Aug 282018
 

I have written a number of times about One Planet Developments in Wales, and of those taking advantage of this idiocy . . . and of us. (OPD itself will be explained in a mo.)

It would be easy to apply the generic term ‘hippies’ to those I’m going to write about, but this doesn’t convey the full picture, because those we’re dealing with are not all laid-back types, with no interest in material possessions.

No, those I’m going to write about are most definitely interested in owning things, especially that for which we humans have fought and killed each other for millennia – land.

Warning: This is a lengthy read (3200+ words) so make yourself a cuppa or pour yourself a glass and settle down to enjoy it.

ONE PLANET DEVELOPMENTS EXPLAINED

As far as I can make out OPD was announced to an unsuspecting nation in May 2009, with the document One Wales: One Planet. This document gave retrospective planning permission to a number of illegal settlements and dwellings. The use of that cardinal number was fitting seeing as Wales was then managed on behalf of London by the One Wales coalition between Labour and Plaid Cymru.

I have grabbed the illustration below from said document and added names.

‘One Wales: One Planet’ was supplemented in July 2010 with ‘Technical Advice Note (TAN) 6 Planning for Sustainable Rural Communities’. This contains gems such as, “Many economic activities can be sustainably located on farms”. Er, yes, it’s called farming, it’s been going on for thousands of years.

TAN 6 gives the impression that despite it being about the countryside it was written by people who know nothing about real farming. The sentence I’ve quoted suggests that whoever wrote it believes that sheep farmers do nothing but farm sheep, filling their many periods of inactivity by perhaps flying off to the Dalmatian Coast.

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Which in a sense makes sense. Because although OPD, TAN 6 and lots of other guff is ostensibly about the rural areas of Wales, it’s not about the Wales we’ve grown up in, it’s about a Welsh countryside of the future, socially engineered to be inhabited by different people. And in some parts, uninhabited.

The agreement between Labour and Plaid Cymru in 2007 is set out in the ‘One Wales‘ document, subtitled, ‘A progressive agenda for the government of Wales’. Section 8 (page 30) deals with ‘A Sustainable Environment’ and begins, “Climate change is the greatest threat facing humanity”.

Which suggests that for whoever wrote that, war, poverty, starvation, displacement, oppression, exploitation and all the other very real tragedies facing the human race in 2007 were nothing when compared to what might affect us at some time in the future. Making it pretty clear about the interests and motives of the author.

Whoever penned that is eager to employ a hypothetical future catastrophe in order to advance a narrow and self-serving viewpoint that will work to the advantage of those with whom he or she identifies. In other words, bouncing the Labour-Plaid Cymru coalition into giving special treatment to those claiming to be saving the planet by moving to Wales.

Further on in Section 8 we read, “We will establish a Climate Change Commission for Wales, which will be chaired by the Minister for Sustainability and Rural Development.” So who was that?

THE DOYENNE

In the picture above you will see, seated on the left, Jane Davidson, she was the Minister for Sustainability and Rural Development in the 2007 – 2011 coalition government.

Though information on the Climate Change Commission for Wales is sparse. It seems to have been set up in 2007 yet for some reason its first annual report didn’t appear until January 2012. Typing the name into the search box of the ‘Welsh’ Government’s website brings up very little, certainly no later annual report.

But who is Jane Davidson?

Given that she cares so frightfully for rural Wales it should go without saying that she is English and middle class, born in Birmingham and educated at what was then Malvern Girls’ College but appears to have since merged with St James’s School to give us Malvern St James Girls’ School.

What else do we know about Jane Davidson?

After Birmingham University she came to Aberystwyth, perhaps to do some post-graduate qualification, but she certainly taught for a few years (1981 – 1984), became development officer for the Youth Hostels Association (1984 – 1987), and by 1987 was a Cardiff councillor, and known as ‘Lady Jane’.

Her political career really took off when she became a researcher for Rhodri Morgan, the MP for Cardiff West in 1991. For some reason she didn’t stand in the council elections of 1995 and ceased to be Rhodri Morgan’s researcher in 1995/6. Giving us a lacuna between 1995/6 and 1999 when she was elected to the new Welsh Assembly, so if anyone can fill it I’d be most grateful.

(For many of those I write about gaps in the CV are often explained by being banged up, but in the case of Jane Davidson I’m sure she was doing something worthy like smuggling prayer wheels made from recycled wood into Tibet.)

“She lives on a smallholding in West Wales”. Living the dream, girl, living the dream.

As I’ve said, she was elected to the Assembly in May 1999 after being foisted on the bruvvers of Pontypridd and the constituency responded by unenthusiastically electing her with a majority of just 1,575 votes. She was soon made deputy speaker by the unloved and soon departed first minister Alun Michael, a man she is said to have known rather well.

Michael, the ultimate Labour Party operator, is now South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner.

On taking up her post in 2007 she resigned as Welsh vice-president of the Ramblers Association, but became president immediately on leaving office in 2011. We are expected to believe that she had no contact whatsoever with the Ramblers between 2007 and 2011 despite helping push through the Wales Coastal Path, which has caused such disruption, misery and expense for so many Welsh farmers and landowners.

But then, these – like the electors of Ponty – were never people Lady Jane cared about.

Predictably, Ms Davidson also became a patron of the One Planet Council.

For her day job Davidson took up a post at the University of Wales Trinity St David Lampeter in January 2012, where she is now Pro Vice-Chancellor for External Engagement and Sustainability.

According to her Wikipedia entry, which I assume Jane Davidson edited, we read, ” . . . she was responsible for the Welsh Government agreeing to make sustainable development its central organising principle.

There were no more pressing matters to deal with? Or had devolution now been subverted to a single issue – saving the planet? And were we supposed to believe that a tiny country like Wales could make a difference? This suggests to me that it was the obsessive Davidson who also wrote, in the ‘One Wales’ document, that “Climate change is the greatest threat facing humanity”.

Does this myopia explain Wales being the poorest country in Europe? Did Jane Davidson and a few other English environmentalists con our gullible and deferential politicos into opening Wales up for them and their friends to act out their crackpot ideas?

