YesCymru: it must be a clean sweep

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

Yes, folks, this is another episode in the ongoing tale of YesCymru. Another report of damage inflicted on the independence movement by a gang of Woke-Left extremists, their assorted hangers-on, others too weak to resist, and a few who thought they could ride the wave for personal advancement.

UPDATES

In the previous post in this series, YesCymru, light at the end of the tunnel?, I had to add a few updates, so in case you didn’t catch them, here they are. With one snippet I didn’t use as an update.

Siôn Jobbins, long time Chair of YesCymru – and after a couple of weeks AWOL – finally announced he was stepping down within hours of my previous post going live. I am not claiming cause and effect.

Rachel Cooze, one of the Central Committee members elected at the May 22 AGM, resigned after – among other things – it came to light she had used suspended Central Committee member Dr Dilys Davies’ name to offer discounts on her OnlyFans porn site.

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Would-be journalist, ‘Emrys’ Price-Jones, was suspended following her very silly article in The National. A redacted version of the article is still available.

The article named Dr Davies, even though her appeal against suspension is still to be heard. ‘Emrys’ also clearly identified, but without naming, the Central Committee member elected at the May 22 AGM who has also been suspended.

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I reached out an avuncular and comforting hand, but the offer was politely rejected. (Since deleted?) Though someone in the gang made a suggestion on Twitter that my approach to ‘Emrys’ was creepy, possibly sexually motivated.

Maybe somebody can find the tweet.

Just when you think there’s nothing new to surprise you about these clowns they manage to plumb new depths.

THE PART WHERE JAC EXPLAINS HOW IT ALL FITS TOGETHER

Bottom line: There was a conspiracy to take over YesCymru. It was mounted by people I shall name below. Marxists and others belonging to the Far Left justifying what they did as being in the cause of, “progressive socialism”.

Facilitated to some degree by fools who think Communism is ‘cool’, some too stupid to appreciate the danger, and others who just proved too weak to mount any opposition.

The conspiracy has failed because too many people were involved; some of them none too bright who gave the game away, others so convinced they were on the side of the angels that they bragged about their involvement.

But over and above that, once you put the facts together – it’s just so obvious!

I shall try to lay it out in chronological order without, I hope, repeating myself too much. But if I do, then it’s justified because previously I have dealt with disparate pieces, whereas this is the near-complete jigsaw.

The genesis of YesCymru can be found in earlier posts. But it’s worth mentioning that among the founders we find Dr Dilys Davies, Siôn Jobbins and Iestyn ap Rhobert.

Inevitably, the Far Left infiltrated YesCymru early on, but an attempt at takeover was rebuffed and the plotters – or some of them – went off to found openly Marxist Undod towards the end of 2018. A group promoting ‘socialism through independence’ or ‘socialism and independence’.

Though the Undod website now reads, rather anaemically: ‘We are a democratic, socialist republican movement established to secure independence for Wales’.

About as ‘democratic’ as the long gone and unlamented German Democratic Republic. (East Germany.)

Perhaps as revenge for the rebuff the Far Left remnant within YesCymru tried to ambush Dr Davies in the autumn of 2019. It was very amateurish and she survived.

The defeat of Jeremy Corbyn in the general election later that year resulted in Momentum taking an interest in Welsh independence. One member, Harriet Protheroe-Soltani, is now YesCymru’s Campaigns Officer, while still serving as an officer of the North West and Wales region of Momentum.

Another, who returned to Wales from London following Corbyn’s fall, is Siwan Clark. It’s claimed she has more ‘sock puppet’ Twitter accounts than anyone. I couldn’t possibly comment.

To clear the way for the Far Left to take control at the May 22 AGM certain people needed to be ‘neutralised’.

In the case of Dr Dilys Davies this was achieved by @AledGwynWiliams (Single ‘l’!) travelling to her properties in Ceredigion and engineering a spat that resulted in complaints being made to the Central Committee by ‘Emrys’, @sheikyerbouti_ and Rachel Cooze. Dr Davies was suspended from the Central Committee and unable to participate in the AGM.

All explained here in ‘Hopes of Welsh independence being jeopardised by the hard left’.

But this Ceredigion foray was part of a bigger scheme.

We’ve met a number of manipulators in this series on YesCymru but one, almost overlooked, whose name has cropped up a few times recently, is moustachioed Robert Lloyd of Prestatyn, President of Labour for an Independent Wales.

Lloyd became head honcho of this group in January this year. And sources say that the plotting to take over YesCymru began soon afterwards. Plotting in which Lloyd played a bigger hand than he has previously been given credit for.

And you know me, I’m all for giving credit where credit is due.

What’s crucial for the purposes of this article is Lloyd’s role in the run-up to the May 22 AGM, his part in selecting who served on the Central Committee. And I’m sure it will interest you, as well.

Lloyd recently confessed on Twitter that he had indeed been involved in a group that brought together those of a certain ideological disposition seeking to ensure that the incoming Central Committee was to their liking.

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This ” . . . very loose campaign, but ultimately a successful one” (note the use of ‘campaign’) pulled together serving Central Committee Members, retiring Central Committee members, and candidates seeking election to the Central Committee for the first time.

In the first category we find Llywelyn ap Gwilym, Elin Hywel and Carys Eleri. In the second there’s Mark Hooper. While in the ranks of the hopefuls, bright of eye and bushy of tail, were Ben Gwalchmai and Rachel Cooze.

These Signal app meetings were set up to delete everything after 5 minutes, and so that option proved unsuitable. Future meetings were held on Zoom, and a fresh initiate was Scott Mackay of Swansea. (Endorsed by Aled Gwyn Wiliams.)

It was now that ap Gwilym and Hooper pushed the “Iestyn must go” line and urged everyone to support Shane Brennan for Secretary. This proved unnecessary because Iestyn ap Rhobert withdrew from the race.

But Lloyd fits into none of the three categories – so why was he there? Who was he representing? Obviously, Labour for an Independent Wales, which I have previously described as about as convincing as DUP for a United Ireland.

Lab4Indy overlaps with Momentum and links with Undod. There are fellow-travellers in Plaid Cymru, especially its youth wing, Plaid Ifanc. There has also – believe it or not – been a Far Left takeover of Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (the Welsh Language Society).

But YesCymru was the big prize due to its 18,500 members and the ‘reach’ such a figure gave the organisation.

Of course a membership of that size also presented problems for the Marxist plotters. Selecting and screening Woke-Left candidates for the Central Committee in secret meetings was one thing, but an open and fair election at the AGM, with all members voting, could have undone all the plotting.

To guarantee the election of those they’d chosen the Woke-Left ensured that as few members as possible would be able to vote at the May 22 AGM.

The leaders of the takeover plot were Robert Lloyd, Ben Gwalchmai, Mark Hooper, and Llywelyn ap Gwilym. Representing Undod, Labour/Momentum, and the Leannista wing of Plaid Cymru.

Some of the foot-soldiers, hangers-on and social media warriors I’ve already listed, but there were others. A few too many for the plot to succeed.

Many have justified the takeover as ‘protecting YesCymru from ‘fascism”. Just as the Soviets were fighting ‘fascism’ and ‘revisionism’ when they put down the Hungarian Rising of ’56 and the ‘Prague Spring’ in ’68.

Perhaps the biggest worry in that comparison should be that Marxism prefers big units and is invariably hostile to the aspirations of small nations unless pretending to support those aspirations can be used to promote Marxism.

Footnote: Vice-president of @Lab4IndyWales is our old friend Martyn J Shrewsbury. A source points out that both Lloyd and Shrewsbury might have escaped prison terms.

In his case, in 2014, the magistrate was amazed that Lloyd had not been charged with dangerous driving. If he had been, and if he had been found guilty, then he might not have gone to Cardiff University.

Shrewsbury is a convicted fraudster who escaped jail. (Strangely, the link to the court case is broken.) After causing disruption in the Green Party of Englandandwales for a few years he moved to the Labour Party, and of course Momentum. Shrewsbury had quite a reputation for fake social media accounts.

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Read more about Shrewsbury here, in ‘Plaid Cymru’s enemy within‘. In fact, type his name in the sidebar search box because he’s appeared on this blog a few times.

President and Vice-president of Labour for an Independent Wales both dealt with leniently by the authorities with subsequent careers as political wreckers is obviously just a coincidence.

But what are the odds?

UPDATE 30.07.2021: A link to the Shrewsbury conviction has turned up.

THE COUP SUCCEEDS

The high point for the plotters was around mid-day on May 22, just after the AGM, when their supporters were putting out celebratory tweets like these.

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It’s been downhill for them ever since.

For it soon dawned on YesCymru members that the new Central Committee had been elected with the votes of some two per cent of the total membership. (Many members didn’t even know there was an election!) Not even in the socialist Utopias dreamed of by the plotters would such a blatant con have been pulled.

Then it was one revelation after another, indiscretions followed with vile attacks as the plotters and their foot-soldiers were put on the defensive. (Did anyone really believe this woman would be an asset to YesCymru? Or was she brought in to be a wrecker?)

Where were the Minutes? Why couldn’t members see detailed and independently audited accounts?

Regarding the latter, there was a growing suspicion that YesCymru money was being appropriated by Central Committee members, or being diverted to their friends.

A suspicion that began on the day of the AGM. Encouraged by another celebratory tweet; this one from re-elected Central Committee member Tori West.

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Recently, London-based West went on strike. How a Central Committee member withdraws their labour is not clear. But anyway, she’s back.

As I’ve said, the pressure on the Central Committee has been relentless, and it has increased week on week. To the point where the Central Committee was forced to agree to a meeting with the branches, which took place on July 13.

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I’m not sure what purpose the Central Committee thought the meeting would serve. Was it intended to be a show of strength? An attempt at reconciliation?

I can’t answer those questions. What I can tell you is that from the Central Committee’s perspective it was a disaster.

To begin with, and in an obvious attempt to show that there were branches siding with the Central Committee, those attending the meeting were entertained by . . .

Aled Gwyn Wiliams, tormentor of Dr Dilys Davies, and a veritable keyboard samurai. (Though he’s a bit too fond of the saké and often has to do a lot of deleting the morning after.) He was there representing YesCymru Maesteg. Reports says he waffled without contributing anything.

Then there was ‘Kemp’ who set up @YesYBynie because she didn’t want to mix with all those horrid transphobes and fascists in the thriving Llanelli branch of YesCymru. This Bynea ‘branch’ is just her, and therefore should not be regarded as a branch.

Aware of this she put out a sorry tweet a couple of months ago hoping to rope in waifs and strays. I wonder if anybody answered the call?

Someone else who spoke was Central Committee member Ben Gwalchmai – on behalf of the Welshpool branch! This should not have been allowed.

The letter sent to the branches promised that two members of the Central Committee would be in attendance. In fact, they were all there. Well, those who haven’t resigned or been suspended.

Seeing as ‘Emrys’ is suspended, and his deranged deputy at YesCymru LGBTQ+, ‘George Brown’ has presumably been locked in the attic, being fed through a hatch at the bottom of the door, it fell to young Tyler Griffiths to represent this section.

He did not impress. After ranting about a suspended Central Committee member running ‘sock puppet’ Twitter accounts he didn’t really have a lot to say.

Llywelyn ap Gwilym remained largely silent and seemed to wish he were somewhere else. Whilst Elin Hywel did not enhance her reputation with a number of rather silly comments.

The good news from last Tuesday’s meeting is that most genuine branches want an Extraordinary General Meeting and fresh elections to the Central Committee.

AND FINALLY . . .

As was reported on Politics Wales yesterday, there’s a lot of crazy stuff flying around on social media. I can state with confidence that 80 to 90 per cent of it comes from defenders of the takeover. And participants therein.

One of the leaders in the field is Rachel Cooze who put the knife into Dr Davies and anybody else she took a dislike to – including me! First, by telling my Twitter followers that I was a fascist and a transphobe, and suggesting they unfollow me. (Which about 40 or 50 did, but now I have more followers than before her attack!)

Then, she came out with a bizarre – and actionable – claim that former YesCymru Secretary, Iestyn ap Rhobert, had been feeding me confidential information. I can swear on a stack of Bibles that the claim is untrue.

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I assumed that she had dreamt it up, or been fed it by one of her poisonous consœurs. But then, last week, along came @YupCymru. One of the weirdest accounts to appear in this saga.

Mention has been made of ‘sock puppet’ Twitter accounts, which are shell accounts used by people wanting to hide their identity and/or pretend that their position has more support than is truly the case.

But @YupCymru, now closed, was different.

