Corruption Is Such An Ugly Word . . . But I Can’t Think Of Anything Else To Call It!

My intention was to start winding down this blog, spend more time with my wife, grand-children, books, Malbec . . . but things keep cropping up. That said, it’s very unlikely I shall undertake major new investigations. Diolch yn fawr.

In recent months I have written about wind farms threatening the Welsh countryside. In particular, the 16 ‘energy parks’ planned by Bute Energy and its subsidiaries. You can get the details from reading the following piece from October, England’s wind turbines – in Wales!

I’m returning to the subject now because the links between Bute Energy and the local branch of the UK Labour Party have become so close as to warrant calls for resignation and investigation.

The general locations of the 20 ‘energy parks’ planned by Bute Energy. Click to open image enlarged in separate tab

We shall look at four individuals. Two of them Labour insiders. One the partner of a Labour MS. The fourth, the MS herself.

UPDATE 07.12.2021: There have been yet more companies formed under the Bute umbrella. (It’s getting difficult to keep up!) They are:

Windward Cambria Ltd. Bryn Glas Energy Park Ltd. Maesnant Energy Park Ltd. Bryngwyn Energy Park Ltd, Blaencothi Energy Park Ltd. Grayling Capital Investments Ltd. Grayling Capital Operations Ltd.

Telling us there are four more wind farms planned. Bryngwyn has yet to be located. Blaencothi is east of Lampeter. Maesnant is close to Nant y Moch reservoir, inland of Aberystwyth. Then there’s Bryn Glas – do these buggers really intend to desecrate the site of Glyndŵr’s victory over Mortimer in 1402?

DAVID JAMES TAYLOR has served as spad to a number of high-profile Welsh Labour politicians. He was also the unsuccessful Labour Police and Crime Commissioner candidate for North Wales in 2016.

Taylor now does the groundwork in Wales for Bute Energy Ltd. For example, getting people who’ll be affected by Bute’s developments to sign agreements to the benefit of Bute Energy.

David Taylor out canvassing in 2016 for his friend Lesley Griffiths, the MS for Wrexham, who has done so much to smooth the path for wind farms. Click to open image enlarged in separate tab

For his efforts he’s been made a Member of Grayling Capital LLP, along with Oliver James Millican, Stuart Allan George, and Lawson Douglas Steele, the troika running Bute Energy.

He has also been given shares in Windward Enterprises Ltd, another Millican, George, Steele production.

And in a further show of gratitude the Bute boys shovel money into David Taylor’s Moblake Ltd; from whence he has ‘loaned’ himself £605,872 over the past three years.

For the accounts tell us this is an ‘interest free loan and does not have a set repayment date’. Well of course not – he’d just be repaying himself!

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David James Taylor, with no knowledge of renewables, wind power, or the generation of electricity, has been hired by Bute Energy for his contacts within the so-called ‘Welsh Government’.

DEREK VAUGHAN CBE was a Labour MEP who of course became redundant in 2019 – and available for hire. His encyclopaedic knowledge of the renewables industry has secured for him the post of chairman of Bute Energy’s Welsh Advisory Board.

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As with Taylor, there could be some other reason for him being given this sinecure. A reason not unrelated to his familiarity with the levers of power in the Labour Party, and his connections within the ‘Welsh Government’.

But what kind of cynical bastard would entertain such a thought?

Er, me.

JOHN UDEN is the partner of Jenny Rathbone MS.

Let’s start with Nant yr Odyn Ltd, formed in October 2009 and dissolved in May 2011. (The significance of May 2011 will soon become clear.) The company name refers to the stream that meets the Alwen at Llanfihangel Glyn Myfyr.

Alongside the stream we find the property known as Maes yr Odyn. Both Rathbone and Uden were on the Electoral Register there in 2002. Which makes sense because that was the year Rathbone lost her seat on Islington council.

The Jenny Rathbone entries on 192.com, suggesting that she and Uden were living at Maes yr Odyn in 2002. (Though why is she later described as a ‘director’?) Click to open image enlarged in separate tab

Though the Senedd website tells us, ‘From 2002 to 2007, Jenny was programme manager of an award-winning Sure Start programme in north London’.

