Wednesday 15 February 2017

Llangennech - More News from the Vipers Nest

Update 16 February

Operation Smoke and Mirrors has clearly begun in Llangennech, with one anonymous source having sent several convoluted comments to this blog with the aim of trying to prove that Labour was not really involved in arranging and stage managing Neil Hamilton's visit to the village.

He (and Anon is almost certainly one of those pictured below) focusses on one woman in particular, claiming that she is not a Labour Party member or activist.

Rather odd, then, that this individual should have been pictured out canvassing with Jacqueline Seward while appearing in the main profile picture of Llangennech Labour's Twitter account, wearing a red rosette.

Anon also overlooks Jacqueline Seward's role in setting up the Hamilton visit.

As noted below, this unfortunate picture has now been removed from the account in an attempt to rewrite history.


It was one of those rare occasions when Kevin Madge, former Labour leader of Carmarthenshire County Council, got something right.

"Carwyn won't forget Carmarthenshire", he told councillors a few years back.

And how right he was. There is probably not much that disturbs the slumbers of our First Minister, but the thought of the Labour Party in Carmarthenshire must have him waking up in a cold sweat.

Fallout from the row in Llangennech reached the Senedd yesterday, with Leanne Wood taking Carwyn to task for the conduct of Labour councillors, candidates and members in Carmarthenshire and the collaboration between Labour and UKIP in Llangennech. They were trashing Carwyn's policies. What was he going to do about it?

Carwyn responded with his Uncle Jim Callaghan routine. Everyone needed to calm down and pipe down. He was aware that comments had been made that he did not agree with, but if anyone thought he was about to take responsibility and read the Riot Act, they shouldn't be allowed out on their own.

Nothing to do with me, Sunny Jim, was his message. It was for Carmarthenshire County Council to explain their decisions and sort this out, although quite how the county council is expected to sort out the sewer that is Labour in Llanelli, he did not say.

Meanwhile, Nia Griffith and Lee Waters have been keeping their heads down as the lid has been lifted on the dysfunctional and toxic nature of their constituency party, and with good reason.

First, both of them have been helping to fan the flames of intolerance and prejudice. Recently Nia Griffith appeared on the panel of Radio Four's Any Questions in Tywyn. A member of the audience who turned out to be a Conservative Party activist and former election agent, asked which should be prioritised: spending on the Welsh language or spending on social care.

Instead of explaining that spending on the language is an infinitesimally small part of government spending (a fraction of 1%), she played to the gallery.

Waters has gone rather further in recent months, siding with the group which arranged the Hamiltons' visit to Llangennech, some of whose members have been cosying up to neo-Nazis and others on the extreme right.

Second, as we shall see, their constituency party has spiralled way out of control, and they can only look impotently on.

Behind the scenes, however, there are signs that alarm bells have finally started to ring at Labour HQ. An anonymous source from Far Right Watch announced on Twitter that the "local party" was aware of the situation and intended to deal with it.

It is not clear what this source, almost certainly watching aghast from somewhere in England, meant by "local party". Was it "Welsh" Labour or the local constituency party? If the latter, there is zero likelihood that anything will be done to tackle the real causes of the party's problems in Llanelli and the surrounding area.

It is a mark of how messed up things are that this information had to be gleaned from a Labour source based far away from Llanelli rather than the MP or AM.

Ferrets in a Sack

That there are those who despair about what is happening to Labour in Llanelli is clear from a leaked e-mail  from a Labour activist to the party's county councillors. Referring to this blog and likening the situation to ferrets in a sack, "Mr T" asks,

Have you seen this? Honestly, you couldn't make it up - what a bunch of idiots we are!!
It's no wonder we could be wiped out after May's elections!

Putting aside the vile slur on the good character of ferrets who are really much nicer than the key players in this soap opera, Mr T was clearly very naive if he thought his fears were going to be taken seriously.

First to reply was Cllr Louvain Roberts who assured him that not all of Cneifiwr's facts were correct.

No doubt Mr T is an intelligent soul, and so he would have inferred from that answer that Cllr Roberts acknowledges that some at least of the myriad accusations are indeed correct.

Needless to say, Tegwen Devichand was having none of it.

If you believe half the rubbish that comes out of this blogger mouth. He has lost his vocation in life.
He'd be better off writing fairy stories.*

*Punctuation courtesy of Y Cneifiwr.

As Kevin Madge might say using one of his favourite cliches, the ostriches replied to Mr T's concerns by running around with their heads in the sand.

Airbrushed and secret

One of the first signs that something may be going on was a sudden change in the profile of the Twitter account of Llangennech Labour. Until now it had a large picture of various members and activists, several of whom were involved in arranging the Hamiltons' visit to the village last week. One or two of them have also been flirting with fascist agitators and neo-Nazi groups.

