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Obsessing?

Betsan Powys | 13:20 UK time, Wednesday, 29 April 2009

The First Minister, as he told his fellow Assembly Members yesterday, is "totally blog and twitter free". He spends no time at all reading blogs and so we must assume that he won't have seen this.

'This' is a vocal, young, would-be Labour politician using the Bevan Foundation blog - the clue to their leaning is in the title - to tell Rhodri Morgan that people are fed up of waiting to learn when he intends to stand down. They're fed up, not because they obsess about it or want to put a date in their diaries. They're fed up because they want to get on with working out where the Welsh Labour party goes when the leader eventually does the same.

The picture that's emerged over the past few weeks is of a First Minister who does not, after all, intend to stand down on his 70th birthday on the 29th of September. He will instead tell us on his birthday that he's standing down. See what he's done there? Rhodri Morgan has always been careful not to set a date without leaving the door open to staying just that bit longer but lines like "There will be a vacancy for my job before the year is out" delivered at the Labour conference in Swansea mean it's not just ajar. It's now firmly wedged wide open.

Only when he says he's off will the race to succeed Mr Morgan begin and Labour HQ at Transport House have made it entirely clear that rules is rules. The timetable won't be changed for anyone. When Rhodri Morgan announces his intention to stand down, the process of finding a successor will take eight full weeks.

If he were to go on his birthday, those eight weeks would happen in August and September. If the eight weeks kick off on the last day of September, then do the maths. The present First Minister will remain for another full term while everyone else has their eye on finding the next First Minister. He or she won't be taking over until, or even just after, Christmas.

I asked Rhodri Morgan yesterday when he intends to stand down. He shook his head.

"I'm not going to say anything more about departures ... You know there's so much work at the moment I don't even think about it. I just get on with my work. I have nothing to add to what I've previously said on this issue".

I've heard more than one example recently of businessmen and people in charge of public spending picking up the phone to find the First Minister personally on the line, getting stuck into how any extra money squeezed from the purse can be spent to speed up economic recovery. They recognise he's getting his hands dirty, getting on with it. They admire his zeal even if they don't always agree with his conclusions.

"I'm fully engaged with running a country and I don't obsess about topics like leaving dates" added Mr Morgan. I tried again. Was he aware that even if he wasn't thinking about leaving dates, others were? "You can ask me that question 25 times, 525 times or 5025 times, I've nothing more to say". I did suggest trying to ask in Welsh. He had the grace to smile but had no more inclination to give an answer.

Well here's news that won't surprise you. There are an awful lot of Mr Morgan's colleagues thinking about it and talking about it. There's an acceptance among them that there will be "a third candidate". Take Carwyn Jones and Huw Lewis as read. Add ...

Is it true, I ask Andrew Davies, as I've been told by a credible source, that he has told the First Minister he will not be standing? He has no idea where I've heard that and smiles as he politely turns on his heels.

It's certainly true that Mr Davies, the Finance Minister, has been struck down with a dose of mentionitis recently. Few interviews go by without a reference to the Health Minister, Edwina Hart. Could he - the MPs' favourite - be intending to throw in his lot with the MPs'-not-so-favourite, Ms. Hart?

Could the mutterings from other well-informed directions that she's been wise to have kept her counsel thus far be directed at Carwyn Jones? It's noticeable that confident assertions that 'he must remain favourite to take over as First Minister' are now, from some surprising and senior quarters, followed by "... isn't he?"

It's up to Rhodri Morgan when he goes. That is clear to everyone. As one voice from Westminster recently put it "He's the big beast. It's his decision and he's earned the rignt to decide when he goes. But if he were to ask my advice ..?"

If he were to ask their advice, he would be gone by the end of September.

But then the First Minister doesn't obsess about leaving dates and is fully engaged with sorting out the immediate problems of the economy. The reason others within Welsh Labour do obsess about it is the ticking clock, those two elections looming large, which will define politics - and their party - for the next two decades.

Comments

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  • 1. At 2:13pm on 29 Apr 2009, mapexx wrote:

    Does it REALLY matter when he stands aside, steps down, drops dead?


    What is rather unacceptable is for him, a mere lackey of the main body, to claim he has a 'country ' to run.

    Since when did Wales become a 'country'?

    Once upon a time we could talk 'nationhood' by virtue of our ancient boundaries, coupled to the distances and timesscales involved in 'ruling ' this region, today they have all but disappeared in the welter of legislation brought in from Westminster, along with the rapid means of commuincations now available.
    Such talk confuses the easily confused, many who appear on these boards claiming all sorts of 'rights', that are no longer appropriate to claim.

    For such comments to emanate from our 'glorious leader' is therefore rather a naive excercise.

    Maybe he should be led to his PC and forced to read the messages placed in this blog, to get some idea of just how irrational his remarks are.

    Carry on asking him for his exit date, maybe he will slip it into the conversatuion somehow, but don't hang around too long, you may miss more important news from elsewhere.

    I must say, ANY news from elsewhere would be more important to me anyway.

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  • 2. At 2:27pm on 29 Apr 2009, Cilmyn wrote:

    Most Welsh people regard Wales as a country, ditto for English people, Scots, and the blessed Irish - and most Europeans, and further afield - all would consider Wales a country.

    FFIFA and UEFA do as well, which is good ebough for me.

    You don't because you hide behind semantics, definitions and pedantry - go out and ask peole in your community if they regard Wales as a country - go outside the Millennium Stadium on a match day and ask the question, if you dare

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  • 3. At 2:58pm on 29 Apr 2009, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    One hates to say it, and I'm not being rude because it is a matter of legitimate interest, but it is spectacularly irrelevant who is running either 'Welsh Labour' or 'London Labour'.

    They for years have been on a platform of 'promising more' like those fatuous adverts promising to 'do more' or 'learn more' or whatever.

    But now that the budget is 'maxed out', it will not make a jot of difference whether Labour is run by Rhodri Morgan, Gordon Brown or the Sugar Plum Fairy. Their Alice In Wonderland economics mean that whoever is in charge just will not be able to make these extravagant promises to spend more of OUR money anymore.

    Personalities matter, but swapping the captain, while the deckchairs are being re-arranged on the Titanic ain't going to change the size of the iceberg of the National Debt which is about to scuttle the ship.

    What is most annoying is hearing the likes of Elfyn Llwyd whingeing about 'London Labour' without a semblance of an idea at how out of touch he sounds - when the Tories get in the Barnett Formula could be scrapped so he should be careful what he wishes for.

    And hearing another Plaid eejit insisting on talking to a Westminster Select Committee in Welsh. Gee-whizz. I am a Welsh speaker myself, and consider myself pretty liberal, but good grief, do these people never take a step back and think how this will look to outsiders, and to the lobby groups like the Taxpayers' Alliance - it just makes them look totally, completely and utterly out of touch with the concerns of ordinary voters, and look more and more like the Peter Oborne vision of the 'Political Class'.

    For goodness sake, the right-wingers are being given an 'open goal' by this nonsense. I don't want to see the 'slash and burn' cuts in public spending being mooted by the Tories, but nor do I want to see the 'living beyond your means' spending and 'political correctness' when the economy is going down the tubes which is just playing into the hands of the latent mood of angry mob rule which is just under the surface in this country at the moment, and threatens to break cover during the Euro elections.

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  • 4. At 3:14pm on 29 Apr 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 2....



    It is the like of you that creates divisiveness and tribalism.


    No wonder we get all the trouble at football matches, and even between streets, let alone families.

    It never seems to cross your minds that by causing such spearation you exacerbate the problems caused.


    Or does it?


    Maybe that is what you people want.

    Put it behind you, where it belongs. We live on a shared island, in a shared community, and under the same rules for all. But YOU and others want what? to have us at one anothers throats, just because we happen to live in a bit of a poverty stricken region, that we are privieldged to call Wales, our homeland, a part of Gt Britain.

    For political purposes, a region of the United Kingdom.

    There are no semantics involved, or pedantry, just plain and simple facts. Defined by it's international recognition for what it is, a region.

    Yes, UEFA, and the other sporting organisations, may well recognise Wales as a 'nation'. For sporting historical reasons only, the political international community recognises it as, simply, a region of the UK.

    What does it matter to anyone anyway, we are a regional part of the political and internationally established State of the UK, nothing more.

    It's about time you tribalistic petty nationalists came into the modern world, and ceased aksing for the moon.
    Although it wouldn't surprise me if you wanted to nationalise that as well. Considering it floats over Wales a few nights per month.

    However to return to the orininal report, it behoves no one any good, when our so called leadership refers to this region as though it were so sort of isolated, yet established, 'country' by such comments as were made, as I said it simply confuses the simple amongst us.

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  • 5. At 3:43pm on 29 Apr 2009, Neocromwellian wrote:

    I maybe English but like a lot of people I consider myself as being British first and see nationhood as a secondary issue.

    Its understandable that Rhodri Morgan does not read blogs as none of it is good news, moreover, it demonstrates a sense of pride with being out of touch with the views of the people which is perhaps why we are in this mess in the first place. He claims he has a country to run but we should all be pleased if he went and ran something else.

    As a traditional Labour voter I still believe that socialist ideals and principles have their place when we all need to pull together in hard times such as now. The plain fact is that Labour has nobody to do it as we have been sold out, much of the hard core Labour vote has deserted the party to vote independent Labour in disgust at what is a betrayal.

    We have been told too many lies to conceal their failures and to prop up a coalition that will take us down the road to disaster, and away from traditional Labour values so our loss is the nationalist gain. No political party that can correct what has gone wrong, its a matter of how best the cuts can be made.

    With the contemptuous way in which the political class look down on us serfs, its time to think the unthinkable and seriously consider whether the expensive mess that is devolution is really worth it.

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  • 6. At 5:03pm on 29 Apr 2009, brynt41 wrote:

    #5 Neocromwellian wrote:

    "I may be English but...

    As a traditional Labour voter... its time to... ...seriously consider whether the expensive mess that is devolution is really worth it."

    Are you in any doubt that you are English? I'm in no doubt that I'm Welsh.

    I'm also in no doubt that every single Labour government, whether its been 'traditional' 'socialist' (whatever that means) or New Labour tory has left the UK in a dreadful state. There's no need to go through the sad historical details. Blair and Brown have managed to create a mess which is an order of magnitude worse than their predecessors, and we don't yet know the true extent of it.

    I'm also in no doubt that each and every time that Labour has left the UK in a mess (or the Tories, in their turn) Wales has suffered more than its more prosperous neighbour to the east. Anyone who has been abroad in the last couple of years, will notice that on their return the UK seems to be becoming more like a third world country. It ranks 24th out of 29th on child poverty in Europe, just above Romania!

    You have the cheek to tell us that we in Wales shouldn't have power over our own economy. It was the Labour Party which you vote for which created the sham devolution with which Wales is burdened. It was the selfish Labour MPs from Wales which prevented the recommendations of the Labour peer Lord Richard (commissioned by the Labour led Assembly) being implemented. He said that legislative powers were required if devolution was to work. It wasn't an option.

