Thursday, 30 April 2015

We support a Red and Internationalist May Day


 
Picture : Bread or Blood the Cry of the Merthyr Rising when Red Flag first raised in Wales



ON THIS MAYDAY IN WALES WE AT YR AFLONYDDWCH MAWR/GREAT UNREST GROUP CALL FOR 


Tir, Iaith, Gwlad a Rhyddid. 
Land, Language, Country and Freedom 

 


WE SUPPORT THE RED AND INTERNATIONALIST MAY DAY!
 

Crises, wars, repression, oppression, unemployment, poverty! 
Proletarians and oppressed people, let us unite and take the future in our hands! 
Long live Revolution! 

 
Imperialism continues crossing a deep economic crisis and unloading it on the proletarians and peoples of the world. They speak about recovery, but the only thing that recovers is the rush to profits, wealth and arms.

For the proletarians, poor peasants and other people’s masses in every country of the world, instead, we see unemployment, labour laws increasing precariousness, exploitation and slavery, misery, plunder of raw materials and energy resources, devastation of environment and territories. Youth without work are now the majority, in spite of their educational and cultural growth. New technologies are used to make more profits, intensify exploitation and the despotic command and control on labour and increase the destructive power of arms.


Against this situation proletarians and masses rise up, in the imperialist countries, as well as in the countries oppressed by imperialism. Proletarians and masses cannot accept a worse and worse condition of life and work; a life of hardship with neither hope, nor future, and they hate more and more their oppressed and harassers.


In the oppressed countries, workers, peasants and youth have repeatedly come out in the streets braving severe repression to fight back the attacks on their livelyhood; the peasantry, main force for the New Democratic Revolution, withstand the reactionary anti-peasants policies of displacement and annihilation and persist in the struggle for lands against old and “new” forms of semi-feudal domination, base of the imperialist rule.


In the imperialist countries the uprisings of youth and immigrants from Ferguson to Stockholm, to the banlieues in Paris, the general workers’ struggles, which often clash with the repressive apparatus of the State.All of this show that the revolution, as tendency and need, is increasingly emerging and clashes the reactionarization and fascistization of states and governments.


Wherever, in the struggles and people’s wars, the forefront role of women advances, to put an end to the heinous class and gender oppression that fills the streets of the world of rapes, femicides, and to demand a revolution for a true liberation. In order to face and prevent the people’s rebellion, imperialists, their States, their right or claimed “left” governments, respond with fierce repression, massacres, persecution; demagogy and plotting. They establish police states that rub out political, social and individual freedoms, in a vain attempt to stop the people’s wave and the revolutionary organization of masses.


They also employed the enticements of the electoral farce of reformist, social-democrats and revisionist in order to contain the rage of the mass within their reactionary system. These forces foster the illusion that some ‘pro-people’ government can overcome the ravages of the crisis; for instance, in Greece, highest expression of the crisis in Europe, forces of new social democracy as SYRIZA, come to power as a last resort, but they are not able to stand up to the diktats of European capital and banks or give response to the needs and struggle of masses. Also if the service done to imperialism by such fake left forces who misguide the masses still remain as a hurdle, in many countries the masses respond with the intensification of the class struggle and an increasingly massive abstention and boycott.


In Ukraine and Eastern Europe reactionary, also Nazi-like, forces advance, supported by US, EU and NATO, in a framework of inter-imperialist contention with Putin’s Russia. The masses are justly struggling against fascism and Western imperialism, but they need a genuine communist leadership to be not pawns of imperialist Russia expansionism.

The rebellion of proletarians and masses demands a radical change and the only means to achieve this is to overthrow, weapons in hand, the ruling classes and establish a new society free from exploitation, oppression and imperialism. Within the crisis become inter-imperialist contradictions sharpen and tendency to a new world partition war becomes more and more insistent – although the contradiction between imperialism and people and nation oppressed remains the principle contradiction  in the world – the revolution remains the main trend and is embodied by the potential new wave of the world proletarian revolution.


In order to become successful new democratic revolutions marching to socialism in the countries oppressed by imperialism, and proletarian and socialist revolutions marching to communism in the imperialist countries, the rebellions of masses need a genuine revolutionary communist party in each country, a united front of all the exploited and oppressed masses led by the proletariat and a revolutionary people’s army. Where the masses lack these instruments, their heroic and bold struggles are defeated and / or end to be prey of reactionary forces, always tied to imperialist system, that can not free them from the social, economic and political chains.


In the name of the war on terrorism, imperialism unleashes wars and domestic terror. But imperialism is the true terrorism, the monster that we must fight and overthrow. What in the world is worse than imperialism? Imperialism, especially US, intensifies the policy of war, invasion and aggression in Iraq, Afghanistan and fosters wars in Syria, Libya Yemen and throughout the Middle East and West Asia. They respond to the people’s revolts in the Arab countries by installing in power forces that continue the policy of the old tyrants and regimes, as in Egypt, in cahoots and alliance with the Zionist gendarme, Israel, and other reactionary regimes in the region, from Turkey to Iran, Saudi Arabia.


In these wars and interventions, they arm feudal and reactionary forces which then turn against them, bringing the war within the imperialist countries themselves with fierce attacks that undermine the security and strength of those States, within which there are masses and sections of rebel immigrants who hate imperialism. In the field where these direct and indirect interventions took place, imperialismcontinues applying the policy of Low Intensity Conflict (LCI) with agents and plots to put masses against masses, to divert the target of the struggles of the oppressed peoples from of their main enemy, at the aim of dividing the anti-imperialist united front, as now in Syria facing the Arab and Kurdish masses.

Where the ISIS advances, the masses fight and resist, as Kurdish masses, with a leading role of women, in the front row in Rojava, Kobane. But only by fighting with the People’s War, not only the ISIS but also imperialism and the reactionary regimes in the region, the masses can free themselves from social and national oppression.


The bourgeoisie and its sophisticated intellectuals, in the imperialist citadels as in the centers of culture in the countries oppressed by imperialism, sing the funeral of the working class and its ideology, powerfully drawn by Marx, Engels Lenin, Stalin Mao, but in every corner of the world we are witnessing a huge resumption of the workers’ struggle, classist and combative, that shakes the citadels of capital, also in China, as well as all countries of the alleged development of capital , the so-called, “emerging countries”.