To begin with, it was opened in 2013, before YesCymru was even thought of, and there were only ten or a dozen tweets until very recently. Yet this almost inactive account made the same allegation on April 29 of Iestyn ap Rhobert leaking me information.

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So who was @YupCymru?

It’s a question many are asking because in a brief flurry of activity before closing the account @YupCymru also released confidential YesCymru documents. To wit, the Minutes of the Dr Dilys Davies disciplinary hearing held on May 5.

This hearing was a kangaroo court. The decision to suspend Dr Davies had already been taken by the plotters named earlier. She had to be removed before the AGM because she was a threat to their plans and would certainly have opposed the two motions the plotters had framed.

The Minutes are already in the public domain so I feel able to offer them here.

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It’s a strange business. One minute (no pun intended) @YupCymru was fighting for the takeover gang, attacking Iestyn ap Rhobert and me; and then, by releasing the Minutes, seems to be trying to damage YesCymru.

I suppose any investigation will have to start by asking who had copies of or access to those Minutes.

For this breach of security and confidentiality is a serious business. And it’s not the only example we’ve seen recently of unauthorised or unlawful use of confidential YesCymru information.

Perhaps attributable to the fact that those who mounted the coup, and those who support them, know that their time is running out. Of course, they can’t accept that the fightback is coming from ordinary members who want to welcome everybody to a broad-based movement working for Welsh independence.

No, it has to be a fascist takeover. Because anybody who doesn’t agree with these lunatics is a fascist. That’s one of the big mistakes they’ve made – absurd slanders alienating so many decent people.

But then, when you dream of driving a Red Army tank along the boulevards of Budapest or Prague this intolerance of differing views will often betray you.

It’s alleged that ‘Arson Sam’ is one of Siwan Clark’s many sock puppet accounts. Now putting her Momentum experience to the service of the Far Left in YesCymru. Click to enlarge.

Where now for YesCymru?

It would be absurd to suggest that all those involved in the takeover of YesCymru are working for the British state. Equally absurd would be to think that the British state would ignore a movement with 18,000 members pushing for Welsh independence.

The damage done is so severe that none of those responsible for the coup or supportive of it can be allowed to stay. If they don’t resign they must be removed.

There must then be a fresh start with a more professional structure in place to ensure it can’t happen again. Otherwise YesCymru is as good as finished.

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YesCymru – under new management?

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 coming Saturday sees the AGM at which the far left will seek to complete its takeover of YesCymru.

For suggesting this in recent posts I have been called all sorts of names, with ‘conspiracy theorist’ one of the more polite epithets. But once you understand the background, and the motivations then what some would like to dismiss as a wild theory makes perfect sense.

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Above you see an example of what I and others have to put up with from the woke-left jackal pack on social media. (You wonder why I drink!)

IN THE BEGINNING

YesCymru announced itself with a rally held in Cardiff on September 13, 2014 in support of Scottish independence. This was inspired by Yes Scotland, the cross-party campaign for a Yes vote in the independence referendum that same month.

Yes Scotland disbanded soon after the referendum.

I was in Scotland myself for the referendum and on my return I gave my view of the situation with Beginning of the End. I was of course disappointed by the result, and yet, I sensed there was no going back.

The obvious difference between Yes Scotland and YesCymru was that the former had come into existence for the Scottish independence referendum while the latter had been created with no prospect of a Welsh referendum. So why was YesCymru formed?

The answer I was given was that YesCymru was born to breathe life into the idea of independence, which many felt was not being promoted vigorously enough by Plaid Cymru. Which at that time was led by Leanne Wood.

This made perfect sense.

I’m not saying that Leanne Wood wasn’t in favour of independence, but I do believe that for her independence was not a priority. Or perhaps, it was desirable only if it delivered a certain kind of independence.

What I’m suggesting might possibly be explained by Leanne Wood’s visit to Scotland in the referendum period. The writer of this September 2014 article from Open Democracy tells us, “When I met her, Leanne had just been to Glasgow to speak to the Radical Independence Campaign.”

Factionalism, on the left! Surely not! Click to enlarge

For the Radical Independence Campaign also wanted a certain type of independence, perhaps more John Maclean than Bonny Prince Charlie. And there was nothing wrong with that. They were quite open and honest about it.

The point to be made here is that those preferring a left wing approach to Scottish independence could join the Radical Independence Campaign, while anyone who did not support the RIC’s vision was free to join Yes Scotland, which was more mainstream and less doctrinaire.

Back to Wales.

YESCYMRU, LAUNCH AND FIRST ATTEMPT AT TAKEOVER

So, from the summer of 2014, Wales had the political party, Plaid Cymru, that claimed to favour independence, plus a new organisation, YesCymru, that, by its very existence, suggested there were many unconvinced that Plaid Cymru was serious about independence.

Another take on it might be that there were people supportive of independence who had little time for Plaid Cymru but could support a non-aligned group like YesCymru.

By late 2015 things were gearing up for the official public launch, which came on February 20, 2016. I gave it a write-up here.

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The reports I received said that the Red Queen was not happy with YesCymru, she felt it needed to be ‘redirected’. Some even suggested that she saw YesCymru as an indirect attack on her leadership of Plaid Cymru.

A number of sources have told me that the infiltration of YesCymru by the left began even before the official launch in February 2016.

Though the infiltrators were resisted. Matters came to a head – in the autumn of 2018? – when a few of the infiltrators were suspended for bullying and other offences. Then, for not complying with the terms of their suspension, and refusing to hand over passwords for social media accounts, they were expelled.

The names I’ve been given are Colin / Colyn Nosworthy and Sandra Clubb.

Despite this tweet from Siwan Clark last week, the expulsions were for the reasons I’ve just given. Though the tweet is unintentionally revealing.

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According to Clark, people were thrown out because YesCymru would not “commit to being anti-racist and anti-fascist”.  But why should an  organisation formed to promote a single issue burden itself with ideological baggage?

And note that those opposed to such unnecessary distractions must be “right wingers”.

I’m sure you’re wondering who Siwan Clark is. I’d never heard of her myself until someone sent me that tweet and a different source drew my attention to this piece from The National last December, where Adam Ramsay had this to say:

“In Wales, socialists and progressives disappointed by Labour’s election defeat are starting to plan ahead, too.

Siwan Clark is one of the many young people who moved home for lockdown. A few years ago she had left Cardiff for London because of “a feeling that you have to be there, that it was the centre of things”. The pandemic has changed all that. “For a lot of people who’ve moved home, their sphere is turning to more local things,” she said to me over Zoom recently.

Before Covid, Clark said, she wouldn’t have expected most people in Wales to know the name of the first minister. (It’s Mark Drakeford.) “I was extremely ignorant about the Assembly. I just didn’t really engage with it,” she said.

In London, she had joined Labour “in a rage” so that she could vote for Jeremy Corbyn during the post-Brexit leadership challenge. “I was so annoyed by that. I canvassed a lot in 2017. And a lot in 2019.”

Now 26 and back in Wales, Clark has joined Undod, the campaign for radical Welsh independence.”

It’s a revealing little section. To begin with, we read that Undod is committed to “radical Welsh independence”. An echo of the Radical Independence Campaign in Scotland, which you’ll remember Leanne Wood addressed in 2014.

Adam Ramsay hints that Siwan Clark had little time for devolution, she went to London and supported Corbyn. Then, when her hero was deposed, she came home, and joined Undod.

I’m losing count of the left wingers who ‘discovered’ Wales and the cause of Welsh independence after Corbyn got the chop.

THE LEFT SUFFERS A SETBACK BUT REGROUPS

But let’s go back to 2018 for a moment. Among the big events was the Plaid Cymru leadership contest in September. Despite having led the party since 2012 Leanne Wood came third in a three-horse race.

It’s difficult to convey how much of a shock this was to Leanne Wood’s supporters inside the party, in the Cardiff Bay bubble, and indeed to those outside Wales who viewed her as a combination of Boudicca and La Pasionaria.

But then, when you live in a closed-off world, interacting almost exclusively with those who share your views, it’s so easy to lose contact with reality

This article by Dr Huw Williams in Nation.Cymru gives a fascinating insight into the expulsions, and the thinking of the far left ahead of the YesCymru AGM held in Burry Port on October 13, 2018. He says:

” . . . it looks likely now that a movement for radical independence will come into existence in some form over the coming months.

In some respects, it’s a pity this did not happen sooner, as it may have assuaged the concerns of some of those in YesCymru who have felt it necessary to act as they have.

However, it must not be the case that this movement is perceived to be a ‘challenger’ to YesCymru – rather it should be a group that will hopefully, in future, be part of a wider movement, and one in which different people can pursue different political visions for Wales.”

By October 2018 the left had decided to set up a ‘radical’ rival to YesCymru. That decision was influenced partly by the expulsions from YesCymru and partly by the result of the Plaid Cymru leadership contest.

Invitations went out mid-December 2018 to the launch of UndodI got one! – with the actual launch meeting held at Yr Hen Goleg in Aberystwyth on 26 January, 2019. (A place dear to old Jac’s heart!)

In his Nation.Cymru article Huw Williams, after appearing conciliatory, adopted a rather dismissive tone with, “As for YesCymru, no doubt they will continue in some form.” Indeed they did, Huw! YesCymru grew and grew and grew.

With Undod the far left had a base in which it could re-group, and from which it could mount attacks. Undod, set up by hard-core leftists, would recruit mainly young people and they would sally forth to infiltrate other groups.

So successful has the strategy been that even Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (the Welsh Language Society) has been penetrated.

Welsh-speaking communities are being destroyed by tourism, holiday homes and colonisation, yet as this tweet from last week suggests, Cymdeithas yr Iaith may now have other priorities.

It reads: ‘Freedom for Palestine’.

The period 2018/19 was obviously difficult for the left. The once revered but now ‘stupid and racist’ working class had voted for Brexit, Trump was in the White House, and then, to cap it all, came the UK general election of December 2019, when Corbyn’s Labour Party was heavily defeated.

While the left seemed to be on the defensive globally, here in Wales it had regrouped and was on the march again; playing identity politics and spreading poison through the Welsh body politic by infiltration.

CUI BONO?

Dr Huw Williams, in his Nation.Cymru piece of October 2018 suggested that YesCymru and the new movement could appeal to different sections of the population.

Which makes sense to me.

He also talked of “different political visions for Wales”. But in recent years we’ve seen the left attack and vilify alternative visions. Now we see the final confirmation of the left’s intolerance towards other views with its planned takeover of YesCymru.

To repeat: After the initial failure to take over YesCymru Undod was set up by Labour and Plaid Cymru left wingers to infiltrate various Welsh organisations to promote their leftist agenda, with YesCymru being the juiciest prize due to its large membership and the publicity it attracted through its rallies and other activities.

As shown in the image below.

Image Undod. Click to enlarge

The board held by the woman on the right reads: ‘No room for fascists in a free Wales’. Which is another way of saying, ‘Only fascists could oppose the socialist vision we have for Wales.’

Which is attempting to close a debate by vilifying those who dare to take a different viewpoint. (Or else, and perhaps worse – they really believe it!)

For that’s how the far left operates. Invent or exaggerate a problem, then demand action and dismiss opponents as racists / homophobes / fascists / transphobes / terfs / climate deniers / Islamophobes / etc.

In my lifetime the left has supported many causes but, compared with ending the Vietnam War or freeing Nelson Mandela, exploiting confused individuals with chips on their shoulders is at best exploitative, and at worst, rather despicable.

Which calls into question the motivation for taking over YesCymru. Many of Undod’s luminaries are in the Labour Party, so are they really serious about independence?

I believe they want to take over YesCymru simply to use its 18,000+ members to promote their left wing agenda. As they’re doing in Plaid Cymru, Cymdeithas yr Iaith, Plaid Ifanc, and elsewhere.

Consequently . . .

Unless it can be proven otherwise there should be a presumption that those standing for the Central Committee on the ‘diversity’ ticket either belong to or are being used by the far left that wishes to subvert YesCymru for its own purposes. They should therefore be rejected.

But if the worst happens, and if YesCymru does fall to the far left, then Huw Williams’ suggestion of two independence movements appealing to different constituencies will be the way to proceed.

♦ end ♦ 

 




Senedd elections: Hard left to win by stealth

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.

Last week, in discussing the suspension from Yes Cymru, on the most spurious of grounds, of Dr Dilys Davies, I offered you ‘Hopes of Welsh independence being jeopardised by the hard left’.

This latest post is in part an update of, and in part a sequel to, last week’s post.

INTRODUCTION

In that previous piece I explained the infiltration of Yes Cymru by left wingers who are more likely to be promoting their own agendas than serving Welsh interests.

