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Yr Ardystiad - Campaign Against The Treason Felony Act 1848
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:54 am    Post subject: Yr Ardystiad - Campaign Against The Treason Felony Act 1848 Reply with quote



You might wonder why I have begun this topic thread with a picture of four old farts giving you a friendly wave and clutching a flag between them. These are my old friends with whom I have spent decades of my life in the company of : they are kind and loyal and concerned for my welfare in the way that everybody hopes that their friends will be. They practice the Politics of Love and out of love for me, and in return for a round of drinks, they agreed to rehearse and perform the first new wording of the flag ceremony that I have been developing in response to a request passed to me from some A.M.s to perform some kind of oath or pledge of allegiance to the Wales to establish their republican credentials on the day that the monarchy visit to open the Welsh Assembly on 7th June 2011. As a Quaker, I will not deal in oaths or in blind pledges of allegiance - not even to " the god that I do not believe in," though I place my faith in my chosen spiritual practice of collective silent worship. I try not to deal in pointless pantomimes either, I like my politics to be like my religion : devoid of pretensions, rationally argued and purposefully directed towards making the world that I live in a better place for everybody.

As a Republican Democrat, I disagree with the Democratic Republican argument of " Vox Populi, Vox Dei " and so I do not accept that voting is a good way to make decisions. Although I accept that voting is a way of selecting representatives, there are other ways that are politically more constructive and which can result in better political decisions being made. I have come to abhor the idea of " The Will of The People " being established by political parties contending in general elections where in Wales and the UK we have parties claiming the right to govern on the basis of ' majorities ' that can consist of a fraction of a single percent of the votes cast, and where the parties acquiring the power to rule can do so on a mandate that is less than ten percent of the electorate. They then proceed to govern by voting which they do according to the will of their leaders who impose a whip to compel their followers to obey their personal will. What follows are political decisions based upon the prejudices of the leadership, upon the tribalism of the party and above all upon buying votes to keep that party in power by appealing to the private interests of the voters with the false promises to them in election manifestoes.

As a Republican Democrat I endorse the idea of " The General Will " which is arrived at by ensuring that the legislative body is composed of representatives elected in a variety of ways so that it properly reflects the society around it and it then conducts the business of government by a process of extended argumentation in which the respective private interests of all persons in society are taken into consideration. There is no voting, the process is one of establishing a decision upon a factual basis and therefore collectively understanding the truth about it and being able to understand the impact that the decision will have upon each individual in society. Instead of decisions hanging upon a dividing majority which is decided by what may be a single capricious vote cast in response to coercion by leaders, parties, voters or, even worse, lobbyists as happens in Democratic Republican political systems, in Republican Democratic political systems the process of deliberation develops a consensus of opinion that results in a uniting majority whereby representatives are conscientiously persuaded by good arguments.

In Democratic Republicanism minorities can never achieve their political aspirations because the political system is claimed to be based upon private interests but in fact these can never be secured for minorities because they can never win an election nor secure a decision because they always lack a sufficient number of votes. Nearly a hundred years ago, there was a very severe problem of this sort that beset the UK and it provoked the civil war within it that resulted eventually in the establishment of the Republic of Ireland. The devolution of law making powers to the Welsh Assembly has some what relieved the ' democratic defecit ' that resulted in Wales in the 1950's and 60's witnessing the spectre of political protest being capitalised upon by those who would use it to justify acts of property destruction ( though thankfully they decided against violence ) - but the Welsh Assembly's use of the UK's political system only slightly modified is throwing up all of the inherent problems of democracy that republicanism argues about.

But how are we to make those arguments when there is such prejudice against republicanism in the UK that when I made my representation to the All Wales Convention, the ' consultation ' excercise to ginger up public opinion in favour of voting ' Yes ' in the referendum to give the Welsh Assembly law making powers, the second that I explained that I was a republican and that I was drawing my argument for a Welsh Court from Montesquieu's " The Spirit of the Laws " ... well, I do not think that they got beyond hearing the word ' republican ' and they never considered the argument that I was making, although they did publish my submission on their website - unread I presume. This is ridiculous : this is a major political text, and the argument about the division of powers within the state to provide a judicial check on the political system is virtually uncontended in any modern democracy - except in the UK, which claims to have an unwritten constitution but in fact has a political establishment that deliberately obfuscates it. This is not me merely encountering some private prejudice in just one of those politically illiterate people in the UK establishment that I have to deal with at all levels, it is the whole of the UK's political system that is deeply steeped in anti-republican sentiment because of five hundred years record of republicans trying to change it. Much of what is now celebrated as being essentially ' British ' were in fact originally ' Republican ' political ideas, but they are not known by that name or understood as belonging to Republicanism because on 22nd April 1848 the Treason Felony Act was passed which, amongst other things, criminalised all speech and writing which advocated any infringement of the rights of the monarchy.

Public discussion of republicanism did not exactly cease, but any mention of it by name placed those discussing it in danger because everybody ' knew ' that arguing for republicanism was an offence under the Treason Felony Act 1848. Actually, the act does not mention republicanism and there are several reasons why it does not. It is couched in such language as to allow educated people such as myself to go on freely discussing the inheritance of political ideas derived from the ancient classical civilisations in places like universities or private clubs, and it assumes that we are all supporters of the UK's establishment with a vested private interest in it - but woe betide those traitors who use these ideas to argue against the political system. But republicanism by definition is about placing the public interest over our private interests and historically it inspired professional people to use these political ideas to address the greivances of ordinary uneducated people whose normal way of expressing their discontent was through rioting, their only way of influencing the political system because they were not enfranchised. As the industrial revolution progressed, it became obvious to many conscientious educated people that incompetant political decisions were being made about the UK state's conduct towards the disenfranchised because the people making them were appointed by the monarchy to act on behalf of the interests of even an more powerful aristocracy who had grown rich from slavery and from plundering the conquered peoples in the British Empire. Many argued for political reform, and mostly invoked older versions of republicanism that drew their values from religion, which argued that the monarch must be obedient to the will of God and therefore a Protestant, or from philosophy, which argued that the aristocracy had to be obedient to the dictates of Reason and therefore just towards those who were dependent upon them. Democratic Republicanism was merely a theoretical third option advocated by only a small handful of political theorists until the Corsican revolution of 1755, which then inspired the American ( arguably a Democratic Republican ) and French ( arguably a Republican Democratic ) revolutions.

News of revolutions resulting in democratic forms of goverment spread like wildfire amongst the disenfranchised in the UK, and in the 1790's the United Irishmen, Scotsmen, Englishmen and Britons in Wales began to agitate for reform and then for revolution. They found their advocates in educated people who freely offered their leadership to begin with, but the UK's establishment soon responded with a whole series of laws to progressively suppress insurrection, riot, protest and eventually even any political discussion of the cause of the whole problem, the monarchy and the aristocracy. The penalties were so harsh, and the despair of the impoverished workers so great that quite ordinary protests could quite quickly get out of hand so that the violence which ensued made advocacy by impossible, so when the Treason Felony Act 1848 was passed it completely broke the connection between the educated professional people who favoured Republican Democracy and the impoverished industrial workers who favoured Democratic Republicanism because they no longer had any sense of community with those who were no longer connected to them by the mutual ties of an agricultural society. Industrial society divided into social classes which became each others' antagonists, and Democratic Republicanism in Wales transmuted into Socialism and carried the red flag, derived from ' Red Republicanism,' and called for revolution. After a further thirty years or so, Republican Democracy, which had continued to be transmitted behind closed doors, became transmuted into Nationalism which carried the old green flag of democracy, and called for Home Rule. In effect, a political movement that had been a broad coalition around the centre-centre split into two halves, one moving left and the other moving right in the political spectrum, and both then ended up adopting the conventions of Democratic Republicanism in creating political parties that use voting because of the extension of the franchise in the UK. The connection with the original political philosophies of Republican Democracy and Democratic Republicanism was severed by the suppression of public political debate by the Treason Felony Act 1848 and only vestiges remain in the public life of Wales.

As a consequence of this history of the UK's establishment fighting a constant rearguard action against those who opposed its political system both inside the UK and outside of it, in which violence often featured because it refused to enfranchise its critics and consider their arguments, the images and understandings of republicanism in the UK are nearly all derived from the propoganda made against it. Even people who call themselves republicans in Wales rarely actually know anything about it e.g. they will usually call themselves ' republicans ' because they believe it to mean ' people who are against the monarchy and aristocracy, and in favour of democracy ' so to explain to them that republicanism is not ' against ' monarchy and aristocracy, indeed for centuries was an advocate of them and was deeply hostile to democracy, deeply puzzles them and I am typically dismissed rather than listened to : they ' know ' what republicanism is, and as often as not they ' know ' that I am a nationalist even though I specifically lay my emphasis upon internationalism. Well, they are wrong. Even worse than these people are those who are deeply excited by the idea that republicanism preaches a gospel of hatred and political violence, because these are the sorts of beliefs about republicanism that are derived from the UK establishment's propoganda which are used to justify the prejudice that I am complaining about encountering in Wales. This is excluding an important political theory from Wales' public political discourse at a critical moment in the development of the Welsh Assssembly when it has just acquired the power to make its own laws.

Republicanism is particularly relevant now because it is essentially an argument about how to make better laws, whatever political system that you happen to be living in. I say " better " because Modern Republicanisms have abandoned the religious and philosophical ideas that dictated what the laws should be of the earlier eras of Republicanism in favour of trying to create laws upon a scientific foundation, of building them up from the truth discerned from the facts of a situation, modelling what we ought to do in a provisional way that is always open to revision and improvement. To define a more general definition of what a ' republic ' is, think of it as any designed political system that is governed by a systematic and internally logical framework of ideas, which as often as not means that it is an entirely theoretical excercise in using an ideal model of government to criticise a real government. When republicanism is made into a real government it is distinctively different from other forms of government in one important respect : the sovereignty of a republic is vested in its laws i.e. in its system of ideas as written down in the law books written to govern it. If that system of ideas has been critically investigated and its origins understood and it provides itself with a means to consistently and critically understand itself and develop, we might call it an " ideology " i.e. we can class it as a " study of ideas." Marxism is such an ideology, but it presents a lot of problems because it endlessly explains away its own failures to correctly predict things, and remedies that failure by making its predictions come true by using coercion and violence. In response to Marxism, which contempts republicanism as " ideological," Post Modern Republicanism developed the idea of " meta - ideology " i.e. of an ideology that can not only explain itself and make useful predictions but can also explain other ideologies and make useful predictions about them too. Typically, this is way over the heads of most of Wales' professional politicians who just resolve differences of opinion by voting to decide " The Will of the People " instead of trying to develop a consensus on factual based matters as " The General Will." The latter demands that we make the effort to deconstruct our own ideas using an ideology in order to pool our ideas and build them up again into albeit partial meta - ideologies in order to make particular decisions that can create unity between people who share differing initial viewpoints.

If this all sounds very theoretical, it is - but it is a theoretical model of how social organisations like trade unions and single - issue campaign groups operate, enabling people of widely differing political convictions to work together and achieve the political objectives that they can agree upon. It is an educative sort of process in which the devisive political extremism of individually willfully advocating your own private interest and lobbying others to vote for it is replaced by a unifying political moderation built upon collectively investigating the public interest and agreeing what should be done to secure it. Republicans believe that the UK's political system is predicated upon the assumption that the public interest is no more than the overall sum of our contending private interests, and that this would in theory total to no more than zero were it not for the fact that the private interests of many people in society are not even considered because they are excluded by the way that it operates from receiving any representation at all. In contrast to the poor and powerless who really need the care of the state and the protection of its legal system, rich and powerful lobbyists have an undue influence upon the political process by being able to argue for their interests to politicians behind closed doors in the secretive political system that we have in the UK. The politicians of all political parties of the UK are immediately susceptible to being unduly influenced in this way because the minute that they are elected they undertake at all levels of government to run our society as if it were a commercial concern and not a social one. In effect, it is increasingly the case that the political consensus of the UK's establishment is that they are the managers of our society on behalf of international corporations who are now taking over the public functions of government as private business concerns which have a guaranteed profit margin. The welfare state is becoming a wealthfare state in which the taxpayer is compelled to pay more and more taxes for fewer and fewer services which are provided at lower and lower standards. The politicians are claiming that previous governments failed to be efficient in providing these services to a reasonable standard because of a lack of the sort of expertise to be found in the private sector, and that competition in the market will improve this situation. In reality, this is an admission of the failure of the political system - or perhaps from within the ideology of the UK establishment it is a successful ruse : politicians are no longer to be held accountable for what they do with tax payers' money, and it is no longer possible to find out who is responsible when things go wrong because of the contractual paper chases involved. These are the sorts of practical arguments that Republican Democrats make.

But we are failing to make these arguments heard because we are being treated as terrorists. It is only in the UK that republicanism is treated with such prejudice and contempt, in every other modern western democracy not only are the arguments of republicanisms of various sorts freely discussed but they are given serious consideration. In fact, in other countries the collapse of the USSR and the democratisation of many countries formally under control of the Commintern has given a new impetus to republicanism in general as the old arguments as to how to create effective and responsive political systems are re-examinined. The publication in 1997 of ' Republicanism : a theory of freedom and government ' by Philip Petit started a whole new series of arguments off about how republicanism should be formulated, and this book was specifically cited as a source of ideas for recent political reforms in Spain, yet these are never heard in Wales outside of the university. These ideas are relevant to the conduct of politics in Wales, and any and all political parties should be able to draw upon these arguments which cut right across the party political divisions in the Welsh Assembly. So how can we lever open the middle ground of Welsh politics and get these politicians to consider the relevant republican arguments ?

One in five people in Wales, more or less, describe themselves as ' republican ' - they may not all agree with the politics that I have just described, but they are willing to consider a republican identity politically. They are repelled, and rightly so, by the idea of associating themselves politically either with the likes of Gerry Adams or Sarah Palin. They want something relevant to their lives in Wales. We can offer them not only arguments from republican perspectives about contemporary Wales, but also a history of nearly five hundred years of republicanism in Wales. I propose that we offer people something simple to do that can help to publicise the truth about republicanism in Wales and will appeal to our nation's innate sense of " chwarae teg " - our little flag ceremony. In being offered the opportunity to have it displayed more publicly by involving these A.M.s I thought more carefully about its wording and how to translate it into Welsh. I had immediately been wary of their suggestion of an oath or pledge lest that compromise their legal undertakings to the UK state in taking their places as Assembly Members, and the verb ardystio had been suggested by the first person to translate it for me back in 2007. I not only liked it because it removed the sense of blind loyalty to a rag on a stick, but then it occurred to me to not specify which flag to use so that anybody could choose their own flag and so be loyal to their consciences as I would hope that our A.M.s would behave in the Welsh Assembly in making laws. The problem remained that these A.M.s might look a bit silly in doing this anyway unless it had some more serious purpose, and then it occurred to me that that purpose could be to challenge the Treason Felony Act 1848. Once it had occurred to me that this trivial, inoffensive and otherwise eccentric little pantomime could be construed as an infringement of this law, it spread a big grin across my face ... we might yet succeed with ridicule where litigation failed.

As you can see from the photograph at the head of this piece of writing, we really are a bunch of old farts who just enjoy a good old chin wag about just about anything and everything and over the years we have just about discussed it all except, rather surprisingly, the monarchy. It turns out that Roger, who is standing on the left, feels that he is a supporter of a constitutional monarchy provided that it is laid under the rule of law - a good republican argument, dating from the very earliest period of Renaissance Republicanism ( ~ 1450 - 1650 ). He had no problem attesting that the Red Dragon flag could be considered to be a symbol of the Republic in Wales. The very appropriately named Marianne was pleased to volunteer to be Yr Wladys Rydd, and understood the purpose of making a woman the centre of the event and repudiating the macho-pseudo militarism of other republican flag groups, so I guess that means she may be some sort of feminist republican. The lovely David the meek and mild really ought to inherit the world and organise it along the lines recommended by Mazzini, he is a saint amongst sinners in this photograph - and we are all very law abiding people, look you ... whereas Daf is probably sinner in chief, concocting his politics out of Marxism juxtaposed with his adherence to Anglicanism. Behind the camara on this occasion is myself, and you have a taste of my politics in the writing above and all over repwblic.informe.com which may look to the reader of this as if it has declined into merely my notepad to tap out my occasional musings upon. Not a bit of it, as administrator of this bulletin board and secretary of repwblic.org, I can tell you that whilst it has become rare for anybody else to write upon it recently there are a lot of people reading it and so it is fulfilling one of its purposes at least - to not hand over the internet to people who profess to be Welsh republicans yet spout only idle angry gossip and know nothing of proper republican politics.

My part in Cardiff Bay Republican Day was initially nothing more than offering a choice of flags and persuading those A.M.s who wished to make Yr Ardystiad to repeat these words after me :

" I / We attest that this flag is a symbol of the Republic in Wales.

[ If you wish to do this yourself, please be advised not to deviate from the words in this sentence above - it was carefully worded for legal reasons.]

I / We shall stand for the Truth against the World :
All nations are born of one People
All laws are born of one Justice
All freedoms are born of one Peace

Is there peace ? ( Peace ! Yes ! No ! ) "

[ In the spirit of honest debate and free inquiry, the idea is that the ardystwyr decide upon their own reply to this question ]

I now find myself taking a bigger part and writing draughts of speeches that I might give as M.C. if the person invited to do it should choose not to do so, I sense that the police may make it their business once again to interfere in our harmlessly conducted political lives and disrupt the event instead of merely observing us. Surveillance is fair enough I feel, but because we are republicans who criticise the political system as well as participating in it, they seem to feel licenced to behave in a way towards us that they would not dare to subject any other group to. I have to presume that they have already read some version of the text that I have proposed for a leaflet to bring, and when I have finally corrected it for reproduction I will put the text of it into a further posting later today for everybody to read and post some pictures to illustrate Yr Ardystiad.

I had an argument a couple of nights ago with a police officer whom I deemed to be neglecting a victim of an assault that I had witnessed : when the police arrived they were nice as pie but as soon as I expressed the view that the victim was in a state of shock and they should not be advising him to settle for twenty pounds for the damage to his car and to forget about the assault, they turned very authoritarian and ordered me away out of it. I usually get on well with the police, but this was a timely reminder of what to expect when they view me as trouble.

