Sunday, 31 August 2008

Snooping For Britain

Independence Cymru has come across some exclusive photos taken of council officials exercising their public duties. More and more, civil liberties are being eroded and individual freedoms violated.
To what deplorable and abject state has the British state sunk? Better to disband and strike out for national world recognition for Wales, Scotland and other aspiring and deserving nations. Again, we are driven to repeat an undeniable fact which the government and many others refuse to accept:
"There is no British "nation".

Friday, 22 August 2008

World Travels with David Price - Wales - Part 2

World Travels with David Price - Wales - Part 1

Growing Overseas Support for Independence

A glance at the Traffic Map on the right side of this page will show that this blog, and other nationalist blogs are being read by Welsh emigrees and settlers living and working in lands across the globe. Furthermore, there is enthusiastic support among many of these readers for the cause of independence. In percentage terms, I surmise that it may be higher than the support received domestically. Be that as it may, the Welsh expatriates constitute a growing band of overseas supporters, and there are organs which encourage and inform, as well as collate and publicise events, such as the Newsletter from Carwyn Edwards of the Welsh League of Arizona, the recently founded site Global, and the Facebook group Let's Find the World's Welsh.

From this it can be observed that the movement for constitutional change and reconstruction of the state of Britain is not only a talking point at home, but also overseas, and particularly in the former colonial countries which form the Commonwealth. Following the advent of independence it is hoped that many of these expatriate Welsh will return to Wales to add fresh blood to the newly established self-governing nation, just as in Ireland, where investors were given generous incentives to set up businesses in the country (the lowering of Corporation Tax to 10%, for example). So, for anyone who may be interested in helping to swell the number of overseas supporters for the cause, I suggest that you take a look at these information gathering facilities and link up to form a truly global community of committed Cymry'r Byd. - Newsletter to Wales and the World (Let's find the World's Welsh)

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Sensible Solutions

More co-operation - less competition
More unity - less division
More thrift - less accumulation
More self-discipline - less indulgence
More concern - less indifference...

Now the ball is rolling, you are invited to add more....

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Rights of Possession

"Whose is this Estate?"
"It's mine, sure enough!"
"And how did ye come by it?"
"It was my father's."
"And so how did he get it?"
"Why, he fought for it!"
"Right, me boy! Then I'll fight you for it!"

(Irish poem)


The Land of Galicia

Celtic Spain

The Celts spread their culture and language across Europe and groups of Celts penetrated Spain in the west as well as Turkey in the east (Galatia).
Beginning around 700 BC, large groups of Celtic peoples began crossing the Pyrenees Mountains from Gaul into the Iberian peninsula. These tribes were moving under the pressure of population expansion, and were looking for new territory with fertile soil and rich pastures. In the beginning, it may be supposed they settled in the lush river valleys of the northern regions, displacing much of the native population. Though these Celts had become pastoral farmers, they brought with them their fierce and warlike heritage.

As more and more newcomers arrived, and the existing Celtic population thrived, they expanded westward and down the coast into the regions known today as Galicia (in northwest Spain) and Portugal to the south. Native populations were subdued and enslaved or driven into the poorer areas of the country, primarily the rocky uplands which were best suited for grazing of sheep and goats. By 400 BC, the Iberian peninsula was predominantly Celtic. Tribe and clan holdings dotted the river valleys and the coasts. Various types of grain were grown on small farming plots, while cattle, pigs and sheep were raised on the open range. There was also time for arts and beauty, as attested to by a number of archaeological treasures unearthed over the years.

Though the Celts themselves have all but vanished from the Iberian peninsula, their heritage and influence is still strong. There are many examples of the old language to be found in some item and place-names. The old Celtiberian language used a variation of the Phoenician alphabet, and appears to have been used mainly by the Druids. The language died out around 100 BC, as a result of Roman pressures. To this day, it has not been fully deciphered.

The universal Celtic love of music and dance lives on in many areas of Galicia. Folk-dances in this region are quite similar to those of Ireland and Scotland. Musical rhythms and melodic patterns also show some interesting similarities. The Celt-Iberians even have a bagpipe which gives a sound near to that of the uillean pipes of Ireland. Each year, Galicia sends representatives to the Pan-Celtic Festival in Lorient, Brittany.

Paste in the link:

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Gordon Goes for Gold

Our veritably British Prime Minister is no doubt seeking his own accolade with the percipient British public by associating himself with the successes of the 16+ British athletes who have been awarded gold medals at the Olympics, presumably to enhance his showing in the polls. Congratulations to the doughty athletes from Scotland England, Wales and Northern Ireland; thumbs down for Mr Brown.

Which Nation, Mr Brown?

"It bodes so well for 2012 and I think the whole nation is totally delighted and really proud at everything that's been achieved."


