Wales, social dumping and much more besides

PLEASE APPRECIATE THAT I GET SENT MORE INFORMATION AND LEADS THAN I CAN USE. I TRY TO RESPOND TO EVERYONE WHO CONTACTS ME BUT I CANNOT POSSIBLY USE EVERY BIT OF INFORMATION I’M SENT. DIOLCH YN FAWR

Maybe I should start by explaining what is meant by ‘social dumping’. The term links with ‘social cleansing’, used by the Guardian and other publications to explain the practice of taking certain ‘vulnerable’ groups out of major cities – and locating them somewhere else.

If social cleansing is the term used to describe the removal of these groups from one area, then it’s entirely reasonable to use the term social dumping to describe the other end of the process. Especially when the dumping is often done without the approval, or even the knowledge, of the new host community.

For ‘Harlow’, read Swansea, Penygraig, Blaenau Ffestiniog; and for ‘London’ read Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool. Click to enlarge.

This is what is happening in Wales. It’s happening in our cities and larger towns, it’s happening in run-down coastal resorts, it’s happening in small rural towns, and it’s happening in the communities of the former southern coalfield. That’s why it’s a national problem, and must be tackled on a national level.

There are a number of reasons why this is happening, and I’m going to explore some of them in this article. I shall also use specific, and recent, examples.

Let me apologise for this post being a long one; but as usual it’s broken down into discrete segments for you to consume at your leisure.

THE THIRD SECTOR AND THE LABOUR PARTY

I have written once or twice about the third sector, so regular readers will know of what I speak. For any newcomers, it’s that burgeoning sector of Welsh life that likes to present its component parts as charities, when they are in effect publicly-funded companies.

The third sector takes hundreds of millions of pounds from the Welsh public purse in order to care for those who are homeless, those with substance abuse issues, those released from prison, those with other needs (real or imagined), and of course there are organisations dedicated to combating all manner of alleged prejudices against women, the BME community, and assorted gender identifications.

It is a world with its own values and vocabulary, where duplication and competition are rife, and with most third sector businesses run by middle class Englishwomen with names like Harriet or Henrietta.

Did I mention competition? As this FoI response from the ‘Welsh Government’ told me, Wales has no fewer than 48 outfits ‘tackling homelessness’. Though seeing as the letter is dated December 2017 we can confidently predict that the number is now over 50. In fact, I shall soon introduce you to a new diner at the feast.

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This situation has obtained for 20 years. The trickle of third sector grant-grabbers began almost once the devolution referendum result was announced in September 1997 and very quickly became a torrent. ‘But wait!’, you exclaim, ‘if we have so many well-funded organisations why is the problem getting worse? It must surely mean that thousands of Welsh are being made homeless every year’.

Er, no.

What we see at work here is human nature, and the realisation that if solving a problem puts you out of a job, well, you’ll make damn sure you don’t solve it. Which then links with the second part of your question, for Wales cannot provide enough homeless people to sustain this industry, so homeless people are imported into or attracted to Wales. In other words, the social dumping referred to in the title.

‘But why doesn’t the Welsh Government tell these people to stop wasting Welsh public funding by bringing in homeless people from outside of Wales?’ And drug addicts, and ex-cons, and victims of domestic abuse, and . . .

Because . . . it suits the ‘Welsh Labour Government’ to present a picture of poverty and deprivation in order to blame somebody else and keep mug punters voting for the party.

PODS AND PASTURES GREEN

You may have noticed a story that made the news last week about ‘pods’ for homeless people in Newport. Though it had the whiff of a rehash about it seeing as the story was also covered on 24 May, and before that 16 May, also in February, and before that October 2018 . . .

In fact, these pods seem to be something of a staple on the Argus.

The pods themselves are the work of Amazing Grace Spaces (AGS), an outfit that was launched as a charity 30 June 2017 by Caroline and Stuart Johnson. You’ll see on the website that, in addition to the emergency pods, AGS also converts shipping containers into low cost housing.

According to the website, these converted shipping containers are already in use with Wrexham Council and Merthyr Merthyr Valleys Homes.

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Other trustees recruited by AGS include John Andrew Forward, who is also a trustee of Bedwas Pentecostal Church and Bethesda Pentecostal Church.

It would appear that those involved with Amazing Grace Spaces are of the happy-clappy persuasion, those given to ‘outreach’ work among the vulnerable in our midst. And, indeed beyond Wales.

Bethesda Pentecostal Church (Charity Number 1050629) seems to have been in business for a while, whereas the Bedwas establishment (1050629) has only just been registered with the Charity Commission. Which would suggest an expanding network.

Turning to Bethesda, we see that the lead there appears to be Rev. Stephen Davies, who is also a trustee of the Ebenezer Pentecostal Church in Fellowship with Assemblies of God (1050644), and Hills Community Church Aberbargoed (1050499). (Ebenezer is to be found in Rogerstone, Newport.)

There is very little money involved with these churches, and I’m sure that they do a lot of good work, but I mention them because they clearly form a network, and others in this network cause me concern.

This tweet by Amazing Grace Spaces mentions my worry – Green Pastures.

