Yes, there’s definitely an election on the way!

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

A few weeks back I wrote Elections, May 2021, which some may have thought was a bit premature. Well, things have hotted up and there’s no doubting it now – the election campaign has definitely started!

THE ‘NATIONAL MOVEMENT’

In this piece I’m going to focus on elements of what is often referred to as ‘the national movement’. Partly because I’ve been part of this movement for over 50 years and partly because that’s where much of the action seems to be at the moment.

Let’s start with Yes Cymru, which has seen phenomenal growth this year, with the trend accelerating in recent weeks. But this growing interest in independence has not resulted in any increase in support for Plaid Cymru

In fact, according to the latest Welsh Political Barometer Poll Plaid Cymru remains in third place for the constituency vote next May (but up by 2%), and in the same position for the regional list vote (down by 1%).

The poll predicts Plaid will win 15 seats, and if Labour only wins the 25 predicted then we’re in for a Labour-Plaid Cymru coalition. Five years of virtue signalling, pumping more money into the third sector, being told what to do by lobbyists and civil servants, while blaming every Tom Dick and Boris for Wales’ continuing economic and social woes.

In August, there had been a YouGov poll which suggested that, with Don’t knows removed, 51% of Labour voters would support independence if the option was put to them in a referendum. The same poll suggested that only 45% of those who voted for Plaid Cymru in December 2019 would definitely vote for independence.

Which highlights two problems for Plaid Cymru.

On the one hand, most of those who could be won over to independence do not vote for Plaid Cymru, and never will. While on the other hand, the party has in recent years attracted oddball cliques that see Plaid Cymru as just another mouthpiece for what really matters to them, and these have little or no interest in Wales or in Welsh independence.

This is bad news all round for Plaid Cymru, and yet it’s a problem that often afflicts socialist or ‘progressive’ parties, as this tweet, quoting Irish revolutionary, James Connolly, reminds us.

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The message there, and certainly the lesson for Plaid Cymru, is that in Ireland, in the early twentieth century, the socialist movement stayed focused on Ireland, and independence. It did not allow itself to be sidetracked by cranks and dilettantes.

Plaid Cymru not benefiting from the growth in support for Yes Cymru, or from the increasing interest in the option of independence, explains them desperately pushing the idea that anyone leaning in that direction must vote for the party – because there is no alternative.

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But when you think about the panel above, if Plaid Cymru was the party it pretends to be then it wouldn’t need people to ‘lend’ it their vote. Anyone wanting or even considering independence would already be a Plaid Cymru voter.

That Plaid’s support remains static, uninfluenced by the rise in support for independence, speaks volumes.

And of course, Plaid Cymru is no longer the only party promoting independence. We now have Gwlad and the WNP.

The argument used against these newcomers is that they will ‘split the nationalist vote’, which is laughable. By being unable to win over independence-minded supporters of other parties, and with so few in its own ranks wanting independence, Plaid Cymru is already splitting the nationalist vote.

Or, maybe, it has failed dismally to maximise the nationalist vote.

The truth is that the new parties can only increase the nationalist vote by attracting those who wouldn’t ‘lend’ their vote to Plaid Cymru if the offer came gift-wrapped and with a weekend in Tenby thrown in.

Plaid Cymru will, I’m sure, lose votes to Gwlad. I’m thinking of socially conservative nationalists who’ve stuck with the party despite the lurch to the left and who, more recently, have been alienated by the intolerant advocates of identity politics.

If these traditionalists desert in any substantial number then Plaid Cymru will be even more under the control of the aforementioned cranks and dilettantes. Irrespective of who is paraded as the party ‘leader’.

As for those Labour voters prepared to go for independence if a referendum was held, we know where they live. The great majority of them in the urban south between Burry Port and Blaenavon. And many of them voted for Brexit.

Yet Plaid Cymru has recently said that an independent Wales will be a member of the European Union, no ifs or buts. And with no mention of a referendum!

A political party talking down to those it claims to want as voters deserves to be rejected. But this contempt for the white working class seems to be the norm among socialist parties nowadays.

Though maybe some half-hearted effort will be made to reach out to the anglophone working class.

For Plaid Cymru recently applied to register a new descriptor with the Electoral Commission. That new descriptor is New Wales Party, NWP.

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What a coincidence! For earlier last month the WNP applied to register as the Welsh Nation Party, WNP.

After I’d been alerted to it I put out the above tweet last Friday. On Monday, there was an article in Llais y Sais. Now why the hell would something apparently so minor justify such an article?

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Though according to the article, the decision to apply to the Electoral Commission for the change was not made by the National Executive Committee of Plaid Cymru. So who was responsible? The cleaner at Tŷ Gwynfor?

Who’s running this show!

Something else that struck me about the article was that the writer, Martin Shipton, seemed to have forgotten that Plaid Cymru already had the English name Party of Wales. Is that to be dropped?

But it didn’t end with the article. There was even an editorial!

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So much coverage for Plaid Cymru, insisting the change had been under discussion for yonks! A cynic might suggest it sounds like Plaid Cymru desperately trying to explain itself after being caught out in a spoiling tactic intended to confuse voters.

It also suggests that Martin Shipton might be going soft on Plaid Cymru.

Plaid Cymru’s shortcomings may be exposed to the world but it still has options for promoting itself and attacking rivals. Within Yes Cymru, Plaid Cymru supporters urge members to join the party, and last weekend we saw Plaid use an old subsidiary in the form of Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (CyIG), the Welsh Language Society.

At the CyI AGM a motion was passed saying, “the pressure group would refuse to engage with anyone whom in their words: ‘promote and tolerate prejudice against any groups, be they LGBT +, black people, migrants or women’.”

And that included Gwlad!

An interesting choice of words, though. “Tolerate prejudice” rather than being prejudiced is straight from the BLM playbook, where not being racist isn’t enough. And I was struck by the use of “migrants” rather than ‘refugees’. Basically, anyone should be allowed to move anywhere without any checks.

Infantile, open borders, anti-Western drivel.

Though consistent. Because Cymdeithas yr Iaith wants Wales to be open to everybody. Which means that a group trying to keep Welsh alive as a community language seems unaware that the biggest threat to the language is inward migration to the language heartlands.

That motion suggests CyIG’s priority now is playing politics rather than saving the language.

Just like Plaid Cymru Cymdeithas suffers from the problem of grabbing off-the-shelf global positions and being unwilling or unable to modify them for Wales.

Look around Europe at small nations or minority groups, Basques, Corsicans and others. Yes, they have socialist parties or groups, but their socialism is used to benefit their people and promote their cause. Not so in Wales.

