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Then there were seven

Betsan Powys | 15:20 UK time, Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Ok, so not everyone who visits the Senedd leaves impressed with what they've seen. The building? That usually goes down pretty well but the debating that goes on in it?

I give you two former Cardiff students, Steve Lowe and Alan McArthur, now authors who visited the Senedd last year on their "Quest for Britishness". They came, they saw, they were bored.

"It's as if the Welsh local councils have devolved upwards all the most tedious bits of their business ... 'What do you think they'll be debating now?" ask the councillors of Caerphilly Borough Council as their tray of drinks arrives in a sunny pub garden. 'Bargoed relief road, I expect. For half an hour!' Then they all laugh like drains.

What we're saying here is: the Welsh Assembly is tedious. At one point, a party of 50 or so schoolchildren trooped into the gallery and sat down. About three and a half minutes later, they all tropped out of their national debating chamber, none the wiser. None the wiser, but bored out of their ****** minds ... So this is the bright new devolved democracy, is it? Because to our eyes it looked - sorry about this - just ... "

I'll leave it there but let's just say the language is unparliamentary.

So was Conservative Health Spokesperson Jonathan Morgan's according to Plaid's Leanne Wood in the chamber this afternoon. He inquired after the health of Labour Deputy Minister for Skills John Griffiths, so concerned was he by his "schizophrenic attitude" - claiming skills to be crucial to any chance Wales has to emerge fitter and stronger when the economic upturn comes, while cutting sixth form and Further Education College budgets by over 7%.

She was overruled but Mr Griffiths was pelted from all directions. He wasn't helped by the timing. AMs had just debated a report from the Childen and Young Person's committee and heard a warning from Labour's Huw Lewis that they had promised much but done too little for families and for children trapped in poverty. "Damaged children don't recover" reverberated around the chamber long after he'd made the point.

So what possible sense was there, asked the Conservatives, in talking about upskilling and reskilling, in trumpeting skills as the vehicle to drive us out of this recession, then very carefully calculating what colleges need to continue doing their job. Then cutting it by 7.43%?

"So much for caring. So much for social justice from this government" from Andrew RT Davies was followed by any number of direct quotes from Labour ministers - including 'London Labour' Ministers as Plaid have taken to putting it - emphasising the crucial role further education must play in a time of recession. The Lib Dems were ready with their figures. How was it that one college in the North East of England had been given £60m, asked Jenny Randerson, more than the Assembly Government has spent on the whole sector in Wales over some years?

Plaid's Janet Ryder appeared. Was she going to intervene, to speak out against the Labour Plaid government, just as she'd taken to voting against their policies recently? Apparently not. She may have resigned as the party's education spokesperson but not to shout from the backbenches. She left the chamber. Her successor Nerys Evans took over. She pointed a finger at the settlement from the "London government". She praised the ReAct and ProAct schemes and the £68m they'd be channelling into reskilling and apprenticeships. But to Tory cheers she went on: that didn't justify these huge cuts in further education. They made no sense. The government had to think again.

"It's wrong Minister!" It was Darren Millar's turn, the Shane Williams of the Tory benches - he gets up, takes up the attack, the crowd perk up a bit and listen.

There wasn't a crowd though. Not even schoolchildren on their best behaviour. There were nine of us in the gallery watching as John Griffiths came back at them. The government was, he said, in a "tight, challenging public spending situation". But what about that £68m the government has put into the skills economy, a fifth of which could go into FE colleges if they're prepared "to show flexibility?" What about the deprivation uplift, the dialogue the government was still having with colleges and what about Cameron's Conservatives and their plans to cut public spending on an unimaginable scale?

It was their debate so Bourne's Conservatives got the last word. Andrew RT Davies speaks plainly. Labour's response was dismissed in seven words, one each for those of us now left in the gallery. "It was the usual rant, it was".

It was a decent debate.

The camera below us whizzed on its circular track to focus on the next politician to speak and the next debate: personal debt in Wales. The gallery emptied.

Comments

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  • 1. At 06:08am on 05 Feb 2009, John wrote:

    "They came, they saw, they were bored."

    But the brains behind this "mess of a dogs dinner" we call our Welsh Government are not so dull, it is all in the small print of legislation .....

    Keep them compliant, keep them poor, keep them quiet, the Assembly way.

    Who are the brains, are they elected?

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  • 2. At 09:24am on 05 Feb 2009, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    Ah, Betsan, I have a cunning plan to boost the attendance and sex up the proceedings...


    What about suggesting that the budget of the Welsh Assembly, the pay, the perks, and the expenses, are cut by over 7% ?? Then we'd see a debate slightly more exciting than mud wrestling Gladiators...

    It is time this talking shop nonsense was closed down. If, as Kinnock might say, a Labour controlled assembly [a Labour controlled assembly ! ] wants to cut education budgets what, pray tell, is the point of it all ?

    Perhaps you could today at least give the children some snowballs to allow them to show these politicians what they REALLY think of them...

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  • 3. At 09:38am on 05 Feb 2009, Crossroads wrote:

    This appalling assembly is Betsan's bread and butter, and she does just about as good as job as possible. But I'll bet there are often times when she wonders just what the hell can I write about today?

    Me, I'm just bored and irritated by the whole set-up. Just can't wait for the next referendum on the future of this terrible place. See the look on these pompous AM's faces when the result is announced.

    It really has turned out to be just what many predicted,. . .nothing but a talking shop, and an extremely expensive extra (wholly unnecessary) tier of government.

    However, the sheer incompetence of the damn lot of them has been breathtaking. True to form, their main (only?) priority has been their own salary increases, and just what they can obtain on expenses (just about anything it seems).

    No, scrap it, scrap it now ! The ridiculous (leaking) senedd could be used to grow tomatoes. . . .just like some other Plaidie "hero" preferred to do instead of fighting in the war like so many other brave Welshmen.
    And that creep went on to be a Plaid MP. . .there really is no justice !

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  • 4. At 09:40am on 05 Feb 2009, respice_finem wrote:

    To my mind this is the nub of the problem with the Assembly. The quality of debate, particularly from the governing coalition, is very low.

    Until the Assembly demonstrates that it is a forum for good quality debate and good policy outcomes, there can simply be no case for giving it new powers.

    The question is not simply 'Are the Welsh capable of governing Wales?'. It is 'Is the Assembly likely to produce better government than Westminster?'.

    I defy anyone who has seen the Assembly in action to argue that it produces a better quality of government for Wales.

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  • 5. At 10:56am on 05 Feb 2009, Shrek-Girl wrote:

    respice finem:
    "To my mind this is the nub of the problem with the Assembly. The quality of debate, particularly from the governing coalition, is very low."

    yes, reading form notes too much, and yesterday even the Economy Minister, who looks more like a chapel deacon reading the notices, has to lean on his plastic lectern, head down in his notes, not confident in his brief and not understanding what "strategy" means.

    That sums it up for me!

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  • 6. At 10:57am on 05 Feb 2009, James Gibson-Watt wrote:

    Difficult to know what is worse - the apalling charade of PMQs at Westminster or the rather dull FMQs in Cardiff Bay. The former is an insult to democracy, made worse by David Cameron's inability to do anything other than bully and belittle the PM (perhaps revealing his true character), and the latter is, yes, boring, apart from the brief flashes of fun when Kirsty Williams gets under Rhodri's skin, which appears to be surprisingly thin.

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  • 7. At 11:07am on 05 Feb 2009, dewisnewid wrote:

    The question is not whether we are capable of governing ourselves or whether it is right that we should govern ourselves but on what basis we govern ourselves.

    The question is not whether we should give more powers to the existing arrangement but whether a different arrangement altogether would better represent the interests of the Welsh people.

    The question is not how many levels of government we need but how best to formulate a single, efficient and fully inclusive system of government that improves the quality of life for people living in Wales.

    The question is whether we give more power to a self-serving political elite or whether we put the power back in the hands of the people.

    The question is not whether we choose to be governed on the basis of one outmoded political dogma or another but whether we choose a different way altogether.

    Let's not have more of the same. Let's change the system!

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  • 8. At 11:26am on 05 Feb 2009, Just1nD wrote:

    Betsan. I am concerned about education cuts. I am also concerned about the standard of debate, and the quality of some of the 'politicians' at the Assembly.

    But does democracy have to be entertaining?

    I would rather see a boring disussion between adults concerning difficult decisions, reported fairly (and widely) in the press and the other media so that we know what's going on and who's doing it, than 'entertainment'.

    But how does one improve the debate? Unfortunately, the Labour party have been in power for too long, (in South Wales generally) and now the Lab/Plaid coalition have the huge majority that allows any old nonsense to do.

    Couple that with the change in the rules regarding candidates on the reginal lists, and we have some good politicians sat on the side lines while some real dross (no names, of course, but I am an Islwyn constituent) apparently attend.

    "It's as if the Welsh local councils have devolved upwards all the most tedious bits of their business." They could have added "and hardly anything downwards from Westminster."

    It is, of course, a chicken and egg situation. The Assembly has been set up as a bit of a mickey mouse outfit to head off a growing nationalism within Wales (and even the Welsh Labour Party). Whether that was done in a cynical attempt to discredit the idea, or as a genuine gesture, is open to debate.

    But would more powers attract better members? Is it a risk we can take? Or do we need better AM's in order to justify more powers?

    Unfortunately, any debate is instantly monopolised by the two poles: those who use any excuse to kill on the assembly, and those who think that anyone who questions the Assembly's value is guilty of the most heinous treason against some idealised Welsh nation.

    It would be interesting, Betsan, if you were to give a weekly 'higlights' of the Assembly's work. Interesting because it would give us an idea of what important matters are being discussed, and of what dross passes for 'daily business' for our Government...

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  • 9. At 11:45am on 05 Feb 2009, respice_finem wrote:

    Shrek-Girl - agreed. Neither presentation nor content was much good. Also noticed the Health Minster answering questions whilst sitting down the other day. Come on AMs ... you could at least try and LOOK the part!

    dewisnewid - nice list of questions. But what sort of change do you have in mind?

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  • 10. At 11:53am on 05 Feb 2009, -Drachenfyre- wrote:

    With legislatures the world over... including the UK parliament in London.... the meat-n-patatoes of legislative business is by defination bores all. For Wales, this is especially so since the sexier portfolios of Law Inforcement, Economic policy, Criminal and Civil jurisprudence have yet to be aquired.

    (Right now, the Welsh are not yet competent to decide on their own policies in those areas)


    But this is why people like our estemed Betsan Powys is employed to attend those dreadfully boring and lackluster debates. lol.

    :)


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  • 11. At 12:10pm on 05 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 7...

    I really can see a lot of sense in that summary.

    I am all for some degree of devolvement, that is why I originally voted for it, but I,and I know others certainly did NOT under any stretch of the imagination vote for the mess we got.

    Out it, and get back to a realistic and rational status for the idea.

    In the meanwhile as a better system is being formulated, hand ALL of the current functions of the Assembly to the more than capable local authorities, who without doubt, as they are cognisant of their local needs, will be far better placed to tackle whatever is needed, to benefit their local populations.

    Rather than to the dubious benefit of a self seeking, elitist class, unconscious, maybe even contemptuous of their separation from folk at ground level, and showing their contempt for us by bringing in such divisive policy measures as this LCO we are all up in arms about.

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  • 12. At 12:32pm on 05 Feb 2009, Draig32 wrote:

    I really think the problem is that the powers of the Assembly are too limited. I have watched debates in the Scottish Parliament and it's like another planet. They have feisty, interesting debates about broad strategic issues - and they have charismatic figures like Alex Salmond, who add a little bit of extra spice to the proceedings.

    We really need to borrow "Wee Eck" for a year or two methinks.

    Assembly debates are bound to be boring when the Assembly doesn't have the power to debate anything substantive. And a lot of our Assembly politicians do not seem to have either the ambition or the political will to put their heads above the parapet and really rock the boat. Where are they now on the issue of lawmaking powers? Are the offering any real leadership? No.

    We need a broad-based campaign that will get people interested in how our democracy is run. There is a whole new generation out there who are waiting in the wings - and they will not be inspired to step up to the plate until we have a proper, substantive debate about exactly what kind of democracy we want here in Wales.

    And that's got to come from the bottom up, and not the top down.

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  • 13. At 12:43pm on 05 Feb 2009, Shrek-Girl wrote:

    DrachenFuhr said:

    "For Wales, this is especially so since the sexier portfolios of Law Inforcement, Economic policy, Criminal and Civil jurisprudence have yet to be aquired."

    Economic Policy is devolved unless you mean fiscal matters which are currently the responsibility of the Treasury.

    Yesterday was an example of the economic debate in the Assembly, and if you see my previous post, you will understand the challenge we face to improve quality, and for the responsible Minister to have a "Vision".

    Bottom line is: Do you want an administrator/manager type reading prepared notes on Economic policy or do you want a Leader articulating their vision and strategy for Wales going forward?

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  • 14. At 12:52pm on 05 Feb 2009, brynt41 wrote:

    #11 mapexx wrote:

    "..this LCO we are all up in arms about."

    You get carried away with your hollow often incoherent bombastic 'rhetoric' and convince yourself that you speak for all and sundry.

    You don't.

    Tone it down a bit and you might be more convincing.

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  • 15. At 1:04pm on 05 Feb 2009, West-Wales wrote:

    The current set up of the debating chamber does not help discussion or debate, members are often busy with other business on their computers and when called, simply read prepared statements without developing or demolishing previous speeches and arguments.

    Generally debates are boring and of poor quality, it is rare that the nub of an issue is teased out.

    The comment Betsan quotes "It's as if the Welsh local councils have devolved upwards all the most tedious bits of their business" is all too true.
    The problem is that they are not addressing the things they should.
    But for me its worse - it seems all the failed local councillors have been given jobs as AM's.
    Few have original ideas, are able to logically develop a proposition or add anything constructive to a debate, most simply parrot the party line (including Party abuse)

    Its easy to list what the Assembly has got wrong - its just about everything they have done - and they haven't being doing the things they should.
    Probably the only measure to get universal support is Prescription Charges.

    The debate quoted is a good example;
    "skills to be crucial to any chance Wales has to emerge fitter and stronger when the economic upturn comes, but cut the sixth form and Further Education College budgets by over 7%."
    Welsh higher Education is in trouble - we have universities shutting down science departments.
    Students wanting to get Degrees with strong recognition by employers in technology and science will look elsewhere.
    (there are notable exceptions; Astrophysics and some literary degrees at Aberystwyth, and Electronics at Swansea. There are others)


    The Welsh people do not think the Assembly is delivering on the things they are supposed to be doing.
    The argument that it is because they have insufficient powers is frankly naive.


    In setting up the AWC the Assembly have ignored that there is deep disappointment out here in the real world.

    A referendum is needed, there is division almost despair among the electorate.
    Most people do not support what the Assembly is doing.
    The question should not be - no to further powers - yes to carry on as we are.
    Far more fundamental issues need to be agreed before The Assembly can be confident it has the support of the people.

    Devolution itself has a weak constitutional foundation.
    Only 25% of the population voted for it - In most Democracies, Constitutional change can only be made with the consent of 50% of the Electorate.

    The people were promised a Referendum before more powers were transferred, it did not happen because it was recognised that the Referendum would be lost.
    But the 2006 Welsh act provided a mechanism for it to happen.

    This link to Wikipedia gives an excellent overview of the history, responsibilities and powers devolved to the National Assembly.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Assembly_for_Wales

    There is plenty for the Assembly to get its teeth into to make life better for us in Wales, they have more than adequate powers, why aren't they doing it.


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  • 16. At 1:13pm on 05 Feb 2009, dewisnewid wrote:

    Drachenfyre - What makes you say the Welsh are not competent? Most of us would be competent to make the right decisions if we had all of the information available to us.

    respice_finem - I have in mind a system where politicians become elected advocate/representatives and decisions are made by the majority vote of a nationally representative assembly of ordinary people serving six monthly periods in a similar manner to jury service.

    I promise to reveal a full proposal at The Laugharne Weekend on Sunday, April 5, chosen because it's an arts festival that has nothing to do with politics.

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  • 17. At 2:01pm on 05 Feb 2009, Lyn David Thomas wrote:

    How many here have actually sat and listened to a run of the mill debate at Westminster... believe me its as boring as watching paint dry. That is what run of the mill politics is like. Rarely does debate raise above yah boo politics at Westminster. The debates are more relaxed in the National Assembly and there is more collaborative and less combative working across the floor. Yes it has had its moments of drama, the resignation/sacking of Alun Michael being one.

    If you think our Welsh MPs are better then I suggest you try listening to the Select Committee on Welsh Affairs.

    Why is it that there are some who seem to have internalized some sort of inferiority complex and delight in saying how crap all things Welsh are?

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  • 18. At 2:05pm on 05 Feb 2009, -Drachenfyre- wrote:

    re: 13 Shrek-Girl wrote:
    DrachenFuhr said:

    "For Wales, this is especially so since the sexier portfolios of Law Inforcement, Economic policy, Criminal and Civil jurisprudence have yet to be aquired."

    Economic Policy is devolved unless you mean fiscal matters which are currently the responsibility of the Treasury.

    Yesterday was an example of the economic debate in the Assembly, and if you see my previous post, you will understand the challenge we face to improve quality, and for the responsible Minister to have a "Vision".

    Bottom line is: Do you want an administrator/manager type reading prepared notes on Economic policy or do you want a Leader articulating their vision and strategy for Wales going forward? "

    Did you ask a reasoned question? Gods that is pleasent, and I will answer you here! lol.

    Yes, when I wrote economic policy... fiscal and taxing authority is, for me, part and parcel of that. The Assembly needs to be able to offer incentives for companies to remain in Wales, rather then in England.

    Wales has a very favorable geographic position next to England, and companies can locate there where costs of doing business would be less then in England (yes, even with the Language LCO), while standard of living remains realitively high.

    This is what Denmark has done.

    Denmark has high employment and welfare services dispite being next door to the economic powerhouse Germany, or the cheep labour force from Poland.

    The Welsh government is handicaped at the moment.

    re: "Do you want an administrator/manager type reading prepared notes on Economic policy or do you want a Leader articulating their vision and strategy for Wales going forward?"

    Personally, I tend to favor an administrator/manager type as they tend to be more detailed oriented and results driven, even if their persona is not necessarily that engaging.

    But are you speaking about a minister with portfolio or an AM on a committee? They are not necessarily the same thing.

    In general, of corse one would want their leaders to be more engaging.

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  • 19. At 2:57pm on 05 Feb 2009, -Drachenfyre- wrote:

    16. re: dewisnewid wrote:
    Drachenfyre - What makes you say the Welsh are not competent? Most of us would be competent to make the right decisions if we had all of the information available to us.

    respice_finem - I have in mind a system where politicians become elected advocate/representatives and decisions are made by the majority vote of a nationally representative assembly of ordinary people serving six monthly periods in a similar manner to jury service.

    I promise to reveal a full proposal at The Laugharne Weekend on Sunday, April 5, chosen because it's an arts festival that has nothing to do with politics."

    Oh gods! I was being ironic in the sense that the UK government doesnt feel the Welsh are competent enough to manage full law making authority my friend! :)

    It was a play on words as LCO means Legislative Competancy Order.

    From my perspective, the idea of soliciting London for the right to legislate on your own language is parochial and Imperialistic.

    Sorry if it wasnt clear.

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  • 20. At 3:35pm on 05 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 14....


    I seem to be speaking for quite a few who subscribe to these blogs, if not in exactly the same terms. We my think coincidently about matters, but we are not compelled to put our thoughts down identically.

    We leave that to you lot. Clones to a man.

    'Bombastic' .. . I accept that with some degree of satisfaction, it shows just how deeply I am getting to your silly nonsense re the situation in Wales, since this mess in the Bay got the impudent idea they can run this region , when it is patently obvious they cannot, and people like you are oblivious to the fact.

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  • 21. At 3:42pm on 05 Feb 2009, Draig32 wrote:

    Really don't know what Shrek-Girl is talking about with Economic Policy. Just take a look at the Government of Wales Act 2006 to see what's excluded. The bit directly below is what the Assembly controls. The "exceptions" are what's still reserved to London:-

    Economic development -

    Economic regeneration and development, including social development of communities, reclamation of derelict land and improvement of the environment. Promotion of business and competitiveness.

