Saturday 28 February 2015

The Land of My Fathers Reclaimed by Nickglais

Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr are re-publishing this article of Nickglais for St David's Day.

Between  1893 and 1894 Post Offices throughout Wales carried notices of a Royal Commission on Land in Wales and Monmouthshire, inviting people to attend public meetings with the purpose of taking evidence about the problems of Land tenure in Wales.

In all, Wales was to witness eighty such meetings with an additional nineteen meetings in London making for a total of ninety nine meetings to take evidence of tenants, landlords, the churches and other interested organisations.

The background to the Royal Commission was the activity of the Welsh Land League and Cymru Fydd and Gladstone's discussion of Home Rule all Around for Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

New disturbances erupted in the 1880s in Wales caused by tenant farmers and labourers being charged high rents by the landowners. The Welsh Land League that resulted in 1886 from this crisis approached the Welsh Land problem in a throughly constitutional way.

Whilst the problem of Land Tenure was central to the Royal Commission, there was also a tithe question in Wales where tenants were forced to pay tithes to the Anglican Church of Wales even if they were Non Conformists. The Welsh Land League was also active concerning the tithe problem and the issue was not finally resolved by legislation until the 1920's.

Whereas Ireland was to see a series of Land Acts effectively turning 10,000 large estates into 400,000 Irish owned farms overturning the Landlord tenant relationship.

The Royal Commission on Land for Wales and Monmouthshire concluded that the landord tenant relationship was the most "appropriate" for the Welsh.

The Royal Commission Report was a victory for the Landlords who were seen a "benevolent", despite mountains of evidence to the contrary.

There was to be no buying out of the Landlords like in Ireland, but the Commission concluded that if some Welsh tenants were alreading buying their land then maybe assistance should be provided, however it was only retrospective and was not a future policy to be endorsed by the Commission.

Historians have interpreted the differences in the final Royal Commission Report between a majority report and a minority report has being the reason for the abandonment of a Welsh Land Act.

While the minority report was full blown Landlordism the majority report while acknowledging problems with Land Agents, compensation for improvements etc was only a more watered down version of Landlordism that we would expect from Liberals rather than Tories.

The fact that nothing happened and the Welsh Land Act was dead by 1900 shows that the constitutional approach to these matters did not work.

Lloyd George was consciously or unconsciously being absorbed by the interests of the British State, despite his flirtation with the Boers and despite his rhetoric against landords he was well on his way to becoming a servant of the British State.

Irish Land was going to be returned to the Irish people but Welsh Land was not going to be returned to the Welsh people.

One of the most deeply hidden secrets of the Victorian period was the massive expansion of Royal ownership of Land including Welsh Land enabled by an Act of 1862 which lifted restrictions on the Monarch's ownership of Land.

Since the Glorious Revolution and the placing of William of Orange on the throne through to the reign of William IV the monarchy was restricted by the rising bourgeoisie and landlords from owning more land has this was seen has a source of Royal social power and the bourgeoisie and the landlords wanted a tame symbolic monarchy.

Queen Victoria changed that, when she came to the throne, there were forty Lords owning more Land than her and she set about acquiring Land by any means necessary to restore the social power and prestige of the monarchy.

The Act of 1862 was a enabling mechanism for the monarchy to achieve real social power. A wide variety of vehicles were set in motion to achieve an  increase in Royal power, the Crown Estate, The Duchy of Cornwall and The Duchy of Lancaster.

I have estimated that Royal Lands from approximately 316,000 acres in Victorian Times approach 677,000 acres today. I would stress this is probably an underestimate has the Monarchy goes to great length's to hide it's extensive Land ownership including in Wales.

Needless to say the Monarchy has increased its Land ownership in Wales in the 20th Century.

Leaving aside the English Conquest of Wales in 1282 and The Tudor robbery of Welsh Lands one of the most invidious acts of expropriation of Welsh Land occurred between 1795 and 1874 aided and abetted by Welsh Landlords and Gentry collaborators in the Tudor Taff tradition, the real English lickspitals in Wales.This was accumulation by dispossession of the Welsh people.

