First Minister Carwyn Jones Looks Back on 2014

Despite fierce competition from Channel 17 in Albania and the Nova Scotia Parrot Breeders’ Monthly Jac o’ the North is delighted to have secured exclusive rights to First Minister Carwyn Jones’ end-of-year Review. Enjoy!

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Hello there, I’m Carwyn Jones, you may not know me, but I’m the First Minister of Wales. More importantly, I also run the local branch of the Labour Party (along with Owen Smith MP and a few other people). I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas, I know I did. It gave me a chance to put my feet up and relax for a change, after another hectic and hugely successful year in Wales. Let’s go through it month by month.

P.S. Jac has kindly added some pictures showing me at work, so click on them to make them bigger.

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JANUARY: The Dylan Thomas Centenery Year got off to a wonderful start when documents were found at Transport House showing that Dylan was a lifelong supporter of the Labour Party, joining the party in 1938 while fighting in the Spanish Civil War. Not only that, but a previously unknown poem also came to light. Here’s a brief extract showing both his mastery of pomes and stuff and also his commitment to the party he loved: ‘I’ve always been ronk Labour / Its meeCarwyn Jones 2tings are never missed; / Its nostrums are adhered to, / Even when I’m pissed’. The second verse is playfully romantic: ‘I love the Labour Party, / It’s meetings are such fun, / The branch secretary’s a honey, / I wouldn’t mind giving her one’. Chokes me up, it does. And I bet it brings tears to the eyes of all poetry lovers.

FEBRUARY: It was brought to my attention that some foolish people are campaigning to re-open the Carmarthen to Aberystwyth railway line, possibly even go on to Bangor. It should be obvious to everyone that if you’re travelling by rail from north to south (or even south to north) then the existing route via Norwich is clearly the best option and gives people hours, days even, of extra working time. As the old English saying goes, ‘East to west is always best (especially in Wales)’. Who can argue with this tried and tested legitimisation of colonialism?

MARCH: I was surprised to receive from Mr Sargeant and his friends in the Planning Inspectorate a report saying Wales needs one million new homes by 2025. In fact, I said to him, “This seems like a lot, Carl”. But then it was explained to me that this number is due to our soaring birthrate fuelled by the booming Welsh economy which can only be attributed to 15 years of wonderful WelshCarwyn Jones 3 Labour controlling the Assembly. So when you look at it like that it makes perfect sense. In fact, a million may not be enough. (Which is what the Planning Inspectorate is already suggesting.)

APRIL: The London media, at the behest of the Coalition government, said terrible things about the Welsh NHS, so let me put a few things straight. The reason Mrs Rhian Evans of Llanrwst’s baby was delivered by the men re-possessing her three-piece suite was not because we had no ambulances available, it was because she tried calling for one in Welsh! Another calumny (a posh word taught to me by Mrs Hutt) being bandied about is that people have to wait ages before being seen by a doctor. Mr Bowen Owen of Ystradgynlais – fleeting cause celébrè of the right-wing English press – would not have spent three weeks in the waiting room if he’d told staff he was deaf. (And it goes without saying that patient confidentiality is our watchword.)

MAY: No, not Mrs May up in London, over whom certain men fantasise. (Ych a fi!) I’m thinking of the European elections, which Labour won with a stonking majority when almost 10% of those elligible to vote in Wales voted Labour. There’s no arguing with a victory of that mCarwyn Jones 4agnitude. Though of course some nit-pickers did try, saying that Ukip got nearly as many votes as us. But that’s to miss the point, because – and I’m not talking about Europe here – on the issue that really matters, Labour and Ukip are gobbing into the same spittoon.

JUNE: Unkind things were also being said about our higher education sector, so let’s put the record straight. To suggest that some of our universities are lowering entry requirements and cutting corners in pursuit of money is both insulting and incorrect. The fact that Aberystwyth now accepts students with two F grades and a new toothbrush should not deflect from the excellent work being done there by the very popular Ms April McMahon and her loyal and supportive staff. As for Glyndŵr university, degrees were not – as was alleged – being sold in Turkmenistan, far from it. The truth is that a Welsh university broke into new markets by respecting local traditions. In this case, courtesy demanded that certain local dignitaries be allowed to take away examination papers and return them at a time of their own choosing. When it was accepted that the fruit of the potentates’ loins Carwyn Jones 7had completed the papers unaided, with everything above board due to the process having been overseen by invigilators provided at said potentates’ expense. How could anyone question such an arrangement?

JULY: Even though I was on holiday with Mrs Carwyn and the kids I couldn’t stop thinking about the job. One day, whilst sipping a mint julep (with shaved ice, natch), I was forced to concede that there are ‘issues’ in local government. That said, all the problems in Caerphilly were clearly the responsibility of the previous Plaid Cymru administration. If they had paid the chief executive a decent whack then there would have been no need for him to conspire arrange to have a massive salary increase from Mr Gezwell Kirby and his Band of Bruvvers in the incoming Labour administration. While down in Carmarthenshire the Independent Party and Plaid Cymru made a terrible mess of things. Later in the year, the leader of Swansea council had my full support . . . until the coup, after which the new leader had my full support. The bottom line is that everywhere you look around Wales you see the same problem – everything going to pot because people won’t let the Labour Party run things unhindered. (Or the chief executive, whichever applies.)Carwyn Jones 8

AUGUST: I went to the National Eisteddfod, held this year in Llanelli. As you can see from the photograph, I was mobbed by hordes of young Labour activists. (Phwoar!) While there I made a firm commitment to defend the Welsh language at all times . . . unless it meant contradicting the Planning Inspectorate, annoying the Secretary of State, pissing off Labour MPs, interfering with the colonisation strategy, damaging the profits of Wimpey, Redrow, Persimmon, etc., or alarming anyone in London. Those minor caveats aside, let there be no questioning of my firm resolve to do everything I can to ensure that Welsh-speaking communities survive and prosper.

SEPTEMBER: First, I summoned all the world’s leaders to a NATO summit in Newport so I could tell them how to deal with ISIS, Putin, Salmond and assorted threats to our perfect Western system. (Thankfully, no one realised there were any ‘protests’ in Newport because they were sabotaged organised by Ms Bartolotti of MI6 the Green Party.) Next, I flew (from Bristol) to Scotland to confront the aforementioned Alex Carwyn Jones 1Salmond and frustrate his dastardly plan to make Scotland democratic, fair and wealthy. (Jesus! think of the trouble that would have caused!) Due to some very nifty work backstage and in the wings (by those I dare not name) the referendum vote was an emphatic and overwhelming No. It was so emphatic and overwhelming that support for the Scottish National Party has now collapsed as Scots have come to their senses and flock to join the Labour Party. Mr Salmond himself is a broken man, and has abandoned all political ambitions to open a barber shop in Kirriemuir.

OCTOBER: Due to the thousands of new businesses that were created by Welsh Labour with the first two rounds of EU Structural Funds, and the hundreds of thousands of jobs that came with them, those nice people in Europe wisely gave us another two billion pounds to continue with our wonderful work. We are open to imaginative suggestions on how to use this money. Applications containing words or phrases not unlike those here listed stand a good chance of scuring funding: ‘eco-‘ / ‘community space’ / ‘CVs’ (as in ‘help with completing . . . for non-existent jobs’) / ‘enviro-‘ / ‘Labour Party’ (as in, ‘I am a member / supporter . . . ‘) / ‘self-esteem’ / ‘Green’ / ‘multicultural’ / ‘holistic’ / ‘LGBT’ / ‘social enterprise’ / ‘England’ (as in, ‘recently moved frobucket 3 am . . . ‘) / ‘raiki’ / ‘not-for-profit’ / ’empowerment’ / ‘real job’ (as in, ‘never had a . . .’).

NOVEMBER: After reading that every Norwegian is now, theoretically, a millionaire, due to the success of Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, I decided we must have one in Wales. (Though I have reservations about using the term ‘sovereign’.) Starting in January, groups of highly-trained financial analysts will be touring the country with state of the art buckets taking up a national collection. So give granny a good shake, slash open the sofa and chairs, and give whatever you can find to Welsh Labour because, deep inside, you know we’ll use it wisely.

DECEMBER: Mr Vincent Tan has made such a favourable impression on Cardiff City fans that we decided to capitalise on his popularity and fast-track him into the Assembly. He’ll be taking over Vaughan Gething’s seat of Kerdiff South and Penarth. We haven’t told Vaughan yet, it’ll be a surprise! . . . a hell of a surprise seeing as we’ve spread a rumour that he’s my annointed successor! (Well, laff!!)

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2015: I look forward to 2015 with great optimism. Due to the wonderful work of the Welsh Government’s Bread and Circuses Division our boys will either win the Rugby World Cup or fail heroically; either way, if celebrated properly (with the help of our wonderful Welsh media), it should then give us a majority in the Assembly elections of 2016. As if that wasn’t enough, a string of blockbusters will be filmed at Valleywood: cruise liners will make their first, serene appearance on the Llangollen canal; the roar of F1 cars will be heard at the Circuit of Wales; Cardiff International airport will enter an exciting partnership with Bristol and be re-named Bristol (West); thousands of jobs will be created at the Margam Superpit; Llanelli town centre will become the favoured location for post nuclear holocaust movies; and Rhyl will be twinned with any other shit-hole desperate enough for the connection.

Cardiff airport

Take my word for it, 2015 is going to be a great year in Wales. Everywhere you go you’ll hear shoe-shine boys and beggars, bailiffs and food bank staff, whistling that old Harry Secombe number, Every day when I wake up, I thank the Lord I’m Labour.

The Poppy as a Fig Leaf and Other Observations

Last Thursday found me entertaining visitors from the USA in Rhuthun, a pleasant town I’m rather fond of, where I was amazed to see a few people still wearing poppies. Even stranger, there were large poppies fixed to lamp-posts! (This, remember, was November 20th.) This reminded me that the of wearing of poppies may originally have honoured The Glorious Dead, but nowadays the poppy is used to relentlessly promote British unity and patriotism. Understandable, I suppose, for social cohesion is always desirable, but the growing economic disparities defeat that object, leaving the poppy exposed as a fig leaf behind which a corrupt and increasingly reviled elite seeks to hide.Cameron poppy

A political elite supported by a media that is looked upon by the rest of the world’s journalists with a mixture of awe and revulsion. Led of course by the BBC, the State mouthpiece that played such a prominent role in seeing off the threat of Scottish independence in September. Following behind is the print media, those newspapers that have hacked phones, paid bent coppers, etc., then denied doing anything wrong before – after being exposed – arguing that everything they did was in the public interest.

As I say, events in Scotland have played a big part in influencing the recent behaviour of the UK media and the output of the ‘entertainment industry’. In the final year of the Labour – Lib Dem coalition in the Scottish Parliament (to May 3, 2007) there were just 25 separate programmes that had ‘Britain’ or ‘British’ in the title. Between January 2013 and January 2014, with the SNP in power and the independence referendum looming, the number of ‘Britain’ / ‘British’ programmes had risen to 516! Yet we are supposed to believe that the threatening political situation in Scotland had nothing whatever to do with this upsurge in patriotic productions south of the border. Read more about it here.

