Friday, October 14, 2022

The Situation in Britain

What has happened in the UK this week is a soft coup.  You can call it a Blairite coup or a deep state or globalist coup but the end result will be the same, an authoritarian regime likely headed by Starmer's Labour Party, allied with remainer Tories.  It will be a regime which will seek to implement the social controls envisaged by the Great Reset.

Apart from the unlikely emergence of a popular new party or (even more unlikely) cooperation between what remains of traditional Labour and the Brexit Tories there seems little to stand in the way of this outcome.  What about Wales?  Well Wales will carry on as now, oblivious to the great changes happening in the world beyond the parish pump - the defeat of unipolarism and the inevitable collapse of rentier capitalism.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022


I was reading an article that claimed that Wales was far more servial (taeogion) at the commencement of the Queen's reign than it is today, but is that true?  After all in 1952 we had genuine working class parties and a real national movement, forces that made capital uncomfortable.  Can that be said of today's versions?  Much of Welsh industry was owned by the people - well in theory at least, and the newly established health service seemed less interested in enriching the drug companies than is true today.

Of course the article makes much of identity politics, but that seems more about getting into the elite rather than curtailing its power.  It's an odd world where Rishi Sunak's billionaire wife is somehow seen as more disadvantaged than that old bloke down the pub.  Infact most of the left's current obsessions seem to coincidence with the latest money making wheeze of the ruling class.

Anyway the late Queen's first visit to Wales after her succession was to Llandrindod Railway station, from where she proceeded by car to open the new Claerwen reservoir.  I dug out some cuttings - the photo is from the Daily Graphic, which was what the Sketch was still called in 1952.  I know the lad in the beret quite well, a stalwart Radnorian and still alive and kicking.  The paper also mentions the enhanced security measures in place as a result of the recent bomb attack on the Fron aquaduct.  Taeogion yn wir!

Thursday, September 08, 2022

Our Radnorshire Folk

My great great grandfather was born in Llandinam around the same time as David Davies of the Ocean Coal Company - who is getting some mention on twitter today.  His son, my great grandfather, lived in Gwystre, a few doors from the family of Arthur Horner's mother. Both families ended up in Merthyr Tydfil - which was really the home of more Radnorians than any place on the planet at the end of the 19th century.

What I'm trying to say is that Radnorshire history is part and parcel of mainstream Welsh history.  Another example is the famous poetic dispute between Ieuan Dyfi and Gwerful Mechain resulting from Ieuan's misogynistic rant against his ex Anni Goch.  Far from being in the North or the distant West, Ieuan and Anni's affair went down in Presteigne and Norton.  Likewise the Red Book of Hergest found a home near Kington and Kinnerton, while Glyndwr's great victory was near Knighton and won by the men of Maelienydd.

Ffansis Payne opened my eyes to the deep history of Radnorshire while for many readers of the Radnorshire Transactions in the 1930s it must have been Mr Cole's transcriptions of Elizabethan wills, full of names like Tangwystl and Lleucu .... these were our Radnorshire folk.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022


We tend to forget that when Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941 they were not alone - Rumania, Italy, Finland, Hungary and Slovakia were also active participants.  As the war proceeded SS units from the Baltic states, Ukraine, France, Spain, Bosnia, Croatia, Scandinavia, Belgium and the Netherlands were also involved.  Is it any wonder that the present war against Russia - just as Nato's previous onslaught against Serbia - can be seen as a continuation of the Second World War.  The only difference being that the Anglo-Saxons have this time thrown in their lot with the fascists.

For old timers like myself this is all pretty obvious, youngsters not so much.  I happened to catch a quiz programme on TV the other day where a second year geography student claimed never to have heard of the River Rhine.  Not much chance of understanding even the basics of world history there. 

Wednesday, April 06, 2022

Social Fascists?

What prospects for a truly independent Wales in a country that so readily swallows the mainstream lies about Covid and Ukraine?  The intellectuals are a lost cause, thoroughly indoctrinated, as they are, with "Western values."  Maybe there's some hope with the Brexit voting working class, who showed signs of independent thought over that issue at least

How to describe the Labour-Plaid hegemony? A term from the Thirties might fit the bill, Social Fascists ............ folk who spout Socialist platitudes but, when it comes to it, always support imperialism and the corporate state.  A Wales bedecked in blue and yellow flags is just the latest manifestation of all this.  One wonders what Gwyn Alf would have thought of it all?  I like to think his sympathies would have been with the miners of Donbas rather than the Nazi lovers currently eulogised by my myopic fellow countrymen.

Trying to be a little less blunt, I guess a good deal of the rank and file support for Ukraine stems from ignorance.  The country is seen as a minnow standing up to a giant although in reality, despite widespread economic looting by its elite, it still has one of the largest populations in Europe.  It is also a multi ethnic country seeking to forcibly impose the language of its Western regions on the national minorities.  It is a nationalism  that sided with Hitler during the war, carried out unspeakable atrocities on its Jewish and Polish neighbours and continues to celebrate the killers down to the present day.

One lesson from the last few months is that throughout the EU the ruling elites continue to hold the Russophobic views of their fathers and grandfathers.  Many countries in Europe were not victims of Nazidom, they were willing accomplices and this thinking has again come out into the open.

Here's a song by Chicherina celebrating the Donbas miners and their struggle.

