Thursday 3 December 2015

The Kurdish Struggle is Our Struggle by Derek Wall

                                                             Shilan Ozcelik

THE media and political class pre-frame debates so we are left with limited choices. Often a simple analysis of the situation shows that the positions advanced are nonsense.

The current debate over how to fight Islamic State (Isis) in Syria is a typical example. The debate is framed as bombing Isis versus a pacifist position. We are set up to agonise over intervention.
On the one hand Western intervention in Iraq and Libya has created the chaos which led to the birth and growth of the so-called Islamic State.

On the other, after the bloodshed in Paris, to do nothing is not an option, so many of us reluctantly are tempted to support British bombing of Raqqa and other areas controlled by Isis.

However even a cursory examination of the facts on the ground suggest that, far from opposing Isis, the British government is actually campaigning against the most successful of its opponents — the revolutionary Kurds led by the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and organised in the Peoples Protection Units (YPG).

David Cameron recently name-checked Kobane in a speech. In 2014 Kobane in northern Syria was under siege by the Islamists but was eventually liberated by Kurdish forces after a dramatic struggle.

However just last week a young women of Kurdish extraction from Croydon, Shilan Ozcelik, was sent to prison for wishing to join the Kurdish forces in Kobane fighting Isis.

Yes, you heard it right. While Cameron badgers us about the need to fight Isis with mass bombing campaigns, a woman has actually been sent to prison because she was alleged to have wanted to fight Isis.

Are the mainstream media protesting about Cameron’s failure? No, they don’t actually care about the fight against Isis and are busy demonising Jeremy Corbyn.

A Kurdish student living in Britain noted: “The UK is part of the anti-Isis coalition that bombs Isis down there. Now a girl is jailed for wanting to fight the same Isis, as the UK does. It makes no sense.”

So Cameron wants to fight Isis, praises the resistance at Kobane but has anyone travelling to Syria to fight against Isis arrested under the 2006 Terrorism Act. Like many aspects of government policy, it is utterly absurd.

The Kurds and their allies in Rojava, the autonomous zone of northern Syria, should be supported by anyone who opposes Isis.

There are a number of reasons why their fight is the fight of all who abuse the brutality of Daesh (a term used by the Kurds and other opponents for Isis).

First, they have been highly successful in challenging and beating Isis and now control a huge swathe of northern Syria.

Second, in a region where communities are increasingly polarised, many Sunni communities are driven into the arms of Isis by the fear of Shia or other sectarian communities.

The Kurds are committed to a multiethnic, secular and pluralist approach. Kurds are, at least, trying to create a multi-ethnic and multi-faith society that respects difference.

Third, the Kurds have sealed nearly all the border between Turkey and Isis territory. Fighters, cash and military equipment have flowed from Turkey to Isis, but the Kurds are in a strong position to totally cut off links between Isis and the outside world to the north of Raqqa.

Guess what? Cameron’s government is having none of this. It has explicitly condemned the forces of Rojava.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon recently accused the Kurds of ethnic cleansing.

The Turkish government has told the Kurds that if they advance into Jarablus they will be attacked by Turkish forces. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu stated, quite openly, that if the Kurds displace Isis along the border between Syria and Turkey they will be under fire.

We have said: “The PYD will not pass to the west of the Euphrates. We’ll hit them if they do.”
So a democratic secular force that is able to fight Isis and seal off one of their main sources of fighters and equipment, has been told by Turkey that they will be bombed for doing so.

What is worse is that Turkey has on several occasions recently bombed Kurdish communities in northern Syria.

In Britain we heard nothing of this. Our media was too busy suggesting that Corbyn had not bowed to the Queen.

Even more shocking is that fact that the British government is backing Turkey.

The right-wing Islamist government of President Recep Erdogen has been engaged in an increasingly bitter struggle with Turkey’s Kurdish population.

There have been allegations that Erdogan’s government has ignored or even aided attacks by jihadists from both Isis and the Nusra Front on the Kurds. This has led to a breakdown in the peace process between Turkey and the Kurds.

A bomb attack in Ankara before the recent general election on a Kurdish peace rally led to the death of over 100 activists, including a founding member of the Turkish Green Party.

The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) suspended its military operations against Turkey but Erdogan ignored this, continuing to bomb PKK bases in Iraq.

There have increasingly brutal attacks by the Turkish police and military on Kurdish communities in the south-east of Turkey. Numerous individuals have suggested that human rights are being heavily eroded in Turkey.

Very diverse forces recognise the importance of the Kurds in Syria in fighting Isis.

The British government so far is an exception. British military intervention is rejected by most of us on the left.

However, military intervention by both Russia and the US has been used to support the Kurds in Syria.

Such intervention, I am sure, is controversial to many of us on the left. What is less controversial and should unite all is opposition to Turkey’s threat to the most successful force challenging Isis.

When Cameron calls for British forces to bomb Syria it is unclear what this means. Cameron has, of course, shifted from wanting to bomb Assad to wanting to bomb Isis.

However, when asked in Parliament whether he had challenged Turkey over bombing the Kurds in Kobane, Cameron was dismissive.

To be blunt, we have no idea whether Cameron is seeking to support Turkey or not in its ongoing war against the Kurds.

Cameron has nothing to say on Isis while he opposes the very force most effective in challenging Isis.

He must stop criminalising Britain’s Kurdish community, he must delist the PKK so that they are no longer seen as terrorists.

