes, it is Glan Gors in Harlech; where my old mate, the late Barri Edwards, the busking harpist, used to live. Spent some time there. Got some good memories.

I remember calling one morning, planning to take Barri for a pint, but he was boycotting the local pubs (or possibly he was banned). So we sat there, him unshaven, in his underpants. By midday he was on his third can of Guinness. He looked at me and said, “I don’t understand why I can’t pull the women any more, Jac”.

I was lost for words. I just sat there and nodded. God bless you, Barri.

I have no idea why Varley and his partner bought the woodland in the first place or why they’re selling it. And as for the ‘stockproof’ fence across the driveway . . . your guess is as good as mine. I’m open to suggestions.

But it might have had a knock-on effect. Because reports tell that the owner of the land around the old pile, Philip Andrew Bush, of Kent, has been a busy boy of late. He has been harassing neighbours and threatening to knock down a wall that has been in place since 1948 so that he can open up what he claims is a right of way.

He made no answer when asked why he couldn’t use the driveway.

Philip Bush taking a photo of someone taking a photo of Philip Bush taking a photo of . . . Click to enlarge

The truth is of course that even if Bush had access via the driveway it would not be enough for the highways department to agree to the planned 30 residential units in the old Plas. Or perhaps that should read, on the site of the Plas, because it’s in a poor state of repair.

For planning permission to be given for 30 residential units when the only entrance / exit is so close to a junction is not going to happen. (Click here for image.) The council will insist on two entrances, or one entrance and one exit.

Another reason Bush insists on reclaiming his alleged right of way is to gain access to the old laundry, which he says he plans to renovate.

And the best of luck with that. First, because the old laundry has almost collapsed. Second, because it was purpose-built as a laundry, to serve the Plas, and has been used for no other purpose, which means a ‘change of use’ will probably be required.

Gwynfryn laundry. In estate agent jargon, ‘Ripe for renovation’. Click to enlarge

Regular readers will recall that Bush kept the Gwynfryn land after selling the old pile to his good buddy, Aaron Hill, who we’ve encountered before in connection with the crooks at Bryn Llys – who appear in the next section!

The word is that Hill has sold the chapel he was living in in Bontnewydd and his whereabouts are unknown. Though a dicky bird tells me that Hill and Bush have a project planned in Scotland, and that Hill might have already taken the high road.

I know I have readers in Scotland, so be on your guard for Aaron Hill and Philip Bush, two not-to-be-trusted Sassenachs.

I conclude this section with another curiosity. If you go to the Google map for Llanystumdwy, grab the little yellow man, and try to place him on the road that runs past the woodlands that are now for sale, and you’ll find that the road is somehow closed.

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I’m assured by locals that this stretch of road has always been visually ‘accessible’ on Google maps before. How strange!

BRYN LLYS

Never a dull moment with the Bryn Llys gang.

Let’s start with another court appearance, this one by erstwhile rocker Shane Baker, aka ‘ShakingShane’ (or variants thereof) when he wants to comment on newspaper reports.

He was up before the bench in Caernarfon on Monday last week charged with criminal damage caused whilst driving a large excavator from Bryn Llys to the main road where a buyer was collecting it. He might just be a poor driver or, more likely, this was another crude attempt to widen the access to Bryn Llys.

Baker’s fines and costs came to £660.

His boss, professional fraudster Jonathan Duggan, was in attendance. As was a barrister! For people with no money these buggers seem able to afford everything.

Duggan’s attempts to persuade authorities he’s a farmer continue. A source writes:

“Mr. Duggan has brought more animals onto Bryn Llys, cows, pigs and goats – he is probably going to claim that he is a farmer to justify his road. His goats have already broken a fence and escaped onto neighbouring land as there is no grass left at Bryn Llys.

The neighbouring land owner complained to the police that he was intimidated by a group of people from Bryn Llys and its collection of sheds and caravans as he and a helper returned the animals to the Bryn Llys land and repaired the fence.

I understand that a large police officer visited Bryn Llys over the incident and was subjected to a torrent of swearing and abuse by Mr. Duggan who was told that everything was being recorded by the officer’s camera and it would appear on the police log dealing with the Community Protection Notice warning already served on Mr. Duggan.

Bryn Llys has already had a visit from the RSPCA after someone who came to buy a horse was so shocked about conditions that they contacted the RSPCA. The place is overstocked with animals, hardly a blade of grass and the animal sheds are full of human beings.

What looks like a bird hide with windows has been erected by the lake which was recently dug – I expect that Bryn Llys will be claiming to be promoting wildlife after destroying much of the habitat.”

This report reminds us that quite a settlement is developing at Bryn Llys in various sheds and caravans. All crooks from over the border. How long will this be allowed to continue?

Oh, yes . . . the ‘bird hide’ blew down in last weekend’s storm.

But never mind all that, would you like a holiday at Bryn Llys? Or rather, Snowdon Summit View. You – yes, you – can “win a 3 or 4 night stay in our luxury holiday home in North Wales”. Here’s the Facebook page on which you’ll find the details.

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So if you want to spend a few days surrounded by criminals, kept awake at night by starving animals, enter the competition.

The blurb says, “set within 30 acres of woodland”. Actually, there is no woodland at all. In fact, there is hardly any grass – that’s why the animals break out onto neighbours’ land looking for something to eat.

Bryn Llys / Snowdon Summit View is a wasteland, a lunar landscape. The nearest trees are in a conifer plantation across the river on someone else’s property. Even the images used on the FB page make it clear there are no trees.

These bastards just can’t stop lying.

Though there is a funny side. Someone set up a phoney competition using the same details. Here’s the link.

This is appalling! Click to enlarge

I hope GogPlod has its finest detectives working on the case to protect the reputations of Jon Duggan, Shane Baker and the other shy and retiring souls at the Snowdon Summit View Meditation Centre.

A WANDERING SHYSTER I (after Gilbert & Sullivan)

I am indebted to a source in Powys for bringing to my attention a would-be impresario by the name of Darren Knipe. Darren has plans for the old library in Knighton.

For he organises things, events and the like. Every community should have a Darren. In fact, it seems that every community in Wales does have one, and at least one. They appear as if by magic when they sniff funding in the air.

As I say, Darren now has plans for Knighton’s old library. It’s all explained on the Facebook page. So let’s go through what it offers.

Darren plans, “an accredited training centre in Community Event Management”. To be funded by . . . The governments new scheme, kickstart . . . the lost generation of 16-25 yr olds . . . making over £3bn available to pay 6 months salary and training”.

Actually it’s £2bn across the UK, though the ‘Welsh Government’ is participating.

He continues . . . “We will be working with Welsh Council of Voluntary Associations (WCVA) as our gateway partner, and will use a mix of mortgages, loans, and Social Enterprise grants to purchase building and startup costs.”