Sunday, April 03, 2022

The Radnor model


Remember when the two Wales model, or was it the three, was all the rage.  Something about how modern day Wales was still influenced by the division between the Principality and the March. It didn't make much sense to me as anglicisation was always a process not an event.

Anyway this map which I came across in a new book about the March illustrates that things were a bit more complex than could be described by drawing a simple line on a map.  The cantrefi which later went to make up Radnorshire stand out as areas in the March which had resisted the Normans for 200 years, often successfully.  It says something about Radnorian independence .......... perhaps there is something to be said for drawing lines after all.

Saturday, April 02, 2022

Nid ddoe y dechreuodd y rhyfel hwn

Mae'r fideo yn chwe mlwydd oed, gyda llaw.


The Gagauz are a Turkic speaking but Orthodox Christian people mainly living near the Ukrainian border in Moldova.  Enjoying a degree of autonomy within Moldova: their fear has been that Moldova would be subsumed within the Romanian state;  their desire that they could find a home within the Russian Federation.  The current events in Ukraine make this wish a possibility.  If the Russians do absorb the Black Sea coast up to Moldova then the Gagauz and Bulgarian speaking borderlands could easily end up in Russia; with Moldova itself uniting with Romania.

Anyway, here is a popular Gagauz song.

Sunday, March 27, 2022


The usual virtue signallers were quick to add Ukrainian flags to their twitter accounts but more sickening than this was the way in which ordinary folk swallowed the war propaganda of the mainstream media.  I doubt if many Welsh folk had much clue about the origins of the war but anyway I'm reminded of Traudl Junge's words at the end of the film Downfall.  Ignorance is no excuse.  I like this song because it speaks of keeping faith with the generation who fought against the Nazis, the sentiment touches me.

Friday, January 07, 2022

The 1921 Census

At £3.50 for every household downloaded only the most well-heeled genealogist will be making much use of the recently released 1921 Census.  Never mind in two or three years it will be free, if the government allows us to live that long.

Despite the cost it is possible to dig out some information for free, especially if you are dealing with unusual names and known locations, for example I dug out a great great uncle of 70 who had recently married a 28 year old, and no, his name wasn't Sion White.

More usefully the site has a search facility that allows you to bring up all manner of sociological information without the need to cough up for cash.  For example you can search Welsh speakers by any number of criteria - age, sex, birthplace, occupation, current location etc. The search will give you the numbers and even the names.

Here are a few random results:

Wales had 1374 Welsh speakers born in Radnorshire, although only 141 of them were living in the county.  At this point we should remember that the Radnorshire of the registration districts did not coincide with the historic county borders.  Large chunks were included with Hay and Builth in neighbouring Breconshire, while other parishes were included with Kington in Herefordshire.  The Knighton sub-district included many English parishes, all this the result of a deliberate Victorian policy to tame the wild Radnorians by including them with more civilized folk.

Cwmteuddwr was still 25% welsh speaking in 1921, with Rhayader at just under 10% and St Harmon at 7.6% still exhibiting some vestige of the old native tongue. Nearby Llangurig was still 67% welsh speaking at this time and of course Welsh still dominated in the western parishes of Builth hundred. 

Most of the Radnorshire born Welsh speakers lived in the coalfield, 517 in Glamorgan, 52 in Monmouthshire - including my Gwystre born grandmother and 286 in Carmarthenshire. This last being a surprisingly high figure perhaps related to the opening of new pits?

Amongst the usual Joneses, Evanses, Davieses and the like, we find familiar local surnames such as Bywater, Bufton, Hamer etc.   It's a reminder that the process of language shift in Radnorshire was part and parcel of a general shift occuring in those parts of rural Wales open to the border.  Radnorshire wasn't different just further along the line.

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

An Irish Patriot in Radnorshire

The Irish War of Independence saw Cork born Sheila Browne commanding Liverpool's Cumman na mBan.  As such she engaged in various revolutionary activities: an arms raid, obtaining paraffin for arson attacks and transporting money to Dublin. Finally arrested she spent three months in jail before she was released through lack of evidence.

This was enough to obtain her a small military pension from the Free State government, although it might have alarmed the good folk of Radnorshire, where she was evacuated along with a class of Liverpool schoolchildren in 1941. Billeted in the wilds of Rhiwlen, Miss Brown now encountered some difficulties with the Dublin bureaucrats.  They wanted a person of sufficient stature to confirm her existence, but where, she complained, was she to find such a person when her only neighbours were mountains and her companions children?  Eventually she moved closer to civilization in Hundred House.

Miss Browne was clearly able through education and connections to cope with the red tape.  Sadly this was not true of Kate Evans, a miner's wife from the Irish community of Dowlais.  We've met Mrs Evans before, she was the leading light of a group who were obtaining explosives from the mines and transporting it to Ireland.  Eventually she was caught and jailed for 7 years.  The bureaucrats were unimpressed and wondered about her maiden name, some of her comrades could not be traced, the evidence of others was ignored while they engaged in an ill-tempered correspondence with an official who had had enough of their enquiries in other cases.  Mrs Evans, a widow in ill-health had her pension application rejected.

Mrs Evans wrote to De Valera complaining of being forgotten after suffering much for Ireland, her letter was passed back to the pensions office and ignored. It's ever thus for the working class.  Here's a song about Cumann na mBan: