Thursday, 28 May 2020

From politics, school inspections to broadcasting and journalism


Never too old to learn new skills and make a contribution. 

The story so far.

My learning experience with #LlanelliOnLine   #WalesNewsOnline  #LlanelliTalkRadio and more. Learnt a lot about the important contribution of #hyperlocals



Is it Cummings’ government now?

This is a short article I wrote on #WalesNewsOnline

Fact is no PM from Harold Wilson to Theresa May (9 of them) would have tolerated what Cummings did and most certainly not a press conference in the Downing Street Rose Garden to boot

I have a hunch that Boris Johnson will come to regret securing the prize of becoming PM for which, he has struggled so long. I say this because it is my belief that the experience of the premiership ....



Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Gwenno Dafydd composes her words to the European Anthem 'Ode To Joy'

Gwenno wrote her words in both Welsh and English as an outpouring of her grief in leaving the European Union. 

She lived in Brussels and Gent, in Belgium for a total of five years and her husband comes from Belgium. She led the singing on behalf of the Welsh contingency in Green Park during the last Anti Brexit march in London  when she sang the first verse of the English version extensively all the way to Parliament Square. You can read more about her work here.  www.gwennodafydd.co.uk

Gwenno Dafydd is a freelance professional ‘Leadership and Public Speaking Coach’ and has  been a professional performer and writer since 1980. She has published a book about women in comedy, (Stand Up & Sock it to them Sisters. Funny, Feisty Females)  performs a one woman show about Edith Piaf entitled ‘Passionate about Piaf and has written over a hundred lyrics including the (bilingual)  Saint David’s Day Anthem, 
https://tycerddshop.com/products/cenwch-y-clychau-i-dewi-solo-heulwen-thomas-gwenno-dafydd

'Ode to Joy'

We are stronger all together
Let our voices be as one
Sisters, brothers stand together
Join our voices in one song
Europe is our home and harbour
Brining peace and harmony 
We will fall once we’re divided
We must stay one family

We will grieve forever leaving
Our united family
Lies were spun by those deceiving
Lies to stop us being free
We were stronger as one union
Nor apart but part of you
Though we now are separating
We will always love EU 

We are all so broken hearted
And the future feels so dark
Though the embers are still growing
We have lost our vital spark
Though our hearts are sad and heavy 
And our future feels less bright
We will never give up hoping 
And today begins our fight. 

© Gwenno Dafydd 22nd January 2010

** Gwenno will be singing this in German, Welsh and English at the Wales For Europe event by the Aneurin Bevan statue Saturday morning Feb 1st. 

Sunday, 15 September 2019

The Plaid Cymru, Welsh Lib Dems and Greens Wales General Election 2019 Pact.


Never easy to negotiate but it’s the only way forward

Here’s my take on it

Prior to the Brecon and Radnor by election- when both Plaid Cymru and the Greens indicated that they were willing to stand aside and give the Welsh Lib Dems a free run - it was the correct decision, and without which I am not sure that Jane Dodds would have captured the seat.

Now there is speculation of a pending allocation of constituencies deal between the three parties for the forthcoming General Election, which is not that far away.

In the 1980s I was co-share of negotiating teams between the SDP and the Liberals for similar arrangements in the 1983 and 1987 General Elections and the Euro election in 1984. The agreements were relatively harmonious, although hard negotiated over. That was because party loyalties run deep and there were several constituencies where the decision was marginal and the lead party allocation could have been different. So there was an element of compromise and quid pro quo.

I am sure that is the situation in the current negotiations, if not more so.

So during last day or so I took it upon myself to come up with a suggested seat allocation between the parties.

My parameters were the constituency results  for the General Election 2010, which was probably the last general election held in ‘ normal circumstances’. By that I mean the General Election 2015 was one where the Lib Dems were severely punished because of the coalition years. The 2017 General Election was heavily influenced by  Brexit and tactical voting hence it became a two horse race between the Tories and Labour. Then I looked at the Senedd Election results of 2016 and the recent  Euro elections.

