Labour's Problem with the Patriotic English Working Class

In the days when the Lord Chamberlain's office use to have to censor the morality of stage productions one of the ways in which the Music Hall, in particular, and other production companies use to avoid censorship was by the use of the double entendre A phrase, saying or sentence that can be interpreted in two different ways. One of which is usually dirty. A classic example would be the Mari Lloyd song She Sits Among the Cabbages and Peas a song which is clearly about a lady gardener. If you can see a less innocent meaning to the words it is because you have got a dirty and corrupted mind, and if you have a dirty and corrupted mind you are not fit to be an arbiter of public morality.

And therein lays a problem with the Labour response to Emily Thornberry's controversial tweet:

The picture IS just an Image from Rochester, that the Labour Party, as a whole, can see a double entendre in the picture - that is so damaging that it has lead to Thornberry's registration / sacking, revels a great deal about Labour's corporate thinking about those who live in terraced houses, work in white van jobs, are proud to be English – that they saw the "joke" reveals as much about the rest of the Labour party's thinking as it does about Ms Thornberry's.


Time to Stop the Stink

The sewage treatment plant built at Y Ganol (next to the Black Cat petrol station near Glan Conwy and Llandudno Junction) in 1999 at a cost of £ 45 million was intended to create a plant that would ensure that sewage from the greater part of Conwy County was treated in a way that was odourless and environmentally friendly.

Unfortunately the plant has never worked properly! Mainly because the system that was built at y Ganol proved to be dangerous just before it was opened.

Because of the risks some of the sewage is stored in skips and then is transferred to cac lorries for treatment elsewhere.

The skips stink continuously when they are closed; when they are opened to transfer their content to the lorries the smell is enough to make one gag.

The smell is only part of the problem; research has shown that the gasses coming from such places also contain pathogens that cause Asthma and E-Coli.

The Conwy Valley is an area that attracts visitors from all over the world; their initial welcome to the head of the Valley is the smell of shit - some welcome!

Millions of pounds have been invested into making the Junction into one of the best places to buy a car throughout the UK. If you want to buy a fancy expensive car or a cheap old banger, the smell of shit whilst considering a purchase will not be a big selling point!

Those of us who live in the area have had enough of Dŵr Cymru's excuses, denials of the extent of the problem and false assurances that the issue is just temporary.

Fifteen years of stink, health worries and economic disadvantage is more than "more than enough"!

A protest will be held near the plant on 4th October 2014 at 11am. Come in droves to join our protest - but bring a mask to protect yourself from the abject stench!



What a silly article on the Herald site Labour fears English votes plan will halt new powers. These ill thought out plans will not halt Scottish self determination they will enhance them!

English Votes for English Laws in the House of Commons is unworkable.

85% of the representation in the House of Commons is already English. England can outvote Scotland, Wales Cornwall and Northern Ireland together; at over 5 to 1 under the current system, restricting the voting rights of "Celtic" MPs doesn't redress a balance it enhances the current imbalance. You cannot save the Union by giving a minority of MPs an even more minor role in the Union's Parliament whilst promoting the vast majority to a more superior role!

Some Scottish only or Welsh only issues are still reserved by Westminster, so under EVoEL rules would voting on SVoSL and WVoWL rules also exist? Broadcasting is not devolved, so S4C and BBC Alba are still UK issues, would English MPs be forced to abstain on such issues? If not they must be devolved, if they aren't WVoWL gives Wales "double devolution" on S4C and doesn't address the ubiquitous West Lothian Question!

Westminster is a bicameral parliament how would EVoEL work in the House of Lords?

The fact is that when 45% of an "Union" registers its dissatisfaction with that union, there is no compromise that can appease those who are dissatisfied.

There are only two responses to the referendum and the "Vow", renege on the Vow and let Scotland know that it was cheated out of Independence or stick by the Vow and let Scotland know that the Vow was a mirage.

The Union was put on life support on September 18th 2014, it is just a matter of time for those grieving to accept the death of the Union and for the nearest and dearest to decide when and how to flick the switch!


Dafydd y Dug - Rot in Hell

I was raped by Dafydd y Dug as a 16 year old, he held me in a stranglehold whilst he buggered me against my will against the wall of the Theological Collage in Aberystwyth.