In the imperialist system, big countries, such as Brazil, Turkey, etc. are crossed by strong struggles of workers, peasants and other masses and show how the economic rise of these countries under the rule of imperialism makes them “giant with feet of clay” and land of revolution. There is no place in the world that does not see tensions and sharpening of the class struggle. In this framework it is the People’s War, led by Marxist-Leninist-Maoist parties, the only strategic reference of the liberation struggle.


The People’s War in India, hitting directly at one of the major bastions of imperialism and reaction in the world, has roused great enthusiasm among the revolutionary masses all over the world and become a powerful internationalist rallying point. Together with the People’s Wars in the Philippines, Peru, and Turkey, it continues to undermine imperialism and shows the path to overthrow the system of exploitation and oppression of imperialism and the feudal reactionary forces and the construction of a new power and society.


The Marxist-Leninist-Maoists communists in the world must construct and strengthen Communist Parties to take up their tasks of leadership and development, ridding their ranks of revisionist and capitulationist tendencies, as Prachandism in Nepal, Avakianism in the US, the Right Opportunist Line, in all forms, in Peru, etc., without falling, at the same time, into the sterile petty bourgeois revolutionarism and dogmatism. The building of the communist parties must take place in the fire of the class struggle with close tie with the masses, in function of the revolutionary struggle for the power.


This May Day 2015 calls us to lift high and strong the red flag of communism and revolution in every demonstration, in every anti-imperialist struggle in the world, bringing and renewing with strength the slogan of: “Proletarians and oppressed peoples of the world, unite!”


Let us unite to stop imperialist and reactionary wars, to crush imperialism and reaction around the world!


Let us salute the martyrs of the people and revolution, let us support the struggle and free revolutionary and communist political prisoners around the world! 


Let us bring forth the genuine proletarian internationalism in the leadership of proletarian struggles, in the struggles of the peoples to create the conditions and advance towards an international organisation of communists 


Let us support people’s wars until victory!


Let us take the future of communism in our hands! 

 
Signed by :

Collective of Iranian maoists
Marxist-Leninist Party of Turkey
Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan;
Communist Movement of Serbia
Communist Party of India (Maoist)
Democracy and Class Struggle – British State
Great Unrest WSRP-Wales British State

Long March Towards Communism (Spain);
New Communist Party (Liaison Comittee) USA
Maoist Comunist Group USA
Maoist Communist Mouvement Tunisia
Maoist Communist Party Manipur
Maoist Communist Party Italy;
Maoist Revolutionary League-Sri Lanka
Marxist-Leninist-Maoist Party Construction Committee (Germany) MLM-PAK
Peru Peoples Movement (Committee for Reorganizing)
Red communist Blogs


Red Fraction of Communist Party of Chile – RF CPC – PPM (CR)
Red Block (Unity of maoists) France
Revolutionary Communist Party (PCR-RCP Canada);
Revolutionary Intellectual -Cultural Front,Nepal
Revolutionary Praxis – United Kingdom
Serve the People – Communist League of Norway
Servir Le Peuple – Sheisau Sorelh – Occitany – French state;
Workers Voice – Malaysia



 

Monday, 20 April 2015

Republicanism and Democracy by Allan Armstrong



Allan Armstrong (RCN) was invited to speak on Republicanism and Democracy  at the Assembly for Democracy event in Glasgow on Saturday, April 11th 2015

Most of the discussions today we have been having today have been about bringing democracy into our own campaigns and developing an opposition to the ongoing British ruling class offensive.

However, as one contributor to the debate has already said, ‘democracy’ is one of the most promiscuous terms to be found in politics.

Indeed, the British ruling class likes to claim that “Westminster is the mother of parliaments”, with the implication that it represents a deeply rooted democratic tradition. So it is worth taking a closer look at this Westminster, based on the political notion of the ‘Crown in parliament’.

When it comes to the term ‘Crown’, most people understand that to be the same as the monarchy. When socialists are asked why they oppose the British monarchy, they usually concentrate their criticism on the antiquated class structure this upholds; and the high cost of maintaining such a parasitic institution, especially now the rest of us face austerity.

However, the UK is a constitutional monarchy [1]. This means the queen exerts little power in her own rightYes, the royal family enjoys obscene privileges in terms of property, income and status, but these are rewards given for its role in supporting and promoting the interests of a wider British ruling class.

Far more important than the monarchy, or the royal family, is the political system it fronts.  Despite the existence of a formal parliamentary democracy, centred on Westminster, with its devolved offspring at Holyrood, Cardiff Bay and Stormont, we still face very real political constraints.  These lie in the state’s profoundly anti-democratic Crown Powers.]

These powers shield a whole host of unsavoury institutions and practices from any public accountability or even scrutiny. They are needed to guarantee continued British ruling class control. This class is made up from the leaders of finance, commerce, industry, the armed forces, judiciary, senior civil servants and key politicians.

In 2004, the New Labour government deigned to publicise some of these powers. However, they still kept others secret – so we don’t even know the full extent of what we are up against! New Labour regularly resorted to these powers, most notoriously in the war in Iraq. Tory and Labour governments have used these powers to mobilise troops to break firefighters’ strikes in 1997 and 2002. These powers also cloak the activities of the City of London in secrecy.

We can also look at other measures sanctioned under the Crown Powers. Last month, Guardian journalist, Ian Cobain, published Cruel Britannia: A Secret History of Torture. This shows how the UK state has been able to cover up its continuous use of inhuman treatment, and falsely claim it is not engaged in such practices.

Under the Crown Powers, even democratically elected governments can be toppled. Back in 1975, Gough Whitlam fronted a mildly reforming Labour government, which wanted to keep US nuclear warships out of Australian ports.  He felt the long arm of the Crown Powers when the British Governor-General removed him from his elected office.  The incumbent British Labour government did nothing to help, highlighting Labour’s almost total acceptance of the UK’s undemocratic state.

In 1999, under New Labour, the Crown Powers were used to deny the right of the Diego Garcia islanders to return to their Indian Ocean home, when they won their case in the British High Court.  Unfortunately for them, Diego Garcia is now the site of a major US military base.