    If Wales has no devolution, as you imply, then we as Welsh people will have to face an interminable period of harsh Tory government, similar to that which decimated Wales in the 1980s. We would have English reichkommisars like Redwood sent down from London to the Welsh Office to run England's last surviving colony, as happened for 17 years prior to 1997.

    England already has 'devolution'. It has a Parliament dominated by MPs from England. Wales has just 6% representation there. You would deny us what you in England already have.

    Some English people, and you seem to be one of them, have that typical arrogance to their neighbours in these islands. It is an arrogance which is the result of dominance. Try contributing to Bryan Taylor's blog in the same way as you do here, and see what kind of response you get from the Scots.

    I want to see a strong, proud Wales, not a forgotten appendage, as its been for centuries. I don't want to be accused of being dependent on handouts from someone else and living in a benefit culture which generations of English governments have created in Wales. People like you offer us only more of the same. The Scots are at last waking up to the raw deal that membership of a lop-sided Union has given them.

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  • 7. At 5:51pm on 29 Apr 2009, John Henry wrote:

    brynt41 at #6 wrote ......

    "I'm also in no doubt that each and every time that Labour has left the UK in a mess (or the Tories, in their turn) Wales has suffered more than its more prosperous neighbour to the east."

    This statement must be challenged, how was a carpenter in Swansea disadvantaged by "Government" so that his or her "suffering" was greater than the carpenter of Norwich, or any other town in the United Kingdom.

    You might also like to justify the need of 60 people to govern 3 million people, the Welsh Assembly Government.



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  • 8. At 6:20pm on 29 Apr 2009, brynt41 wrote:

    #7

    As I said above, 'People like you offer us only more of the same.'

    Even if you live in Wales, Stonemason, you have the same 'English' mentality as the incarnation of Cromwell. We all know how much of a dictator his apparent hero turned out to be.

    We've challenged you to come out with your solutions as to how Wales can be brought out of the slough it is in, and has been in for decades, prior to 1997. You have been totally silent in response.

    The UK's political and constitutional system is bankrupt, in the same way as most of its banks. That is apparent to all but a few like you who hold the view that, 'British is Best'. Gordon Brown is of the same opinion as you, but only because he wants to remain its prime minister, even though he's a total failure in the eyes of the vast majority of the 60 million inhabitants of these islands, who can't wait to get rid of him.

    Wales will remain in dire poverty for the foreseeable future if opinions like yours hold sway. You have added nothing positive to the debate in any of your comments. Your best amounts to something like, 'Get rid of the Assembly, bring back a Redwood clone'!

    If you want a Redwood, then consider a move of some 100 miles to the east, because we in Wales don't want any more like him running our country. If we have to have failed politicians, let them be our own.

    To be on topic, I couldn't really care who is Wales' First Minister, or who replaces Rhodri Morgan. I think of him as some sort of buffoon, and not a person who I would want to represent Wales in any serious way. To get serious politicians, they need serious power, otherwise we get lightweights.

    If only we had an Alex Salmond, love him or hate him, then we might be getting somewhere. Dafydd Wigley may well have been an excellent first Prime Minister of Wales. Its a pity Plaid didn't have more common sense in its selection procedures. It was a lost opportunity.

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  • 9. At 6:44pm on 29 Apr 2009, John Henry wrote:

    brynt41 you avoid the question ....

    You avoid the question because your accusation is untrue.


    You accuse government of applying "suffering" to the people of Wales and imply a different regime is applied elsewhere. Once again I challenge you to demonstrate.





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  • 10. At 6:47pm on 29 Apr 2009, HerbertDavies wrote:

    I am constantly baffled how the argument that we are all inter dependent is seen as a way of attacking the idea that Wales is a country but supporting the idea that the UK is an independent state. There are no independent states anymore. Just a series of layers of devolved administration that map to nations, regions, states and federal bodies such as the EU. The UK does not make its own employment laws, health and safety legislation, regional assistance decisions or competition/trade polices. These are all made by the EU. We are not independent militarily needing NATO command structures, UN mandates and USA intelligence support for any kind of military action. The UK iin many ways is no more an independent state than Wales and such distinctions are a nonsense in the modern geopolitical world. Wales is a nation and a country which chooses to pool sovereignty on some matters with the other four home nations for mutual benefit. The UK in turn pools sovreignty with the EU and other institutions which maybe characterised as supra national. This is a world of devolution and subsidiarity. Concepts of independent states at Welsh or UK level are an anachronism.

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  • 11. At 7:07pm on 29 Apr 2009, brynt41 wrote:

    #10

    "Concepts of independent states at Welsh or UK level are an anachronism."

    I don't disagree with much of what you say, but tell the above to the Irish, the Dutch, the Norwegians, and a hundred ohers.

    Imho, Wales has been 'pooling its sovereignty' (bear in mind it was conquered, subjugated, occupied and partially assimilated) in the wrong pool. When we share things, we expect a fair share of the benefits in return. True, the Exchequer provides more funding per head in Wales, but it isn't redressing the structural inequalities.

    In the UK, the system allows most of the wealth and prosperity to be concentrated in London and the SE of England. Places like Wales are sidelined. Only self-determination can fully address that problem.

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  • 12. At 7:45pm on 29 Apr 2009, John Henry wrote:

    brynt41

    You sidestep questions, lets ask another .....

    Your .....

    "..... Only self-determination can fully address that problem."

    A simple question, how?, put some meat on this bag of separatist bones.




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  • 13. At 8:56pm on 29 Apr 2009, Lyn David Thomas wrote:

    No nation on this planet is truly independent. True sovereignty lies with the people. However Wales is a nation and is a country. It also is a statistical region of the UK but that does not detract in any way from it being a nation. Why is it a nation?, because the people of Wales believe that it is. OK I grant you not everyone does but a clear majority think of Wales as a distinct nation to England. If the First Minister talks about running the country, he is talking about his country, Wales. He is undoubtedly Welsh and as the First Minister he is the head of the Welsh Government.
    To get upset about the use of country in conjunction with Wales seems strange. I know Mapexx does not accept that Wales is a nation but he has to accept that most of us do.

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  • 14. At 9:54pm on 29 Apr 2009, John Henry wrote:



    I read today that Wales is a constituency of the United Kingdom as part of the European Union, there was no mention of, dare I say "Nation" or even "Country". A constituency that sends 5 people to this most undemocratic of political processes.

    Mappex it seems is closer to the truth, particularly if we accept the German estimate of 85 percent of laws are now created at the European Parliament, without Westminster we would be an undesirable irritation of very limited influence, whereas with a strong leader the United Kingdom has considerable.

    Thinking of our King Morgan, the only "running" our erstwhile leader is engaged in, is the "running out of time".

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  • 15. At 09:00am on 30 Apr 2009, Llyn wrote:

    Stonemason why should you be so concerned about the EU after all you keep on banging on about the evils of Nationalism - surely a federal EU is the way forward. After all to use your analogy how was a carpenter in Swansea disadvantaged by "Government" (EU Government - “85% of laws are now made in the European Parliament) so that his or her "suffering" was greater than the carpenter of Lisbon (as a Welsh speaking liberal internationalist who believes in a Welsh Parliament I have no problem with being in a federal EU with the Portuguese, have you?) or any other town in the EU.

    The truth of the matter is that you and your fellow travellers on this board actually see nothing wrong with nationalism as long as it’s the good old blinkered British nationalism espoused by the BNP and UKIP.

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  • 16. At 09:48am on 30 Apr 2009, Cilmyn wrote:

    Mess 4 - Mappex -

    To ask a question is divisive?
    To ask you for clarification is tribal?

    And you get trouble between streets at football matches - where do you live - 1975?

    Yes a shared land a shared community - five regions of the European Union on these isles - yet you still resort to obscure clarification of definitions -

    which is your definition v everybody else.

    I also gather from your brief response that you would wish that Wales no longer has a representative football or rugby side.

    So this is the future that True Wales has secretly in store for us then - GB teams and no other?

    Message 14 - Stonemason - Wales sends 5 representatives to this 'most undemocratic' of places (they are voted there of course, unlike the House of Lords or the UK haed of State)

    - yet the Republic of Ireland has 12 representatives with a million or more people there, now I can see what you mean by undemocratic because it seems that Wales is not fully, or nat as fully represented there as it could...

    the solution is obvious i would have thought......

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  • 17. At 10:18am on 30 Apr 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 15...


    As one of those who you call to task in your message, I support neither the BNP or the UKIP, both to me as anachronistic as the demand for Welsh independence.

    I do support a federal Europe, and fully expect Wales to be regionally represented, on any and all fora within that federalised nation state. But it cuts no ice with me to attempt to make Wales some sort of latter day Luxembourg, or Monaco.

    Europe is unlikely to accept a region that re invents itself, more or less overnight, with the objective of getting accepted as a full and equal member, far too obvious a ploy, and the Europeans I am familiar with could see through it at once.

    Things move fast these days, if allowed, and to me the friction caused by this demand for separation for Wales puts a braking effect on progress. Europe will not welcome a region at war with it's neighbour even if only a war of semantics and demographic disbursement of funding.
    Especially when the side demanding to be accepted does so from a nationalistic foundation, with little in the way of self funding to offer to the Eu.Union.

    Far better that Wales steps back from self determination, for one very good reason, if and when the time comes for full federalisation of Europe, creating the much vaunted U.S.E, a petty area on the western fringes of Europe, with little to offer, except of course cheap labour, will be, after all the problems involved in seeking that separation, will be taken as a troublesome spot, and treated as such.
    Maybe to the point of being ostracised for it's truculence.

    Better a smooth transmission, than one fraught with internal conflict, over what is little more than a political spat in the great scheme of things.

    Had our region vast deposits of vital minerals, or a high skill force and idustrial base in technology, and would be seeking entry at the peak of achievement, then maybe we could escape ridicule within the federal community, as it is, we need a long period of pacific dealings within our own sphere, and by that I mean the UK.
    We cannot afford to go towards Europe perceived as beggars, which is how we will indeed be seen, if we are penurious by the amount of subsidy we are in receipt of, currently some 9 billion pounds. One third only of what, we can at the moment, generate within Wales.


    IT would be highly unlikely that Europe would want a burden such as Wales under those terms coming on to it, without the wealth of the UK attached, and get it straight, for all it's perceived present woes, Britain is still one of the wealthiest nations on earth.

    Wales by comparison, as some are wont to point out, individually one of the poorest.

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  • 18. At 11:00am on 30 Apr 2009, Cilmyn wrote:

    Mess 17:
    Yes individually one of the poorest in Europe - how so after all the decades of administration from Westminster?
    Is that not a damning indictment on the failure of the UK as a project - to have one of the biggest economies in the world and also have a constituent country of it as one of the poorest.
    So in citing the poverty of this country you must be in agreement that London has let Wales down then.

    Why would the EU not welcome Wales - it would have to - the land mass of Wales is between Ireland and the rest of Europe and that alone would be enough, apart from the fact that poorer regions of Europe have been admitted or are in the process of being admtted.

    And Wales has no resources then? Even though Wales is the second highest exporter of electricity per head of population in the world? This is without the new Wylfa power station or the Pembrokshire one or the new Severn Barrage - I'll spare you my thoughts on cheap Welsh Water for English regions which holds currently, but could change.

