Climate Cult Killing The Welsh Family Farm

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

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

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

2008: ONE WALES: ONE PLANET

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2010: TECHNICAL ADVICE NOTE 6, ONE PLANET DEVELOPMENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2011 OCTOBER: ALUN DAVIES AND ORGANIC ARABLE FARMING

Then there was the plan to help farmers go organic.

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

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

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

2013 DECEMBER: ALUN DAVIES AND HIS TWO-PILLAR TRICK

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

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

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

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

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

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

UPDATE 05.03.2024: But has Alun Davies recanted?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which she did relentlessly and effectively.

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

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

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

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

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

2016 SEPTEMBER: START OF NVZ ‘CONSULTATION’

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

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

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

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

The problem was clearly very localised.

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

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

Truth is, that had been the plan all along.

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

This is how NFU Cymru described it:

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

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

2018 JULY: ‘BREXIT AND OUR LAND’

Wales voted to leave the European Union 23 June 2016.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2018 AUGUST: SUMMIT TO SEA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LATE 2018: TIT-BITS

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

What could possibly go wrong?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2019 APRIL: ‘WELSH GOVERNMENT’ DECLARES CLIMSATE EMERGENCY

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

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

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

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

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

There’s a message there.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2023 NOVEMBER: AGRICULTURE (WALES) ACT 2023

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

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

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

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

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

Makes you think, eh!

CONCLUSION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2024

Send Us Your ‘Homeless’, Your . . .

This post, the last before Christmas, deals with a ‘consultation process’ that could result in changes being implemented that will prove very damaging to Welsh communities.

PANELS, REPORTS, RECOMMENDATIONS

You may remember that some six years ago I submitted a Freedom of Information request to the ‘Welsh Government’ asking how many homelessness organisations there were in Wales. The answer I got was 48.

It may be more by now. It will certainly be more in the future if the desired changes are made to the legislation relating to homelessness.

Let’s begin in June 2019 with the ‘Welsh Government’ setting up a Homelessness Action Groupto recommend the steps needed to end homelessness in Wales“.

This is the group’s final report to the ‘Welsh Government‘ in July 2020. In it I noticed a reference to the Ending Homelessness National Advisory Board (previously known as the Housing Support National Advisory Board).

This second group also promises to end homelessness. Here’s a link to their riveting report from August this year.

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Let’s return to the Homelessness Action Group. Its report is heavy on recommendations but nowhere could I find the names of those who sit on the group. Nor was it signed off by the chair or secretary.

I eventually found the names of the group members on the website of an organisation called Crisis, the driving force behind the whole exercise. An English outfit that’s done what so many do by renting a cupboard in Cardiff and pretending to be Welsh.

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When I saw the name Jon Sparkes my soul soared, for I hoped it might be a misspelling, and a reference to that great observer of Welsh life who gave us Hugh Pugh, Shadwell, Old Mr Fffff et al; but no, for it was definitely Jon, not John.

Jon Sparkes OBE has moved on from Crisis to become CEO of UNICEF UK.

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Before considering the outcomes of these deliberations and their possible consequences, I want to mention a third assemblage of the wise and the caring. This is the Expert Review Panel, or Legal Reform Panel, announced by Julie James 30 March 2022.

The Expert Review Panel reported to James, Minister for Climate Change, in October. Here’s the report. It was delivered to Chez James because she was the Minister for Housing and Local Government who set up the original Homelessness Action Group back in 2019.

Here’s how Crisis celebrated the Panel’s findings.

Apart from three local authority representatives I don’t see much Welsh representation. It’s the usual melange of third sector chisellers and memsahibs living high on the hog of public funding. (Though don’t get me wrong! – I’m sure they’re all vegans.)

Cardiff University and the Labour party (virtually one and the same nowadays) are also in the mix.

And again, Crisis seems to be playing the leading role in this farce.

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Named with the Crisis Wales policy team is Abi Renshaw. But since October she’s been Business Support Coordination Officer for  Community Housing Cymru (CHC), the umbrella organisation for our Registered Social Landlords (RSLs).

CHC is controlled by the ‘Welsh Government’. Which means that someone who moved from Bristol last year, a woman who knows sod all about Wales, has landed a cushy, well-paid (and almost certainly unnecessary) job, in Corruption Bay.

That’s modern Wales in a nutshell.

On page 88 of the report we read that some on the panel – you can guess who! – wanted to create a new post of Housing / Homelessness Regulator.

I often lie awake at night wondering how we manage without a Housing / Homelessness Regulator, on £100,000 a year. Of course we’d need a Deputy Regulator. And perhaps an Assistant Regulator.

With a staff of 50 . . . until the new department finds its feet and expands.

After all, Wales can afford it.

WHITE PAPER, CONSULTATION

What you’ve read so far leads us to the White Paper put out by the ‘Welsh Government’ on October 10 asking for feedback. So here’s a link to the Consultation on the White Paper on Ending Homelessness in Wales.

As you flick through it you’ll see that it’s laid out in chapters, each one concluding with ‘Consultation questions’.

A number of highlighted ‘proposal’ sections are designed to catch the eye. Here’s a selection, together with my comments:

The first will put you in the mood for the unhinged ramblings that follow. And it would be impossible to surpass this example of what German academics call Bollockssprecht.

. . . the local housing authority should be obliged to ask an applicant from the Gypsy, Roma and Travelling Community whether or not they are culturally averse to bricks and mortar“.

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If they are not “culturally averse“, and they take a Welsh home, does that mean they no longer qualify as members of the, “Gypsy, Roma and Travelling Community” – and can they expect to be evicted?

Come to that, why would anyone from those communities be applying for a home of the hated “bricks and mortar” variety in the first place?

Who could write that bollocks and keep a straight face? But if it was written with a straight face then the poor soul who wrote it needs help.

I’m getting a headache just thinking about it, so let’s move on.

Next up, ‘Intentionality’. A clumsy-looking word that refers to persons making themselves deliberately homeless.

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In practice, changes here could result in someone giving up a secure tenancy in Yorkshire – thereby making themselves intentionally homeless – and then being able to demand housing in Pembrokeshire.

It is a very, very bad idea.

One of the current safeguards against abuse of the system is the ‘local connection’ rule, which says you must have lived in an area for at least six months to qualify for social housing. The qualification period is far too short, but it’s something.

Yet some regard it as asking too much.

This passage from the consultation document exposes the split between third sector chisellers and local authorities. The second paragraph makes clear that the push to drop the local connection rule entirely came from the English cupboard-dwellers in Crisis.

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An existing way of getting around the local qualification rule has been to claim a family connection with the area. I’ve seen this operate.

Someone with no local connection gets housed after claiming some exceptional status, and before you know it, the extended family has moved to the area through being able to claim a ‘familial connection’.

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This proposal seems to suggest keeping the already inadequate ‘familial ties’ rule, but watering it down to where it would be meaningless.

The paragraphs above suggest removing the local connection rule altogether; but something else I’ve lifted, and you can see below, suggests achieving the same objective by a series of changes rather than in one fell swoop.

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I would guess that the reference to “Prison leavers” refers to the massive new prison in Wrecsam, HMP Berwyn, where most of the prisoners are from England. Think how that might work out.

There are clearly three main ‘targets’ where change is sought by the chisellers heretofore mentioned.

Local connection and intentionality we’ve looked at, which leaves access to public funds. The situation at present is that persons subject to immigration control cannot claim public funds unless an exception applies.

A footnote to page 93 reads: “The Welsh Government have (sic) recently launched a supplementary Migrant Victim of Abuse Support Fund, which will be piloted for a year by BAWSO. We intend to use the learning from this pilot, together with the evaluation of the Home Office’s Support for Migrant Victims Scheme to shape the design of longer-term support to meet the needs of migrant victims in Wales.”

BAWSO is an organisation catering for women of colour. It has received vast amounts of funding over the years – over £3m in ‘Welsh Government’ grants and contracts in the twelve months ending 31.03.2022 – and is now a major property owner. Its founder, Mutale Merrill, also has a nice property portfolio of her own.

Though the original, Homelessness Action Group, set up in 2019, in its report recommended, in the section headed ‘Ending Migrant Homelessness’ (page 26), “Providing guidance to local authorities, clearly setting out the duties owed to migrant households with no recourse to public funds.

I suspect that the ‘Welsh Government’ and its third sector cronies are trying to circumvent as much as they can the UK immigration control legislation.

Let’s be clear: Any attempts to weaken or remove the existing requirements can only mean that the intention is to commandeer Welsh housing for people with no connection to Wales. This can only be done at the expense of Welsh people hoping for a home in their own country.

I appreciate that it’s quite a daunting task to read all this stuff, so for a quicker read, here’s the Children’s and Young Person’s version.

BUT WHY?

What we see here is a struggle between three different interests.

First, we have NGO shysters with no commitment to Wales or the Welsh people, concerned only with groups they’ve decided are ‘marginalised’, assorted ishoos, and themselves. These charlatans would flood Wales with ‘homeless’ and others from God knows where in order to increase their funding and their political clout.

Next, we have Welsh local authorities who are in the front line and can see the dangers from further relaxing regulations that are already too lax.

Finally, we have the ‘Welsh Government’, which invariably succumbs to Left-Woke pressure, but doesn’t want to risk alienating local councils too much, virtually all of which are run by Labour or its partner Plaid Cymru.

Though another factor in play with the ‘Welsh Government’ is virtue signalling on the world stage. For Corruption Bay loves to crow about measures it hopes might win plaudits from elsewhere.

We’ve already seen it with One Planet Developments, which has even been noticed by the World Economic Forum.

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Then there was the Well-being of Future Generation Act, and the boast that, “The Act is unique to Wales attracting interest from countries across the world“.

But no other country has copied Wales’ lead. Revealing, that!

And how about the ‘Welsh Government’ being the first in the world to declare a climate emergency? Even though there’s no agreed definition of a climate emergency.

Perhaps the most recent example would be the disastrous introduction of 20mph speed limits. Overwhelmingly rejected in a poll published this week.

And the pattern is repeating itself with what at present is just a White Paper out for consultation. “World-leading“, be buggered!

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But that claim is already being echoed by The Big Issue.

This is no way to run a country; standing on a stage, ignoring your own people to shout over their heads in the hope of attracting the attention of others who really don’t give a fuck what you get up to.

There’s something sad about it. Like a neglected or insecure child desperately seeking the attention and the approval of the adults in the room.

To satisfy these pathetic ambitions the ‘Welsh Government’ might implement the dangerous suggestions of organisations flooding into Wales because they view our country as more ‘receptive’ to their ideas, more ‘manageable’ than England.

I believe a majority of the Welsh public has run out of patience with the virtue-signalling clowns in Corruption Bay.

And increasingly, the politicians there realise it. This explains Drakeford’s departure. Either he realised his time was up, or his colleagues knew he had to go for them to have any chance of saving themselves.

Let’s keep up the pressure.

Make them realise we’ve had enough of grifters living off the Welsh public purse. Enough of perverts being allowed into schools. Enough of the ‘Saving the planet’ bullshit that encourages the exploitation of Wales. Enough of pandering to imaginary or contrived ‘minorities’. Enough of the war on farmers. Enough of the subservience to the Globalists’ anti-human agenda.

They can make a start by rejecting any and all suggestions to weaken the already inadequate rules on who qualifies for housing and other assistance in Wales.

Do that by telling Crisis where they can stick their agenda. And instead, remember our people, who are not “culturally averse to bricks and mortar“.

♦ end ♦ 

© Royston Jones 2023

A Little Place In The Country

In this piece I shall look at what might be a renewed attempt to promote OPDs, or perhaps it’s just another bit of ‘affordable housing’ flim-flam. Maybe a bit of both.

For newcomers . . . the OPD system is unique to Wales; it allows people to build a dwelling in open country as long as they promise to worship the sun, name their sprogs Earthworm and Beelzebub, and grow a couple of carrots to prove they’re ‘farmers’.

I’ve written about OPDs many times. Just type ‘OPD’ in the search bar.

GARRISON OPD

Three years ago I introduced Garrison Farm CIC, you’ll find it in this post, scroll down to the relevant section. The two principals were Ross Edwards and Chris Carree. Carree left the company in June 2021 but Edwards is still there.