He was an evil pederast who got away with his crimes in the same way that Jimmy Seville did; by nobody believing a word against him because he was a nationalist rather than a national hero. I reported his assault to the police and they asked me if I had an erection whilst I was being assaulted, I innocently answered yes and because of that they claimed that I was a willing partner and that I could, myself, be charged with public indecency.

Dafydd y Dug is the main reason why I hate the term homophobia as a general term. I had a genuine reason for my phobia / fear, and dealing with that fear has been a long and painful process. My phobia is not a made up euphemism for general disagreement with the gay rights movement (with whom I tend to agree), but overcoming my genuine fear has been a bloody difficult process.

I'm sorry, but I will not be mourning the death of Dafydd y Dug.


Scotland's referendum a winner - whatever the result

Over the years I have spent many long and tedious hours sitting in the foyer of village halls acting as a polling agent. Some of my best friends are people I met representing opposing parties who I have spent those hours with chatting about what's on TV, books, life in general; even playing cards with to pass the hours as we wait and wait for a voter, any voter, of any hue, to turn up so we can cross them off the list. I've been in a hustings meeting before an election where there were more candidates on the stage than voters in the audience. Seeing pictures of people queuing up to register to vote; seeing pictures of meetings with standing room only, brings a tear to my eye and makes me feel jealous of Scotland.

As a Welsh nationalist I am obviously an avid supporter of the Yes side, but even if every one of the newly registered missing million votes No and every one of those who have had to stand in the back of the crowded meeting room votes No – this referendum will still be a resounding success because of the way in which it has succeeded to re-engage people with the democratic process. For that, alone, Mr Salmond should be heartily congratulated - whatever the outcome on September 18th.


Guto and Oscar WTF?

I have followed The Thoughts of Oscar Blog, for the best part of 7 years. I'll be honest; I have rarely agreed with Oscar, I have often thought that his posts are offensive, unfair and sometimes bitter. But that is a feature of democracy. People with whom I passionately disagree are entitled to express their opinions. And the disagreement is often what makes politics vibrant and fun. I would be a hypocrite to defend much of what Oscar has said but I do defend his right to say it.

Despite the fact that I would never vote for him, I have a fair regard for my Constituency MP Guto Bebb. He seems to be a good constituency MP, in the sense that if you complain to him about the drains, he'll do something about the drains – regardless of whether he sees a vote in it or not. I have had very many internet discussions with him and a couple of "live" ones; on each and every occasion he seems well able to defend himself and his point of view with erudition.

I am bitterly disappointed by Guto's decision to take legal action against the Thought's of Oscar Blog, which is ultimately an attempt to close the blog down, because Guto has never before shown himself to be averse to defending himself on the comments pages of blog posts.

The so called "libellous" statements in Oscar's Post An Open Letter to Guto Bebb are actually minutiae – the MP HAS received donations from Russian Oligarch Alexander Temerko that locals might find suspect, whatever the reasons behind the donations!

OK. I accept Guto's defence that the Oligarch didn't pay him for supporting Israel's attack on Gaza; but why was the donation made? In support of Welsh culture, language, agriculture, local entrepreneurship or other things that affect the constituency, or for reasons that are not constituency related? Your constituents should be told not sued Guto!

Our MP HAS appeared to support the Israeli government in its campaign in Gaza, images of which have sickened many of his constituents of all political persuasions. Tell us why you support Israel, Guto. Persuade us to see the righteousness of supporting Israel rather than suing us for having the temerity to disagree with you!

I don't know what sort of reading figures Oscar has. This blog has a couple of thousand on a very, very good day! I suspect Oscar has similar. Guto can respond (as he has done eloquently in the past) to all the readership of a blog in the comments section. He has a better chance of bending the ear of a journalist than Oscar or I have, he can speak in Parliament under privilege; so why does he need to sue a blogger and try to shut him down? There is clearly something in one of Oscar's posts that has touched a very raw nerve! Suing Oscar might shut the blog down – but it may also expose that nerve!

Callia Guto!