No, Darren, it’s the Wales Council for Voluntary Action. Though this section does take us to the meat – loans, grants, etc.

This is clearly an opportunity that Knighton cannot miss, and Darren warns, “I can run this anywhere, and currently looking at Newtown and Welshpool as options, which will be Knighton’s loss.”

I don’t know how to break this to you, Darren, but I suspect you wouldn’t be missed if you carried out your threat.

Now the thing about Darren is that he has history in these imaginative schemes. Which means that when Darren talks grant-grabbing bollocks he does so with some authority.

Though his business career has not been a cloudless sky.

Last year there was the attempt at crowdfunding, which raised . . . sod all! The money was wanted to teach people how to party. No doubt he does a sideline teaching cats how to catch mice.

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In his favour, Darren does get about, though success is never a travelling companion.

A tool I use is 192.com and when I checked for Darren Knipe I came up with 14 results, 8 of which I suspect are him. His stay in Pembrokeshire ended in bankruptcy in 2003 or 2004.

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From there he seems to have moved up to Aberystwyth before operating for a while at Llandegla, just west of Wrecsam. I’m told another bankruptcy or insolvency resulted.

In Llandegla we find Datcloud Ltd, where his partner was a Duncan Charles Ion. The company was formed in August 2014, with Knipe making it to the lifeboat in August 2015 before the good ship Datcloud went down.

Another information technology launch that had them quaking in Silicon Valley was Hootso Ltd. It filed as a dormant company and was eventually put down earlier this year.

Then there’s Dark Olive CIC. (The CIC he refers to on Facebook?) Now, chwarae teg, the latest accounts show a gross profit of £33,985.82, but it was almost all swallowed up in salaries, expenses and other running costs.

The website seems a little ‘threadbare’, as if he had one gig in 2018 and that was it.

The latest venture in which he’s involved, set up in March, is Robins Retreat Ltd, which sees our hero team up with the eponymous Robin Wealleans of Llanybydder. They can rest easy in Silicon Valley and Hollywood because this latest venture is in the holiday business.

Though anyone who thinks there are mountains in Carmarthenshire really should stop taking whatever makes him imagine them. It’s as bad as Duggan’s woodland.

“Mountains of West Wales”! Click to enlarge

In addition to Robins Retreat Ltd there is also Robins Realm Ltd, but Knipe is not involved in this one. Though I would have expected to see him on board another of Wealleans’ new companies as it could be named for him – My Catastrophe Ltd.

Listen to me, Darren . . . stop fantasising about being Knighton’s (publicly-funded) Jean-Michel Jarre and just get a real bloody job.

CONCLUSION

Was any country that hadn’t been militarily invaded and taken over ever cursed with so many undesirable outsiders?

But they come, and they keep coming, because we have politicians that encourage some of these buggers and do nothing to stop the others. Worse, they even fund them!

♦ end ♦

 




Elections, May 2021

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

The next elections for the Welsh Parliament are just over six months away; so this week I’m taking a break from crooks, money-launderers, con men, enviroshysters, third sector leeches to focus on politicians.

Reading that, the cynics among you will say, “So no great change there, then, Jac!”.

How dare you be so disrespectful of our tribunes! Go stand in the corner!

THE 2016 RESULT

Let’s start by reminding ourselves of the overall result from the previous election in 2016.

‘Abolish the Welsh’ refers to the Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party, a harmless bunch of anti-Welsh cranks not a gang of loonies bent on genocide. Well not yet, anyway. Click to enlarge

The first thing you might notice is that despite these elections being organised under a system of proportional representation the result, certainly for Labour, the biggest party, gives an outcome not a lot different to first past the post.

You’ll also see that the main challengers get seats roughly in line with their share of the vote, with the smaller parties generally losing out. It’s a system designed to protect the Labour-dominated status quo in Wales, while also stifling ‘insurgent’ parties.

This system has worked to perfection in Wales because the Conservatives are unlikely to ever gain a majority of seats. And when Labour fails to get a majority then Plaid Cymru or the Liberal Democrats will always be there to help.

After the 2016 election Labour went into coalition with the sole Liberal Democrat AM. Which meant that parties with a total of 38% of the vote were able to form an administration.

Is this really how PR is supposed to work?

THE LABOUR PARTY

At the risk of sounding uncharitable, the great thing the Labour Party has had going for it is . . . not being the Conservative Party. The advertising campaigns, the policy drafting, the tub-thumping and the sloganising could all have been ignored in favour of the simple message – ‘Vote for us, cos we’re not the Tories’.

And it’s worked, for almost a century.

In England, the decline of traditional industries, and their associated trade unions, have weakened the Labour Party. Labour in Scotland suffered the same problem, exacerbated by the rise of the Scottish National Party to the point where Labour is hanging on for dear life, with just one Westminster MP left.

In Wales, Labour has fared better because we’ve been spared the corrupting influence of prosperity, and also because there is no equivalent of the SNP. Of course, Plaid Cymru likes to view itself as the Welsh SNP but the SNP set out to destroy the Labour Party in Scotland whereas Plaid Cymru seeks to keep its Welsh branch alive and in power.

How Labour will do next May depends to a considerable extent on perceptions of the Conservative government in London. For while Scotland has a vigorous national media allowing elections to be influenced by Scottish issues, the absence of a Welsh media worthy of the name means that here we tend see Englandandwales elections.

The exception being perhaps areas with high numbers of Welsh speakers who are less reliant on news from London.

On issues of the day, there is a general and widespread belief that the self-styled ‘Welsh Government’ has handled the Covid-19 pandemic better than Johnson, Hancock, Jenrick and the rest of the gang up in London.

But then, being seen as less incompetent than that crew is no great achievement.

When we address purely Welsh issues, it’s difficult to think of anything Labour has to crow about. For Wales continues to fall behind other countries in areas like wealth, health, housing and education.

Cardiff seems to be prospering but away from the Lesser Wen the country can be divided into post-industrial areas experiencing managed decline and rural areas undergoing engineered population change from Welsh to English.

Labour leader, Mark Drakeford, is less oleaginous than his predecessor, Carwyn Jones, but still a difficult man to like. Despite the Brownie points gained for Covid-19 there remain plenty of bear traps for him to negotiate between here and next May.

By any criteria one cares to apply, Labour has been a failure since 2016. Labour has failed Wales since the dawn of devolution in 1999. But for the reasons I’ve given, Labour will still emerge as the largest single party, with around 30% of the vote.

But well short of a majority of seats.

If nothing else, such a result should increase calls for more Senedd Members and a system of true proportional representation.

THE CONSERVATIVE AND UNIONIST PARTY (CUP)

The last few years have been a series of peaks and troughs for the CUP, with Brexit almost tearing the party apart under Theresa May. Things took a turn for the better when Boris Johnson became party leader and won a famous victory in December . . . since when it’s been downhill again.