There are a few seats in the tables below that could have been allocated differently. Of course   Ceredigion is taken out of the equation because, let’s face it hell would freeze over before either Welsh Lib Dems or Plaid Cymru would agree to stand down.

I also had a difficulty in allocating seats to the Welsh Greens, as much as I agree with a great deal of what they stand for. Nevertheless, since there are seats that can be allocated either way – I have not included them in the tables below. 

They are

Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire
Newport West - altho' was tempted to make WLD
Swansea East
Vale of Clwyd

Possibly they could be four constituencies where the Greens could stand.

 Group 1

Welsh Liberal Democrats - 8
       Plaid Cymru - 10
Brecon and Radnor
Aberconwy
Cardiff Central
Caerphilly
Cardiff North
Cardiff West
Cardiff S E and Penarth
Carms East and Dinefwr
Clwyd South
Clwyd West
Merthyr and Rhymney 
Llanelli
Monmouth
Neath
Montgomery
Ynys Mon

Dwyfor Meirionydd

Arfon


Group 2

Welsh Liberal Democrats - 11
       Plaid Cymru - 6
Aberavon
Blaenau Gwent
Alun and Deeside
Cynon Valley
Bridgend
Islwyn
Newport East
Preseli
Swansea West
Rhondda
Torfaen
Ogmore
Vale of Glamorgan

Gower

Pontypridd

Wrexham

Delyn


Anyway that’s my shot at it. Lets see what transpires.

Friday, 6 September 2019


Towards a Wales Constitutional Convention

Meeting convened at the Castle Hotel, Merthyr -  Sept 7 10.00a.m.

Following yesterday’s (September 5 ) brief and uninspiring  presentation (one could hardly call it a debate) and the negative decision arrived at in the Senedd on whether or not to establish a Wales Constitutional  Convention I am more than ever convinced that a ‘ Peoples Convention’  is vital

The founding of such a Convention is necessary to review the various applications of a partially sovereign, and sovereign, Wales within a range of available potential isle-wide frameworks. These include devo-max, federalism, confederalism, confederal federalism, and what is understood as Welsh independence within Europe.

Powers and functions of governance are pooled, or shared centrally, to varying extents within these options, having different implications for the way in which individuals relate to their respective national parliaments and to that of the centre. It is now necessary to explore the nature of the UK going forward, so that it, and Wales’s place within it, can be made modern for the 21st Century.

Over the last two to three years a number of people from various political parties, and no party affiliation at all, have been speaking and writing on the need for a Convention. Along with a few others I have been advocating the establishment of such a standing body to advance the need for significant and major constitutional reform in the UK. And of Wales’s place within it.

Despite all this, whilst there has been encouraging noises, even from a past Prime Minister and a former First Minister for Wales, nothing has happened. Fundamental reform will not advance by accident, it has to be planned for. I am clear that without the development of a Convention, Wales could be caught out and possibly left behind as constitutional change is advanced in other parts of the UK.

I see it as a catalyst for the way ahead and am happy to be the facilitator in the Convention’s early development. Of course, as the months progress it is hoped that it will become a much more significant body with Westminster and Senedd politicians, local government, academics, voluntary organisations and a wider representation of Welsh civic society participating. It is imperative that our approach is diverse and all-Wales in design.

The aim is to, methodically and sensibly enable participants to discuss and share opinions as to the best constitutional future for Wales. The first meeting will be agreeing aims and objectives, possibly considering a small number of papers, and setting the programme of work to come. For instance, the most effective modern constitutions articulate the essential framework of governance and are open to modifications in time, such as the pooling of sovereignty in supra-national bodies.

Exploration is required of areas such as:

  • Internal workings of Wales as a nation state within a range of possible constitutional options available, including various applications of sovereignty
  • Institutional relationships within these constitutional frameworks
  • Allocation of powers, rights and laws
  • Fiscal decentralisation and economic performance

  • 1
     
    Social impacts.’
 I envisage that the Agenda items could include

1)    Aims & objectives of the Standing Conference on a Welsh Constitutional Convention

2)     Constitutional Relationships and Sovereignty in these Isles – scene setting paper
3)    Bibliography of reports and documents to read & review

4)    Agree programme of work
- How often to meet?
- How large should the Standing Conference be?
- How long should the Convention be?