The answer would appear to be yes, for it doesn’t end with OPD and Jane Davidson, perhaps because the English Labour Party in Wales has never been short of gullible and deferential clowns.

Following on from OPD and TAN 6 we saw, in January 2014, Alun Davies, Minister for Natural Resources and Food, announce that 15% of EU Common Agricultural Policy funding was to be transferred from Pillar 1 (farmers) to Pillar 2 (‘rural development projects’).

Another body feeding ‘advice’ to the ‘Welsh’ Government was the Wales Rural Observatory at Aberystwyth University. Made up of academics who knew nothing about Wales until they moved here they were highly qualified to offer such advice. The WRO went out of business 31 March 2014. (I do hope it was something I wrote.)

Independently, we saw a number of organisations like the Agroecology Land Trust spring up, which has blessed us with Red Pig Farm.

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Then, in 2015, we were presented with the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and a Future Generations Commissioner in the form of Labour stalwart Sophie Howe, who had been Alun Michael’s deputy at the PCC office.

Apart from providing yet more jobs for Labour cronies the Future Generations department seeks to brainwash Welsh schoolchildren into accepting that developments like Lammas, complete with its pagan temple, represent the future Wales they should support and aspire to.

We have now reached the point where the One Planet insanity is being lauded outside Wales and promoted as “a ground-breaking Welsh government scheme under which people get to circumvent tight planning rules so long as they build an eco-home in the countryside and go back to working the land on which it sits”.

You can see that the headline reads – ‘Want to save the planet? Move to Wales’. Which exposes the absurdity of the whole idea, because if Wales was populated entirely with hippy ‘farmers’ they’d merely have transferred their footprint from somewhere else, and collectively they wouldn’t cancel out the effect on the environment of a single coal-fired power station in China.

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But never mind the facts, for Lady Jane and her friends such publicity must represent victory.

Everything Jane Davidson has done in the field of environmentalism has been done to promote the interests of others like her, those who see Wales as a country of great potential, for them . . . and at our expense. For I cannot think of a single policy or initiative that she and her kind have been involved with that set out to improve the lives of Welsh people.

The footprint these people are really trying to reduce is our footprint, our footprint in our country.

POLITICAL MOTIVATIONS

Some of you may be asking why the Labour Party and Plaid Cymru are so supportive of this nonsense.

You have to remember that the Labour Party has little support in rural areas and so inflicting self-idealising ‘peasant farmers’ on areas that don’t vote Labour may be seen as a form of revenge. Certainly Labour has nothing to lose electorally. And then there’s the good publicity gained outside Wales from those who don’t know the truth.

And as the bruvvers have all read their socialist theories and studied the Russian Revolution maybe they view Welsh farmers as kulaks who must be destroyed in order for the peasants – in the form of eco-settlers – to take over. (And those of us of a certain age remember how successful Soviet agriculture was in putting food on Russian tables!)

But why would Plaid Cymru work against the interests and wishes of their core voters in Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire? The answer seems to be that Plaid Cymru politicians have either been blackmailed with charges of ‘racism’ or else they’ve fallen for the Green invaders’ self-serving bullshit, and this pre-dates One Planet and One Wales.

Cynog Dafis, the former MP for Ceredigion from 1992 until 2000 and AM for the Mid and West Wales regional seat from 1999 until 2003, was an early supporter of the eco-influx, in fact, he stood for Westminster in 1992 as a Plaid-Green candidate.

Others have been involved with that spiritual home of eco-living the Centre for Alternative Technology in Corris. Among them my Lord Elis Thomas, who was a trustee or some such, as was Ellen ap Gwynn, currently Plaid leader in Ceredigion.

CAT has been in Corris for over 25 years and has drawn a few hundred hippies into the area. To the extent that on still autumn evenings there’s more incense and smoke (from wood-burning stoves and spliffs) hanging over Corris than you’ll find in an Orthodox cathedral at Easter.

Much of what I’ve written thus far might be gleaned from previous scribblings; what I’ve tried to do here is give the timetable for a whole strategy that has resulted in the ‘Welcome’ sign being put up to encourage many odd and not a few undesirable persons into our rural areas.

A strategy that increases Wales’s carbon footprint and therefore exposes that in reality it’s simply a type of colonisation. Supposedly more acceptable because it’s done in the cause of saving the planet.

And you mustn’t think that the problem is confined to the west, for since making contacts in Powys over the Paul and Rowena Williams case I learn of a OPD project at Twiscob Top, near Presteigne involving Paul and Kate Hooper, who had previously tried to inflict themselves on Carmarthenshire, insisting that they be allowed a dwelling near their charcoal business.

Powys planners seem reluctant to do their job partly because the Hoopers are using OPD and partly because of the expense involved in standing up to these bullies and their ‘Welsh’ Government backers. Which probably explains why they think they’ve won.

Now it’s time to move on to a related subject that shares many of the attitudes we’ve already encountered: the sense of entitlement, the belief that Wales would be better without the Welsh.

RE-WILDING

I’ve mentioned Corris and the Centre for Alternative Technology but the charlatans of environmentalism are not confined to this small area off the A487. They seem to have spread like a plague over the Dyfi valley area. In no small part due to the influence of notorious enviro-propagandist George Monbiot, who lived in the area for a while.

Monbiot’s pet hate is sheep. Those evil, woolly bastards wandering the hills planning human downfall. This article last year in the Grauniad tells us that while cruelty and lack of calories are the ostensible reasons for defending ourselves from the threat, the true motives become clear when we read: ” they (sheep) occupy around 4m hectares of the uplands”. And we are not talking Swansea Uplands here.

But the sheep-free uplands would not be left for Mother Nature to reclaim over time, oh no, they would need to be managed . . . by people . . . well, by people very much like Monbiot, and others we’ve encountered. In other words, we are talking now of engineered re-wilding.

One shadowy re-wilding project about which I and others are having difficulty getting information is ‘Summit to Shore’, covering 10,000 hectares and 20 sq km of sea from “the Pumlumon uplands down to Cantref (sic) Gwaelod”.

Heavily involved, maybe managing the show, is the laughably dysfunctional (or seriously corrupt) Natural Resources Wales where, among other board members, we find Dr Elizabeth Haywood, whose mini bio didn’t allow space to inform us that she is the wife of Peter Hain.

NRW’s master of ceremonies in Summit to Shore is Andy Middleton“social entrepreneur . . . environmental innovator” and someone who – it is alleged – believes murderers and rapists should be forgiven for acting out crimes motivated by subconscious thoughts.

But the driving force will be Rewilding Britain, an organisation with which George Monbiot is linked, and some of the funding will come from hedge fund managers Artemis. There are other organisations involved – all based outside Wales or else Welsh-based white flight outfits – but no farming unions and no body representing commercial fishermen. In other words – no locals.

What better illustration could there be of the way the Labour Party operates through nepotism and corruption, facilitating the colonialist agenda and treating us Welsh with contempt? Though in fairness, it could be said that Labour has done its bit for re-wilding by reintroducing a species we thought we’d lost – the quango.

The re-wilding may have already started for in the area we’re dealing with Cambrian Wildwood has brought in some alien Konik horses to its land at Bwlch Carog, near Machynlleth. This report from BBC Wales tells us that, “The horses, from a herd in Kent, are descendants of the now extinct European horse, the Tarpan”.

These Konik horses are certainly from Kent, but the donkeys giving rides at Aberdyfi may have a stronger claim to be descended from the Tarpan. Though you have to ask why anyone supposedly concerned with authenticity and restoring land to a previous condition would import a Polish breed – via Holland and England – when we have horses of our own from Gower to the Carneddau.

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Is this yet another example of environmentalists’ antipathy to all things Welsh – except our land?

Oh, yes, you’ll never guess who I found when I looked at the ‘Who we are’ page on the Cambrian Wildwood website – there, smiling back at me were George Monbiot and Lady Jane Davidson!

One thing I’ve learnt about environmentalists and re-wilders is that they have trouble with the truth; it’s not just equines, it’s also felines, specifically lynx.

A statement was recently put out by the Lynx Trust UK saying that it had obtained permission from all relevant landowners to release lynx into the Kielder Forest area of north east England. This was a lie, and was quickly countered by the National Sheep Association.

Something I noticed on the Lynx Trust UK website was, “We will work closely with local communities, stakeholders and the general public”, which I’ve read over and over on re-wilding and environmentalist websites, but it’s a lie. The Green invaders prefer to operate secretively through bodies like Natural Resources Wales, get the backing of individuals like Jane Davidson, and then present their plan as a fait accompli to local people and their elected representatives.

We are dealing here with an insidious form of takeover. No longer are greens and environmentalists looking for abandoned smallholdings, they now want to take over large swathes of our country. In this they are helped by the ‘Welsh’ Government and those the Labour Party has placed in strategic bodies to do its bidding.

Yet if those clowns down Cardiff docks were serious about protecting our environment and reducing Wales’s carbon footprint then it could be done quite easily by reducing tourist numbers, especially to seasonally swamped western areas. Further benefits could be obtained by re-instating a west coast railway and feeder lines to reduce road traffic.

But it’s never been about the environment. The English Labour Party in Wales has allowed itself to be hoodwinked by a bunch of well-heeled shysters and obsessives who want control of those parts of Wales that have rejected Labour, and Labour is quite happy to oblige.

THE GREEN PARTY

You may have noticed that I’ve written this without once mentioning the Green Party of England in Wales. What’s that, you thought there was a Wales Green Party? No, no, they voted on it a few weeks back and Green Party members in Wales voted by a substantial majority to remain part of the Green Party of England, rather than become a separate party, as is the case in Scotland.

That tells you a lot about Greens and environmentalists, off-grid dwellers, planet savers and re-wilders, and it betrays their thoroughly colonialist attitude towards us and our country.

Pure, unadulterated colonialism. Encouraged by leftist political parties.

♦ end ♦

P.S. Maybe I should have been more specific with Lady Jane’s role at Lampeter.

She is, in full, ‘Associate Pro Vice Chancellor for External Stakeholder Development and Engagement and Director of INSPIRE at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’. (Try saying that after three bottles of Malbec!) INSPIRE is the Institute of Sustainable Practice, Innovation and Resource Effectiveness.

Also at INSPIRE we find Andy Middleton of Natural Resources Wales. And Peter Davies, who “was previously Wales’ Commissioner for Sustainable Futures and provided advice to the Welsh Government”. Not forgetting Anna Jones, who “is currently involved with the voluntary rollout of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act”.

Isn’t it all so cosy, everybody knowing everybody else, and almost everything traceable back to the ‘Welsh’ Government. Or is the word I’m looking for ‘incestuous’?

 

  44 Responses to “The Green Menace”

  1.  

    Sorry Jac, but I do have to take strong issue with this wild (see what I did there?) generalisation:

    ““Climate change is the greatest threat facing humanity”.

    Which suggests that for whoever wrote that, war, poverty, starvation, displacement, oppression, exploitation and all the other very real tragedies facing the human race in 2007 were nothing”

    Like it or not, the science is in. Climate change is real. Moreover, as can be seen increasingly across the planet, its effects are one of the prime causes of the entire list of calamities you then provide.

    You do sometimes seem unable to differentiate between a phenomenon and the nefarious uses its existence can be put to by the unscrupulous (such as all of those you name in the post), and this can undermine your argument when – otherwise – your points are important.

    A little more nuance please, butt.

    •  

      Nuance! Nuance! I am renowned for my nuanced and subtle approach to many things.

      When that was written in 2007 the “war, poverty, starvation, displacement, oppression, exploitation and all the other very real tragedies facing the human race” to which I referred had sod all to do with global warming, it was all the hand of man.

      Which is not to say that at some time in the future these calamities will not be caused by global warming, but in 2007 they were not, and they are not attributable to global warming in 2018.

