The Welsh Clearances

It’s generally agreed that Welsh farming is in for a hard time after Brexit, though there seems to be some confusion as to why this should be so. So let me explain. It has nothing to do with Brexit itself, or the EU, it’s merely certain elements in the ruling apparatus using Brexit as an excuse to undermine Welsh farming.

First, understand that Wales is managed by a Labour Party in Cardiff that is hostile to the farming industry, and at best ambivalent towards rural areas in general. The only element of the Labour Party that gives much thought to the countryside is that represented by Jane Davidson, Minister for Sustainability and Rural Development in the Labour-Plaid Cymru management team 2007 – 2011.

Davidson now lives on a smallholding in the south west and is Associate Pro Vice Chancellor for External Stakeholder Development and Engagement and Director of INSPIRE at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. Her engagement with rural Wales extends no further than making it more attractive to good-lifers like herself.

These good-lifers, conservationists and others, have always had powerful friends, but Brexit is encouraging those friends to be bolder.

For as the Daily Post put it in a recent article: “Brexit is seen by many conservationists as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to boost wildlife habitats using cash currently allocated to farming and food production”.

But how would this be done, what are the nuts and bolts?


The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is essentially an England-only agency, but as the GOV.UK website tells us, “Although Defra only works directly in England, it works closely with the devolved administrations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and generally leads on negotiations in the EU and internationally.”

So how ‘closely’ might Defra be working with the administration in Wales?

From information received it seems to me that the influence of Defra in Wales goes well beyond working closely with the ‘Welsh’ Government. Let’s look at a few individuals prominent in the running of Welsh agriculture and food production.

And let’s start with Andrew Slade. I was hoping to get information from the ‘Welsh’ Government’s own website, but it came up blank.

Fortunately, I was able to find something on WalesOnline which tells us that Andrew Slade came to Wales in 2013 as Director General for Agriculture, Food and Marine. In November 2017 he was promoted to Director General, Economy, Skills and Natural Resources.

Soon after arriving he was busy taking EU money off farmers and transferring it to ‘Rural Development Projects’. Or to put it another way, taking money from Welsh farmers to give to a rag-bag of hippies, good-lifers and other non-indigenous grant-grabbers.

Here, in January 2014, we see him sitting alongside Alun Davies, then Minister for Natural Resources and Food, making sure Davies doesn’t fluff the lines that have been written for him. I wrote about it here.

click to enlarge

In this video from February 2018 we see Slade addressing some NFU gathering. He says that following his elevation he has been succeeded in his old job by Tim Render. So who’s he? Well, this video from 2016 tells us that Render was then Deputy Director at the Great British Food Unit of Defra.

Render did indeed take up a new post with the ‘Welsh’ Government in January 2018, but if his Linkedin profile is to be believed then he commutes to Cardiff from London.

It would appear that the top jobs in Welsh agriculture and food are reserved for Defra men. And I have no doubt that they are in Wales implementing Defra policy, which will not serve Welsh interests. And while there may have been the charade of a recruitment process, they were not recruited by Carwyn and his gang, they were put in place by London.

There are a couple of others worth mentioning in this context. First up is Andy Fraser, who is something of a Renaissance Man, being both Head of Fisheries and Head of Tax Strategy. So if a way can be found to make fish pay tax we could be rolling in it.

click to enlarge

It should go without saying that Andy also has a Defra background. Which probably explains why his former employer, and of course the former employer of Andrew Slade and Tim Render, was able to acquire the food hall at the Royal Welsh Show for its Rule Britannia extravaganza in July.

Another I’m told might be worth watching is Keith Smyton, who came from the Six Counties and is now Head of the Food Division. The accent confirms he is an Ulsterman, and I’d bet on him being from the sash and bowler tradition, and therefore as determined to stick union jacks on everything as the others we’ve met.

UPDATE 22.10.2018: Another to add is Peter McDonald, who since June 2017 has been Deputy Director – Land, Nature & Forestry / Land Management Reform Unit (with the element following the forward slash added in January).  But you’ll see on his Linkedin profile that he is also Deputy Director, Energy, Environment and Transport Tax at the Treasury. In fact his background is with the Treasury.

He’s obviously a money man, and I’m told his sympathies lie with conservationists and re-wilders, not farmers.

Put together it makes a nonsense of the idea that agriculture is a devolved matter. And it’s the same across the senior ranks of the civil service in Wales. Which is as it should be, for it’s a colonial civil service.

I have said it before, and I’ll say it again – Wales is run by civil servants answering to London and pursuing a BritNat agenda at the expense of Wales. The politicians in Cardiff docks are no more than collaborators, helping disguise where power really lies. 


I’ve also mentioned this project before, in the Green Menace. Now they’ve started recruiting staff. Here’s an advert from the Guardian, and here’s another from the Rewilding Britain site.

Did you spot the difference? The Guardian advert reads, “Ability to communicate in Welsh is highly desirable”. On the Rewilding Britain site (more likely to be read by potential applicants), it asks only for, “Good understanding of and demonstrable enthusiasm for the local Welsh culture and language”.

I think we can take it as read that the successful applicant will not be Welsh speaking, or even Welsh. (Though I couldn’t help wondering what might qualify as “demonstrable enthusiasm”. What a strange term!)

Natalie Buttriss, new Director of Wales at the Woodland Trust, presenting a petition for more trees to a member of England’s Cardiff Bay management team. How many signatures were collected against the Flint Sphincter and Geiger Bay? Did those petitions get this kind of reception?

The Rewilding Britain website tells us that its partner in Summit to Sea is The Woodland Trust. And it was Natalie Buttriss, the Trust’s Director of Wales, who spoke about the project on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Farming Today’ programme last Wednesday.


“Farming is subsidised” . . . says a woman whose own project has just been given £3.4m of someone else’s money! And, then, chillingly, she adds, “The policy landscape is changing”, before making it clear that her project enjoys the full support of the Cardiff management team.

Natalie Buttriss’s contempt for farmers came through strongly. Her memsahib attitude could be paraphrased: ‘The farmers will not see a penny of our funding . . . we have the whip hand . . . we’ve got political backing . . . there is nothing the farmers can do to stop us . . . we’ll squeeze them out . . . ‘

For a woman representing a project that claims it wants to work with landowners and farmers I suggest that the arrogant Natalie Buttriss has, with that interview, seriously damaged the chances of co-operation.

The area involved is huge. On the coast it runs from Aberdyfi to Aberystwyth, and then inland, following the A44 up to Llangurig (though deviating south to Cwmystwth) and then on to Llanidloes, after which it’s the minor road up to Llanbrynmair, and Glantwymyn, before heading down the Dyfi valley to Aberdyfi.

In all, 10,000 hectares of land and 28,400 hectares of sea, according to the Summit to Sea page on the Rewilding Britain website. But the very poor map used on the site seems to suggest the figures may be the other way around, unless the blue (Project area) line has not been extended into Cardigan Bay.

click to enlarge

Clearly, this not uninhabited territory that the re-wilders can just take over, so how will they co-exist with farmers and others? Well, if we go back to the revelatory Radio 4 interview given by Ms Buttriss it would appear that those living there now can either like it or lump it.

One thing I predict with certainty, Natalie Buttriss and her gang, and lots of others like them, are queuing up, confident that a great deal of Welsh land will become available in the coming years as farmers are forced out of business.

It’s spelled out in this Daily Post article. Where Plaid Cymru AM Siân Gwenllian is quoted as saying:

“Many farmers will be denied the necessary support due to the new eligibility criteria, meaning they will lose out on help which has served as a backbone to the viability of their business. The proposed payment regime will have two elements – one offering 40% investment grants, the other paying for ‘Public Goods’ such as habitat management and tree planting.

Unlike the EU , which is beefing up its Active Farmer rule to ensure money stays in rural areas, Wales is proposing an ‘open to all’ policy in which applicants could include banks and pension funds, 

The EU, as in Scotland and Northern Ireland, is also ring-fencing farm funding to safeguard against economic instability following Brexit, she added. The Welsh Government is going in precisely the opposite direction – destabilising one of our key industries,”

You have to ask yourself why the “Welsh Government” (sic) is going in “precisely the opposite direction” to the EU, Scotland and Northern Ireland? This is clearly ‘the changing policy landscape’ referred to by Natalie Buttriss of the Woodland Trust in her radio interview. And it’s what makes Wales so attractive to her and other parasites.

UPDATE 07.11.2018: There was an excellent piece in yesterday’s Llais y Sais by Farmers Union of Wales president Glyn Roberts. While today the ‘re-wilders’ have responded in a more conciliatory tone than that adopted in the past by the likes of George Monbiot and Natalie Buttriss.