In addition the Aims and Objectives could be along the following lines

Arrive at the best Constitutional Structure for Wales

To thoroughly examine the needs of, specifically Welsh, democratic life

Investigate existing models and presentation from leading authorities to plan the structure of future democratic institutions for Wales

Build consensus across Wales

Contribute towards any Constitutional investigations that the Welsh Government will initiate and conduct. 

Monday, 1 July 2019

Fiftieth anniversary of Charles's Investiture


Tryweryn, Cymdeithas yr Iaith, Bombing campaigns, Investiture and the political future.

This weekend I was interviewed by Alan Evans of Wales News Online on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Prince of Wales’s Investiture. The purpose was to reflect on the political, social and other more troubling events leading up to and after the decade. 

Here the audio link

I was at the time the Research and Public Relations Officer for the Labour Party in Wales. This brought me into regular contact with the then Secretary of State for Wales and occasionally the Prime Minister Harold Wilson. Also, since 1967, I was the Prospective Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Carmarthen standing against Gwynfor Evans.

Throughout it all, the Investiture proved popular, opinion polls showing that around three quarters of the people supported it, although half  were concerned about the expense. As in other parties, Plaid Cymru supporters were divided over the Investiture - along with the rest of Wales many backed the monarchy.

A year of celebrations was built around the Investiture – ‘Croeso 69’. The investiture itself brought in a world wide TV audience of 500 million, including 19 million in Britain and 90,000 were on the streets of Caernarfon.

However,it was a turbulent decade starting with the drowning of Cwm Tryweryn, the blowing up of a power transformer and the jailing of two people. including Owain Williams, leading to the inevitable political fallout throughout Wales and much soul searching within the nationalist movement.

Then, later the Saunders Lewis’s ‘Tynged yr Iaith’ lecture led to the formation of Cymdeithas yr Iaith that brought Dafydd Iwan fame not only through his Welsh language campaigning but also with his satirical protest songs about the Investiture.

Of some importance however was the emergence of a group called the Free Wales Army led by Cayo Evans, who  became a rather well known figure and who, along with eight others, was also jailed during the period. 

A more significant group however was Mudiad Amddiffyn Cymru (MAC)  - led by John Jenkins, who was eventually jailed for 10 years. Over a two year period 1968/69 bombing atrocities happened at a number of locations in Wales and sadly there were fatalities. On the morning of the Investiture two activists were killed at Abergele, when the bomb they were carrying exploded. Few days later a young boy was disabled by a bomb left in the town and later a soldier too was killed at an army barracks. Thankfully such acts of violence have long been consigned to the past.

Needless to say throughout much of the decade the police and secret service personnel were extremely active across Wales as has been well documented.

The interview concludes with the interviewer and I drawing on some of the underlying historical themes from the 60s/70s to the present exploring how today’s Brexit process raises pertinent questions about the future of the UK Union. 

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Gwynoro yn ymateb i adolygiad Vaughan Hughes yn Cylchgrawn Barn

Wela i ddim byd anraslon nac anghytbwys yn fy llyfyr 'Gwynoro a Gwynfor' 

Beth sydd yma ydy cofnod o'r hyn a welais, glywais ac a dystiais 

Un nod syml oedd wrth fwrw ati i sgrifennu’r llyfr ‘Gwynoro a Gwynfor’, sef croniclo hanes etholaeth Caerfyrddin 1966-75, a hynny mewn modd nad oedd wedi ei wneud mewn un cyfrol o’r blaen. Roedd y croniclo’n seiliedig ar archif gynhwysfawr nes i gasglu dros y cyfnod hwnnw. Mae corff y llyfr yn adrodd y stori fel roedd yn datblygu ar y pryd ac yn y bennod ola rydw i’n pwyso a mesur wrth edrych nôl heddi ar ddigwyddiadau’r cyfnod. Dw i ddim yn siŵr os ydy Vaughan Hughes wedi deall y strwythur yma. Trueni iddo ostwng i lefel tabloid trwy fy nghuddo o ‘bigo crachen’. Sylw arwynebol ar y gore.