In last December’s election the Tories won a number of seats in the north, most notably, Wrexham, held by Labour since 1931. But the overall vote in Wales only increased by 2.5%. The real story was that Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party saw its Welsh vote go down by 8%.

Things have not gone well for the CUP since that December election for all sorts of reasons. Such as a number of the new intake being pretty odious specimens.

The new MP for Ynys Môn, Virginia Crosby, has appeared on this blog a number of times, usually defending her colleague and MP for Rossendale and Darwen, Jake Berry. Berry owns properties around Rhoscolyn and earlier this year people were asking if he was breaking lockdown restrictions to travel between his Welsh properties, his London home, and his constituency.

Then Delyn MP Rob Roberts got into trouble for asking young staffers to “fool around with him”. While Wrexham new girl, Sarah Atherton, wondered why the military weren’t dealing with the refugee/migrant boats crossing from France.

While old favourites like Alun Cairns, the MP for the Vale of Glamorgan, continue to amaze with their talent for finding little sidelines to supplement their meagre incomes.

The situation does not look like improving for the Tories, for two main reasons.

Let’s look first at Covid-19. As I said in the previous section, the Conservative government in London has had a disastrous pandemic: incompetence, lies, contracts to cronies, it’s all there, and this will be remembered next May.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the Tories seem determined to alienate even more people by insisting that the ‘Welsh Government’ is being anti-English when – for perhaps the first time ever – it prioritises the interests of Wales.

That’s certainly what was said by Secretary of State for Wales, Simon Hart, and Alun Cairns. Which makes them either complete bell-ends or calculating politicians.

I believe it’s the latter, because in spouting this nonsense, the Tories are playing to a particular gallery. I’m thinking now of the anti-Welsh, gammony element that might otherwise be seduced by the growing number of splinter group parties on the BritNat fringe. (I’ll come to them later.)

The other problem of their own making is, again, Brexit. Of course Wales voted for Brexit, but I’m sure very few of us voted for privatising the NHS, chlorinated chicken, and undermining the Welsh farming industry. I certainly didn’t.

But it’s now become clear that a No Deal Brexit was always the favoured option for the CUP leadership in London. Which will mean the City of London remains at the centre of the biggest money-laundering network in the world; the NHS is opened up to US Big Pharma; and we have to get used to food products from the USA, where standards in both hygiene and animal welfare are more ‘relaxed’.

All the Welsh CUP MPs voted for this deal. Which is not clever for people representing constituencies with large numbers of farmers . . . and their extended families . . . and contractors to the industry, and so many others who rely to a greater or lesser degree on agriculture for their livelihoods.

There will be a price to pay next May for the coronavirus cock-ups and the shafting of our farmers. And while the Tories in Corruption Bay weren’t responsible, it’ll be some of them who’ll pay the price.

Other factors working against the Conservatives will be the Englandandwales media/election paradigm and the Vera Lynn Fan Clubs competing for regional votes.

For all these reasons I expect the CUP representation in the Welsh Parliament to fall.

PLAID CYMRU THE PARTY OF WALES

Although Plaid Cymru won 12 seats in 2016 the party is now down to 10. Lord Elis Thomas, the constituency member for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, left to become a Labour-supporting Independent; and Neil McEvoy, the regional AM for South Wales Central, left to sit as an Independent before forming the Welsh National Party (WNP).

A further change since 2016 is that Plaid Cymru also has a new leader in Adam Price. Perhaps the best thing that can be said about him is that he’s not former leader, Leanne Wood.

For most Welsh voters Plaid Cymru is the party of Welsh independence, but as I’ve argued, Plaid Cymru is a party that sought more autonomy for Wales, more funding for Wales, and the creation of a new class of politicians and administrators made up of . . . well, the kind of people who populate the upper echelons of Plaid Cymru.

This was to be a system that created a new class that Djilas would have recognised enjoying prestige and influence without the responsibility of having to fund it. Devolution, with a bit more power, many more sinecures, and lots more money, is the end of the line.

Plaid Cymru was always Cymru Fydd resurrected, not a Welsh Sinn Féin. Until, that is, it moved to the left in the 1980s and really screwed itself up. Enjoying only a brief period of coherence under the leadership of Dafydd Wigley and the first Assembly elections in 1999.

Today we again see a schizophrenic party where Welsh-speaking social conservatives from the rural heartlands mix uncomfortably with some real oddballs and a few with views that should have denied them membership.

Plaid Cymru is today one of those confused leftist parties that is vehemently opposed to intolerance . . . except when it’s those it approves of being intolerant.

As a leftist party Plaid Cymru believes that, thanks to the capitalist system, we’re either going to fry due to global warming, or else we’re going to drown from rising sea levels, so Wales must play its part in trying to avert these outcomes.

In practice, that means supporting wind turbines that create no jobs and simply exploit Wales. Where profits flow to a City hedge fund, or a multinational, or a state-owned energy company from Scandinavia.

Except on issues that are largely irrelevant to Wales – where Plaid Cymru can play gesture politics – the party comes across as weak and indecisive. Take holiday homes. Plaid talks the talk but it won’t walk the walk.

At present Welsh local authorities can impose a council tax surcharge on holiday homes up to 100%. The only council that levies the 100% is Labour-controlled Swansea. (And despite what you might think, there are many holiday homes on the waterfront, in Mumbles, and of course around Gower.)

Independent-run Powys recently voted to impose a surcharge of 75%.

But Gwynedd, where Plaid Cymru is in control, imposes only a 50% surcharge. It’s a similar picture in Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire.

On independence, Plaid Cymru has been outflanked and overtaken by Yes Cymru. While on the party political front there are two new challengers in the form of Gwlad and the Welsh National Party (WNP). Both are unequivocal about prioritising Welsh interests, and are fully committed to achieving independence.

So you really have to wonder what Plaid Cymru stands for nowadays, and where it’s going. That’s certainly what Welsh voters will be doing in May. Many will conclude that Plaid Cymru has hit the buffers.

Which certainly seems to be the case.

For while opinion polls tell us that more and more people are prepared to consider independence, those same polls show little or no increase in support for Plaid Cymru. Recent polls show 51% of Labour voters prepared to consider independence, but only 71% of Plaid Cymru voters!

What’s going wrong for Plaid Cymru?

In a nutshell, Plaid Cymru believes that the only acceptable vision of independence must be well to the left of centre, pro EU, in favour of open borders, anti Trump, and dragging a whole baggage train of ishoo-of-the-month idiocies that turn off most voters.

Dogmatic to the point of being unelectable.

Plaid Cymru always failed to engage with the urban, anglophone population. After the disappointment of Brexit, the success of the Brexit Party (winning the May 2019 EU elections in Wales and the UK), and BoJo’s victory last December, many in Plaid Cymru – like the US Democrats – have given up trying to win over stupid, racist, poor whites.