Above all, if our government is to have any credibility on foreign policy, it must support the renewal of the peace process between Turkey and the Kurds.

Foreign policy can throw up difficult ethical choices and it’s easy for all of us to be armchair experts far from the field of conflict.

Yet one thing is very clear, if we want to defeat Isis we must support the Kurds in Rojava.

This simple fact is sadly distant from much media and political comment at present.

Derek Wall is international co-ordinator of the Green Party of England and Wales.



Sunday 22 November 2015

Lake Vyrnwy Estate and Why we need a Welsh Land Act by Nickglais: TIR CYMRU YW EFYRNWY/EFYRNWY IS CYMRIC LAND.

Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr has been investigating why the biggest Land Sale in England and Wales of Welsh Land by an English Company has been largely ignored by Nationalists and Socialists in Wales.

It speaks to some pretty fundamental political weaknesses of both the Nationalist and Socialist movements in Wales which was why Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr was established in 2012 to begin to rectify.

The  23,000 acre Vyrnwy Estate was put on the market in 2010 by Severn Trent Water Authority but however despite lengthy negotiations over its sale it failed to secure a buyer and was taken off the market in 2013.

Severn Trent Water Authority

In 1973 the Water Act brought together the many water and sewerage companies in England and Wales into ten water authorities, each responsible for water supply, sewage treatment and river protection within its area.

Each was led by a board with representatives from local authorities and central government.
Severn Trent Water Authority was one of those ten authorities.

By the mid 1980s, however, the government had decided to privatise the water industry.

The ten water authorities  passed into private ownership in 1989.

Lake  Vyrnwy Dam

The City Council of Liverpool were looking for a site for a new reservoir to provide more water for the ever expanding population of the great, sprawling urban area they controlled along the banks of the Mersey.

Various sites were under consideration in northern England and Wales, but in most cases some snag prevented them from being suitable.

In the summer of 1877 Mr Deacon, the city engineer of  Liverpool, arrived in Llanwddyn to investigate the possibility of damming the river Vyrnwy at a point somewhere below the village to create a large, artificial lake capable of holding many millions of gallons of water.

Dr George Deacon (1843–1909) began the design of the Vyrnwy Dam in 1879 at the age of 36. In 1890, following Vyrnwy, he founded an engineering practice in London which subsequently became Sir Alexander Binnie Son & Deacon, then Mr Binnie and Partners. Its present-day successor is now Black & Veatch.

Dr Deacon was instructed to prepare the Parliamentary Plans for the scheme in 1879. The dam construction started in 1881 and was completed seven years later in 1888.

It was the first large stone-built dam in the United Kingdom, and is built partly out of great blocks of Welsh slate. When built it cost £620,000, equivalent to £62,000,000 in 2015 to supply Merseyside and Liverpool with water.

United Utilities

The principal bidder for the Vyrnwy Estate was United Utilities another English company.

However, United Utilities withdrew from the sale which led to the land being taken off the market in June 2013.

It had been put up for sale in 2010 and in 2011, United Utilities and RSPB Cymru were named preferred bidders for 12,000 acres of agricultural holdings on the estate.

FIM Sustainable Timber and Energy LP was also named as the preferred bidder to develop the 5,000 acres of commercial woodland.

Local Campaign to bring Land into Welsh ownership

There was a praiseworthy attempt to raise money for a Welsh People buy out of Lake Vyrnwy Estate in 2010 but either through weak organisation or lack of support for the campaign or a combination of  both the campaign for Welsh ownership of Vyrnwy Estate never got off the ground.

Given  that this is the largest land sale in England and Wales of 23,000 acres - it is strange and some might say monsterous that it has not been taken up by Plaid Cymru as a campaigning nationalist issue.

Severn Trent and RSPB still have biggest package of land some 11 891 acres and we believe William Pears a London financial company has acquired at least 5000 acres.

I am still investigating the remaining acres which I believe are woodland and lake which may have gone to FIM Sustainable Timber and Energy LP.

Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr will commence a campaign to raise awareness of the Welsh Land issue around Vyrnwy Estate as part of our campaign for a Welsh Land Act in 2016.

Since our foundation in 2012 Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr has called for a Welsh Land Act simlar to Scottish Land Act 2003 with priority right to buy for local communities.

Scotland has moved on and is currently preparing a much better Second Land Act  but Wales has not even addressed the question of a First Welsh Land Act.

The Vyrnwy Estate  Land Sale provides us with an opportunity to  highlight the question of the need for a Welsh Land Act and what it would mean in practice.

Firstly with a Welsh Land Act and the Vyrnwy Land Sale - the Welsh local community or Nation would have been the preferred bidder by law and not the English Company United Utilities as was the recent case.

Of course we would still need to make the case as socialists and nationalists why the nation/local community  should spend 11 million pounds acquiring the Vyrnwy Estate for the nation.

The 125 years leases on the properties on the Estate like the farms would have been offered to the tennents first and not sold to London financial institutions like William Pears if a Welsh Land Act was in existence.
The Forestry and woodland instead of going to a commercial company could have become a community resource.

Therefore The Vyrnwy Estate provides us with many examples of why we need a Welsh Land Act.

We need to find creative ways to publicize these issues and the necessity for a Welsh Land Act.

The Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr campaign slogan for 2016 will be :


Saturday 21 November 2015

Calon Lan (Pure Heart) Against North Wales Infidels - Proud to to be Welsh and anti Fascist

Today November 21st 2015 a march of about 600 Welsh People people singing Calon Lan at Llangefni against the fascists of North Wales Infidels numbering about 30 who looked on without a clue.

The 30 Fascists were made up of Nazi Combat 18 from England and North West England Infidels and a few locals.

The true voice of Wales was found in the singing of Calon Lan (Pure Heart) at the protest against the fascists at Llangefni.

Da iawn pobl. Great turnout in Llangefni - For diversity, against the politics of hate.
Posted by Leanne Wood on Saturday, 21 November 2015

Far right protesters and their opponents have held two rallies in Llangefni on Anglesey.Around 40 members of a group - calling itself Infidels of North Wales - took part, with several hundred opposing them.More:
Posted by ITV Wales on Saturday, 21 November 2015

 The unionist Chap called Robert Johnston in interview  is himself a Migrant , he Just Moved from Luton in the south of England to Caergybi on Anglesey Wales and then called him self a North Walian

Sunday 8 November 2015

Remembering Welsh boy and men soldiers executed in First World War by Gethin Gruffydd


Unfortunately, I did not manage to complete until this Morning and am still one poppy short of the 15 I required for this tribute.

I had hoped to put it on display at the 'National' War memorial in Caerdydd but that is out now, but next year 2016 as appropriate and perhaps with an organised Great Unrest Remembrance ( Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr) Commemoration.

The three crosses at top represent the regiments in which these men served and yes there are 'Three Feathers' but in this instance I am not letting hard line Nationalist opinions get in the way of this particular tribute

Yr  Aflonyddwch  Mawr says its is time to  have a monument in Wales to those who heroically resisted the First World War on the Western Front as well as at Home.

We are aware of mutinies in three Welsh Regiments on the Western Front  which have been edited out of regimental histories.

Our History Commission is investigating and hopes to Report in 2016 on these Mutinies.

The executed and dead will have their say and will not remain excluded from history for  ever.

Private William Jones was probably suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) induced by the horrors of the Great War.

But after deserting the young solider turned himself in – and later found himself blindfolded and put before a firing squad.

The young solider from the Vale of Neath was one of 306 young British soldiers – 15 of them serving in Welsh ranks – who received the ultimate punishment for military offences such as desertion, cowardice, falling asleep or striking an officer.

They were all shot at dawn.

In 2006 a blanket pardon was issued for the men who died this way following a petition in the years after the First World War.

Now a new book by Neath author Robert King, who campaigned and supported the petition, portrays the brutality faced by the 15 Welshmen who all faced this terrifying end.

Shot at Dawn looks at how during the First World War the concept of ‘shell shock’ – now known as PTSD – was not known and was not accepted as an excuse for desertion or any of the other offences which resulted in men being shot..

Pte Jones’ name has since been inscribed on Glynneath war memorial nearly 90 years after he was executed.

Suspected to have been too young to join the army, Mr King thinks Pte Jones was one of the many hundreds of volunteers who lied about their age and signed up by a desperate army.

“Private William Jones, 9th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers, was a Kitchener volunteer who hailed from Glynneath,” said Mr King.

“Jones was a stretcher bearer in France who went missing on June 15, 1917, after taking a wounded soldier to the dressing station.

“The job of a stretcher bearer entailed going out into no-man’s-land collecting wounded and dead soldiers and their body parts and returning them to the dressing station.

“It was a horrendous duty for such a young man and it could have unhinged him, causing him to desert.”

During the early days of September 1917, having been away from his battalion for about three months, he handed himself in to Neath Police Station – possibly encouraged by his family – and the officers there promptly sent him to the assistant provost marshal in Bristol.

“If he had not made the decision to surrender it is probable that he would have been undetected for the duration of the war,” said Mr King.

Pte Jones was executed a month later. In a foreword to the book Neath MP Peter Hain said the men who died had been victims of war rather than failures at war.

Mr Hain supported a proposal in the House of Commons to grant a blanket pardon to the men.

“The terrible injustice suffered by 306 British men executed under the Army Act has been like a deep festering sore,” he said.

“Their ‘offence’ was quite likely to be suffering from shell shock – now called post-traumatic stress syndrome. Through no fault of their own they downed arms and could not serve, so breaching the regulations stipulated by the Army Act.”

In the years following the First World War the executed soldiers’ cause was raised with great passion in the House with Labour MP Ernest Thurtle being one of the first to do so in the early 1920s.

He argued that the executed soldiers should be laid to rest in graves alongside those men who fell in action after responding to a petition submitted by a soldier who felt that they should be honoured in the same way.

Mr King, a local history author from Neath, has been campaigning since the 1970s to have the soldiers pardoned and placed on memorials to those who died in the First World War.

“My attention focused on those Welshmen who had been regulars, volunteers or conscripts and then faced a firing squad for committing one of the variety of offences either through, in some cases, alcoholic inebriation or shell shock (now called post-traumatic stress syndrome).”

Mr King said soldiers who made up the firing line were also mentally scarred by the dawn shootings.
“It must have been horrendous to be instructed to carry out this duty – in some cases the members of the firing party would have known the condemned. To be involved in a firing party would often leave a mark on a man who had knowingly shot someone who had been fighting on the Allied side.”

Four of the 15 Welshmen executed by the British Army had been convicted of murder and were not subject to the blanket pardon that was granted for other offences.

However the court martials they faced were nothing like a civilian murder trial and did not take into account any of the mitigating circumstances surrounding the killings.


Tuesday 3 November 2015

The Promise of John Frost - Remembering the Chartist Uprising November 3rd/4th 1839

In 1856 John Frost the leader of the Newport Chartists was allowed to return to Britain.

Several thousand people gave him a hero's welcome when he arrived in Newport and he told them:

"That one day not only would they have the Charter but they would also have 'something more'--a better world where those who make the wealth would enjoy it to the full".

Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr says we are still far removed from the direct democracy envisaged in Chartist Annual Parliaments and Representative Democracy has long been subverted by the British Capitalist State.

Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr see the Welsh Socialist Republican Congress has the vehicle for carrying out John Frost's promise of direct democracy in the 21st Century.

Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr will do all within its power to make sure the promise of John Frost is honoured with a Welsh Socialist Republican Congress meeting in 2016.

Concerning those who make the wealth enjoying it to the full - those that work hardest are usually paid the least and certainly do not enjoy the full fruits of their labours, inequality is increasing with the demolition of the Welfare State. and Wales and the World have seen a resurgence of capitalist neo liberalism.

See Also:

Tuesday 20 October 2015

Aberfan - 21st October 1966 - 49 Years On - Least We should Ever Forget

At 9.15am on Friday October 21st 1966, after several days of heavy rain, a huge slag tip above the town of Aberfan in South Wales suddenly liquified and poured down the mountain.

The black tidal wave demolished properties in its path and engulfed the Pantglas Junior School in seconds.

Of the 144 people who lost their lives that day, 116 were children. The tragedy was totally preventable.

The National Coal Board had been warned time and time again of the dangers of dumping slag in such a geologically unstable area above towns.

They chose to ignore the warnings claiming it wan't profitable for them to move the slag tips to safer locations.

After the disaster, donations from all over the world poured in for the shattered community. However, most of the money never reached Aberfan. Instead the Government gave it to the National Coal Boad so that they could move other slag tips overlooking other towns in South Wales.

The great Welsh writer and broadcaster Gwyn Thomas delivered his own moving tribute to the victims of the tragedy on the BBC the morning of the mass funeral. This is an excerpt from his eulogy

Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr says  forty nine years ago Aberfan impacted the political and social landscape of Wales and reminded many of us who had forgotten we were Welsh.

We were reminded of the consequences of British Coal Board Rule in the Mining Valleys, just has Tryweryn some years earlier had shown who ruled Wales and it wasn't the Welsh.

Tryweryn : The 1959 Pamphlet of Plaid Cymru

Plaid Cymru pamphlet about Tryweryn from 1959 - which mentions industrial use of water by Liverpool and not personal consumption the point made in October 19th 2015 by Lord Elystan Morgan on BBC TV Wales..

But Lord Elystan Morgan tells presenter Dr Wyn Thomas:

 “In the 10 years preceding [the flooding of the valley], the population of Liverpool had decreased somewhat.

“The water needs of the population in terms of drinking water decreased. But Liverpool was selling industrial water to 24 other authorities, making a lot of money – and it wanted to maximise that profit. 

That’s what Tryweryn was about.”

In was also in 1959 that Plaid Cymru made the fateful decision to abandon direct action on Tryweryn..

On 31 Jan 1959 Gwynfor Evans leads Plaid Cymru to reject direct action , a committee decision not of the Party.

Monday 19 October 2015

Reykjavik Rising - Learning Together the Icelandic Experience

Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr welcomes this film as an honest assessment of the limits and the success's of the struggle of the Icelandic People in the never ending war with global neo -liberalism.

There are universal and not just specific Icelandic lessons to the struggle in Iceland and this film is a contribution to understanding the universal contributions.

Filmed in Reykjavik between 2012 and 2014, the documentary meets the instigators of the changes and follows the most important National Referendum in Iceland’s history.

Giving the Icelandic people the opportunity to decide whether to support a constitution that had been created through a popular grassroots movement.

Through this we explore the Icelanders’ story of their nation and the changes but also what lessons can be learned globally from their experiences.

In light of a growing international trend towards grassroots movements crossing over into mainstream politics.

This documentary is a timely portrayal of one such movement and their struggle to change the face of democracy.

Friday 16 October 2015

Tryweryn : Time to learn the lesson

Tryweryn have we really learnt the lessons - What have Plaid Cymru to commemorate  ?

Plaid Cymru is holding a rally to commemorate Tryweryn -  but what are they  commemorating  ?  Is there anything about Plaid Cymru's role at Tryweryn that should be celebrated ?

Wyn Thomas in his book "Hands off Wales"  writes concerning the appointment of Emrys Roberts  as Plaid Cymru Tryweryn Opposition Co-ordinator.

Emrys Roberts is quoted as saying 

 " There was a great deal of frustration and resentment by the Young Turks in the Party over Tryweryn....they intended to act and the Party had to do something to draw the sting"

So Plaid Cymru was to draw the sting of the opposition to Tryweryn and not make a sting  to defend Tryweryn .

John Jenkins writes 

Roberts was regarded as a man of great integrity: known and respected within the Party, included by those intent of undertaking action over Tryweryn... When people were informed that the great organiser had been appointed, they sat back and waited ...., but meanwhile, time was going on, the houses were being demolished and the people were being shifted away. By the time the people had opened their eyes to what was happening it was all over and done with.

