Cymru Rydd

From this story in yesterday's Western Mail, it would appear that Vaughan Gething still hasn't got over the shock of finding out that quite a few people—including, believe it or not, elected politicians—are proud to honour the memory of Llewelyn Ein Llyw Olaf and commit themselves to push forward with the roller coaster of constitutional change that Wales needs in order to take its rightful place among the nations of the world.

But just in case Vaughan is not the only one with such a narrow, restricted view of what people in Wales do, I thought I'd re-post the video along with a couple of others.

     

     

     

Yes, Roger Williams (he's the LibDem MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, for those who don't recognize him) was speaking in front of the very same Free Wales Army banner that caused Vaughan to get so apoplectic only a few weeks ago when he belatedly found out that Jill Evans had spoken at the event.

After these eye-openers, we can only hope that he and his Labour colleagues will try to get out a bit more often.

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18 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've been in the nationalist movement for 30 years and can any one tell me what's going on in the first video. I've never seen or heard of it ... quite put out in a way!

... and before the Brits go on about the ceremony - I remember being a member of the Cadets and being forced to eat a leak as an initiation ceremony.

Vaughan Geting, his father was Zambian. Would be interesting to know how many of his father's family were killed or displaced by the British army. But of course, that's ok now. Britain's genocide is overlooked and apart of just creating a multicultural Britain. Welsh nationalism didn't commit genocide or displace any one but that's dangerous and divisive eh, Vaughan?

Anonymous said...

Just thinking of Vaughan Gethin and 'Wales' Labour. What's the body count then?

Welsh nationalism - 0 dead
British nationalism (British army, Iraq, WW1, Boer War, Zulu Wars etc etc + man-made famines in India and Australia + land grabs + marginalisation of native societies + Welsh Nots (and versions of) etc etc.

It would be nice to see Vaughan Gethin campaign against the British army marching through Wales, but then, as a British nationalist Gethin sees no problem with the British army.


'I'm Dai'

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 19:24

Actually it's Gething's mother who's Zambian, his father was originally Welsh, from Cardiff, but 'got out as soon as he could' as the saying goes.

Gething is in fact English through and through, born and bred in Wiltshire and first came to Wales as a student aged 18. He went to became Labour head of NUS Wales where he aided the introduction of tuition fees be scuppering any attempt to campaign against them (not really what you'd expect from a 'socialist' who was elected to represent the interests of students but there you go).

He then enjoyed a lucrative working for Thompsons, a law firm that works exclusively for labour supporting trade unions. He was also elected (in questionable circumstances) as a Labour councillor in Cardiff, before becoming an AM in 2010.

david h jones said...

Note to Plaid leadership and AMs - don't apologise. Go on the attack!

What's more bizarre an alegiance ceremony in Wales by Welsh people to a Free Wales ... or swearing allegiance to the English crown to some old woman in who's name thousands of Welsh people were killed in the First World War and in whose name the British army and the British state has raped, pillaged, caused genocide and been responsible for the death of millions. An English crown in whose name a Welsh Not sign was strung around the colonise necks of our children.

Vaughan Gethin has got some very weird principles. I'll swear allegiance to a Cymru Rydd any day over allegiance to the corrupt, bloodied hands of Westminister and the Queen.

Plaid AMs should raise this in the Senedd in the chamber and go on the attack.

Armristar, The Irish Famine, Colonialism, Welsh Not, Tryweryn, genocide of Tasmanians, forced hunger and starvation in India, land grabs in Africa - that's what Vaughan Gethin and his allegiance to the British Crown means.

FFS Plaid. Come on - give us a nationalist response to a British nationalist attack. Stand up. Don't apologise.

Owen said...

Vaughan Gething and Ken Skates have been the biggest disappointments from the "new intake" (chairing of rail and media committees aside). Considering their backgrounds, I was expecting them to provide constructive opposition from the Labour backbenches - fortunately it seems like Mark Drakeford is capable of that at least.

