Saturday, 31 May 2008

A Denial of Identity with the National Cause

In the interests of "freedom of information" I publish the following to highlight the way in which the Welsh have been deprived of knowing of their history and have been fed a distorted view emanating from an English attempt to obliterate the culture, language and traditions of Wales. This has resulted in the existence of a section of the community which, through conditioning, has led to a reaction against Welsh identity and acceptance of the language and culture of Wales.
Sue Davies explains her blog :

I've started this blog as a small contribution to the struggle against the censorship that has disfigured my beloved Wales for many years.

I used to teach history at a school in Wales. I left long ago because the history I was expected to teach was mostly propaganda aimed at casting the English monarchy in the best light possible - and that meant telling packs of lies about Welsh history.

What brought matters to a head was a refusal to allow me to discuss with students research suggesting that Henry VIII, far from being someone to be admired and exhaulted, had executed tens of thousands of people for the heinious crime of dissent. Many of his victims were in Wales, where the Tudors (supposedly Welsh) were being criticised for not doing enough to end England's brutal grip on the Welsh.

My studies of Welsh history turned me into a staunch Welsh nationalist and republican. In fact I find it difficult to believe how anyone in Wales can have self-respect if they know Welsh history and remain a monarchist. The English monarchy's role in Wales is blood-drenched and stained with many atrocities, but you would hardly guess that from the history that has been taught many in Welsh schools.

I've always had a keen interest in current affairs and about seven years ago I started writing to the Welsh media - broadcast as well as newspapers - on all soirts of topics on a regular basis.

Sometimes my letters were published but often they were not. The omissions fell into a clear pattern - if the letter was non-controversial it would invariably be published (I'm not a bad letter-writer). But it was different with letters supporting Welsh nationalism or republicism or criticising the English monarchy. A few were printed, but most were not. Sometimes they would be edited beyoned belief. There were times when I barely recognised what I had written.

Tawdry baubles

About three years ago I persuaded a few fellow republicans to indulge in an unpleasnt excercise; namely to write some pro-monarchy letters to the newspapers. Every single one was printed verbatim.

It seems clear to me that the Welsh media - almost all of it owned, controlled and, largely, staffed from outside Wales - is determined not to allow any real debate about nationalism or republicism to get going.

It seems to me that many editors and media owners live in hope of some tawdry bauble from the much-discredited 'honours' system and are quite willing to do what is nessesary to 'earn' it. That, after all, is the real reason why the honours system is in place - to defend the monarchy from too much criticism.

So, why am I not in Plaid Cymru, the Welsh nationalist party? Well, I was for a short while but I quickly saw that the party wasn't much interested in Welsh independence (this was long before they actually admitted it publically) and had almost as many royalists as the Tory Party (one of the strong opponents of the monarchy I ever came across was a Tory Party activist in North Cardiff!).

I live in Whitchurch, Cardiff and hold a senior position in a pan-European venture that occasionally has me on the road to other countries.

I don't mind people challenging my views. I'm new to blogging so I'm not sure how easily it is for people to react. We'll see how it goes.


More on Global Wales

For more information on what is happening in Cymric circles around the world
paste this link into your browser window.

Global Wales - in Unity lies Strength!

"Let's find the World's Welsh" is a relatively new group on Facebook which now has 1,000 members. Independence Cymru, which has global readership, invites more of the world's Welsh to join this group. In unity lies strength and now is the time for all those exiles from the land of their fathers to join together in a global movement and promote the interests of a resurgent nation. When Ireland achieved independence and joined the European Union people of Irish descent flooded back to their native land to contribute to the prosperity of the nation. Government tax policies - low company taxes and so on - assisted in this process and today Ireland is a transformed
country, enjoying growth in its economy through international trade and technological expertise.

Its profile has been augmented by its culture - the phenomenal success of Riverdance, and the opening of Irish pubs in many of the world's cities.
Wales will no doubt benefit greatly after the emergence of independence and from assuming its place as an independence self-governing nation within the European Union. The world's Welsh can look forward to that day, when not only their thoughts will turn to home, but the spirit of hiraeth will inspire them to make a visit which may become permanent, as in the case of Ireland, and their multifarious talents will enrich the nation for future generations. So join the World's Welsh and make an impact across the world. Wherever you are you can make a difference.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Lingering Architecture in Lithuania

Since I have been in Kaunas I have stayed in three Soviet era apartment blocks in cramped conditions. They are still a reminder and remain a blot on the otherwise attractive landscape. Soviet architecture is typified by faceless concrete blocks in sombre grey hue and the said monstrosities with their antiquated plumbing and electrical systems deserve to be despatched to Kingdom Come, but people need housing and these monoliths represent affordable housing for the majority of the urban population. Trolley buses form the popular mode of transportation and the ticket is bought from a kiosk for 1.20 Litas and the same price applies throughout the network.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

The Burgeoning Euro

May 25 2008 by Steffan Rhys, Wales On Sunday

THE euro was launched as a cash-less currency for virtual payments in 1999 to claims that it was a “toilet currency” that would not withstand having to cover economies as diverse as Germany, Italy and Ireland.
At the time it was worth about 71p but it dropped to a low point of 57p in May 2000, returning to its initial rates two years later, when it appeared in physical form as banknotes and coins.

