Wales and Coronavirus 2


I know I often start with an apology (I have a lot to apologise for), and this time is no exception. I’d toyed with the idea of writing about other subjects, but there really isn’t much point.

So I’m offering a second helping of Wales and Coronavirus, with perhaps an entertaining digression or twa.


Politicians have been under the spotlight in this crisis, which will return to haunt some of them. For many politicos are being exposed as liars, others as incompetents, while the worst of them are both, and more.

Let’s take the case of the testing kits that the ‘Welsh Government’ insists it ordered from Roche, an order that it’s alleged was cancelled by the Swiss pharma giant when the UK government got involved and put in a bigger order.

A few things strike me as odd about this incident. First, the ‘Welsh Government’ has produced no evidence of an order being placed, let alone accepted. Second, after an initial flurry of outrage London’s local management team seems to have fallen into line, leaving Drakewell looking increasingly like a compliant ‘regional leader’ in a totalitarian state.

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But let’s be generous, and assume that even if the order wasn’t actually placed, that negotiations were at least underway. That being so, was Whitehall tipped off about the ‘Welsh Government’ – for once! – looking up to the job, even upstaging BoJo’s gang?

This might explain why the deal between the ‘Welsh Government’ and Roche fell through. But if so, who tipped off Whitehall?

My money would be on civil servants, more specifically, senior civil servants of the type appointed by London and answering to their masters in the Great Wen. And when they’re not carrying clecks they’re implementing orders from London, often dressed up as ‘Welsh legislation’.

But even before the Roche incident, we now know that an offer was made in early March to carry out testing, but the offer has been ignored, according to Professor Andrew Godkin of the School of Medicine in Cardiff.

The BBC reported:

‘Prof Godkin, who leads the School of Medicine, said Wales has significant laboratory capacity to help ramp up the numbers of Covid-19 tests.

“It’s been deeply frustrating. We flagged up what was available about three weeks ago,” he said.

“We certainly have the capacity here and in Cardiff University to really offer… a considerable number of tests.”‘

Why hasn’t this offer, from an institution within miles of Corruption Bay, been taken up?

Whatever the truth about the testing kits from Roche, the ‘Welsh Government’ has clearly surrendered control to Downing Street. With the result that when it comes to testing kits, personal protection equipment (PPE), Wales will get whatever London decides.

And so, here we are, a month or more into this crisis, and front line staff in our health service are still waiting for tests and PPE. The conclusion I draw is that the ‘Welsh Government’ has chosen not to act contrary to London diktats, even when to do so would be best for Wales.

Which makes devolution rather pointless.

Though of course, it could all be a cunning plan worthy of Baldrick. For ‘Welsh’ Labour likes nothing more than to blame somebody else for anything that goes wrong. By surrendering control over the fight against coronavirus to London Cardiff Bay might be seen as getting itself off the hook.


While it wasn’t as bad as the previous weekend there was still a sizeable influx of selfish idiots who just don’t care about risking other people’s lives. Liz Saville Roberts MP even reported that second home owners were sharing information on how to avoid police checks, like it was some game.

As that tweet from LSR suggests, the police seem to have been more proactive this weekend, stopping people and asking them where they were going, and why.

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The evidence popped up regularly on Twitter, with reports of vehicles also being stopped on Dyfi Bridge at Machynlleth (a boundary between GogPlod and Dyfed Powys), and also around Bala.

But this tweet put out on Friday evening by a councillor on Ynys Môn would suggest that nothing was being done on the bridges linking the island with the mainland.

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Perhaps his cri de coeur was answered, for the following day police were out, but getting in their way was the new MP for the island, Virginia Crosbie. For as we know, Tory politicians can’t resist a photo opp with police. (Though of course there are 20,000 fewer cops since 2010.)

Though you have admire her brass neck. To begin with, Conservatives love holiday homes, most Tory MPs have at least one. And I guarantee that Crosbie garnered quite a few votes from holiday home-owning families that live in safe Tory seats, and could afford to vote from their holiday homes in a marginal constituency like Ynys Môn.

Though the ultimate hypocrisy was her claim that it’s all being done to help the NHS. The health service would be coping a hell of a lot better with this pandemic if her party had put more money in over recent years.

If those clowns in London she regards as the government could just arrange for front-line health staff to be tested, and to have PPE, she’d look less like a politician exploiting global misery to promote herself.

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Though maybe I’m being a bit harsh, for we mustn’t use coronavirus to score political points, must we? Though if that’s the case, then someone should have told ‘Barry’ Lee Waters, Sosban’s AM.

Plaid Cymru put out a statement over the weekend urging people to stay at home, and when it was retweeted by ITV Wales’ Welsh political editor, Adrian Masters, Waters jumped in with both feet to infer that Plaid was being anti-English.

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Obviously the boy hadn’t read the full statement that Adrian Masters had so helpfully retweeted. (Quelle twat! as we used to say in Swansea.) Though Barry’s contribution reminds us of another political party that has problems with holiday homes. His own.

Which is strange, for we should expect any socialist or social democratic party to be opposed to holiday homes on a number of grounds, but not ‘Welsh’ Labour, which has tied itself up in all sorts of knots.

Lee Waters often gets confused over health matters. Here’s a pic from a couple of years ago, showing him with the Llanelli MP, Nia Griffith, protesting against hospital closures introduced by their own ‘Welsh Labour Government’ in Cardiff. No wonder they both look so sheepish. Click to enlarge

Mainly because from a ‘Welsh’ Labour perspective holiday homes is a ‘nashie’ issue, the kind of thing that people like me are supposed to get vexed about. Which is true, up to a point, I suppose, but it’s hardly an obsession with me, as you’ll realise from searching this blog.

But because that’s how Labour in Wales frames it, doing anything to discourage the growth in the number of holiday homes is seen as a concession to political opponents.

The collateral damage of hard-working local people priced out of the property market, and the destruction of Welsh communities and even Welsh identity, is acceptable because by and large the areas worst affected don’t vote Labour.

Which in practical terms, results in ‘Welsh’ Labour being as indulgent towards holiday homes as the Conservative and Unionist Party.

While Plaid Cymru’s request was for no one to travel unnecessarily, Visit Wales still has trouble telling tourists and holiday home owners to stay out, as this tweet put out on Saturday makes clear. They can’t quite bring themselves to say, ‘Don’t travel INTO Wales’.

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We’ve had two weekends of ignored lockdown and now we face Easter weekend, for which I’m sure the police are preparing. Though I would suggest that rather than random checks all over the country, or responding to tweets such as that from Councillor Carwyn Jones, checks on the border would be more effective.