They're both, unfortunately, puppy dogs eagre to prove each other's loyalty. We also have to remember than back in 2007, Martin Shipton included Vaughan (and Naz Malik) in his Fantasy Assembly - so he certainly has a soft spot there.

I wonder what Vaughan makes of the Mari Lwyd? Border Morris? Bog Snorkelling? Cheese-rolling? As others have said I wonder what he thinks about the Gorsedd of Bards.

Anonymous said...

Cant agree more with Owen. I too had such hopes for VG and KS. What absolute disappointments.
Robert Tyler

Hendre said...

And according to a Plaid quote in the WM, the vicar of Builth Wells was also involved...

I'm afraid I can't see much point in 'honouring the memory of Llywelyn' in this way. However I look forward to hearing Vaughan Gething's critique of the Prince of Wales's Investiture oath to the British monarch should if ever be given again.

Anonymous said...

hendre - this is typical Plaid Cymru response, trying to cover it up or make it sound respectable.

I couldn't give a fig if the vicar of Builth was there. That's a sort of Plaid apology 'look this nice vicar was there so it's ok, really'.

Bugger that. The answer is simple as David H. Jones said:

"What's more bizarre an alegiance ceremony in Wales by Welsh people to a Free Wales ... or swearing allegiance to the English crown to some old woman in who's name thousands of Welsh people were killed in the First World War and in whose name the British army and the British state has raped, pillaged, caused genocide and been responsible for the death of millions. An English crown in whose name a Welsh Not sign was strung around the colonise necks of our children.

Vaughan Gethin has got some very weird principles. I'll swear allegiance to a Cymru Rydd any day over allegiance to the corrupt, bloodied hands of Westminister and the Queen.

Plaid AMs should raise this in the Senedd in the chamber and go on the attack.

Armristar, The Irish Famine, Colonialism, Welsh Not, Tryweryn, genocide of Tasmanians, forced hunger and starvation in India, land grabs in Africa - that's what Vaughan Gethin and his allegiance to the British Crown means."


Plaid need to take the nationalist response and use it. That's always the strongest and best response. Don't pussy foot around. They've nothing to aplogise for!

MH said...

I don't think that the appropriate response is to "go on the attack". All that is necessary is to stand up for what you believe in. There's a difference between being assertive and being aggressive.

And neither do I thnk it's appropriate to bring up Vaughan Gethin's background. That's not important. It's fair to criticize people for their attitudes and actions, but never fair to attach an undue importance to their backgrounds or how they were brought up.

The thing that particularly struck me was the narrowness of Vaughan's knowledge and experience. From what he has said, it seems to have come as a genuine surprise to him to find that people with all sorts of different attitudes and agendas can come together to commemorate Llewelyn. This is a regular event that has taken plave every December for years. For last year's event to become "news" nine or ten months later demonstrates an amazing lack of basic political and cultural awareness. This is a weakness, even for a newbie politician. Perhaps he'll learn from it ... but then again, perhaps he won't want to.

Anonymous said...

MH

1. If Plaid began to be aggressive it would come out as assertive. Plaid consistently under play things and in the press and public it is either ignored, not reported or seen as lame. Maybe we need to put quotation marks around aggressive. Plaid havn't taken an assertive nationalist line in decades.

2. Vaughan Gethin has been trawling the web looking for stuff. I think Plaid ANd should find clips of Labour people singing The Internationale and ask the Labour party do distance themselves from it because it is the anthem which lead to the Holodomor, Ukrainian Mass famine brought about by Stalin and his fellow travellers.

MH said...

Really? I'd have said that Plaid's position on independence has become crystal clear over the last couple of years, with even those who were previously against it now coming out in open support of it.

And to me it would be silly for us to make some sort of show of, say, finding Labour members singing the Internationale. It would display the same degree of ignorance about what people in the Labour movement do as Vaughan Gething has about what nationalists do ... though of course many have a foot in both camps.