Its value against the pound has risen by 15% to 80p in the last six months and the euro has been tipped to replace the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency.
“The euro’s strength has to do with the different policies in the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England, which have both reacted to the current financial crisis,” says Marco Gundermann, economics lecturer at Uwic.
“The European Central Bank is quite inflexible in its policy making. They can’t take into account employment issues and are only charged with looking at inflation.
“The American bank has to react to employment. The Bank of England is inflation targeting but also has to support overall economic policy, so probably feels more vulnerable at the moment.”

Not all EU member states use the euro. Denmark and the UK agreed an opt-out clause exempting them from participation, while other countries (newer EU members plus Sweden) have yet to meet the conditions for its implementation.

Time to consider a Welsh Euro? Should Wales go it alone and join up? It will be the currency of the future without doubt. The days of the Pound are numbered.

The City of Kaunas

Kaunas in Lithuania is a very pleasant city,with parks, many trees and leafy suburbs. There is a confluence of two rivers here and an old town with cobbled streets and fine buildings. Today there was a street market extending for several hundred metres and a religious procession (Catholic) as well as traditional dancing in folk costume. Needless to say I took many photographs. A Welsh exile would have no difficulty in settling in this amenable and congenial environment.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

An Offence to Democratic Government in Wales



from the South Wales Evening Post
09:00 - 17 May 2008

Plaid in Carmarthenshire have stormed out en masse at the first full council meeting of the new term.Members were protesting against what they saw as a very poor offer of representation in influential positions on the authority - considering the party's successful showing in the local elections.

Plaid leader Peter Hughes Griffiths (pictured) branded the ruling Independent/Labour coalition's move a token gesture after it offered opposition members just three key positions this week. The proposal was declined and his party walked out of County Hall during the meeting, held to elect the new leader and committee chairmen.
Councillor Meryl Gravell had earlier been returned as council leader with 42 votes, compared to 28 for Councillor Hughes Griffiths.

The Plaid leader said: "As a group we have rejected the crumbs offered to us by the coalition, as we feel that it is not a fair reflection of how the people of Carmarthenshire voted."
Despite winning 42 per cent of the vote in the county elections, and a total of 30 seats, Plaid weren't offered a place on the executive board and, out of 32 chairmen and vice-chairmen of various committees, the party was only offered two scrutiny committee chairs (housing and social justice) and one vice-chairman's role (education and children's services).
"As a party we have done everything possible to try to talk to the Independent and Labour groups to find a solution that is best for the people of this county, but we have been totally ignored," said Councillor Hughes Griffiths.
"I'm very disappointed with the outcome because, when it comes down to it, it is the voice of the people that is being ignored."
He added: "We will continue to work hard for the people of Carmarthenshire as an opposition party and, with 30 councillors, we will make sure that the voices of the people are heard."

Independent group leader Pam Palmer hit back strongly, dismissing Plaid's antics as "childish at best".
She said: "It just beggars belief - they turn down the opportunity for two very high-profile chairs and a vice-chair, then turn around and walk out of council because not only do they want them, but they want more.
"Their behaviour is extremely childish at best, at worst they have thrown away the opportunity to represent the people who voted for them."

A Comment
I fully support Plaid in their protest at this meeting; what we must remember is a lot of the independents are ex-Labour councillors who have distanced themselves from the party by standing as independents because they knew darn well if they stood under the Labour flag they wouldn't have a cat-in-hell's chance of getting elected. They are still the same tired old Labour cronies we've had to put up with for donkeys years. We have in Carmarthenshire what is effectively a Labour council despite Plaid getting a high percentage of the vote. What we need is new young blood, true independents to stand and get rid of these tired old communist fogeys who are only there to serve their own interests and do the bidding of this inept, incompetent Labour government.
Rob, Llanelli

We in Plaid fully agree. When will people realise that any party or grouping which is affiliated to the "British" parties does not represent the true interests and heritage of Wales and its people? Further comments welcome.

Friday, 23 May 2008

From the Spectator Blog

Wednesday, 21st May 2008
Labour Conference abolishes Britishness
James Forsyth 6:09pm

I’ve just been filing in an application for credentials to the Labour party conference and was gobsmacked to find that you could not declare your nationality to be British. Instead, you had to pick English, Northern Irish, Scottish, Welsh or a foreign nationality.

I’m sure that this is just an oversight. But given how much Gordon Brown talks about Britishness and the giant Union flag backdrop at the special Labour conference that elected him leader, it is rather amusing. I’m now considering starting a campaign: British passes for British hacks.

