Weep for Wales: a statement

Regular readers will be familiar with the Weep for Wales series of posts which has proved to be so popular in many circles.

It all started in June last year, soon after I received reports on the behaviour of Paul and Rowena Williams, who had run the Knighton Hotel (Knighton) and the Radnorshire Arms in Presteigne. They owned other pubs and hotels over the border.

Both Powys establishments had closed following their alleged sale to convicted fraudster and acquaintance of the Williams couple, Keith Harvey Part(d)ridge, in February 2018. For by now the couple had moved up to Gwynedd, where they’d bought the imposing Plas Glynllifon.

Paul and Rowena Williams. Click to enlarge

The series continued with further reports and reached Weep for Wales 11 on December 3. In a couple of updates to that post I introduced Myles Andrew Cunliffe, who seemed to be taking over the Williams’ businesses in north Gwynedd.

I was preparing for Christmas when, on the 22nd or 23rd, I received a letter from a Chester solicitor demanding that I take down everything I had ever written about Paul and Rowena Williams. Here’s the letter and my response.

The arrogance of this letter was breathtaking – did they really think that after all the information people had given me, and after all the research I’d done, I would just throw my hands up and say, ‘Fair enough, I’ll scrub it all’.

My next mention of Plas Glynllifon and those associated with the old pile was in Weep for Wales 11a, of February 5. With Weep for Wales 12 coming out on March 18.

Then, on March 26, I received a letter from Myles Andrew Cunliffe, hand delivered after dark. Here’s the letter and the envelope.

Click to enlarge

That it was delivered by hand suggested this was a, ‘We know where you live’ kind of letter. I mean, seeing as Cunliffe had my address he could have put a stamp on the envelope and posted it.

The letter itself was a rambling attack on me and my “slanderous and dangerous blog”. Apparently I had attacked Cunliffe, threatened him, and put his family in danger. Absolute bollocks. I’d never even mentioned his family . . . unless he’s related to the Williams gang.

Myles Andrew Cunliffe. Click to enlarge

Uncertain of who or what I was dealing with, and how far Cunliffe and his associates might be prepared to go, I pulled Weep for Wales 12 together with Weep for Wales 11a and the updates to Weep for Wales 11.

Throughout the Weep for Wales saga I’d received strange and menacing comments to the blog. Towards the end of June these took a more sinister turn when I was told, “I know where you live expect a visit soon keep looking over your shoulder”. (Punctuation!)

(Here’s a link to the comments received to the notice put up in place of WfW 12.)

This was reported to North Wales Police, who were given the background and context. I made it clear that I didn’t wish to make a case of it yet, but I wanted my concerns logged. Everything is now on record.

I have put back the updates for Weep for Wales 11, plus Weep for Wales 11a and Weep for Wales 12. I did this because I’m just too old and too pissed off to be threatened by shyster lawyers in border towns enjoying a parasitic relationship with my homeland and the ‘businessmen’ they represent.

That said, if anyone can prove that something I’ve written is incorrect then, fair enough, I’ll make the necessary changes. But anyone demanding that I take down everything I’ve ever written might as well enclose an application form to join the Labour Party.

Solicitor’s letter and application form will be treated equally.

As you’ll know, this blog has two main themes: the first is exposing the corrupt and incompetent politicians and others to be found in Cardiff Bay, county halls and other locations across the land; with the second being investigating the shysters who come to Wales to enrich themselves at our expense, be they the parasites of the poverty industry (third sector), or out-and-out crooks like the Williams gang.

These two strands should be separate, but no, for they have a symbiotic relationship.

‘Welsh’ Labour encourages the poverty industry in order to provide jobs for party cronies, the favour returned by the third sector painting a picture of poverty that can be blamed on ‘London’/Tories in order to keep people voting Labour.

The utter incompetence at all levels of officialdom in Wales and the inability to build up an economy results in magic bean salesmen flooding over the border to grab the grants and anything else that might be on offer – this to be dressed up by the self-styled ‘Welsh Government’ as ‘investment’, and jobs.

A perfect example would be Gavin Lee Woodhouse, of whom I have written more than once. He first appeared on this blog in April 2017. Woodhouse was welcomed with open arms; not only was he given hundreds of acres of public land in the Afan Valley for the ‘Adventure Resort’ he planned with Bore Grylls, he was also awarded a grant of £500,000 for the Caer Rhun hotel in the Conwy Valley, one of a number of hotels he owned in Wales.

‘Is there anything else you’d like, Mr Woodhouse, sir?’ Click to enlarge.

In the BBC report I’ve linked to about the Afan Valley Adventure Resort you’ll see that Woodhouse and his imaginative business methods were investigated earlier this year by ITV News and the Guardian. It had to be this way because the mainstream media in Wales either gave Woodhouse a free ride or else acted as cheerleader.