I also tried to explain the linkage between the doctrinaire ‘hard’ left and the ‘fluffier’ wokies, especially those who believe transsexuals are a persecuted minority in Wales that must not just be protected, but promoted and grown.

Following that piece I suffered considerable online abuse, people saying they wanted to attack me, even kill me. Moi! loveable old Jac!

This is the kind of thing I’m talking about.

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Aled Gwyn Williams, poisonous little troll of Maesteg, was no doubt angry that my blog piece had been taken up by Llais y Sais, where Martin Shipton gave him a few mentions.

This was perhaps payback for Shipton being attacked last year by the usual suspects for daring to wonder why BLM protests were allowed during Covid lockdown.

For this he was removed from a judging panel by the touchy-feely, state-funded, left liberals of Literature Wales, an organisation where ‘diversity’ now takes precedence over good writing.

Shipton was quoted in a Nation.Cymru article saying, “Many of the tweets questioned my right to express an opinion, called into question my credentials as a journalist and attacked me on the basis of my age.”

Tell me about it!

But it was all rather naïve of Shippo. For as we learnt from the USA and elsewhere, marches, riots, arson, looting, even murder and mayhem, were perfectly acceptable during lockdown – as long as it was BLM or Antifa doing it.

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Further news came in after last week’s post was published, some of which I added as an update, and so you may have missed it. Also, information to which I’ve been directed in recent days.

HARD LEFT INFILTRATES, PROMISES SOCIALIST UTOPIA OF . . . GULAGS

As a late addition to last week’s post I mentioned that Yes Cymru had taken on a Campaigns Officer. Her name is Harriet Protheroe-Soltani (formerly Protheroe-Davis), originally of Merthyr.

What’s important about her is that she comes from Momentum, or Welsh Labour Grassroots, as it tends be more popularly known in Wales. By either name this is the hard left group that gathered around Jeremy Corbyn capturing and, for a while, controlling the Labour Party.

Since Corbyn’s fall parasitic Momentum has sought new hosts.

A year ago Harriet Protheroe-Soltani stood for Momentum’s National Coordinating Group (NCG), seeking to represent the ‘North West and Wales’ region.

She was elected and became “vice chair of the campaign group Momentum”. By March this year Protheroe-Soltani was a YesCymru activist.

When standing for the Momentum NCG last year this is what she had to say to the Momentum membership in her election pitch:

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The penultimate sentence is chilling. It suggests that those who are democratically elected to the Senedd by the Welsh people will be dictated to by left wingers like her.

Another hard left woman who has adopted the cause of Welsh independence is infamous anti-Semite Kerry-Anne Mendoza, editor-in-chief of far left media site The Canary. I think she has ‘bought a place’ near Abergavenny.

I don’t accept that these women really care about Wales, or about us. I say that because the left is inherently unpatriotic. To them, patriotism is either passé or downright evil.

One of Aled Gwyn Williams’ playmates’ recently used the term ‘flagshaggers’ to describe Welsh patriots. (He’s the one in the centre of the picture below.)

Not long before, in a truly bizarre tweet – even by their standards – he challenged ‘flagshaggers’ to a cage fight! Everybody had a good laugh.

Click to enlarge

The hard left supports Welsh independence for its own reasons. Reasons that would be of no benefit to the Welsh people. For example, the left would do nothing to combat the ethnic cleansing taking place in our rural areas as they believe in open borders and free movement of people.

Consequently, the independent Wales they promise would be an absolute nightmare. As we were reminded by the comedian in the centre of the picture above . . . who fantasises about gulags!

Click to enlarge

And he is not joking! That’s how unhinged the hard left / wokies have become.

These are the people taking over and reshaping the movement for independence, and it makes sense.

For reading Momentum literature certain things become obvious. Regular references to the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights tell that this issue is being used by Momentum to cause disruption in ‘target groups’.

It worked its magic on the Labour Party and now we see the hard left using its useful idiots the wokies to cause disruption with transphobia allegations in Wales. Especially within Plaid Cymru and the independence movement.

THE HARD LEFT UNDERMINING THE NATION

When it’s not talk of gulags and cage fights with ‘flagshaggers’, or dictating policy to the ‘Welsh Government’, then leftists engage in other attacks on the nation.

Here are two examples from last week.

To believe the first, the movement for Welsh independence owes virtually nothing to white, heterosexual Welsh people!

“Bigots and fascists” is code for, ‘anyone who refuses to accept the hard left / wokie message’. That is, most of us.

Click to enlarge

According to Welsh Communalists of the World Yes Cymru was “only possible” due to the LGBTQ community and the Kurds. Now, I have supported the Kurds ever since I became aware of their plight – and this was long before the clowns I’m writing about were born – but to give the Kurdish diaspora in Wales such influence would probably embarrass the Kurds themselves.

Yet – and this is surely the clincher! – what Welsh Communalists of the World says is “a scientific fact”. So there!

Who are these idiots?

A brief background may be needed for you to understand the second example.

A recent proposal to the Snowdonia National Park Authority by Gwynedd councillor John Pughe Roberts called for our highest mountain to be known only as ‘Yr Wyddfa’.

This has excited the representatives of the ‘visitor economy’ (love that term!) who claim the tourists won’t like it. Citing the fact that no one visits Mont Blanc or Benidorm.

It’s this suggestion from Cllr Roberts that encouraged the Twitter contribution you see below from @henpbapur.

Click to enlarge

It’s difficult to know where to start with this, but let’s try some facts. Colonel Sir George Everest was born into a family of butchers turned lawyers from London. They’d made enough money to buy a sizeable estate near Crughywel.

There is some dispute as to where George Everest was born, in 1790, but he was certainly baptised in London and educated in England before joining the East India Company as a cadet and sailing for India in 1806. He died at his London home in 1866 and is buried in London.

His connection with Wales, therefore, is tenuous in the extreme. He may never have set foot here! For all sorts of reasons, to call him a Welshman is absurd.

But none of this matters to those, infected with transient lunacies, who want to paint us Welsh as colonialist oppressors. Though even if Everest was Welsh, would that make us all guilty?

Following World War Two the Allies decided that guilt for the Holocaust and other crimes would be borne by those who were guilty – not by the whole German nation. That was the correct thing to do then, and now.

But under the influence of Black Lives Matter, and its mantra that all white people must carry the guilt for slavery and colonialism some young person in Wales uses George Everest to pin the guilt of colonialism on the whole Welsh nation in 2021!

And by so doing, she lines up with some Cheshire Set shite in Abbasock who thinks using the name Yr Wyddfa is racist!

Whose side is she on?

She doubled down on her silliness with the tweet you see below.

No, I’ll tell you what’s ‘toxic’ and ‘shallow’ – blaming people for things they had no hand in, and arguing for collective guilt. Because that’s how dictators and genocidalists ‘justify’ their crimes.

THE HARD LEFT, YES CYMRU, AND THE COALITION

One of the many curiosities of the Welsh political scene nowadays is a group calling itself Labour for an Independent Wales. As you can see if you click on the link, the homepage of the group’s website proclaims ‘Socialism through independence’, leaving us in no doubt of its priority.

(Mercifully, there’s no mention of gulags. Or of challenging ‘flagshaggers’ to a scrap.)

On the executive committee of @LabforIndyWales we find Martyn Shrewsbury, snake oil salesman of Swansea and former luminary of the Liberal Democrats. Shrewsbury has appeared on this blog more than once. (Just put his name in the search box atop the sidebar.)

The rest seem to be the usual mix of dinner party socialists, those still fighting Brexit, and yet more opportunists dreaming of exploiting an independent Wales.

The leader and spokesperson for this merry band is Ben Gwalchmai, who is the fourth of Labour’s four candidates on the Mid and West Wales list for Thursday’s election. Which means he’s got as much chance of being elected as I have.

I mention Comrade Gwalchmai because, idly searching the web the other night, I came across a podcast in which he appears, alongside Harriet Protheroe-Soltani of all people. She of Yes Cymru and Momentum.

If nothing else, it tells us that they know each other. Which is no great surprise.

But the reason I mention it is because I’m told Gwalchmai has been having discreet talks with the leadership of Yes Cymru. The organisation that so recently attracted Protheroe-Soltani. This might be significant.

Because despite Yes Cymru’s claims to not be aligned with any political party, it became obvious soon after YC’s launch that it was an extension of Plaid Cymru. While the claim to being ideology-free has been destroyed by Yes Cymru’s surrender to the far left and the left’s wokie dupes.

Then, other sources tell me that the details of the post-election coalition between Labour and Plaid Cymru have already been settled. Plaid Cymru is being coy about it so as not to alienate its supporters.

I’ll remind them: A vote for Plaid Cymru is a vote for Labour.

It would make perfect sense for potential partners in any coalition to have made the initial contact through proxies. Or should we view it as Yes Cymru acting as matchmaker?

One thing is absolutely certain. The hard left has extended its influence in Wales without ever putting its agenda to the electorate. It has achieved this influence through the time-honoured methods of entryism and operating through surrogates.

The little chart I’ve drawn up explains how I see the flow of left wing influence. You’ll note that while Labour is obviously targeted, the ultimate targets are Yes Cymru and Plaid Cymru. In fact, Plaid Cymru might be seen as the end of the line.

Making the party of Saunders Lewis and Gwynfor Evans the Labour Party by another name.

The trickle down effect.

Undod is a far left group containing a number of extremists and oddballs, some of whom crop up in the company of Aled Gwyn Williams. With its emphasis on class war it’s about as relevant to the 21st century as whalebone corsets.

“One of the reasons we decided to call ourselves Undod was as a permanent reminder that the working class have more in common with one another than they do with the political and business elites in this country.”

As I said earlier, the left is always unpatriotic, and Undod is no exception. It seeks to divide the Welsh nation on class lines while forging alliances with the toiling masses elsewhere. It’s almost nostalgia socialism; the sort of thing that can only appeal to the truly embittered or the too-young-to-know-better.

Plaid Ifanc, the youth wing of Plaid Cymru, is another far left organisation, with its number one objective being to make Wales independent . . . and then join the EU! Being generous, I’ll suggest its members are too young to remember the 2016 referendum in which Wales voted to leave the EU.

There is no mention on the Plaid Ifanc website of the citizens of an independent socialist Wales having a referendum to decide whether they want to join the EU.

There are other groups and social media accounts that I could have mentioned but these would be more peripheral.

Though one deserving a mention, which seems to be another front for Momentum, is Acorn. Formed in 2014, it describes itself as “a mass membership organisation and network of low-income people organising for a fairer deal for our communities”.

Deliciously vague . . . but who could criticise!

LOOKING AHEAD

There will be a Labour-Plaid Cymru coalition after Thursday’s elections, but the real victor will be the hard left, which has infiltrated both parties, and will, as Harriet Protheroe-Soltani warned, “set the narrative” for the ‘Welsh Government’. It could be argued that this infiltration made the coalition almost inevitable.

Can merger be far behind?

From then on it will be virtue signalling on steroids!

The planet will be saved by banning private transport while also getting rid of farmers and their farting livestock; the world’s refugees will be encouraged to come to Wales; police will be defunded and their bicycles emblazoned with ‘ACAB’; England’s homeless will be housed; gender dysphoria counselling will be available to foetuses; the stocks will be brought back for flagshaggers; the currently under-funded third sector will enjoy a golden age of largesse; anyone asking, ‘But what about the economy?’ will be re-educated . . . and Wales will sink into (even greater) poverty and utter chaos.

I can only hope that a few years of the lunatics running the asylum leads to our people coming to their senses, and from then on voting for parties with no hidden agendas, and only Wales’ best interests at heart.

♦ end ♦

 




Carry On Brexiting

Seeing as no one knows what kind of Brexit the UK government wants, and because so much of what you’re reading and hearing on the subject is either biased or just ill-informed, it falls upon Uncle Jac to shed a little light on the matter. Because there are implications in Brexit for the unity of the UK, and these are already being addressed with covert strategies that may be reported in the mainstream media but are not identified for what they really are.

To make the best sense of what follows you must understand that the whole debate has moved beyond Brexit to the point where it is now about two unions, the EU and the UK, and also the future of the Conservative and Unionist Party. Not to be outdone the Labour Party is also confused, but there we also find other issues at play.

BREXIT AND THE MAIN POLITICAL PARTIES

The EU referendum was held on June 23, 2016. For a number of reasons I voted to leave. Explained here in EU Referendum: Why I Want OUT! with my celebratory thoughts contained in Brexit, Wexit: Things Can Only Get Better!