They find it preferable to retreat into their cocoons of progressive self-righteousness in the echo chamber of social media.

Which is why I believe Plaid Cymru will lose Ceredigion and also end up with fewer Members from the regional lists.

LIBERAL DEMOCRATS

There’s a temptation to be very unkind in this section . . . but it’s not in my nature to put the boot in when somebody’s down. And boy! are the Liberal Democrats down.

Down to a single Member, Kirsty Williams, the constituency MS for Brecon and Radnorshire. After the debacle of 2016 Ms Williams threw in her lot with Labour and became Minister for Education. You probably haven’t noticed.

It’s an amazing decline for the party of David Lloyd George, but entirely predictable when we consider the quality of leaders and representatives in recent years at both Welsh and UK level. I’m not sure if Ms Williams holds group meetings with herself but I’m sure she will have thought the same thing many a time.

And yet, despite currently being down to a solitary representative, the Liberal Democrats could be the big winners in May next year.

As I’ve suggested, the CUP has pissed off a lot of people, and most certainly a lot of farmers. Few will know that better than Kirsty Williams, a farmer’s wife.

Obviously, I’m not privy to what goes on at Welsh Liberal Democrat Party meetings (I can never find the telephone kiosk!) but I’m sure Kirsty Williams has hopes for the seats of Montgomeryshire to the north and Ceredigion to the west. (If the students in Aber’ and Lampeter have forgiven the Lib Dems for reneging on tuition fees.)

So I’m predicting that the Liberal Democrats could double, or even treble, their representation in May 2021. These are the three constituencies mentioned, and there might even be a regional list seat.

VERA LYNN FAN CLUBS

This is where it gets tricky, because the landscape on the BritNat right is forever shifting. Hardly surprising when we look at the personalities involved, and realise how many of them are often described as ‘interesting’, or ‘eccentric’ (code for ‘absolute nutter’).

Back in 2016, the big winner among this section of the electorate was UKIP, with 13% of the vote and seven seats. The Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party did not stand constituency candidates and got just 4.4% of the regional vote (which was still more than the share won by the Green Party of Englandandwales).

Since 2016 UKIP has had eight or nine UK leaders, numerous resignations, and in Corruption Bay is now reduced to the solitary – but dapper – form of Neil Hamilton. In fact, I’m not sure if Neil Hamilton isn’t the current party leader. Or was that last month?

Not so long ago the Abolish lot was the fringe of a fringe, but now it boasts two Members of the Senedd, Gareth Bennett and Mark Reckless. Though you’ve gotta be pretty desperate to boast about those two.

Others who were returned under the banner of British exceptionalism were Nathan Gill, Michelle Brown, David Rowlands and Caroline Jones. Following his resignation in 2018 Gill was replaced by Mandy Jones. Michelle Brown now sits as an Independent.

I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall at those UKIP meetings because by comparison ferrets in a sack are models of harmony and co-existence.

The most recent development is that Rowlands and the Jones women have formed a new group, the Independent Alliance for Reform. And if that name doesn’t stir something deep inside you – other than wind – then you are beyond hope.

It is obviously designed to be interchangeable with or to complement Aux barricades!

And all the while, in the wings, observing, is Nigel Farage. Will his Reform Party put in a late appearance, or will it be the promised relaunch of the Brexit Party? Though with Brexit almost done what would be the platform?

For let us remember that the Assembly elections of May 2016 were held just ahead of the EU referendum and were almost overshadowed by it. This propinquity benefited Ukip.

One thing’s for sure, if all the parties we’ve looked at in this section fight all the seats then we’ll be royally entertained by the stars they’ll recruit from Wetherspoons and other squelchy underfoot salons. A goodly number of whom will have to withdraw before the election after saying or doing something really stupid.

The BritNat right has no hope of a constituency seat, so hopes rest on the regional lists. Which means that a lot will depend on whether they fight each other or come to some arrangement.

I suspect there are still enough “Brexit means Brexit” types out there to win 3 seats.

THE SERIOUS ABOUT WALES PARTIES

Looking around Wales and seeing the mess this country is in is painful enough, but when you realise that none of the existing parties offers any hope of meaningful change, then new parties will be formed.

And that’s exactly what’s happened; and why we have Gwlad and the WNP.

I am a member of Gwlad and played a small part in its creation, but it was easy for me to withdraw to the blogosphere because the party is in such capable hands.

I like to think that Gwlad combines patriotism with pragmatism. For example, in believing that relying on handouts from London, as Labour and Plaid Cymru prefer, only perpetuates the misconception that Wales could never stand on her own two feet economically.

There are radical yet practical proposals across the board. We’ve already touched on Plaid Cymru’s fear of upsetting second home owners – a number in their own ranks – with meaningful levels of council tax; well, Gwlad does not hesitate to demand a 500% council tax surcharge.

It’s all here in the Manifesto for 2021.

Predictably, the criticism levelled against Gwlad by Plaid Cymru is that we shall “split the nationalist vote”. This is nonsense, because Plaid Cymru has already split – or certainly, limited – the nationalist vote by its inflexible and off-putting socialism.

This is borne out in recent elections and in even more so in recent opinion polls.

What Gwlad will do is reach out to those who want, or would be prepared to consider, independence, but could never vote for a hard-line socialist party also lumbered with the tag of still being a party only for Welsh speakers.

Gwlad could come through a crowded field to win a constituency seat and should certainly collect 3 or 4 regional list seats.

Of course, I’ve met Neil McEvoy a few times and we exchange the occasional e-mail, Wales is a small country after all. But I really don’t know much about his new party beyond what I read in the media.

Though I do know a few others involved with the WNP.

Over the years I’ve sunk a few pints with Councillor Keith Parry . . . and I’m still haunted by a car journey one very rainy night as I tried to concentrate on the road ahead while my mate and Keith’s Jewish wife argued over the Israeli-Palestinian conundrum.

I feared it was all going to end in a fight and a fireball car crash. Phew!

Many observers try to say that Neil McEvoy only took the course he did in forming the WNP because he was effectively thrown out of Plaid Cymru. They couldn’t be more wrong.

Neil has been in politics a long time, and he knows what’s wrong with Wales. On one level it’s London’s political, economic and cultural stranglehold, but on the local level it’s the Labour Party and Plaid Cymru.

Labour holds power on local councils and in the Senedd . . . simply to be in power; to stop someone else getting the salaries and the expenses, attending the bun-fights and the jollies. Labour has little intention – and no real incentive – to improve the lives of our people because for a century it has capitalised on Wales’ deprivation.

Plaid Cymru, as I’ve said, is a party of gestures and abstractions. It is the twenty-first century political equivalent of those medieval divines who would argue over how many angels could dance on the head of a pin.

