Thursday, 29 October 2009
1) All MPs "disgraced" by the expenses scandal should not be allowed to stand at the next election.
2) Any government minister found guilty of lying or of deceiving the public should be forced to apologise and resign immediately.
3) The highest standards of behaviour should be a requirement of any holder of public office.
4) The House of Lords should not consist of unelected members, or of those who have been ennobled as favours or political appointments (e.g. Mandelson).
5) All MPs should be given a fixed allowance for London accommodation and a rate for commuting based on distance, and their main home should be in their own constituency.
6) Public accountability and transparency an essential except in cases of exceptional state protection needs.
7) The holding of fixed term parliaments to avoid political manipulation.
8) Guaranteed freedom of speech and thought without fear of over-stepping "political correctness".
9) All DNA samples and fingerprints and tape interviews of innocent persons should be destroyed.
10) Biodata records should be limited to passports; no ID cards. This problem arose from government mishandling of immigration and penalising legitimate entrants such as non-European spouses.
Constitutional Revision in the UK: proposals
1) Full parliaments for the four countries of the British Isles including England.
2) Independent membership of the European Union of the four nations of the new commonwealth.
3) Talks to be held on arrangements for Irish unification.
4) Commonwealth status for the four nations of Britain; a State governor for each.
5) All nations to join the Schengen agreement with free access across borders.
6) Adoption of the euro for all four nations to facilitate business, tourism and trade.
7) MEPs voted in to the EU parliament to represent national, not party political, interests.
8) A fully democratic government of the people, for the people, not in the interests of party political pundits.
9) Respect for minority interests, whatever views are expressed, should be enshrined in law.
10) All ethnic immigrants to conform to the culture and ethics of their adopted home nation.
According to Lonely Planet travel guide, Ireland is now the friendliest nation on planet!
“Centuries of turmoil, conquest and famine – and subsequent immigration – have certainly taken their toll on the Irish; it’s left them with a delicious dark sense of humour and a welcoming attitude towards strangers” claims the guide.
That famous ability of the Irish to find the craic (fun times with convivial company ;-) ) in bum or bust times – means you’re always in for a treat.”
It isn’t just the lack of food or abundance of invaders, that according to the book, has made Irish so happy – the sorting out of that unfortunate business up north has boosted Irish moods to an all-time high.
“These days, after the end of “Troubles”, a cautious optimism reigns supreme, infecting the land once again with the sense that anything’s possible” it adds.
The tip-driven smiles of the Americans have landed the US in second place, though residents of few nations may not agree.
“Blamed for the coming of World War III, the Anti-Christ, Bon Jovi, Tom Cruise, Michael Jackson, rampant street crime, and noise pollution through overloud talking, Americans just take it all in their stride” says the guide, claiming Americans will do anything to make you feel welcome.
Poverty stricken Malawi was third on the list (they can’t afford not to be) while Scotland, Turkey, Samoa, Thailand, Fiji, Indonesia and Vietnam made up the rest.
Needless to say Ireland also made it into the top ten on the Best Brews Bluelist – cheers for that, Guinness!
Wednesday, 28 October 2009
Oct 28 2009 by David Williamson, Western Mail
JUST 42% of the Welsh electorate would vote Yes in a referendum on law-making powers for the Assembly, a YouGov poll revealed yesterday. Supporters of the next stage of devolution can breath a sigh of relief that only 37% of people are planning to vote No, but the research suggests campaigns for and against new powers will be locked in close battle.
Labour and Plaid Cymru entered coalition Government together in 2007 with the goal of holding a referendum on or before the next election. The All-Wales Convention chaired by former UN ambassador Sir Emyr Jones Parry will publish its report on support for devolution on November 18. Its findings are likely to prove pivotal to whether the two parties move to stage a vote.
Support is strongest among those who plan to vote for Plaid Cymru at the next Westminster election (80%). Altogether, 32% of those planning to back the Conservatives, 44% of Labour supporters and 38% of Liberal Democrat voters said they would vote Yes. The pollsters uncovered conflicting attitudes to devolution. Despite the lukewarm support for an enhanced Assembly, 63% tended to agree or agreed strongly that the National Assembly should have the same levels of powers as the Scottish Parliament. Respondents were also keen that a referendum should be held, with 63% again backing the proposal.
When asked which institution has the most influence over how Wales is run, 55% named the Westminster Government, with only 22% opting for the Assembly Government. However, 55% said the Assembly should be the most influential institution.
48% in Wales support Welsh Independence or a Full Welsh Parliament with Tax raising powers within the UK.
27% Support the status quo
ONLY 17% SUPPORT SCRAPPING THE ASSEMBLY!
It's time for the minority Anti-Devolutionists posting here to SHUT UP!
Well said cymrurhydd. The majority want a referendum and the majority want thesame powers as Scotland. Give us a referendum: Do you want the same powers as Scotland? Yes or no. I would deffinately be in the YES camp! Wales needs a proper democratic institution, not 40 Welsh MPs against 500 English MPs (most of them being Tories).
28/10/2009 2:38 PM GMT on walesonline.co.uk
New Labour opened a Pandora's Box when it set devolution in motion. Now Peter Hain, the Welsh Secretary (for the next few months), is desperately applying the brakes. It is obvious that the road of devolution leads down the inevitable path to independence, and the idea of freedom and nationhood is firmly rooted in the minds of Scots and the minds of increasing numbers of Welsh electors. It has brought people such as Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon and Ieuan Wyn Jones to the forefront of politics, and it has shown up Gordon Brown, Tony Blair and Peter Hain as proponents of the status quo and avowed supporters of the British establishment.
Required listening for all readers.....and you will find Part 2 at the end so click on the appropriate video icon
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
Nearly nine out of 10 people do not trust the Government to hold on to their personal information, a survey has revealed. A study by campaign group Big Brother Watch found 86% of those polled said they feared for the safety of private data in the Government's hands.
Trust levels are plummeting, as a similar study seven years ago found just over half of people lacking trust in Government. Since then a series of data-loss scandals such as the loss of a disk containing details of all child benefit claimants have undermined confidence.
It emerged two years ago that 25 million records, including names, addresses, dates of birth and bank details had been lost in the post. The study revealed nearly eight out of ten people fear their freedoms are being eroded by the state. Eight out of 10 also said they were opposed to councils putting microchips in waste bins to monitor how much rubbish people throw away.
Alex Deane, director of Big Brother Watch said: "Britain is a country rightly known around the world as a cradle of liberty and freedom. But as these results show, most people now feel that our freedoms are being eroded.
"We are the victims of ever more intrusive policies, pushing more and more into the details of our lives. "The Government doesn't seem to care that Big Brother Britain has been rejected by the vast majority of people who live here. They continue to pursue expensive and invasive surveillance methods that serve only to create criminals out of otherwise law-abiding citizens."
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: "The Government takes the protection of personal data extremely seriously."
Monday, 26 October 2009
But which Prime Minister of the Union will be the last? We now think David Cameron. Interesting and rather ironic that he has a Scottish clan name.
Can the Union survive, or should it? According to the viewpoint of highland Scots and Irish of Ulster as well as Britons from Wales, Cornwall, Cumbria and Strathclyde it is a Union imposed from London, the seat of the Kings and Queens of England. It spawned an Empire which is no more and times and circumstances have changed. A new political dynamic is in motion, national groupings centred around the European Union.
Click pic to enlarge
There are those who try to claim they belong to their native land yet also claim to be British. To be British means that you are a subject of the British State. There is no British nation, but the state comprises four separate and very distinct nations, and the Cornish would claim they make up the fifth. Either you are a supporter of the Union of Great Britain and Northern Ireland or you are not.
If you are a supporter you need to realise that many people are no longer content to be part of a society that is out of step with the times we live in. Many people in Britain abjure the appellation of Brit (as in Brits Abroad) and prefer to be considered English, Welsh, Scottish or Irish. After all, these are the cultures which they were born into and in which they were bred and raised. They are comfortable and at home with these cultures which are as varied as the nations they represent.
They are marked differences between the social behaviour of a Scot, a Welsh person or an English person. To understand these differences you only need to step on to a bus or join a queue. The English sit on the bus next to a stranger as if nobody is there, or stand stoically in a queue immersed in thought. The Welsh or Scots on the other hand greet one another like old friends and enter into a fervent conversation. The Irish will give a cheery wave as you pass them in the street or on the highway. They are not afraid to acknowledge a fellow human being.