Could it be that the ‘environmentalists’ have belatedly realised that they were coming across as the arrogant colonialists they are?

Summit to Sea is a project hatched up by rootless yet well connected schemers to displace Welsh farmers from the land their families may have farmed for centuries. It’s old-fashioned colonialism and dispossession repackaged as ‘conservation’ for a twenty-first century audience.

And Summit to Sea is just the start. The beginning of the Welsh Clearances.

♦ end ♦


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[…] Jac o the North with a slightly different take on it. […]

Eos Pengwern
Eos Pengwern
26/10/2018 20:51

This blog article was the first thing I thought of when I came across this post, almost a poem, from someone in upstate New York bemoaning how the ‘rednecks’ there are treated by the haughty liberals of New York City:

A continent apart and yet such a similar experience.

29/10/2018 17:58
Reply to  Jac

Hi Jac – could not help but laugh at the photo of the ‘petition’ being presented – if anyone bothered to read it they would see tgat it brings new meaning to the saying ‘lost in translation’ – or was there a seperate box for the Welsh to sign?

Neil Singleton
Neil Singleton
21/10/2018 20:34

You can always tell a vegan when you meet them, Give it two minutes and they always tell you.

20/10/2018 13:53

Would any of these green (gullible) rewilding fantatical cult followers of Monbiotism tell us how they intend to feed the rapidly growing population of the UK?

Would we be allowed gun licences to hunt wild boar in the swathes of Monbiotic forests of Wales?

Would we be allowed estover rights to gather wood from the Monbiotic forests to cook the Monbiotic Welsh national dish of lentil cawl?


Should we tell these Green, psycopathic, colonising, patronising, imperial, facists to piss off and we manage our own affairs in our country?

Serfdom or independence – now is the time to choose.

I prefer the latter and support a Welsh national lamb cawl day!


PS……The only good food sources of B12 are animal foods like meat, fish and eggs. A deficiency is widespread among vegans and vegetarians, who avoid these foods. In one study, a whopping 92% of vegans and 47% of lacto-ovo vegetarians were deficient in this critical brain nutrient.

20/10/2018 11:57

Buttris said nothing, her tone was far more important; £3.4 million is a spit in the ocean who the fuck does she think she is to come on radio with an attitude that just rings of your all a load of ‘wooden tops’ and from this moment on im giving you notice your not going to have any rights over your land.

These people all come from quangos and feel they have the God given right to take away the lands left to farmers through generations. They arent capable of holding down a proper job, and if employed within a respectable business they would as a first step be sent for ‘retraining’ and if that didnt help sacked. She simply wouldnt be tolerated with that attitude.

Snotty little globalist has put a pin in the map and thought oh lets have that. Whether you love or hate Trump he has the right idea to break these bastards. We have to stand behind our farmers and support them against this worthless scheme.

19/10/2018 12:24

The hypocrisy of the English and the Green party knows no bounds.

In order to match England’s population density of 413 people per square kilometre, European countries would have to take in the following numbers of migrants:-

Austria 26.4 million
Denmark 12.4 million
France 162.3 million
Germany 65.6 million
Greece 42.8 million
Italy 64.7 million
Poland90.5 million

Romania 79.4 million
Spain 162.1 million
Sweden176.3 million

Conversely, if England had the same population density as say France, it’s population would be 14.5 million.

The Green logic……

“MG102 We are aware that, in the 21st century, there is likely to be mass migration of people escaping from the consequences of global warming, environmental degradation, resource shortage and population increase”

Brilliant idea!…..except now England has environmental degradation, resource shortage and population increase.( and has the gall to tell the Welsh how to manage their affairs)

The Greens truly have their heads up their arses.

sarah b
sarah b
19/10/2018 00:58

Just confirmed by a friend that another WG architect of Brexit agricultural policy is Peter McDonald, whose “other”job is working for HM Treasury!

19/10/2018 16:49
Reply to  Jac

bet you anything that most of these bastards are commuting into Wales from Thames valley / London commuter belt, although some may be from the Cheltenham/Cotswolds area from which they can head off in any direction to do their deeds. Waste of space the lot of them.

sarah b
sarah b
18/10/2018 23:00

Shame on the Woodland Trust for being associated with dirty money.