This discredited elite and loathsome media also promote ‘Remembrance’ with a considerable degree of coercion, one only has to watch television in the weeks leading up to November 11th to realise that no one is allowed to appear on UK television without a poppy. The poppy must appear everywhere, from footballers’ shirts to newspaper front pages. (There’s something rather odd about seeing German and Argentine Premier League footballers with a poppy on their shirts.) The only Premiership player I’ve seen with the courage to refuse was James McClean, when with Sunderland (now with Championship side Wigan). Something else I’ve noticed is that the commemoration of ‘Armistice Day’ now seems to start around mid-September.

I make that observation because when I was a boy people would wear poppies on November 11th (or the Sunday nearest to that date), these were then either placed on graves or left on the mantlepiece, perhaps for next year; but now, like Christmas, the whole thing starts earlier every year. And just as sybarites of your acquaintance insist they wouldn’t really bother with all the over-eating and getting steaming drunk “if it was’t for the kids’, so the sinister and discredited elements I’m referring to want us to believe that the poppy cult is motivated solely by respect for The Fallen. I say cult because that’s what it has become. If anyone doubts what I’m saying, then just recall the Tower of London display this year and the crowds turning up to worship at the ‘shrine’.

Stepping back from that exercise in overkill we can see the bigger picture and the poppy cult as just one tactic in a wider strategy. For with the unity of Britain beset by threats as diverse as the SNP and jihadism, yet with nothing in modern Britain able to serve as the focus for a unifying loyalty, a discredited establishment is forced to employ the past, and to exploit those beyond all criticism. (The wisdom of which is questionable, given that those who died on the Western Front can be seen as victims of the same discredited establishment.)

poppy fig leaf

Of course, this promotion of an unquestioning patriotism that tolerates no criticism has its risks. Such as encouraging those on the uglier fringes of English / British nationalism into believing that this State-sponsored nationalism shows approval of their stance on various issues – not least immigration – which then results in the kind of behaviour we saw in George Square, Glasgow the day after the independence referendum. By waving Union flags on every conceivable occasion, by making endless programmes with ‘Britain’ or ‘British’ in the title, the British elite and its media encourage the extreme Right to think its beliefs are being endorsed or gaining acceptance. Which leads on to another problem.

For many of these SuperBrits are Nazis, and admire the army that killed so many British soldiers. I have never quite understood the reasoning at work here, does the English extreme Right think Britain should have made common cause with the Nazis in World War Two, maybe fought alongside them against the RusWhite vansians? It’s obvious there are many who see no contradiction in being a Nazi and a British patriot, as we saw in George Square, with people bawling out Land of Hope and Glory before yelling Sieg Heil! This confusion probably explains the nutter who gave a Nazi salute at the Remembrance Day service in Wrecsam. He may genuinely have believed that a Nazi salute is an acceptable way to show respect for Britain’s war dead. Think about that.

This ‘confusion’ presents a dilemma for our masters. Because I believe there are sinister forces within the establishment who think that in a shit-hitting-the-fan scenario, with Muslim neighbourhoods becoming no-go areas, Scotland declaring independence, social unrest among the English underclass, the thugs of the BNP and Britain First, Rangers fans and assorted other misfits would make ideal foot-soldiers, so we mustn’t be too hard on them. But it’s playing with fire.

Another problem for the British establishment presented by White Van Dan and his ilk is that while the Unionist elite desperately seeks ways to defeat Scottish nationalism, to combat the alienation of ethnic and religious minorities, and hold the UK together, the English Right is circling the wagons. It wants as little as possible to do with foreigners of any description or complexion, and the ‘scrounging’ Celts can also sod off if they so wish. How far can the British Unionist establishment go in appeasing those who want nothing less than an English England, and are as ready to see Britain dismembered as any Scottish nationalist? It’s a circle that cannot be squared without convincing English nationalists that Scotland and Wales are little more than subject territories, with the predictable consequences . . . in Scotland, anyway.

This dilemma almost certainly explains the swift removal from the shadow cabinet of Emily Thornberry last week. You may recall that during the Rochester and Strood by-election (won by Ukip) Ms Thornberry tweeted a photograph (shown above) with the caption, ‘Image from Rochester’. She was accused, among other things, of being “snobbish”. It would be difficult to prove in any court of law what Ms Thornberry meant by that tweet, it all depends on what you read into it, but Mrs Thornberry’s party leader, and the media, decided she had insulted the patriotic English working class and so she had to go. A curious decision for a political party that no longer understands the working class; but then, with Ukip on the rise Ed Miliband must pretend he’s a soul-mate to car dealer and cage fighter Dan. Incidentally, Dan says he put up the flags for the World Cup and just forgot to take them down. Reminder: England started packing their bags to come home on June 24th.

poppy fig leaf

Something that must be ignored by the establishment is that The Glorious Dead of previous generations were prepared to die for a country they loved and an establishment they believed – despite a few black sheep – was basically honest and doing its best for the country. They even believed what they read in their newspapers, and heard on the ‘wireless’. None of this applies today, which is why so many people are searching for political, religious and other alternatives, and why the poppy has become a fig leaf behind which a discredited elite tries to hide its obvious and multiple failings. And when it’s not poppy time then it’s sport, or royal weddings / pregnancies, or any other Great British Bollocks.

Britain today displays many of the features associated with civilisations in a state of terminal decline. The imperial family is not respected as once it was, too many have brought on it shame and ridicule. Few pay any attention to organised religion, other than ‘subversive’ faiths from the farther reaches of the empire. The political elite is distrusted as never before, perceived by the masses to be liars interested only in lining their own pockets. The money-lenders are crooks and the merchant class avoids paying taxes. With the result that the gulf between rich and poor grows year on year. The capital still prospers while provincial cities decline, and one of the more important provinces threatens to break away altogether. The masses grow restless and look to new leaders, back-slapping populists who can be found in the taverns and the wine shops. These are clearly dangerous times for the established order, so it must pretend to listen to the masses, promise to be strong against the foreigner, provide bread and circuses, while recalling the days of glory and urging the restless masses to be more like their unquestioningly loyal fathers.

That paragraph could have been about the decline and fall of imperial Rome (or France just before its Revolution) but I am of course writing about modern Britain, and I didn’t need to make up anything. As we know, things turned out badly for Rome and they’ll turn out badly for Britain’s discredited elite. The Britain I grew up in is disappearing before my eyes, and as with Rome, the collapse is not due to the barbarians at the gates (or indeed within the walls), it is due entirely to a corrupted, self-serving elite having become divorced from, and contemptuous of, the great majority of the population (though there’s some irony in the Daily Mail reminding us of this). This situation can persist only until enough of the ruled realise the true nature of those PX*2956596ruling them. We have almost reached that point.

The more one looks at modern, shyster-run Britain, with its never-ending scandals that must result in splurges of ever more contrived and unconvincing calls to patriotism, the more we should appreciate Dr. Johnson’s prescience in making the constantly re-forged link between patriotism and scoundrels.

And what of Wales? There will be those who argue that everything is fine, relax! chill out! while others will tell us we can all be rich and happy by replacing the incumbent shysters with a different crew of shysters. Of course we can. Others may pretend that devolution will save us. Well, we’ve had fifteen years of devolution and unless you’re a property developer in Cardiff or a Third Sector grant-grabber then you haven’t seen any benefits. Next year could give us a coalition government with the Tories linking up with the friendly face of fascism. Isn’t that something to look forward to? Wake up, the only hope for Wales is to start disentangling itself from the disaster unfolding before our eyes. That disaster is England.

I would readily honour the memory of those who lost their lives in combat if doing so hadn’t become politicised by those for whom I have no respect. Perhaps Wales should have a different poppy, one to honour the dead without being associated with those seeking to exploit the dead.

Why Welsh Nationalists Should Applaud Ukip

‘Surely you’re not going to write favourably about Ukip, Jac?’ I hear you plaintively inquire. Well, yes and no. What I’m going to try to say is that if we learn the right lesson from Ukip’s recent success then that lesson can be used for the benefit of Wales. So let’s first remind ourselves of what the party achieved in the May European elections. (Click on table to enlarge.)

The party won 27.6% of the vote, against just 15.3% for Plaid Cymru and only 28.1% for Labour. And for those who used to argue that the Ukip vote came almost entirely from disaffected Tories, the Conservative vote held fairly steady at 17.4%. If you wanted to be even more dismissive, and self-deluding, then you would have written off this success as the kind of protest vote in which people indulge at Euro elections. It was not. It was much, much more. ‘Something’ was happening. It was observable then and it has become unmistakable since May.

Euro votes 2014

So what was the response from the other political parties to the Euro results? Initially, there was a stubborn refusal to accept the changed landscape of Englandandwales politics. (Ukip is irrelevant in Scotland.) Precious, simpering Leftists and liberals held their noses at the very mention of Ukip, as if it were unwholesome and repugnant, while many leading Tories tended to see Ukip members as oiks, the products of minor public schools. But that soon changed.

Because more recently we have seen  the defections of a couple of Conservative MPs (with more expected to follow). One of those MPs, Douglas Carswell, has already won for Ukip the Clacton seat he vacated when he resigned from the Tories. While on the same night, at the Heywood & Middleton by-election in Greater Manchester, Labour held on to one of its ‘safe’ seats by getting just 617 votes more than Ukip. Ukip is odds-on favourite to win the Rochester and Strood by-election next month when another Tory defector, Mark Reckless, stands for his former constituency.

Finally, and very reluctantly, the other political parties have been forced to accept that something very worrying is happening, and it’s no flash in the pan. The growing contempt for Westminster and the ‘established’ parties is manifesting itself in increased support for what voters see, and welcome, as an ‘outsider’ party, an untainted, maverick presence that can shake everything up – and articulate their concerns. And there is one issue more than any other on which Ukip has captured the public imagination – immigration.

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As I have made clear more than once on this blog, the biggest threat facing Wales is not fracking, or the lack or primary legislative powers, but the steady and engineered colonisation witnessed by every one of us every single day. It is taboo to raise the subject of English colonisation, and it results in being shouted down as a ‘racist’, or else have it pointed out that there is nothing that can be done about immigration due to EU laws on free movement of labour. Another argument employed is that as citizens of the UK English people are perfectly free to move to Wales.

Ukip’s success, and it’s focus on immigration, has not only legitimised immigration as a subject for debate, but it has even changed the terms of reference. To the extent that even Ed Miliband, the nerdy and disconnected leader of the Labour Party, now agrees that something needs to be done about immigration. This, remember, is the same Labour Party that not so long ago was in favour of unrestricted immigration in order to create a multiracial society. A policy that they believed would lead to better race relations(!) and of course, more votes for Labour.