Another anthem for Kernow - with interesting lyrics! With the incursions from the east Cornwall was cut off from the Brythonic heartland of Wales and Cumbria. Then, many Cornish emigrated to Brittany taking their language with them. The three Brythonic nations are still intimately related, though the languages of Cymric and Cornish have died out. Cornish is going through a revival however among those who value the retention of Cornish culture and tradition. A study of Welsh and its pronunciation may assist this process, as well as highlighting the close similarities between the two branches of the Cymric language spoken throughout Britain during the Roman occupation as far north as Strathclyde..

Monday, 18 August 2008

The Political Stance of Independence Cymru

The time has come to clarify a few points regarding the political stance of this blog. This blog is in a sense apolitical, and wary of ideology. I think that concentration on ideological issues endangers the cause of nationalism by dividing those with rightist leaning from those of leftist leanings. That is why I have stated that Plaid Cymru is an umbrella organisation, although in many readers' eyes it is not. Ideology per se is a fatal flaw in the growth of nationalism. Lessons may be learned from Ireland, where Michael Collins and Eamonn de Valera had divergent views. In the words of the song written by Dominic Behan: "But still De Valera was greatly to blame, for shirking his part in the patriot game!" Agreed, Plaid Cymru is a left of centre, radical and progressive party and I support that, but the issue is independence and this will not be achieved by disunity.

Let all sincere nationalists steer away from ideological viewpoints and focus on the goal of independence. The rest can come later. After the declaration of independence political parties will emerge as a natural process and the British parties of today will reform into their political groupings. Then is the time to argue about ideological viewpoints, but not now, when the pressing issues are a parliament and the cause of an independent Wales. Plaid Cymru could well disband and so might the SNP, and new political parties may take their place in time to come. Plaid Cymru exists to strive for a Parliament and for Independence, in concert with the SNP's push for Scottish independence. The fulfilment of these aims by democratic means will alter the state of the Union and dissolve it.

Now is the time for unity and not division on ideological lines. We know well that the southerners (Adam Price et al.) favour a radical, left wing socialist approach, and the northerners in general favour a right of centre stance. Much of that stems from the 19th century radicalism of the valleys and the more liberal rural traditions. But let us not dwell on these matters. Personally, I am liberal and libertarian, a democratic radical pluralist and advocate of national unity and solidarity. I do not oppose those who disagree with my views. I seek to unite all in the nobler cause of an independent Cymru. That is why I believe that Plaid should be an umbrella party which embraces different political outlooks. In unity lies strength. Through unity comes victory; through division we fall, and all will be lost.
All those who aspire to the emergence of an independent country within Europe need to raise their sights, ignore petty considerations and espouse the greater vision of Cymru Fydd.

"The Patriot Game" -

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Y Ddraig Goch Flies at the Olympics

Congratulations to this Welsh athlete who put his country before his state (acknowledgements to Ordo). Tom James wearing his gold medal.

The Pros and Cons of Wind Power

Windmills split town and families

By HELEN O'NEILL, AP Special Correspondent Sat Aug 16, 7:58 PM ET

LOWVILLE, N.Y. - "Listen," John Yancey says, leaning against his truck in a field outside his home.
The rhythmic whoosh, whoosh, whoosh of wind turbines echoes through the air. Sleek and white, their long propeller blades rotate in formation, like some otherworldly dance of spindly-armed aliens swaying across the land.
Yancey stares at them, his face contorted in anger and pain.
He knows the futuristic towers are pumping clean electricity into the grid, knows they have been largely embraced by his community.

But Yancey hates them.
He hates the sight and he hates the sound. He says they disrupt his sleep, invade his house, his consciousness. He can't stand the gigantic flickering shadows the blades cast at certain points in the day.
But what this brawny 48-year-old farmer's son hates most about the windmills is that his father, who owns much of the property, signed a deal with the wind company to allow seven turbines on Yancey land.
"I was sold out by my own father," he sputters.

Yancey lives in a pine-studded home on Yancey Road, which he shares with his wife, Marilyn, and three children. The house is perched on the edge of the Tug Hill plateau, half a mile from the old white farmhouse in which Yancey and his seven siblings were raised.
Signs for fresh raspberries are propped against a fence. Horses graze in a lower field. Amish buggies clatter down a nearby road. From the back porch are sweeping views of the distant Adirondacks.
But the view changed dramatically in 2006. Now Yancey Road is surrounded by windmills.

Yancey and some of his brothers begged Ed Yancey to leave the family land untouched. But the elder Yancey pointed to the money — a minimum of $6,600 a year for every turbine. This is your legacy, he told them.
Yancey doesn't want the money or the legacy or the view.
"I just want to be able to get a good night's sleep and to live in my home without these monstrosities hovering over me," he says.
For a long time he didn't speak to his father. The rift took a toll on his marriage. He thought about leaving Yancey Road for good.