I feel a trifle anxious, not so much about a visit from the police to interview me about my juxtaposing the Human Rights Act 1998 against the Treason Felony Act 1848, because of the legal opinion expressed by Lord Stein in the House of Lords Appellate Committee that a peaceable expression of republican views will be upheld by the former as entirely legal ( and I am playing upon the contradiction between the two laws in order to get the latter reconsidered ) but about the time and place that they may want to interview me in i.e. am I about to have Tim Richards' experience in the early hours of the morning. If the police should get to read this beforehand, can I respectfully request that you simply thump the door loudly to wake me up and I will answer the door as promptly as possible - please do not rip the door off its hinges.

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Having composed the above text for the head of the thread, I rushed to hammer out the short statement that I had promised Leon the night before and left this to be reviewed before I posted it. It is a hell of a dense text to start off a thread which is about something very simple, but the proposed meeting is beginning to receive police attention and I am anxious to make it obvious to paranoid policemen that they should not be wasting their time on me or Leon. I am leaving the event itself entirely in Leon's hands, he has his project and I have mine. We are both concerned to get over the real republican politics, which is definitley not about marching around with flags - but why let the black factions have all the photovisual publicity if it is going to damage the reception of white arguments ? I stayed up all night to write the above and I needed a break anyway, but in checking in with Leon this morning to tell him that I was sorry that I was late with it but here is this ' summons from Yr Wladys Rydd ' he told me that Peter Tatchell has withdrawn for some unstated reason. This left me pondering as to why, and speculating as to whether the Met are in town who are clueless about our local political scene but perhaps likely to be throwing their weight around. My own inclination is to always keep the police informed if it is public event, but this is more or less a private party organised by some local politicians who find us, well ... quaint ? Since I am not the organiser, I am leaving it up to Leon to decide how to run his event, who to invite, what publicity to make etc. and as far as I can tell it should be an orderly, pleasant affair although some of the people that I suspect will come will be in earnest and humourless about it all, especially if they get in front of a camara to have a rant. What will not be orderly and not be pleasant is most likely going to be what may happen outside of the Welsh Assembly when the royals arrive, Leon and I know that is going to be ad hoc and even if we volunteered to be stewards, which we do not have time for, nobody would credit us with any authority there. I have decided to follow the logic of my own opinion on the matter, that I will not attend this spectacle of people either pro or con the royals, it is all equally delusional. In the meantime I think that I might just go for a walk, or get some sleep before I have to dress up in a suit and try to make Republicanism in Wales respectable again. I was in the Welsh Assembly on the day that they elected Carwyn First Minister, which I watched from the circus balcony because I coldn't get a seat in the stalls, and discussed my concern over the police not separating the protestors from the supporters of the monarchy last time but nobody seemed interested in trying to plan the event beyond the railings enclosing the Welsh Assembly building, and it was pointless contacting the police if I was not going to offer myself as a steward. Wait and see what happens I guess, but that's not a good plan normally I feel ... like wise I am not that happy to wait and see what happens with this CbayRday event, but others seem confident about it so ... wait and see.

Thinking that other people might not be able to or not want to attend, I thought that I would compose my piece of text to Leon this morning for facebook.com/cbayrday in the style of one of those proclomations by Rebecca :

Annwyl Dinasyddesau a Dinasyddion o'r Byd,

Yr Wladys Rydd summons you to assemble in Wales and the World on the evening of Tuesday 7th June 2011 to commemorate the 180th anniversary of the capture of Lewsyn yr Heliwr. She reminds you of the white banner of protest around which so many were killed and injured by the 93rd Highlanders in the days beforehand.

Yr Wladys Rydd asks you to rededicate yourselves to the cause of justice and peace by attesting your flags to be symbols of the Eternal and Universal Republic. She wants you to campaign against the Treason Felony Act 1848 by excercising your right to freely discuss Republicanism as granted by the Human Rights Act 1998.

For legal reasons, Yr Wladys Rydd demands that white republican democrats and democratic republicans of all other colours begin their Ardystiadau with the following words : " I / We attest this flag to be a symbol of the Republic in Wales." She then desires you to continue with your own promises to Wales and the World in accordance with the traditions of the republican faction that you belong to.

David B Lawrence, secretary of repwblic.org.

So what is it all about, this Ardystiad thingy ? Well I have just corrected the last typo in the leaflet text that I plan to get printed tomorrow, so I will post that in the next block and then to show you what the reasoning behind it is and how friendly and inoffensive it is, in my opinion and I hope in yours. Then I'll post some pictures of my friends play-acting it out for me with some captions to describe what is happening should you want to do it yourselves. If you want to post images and accounts of your own performances of this, including the promises that you yourselves choose to make, you will need an online album in order to use [img]( address of file )[/img]
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

THIS IS THE TEXT OF THE ARDYSTIAD LEAFLET AS IT STANDS 06 / 06 / 11

ARDYSTIAD

Rydym yn ardystio i'r faner hon
Fel symbol o'r Repwblic yng Nghymru.

Byddwn yn sefyll dros y Gwir
yn erbyn y Byd :

Pob cenedl yn anedig o un Pobl
Pob cyfraith yn anedig o un Cyfiawnder
Pob rhyddid yn anedig o un Tangnefedd

Oes heddwch ? ( Heddwch ! Oes ! Nag oes !)

PUBLISHED BY REPWBLIC.ORG

We attest that this flag
Is a symbol of the Republic in Wales.

We will stand for the Truth
against the World :

All nations are born of one People
All laws are born of one Justice
All freedoms are born of one Peace

Is there peace ? ( Peace ! Yes ! No ! )

ATTESTATION


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THE TREASON FELONY ACT 1848

If any person whatsoever shall, within the United Kingdom or without, compass, imagine, invent, devise, or intend to deprive or depose our Most Gracious Lady the Queen, from the style, honour, or royal name of the imperial crown of the United Kingdom, or of any other of her Majesty’s dominions and countries, ... and such compassings, imaginations, inventions, devices, or intentions, or any of them, shall express, utter, or declare, by publishing any printing or writing ... or by any overt act or deed, every person so offending shall be guilty of felony, and being convicted thereof shall be liable ... to be transported beyond the seas for the term or his or her natural life * ... In the case of every felony punishable under this Act, every principal in the second degree and every accessory before the fact shall be punishable in the same manner as the principal in the first degree is by this Act punishable; and every accessory after the fact to any such felony shall on conviction be liable to be imprisoned, ... for any term not exceeding two years.

( * Penal transportation was abolished in 1868, and the maximum sentence today for Treason Felony is now life imprisonment, the last convictions were in Australia in 1916 )


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ATTESTATIONS OF ARDYSTIADAU

There are various legal aspects to publicly attesting to being a republican in Wales, and the wording of this ' Ardystiad ' and its use of a ' Trilliw ' have been chosen for a specific purpose : to challenge the continued existence of the TREASON FELONY ACT 1848. We therefore advise people not to enter into making this Attestation unless they fully understand that it is an Act of Civil Disobedience designed to infringe this law that criminalises those republicans who peaceably advocate that the sovereignty of our society is vested in its laws, not in the monarchy nor in parliament. Republicanism is about making good laws and breaking bad laws, and it derives its name from ' De Re Publica, ' a book by Julius Caesar's opponent Marcus Tullius Cicero. He argued that the sovereignty of a law is derived from the justice that it procures for the people. Republicans in Wales believe that we are prevented from publicly explaining such political arguments by the legacy of this unjust law and of the propaganda made against those who opposed the injustices of the British Empire. Opinion polls regularly report that one in five people in Wales describe themselves as ' Republican ' and all four parties in the Assembly draw upon ' The Politics of Love,' & yet - they do not love us.


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DEFENDING A PROSECUTION

It is very unlikely that anybody can be prosecuted for making Yr Ardystiad as the law now stands but the police may choose to caution you. If you do not wish to accept that caution and are prepared to challenge the way that the Treason Felony Act 1848 is interfering in the political life of Wales, then we advise you to read the House of Lord's Appellate Committee's Judgement in the Cause Regina v. Her Majesty's Attorney General (Appellant) ex parte Rusbridger and another (Respondent) - to be found at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200203/ldjudgmt/jd030626/rus-1.htm - in which the Guardian newspaper was seeking a declaration that the Human Rights Act 1998 both contradicted and over-ruled it. The journalists were concerned to prove that their reporting of various campaigns that are peacefully advocating the abolition of the monarchy is a lawful activity. The court ruled that "the litigation was unnecessary" and so the law was not amended. However nobody on the committee dissented from the opinion expressed by Lord Stein : "to criminalise the advocacy of republicanism is a relic of a bygone age and does not fit into the fabric of our modern legal system. The idea that section 3 could survive scrutiny under the Human Rights Act is unreal."


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PERFORMING " YR ARDYSTIAD "

So you understand what you are doing and you have decided to make the Attestation ?

First of all you need a flag, and after five centuries of republican arguments being made in Wales there are lots to choose from, or you can make your own. Repwblic.org advocate the use of the old United Britons' Red, White and Green Trilliw because according to the laws of vexillography it is the correct tricolour to be derived from Wales' Red Dragon flag. Go to any joke shop and buy an Italian flag and unpick its hoist tape and re-sew it with the colours reversed. Hang it upon a suitable staff and if you are carrying it in a public place cap the end of it with a spherical knob. This globe represents the world, because ours is an international cause, and it is also because you do not want to allow anybody to accuse you of carrying a weapon - our conflict with the U.K. is a religious and political one, and the ordinance that we conduct our arguments with against this state consists of our morality and ethics.

Persuade your mamgu, mam, chwaer or cariad to perform the role of " Gwladys Rydd," and cross your fingers and hope that she will provide you all with tea and sandwiches afterwards as well.


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The ceremony begins when Yr Wladys Rydd, the Welsh equivalent of France's Marianne, having decided that everybody is assembled, takes hold of the Trilliw and points it heavenwards, which is the sign that everybody should gather round and be quiet. Whilst this ceremony draws upon the thoughts of contemporary republicans in Wales who are mostly atheists, it also draws upon our much older republican traditions in which the three fold flag was in itself a symbol not just of the nation but also of the god whose laws republicans sought to order our dissenting protestant society under.

Yr Wladys Rydd lowers the flag and in doing so gathers up its end to the staff so that its folds are wrapped against it and held in place by her left hand. She then offers it forwards horizontally and raises her right hand as the sign that everybody who wishes to should now come forward and take hold of the flag with their left hands and raise their right hands with their palms held open towards the flag. The " Open Hand " is a traditional Republican gesture symbolising our peaceful intentions towards the world and its peoples.

Yr Wladys Rydd then recites each part of Yr Ardystiad and the Ardystwyr repeat her words until she poses to them her final question: they each decide their own answer.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, it was Roger's idea to go up Blorenge to do this after we had discussed the leaflet and rehearsed it a bit. Since he was only being asked to attest it as a symbol and not compelled to follow it against his conscience he was happy to attest a flag as a symbol of the Republic in Wales. I mentioned above how he surprised me by declaring that he was in fact in favour of the monarchy provided that it is laid under the rule of law, which in fact is an argument from Renaissance Republicanism ( ~1450 - 1650 ) Of course this was established in principle if not in fact when the Commonwealth men made Charles I submit to trial and then executed him. Everybody is made accountable before the law in Republicanism, and because all Republics are in essence the embodiment of an ideology into a statute book this offers us a protection from the arbitrary willfulness of democratic decision makers who can be notoriously unjust to powerless minorities like the Welsh within the UK and individuals like me within Wales. If only we had a republican legal system, I might finally get justice because my arguments and evidence are good but my resources to enter the English legal system with are minute compared to the extravagent cost of it. Perhaps this is the main practical issue that drove me all the way over into becoming a public advocate of Republicanism and pondering how to lever open the middle ground of politics to provide some space for " white " Republican Democrats to operate in ... but I also do enjoy a good read from time to time and am not one for public ceremonial unless it has a definite purpose, like mocking the Treason Felony Act 1848 by illustrating to people the fact that this and nasty little law that creates a thought crime and which contradicts the Human Rights Act 1998 is still on the statute book despite being dismissed by Lord Stein as unable to stand up to scrutiny under that Human Rights Act 1998. Parliament can not be bothered to find the time to remove it and it cannot be removed by the judiciary because we do not live in a republican political system where they did not have the power to do so unless someby is willing to hazard themselves in a courtroom. This really is a lousy way to do politics, it really is - but it has to be admitted that the UK government has provided us with the gift of a good propoganda opportunity for " white " Republican Democrats.



OK - here I am hoisting the flag towards heaven to invoke the protection of as many almighty gods for my cause as I can summon, and in order to announce the beginning of the ceremony, so will everybody just please shut up for a minute ? My right hand is gripping the middle of the stave and my left hand its bottom.



I dropped the flag stave right down still holding the middle in my right hand and reach up to the top of the stave with my left hand and encircle the stave to gather the top of the flag in order to slide it down to bring the folds to the stave.



I gather the folds under my left hand and grip the stave with it, my right hand now letting go.



Holding the flag and stave in my left hand, I offer it forwards horizontally and raise my right hand in the Open Hand gesture, palm facing the flag, and this is an invitation to others to come forward and take hold of the flag in their left hands and raise their right hands in the sign of the Open Hand.



The Ardystwraig takes hold of the flag, raises her Open Hand and repeats the words offered her, or atleast must use the formula " I attest that this flag is a symbol of the Republic in Wales / Yr wyf yn ardystio i'r faner hon fel symbol o'r Repwblic yng Nghymru " - this choice of words is for a legal reason so please do not change them, but feel free to make the rest of it up according to your own lights.

And then Marianne did me ( I was very pleased to have Marianne offer to be Yr Wladys Rydd on the night - I hope that she makes it down - Yr Wladys Rydd is the Welsh counterpart to France's Marianne, a symbol of the French Republic. You can loosely translate " Yr Wladys Rydd " as " The Landlady of Freedom " - ! ), and then she did Roger, David and Daf who were all very patient with me faffing around - thankyou friends !











I really like this last photograph, it captures the personality of the Republicanism in Wales that I know and love : it gives Wales and the World a big smile and cheery wave, and has a mischevious twinkle in its eye - but do not be entirely fooled, these are passionate people who are driven by a Love for Wales and the World that is called Republicanism.


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dai



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 8:28 am    Post subject: Cardiff Bay Republican Day Reply with quote

Well, it is the morning after the Cardiff Bay Republican Day meeting that I re-jigged the wording of the flag ceremony for and spent a lot of time and £150 or so preparing for. It is not often that I get an opportunity to make an account of Republicanism of any sort in public to a potentially appreciative audience and I did not want to miss it. Unfortunately I was dogged by that law of the Eternal and Universal Republic that buttered toast will always land face downwards right to the end.

When flags are constructed, the thickness of the seams as they start to build up towards the end require the tension of the threads to constantly be adjusted so the way to do it is not one flag at a time but to progressively work on several at once, moving them all forwards stage by stage so that the sewing machine is not constantly having to be adjusted. So it was tremedously frustrating when I got into thread tension problems that wasted hours of my time and had me wondering whether to sew it by hand, which would waste even more time and would probably founder because my eyesight wouldn't stand up to such prolonged work. I had intended to take along a version of Hugh Williams' ( Cadvan's ) blue, white and green triband as well, the original was decorated by a gilded sunburst but that is really beyond my means, which was carried by the Chartists in 1839, but I ended up leaving it unfinished because I had to attend to other preparations that were falling behind.

In particular I wanted to make sure that the 1949 Welsh Republican Movement's green, red and white flag did not stand alone because whilst I wish to acknowledge it and its history in Welsh Nationalism, I do not wish to find myself utterly tied to it in public as an Internationalist - as far as I am concerned the 1792 United Republicans' red, white and green flags are the ones that I wish to be associated with as one of our inherited symbols of the politics of the Enlightenment. It is not only the correct tricolour for Wales to be derived from the Red Dragon flag, it also has a definitely Republican political programme associated with it instead of mere sentimentality, of which there was a lot on display last night. As I anticipated, there was a lot of anger and hatred around - a sense of shared likes and dislikes, but no positive political statements. I'm not stupid, I understand that that is the nature of such occasions in general, but it is not politics. Instead of wallowing in the fact that we are all covered in shit, a truly political meeting proposes practical ways to attempt to scrub the shit off. What I was really hoping to do with this meeting was to allow other people to do their shit-sniffing about the monarchy and then, when it came to my turn, to pay lip service to an issue already well addressed by others and then to power forwards straight into my proposal for a campaign for a Welsh Court to be advise and keep a check on the Welsh Assembly, to immediately divide its newly enlarged portion of powers and have a constitutional court empowered to decide the lawfulness of the bills that it passes.

I'm really grateful to Leon for organising this meeting, it was more of a success than he supposed I think, although I suspect that of the sixty or so people in the pub many were just casual drinkers. Leon was not sure who was going to be acting as Master of Ceremonies, he had asked me beforehand whether I would do this as well but had an offer that was uncertain to the very last minute from somebody else who eventually did do it, perhaps my downfall ? Bethan turned up and I discussed whether I would introduce Yr Ardystiad with a speech before she and Leanne did it, but it was agreed that we would plunge straight into it without a long speech - this suited me fine, because I had not had time to polish any of the several speeches that I had draughted and I appreciated the extra time to consider what I had written and judge which would be the best sort of approach to take to take to the particular audience that was assembling. The hoped for full press coverage did not materialise, but there was a one man band journalist with whom I had a brief chat during later proceedings to remedy the fact that I had not made a press release because it was Leon's event and therefore his choice of presentation to the press. I was of course going to write about it here in case anybody reading about it in a newspaper chose to google " Ardystiad," though to begin with it will not register high in such a search.

I am grateful to Bethan and Leanne who chose to each use a different language and a different flag and so Yr Ardystiad was fully presented, albeit in a bit of an ad hoc manner by Marianne who volunteered to be Yr Wladys Rydd. The journalist took photos, so maybe it will appear in a newspaper today. Peter Tatchell and Tim Richards did not show up, so the chair invited people to speak more at length if they wished to and so poets and politicians typically took twenty minutes or so. During part of the time when this was going on, I was wandering around offering for sale " The Case Against The Democratic State " by Gordon Graham, Regius Professor of Moral Philosophy at Aberdeen University and sold just two of the twelve copies that I had bought on sale or return. I had intended to publicly present free copies to those AMs who made Yr Ardystiad, to the organiser Leon as a thankyou and to Suzanne Campbell whom I have been trying to coax into reading it before. It is a very readable introduction to real Republicanism, but clearly the title is off putting for many people - so I chose not to make a public presentation of these. Having tried to sell them directly to the audience who all pleaded poverty but were consuming large amounts of beer, I decided that I was so determined to get proper republican ideas across that I would give them away to significant people - especially those in the black faction who were present whose politics is usually little more than sentimentality : if these people feel as passionately about the Welsh Republic as they claim, then may be they will be motivated to read atleast one short book.