Great War Nationalist Pish

There is an article on the Scotsman site which is both sick and interesting entitled Great War worst for Scots troops ‘a myth’

The sick part of the article is the way that the body count from the First World War is being used as an argument in the current referendum campaign; whatever the numbers surely both No and Yes campaigners should agree that the answer to the question How many Scots died in WW1? should be Too many and that coming to as accurate a figure as possible should be an academic exercise not a political one.

The interesting point about the article is that I have heard similar claims made about the percentage of Welsh dead in both the First and Second World Wars, and indeed in previous and subsequent wars; and I have heard these claims, as the article suggests, made in the context of Welsh nationalist “myth”; but the Welsh nationalist myth isn't part of the myth of "separation" or "independence"; but the myth that the Welsh / Scottish should be extra proud of being British because they have punched above their weight in Britain. This brings us back to the sick part of the article. For 100 years we are told that we should be extra proud of our nations' contribution to Britain; but as soon as that pride is taken out of a British context we are told, as they say in Scotland, that that proud contribution is just a load of old pish!

(Note the words in the sun!)


Not Brave Heroes - just ordinary blokes

I bought a book last weekend Dolgellau and the Great War by D T Sheppard which gives details about the 107 people whose names are engraved on the Dolgellau Cenotaph. The introduction to the books makes the important point:

"These people weren't statistics but individuals with their own unique stories"

Many of those mentioned in the book were related to my late Grandparents; most were their friends, neighbours and acquaintances. Although, obviously, too young to have known any of those commemorated in the book, many of the names were familiar to me. Attending the Armistice Parade as a Cub and a Scout in the 1960's and 1970's I got to know the antitheses of Binyon's famous poem – those who HAD grown old, all were ordinary working class people, people like my Dad and my Taids - nothing special!

I've looked up some of the names mentioned on the Cenotaph on the Welsh Newspapers site. Where they are mentioned in pre-war stories their ordinariness is striking: took part as a shepherd in the chapel nativity play, or came third in the seed potato class in the village show, even appeared in court for being drunk on fair night.

A term I heard oft used yesterday was heroes; but those lads remembered on Dolgellau's and other Cenotaphs were NOT heroes; they were just young men with the same fears and aspirations, the same strengths and weaknesses, the same hopes and disappointments as the rest of mankind. To laud them as Brave Heroes doesn't exault them it diminishes them by turning them into comic book characters rather than accepting them as the ordinary blokes that they really were.

There are too many names on cenotaphs that share my family names for me to take some moral outrage at the act of commemorating the Great War, despite my misgivings. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, I will remember them; but I will remember them as the real people that they were not as caricatures of imperial propaganda that too much of the Remembrance Industry has already tried to make of them.


The Scotsman a TROLL only site!

Cyber bullying is part of the unfortunate nature of the internet. Where there is disagreement on matters sporting, religious, artistic, scientific and, yes, even political here be Trolls. It is not a phenomenon unique to the Scottish independence referendum debate but it does exist on both Yes and No sides of the indyref debate on the internet, just because some of the debate is "on the internet"; for either side to deny that unworthy comments have been made by supporters of both Yes and No is sticking ones head in the sand.

I am an unequivocal supporter of the Yes campaign, but some comments that I have read on Twitter, Facebook and newspaper response sites from YES supporters have turned my stomach, they shouldn’t have been made and should have been condemned by fellow yesers.

Likewise decent supporters of the No side should condemn the vile vitriol that is spewed by too many No supporters on line. If there is one thing that should unite those who are passionate about either side of the argument it should be that the debate should be a good clean fight.

However there is one thing that worries me about the ability to have a good clean fight and that is that a number of us, from both sides of the debate, who use to have respectable discussions on the Scotsman site now get our comments rejected with This comment was left by a user who has been blocked by our staff.

The Scotsman is actively blocking those of us who wish to debate the issues with mutual respect and only allows abusive trolls (from both sides) to comment, whilst publishing leaders condemning abusive comments as a “Cybernat” problem!


Where is the English National Solidarity for Scotland and Wales?

I, unequivocally support the supporters of a Yes vote in the forthcoming Scotland referendum. I am jealous that the cause for Welsh Independence has not been made so forcibly because I believe that independence for Wales is the only way to get us out of the rut that we are in of being the bottom of the pile in the UK on so many issues. We are bottom of the pile in the UK because of the UK, the only way of dragging Wales away from that situation is by divorcing ourselves from the UK and building our own prosperity.