I assume Garrison Farm is still a going concern because three new directors have joined since Carree left. Let’s look at them in the order they joined.

First, 04.10.2021, was Kevin John Foley, who’s worked for Admiral insurance for 20 years. Is his employer chipping in?

Next we have, 30.06.2023, Christopher Mark Kelshaw. Another Army veteran.

Finally, we have Michael Paul Smith, 05.08.2023, who is Senior Facilities and Project Officer for Swansea council, and has worked for the council for over 20 years. Swansea council contributing?

The plan is to set up – possibly in Swansea, or maybe Carmarthenshire – a kind of OPD community for former military personnel. That’s the impression I get in this video from February last year. (Watch from 38:00.)

The webinar is hosted by David Thorpe, founder / director of the One Planet Centre and co-founder / patron of the One Planet Council.

Thorpe was clearly recovering from a stroke, which he attributed to ‘climate anxiety’.

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Thorpe has crossed my path a few times over the years as I’ve researched OPDs. And the idea of a community of OPDs is not new. As this tweet of Thorpe’s from January 2018 makes clear.

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Though I don’t know what project was being discussed, or even if there was a specific project mooted. So much OPD discussion is little more than pipedreams.

But to return to Swansea, where there was certainly a project launched that could plausibly be called a community. This was Killan-Fach Eco-farm on the Gower side of the city. (Marginally more attractive than the Port Talbot side.)

I wrote about it in June 2020 in One Planet Developments, just scroll down to the section ‘Farmlets’.

The council knocked it back for a number of reasons. One being that . . .

There is also no evidence of how the development would meet local affordable housing needs

Which tells me that ‘affordable housing’ was one of the angles used in the hope of getting planning consent for an OPD project. This is interesting, because you’ll be reading more about affordable housing, and ‘co-operative social housing’, in a minute.

But before that it might be worth focusing on Ross Edwards a little.

From his Linkedin profile we learn that since January this year he’s been Business Development Manager for Rouute. Here’s the website. It describes its product as a, “road-based energy harvesting system“.

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If I understand it . . . pads or sensors are placed on the road surface and vehicles driving over them generate electricity. Even if it works, we’re unlikely to see this technology in Wales because we’re heading towards a vehicle-free future.

There’s another military connection here at Rouute. For CEO is Antony Edmondson-Bennett, a former army officer who, according to his now disappeared Linkedin bio, is trained in ‘close protection’. (It was there last week when I was researching this.)

The Rouute website announces a link-up with a firm called Carma. Here’s a very short video starring the founder of Carma, Jim Holland.

I found the Carma website easily enough, but there is no company of that name registered with Companies House. It was only by scrolling down to the small print at the bottom that I found, “Carma is a trading name of Rewards.Earth LTD 13315107“.

So let’s see what else we can learn.

I THINK THAT I SHALL NEVER SEE . . . ‘.

The arrangement between the two, as spoken by Jim Holland of Carma, is that . . .

Rouute Technologies Ltd will be planting trees for every single unit they sell in the UK or abroad.

While on the Carma website we read of: “UK trees planted by veterans via The Green Task Force“. Here’s the Companies House entry.

On the ‘Meet the Team‘ page of the website we see: “Our target is to plant tens of millions of trees in the next five years“. That is some ambition!

Rooting around for more information I naturally looked up Holland’s Linkedin page, where we see that he was in the Royal Navy for 13 years. So another military connection.

In this rooting around ‘South Wales’ appeared more than once.

One mention involved Paul Webb of Pontypool, who spent 12 years in the Royal Navy. The other mention was about planting trees for Sussex software company Tillo. On that Tillo website we read:

This March, ten members of the Tillo team will be making their way to South Wales for a day of tree planting in partnership with Carma.

Despite the nonsense about saving the planet, what we’re looking at here is greenwash; and it must be bracketed with outfits like Stump Up For Trees, and investment vehicles like Foresight, buying up Welsh farms.

Too much of Wales is being lost in this way. We don’t need any more of it.

DRAKEFORD SPEAKS!

I’ve got a treat for you now – a video clip of our Glorious Leader! It’s from Tuesday last week (Oct 17).

Drakeford was responding to a completely unrehearsed and piercing question from Huw Irranca-Davies MS. Here’s the transcript.

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Seeing ‘Mike Hedges’ and ‘fascinating’ in the same sentence is quite hilarious.

But here’s where I want to focus, on this section referencing “co-operative social housing managed and owned by the people who live in them“:

And the good news is, Llywydd, that we have a new wave of initiatives being led in different parts of Wales: the Solva community land trust, the Gower community land trust, the Taf Fechan Housing Co-operative in Merthyr—all of them initiatives designed to develop housing that will be run and managed by the people who live in them.

In his ‘question’ Irranca-Davies makes reference to “international youth leaders” in attendance, though God knows why anyone would travel to listen to those clowns. Let alone travel any distance.

THE EXAMPLES DRAKEFORD QUOTED

Drakeford mentioned three examples of co-operative social housing. These were, to quote him verbatim: “the Solva community land trust, the Gower community land trust, the Taf Fechan Housing Co-operative in Merthyr”.

Let’s look at them, working backwards.

Taf Fechan looks like an offshoot of housing association Merthyr Valley Homes. I guess it takes over or runs MVH properties. If so, then it’s not a group of locals coming together afresh to build and manage their own community.

Now let’s turn to Solfa.

The Solva Community Land Trust was launched under the direction of, or with the help of, Planed in September 2019. “Planed delivers sustainable outcomes for communities by a collaborative, people-led approach“.

But I’m not sure what if anything’s happened since.

There’s this report from the Western Telegraph (19.02.2021) telling us that 18 affordable homes will be built on Solfa football field. But were they built?

Adding to the uncertainty is that nothing’s been posted on the ‘News’ section of the group’s website (scroll down) since January 2021. Nothing added to the SolvaCLT Twitter / X account since January 2022. And the latest accounts filed with the Financial Conduct Authority show just a few quid in the kitty.

An internet search turned up this from March this year, which suggests the properties are still not built.

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The third project mentioned by Drakeford was in Gower. And I assume he was referring to Gŵyr Community Land Trust. Here’s the website.

Though it’s registered with Companies House as Gower Land Trust CIC, launched May 2021. And with just a few hundred in the piggy-bank it’s also difficult to see where this is going without a major injection of funding.

But it seems to have a rival in the Gwyr Community Land Trust Ltd, launched August 2023. This is a one-man band run by a local, Roger Brace.

I mention that Roger Brace is local because, looking at those involved in Gŵyr Community Land Trust, I see that a number of them are newcomers to Wales.

Director Adam Jefferson Land was not long ago pushing a similar venture over in Devon. (Fellow-director Niaomh Convery came to Swansea with him.) Another of the three directors, Emily Robertson, came to Wales a few years ago after working for Solace Women’s Aid in London.

Going by the bios and other evidence, this crew is sure to appeal to ‘progressive’ politicians. An impression strengthened by the image used in this WalesOnline report in November 2021.

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THE BIT AT THE END WHERE I PULL IT ALL TOGETHER

OPDs, as originally conceived, never really took off. While throwing up a shack in the countryside might appeal to many, needing to prove that you were living a largely self-sufficient lifestyle seems to have put many off the idea.

To make things worse, the idea was highjacked by unscrupulous, often unsavoury individuals and groups, buying land, often tracts of forestry, then selling or renting plots for people to put up cabins or bring in mobile homes.

The examples below are from Llangynog, Carmarthenshire, and they were sent to me a couple of years back. They’re not OPDs, and they don’t have planning permission.

But those who live in them will employ the OPD defence against council planners.

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I’m not suggesting that Wade William Heames is either unscrupulous or unsavoury, but his Edible Forest projects have come in for a lot of criticism. Much of it from people who’d been tempted to buy in, or even had bought in.

Also, from those threatened with being neighbours to one of his projects.

Which brings me back to Ross Edwards and Garrison Farm. I might accept this project if it was home to Welsh ex-service personnel. But if it’s nothing more than a smokescreen for greenwashing, then I would object.

The video you saw earlier, starring Ross Edwards and David Thorpe was produced by Cwmpas. (Formerly, Wales Co-operative Development & Training Centre Ltd.)

Cwmpas is pushing co-operative and community-led housing. Naturally, I went to the Financial Conduct Authority website to get some info on Cwmpas. Here’s the annual return and accounts for year ending 31.03.2022.

Income of £6.5m from “‘Welsh Government’, European funding, other grants and sources of income“. With two-thirds of that income going on the 100 staff.

And I bet you’d never heard of Cwmpas until you read this. How many more such beasties are out there, lurking in the shadows, devouring unwary maidens and feasting on public funds?

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You’ll see that the Cwmpas accounts were signed off by the then secretary, D Walker. Now Derek Walker – for it is he! – is the Future Generations Commissioner. Does he plan to breathe new life into OPDs in his new role?

Whatever Walker may have planned, Drakeford was talking about more conventional housing. But to understand why we are where we are, you need some background information.

It was always my belief that the left wing administration in Corruption Bay wanted rented housing to be the sole preserve of housing associations . . . with these in turn funded and controlled from the Bay.

But the close relationship that developed led the ONS to decide that Welsh housing associations were, effectively, public bodies. This resulted in them being privatised. Explained here from a ‘Welsh Government’ perspective.

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Welsh housing associations are now building many fewer homes for rent. Some are building none at all. They, and their subsidiaries, are focused almost exclusively on private, open market housing.

This helps explain why some councils are trying to make up the shortfall.

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Adding to the problem is the ‘Welsh Government’s ongoing campaign against private landlords.

Finally, and especially in rural areas, we have the issue of holiday homes, also retirees and others buying property and moving in permanently.

So . . . fewer housing association properties for rent; private landlords quitting the business; councils spending money they may not have trying to fill the gap; politicians tickling rather than tackling the rural housing crisis; to a backdrop of recession, a ‘de-growth’ agenda, and increasing economic hardship enforced by following the lunacies of Net Zero.

There could be a perfect storm approaching . . . and this storm will have bugger all to do with any imaginary ‘climate crisis’.

Which is why I would hope to see official support for local people getting together to help themselves. But the examples quoted by Drakeford do not inspire confidence.

One thing for sure – a government making major expenditure cuts, and councils that are also feeling the pinch, should not be funding good-lifers hoping to settle in scenically attractive areas with which they have only the most tenuous connection.

The only real solution is a comprehensive and national housing strategy. But it would need joined-up thinking and hard work – from a ‘Welsh Government’ that prefers soundbites and virtue signalling!

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2023

Racism, Grifting, Agendas

This is a piece that I’d planned to get out earlier in the week, but things cropped up. For example, I had to make a trip to Swansea. So for that and other reasons it got delayed.

DRAMA QUEEN PERFORMS

This piece took inspiration from a report in Saturday’s Llais y Sais, but it links with other things I’ve written in recent years. Let’s start with the article.

It’s about Jessica Dunrod. Who a few days before had resigned as Amgueddfa Cymru’s “project manager of decolonising collections“.

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The first point I want to make is that if you employ someone to ‘decolonise’ your collections then that’s an admission your collection needs decolonising. But who decides in the first place that a collection needs decolonising? And what criteria do they apply?

What exactly is a colonised collection? Is it a collection that has been taken over and is now being brutally exploited by another collection?

I suspect not.

In her resignation letter Dunrod accused our National Museum of high crimes and misdemeanours including a “toxic working environment“, being a den of “unresolved racism and bullying“, before sparing none with, “institutional racism across Wales in general“.

That final attack might appear to be an accusation of collective or national guilt. If so, then it’s a slander against us all. Which is why I’m going on the offensive, and not just against Jessica Dunrod.

I wrote about our national museum a couple of years back, when it came under attack from certain quarters.

My coverage began with Corruption Bay and a Tale of Cymrophobia (23.08.2021), in which I related that surveys commissioned by the Arts Council of Wales and Amgueddfa Cymru concluded both bodies were racist!

Yeah, ‘surveys’.

My attention was soon drawn to the Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union (WAARU).