By the end of the evening, I was due to speak and to offer Yr Ardystiad to anybody who wished to take it, and I had a choice as to whether to introduce an explanation of proper republicanism or to let the matter go ... that law about buttered toast had already interfered in my preparations earlier when my printer software decided to capriciously refuse me multiple copies and fast printing, in which case I ended up having to labouriously reset the printer time and again to print the next copy of the Ardystiad leaflet and I gave up on printing copies of the last chapter of the book to distribute, as I had been given permission to do so by the publishers to make twenty. I knew full well what kind of audience were in front of me and that arguments of the sort that I make are better suited to an academic audience, and I am perfectly able to make rabble-rousing speeches myself of the sort that had preceeded mine, but the right thing to do is the right thing to do and I just could not miss an opportunity to challenge those who are calling themselves republicans to be held accountable to the meaning of that word. Anyway, I reckoned that I could do it in an interesting way, as a sort of narrative, but not off the top of my head - I had to read from my notes.

So, I introduced the book for sale once more and offered Yr Ardystiad - and there were no takers. I could see that leaflets were scattered around, so this was not surprising. So I turned to my copy book notes, and received a warning from the chair via a young lady who soon rushed up to interupt me and tell me that I only had a further ten minutes. I had so far taken less than five over a short speech introducing the book, offering Yr Ardystiad, and briefly explaining that Republicanism and Democracy are not the same thing, that they were antagonists for centuries until the eighteenth century when a sort of shot-gun wedding occurred between them. I had mentioned how in my experience our political system does not work for those of us who are lone individuals and in minorities, that we cannot get justice by applying to the present legal system, and that the remedy for this is Republicanism, whose central political objective is justice and which is critical of Democracy for failing to deliver it. I then introduced my speech, and some of the first part of it mentions religion and then moves onto discussing Socrates and ... the chair cut me off, long before my " further ten minutes " and a woman rushed onto the stage to rouse everybody to sing Yr Wlad Fy Nhadau. I abided by the decision of the chair, and I could hardly argue with somebody armed with the national anthem in a meeting such as this. I shrugged my shoulders and sang along, but I feel that this was probably done deliberately to stop my speech because the audience were being antagonised by it, not understanding where it was leading to.

I'll tell you about the speech later, but let me tell you how I feel about being censored in this way, when there was also written material being circulated there that positively and deliberately insulted the reader for not being " patriotic " enough to agree with the authors' views.

In trying to bring republicanism back into the public political discourse of Welsh society I am doing my bit, and it is an up hill struggle against deep prejudices against the very word " republican " let alone the ideas which run counter to the superstitious faith that people place in the word " democracy " as if voting could change anything if only we tried hard enough, if we had " more democracy." More democracy will only bring with it more problems because it gets people involved in making decisions about which they have no knowledge, who have no time to research the issues involved and who little or no grasp of Ideology ( used in its proper constructive sense here, as a critical awareness of how we have each come to hold the ideas that we use to think with ) . Democratically, people make their decisions for sentimental reasons, in other words prejudiced reasons. Democracy is fine for the purposes of expressing sentimental feelings, of electing a party that you feel for, but for little else. Our electoral system involves manifestoes, but nobody ever reads them : they vote for reasons of private interest and argue to themselves that the individual pursuit of selfishness is somehow going to sum up to be in the public interest. This is the Democratic Republican argument, and I can tell you as a Republican Democrat that this is falsely reasoned - a society predicated on self interest shreds itself, as we can see happening in Wales today. What is required to remedy this situation is the consideration of the public interest, and this requires not solely arguing your own point of view but listening to what many other people have to say and actively investigating what facts can be brought to the decision making table, of not allowing uninformed majority opinion within society to guide political decision making. In Republicanism the role of the elected representatives is to collectively decide upon the right decision, not merely to win a vote to promote their own sentiments, whereas in Democracy the electoral system demands that they make popular decisions and thus intelligently considered arguments go out the window in favour of sound bites and slogans. As a consequence of this, injustice follows in the wake of Democratic Republicanism as night follows day, and this is why merely achieving independence for Wales is not enough - we need to reconsider the very basis upon which politics is conducted, and in my book the solution is Republican Democracy which remedies the problems that democracy creates whilst avoiding the totalitarianism of Pure Republicanism e.g. as practised in single party systems like North Korea.

It did not surprise me that after a lot of beer and nonsense the audience were not feeling receptive to a well reasoned argument by somebody who was still sober, but it did surprise me that the chair cut me off - or then again, it did not. This person is one of those who I have had truck with in the past, when I experimented with associating with the Welsh Socialist Alliance and quit being its press officer because despite the idea of it being an " alliance " it was anything but, and the reason for it being anything but an " alliance " was because these people are egotists who are intolerant of listening to each other and a bunch of useless egotists who were each and every one of them trying to rewrite the press releases that I made, removing the facts and reasoned arguments from them and filling them up with pretentious rhetoric. " Socialism " for these people means nothing more than " getting what I want " and what these people did not want to hear last night was factual information and reasoned argument. They prefer to wallow in their own nice warm familiar sentimental shit, to complain and complain and do the same all over again and again, and never ask the question " Why do we not succeed ? " except to blame their " enemies " instead of recognising their own political incompetence. Why are they politically incompetent ? Because they wallow in this nice warm familiar sentimental shit, and will not listen to those explaining to them why they are failing but prefer instead to fantasise about " revolution " which is envisaged as a single cataclysmic event, whereas what the word means in Republicanism is many incremental events. This is the difference between the wheel of society being violently smashed to pieces and it being pushed along in the correct direction according to the circumstances, not always directly towards its ultimate goal because the vehicle of our political system typically needs to dodge some pot holes in the road and thus avoid getting stuck in order to make a good rate of progress.

As I said earlier, not chairing the meeting was probably my downfall but I was glad to have avoided doing it because I would not be able to control the kind of people who attend such meetings. Whilst people like this mouth off about " Liberty, Equality, Fraternity " it has been obvious to me many times before that if such people cannot practise those values in the simple matter of running a meeting ... well what can I say ? I can say that I am pissed off to have put so much money, time and intelligence into my contribution to this event, as did others, only to find that somebody who did next to nothing in the way of preparation and who professes those values should not treat me in accordance with them at an event that was specifically a republican one, and thus excluded the only actual republican contribution being made there.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:32 pm    Post subject: interrupted speech at Cardiff Bay Republican Day Reply with quote

Got called away this afternoon but I had nearly finished copying out the speech that was interrupted. I think that the point that I wanted to make was not obvious to people who are not republicans and who do not know this standard republican argument that cites the story of why Socrates argued against democracy ... so they do not know how the story ends. I should get around to it later this evening and illustrate the point that I wanted to make about republicanism and democracy being mutual cures for each other's extremes.

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In the above posting, I was complaining about a speech that I began to make being interupted and I see no reason not to publish it here so that the impression that the audience were getting, that was making them restless, is corrected. I was told that I would have at most fifteen minutes at the beginning of the meeting to make this speech but agreed with Bethan to not make a long initial speech but to take the last speech at the end before offering Yr Ardystiad to the audience. I knew full well what kind of speeches would be made by others, so this seemed to me a good option because I was not interested in rabble-rousing on this occasion but on trying to say something interesting that would stimulate the audience's curiousity. Thus when I took the microphone at the end I lopped off the beginning of this text that was prepared for the opening of the meeting, which I had timed to take about ten minutes, so if I had been given my allotted amount of time by the chairman I could most certainly have kept to the discipline imposed. In contrast, other speakers were allowed to run on longer to fill up the gaps in the programme left by the promised speakers who did not attend. I think that I was hard done by, especially since I was the last speaker and thus my running on over my allotted time would not have mattered so much. I harbour the suspicion that the chairman just wanted to close the meeting to go home.

The speech that I was going to give is in red - 10 minutes - I was interupted after 1 min 30 sec ?

It has also to be said that there was one person at this meeting who was very vocally objecting to people who mentioned religious ideas instead of paying attention as to how other people might construe the basis of their morality and ethics, yet another example of Democratic Republican sentiment : the childish opinion that politics is all about asserting your own will over others.

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The speech that I started to give, that was interupted and then stopped after I started to introduce the Republican critique of Democracy, about a third of the way through was this :

Introduction to Yr Ardystiad - Cardiff Bay Republican Day ( used instead as the last speech )

" Thomas Paine said " The world is my country, and doing good is my religion."

It is 212 years since the United Republicans - the United Irishmen, the United Scotsmen, the United Englishmen and the United Britons in Wales - became proscribed organisations. We have come a long way since then, we have seen off every law passed against us save one : the Treason Felony Act 1848. Tonight we are going to demonstrate the contradiction between that law and the Human Rights Act 1998
.

Later, I am going to invite you all to make an Attestation to a Flag - Yr Ardystiad. We are going to uphold the rule of law by breaking this nasty little law that establishes a crime of thought : we are going to imagine that a better world would not involve the rule of the British monarchy in Wales.

We are going to excercise our human right to express our thoughts : the right to imagination, the right to aspiration, the right to hope and above all not the right to but the neccessity of free speech which upon a foundation of peace is the basis of all politics.

You will note that I mentioned that this red, white and green tricolour is associated with the year 1792 in which David Williams from Caerphilly was in Paris where he made the first draught of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen which was finally published in 1793. It took 206 years for his vision of human rights to be made into law in his native land, and we have a long way to go yet before his greater vision of a universal republic can be realised everywhere.

David Williams was a Deist preacher, he understood his project to be one of creating Heaven on Earth and I can subscribe to that, even though I am an atheist. The gods that mankind have created over the millenia reflect our highest aspirations - and sometimes our basest instincts. Gods of love and gods of hatred, gods of truth and also of lies and superstition, gods of peace and gods of war, gods which enslave people and gods which set men and women free.

If I were to have a god it would be the Nomos, a rather minor character in the Greek pantheon. Since Athenians lived in a democracy, they did not have much faith in getting justice but when they went to court they began each legal action by offering up a prayer to the Nomos. So do I occasionally, to give myself the faith to carry on arguing with our nation's politicians at all levels over their abuse of my person and my property, the reason why I have become a public advocate of Republican Democracy as a remedy to the UK's political system.

Like me, Socrates did not believe in the Nomos, and like me despite his constant philosophising he doubted whether he was wise. What he did understand was that people used ideas in an uncritical way and so his method was to dismantle the belief systems of those he argued with, exposing their contradictions. In particular he made a point of arguing with those who practised Sophistry - the spin doctors of their day. These people were hired by the rich and powerful to sway the huge assemblies of voters that governed Athens in procedures that were more or less a very pure form of democracy and therefore subject to all of its problems.

Pure Democracy was the downfall of Athens, because the voters delegated power to those who bribed them with the most seductive but empty promises. Being disappointed each time, the electorate became disaffected towards democracy because they viewed it only as a means to satisfy their own self-interests."

[ I THINK THAT IT WAS AT THIS MOMENT THAT THE CHAIR STOPPED MY SPEECH - 1 minute 30 seconds or so ]

[ I think that the reader can see a reason for my comment in the above posting that the audience were getting restless. I knew full well that I was going to be dealing with political illiterates for whom a word like " democracy " is nothing much more than a shibboleth, that they have no critical understanding of such an idea or its implications. The way that this woman then rushed forwards to lead everybody in singing the national anthem was just yet another example of the pathetic anti-intellectualism of my nation which can not cope with adult conversations of this sort and so is condemned to continuing dependency upon the UK. As often as not I think that Wales is better off continuing to be part of the UK because our nation appears to be incapable of excercising the responsibility of looking after ourselves, which would demand the ability to think rationally which in turn would expose these superstitious political cults for what they are. Challenging the similar abuse of the word " republicanism " by people who know nothing about it is part of the whole business of repwblic.org - it would be far far better for there to be far far fewer people professing republicanism in Wales, but that the remainder really understood it, so that it was not so casually misrepresented.]

[ I shrugged and gave up on the speech, there was not much point in giving it to people who had already stopped listening. The whole point of this speech was didactive, to provide a taster of the" true religion " of internationalist republicanism as opposed to this fetishistic cult of nationalism.]

" In order to have the means to keep bribing the electorate, the leaders of Athens converted their massive navy, which had protected them from the Persian empire, into a means of offence instead of defence. They plundered and oppressed all of the surrounding city states and distributed the booty and tribute to their supporters. Running out of rich pickings they cast their eyes on the rich farmland of Sparta and excused themselves for attacking it on the grounds that it was a war of liberation for the oppressed Helots, a slave class of farmers that the aristocratic Spartans exploited. Having picked a fight with a smaller nation that was renowned for its military skills, the Athenians lost.

Turmoil ensued within Athens as the Spartans fought back steadily over 27 years of warfare and finally conquered Athens itself in 404 BC. The Spartans then proceeded to ' liberate ' the Athenians by imposing a regime upon them drawn from those willing to collaborate in the oppression of their own people.' The Council of Thirty ' were swiftly dubbed ' The Tyrants ' as they started murdering their political opponents, and Socrates was lucky to escape with his own life after refusing to participate in the judicial murder of one of their opponents.

Surviving the downfall of Athens' Thirty Tyrants, Socrates became openly critical of the political system that had produced such disorder and Plato in the ' Politeia ' gives us an account of Socrates severe criticisms of democracy's problems. His political remedies for them are not much heeded now, but it was this critique of democracy that provided the seed ideas of the modern political theories of Republicanism.

The Politeia is usually published under the name ' Plato's Republic ' but whilst we get the word ' politics ' from that book's title, the term ' republic ' actually comes from Cicero's book ' De Re Publica.' Cicero also lived through events equally tumultuos to those in Socrates' lifetime, but the tyrants that he opposed were not overthrown and democracy was not restored to Rome after Julius Caesar's death. Whereas Socrates had advocated an entirely new society to be founded upon a philosophical system, Cicero argued for the restoration of Rome's political institutions with a means to protect them from further abuse. He philosophised about the nature of justice and how laws arose out of the pursuit of it and argued about how to re-establish a just legal system in the aftermath of civil war and tyranny. But imperial Rome staggered on for centuries.

At the end of the Roman empire in the west all of these political writings disappeared for a thousand years, but in the empire in the east this literature survived in the libraries of the Byzantine world which was constantly shrinking as Moslem invaders encroached upon it. In 1453 the Byzantine empire finally fell to the Turks, and refugees poured out of Constantinople in all directions, having plundered the libraries for manuscripts because these were easy to carry and more valuable than gold. We are still living with the political impact of that year because in both Islam and Christianity people seized upon the ideas contained in them, though they used them differently. 1453 is considered by some to be the year that Republicanism was born.

When Renaissance scholars read these ancient manuscripts they were reading about political institutions that were very different from their own which were being commented upon by people who were pagans, but the philosophical ideas discussed in these books could be used to discuss the political and religious institutions of late medieval Christian and Moslem societies where clerics were in attendance at royal courts advising their monarchs upon political policies, and were often involved in running the feudal states themselves as the literate classes.

Renaissance Republicanism circa 1450 - 1650 was driven by religious ideas that used Classical Republicanism's philosophies but stripped of their association with an easy-going polytheism that was tolerant of differing belief systems. Naturally, being in the employment of kings, emperors and popes, these republicans argued from Plato's Politeia that their rulers were like philosopher kings and being Christians they claimed for them that they were appointed by God to rule by Divine Right - and the clerics of course were God's advisors, so if the king listened to them then he would be able to create a heaven upon earth. When some of these clerics fell out with their popes, they denounced the papacy and argued to their kings that they should be obedient to God and throw the Catholic church out of their kingdoms - and seize its property and revenues of course. Murder and mayhem in the name of peace and love then ensued for two hundred years, and spreading Christianity became an excuse for conquering the Americas.

Neo-Classical Republicanism circa 1650 - 1850 was driven by philosophical ideas that drew upon the inheritance of Classical Republicanism's tolerance of differing belief systems but in this version of tolerance only if they were religions in the monotheist traditions. This was accomplished by replacing the divisive doctrinaire orthodoxies of Theist religious groups with the unifying laissez faire heterodoxy of Deism. This in turn reflected the political situation in which divinely appointed absolute monarchies had been brought under the rule of law to greater or lesser extents by an increasingly powerful aristocracy who patronised now secularised republican thinkers who could explain and justify why this " rule of the best " should be endorsed for the good of the " commonwealth." Neo-Classical Republicans found ways to justify excluding the poor from participation in the political system and explained that Europeans were bringing not just Christianity but civilisation to their empires, and that conquest, enslavement and exploitation were indeed beneficial to the whole of the world's society although some suffered.

Modern Republicanism circa 1850 - 2050 ( ? ) has been driven by scientific ideas which also can be argued to originate in Classical Republicanism, but really are unique to our own civilisation and were already emerging before the aristocratic hegemonies began to be overthrown in the late 18th century. Republicans began to produce arguments in the 17th century as to why ordinary people should govern society democratically, on the basis, amongst others, that they were the public and therefore their own interests were the Res Publica. The seeds of Modern Republicanism were present right at the beginning in the 1450's but they did not really germinate until circa 1750 and started to flower circa 1850 more or less because of the increasing influence of scientific discoveries that threw up new ideas - like Darwinism that led to eugenics, racism and genocide. The modernist idea however is that by founding society upon scientifically proven ideas political decisions can be given an objective basis and the subjective arguments that raged between religions and philosophies will be finally stopped.

Actually, a lot of the republicanisms generated so far in this period have only paid lip service to the idea of science rather than to embrace its reality which is rather limited in its application to politics. Since circa 1950 there has been what can be described as Post-Modern Republicanism, which is a reaction perhaps to the multiplicities of biased political theories being carved out of the original republican tradition which have been dubbed " Voltaires Bastards." These can be roughly grouped under six headings - on the right " Conservativism, Fascism and Liberalism and " on the left " Anarchism, Socialism and Communism." I have constructed various two and three dimensional models of these being paired as opposite poles on axes that pass through a central point where I locate Republicanism as the original political tradition that they are biased interpretations of. I make a distinction between the centre-centre ground politics of Republican Democracy, which selects representatives using both voting and other methods but is conducted solely through argument only and can reconcile these opposites using a meta-ideology, and these divergent poles of the Democratic Republicanisms which use voting for everything and are divisive of society with their limited understanding of Ideology.