Saving the planet means covering Wales in foreign-owned wind turbines that create no jobs and put only crumbs into Welsh communities. While supporting migration makes it ‘racist’ to challenge the colonisation of Wales.

Which makes Wales unique in having ‘socialists’ unwilling to challenge colonialism in their own country!

Yet there’s humour in everything. And while Cymdeithas yr Iaith has clearly been  infiltrated by the ‘wokies’ there remains the long and embarrassing shadow of Saunders Lewis.

Saunders Lewis was a founder member of Plaid Cymru, an academic, WWI veteran, a playwright, author, convert to Catholicism, and well to the right of the political centre. His 1962 radio lecture, Tynged yr Iaith (the Future of the Language) was the inspiration for the formation of Cymdeithas yr Iaith.

But the wokies cannot acknowledge Saunders Lewis. He cannot even be named! As we see in the panel below taken from the Society’s website.

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It’s surely only a matter of time until the reference to “a leading academic” is also excised. I can see the next version – ‘Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg was formed at a congress of workers, peasants and intellectuals that had gathered to discuss sending volunteers to Cuba to fight US imperialist aggression’. Right on!

Joking aside, there’s little in the short term that Plaid Cymru, Yes Cymru, Cymdeithas yr Iaith, Gwlad or the WNP can do to bring Welsh independence nearer. I say that because factors beyond our control are likely to be much more influential.

I’m thinking now of Scottish independence, and the reaction to that of the Labour Party in Wales. Or perhaps it won’t be the party itself that puts Wales on the path to the final rupture but the party’s voters.

I’m suggesting that those who reject Plaid Cymru could help deliver independence. What irony that would be. So much for Plaid Cymru being ‘the only way’!

In the meantime, the UK state will do what it can to support Plaid Cymru. Because as I never tire of telling you, from London’s perspective Plaid Cymru is the ideal ‘national party’.

In a flattering light Plaid Cymru can pass for a national party, but its true benefit lies in its dog-in-a-manger role, blocking the emergence of genuine nationalist parties. Its leaders are biddable, easily seduced with peerages and other ‘honours’, but the party – and this extends to its subsidiary groups – is no threat whatsoever to the constitutional status quo or the colonisation of Wales.

For what more could Mother England ask?

IN OTHER NEWS . . .

Limbering up for May’s elections has not been confined to the disparate elements of the national movement, and confirmation of this has come from wildly differing directions.

Let’s start with an old favourite on this blog.

You’ll recall that a couple of years back, and by a substantial majority, members of the self-styled Wales Green Party voted against becoming . . . . the Wales Green Party. Thereby and irrevocably confirming that they were naught but the local branch of the Green Party of Englandandwales.

But lo! even these colonialist carpet-baggers have sensed the changing mood and are now in favour of Welsh independence! As reported here in Left Foot Forward. (Of which I am an avid reader.)

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“Wales can stand alone”, says Siân Berry . . . but not, apparently, her party’s members in Wales. Driving this inconsistency ad absurdum we could have an independent Wales in which elections are contested by the Green Party of Englandandwales.

At the very least, and if only, for once, to be consistent, the Greens in Wales should now break from England to form a genuine Wales Green Party. To not do so makes them look like opportunists jumping on a bandwagon.

Let me explain what drives this new-found enthusiasm for our national liberation. For it dovetails perfectly with what attracts the oddballs, cranks and dilettantes I mentioned earlier to Plaid Cymru.

Under devolution, and especially with the virtue-signallers managing the show, pressure groups and assorted cranks have realised they can wield influence in Wales to an extent that would not be tolerated in better regulated countries.

This unwelcome phenomenon explains, for example, why we have One Planet Developments. Put simply, Wales is becoming internationally known as a ‘soft touch’.

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The thinking therefore runs . . . ‘If we can get all this in a devolved Wales, then we could control an independent Wales’. Elections would be a minor inconvenience, for cohorts of Estuary English-speaking charlatans in Corruption Bay would control the political process and the spending priorities.

The only way out of this nightmare is to stop voting for politicians and political parties manipulated by people who simply want to use our country, and our money, to fulfil their fantasies.

In my earlier piece I told you about a new grouping called the Independent Alliance for Reform.

This has been formed by David Rowlands, who was elected in 2016 as the Ukip AM for South Wales East; Caroline Jones, elected at the same time for Ukip in South Wales West; and Mandy Jones, who took over the North Wales Ukip seat vacated when Nathan Gill resigned in 2018.

This could be a half-way house, and the word to emphasise may be Reform. I say that because the Electoral Commission’s website tells us that an application has recently been received, and is under consideration, to relaunch the Brexit Party as Reform UK.

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If I’m right, then this would leave Neil Hamilton as the last man standing of the 7 that made up Ukip’s 2016 intake.

The other player for the Brexit / London-knows-best vote is of course the Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party. No doubt, some time between now and next May they’ll realise that what they seek to abolish has changed its name.

CONCLUSION

For the first time in a long time Welsh politics is looking interesting. Partly because of what’s happening in Wales, but mainly because of what’s happening in London, and Scotland, and elsewhere.

For the arrogance, ineptitude and corruption we see from the Conservative government in Westminster has done more to make Welsh independence an attractive proposition than anything happening in Wales.

With the SNP more likely to deliver Welsh independence than Plaid Cymru.

And while Wales voted for Brexit, we did not vote for the looming disaster that will make us even poorer, perhaps turning Holyhead and Fishguard into ghost towns.

All that being so, it really is time for Plaid Cymru to adopt a little humility and accept the realities of modern Wales. Which are:

1/ Plaid Cymru is not the only party or group advocating independence.

2/ Most of those coming around to the idea of independence do not vote for Plaid Cymru and are unlikely to ever vote for Plaid Cymru.

3/ The independence movement contains individuals, groups and political parties with which Plaid Cymru will not see eye to eye. Grow up and accept it!

4/ However, if ideological purity is more important than independence, and if Plaid Cymru continues to align itself with Unionist parties, cranks and others exploiting Wales, then it must expect to be regarded with suspicion.

5/ Ultimately, Plaid Cymru is faced with a simple choice. Either be part of the movement for Welsh independence, or else remain a self-deluding obstacle to achieving independence.

6/ Things are moving in ways that leave Welsh politicians impotent. So look beyond the Corruption Bay bubble, take in the bigger picture, and be ready to seize the opportunities that will surely come our way.

♦ end ♦

 




73 thoughts on “Yes, there’s definitely an election on the way!