Independence Cymru says: we call on the Labour Party to officially abolish this illusory sense of "Britishness". Our nations have matured beyond Britain.

Onward To Lithuania

News for the friends of Independence Cymru
I am heading for the old town of Kaunas in Lietuva (Lithuania)
so will be there for a week or so, then back to Dyfed on 6th June.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

The Cornish Language Comes Back to Life

From The TimesMay 21, 2008

After centuries, Cornish agree how to speak their language.
by Simon de Bruxelles

For hundreds of years the dwindling band of surviving Cornish-speakers have been so divided that they could not even agree what their language should be called.
Now after protracted and delicate neogtiations, Cornwall’s hardy linguistic scholars have set aside their differences to settle a standard written form for the language they treasure.

Since the early 20th century there has been a successful campaign to revive spoken Cornish, but the use of sources from different eras meant there were several versions of how it should be written. The result was a rivalry between proponents of Unified Cornish, Kernewek Kemmyn, Modern Cornish, Unified Cornish Revised, Kernowak Standard, Kernewek Dasunys and other variants that would have left speakers of the original language utterly bemused.
As a measure of the differences Cornish-speakers could not even agree whether the language should be called Kernowek, Kernewek or Curnoack.
Now after two years of negotiation, scholars from all the different factions have reached agreement on a Standard Written Form which will be used in future in education, in pamphlets and brochures, and on public signs.

A thousand years ago, Cornish, which is closely related to Breton and Welsh, was spoken by most of the population in southwest England. Its decline began in 1549 when the Latin prayer book was replaced by an English version, provoking a revolt by people who spoke only Cornish. The repression that followed culminated in the massacre of 4,000 rebels and left a bitterness that lingers to this day.

Cornish retreated down the peninsula. The last monoglot Cornish speaker is believed to have been a man called Chesten Marchant who died at Gwithian in 1676. Dorothy Pentreath, the last native speaker, died in 1777 at Mousehole. The last living link with the language was broken in 1891 with the death of John Davey, of Zennor, who took to the grave the Cornish phrases his grandfather had taught him.
By 1900 Cornish was a dead language that survived only in a few manuscripts and the notes of 18th and 19th-century linguistic scholars who had recorded what they could before it vanished completely.
Its reconstruction and revival began in the early 1900s with renewed interest in Cornish heritage and there are now about 300 people who can speak it fluently, with several thousand more who have at least a rudimentary grasp.

Cornish is unique among minority European languages because it was revived after having died out. A team of scholars led by a Norwegian linguist, Trond Trosterud, devised the standard written form under the auspices of the Cornish Language Partnership.
Its development officer Jenefer Lowe, who has been speaking Cornish since she was a girl, said: “There were scholastic disagreements and some pretty firmly held opinions but we managed to reach agreement in the end. The standard form draws on the forms already in existence. This means that users of any form will find much that is familiar, alongside some differences.”
Benjamin Bruch, a former lecturer in Celtic studies at Harvard University who helped to draw up the SWF, said: “It is a critical and extremely exciting time in the history of the language. There has been a huge change in perception and awareness of the language over the past ten years.”
He added that he hopes the move will encourage a stronger sense of Cornish identity. “If you have no language you have no land. A lot of people feel it is part of their identity, part of their heritage. Cornwall is lucky because people are working hard to use it more and more. It gives it a fighting chance when others are going.”

Cornwall County Council is now asking that Cornish be recognised by the EU as an official regional or minority language, like Welsh or Gaelic. That could ease the way for EU funding for teaching – which at present is restricted to DVDs in three secondary schools. Frances Bennett, a teacher of Modern Cornish, said: “Young children are really keen to learn the language. It’s like a secret code to them.”

Starting point

Myttin da
Good morning

Dohajydh da
Good afternoon

Gorthugher da
Good evening

Fatla genes?
How are you?

Meur ras
Thank you

Marpleg Please

Pinta korev marpleg
Pint of beer, please

Yeghes da/Sewena

A vynn’ta kavoes neppyth dh’y dhybri?
Do you want something to eat?

Ple’ma an bysva?
Where is the toilet?

My a’th kar
I love you

Dyw genes
Goodbye (God be with you)

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Alba, Cymru, Eire (Iwerddon), Kernow, Lloegr, Mannin, Breizh - the New Utopia........

Are you ready for this?

An Uncaring Government in a Valueless Society

They say that society gets the government it deserves, but it is the duty of government to set the standards and the tone and to lead society in the best way possible, maintaining values of decency, dignity and respect and establishing a social structure and constitutional framework based on just principles and right conduct. This government has done none of these things. It has stood by while society crumbles and decays, and allows the worst elements to gain the upper hand.
Witness the decline in standards, in government, in the media, in education and on the streets. Witness the rise of bureaucracy, control, regulation, taxation, and the lack of privacy and individual freedom.
Living with this state of affairs it appears to be the norm, but when one distances oneself from it and views it from afar its true nature is revealed in all its abject and sordid profligacy.