However, these powers go even further. They even allow for the suspension of Parliament in ‘extreme situations’, with resort instead to direct rule by the Privy Council. 

This very select band of former and existing senior government ministers is chosen for its reliability in upholding ruling class interests. 

Its members all enjoy close contact with the world of business, whilst some have had direct dealings with military officers, MI5 and MI6.

Whenever national democratic challenges are made, the British ruling class quickly resorts to the Crown Powers. In 1969, the UK state refused to make any serious attempt to dismantle its sectarian ‘apartheid’ statelet in Northern Ireland, when challenged by the Civil Rights Movement. After forcing this movement off the streets by gunning down 13 unarmed demonstrators in Derry in 1972, the full force of her majesty’s regiments was brought to bear on Irish republicans and nationalists. This included the SAS, the UDR (with its royal patronage) the RUC, and the Loyalist death squads, all backed up by juryless Diplock Courts, manned by Unionist judges, and by detention as required in ‘her majesty’s’ special prisons.

Those sections of the state, which provide the ruling class with legal sanction to pursue its own ends, are prefixed ‘her majesty’s’ or ‘royal’.  Self-styled Loyalists include those who are prepared to undertake certain illegal tasks when called upon by the security services.

But surely, we can take some comfort from the fact that the British ruling class did not resort to such violent measures when the issue of Scottish self-determination was raised in the late 1970’s? However, before the mid 1990’s, when the majority of the British ruling class concluded that ‘Devolution-all-round’ (for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) was the best strategy to defend its interests in these islands and the wider world, many were bitterly opposed even to very mild constitutional reform.

Therefore, in the lead-up to the 1979 Devolution Referendum, the ‘non-political’ Queen was wheeled out to make a Christmas broadcast attacking Scottish nationalism.  Senior civil servants were told to ‘bury’ any documents, which could help the Scottish nationalists.  Military training exercises were conducted, targeting putative armed Scottish guerrilla forces.  The security forces became involved on the nationalist fringe, encouraging anti-English diatribes and actions, to discredit any notion of real Scottish self-determination. But, it was not necessary to resort to more of the Crown Powers, because the Labour government was divided, and the SNP’s challenge was so mild and constitutionalist, the ruling class did not have to go any further.

Today, the British ruling class is even more united in its opposition to the SNP government’s ‘Independence-Lite’ proposals. There is no room, under today’s conditions of economic and political crisis, for the SNP’s wannabe Scottish ruling class junior managerial buyout of the local branch of UK plc. This despite their acceptance of the monarchy and hence the continued ability of the UK state to intervene in Scotland; of NATO and hence a continued Scottish commitment to US and British imperial wars; and of the City of London and hence continued imposed austerity.

So, how did the British ruling class use those Crown Powers in the recent referendum campaign? They achieved their first objective, under the Edinburgh Agreement signed between the Westminster and Holyrood government. Alex Salmond, himself a Privy Councillor, agreed to the referendum being conducted under Westminster rules. This meant that the official’ Yes’ campaign had to be conducted under much greater official restrictions than the ‘No campaign’, which was able to draw upon those Crown Powers hidden from public scrutiny.

It will take thirty years before we know what methods were resorted to, beyond the obviously partisan use of senior civil servants and the BBC. However, the Guardian exposed moves by the Ministry of Defence to have Faslane Trident base declared sovereign UK territory in the event of a ‘Yes’ vote (2).

If there had been a ‘Yes’ vote on September 18th, the SNP government did not recognise this as transferring sovereignty to the people of Scotland. They accept the principle that their sovereignty comes from those powers devolved from Westminster to Holyrood. Hence, they had already decided that their negotiating team with Westminster would include MSPs from the Labour, Conservative and Lib-Dem parties, and possibly even some of their Scottish MPs. The already low level of Scottish self-determination, already accepted under the SNP government’s ‘Independence-Lite’ proposals, would have been further whittled away under Westminster sovereignty.

In contrast, the Radical Independence Campaign, at its May 17th, 2014 National Forum, drew up a very different set of proposals in the event of a ‘Yes’ vote (3). These involved making a direct appeal to all those autonomous ‘Yes’ campaigning groups to join a popular campaign to draw up a new Scottish constitution to be put before a Scottish constituent assembly.

A ‘Yes’ vote on September 18th, would have been seen as an exercise in the republican principle of sovereignty of the Scottish people. This is the democratic answer to a UK state, based on the anti-democratic principle of the Crown-in-parliament.

The Anti-Poll Tax campaign in Scotland successfully invoked Scottish popular sovereignty against Westminster sovereignty, when Thatcher’s Tories tried to impose this tax upon Scotland first. Current campaigns, such as that against Trident, can also draw strength by invoking the republican democratic principle of the sovereignty of the people.

[1]       For a socialist republican history of the UK’s development see:-

(2)       http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2013/08/02/beyond-the-unionists-project-fear-the-uk-state-mask-slips/

(3)       See addendum to http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2014/05/01/a-republican-perspective-is-important-for-scotlands-future/
 
Allan Armstrong is a member of the Republican Communist Network and is a contributor to Emancipation & Liberation.  Allan has been involved in the Radical Independence Campaign. He was the Chair of the Lothians Anti-Poll Tax Federation.


Allan has written From Davitt to Connolly, and the Ghost of James Connolly (about Connolly’s years in Edinburgh).

He is also a contributor to the RCN pamphlet, Republicanism, Socialism and Democracy and to Unstated – Scottish Writers and Independence.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

David Lloyd George: Liberal Imperialist from 1891 or 1911 ? Some Notes by Nickglais

                                     
                                                    17 January 1863 – 26 March 1945

Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr has been investigating Welsh Home Rulers especially Tom Ellis and David Lloyd George and the Liberal Imperialist ideology that informed their nationalism.

Here are some of our notes on Lloyd George, we are certainly not David Lloyd George fans like Huw Edwards of the BBC, and are making less known information about David LIoyd George available to illustrate how he like Tom Ellis combined Imperialism with their Welsh Home Rule Nationalism in the 1890's. 