The Conservative Party has always talked tough on immigration, accused Labour of being ‘soft’, but since regaining power in 2010 has done nothing itself to curb the flow. That’s because today’s Tories are not the patriots one would have found in the Conservative Party in earlier generations; the current crop contains too many of the selfish and short-sighted who know the price of everything and the value of nothing. In the view of such people immigration equals cheap labour, which in turn helps to depress wages more generally. Therefore, no matter what they might say for public consumption, and to hang onto their seats, if immigration is good for them and their friends then they aren’t going to knock themselves out doing anything about it.

This is the split one finds on the Right across the Western world. On the one hand, there are those that oppose unskilled or non-professional immigration. Then there are those that appreciate the economic benefits unskilled migrants can bring to farmers and others, using well-rehearsed arguments such as ‘locals don’t want these jobs’. Finally, there is the extreme Right that opposes virtually all immigration. Most Conservative MPs today belong to the second category but, under the increasing threat from UPlaid logokip, are being forced to adopt the rhetoric of the third. To the extent that a government minister this week talked of English communities being “swamped” by immigrants.

So Welsh nationalists should thank Ukip for bringing immigration to the forefront of political debate. What’s more, the debate now is not about legal rights – for ‘Europeans’ have legal rights to be in the UK – but effects on the host community. If ten per cent of the population of Peterborough being immigrants is legitimate cause for concern, then fifty per cent of the population of Powys being English should be cause for immediate action.

The other reason true Welsh nationalists should thank Ukip is for exposing the sheer bloody uselessness of Plaid Cymru. Last May, in the kind of election in which people say, ‘What the hell!’, Ukip was able to get more votes than Plaid Cymru; worse than that, Ukip gained the ‘soft’ Labour, or non-voter, vote in the south that Plaid Clymru claims to have been chasing for half a century. Plaid Cymru can now look forward to coming fourth at the 2016 Assembly elections.

Ukip has opened a door, but Plaid Cymru won’t go through because it’s afraid to point up the hypocrisy in the position of English politicians and media being outraged when a few thousand poor people turn up in a prosperous English town to take the low-paid jobs, yet condemn us as ‘racist’ for drawing attention to wealthy English people buying up our homeland and, in the process, destroying our very identity! No, instead, Plaid Cymru snuggles up to a party the SNP has all but destroyed in Scotland and cobbles together election pacts with the Green Party of Englandandwales and it’s colon representatives here.

With events in Scotland threatening the Westminster consensus on another front there has never been a better time for a radical Welsh party to make a breakthrough. Plaid Cymru is not that party. It never was. It looks jaded, even part of that now-detested Westminster consensus. Maybe that’s the price you pay for being ‘respectable’ and ‘responsible’, being written about favourably in the Guardian and the New Statesman. And Wales pays the price.

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Having got that off my chest, let me end on a lighter note, with something I’ve wanted to say about Ukip for a long time – I find Nigel Farage and his gang incredibly funny. Let me explain.

As a child growing up in the 1950s one sub-species of humanity then to be observed was the somewhat louche individual who favoured cavalry twill trousers and a badge-embazoned blazer, or a sports coat. For neckware there was the choice of regimental / old school tie, cravat or bow tie, and above that a moustache he hoped would help him further promote the image of a man who’d done his bit of derrFarage T-Ting-do, don’t y’know. The favoured mode of transport was a sports car, in which our specimen would cruise around hoping to pick up ‘crumpet’. Despite his natural habitat being the Home Counties and certain areas of west London, this fascinating creature could even be found in Swansea, often at the more acceptable ‘watering holes’ on Gower or in Mumbles drinking half pints in glasses with dimples and handles. (Never a straight glass!) These they would obtain by marching into a pub demanding to be served with ‘A half of your very best bitter, squire’. (It should be noted that during this period many innocents were elevated to the ranks of the squirarchy without ever understanding how or why.) They seemed a hearty crew exhuding bonhomie and guffawing at lame jokes about ‘shirt-lifters’ and ‘darkies’ while slapping each other vigorously on the back. They were almost a stock character in English films of the period, played by none better than Terry-Thomas. In a yet earlier age many of them might have been remittance men.

Remittance men

Anyway, the point I’m making is that I had assumed this sub-species of homo britannicus (‘Homo’, geddit? nudge, nudge) had been rendered extinct by the decline of the English sports car industry, or Rock ‘n’ Roll, or loss of habitat, but I was wrong – they were just hiding, biding their time, and now they’ve re-emeged from the collective apoplexy of the golf club and the piss-take pageantry of the masonic lodge – as Ukip! This realisation has been quite disconcerting for me, even disorientating, though it brought memories flooding back. I suppose younger readers will suspect that the creatures I’ve described never existed. Believe me, boys and girls, they did – just look at Farage and his chums and you’ll get some idea of what they were like!

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Of course, nothing I’ve written here changes my opinion of Nathan Gill, the Ukip MEP for Wales. (Pick up the story from here.) He is still a lying shite. He and his brothers-in-law – possibly others – are unscrupulous, hypocritical, exploitive bastards prepared to make money out of desperate immigrants from the ‘Europe’ they claim to hate, and then hide away the cash-in-hand income from the tax authorities. When they aren’t exporting dangerous used tyres to West Africa, that is. Don’t y’know.

Nathan Gill, Family Man

More information reaches me from the Eastern Front (East Yorkshire, that is).

The mystery concerning the late Michael Ronald Gill’s first stretch in prison, for theft, seems to have been solved. According to my informant . . . while running the Pink Panther care home on Holderness Road in Hull Gill would pocket the pensions of those in his care and cover his tracks with false receipts. This criminality came to light when a patient’s death resulted in a police enquiry that subsequently uncovered the trousering of the old dears’ pension money. I am also informed that the Gills got hammered by the tax authorities when Gill Senior one year submitted the exact same return he had sent in the previous year!

Since I’ve been writing about our new MEP whiners and apologists have come to this and other blogs arguing that the sins of the father are irrelevant in any consideration of the son’s behaviour. Normally I would agree, but not this time. To begin with, Gill senior was the patriarch of a family abiding by the mores of a weird religious sect who would have playBrian Quilter 1ed a major role in creating the Nathan Lee Gill we know today. Then, when Nathan Gill had grown up, he went into the family business, where I’m sure he learnt a lot more from his father.

A name we encountered in an earlier post was Brian Quilter, a co-director with Nathan Gill in Compactor Ltd (Company Number 06329258, Incorporated. July 31, 2007; Final Dissolution March 15, 2011). This company was engaged in “the manufacture of telegraph and telephone apparatus and equipment”. This was obviously a major departure for grannyfarmer and gangmaster Nathan Gill, so I assumed that whatever expertise in this field the directors possessed came from Compactor managing director, Brian Lynn Quilter. Though I was somewhat puzzled by Gill’s mother also being a director. The explanation, it turns out, is quite simple; Quilter, a US citizen, is the husband of Gill’s sister Melanie, and therefore son-in-law to Elaine Gill.

Compactor Ltd was based in Bridlington, just up the coast from Hull, but the Quilters live in Dolwyddelan, in a massive former YHA building now described as a “budget hostel” (surely not more migrant accommodation!). Bridlington is also where – according to my informant – we find another Gill family venture; this time “a day care home  . . . another substantial building with flats on the top floor”.

You will also recall that in an earlier post I quoted my informant saying that Gill, together with “his brothers-in-law” (see update at foot of post) was operating migrant accommodation scams in English cities other than Hull, Portsmouth and Plymouth being mentioned. I think we can assume that Quilter is one of those “brothers-in-law”. A clue comes from Quilter Properties Ltd, registered in Dolwyddelan (Company Number 05324303), and with just two directors – Brian Quilter and Melanie Quilter Properties graphQuilter (nee Gill). The company business is stated as being, “Management of Real Estate on a Fee or Contract Basis” or, as my informant put it to me, “sub-sub-letting”. (Presumably in cash.)

Quilter Properties is an outfit that on the face of it struggled along for a few years before giving up the ghost. The company was Incorporated on January 5, 2005 (less than a year after ‘stack ’em high’ Burgill Ltd came into existence), and finally struck off on April 23, 2010. The table I include (click to enlarge) shows the flatlining figures for Quilter Properties Ltd, which existed for five years and achieved . . . well, nothing. My research can find no business – other than Compactor and Quilter Properties – with which Brian Lynn Quilter was involved. Oh, yes, talking of Melanie Gill Quilter, I understand she is a Special Constable, B Special, or some such.

Which brings us to the great mystery of the extended Gill family’s business dealings. Of the businesses we know, none ever seemed to make money, yet – and as my informant notes – these people live in million pound houses, they drive fancy sports cars and big 4 x 4s. It doesn’t add up, unless:

a) businesses are, for whatever reason, being deliberately run at a loss

b) the tax authorities are being regularly lied to (for which we have some evidence)

c) these companies, Burgill, Quilter Properties and others, are simply fronts behind which dealings are done almost entirely in cash, which, again, my informant suggests is the case

d) the Gills have other, successful ventures – maybe not entirely legal – about which we know nothing.

e) A combination of any of the above

Having mentioned enterprises that might be illegal, you will recall that something else I dealt with in an earlier post was the curious business, in 2011, of the tyre dump at Bryn Aethwy, Menai Bridge. Some 5,000 tyres were found in Menai Bridge (where Gill’s parents liveNathan Gill leaflets plain) and a warrant was issued to search a property in Llangefni (where Nathan Gill lives). My informant now suggests that Quilter was also involved. The worn tyres were destined for Ghana, where there is a burgeoning Mormon community. Here’s an endorsement of Gill by Dennis Kofi Asumah, a Ghanaian member of the local Ukip branch on Anglesey. Maybe the three helpers in this photo are also Ghanaian (click to enlarge). Below left is an earlier endorsement from Dennis Kofi Asumah – for the 2011 Welsh Assembly elections – in which he urges support for ‘Bishop’ Nathan Lee Gill on the regional list. Strongly suggesting that Asumah is a Mormon himself. Perhaps Asumah was involved in some way in the Ghanaian tyres deal.

Dennis Kofi AsumahWe already know that Nathan Gill is a hypocrite, being a representative of an anti-EU party while personally profiting from the very EU migrants his party condemns, but could it go further? Could Gill also be helping African co-religionists to enter the UK, and if so, what’s his cut (for we know that Bishop Nathan Lee Gill don’t do nuffin for nuffin)? Just ask yourself, why else would there be Ghanaian Mormons on Anglesey? What – or who – drew them there? Whatever the answers, we have established Ghanaian connections for ‘Bishop’ Nathan Gill which help explain the used tyres scam. But when I first read the story I couldn’t understand why there had been no arrests; I mean, it appeared they’d been caught bang to rights. Now I’m wondering if Gill’s sister, Quilter’s wife, being a hobby cop with Gogplod has any bearing.Asumah Farage

Here’s a wee pic I found in my digging; it shows Dennis Kofi Asumah with Nigel Farage (click to enlarge). People like Dennis – whose loyalty is primarily to ‘Bishop’ Gill – must nevertheless be useful to Ukip. Though the irony does not escape me of an African, and of course, Americans, challenging the right of Europeans to enter a European country to which they themselves have, by whatever means, gained entry. But, then, this is just more of the hypocrisy and double-standards we now expect from the United Kingdom Independence Party.Gill Ghana

Finally, Gill, or his supporters, have now made use of Wikipedia, with this page devoted to their boy. Basically, it admits to what’s now in the public domain – Burgill’s debts, “bunkhouse” accommodation for migrant workers, five years working as a PA for his predecessor as MEP, being a Mormon – but nothing we don’t already know. Yet he, or whover wrote the entry, still can’t resist more lying; such as claiming that, “After leading the UKIP group for the May 2013 local elections on Anglesey and being re-elected as a councilor . . .”. Very impressive . . . until I remind you that Nathan Gill has never been elected to the local council. What is it with these people, are they incapable of telling the truth! The US spelling of ‘councilor’ suggests this puff may have been written by Gill’s wife, Jana; or even his brother-in-law, Brian Lynn Quilter.