So the property in Llanfihangel Glyn Myfyr was presumably being used as a holiday home, or a weekend retreat?

There are two titles at the Land Registry relating to Maes yr Odyn. One for the property itself, where Jenny Rathbone is joint owner with Andrew Lyle Rathbone; the other for ‘land and outbuildings’, where she is the sole owner. The address Rathbone gives on the second of those title documents is ‘Hen Maes yr Odyn’. The house next door.

It looks as if the dwelling Maes yr Odyn has been in the ownership of the Rathbone family for some time. The title document suggests the property was bought in 1962 by Elizabeth Eleanor Rathbone, then gifted to the current owners in 1992.

Then, and perhaps to ‘re-unite’ the property, the outbuildings and land were bought by Jenny Rathbone in July 2008 for £120,000.

Incidentally, Maes yr Odyn seems to be a mile or two from Mwdwl Eithin, one of Bute Energy’s planned wind farms. Here’s the company that’s been set up.

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

In May, 2011 Rathbone was elected to the National Assembly for Wales as Labour AM for Cardiff Central. A city and a constituency of which she knew nothing.

Her career has not been without its ups and downs. Playing the environmentalist got her sacked from Carwyn Jones’ cabinet over the M4 ‘improvements’. Then, a couple of years back, there were allegations of anti-Semitism. More recently, she urged us to ‘get real’ because poor people don’t go to rugby matches, football matches, or the cinema.

But we’re neglecting her partner!

John Uden got his position on Bute’s Welsh Advisory Board due to Rathbone’s influence. And, possibly, the proximity of Maes yr Odyn to the planned Mwdwl Eithin ‘energy park’.

Bute Energy, John Uden, and Jenny Rathbone’s own shares, could all benefit from decisions taken and recommendations made by the Senedd’s Climate Change, Environment and Infrastructure Committee on which she sits.

Jenny Rathbone’s Register of Interests (Category 8, ‘Land and property’) lists ’Barn used as community centre and two acres of land, Llanfihangel GM, Conwy’ . . . but makes no mention of her shared ownership of the house itself, Maes yr Odyn, which must be worth considerably more. (Here in pdf format.)

Maes yr Odyn. Click to open image enlarged in separate tab

As stated, the co-owner of the house is Andrew Lyle Rathbone, who we can assume is related. For both sit as Trustees on the Miss E F Rathbone Charitable Trust. Along with a couple of other Rathbones.

The Rathbones are a very wealthy family. With a number of companies and trusts bearing the name, such as Rathbone Investment Management Ltd (total assets £3.1bn), based at the Port of Liverpool Building. Though that company is in turn owned by Rathbones Group Plc.

I suppose many or most of the shares we see on Jenny Rathbone’s Register of Interests are her allocation of investments made by the various entities handling the Rathbone family fortune.

In which case, is there income / dividends from those shares?

Among the shares held by Jenny Rathbone are those in AstraZeneca Plc, which makes the Covid-19 vaccine – what foresight!

Returning to ‘renewables’, Rathbone Investment Management has gone gung-ho for wind turbines. As we see from the cover of the Summer 2021 issue of Rathbones Review.

I wonder if Rathbones are investing in wind farms in Wales?

CONCLUSION

This squalid relationship between Bute Energy and leading figures within or close to the Labour Party in Wales is corruption.

Businessmen have recruited people to ease their projects through the political system and the planning process. To pretend there’s any other explanation for Bute Energy recruiting Taylor, Vaughan, and Uden, would be to insult our intelligence.

Just ask yourself – Why did Bute Energy feel the need to create a ‘Welsh Advisory Board’? To provide a fig leaf, in the form of ‘jobs’ for Vaughan and Uden.

Taylor, Vaughan and Uden must sever their connections with Bute Energy Ltd and its associated companies. Failure to do so by any one of them must invalidate any planning application received from Bute Energy or its associated companies.

This may already have gone too far, I would therefore suggest that any planning application received from a Bute company should be reviewed by a body independent of both the ‘Welsh Government’ and its in-house Planning Inspectorate.

Jenny Rathbone MS. Click to open image enlarged in separate tab

In the case of Jennifer Ann Rathbone MS; for failing to register ownership of Maes yr Odyn, for the fear that she might bring political influence to bear on behalf of her partner and a company with many projects planned in Wales, I feel that her fitness to serve as a Senedd Member is severely compromised.