Having said that, I can understand loyalty to the UK, I can understand the concept of Better Together, I am almost disappointed with the paucity of the arguments made for the continuation of the Union, because I could do much better (if I was that way inclined)!

What I find confusing, however, is the attitude in the debate of those who claim to be English Nationalists.

I am as much a Welsh Nationalist as I am a Scottish Nationalist, in that I believe that Scotland should be an independent Nation. I am as much a Welsh Nationalist as I am an English Nationalist in that I believe that England is a proud historic nation that should control its own independent destiny; because of that I would expect Scottish Nationalists to support Welsh Nationalism (which most do) and English Nationalists to support both Scottish and Welsh Nationalism which, confusingly, very few do.

The most vile comments about Scottish or Welsh self determination, on most comment threads, don't come from those who self identify as British but from those who self identify as English.

In the 1966 World Cup final most of those supporting England were waving Union Flags. In Brazil supporters of England will be waving the English Flag, is that an indication of a change of national identity, where English people see themselves as primarily English? Or just a rag change where the English still see England and Britain as interchangeable words, but are more honest about it and call the whole of this island England now?

Does True English Nationalism exist, or is English Nationalism just another guise for British nationalism?


Voting like your Dad

In the 1970s and 80s I would occasionally canvass for Plaid Cymru in the south Wales Labour heartlands. It was a hard slog and canvassers would often be greeted with the refrains Labour I was born, Labour I was bread and Labour I'll be carried out the door or My grandfather always voted Labour, my father always voted Labour so I'll always vote Labour. Such attitudes use to cause me great annoyance, but it appears that I was wrong to be annoyed. Apparently as much as 30% of our political opinions are genetically inherited, or so it is claimed in an interesting programme that was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 yesterday called Personality Politics

Timandra Harkness investigates how our political views are linked to the way our brains function. The psychology of ideology is now an active topic of research, not least amongst neuroscientists. Recent brain-scan studies have linked political attitudes to different brain structures and patterns of mental activity. Discovering the cutting edge brain research into how we make such choices, Timandra explores what its implications could be for the conduct of political debate and campaigning, how to influence people, the psychology of decision-making, and understanding ourselves.

Apart from looking at how our brains are wired to such concepts of left and right wing, Liberal and Conservative attitudes etc it also has an interesting discussion about the psychology of the Scottish Independence referendum

A fascinating programme well worth listening to by those who are interested in politics, psychology or both, which will be broadcast again on Mon 26 May 2014 at 21:00 and will be available on the iPlayer for the next week or so.


What do you think about Dylan Thomas?

Being the centenary of his birth, there has been a lot of coverage of the life and work of Dylan Thomas on TV and radio recently. I like Thomas' work, but I'm unsure if I should!

There is an old saying that the main difference between a Jewish Joke and an Anti-Semitic Joke is who's telling it – are they laughing with us or at us?

I would love Under Milk Wood if it was laughing with us, and hate it if it was laughing at us.

There were comments on Twitter about the recent broadcast version on BBC Wales decrying the fact that it wasn't broadcast on the BBC through the UK. I'm glad it was only on BBC Wales BECAUSE that meant it was laughing with us.

I don't know what Thomas' intention was. I suspect that it wasn't to take the piss in a My People Caradoc Evans way; but there is little doubt that the play has been used in that vain.

So should I love him or hate him? I can't make up my mind!


Pissing in the Wind whilst the Wind is Blowing Against Us

Lifted from the comments page of my last post:

Jac o' the North,

As for Alwyn's point about Plaid Cymru, I don't entirely agree. Because, for me, Plaid Cymru has become the problem. Let me explain: If I was sitting in an office overlooking the river in London and I wanted to stop Welsh nationalism in its tracks I could do a lot worse than come up with the idea of a party like Plaid Cymru. Credible enough to get the votes and be accepted as the voice of Welsh nationalism but never determined enough to make it happen. A pale shadow of the party that once looked to Plaid for advice. I see Plaid Cymru now as a dog in the manger kind of party, unable itself to deliver but still serving as a block on the emergence of a party might.