Quality of life for elderly 'worse'

Press Assoc. - Tuesday, May 20 04:02 am

A fifth of people over 65 in the UK (20%) feel their quality of life has worsened in the last year, while only 9% feel it has improved, according to a new survey.

One in four older people say they have become so worried about their future that it is affecting their physical health, the study for the charity Help the Aged showed.
The poll by ICM also found that 23% of people aged 65 and over avoid heating their bedroom, bathroom or living room because they are worried about the cost.
One tenth (10%) of people of that age say they are often or always lonely, while 12% are not happy with their quality of life. And more than half (53%) agree that age discrimination is part of older people's everyday lives, with 29% saying health professionals tend to treat older people as a nuisance.
The survey forms part of the charity's analysis of the state of older people, called Spotlight.

Other figures highlighted by the charity include the proportion of older people in England who say they are not always treated with dignity in hospital has worsened from 21% to 22% while the provision of low level social care - two hours or less at home a week - has dropped, with 11% fewer households receiving care in England than in the previous year.
The charity also says that in the past 12 months an estimated 200,000 extra pensioner households have been plunged into fuel poverty.
The same number of older people are living in poverty in 2008 as in the previous year, with 21% of pensioners surviving below the poverty line, it says.
Paul Cann, the charity's director of policy and external relations, said: "It's appalling that we live in a society where older people feel sick with worry about the future.
"The Government must ease their concerns by banning the ageism that continually sinks its poison right into the heart of our society."

Monday, 19 May 2008

Kernewek May be Revived in the 21st Century!

The Cornish language has received recognition and support from the European Union.
Paste the link into your browser window to find out how:

Message from Cernyw/Kernow

Alun a wheag.

We in Kernow look on with deep satisfaction at these enlightening events in Cymru for we see ourselves as some 40 years behind, (politically speaking). Whilst I as an individual know I will not be alive to witness "Kernow Rydhsys", I will at least know that Cymru and following, Kernow, will be well on the way to achieving a political and nation status that will inevitably lead, not just to preservation, but to a growth of the culture of our Celtic nations. A family based culture that really cares for our peoples and is not solely intent on aquiring wealth as our colonial interlopers seem to be obsessed with.

Personal thoughts are that there is no poetry in the English except that which glorifies its colonialism, "Land of hope and glory", Rule Britannia", et al.

Oll an Gwella.
(name with-held)

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Latvia's Need for Resurfacing

The streets and roads of the towns and villages of Latvia are in dire need of maintainance and repair. Many of them are completely unmade while others have numerous cracks and pot-holes. The infrastructure is generally old and creaky, the trams still running after years of service going way back into the Soviet era, and the featureless buildings are ripe for reinstatement or demolition. Latvia needs a massive amount of funds injected into its shaky economy and there is no Barnett Formula here.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Uncompromising Blogging for Cymru

Picture posted with acknowledgements to Ordovicius


This blog "Independence Cymru" now approaches its first birthday. Since its inauguration the political scene in Wales has been transformed and the cause of independence has received an impetus which many of its detractors have deplored but have not been able to deflect. We began with the elections to the National Assembly of Wales which, rather than being the puppet government that many devolutionists might have preferred, has flexed its muscles and delivered its legislation in the context of the particular needs of Wales and for the benefit of the people of Wales.

The election to the Assembly of Helen-Mary Jones heralded a new dawn for Llanelli, a constituency which has been steeped in socialism for donkey's years. Yet with the advent of "New Labour" socialism was finally extirpated from the party which had become a shadow of its former days. Labour had moved radically to the right and socialist principles had been abandoned, to be taken over by the only viable alternative - Plaid Cymru. Plaid is unequivocal in its support for communities, not for class or vested interests. People have begun to take note of this fact and their allegiance has swung towards the only Party of Wales, the only political party which promotes the nation and defends the nation against contemporary imperialism.

With the alliance of Plaid with Labour in the Assembly a bridgehead was established and the results of this are plain to see. Wales has a farming policy sympathetic to the interests of the rural and agricultural communities. The people of Wales benefit from free medicines and free car-parking facilities in the hospitals, the closure of NHS facilities has been stemmed and Welsh arts promoted. There are more Welsh schools of excellence where English families increasingly send their children, knowing that they will receive true values and a better education, from dedicated staff who believe in cultural and linguistic acquisitions.

There is much to be done but Wales is on the right road and much progress has been achieved. This is reflected in the outcome of the local elections which, despite being under-reported by the somewhat skeptical media, delivered a resounding blow to the prevailing hegemony of Labour and carried Plaid forward on a wave of popular support. In particular the back of Labour was broken in Llanelli where the surge in the Plaid vote created new councillors for the county and for local community councils and unseated Labour members who had been installed for time immemorial.