    So you see Wales as a poor, no-future for country? Potential beggars the Welsh obviously are - which you regard as an awful thing whilst reminding us in the same sentenc that we get 9B supplement from the UK - and all the borowing that the Westminster government does in our name - what of that? You will of course gladly welcome it because it was decided in brilliant London.

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  • 19. At 11:43am on 30 Apr 2009, brynt41 wrote:

    #17 mapexx

    You don't even realise how illogical most of your statements are, which is why I rarely trouble to respond.

    Basically, your argument is this: Wales is too poor to survive if it has self-determination. It has no natural resources.

    It does not answer the contention that Wales is poor because it does NOT have self-determination and that its poverty is the result of centuries of being annexed by the English Crown, or being part of Britain and the UK.

    Wales has more natural resources than, for example, the Republic of Ireland, Austria, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Belgium or Luxembourg (and there are several others in Europe alone) whose standards of living, infrastructure, public services and gdp are much higher or better than ours. Wales has its people, which are the best resource of any country. We are as talented and capable as any people in Europe or elsewhere.

    The above nation states are fully represented within the EU and have been able to take full advantage of the benefits of membership. They are also either in or able to join the Eurozone and the Schengen Area.

    Wales, on the other hand, is tied to a failing Sterling currency, recently devalued against all the world's major currencies by 30%. That means that all our imported goods in the UK, just about everything, will rise in price by that amount, not to mention imported gas, petrol and diesel.

    The people of Wales will also have to pay their share for the replacement of the Trident nucler deterrent (20 billions?), the hideous ID Card database, two gigantic aircraft carriers, and disproportionate armed forces capable of fighting wars in distant parts of the world. We are paying for the massive and uncontrollable parliamentary expenses system where ministers, MPs and peers claim huge inflated sums of money.

    The UK has borrowed hundreds of billions of pounds to bail out its bankrupt financial system, which we in Wales will have to repay through higher taxes and cuts in public services over the next decade. The Bank of England is printing those bits of paper, with the English queen's head on them, like no tomorrow, entailing a further slide of Sterling into a third world currency. Our salaries, wages, pensions, and savings are in for a major devalution.

    If Brown's policies fail, and nothing he has done has worked so far, then it will mean a second humiliating visit to the IMF by a Labour Prime Minister and Chancellor.

    Your solution to our problems, like Stonemason's, is more of the same. You imply that we should continue to accept our lowly status, our inability to succeed, and our need to depend on the crumbs that come our way from the rich man's table. In other words, a dependency culture, which we already have. A huge proportion of our people are on state benefits. Our young people have to leave to find work, or join the British Army, as cannon fodder in Afghanistan, since the Assembly has insufficient powers to regenerate Wales's stagnant economy. Those powers lie at Westminster.

    Wales was in poverty in 1997, so its condition is unrelated to the subsequent weak devolution of powers. Westminster has always failed Wales, but has made parts of England and some of its cities hugely wealthy. Take a trip to Surrey, sometime.

    Let me choose some of the adjectives you use in regard to Wales and its people:

    petty area
    burden
    little to offer
    penurious
    beggars

    Need I say more?

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  • 20. At 12:15pm on 30 Apr 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 19

    Bryn

    Perhaps I respond too much to mapexx - and therefore waste my time. But never in a million years will he recognize the sheer common sense in what you say. And of course he will insist that your portrayal of his attitude is a travesty! Despite the evidence.

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  • 21. At 12:30pm on 30 Apr 2009, penddu wrote:

    Mapexx, going right back to your statement in 1,

    "Since when did Wales become a 'country'?"

    I would turn your question around - when did we STOP being a country??

    The Laws in Wales Act 1535 (effectively our Act of Union) specifically refers to the Dominion and Country of Wales. To this day, the UK Government describes Wales as one of the constituent countries of the UK, and the Number 10 website refers to Wales as a country within a country.

    Nobody is saying that we are an independent country, or a sovereign state recongnised by the UN. Rhodri used the term my country in a perfectly acceptable sense and recognised by all except you and a few other fanatical unionists



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  • 22. At 1:13pm on 30 Apr 2009, mapexx wrote:

    To the last three messages.....


    You people are so blind, not only can you not see the inconsistencies in your argument, you expect others to also see them.

    Luxembourg, Belgium. Holland, the original Benelux, ie the commencement of the EU, are not only contiguous, but also very rich in themselves, entirely due to their proximity to the rest of Europe.
    Where is Wales?

    Ireland, is now in a state of desperation, due to it's non-proximity to it's markets in the rest of the EU.
    All the others you mention are like the Benelux, benefitting from contiguity with their neighbours.So are much better placed to survive any downturn, under any economic terms.

    Every article produced in Ireland has that divide to cross, as will be the case for Wales.
    An Apple, or sheep, or a potato, costs much more, when shipped from this extreme edge of the continent, than similar items shipped from a next door neighbour, which most of thsoe you mention are to the ehart of Europe.

    Others, Norway, Denmark etc., all have vast reserves of mineral wealth as well as well developed industrial muscle.

    What has Wales got to match?

    Unless Wales accepts it's lowly status, until future developments improve it's said status, it will remain in it's present situation.

    Dividing it from the UK will NOT improve that one whit. I would say it will plummet further, if allowed to float off, especially under the terms you people seem to favour.

    So you think by taking Wales away from the UK our lot will be improved,... please explain just how that is to be achieved?

    We have much in the way of labour to offer, readily educatable and trainable for certain, but do not rely on electricity or water to bail your economy out.

    Are you lot so naive as to believe that the UK would simply hand over nuclear power stations, gas plants, military bases, and water facilities to a bunch of political morons? Because if that is how your minds work, you are prime candidates for straight jackets.

    Those very expensive facilities were put into place, and operation, at vast public expense, not by just the people of Wales, and therefore there is NO imperative for them to be simply handed over like a field of corn, or a few motor cars, to feed or transport a few folk.

    Because they demand them, you might say, not in your lifetime boys, nor in the lifetimes of your grandchildren..

    Yes, electricity and water flow across the Dyke, but since when did the generation of power or collection and distribution of water 'belong' to Wales exclusively?

    Take those out of your calculations,as they are NOT yours to play with, and what have you got left?

    The reasons for Wales 'poverty' are long lived, and do not come under the title of 'deliberate', it's to do with the fact that Wales is a disparate region, with little cohesion between it various areas.

    Can you really be so 'green' in outlook that you believe the taxpayer should fund an infrastructure makeover, just to give ready access to empty hinterlands areas, where nothing but sheep and a few cattle are living, a few hill farmers with nothing to offer, except a demand for to be subsidised. And more to the point are so being, by the EU, via Westminster and Cardiff.
    There is a term, common to most in the western way of life, that covers your sort of dream scenario,...

    ...cloud cuckoo land...

    What the UK in general does, is a matter of concern to all, but that is why we have general elections, if you don't like what is on offer, go to another shop,not take your house down and re- erect it somewhere else. Simple and usually effective, but in the present climate, which was NOT brought about by Brown or Darling, so it's no use attempting to undermine the present incumbents in Westminster with your child like simplicity in political acumen, we all pull together or we fail.

    Any attempt to remove Wales from the UK, at present, would be a total disaster for Wales, and our people, but you nationalists don't give a fig for the people, all you want is to see Draig Goch flying over public buildings, while the people are given the Hitler treatment of how we are superior to those across the Dyke,... 'cos we're Welsh, don't you know.

    Anyone in mind for Fuhrer?

    It's about time you grew up and became aware of political reality.

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  • 23. At 1:33pm on 30 Apr 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 19...


    For someone who submits such lengthy contributions to this board, you have a good knack of picking and chooosing, just like certain others, the odd word or line, invaribaly and totally out of context, in order to try making, or scoring, brownie points.

    Try disembling the whole, and stop hitting on the odd word or three.

    Maybe then you will be taken seriously for your efforts.

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  • 24. At 1:35pm on 30 Apr 2009, penddu wrote:

    This is straight from the Prime Ministers office:

    "The United Kingdom consists of 4 countries: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland."

    http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page823

    Clear enough??




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  • 25. At 2:05pm on 30 Apr 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 21....

    Personally I couldn't care less what it said in 1535.


    That is irrelevant in 2009, nor do I fret over what is contained in government literature, what concerns me is the notion that the use of certain words tend to give credence, and licence, to some to call for this region of Britain to be hived off to the machinations of political aficionado's, without the full and accepted mandate from the total electorate.

    Now for the future, if Wales wishes to become a legitimately recognised nation, or country, and I mean in the political sense, as I have always explained ad nauseum, then the total population should be consulted.

    Unless and until, I recognise it as simply a region of the UK, in common with all other regions.

    MY other concerns are two fold, one because there is the language question that needs resolving via the total population, and without it being there, we would NOT be having this discussion, and two, the matter of the 'old' border, which other regions do not have to rely on for their integrity.

    At base, the language should be totally removed from the political arena, unless and until the total population has a chance to opt for it's inclusion into their daily lives, or otherwise, and I am not convinced it has been ever put before that total, so is effectively being used as a means to an end, and not what it should be used for, and
    once placed into limbo for the duration, all other aspects of Welsh devolvement, and further development, be discussed in the full glare of publicity, with all sides and opinions being given equal funding.

    Not as at present, where a foregone conclusion is anticipated, and promoted by public funding being awarded to a pro 'yes' campaign, whilst any antipathetic feelings, and viewpoints are being swept aside as invalid, and made more so, by lack of adequate funding to counter such as is already up and running to support the proposals from the Assembly WAG.


    Give the people the right to decide, openly, with full and equally balanced promotion, then we will see how far down the road to separation and independence we are likely to proceed.

    As I have said before, if that is what is decided by the majority, with the caveat it must be done on a compulsory vote for all with the franchise, and I will accept the result without further question or comment.

    Until and unless, I stand where I stand, which is against ANY attempt to name this REGION, a State, a Nation, or a Country, under the normal modern 2009 political meanings of those terms.

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  • 26. At 2:11pm on 30 Apr 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 24....



    As clear as mud.

    More to the point, irrelevant.

    Only of value to nationalists seeking to keep up their futile pressures.

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  • 27. At 2:13pm on 30 Apr 2009, West-Wales wrote:

    penddu at 24

    This is straight from the Prime Ministers office

    That source is completely discredited - you know that ;-)

    or perhaps you don't.

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  • 28. At 2:24pm on 30 Apr 2009, Fitzmark2 wrote:

    Well I'm English but I do have the capacity to see those common facets of British culture all around us. They loudly proclaim that the only plausible definition of nationality is British. I'm quite happy to be an English speaking Brit.

    Unfortunately Welsh nationalists live in such a blinkered environment, in some cases a totally paranoid environment, that they are fated to see all manner of threat from a British culture which for the majority is vibrant, artistic, tolerant, caring and unifying - to name but a few of its virtues and achievements.

    But the more I read the paranoid arguments of Welsh nationalists and the irrational rants of separatists on this blog the more I'm convinced that they are political and social aberrations.

    It’s all very sad really.