      What I referred to, and what you seem to accept, was that a bunch of colonialist shysters is using the threat of global warming to advance their own very selfish agendas. I am unlikely to employ, nuance, allusion, allegory or anything other than blunt words when exposing shysters like them.

  2.  

    But Nigel, who’s denying that the climate changes? The alarmists long ago changed the man made global warming mantra to the nonsensical ‘climate change threat’ when they realised that there was no consensus on their man made global warming fraud. CO2 is not the enemy, it is a crucial gas without which plants and trees would not grow and we would all die

    •  

      I’m not even denying climate change (even though I’m less than 100% convinced it will happen as predicted). What I’m targeting is those who use the threat of climate change to demand special treatment from planning authorities and others, public funding, and the gratitude of us all for reducing Wales’s carbon footprint – which is obviously bollocks because as they’ve all moved here from somewhere else they have increased Wales’s carbon footprint.

  3.  

    Gruff is surely not playing with words, when faced with Jac’s learned analysis and the serious actuality of CO2 -induced climate change.

  4.  

    The final two paragraphs in TAN 6 [Planning for Sustainable Communities] is reproduced below.

    4.23 Planning obligations and conditions

    4.23.1 Where planning consent is granted for One Planet Developments it will be necessary to tie the management plan directly to a planning condition or S.106 agreement. This will provide control over all of the activities agreed in the permission. A S.106 agreement should also be used to tie the dwelling to the land which justified the grant of planning consent. Where there is a change in ownership of the One Planet Development or any individual holding within larger schemes, a new management plan should be submitted to the planning authority for approval.

    4.23.2 An annual monitoring report should be submitted to the planning authority to evidence compliance with the management plan by identifying activities carried out during the previous 12 months. Failure to meet the terms of the management plan could result in enforcement proceedings in respect of a breach of condition subject to which planning permission was granted.

    In my view anyone with concerns regarding an approved One Planet Development should ask their local authority for a copy of the executed S106 agreement for the site and copies of the approved management plan and annual monitoring reports. These are public documents and should be readily available, assuming that correct process has been followed [as set out in TAN 6] and the legal agreements executed, and the annual monitoring reports provided to the local authority. If local authorities do not send out annual reminders these monitoring reports may not be provided. The documents [particularly the legal agreement] are likely to contain detailed information that may be of interest. The devil may be in the detail !

  5.  

    The climate has been changing naturally since the start of time. The man made global warming fearmongers of the IPCC etc stopped calling it man made global warming years ago when they realised that they couldn’t keep flogging this dead horse and scientific fraud.The theory was that the tiny amount of man made CO2 was bad maaan , and the huge amount of CO2 produced by other parts of nature was somehow ok maaan. Most rational people including genuine empirical fact based scientists, showed there was no proof to suggest that man made CO2 contriubued to global warming and that global warming and cooling occur naturally as part of natural climate change cycles. Now the governmental crazed megalomaniacal boffins of the world are getting even more desperate and even more moronically, ‘want to stop climate change’ which is a crucial part of the natural world.

    •  

      Okay, so you’re someone who could politely be called a climate change denialist, though your idea of someone with environmental concerns is a parody of the character Neil in the Young Ones, which in itself as a parody, just show you to be out of touch. Many ordinary people are now very concerned about the impact of climate change, and it’s real.

      Whilst arguments that climate change is a constant process is beyond argument, and isn’t in any way contentious does not undermine the fact, yes, scientific fact, that climate change is, and has been exacerbated by human activity. There is no possible way that the inefficient and wasteful methods of, largely, the richer part of the world can occur and the effects remain benign, just not possible. It’s also no accepted as irrefutable fact that human agency is a major factor in current climate change. 97% of climate scientists confirm that this is so.

      Even though Jac isn’t 100% convinced that the science behind the human element in radical climate change is sound, his article isn’t exactly about that, but critical on how Welsh government policies are being manipulated and exploited by outsiders for whom these policies have been designed. One sure fire way of radically altering this would be to insist on a language qualification, which could easily be justified, given that most, if not all of these schemes have an educational role. I detest soap dodgers as much as the next person, and have long had a loathing of the half-baked New Age crap that too many of them believe, and whilst the description ‘hippie lebensraum’ is bound to be contentious, it is none the less, apt and describes to a T what is actually happening. Before anyone gets off on one and for a moment suggests that a language qualification would be ‘racist’ I can say quite categorically that it is not. And I think that for anyone to benefit from state largess in areas where more than 40% are able to speak Welsh there should be a requirement that applicants be at least conversationally fluent in Welsh so that they are able to integrate into the local community. This would impose it’s own natural limits on those taking up these opportunities, as many potential applicants would be put off by this most basic of requirements.

      It constantly amazes me that we put up with the kind of crap we do. Why, for instance has the Centre for Alternative Technology been allowed to get away for so long with having ill disguised contempt towards the Welsh language? Surely as a place delivering education it should be a basic requirement that all teaching staff be able to deliver in Welsh as well as English. And far from being solely orientated towards being an international centre of excellence, it should, first and foremost, be dedicated towards the needs of our country and it’s people.

      Like many of Jac’s posts, it is far too easy to see them as mere anti English rants, but there is nuance there (yep indeed, Jac does have nuance there, behind the rage!) and the more sharp eyed will note that it’s the whole attitude of far too many who move to Wales that grates. Many show absolutely no respect for the local people, and lack even the most rudimentary sensitivity towards a culture and society that is in fact extremely fragile. They claim to be so fucking environmentally sensitive yet don’t seem to realise that the wider Welsh speaking locals are an integral part of the local environment.

      I don’t often agree with any prescription, if any, of Jac’s and am in many ways a polar opposite politically, and if pushed to describe myself politically would suggest potential labels such as libertarian, (in the old, European sense of the word, and not the demeaned North American sense) or anarchist, I do often recognise that Jac’s voice is alone in condemning that which the Left in Wales could also quite easily do, but refrains from doing so due to fears that they will be labelled racist. Too often this kind of dog whistle goes unchallenged, when in reality it would be easy to insist that those making the accusation justify that accusation, which would, more often than not, cast those accusers of being the racists , if indeed it were a genuine case of racism. At worst, it’s a bad case of ethnocentricity – on the part of those accusing, and those they are attempting to defend.