  1. Another brilliant examination of the political scene in Wales. Let’s hope it provokes a big debate. One minor point – the UK press and media are now all full of the news of the departure of Dominic Cummings from the power house in Westminster. Can a future “Jac o’ the North’ posting have a close look at every SPAD Political Adviser employed in Cardiff Bay to advise the Senedd Ministers. Who are they? What are their CVs? What experience outside of a BA (pass) Student study have they had in the real world other than Student Union activity and membership of the Labour Party – mostly joining as young Corbynites? What do they earn? I’m told the most amateur research they do is by using WIKI and GOOGLE to advise the Senedd. Any fool could do that for about £75,000 a year. The questions are countless. Having said that – it is for a future ‘Jac Posting’ not for debating now as a sideline from the brilliant article above. Stick to this latest Jac Posting above not my comment here. That’s for another day in the Bay.

  2. Jonathan Edwards

    You mention both Scotland (SNP) and Ireland (James Connolly) as having something to offer Wales, whereas Plaid is failing in its mission. The difference lies in guts and intellectual rigour. Can’t say I’m a committed fan of Sturgeon, but the Scots do have a solid history of clear tough thinking (Calvinism, Catholicism, Enlightenment rational). The Irish do clear tough thinking too. Connolly was a socialist, but he put his national cause first. He was also a Catholic and the Jesuits and others certainly do instil hard and self-critical thinking. And the Irish nationalist leaders knew their subject, which was nationalism not wokism. For example at an early (and difficult) stage in 1925 they had worked out what to do about their National Debt and got an excellent deal out of London. See
    https://academic.oup.com/ereh/advance-article/doi/10.1093/ereh/heaa004/5827947
    All rather dry but absolutely vital if you are setting up a nation. Noone, but noone in Plaid Cymru seems to work out solid things like the Wales Debt, or how you do Conventions to get freedom. Plaid lacks the basic foundations/discipline to lead a country into freedom.

  3. Dafis

    Off topic if narrowly defined but of immediate relevance to a lot of small traders, like farmers, living in parts of Wales where decent internet service has hardly ever been achieved.

    https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKHMRCED/bulletins/2ac1882

    These are the sort of practical problems that the occupants of the political bubble just don’t care about. Sure thing, in the months leading up to an election there will be a multitude of platitudes mouthed about connectivity in the 21st century but they might as well be talking about spreading horse shit by hand. I’ve long since come to the view that none of the current crop of grey tossers ( or their female equivalents) are worth a light and sadly they are all colluding to do their level best to exterminate Gwlad and WNP at the earliest possible opportunity. If Cardiff West fails to return McEvoy in 2021 or at least he defends his regional seat I think you might as well call it a day. It will mean that all those Unionist arselickers and their fellow travellers will have secured the programme of assimilation with only timescales left to be determined. The Price/Wood colonial lackey bandwagon will carry on propping up the Bay Labour regime or any other Unionist combo ad infinitum.

  4. Dafis

    P.S to the above : This quote sums up the dilemmas of the soaking wet insipid wokeys – “They loved Rosa Parks because she didn’t want to sit at the back of a bus, yet love the Islamists even more for making women join the back of the queue.” That’s the kind of confusion that they think endears them and their dopey stances to the majority of ordinary men and women a.k.a the electorate.

  5. Anonymous

    The cause of Welsh Independence will be huge in the coming election & to succeed, needs to appeal to the working class of industrial & post industrial South Wales, this must mean control of our economy.
    Without control of our economy & key industries, energy, electric, gas, water, railways and buses we will still be controlled from the City of London,
    By economic control I mean currency, money supply and banking. We can run a deficit economy by lending to ourselves something we have learned post 2008.
    We also need to take all land under the Welsh state umbrella, holdings of land stolen or given by the English monarchy becomes our land this should not frighten Hill Farmers or small holders, no one intends to kick them off their land. Tenant farmers need not fear either, their Local Authority becomes their landlord.

  6. Yann Maenden

    More confused maths from Jac.
    Quote:
    Let’s start with Yes Cymru, which has seen phenomenal growth this year, with the trend accelerating in recent weeks. But this growing interest in independence has not resulted in any increase in support for Plaid Cymru
    End quote

    That’s because interest In Yes Cymru doesn’t necessarily mean a growing interest in independence. It might just mean that a few thousand people from Plaid have joined YC.

    Gwlad won’t get anywhere – they don’t have the publicity machine. Apart from a few increasingly weird rants in the smaller online nationalist forums nothing is heard from them.

    The WNP is living on delusions. They were elected as Plaid candidates. Now they’ve deserted Plaid a large number of Plaid votes will be lost to them. It’s unlikely they’ll get the personal vote to see them through.
    Neil McEvoy was actually elected to the Senedd on the Plaid Cymru regional list, under the Additional Member System. That’s not going to happen again is it ?

    Like it or loath it the only way forward is a good vote for Plaid, not only for the elected members it may bring, but because a good vote for Plaid puts pressure on Labour and other groups to incline towards independence for their own salvation.

    1. A ‘good vote’ for Plaid would be meaningless. Plaid does not really want independence – too much hassle, too much responsibility, nobody else funding it and nobody else to blame. Devo Max with thousands more sinecures for their pals is all Plaid Cymru really wants. Plaid’s ambition extends no further than replacing Labour as London’s management team in Cardiff.

      1. Dafis

        It may become necessary to exterminate Plaid Cymru as any kind of political force before other parties with a genuine interest in secession from the UK can flourish properly. Why ? Simply because Plaid has been built up into a force of distraction, a force that attracts and fosters anything but those issues of immediate relevance. It is a force that disappoints and depresses those who aspire to freedom, clearly a force known to collude with colonial priorities and just loves the Anglo-Brit imperial circus.

    2. Brychan

      The superior tone from Yann Maenden is the reason why the Plaid Cymru vote in the Llanelli constituency, the only target seat they have in Wales, has halved and end up trailing behined the Tories.

      Straight out of the Alun Ffred handbook where he ends up calling voters deadwood.

      Plaid Cymru remind me of Trump, only in this case they end up running to London to recreuit lawyers to fend off McEvoy. Then they run around Swansea distributing tins of beans, saying were’re not nationalists really.

      1. Wrexhamian

        I suspect that his superior tone masks considerable anxiety. Nobody expects a Gwlad-WNP coalition to be governing the country immediately after May 2021, but Yann Maenden should be very concerned at the very fact that Plaid Cymru councillors are quitting the party to join one of the new boys. As well as an exercise in denial and wishful thinking, his comment is factually wrong, specifically as regards his claim that the massive rise in YesCymru membership “doesn’t necessarily mean a growing interest in independence”.