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Those with good memories will recall that I wrote about Green Pastures back in July 2013 with, YMCA ‘Wales’, Another Trojan Horse At The Trough and YMCA ‘Wales’ And The Green, Green Pastures. It’s an English outfit, also of a religious bent, that ‘reaches out’ to the homeless, substance abusers and those recently released from prison.

Green Pastures (GP) operates with or through ‘partners’, and the business model is explained in this panel from the Green Pastures website. In essence, if you fancy going into the hostel business then you find a property that GP will buy and then you lease it from GP using your tenants’ housing benefit to pay the lease.

Scrolling down to the ‘Partners’ map, we see five locations in Wales. Two are in the north, on Deeside and in Colwyn Bay, to serve north west England and those who have been dumped in Wales from that region.

Predictably, Amazing Grace Spaces of Newport is also there, but what of the other two locations?

The first is in Llanfyllin, a nice little town in the gentle hills of Montgomeryshire, where we find a ‘community hub’. So there’s nothing to detain us here.

Of more interest is the final Green Pastures ‘partner’, Blaenycwm Chapel in Treorci. Where “Ralph Upton is the minister, 22 years experience in full time ministry a lot of this among the homeless, those affected by the criminal justice system and substance misusers.” When he’s not in the Rhondda, “Ralph also ministers in Ethiopia.”

Ralph Upton is also connected with Valleys of Hope (which unfortunately couldn’t find a Welsh flag). Under the ‘About us‘ tab you will read that Ralph was a prison chaplain.

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Which makes sense when we turn to the Valleys of Hope ‘Wales’ tab, where we read, “With the opening of H.M.P. Berwyn helping the churches to get ready to welcome ex offenders in North Wales has become very important”.

The back-story: A massive prison was forced on north Wales, far bigger than needed, in which most of the inmates are from England. One fear always was that once released, these English prisoners would becomes Wales’ responsibility. Here it is spelled out. We must “get ready to welcome ex offenders in North Wales”. 

I think it’s the use of the word ‘welcome’ that really pisses me off.

Locking up your criminals in a neighbouring country and then expecting that country to look after them when they’re released strikes me as a very good example of social dumping.

From Western Mail 10.07.2019

UPDATE 10.07.2019: A prison inspector’s report just released tells us that, in March this year, 75% of the prisoners at HMP Berwyn were from England. In a Radio Cymru programme this morning it was also said that of these English prisoners 50% stay in Wales after they are released.

That means that hundreds of English criminals are endangering Welsh people and Welsh communities – and we are paying for it.

BLAENAU FFESTINIOG

Last week Gwynedd’s Planning Committee discussed an application to convert the old Market Hall in Blaenau Ffestiniog into 14 flats. No decision was taken but the planning officers recommended approval, and now objectors have three weeks to put together their case.

The application was submitted by Paul McCready of Mossley Hill Investments Gwynedd Ltd of Cheltenham, and the agent was Evolve Designs (NW) Ltd of Merseyside.

Evolve Designs is a company formed as recently as April 2017 with the only accounts so far filed showing total net assets (liabilities) of (£1,991). A one-man band with the solo instrumentalist being a James Robert O’Rourke.

Though as the Land Registry title document tells us, the owner of the Blaenau building is Microface Ltd of Wigan. Who bought the property in 2010 for £82,500. It was put up for auction in February 2018 with an asking price of £150,000, but obviously failed to sell. (Or if it did sell, then the Land Registry has not been informed.)

Market Hall, Blaenau Ffestiniog. Image courtesy of Pugh Auctions. Click to enlarge.

The applicant for planning permission, Mossley Hill Investments Gwynedd Ltd, belongs to a veritable stable of companies . . . none of them thoroughbreds. In fact, some of them, just yearlings, are already on their way to the knacker’s yard.

Here’s a list I’ve drawn up of all the Mossley Hill companies I can find (there may be others!). And here it is in pdf format, where you can click on the company name to be taken to the Companies House entry for that company.

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You’ll see that the original company was formed in December 2016, with Gavin Davis Barry and his missus as directors. Then there was rush of new companies in April and May last year with Barry joined by Paul McCready and Shaun Mills as directors. With two more companies formed in May and June this year with just Barry as director.

There are documents filed for the original Mossley company, Mossley Hill Investments Ltd, and these show net assets of -£53,965. (Yes, that is a minus sign.) Equally worrying is that the directors want to strike off four of the companies formed only just over a year ago!

In addition, Barry has another string of companies going under the ‘Prosperity’ handle, listed here. The nags in this stable seem to be a year or two older than those in the Mossley Hill stable with none destined for dog food. The other directors, too, are different.

What are we to make of it all?

Gavin Davis Barry specialises in cheap property. A racket comparable, perhaps, with the Green Pastures ‘partnership’ model, except that GP own the building whereas Barry may sell it on.

What could have happened with the old Market Hall in Blaenau was that, after it failed to sell at auction, the owners were approached with a deal. Barry will apply for planning permission and then, if it’s granted, either he will buy the building off Microface, or else supply tenants, an arrangement from which he’ll get a good cut.

The fact that the auction was in February 2018 and Mossley Hill Gwynedd Ltd was formed in April lends credence to this theory. For there are business people – many of whom you’ve met on this blog – who trawl property auction websites.