Between 1795 and 1874 some 1,696,827 acres of Welsh Land belonging to the common people out of a total Welsh acreage of 5,121,013 was enclosed, deprived of community land for survival people many were driven into the industrial valleys for work, survival for ordinary folk in the nineteenth century Wales on the land was extremely hard and it looked to some with the Royal Commssion on Land in Wales and Monmouthshire in 1893 and 1894 that  help was at hand.

However hopes were dashed and the Welsh were betrayed by their erstwhile petty bourgeoise leaders who where more interested in the British State than the state of Wales.

Of course Lloyd George never failed to employ anti Landlord rhetoric when it suited him, but Wales was not going to be like Ireland or France with a large independent farming class owning its own land, the British State had decided that.

Kevin Cahill has pointed out in  "Who Owns Britain"  Wales remains a country with a small percentage of its people owning land. This of course also has implications for affordable housing has land is a key element in building new homes.

In 2012 the fallen banner of 1896 was picked up by Cymrwch Y Tir Yn Ol  and the struggle for a new Welsh Land Act is underway  and a campaign has been launched for the return of our stolen land and an electronic petition is circulating calling for the return of Royal and Aristocratic Lands in Wales to the people. Sign Here :

We are not calling for the redistribution of Welsh Land to Welsh tenant farmers like in Ireland but for the redistribution of Welsh Land to the people, the re-creation of Welsh common land that our fathers lost, like the one million acres lost between 1795 - 1874.

We support  new land vehicles like community Land Trusts, priority right to buy Land by Welsh communities similar to the Scottish Land Reform Act of 2003. Although the Scottish Land Reform Act is far to limited.

We should set ourselves the task of recovering one million acres of Welsh Land for the community land trusts and other community land owning vehicles over the coming  years.

The Great Unrest Group for a Welsh Socialist Republican Movement has set up a Welsh Land Commission for ongoing research into the Welsh Land Question and we appeal to you on St David's Day,our national day, to reclaim the Land of Our Fathers.

If the Land of your Fathers is dear to you it is time do something about it apart from singing - challenge people to sign the petition.


The Royal Commission on Land in Wales and Monmouthshire 1896.

Who Owns Britain by Kevin Cahill

Ken Morgan - Modern Wales

Adfeddiant - Welsh Land Reform Now !

Today is St Davids Day our Welsh National Day and many people will be singing Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau (The Land Of My Fathers) written by Evan James of Pontypridd in 1856.

Today we should reflect on the words of the song and think about the question of Welsh Land; The Land of our Fathers and our Mothers.

Kevin Cahill has pointed out in "Who Owns Britain" Wales remains a country with a small percentage of its people owning land.

This of course also has implications for affordable housing has land is a key element in building new homes and economic regeneration.

Kevin Cahill is of the view that lack of Welsh Land Ownership contributes to structural poverty in Wales.

To understand why this situation came about we need to understand the history of Welsh Land.

Following the complete occupation of Wales by the Anglo Normans in 1282 - 4 and again, in the 1420's following the War of Independence led by the great Welsh Prince Owain Glyndwr, great areas of Welsh land was either taken by the English Crown or 'given' as rewards to English barons for fighting for England in the Welsh Wars.

Ironically this was repeated by the Tudors in the 16th, who were of 'Welsh Descent',One such example being the Dukes of Somerset being given Mynydd y Gwair and much else throughout Southern Wales.

This Mountain is now the centre of a major local issue and national campaign as the Somerset Trust intends to establish a Wind Mill Plantation on it.

Apart from the above, much of Welsh land was common land - which meant that the peasantry had the right to build a smallholding on it as well as hunt and fish but, increasingly over the centuries and up to the present, the Gentry and incoming 'New Conquistadores, such as Iron and Slate Masters began to seize this Common Land by means of Enclosure Acts.

The issue of Anglican Church ownership was very much addressed in the Welsh Tithe Wars of 1886 - 88 by a National Land League but there is still much unfinished business to be taken care of.

Today, the aforementioned land is still occupied by the English Crown and the descendents of the English barons and,increasingly, by outside 'Utility Companies as in the case of the Vyrnwy Estate, It is being extensively plundered of its natural resources, such as water and timber, and is being savagely destroyed by gigantic

Plans to start unconventional gas extraction will place whole areas of land and water under threat, when we should be cutting back on our use of fossil fuels.All of this is putting the many at risk, solely to enhance the profits of corporations.