      •  

        Thank you for your kind reference to nuance. Few think of me as nuanced.

        Though my attitudes to climate change or whatever are in this context largely irrelevant. My beef is with politicians arguing that they’re reducing Wales’s carbon footprint when they are in fact increasing by encouraging people to settle on land that was previously unused.

        Then we have to look at those who take advantage of the legislation introduced and the attitudes prevailing – is saving the planet their real concern or is it more about ‘doing your own thing’? Because if they were really concerned with the planet then I would expect them to be lobbying-decision makers, but they just want to retreat to the Welsh countryside and cut themselves off.

    •  

      @sibrydion mawr

      Agree with you on the need to defend and strengthen Welsh language communities from blatant colonialisation. The parts of your response dealing with climate change don’t quite make sense. Using the ‘climate change denialists’ ad hominem is vulgar, and an unscientific. The purpose is to associate with holocaus denial etc etc. Tut tut. Further to that, I am an envirnomentalist – to suggest that people who have a different opinion on the subject of climate, are not concerned about the environment is pretty weird and remarkebly intolerant and suggests considerable group think cognitive dissonance. The term climate change denialists also doesn’t make sense as I’ve stated in the other response. How can anyone deny that the climate changes? No one is. That would be very stupid. Is that what you are promoting and defending-that the climate changes? If so I would heartily agree. Or is it that change in the climate is, and has been exacerbated by human activity? I would also probably tend to agree that it has to some extent, especially local climates. That’s a totally different discussion. And this isn’t what the whole concept of Globalist save the the planet and Sustainable Development is about. The whole ‘saving the planet’ thing is a cult/religious belief system predicated on the fact that man made CO2 causes global warming. There is no proof of this-it is simply a theory which has not been proven but has been stated as fact and meant billions of pounds in spending globally together with never ending new legilsation. Empirical studies show this not to be the case.It is a fraud. You also mention the 97% of climate scientists confirm that CO2 from mankind creates global warming (which is what they were claiming, as opposed to issues to do with climate change.) Not only has this 97% figure and the IPCC/Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change been found to be incorrect and fraudulent but it is also utterly useless as science is not based on consensus anyhow but on empirical evidence.

      Lastly, you’re incorrect on ‘my parody’ .My parody was not a parody of characters that are already parodies such as Neil from the young Ones. Oh no – my parody was a parody of those that parody characters that are already parodies. I’m just sooo post modernist

  6.  

    I might be more willing to accept these ‘environmentalist’ projects if they took place on former industrial sites that had been degraded into wasteland, but they all seem to be located in rural areas that contain no environmental threat. If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.Therefore I don’t much planet-saving going on. If the colonists desperately want to ‘re-wild’ Wales, they could do no better than to start with Cardiff Bay…

    No sovereign nation would entertain this externally-imposed lunacy. In a previous post on the issue, Jac used the term ‘hippy lebensraum’, which sums up the problem nicely.

  7.  

    Vast areas of Wales are being depopulated to the point where schools and local services are no longer viable, does it really matter if a few families rock up and set up little farms?

    And don’t forget these planning laws benefit born and bred welsh people as well the incomers you despise so much.

    How else are ordinary people supposed to start an agri business?

    •  

      In a very brief comment, Nick, you’ve managed to get quite a few things wrong.

      “Vast areas of Wales are being depopulated” is correct. And when you see the indigenous population being effectively cleared and a new population encouraged to settle, it conjures up disturbing images we’ve seen far too often in human history. And throws up the obvious question – why is nothing done to stop the depopulation?

      The depopulation inevitably results in schools and services closing. But those I’m writing about don’t believe in formal education, so they won’t send their kids to village schools. Not only that, they prefer to cut themselves off from the rest of society, so they’ll be of no benefit to the social and cultural life of any area. If they do start interacting with local populations – as we have already seen in some areas – they will try to dictate attitudes, milk the public purse, and generally ignore the concerns of others.

      You argue that “these planning laws benefit born and bred welsh people as well the incomers you despise so much”, and you may have a point. But I know of no Welsh people who want to live that lifestyle, and those that framed the legislation knew that. Which means that OPD, TAN 6, Pillar 1 to Pillar 2, etc., were done to attract and benefit a new population in the knowledge that Welsh people were either being disadvantaged or else would not seek to benefit from these changes.

      Looked at that way, it all becomes rather sinister.

      “How else are ordinary people supposed to start an agri business?” you ask. But are these eco-settlements really viable businesses, or they just lifestyle choices for middle-class people with family money to fall back on?

  8.  

    Like all other types of religious sects, these various enviro-cults share a common construct. (a) we’re all doomed, (b) we can save you, (c) followers become ‘chosen’ through perceived enlightenment, (d) a leading guru pre-exists often gaining wealth as leader, (e) if you believe then volunteer or donate money, (f) isolation from society, it works on the slopes of Preseli or Corris but not in Penge or Chelmsford, the latter lands actually being more suitable for growing vegetables. Whilst there is a degree of truth in the narrative, this is woven into myths and unfounded beliefs to form a distorted scripture.

    Characteristics of people in a settler enviro-cult…

    (a) Middle class, 20s.
    (b) White skinned.
    (c) From affluent parentage.
    (d) Impressionable.
    (e) English home counties with the odd dropout from California or Holland.
    (f) Socially awkward.

    I notice some of these enviro-cults have progressed to second stage development and have started to construct ‘temples’ and ‘communal indoctrination halls’. The children withdrawn from schools for ‘home education’, and dangerous philosophies of ‘natural medication’ for illnesses. This leads to further social isolation of cult members.

  9.  

    Changing the subject. . .
    I have just been blocked for some reason by one Llinos Price on Twatter.
    I am assuming she is known on this blog or has been mentioned in the past?