The overall UK vote was 51.89% Leave to 48.11% Remain. In Wales 52.53% voted Leave. By comparison, Scotland voted 62% for Remain.

Since then, from the UK government, it’s been a revolving stage of pantomime, tub-thumping jingoism, farce, soap opera and slapstick, but now, as the end approaches, things are beginning to take a darker turn.

But before getting to the creepy bits let’s consider where we are with the main UK political parties.

EU membership has been a divisive issue within the Conservative Party for half a century or more. In the hope of settling things prime minister David Cameron announced in February 2016 that there would be a referendum. He also stated that he would be campaigning to stay. When he lost, he resigned.

Since the referendum it has been almost impossible to separate what passes for ‘negotiations’ with the EU from the ongoing civil war within the Conservative Party, with the internecine fighting being a prelude to the inevitable leadership contest.

We’ve now reached the stage where it seems to be the incumbent Theresa May versus Boris Johnson. ‘Bonking Boris’, reviled by ‘progressives’ and opposed by many in his own party. Yet Tories of a more pragmatic bent may see him as a winner.

Not least because Boris Johnson has achieved that priceless political status of being universally recognised by his first name. How many politicians today can say that?

And don’t forget that Johnson was elected mayor of multiracial London in 2008, beating Comrade Livingstone, and increasing his share of the vote in getting re-elected in 2012, again by beating Livingstone. There will be a number in the Conservative Party who’ll see a lesson there for a future tussle with Comrade Corbyn.

At the time of writing this the elite against whom I and many others voted in June 2016 is pushing for a People’s Vote on the “final Brexit deal”. Having lost the vote in 2016 they’re hoping for a re-run and a different result . . . but believe me, it’s got sod all to do with ‘the People’.

If that headgear is compulsory then this campaign is doomed (click to enlarge)

The English Labour Party in Wales is generally supportive of this initiative because by and large our MPs and AMs want to remain in the EU. But their leader is proving more cautious, for Jeremy Corbyn seems to understand better than his Wales-based representatives why Labour voters in the post-industrial areas and the lower socio-economic brackets voted for Brexit.

Corbyn is reluctant to further alienate this white working class, and so, sure of the loyalty of his Momentum base, and believing that his ethnic minority and middle class voters have nowhere else to go, he seems to have concluded that the best option is to keep ’em guessing.

Others in Labour are less reticent about speaking out against Brexit and in favour of a second referendum. Here in Wales Labour politicos have reminded us how much money we’ve received from the EU, which doesn’t really help their cause because too much of that money has been frittered away by successive Labour management teams in Cardiff docks with no discernible benefits accruing to the areas in need.

But what the hell! – we’ve got the biggest third sector money can buy.

Carwyn Jones however is now prepared to articulate a possibility that others would rather leave unsaid. Laid out in a Times article on Monday headlined, “Brexit, handled badly, contains the seeds of the UK’s own destruction”. This article was a trailer for a speech Jones gave to the Institute for Government.

He’s not alone in seeing the possibility of Brexit breaking the UK apart – it’s one of the reasons I voted for Brexit – but I’m sure he takes the side of his Tory masters and will do his best to maintain the Union. Why change the habit of a lifetime?

But Carwyn’s masters are not blind to the danger either, and are implementing measures to counter the threat, certainly in Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland is, as ever, different.

IRELAND

Without knowing anything about the Flight of the Earls, the Plantation, Partition, or even the Troubles, most people are vaguely aware that the politics of ‘Ulster’ or the Six Counties is dominated by whether this part of Ireland should remain in the United Kingdom or whether it should join the rest of the island.

(Though this does not apply to Karen Bradley, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, who seems to have imagined a homogeneous population made up of individuals who take a pin into the polling booth.)

As things stand, those wishing to stay part of the UK remain in a majority, but a majority being whittled away year on year by demographic trends. So that by 2030 there will probably be a Catholic majority and a referendum on reunification could choose a united Ireland.

Brexit has added a new ingredient to the mix and might accelerate reunification.

Because the prospect of a ‘hard’ border after the UK exits the EU will not only be bad for business, it also raises fears of a return to violence. This has resulted in a number of people hitherto opposed to a united Ireland prepared to consider that option in order to stay in the EU. And let’s not forget that Northern Ireland voted by 56% to 44% to Remain. The only party pushing a Leave vote was the Democratic Unionist Party, predictably following the BritNat line.

The border as it used to be . . . . and might be again? (Click to enlarge)

Yet one of the alternatives, that of somehow keeping the Six Counties within the UK and the EU by having the customs border somewhere in the Irish Sea, has Mrs May’s DUP allies shouting ‘No Surrender!’ and strapping on their Lambeg drums.

The other option seems to involve no change in the constitutional status of Northern Ireland and a ‘soft’ or invisible border, with customs checks carried out by technology that doesn’t exist, or possibly by leprechauns.

The question of whether there should be a united Ireland could of course be resolved with a referendum, allowed for in the Good Friday (or Belfast) Agreement (Schedule 1,2). But the power to call such a vote rests with the Secretary of State. As we’ve seen, at the moment that is Karen Bradley, who thinks people in the Bogside don Orange sashes when the humour is on them.

So we’re in the absurd position of the Secretary of State having the authority to call a referendum , ” . . . if at any time it appears likely to him that a majority of those voting would express a wish that Northern Ireland should cease to be part of the United Kingdom and form part of a united Ireland.” Which, when you consider it, is a very good reason for the British government NOT to call a referendum.

The political situation is further complicated by the fact that the Northern Ireland Assembly collapsed in January 2017 and seems unlikely to get back on its feet any time soon.

There is little the British state can do to influence things in Northern Ireland for a number of reasons: 1/ the Republic’s government keeps a close eye on events; 2/ Ireland is now crucial for the EU because it will soon be a land border; 3/ there’s the interest from the USA, for no American politician can ignore the Catholic Irish-American vote.

And as I’ve suggested, the UK establishment is resigned to losing Northern Ireland in 10 or 20 years time anyway due to ‘the revenge of the cradle’, so the worst Brexit can do is hurry up that process. While never having to deal again with Northern Ireland politicians is a prospect most civil servants welcome.

SCOTLAND

In Scotland, things are very different.

The 2014 Scottish independence referendum gave the UK establishment one hell of a fright and may only have been won at the last minute by the intervention of senior politicians promising everything short of independence in The Vow. Though Brexit is causing a rethink for the man behind it.

The Scots voting to Remain coupled with the growing prospect of a ‘hard’ Brexit is increasing support for Scottish independence. This has prompted the UK state go on the offensive. It’s worth focusing on two, ongoing elements of this attack.

First there’s the crude and unambivalent ‘Britification’ campaign, most visible in the packaging of Scottish goods with the Union flag. In the image below we see whisky and, even weirder, that quintessentially Scottish delicacy, haggis, branded as ‘British’!

But the alternative name for whisky is Scotch. Can you imagine anyone going into a bar and saying, ‘Give me a large British, barman’? Which might get the response, ‘A large British what, sir?’ As for haggis, branding it with the Union Jack is liable to lose sales because people might think it’s counterfeit, something like Albanian ‘champagne’.

click to enlarge

In the main it seems to be the supermarkets at fault rather than the manufacturers, for I’ve read that Lidl and Aldi, the German chains, have stuck with Scottish branding.

I can imagine a meeting deep in the bowels of Whitehall between representatives of the main supermarket chains and high-ranking civil servants to discuss ‘promoting a sense of shared Britishness in these difficult times’, and perhaps achieving the objective without even mentioning Scotland.

(But I warn them now, if they come to put a Union Jack on my laverbread they will have to pry it from my cold, dead hands.)

The other point of attack has been the allegations against Alex Salmond former leader of the Scottish National Party and former Scottish first minister. Let me say that I don’t know whether these allegations are true or not, but the motivation behind them is crystal clear.

I first understood what it was all about watching Newsnight soon after the story broke. It had been broken by the Daily Record, the Scottish version of the Daily Mirror, and therefore the mouthpiece of the Labour Party, once dominant in Scottish politics but now languishing in third place as the Unionist vote coalesces behind the Tories.

The assistant editor responsible was a cocky Ulsterman named David Clegg, and without knowing his background I would hazard a guess that he has never voted for Sinn Féin. He was positively bouncing at being interviewed over his ‘scoop’ . . . and then something rather strange happened – he kept talking about Nicola Sturgeon, Salmond’s successor in both positions!

The light bulb flashed above the old Jac noggin, I took a sip of Malbec and nodded sagely.

And so it came to pass that where there had been unity of purpose in a political party determined to achieve Scottish independence, now they were at each other’s throats! Or at least, that’s what newspapers were reporting. And desperately hoping that the Scottish public would believe it.

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What we see in Scotland suggests that secret polling has confirmed the British government’s worst fears – the Brexit cock-up has created a majority for independence.

Added to the blatant BritNat bias the BBC in Scotland has exhibited for some years we now have government-controlled newspapers in a constituent part of a democracy. Were this happening anywhere else it would be reported, and condemned . . . by the very media outlets that have so readily submitted to government control.

What absolute hypocrites!

WALES

Here in Wales the Britification campaign has been less obvious and offensive, partly because we have less indigenous produce to be plastered with Union Jacks, due in large part to the unwritten rule that says any successful Welsh company is only allowed to reach a certain size before being taken over by an English rival.

That said, the campaign has taken other forms, two examples will suffice to explain what I mean.

To begin with, early last year that most colonialist of ‘Welsh’ organisations, Cadw, announced that there was to be a ring of steel erected near Flint castle to celebrate the 2017 Year of Legends, one of the regular, tiresome, and often insulting tourism marketing ploys.

Ring of Steel is an obvious reference to the castles built by Edward I to encircle Gwynedd and subjugate its inhabitants. Cadw knew this. The proposed structure was soon dubbed ‘The Anus of the North’, an epithet that then seemed to transfer to Ken Skates, the hapless minister for culture or some such in England’s Cardiff management team.

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After a public outcry, political opposition, and a petition that attracted 10,000 signatures in a matter of days, this squalid and deliberate attempt to celebrate English conquest was dropped.

But then came the renaming of the Second Severn Crossing as the Prince of Wales Bridge. Again, this was widely opposed, with little support from within Wales, but it went ahead in a secret ceremony.

The renaming idea is attributed to Alun Cairns, the oleaginous Secretary of State for Severnside, but I’m not so sure. I believe the idea came from the same source as the ‘request’ for supermarkets to smother Scottish produce under the Union Jack. Cairns was only too happy to oblige.

Alun ‘Tippy-toes’ Cairns is now one of the most ridiculed and reviled politicians in Welsh political history, even more so than some of his predecessors such John Redwood; for while we expected no better from them, Welsh-speaking Cairns is viewed as a turncoat.

Having mentioned Severnside, the renaming of the bridge and the removal of the tolls will begin what we are asked to welcome as the great property bonanza in the south east. In practice, no bridge tolls and cheaper property prices on the Welsh side of the bridge will encourage a population movement into Wales.

Replicating what we see in the north as commuters from Manchester and Merseyside are guided away from exclusive communities in Cheshire into the commuter communities planned for the A55 corridor.

Maybe we should now add Gwent to this map (click to enlarge)

These machinations on the part of the UK state, coupled with the cowardice and incompetence of the English Labour Party in Wales has predictably resulted in a reaction.

In the past couple of years we’ve seen the emergence and growth of YesCymru, the launch of new party Ein Gwlad, and the realisation within Plaid Cymru that a hard left party obsessing over issues that mean nothing to 99% of the Welsh population is going nowhere.

There can no longer be any doubt that there is a Britification agenda operating in Scotland and Wales. Because the BritNats driving the Brexit process are awake to the fact that if they win they risk the Union. More moderate elements can also see the risk to the Union and even though they might oppose Brexit they have little alternative but to join in the Britification offensive.

Yet Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg and the rest must push ahead because their political reputations and their places in history are now tied up with Brexit. They cannot afford to fail. If they succeed, they know it will be easy to use the rallying-call of ‘Save the Union’ to reunite the Conservative Party, and leave the other parties no alternative but to fall into line.

The real worry is that the Britification and dirty tricks we’ve seen so far in Scotland and Wales could be nothing compared to what we might experience after the Brexit shit hits the fan.

♦ end ♦

Elections 2017

SCOTLAND

In my previous post I wrote that there is a nasty side to the upsurge in support for the Conservative Party in Scotland. Imagine my surprise, and pleasure, to read Scottish commentators saying roughly the same thing.