Wales is a small country with a limited number of decent, cross-border roads, maybe a dozen in all. You’ll see that I’ve made three additions to the motorway and trunk road map reproduced below. All three cross the border into Powys, with the A44 being the only road into Aberystwyth from the east, the A489 links with the A470 heading north towards Snowdonia, and the A438 runs down to the Beacons.

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Just having a police presence from Friday morning on these roads where they cross the border would have an effect. Pulling over motor homes and towed caravans would obviously make sense, as would stopping anyone who looks a bit ‘touristy’.

And if such a tactic proves successful then we could make it permanent!


We’ve all heard reports of coronavirus being used to bump up prices by shysters like Mike Ashley of Sports Direct, but it’s not just the usual suspects, as I found out last week.

I was looking for a new scanner/printer and after deciding on the model I wanted I went online to compare prices. To my surprise – as I’ve never bought from them before – John Lewis Partnership offered the best deal. So I ordered my machine, an Epson ET-7750 at £549.

I then had an e-mail telling me that the order was being processed. Before, bizarrely, receiving another e-mail saying that my contact details had been changed. Not by me they hadn’t! This was followed by, ‘We are unable to process your order’, and then a cancellation.

Read by numbers. Click to enlarge

Curious, I went to the John Lewis website. The machine I’d ordered was still there of course – but the asking price had gone up by £50 since I’d placed my order!

Obviously I had to find another supplier. I went to one I’d never heard of before, Box.

I paid just over £10 more than I’d originally paid John Lewis, but at least there was no nonsense about ‘changed details’, and it even arrived on Saturday, not on Monday as I’d expected.

But being the curious bugger I am, after placing my order I went back to the Box website – and saw that the price had increased by £30 in less than 24 hours!

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It seems obvious to me that with so many stores closed online retailers feel they can charge whatever they like. So if you’re shopping online – be careful!


In a number of ways it seems that the UK government is using the coronavirus crisis to override devolved administrations and possibly undermine devolution. How far this will go remains to be seen.

For coronavirus is now up there with World War II, the monarchy, World Cup 1966, the Falklands, the death of Diana, Only Fools and Horses, and the 2012 Olympics, as a ‘shared experience’. Something that we are expected to believe transcends national and regional differences, and makes distinctions of class, religion and of course, politics irrelevant.

Coronavirus will be milked for all it’s worth, and of course it explains why Her Maj made an address to the Commonwealth on Sunday. (You missed it!)

The problem is of course, that we aren’t ‘all in it together’.

Let us visualise a member of the Cheshire Set, with private health care, and let’s call him Dominic. Let’s further assume that he drives down in his Merc to spend a weekend in his holiday home, and while in Wales he infects old Mrs Roberts with Covid-19 then fucks off back to his big house in Wilmslow before Mrs Roberts dies.

Yeah, I suppose that could be a shared experience; cos Dom must have had coronavirus for him to infect Mrs Roberts. Stands to reason.

And just as Hitler had Versailles, those arseholes in London feel they too must have someone to blame, or a distraction. But with so much Chinese money sloshing about in London they can’t imitate their orange friend in Washington and call it the ‘Chinese Virus’ . . . so they pick on footballers!

Matt Hancock, the uninspiring Health Secretary in the UK government, has demanded that footballers give up a chunk of their earnings in the fight against coronavirus. Specifically, for hospices.

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Perhaps a case could be made for paying these players less because football, like all other sports, has been suspended until the crisis has passed. But if the issue is money, then a few hundred footballers taking a pay cut isn’t going to make much difference. And how would the money be collected? Or even assessed? If their clubs pay them less is Hancock planning to ask Liverpool and Manchester City and Arsenal for whatever they’re not paying Salah, de Bruyne, Lacazette and the rest?

But if money is the issue, then a hell of a lot more could be raised from the Tories’ tax-avoiding friends, with their tax haven companies, as Gary Lineker has suggested. (There’s no, ‘if they possibly can’ about it, Gary. They definitely can!)

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Staying with the beautiful game, why am I and millions of others still having to pay Sky, BT, Premier Sports and Amazon Prime for football that’s not being played? Will Hancock talk to Rupert Murdoch and others to get our subscriptions suspended until football resumes? Will he hell!

But it’s not a question of money. No amount of money collected now can make much difference in the fight against coronavirus. The problems in the NHS are structural and of long standing. The money should have been invested years ago, over the last few decades in fact.

Which makes having a pop at footballers a cheap publicity stunt from a cheap politician.

Another ‘national treasure’ recruited in the fight against coronavirus and for British unity is Florence Nightingale. The new emergency hospitals in England have been named after her, and of course the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, home to the Welsh Rugby Union, has followed NHS England’s lead.

But in Glasgow the emergency hospital was named after Louisa Jordan, a WW1 nurse from Maryhill, who died working in Serbia. She is still fondly remembered by the Serbs. (Serbia suffered more casualties per capita than any other country.)

This decision has outraged those who wear Union Jack underpants beneath their kilts and support a certain football club. One such was former Labour MP Douglas Alexander, who detected ‘small-minded nationalism’ at work.

To believe Douglas Alexander, naming a hospital in Glasgow after a woman from that city who lost her life helping others is wrong, but to name it after a woman who did a great job of self-promotion in one of Britain’s countless 19th century colonialist adventures, but who has no connections with Scotland, is the right thing to do.

Here, as with Barry Lee Waters, we see the BritNat mind at work. Scottish or Welsh nationalism (bad) is detected in the most harmless gesture, but it would be blind to British nationalism (good) if London sent in the tanks and started arresting people.


Coronavirus is having strange effects. In this posting I’ve found myself defending Plaid Cymru and agreeing with Gary Lineker.

Regular readers will know that I am no friend to Plaid Cymru; but what is not so well known is that I was no fan of Lineker the footballer, I think he ruins Match of the Day with the faux mateyness, and I detest even more his liberal pontificating on social media.

But there you go, these are not normal times. And the worst is yet to come, in terms of deaths, and in disruption to what were our everyday lives.

Political leadership in both London and Cardiff has failed us. The economy is already severely damaged, house prices will collapse, savings and investments will suffer, and by this time next year our lives could be framed by very different political and economic paradigms.

There is no going back to things as they were pre Covid-19. That system has been found wanting. Once the worst of coronavirus is behind us Wales must have a fresh start. And that can only mean independence.

♦ end ♦




85 thoughts on “Wales and Coronavirus 2

  1. Brychan

    UPDATE to my comment relating to holiday homes. This is confirmed by PHW data shown in the animated bars of deaths with Covid-19 depicted here.

    Notice that deaths accumulate in all local authority areas of Wales as the infection spreads.

    There is only one bar, “unknown”, which both increases and decreases.
    Body claimed by kin outside of Wales.

    Based on the assumption that once a person has died they cannot come back to life, and that persons native to Wales are always from a local authority area upon admission to hospital or licensed care home, or registered with a Welsh GP. These ‘unknown’ persons are from elsewhere and have died in Wales.

    It is unlikely that all these 91 deaths are undocumented homeless asylum seekers.

    It means that these deaths are a record of ‘coronaflighters’ are pre-infected individuals that have fled to Wales to a holiday home (granny distance dumping) and have since succumbed to the infection within Wales.

    1. Brychan

      Not on the BBC – Spotted 20/04/2020, 0620hrs

      Human trials of Covid-19 vaccine to begin in England. Work on the vaccine, developed by clinical teams at the University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group, began in January. It is called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and is made from a weakened version of a common cold virus (adenovirus) from chimpanzees that has been genetically changed so it is impossible for it to grow in humans. This has been combined with genes that make proteins from the Covid-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2) called spike glycoprotein, which play an essential role in the infection pathway of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Some 187 of the study participants are to be recruited in Southampton.

      It is mentioned, obliquely on the BBC, but for some reason there is no mention of the human trials, which may be due to the locality of and the clinical selection process. It was planned to have 510 healthy volunteers between 18 and 55 is to get under way, which would involve a ‘blind control group’, those that would obviously not be inoculated.

      Unfortunately, the link to ‘volunteer’ in the trial no longer works. This may be a technical issue, or a UK government intervention to prevent it taking place, possibly in favour of a trial elsewhere. There is an ethical question – It is possible for an English person unknowingly not being inoculated as part of the control group and may die through infection.

  2. In the last day of “Isolation” the day before “Lockdown” a Mumbles Swansea Labour Community Councillor, who amazingly works as a Lecturer in the local University School of Medicine, put out a TWEET advising people to come from the English cities to come to Swansea and Gower to escape the virus. I thought this was stupid and extremely reckless. So I contacted Swansea’s leading Lib Dem & the leading Plaid Cymru person and the leading Independent and leading Conservative in Swansea, asking them to protest. Did they? No, it is seems they are all political dead drift wood in Swansea. So I contacted Swansea’s Labour Leader he replied promptly and politely to say the offending TWEET had been deleted, but he said it was not a resignation issue for the offending Councillor. It had to wait for Lord Davies of Gower to get involved some days later for this issue to get into the local newspaper. Well done Lord Davies and shame on all the other political Leaders in Swansea. They are all drifting dead wood. Let’s hope Swansea can find someone of the calibre of Neil McEvoy to wake up politics in Swansea before future elections.

  3. Being in Virus Lockdown means many things to many people. A few people will suffer from boredom. Might I make a serious positive suggestion to those few bored people. If you live in Wales, and if you do not speak Welsh, then search the Internet for an intensive course of lessons in spoken Welsh.

  4. Brychan

    Jac, why are you using the phrase ‘second home’, the phase so favoured by the trendy left, instead of the more specific definition of ‘holiday home’?

    The reason I ask this question is because there are probably tens of thousands of Welsh people (including a significant portion of the population of Y Fro Gymraeg) who have second homes in England – for purpose of work. One, or more of a native household. Good, well paid jobs don’t exist in much of Wales, hence the ‘working away’ definition. This applies especially to those current classed as ‘key workers’ who are currently on lockdown in England and, if strengthened’ unable to see and return to their families in Wales. This will be a form of ethnic cleansing, of Welsh people from Wales. All in the name of the ‘national emergency of the British state’.

    It’s not a new issue.

    The pro-treaty negotiation between Michael Collins and Lloyd George resulted in the passport settlement. English landowners in Ireland could still maintain their British citizenship from within the Free State, while Irish people working in Britain could obtain their Irish passport, and freely repatriate. This arrangement was because Collins realised that the most literate, educated and most economically able Irish (at the time) were effectively the workhorses of England. Everything from navvies to medics, an essential retinue to build an independent country. It was a bone of contention for anti-treaty because it also meant English landowners in Ireland continued to own their estates.

    We need to be specific.
    It’s holiday homes.

    Those properties registered, as a business premises to avoid council tax premium are exactly that, a business premises. A closure order needs to be made on such a property. The rent of accommodation for reasons of tourism (Airbnb) should be banned in the same way as the purveyance of hotels or tourist attractions currently under a closure order. It should be an offence to procure such a transaction unless the proposed occupier is defined as ‘key worker’.

    I would not like to see a strengthening of lockdown to become a form of ethnic cleansing of Welsh people from Wales (primary residence) a choice between employ and county. It’s what Welsh Labour would want, keep them poor. Any strengthening of lockdown must be targeted and specific. An important point is also that we impose the restriction not because you’re English but because of what you come to Wales to do. Also, I do not want those Welsh people currently working in ‘key sectors’ in England, effectively evicted from their homes in Wales.

    1. For me, the terms ‘holiday home’ and second home’ are interchangeable. But I suppose there will be some who have a third or even a fourth home. Maybe we need to come up with a new term for such properties in Wales?

      1. Dafis

        “Available for re-deployment” homes ? “Ownership change pending” ? “Houses of limited or infrequent occupancy”.

        1. Brychan

          Re-deployment, but to whom?

          UK Government priority – The Coronagee Brits from Spain (quick NHS registration), the armed service personnel to isolate (barrack estate already sold off), the asylum seekers who are still arriving by boatload (fleeing French oppression).

          Welsh Government priority – The homeless from Bristol and London (need prescribed drugs), the freed prisoners (burglars, rapists, and paedos), the displaced unemployed or precarious employed (gentrification of Cardiff) and the students of eco-warrior (those who don fleece jackets).

          1. Dafis

            multiple hordes escaping the desolation of points east heading for the West Coasts of Wales !. not a very nice set of images, nightmarish apocalyptic visions without any assistance from exotic substances. Prepare to repel.

  5. Wynne

    A few observations on Personal Protective Equipment [PPE]. The statistics by government quoting millions of items of PPE dispatched to the front line is meaningless as I assume one pair of gloves would be counted as one item of PPE. The important information surely is, how many items of PPE is required per person per day by those working in care homes, normal hospital wards and intensive care units. The amount of PPE differs depending on the tasks involved. The total number working is health and social care is known. Not a difficult calculation I would have thought. Who was it that said, “there are lies damn lies and statistics”.

    1. My wife works as a home carer. She had her visor delivered a few days ago and she’s just had a delivery of 15 face masks. As she said, ‘I’ll use 4 in a morning’. I don’t blame Cyngor Gwynedd, I’m sure they’re doing their best. The problem lies further along the supply chain and the chain of command.