Gill councillor

So there you have it, yet more news on Nathan Gill and his family. All fascinating stuff, some of it disturbing, and none of it doing him or his family any favours. This man shouldn’t be allowed to hold any public office. He shouldn’t have been allowed to stand for public office. He should be an embarrassment even to a political party as ‘relaxed’ about its representatives’ moral defects and peccadillos as Ukip. But apparently not. The more I learn of Nathan Lee Gill and his kin, the more I think of a Mormon version of the Sopranos or Corleones – perhaps they’ll hire somebody to whack me!

UPDATE JUNE 30: I can now reveal that the other brother-in-law is Anson Dwayne Bentley, currently of Bridlington, just north of Hull (click on image to enlarge), born April 1965; another US Mormon, this one married to Gill’s sister Jayne. Further information Anson Dwayne Bentleyreceived now gives me a much better understanding of both the nature and scale of the operations in which Nathan Gill and his two brothers-in-law were engaged.

The bunkhouse on Holderness Road in west Hull that Gill has admitted to, housing Poles and others, only accounts for a few dozen migrants; I am now informed there were hundreds of migrants housed, and not just in Hull, but in Plymouth and God knows how many places in between. I have even been given the names of two men – almost certainly Latvians – who acted as rent collectors, S. F. and I. S.

For the scam was all about renting or even buying property, often through shell companies, then letting and sub-letting to exploit migrants who paid in cash, which was never declared as income, thereby cheating H M Revenue & Customs. Let’s say Gill rents a substantial house for £800 per month (in 2005) sub-lets to Quilter and / or Bentley for £2,000 a month, they then pack in 20 migrants paying £50 a week each, which works out at £4,300 per month. Everybody’s happy!

I have been accused of picking on Mormons or their beliefs, but Mormonism may lie at the heart of this conspiracy. I suspect that like many fundamentalist expressions of mainstream religions Mormonism has an ‘us and them’ mentality. In which ‘them’ are unbelievers and even the enemy. Because they are not ‘us’ they are fair game, to be exploited or worse. We see this attitude around the world today, especially in extreme variants of Islam; but Hinduism, Judaism, and even Buddhism are not exempt. Christianity has always had its fair share of extreme and exclusive cults and sects (often founded by charlatans to satisfy deviant sexuality or an overactive libido).

This outlook can then be used to justify not respecting or even openly disobeying governments, for these are the works of wicked Man, and lack the approval of their God. When you reach this stage then you have the religious equivalent of the militia mentality that rejects the US federal government and all its works. (Which might explain why Mormons and other sects seem to favour the same parts of the USA as the anti-Washington militias, and why there is so often an overlap.)

For the purposes of this case, it might also explain why Mormons, especially Mormons from the USA, see nothing wrong in exploiting mainly Catholic migrants and also cheating the UK government of its due. Thought it does throw up another irony. Nathan Gill and his Kipper cronies are forever moaning about the UK taxpayer being ‘ripped off’ by devious and dishonest continentals, but he has no problem with him and his US brothers-in-law doing the same!

Euro Elections: Picking Through The Bones

Now that the dust has settled let’s see who’s still standing, who counts as walking wounded, and who might be deserving of a coup de grâce. Below you’ll find a table I’ve compiled giving a breakdown of the results. (Click to enlarge.) For comparison, the 2009 results can be found lower down. (Again, click to enlarge.) Further statistics and tables for 2014 can be found at the Pembrokeshire County Council website or at Welsh not British, where young Mr Evans has produced yet more easy-to-read graphics. (Though I got confused!)

Recent posts may also be of interest. First, my Wales Euro Election 2014: Runners and Riders and then my brief, pre-election biography of Nathan Gill, Ukip No 1 in Wales. Finally, bear in mind that the results were declared by local authority not by Westminster or Assembly constituencies. So while Anglesey council is the same as the constituency, this is rarely the case elsewhere, with some authorities containing more than one constituency and some constituencies straddling local government boundaries.

First, let’s get some of the minor parties out of the way. I cannot understand why NO2EU, Socialist Labour and the Socialist Party of Great Britain bothered standing. These three hard Left parties got a total of just 1.2% of the vote. I suppose it’s a platform, and a way of advertising themselves, but beyond that . . .

Moving over to the other extreme of the political spectrum we find the British National Party and its former members in Britain First. Their combined total was 1.9%. A great disappointment for the BNP, which got 5.4% of the vote at the previous Euro elections. I shall return anon to the BNP.

The performance of the Greens was patchy, ranging from 2.3% in Blaenau Gwent to 8.0% in Ceredigion. Nationally the party got 4.5% which was down on the 5.6% of five years ago. With all the environmentalist brainwashing going on in our schools I would have expected the Green vote to be rising. Then again, maybe many Greens ‘lent’ their vote to Plaid Cymru this time round to save Plaid’s skin. (Something else I shall return to.)

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Young Liberal badge
Click to Enlarge

One of the shocks of this election was of course the near-annihilation of the Liberal Democrats. Now you know my views on the Lib Dems, but I’m not a man to gloat, so (putting aside the party hat and champagne bottle) I will stick with the facts. Nationally, the Lib Dem vote dropped from 10.7% in 2009 to 3.9% last Thursday. The candles in the gloom were where you’d expect to find them: 12.9% in Powys and 11.4% in Ceredigion. But even these were poor figures considering that we are dealing here with areas containing (or until recently containing) Liberal Democrat AMs and MPs.

Elsewhere, the picture is one of unrelieved bleakness: votes of less than 3% in Anglesey, Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Carmarthenshire, Denbighshire, Gwynedd, Merthyr Tydfil, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire, Rhondda Cynon Taff and Torfaen. The centre ground is obviously overcrowded, and being in coalition with the Tories has its price. This result is part of a decline also found outside Wales, and when we add in the findings of opinion polls, it could be that the Liberal Democrats are coming to the end of the line as a serious political party.

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Euro election 2009Given the result achieved by Ukip, and the added factor this time round of having been in government at Westminster for four years, the Conservatives will be quite satisfied – if not relieved – to have hung on to 17.4% of the vote, down from 21.2% in 2009. The Tories’ lowest vote was 6.2% in Blaenau Gwent, and they got votes below 10% in three other Valleys authorities; with the highest vote, unsurprisingly, being 33.2% in Monmouthshire. This year’s vote was just two percentage points down from 2004.

As for Labour, 28.1% looks excellent when compared with 20.3% in 2009. But 2009 was an election influenced by Gordon Brown being PM and leading an unpopular government heading for defeat in the general election of 2010. To put Labour’s result last Thursday into a longer term perspective, their 28.1% takes them closer to the 32.5% they achieved in 2004. Labour’s lowest vote was 10.3% in Ceredigion and the highest 46.5% in Blaenau Gwent. Which leaves us with just Ukip and Plaid Cymru to consider. Plaid first.

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Plaid scraped home to retain its MEP by just a few thousand votes and a share of 15.3%, compared with 18.5% in 2009 and 17.4% in 2004. The percentage share varied wildly, from 43.5% in Gwynedd to 6.3% in Monmouthshire. Only four local authorities (out of 22) gave Plaid a percentage share above 20%. I have made my views on Plaid Cymru / The Party of Wales known in many previous posts: they are a party that reached a ‘plateau’ of support under Dafydd Wigley from which they have been falling back steadily since he was deposed. And if, as we were being told prior to the voting, many Greens, Liberal Democrats and other ‘progressive elements’ were voting Plaid in order to stop Ukip getting a second seat, then the result is even worse.

Plaid’s support was concentrated along the west side of the country, as it has been throughout the party’s history, and even though 118,479 people in the south decided to stick two fingers up to the three main UK parties they chose to do it by voting Ukip rather than Plaid Cymru. Think about that – tens of thousands of working class Welsh people in the Valleys chose ex-public school ‘Frenchy’ Farage and his golf club bigots in preference to Plaid Cymru. Plaid Cymru has completely failed to break through in Denis Balsom’s ‘Welsh Wales’, among those who described themselves as ‘Welsh Only’ in the 2011 census; this failure, coupled with its heartland being colonised (without any protest from Plaid!) guarantees the eventual – and hopefully speedy – demise of this faux national party.

Yet there are those thankful for a ‘nationalist’ party as incompetent and unthreatening as Plaid Cymru. Given the fact that Plaid losing its MEP might have set in train events resulting in consequences unpalatable to such people, I can’t help wondering if, somewhere along the road to Abergwaun, Wales didn’t experience another deus ex machina moment to compare with what happened in Carmarthen back in September 1997.

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Now we come to the undoubted stars of the show, even if they didn’t quite manage to top the bill: Ladies and gentlemen – the United Kingdom Independence Party! Let me concede that this was a spectacular result for Ukip, so let’s consider where it might lead. But before that, let’s set the context by saying that Ukip’s share of the vote has risen from 10.5% in 2004 to 12.8% in 2009 to 27.6% in 2014. By any standards, quite spectacular; though it’s not immediately obvious where the votes came from.

By which I mean, between 2009 and 2014 the Ukip vote increased by 114,398, and in percentage share terms from 12.8 to 27.6. In other words, it more than doubled. Yet the Labour vote also increased from 138,852 to 206,332, or 20.3% to 28.1%. So little if any of Ukip’s vote came from Labour. We can also safely assume that few would make the switch from Plaid Cymru to Ukip. Which leaves the Tories, Liberal Democrats and the British National Party. Yet the Tory vote was down by less than 20,000 on 2009, so we must assume that many who had previously used the Lib Dems as their protest vote switched to Ukip this time. (While others went to Labour.) Another source of votes was obviously the BNP; something admitted by leader Nick Griffin, who says his lost supporters will be back when they realise Ukip can’t deliver on immigration. (And the BNP can!) Finally, while Ukip may have picked up the votes of the disenchanted and the gullible in the Valleys; in Powys, the north, and rural areas, we can safely say that Ukip had far more appeal to English residents than to Welsh.