My follow-up piece was Arts Council of Wales and Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union, an update (31.08.2021). And the third was Welsh Arts Anti-Racist Union unmasked (06.09.2021).

In a nutshell, what I found was a bunch of far left shit-stirrers moaning about racism, with WAARU (in its ‘report’) even accusing the Arts Council and the Museum of “upholding white supremacist ideology“.

Wow! there’s an ideology!

But as with all the other allegations, and the cases of ‘discrimination’, there was nothing specific, nothing tangible. Just wild accusations that make the report a work of fiction more worthy of funding than anything else produced by these mediocrities.

But while the race grifters were getting the publicity, plus the jobs, grants and other goodies, they were in some ways just a distraction. For there were other beneficiaries.

Allegations of ‘racism’, campaigns to bestow ‘inclusivity’ and other joys, or funding and appointments, are all used to increase ‘Welsh Government’ influence over certain bodies, even to the point of total control.

A phenomenon I’ve dealt with more recently with, Taking Control, Of Everything (19.06.2023).

Though the use of one tactic does not preclude the use of others. And once you appreciate what’s happening then a number of things become clear. For example, the contrived furore over rappers being banned from the National Eisteddfod was clearly a warning shot about the Eisteddfod’s all-Welsh rule.

With the Eisteddfod so dependent on ‘Welsh Government’ funding, and Vaughan Gething being Drakeford’s heir-apparent, things look bleak for the Gorsedd.

Jessica Dunrod’s sinecure at Amgueddfa Cymru as project manager of decolonising collections was perhaps a result of similar manoeuvring.

Following the WAARU assault Amgueddfa Cymru capitulated and set up a Decolonising Group, with Black Lives Matter apparently playing a big role!

Yes, it actually says: “The Black Lives Matter movement has fast-tracked conversations about the stories that our collections and displays present, calling for us to confront history and challenge present-day injustices.”

How thoroughly decent of them to “fast-track”.

It seems reasonable to assume that BLM also had a hand in the adoption of A Charter for Decolonising Amgueddfa Cymru’s Collection.

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By 6 December 2021 we see Amgueddfa Cymru advertising the vacancy that was filled by Jessica Dunrod.

The wording says: “We are recruiting for a Project Manager, Decolonising Collections. The closing date is 13 December – apply now to be part of the de-colonization of the national collections.”

Which I find revealing.

Because so much of what passes for debate on the subject of race and racism is simply slogans imported, without adaptation, from the USA, often unfit for purpose in Europe; and especially in Wales, which had neither an empire nor slavery, and is itself a victim of colonialism.

This wholesale importation of Americanisms extends to the spelling “de-colonization” in the job advert.

One final word on Jessica Dunrod, who sees racism everywhere, to the point of absurdity.

You’ll recall the case of nurse Lucy Letby, who was recently convicted for the deaths of a number of babies in Chester. As far as I’m aware, all the babies were White, a number of them born to Welsh parents.

Well, someone tweeting as ‘Dr Ruby’, somehow linked these killings to the bizarre case of a woman kicking a big horse, and believes that the tragedy of the murdered babies and the horse incident can be attributed to “white supremacist structures“.

And Jessica Dunrod agrees, for she retweeted it.

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How unhinged, how obsessed with ‘racism’, do you have to be to see white supremacist structures (whatever they might be) in the Lucy Letby case?

Or to put it another way, how far down the woke rabbit-hole do otherwise sane people have to fall to not call this out for what it is?

SELECTIVE ATTITUDES TO SLAVERY

Slavery is all the rage nowadays.

Well, obviously not the real thing, or certainly not in Western countries, but talk of it often dominates certain political discussions. Based on the absurd premise that slavery was only and ever practised by White people against Black Africans.

And for this, we White folks must be forever repentant. All of us.

I do not believe in collective guilt, even less in inherited guilt. We don’t blame all Germans for WWII, or all Americans for the unspeakable horror that is basketball. And if my great-great-great-great-grandfather killed somebody then that was something he did and for which he alone was and remains responsible.

Similarly with slavery. Though others choose to see it differently.

One of those being Malik Al Nasir, described in the article below as “a poet and an author”, also a PhD history student at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge. He has focused on former MP and Assembly Member Antoinette Sandbach.

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It seems that she had a slave-owning ancestor named Samuel Sandbach and Al Nasir wanted everyone to know. This resulted in death threats for Sandbach.

The article doesn’t tell us when Samuel Sandbach flourished, but seeing as Britain outlawed slavery in 1833/34, it had to be over 200 years ago.

I further assume that a man like Malik Al Nasir, so concerned with the horrors of slavery, must be aware that Black Africans are today being sold in North African slave markets by his fellow Muslims.

Come to that, how many Black Africans were enslaved by Muslims over the centuries? Why is it, as this article suggests, “a taboo subject“?

Well, we know why, don’t we? (And if you don’t know, then keep reading.)

After all is said and done, Al Nasir is free to condemn the trans-Atlantic slave trade, but he should be honest enough to accept that slavery was universal.

And by the same token, I am free to condemn the countries of the Sahel, and Turkey, for their part in enslaving millions of White, Christian Europeans in the same time frame as the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

The more I think about the left’s attitude to slavery the more I see the response from the same quarter to ’emissions’ and fossil fuels. China can open a coal-fired power station every other day, the same with  India and other countries . . . but climate change is still the fault of Western countries currently impoverishing their populations with degrowth strategies in pursuit of Net Zero.

Which should tell you that it’s not really about slavery, or emissions. These are just elements of the Globalist agenda being implemented to undermine the West.

WHITE BUGGERS ON BIKES

We turn now to someone who’s appeared on this blog before, it’s Gareth James, who runs Irie’s Rum Bar and Reggae Lounge in Aberystwyth. He appeared in Welsh Independence And The Left, back in January.

He got a mention because Aberystwyth seemed to be home to a number of those I wrote about, with Gareth James himself, in his piece in the Cambrian News, arguing that Dyfed Powys Police should be more Woke!

(Most people would settle for them being awake.)

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His most recent offering was in last week’s Cambrian News. It’s a truly strange, and worrying article, but it’s very clear that Gareth James has issues with middle-aged White men riding motorbikes.

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I won’t dissect it too much, but a few questions must be asked.

If the problem is the noise he claims they make, does it really matter that these bikers Gareth James complains about are White? To put it another way, would the noise be acceptable if these, “elderly dickheads on ear-splitting motorbikes” were Black?

But then, he seems to think that if they were Black they wouldn’t be allowed anywhere near Aberystwyth. Thanks to un-Woke local Plod.

I know Aberystwyth prom, and I’ve seen the bikers parked near the Prom Diner many a time. Yes, there are a few preening wankers among them, but by and large they’re just ordinary blokes who like motorbikes, and like getting together to talk about motorbikes.

Some are middle class, but most are not. Many come up from the south. Let me make it absolutely clear that I’m thinking now of southern Wales, not Dixie.

I make that clear because the piece gave us another jarring Americanism with Gareth’s reference to Harley Davidsons. Jarring because I don’t think I’ve ever seen one on Aber’ prom.

But Gareth’s rant is obviously informed by American movies, and the perception that all-White motorcycle gangs are inherently racist.

Slow down, Gareth; it’s Aberystwyth promenade, not Sturgis, SD.

That sad piece says more about Gareth James than it says about the problems caused by a few middle-aged bikers in Aberystwyth.

Its confessional nature was disappointing because even though rum and reggae are not my thing I was still warming to Gareth James. Possibly because I’ve spent many happy hours – days, even! – in establishments of public resort wherein alcohol may be obtained.

To the extent that I believe there’s a special place in Heaven reserved for bar-keepers. And if I’m right, then, when my time comes, you’ll find me there on a bar stool.

But I’d rather spend eternity being served by a bosomy slapper (Black or White) who enjoys a risqué joke than being lectured on the evils of Whiteness by Gareth James.

CONCLUSION

If Jessica Dunrod was the best of those that applied for the post of decolonization (sic) officer at Amgueddfa Cymru then it don’t bear thinking about the unsuccessful candidates.

Malik Al Nasir is a wannabe academic riding a wave. Promoting himself by putting an innocent woman in danger was unforgiveable.

Gareth James really does need to take a long, hard look at the town and the country he lives in. It’s nowhere near as bad as he seems to think.

Combatting ‘racism’ has become a way for some to expose their own frailties by using the most absurd pretexts to attack White people. Thankfully, an increasing number of people, White and Black, see it for what it is. Which is why Dunrod, Al Nasir, James, and others, need to remember the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

Otherwise people will ignore them when the fascists really do appear.

For I see it now . . . hundreds of the noisy buggers, astride Harley Davidsons, demanding the immediate implementation of “white supremacist structures” as they ride up and down Aberystwyth prom seeking Gareth James.

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2023

Wales, Idiots And Envirogrifters

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

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

EXTINCTION REBELLION, AN UPDATE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So who is Claire Chappell?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MISCELLANEA

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

That make sense?

RULE OF SIX

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

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

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

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

THE ENVIROGRIFTERS’ MILITIA

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

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

Clearly following the third sector model.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NFU REJECTS ‘WELSH GOVERNMENT’ TREES PLAN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FUTURE GENERATIONS COMMISSIONER LOOKS INTO THE, ER, FUTURE

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

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

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

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

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So what did Derek have to say?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finally, we read:

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

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

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

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

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

DEVELOPMENTS OF NATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An agenda the envirogrifters are increasingly dictating!

CONCLUSION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2023

Wales, Where Democracy Came To Die

If the title strikes you as over-stated, just hold your judgement until you’ve read what I have to say. And if you still disagree with me, then you can claim your refund from the Reimbursements Unit of the Finance Department at Jac Towers.

Seeing as last week’s offering was a little long, at over 3,000 words (and there were complaints!), I’ll try to make up for my previous verbosity with this shorter piece.

TON UP LABOUR

Last year Labour celebrated a century of being the political party sending the most MPs from Wales to Westminster.

Since the advent of devolved government in 1999 it’s been a similar picture in the Senedd (formerly Assembly), with Labour always the largest party.

According to Professor Richard Wyn Jones of Cardiff University this makes Labour in Wales “the most successful party in the democratic world”. But he can only be right if ‘success’ is judged solely on electoral victories.

Because if we gauge success by making life better for people, or by improving a country, then it’s a different story.

Because since we’ve had devolution Wales has fallen behind the other countries of the UK in economic performance and in education; our health service is falling apart, and our standing-room-only, no refreshments, blocked toilets trains would shame a third world country.

On top of which, money is diverted to lunatic schemes while essential services suffer.

At the most recent elections, in May 2021, Labour won 30 of the 60 Senedd seats, all of them in the south and the north east, with 39.9% of the vote, an increase of 5.2% points on 2016.

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But that was from a turnout of just 46.6% (which was still an increase of 1.2% on 2021.) In 2003 the turnout went as low as 38.2%, and in 2011 it was just 42.2%

Which means that in the 2021 Senedd elections Labour gained the support 18.6% of those eligible to vote. But thanks to an electoral system favouring the largest party Labour took half the seats, and further strengthened its grip through an alliance with Plaid Cymru, a party that has become almost a Labour subsidiary.

A control that Labour now intends to make permanent. Partly through taking over national institutions and other bodies, partly through introducing a new electoral system that will favour Labour even more.

More on the first tactic in the next section, more on the vote rigging later.

TENTACLES

Over the years I’ve explained how Labour holds onto power through the use of lobbyists, a tame media, opposition parties incapable of mounting effective opposition, crony-run third sector organisations and other bodies the ‘Welsh Government’ funds to tell it what it wants to hear.

Recently, I published ‘Wales: Ruled By Pressure Groups‘ (12.06.2023) in which I gave examples of the influence exerted over our tribunes by outfits like Extinction Rebellion, 20’s Plenty for Us, WWF, Friends of the Earth and Sustrans.

The advantage of this relationship for the ‘Welsh Government’ is that it can quote these organisations as “experts“, in order to push on with plans and projects that had already been mutually agreed.

These groups are international in nature, or just English. But they send somebody down to Cardiff, rent a cupboard, stick ‘Cymru’ in the name, and pretend to be Welsh – with our best interests at heart!