Her position is almost untenable. She should consider resigning.

Finally, I also feel that the Welsh public is entitled to a statement from Y Prif Weinidog. With assurances that the guilty parties will not prosper, and that there will be no repeat of this squalid affair.

A register of lobbyists might help in this respect.

Looking at the bigger picture, I fear we are at a dangerous juncture in Welsh political development. There seems to be a growing belief that it’s acceptable to do the wrong things for the ‘right’ reasons.

This outlook is no longer confined to the far left, it has spread to the mainstream, to the virtuouser-than-thou ‘progressives’. If you persuade yourself that those who oppose you are fascists, or transphobes, or climate deniers – then anything goes!

Perhaps to the point where, ‘Yeah, I may be lining my own pockets, but I’m also saving the planet – so that makes it OK’.

♦ end  ♦

 




‘Renewables’: The Great Welsh Rip-off

My intention was to start winding down this blog, spend more time with my wife, grand-children, books, Malbec . . . but things keep cropping up. That said, it’s very unlikely I shall undertake major new investigations. Diolch yn fawr.

I hadn’t planned on writing this but, you know how it is . . . somebody puts you on to something, you start making enquiries, and before you know it you’re muttering, ‘devious bastards’, and the PC is working overtime.

This post might also be useful as a guide for anyone wanting to use the online register available at Companies House.

BACKGROUND

Let’s start with a report from WalesOnline last Wednesday. The headline quotes a local councillor comparing a planned solar farm at Bryn-y-rhyd farm, Llanedi, to the drowning of Capel Celyn. I’m partial to a bit of hyperbole myself, but I think Gareth Thomas went over the top.

Though the quality of the report itself was dire, so maybe it needed a bit of spicing up. Here’s how the third paragraph began:

'The Tryweryn Valley in Wales, which included the village of Capel Celyn, was flooded in 1965 to create a new reservoir'.

You won’t need to wonder any more where the ‘Tryweryn Valley’ was – it was in Wales!

Although this proposed project was being discussed by Carmarthenshire councillors the matter is out of their hands because, with a claimed output above 10MW it qualifies as a Development of National Significance. Which means the decision will be made by the so-called ‘Welsh Government’, using its new in-house Planning Inspectorate.

Here’s a link to the relevant Planning Inspectorate documents.

In England, projects of up to 50 MW are decided by local councils. In other words, by those elected by local people. So here we see another example of democracy being eroded in Wales.

In fact, the legislation giving power over wind farms in England to local authorities and the legislation doing the exact opposite in Wales were part of what I view as a package. With the ‘Welsh’ legislation compensating for the English.

The planned solar farm is very close to Pont Abraham Services, where the M4 becomes the A48. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

A project such as Bryn-y-rhyd would almost certainly be rejected in England, and this helps explain why Wales carries a disproportionate burden when it comes to so-called ‘renewable energy’ projects.

In an attempt to polish this turd the ‘Welsh Government’ has enthusiastically welcomed this colonialist coercion – by dressing it up as ‘Wales saving the planet’.

For in it, the creepy-crawlies of Corruption Bay saw opportunities and openings.

And so we end up with the insane situation of solar farms being located in southern Wales rather than southern England where, not only would they enjoy more sunshine, but they’d be nearer customers, thereby losing less in transmission.

The report I’ve linked to would also have us believe that the planning application for this development came from the Pegasus Group. Well, yes, and no, as I’ll explain.

Before moving on, here’s another attempt to mislead:

'The planning committee set out specific issues it wanted addressed. These included a detailed and robust decommissioning plan for the solar farm once its 40-year lifespan drew to an end'.

There’s not a hope in hell of this solar farm lasting 40 years in our climate. But whenever it pegs out, those behind it will be long gone. The firm(s) involved will either have gone bust or moved offshore.

The only way to ensure that there’s money at the end to clear up the mess is to get that money paid up front.

FOLLOW THE MONEY

When I start on a job like this, among the first things I do is go to the Land Registry website and see who owns the property. Which I did, and I was quite surprised at what I turned up.

