Wales, Idiots And Envirogrifters

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So who is Claire Chappell?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

That make sense?


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

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

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

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


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

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

Clearly following the third sector model.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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So what did Derek have to say?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finally, we read:

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An agenda the envirogrifters are increasingly dictating!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2023

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The UK is soon going to run out of other peoples money. 10% of the UK Treasury income [ie taxes] is now spent by the UK govt on paying interest. At what point will it become too much?

Wales has no entrepreneurial bent if it ever had one. Welsh Labour wants to spend money from Westminster so it can blame the Tories. Any budding start up runs over the border to England unless he/she/it is in the NGO sector when there seems to be no problem with a start up and govt funding.

At some point when the wind has been taken out of the sails of green energy the coal mines will have to be re-opened but using modern technology so they won’t be the pits of old with a 1000 men underground and costly to dig. If a country is paying unsustainable interest on its debt its going to have to cannibalise its own resources which will include its people and recycling for other countries any of those redundant windfarms when they expire, just as our recyclable waste now goes to the pacific countries or china.

By the time our the mines re-open then maybe the Chinese greens will be complaining/protesting about it in Beijing !?

Dyn Gwyrdd

It has just been suggested to me that I read the research Climate Change papers of Dr. Mototaka Nakamura . Where are these available? Are they to be trusted as more valid than the down pourings from Wales Government and its Ministers?


If there was any concern for the environment within this almost religious cult then million year old peat bogs would not be being replaced by wind farms never mind the scars on the landscape/views.

I’m still waiting for someone from Labour or the green side of the divide to applaud Maggie for getting rid of the coal mines, a woman obviously way ahead of her time!!!.

Yet China and India going full bore – isn’t it something like a new coal power station every week where the carbon they create could have been absorbed in the now industrialised peat bogs?


BBC now reports that much of the fire storms hitting Greek islands is down to deliberate human behaviour i.e arsonists and maybe the occasional camp fire. No climate change ? No global warming ? How dare they deviate from the script they were given ?


But they won’t come out and admit what a big bunch of compliant lying cnuts they are. Or better still do a thorough insightful piece about the extent to which it’s all a big effin’ hoax. The Beeboids stepped in the right direction(rather hesitantly) when one of their reporters did a piece on how risky the much praised EV’s are – not hitting the claimed mileage ranges, lack of speedy recharge stations and a load of other defects that add up to an unreliable proposition. Unless the long term aim is to keep us all at home or within walking distance.

David Smith

A big reason for people voting Labour I’d say is one of a reaction to the way this rotten state is. Think about it – they’ve seen 40 years of neoliberal policy and attendant hoovering up of wealth and opportunity elsewhere, i.e. London and the ‘Home’ Counties. Whether misguided or not it’s not hard to piece together such cause and effect.

David Robins

Some of those 40 years were under New Labour, who were – and are – as London & Home Counties as it gets. Blair, Mandelson, need I go on? After 40 years, something different might be worth a try?

David Smith

Well yes of course, that’s why I didn’t refer to only Conservative and Unionist rule. ‘Welsh’ Labour [sic] in this regard can be seen as a useful branding exercise.

Ifor l'engine

” … nor solar panels can be recycled”.
It might be true in the UK but in the EU, legislation (2014) requires PV manufacturers to recycle waste panels and recover at least 80% of their mass.
This was largely organised through an industry consortium called PV Cycle (now renamed Soren).
Initially recovery concentrated on the bulk, relatively low value, materials such as glass and Aluminium. But now companies in France (e.g. ROSI and Envie) are extracting high-purity silicon, silver, and copper.

Ifor l'engine

I didn’t say solar panels were useful in Wales, I was just pointing out that they can be recycled.
That said the UK (mainly England) is desperate for any electricity it can get. It already imports about 10% through interconnectors with countries like France and Ireland.
In reply to your question – solar panels are mainly an aluminium frame and a glass cover sheet.  This makes up about 80% of the mass. The remainder – the active part – of a solar panel uses a Silicon sheet. Silicon is everywhere ( sand is Silicon Dioxide) and solar panel makers are everywhere. For example I think there’s one in Trefforest near Cardiff.
A quick Google search found at least 20 in the EU (mainly Italy).
Most panels come from China because they have lower production costs – but that’s true of most things electronic – and a lot of things that aren’t.
There’s very little in the way of harmful materials in a solar panel, especially the modern ones. 

