Excellent news from Blaenau Gwent - Labour losing two seats! Truly excellent to see the smuggers lose. At last we're starting to get rid of their dead hand!
But also a bad night for Plaid Cymru, especially the Welsh Assembly vote, and a bad omen for the Assembly elections next year.
Parliamentary By-Election 2006 - Blaenau Gwent Plaid's profile is so low because it's lead by Ieuan Wyn Jones. A leader who mistakes silence and being charisma-free to being statesmanship. If Plaid have any thought of staying second party in the Assembly IWJ needs to pick up his game - big time. That means saying interesting things and taking Labour on. Leaders need to be intelligent and trustworthy; they also need to be brave!
Dai Davies – Independent: 12,543
Owen Smith – Labour Party: 10,059
Steffan Lewis – Plaid Cymru: 1,755
Welsh Assembly By-Election - Blaenau Gwent
Trish Law – Independent: 13,785
John Hopkins - Labour Party: 9,321
John Price - Plaid Cymru: 1,109
Talking of Plaid, IWJ and Peter Law. Plaid were very keen to support Law's stand against Labour following Labour's decision to chose from a women's only list. However, Plaid have just got themselves into the same mess with some of the party's most popular politicians unlikely to be in the next Assembly because of Plaid's policy of women on top of the list.
That means Dafydd Wigley and Dr Dai Lloyd out of the Assembly. Bonkers! It's all good saying what a brave man Peter Law was, but wouldn't the Plaid version of Peter Law be Dafydd Wigley standing in next year's Assembly election as an Independent Nationalist? What would Plaid do then? Who'd bet against Wigley getting elected? And who wouldn't bet the Assembly would be better for it?
Plaid - it's no good crowing over Labour's failures when lack of leadership could leave you fourth party in next year's Assembly election. Politics is just a posh word for power. Plaid needs to think about that and less about branding and principles.
Friday, June 30, 2006
Excellent news from Blaenau Gwent - Labour losing two seats! Truly excellent to see the smuggers lose. At last we're starting to get rid of their dead hand!
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Amazing thing British nationalism, especially the kind fought over by the likes of former Blaenau Gwent MP (or Blaenaw Gwent as they say on the BBC).
Poor Llew Smith, he's living in the fantasy land of the 'Real' Labour Party. Dreaming that somewhere out there the 'Real' Labour Party will return. Sorry Llew. Blair, Brown, PFI, privatisation and more Trident - this is as good as it gets Llew. This IS Real Labour.
Llew's recent letter in the Western Mail attacking Brown's support for a new generation of Trident nuclear weapons just shows how blind that British nationalism is. Nuclear power is one debate, nuclear weapons is another.
Are they really any use? Nuclear warheads are just the phallic symbols of the British state. Trident isn't a Labour or Tory problem - it's a problem of the British state.
A state created by conquering neighbours in the name of unity and peace, and then conquers more countries… in the name of unity and peace. Nuclear warheads are the designer jewellery of the British hoodie.
Llew - there will never be a nuclear weapons free UK because that will mean surrendering the whole point of the UK. How deep is your British nationalism? I know you preferred having Margaret Thatcher rule Wales than Devolution in 1979, so now I presume that you'd rather have nuclear warheads than a self-governing Wales?
Smith's most basic principle it seems isn't 'socialism' or 'peace' or 'equality', it's British nationalism and a blind adherence to the British state. My country, right or wrong, eh Llew?
Sunday, June 25, 2006
Two weeks before the World Cup kicked off, gaffe-prone First Minister Rhodri Morgan told Wales on Sunday he would be following INGERLAND - until their supporters started acting "stupid". Then, he said, he would cheer on anyone playing England. He said:
"When England fans do something stupid I switch my support to other teams... Or just whoever England are playing against when their fans start acting stupid.
At the time, we said that the truth is that Morgan, who always comes over as a proud Welshman in the English press but is in fact a British Nationalist, will support England because England is the 'motherland' for Labour Brit Nats in Wales. He also supports England because he doesn't want to offend the English vote in Wales.