Lloyd George in June 1891 on Tories and Nationalism

"It was a maxim of ancient Roman Law that slaves have no country. Our Tories today believe it.  So they oppress the national spirit in Ireland, jeer at it in Wales, cajole it in Scotland, and pervert it in England , where they degrade it into an unholy imperial vanity"

"A great writer attributed the fall of the Roman Empire in a great measure to the decay of the national spirit in the provinces forming the Empire.

The Roman policy was to destroy the national identity of the subject peoples.

The Gaul the Briton, the German were citizens of Rome. The result was disasterous to Rome itself. The individuality,independence  and manliness of spirit developed by the sense of nationhood vanished and with the disappearance of these qualities Rome fell.

"It is a remarkable fact that the Imperial party in this country which makes the preservation of Empire the motive power of its statesmanship should now pursue the very policy that lead to the destruction of the Roman Empire.

"As Welsh Liberals we are Imperialists because we are nationalists. We are Liberals because we are nationalists.

We know that by honouring our native land as shall best respect ourselves and that by the sum of the success, prosperity and happiness attainted by Wales, the Empire of which she is a part will be the more glorious."

Page 44 Wales Drops its Pilots  (1937) by W Hughes Jones


Lloyd George :  Anti Semitic "Anti Imperialist" on Boer War ?

In a speech on Nov. 27, 1899, Lloyd George said that the Uitlanders on whose behalf Britain had presumably gone to war were German Jews.

Right or wrong, the Boers were better than the people Britain was defending in South Africa.

And in a speech on July 25, 1900, Lloyd George said: "... A war of annexation, however, against a proud people must be a war of extermination, and that is unfortunately what it seems we are committing ourselves to -- burning homesteads and turning women and children out of their homes."

Source: Bentley Brinkerhoff Gilbert, David Lloyd George: A Political Life (Ohio State Univ. Press, 1987), pp. 183, 191


Lloyd George is considered an opponent of War and Imperialism until the Agadir Crisis of 1911, when he had made a speech attacking German aggression.

We think this is a mistaken view in view of his pro Imperialist statements as far back as 1891.

David Lloyd George supported the entry of the British Empire into the First World War, not least as Belgium, for whose defence Britain was supposedly fighting, was a "small nation", like Wales or indeed the Boers.

For the first year of the war he remained in office as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Here are a few of the liitle known  facts about Lloyd George and bombings by airplanes.:

1) Lloyd George was PM between 1916 and 1922. During this period Britain used planes to bomb: Mashud, on India’s border with Afghanistan (1917); Dacca, Jalalabad, and Kabul (1919, during the “third Afghan war”); Egypt (1919); Enzeli in Iran (1920); Trans-Jordan (1920, killing 200 people); and, of course, Iraq (see Sven Linqvist, ‘A History of Bombing’, Section 102, and David Omissi, ‘Air Power and Colonial Control: The Royal Airforce, 1919 – 1939’, some relevant excerpts from which are reproduced here:  http://tinyurl.com/2jywwr).

2) In February 1932 the League of Nations convened on disarmament. Germany moved for a total prohibition of bombing, but Britain insisted upon exempting bombing for “police purposes in certain outlying regions” (Lindqvist, Section 140). Lloyd George noted that, "we insisted on reserving the right to bomb niggers" (Chomsky, Year 501, Chapter 1, see  http://tinyurl.com/3297ry).





Robin Page Arnot, The Communist International (November 1936)
Lloyd George, the well-known British politician, has come out in support of Hitler following on his journey and his interview with the Fuehrer at the time of the Nuremberg Congress. Though both papers in which his views appeared criticized him editorially and though the remainder of the British press for the most part chose to ignore his utterances it would be a mistake to regard this as having no significance.
Their significance depends on the present position of British imperialism, particularly    its  foreign policy. The center of gravity of the foreign policy of British imperialism at the present moment lies in Europe, in its European policy.
  
One section of the ruling classes stands for support for France against Hitler but has misgivings as to the French Popular Front. Another section, of which Lord Londonderry was the spokesman, is out and out pro-Hitler; a third section balances between these. General agreement exists only on the policy of rearmament, in regard to which the National Government is now being offered the support of Bevin, Citrine and other reformist leaders.

The pro-Hitler section was formerly the most influential one, and is now more and more supported by the city and the bankers. But this policy is utterly repugnant to the mass of the British people and no one of the pro-Hitler section has been able to make it popular.

A vacancy has thus appeared for a new role, namely, that of a pro-Hitlerite, capable by his propaganda, of penetrating among the masses.

Here is where Lloyd George steps in.

He announces that there is a “New Germany”. He maintains that in this Germany there is no longer any class struggle nor indeed any struggle of any kind. He asserts that this Germany does not threaten anyone.

Something else however attracted the attention of our traveler in this idyllic Germany.

"I found everywhere (i.e., among the leaders of Hitlerism—R.P.A.), he wrote, “a fierce and uncompromising hostility to Russian Bolshevism, coupled with a genuine admiration for the British people, with a profound desire for a better and friendlier understanding with them.”

He actually defends the ravings at Nuremberg and has the effrontery to explain the Nuremberg speech and the claims of the Nazis to take the Ukraine as having nothing to do with warlike intentions and that it was merely “a taunt”.

Finally, Lloyd George finds the following remarkable explanation of the “recent outbursts against Russia” as being only

“. . . the common form of diplomatic relationship between Communist Russia and the rest of the world on both sides.”

It is nothing more than this, he says, and is not intended as a provocation to war. Again and again he repeats “it does not mean war”.

The title of the article of Lloyd George is “I Talk to Hitler”. It is more apparent that Hitler talked to him. The utterances of Lloyd George sound like a gramophone record of the familiar Nazi propaganda.

So, in fine, Lloyd George has become Hitler’s mouthpiece for Britain. But he can only become this because Lloyd George long ago in Britain has ceased to be the mouthpiece of any section of the people’s opinion.

To those who remember Lloyd George as the radical politician before the war or as the successful War Minister of British imperialism, it may seem strange to learn that Lloyd George has sunk so low in popular esteem, has become so bankrupt that he is now making his last gambler’s throw, staking his all on the Knave of Clubs.