Sometimes those elected to power have to make unpopular decisions, the closure of rural schools for example, and this is the reason why Plaid received a set-back in Gwynedd. Those who voted Llais and not Plaid, however, are no less fervent in their aspiration for a self-governing Wales, but are naturally concerned for their children's education, fearing that they will lose out as a result of new proposals. The answer is not the bilingual approach in Wales but a two-tier approach, where Ysgolion Gymraeg continue to thrive and flourish and produce the sons and daughters to guide and direct Cymru Fydd. It must be remembered, however, that stringent economic considerations should not necessarily override the real and urgent needs and concerns of local communities. A lesson may be learned here.

Returning to the topic of the blogosphere it is heartening to note the appearance of new bloggers devoted to the cause. I refer to the blogs of John Dixon and Carwyn Fowler who both stood as candidates in the recent local elections. They both have a valuable contribution to make to the blogosphere and their views should be read and noted. One point which came up is the invidious position of "Independents" who proliferate in local councils, but are inevitably Tories in disguise or Labourites
in sheep's clothing. They should fly their true colours and be counted. There are in fact very few truly independent councillors who stand up for their own beliefs. Depending which areas of Wales they live in they profess to be Independents knowing that to proclaim themselves as Tory or Labour would be their death sentence.

This blog has been consistent throughout its existence. It has been derided by some, attacked by others and praised by those with perspicacity and loyalty to the cause.
It is not unduly ideological - that is not its modus vivendi. It exists, as Plaid Cymru exists, to proclaim and defend the national spirit and identity, the language and the culture of Wales, and to expose the flagrant deceptions which the history books and an all-enveloping British education have produced, whereby national events have been ignored and cultural institutions have been excluded from the curriculum.
There is, without any doubt, a rise in the consciousness of the nation and a new confidence that Wales is well on the road to maturity and independence. It is expressed in sport, in the media, in the scattered communities throughout the land.
The arguments are indisputable; Wales is a nation in the ascendant. Cymru am byth!

Friday, 16 May 2008

Your Favourite Grand Lady in the Senedd

The fact that a tinplate plaque depicting Margaret Thatcher (and Aneurin Bevan) is to be prominently displayed in the Senedd building from May 21st(Valleys Mam's blog) is an anathema for many of the people of the Welsh valleys. Surely it will spur on the drive for a Welsh Parliament after the establishment of which it can be quietly removed!

Is Life in Wales Worth Living?

There must be something dreadfully wrong with the state of society in Wales (and in Britain) today. It is as if people have nothing to live for, that they cannot see a future for themselves in Wales. It is necessary to look deeper into the psychology of those who have given up hope and have come to the conclusion that the only thing to do is to end it all. There is hope for a brighter future for Wales, but first its people have to break away from the notion that they will always be a second-class forgotten nation, that they always have to depend on a central government standing aloof and remote from the needs and interests of the people of Wales. Wales is slowly but surely finding its own identity, reviving its own historical roots and aspiring to its own apparatus of democratic, community-based government, a government which cares for its people and their welfare.

First, we have to dispel the illusion which has conditioned the minds of so many, through false and distorted education, the illusion that they are British subjects (subjected to Britain), that Britain is a nation (which it is not), that Welsh is an archaic language of no relevance to contemporary modern society (patently untrue), that the Assembly of Wales is a puppet government of the British State. The battle for hearts and minds goes on and Wales needs its youth to acquire the vision of what is possible and what is meaningful, not to seek an escape in personal oblivion.

Support the Celtic Cornish Cousins

Message from a Cornish patriot

Cowetha wheag/ Dear Friends

As we all know by now, Tony Leamon again answers bail on the morning of 2nd July, 2008 at Camborne Police Station. I thank you all, sincerely, for your ongoing messages of support. By then, Tony will have been 10 months on restrictive police bail (a kind of house arrest for our friends not in the know ) and the police can place any restrictions on him that they wish without challenge. That's modern English law for you !
I think Tony has performed magnificently down these past ten months and in a very dignified manner. he bears no malice against the local police but against their politically motivated paymasters.

I think we should again barrage the following with e-mails of support and please bear this little known piece of legislation, in use every day by lawyers flagged to me by a Republican lawyer in mind.

The Criminal Procedures and Investigation Act (CPIA) which obliges the police and their Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to disclose to the defence solicitor every piece of material not used in the actual case. That means every one of your letters of support, every phone call which should be logged and passed on and so on. To breach this legislation will undermine the Prosecution case - so I hope you all see where I am coming from ! keep those messages going. I have sent one in asking the police to be aware that the St George's Flag is very unpopular in Kernow and that much hate may follow from many people who could possibly have phoned the campsite where it was being flown. Further, that if they went to the "News is Now Public", a Vancouver based news site, they would see that over 10,000 people have viewed very critical material about Jamie Oliver and other celebrity English colonisers. Any one of those 10,000 could easily send hate mail.

