Money talks while Welsh Assembly Members plug their ears

The Grip of Death Monetary ReformEach and every Welsh Assembly member was alerted, at least once, possibly many times, of the importance to attend the talk about money where the roots of the economic recession and excessive debt burdens would be clearly explained.

They were reminded that ‘ignorance is not bliss’ when it came to understanding where money and debt came from – especially since they are in part responsible, through ignorance and inaction, for the sad shape the Welsh economy is currently in.

Out of 60 over-paid Assembly Members alerted, a grand total of six, or 10%,  bothered to show up, listed below:

  1. Darren Miller, Conservative
  2. Alun Ffred Jones, Plaid Cymru
  3. Paul Davies, Conservative
  4. Angela Burns, Conservative
  5. Mark Drakeford, Labour
  6. Julie Morgan, Labour

(Chwarae Teg to Darren Miller who convened Ben’s talk.)

Ben Dyson of Positive Money gave a clear talk about the the origins of our debt crises, explaining how the banks have fraudulently taken over the money supply as interest-bearing debt and now we are all swamped in unrepayable debt (considering we owe more money than there even exists!).

Ben is top-notch at explaining the source of the problem and pointing out exactly how the banks are sucking us dry like leeches forcing us into poverty and “austerity measures” when we should be rolling in riches given the productive capacity of modern industrial society. However, when it comes to solutions, he is sorely lacking.

Perhaps typical for a London-based man, he can’t seem to envision a solution that isn’t centralist and undemocratic. When it comes to managing a debt-free money stock for the economy he is actually dismissive of democratically elected representatives claiming they ‘can’t be trusted’, preferring an unelected body (in London no doubt) to control the United Kingdom of Northern Ireland and Great Britain‘s money supply.

So in other words, he proposes to get people in control of the money supply that is not democratically accountable and cannot be removed by the demos. Of course that’s exactly what we have today were approximately 80 private bankers control virtually the entire UK money stock, how much is  produced, and where it goes.

The difference with Ben’s solution is that the money wouldn’t be created by private banks out of nothing as interest-bearing debt but created from within the government as a debt-free money stock for the UK State. This would be far better that the ridiculous system we slave under these days. but sticks to centralized unaccountability – or to put it in another way, anti-democratic autocracy, no matter how ‘good-willed’ it may be in principle.

Soon after Ben finished his presentation questions were solicited. After the present Assembly Members were given priority with a few timid questions they all got up and left – before discussion with members of the public got going. Typical.

So they didn’t hear our concerns about Ben’s centralized solution. Nor did they hear my proposal that the Welsh Assembly convert their 18 billion pounds yearly block grant from London (or however much it is) into physical gold stocks securely stored somewhere in Wales. We could then produce 18 billion Welsh pounds, backed by gold, to run public services, in stark contrast to the virtually worthless English and Scottish pounds.

Given the escalating price of gold as the debt-based economies continue to collapse, in 5 years Wales would be awash with somewhere around 200 billion in gold reserves and 200 billion gold-backed pounds circulating through our economy, while England chocked on its debts.

Our only concern then would be limiting the huge influx of economic migrants from England!

The public cheered the idea – while Ben looked a little pale. Like the saying goes, you can take the lad out of London, but you can’t take London out of the lad!

Remember, I emailed each and every Assembly Member about the talk and underlined the fact to them that “ignorance is not bliss” when it comes understanding money and the economy. It would appear, given their dismal attendance record and the conduct of the few who came, that they beg to differ.

Is the Welsh Assembly run by fascists?

welsh national assembly logoThis Tuesday I went to the Welsh Assembly complex to participate in a talk given by Ben Dyson of Positive Money for Assembly Members (with a generous nine seats reserved for the commoners). The talk was being given in an unassuming room in an office building adjacent to the official glass Assembly building. I got there 30 minutes early, as did Ben and a few other local monetary reformers. Feeling the call of nature I stepped inside to use the washroom for a pee. And that’s where it started.

Just inside the doors were an elaborate security set up very similar to airport security when you are boarding international flights. The washroom was just on the the other side of the barrier, maybe twenty feet from the entrance, but would they simply let me use it for a a minute without elaborate and time consuming security checks? No.