We also said that you either support a country or you don't. It's not the fault of the football team, or nation, if a bunch of idiots riot... and that's exactly what happened last night. Erwin Hetger, head of Stuttgart police told BBC News:
"We had no problems at all with the French, Swiss and Dutch fans that were having a great party here. It all changed when the English fans arrived. The atmosphere changed."
It looks as if Rhodri will be cheering for an Ecuador victory today then!
Friday, June 23, 2006
Former SNP's deputy leader - Jim Sillars - talks sense, and says it in an interesting way in a recent opinion column for the Edinburgh Evening News... Oh, for a high profile member of Plaid Cymru to be so confident and clear!
In case you don't read the Scottish press, enjoy this article by the Scot who doesn't make love to the Union Jack.
England has got no use for us any more
ENGERLAND, Engerland - roar the Sassenach supporters in Germany. That noise will die if England get knocked out, but there is another cry being heard, of far greater importance: the call from influential voices down south saying ever more firmly, England for the English.
England for the English isn't simply a reaction to the probable premiership of Gordon Brown, the Scotsman whose supposed support for England during the World Cup fools no-one. No, the reason lies in the West Lothian question posed by my old friend Tam Dalyell.
They seek it here, they seek it there, they seek it every blinking where. But so far, Tam's question of how long can the English tolerate Scottish MPs voting on English education etc, when English MPs are barred from voting on similar Scottish issues because of devolution, has found no answer.
Tam first asked it when devolution became a serious runner, away back in the 1970s. Forty years later, it still hangs around our politicians' necks, and remains a conundrum for constitutional gurus. Within a single United Kingdom there is, of course, no answer.
As reported in the Evening News on Monday, the House of Commons select committee on Scottish Affairs, with nine Scots out of a membership of 11, has puzzled whatever brains it can muster on the subject and has noted four possible solutions: (1) only English MPs allowed to vote on English matters; (2) English devolution; (3) fewer Scottish MPs; (4) the dissolution of the UK.
The first would require the House of Commons to bar Scottish MPs from attending and voting, which would turn it into an English Grand Committee. English votes on English laws? Seems an obvious and fair solution to Tam's question. But it is nonsense on stilts.
Take a likely future scenario of the Tories not only getting a majority of votes in England, as they did last year, but a majority of seats too; but Labour having an overall Commons majority through their Scottish MPs topping up the number gained in England. We would have a UK Labour government, but the Tories in the majority in England Grand Committee.
Most matters now dealt with at Westminster, post-Scottish devolution, are on English issues, such as education, the NHS, criminal justice, police, transport, local government, council tax, social work etc. The Labour government would find itself defeated every time on its English domestic legislation if only English MPs could vote. It would be a government stripped of power over almost 50 million of its citizens. So, that is no solution at all.
But what if the second idea - let the English have their own way in England by creating assemblies all over that country? Problem is that the English don't want that. John Prescott tried it and was humiliated in a referendum up in the North East, where there has been much anger over Scotland getting so much say out of devolution. If it isn't acceptable there, it has no chance anywhere in England.
There is good reason from an English point of view in rejecting internal assemblies. For centuries centralised government from London has brought England success at home and abroad. Their whole political culture has been developed to centre on London and Westminster. It is from there that they still seek solutions to their problems, not from devolved assemblies with artificial boundary lines breaking up their country.
The English lost no political power in the Union of 1707. We did. We have a clear border upon which to define the writ of devolution. They have no clear boundaries between their regions. So, English devolution is no solution either.
The third notion of fewer Scottish MPs could actually make matters worse. Let's say the number is reduced from its present 59, down to 20. If Labour had a tiny overall majority, dependent entirely on those 20, then the sense of unfairness, and justified outrage, down in England would grow. So, that solution is out too.