The outfit supplying the tenants for the flats at the Market Hall will be My Space Housing Solutions, based in Bolton and operating in northern England. The clip below and the page it’s taken from explain that My Space is in the business of ‘supported housing’.

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We read that My Space “source properties based on need” and that these properties are “in the best possible community settings for each resident”.

Which rather blows this planning application out of the water, because I doubt if there is a local need for such a facility in Blaenau Ffestiniog, which means that the clients will be brought in from northern England; and will therefore be a long way from “the best possible community setting”.

Let’s be brutally frank; the only reason this application is being submitted is because a large building became available very cheaply in a run-down town where the applicant thought that lies about local benefits might get them planning permission.

Thanks to twenty years of devolution under ‘Welsh’ Labour, Wales has an abundance of cheap buildings, and countless run-down towns.

What’s the bottom line here? Well, if you were to ask me: ‘Jac would you do business with any of the companies you’ve mentioned here?’ I’d look you in the eye and answer: ‘I would indeed – immediately after joining the Soul Crew’.

If allowed, Blaenau Market Hall will be yet another example of social dumping.

To conclude this section, it’s worth pointing out how much money there is to be made from the ‘vulnerable adults’ business, by looking at the phenomenal growth of My Space Housing Solutions Ltd.

My Space was Incorporated as a company 17 October 2012 and registered as a charity 28 November 2012.

The phenomenal growth of the My Space ‘vulnerable adults’ relocation company. It now wants 14 flats in the old Market Hall, Blaenau Ffestiniog. Gwynedd planners support the application!

In the first accounts, for year ending 31 October 2013 the turnover was £91,117 with an operating deficit of (£29,138). The most recent available accounts, for year ending 31 October 2018, show a turnover of £11,647,551 and an operating surplus of £2,874,161.

That’s ‘Care in the community’ for you . . . preferably somebody else’s community.

PLANNERS

As I mentioned in the previous section, Gwynedd’s planning officers have recommended approval of the social dumping in Blaenau Ffestiniog. The latest in a string of cases where planning officers have made ‘strange’ decisions.

Let’s start by reminding ourselves of events at Plas Pistyll, and the neighbouring Pistyll farm, on Llŷn. I wrote about this case in Wilmslow-sur-Mer back in September 2018.

To cut a long story short, there were a number of changes to the original planning application of 2007, to the point where what was eventually arrived at in 2018 bore little or no relation to the project that had received the original planning approval.

I even drew up a list of the various changes.

As with Blaenau, there was a plethora of companies under the same ‘umbrella’, this one called Natural Retreats. Towards the end we even saw US intervention in the form of a new company using the name of another company in the group that had earlier demised.

And if that wasn’t reason enough to be concerned, the England-based principals were also busy in the Highlands and cocking up the Cairn Gorm funicular railway.

But according to Gwynedd’s planners there was nothing to worry about. Natural Retreats (or whatever it’s called) is run by splendid, trustworthy chaps (whoever they are) that can be relied upon to play by the rules.

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The fact that the seasonal-only (caravan replacement) chalets for which they gave planning permission have miraculously transmogrified into luxury, year-round dwellings is by the bye.

I’m not for one minute suggesting that those involved at Pistyll are crooks, they’re just unscrupulous businessmen who think rules are for other people. (And Gwynedd planners obviously agree.) But this next lot we’re going to look at are most definitely crooks.

For we move on now to Bryn Llys, at Nebo, just off the A487, and not far from Llanllyfni. I wrote about it in a compendium offering in January, one that included Gavin Lee Woodhouse (on whom the sky has recently fallen), Jimbo Lynch in Aberteifi (still thriving, for now), and the Bryn Llys crew.

I suggest you catch up by reading ‘Friends old & new: Gavin ‘Wynnborn’ Woodhouse; James ‘Fforest’ Lynch; Shane Baker, ‘the bargain basement Baldrick of Nebo’ and Jonathan Duggan’.

Bryn Llys was a traditional Welsh dwelling. Then it was acquired by the crook Jonathan James Duggan (aka Ripley), the son of John/Jonathan Joseph Duggan. Duggan père was sent down in 2005 for six years, and described in this report as a “professional fraudster”.

Duggan’s father made the news again last year when he was arrested in Benllech, taken back to Yorkshire and banged up again.

Shane Baker, the rocking English supremacist, seems to act as Duggan’s dogsbody.

Anyway, Duggan applied to Cyngor Gwynedd for permission to build an extension to Bryn Llys. This was granted . . . but what was built was much bigger than planning permission allowed, so retrospective planning approval was applied for, and granted – for an extension that now dwarfed the original structure.

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Though what was actually built exceeded even the retrospective planning approval. Made clear in the picture on the right, above.

And if you think that’s bad enough, well it gets worse, for below you can see what’s up for sale now with Rightmove. The original Bryn Llys is gone completely.

This of course has not happened overnight, it’s taken years. And throughout this period neighbours demanded enforcement action from the council, but nothing was done. Protection was also sought from North Wales Police against the intimidation locals experience from the criminal gang centred on Bryn Llys, but no protection was offered.