Yet the fact is that this one-time leading figure of the Liberal Party, this war-time Prime Minister, this all-powerful head of the Liberal-Tory coalition of 1918 to 1922 has lost his support in every political party. The working class hates him, the Tories distrust him, the Liberal Party is split into two sections, neither of which includes Lloyd George.

In Parliament he sits as the chieftain of the Lloyd George Family Party, consisting of himself, his son, his son-in-law and his daughter. So this ruthless, clever, wily, unscrupulous demagogue has reached the position of a political outcast and like other well-known adventurers of the war period, like Ludendorff or Millerand and others, he has steadily sunk in the general esteem. Recognizing this, he has now decided to stake his all, and to risk a desperate course.

Appeasement of Germany

 

Rudman argues that Lloyd George was consistently pro-German after 1923. He supported German demands for territorial concessions and recognition of its "great power" status; he paid much less attention to the security concerns of France, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Belgium.[114]

The Germans welcomed him as a friend in the highest circles of British politics. In September 1936 he went to Germany to talk with the German dictator Adolf Hitler. Hitler said he was pleased to have met "the man who won the war";

Lloyd George was moved, and called Hitler "the greatest living German".

Lloyd George also visited Germany's public works programmes and was impressed. On his return to Britain he wrote an article for The Daily Express praising Hitler; he wrote, "The Germans have definitely made up their minds never to quarrel with us again."

He believed Hitler was "the George Washington of Germany"; that he was rearming Germany for defence and not for offensive war; that a war between Germany and Russia would not happen for at least ten years; that Hitler admired the British and wanted their friendship but that there was no British leadership to exploit this

 However, by 1938, Lloyd George's distaste for Neville Chamberlain led him to disavow Chamberlain's appeasement policies.

 

Lloyd George - Britain's Petain

 

Churchill offered Lloyd George the agriculture portfolio in his Cabinet but he refused, citing his unwillingness to sit alongside Chamberlain.


Lloyd George also thought that Britain's chances in the war were dim, and he remarked to his secretary: "I shall wait until Winston is bust."[117] He wrote to the Duke of Bedford in September 1940 advocating a negotiated peace with Germany after the Battle of Britain.[118]

A pessimistic speech by Lloyd George on 7 May 1941 led Churchill to compare him with Philippe Pétain.

SEE ALSO :

http://greatunrest2012.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/dismembering-traitor-class-british.html

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Tom Ellis - Liberal Imperialist : Plus Notes of evidence to the Royal Commission on Land in Wales and Monmouthsire in 1893

 
Thomas Edward Ellis (16 February 1859 – 5 April 1899), usually known as T. E. Ellis, was a Welsh politician who was the leader of Cymru Fydd, a movement aimed at gaining home rule for Wales.

Just in case you were not aware T.E.Ellis was also a Liberal Imperialist and outlined his reasons for Welsh Home Rule at a dinner at the Criterion Club for the British Empire Club in 1893.

"The more England, Scotland and Ireland allowed Welsh opinion to prevail in Welsh matters the more willingly would the Welsh people rally to the ideas of the commonwealth of Great Britain. We seek the power of initiative and of decision in our own affairs.
 
The more willingly and generously that power is extended us ,the more firmly and closely will Wales be knit to the very texture of the imperial fabric.

Page 63 : Wales Drops  the Pilots (1937)  by W. Hughes Jones
 
 
 
 Yr Aflonyddwch Mawr publish this historic evidence of Tom Ellis to the Royal Commission on Land in Wales and Monmouthshire to provide background the Land Question in Wales but opposes his Imperialist vision of Home Rule to a that of  Independent Wales and Socialism - a Welsh Socialist Republic.
 
We have recently pointed out that the discredited ideas of these Home Rulers accommodating to the British State are re-emerging again and need to be combated here :
 
 
 
See Also :
 
 
 
We greatly admire Tom Ellis's struggle for Welsh Land Reform but firmly reject his Liberal Imperialism.
 
 
 
NOTES OF THE EVIDENCE TENDERED

TO THE ROYAL COMMISSION

ON LAND IN WALES AND MONMOUTH

IN 1893.



NOTES OF THE EVIDENCE TENDERED

TO THE ROYAL COMMISSION

ON LAND IN WALES AND MONMOUTH

IN 1893.

I AM the son of a tenant farmer. I have been
three times returned to represent my
native county in Parliament. I have
been a fairly diligent student of the rural
economy of Wales. From my boyhood I
have had a strong and deepening conviction
that the system under which the land of
Wales is cultivated requires drastic modifica-
tion and reform. I have given frequent
expression to this conviction in the press and
on the platform, and since my entry into
Parliament, I have taken occasion to press
this conviction upon the attention of the
House of Commons, for instance, on the
Address in reply to the Queen's Speech in 1887,
by a Resolution in 1888, by obtaining evidence
for the select Committee on Small Holdings
in 1889, and on a motion for the Second
Reading of the Tenure of Land (Wales) Bill
in 1892. 253



254 EVIDENCE TENDERED TO THE

For good or ill, English rule and English
law have imposed upon Wales the system
under which its land is held, occupied and
cultivated. In Wales, as in every other
country, the relations between the land-holder
or rent-receiver and the occupier of the soil
is one which must influence, if not control, the
whole system of society. The enormous
growth and development of industrial Wales
have helped to modify very materially the
influence which the land-holders and the land
system of Wales exercise over the life and
destiny of the Welsh people. Nevertheless,
the influence is still great, and we are entitled
to apply some tests of the efficacy and sanity
of the present system in Wales.

1. Is it calculated to produce a self-respecting

tenantry and peasantry who can think,
speak, act and combine like free men ?

2. Does it bring out the full capacity^of

the soil and ensure an adequate reward
to the tillers for their skill, outlay,
and labour ?



ROYAL COMMISSION ON LAND. 255

3. Does it conduce to enable as many

families as possible to live and thrive
on the land ?

4. Does it preserve for the common good the

user and revenue of the public or common
land?

5. Is the rent or surplus produce of the land

over and above what is necessary to
feed, clothe, maintain and educate the
tillers of the soil, wisely spent in the
interest of the community of Wales ?