The “Brexit and our Land” consultation has already mapped out this kind of scenario. The consultation’s weaselly words say:
“6.15 The public goods we will consider supporting include:
Heritage and recreation. Land managers have a key role to play in the maintenance and conservation of our cultural heritage as well as the provision and improvement of outdoor recreation opportunities. Tourism, together with heritage construction or maintenance generates twice as much GVA as the agriculture sector in Wales. Walking and other physical activities generate employment and reduce long-term health costs.”

“6.30 In addition, the Welsh Government need not be the only administrator. We will also explore options for collaborating on delivery with other organisations, including NRW and the National Park Authorities.”

The consultation asks these questions:
2. Does the Welsh Government need to take action to ensure tenants can access new schemes? If so, what action would be best?
12. A collaborative approach to delivering public goods may in some instances provide better value for money than isolated activity. How could the scheme facilitate this approach? How could public and private bodies contribute to such partnerships?
15. Private investment in the purchase of public goods is already happening, but at a relatively small scale. How could the new scheme promote greater involvement from the private sector? What are the barriers to this type of investment?
19. Welsh Language
Will the proposed land management programme have any effects (either positive or adverse) on:
opportunities for persons to use the Welsh language;
treating the Welsh language no less favourably than the English language?

What really worries me is that the “Welsh” Government’s definition of a land manager allows exactly this sort of scheme to get a wad of funding, probably out of a “Welsh” Government back pocket AND THEN get funding via the proposed “public goods” scheme and possibly the “resilience” scheme if they can dream up a plan to sucker the Cardiff idiots in, meanwhile a farmer with a small acreage goes to the wall.

At a Brexit and Our Land “open meeting” with WG reps, (for which it was compulsory to book ??!!), Radnorshire farmers told Tim Render in no uncertain terms what they thought of the new funding ideas and in particular that we were not on an even playing field with Scotland as BPS was not even in the consultation agenda. The excuse: the land area payment is iniquitous, (yes), and that the public want to see value for money.

So, the public do not want subsidised Welsh farmed produce on their plates? But who asked them and where’s the poll results? Anyway, the consultation tells us that farmers cannot be subsidised for producing food under WTO rules so a basic payment through thick and thin is out, which is odd because that’s what we’ve been getting from the EU.

If you do care, respond to the “Brexit and our Land” consultation by 30th October.

18/10/2018 09:55

” Subsidise farming and you get cheap food……..Subsidise rewilding and you get hobby settlers with damaged landscape.” That sums it up in a “nut shell”, which would probably disappear as a feature of autumn if these wierdos with their crazy schemes have their way.

Indeed by subsidising farming and having some sort of rewilding budget that can only be claimed by working farmers ( not distant dilettante wealthy landowners) there is scope for restoring some diversity without having hordes of idiots running around with a depopulation agenda in their slimy little paws. But that would not be in line with the wishes of powerful vested interests already on their starting blocks waiting to cut loose.

17/10/2018 23:42

@ Wrexhamian.

You are not Fiona… are you?

17/10/2018 23:06

Very interesting read and to some extent, it feels as though we are in a perpetual de ja vue position with Welsh Government.

I think it’s important to remember the mission creep of the environment lobby into Welsh Government stakeholder engagement. Gone are the days when the farming unions and sector in general had a dedicated Minister, with the portfolio now incorporating everything from flooding to energy to food to marine conservation.

The launch of the Summit to Sea (S2S) project could not have come at a worse time for Welsh Government, with the Brexit and Our (it’s actually Their) Land consultation being broadly denigrated and the S2S project only serving to demonstrate what’s on the cards for ‘public goods delivered by land managers’ with the support of NRW waving it on.

The wider context of the S2S experiment is one of building and developing re-wilding that will ultimately lead to higher levels of designations of landscapes and marine habitats. Great for Monbiot lovers, not great for anyone who lives in rural Wales and actually want to contribute to any economic development that may affect even one blade of grass.

I find it interesting that Wales is seen as a soft touch for experimental bollocks like this. Jac has highlighted recently the property debacle in Mid and North Wales. Add to this the Circuit of Wales bottomless pit, Chinese investment in Port Talbot that will never happen and the failed Enterprise Zone initiative. Like the migrants willing to risk everything to get across from France to the promised land, Wales and Welsh Government can’t help itself being the star location for anyone who has an idea they can make attractive to the weak as piss governance we have.