On the left, Bryn Llys, as it was just a few years ago. On the right is what began life as an extension. The original structure – which would have been to the rear of what we see – has been demolished entirely. Click to enlarge.

Bryn Llys is the most incredible planning issue that anyone has ever brought to my attention. The more I think about it, the more difficult it is to believe. But it happened. It happened in Wales. And these bastards have got away with it. Which will only encourage them and others do something similar.

The word is obviously out – ‘Come to Wales, you can get away with anything’.

And yet, it’s not too late. Cyngor Gwynedd could still send out a message that would be heard loud and clear by insisting on the demolition of ‘Bryn Llys’. But they will never do that.

And then, while they bend over backwards to accommodate all manner of people we shouldn’t have to put up with in our country, they dream up idiotic objections to stop locals building houses in Abersoch!

Are Gwynedd’s planners afraid that Welsh people living in Abersoch might lower property values on the Cheshire Riviera?

I’m not saying that brown envelopes are involved, but if they’re not, then Gwynedd’s planners must be among the most incompetent public officials imaginable.

CONCLUSION

Wales suffers social dumping for reasons that can be summarised thus: A colonial relationship with England is encouraged by a bloated third sector and further facilitated by an abundance of suitable properties in deprived and declining communities. For reasons that perhaps only they can explain, social dumping is welcomed by too many politicians on the left who think that allowing Wales to be exploited in this manner is somehow virtuous.

Another worry, especially in rural areas, is the number of crooks involved in asset stripping, mortgage fraud, money laundering and other activities. Though maybe the bigger concern is that not only are these criminals able to get what they want from our local authorities, but they even receive grants from the self-styled ‘Welsh Government’, and they seem to be above the law.

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Just a couple of weeks ago ITV News and the Guardian revealed what a crook Gavin ‘Wynnborn’ Woodhouse is – but he’s been operating with impunity in Wales for years! In fact, the ‘Welsh Government’ has been falling over itself to help him with his ultimate con – the Afan Valley Adventure Resort.

And let’s not forget the £500,000 grant for Woodhouse’s Caer Rhun in the Conwy valley.

There’s no doubt about it; if you’re in the social cleansing business, or mortgage fraud, asset stripping, money laundering, then Wales is the place to come.

The cops don’t seem to be to interested, you can run rings round or walk all over council officials, there’s no media worth speaking of to expose you, and the ‘Welsh Government’ will even fund you! What’s not to like!

♦ end ♦

 

55 thoughts on “Wales, social dumping and much more besides

  1. Llewellyn

    Hmmm,social dumping,blaenau ffestiniog and harlech. Dont know why I thought of those villages . Strange.

      1. Llewellyn

        Mmm,its well known. Glan gors. It’s well known b.f is over saturated (with troublesome
        outsiders) so harlech is the over spill. I’m no Welsh nationalist but I really don’t like the way my area is going. I’m in llanystumdwy and my grandparents were anti investiture but I’m very anti nationalist as like a lot of welshmen my family now live in England so are sympathetic. As an educated welshman I kind of see my taid point. I don’t like the way the llyn has become the playground of Cheshire . Its awkward. At one point I’m British and another I’m Welsh.

        1. I know Glan Gors, I had a mate living there. I remember it being built when I was in Coleg Harlech, ‘Lego Land’, we called it. It was obvious then that it was not built to serve any local need. Eventually the properties were bought by ‘investors’ and the best way of making money was to bring in people with ‘issues’ that some agency or local authority in England would pay handsomely to be rid of.

      2. Llewellyn

        I also catch the train to tywyn and aberdyfi a lot (my great grandparents are from there by coincidence,fishermen,eventually William st in bangor)for work. I see those static caravans on our coast. What was gwynedd council thinking?? They can talk about language until the cows come home)They are horrid. Only solution to them is semtex. South gwynedd is a shame to any welshman,English speaking or not.

        1. Those static caravan parks are on coastal grazing that was never very productive, but the land tended to be owned by men with connections, they may even have been councillors themselves. Rural areas + ‘Independent’ councillors = back-scratching bordering on corruption.

          1. Llewellyn

            Oh I agree. Ironically a lot of glan gors is owned by northern Welsh from llandudno and colwyn bay.it was a development that went wrong. There was no demand for it,it was supply orientated. I remember when I worked in Reading (berks)(I’m 42) in the early 2000’s and most 2nd home owners in Wales were Welsh I’m not a gun ho nationalist but those static caravans need to go. They are a disgrace. Not only to us Welsh but to the Irish sea.

          2. Llewellyn

            I should also say I agree with your opinions on the ‘3rd’ sector. I can’t go into it here but I agree verbatim with what you say from being (ex)married to one. Wales has basically become a playground . From George monibot to abersoch jet skis. Whether it’s a do gooder or playful we’ve become plastercin. We are used

            I cant moan as I’m a product of the (Burmese) raj through my nain and taid but but its it’s ironic.