    Exceptions—

    Fiscal, economic and monetary policy and regulation of international trade.

    Regulation of anti-competitive practices and agreements, abuse of dominant position and monopolies and mergers.

    Intellectual property, apart from plant varieties.

    Creation, operation, regulation and dissolution of types of business association.
    Insolvency.

    Product standards, safety and liability, apart from in relation to food (including packaging and other materials which come into contact with food), agricultural and horticultural products, fish and fish products, seeds, fertilisers and pesticides (and things treated by virtue of any enactment as pesticides).

    Consumer protection, including the sale and supply of goods to consumers, consumer guarantees, hire purchase, trade descriptions, advertising and price indications, apart from in relation to food (including packaging and other materials which come into contact with food), agricultural and horticultural products, fish and fish products, seeds, fertilisers and pesticides (and things treated by virtue of any enactment as pesticides).

    Financial services, including investment business, banking and deposit-taking, collective investment schemes and insurance.

    Financial markets, including listing and public offers of securities and investments, transfers of securities, insider dealing and money laundering.

    Telecommunications, wireless telegraphy (including electromagnetic disturbance), internet services and electronic encryption.
    Postal services, post offices and the Post Office, apart from financial assistance for the provision of services (other than postal services and services relating to money or postal orders) to be provided from public post offices.

    Generation, transmission and supply of electricity, apart from pollution.

    Energy conservation, apart from the encouragement of energy efficiency otherwise than by prohibition or regulation.
    Coal, including mining and subsidence, apart from land restoration and other environmental matters.

    Oil and gas, apart from pollution.
    Units and standards of weights and measurement and the regulation of trade so far as involving weighing, measuring and quantities.

    Industrial Development Advisory Board.

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  • 22. At 4:24pm on 05 Feb 2009, Just1nD wrote:

    *15 West Wales

    "Generally debates are boring and of poor quality, it is rare that the nub of an issue is teased out.

    Few have original ideas, are able to logically develop a proposition or add anything constructive to a debate..."

    Do we get what we deserve, WW. After all, look objectively at the debate on this blog regarding all sorts of aspects of Assembly or Language matters. Circular arguments, not answering questions, not following the logic of arguments through, repetition of slogans rather than detail... Now, I realise that we are not payed for it, but we are people who believe that we have something genuine to contribute. Is it surprising that our AM's are not dissimilar?

    "Only 25% of the population voted for it - In most Democracies, Constitutional change can only be made with the consent of 50% of the Electorate."

    Most democracies have some form of written constitution, and changing the writing requires the permission of the citizens. In Britain, the constitution is subject to the whims of government, the courts and all amnner of influences. Including Referenda in which only 50% of the population vote...

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  • 23. At 4:44pm on 05 Feb 2009, Shrek-Girl wrote:

    Drachenfuhr:


    re: ["Do you want an administrator/manager type reading prepared notes on Economic policy or do you want a Leader articulating their vision and strategy for Wales going forward?"

    Personally, I tend to favor an administrator/manager type as they tend to be more detailed oriented and results driven, even if their persona is not necessarily that engaging.]

    Well, the Welsh government is handicaped at the moment, isn't it.

    Economic policy could be more dynamic and effective with the right person "leading".

    It is deflating to hear you say that you prefer an administrator rather than a leader.

    Surely, a leader has to be in control of his/her brief, and equally be able to convey their message with charisma, gravitas and authority.

    I can think of many who have fitted that description, though they come from different parts of the political spectrum:

    Margaret Thatcher, Grodon Brown, Tony Blair, Michael Heseltine, Ken Clarke, Rhodri Morgan.

    The point is not their particular politics (left/centre/right or whatever) but rather their ability to convey a sense of authority and gravitas and carry it with charisma.

    So your "administrator/chapel deacon" type Economic Development Minister most certainly does not come into the category as the above mentioned.

    Perhaps if they were instead given responsibility for ancient monuments and crematoria in Wales they may be able to find their niche!

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  • 24. At 4:48pm on 05 Feb 2009, Snoutsintrough wrote:

    Well well even the redoubtable Betsan is confirming what some of us one here have been saying for years that the debate in SENYDD is about as interesting as the Agriculture Minister in Praesidium during communist years. The figures churned out were a pack of lies to an audience of "obedient" people whose only real interest was keeping their place in the politically and economically graveyard. I humbly disagree about people being impressed with the building as it looks like Leipzig railway station on a bad day. The building looks grey and reflects whats going on inside. Well done to the children and proves they've got more intelligence/political acumen than the welsh media who constantly praise the place.I suppose when your salary depends on the place it would be worth supporting. With regard to cuts in budget this must be happening across the board in UK as theres no money left and just read the economic press in England (Jeff Randall for one) has how the "cuts"necessary to balance books and satisfy market will be draconian by any government after election. In defence of the Assembly many of their "decisions" are ones that used to be done by Ministers in Welsh Office/Local Government behind doors but the roads/council houses/got built and refuse collected. As you stated the "Bargoed bypass" is of interest to people in locality as are probably hundreds of similar decisions through Wales but not even Churchill/Bevan could make much of that sort of thing. It doesnt help to watch/listen to it in small doses to see AM's
    not showing the least interest to whats being said but rather possibly sending "blogs" to Betsam in assumed names.In conclusion they are like children getting "pocket money" from parents rather than having the total responsibility of raising public funds directly from taxpayers. Its a doomed structure and something more effective must be put in its place.

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  • 25. At 5:16pm on 05 Feb 2009, Hogygog wrote:

    As a teacher , I'm afraid I can vouch that having a child call something " boring" is par for the course. Most pupils discount anything more intellectually stimulating than a computer cursor , but the fact that something is boring does not render it useless or unworthy. I find House of Commons debates entertaining , precisely because of the " yah-boo" insults ,but very little debate or truly stimulating rhetoric is broadcast on the news.

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  • 26. At 5:57pm on 05 Feb 2009, John wrote:

    -Drachenfyre- your #19.....

    particularly "From my perspective, the idea of soliciting London for the right to legislate on your own language is parochial and Imperialistic."

    You really don't get do you, the reason we have the system that is place is because England and Wales share a single legal jurisdiction, and because of this everything that is done at the Assembly impacts through our constitution onto England.

    Like it or not, the LCO system (or something similar) of lawmaking for Wales is the only option, unless you wish to create a legislative rift between England and Wales of such magnitude that separation from the United Kingdom will become inevitable.

    If you look at the contentious LCO's, the LCO's that have been at Plaid Cymru's insistence, it could be the creation of a rift or constitutional crisis is the primary aim rather than good governance. Salmond is doing similar in Scotland.


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  • 27. At 6:09pm on 05 Feb 2009, West-Wales wrote:

    Currently devolution is not working for the people of Wales.
    The way the Assemble conducts itself especially on the floor of the Senedd does not engender respect.

    It could be that it is not the principle that is at fault but the structure, politics and general setup of the devolved government.

    There is no doubt that there is a vast pool of Welsh individuals who have the intellect and ability to govern.
    Unfortunately none of them are currently AM's or involved in Welsh Politics.

    dewisnewid at 7 makes some very pertinent points, among which are;

    [The question is not whether we should give more powers to the existing arrangement but whether a different arrangement altogether would better represent the interests of the Welsh people.

    Let's not have more of the same. Let's change the system]

    I think it was mapexx who somewhere suggested we ditch the whole current system and revert on a temporary basis back to Westminster - then re-engage the debate to develop a better more workable devolution system - the idea has merit.

    There is of course a problem - and it is that same problem which is preventing the Assembly from functioning.
    It is the narrow minded Nationalist aspirations, a minority that are trying to fast track us into separation from the UK.

    Lyn over on "Bucket loads" at 83
    gives an excellent summary of various influences that impact the Constitution, and points out
    [Declaration of Arboarth makes it clear that princes are not the sovereign power, but the people are]
    She considers and I agree that it is up to the people to decide by a Referendum.

    It is the people of Wales who need to make the decision - all of us - including those with extreme views right through to the many who couldn't care less.

    But she strongly supports the AWC question, saying - again in 83
    [The Government of Wales Act has permission for only one question to be asked - should we continue with the LCO process of transferring power in dribs and drabs or should the power be transferred now in one go?]

    For the Nationalists to recognise the current setup is failing Wales, would mean a restructuring of the current failed model and perhaps a new constitution that would slow and maybe stall the headlong rush to Independence.

    So despite all evidence that the people of Wales want a discussion and referendum on the very basis of Devolution and government - the Nationalist's are strenuously opposing the proposition, insisting that the question to be put to the people is phrased so that whatever the answer it means more of the same.

    Lets face it, if the AM's can't make what they've got work effectively - why for heaven sake let them have more power. - Via LCO's or any other way.

    And yes Lyn = I agree political debate of bread and butter issues is boring, but surely we should expect some original thought, research and ideas to go into the debate. The decisions reached are supposed to benefit the people.
    Also Debates about things as important as governing a country, should be conducted in a formal manner with those taking part paying attention.


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  • 28. At 7:54pm on 05 Feb 2009, brynt41 wrote:

    #21

    The Assembly was the creation of the Labour Party. Ron Davies saw it as an instrument to lance the appeal of Plaid in Labour's heartland areas, especially in the Valleys.

    It could hardly be called 'devolution'. The Assembly was given virtually no more than the administrative powers already held by the Secretary of State for Wales. His functions transferred wholesale to this elected body. It was purely administrative devolution in very restricted areas of policy.

    The people of Wales were effectively fooled into believing they were getting something new. Labour seriously miscalculated the support that other parties, particularly Plaid, would get in subsequent Assembly elections. They considered that it would remain entirely under their control, essentially a tame body, retaining some powers for Labour when the hated Tories got back into government.

    It is still dominated by Labour. Despite the coalition, Plaid does not hold any 'major' ministerial portfolio, such as economic affairs, health or education, if they can be called such. I think Plaid negotiated a raw deal in ministerial terms at the outset. So far they have failed to demonstrate any meaningful success in policy terms. I tend to think that they won't either.

    I regret to say that I agree that the level of discussion and debate, the little I've seen , has been of an abysmally low standard. One committee that I tried to watch online (from a link provided by Ms Powys on this blog) was absolutely dreadful, technically, and in every other respect. Boring, and stunningly so. I think it was chaired, sad to say, by a Plaid AM, who shall be nameless.

    There's some truth in the saying, 'Cometh the Hour, cometh the Man'. The Assembly is a mediocre institution, and its not surprising that it produces mediocrity in its Members. The Scottish Parliament (itself not particularly powerful) looks and sounds like a truly democratic vibrant debating chamber. There had not been a Parliament in Edinburgh since 1707, so how it could be argued that the Welsh needed time to learn the ropes, so to speak, defeats me, for the Scots certainly had no experience.

    Its been a typical Labour fudge by a party which has made a mess of just about everything it has touched in the last twelve years. No Labour government that I can remember has failed so badly - and they have all failed.

    Labour has made a mockery of 'devolution' in Wales, and provided ammunition for few anti-Wales and anti-Welsh bigots, who say that it doesn't work. Their claim is unfounded, because we really haven't had true devolution. It is a travesty concoted by an entirely selfish cabal of Labour MPs representing Welsh constituencies, trying to save their seats and pensions. I won't call them 'Welsh' MPs, because a number of them are not, including Hain, the architect of the 2006 Act. He has created a mess which will be difficult if not impossible to undo for maybe a generation.

    I certainly won't be in a hurry to visit Cardiff Bay, to have my ears insulted, my intellect frazzled, and my hair dampened by the dripping rainwater. Best go for a pint instead.

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  • 29. At 8:35pm on 05 Feb 2009, West-Wales wrote:

    Just1nD at 22
    [Do we get what we deserve, WW. After all, look objectively at the debate on this blog regarding all sorts of aspects of Assembly or Language matters. Circular arguments, not answering questions, not following the logic of arguments through, repetition of slogans rather than detail]

    Now there's a thought -
    Do we get what we deserve - yes, but - if we want to change what we get we have to change the way we do it. (I know a misquote but the message is there)

    Circular arguments, not answering questions, not following the logic of arguments through, repetition of slogans rather than detail - I would add. insults, misrepresentation, and blind refusal to accept others see things differently.

    Is there an answer, I don't know, but on this blog are people who feel deeply about Wales, trying to express themselves and influence things.
    Can they - The WAG and Nationalists are trying to block open debate, of course they do not want the status quo changed.
    But this blog seems to be helping individuals to focus and share their ideas.
    The Nationalists despite apparently being a minority have well organised pressure groups - We need a balance to that.
    A Referendum with the right question is needed - but to get it, there has to be serious public pressure.


    The AM's are on the gravy train - their job is to legislate within the Devolved areas of Competence to make Wales a better place - I don't think they are doing a good job, but they are dividing the people of Wales, creating dissent and considerable disquiet.

    More powers will simply mean more of the same only worse. We need to rebuild the beast its not working for us.

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  • 30. At 9:02pm on 05 Feb 2009, dewisnewid wrote:

    Some really good comments have been posted to this thread, Betsan, but your moderation is so slow that it's impossible to extend the debate.

    Change the system!

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  • 31. At 9:20pm on 05 Feb 2009, dewisnewid wrote:

    Drachenfyre - I accept I may be overly sensitive on the Welsh competency issue but only today I heard someone suggest that only the Windsors and old-Etonian toffs are able to govern us properly on account of being bred for the task, and mean it!

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  • 32. At 02:11am on 06 Feb 2009, MH at Syniadau wrote:

    Draig, I'd just like to pick you up on post 21. The situation is even worse than you describe.

    You have quoted from Schedule 7 of the Act. That lists the Subjects within which the Assembly will be able to legislate AFTER a successful referendum. As you rightly point out, the exceptions are numerous.

    The current situation is described in Schedule 5 of the Act. Economic Development - at present a Field (Field 4) rather than a Subject - is completely blank. So the Assembly in fact has NO ability to legislate on ANYTHING to do with Economic Development right now. However it could gain powers on a piecemeal basis either through an LCO or by a Westminster Act, in which case a Matter would be added to the Field.

    People can read the Act for themselves here:

    http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2006/ukpga_20060032_en_1.htm

    That doesn't necessarly mean the Assembly can do nothing. The Welsh Government can still decide how to spend money (usually in the form of grants or loans, particularly for start up companies) and its ministers can execute some Statutory Instruments ... but it can't make or change any laws.

    It's a classic case of "responsibility without power" - something that anyone who has been in lower-middle management in any organization will understand ... and be grateful to have moved on from.

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  • 33. At 02:37am on 06 Feb 2009, MH at Syniadau wrote:

    West-Wales, this comment that you made in post 29 is based on a misunderstanding.

    "The AM's are on the gravy train - their job is to legislate within the Devolved areas of Competence to make Wales a better place - I don't think they are doing a good job, but they are dividing the people of Wales, creating dissent and considerable disquiet.

    More powers will simply mean more of the same only worse. We need to rebuild the beast its not working for us."

    The whole problem with the current devolution settlement is that AMs do NOT have the power "to legislate within the Devolved areas of Competence". The Assembly has very limited powers to legislate. As I mentioned in my reply to Draig, it can only legislate on Matters that are listed under the Fields in Schedule 5 of the GoWA 2006 ... and there are only a handful of Matters which have so far been added.

    -

    So (moving on from fact to opinion) is it any wonder that AMs are not "doing a good job"? They don't have the power to legislate, except in a very few Fields. The Assembly has responsibility for making administrative decisions ... but, unlike Scotland or Northern Ireland, it does not have the corresponding ability to legislate in those areas of devolved responsibility.

    I understand your assumption perfectly. For most people, it stands to reason that the Assembly SHOULD have power to legislate within those areas for which it has devolved administrative responsibility. But unfortunately it is a mistaken assumption.

    If it helps, you can read my submission to the AWC, in which I've tried to explain the weaknesses of the current situation and why I think we need to move on.

    http://syniadau.forumotion.net/strategies-and-tactics-f16/how-to-submit-formal-evidence-to-the-all-wales-convention-t61.htm#175

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  • 34. At 10:25am on 06 Feb 2009, Lord_Warden wrote:

    I just read in the paper that Pembroke is about to build a big power station that can supply electricity for about 3 million homes.

    That sounds like very good news indeed.

    Does the Assembly have control over such projects?

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  • 35. At 11:01am on 06 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    Message 33....



    I have read through your submission, and through most of the verbal garbage emanating from the Assembly/WAG.

    I am totally convinced of one thing,, despite all that has been put down on paper, there is NO NEED WHATSOEVER, for any form of third tier governance in Wales.

    The cost to the taxpayer is horrendously OTT, the tasks the WAG/Assembly get involved in, can be done , and at probably far lower cost by the local authorities.

    The pressure for language legislation is likewise unnecessary, there is no requirement to enforce a second language on business, whether it be multi national, or as it will transpire, on local business, right down to Betsan's favourite chip shop in Chepstow.

    It is all a total waste of time and energy, those involved have an agenda that is far too complicated to follow, and can be seen as very sinister in it's overall concept.

    No more, take it all away, and leave Wales where is has been for centuries, part and parcel of the UK, a region defined by a variety of aspects that do not require didactic meddling with.

    Let the language be a welcome adjunct to the Welsh way of life, not a tool of political gerrymandering fools who wish to wrest control of the region for their own aggrandisement, and to suit their dangerous nationalistic ambitions.

    I cannot state that criminal corruption is at play in Wales, but a immoral state of corruption certainly exists, where three quarters of the population are being chain ganged into accepting matters they have not been properly canvassed on.

    Clear the decks and start over, but this time give the population of Wales a charter of truth and certitude they can understand and work towards, either agreeing to, or rejecting, not let it be done by the same stealthy and underhand means so far put into practice.

    One glaring example of the costs involved being misused, is the declared loss to the education budget of the tune of some 7.5% for the forthcoming year.

    This could be completely offset, I would even say doubled, perhaps more, if the running costs of the Assembly/WAG alone, were not being taken from the regional budget.

    In fact if there were no running costs i.e. nor Assembly/ WAG to cater for, then the amount of money available to local authorities could be far greater than it is at the present moment.

    Clear out this nest of vipers and parasites, get shot, let's be having no more of the nonsense, in the words of Oliver Cromwell ....

    ..."You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you!
    In the name of God, GO!"....

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  • 36. At 12:00pm on 06 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 34....


    Hopefully not!

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  • 37. At 12:03pm on 06 Feb 2009, Cardiffian2008 wrote:

    Lord Warden Message 34:

    The Welsh assembly has nothing whatsoever to do with this power station. It is the UK department of energy and climate change that decided the location of this power plant and it is the MP and Welsh secretary (in Westminster) who are meeting Npower in order to ensure that during construction, as many of the contractors as possible are Welsh firms.

    I believe the Welsh Assembly are very busy this week on other projects though... something about forcing private companies to use Welsh (even when its not requested) so that all our bills will go up.

    Now what is that phrase again? Ah yes... unnecessary 3rd tier of Government :)

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  • 38. At 3:25pm on 06 Feb 2009, Lord_Warden wrote:

    Thanks for the reply, Cardiffian2008.

    I just received an email from a friend in Wales with a link to the Liverpool Daily Post.

    The headline says that the way Welsh is being taught in schools as a second language is damaging the future prospects of Wales fulfilling its bilingual dream.

    The writer is a Gareth Jones who is Assembly member for Conwy I think, and he is very unhappy about the standards in schools.

    He said that thousands of pupils forced to learn Welsh are failing because many schools only do the minimum required.

    If he gets his way does it mean they will be "forced" to do even more Welsh?

    I thought that if something you are doing is not working, you should first stop doing it, think creatively and do something else and not continually "bash your head against a brick wall".

    What do others think?

    Also, interestingly he doesn't seem to say that he is really worried about the life chances of individual children but only bemoans that his dream of a "bilingual Wales" may not be met if things continue as they are.

    What do you say to this?