      1. Dafis

        It makes one wonder what the hell some of these bureaucrats have been doing for years. Any procurement wonk with an ounce of savvy would have obtained data to show utilisation rates under “normal” circumstances and maybe a few extra columns on the old spreadsheet
        ( and they love those don’t they !) to predict demand in various exceptional situations. Each NHS authority, local government authority and private care home group would then have been armed with forecasts maybe not 100% accurate but a damned sight better than the “pants down” situation we’ve had of late. It looks like no fucker took responsibility at any level, that’s why we’re running in huge arrears on PPE and stuff like test kits are just not going to appear at anything like old Hancock’s figures until the whole show is over. Then they’ll be paying for redundant stocks ( of test and meds) because the stuff won’t keep for long and have PPE coming out of their orifices when the peak demand will be long gone.

        Billions invested in I.T and “professional” management, big salaries paid, and most of them can’t tell their arse from a hole in the ground. Crisis like this shows up so many of these educated chumps as the dimwits they really are.

          1. Dafis

            A “profession” that has multiplied horrifically over recent decades. Indeed, until Covid -19 probably the worst pestilence to inhabit our lives. Charging top dollar for producing material with a high %age of bullshit content. Cross breed a consultant with a politician and you get – not a lot, just hot air and a nasty smell !

            1. Dafis

              …. and if you ever doubted politicians’ capacity for plumbing new depths try this one :

     workers angered ……..

              This slimy little twat is now deflecting attention away from his outfit’s inability to organise the proverbial piss up by insinuating that workers might waste scarce kit. Doesn’t the silly cnut see the obvious – that these people are at risk of doing their jobs without any PPE if he and his flunkies don’t get those supply chains buzzing.

        1. Stan

          That’s hitting the nail bang on its head, Dafis. “No fucker took responsibility at any level”. Gething and Hancock will take a lot of flak and may not survive the inquest, fair enough, but there are multiple managerial and professional levels below these who you really wonder if they could run a fucking chimps tea party. Surely it’s not beyond the wit of man to predict PPE demand for an extremely infectious disease and plan accordingly? How many of these well paid experts/technocrats have sat in working groups year after year, war gaming a scenario like this? I can accept that worldwide demand for things like PPE has caught most countries with their pants down, but FFS, they landed a man on the moon over 50 years ago! And now we can’t even kit out our frontline nursing and caring staff with sufficient basic bloody masks and aprons etc.

  6. Vlad the Inhaler

    Quite funny to see Jac whining about people profiteering during a crisis. It’s called supply and demand – and it’s the policy promoted by those right wing Brexit loving groups that Jac so adores.

    1. Do you really not understand what’s at stake here? It’s about staying alive. Let me personalise it with a tweet I put out earlier.

      ‘If there’s just one available ventilator and it’s a toss-up between a 45-year-old second home owner and me (a few years older) then he’d get it.
      I would then die because the last available ventilator in a Welsh hospital went to somebody who shouldn’t even have been here!’

      But you, and others like you, continue to make cheap political points. Like those I mentioned in another tweet who defend the irresponsibility of tourists and second home owners coming to Wales because to oppose and expose them is somehow nationalistic! Which is absolute nonsense, as this article from WalesOnline makes clear. The guy doing the shouting is almost certainly an English resident of Penmachno shouting at English people staying in an Airbnb property in the village.

      And listen to the nonsense spouted by the woman who owns the house – but lives in France. We are asked to believe that hers was a charitable act, giving her property up to homeless people. People from Oxford who could find accommodation nowhere closer than Penmachno!

        1. There are attitudes being exposed now that are very twisted, defending the right to travel to Wales as part of some wider crusade against ‘Welsh nationalism’. And yet, so often, opposition to ‘Welsh nationalism’ is nothing but crude anti-Welshness.

  7. Dafis

    ….and this is an example of the extreme form of industrial livestock farming that makes people in adjacent communities vulnerable to the Monbiots and other cranks wandering around the place especially in Powys.

    Inhaling the stench of chicken shit 24/7 makes for a major obstacle when trying to persuade locals that farming can be done differently. Sadly we have greedy bastards among our own people who literally don’t give a shit about anything other than securing higher volume of output.

    1. Yes, you have a point, but as we both know, the politicians introducing this legislation aren’t influenced by those protesting about chickens in Powys. And I’d have more sympathy if those protesting weren’t all retirees. If it wasn’t chickens it would be something else they were moaning about. The issue is much wider than chickens and covers livestock farming of any kind. And it links in with OPD, ‘rewilding’, and other wheezes to free up Welsh farming land for other uses.

      1. Dafis

        Two extremes acting against the interests of the significant but relatively silent community in the middle. That community is made up of family farms and other people who have made their lives in our countryside and form an integral part of it in harmony with its agriculture.

        The extremists are “transplants” from cities and towns who don’t like smells and wish to impose their sanitised version on their new environment, while the other cranks just want to clear everybody out, concentrate populations into a series of key communities and eliminate farming from the landscape, although no doubt some form of industrialised food production will be necessary again likely to be in clusters away from urban settlements.

        The danger is that these 2 extremes will make common cause to destroy our farming and only after the event will the “easily offended” realise that the Monbitics &co have a much deeper agenda.

      2. Brychan

        The low value poultry meat is obviously destined for KFC. It should also be noted that the hen shit is otherwise known as ericaceous compost, the stuff for roses, is put in plastic bags, and sold in garden centres throughout England. The grain feed used in these units are surplus or below grade crop from the ‘grain belt’ of central England which receives the highest UK agricultural subsidy per tonne.

        That report in the Guardian is nor accurate.

        Whilst there are a high cluster of IPUs in Powys, there are similar clusters in Herefordshire and Shropshire.


        The difference being is that Powys is plagued with English retirees seeking a country idyll. A solution is to return the agricultural subsidy from where it’s not needed (grain) and repatriate it to livestock husbandry most suited to the landscape (sheep and cows). This would also allow for the natives of Powys to stay in their communities and rid our landscape of those riven faced back yarders who like the views but not the smells.

        1. Dafis

          My point quite simply is that large scale, industrial stock rearing makes it a lot easier for the loony extremists to advance the case against farming and push daft ideas like rewilding. If there is ever a case for rewilding it should be done as an adjunct to family farms and within communities with their active consent and participation not dictated from above by some green high priest.

          As for these retirees seeking to protect their idyll well bully for them if it’s a mega bird ranch that is in prospect. If they object to old farmer Jones running a dairy herd and spraying shit on his fields occasionally then they might be better off buggering off back to suburbia. It’s all about scale and perspective, some people have it others just never will.