The police officer investigating Tony is as follows: Detective 196 HAMPSON of BODMIN CID so why not make all mail addresses to him and ask that it is copied to the CPS and to Tony's lawyer Ms. G. Kinley (good Celtic name !) of Vivian Thomas & Jervis Solicitors, PO Box 23, Falmouth, Kernow TR11 3UF. The police/Cps must reveal every piece of information acquired along the way of these 10 months. Let's make them earn their money !

Police E-mail: marked 'for attention of Detective 196 HAMPSON, BODMIN CID

or anonymously to: marked 'for attention of detective 196 HAMPSON BODMIN CID

or to the people who 'pay' the police, the Police Authority (just like a board of Governers if you like) and again mark for attention of 196 HAMPSON & Cornwall CPS
Also ask that Tony's Lawyer be made aware of your message.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Should Plaid Be in Power in Carmarthenshire County Council?

It is too late to vote now (I just got my vote in on time) but the results in the Swansea Evening Post Poll are : 80% FOR / 20% AGAINST
There is massive popular support for Plaid being in power at Carmarthen. To keep the Labour/Independent Alliance in control of the council will be disastrous, for the county and for its inhabitants, whatever their political leanings and whatever their ethnic origin.

Go here to view reults of the poll.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Latvia is Clean and Orderly

Latvia does not suffer from the British disease in relation to disorderly conduct, anti-social behaviour, drunkenness and vandalism. Drinking is not allowed on the streets and there is a greater sense of self-respect and personal dignity. British "tourists" who come to Riga on Stag Weekends and who commits acts of drunkenness or indecency are dealt with or ridiculed in the newspapers. The streets are clean and tidy and the people well-dressed and fashionable, though smoking is probably more in evidence than on the streets of Britain. These are impressions of Riga from the past few days, and in two days' time I will be on the bus to Daugavpils, the second city of Latvia, which from what I gather is a very pleasant city indeed.

Monday, 12 May 2008

The State of Latvia

Inflation here is estimated at 15% per annum. Shopping is relatively expensive and on a par with Britain, yet the currency is stronger than the pound, 15% up on the exchange rate of last December when I visited the Baltic regions. It would not surprise me if the currency, the Lati, is heading for a devaluation, though the Prime Minister states that he intends interest rates to come down to 9% by the end of the year. Furthermore, corruption is not an unknown word in this country. We shall wait and we shall see!

Friday, 9 May 2008

I'll Take the High Road and You Take the Low Road

.... And I'll reach Independence before ye.....

From the BBC

The Scottish Government has refused to speed up its plans for a vote on independence,despite pressure from the Scottish Labour leader Wendy Alexander.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the SNP would not be hurried into changing its timetable for a planned referendum in 2010. But Downing Street has refused to support Ms Alexander's backing for a straight yes/no public referendum.
Scots Tory leader Annabel Goldie branded her move "reckless".

Ms Alexander put her plans to Labour MSPs during their regular group meeting at Holyrood, while Labour MPs will discuss them during a meeting at Westminster later.
Ms Sturgeon branded Ms Alexander's call a "panic reaction by a party that's plummeting at the polls" and claimed the Scottish Labour leader was behaving "erratically".

Speaking on BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme, Ms Sturgeon said: "If Wendy Alexander really does now support an independence referendum, clearly I and the SNP welcome her very warmly indeed.

"I am a staunch supporter of devolution and refuse to play fast and loose with our future." Annabel Goldie Scottish Conservative leader.
"But we have to inject a note of caution here, Wendy Alexander's behaviour is erratic in the extreme.
"It's only a few weeks ago she said she was implacably opposed to a referendum, she's just set up a constitutional commission that expressly excludes the option of independence.
"So, who knows what her position will be this time next week, let alone in six months time."
But Ms Alexander insisted it was important for the issue to be settled sooner rather than later.

She said: "[The Scottish Government] are now suggesting they won't bring the legislation in until 2010.
"Given it takes about nine months to debate a bill the Scottish Parliament, that means that we could be looking at the issue not being resolved until weeks before the next Scottish election.
"I think that uncertainty is damaging, a lot of Scots think it is damaging - we should get on with it."
'Political gamble'

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Gordon Brown's spokesman, when asked repeatedly whether he supported Ms Alexander's stance, said: "The position taken by the Labour Party leader [Wendy Alexander] is a matter for her."
The spokesman said Mr Brown was confident in the strength of the argument and that any calls for independence would be defeated.