Now, one minute I am criticising Democracy, the next minute I am presenting the whole history of Republicanism in terms of the crimes committed in its names. Why ? Because I want to illustrate to you that when I criticise democracy that I am no less critical of republicanism : I can assure you that you wouldn't want to live in pure versions of either and they are mutually antagonistic theories of how to design a political system. But aspects of both can be used to strike a productive balance between the two and so reduce the problems associated with each.

It is fine to live in a Pure Republican system of politics if you agree with every law because even if you are a lone individual you can get justice simply by invoking the authority of the belief system involved. But when the political system that governs it is not only authoritarian but dysfunctional and its laws cannot be changed because to even discuss changing anything is a crime, then such a society is not only going to stagnate it is going to be overtaken by events that it is incapable of responding to. Meanwhile, the critics of pure republics end up in prison, in exile or executed, as for example happened in the USSR which had a one party state.

It is fine to live in a Pure Democracy if you are part and parcel of the majority in every way, but woe betide you should you find yourself in an unpopular minoríty. Democracies do not bother with political philosophy, they simply accept whatever is voted for and it is no use protesting to the rest of society that what they are doing to you is unjust because " justice " is nothing to do with democratic laws because they are determined in their application on the concept of " legality " which enables laws to be made, unmade, modified etc without applying any sense of justice.

Advocates of Pure Republicanism and Pure Democracy were antagonists for centuries, save for a handful of political philosophers who for the most part drew upon their experiences in participating in things like churches, societies, clubs etc where associations were entirely voluntary and not coerced as by the state. It was these sorts of practical experiences that emerged in the political philosophies of the late 18th century revolutions in America ( a Democratic Republican revolution probably ) and France ( a Republican Democratic revolution perhaps ) when this "shotgun wedding " took place between Republicanism and Democracy in which each became a mutual check upon the problems associated with the pure forms of both.

[ Now that was the main argument of the speech that I was going to give that was interupted, and you will see that I am a thorough-going advocate of the political process but that I am not satisfied that it works - in fact I have plenty of personal experiences of the abuses that can be practised by politicians who plead that the injustices that they practice upon myself and others are all legal. I think that the UK has a defective politico-legal system and I want to be rid of it, not because I am anti-English but because I am anti-injustice and the UK's state has a long history of perpetrating injustices that provoke those resisting them into desperate acts - like becoming a public advocate of Republican Democracy ! Being pro-justice and pro-politics I am pro-peace as an a priori condition for both, but that does not mean that I am pro-acquiescence or pro-Wales or pro-anything besides the rule of justice not merely the rule of legalism.]

[ At this point in the Cardiff Bay Republican Day event I was going to talk about when republicanism first arrived in Wales which may have been as early as the 1480's and there is certainly internal evidence that some kind of Protestant Republican argument was being made to justify the Annexation of Wales in the period 1535 - 1542 because these are the first English laws to use the concept of ' imperium ' which was taken in from Classical Republicanism. I was then going to give a brief account of the first republican in Wales that I know about, William Thomas who was the political tutor of Edward VI and who was hung drawn and quartered for treason by Mary I on the 18th May 1554 - and thus introduce the Ardystiad again by asking if anybody was ready for a game of treason ... but something that I really wanted to do with the evening was to advocate a constitutional court for Wales ... so in copying this out I came to the conclusion that I'd like to write here exactly the sort of speech that I would have given if I had not been sticking to the time discipline imposed by the chair - thus : ]

Wales has a long history of republicanism : Renaissance Republican ideas may have arrived in Wales as early as the 1480's, but our first glimpse of republicanism at work in the history of Wales is in almost the first use of the word ' imperium ' in the English legal system into which it was introduced from Roman law and probably taken from Cicero's De Re Publica. In 1485 when Henry VII raised the Red Dragon banner in Wales that is now our national flag, he promised those who would follow him to Bosworth Field that he would improve their lot by relieving them of the oppressive laws passed against the Welsh after Owain Glyndwr's rebellion - but he did not keep his word. Whilst nationalists rail against the Annexation of Wales that was enacted between 1536 - 1543, we can be fairly sure that this was a practical and natural solution to many problems besetting the Welsh at the time. Above all it resulted in being able to send representatives to the English Parliament to continue to plead the case to be relieved of the oppressive laws made by Henry IV. The argument that they seem to have been presenting hinged on the concept of ' imperium ' which had just been used by Henry VIII in declaring that England was an empire in 1533, thus denying the authority of the Papacy, and again in 1534 when declaring himself to be the Protector and Supreme Head of the Church of England. These laws were passed to deny the legal principle of ' imperium in imperio ' which meant that the Catholic church was not subject to the laws of the kingdoms in which it was established. Thus the political objective was to supress rebellion by branding Catholics as traitors to the king.

The problem for Henry VIII was that Wales was still fiercely Catholic and loyal to the papacy and willing to fight for it - but although he ruled most of it already, it was not within the ' imperium ' of the English crown. Therefore in order to prevent Wales becoming the scene of an invasion by hostile Catholic powers sent on a crusade against Protestant England, he needed to extend the ' imperium ' of England into Wales as a matter of urgency in order to suppress the Roman Catholic church. As soon as Henry VIII proposed the first act in 1535 the Welsh started arguing that if English Law was to be applied in their land then they should have representation in the Parliament that made such laws, that the abusive courts of the Marcher Lordships should be suppressed, that they should get some form of devolved government by placing the Council of Wales and the Marches on a legal basis. The Welsh bargained for all of these concessions and more besides, all by exploiting the republican idea of ' imperium ' which is about the degree of legal authority that can be excercised, how it can be excercised and where it can be excercised.

It makes me proud to be Welsh, just to think about how they went about arguing their way to freedom from what was a very weak position politically, but once they got their representatives into Parliament they were immediately beset with the problem of being in a permanent minority unable to win any vote against the English representatives when they proposed to get rid of Henry IV's oppressive laws. They had to wait until 1624, when James I was in trouble with Parliament over money that he needed for a war against Spain, to get the Wales Act, the Wales and Welshman Act, and the Welshman Act repealed. Once more an argument about ' imperium ' was apparently involved, that the Welsh now shared the same polity and therefore the same rights under Magna Carta as the English who were getting restless with their Scottish King and would start to cite it against Charles I's abuses after he came to the throne in 1625, resulting in the Petition of Right. That is how the Welsh got back their rights before the English Law, by waiting patiently for an opportunity and then using an intelligent strategy. But it took an unreasonably long time because of them being an unfavoured minority - the laws against the Scots were repealed in 1607. This was not a republican legal system in which laws were applied universally and so such an obviously unjust law would have been struck down immediately by the judiciary.

You might be wondering whether this use of the concept of ' imperium ' was just a word borrowed from Roman Law without any actual republicanism involved. There are at least two republicans from Wales in the 16th century, from either side of the Catholic / Protestant divide that seems to be a precursor to the Welsh / British republican divide in modern Wales, because Catholic Republicans were arguing for Welsh independence and Protestant Republicans were arguing for the mutual unity of Wales, England and Scotland both for religious reasons and in order to mount a collective defence of the island against the threat from Catholic Spain and France. On the Catholic Republican side, we know that the first Welsh translation from Cicero that we have was made by Gruffydd Robert ( 1522 - 1610 ) and he was associated in exile in Italy with Owen Lewis ( 1533 - 1595 ) and Morys Clynnog ( 1525 - 1581 ). These clerics apparently hatched out a plan to persuade Spain to invade Wales and liberate it from England, a plan that finally came to fruition in another military project against England - the Armada.

On the Protestant Republican side there is a heavy duty intellectual who is credited as being one of the first translators of Machiavelli into English. William Thomas ( c1520 - 1554 ) became a Protestant Republican in exile in Italy between 1545 - 1548, first of all in Venice and then in Bologna where he composed ' Peregrine, or a Defence of Henry VIII ' which probably secured his return in 1549 and acceptance into the court of Edward VI. He wrote the boy king a series of letters as his political tutor explaining the duties of a Christian monarch according to a Protestant Republican. As a translator of Latin and Italian texts, Thomas was concerned to improve the vocabulary of vernacular languages by introducing new terms provided they had practical value and were not merely rhetorical flourishes, a sentiment that he drew from Machiavelli's writings. In the dangerous world of Edward VI's court, Thomas drew heavily upon Machiavelli's ' The Prince ' to justify state policy and advise the boy king. At the end of September 1549, Thomas' patron Dudley led a coup and seized control of the Privy Council. In his train, Thomas became the keeper of the Privy Council Register and Office, acquiring money, property and a coat of arms.

In July 1553 Mary I came to the throne, an event which was celebrated by English Catholic Republican Nicholas Udall's play ' Respublica,' and an almost classical example of a murderous regime justifying itself with an intolerant religious republican ideology following her accession. William Thomas' Protestant Republicanism started to undergo a rapid development of theory in which he began to argue that the Commonwealth of the Realm was more important than the person of the monarch, whom previously he had staunchly supported in the boy King Edward VI. He was creditted with inspiring the Wyatt Conspiracy and Rebellion of 1553 - 1554 but was not present at it and was apparently fleeing home to Wales when he fell ill at Gloucester and was arrested. To escape prosecution, Nicholas Arnold turned Queen's Evidence to save himself and accused Thomas of plotting to assassinate the queen and William Thomas was found guilty of treason. He was dragged by sledge from the Tower of London to Tyburn's gallows where he was hanged, drawn and quartered on the 18th May 1554. His head remained on a spike over the gate to London Bridge for many years after.

So. Anyone for a game of treason ? Let me close this evening's entertainment by offering my audience the opportunity to uphold the rule of law and order by excercising your right to free speech under the Human Rights Act 1998 which contradicts the Treason Felony Act 1848."

[ 10 mins ]

" In real political systems the point of balance between the two is forever shifting back and forth, but in Wales' unreal political system where people shut their ears the minute the word ' republican ' is mentioned, it is nigh on impossible to make the argument for striking a good balance between Republicanism and Democracy. In fact in Wales there is no balance at all because there is no sovereignty vested in the law nor in the people, nor indeed in the Welsh Assembly or the Welsh Assembly Government. We have a sort of vacuous excess of democracy that causes a problem.

Right now, Republicanism is particularly relevant in Wales because today is the day that the Welsh Assembly opens its new session with new powers to make new laws. Every republican in Wales should be celebrating, of course, but according to republican political theory there is a problem with this new political institution : it has no division of powers between the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary. This principle of ' trias politica ' is more or less a standard feature of many modern western political systems because it is designed to avoid certain problems, such as the power to make laws being concentrated into the hands of a government that might place itself above the rule of law - as in the UK's ' Sovereignty of Parliament.'

The absence of a division of powers in the UK was more or less the root cause of the expenses scandal in Westminster recently where a single crusading journalist used the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to expose the abuses that MP's were effectively being licenced to practice because they are placed beyond the reach of law by priviledges associated with the sovereignty of the UK being located in parliament. The story only finally came out because a civil servant stole an unredacted copy of the records of MP's expenses which led to an outcry of public opinion to which MPs finally responded. The judiciary and police had to wait until they were invited by MPs to investigate because of the principle of the parliamentary supremacy. Many MPs had been practising the parliamentary principle of secrecy to avoid such an investigation.

Now some people think that the Welsh Assembly has been granted a share in the sovereignty of the UK but in fact its law making powers are on loan and can be revoked by Westminster at any time. The political system in the Welsh Assembly reflects that in Westminster, but with an added political consequence because of its lack of sovereignty : the laws that it passes for Wales can be scrapped on appeal to the higher courts in England, over the heads of our elected representatives. Wales is the only country in the UK to lack a higher court between its local courts and the new Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. Even the Isle of Man is better off than we are and it has exactly what I want for Wales - an independent judiciary - but I want a bit more than what the Manx have, because I think that there is going to be a lack of scrutiny in the Welsh Assembly of the bills placed before it by the Welsh Government.

The cause of this lack of scrutiny that may lead into the court rooms of England is to do with the way in which the parties in opposition in the Welsh Assembly are given legal advice upon their proposed ammendments and also to do with the way in which the Welsh Government draughts the bills in the first place. Opposition AMs have complained about not being given equal access to the Welsh Assembly's lawyers in the past, but I think that a bigger problem is the fact that these lawyers are not independent of the politicians in the Welsh Government who may be willfully directing them to do things that the lawyers would advise against. As I understand it the risk is that the interpretation of some piece of legislation will be challenged in a Welsh court and then maybe appealed to the High Court of Justice or the Court of Appeal whose decisions will be appealed to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.

This is potentially embarrassing and costly to the Welsh Government and Welsh Assembly, but there would be a safeguard against this sort of mess if Wales had an independent judiciary which advised them both impartially on the draughting of the legislation. I would go further and advocate that whilst the Welsh Government can propose bills and the Welsh Assembly can pass them, a Welsh Court should have the sovereignty to refuse to make a bill that has been passed into a law i.e. it would be more a more consistent principle if the Welsh Court were a constitutional court and held all of the power to actually decide what was lawful but none of the power to originate laws save to make case law in passing judgement upon litigation brought before it to determine the meaning of a law. The Welsh Court would work closely with the Welsh Government and Welsh Assembly to ensure that all bills passed are consistent with existing legislation and then would only occasionally need to sit as an actual court.

The three institutions of government should also be able to actively police each other, and be constituted with a formal separation of Judicial, Executive and Legislative powers that involve the right to investigate each others' affairs. This is particularly important given the the fact that the Welsh Government and Assembly, whilst behaving in a slightly more civilised fashion than our representatives do in Westminster, have imported into Wales not just another layer of local management for the UK but also the whole ethos of the UK's political system which has already caused so much trouble in Wales over the centuries. It is not that Welsh politicians are corrupt, though some clearly seem to be, but that it is especially important that political institutions with law making powers and large budgets to spend are effectively policed because the decisions that they make have far reaching consequences. It is not usually as bad as what happened recently, where a piece of legislation was apparently fraudulently procured from the Welsh Government by a collusion to make a misrepresentation and this was passed in the Welsh Assembly with a thumping great majority where clearly no effective scrutiny took place. We need the Welsh Court to be able to actively police the political process to ensure that it is honestly conducted by the AMs and to keep an eye on the activities of lobbyists to prevent these abuses.

As the Welsh Government and Welsh Assembly pass more and more laws, a jurisdiction peculiar to Wales is going to develop which will need to be acknowledged, especially if the proposed review of criminal justice in Wales introduces differing criminal laws or should there prove to be other kinds of law introduced. For myself as an advocate of republican political theories, what I would like to see is not only a separate jurisdiction for Wales but an extensive reform of the legal system starting with an end to the adversarial system of English courts and its replacement by an inquisitorial system as used in many European states. This in turn would facilitate what I really desire for Wales and myself, proper equality before the law with justice paid for out of taxes as a public good in the same way that the National Health Service is run. I want to be able to walk into a court and bring a case before an inquisitorial judge who can decide whether or not to authorise it to proceed without the stress of risking bankruptcy each time to sort out the multiple legal issues that have been left to me to sort out in the wake of the activities of Wales' politicians over thirty years.

And lastly, to return to the Treason Felony Act 1848 : when the Guardian took the up the matter of it being contradicted by the Human Rights Act 1998 their case, Regina v Her Majesty's Attorney General ( Appellant ) ex parte Rusbridger and another ( Respondent ), was thrown out by the House of Lords Appellate Committee on the grounds that ' the litigation was unnecessary.' In other words it was not continued because of a procedural matter in the rules, but Lord Stein said " The idea that section 3 could survive scrutiny under the Human Rights Act is unreal." What I find unreal and deserving of mockery is a legal system that can admit such a situation and yet be unable to remedy it. This would not have happened in a republic because its sovereignty would be vested in the law and its ethos would not allow such a law to continue to sit on the statute books in contradiction to other superior laws. But the UK does not have a division of powers and its judiciary must apply the laws as they find them because they can not over rule the law because of the principle of the supremacy of parliament, however bad that they think that the Treason Felony Act 1848 is."

[ 15 minutes ]


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 6:54 am    Post subject: cardiff bay republican day speeches video Reply with quote

" Dai, here is a youtube video of your opening speech as videoed by Russell of Balchder Cymru. You might like to put it out on the forum, or maybe imbed it as html into the front page of repwblic.org "

There are some other videos out there of Cardiff Bay Republican Day, presumeably all taken by Russell on his phone - thank you Russell, organising video aswell was not possible for me for this event.

Bethan Jenkins AM attests in Welsh the red, white and green 1792 Trilliw - for internationalism and human rights -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1T3-4M-gr6U

Leanne Wood AM attests the green, red and white 1949 Trilliw - for nationalism and self-determination -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ffBpnIWHRA

Mike Jenkins reads his own poetry - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwIiyGVNS9Y

Rachel Tresize reads Harry Webb's poetry -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wI_BC5MS43E

Balchder Cymru speakers Steffan and Bob - in Welsh, then English - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsQb5LDjqjs

Balchder Cymru's Steffan made a good speech - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dMZv6_aFrQ


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see that there are fifteen people reading the bulletin board this morning, and I take it that they are reading this topic thread because of Cardiff Bay Republican Day. Whenever I log on as administrator to tidy up, quite apart from recent events drawing attention to this thread there are nearly always a few people logged on, but people have rarely written recently - they just read. Perhaps you have nothing to say ?

On the board that preceded this - http://ctd.6.forumer.com - there was a lot of chat and very little political discussion beyond likes and dislikes which bugged several of us, so when we set up the new board we wanted it to be more serious but we kept some of the chat lines going. I guess that these are now not so obvious and easy to find, but to make it less inimidating I'll use the admin controls to bring them altogether and create a visitors book of sorts for people to leave their passing remarks. And have a chat amongst yourselves if you wish to.

If you sign up to the board, there is a behind the scenes messaging system if you want to ask something of me or other contributors privately. If I reply, it ought to send you an email telling you that you have received a message.

If you get the itch to write on the board about some other topic, please conduct a search first to see if there are topic threads that already exist for your subject of interest - you do not need to answer to things written years ago on that topic, but start right in with what you want to say - this way we do not have proliferating topic threads of a similar nature which can be an admin headache.