          1. Jonesy

            Instead of moaning why are welsh dairy farmers not lobbying for the establishment of local milk factories as we had in our localities until the early 90s? All they do is moan, wanting a hand out for this that and the other all the time. They are ruininig our ecosystem and rivers with their slurry.
            Do what their grandfathers and great grandads did set up milk co-ops so we can buy our milk directly cutting out the middle man, transportation to England an the creaming off of profits by English supermarkets and food processors. If we want to have a free Wales we have to feed ourselves FiRST and set up a sustainable, local and safe food supply. The current one is unfit for purpose and unsustainable for all, animal, land and community.It is broken… and no i am not an eco warring vegan from Somerset

            1. Dafis

              All the small (relatively) independent local milk processing units were acquired and systematically culled during 2nd 1/2 of C20th. Reverting to”local” would make sense but would need a change in wider food industry attitudes too. Retail,food service and ingredient sectors are price driven with added value often a marketing gimmick rather than distinct real feature. Nevertheless getting further into that food chain is a key step in reducing vulnerability. You think Welsh government could come up with some initial backing ? They seem to fancy rewilding and leisure uses as the vision for the future of much of rural Wales.

            2. Brychan

              Actually, Jonesy, the landscape and climate of Wales is more suitable for outdoor dairy husbandry than indoor feed lots (the need for slurry lagoons). We need more cow pats than slurry spreads.

              The issue goes deeper.

              There are 9 milk processing plants 11m tonnes per year which represents 80% of all UK milk production. These plants are in central and south west England. This is where almost all output of Welsh farm liquid milk goes to.

              During the Covid-19 lockdown there has been (a) the closure of the counter retail supply chain, hospitality industry, coffee shops etc and (b) a shortage of bottled fresh milk in supermarkets. The reason is a shift in the consumer spend from (a) to (b). The bottleneck (pun) is not with the cows who continue to lactate, or with the customers (who queue for hours for a pinta). It’s in the processing plants. Their production lines cannot cope with the packaging shift in demand.

              This is the consequence of closing smaller milk processing plants (Hendy Gwyn, Llandeilo etc). It makes the supply chain rigid and inflexible, wholly dependent on the supermarkets and their mega processing plants. This is happening in the US as well as in the UK. Not so much in mainland Europe because of there the market is mainly UHT product in supermarkets and smaller specialist processing (butter, cheese and other dairy added value).

              Over the last 20 years the Labour Government in Wales as been the nodding donkeys to the major supermarkets and care nothing for our rural communities. The question arises as to what the next government of Wales is going to do to make Welsh agriculture more resilient and how to establish and keep those processing jobs in Wales.

              I recall a conversation I had at the bar on the Avenue in Göteborg with a young apprentice. The question was “how Volvo survived the global competition from Toyota, Ford and General motors”. The answer was simple: agility to innovate and adapt. Make what people want where others can’t. This I believe is the answer to Welsh agriculture.

              Sorry to go off-topic on this one Jac, but I think it’s an important contribution to your blog. No brain cell of Lesley Griffith AM could process these points but something every farmer in Wales will understand. Wales needs more yoghurt than yurt.

              1. No need to apologise, Brychan. Some of our farmers are their own worst enemies, but even so the forces ranged against them make it un unequal contest.

                In the two decades of devolution the ‘Welsh Government’ could certainly have done more for dairy farmers by encouraging – even funding – the (re-)establishment of our creameries. But as we know, Welsh Labour hates farmers, and with Plaid controlled by a loony left that has no interest in the land that just leaves the Tories, and for all the rhetoric, they, as a Unionist and big business party, will go with the supermarkets.

                Then along came Monbiot and his gang to provide another threat.

                Welsh farmers, and Welsh rural communities in general, need a new political voice. Or rather, a new Welsh political party that stands up for farmers while avoiding the electorally-damaging tag of being the ‘Farmers Party’.

  8. Dafis

    Farming like so many other industries is being affected in a variety of ways by the Covid-19 disruption- not a single type of effect. As aid is being deployed to other industries where the need arises so too it should be available to farmers where their ability to generate income is impeded. Nothing complex about that is there ? However governments at London and Cardiff levels have a history of duplicity in their dealings with the sector. London favours land gentry/big landlords who are really managing assets not working daily with crops and livestock, while the Cardiff mob seem to be hell bent on furthering the clearance ambitions of Monbiotism and all the other cranky lobbies that spout new theories all the time.

  9. David Smith

    Do you think that the real reason for not instituting border checks is because it undermines the whole “The UK is one country, shoulder to shoulder, stand together, Our United Kingdom” shite that gets rammed down our throats? As I’ve commented before, the distribution of population density of this island and thence concentration of outbreak pisses all over the idea of a ‘One Britain’ approach to the problem. Yes, we share an island, but it is geographically and human settlement-wise three different entities, corresponding largely to the countries of England, Scotland and Wales.

    You are bang on the money with their well-worn tenets of shared experience, all of which are nothing but hollow platitudes, meaningless non-issues (Come the day of the Welsh Republic I’ll be damned if I can no longer enjoy Only Fools or Fawlty Towers; however, I’m reliably informed that these classics are enjoyed all over the world by denizens of non-members of this ghastly political union), and at worst cynical, exploitative appeals to emotion (“The War” being top of this list).

    My standard response to the stock invocation of a war that ended 75 years ago in discussion or debate, as though it has some sort of bearing on the question of the future of the British state, is to point out that for parity between those countries constituting a political union and those whose citizens fought together against fascism, we’d need a United Kingdom of Great Britain, Ireland, France, Belgium, the USA, Canada, Australia, India, Pakistan etc, etc.

    As regards you getting stiffed by Johnny Lewis, surely the purchase and subsequent cancellation thereof constitutes a contract that was breached? As for Mike Ashley, well he’s just a cunt isn’t he, no doubt one of these Free Marketeers who will gladly exploit away and crush their competition on the way up, but piss and moan when they themselves are out-competed and outgunned. I’ve not read The Wealth of Nations, but I’d bet the Invisible Hand is not only there to lift you when you’re on the up, it serves to slap you down when someone comes along and outdoes you at your own game.

    1. Checks on the border would be the most effective way of doing things, but it carries a political message that our masters find unpalatable – i.e. Wales and England are different countries. So it will be done away from the border in an ad hoc fashion. Though one way around it would be to use cameras at the border checking number plates, and where those vehicles are registered, then pulling over England-registered private vehicles a few miles into Wales at a convenient lay-by or other location.