I followed up that piece on pressure groups with ‘Taking Control, Of Everything‘ (19.06.2023) where I outlined my observations that the ‘Welsh Government’ also seems to be taking over a number of national institutions and other bodies.

Referring to recent events at the Welsh Rugby Union I wrote:

After creating what was reported by a loyal media as “turmoil” in our sporting bodies the ‘Welsh Government’, with the help of certain individuals ‘on the inside’, was able to engineer a situation that saw people parachuted in who are dependent on ‘Welsh Government’ patronage.

If I had to link the two pieces I would say that this is straight out of the World Economic Forum playbook. The WEF invents or exacerbates problems in order to capitalise on them and offer solutions; then, through this deception, exercise control.

The big WEF threat of recent decades has of course been climate hysteria which, because it’s global, can be used in attempts to control human behaviour around the world. Of course, there is no climate crisis. But it serves its purpose.

When you realise that the WEF grew out of the Club of Rome then this section from a 1991 CoR publication, ‘The First Global Revolution‘, makes perfect sense.

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Other than partnerships with pressure groups and taking over national bodies the ‘Welsh Government’ tries to extend its reach and enhance its credibility in other ways, too many to list here.

We’ve seen how the ‘Welsh Government’ pretends it’s been ‘advised by pressure groups and other bodies it’s in cahoots with, but this deception extends to bodies it has itself created, such as the Welsh Youth Parliament.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against listening to kids, I’ve got teenage grandchildren. But how much weight are we supposed to give to the views of children with no experience of life, who’ve been brainwashed by an education system influenced nowadays by people some of whom are unsavoury and some of whom are positively dangerous?

Again, it’s a case of, “I’m listening . . . but only if you tell me what I want to hear”.

The most recent example of controlling the narrative was the announcement that the ‘Welsh Government’ will fund a journalist to cover proceedings in the Senedd. This reporter will of course be totally independent.

Are we really expected to believe that?

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It’s as if those who inhabit the Bay bubble have become so self-engrossed, and so dismissive of opinions outside their little world, that they’ve lost all sense of reality.

FIXING THE ODDS

Since the inception of devolution in 1999 we’ve heard politicians say that with just 60 members the Assembly / Senedd is too small to do its job properly. An argument not without merit.

These voices have got louder as Corruption Bay gained more powers, which admittedly makes the case stronger for having more members.

Things are now coming to a head.

Before I start explaining this, let me say that I can only hope I’ve got all the details right, because the subject is not easy to follow on the ‘Welsh Government’ website, and I don’t think the media has given it the attention it deserves.

I’m referring to the plan to increase the number of Senedd Members, but more importantly, the way it’s proposed this should be done.

Let’s start May 10 last year, with the announcement that first minister Mark Drakeford and Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price had agreed on major changes. These were . . .

The Senedd should have 96 members. Elected from 16 constituencies, these achieved by ‘pairing’ the 32 new Westminster seats; with each one electing 6 MSs by the “closed proportional lists” system. These changes should in place for the 2026 Senedd elections.

The 32 new Westminster constituencies that it’s proposed to ‘pair’ for the 2026 Senedd elections. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

This may have been agreed by Drakeford and Price, but few others were in favour.

For example, even before publication of the report by the Special Purpose Committee on Senedd Reform the body had lost one member in Tory Robin Millar, who’d resigned. As you’ll read, he wasn’t the only one unhappy with what Labour and Plaid had come up with.

The report itself concedes (page 37 [86]) . . .

The Expert Panel previously noted that higher district magnitudes create greater potential for proportionality, and that if constituencies become too big, it can result in ‘hyperproportionality.’35 Hyperproportionality describes the circumstance whereby a party that gained a very low level of public support nevertheless secures seats in the legislature- and thereby the legitimacy of elected platform

But these misgivings were dismissed. Of course they were!

The Electoral Reform Society commented:

While there are positive elements of this deal, there are also those that require further thought . . . concerns remain about the use of closed lists due to the lack of choice voters will have. This system was rejected by the Expert Panel on Assembly Electoral Reform who said it left “No choice for voters between individual candidates” and “No accountability for individual Members directly to voters”.

The decision to use the D’Hondt method of allocating votes also threatens the proportionality of this new system, by creating a high bar for smaller parties to reach to ensure representation and see members elected. The use of D’Hondt is likely to make the end result only as proportional or even slightly less than the current system.

And, finally, Professor Laura McAllister, who is co-chair of the Independent Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales, and previously chaired the Assembly Expert Panel on Electoral Reform, referred to above.

Her piece on The Constitution Unit Blog was headlined: ‘Wales needs a larger Senedd, but a closed list system is not the best way to achieve it‘.

The concerns are over the “closed proportional lists“, which are not proportional. In each of the 16 mega-constituencies voters will be offered a list of six candidates for each party. You will vote for the party, and get all six candidates.

The Electoral Reform Society warned that the proposed system is, “likely to make the end result only as proportional or even slightly less than the current system”. What this means in practice is that Labour could win a majority of the seats with an even smaller percentage of the vote than it achieved in the 2021 Senedd elections.

A combination of clever pairing coupled with the loss of regional seats could see the Conservatives almost wiped out.

Let’s call it what it is – it’s a stitch-up. I can understand Labour doing it, because this is how Labour has always operated; but Plaid Cymru have done themselves serious damage by going along with this corruption.

I’m dealing with it now because the Senedd is scheduled to vote on the proposals some time between now and September.

UPDATE 08.07.2023: This may be more complicated than I thought. But still designed to benefit Labour. A comment suggests that the six seats can be divided between different parties. Which means that a party winning 50% of the vote would get 3 seats. But what it also means is that there is a 16.6% threshold before a party can win a single seat. Which will of course rule out smaller parties.

UPDATE 09.07.2023: A further comment tells us there is to be an element of proportionality in the proposed system, “Within the super constituency, whichever party tops the poll gets the first seat, their vote then halved and whichever party is then top gets the second etc etc until all six are allocated”.

I begin to understand why we’ve had so little discussion – there may be few people who understand what’s being proposed. (I’m certainly sorry I started down this road.)

CONCLUSION

Devolution was sold to us as “bringing democracy closer to the people of Wales“. And indeed it could have done exactly that. But the Labour party in Wales is not very good at democracy; it never has been.

Labour in Wales has always been about power, patronage, and corruption. And because Labour has controlled devolved politics since 1999 not only have we seen our economy decline, our educational standards drop, and our NHS collapse, we’ve also seen a gradual erosion of democracy and accountability.

Despite what you’ve read some might still think I’m over-egging it by linking the World Economic Form with the Labour party, Extinction Rebellion and the rest, but hear me out.

What we see increasingly in Wales, at every level, and also across the globe, is the implementation of agendas without a democratic mandate or, in most cases, even public consultation.

After decades of grooming and influencing political leaders from across the Western world the WEF may be the most influential body on Earth. But do you remember ever voting for Klaus Schwab and the rest?

Similarly with the World Heath Organisation, an unelected body that has taken on itself the power to impose lock-downs and travel restrictions on individual countries, or the entire world. And this can be done for political as much as health reasons.

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The ‘Welsh Government’ has an unconvincing mandate at the moment, but it wants to introduce an electoral system that is clearly intended to give the Labour party more power with even less support.

And then we complete the circle with the Green-Woke-Left pressure groups, most of them now funded by leading players at the WEF to ensure administrations follow the WEF agenda.

Where do you figure in all this? Where and when are your views asked for?

For Wales to be a prosperous, healthy country, and progressive in the true sense of the word, the people must have faith in those running the country, and the processes that put them in power, while also believing that the interests of Wales are being served, not those of swivel-eyed strangers imposing their damaging agendas.

That dream can never be realised as long as Labour uses a corrupt electoral system and other tactics to pursue what begins to look like a form of totalitarian control.

♦ end ♦

Taking Control, Of Everything

I hadn’t planned on writing this, but thinking about what’s happening to our major sporting bodies left me little alternative. It’s dressed up as reorganisation, or combatting sexism, misogyny, and other evils, but I believe these are a smokescreen for the true motivations.

Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about the promised piece on Bute Energy. That will still come out early next week.

FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION OF WALES

Let’s start with an announcement made last Monday, June 11. You can see a clip below, and here’s a link to the article that appeared on the Football Association of Wales (FAW) website.

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My first thought – betraying the parochial side to my otherwise angelic nature – was, “I don’t remember any of them playing for the Swans“. I immediately slapped myself on the wrist and went on to read the article.

So who are these Independent Non-executive Directors of the FAW?

Chair Alys Carlton, on the left in the image above, was educated at Cheltenham Ladies College, Edinburgh University (French, Italian), and Nottingham Trent (Law).

She is clearly a ‘Welsh Government’ insider because nobody who wasn’t well-regarded in the Swamp would be ‘Vice Chair of Welsh Government’s Expert Panel on Supporting Entrepreneurial Women’. Nor would they be, ‘First Tier Judge – Mental Health Review Tribunal for Wales’.

Before branching out on her own, with Alys Carlton Consulting Ltd, in April 202o, Alys worked for Capital Law, one of the ‘Welsh Government’s favourite law firms, an outfit that sees a great deal of our money.

And I’m sure Capital Law has written to Old Jac after someone went running to them. “Tell him to stop being nasty!

Here’s Alys Carlton’s Linkedin page. (Here in pdf format.)

Alys Siân Carlton is the daughter of the late Keith James.

Next up is Sameer Rahman Syed, centre in the  above image. Here’s his Linkedin info. (Here in pdf format.)

This guy would also appear to be well-connected with the movers and shakers in that city some 40-odd miles east of Swansea. I suggest that because he is also a non-executive director of the Millennium Stadium and Glamorgan County Cricket Club. The latter being the reason Wales has no national cricket team.

And after a career in ‘Data’ he too went solo, in April 2021, with Datamonet Ltd. Things seem to be going splendidly, with our boy as CEO and, er, sole employee.

The third member of this troika is Dr Carol Bell. (No ding-dong jokes!) Though in her case, she was re-‘elected’.

A coalminer’s grand-daughter from Felindre, north Swansea, she made important contacts at Cambridge which may have helped her land a job with Rio Tinto on graduating.

A former investment banker in the energy field, now turned archaeologist, and another Welsh speaker. Here’s her Linkedin page (Here in pdf format.)

Dr Bell is as well connected in Corruption Bay as the other two, and perhaps well beyond the Bay. We see Millennium Stadium in her trophy cabinet too, along with a few intriguing appointments. Such as non-executive director at the Development Bank of Wales.

But what really caught my eye was Dr Bell being a director at BlackRock Commodities Income Investment Trust plc. Blackrock has been mentioned a few times on this blog; for its CEO, Larry Fink, is a leading Globalist, and big buddies with Bill Gates and Claus Schwab.

WELSH RUGBY UNION

We begin this section with a piece from last Friday’s Llais y Sais. As you can see below, it deals with two appointments to the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU).

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Richard Collier-Keywood is described as the WRU’s “first independent chair“. Which I take to mean that he was not elected by the Union’s member clubs, as has been done in the past.

The piece also tells us that these are “appointments“, but not who made them. Which is odd. And the WRU website makes it clear that Collier-Keywood is to take over from current chair, Ieuan Evans. So can we assume that the appointments have been made by the WRU Board?

Now, we all know who Ieuan Evans is, he’s one of our all-time great players, but most of you will be wondering, “Who the hell is Richard Collier-Keywood, and where by do he come from?”.

I can tell you it’s not from round by ‘ere. Though both sources are keen to tell us that his mother had some connection to Maesteg and he may have enjoyed an ice cream or two in Porthcawl.

I’ll have more for you on Richard Collier-Keywood later.

Alison Thorne is another interesting appointment. Her Linkedin page will fill in more details. (Here in pdf format.) I draw particular attention to the most recent of her appointments, which you can see below.

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Beyond any question of a doubt we are dealing with another denizen of the Swamp. A charming lady, no doubt, but as great-aunt Fastidia would say, in her characteristically earthy way: “Shit in the same latrine and you’ll share the smell“.

She even works for the ‘Welsh Government’ on public appointments!

And wearing a different hat, she’s the chair of the National Dance Company of Wales. Which – and I kid you not! – seeks “to deliver social change through dance“. Another way of saying, ‘Straight White men need not apply’.