I had to first remove my coat, and then empty all my pockets into a tray. The tray was then taken on a conveyor belt into a n X-ray machine where everything was examined.  I then had to walk through a metal detector, all under the watchful and suspicious gaze of three security guards and a police officer.

When I remarked that I had experienced less probing security measures in countries that were in actually bloody civil war, and other countries that were ruled by despots, the policeman barked out at me “If you don’t like it – don’t come here!”. Message received.

And to think, all this for walking an extra ten feet into a public washroom for a pee!

Thirty minutes later, when I re-entered to attend the talk, I had to go through the whole rigmarole again!

Outside the building on the road were huge metal barricades preventing anyone from even driving close to the Assembly building. I asked the local security man and he explained their were ‘anti-assault tank barricades’. Clearly, the Welsh assembly was at war. But who is the enemy? It’s clearly the public, you and me.

Those of you who were born in the 90‘s may not realize that this is all very new. Wales and the entire Western world never used to be in a constant State of Emergency/War with surveillance, security checks and military barricades in places that should be open with easy public access. No where is openness and ease of access more important than in places housing democratically elected bodies of government.

Even during the Cold War, when there were Soviet spies everywhere and the whole world was on the brink of nuclear annihilation, we didn’t treat the public as a possible enemy to be subjected to security checks.

Those who claim that these heavy-handed security measures are now ‘necessary’ are either brainwashed or lairs.

Remember, you can kill a fascist despot with a bomb or a gun and possibly bring down the regime. But you cannot kill a democratic institution with violence. You can blow up a parliament and every elected representative in it – but you cannot destroy democracy. We’d simply elect another bunch to do our bidding 🙂

So why is the Welsh Assembly geared up as if it were in a State of War? Why is this “democratic” institution making it increasingly awkward for members of the public to visit?

The excuse you’ll get is that since 9/11, nobody is safe and and everyone should be:

  1. frightened (keep your head down, don’t make a scene or speak your mind);
  2. suspicious (don’t suspect a friend – report him!);
  3. prepared to have their privacy and dignity stripped away in the name of ‘safety’
  4. accepting of a continuous erosion of our freedoms as inevitable, and even desirable.

 

Like I said, I have been in countries run by fascist regimes and  I have traveled through countries at war, but I have never been face to face with so much control, fear, and sheer contempt for the public.

In other words, the fascist control-freak types have used the excuse of “terrorist threats”  to boss, control and keep an eye on everyone. No where is this more apparent than in the totally unnecessary and heavy-handed presence of “security” at the Welsh Assembly. Whether we care to admit it or not, the Assembly is becoming increasingly a fascist-like institution with a fundamental disrespect bordering on animosity to the public. So much for democracy. So much for ‘New Wales’. Down the tubes it goes.

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So what happened at the Positive Money talk to Assembly Members? Which Assembly Members even bothered to show up? Find out here: Money talks while Assembly Members plug their ears

Independent Wales links

websites

welshindependence.net

Welsh Not British

Jack o’ the north

I have recently removed a number of links that has gone dead, or remain in a zombie-like state. That’s the nature of the Internet. I know there could be a lot more links relevant to the desire for Welsh national freedom and independence. If you have any suggestions please leave a comment with a link.

 

 

 

Welsh History – Who Controls the Past?

welsh notLlywelyn, Owain Glyndŵr, Tryweryn , The Welsh Not.  If you didn’t learn about these topics in school, then perhaps you went to school in Wales.   Many young Welsh students leave school knowing more about ancient Egypt and Chinese history than that of their own nation.

The elimination of Welsh history in some locations is nothing short of a national tragedy.  History is so many things to a nation:  the understanding of communities, culture, and the rise and fall of civilisations.  History gives us a collective memory; a sense of connection to our land and community.

As Eric Hobsbawm  described it:

“The destruction of the past or, rather, of the social mechanisms that link one’s contemporary experience to that of earlier generations, is one of the most characteristic and eerie phenomena of the late 20th century. Most young men and women at the century’s end grow up in a sort of permanent present lacking any organic relation to the public past of the times they live in.”

In place of a well-crafted foundation of Welsh history, students are given a smattering of British history, often taught with the same England-centric textbooks used by students in England.
Gwynfor Evans, Plaid Cymru president from 1945 to 1981, wrote about the history of Wales, (Aros Mae / Land of my Fathers: 2000 Years of Welsh History) a tale of English oppression and linguistic heritage, though his passionate writing was not much concerned with historical complexities.