    •  

      I think Llinos Price is blocking everybody she fears may have a penis. (Unless they self-identify as women, perhaps.)

  10.  

    I’m intruiged to know more about hedge funds getting involved in rewilding projects. Why is this? Is it just to do something environmental, to tick a ‘corporate social responsibility’ box, or is something else going on?

    Are they hoping to take land off the market for agricultural or housing use, in order to inflate land prices? Are they seeking to create boltholes for certain wealthy individuals who believe in an imminent collapse of civilization? Some say this is why Mark Zuckerberg bought a house and land in Maui, Hawaii, and why Paypal co-creator Peter Thiel and others have bought property in New Zealand. Though getting a flight to Hawaii or NZ might be difficult on the day when the manure makes contact with the revolving air circulation device.

    •  

      MK The sort of cnut that you mention would have a private plane stocked up ready to go anywhere !

      As for interest from hedge funds, well land is a finite commodity so it makes for a decent asset to hold when other commodities go into a tailspin due to recession brought on by government incompetence/ manipulation. The seriously rich are awash with cash and need to buy assets with real long term integrity especially when they dislike lending at low(ish) interest rates. So greedy bastards, individuals and institutions, buy up a mix of assets while farmers will be turfed off their land because London decides land is too valuable to be left in the custody of country bumpkins. Just another example of good old fashioned collaboration between the government and the wealthy elite.

    •  

      Could hedge fund involvement be something to do with carbon offsetting? You buy land, plant trees, add up the CO2 they could theoretically absorb, then recoup the cost by selling ‘carbon credits’. These are bought by corporations that want to appear green but can’t because their business model involves burning huge amounts of fossil fuel, e.g. aviation or cement-making. It’s a bit like the medieval Church selling indulgences. It also means caring nothing about who suffers as a consequence. There have been reports of indigenous peoples being driven off rainforest land because it now belongs to corporations as part of their carbon offsetting portfolio and they demand total control of what goes on there, for the good of the planet you understand. Wales’ sheep should be very worried about George Monbiot.

  11.  

    One Wales; One Planet…..

    The sustainable Development Scheme of the Welsh Assembly Government….. i.e. Hoping to sustain corruption in Welsh Government and provide land for eco-evacuees from England.

    Help Wales reduce it’s Carbon Footprint…..Yeah …like importing it to South America, the EU and south-east Asia.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jan/06/more-than-half-of-uks-food-sourced-from-abroad-study-finds

    When war, poverty, starvation, displacement, oppression, exploitation and all the other very real tragedies facing the human race happens, the eco-evacuees from England will survive the apocalypse. – “want to save the planet move to Wales” – more like – WANT TO ESCAPE THE COMING APOCALYPSE MOVE TO WALES.

    Great article on “genetically modified” George Monbiot! – OCCUPYING THE MORAL HIGH GROUND……..

    https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/occupying-the-moral-high-ground-1346850.html

    I couldn’t resist playing some Pink Floyd in response to the Matthew 7:15 quote……..

    @ joeysplott. Llinos Pirce is accusing Jac of being a conspiracy theorist on her twitter account. I twittered her to ask specifically what conspiracy Jac was theorising – she responded by blocking me. She is a “Political consultant. Legislation & policy analyst/adviser.”….. but not much of a debater it seems.

    •  

      I’ve been harping on about this for years – like a voice in the wilderness. The usual predictable response is “CONSPIRACY THEORIST!” it’s not a theory but a real live conspiracy that people have been unable to see, despite all the evidence being under their noses. Thankfully there is now an awakening taking place.

      I voted out of the EU, not because of any phoney red herrings like immigration or the economy, but because the EU is a regional step in a future New World Order, typified by the ‘mind police’ and the curtailing of our individual freedoms, including our basic right to free speech. And yes Political Correctness is a tool for that eventual domination of the state over the people.

      Wells and Huxley accurately predicted it, but they would – because they hd access to information from those lurking in the shadows, directing the agenda.

  12.  

    I’m not convinced the opd people are middle class hippies, the ones I’ve had dealings with have all been skint wannabe farmers, looking for a cheap way to end up with a house.

    The middle class ones have the money to buy up farms/smallholdings and no need to go through all the hoop jumping that OPD entails.

    Surely the real issue is bringing jobs and prospects to rural Wales, thus stopping anyone of working age departing as they presently do?

    Maybe spend a little more time worrying about the genuine structural problems, and less hand wringing about a few escape to the country sorts from England?

    •  

      But what jobs and prospects are brought by people who want to get away from it all and live the simple life?

      They don’t employ local builders or tradesmen because they build their own houses. Because they’re off-grid they don’t need plumbers or electricians. They grow their own food. They don’t go to the pub (they make their own booze). Many of them even make their own clothes. And, as I said in my earlier response, they home school their kids.

      Their contribution to, and interaction with, the local community around them is minimal.

  13.  

    But how many successful OPD planning applications have there been, I’m only aware of a handful?

    The process is so onerous that few projects ever happen, most of the people keen on the idea are skint dreamers.

    What’s needed is planning powers being given to local community councils and welsh government funding being given to provide small scale housing and business parks that actually provide the employment and affordable housing opportunities so lacking.

    Right now all we get is vanity projects, and an obsession with funding tourism, perhaps the worse paid seasonal work going.

    Our am rocked up from sunny Pembrokeshire and told us our future success was based on making shepherds pie and looking after grannies, based on the findings of mid Wales most talented academics and business people.

    •  

      I agree with you on tourism and granny farming but what you have to remember is that OPD represents an attitude, an approach, rather than legislation that must be adhered to. Many of those I’ve written about over the years don’t even go through the OPD process but use it as a threat.

      Long term, areas like Powys need to nurture and encourage the talent and resources already there. Encourage entrepreneurialism rather than see it as a dirty word. Move away from academically obsessed education to give kids training in traditional skills for which there is a growing demand. Use local resources better; timber for example, set up local wood-based industries rather than grow, fell and ship out.