Red Flag

I’ll tell you what can’t be recycled for some bizarre reason (something to do with toxicity or so I’ve been told) – windfarm blades. There are yards of old ones round here. Companies get paid money to store them on basically land they own but aren’t using on industrial sites. And storing means just throwing them in a heap.

David MC

Er well the problem of recycling is cost (and there are no subsidies for it – the poor old taxpayer is so far of the hook for the disposal stage). So, they ship MOST of the panels overseas to landfill. There might be a few trials places looking at recycling these foul creations but most of the toxic lump is dumped (on a global basis).


The ‘tree planting’ policy of the Welsh Government is at best flawed and at worst destructive, if the goal is to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. We know the amount of CO2 sequestrated by trees and it is as follows.

5 to 40 t/ha/yr. Deciduous forest.
Important to understand that deciduous forest absorb no CO2 when the leaves have fallen and becomes a net emitter of CO2 when leaves decay. The variability depends on the tree. Oak is at the lower end of the spectrum as it’s slow growing, willow at the top of the spectrum as it’s fast growing.

23 t/ha/yr. Mangroves.
There is no mangrove in Wales but the rate of absorption is about the same at upland peat bogs.

9-19 t/ha/yr. Mixed grassland.
This is not the agricultural stuff, but natural vegetation, typical of grazed woodland, what Wales would be like in pre-roman times. The spectrum depends on rain, the lower end of the range is arid to Mediterranean shrub, the upper end of the range is wet oceanic. Wales is the wet end.

1-15 t/ha/yr. Coniferous agroforestry.
The only native coniferous trees to Wales is Yew. Slow growing the lower end of the spectrum. The middle of the spectrum is the non-native pine trees like spruce and fur, the top end of the spectrum is tropical species in this category found in places like the Amazon. 

So where does grazing pasture for animal husbandry lie in all of this?

10-20 t/ha/yr
Upland is covered above as it’s the natural habitat of sheep (historically deer and goats). Agricultural grassland are the fields of cows, and it comes in at 10-20 t/ha/yr. This is on a silage supplement rotation. It’s even higher in Wales as we do not suffer from significant summer drought nor significant cold temperatures in winter at lower elevations, so at the higher end of the spectrum.
This indicates that the best CO2 absorption regime for Wales is to only plant deciduous trees where grass pasture in unsuitable (steep valley sides, gorges, urban and hedgerows). That planting conifers on pasture REDUCES the CO2 absorbed, and that the maximum CO2 absorption in upland areas is light grazing. This indicates that the current policy of (10% blanket on farmers) is ridiculous. There are no tropical forests or mangroves in Wales


Could not reconcile the numbers used by NRW as they bear no resemblance to that used by Forestry UK or the studies by Imperial College, until I found a match. It’s a study by the University of California, Berkeley on the San Bernado valley near Los Angeles. Completely different climate. Compares dry grasses and their native pine forests of the Sierra Nevada. To apply that to Wales would mean that Machynlleth is like San Diago. Watch out for rattlesnakes and those cactus in Tywyn. The Welsh Government has a political agenda and then seek data from somewhere to justify it, rather than doing the study and making policy based on the resulting data.


There are many. The best summary is here (see interactive graphic carbon calculator). It show grassland at 9 t/ha/yr (dry grassland, ranch) up to year zero, and then the various types of forest plantation with resulting types of pine native to California sequestration between 80-125 t/ha/yr, before the fell and thin target at year plus 80.

This is the only dataset (outside tropical rain forest) which measures in excess of 60 t/ha/yr from planting trees, the baseline used by NRW projections and also is the basis for ‘carbon offsetting’ calculations, which falsely assumes that places like Wales which is already lush wet and green grassland with the false assumption there’s an advantage in replacing arid low sequestration grassland with year-round drought resistant pine forests as would happen in California. 