But actually doing anything? Forget it!

But if one of his constituents persuades him they’re getting a raw deal, then Neil McEvoy will take up the case and demand something be done about it. And he sometimes ruffles feathers doing it. But if kids are sharing a bedroom with rats, or there’s water rippling down the kitchen wall . . .

Neil McEvoy is a do-er, a man who believes in the direct approach; and that makes the anguished attitudinisers of Plaid Cymru very nervous. And never more so than when he confronts the Labour Party.

On two major issues, the ‘nuclear mud’ being dumped off Cardiff, and the forged signatures on cladding certificates, Plaid Cymru has behaved abominably. None worse than Llywydd Elin Jones. But she couldn’t have behaved as she did without the backing of Labour and Plaid Cymru.

Sticking it to the man may outrage the sensitive flowers of Plaid Cymru but it goes down well with real people, on the streets of Cardiff, and elsewhere in Wales. People want their problems solved, they do not want to be patronised, or taken for granted, by an aloof and self-serving political class.

The big test will come in the constituency seat of Cardiff West, where McEvoy will be standing against First Minister Drakeford. Plaid Cymru will of course be splitting the nationalist vote in the hope of securing victory for Mark Drakeford.

Neil McEvoy’s street cred and his sheer hard work might win Cardiff West next May, plus a couple of regional list seats.

My very personal belief is that Gwlad and the WNP should not get in each other’s way next May. Neither has the strength yet to fight a full national election so it’s in their interests, and more importantly, it’s in Wales’s interests, for there to be some kind of deal.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I obviously can’t account for all those who might be standing next May, there’s bound to be a wild card or two. But what you’ve just read is how I see it panning out.

Other factors will I’m sure influence voters. Perhaps the UK government’s Internal Markets Bill; supposedly about ‘repatriating’ powers from the EU but which, in reality, gives BoJo’s gang the power to trample all over devolution.

Perhaps it will even be used to challenge the 1707 Act of Union.

More specific to Wales is a growing awareness of and dislike for the chumminess of Cardiff Bay. The air of cronyism and unaccountability exemplified by Labour and Plaid Cymru refusing to bring in a register of lobbyists.

The problem in this area is obvious, but there are always excuses for doing nothing. This is because Labour and Plaid Cymru are too close to those who might be held to account by such legislation.

Another issue that might influence some voters to take a punt on a new party is the widespread perception that Cardiff gets everything. Which doesn’t change when an MS goes to Cardiff promising to speak up for his area . . . only to be sucked into the swamp that is Corruption Bay.

But perhaps we should remember Harold Macmillan’s response when asked what was most likely to influence or derail political plans. Supermac is said to have replied: “Events, dear boy, events.”

In other words, that which cannot be foreseen. Six months is a very long time in politics.

♦ end ♦

 




Tourism in Wales: problems, thoughts, suggestions

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

I’m taking a break from the con men, fraudsters and assorted crooks who figure regularly here. But I’m not moving far, because this week I’m focusing on tourism operators, politicians and others who themselves have but a nodding acquaintance with the truth.

THE STORM BREAKS

One of the benefits of coronavirus and lockdown was the absence of tourists, and the joyous consequences of that absence. Such as much less traffic on our rural roads, fewer call-outs for our emergency services, and in all manner of ways making rural and coastal areas of Wales more pleasant for those who live there all year round.

Making recent months seem even more of a lost golden age has been the irruption of noisy, stupid and irresponsible tourists since lockdown was eased by our self-styled ‘Welsh Government’, bowing to pressure from the Conservative and Unionist Party and tourism operators.

There has inevitably been a reaction from local people to the return of the tourists in what have been, literally, overwhelming numbers. What you see below was the scene two weeks ago near Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon).

Click to enlarge

Much of the anger this has generated is directed at motorists, with many photos in print and online of inconsiderately parked cars. Which allowed some to argue that all would be well if we had bigger car parks to accommodate all the vehicles. Or even park and ride schemes.

Both of which ignore the real problem – many areas get more cars than the local road system can handle, and more people than the environment can cope with. I shall return to the environmental angle later.

Let’s also remember that the problems caused by tourism go way beyond traffic issues.

RESPONSES

Here’s a two-page spread from last Wednesday’s Llais y Sais, in which we read Councillor Gareth Thomas, Cyngor Gwynedd’s Head of Economical Development, opine that, despite the recent problems, tourism, “provides high quality jobs for local people as well as supporting the county’s environment, language, culture and destinations”.

“Destinations”?

Click to enlarge

I don’t know Gareth Thomas, he might be a great bloke, but anyone saying that tourism provides high quality jobs, and that it also supports the area’s environment, language and culture is talking absolute nonsense.

Yesterday’s Daily Post carried what might have been an attempt to retrieve the situation. (With first minister Drakeford not ruling out a tourism tax . . . sort of.) But did council leader Dyfrig Siencyn really say, as he is quoted: ” . . . our rural economy is totally dependent on the tourism industry”?

A fuller version of this article may have appeared in Llais y Sais, Read it here.

Perhaps hoping to establish its own credentials vis-à-vis tourism opposition group Llais Gwynedd also weighed in. For those unfamiliar with Llais Gwynedd (which has 6 councillors), it sees itself as perhaps more radical than Plaid Cymru, more rooted in the local communities of Gwynedd.

Its spokesman, Glyn Daniels, wants to charge hikers on Yr Wyddfa £1 per head. I don’t know Glyn Daniels either, but he’s also talking rubbish. At £1 per head the money raised wouldn’t be enough to cover the costs of collecting and processing it.

What’s more, it would not serve as a deterrent. And we need some kind of deterrent to reduce the numbers coming to areas like our national parks and other ‘honey pots’. To cover the costs mentioned, and put a decent amount into the communities affected, the charge would need to be a minimum of £10 a head.

In a Daily Post poll, more than 70% of respondents agreed there should be a charge.

Opposing Councillor Daniels’ suggestion to charge hikers was Brân Devey, of Ramblers Cymru, with a remark I found rather puzzling: “Local people will not go up Snowdon really in the summer, it is too busy”.

Is he saying we shouldn’t charge the people overcrowding Yr Wyddfa in summer because they’re not locals?

‘Ramblers Cymru’ is worth a little detour.

‘RAMBLERS CYMRU’?

You will remember that ‘Dr’ Jane Davidson, Minister for Hippies in the Labour-Plaid Cymru coalition 2007 – 2011, and midwife of One Planet Developments, was also Welsh vice-president of The Ramblers before stepping down in 2007, and then, as grough tells us, she rejoined as president when she departed Corruption Bay in 2011.

But of course she shunned The Ramblers, and the ramblers, while she was a minister.

Click to enlarge

For some reason this second stint with The Ramblers is not mentioned in Davidson’s Wikipedia entry. (By the time you read it the page might have been re-written, again.)