I don’t want to blow my own trumpet, but apart from this blog and Econews West Wales I don’t think any media platform or outlet in Wales questioned Woodhouse’s bona fides. That’s because, with a few exceptions, the ‘Welsh media’ operates in a colonialist fashion by relaying the London line while not stirring up the natives with too much bad news, relying on press releases from the likes of Woodhouse, Cunliffe and Paul Williams to pad out the business pages.

So it shouldn’t surprise anyone to learn that just before Paul and Rowena Williams washed up at Plas Glynllifon Woodhouse had been sniffing around, but pissed on his own chips when his company MBI Hotels announced that the place was to be renamed ‘Wynnborn’.

Very soon after this debacle Woodhouse resigned as a director of MBI Hotels, returning in March 2017 after the company had been renamed Giant Hospitality Ltd.

For like so many others I write about, Woodhouse is or has been involved with over a hundred companies, which keep changing their names.

And it’s made so much easier for them because Wales is so corrupt, because officialdom is so inept, because Wales has no functioning media, and no effective political opposition.

I believe Wales is in such a mess, with things about to get even worse, that somebody has to tell it like it is. That’s why I do what I do. And that’s why I shall now start work on Weep for Wales 13, which will be published next week.

It’s going to take a considerable amount of work because so much information has piled up in recent months. Anyone with information on any of the players can contact me at editor@jacothenorth.net.

Any lawyer considering getting in touch on behalf of any of the stars in this series really should think again. Anyone minded to issue threats can rest assured that they will be reported to North Wales Police.

Stay cool!

♦ end ♦


19 thoughts on “Weep for Wales: a statement

  1. Anon

    Suggest you do get legal advice. Defamation law doesn’t depend on “facts” being correct but whether you’ve damaged someones reputation. If they have a no win no fee lawyer and win, they’ll cost you a lot. And they may go after your website host – host can be very cautious and if they decide they don’t want trouble your posts and even whole site could be shut down.

    1. David Smith

      Nothing but a blatant attempt at intimidation. I’m sure it could be deduced that a letter has been hand delivered by the fact it carried no stamp, so HAND DELIVERED scrawled over it is about as subtle as a foghorn. I suggest a public declaration on this forum or another, revoking implied right of access to your property for any of these individuals or their representatives.

      1. Brychan

        My opinion.

        I would not expect any repeat of the ‘hand delivered note’ or any further contact, or incitement to contact, the recipient. This would constitute “a course of conduct” as defined by section 2 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. This is a summary only offence, carrying a maximum of six months imprisonment and/or a level 5 fine. It would be usual, had the police been informed, for a caution to be issued, which in some cases, can be without the knowledge of the victim concerned.

        Further consideration.

        As I understand the situation, the note was delivered to the home address, that the target is person is of considerable age, and that clear intent was demonstrated in finding the home address and significant effort made to attend this property due to geographical constraints. Not spur of the moment. This would suggest an aggravated feature, if repeated, being guidance to arrest, as it could be covered by section 4 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, an offence which on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, or a fine, or both.

        1. David Smith

          Jac blogged today that another note was delivered by hand (the 28th), I’ve suggested this unsolicited and publicly declared as unwelcome further intrusion onto his property could be seen as harassment?

    2. Big Gee

      If his hosting company was Google Blogger or similar you could be right Anon. However he’s been in safe hands since 2012 – I can assure you of that (check the side panel to the right of this page).

      The corpse of the head of his current hosting company – close to home in Ceredigion – will be found floating in the harbour in Aberaeron before this blog gets shut down. That old ploy has been tried and failed on a few occasions in the past!

      Home grown hosting companies from Ceredigion don’t take kindly to threats! So sleep peacefully.

    3. Brychan

      The solicitor claims to be the client of Plas Glynllifon Limited. This is company 10304939. The registrar of companies has given notice that unless cause is shown to the contrary within two months of the notification date of 13th August 2019 the said company will be struck off the register.

      A dead person or a dissolved company cannot sue for anything.

      I suggest that if the Williams pair seek to pursue this blog, it’s host, or the editor, that they immediately write to the registrar at Companies House by resolution of the board of directors to suspend the notice for compulsory strike off. Either that, or the Williams pair will need to get their legal representative to re-issue or clarify the notice of intent to clarify who exactly are the persons or entities that they seek remedy.