The Union is a relic of a once-powerful Empire which once owned and ruled over a quarter of the globe and held sway by dint of its naval superiority over the oceans and seas. It was essentially an English Empire with Scots and Welsh requisitioned to enter into its service and assist in its expansion whether through war or trade.
It sought to subdue and colonise, exploit and civilise, and then to bring religion as a tool with which to dominate and indoctrinate. It was not alone; Spain and Portugal were playing the same game. As a result it became immensely wealthy and powerful while, at the same time, set up workhouses for the poor and established a class system where everybody knew their place and dared not stray.
The result was an explosion of jealousy and rivalry among the nations of Europe which bankrupted the Empire and led to the destruction of great European cities and the annihilation of many of its less fortunate inhabitants, including vast numbers of Jews and Gypsies. It was therefore decided by the post-war leaders of Europe that the answer was the creation of a unitary confederation of European nations which is now known as the European Union, where wars are outlawed and trade flourishes in a family of free and interdependent states in peaceful co-existence.
Europe is a community of nations and nation-states and it is in the interests of Europe that the nations and peoples of Europe be free to express their distinctive cultures and traditions and to speak their languages without fear or recrimination through their own national and parliamentary institutions and make their individual contribution to the greater good. It is on this basis that Wales and Scotland and other nation states across Europe make their claim to full autonomy within the Union - the Union of Europe - not that of Britain and its former iniquitous constitution..
Sunday, 25 October 2009
the new Cork-Swansea Ferry
Some key points about the new service :-
The service begins on 1st March 2010 - and is planned to operate year-round - for convenient travel both in and out of season.
Saves you 600km (375 miles) driving on a round trip and connects Cork direct to the M4 motorway (with hassle-free access to London, the south-west and the midlands)
Sailings between Cork & Swansea planned six nights a week, with additional sailings during peak periods and for special events.
Overnight sailings departing at 21.00 & arriving 07.00 next day - so you arrive relaxed and ready to continue your holiday or onward journey.
Efficient, straightforward on-line booking system (coming soon) - so you don't have to spend hours 'on hold' waiting for an operator.
Over 300 Cabins and ample 'Pullman' seating, for a comfortable, relaxing trip
Capacity for 1,860 passengers, 440 Cars, 40 Trucks - plenty of room for commercial and leisure travellers alike
Extensive selection of Bars, Restaurants, Shopping, Cinema and Kids Area on board - not just a ferry crossing - more of a mini-cruise - your holiday starts the moment you get on-board!
Julia is currently docked in Cork City at Horgan's Quay preparing for initial sailing - if you're in the area, come and see her from the quayside - she's impressive!
The Julia and Fastnet Line are owned by a co-operative of small investors - we aim to be the most customer-focused ferry service on the Irish Sea.
Visit the website for more information, to pre-register, to give us your comments and suggestions or to find out about partnering opportunities for Travel Agents and Group organisers with Fastnet Line
Contact us email@example.com
Tom Barrett - CEO
Friday, 23 October 2009
One in five would back BNP - poll
More than a fifth of voters would consider backing the British National Party in a future election, according to an opinion poll taken in the hours after leader Nick Griffin's appearance on BBC1's Question Time.
Some 22% of those questioned said they would "seriously consider" voting BNP in a local, European or general election - including 4% who said they would "definitely" consider backing the party, 3% who would "probably" consider it, and 15% who said they were "possible" BNP voters.The total figure is more than three times the 6.2% which the BNP secured in this June's European Parliament ballot - its best ever showing in a national election - and suggests that there is substantial potential for Mr Griffin to extend his party's reach. It vastly outstrips the party's 0.7% score in the 2005 general election.
When asked how they would vote in an election tomorrow, the proportion backing the BNP stood at 3%, up from 2% a month ago.
More than half of those surveyed agreed with the BNP or thought the party "had a point" in wishing to "speak up for the interests of the indigenous, white British people... which successive governments have done far too little to protect".
This included 43% who said that they had no sympathy for the BNP itself, though they shared some of its concerns.
Some 12% of those questioned said they completely agreed with the BNP, against 38% who said they disagreed totally with the party's politics.
Comment: Anybody who thinks tha
From the Next Foreign Secretary:
“There could not be a worse way to sell the European Union to the people of Britain,” the Shadow Foreign Secretary says. “The other European governments need to be aware that the easiest way to turn the British people against the European Union and underline the lack of legitimacy and democracy of what would be created by the Lisbon treaty is to make Tony Blair the president.”
Mr Hague is leading the campaign against the former Prime Minister returning to the political stage. “Most people would be extremely annoyed if Tony Blair is appointed president of the EU,” he says. “That would just underline the lack of accountability and democracy that is our objection to the Lisbon treaty. Imagine what this says to the British people if they vote out a Labour Government and then discover that one of the prime authors is still in power over them without anyone having a vote on whether the office should even exist, let alone on who should hold it.
“When we are about to commence an inquiry into the Iraq war in which he will be very important witness, to be appointed to this position is not appropriate,” he says. “Our fear about this presidency of the European Union is that it will be turned into a powerful central executive position."
Thursday, 22 October 2009
Tony Blair's chances of becoming the first EU "president" nose-dived yesterday when President Nicolas Sarkozy distanced himself from the former prime minister's undeclared campaign for the post.
Governments in Benelux and Austria oppose Mr Blair for other reasons. They still remember his role in appearing to divide Europe into pro- and anti-Bush camps before the US-British invasion of Iraq in 2003. They object, in principle, to any British figure taking the post while the UK remains outside the euro and the common, passport-free borders established on the continent by the Schengen agreement.
Comment: "Independence Cymru" favours adoption of the Euro and passport-free borders. Ireland has the Euro and presumably Scotland will. Furthermore Britain should not remain outside the Schengen Agreement.
Glasgow North East will show to the world the true feelings of the people of Scotland towards their native land. The future beckons and out of the ashes of the Empire will grow a consciousness that will not be quelled in the nations of the British Isles.
Wednesday, 21 October 2009
Conservative - here to restore prosperity to the wealthy classes by putting British manpower back to work
Liberal - here to show the other parties where they have failed and mis-led the public
Scots Nationalist - here to dismantle the union that was foisted upon them
Welsh Nationalist - here to restore to Wales the rights and benefits of full nationhood
Ulster Unionist - here to prevent Ireland from regaining lost lands, the 6 counties
SDLP - here to represent the best interests of the people of Ireland
Sinn Fein - here to restore the whole of Ireland to the people of Ireland
Mebyon Kernow - here to tell the world that Cornwall is British, not English, and remains a nation not a Duchy
BNP - here to turn back the tide of immigration from developing countries
UKIP - here to lead Britain out of European political and economic control
Independents - here to prove that all other parties have vested interests
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
Ministers have been accused of exaggerating Britain's success in fighting climate change.
Sir Michael Scholar, chairman of the UK Statistics Authority, said presentation of the data by the Department of Energy and Climate Change was "unsatisfactory".
Economic thinktank the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR) warned that debt could reach 93% of UK national income by 2015, leaving "a burden for our descendants" if it is not reduced.
Bank of England Governor Mervyn King launched an attack on the banking industry's failure to reform despite "breathtaking" levels of taxpayer support.
Despite almost £1 trillion spent propping up banks, Mr King said: "To paraphrase a great wartime leader, never in the field of financial endeavour has so much money been owed by so few to so many. And, one might add, so far with little real reform."
He said the the "massive support" to the global banking sector was "necessary to avert economic disaster" but warned it had created "possibly the biggest moral hazard in history". His comments came as City firms prepare for bumper bonus payouts a year on from the near-meltdown, helped by rising stock markets and a lack of competition.
A report said the City was expecting a 50% rise in annual bonuses to £6 billion.
Monday, 19 October 2009
San Francisco, CA - October 19, 2009
The United Irish Societies of San Francisco unanimously elected state Democratic Party Chair John Burton to serve as Grand Marshall of the 2010 St. Patrick's' Day Parade. Mr. Burton, the former President pro Tempore of the California State Senate, was given the highest honor that San Francisco's Irish community can give in recognition of his unfailing support of justice, equality and freedom in the U.S. and Ireland. The parade will take place on March 13, 2010.