Plaid Cymru is a failure, and there may be no point in wasting any more time on it. A new party is needed; one that will be a Welsh party rather than a socialist party, a party standing up for Welsh interests rather than environmental concerns and gay rights. So in a way I hope Plaid does lose its Euro seat, because that could mark the beginning of the end for a failed party, and help create the conditions for a fresh start.

Alwyn ap Huw

It would be great if there was a successful, uncompromising, four square, purist, new national party; but it's just not going to happen. How many new ideal national parties have been formed and consigned into oblivion during the past 40 years? Half a dozen - probably more.

New parties take time to build up electoral support – look at UKIP 21 years after its foundation it has yet to get an MP, AM, MLA or MSP elected and despite its huge media exposure only succeeds in low turnout PR elections. Plaid Cymru and the Greens took 40 years to elect their first MPs. Is there really any point in starting a new party in the hope of electing our first MP in 2054?

And what guarantee would we have that the new party won't compromise its self on the way to gaining that miniscule electoral success at a time that you and I will probably just be fond memories of our grandchildren?

We may as well grin and bear it Plaid Cymru (for all its faults and the frustrations it causes us) is the only national party we have in Wales. And the ONLY WELSH NATIONAL PARTY Supporters of the national cause opposing Plaid Cymru are just pissing in the wind whilst the wind is blowing against us.

NOT voting Plaid on May 22, just means that when weighed in the balance, the support for the national cause appears lighter than that for the Union cause -is that what any nationalist wants?

Sion Jobbins has called for rallies supporting Welsh Independence. We should be jumping on the Scottish band wagon and start delivering our country from rule by England. If popular rallies start to take place Plaid Cymru will have to wake its ideas up and get rid of its careerist dead wood.

Alwyn ap Huw
And, in relation to Royston's "new party" comment (above), is probably the best way forward. A civic campaign for independence that will put some backbone into Plaid (and patriots in other parties and none) would probably be much more effective than another new party.

At the end of the day, In THIS Election THIS Month despite the fact that Plaid peeves you, it is the ONLY PARTY standing for the National Cause on the paper. What is best for WALES (not your prejudice)Plaid being shafted or UKIP being shafted in WALES. If your choice is the United Kingdom party; either by voting for them or abstaining and giving extra value to their votes, you will have s**t on Wales, without a shadow of a doubt!

For all your hatred of Plaid; for all your doubts about Plaid for all you efforts in trying to create a new party or a new movement; is not voting for Plaid rather than voting against Plaid in the best interest of the National cause THIS MONTH, isn't a Plaid vote a way to advance the national cause, in the absence of others?

My vote will, probably arrive tomorrow, your vote might not arrive till a week next Thursday. Don't chuck the vote in the bin. Don't take a "can't be arsed" attitude. Vote For Wales - vote for the ONLY Welsh National Party on the paper - even if you need to hold your nose in doing so!


An appeal to the Pissed Off to vote Plaid

I have a long history of being "pissed off" with Plaid Cymru.

Every time I hear a Plaid spokes person get annoyed with the mention of Independence, I'm pissed off!

Every time I hear a Plaid spokesperson refusing to acknowledge the Colonisation issue I'm pissed off!

Every Plaid appeal to a socialist ideal that I oppose with every bone in my body pisses me off.

When I see Plaid AMs and MPs marching for peace, republicanism and other namby pamby rights I am pissed off with them for not arranging similar marches for Welsh self determination.

There are lots of reasons why Welsh Nationalists should be pissed off with Plaid.

On May 22nd there will be an election where an Extremist British Nationalist Party could do better in the polls than Plaid, but only if Welsh Nationalists who are pissed off with Plaid refuse to vote for Plaid.

Like it or not there is ONLY one party that supports Wales standing in the Euro Elections – Plaid Cymru. Because of their nature small turnout elections (like the Euro Elections) are not decided by those who DO vote, by those who DON'T vote.

Those of us in the nationalist community who are pissed off with Plaid who decide to cut off our noses to spite our faces by NOT voting for ANYBODY will by effect be supporting the Unionist cause - the most anti Welsh Unionist causes Labour and UKIP, will benefit from our not voting.