Facts ! Facts got bugger all to do with spouting a set of extreme fundamentalist beliefs. The eco/climate fascists are up there with ISIS in their radical hatred of dissenters


It looks increasingly like “economic growth” is a dead duck, in the West at least. The unrestrained or less restrained economies in China, India and other emerging countries are already giving the West a bit of a pasting which is only mitigated by application of tariffs and other protectionist regulations many of which are justifiable on the grounds of the piss poor quality of stuff coming from these countries. However the impoverished segments of our communities welcome this cheaper stuff because it’s about all they can afford and that situation gets tighter with each passing week.

With our economies stagnating what happens ? Big corporates in UK and EU, led by overpaid fat cats, fail abysmally to exercise a bit of flair and imagination opting instead to devise new ways of dipping into the public purse to generate new revenue streams. Fashionable globalist “thoughts” on matters such as environment, climate, health etc provide excellent feedstock for the corporate sharks to feed off as they influence the lazy envious bastards that mostly occupy positions in our governments. Thus we get the scandal of wind turbines almost exclusively developed by big business with little or no sign of community based investments. We also have the devious creeping game of greenwash – companies buying up good farmland to plant trees while continuing to spew muck elsewhere and getting all sorts of government goodies to top up their “investment”.

While all this is going on the other end of the bullshit market is equally busy. Fly boys ( and girls) dressed up as charities or foundations or some other label associated with good works set about describing a problem that needs a prompt response and then pester government to sort it out or better still lob some funds and the said charity/foundation will sort it. The goal here like in the case of big corporates is to suck as much funding as possible out of the public coffers, legitimise levying additional funds/fees and enrich the insiders who are benefitting from such “initiatives” . Organised crime was never as efficient or effective.

While all this manipulation goes on the real economy goes to hell in a hand basket. Any real initiative unless it involves lithium or some other material deemed essential to the brave new world is classed as hazardous. More money, or credit, will be created/printed to prop up the lopsided economy that evolves out of this mess. “Added value” will no longer be real but just a paper construct to justify even more zany activity in the name of the next new sacred goal promulgated by the manipulators and schemers. Yet alongside this nightmare nations like China press on and despite its own internal problems it looks increasingly like the team that will take the rest of the world by its scruff and dictate terms. Not much point Drakeford or his successors wagging fingers and telling them that they are not doing it right !

Maybe that’s what Soros and Co really want.

Red Flag

The bottom line is this carbon malarky needs to be rationed out on a per capita basis, not per country. Per Capita, China is only producing around a ninth of the carbon the USA produces.

Red Flag

A lot of the reason these countries are pasting us (and the USA) is a lower-aged population (ie more adults of working age in ratio to children and pensioners) and no state ‘welfare state’. Mutual Insurance (usually compulsory as in Ireland) and people organising their own pensions under-pinned with a very very very basic safety net as opposed to all-embracing cradle-to-grave state welfarism.

David Smith

How do you explain the economic strength of the Nordic countries then, if strong social provisions are such an impediment?

Red Flag

Having lived in Sweden (Gothenburg, similar to Birkenhead but without the glamour) there are many ‘myths’ beleived by people in UK and peddled by the Left regarding what the Scandinavian countries do. Sweden sufgfered a massive banking crash in the 1990’s from which it has never fully recovered.

For example Sweden has only a piss-poor basic state pension and I mean piss-poor. Workers are expected to contribute to top-up plans and they end up with a pension consummate to the amount extra that they p[aid in over the years. Likewise their medical proivision is what can only be described as basic. Everyone has mutialised private schemes that work in conjuncytion with iot and cover everything from how many people you share a room with to what you have access to on the menus. Parents are expected to contribute to the schools their kids are in so the richer an area, the better the state schools are funded.

Swedes are ghenerally healthier and fitter than us – you see very very few overweight people in Sweden. People walk a lot more than here – and by walk I don’t mean bimble abouty at a comforatble pace, I mean they put their shoulder into it and work a sweat up and get breathless. They also cycle a lot more 9and have to have insurance) and they are genuinely scared of being ill because of cost. The state and insurance companies do not pay prescriptions – you pay that, And even simple things like lemsip and paracetomol are only available by prescription, from a pharmacy. A prescription for 24 paracetomol for example was SEK250 (back then just under a tenner).