Such tales of the survival of Wales against the odds helped inspire a new generation of activists who were even willing to go to prison in the name of their nation. One such person was Dafydd Iwan who wrote the popular song “Yma o Hyd” (Still Here), a song demonstrating the appeal of a simple historical message to the nation.

In 1959 in Flintshire the director of education was condemned for promoting Welsh history. “They fear that you are creating in the mind of a child an awareness that there is such a concept as the Welsh nation,” he said of his critics.

Since devolution, Welsh is no longer a nation that has to look backwards to see that it exists. Yet the fact that a Welsh government has come about at all seems due to the historical perspective people have drawn from Wales’ past, even if their reading of that history was sometimes rather slanted.
In 2003, the Welsh Assembly Government established Curriculum Cymreig, a wide-reaching national curriculum embracing cultural, economic, environmental, historical and
linguistic lessons.

The Curriculum Cymreig expects these elements in every school’s history syllabus:

• Understanding how lives and localities have been shaped by the past,
through learning about the history of Wales, its political, economic,
social and cultural aspects.

• Visiting historical sites, using artefact’s, making comparisons between
past and present, and developing an understanding of how these have
changed over time.

• Learning about the relationship of Wales with other parts of the UK
today and in the past.

• Learning about past and present links with Europe and the wider world,
using a range of scales of reference – local, regional, national, British,
European and world history of Wales, its political, economic,
social and cultural aspects.

That sounds very well and good but for one important problem:  the actual lessons and subjects are decided by local districts, many of which are struggling for  resources and under pressure to achieve higher scores in standardised student assessments.

This matters because of what students are missing. “The soft bigotry of low expectations,” an assumption that those students in locations of historically low educational attainment should not be academically challenged, literally means students are being denied the patrimony of their story, an understanding of their country and society.

George Orwell’s 1984 sums this up well.  “Who controls the past,” according to the party slogan, “controls the future.  Who controls the present controls the past.”  A lack of history or false history breaks down the psychological independence of its subjects.

Though devolution is marching slowly along, Wales needs a firm focus on full independence, so we may control our own future.  And to control our own future, we need to control the past—and affirm our own history by making Welsh history a requirement for every student in Wales.

Catherine Severson

Catherine Severson

Catherine Severson is a boat builder and sailor, having studied traditional Celtic wooden boat building in Wales and Ireland.  She has worked in both the USA and Japan as a radio presenter and magazine editor.

 

 

 

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Sign the petition to the Welsh Assembly Government
https://www.assemblywales.org/epetition-list-of-signatories.htm?pet_id=680

“We call on the National Assembly for Wales to urge the Welsh Government to make Welsh History Compulsory in our schools from the age of 7. Teaching about Wales from the Celtic times right through to the present Day, including for example Llywelyn, Glyndŵr, all other Welsh native princes, Tryweryn, The Welsh Not, The Norman conquest, Act of Union and Industrialisation. As It appears that not all of Welsh history is being taught and is selective to cover certain periods and events.”

 

Leanne’s proposals – re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic

leanne wood plaid cymruLeanne Wood, newly elected Leader of Plaid Cymru The Party Of Wales, has outlined a programme to revive the Welsh economy see: Plan C. As is usual for virtually all mainstream political parties these days, it boils down to “re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic” rather than exposing the underlying causes and proposing necessary radical changes to the system.

Unsurprisingly, she starts with the standard put-down of Wales with the usual labour-like-lefty moaning refrain: “we’re sooo poor – it’s not fair!, etc. etc.”.

She then calls for “the devolution of borrowing powers and responsibility over macro-economic levers” and a change in public procurement policy.

Regarding procurement policy, the way it works these days is through competitive bidding – with the ‘best value for money’ (lowest bid) almost invariably winning. Yes, that means that outside corporate interests can usually win these bidding wars ensuring that tax money returned to Wales quickly disappears again, keeping the economy short on cash.

Leanne Wood is absolutely correct in questioning this ‘best value’ approach to public procurement but her proposals to change it is just hot air and would never fly – because it directly conflicts with one of Plaid Cymru’s most cherished goals – to become another vassal state of the European Union.