This piece by Mike Small on the Bella Caledonia site talks of “British nationalism combining with a brutal lumpen extremism”. Michael Gray on CommonSpace introduces us to some of the uglier Conservative councillors elected in Scotland on May 4: one who called Nicola Sturgeon a “drooling hag”, one who’s obviously been a member of the BNP, one very confused individual who attacked an SNP opponent for being born in King Billy’s homeland, and another who thinks that poor people shouldn’t be allowed to have children. Yes, there are some beauts here!

Obviously such stars will appeal to the single-issue element now being attracted to the Conservative cause by the party playing the BritNat card, but what of those who might prefer a glass of chilled Pinot Grigio to a piss-warm bottle of Bucky? Will the burghers of Morningside and the denizens of the West End march to the beat of the Lambeg drum? Because one problem for the Tories in attracting the Loyalist-Orange-Rangers-BNP-UKIP vote is that such support risks alienating natural Conservative supporters whose world view is not determined by what might have happened near an Irish river in 1690.

WITTMANN RIDES AGAIN! (Courtesy of ‘The Spectator’)

But perhaps the most worrying consideration of all for the Conservatives might be the effect this new support has on those who backed Labour because of what they wanted it to deliver, rather than because it would stop the SNP. Those Labour supporters who care about a decent health service, class sizes and affordable housing, and want to remain part of the EU. Clearly these will not switch to the new tub-thumping ‘Scottish’ Conservatives.

Ideally, these ‘progressive’ Labour voters want a Labour government in London, but with that looking unlikely for perhaps a decade or more, there’ll be a major re-think. Many will conclude that now the Tories have invoked Article 50, are set to impose measures that make Margaret Thatcher look like a social liberal, then independence is the only option to serve their aspirations. And there could be enough of them to swing the next referendum.

So let the Tories rejoice at their growing strength in Scotland while they may, let them gloat over Labour’s demise, but it could all come at a cost – the delivery of Scottish independence. If that happened we’d need to invent a new word to describe a situation for which ‘irony’ was no longer adequate.

LOOKING BACK TO MAY 4

Miscellany

Lost in the Plaid landslide in Cardiff’s Fairwater ward was our old friend ‘John Boy’ Bayliss, former Labour councillor for the Uplands ward in Swansea. Regular readers will be familiar with ‘John Boy’ and, like me, I’m sure, will be wondering where he’s going to turn up next.

Another notable casualty was to found in Wrexham’s Ponciau ward, where Aled Roberts, one-time council leader and former Lib Dem AM, came bottom of the poll in his home ward. While we shouldn’t extrapolate too much from a single result this does not bode well for his party.

Down in Swansea my old mucker Ioan Richard has pissed off his last opponent after 41 years as an elected representative for the semi-rural Mawr ward, north of Morriston. His seat on the council will be filled by Brigette Jane Rowlands, a Conservative. She beat Plaid into second place and Labour into third, with the ‘Other’ candidate coming fourth. Ioan, a good Welshman who – like me – lost faith in Plaid years ago, supported Ms Rowlands because she’s local and hard-working, just like him.

Having mentioned ‘John Boy’ there was an interesting twist in his old ward, where two of the four seats were taken by candidates of the new Uplands Party, which might be a reaction to this area being previously represented in the Labour interest by here-today-and-gone-tomorrow ex-students like . . . well, like ‘John Boy’.

While over in Llansamlet someone else who has appeared on this blog recently, Mo Sykes, got in for Labour, but came last of the four comrades elected. Swept home on a tide of apathy by the ‘donkey vote’.

The Remarkable Rob James

Crossing over to Llanelli, one of the more remarkable results was to be found in the Lliedi ward, where Labour’s Rob James romped home by 20 lengths, cleared the grandstand and kept running. I use that exaggerated analogy because if the Lliedi contest had been a horse race then the stewards might be taking an interest.

Until November or December James was a councillor in Neath – with an appalling attendance record (scroll down) – so few people in the Lliedi ward would have known him. Which suggests that it was the Labour ticket that got him elected . . . in which case, why was his running-mate, a local, ten percentage points behind?

In 2012 there were six candidates and seven last week which, all things being equal, should have reduced the percentage of the vote gained by each candidate this time, which is how it panned out . . . except in the case of newcomer Rob James. In a higher turnout than 2012 it seems that all the extra votes went to James.

Of the previous Labour councillors Janice Williams, a director of the local Polish-Welsh Association, stood down, but hard-working local Bill Thomas was deselected. Which only adds to the suspicion that James is well favoured by persons higher up Labour’s food chain. But even if that’s true, how could it possibly explain this remarkable vote?

He’s obviously done well in Llanelli, but how did Labour in Neath cope without him? I am once again indebted to STaN of the Neath Ferret for bringing us news of Rob James’s old seat of Bryncoch South. You’ll see that with Rob gone the Labour candidates in this two-seat ward came a poor third and fourth to Plaid Cymru.

click to enlarge

Leading me to conclude that either Rob James has magnetism and charisma that have escaped the notice of observers, or there’s some other factor in play of which we are as yet unaware.

Unlawful Election Literature

I have been trying hard to initiate action against those responsible for the vile leaflets distributed prior to the council elections by, among others, Louise Hughes, the ‘Independent’ councillor for Gwynedd’s Llangelynin ward. Catch up with the story here in Dirty, Dirty Politics.

First I contacted the Electoral Commission. On the 8th I received an e-mail from Geraint Rhys Edwards at the EC who wrote, “If you believe an offence has been committed and are prepared to substantiate this complaint through a written allegation, this should be brought to the attention of the police”. So I contacted North Wales Police, who told me it was a matter for Gwynedd Council.

I phoned Gwynedd Council and spoke with Iwan Evans (who I believe works in the legal department), he reaffirmed the Electoral Commission information and gave me the telephone number of DCI Neil Harrison, the Single Point of Contact at NWP. I phoned the number, someone answered and said that Harrison wasn’t there but a message would be passed to him. No contact was made and subsequent calls to Harrison’s number were not answered.

There being no telephone number given on the NWP website I next used the Live Chat service. I was promised a) that I would receive a copy of the exchange by e-mail and b) Neil Harrison would either telephone me or send me an e-mail. I have received no copy and Harrison has made no contact. So on Friday, during my third attempt to get somewhere with Live Chat, I took a screen capture.

click to enlarge

I suspect that North Wales Police know who I am, they know why I’m trying to contact Neil Harrison, and they’re hoping I’ll go away because they don’t want to deal with this case. I shall probably now write to him.

I shall keep you informed as much as I can, for this case is progressing on a number of fronts.

Wrapping Themselves in the Flag

Another old friend, Dennis Morris, ran for Pembrokeshire County Council in Fishguard, and might have won if someone hadn’t spread the rumour that he was a member of Meibion Glyndŵr!

Dennis does sit though on Fishguard town council, and has been fighting for a long time – before he even became a councillor – over which flags should fly on the town hall; the town clerk and others – all outsiders – insist on flying the BritNat flag.

Dennis phoned county hall in Haverfordwest in the hope of clarifying the issue, but was told that the ‘rule’ is that our flag must be accompanied by the other one. He asked to see that rule in writing . . . to be told that it was ‘convention’ . . . and ‘at the chief executive’s discretion’ . . . blah bollocks, blah bollocks.

Dennis would like to see the Ddraig Goch and the flag of St David fly on the town hall of his home town, and so they were once – but for St. David’s Day only. For the rest of the year it’s the situation I’ve explained. In fact, it used to be worse, because until Dennis started making a fuss their flag flew above ours!

Another example of true Welsh sentiment being overwhelmed by the unholy union of settlers and their local allies who don’t deserve to be called Welsh. Do you have to put up with the flag of our colonial masters flying over your community?

LOOKING FORWARD TO JUNE 8

‘Carwyn is our Leader’

Well, no, I’m not really looking forward to June 8, but I can’t ignore it completely. Not least because it’s already looking rather bizarre.

What I mean by that is that ‘Welsh’ Labour has decided to fight a UK general election without mentioning their UK leader Jeremy Corbyn. Yet at Assembly elections this same party mobilises the donkey vote with ‘Send a message to London, keep the Tories out’, in the hope that gullible people will believe it’s a UK rather than a Welsh election and conclude that a vote for a third party will be wasted.

Now there are two schools of thought to explain why ‘Welsh’ Labour promotes Assembly elections as UK elections while treating UK elections as if they are Welsh elections. One says that ‘Welsh’ Labour simply gets confused, while the rival school insists that Labour are lying bastards. After giving the matter a great deal of thought, I have concluded that they’re lying bastards.

As if ignoring your party leader in a general election campaign wasn’t weird enough, there was a piece in today’s Wasting Mule that went for broke. ‘Welsh’ Labour’ rejects the UK manifesto on the grounds that it isn’t really a UK manifesto because “Labour doesn’t stand in Northern Ireland”. Er, no, but it does stand in Wales.

click to enlarge

Semantics aside, who the hell wrote that headline; are we to believe that ‘Welsh’ Labour is detaching itself from reality and the political mainstream to the extent of forming a cult around Carwyn Jones? But, wait, the headline tells us that Labour is ‘reviving’ this cult, so was anyone aware that it had previously existed?

This is worrying. As you read this, deep in the crypt beneath Labour HQ there could be cowled figures, their movements distorted by flickering candles, chanting ‘Carwyn is our leader’ as they raise their sacred daggers over the latest human sacrifice. Maybe a previous sacrifice explains the success of Rob James, cos nothing else can explain it.

And “charisma”, be buggered! Are we talking about the same Carwyn Jones, the tried and tested cure for insomnia? And what’s with all the alliteration? Though if the headline writer wanted a word beginning with ‘c’ then I’m sure most of you reading this could provide one.

Then again, maybe that whole article is a piss-take, because unless ‘Welsh’ Labour breaks away it remains what it’s always been – the local branch of the British Labour Party (not UK because of course Labour doesn’t stand in Northern Ireland). And that’s the truth . . . no matter how much charismatic Carwyn seeks to capitalise on his cult status.

It’s all getting a bit too much, I’m tempted to go to bed until the election is over . . . but I might miss the call from North Wales Police.

♦ end ♦

Brexit, Wexit: Things Can Only Get Better!

THE REFERENDUM RESULT

In my previous post I set out my reasons for voting to leave the European Union. I didn’t think I’d be on the winning side, but there you are.

On Thursday night I’d planned to watch the results programme for a bit and then head to bed around midnight. My expectations of defeat seemed to have been met with the announcement of a substantial rise in the value of the pound and bookies telling us that one of the horses in this race was en route to the knackers yard. It wasn’t long before Nigel Farage conceded defeat.

But then a different mood began to take hold as news filtered through that pollsters, bookies and other self-appointed interpreters of the public mood might have got it wrong. For it seemed that up in north east England, in Newcastle, and Sunderland, the unwashed were in revolt. Then the results started to arrive.

Newcastle, where the Remain campaign had expected a substantial majority, was 50 / 50. (Were they blaming the EU for the Toon getting relegated?) Then came Sunderland, where Leave achieved 61.3%. (But the Black Cats escaped relegation!) Some pundit reminded us that Sunderland has a big Nissan car plant, located there to access the European market, so why were people voting Leave. Cue for much tut-tutting and superior mutterings about voters being ‘uninformed’ (i.e. stupid). It wasn’t long before Nigel Farage ‘unconceded’, and had a celebratory pint.

Nissan Sunderland

As more results became known a picture emerged suggesting that results could be predicted with near-certainty by checking an area’s indicators of wealth – poor areas were voting to Leave, rich areas voting to Remain. There were of course exceptions, such as Liverpool (58.2% Remain), a result some attributed to the pro-Leave Sun newspaper being boycotted in that city. This may have played a part, but let’s not overlook the fact that Liverpool has received billions in EU funding, perhaps more than the Valleys. What’s more, in Liverpool people can see what the funding has been spent on, and by and large they approve.

Perhaps the divide in England was summed up with this article in the Guardian by John Harris headed, ‘If you’ve got money, you vote in . . . if you haven’t got money, you vote out’. The picture in Wales was almost identical; and yet, just a few short months ago Plaid Cymru was hoping for a substantial Remain majority to contrast Wales with England. (Making me wonder yet again what ‘Wales’ this lot claims to be the party of.)

During the night itself, the voice that stood out for me was that of John Mann, the MP for Bassetlaw in north Nottinghamshire (to the east of Sheffield). Mann made it clear that the referendum had been largely won for Leave by Labour voters in the ‘forgotten’ post-industrial regions of England (and Wales) of which the metropolitan elite knows little and cares less.