I believe that the land system of Wales,
when searchingly tried by these tests, stands
condemned. The answer to questions 1 and 2
is in the negative, mainly because of the
insecurity of the tenure incident to tenancies-
at-will. The answer to questions 3 and 4 is
in the negative owing to enclosures made
with or without Act of Parliament, to
consolidation of holdings, and to the grafting
of the manorial system upon the old Celtic
tenures of Wales. The answer to question 5 is



256 EVIDENCE TENDERED TO THE

in the negative owing largely to the divergence
of aims and ideals, religious, social, political
and national, between the rent-receivers and
the tillers of the soil of Wales.

I consider insecurity of tenure the first
and worst evil worst for the peasants' rights
and duties of citizenship, and worst for good
husbandry in Wales. Tenants-at-will have
learnt to realise the insecurity of their tenure
by very diverse but effective methods. These
methods vary at different periods and on
different estates. Here are some instances :

1. Eviction for exercising an independent
judgment in politics.

The Commissioners have received some
evidence of this already. They will receive
more. It will take years to forget the thrill
of horror which spread through Wales, more
especially through its tenantry, after the
political evictions which followed the elections
of 1859 and 1868. Four uncles and relatives
of my own were evicted for refusing to vote
for the Tory candidate in 1859 :






ROYAL COMMISSION ON LAND. 257

Ellis Roberts, Fron Goch, j On the Rhiwlas
John Jones, Maes y Gadva, j Estate.
Edward Ellis, Ty Cerrig, j On Sir W. W.
John Thomas, PandyMawr, J Wynn's Estate.

In the election of 1865, the landlords of
this district stood in this hall to watch their
tenants voting, and I have heard tenants
express their shame that, terrified by the
evictions of 1859, they voted against their
will and conscience. It was after the election
of 1868 that Cardiganshire and Carnarvon-
shire suffered most. I have heard this called
Ancient History, but those who know Wales
know that the influence of the memories of these
evictions is far from spent.

2. The preservation of game.

During the last thirty years, there has
raged amongst some landlords a veritable
fever for game-preserving. The whole
paraphernalia of game-preserving have been
set up a hierarchy of gamekeepers, strict
sporting clauses in agreements, covers,



258 EVIDENCE TENDERED TO THE

rabbit-warrens, pheasantries, the killing of
dogs and cats, the pursuit of poachers and
the confiscation of their guns and nets.
Under the rule of the former owner of Rhiwlas,
Richard W. Price, a remarkable man and
true captain of agricultural industry, who
intimately knew the farms and farmers on his
estate, there was on the Rhiwlas estate only
one gamekeeper and hardly any game. When
the present proprietor of Rhiwlas attained his
majority, the great game period began. A
crowd of English and Scotch game-keepers
was introduced and dotted all over the estate.
I cannot describe the repugnance to and the
loathing for the game preserving system engen-
dered by the overbearing conduct and petty
tyranny of many of these gamekeepers, by the
monstrous increase of rabbits and pheasants,
and by the immense losses occasioned by
depredations of game on the crops of struggling
farmers. I referred in the House of Commons
to an incident in connection with game, the
truth of which has been challenged in a widely-
circulated pamphlet. I shall give the details



ROYAL COMMISSION ON LAND. 259

of the incident. In February, 1867, on an
afternoon while my father was away in the
Vale of Clwyd, one of his two dogs, while
with the servant who was ploughing, ran after,
but did not catch, a hare. That night a
gamekeeper, one George Stretton, came to
the house and bullyingly recited the dog's
offence. Next day, after his return, my
father was ordered to take his two dogs to
Rhiwlas. Both were taken and shot. In less
than a fortnight, my father was confidentially
told by the only Welsh gamekeeper on the
estate that he would lose his farm, and that if
anything was to be done to avert the eviction,
it should be done quickly. My father went
at once to the estate agent, Mr. Schoon, who
said that he had not heard of the intention
to give him notice to quit, but rumours were
still rife. Months of anxiety passed. On the
first of September, Mr. Price and Mr. Woodruff
came to shoot over my father's fields, but would
not deign to look at my father. On
September 27th, a notice to quit came. My
father went at once to the estate agent to



260 EVIDENCE TENDERED TO THE

know the reason. The reason was : " That
the dog had chased the hare, and that the
gamekeepers reported that my father destroyed
the hares on his farm." My father desired
to be brought face to face with Mr. Price or
his accusers, but the agent said it was not of
the slightest use going near Mr. Price. Weeks
of dread anxiety followed with sickness and
death in the family. After much negotiation,
the farm was offered to my father at an
increased rental of 10. His capital and 12
years' hard labour were sunk in the farm.
His children were very young. He was
attached to his home. The offer was an
ultimatum. It had to be accepted. During
the 26 years which have elapsed, every penny
of the 260 enhanced rent has been paid.
My father has forgiven, and wishes to forget
it all. But these things cannot be forgotten.
On the same day, Mr. William Roberts, of
Fedw Arian, received notice to quit, because
one of his sons was said to be a poacher. This
farm could not be retained, except by an
increase of the rent and the exile of the son
for ever from his home.



ROYAL COMMISSION ON LAND. 261

3. Dispossession of tenants owing to a
whim of the Landlord.

A former proprietor of farms in the Hirnant
Valley determined to get rid of the Welsh
tenants in order to bring in some Scotchmen.
Some Scotchmen came, but never thrived,
and there is now not a bone or stick of them
left. A similar policy was pursued in a part
of Breconshire with some apparent success
which the Commission will doubtless examine
on the spot.

4. Compulsory exaltations of rent under
the threat of eviction.

When a farmer receives a notice to quit in
order to have his rent raised, he is in a very
helpless condition. For to leave his farm is
to leave the fruits of his skill, outlay and
labour in his farm and to abandon his means of
livelihood. He is no more a free agent in the
contract than a purchaser is in a besieged and
straightened town. Sometimes rents are
raised in order to put the estate in the market.



262 EVIDENCE TENDERED TO THE

This was the case on the Pale estate prior to
its purchase by the late Mr. Robertson.
Sometimes they are raised after purchase, as
was the case on the Tottenham Estate lower
down the Dee Valley, under the regime of an
estate agent named Mr. Sharpe. Sometimes
rents are raised on what is called a re- valuation.
In 1876, the Rhiwlas estate was re-valued by
Mr. Jenkins, then of Plas-yn-Ward. At one
stroke the rent of every farm was raised,
the rise varying from 8 to 33 per cent. The
impression of the country-side is ineradicable
that the rents were in many cases raised
above Mr. Jenkins' valuation. Mr. Jenkins
is still alive.