Mae’n ddigon posib bod rhai yn gwybod am rhai o’r straeon sydd yn y llyfr eisoes, wrth gwrs ei fod e. Yng Nghymru ydyn ni wedi’r cyfan. Ond, mae y mwyafrif helaeth iawn o’r deunydd yma sydd yn gwbl newydd, fel mae’r rhan fwyaf wedi nodi wrth ymateb i’r llyfr, gan gynnwys mewn sgyrsiau radio a theledu ac adolygwyr eraill hefyd. Ac mae cael y cyfan gyda’i gilydd rhwng dau glawr yn newydd hefyd.

Ymgais oedd i ososd ar gof a chadw yr hyn ‘a welais, glywais ac a dystiais’. Ie,dweud yr hanes fel ‘roeddwn yn ei fyw ar y pryd. Wrth gwrs bod stori Gwynfor wedi cael ei cyfnodi droeon a throeon, ac mae hynny yn haeddiannol. Ond mae’r llyfr hwn yn cymeryd agwedd gwahanol ar bethe.

Roeddwn yn deall y bydde rhai yn anhapus â hyn. ‘Rwyn cofio’r diweddar Dr Phil Williams yn dweud wrthyf tua diwedd y saithdegau – ‘Fe geision ni ym Mhlaid Cymru dy ysgrifennu di allan o’rholl gyfnod a gwneud yn siŵr nad oedd fawr ddim son amdanat’. Wel,chwerthynais ar y pryd, ond roedd go agos at ei le. Mewn gwirionedd, mae’n dal i barhau hyd yn oed yn adolygiad Vaughan Hughes – a oes unrhyw gyfeiriad at fy ngweithgaredd â’m ymdrechion fel Aelod Seneddol? Na, anwybyddu’r cyfan! 

Dyw e ddim yn sôn am fy ymdrechion pan yn Aelod Seneddol, ac ymhell cyn hynny, i wneud y Blaid Lafur yn fwy Cymreigedd â’m cyfraniad sylweddol tuag at hybu datganoli. Cyfraniad sydd yn cynnwys bod y cynta i siarad Cymraeg yn un o’r Seneddau Ewropeaidd, cymryd fy llw yn y Gymraeg yn San Steffan a bod yn cyd-drefnydd sefydlu’r broses i ganiatau i unrhyw un arall wneud hynny hefyd i’r dyfodol. Dyma’r fath o ffeithie sydd wedi profi’n dân ar groen Plaid Cymru erioed.

Mae’n rhaid pwysleisio un pwynt mwy personol. Does dim chwerwder ynglŷn â’r holl ymrafael a fu yn perthyn i fi o gwbl bellach. Dyna pam ro’ ni’n hapus i sgrifennu’r llyfr nawr, gan fod unrhyw deimladau cas wedi hen fynd a bod modd croniclo’n fwy cytbwys. Wrth gwrs fe fu ‘colbio, dirmygu a diraddio’ o blaid cefnogwyr ac aelodau Llafur a Plaid Cymru. 

‘Roedd yn gyfnod chwerw gyda atgasedd amlwg fel mae’r llyfr yn son. Profais yr atgasedd â’r chwerwder yna droeon, yn enwedig ar nosweithiau etholiadau 1970 a 1974. Bu’n rhaid i’r heddlu fy rhwystro rhag annerch y dorf yn‘70 oherwydd yr awyrgylch cas, a chefais bygythiadau personnol wedi cyfri etholiad ‘74 pan enillais o dair pleidlais, a bu’n rhaid i’r heddlu warchod fy nghartre am dau ddiwrnod.  Ydw, dwi’n gwbod digon am ddicter cefnogwyr Plaid Cymru y dyddie hynny. Dangoswyd cryn dipyn o chwerwder ac atgasedd hefyd tuag at etholwyr Sir Gar oherwydd i Gwynfor golli, yn y cylchgrawn ‘Taliesin’ er enghraifft.