The Tug Hill plateau sits high above this village of about 4,000, a remote North Country wilderness of several thousand acres, where steady winds whip down from Lake Ontario and winter snowfalls are the heaviest in the state.
For decades dairy farmers, Irish and German and Polish immigrants, and lately the Amish, have wrested a living from the Tug — accepting lives of wind-swept hardship with little prospect of much change.

Then, a few years ago, change came to Tug Hill, and it arrived with such breathtaking speed that locals still marvel at the way their land and lives were utterly transformed.
Overnight, it seemed, caravans of trucks trundled onto the plateau, laden with giant white towers. Concrete foundations were poured. Roads were built and for a couple of years the village was ablaze with activity.
Today, 195 turbines soar above Tug Hill, 400 feet high, their 130-foot long blades spinning at 14 revolutions per minute.

The $400 million Maple Ridge wind project, the largest in New York state, brought money and jobs and a wondrous sense of prosperity to a place that had long given up on any. Lately, it has also brought a sense of importance. Lowville and the neighboring hamlets of Martinsburg and Harrisburg, which also host turbines, are at the forefront of a wind energy boom that T. Boone Pickens and Al Gore have hailed as the wave of the future.

But for all the benefits of clean, renewable energy, the windmills come with a price — and not just the visual impact.
"Is it worth destroying families, pitting neighbor against neighbor, father against son?" asks John Yancey, whose family have farmed Tug Hill for generations. "Is it worth destroying a whole way of life?"

Similar questions are being asked across the state and the country as more and more small towns grapple with big money and big wind. For many, the changes are worth it. With rising oil and gas prices and growing concerns about global warming, wind is becoming an attractive alternative. The U.S Department of Energy recently released a report that examines the feasibility of harnessing wind power to provide up to 20 percent of the nation's total electricity by 2030. U.S. wind power plants now produce less than 1 percent.

The Maple Ridge project produces enough electricity to power about 100,000 homes. Other wind projects are going up all over the state. Pickens is talking about building a $10 billion wind project — the world's largest — in the Texas panhandle. Everyone, it seems, is talking about wind.

Yancey understands its seduction. An electrician, he knows as much about the turbines as anyone. He helped build and install the ones on Tug Hill. He can rattle off statistics about the bus-sized nacelle at the top of the tower which houses the generator and the sophisticated computer system that allows the blades to yaw into the wind. He talks about the 1.65 mw Vestas with authority and respect.
Turbines have their place, Yancey says, just not where people live.
And he accuses the wind company of preying on vulnerable old-timers like his father.


Ed Yancey sits in the front room of the little house on Trinity Avenue where he moved after retiring from farming. His eyes are bright and his handshake is strong and the only concession to his 92 years seems to be his poor hearing.
He says doesn't feel preyed upon. He feels lucky. He feels proud to be part of a change he thinks is inevitable.
"It's better than a nuclear plant," Ed Yancey says. "And it brings in good money."

Next to him, daughter Virginia Yancey Lyndaker, a real estate agent who infuriated her brothers by siding with her father, nods in agreement. You can't stop progress, she says.
Ben Byer, a 75-year-old retired dairy farmer, feels the same way. Like Ed Yancey, Byer felt lucky when the wind salesmen knocked at his door. He was one of the first to sign up.
Now he can count 22 windmills from his Rector Road home. Seven are on his land.
"The sound don't bother me," he says. "And it sure beats milking cows."

But Byer, who is John Yancey's uncle, understands the lingering resentments the windmills fuel. The wind company signed lease agreements with just 74 landowners over a 12-mile stretch and "good neighbor" agreements with several dozen more, offering $500 to $1,000 for the inconvenience of living close to the turbines. In a small community, that kind of money can cause tensions between those who profit and those who don't.
Byer also understands the strain windmills can place on a family. His 47-year-old son, Rick, lives higher up on the plateau in a small white ranch house with a two-seat glider parked in a shed. The glider is Rick Byer's passion. He flies on weekends when he's not working at the pallet-making company.

In order to launch, the glider has to be towed by truck down a long rolling meadow across the road. When the wind company began negotiating with his father to put turbines on his "runway," Rick Byer delivered a furious ultimatum.
"I told him if he allowed turbines in that field he would lose a son."
The son's rage won out over the father's desire for easy cash, but Rick Byer still seethes at the forest of turbines that sprouted across from his home. Now he speaks out in other area towns where windmills are proposed.

"I tell people it's not a wind farm, it's an industrial development," he says as he mends wooden pallets in a barn one warm summer night. Rock music crackles from a radio propped crookedly on a pile of wood. Every now and then, Byer adjusts the set for a better reception. The windmills interfere with the signal, he says. They interfere with television too.
And they transform the night. As dusk falls, red strobe lights appear on every third windmill, glowing eerily atop the blades spinning ghostlike in the moonlight.