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  • 39. At 3:50pm on 06 Feb 2009, Just1nD wrote:

    *34 lord Warden

    The simple answer - nope!

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  • 40. At 4:58pm on 06 Feb 2009, John wrote:

    respice_finem at #4 wrote .....

    "To my mind this is the nub of the problem with the Assembly. The quality of debate, particularly from the governing coalition, is very low. "


    Well, if the quality of debate is particularly poor, and I could agree with you, could it be the topics are generally not worthy of great debate. Might it be the case that the Assembly is trying to over govern the electorate, is it another case of Parkinson's Law where "Work expands to fill the time available".

    Are 60 members to many for this intermediate level of government, 1 member for 50,000. Might not 1 member per quarter of a million suffice.

    A few months ago there was a proposition made that certain councils might benefit from a Mayor; could it be that Wales as a whole might be better governed with a Mayor, much as London does. Elected of course, with part time representation from each local authority to periodically discuss and comment on policy.

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  • 41. At 6:14pm on 06 Feb 2009, John wrote:

    Lord_Warden, your #38 ....

    "Gareth Jones who is Assembly member for Conwy I think, and he is very unhappy about the standards in schools."

    That's an understatement my Lord.... , G.D. is unwilling to accept that the majority of children leave the school gates to join the 98 percent that will never request a Welsh language service, this 98 percent that dream with the English language, they count in English, they search the internet using English.

    G.D. finds it difficult to accept the inevitable, he probably needs to take a reality check. He should read the BBC report at .....

    "http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/7218906.stm"


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  • 42. At 8:49pm on 06 Feb 2009, Draig32 wrote:

    In response to message 34. No the Assembly does not have control over large power station consents.

    The power this station generates will be for export - S Wales will be self-sufficient in electricity generation with the completion of the Uskmouth gas power station.

    What the Assembly do have responsibility for is for the management of pollution. So even though London refuse to devolve these consents (the Assembly have asked), the Assembly is still expected to clean up the mess. Friends of the earth have pointed out that this station will effectively turn Pembroke into the "climate change capital of Wales."

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  • 43. At 9:18pm on 06 Feb 2009, Snoutsintrough wrote:

    With regard to 40 and the possibility of mayors with effective management power this surely is the last hope of people who actually pay council tax from income. When the former PM encouraged the creation of such positions throughou t the country (i mean UK not not region called wales) our beloved Rhodri said that it wouldnt happen on his watch. The reason being that the political establishment have very cushy number what with cabinets running local government and assembly. Would@nt it be wonderful to vote for individual who would direct services to actual payers of council tax rather than to mendicants who are the solid voting fodder for labour/plaid cymru time servers. Lets have a Boris everywhere in wales!!!.

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  • 44. At 10:56pm on 06 Feb 2009, Lyn David Thomas wrote:

    One man to rule them, one man to control them .... sounds very like our pre devolution settlement, when we had John Redwood running us. The idea of one strong leader to run us with an advisory council of the great and the good from local government doesn't sound very much like democracy to me.


    Cardiffian your parody of how the assembly works is absurd. You think any subject spends its time exclusively on any subject?

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  • 45. At 00:58am on 07 Feb 2009, Lord_Warden wrote:

    Stonemason (41)

    Thank you very much for the link. It does seem that a very small percentage indeed (usually 1% or less) of the population of Wales demand utility services in Welsh.

    I should imagine that there would be an outcry if any significant sums of public money was spent on expanding these services.

    And when you look at the likely future Block Grant settlements to Wales, there is going to be very little room, if any, for manoeuvre. I think the Welsh people will say "enough is enough" of more public spending on Welsh language support, like the most subsidised TV channel in the world.

    My friends in North Wales tell me that even Welsh speaking elderly folk there prefer to pay their utility bills using the English version, that is if they haven't yet decided to use the online services.

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  • 46. At 06:12am on 07 Feb 2009, John wrote:

    Lyn_Thomas, your #44

    Stated ..... The idea of one strong leader to run us with an advisory council of the great and the good from local government doesn't sound very much like democracy to me.

    Response ..... If they are all elected people, its democratic, certainly as democratic as the Labour / Plaid coalition, where the components were elected not the combined group; The "Coalition agreement between Plaid and Labour" was certainly not part of an election, "One Wales" might be renamed "Not One Wales".

    I notice you chose not to comment on the core element of my comment .....

    "Well, if the quality of debate is particularly poor .... etc ..... is it another case of Parkinson's Law where "Work expands to fill the time available"."


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  • 47. At 07:57am on 07 Feb 2009, Benedek wrote:

    Of course politics can be boring. Watching the committee stages of a bill in the House of Commons can be like watching paint dry. The real issue with the Assembly however is why after nearly 10 years of being responsible for most of the services used by the public in Wales it still fails to make much of an impact to the man or woman on the 57 bus. Part of the problem is obviously the way the Assembly conducts its business with an 'an after you claude approach 'to politics. Politics should be about a clash of ideas and principles. This is impossible in an Assembly where members deliver speeches sitting down and call each other by their first names. Anyone watching Rhodri and Nick would often believe that they were close friends having a slight disagreement after a game of golf. The main problem is unfortunately the calibre of those who have become AMs since 1999. In its selection procedures pre 1999 Labour made sure that anyone who might not toe the party line or even rock the boat was effectively excluded. Personality and ability matter in politics. Where are the personalities in Welsh politics let laone the Assembly. Look at the AMs and ask yourself what would they be doing if the Assembly did not exist. Rhodri would still be the maverick fairly right wing back bench MP who has just announced that he will not be standing in the next election. Bourne might have been selected for a seat in England but is more likely to have stayed an academic in a htrid rate institution. Iuean Wyn Jones would now be a not very succesful local solicitor after losing his UK seat to Albert Owen. Mike German would be retired and living off a pension probably supplemented by a councillor's allowance in Cardiff. As for the future. Carwyn Jones might have got a parliamentary seat but is more than likely to still be struggling as an unsuccesful barrister. As for politics election results suggest in Bridgend that he would have lost his council seat to either the Tories or the Liberal Democrats. Huw Lewis might be secretary of the Welsh labour Party. The Hutts and Davidsons of this world would still probably be involved in the voluntary sector world. As for many of the others they might be councillors but they would definitely not be in a leading position in their local council. watching John Griffiths on Thursday showed why he was not considerd to be one of the leading lights on Newport Council before 1999. There is an old saying that you get the politicians you deserve. Until the Assembly starts to attract real talent it will always be seen as irrelevant by many people in Wales. Watching Dragon's Eye this week really illustrated sadly the problem we have at the moment with the calibre of politician in Wales at all levels. You also can't criticise the press for not reporting the Assembly when there is often nothing of note to report.

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  • 48. At 09:03am on 07 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    me3ssage 47....


    In not commenting on the bulk of your message Benedek, I note the last few sentences with interest, and would say that the Media SHOULD be reporting every little bit of business the WAG/Assembly does, and debates.

    For the simple reason it will effectively give the population of Wales a constant insight into the utter waste of time and space it really is.

    Without such reporting, and I am sorry Betsan, your occasional headliner does not do it for me, we are pretty well kept in the dark about the everyday happenings, in the Chamber down in the Bay.

    I for one, need to know exactly what that lot are up to, so I can be well prepared and armed in taking appropriate measures, at my local level, to combat what I perceive to be NOT to the advantage of my local residents.

    As things stand at present, I suggest that would include virtually everything the Bay is up to.

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  • 49. At 09:28am on 07 Feb 2009, Snoutsintrough wrote:

    A very good summing up of where were at with welsh AM's who effectively control billions of pounds of public money. Theres no doubt that they are well intentioned people but should they be at this level but in all honesty why would people of real ability want to become politicians. The same thing is happening in Westminster where kids with no real experience of life are becoming Foreign Secretary etc etc. With regard to 42 it is with great satisfaction that our pygmies do not have control over major power stations.What ever is said by NATS and fellow travellers the UK has been able to meet energy requirements and belatedly there is further provision of nuclear. This will be vital in future years,however our "mickey mouse" Assembly has created the fictional world of a "nuclear Free Wales". Its the same as GM they wish to stop progress and return us to the last century. The document referred to by Adrian Masters (how did he get a job in BBC Cymru with a name like that) which showed the world in 30 years seemed to be positively North Korean in its austerity. When has this been discussed and approved by our political masters??.

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  • 50. At 09:49am on 07 Feb 2009, Lyn David Thomas wrote:

    I don't think it is a case of filling the void Stonemason. And your idea of one leader appointed or elected is a real recipe for disaster - not accountable but to the electorate once every four years, they would be virtual dictators. I note that a number of authorities that went for directly elected mayor route are changing their minds. What you are sugesting is a return to the command leadership of the Secretary of State - without the checks and balances. A thin coating of democracy only.

    As for the coalition - yes it wasn't directly elected as a coalition, but then we don't have a presidential system. We have a parliamentary system where we don't elect governments we elect representatives that form a government - that is somewhat inherent in our constitution.

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  • 51. At 10:44am on 07 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    Message 50....


    It's very strange that across the Channel the directly elected Mayor regime is robust, and has been for many decades. As it seems to be in the USA, and most other places where the regime operates.

    What are you people scared of?

    Losing out on the gravy train structure that bedevils the UK, and made worse here in Wales, with this totally unnecessary assemblage in the Bay?

    You say ' four years of dicatorship', what the hell do you think we have at the present moment, with a warped coalition between a nationalist agenda on one side, coupled to a corrupted left wing party on the other?
    Can anything be more frightening than a remote cash absorbing outfit al la Cardiff bay?

    I suggested elsewhere, that a Directly elected Mayor, PAID BY WESTMINSTER, with a representative from each borough or district in Wales as his 'council', all paid by their own borough.

    Plenty of members to cover the needs of committee's, and sub committee's. Each with a committment to his own area, whilst ensuring that all other areas get a fair deal from the arrangement.

    The Mayor to be directed and controllled by Westminster, with the 'council' of borough/district representatives formulating policy.

    This is the pattern set in London, with a four times larger population.

    No adequate reason why it cannot operate in Wales.

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  • 52. At 10:56am on 07 Feb 2009, John wrote:

    Lyn_Thomas

    If we step back and look at what happens in government, the responsibilities and the roles of individuals and their departments, and consider there are just 3 million people in Wales, albeit with a fairly large land mass, it is less than half the responsibility that the Mayor of London has, like him or not, what is it that requires the Welsh Assembly that a Mayor couldn't handle.

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  • 53. At 11:11am on 07 Feb 2009, Hogygog wrote:

    re 51 : In France, Sarkoszy has set in motion a process to get rid of an awful lot of town and village mayors. I'm afraid I cannot recall the exact reasons why. I think he feels that they have too much say in local issues where there is a conflict of interest with regional/national issues.
    A few years ago, we attended a wedding at a small village in France. There was a mile-long procession from the bride's home to the village 'mairie' , at the head of which was the bride's father. The procession stopped at the 'mairie' , the bride's father went in alone, and re-appeared wearing his mayoral sash of office ! . He then proceeded to conduct the ceremony himself ( French marriages need a civil ceremony first ).

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  • 54. At 11:56am on 07 Feb 2009, John wrote:

    Today on her blog, Plaid Cymru Assembly Member, no names no pack drill, for South Wales Central wrote .....

    "I am calling for the Welsh Government to put together and fund a national strategy for local food. A good start would be a dedicated member of staff in each local authority who could co-ordinate local food growing and organise community gardening projects. We could then promote allotment gardening and expand the opportunities to teach young people how to produce food and work with the land."

    Is this another case of Parkinson's Law where "Work expands to fill the time available". Laudable I am sure, but allotments at the Assembly ?


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  • 55. At 1:46pm on 07 Feb 2009, legendaryavocet wrote:

    Hasn't the said AM noticed that Local Authorities are currently laying off staff because of their poor settlement from WAG? They are hardly likely to create another post in the current financial climate.

    They could, however move their Welsh language officers, currently costing the taxpayer vast sums of money in English-speaking areas where there is little or no take-up for the Welsh language service, to such a community garden project. They would be excellent at growing leeks and daffodils, no doubt.

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  • 56. At 3:53pm on 07 Feb 2009, Lyn David Thomas wrote:

    Firstly the London Assembly is directly elected, not made up of representatives of the boroughs. Secondly it is not a devolved body in any real sense, it is a local government body. Thirdly London is not a nation - its a region.

    I don't like executive presidencies or executive mayors, too much power in the hands of one person. I much prefer parliamentary government where its more collegiate.

    As for abolishing funding of anything remotely connected with the Welsh Language then that would actually produce very little extra money. I can see for some they would put it against everything, it would be like the Lib Dem's proposed 1p on income tax, which would pay for everything.

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  • 57. At 4:28pm on 07 Feb 2009, legendaryavocet wrote:

    The three Welsh language officers employed by my local authority to enforce the Welsh Language Policy (I repeat, in this English-speaking area) signed up to in 2006, are probably costing in the region of £150k. Some of our street lighting is being cut off to save £200k. Draw your own conclusions.......

    I agree with Mappex - A mayoral system in Wales would be preferable to the current one, and would be more appropriate to our population size, and the fact that we are a small part of the United Kingdom. The current Assembly electoral system is a shambles and just ensures that minority parties get a disproportionate influence in policy making.

    We have had devolution by stealth over the last 10 years. The 2006 Government of Wales Act has not been ratified by the people of Wales, of whom only 25% voted for a National Assembly in 1997. I do not recall being asked whether I wanted a 'Welsh Assembly Government' either.

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  • 58. At 6:16pm on 07 Feb 2009, John wrote:

    Lyn_Thomas, your #56

    A mayor plus 25 others who scrutinise, accept or reject budgets, seems to be democratic enough for London, it has a population 2.5 times larger than Wales, so proportionally a mayor plus 10 should be large enough for effective governance, maybe with a deputy mayor in case of an unexpected defection.

    I didn't mention anything remotely connected with .....

    ..... "abolishing funding of anything remotely connected with the Welsh Language"

    But I have been thinking .....

    ..... about democracy, it happens on election day doesn't it, at the time we make our mark, thereafter no matter what system is in place it is a dictatorship, philosophically speaking.

    The mayoral system would work in Scotland and NI as well as Wales, and if England were divided into regions it might go a long way to solving the English question.

    After thinking about Betsan's "Then there were seven" since Thursday morning, I cannot understand why we have devolution at all, it is more trouble than it is worth.

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  • 59. At 7:13pm on 07 Feb 2009, brynt41 wrote:

    #57 legendaryavocet wrote:

    "The three Welsh language officers employed by my local authority to enforce the Welsh Language Policy (I repeat, in this English-speaking area) signed up to in 2006, are probably costing in the region of 150k."

    Would you be referring to Powys, by any chance?

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  • 60. At 8:53pm on 07 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 59,...


    I think hje refers to what is generally called Gwent.
    Which may in his case, or may not, include the city of Newport, the county of Monmouthshire, and the County boroughs of Torfaen and Caerphilly.

    However if he is not referring to that cluster, then his comments apply here anyway.

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  • 61. At 11:26pm on 07 Feb 2009, Lord_Warden wrote:

    Has anybody carried out an audit to establish the annual spend across all Welsh local authorities on Welsh Language services, including signage, interpreter salaries, translation equipment, facilities to translate documents, leaflets etc?

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  • 62. At 07:35am on 08 Feb 2009, John wrote:

    My Lord Warden, your #61.

    To suggest such an investigation would be to bring down the wrath of Wales upon your head, be warned, the CyberNats will have already labelled you as Ant-Welsh, go further and you might be accused of "Crimes against humanity".

    You could come to the attention of the Welsh Assembly Government, our Rhodri is able to generate a fair head of steam when provoked, even worse you could be called by the Welsh Language Board, its Chair Meri Huws, I am told, can work herself into a fury during an inquisition, sorry enquiry.

    So my Lord, go abroad with a seizable train of Knights, lest you succumb to the CyberNat ambush of Knaves.

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  • 63. At 1:10pm on 08 Feb 2009, Lyn David Thomas wrote:

    Tell you what - to save money lets abolish nuclear weapons, rather than saving a few hundreds of thousands we would save billions... that could go to pay for some of the things you think we should fund. And it would put to an end this anti Welsh language witch hunt that some here seem so keen on promoting.

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  • 64. At 1:48pm on 08 Feb 2009, West-Wales wrote:

    MH____ Re your 33

    [West-Wales, this comment that you made in post 29 is based on a misunderstanding.]

    No I do not misunderstand - I am aware that the devolved powers approximate the powers held by the Secretary Of State, and that [AMs do NOT have the power "to legislate within the Devolved areas of Competence". The Assembly has very limited powers to legislate.]
    (For which we should all be grateful!)

    What I am saying is that Devolution is failing the people of Wales in three ways;

    1/ The current set up of WAG is dysfunctional and demonstrably not working,
    It is seriously overmanned.
    We have 60 AM's replacing one Secretary of State, and apparently many hundreds of extra Civil Servants compared to pre Devolution (figures anyone)
    The cost of governing Wales with this arrangement is excessive and probably unsustainable.
    The Peter Principle is ensuring that we get much noise and little delivery.

    2/ The double voting system is not producing a democratic chamber.

    Over 30% of AM's are not answerable to the electorate but to their party.
    It is clear that in many instances AM's are not reflecting the wishes of the people.

    For the public, language and Cultural issues seem to dominate the Assembly and vast sums of money are spent on policing legislation on these issues.
    Rough estimates are that the total cost to the Welsh economy is currently between 40 & 50 million.

    3/ The Assembly is not delivering in those areas where it has powers;
    Apart from Cultural issues, Wales has particular problems due to its geography and mainly dispersed rural population.

    The road and rail networks around Wales are a disgrace.

    The transport network and for the provision of rail services are devolved powers and while there are some reservations on rail, if funding is available central government will support Assembly initiatives.
    For these key infrastructure developments funding is available from the EU.

    Taking the south which probably has the best connections in the Nation.
    Have you tried to get from Cardiff Airport to the M4 and west.
    The A40 west of Carmarthen is a main Euro route connecting Ireland with Europe.
    Despite pleas over many years dueling of this link to Fishguard has been rejected.
    The A477 to Pembroke Dock the other Ferry link is also single carriage way and effectively in need of major upgrading.

    If we then look at the North South links they are in an even worse state, though many are classed as A they are effectively B roads.

    Rail links are deteriorating - in the 90's I could catch a train to London at 8.00 in the morning, spend a day in meetings, a train back and be home by 10:00 - no longer possible I now have to drive to Swansea or Cardiff.
    Often because of holdups on the A40 or A477 I miss connections am hours late for meetings and have to spend a night in London.
    (Travelling to Cardiff Airport I have to allow an extra 2 hours on the journey time.)

    The Welsh NHS, has set up division's and barrier's between the Welsh & English services, while Labours centralising agenda seems to have been dropped.
    Divergence of funds and failure to set realistic or appropriate service goals, or recognise patients logistic difficulties, coupled with over administration and unnecessary interference (political and medical) is reducing the service performance.

    I won't mention the problems with Proact or React, or the scheme to help networks of small businesses.
    It would be easy to ramble on but you get the drift.

    The structure of Devolution itself needs to be addressed.

    Your position that all problems are because the Assembly has insufficient powers is from my standpoint demonstrably wrong.

    WAG cannot deliver within its current remit - giving it more powers will not solve the problem.
    Which seems to me to be structural, poor quality of the politicians, and aspirational.

    It says a great deal about the Assembly, that given the massive economic problems Wales is facing - the AM's are seeking a Language LCO that they know is divisive and will increase cost on the private sector.

    If someone cannot deliver the goods - you do not increase their responsibilities.
    You demote or fire them.

    If you want a better Wales your position is misguided.

    However if in fact your aspiration is simply to push toward Independence, to drive forward the Language and Culture change agenda - then your position is reasonable.

    But my agenda is for a better more prosperous Wales.
    So I disagree with your proposal - we should be voting to get the 2006 act repealed.

    We also urgently need to revisit the structures of Devolution.
    And allow the people to be clear whether or not they wish to remain part of the union.

    This attempt to push Independence forward by stealth has a dirty feel about it.