Neighbouring Denmarks is a free market based sytstem wioth massive private sector involvement in comparison to ours, run and regulated by the state and the citizen basically is ‘under contract’ to the state for they way they behave, how they look after themselves etc etc. It’s free at the point of use, but costs signioficantly more. And the citizens responsibility for themselves means that if they take the piss they are jumped on and harshly. A Dane on average wage pays nearly half their wages in taxes of one form or another. They get a lot for it if they need it but they are expected to honour their half of the social contract and try not to need it. And they don’t think twice about finger-pointing. If you are fat they will say straight to your face you are fat. Again they are far fitter than we are and again you rarely see overweight people. People are expected to do any job they are capable of doing as opposed to the job they would prefer to do and are roundly condemned quite openly if they don’t.

Norway’s is not what people think either. For example if you end up unemployed your dole isn’t a flate rate like ours – it depends on how much you were earning. You also have to pay for doctors appointments, cobnsultants appointments and medical tests yourself.

Finland discourages people going on the sick or going on the dole by only patying a very very small payment in comparison to how much people earn there. It also has massive private sector involvement wioth extensive use of parallel murtualised insurabnce schemes. People are expected to have mutualised private insurance for sickness, health, unemployment and pension top-uip schemes.

Germay I have also lived in and one of my daughters has been living there for nearly 20 years and several of my friends. They have a ruthlessley efficient system and if you don’t do as the insurers want, they wash their hands of you basically.

Nobody has a system like ours, nor do they accept people making benefits a way of life, nor do they accept people willfully not looking after their health. Yes they have strong social provision – but they make people pay for it, they make them top it up and they make them look after themselves. They certainly do not have a ‘no questions asked, no blame, no stigmatisation’ load of bollocks that we have.

David Smith

In a sense then, you’re agreeing with me – this statism, with its concurrent ‘worker and parasite’-style expectation baked in to the social contract has produced healthier, more economically productive and conscientious citizens. It is indeed not a simple negative correlation between state involvement and economic growth.

Also, I really don’t understand where you get the idea that ‘drains on the public purse’, whether benefit claimants or those who make poor lifestyle choices here aren’t stigmatised or get an easy ride. This cohort of society are probably only rivalled by migrants as the bête noir of the entire right wing media, and the Conservative government has created an entire industry out of trying to get people off benefits.

To consider society in general, what about the popularity of programmes like Jeremy Kyle, which was essentially a thinly-velied modern day freakshow with benefit claimants as the ‘attractions’? I’ve even seen whole reality TV series about ‘too fat to work’ types. Not to get all bleeding heart about these sorts, but you’re completely mistaken if you think they get a free pass from the state, the media or society.

Paradoxically though, both the media and orthodoxy of the state slavishly worship the monarchy, the biggest and most egregious parasitical money drain in this land.

Red Flag

I am agreeing with you in no way whatsoever and you are looking through the telescope from the wrong end.

To that end I shall give you an example. One of my mates has lived in Germany since 1992. He is married to a German national and they live in a little village called Sieverdingen in north west Germany. Nice house, detached, little swimming pool etc etc. Cost im a little over €85,000 back in the early noughties

For the purpose of the story we’ll call him Colin – mainly because that’s his name. He and his wife are both pensioners, honoured their side of the social contract and topped up their pension schemes, took an active interest in how it was beig invested etc etc and reaped the benefits living a very comfortable lifestyle in retrement. Despite being pensoners, they still have to pay for mutualised private health insurance and they also pay a little bit extra to get priority appointents, single rooms should they be admitted etc etc The cost for him and his wife is not far short of €700 a month, which they have no problem paying.

Now Colin led a very active life but since his retirement he let himself slide and put the pounds on, In fact it’s fair to say he became a proper lardy-arse fat knacker. He developed obesity-related T2 diabetes and eventually developed chronic problems with his ankles – they started to collapse under his weight. He was sent to a specialist who literally gave him a proper dressing down and bollocked him for his weight and told him he was fat – not could do with losing a few inches round the waist or whatever so as not to offend or stigmatise him- that he was fat and he should be ashamed of himself. He had surgery and his ankles were operated on with large parts replaced

Now bearing in mind the system in Germany relies on private insurance, the insurers then took over. He was ordered (not asked) to have a gastric band. he was sent the date it would be inserted. He was sent the date a dietician would start to monitor his weight weekly and place him on a strict calorie controlled diet, He was sent a gym membership and had to attend three times a week where under the eye of an instructor contracted by the insurers he was beasted good and proper and he was told by his insurers that unless he complied in full, lost weight at a rate expected, his medical cover would no longer cover the cost of anything related to his obesity including the cost of his T2 diabetes.

He is now a proper racing snake. Like a whippet. At nearly 70 he is now fitter than he was 40 years ago. His body weight has more than halved , his T2 diabetes is in full remission. And he will tell you point blank that the biggest motivating factor to him was the fear of losing his health cover.

That is how a social contract works – they look after you provided you do as you are told.

Now compare our noble politically correct NHS. I have T2 diabetes – but I am not fat or even overweight. Mine is entirely age-related. Like a good little pleb I get blood tested periodically and go to the diabetes nurse – who is a proper fat arsed lump and is a T2 diabetic (sgeh also always has an open bag of sweets on her desk). I sit in a waiting room with other T2 diabetics who are passing the waiting time eating sweets, munching crisps and buckling the legs of their chairs. Some of the old ones are like me not fat. But most of them are a lot younger and are outrageously fat. Many have lost bits and pieces – the odd half leg here, an eye there, a few fingers and toes. They are mostly unemployed and it would be fair to say most of those are unemployable anyway. I nknow from chatting while waiting most of them won’t diet because they say they don’t get enough to eat when they have tried it. There are no old, fat ones. If you get obesity related T2 when you are young and do not lose a signficant amount of weight, you don’t need to worry about getting old – it’s something you will never achieve. The fat ones are never stigmatised and are certainly never .’shamed’ or directly told they are fat. A conspiracy theorist would probably believe they were deliberately not done so in order to kill them off and save on the pension money.

David Smith

I take it, that the tone of your anecdote about your expat pal in Germany means it is intended to be viewed through the lens of personal responsibility, of pulling oneself up by one’s bootstraps and all that. However, such sentiment is contradicted by the meat of the matter.

Bariatric surgery, your own personal trainer, and even a jolly good paternalistic ticking-off from the doc, for good measure, all laid on by the system? In this regard, if anything it sounds even more kid-gloves and hand-holding than the nature of our system as you describe it. Still, you cannot argue with results, and therefore you are furthering your aforementioned agreement with me with this tale of state intervention producing positive outcomes.

Oh, and your hypothetical conspiracy theorist really needs to revisit his sums if he thinks proliferation of chronically ill, unemployable folk somehow saves the exchequer money.

Red Flag

It’s not state intervention – it’s intervention by his insurance company.

It isn’t laid on by the system. It’s laid on by the insurers – and if you don’t comply, they cancel your insurance. The state doesn’t cover it and you die – the state provides extremly basic healthcare in Germany – basically pain relief and a bed to die in in a public ward. Everyone else bar the poor pay for insurance and those that can’t get it (such as the position he would have been in) pay or basically die.. Simple as that.

That is the difference. And we need to move to a mutualised private insurance system like most of the modern world. The NHS is NOT the envy of the world and never has been – that is a total myth and everyone that parrots it is either mentally deficient or a liar.. Nobody tries to copy it because they can see how grossly inefficient it is and how it removes personal responsibility. Even the Irish – who decades ago had a similar set-up, got rid of it. That or the NHS needs a kick up the arse, told to start being cruel (which is ultimayely for the patients own good) and told to start forcing patients to take responsibility for themselves and cutting lose those who won’t live their in a more healthy way.