    1. Anon

      The social dumping of children in care in Wales is a win win for the ‘dumping’ authority. There will never be another ‘Rotherham’ in Rotherham because the children are now dumped elsewhere.
      If for example children are ‘dumped’ in Swansea and are then raped by the local taxi drivers; it falls on the authorities in Swansea to deal with it. Then there will be the obligatory investigations, multi agency strategy meetings, enquiries about who did or didn’t do what to prevent it, public enquiries etc.
      Local social workers and police are unlikely to have picked up the fact that their workload is about to multiply while their resources continue to be cut; many will pay with their jobs and their careers
      It will be the ‘dumped on’ authorities and tax payers that will pick up all the bills and it will be millions

      1. A recent news report made it clear that a number of children’s homes are opening in Swansea that have nothing to do with the local authorities.

        Swansea is ideal in many ways: 1/ it offers lots of cheap property, 2/ it’s big enough to ‘hide’ these places (more difficult in villages or small towns), 3/ The ‘Welsh Government’ and its regulatory bodies welcome this practice.

        1. Anonymous

          The only cost to the ‘dumping’ authority is the cost of accommodation (which they would have to pay for anyway if the child had remained in their home local authority).
          If the proverbial hits the fan after the child arrives in the ‘dumped on’ area then all the costs, resources, etc are paid for by the host taxpayers
          If the child runs away (as they often do) it is the responsibility of the local police to locate them, establish where they have been, and if any offences have been committed against them. If there have been offences then the costs of the investigation falls on the host agencies, criminal justice system etc
          If there is a shed full of blame flying about, as in Rotherham, none will be directed to the ‘dumping’ authority. Quite a cute exercise in saving money, shifting blame and self preservation you might think

        2. GreenHills

          Just so you know a lot of children’s care homes are not actually run by local authorities or local government but limited companies which local authorities pay very high amounts to, way in excess of what it would cost under the public sector to care for each child.

          Low property prices and wages in Wales combined with excessive public sector spending means the car sector is a lucrative business opportunity.

          Don’t be surprised to find English orphans being put in privately funded carehomes in Wales.

  2. Llewellyn

    I also think north Wales should split from south Wales. Cardiff and glamorgan are self serving. I’m not the only North walian to think that. I was driving through Bryn crug/llanegrin today towards penmaenpool heading to benllech and we are just distant to them. South Wales serves south Wales,not us. It’s the national assembly for Cardiff not north Wales.

    1. So you’re not a nationalist, but you think the north should split from the south, and go where – link up with northern England?

      I gotta be honest, you’re setting off alarm bells. You come here for the first time and you mention one place after another that I’m familiar with, almost as if you know. It’s making me edgy.

      1. Llewellyn

        I’m not sure I get you? I’m north walian and Welsh but to say just because I’m Welsh I should be linked with south Wales?? Nah. Its a bit like saying Argentina should merger with Chile or bolivia as they are commonly latin and Spanish. (And yes I’m familiar with the pampas and tierra de fiargo and theres lots of us Welsh in the Falklands due to sheep farming and the Welsh guards who stayed after the war ,and yes.ive spent time in port Stanley so I know first hand so no i m not ignorant)

        I’m not the only north walian to think like this?? Lots of my friends do.Its not that uncommon. If you consider it in language terms then…..

        One of the biggest threats to our language is Cardiff. It sucks up welshness for the.public sector and leaves a void/vacuum in the northern rural areas.Then they wonder why Welsh has decreased in northern Wales. It’s what outside Wales would be called a brain drain

        .

        1. Llewellyn

          South Wales should have no say in north walian affairs . I seem to remember when Cardiff was made a capital in the 50’s there was concern up in north Wales that south Wales would become dominant .its kind of been proven.

          1. There was also concern in Swansea when Cardiff was made capital.

            Look, I agree with you that the capital, and the Assembly, should be somewhere else, somewhere more central, but it’s idiotic to use that as an excuse to divide up a small country.

            1. Llewellyn

              I agree. Let’s put the capital in machynlleth, in statue,then see the up cry in Cardiff when they realise how far it is up north and how out of the way it is for them as Cardiff is for us – they may want to end the project. I wouldn’t really argue about the size of Wales in that respect. Theres very little true (I.e non assembly) economic traffic between north and south. . A casual observer in Greg’s south of Raeyder may notice it’s a bit quieter than the M6. Geography thankfully has been kind to us gogs.

            2. I’ve given up trying to understand what you’re saying, because almost everything you’ve said contradicts something else you’ve said. Do you think these things through?

              You said that north and south are two different countries, which is nonsense for anyone who is truly Welsh. Yes, there’s regional rivalry, but even I, a Jack sang pur, no longer wish to wipe Cardiff off the map. Then you complain about Cardiff drawing young people in from the west and the north, and weakening the Welsh identity of these areas. And here I agree with you; but think about it, the one thing to be said in favour of this phenomenon is that it integrates us as a nation, overcoming the appalling internal communications. And undermining your ‘two separate countries’ thesis.

              Greggs in Rhayader? Is there one? I haven’t seen it, and I visit regularly. Why mention the M6, surely you mean the M4?

              In an earlier comment you described yourself as ‘educated’, but everything you’ve written disputes that; both with your spelling, your syntax, and your inability to maintain an intellectual thread.

              There’s something about you that’s not ‘right’.

            3. Llewellyn

              The m4 is an east to west corridor which means nothing to North Wales.M56 and A55 is more important to us here. I mention the m6 as its north to south corridor (although in England) and was used as an example of economic north to south integration that Wales lacks.