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  • 29. At 2:31pm on 30 Apr 2009, brynt41 wrote:

    #24 Penddu

    "straight from the Prime Ministers office"

    Daft, incompetent, and unpopular, as he might be, Gordon Brown wouldn't dare undermine our (Welsh, English, Scots and Irish) patriotic sentiments.

    Sad to say, though, mapexx wouldn't even accept the word of the Almighty on the issue, despite Welsh being 'the language of Heaven'.

    Of course, Wales isn't a country simply because No 10 says it is. I give little credence to anything that comes out of that place. Its simply uncontentious and something only an irrational mind would ever consider disputing.

    Wales has been a country and a nation from time immemorial. It was one before England became united, and still is.

    One day, and not before too long, I hope and expect it will also become a sovereign nation-state.

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  • 30. At 2:35pm on 30 Apr 2009, penddu wrote:

    Mapexx, you may believe whatever you want - The overwhelming majority of the people of Wales, irrespective of language, consider Wales to be a nation and country. (Note that I did not say an independent country - and neither did I say wished to be independent)

    You may not like this reality, but choosing to stick your head in the sand will not change this. And we dont need a referendum or election to establish our status - it is already clear.

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  • 31. At 2:54pm on 30 Apr 2009, Dewi_H wrote:

    Latest Mappex gems:

    "Does it REALLY matter when he stands aside, steps down, drops dead?"
    Charming...

    "For someone who submits such lengthy contributions to this board"
    Astonishing...

    "while the people are given the Hitler treatment of how we are superior to those across the Dyke,... 'cos we're Welsh, don't you know.
    Anyone in mind for Fuhrer? It's about time you grew up"
    It's about time who grew up ???? Infantile and repetative and so boring Mapi.



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  • 32. At 3:19pm on 30 Apr 2009, Fitzmark2 wrote:

    Brynt1 deserves an Oscar for the finest Spin-doctor and purveyor of nonsense the world has ever known.

    The name Wales was given to the region by the Anglo-Saxons which some translate as "stranger" or "foreigner". Before the coming of the Romans Britain was a collection of Iron Age tribes that fought with each other for land, booty and fame.

    While the rest of us have moved on from those divisive days Welsh nationalists and separatists seem intent on putting the clock back.

    Heaven help you all.

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  • 33. At 3:29pm on 30 Apr 2009, Fitzmark2 wrote:

    "One day, and not before too long, I hope and expect it will also become a sovereign nation-state."

    And if that fateful, opiate fueled day should ever arise don't forget to shout loudly the gladiator's salute. I gave it to you before but I'll put it in Latin for you this time as I know you like archaic languages: Ave Imperator morituri te salutant.

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  • 34. At 3:53pm on 30 Apr 2009, Crossroads wrote:

    Having just returned from our hovel deep in the S.W. reaches of France, how entertaining it is to see the nationalist activists still telling us how to live our lives.
    They will insist that Wales is a country, in spite of our absence from what is considered THE definitive list as displayed here...http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/List+of+United+Nations+Members

    This will now provoke much squealing from the fanatical "make it up as you go along" element on here. However, as I am still basking in the afterglow of our Gallic sojourn, I care not one jot. Plaid Cymru, in the absence of any meaningful plans for Wales have fallen back on the good 'ole 'praise Wales card'. Their mediocre ( and often toe-curling) playing up of anything remotely connected to Wales,is now so out-dated as to be laughable.They have become known as the party of the narrow-minded, parochial, and downright strange.
    Neither do I care about the departure of Rhodri Morgan, as he has patently sold his soul to the nationalist cause. I feel any comments I might make would possibly be taken as offensive to the old codger, and instantly censored.
    Ahhh it's good to be back, though as Plaid Cymru influence continues to make Wales less and less attractive, the subject of our selling up and settling permanently in the French hovel is cropping up more and more.

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  • 35. At 3:54pm on 30 Apr 2009, Fitzmark2 wrote:

    #2
    "...and most Europeans, and further afield - all would consider Wales a country."

    Well try putting "What or where is Wales?" to Americans and you will invariably get the response "It’s in England."

    In France outside those areas where rugby, the most boring game in the world, is played, if you were to say "I am Welsh", you will invariably be asked if you have your own language? If you reply yes it's English, you will get a Gallic shrug of the shoulders accompanied by words to the effect: "You’re all the same to me."

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  • 36. At 4:08pm on 30 Apr 2009, brynt41 wrote:

    #33 WilliamFitz

    "those who are about to die salute you," which in Latin is "morituri te salutant."

    "Actually, the use of this phrase as a "gladiator's salute" is a popular myth. It only occurs once in the whole of Roman literature (Suetonius' Life of the Divine Claudius, chapter 21), and was uttered by the condemned prisoners manning galleys about to take part in a mock naval battle (naumachia) on Lake Fucinus in AD 52.

    According to Suetonius:

    "When the combatants cried out: 'Hail, emperor, those who are about to die salute you (Ave imperator, morituri te salutant),' he [Claudius] replied, 'Or not (Aut non),' and after that all of them refused to fight, maintaining that they had been pardoned. Upon this he hesitated for some time about destroying them all with fire and sword, but at last leaping from his throne and running along the edge of the lake with his ridiculous tottering gait he induced them to fight, partly by threats and partly by promises."

    Would this be the ridiculous tottering gait of your emperor?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dS37nnFYzZ0&feature=related

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  • 37. At 4:13pm on 30 Apr 2009, West-Wales wrote:

    Bryn at 29

    despite Welsh being 'the language of Heaven'

    That is a claim too far Bryn, - even for you.

    You know Welsh Nationalists don't go to heaven.

    Celts are Pagans

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  • 38. At 4:16pm on 30 Apr 2009, brynt41 wrote:

    #35

    Trouble is, most Americans don't even know where D.C. is, let alone England. I believe it was Bush who couldn't point to Iraq on the map.

    When in France, I always say I'm Welsh. Its safer. Many of them have a barely concealed contempt for the English. Undeservedly, perhaps? Hehe.

    You might be advised to do the same, since you were born in Monmouthshire, in the country of Wales!

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  • 39. At 5:16pm on 30 Apr 2009, Fitzmark2 wrote:

    I realise it's the season for adolescent character asasinations I'm not party to them myself, but hey, what ever turns you on. Dear old Gorden can look after himself. I'm not very good at giving IT links I much prefer the knowledge that comes from education.

    Anyway I'll give it a go. The link has obviously been written by somebody who has seen the future of an independent Wales.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJn3WvYGOG8

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  • 40. At 5:32pm on 30 Apr 2009, Fitzmark2 wrote:

    Now I realise how difficult it is for someone of a fanatical bent to accept the rule of Law, but actually I was born in Monmouthshire England. And through my youth and education I never gave it much thought - I was like all my peers just a common or garden English speaking Brit. It's just since the rise of nationalism that my Englishness has become important to me.

    Personally speaking when in la belle France I have never experienced any contempt leveled at the English, and I know the country well. Are you sure it wasn't contempt for you they were expressing, having read your paranoid rants on this blog?

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  • 41. At 5:43pm on 30 Apr 2009, brynt41 wrote:

    #39

    I like to cartoon! Where is that clubhouse?

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  • 42. At 6:34pm on 30 Apr 2009, West-Wales wrote:

    #39

    Obesa cantavit.

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  • 43. At 7:15pm on 30 Apr 2009, Crossroads wrote:

    38. At 4:16pm on 30 Apr 2009, brynt41 wrote:
    When in France, I always say I'm Welsh. Its safer. Many of them have a barely concealed contempt for the English. Undeservedly, perhaps? Hehe.

    As with every other topic on the face of the earth Brynt41 claims intimate knowledge of the French attitude to the British.
    I can asure you our Bryn that if you "always say I'm Welsh" to your common or garden Frenchman he will not have a damn clue what you are talking about.
    Speaking as one who has spent several months (but never more than 183 days !!!) a year in France over tha last 10 years or so, I can assure you Bryn that the main thrust of hatred in our French neck of the woods is reserved almost exclusively for Parisians!!!

    You will no doubt be sad to discover that Welsh is heard on even fewer occasions than it is on your average day in Queen Street.

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  • 44. At 7:16pm on 30 Apr 2009, Llyn wrote:

    WilliamFitz (the Welshman from Gwent) you saying that Gwent is part of England has as much basis in fact as saying that the moon is made of cheese. To bemoan the “rise of nationalism” while at the same time advocating the annexation of Gwent by England - well that could only come from some of the extremists who inhabit this site. If annexation is not a major facet of nationalism what would you describe the annexation of Western Poland by Hitler – who after all also looked back in history for some justification of his violent nationalism.

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  • 45. At 7:25pm on 30 Apr 2009, John Henry wrote:

    harri at #15 combined two comments to create nonsense:

    The analogy of the carpenter in Swansea disadvantaged by "Government" relates to brynt41 who tried to assign suffering to the people of Wales, he implies the people of other parts are exempt his "suffering".

    His position is not defensible, he avoids the issue as do the other Nationalists, no people from any part of the United Kingdom are singled out to receive oppressive measures by government.

    About nationalism .....

    There are three nationalisms in the United Kingdom, Plaid / SNP / BNP.

    Daniel Hannan (MEP) highlighted interesting similarities between PC and BNP through their aims and objectives, it seems PC and BNP have both positioned themselves to the left of Labour, partners in grime you might say.


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  • 46. At 8:03pm on 30 Apr 2009, Jack_Wilkinson wrote:

    Monmouthshire was deemed to be English in 'The Act that created five counties, of 1535. This was made more clear in the 1542 Act, now read carefully the wording of this Act..'Wales divide into twelve shires' If Monmouthshire had been in Wales, it would have said 'Wales divide into 13 shires' Wouldn't it?
    The only reason Monmouthshire was ceded to Wales, was not because of some newly discovered legality, but because Llafur convinced Westminster it was the overwhelming will of the people. Unfortunately for the poor sods who felt English, they weren't given a choice, the sly machinations only became apparent after the ACT.
    Like Will, I was quite content being an English speaking Brit, content, not crazed with pride on an accident of birth.

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  • 47. At 8:25pm on 30 Apr 2009, mapexx wrote:

    Message 43...

    Noah old pal, back from the land of the best I see.

    Let me put it to you, have you EVER told a Frenchman you come from Wales,....without having to translate it to Pays De Galles?


    That is my personal experience, and not just in the holiday hot spots.

    I steer clear of those, as I have told your before.

    Small town France, villages, suburban areas of major cities, that's my locale when in France.

    I gave up telling folk I come from Wales five years ago, after having gone through the routine of translating for them the only title they understood, for the tenth, or more times.
    Even in STRONG Rugby playing areas.

    I simply love it when the nationalists come back at me calling ME a BNP supporter, as it just does not impact on their intelligence, that they sport, almost word for word, the very BNP philosphy they attempt to hang around my non political neck.

    Does one good to be on the outside looking in.

    Glad to see you're back.

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  • 48. At 8:32pm on 30 Apr 2009, Fitzmark2 wrote:

    #44 Harri (the alien from the moon)

    For goodness sake man if you want to call yourself Welsh then call yourself Welsh, but please don't call me Welsh. I've shown legal documents on this blog showing that Monmnouthshire before 1972 was a legally constituted county of England, not that it will ever change the minds of narrow minded nationalists.