Likewise unemployment benefits. We have developed a system in this country – again caused by fear of stigmatising people and other such bollocks, that basically allows you not to work if you don’t want to and the state wil pay for that. So long as you pretend you are looking for work and can prove it (usually they make the claimant set up an account on indeed . co .uk and give the DWP access to it so they can track you applying for jobs, even if you clearly don’t have the qualifications to do them). If people don’t like the jobs on offer, they refuse to do themn and sit claiming benefits instead. Again I use Germany as a model – where the system is different, underpinned in large part by private insurance and more efficient and places the responsibility for finding and taking any work you are capable of doing as opposed to a job you would prefer. Got a degree in Bollocls? No vacancoes for that – gop and do this digging holes on the autobahn until what you want to do comes along. And if you play smart and get sacked or fail the interview, we’ll cut off your benefits Next (They won’t even give unemployment pay to anyone uder 25 living in their parents hoe – they are their parents responsibility and they have to pay to for them. Sweden is also pretty ruthless with it’s unemployed. Other European countries have .systems where p[eople have to have a minimum number of years of paying in before they can claim (usually 2 years) and then can only claim for no m,ore than a certain time in after that (usually around 6 months). Other than that, you take any job you are physically capable of or you rely on a poverty payment and charity. Likewise housing benefits – virtually every country in Europe isn’t stupid enough to have allowedf a system such as we have to develop. Public housing and it’s allocation likewise where we have developed a system that allows the tenant to stay in the allocated family home even as their family grows up and leaves. That house is not the tenants. They shoukld be re-assessed every 3-5 years and re-allocated different housing to meet their needs as their requirements change and told you are moving or we terminate your tenancy totally. It’s what most advanced countries do.

We have become a weak nation who likes to pretend we aren’t weak – we’re compassionate. No we aren’t. We’re just weak and one day the wolves will comne and it’s all we deserve.

David Smith

The benefits system in the UK is in no way overly kind or bleeding-heart, regardless of your invocation of some particulars of systems on the continent. The sanctions system, the outsourcing to the likes of G4S of work capability assessments, the so-called Bedroom Tax, etc, etc – debunk what you’re trying to claim.

What about the USA, where unemployment benefit rates are linked to your rate of pay in your previous job? You know, the Land of the Free, with its national ethos of self-reliance, individualism? Not for them a mere 75 quid a week there! Note that I’m not making a value judgment on different systems, just describing them as they are. Also:

According to the World Health Organization, Germany’s health care system was 77% government-funded and 23% privately funded as of 2004.”

So regardless of the involvement of private insurance companies, it is quite obviously under the direction and control of the state, so yes, it is state intervention isn’t it, if in a mode involving private sector actors.

Red Flag

Except that is not true as any two year old with access to Google can see on the US government’s own website.

Each state has it’s own rules, with the national rules the foundation which every state must apply. They are stringent, strct and rigidly enforced.

The basic nationwide rules are:

A worker must have worked for at least one quarter in the previous year. Workers are normally not eligible if they were temporary workers or cash in hand or in kind.
A worker must meet state requirements for wages earned or time worked during an established period of time (referred to as a “base period”) to be eligible for benefits. In most states, the base period is usually the first four out of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to the time that the claim is filed.
A worker must have been laid off by an employer. Workers are not normally eligible if they quit without good cause, are fired for misconduct, or became unemployed due to a labor dispute. If the employer demonstrates that the unemployed person quit or was fired for cause, the worker is required to pay back the benefits they received.
A worker must be available for work and must accept ANY suitable offer of employment made by the Dept of Labour.

To qualify for unemployment beneft you must have been in work for at least 12 months first and earning over a certain level. Many states set that to 24 months and and caveats such as you must have earned a certain amount, you must have been resident and paying taxs within that state for a certain period and the amount you get depends on the amount of eployment insurance you have paid. States take a minimum of 6% of a workers gross wage and a lot of states take considerably more.

And the longest you can have it for is 26 weeks. Then you have to get a job and you start again at the bottom of the qualifying rungs.

And remeber, out of all that, theyneed health insurance. Where they can afford it, workers take out extra unemployment insurance – but again to qulify to claim, they must meet that insurers criteria.