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  • 65. At 2:17pm on 08 Feb 2009, West-Wales wrote:

    Lyn at 63
    [And it would put to an end this anti Welsh language witch hunt that some here seem so keen on promoting.]

    There is no anti welsh witch hunt - but there are people deeply opposed to the Welsh Language legislation, costing many millions to service, has potential to criminalise individuals and organisations, is damaging the way the Welsh language is perceived and dividing Wales.
    The current approach also seems to have wider political undercurrents, upsetting many.

    There must be a better way of developing the Welsh Language - legislation and insulting Welsh people who do not support that approach, is not the way.

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  • 66. At 5:08pm on 08 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:



    Message 63....




    At 1:10pm on 08 Feb 2009, Lyn_Thomas wrote:
    Tell you what - to save money lets abolish nuclear weapons, rather than saving a few hundreds of thousands we would save billions... that could go to pay for some of the things you think we should fund. And it would put to an end this anti Welsh language witch hunt that some here seem so keen on promoting.



    Are you some sort of ideallist?


    But where does cutting nukes out mean that anti Cymraeg language witch hunts would be abolished by doing so?

    It could well mean the antipathy gets even worse, not that there is any anti Cymraeg pressures on here anyway, it's all in your ' ideallistic' mind, I am afraid.

    I do actually agree to a point though, that point being, if we cut them out, will all the others do so?


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  • 67. At 5:46pm on 08 Feb 2009, John wrote:

    Lyn_Thomas

    There is no anti Welsh language witch hunt, there are very deep feelings of distrust for the organisations involved in its promotion, government and others.

    And it is not the question of cost for myself, although I doubt the throwaway figure of some hundreds of thousands, my major concern is about what is happening behind closed doors, government and others, what agreements have been made, unconstitutional in my eyes, agreements made in my name.

    As for Nuclear armaments, that would be another thread, here it is considered "Fallacious".

    My previous at #62 was very tongue in cheek ......

    wrath of Wales
    CyberNats
    Ant-Welsh
    Crimes against humanity
    generate a fair head of steam
    into a fury
    inquisition, sorry enquiry
    sizeable train of Knights
    CyberNat ambush
    Knaves

    I'm sorry if it offended,

    The Nationalist war being waged against the Union I find troubling, the need to use the law in matters of language I find troubling, having so many politicians I find appalling.



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  • 68. At 6:46pm on 08 Feb 2009, nomorepowers wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 69. At 9:54pm on 08 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 70. At 10:26pm on 08 Feb 2009, MH at Syniadau wrote:

    West-Wales (post 64), Thank you for acknowledging that the Assembly does not have power to legislate within its areas of devolved executive responsibility, except in very limited areas (Matters listed in Schedule 5).

    What you wrote in post 29 was wrong and I had wanted to be charitable. You've now clarified that your mistake wasn't due to misunderstanding, so I can only conclude that you were trying to spread deliberate misinformation.

    And far be it from me to suggest you "ramble on". I would only say that if you don't like the executive decisions that the parties which form the Welsh Government make, you are free to vote for different parties with policies more to your liking at the next election. That's the essence of democracy.

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  • 71. At 06:10am on 09 Feb 2009, John wrote:

    MH____

    Are you looking for ideas,

    or

    making available your ideas

    to

    "Build an Independent Wales".


    Who do you know that enabled you to publish the forum address that promotes an Independent Wales at "Then there were seven "#33

    Betsan, is there a conflict of interest amongst the moderators ?

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  • 72. At 09:12am on 09 Feb 2009, West-Wales wrote:

    MH____ re 70

    [What you wrote in post 29 was wrong ......I can only conclude that you were trying to spread deliberate misinformation.]

    Can't see any misinformation in post 29, or for that matter 15, and 27.
    Those are the three posts I have made on this thread, prior to my answer at 64 and a comment at 65.
    Opinions yes - but misinformation no.

    Misinformation seems to be the latest accusation - been made before, regarding factual matters that can be shown to be demonstrably true.

    It is obvious we see things in a much different light, - have very different vision's for the way forward towards a better Wales.

    You have expressed opinions - I don't agree, and said why - then you resort to silly accusations.

    Are you frightened that free speech, open debate, may damage your cause?
    Don't you like living in a free society :)


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  • 73. At 09:58am on 09 Feb 2009, West-Wales wrote:

    MH___
    I think I see our problem,
    You took exception to the word legislate, in my comment at 29.

    ["The AM's are on the gravy train - their job is to legislate within the Devolved areas of Competence to make Wales a better place - I don't think they are doing a good job, but they are dividing the people of Wales, creating dissent and considerable disquiet.]

    You took it that I was using the word legislate in its strict meaning "to put into Law" and you were pointing out that the Assembly have limited powers to do that.
    (But they can put matters into law, -legislate - so my statement was correct using that meaning)

    However I was using the word legislate in the the wider more general meaning -"to make orders and give instruction binding in law".

    Are we all clear now? :)


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  • 74. At 10:08am on 09 Feb 2009, Cardiffian2008 wrote:

    The patronising and arrogant way with which MH addresses people is curiously amusing. However, I think West-wales may have hit the nail on the head with the 'frightened of free speech' comment. All we need now is for MH to come out of the closet as a fully paid up Plaid Cymru member and start calling anyone who doesnt aggree with his/her narrow views 'not real Welsh' and all will fall horrifyingly into place.

    Study MH's comments closely people... I feel he/she may expand upon them in posts to come and this could be a valuable insight into what a socially engineered, Plaid Cymru ruled Wales would be like. :)

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  • 75. At 11:41am on 09 Feb 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 74

    Cardiffian's paranoia is worrying. All of his posts merely picture a nightmare Wales under the control of an Orwellian Plaid, with the added insinuation that all Plaid supporters don't believe anyone else is 'real Welsh'! It is the kind of paranoia - and hatred of a few - that Orwell warned us about.

    Rather sad ...

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  • 76. At 12:07pm on 09 Feb 2009, MH at Syniadau wrote:

    West-Wales, Wouldn't it have been a good idea to have paused to do the thinking which resulted in post 73 BEFORE you wrote post 72 ... or even post 64, for that matter?

    But, even so, I'm reminded of a remarkably similar attempt at semantic justification currently being argued out on a different thread.

    If you define a dog as "a four legged aminal with a tail" then you would of course be correct to use that word to describe a cat.

    --

    And to Cardiffian. Yes, I am a member of Plaid, as anyone who has read what I've posted over the years on this and other blogs and forums will know.

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  • 77. At 1:51pm on 09 Feb 2009, Cardiffian2008 wrote:

    FiDafydd.... Lol!

    I take it you're still upset about my jibe relating to your (non) sense of humour then. Careful now, grudges can be dangerous... just look at that one you bear against the dreaded English! that must be over 500 years old! :)

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  • 78. At 2:56pm on 09 Feb 2009, West-Wales wrote:

    MH___ re 76

    No - even on the strict interpretation of the word legislate, where we appear to have got hung up - my comments still stand and explain my point of view. Posts 64 and 73.

    As I pointed out.
    [(But they can put matters into law, -legislate - so my statement was correct using that meaning)]

    But of course that is all flim flam.

    The issue is whether the Assembly should have more powers.

    You think it should, - because (as I understand your position) the reason they are not able to function effectively is because they have insufficient legislative powers.
    Is it possible your real reason more powers moves us closer to Independence?

    My position is that the Assembly is incapable of functioning effectively for a variety of reasons ;

    The structure, organisation, and political arrangements of the devolved government are faulty, the thing is dysfunctional, and overly expensive.

    The WLB activists and Nationalist lobby have too much influence over decision making processes.
    They have created an atmosphere where any one who criticises or objects to their dictate is ant-welsh or worse.
    The AM's it seems have been brainwashed into accepting that theology.

    Therefore the AM's do not - can not -properly represent their electorate.
    Any way 30%+ have no constituancy - do not answer to the electorate, only to their party.
    It seems we have a situation where approximately 25% of the electorate are represented and 75% not.

    The powers granted under the 2006 act were powers the Welsh people were promised would not be given without a referendum.

    The Assembly is defaulting badly delivering on the areas of competence it currently has power over.

    There are of course many other points one can make.
    As it stands Devolution is not working for Wales - We are in a mess.
    We need to revisit the basis - and get the Cultural smoke screen out of the way.

    The Referendum as currently proposed , will - whatever the result, mean more of the same.
    It has been worded to ensure that!

    It is not the question Wales needs an answer too, nor is it a question an honest government would put to the people.


    I don't agree with you, and as I said before;

    If someone cannot deliver the goods - you do not increase their responsibilities.
    You demote or fire them.

    If you want a better Wales I believe your position is seriously misguided.








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  • 79. At 3:31pm on 09 Feb 2009, brynt41 wrote:

    #77 Cardiffian 2008 wrote:

    "...grudges can be dangerous... just look at that one you bear against the dreaded English! that must be over 500 years old!"

    I know you had your tongue-in-cheek when you made that remark.

    There is a resentment at the way Wales has been treated down the centuries: conquest, occupation, subjugation, annexation, assimilation, exploitation, imposition... and much more.

    I doubt if anyone could take issue with what has happened to Wales, but its very important to make the distinction between the people of England, and the political entity which was/is 'England'. My feelings of resentment are at the apparatus of state, the monarchy, the government, the Establishment, not the English people per se. Like any other people, us Welsh included, there are good, bad and indifferent.

    Note that 'resentment' does not equate to 'grudge'. The latter implies a desire to repay, whereas the former does not. I would turn it into something positive by seeking a new status for my country, where it is able to stand proud, and look to the future, rather than to feelings about the past. It would be a Wales which couldn't constantly be accused of living on its neighbour's handouts, for example.

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  • 80. At 3:40pm on 09 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    Message 78....

    WW..

    I hear the next Tory Government will scrap all attempts by the Scottish Nationalists to head for independance.

    For once in my life I am almost persuaded to vote for that party.

    I say that, because if they do manage to stop Scotland in it's tracks, on the route to independance, then they will, without doubt, put the matter to bed here in Wales also.

    Hopefully, not just to bed, but into the graveyard of future history.

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  • 81. At 3:44pm on 09 Feb 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 78

    Your last but one paragraph : does that include Westminster as well?

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  • 82. At 4:23pm on 09 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 78...

    What sort of a question is that?

    Westminster is the seat of the UK government, it cannot be scrapped, much though the rabid nationalist element would like it to be.

    As I keep warning you people, wish not for what you want, you may get it, ... then your cries of regret will be pitiful in the extreme.

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  • 83. At 4:44pm on 09 Feb 2009, West-Wales wrote:

    FiDafydd re 81

    Yes it does - the difference is - with Westminster the problem is the current government has screwed up big time.

    They will be out at the next election.

    However the structure, organisation, and political arrangements of Westminster are pretty good - not perfect by any means.

    Some constitutional changes are going to have to be reversed, and the rights and freedoms of the British people restored.

    As Brynt41 says at 28;
    [Its been a typical Labour fudge by a party which has made a mess of just about everything it has touched in the last twelve years. No Labour government that I can remember has failed so badly - and they have all failed.]
    we differ on many things but a lot of sense in the whole of that post.

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  • 84. At 5:12pm on 09 Feb 2009, MH at Syniadau wrote:

    Brainwashed? Theology? You do seem to have rather extreme ways of coming to terms with democracy, West-Wales.

    If you want to understand my position on the issue, please read my submission to the AWC (link in post 33). I believe that the Assembly should have power to legislate (you are of course free to use that word in whatever way you wish, but I use it to mean "make laws") in those areas for which it already has executive responsibility.

    After the "Yes" vote in the referendum our National Assembly will have some primary legislative powers (as set out in Schedule 7 of GoWA 2006) but with many exceptions, which will mean that it still falls far short of both Holyrood and Stormont. Why isn't what the Scots and Northern Irish have good enough for us too?

    You're perfectly entitled to your opinions, of course, but I would simply point out that only a small minority of 15% want to get rid of the Assembly. 80% in Wales are either content with the Assembly as it now is or want it to have more powers. Within that 80%, 49% of us think we should at least have a Parliament similar to Scotland's with law making and tax varying powers. 61% of us think the Assembly should have most influence over the lives of people in Wales; compared with 22% for Westminster, 11% for local councils and 2% the EU. For sources, read my AWC submission.

    I'm sure you won't let public opinion stop you wanting to re-invent devolution so that it suits you. But here in the real world the majority of us clearly think that what we have suits us better, and we want to take the next step ... which will be to vote "Yes" in the upcoming referendum.

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  • 85. At 5:36pm on 09 Feb 2009, West-Wales wrote:

    Mapexx re 80

    [For once in my life I am almost persuaded to vote for that party.]

    Yes against my upbringing and emotional vision - but an objective review of where we stand and the options open to us leaves little choice.
    There is no way we can suffer another term of the current labour mismanagement.

    While I have great respect for Cable - The LibDem alternative is PR and Europe.

    We need another Winston Churchill or even Maggy (heaven forbid) but this mess has to be straightened out.

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  • 86. At 6:06pm on 09 Feb 2009, Bostoniwr wrote:

    Re: funding of the Welsh language.

    If we were to take West Wales' (#64) highest estimate of total expenditure on the language, i.e 500 million (is that correct? how do these figures break down), and compare it with the total Assembly budget of 14.4 billion, this would indicate that a total of 0.35% of the budget is spent on the Welsh language. I.e. around a third of one percent

    Here are the main figures from the 2008-9 budget (GBP):

    Health and Social Services : 5,692,478
    Social Justice and Local Government 4,268,395
    Economy and Transport: 1,161,130
    Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills: 1,777,869
    Environment, Sustainability and Housing 734,697
    Rural Affairs: 147,361
    Heritage: 155,626
    Public Services and Performance: 59,496
    Central Services and Administration: 369,737

    Total Allocated to Assembly Government Departments 14,366,789

    Does anybody have more details? In any case, it seems that per capita spending on Welsh is relatively low - or at least not shockingly high when taken in perspective.

    How much is spent on the English language? A significant amount of *all the rest*.

    Do you have the figures?

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  • 87. At 6:10pm on 09 Feb 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 82

    What on earth do you mean by 'What sort of question is that'?

    There is absolutely no reason at all why Westminster couldn't be scrapped as the seat of the UK government, if there was no UK. The fact that you disagree with us doesn't mean that we cannot believe in a truly democratic Welsh state - and then by definition there wouldn't be an UK parliament.

    Westminster could then be a fine home for a truly independent English parliament ...

    You can disagree with the dream, but you cannot, surely, fault the logic.

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  • 88. At 7:05pm on 09 Feb 2009, John wrote:


    MH____,

    You and yours have a single goal, an Independent Wales, your statistics are an empty vessel making a din, little substance with less logic.

    The tiny minority that would follow Plaid into oblivion rely on stealth, the smoke and mirrors of the Welsh Assembly Government, you might call it democratic, others can see it for what it is, a sham.

    I would still like to know who you know who enabled you to publish the forum address that promotes an Independent Wales at "Then there were seven " comment #33.


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  • 89. At 7:32pm on 09 Feb 2009, brynt41 wrote:

    #83 West-Wales wrote:

    "Some constitutional changes are going to have to be reversed, and the rights and freedoms of the British people restored."

    Thanks for the vote of confidence!

    Trouble is there haven't been any fundamental constitutional changes. Nobody really knows what the constitution of the UK is, or what the limits are on what politicians (and others, including the monarch) can actually do, and where and how much 'influence' plays a part.

    The UK is alone out of the 200 or so nation-states in not having its constitution written down. Usually constitutional settlements are 'entrenched', that is, protected from amendment by a number of mechanisms, such as a 2/3 majority required. The UK Parliament (which often really means the executive, the PM) can pass any statute, however draconian, with a simple majority (of one) - e.g. the extension of detention without charge.

    Before the Human Rights Act (1998) British citizens had virtually no rights, only 'liberties'. There is a significant difference between the two - the individual has to fight to maintain his own liberties (usually against a powerful state) whereas the apparatus of state (e.g. the courts) can be used to defend and restore rights. Unfortunately the HRA is not particularly robust in protecting our rights. It is not entrenched. Blair's New Labour Government has already rowed back from it, by derogating from parts of the ECHR. What is needed is an entrenched Bill of Rights, backed up by a Supreme Court empowered to strike down unconstitutional legislation. The Law Lords have no such powers. Labour's plan to create a Supreme Court is purely cosmetic; it will have no such power.

    The UK has weak separation of powers between Legislature, Executive (the PM, in effect) and Judiciary. Thatcher and Blair showed how easy it was to get quite extreme legislation through the Commons when they had a large compliant majority there. They both virtually did away with Cabinet Government, relying instead on a number of advisers at No 10. The Lord Chancellor (a politician, member of the Cabinet) is notionally head of the judiciary, and plays a part in the appointment of judges.

    There is a large democratic deficit in the UK.

    It has a hereditary (unelected) head of state, in office for life, and cannot be removed.. there is no mechanism for doing so. The influence of the monarchy is pervasive, through patronage and the honours system. Negative publicity about senior royals has not infrequently been suppressed in Britain.

    There is an entirely unelected second chamber, with 92 hereditary members, and Anglican bishops. Its nominated members cannot be removed despite having even committed criminal or corrupt acts.

    The electoral system for Parliament uses the first past the post system, having the effect of producing disproportionately large majorities, and where the election can be decided in as few as 50 marginal seats. The votes of huge numbers of people are completely disregarded. Its rare for any government to get 40% of the votes in a general election. The system keeps two parties in power (alternately) virtually in perpetuity, no matter how much they have cocked up.

    The Establishment (a nameless group of people of privileged backgrounds... the old school tie network) wields a massive amount of real power, in the armed forces, the legal profession (especially the senior judiciary) and the civil service. Despite a Labour government having a huge majority and the Commons voting overwhelmingly for an entirely elected second chamber, it hasn't happened. Why? Because it wants to retain its powers of patronage and there are powerful vested interests who want to keep the status quo.

    As a result of the UK's mess of a constitution, 90% of the power, wealth and influence is retained by about 10% of the population. The country has an underdeveloped infrastructure (roads, railways, power stations etc), a second rate health service, and a mediocre education service.

    Britain has been the poodle of the US and has engaged in needless and illegal conflicts in furtherance of American foreign policy. British forces have admitted using torture in Iraq (and goodness knows where else). Its reputation in the world has sunk to an all-time low.

    The UK has the highest (pro rata) prison population of any developed country (except the US) and a high rate of recidivism. It has a huge state security system, with more surveillance than any other democracy. A massive ID register is being created to store our details, and track our actions from birth to grave. The UK has the largest DNA database of any country in the world, and a large number of those on it have never been proved guilty of any crime. A simple act of parliament could put all our DNA on it.

    A new Wales could be built on a clean slate, getting away from the constitutional mess which has bedevilled Britain for centuries. All that is needed is for us to vote for self-determination or for a party which is pledged to bring it about.

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  • 90. At 8:50pm on 09 Feb 2009, nomorepowers wrote:

    Ok MW let's talk about mythology-

    If there is such support for the Assembly and further law making powers -

    Why are the £2.5 million tax funded yes campaign traveling around Wales with their loaded questions and propaganda materials trying to influence the people of Wales into giving more powers to the Bay of Plenty?

    Now lets stop the talking and see some action. Why don't you and your nationalist friends start calling for a referendum immediately.

    Perhaps you can put up a petition and many Unionists would willingly support you.

    Then the Assembly can stop social engineering and get on with doing what devolution is not currently delivering - bringing decision making closer to the majority of the people.

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  • 91. At 9:17pm on 09 Feb 2009, John wrote:

    Bostoniwr at #86

    Money, if you think the issue is money, think again, it is freedoms, the freedom of the majority to remain with the UK, the freedom to say "No" to the extremes of Nationalism.

    To split the UK FiDafydd you need more powers at the Assembly, to achieve these powers you would need a mass migration of Welsh people across Offa's Dyke, or sleight of hand.

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  • 92. At 00:43am on 10 Feb 2009, Bostoniwr wrote:

    #91 Stonemason: "If you think the issue is money, think again, it is freedoms"

    100% with you. Freedoms, rights and common pluralist sense.