Most recently, Burton introduced a resolution adopted by the California Democratic Party in July, calling for the reunification of Ireland by peaceful means. That resolution was immediately forwarded to U.S. President Barack Obama and secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. It is now California Democratic state policy to seek a united Ireland. Mr. Burton's selection is particularly fitting, as the United Irish Societies has chosen "Unite Ireland Now" as the theme of the 2010 St.Patrick's Day Parade.
More than 2,000 people have already signed the declaration but we need thousands more by the time the Convention report is published in November. We appeal to the branch members to collect as many signatures as possible. If each member collected 10 names that would be an excellent start. You can find the Declaration on Tomorrow’s Wales’ website: http://www.tomorrow-wales.co.uk/declaration . You can either sign up on the website or download a hard copy.
All who believe in democracy, devolution and a sustainable future for Wales - sign!
As anyone knows, economics goes in cycles, in a wave motion, where prosperous years are followed by years of depression, recession or "negative growth". Instead, the government of that benighted country squandered the money it made in useless, unproductive and extravagant ways, living it up for today with no thought of the future.
The consequence of this deplorable and irresponsible behaviour is that this country finds itself in a condition of immense debt which has reduced by up to one third the spending power and the wealth of its citizens, the poorer being the worst affected while the wealthiest suffer to a lesser degree, cushioned by their fortunes.
Yet the government remains blind to its transgressions and naively assumes that the public will continue to support its disastrous course and vote it back into office at the next election. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Borrowing rate expected to grow
The dire state of the public finances was a key battleground for the political parties in the conference season and the figures should show the scale of the task ahead whoever wins the general election.
According to City forecasts, public sector net borrowing is likely to have grown by £15.3 million over the month - almost double the £8.9 billion seen 12 months earlier.
This would bring net borrowing for the six months of the financial year so far to around £80 billion - closing in on last year's full-year figure - as the recession punishes the public finances.
Saturday, 17 October 2009
First Minister Alex Salmond is expected set out an early shopping list for his demands at Westminster in the event of a hung Parliament. The SNP leader, who has set his party the task of boosting its present contingent of seven MPs to at least 20 at the next General Election, will set out his stall in his speech to the SNP conference in Inverness. Mr Salmond has already declared that his party will enter into no coalitions but will negotiate on a case-by-case basis with whoever is the largest party.
This has left the SNP open to Labour charges that it would be prepared to prop up a minority Tory administration, a charge denied by the SNP leader who argues his party will instead seem to maximise social and economic concessions for Scotland. His early shopping list will include demands for Scotland to be given permission to bring forward £350 million of capital spending earmarked for future years, more money for home insulation, and £300 million extra for Scotland as a consequence of Olympic Games spending in London and extra prison spending south of the border.
The SNP would also seek to extract concessions from the Treasury over extending the timescale for paying for the new Forth road bridge because of the "scale and unique nature" of that project.
A spokesman for Mr Salmond said: "Whether the next UK government is Labour or Tory, the best result for Scotland will be a balanced or hung Westminster Parliament - a minority Government with a Scottish block of 20 SNP MPs fighting for and winning key objectives for Scotland.
"These are clear and achievable and in the context of a likely emergency Budget after the election are focused on measures to support jobs and economic activity in Scotland."
Friday, 16 October 2009
Are you a Muslim?
Are you a nationalist?
Are you a libertarian?
Are you an Anglophobe?
Are you a human rights activist?
Are you a member of Green Peace?
Are you a Climate Change protestor?
Do you support Irish unification?
Do you favour Scottish secession?
Do you work for Cornish home rule?
Do you campaign for civil liberties?
Do you oppose Trident and nuclear weaponry?
Do you wish the troops out of Afghanistan?
We are watching you....take care!
Thank you for showing your support for a proper Parliament for Wales by signing the Declaration for Welsh Democracy.
Over two thousand people have supported the Declaration but we want many thousands more to do so, so that we can demonstrate clearly the support that exists for Wales to have a proper Parliament and a system of government which is effective, efficient, transparent and participatory.
We would therefore like to ask you to help us by trying to get at least ten people you know to sign the Declaration. The simplest way to do so is to forward this email to all your friends, colleagues and aquantainces and urging them to sign the Declaration by completing the form on the Tomorrow's Wales website.
Thank you for your support - together we can secure a proper Parliament for Wales.
Cornish World out and about
We will be at the Falmouth Beer Festival, on October 23-24, Princess Pavilion, Falmouth. We will be getting down to the serious business of trying some real ale.
Click here to find out more.
Uncovering the mystery of Percy Smythe
We headed up to Jamaica Inn for a brisk walk on the moor and a bit of detective work. Find out about the truth about Percy, a missing man or an elaborate hoax, only in the latest issue of Cornish World.
The top ten most popular exotic plants in Britain were introduced by a Cornishman. We chart the rise to global fame and untimely death in San Francisco of William Lobb on the bicentenary of his birth.
Heading down to watch the Cornish Pirates?
We are a bit obsessed with the Pirates at the moment, if we are not at the match we are watching them from the comfort of our sitting room on Pirates TV.
Talking of sports, Cornish football – both men and womens – is doing pretty well. Cornish World looks at the game of Cornish football today as well as a taking a peek at Cornish football from the late-1800s onward.
Click here to find out more.
SUBSCRIBE before October 31
and get issue 66 FREE as well as a CD featuring 20 of the best songs and anthems of Cornwall. That’s seven issues for the price of six. Make sure you get your copy of Cornwall’s most popular magazine delivered to your door.
Coming up on myCornwall.tv
Cornwall is the only UK region to have its own dedicated online television channel!
There will be tricks and treats a-plenty on the Eden Project channel this October! Watch Halloween skating on Eden’s spooky ice rink!
Zapcats - check out the thrills and spills of this high powered micro speedboat racing at Watergate Bay!
Recipe of the month - 15 Cornwall’s head chef, Neil Haydock shares another of his favourite Cornish recipes with viewers.
Lowender Peran - Celebrating all things Celtic in Kernow! A look at the cool Cornish festival with class acts, including Dalla!
Meanwhile back at Cornish World
Keep sending your photos in!
Where is the strangest place you have ever seen the
St Piran Cross? On top of Mount Everest, in a cave, on the back of bus in India?
Send your pictures in to the editor Nigel Pengelly at editor@cornishWorldmagazine.co.uk
The Cornish phrase of the month is:
"My a vynn eva korev." which means
"I would like to drink beer."
Handy when you are in a Cornish pub next...
There's a good range of Cornish goodies and books on the online shop at www.cornishworldmagazine.co.uk/shop
Follow the daily thoughts of Cornish World on Twitter www.twitter.com/cornishworld or check out the blog of editor Nigel Pengelly at http://nigelpengelly.blogspot.com/
If you would like to advertise with Cornish World call Tania on +44 (0)1736 333302
If you would like to stock Cornish World in your shop please contact Morag on +44 (0)1736 365 896
Thursday, 15 October 2009
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
Led by King Jigme Singye Wangchuck the kingdom of Bhutan is the only country in the world to measure well-being by Gross National Happiness (GNH), not Gross National Product (GNP). This unorthodox approach questions the values of unbridled economic progress and emphasises the importance of maintaining a balance between tradition and modernisation.
GNH is an official policy of the kingdom, passed by Parliament. One example of its use is that the country limits the number of tourists allowed to visit, as the Bhutanese complained that tourism was affecting the environment and spoiling sacred lands.
GNH also aims to put an end to spiritual hunger. Material and technological progress is not banned but it must not be detrimental to the to the value of human life and humanity's soul. It puts Buddhist principles at the heart of life, replacing the conventional measure of a nation's economic performance, the GNP. Should a nation's success be judged by its ability to produce and consume or on the quality of life and the happiness of its people?
The Bhutanese approach is based on the belief that happiness is not determined by what we own, but by our knowledge, living skills and imagination, by being not by having.
The need to incorporate unquantifiable factors, such as emotional intelligence, in economics and to base development on more than production and consumption is becoming increasingly recognised. Amartya Sen for example defines economic development in terms of freedom of basic necessities like education and healthcare.