5. The exaction of high, sometimes im-
possible, rents in times of severe depression.

During the last ten years, there has been
great suffering. The absence of any impartial
authority to which the tenants might appeal
has been keenly and bitterly felt. It has
already been pointed out how, on the Rhiwlas
Estate, an attempt at a combination of the



ROYAL COMMISSION ON LAND. 263

tenants was treated. A respectful petition
signed by many of the tenants was sent to
Mr. Price, Those who signed the petition
received an abatement of 5 per cent., those
who did not were blessed with 10 per cent.
Under a system of tenancy-at-will, such an
artifice is very likely to produce a submissive
and subservient tenantry.

6. The uncertainty of obtaining compen-
sation for improvements.

I have obtained from my father an estimate
of the cost of the permanent improvements
which he has executed on his farm during his
tenancy (see following page) :





ROYAL COMMISSION ON LAND. 265

This is exclusive of the gates on the farm,
which almost without exception have been
supplied by my father. Most of these improve-
ments are unexhausted. Most of the fences
are more valuable to-day than they have
ever been. So are the hay-sheds and the
machinery for churning and chaff -cutting.
Yet, according to the Agreement, no com-
pensation will be paid for any of the drains,
stone walls, and quickset hawthorn fences
because more than 12 years have elapsed
since their construction. Nor will there be
according to the Agreement, in two or three
years, any compensation for expenditure upon
buildings. Yet, if the farm was put in the
market, it would probably fetch, mainly owing
to these improvements, nearly double the
sum which was paid for it when purchased. I
venture to think that this expenditure by
the tenant on these permanent improvements
on an upland farm, his payment of 3,400 in
rent, 350 in tithes, 450 in land tax and
rates, fairly establish what is popularly known
as " tenant right."



266 EVIDENCE TENDERED TO THE

The Crofter Commission laid emphasis upon
the opinion so often expressed before them
that the small tenantry of the Highlands
have an inherited inalienable title to security
of tenure in their possessions while rent and
service are duly rendered. It is an impression
indigenous to the country, though it had not,
before 1886, been sanctioned by legal recogni-
tion, and had long been repudiated by the
action of the proprietors. There is a similar
ineradicable impression in Wales, and we urge
that it should likewise in Wales receive legal
recognition. The consolidation of estates,
the consolidation of farms, and the exercise
of manorial rights on the wastes and common
pastures of Wales contravene diametrically
the whole spirit of the old Celtic tenures of
Wales. Lists will be handed to the Com-
missioners from every rural district in Wales
showing how small tenancies have disappeared,
how the rural population is decreasing and
how labourers are drifting to the towns.
Enclosures have been ruthlessly made without
sufficient forethought for the poor. As a rule,
common pastures and meadows have been



ROYAL COMMISSION ON LAND. 267

shared among landowners of townships in a
proportion corresponding to the area of the
estates already belonging to them there. I
trust that this Commission will help to
regulate the remainder of unappropriated land
of Wales. In a return just issued by the
Board of Agriculture, it appears that there
are approximately in Wales 953,000 acres of
unenclosed mountain land, sheep runs and hill
grazings, over which sheep and other live stock
range for at least a portion of the year.

Mr. Price, of Rhiwlas, said at Bala (Q. 8169) :
" My tenants have sheep walks on mountain
land on this estate, which right is invested in
me."

Mr. Wynne, of Peniarth, said at Barmouth
(Q. 9458) : " The rights of pasturage (on the
hill wastes) are vested in the owner. They
are part and parcel of the rents. If there were
no sheep walks, the farms would not command
half the rent."

The late Lord Penrhyn, before the Richmond
Commission (1879) said : " There was at one
time a great deal of pulling down walls in
one part of Carnarvonshire. There had been



268 EVIDENCE TENDERED TO THE

an enclosure under the Enclosure Com-
missioners and the people, who were in the
habit of sending sheep on to the downs,
pulled down the walls from time to time ; and
when I was appointed the Lord Lieutenant
of the County, on finding that I could not get
any evidence against the parties who did it,
we got the county to raise an additional force
of police, and to quarter them in the district
and charge that district with the amount of
their expenses."

These deliberate statements how hill grazings
and common pasture have been enclosed, how
the rights to them are claimed to be vested
in the rent receivers, and how they are made
to swell the rent-rolls of great estates are facts
of pregnant interest to the student of the
economic history of the land of Wales under
the influence of English rule and law, especially
in the contrast which they afford to the student,
of the historical development of the agrarian
laws and customs of Switzerland. In the
ancient Laws of Wales, the common pastures
and hill grazings were jealously guarded by the
courts of the cantrev and cwmwd because, so runs



ROYAL COMMISSION ON LAND. 269

the law, " every wild and waste belongs to the
country and kindred (gwlad a chenedl), and
no one has a right to exclusive possession of
much or little land of that kind." That was
the cardinal principle. Every grant of the
waste, every encroachment was carefully
regulated by the cantrev and cwmwd courts.
With the revival of local self-government, some
public and local control of the common
pastures and hill grazings, in the interests of
rural economy, may fairly be expected.

The last of the five tests which were laid
down at the outset is perhaps becoming the
most serious and solemn question of all. Is
the rent or surplus produce of the land over and
above what is necessary to feed, clothe,
maintain and educate the tillers of the soil,
wisely spent in the interests of the community
of Wales.
 



Sunday, 5 April 2015

Wales: April 6th 1835 - Remembering the Execution of Edward Morgan leader of Scotch Cattle

video

The 'Scotch Cattle' first appeared in the early 1820's.The movement was formed by discontented workers mainly from the coal mines of the Monmouthshire valleys.

Their aims were to improve the pay and working conditions of the local workers but their tactics  were for direct action against  any person or group who opposed their working class cause.

They existed as a secret society with its members swearing allegiance under pain of death to the Scotch Cattle.