Finally, she is the chair of trustees at housing association Barcud. This is interesting because, in theory, housing associations are now private companies. But a control-freak administration such as we see in Corruption Bay won’t give up control of anything.

A firm grip maintained by social housing bodies either having outstanding loans, or taking out fresh loans, or acquiring land from, the ‘Welsh Government’.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?

If I tell you that former first minister Carwyn Jones was considered for the WRU chair job it should help you understand where we’re heading.

Maybe someone decided that giving Jones the job would have been too obviously political. Though on the plus side, he is Welsh, and knows something about rugby.

Instead, Richard Collier-Keywood was appointed. And it’s an odd appointment. As was suggested to me by someone who was in university with him.

My source told me the WRU’s new chair was a good tennis player in his younger days, with an interest in other racquet sports. But no interest in rugby; and Collier-Keywood never mentioned Wales, despite knowing that my source is 100% Welsh.

Strange that, for a man with a Welsh mam.

Let’s be clear. These are political appointments.

After creating what was reported by a loyal media as “turmoil” in our sporting bodies the ‘Welsh Government’, with the help of certain individuals ‘on the inside’, was able to engineer a situation that saw people parachuted in who are dependent on ‘Welsh Government’ patronage.

Which is quite an achievement, considering that both the Football Association of Wales and The Welsh Rugby Union are not public bodies but private companies.

In the case of the WRU influence can be exerted because there are two outstanding loans on the Millennium Stadium (October 2020 and March 2022) with “The Welsh Ministers of the Welsh Government“. So it can be claimed that the appointees are simply there to safeguard the public interest.

This is the model alluded to earlier with housing associations. “We lend you money and to safeguard our investment we’ll have a big say in the running of your organisation“. Tony Soprano would immediately understand that model.

But is it ethical to use public assets to exercise political control, and promote a political agenda lacking public support?

It’s less clear how Corruption Bay got its claws into the Welsh FA.

But the important point is that both the Football Association of Wales and The Welsh Rugby Union are very high profile organisations. Many Welsh people can be influenced by them. Controlling them therefore becomes politically desirable.

Not least because either or both might go ‘off-message’. With fans supporting the national football team singing Yma o Hyd some people were getting worried.

Talking of using our sporting associations to influence public opinion, I wonder what Billy Meredith or John Charles would have made of what you see below, from last Saturday’s Pride parade in Cardiff?

The tweet was put out by Jason Webber, who is – and you’d never have guessed! – ‘Senior Equality, Diversity, Inclusion & Integrity Manager at the Football Association of Wales’. If he’s the senior manager, then there must be lesser mortals doing similar work.

Yeah, that’ll help us qualify for Euros and World Cups.

My worry is that, “Football is for everyone” means that full-grown men pretending to be women will be allowed to play with and against young girls. And of course, they must also be allowed to share facilities.

Because on matters like this the ‘Welsh Government’ takes orders from Stonewall.

What we see at the WRU and FAW are not isolated examples of political interference. For I’ve detected a growing trend of such ‘appointments’. One I wrote about earlier this year involved the then Brecon Beacons National Park Authority (BBNPA).

These appointments were justified as being done to promote inclusivity and diversity. Woman of colour, disabled man . . .

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We then had a contrived and very public debate over the change of name to Bannau Brycheiniog.  Which served to draw attention away from the fact that what had really changed was that Labour had now taken full control of the BBNPA.

So, on one level, these manoeuvrings increase the ‘Welsh Government’s control over public and other bodies. And then, given what I explained in my previous blog piece, it also gives easier access to pressure groups, whose diktats the clown show in the Bay will dress up as its own policies.

But there’s also a third element that becomes obvious the more we look at these appointments.

THOSE WHO WOULD BE KINGS

The rash of appointments being made in Wales obviously extends the influence of the ‘Welsh Government’, for the Swamp is the immediate and obvious beneficiary; and then there are the pressure groups, but it doesn’t end there.

The appointments are also being made in order to implement ESG. And if those letters mean nothing to you, let me explain that they stand for Environmental and Social Governance.

Companies, charities and other bodies are expected to sign up to ESG and, by so doing, follow the Globalist agenda. Here’s how the World Economic Forum (WEF) explains it.

Who could object to such desirable ambitions? Er, me. The awkward bugger at the back.

Because as with so much else produced by the WEF, you have to poke around behind the words to see what they really mean. Read the panel below, from the WEF website I’ve just linked to, and then I’ll explain it.

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. . . social justice protests have drawn attention to gaps in diversity, equity, and inclusion; and the impacts of climate change and the importance of environmental sustainability are becoming harder, if not impossible, to ignore.

Social justice protests” is a euphemism for the riots that caused death and destruction in so many US cities following the death of George Floyd during a botched police arrest.

And then we get “climate change” and and “environmental sustainability“, straight out of the climate alarmists’ handbook.

Which ties in neatly with Dr Carol Bell of the FAW working for Blackrock.

And it explains Alison Thorne of the WRU delivering “social change through dance“. (Did youse ever in yer natural read such sententious bollocks!)

The terpsichoreans seeking to deliver this social change can be found – in case you’re minded to join! – at Dance House, which is in the Millennium Stadium.

Where else!

SUMMING UP

The self-styled ‘Welsh Government’ is taking control, through appointees, and by other means, such as funding, of as many organisations as it possibly can.

Which means that a political party gaining roughly one fifth of the available votes will soon exert a stranglehold on Welsh life. With Drakeford and his sorry troupe of inadequates just puppets operated by pressure groups and Globalists lacking any mandate at all.

For betraying Wales in this way the so-called ‘Welsh Government’ will get a pat on the head from Uncle Claus in Davos. And then everybody’s happy – ‘Welsh Government’, pressure groups, and World Economic Forum.

But how do you feel about it?

♦ end ♦

Senedd Elections 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHO’S STANDING?

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

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

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

LABOUR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PLAID CYMRU

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Regrettably, the left in Wales is replete with both.

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

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

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

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

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

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

CONSERVATIVE AND UNIONIST PARTY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LIBERAL DEMOCRATS

Well, what can I say without being cruel?

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

THE GREEN PARTY OF ENGLANDANDWALES

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

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

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

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

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

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

That can only be good.

THE BRITNAT PARTIES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NORTHERN LIGHT

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

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

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

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

WALES’ BEST HOPES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click to enlarge

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

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

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

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

♦ end

 




Bollocks. Unadulterated Labour bollocks

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.

Over the years I’ve read a lot of political nonsense and outright bullshit in the Western Mail, much of it emanating from the Labour Party. But all records were broken on Friday, February 26, 2021 when Llais y Sais gave us a sneak preview of a speech to be delivered by First Minister Mark Drakeford.

To help you fully appreciate the levels of dishonesty contained in the speech I shall produce the offending article and then walk you through it paragraph by numbered paragraph.

Click to enlarge

Let’s start with the headline and the opening paragraphs. Home rule within the UK is impossible, for without a written constitution it could, like devolution, be undone at any time. (Come to that, how does ‘home rule’ differ from devolution?)

And even with a written constitution, an unequal Union such as the UK allows the dominant partner to do what it damn well likes. As England has for centuries.

No, let’s be honest, home rule is an unworkable nonsense. The truth is that Labour in Wales is alarmed by the possibilities unveiled by the Internal Market Act, which allows London to ignore the devolution settlement almost entirely.

Home rule would have offered no defence against the Internal Market Act.

Though Labour’s hostility to this Act was not prompted by thoughts of what’s best for Wales but by the fear that Boris Johnson and his mates might start threatening Labour’s hegemony in Wales, and the crony networks the party has built up over the past 22 years.

I hate to say it, but Secretary of State for Wales, Simon Hart, was not far off the mark when he said that the ‘Welsh Government’ was simply worrying about its own little status.

Now let’s go through the rest of the article, focusing on the more interesting paragraphs.

PARAGRAPH 4: “Internationalist not nationalist. Outward facing, not inward looking”, says Drakeford. Now this could either be a call to arms and a commitment to global humanity or a pathetic justification for having done nothing for Wales for the 22 years of devolution.

Because we’re dealing with ‘Welsh’ Labour, it is of course the latter.

Wales is the poorest country in Europe. Not so long ago I would have said ‘Western Europe’, but now the countries of the former Soviet bloc have caught us up and in many cases overtaken us.

Little Estonia – which the Russians swore would starve if it went independent – is now “one of the most tech-savvy societies in the world”. Here in Wales there are still communities without a decent internet connection.

The truth is that ‘Welsh’ Labour and its so-called ‘Welsh Government’ should be doing a lot more looking inward; then they might appreciate this country’s problems, its real needs, and address them before riding off on Quixotic crusades to save the planet.

PARAGRAPHS  5 & 6: These continue in the same toe-curling vein, with the predictable use of, “progressive” (‘pass my revolver, wife!’), and even “destiny”!

Though, chwarae teg, I did agree with, “Yes to a Wales that takes ownership of its own destiny” . . . but home rule ain’t gonna deliver that.

PARAGRAPH 7: Drakeford believes the coming Senedd election is a contest unlike any other. Indeed it is, and it could be his last. Go for it, Neil!

PARAGRAPH 8: This is where we learn that Labour has a new strapline – ‘Moving Wales Forward’. God! I wish I’d thought of that!

Can’t you just hear kids shouting it as they whizz by on their bikes! Young women having it tattooed on their intimate parts! Football and rugby crowds – when they’re allowed back, of course – chanting it on the terraces!

What a response to all those who want to move us back. Though Nationalists like me also want to move forward, to independence; and even the anti-Welsh mob want to move forward, by consigning devolution to the dustbin of failed political initiatives. (Where it belongs.)

When you think about it, the only ones who want to stand still, maintain the status quo, are the devolutionists, and where are they to be found? Er, in the Labour Party.

PARAGRAPHS 9 – 12: Here it’s appeals to, ” . . . our tenacity . . . our institutions and sense of social solidarity . . . characteristics that will shape . . . generations to come”. Then it’s, “from the coal field (sic) to the rugby field . . . work together . . . shared experience . . .”.

The kind of vacuous rambling that would shame a be-medalled Latin American caudillo.

PARAGRAPHS 13 – 16: I was obviously unfair in suggesting that 22 years of devolution under ‘Welsh’ Labour has been a disaster – for we are a “world leader in recycling”!

That will be a great consolation to those queuing at food banks, and those being forced out of the communities in which they were born and raised, and where they’d hoped to die.

Twice we see the “National Forest” mentioned. Does this mean that the ‘Welsh Government’ has a plan to develop a forestry industry in Wales, generating wealth, creating jobs, and sustaining communities?

Don’t be silly, Jac, it’s, “for people to further enjoy Wales’ natural beauty”. In other words – more fucking tourism! But worse, this project could also be seen as meeting the demands of Monbiot and his disciples, those who want to dispossess our farmers and take over their land.

The war on farmers becomes clear again with, “tackling agricultural pollution”, presumably into our waterways. Yet most of the pollution in our rivers has nothing to do with agriculture.

Of course this truth does not serve the ‘Welsh Government’s anti-farming agenda. Consequently, it will never be admitted by Natural Resources Wales, or Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs. And certainly not by Lesley’s civil servant lover Gary Haggaty.

But I suppose what pissed me off most in this section was the reference to “investment in new green jobs”. This is not new, we’ve been hearing it for over twenty years. But how many jobs has ‘green energy’ created?

Think of the massive Pen y Cymoedd wind farm, one of the largest in Europe. Does it employ any local people? Certainly, no jobs were provided at earlier stages because the towers, motors, and blades were made in Germany and Denmark.

The only real benefits the local community sees is the £1.8m doled out every year as a Community Fund by the owner of the wind farm, Swedish company Vattenfall. Which only makes me wonder how much of a killing Vattenfall is making.

This Community Fund is just crumbs from our own table.

Despite Labour claiming for two decades or more that renewables would create jobs, and be a great boost to the Welsh economy, the reality is that the ‘Welsh Government’ has simply allowed Wales to be exploited, with no benefits at all for us.