The title document tells us there are two owners. One is Sir John Michael Dillwyn-Venables-Llewelyn. (Or Venables-Llywelyn.) The other is David Richard Mount.

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The Dillwyn-Llewelyn clan of nearby Swansea were 19th century industrialists, MPs, and even pioneer photographers.

As for David Richard Mount of Camberley, Surrey, I have no idea who he is.

Let’s return to Pegasus, mentioned in the WalesOnline report I linked to earlier. Those of you with the benefit of a classical education will know that Pegasus is the winged horse of Greek mythology.

Though we are looking for something more prosaic, and this is it – the Pegasus Planning Group. Their job is to knock planning applications into shape. They front for developers. We can now dismiss Pegasus.

We need to focus on Brynrhyd Solar Farm Ltd. Which is mentioned later on in the title document. Where we see that the owners have leased land to the company.

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This is a new company, formed as recently as October 2019. That said, some of the directors have a lot of experience in grant / subsidy grabbing renewables.

For example, Ian Lawrie has been a director of 60 solar companies since 2007. The total is 58 for his compatriot Colm Killeen. Yet two other directors, Anouska Morjaria and Toby Virno, didn’t get in on the solar racket until last year.

An even more recent recruit is Moritz Ilg.

So, who’s behind Brynrhyd Solar Farm Ltd?

To find out we need to go to the Companies House entry. Click on the People tab; then, just below it you’ll see a tab, Persons with significant control, which identifies Foresight Island GP Solar Portfolio Ltd.

This makes sense, because if we click the Charges tab it tells us that Foresight Island has made a loan to Brynrhyd Solar Farm.

Next, go to the Filing history tab. Click on the entry for 20 October 2021 and you’ll see that on that date all the shares in Brynrhyd Solar farm Ltd were transferred from Island Green Power Ltd to Foresight Island GP Solar Portfolio Ltd.

It might be worth noting in relation to this company that there has been one share issue after another over the past year. Which suggests the company is gearing up for future activity.

(Island Green is one of the Ian Lawrie companies. And there’s more than one company with the Island Green name.)

Coming to a valley near you – with wind turbines on the hills? All foreign owned. Every penny leaving Wales. Providing no jobs. ‘But it’s OK, cos we are savin’ the planet, innit’. Click to open enlarged in separate tab.

The next question must be, who owns Foresight Island GP Solar Portfolio Ltd. By going through the same procedure as before we turn up two names. One is Denis John O’Brien of Bermuda, the richest living Irishman. The second, and the majority shareholder, is Foresight UK Solar Development Holdco Ltd.

So . . . who owns Foresight UK Solar Development Holdco Ltd?

And the answer to that is Blackmead Infrastructure Ltd, for which you’ll see the correspondence address is c/o Foresight Group LLP, The Shard, 32 London Bridge Street, London, England, SE1 9SG.

I bet you can guess the next question!

And the answer to who owns Blackmead Infrastructure Ltd is Averon Park Ltd. Clicking on the People tab tells us nothing, so we need to go to Filing history and see who owns the shares.

There, in a confirmation statement of 21 October this year, we see that all but one of the Averon Park shares is held by Foresight Fund Managers Ltd.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab

Foresight Fund Managers Ltd is in turn owned by Foresight Group Holdings (UK) Ltd.

And then, finally, when we look to see who controls Foresight Group Holdings (UK) Ltd we find the name of Bernard William Fairman. He founded – with Peter English – the Foresight Group in 1984.

Companies House suggests that Fairman is a resident of Jersey. Or maybe he just uses a PO Box there. Either way, I am fairly certain he does not live in the UK.

On top of which, he does not seem to be a director of any company registered with Companies House. And hasn’t been a director since 2010.

Here’s a wee graphic I knocked up to help you remember.

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But why would anyone need such an extended chain of companies?

WHEN DO ‘CONNECTIONS’ BECOME CORRUPTION?

Last month I wrote about Bute Energy, another arriviste outfit hoping to make a pile out of pretending to be concerned about the environment. In the case of Bute, it’s 16 new wind farms in Wales. Yes, sixteen. Here’s the piece I wrote.

Bute Energy’s 16 planned wind farms. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

There is no way that any company from outside of Wales would be that ambitious unless it had insider knowledge or it had got the nod from politicians and / or planners.

Bute has gone for the ‘belt and braces’ approach.

First, by recruiting Corruption Bay insider David Taylor. Who has served as Spad to a number of high-profile Labour politicians. Bute has given him shares and allowed him to set up his own Moblake companies through which they fund him, and from which he appears to be paying himself some £200,000 a year.

They have also taken under the Bute wing former Labour MEP Derek Vaughan CBE. (These Welsh socialists do love their English ‘honours’!) Vaughan sits as chairman on Bute’s Welsh Advisory Board.

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But it gets worse.

Labour MS Jenny Rathbone, in her Register of Interests, says that her partner, John Uden, also sits on this Board. Uden is an almost complete stranger to Wales and knows sod all about renewables. But this is a great example of what Labour Party influence can achieve in Wales.

Even though Rathbone declares this, the entry is still incorrect because Bute Energy’s projected wind farms are not confined to ‘Powys, RCT and North Wales’.

‘North Wales’! What a dismissive attitude from a woman who has done well out of our country. First, in the third sector, and more recently, the Assembly / Senedd.

And I suggest her Register of Interests also needs to be updated because I’m fairly sure that planning applications have now been submitted for one or two Bute projects.

But isn’t Labour doing well out of Bute Energy! David ‘Aneurin Glyndŵr‘ Taylor is pulling down some £200,000 a year. Derek Vaughan chairs Bute’s Welsh Advisory Board. And Labour MS Jenny Rathbone’s partner also sits on the Board!

Any other Labour snouts in the trough?

Perhaps the bigger worry is that Rathbone sits on the Senedd’s Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee. Which means that the committee on which she sits makes decisions that benefit Bute Energy, and her partner.

And herself. For Jenny Rathbone has many shareholdings in Green energy companies, and environmental outfits. Did she buy these shares? Were they gifted to her? Did she find them in her Christmas crackers?

Jenny Rathbone’s shares portfolio. Click to open enlarged in separate tab.

Rathbone may not be adjudicating on individual planning applications from Bute Energy or the companies in which she has shares, but her influence is more extensive, in that her committee directs policy from which all companies involved in the renewables business benefit.

Jenny Rathbone must be removed from the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee.

This kind of thing might be acceptable in Corruption Bay, but out in the real world it smells of corruption.

As we saw in the previous section, the Foresight Group figures big in the chain behind Brynrhyd Solar Farm. And if the name sounds familiar then that’s because the Foresight Group is also buying up Welsh farms on which to plant trees, so as to profit from the carbon capture scam.

Foresight appear in this BBC Wales news report. Though if you’ve got a few hours to spare, or if ‘global warming’ has snowed you in, you can sit down and read ‘National Forest for Wales – The Woodland Investment Grant, rules booklet’.

And to get a broader picture, to realise how other countries are being affected, particularly Scotland, I recommend this piece by Laurie Macfarlane. Where the whole carbon capture / net zero racket is succinctly explained.

'In order to meet net-zero targets, two different levers can be pulled: emissions can be reduced directly or they can be "offset" with measures to remove carbon from the air at some point in the future. Unsurprisingly, many governments and businesses view the latter as the more appealing option, as it avoids the difficult task of curbing emissions, which underpins the profitability of many of the world's largest industries.'

As yet, I am not aware of the Foresight Group recruiting Labour ‘fixers’ to smooth the path for their developments. But if they haven’t done so yet, then I’m sure they will.

I say that because Foresight has big plans for carbon capture tree planting.

And Foresight won’t just be operating under its own banner. There’s also Blackmead Forestry Ltd. For here again, we see massive share issues in the past 18 months in readiness for fresh acquisitions and ‘investments’.

A share issue that increased from £20,000,100 in June 2020 to £79,103,712 a year later.

Foresight is buying farms for carbon capture, planning solar farms, and so it should go without saying that it’s also into wind farms. In partnership with Belltown Power Ltd of Bristol.

Already operational are Tirgwynt, near Carno, Powys; Gelliwen, near Caerffili; and Tai Hen, ’22 Km north of Anglesey’.  One in the planning stage is Waun Maenllwyd, north east of Lampeter.

There will be more. Many, many more.