The fourth idea, the dissolution of the United Kingdom, is for me, a former SNP MP, a welcome one. But my view is not important. It's how the English view is developing that really matters. The English are not like the supine Scots who put up with an alien English-based government they detested in the form of Margaret Thatcher. The English are of a different stamp. Where we are timid, they are assertive. Where we believe in the myth of our own inadequacy (too wee to survive, too poor, not good enough to run ourselves) they are not known for such modesty. While Scots sing Flower of Scotland, with its pessimistic wail of when will we see their likes again, the English belt out Jerusalem with pride about England's green and pleasant land.
Where we long ago forgot the art of statecraft, and didn't even know we had explicit Scottish state interests, the English practised statecraft and realpolitik with zest when they flushed Scotland's oil into their southern flesh pots.
There are no ifs, no doubts in the English mind about English rights; and if those can only be protected by English independence, that is what will happen. As Michael Portillo put it last Sunday when advocating that England evict Scotland from the UK:
"The loss of one-twelfth of our population in a region that drags down our national performance could not harm us. Our hydrocarbons are less of an issue now they are being exhausted."
England held fast to Scotland for what we had: strategic military bases during the Cold War, and vast wealth from oil.
No Cold War, oil running out, goodbye to the Jocks: that's the English answer to the West Lothian question.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Another referendum and another small nation takes a step towards self-respect and self-government. Last time Montenegro - this time a country 12 times its size - Catalonia.
An overwhelming majority voted for the New Statute that gives the Catalans more power over their own affairs and more power to normalise their language.
The new statute recognises Catalonia as a nation and will strengthen the Catalan language - a language, like Welsh, which was banned in its own country.
Many see the new statue as the last step before full independence. However, there is a snag in calling a referendum on Catalan independence - it's 'illegal' i.e. unconstitutional under the Spanish Constitution.
So there we go, the democratic will of nations - and people - had more right under the constitution of Serbia and Montenegro than in Spain! What moral right does the Castilian population of Spain have to deny and put a boundary on the legal right (by the United Nations charter - of which Spain is also a member) to self-determination? It seems democracy has its limits in Western Europe.
An interesting snipe in the BBC's coverage claims that only 50% of Spaniards support more power for Catalonia. This is a bit like quoting that only 50% of Russians support Estonian or Chechen independence, or that the British didn't agree with Irish independence or independence for the 13 Colonies.
What's it got to do with the Spanish? Independence for Catalonia would still mean Spain would have its own government, embassies, football team and language.
Visca Catalunya - Cymru am Byth!
Monday, June 19, 2006
I know that a good number of English people, and English nationalists in particular, read this site. So let me explain why I and many thousands of other Welsh people (and other Celts presumably) won't be supporting England in this World Cup.
It's not because of anti-English racism. As a Welsh nationalists I'm supportive of a strong English identity and don't believe the bile and slander I read from British nationalists and the Brit Nat Labour Party in particular, that Englishness = racism. I believe that there is a strong civic English national identity and I support that. In fact, all Welsh nationalists are more supportive of English identity than the British establishment.
It's not a hatred of England, things English or English people. Many Welsh nationalists reading this site will know, be married to, or have good friends who are English. Welsh nationalists have a great respect for the English who have made a massive contribution to world literature, culture and scientific development.
So, what is this business of supporting teams which play against England? Why do some Welsh people daub walls, snap England flags off cars in Wales or wear the shirts of obscure countries that play against England?
It's politics. I know as night follows day that if all Welsh people and Welsh nationalists were to support England in this World Cup the message it would send wouldn't be 'aren't the Welsh an open-minded, liberal people who deserve our respect and support'. The message the governing classes, the media, tourists and ordinary English people will see is 'Wales = England' or as the Encyclopaedia Britannica used to say, 'for Wales, see England'.
Our nationality, our language and our concerns will be ignored - 'they all support England, they identify with England, they really are the same as the English. There wouldn't be a Welsh Language Act or a strengthening of the Wales Act to give the Assembly more power.