I digress. As with the modulation brought in by Alun Davies, I fully expect that the latest consultation will be challenged through judicial review in the same way that Ffermwyr yr Ucheldir pulled together to quash the last decision on reduction in direct payments to upland farms. It will happen again.

Another interesting block may come from left field from an old blog favourite, Sophie Howe. She has already stepped into the M4 black route debate. The use of the Welsh Government’s own Well Being of Future Generations Act as a test against the current Brexit and Our Land consultation and how it will affect future generations in rural Wales may just be the Trojan horse to kill off policies that clearly support cultural cleansing, the very topic of this post.

Snazzy slogans and postcards from the farming unions is all well and good, but it appears that when legal challenge is put forward at times like this, the quality of policy development and advice to Ministers is put to the test. Where the vociferous small band of ‘land managers’ will emerge from now to take this forward I don’t know, but what I do know is that a second beating will their own legislative stick would be a well warranted and total embarrassment.

18/10/2018 09:12
Reply to  Anon

S2S is financed by a tax avoidance donation from Tetra Pak (see above). This packaging is damaging to the environment and not economically recyclable. The Welsh Government has already legislated against polythene carrier bags, now it’s time to legislate against Tetra Pak. I suggest 15p tax per carton at point of sale.

Subsidise farming and you get cheap food.
Subsidise rewilding and you get hobby settlers with damaged landscape.

There is only one effective land management scheme that has proven to increase diversity of flora and fauna. I was part of it. In primary school, myself and Anwen my friend at the time, failed ‘English’. It was before dyslexia being discovered. As consolation we had to collect acorns and grow seedlings. These were planted out as part of the ‘Plant a Tree in ‘73. We got headed notepaper with that logo and some crayons for our efforts. Those trees grew into massive oaks teaming with wildlife, although I understand that now NRW and the wildlife trust wish to chop them down for tourist facilities.

Would Neil McEvoy like to drive the tractor through Cardiff with our stumps and dump them in Hannah Blythyn’s office? image
When does the felling start?

Real enhancement of the natural environment MUST engage the native population as previous at Cwm Dare, Nant Crafnant, Prembre, Llanhilleth. We now need a similar initiative to reclaim more former industrial sites, not hand existing habitats to wealthy good lifers from England. It costs noting to teach children to plant acorns in old coke tins, nature does the rest.

20/10/2018 22:58
Reply to  Jac

Natalie Buttriss, the Woodland Trust Director of Wales confirmed on BBC Radio 4 ‘Farming Today’ that the £3.4million seed investment was from Tetra Pak. This company has a virtual monopoly in ‘fluid carton packaging’ as shown in the video.

Tetra Pak was at the centre of the Parmalat fiasco. This was the Italian ‘UHT milk and juice’ production and distribution empire, which collapsed in 2003 after it used fraudulent accounting for well over a decade to hide its true financial position.

Arcadia (the charity arm of Tetra Pak) was set up to recover the ‘corporate image’ shortly afterwards. It chose the ‘environmental’ cause because there is a clear and evidenced environmental damage caused by the core product. There is huge difficulty in recycling a bonded polyethelene, cardboard and aluminium composite material. The idea that the Woodland Trust is using this cash to run around farms in mid Wales dishing out ‘advise’ is laughable.

There has, however, been a technology jump in UHT milk production. Previously this was only possible at massive centralised plants. Tetra Pak now provide ‘farm based machines’ which allow raw milk to be fed in one end and packs of sterile milk comes out the other. Tetra Pak have the intellectual property rights on this technology and to get a machine you have to rent it off them, whilst the farmer gets an up-front cash sum as a tied-in franchisee. You obviously have buy Tetra Pak packaging to run the machine. This is their business USP and S2S is the greenwash that comes with it.

Nothing to do with Cambrian forests and Cardigan Bay shrimps. More like an environmentally damaging packaging company getting guaranteed revenue stream and side-stepping proposed legislation against difficult to recycle bonded material.

17/10/2018 22:52

You’re either very eccentric or slightly insane, mrorigami, but you are a true Welshman and have the interests of Wales at heart. Keep taking the alcohol.

17/10/2018 20:41

We really up shit creek now, bois!

There’s a saying in America

“It doesn’t matter who you vote for… the government still gets in!”

Plaid Cymru will never be in a position to dismantle this system. I’m not sure what the solution is to be honest.

17/10/2018 14:14
17/10/2018 12:42

When Natalie Buttriss of the Woodland Trust says she’s going to spend £3.4million of that huge swathe of the Cambrian mountains and the Irish Sea for “rewilding”. What does she mean by “rewilding”?