In 2007 John Jenkins made his position on Plaid Cymru and Tryweryn clear :

Had Plaid Cymru announced at any stage prior to the valleys clearance that it had a task force which would literally fight anyone who attempted to forcibly remove the villagers and farm owners from their properties, then it would have stopped.

John Jenkins further adds had this stand resulted in open hostility, the moral outrage and uproar would have been deafening, As a result John Jenkins says nothing further would have been done.

So what are Plaid Cymru celebrating - drawing the sting and undermining direct action to save Tryweryn ?

Truth is revealed with the passage of time - yes it is time to learn the lesson of Tryweryn.

Source of Quotations  : Introduction to Hands Of Wales by Wyn Thomas

Oct 1958 Huw T. Edwards calls for direct action at Tryweryn.

1959 PC votes for direct action at Tryweryn and asks Emrys Roberts to organise a plan of action.

31 Jan 1959 Gwynfor Evans leads PC to reject direct action , a committee decision not of the Party

1959 Gwynfor comes up with new proposals re Tryweryn


1961 Elystan Morgan declares for PC to keep on about Tryweryn reduces them to being a pressure group.

Autumn 1961 Saunders Lewis tells Gwylim Tudur and Emyr Llywelyn to forget Tryweryn and focus on Coleg Studies.

1962 Year of Militant Action.

1963 CYIG SIT DOWN ON TREFECHACH BRIDGE BUT WHY WHEN TRYWERYN MORE FITTING? CYIG avoiding Action as re Investiture Rally at Cilmeri 10 days before Ceremony.

1964 Emyrs Roberts (he's a mate of Pedr and Cliff Bere) demoted from organising action  at Tryweryn.

All time Houses being demolished and work roads being built and mass action and occupations could have hindered greatly but no PC backed off -


1965 Waters damed and Dam opened - COMMEMORATE ANOTHER DEFEAT ?

Tryweryn is one of those moments in history when things become clear and the mist lifts and reality dawns.

The overwhelming majority of the people of Wales were against the creation of this Tryweryn dam to supply water to England with the consequent flooding of the Afon Tryweryn valley.

Even the overwhelming majority of the usually servile Welsh MP’s did not want the project to go ahead, but the people of Wales were ignored, and they were reminded who controlled Wales and it clearly was not the Welsh.

Sunday 11 October 2015

21ain Hydref 1965 - “Cofiwch Dryweryn - Remember Tryweryn - 50th Anniversary of Protest Against Opening of Lyn Celyn Reservior

The village of Capel Celyn in the Afon Tryweryn Valley , North Wales , was ( despite many strong protests ) demolished then flooded to create a reservoir to supply Liverpool with water

Thanks to Gethin and Sian for the photos and continuing the spirit of resistance of Tryweryn into the 21st Century with the founding of Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr

Monday 21 September 2015

Ireland :The Case of Liam Hannaway : Letter to Michael Gove Justice Minister from IRPSG

 Liam Hannaway

Rt. Honourable Michael Gove MP

Minister of Justice

102 Petty France


London. SW1-9AJ

Dear Mr Gove

This letter is to draw your attention to the situation in HMP Maghaberry, County Antrim.  I know you are aware that a Remand prisoner  is currently on hunger-strike for almost three weeks now. The prisoners' name is Liam Hannaway and although he has been fasting for this length of time he has not had a visit from the prison doctor. I understand any one on hunger-strike protest by law should be seen by a physician on a weekly basis.  This has not happened in this mans' case. Why is this?

I have also been made aware that Liam Hannaway needs treatment by a CPAP machine - used to treat his Respiratory Distress Syndrome - and Bronchopulmonary Dysplacia which can be life-threatening in many cases.

He is apparently being refused this treatment since going on hunger-strike. How can this be justified?

Liam Hannaway has been forced to draw attention to his medical neglect in Maghaberry Prison by undertaking this protest which has not been taken lightly. 

He has also requested to be moved from a prison wing which houses "Ulster Defence Association" prisoners and "Ulster Freedom Fighters"  (and others like drug dealers etc) for himself and a number of other prisoners on his wing. I believe he intends to continue on hunger-strike unless his demands are  met.

As someone who has dealt with prisoners issues over a number of years I respectfully suggest a way to resolve this matter is to have Liam Hannaway and those with him moved to a place of safety inside Maghaberry Prison - or even to another prison like HMP Magilligan in Co. Derry.

I believe this would bring Liam Hannaways' protest to an end immediately. Being held on a prison wing with those who are his sworn enemies is tantamount to attempted murder.  No one wants a death in custody again - there have been far too many of them in the past.

I hope you will consider what I have suggested Mr. Gove.


Yours sincerely

  ( Secretary )

IRPSG London.

Wednesday 16 September 2015

Remembering the 16th September the revolt of Owain Glyndwr leader of Welsh National Liberation

There are international restrictions on watching these videos

Cefn Caer - Replica's of the Sword of the Nation and, Owain Glyndwr's Crown, also copy of Pennal Letter

Remembering the 16th September the revolt of Owain Glyndwr - Leader of Welsh National Liberation

Cefn Caer - Replica's of the Sword of the Nation and, Owain Glyndwr's Crown, also copy of Pennal Letter

Friday 11 September 2015

The Welsh Imagination and The Political Economy of Independence and Socialism by Nickglais

"what distinguishes the worst architect from the best of bees is this, that the architect raises his structure in imagination before he erects it in reality"  Karl Marx

The Welsh mind in the 21st Century needs to have the imagination to construct an Independent Socialist Wales before it is constructed in reality.

Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr is dedicated to that task  of reawakening the Welsh mind so that it thinks beyond the "British" box.

To that end we welcome ideas that can help construct a new political economy for Wales.

Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr was very interested in the Bank Of North Dakota as something that could be emulated in Wales to create a Independent Welsh Banking System. We thank our Norwegian emigrant brothers to USA for that idea,

We  came  some time ago to the conclusion that the pound nor the euro served Welsh national development but that we required a new currency to get the local Welsh economy going and recent events in Greece reinforced that position.

Look at our 10 point emergency plan for Wales for discussion here.

This paper below outlines the idea of ScotPound a digital currency for Scotland run by BancaAlba - we think that as a transitional stage the Scotpound is an idea worthy of serious study - but we see a new paper currency for Scotland and for Wales in the longer term.

The idea of a Bank of Cymru operating a digital currency in Wales alongside the pound in a transition to a Welsh paper currency has some appeal to us.

In fact one of the opportunities of the Greek crisis that was missed was the creation of a digital Drachma alongside the Euro to allow for the local economy in Greece to develop instead of being trapped in the Euro. We believe Varoufakis when Finance Minister did a study of this - but he resigned and the idea went with him.

We always like new ideas and thanks to Duncan McCann and Josh Ryan - Collins of the New Economic Foundation for this one in Scotland


Duncan McCann, Researcher, Economy & Finance

Josh Ryan-Collins, Associate Director, Economy and Finance

Digital innovation has opened up exciting possibilities for new kinds of money and exchange.
As a clearly defined economic and physical area of 5.3 million people, with a strong national identity, and a devolved parliament, Scotland is perfectly placed to create a new digital currency and payment system. Such a scheme could stimulate local economies, create a level playing field for small businesses, and support social justice for all its citizens.

The question of currency loomed large in the Scottish independence referendum campaign. The fear of losing sterling was one of the decisive factors in the eventual result. But the debate lacked an informed analysis of what independence would mean for the pound, or what a new Scottish currency could look like.

Crucially, Scotland does not have to give up sterling in order to introduce its own new domestic digital currency. Such a new payment system could operate alongside sterling and provide social and economic benefits that complement the continued use of the UK’s national currency.

Money is one of humanity’s greatest inventions and a powerful social technology. But most people, despite using it every day, have never considered what money really is, how it works and its impact on society.

A growing group of innovators have realised the potential to change the design of money so that it better serves people and the planet. So far, most such schemes have been on a small scale, but developments in internet and mobile phone technology are offering new, bigger opportunities.
In the UK, 97% of new money is created by commercial banks in the form of interest-bearing debt - loans. Scotland, like the rest of the UK, would benefit from a pluralist monetary system that includes forms of money not based on bank debt creation to mitigate the worst consequences of the current system and create a more diverse and resilient economy.

This report outlines the creation of a new national digital currency, ScotPound, and free-at-point-of-use payment system, ScotPay, for Scotland. Our proposals draw on over two decades of research into top-down reform of existing national currency systems and bottom-up local and complementary currencies.

The new Scottish currency would be non-convertible and purely digital, operated through an arm’s length public enterprise – BancaAlba.

The introduction of such a scheme, even if relatively small-scale at first, would have a number of social and economic benefits:

An economic boost: We propose a 250 ScotPound (S£) dividend be given to each Scottish citizen, increasing the overall purchasing power within the economy. The injection of funds would not add to the UK deficit and we estimate the payment infrastructure of the system would be low cost – in the region of £3 million – all at a time of austerity.

Lower costs for business: A new payment system – ScotPay – would provide the world’s first publicly owned, not-for-profit national payment system, enabling Scottish businesses to accept payment for goods and services without being charged fees by banks and global credit card firms.

Socially inclusive: The currency would be available to all, with mobile phones the main instrument for making payment via text message or on an app. For those unable or unwilling to use the technology, a voice recognition system would also be implemented to ensure inclusion.

Leading by example: The project would demonstrate that a new national currency can be created and implemented. Successful implementation could significantly reduce the chances that any future debates about independence would be unduly influenced by the fear of losing sterling. The programme would improve understanding about how money works and its potential uses. Scotland would position itself as a world leader in financial innovation.

The specification and design of the ScotPound currency, the ScotPay public interest payment system, and the arm’s length public enterprise operator BancaAlba set out in this report are not final blueprints. In highlighting the huge economic and social potential of financial innovation, we hope that Scotland’s people and political parties will debate and consider such a scheme, with or without another independence referendum.

source :

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Wednesday 9 September 2015

Wales is a Nation not a Principality

Leanne Wood currently leader of Plaid Cymru in 2011 lobbied for Wales to be given recognition as a country after it was pointed out to her that an influential newsletter for the international community referred to Wales as a principality.

Why won’t the term principality do for Wales?

Well, strictly speaking it refers to a sovereign state whose ruling monarch is a prince or a princess with an executive role in administration.

And since the Prince of Wales has no role in administrative control over Wales, not having had any for centuries, the term is archaic in constitutional terms.

The offending ISO newsletter said the United Kingdom consisted of two countries, England and Scotland, with Northern Ireland described as a province and Wales a principality.