Steps in this direction include the World Bank's Wealth Index (which includes the concepts of human capital and environmental capital), the UN Human Development Index (which measures things like education provision and hujman-rights records), and the Calvert-Henderson Quality of Life Indicators, which include cultural values and activities of self-improvement and group participation.
But none of these incorporates the spiritual dimension, in which mind always comes before matter and material development is a means for people to achieve personal and spiritual development. This concept leads to a type of Buddhist economics, where material factors might be measured only for the amount of time they allow followers to develop their minds and inner selves.
Foot-note: a limit is placed on the amount a person is allowed to earn and on the amount of wealth he is entitled to accumulate. It accords well with the Welsh egalitarian tradition which existed before it was swamped by the incursion of an Anglocentric pseudo-British culture, based on the profit motive and the accumulation of wealth and property, thereby creating a divisive and unequal society.
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
Conference, as we face a new decade in politics my mind turns to how, for me, this decade began. On a clear June morning in 2001 when a trusty band of foot-soldiers had gathered to accompany the new MP for Carmarthen East and Dynevor to London for the very first time. Like Gwynfor all those years ago, though we were going by bus not by train, and they didn't name it after me. Some of them are in the hall today, others are watching at home, and I would like to say a personal thank you to Cynlais Evans, unable to be with us today because of illness, but who with his wife Sian has given decades of tireless work for the party. Diolch yn fawr.
We met at dawn in the village of Ferryside. A fitting choice, looking back, the home of Hugh Williams. That good country solicitor and chartist, some even say the instigator of what came to be known as the Rebecca Riots, but we know as the Rebecca Rising. In 1839, the year of that other rising in Newport , he published a volume of National songs which included these sterling words by the Tycroes poet Thomas Jenkins: “Sons of Cambria, come arise, and no longer be serfs and slaves. Burst your shackles and be free, sons of Cambria follow me”. The ‘me’ in the text is Liberty, the one thing this nation has lacked longest and needed most , the noblest of all human aspirations: the desire to be free. Free with yourselves, free to speak your language, to celebrate our culture. Free from poverty and disease. Free to live in peace. Free to shape our own future, to make our own mistakes and claim our own successes. Free from the shadow of Westminster, that was awaiting us that fine June day.
In the first few days I was in the House Of Commons, before I even gave my maiden speech, I remember Tom McAvoy , a gruff but affable Glaswegian, beckoning me over in the members lobby and taking me up to the booth in the Palace Of Westminster. And as he pointed, full of reverence to St Pauls and Lambeth Palace and the Treasury Building with Big Ben towering over us he said “This, Adam, is why I am a Unionist, proud to be British". Now I’m sure all this was intended as an act of kindness to a new member, but for a moment I had flashbacks : half digested Sunday-school tales of the devil tempting Christ mixed in with the murder scene at the end of House Of Cards. I made my excuses and left. That the Labour Party should try and recruit me is a complement of sorts I suppose. They thought I was a prodigal son. Now I think they would be a little less charitable and probably question my legitimacy . Baroness Gale of Blaenrhondda, a name to conjure with if there ever was, has often over the years asked me in a voice a seductive as the sexy temptress Gossamer Beynon in Under Milk Wood, “when are you coming home to Labour?”. In my case I think she was mis-cast, mis-informed, and miss-downright-impertinent.
I do want to come home. I’m tired of beating my head and my hands against the dumb cold walls of Westminster. I will never feel that I belong in that Parliament, thought I have to breathe its dust-laden air. I want a Parliament that belongs to me and to us, a Parliament that we have built, in whose stones our horizons sing. The Palace Of Westminster is undeniably an imposing and impressive building. It’s an architectural metaphor for the British political system. Its symbol, after all, is a portcullis, the gate of a fortress designed to keep the people out and power in. And just the cathedral buildings of the middle-ages sought to make us feel small in the presence of Almighty God, Westminster’s subliminal message is that we as citizens are of no consequence when compared against the power and majesty of the state. As Aneurin Bevan once wrote, the House of Commons is like a church, the vaulted roofs and stained-glass windows, the rows of statues of great statesmen of the past, the echoing walls, the soft-footed attendants and the whispered conversations. He, the newly elected MP (and it usually is a he) is expected to worship, and in the most conservative of all religions, ancestor worship. Except they’re not even our ancestors. Who came blame the Welsh MP, from a working-class constituency, who feels a bit like a floundering fish out of water in Westminster. Cloisters for us in Wales are a rare Sunday afternoon treat on a coach trip to St Davids. To members of the British establishment they are a familiar architecture that has punctuated their very life-history: from prep-school, to Eton, to Oxbridge, the Inns Of Court, the Commons and finally the Lords. Before you know it you’ve changed your accent, your dress, and your values to fit in. JH Thomas, the former Union leader from Newport turned Labour MP tried so hard he took to wearing evening dress even at 11 in the morning. They made him Colonial Secretary not once, but twice. Nobody does imperialism quite as well as a self-denying member of a conquered people. And even though there are Welsh Labour MPs walking around in the corridors of power with a peculiar smile on their face of the permanently self-satisfied, unable to believe their luck in well, just being there. Kitted out in matching silk ties, silk hankies, and for all I know silk underwear as well. They are so effortlessly smooth, you wouldn’t know the conflict the lies just under the surface from constantly flipping their loyalty back and fore from Wales to London, like flipping a coin or flipping a home on expenses. Home is, after all, where the heart is.
Like many of the people in it, the building itself is a grand deception, designed to look centuries older than it is in order to confer upon it the gravitas of accumulated power. Everything about that building, everything it represents (and for sure the one thing is doesn’t represent is the ordinary Welsh voter) is a fraud from crenulated top to bottom. It is corrupt and corrupting. No building where an army of flunkies opens doors for the privileged few can be healthy. The sooner we get out of it the better it will be for all of us.
And while we are there, we must have people we can count on to fight our corner. In Elfyn Llwyd, we have a magnificent general, as strong as an oak and as wise as an owl. In Howell and myself he has two loyal lieutenants, but what he really needs is an army to defend Wales from injustice: to field our best questions, to marshal our best arguments. Not drive home our advantage, but to secure victory on the political battlefield for Wales. Of course battlefield is what the Welsh political landscape will become over the next few years and we will need every ounce of self belief to sustain us. After a decade of lost opportunity, we are now at the cusp of a new decade, of conflict, of cuts, and conservatism. In once sense a change of the guard at Westminster makes little difference to us. Wales has suffered under Labour and we’ve suffered under the Tories. The only way to stop suffering is to get out from under them, and believe me we will come 2011.
I suppose there is some subtle difference: while Labour governments never fail to disappoint you, Conservative governments confirm your worst nightmares. If Cameron wins, this will be the 67th Conservative government in history. Which considering they’ve never, in living memory, had a majority of Welsh MPs is a little bit troubling from the perspective of Welsh democracy. Tory governments in Wales have never come highly commended. If you go back long enough, they were a coalition of low-brow publicans and high-church Anglicans, the original unholy alliance. The Conservative and Unionist party in Wales has never really recovered from those rather inauspicious beginnings. They’ve been on the wrong side of every important argument in the last 300 years: the reform act, the welfare state, the NHS, apartheid, and now the NHS again. Name virtually any issue, any cause, that has taxed the minds and frequently the bodies too of the people of this country for the last three centuries and the Tories have always managed somehow to place themselves squarely on the side of privilege and prejudice and on the opposite side to the majority of the downtrodden Welsh. When Rebecca rode out in Carmarthenshire... and Peter Mandelson please note political cross-dressers are progressives in our tradition – I once called Dafydd Ellis Thomas the Pantomime Dame of Welsh politics and he thanked me for the complement. When Rebecca burned the hated toll-booths, where were the Tories? Not on the side of the farmers struggling to survive, but on the side of the men of property, the turnpike owners, the PFI merchants of their day, turning a quick profit at other people’s expense. The Tories are democracy’s late developers, opposed to the extension of the franchise at every juncture, if it had been up to them women and the working-classes would never have had the vote, which goes a long way to explain the attitude of Leanne Wood towards the Tories. Thank God for women with attitude! The Tories opposed the secret ballot and saw to it that those who didn’t vote the right way were evicted. They opposed the repeal of the Corn Laws at a time when the people were starving, not just in Ireland but also in Wales. They supported religious discrimination against non-conformists, but still demanded that they paid church taxes and attend Anglican schools but not Anglican universities from which they were banned. They opposed the disestablishment of the Church in Wales despite it being the clear settled will of the majority in our country at the time.
For them, opposing Welsh Democracy is written into the DNA of the Conservative Tradition. They’ve opposed every Welsh Devolution bill in history, a record with which not even the Labour party can compete. They opposed the redoubtable E.T Johns Government Of Wales bill on the brink of the First World War. They opposed mighty S.O. Davies’ bill in the 1950s. They opposed the Wales Act in 1978 and took great delight in removing it from the statue book as soon as they were elected. The made opposition to devolution the cornerstone of their 1997 election campaign in Wales and were wiped out as a consequence. And yet they still sought to frustrate the wishes of the Welsh people by voting against a bill in the new Parliament. And who can forget, Nicholas Vaughn beaming before Carmarthenshire’s votes were counted, thinking that Wales had collectively voted itself out of existence for the second time in our history and chosen the life of a vassal not a victor. I never want to see a smile like that again. No man who betrayed his country so enthusiastically could ever earn the right to lead it.
I suppose, to be fair, he was only reflecting the prevailing wisdom of a party that has always defined itself as being against the development of our Welsh democracy every step of our own Welsh way. The Conservative party’s campaign guide, for every general election between 1892 and 1914 contained the following words: “the laws, institutions of Wales are the laws, institutions and customs of England. The flag of Wales is the flag of England”. But worse was to come - for the next three decades their campaign guide didn’t even mention Wales at all. Switch to 2009, and the Tories now claim to be Wales’ new best friend. But isn’t this a little difficult to take when for so long they have been our own worst enemy. They fought the Welsh miners seeking to grind them, like the coal of the slagheaps, into dust: in ‘26, in ‘73 and ‘84. They privatised our steelworks, not once but twice, and threw thousands on the dole.
And then there was Tryweryn, a scar on the conscience of the Tories as deep and as powerful in its own way as Aberfan is for Labour: both of them symbols of human suffering at the hands of a distant an uncaring government. And above all remember that when the Liverpool Corporation Bill had its second reading, the Conservative so-called Minister For Welsh Affairs stubbornly sided with Liverpool over Wales, despite the fact that every Welsh MP bar one opposed it. So when the political epitaph of the Conservative Party in Wales comes to be written, oh speed the day, let it never be forgotten that they were responsible for the greatest act of colonial vandalism in our history, the only party ever to impose a three-line whip on the destruction of a living Welsh community. And if they want our forgiveness, let David Cameron apologise to the Welsh people for their mistake. He apologised, didn’t he, about apartheid? He apologised to the Gay community over Section 28, or at least to a £50 a-ticket invitation only Conservative –Supporting section of the gay community in London’s highest members club. I’d like to see you try say sorry to a room full of Valleys Drag queens – you know who you are. If Cameron is in the habit of apologising he can try apologising to the people of Capel Celyn, Meirionnydd and Wales for a village drowned and a democracy disregarded. And then promise to give us, like the Scottish, the English, the Irish and any other nation control over our own water in our own land. Or are we still to be treated as England’s first and final precious piece of Empire? That colonial attitude is alive and sickeningly well in a party the majority of whose Secretaries Of State, in theory at least, for Wales haven’t even represented Welsh constituencies. In John Redwood’s case the Conservatives made the most bizarre political appointment since Caligula made his horse a senator.
Of course, it is possible and a small-c conservative. What is cultural nationalism but an attempt to conserve and preserve for future generations the best in our own traditions? The problems with conservatism as a political philosophy is that it is defined by what it is against: change. And when you live in a country like ours calling out for change, who would want to slow change down, to be a break on progress? In three hundred years the Tories in Wales have only ever been anti-establishment once, when Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn harboured a certain affection for Bonny Prince Charlie but not so much as to much as to risk a martyr’s death at Culloden. Personally I am more jackobin (?) than Jacobite. But there is room in our party for the creative intelligence of a David Melding , one of nature’s conservatives, a man who once told Jocelyn Davies that he hadn’t got over the shock of the Reformation. Join us, the water’s warm. You’re living proof that it is possible to be Welsh and a small-c conservative, though it must be at times mentally exhausting.
One thing is for certain, trying to be both in capital letters of equal measure is as impossible as serving two masters. For the Tories real masters in London, time and time we’ve heard Wales will never be the priority. They’ve already said they will cancel the electrification, recently announced, of the Great Western mainline to West Wales, happy to acquiesce in the shameful fact that Wales is almost alone in the Western world in lacking a single mile of electrified railtrack. Though the City of London, I notice, will still get its coveted Crossrail. The Tories announced with a fanfare that they will deliver a high-speed rail line connecting London and the Continent with Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds, but Cardiff and Swansea must wait. Wales, under the Tories, will always have to wait.
And there will be no high-speed return for the embattled Welsh forces in Helmand, when those Welsh sons and daughters are placed again in harm’s way. The party that has supported every war in history, from the concentration camps of Pretoria, to the lies of Suez and Iraq will continue with the war in Afghanistan. And instead of a war on poverty, the Tories will declare war on the poor. They will cut the money Wales gets from the Lottery, scrapping the only Lottery fund that gives Wales money according to a needs-based formula, and give the money to those who don’t. They will cut public spending, hitting Wales hard, and continue to justify the unjust Barnett Formula. And they proudly promise they will slash the benefits of hundreds of thousands of Welsh claimants in the middle of the greatest economic crash since the 30s. Let’s repeat that. The party that gave us the means-test, plan to cull one and a half million people from Incapacity Benefit in 12 months, more than 10 times even New Labour has achieved. The long-term unemployed, single parents and the clinically depressed will be dragooned into community service like criminals or lose benefits and starve. Conference, this is the modern equivalent of the Workhouse, and the abolition of Outdoor Relief. It will hit us hard, and it will hit the hurt, the young and the very old hardest of all. The man the Tories have charged with implementing this policy of economic ‘Shock and Awe’ Lord Freud, up until February was an advisor on Welfare reform to New Labour - so obviously a man of principle – has the qualification of being one of the very same investment bankers that trashed our economy and slung so many people on the scrapheap. By his own admission, thousands of investors lost money in Eurotunnel because naively they believed what this silver-tongued ex-journalist (dubbed ‘Fraud-squad’ by his colleagues) had told them. And who was it that promised an end to the politics of spin and the economics of the casino?
So maybe it’s time to dust down one of Bevan’s other great works, written under the suitably patriotic pseudonym Celticus, “Why not to trust the Tories”. And if anyone doubts the contemporary relevance of a pamphlet written in 1944, then read the section where Bevan talks about the Tories tendency to smooth away the edge of a policy in the hope of making it more attractive to doubtful supporters. It’s almost as if he had read every Conservative policy commission over the last two years. David Cameron, by his own admission, is the heir to Blair. He represents, not change, but more of the same and worse. Except where Blair appointed a former Mirror Editor as his foul-mouthed mouthpiece, Cameron has appointed a disgraced former editor of the News Of The World.
This Labour government is a failed and dying government. Its sins are too many for it to die an honourable death, so let it die. The same is true of a so-called Mother of Parliament that failed to stop them. The only thing that can wash away its sins is new blood. Not the real blood of those brave souls in Afghanistan and Iraq that have paid dearly for politician’s errors, but the new blood of a new politics. There will be new MPs aplenty at this Parliament, so many that the maiden speeches will probably last for months. Will the politics change along with the personnel? For England’s sake I hope it is a new start, a maiden Parliament. Though somehow I doubt it, as powers’ old habits die hard. But for us in Wales, it must neither me maiden nor mother, but midwife to a Parliament of our own. There have been a thousand Welsh MPs from the Act Of Union onwards, and from a strictly Welsh perspective most of them have been practically useless. In that sense, the present crop are no better or worse than previous generations, although I cannot imagine Emlyn Hooson moonlighting for the Daily Sport.