    I'd agree with you also about the "extremes of Nationalism" (as I would concerning the "extremes" of pretty much anything, especially stuff starting with a capital letter!).

    Since we agree here - and since you agree that any amount of money may be spent on Welsh because your concerns are elsewhere, are we agreed that these discussions should stop picking at the pennies spent on Welsh?

    Now then - the issue of the UK is a different argument; and is to these discussion entirely irrelevant at the moment. We are far, very far, from talking about the dissolution of the UK.

    Saunders Lewis himself (as an obvious and rosy example given the tones of previous posts) didn't want to see the UK disbanded or the monarch dissolved.

    We need less rhetoric and more specific ideas, Stonemason - your #91 could have been written word for word by Saunders himself.

    But we're at least moving towards common ground! :)

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  • 93. At 04:12am on 10 Feb 2009, Bostoniwr wrote:

    re: my previous post

    for dissolving the 'monarch' read 'monarchy'!

    now that's an idea! ;)

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  • 94. At 08:15am on 10 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 89....


    And you, Bostonian, will GUARANTEE that the 'establishment', with all the attendant faults you list in your message, will definitely be abolished, removed, extricated from, and the NEW WALES 'politically cleansed' so that we do not have a gaggle of privileged elitists lording it over us?

    Whilst totally agreeing that the system, regime, whatever you wish to call it, that presently constitutes the 'establishment' of the UK, needs a complete sort out, and a written constitution be put in place instead of the centuries of precedental law that currently frames our legal system, could we be sure that is what would come into force in Wales, if independence was to be come the order of the day?

    I seriously doubt it, as do others.
    You are, I am afraid, another idealist, seeking to gain control of this region, but even if you did so, there is not one smattering of the possibility that we would suddenly be shot of what we already have, and live under.

    The whole regime is far too ingrained.

    One only has to study the documentation emanating from the Bay to understand that the same would be put on the table, day one after total independence.

    It is overblown, full of wordage (garbage most of the time) and directly produced to cause obfuscation, and ennui, in the minds of rational people, at all levels of society.

    The idea that Wales would become some sort of clarified and cleansed nation state is all pie in the sky, I am afraid.

    Politics does not operate like that, and politicians make damned sure their game rules do not either.

    A case of all change, but everything stays exactly as was.
    But with a slight modification to the style of the leadership, .... maybe!. Perhaps a dictator?

    If you want the sort of change that would wipe away all the build up of centuries of control, then look to the weapons the esablishment will not tolerate you owning.

    Gone are the days when the hoi poloi can overturn the system with pitchforks and stone throwing.

    Which leads to another question, armed forces, Who will supply those for Wales?

    I know they could sop up hundreds of disaffected youth from our streets, but how do you justify that to the mothers and fathers of those you would need to compel into your defending forces; for certain there would be a veritable dearth of volunteers, no matter how much patriotism and flag waving you would be required to attempt to get them marching down the streets.

    But, as asked time and again, who will fund all this NEW Wales stuff? because on day one of your independence, the funding from the rest of the UK would become non existent.
    Now you can wrap all this up in another welter of rhetoric I am sure, but the lifted corner of the blanket of your efforts to do so, would still reveal inconsistencies lying beneath it all.

    It is those inconsistencies that lie at the bottom of our concerns.

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  • 95. At 5:01pm on 10 Feb 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 94

    And what is so wrong with idealism? Would you prefer - perhaps as is the case - to have only cynics rule the world?

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  • 96. At 5:42pm on 10 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    Message 95....
    What is wrong with idealism is the fact that those who wish to practice it, invariably live in a perfect state of permanent nirvanah, probably because they wre fitted with rose colured contact lenses at birth and have never had to remove them, so they live in the cloud cuckoo land of their own dreams.

    Then one day someone comes along to burst their little bubble. A burglar, a mob of riotous youths throwing bricks through the patio windows or car windscreen, the mugger who takes their wife or mother down, for a measly few quid in her purse, the rapist who spikes his daughters drink before ruining her innocence.
    Yes Idealism is all very well and good, until tha day the dictator takes over your pleasant place of residence.

    That is why those who argue against this LCO and it's subsequential further demands do so argue. We are not idealists, not by a long chalk, we live our lives with our eyes wide open.

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  • 97. At 5:59pm on 10 Feb 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 96

    Do all the British nationalists who contribute here agree with mapexx's rather sad and cynical world-view.?

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  • 98. At 8:14pm on 10 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 97....


    I think you will find a great number of Welsh people, bilingual or otherwise will agree with me.

    Just because you seem to have escaped the ingnomy of having something untowards happen, so far, does not mean that you will remain in ignorant bliss forever.

    Please let me have your thoughts, AFTER you get caught in one of the aformentioned unwanted circumstances.

    It's a cynical world, that is why we get called cynics.

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  • 99. At 8:59pm on 10 Feb 2009, John wrote:


    I don't think it sad and cynical to live lives with eyes wide open, its very Unionist to care.


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  • 100. At 9:32pm on 10 Feb 2009, puredrivelagain wrote:

    The answer's simple,

    If we want more powers the Welsh people need to organise themselves and demand it.

    If we want less or no powers the Welsh people need to organise themselves and demand it.

    If we don't want this LCO the Welsh people need to organise themselves and demand it.

    The reason we have this mess is because the Welsh people sit on their backsides, accept what's done to them and do no more than whinge about it.

    It's not just Swansea that's the graveyard of ambition, it's the majority of the country.

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  • 101. At 10:20pm on 10 Feb 2009, gonoph wrote:

    FiDafydd @ #97 said.......

    Do all the British nationalists who contribute here agree with mapexx's rather sad and cynical world-view.?


    As a British Unionist, I would say, YES.

    Unfortunately for the independence lobby there has been no rebuttal of mapexx's dissertation.

    A point by point response would be most welcome.

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  • 102. At 11:46pm on 10 Feb 2009, MH at Syniadau wrote:

    Ignominy is the shame that results from what someone does, not what is done to them, mappexx.

    Anyway, I don't think you're so hardened a cynic as you like to make out. There is a certain heroism in fighting a hopeless rearguard action against the resurgence of Welsh, and a certain romantic idealism in thinking that you can persuade the people of Wales that they should let others govern their affairs rather than do it for themselves.

    As Stonemason has claimed caring to be a unionist trait, I'll leave it to others to care for you. But I can only admire you for directing the gaze of your open eyes so fixedly into the past.

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  • 103. At 00:21am on 11 Feb 2009, Bostoniwr wrote:

    Mapexx #96

    You are disturbed, sir.

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  • 104. At 08:48am on 11 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 103....

    And you consider what the AWC and the
    ASSEMBLY/WAG have done, maybe I should say NOT done, is NOT shameful?

    Ignominy was correctly applied, old chum.

    I certainly do, and I suggest there are far more who agree than who would applaud the 'establishment' in Cardiff Bay for their 'acheivements'.

    I cannot quite understand the reference to having MY eyes fixed to the past, surely with the perpetually recurring references from the Nats and language nuts, re what happened twelve centuries ago, whenever their apple cart is being tilted, is a far more receptive cause for talking backwards glances.



    Message 103....


    I think you will find I am not the only 'dsiturbed' blogger on here, there are more than a few from your side who need a short spell in a secure unit..

    My pragmatismic outlook is far more based in realism, than the airy fairy propositions of the Nats and nuts.

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  • 105. At 12:07pm on 11 Feb 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 98

    I've had plenty - too many, in fact - personal losses and disappointments, but I'm glad to say that I haven't yet lost my belief in the good and the talent that lives in people. In fact, it is at times of crisis that you often see people at their best.

    I agree that there is a great deal of inhumanity shown around the world every day. The British Empire caused a great deal of it in the past (and the effects of that empire live on even now), and the British state is still guilty of it today - Blair will not go down in history as a particularly wise or benevolent PM. Neither will Thatcher!!

    So I will go on believing in the good and the talents that the Welsh, like every other nation, possess. If that's OK with you, mapexx.

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  • 106. At 2:28pm on 11 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 105....

    One does not say that there is no good to be found in people.... as individuals...

    However, the human race, and the Brits no matter from which part, WALES included,..

    have a centuries long record of being merciless when in gang formation.

    Now that can be a small cluster of kids in the schoolyard, a little street gang, a riotous mob of folk demonstrating for political or trade union reasons, and getting out of hand, a detachment of police, as in the miners and steel strikes under Thatcher, glibly titled Thatchers Boot Brigade, or right at the top of the inhumanity tree, the armed forces.

    Behind all of this lies our individual belief that we are defending whatever it is we see needs defending.

    Otherwise we would not be needing the proposed establishment at St Athan.

    Also, keep in mind ...it is the ever so gentle and humane scientists and engineers who turn out the means by which our 'gangs' can turn their endeavours towards our perceived enemies.

    It is they that produce the knives, guns, gas, bombs, flame throwers, hand grenades, land mines (that are scattered everywhere these military types have been, and which year after year are STILL claiming limbs and lives from innocent civilians when they trip one off), the rockets and missiles for delivery of high explosives, and nuclear war heads.

    Those personnel are exceptionally reluctant to cease their employment in order to prevent the inhumanity progressing.

    Yes as individuals they may well raise their voices in protest at the antics of a street gang, or get all airiated when stomping into the school heads office to complain about their little Willie or Milly getting bullied, but they cannot comprehend that they are complicit in the worst kind of bullying of all,

    ....... Warfare.


    There is not one of us with clean hands.

    So, although you may think you are Pontious Pilate, believe you me Fi Da, you are just as dirty as the rest.

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  • 107. At 3:53pm on 11 Feb 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 106

    You don't really get my point. I'm as much Pontius Pilate as you are - but it doesn't mean I can't have an outlook on life which contains some hope. Otherwise - what's the point?

    And St Athan will mean the deaths of more innocent men, women and children. Some of you may not agree with us who oppose warfare and the creation - on a large scale - of further means to kill, but please do not mock us.

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  • 108. At 7:07pm on 11 Feb 2009, brynt41 wrote:

    The UK has the third largest military expenditure in terms of GDP (after the US and Chile). In 2006 it amounted to 138bn or 6.49% of GDP. In 2007 the UK was the seventh largest arms exporter, although its difficult to ascertain firm figures. The British government isn't too keen on its population getting to know too much about some of the more questionable methods of how its earns a lot of its revenue.

    I don't want to live in a country whose economy depends significantly on producing weapons. I would rather have a lower standard of living. The UK sells weapons to all and sundry as long as there is a veneer of respectability. It is justified in terms of providing jobs, but in reality its to make a small number of people and companies extremely wealthy.

    We can't know how many people are killed or maimed by these weapons in the hands of third parties in any particular year, but over the last century or two they must number in the millions, and that does not count the use of weapons by the British armed forces directly in conflicts such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The investment (in financial and human resource terms) which goes into these weapons industries could be better directed into positive areas which would provide more constructive employment.

    It remains to be seen what benefits, if any, emerge from the proposed development at St Athan. It may not take place at all as its dependent on private funding.

    I don't relish people coming from all over the world to Wales to learn how to kill others more efficiently. I would prefer that my country's energies and resources were put to better use. Regrettably I think that is a vain hope, give the military and imperialistic history of England and Britain.

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  • 109. At 7:30pm on 11 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    Message 107...


    I really do not see what point you are trying to make, but get this right, I do not mock anyone for what they believe. I will though, mock, when that belief impacts on me or mine.

    Where I do take off is when that belief is being used for reasons beyond the pale.

    Some use their belief for nefarious reasons, other openly attempt conversion and proselytizing. Those are the ones I come down hard on.

    There is every reason, and justification, however to expound your antipathy to warmongering, the unfortunate thing being that, as I said before, we can all use the excuse we are defending our own, territory, rights family, neighbourhoods and anything else.

    It's a very rare human being who will actually 'turn the other cheek' as he knows full well, the attacker will not leave it at a thump if he gets no response, he will simply see it as a ticket to power down the victim.

    The choice is stark, you either accept the new facility at St Athan, or ignore it, because it will not go away.

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  • 110. At 8:08pm on 11 Feb 2009, John wrote:

    FiDafydd

    Did you know that Rhodri Glyn Thomas, is supporting a festival that includes a southern Irish band called "The Wolf Tones", the band make a mockery of British soldiers murdered in Ulster by the IRA.

    Plaid might oppose war, but seemingly support the supporters of terrorism.

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  • 111. At 10:22pm on 11 Feb 2009, brynt41 wrote:

    #110 TheStonemason

    'Terrorists' are what fascists, Nazis, and dictators call their opponents.

    You mention British soldiers being 'murdered' in Ulster. German soldiers were 'murdered' in France, Norway and elsewhere during WWII. British soldiers were 'murdered' by the Zionist Haganah, the Irgun, and Stern Gang in Palestine. Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for being the leader of the 'terrorist' ANC. American colonists 'murdered' British troops during the revolutionary war. The Black and Tans 'murdered' Irish civilians by the dozen, the Taliban 'murder' British soldiers... the list is endless.

    Wolf Tone is regarded as the father of Irish republicanism. Without an armed struggle against the British, Ireland would still be occupied to this day. Does Gordon Brown not welcome the Irish PM, and Nelson Mandela? Did Blair not meet with Ariel Sharon who was a member of Haganah?

    Today's 'terrorist' is tomorrow's president or prime minister. True of nearly all of former colonial Africa, and several parts of Asia, and Latin America. Today the Taliban are terrorists, tomorrow, next week or next month they will be sharing in the government of Afghanistan, with US and UK blessing! Ian Paisley said 'Never! Never! Never! but ended up drinking tea with McGuinness from china cups in the presence of Blair, Ahern and Hain at Stormont. That's real politik.

    Yet, you the anti-Plaid anti-Welsh bigot, single out RGT for attending an Irish music festival. How more petty-minded can anyone get?

    How about criticising the Labour Government for selling arms to Israel, or allowing the US to transit massive bombs through UK airports to Israel so that it could devastate Lebanon, killing 1200 civilians, including 300 children in 2006. That is state-sponsored 'terrorism' and 'murder'. Did you complain about that?

    I utterly condemn attacks on people, including soldiers. Its no way to sort out disputes, but neither is war and military occupation. Democratic and constitutional governments which employ violence are guilty, probably more so than those who oppose them with violence, because they should know better. They are therefore more culpable.

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  • 112. At 06:16am on 12 Feb 2009, John wrote:

    Bigot am I brynt41 ..... your 111.

    The southern Irish band called "The Wolf Tones" should not be allowed in the UK, this band makes a mockery of British soldiers murdered in Ulster by the IRA, are as bad as the PIRA. They peddle violent republicanism wherever they go, their music is banned from certain catholic football grounds in Scotland.

    Whatever Theobald Wolfe Tone may or may not have done, "The Wolf Tones" openly raised money to pay for weapons and explosives, the weapons and explosives that were used to murder British soldiers Ulster, murdered innocents in Belfast, children in the North of England.

    Since writing in my blog yesterday Rhodri Glyn Thomas, not in response to my short piece, is rapidly trying to disassociate himself from the real issue, republicanism that is linked to terrorism.

    Anti-Plaid yes, particularly as they partake of government. To call me anti-Welsh, you need to be more specific, people, land, culture, language? None of the four apply to me, but I detest the Nationalists that peddle a warped sense of history with a peculiar vision of the future.



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  • 113. At 10:54am on 12 Feb 2009, brynt41 wrote:

    #112 TheStonemason wrote:

    "Bigot am I brynt41 ..... your 111"

    Your blog certainly isn't awash with comments, and the few that are there don't seem to agree with your narrow-minded views.

    Its the pettiness, small-mindedness and selectivity of what you choose to criticise that leads me to use that word. You single-out RGT, who has been gaffe-prone no-one denies that, as if it proves some major point about Plaid

    Its a democratic party. It has eschewed violence. That is in no doubt. Like every other mainstream party it strives to achieve its aims through the ballot box, exclusively.

    Politicians are not perfect, they make mistakes, like someone who recently shook hands with Mugabe, before he realised what he was doing.

    Your blog is (almost) exclusively concerned with attacking those who want greater devolution or self-determination for Wales. Your profile is thin (two sentences), more concerned with what you are against than what you favour. It is negative in content. You describe yourself as favouring fairness and social justice.. great, very original, who doesn't? It sounds very grand, but in fact you spend most of your time in petty Plaid bashing.

    I for one won't be bothering to visit your blog again to read your turgid views. Tell us more what you do favour. You're against national sentiment in Wales, but for British national sentiment. You are Euro-sceptic, and pro-British. You are as nationalistic as any Welsh 'nationalist'.

    I am not a 'nationalist', any more than Greeks, Italians, Japanese, Americans, Canadians... (plus another 190 or so) in wanting the people of Wales to make their own decisions as far as possible in this world. Should the Latvians, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, Estonians etc, have had independence from the USSR? I bet you'd have said 'Of course!' So what's different about Wales? Self-determination is a legitimate political aim. You don't agree with it, so you resort to attacking individuals like RGT in order to undermine the legitimacy of Plaid's underlying policy.

    On this blog on 09 February you wrote:

    "Opposition to Nationalism is not opposition to Wales, but attacking the man is the Plaid way."

    its also Stonemason's way.

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  • 114. At 1:12pm on 12 Feb 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    The Stonemason's admitted hatred, mapexx's admitted continual bad temper - who are these people with whom we are trying to 'debate' these issues?!

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  • 115. At 2:20pm on 12 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 114....



    But you are NOT trying to debate...

    What you are trying to do is talk down to a far larger group than the one you appear to think you represent.

    Each time a rational point is placed before you, invariably we get either a diatribe of some sort of pedanticism, a load of critical nonsense that does not hold up, or ultimately, the silly and snide remarks about our 'patriotism' our decrying of the kanguage or just plain and inane comments about our intellect, or our grasp on English grammar and so on.

    None of which bears scrutiny.

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  • 116. At 3:41pm on 12 Feb 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 115

    Again, inconsistency. You attack me, you say, for not debating (the fact that I'm still waiting for replies to some questions I've set is immaterial, I suppose), but, just a couple of posts ago, you admit that this in fact your tactic:

    "I will though, mock, when that belief impacts on me or mine. "

    So much for debate!

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  • 117. At 4:09pm on 12 Feb 2009, FiDafydd wrote:



    Re 116

    Should have read -

    'you admit that this is in fact your tactic'

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  • 118. At 6:19pm on 12 Feb 2009, John wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 119. At 7:59pm on 12 Feb 2009, John wrote:

    brynt41

    You wrote .....

    "Its the pettiness, small-mindedness and selectivity of what you choose to criticise that leads me to use that word. You single-out RGT"

    ..... I criticised the man because by supporting the Irish band "Wolf Tones" he supports their political position, I notice his head is down under the parapet today, a guilty conscience no doubt.

    Your .....

    "Today's 'terrorist' is tomorrow's president"

    ..... tell that to those who still remember the soldiers murdered by the terrorist scum, many from Wales.

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  • 120. At 7:59pm on 12 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 116...

    Thereby rests my case.

    Each and every time, you put your foot in it.

    I see I must explain ... again...

    I mock whenever I sense that someone is trying to shovel their rubbish in my direction.

    As I have told many more before you, you believe what you will, I will support you in that, but the instant your belief impacts on my personal way of life, or on that of my friends, relatives and neighbours, then you'd better duck, as the missiles will be flying.



    Before I write the word debate, I always preface it with RATIONAL.

    So far, there has been little in the way of rational debate.

    Each time one of us sticks a rational point forward, it is met with, as I said before, a long winded diatribe obviously gleaned from some erudite source, Wiki, or the Enc. Brit. or veiled, even open insults about our patriotic attachment to Wales, or how we are out to destroy the language or some other slice of nasty pie.

    Opt for rational, and we will debate, otherwise we will meet you head on.

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  • 121. At 8:04pm on 12 Feb 2009, FiDafydd wrote:


    Stonemason,

    What is this 'southern' Irish business ...?

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  • 122. At 9:05pm on 12 Feb 2009, John wrote:

    FiDafydd, your #121

    You obviously have a point to make, make it, I have a 5.00 a.m. wakeup call.