If those are the sources of Ukip’s votes then these, I believe, are the factors that helped Ukip achieve its success. First, the desire among a large section of the electorate to use elections that don’t really matter to put the boot into established politics, and lazy and corrupt establishment politicians – so they voted for ‘Farage the outsider’. Second, genuine, but non-racist, concerns about immigration and how it affects the social life or character of communities. Third, a protest against something very few of them really understand called ‘Europe’ and its increasing control over their lives. Fourth, Lib Dem voters deserting to what they perceive to be another ‘protest’ party. Fifth, Ukip still has novelty value and has been promoted by large sections of the media, including the BBC, which made Farage almost a permanent member of the Question Time panel and other programmes. Which raises an intriguing question . . .

Many can see that the BBC has in the past few years has taken on the role of State broadcaster. Whether this was as a result of a decision taken within the BBC, or a role taken on at the behest of others, need not bother us here. This change has manifested itself in the plethora of programmes now prefixed by ‘Great British’ and the clear bias in reporting the Scottish referendum debate. So the question has to be, why is the BBC giving a free ride to this threat to the established order, portraying Farage as a good egg who enjoys a pint and a ciggie? I’m open to suggestions, but my belief is that we are witnessing here the ‘elastic theory’ in practice; by which I mean, Ukip is being used to legitimise certain issues that were previously taboo, or the preserve of extremists, and therby move political debate to the Right. From the confusion created by this shift will soon emerge – to steal Ukip’s clothes – a ‘repositioned’ Conservative Party. There may even be a place for the unquestionably popular Nigel Farage in the New Conservative Party. Either way, it will mean the end of Ukip as a major political force. Though of course, there were those who thought they could do something similar with Hitler in 1930s Germany.

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Looking ahead, I see that Mr Gill, our new Ukip MEP, is quoted as saying, “the Valleys are ours for the taking”, meaning that he expects to win Westminster and Assembly seats in this region. I have no way of knowing from which of his orifices these words emanated, but Mr Gill is an Englishman, living on Anglesey, who knows as much about the Valleys as I do about the Hindu Kush. Which is why I never talk of that region. Ergo he talks bollocks. For he knows as well as I do – or should – that Ukip is a protest vote for elections that people don’t take seriously. Which explains why the party has not a single MP, MSP or AM. Ukip has as much chance of winning Merthyr or Blaenau Gwent next year, or in 2016, as I have of winning the Kentucky Derby. And yet . . .

The threat of Ukip having some success in England at next year’s general election, and perhaps holding the balance of power, remains. (I have heard electoral pacts with the Conservatives mooted.) So put yourself in the position of someone in Scotland who has not yet decided how to vote in the independence referendum. Maybe you’re having a pint in an East End bar, or relaxing at home in Inverurie, when who pops up on the television but Nigel Farage. He says that you Scottish chaps (and he’ll use the word ‘chaps’) should be very grateful to be ruled by chaps like him; so you should forget all this independence nonsense because you’re ‘too wee and too poor’ (said in an appalling Scottish accent, an attempt at humour). Then he signs off with ‘Toodle-pip’. Do you think this intervention, and the possibility of a Tory-Ukip coalition after May 2015, might influence Scottish voters?Farage Salmond Tweet

We all know the answer, yet some Ukip people are urging Farage to get involved in the Scottish referendum debate, to put Alex Salmond in his place. (Telling us that Nathan Gill isn’t the only Ukipper struggling with political and other realities.) Which takes me back to the BBC. Why is the Great British Broadcasting Corporation giving an armchir ride to the man who could ‘lose’ Scotland? For no matter what some in Ukip may think I must believe that wiser counsels will tell Farage to stay out of the Scottish independence debate because, being so quintissentially English in a rather annoying way, he can only harm the Unionist cause. But will he listen? We shall see. Whatever the future holds the way Farage and Ukip have been handled thus far by both the political establishment and the mainstream media is perplexing. I can only assume that there is a longer game being played.

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In conclusion, let me just say a few things that might, hopefully, summarise what I feel about Ukip and the wider Welsh political scene. First, we should thank Ukip for exposing that the ‘socialist roots’ of the Valleys are, for many Valleys’ residents, as shallow as their own leader. When working class and unemployed Welsh people in some of the most deprived parts of Europe can vote for a party whose social policies come close to advocating sterilisation of the poor, then we know that the old certainties are gone, and it’s all up for grabs.

A Welsh academic, writing on Daily Wales, suggested that Ukip, by demanding that immigrants become fluent in English, had somehow released a genie that allowed language activists to demand that people moving into the Welsh-speaking areas of the west should learn Welsh. My comments can be found on the article. But he’s half right. The real lesson though is that by detoxifying the subject of immigration Ukip should have made it easier for us to discuss English immigration into Wales. Far greater in scale and effect than anything England is experiencing.

Finally, given the slow death of Plaid Cymru and other changes taking place in Welsh politics, I feel that the time is now right for nationalists to at least discuss setting aside their differences and uniting behind agreed Regional List candidates for the 2016 elections to the Notional Assembly. The advantages could be many. The elections would provide a platform to promote a more focused message than our people have heard for decades. It would also give the opportunity to challenge Ukip in the only route by which they can hope to achieve Assembly Members. And for Plaidistas reading this, it might provide the kick up the arse most of you know your party needs.

Nathan Gill, Ukip No 1 in Wales

I don’t want anyone to think I’m picking on Ukip, or indeed, Nathan Gill; but as the BBC and other media have been making clear, these European elections are most definitely about Ukip, and as Mr Gill is the lead candidate, and therefore almost certain to be representing us – we Welsh – in the European Parliament, I have every right to know more about the man, and to present my findings – and indeed my impressions – to a wider audience of potential voters. The best place to start is with what Nathan Gill has to say about himself. Here’s a link to what you see in the panel (click to enlarge).Nathan Gill And for your further delectation, here’s a link to a piece on Ukip I posted earlier this month.

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The first thing that struck me was that this is very badly written, in so many ways. While criticising syntax may be ‘picky’, criticising bad spelling and ludicrous capitalisations is not. For example (final paragraph) there is no ‘d’ in privilege. In the previous paragraph it should be ‘candidates’. How are we to interpret “our Great Nation” (and to which nation does it refer?). Why does he write “Domiciliary and Home Care for the Elderly” when no capitalisation is required? Amazing, that these people, so intolerant of other languages, are so careless with their own.

Over and above these childish mistakes there are other sections that cause amusement or alarm. Let’s start with the funny – well, sort of – bit at the start of the fifth paragraph, where he says, “I am not a career politician”, which is something Ukip candidates have been playing on in this campaign; in other words, ‘Trust us – we are not part of the corrupt system’. Now I don’t wish to go too far in this observation, but this ‘innocent outsider’ ploy was used by the Nazis: ‘Vote for us – we are not part of the corrupt Weimar system’. Yet he ends the preceding paragraph by saying that the aim is to “raise UKIP’s profile as a professional mainstream party”. If Nathan Gill and Ukip succeed in that ambition he will no longer be able to capitalise on his political virginity. In short, there is a glaring contradiction due to whoever wrote this garbage either forgetting what they’d just written or being unable to grasp that contradiction.

Less amusing is this section, immediately before the bit about professionalising Ukip: “I resigned my membership (of the Tories) and joined UKIP in February of 2005 deciding then and there, that this was a fight worth fighting. I was not being asked to stand in the trenches, or storm the beaches of Normandy for my country. This was to be a long and mainly thankless battle to inform the public, and raise UKIP’s profile . . .”. God Almighty! Stand in the trenches! Storm the beaches! What is it with the English Right that it can think of no other way to serve its country than by donning khaki and killing foreigners? We used to be told that this attitude was confined to the extreme Right, the National Front or the BNP, but Ukip now claims to represent mainstream English opinion. If so, God help us!

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How does Mr Gill earn his crust? Because he makes reference to “the family business” I made some enquiries and turned up a number of companies connected with Nathan Gill, four departed, one still clinging to life. The first of the four was Compactor Ltd of Bridlington, in Gill’s native East Riding of Yorkshire, Company No 06329258. Compactor seems to have lasted from July 2007 until March 11, 2011 and the Second Notification of Strike-Off Action in the London Gazette. Other directors were Mrs Elaine Gill (his mother, presumably) and Mr Brian Lynn Quilter. The company was listed as a manufacturer of telegraph and telephone apparatus and equipment.

Another that fell by the wayside was Humview Ltd, of Church Street, Llangefni, Company No 06166193. The other directors were Ms Jana Lyn Gill (wife?) and Mr Richard Bruce Worsey. Humview was Incorporated on March 16, 2007 and the Second Notification, etc was dated May 30, 2009. The third dead company was Picture Perfect (GB) Ltd, back in Bridlington, Company No 05781088. The only other name mentioned, as Company Secretary was, again, Ms Jana Lyn Gill. Picture Perfect first saw the light of day in April 2006 and breathed its last on November 19, 2010 via the London Gazette, departing this mortal coil with debts of just over £11,000.

Finally, we come to Burgill Ltd, Company Number 05076906, which was in the business of ‘letting of own property’ and ‘renting and operating of housing association real estate’. (Intriguing.) This company was also registered at Church Street, Llangefni, with Nathan Gill and his mother serving as directors, but may have operated in Hull. Alas, early in 2009, the company was forceGill Burgilld into compulsory liquidation owing £116,067. On the left you will find a screenshot of Burgill’s life support system just before it was switched off by the Official Receiver in Chester. (Yes, folks, Chester; after a millennium of that city’s parasitism and 15 years of devolution, it seems the Official Receiver for North Wales is still based in Chester.)

So there appears to be just one company with which Ukip’s local hetman is involved that still trades – Gill Enterprises Yorkshire Ltd, Company No 04188257 which, despite the name, has its registered office in Menai Bridge. It was Incorporated on March 27, 2001 and until March 2003 was known as The Pink Panther Resource Centre Ltd. Googling Pink Panther Resource Centre turned up a care home in Hull. Gill Enterprises could be the “family business” referred to in the bio, for his parents were both directors at one time. The only problem being that unless he was an adult student he would have left Coleg Menai around July 1991, ten years before the company was incorporated. Yet there seems to be no contender for the title of “family business” other than this company which currently has just two directors, Nathan Gill and his mother. The business seems to bob along, keeping its head above water, with net worth equalling current liabilities and a few grand in the bank.

All this digging got me wondering about Nathan Gill’s parents, were there other companies that might fit the “family business” label? Well, for a start, and in addition to Compactor and Burgill, Mrs Elaine Gill had also served as a director of Gillshill Ltd, which seems to have enjoyed a lifespan of just two years, from January 1992 until its Final Dissolution on St. David’s Day 1994. The only other director was her husband, Michael Ronald Gill. Though perhaps more interesting from a Welsh perspective is yet another company, Home Comforts (Gwynedd) Ltd, also registered in Menai Bridge, where the other director was again her husband, and she is listed as a ‘care home proprietor’. This company, number 02939007, was registered in August 1994 and dissolved in April 1996.

I don’t profess to know a lot about business and investment, and I can’t afford to pay for the documents that would throw more light on the Gill family’s business ventures (sob!); but it looks a chequered history to me, and I’d certainly like to know more about the disastrous Burgill Ltd. But after all that, I still don’t know what Nathan Gill actually does to support his wife and five children. Perhaps he should have been more specific in his bio rather than making a vague reference to the family business before taking us off to war while painting himself as the political innocent.