  2. Dafis

    Poor old Adam Price only months into his job as Leader and he’s proven to be as daft as his predecessor. Didn’t expect much of him but to be this feeble means that he is London’s best agent in Wales. A truly revolutionary leader would be using all the prevailing instability to stimulate real interest and momentum in the drive to independence. But not Adam, oh no. Too busy farting about with Pride Cymru and then telling Corbyn to focus on remain for the good of the UK. Unless Plaid undergoes a revolution from within, or Ein Gwlad manages to break out of the ring of limp indifference and hostility surrounding radical alternative thought here in Wales I predict that our identity and will to pursue independence will be well on the way to being extinguished within 20 years. Assimilation beckons, with stupid Johnson/Mogg/Farage type politics on the one hand and equally stupid Price/ Abbott et al ishoo driven on the other. ,

  3. Brychan

    Wales has a lot of ‘tourism and hospitality’ and it’s very concerning that the Welsh Government does not have knowledge and expertise in this sector. Interesting to see that Cyngor Gwynedd spotted a ‘wrong un’ and was not taken in. For the tap of public money to be conned by these fraudsters is a very serious matter. I discussed the ‘Weep For Wales’ trilogy with three individuals I know in this sector.

    (a) my local burger van proprietor who’s from Czech republic, ex-hotel chain worker, she having settled in Wales by marriage.
    (b) a trendy bar and restaurant entrepreneur (met at Pride) who’s had a series of establishments as ‘fads’ with short life cycle,
    (c) a former financial controller with a major tour operator, who’s Scottish but now retired.

    All three explain that if the basic of ‘asking around’ had been done this waste of public money would never happen. Staff in the hotel and restaurant trade tend to be transitory, often skipping from one establishment to another. Reputation is everything. It’s the chef, the barman, the cleaner, they all tend to know, even the guy who’s hired to mow the lawn and cut the bushes has a fair idea of who pays on time and gets to flush out the shysters.

    There is also then matter of the basic check of a firms balance sheet and evidently this was not done by those awarding grants from the Welsh Government. Investigations subsequently done over the kitchen table by the editor and contributors to this blog, yet somehow not spotted by those tasked with handing over millions of taxpayers money. You’d think a Labour Government would have spotted that a former employee won an industrial tribunal case for unfair dismissal on grounds of disability discrimination. Something very wrong at the heart of the Welsh Government, and Mr Skates is the man responsible.

    All it takes is lifting the phone and asking the civil servant to pop into the ministerial office to offer an explanation. Is his deputy, Waters, is shit scared to ask the questions or flag up concerns? He doesn’t seem to have with problem with the failing female ministers. Those in the tourism and hospitality sector needs to be aware that a ‘Dragons Den’ type interrogation can be expected when applying for public money. This case shows that the system is dysfunctional.

    The man/woman at Cyngor Gwynedd wasn’t taken in, despite the glowing PR splurge offered by the Daily Post.

    The Williams pair and Mylo are scum, but not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer. It took ITV/Guardian to expose the Woodlouse affair after issues were flagged up on this blog, but at least he’s got half a brain.

    Are there other cases that we are not aware of?

    Of course, ministers of government can get a feel for any business sector through the professional bodies. Stuff like chambers of trade, caravan club, hotelier organisations and even trade unions. The role of the lobbying firm, Deryn, not only feathers their own nest, but also has the effect of insulating government ministers from the real world. Corruption breeds corruption and there’s a rot at the heart of the Welsh Government.

    1. I wouldn’t give Gwynedd a gold star, certainly not the planning department. Read Wilmslow-sur-Mer and the Bryn Llys saga, where a bunch of crooks using the proceeds of crime built an ‘extension’ that dwarfed the original building and then the original building was demolished and the ‘extension’ put on the market for £850,000.

      Bryn Llys

      1. Brychan

        Yes. But to be fair policing is not devolved, let alone the council having resources to nail an international money laundering conspiracy. I wonder how much cash from the ‘proceeds of crime’ process will end up in council coffers? Wales is open to this type of criminal gang as our masters in Westminster regard Wales as peripheral colonial territory. I’m not convinced that planning inspectors should go to site with a semi-automatic Glock17 as was the case in the Bryn Llys “Bach” raid at Nebo. There’s a problem of enforcement in planning applications. Gwynedd is not the only council in Wales with this problem. We need a complete overhaul in enforcement powers and there are some breaches I see that should be shifted from the civil to the criminal process. Trash a stream you go to Crown Court, (environmental law). Trash our built or cultural environment and the council has to pay the costs of prosecution in the County Court. This needs to change.

      2. Wynne

        I assume anyone purchasing the building at asking price £850 k would have the cash available. I would expect the planning history to be revealed in legal searches making it difficult / impossible to raise a mortgage. There is a requirement to disclose whether enforcement notices have been served.