A few others also saw the true picture, but these were a minority. I found this article from the Guardian by Mike Carter compelling, it details a meandering walk from Liverpool to London.

The picture in Scotland was the one we’d expected. Even so, it was strange to hear English Remain supporters blame the SNP for not getting enough of its support out, which – it was argued – might have swung the whole UK result. The claim seemed to be that because everyone knew which way Scotland would vote, many Scots Remain supporters stayed at home. In Glasgow, the largest authority, the turnout was just 56.2% (66.6% Remain), whereas in the September 2014 independence referendum the turnout was 75% (53.5% Yes).

In the North of Ireland the picture was rather more difficult to interpret because the two Unionist parties followed different courses. The Democratic Unionist Party (the party of the late Rev Dr Ian Paisley) urged its supporters to vote Leave, while the Official Unionist Party favoured Remain. Both Sinn Féin and the Social Democratic and Labour Party wanted to Remain. And of course, hovering over any political debate in that part of the world is the wider consideration of relations with Britain and the Republic of Ireland.

The result for the whole of the Six Counties was 55.8% Remain, telling us that many Unionists voted with nationalists and Republicans to stay in the EU. Though it’s unlikely that many of them would allow their referendum vote to be seen as support for a re-unified Ireland, which seems to be how Sinn Féin is choosing to interpret the result. Yet almost everyone views the return of a visible, patrolled border with the Republic as a dangerously retrograde step.

REACTIONS AND FALL-OUT

The chaos that has ensued is being attributed to a number of factors, with ‘uncharted waters’ being among the favoured analogies, and not just with those of a nautical bent. Of course it’s true; no one has ever been in this situation before so no one is quite sure what happens next. Certainly our politicians seem to be lost.

Though it’s significant that those who led the Brexit campaign – Farage excepted – seem to be backtracking. Strange behaviour for victors. They remind me of a gang of young tearaways who went to start a fire in their school but didn’t mean to burn the whole place down.

We can now divide the Brexiters into two camps (as indeed they split themselves during the referendum campaign). First, we have those who want to disengage from the EU but regard ‘losing’ Scotland and Ireland as too high a price to pay, hence the backtracking. These can be regarded as BritNats. While on the other hand we have those who want to go the whole hog and have an England independent of the EU, independent of Scotland and Wales, independent of just about everybody and everything. We could be unkind, but let’s call these the EngNats. They include the twat in this article who believes that Catholic Croatia is not part of Europe.

Brexit taxi

But what really struck me about the reporting of the referendum and its result was the uncomprehending anger of London commentators, luvvies and others who know less about the lives of people in Sunderland and Swansea than I do about yak herders on the Eurasian steppe. ‘How could they be so stupid?’ was their cry.

The BBC – wedded to the US-NATO-EU line I wrote of in my previous post – didn’t actually call those who voted Leave ‘stupid racist bastards’ . . . it was marginally more nuanced. Perfectly illustrated with the picture below for an article on the BBC website.

BBC Brexit graduates

Some of course did not hold back. Among the more offensive Remainers I encountered was a John Niven; apparently he’s a Scottish writer now living in some Buckinghamshire slum. I can’t say I’ve read anything he’s written, and I certainly haven’t troubled Amazon since reading this asshole’s tweets.

Tweet John Niven

The message from infuriated Remainers was consistently offensive, insulting and intimidating. This is the liberal elite at its worst – still feeling superior but angry and confused because its collective will has been thwarted by the untermensch. Summed up rather well by his article by Brendan O’Neill in the Spectator, The howl against democracy.

The ironies and paradoxes abound. Here we have a group that has for months demonised and belittled others as bigots, yet if poor whites qualified as a minority then the commentariat would be equally guilty of bigotry!

When the BBC wasn’t telling us that thick bastards non-graduates voted for Brexit, it was consulting opinion among groups thoroughly representative of the population. One such group was those attending the Glastonbury Festival, an event covered to an excessive degree by the Beeb. Unsurprisingly, the sons and daughters of the Corporation’s bigwigs and their friends were simply ‘devastated’ at the referendum result.

Brexit Glasto

Just put yourself in the position of a single mother on hearing those views, perhaps a young woman bringing up two or three kids on a sink estate or a flat above a moneylender on a decaying High Street in a forgotten town. Will they make her regret voting Leave? No, but I’ll tell you what it will do, it’ll make her feel angry, hearing people who have so much, and can look forward to so much more, condemning her for her desperation.

Yet another example of hypocrisy. For while the liberal elite and the Leftists accuse those who voted Brexit of causing divisions it is they, who largely control the media, with their patronising bullshit about stupid poor people racists, that risks turning social divisions into yawning chasms.

Another popular theme was that of the young being deprived of their futures by selfish old gits. The Wasting Mule got in on the act with this piece from its Saturday edition. Dan Baker is nineteen years of age and studying in Paris. He believes that we who voted Leave have “succumbed to ignorance”. But then, Dan is 19, and knows everything.

So there you are – you’re stupid and racist for voting Leave, while the ‘more mature’ among us are thoroughly bloody selfish for not dying off pronto, as we would if we really cared about Dan and other deprived youths.

As in England, the insults were flying here too. One my attention was drawn to was a comment from an Englishman making a living out of covering Wales with wind turbines. (This link to his LinkedIn profile no longer works as the page has been removed. Possibly connected with Smith being reported to South Wales Police for a Hate crime.) Not only does he think the country that gives him a living is a pimple on the buttock of his homeland but he also re-tweeted another insult about us deserving a Darwin Award, given for stupidity by the kind of smart-arses who are now lashing out in all directions.

Jeremy Smith

UPDATE 29.06.2016: Around 6pm on the 28th this appeared on Smith’s Twitter account.

Tweet Jeremy Smith apology

I’ll conclude this section with another piece that appeared in the Mule, this one by regular columnist Carolyn Hitt. Now in the past I might have been a little unkind to Carolyn Hitt, lumping her with Jason ‘Jase’ Mohammad and the other bollocks-spouting muppets in our very own Cardiff bubble.

Carolyn Hitt wanted to tell us that she grew up in the Rhondda, an area that attracted migrants from all over, and that the referendum result had “shaken to the core” her “sense of self as a Welsh person”. Serious stuff. But then she goes and blows it all by arguing that in voting to leave the European Union “the majority of Welsh voters threw in their lot ideologically with Middle England”.

‘Middle England’, be buggered! Middle England voted to Remain. The kindest thing I can suggest is that Ms Hitt had not checked the map, or the results, before rushing into print.

THE POLITICAL CONSEQUENCES

Since the referendum result became known the UK has been in a state of political chaos. the only politician who seems to know what she’s about and what she wants is Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon.

Prime Minister Cameron stood down soon after the result was known and now there’ll be an election to choose his successor as Tory leader. As the new leader will lack a mandate he or she will almost certainly call a general election. The original hope seems to have been that this could be done at a leisurely pace without interfering too much with everyone’s summer holidays, but pressure from the EU seems to have speeded up the process and the new leader is expected to be in place by September 2nd. Boris Johnson is the front-runner, with Theresa May as the ‘Block Boris’ candidate.

We’ve always known that the Conservative Party in Westminster is split on Europe, but what this referendum exposed is how detached from its traditional support the irredeemably metropolitan Labour Party has now become. Made obvious by the fact that those areas that voted most heavily to Leave are areas where Labour has dominated for decades.

Now the prospect of a general election before the year’s out has concentrated Labour MPs’ minds and they have turned on their hapless leader Jeremy Corbyn who, they believe, could never win an election . . . which would of course result in many Labour careerists losing their seats. The problem is that while Corbyn may lack support among MPs he has the backing of party activists, many of whom are Leftist agitators and activists who took over the Labour Party around a year ago to elect him leader.

So we have the Labour Party itself split between members and representatives, with a third element being the Labour voters who chose to leave the EU last Thursday against the advice of the party. These disillusioned voters have no truck with the comrades and little faith in the MPs. Consequently, the Labour Party is in one hell of a mess – and I haven’t even mentioned Scotland, where the Labour Party, for so long dominant, is almost dead and buried.

The picture is different in London, where the vote to stay in the EU was 59.9%. This can be explained by greater wealth, the presence of the liberal elite / Leftist types who now control the Labour Party, plus of course large numbers of immigrants. London may have provided good news for the pro-EU campaigners but it also tells us how divided England has become.

Here in Wales, Cardiff, which has long sought mini London status, grabbing all the goodies for itself, achieved that ambition last Thursday when 60% of its voters chose to Remain against a national figure of just 47.5%. Two capitals unrepresentative of the countries that support them.

March on the Assembly

The vote in Wales so outraged the youth of Cardiff that many thousands a few dozen were persuaded to take part in a ludicrous march on the Notional Assembly, among their demands were a second referendum (and a third if that was lost), tattoos on the NHS, and votes for foetuses (possibly eggs). Though I didn’t spot Dan Baker among them. Perhaps the poor boy is in his Paris garret drowning his sense of betrayal with glass after glass of pastis.

It only remains to discuss Plaid Cymru. When the full horror of the defeat dawned on the party leadership the immediate response from leader Leanne Wood was to propose a Labour-Plaid coalition. A response typical of those for whom Plaid Cymru is an alternative socialist party rather than a nationalist party. This suggestion was quickly dropped as opposition from within the party mounted.

Though on the weekend immediately following the referendum, when we might have expected the Plaid Cymru leadership to be monitoring and debating a constantly changing situation and planning ahead, Leanne Wood and Jill Evans MEP, were attending a two-day feminist event in Cardiff, and there were other Plaid wimmin there as well.

The latest news seems to be that Plaid is belatedly trying to emulate the Scottish National Party, but it may be too late. I say that because the SNP has for years been appealing directly to the Scottish people, in direct competition with the Labour Party, to the point where it was eventually able to supplant Labour; whereas Plaid Cymru has farted about with Greens, ‘feminists’, and other cross-border ‘progressives’, only focusing on Labour and Wales when forced to do so at election times, and then, almost apologetically.

LOOKING AHEAD

There will be no clean break with the European Union, things will get very messy from now on, and for the obvious reasons. There may be no break at all.

Just about every pillar of the UK establishment supported the Remain campaign, and they won’t give up without a fight. (A fight most of us will not even realise is happening.) So we can expect increasing calls for a second referendum, perhaps after the general election. (It will be interesting to see what is in the manifestos.) And already we are being reminded that the referendum result is not binding, it was a ‘consultative’ exercise. With most MPs in favour of EU membership that opens up another route for the Remainers.

Even so, there will still be dangerous divisions and tensions between London and the rest of England, tensions that have been obvious for some time, prompting initiatives such as HS2 and talk of a ‘Northern Powerhouse‘, which as we know plans to absorb and assimilate northern Wales. Initiatives that might benefit Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle and Leeds – all of which voted Remain (though only just in the case of Newcastle and Leeds) – but will do little for Hull, Plymouth, Carlisle, Peterborough, Barnsley, Isle of Wight, Stoke, Dagenham, Wolverhampton, Doncaster, Dartford, Blackpool and countless other smaller cities and towns that voted decisively Leave.

northern-powerhouse-1000x290

I have already dealt with the divide between England and Scotland. While UKIP and other EngNats might be resigned – even glad – to see Scotland go the BritNats will do all in their power to hang on to the country. So expect to hear promises of a ‘federal structure’ for Britain, which might – as with devolution – see Wales offered the same as Scotland to avoid showing fear of the SNP.

It seems that politics in Englandandwales – as in the USA and continental Europe – is moving to the Right. For few of those who voted Remain did so for the noble and altruistic reasons the metropolitan elite and the commentariat ascribe to themselves – most voted to stay in the EU out of perceived self-interest. City traders in their Cotswold retreats who voted Remain and former steel workers in Ebbw Vale who voted Leave were driven by a very similar impulse.

The next general election could be a choice between the English Centre Right and the English Extreme Right, BritNats and EngNats. Scotland will of course be insulated by the SNP and slowly extricating herself from this threatening mess (perhaps helped by the EU). Wales’ defence however will be limited to a rump Labour Party made up of careerists and mediocrities, a temporarily resurgent Hard Left, and Plaid Cymru. Which is really no defence at all.

So I say, yes, by all means capitalise on the current chaos, but what Wales really needs is a national movement promoting independence for the right reasons, rather than some ad hoc alliance formed in reaction to Brexit that will fall apart once the threat passes. A national movement unconcerned with the views of metropolitan ‘progressives’ and concentrating solely on defending and promoting Welsh interests.