It is our inherited Welsh land and we want it returned to the communities and people of Wales through a Wales Land Act.

We are not calling for the redistribution of Welsh Land to Welsh tenant farmers like in Ireland but for the redistribution of Welsh Land to the people, the re-creation of Welsh common land that our forebears lost, like the one million acres lost to enclosures between 1795 - 1874.
We support new land community Land Trusts, priority right to buy Land by Welsh communities similar to the Scottish Land Reform Act of 2003.

Although the Scottish Land Reform Act is far to limited.
We should set ourselves the task of recovering one million acres of Welsh Land for the community land trusts and other community land owning vehicles over the coming years and March 1st St Davids Day should be the day of Wales not just in song but in deed as we campaign for a Welsh Land Act.

In view of the fact that our Cymric land is being desecrated by rapacious landlords, hereditary aristocrats, the English Crown and Corporate Utility Companies we have organised a Petition that demands of the Westminster Parliament and the Welsh Government the restoration of the land, by compulsory purchase, to its rightful owner, the People of Cymru, in order to preserve our heritage, the great beauty of this land and the common right of our people to access and make use of it until perpetuity.
Visit Petition here :
Signed by :

Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr - The Great Unrest Group
Grŵp Gomiwnyddol Libertaraidd - Libertarian Communist Group
World To Win - Wales
Cymrwch Y Tir Yn Ol

Hawliau - Welsh National Rights Movement

Balchder Cymru


"Balchder Cymru supports the Great Unrests campaign for a new land reform act. Cymru should belong to the people of Cymru not to the Crown or the possession of a wealthy Barron , Lord etc. "

Adam Phillips

President Balchder Cymru

Monday 16 February 2015

Tribute to John Davies - Welsh Historian - Video on Wales and Scotland and why Scotland should vote Yes to Independence

Welsh Historian, Dr John Davies, is guest speaker at the YES Offices to give an historical perspective on Welsh and Scottish politics and why Scotland should vote YES

Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr  since its formation in 2012 has devoted much of it s time to questions of Welsh History and appreciates John Davies' and his contribution to Welsh historical research.

Watching the video above reminds us of our loss - but we at Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr are more determined than ever to recover our Welsh History of Struggle - forward to a People's History of Wales.

This speech contains many intellectual and historical gems but John Davies's praise of Scotland has a model of a nationality based on a Civic rather than ethnic identity is a message we need to take to heart and head in Wales.

Saturday 7 February 2015

Podemos : We want no condescending saviours by Robert Neal Baxter


Robert Neal Baxter is a member of the Galizan People’s Union (UPG), a patriotic communist party and a founding member of the Galizan Nationalist Bloc (BNG), a left-wing nationalist front fighting for a Galizan Republic and a driving force within Galizan society. He also writes a monthly article for the on-line version of Terra e Tempo, a historical organ of Galizan nationalism now run by the Bautista Álvarez Foundation for Nationalist Studies, named after the founder and President of the UPG until 2008.

Podemos: We want no condescending saviours

Robert Neal Baxter

Any self-respecting left-wing or progressive activist should feel a deep mistrust towards the Podemos phenomenon, a ‘movement’ which sprang up out of nowhere. With no known grassroots involvement or solid work with the masses (in Galiza, at least), it owes its rapid rise in popularity instead to its very deft handling of the the media, especially the television, becoming the political equivalent of the stars created by the hollow and contrived popularity of TV talent shows. It doesn’t matter what one does: all that counts is to win over the viewers any which way. Appearances are all that matter and in this case the message is just another part of the image: ‘Out with the old and in with the new!’ might well be their rallying cry.

Not one single day goes by without the small screen churning out the leaders of Podemos, especially their messianic guru, into the livings rooms of the voting public. And not just in the political news sections, but also on the chat shows, slanging matches-cum-debates and other carefully-staged junk programs. And they’re not alone, with the spanking new General-Secretary of the Spanish ‘Socialist’ Party also trying his hand at it, but just ending up making a fool of himself.