The difference lies within Wales itself. A nation within the old order is dying, and the new struggling to be born. For that new birth we need a new breed of Welsh men and women in that temporary Parliament along the banks of the Thames, who will never go native in exile, and never play by other people’s rules. Members like the one true original member for Wales, who broke the conventions of the house. Who in his first act of defiance sat down in protest at the Treasury bench until the original language of these Islands was given due recognition in the only legislature that we then had. Who committed the cardinal sin of injecting a bit of passion and politics into his first address to the house. And maybe one or two like this one, who got slung out of Parliament for calling a liar a liar.
As Plaid MPs, we don’t go to London to scale the escalator of ambition. For every Welsh MP, a Parliament in a far away capital should seem like a prison, though they try and paint our chains in gold. Penri, Dylan, Myfanwy, Phil, here is the only reason you want to be there, which is the reason we hold dear: to bring democracy home where it belongs, in the hands of our people, in our Parliament, in our capital, in our country. In our dreams for now, but also in our destiny
Monday, 12 October 2009
So last week David Cameron in his Conference speech claimed to be the party of 'change'. But we know that the London parties will never deliver the change we need here in Wales.
As we know well, Labour has slavishly followed Tory policies for 12 years, and Cameron models himself on Blair. Well, we need to tell the people of Wales that this election need not be about Brown and Cameron, the big London parties and their usual squabbles.
This election is about us here in Wales and about our communities.
After all, while most families in Wales are struggling to tread water, both Labour and the Tories are on the same millionaire's yacht in the Mediterranean and taking the same big donations from millionaires and bankers.
So who's really going to stand up for Wales, yet another MP from one of the big London parties, or a Plaid MP whose only loyalty is to the people of their community and nation?
This next year gives us a unique opportunity to continue charting a different course for our nation. Never before have people been so fed up with the big London parties.
Only Plaid Cymru offers real change. Only Plaid Cymru will make a difference. But it's only through your hard work campaigning at the grassroots that we can win in marginal constituencies against all the London parties.
So, c'mon... Click here to register to help! Together we return our highest ever number of MPs on behalf of Wales come next May.
Dafydd Iwan, President
Sunday, 11 October 2009
Nine out of 10 people would like to see a return to traditional values, a survey has found. The majority of people think the UK has changed for the worse during the past 20 years, according to Chelsea Building Society.
Around 77% of people blamed the deterioration on a lack of discipline in schools, while 74% attributed it to family breakdown and 70% thought it was due to individual greed. Three-quarters of young people aged between 18 and 24 also thought society had changed for the worst. It was this age group turning back to tradition, saying they wanted less television and more family trips out and board games. They also craved less fast food and more meals around the dining table.
Nine out of 10 people across all age groups said they thought it was important to say please and thank you, while 87% thought children should have good manners and be respectful and 87% thought people should give up seats to those who needed them more.
Other things which were rated as being important included receiving service with a smile, family meals, helping neighbours and children being able to play outside.
Tim Taylor, divisional director of customer services at Chelsea Building Society, said: "Although some aspects of modern society are obviously important, this research indicates that Britain wants to refresh cherished traditions and see them become an active part of life going forward."
Comment: New Labour has presided over the deterioration of society and abandonment of traditional human values. It is not a question of returning to the past but of recreating the future based on ethical truths and behavioural norms.
This year's Conference comes at important time for Mebyon Kernow – the Party for Cornwall. We achieved 7% of the vote in the European Parliamentary elections and got three councillors elected to Cornwall Council. In both elections, we out-polled the Labour Party.
More and more people are also pledging their support for our six candidates in the 2010 General Election. Why not come to Bodmin to celebrate our successes, meet with friends and help us make sure that Conference provides us with an important springboard to winning a better deal for Cornwall.
It will be held in the Public Public Rooms at Bodmin on Saturday November 21st 2009.
We hope you will be able to attend.
The draft timetable for the meeting is as follows:
Registration, tea and coffee - 10.30
MORNING SESSION - 11.00-12.45
This session will comprise the AGM and discussion of MK campaigns.
BREAK FOR DINNER - 12.45-2.00
AFTERNOON SESSION - 2.00-5.00
This will include speeches from leading MK members, and invited guests from Plaid Cymru, looking at the year ahead. There will be a break for refreshments during the afternoon and the event will finish with an open forum during which issues can be raised with the National Executive.
The finalised agenda and supporting papers will be available on the day. However, if you let us know you are planning to attend, we will send out the finalised paperwork in advance of the meeting.
For further information on the Conference, call Cllr Dick Cole on 07791 876607 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, 9 October 2009
Click on the map to enlarge
"Elect Richard As Gordon's Next MP"
Richard Thomson sent a message to the members of Elect Richard As Gordon's Next MP.
Subject: Canvassing Tomorrow (Sat 10th Oct) - Dyce, 11AM
We're working tomorrow (Sat 10th Oct) in Dyce. It's survey cards, so the work should be nice and easy.
Meet Asda Car park, Dyce at 11AM. Phone me if you get lost or need a lift!
It's a date - Glasgow NE By-Election
Very quick update - the date has been confirmed, it will be Thursday 12 November 2009. At long last the people of Glasgow North-East have a chance to elect someone to represent their interests at Westminster. We all know there's only one person who's going to do that justice so let's get out there and get David Kerr elected for the good folk of GNE. Bring it on!
Scottish national party to press for independence
EDINBURGH, Scotland — Scotland’s separatist government said Thursday that it would push for a referendum on independence from the United Kingdom next year — a proposal unlikely to go far because the nationalists are outnumbered in Scotland’s parliament.
The Scottish National Party has long made breaking with Britain the focus of its political agenda, but with only 47 out of 129 seats, it lacks the parliamentary majority needed to make its plan for a referendum a reality.
Nationalist leader Alex Salmond called on opposition politicians to put the issue to the people.
“The people of Scotland must be heard and this parliament must not stand in their way. Let the people speak,” Salmond said in a speech before Holyrood, Scotland’s legislature.
Other parties showed no appetite for any such a vote. Britain’s Treasury chief Alistair Darling — a senior official in the country’s Labour Party and himself a Scot — told a business audience in the city of Glasgow that politicians should be working on getting through the recession and getting people jobs.
“I find it strange that today some seem to think the priority is a referendum on the constitutional makeup of the U.K.,” he said.
Annabel Goldie, who leads the Scottish right-leaning Conservatives, joined Labour in its opposition to the referendum, dismissing it as “constitutional vandalism.”
Salmond vowed to secure independence from the U.K. when the Scottish National Party won control of Holyrood in 2007, but his ambitions have been complicated by the aftermath of the credit crunch. Most polls show that support for separation remains low.
However, most Scots do back the idea of having a referendum on the issue, according to a recent survey.
A telephone poll by BBC Scotland in June showed that 58 percent of Scots want a vote on independence — though it also showed that most would still vote in favor of remaining within the U.K. The BBC said pollster ICM interviewed 1,010 people. No margin of error was given, but surveys of that size typically have a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
The Scottish parliament already has autonomy over justice, health and education. Powers over defense and foreign affairs remain with London. Although Scotland could raise some taxes, the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh has so far not done so.
Even if Scotland does eventually become independent, the Scottish Nationalist Party says it favors retaining the queen as the head of state.
"The media is reporting that the Scottish branch of the Liberal Democrats are meeting behind closed doors to consider dropping their opposition to the self-determination in Scotland."
Thursday, 8 October 2009
How Welsh Language, and Welsh Culture was Nearly Killed
by Kathryn Burton
In Wales, Welsh school children were punished for speaking their own language, in the belief that the English language would solve all their educational problems. Welsh is the oldest language in Europe, dating back at least 2500 years. However, it nearly died out in the 19th century, due to a belief that English was superior, and was the only language which should be used throughout the British Empire.
A report of 1847, written by three English barristers who did not speak one word of Welsh between them, castigated Welsh culture in general, and Welsh schools in particular. It largely ignored the problems of poverty, deprivation, and poor housing, but determined that the problem with under performing Welsh schools lay with the Welsh language.
In many parts of Wales, the use of the “Welsh Not” was used to discourage the use of the Welsh language. There is evidence of this practice dating back to the 18th century, but it came into wider use in the 19th century.