              There is a Greg’s south of Rhyader ,it is about 4 miles south of the village on the A470 in a petrol service station. Its fairly large and has tables inside like a cafe. It’s a proper Greg’s.

              In terms of my syntax and grammar,its the modern usage of a mobile phone typing in bed without glasses on. Even so I could be dyslexic although I’m not.

            4. Yes, OK, I know the place you mean. Close to the Vulcan pub, hasn’t been Greggs for long. I stop there regularly.

              Not convinced by the final paragraph.

    2. Brychan

      Geographic separation between the north and south is very evident, but there was another country with this problem also having a long land border to English territory.
      In their case it was an East-West divide. It was separated by two huge mountain ranges, lakes the size of the Irish Sea, empty plains for thousands of miles, huge deserts, communication cut off by snow in winter, volcanoes and massive impenetrable forests. They obviously couldn’t make a go of it after independence. I think they decided to call themselves the United States of America. Obviously a failure.

      1. Llewellyn

        Yes, and theres a movement in California for it to leave. Also Texans consider themselves Texan first. The USA also had a critical mass of people in the form of pioneers and gold hunters along with a unifying civil war and early rail roads.

        I suppose the most appropriate example country would be Canada in theres a huge difference politically (and area of Rockies and Manitoba prairies) between east and west and the maritime provinces. In fact there is is an Alberta indepence movement because those in Ottawa ignore them. Kind of sounds familiar.

        1. Llewellyn

          Before anyone mention grammar etc its self evident that the formatting has gone when my posts are posted.

            1. Llewellyn

              Well do they have an s6 with a cracked screen and were they writing without glasses?

              I agree to disagree but low blows over grammar is a bit cheap.

              My point still stands North Wales and south Wales are very different and North Wales is poorly served by Cardiff.

              There is very little north to south (and vice versa) commerce and family interaction. That was my point over the M6. If you casually observe the A470 (the m6 of wales) it kind of goes dead after Builth. Most traffic and business in Wales is east – west.
              (M4 and A55) Unless you are in the public sector .

              Even mark drakeford et al in their llandudno conference stated there was a problem in this regard.

              Anyhow,I refer to voltaire….I may disagree with…..I’m open to persuasion.

        2. All countries have internal differences, but that doesn’t mean they split. The give-away is that you mention Canada – ‘prairies’, ‘mountains’, ‘east’, ‘west’ – but ignore the real divide between Anglophone and French-speaking. You’re just looking at maps with no real understanding of the countries you’re referring to.

          Your credibility is going downhill fast.

          1. Llewellyn

            I’m well aware of the divide in Quebec and it’s not just Quebec either. Theres internal French issues in New Brunswick , Nova Scotia and New foundland.

            A lot of the issues in Alberta are over tar sands and Ottawa claiming the tax . Same argument Scotland has

            I’m well aware of Canada from actually being there several times in several provinces. It’s more than just a map.

            1. If you were aware of the French/English divide, why chunder on about geography, which is obviously where you get your ‘information’ from (along with Google). So Google ‘Russia’ and you’ll see that the Ural Mountains are an obvious divide between European Russia to the west and Siberia to the east. Here’s what I suggest . . .

              Go to Moscow, make yourself a placard saying, ‘Freedom for Siberia’ or maybe, ‘End Russian Tyranny’. Then go walking the streets with your placard held aloft. I guarantee that you’ll soon have an audience and some nice men will be so interested in what you have to say that they’ll take you somewhere quieter to discuss the matter at length.

              They might even bend to your interest in Siberia by sending you on a long holiday there! Wouldn’t that be nice!

        3. David Smith

          Unifying civil war??? If that’s not a contradiction in terms I don’t know what is. You do know the flying of the Confederate flag is still a big point of contention stateside yes?

          1. Dafis

            Lots of cracks in the surface of so called unity in USA. Old Confederacy is still a focus for some old style Rebs who have difficulty adjusting to life post 1865 let alone the 21st century. However there’s a “New Confederacy” which is built around “Values and Heritage, not Hate” their definition not mine. Alongside this you get big wealthy states like California and Texas each having a small proportion of residents who believe they would be best served by getting out of the USA. In the Northwest there are communities of various extreme sentiments often wedded to some apocalyptic theories who want to see out the rest of time before “Armageddon” with an independent Aryan state built around states like Montana, Idaho, Washington Oregon and maybe bits of others.

            Most of this assortment of aspiring secessionists/rebels/revolutionaries subscribe to rather unpleasant supremacist ideologies and theories. They seem more in tune with the Anglo Brit ideals rather than the aspirations of Welsh liberationists.

            That should serve to bring a few wierdos out of the woodwork !

            1. David Smith

              You referring to these KKK types who want a separate white only state, or those “don’t tread on me”, freeman of the land types who think “big guvverment”/England is about to steal their guns?

          2. Llewellyn

            Yes, I know it is. It was when i was in Montgomery Aabama. You know what I mean by unifying civil war. As with all wars it’s a way to resolve conflict that wasnt resolved peacefully.

            I’m obviously not an advocate for war but my point was that the civil war did to a certain extent create or shape some USA culture and unifying policies.