It’s no longer coal mines, slate quarries, or dams and reservoirs, it’s wind and solar farms, and wave energy. But Wales continues to be exploited by strangers.

Therefore only a fool would believe Labour’s promise to deliver in the future what it has already been promising to deliver for so long. ‘Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me’.

PARAGRAPHS 17 – 22: Here, gentle reader, we reach new heights of hifalutin vacuity before plumbing the depths of cringe-inducing attempts at eloquence.

Though it started encouragingly, because when I read “generations who come after us” I thought at first it was a reference to Burke’s Contract, but no.

This is followed by. “We are so lucky in our country, to have all the natural resources we need to put Wales at the forefront of the global energy revolution which the world will need: wind, water and wave”.

And here, Drakeford is absolutely right – we do have all these resources! But we don’t own any of them. They don’t generate wealth or jobs for us. For as I say, that’s because ‘Welsh’ Labour encourages strangers to exploit our homeland as if it was some 19th century African ‘possession’.

Then comes the empty promise of jobs, again. Before we are exhorted to, ” . . . make our contribution to securing the future of our beautiful but fragile planet”.

(Cue violins and rustling Kleenex.)

CONCLUSION

This sententious drivel exposes where Labour has gone wrong and how it has failed Wales.

Saving the planet – as if we could! – has done nothing for us. The promised jobs never materialised. Even if they had materialised we would have been working for foreign companies because Labour does not want successful Welsh companies, with Welsh businessmen regularly exposing the bruvvers’ idiocies.

No, Labour wants the quiet life of foreign companies uninterested in Welsh politics and a third sector of Labour cronies forever finding problems for Labour to fund while blaming someone else.

But nothing exposes the reality of Wales today, and Labour’s shortcomings, more than the fact that nowhere in Drakeford’s waffle does he say, ‘Vote for us on our record’.

All he can offer is pie in the sky, recycled promises on green jobs, and more saving the planet. Nowhere does he talk of what really matters to most Welsh people: health, education, jobs (that might actually materialise), and housing they can afford.

Labour has pandered to certain alien lobbies at the expense of the Welsh people for too long, and this cannot go on. Labour must be removed from power in May.

And remember! a vote for Plaid Cymru is a vote to keep Labour in power.

♦ end ♦

 




Elections, May 2021

PLEASE APPRECIATE THAT I GET SENT MORE INFORMATION AND LEADS THAN I CAN USE. I TRY TO RESPOND TO EVERYONE WHO CONTACTS ME BUT I CANNOT POSSIBLY USE EVERY BIT OF INFORMATION I’M SENT. DIOLCH YN FAWR

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

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

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

THE 2016 RESULT

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

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

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

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

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

After the 2016 election Labour went into coalition with the sole Liberal Democrat AM. Which meant that parties with a total of 38% of the vote were able to form an administration.

Is this really how PR is supposed to work?

THE LABOUR PARTY

At the risk of sounding uncharitable, the great thing the Labour Party has had going for it is . . . not being the Conservative Party. The advertising campaigns, the policy drafting, the tub-thumping and the sloganising could all have been ignored in favour of the simple message – ‘Vote for us, cos we’re not the Tories’.

And it’s worked, for almost a century.

In England, the decline of traditional industries, and their associated trade unions, have weakened the Labour Party. Labour in Scotland suffered the same problem, exacerbated by the rise of the Scottish National Party to the point where Labour is hanging on for dear life, with just one Westminster MP left.

In Wales, Labour has fared better because we’ve been spared the corrupting influence of prosperity, and also because there is no equivalent of the SNP. Of course, Plaid Cymru likes to view itself as the Welsh SNP but the SNP set out to destroy the Labour Party in Scotland whereas Plaid Cymru seeks to keep its Welsh branch alive and in power.

How Labour will do next May depends to a considerable extent on perceptions of the Conservative government in London. For while Scotland has a vigorous national media allowing elections to be influenced by Scottish issues, the absence of a Welsh media worthy of the name means that here we tend see Englandandwales elections.

The exception being perhaps areas with high numbers of Welsh speakers who are less reliant on news from London.

On issues of the day, there is a general and widespread belief that the self-styled ‘Welsh Government’ has handled the Covid-19 pandemic better than Johnson, Hancock, Jenrick and the rest of the gang up in London.

But then, being seen as less incompetent than that crew is no great achievement.

When we address purely Welsh issues, it’s difficult to think of anything Labour has to crow about. For Wales continues to fall behind other countries in areas like wealth, health, housing and education.

Cardiff seems to be prospering but away from the Lesser Wen the country can be divided into post-industrial areas experiencing managed decline and rural areas undergoing engineered population change from Welsh to English.

Labour leader, Mark Drakeford, is less oleaginous than his predecessor, Carwyn Jones, but still a difficult man to like. Despite the Brownie points gained for Covid-19 there remain plenty of bear traps for him to negotiate between here and next May.

By any criteria one cares to apply, Labour has been a failure since 2016. Labour has failed Wales since the dawn of devolution in 1999. But for the reasons I’ve given, Labour will still emerge as the largest single party, with around 30% of the vote.

But well short of a majority of seats.

If nothing else, such a result should increase calls for more Senedd Members and a system of true proportional representation.

THE CONSERVATIVE AND UNIONIST PARTY (CUP)

The last few years have been a series of peaks and troughs for the CUP, with Brexit almost tearing the party apart under Theresa May. Things took a turn for the better when Boris Johnson became party leader and won a famous victory in December . . . since when it’s been downhill again.

In last December’s election the Tories won a number of seats in the north, most notably, Wrexham, held by Labour since 1931. But the overall vote in Wales only increased by 2.5%. The real story was that Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party saw its Welsh vote go down by 8%.

Things have not gone well for the CUP since that December election for all sorts of reasons. Such as a number of the new intake being pretty odious specimens.

The new MP for Ynys Môn, Virginia Crosby, has appeared on this blog a number of times, usually defending her colleague and MP for Rossendale and Darwen, Jake Berry. Berry owns properties around Rhoscolyn and earlier this year people were asking if he was breaking lockdown restrictions to travel between his Welsh properties, his London home, and his constituency.

Then Delyn MP Rob Roberts got into trouble for asking young staffers to “fool around with him”. While Wrexham new girl, Sarah Atherton, wondered why the military weren’t dealing with the refugee/migrant boats crossing from France.

While old favourites like Alun Cairns, the MP for the Vale of Glamorgan, continue to amaze with their talent for finding little sidelines to supplement their meagre incomes.

The situation does not look like improving for the Tories, for two main reasons.

Let’s look first at Covid-19. As I said in the previous section, the Conservative government in London has had a disastrous pandemic: incompetence, lies, contracts to cronies, it’s all there, and this will be remembered next May.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the Tories seem determined to alienate even more people by insisting that the ‘Welsh Government’ is being anti-English when – for perhaps the first time ever – it prioritises the interests of Wales.

That’s certainly what was said by Secretary of State for Wales, Simon Hart, and Alun Cairns. Which makes them either complete bell-ends or calculating politicians.

I believe it’s the latter, because in spouting this nonsense, the Tories are playing to a particular gallery. I’m thinking now of the anti-Welsh, gammony element that might otherwise be seduced by the growing number of splinter group parties on the BritNat fringe. (I’ll come to them later.)

The other problem of their own making is, again, Brexit. Of course Wales voted for Brexit, but I’m sure very few of us voted for privatising the NHS, chlorinated chicken, and undermining the Welsh farming industry. I certainly didn’t.

But it’s now become clear that a No Deal Brexit was always the favoured option for the CUP leadership in London. Which will mean the City of London remains at the centre of the biggest money-laundering network in the world; the NHS is opened up to US Big Pharma; and we have to get used to food products from the USA, where standards in both hygiene and animal welfare are more ‘relaxed’.

All the Welsh CUP MPs voted for this deal. Which is not clever for people representing constituencies with large numbers of farmers . . . and their extended families . . . and contractors to the industry, and so many others who rely to a greater or lesser degree on agriculture for their livelihoods.

There will be a price to pay next May for the coronavirus cock-ups and the shafting of our farmers. And while the Tories in Corruption Bay weren’t responsible, it’ll be some of them who’ll pay the price.

Other factors working against the Conservatives will be the Englandandwales media/election paradigm and the Vera Lynn Fan Clubs competing for regional votes.

For all these reasons I expect the CUP representation in the Welsh Parliament to fall.

PLAID CYMRU THE PARTY OF WALES

Although Plaid Cymru won 12 seats in 2016 the party is now down to 10. Lord Elis Thomas, the constituency member for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, left to become a Labour-supporting Independent; and Neil McEvoy, the regional AM for South Wales Central, left to sit as an Independent before forming the Welsh National Party (WNP).

A further change since 2016 is that Plaid Cymru also has a new leader in Adam Price. Perhaps the best thing that can be said about him is that he’s not former leader, Leanne Wood.

For most Welsh voters Plaid Cymru is the party of Welsh independence, but as I’ve argued, Plaid Cymru is a party that sought more autonomy for Wales, more funding for Wales, and the creation of a new class of politicians and administrators made up of . . . well, the kind of people who populate the upper echelons of Plaid Cymru.

This was to be a system that created a new class that Djilas would have recognised enjoying prestige and influence without the responsibility of having to fund it. Devolution, with a bit more power, many more sinecures, and lots more money, is the end of the line.

Plaid Cymru was always Cymru Fydd resurrected, not a Welsh Sinn Féin. Until, that is, it moved to the left in the 1980s and really screwed itself up. Enjoying only a brief period of coherence under the leadership of Dafydd Wigley and the first Assembly elections in 1999.

Today we again see a schizophrenic party where Welsh-speaking social conservatives from the rural heartlands mix uncomfortably with some real oddballs and a few with views that should have denied them membership.

Plaid Cymru is today one of those confused leftist parties that is vehemently opposed to intolerance . . . except when it’s those it approves of being intolerant.

As a leftist party Plaid Cymru believes that, thanks to the capitalist system, we’re either going to fry due to global warming, or else we’re going to drown from rising sea levels, so Wales must play its part in trying to avert these outcomes.

In practice, that means supporting wind turbines that create no jobs and simply exploit Wales. Where profits flow to a City hedge fund, or a multinational, or a state-owned energy company from Scandinavia.

Except on issues that are largely irrelevant to Wales – where Plaid Cymru can play gesture politics – the party comes across as weak and indecisive. Take holiday homes. Plaid talks the talk but it won’t walk the walk.

At present Welsh local authorities can impose a council tax surcharge on holiday homes up to 100%. The only council that levies the 100% is Labour-controlled Swansea. (And despite what you might think, there are many holiday homes on the waterfront, in Mumbles, and of course around Gower.)

Independent-run Powys recently voted to impose a surcharge of 75%.

But Gwynedd, where Plaid Cymru is in control, imposes only a 50% surcharge. It’s a similar picture in Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire.

On independence, Plaid Cymru has been outflanked and overtaken by Yes Cymru. While on the party political front there are two new challengers in the form of Gwlad and the Welsh National Party (WNP). Both are unequivocal about prioritising Welsh interests, and are fully committed to achieving independence.

So you really have to wonder what Plaid Cymru stands for nowadays, and where it’s going. That’s certainly what Welsh voters will be doing in May. Many will conclude that Plaid Cymru has hit the buffers.

Which certainly seems to be the case.

For while opinion polls tell us that more and more people are prepared to consider independence, those same polls show little or no increase in support for Plaid Cymru. Recent polls show 51% of Labour voters prepared to consider independence, but only 71% of Plaid Cymru voters!

What’s going wrong for Plaid Cymru?

In a nutshell, Plaid Cymru believes that the only acceptable vision of independence must be well to the left of centre, pro EU, in favour of open borders, anti Trump, and dragging a whole baggage train of ishoo-of-the-month idiocies that turn off most voters.

Dogmatic to the point of being unelectable.

Plaid Cymru always failed to engage with the urban, anglophone population. After the disappointment of Brexit, the success of the Brexit Party (winning the May 2019 EU elections in Wales and the UK), and BoJo’s victory last December, many in Plaid Cymru – like the US Democrats – have given up trying to win over stupid, racist, poor whites.

They find it preferable to retreat into their cocoons of progressive self-righteousness in the echo chamber of social media.