UPDATE MAY 29: Since writing this post I have learnt that Gill’s ‘job’ was personal assistant to the Ukip MEP (2009 – 2014), John Bufton. Why so reticent? Perhaps because it would have undermined his claim to not be “a career politician”. At least he’s got a real job now . . . but one he doesn’t want to do!

Additionally, Gill is a Mormon, it seems they have a ‘Meetinghouse’ in Gaerwen, and he may have come to Wales as a ‘missionary’. In my area it’s Jehovah’s Witnesses, a whole congregation, complete with patriarch, decamped from somewhere in northern England. Sometimes this village is under siege as they descend on us mob-handed . . . people diving under tables, turning televisions off, clapping hands over kids’ mouths . . . I know Wales is a third world country but do we really have to suffer white missionaries?

Seeing as Gill belongs to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (to give them their full name, often abbreviated to LDS) what is his attitude to gays and same-sex relationships? Come to that, what does he really think of that pork swordsman extraordinaire, legendary drinker and all round sybarite, his party leader, Nigel Farage? Does he really see him as ‘a bit of a lad’ or a sinner bound for hell?

When you think about it, there’s a few things here we should have been told before the election, but it’s pretty obvious why we weren’t.

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If the Ukip bandwagon isn’t halted soon then, some time after the general election of May 7 next year, the UK could have a Conservative-Ukip coalition government. I say this because many Conservatives are quietly supportive of Ukip, while Tory supporters in the media and elsewhere hope to use Ukip to pull the party to the Right. They believe that encouraging Farage and his cohorts to change the terms of debate on Europe, immigration, and other issues, prepares the ground for a ‘repositioned’ Conservative Party to reap the rewards. Which, again, reminds me of 1930s Germany; and the way in which big business, the army, and other establishment elements thought they could use and control Hitler before disposing of him. It didn’t work then, and England’s own ‘funny little man’ may prove equally difficult to ditch.

Nor should we ignore the fact that Ukip sees itself fighting on two fronts. The first is obviously ‘Europe’ and what it interprets as interference in Britain’s internal affairs, the second is the crusade to keep Britain English. Therefore Welsh identity of any kind, when seen through Ukip rifle sights on this second front, is a threat to the desired social and cultural cohesion. Which is why devolution – despite what Ukip may say publicly – would soon be phased out by a Tory-Ukip coalition government. (With the support of many in the Labour Party.)

For these and so many other reasons we must oppose this irredeemably English party for which Wales and Scotland are merely colourful appendages to be disempowered and eventually integrated. Despite the presence of three gullible Welsh candidates on the Ukip list the one topping that list, the one very likely to be elected, is Englishman Nathan Gil, which is how it must be, seeing as Ukip is appealling primarily to the English living in Wales. If Nathan Gill is elected he will sit in the European Parliament representing English interests . . . but in the name of Wales. This is why the fight against Ukip must not end with this week’s elections.

Wales Euro Election 2014: Runners & Riders

Standing for election on May 22 to Wales’ four European Parliament seats are no fewer than eleven ‘parties’ (I use the term loosely), each putting up the ordained four candidates. Though lEuro Candidates 2014ooking at some of those candidates it becomes clear that their parties have not so much scraped the bottom of the barrel as gone through the barrel bottom and kept going. But that’s just the opinion of a cynical old bastard who long ago lost faith in politicians and political systems. Anyway, form your own opinions as I run through the parties and candidates in alphabetical order. The full list is on the right (click to enlarge). Each section heading contains a link to that party’s website.

BRITAIN FIRST

Despite the name, this crew is fielding candidates in Wales and Scotland only.

Britain First has already gained considerable notoriety by being allowed – by the Electoral Commission – to use ‘Remember Lee Rigby’ on the ballot papers. The party was founded in May 2011 by Jim Dowson, with lead candidate Paul Gosling as chairman. Though one mystery must be why another founder member, former BNP organiser for Wales and 2009 BNP Euro candidate, Kevin Edwards, is not on the list. Following the break-up of his marriage, and after quitting the BNP in February 2011, Edwards moved from Llandybie (near Ammanford) to Llansamlet in Swansea which, along with neighbouring Bonymaen, is where many of the city’s fascists can be found.

Britain First founder Jim Dowson is also ex-BNP and perhaps into fundamentalist Christianity and hostility to Islam more than direct and blatant racism. A former Scottish Calvinist minister who apparently believes in the death penalty for gays and is fanatically anti-abortion, Dowson has also been a busy boy in the Six Counties, founding Protestant Coalition. So it makes sense that Britain First should be standing in Scotland – targetting the Rangers / Orange Order vote – but why Wales, because as far as I can make out, none of them is Welsh.

BRITISH NATIONAL PARTYGary Tumulty

Next we have the (as yet) unsplintered BNP. Top of their list is a man many think should not be standing at all because, in a parallel dimension, Mike Whitby of Wrecsam is disqualified from becoming a member of a county council or similar authority, but this, it seems, does not extend to the European parliament. Number two on the list is Laurence Reid, an Ulster Protestant domiciled in Wales. Jean Griffin at number three is presumably party leader Nick Griffin’s wife or daughter (possibly his French cousin). While the one with the least chance of being elected is Gary Tumulty of Salford . . . unless he guns down all the other candidates. Again, it’s encouraging that none of these people are Welsh.

CONSERVATIVE AND UNIONIST PARTY

As if Britain First and the BNP weren’t enough, this is yet another bunch of anglo-centric, Unionist fanatics, whe believe that the Ninth Circle of Hell is located somewhere in the English Channel. Regarding our little patch of earth, the message may be more muted than that from the clown troupes mentioned earlier, and said with a smile rather than a snarl, but don’t be fooled, it’s the same message – ‘Wales and England are the same country, and that’s how we like it’.

Top of the Tory list is current MEP Dr. Kay Swinburne who, though Welsh, now lives in the tiroedd coll, which seems to agitate the bruvvers who have just selected young Kinnock. Number two is Councillor Aled Wyn Davies of Llanrhaeadr ym Mochnant & Llansilin (a home of Glyndŵr). Number three is Dr. Dan Boucher who lives in Morriston and does a nice line in self-promotion. Bringing up the Tory rear (and haven’t we all thought about a Tory rear at one time or another?) is Richard Hopkin, a lawyer, who may or may not be the same Richard Hopkin described by his employer as a “pugnacious litigator”. Grrrr! Here’s a link to the introductory video for the lot.

GREEN PARTY

There is a separate Scottish Green Party that has always backed independence, while we have to suffer the Green Party of Englandandwales, a bunch of English middle class colons no different to those in other parties who believe that we Welsh must be told what’s best for us, with our country a laboratory for the policies they’d never be allowed to implement in their homeland. Although standing as a party in these elections their real forte is as a pressure group, where they enjoy influence way beyond their political support by playing on the questionable assertion that people want green policies even if they aren’t prepared to vote Green. Clever, and worth studying. Though Plaid Cymru has mis-read the message and contemplates a formal alliance.

I can’t be bothered to make enquiries about Pippa Bartolotti, John Matthews, Chris Were or Rozz Cutler.

LABOUR PARTY

The usual uninspiring crew that brings home yet again how ‘stretched’ once-mighty Labour is to find candidates for Europe, Westminster, the Assembly, and 22 local authorities. Thank God we don’t have as many quangoes as in the past, and that civil servants have taken over the running of devolution.

Derek Vaughan tops the list as the current MEP, a former trade unionist and leader of Neath Port Talbot council and said to be a ‘tidy bloke’. Vaughan is certain to be elected so the interest is really on the second name on the Labour list, Jayne Bryant, born in Newport, who could also be elected if Plaid and the Tories do badly and the anticipated Ukip surge does not materialise. At number 3 we have Councillor Alex Thomas, who represents the Rhos ward, also in Neath Port Talbot. The no-hoper is Christina Rees, formerly Mrs Ron Davies; not wishing to be reminded of her husband’s behaviour she wrote a book about it, The Davies Diaries, though she did later apologise. Alec Dauncey

Worth noting that there is no Labour candidate from west of Neath or, indeed, from north of  Neath.

LIBERAL DEMOCRATS

Where to start (says he, wishing he didn’t have to)? Those who know me know that I reserve a special kind of contempt for Liberal Democrats and liberals of all kinds. I regard them as smug, wishy-washy wankers.

The Lib Dem quartet is headed up by Alec Dauncey who lives in Aberystwyth. Now Alec may enjoy a skinful of lager and a bag of chips of a Saturday night before throwing up the diced carrots on the way home . . . but I doubt it. To me, the picture shows a professional tree-hugger in a polo neck sweater more likely to be found listening to a cupped-ear folk singer while unwinding with a glass of organic cider. His bio is a gem, taking political prose to previously uncharted depths of vacuity. But it is so typically Liberal Democrat.

Number two is another Englishman, Robert Speht, living in Swansea. This one a wind turbine-hugger with a string of failed business ventures and an unpaid sandwich bill to his name. Speht lives in Mayals, one of Swansea’s poshest neighbourhoods which, because it lies within the fiercely defended borders of Mumbles community council, provided Speht with the chance to use the title ‘Councillor’ after losing his city council seat. Said – even by colleagues – to be unreliable he struck up a weird friendship with Richard ‘Tricky Dicky’ Lewis when Lewis, having tried all the rest, eventually fell in with the Lib Dems, mainly because they promised him his year in the Mansion House. To understand how unlikely a Liberal Democrat Richard Lewis is just try to imagine Ghengis Khan the pacifist. Lewis was sighted on April 30 entering the Liberty Stadium to hear Nigel Farage.

The other two candidates are Jackie Radford and Bruce Roberts, of whom I know nothing, and care even less.

NO2EU

Don’t be fooled by the name, for this is not another ‘Wogs begin at Dover’ party. It can’t be, for I see the name of Comrade Robert Griffiths topping their list, as he did in 2009. Robert Griffiths, stalwart of the long defunct Welsh Socialist Republican Movement (also, so some would have it, the Workers Army for a Welsh Republic). Robert Griffiths the current General Secretary of the Communist Party of Great Britain. (Marxist-Leninist, I believe.) So we’ve obviously arrived on the hard left.

Of the other NO2EU candidates I know nothing . . .

PLAID CYMRU

For Plaid Cymru / The Party of Wales this is a very important election. Opinion polls suggest they might lose their MEP Jill Evans. If that happens, then I can see real soul-searching within a party that has lost its way.

The problem for Plaid Cymru is that Labour in Wales has cleverly painted Welsh politics as a simple picture of them defending Wales against ‘London’ – even when Labour is in power in London. This is what the ‘send a message to London’ (by voting Labour) is all about, even for European and Assembly elections!  Then, because Plaid does little more than promote itself as ‘Labour, but a bit more Welsh, like’, it is, effectively, marginalised. Plaid’s only hope is to get out of Labour’s shadow and re-position itself as a genuinely Welsh party, taking up the issues other parties ignore, and addressing the big issues from an aggressively Welsh standpoint. But it won’t.