But the threat is not just from the big boys.

There are countless small groups buying up parcels of Welsh farmland. One to which I was recently directed is The Carbon Community (TCC) of Windsor, Berkshire. It’s a company, and also a charity.

For £619,254 TCC bought land close to the Brecon Beacons National Park. It has been assisted in this project by Natural Resources Wales.

There are many other alien groups like The Carbon Community. Funded and in other ways helped by the ‘Welsh Government’ and its agencies to take over Welsh land.

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES?

There comes a point when some followers of a political creed or philosophy are willing to do the wrong thing for what they believe to be a just cause. Often accompanied by something approaching religious fervour.

For example, murdering the Romanov children was a terrible act, but ‘justified’ as a necessary step in the progress of a Revolution that would bring universal benefits.

You can phrase it any way you like. ‘The end justifies the means’. ‘Can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs’. ‘There will inevitably be collateral damage’. Etc., etc.

An important point being that, just like a Mafia hit, there was nothing personal in it. No motivating antipathy or underlying vindictiveness. In contrast to the ‘Welsh Government’s dealings with farmers.

Click to open enlarged in separate tab.

For some years farmers have been villainised by environmental zealots like George Monbiot as frightful people who must be removed if the rest of us are to breathe free . . . or to breathe at all!

The ‘Welsh Government’ of Jenny Rathbone, Lee Waters, Julie James, Lesley Griffiths (and Gary), sing from the Monbiot hymn sheet in their efforts to persuade us that Wales would be a better place without farmers.

This then explains farmers being robbed of EU funding, the fantasy of OPDs, Future Generations gobbledegook, and the ‘Welsh Government’ encouraging rewilding land grabs like Summit to Sea.

Another front in the war on Welsh agriculture came with Lesley Griffiths (and Gary) introducing legislation premised on the lie that farmers and only farmers are responsible for pollution in our rivers.

Nakedly anti-farmer legislation, now undermined after it emerged water companies give major corporations a free ride – while themselves pumping shit into rivers and seas. (And it’s not confined to England.)

All this has been made possible because what passes for the media in Wales is either supine or useless. Increasingly made up of semi-literate English graduates from ‘our’ universities writing about a country of which they know nothing.

As for political opposition, where is it to come from? The Conservatives will never object to the anglicising of Wales and profits for their friends in the City. The Greens support the strategy wholeheartedly. The Lib Dems are dead and buried.

That leaves Plaid Cymru . . . which last week signed up to a deal with Labour!

Despite being a party with its support concentrated among socially conservative rural voters, the tail wags the dog in that the party is controlled by urban leftists, and will support the ‘Welsh Government’ all the way in virtue signalling their way to national bankruptcy.

Let’s now consider the ‘collateral damage’ I just hinted at.

AGENDAS: STATED AND UNSTATED(?)

What we see in Wales today is being done ostensibly in the service of the environment, and the ‘Green economy’, but it takes us into very dangerous territory.

For none of the wind turbine or solar panel parts are made in Wales. The companies that own these installations are all outside of Wales. As are the companies currently buying up farmland on which to plant trees, or leasing land for solar farms.

Earlier we met Sir John Michael Dillwyn-Venables-Llewelyn, owner of Bryn-y-rhyd farm. Yes, Sir John’s ancestors grew rich on the industrial growth of Swansea – but they also created thousands of jobs for people like my ancestors.

How many jobs has the Green economy created in Wales, for Welsh people? Where are the benefits to Wales? (Apart from Labour insiders lining their pockets of course!)

Unreliable ‘renewables’ are achieving nothing . . . well, other than making rich men even richer, through burdening those already struggling with higher electricity bills.

Yes, comrade – welcome to 21st century ‘socialism’. My arse!

What credibility does ‘Wales saving the planet’ have after Glasgow? After China, Russia, India, even Australia, basically said, ‘We are not wrecking our economies so that tax-averse billionaires with private spaceships can promote their global agenda’.

Given that Wales sees no benefits, plus the fact that Wales can make no impact, paying foreign ‘investors’ to exploit our homeland and displace our people, suggests that ‘saving the planet’ is an ever-shrinking fig leaf for an older, and darker, agenda.

♦ end ♦