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

 

Bits & Pieces 13.10.2015: Assembly 2016, Reputations, Vattenfall, Cardigan Castle

REVISED PREDICTION FOR 2016 ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS

A few months ago, in my post Vote Plaid Cymru – Get Labour I made a prediction for the outcome of the 2016 Assembly elections in which I suggested that the likeliest result would be a Labour-Plaid Cymru coalition. For a number of reasons I think it may be wise to revise my prediction.

One major change since I wrote that piece in June has been the election of Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of the UK Labour Party. At first I thought this might help the Labour Party in Wales, seeing as it is forever banging on about being more to the left than the UK party, but now I’m not so sure. Because things are starting to get nasty up in Westminster with civil war breaking out among the Labour MPs.

If Corbyn is no longer leader come next May then Labour will be hors de combat, still licking the wounds received in a bloody civil war to remove him and his right-hand man, John McDonnell. If Corbyn is still there then of course the civil war will be ongoing. What will add to the damage is that the conflict will not be confined to the House of Commons, for a few hundred thousand people – overwhelmingly leftists – joined the Labour Party during the election campaign. Attempts to remove their reason for joining Labour will be resisted, by de-selecting MPs and in other ways defending their heroes. The party might even split. However it pans out, a party so hopelessly divided will not be an attractive proposition to the great majority of voters in Wales.

Of course, Carwyn Jones and his gang will try to stay aloof, arguing that it’s, ‘Nothing to do with us, this is all happening up in London / England’, but too many Welsh voters get news from London sources, and what they’ll see is a party tearing itself apart. This is bound to affect their perceptions of what is after all only a branch of the UK Labour Party. Worse, thousands of those new members joined in Wales, so that’s another reason ‘Welsh’ Labour can not escape collateral damage.

Let’s move on to Plaid Cymru.

To begin with, Leanne Wood is not proving to be the inspirational leader many had hoped, her appeal seems limited to elements within the party and then the rag-bag left. She is making little if any impression on those voters Plaid needs if it is to gain seats, and she’s not going down much better with those voters Plaid needs if it’s to hold on to what it’s got. WhenGwynedd SW Wards merged I listen to her all I hear is socialism in Wales, rather than anything specifically Welsh. I think she’d be happier in a Labour Party led by Corbyn than any patriot should be in a party led by her.

An example of putting socialist ideology before Welsh interests is the recent announcement by the party that if it achieved power it would abolish care charges for everyone over the age of 65. This, according to Elin Jones AM, would cost – over two terms of a Plaid Cymru government (don’t laugh!) – £226m. No it wouldn’t, it would cost a hell of a lot more! Let me explain it slowly, so that even a Plaid Cymru politician can understand.

We have a problem in our rural and coastal areas with large numbers of elderly people moving from England, or moving in middle age after taking early retirement. To the point where in south Meirionnydd, where I live, two-thirds of the over 65s were born in England. A similar situation is found in many other areas, with the result that our NHS and social services are already under strain. Consequently, any measures introduced that make Wales more attractive for the elderly than England will unleash an unprecedented spate of granny dumping, and this will cost one hell of a lot more than £226m.

But this hare-brained scheme is so typically Plaid Cymru. Always looking for a pat on the head from the English Left-Green lobby rather than prioritising – or even considering – Welsh interests.

Things are no better at a local level. You may be aware that there was a recent change in Carmarthen’s shire hall. The council has for a number of years been run by the chief executive, Mark James, who regards democracy as a dangerous and unnecessary threat to his rule. The Labour-Independent coalition fronting his dictatorship broke up in May and a new coalition was agreed between the Independent Party and Plaid Cymru.

Great hopes were raised that with Plaid Cymru as the larger party Mark James might be challenged, and there might be an outbreak of democracy in Carmarthenshire, but Plaid has kow-towed to Mark James in the most cowardly manner, and it can’t all be attributed to council leader Emlyn Dole’s barn problems. (Don’t you think Emlyn Dole could pass for the mayor of a small French town? There’s even a passing resemblance to President Hollande.)

For these and other reasons I can’t see Plaid Cymru getting more than 6 seats. And a blood-spattered Labour Party will be lucky to win 20 seats. Then, given that by May 2016 the debate over EU negotiations and the impending referendum will be getting so much news coverage, the beneficiaries of that are bound to be Ukip. So here’s my original prediction from May alongside my updated prediction. Get ready for a Tory-Ukip-Lib Dem coalition!

Prediction

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REPUTATIONS

On Friday night last I had a Twitter exchange with someone who’s hoping to be among the new Assembly intake, an aspiring Conservative politician named Matthew Paul, the candidate for Carmarthen East & Dinefwr. If the name sounds familiar, that may be because Paul stood for the same seat in this year’s Westminster elections, when he came third with some 21% of the vote.

It all began with him responding to a tweet I put out drawing attention to yet more flat pack chalets being ponced up to the status of ‘luxury resort’, and even more strain put on the bullshit generator by claiming that 200 such chalets will bring 200 full-time jobs! As with similar projects I’ve mentioned, the only thing Welsh about the Corran Resort and Spa is its location in Laugharne. Pure coloniotourism. His response was, “And what economic activity do you want in #Laugharne? A steelworks?”

Not knowing who I was dealing with – other than someone ignorant of the parlous state of the European steel industry – I decided to humour him. We exchanged a few quips before I brought up the case of a farm called Faerdre Fach being re-named Happy Donkey Hill. He responded with, “As a matter of taste, I deplore it, but would defend their right to call it whatever they want”. Maybe he thought he was sounding noble by adapting the quote wrongly attributed to Voltaire . . . if so, it didn’t work; it just made him sound like yet another Tory willing to accept the anglicisation of Wales. Or rather, refusing to confront it, choosing to retreat behind sophistry and disingenuous arguments about ‘freedom’.

Donkey Hill

Matthew Paul is a privately educated, Oxford graduate, lawyer. Have you ever wondered why so many lawyers enter politics? It’s said that it’s because of the training they receive in marshalling their arguments and presenting a case, their ability to persuade a jury to believe what they’re saying. Which a cynic might argue is just another way of saying that lawyers are good liars, which then makes them ideal politicians.

It’s always seemed to me that in reputational terms a lawyer becoming a politician is not a lot different to ‘Honest John’ from the ‘pre-loved’ cars lot branching out into double glazing. No sensible individual completely trusts anyone selling second-hand cars or double glazing, so why are we so credulous when it comes to lawyer-politicians?

*

VATTENFALL OF MONEY

I am indebted to regular contributor Brychan for bringing to my attention a rare job opportunity in the Heads of the Valleys, one paying £300 a day. Read all about it here.

As you can see, this largesse is connected with the Pen y Cymoedd wind farm, a project being undertaken by Vattenfall, a state-owned Swedish ‘company’ which is putting up lots and lots of wind turbines for no other reason than an altruistic desire to save the planet. And because they are such altruists, and philanthropists to boot, they’re giving the run-down communities in the shadow of Pen y Cymoedd wind farm £1.8m every year ’til a’ the seas gang dry. Now Vattenfall is looking for Board Members to oversee the distribution of the bribe . . . though the Board meetings will be held in Cardiff, so more money will be leaving the Valleys.

You will also note from the link provided that recruitment of these Board Members is not being done by Vattenfall itself, for the job has been contracted out to Empower. When I found the website for ‘Empower-Support for the Voluntary Sector Ltd‘, and saw that it’s address was in the Cynon Valley, and then read Empower’s Facebook page, I got that sinking feeling that comes over me when Bafetimbi Gomis is repeatedly caught offside, or I realise that I’m dealing with the Third Sector. In this instance there was no sign of an offside French striker.

Empower etc is run by a Beverly Elizabeth Garside, a highly qualified woman who turned her back on London to move to Wales. Why? The short answer is that despite the obvious deprivation, there’s a hell of a lot of money sloshing around in the Valleys . . . you just need to know how to get your hands on it. The secret is ‘social enterprises’ and other Third Sector rackets that create jobs for Labour cronies and give civil servants something to lie about on EU questionnaires. Then, feeding on the publicly-funded Third Sector, we have companies like Empower. A case of, ‘Big fleas have little fleas . . .’.

Empower

One mystery though is why, on her Linkedin profile, Bev tells us that she has been director of Empower since January 2001, yet Companies House tells us that Empower was not Incorporated as a company until February 18th 2004. So what form did it take in the intervening three years? Perhaps it too was a sucking-directly-on-the-public-funding-teat Third Sector outfit? Whatever the answer, it’s no coincidence that Bev Garside set up Empower in 2001, the same year the EU Objective One money started flowing into the Valleys. This funding was the honey-pot that encouraged her – and so many like her – to move to Wales.

Although the Empower office is in Mountain Ash, in the heart of the deprived Valleys that give Empower its income, Bev herself chooses to live in the agreeable and prosperous little village of Bwlch, near Talybont-on-Usk. More fitting for a woman who has Common Purpose running through her like ‘Barmouth’ through a stick of rock.

P.S. Vattenfall is Swedish for waterfall, and believed to be a reference to the rate at which money pours into the Swedish State’s coffers from exploiting third world communities like the Heads of the Valleys . . . with the help of economic migrants like Beverly Elizabeth Garside.

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CARDIGAN CASTLE

Late last Saturday night I received a Facebook message telling me that Sue ‘English!‘ Lewis had been made to step down from her post as Facilities Officer or Director at the Castle because it was proving difficult to recruit trustees while she was in place. (Fortunately I was up late on Saturday night doing my bit for the Argentine economy, again.)

This news has yet to be confirmed but I have learnt today that a £40,000 a year vacancy has been advertised at the Castle, and also that Sue ‘English!‘ Lewis is notable by her absence from the old pile. Further, I am told that Equinox, the Castle’s Cardiff PR outfit, has had enough, and refuses to represent Lady Tucker and her gang any longer.

I suspect that changes are now being implemented at the Castle, maybe these changes have been enforced, by funders, or the Charity Commission, and there may be attempts to save face by keeping the news from the baying mob. Which is why I would welcome any further information.

Updates, etc: Cardigan Castle, Organ Harvesting, Overseas Aid Programme, Housing Associations, Labour Leadership Contest

CARDIGAN CASTLE

I don’t want anyone to think I’m picking on the women running and wrecking the Cardigan Castle project (nor would I want anyone to think I plan on ignoring them!) but I couldn’t write this post without a mention of developments since my previous post. Here’s a selection.

Someone informed me that at one meeting Jonathan ‘Joff’ Timms opined that Rhys ap Gruffydd and his sons were “nothing but savages”. Which again raises the question: Who the hell is Jonathan Timms and who invited a man living in Kent, England, to get involved?

Another informant sent me a copy of a letter sent to the Carmarthen Journal about three or four years ago, which served to revive an earlier suspicion that the Castle project may be disguising an even more self-serving undertaking involving property grabbing, and that this explains the two trusts. (I would appreciate a good photograph of the Green Street properties.) Elin Jones’ remarks are worth noting.

I am indebted to a third informant for this link which suggests that the Facilities Officer vacancy – the post now filled by Sue “ENGLISH” Lewis – was advertised from December 23rd 2014 to midday on January 2nd 2015. In other words, from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day. How the hell were they allowed to get away with this?

Rumours persist that non-Gang of Four trustees are ready to jump ship, leaving mesdames Tucker, Lewis, Davies and Jones even more exposed. Moves are also afoot to call an Emergency General Meeting.

Pembrokeshire Herald
CLICK TO ENLARGE

Equinox, the Cardiff PR firm working for the Gang of Four, has requested an urgent meeting with local critics. This panic move may have been instigated by the project’s funders becoming worried by the amount of shit now hitting the fan.

Gareth Gregory, the Heritage Lottery Fund’s man on the case, is known to be in the pockets of the Gang of Four. Or should that be ‘handbags’? Or would that be sexist? Who cares?

Here’s the ‘Rhys ap Gruffydd’ Proclamation read out at 7pm on Saturday outside the Castle main entrance, which I understand will also be read out at the Meifod Eisteddfod.

Elsewhere, the Pembrokeshire Herald and its Carmarthenshire sister-paper ran full-page pieces using much of the information I’d supplied on my blog. I only have a photo of the article as I couldn’t get a copy of the newspaper to scan for you, but I was sent a transcript, which you can read here.

Saturday night saw the Bellowhead concert at the Castle. To judge by the photograph I was sent the audience was in the age group 55 – telegram from Beti.

However successful the Gang of Four may want us to believe the Bellowhead concert was I can’t help thinking that a performance of Wagner would have been more appropriate given the situation they’re in, for Götterdämmerung is surely approaching. I’d just love to see the lot of them in horned helmets, wielding spears and shrieking, as a local mob storms the castle. Well, laff!