Though it’s difficult to make out if there really is a group called Ramblers Cymru or, as the grough article I just linked to puts it, Davidson became “president of the Ramblers in Wales”.

The website, https://www.ramblers.org.uk/wales, suggests another Englandandwales organisation, for when you click ‘Home’ on the Wales page you go back to the UK site.

Which is appropriate, for most of those working for Ramblers Cymru have moved here to do jobs that are clearly beyond the abilities of Welsh people. Mainly women of the type who have flooded into Wales since devolution to run the hundreds of third sector bodies that the ‘progressive’ parties feel we can’t do without.

One, Maria Hamlett, says: “My background includes working in numerous third sector organisations in key governance roles”. While Amanda Hill has: “15 years experience working for Worcestershire County Council”. Rebecca Brough: “I have a background in policy influencing work in the governmental, charity and statutory sectors”.

Important points there. For the staff at Ramblers Cymru don’t restrict themselves to scolding a wicked farmer for leaving Berwyn the bull on the footpath, they also seek to influence policy-makers. Just as Jane Davidson did, before, during, and after her stint as a minister.

The people I’m describing do not represent – nor do they seek to represent – our interests. If Welsh interests are served then it’s entirely accidental or tangential. ‘Ramblers Cymru’ and similar organisations seek to curate (love that word!) our homeland for the benefit of others like themselves.

We have far too many colonialist organisations like ‘Ramblers Cymru’.

Because it is what it is no one should be surprised to learn that – just like ‘rewilders’ – The Ramblers demand that the ‘Welsh Government’ forces farmers to do their bidding or have their funding withheld.

Dontcha just love the term, ‘our land’. Another example of, ‘What’s yours is ours’.

Click to enlarge

The Ramblers merit this digression because they see Wales as an area for recreation. For them Wales is not a different country; where people witness their language and identity, the country itself, being destroyed by saturation tourism.

What should also make you angry is that these memsahibs, based on Cathedral Road (ideal for rambling), and others just like them, have more influence in Corruption Bay than we poor natives will ever have.

WHAT THE POLITICIANS SAY

That ‘our’ politicians go along with ‘Playground Wales’ is easily explained.

The Labour Party, which has managed Wales since 1999, is an urban party with little concern for rural areas. Labour has no coherent economic plan for the countryside so pretending there is a ‘strategy for tourism’ is a useful way of disguising this inadequacy.

The truth is that tourism is unregulated; it just ‘happens’, and things would carry on in much the same way if the ‘Welsh Government’ fell into a wormhole and reappeared in some distant galaxy. (Stop dreaming!) Making bodies like Visit Wales little more than bystanders, pretending they do something more than organise beanos where they hand out awards and grants.

Click to read article and play video

One of the few things to be said in its favour is that tourism reveals the inconsistency, if not the hypocrisy, of the Labour Party.

Wales must be covered in wind turbines to save the planet, says Labour. For the same reason, OPDs must be allowed to impose their carbon footprint on previously unused land. Yet when our environment is trashed by tourist hordes on a regular basis Labour politicians are blind to the environmental damage!

Another example of Labour’s hypocrisy might be promoting renewable energy, saving the planet, and worrying about the underprivileged . . . while giving millions of pounds to Aston Martin to build £200,000 cars doing 12 miles to the gallon.

The ‘Welsh Government’s declaration of a climate emergency is just bullshit to explain away Wales being lumbered with the wind turbines English communities refuse to accept, and having to accommodate Jane Davidson’s friends.

The Conservative and Unionist Party (plus the fringe BritNats) will support tourism because they will never object to anything that both anglicises Wales and keeps money flowing back to England from staycations in Wales.

Blind, unthinking loyalty to tourism probably explains the comment, quoted in the North Wales Pioneer, from Darren Millar, the MS for Clwyd West, addressing Glyn Daniels’ pound a head suggestion. In Millar’s view, “This is a bad idea. Every pound charged will be a pound less for people to spend in the local economy”.

If Darren Millar had thought before speaking he’d have realised that every pound charged would be guaranteed to stay in the locality, unlike money taken in other ways.

What’s more, those who drive to Yr Wyddfa – to park here, there and everywhere – are often day-trippers, from Greater Manchester, Merseyside and towns nearby. Some will arrive having filled the fuel tank before leaving England, bring a packed lunch, and go home without spending a penny!

For the environmental damage alone, these buggers should be charged £20 a head.

While Plaid Cymru . . . well, what can I say? Plaid Cymru nowadays doesn’t give much thought to Wales. They’re too busy facing up to the fascist hordes they see advancing, outing terfs on social media, and planning more dirty tricks against Neil McEvoy.

Though maybe it’s best they stay schtum, because when they do address the subject – as we’ve seen with Gareth Thomas – they only confirm that they’ve lost the plot.

Whenever a political party, or a politician, says, ‘Wales needs tourism’ they are either lying or exposing their ignorance. The truth is only arrived at by reversing the phrase to read, ‘Tourism needs Wales’.

To conclude this section on a more optimistic note, Wales has two new political parties – Gwlad and the WNP – who I’m sure will take a more analytical, and patriotic, approach to tourism.

I expect both to demand a form of tourism that works for Wales, and the Welsh. Rather than what we suffer at present – an alien enterprise with Welsh people nothing but helpless bystanders as their country is trashed.

MAKING TOURISM WORK FOR US

Let me set out my stall . . .

  • I want to see an industry offering visitors from all over the world quality tourism.
  • An industry that provides business opportunities and well-paid, permanent  jobs for Welsh people.
  • An industry that benefits Wales and her people without the cultural, social and environmental damage currently being inflicted by tourism.

Here are just a few suggestions for achieving these objectives:

1/ Tourism tax: A minimum charge of £2 per head per overnight stay, including those in self-catering accommodation. This to be collected by the owner of the property or site and paid to the local authority.

This money will used in the areas from which it is collected or on capital projects of more widespread benefit. Why not consult local people on how they’d like to see it spent?

Tourism tax is raised everywhere and it benefits local communities. I recall Silvio Berlusconi having to pay a local tourism tax in Sardinia when he docked his luxury yacht, the Bunga Bunga.

2/ Caravan sites: These is no place for these blots on the landscape in a country promoting quality tourism in a respected environment. They offer holidays on the cheap and the money they put into the local economy is overstated. Very few jobs are created and the major beneficiary is the site owner, often a foreign company.

Caravan sites should be phased out over a period of ten years with no replacement ‘vans, cabins or lodges permitted. Thousands of acres could be returned to agriculture or Nature by getting rid of them.

Farmers and others should be allowed small sites of perhaps no more than 50 units.

To maximise tourism income, business opportunities and jobs we should strive to have as many people as possible staying in serviced accommodation.