Ond dyw’r dicter yna ddim wedi corddi dros y pedwar degawd a mwy ers hynny. Yn y blynyddoedd diwetha, dw i wedi rhannu llwyfan gyda rhai o selogion y Blaid ar faterion yn ymwneud a datganoli pellach i Gymru, gan gynnwys hunan lywodraeth i’n Cenedl.  Ni fyddai unrhyw chwerwder wedi caniatau i fi wneud hynny. A beth bynnag, dw i ddim am adael i unrhyw chwerwder o’r gorffennol pell ddiflasu fy mywyd a finne nawr yn fy saithdegau!


Dydw i ddim yn derbyn hefyd fod yna ‘anraslonrwydd’ gennyf ac mae’r penode olaf yn dangos hyn yn amlwg, lle dwi’n cyfadde gwendidau ac yn dyfaru ambell beth.

Difyr nodi bod Vaughan Hughes yn disgwyl i fi fod yn wrthrychol. Gallai ddim bod yn gwbl wrthrychol, dim mwy nag y gall e wrth fy meirniadu. Mae ei sylwadau yn sicr yn ategu’r hyn a nodir yn y llyfr, sef ei fod yn annodd iawn beirniadu Gwynfor o gwbl, er gwaetha ei wendidau â’i ffaeleddau amlwg. Ond lleiafrif oddifewn i BlaidCymru sydd wedi mynegu’r un farn â Vaughan Hughes, yn gyhoeddus o leia. Mae nifer fawr, yn enwedig y genhedlaeth ifanca, yn gweld pethe fel ma nhw, heb yr eilun addoli. Dw i’n cadw at y safbwynt sydd yn y llyfr, doedd Gwynfor ddim yn wleidydd da,cenhadwr oedd e – a dyna fy ymwneud i ag e yn y brwydrau etholaethol. Mae lan i eraill i werthuso ei gyfraniad mewn meysydd eraill.

Mae’r llyfr yn gorffen trwy fynegi dyhead didwyll y bydde wedi bod yn beth da petai Gwynfor a fi wedi siarad a thrafod gyda’n gilydd. Wnaethom hynny erioed, yn hytrach anwybyddu’n gilydd a fu. Bydde’r ddau ohonom wedi cytuno ar gryn dipyn dw i’n argyhoeddedig. Welai ddim byd anghytbwys nac anraslon yn y fath osodiad.

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Some quotes from the book Gwynoro a Gwynfor.


The response of Gwynfor supporters following Gwynoro’s victory in 1970.
I was prohibited from delivering my victory speech because of the behaviour of the crowd. I was denied the privilege usually afforded the victor. On the night itself, I didn’t mind that very much as enjoying the victory was ore than enough.