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  • 123. At 9:46pm on 12 Feb 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 122

    Surely Ireland or better still the Republic of Ireland would be more accurate.

    Would you have opposed their independence as well, by the way? Would you have seen it as another catastrophe for an impregnable British state?

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  • 124. At 05:58am on 13 Feb 2009, John wrote:


    It's the Republic of Ireland, you have a point about a label, yet no position on the Irish band "Wolf Tones" who celebrate the soldiers murdered by terrorists.

    If you had witnessed a serviceman murdered by a PIRA sniper, or a man killed by a booby trapped back lane on his way home from a drink with friends, you might sing from a different song sheet.

    But you are separatist, as is brynt41,

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  • 125. At 08:44am on 13 Feb 2009, Lyn David Thomas wrote:

    I don't see how supporting a music festival equates with supporting terror. You can support an event without supporting a particular band or the views they may or may not support. To translate that as being a supporter of an event that supported a band that supported terrorism is somewhat tenuous indeed. I have met people who have met people who have met terrorists - does that make me a terrorist supporter? Stonemason you have made a virtue of inuendo and smear and it seems to be one of your stock responses.

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  • 126. At 09:52am on 13 Feb 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 125

    I think you've answered Stonemason very well, Lyn_Thomas.

    Stonemason,

    I just detected, and you will probably accuse me of being paranoid, a slight sniffyness in your 'southern Irish' terminology. As in, they're not really a country, not really a nation.

    I don't think the Wolf Tones are particularly good - or relevant, come to think of it.

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  • 127. At 10:51am on 13 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 126....


    So by that token, the Wolf Tones, whom I admit I have never heard, or heard of before this blog, don't fall under the same terms as any of those Muslim clerics, who delight in threatening us all with dath and destruction at every chnace they get.


    There is no similitude in their lyrical output then?.

    It's OK for the supporters of Irish Republican terrorism to sing unacceptable political ditties, but the Islamic fundamentalists get thrown out for doing the same.
    Even worse that this band be invited to these shores.
    Why is the Muslim fundamentalist also not invited, he also seeks to overcome the West with his concepts, just as the nationalists are attempting to overcome the UK with theirs.
    Where, therefore, is YOUR consistency?

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  • 128. At 12:03pm on 13 Feb 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 127

    mapexx,

    I've had a pretty rubbish morning, and reading one of your mindless rants always cheers me up - so, thanks for that!

    I'm not quite sure what you're accusing me of here - what inconsistency of mine are you talking about, exactly. Perhaps you could explain, we might then be in a position to debate.

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  • 129. At 1:28pm on 13 Feb 2009, puredrivelagain wrote:

    Stonemason,

    You talk as if you're an ex squaddie or something.

    My brother is coming to the end of full life commission in the British Army which has included 7 tours of Northern Ireland, some to the worst parts.

    He put his life on the line in a country that really isn't Britain's to occupy. He did the same for the Iraqis and the Bosnians.

    He does this so that people can have a freedom of choice, and if that includes attending a gig by the Wolfe Tones, so be it.

    Does he resent me for being a nationalist or for living in the Irish Republic? No.

    Please don't insult my brother's committment by using cheap tactics on this blog.

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  • 130. At 3:47pm on 13 Feb 2009, John wrote:

    puredrivelagain

    I am ex-services, army, we don't talk about what we've done, others do that, we do however remember others who didn't make it because of terrorists.

    The Wolf Tones are remembered as rabble rouser's who raised money for terrorists, who in turn used the funds for weapons and explosives. The music produced by this band is not allowed to be played at certain Scottish football grounds because of its inflammatory nature. It's nature is not going to change with location, no doubt the audience in Cardiff will also be familiar.

    Eddi Edwards (RE) had two very small children when he was murdered in Londonderry, they would be in their 30s now, they never knew their father. End of story.


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  • 131. At 4:54pm on 13 Feb 2009, puredrivelagain wrote:

    I'm sorry to hear about yer man.

    I'm sorry for the loss of life in any conflict. One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. It just depends on where you are sitting. Obviously the 2 nations in conflict are not going to agree.

    Every soldier knows they may die in the service of their nation. It's a risk of the job.

    I think it's best we remember your mate and others who have fallen in conflict and draw a respecful line under the discusison point.

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  • 132. At 5:13pm on 13 Feb 2009, puredrivelagain wrote:

    Mapexx,

    The Muslim fundamentalist preaches death and destruction to all western society as they disagree with almost everything we represent.

    The Welsh nationalist wishes to co-exist peacefully in western society as a self determining nation.

    If you can't see the difference I suggest you go to spec savers.

    However, spectacles aside, your blog entries are a great spectacle.

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  • 133. At 8:49pm on 13 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    Message 132...

    Can't say I understand any of that except the bit about Spec-savers, I do happen to be a client of theirs.

    Well spotted, you must also have a decent pair from the same source.

    But to clarify the previous bit...

    The nationalists wish to live in peaceful co existence, but do they have to do it off the backs of what Stony calls a rabble rousing terrorist fund raising band?

    That is where you do not seem to understand what is being said.

    Maybe you should attend comprehension classes, whilst I go back to SSavers for my next new pair.

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  • 134. At 08:49am on 14 Feb 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    So, yet again, mapexx - no answer, no debate!
    Now I'm off for the weekend ...

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  • 135. At 10:44am on 14 Feb 2009, puredrivelagain wrote:

    Mapexx,

    These "Rabble Rousers" are stony calls them do a have history of supporting the troubles, so do a vast majority of other groups from several nationalities. I'm not debating that.

    Somehow I've received several emails from the celtfest organisers inviting me, and other rugby fans to this event, being staged to celebrate Irish and Welsh relations during the rugby weekend.

    I can confirm that this is a MUSIC festival and not a party organised RALLY.

    As someone else said, even yourself at one point, the Wolfe Tones are virtually unheard of over here. If Stoney hadn't outed them as supporters of the Republican cause you wouldn't be discussing them and I doubt RGT knew as much either.

    The majority of people in the UK don't appreciate the politics of their actions, I certainly didn't until I left the country and met people from politically minded nations.

    But my point, Celtfest is not a Plaid Cymru rally for independence it is a music festival. The Nats are not doing anything off the back of this festival, nor was the event orchestrated to be such.

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  • 136. At 9:39pm on 14 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 135....


    I did not coin the phrase ' the nationalists want peaceful co-existence', that came from DaFi.

    I responded to that phrase.

    The whole point raised by Stoney was that band steeped in infamy for it's lyrics lauding the death and murders of British citizens, and military personnel, has no place in any sort of gathering on British soil.

    That the debate about the rights and wrongs of British presence in Ireland, either during or prior to the'troubles', is on the table, is besides the point.
    That is another matter entirely, and should be addressed elsewhere.

    You cannot say with one breath, it is OK for an Irish fund raising, pro terrorist band, to appear on a British staged venue, when refusing the right of any similar sort of band , from say... the extreme right, or Islamic fundamental, similarly terrorist fund raisers.

    What's sauce for the goose etc.
    Finally, no this Celtfest is nothing at all to do with independence, it's just a 'friendly gathering of the Celtic clans', Oh! yes?


    Do behave yourself, there are no such animals as Celts left in this, the year 2009

    Sticking such a moniker on that music festival is totally phony.

    Next you'll be believing that old music hall song,...

    .... "The Irish Were Egyptians long ago"

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  • 137. At 04:03am on 15 Feb 2009, Bostoniwr wrote:

    It's too late to make this comment really, but it strikes me as odd that an entire thread more or less could be devoted to the lyrics of a band and the supposed implications of attending a concert at which they are playing... without a single citation being offered in support.

    These points may be true - I don't know - but it's a striking example of the tendency here to debate with a lack of evidence. And this time we're not talking about something abstruse like details of policy or public funding, but simple song words.

    I was at a WT concert in Boston a few years ago; they struck me as singing songs based on a strand of remarkably out of date ideology, but I don't remember being horrified by them in the way these posts suggest I should have been (celebration of murder, etc.)

    Perhaps they toned themselves down on that occasion.

    Or is this another Saunders Lewis debate?

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  • 138. At 12:44pm on 15 Feb 2009, puredrivelagain wrote:

    Here's the definition of celt mapexx, you are both right and wrong. Wrong culturally but right racially:

    Celt or Kelt:

    1. One who speaks a Celtic language or who derives ancestry from an area where a Celtic language was spoken; i.e., one from Ireland, the Scottish Hebrides and Highlands, the Isle of Man, Wales, Cornwall, or Brittany.

    2. Further confusion has resulted from the designation of the Celts as a racial group. To the Greeks and Romans, the Celts were tall, muscular, and light-skinned, but it is believed that these were qualities of the Celt warriors rather than Celts in general. The term Celtic is actually a cultural one, unrelated to physical heredity. It implies a cultural tradition maintained through many centuries of common history in the same general area.


    Linguistically, it would seem that there are such celtic animals as you call us left in the world.

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  • 139. At 4:35pm on 15 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 138....

    If it was JUST the matter of an antique language,which could be linked to an ethnic or racial background, genetically speaking, then maybe you would be in a position to say what your message contains,however, the ethnic Celt has been swamped in historical baggage, from the immigrant and general British mix.

    Hanging on to a myth is not a viable or credible option. It does not prove there are Celts extant in the Britain of today, as DNA research has fully demonstrated.

    Language is, again, in a similar fix.

    There are millions across north and west Africa, and Polynesia that speak French as a first language, that does not make them ethnically French, or European, all it does is say they have adopted the language of their prior imperial masters.

    If they were to delete French from their homelands completely, and revert to what ever language they spoke before colonisation by the French, then there may be a case to answer, for the simple reason their ethnicity would be as it was, generally speaking, (bastardisation being disregarded) before the French took over.

    This can be said for all ex colonial territories, no matter what the language is, be it English, French, German, Russian whatever, but the same cannot be said for the Welsh, for the obvious reason, we here in this region of the UK, are biologically, and genetically identical to those whose language is also in use across the whole of Wales, alongside that which you claim for.

    Take away English, or suppress it with Cymraeg, and you would effectively be operating an exercise in ethnic cleansing of part of your own 'family' or tribe, with the sole object of making that part of your own family/tribe, untermensch.

    As far as I see it, ( and I am not disparaging or castigating either language, or users thereof), to attempt to justify the pressures currently being made on behalf of the language, as it is being 'forced' into the everyday lives of all 3 millions of those who reside in this region, is a calumny on those who are being expected to fund it's current pressure, and use.

    If it was truly the 'ethnic' language of a defined clan or tribal group, that would be another matter entirely, but it is not.
    It is, without doubt being taken as the 'native' language of this region, when, because there are no actual 'Natives' remaining from the group that originally brought the language here, the whole concept is false.

    To claim a 'cultural' heritage is hogwash, for any number of reasons, any culture that can be 'brought' into the debate is virtually 'modern' in concept, and application.

    And worse, a divisive tactic to ensure that the inappropriately named Celt, gain supercedence as well as precedence over those not able to join in the charade.

    Invention, as seen through smoke and mirrors, and the fallacious aspirations of a few, with some sort of idealised wish for a nation state, that would be all but impossible to achieve, or maintain, in the present day global economy.

    And certainly not be able to certify it's claimed for historical heritage.
    An extremely flimsy claim at best, even if there were any sustainable grounds, or foundations, to verify such claims.

    The wolf may have been the primeval dog, but one would be just as hard put today to connect a wolf with a chiuawawua, as one would with a modern Welsh born person with a Celt.

    Minute trace DNA elements only.

    Yes, the dog may make similar noises to the wolf, but the same can be said about the Welsh man, he makes similar noises to the Celt.

    But that is as far it it goes with both wolf and Celt.

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  • 140. At 6:55pm on 15 Feb 2009, Bostoniwr wrote:

    Mapexx

    On the 'Celt'

    We had this discussion weeks ago. You were wrong then, and you're still wrong.

    a) "the ethnic Celt has been swamped in historical baggage, from the immigrant and general British mix"

    b) "Minute trace DNA elements only."

    Utterly incorrect. Best current research suggests that there never were any ethnic 'Celts' on this island. The earliest records by Romans use the word 'Brittanii' with tribal sub-divisions. The 'Celts' were around present-day France.

    The designation 'Celt' is purely linguistic. The British spoke (as many of their descendants speak) a Celtic language. Full stop.

    The English spoke (and speak) a Germanic language (also just as 'antique', as all languages are).

    Many of the British (in Wales and the rest of the island) also now speak, and have spoken for centuries, Germanic tongues.

    The 'Celtic' lands are the lands where the Celtic languages survived into the modern period. The 'Celtic peoples' are those people who live there.

    Nothing to do with genetics. Not much to do with language any more.


    c) And worse, a divisive tactic to ensure that the inappropriately named Celt, gain supercedence as well as precedence over those not able to join in the charade.

    Within any 'charade', be it a music festival or a theatrical production, of course those who take part should take priority over those who stand aside and mock rather than doing something constructive themselves.

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  • 141. At 7:05pm on 15 Feb 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 136

    You said:

    "I did not coin the phrase ' the nationalists want peaceful co-existence', that came from DaFi."

    Is that supposd to be me? If so, then for the umpteenth time, you'e accused me of saying something that I never did! However, this time, I have nothing against this particular sentence, as I'm sure you'd understand.

    Is this some kind of vendetta, mapexx?

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  • 142. At 9:58pm on 15 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 141...


    Yet again apologies FiDa, it should have gone to Drivel.

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  • 143. At 10:17pm on 15 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 140.....



    You are seeking an argument with you yourself being the opposition.


    Any resemblence bewteen Cymraeg and a genuine Celtic language is purle incidental.

    The language has been so corrupted, amended, modified and bastardised, it is virtually unrocognisable as Celtic.

    The exact same parameters can be said regarding the people.

    So therefore we agree, but from different perspectives.

    You wish to sustain some sort of 'connection' where none exists, I simply state it as it is, it never existed.
    To say, or even use, the word Celt in reference to Wales, and the Welsh is disingenuous and stretches credulity to the absolute limit of belief.

    The only link, and it is a flimsy one at that, is the few words,, probably far fewer than actually comprises a half of that of the modern Cymraeg dictionary.

    You may as well say that the British people are Mongol or Dravidian, considering the tenuous links modern English, and English people have with the original roots of Indo- European.


    The Celtic tongues effectively 'died' when their branch on the tree of modern language came to a dead stop. Maybe 2 to 3 thousand years ago.
    The language survived due to the isolation of a very small number of places, where there had been no percentage for the modern world to become involved.

    The Celts went by the board probably about the same time,... so please, no more mythological names for the people of modern western seaboard Europe.
    We are British, in modern parlance, Welsh by preference... but Celts? not a chance.

    One minute you want to call us all Cymro, the next you are harking back to roots we do not have, and give us a name we have NO contact with. Nor never had.

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  • 144. At 11:01pm on 15 Feb 2009, Bostoniwr wrote:

    #143 Mapexx


    I'm interested in your linguistic arguments, specifically your claims that:

    1) "Any resemblence [sic] bewteen [sic] Cymraeg and a genuine Celtic language is purle [sic] incidental.

    The language has been so corrupted, amended, modified and bastardised, it is virtually unrocognisable [sic] as Celtic."

    and

    2) "The Celtic tongues effectively 'died' when their branch on the tree of modern language came to a dead stop. Maybe 2 to 3 thousand years ago. "

    So - turning to (1); how about consonant mutation, vowel mutation, VSO word order,, distinction of gender in numerals from 1-4; vigesimal number system; extensive common vocabulary attested through the Modern, Classical, Middle and Old periods of Welsh and Irish?

    That is - such things as make any language group a language group.

    And, turning to (2) let's look at the claim concerning "the tree of modern language[s]" which existed "3 thousand years ago".

    It's a strange notion of 'modern' you have Mapexx, but it might explains where many of your views come from. ;) Seriously, though - is there even any evidence of any Celtic language from this long ago, let alone evidence of them dying?

    I thought that the earliest known Celtic inscriptions dated from the first millennium BC.

    Are you talking out of your hat? Is this a habit of yours?

    If you can produce a single credible piece of evidence to back up any of these claims I'll put my mouse and keyboard in my own hat and eat them all with one of the pinches of salt I keep on my desk for when I read your posts.

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  • 145. At 06:02am on 16 Feb 2009, John wrote:

    To claim Welsh as a living language is perplexing, it is alive only as a comatose patient on life support, or as a puppet with various language organisations miming its voice.

    Without the financial support of the disinterested it would wither into history, to rest with the other dead languages. It has a single use in this world, as a fulcrum for a political minority to achieve power, to suggest otherwise is dishonest.

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  • 146. At 06:23am on 16 Feb 2009, John wrote:

    Something I found on my Cyber travels .....

    Saunders Lewis wrote in August 1931 that “even in the Nationalist Party itself I fear there are some who do not yet realise that a ‘bilingual Wales’ is something to be feared and avoided”.

    He didn't want bilingualism, at least he was honest on this issue.

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  • 147. At 07:21am on 16 Feb 2009, Bostoniwr wrote:

    Stonemason

    "To claim Welsh as a living language is perplexing, it is alive only as a comatose patient on life support, or as a puppet with various language organisations miming its voice"

    For making such a stupid statement I feel entirely justified in accusing you of being as intellectually comatose as the language you so pathologically hate.

    If you believe this, you are quite simply an idiot (and not as Dostoyevsky would have it, but simply... very simply).

    Try wandering into a housing estate in Caernarfon or Bangor blathering such inanities - one would soon see what stayed alive longer - your purility or the Welsh language! (a jovial challenge in the spirit of truth).

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  • 148. At 08:52am on 16 Feb 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 145

    Well there we are, Stonemason finally and openly shows his complete hatred of the Welsh language - all this business of "it's my taxes paying for it that I hate" can be put, finally to bed.

    Your ignorance of Welsh speaking communities - or is it quite simply prejudice - is staggering. The Welsh speaking communities of the north and west are working class and often pretty poor. What they have, they've fought for - from getting compensation for lung diseases (very grudgingly by Westminster) after exposure to slate dust (it's a shame you've never met a quarryman almost unable to breathe; but when he speaks he does so proudly and in Welsh), and, yes, for the linguistic rights of their families and communities that they've spent their whole lives sweating blood and tears for. And if you insist, as you often imply, that they don't care about these issues, then that is further evidence of your ignorance. These are the communities I know best, but I know others can claim the same for places like the former mining communities of Cwm Gwendraeth. And there are many others.

    Your obsession with a more more prosperous Welsh speaking community in Cardiff - as if that is the only prosperous community in the capital city! - blinds you to everything else.

    I do actually expect better from you - unlike some who contribute here - and I hope that this unusually bitter attack was as a result of you being in a particularly foul mood. Though not even that can excuse it.

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  • 149. At 10:25am on 16 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 144....


    You are obviously quite academic in your responses to my basic English, however smart arsed ...(sic)'s every now and again are evidence of your feeling of superiority, you can see those odd words are misspellings or typographical errors, so why be so pedantic?

    Anyway to return to the point.

    The language is being propped up not by those who are fluent in everyday usage, but by a warped political; elite, who see no shame in stealing taxpayers funding to so prop it up and promote it.


    The references to the construction and grammar of the language are attempts at sidetracking the discussion, there is no mention of the construct of the language in any of my messages, that is between user and user of the language, it impacts not one bit on the overall argument. Similarly re the history iof the language.

    The point I made about the language having 'died' was because it simply stopped developing beyond it's present form, in fact all that is happening to the language today is it is being modified and motivated by the adoption of modern words, almost exclusively extracted from it's neighbouring English, and invariably taking aboard technological and commercial wordage, to the exclusion of pretty well anything else.


    Yes, it takes words on, but tends to modify them to fit the alphabet utilised in it's construction, beyond that there is no progressive development worth mentioning.

    You are like those who live in the USA known as Amish, eschewing all form of modernity, relying on their horse power and candles, but whereas they truly follow their ex-patriot lifestyle, you want penny and bun, by demanding that your language be kept alive, not by that diminishing number who use it, but by having it forced into the daily lives of the bulk of the population in this region, the ONLY possible reason for which action is downright political.