3/ Raising standards: In New Zealand – a country with which we often like to compare Wales – they have a School of Tourism, operating on eight campuses throughout the country, internationally respected and offering a wide range of courses.

In Wales, all we do is teach Siôn and Sioned elementary catering skills at the local sixth form college so they can work for Kevin from Stockport who owns the local hotel . . . since he bought it off Keith and Sharon from Coventry. Kevin, of course, will have had no training.

Or it might be Paul and Rowena Williams at Plas Glynllifon and Seiont Manor. Or their business partner, Myles Cunliffe. (‘Weep for Wales’ passim.) Or perhaps Siôn and Sioned can get a job at one of the hotels owned by Gavin Lee Woodhouse.

Or perhaps not, seeing as all the businesses owned by these crooks are closed and/or in the hands of receivers.

Which is why other countries insist on a proven level of proficiency, and background checks, before anyone is allowed to run a hotel. But here, money is all that matters. As long as you’ve got the dosh you can buy a five star hotel, and run it badly, thereby damaging the reputation of the locality, and Wales.

You can even buy a zoo without knowing anything about the care of animals!

4/ Permits: New Zealand provides another example worth following. (And NZ isn’t alone in this.) I’m referring now to limiting numbers visiting environmentally sensitive areas and issuing those visiting with permits.

If you live outside Wales and you want to go hiking in one of our national parks then you should pay £20 a year. For the three national parks you pay £50 a year. If the National Trust can charge us to visit sites in our own country, why can’t we do something similar and use the money for our benefit?

Again, the money raised would be used within the local area.

Click to read article

5/ Airports: You don’t need to go as far as New Zealand to realise the value of a good airport. Scotland is a much nearer example. Overseas tourists, high-spending overseas tourists, fly directly to Glasgow and Edinburgh. They do so all year round.

All we have is Cardiff airport, kept afloat by public money and still losing out to Bristol. We obviously need a new, more accessible airport in the south. We also need one in the north. Why not revamp Llanbedr airfield? It would be better to have overseas tourists flying in than to have the place used – as at present – for testing inaccurate drones that will wipe out wedding parties in Afghanistan.

Well-heeled foreign tourists flying in also offer opportunities for taxi and car hire firms.

6/ Public Transport: Overseas and other tourists not wanting to drive will need public transport. An integrated public transport system is therefore essential. This would have to include a north-south rail link.

The ‘Welsh Government’ has prevaricated for years over re-opening the Carmarthen to Aberystwyth line. That’s because doing so would offer no obvious benefits to Cardiff or to England.

Yet you’d think that an administration dedicated to saving the planet would prioritise public transport. But no, and this lack of commitment to public transport – apart from the Cardiff Metro (to benefit the Cardiff economy not the environment) – is yet another example of Labour’s hypocrisy.

7/ Funding: A major obstacle to Welsh people getting involved in tourism – other than as cooks and cleaners – is a lack of finance.

The ‘Welsh Government’ could divert a portion of the funding it squanders on third sector memsahibs into a pot accessible to young Welsh people who’ve been through school, got a few years practical experience under their belts, and now need funding to branch out on their own.

I appreciate that this is not how tourism is supposed to operate in a colonial context, but what the hell – let’s give it a try!

8/ Touring caravans and Camper-vans: I’m throwing this one in more as a traffic safety measure and a means of lowering blood pressure, but it’s definitely related to tourism.

No towed caravans or camper-vans should be allowed on any public highway between the hours of 6am and 10pm.

CONCLUSION

Tourism in Wales can be summed up as hundreds of thousands of people driving east to west along overcrowded roads, congregating in unsustainable numbers at certain points, staying in the cheapest possible accommodation (if they stay at all), and spending as little money as possible before driving home. Each wave succeeded by the next, and each wave contributing to erosion.

So, what do you think – should we continue to accept ‘Tourism at any cost’?

I say no. I say we reject the idea that Wales exists to provide cheap holidays for our neighbours. Wales should not provide anything to anyone on the cheap.

But the political will must be there to make the necessary changes.

If the political will is absent then we as a nation have every right to defend ourselves from this exploitation of our homeland, this assault on our very identity.

♦ end ♦

 




Jake Berry MP, Part 4

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

Here we are again! For more news has come in about Jake Berry, the MP for Rossendale and Darwen who is also a property owner on Ynys Môn.

Though there have been moves behind the scenes to stop the word getting out. Facebook refuses to carry any mention of Jake Berry, or even a link to the blog when that link makes no mention of him! Now I can no longer access my Facebook page.

Telling me that this platform for despots, pornographers and election fiddlers may be closer to the Conservative and Unionist Party than I’d suspected. Thankfully I only ever used Facebook for carrying links to this blog.

Click to enlarge

So let’s hope President Trump carries through his threat to rein in these social media platforms.

Even if you’re new to the saga you will have guessed that with this being part 4 there have been three previous instalments. If you haven’t read them then you might want to catch up. They were Jake Berry MP: ‘They seek him here, they seek him there’; Followed by Jake Berry MP, Part 2 and Jake Berry MP, Part 3.

AN INTRODUCTORY DIGRESSION

In order to explain what’s new I need to tell you about legislation introduced by those wonderful and talented people down Corruption Bay who go by the name of the ‘Welsh Government’.

I’m referring to the Housing (Wales) Act 2014. Like so much ‘Welsh’ legislation this was, essentially, updating earlier legislation with the addition of a few expensive and virtue signalling tweaks for the benefit of sectors in Wales close to the Labour Party.

The perks included increased influence for housing associations, which saw their Englandandwales role enhanced, allowing them to import more tenants from over the border.

The influence of housing associations also became clear with The Regulation of Private Rented Housing (Designation of Licensing Authority) (Wales) Order 2015.

This gave us Rent Smart Wales (RSW), a registration body for private landlords which began operating in November 2016. Responsibility for running RSW was given to Cardiff City Council. (Yet another example of Welsh jobs being unnecessarily concentrated in Cardiff.)

On the one hand, who could argue with asking private landlords to register and meet certain standards?

Yet those of a less trusting bent saw Rent Smart Wales as the ‘Welsh Government’ being pressed by housing associations into making life difficult for their biggest rivals. If it benefited tenants, then fine, but that wasn’t really important.

Housing in Wales is a contentious issue, perhaps more so than elsewhere, and this is only partly due to the proliferation of holiday homes and the extension of English commuter belts along the A55 and the M4.

To compound their errors the ‘progressive’ parties then voted to abolish Right to Buy. For being socialists they’re opposed to lesser mortals enjoying the benefits of private property; they want control over the people, they want a population beholden to the state. To them.

Labour and Plaid Cymru justified abolishing Right to Buy by arguing there was a shortfall in social housing. Yet strict local allocations would have dealt with any shortfall without having to deny many Welsh people their only chance of ever owning a home.