      Perfect example is my next-door neighbour, whose job was driving around farms collecting wool – and then taking it to Yorkshire! We can’t process Welsh wool in Wales! Then there’s the milk taken out of Wales every day to be processed – and to provide jobs – in England.

      Wales could create thousands of jobs in rural areas simply by imaginative use of the human and material resources we already have. But tourism and granny farming is all we’re offered for reasons I don’t have time to go into here.

  14.  

    The problem is that all the politicians with any power around here are farmers,

    Their lives are peachy, they got born into land, their don’t really need to do a fat lot as there are subsidies galore, and they are very resistant to any sort of change.

    How many of them left school and thought fuck it i’m going to be a farmer? – none, they all got born into it.

    They all seem to own houses galore, so building affordable houses that locals could buy is discouraged, it would hit their bottom line…

    In some respects OPD is good for them, flog off odd parcels of poor land to dreamers, safe in the knowledge that when it turns into a planning nightmare for some loon from Surrey they can buy it back again, for less.

    So for them change is bad, a bit of glamping is good news for them, extra money, crap jobs for everyone else, chicken sheds and crooked hoteliers hoovering up free tax payers money.

    And another problem is the assumption that if there were any new employment sites built, those already at it would go out of business, so thus nothing ever happens.

    Labour in love with the Cardiff bay lifestyle, the Tories in love with the Westminster lifestyle and a load of useless independents in love with a NFU lifesyle from the 1950s.

  15.  

    OPD may present another problem. I would posit that most farmers today [particularly welsh speakers] inherited the farm from parents and even earlier ancestors/generations. The unlucky sibling who does not inherit used to be able to either go out contracting and later cobble together the cash or borrowings to buy his farm, or enter into farming through a council farm tenancy and move on. This probably presents the same in rural England.

    Now to add to the mix we have the OPD hippies et al who are looking to do something which wouldn’t have been allowed before or govt funded. Once the current inheritor gets squeezed out at retirement – his [or her] kids wouldn’t want the hard work and stress of modern farming. In addition if the farm is not bought by a neighbour who wants to stay the course it will eventually be sold either to a wealthy lifestyle farmer – a farm can be just as cheap as an expensive house in Bristol, buy the farm live in the house and let the land off to a neighbour [whilst possibly collecting any of the land/farm owner subsidies available] or a OPD hippie group as noted by someone above with a wealthy guru who is well educated in gaming the system [via friends and ex colleagues in the law, accountancy, civil service etc] and getting his/her way.

    One or two generations further and the old “welsh” community centred on farming will be gone forever as will the welsh identity [apart from the beer swilling, rugby loving, choir singing valleys stereotype that usually serves as the badge of wales] – was that the whole purpose of devolution by Tony Blair and the now “ishoos” based politicos in the Bae??

  16.  

    Corrupt councils making decisions based on lies and half truths supported by biased reports without any regard for the community or common sense. Clearly driven by some Welsh Assembly agenda designed as a vehicle to pimp up green credentials that actually has no bearing on reality.
    So bad that we’re off to England. We will invest in a county that appreciates us and our money, and not have to put up with the intimidation that emanates from these so called peaceful people.

  17.  

    Oh Jac! You really should have a very close look at Lampyland. The state of the University there is beyond a disgrace. The Old College has been leased to a Chinese company. There are fewer than 100 applicants for full-time undergraduate courses for the coming academic year, clearing has been a disaster, half the new undergraduates are from overseas (which rather underlines the terribleness of the application figures), the teaching system is a joke and was vehemently opposed by staff and students, the Head of at least one department has no teaching qualifications and no postgraduate ones either, there are rumours of disaffected students on one degree course considering legal action after discovering that their degree is unaccredited, there are courses offered in Harmony (and not the musical kind) and what amounts to no less than astrology at the Sophia Centre, the campus is a ghost town in a ghost town, most UWTSD announcements not to do with its new wallet-bursting campus in Swansea are about Lampeter’s quest to change the world by planting trees.(Jane Davidson features porminently in these)… I could go on, but I think that’s enough to be going on with.

    •  

      St Davids became a can of worms over 10 years ago when they, along with many others, jumped on the growth bandwagon. When the wheels fell off that wagon it was put into “care” for a while looking for a bigger institution to absorb it, Aber was mooted but never showed up. Then along came an expansionist Trinity with a Leader who knew his way around funding for all sorts of acquisitive activity. Bang ! In next to no time he’s rolled up St David’s, Swansea Met, and opened up satellite stations ( Cardiff & London ? ) as well as ambitious new build in Swansea. Given all these exciting moves something will have to give as the extravagant financing tends to come with subsequent requirement to cut costs and strip assets. What Huw describes above are classic symptoms of contrived decline which will no doubt lead in due course to much reduction of the “footprint” at Lampeter. More voids to be filled by “difficult” folk from other side of Clawdd Offa – but we’re not supposed to mention that any more ! Being nice to such folk regardless of their baggage is the prevalent orthodoxy, until another new batch of groupthink is released !

    •  

      It’s so bloody sad. My daughter went to Lampeter.

    •  

      It’s sad in that a fairly well run small institution which had focussed on a small number of specialisms got sucked into the big is beautiful myth.

      For somewhat different reasons the AlltyrYn Institute in Newport merged with Caerleon College of Education ( Teacher training, originally ) then picked up a few other bits to briefly operated as University of Newport before being dragged into a shot gun wedding with Glamorgan ( formerly Polytechnic) to form University of South Wales.
      Cardiff Institute ( now Met) kept out of that deal which would have resulted in an even bigger merger although they are now said to be in deep shit financially. Most if not all these places have had Management or Business Studies departments yet they are all utterly incapable of applying basic financial control, bouncing from pillar to post guided mainly by extravagant “marketing visions” concocted by academics with an unreal appreciation of how unattractive their offerings are to a public who are becoming averse to paying for drivel. That obsession with making access to degrees easier for everybody has resulted in the total devaluation of academic attainment even when obtained from the “better” institutions because they too have played fast and loose with standards of tuition and quality of content.