        For God’s sake, Yann, what else could it mean! And the rise in membership is less likely to be coming from Plaid Cymru members and more likely to come from the 51% of Labour voters who are now at the very least indy-curious; unless, of course, Plaid Cymru members are being told to join YesCymru in order to bring the movement into line. The rise in YesCymru membership, and the very existence of two new and genuine national parties, has pulled the rug from under Plaid’s feet. It is they who are fast becoming the “dead wood”.

        1. Brychan

          We know there’s a huge disconnect opening up between people who used to vote Labour “to fend off the Tories” but who also voted in favour of Brexit in Wales.

          These are the promiscuous voters.

          The idea that these voters will automatically turn out for Labour at election time is wrong, as was proved in the last Westminster election. The challenge for Labour is to get these voters to return to Labour in the national election in May. The challenge for Plaid Cymru is to capture them. However, like Labour, Plaid Cymru are the comfy establishment in Wales, this is unlikely.

          It is possible for Plaid Cymru to capture them by strong community campaigning but PC show no signs of doing this, appointing bland candidates in suits or recycled has beens, as well as there obsession with fringe campus ishoos.

          Whoever can muster a good community campaign, will make gains.
          I don’t see McEvoy going to sleep in Cardiff.
          Then there are ‘events’.

          1. Wrexhamian

            I agree, Brychan. These are the people whom the two new parties should be trying to win over, assuming that both have a well-thought-out policy for the post-industrial areas and can focus on local issues that directly affect theses areas. They can also emphasise the irrelevance of Plaid Cymru’s student politics and the manifest failure of Labour to lift these areas out of poverty and decline.

            Should be easy, But I’ve said before that Drakeford’s performance during Covid might be enough to win them back for Welsh Labour.

            I still think that the new under-18 voters will be as much of a deciding factor as the traditional automatic-reaction Labour voters. I suspect that many of them will love Plaid’s wokism until they’ve grown up.

            1. Jonathan Edwards

              W, you say it should be easy to get “a well-thought-out policy for the post-industrial areas and can focus on local issues” and persuade people who voted for Brexit (“UK for ever”? to vote for an Independent Wales. I don’t think this is easy otherwise all the parties would be doing it. And they’re not. That’s because its hard. McEvoy is perfectly placed to do it if anybody can in Wales. What planks do you put in your platform? McEvoy has got Housing, and general feistyness and fights one-off issues well. But what is the blue/white collar voter going to respond to? I think it has something to do with populism. Trump would tell you its about ordinary people who want the ability to work and trade, a fair chance, law and order, and the chance to earn a nicer house. And we have to bear in mind that the thing Welsh women voters want above everything is lots of high-standard Health Care. And…I agree this is an incomplete formula, You could add “love of country” but which one would Welsh voters actually pick, Wales or UK? What do you think, Wrexhamian?

              1. Wrexhamian

                As always, Jonathan, “It’s the economy, stupid” will be the main driver that determines which party wins the post-industrial vote. Gwlad or the WNP can give a manifesto commitment for more effective use of public money by committing to stopping the Third Sector from hoovering up taxpayers money for projects that are detrimental to Cymru’s social, cultural and economic wellbeing. Any party that promises to divert money from Welsh RSLs that give priority to people not wanted by their English local authority, or from the Afan Valley Adventure Resort, and to put it into the Welsh NHS or education, can’t fail to win the votes of ordinary Welsh women — and men.

                Meanwhile, as regards “Wales or UK?”, we can rely on Boris Johnson’s obvious intention of driving a bulldozer through devolution to swing people over to “Wales before the UK”. Jac pointed out about a year ago that “They (Westminster) will not be so foolish as to gift us another Tryweryn”. The Internal Market Bill, and Johnson’s anti-devolution stance generally, might prove otherwise, especially as Covid-19 has shown that, for once, devolution has actually worked in Wales’s favour. And everyone in Wales knows it has worked, because it’s been on the telly.

                Few Welsh people will be ready yet to man the barricades to defend devolution, but they’ll vote for any party that has a clear strategy for using it more effectively. Having said that, ‘Drakeford versus Covid’ will narrowly win the 2021 election for Welsh Labour; and the anti-devolution Vera Lyn Fan Club parties will crash and burn.

                I therefore expect fewer lost deposits for either of the two new pro-Wales parties than unionist apologists like Yann Maenden would obviously like to see. And in the next-election-but-one, they could win constituency seats if the Tories are still in power at Westminster, and Scotland has waved bye-bye.

                1. Wrexhamian

                  Looks like I spoke too soon. Ye olde House of Lords has today rejected the anti-devolution clauses in the Internal Markets Bill. Over to you, Boris.

    3. CambroUiDunlainge

      Not as simple as like it or loath it. It’s up to Plaid to win the voters. It cannot expect people to fall into their lap by default over Indy while doing as little as possible. Needs to do more than go with changing global trends. I don’t see that as the radical opposition to Unionism. They’re afraid to move away from their base and afraid to stand apart from the establishment they are actually opposing by taking up the Indy cause.

      Betting on Labour switching sides for its own salvation is a 50/50 thing. Plenty of confidence that people inside Labour are doing all they can to do that… but what happened in Scotland shows they won’t seek salvation.

      That said… Senedd elections. They are only useful in delivering a democratic mandate. That doesn’t necessarily equate to getting a referendum or bringing Westminster to the table on equal terms and Plaid doesn’t have the leverage. When people say that a majority will get a legally binding referendum (personally don’t think it’d come to UDI) its like they’ve forgotten who they want Indy from and why they want it.

  7. Dr John Ball

    Annwyl Jac

    Thought provoking as ever.

    The first part of this response is a reply to Yann Maendem who doesn’t understand either mathematics or Yes Cymru. The realty is membership of YC is double that of Plaid Cymru and, unlike PC, are active members, the majority are NOT members of PC.
    It may well be the case that the new parties will not do well on May, but few new political movements ever do in their early days; look at Plaid Cymru or indeed the Labour Party. Interesting to compare these two, founded at about the same time, Plaid Cymru still in the backwater and Labour achieving power and indeed within a UK context, substantial change..
    What IS significant – as you have pointed out Jac – is their very existence speaks volumes.

    Plaid Cymru. There’s no secret, the plan is simple and transparent. Win enough list seats, prop up the labour government, Price Deputy First Minister and a couple of party hacks in lesser important ministries. Why is this plan so transparent? The party announced with much glee its list candidates – nothing about constituencies where the work really needs to done and the list is a safe way – without doing any work – for the good and faithful to get elected and sit quietly.

    What you did not mention Jac is Plaid Cymru’s duplicity. With May in mind now busy telling the Welsh people that independence is the only way forward, having just published its Commission on Independence (sic) which aside for being the most confused political document in a generation, actually suggests a confederation – which is not independence!