The front page of repwblic.org will be changed soon to reflect the changed purpose of Repwblic.org. Previously the purpose was solely to convene " Conversations with Wales' Republicans : Poblachiaethwyr - Repwbligwyr - Gweriniaethwyr " to promote discussions between those on the Left - Centre - Right of Republicanism in Wales. As such, it was neccessary to avoid adopting a particular political Ideology that would estrange potential contributors, since we were trying to stitch the republican movement in Wales back together fifty years after it fell apart over divisions between reds and greens - which we whites thought that we could do if we could persuade people to hold onto their ideologies a little less tightly by gently introducing them to a proper republican meta-ideology. Ah, well ...

People ask me ( dai - David B Lawrence ) why I continue to bother, am I not just foolishly muttering to myself in a corner of the internet here ? The answer is that Pen Ddu and I made a commitment to the rest to do this and maintain it to provide the possibility of a public discussion accessible for all to read and contribute to, to demonstrate some real republican discussion publicly whereas a number of the other original contributors to http://ctd.6.forumer.com have decided to continue with their brand of petty hate politics elsewhere and out of public view.

There has always been a steady stream of visitors to the board, so it seems worthwhile to keep the bulletin board at least. The question was what to do about the parallel project, repwblic.org which was intended for the same political objective which is bringing everybody together into contact atleast with each other regardless of their differences under the brand " repwblic." A key moment was when City State experimented with a Facebook group using the term " repwblic " and it became an immediate problem because people immediately linked with it who were displaying attitudes and symbols that began to give repwblic.org associations that were not of its own making, so at my request he closed it down.

Since the politics on the board increasingly reflect my point of view, because I am now the major contributor, it has been pending for some time as to whether, whilst maintaining the bulletin board as a " republic of letters," repwblic.org should abandon the attempt to eschew any particular political position and be explicitly " white " i.e. Republican Democrat in the tradition of the Enlghtenment in 18th century Wales - and to start arguing publicly with the " black " factions. Explaining the complicated and extensive tradition of real republicanism in Wales instead of just vaguely referring to republicanism is a bit of a tall order in a couple of pages on a web site and this has been reflected upon for a couple of years whilst I have forked out the .org subscription to keep hold of the website etc.

Yr Ardystiad as a campaign against the continued existence of the Treason Felony Act 1848 has changed the nature of repwblic.org which now has to be explicit about its political position in order to pursue this matter, and I plan another campaign for a Welsh Court as well. There are plenty of other sites on the internet arguing for red and green republicanism, so it is not as if adding one more arguing for white republicanism is really going to be a problem. It is not going to change the policy of the bulletin board which is open to all to express whatever points of view that people hold, including those deeply hostile to us. Everybody gets to speak their mind, and hopefully change their minds too.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://repwblic.informe.com/viewtopic.php?p=1422#1422

Today I was exploring the image of the Open Hand / Y Llaw Agored on this thread that has been developing a meandering argument until I eventually tied it up with Wales as ' The Land of the White Gloves ' by way of explaining this image of ' Yr Wladys Rydd ' -

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:42 pm    Post subject: POST SCRIPT - FIFTEEN MONTHS LATER - 18th September 2012 Reply with quote

I got a call circa 01.00 am this morning to draw my attention to this -

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/welsh-politics/welsh-politics-news/2012/09/18/plaid-cymru-leader-leanne-wood-attacked-over-welsh-republican-meeting-91466-31855077/

- it has a picture in it taken at Cardiff Bay Republican Day 2011 of my thrusting a microphone at Leanne Wood AM, now presently leader of Plaid Cymru but apparently now being subjected to a portrayal calculated to undermine her by Martin Shipman, so I dragged myself out of bed to repudiate this and explain what Leanne was doing which most certainly was not endorsing anybody else's political opinions although she is generally polite to everybody, friend or foe.

Martin Shipman seems to be proud of what has written so let us record it for posterity lest his lawyers advise him to take it down :

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood attacked over Welsh republican meeting

By Martin Shipton
Sep 18 2012

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has come under attack from political opponents after it emerged that last year she uttered a bizarre oath of allegiance to Welsh republicanism at a meeting in a Cardiff Bay wine bar.

[ LEANNE WOOD DID NOT UTTER ANY OATH OF ALLEGIANCE - SHE ATTESTED A FLAG AS A SYMBOL OF ' THE REPUBLIC IN WALES ' AND BETHAN JENKINS ATTESTED A DIFFERENT ONE ]

The meeting was also addressed by members of a radical Welsh nationalist group who expressed extreme anti-English views.

[ I.E. TWO PERSONS AMONGST PERHAPS TWENTY SPEAKERS OF ALL SORTS OF REPUBLICAN OPINIONS : LEFT , RIGHT AND CENTRE ]

The group – Balchder Cymru (Pride of Wales) – regards two young men who blew themselves up on the eve of the Prince of Wales’ investiture in 1969 as martyrs.

[ TWO PEOPLE FROM ONE GROUP IN WHICH THERE ARE DIVERSE OPINIONS ]

Last night Plaid Cymru issued a statement dissociating the party from the “abhorrent” views of Balchder Cymru, saying Ms Wood and saying fellow Plaid AM Bethan Jenkins had attended the meeting “in good faith”.

[ LEANNE WOOD AND BETHAN JENKINS WERE JUST TWO AMONGST MANY OTHER GUESTS INVITED TO CARDIFF BAY REPUBLICAN DAY WHICH IS NOT ORGANISED BY BALCHDER CYMRU. CBRD IS A SOCIAL EVENT - NOT A POLITICAL RALLY - IN WHICH WELSH REPUBLICANS TAKE IT IN TURNS TO ENTERTAIN EACH OTHER IN WAYS POLITICAL. DISSOCIATING YOURSELF FROM THOSE YOU DISLIKE AND CHILDISHLY REFUSING TO ENGAGE WITH THEM IN CONVERSATION MAY BE THE BASIS OF DEMOCRACY - BUT IT IS THE OPPOSITE OF REPUBLICANISM WHICH IS FOR THOSE ADULTS MATURE ENOUGH TO BE WILLING TO ENGAGE AND ARGUE WITH THOSE WE DIFFER FROM.]

The event took place in Mischiefs wine bar in June last year, on the same day the Queen opened the new session of the National Assembly.

[ THIS WAS MORE OR LESS FOR CONVENIENCE SAKE : PEOPLE COME A LONG WAY TO PROTEST AGAINST SUCH EVENTS FOR VARIOUS REASONS AND THEY DO NOT LAST LONG SO HAVING A VENUE IN WHICH TO MAKE A PROTEST FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT MAKES FOR A MORE BALANCED POLITICS OTHERWISE THE DAY IS ALL NEGATIVE.]

Ms Wood and Ms Jenkins boycotted the event because they are republicans.

[ THEY ACTUALLY ENGAGED WITH THE EVENT IN A DIFFERENT AND MORE CONSTRUCTIVE WAY ]

A video of the meeting was uploaded to YouTube only last week. It shows Ms Jenkins and then Ms Wood attesting an oath to Welsh republicanism, Ms Jenkins in Welsh and Ms Wood in English.

[ THE VIDEOS OF CBRD TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE WERE POSTED FOR VIEWING THE FOLLOWING DAY, FIFTEEN MONTHS AGO, MOST BY BALCHDER CYMRU WHO FAIRLY REPRESENTED OTHER CONTRIBUTORS TO THE EVENT WHO DO NOT SHARE THEIR VIEWS : THIS IS CORRECT REPUBLICAN BEHAVIOUR - CONTRAST THE DESCRIPTIONS OF THE EVENT BY THOSE JOURNALISTS AND POLITICIANS WHO WERE INVITED BUT DID NOT ATTEND AND NOW MISREPRESENT " YR ARDYSTIAD " AS " AN OATH TO WELSH REPUBLICANISM " ]

Ms Wood appears on the video saying, as she stands adjacent to a red, white and green Welsh republican flag: “We attest this flag is a symbol of Republican Wales. We will fight for the truth against the world. All nations are born of one people. All laws are born of one justice. All freedoms are born of one peace.”

[ WE WERE VERY CAREFUL WITH THOSE WORDS AND THE CORRECT WORDING IS ON THE LEAFLETS THAT WE DISTRIBUTED AT CBRD AND THEY WERE AVAILABLE HERE ON REPWBLIC.INFORME.COM AT THE CLICK OF A BUTTON THE SAME DAY 07 / 06 / 11 - " THE REPUBLIC " IS " IN WALES " NOT " OF WALES " - THE WORDS DRAW UPON OVER 450 YEARS OF REPUBLICANISM IN WALES.]

She then says: “Is there peace?”, to which those present respond: “Peace”.

[ IOLO MORGANNWG'S NEO-DRUIDIC STUFF IS TERRIFYING ISN'T IT ? ]

A member of Balchder Cymru is later seen on the 25 minute video engaging in a verbally aggressive anti-English rant during which he refers to Welsh “traitors”.

[ YES, SOMEBODY DID DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT AND THE RECEPTION HE GOT WAS ... COOL ... BUT THEN AS I UNDERSTAND IT HE IS OR WAS AN ELECTED PLAID CYMRU POLITICIAN ... REPUBLICANS GENERALLY TEND TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE COMMON SENSE POINT OF VIEW THAT YOU DO NOT WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE BY FIRST INSULTING THEM AND THEN THREATENING THEM WITH YOUR CONTEMPT IF THEY DO NOT AGREE WITH YOU : YOU WILL END UP BEING HELD IN CONTEMPT YOURSELF.]

At one point he says: “There are members of the Free Wales Army in here, the workers army of the Welsh republic and other members in here that I can see but I can’t tell you who they are that have served time.

“Do you think we are arseing about down here? No.”

Members of the fringe and tiny paramilitary organisation the Free Wales Army were jailed for their activities in the 1960s.

[ WELL MOST OF THE AUDIENCE WERE WAY BELOW FIFTY YEARS OF AGE AND THEREFORE COULD NOT BE THAT LONE INDIVIDUAL WHO PROCLAIMED HIMSELF TO BE ' WAWR ' - AND MOST FELLOW TRAVELLERS WITH THE ' FWA / BCR ' ARE NOW MORE THAN SEVENTY IF STILL ALIVE : THIS IMAGE OF ARMED REVOLUTIONARIES BELONGS TO PROPOGANDA MADE AGAINST REPUBLICANISM - IT IS THE INVERTED IMAGE OF THE REAL THING.]

Welsh Labour AM Ken Skates said: “I’m not a royalist, but it is frankly bizarre to see Leanne Wood swearing an oath of allegiance to this group and taking part in such a strange ceremony. Most worryingly of all it highlights a serious lack of political judgement on her part to share a stage with individuals who hold such extreme political views.

[ I AM NOT AWARE THAT KEN SKATES WAS THERE - HE HAS PROBABLY BEEN PHONED UP BY A REPORTER AND ASKED FOR COMMENT UPON A SCENE THAT NEVER HAPPENED : THIS DEMONSTRATES A SERIOUS LACK OF POLITICAL JUDGEMENT ON HIS PART, TO HAVE INADVERTENTLY DISCLOSED SUCH EXTREME POLITICAL VIEWS TO BE FOUNDED UPON HIS PREJUDICE ELICITED BY MERE SUGGESTIONS.]

“Leanne Wood needs to decide whether she wants to spend her time in backstreet pubs pretending to be a radical political freedom fighter or take up the role she was elected to perform as the leader of a mainstream Welsh political party.

[ A RIDICULOUS ALLEGATION : MISCHIEFS IS A REALLY NICE VENUE AND EVEN BACK THEN LEANNE WOOD LOOKED EVERY BIT THE WOMAN CAPABLE OF LEADING HER PARTY BECAUSE NOT ONLY HAS SHE GOT HER HEAD SCREWED FIRMLY ON BUT HER REPUBLICANISM IS MORE OR LESS HER OWN PERSONAL DISPOSITION IN DOING POLITICS AND DEALING WITH PEOPLE RATHER THAN SOME ABSTRACTED THEORETICAL CONVICTION.]

“Plaid Cymru and its leadership are at a crossroads: either they are a serious party focused on solving the big challenges we have to face in Wales or they are content to play gesture politics with radical fringe groups.”

[ REPUBLICANISM IN EVERY OTHER MODERN DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY PROVIDES EXACTLY THAT META-IDEOLOGICAL VIEWPOINT THAT IS URGENTLY NEEDED IN ORDER TO CREATE THE FRAMEWORK OF GOVERNMENT THAT CAN DEAL WITH THE VAST CHALLENGES THAT WILL FACE WALES WHEN THE ENGLISH TAXPAYERS' MONEY STOPS POURING INTO THE WELSH GOVERNMENT'S BEGGING BOWL.]

A senior Welsh Conservative source said: “If a senior politician allows themselves to be in a small room with guest speakers who boast about violent and criminal separatist pasts, their judgement must be called into question.

[ I THINK THAT WHEN SENIOR POLITICIANS DO THIS THEY GENERALLY CALL IT DIPLOMACY - WHICH IN WESTMINSTER MEANS SELLING WEAPONS ON TICK TO WHOEVER WILL SERVE THEIR PURPOSE AND DIGNIFYING THIS BY DECLARING THAT THESE EXPENDABLE STOOGES ARE FREEDOM FIGHTERS BRINGING DEMOCRACY AND PEACE AND THE OPPORTUNITY FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, WHICH HISTORICALLY HAS PROVEN TO BE DICTATORSHIP, WAR AND EXPLOITATION.]

“That this event was so small reinforces just how few people hold such views.

[ CBRD IS DRAWING UP TO ONE HUNDRED AS PEOPLE COME AND GO, THE CILMERI RALLY - WHICH ALSO USUALLY HAS ELECTED MAIN STREAM POLITICIANS ADDRESS MOSTLY THE SAME GROUP OF PEOPLE MOST TYPICALLY TO STAND IN FREEZING RAIN EACH DECEMBER DRAWS MUCH THE SAME NUMBERS : BUT THESE ARE STRICTLY SPEAKING SOCIAL OCCASIONS IN WHICH DIFFERENT GROUPS DO A TURN TO ENTERTAIN THE OTHERS. REPUBLICANS SEEM TO BE SOLITARY SORTS WHO PUT THEIR FAITH IN FACTS AND ARGUMENT NOT PETITIONS AND DEMONSTRATIONS AND THE EXTENT OF OUR NUMBERS IS REALLY VERY DIFFICULT TO ESTIMATE : I THINK THAT FOR EVERY ' PUBLIC ' INDIVIDUAL THERE ARE ONE HUNDRED ' REAL REPUBLICANS,' AND FOR EVERY ONE OF THOSE A FURTHER HUNDRED SYMPATHISERS - POLLS CONSISTENTLY REPORT AROUND 500,000 SYMPATHISERS.]

“Whatever her own thoughts on extremism, it’s clear from this video that independence and separatism are the main aims of Plaid’s leader, and always have been.”

[ LEADERS GENERALLY HAVE TO FOLLOW THEIR PARTY AND PLAID CYMRU'S MEMBERS ARE GOING TO DECIDE THESE MATTERS NOT LEANNE WOOD, AND ANYWAY REPUBLICANISM IS NOT ABOUT INDEPENDENCE AND SEPARATISM BUT MOSTLY ABOUT GOOD POLITICAL DECISION MAKING WITHIN THE EXISTING FRAMEWORK OF GOVERNMENT, OF EXPERIMENT NOT CATACLYSMIC CHANGE.]

Last night, after the Western Mail contacted Plaid Cymru but before this story was published, the video was taken down from the public section of YouTube.

[ SO THE WESTERN MAIL ... CREATED THIS STORY OUT OF THIN AIR BY RINGING UP VARIOUS PEOPLE AND JUMPING THEM INTO MAKING UNFOUNDED STATEMENTS AND PANICKY RESPONSES ? ... WHEN IF THIS STORY REALLY HAD ANY REALITY TO IT THE WESTERN MAIL WOULD HAVE RESPONDED TO THE CBRD 2011 PRESS RELEASE AND SENT SOMEBODY TO THE EVENT IN THE FIRST PLACE ... SO THIS ARTICLE IS NOT NEWS AT ALL BUT POLITICKING AGAINST LEANNE WOOD AM MASQUERADING AS JOURNALISM ? ]

A Plaid Cymru spokeswoman said: “Leanne and Bethan attended this event in good faith. Unfortunately a handful of individuals appear to have used the event to express views which we find abhorrent and from which we distance ourselves completely.”

[ LEANNE WOOD AND BETHAN JENKINS WENT TO A PROPER POLITICAL PARTY WHICH LIKE ANY OTHER PARTY THAT ANYBODY ELSE MIGHT THROW HAD JOKES AND CONVERSATION, FRICTION AND FRIENDLINESS, LATE ARRIVALS FROM PEOPLE WE HAD HOPED WOULD NOT COME AND APOLOGIES FROM THOSE THAT WE HOPED WOULD, AND GATE-CRASHERS WHO SCOFFED ALL THE SANDWICHES - AND ITS THEME WAS REPUBLICAN POLITICS IN THE SAME WAY THAT OTHER PEOPLE HAVE FANCY DRESS OR TUPPERWARE PARTIES : NOW SURELY IF LEANNE WOOD IS ADULT ENOUGH TO BE TRUSTED TO LEAD PLAID CYMRU FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS SHE IS ADULT ENOUGH TO BE ALLOWED TO EXERCISE HER JUDGEMENT IN THE COMPANY SHE KEEPS IN PUBLIC AS A CONSENTING ADULT. THE BEHAVIOUR OF SOME SMALL GROUP OF PLAID CYMRU PEOPLE ISSUING THIS STATEMENT HOWEVER IN THIS INSTANCE STRIKES ME AS ADOLESCENT IF NOT CHILDISH IN THAT WAY THAT SMALL CHILDREN TAKE IT UPON THEMSELVES TO STERNLY ADMONISH THEIR MOTHERS FOR EMBARASSING THEM, BY BEING THEMSELVES INSTEAD OF THEIR PARENTS, ESPECIALLY IF DONE IN PUBLIC ... ]

Plaid also pointed out that its director of elections Ian Titherington had attended the same event, writing on his blog at the time: “There were poets, pints, politicians and pontificators and it was an interesting general debate on the differing versions of Republicanism that people had.

[ EXACTLY ]

“I found some of the poetry particularly entertaining and was pleased to see several friends from Plaid and other parties there, but was a little depressed by a handful of individuals who took it upon themselves to use the event for an anti-English rant that sounded straight out of the 1960s. Surely we have moved on from blaming England for all our woes, especially now that we have a Parliament that we have responsibility for.”