So far the Woodland Trust has only been introducing alien invasive species, konick horses and English settlers.

The area in question has had a number of different periods of ‘wild’
They are here..

Palaeolithic. (Colder than now)
A tundra based flora creeping in after the last interstitial ice age, with birch and pine woodland in the valleys. The fauna being deer, ancient cow, wild boar and settlements on the coastal margin of homo sapiens whose middens in sea caves suggests a life eating shellfish, cow, sheep, deer and wild pig. Lower sea levels.

Neolithic. (Warmer than now)
A warmer more lush landscape with the creeping in of deciduous Oak, Ash, Hazel, woodland in the valleys, with open grassland on the hill grazed by wild goat and deer. The first development of upland blanket bogs, the valleys having temperate rainforest. Much larger settlements of homo sapiens, who start livestock farming. Higher sea levels.

Bronze and Iron Age. (same temperature as now).
The start of more sophistated farming and the introduction of sea trade with the Iberian peninsular from where domestic horses were introduced. Cultural evidence of ancient Celtic language. Development of mining for tin, copper, gold silver, lead and iron. Introduction of domestic sheep from Galicia. Massive expansion of the upland bog with increased rainfall and settlement of sea levels to current status (raised beaches and drowned forest).

Modern Era.
This led to the Brythonic era, rudely interrupted by a short Roman occupation, which introduced slavery and sycamore. However, it wasn’t until the introduction of the Norman system in medieval times we see the introduction of agricultural enclosure, the extermination predator species like wolf, and the establishment of landed estates.

So which – ‘rewilding’ system do they wish to embark upon?

In reality it’s just a bunch of middle class people from England who wish to create a kind of Capability Brown landscape with yurts which they saw drawings of as a child in ladybird books. It is not based on science, history and archaeology. At what point do they want the Welsh people (currently resident) to ‘black-up’ so as to be further ignored in their anglo-centric masterplan, and will there be ‘reservations’ for Welsh people to live in?

16/10/2018 17:03

Am I being over the top in suggesting that, in terms of potential removal of people, the Summit to Sea agenda for Ceredigion is just a more subtle version of Tryweryn? “You can stay if you want, stick to real farming, and face ruin when the subsidies get reduced, or you can sell to us and then leave”.

Wonder what Elin Jones and Ben Lake think of Phase 1 being implemented in their constituencies. Have they stated their positions? Not that it matters, since presumably Defra have the final say.

And yes, the word “remote” shows clearly that the Endangered Landscapes Programme plans for Wales are premised on an anglo-centric position.

17/10/2018 13:29
Reply to  Wrexhamian

The £3.4million for the ‘summit to sea’ project was donated by Tetra Pack. For those not familiar with Tetra Pack. They make food cartons for Soya milk, UHT milk, custard and fruit juices, etc. This packaging cannot be recycled in Wales, only in India where child orphans are used. The packs themselves are made from three layers, cardboard, aluminium foil and polyethylene.
Machynlleth 2020.

Nat who runs the project is a vegan. Vegans argue that getting milk from cows in Wales where grass grows all year round is bad for the environment, and makes global warming. They think that it’s more environmentally friendly to cut down vast swathes of the Amazon rain forest to grow Soya bean. These beans are then mashed up to produce protein enriched fluid, which is then shipped to Mexico for sterilisation, put into tetra packs in Florida (who’s main business is orange juice) and then shipped in containers across the Atlantic to Immingham for Waitrose to be sold as fake milk.

16/10/2018 12:33

Somehow this report of Jac’s seems to have echoes in today’s article on Nation.[Plaid]Cymru by Ifan Morgan Jones: no population centres featured, and no farms, just areas for outdoors types to spend their holiday, and somewhere for them to retire to eventually. But lots of woodland for them to admire. I suspect Natalie Buttress would approve of that image.

Two questions:
1/ How ‘voluntary’ is this voluntary scheme? Can Welsh farmers say “Dim diolch, Natalie”? Since there will be no offer of financial support, there is no incentive for them to indulge her. They’re going to be hard up either way, now that EU subsidies are not being replaced in full by Westminster subsidies.
2/ Has such a project been mooted by Defra for English agriculture?