STOP PRESS: I am now told that during the interval, and at her insistence, Vicky Moller, Plaid Cymru list candidate in Mid and West Wales, was led to the mic by compère, Brychan Llyr (Dic Jones’ son, of Jess fame). She gave a rousing speech, saying that without the diligence and hard work of Cris Tomos (now given the elbow) the renovation would not have been possible. Brychan expressed similar sentiments. Then the control freak Gang of Four tried to prevent Brychan from introducing Bellowhead, but after much heated discussion he did, before leaving the castle grounds.

Finally, the Aberporth connection has been strengthened with information about the bizarre, oversized ‘bardic’ chair to be found at the Castle. Here’s a photo I took on my visit a couple of weeks ago of my wife sitting in it. (No, she hasn’t got a round, flat, black head,) This chair is said to have cost £12,000 but no one seems to recall any tendering process. The artist responsible is a Paul Clarke of . . . Aberporth! He has done work in Aberporth, paid for by the community council, on which body we of course find Jann Tucker. I suggest you read the comments by ‘Rhodri’ to my previous post. He also suggests that the escutcheons and armorials employed are not authentic, having little or nothing to do with Rhys ap Gruffydd, The Lord Rhys.

THIS WEEK’S COMPETITION: Find someone living in Aberporth – or just having a holiday home there – who has not gained financially from the largesse of Lady Tucker of Cardigan Castle.

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ORGAN ‘HARVESTING’

Not a subject I’d normally write about but friends of mine in Llanelli got to thinking about the ‘Welsh’ Government’s proposal to assume that if you don’t expressly say No then you agree to have your organs whipped out and re-used ASAP after your encounter with the Grim Reaper. The leaflet they were reading gave a phone number, and this took them to a call centre in Bristol, and a helpful young Bristolian. This, remember, was for enquiries into a ‘Welsh’ Government initiative.

The big question they asked was, ‘If I agree to donate my organs, or don’t opt out of any new scheme of assumed donation, will my organs stay in Wales (cos they’ll only get homesick otherwise)?’ ‘Er, no, they can end up anywhere in Englandandwales’. ‘Hang on, you’re saying there’ll be an opt-out system in Wales running parallel with an opt-in system in England?’ ‘Um, yes’. ‘Which will mean that the vast majority of the organs taken from Welsh stiffs will end up giving new life to our English neighbours?’ ‘Yup, that’s about the size of it’.

At this point my friends thought they’d be clever and demand the Welsh language service, as the leaflet said they could. ‘I’ll get someone to ring you back’, said the HYB. After half an hour or so the call came, again from Bristol. The Welshman they spoke with said he enjoyed working in Bristol because he and the other Welsh speakers get paid more than their English colleagues because they also answer calls in English. (Which must do wonders for workplace harmony and Welsh-English relationships!)

Welsh Organ

So there you are, if you agree to donate your organs, or don’t opt out of presumed consent, your kidneys could end up keeping alive a frothing-at-the-mouth Kipper, your liver in some Daily Mail journo. This is the kind of insane situation that can only arise when certain powers are devolved within an overarching Englandandwales framework. This is the sham devolution we have in Wales, and in this instance it appears that Wales is being used by England for organ harvesting – with the co-operation of the ‘Welsh’ Government!

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OVERSEAS AID PROGRAMME

I bet that heading surprised you! It certainly surprised me when I discovered that the poorest part of Europe, a country that has received billions in EU aid, is sending money to Africa. Let me explain.

On June 18th I posted ‘Welsh Poverty and “Welsh” Labour’s Third Sector Money Pit‘ and in that post I looked at the careers of husband and wife team Travers Merrill and Rose Mutale Nyoni Merrill. Travers was at the helm when the good ship Rhondda Life hit the rocks, while Rose’s Third Sector racket is BAWSO. Together they also run a private endeavour called ABESU, which, to quote the company’s website, is “a UK charity working in partnership with the ABESU Women’s Housing Co-operative in Zambia to self-build houses and establish sustainable livelihoods”. Nothing surprising there, seeing as Mrs Merrill is from Zambia.

Curiosity drove me to flick through the ABESU accounts, where I found that in the year ended March 31st 2014 ABESU had received £2,000 from the ‘Welsh’ Government. Not a great amount, but why is our puppet regime down Cardiff docks giving anything to an organisation that doesn’t even operate in Wales? As is my wont, I submitted an FoI on June 22nd. On July 1st I received an acknowledgement that promised an answer by July 16th. When that hadn’t arrived by July 23rd I wrote again, and my answer came the following day. You can read that letter by clicking here.

I asked the ‘Welsh’ Government to:

1. Confirm or deny that the Welsh Government gave Abesu £2,000.

2. If confirmed, please explain the reason for the Welsh Government giving £2,000 to Abesu, and from which funding ‘pot’ the money came.

3. Confirm or deny that the Welsh Government gives funding to other organisations that do not operate in Wales.

4. If confirmed, please supply a list of such organisations together with the amounts given, and from which ‘pots’ the funding is secured.

The response I got, from ‘the Office of the First Minister and Cabinet Office’ (‘Cabinet Office’ FFS!) said:

“I can confirm that a grant of £2000 was given to Abesu. This was by way of a grant from the Wales Africa Community Links project which was run by Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) and funded by the Welsh Government’s Wales for Africa programme.

I can confirm the Welsh Government does provide funding to other organisations that do not operate in Wales. However, with regard to the list of organisations and the amounts given, I have estimated that it will cost more than the appropriate limit established in the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 to consider your request and because of this the regulations allow me to refuse to deal with it.”

The letter went on to explain why I would not have a full response, ‘over the £600 limit’, etc. A couple of sentences in this explanation caught my eye, and you may also find them interesting. They said: “The Welsh Government’s finance system contains over 14,500 companies and organisations whose address is outside of Wales. During financial year 2014/15 there was (sic) 2,331 transactions made against these companies”. Suggesting that far too much of the money spent by the ‘Welsh’ Government is leaving Wales.

Wales for Africa

Anyway, returning to the ‘Welsh’ Government’s Wales for Africa programme. With the best will in the world, it’s difficult not to see this as yet another excuse to give money to Labour’s cronies in the Third Sector. This time by sending them on African jollies to “enhance their leadership skills” and have their photographs taken with ever-so-grateful Africans. For more information just follow the link I’ve supplied, and use the drop-down menu on the right-hand side of the page.

This kind of lunacy is almost bound to happen in the system of sham devolution we know in Wales. We have a bunch of pseudo socialists (many just pseuds) behaving as if they’re running a real government. And of course, the civil servants who really run Wales, and their masters in London, are more than happy to let these self-deluding buffoons waste our money.

Message to Carwyn and the gang: Stop playing stupid games; you are not a real government, Wales is poor, so we do not have money to spare for Polly and Dominic to go showboating in Africa.

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HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS

When it comes to events and functions, weddings and conferences Cardigan Castle may not be seeing many paying customers, but one organisation that has been there a couple of times is Cantref, the housing association and white trash importer. A comment to my post The Colonisation of Wales: Help Needed tells us that things got a bit out of hand at Cantref’s AGM when, for some reason, the tenants were bused in for a hog roast and all the booze they could drink! Read the comment for yourself.

Cantref

This munificence is surprising given that Cantref may be entering Shit Creek. (Regularly laying out a few grand on hog roasts and piss-ups don’t help!) For the comment tells us that some of the commitments Cantref has taken on, such as the student accommodation in Aberystwyth, may not be turning out as planned. Hardly surprising when we see Aberystwyth Uni slipping down the league table faster than Cardiff City. Boom! boom! (Couldn’t resist it!)

‘Insider’ also tells us that, “There is something else going on but the sleepy local rags haven’t got a clue yet . . . more news on that later as it’s too dangerous to mention that yet – no wonder three top directors left all of a sudden before year end accounts, local housing consultant David Hedges of Cyngor Da being one of them”. David Hedges is the son of the former Glamorgan cricketer Bernard Hedges, who died in February 2014. (Many is the time I saw Bernard Hedges play at St. Helen’s.) His website, particularly the bullet point ”Cyngor Da’s approach’ is unmitigated Third Sector bollocks-speak. And although the stars favoured him with a Swansea birth Dai seems to have headed into the sunset and relocated to Cardigan.

David Hedges Cyngor Da

Naturally I tried to make enquiries into Cantref’s financial health, but unless you’re prepared to pay through the nose for them there’s no way of getting the figures. The problem is the status of housing associations. If they were charities then it would be a simple matter to visit the Charity Commission website and get the latest accounts gratis. If they were companies then it would be easy to get a financial picture from any number of sites, and pay for specific documents. These would also be available – and usually cheaper – on the Companies House website.

But because housing associations are Industrial and Provident Societies, registered under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies and Credit Unions Act 1965 it means they are registered with, but not regulated by, the Financial Services Authority, which then means you have to apply for any document you want and the cost becomes prohibitive.

No doubt defenders of housing associations will tell us that there is usually an annual report available on their websites. Rubbish, just look at the Cantref Annual Report, it’s just flim-flam and photographs, no better than propaganda, and nothing like the audited accounts available for charities and private companies. And if that wasn’t bad enough, housing associations are not covered by the Freedom of Information Act, unlike your local council’s housing department . . . assuming your local council’s housing stock hasn’t been taken over by a secretive and acquisitive housing association.

I don’t believe that housing associations should be regarded as anything other than the private companies they are. Put quite simply, housing associations do not meet the criterion used by the FSA for Industrial & Provident Societies: “An industrial and provident society is an organisation conducting an industry, business or trade, either as a co-operative or for the benefit of the community.

It is now anomalous that they are treated the same as community organisations and private members clubs. They are – in all but name – private companies, consequently there should be no more funding from the public purse.

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LABOUR LEADERSHIP CONTEST

Another subject you may be surprised to find me writing about. And while I can’t deny deriving a great deal of pleasure from seeing the bruvvers and sissters poking each other in the eyes this is, I assure you, an attempt to make a more profound observation.

Last Wednesday I watched a debate on Newsnight between three Labour MPs, Mary Creagh, Emily Thornberry and Diane Abbott. It seems that Creagh and Thornberry nominated Jeremy Corbyn for the leadership, but had no intention of voting for him, and were now worried that this ‘oppositional’ candidate might win! Abbott was there, presumably, to speak up for Corbyn.

We were also treated to a film of an increasingly wild-eyed and delusional Tony Blair telling his party’s members that if their heart said Corbyn then they should get a transplant! His former ‘advisor’, John McTernan, called those MPs who nominated Corbyn “morons”. It’s worth reminding ourselves that the most recent entry on McTernan’s CV is Chief of Staff to Jim Murphy, leader of ‘Scottish’ Labour in May. The political equivalent of being Custer’s chief scout at the Little Big Horn.

Anyway, the issue seems to be that the great majority of Labour MPs think Corbyn is too Left wing, but at the time of the Newsnight broadcast polls had him as the most popular choice, certainly with trade unionists and ordinary branch members. Which has left Creagh, Thornberry, Margaret Beckett (who’s admitted to being a ‘moron’!) and others suffering from Dr Frankenstein syndrome. It was one of the most enjoyable Newsnights I’ve seen for some time.

To justify rejecting Corbyn Creagh and Thornberry used the argument that Labour would be unelectable with Corbyn in charge, and unless the party wins the next election then Labour will be unable to help the people. Persuasive . . . until they expanded on that and you realised that for them winning elections is an end in itself, and this, they believe, can only be achieved through Labour being indistinguishable from the Conservatives.

The name Emily Thornberry rang a bell with me, but I had to check before I realised that she it was who had insulted the flag of England and those who proudly wave it. She was condemned as a snob for that episode, and watching her on Newsnight I could see why. It was an almost unique experience: she spoke well, her arguments were well marshalled, and yet . . . rarely have I heard anyone be simultaneously eloquent and repulsive.

She is clearly arrogant, to the extent that she kept cutting across Kirsty Wark! (Isn’t that a hanging offence?) But it was her patronising and condescending attitude towards Diane Abbott that really clinched it. She was, and in a way one rarely sees outside of the theatre or television, looking down her nose at the MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington.

Thornberry Abbott

The Labour Party has a massive problem on its hands with this election, for it has exposed the chasm between the unworldly professional politicians in the Westminster bubble and those ordinary party members who oppose starving the poor, who believe in pursuing tax dodgers, and who are clearly unhappy with a Labour Party that is little more than the Conservative Party by another name.

Lubbly jubbly! Vote Corbyn! A las barricadas!