    I've said many times now that it's all water under the bridge and I don't give a fig what label you place on the county. The political coup that transferred the county in 1972 has been totally successful but you will never take the English out of me.

    You Welsh nationalists are totally undemocratic and devoid of any respect for the Law, unless it suits your crazy aspirations to separate Wales from England.

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  • 49. At 8:43pm on 30 Apr 2009, Fitzmark2 wrote:

    #36
    "(Suetonius' Life of the Divine Claudius, chapter 21)"

    Brynt1 - when I studied that period of history I was told to be very suspect of Suetonius as he was a notorious "Palace gossip". For myself I think Tacitus the son-in-law of Agricola was a far more reliable witness of the 1st century AC.

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  • 50. At 9:00pm on 30 Apr 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 44...

    It so happens, although my family has roots in 'Monmouthshire' stretching back a half a dozen traced generations,I really couldn't give a toss where it is placed on the map.
    It can be stuck onto Mongolia as far as I am concerned, and I suspect that most who argue the case for it being English, feel much the same.
    What I, and as stated, those I suspect of thinking the same as I, are on about, is the fact the area had been 'connected' in language and culture, to England, in fact, as was most of south Wales and north east Wales, for some considerable time, a couple of centuries I would say.

    Of a sudden, with no prior reference to our local populations, we are thrust into an amalgam of a devolved state that we had no inkling we were so to be.

    The referendum was not emplaced to ask for our consent to be 'moved' politically, what was the purpose of the referendum, was to ask..

    ... did we want a more efficient governance of our region...


    ...via a new Assembly to take over the old Welsh office functions, at least that is how I, and many of my friends and neighbours, understood what they had been invited to vote for.

    Now, after ten years of mess and interfering by that assembly we are once again being asked,.... no that is incorrect,... we are being led by the nose towards an independence that no one in Monmouthshire ever contemplated would ensue from that 1997 referendum.

    As for the proposed efficiency of that Assembly WAG, where is it? I have yet to understand how a gas chamber of a talking shop, which requires nearly 400 millions to fund, without a penny being spent outside, except for preferred expenses, can be called efficient. All of it's functions, and I reiterate ALL, can be taken in hand by well established local authorities, which effectively means the Assembly WAG was obsolete even before it came into existence.

    So far we have not received what was envisaged, but those that now rule the roost in Cardiff Bay have ennobled themselves to a higher rank, and feel it their option to take us to regions we never expected, asked for, or contemplated.

    The time has become very ripe, thanks to the horrific fiscal mess we are all about to suffer, to re think this strategy the Assembly has laid out.
    Indeed the very existence of that establishment in the Bay, as is.

    In fact, only this evening, words are being spoken about the value of free prescriptions, in the face of the fiscal meltdown, with the potential for charges to be reinstalled. That is at least a start on the road to re appraisal of it all. Hopefully the rest will follow tout suite!
    Finally, it will not be just a 500 millions cut back this next fiscal year for Wales, but also an ongoing fiscal cutback of, in excess of, 500 millions year on year, until the financial sky turns blue again.

    Somehow, I cannot see the WAG/Assembly weathering the storms that are about to break over the Senned.

    Never mind, the buildings can, no doubt, be found use for, once vacated.


    I suggest youth organisations get their applications in now, so they are first in line for new centres to play about in.

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  • 51. At 9:10pm on 30 Apr 2009, Jack_Wilkinson wrote:

    For Will, and other non-Llafur, English speaking Brits, The Act that created five counties.
    http://owain.vaughan.com/1535c26/

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  • 52. At 9:22pm on 30 Apr 2009, Jack_Wilkinson wrote:

    Again, for non-Llafur, English speaking Brits, 'Wales divide into 12 shires'
    http://owain.vaughan.com/1542c26/

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  • 53. At 9:37pm on 30 Apr 2009, Jack_Wilkinson wrote:

    Wales divide into 12 Shires!! 1542.
    http://owain.vaughan.com/1542c26/

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  • 54. At 9:49pm on 30 Apr 2009, mapexx wrote:

    further to message 50.....


    News has appeared today that Tomorrows Wales, the pro independence movement funded by the Assembly/WAG, the Rowntree Foundation, and the Esmee 'Something' charity, is up in arms against the All Wales Convention, also funded by the Assembly/WAG.


    Which of course, means US.

    It seems one party, TW, is moaning that the other party, AWC, is undemining their attempts to promote Welsh independence.


    Seems the stitches are unravelling. Can it be the funding matter is looming high on the horizon?

    With any suitable ration of good fortune, we may yet see an early demise for the whole kit and caboodle.

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  • 55. At 10:16pm on 30 Apr 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    There seems to be a very, very strange virus on here today - and it has nothing to do with swine flu.

    Both the hatred and self-loathing is awful. But, as I always note, these people and their bigotry are a tiny, tiny and diminishing minority. But they do seem to love hunting in packs ... Very sad.

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  • 56. At 10:42pm on 30 Apr 2009, brynt41 wrote:

    Re: Monmouthshire/Gwent

    If the playground bully takes your toy off you, says it's his, and refuses to give it back, but his mother makes him return it two months later, when she finds out, was it ever NOT your toy?

    Monmouthshire was part of Wales, even the 1535 Act of an English bully-boy parliament says so. The 1542 Act was concerned with applying the law of England to Wales, again passed by the same English parliament. It divided Wales into four quarter session shire circuits, as in England. Since there were 13 counties in Wales (as per the 1535 Act) only four completely Welsh circuits could be created. Monmouthshire was appended on an English circuit.

    Decisions by an English parliament aren't really relevant in such circumstances. England had conquered Wales and was making all the decisions as to what was to happen to it. That was as true in 1972 as it was in 1535. It was a case of force of arms and power. Typical bully-boy behaviour.

    The English parliament had to finally admit its mistake in 1972 and it confirmed that Monmouthshire was in reality part of Wales and had been all along, despite its machinations over 400 years.

    There wasn't an outcry or an uproar in Monmouthshire at that decision. If the place I had been born and lived in was being transferred to another country, I would have been outraged. I mentioned previously the English Democrat Party's candidates standing in Gwent on their policy of a referendum on the issue in 2005. They got a derisory level of votes. The people of Monmouthshire don't want to be part of England, that much is self-evident.

    Only a few oddball extreme British unionists would ever dispute it. So get real. Harri is absolutely correct.

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  • 57. At 08:49am on 01 May 2009, Llyn wrote:

    Stonemason to associate Plaid (a multiracial internationalist party) with the Holocaust denying, racist, homophobic BNP shows just a large degree of ignorance.

    And frankly to quote the extreme right wing eurosceptic (all the same features as the BNP and you also?) Daniel Hannan shows what fellow travellers you are inspired by.

    By the way I am not a Plaid supporter but a Liberal Democrat and as such I would like to see bilingual Wales with a parliament as part of a multicultural UK inside a federal Europe – sadly I doubt anything you and your fellow extremists could sign up to.

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  • 58. At 10:19am on 01 May 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 57,....


    You would like to see Wales etc....


    ....."By the way I am not a Plaid supporter but a Liberal Democrat and as such I would like to see bilingual Wales with a parliament as part of a multicultural UK inside a federal Europe ? sadly I doubt anything you and your fellow extremists could sign up to."


    There is nothing wrong in your aspiration, what is wrong is the way it is being driven.


    You will not get what you seek by the means being employed, because the people have yet to confirm they also want that.

    All the opinion polls in the world will not confirm it for you, nor will the people go for what you want until and unless they have been properly consulted.

    I too wish to see this region accepted into the EU, as a 'region' of that community, but by the use of cosmetically manipulated figures, and falsely obtained 'permissions' via strictly and cleverly worded polls, entry would be artificial and to my mind unacceptable to the EU.

    I sense a future that will be full of conflict between Wales and the EU, on similar lines as at present between Wales and England/Westminster.


    The mind set in the present political corridors in Wales, does not bode well for future cooperative involvement in Europe. The whole mess is far too parochial, and self centred.

    Europe has enough of that to contend with from contiguous states, without the addition of relatively isolated, and off shore region, that has little to offer.

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  • 59. At 5:49pm on 01 May 2009, Fitzmark2 wrote:

    #57- Harri writes:
    "By the way I am not a Plaid supporter but a Liberal Democrat and as such I would like to see bilingual Wales with a parliament as part of a multicultural UK inside a federal Europe ? sadly I doubt anything you and your fellow extremists could sign up to."


    And there speaks a man who belongs to a Party who saw straight away in 97, following the announcement of the referendum results, that it was a democratic sham and should not be proceeded with.

    An extraordinary general meeting was called with a view to boycotting the sham but of course being of upright Liberal dispositions (and not at all tainted with extremism) they immediately saw the benefit of a gravy train in Cardiff Bay and hopped aboard.

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  • 60. At 7:14pm on 01 May 2009, Jack_Wilkinson wrote:

    Fair does, this blog reflects life in Welsh politics, it's all about blokies with real proper Welsh names thinking they're the bee's knees.
    Typical of Rhodri Morgan types, you've got this overweening sense of entitlement. Because this UK region is called Wales, it doesn't mean mean you have the right to rule it!!, as Rhodri's mob are finding out in east Wales.
    We all know that Llafur can claim some remarkable victories, like claiming Monmouthshire and winning that glorious devolution campaign.
    But those glory days are over, English speaking Brits have learnt that the Welsh in Welsh Labour, is not just a place name!!
    Monmouthshire pre-devolution, was both Parliamentary and council, Labour controlled. Now, MP, AM and council all have enormous bomb proof Conservative majorities.
    David Davies was not best pleased with arch bishop Morgan, was he? Did you proper Welsh types know that in next door Newport, David's dad Peter, is a councilor in its Conservative led council? Things are looking bad for Llafur, aren't they?
    http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/4335590.Monmouth_MP_blasts_bishop_in_devolution_row/

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  • 61. At 8:44pm on 01 May 2009, Fitzmark2 wrote:

    Brynt1 at #56
    I previously awarded you an Oscar for your spin on events that have happened in the past and I now award you the title of the sophist's sophist for #56 (and I'm sure the shade of Socrates will applaud the award).

    And I'm also sure that most bloggers will understand the term: a man who is so eloquent that he can make the worst argument, regardless of the subject matter, sound the better argument.

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  • 62. At 8:59pm on 01 May 2009, mapexx wrote:

    Message 60....


    Quoted below responses to the comments by Mr Davies, who by the way I hold no brief for, he is not one I would support in a political engagement...


    ....."A spokesman for Tomorrows Wales said: It is disappointing that Mr Davies does not feel able to engage in a constructive debate on the issue of devolution, and prefers instead to engage in personal attacks which have nothing to do with the issue in hand.

    He added that several MPs, pro and anti-devolution have responded positively to the invitation.

    The Archbishop of Wales was unavailable for comment. However, Anna Morrell, media officer for the Archbishop said, "Dr Morgan believes if an archbishop is not interested in the life of the nation, in the life of the poor and in all kinds of social and political issues affecting us all, he is not doing his job properly.

    Past archbishops have championed the creation of S4C and the Welsh Language Act and Dr Morgan argues that getting law-making powers for the Assembly is an issue of justice and morality for the people of Wales."....


    Some one responded to the above by saying, "Mr Davies does not do religion, so religious persons should not do politics", which I found a bit naive, if not patronising, however, I must add in Mr Davies defence the following, (refer to the quote to understand what I refer to).

    MR Davies did indeed help set in motion True Wales, so the comment he has refused to take an active part is false, it just happens his actions are in total opposition to those of Dr Morgan, Archbishop. Tomorrows Wales and the AWC.

    His admittance that past Archbishops have helped negotiate the establishment of some Cymraeg based organisations such as S4C, and especailly the WLAct, shows there is a bias in the Church in Wales towards promoting a schedule for independence based on language fluency.

    One can only assume those Church dignitaries were either fully aware of that schedule, or totally ignorant of results of their actions.
    In which case, they prove, yet again their crass stupidity in engaging in a political contretemps they know little about.

    I state that, considering they preach from a foundation-less pulpit, in that they are peddling nothing more than fantasy, they had, and the current incumbent has, a damned cheek involving selves in political matters.

    It is due to their perpetual meddling in our daily lives that we are effectively ten centuries behind where we should be in the timescale of historical progression.

    Admittedly, we could have developed to present day levels 500 years ago, and possibly wiped ourselves out in the process, but I am the eternal optimist, and prefer to believe, all our troubles would have been behind us, and a equitable and universal goodness would be in place, instead of which, thanks to the interference of the church, in all it's guises, we are where we are today, a world constantly at each others throats, in the main due to religion.

    So although no supporter of Mr Davies, or his Party political philosophy, I stand shoulder to shoulder with him, in his chastisement of the church leadership in Wales.

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  • 63. At 9:32pm on 01 May 2009, Jack_Wilkinson wrote:

    Anyway, I'm one of those Monmouthshire, English speaking English blokes, the Conservatives didn't make me a second class Welshman, Llafur did!!
    It's all well and good calling Conservatives toffs, that just encourages the great and the good of proper Welsh, Welsh speaking high society, Llafur society, Rhodri's high society.
    Time to admit that those living under Llafur control, must accept they're now living in a brand new country, where Cymraeg is king!!

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  • 64. At 09:19am on 02 May 2009, Lyn David Thomas wrote:

    If the 1542 act fails to mention that Monmouthsire was in Wales, which I would contest, elsewhere in the text its clear that Monmouthshire is regarded as part of the Principality, Dominion and counties of Wales, Monmouthshire was created as part of the earlier 1535 act out of Wales. Now ask the people of Ebbw Vale if they are English or Welsh and I think you would get a short answer - likewise the people of the Pill in Newport or people on the St Mellons Estate in Cardiff (which was part of Monmouthsire once). Sure some people think that they are English and if they want to adopt that nationality that is fine, but to try and grab the whole of Gwent and to try to say that they are English... well I don't think you will get many takers.

    Stonemason where do you get the idea that there is any similarity between Plaid and the BNP? I don't see the BNP with many Muslim members or councilors for a start, or being supporters of the EU.

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  • 65. At 10:43am on 02 May 2009, John Henry wrote:

    Lyn_Thomas at #64

    The New Statesman, 16 April, The BNPs breakthrough by Matthew Goodwin and Robert Ford.

    2nd paragraph .....

    A brief skim through BNP manifesto literature brings to light proposals for the following: large increases in state pensions; more money for the NHS; improved worker protection; state ownership of key industries. Under Griffin, the modern-day far right has positioned itself to the left of Labour. Is the strategy working?

    As the BNP has positioned itself to the left of Labour, and as Plaid have become more left than socialist Labour, it follows that the BNP and Plaid share sufficient philosophy to be considered "Brothers and Sisters with common cause".


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  • 66. At 6:50pm on 02 May 2009, mapexx wrote:

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

  • 67. At 7:40pm on 02 May 2009, John Henry wrote:

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

  • 68. At 7:54pm on 02 May 2009, Lyn David Thomas wrote:

    Stonemason and Mapexx those comments are disgraceful, and objectionable - withdraw and apologise or I will object to each and every comment you both make from now on. This sort of extremist nonsense brings the whole debate into disrepute, how dare you compare the civic nationalism of a party that is committed to equality and diversity with one that is fascist and one that killed millions of people. Disgraceful and disgusting. You are not fit to debate while you throw such comments about.

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  • 69. At 7:58pm on 02 May 2009, Jack_Wilkinson wrote:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/southeast/sites/newport/pages/article_janpreece.shtml
    Mentioning the Pill district of Newport, Jan Preece, like many others from all over Monmouthshire, has written several letters to The south Wales Argus and once on the BBC message boards, decrying the Welshification of English Monmouthshire.
    The Newport historian, Owain Vaughan, who posted those copies of the actual Acts, is a constant letter writer in the Argus, bewailing the loss of the land of his father!! One of Newport's recently elected Conservative councilors, is another protesting the loss of a good English shire.
    But of course, anyone protesting their loss from an English point of view is a bullying, bigoted misfit.
    So we've got to quietly accept our losses, as Llafur celebrates their Cymraeg expansionism, have we?......No chance!!

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  • 70. At 8:20pm on 02 May 2009, John Henry wrote:

    Lyn_Thomas

    Why should I withdraw my references to :

    a play
    the valid New Statesman article
    the decentralist manifesto (referred to by Plaid as an objective)


    Oh, and the fact that Plaid Cymru until fairly recently were the "Welsh Nationalists".

    You only have to read the extremist bilge written by Plaid supporters here and elsewhere to realise the writing here is bland in comparison.

    Your "party that is committed to equality and diversity"

    should read .....

    ....."party that is committed to destroying the United Kingdom and its constitution" [Independence objective].

    To compare Plaid with John Stuart Mill [civic nationalism] is anathema, Mill advocated a minimum of State intervention, poles apart from the Plaid extreme left wing socialism.

    It is "Disgraceful and disgusting" to attempt to silence another's opinion, I quote Mill who wrote .....

    "We can never be sure, .......... , that a silenced opinion does not contain some element of the truth"..........


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  • 71. At 9:00pm on 02 May 2009, West-Wales wrote:

    Lyn at 68
    Sorry to disagree, but a party that is committed to equality and diversity
    may be the propoganda but the reality is very different.

    Plaids actions and the impact on those regions of Wales that are culturally English or different from the WLB defined Welsh clearly does not recognise or tolerate diversity.

    Similarly Plaid do not accept equality - increasingly because of Plaid policies of enforcing use of the language, if you are not Welsh speaking you are a second class citizen barred from a range of jobs.

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  • 72. At 9:04pm on 02 May 2009, mapexx wrote:

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

  • 73. At 9:39pm on 02 May 2009, Jack_Wilkinson wrote:

    David Davies MP, is a hate figure amongst Llafur and Plaidi types. As an AM, he requested on several occasions that Monmouthshire pupils be excused COMPLUSORY WELSH lessons, as it is for them a completely alien tongue.
    One such request was responded to by a Llafur Cymraeg expansionist, the Llafur AM for Newport east, John Griffiths, his words verbatim......'It's because of the fact that the standard of Welsh in Monmouthshire schools is so dreadful, and considering the INCREASING IMPORTANCE of the language, lessons must not be dropped but intensified'
    See, West-Wales, this Cymraeg expansionism is not restricted to Plaidi strongholds, once English Newport is a hot spot of Llafur Druid activity

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  • 74. At 9:39pm on 02 May 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    If all these people are capable of is spewing vile hatred and nonsense, then I really see no point contributing to this blog any longer. There are some I'd expect better from them, others not. I don't know what planet they inhabit, but they don't seem to have much to do with humanity any longer.

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  • 75. At 10:09pm on 02 May 2009, West-Wales wrote:

    FiDafydd at 74
    You need to sit down and think hard - the people who are being affected by the insistence that they accept a language that is alien to them and their culture are normal human beings.

    To complain that they do not want and object to being forced to adopt it - is not spewing vile hatred and nonsense it is merely asking for the basic human right to be allowed to choose.

    We have not objection to you speaking Welsh, studying and trying to help others to learn it, if they want too.

    But force those who do not want it, don't want their children to learn it, is vile and something worse than nonsense.

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  • 76. At 10:15pm on 02 May 2009, Jack_Wilkinson wrote:

    If all these people are capable of is spewing vile hatred and nonsense, then I really see no point contributing to this blog any longer.

    Bless!!!

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  • 77. At 10:27pm on 02 May 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 74....


    Bye Bye then.

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  • 78. At 11:59pm on 02 May 2009, Lyn David Thomas wrote:

    Stonemason you should withdraw your inference that Plaid is a party like the BNP, they share nothing in common with them. To argue they do shows desperation and a dedication to smear that devalues any political debate. Its not the first time you have resorted to the gutter here. withdraw.

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  • 79. At 00:04am on 03 May 2009, Lyn David Thomas wrote:

    I am sure a few isolated individuals feel like you do about Monmouthshire as was, but to say the Welsh Language is alien is rubbish, for the greatest part of its existence Welsh was the main language throughout Monmouthshire. Its a relatively recent event (as in all of Wales) that it ceased to be so. If people feel so strongly about it why didn't the English Democrats get more votes?

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  • 80. At 08:59am on 03 May 2009, West-Wales wrote:

    Lyn at 79;
    I said in 75; people who are being affected by the insistence that they accept a language that is alien to them and their culture are normal human beings.
    There are many areas of Wales where that is true, here in Pembrokeshire we have spoken exclusively various non Celtic languages for over a thousand years, with English being in almost continuous use.

    You are saying because a language was spoken in an area in the past Plaid have a right to force the use of the language on the population against their will.

    If you believe that - I suggest you revisit your objection to Plaid's Philosophy being linked to National Socialist ideology.

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  • 81. At 09:51am on 03 May 2009, John Henry wrote:


    Speaking from Lyn_Thomas's hypothetical gutter .....

    I wrote at #45 .....

    "... There are three nationalisms in the United Kingdom, Plaid / SNP / BNP.

    Daniel Hannan (MEP) highlighted interesting similarities between PC and old Labour through their aims and objectives, it seems PC and BNP have both positioned themselves to the left of Labour, partners in grime you might say. ..."




    A political party must include its supporters, Plaid supporters actively call for exclusion, they use terms such as colonialism when referring to geographical Wales. What matters, is Plaid supporters have a preference for a policy of exclusion.




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  • 82. At 10:44am on 03 May 2009, Lyn David Thomas wrote:

    West Wales, Welsh is spoken throughout Pembrokeshire, and I would suggest that the election of Plaid Councillors in Tenby and Penally suggests that if there is opposition to the teaching of Welsh then its fairly limited. Welsh is given the same status in the curriculum as is English, as both are national languages of Wales. No one is forcing anyone to speak Welsh, or English for that matter. Comparisons to the Nazis is overblown, ludicrous and exposes the bankruptcy of your arguments. There is nothing linking the fascist racial superiority doctrine or their practices with that of Plaid Cymru, or Labour or the Conservatives or the Liberal Democrats, all of which supported the current status of Welsh in the curriculum. Plaid were not in power when the curriculum was implemented. This is the policy of the Tory Party, that made Welsh a compulsory part of the Curriculum and of the Labour Party that extended it. Perhaps you would be better calling the Conservatives Nazis on the basis of your observations.