      I thought about reporting John Lewis to the local trading standards office (assuming they’re working), but I suspect JL were clever, because they never sent me a confirmation of my order. They accepted it, at the original price, somebody must have said, ‘Ooh that’s too cheap!’, stopped short of a confirmation, bumped the price up by £50, found an excuse not to proceed with my order, and told me to re-order – at the new price!

  10. Stan

    It’s the little things you notice at these times of crisis. I try to avoid Wales Online like the plague (or should that be Covid-19?) but out of sheer boredom earlier I dipped in. Headlining was yet another story involving Gareth Thomas, former Wales rugby player (and Ironman – mustn’t forget that) about how he was “petrified” for his daughter who works in the NHS. One thing I spotted was nearly every sports/Covid story being run by Wales Online was offering comments but Gareth Thomas’ was not. Could it be that like me the Welsh public are getting sick to the back teeth of seeing Alfie either in the press or on TV, offering his views on, well, anything you can imagine, and to offer comments would invite a backlash? Or am I in a unique club of one? I honestly don’t mind Alfie now and again but the amount he’s now wheeled out to give us a view on everything has become embarrassing.

    1. I like Alfie, too. His sexuality is irrelevant to me. But he is getting a lot of exposure, it’s almost as if he’s replaced Simon Weston.

  11. Dafis

    Just caught sight of your tweet relating to a new wave of crim-dumping out on our West Coast. So where are our politicians, the ones who so rightly criticised weekend holiday/second home visitors for ignoring the ground rules for tackling Covid-19 ? Now it seems it’s just bloody marvelous that goodness knows how many jailbirds, many carrying all sorts of other infections because of their other bad habits, get relocated right next to all those caravan sites and holiday homes. There again Plaid has a bit of a lovein with prisoners, a target demographic for the loony pseudo left, while Drakeford and Co are so wrapped up with the mismanagement of Covid-19 related supply chains that adding a few hundred potential carriers is not a big deal even though the discipline of restraint and isolation is not likely to be a significant trait. And, they could up the local crime figures as well.

    Oh for some joined up thinking !

    1. It’s not just the west coast, that’s where my source is based. But he tells me this is happening all over Wales. Those dumped in Aber – earning big money for the Wallich – are already making their presence felt. Because as you might guess, these people aren’t very good at obeying rules and laws.

      1. Dafis

        Perhaps Old Bill of the West should engage more vigorously with offenders and ship them off to their home turf if H.M Prison doesn’t want them. Just like offending caravan owners get sent home.

        1. I’m told quite a few of them are local. ‘Local’ in the sense that they’re dropouts and others who’ve inflicted themselves on Aber and Ceredigion. Few were born there.

          1. Brychan

            Prisoners can be electronically tagged along with the required curfew regime, however, I see no mention of such arrangements in home office or ministerial briefings.

            Are we to assume that our streets should be free of law abiding citizens in currently in lockdown, but prisoners are being released early to roam our streets at will? On what geographical basis are these prisoners allocated accommodation? Last known address before custody is usually the place they fled to avoid bring collared.

            How many will have been on a prison medication regime relating to drug withdrawal? This now needs to be provided by our overstretched civilian pharmacy, and also, such items often become a tradable commodity upon release.

            1. Dafis

              All good observations Brychan. Most likely these would have been drawn to a Minister’s attention then brushed aside as being of secondary importance and unlikely to cause a major stir ( in our constituencies !) After the event, and some inevitable uproar, this faux pas, or its consequences, will be used to justify building yet more clinks and creating even more draconian powers to protect us from ourselves. Careful analysis of possible outcomes is not a strong suit in a regime driven by quality of presentations at press gatherings and a glitzy mix of sound bites and press releases.

          2. Anonymous

            The do-gooders in the Assembly will be giving prisoners the vote next, you mark my words😂

    2. Stan

      It’s a good time for some of those on the fringes apparently. Prisoners being presented with a Get Out of Jail Free card, and I hear a rumour in Neath that the Council secured rooms in the Ambassador Hotel to put up the town’s homeless. Allegedly, only two took it up which suggests either the myriads begging on our streets aren’t homeless after all, or they prefer a pitch in a smelly, wet tent under a bridge on the A465. I suppose there’s a third alternative and that’s they were disappointed in the standard of the accommodation and wanted rooms in the newly refurbished Castle Hotel just across the road.

      1. Brychan

        The reality is that when the ‘order’ (along with the budget) came down from London for all local authorities to house the homeless on their patch, there appears to be a dearth of homeless. It’s a common mistake to confuse rough sleepers with homeless. Many of the vagrants do actually have homes, it’s just that the streets provide good begging opportunities, the opportunity to ingest or trade drugs without being apprehended for stash, or episodes of alcohol benders.

        For example, when RCT and Merthyr council splashed the readies to ‘house’ the homeless they discovered that there were so few genuine homeless (even ones sent up from Cardiff by the plod), that it resulted in Adref, the homeless charity of those valleys going into liquidation through lack of clients.

        Llamau, being best resourced, the favourite third sector charity of the Labour Party, had to find an alternative revenue stream, so have expanded their fishing expeditions into released prisoners.

        The logic of ‘released prisoner scheme’ is to prevent Covid-19 being spread amongst prisoners who share cells. It doesn’t make sense in Wales as if Swansea, Parc, and Cardiff prisons were closed completely and all Welsh prisoners housed up in Berwyn in the north, not only would all such prisoners be in single cell accommodation, and then only half of that prison would be occupied. Half the cells would still be empty, providing better virus free lockdown than your average HMO.

        Prisoners with medical conditions and the old ones will now need to access civi-street hospitals, which are the main hotspots for cross-infection. They are actually safer in prison. Prisoners just need to be issued with a anti-bac hand wash and a bucket of disinfectant along with meals in the cell. Perhaps a pair of vinyl gloves and a social distance pattern for the exercise yard.

        Some have argued the ban on prison visits is against human rights. What do they think ‘shielding’ and ‘lockdown’ has had on the general population? We now find that care homes for the elderly are the main epicentre of Covid-19 deaths for obvious reasons. The same will be the case for released prisoners in multiple occupancy B&B, that is the ones who don’t go awol

    3. Dai Protheroe

      I’m assuming the release of prisoners is at the behest of the WAG. Does anyone know if Drakewell would have to have declared an interest in this decision?

  12. Dr John Ball

    One of the arguments put by the “no” side during the referendum was the questionable quality of likely Assembly members. They were right – and Covid 19 has displayed this so clearly.
    An incompetent government staring like a rabbit at the oncoming headlights, the major party made up of former councillors and party faithful, a somnolent opposition and a party of Wales that wants to drag us screaming to the socialist paradise.
    God helps us!