It’s worth asking what the TV channels stand to gain by holding the doors of their studios wide open to this party and creating a movement almost from scratch in a matter of months and then feeding it continuously, especially bearing in mind that several of these channels belong to some of the most reactionary, ultraconservative media conglomerates. 

In Galiza we already witnessed the record upsurge of the Galician Alternative of the Left (AGE), which didn’t even have a name until a week before the elections. And all thanks to the mainstream press bent on getting rid of nationalism as the only real threat the status quo before bursting the bubble to make more space for the ultraliberal Spanish party. 

The economic interests that lurk behind these groups weren’t born yesterday and they know full well that the revolution won’t be televised and that in the medium and long term they will be able to reap the benefits of their little scheme crafted to appear, for the moment at least, to be on the side of protest.

What better way to beat one’s enemies than to make it look as if you’re on their side? And once the discontent has been duly channelled, all that remains to be done is to take it all apart in the same way that they pieced it together in the first place. 

We have all seen how the Greek radical ‘left’ reached an agreement with the most conservative right-wing. The promises of populism are short-lived and, in the meantime, the foundations of power remain intact.

The name of Podemos (literally ‘We can’) say a lot or, more precisely, says very little at all. By taking up Obama’s vague Yes we can slogan (Yes we can occupy Afghanistan and bomb Iraq and Libya, Yes we can back the terrorist Zionist State, etc.), this movement avoids any clear definition of what exactly it can do. It is even tempting to think that all they can do is win the elections. And then what? This lack of definition, in name and deed, gives them greater leeway to manoeuvre in a permanent wash of ambiguity, fishing around left, right and centre in their quest for a win at the polls. In a word, surfing on the crest of the wave of the legitimate discontent felt by a wide section of the population regarding the corruption scandals which repeatedly smear the political arena upheld by the traditional two-party system.

Podemos likes nothing more than to denounce corruption in all of the ‘traditional’ parties without exception by repeating the mantra that the political ‘class’ (a post-modernist concept bearing little relation to the division of labour) is run by a clique (or ‘caste’ in their Newspeak). 

Podemos takes pains to distance itself from all of this by setting itself up as the self-proclaimed mouth-piece of ordinary citizens, seemingly forgetting that a sizeable number its own leadership is made up of university lecturers… Apparently the aim is to smash the two-party system which alternates between the Spanish ‘Socialist’ Party (PSOE) and the right-wing People’s Party (PP), whilst at the same time ensuring that if everything seems to change, deep-down everything remains the same, by refusing to call into question the continuation of the Spanish State. 

This is where Podemos converges in practice with the other emerging ‘new’ political forces such as Citizens - Party of the Citizenry (C’s) and Union, Progress and Democracy (UPyD). This aspect comes out clearly in Galiza where they are openly hostile to the Galizan language, debating whether or not to use it as their language of public expression (the answer is ‘not’). This debate is unheard of in Galiza across the political board, even going so far as to use the warped Spanish names of the Galizan towns and cities which harp back to darker times of the not-so-distant past.

Under all the window-dressing of a revolutionary movement bent on uprooting a rotten system, Podemos is really just waving the old rag of ‘national’ unity: “I am a patriot”, declared Pablo Iglesias, “and I don’t like having military from other countries on the national territory (sic.). I don’t want NATO in our country.” 

A sovereign Galizan Republic would also break with NATO, but not for that kind of jingoistic reasons but because Galizan nationalism has always been deeply committed to the principle of anti-imperialism.

But it would seem that good old imperialism has gone out of fashion. So, while Galizan nationalism stands steadfastly by the Palestinian people, unerringly denouncing the genocide, the official Podemos science section refuses to join the international academic boycott against the Zionist State, claiming that “it makes no sense to blacklist countries at the scientific level because science is neutral and no frontiers, no language, no politics and no wars.” And yet everything would seem to indicate that the academic institutions of the Zionist State are abetting the on-going occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Today, the national question and the emancipation of the oppressed peoples play a key role in the political life of the Spanish State. 

And whether one likes it or not, and whether one is a nationalist or not, the possibility of Catalonia gaining independence holds out the hope of a genuine and profound transformation of the single State as it stands today, a hang-over from Franco’s dictatorship. 