In a letter to Ms Wood, the chairman of the BSI, Paul Woodman, said: “The ISO entry originated in a traditional understanding of the status of Wales as given in reference works such as the 1976 Oxford Illustrated Dictionary.

“Earlier this year we were alerted by the Welsh Government to the fact that the notion of Wales as a principality is now outdated, and that Wales should properly be considered a country.

“Having subsequently received an official statement to this effect from that Government, I wrote on behalf of BSI to the ISO Secretariat in Geneva to request that a change be made from principality to country at the first available opportunity.”

After contacting the First Minister’s office, Ms Wood also secured a commitment from Carwyn Jones to “continue to liaise with the ISO to confirm that the change of status for Wales from principality to country is included within the next edition of the newsletter”.

Mr Barnaby, who is an editor on the internet encyclopaedia Wikipedia in his spare time, campaigned to get the status changed after getting dragged into long and drawn-out debates about Wales’ status with fellow editors.

He said: “Describing Wales as a principality has no modern geographical or constitutional basis and is contrary to the views of the Welsh Government, academics, commentators, historians and the Welsh population.

“The Principality of Wales existed only between 1216 and 1542 and its area was significantly different to that of modern Wales.

“I was also concerned that describing Wales as a principality may lead people to believe that the Prince of Wales may have some constitutional role in Wales, or that Wales’ status could be considered to be less than that of the countries of Scotland or England.”

Ms Wood said: “I hope this once and for all puts an end to the debate on whether Wales is a country or a principality.

“Wales is a country and has been for a long time. Now that we have proper lawmaking powers for our legislature, I think it is time we consigned any references of Wales being a principality to the rubbish bin.

To some people this matter may seem inconsequential but there is a lot of misunderstanding and ignorance about Wales, especially outside of Europe.

Inaccuracies like the one printed in the last edition of the ISO Newsletter, no matter how esoteric the publication is, can engender a false impression of Wales and fuel ignorance.

“Furthermore, given that this document was circulated to a key council of the United Nations, it had the potential to damage our reputation on an international stage among a select band of very influential people.

“I hope this message will be received loud and clear"

Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr says this message has not been received loud and clear by the Welsh Rugby Union and we call on people to sign the petition below:

Source of quotations : Wales Online 2011

Thursday 3 September 2015

Land Question in Wales and Scotland : Fears Scottish Government lawyers are holding back land reform proposals

Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr looks to Scotland for inspiration for our campaign for a Welsh Land Act which we launched on our formation in 2012.

The largest Land Sale in the United Kingdom has just occurred in Wales with the Sale of the 25,000 acres Vrynwy Estate which was broken up into different land packages - and what did we hear about that from the nationalists and the socialists ?

This month we will be starting our Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr campaign in North Wales to educate people to the necessity of a Welsh Land Act as ignorance on this question is in part responsible for the dire state of nationalism and the pathetic British cosmopolitanism of the Left in Wales.

We note Scotland''s problems in the article below and their new Land Reform Bill but we in Wales do not even have even the rights of the earlier Scottish Land Act of 2003.

Adfeddiant - Cymrwch y Tir yn Ol - Reclaim - Take Back the Land

Proposals to restrict tax havens ownership of land have been excluded from the Land Reform Bill

CAMPAIGNERS fear that government lawyers are preventing action on land reform due to possible threats over private property rights.

The Land Reform Bill, which will be scrutinised for the first time in parliament tomorrow [Wednesday 2 September] lacks several of the key recommendations made by the Land Reform Review Group to the Scottish Government last year.

Now figures - including campaigners and experienced land reform experts - have expressed concern that timid legal advisors are placing barriers in the way of government action.

The Scottish Government Legal Directorate provides legal advice to government ministers on prospective legislation.

A source close to the bill drafting process told CommonSpace that lawyers were blocking proposals due to fears of legal challenges under the European Convention on Human Rights, which includes protection for private property rights.

Jen Stout, organiser with the Scottish Land Action Movement, said: “The much-needed land reform measures must not be derailed by an over-cautious approach based on legal fears. There is little that is democratic about how our land is owned and run, and this bill must change that. The measure to restrict ownership to companies registered in the EU must be re-instated.

“We are going to press for as strong a bill as we can get.” Rob Gibson MSP, Chair of the Rural Affairs committee

Chair of the rural affairs, climate change and environment committee (RACCE) Rob Gibson MSP confirmed to CommonSpace that legal advisors and outside legal challenges played a substantial role in the limits of government action on land reform, and that there were fears of a legal challenge.

Land reform campaigners Andy Wightman and Graeme Purves raised specific concerns over the removal of a requirement to register land in the European Union from the bill.

Wightman, author of The Poor Had No Lawyers, asked: “It is not clear why this proposal has been dropped. The explanation given is wholly unconvincing. What then is the real reason?”

Speaking to CommonSpace, Wightman suggested a full explanation was required over whether legal fears were stalling the land reform process.

The land reform public consultation last November returned popular support to require land registration in the European Union. This change would prevent land being registered in offshore tax havens and increase transparency surrounding ownership.

In response, Gibson said he did not expect civil servants to comment directly on legal advice when the Scottish Government Bill team face questions in parliament. However, he hoped that these issues would be “teased out” over the coming months.

He warned that groups seeking a legal challenge would be “rubbing their hands with glee” over the bill. “They’re the ones who call the shoots - nothing is surer than that this will end up in the courts,” he warned.