The “Welsh Not” was a board, usually a rectangle of approximately 10 cm by 6 cm, although each school had its own version, and so shapes and sizes vary, with the letteres “W.N.” carved into it. Each morning, this was hung around the neck of the first child caught speaking Welsh, who had to hand it to the next child caught speaking Welsh, who in turn had to hand it to the next child. The unfortunate child wearing the Welsh Not around their neck at the end of the school day was punished. The punishment was usually a caning or detention, although the headmaster of Neuaddllwyd school, in Ceredigion, fined his pupils and used the money to pay for tobacco.
There is some argument over how widespread this practice was, (it was mainly used in eastern and south Wales,to a lesser extent in north and far west Wales). It was largely confined to primary schools. There is no evidence of its use in Grammar schools, however this was hardly surprising, as the children attending Grammar schools would already be inculcated in the use of English. However, culturally, the practice reverberated throughout Wales, and even today, the “Welsh Not” is one of the most hated symbols of English oppression, although it was never part of official British Government policy.
This directly led to the Welsh cultural fightback, and now Welsh people have a genuine pride in their language and heritage. Today the Welsh Assembly government has a bilingual policy, and Welsh inabitants are quite used to having both Welsh and English on all official documents, road signs, and public announcements. All children in Wales learn Welsh at school, and there are many schools in Wales which use Welsh routinely as a medium for instruction.
Read more: http://welshhistory.suite101.com/article.cfm/the_welsh_not#ixzz0TKlJhmeg
Read more: http://welshhistory.suite101.com/article.cfm/the_welsh_not#ixzz0TKk9sHFg
In 410 the Roman emperor, Honorius, told the local authorities in Britain that he could not send any reinforcements to help them defend the province against 'barbarian' attacks.
The newcomers were not so much invaders as NEW OCCUPANTS who at times fought against the Britons -- or as the Invaders called them the wealas , an Anglo-Saxon (Old English) word meaning slave or foreigner. Curious attitude and viewpoint, but very Anglo-Saxon indeed, to look on the legitimate residents or inhabitants of another land they are invading or systematically occupying as the "Foreigners" or "Slaves," when it is THEY who are the foreign entities forcing their entry under their own imposition. Moreover, in many areas not far from the coastlines of Britannia (Britain) much of the settlement was peaceful with some Germanic-Danish farmers and craftsmen integrating themselves into existing communities. The numbers of the "invaders" was certainly large at times, and they certainly did affect the nature of Bretisc (Briton) society, even to the extent of replacing in protracted manner the primary Celtic language. They did not wipe out the aboriginal inhabitants of the land, although there were thousands of deaths involved, along with rape, looting, and appropriation (as all invasions do in the end). At first, the arrival of the initial hordes was violent and bloody, but as the decades flew by, they realized that assimilation and blending would be a more effective strategy. Nevertheless, there were not always Bretisc communities who were too willing to let the invaders simply come in and take over their lives, and thus resistance and fight were inevitable outcomes. On the other hand, it is certainly NOT true that the Celts were, nor ever have been, a weak nor a compliant or complacent lot. On the contrary, they were a highly nationalized and hearty race always pressing onward in their struggle for their lands and survival.
Whatever the assumed or inferred "facts" may be, it is more likely than not that there were in actuality a mixture of all the speculations and conjectures which have been handed down to us in recent years by the "experts" in the field. The fact is that in some regions and places the native Britons were entirely, or almost entirely, replaced by the newcomers, while in other places the two peoples lived side by side, gradually blending in with each other through miscegenation. Still, in other places, especially the more remote regions to the north, the population remained almost exclusively Bretisc, although these "British" people gradually adopted some of the ways and parts of the language of the invaders. (This gave rise to the modern English speaker who still retains the ancient mother tongue and genetic or national character of that remote and venerable past.) Here is an extraordinary fact and principle of invasions and occupations which allow for the COEXISTENCE of both races. This was precisely the "miracle" of the British island which came later to be called "England." The Britons and the "Anglo-Saxon" occupants and newcomers both allowed for the blending of customs, actions, traditions, and community actions -- LANGUAGE, only to some extent. For, it was with the passing of Time that essentially the Anglo-Saxon mixture of the invaders' dialects merged to reshape and give rise to the incipient language form now known as ENGLISH. In brief, with the passing of the decades and Evolutionary Time, ANGLO-SAXON originated (now named "Old English" by linguistic study); and it was this ultimate product which united the British peoples in the end. As time went on, Old English evolved further from the original Continental form, and regional dialects developed. The four major dialects recognized in Old English are Kentish, originally the dialect spoken by the Jutes; West Saxon, a branch of the dialect spoken by the Saxons; and Northumbrian and Mercian, subdivisions of the dialects spoken by the Angles. By the 9th century, partly through the influence of Alfred, king of the West Saxons and the first ruler of all England, West Saxon became prevalent in prose literature. A Mercian mixed dialect, however, was primarily used for the greatest poetry, such as the anonymous 8th-century epic poem Beowulf and the contemporary elegiac poems.
Wednesday, 7 October 2009
The Labour government in London operates increasingly by decree, not by consensus.
It must be admitted that the system LCO's is a botched and cumbersome exercise and of no use to Wales.
These failed politicians choose to ignore fundamental realities and communal needs and aspirations. Truly they will not survive following the next general election. They have served Wales badly and have lost their traditional base of support, both in Wales and in Scotland. Along with other British parties they are unionist to the core, despite their espousal of devolution. They are fearful of the logical outcome, the dissolution of Britain, where the trappings of the Establishment and its constitutional anomalies are so in conflict with the movement for change and the growth of a new awareness throughout Europe, from Sicily and Sardinia to Flanders and Cornwall. This resurgence is not confined to these islands. The peoples of Europe are not content to be merely a part of an amorphous super-state; they need to feel a sense of national identity too, with their culture and language intact and recognised as being of value and great worth in the diversity of small nations bound in unity which is the future face of Europe.
Tuesday, 6 October 2009
06 October 2009
Plaid Cymru AM Leanne Wood has called for the Welsh Language LCO to finally be passed by Westminster after the Welsh government revealed the final content of the formal bid for powers over the Welsh Language.
Ms Wood labelled the upcoming debate in the Welsh Grand Committee in Westminster as “pointless”, saying that it should be cancelled so that Westminster can finally pass the powers to Wales.
The One Wales Government today announced that agreement had finally been reached with the Wales Office in Westminster over the content of the LCO – and that it will enable the government to deliver all of its One Wales language policies.
The Plaid Cymru AM for South Wales Central sat on the National Assembly Legislation Committee on the LCO.
Plaid AM Leanne Wood said:
“The cross party committee on this LCO called for all powers on the Welsh language to be brought home to Wales and I’m disappointed that its not possible for that to happen right now. However, it is clear that we can deliver the policies agreed upon in One Wales with the powers this LCO asks for.
“This process has now been ongoing for the past 2 years, and the last thing the language needs now is more needless delays. Holding a pointless discussion in the Welsh Grand Committee can achieve nothing except delaying positive legislation even further – it should simply be cancelled.
“Both an Assembly committee and a Westminster committee have looked at this issue at length and had their say. We must now get on with it, and let the Welsh Government legislate as soon as possible.”
Menna Machreth, chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg, said: “The Wales Office and Welsh Assembly Government have decided to block the people of Wales from gaining access to the Welsh language. What difference will this measure do to the day-to-day lives of people in Wales? The Wales Office and Assembly Government prefer to please large corporations and anti-Welsh elements within the Labour Party instead of making a real difference to the Welsh language’s status in Wales.”
Monday, 5 October 2009
Wales needs to shake off the shackles of Unionism, not proclaim it, and recover its past from the clutches and the sorry legacy of Britannic hegemony.
This website attempts to uncover some of the real history of Devon - a Celtic Devon - proud, unique, and independent.
Most people are aware that Devon has beautiful varied scenery, a rich Maritime history ( with names such as Drake, Raleigh, Gilbert, Grenville, etc...) and a vibrant tourist industry.
However Devon is much, much more than that.
Devon was the cornerstone of one of Britain's most significant Celtic Kingdoms (Dumnonia), and retains a significant heritage from those days. Devon's people are predominantly of Celtic stock, with the Celtic language (which also resulted in Cornish) being spoken well into the dark ages, and is retained today in place names, dialect, as well as in customs and culture.