    1. On the election front there are fewer and fewer constituency seats where Plaid Cymru has a chance of winning, so I suppose they have to focus on the regional lists. This is due entirely to Plaid Cymru itself. By screwing up in places like Blaenau Gwent and Llanelli, and refusing to confront the demographic changes in its former heartland.

      The safest seat left is Dwyfor Meirionnydd. But DET had built up quite a personal vote, and then he threw it away. The Plaid candidate next May will pay a price for that simply because he’s the Plaid candidate. But I expect him to be elected with a reduced majority.

      The Commission on Independence was a dog’s dinner because Plaid itself is trying to say different things to different audiences. When you and I got involved in the 1960s there no question – it was independence. But since then, and especially as the party moved left, it’s been mixed messages. And when someone as authoritative as Dafydd Wigley says Plaid has never believed in independence you have to believe him. Which means we were duped.

      Plaid Cymru today contains large numbers of people who are not just ambivalent about independence, they really don’t care much about Wales. They’re using the party to welcome refugees, fight transphobes, save the planet – but Wales? They don’t give a shit.

      Like all leftist parties in the West they are now talking over the heads of the working class to others like themselves in England and around the world. Let’s hope our people realise the contempt in which they’re held by Plaid Cymru’s luvvies. Because they will never be forgiven for voting for Brexit.

    2. David Robins

      According to Yann Maenden, “That’s because interest In Yes Cymru doesn’t necessarily mean a growing interest in independence. It might just mean that a few thousand people from Plaid have joined YC.”

      Notice what’s wrong with that? Anyone in PC interested in independence and seeing YC as having a significant role in achieving it would have joined YC the day it launched. Any PC member joining NOW is either (1) no longer interested in PC but sees YC as the best alternative available, or (2) not interested in independence but able to spot a bandwagon potentially open to manipulation for personal gain. PC doesn’t come out of it well either way.

      1. My understanding is that Yes cymru is a single-issue organisation, with the issue being Welsh independence. To argue that thousands of people might join YC for other reasons is pretty desperate stuff.

        The embarrassment for Plaid Cymru is two-fold. First, enough people thought there was no real discussion around independence that they formed Yes Cymru; and then thousands of non-Plaid people joined Yes Cymru, thereby exposing Plaid’s inability to attract independence-minded people.

        1. David Robins

          If Yes Cymru is a single-issue organisation, with the issue being Welsh independence, that’s good news. I hope it stays that way. I doubt it will.

          Here in England in the early 2000s I encountered the South West Constitutional Convention, one of John Prescott’s lapdogs. I was amazed how soon they took their eye off the ball, debating whether, for example, there should be reserved seats for the ethnic minorities in any regional assembly. Actual ethnic minorities said no, that would be racist.

  8. Dr John Ball

    Jac

    Duplicity. The front cover of PC’s “independence” Report is a photograph of a Yes Cymru march!
    How more dishonest can PC get?

    1. Yes Cymru, and the marches, proved to be quite an embarrassment for Plaid Cymru because they exposed the party’s drift away from what should have been its core principle. So Plaid has cynically tried to associate itself with Yes Cymru, hoping to give the impression that it’s an extension of the party.

      But Plaid has learnt a lot of bad habits in recent decades. Perhaps because it’s attracted too many people who have no intention of debating anything, simply imposing their views on others.

      I’ve had arguments with lots of people over the years, we all have, but it often ends with, ‘Fair enough, we’ll have to disagree on that one’. And, in fairness, I’m still in contact with some of Plaid’s more rational people. But in recent years there’s been a new intake that is close to being fanatical. For if you disagree with them, you aren’t just wrong, you’re evil. The issues that work these people into a frenzy are sexual orientation, race, the environment, immigration.

      Suggest that someone with male genitalia is a man and you’re damned as a transphobe, someone planning a pogrom against cross-dressers! We must accept the Antifa / BLM agenda that all white people are racists whose ancestors were probably involved in the slave trade. There must be no checks on anyone wanting to move to Europe and to suggest there should be makes you little different to the Nazis. While not accepting every lunacy uttered by every crank and alarmist on global warming makes you a ‘climate change denier’ intent on destroying the planet!

      There can be no nuanced interpretation or debate. You must accept what they say or face the consequences. Which is why so many either fall into line or stay silent. And why an increasing number are fighting back. They are dictatorial and intolerant fanatics. The antithesis of Western values.

      Plaid recently showed how far it has gone down that road by accepting back, and adopting as a candidate, Sahar Al-Faifi. In order to prove how welcoming the party is, how free of prejudice, Plaid Cymru took into their bosom an anti-Semitic Muslim fundamentalist who shares none of those vales!

      I will do whatever I can to expose and damage this shower of shit.

      1. Dafis

        You reveal yet again a mastery of understatement, as in – “But in recent years there’s been a new intake that is close to being fanatical.”

        More like an intake that looks well beyond the benchmark for being utterly bonkers and detached from reality. There again you probably wrote that knowing that it would wind me up.

        Today I’m in good hwyl celebrating a great Pumas victory over the NZ All Blacks. Argentina, a country that picks a squad of 23 Argies, 46-60 wider training group, no imports, no project players, a country that still loses odd talent to other countries due to ancestry. Someone said earlier that Wales should take a leaf out of their book, I think Wales should buy the book, read the bloody thing and adopt it en bloc.

        1. As you know, I’ve always had a soft spot for the Argies. Goes back to the injustice of 1966. (I have a Boca Juniors shirt with ‘Rattin’ on the back.)

          Though when it comes to rugby it seemed that for decades the national team was made up of eight brawlers with a kicker at half back. In more recent times they have adopted a 15 man approach and it’s paying off. Good for Argentina and good for rugby.

          You know, I might have a glass or two of Malbec tonight!

          1. Dafis

            2 bottles ! one for today and another tomorrow. I’ll have to ease up next week to stay upright.

      2. Des

        About a year ago Caroline Lucas was on the wireless replying to a question from a Welsh woman and to my amazement in a serious voice she said she’d like Brighton to become independent so it could form an alliance with a future Plaid run Wales.

          1. Des

            I think the admiration is mutual, which leaves me questioning why half of Plaid’s membership are in a nationalist party at all?

    2. Wrexhamian

      If YesCymru’s momentum keeps building, Plaid Cymru will either attempt to control and emasculate them, or will fall out with them.

  9. Anonymous

    ‘Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg was formed at a congress of workers, peasants and intellectuals that had gathered to discuss sending volunteers to Cuba to fight US imperialist aggression’.
    What? I thought Cymdeithas was founded in Pontarddulais!