    1. Mel Morgan

      I heard interesting revelations at the time from Labour activists outraged at the way their selections for candidates (e.g. Tyrone O’Sullivan) were overruled by Transport House. The most important quality in a candidate, they concluded, was to make Paul Murphy and Llew Smith look impressive.

  13. Stan

    I still haven’t got the strength to sit through one of Drakewell’s stuttering performances in these Covid briefings. Is it possible he’ll bore more people to death than the virus actually kills?

  14. anon

    After the testing kit debacle Gething was removed from fronting the press conferences.
    Drakeford then took over and announced his new social distancing law.
    It was announced the next day that the SDL would not be enforced and there would be no penalty for not complying with it(some law then).
    Drakeford then disappeared and Gething reappeared
    A comedic tag team, with Deryn presumably deciding who to put in the ring next

      1. Stan

        Think that’s her lad Oliver (James-Flatt)? Interesting Linkedin history, done stints of work for Derek Vaughan and Jeremy Miles as a younger man. If I’m right he’s now actually working for his mam Julie, 30 hours a week, as a Communications guy. Note that he left Deryn and jumped on board the usual Labour family Gravy Train just before they locked the doors of the express. Isn’t there a ruling you can’t employ family members any more? But it’s not applied retrospectively so as long as his mam parks her arse in the Senedd then young Oliver won’t have to worry about his monthly paycheck. Even with rules like this you can rely on our politicians to find a way around the system. Corbyn employed McDonnell’s son, McDonnell employed Corbyn’s. Even though they didn’t have to at the time, at least nothing had to be shown then in MPs Register of Interests.

        1. Dafis

          Corbyn and McDonnell obviously spent too much time hobnobbing with Welsh Labour types, recognised class leaders in dodgy behaviour. If Masters’ degrees were awarded for being shifty and skilled in testing the elasticity of rules our boys and girls would all be waving bits of embossed paper about and claiming even greater superiority and entitlement.

  15. David Smith

    That Anglesey MP (Madam Planter) really is a daft mare. What purpose is served by her hanging around coppers like some spare fart and “Encouraging” drivers to about-face and fuck off when the police can just tell them to do so anyway? What a total waste of space. Oh, and your Co-fi link doesn’t seem to work!

    1. As I say in the blog, Tory MPs just can’t resist having their photos taken with policemen.

      Thanks for the tip about the Ko-fi link. I suspect the Ko-fi widget plays up in Opera (it’s not listed as an accepted browser), so I’ve downloaded a Ko-fi image and put in a hyperlink. Seems to be OK. Give it a try!

  16. Dr John Ball

    I understand that another heroine of the Crimea was Betsi Cadwalladar, after whom the Health Board in the north is named.
    The saintly(and for her day, media savvy) Nightingale wouldn’t work with her, being from common stock…and of course Welsh…but it was Betsi who sorted out the hygiene that saved countless lives.
    The lack of historical knowledge would shame political leaders, but not in Wales evidently.

    1. There’s no question that Florence Nightingale knew how to promote herself, and she also had the connections that facilitated it. A clue is in the name, Florence, where she was born. How many people could afford to travel to Italy and enjoy lengthy holidays there, in the early 19th century?

      Here’s Embley Park, in Hampshire, it was just one of her father’s homes.
      Embley Park

      1. Brychan

        Sidney Herbert, secretary at War at the time, who was tasked with sugaring the bitter pill of British defeat in the Charge of the Light Brigade at the battle of Balaclava on 25 October 1854.

        It was for this reason that Florence Nightingale was shipped out in November 1854 by the Times newspaper, and hence the ‘lady of the lamp’ story became the sugar in that pill. In 1855 the “Nightingale Fund” was established and Sidney Herbert served as its honorary secretary and the Duke of Cambridge was appointed chairman.

        It was what today would be called a cynical public relations exercise.

        So apt, therefore, that the UK government seeks to resurrect the myth as a diversionary tactic from their longstanding routing of resources of the NHS. This is why ‘field hospitals’ like NHS Nightingale have become necessary, cells with ventilators, and ‘lockdown’ in order to ‘protect’ the NHS from being overwhelmed.

        Once a vaccine comes on stream I suggest a few more names for the inoculation stations. How about NHS Port Stanley, NHS Dunkerque, NHS Rorkes Drift and NHS Somme? They might even roll out Katherine Jenkins and Vera Lynn as a backdrop to the butchers apron.

  17. Dai Protheroe

    As news reaches us that Boris Johnson has been moved to intensive care. I hope that news is enough to convince some of the loony leftist twats I see exercising their brain cell on social media that he wasn’t faking having the virus nor presumably is his girlfriend who has been displaying symptoms the last week. Expect some of these lowlifes to question his right to a ventilator should he need one, as he is a) a Tory and b) a Brexiteer. Always said this crisis would bring out the best and the worst in people. Just as anyone who might be in Boris’ situation, I wish him a speedy recovery.

    1. Brychan

      Do not resuscitate.

      Has Boris Johnson been sent a copy of the “do not resuscitate” letter and declaration request that were sent out to patients of the Lynfi Surgery in Maesteg?

      The logic of the declaration request was to release resources of intensive care facilities in NHS hospitals, or does this logic only apply to patients in Wales. The declaration applies if the patient does not respond to the ventilator and removes the final attempt to keep the patient alive using artificial oxygenation of the blood.

      Are we to accept that older men who have underlying health conditions arising from working the Lower Nine and Gellideg seams at St Johns colliery being less deserving? It’s not a ‘loony left’ question as they are too obsessed with ‘positions’ and ‘opinionated morality’. They will never understand.

      When I ask such questions of Mr Gething, our health minister, they like to pull the ‘race card’ on me. Have it be known that I used to be a black man too. My question is a question from Wales.

      1. Stan

        “I used to be a black man too”. Nice one, Brychan. You had me thinking there for a moment. I wonder how many children in Wales now would even recognise coal if they saw it?

        Whenever someone makes a reference to coal miners and those bruvvers who can’t scrub the dust off in a pithead baths, I’m reminded of this old clip of Ali G when he visited Wales. Not everyone’s cup of tea due to the pisstaking and stereotyping but it creased me up.

      2. Jonesy

        Considering one’s death and making an informed decsion regarding DNRs is basic common sense, and something that shld be discussed in the family in due time and peoples’ wishes respected,. What happened to facing up to mortality, we do not live for ever

    2. Dafis

      Best wishes to Boris. I’d sooner take him down in an election by developing workable and credible policies than watch a nasty virus with no political or social conscience take him. Pseudo socialists and all sorts of loonies on the far extremes may be holding their breaths in anticipation. I just hope that with their next breath they inhale a little bit of what he’s got. Nature’s way of telling folk to wind their fuckin’ necks in.