The EU is all about protecting the interests of the financial elites and corporate power. It is the EU that forces competitive tendering and ‘best value’ procurement ensuring that money always moves up, and the growing divide between the uber-rich and the rest of us is maintained and strengthened. You only have to see the current brutalisation of the Greek, Spanish and Irish people by the EU troika’s* austerity demands if you have any doubts what membership in the EU really means.

“Progressive procurement” as Leanne calls it is good idea, but impossible in Plaid Cymru’s larger vision for Wales.

As for the devolution of “borrowing powers” – that’s a no starter. In fact it’s a very narrow-minded approach to reviving the Welsh economy. Wales, like the rest of the Western world, is already suffering under crippling debt levels. The UK government has allowed commercial banks to take control of 97.3% (and growing) of the entire UK money stock – meaning that debt-slavery, relentless crippling inflation. and austerity measures are built into the system.

We don’t need more debt. We need LESS debt – and more real (debt-free) money.

On that vein, it’s ironic that two speakers were invited to the Assembly in this Spring (arranged and hosted by a Labour and Conservative AM). One speaker was Ben Dyson of Positive Money. The other was a researcher from the New Economics Foundation who made an argument for the creation of a debt-free Welsh pound spent into the economy which would rapidly make Wales the most solvent and vibrant economy in Western Europe. (That’s not rocket science. It’s just basic mathematics, simple and straightforward – once you understand how the money system and economy actually work in the real world.)

What’s ironic about these monetary reform proposals made to Assembly Members and members of the public was that not one single Plaid Cymru AM bothered to come and listen – even though I personally invited (virtually insisted) that Plaid’s shadow minister for economics, Alun Ffred Jones, come to the talk!

Leanne then goes on to propose an “unconventional fiscal policy [which] involves shifting the balance from revenue spending to capital expenditure. On a macro level, the proposal is for the government to control and manipulate the economy through its enormous fiscal clout. That makes perfect sense if you adhere to an overbearing government bureaucracy controlling almost every aspect of our lives. They tried it in the USSR. Didn’t work. They are now trying it in the EU. Won’t work. It will just lead to more stagnation and collapse.

We need a Welsh government that says NO MORE! to the international financiers and corporate interests controlling people and governments around the world. Simply “window dressing politics” will no longer cut the cake. Until Leanne and Plaid Cymru are willing to admit that the financial Emperor (the City of London and the EU troika) has no clothes, and accept that we need a commonsense and radical shift away from an economy based on debt and concentration of power, they can not offer the Welsh nation annibyniaeth go iawn – real freedom or independence.

If you are a Plaid Cymru member, please tell your party bosses to pay attention to the short video below, and do some thinking.

*The troika is a slang term (Russian for triad) for for the three organizations which have the most power over member state’s financial future – or at least that future as it is defined within the European Union. The three groups are the European Commission (EC), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the European Central Bank (ECB).

Hwyl Fawr Fluffy Dragon

christopher trefor davies

.._.Christopher Trefor Davies ._.. bu farw Awst 2012 –

I first met the Reverend Christoper Davies back in the late 90‘s. I was a newly elected Plaid Cymru councillor in Bridgend C.B.C. and Chris was a practicing Baptist minister with a parish in Sheffield England. He was also running  a website called Welsh Republican Comment on an MSN platform (the platform was withdrawn by Microsoft years ago).

He would often return to the Bridgend area on his time off from church duties because he grew up in Maesteg where his aunt still lived. He considered it ‘home’.

Chris was an uncompromising radical egalitarian, vehemently opposed to the monarchist pecking order of British society. Although he had his ups and down, his commitment to republican principles never wavered.

But don’t think Chris was just another angry lefty moaning about all the injustices.  He never lost his sense of humour and liked to act the ‘class clown’ at times.

And he had his bumps, including spending a year in hospital for acute depression in 2003. They kept him drugged up to the teeth for months, but he came through to fight again, resuming the position of treasurer of the Independent Wales Party (now called Cymru Rydd).

He was a committed monetary reformer and together we were the only two delegates from Wales at the annual Bromsgrove Conference in 2004.

Around that time, one of his campaigns was against the setting up of British Army recruitment offices in the deprived areas of the Welsh valleys. He had to appear in court a number of times for spraying anti-war messages on these offices.