[ EXACTLY ]

[ OBVIOUSLY THESE LAST TWO PARAGRAPHS RESTORE BALANCE BACK TO THE WHOLE ARTICLE ... SUCH A PITY THAT THE WESTERN MAIL'S OLD TRICK OF BURYING THEM IN COLUMN FIVE PAGE SEVENTEEN DOESN'T REALLY WORK ON WEBSITES ]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

REPWBLIC.ORG - PRESS RELEASE re : 18 / 09 / 12 Western Mail article by Martin Shipton " Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood attacked over Welsh republican meeting " online at


http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/welsh-politics/welsh-politics-news/2012/09/18/plaid-cymru-leader-leanne-wood-attacked-over-welsh-republican-meeting-91466-31855077/

REPWBLIC.ORG CONTACT - SECRETARY - David B. Lawrence,

ATTACHMENTS :

( 1 ) Ardystiad Leaflet as distributed at Cardiff Bay Republican Day on 07 / 06 / 11 ;

( 2 ) Photo taken at the first revival of " Yr Ardystiad " given by Gethin Gruffydd to David B Lawrence at the David Williams monument in Caerphilly on 29 / 07 / 07 ;


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


David B Lawrence ( pen name " dai " on repwblic.informe.com ) was telephoned circa 01.00 am 18 / 09 / 12 and told that he appears in a picture in an article by Martin Shipton published today on the Western Mail's website at http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/welsh-politics/welsh-politics-news/2012/09/18/plaid-cymru-leader-leanne-wood-attacked-over-welsh-republican-meeting-91466-31855077/ : having examined it David B Lawrence regards various statements made in this article to be untrue, misreported and misleading. Leanne Wood AM and Bethan Jenkins AM each made their own stances clear in their speeches at Cardiff Bay Republican Day 2011 and whilst they did make " Yr Ardystiad " they did not otherwise endorse any of the other political views represented at this event and they do not share my advocacy of Republican Democracy.

After discussing the purpose of the revised wording, Leanne Wood AM and Bethan Jenkins AM agreed to participate in making an " Ardystiad " - an " Attestation." This is normally a piece of political pantomime to provide a simple demonstration of collective solidarity amongst people whose republican views typically strongly differ as was the case on 07 / 06 /11. The ambiguous wording of this ceremony had a serious purpose which was to challenge the Treason Felony Act of 1848 by attesting a flag to be " a symbol of the Republic in Wales." One reason that the wording was deliberately revised was to avoid compromising their Oath of Allegiance which would then obscure this intended purpose.

The Treason Felony Act 1848 remains upon the statute book of English Law despite a legal argument made by the Guardian newspaper to challenge its continued existence using the Human Rights Act 1998. The House of Lords Appellate Committee ruled that " the litigation was unecessary " and so it did not proceed but Lord Stein expressed the view that " to criminalise the advocacy of republicanism is a relic of a bygone age and does not fit into the fabric of our modern legal system. The idea that section 3 could survive scrutiny under the Human Rights Act is unreal."

The House of Lords Appellate Committee ruling means that in order to finally strike down the Treason Felony Act 1848 and bring the United Kingdom into line with every other civilised democratic country somebody has to face a prosecution and win this legal agument. The idea behind large groups of people led by prominent politicians performing " Yr Ardystiad " is to pour scorn upon this barbarous law and thus get it quietly removed by the House of Commons. The purpose of the revised wording is both humerous and serious, the ambiguity of the phrasing is intended to make any attempt at prosecution the subject of public ridicule.

One aspect of " Yr Ardystiad " as revised is to avoid the ridiculous arguments over which flag to use which is often the subject of private passions between Welsh republicans. David B Lawrence as the final author of this revised wording takes the view that a flag is a rag on a stick and not to be the object of blind adherence, and provided two for the cermony in Mischiefs bar on 07 / 06 / 11. Bethan Jenkins AM made " Yr Ardystiad " first and chose the " internationalist " 1792 red-white-green trilliw which is derived from the first flag of the 1789 French revolution, and then Leanne Wood AM made " Yr Ardystiad " with the " nationalist " 1949 green-red-white trilliw which is deived from the first flag of the 1848 French revolution.

The wording of the " Ardystiad " used on 07 / 06 / 11 was deliberately chosen to evoke the memory of one of the most important figures in Welsh republican history : " The Bard of Liberty " - Iolo Morganwg, who has been much celebrated again recently in the Welsh National Eisteddfod because it was held in his beloved Bro Morgannwg in 2012. The blue-white-green triband derived from the orders of Iolo Morgannwg's Gorsedd Beirdd Ynys Prydain is another flag associated with Welsh republicanism, having been carried into Newport in 1839, but this was by the 1870's being used as an internationalist flag by the Republican Brotherhood. This year is the 140th anniversary of the founding of the Cardiff Republican Club on 28nd September 1872, one hundred years and one week after declaration of the first French Republic on 22nd September 1792.

The first version of the revived flag ceremony that has developed into " Yr Ardystiad " was performed by the veteran Welsh republican Gethin Gruffydd in Caerphilly on 29 / 07 / 07. In a brief ceremony in front of the David Williams' memorial upon which the crossed flags of 1792 and 1949 were erected, David B Lawrence as a bearer of the 1792 red-white-green trilliw was presented with a 1949 green-red-white trilliw and a a bilingual copy of Richard Price's 1789 "A Discourse on the Love of our Country " (1789), one of the foundation documents of Welsh Republicanism. David Williams and Richard Price are important historical figures for both intenationalist and nationalist republicans in Wales.

Are there really any republicans in Wales - or rather real republicans in Wales ? Whenever opinion polls are taken on the subject the consistent result is that about 20% of Welsh adults describe themselves as ' republicans ' - that would mean about 500,000 people, but in reality few of these know anything about the actual political theory. Many of those who say that they are opposed to Republicanism have in fact absorbed many of its political ideas, but historically the propoganda made by the UK establishment has obscured their origins. Probably about 5,000 people in Wales are genuine ' real ' republicans who understand that it is a pragmatic political philosophy concerned with how political decisions are best made.

There are probably less than fifty people publicly advocating Republicanism in Wales and we feel a desperate urgency to be allowed to explain this important political tradition that Welsh thinkers historically made significant contributions to before the Treason Felony Act of 1848 supressed public discourse about it. Bizarrely, whilst these republican activists can find no place in the public political debate in Wales, behind closed doors in the political departments of our universities Welsh academics are in the forefront of the international debates about Republicanism that have been taking place over the past twenty years. The foremost international journal on the subject ' Res Publica: a Journal of Legal, Moral and Social Philosophy ' has recently had as much as a fifth of its editorial board drawn from Welsh universities - yet most of Wales' elected politicians will not even discuss Republicanism's ideas : their fear is the legacy of more than 200 years of UK propoganda poisoning public politcal debate in Wales.

Part of the purpose therefore of " Yr Arystiad " was to burst open this log-jam in Wales' public political discourse so that at that critical juncture in the development of the Welsh Assembly last year into a Welsh Government with the acquisition of full law making powers the most relevant political theory to that situation could start to be freely discussed. Welsh politicians urgently need to address the facts of the constitutional deficiencies of the Welsh Government that leaves the Welsh nation without the institutions that England, Scotland and Northern Ireland possess - in particular the lack of a Welsh Court to determine the interpretation of laws in the emerging jurisdiction created by its acquisition of law making powers.

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Not my best effort but it was the middle of the night, and I doubt that the Western Mail is going to set the record straight or that other newsmedia outlets will pick it up, but at least some of the facts about the event can be read here - albeit through a glass darkly.


Last edited by dai on Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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dai



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Gethin,

I'd say Martin Shipton has made a fool of himself trying to get at Leanne Wood and Bethan Jenkins that way by alleging that they had made an oath of allegience and insinuating that this was to Balchder Cymru : these videos of Repwblic's contribution to the evening had been posted by Balchder Cymru fifteen months or so ago and right at the beginning before we did " Yr Ardystiad " there is one showing me making the point about the fact that I am " white " in contrast to the fact that some other people are " black." I ask you Gethin - as a man of fifty years experience in republican circles in Wales - do you seriously think that I could get a room full of reds, whites and greens to agree to anything even so simple as to which flag to use in " Yr Ardystiad " ? I later took the piss out of Balchder Cymru's speakers' aggressive posturing when in contrast at the end they were offered by me the very flag that they do march up and down with and would not avow it as " a symbol of the Republic in Wales." You know, pick a flag, any flag, is my attitude so long as you do something and what use is muttering about what is mattering to you if you do nothing ? They seemed to be very worried that they would be arrested for " The Attestation " but more or less the whole point of it is that a whole bunch of people can share a sense of being defiant without having to risk really messing their lives up to do it, so that more and more people can do it : so it can become normal and uncontroversial - instead of having to constantly deal with this sort of infantile time wasting from the politically illiterate we can get on with adult political matters.

Full marks incidentally to Russell of Balchder Cymru, who in contrast to Martin Shipton of The Western Mail, promptly reported Cardiff Bay Republican Day in a fairly even handed way and gave a more or less true representation of the event on their website. Of course the Western Mail is hardly going to publicise my criticism of Martin Shipton' article in the press release that I hammered out within hours of hearing about it, hopefully in time for the BBC to think twice before stoking up the story in the morning news. However later in the day I put my own shoot from the hip criticism of the article and this press release of the end of the thread :

http://repwblic.informe.com/yr-ardystiad-campaign-against-the-treason-felony-act-1848-dt438.html

I never did hear anything back from Plaid Cymru or anybody else --- I can't help thinking that they would prefer Lianne and Bethan to be portrayed as babes lured into the dark woods to be conned into participating in something that verged on black magic - instead of two rational experienced politicians who discussed beforehand and fully understood that we were trying to do something to bring an end to the evil spell cast upon this land by the evil queen of that land far far away and a long long ago i.e. Victoria and the 1848 Treason Felony Act.

I can't help thinking that some people in Plaid have thrown a fit akin to that I see in children who see their mothers given the opportunity to party as adults, they seem to either be protesting that Lianne has shrugged off her responsibilities " Mam Cymry " or otherwise maybe they had it in their heads that she was going to be the cute bimbo who would make Plaid Cymru finally electable whilst the older boyos were the power behind the throne ... ah ! Now there's a thought : Lianne for Tywysoges ? But will she ever be as popular as Diana though ??? Let' not lumber Lianne with being anything other than herself - she has got an adult job to do and it will be made so much more difficult if she has to deal with the sorts of infantile behaviour that proliferates in Welsh politics at every level. She's not there in the Senedd to be either " Mam " or " Ma'am."

If you have heard anything, I would be interested to know what rumours are around. ( Excuse me if add this to the thread )

Dai
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01mzgh8/Sunday_Politics_Wales_23_09_2012/

Leanne Wood AM interview; ardystiad mentioned at around 47 minutes in.

( the above from CityState ) - a pity that I have been so buried under other stuff recently that I missed this and it is no longer available on iplayer : it was broadcast on BBC 1 Wales and also on BBC Parliament -

Sun 23 Sep 2012
19:20
BBC Parliament

Apparently the word " Ardystiad " was not mentioned and Leanne said something similar to me - that this was a piece of political theatre designed to test outdated laws about Treason - and that she had learned her lesson and wouldn't be engaging in political theatre any more.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2012/10/11/plaid-cymru-president-criticised-for-bizarre-quasi-baptism-ceremony-91466-32015531/

MORE POLITICKING MASQUERADING AS JOURNALISM BY MARTIN SHIPTON : THIS TIME A MISREPRESENTATION OF CILMERI IN 2011


Plaid Cymru president criticised for 'bizarre' quasi-baptism ceremony

Martin Shipton Oct 11 2012

Plaid Cymru President Jill Evans has been strongly criticised after a video was posted to the internet showing her taking part in a quasi-baptism ceremony in a forest with supporters of the Free Wales Army.

The video, titled The Well, was posted to YouTube earlier this week by a group calling itself Meibion Cymru (Sons of Wales).

Another name for the group is Balchder Cymru (Pride of Wales).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjJ6di8t-1w

Lasting more than seven minutes, the video shows around 30 people queuing up to be “baptised” at a forest well in Powys.

They then bend down putting their heads to the well.

Many of the participants – though not Ms Evans – say ‘Cymru rydd’ (free Wales) immediately after having their foreheads sprinkled with water from the well by a man with a shaven head.

Some of those taking part wear jackets with the Free Wales Army’s insignia on the sleeve.

One young man who participates in the ceremony carries an axe.

The “baptism” event occurred at Cilmeri, near Builth Wells, where the last native born Prince of Wales, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, was killed in a skirmish on December 11, 1282, by soldiers in the service of Edward I of England.

His death marked the end of an independent Wales. A memorial stone to Llywelyn was erected on the site in 1956 and serves as the focal point for an annual day of remembrance on the anniversary of his death.

Ms Evans was a speaker at last December’s event. Last month she was criticised after another video posted on YouTube showed supporters of the Free Wales Army (FWA) holding up the illegal group’s flag directly in front of her.

The FWA first appeared in public at a 1965 protest against the construction of the Llyn Celyn reservoir. Members wore home-made uniforms and marched at historic sites like Machynlleth, as well as carrying out manoeuvres with small arms and explosives in the Welsh countryside and claiming responsibility for bombings.

In 1969, nine members of the paramilitary group were arrested and charged with public order offences. The FWA’s leader Julian Cayo Evans, his second-in-command Dennis Coslett and four other members were convicted. Evans and Coslett spent 15 months in jail.

When the earlier video emerged last month, Plaid said Ms Evans could not be held responsible for who else turned up at the Cilmeri event.

Welsh Labour AM Vaughan Gething said: “This whole episode just gets weirder and weirder. It’s like a scene from Lord of the Rings.

“First we saw Plaid’s President Jill Evans addressing Free Wales Army supporters in front of the paramilitary FWA flag and now in this latest video we see her taking part in some kind of nationalist baptism at a forest well.

“Many of the people there, including her own husband, chant ‘Cymru rydd’, and several of those present have FWA patches on their arms. It is utterly bizarre.

“It is hard to believe that this is a President of a party that was only recently in government in Wales.

“Together with leader Leanne Wood’s extraordinary republican oath of allegiance at a Cardiff wine bar, Plaid Cymru is turning into a laughing stock.

“It seems the nationalists are more interested in associating with radical fringe groups than in engaging in serious politics.”

A Welsh Conservative spokesman said: “The utter lack of judgement shown here completely beggars belief.

“Being filmed near a man carrying an axe in some kind of cult activity linked to the Free Wales Army is foolish at best.

“Jill Evans now joins her leader in having direct links exposed on video to what remains of this paramilitary nationalist organisation.

“At least her apparent baptism makes her main aims of independence and separatism abundantly clear.”

A spokesman for Ms Evans said: “This is part of an event that is held annually in memory of Llywelyn to mark an important moment in Welsh history. The ceremony is a tradition commemorating the washing of Llywelyn’s head and it follows a church service conducted by the Vicar of Builth Wells.”

Plaid Cymru did not wish to add to the statement issued by Ms Evans’ spokesman.

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There are 121 comments posted to date against this article, most pro or con are ill-informed and a lot of them are deleted on the grounds that they break the terms and conditions and interestingly one Duw says :

Duw

2:40 PM on 12/10/2012



... [Note: Despite being compliant with MediaWales' terms and conditions, this post and others may be deleted, as is now frequently occuring on this site. I have enquired to the editor (via e-mail, October 2nd) on what grounds compliant posts are deleted, and have followed up with a further two e-mails, and have yet to receive a response].

hywels

3:23 PM on 12/10/2012

THIS MESSAGE APPEARED WHEN I COPIED AND PASTED THIS

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let us know if you do get a response I've had a number of posts deleted, that are in no way inflammatory or abusive. What happened to freedom of speech and sensible debate? If they do not want people to air their opinions then withdraw the facility altogether

Pontarddulais

8:27 PM on 17/10/2012

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Attn. Chris Glynn-Jones - Having problem posting my answer to hywels. Any reason for this?

hywels

8:39 PM on 17/10/2012

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You are right to ask unless its abusive there should be no censorship, otherwise whats the point?

NOW THAT IS A TOUCH INTERESTING ISN'T IT ?
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess that the casual reader stumbling across the complaints above might think that I am feeling sore because of my Republican Democratic politics - but partly the Open Conspiracy originated in opposition to the " Yellow Journalism " of the inter-war years which spread lies : Republicanism advocates " The Freedom Of The Press " in order to promote a wider understanding of political issues and processes in society i.e. in the eighteenth century it was taken from granted that journalists would be concerned to contribute to the search for " The Truth " not deliberately tell lies and make misrepresentations : The Freedom Of The Press is the same as The Freedom of Speech except that it expected that it is further circumscribed by codes of professional conduct - which Martin Shipton disregards : here are some more respectable people than myself complaining -

http://syniadau--buildinganindependentwales.blogspot.co.uk/2010/09/frieda-brepoels-n-va-and-martin-shipton.html

" Martin Shipton seems determined to stir up a row about Plaid inviting Frieda Brepoels to speak at our conference, but I'm pleased that we did. The N-VA promote an inclusive civic nationalism, as opposed to the exclusive race-based nationalism of many other parties, and that is reason enough to work with them as part of the Green-EFA group in the European Parliament even though they are a centre-right party ... "



Having read this blow by blow dissection of another article by Martin Shipton I left the following comment :

" INTERESTING in view of Martin Shipton's recent articles attacking Plaid Cymru's leader Leanne Wood - http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/welsh-politics/welsh-politics-news/2012/09/18/plaid-cymru-leader-leanne-wood-attacked-over-welsh-republican-meeting-91466-31855077/ - and president Jill Evans - http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2012/10/11/plaid-cymru-president-criticised-for-bizarre-quasi-baptism-ceremony-91466-32015531/ - I CAME ACROSS THIS PAGE LOOKING BY LOOKING FOR OTHER COMPLAINTS ABOUT MARTIN SHIPTON'S JOURNALISM : I can confirm that those two articles are also seriously misleading and clearly intended to be harmful - and I am not in Plaid and I do not vote for them."
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mmm ... I hear rumour of a campaign of protest against Martin Shipton's behaviour and I myself have been wondering what to do about it ... clearly he is not likely to behave decently and make a public account of his misbehaviour nor abjectly confess his misrepresentations privately to his fellow journalists or even apologise to Trinity Mirror for exposing them to potentialy expensive lawsuits given that there are so many people now queuing up wanting to testify against him ... except of course Trinity Mirror as ever will be sitting pretty behind a barricade of lawyers and will thus calmly believe themselves to be immune to lawsuits and will merely smile at the idea of anybody going to the Press Complaints Commission. ... ...