As a result of this, the last set of figures available are pre-Covod. Only 7.6% of unemployed people in Florida qualified for unemployment benefits at the lowest end and only 65.9% of unemployed people in Massachusetts did at the highest.

Seems like a very very very good system to me.

And you don’t understand the German healthcare system at all do you. That much is patently obvious. Your line “Germany’s health care system was 77% government-funded and 23% privately funded as of 2004.” is actually twenty years out of date, but beside that, that’s the German government taking compusory health insurance off the workers and passing it to private insurance companies (in Germany all the hosptals bar charity ones are private companies. In order to prevent monopolisation and to increase competition, insurance companies are not allowed to own hospitals. That way if you need treatment, the insurance company literally ‘shops around’ for the best deal. If hospitals do not offer attractive prices, they get no patients. If they get no patients, they get no money and go bust – which they do.) and then the 23% refers to indivduals (and even large companies) ‘topping-up’ with extra insurance.

David Smith

I doubt any two year old is capable of such Googling, so said hypothetical toddler probably lives in the same fantasy realm as your conspiracy theorist. Like you, I too have friends overseas, and one of my closest friends who has lived in the States for 21 years and is a medical doctor told me that unemployment benefit is linked to prior income. No amount of reeling-off of the provisos and restrictions involved changes this fact.

As regards cash in hand workers not being eligible, well that is one hell of a redundant point, as I doubt there’s a developed country on the planet which sanctions this mode of employment!

Your points about quitting or being fired negating eligibility, and having to be available and willing to take work: all apply here. However, states taking a cut of people’s wages as a sort of insurance to cover out-of-work benefits for rainy days, a ‘national insurance’ if you will… that one’s a new one to me!

It would indeed be a ‘very very very good’ [sic] system if it resulted in more people in work, but curiously you leave out that particular stat. 7.6% of unemployed being eligible, including those who are through no fault of their own, is an utter disgrace. I’ve spent some years on the Dole in my time and I have an MSc. So has my father, a degree-qualified electrical engineer. Are we scroungers who don’t deserve a helping hand in lean times?

If my quote regarding Germany is out of date, why haven’t you regaled me with some updated figures then? Or could it be that it’s still a valid approximation? I’ll keep it simple going forward:

  • The state taking compulsory health insurance and handing it to private insurers: state intervention with private sector involvement; my exact point.
  • Regulations preventing insurance companies from running hospitals: antitrust/competition law; see above.

You bring nothing to the table here. You don’t address or counter any points, just sidestep them and ramble away. You offer zero insight, analysis, or lateral thinking. You live in the realm of rote: parroting things you’ve read.


So you are confirming that we in Wales are miles ahead as a “Nation of Sanctuary”. We are so kind and generous to our fellow humans that we insert them at the head of the housing queue when they arrive from England or further afield ; we dish out free meds on prescription even if the punter has spent most of his/her life paying contributions in another country, or not at all! And we bend over backwards to accommodate their cultural and linguistic needs while relegating our own into a dark damp corner. Until now I never figured out how fuckin’ good we are !

Red Flag

Wales is a shining example to the world.


Shows how bad government at UK, national, and local levels are when it comes to tackling the issues of housing for deprived natives.

Of all the people that seem to rock up in the UK needing help you have probably fingered the 2 groups who get most sympathy from me and many like me. Ordinary Ukrainians have had it rough and most of those that turn up here are women and children. The acid test will come when it’s time to go home. Or will they want to stay and fetch a wounded veteran over to join them ? Their work ethic is reported to be of a high standard unlike many of the Sais crap that turns up in Wales!

As for Afghans they are victims of the most corrupt go-to-war decisions ever taken by a Brit government. Many welcomed the Western intervention as some kind of salvation yet when the withdrawal of 2021 was sprung on them many were denied the security they needed having served the Allies willingly during that wasteful occupation. We owe them in a big way although we also owe it to the peoples of these islands not to let any “sleepers” in among the genuine cases. Hard one that but a lot of people are paid good money to work it out not just sit on their fat arses complaining about “challenges”.