Despite his unswerving commitment to Welsh republicanism, Chris remained ‘organisationally challenged’. He spent a month or more organising a big Welsh Republican meeting in Cardiff University in 2006. We all showed up at the designated time and place and waited for him to show. He never did!

In the last few years Chris had taken to dressing up as a red dragon calling himself Fluffy Dragon, or Comrade Fluffy Dragon, or Lord Comrade Fluffy Dragon. Despite his trials and tribulations his humour would always shine through.

lord fluffy dragon as comrade cowThe last time we got together was at the Queen’s diamond jubilee visit to Merthyr Tydfil in April this year. I picked him up from his place and drove him to the costume rental shop downtown Cardiff. Five minutes later he comes back with a cow costume! They had rented out the only red dragon costume so he opted be be a cow instead. Cows against Monarchy!

This summer I was in Canada working on a boat project but we kept in touch via Skype. We were planning a campaign of political public art (aka graffiti), having already dropped off stencils at his place. He sounded positive and seemed to be looking forward to my return. So when I heard of his sudden death in August I was stunned.

Whether you agree with Chris’ politics and actions or not, I think everyone would agree that he was a character, and the world is a poorer place without him.

UK court spreads fear and ignorance in jailing tweeter

uk justiceLast week a Swansea university student from Pontypridd was convicted of ‘a racially-aggravated public order offense‘ for making an offense comment on twitter about footballer Fabrice Muamba. The student was convicted and sentenced to 56 days in jail.

There are two disturbing elements to this case.

First, it was not reported on the radio news what the offensive comments were, other than they were deemed by the court to be racist. I have also looked on news sites for the comments but they are not reproduced.

So all we know is that someone was sent to jail for writing something deemed racially offensive by the courts. Not knowing what the courts consider offensive keeps us all ignorant and in fear. Which brings me to my second concern – the punishment.

Racism is a product of ignorance and fear (two qualities that the human species have in abundance). Is sticking the student in jail for 56 days going to enlighten him and make a better, safer society for all? No chance. Much better to get racists to re-examine their beliefs and values and nurture more positive values in themselves and others.

In short, you don’t cure ignorance and fear through corporal punishment (and incarceration is a type of corporal punishment). You don’t cure ignorance and fear by concealing the words that the court found offensive and punishable.

The stupidity of the racist comments are mirrored by the stupidity of the court’s reaction. Ignorance and fear, the breeding grounds of racism have been increased, not diminished.

This case was an ideal opportunity for an open and honest public debate about racism and language deemed to be offensive, and the beliefs that foster those sentiments.

Instead, the UK media and justice system used it to instill further ignorance and fear, revealing the true nature of the UK justice. Its methods of social control compound ignorance and fear – in contradistinction to an open, tolerant, democratic society.

Plaid leadership contenders face-off

Plaid leadership contendersBelow is a brief summary of the speeches given by the three Plaid Cymru leadership contenders in Cardiff on 2 February.

At the bottom of this post is the  video (14 minutes) of the actual speeches.

Synopsis

Dafydd Elis-Thomas

Breaking the ice with a little ‘Assembly humour’, Dafydd suggests we are entering in a new era for Wales and talks about the challenges that face us including changing climate, economics and the future constitution of the UK – given Scotland’s march to independence – wrapping up with a reference to a Roc Cymraeg oldy-goldy. The inference seems to be that these are uncertain, even historic times and steady hand on the helm is needed. He keeps his speech to a merciful 3½ minutes but only in Welsh which I found a little odd having discovered recently that he can speak English fluently.

.

Elin Jones

Elin warns us not to think that Scotland and Wales are comparable on our roads to independence and then goes on to highlight Plaid’s highest priority – “rescuing communities from this recession” and creating a “second industrial revolution” – “all of this is within our control”. She emphasised the need to broaden the appeal of the party to the majority. She is ready to lead party, and even topple Carwyn Jones to become the next Prif Weinidog. She reminds us she has been a long-term politician and underlines her good leadership characteristics: experience and ambition. She spoke for 6½ minutes.