NOT voting is akin to an UKIP vote or a Labour vote, a vote against Wales. I would appeal to all supporters of the Welsh National cause to bite the bullet, hold their noses in the election booth vote for Plaid, and cast a vote FOR Wales, on May 22.

On May 23 we can start the argument again!


Saint David's Day Conundrum

Atheists don't believe in the adoration of Saints.

Secularists don't believe in the adoration of Saints.

Protestants don't believe in the adoration of Saints.

Non-conformists don't believe in the adoration of Saints.

Anglicans actively opposed the adoration of Saints, with vigour, at one time, but seem to have gone soft on the issue!

Despite this the Cult of Saint David, is on the increase in modern Wales with more and more St David's parades in 2014 than ever before – BUT WHY?

As a nationalist, I will re-tweet calls for Gwyl Ddewi to be a bank holiday, I will make St David's Day felicitations to my followers, because that's what Nats do. But having done so, I will still wonder why we make such a fuss about Saint David,  when so few of us, actually, believe in the adoration of Saints!


Will Brussels be kicked out of the EU?

It is interesting that when Cameron, Rajoy and Barroso make comments about the difficulty that newly independent nations might have in remaining in the EU they only concentrate on secessionist movements in Spain and the UK, they forget about the third EU member state that has secessionist issues and is, possibly, more likely to split than the UK or Spain – Belgium!

If a newly independent Catalonia and a newly independent Scotland might find continuing membership of the EU difficult, if not impossible, then the same MUST be true of a newly independent Flanders and a newly independent Wallonia! And therein lies a rather interesting problem, in that the EU could find itself in a position where its parliament and headquarters are in a country which would find it difficult, if not impossible, to remain in the EU.

Any scenario that envisages Brussels being kicked out of the EU is based on abject stupidity, of course. It would never happen, it could never happen; but remember the basis of the scenario is the exact same stupid argument as Cameron, Rajoy and Barroso are making about Scotland and Catalonia's continued membership of the EU!


The Lords of Independence

It is interesting that the House of Lords held what it called a "debate" on Scottish Independence.

A "debate" by definition needs people of different views discussing opposing opinions, as there are no SNP Lords, a proper debate in their Lordships chamber was nigh on impossible. I was disappointed, but not surprised, that the two Lords who could have given the SNP a pennyworth of support - Lords Wigley and Ellis Thomas didn't contribute to the debate at all!

I am not surprised because both of the Plaid lords have reneged on the Welsh National cause. When they were nearly elected in 1970 and elected with small majorities in 1974 they were both staunch Welsh Nationalists. In 1974 Welsh nationalism was seen as a greater threat to the "brake up of Britain" than Scottish Nationalism. Scottish Nationalism has advanced because SNP MP's remained true to the National cause, whilst Wigley and DET thought more about personal re-election than Nationalism and did nothing to advance Welsh Nationalism.

I have a pragmatic attitude to the House of Lords. I don't like it, the concept of it existence peeves me, but like it or not, whilst it rules over my life I want people of my opinion represented there. Whilst Scotland and Wales are governed by Westminster I want Nationalists in both chambers. It would have been good to hear an SNP Lord's contribution to the Lords debate. But then, when the only two supposed nationalists, jib out of the debate one has to question the value of their membership of the House!

I thought that one of the few Welsh Lords who contributed to the discussion, my friend and minister The Rev Lord Roger Roberts of Llandudno made a pertinent point that if Scotland became independent:

"The immediate cry would be for Welsh independence. People such as me who are in favour of a federal solution for the whole UK—we have not really spoken about that—might join the independence bandwagon, because Wales would be ruled by a party that had never been in the majority there, and that represented only 20% of its people."

I hope Scotland votes yes and look forward to welcoming Roger into the Welsh independence bandwagon.

As to comments made by many Noble Lords about people fighting in World War 1 for Britain – the recruitment posters posted in Wales were generally an encouragement for Welsh Recruits to support "Welsh Nationalism" (look at the comment in the sun). I suspect that the same was true in Scotland!

There is something sick in the British State using Welsh and Scottish Nationalism to support a war and then using the war to oppose our nationalism! A sickness worth remembering in the 1914-18 memorial and especially on Sept 18 2014!