People in Wales (and probably everywhere else in the world) do things that others might see as odd or even bizarre. So what? Just live with it. Broaden your horizons. Pointing the finger at it and either sniggering or trying to make some political point about it would make us look as immature as Vaughan has been.

Anonymous said...

I haven't been to Cilmeri for a good few years but Welsh Labour's cynical use of Vaughan Gething to try to persuade us of the outward looking and inclusive nature of British nationalism versus an inward looking and exlusive Welsh nationalism , has certainly got me checking my calendar for December again.

I'm sure a good few nationalists will be thinking the same way.

Anonymous said...

MH - My comments on trawling the web looking for clips of singing the internationale was slighlty sarcastic. But not too much either. That is, Labour are following a strategy of undermining Welsh nationalism as a concept. Plaid seem afraid of attacking British nationalism and Labour's British nationalism (although Leanne did call Bryant a British nationalist once and should do so again). I don't think Plaid has seriously tried to undermine the whole morality of British Labourism and it's morality is undermined by its adherence to British nationalism and the British state.

You're right that Plaid has crystalised its independence position in recent years. That's a big step forward. But what Plaid hasn't done is try and undermine the foundations of Labour's British nationalism. A clip of a Labour AM singing the Internatioanle intertwined with clips of Stalin's gulags and Holodomore is crude but why should Plaid not use it in the same way as Vaughan Gethin does? If it ridicules the debate, so be, it, we can then move on to more substansive arguments.

Plaid's reaction, unlike yours and John Dixon on his blog, is to try and ingnore Labour's attacks. But why? Actually Plaid would be stronger debating with people, going on radio phone-ins and raising the issue. Asking the Welsh public, what is more ridiculous and dangerous - swearing allegience to 'Cymru Rydd' or to a monarchy in whose name a genocidal empire was built and an empire and political philosophy which attacked and undermined the Welsh language and Welsh nationality and is the apex of a class system which corrupts and distorts the economy to the detriment of Wales?

My point is, that rather and trying to avoid a nationalist debate, Plaid should be engaging in it. This wasn't a fluke by Gethin, it was a deliberate strategy.

We need to be more assertive. But, what for Plaid's members like you and I is 'asertive' is, it seems for Plaid AMs and MPs is 'aggressive' or 'exreme'.

M.

Tarian said...

Labour are walking all over Plaid and mocking the concept of Welsh nationalism. They are continuing a long standing strategy (aided by the media) of portraying Welsh nationalism as extreme, insular and dangerous. Plaid respond, as always, by being embarrassed, trying to explain away ludicrous claims, and appear to be almost apologetic about having any thoughts of standing up for the people of Wales.

The party has become timid in the extreme and allows its enemies to dictate the terms of debate. The party appears to have no appetite for a political fight. Stop apologising for caring about the future of this country, stop being embarrassed of celebrating the icons of our past. We need assertive leadership who can articulate themselves clearly and aggressively. We should be tearing apart the idiots who mount these kinds of attacks and reveal them to be the idiots they truly are.

There are also, as we know, many issues which the leadership are too frightened to mention for fear of being portrayed as extreme. This is partly a recognition of the hostility of the media and the likely negative outcomes. However, it is largely a damning indictment on the abilites of our representatives. They do not believe they have the ability to take on debates on contentious issues without being pigeon holed as extremists. Why can't they be both assertive and measured? Can they not articulate the problems facing us in a manner which is clear and non-threatening?

Their silence is an abdication of responsibility and I fear we are seeing the party slide into a culture of managerialism, hoping to play a minor supporting role to Labour in the administration of Wales. The party must be the shield and sword of the people of Wales. We will never gain ground on Labour or achieve a majority unless we tackle Labour head on, articulate a postitive and asserive nationalist narrative, and fight fire with fire when it comes to dirty tricks and propaganda. Being respectable, reasonable and claiming the moral high ground is no consolation when we are trounced time after time at elections and the nation is left with no effective defence.

Anonymous said...