In many ways this state of affairs is regrettable, for in Jill Evans, Marc Jones, Stephen Cornelius and Ioan Bellin the party has a strong team. That said, it might still be best for the long term if Plaid was to lose its seat.

Footnote: Plaid’s number 4 candidate in 2009 was the apple of her daddy’s eye, Natasha Asghar. Happy days!

SOCIALIST LABOUR PARTY

Formed in 1996 by Arthur Scargill – who is still ‘Leader’ – the SLP is perhaps the only hard left group that would need something bigger than a telephone booth for its meetings. It claims a direct line of ideological descent from James Connolly, and quotes him in its website header. But there were, in a sense, two James Connollys. One, the Edinburgh-born British socialist; the other, the man who returned to his ConwyIrish roots, formed the Citizen Army, and was executed (though wounded) in Kilmainham jail by the British army after the Dublin Easter Rising of 1916. The SLP reveres the former.

Despite being one of the larger minor parties the SLP’s candidates are hardly household names, even in their own households, but here they are anyway. At number one we have Andrew Jordan, who stood in the Cardiff South & Penarth by-election in 2012, a by-election caused by Alun Michael’s strange decision to stand for election as the local Police and Crime Commissioner. Second is Kathrine Jones, of whom I know naught. David Lloyd Jones, number 3 on the list, is probably the man who stood for Conwy in 2005 against the heavyweight trio of Betty Williams, Guto Bebb and Gareth Roberts. He got 1% of the vote, though he still managed to beat Ukip into 7th place. (Which ain’t gonna happen again any time soon.) If these three are relatively unknown, number 4 on the list, Liz Screen, has a slightly higher profile, if only because she stood in 2009, but it’s all relative.

SOCIALIST PARTY OF GREAT BRITAIN

Not being terribly au fait with the 57 varieties of socialism I’m not quite sure where the SPGB stands – are they Wobblies? Maybe someone can help me out. The SPGB has three branches; Swansea, Cardiff, and that hot-bed of revolutionary socialism . . . Llandudno. I tried to get more information but the SPGB website was down. The SPGB candidates can be found in the list at the top of the page. None of the names mean anything to me. Though if Richard Cheney is the real name of candidate number 2 it’s a strange quirk that he should share a name with Dick Cheney, vice president to George W. Bush and bête noire of the left. Anyway, seeing as Joe Hill was the most famous Wobbly of them all, let’s end this section with Joe Hill, sung by Joan Baez.

UKIP

The stars of the show! Certainly everybody is looking at Ukip, wondering how big an advance they’re going to make, for there’s no question it will be an advance. I did a recent post on Ukip which says most of what I want to say about them, so it only remains to look at their candidates.

Nathan Gill is an English grannyfarmer living on Ynys Môn who stood in the Seiriol ward in last year’s council elections, where he came eighth out of nine candidates. Though his wife(?) came eighth out out twelve in the Aethwy ward. (This being the ward where our old friend Jacques Protic came bottom of the poll.) Number two on the list is James Cole who, in the photograph I link to, is actually wearing a double-breasted blazer! It says he ‘relocated’ to Swansea, but not from where, though he is Welsh. This video by Cole is priceless; he predicts that ” . . . the native Welsh will be a minority in their own country within the next 15 to 20 years . . . “ yet he makes no mention of English colonisation, for he wants us to believe the influx will come from mainland Europe and elsewhere! Caroline Jones from Porthcawl is a former Tory parliamentary candidate who defected a year ago. The fourth candidate has concerns about “huge volumes of immigration”. David J. Rowlands lives in the Gwent valleys, where this is obviously a serious problem. Rowlands is the only survivor from the 2009 quartet.

I find it very disappointing that three of Ukip’s four candidates are Welsh. But then, this may be a ploy used in the hope of disguising the party’s fundamental Englishness.Euro election 2009

SUMMING UP

One unavoidable conclusion is that the European elections are not taken seriously by the electorate. It gives voters a chance to do something silly, which many of them will. The turnout in 2009 was just 30.4%, down 11% on 2004. (Click on panel to enlarge.) This year’s elections could see an even lower turnout. (Here’s the 2009 result by constituency.)

Six of the eleven parties standing can be said to belong to the extremes of left and right (three of each). Few of their 24 candidates have any relevance to Wales and even fewer have any intention of debating Welsh issues . . . even if they could. Some have been honest enough to admit they’re using the elections – and Wales – simply to gain publicity. In some regards the Greens could be added to this group. Leaving us with the four ‘mainstream’ parties, all running scared of Ukip. For this election is all about how well Ukip will do, how that will impact on the other parties, and if we’ll ever have European elections again.

My position is that I’m a European of the Gaullist persuasion, preferring a confederation of independent states – rather than a bureaucrat-led supranationalist entity – serving as a counter-balance to both Russia and the USA (to which we must now add China). The UK (or England) was never going to fit with either version for so many reasons, one being – as de Gaulle always understood – its ties with the USA. I have now reached the stage where I detest what the European Union has become but could never line up with any of those calling for withdrawal. Perversely, perhaps, the loony left and the loony right being on the same side only serves to make the bloated monster a little more attractive. With enemies like some of those I’ve looked at here, who needs friends?

Ukip Should Copy Sinn Fein

It’s been difficult to avoid the UK Independence Party lately, the media loves them and has been promoting them so enthusiastically that one could easily forget that Ukip doesn’t have a single MP, does not control one local authority, has no representatives in the Scottish Parliament or the Notional Assembly for Wales, and is just a rag-bag assortment of fruitcakes and bigots led by a back-slapping, ‘Did you hear the one about . . . ?’ type you avoid at social occasions, a man who appeals to that section of English society which views itself as being a cut above the average BNP English nationalismsupporter. More couth, innit!

I say ‘English’ rather than British because Ukip is fundamentally an English phenomenon. Something we have always known, and was recently confirmed by research conducted by the Scottish Centre on Constitutional Change, the Wales Governance Centre (Cardiff University), and Institute for Public Policy Research. The findings were that within England Ukip support was strongest among those who identified themselves as being English rather than British. With the result that 29% of people in England told researchers they planned to vote for Ukip in this month’s elections to the European Parliament; in Wales the figure was 20%; and in Scotland 10%. We can safely predict, for reasons that need not detain us, those areas of Wales, and those sections of Wales’ population, from which Ukip will get most support. Which ties in with a well-documented and growing sense of English nationalism.

But this is very different to the English nationalism of the imperial heyday, or even that of WWII; for this is not pride in success, or even obduracy; this is something much more difficult to admire. It’s a resentful and hating Englishness. One result of which is – perhaps for the first time since the Norman takeover – many English now view themselves almost as the underdogs; beset by enemies within and without, those enemies having one thing in common – they’re all bloody foreigners. A nationalism that is both self-pitying and ready to lash out in all directions. (So beware! for in this weltanschauung we Celts – certainly those of us who oppose English domination – are little different to ‘bloody foreigners’.)

Ukip letter WM
Click to Enlarge

Worrying though that might be, there is at least a logical linkage in the rise of such a sentiment and the growing support for Ukip. That said, there are also glaring inconsistencies in Ukip’s position. An obvious one was highlighted by a letter in today’s Wasting Mule from a Derek Griffiths of Llandaff. Before launching into a paean to the EU Mr Griffiths makes the more valid point that, “Ukip is inviting us to return its candidates to the very institution from which it is campaigning for the UK’s withdrawal”.

My immediate thought on reading that sentence was, ‘Well said, that man . . . but, wait, isn’t there another political party in these islands that contests elections to an institution from which it wishes to disengage?’ Yes, there is, and how does this other party deal with the dilemma? The party I’m talking about is of course Sinn Féin.

The answer is abstentionism, which has been a central tenet of Irish republicanism for over a century, and is still followed by the five Sinn Féin MPs elected from the Six Counties to the Westminster parliament. Which seems to me and, I’m sure, many other people, to be a logical, and morally defensible, position. So why doesn’t Ukip follow Sinn Féin’s lead and refuse to send its elected representatives to the European Parliament in Strasbourg? After all, if Ukip voters are as sincere in their opposition to political links with the Mainland as Sinn Féin voters are in their opposition to the English connection, then there should be no problem. Otherwise, the fact that Ukip’s MEPs do go to Strasbourg could be misinterpreted.

So I suggest that, in order to avoid the accusation that they are just a bunch of two-bit chancers and hypocritical gravy train riders, Ukip candidates for the Euro elections on May 22nd should state in advance that, if elected, they will adopt the principled and ideologically consistent position of refusing to take their seats in the European Parliament.

P.S. For those minded to be silly, or hoping to cause a distraction, here is a statement from Sinn Féin regarding Westminster expenses.

Rangers Refugees!

For those reading this who are not football (soccer) fans, or may not be familiar with this kind of sectarianism . . . Rangers is a Scottish football club, based in Glasgow. It’s supporters are Protestant and are found mainly in Scotland and among the Scottish-descended Protestants of Northern Ireland (the Scotch-Irish). Rangers’ great rivals are Celtic, also based in Glasgow, but whose supporters are Catholic, mainly of indigenous Irish descent, Celtic’s fans are also to be found mainly in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Political divisions mirror the religious distinctions, with Rangers fans being supporters of the United Kingdom and sympathetic to the Unionists and Loyalists in the North of Ireland. They fly the ‘union jack’ and assorted variants of the Northern Ireland flag. Celtic fans wave the Irish tricolour and tend to support Irish republicanism. Games between the two clubs always result in some violence and often fatalities, in Scotland and Ireland.

Celtic and Rangers are the two biggest football clubs in Scotland and, partly due to their diaspora support, are among the biggest clubs in the world. Even though both are based in Scotland they have very little to do with that country, both sets of fans being more concerned with Irish history and politics, and the relationship with England and the Union. I give this background information to help you understand the video, in which Rangers fans express their opinions on independence and Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond. It’s ugly, crude and incoherent.

Before dealing with the hyper-vocal star of the show, let’s consider some of the supporting cast. First, the group at the beginning, with the Saltcoats Loyal flag. The one on the right, perhaps the village idiot on a day out, wants us to believe that Alex Salmond has sexual congress with his grandmother. The remark is so crude and infantile, that the village idiot himself seems embarrassed by what he’s just said.

Then there’s the little crowd up close to the camera shouting “Fuck Bobby Sands, he’s deid”. Yes we all know that, he was an IRA prisoner who died on hunger strike in 1981. So what’s the point of saying it?

Or the older man in the company of the vociferous star, who occasionally makes a half-hearted attempt at restraining him. He looks like he’s been over-indulging on the Buckfast. Is he the star’s father, uncle, agent? And what of the guy on the touchline making the strange gesture – is it directed at the camera, or is it a comment on the performance of the star?

What we are seeing here is a set of inherited (possibly acquired) prejudices that stand firm against the buffetings of reality. Listen to the star saying that in Ireland ” . . . they’re living on the streets, mate”. Presumably in marked contrast to his Protestant brethren in the Six Counties, who’re living in the lap of luxury. Reality check: the Republic of Ireland recently overtook the UK in the Legatum Prosperity Index while Northern Ireland remains the poorest part of the UK. But these are just facts, and the people we see in this video have no interest in facts.