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Leanne Wood

Leanne launched into the need to reform a failed capitalist system that was “exposing poor and vulnerable people” and threatens the welfare state. Solutions included harnessing renewable energies, combating climate change, by means of [state?] control over natural resources. Her top priority is jobs and economy. “Real independence is a means to an end, not the end in itself”. The goal is to get the power to protect communities, language, and “build communities from bottom up”. In her Wales, “everyone who can work – does!”. To achieve these goals she tells us we need “full control” over resources and the economy (which justifies independence). She spoke for 4 minutes.

————

Review  (the Verdict)

It’s hard to tell where Dafydd is coming from. He keeps his cards close to his chest. Elin and Leanne throw what they believe to be their best cards down on the table.

I have no doubt that Dafydd would make a good diplomat. When I’m President of the Welsh Republic I will not hesitate in selecting him to head up diplomatic missions to a troubled areas, such as England. Dafydd is clearly the ‘safe choice’.

Both Elin and Leanne present similar versions of “it’s the economy, stupid” theme characterising Wales as “poor and vulnerable” needing “protecting” and “rescuing”.

Although their intentions may be honourable their approach is worrying. Coupled with a religious-like desire for ‘full control to fix the system and save their people’ Elin and Leanne are concocting a recipe for an oppressive, controlling governance ‘for our own good’.

Many years ago I might have been inspired by their rhetoric of championing the downtrodden and building the New Jerusalem. But I have long since replaced those comic books for instruction manuals on how things really work.

Sure, Wales has deep systemic problems, as does the entire Western World, but it’s still a place where the English are moving to in the thousands. Mass English immigration is more of a threat to Welsh nationhood than the economy. Our real vulnerability is our open borders.

The economy could be easily corrected without oppressive government interference. We simply need to find the courage to say ‘enough is enough’ to private banks’ fraudulent control of the money supply.

The spirit of genuine democracy and true independence is anarchistic in nature. Only when ‘we the people’ become empowered, both politically and financially, will we be truly free and independent.

When it comes to the ‘perfect leader’ I like what Lao Tzu wrote many many centuries ago:

“Of the great leaders the people will say we did it ourselves.”

in other words, the best leaders inspire and enable – not proscribe.

Welsh Water Ripoff

welsh water for walesWater is life and by natural right it belongs to the country it’s found in – but not in Wales. Since 1989 our water has been ‘privatised’.

Crooks, claiming ownership with pieces of paper with numbers and fancy words backed by Banksters, English Law, the police and if need be, the British Army, took exclusive ownership and control of our water resources.

Predictably, things have gone downhill since then. This essential and valuable resource became the plaything of transnational corporate power games. The Welsh nation bowed to this new usurper by paying tribute in the form of sky-high water bills.

By the turn of the century Welsh water’s ‘owner’, Hyder, mismanaged itself into bankruptcy. A hasty Assembly-lead ‘Welsh-solution’ rescue package was cobbled together.

But the facts tell a different story …

Hyder, means ‘confidence’ in Welsh – the name being little short of a confident trick. Hyder was not a Welsh company at all. Not even remotely. (Reports say that Hyder’s bosses insisted employees mispronounce its name as ‘hider’.)  After staggering mismanagement Hyder was flogged off to  Western Power Distribution, an American-controlled conglomerate that picked up our water resources as part of its global public utilities portfolio.

Then the Bansters (NatWest) stepped in to purchase our Water resources using a newly fabricated organisation (which the dummies down in the Assembly were keen to take credit for), It was labeled a “not-for-profit Welsh solution” calling itself Glas Cymru, literally, Blue Wales.

But Glas Cymru’s Welsh credentials are at best window dressing. With regards to its ‘not-for-profit’ spin, the reality is that just about everyone involved makes a tidy profit – except the Welsh.

Glas Cymru’s claimed not-for-profit status is deceitful. Basically, all it means is that the money to bail out Hyder’s inherited debts was borrowed rather than financed through selling shares. This deal now results (2011) in £174 million (or approx. £135 of each and every household water bill) in interest payments every year – essentially a private Bankster’s tax.

In other words, this ‘Welsh solution’ to managing our water now results in a yearly transfer of £174 million from us in Wales to the wealthy banking elites centered in London. And for this privilege all they did was to type a few numbers into a electronic accounts (As we are all coming to realise, borrowed money is fraudelent money created by banks out of nothing at no cost to them.)