    Stonemason - Plaid exclude no one, the majority of its membership is English speaking and its members come from all nationalities, including the English.

    Get out of your gutter if you want to debate and be taken seriously. On the other hand if you prefer spin and smear then stay there. That isn't debate just plain abuse.

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  • 83. At 12:54pm on 03 May 2009, West-Wales wrote:

    Lyn out of 60 County Councillors in Pembrokeshire Plaid has 2.

    South of the Lansker on average only 5 to 7% of the population speak Welsh.

    Plaid is supporting the forced education of children in Welsh, to deny No one is forcing anyone to speak Welsh, is blatantly wrong.

    Greenhill School in Tenby is in danger of loosing its music department.
    http://www.westerntelegraph.co.uk/news/4271362.Campaign_to_save_music_lessons_builds_to_crescendo/
    This school has an international reputation for turning out world class musicians. - But the force feeding of Welsh to the pupils has to continue by law, albeit a law brought in by Westminster.

    Yes we have to cut costs, economic realities are beginning to percolate down even reaching into the dim warped machinations of the NAW.

    The deeper question is; why has the education (and health) budget been cut - but increased for Cultural and Language budgets.
    Why is the Assembly even contemplating increasing the beurocratic costs of private industry with the proposed Language LCO.
    Legislation which will mean increasing the costs and remit of the WLB.

    Accepting that the disgraceful comment by John Griffiths AM, referred to in 73, are those of a Labour AM, I'm sure Plaid fully support the ideological thinking behind view.

    The point I am trying to make is for cultural issues choice should be the way forward, enforcement and criminalisation of those who don't want to join in is a denial of basic freedom and characteristic of Fascist Ideology

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  • 84. At 4:08pm on 03 May 2009, Llyn wrote:

    West Wales your extreme one eyed views are ably highlighted by your ignorant implication that Plaids philosophy is like Nazism I suggest you revisit your objection to Plaid's Philosophy being linked to National Socialist ideology and your use of alien to describe the Welsh language. You and your fellow travellers on this board are probably well aware that the Austrian corporal also used the word alien when describing people they did not like - namely Jews. These similarities in views on this board with that of the violent nationalism of the thirties comes at a time when we seen to be seeing a rise of your fellow travellers on this board who constantly demand the forced movement of Gwent and its people into England. I find it frankly disgusting that such aggressive beliefs are actually allowed on this board. I for one thought movement of borders in Europe were now rightly deemed beyond the pale and had come to an end with the death of the Third Reich.

    On last thing your earlier post also implied that you yourself find English slightly alien. What dies this mean- We have not objection to you speaking Welsh

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  • 85. At 5:00pm on 03 May 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 84....


    I am one of those 'fellow travellers' of Westy, and I can tell YOU, harri, the only people who have expressed any sort of threat to 'remove' the population of English speaking Gwent, are those who apparently cannot abide the fact that a very much larger majority than themselves, possibly 85% of the population of Wales, but probably 95%, if not more, of Gwent, do not follow their line. Hence the occasional remark such as 'if you don't like it, sod off and live in England'.

    No one from my side of the discussion makes such an inane remark.

    Sorry, ...one or two, over many months, years even, may have said 'Go and live in Patagonia where you will feel at home, as they speak Cymraeg down there'.. but that usually in response to the age 'old get over to Eng But on re reading your message, I see, I think, you imply taking Monmouthshire back into the fold of England.

    There may be a few who do so, but more in anger than in any other way.

    That anger being inspired by the claims, from the Cymraeg element, that it has been in Wales ever since Jesus was a boy, which is hardly worth discussing, considering the vast number who consider themselves as Anglo WELSH, and whose antecedents reach back, as mine do, for generations, with no recent fluency in Cymraeg.

    Note: I stress the title 'WELSH'.


    I would say even the bulk of we Anglo speaking Welsh do feel we are WELSH, but we do not feel Cymro, nor subscribe to the very dodgy principles, and attitudes expressed by quite a few Cymro, advocated by that tiny element of the population, especially in the eastern areas, from Newport, up along the Dyke, to Flintshire.

    Why you feel the need to tack on a remark that suggests someone has raised an objection to anyone speaking Cymraeg is mystifying, up until the last 15 or so years there was a great sympathy for, and slight upsurge in VOLUNTARY Cymraeg learning, but since the advent of the LWB wit it's massive taxpayers funding, mainly from across the border, that uplift began to fall, so it has now been made a matter pf political expediency and policy.

    A certain guarantee it will be further in decline, once the novelty has worn off, after it is seen as of little value in that great and terrible world of commercial necessity.

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  • 86. At 6:08pm on 03 May 2009, Lyn David Thomas wrote:

    Interesting how Welsh is the only subject that seems to be required to be voluntary - no one talks about criminalisation of people because history is a required subject. West Wales you views are extreme, your language is intemperate and your arguments seem to be based on a level of hatred to the language that defies logic.

    Now as to Greenhill School and its excellent orchestra, its not a choice of Welsh or the Orchestra, its a lack of funding from the County Council. Maybe they would have the money if we weren't spending 7 billion on Trident? How about cutting that as a waste of money for a start?

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  • 87. At 6:12pm on 03 May 2009, West-Wales wrote:

    harri at 84;
    Suggest you let your blood pressure go down a bit then reread what I actually wrote;
    In 75 I said;
    ...the people who are being affected by the insistence that they accept a language that is alien to them and their culture are normal human beings.
    ........
    We have no objection to you speaking Welsh, studying and trying to help others to learn it, if they want too.

    But force those who do not want it, don't want their children to learn it, is vile and something worse than nonsense

    Any objections to any of that?

    I suggest you reread what I said in 80 in full but I included:
    you are saying because a language was spoken in an area in the past Plaid have a right to force the use of the language on the population against their will.
    Do you agree with that - or perhaps not!

    In 83 I said;
    The point I am trying to make is, for cultural issues, choice should be the way forward, enforcement and criminalisation of those who don't want to join in, is a denial of basic freedom and characteristic of Fascist Ideology
    Perhaps it is this comment you don't like - my objection to being forced to pay for, and accede to replacement of my own cultural heritage, with one that is alien.

    Forgive me but I don't understand this comment:
    On last thing your earlier post also implied that you yourself find English slightly alien. What dies this mean- We have not objection to you speaking Welsh
    I don't find English alien, but admit enjoy hearing the Pembrokeshire language of my fathers.
    Much as I'm sure you enjoy the Celtic language.
    I have no objection to that, I celebrate that there are communities in Wales that use their ancient culture and language in daily life.

    What I and others cannot understand, object to passionately, is why that minority culture is being forced on those who don't want it, used to destroy our own diverse heritages, all as part of a Political Nationalist campaign.



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  • 88. At 6:51pm on 03 May 2009, West-Wales wrote:

    Lyn at 86
    its a lack of funding from the County Council. Maybe they would have the money if we weren't spending 7 billion on Trident?
    Education funding comes from the Assembly budget, Trident from Westminster.

    I'm sorry you find my comments - to use your words,
    extreme, your language is intemperate and your arguments seem to be based on a level of hatred to the language that defies logic.
    I do not hate the language, and I do try to be logical.

    What I object to, is my own Pembrokeshire culture and its language being crushed by the steamroller of the WLB.
    It seems there are many others across Wales who have the same view.

    Oh yes - I hold other extreme views, that I'm sure you will agree, defy logic.
    I think devolution has gone badly wrong.
    The 2006 Act has allowed access to powers that should only have been granted with the consent of the Welsh people to the NAW.
    The NAW and the WAG are letting us down badly and are demonstrably mismanaging both the budget and the powers they have.
    (Re the findings of the IWA - http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/betsanpowys/2009/04/cold_baths.html)

    I must be careful - These are unacceptable opinions in Lord Elis-Thomas's new Wales.


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  • 89. At 8:36pm on 03 May 2009, Jack_Wilkinson wrote:

    Trouble with COMPULSORY Welsh lessons, Plaid Llafur Cymru, brazenly and shamelessly courted the vote of the English speaking working classes.
    Supercilious Rhodri types started to believe their own hype, they literally believed that working class thickos would adore being ruled by REAL Welsh, Welsh speaking types.....Sigh.
    Nn no, Rhodri, we ain't that thick, it's rather easy to see through your clever plot ( Childlike plot), what's the use of being a Welsh speaking elite, if you haven't got an underclass speaking it badly?....I dunno!!

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  • 90. At 9:32pm on 03 May 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 87...



    Westy, I accept the language bit in your message, but 'culture'... what culture?
    In daily life???


    ...."I have no objection to that, I celebrate that there are communities in Wales that use their ancient 'culture' and language in daily life."...

    Surely you do not refer to the Urdd and Eistedford? Both relatively new but unrecognisably resurgent ancient, practices, events,... whatever.

    The literature often referred to, is pretty well confined to the Ivory Towers of Academia, I doubt that more than one hundredth of one percent in Wales, Cymraeg speakers or not, have ever read anything written in the language, that is more than a few decades old.

    So I must be controversial, and ask again ....what culture???

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  • 91. At 11:09am on 04 May 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Throughout history, minorities have been attacked and blamed for all the ills of the world, resulting in prejudice, wars, massacres and holocausts. It's the territory where angry little groups from within the majority flock to on occasions; it is easy, it is lazy and it is so very very dangerous.

    The latest batch of messages on here are just that. It is always of course a minority within the majority group who are obnoxiously vocal, almost violently so, but history shows them still to be dangerous.

    They always add to their messages that they hate no one or anything, as they have throughout the centuries, but what they write, what they say, gives them away.

    I still have faith however, as I keep saying, in the vast, vast silent and decent majority of the Welsh nation. Bigots speak for no one but themselves.

    The last few entries have made me sick.

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  • 92. At 5:31pm on 04 May 2009, Lyn David Thomas wrote:

    English is not under any threat in Pembrokeshire. Local authorities receive their funding from the National Assembly for Wales and its not ring fenced. If Greenhill is being short changed it is due to a decision of the County Council - not the National Assembly or the minister. The people you should be berating are your county council, run by "independents". How does providing compulsory Welsh lessons (a few hours a week - just one of several compulsory subjects) equate with forcing people to speak Welsh? Presumably the people of those parts of Pembrokeshire (only a part of mind you) that traditionally were English speaking aren't prevented from speaking English in their every day life? Talk of steamrollering and crushing the English language is extreme, it doesn't stand up to any scrutiny.

    Perhaps we could all move past the language issues that some of you seem obsessed with an actually address the issue of this discussion? It seems that some are determined to change the subject of every discussion to how they are hard done by by and evil Welsh language establishment.

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  • 93. At 6:01pm on 04 May 2009, John Henry wrote:

    at #92 .....

    How does providing compulsory Welsh lessons (a few hours a week - just one of several compulsory subjects) .....