Other excluded proposals from the bill supported by the Land Reform Review Group or farming campaigners  include a right to buy for tenant farmers and a maximum limit on private land ownership.

However, there are hopes that the bill could be strengthen before it is eventually passed.

Mike Russell MSP, former education minister and a member of the RACCE committee, told CommonSpace: “I will be looking for improvement to the bill, including within areas of beneficial ownership.”

Russell pointed to the example of the Community Empowerment Bill, which had amendments added to strengthen the community right to buy.

Gibson added: “We are going to press for as strong a bill as we can get.”

Legal advice to the Scottish Government is not released publicly. The proposal for minimum pricing of alcohol, passed in parliament 2012, is still bogged down in the courts after several legal challenges by the Scotch Whisky Association.

Fears Scottish Government lawyers are holding back land reform proposals

On the reasons behind dropping a requirement for land to be registered within the European Union, a Scottish Government spokesperson told CommonSpace: “We consulted on the Land Reform Review Group’s EU entities proposal, however, as corporate transparency is not consistent across Europe it was found that complex corporate structures could still obscure ownership and, therefore, the LRRG’s proposal would not actually increase transparency.”

Others within the Scottish National Party want far greater land reform. MP Angus MacNeil has called for a right to buy for tenant farmers and an end to vast private estates.

“Anything that can be done to break up the vast tracts of land that are owned by one of two people would be a good thing. It brings societal benefits. If one person has that control then that’s a problem compared to the democratisation of land that gives many people opportunities, no matter how smart that one person is,” he said.

The government aims to pass the Land Reform Bill before the Scottish elections in May.


See Also :

Friday 28 August 2015

Scotland : Rise : Respect, Independence, Socialism and Environmentalism

Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr welcomes the new RISE organisation in Scotland as part of the new Scottish Political Renaissance and sends greetings from Welsh Socialist Republicans to their meeting on Saturday.

Your organisation in Scotland inspires us to continue our struggle for a Welsh Socialist Republican Congress as a vehicle to unite the Left in Wales and to open the road to the National and Social Liberation of the Welsh Nation.

Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr 
28th August 2015

SCOTLAND’S new left-wing electoral alliance is to be called RISE, the Sunday Herald can reveal
The grassroots anti-austerity movement, anchored around the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) and the Scottish Left Project (SLP), has been taking shape over the last eight months under the nickname the Scottish Syriza.

However it will be be formally launched as RISE, which stands for Respect, Independence, Socialism and Environmentalism, in Glasgow next Saturday.

Up to 1000 activists are expected to attend the Marriott Hotel for the event, which will include more than 30 speakers and examine policies for next May’s Holyrood election.

Among those taking part will be representatives from Syriza, Spain’s Podemos movement, Quebec Solidaire and Black Lives Matter, plus Independent MSP Jean Urquhart, German MP Andrej Hunko of the Left party Die Linke, and Mike Small, founder of the Bella Caledonia blog.

There will also be a message of support from veteran journalist Tariq Ali.

Describing itself as “Scotland’s Left Alliance”, RISE will field candidates exclusively on regional lists, from which MSPs can be elected with as little as 5.2 per cent of the vote.

As part of an electoral pact to maximise the chance of socialist MSPs being elected, the SSP will refrain from standing candidates, giving RISE a clear run.

The umbrella model is based on Syriza in Greece, which was formed in 2004 as a coalition of 13 radical groups, including Maoists, Trotskyists, feminists and environmentalists.

The Respect element of RISE refers to equalities - it has no links to George Galloway’s party.

The new name, with its whiff of revolution, is intended to catch the attention of voters drawn to the Left in response to the Tory government, but who doubt the commitment of Scottish Labour and the SNP to radical change.

SSP co-convenor Colin Fox, who hopes to be a RISE candidate, said even if Jeremy Corbyn became the next UK Labour leader it would not fundamentally change the party.

“I fully expect Labour’s existential crisis to deepen whether Jeremy Corbyn wins or not. He does not support independence or further powers for the Scottish Parliament. That offers very little to attract the progressive left opinion that’s gathered round the SLP.

“If Corbyn becomes leader he’ll also be a prisoner of the right wing of Labour from day one. They’re already orchestrating a coup against him.

“We’ll be looking to take the fight to the SNP. Nicola Sturgeon says they’re against austerity and privatisation, but they have a different track record. The SNP is no place for a socialist.”

Trade union activist Cat Boyd said: “We want ordinary people in Scotland to have a voice against the onslaught of austerity, against the erosion of our trade union rights and against the unchallenged privileged and power of the few who think they have the absolute right to rule.”

Playwright Alan Bissett said he was "really excited" about RISE, adding: "The left had been struggling until the injection of energy and momentum from the referendum, when working-class and young people started to engage with politics. A pro-Yes voice, to the left of the SNP and Scottish Labour and committed to the working-class, should be a prerequisite of our parliament.”

Refugee rights campaigner Pinar Aksu added: “This fresh approach will provide a voice that will put people at the forefront, not the corporate interests which dominate our society.”

RISE organiser Jonathan Shafi, who also co-founded the Radical Independence Campaign in the referendum, rejected the suggestion that Syriza’s current problems and splits showed the Left’s high hopes in Scotland were doomed.

“Greece actually underlines the need for similar left movements to develop in northern Europe to provide support to other governments of the radical left - to prevent them being isolated.”

Source : Sunday Herald