The Labour Westminster group meeting on Tuesday evening was pre-arranged to allow MPs to question Chancellor Alistair Darling, but Ms Alexander's stance will be discussed, according to a source.
Ms Goldie said of the plans: "This is a reckless political gamble which has betrayed the best interests of Scotland.
"I am a staunch supporter of devolution and refuse to play fast and loose with our future. Wendy Alexander is dancing to Alex Salmond's jig and pandering to the agenda of the SNP."


Thursday, 8 May 2008

Post-Election Blues

England after Britain - post-election reading

Imagined Nation: England after Britain

Mark Perryman (ed)

(from Our Kingdom blog)

Imagined Nation: England after Britain
The break-up of Britain has begun but, unlike the rest of its constituent parts, England remains an imagined nation. Scotland has a Parliament, and Wales and Northern Ireland have Assemblies. What does England have as a nation state - apart from a team to cheer and a flag to wave?

Imagined Nation explores the possibilities for England after Britain - as a multicultural nation, capable of addressing the legacies of history, yet confident enough to construct an inclusive future.

The contributors to this book put forward a variety of ideas in an effort to begin to create a new imaginary for an old country. Rejecting racialised ideas of Englishness, they outline the prospects for a hybrid nation, and offer a vision of a green and pleasant land as an alternative national future.

'Some of the sharpest thinking around on both the pitfalls of nationalism and the potential for a progressive English identity'
Gary Younge

'Mark Perryman has long been one of the more articulate commentators on issues of national identity'
Andrew Shields, Time Out

'Mark Perryman, the supreme documenter of English fandom'
Brian Appleyard, Sunday Times

Mark Perryman is writer and regular TV commentator on Englishness and football, and a lecturer in sports journalism at Brighton University. He is convenor of the London England Fans supporters' group, co-founder of Philosophy Football and author of a number of books, including Ingerland: Travels with a Football Nation and (as editor) The Blair Agenda.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Frae Across the Wide Waters

Independence Cymru will be doing just that - fleeing to Latvian shores, but have no fear. The blog will continue, somewhat intermittently, and when independence arrives be so kind as to drop us a line!

The water is wide, I cannot get o'er
And neither have I wings to fly.
Give me a boat, that will carry two,
And both shall row, my love and I.

A ship there is, and she sails the sea,
She's loaded deep as deep can be,
But not so deep as the love I'm in;
I know not if I sink or swim.

I lean'd my back up against some oak,
Thinking that he was a trusty tree.
But first he bended and then he broke,
And so did my false love to me.

O love is handsome and love is fine,
And love's a jewel when it is new;
But when it is old, it groweth cold,
And fades away like morning dew.

Good Gord! Wha' 'll He Dae Next? Time tae Scarper?

Click on the LINK to read what the Scots think of their scion.

Monday, 5 May 2008

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Plaid Cymru Resurgence in Carmarthenshire


Carmarthenshire County Council has 74 elected councillors, 30 of which represent Plaid Cymru. The Plaid Cymru Group is led by Councillor Peter Hughes Griffiths (see video below). Here is a list of Plaid Cymru Councillors on Carmarthenshire County Council, the Wards they represent, as well as their contact details. There are now 30 elected councillors. The BBC got the numbers wrong!

Dyfrig Thomas - Plaid Cymru DYFRIG Thomas

Ward: Bigyn.

Michael Burns - Plaid Cymru MICHAEL John Patrick Burns

Ward: Bigyn.

Peter Hughes Griffiths - Plaid Cymru PETER Hughes Griffiths

Ward: Carmarthen Town North .

Gareth Owen Jones - Plaid Cymru GARETH OWEN Jones

Ward: Carmarthen Town North .