Which is why I believe Plaid Cymru will lose Ceredigion and also end up with fewer Members from the regional lists.

LIBERAL DEMOCRATS

There’s a temptation to be very unkind in this section . . . but it’s not in my nature to put the boot in when somebody’s down. And boy! are the Liberal Democrats down.

Down to a single Member, Kirsty Williams, the constituency MS for Brecon and Radnorshire. After the debacle of 2016 Ms Williams threw in her lot with Labour and became Minister for Education. You probably haven’t noticed.

It’s an amazing decline for the party of David Lloyd George, but entirely predictable when we consider the quality of leaders and representatives in recent years at both Welsh and UK level. I’m not sure if Ms Williams holds group meetings with herself but I’m sure she will have thought the same thing many a time.

And yet, despite currently being down to a solitary representative, the Liberal Democrats could be the big winners in May next year.

As I’ve suggested, the CUP has pissed off a lot of people, and most certainly a lot of farmers. Few will know that better than Kirsty Williams, a farmer’s wife.

Obviously, I’m not privy to what goes on at Welsh Liberal Democrat Party meetings (I can never find the telephone kiosk!) but I’m sure Kirsty Williams has hopes for the seats of Montgomeryshire to the north and Ceredigion to the west. (If the students in Aber’ and Lampeter have forgiven the Lib Dems for reneging on tuition fees.)

So I’m predicting that the Liberal Democrats could double, or even treble, their representation in May 2021. These are the three constituencies mentioned, and there might even be a regional list seat.

VERA LYNN FAN CLUBS

This is where it gets tricky, because the landscape on the BritNat right is forever shifting. Hardly surprising when we look at the personalities involved, and realise how many of them are often described as ‘interesting’, or ‘eccentric’ (code for ‘absolute nutter’).

Back in 2016, the big winner among this section of the electorate was UKIP, with 13% of the vote and seven seats. The Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party did not stand constituency candidates and got just 4.4% of the regional vote (which was still more than the share won by the Green Party of Englandandwales).

Since 2016 UKIP has had eight or nine UK leaders, numerous resignations, and in Corruption Bay is now reduced to the solitary – but dapper – form of Neil Hamilton. In fact, I’m not sure if Neil Hamilton isn’t the current party leader. Or was that last month?

Not so long ago the Abolish lot was the fringe of a fringe, but now it boasts two Members of the Senedd, Gareth Bennett and Mark Reckless. Though you’ve gotta be pretty desperate to boast about those two.

Others who were returned under the banner of British exceptionalism were Nathan Gill, Michelle Brown, David Rowlands and Caroline Jones. Following his resignation in 2018 Gill was replaced by Mandy Jones. Michelle Brown now sits as an Independent.

I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall at those UKIP meetings because by comparison ferrets in a sack are models of harmony and co-existence.

The most recent development is that Rowlands and the Jones women have formed a new group, the Independent Alliance for Reform. And if that name doesn’t stir something deep inside you – other than wind – then you are beyond hope.

It is obviously designed to be interchangeable with or to complement Aux barricades!

And all the while, in the wings, observing, is Nigel Farage. Will his Reform Party put in a late appearance, or will it be the promised relaunch of the Brexit Party? Though with Brexit almost done what would be the platform?

For let us remember that the Assembly elections of May 2016 were held just ahead of the EU referendum and were almost overshadowed by it. This propinquity benefited Ukip.

One thing’s for sure, if all the parties we’ve looked at in this section fight all the seats then we’ll be royally entertained by the stars they’ll recruit from Wetherspoons and other squelchy underfoot salons. A goodly number of whom will have to withdraw before the election after saying or doing something really stupid.

The BritNat right has no hope of a constituency seat, so hopes rest on the regional lists. Which means that a lot will depend on whether they fight each other or come to some arrangement.

I suspect there are still enough “Brexit means Brexit” types out there to win 3 seats.

THE SERIOUS ABOUT WALES PARTIES

Looking around Wales and seeing the mess this country is in is painful enough, but when you realise that none of the existing parties offers any hope of meaningful change, then new parties will be formed.

And that’s exactly what’s happened; and why we have Gwlad and the WNP.

I am a member of Gwlad and played a small part in its creation, but it was easy for me to withdraw to the blogosphere because the party is in such capable hands.

I like to think that Gwlad combines patriotism with pragmatism. For example, in believing that relying on handouts from London, as Labour and Plaid Cymru prefer, only perpetuates the misconception that Wales could never stand on her own two feet economically.

There are radical yet practical proposals across the board. We’ve already touched on Plaid Cymru’s fear of upsetting second home owners – a number in their own ranks – with meaningful levels of council tax; well, Gwlad does not hesitate to demand a 500% council tax surcharge.

It’s all here in the Manifesto for 2021.

Predictably, the criticism levelled against Gwlad by Plaid Cymru is that we shall “split the nationalist vote”. This is nonsense, because Plaid Cymru has already split – or certainly, limited – the nationalist vote by its inflexible and off-putting socialism.

This is borne out in recent elections and in even more so in recent opinion polls.

What Gwlad will do is reach out to those who want, or would be prepared to consider, independence, but could never vote for a hard-line socialist party also lumbered with the tag of still being a party only for Welsh speakers.

Gwlad could come through a crowded field to win a constituency seat and should certainly collect 3 or 4 regional list seats.

Of course, I’ve met Neil McEvoy a few times and we exchange the occasional e-mail, Wales is a small country after all. But I really don’t know much about his new party beyond what I read in the media.

Though I do know a few others involved with the WNP.

Over the years I’ve sunk a few pints with Councillor Keith Parry . . . and I’m still haunted by a car journey one very rainy night as I tried to concentrate on the road ahead while my mate and Keith’s Jewish wife argued over the Israeli-Palestinian conundrum.

I feared it was all going to end in a fight and a fireball car crash. Phew!

Many observers try to say that Neil McEvoy only took the course he did in forming the WNP because he was effectively thrown out of Plaid Cymru. They couldn’t be more wrong.

Neil has been in politics a long time, and he knows what’s wrong with Wales. On one level it’s London’s political, economic and cultural stranglehold, but on the local level it’s the Labour Party and Plaid Cymru.

Labour holds power on local councils and in the Senedd . . . simply to be in power; to stop someone else getting the salaries and the expenses, attending the bun-fights and the jollies. Labour has little intention – and no real incentive – to improve the lives of our people because for a century it has capitalised on Wales’ deprivation.

Plaid Cymru, as I’ve said, is a party of gestures and abstractions. It is the twenty-first century political equivalent of those medieval divines who would argue over how many angels could dance on the head of a pin.

But actually doing anything? Forget it!

But if one of his constituents persuades him they’re getting a raw deal, then Neil McEvoy will take up the case and demand something be done about it. And he sometimes ruffles feathers doing it. But if kids are sharing a bedroom with rats, or there’s water rippling down the kitchen wall . . .

Neil McEvoy is a do-er, a man who believes in the direct approach; and that makes the anguished attitudinisers of Plaid Cymru very nervous. And never more so than when he confronts the Labour Party.

On two major issues, the ‘nuclear mud’ being dumped off Cardiff, and the forged signatures on cladding certificates, Plaid Cymru has behaved abominably. None worse than Llywydd Elin Jones. But she couldn’t have behaved as she did without the backing of Labour and Plaid Cymru.

Sticking it to the man may outrage the sensitive flowers of Plaid Cymru but it goes down well with real people, on the streets of Cardiff, and elsewhere in Wales. People want their problems solved, they do not want to be patronised, or taken for granted, by an aloof and self-serving political class.

The big test will come in the constituency seat of Cardiff West, where McEvoy will be standing against First Minister Drakeford. Plaid Cymru will of course be splitting the nationalist vote in the hope of securing victory for Mark Drakeford.

Neil McEvoy’s street cred and his sheer hard work might win Cardiff West next May, plus a couple of regional list seats.

My very personal belief is that Gwlad and the WNP should not get in each other’s way next May. Neither has the strength yet to fight a full national election so it’s in their interests, and more importantly, it’s in Wales’s interests, for there to be some kind of deal.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I obviously can’t account for all those who might be standing next May, there’s bound to be a wild card or two. But what you’ve just read is how I see it panning out.

Other factors will I’m sure influence voters. Perhaps the UK government’s Internal Markets Bill; supposedly about ‘repatriating’ powers from the EU but which, in reality, gives BoJo’s gang the power to trample all over devolution.

Perhaps it will even be used to challenge the 1707 Act of Union.

More specific to Wales is a growing awareness of and dislike for the chumminess of Cardiff Bay. The air of cronyism and unaccountability exemplified by Labour and Plaid Cymru refusing to bring in a register of lobbyists.

The problem in this area is obvious, but there are always excuses for doing nothing. This is because Labour and Plaid Cymru are too close to those who might be held to account by such legislation.

Another issue that might influence some voters to take a punt on a new party is the widespread perception that Cardiff gets everything. Which doesn’t change when an MS goes to Cardiff promising to speak up for his area . . . only to be sucked into the swamp that is Corruption Bay.

But perhaps we should remember Harold Macmillan’s response when asked what was most likely to influence or derail political plans. Supermac is said to have replied: “Events, dear boy, events.”

In other words, that which cannot be foreseen. Six months is a very long time in politics.

♦ end ♦

 




Tourism in Wales: problems, thoughts, suggestions

PLEASE APPRECIATE THAT I GET SENT MORE INFORMATION AND LEADS THAN I CAN USE. I TRY TO RESPOND TO EVERYONE WHO CONTACTS ME BUT I CANNOT POSSIBLY USE EVERY BIT OF INFORMATION I’M SENT. DIOLCH YN FAWR

I’m taking a break from the con men, fraudsters and assorted crooks who figure regularly here. But I’m not moving far, because this week I’m focusing on tourism operators, politicians and others who themselves have but a nodding acquaintance with the truth.

THE STORM BREAKS

One of the benefits of coronavirus and lockdown was the absence of tourists, and the joyous consequences of that absence. Such as much less traffic on our rural roads, fewer call-outs for our emergency services, and in all manner of ways making rural and coastal areas of Wales more pleasant for those who live there all year round.

Making recent months seem even more of a lost golden age has been the irruption of noisy, stupid and irresponsible tourists since lockdown was eased by our self-styled ‘Welsh Government’, bowing to pressure from the Conservative and Unionist Party and tourism operators.

There has inevitably been a reaction from local people to the return of the tourists in what have been, literally, overwhelming numbers. What you see below was the scene two weeks ago near Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon).

Click to enlarge

Much of the anger this has generated is directed at motorists, with many photos in print and online of inconsiderately parked cars. Which allowed some to argue that all would be well if we had bigger car parks to accommodate all the vehicles. Or even park and ride schemes.

Both of which ignore the real problem – many areas get more cars than the local road system can handle, and more people than the environment can cope with. I shall return to the environmental angle later.

Let’s also remember that the problems caused by tourism go way beyond traffic issues.

RESPONSES

Here’s a two-page spread from last Wednesday’s Llais y Sais, in which we read Councillor Gareth Thomas, Cyngor Gwynedd’s Head of Economical Development, opine that, despite the recent problems, tourism, “provides high quality jobs for local people as well as supporting the county’s environment, language, culture and destinations”.

“Destinations”?

Click to enlarge

I don’t know Gareth Thomas, he might be a great bloke, but anyone saying that tourism provides high quality jobs, and that it also supports the area’s environment, language and culture is talking absolute nonsense.

Yesterday’s Daily Post carried what might have been an attempt to retrieve the situation. (With first minister Drakeford not ruling out a tourism tax . . . sort of.) But did council leader Dyfrig Siencyn really say, as he is quoted: ” . . . our rural economy is totally dependent on the tourism industry”?

A fuller version of this article may have appeared in Llais y Sais, Read it here.

Perhaps hoping to establish its own credentials vis-à-vis tourism opposition group Llais Gwynedd also weighed in. For those unfamiliar with Llais Gwynedd (which has 6 councillors), it sees itself as perhaps more radical than Plaid Cymru, more rooted in the local communities of Gwynedd.