    So please, a bit less of the academic pedant-ism, which presents you as a smarty pants with nothing of substance in your argument, except the sense you obviously feel of being somewhat superior to the rest.

    An ever present indication of an inferiority
    complex.

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  • 150. At 10:57am on 16 Feb 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 149

    What an absolutely amazing entry! Someone takes the time to answer matters raised - and does it very well - and you just dismiss it for being too academic or too clever - it's George W. Bush all over again.

    My favourite sentence is :

    "Yes, it takes words on, but tends to modify them to fit the alphabet utilised in it's construction, beyond that there is no progressive development worth mentioning."

    An absolute classic! Quite meaningless of course.

    As on other matters, we need not take too much notice of your musings here either ...

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  • 151. At 2:48pm on 16 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 150, ....


    Selective, and opting for the one little bit you think has some sort of capability to support your warped veiw of Wales and the English speaking Welsh.


    Now let me see if you can at least make an attempt. Can you really break down my sentence, and truthfully state it make no sense?

    If you will insist in taking things out of context, then of course they will appear meaningless, which is exactly what you have done.

    The message sent in by your brother in crap, was far too long and flowery, full of wordage gathered from some erudite source, Wiki or such, and you wish for me to let it pass.
    Go and do as I said before, grow up and enter the real world of adults.

    That brown nose of yours is almost as glowing as the red noses on the celebrities for the Save the Children stunts.

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  • 152. At 4:59pm on 16 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:



    Message 144....


    Either your comprehensive capabilites and/ or your mathematics are very suspect, or you are being deliberately obtuse.


    I said 3000 years ago did I not?.

    You come back mocking that, and then talk about the 1st millennium BC.


    Now correct me of I am wrong, but when the 1st Mill BC is added to the 2nd Mill AD, I think that adds up to....3000 years, or does it not in your mind and eye?


    I also said....."The Celtic tongues effectively 'died' when their branch on the tree of modern language came to a dead stop. Maybe 2 to 3 thousand years ago".


    I note you failed to include the very important.... " when their branch on the tree....."

    Another selective response, taking the words that followed out of context, or diminshing their value, by such a deliberate omission.

    There is no mixed metaphor either in my saying what you responded to in the pasted quote below....

    ...... "It's a strange notion of 'modern' you have Mapexx, but it might explains where many of your views come from. ;) Seriously, though - is there even any evidence of any Celtic language from this long ago, let alone evidence of them dying?..."

    On the one hand you disparage what I say, and in the next sentence, virtually agree with what I have said.


    Somewhat contradictory don't you think, from you.

    My point in referring to the 'dead end' of the particular branch, being, the language has all but stultified over the last few centuries, developing hardly at all, but surviving by custom and practice in it's somewhat isolation, and since the modern world has opened up the geography of Wales to the rest of the world, with modern communicative methods, it has been further depressed.
    But in it's depression, expanded by only accepting, and adopting words from other languages, modified, as stated, with conversion of some of those words, by the use of the alphabet peculiar to Cymraeg.

    Methinks you get so wrapped up in your academic nonsense you cease to recall how you are, in fact, arguing.

    You write so 'cleverly' you swing from one extreme to the other, first of all disputing my argument, and almost in the same sentence agreeing with me.


    Either make your mind up to settle one way or the other, or don't bother, you are beginning to annoy me with your fancy twaddle.

    Maybe a little less of the erudition, and more for the simply practical.



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  • 153. At 5:15pm on 16 Feb 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 151

    I won't respond to your usual childish insults.

    No, I honestly can't make a head or tail of your sentence, and a lot of the rest. Sorry.

    That Bostoniwr has the ability and knowledge to give such a full and well constructed answer is surely a good thing - at least I would have thought so, as a blog like this is a place to exchange ideas and knowledge. Clearly you don't think so.

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  • 154. At 5:34pm on 16 Feb 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 152

    So you've decided that you ought to be the MD (which is what I think you called it a few long paragraphs ago) of this blog now then?!

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  • 155. At 6:17pm on 16 Feb 2009, John wrote:

    #45 and #46

    Two quite different comments, it is noticeable that only #45 was responded to.

    Bostoniwr, notably there was no mention of Saunders Lewis objection to bilingualism, I took this to be tacit support. Your insults were taken in the spirit they were given, but with composure.

    FiDafydd, skip dropped on my foot today, safety boots saved the foot, but haven't the energy to respond, except to reiterate my earlier ".... fulcrum for a political minority to achieve power".



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  • 156. At 8:32pm on 16 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 157. At 10:16pm on 16 Feb 2009, Bostoniwr wrote:

    Mapexx:

    1. re: "two to three thousand years ago"

    Sorry - I admit my response was sloppy on that point - I misread you. It was late, I'd had my whiskey, and I had Stonemason to deal with too.

    I give you that one 100%.

    I don't give you any of the rest, though.

    2. I did not misrepresent you though by not citing "their branch on the tree" - if a branch of a language tree dies, those languages also die.

    3. You haven't responded to any of the substance of my response - you haven't given any details or evidence to support your claim.

    4. How can you claim that a language died at around the age of Christ when it wasn't even existent then?

    (Old Welsh developed from Brythonic in around the 6-7th centuries, then changed into Middle Welsh before becoming Modern Welsh - each change was accompanied by significant syntactical, morphological and accompanying orthographical alterations).

    [non-academic translation: The Welsh language was born in the 6th century AD, and then it grew up, changing over the centuries until it reached the form we know it by today.]

    Every cultural change of note (literacy, Christianity, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, Industrialisation, computerisation, etc.) - all of these have happened since then, and all have affected both the main languages of Wales. All of these have happened since you claim it 'died'.

    5. You haven't supported your claim that Welsh is not Celtic.

    6. You berate me for both disagreeing with you and agreeing with you. I don't quite understand your point - I couldn't follow your explanation - do you see the purpose of discussion as simply rubbishing everything the other person(s) has/have to say? Hmmm.


    Stonemason:

    Sorry to hear about your foot. Glad the boots worked well. (I'll resist the temptation to make jokes about the dangers of taking the foot out of its usual resting place in the mouth!) ;)

    I haven't responded to your SL statement because I don't know the context in which it was made, so I can't know what he was referring to or what the statement meant when he said it.

    Neither is it clear what you are asking by citing this sentence - what you take SL to mean or how it impacts on our discussions.

    In any case, I'm pretty sure that a "bilingual Wales" in the context of that discussion is far from the same as "bilingual Wales" in the context of our own discussions - the situation has changed immeasurably since SL was with us.

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  • 158. At 08:23am on 17 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    Message 157....



    I said the branch of the tree 'died', which to make it clearer for you, meant that there was little of any further development of the CELTIC language there after.

    Cymraeg therefore became a distinctive and separate language as you yourself have just said. The roots being, no doubt of Celtic origination, just as the roots of English came along a different, but ever expanding and evolving branch of the tree.

    I went on to say that since that time the languages that came out of the Celtic strain, or string pretty, well stultified, and carried on by themselves adopting and adapting. But with no great take up, in fact as time passed, they tended to fall away, superceded, as is the nature of the beast, by stronger and more fluid languages.

    Oppressive, without doubt, as they tend to be.

    Hence my remarks re Neanderthal in other threads, the problem with the current crop of Cymraeg adherents is, unlike the Neanderthals, the language is effectively 'dead', in the manner and matter of it's usefulness, but it will not lie down to be buried by history, because those adherents impose an importance to it that is simply not justifiable.

    The Tree branches that carried English, maintained development, until today, where it is still evolving and developing, and as I also said, to the effect, that in maybe as short a period of less than a century, it may well be unrecognisable to the user of today.


    In line 5 of your message you made any further comment by me redundant, as you state, ( in consequence to your previous comments), that Cymraeg is not Celtic.

    Which is more or less what I have been saying, seemingly forever, as you keep on regurgitating the same responses over and over.


    If you do not wish to have your commentary 'rubbished' try to be a tad more consistent.

    Finally:

    No one wants to see the language pass away, and more power to the elbow of the adherent for maintaining it's existence, but to do so, by political pressure, is one certain way to ensure it's total demise.

    But Yo! why let a little problem like that stand in the way of progress. Eh?

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  • 159. At 08:52am on 17 Feb 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 158

    I take it you're a three-Shredded-Wheat man!

    Could you please tell me what this actually means:

    " ... the language is effectively 'dead', in the manner and matter of it's usefulness"

    I've actually done a lot of useful things this morning - communicated verbally with quite a few people; I've caught up with Welsh and international news; I've written a few e-mails ... In fact, before writing this, everything else I've done this morning, like most mornings, has been done through the medium of Welsh. And after all, all I can do is to live my life ...

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  • 160. At 2:43pm on 17 Feb 2009, Bostoniwr wrote:

    Mapexx,

    Let me try one again to communicate with you.

    i) "you state, ( in consequence to your previous comments), that Cymraeg is not Celtic"

    Of course I think Welsh is Celtic, just as English is Germanic. Welsh is simply not Old Welsh or Middle Welsh (or any earlier form of the Celtic languages).

    ii) You misunderstand the language tree metaphor; if a branch of language tree dies, there is no development (had Celtic died, there would be no Welsh or Irish)

    iii) Welsh being a 'dead language'. ?? Do you have anything factual to say about this?

    One more try - final try.

    Could you respond without being ugly?

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  • 161. At 10:37pm on 17 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    Message 159....


    Try to conduct a commercial or scientific, social or medical, converstaion with anyone outside of Wales in your opted for language.

    Unless you are in communication with a very few, and minute conglomerations in odd parts of the world, or perhaps an ever diminishing number in Patagonia, your chances of making yourself understood in Cymraeg are about zero.

    Locally you may be the dogs B's in communication, but beyond Wales, forget it.



    I will respond to message 160 later.

    I need to copy and paste down a page from a book by Charlton Laird for clarification purposes.


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  • 162. At 01:56am on 18 Feb 2009, Bostoniwr wrote:

    #161

    1. Your "Unless you are in communication with a very few, and minute conglomerations in odd parts of the world, or perhaps an ever diminishing number in Patagonia, your chances of making yourself understood in Cymraeg are about zero"

    What is your point? That only English deserves to survive of all the languages in the world?

    Over 99% of all spoken tongues are in the same position as Welsh in terms of not being the major lingua franca of business and science.

    In the Middle Ages it was Latin.

    And while Latin was being spoken for most kinds of international communication, the vernaculars were spoken intranationally. When Glyndwr wrote to the Irish he used Latin; when he wrote to the Scottish he used Anglo-French.

    At that point in history English was spoken only by the peasants. It recovered and will collapse again, and we will respect it on each step of its trajectory as we respect the powerful and the weak globally.

    2. Your "Locally you may be the dogs B's in communication, but beyond Wales, forget it."

    And so...? Again, you make no point. Are you suggesting that if something functions only locally it is of no use? If something has no relevance outside a limited area it has no purpose or value? That if something isn't globally comprehensible it is pointless?

    Being understood locally and only locally (or nationally, and only nationally, in the case of Welsh) is, on the contrary positive, beneficial and even beautiful.

    There is more to life than power and might and conquest and destruction and homogeneity. Wouldn't you say, Mapexx? Or do you go in for that kind of sabre-rattling?

    Safety in numbers, pick on the loner? Join my gang or we'll spit on you? Conform or be rejected? How would you assess your own position psychologically?

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  • 163. At 09:12am on 18 Feb 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 161 and 162

    Well said, Bostoniwr. But unlike you, I really can't be bothered to answer such drivel any more. I only hope that the English that survives is not the clumsy, affected style (did I say style?!) which mapexx shouts at us day after day after strangely long paragraph infested day ...

    I'll make my very simple point again. All I can do is live my life, and I do so largely in Welsh - from choice, and also because that is the nature of the place where I live and work. I never believed that I could be understood by a person on a Moscow bus or in a Roman taxi; so what?! But I can tell them, I often do tell them, and what's more they are interested by the fact that Welsh is my language, not English. For the most part they approve.

    If I lived in those places, I would make it my business to learn their languages and not expect them to make it easy for me.

    I despise homogeneity for what it is and what it does. And unlike mapexx I have no wish to be the schoolyard bully.

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  • 164. At 2:54pm on 18 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    messages 162 ans 163....


    It's a pity you people are so wrapped up in your own little world that you fail to realise there is a much wider world beyond the end of your street.

    Once again Bostonian you are actually agreeing with me, but for some totally obscure reason you do not seem to realise that you are.
    All that waffle about where English came from and where it once was used by peasantry is nothing to with the present day status of both English and Cymraeg.

    One is continuously nascent, the other in terminal decline... End of story.

    It is exactly the point, that you CANNOT communicate with a Muscovite, in Cymraeg, but can quite often do so in English.

    So why, taking the point to the limit, do you support a scheme that intends to turn the native language of this region, which IS English, despite your claim for the alternative, towards another language that may be very pleasant to you, but is anathema-tic to far more than those who find it pleasant.

    AS I have said, times out of number, by all means stick to your language if you feel the need, but why should it be forced into the lives of those who find it useless, and who could do nothing with it, if learned, other than chatter on virtually only local matters, once the world news has been taken out of the equation.


    Yes, to sum up, English is superceding all other local languages. And so it will and should.

    Now I wonder why, it is NOT being force fed to people, they seem to be taking it up quite voluntarily.

    In fact, considering that almost all states and nations now set it as their second language, even their first in many cases, there just has to be a reason.

    Politicised Cymraeg on the other hand is attempting to drag us all back to some wished for Cymru that never existed.

    I would go as far as to say, it's a 'trendy' thing, and sooner or later, the novelty will wear off, and sanity will return to this region.
    Unfortunately, not before great damage is done to both community and education.

    So carry on with your insult laden responses, the bulk of the people will inevitably turn against this one shot tide of political nonsense. and wash it away, ....hopefully for good.

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  • 165. At 3:22pm on 18 Feb 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 164

    It gets wore and worse.

    Let's hope you're not put in charge of the new Reich ...

    You said:

    "It is exactly the point, that you CANNOT communicate with a Muscovite, in Cymraeg, but can quite often do so in English."

    - but that sentence, by itself,doesn't mean anything!!! Anything at all!!! The rest doesn't explain it either. How does that sentence show that what I've said is wrong? Please say something that actually makes sense - just for once.

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  • 166. At 3:33pm on 18 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 165....


    I shall not bother with you any more, you are simply a twister. You cannot comprehend, so you you make sentences up that bear no relationship to the ongoing debate, in short you are a nasty piece of work.

    In fact I think you are one of those, paid by the nats, to follow sensible people about the blogs and threads, just to make trouble.

    I cannot be bothered with you. Go and find a Cymraeg blog to spew your inanities on.

    You say you can speak that language, well go where it is used, as you obviously cannot understand a word of what is being written on this ENGLISH blog. Bye!

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  • 167. At 4:02pm on 18 Feb 2009, Bostoniwr wrote:

    mapexx demonstrates once again, in the form, content and style of his discourse exactly how ugly his attitude is.

    lies, lies, insults and more lies.

    fortunately for sound sense and neighbourly co-existence, his generation will not be with us much longer.

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  • 168. At 4:33pm on 18 Feb 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 166

    You said:

    "You cannot comprehend, so you you make sentences up that bear no relationship to the ongoing debate"

    - the only problem here, of course, is that it was YOUR sentence.

    Still, if this is your way of admitting defeat, then your silence may now allow for proper debate.

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  • 169. At 6:39pm on 18 Feb 2009, puredrivelagain wrote:

    Mapexx,

    Not everyone's life revolves around getting away from Britain.

    I'm glad these boys are the dog's Bs in communication on their street coz let's face it, if they couldn't speak welsh they wouldn't be able to tell their bus or taxi driver to take them to the airport. The airport where their winged chariot would take them to Moscow to chat about Welsh through the medium of English.

    So without being able to speak welsh they wouldn't be able to leave their street.

    I actually think Welsh is pretty useful, in this scenario ;)

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  • 170. At 6:42pm on 18 Feb 2009, puredrivelagain wrote:

    The only reason English is taking such a stranglehold on the world is that people who speak only english often lack the linguistical or social skills to learn new languages or respect other cultures.

    Was the spread of english through the colonial times not achieved through invasion, domination and/or subjugation?

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  • 171. At 10:37pm on 18 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    Re:

    ....the last few messages regarding the Cymraeg.....


    At the beginning of international communications by modern methods, it was British English, and American English, that led the field.

    At the end of the second world war, it was agreed by ALL nations that English would be the international language of communications, in the main because there had to be a common touchstone in comm's in air traffic movements and control, radio, and later means.

    This led to a burgeoning of the uptake iof the language, it is fallacious to say that English was forced onto the world because Britain had an empire.

    Most countries where Britain held sway, had a Raj, or similar second level of social and commercial establishment that quite naturally took up English, The common crowd were hardly impacted by the language.
    Brits were unlikely to take up a native language, although a few did, for the purpose of comprehending what the 'natives' were chuntering about when speaking to one another.
    Much as is the case with the Cymraeg in fact.
    Some of us have to be able to understand it, so we can keep tabs on what the idiots are up to.


    Assisted in the world wide spread of English was the fact that if you wanted to get anywhere after that war, you needed to cosy up to the Yanks, and they speak a form of English.

    The latest move into English has been the rise of Internet traffic.

    Anyone who wishes to cross border communicate, is, more or less, compelled to turn to English.

    That is the facts of the matter, so get a life, live with it, 'cos it ain't going away.

    Which is more than can be said for Cymraeg.


    R.I.P

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  • 172. At 09:33am on 19 Feb 2009, FiDafydd wrote:


    Re 171

    I do hope that somebody who usually takes a different line than I do on this blog, will actually come out and say that this latest entry by mapexx is probably the most bigoted and hateful yet. Incredibly so. You all have a right to your views, of course, but I cannot imagine that any one of you shares mapexx's extremist ideas, and it would be a breath of fresh air to actually hear you come out and say so.

    Amongst the rest of the filth there was this:

    "Brits were unlikely to take up a native language, although a few did, for the purpose of comprehending what the 'natives' were chuntering about when speaking to one another.
    Much as is the case with the Cymraeg in fact.
    Some of us have to be able to understand it, so we can keep tabs on what the idiots are up to."

    Could you please confirm that the rest of you have no truck with such ideas?

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  • 173. At 10:47am on 19 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 174. At 2:55pm on 19 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 172....

    The mods removed my last one, I wonder why, maybe because I indicated what a shower of hypocrites the rabid language nuts and nationalists are.


    You give it out but cannot take it, is the truth.

    To call my paragraph 'fithy' demonstrates you own state of mind. Especially when all you can manage is to pick out just one very valid sentence from the rest of it.
    The rest was on target, I can see.

    As said, the truth is, those who demand to speak a different language than the majority, have to be kept under surveillance in case they use the language for serepticious activities. And don't say what activities, you know full well such activities happened not so long ago, and could easily start up again if the nats don't get their way over further devolution.

    Just like the British have Arabic speakers, so they can keep an ear to the ground for Islamic terrorist activities.

    We English speakers do not have that concern, as they can listen in to anything we say and do, as the language is common stock to both public and authority.


    So, as you see my comments as 'filthy', does that not tell you maybe you would be hiding something within your 'mother tongue' seeing that you are so upset by my comments?

    Speed cameras must really get your goat. After all they are there to catch the unwary, also.

    So as I have said before, keep on with your rabid nationalist nonsense, and watch your language go down the pan with the Assembly/WAG. R.I.P. the lot of it.

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  • 175. At 3:31pm on 19 Feb 2009, West-Wales wrote:

    Sorry FiDafydd you may not like it - but what Mapexx sets out in 171 are the facts.

    OK he may have worded in a way that is not PC - but few of those who worked in the outposts of the Empire bothered to learn the local language.

    Just unfortunately as most English speaking Welsh people bother to learn Welsh.

    Despite what it says in the Welsh Language act 1993 - The description of the Celtic tongue as Welsh, bothers me (and apparently an increasing number of others)- it is not the Language of Wales.
    It is a language, a minority of activists, are trying to force onto the majority to make it the language of Wales.