Each Valley town and village had its own group and a leader was elected, usually a person respected and feared for his aggressiveness and physical strength, known as the 'Bull' or in Welsh 'Tarw' 


Their meetings were always clandestine, being held at dark in secret locations usually on hillsides.

Victims were usually workers who had 'blacklegged' or refused to join strike action or workers who were prepared to work for less money.


A warning would be issued to offenders - failure to comply would invoke drastic consequences.

Retribution was swift - offenders were 'scotched' which involved a visit by the Cattle, faces blackened and dressed in animal skins with the 'Tarw' wearing a headdress bearing a bull's horns.

Normally, the punishment would be undertaken by a herd from another area to avoid recognition by local residents.


The Cattle's code, however, dictated that any foodstuffs found in the household would always be left intact.

Company property was also targeted, with Truck shops and other buildings ransacked and burned down.

Despite attempts by the authorities to penetrate the movement and bring the ring leaders to book, their activities continued for many years mainly due to the extreme secrecy of their organisation and the reluctance of the general population to speak against their actions.

The movement was said to have declined after 1835 when one of their members, Edward Morgan a coal miner, was tried for murder and hanged at Monmouth Jail on 6th April 1835 but see link below for the second Tarw Scotch Revolt in Aberdare in the 1850's.


See Also;
http://democracyandclasstruggle.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/after-1831-scotch-cattle-by-alan-jones.html


 

 
Edward Morgan should be has famous in Wales as Dic Penderyn and Lewis Lewis but has largely been written out of history.
 
Our task at the Great Unrest Group is to bring him back and get him recognition has leader of the Scotch Cattle's fight for social justice expressed in those days as natural justice
 

Ireland : 1916 speech by Brian Leeson of Eirigi

.


Citizens Celebration of 1916 - Dublin

"In 1916 these... streets were a battleground. 99 years later there is another battle being fought – a battle about how the centenary of the Rising should be commemorated.

On one side of this battle is the political establishment. They want to remember all of the ‘participants’ of the 1916 Rising - to treat the British soldiers who suppressed the Rising as equals to the Volunteer soldiers who fought to establish an Irish Republic.

If you saw their 1916 video you’ll know what I’m talking about – packed full of images of the British Queen, David Cameron, Ian Paisley, Bono and Bob Geldof – without a rebel in sight!

In truth there are many in the political establishment who would rather commemorate the battle of the Somme than the 1916 Rising. And they would rather turn Moore Street into a shopping arcade than part of a 1916 historical quarter.

Then there are people like us - people who believe that the 1916 Rising was one of the most important and brilliant events in the history of our nation - people who want to not only remember 1916 – but also to celebrate it.

And that is what we are doing today. We are unapologetically celebrating the 1916 Rising. We celebrate the women and men who took up arms to end British rule and establish an Irish Republic. We celebrate their bravery. We celebrate their integrity. We celebrate the vision of those who fought for the Republic in 1916.

Closet Republicans Are Coming Out!

Over the next twelve months every chancer in the country is going to try and jump on the 1916 bandwagon. The most unexpected people are going to tell you that they’ve been proud Irish republicans all along. Blueshirts, revisionists, west-Brits, shoneens and gombeens will all declare themselves the true inheritors of 1916.

These closet republicans are

• the same people that maintain partition and support the British occupation of the Six Counties
• the same people who surrendered sovereignty to the EU and Troika
• the same people who voted to bail out the private banks
• the same people who have given away our natural resources
• the same people who are imposing austerity from Leinster House and Stormont
• the same people who are trying to make us pay again for our water
• these same people have spent the last 99 years trying to restore the system that existed before the 1916 Rising

Learn the Lessons of History

 The last hundred years have taught us words and slogans are cheap.

 It’s easy to wrap yourself in the tricolour and declare yourself a proud republican.

 It’s easy to say you want a country that cherishes all the children of the nation equally.

 Collins did it, Dev did it, Haughey did it and over the course of the next twelve months they’ll all be at it.

 But action and inaction speak far louder than words!

James Connolly understood that removing the British crown from Ireland wasn’t enough. He understood that it wasn’t enough to change one flag for another. He understood that Irish freedom from British rule would be useless if that freedom wasn’t used to deliver a national, economic, social and cultural revolution.

And that remains as true today as it did over a century ago.

So the next time someone declares their republican credentials to you, as they ask you to support them or vote for them why don’t you ask them a few questions.

Ask them are they willing to take on the elite – not just with rhetoric or slogans – actually take them on.
Are they willing to take back our oil, gas, fisheries, lead, zinc and other natural resources?
Are they willing to put the developer and speculator class out of business permanently?
Are they willing to do what has to be done to provide every family with a home?
Are they willing to outlaw all forms of private money-lending and banking?
Are they willing to end the private ownership of the media? Are they willing to make the corporations pay proper tax on their profits?

Are they willing to challenge imperialism in Ireland – to challenge British, EU and US interference in Ireland’s affairs?

Are they willing to do what needs to be done to establish a Republic of the type that envisioned in 1916.

You judge the answers for yourselves and see how they measure up to the politics of Connolly, the Citizen Army and the revolutionary politics of 1916.

Twelve Months to Organise Community Celebrations of 1916

 The Dublin government, political parties, trade unions and others are all announcing their plans for events to mark the 1916 centenary.

And that’s all well and good but wouldn’t it be great if communities all over the thirty-two counties started organising their own commemorations, public meetings, the erection of monuments and community parties for 1916?

Why wait for governments or political parties to lead the way?

Imagine if communities in villages, towns and cities across the Thirty-Two Counties took ownership of the 1916 centenary celebrations.

What’s stopping any of us from working with our neighbours to organise community-based events to mark the centenary?

Imagine the potential for change that could be unleased if large numbers of people came to understand and then support the politics of revolution – of the complete destruction of the old order and the creation of a new all-Ireland Republic.

The message at the heart of socialist republicanism is one of possibility and hope – of a democratic economy and an equal society where everyone can reach their full potential – of the country that can be built after occupation and capitalism.

Why don’t we all set ourselves the challenge of spreading that message over the next twelve months – of working with our families, neighbours and friends to spread the revolutionary politics of 1916 and of organising centenary celebrations in our communities.

That, my friends, would be a very fitting tribute to those who have given their lives that we might all be free.