Like most of their neighbors, the Yanceys and Byers had a hard time believing the wind salesman when he first rolled into town in 1999. Years earlier there had been talk of natural gas on Tug Hill, but nothing ever came of it. People assumed the wind project would go the same way.
"No one thought it would happen," John Yancey says.
But Bill Moore, a Maryland-based energy consultant and investor who worked on Wall Street before going out on his own, was persistent. And persuasive. For several years he drove all over Tug Hill in his Land Rover, knocking on doors, talking to farmers in fields, hosting meetings at the Elks Lodge, preaching the gospel of wind.

At first local officials were skeptical, too. But they listened, and learned, and they started hammering out agreements with Moore's company, Atlantic Renewable Corp., and its partner company, Zilka Renewable Engergy. (The companies have changed names and ownership several times and the Maple Ridge Wind project is now jointly owned by PPM Energy of Portland, Ore., which is part of the Spanish company Iberdrola SA, and Houston-based Horizon Wind Energy LLC, which is owned by the Portuguese conglomerate Energias de Portugal.)
Eventually officials from Lowville, Martinsburg and Harrisburg, along with Lewis County legislators, negotiated a 15-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement that gave the three jurisdictions $8.1 million in the first year.
"We knew we were going to change the landscape, maybe forever," says Martinsburg supervisor Terry Thiesse. "We knew some people would be unhappy. But the benefits far outweighed the objections of a few."

Martinsburg, with a population of 1,249, got the biggest municipal cut because it hosts the largest number of windmills — a total of 102. Thiesse, who receives payments for a windmill on his own land, says Martinsburg's budget went from just under $400,000 to more than $1.2 million with the first wind payment in 2006. The municipality is currently negotiating a deal with another wind company for an additional 39 turbines.

In Lowville, school Superintendent Ken McAuliffe is thrilled to be buying new computers, expanding school buildings and planning new athletic fields. The school district, which serves all jurisdictions, received $2.8 million in 2006 and $3.5 million in 2007.
Still, McAuliffe said, negotiating the deal was the most demanding experience of his professional life.
"I'm an educator, not a wind expert or an investor," McAuliffe said. The hardest part, he said, was understanding the amounts of money involved, trusting that the community would get it, and "the great unknown, which is how much the wind company is making."

Wind finances are a source of great confusion for many locals, who assumed they would get free electricity once the turbines were installed. In fact, the energy is sold to utility companies and then piped into the grid.
Though the wind itself is free, companies have enormous startup costs: a single industrial wind turbine costs about $3 million. In New York, companies benefit from the fact that the state requires 25 percent of all electricity to be supplied from renewable sources by 2013. They also get federal production tax credits in addition to "green" renewable energy credits, which can be sold in the energy market.
In this context, the annual payments of about $6,600 per turbine are relatively small. But for some cash-strapped farmers, they amount to a retirement supplement.
"It's the best cash cow we ever had," booms retired dairy farmer Bill Burke, who has six turbines on his land. "This cow doesn't need to be fed, doesn't need a vet, doesn't need a place to lie down."

Burke, a blustery 60-year-old, is proud of his credentials as the wind company's biggest local cheerleader. A school board member and county legislator, he also works part-time for the company, giving lectures and tours. His son, Bobby, works for it full-time.
Burke sold the last of his herd in 2004. Without the income from the turbines, he says, he might have had to sell his 100-year-old farm too. He has no regrets about grabbing his "once in a lifetime chance at prosperity."
"This project was happening, like it or not, and you would have to be a fool not to participate, to be excited and take advantage of it," Burke says.


Not everyone agrees.

For many, the realities of living with windmills are more complicated than clean energy and easy money. People have mixed feelings about the enormous scale of the project and the speed at which it went up. They question what will happen when the 15-year agreements expire. There are concerns about the impact of turbines on bird and bat populations. Some accuse lawmakers of getting too cozy with wind developers in order to profit from turbines on their land — allegations that prompted New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to launch an investigation into two wind companies and their dealings with upstate municipalities. (The investigation does not involve Maple Ridge.)
Such concerns have ignited furious debates in upstate towns where more than a dozen wind power projects are being considered — in Cape Vincent, Clayton, Prattsburgh. Some towns passed moratoria on industrial turbines in order to learn more. Malone and Brandon recently banned them completely.
"It seemed like the cost, in terms of how it changed the community, was too high," Malone supervisor Howard Maneely, said after visiting Lowville.

Pat Leviker, 60, who grew up on Tug Hill, thinks so too. Leviker cried the day the first turbine went up, "like a giant praying mantis peering at my home." Now she and her husband Richard, who both work for the state Department of Environmental Conservation, plan to sell their home and move off the plateau when they retire.
"We want clean energy as much as anyone," says Leviker, who rejected a $1,500 payment from the wind company for the disruption of her view. "But we also want quality of life."
Over on Nefsey Road, which runs parallel to Yancey Road, Dawn Sweredoski, a sixth-grade teacher, finds a certain beauty in the windmills.