The three candidates in Plaid Cymru’s 2018 leadership contest owned, between them (with spouses/partners) nine or ten houses. It may be more by now.

But however we got here, we now have Rent Smart Wales.

But when attempts were made to introduce similar legislation in England in 2016, Jake Berry, the Conservative MP for Rossendale and Darwen voted against. As did every other landlord Conservative MP.

Jake Berry’s position was perhaps understandable given that he owned rented property in Liverpool. You can see that in the Register of Members’ Interests declaration from October 2016 that he also declared a house and a share of a house in Rhoscolyn ‘North Wales’.

Jake Berry’s House of Commons Declaration October 2016. Click to enlarge

By the time of the most recent declaration, earlier this month, the Liverpool properties had disappeared and more properties had appeared on Ynys Môn.

The house with associated farmland is Rhyd-y-Bont, bought late last year for £780,000.

Click to enlarge

One of the rental properties is Plas Coch, which seems to have been owned by the Berry family for some time. Last week I had a message from the former tenant of Plas Goch. He gave me his phone number and I rang him earlier this week.

He told me he had been the tenant of Plas Coch since 2012 but then, last summer, Jake Berry and his father turned up and gave him two weeks notice to get out. (I’m told Jake never came alone.)

When the tenant asked if the landlord or the property was registered with Rent Smart Wales Jake backed off and graciously allowed him a little longer before he had to sling his hook.

Clearly Jake Berry knew about Rent Smart Wales, and equally clearly, he wasn’t registered. To clarify the position I visited the RSW website. Searching for ‘Jake Berry’ turned up nothing. So I looked for and found an entry for Plas Coch. Which told me that our boy was calling himself ‘James Berry’.

Click to enlarge

What seems to have happened is that after being challenged by the then tenant of Plas Coch Jake Berry went to the Rent Smart Wales website and made some kind of initial registration, but this was not followed through, indicated by ‘Licence Not Yet Submitted’.

There are a number of benefits for a landlord not registering with Rent Smart Wales. As a landlord who contacted me explained:

I find that people who ‘accidentally’ don’t register usually haven’t bothered with gas safety certification, deposit protection etc. Which begs the question, did your contact have his deposit protected? Was it returned? If he googles ‘is my deposit protected’ he can find out. He can claim back up to three times the deposit he paid if it wasn’t.

Rent Smart keep telling me they are actively issuing fines for those who don’t comply as we’re coming up to the fifth year of this being in place.

There’s something going on up in Anglesey, when I look on Zoopla at properties to rent there’s hardly any with Energy Performance Certificates which is another legal requirement.

If you want me to look into anything, I can do my best.”

Naturally, I took him up on his offer. For the idea that something odd is happening on the island raises all sorts of intriguing possibilities. Is Rent Smart Wales up to the job? Is a blind eye being turned on Ynys Môn to these irregularities?

The contact mentioned Energy Performance Certificates (EPC), and these can be found by following a link on the RSW website for each property. The EPC is very important because, from April this year, it has been illegal to “create new tenancies in England and Wales without an EPC rating of E or above.

The EPC for Plas Goch, according to the certificate issued 21 March 2013, was 50, putting it in the E (39 – 54) band. But that was 2013, God knows what the rating is now. The fact that no test has been done for 7 years might suggest that Jake Berry is not confident of passing.

As we’ve seen, the declaration in the Register of Members’ Interests lists a number of properties, but the problem lies in the wording: ‘Land and property portfolio: (i) value over £100,000 and/or (ii) giving rental income of over £10,000 a year’, which makes it difficult to know if what is being declared is ownership or rental income.

CORRECTION: It has been drawn to my attention that more careful reading of Berry’s Commons declaration tells us that (i) and (ii) can be differentiated. Which means that the final part, which must refer to Rhyd-y-Bont, says that the house (i) was bought at the end of September and the land (ii) rented out from December.

Enquiries are further hindered by two of the properties being shared, which opens the possibility of them being registered under another’s name. So I checked the RSW records again, where all properties under each specific post code are listed, for Cerrig and Mountain View. The former was listed but unregistered, while the latter wasn’t even listed. Is it known by another name?

So I tried looking under Jake’s Berry’s father, David, and I found an entry that fits the bill. A David Berry successfully registered with Rent Smart Wales last July, the same month ‘James’ Berry made contact. David Berry operates through agents Peter Large and Company Ltd on the north coast.

But irrespective of these considerations we can be sure that Jake Berry MP was illegally letting Plas Coch from 23 November, 2016, when the Rent Smart Wales legislation came into effect, until the middle of last year. And he knew it. 

What action does Rent Smart Wales, or indeed the ‘Welsh Government’, plan on taking?

WALES, THE RENTIER PARADISE

The former tenant of Plas Coch also told me that from conversations with a neighbour familiar with the Berry family’s holdings that the clan may have as many as 16 properties on Ynys Môn.

In addition to the ones we know, a few more possibles have been identified by various sources, including one where the local MP, Virginia Crosbie, is said to stay during her visits to the constituency. It’s difficult to check because the Land Registry documents show this property as still belonging to a man who died over three years ago.

But death didn’t stop him putting in a planning application last year. Praise the Lord!

As a result of the ‘Welsh Government’s war on farmers, its environmental virtue signalling that benefits none but malodorous dropouts on their OPD communes and eco-shysters covering our hills with flood-causing and bird-killing wind turbines, coupled with its refusal to build a rural economy beyond tourism and granny dumping, the greater part of our country is now given over to interlopers cleansing northern villages of their indigenous inhabitants so that the Cheshire Set can demand £3,000,000 for properties in ‘Abbasock’.

Is this the Wales you want; where your children or grandchildren have to leave because there are no homes and jobs for them, or else remain as a members of a helot population subservient to a new master race?

Click to enlarge

In more than twenty years the ‘progressive’ parties in Corruption Bay have done nothing for the Welsh people. In fact they have consistently legislated against the Welsh national interest.

The Berry family and the other rentier networks are the result of  ‘progressive’ party policies being enacted in Corruption Bay. Socialist policies that have achieved the same result we would have seen if Unionist-conservative parties had been running things since 1999 – the steady but relentless anglicisation of Wales.

Ideological considerations are largely irrelevant in a colonial context because it’s the colony against its masters. Those within the colony who promote their own interests by trying to disguise or ameliorate colonial rule are little different and certainly no better than those whose interests they serve.

The only way to put an end to this cycle of decline is to abandon the self-serving middle men and women to vote for one of the new parties that puts Welsh interests first, above the deceits and delusions of ideology.

So join Gwlad or the Welsh National Party, and get active ahead of next year’s Welsh Parliament elections. Because we can’t afford to keep voting for the same old liars.

♦ end ♦