Its spokesman, Glyn Daniels, wants to charge hikers on Yr Wyddfa £1 per head. I don’t know Glyn Daniels either, but he’s also talking rubbish. At £1 per head the money raised wouldn’t be enough to cover the costs of collecting and processing it.

What’s more, it would not serve as a deterrent. And we need some kind of deterrent to reduce the numbers coming to areas like our national parks and other ‘honey pots’. To cover the costs mentioned, and put a decent amount into the communities affected, the charge would need to be a minimum of £10 a head.

In a Daily Post poll, more than 70% of respondents agreed there should be a charge.

Opposing Councillor Daniels’ suggestion to charge hikers was Brân Devey, of Ramblers Cymru, with a remark I found rather puzzling: “Local people will not go up Snowdon really in the summer, it is too busy”.

Is he saying we shouldn’t charge the people overcrowding Yr Wyddfa in summer because they’re not locals?

‘Ramblers Cymru’ is worth a little detour.

‘RAMBLERS CYMRU’?

You will remember that ‘Dr’ Jane Davidson, Minister for Hippies in the Labour-Plaid Cymru coalition 2007 – 2011, and midwife of One Planet Developments, was also Welsh vice-president of The Ramblers before stepping down in 2007, and then, as grough tells us, she rejoined as president when she departed Corruption Bay in 2011.

But of course she shunned The Ramblers, and the ramblers, while she was a minister.

Click to enlarge

For some reason this second stint with The Ramblers is not mentioned in Davidson’s Wikipedia entry. (By the time you read it the page might have been re-written, again.)

Though it’s difficult to make out if there really is a group called Ramblers Cymru or, as the grough article I just linked to puts it, Davidson became “president of the Ramblers in Wales”.

The website, https://www.ramblers.org.uk/wales, suggests another Englandandwales organisation, for when you click ‘Home’ on the Wales page you go back to the UK site.

Which is appropriate, for most of those working for Ramblers Cymru have moved here to do jobs that are clearly beyond the abilities of Welsh people. Mainly women of the type who have flooded into Wales since devolution to run the hundreds of third sector bodies that the ‘progressive’ parties feel we can’t do without.

One, Maria Hamlett, says: “My background includes working in numerous third sector organisations in key governance roles”. While Amanda Hill has: “15 years experience working for Worcestershire County Council”. Rebecca Brough: “I have a background in policy influencing work in the governmental, charity and statutory sectors”.

Important points there. For the staff at Ramblers Cymru don’t restrict themselves to scolding a wicked farmer for leaving Berwyn the bull on the footpath, they also seek to influence policy-makers. Just as Jane Davidson did, before, during, and after her stint as a minister.

The people I’m describing do not represent – nor do they seek to represent – our interests. If Welsh interests are served then it’s entirely accidental or tangential. ‘Ramblers Cymru’ and similar organisations seek to curate (love that word!) our homeland for the benefit of others like themselves.

We have far too many colonialist organisations like ‘Ramblers Cymru’.

Because it is what it is no one should be surprised to learn that – just like ‘rewilders’ – The Ramblers demand that the ‘Welsh Government’ forces farmers to do their bidding or have their funding withheld.

Dontcha just love the term, ‘our land’. Another example of, ‘What’s yours is ours’.

Click to enlarge

The Ramblers merit this digression because they see Wales as an area for recreation. For them Wales is not a different country; where people witness their language and identity, the country itself, being destroyed by saturation tourism.

What should also make you angry is that these memsahibs, based on Cathedral Road (ideal for rambling), and others just like them, have more influence in Corruption Bay than we poor natives will ever have.

WHAT THE POLITICIANS SAY

That ‘our’ politicians go along with ‘Playground Wales’ is easily explained.

The Labour Party, which has managed Wales since 1999, is an urban party with little concern for rural areas. Labour has no coherent economic plan for the countryside so pretending there is a ‘strategy for tourism’ is a useful way of disguising this inadequacy.

The truth is that tourism is unregulated; it just ‘happens’, and things would carry on in much the same way if the ‘Welsh Government’ fell into a wormhole and reappeared in some distant galaxy. (Stop dreaming!) Making bodies like Visit Wales little more than bystanders, pretending they do something more than organise beanos where they hand out awards and grants.

Click to read article and play video

One of the few things to be said in its favour is that tourism reveals the inconsistency, if not the hypocrisy, of the Labour Party.

Wales must be covered in wind turbines to save the planet, says Labour. For the same reason, OPDs must be allowed to impose their carbon footprint on previously unused land. Yet when our environment is trashed by tourist hordes on a regular basis Labour politicians are blind to the environmental damage!

Another example of Labour’s hypocrisy might be promoting renewable energy, saving the planet, and worrying about the underprivileged . . . while giving millions of pounds to Aston Martin to build £200,000 cars doing 12 miles to the gallon.

The ‘Welsh Government’s declaration of a climate emergency is just bullshit to explain away Wales being lumbered with the wind turbines English communities refuse to accept, and having to accommodate Jane Davidson’s friends.

The Conservative and Unionist Party (plus the fringe BritNats) will support tourism because they will never object to anything that both anglicises Wales and keeps money flowing back to England from staycations in Wales.

Blind, unthinking loyalty to tourism probably explains the comment, quoted in the North Wales Pioneer, from Darren Millar, the MS for Clwyd West, addressing Glyn Daniels’ pound a head suggestion. In Millar’s view, “This is a bad idea. Every pound charged will be a pound less for people to spend in the local economy”.

If Darren Millar had thought before speaking he’d have realised that every pound charged would be guaranteed to stay in the locality, unlike money taken in other ways.

What’s more, those who drive to Yr Wyddfa – to park here, there and everywhere – are often day-trippers, from Greater Manchester, Merseyside and towns nearby. Some will arrive having filled the fuel tank before leaving England, bring a packed lunch, and go home without spending a penny!

For the environmental damage alone, these buggers should be charged £20 a head.

While Plaid Cymru . . . well, what can I say? Plaid Cymru nowadays doesn’t give much thought to Wales. They’re too busy facing up to the fascist hordes they see advancing, outing terfs on social media, and planning more dirty tricks against Neil McEvoy.

Though maybe it’s best they stay schtum, because when they do address the subject – as we’ve seen with Gareth Thomas – they only confirm that they’ve lost the plot.

Whenever a political party, or a politician, says, ‘Wales needs tourism’ they are either lying or exposing their ignorance. The truth is only arrived at by reversing the phrase to read, ‘Tourism needs Wales’.

To conclude this section on a more optimistic note, Wales has two new political parties – Gwlad and the WNP – who I’m sure will take a more analytical, and patriotic, approach to tourism.

I expect both to demand a form of tourism that works for Wales, and the Welsh. Rather than what we suffer at present – an alien enterprise with Welsh people nothing but helpless bystanders as their country is trashed.

MAKING TOURISM WORK FOR US

Let me set out my stall . . .

  • I want to see an industry offering visitors from all over the world quality tourism.
  • An industry that provides business opportunities and well-paid, permanent  jobs for Welsh people.
  • An industry that benefits Wales and her people without the cultural, social and environmental damage currently being inflicted by tourism.

Here are just a few suggestions for achieving these objectives:

1/ Tourism tax: A minimum charge of £2 per head per overnight stay, including those in self-catering accommodation. This to be collected by the owner of the property or site and paid to the local authority.

This money will used in the areas from which it is collected or on capital projects of more widespread benefit. Why not consult local people on how they’d like to see it spent?

Tourism tax is raised everywhere and it benefits local communities. I recall Silvio Berlusconi having to pay a local tourism tax in Sardinia when he docked his luxury yacht, the Bunga Bunga.

2/ Caravan sites: These is no place for these blots on the landscape in a country promoting quality tourism in a respected environment. They offer holidays on the cheap and the money they put into the local economy is overstated. Very few jobs are created and the major beneficiary is the site owner, often a foreign company.

Caravan sites should be phased out over a period of ten years with no replacement ‘vans, cabins or lodges permitted. Thousands of acres could be returned to agriculture or Nature by getting rid of them.

Farmers and others should be allowed small sites of perhaps no more than 50 units.

To maximise tourism income, business opportunities and jobs we should strive to have as many people as possible staying in serviced accommodation.

3/ Raising standards: In New Zealand – a country with which we often like to compare Wales – they have a School of Tourism, operating on eight campuses throughout the country, internationally respected and offering a wide range of courses.

In Wales, all we do is teach Siôn and Sioned elementary catering skills at the local sixth form college so they can work for Kevin from Stockport who owns the local hotel . . . since he bought it off Keith and Sharon from Coventry. Kevin, of course, will have had no training.

Or it might be Paul and Rowena Williams at Plas Glynllifon and Seiont Manor. Or their business partner, Myles Cunliffe. (‘Weep for Wales’ passim.) Or perhaps Siôn and Sioned can get a job at one of the hotels owned by Gavin Lee Woodhouse.

Or perhaps not, seeing as all the businesses owned by these crooks are closed and/or in the hands of receivers.

Which is why other countries insist on a proven level of proficiency, and background checks, before anyone is allowed to run a hotel. But here, money is all that matters. As long as you’ve got the dosh you can buy a five star hotel, and run it badly, thereby damaging the reputation of the locality, and Wales.

You can even buy a zoo without knowing anything about the care of animals!

4/ Permits: New Zealand provides another example worth following. (And NZ isn’t alone in this.) I’m referring now to limiting numbers visiting environmentally sensitive areas and issuing those visiting with permits.

If you live outside Wales and you want to go hiking in one of our national parks then you should pay £20 a year. For the three national parks you pay £50 a year. If the National Trust can charge us to visit sites in our own country, why can’t we do something similar and use the money for our benefit?

Again, the money raised would be used within the local area.

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5/ Airports: You don’t need to go as far as New Zealand to realise the value of a good airport. Scotland is a much nearer example. Overseas tourists, high-spending overseas tourists, fly directly to Glasgow and Edinburgh. They do so all year round.

All we have is Cardiff airport, kept afloat by public money and still losing out to Bristol. We obviously need a new, more accessible airport in the south. We also need one in the north. Why not revamp Llanbedr airfield? It would be better to have overseas tourists flying in than to have the place used – as at present – for testing inaccurate drones that will wipe out wedding parties in Afghanistan.

Well-heeled foreign tourists flying in also offer opportunities for taxi and car hire firms.

6/ Public Transport: Overseas and other tourists not wanting to drive will need public transport. An integrated public transport system is therefore essential. This would have to include a north-south rail link.

The ‘Welsh Government’ has prevaricated for years over re-opening the Carmarthen to Aberystwyth line. That’s because doing so would offer no obvious benefits to Cardiff or to England.

Yet you’d think that an administration dedicated to saving the planet would prioritise public transport. But no, and this lack of commitment to public transport – apart from the Cardiff Metro (to benefit the Cardiff economy not the environment) – is yet another example of Labour’s hypocrisy.

7/ Funding: A major obstacle to Welsh people getting involved in tourism – other than as cooks and cleaners – is a lack of finance.

The ‘Welsh Government’ could divert a portion of the funding it squanders on third sector memsahibs into a pot accessible to young Welsh people who’ve been through school, got a few years practical experience under their belts, and now need funding to branch out on their own.

I appreciate that this is not how tourism is supposed to operate in a colonial context, but what the hell – let’s give it a try!

8/ Touring caravans and Camper-vans: I’m throwing this one in more as a traffic safety measure and a means of lowering blood pressure, but it’s definitely related to tourism.

No towed caravans or camper-vans should be allowed on any public highway between the hours of 6am and 10pm.

CONCLUSION

Tourism in Wales can be summed up as hundreds of thousands of people driving east to west along overcrowded roads, congregating in unsustainable numbers at certain points, staying in the cheapest possible accommodation (if they stay at all), and spending as little money as possible before driving home. Each wave succeeded by the next, and each wave contributing to erosion.

So, what do you think – should we continue to accept ‘Tourism at any cost’?

I say no. I say we reject the idea that Wales exists to provide cheap holidays for our neighbours. Wales should not provide anything to anyone on the cheap.

But the political will must be there to make the necessary changes.

If the political will is absent then we as a nation have every right to defend ourselves from this exploitation of our homeland, this assault on our very identity.

♦ end ♦