But she is sympathetic to her neighbors' concerns. The Amish farmer across the road, who bought her husband's farm seven years ago, rejected the wind company's offer of two turbines. He hates how the towers have changed the scenery and disrupted the sense of tradition and tranquility that lured his family from Maryland in the first place.

Sweredoski, whose house has magnificent views of the valley, sees the windmills only in the distance. She understands John Yancey's annoyance at living with them up close.
"It's hard when change is for the common good but some people suffer more than others," she says.
No one understands that better than the Yanceys, struggling to patch fractured family relationships, even as they struggle to come to terms with the turbines.

High on Tug Hill sits the Flat Rock Inn, a popular gathering point for snowmobilers and all-terrain vehicle riders. Twenty years ago, Gordon Yancey carved out this chunk of land with the help of his father, creating miles of forest trails and camping areas, set around a six-acre, man-made pond.

"People come for the scenery, the serenity," says Yancey, 49, proudly driving through his property, describing the "jungle" that he and his father cleared. He rolls to a halt in front of the inn, a rustic wooden structure with a bar, restaurant, a few rooms and a large wraparound porch.

All around stretch windmills, miles and miles of them. Yancey chokes up just looking at them. They have hurt his business, he says. And, like his brother, he hates the view and the noise.

"Dad taught us such respect for the land. For my father to be part of this..." His voice trails off and he shakes his head and walks away, too angry to continue.

This particular weekend is a busy one for Yancey's inn, which is hosting a huge watercross event — in which snowmobiles roar across the pond, their speed keeping them from sinking. Campers roll in to watch. There are campfires and barbecues and squealing children darting about. The atmosphere is festive and carefree and very noisy as racers' engines scream and a helicopter whirs overhead giving 10-minute joyrides for $25.

In the distance, Rick Byer's glider floats above the turbines. On the ground John Yancey works an enormous homemade gas grill turning 50 sizzling chickens on spits. Gordon Yancey is down by the pond, bellowing race results through a loudspeaker. Another brother, Tim Yancey, wanders by with his girlfriend, anti-wind activist Anne Britton. Patriarch Ed Yancey is there too, cooling off in a storage shed near the grill, talking about the old days — before snowmobiles and turbines.

All around the windmills spin. John Yancey looks up from the grill occasionally and grimaces at them. Right now, no one else seems to care.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

The Demise of Hibernia

Hiberniangirl's blog is now off the air as she is going to Uni to devote her time to full-time studies. Her main preoccupation was the question of immigration to Ireland, a subject which is spoken of in whispers in the UK because of the prevailing attitude of political correctness. In this era of revisionist speech correction the subject, if not taboo, is politically incorrect. It is sad to see the blogging will cease but it can still be read as the archives are available.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Emigration - a Result of Lack of Liberty

British libel laws violate human rights, says UN

Human rights committee says UK laws block matters of public interest and encourage libel tourism.

Duncan Campbell, Thursday August 14 2008 13:27 BST Article history

Britain's libel laws have come under attack from the United Nations committee on human rights for discouraging coverage of matters of major public interest. The use of the Official Secrets Act to deter government employees from raising important issues has also been criticised.

The intervention by the UN comes in the wake of international disquiet over the use of British courts for "libel tourism", whereby wealthy plaintiffs can sue in the high court in London over articles that would not warrant an action in their own country.

The criticisms are made as part of the committee's concluding observations on the report submitted by the UK on civil and political rights. UN member states are required to submit reports on human rights in their jurisdictions every three years.

The committee warns that the British libel laws have "served to discourage critical media reporting on matters of serious public interest, adversely affecting the ability of scholars and journalists to publish their work, including through the phenomenon known as libel tourism".

The case that has provoked the most concern is that of an American researcher, Dr Rachel Ehrenfeld, who was sued in London by a Saudi businessman and his two sons over a book that sold 23 copies over the internet into the UK, where it was never officially published. One chapter of the book was available online.

The action led to the New York state legislature passing legislation to protect writers and publishers working there from defamation judgements in any country that does not give the same same freedom of speech rights as New York and US federal law.

The committee's report highlights the grey area created by the internet whereby alleged libel can be read in different countries. There is a risk, warns the committee, that restrictive libel laws could affect legitimate international discussion, contrary to article 19 of the covenant on civil and political rights, which guarantees the right to freedom of speech "regardless of borders".

The UK government has been urged to consider "a so-called 'public figure' exception" that would require a would-be claimant to prove actual malice by a publisher or author.

This would apply in cases involving public officials and prominent public figures, as currently exists in the US, where a public figure can only sue for libel if he or she can demonstrate malice, recklessness or indifference to the truth and that the statement is false.