    There is a major problem that those supporting the language activists fail to recognise - The increasingly draconian legislative language requirements.
    The deliberate destruction of non Welsh speaking cultures and traditions, is dividing Wales and creating a strong negative response to the Celtic Language.

    As I have said before the Celtic language should be supported and more widely used but the current approach is setting people against it, you need people to want to learn it, to see it as a valuable asset in their social armoury.

    Not as at present just another annoying legal requirement, practically useless and forced on them by a Government that doesn't understand they have more important things to get on with.

    By the way English is the Universal Language of Communication.

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  • 176. At 3:39pm on 19 Feb 2009, West-Wales wrote:

    Fidafydd re 172

    Missed this bit as I'm in a rush, trying to catch a plane!!

    "Much as is the case with the Cymraeg in fact.
    Some of us have to be able to understand it, so we can keep tabs on what the idiots are up to."

    I will agree that is over the top and not acceptable!!

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  • 177. At 4:38pm on 19 Feb 2009, Dewi_H wrote:

    Mappex - you are now comparing Welsh speakers with Islamic terrorists. It's very difficult to engage or debate civilly with such nonsense.
    Have you ever considered psychiatric help? Or a break from Betsan at least? What does serepticious mean by the way?

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  • 178. At 5:03pm on 19 Feb 2009, West-Wales wrote:

    Fidafydd - now - before you respond to Mapexx post at 174 - think about what is driving him to post in the way he does.

    Recognise that there are many thousands of English speaking Welsh, who feel much the same - who think, rightly or not, they are being made second class citizens.
    Their own local culture and way of life is being deliberately destroyed, and the state, through the education system, is trying to brainwash their children into an alien culture.
    They are increasingly disillusioned

    It doesn't matter if its true or not - its how its perceived.

    The view of legislation already in place and proposed new legislation is strongly negative for many.

    The way the NAW appears to be supporting the vocal minority, apparently putting more effort into driving forward agendas that have more to do with cultural engineering, than sorting out Welsh problems, doesn't help.

    You strongly support the Language and more powers for the Assembly.

    OK but the way these matters are being dealt with at present is not only dividing us - but in the long term will harm what you want to achieve.
    Just look at the animosity in the posts here!!

    Devolution is seen by an increasing majority as the agenda not of the people, but of Plaid and the Language activists - resistance is going to grow.
    The AWC is already discredited and regarded as a Plaid yes campaign.

    It's time for less aggro and a more responsible approach.

    Right got to go hope to be home tonight :)

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  • 179. At 5:14pm on 19 Feb 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 175

    Thanks for your reply.

    I probably should have asked my question in a different way. mapexx is, I'm sure, quite right in the way he describes the British Empire. What annoyed me was his hateful attitude towards the language (nothing new, of course, but threateningly virulent), his general paranoia and what was, basically, a racist blog.

    On the language, I do think the language will earn greater support, respect and extra numbers willing to learn it if it is genuinely seen as the equal of English in Wales. That's not much to ask.

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  • 180. At 5:35pm on 19 Feb 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 175 again

    You said:

    "By the way English is the Universal Language of Communication."

    I've never denied that fact, but it's just a fact. Why should that impact against attempts to safeguard and see Welsh spoken more widely across Wales - in ways far more democratic and peaceful than was the case with English and Spanish around the world?


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  • 181. At 7:59pm on 19 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 179....


    No hatred for the language, in your words 'it's a fact', one does not hate facts per se, but one does have a great antipathy towards those who would force their language where it is not wanted.


    How many times must you be told this?

    Also, how many times must you be told, as you and I are genetically identical, which goes for every one else indigenous to the British Isles, there can be nothing 'racist' in whatever I write in regards that genetic sameness.
    Language does not imply race, otherwise there would be a hell of a lot of black 'white' men knocking about, considering the vast number who speak fluent English.

    Same goes for Cymraeg, there are quite a few blacks who speak Cymraeg, from birth even.
    If I was to have a go at those folk for their colour, that would be racist, but if I were to be taking them on for their language, that would NOT be racist..do you get it now?


    Serrepticious means stealthy, in a secretive fashion, ....but in the case of the present Assembly/WAG.... slimily.

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  • 182. At 11:45pm on 19 Feb 2009, Dewi_H wrote:

    "Serrepticious" - sorry Mappexx this is a new word for me. Has it a Greek / Latin root or is it old English? I've never read it before in any language.

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  • 183. At 09:26am on 20 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 182......

    It seems the 'correct' spelling is Surrepticious, but if you enter 'serrepticious' into the google search box, it brings up quite a few articles where that spelling is as I have used it, and as I have always used it.

    It would seem that is an acceptable and correct use and spelling therefore.


    To refer back to your query....

    From the Oxford dictionary:

    Surrepticious, a. first recorded use, 1443 :fr. Latin surreptitious:
    1: gained by surreption, suppression of the truth or fraudulent misrepresentation.
    2:Secret and unauthorised; clandestine. 1645
    3:transf; acting by stealth or secretly;stealthy;crafty;sly 1645.

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  • 184. At 12:01pm on 23 Feb 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 181

    If that's an attempt to answer 179, then it's not very good, is it?

    Also, you yet again accuse me of saying something I have never said. I am not accusing you of racism against the Welsh here, I have never made that accusation. Your message 171 is dripping with other racist stereotyping - to say the least. That is what I am referring to.

    Of course you do, as you always do, insult all Welsh speakers, almost as if they were a separate ethnic group. Different prejudice, same hatred.

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  • 185. At 12:54pm on 23 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 186. At 1:12pm on 23 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:


    Message 184....



    Further to your message 179., 2nd paragraph...which read..

    .....'nothing new, of course, but threateningly virulent), his general paranoia and what was, basically, a RACIST blog.....

    I did not put the word 'racist' on that line, YOU DID.


    It seems you need to get a memory jolt.

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  • 187. At 3:40pm on 23 Feb 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 186

    You really do find it difficult to understand what is explained to you don't you?

    You cut and paste a sentence from my 179 message that I explained to you in 184 doesn't talk of racism against the Welsh at all - and yet you still persist with the same point!

    As I said, your attack on Welsh speakers is a form of hatred based on paranoia, some of the other things you've had to say about Arabs and 'chuntering natives' are in my opinion racist - because you attack the whole ethnic group for belonging to that group, and therefore blame them all for what you perceive to be their faults. Perhaps you think that all of them are idiots as well.

    You seem to have quite a few comments removed recently - we can only wonder ...?

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  • 188. At 6:37pm on 23 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 187....



    I am getting sick of your lying messages...


    I demand you indicate in what messages I have shown the slightest hatred, as you call it, for the Cymraeg language.

    Liars noses grow long,... remember Pincchio?.

    How long is your snout today Piniocchio?

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  • 189. At 10:48am on 24 Feb 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 188

    I really see no point trawling through your bigotry to flash up instances of hatred towards the language, a language spoken by idiots and terrorists apparently. Is your memory failing you as well?

    Unfortunately, you just cannot grasp points that people make - you just react with your usual prejudices without actually formulating a reasonable argument. You consistently fail to understand, either because you cannot or you choose not to. As I, and others, have said, this makes it impossible to have a proper debate with you, which is a shame.

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  • 190. At 12:20pm on 24 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 189.....

    Pinoccio...


    You cannot be bothered because you know too darn well there are none that turn out what you lyingly stated they contain.

    So, now you cannot be bothered to put up, (and shut up it seems), you want to extend your lying tactics by making out I do not understand anything.

    Well, I am sure the rest who blog on here, and, or read, this lot, will see through your lies.

    They can read what has been written by myself, and understand it, whereas you seemingly, have great difficulty.


    Oh! Well, this has to be one of the problems when writing in a 'foreign' language,. ....

    .....the 'natives' cannot readily understand what is being said.

    So, in order to make sure I appear wrong in this, do as asked, and refer to message numbers, where, not only am I supposed to have insulted the language, but now, have done the same for other aspects of this misunderstood, by you, discussion.

    Pleas, no more wriggling, you are on the hook, you and I know it, and now, so does everyone else.

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  • 191. At 2:31pm on 24 Feb 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 190

    Strange how angry the school bully gets when people actually stand up to him and his incessant shouting and insults!

    I suppose the words 'idiots' and 'terrorists' just passed you by - again. And they were your words too. Apparently, it's what people who speak that useless, old, dying language are meant to be. Now, who was it who said that ...?

    You make me laugh though. The person who probably hasn't properly answered any question on this blog ever demanding chapter and verse.

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  • 192. At 5:17pm on 24 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message191.....


    Please note this for future reference,


    Pinocchio has spoken...

    Not that anything said is true, and to prove it he refuses to retract or show how his lies are getting even stranger.


    I have never refused to answer, maybe failed to for some reason, not worth bothering with or missed the question, even seen it answererd by someone else.

    .
    As for idiots and terrorists, I referred to those IN CONTEXT, which you are now taking compeletely out of context, just another slip up?
    No, deliberate of course, typical as stated, by those who have no argument to justify.

    But unlike Pinocchio I am quite prepared to go back as far as necessary to prove my point
    As all can see, he refuses. I wonder why?

    Something to do with that ever lengthening snout getting in the way of mousing down the blog?

    Or is the truth that he cannot find the messages he claims are not to his liking.

    Or even... this is the method taught by his paymasters in Plaid and the Raving National Cymro Party, to try to deflect anti devolution (independence) rhetoric away from their slimy agenda.



    Never mind my little wooden boy, someday soon you may regret taking this path,

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  • 193. At 00:57am on 25 Feb 2009, puredrivelagain wrote:

    mapexx, if u want ur proof go look at replies 176 and 177 who back fidafydd up.

    you do seem to have lost the plot recently - insults galore and removed posts. Do us stupid chuntering natives have you on the run?

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  • 194. At 08:25am on 25 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 193....



    Both those , 176 and 177, were dealt with subsequently.


    The posts were removed for what reason?

    Are you a moderator?


    No you are not, so less of the 'wink, wink' 'nudge, nudge' remarks, you do not know why they were removed, I do, but that is another story.


    Unless you can explain to one and all why those messages were removed, all you are doing is presenting supposition, which, as in the case of your fellow travellers in nationalism, is one of the tactics employed in attempting to undermine my credence.


    The exact same nonsense that you lot come out with to most who oppose your nazionalistic bias and language preferences.
    The 'Z' was deliberate, because your constant Geobbels like responses are part of the propaganda regime set in motion by the nationalists, with the cooperation of the present langauge crazed Assembly/WAG, to attempt to undermine anyone who opposes their agenda for MY HOMELAND.

    But as with your fellow travelling nationalists, all you do is make your case appear supercilious in the extreme.


    And no, you chuntering 'natives', stupid or otherwise, do not have me, or anyone on the run, because some of us can actually understand what you chunter about, which, of course, deprives you of the covertness that the language would otherwise allow you.

    Which was the point being made in my previous message.

    So, who IS really on the run?

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  • 195. At 12:23pm on 25 Feb 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 194

    So many words, so little coherence. As I said before, I'm delighted that you are going to be a leading member of the No Campaign - I only hope you get to write their leaflets! By the second or third you will have insulted two thirds of the Welsh nation.

    No you haven't dealt with 176 and 177 or any other posting to be honest. Perhaps you could have another, more inspired, attempt at answering 187.

    Shouting at us won't make us go away.

    And maybe you really are losing your memory, because you've actually said on here that some of your messages have been taken off because they are too aggressive!!! Amazing.

    And now you have a strange new fixation with a fictional wooden doll! Stranger and stranger ...

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  • 196. At 1:33pm on 25 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 195....


    "to be honest"?


    You could not be if you tried littlle Pinnochio.


    I dealt with thos e two, but you are to damned thick to comprehend rational English.

    Try reading a lot slower, then the words will not be so jumbled up you cannot see the words for the blurs.

    Maybe one day you will cease your navel gazing and look to the light.

    Enlightenment may yet come to you,you with the ever elongating nose.

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  • 197. At 1:48pm on 25 Feb 2009, daverodway wrote:

    "145. At 06:02am on 16 Feb 2009, TheStonemason wrote:
    To claim Welsh as a living language is perplexing, it is alive only as a comatose patient on life support, or as a puppet with various language organisations miming its voice.

    Without the financial support of the disinterested it would wither into history, to rest with the other dead languages. It has a single use in this world, as a fulcrum for a political minority to achieve power, to suggest otherwise is dishonest."

    Stoney - you are priceless. You've obviously never visited North Wales, or West Wales. You know nothing state funding, welsh medium education, or anything else to do with Welsh-language culture.
    I pop round to this blog every now and then, and they're all there: Legendary Avocet, Stoney, Mapexx, West Walian, wotsist with the fake philology, Noah Semblance and the barely literate Shrek Girl... all of them only ever posting on Welsh language issues, and none of them appearing to know the difference between the government of wales act phase 4 and full welsh independence.
    I suggest intelligent people stop encouraging them - Fi, Bonstoniwr, Bryn et al.
    Paranoid rants, faked historical tidbits, crank-shaft world views and a fat dose of welsh-hating prejudice.
    The constant attakcs on the language, the political views (attributed, wholesale, by the likes of Stonemason) to entire communities because of the language they speak, are really quite obvious cases of racism. Like the BNP attacking all muslims for being extremists etc.
    As a non-welsh speaker I am amazed at the extremist violent rhetoric of the anti-Welsh.
    Risible bunch, that sense of total cultural superiority and snobbery.
    Let them be. This is obviously the only place anyone listens to them, because they post 40 times a session.

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  • 198. At 2:17pm on 25 Feb 2009, daverodway wrote:

    Yes I too hope Mapexx writes the No campaign's leaflets.
    For 3 reasons: 1) he'll switch people off with his tendency to insult swathes of the population because they speak the wrong language;
    2) because he displays serious confusion abotu what the purpose of the possible referendum will be, and the question it actually is charged with asking, and 3) because he'll show that, judging from the state of his English, the outlook for the world language to which we must all bow down isn't looking too rosy either...
    Someone's taken him off his tranqulisers. Come on Mapexx. It's four, three times a day!

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  • 199. At 4:15pm on 25 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 197.....


    "I pop round to this blog every now and then, and they're all there: Legendary Avocet, Stoney, Mapexx, West Walian, wotsits with the fake philology, Noah Semblance and the barely literate Shrek Girl... all of them only ever posting on Welsh language issues,.......
    ..... and none of them appearing to know the difference between the government of wales act phase 4 and full welsh independence.".......


    We DO know the difference, but what we also know is there is no stopping a falling object, it gathers pace until it stops at the only place possible, the ground.

    Exponentially speaking, it gets faster and grows ever larger.

    This is the objective of the nationalists, for their demands to cease at ground zero.

    Which in case you are so blind you cannot see, is FULL INDEPENDENCE from the UK.


    NO half measures, no revival of the language per se, full language control of Wales, to be named Cymru, as soon as they get to their objective target, a Wales separated from England.

    Why else do you think these people are so rabid in their demands? For the fun of it?


    We are a small pond, in relative terms, and they want to be sharks, where only goldfish should be swimming. You know only too well what would be left of the majority, once the sharks, who all demand control of this region, get their way in total.


    We who oppose them, and their enforced language agenda, also know it, that is why we oppose, AND we also do not do it for the fun of it.


    So if you wish to see Wales taken down into a situation similar to many other third world nations, which is what will happen once the ties are broken, then by all means support the ridiculous nonsense they perpetually spout.

    But please do not come on here with your supperating support for those who are put up by their nationalist masters to decry any and all opposition to their schemes and plans.


    further....

    "I suggest intelligent people stop encouraging them - Fi, Bonstoniwr, Bryn et al."


    Intelligent they may be, but wrong footed and certainly being used as 'mules', to utilise a drug running term, to carry the message of rift creation between Wales, and it's paymaster, England.

    I have seen enough poverty in my lifetime to not want to see it get any worse in MY HOMELAND, where it is bad enough, thanks to the vast amounts of money being sucked out of the economy, and squandered by that lot down in the Bay of Pigs.


    Nearly 400 millions spent on administration alone, just think what that could do to alleviate the mess that many of our communities are in today.

    We were 9 billions plus in debit to England
    in 2007/8.

    So let us see YOU rationally explain to those you named, why we should NOT castigate the spendthrifts for wasting such vast sums on their luxurious lifestyles. Whilst at the same time they are enforcing our kids to accept a language they have no need of, by yet further squandered funding.


    Also, seeing you are so clever at defining our antipathetic stance in all of this, please explain, and don't be frightened of delving, very, very deeply, into how we, who are mainly white, but English supporting/speaking Welsh people, are RACIST, just because we do not accept the arguments of a very mouthy minority.

    There are no differences between one Welsh person and the next, nor between our eastern neighbours, or the rest of the European population for that matter, so where does 'racism' enter the matter?

    Perhaps I have missed a salient fact, and all Cymro are Black, or Yellow or Red, Funny though I did't note any great increase in exotic ethinicity amongst the populations of north west Wales, or any other of the Cymraeg speaking populated areas around Wales.


    The number of times we post to this and other blogs is relative to the amount of Bulls**t shoved out by our opposite numbers, those you state are intelligent.


    That said, who died and made you a moderator of what we can and cannot say?

    This is open season, politically speaking and it works both ways,... you don't like it? ....then you know what to do..


    Please don't slam the door as you pass through it.

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  • 200. At 4:27pm on 25 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 198....


    I write as I speak, but one thing stands out a mile... whatever I am writing is obviously hitting the target, otherwise why the insulting remarks.


    Cannot put up counter argument, makes all sorts of erroneous commentary, cannot read and comprehend, so turn the bile back onto the one who caused it to rise in the first place.

    My, how your fellow language nuts and Nats must love you for showing how bloody ignorant you are. For showing that when the chips are down, so is your guard.

    I slip into your rhetoric so smoothly, the only possible way for you to respond is in the fascile manner you do.


    It would not be so bad, but you lot make yourselves such easy targets.

    I almost feel ashamed of shooting you all down, at every turn and twist.

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  • 201. At 5:49pm on 25 Feb 2009, John wrote:

    daverodway is clearly rattled, as a Plaid Cymru Cybernat he realises that the arguments are lost.

    The argument is not about the Welsh language, it is about a minority using undemocratic means to gain its will.

    The argument is about poor governance by a coalition that exhibits separatist tendencies.

    The argument is about racist remarks by Plaid Cymru Cybernats.

    The argument is defending our constitution that is under attack by Nationalists.

    Last but not least, there is the tendency to swamp discussion by the likes of daverodway and his ilk, they have realised that Independence using smoke and mirrors at the Assembly is no longer an option, there are too many people watching the comings and goings.




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  • 202. At 6:32pm on 25 Feb 2009, puredrivelagain wrote:

    I have to agree with the lads mapexx, the quality of your blog posting is a little strange recently.

    Gone are the (reasoned) arguments and in place are lengthy paragraphs of 18th century english more akin to a Mr D'Arcy type standing by a log fire reading to his city chums.

    Pull yourself back from the abyss man and relax...

    When people waffle and avoid conciseness it always indicates a defeated debatist. FACT. ;)

    Leave the blogging for a few days and go chill out somewhere before you have a thrombo byt.

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  • 203. At 9:38pm on 25 Feb 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 199, 200

    These latest entries by mapexx are probably his most incredible ever. He never had much time for debating the points raised by others, or answering their questions, merely shouting back at them with a shower of insults - many of which did, somehow, manage to get past the moderator!

    So I'll have one more go - you still haven't dealt with 176 and 177, and how about having a go at 187? Because you still clearly don't understand the point made about racism, on the evidence of some of these latest entries.

    So enough nonsense about people not understanding English - even your English - and start addressing the issues.


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  • 204. At 9:40pm on 25 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 202.....



    I have to say it, but your identity actually says it all, whenever you send in a message...PURE DRIVEL indeed. Again and again and again,, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

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  • 205. At 10:55am on 26 Feb 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 204

    So, mapexx, you have nothing to say ... Just as I thought.

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  • 206. At 9:43pm on 26 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 207. At 11:10am on 27 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 208. At 4:21pm on 27 Feb 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 205....


    Thought needs a brain to think with.

    So how did you managed to think that thought then?

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