    I will tell you why the Welsh Language policy in education is flawed, it is because it removes logical choice from the curriculum, where a dead language is being revived at the expense of the real world choices of education. By including Welsh with the compulsory subjects such as Mathematics and English it makes a mockery of good education. Welsh like Latin has little use beyond the cloisters of the ridiculous, a pathetic waste of education budget.

    My daughter was forced to choose between Music and French, she would have preferred both, though she was forced to sit through Welsh, a subject in which she had no interest, this situation was replicated amongst many of her friends. She chose Music.

    Curriculum is driven by Politics not need, separatist politics most extreme. A sickening waste of talent.

    Whilst the education budget is given by the WAG, you might like to explain why Welsh schools receive much less than their counterparts the other side of Offa's dyke. Politics again.





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  • 94. At 6:26pm on 04 May 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 93

    It's almost pathologocal isn't it, that thing that is eating away at you ...?

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  • 95. At 6:46pm on 04 May 2009, mapexx wrote:

    Message 91.....


    I quote from the message numbered above...




    "Throughout history, minorities have been attacked and blamed for all the ills of the world, resulting in prejudice, wars, massacres and holocausts. It's the territory where angry little groups from within the majority flock to on occasions; it is easy, it is lazy and it is so very very dangerous.

    The latest batch of messages on here are just that. It is always of course a minority within the majority group who are obnoxiously vocal, almost violently so, but history shows them still to be dangerous.

    They always add to their messages that they hate no one or anything, as they have throughout the centuries, but what they write, what they say, gives them away.

    I still have faith however, as I keep saying, in the vast, vast silent and decent majority of the Welsh nation. Bigots speak for no one but themselves."....


    At last you have written out the way THE MAJORITY in WALES see that minute number who are screeching for increased powers and ultimately, independence.

    Never thought I'd say it, but well done, Fi old thing. well done.

    Those in the majority Salute you!

    What's it feel like to write such a thing, only to have it turned against you for it's ineptitude?



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  • 96. At 6:54pm on 04 May 2009, John Henry wrote:


    To explain to your daughter that she must choose between subjects she enjoyed but have to study Welsh, a language with no use beyond Offa's Dyke because Politics said she must, yes it was difficult.

    Maybe it can be changed for children coming through in the near future, it borders on abuse .....


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  • 97. At 7:04pm on 04 May 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 96....


    You are wrong Stoney, IT IS CHILD ABUSE, not borders on.

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  • 98. At 7:59pm on 04 May 2009, Jack_Wilkinson wrote:

    Plaid Llafur Cymru are making crazy self destructive mistakes, which we should all be thankful for. Compulsory Welsh lessons is killing them, every voter knows it's the wont of Rhodri types to feel SPECIAL....Bless 'im.
    A huge number of Welsh language dunces, will fuel the egos of those from a long heritage of speaking and mastering the ancient useless tongue!!

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  • 99. At 9:33pm on 04 May 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 98...

    Those coming through the education system for the next five or six years will be those seeking employment in the succeeding ten years or so.


    They will be fluent or semi fluent, depending on their level of application to their lessons.

    They will be seeking work, in the public services, because I seriously doubt there will be anywhere near enough jobs outside of the public services to take them all on.

    So, they will be left hanging, even more of them than envisaged at the moment, due to the State enforcing job cuts, and a refusal for the Assembly, and all it's outer offices whatever the type, or, shocking though it will be to the WAG, an economic inability, to employ ever increasing numbers of Cymraeg fluents.

    Bang goes their long term plans.

    It will then that the plot will unravel, and the wave of voters, in about ten or so years time, will turn on this sham Welsh assembly, and we will see it's demise and deconstruction, for the over costly and unnecessary mess it really is.

    Hopefully, considering my time grows ever shorter, far sooner even than ten years, I would like to be around to witness the retreat of them all from those overpriced constructions taking up valuable building space down in Cardiff Bay.

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  • 100. At 10:56pm on 04 May 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 95

    I should have known that some people's intellectual capabilities weren't up to understanding that. Never mind. Perhaps some people have now seen just how abhorrent their comments were. Oh, come on, what am I saying??!!


    Re 96

    So when Welsh patriots aren't being nazis they're child abusers! Is this the level of debate we are to expect from now on?

    Re 98

    A big problem in Newcastle is it?

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  • 101. At 05:43am on 05 May 2009, John Henry wrote:

    FiDafydd,

    How would you explain a dead or dying language being included in the required subject list.

    It's pathetic.


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  • 102. At 08:39am on 05 May 2009, penddu wrote:

    101 Who has to learn Latin?

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  • 103. At 08:57am on 05 May 2009, Lyn David Thomas wrote:

    The language obsessives seem to be intent on forcing us all to discuss the Welsh language in every discussion here. Get over it, the Tories made Welsh a compulsory subject, rightly so. Welsh never died out so could not be a dead language. No one is forcing anyone to speak the language, unlike English where people don't have a choice but to use it with certain former public corporations.

    Now can we move away from this?

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  • 104. At 09:37am on 05 May 2009, penddu wrote:

    It is a common imperialist tactic - divide and rule.

    The British Unionists used religion to divide the Irish - and they would use language to divide the Welsh. That is why they try to invoke language issues into every discussion on nationhood, devolution, finances, and probably swine flu.

    DO NOT rise to their bait.

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  • 105. At 10:02am on 05 May 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 103....


    No Lyn, no one is forcing anyone to SPEAK the language, but you cannot deny it is force fed to a massive number whose background has NO requirement for it, hence it IS being forced. Even if, at the moment, only on a small scale basis.

    'You can take a horse to water but cannot make it drink', is appropriate, but then, in the Assembly book, the adage has an added sub adage, 'but if the horse refuses to drink, it will not eat either'.

    The implied threat being, that in the future one WILL need to be able to use the language, in order to get employment, otherwise, why insist that all major, (and no doubt at some indeterminate time into the future, all firms) be required BY LAW to be bilingual in operation, when dealing with the public?

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  • 106. At 10:16am on 05 May 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 104....


    No penddu. keep to the programmes set, it was and is NOT us who are language obsessed, otherwise we would be far more intolerant of it.

    WE did not ask for, or set up the WLB, nor did we ask for the present pressures for the language to be spread all over Wales like a coat of black gloss paint.

    So we feel quite justified in opposing the PRESSURES set by those who are responsible, the Plaid led numb skulls who cannot visualise the damage they are actually doing to the language you are so keen on.

    IT is not the case, that we are anti the language, we are quite aux fait having the language extant, but what we are against is the funding of it, to OUR detriment, through the costs involved, and the depressive tactic of forcing it onto the education of the majority in Wales.

    It seems the pressures have now been felt beyond an acceptable level in other 'Celtic' regions, considering the 'anti nationalist' elections just taken place in the Basque region of Spain.

    Wales will follow suit sooner than later I anticipate.

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  • 107. At 10:38am on 05 May 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 105

    I quote:

    "No Lyn, no one is forcing anyone to SPEAK the language, but you cannot deny it is force fed to a massive number whose background has NO requirement for it, hence it IS being forced. Even if, at the moment, only on a small scale basis.

    'You can take a horse to water but cannot make it drink', is appropriate, but then, in the Assembly book, the adage has an added sub adage, 'but if the horse refuses to drink, it will not eat either'."

    He is funny, isn't he?! But I thought this was meant to be an English language blog?

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  • 108. At 11:17am on 05 May 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 107....


    How about speaking English then?... instead of rubbish.

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  • 109. At 12:38pm on 05 May 2009, penddu wrote:

    108 Mapexx - why dont you start

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  • 110. At 1:06pm on 05 May 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 109,


    Instead of allowing yourself to sink below normals levels, following that clown down, how about answering the points raised in 106, and other messages, rather than becoming a Fifi clone?

    It is very obvious that whenever you submit a message, which the content thereof is deconstructed by messages containing serious argument, you opt to try reinforcing, or reiterating, that submitted by someone with NOTHING but scurrilous remarks to offer.

    I had you pegged as more erudite, and intellectually sound than that.

    But, no matter, get over it penddu, perhaps you will see the folly of stepping in someone else's footsteps in the near future. Don't go there, you are set to be tarred with the same brush.

    Until then, you are simply being taken for a fellow traveller on the road to perdition.

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  • 111. At 1:46pm on 05 May 2009, penddu wrote:

    110 That is your opinion, but let me offer an alternative interpretation - when I come on this board and find there is something worthy of discussion I join in. When I find the board is full of bitter delusional rants (from both sides of the various arguments), I either leave unannounced, or as today - throw in a few words and then leave.

    I will check in again tommorrow and see if things have improved.

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  • 112. At 2:29pm on 05 May 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 111,

    So if it's not to your taste, why not leave it to those concerned, which you were not so doing, as it happens, scratching your scabs causes festering wounds to appear.

    I prefer my co-respondents clean and healthy, not scabrous, with nothing to say, but otherwise acting like an irritating flea on my back.

    Believe me, Fi Fi does not need support, he is doing a fine job of making himself look a stupid ass, all by his little self.

    As I asked, why get yourself tarred with the same brush?

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  • 113. At 5:04pm on 05 May 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 112

    mappy said:

    "So if it's not to your taste, why not leave it to those concerned, which you were not so doing, as it happens, scratching your scabs causes festering wounds to appear.

    I prefer my co-respondents clean and healthy, not scabrous, with nothing to say, but otherwise acting like an irritating flea on my back."

    He's no poet is he? :

    Mixed metaphors - not good!

    Very dodgy grammar - certainly not good!

    Lack of clarity (as usual) - again, not good!

    In fact you often berate people for picking individual sections from arguments you make, or for 'taking things out of context'. Arguments are meant to be logical, and to be logical they need to be constructed in such a way that they can be taken as a whole. Your arguments rarely achieve that. It is, therefore, your fault.

    But this thread was originally concerned with Rhodri Morgan's departure, but, as always, it has been hijacked by the anti-Welsh language brigade who seem incapable of discussing anything but their own pathological hatred of one of this nation's two main languages - and the one which happens to have been here the longest.

    I don't personally think that RM's successor will make much difference to the outcome of forthcoming elections.

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  • 114. At 7:51pm on 05 May 2009, Jack_Wilkinson wrote:

    OK Brynt I give up, I was born in 1965 , so I had my schooling in the 70s and early 80's when compulsory Welsh lessons would have seemed like a fiction. Friends and family of all ages in Newport share a common ignorance about Conservatives ordering compulsory Welsh lessons. How about a few facts?

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  • 115. At 9:20pm on 05 May 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 114....


    Anthony Andrews, The Guardian April 19 2009


    "Privatisation, the sale of council houses, rising property prices and deregulation in the City of London sometimes seemed to offer people the very thing that the first Thatcher government had defined as being impossible - money for nothing." The grocer's daughter from Grantham who preached financial responsibility and thrift had commissioned an economic illusion the dimensions of which we are still contending with today.

    Perhaps it's fitting that a psychiatric report found that Thatcher was the only postwar prime minister to lodge in the minds of dementia sufferers. After all, she may have driven us half mad, but we'll never forget her.

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  • 116. At 9:31pm on 05 May 2009, Jack_Wilkinson wrote:

    See you on talk Wales tomos.
    Jack

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