On the Official Secrets Act, the committee "remains concerned" that powers under the act have been "exercised to frustrate former employees of the crown from bringing into the public domain issues of genuine public interest, and can be exercised to prevent the media from publishing such matters". The committee found the act is used even when issues of national security are not involved.

The 2006 Terrorism Act's "broad and vague" definition of the offence of "encouragement of terrorism" was also criticised by the committee.

Media law specialist Mark Stephens, of legal firm Finers Stephens Innocent, said: "I think it is quite remarkable that the UK government has drawn these deficiencies in our libel laws to the attention of the United Nations, while at the same time libel lawyers in this country have remained insouciant to the deficiencies highlighted by the UN."

Spoiling for a Fight and next door to "Brit Broon"

Glen Rothes in Fife is the next Labour seat to be contested and the SNP, with its huge popular following among Scottish voters, is well placed to overturn Labour's majority and win the seat for Scotland. Being next to Gordon Brown's constituency he is likely to feel some heat under the collar.

It only needs a swing of 14.3% for the SNP to win this Labour seat.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Brothers in Arms

The Pan-Celtic Movement

The Pan-Celtic movement is an attempt to recognise the special nature of the Celtic heritage. Involving the Welsh, Irish, Scottish, Manx, Cornish, Breton, Asturian and Galician peoples, it aims to maintain, promote and celebrate the rich Celtic heritage. Movements over the years have supported the attempts of Celtic people to gain wider recognition for their unique identity or worked to create a Celtic network for the development of cultural links.

Language is central to the Pan-Celtic movement. All Celts were once unified by a common Celtic language, Old Celtic, from which all modern Celtic languages descend and the mission to maintain Celtic culture has often been linked to the preservation of individual Celtic languages.

The Spread of Celticism

Since the industrial revolution, Celtic people have spread all over the world to escape conflict, poverty and oppression, or to search for work, adventure and new opportunities in other lands. The Welsh set out to create a new Welsh community in Patagonia; the Scots went to Nova Scotia; the Irish to America. Wherever they went they took their cultures and languages with them and groups grew in their new homeland to represent their interests.

Pan-Celtic movements not only support the interests of the Celtic homelands - Wales, Scotland, Ireland, the Isle of Man, Cornwall, Brittany, Asturias and Galicia - but also those of its people in other lands. A range of Pan-Celtic festivals and cultural events such as film festivals, music festivals, art exhibitions and book fairs reflect and maintain the profile of Celtic culture worldwide. The academic study of all things Celtic has boomed, with Celtic studies departments being set up in many universities across Europe and America.



Tuesday, 12 August 2008

The World of Folk

Which are your favourite folk bands? Your favourite singers? Your favourite instrumentals?

Monday, 11 August 2008

Silence is not an Option - Agreed!

Silence is not an option. I have been reading Adam Price's blog in which he makes the case for proclaiming the word "independence" vociferously, and being clear and honest about Plaid's long-held aim for full self-government for the nation of Cymru.

Let Wales tell the world, as Scotland has done through the ballot box, that independence is the aim and goal of all patriotic Welshmen, whether they be born in Wales or not, and whether they are Welsh by allegiance, by which term I mean those who have settled in Wales from other lands but who espouse the cause. The cause is noble and just, as anyone can understand who has taken the trouble to investigate the background and read the authentic history of the Welsh people, and the struggles which litter the centuries from the early 15th Century and before, down to the present day.

This nationalist fervour is not, as a certain prelate has warned, introverted, narrow or xenophobic. It is a different kind of dragon, one that is outgoing, open to the outside world, forward-thinking, progressive, inclusive and empathetic. It seeks not to separate or divide but to join peoples together in a common purpose, and to create a new society based on respect, equality and justice.

It seeks to devise its own solutions, create its own laws without having to go cap in hand to Westminster to win permission for them to be ratified. The effect of LCOs is to delay and frustrate the law-making process in Wales, so that it has taken one whole year for a law enacted by the Assembly to come into being. Other laws are stuck in the pipeline and subject to congestion. They must pass through three hoops in order to be effected in the legislative process, and at the final stage they may be terminated.

How can government function effectively and expeditiously in these circumstances? With great difficulty, one would presume. Until Wales has its own parliament and full powers of self-government, as many smaller nations have, this situation will continue and the country will suffer from delayed legislation and consequently ineffective jurisdiction.

It is obvious for all to see that the present Assembly is hamstrung despite all its efforts to create the conditions for growth and prosperity and social regeneration. The answer is plain to see, that Wales needs a parliament with full law-making powers leading to independence as a nation among nations. The economic argument is practically won - witness the success of numerous smaller nations.