This is not to say that the Saxons, who 'conquered' Devon in the eight and ninth centuries (and who militarily conquered Cornwall in the ninth and tenth centuries), or the Normans who did the same to the whole of England in the eleventh century, are without merit or contribution. However the point of this web-page is to promote that part of Devon's history which for some strange reason appears to have been repressed - that of Celtic Devon.
Devon's Cornish Celtic name is Dewnans although another Celtic name for it is Dyfnaint (meaning 'deep valley dwellers') and it is this that gives Devon its name.
Devon was one of the last areas of what is now known as England to be conqured by the Anglo-Saxon invaders, and was not formally claimed by the Saxon Kindom of Wessex until the early ninth century (805 AD - only a couple of decades before Cornwall was 'conquered', although Cornwall retained some degree of independence thereafter), and even after this (as noted in King Alfred the Great's will in 900 AD), Devon's Celtic people were called Wealcynn (wealas being the Anglo-Saxon word for Celts, and literally translates as 'foreigner').
Perhaps it is surprising that this history of Celtic identity is not better known. How can this be so? A number of factors probably came into play. The Victorian era prized all things teutonic because (for some reason) they equated it with civilised society. Even in the mid/late twentieth century schools teach a 'unified' english history with little focus on regional history. Devon's own Celtic history has been overlooked and neglected. This story is not unique to Devon. History, language and culture have been suppressed in many parts of the Celtic world (eg Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Brittany - to name a few). In Devon's case its proximity to Cornwall, with its own rich Celtic ancestry, has probably also hindered recognition of Devon's own history.
The question of Devon's Celtic identity is not new. In 1870 Professor Thomas Huxley, President of the Royal Society, President of the Ethnological Society and friend of Charles Darwin who stated that '(Devonians) are as little Anglo-Saxon as Northumbrians are Welsh' by which he meant that Devonians are genetically descended from the Brythonic Celts, rather than the germanic tribes of the Angles or Saxons who give the term 'Anglo-Saxon' (and the term England) its name.
The 'pro-teutonic' prejudices of the Victorian era were Huxley's target, and sadly his views were not universally accepted. The ramifications of this 'Victorian prejudice' continued well into the twentieth century, and distorted the real history. However the issue is now being revisited, and the truth is slowly emerging.
Recent genetic evidence (from the BBC 'Blood of the Vikings' series) has indicated that the Celtic peoples in South Western Britain not only survived, but that their gene pool are predominant in the current population.
Norwegian based research indicates that Devon (and Cornwall) has a far greater proportion of black hair colour than other english counties, a tendancy also seen in Ireland and Scotland. Perhaps this also provides evidence of a common Celtic background, and certainly supports the theory that the Tamar is no 'racial' boundary.
(g hard). Tributary Prince of Devon, and one of the knights of the Round Table. Overhearing part of E'nid's words, he fancied she was faithless to him, and treated her for a time very harshly; but Enid nursed him so carefully when he was wounded that he saw his error, “nor did he doubt her more, but rested in her fealty, till be crowned a happy life with a fair death.” (Tennyson: Idylls of the King; Enid.)
"Brown’s presentation of English policies as if they were British exemplified all the familiar dishonest and self-serving motivations"
Sunday, 4 October 2009
While the two main parties in the powersharing executive both support the transfer of law and order responsibilities from Westminster, they are at loggerheads over the timing of the move.
Sinn Fein claims it should have happened months ago, but the DUP says it will not approve devolution until the Treasury stumps up an appropriate cash package - thought to be in the region of £600 million - to support the region's new justice department.
Though the republican party acknowledges funding is important, it believes Mr Robinson is using it as an excuse to delay the transfer in the face of resistance from hard-line elements within his ranks. Senior Sinn Fein figures also believe the DUP is wary of the electoral impact of the move, given the vocal opposition to devolution from the anti-agreement Traditional Unionist Voice party.
Traditional Unionist need to realise that the road ahead for northern Ireland is in uniting with the South and establishing the long delayed and fiercely resisted (by Ulstermen of the Orange order) unification of all Ireland as a free and independent sovereign state within Europe.
Saturday, 3 October 2009
A letter from Australia
The Welsh & Cornish Are the Last of the TRUE Britons/British!
The Welsh & Cornish Are the Last of the TRUE Britons/British!
Common Interest - History
Shw'mae pawb! (Hello everyone!)
When people hear the word 'Britain' their instant thought to mind is 'England'! Yes, England is a part of the the United Kingdom of Great Britain along with Wales, Cornwall, Scotland and Northern Ireland! But do they really understand what the word 'British' means?
It is a term that has been lost or should I say stripped off the Welsh & Cornish people in the midst of History!
I think it's about time that the Welsh & Cornish revive this term and bring it back to Wales & Cornwall where it truly belongs within its roots! How many times have you been somewhere abroad on holidays and hear an English person refer to themselves as British?!? About 98 times out of 100, that's how many! But do they and everybody else around the world know the true meaning of the term?
The term British or Briton was the name given to the inhabitants of the island of Britannia/Britain, the Brythonic Celts i.e. Welsh, Cornish, Cumbric and maybe Pictish! They spoke a Brythonic/Brittonic language i.e. modern day Welsh, Cornish, Breton and Cumbric (the later sadly extinct)! They inhabited the island of Britain long before the Saxons, Jutes, Angles (modern day English) arrived from 440 AD onwards, who were Germanic tribes and speakers of a western Germanic language! Now although they refer to themselves as British, are they? Do they speak any Brythonic/Brittonic? NO! Even the Scots are not, while Cumbric died out in Strathclyde & Pictish in Pictland; and the actual 'Scots' themselves are Gaelic Celts originally crossing from Ireland to Scotland, who mixed with the Picts. So there is how the term misleads people all over the world and I think its about time the Welsh stood up and proudly claim what is rightfully theirs!
So when asked what nationality you are, don't stubbornly say 'I'm Welsh/Cornish not British' like most Welsh seem to do, you're just stating what the government and the others want you to state! Proudly say 'I'm a true Briton' You've got every right even more right to state your Brythonic/British roots than anyone else in U.K! Lets promote ourselves like other countries do and get this point across the world and teach people and tourist the true history and terms when they enter Cymru (Wales) or Kernow (Cornwall)
This group is open to all you Welsh & Cornish folk who want to get your points across and anyone else who is open for discussion! This is not a racist group* and does not promote such a thing, everyone is welcome to express their views and find out about heritage and the history of Britain and the Celts!
Diolch yn fawr/Meur rasta (thank you very much)!
Sydney, Australia *it is a new group on Facebook
Thursday, 1 October 2009
This outrage took place at the funeral in Wales of Glyn Rowlands
From : Cambrian News
POLICE have been accused of acting in a “deplorable” way by asking Machynlleth Town Council to use a room at its Plas building for covert monitoring of a rally following the funeral of a well-known Welsh nationalist from Corris.
The rally was held earlier this month after the funeral of Glyn Rowlands, 71, who was a supporter of the Free Wales Army.
Town clerk John Parsons told a meeting this week he was stunned when he learned that the town’s PCSO asked Plas manager Bob Dunn on the day of the funeral if the CCTV system based at the Plas could be moved to cover the Owain Glyndŵr memorial.
When Cllr Dunn said he couldn’t do that, he was asked if a room in the Plas overlooking the memorial could be used to covertly monitor the memorial and rally.
Mr Parsons has written to Dyfed Powys Police Chief Constable Ian Arundale to complain about the police’s request. He said: “I feel the request for such an operation should have been made beforehand and by a more senior officer. To ask for this on the day of Mr Rowlands’ funeral was, in some ways, offensive.”
He added: “There were more police in plain clothes and in uniform than there have been in Machynlleth for many years.
“To do that on the day of a man’s funeral was beyond. If Bob had agreed that would make us a part of it and I felt that was deplorable.”
Mayor Sylvia Rowlands, a relative of Mr Rowlands, said: “There was no way people there would have caused trouble on that day. I took part in that march and so did a lot of other people and this was very upsetting.”
Superintendent Huw Meredith said: “We are in receipt of a letter from the clerk to Machynlleth Town Council raising some concerns in respect of the policing response on the day of the funeral of Mr Rowlands.
“We are currently examining the issues raised and will communicate with the council in due course.”