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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?”‘
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