Proven by the same man’s “Rule Britannia, yer fuckin’ bastards” rant. Anyone who thinks the Royal Navy still rules the waves is not just living in the past, he’s so divorced from reality that he might benefit from psychiatric help.

Ruling the waves aside, everything comes back to Ireland. The bogey men have always been Irish Catholics, millions of them, all supporting the IRA, and bent on world conquest. Yet now there’s a new threat, in the form of the SNP and independence. This has necessitated a rethink, something that confuses those who prefer a world of unchanging, comforting prejudices. And while earlier centuries gave Loyalists some memorable songs the video proves that the new threat is something that, musically, they haven’t yet come to terms with.

To some extent I suppose these Rangers fans were set up, but no one put those words into their mouths. Which is sad. Partly because those opposed to independence must include decent and sincere people (so how do they feel about being on the same side as these morons?), and partly because there are Rangers fans who support independence.

Now all this could be dismissed as being of no concern to us because it’s happening in Scotland – I certainly would have ignored it – but then came the chilling climax, with the leading man promising that if Scotland did become independent he’d leave – for Wales! But why not Ireland? Almost everything that motivates Rangers fans is tied up with the history and politics of Ireland, or, more specifically, Northern Ireland / ‘Ulster’ / the Map fullSix Counties. Their Protestant Loyalist brethren are over there, beleaguered and in need of help. So why come to Wales, a country with which they have no connection?

The reason he gives for choosing Wales over England is that ‘England is letting in all those immigrants’. So we see that our star’s bigotry is not confined to the Catholic Irish. He thinks Wales could be more acceptable to his sensitivities because we have fewer immigrants. Which, by a strange coincidence is why many English move here. (But we mustn’t say this publicly – it makes us ‘racist’!) These final remarks also expose the linkages and overlaps I’ve marked on the map.

So why have I chosen these, what am I trying to say? Of course, the linkages between Orange Lodges, Loyalism and Rangers FC are obvious, others are perhaps less so. For example, we know that Loyalists support Rangers, but so do British National Party and English Defence League members.

There have always been links between Orange Lodges and English Masonic Lodges, often via Scotland. Ukip of course is just the golf club variant of the BNP, and well represented in Freemasonry. Back in the 1980s MI5 tried to reorganise the extreme Right and use it, much as the Italian secret service was doing in Italy at the time, using fascists to commit atrocities that were then blamed on the Left. The inspiration came from fascist refugee Roberto Fiore, friend and mentor to Nick Griffin. Then, during the Troubles, British intelligence and security forces worked closely with Loyalist terrorists.

The term ‘Poppy Fascists’ may seem a bit harsh, but this is no insult to The Fallen; nor am I mocking the ex-serviceman, or the old lady, selling poppies in your local supermarket. I’m using the poppy as a symbol for the unrelenting ‘Britishness’ offensive we’ve suffered in recent years, and shadowy forces that can coerce and intimidate the BBC and other News media – ‘Wear a poppy! or we’ll set the tabloids on you’. Which brings us to the final link or, rather, the London media more generally. The manner in which they deal with immigration, Scotland, Wales, the monarchy and a host of subjects, the way they’ll print anything given them by the police or the intelligence services, condemns them as a propaganda machine, not the independent and questioning media of a healthy democracy.

Let me finish this over-long piece with a thought that might sober up the cast of the video. By this time next year you could be supporting a Union of which Scotland is no longer a part! If that happens, don’t come to Wales, we don’t want you. We have mercifully escaped sectarianism and we don’t want to see it close-up, lashing out in its death-throes.

Though having said that, seeing as these people are undesirables with no local connections, ‘Welsh’ housing associations would almost certainly be fighting to give them accommodation. Perhaps they wouldn’t be the only ones helping Loyalist refugees to re-settle in Wales.

Ukip Victory For Wales

It may be a strange thing to say, but last night’s English council elections, and the advances made by Ukip, should provide great encouragement for those of us who want the diverging interests and needs of Wales and England put into sharper focus.

Most of Ukip’s votes seem to have come from disillusioned Conservatives, but neither Labour nor Lib Dem voters are immune to Ukip’s appeal. There are a number of reasons for this, not least that those who sit in Westminster have not been so distanced from us, the common herd, for almost two hundred years. Which might be accepted if they were perceived to be honest, competent and capable. They are not. Add to a distant and incompetent government an uninspiring opposition, an economic recession, a growing sense that the English are treated shabbily both at home and abroad, and Ukip was almost guaranteed to succeed. (Nick Griffin and what’s left of the BNP must be ruing the fact that if they could only have shaken off the skinhead-thicko-racist image then much of Ukip’s success could have been theirs. But with one foot in the English gutter and the other in the Third Reich they never had a chance.)English elections

Seeing as these were exclusively English local elections (the only election in Wales being Ynys Môn, returning to the democratic fold) why am I even writing about it? Because . . . Ukip success could be excellent news for those of us who understand that what is promoted as ‘consensus’ invariably results in us Welsh being screwed. I’m also writing this to counter the responses of the Left in Wales, patriotic or otherwise, who detest Ukip so much that they blind themselves to the potential advantages to Wales, and just fall in with the Guardianista Left in throwing up their hands and wailing, ‘Isn’t it just awful!’

So what are these ‘advantages’ I’m talking about? Ukip is an English nationalist party; to pretend it’s anything else is dishonest. As dishonest as the party itself using ‘UK’ in its name. For Ukip’s UK is nothing but Greater England. The party’s attitude to us and the Scots is, ‘We’ll get along just fine as long as you do as we tell you’. Which may not sound too promising for us Welsh, but consider these possibilities.

Ideological politics has been dying a slow death in the UK and Wales for over twenty years. The process began with the deposing of Margaret Thatcher in 1990 and was completed with the creation of New Labour a few years later. All parties – Plaid Cymru included – then piled into the centre ground with the result that a ‘consensus’ was arrived at based on the suppression of ideology, the belief that endlessly repackaging money could be the basis of a national economy, and allowing oneself to be carried along by those taking us towards a new world order. Throw an economic recession into the mix and it begins to explain how a party of golf club bigots could become the hottest thing in English politics.

No matter what the major parties may be saying publicly, they know that Ukip’s strength is growing because an increasing number of English voters no longer trust Labour or Conservatives to deliver; first, on ‘Europe’ (i.e. pulling out); and then on ‘immigration’ (i.e. allowing far fewer immigrants). To reassure these people – and more importantly, to regain their votes – both major parties will have to shift their positions on the two issues. But it won’t end there. For being essentially an English nationalist party Ukip also resents the money ‘wasted’, and the concessions made, to Scotland and Wales. It will insist that funding to both countries be cut, perhaps even that devolution be abolished. Or maybe Ukip will demand a parliament for England. For don’t expect subtlety, or carefully-considered policies; expect more of what will appeal to existing and potential Ukip voters.

English elections 2Which means that what really matters is how this English return to gut-instinct politics will be received in Wales. All parties in the Assembly are agreed that devolution is here to stay. And I believe they mean it. Which could put both Labour and Conservative parties on course for confrontation with their London masters if the latter harden their positions towards Wales in order to fight off the Ukip threat. Perhaps more important than the positions of the political parties is the attitude of the Welsh people; for they are now overwhelmingly supportive of devolution and would strongly resent any ‘English’ interference. Which is not to say that Ukip would not have support in Wales if it tried to force a London government into abolishing the Welsh Assembly. (Let’s remember that one of our four MEPs is from Ukip.) But we know where most of that support would come from; it would expose a divide that many would prefer to keep papered over.

The growing strength of Ukip, and its influence on both Conservatives and Labour, can only be good for our cause. Because it will alienate so many of our people and make them want to erect ‘defences’ against an increasingly selfish and xenophobic England. Leaving our politicians with little alternative but to follow suit (if they wish to persist in their collective delusion of being our ‘leaders’). So ignore the outraged moaners of the Left; England moving to the Right and prioritising her national interests would be wonderful news . . . because it would provoke a sizeable section of our nation into rethinking the relationship with England. So stuff consensus . . . radical change invariably comes from conflict or confrontation. Wales needs radical change. Keep up the good work, Nige! 

P.S. Within minutes of this post going out I came across this tweet. TweetDon’t know who he is, I don’t follow him, he doesn’t follow me, and I doubt if he reads my blog. But I think it proves my point.

Sunday Night is Ukip TV Night!

Not for the first time on a Sunday evening me and the wife settled down to watch a new series, and not for the first time she found herself on her own after 15 or 20 minutes. For I’ve just given up on another Sunday television series, this time The Village, on BBC 1. Tonight, as before, it seemed as if somebody in the distant past had hit on a formula – lost England, sensitive boy, mysterious woman, a few weirdos, etc – and now the formula is being flogged to death.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker myself for ‘the England that is lost’. Two of my very favourite poems deal with a similar theme; Goldsmith’s Deserted Village and Gray’s Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard. A few decades later comes Cobbett, who may have got a few things wrong in Rural Rides, but thunders and fulminates his prejudices in a way that few since have been able to equal. (And I for one envy.) But of course, these are works of genius, written by men who cared and felt . . . not ‘writers’ banging stuff out with one eye on the US market.

I say that because it’s glaringly obvious that the England being presented in these Sunday evening nostalgia-wallows must resonate with our transatlantic cousins. It must correlate with their preconceptions of Ye Olde England. In fact, I’ve mentioned writers, but these bloody things are now so formulaic that there could be a computer program doing it all. As I write this an electronic intelligence could be churning out She Was Only An Ostler’s Daughter But She Knew Where To Get Her Oats.

The other thing that causes the old grey matter concern is why Larkrise meets Downton seems to be the dominant ‘drama’ genre on prime-time television. For a start, it’s questionable how real these depictions of bygone England are, outside the misconceptions of Elmer and Lulu-Belle in Cincinnati. So what sort of an England do these ‘dramas’ portray? Perhaps most obviously, it is a very structured society, in which everyone knows their place. There is an Empire on which the sun never sets. Johnny Foreigner is either patronised or given a jolly good kicking. And there are never – how can I put this? – ‘persons of colour’ in these works. Everyone is white, English and Christian. That’s it! – this is Ukip TV!

For this ‘drama’ format is nothing less than a form of national escapism for our English neighbours. These regular Sunday fantasies are the England many of them would like to return to. If Monsieur Farage was put in charge of the BBC (and the way things are going, who’s to say he won’t?) we’d probably have some mustachioed old fart in the 1890s, with uncanny foresight, warning that ‘England’ should never enter into any political or economic union with her continental neighbours.

All of which I can understand. Those English who don’t believe that the X Factor is the most important thing happening are confused and worried by a country clearly on the slide. What I cannot understand is why this nationalistic and escapist dross is forced on us Welsh. Haven’t we got a computer program of our own that could produce something better? Perhaps even writers?