Great Britain is in constitutional decline and on a logical and practical level cannot be sustained. As has been pointed out time and time again, Scotland, Wales and Cornwall represent the last remaining colonies of the former British Empire, of which Ireland was once a part, yet now is a successful democratic European nation with a unique culture and a great future. They are even able to defy the European Union when need arises. So silence is not an option. It is time to speak out to those listening throughout Europe and the world - that Wales is Cymru and is the once and future kingdom, or more likely, republic - Cymru Fydd.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

More Truths from Llangennech


The latest edition of the Institute of Welsh Affairs (IWA) magazine “Agenda” (Summer 2008) contains two articles on this issue. It refers to two related reports that were published earlier this year:

1. “Media in Wales – Serving Public Values” by Geraint Talfan Davies, Chair of the IWA, and Nick Morris, the IWA’s Research Officer. This was published in May 2008.
2. The report of Prof. Anthony King, Professor of Government at Essex University. Prof King’s report contains some evidence collected by the School of Journalism at Cardiff University and by the British Market Research Bureau - a market research company.

Four sets of figures taken from these reports starkly demonstrate the extensive and pervasive neglect of Wales in ostensibly UK-wide media coverage:

(a) Of the people that read daily newspapers in Scotland only 2.7% read newspapers with no Scottish content. The corresponding figure for people in Wales is a staggering 86.9%. This is in large measure because none of the London dailies have Welsh editions. Moreover, only one London newspaper has a correspondent in Wales – the News of the World!
(b) During the period October – November 2007, all 136 stories from the BBC network on health and education (two of the three biggest expenditure headings of the Assembly Government) dealt solely with England.
(c) During a month-long survey in 2007, BBC TV (emanating from London) featured 462 items specifically about either England, Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales. Of these, 415 (89.8%) were about England, 20 (4.3%) featured Scotland, 15 (3.2%) featured Northern Ireland and only 12 (2.6%) were about Wales. For Wales, the corresponding figures for Non-BBC TV, BBC Radio and BBC online were considerably less favourable.
(d) In May 2007 general elections were held for the Scottish and Northern Ireland Parliaments, the Welsh Assembly and there were some local government elections in England as well. Prior to the elections the number and percentage of the BBC’s election features across the four home nations were as follows: Total features 537; Scotland 143 (26.6%), Northern Ireland 107 (19.9%); Wales 66 (12.4%); England 113 (21.0%).

Perhaps even more depressing is the fact that – to quote directly from one of the magazine’s two articles - the BBC has “currently no published plans to improve coverage of Wales.” As far as I am aware no other media
organisation has any improvement plans either. It therefore seems that there is no immediate prospect of this profound information deprivation imposed on the people of Wales being addressed.
I would suggest that a campaign for change, perhaps led by the National Assembly, is long overdue.

Gwyn Hopkins 8/8/2008

Saturday, 9 August 2008

This Little Engine

This little engine - the one with "Cymru" on the name-plate - is building up steam, and is all set to go full steam ahead for independence. We know it is viable, no matter what the detractors claim. Other nations have shown us the way and are now enjoying the fruits of their struggles. It is not only a question of economics; it is a matter of national survival in an age of global integration, and it is a matter of "liberte, egalite, fraternite" - the watchword of the French revolution. Wales needs to create a new society for itself - fairer, more just and egalitarian, based on real democratic principles which recognise the worth and unique nature of every individual. More on this later!

Friday, 8 August 2008

Poem: The Bloggers' Dance

The Bloggers' Dance

Are you still dancing
Across the pages of the Web,
Where thought spins ever-decreasing circles,
And words spill like matchsticks
On empty ears?

Whatever happens to those words
Scattered in poetic juxtaposition,
And strewn around the archives of the blogs
Which flame and fall like shooting stars
And then expire?

Or are you dancing to a different tune,
Where words and thoughts do not proliferate,
Where dance becomes the vehicle
Of the soul, and so inflames the being
With lust for life?

Alan in Dyfed - 2006

The Question of Allegiance
Should Welsh MPs vow allegiance to the nation of Cymru and to their constituents?

Thursday, 7 August 2008

A Reminder to all : The Union is the Remnant of the Empire.

Free Tibet Now

Well done, those brave people who displayed a giant streamer at the Beijing Olympic ground :
"One World.One Dream.Free Tibet." No national flag? No streamer? No hope for freedom? What a government - what a world!

A Sequel to the Last Posting

I later found out that a Welsh bus pass and a Scottish bus pass are not valid for local bus travel in England, but an English bus pass is accepted for travel in both Wales and Scotland!!!
Comments and bus travel experience welcomed!

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

"Wales is a Different Country!"

The message is getting through!