Welsh people would gradually think, 'yes, your right, for Wales see England, that's it'. As I've said before, Welsh nationalism is a political concept that had to be invented because Britishness/British nationalism was (and is) negating our existence and language. By supporting England we'll make ourselves invisible and when you're invisible you're ignored. Not supporting England makes us visible and affirms our nationality and gives us strength.
Those Welsh people who tell us to support England are by and large the ones who've accepted an ethnic Welsh identity within a larger civic English/British nationality. They've accepted a Welshness that is acceptable to English norms; it's Welshness in the image of Englishness. This isn't an argument against Englishness; it's an argument against this type of Welshness that makes Wales a province not a nation.
So, to my English readers. I hope you have a good World Cup. Yes, I would dearly like to be there with you supporting a Welsh team in the finals. I'm very glad you have your own national football team and aren't submerged within a British one. I support your efforts to fly your flag and to create a civic, passionate and exciting new English identity.
But I ask you to keep in mind my feelings, and thousands of others like me when you visit Wales, and accept that the reasons we won't support your team is purely political not personal, or jealousy. Enjoy your World Cup.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
It seems that the good people of Aberystwyth in west Wales have not been best pleased by English chain stores displaying the St. George's Cross, and items plastered with ENGLAND, in their branches in the town (which is in Wales by the Way!)
The biggest culprits have been Giles Sports and Bewise. The stores have recently been re-decorated with the words "Be Wise, Don't shop here!" and "Aber(ystwyth) is not in England!"
The story comes from the famous Welsh language 'Dogfael' blog.
We have also received an email advertising a T-shirt printed with one of John Toshack's famous quotes.
"Support England? You must be joking!"
We've always known that Labour Ynys Môn MP, Albert Owen, is a British Nationalist, but by signing this early day motion, we are a little confused?
The motion calls on all constituent parts of the United Kingdom to get behind England during the World Cup. Does he therefore believe that the UK, Britain and England are one of the same? Or is he now an English nationalist as well?
Friday, June 09, 2006
At last, some common sense. Deputy chief constable of North Wales Police Clive Wolfendale asks England fans to be sensitive when flying their national flag in Wales.
The Labour MPs are all for flying English flags in Wales, of course. English votes are more important, and England is a real country. Funny how English flags is a problem for Labour in England but not in Wales.
We can cope with English tourists flying the flag, but when people living in our country fly the flag in a blatant show that they will not integrate into Welsh life, and if they do it's on their terms linguistically and culturally (like Labour MP Mark Tami), it gets too much!
With all these English flags in Wales it's like King Edward's army is back to show us who's boss. It's a sign of our colonisation by a more powerful neighbour - swords in 1282 and 1400s, British capitalism and consumer culture backed by Labour loathing of Welshness today.
For our readers who understand Welsh, here’s a wonderful poem on the subject by Llion Jones from Yr Annedd:
Mae rhodres ymerodraeth yn y gwyntHere’s a dodgy translation by yours truly!
ac awch hen ymyrraeth
yn gyrru drwy'r Gymru gaeth
yn chwifio'i goruchafiaeth.
The arrogance of empire is in the air
and the sharpness of old interference
driving through conquered Wales
waving its dominance.
C'mon boys, you know it makes no sense, and all this cross-dressing in Union Jacks just looks silly. We all know the reason Blair and Labour won't answer the West Lothian Question. Labour will never pass any motions at Westminster without the donkey vote from Wales and Scotland.
The issue has been discussed on Newsnight (at last) and the Labour Scottish MP came over as the usual member of the Labour smugocracy (do they have a special mould in some factory to create these people?).
As Alan Williams, Swansea MP (I thought he'd retired?!) said, the English have woken up.
The game's over. It's either a full-blown Federal set up or, my choice, independence for Wales, Scotland and England (+ Cornwall). Who wants the status of Schleswig-Holstein when they can have the status of Denmark or Germany?