This ‘Welsh water solution’ is a scam of mega proportions – but under English law and  slavish Assembly mentality, it’s considered legal and sensible.

The ‘Welsh’ dimension to Glas Cymru is in its selection of members. It was first headed by Lord Burns, a favourite of the Thatcher era (formerly Treasury Permanent Secretary) who as the non-executive chairman (i.e no responsibilities) gets payed £140,000 a year. That was way back in 2002, probably a lot more now. Bob Ayling, below, took over from Lord Burns in 2010.

glas cymru chairman

In addition to the Chairman there are 9 other appointed mainly non-executive directors which is essentially patronage appointments with no responsibility. It’s hard to get a precise figure on how much we are paying them for doing nothing but “Directors’ emoluments” is listed as costing us £1,200,000 in 2011. Divide that by 10 and you get £120,000 each.  To see a list of the latest Glas Cymru “good welshmen” click here.

At Glas Cymru’s inception, “Welsh” Labour was predictably pleased with itself -“I particularly welcome the prospect of Welsh Water being owned once again based, managed and controlled from Wales, based on a principle originated in Wales”, said our then Prif Weinidog Rhodri Morgan.

Although Glas Cymru claims to own and control Welsh water resources, it doesn’t actually run the industry. The real work is contracted out to very-much-for-profit companies.

Although they still use the Dwr Cymru Welsh Water tag, the fact is that the companies squeezing us for profit by supplying us with our own water are not Welsh at all. The business of maintaining the water supply is contracted out to United Utilities, a profit-making English company. Customer service is contracted out to profit-making Thames Water, an English subsidiary of a German-owend conglomerate RWE. Other companies such as Wessex Water also have their fingers in the our water pie.

Unravel the “Welsh not-for-profit” spin and we discover exactly the opposite.

So where was Plaid Cymru “The Party of Wales” when this was all coming about? Should they not have been screaming “bloody murder” from the rooftops and exposing this farce called a ‘Welsh solution’?  Yes, you’d think so … but no, not a murmur. Incredibly, Plaid’s policy on Water was written by a member of Glas Cymru (who also doubled as a member of Plaid). Accordingly, it stated, without any qualification,

We need to recognise that re-nationalisation [of the water industry] is neither feasible or necessarily in the interests of Wales and its various stakeholders.”

What it neglected to point out was that Welsh water resources had never been nationalised in the genuine sense – owned by Wales for the Welsh. ‘Nationalisation’ has always meant controlled by the British State thoroughly dominated by majority English interests. Plaid’s policy also failed to explain who the “various stakeholders” were but we can assume they include the bodies, including members of Glas Cymru, who are pocketing tidy sums of money for their stamp of approval.

With regard to the prospect of Welsh companies managing our own water resources, the paper takes a familiar ploy in talking us down and virtually dismissing Wales’ ability to undertake such operations. “The obstacle”, it stated, “will be in developing a management, technical and systems infrastructure comparable with those developed by incumbent operators.”

No, us Welshies could never manage our own resources as good as the English and Germans do it for us. What demeaning neo-colonialist bunk! – and straight out of a Plaid policy paper!

The policy paper was warmly endorsed by Arweinydd y Blaid Ieuan Wyn Jones who wrote in the forward that the policy paper is “a significant event in the evolution of party policy”. Significant indeed. Who is left to champion natural justice for Wales if not our illustrious  ‘Party of Wales’?

The only saving grace in this policy paper was a meek suggestion that perhaps we should be seeking some return for the water transported to England. Approximately half of all Welsh water resources is exported to England for the grand sum of £0 – dim byd. They get our water, we don’t even get a ‘thank you’ in return.

It’s the British version of free trade – Wales gives, England takes – for free.

Not only that, average domestic water bills in England are substantially lower than in Wales – around £50 less on average. The official excuse for this discrepancy is that it is cheaper to transport Welsh water to England for English consumption than to keep it in Wales for Welsh consumers. Go figure that one out!

If Wales began to charge a fair price of its exported water resources well over £100 million in extra revenue could be generated (or around £100 could be deducted off our annual domestic water charges for every household).

Also, if we cut the Banksters out of their ill-gotten annual take for their fraudulent money creation (i.e. counterfeiting) on a massive scale, our domestic water bills should be close to zero – possibly even get paid a dividend each year.