So where does Podemos stand on this question? It’s hard to tell because, as usual, they bend with the wind. 

On the one hand, in their publications they “recognise the right of the different peoples of the EU to constitute themselves as such and to decide democratically over their future.” But the devil is in the detail: Which peoples are they referring to exactly? Again it’s hard to tell. 

At a rally in Catalonia, their supreme leader acknowledged that “the Spanish caste has insulted Catalonia and ignored the fact that Spain is a country made up of different nations”. But at the same time he refused to take a clear stance in favour of a referendum, calling instead upon the pro-independence movement to “lay down their flags” and expressing his hope that Catalonia wouldn’t ‘leave’. 

In contrast, however, the party’s third in command, Íñigo Errejón, didn’t mince his words when he jumped on the bandwagon of the PP by declaring that the independence of Catalonia can only be decided by the whole of Spain. And the independence of the Sahara by the whole of Morocco too, no doubt.

One is either with the people or not at all and when millions of people take to the streets as they did in Catalonia and elsewhere demanding not independence but the simple right to have a say in their own future, the will of the people is clear, calling for the recognition of the basic democratic right of the peoples to exercise self-determination. 

Indeed, what could be more democratic than a referendum? But Podemos realises what is really at stake: “Catalonia is a priority for us because we won’t win in Spain without winning in Catalonia,” stated Marc Bartomeu, the General-Secretary of the Barcelona section of Podemos.

Galizan nationalism has always defended its people, its workers, peasants and fishermen and women, and all those hardest hit by the effects of the capitalist crisis (public employees, OAPs cheated out of their life savings by banking scams, etc.). 

And we will continue to do so, convinced of the need to uphold independent structures untethered by the yoke of decisions taken outside our country which go against the interests of the Galizan people.   

We will win our liberation, with our very own hands!


The title and the closing line of this article are taken from the American version of the Internationale. The equivalent lines of the original French translate as “There are no supreme saviours” and “Producers, let us save ourselves”.

The Galician Alternative of the Left (AGE) is the name of a political coalition primarily made up of the Spanish United Left (IU) and Anova, a break-away from the Galizan Nationalist Bloc (BNG), plus a range of other much smaller groups and parties.

Originally published 06/02/2015 on the site
Translated and adapted by the author

Tuesday 3 February 2015



A Call for a Cymric National Flag Day.

Embassy Glyndŵr has been inspired to issue this call for a Cymric National Flag Day as a result of following present day to day reports on the continuous struggle of the Kurdish people who have, against overwhelming odds, fought vigorously for their independence since  the 1500’s when their lands were occupied by the Ottoman Empire.

The Kurds, from the onset, have recognised that if they are to win their struggle for independence that it is imperative that they maintain a strong national identity as a people, and they have also recognised that the means towards this end is to nurture and promote their own national symbols of Independence. The most visual of these symbols is their Independence flag, made up of a blazing sun centred on a red, white and green background. 

This is the flag that they presented to the International delegation at the Paris Peace Conference that devised a plan for Kurdish Independence as part of the Treaty of Sėrves with Ottoman Turkey in 1920, and this was the flag that was used again in 1927 when the first ‘Kurdish Government in exile’ was formed, and this was the flag that was adopted by the Republic of Kurdistan in 1946 as the official flag of the Republic and is widely flown in all sectors of Kurdistan today by various Kurdish movements and entities. We can also, of course, delight in seeing this flag in news reports, flying proudly in Kurdish lands reclaimed on a daily basis by the Peshmerga Kurdish forces in their current brave stand against ISIS.

There is do doubt in regards to what the Kurdish flag symbolises and stands for and following a call by Massaud Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Region, official and popular celebrations are held annually on National Kurdish Flag Day throughout Kurdistan. This is a visual means of showing unity in the Kurdish determination to be independent and in preparation for this day, markets bustle with thousands shopping for the Kurdish Independence flag and schools throughout Kurdistan hold festivals and proudly fly the flag – their Independence flag.