    1. Yes . . . “at a congress of workers, peasants and intellectuals that had gathered to discuss sending volunteers to Cuba to fight US imperialist aggression”.

      1. Dafis

        Boy hasn’t heard of the Llwchwr Brigade ! If they hadn’t had that spate of punctures on their bike wheels they would have got over and claimed Florida for Fidel. Still maintain it was sabotage perpetrated by local British Legion militants acting as agents for the Teddy Roosevelt Fan Club.

        1. The northern detachment was under strength due to Betsy Coyd eloping with her boyfriend Mostyn Docks. (They lived happily ever after.)

  10. regionalsceptic

    I think the idea of Wales deciding by referendum to detach itself from the UK,(in reality England) is an interesting one,and was it not the reason for the creation of Plaid Cymru??.There is no doubt that there is a class of welsh people who seem to have a very ’emotional’ attachment to CYMRU,and thats fine,however the hard realities facing an independant Wales would be enormous,and quite frankly the creation of WAG with huge subsidies from the UK Treasury,plus other funding in terms of social security outside of WAG need to be considered.At my age it does’nt worry me,particularly as both children now living ‘over the border’ as beloved by BBC Wales/CYMRU.There are huge structural/economic/social issues facing Wales,as is evidenced by possible closure/downsizing of the steel works in Port Talbot,that is now owned by TATA which is an Indian company that presumably is in business to make money for its shareholders.How would an independant Wales/Cyrmu with it small population/relative poverty fund any rescue deal if it was closed for economic/green reason.How would the football supporters react to Cardiff/Swansea/Newport and Wrexham being removed from the ENGLISH leagues in the event of an independant Wales/CYMRU.The reason for the irrelevance of welsh regional rugby is that they are not in the RFU’s league system and huge funding from SKY and BT,which means players at top of career are now moving over the border!!.I have great confidence in welsh people,however we have an overloaded public sector with 22 LA’s,health boards,hundred of appointed bodies,S4C et al.In conclusion we have plenty of ‘policy’ people,but not enough street cleaners!!.,We need to stop all this ‘internal’ navel gazing and get a grip on reality!!.

    1. It doesn’t seem to occur to you that all the arguments you’ve used against independence are really arguments against the Union. Name me a small independent European state that’s in a worse mess than Wales.

      And to introduce sport was bizarre. Not least because Wales has won a few Grand Slams recently – OUTSIDE of the English system.

      You really need to get your head out of John Bull’s arse and take in the world around you.

  11. David Smith

    From what I’ve seen of the Abolitionist Acolytes on Twitter they don’t look to be the sharpest tacks.

      1. David Smith

        If I’d hazard a guess I’d say the largest demographic from which it is drawn would be those north of 60; a little bit ‘Queen and Country’; small and large C conservative in alignment; harbouring a penchant for nostalgia for wartime and imperial glory (oftentimes by proxy, having been born too late for firsthand experience); and from ‘up East’. Otherwise humorously described by metaphorical reference to a certain popular cured pork steak!

        1. You’re probably right, that’s certainly what the opinion polls and surveys suggest. And not just on that issue. In Scotland it’s the over 50s who are most against independence while the under 35s are overwhelmingly for independence.

          1. David Smith

            Jokes aside, in some sense they can’t be blamed because in their era, when wealth and opportunity were more evenly spread across this island, you had the Post-War Consensus, nationalised industries and the like, and having in recent memory stood together against Fascism, the Kingdom being United meant more than just a name of a state as is the case now.

          2. David Smith

            The way I see it, is the merits or evils of Thatcherism, Reaganomics, ‘progress’, globalisation, technological unemployment and the rest of it will always be argued over back and forth, as will to what degree each can be considered a cause or an effect of a particular zeitgeist. The fact is, heavy industry went into decline in Britain in the latter half of the 20th century; the reasons for why can be pored over another day.

            My take home point of it all is, compare and contrast how the London docklands took the hit of containerisation, to how the South Wales coalfield communities did the decline of mining. Guess which one got the world-leading financial services centre as a replacement for its former heavy industry?!

            1. Dafis

              Financial Services could have come to South Wales but there was a shortage of criminals and other deviants to fill all the jobs. No such problem in London. Any country that hangs its hat on financial engineering – “services” is a very elastic word – is inevitably heading towards extreme inequalities. That’s why we have so many spivs and shysters roaming the country looking for the next big deal, all of them fuckin’ chancers.

              1. David Smith

                Yes, so by focusing attention on that as an industry and all in one place, it brought about the inevitability of what I said about the Kingdom being United only in name today.

            2. Sion Blewyn Coch

              A bit silly. London was always the financial centre of the UK, followed…a long way behind by Edinburgh. No surprise then that the “new financial investment” to which you refer took place there. Couldn’t really see Citibank, Deutsche, Goldman Sachs wanting to head to the Valleys.

              I do agree that something should have replaced mining, but what? Thatcher, post her destruction of the industry, actively encouraged ex-miners to register as sick, or disabled for benefits purposes…didn’t seek to assist in finding any gainful employment for them. Get on yer bike, said Norm Tebbit.

              1. David Smith

                The City of London, the Square Mile, not Greater London, or more properly going back, what would have been Essex that way. Canary Wharf is a good five miles to the east of the original financial capital. Now who’s “A bit silly”?

                  1. David Smith

                    Your sputtery smattering of responses unequivocally paints you now as the silly one 😂. What a pedestal to fall from. South Wales isn’t 300 miles away either, for one thing, and my illustrative point was intended to show that within the M25, the rules are much different and this state will always shield there from harm, everywhere else be damned. 5 miles east (or is it north, west or south?) of the City, heavy industry was replaced by more financial services industry. Your smart-arse point might have held water, if say I was referring to the COL having knocked up a few new skyscrapers in continuation and furthering of activities that have been taking place there for centuries. But no, 5 miles east, quite physically distant from the Square Mile, former industrial wharves were wizz-bang converted to the brand new finance powerhouse mark deux.

                    1. Sion Blewyn Coch

                      It wasn’t meant to be a “smart arse” reply, sorry if it came across like that. It was merely stating the obvious. The Financial services section of the UK was never going to move to South Wales, or anywhere else for that matter, for numerous reasons. Just saying that it “could” doesn’t mean that it would have been anymore likely to happen. Financial services in London, expanded from the Square Mile long ago….and continues to do so.

              2. Dafis

                Not as silly as you may think, or my earlier tongue in cheek comment suggests. Way back, say late 80’s & early 90’s, the WDA ran a Financial Services Initiative, probably for the benefit of Cardiff and the immediate M4 strip. As ever quite a grand affair but did attract some inward investments. More based on back office operations which in those days were quite labour intensive. Then the cost cutters got hold of things and IT did the rest. That said, some like L&G still have a substantial headcount which allegedly is about to be reorganised into a new property smack in the middle of Cardiff. And Admiral Insurance is about the only real home grown success story, again mostly Cardiff with some bits in SA1 and Newport.