"2. Vaughan Gethin has been trawling the web looking for stuff. I think Plaid ANd should find clips of Labour people singing The Internationale and ask the Labour party do distance themselves from it because it is the anthem which lead to the Holodomor, Ukrainian Mass famine brought about by Stalin and his fellow travellers."

No they shouldn't. It would be pointless and a waste of time. The Internationale has nothing to do with Stalin. There is nothing wrong with Labour singing whatever they want. Don't stoop to their level.

I like the tone of MH's post. They aren't "walking all over Plaid", they're trying to provoke a reaction so they can fight Plaid on extremist grounds. Better to be light-hearted about it and move on. These aren't burning issues for the people of Wales.

The reason Plaid hasn't got a majority is nothing to do with "Welsh nationalism being mocked" it's because Labour have been more united than Plaid, usually had better leaders, have more influence in civil society and have had more convincing policies. All of those factors can be changed by Plaid Cymru- but it is a struggle that has nothing to do with Vaughan Gething or these videos.

That's why Labour is trying to distract Plaid and make them react to these attacks. The same tactic has been used a few times since Leanne became leader.

Niclas y Glais said...

Labour are desperately flinging as much shit at Leanne & Co as possible for one reason - they're frightened. They can't engage in any meaningful debate about the cuts or public services and how we address the situation in Wales because that would expose them as being on the Tory Unionist side of the debate. They can only indulge in this bizarre YouTube smear exercise.
The non-Plaid nationalists of course are loving all this attention and are being used by Labour to hammer Plaid. Plaid has nothing to gain from responding or indulging in its own YouTube trawl. I want a party of Wales for Wales to be outlining what an independent Wales would look like rather than these distractions. Glad to see the leadership aren't being distracted.

Anonymous said...

Nationalists who like all the flag-waving stuff think this is a massive mockery or insult by Labour and that it represents a victory for Labour over Welsh nationalism. Don't believe Labour's propaganda. It is a non-story for most Welsh people, who couldn't care one way or the other about ceremonies, be they Welsh nationalist ceremonies or UK monarchy ceremonies. Life goes on and politics will go on. And the organisations that commemorate Cilmeri will continue to do so as they have always done.

The fact this anti-nationalist campaign exists does show the mindset of Labour in Wales, that their politicians feel the need to mount this offensive. But it doesn't mean they need to be attacked in equal measure. That is exactly what they want. Their actions speak for themselves.

If we want to examine why Plaid hasn't beaten Labour in elections has nothing to do with these ceremonies or events, or with Plaid's attendance or non-attendance. The electoral reasons most recently are to do with Labour successfully occupying the devolution middle-ground and portraying themselves (however insincerely) as an anti-Tory force.

I disagree with Tarian that because Plaid won't lash out at Labour it means they are "timid". Pick your battles! Don't fight pointless ones over things that are not even stories for most Welsh people.

Anonymous said...

"Labour are desperately flinging as much shit at Leanne & Co as possible for one reason - they're frightened."

Yep. Let's not exaggerate it though. I don't think we pose a major threat to Labour yet. We can't even take them on in many parts of Wales (particularly the south-east) because we don't yet have party branches and infrastructure.

But they will have recognised we pose a potential future threat. Labour's aim is to force Plaid into galloping off into the wilderness. Hence the portrayal of Plaid as extreme, as closet Tories/possibly even closet racists, anti-monarchists, right-wingers etc.

If Plaid becomes a convincing and positive alternative to Labour (not the same thing as "attacking Labour full on" or being the opposite to Labour) then Labour is in trouble in the long-term.

My money is on Leanne Wood emerging calmly from the current period of readjustment in Plaid and becoming the only political figure in Wales that can challenge a very popular Carwyn Jones. She is a very promising asset. However it's going to take alot more time than it took the SNP because we have a different political history, no oil fields, no media and worst of all, weak or non-existent Plaid Cymru branches in alot of the bigger Welsh towns.

The opportunities ahead are massive, but I think the "non-Plaid nationalists" that Niclas y Glais mentions are often distracted or get the wrong end of the stick and don't show any way forward.

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