They call it ‘market rationalisation’. We should call it for what it is – state sanctioned theft on a grand scale.

dwr cymru welsh waterEven if we continued to pay the Bankster’s private tax called interest, a nationalised Welsh Water Industry publicly financed and contracted to Welsh operators, including a fair recompense for our exports, would ensure our domestic water bills could be halved in cost – as well as ensuring a secure economic opportunities for people in our rural communities.

For the sake of our children, if nothing else, it’s time we stared demanding just that.

 

Plaid Cymru leader contenders – in a nutshell

BBC sent out number of identical questions to the four hopefuls to become the new leader of Plaid Cymru and has published their answers on four separate web-pages – which makes comparison difficult.

plaid-cymru-leader-candidates-2012

 

Additionally, when you cut out the fluff (a disease most British politicians seem to be plagued with) we can make fast and useful comparrisons of their postions.

Below are the 6 BBC questions and the abridged answers below for easy comparison:

Q: Why did Plaid go backwards at the last assembly election?

Dafydd Elis-Thomas: Lack of ‘electability’ – not credible enough.

Elin Jones: Lack of ambition and clear national vision.

Simon Thomas: Our message was confused and not getting through.

Leanne Wood: Not forward looking enough.

Q: Is it true, as Eurfyl ap Gwilym says, that some Plaid candidates and spokespeople need to pull their socks up?

Dafydd Elis-Thomas: My socks are made in Wales.

Elin Jones: Yes we need to work harder and be more focussed.

Simon Thomas: I do think the whole party has to up its game.

Leanne Wood: Yes – No member of Plaid Cymru is exempt!

Q: How can Plaid strike the balance between calling for independence and avoid “appearing to be interested in constitutional matters only”?

Dafydd Elis-Thomas: Sustainable development, effective use of natural resources.

Elin Jones: Wales needs more powers to create a fairer society and stronger ecomony.

Simon Thomas: Fight for the control and ownership of our natural resources.

Leanne Wood: Focusing on the economy and jobs.

Q: Do you expect to see an independent Wales in your lifetime?

Dafydd Elis-Thomas: Yes

Elin Jones: Not sure.

Simon Thomas: Yes

Leanne Wood: Yes.

Q: After years of trying to promote the party as representing everyone in Wales, why did the review find there was still a perception that you are perceived as the “Welsh-speaking party”?

Dafydd Elis-Thomas: Excuses are made for a lack of real political engagement.

Elin Jones: Ours is a vision for the nation, not any one constituent part.

Simon Thomas: Plaid’s message needs to be heard in a different accent.

Leanne Wood: I’m not sure.

Q: Should Plaid be called the Welsh National Party in English?

Dafydd Elis-Thomas: No, “the party of Wales” is better than “Welsh National Party”

Elin Jones: It’s not important. It’s a matter for the party as a whole.

Simon Thomas: No, the party already has an English name – the party of Wales.

Leanne Wood: No – it’s mere cosmetic change.

– – – – –

So who’s the winner? Here’s my take:

1 point for Dafydd for his Welsh socks 😀

minus 1 point for Elin for waffling on an independent Wales in our lifetime.

minus 1 point for all 4 candidates on being too conservative not open to reconsidering the party name in English.

(When you consider the fact that the name of the party is possibly the only thing a majority of voters know about Plaid Cymru, or consider when it comes to marking their X, the name could be the single most important factor. This is a case of the candidates not seeing the forest because the trees are in the way.

Additionally, the current use of the term ‘Plaid’ for Plaid Cymru, or in other words, a singular ‘Party’ or more accurately in English – ‘The Party’ – has some creepy Staninesque overtones.)

Final tally – Dafydd narrowly wins with the humour factor! But none of the four rocked me with their vision or inspired me with their drive and ambition. Seems like they have spent too much time in committee-land secure in their fortress called the Assembly. As a result they start to sound like their masters – the bureaucratic chieftains.

What do you think?

– – – –

If you want to read the entire transcripts the BBC links are below:

Dafydd Elis-Thomas

Elin Jones

Simon Thomas

Leanne Wood

The candidtes have their own websites;

Dafydd Elis-Thomas

Elin Jones

Leanne Wood

(I have been unable to source a website for Simon Thomas. If such a website exists please put it in the comments section below)

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