  18. Brychan

    Does not surprise me that the Labour Party objected to the NHS Louisa Jordan in Glasgow. How dare they name a Scottish hospital after a Scottish woman!

    The London one is named after Florence Nightingale, a nurse who believed that the death rate in Crimea military hospital was due to “poor nutrition, lack of supplies, stale air, and overworking of the soldiers”.

    The reality was the death rate was due to bacterial infections such as typhoid, cholera, and dysentery. The real saviour in the Crimea was the construction of a new hospital, of pre-fabricated sort, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. This provided for sanitation, clean water, the concept of triage accommodation cells for wounds, and what is most recently called social distancing. Why give credit to an engineer when the media of the time can latch onto a posh lady from Mayfair?

    Apparently she even had a ‘lamp’.

    Our establishment cannot be named after ladies with lamps and I suggest it be named the NHS Mary “Eppynt” Phillips. She was the first woman to actually qualify as a medical doctor, from Cardiff Medical School. She ran the typhoid hospital near Calais in WW1. Born in Merthyr Cynog in Powys.
    To much of a Welsh woman for Labour?

  19. Frank Little

    Phil Hammond MD has drawn attention to the failure to trace contacts of the first Covid-19 case to arrive in England. (He was returning from a hot-spot, a ski resort in Italy.) Was any contact-tracing carried out in Swansea in respect of the first known Welsh case? Did anybody anticipate that South Wales was especially vulnerable because of the regular to-and-fro with Italy?

    1. Stan

      As containment was the first arm of the UK/Wales strategy in dealing with COVID-19, I’d have expected contact tracing as soon as the first victim was reported in Wales. Think this was 28 February and in this case too, I understand the person had been to Northern Italy. The trouble with Covid as I see it is that you can be infected for 14 days, possibly longer, before showing symptoms. Though the median incubation period is about 5 days. With something like infection with a cold or flu you normally show symptoms in a few days. So in a large population that hasn’t been locked down I can imagine how difficult it must be to track down contacts effectively. I don’t think the UK government has covered themselves in glory in some aspects of the disease management but neither has the WAG and I can imagine citizens of other countries hit even harder than us voicing similar criticisms of their own politicians. But to be fair to them, I do recognise that most countries seem to be struggling with dealing with Covid. Except the bloody Chinese, who despite having 20 times the UK population, appalling air pollution, and the highest number of smokers in the world, have 3,331 deaths from a virus that hits the respiratory system, while the UK has 5,373. Absolute and utter bollocks, of course. Unless it’s genetically modified to affect Westerners far worse. But I don’t buy that conspiracy theory – yet!

  20. Robert Morgan

    Look no matter how you cut we will never have a Welsh goverment that could manage a piss up. Just imagine for one minute you could put your bias one side in politics imagine a labour party consisting of Corbyn, Abbott trying to sort this out, what a laugh.
    No one could predict this issue with the Virus.
    So all the criticism of the handling this, when everywhere World wide has been caught out.

    1. Actually, it could have been predicted. These viruses are appearing quite regularly. While I agree with you about the Labour Party, just look at how other countries have coped.

      1. Jonathan Edwards

        My skepticism goes further. I am waiting for the point when they can say how many people died of disease, any disease, in March, April, May 2020. I will then ask if the figure is higher than March, April, May 2019. I will then ask if its a LOT higher, and accurately explained by Covid. Because it’ll have to be a LOT higher to justify this shut-down. If they say “Oh, well deaths didn’t rise because of the shutdown” I will tell them the one about the elephants in Trafalgar Square. Want to hear it?

        1. Dafis

          You can be as sceptical as you like, but right now all we really know is that we have something that is hardly “under control” whose properties are not yet sufficiently understood ( or at least not widely so). Politicians spin around like dogs chasing tails, picking out bits of science that fit their own narrative of choice. Now we see a top EU Medical Officer/Adviser resigning cos he thinks politicians are not up to the job ( quelle surprise as they say on the West Wales coast).

          I’m leading a largely isolated existence, was always a bit like that anyway, but do what needs doing with care. Having the luxury of being retired I don’t have the worry about job and income, my income was modest before and remains so now. Already noticing how those “heroic” retailers are moving prices up slowly ( or quickly on some things) so I hope none of those fuckers join the queue for business rate reliefs and all the other “aid” schemes floating around.

          Quite rightly you may want to have a final account produced for this episode in our lives.
          However we will be lucky if the numbers are clean as the temptation to allow them to reflect success of government strategy will be overwhelming. Whether you die of Covid-19 or the clap will be regarded as the one and the same if you happened to cough or splutter before checking out. Some say that is already happening.

          Social policy going forward needs to change but whether this lot in Government or their Opposition will see long term merit in a longer term NHS and Social Care strategy, or embrace concepts like Universal Income ( bit avant garde for Labour drips as well as high Tories !) remains a touch remote.

          The wise guys say time will tell, but I’m fed up with that as my time gets vividly near the alarm setting. At best only 30 years to go and as you know not a lot of real value happens in 30 years in this unequal Union.

          1. Questions are already being asked, as this piece from yesterday’s WM explains. And they’re coming from an unlikely quarter. (I didn’t even know we had a Welsh Communist Party!) Coronavirus exercise 2016

            1. Dafis

              Got it thanks. Was this the group that a Robert Gruffydd ( or some variant of that spelling) led for a while ? or was that the Communist Party of Wales ? Or it might have been the Socialist Party of Wales, or indeed the Welsh Socialist Party ! Nice to have so many options before one gets to the Plaid pseudo socialists and the pseudo socialist Plaids ! Ah the penny just dropped, they created a new party every time the previous entity filled a telephone kiosk.

              1. Robert Griffiths, back in the ’80s, was in the Welsh Socialist Republican Movement (WSRM). A few of them were pulled in on suspicion of being the Workers Army of the Welsh Republic (WAWR) which planted a few devices around the place, including one at Nick Edwards/Lord Crickhowell’s country pile. Then he joined – I believe – the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist), but I could be wrong, there are so many groups and micro parties on the far left.

            2. Brychan

              I recall one of their number used to drink in the Criterion and the Clarence in Pontypridd (later Angharads) and he did a stretch in prison for fire bombing the British army recruitment office in Taff Street. A number of individuals put their hands up to that, for want of glory, but were eliminated from enquiries due to police having to uncover alibis. Except one, and I don’t think he did it.

            1. Wynne

              For someone who does not like your blog Jac, you wonder why Dai keeps coming back to read the posts and comments.

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