Suddenly yesterday, the picture was gone, replaced with photos showing only the two Labour candidates for Carmarthenshire County Council, Gary 'Poumista' Jones, who hails from somewhere near Aberdare, and Jacqueline Seward, who was closely involved in arranging the Hamiltons' outing to Llangennech and managing the PR side of the trip.

As readers of this blog have seen, her friends include the sinister Jacques Protic, author of the Glasnost hate site.

One of the pictures on the account shows Jones and Seward rushing away from a battered old campervan, possibly after an encounter with a voter.

Hours later, and the account went 'protected', meaning that its tweets can now only be viewed by permission of the account holder. That is a truly remarkable state of affairs for what is presumably an official account belonging to a mainstream political party.

What are they hiding? Is a gigantic spring-clean now in progress?

Sacrificial lamb

Members and would-be members of the Labour Party have been expelled or barred for the most trivial of offences. You can be barred, for example, for retweeting anything produced by the Green Party.

On the other hand, Jacqueline Seward is still the official Labour Party candidate despite cwtshing up to UKIP, and Michaela Beddows appears still to be a member despite retweeting material from the neo-Nazi EDL and her open flirtation with UKIP.

Beddows, whose Twitter account is now also protected, told the world last year that she had joined Labour to support Jeremy Corbyn, and also that she was planning to stand for election as a community councillor in May.

It remains to be seen what, if anything, will happen to the pair, but it is now unlikely that Beddows will end up sitting on Llangennech community council wearing a Labour rosette. Perhaps she will offer her services to UKIP or the EDL.

Jacqueline Seward's case is more interesting, but if she remains as the official candidate, Labour will be writing off their chances in Llangennech.

Gary Jones' role in the UKIP scandal should also be looked at closely if the Inquisition is brought in. Jones has been a key player in the toxic anti-Welsh medium campaign from the start, coaching Beddows and others.

What is much more unlikely is that the Labour Party will take action to get to the heart of its problems in the Llanelli area by tackling the bigger fish.

Tegwen and Co.

One conspicuous figure who turned up to one of the first demonstrations outside Ysgol Llangennech was none other than our old friend Tegwen Devichand:

With exquisite timing, and despite being reprimanded by the Ombudsman for Public Services for her conduct at a council meeting, Cllr Devichand has just become leader of Llanelli Rural Council.

Carwyn Jones will be pleased.

Stay tuned for the next installment, in which we will be exploring goings-on in Lliedi and Llwynhendy that make the Cosa Nostra look like a bunch of amateurs.


Anonymous said...

Setting aside the educational issues underlying these protests in Llangennech, I think it's simply a case of 'old habits die hard'.

There are certainly elements in the Labour Party, particularly in south Wales, who still have an inbred antipathy towards the Welsh language and believe they have to attack its existence at ever opportunity. Fortunately, there are many in the party today who no longer share that extreme view, but clearly, a more enlightened view has not yet reached Llangennech.

UKIP however are a different matter altogether. This is a party built on xenophobia and an ultra British\English nationalism. It is extremely unlikely that they recognise the historical and cultural diversity in these islands that pre-dates their beloved United Kingdom by many hundreds of years.

Labour only have themselves to blame for this toxic mess.

Anonymous said...

Reading through this i can honestly say its unbelievable that this has gone on for so long . I know in politics they say you have no friends and i guess its true but by God they make it up in enemies . Why cant labour work like normal candidates together and see the difference they can make then ? But i bet the other parties are going to keep their distance now . Noone sees the truth unless your in the fold . We need a good clean up of labour and let the decent members shine through .

Anonymous said...

Well Dafen Dolly may well have bulldozed her way into becoming leader of Llanelli Rural Council but I wouldn't be surprised if her 'time at the top' along with some of her fellow travellers in her 'nasty party' will be short.

Stan said...

I hope that our own Invisible Man in Neath Port Talbot, Councillor Rob James, who is one of the Labour candidates for the Lliedi ward in your patch, realises what he's let himself in for. I thought we had some dodgy characters here in NPT but by God, our councillors seem but innocent babes in arms compared to yours and those aspiring to sit in County hall.

Rob had better stay hidden, much as he has done in my patch for the last five years, if he has any sense.

Jac o' the North, said...

If you're not very careful you'll make yourself unpopular with the Labour Party (a fate I have always sought to avoid, ahem).

How about the slogan, 'Vote Labour - Get UKIP'? That should concentrate the minds of the electors.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 17:45
Your comment about UKIP."This is a party built on xenophobia and an ultra British\English nationalism". Is a wonderful description of the "Labour Party" where I live.

Anonymous said...

Seems members in labour are suspended tonight on plaids j.edwards twitter . Why not in llanelli ?