In Cymru, the only flag that can symbolise Cymric Independence is the Four Lions Rampant flag of our greatest of national heroes, our warrior Prince Owain Glyndŵr. This great enigmatic Cymric leader was the only Cymric leader, to date, to really de-occupy Cymru of the Anglo Normans and re-establish Cymric Independence in the opening decade of the 15th century, following on over 100 years of Anglo Norman occupation. Similar to the Kurds, Prince Owain Glyndŵr and the Cymry fought against overwhelming odds; a nation of 50,000 against a nation (and the military might) of three million.  When the time came and the Cymry could give no more and the Cymric War of Independence waned due to lack of men and resources, Price Owain was never captured by the enemy – and was never betrayed - as had been the case with his predecessors. True to his enigmatic personality, he mysteriously disappeared into the mists of history leaving us with the prophecy that he, the Son of Prophecy, would return when the Cymry were strong enough to call on him to, once again, lead us to Independence under his Independence flag, the Four Lions Rampant. So, he left us with the legacy that the struggle for Cymric Independence continues.

Prince Owain Glyndŵr was born on the 28th May 1354 so, what better date than that to designate as our Cenedl Glyndŵr National Flag Day, a day to celebrate the birth and achievements of our most important of national heroes as well as a day to celebrate the continual struggle for Independence of our land and the self determination of our people.

The Kurdish people over the centuries have been consistently dedicated and uncompromising in their struggle for Independence in a way that we in Cymru can only admire and, hopefully, learn from if we are ever to reach that goal of Independence and survival as an entity. So, are we, as Cymry, strong enough now to take that first basic of steps of declaring our allegiance to Cenedl Glyndŵr by flying the Four Lions Rampant, the Independence flag that we have inherited from our warrior leader and the only flag that can symbolize Cymric Independence? 

If our Cymric political leaders are ‘for real’ about gaining Independence for Cymru, then they should do as the Kurdish President did and call for May 28th to be our National Flag Day and for the Four Lions Rampant to be officially adopted as our flag of Independence. That one symbolic move, without doubt, would be a big step forward towards achieving Cymric independence, so, let’s all show our politicians by example, that we are going ahead anyway and are adopting 28th May as National flag Day and will do as the Kurds do, and encourage our people throughout Cymru to ensure that they have bought Glyndŵr’s Four Lion Rampant, our flag of Independence by May 28th so that we can, like the Kurds, celebrate our determination to achieve our ultimate goal of Independence by the flying of our independence flag on official and business buildings, schools, hotels, castles, homes etc throughout Cymru. Let’s show the world at large that Cymru is strong enough to declare our defiance to English rule of our nation and let’s declare, strongly, our intention to continue the struggle of our warrior Prince Owain Glyndŵr for National Liberation and Independence of our homeland by the flying of his Independence flag.

So are we serious about achieving our goal of Independence in Cymru? If so, start at the basics and make sure that you have got your Four Lions Rampant flag ready to fly for the launch of the National Flag Day of Cenedl Glyndŵr – Cenedl Cymru Rydd om May 28th and organise celebrations in your communities to coincide. Do it this year and annually until we achieve our ultimate goal.

I must stress, that those that are ‘serious’ about wanting to contribute to a ‘serious’ campaign for Cymric Independence, must, once and for all, shake off the ‘shackles of Britishness’ that has and will forever stifle our struggle, and that includes ridding yourselves of the ‘Henry Tudor red dragon flag’ that has been foisted on us since 1958 as a means of keeping us forged to the British Empire. Have you got that strength and determination to get rid of it once and for all and ’instead, embrace the true flag of Cymru and Cymric Independence, the ‘Four Lions Rampant’ of Prince Owain Glyndŵr.

The ‘Four Lion Rampant’ flag can be purchased in Siopau Cymraeg throughout Cymru as well as on many market stalls now. It can also be purchased at Cefn Caer Medieval Hall House Pennal, where you can also take advantage of an opportunity to view the medieval hall house, the Glyndŵr Crown, The Glyndŵr Heroes Memorial Garden and the exhibition on the Life and Times of Owain Glyndŵr.

Extra large 5ft x 8 ft Owain Glyndŵr flags can be purchased from Embassy Glyndŵr for £15 plus £3 p&p. Send e-mail to me to process your purchase.

Why wait…be spontaneous…take your Independence flag to the Six Nations Rugby tournament games as well as all other sporting or/and public events.