            In terms of the Confederate flag, it’s not the only controversial american flag.

            You have the “dont tread on my flag” and even this week the Betsy Ross flag was in the news over being featured on Nike trainers.

            I do get you over the oxymoron of a unifying war.

  3. Dafis

    My comments at the end of your previous post about the great Gavin are probably more relevant to this post. I guess I had one of those days where I was anticipating something or maybe we recognise the same hostile intent in the actions of others.

  4. Howell Williams

    Hi Jack your llewelyn reminds me of a of an M. P. Who when he wants to make his own views public. He says when I knock on doors people tell me ####!!?

    1. He’s hedging his bets. If Scotland leaves, and Ireland reunites, being stuck in a rump UK is not an attractive proposition.

      Thus far, everything I wanted from Brexit and the fall-out is coming to pass. The next stage will be a general election. BoJo can’t be sure of winning, but if he cuts a deal with Farage, for the Brexit Party to fight the Leave areas of central and northern England, while the Tories concentrate on the suburbs and the shires, then the PPF (Progressives’Popular Front) can be defeated.

      A Tory-Brexit Party coalition with a good working majority could be the last straw for many Welsh people. And the Union.

  5. Dafis

    Highly inflammatory tweet in your column made by one Lee Duncan who wishes a fatal road accident on Neil McEvoy. As I am not a member of the Twitterati I am unable to trace this twat but if someone could enhance the identity perhaps Mr Duncan could be invited to participate in such a road crash so he could report back on what is so fuckin’ enjoyable about the experience. Or a clearly worded apology to Mr McEvoy disclosing who might have put him up to it in the first place would suffice.

    1. I couldn’t believe it when I read it. But is there such a person, or is it one of the usual suspects hiding behind an alias?

  6. Dafis

    Q. What does Drakeford’s wife/partner say most often ?
    A – Well, that didn’t last long, did it ?

  7. Dafis

    Madness of crumbling U.K looks increasingly like the last days of the Roman Empire

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/07/10/christian-doctor-lost-job-government-department-refusing-identify/

    Are we en route for a gender fluidity where a person can be anything on any day, if he/she/it chooses ?

    Elsewhere we have daft/mad people referring to Jac as Fascist when he just does a thorough job of exposing fraudsters and inept public servants/ politicians, today’s example found in :

    https://golwg360.cymru/newyddion/cymru/549536-plas-glynllifon-farchnad-unwaith

    1. I suspect that ‘MikePParry’ might be an employee of the Daily Post, which has done a wonderful job in recent years acting as a PR agency for the Williams gang at Plas Glynllifon. Never a difficult question, nary a critical word. Absolutely fucking useless!

      1. Wrexhamian

        There’s a Mike Parry who often likes to get his two-pennyworth of anti-Welsh bigotry into the Comments section of the Daily Post whenever the paper features an aticle about the Welsh language. Could be the same saddo, maquerading as an outraged reader of the Daily Post who’s sick of all these pesky language campaigners making a fuss about a language that he’s too thick or lazy to learn – but in reality he may indeed be a hack for that rag.

  8. Brychan

    Off topic – When Labour Party spads travel down from London for a crisis meeting in Wales it might be wise not to discuss matters so openly on the train. You never know who might be listening.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1-c3D5kvo0{removetoplay}

    No idea who Penny Bont is, and yes, you do have to catch a taxi to the hotel in Porthcawl. The rails don’t go all the way. Croeso i Gymru.

  9. Dafis

    Someone on here suggested that it would be worthwhile taking a look at Dic Mortimer’s latest piece which centres on Plaid’s muddled thinking over Brecon and Radnor and how it reflects the level of confusion that appears prevalent throughout that Party’s thoughts and deeds these days.

    I recommend it as essential reading especially for those of you in any kind of leadership role within Plaid. It will be uncomfortable and you may still be tempted to retreat into the mutually congratulatory echo chamber that you inhabit habitually. But if you seek some kind of redemption, a quick route to self correction old Dic has given you a head’s start in his most recent article.

    1. Wrexhamian

      Also worth a read are Dic’s earlier articles on Radio Cymru and on First Minister’s Question Time.

      As for Brecon, I would accepted Plaid’s decision if the Lib Dem’s had reciprocated by agreeing to stay out of Dwyfor Meirionydd in 2021.

      1. Dafis

        “reciprocating” doesn’t appear to have entered anyone’s tiny minds. LibDems are having a laff and Plaid will have nothing to show for it. And if thinking strategically had anything to do with it ( which I doubt ) then a strategy for dumping Drakeford out of a job would have made the reinstatement of McEvoy a matter of plain sense.

        Read elsewhere that Dewi Evans is planning to bid for Alun Ffred’s job as Chair ( who plays Table is anyone’s guess ! ). Reputed to be a bit of a tenacious bloke who won’t be content to keep McEvoy out in the cold. I don’t know how he plans to do it but he has recognised that the current dystopian scenario driven by a grossly unbalanced agenda is rapidly turning Plaid into a sad sock puppet more concerned with “feelings” and “needs” of other Unionist parties. Good luck to him.