Thursday, June 08, 2006
In a candid interview on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Labour Chancellor, Gordon Brown openly apologised for the personal abuse and insult which Plaid Cymru councillor, Simon Glyn suffered on the hands of Welsh Labour British nationalists members following Glyn's comments about the future of the Welsh language in 2001.
"Simon Glyn was treated awfully by the Welsh Labour Party, which hounded him for saying that people moving into Wales should learn to speak Welsh or at least be made aware of the Welsh language and culture. In hindsight it was all black propaganda waged by British Nationalists to kill off an intelligent debate on the future of the Welsh language and the impact of people moving into Welsh-speaking areas. I offer Simon Glyn my full apology."Well, OK, Brown the Brit didn't quite put it that way, but his comments about the duty of people who move to a country to learn the language of that country does sound a bit hollow in light of the bashing Welsh-speakers received for voicing the same points five years ago.
Ah well, there we go then. It wasn't that Labour were opposed or offended after all by arguments that people moving into a country should learn the indigenous language of that country. It was that English-speakers shouldn't have to learn Welsh. I see. Just good old-fashioned British nationalism once again from our great 'international socialists'. The same old story. Tossers.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Are we meant to get upset by this?
Labour started this nonsense to begin with and now everyone is trying to sue - or is afraid of being sued by someone else. The Welsh Nationalist movement have taken Blair to the police for his F**king Welsh remarks, which is only right in light of the fact that obscure Welsh nationalists have been hounded from their jobs by Labour members.
But isn't it now time to give the whole thing a rest? So some chavs in England chuck some darts at a Red Dragon – who cares, who's offended?
I can't be bothered to get upset nor could the Western Mail a day later. Question is, will Labour Brit Nats let it go too or more importantly, stop frothing if some one says something that they believe is vaguely 'anti English'?
I'm not so sure? Imagine some landlord in Cardiff chucking darts at an English flag, or better still, a landlord in Caernarfon doing the same, and who wouldn't bet on some Labour wannabe calling the CRE to complain and then asking Plaid Cymru to 'disassociate themselves' from the darts-at-flag-gate affair?
Depends how much you trust Labour's British Nats I suppose ... not much in my case. But, let's give it a go eh?
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Congratulations to The Times - newspaper of the British establishment - on an excellent article on Friday 2nd of June.
Jeremy Page and Richard Beeston seem to fully understand what is going on across Europe more than any other journalists.
Their outlined scenario (with helpful map!) gives a glimpse of a Europe of more nation states than today.
Many states are new – i.e. Wales, Flanders and the Basque Country- and many are ancient nations that regain their sovereignty – i.e. Scotland and Catalonia.
If you’re not China, India or the USA, what's the point of being a middle-sized European state in the 21st century?
What's the point of Britain, Belgium or Spain? What can these states do, that historic nations can't? (Except, possibly wage war... not the best advert).
Page and Beeston's article however did have one massive oversight. They didn't include one of Europe's oldest nation states, which has made a massive contribution to European literature and learning.
That country? Theirs - England. If Wales and Scotland become independent, then England will also regain hers!
The times they are a changing!
Monday, June 05, 2006
Fed up of seeing England flags invading our country like something from the Crusades? Why not buy some stylish stuff to show off whose country this is:
* Welsh Footie T Shirts
* Cowbois T Shirts
* Shwl Di Mwl T Shirts
* Welsh Flags & Car Flags
Wear with pride!
Saturday, June 03, 2006
Is there such a thing as a 'national' Labour party any more or is it Scotland and then Englandandwalesland? Scottish First Minister - Jack McConnell - says he won't support England in the World Cup, but the ever waffling Rhodri Morgan says he will support England 'unless they misbehave'. Eh?
Morgan, who always comes over as a proud Welshman in the English press but is in fact a British Nationalist, will support England becaue England is the 'motherland' for Labour Brit Nats in Wales. He also supports England because he doesn't want to offend the English vote in Wales.
You either support a country or you don't. It's not the fault of the football team, or nation, if a bunch of idiots riot.
Come on Morgan - stop sitting on the fence.