    •  

      Oh dear I’m reduced to anonimity, the sense of being lonely and without identity is overwhelming ! Dafis

    •  

      It’s sad that the marketisation of higher education under the Tories in the 1979 to 1997 period, and Blair’s completely daft idea, plucked from goodness knows where of 50% of all secondary school leavers going on to higher education have brought us to the current situation where there is a surplus of places and diminishing demand.

      Whatever was wrong with the original notion of having a higher education system based on the idea that anyone being able to benefit from higher education being able to access it? Some might accuse the old regime as ‘elitist’ but isn’t that rather the point of higher education?

      In all of this, we of course lost the University of Wales, as, one by one, Wales’ universities were seduced by the idea of becoming standalone universities issuing their own degrees. What was so wrong with University of Wales validated qualifications? There was that scandal a few years ago about the way in which some UW validated qualifications were being granted, but I suspect that the only guilt there was in actually being caught.

      I suspect we’ll soon witness a substantial contraction of higher education in Wales, as there is a massive oversupply, with the various institutions, that have effectively been competing, having overstretched themselves. There is evidence that the University of South Wales campus in Newport city centre is virtually empty and unused. so this latest news about what is happening at Lampeter is worrying.

      Most of these institutions may well have had, or have Management and Business Studies departments, but anyone who has had any experience of these departments will know that a substantial part of the business., (and yes it it a business) is in the very lucrative provision of qualifications to overseas students where standards applied aren’t always as they should be. This criticism isn’t so much the case with first degrees, but it is quite striking when you start to consider courses such as MBA courses where, in one institution to my knowledge, the vast majority of the students were from abroad and paying eye watering amounts for these courses in a pretty mediocre institution.

      This institution also specialised in degree courses in Sports Mangement and Hospitality Management, not so much bad courses in themselves, but academic degree subjects? Surely this type of course would be better suited to an apprenticeship/sandwich course model combining real world experience and theory simultaneously providing practical work experience – a role for a polytechnic maybe?

  18.  

    So last year there were just under 9000 successful planning applications for new homes in wales.

    Since 2010 19 OPD applications have gone through.

    I think any fears of an invasion are grossly exaggerated…

    •  

      Numbers are not the issue.

    •  

      Numbers are an issue because it not just a matter of OPD related projects alone but all the other embryonic pseudo businesses being helped along with a variety of Cynulliad agency grants and soft loans ( many of which will never be repaid). Your favourite sector, tourism/hospitality is probably one of the biggest culprits, soon to be overtaken by recreation and leisure where land hitherto freely accessible to the public will be ringfenced to allow assorted spivs to levy entrance fees and fine trespassers. Progress ? who says so ?

  19.  

    But if hardly anyone is doing it, why worry??

    Especially given all the terrible things that are actually happening, such as school closures, bank closures and farm technology reducing the number of decent jobs.

    •  

      It is symptomatic of a wider problem. And not all the hippy settlements that have sprung up without planning permission have bothered with OPD, but planners know from OPD and other ‘initiatives’ that they must be given retrospective planning permission and anything else they demand.

  20.  

    See also the devastating effects on the local community resulting from the closure of Pembroke power station due to the campaign against the proposal to burn orimulsion. The most vocal campaigners were mewnfudwyr of the more aromatic, Narberth-based, homeschooling type whose lack of discernible income reduced their understanding of the needs of hundreds of other people who relied upon the power station for employment. Anecdotal, but I know of at least one person whose life was unfortunately lost as a direct result of losing their job.

    •  

      They’re good at dictating to others, but it’s ‘Do as I say, not as I do’.

      And yet, as I mention, Corris, which has been taken over by the buggers, sends up clouds of smoke from word-burning stoves, which they see as the height of eco-living.

    •  

      perhaps a hacker could get into RAF planning system and slip in an instruction to get one of those heavily armed aircraft zooming around the Mach corridor to unload into Corris ! Just a thought.

  21.  

    Having never heard of OPD this article and comments have been impressive. This may sound crazy as I live in Wales yet wonder having searched no end of the labour party manifestos where it all came from? I didn’t vote for it.

    So I too have looked at the scheme and then the one application Twiscob Top. My first thoughts are that every Solicitor in the UK needs to warn their clients about this scheme so people can decide if they want to invest in Wales and take the risk of this type of development next door. How can this be done?

    My second alarm is that what you have is a cheap form of unregulated development in green belt something unheard of anywhere else in the UK. The Applicant can self-certify they are on plan to maintain their status. Someone, please tell me anywhere else this can happen in planning or indeed anything else important in life?

    If I have a new chicken farm next door putting up a building of a reasonable size but before they finish the build they get a new order and double the size of it can they? Has one law under one scheme changed the rights of others under another? Both are making a living off the land.

    I’ve then looked at Twiscob Top planning permission. They have five years before they need to start. What’s happening until they do get going do the OPD’s all get social support?

    Never in all my years have I seen houses as these people live in why do I have to fit in with a style of home in my area, and yet they can build the weirdest of buildings? Do they add to the long-term resilience of what makes us Welsh – well I would like to hear the opinions of some well-known designers? So why can’t I do what I want now has this been tested through the courts?

    Then I looked at them as a family and hadn’t heard of home education so read an excellent report on the BBC. Many parents seem to do this where the children have mental health and exclusion problems. Yet councils want more monitoring powers, how will they do this in practical terms on these sites? Is this common to OPD parenting? What are we storing up here as a country tell me? Our education is already below other nations. Are we encouraging the isolation of problem families and preparing children to become social misfits?

    Where is all the money coming from – land isn’t cheap, Twiscob Top seem to have more money for their property than my daughter has for a deposit on her house which has taken her fifteen years to get together as a nurse and she then has a thirty-year mortgage. What message are we giving our children and the key workers we need?

    Life in Wales often doesn’t seem fair as it is, what are we trying to tell society on our priorities and who and what is valued ?

    Finally, I’m confused what MP’s are talking and doing anything about this scheme?

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