Anda Notherthing
Anda Notherthing
16/10/2018 12:05

Your opening paragraph is contradictory.
If it were not for Brexit then EU rules would apply and the parasites wouldn’t have their new playground.

16/10/2018 12:22

No contradiction anywhere. Parasites and sundry opportunists have been active within the framework of EU regs and soon will be all pumped up to operate within UK regs. One thing for sure UK regs as written by cream of Whitehall ( !) will do nothing to prevent deviants driving the proverbial horse and cart through and/or around them. Sadly the supine flaky buggers down the Bay will be no use either.

Eos Pengwern
Eos Pengwern
16/10/2018 10:26

For anyone who has read Islwyn Ffowc Elis’s ‘Wythnos yng Nghymru Fydd’ (‘A Week in the Wales of Future’) (I’m currently preparing the authorised English translation of it but it won’t be available till next year sometime), Jac’s vision is very much like Ifan Powell’s second trip into the 2030s – the one where (unlike his first trip), Wales failed to gain independence and its entire population has been rounded up into the cities along the South coast – “for convenience and efficiency” – while the rest of the country is a combination of intensive forestry reserve, military training ground and holiday resort.

As usual, Jac has put his finger on precisely who the culprits are in this blatant colonisation, and its something that we all – Ein Gwlad in particular – need to be calling out.

16/10/2018 19:18
Reply to  Eos Pengwern

Must read that book again, now you’ve reminded me of it. A quick search and here’s my copy, the title page is stamped “Rhondda-Cynon-Taff County Borough Libraries : DISCARDED/DIFETHWYD”, which perhaps says something?
Anyway, first published in 1957, IIRC, our hero a contemporary Welshman meets a mad scientist with a time machine who transports him to a utopian Free Wales of the future, where he falls in love, both with the place and with a girl. As a result on his return to the present he demands to be sent back, despite being warned that the future is uncertain. He insists only to find himself in a horrid dystopia of Western England. Scanning through the pages this jumped out at me from that section. “‘ Any person found within this forest without an official Government Permit is liable to a fine of not less than £100 or six months imprisonment or both'” (p227). So croeso i’r dyfodol?

16/10/2018 09:54

Nothing wrong with a bit of woodland. It’s a long term project normally and should be owned by communities not a bunch of sharpsuited shysters or greenfleeced bullshitters maxing out on special grants and other handouts be they EU or UK sourced.

On a broader point thanks for revisiting this subject. Despite the persistent image of farmers living well on EU handouts the grim truth is a lot less exciting. For a long time many farmers have been on the edge doing O.K for a while then a currency shift or change of policy tips them back into borderline areas. Not much sense in working your balls off for 70 hours a week to return an income of about 1000 a month. For 2000 a month a townie would find it hard to get out of bed to do those hours. It’s also a business that involves long lines of credit and serious capital borrowing if you buy the kit that enables reasonable efficiency. All in all a bit of a struggle.

However much of Welsh farming has a deep cultural root. Unlike accountants or lawyers who can flit about in and out of adjacent professions farmers tend to stay with it. Family farms get passed down despite the funding problems. Even switching within, from say dairy to meat, is not something done at short notice.

So at a time of great uncertainty and instability we now get further scheming from our government and a host of “interested parties” who have their own toxic agendas to deploy. Often, as you say, these masquerade as doing good. Do good ? do they fuck ! They end up imposing changes and silly rules which are hostile to any original residents that may survive the initial changes and invite all sorts of outside interests and activities that pay no regard to the different kind of pollution they introduce.

The end game will be a massive playground cum nature reserve ( pay at the gate ) with locals employed on seasonal or variable hours contracts living in rented cottages owned by their corporate masters. Oh yes, even those so-called charities and 3rd sector operators that will inevitably be involved are corporates as they have very well paid senior managers laughing their cocks off at the sheer pliability of this country’s government and the stupiditiy of its electorate in voting such bastards back in at every election.

16/10/2018 10:08
Reply to  Dafis

I deduce from your observations Dafis that you will not be voting Labour at the next election, along with a growing number of others I hope. Very interesting post Jac; your analysis spot on again.

16/10/2018 11:56
Reply to  Wynne

Can’t recall ever voting for them though there were individuals decades ago who could have got my support had they been standing in my patch. On balance there have always been more George Thomas’ than good guys.

As for retirement destination I include that in the “playground” category although “nature reserve” might be more appropriate as natives will be employed on the cheap to keep these fuckers alive !