On my way back to the promised land (Cymru), I changed buses at Bristol Coach Station. I had a National Express bus ticket through to Swansea but as I had time to spare I thought of making an enquiry regarding my Welsh concessionary bus pass.
At the enquiry office I aked the clerk whether I could use this concessionary pass to take a bus from Bristol to Newport, a local service. I was told no, because the pass I had was a Welsh bus pass. So I asked: "If I need to travel in England should I apply for a national pass valid for journeys in England?" The clerk replied: "No, you cannot get one if you don't live in England.Wales is a different country!" The message is getting through!

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Olympics - 'D oes dim ddraig goch.

We appeal to the Chinese dragons to aid the Welsh Dragon and allow Wales to be represented in the Olympics as a nation, and not as a part of the United Kingdom. The Scottish and Irish flags cannot be flown either.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

The Year of Wales at Lorient / An Oriant

This is the largest Celtic Festival in Europe. Catrin Finch is a phenomenal musician who is doing more than anyone else so far to put the harp on the musical map. Her first major international prize came in 1999 when she won the Lily Laskine International Harp Competition in France – one of the premier harp competitions in the world. Catrin is the former Royal Harpist to the H.R.H. the Prince of Wales. She had the honour of reviving this ancient tradition last held in 1873 and held the appointment from 2000-2004. She has performed extensively throughout the U.S.A., the Middle East, Asia and Europe.

Europe Rules on non-EU Marriages

European law states that all EU citizens and their family members can work, study and live in any of the 27 member states, provided they have a residency permit in the member state. After five years' residence non-EU family members can be granted citizenship. If they divorce and marry again they can retain EU citizenship.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

The Last Prime Minister?

It is an intriguing thought, but there is a distinct possibility that the present Prime Minister of Great Britain could be the last. When Scotland declares its independence, as it surely will before too much time has elapsed, the United Kingdom will cease to be. When and how Scotland will choose to break away from the union is a difficult and delicate question to answer, but on sensing the mood of the people, we shall not have long to wait to find out.

Scotland was not won by conquest but through succession. King James I of England was King James VI of Scotland, and when James succeeded to the throne of England the countries were united. Scotland never had a Queeen Elizabeth I. To the Scots, it is the present queen who bears that title. Wales had already been absorbed, incorporated and annexed, and Britain became one state under one supreme ruler. Yet the people of Scotland continued to rebel against this fait accomplis - religion playing a part as the clans were Catholic - and their hopes were finally crushed at the Battle of Culloden in 1745, the last battle to be fought on British soil. Following this defeat, the clan system was broken up, the wearing of the tartan banned, and tribal lands sequestered and enclosed. Scotland lost its natural leaders, many of whom sought sanctuary abroad, along with their prince and last hope, Charles Edward Stuart, who could have taken London with his doughty Highlanders but returned to humiliation and defeat.

All this happened a long time ago, we know, but the Scots have never given up their culture and their pride as a nation, their national dress and their pipe bands. Their spirit lives on, and it falls upon the MSP for Strichen, Alex Salmond, to raise and restore the hopes and aspirations of his people, those loyal Scots whose allegiance is to Scotland alone, and to raise the banner, the Saltire of St Andrew, and to sever the links which bind the country to a withering constitution in the throes of decline.

Ireland has shown that it can be done. A country can shake away the fetters and survive, after long years of suffering resulting in massive emigration, and struggle to win its independence from British rule. Ulster too, which yet remains a part of the United Kingdom, will need to reconsider its invidious position following Scotland's declaration, and either opt to join up with the Republic in the south, or possibly unite with Scotland, with which it has historical ties.

So will our highly unpopular and unpalatable Prime Minister prove to be the last prime minister of a united kingdom? Probably not, and it could take another term of government, under the Tories, before this particular scenario is fulfilled. The question is : will this prospect and the advent of a Conservative government at Westminster open the floodgates in Scotland and induce the Scots to push hard for independence, with a vengeance?
I think it will!

P.S. Did Nostradamus write anything about this in his Quatrains?

Mr Cameron said today he believed the new talks could result in a “new force which is both unionist clearly wanting Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom, but also has the rich heritage and philosophy of the Conservative party”.
Warning: this is not the way to go. It is turning back the clock. Expect repercussions.
and : Your Sunday Reading

Lorient InterCeltic Festival in Progress

See this site:
Video : Wales & Brittany

Friday, 1 August 2008

Inspirational Stuff for your Entertainment

Scottish trains with Scottish Saltire

LORD GEORGE FOULKES (Labour): "The SNP are on a very dangerous tack at the moment. What they are doing is trying to build up a situation in Scotland where the services are manifestly better than south of the Border in a number of areas."

COLIN MACKAY : "Is that a bad thing?"

LORD GEORGE FOULKES : "No. But they are doing it deliberately"

Paste and view....

Now: try this....
Psychologically, the Scottish people have already seceded. Will Wales follow?

Nota Bene:
Check out the Letter from Sicily to be found in the Comments section of European Free Alliance posting in the July blog archive. -

Ethnography of Europe