But the time came to think about leaving the Guildhall. The police were very unsure if Laura and I should go out at all. They told us that it certainly wasn’t safe to leave through the front door because they couldn’t guarantee our safety.
After winning the 3 votes in the February 1974 election.
When we arrived home the phone rang around six times with death threats that night, all different voices. We rang the police and for the next 72 hours they intercepted the phone calls at the police station.
Vietnam.
Plaid Cymru was not united in its support for Gwynfor’s visit to Vietnam. Many, understandably, feared for his safety and indeed, his life. On a more ideological level, the right wing of the Party thought that the visit would be interpreted as support for the Communists who were fighting against the USA. Another concern, one that was relevant to me in the Carmarthen constituency, is that a foreign visit would re-enforce the image many had of Gwynfor anyway, which was that of him perceiving himself as being the Member for Wales and not the member of Parliament for Carmarthen.
On a more political level, this was a golden opportunity for me to score some more points against Gwynfor. After returning from Cambodia ( he never got to Vietnam, he was refused entry) Gwynfor made many comments about the situation in Vietnam, including in the House of Commons. Two of his comments prompted me to respond to him in the press. Firstly his suggestion that it was the Americans who were to blame for the war, a comment made in the Commons. And secondly, his comment comparing Plaid Cymru with the National Liberation Front in South Vietnam. Both comments were completely bonkers!
Bombing.
(End of 1967, a bomb exploded in the Temple of Peace, Cardiff. It was an act of protest against the Investiture of the Prince of Wales in 1969. A meeting to make some arrangements for that Investiture was to be held in the Temple of Peace.)
Gwynfor was asked to condemn the use of violence in the name of nationalism. He refused to do so. He was asked to do so in the House of Commons as well. He refused. That was not a surprise to me. Because immediately after his by-election victory (in 1966) he said this in The Times:
The government does not think anyone is serious until people blow up things or shoot others.
My response in the local newspapers was to suggest that some people might well have taken Gwynfor at his word.
Gwynfor though, in the Western Mail and on the Heddiw TV programme, claimed that the Secret Services were responsible for the bombing, in an attempt to bring shame and disrepute on the nationalist cause.
The Investiture.
People had come to accept that Gwynfor would not be at the Investiture Ceremony. But they weren’t prepared to accept that he was going to meet the Prince in Carmarthen on his Royal journey around Wales after the Investiture. Many nationalists stated that they would stand against Plaid Cymru in the next election if Gwynfor met the Prince. They felt that strongly. For the majority, Gwynfor’s decision to meet the Prince after refusing to go the Investiture was nothing less than hypocrisy. Gwynfor lost a lot of respect as a result of that decision. If he had kept to his principles, the story might well have been different. Even some of his own fellow nationalists called him Sioni Bob Ochr. (Johnny-every-side)
Germany.
(In the middle of the miners dispute with Ted Heath’s government in the early Seventies, Gwynfor published a book. Wales can Win.)
Many comments in that book angered me.
German invaders could not have caused more than a fraction of the havoc to Welsh national life than the British system had been wreaking for generations.
He made similar comments when Russia invaded Czeckoslovakia. He claimed at that time that the oppression suffered by the Welsh at the hands of the English was far worse. Referring to the Second World War specifically, he said:
At a time when the vast majority of their fellow countrymen had been brainwashed by Britishness... to ask them to kill their fellow human beings for England in these circumstances was, they felt, to become murderers.
In the local press, I attacked such comments:
Gwynfor can not accept that in both World Wars, a great deal was at stake for the people of Wales, but according to him, these wars were waged ‘not to defend anything of great value to Wales’.
Fantastic promises.
In the Guardian, 23 September 1968, there’s a report on Gwynfor’s speech at Plaid Cymru’s conference that year.
A prediction that Wales would be a one-party state for up to three years after independence came from the President. ‘Plaid Cymru will hold the reins of power for one, two, three years after self- government. By then we have no doubt that other parties would have emerged and we could contest elections.’
Such comments harmed Plaid Cymru’s political credibility. It was evident to anyone who understood the system that such a thing was not possible practically, however correct the principle might be.
The Big ‘I’ word

The book discusses the debate about the use of the word ' independence '. It is about defining the central politics of nationalism. In that context, we read and hear a great deal about ‘independence’ these days by the new leader of Plaid Cymru, Adam Price. But from which hymn book was Gwynfor singing? Weighing and measuring the analysis undertaken for this volume, has caused me to think that his hands were not on the same page with Leanne and Adam. It was closer to his predecessor Saunders Lewis. Gwynfor also spoke in terms of confederation and dominion status.

Independence did not form part of the vocabulary of either of the two. But the attacks on Plaid Cymru in the period covered in this book are based on the belief that the party calls for an independent Wales. 

But here is Saunders Lewis

“Do not ask for independence for Wales. Not because it is impracticable but because it’s not worth having... we want not independence but freedom and the meaning of freedom in this respect is responsibility’’.

Yn 1976 Dr Pennar Davies published a book on Gwynfor and it he. In it he summarises his understanding of Gwynfor’s viewpoint


…’’it is not independence in the form of ‘untarnished sovereignty’ that is Plaid Cymru’s aim but an essential freedom to cooperate and work with other nations’’

Gwynfor as a politician.
…there’s no doubt that Gwynfor has been whitewashed to within an inch off being a saint by his followers. But in my dealings with him, I did not see a man who was close to being a saint. The impression I had was that he was a politician who had obvious weaknesses that affected his career, especially on a strategic evel and his consistent tendency to exaggerate!... He was an effective missionary but that effectiveness didn’t make him a good politician at all. It’s impossible to think of him in the same breath as some of the greats of the era, people like Clem Attlee who transformed the Welfare State, Aneurin Bevan who did the same with the Health service, and before the, Lloyd George. There are many more examples.