                Nice to have a capital city that gets looked after to the exclusion of most other places. Loaf and crumbs analogy ?

                1. Anonymous

                  The L&G and Admiral examples are, unfortunately, just “insurance” based, not strict financial services. It’s good that there are some developments in Cardiff but I agree that it seems to be to the exclusion of everywhere else. It was never a goer to move “financial services” to anywhere inaccessible to the glitterati (they’d miss their opera/theatre and michelin starred restaurants. Can’t see then wanting to join the “legion club” or local Working mens club. A few twats could set up their own “woking mens club” for nutters obsessed with 3rd sector dross.

                2. Anonymous

                  I’m always glad to see jobs being created, and I agree about the Cardiff and the rest of Wales assertion. However, Admiral and the L&G bit in Cardiff are not strictly Financial Services, more insurance related.
                  It’s very difficult to move something where people are so set in their expectations, ie Lundun and it’s Opera/Theatre/Nightlife/Lifestyle, for those buggers who truly run the FS industry. anight down the WMC is not for the likes of them, I fear, so no chance, ever, of a move to “the valleys”….or anywhere else in Wales for that matter. Shame…but the truth.

                  1. Brychan

                    L&G and Admiral do nothing for the real Welsh economy.

                    Like all ‘financial institutions’ their business model is to inflate a balance sheet using a customer base of future business and this inflated balance sheet, futures, is then used to borrow money or artificially inflate a share price. It is a tower of cards. It does, however, allow people in the valleys to commute down to Cardiff or Newport to work on low wages to administer it.

                    There is a UK wide crisis looming.

                    I work in the real economy, has been unaffected by Covid-19, having worked throughout. I was wondering what do all those people on furlough actually do? The farms are still making food, the power stations still making energy and any manufactured industrial goods are still available for purchase online.

                    The people that suffer are those that do jobs that don’t need doing.

                    Many are being paid by government debt (furlough) or have been thrown onto benefits, also paid by government debt. The thing is that government debt is about to be paid off with more tax on my payslip, a raid on my pension fund and there is a proposal to charge tolls on roads for me to drive to get to work.

                    Have I missed something (besides a Dexa scan on the NHS) ?

                    1. Anonymous

                      Interesting…..the “real” Welsh economy. what does that consist of?
                      Furlough was substantively aimed at the hospitality sector, which makes up, unfortunately, a large part of the UK’s GDP now (we are very much a service oriented society). As hospitality was put into deep freeze it seemed sensible to help.
                      L&G and Admiral provide employment, which helps with the money go round, apart from that they are no great saviours.

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  13. Dafis

    To continue the thread above which has reached minimal column width…….. Surely the point about the economy is not just whether one sector is “more” beneficial than another. The overriding need is to secure a mixed economy with value being added in a variety of ways. OK we may not ever replace the sheer size of coal in any sort of extractive sector so we lose it. I cannot see however that dumping the steel industry in favour of shipping in cheaper foreign product does any good at all especially when there are a number of downstream value adding activities that justify local supply in the first place.

    UK in particular, but with Wales being a willing party, walked away from so much manufacturing when there was an unquestioning adherence to the globalisation mantra. Now that was a sham designed to give China an economic leg up in some daft hope that it would make the Chinese Communist party adopt “western democracy” ( as though that’s some kind of panacea in itself !). We are still paying a harsh price for that monumental failure but there is scope for developing smarter manufacturing here which adds value through its advanced technology and time to market, including delivery of finished goods.

    Elsewhere farming is a classic case of underdevelopment. Far too much farm produce is taken from Wales as essentially raw material. It would make much more sense to harvest added values in processing and packing units closer to the farms, as used to be done with milk factories decades ago. There are already success stories here in Wales, but too few of them. Developing a strategy which fosters indigenous enterprise is key to success

    Away from manufacturing there is certainly room for service industries. Indeed some of them would be of specialist service to manufacture, while many others would be B2C, like the insurance services mentioned above. Now the real added value component in these might not be so high but they would be all year round wage and salary generators. Retail, health care and public services also play a vital part in building up the national wage bill thus keeping the cash flow shifting around within the communities.

    And of course there is tourism, our favourite area of concern. The mission here should be to re-orientate it to a much higher level of consumer proposition where people spend their hard earned money here thus enabling business to thrive and employees to earn a decent buck for more months per year. However with the present mindset in this sector I can only see a few creative people making a fist of lifting the enterprise onto a higher plane. It’s far too easy ( or has been) to trundle along with minimal thought to expanding the customer experience as a means of generating the yield per head. Covid and its aftermath may yet accelerate and intensify the need to think creatively about the entire business model for success.

    As with any personal investment strategy, the best advice is don’t stick all yer eggs in one basket. Indeed find as many baskets as possible where there are well defined possibilities. The UK’s fixation with the City of London has cost other sectors UK wide to varying degrees and there is no good reason why we should put up with that nonsense indefinitely. It is eveident from recent advertising that Farage and his crew have an even more extreme view of the primacy of the City, so anyone in Wales voting for that cnut is voting to turn our country into an even more backward economy.

    1. Sion Blewyn Coch

      As posed above, “what is the real welsh economy”?

      If independence was to be achieved what would Wales rely on, to generate it’s GDP?

      I agree that there needs to be as broad a spread as possible, but what would be the main component? I’m not sure. Farming could definitely be done in a more cohesive and integrated way, and the UK doesn’t produce anywhere enough of it’s own food.

      Tourism needs to be amended, if possible. The creation of jobs is always welcome, for the money go round that is a part of a consumer society, but there are too many people who own things in Wales where the profits, if any are made, are just taken out of the Country….mostly to England. Many of these larger operators having benefited from Assembly/Senedd money.

      The rest of the UK isn’t obsessed about the “City of London” and it’s Financial services…the North of England couldn’t give a shit about it. It’s obsessed about by those involved in it, who have certain connections, and will fight to continue it’s existence….with the preferred “light touch” Regulation. No one in the UK goes to jail, unlike in the USA….eventually.

      If true independence is sought then proper thought needs to be given. If wee Jimmy Krankie and her mates had succeeded in their vote then Scotland would now be right in the shit, as their escape plan was financially premised on “their” oil selling at a certain price….as we know the arse dropped out of that not long after the vote, and Covid hasn’t helped.

      If financial independence is sought then it needs to be very carefully considered so that it benefits all of those that live in Wales, not just the authors of the plan (who could fall into the same behaviours as your despised city boys).