I JUST CAME BACK TO ADJUST THE GRAMMAR AND THIS TERRIBLY LONG PHRASE SUDDENLY APPEARED .... ... ALWAYS SURPRISING WHEN THAT HAPPENS ISN'T... ... I WAS JUST ABOUT TO TRANSFER IT TO THE BOTTOM BUT I THINK THAT I WILL JUST LEAVE THIS DETOUR IN PLACE FOR A WHILE OR TWO OR THREE ... ...

... ... I find myself wondering as to whether the PCC is not in fact the headquarters of a newsmedia cartel, merely the public relations department of " The Syndicate " which I was rambling on about over on this topic thread a couple of days ago ( Y Llys Cymru - The Welsh Court - http://repwblic.informe.com/viewtopic.php?t=532&highlight= ) " The Syndicate " was a term I coined in an idle moment because I got fed up writing out " the military-industrial-banking-crime-complex " - and if I now have to start adding further descriptors onto that chain it is going to become just hopelessly Germanic - so let's just call it " The Syndicate " - by which I mean to stand for a description of a voluntary and self-regulating organisation which everybody wants to join or at least to publicly subscribe to the belief that it is a good thing for others to believe in if they want to, in order to fit in and hope for the best and to get a share in the easy money and perhaps in order to avoid looking a little bit odd, because after all everybody is doing it and we ourselves of course will never become victims of this kind of scam - someone else will always pay, won't they ? It is a bit like buying a National Lottery ticket - you know damn well that this is not the honest way to raise public funds, for causes that should be paid for out of taxes, by exploiting the despairing hopes and dreams of those trapped in poverty who waste what little money they have on scratch cards in the hope of a few seconds of hope in their hopeless lives, but of course when we have paid our pukka pennies for proper paper now promptly printed with perfectly picked professional new numbers now numerically numerised - no notions numismatic needed nor none nicer known than the ones we found in the method in the book that we bought to ensure that we will win the millions that we personally need to make ourselves happy ... ... and so we are damn sure that if we hold on tightly to our little furry rabbit feet and do not step on any of the cracks in the pavements then we can be personally assured that we are in with an almost certain chance of winning, unless ofcourse somebody else does in which case that is fate not probability ... and we all believe this because the newspapers that have sold us this book have assured us of the power of this book to make people wealthy ( - please note that the people represented in this advertisement are played by actors and the manufacturer of these lies reserves the right to provide alternative winners : please refer to the terms and conditions of sale and remember that once we declare the bankruptcy of the company and retreat to our tax havens it is pointless for smaller creditors to try to get their money back.) ... ... ...

... ... ... You know, it occurs to me that if I told you that I wrote this because I had a voice in my head telling me to say these things and to do those things ... ... ... ... and you could see me here muttering away to this computer as I wrestle with words and phrases from my vocabulary in order to pin them down and submit to the ideas that this voice casts forwards for me to stick on the page ... .... ... ... ... you might think that this proves that I am mad ... ... ... ... ... but this is my own voice and my own thoughts upon matters, that is why it may not sound as sane to you as the other peoples' voices in your head because I do not conform in what I say to what they say ... ... ... ... .. the basis of my politics for over half of my life time has been Frankl's Logotherapy and Kelly's Personal Construct Psychology and I used to be very unkind about the muddle in other people's heads when I was a smart-arse teenage activist until I discovered three inconsistencies in myself which generated systematic contradictions within my life that were shocking to behold the consequences of ... ... ...

... ... ... I was unnecessarily cruel to myself in methodically ripping my mind apart for several years to remove these contradictions and thereafter I was generally a lot more sympathetic to the delusions of others and I am inclined to accept that they have the right as adults to be as neurotic and psychotic as they wish to be provided that they harm only themselves ... ... ... ... .. of course these problems arise out of sex : if only we could leave solitary lives and have nothing to do with each other then we would have no need of religion or politics and the constraints that they place on our imaginations ... ... ...

... ... ... I find it staggering how solitary people are compared to two generations ago : most are involved for hours in activities that pander to their imaginations, gratifying their every whim - even newspapers have taken on this aspect of the modern world, presumably because the economic imperitive is to sell enough copies to avoid bankruptcy and if they do not pander to the neuroses and psychoses of those who buy their newspaper - then journalists become unemployed, but rarely editors and of course never ever do newspaper proprietors lose their jobs or go to jail except without passing the G*O and thereby collecting a huge wad of money. ( " the G*O " is a little bit like the " Golden Handshake." ) ... ... ...

... ... ... I think that when people had difficulty avoiding each other the friction generated religion and politics : people questioned the basis of each other's patterns of thinking more closely and interactively and whilst they may have come up with some strange belief systems to frame their world views they were often better adjusted to reality than ... ooh ... some kind of modern scientificist like Richard Dawkins who thinks that religion is about believing in God and is utterly unaware that his attempts to propagate his own world view to others is exactly what religion is about ... ... ... clever and articulate people like Richard Dawkins are usually bewildered by republicans because they are not able to subsume another person's world view and think that politics is about defeating " enemies " by winning arguments and then employing the power of the state to make others obey their will because they are right ... ... ... but republicans understand that the first point to consider in any political argument is that we may be wrong or only partially right and that those arguing against us may possess knowledge or insights from experience or - even better - a whole heap of facts that may refute all opinions and arguments brought forward to examine them. Republicans treat political arguments as a collaborative exercise in which all participants may change their minds upon an encounter with another point of view - but it takes time and patience because change is often difficult for all involved, and two parties may actually prefer to continue arguing even though they either agree or both have been proven wrong because they have other motives : this is one of the fundamental problems with Pure Democracy and one of the reasons why Republican Democrats object to the Punch and Judy Show of the party political system as it exists within the United Kingdom and which is even worse in the United States of America. Having four parties in Y Senedd has made an improvement in the Welsh political debate but Democratic Republican politicians do not like to be seen to be agreeng with each other in public and cooperating because it sets a bad example to the electorate who have already agreed with each other that they do not like the parties of Democratic Republican politicians who try to keep them permanently divided and at each others' throats and so might even start cooperating together to get rid of them altogether in favour of a Republican Democratic political system without sectarian political parties at all : the Punch and Judy show ends, we discover that this constant queuing up for jam yesterday and jam tomorow but never jam today means that we are the crocodile and so finally we will get to eat the sausages - with jam on them. I mean it - we will have Liberty And Justice For All and that means that everybody without exception will have jam on their sausages whether they like it or not : you know that this makes sense - it is the purest form of Socialist Republicanism in which all vegetarians are without exception The Enemies of The People.


... Bingo for poor people ( because the odds are so lousy and you have to invest a weeks income to get the chance to win a cuddly toy ) or Roullette for rich people ( the odds are significantly less biassed against the punters because they are laying out larger sums of money and drinking cocktails served to them in elegant glssses instead of having to try to mix themselves a shake of Ribena and IrnBru in a spare tin can ) - these are in fact a lot like those games that organisations like the Press Complaints Council run, only stupid people go into such a casino not understanding that the very fact of its continued existence demonstrates that the odds are against its ' customers ' - the casino's real customers are those who own the joint : they invest in the enterprise on the basis of its profitability being guaranteed which means that overall the players of the game must lose - and those players that win will get their cards marked : persistent winners do not understand the game and will be politely but firmly shown the door. Like corrupt cops, the politicians of the UK do not want to get on the wrong side of " The Syndicate " and in return for a percentage of the profits the Media Mafia is left to run these unregulated gambling joints and private speak-easys that are so called newspapers and magazines only provided that the activities that occur within them do not cause any public scandals that threaten to remove politicians from power. UK politicians therefore are nearly always ready to put in a good word for any newspapers on the floor of the House of Commons, provided that they have licence to bad-mouth any particular journalist : but whilst even editors can not normally be got rid of for what they print their journalists saying, newspaper proprietors certainly can not be got rid of ... as we saw in the phone hacking scandals.

http://www.pcc.org.uk/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Press_Complaints_Commission

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/pcc

Oh YEAh ... Where was I ? What's this scrap pushed to the bottom ?

let alone the thought of making amends to people he may have put in danger of the behaviour of real criminals by branding us as terrorists ... this is the sort of thing that if it were mere abuse or slander could left for others to forget, that this morning's Western Mail is this evening's fish and chip wrapper and tomorrow morning's arse wipe

Yes. That is more or less my habitual view of newspapers ... there are some quite nice people working for Mafia Wales but that of course is their problem ... I take them such interesting stories, full of facts and human interest angles, and the journalists that I tell them to are often excited by these and sure that they will run, assuring me that they are such well written press releases etc ... and then my phone goes dead, they won't answer my calls or reply to my emails ... it's that Mafia Wales Code Of Silence that they have ... you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night pouring with sweat, convinced that somebody is trying to shove a severed horse's head through the letter box ... I certainly won't be giving out any more hot tips about racing certainties to Mafia Wales journalists, that is for sure ... it is a murky business you know sitting up all night sharpening press releases ... it is often like sharpening pencils : you get it very nearly right and then with that one last shaving you lose the point and have to start all over again ... that is why pencils have rubbers on the end you know, to have something left to hold onto as you try one last time to make the point.

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Oh !!! Thank the-god-that-i-don't-believe-in !!!

My faith in newspaper reporters is restored at the eleventh hour : surely nobody could have made this newspaper story up ?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-20050483

Surely THAT is what has really been going on - mild mannered Martin Shipton has actually been working away on the inside of Mafia Wales, striving to expose its corrupt and evil ways and once he has finally clinched the story he will expose himself to all in his true identity, stripping off his everyday appearance along with his clothes - and thus revealing the huge bulge in his underpants, which he is presently constantly having to explain away in order to conceal the evidence of the real focus of his concerns - he will then rush heroically to the roof of the building and soar out over the parapet of MWC ( Mafia Wales Centre ) ... and Wales and the World will once more be made safe for ordinary decent god-fearing folk !!!
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dai



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, I am not able keep New Year resolutions either ... within twenty four hours I was up again all the following night after writing the above rambling rubbish : there I was, coffee and cigarettes - grimly whittling away at yet another email to a journalist ... these ones on Republicanism just grow before me like Twpsi, you know ?
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Dear ( A Journalist in London who is willing to talk sensibly about the history of republicanism in the UK )

( I'm sorry about the length of this - in fact I think that this is more usefully pasted into the discussion thread mentioned below : I will forward you an email on The Mynd Wall )

What I have been arguing about Republicanism is that the 1848 Treason Felony Act - which I might be construed as breaking every day of my life since I was a teenager - does not specifically mention Republicanism by name but is taken to, and this is why myself and others are constantly treated as criminals for trying to explain it to people who have been indoctrinated for over two hundred years into believing that Republicanism argues that political ends should be sought by violence - when it teaches exactly the opposite !

In Wales, and as I understand it everywhere in Britain and Ireland, there was a long tradition of educated professional people leading campaigns and speaking to crowds and advocating their demands to the authorities which helped to limit the tendency by those without votes to express their political grievances by rioting. After the French Revolution there were a series of laws passed supposedly to prevent sedition, conspiracy etc but I argue that in order to keep control of society a whole series of governments progressively sought to break the link between the middle class and the working class - they knew how to deal confidently with working class demonstrations, they just gunned people down, the threat did not come from the illiterate masses but from the educated middle class who had no part in the establishment : the perceived threat was that the middle classes would enlist the power of the working classes to back their own demands for political reforms and a share in the franchise - which is indeed what basically eventually happened.

In the late eighteenth century an educated middle class advocate of reform like Edmund Burke would be steeped in Locke and Harrington etc and it is notable that Burke, who is now seen as somebody for Conservatives to admire, epitomised this threat that the middle class would enlist the help of the working class to coerce their rulers. As a journalist I presume that you are aware of the term " The Fourth Estate " - but do you know that it is attributed to Edmund Burke and that he was not referring to the Press ? On the day that journalists were first allowed to legitimately sit in the gallery of the House of Commons and report its proceedings Burke alluded to them as the Fourth Estate : he said something like - " there are Three Estates sitting here in Parliament; but, in the Reporters' Gallery yonder, there sits a Fourth Estate which is more important by far than us all." Burke meant that he was a representative of the Third Estate and he was referring to William the Conqueror seizing ownership of all of the land for himself and his men and thereby the conquered ceased to be land owners i.e. they held no estate and thereby were deprived of the right to participate in government - in medieval government this was upon the basis of holding land. Burke did not perceive the Press therefore in themselves to be the Fourth Estate but to be the " elected representatives " of those who held no estate in the land. Educated people in Burke's day would have understood this allusion : nearly all of the political works that they studied were from Classical Greece and Rome and political radicals inevitably thought of themselves in terms of Cicero etc and talked of the Res Publica - " the Public Interest " is still used as a term but its republican origin is disregarded.

After the Corsican Revolution the British celebrated Paoli - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pasquale_Paoli - and republicanism was in vogue even with the establishment of the UK - until the American and then French revolutions presented it with threats to its powerful interests and the possibility of its authority being overthrown by populist politicians. Over a period of seventy years republicanism became publicly demonised and whilst classical authors were still privately studied by the middle classes the ideas culled from them were increasingly excluded from public discourse : to openly discuss republicanism was to be deemed subversive, and anything that smacked of advocating democratic organisation was legislated against including Friendly Societies and Trade Unions. The Treason Felony Act 1848 came more or less at the end of this period, after a large riot in Trefalgar Square in which over three days of fighting republican slogans were chanted by a mob which threw stones, smashed shops and held the square against the authorities. Most of the laws designed to suppress the discussion of republicanism have now been removed but the Treason Felony Act 1848 remains, promising me transportation to Australia. The last people convicted of Treason Felony were " The Sydney Twelve " who were trade unionists campaigning against conscription into the Australian armed forces in 1916 : they were already in New South Wales and so presumably they were hoping to be sentenced to transportation back home, but their plan backfired and they got twenty years in jail.

More than ten years ago The Guardian newspaper tried to get the House of Lords to strike down the Treason Felony Act 1848 as a dead letter, but failed : the Lords deemed themselves unable to do it although in their opinion it was now an invalid law - but the constitution of the political system of the UK prevented them. Does it matter that there is this redundant law on the statute books ? Well, yes - it does because it continues to create the sense that republicans are as the propoganda of centuries portrays them : that we are politically motivated criminals hell bent on violence and destruction - which is a preposterous but popular prejudice. The continued existence of the Treason Felony Act 1848 allows those who hold prejudices against republicans to cite a law that supposedly makes republicanism illegal - but actually it does not make republicanism illegal per se, it makes advocating infringing on the rights of the monarchy illegal. Prince Charles for example could be prosecuted under the Treason Felony Act 1848 for publicly advocating that he become the " Defender OF Faith " when he takes his coronation oath which presently would make him " Defender of THE Faith " - he is thus guilty of this " thought " crime.

From a republican point of view the rule of law is the supreme public good - the " Bonum Publicum " - but the rule of law must be limited to social interactions and not intrude into individuals' relationships with themselves : the law is there to regulate interactions between people who have differing degrees of power in order to prevent one party harming another. When republicans talk of equality it means to be held equal in the eyes of the law so that justice prevails - ideally because people uphold the law because they recognise it as being the very embodiment of the Res Publica which is our society's understanding of what sort of conduct constitutes the Bonum Publicum i.e. it is in the public interest to recognise the public good of intervening in other people's relationships to prevent injustice or to stop it continuing and ideally to remedy it afterwards if possible. From a republican point of view any crime is a crime against society not merely against the victim, and this was why as industrialisation progressed and there were many obvious abuses of vulnerable people then one of the main ideas at the heart of republicanism was potentially very threatening to the UK's establishment. This idea is that in order to promote the rule of law everybody must have swift and equal access to a legal remedy which is collectively paid for in taxation but free for all at the point of need : all legal proceedings should be paid for out of public funds because the rule of law is the supreme public good upon which society stands. From a republican point of view political systems that creates laws but do not provide the means to enforce them are political systems that license criminality and may indeed already be controlled by criminals i.e. by those who are opposed to the public interest - the Res Publica - and are instead pursuing their own private interests, which may ultimately be best served by subverting the state.

So ... you will understand that I am inclined to see myself as a scrupulously law-abiding person and proud to be so even if that should not be in my own private interests to be.

Republicanism's central preoccupation with the rule of law being the supreme public good demands the development of political systems which lead to laws being made and constantly re-made to accurately describe and then better approximate to our understanding of the Res Publica : this is conceived of as a continuous process called " revolution " - which is to be understood as being akin to the parties involved pushing and pulling upon the wheel of society in order to move it in this direction or that to get it out of a rut so to speak, it has got nothing to do with insurrection : you don't get a wheel moving by smashing it to pieces ! Government is to be thought of as being like the hub of the wheel, it is the central institution about which the wheel of society rotates and it considers the pressures upon it from all directions being brought to it by the representatives of various parts of society : these representatives are like the spokes which connect the hub with the outer rim upon which these pressures first bear. Governments that do not listen to what is happening in the societies that they rule make laws that disregard the public interest and then they have to use coercion to enforce their will against those who are either defending their own private interests or those advocating the Res Publica. The state then ceases to be the means to protect the vulnerable by providing them with equal opportunities of redress through the legal system and instead uses the legal system to oppress the vulnerable by removing any opportunity to seek the protection of the state. In other words, the state as the apparatus through which a society is governed is not regarded by republicans as inherently good or bad but as a tool which in the hands of those who are pursuing their own private interests is potentially harmful and therefore it is in the public interest to jealously guard against any sectarian community being able to acquire control of the state either by permanently establishing itself as the government or by subverting the bureaucracy that constitutes the state i.e. the state itself consists of a community of people who may act in their own interest. The history of the United Kingdom demonstrates that these sorts of problems are rife in our political system, so it is hardly surprising therefore that the very political ideology that is constantly preoccupied with them is the one that is most vilified and any discussion of it is branded as subversive.