  4. Jonesy

    As he provided his address it wld be great if the SFO turned up on his doorstep. BTW where are our opposition SMS and misc MPS , totally turning a blind eye including plaid who are too busy with flippin Pride, might as well rename themselves…

    1. Brychan

      Bleddyn Hancock who almost won the Pontypridd constituency for Plaid Cymru many years ago.

      Bleddyn was the secretary of National Association of Colliery Overmen, Deputies and Shotfirers (NACODS), a collier, and a tireless campaigner for gay rights, especially on issues like Clause28 and workplace equality. This was when the ‘gay rights’ issue was a campaign of liberation. A time when Nia Griffiths was pretending to be a spinster and Chris Bryant was secretary of the Oxford Conservatives.

      This is so far distant from the current approach of ‘corporate public relations’ as rather shallow and a token support for Gay Pride. The stick a rainbow on the logo approach, currently offered by the likes of Chad Rickard as one of the ‘Plaid Cymru in-clique’.

      It shows.
      I’m sure Adam Price is aware, particularly after the abuse handed out to Dilys.

      Is Plaid Cymru is going to return to the ‘community campaigns’ of its past or just continue the ‘tokenism’ of the current direction of the party. Plaid Cymru it at its best when it is of, and from, the community, and there are many communities of Wales. It’s not about well trimmed beards, smart suits with a degree in politics. Those are slimy shmoozers. Someone needs get a grip in Plaid Cymru, and posting a photo of your latest curry on twitter or claiming faux victim-hood does not win elections.

      Where are our opposition AMs and MPs?
      Valid question Jonesy.

      1. The Plaid Cymru leadership, like so many self-elected ‘progressive’ cliques, finds itself in an unprecedented position. Hitherto, the left could always argue that it was in step with the proletariat. Since Brexit, the rise of Farage, and other rejections of its ‘progressive’ outlook, the left has been forced to re-evaluate its relationship with the common herd now viewed by many on the left as the enemy.

        The new focus is no longer on the white working class but on minorities of all kinds. This has resulted in Plaid Cymru becoming attractive to all sorts of people who view the party as a platform from which they can spout about whatever really concerns them. Wales, and independence, were forced to take a back seat.

        When YesCymru was formed, in response to this loss of focus under Leanne Wood, the ishoomongers quickly got involved because they saw another platform.

        Plaid’s next conference is crucial for the party’s future. If the Leannistas’ death-grip is not loosened then Plaid Cymru is doomed to be a minority party for minorities with some vague commitment to Welshness and Welsh independence.

        1. Dafis

          As I said earlier – ….”Unless Plaid undergoes a revolution from within, or Ein Gwlad manages to break out of the ring of limp indifference and hostility surrounding radical alternative thought here in Wales I predict that our identity and will to pursue independence will be well on the way to being extinguished within 20 years. Assimilation beckons, with stupid Johnson/Mogg/Farage type politics on the one hand and equally stupid Price/ Abbott et al ishoo driven on the other. ”

          Not seen anything since the midday period that changes my view. Indeed so many Plaid scribblers on sites and twitter are happy to back Price’s “flexible” policy – “Remain” alternating with “Brexit with a deal” tomorrow, but always against a “no deal” outcome. What these people don’t recognise is that it is purely a UK Remainer plot just as dastardly as the UK Brexit plot but without the potential for breaking up this shitty union once and for all.

          Looks like we will have to count on SNP to get the break up under way. At least there’s a sense of focus up there. Right now despite the DUP and hardcore loyalists I fancy Northern Ireland could manage change before our soppy lot.

  5. Wynne

    Look forward to the next thrilling instalment of “Weep for Wales” . Hope the Welsh media, local and national politicians tune in to your blog and finally start asking the right questions. You have courageously placed the evidence in the public domain. It is for others now to pick up the baton and run with it.

  6. Always follow the money….from the shyster lawyers to dodgy companies..to grants from the Welsh Assembly dressed as a business ..there is always a trail..why the Cops aren’t turning over shyster lawyers offices for carpet bagging in Wales I don’t know. Follow the money..but where do you start? Well there are those thst have gained..put them on the asset side…then there are the politicians who wish they had never ever got involved..they are the liabilities..they will never ever help you or the cops. Then there is the consulting firm..they must know..follow the money does it go through the consultants advicers desk…

    1. Anon

      As someone who was actually employed by these confidence tricksters, I have already posted a comment previously. They have conned people left right and center – including the fools in the Welsh Asembly and local council who have given them funds. This was the tax payers monies and as you so rightly say – why is it that they get away with it?! They took everything from the Radnorshire Arms which wasn’t nailed down. Ask the local communities what they think of Paul and Rowena Williams? They would string them up!!!!

Would you like to comment?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.