      1. Brychan

        Examaple.
        Sandwich in Kent.

        Colliery site Before.
        https://media.subbrit.org.uk/10295/1552690789-tilmanstonecolliery1935old8.jpg

        It only qualified for first round EU funding, which was spent on link roads and site reclamation. It didn’t qualify after, as there was a major pharma company, Pfizer which moved in. 2400 high paid jobs.

        Colliery site After.
        http://www.pharmafile.com/system/files/imagecache/news_full/pfizer_sandwich_research_3.jpg

        There was no ‘museum’ or ‘third sector’ or ‘food bank’. Pfixer pulled out after ten years, but the ‘Discovery Park’ is now home to loads of new bio-enterprises.

        – – – – – – – –

        Example.
        Ravenscraig, North Lanarkshire.

        Steelworks site Before.
        https://i2-prod.dailyrecord.co.uk/incoming/article8513709.ece/ALTERNATES/s615b/GL261923.jpg

        There was some food banks and a museum, and an Eco-park but stayed poor until Labour was ousted. A new SNP administration was elected and EU funding was spent on a motorway, M8, and this is what is being built.

        Steelworks site After.
        https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/800/media/images/61176000/jpg/_61176968_-1.jpg

        A number of enterprises have already moved in, that make wind turbines and a new paint factory. Work in progress. Bizarrely, the new Covid-19 mega lab is being built there to roll-out a vaccine, may be a ‘keep Scotland in the union’ ploy.

        – – – – – – – –

        This is ‘real economy’.

        1. Sion Blewyn Coch

          I understand what you are getting at but anything that creates GDP is part of the economy. We do want what you refer to as “real” jobs but I think your Tilmanstone Colliery site isn’t the best example. If Pfizer ever were there then they’ve long gone, probably after spending all their grants. I can’t see the pharma jobs being fulfilled at PowerHire , Bakkavor Salads or Shamrock Commercial and Recovery, can you? What plans do we have for reindustrialisation of the valleys, or creation of “real” jobs….I’ve yet to see any.

          1. Brychan

            The EU funding at Pfizer in Kent went into R&D. It’s where Viagra was invented. Conditional was 30 PhD studentships paid for by the firm using the grant, research conducted in the their labs. When the firm up-sticks and left, these highly qualified staff were able, and have, set up their own firms on the site. It made real doctors of science. How many former colliery sites in South Wales did that? In Wales the cash was routed through the third sector and made fake doctors like “Dr” Ruth Davidson.

      2. Dafis

        That last paragraph of yours is important. It contains one basic error – the bit in brackets does not make reference to the already emerging elite in Welsh politics and its environs who are working hard to distance themselves from us the common herd. That part of the negative drift is already under way, one of the immediate outcomes of trying to share a cake before it’s been baked. The appetite for a lifestyle is turning people who ought to be thought leaders into defenders of dependency. Not good.

        1. Anonymous

          True, there is a defo move towards the already entitled elite within Welsh politics. Particularly with reference to the 3rd sector dross. My concern is what is going to drive independence, if it happens, it sure as hell wont be these fuckers and I don’t see any great plans anywhere else.

          1. Dafis

            While sharing our intense dislike of our posturing elites, take a look at this :

            https://nation.cymru/news/celebrity-farmer-slams-oxford-students-for-vote-to-ban-beef-and-lamb/

            Pampered juveniles at Oxbridge do their best to drive another dent into the prospects of family farms in Wales and rest of UK. These snivelling little cnuts are supposed to be the material from which future thought leaders and influencers emerge. The leadership elites in UK and dear old Wales more closely resemble the slime off a slurry pit down on the farm and this lot promise even worse for the future. .

            1. It might only be a matter of time before the wokies turn on farmers, and then human evolution and the growth of civilisation will have to be re-written.

              1. Anonymous

                If the wokies turn on farmers that will be the green light for escalated response. It could be the tipping point where those relatively few men and women who care enough supported by those whose lives will be blighted will seek out the wokish militants and end their miserable lives. And the good news is that not many will grieve when they are done and gone .

            2. Sion Blewyn Coch

              Agreed, it’s concerning. Most, not all, of these lot come from money OR their aim is to make money. They feign concern for areas that are the speciality of Wales 3rd sector (the dross mongers as I’ll call them). Gareth is an interesting character but his heart is in the right place. Definitely need sustainable and efficient farming. Poseurs….. I wonder if beef & lamb are banned at mummy and daddy’s mansions? I bet not.

  14. John Rhys Davies

    Thank you Jac for reminding us that the Senedd elections are approaching rapidly, but who to vote for?
    After 15 years campaigning with Plaid Cymru I left the party unable to accept their contempt for democratic process and I was looking around for another avenue to work for an independent Wales.

    I attended some of the initial meetings of the party that was to become Gwlad, I was not impressed by the leader at the time and did not feel that he understood what was required to create a party that would make a positive contribution to the independence movement. The leadership changed and I felt that it could possibly be worth joining and contributing to its development. It declared unambiguously that its fundamental objective was the establishment of an independent Wales and that was what I wanted.

    For several months I attended meetings of the steering committee and it was obvious that the members were dedicated to the cause of Welsh independence. Why therefore have I now left the party? My disillusionment stemmed from reading one of the campaigning leaflets they produced where second on its list of policies, after campaigning for Welsh Independence, was its tax and economic policy. Briefly it was proposing to pay everybody in Wales an income whether they worked or not. They were also proposing a flat tax system. There may be sound intellectual reasons for adopting such policies but I could not imagine myself standing on a voters doorstep in a wind and rainswept council estate in Milford Haven and convincing them that these were practical propositions. I then started to look at the way that Gwlad created its policies. I was surprised to see that the constitution did not describe the process of developing and adopting policy. It appeared that the creation of policy had been delegated to one person, it is true that there was an online forum but it seemed to me that it had no direct authority when it came to deciding what policies should be adopted. The manifesto would have been subject to approval by the national conference but this did not strike me as being a suitable mechanism for the creation of a coherent manifesto dedicated to campaigning for independence.

    The citizens income and flat tax policies strike me as being revolutionary economic and social policies and I do not think that the average Welsh voter will countenance such major changes on top of the revolution that would be involved in becoming independent. If you want to pursue such radical policies do so after having achieved independence when they can be properly debated. Introducing them in a campaign for independence as part of the package will in my view wreck any such campaign.

    I wish there were a party called Welsh Independence Party which campaigned for the establishment of a democratic Welsh parliament without prescribing the exact nature of the society that will be established after independence. If you trust the Welsh people let them decide.

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