Thursday, 9 May 2019


TENSION AND HATE IN WELSH POLITICS DURING 60’s AND 70’s

If two characters were to ever crystallise the polar opposites of the fiery period of Welsh politics during the 60s and 70s, then they were Gwynoro Jones and Gwynfor Evans

Both MPs at one point during the era – certainly fit the bill. Plaid Cymru’s Gwynor Evans’ story has been told many times but not much attention has been given to the story of Gwynoro Jones. In Gwynoro a Gwynfor, which was published by Y Lolfa, Gwynoro’s side of the history of one of the most interesting periods in twentieth century Welsh politics is told.

The history is based on the extensive personal archive of the author, and his memories. The volume bridges the troubled periods between 1967 and 1974 as Gwynoro and Gwynfor Evans represented the same constituency at different times in the 1970s.

“I don’t think there was a period like it in Welsh politics, the mid-60s and beginning of the 70s was a constant battle between myself and Gwynfor. Both of us were lucky to be a part of things at that time. It was a time of battling the status quo, especially on constitutional matters relating to decentralisation and the Welsh language. During this period, Tryweryn - the flooding of Capel Celyn – was allowed to happen, Labour won its first general election for a number of years, violent years, bombing, protests, Cymdeithas yr Iaith and Saunders Lewis stirring things up within the Labour Party,” says Gwynoro Jones.

Despite the different outlook of the political parties, the well-being of the nation drove both men. This book includes an abundance of new stories of the tensions and conflicts between Gwynoro Jones and Gwynfor Evans. The journalist Gwilym Owen states in the Foreword of the book:

“From day one, there wasn’t any brotherly love between the two as individuals or between the political parties either. There was an atmosphere of goading and satire, a sourness and personal bickering to be found almost on a daily basis. You could say that there was hatred on every level.”

''There’s no doubt that Gwynfor himself has been whitewashed to almost a saint by his followers. But in my dealings with him, I didn’t see a man even close to being a saint,” says Gwynoro.

Gwynoro also states that there are similarities between the turbulent time and today, as discussions on decentralisation and independence for Wales and Europe are still hot topics:

“During the last few years, the political flame has reignited in me. I have a blog, a YouTube channel, a Facebook page, a Twitter account and the whole lot very active. I’m addressing meetings again, in the name of movements such as Yes Cymru. As a result, it’s natural that I’ve been looking back at the period when I was a Member of Parliament. That appetite is back now.”

By now, Gwynoro admits that he sees eye-to-eye with Gwynfor on many matters relating to Wales:

“I’m certain that if he was alive today we would agree on a number of things in the context of Wales’ future as a country and nation,” says Gwynoro in his book.

By now they are speaking the same language, including independence for Wales. According to Gwynoro, the term ‘independence’ for Wales was not one of Plaid Cymru’s wishes during the 60s and 70s, and it’s a relatively new idea in Welsh politics.

“The weighing up and analysing that I’ve done for this book, has made me think that Gwynfor Evans wasn’t singing from the same hymn sheet as Leanne Woods and Adam Price. He was closer to his predecessor (Saunders Lewis).”

Gwynoro states that he cannot remember or comprehend Gwynfor Evans ever using the term ‘independence’ in his speeches, his interviews, or in newspaper articles in the period mentioned. His analysis therefore is that both would have seen eye to eye on their desire for freedom, sovereignty and self-governance for Wales instead of using the word ‘independence’. 

Gwynoro a Gwynfor by Gwynoro Jones and Alun Gibbard is available now (£9.99, Y Lolfa).

If you’d like to book Gwynoro Jones to speak to your society or club, please contact him by telephoning 07710 451845 or e-mailing gwynoro2@sky.com