      2. Brychan

        There is nothing in the Plaid failure to put a candidate forward in B&R other than betrayal, cowardice, and contempt for the voters. An attempt at cynical manipulation. All so crachach dilettantes can waft themselves around posh metropolitan dinner parties as virtuous. Skinny lattés for Leanne and Llinos.

  10. Dafis

    These comments were reportedly made by Magid Magid an elected Green MEP.

    “Next to nobody in Brussels has any clue what the European Union truly stands for — beyond a flag and an anthem — and more crucially, where it is heading. And that includes the EU leaders and senior officials soullessly waddling through the corridors of power. When I arrived in the EU capital, I expected to find it brimming with activity and potential answers to these questions. Instead, I felt duped: Making a tangible impact on constituents’ lives is apparently not what being an MEP is all about.”

    “In Brussels in particular, we need more transparency in the way we make decisions. Our institutions are plagued with convoluted customs, hidden handshakes and backdoor bargaining. I’ve seen it first hand already. How can we reject the accusations leveled against the European elite that we are out of touch, when the top dogs in our Parliament and Commission are chosen through obscure quid-pro-quo arrangements agreed over Champagne and truffles in Brussels’ finest hotel lobbies?”

    “In Brussels, the go-to answer to a failed system is superficial; try a fresh coat of paint on crumbling walls. We have to be ready to burn down the house if necessary, to rebuild it in such a way that every citizen from Mansfield to Milan truly feels part of and represented by the EU.”

    Now that’s some “endorsement” of that regime that Remainers regard with such affection. Person of colour treated like some 3rd world cleaner got lost in the big building !. One small example of that Brussels shit fest – Plaid & others still love it, and I wonder whether that’s more to do with the smell of a good salary, benefits, expenses and undemanding idler lifestyle. Good on you Magid, at least that’s one Green politician showing a capacity for shedding light into dark corners.

  11. Brychan

    Restoration in West Anglia also known as Wales.

    There’s a bridge in Swansea that was built 100 years ago. It spanned the Tawe linking the Hafod-Morfa copper quarter with Landore railway sidings. It was commissioned by the copper works (Vivian & Sons) themselves. It was named the Morfa Bridge. It was always been known locally as the Morfa Bridge, for generations, even today.

    https://www.coflein.gov.uk/en/site/34830/images/
    The structure.

    Much of the Hafod-Morfa copperworks is gone, the western bank being occupied by the Liberty stadium. The thing about this bridge is that it lifted up as a single span to allow ships to pass using a counter weight, the same mechanism as similar bridges of this era, in Portland, Origon, and one in New York. The single span lift means only one alignment is needed for rails. In France the lifting mechanism was also used on the canals of Normandy, depicted in classic paintings so the design type became known as a Bascule (lifting) Bridge.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-48949587
    The restoration.

    Strange then, that the BBC and the Welsh Government is now calling it the “Bascule Bridge of Swansea”, as if the proper name and it’s historical heritage with the Morfa copper works never existed. The BBC has, again, introduced the phrase ‘ALSO KNOWN AS” to describe a piece of our heritage subjugating the indigenous name.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2UX7_kpNHg{removetoplay}
    Mary Hopkin.

    It should also be noted that many of this type of “Bascule” bridge across the waterways in northern France were actually built by engineers, specifically recruited from Swansea during WW1. It allowed the laying of temporary narrow gauge railways over their canals to supply the western front, while also allowing the waterways to remain navigable. The span is box girder lattice and the deck is timbers originally clad in copper plate preventing corrosion but also light enough for single span lifting.

    The BBC, also known as the Eradicate Welsh Heritage Corporation.

      1. Brychan

        Engineering.
        Lift a full shopping bag at arms length and feel the pivot load. Put another full shopping bag on the other arm and lift both. It’s much easier, even though the load is double. Your shoulder blades act as a the truss. The Swansea genius is to dislocate the armpit towards the pivot load temporarily shifting the forces, as if between the upper and lower trunk of the arm as a ‘rocking mechanism’. This is achived on the Morfa bridge as it’s a box lattice structure and clad in displaceable sheaths.

        Name of design.
        A more accurate description is the “Scherzer” the design name eventually being patented, after refinement, by the Matthiessen & Hegeler Zinc Company for Fort Wayne & Chicago Railway, but don’t tell the BBC. It was in an era when both Swansea and American metal companies were making huge leaps in technology.

        Inferior.
        There is an older bridge in London called ‘Tower Bridge”. This is more accurately described as a “Bascule”. That particular bridge had a critical design fault. The pivot forces are transmitted up the towers and counter-balanced by the top truss. It requires two towers and two spans, lower and upper to transmit load. Stoopid as the yanks would say. Twp as they say in Swansea.

        Don’t tell the BBC.

        1. Dafis

          How can you expect the BBC to know anything about bridges when the organisation is full of Oxbridge PPE & Classics grads, supported by media studies output of places like our own TrinitySaintMedwynLadyJane ! The only Bwidge they know anything about is the odd game of cards.

          Interesting to read earlier that Guto Bebb won’t stand again for Tories at Aberconwy ( or anywhere else ). Is he too far gone into the Brit spectrum to contemplate a return to a more patriotic posture, not the genderconfused Plaid, but the more focussed Ein Gwlad perhaps ?

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