Arwel Lloyd - Plaid Cymru Dafydd ARWEL Lloyd

Ward: Carmarthen Town South

Alan Speake - Plaid Cymru ALAN Douglas Thomas Speake

Ward: Carmarthen Town West

James Eirwyn Williams - Plaid Cymru James Eirwyn Williams

Ward: Cynwyl Gaeo

DAVID Michael Jenkins

Ward: Glanamman

Winston Lemon - Plaid Cymru WINSTON James Lemon

Ward: Glanymor

Sian Caiach - Plaid Cymru SIAN Mair Caiach

Ward: Hengoed

Mari Davies - Plaid Cymru MARI Lyn Davies

Ward: Hengoed

Roy Llewellyn - Plaid Cymru Daniel James ROY Llewellyn

Ward: Llanboidy

Rhys Davies - Plaid Cymru Dafydd RHYS Davies

Ward: Llanfihangel Aberbythych

Linda Evans - Plaid Cymru LINDA Davies Evans

Ward: Llanfihangel-ar-Arth

John Crossley - Plaid Cymru JOHN Daniel George Crossley

Ward: Llangeler

Gwyn Hopkins - Plaid Cymru William GWYN Hopkins

Ward: Llangennech

Gwyneth Thomas - Plaid Cymru GWYNETH Thomas

Ward: Llangennech

Tyssul Evans - Plaid Cymru William TYSSUL Evans

Ward: Llangyndeyrn

Phil Williams - Plaid Cymru PHIL Meredith Williams

Ward: Llannon

Emlyn Dole - Plaid Cymru EMLYN Dole

Ward: Llannon

Fiona Hughes - Plaid Cymru FIONA Hughes

Ward: Llanybydder

Philip HUW Lewis - Plaid Cymru Philip HUW Lewis

Ward: Lliedi

Meilyr Hughes - Plaid Cymru MEILYR Bowen Hughes

Ward: Llwynhendy

Malcolm Davies - Plaid Cymru David MALCOLM Davies

Ward: Pembrey

Sian Thomas - Plaid Cymru SIÂN Elisabeth Thomas

Ward: Penygroes

Marion Binney - Plaid Cymru MARION Patricia Binney

Ward: Pontamman

Joy Williams - Plaid Cymru JOY Sewell Williams

Ward: Pontyberem

Helen Elizabeth Wyn - Plaid Cymru HELEN Elizabeth Wyn

Ward: Quarter Bach

John Edwards - Plaid Cymru JOHN Garfield Edwards

Ward: Saron

Roger Price - Plaid Cymru ROGER Thomas Price

Ward : Tyisha

Cynghorwyr Plaid Cymru Sir Gâr - Carmarthenshire Plaid Cymru Councillors

Plaid Cymru Carmarthenshire - Election Broadcast

Carmarthen was the biggest success for Plaid Cymru in the County Council elections - 30 seats on the council.

A Year of Note for Nationalists

SNP marks year in office
Press Assoc.
Press Assoc. - 2 hours 1 minute ago

Deputy First Minister Nicol Sturgeon will join other SNP politicians to mark the first anniversary of the party winning the Holyrood election.

Last year's election was the first the Nationalists had won.

Ms Sturgeon and other party members will mark the event by campaigning on the streets of Glasgow.

The minister will be joined by Glasgow MSP Bashir Ahmed and others in Govan, where they will be speaking to voters and handing out leaflets.

Mr Ahmed and fellow Glasgow MSPs Bob Doris, Bill Kidd and Sandra White will also be campaigning in the city centre.

Mr Doris highlighted some of the achievements since the Nationalists came to power last May and said: "As an SNP MSP I am proud to be celebrating the first anniversary of our new SNP government.

"It's been a long fight but here we are at last delivering for the people of Scotland.

"We've fulfilled a whole range of manifesto commitments and we`re only a year into power. At last we can address the failings of the last government by, for example phasing out prescription charges."

With the SNP ahead of Labour in opinion polls Ms White added: "The polls tell us that the people are behind us and the next three years will see us continuing to stand up for them."

Friday, 2 May 2008

Plaid is the Largest Party in Carmarthen

Note: Independents are supposed to represent themselves and cannot be considered as a political party. However, they do tend to form alliances.

Plaid Cymru Plaid Cymru 31
Labour Labour 12
Liberal Democrat Liberal Democrat 1
Others Others 30

Party Previous Seats +/- 2008
Plaid Cymru 16 15 31
Labour 25 -13 12
Liberal Democrat 0 1 1
Others 33 -3 30

Type Unitary
Portion up for election Whole
Boundary changes No
Seats up for election 74

2004: NOC 1999: NOC 1995: NOC

Predictions and Prognostications

Councils Councillors
Party Net +/- Total Net +/- Total
Conservative 12 65 256 3154
Labour -9 18 -331 2368
Liberal Democrat 1 12 34 1805
Plaid Cymru -1 0 33 207
Green 0 0 5 47
Residents Association 0 0 -11 43
British National Party 0 0 10 37
Liberal 0 0 -2 20
Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern 0 0 0 10
UK Independence Party 0 0 3 8
Respect 0 0 1 4
Socialist Alternative 0 0 0 2
Others 0 0 -1 711
No Overall Control -3 64
159 of 159 councils have officially declared

Well, hopefully you all voted, and voted twice for Plaid. The results of the elections were not entirely unexpected, and Labour lost heavily as predicted. If you will remember Independence Cymru predicted that Carmarthenshire County Council would benefit from 28 Plaid Cymru seats, and so it happened, and was exceeded! Plaid has doubled its number of seats on the council, and has broken the back of the rigid Independent/Labour
alliance which bulldozed through unpopular policies, much to everybody's consternation and anger.

Efforts in Llanelli, Porth Tywyn and Pen Bre were well rewarded with a County Councillor elected for Pen Bre and six PC candidates elected for the town councils.

Other predictions were made a year ago when Independence Cymru foresaw that there would be a Plaid/Labour coalition in the Assembly, and later foresaw an Autumn election (averted at the last minute as it turned out). Independence Cymru of course predicts independence, first for Scotland, then for Wales but at present it is uncertain when precisely these will come into being. Watch this space!!