When somebody asks me to explain Republicanism to them I often start by immediately dealing with the common myth that it is a political ideology that advocates violence, arguing that politics is founded upon discourse and therefore there can be no such thing as " political violence " - it is an oxymoron because by definition you cannot secure a political agreement by putting a gun to your opponent's head : you can not bomb your way to any sort of political settlement - waging war is not a political but a criminal activity. This does not mean that Republicanism advocates pacificism but rather that it opposes passivism : no opportunity for political activity can be passed over and we must wage peace even in the midst of war excepting the neccessity of defending life and the means to live because not resisting would be to acquiesce to and licence the crime of war. In the United Kingdom one of the main concerns of Republican Democrats is the fact that this is a criminal state whose military forces are not used for defensive but for offensive purposes, that all of the elected political parties are willing if elected to use war to pursue their ends whether that be in killing their own political opponents or in profiting from the armaments industries by raising taxes upon their discounted sales of murder, theft and mayhem whilst providing financial warranties to the companies involved lest the criminals that they have sold weapons to on credit should turn out to also be the sorts of crooks that do not pay their bills. Which sort of brings me to the royal family towards whom I have a strictly republican attitude : they are people who are entitled to their equal share of dignity before the law, but the monarchy must be subject to the rule of law.

That is all that Republicanism actually says about the monarchy : although there are varieties of Democratic Republicanism that have arisen which are passionately opposed to the continuing existence of the monarchy, the original theory argues for something rather more subtle. Republicanism arose in an age when society was conceived of having Four Estates which each exercised a different kind of power and it advocated that those powers should be kept in balance in order for a society to function well - the concept was of " governing " these powers such that each estate accepted that it had received fair consideration - power at the time was based upon holding land, hence the idea of an " estate." The First Estate was the clergy, its modern counterpart is in the media, its power lay in broadcasting ideas and Cognition ; the Second Estate was the monarchy, its modern counterpart is in the military-industrial complex, its power lay in violence and Action ; the Third Estate was the aristocracy, its modern counterpart is in the banking-crime complex, its power lay in consumption and Sensation ; the Fourth Estate was the peasantry, its modern counterpart is in those dependent upon welfare, and its power lay in rioting and Emotion. So I hope that you will gather immediately that real republicans are indifferent to anti-monarchism and dismiss it as the politics of envy, driven by private interests and therefore irrelevant to the public interest. Real republicans are concerned about where the power lies in society and therefore the questions that real republicans pose about the monarchy are upon such matters as whether it could be used by the military-industrial complex to pretend that there has been a continuity of government after a coup. Most Republican Democrats have a good deal of sympathy for the people in the Royal Family and we want to get rid of the mountainous prison of sycophancy that they have been incarcerated in since birth for humanitarian reasons : we would not merely cast them off but instead we would provide them psychotherapy in order to gradually adjust from their institutionalisation, re-educate them, teach them to improve their social skills and then provide them with employment opportunities which are more dignified.

( I have to admit here that the seeds of my political sensibilities were sown in 1969 when we were set a Sunday school project to celebrate Charles' investiture as Prince of Wales - it was not that I was against the monarchy but that I questioned why our Sunday school teacher was more enthusiastic about Charles than he was about Jesus : I was seven years old and complaining about Congregationalists not getting their priorities right and I kept complaining all the way up until I was sixteen when I accepted my bible for having graduated as a Christian adult and then politely declined to sign on for their cause. I ended up as a Quaker aged thirty, joining the Religious Society of Friends after eight years of earnestly debating whether I could know whether I was an agnostic or not - then I upset everybody ten years ago by reconciling my religion with my politics, declaring for Non-theist Quakerism and Republican Democracy : nobody knows what to do about me, except to build a time machine and send me back to the seventeenth century !!! )

Now the above my look as if it has no bearing upon your question - " The wider issue of republicanism is an interesting one. Is your point that there was an element of this behind the struggles of the early Victorian age ? " but what I had in mind was that question seems to place Republicanism back into a moment in history, as if it is in a time capsule that might be excavated, opened, examined and then safely buried again. But what happened in the nineteenth century is still effecting my daily life because I maintain a bulletin board http://repwblic.informe.com This was supposed to be a ' republic of letters ' but the conversation has become more or less a monologue because others ceased making contributions - but other people still read it : twenty percent of them live in India !!! People in other democratic countries can not understand the fact that in the United Kingdom, and especially in Wales it seems, it is impossible to discuss Republicanism : it is after all the original ( and best ) political theory that has shaped the modern democratic state. In any other country it is unthinkable to exclude Republicanism from the political discourse : when I describe the hostility that I am subjected to as a republican democrat in Wales foreigners think that I must be paranoid until I explain the history of how this prejudice towards republicanism was manufactured in the United Kingdom.

Being just an ordinary plain-vanilla ' white ' Republican Democrat in Wales is not like being a Black Jewish Transgendered Incontinent Lesbian Paraplegic Leper : it's much worse !

Here is a story for you - history unfolding : five years ago I sat in front of a panel of three Welsh establishment politicos to make a submission to the All Wales Convention on Law Making Powers for the Welsh Assembly Government and immediately that I mentioned that I was a republican making my argument from Montesqueiu's ' The Spirit of the Laws ' I was subjected to hostility, in the first place for being a republican and in the second place for supposedly having been put up to it by The Law Society who were making a similar argument. I argued what is taken to be normal in other countries : separation of the powers of the Legislature, Executive and Judicature - and I pointed out that they proposed law making powers for the Welsh Government and Welsh Assembly without introducing a Welsh Court to determine the interpretation of the laws in the jurisdiction that they would thereby be creating. I advised them that the lawyers advising on draughting laws should not be dependent upon the politicians making them, that ideally an independent Welsh Court should be created to advise both the Welsh Government and the opposition in the Welsh Assembly upon draughting bills and amendments to legislation in order to be certain that they will be consistent with existing laws in the jurisdiction. I predicted that a local authority might challenge the interpretation of a new law in a county court and their case might then be appealed to a higher court in London : unelected English judges could then over-rule the elected representatives of the Welsh Assembly on the most explosive subject for impending legislation in Wales - the new Welsh Language Act. I was not alone in making these sorts of criticism but I was personally attacked and my arguments dismissed because I am a republican. Five years later - and more than 600 years after the last Welsh Government ever passed a law - the very first law passed by the new Welsh Government ended up being argued about in front of English judges in London in the Supreme Court as to whether it was compatible with the existing jurisdiction ...

Quite besides that however, last year I was asked to brush up a flag ceremony for the use of Leanne Wood AM and Bethan Jenkins AM who were invited to be speakers at the 2011 Cardiff Bay Republican Day. I decided that " Yr Ardystiad " : " The Attestation " of a flag as a symbol of the Republic in Wales - see attachment - should be redesigned to be more purposeful and it was agreed that we would target and mock the Treason Felony Act 1848 - and elected politicians participating in this might help us to attract The Guardian to the event because of its campaign to strike down this law ten years previously and thus get the issue and the event some press coverage across the United Kingdom. You can read about what happened on this thread - http://repwblic.informe.com/yr-ardystiad-campaign-against-the-treason-felony-act-1848-dt438.html - it was not reported. There was no press coverage about it at all until about a month ago when suddenly the story was " discovered " twenty months or so later by Martin Shipton of the Western Mail who misreported it in order to attack the leader of Plaid Cymru, branding me as having been handing out oaths in a bizarre ceremony on behalf of violent racists who celebrate the idea of armed struggle ... now I responded to the first article fairly promptly, staying up all night to craft a press release ( it is near the end of that thread ) and I later had a reason to leave a message for Martin asking him whether he would be interested in having a comment from me to quote about the fiasco going on in the Supreme Court and the fact that I had predicted this ... but there was no reply ... republicans are getting very angry with Martin and the Western Mail and last night I mocked him on that thread, but ...

... the man handing out oaths in this bizarre ceremony of slagging off people who call themselves republicans is ... well ... arguably ... a republican ! ... a very partisan one though, the man is not daft and he is normally not so reckless in telling lies so I just have to speculate as to why Martin Shipton behaved so unprofessionally, so personally - as if he had suddenly had several screws loosened all at once. He is the author of ' Poor Man's Parliament ' in which he describes the very problem that I anticipated of the Welsh Assembly Government's lawyers draughting legislation upon the instructions of the politicians that they were dependent upon, politicians who ordered them to push their luck in the way it was draughted and then unsurprisingly Whitehall refused the legislation as draughted. Maybe Martin is too close to these politicians himself, dependent upon them because they are the source of his stories and therefore of his income ? That in itself is a situation that carries us all the way back to the days of Edmund Burke, and it was the very reason why he welcomed the representatives of the Fourth Estate into the places of power, because those who governed the Fourth Estate and taxed them without giving them political representation could then no longer have the press in their pocket, conducting the government of the United Kingdom behind closed doors and deciding what the press would be told afterwards ... the government of the day took heed of Burke's remarks and gave them due consideration, and having examined the penny newspapers that reflected the opinions of the unenfranchised back to themselves - so that they had begun to develop a sense of what their shared interests were and to campaign for political reform and representation in parliament in order to confront those governing the country according to their private interests - they promptly taxed them out of existence and set about punishing anybody who discussed politics outside of a gentleman's club - and then they had to start banning gentlemen's clubs e.g. the London Corresponding Society ...

... and then came the 1831 Reform Act with rioting all over the place with people chanting republican slogans and songs without even understanding what they actually meant.

Now I hope that you enjoyed that ... I took several hours over it and this sort of thing is much more pleasant than actually doing politics, which requires hard work and evidence.

I am not trying to get you to promote Republicanism for me, I am interested in history in general but I tend not to be very professional about it : I'm never going to write theses !

Yours Sincerely,

dai / David B Lawrence
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://repwblic.informe.com/viewtopic.php?p=1582#1582

I scribbled a few more comments about MWC's behaviour on this thread about a recent signing event in Bridgend of ' The White Book of Carmarthen.'
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dai



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

THIS SORT OF FOLLOWS ON FROM THE ABOVE BECAUSE I AM STILL AGGRIEVED BY THE WESTERN MAIL AND MARTIN SHIPTON'S BEHAVIOUR

ON THE OTHER HAND I FEEL THAT THE LITTLE ESSAY THAT THESE EMAILS WERE WRITTEN OVER DESERVES ITS OWN THREAD REALLY ...

From:
To:
Subject: RE: ( some sarcasm + a serious essay on Republicanism in Wales ) - John Larsen, Liberal Democrat & Terrorist ... but why are no journalists in Wales reporting those two facts ?
Date: Tue, 8 Oct 2013 22:51:17 +0000

Dear Rhisart,

ha ha ha hee hee hee - and not ironically either ... you have put a smile on my face at the end of a fretful evening !

I have angry feelings too - but I want Republicanism in Wales to live again : it has to be for good as well as against bad.

Above all I am thinking that I have my head screwed on more than others and I want to share this view of things with them.

Dumping the " black faction " into the same category as the United Kingdom cuts us clear and sets us straight to do good.

I actually like everybody but I am not oblivious to their faults or mine - we need a clear vision of who we are and they are !

Can you buy this vision of Republicanism in Wales ? If anything like this ever happens to us we need to know our stance.

Otherwise we are prey to every little fucker who declares that he did some crime because he is a " Welsh Republican " - !

This to me is the treachery of the " black faction " - five or six people claiming to be justified by 500,000 - 600,000 others.

Think of it : if we can finally see off the idea that " Republicans are Terrorists " and secure that 20% of the vote in Wales ?

We must give our loyalty to that 20% who share our feelings and then imagine something for them to vote for not against.

Republicanism in Wales has a rich and interesting literature and culture and everybody can contribute whatever they can.

In fact it is probably more important to encourage people to be creative and enjoy their imagination than to get elected !

Imagine then " Republicanism in Wales " as a " street-fighting " politics : we will need to fight for Wales street by street.

Not with barricades and bottles but by making Republicanism in Wales so ubiquitous and normalised that nobody fears us.

I'm very pleased with tonight's work ... I wonder if I should send a copy on to every Member of the Assembly ... ?

I'm so pleased that I want to share this response to your reply with a handful of others, but without your very angry reply !

Please excuse that - but be assured that I am still laughing about it even now !

David B. Lawrence,


( Rhisiart sent me a reply that was encouraging but very very angry so I won't copy it over to others ... it was very angry but very amusing.)

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-----Original Message-----
From:
Sent: Tue, 8 Oct 2013 20:14
Subject: FW: ( some sarcasm + a serious essay on Republicanism in Wales ) - John Larsen, Liberal Democrat & Terrorist ... but why are no journalists in Wales reporting those two facts ?

Dear Friends & Acquaintances,

I wish to scatter a few copies of this around so that everybody understands my stance and why I am still complaining.

David B. Lawrence,

From:
To:
Subject: ( some sarcasm + a serious essay on Republicanism in Wales ) - John Larsen, Liberal Democrat & Terrorist ... but why are no journalists in Wales reporting those two facts ?
Date: Tue, 8 Oct 2013 19:01:14 +0000

Dear Martin Shipton, Chief Reporter of the Western Mail,

( WELL THIS STARTED OUT AS A QUIP ... BUT I HAVE ANOTHER EMAIL FOR YOU IN DRAUGHT WHICH I AM PONDERING )

As you know I would be interested know why you have associated me with the idea of terrorism despite the fact that every thing that I have ever done contradicts the statements made by others which you have attached to my face on the front page of The Western Mail on the 18th September 2012.

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/plaid-cymru-leader-leanne-wood-2024296

YET what about " John Larsen, Liberal Democrat & Terrorist " ... why are no journalists in Wales reporting those two facts ?

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/former-mayor-john-larsen-experimented-with-ieds-and-got-thrill-from-explosions-court-hears-8864945.html

I only have to reflect upon this with a sense of despair : why couldn't he have been a member of the Labour & Coop Party ?

Or the Conservative & Unionist Party or Plaid Cymru ?

Why are journalists NOT calling THEM terrorists - these Democrats all revel in the use of bullets and bombs : don't they ?

AH WELL ... at least we can now point to the fact that it is the Liberal Democrats who are the political bombers at present.

If anybody ever wondered what we fear : it is being lumbered with some nutter like this claiming to be a " Republican."

We are compelled to be more careful in our having to deal with nutters due to the fantasies which others create about us.

Perhaps Republicans should recruit these nutters and actively actively encourage them all to join the Democratic parties ?

It is not as if the Democrats of Wales are adverse to bombing people - provided that they can get a few votes out of it.

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If I may risk myself I would like to describe to you one of the differences between Democracy - as a political theory which advocates the right of majorities to do as they please, and Republicanism - as a political theory which rejects that right and asserts that all minorities have inalienable rights which can not ever be voted away or even suspended temporarily. Pure Republicanisms view Pure Democratic systems of government as merely civil wars conducted with ballots instead of bullets, where politicians believe themselves to be justified in using violence against minorities who defy their majority's decisions and try to assert their right to do this by maintaining that the public interest lies in the sovereignty of their own people not in the justice described by the law that should rule us all.

As a political argument Republicanism contains a lot of logical consequences which are relevant to the political situation in which I have been caught up in here this past 30 years, but one of them I am less than comfortable with : as far I am concerned the possibilities for justice and the rule of law ends whenever violence begins because whoever is dealing out the violence the possibilities for doing politics must end because in order to obtain one's wishes through violence you do not need a political argument. Therefore you will understand that as far as I am concerned there are no qualitative differences between a lone Democrat deciding to bomb Denbigh and a whole bunch of Democrats deciding to bomb Afghanistan or Derry, or indeed planning to bomb the whole World. Perhaps since you have wandered through the shadows of power for so long you can explain this too me : if you can persuade anybody with so many bombs to agree to Democracy as a political system - then how many more bombs do you have to drop on them in order to get them to agree sincerely ?

Republicanism anticipates that Democratic majorities will use their control of the state's authority to either destroy the rule of law or shape it to do violence against and dispossess minorities and this therefore justifies the right of individual citizens in minorities to bear arms and to collectively form private armed militia independently of the state. Ignoring the way in which this has been worked out in the United States of America, look to Switzerland - which has the model more commonly advocated by some Republicans in Wales - where citizens have no individual right to possess guns but where compulsory military service in state controlled militias still results in men ( invariably men ) keeping military weapons at home and unleashing their firepower from time time on their neighbours, their families, their spouses and themselves.

From the point of view of the overwhelming majority of Republicans in Wales, the first and foremost of all Republican political principles is the preservation and enhancement of Life and therefore the consequences of that are that we have inevitably got to be either pacificators or pacificists. The traditional stances of those who mix Republicanism with Democracy in varying degrees in order to enjoy the benefits of each of them providing a mutual check and balance against the other are those either of being pacificators - which is the case most closely associated with Democratic Republicans ( i.e. those whose politics are led by Democracy, in political systems akin to that advocated by Jefferson ) who might be argued to believe that " The best guarantee of the rule of law and order and therefore of peace is to be prepared to wage war." - or of being pacifists which is the case most closely associated with Republican Democrats ( i.e. those whose politics are led by Republicanism, in political systems akin to those advocated by Rousseau ) who might be argued to believe that " The best guarantee of the rule of law and order and therefore of peace is to be prepared to wage peace."

If you had properly researched Cardiff Bay Republican Day #1 you would have recognised that I am Republican Democrat.

However since you published that article and publicly tarred and feathered me I have felt more liberated to be a more Pure Republican and have therefore begun to polemicise more against Democracy in order to fully severe Republicanism from it.

Nobody can really declare themselves to actually be a pacificist or a pacificator : many who have previously asserted themselves to be such things have changed their stance once the violence started, and we all after all have a deep-seated desire to live and so once the chips are down we will fight to the death. But the general desire and widely shared impulse in all Republicanisms is to bring an end to all war by creating the universal rule of law : thus Republicanism must not be confused with that sort of Nationalism which denies the inter-dependence of " Wales and the World." Please do not confuse Pure Republicanism with Pure Democracy : they are antagonists, and personally I have come to doubt that they really can be reconciled as once imagined - trying to balance the politics of Kant's Perpetual Peace and those of the United Kingdom's Perpetual War is I think simply hopeless, but we are trying to do so anyway in this new wave of " Republicanism in Wales." Our problem of course is the prospect of the repetition of what happened to us once before when the " black faction " appeared in the late 1950's and all decent peace-loving " white faction " Republicans in Wales ran off to join the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament ... as far as I am concerned the " black faction " are Pure Democrats, they have no political principle other than willfulness and their idea of ' Republicanism ' is drawn from the propaganda of the United Kingdom which is yet another " black faction " of which they are merely the mirror image, a wanna-be mini-monarchy.

These are of course theoretical stances which will always reflect our personal and essentially aesthetic preferences in our choice of political theories, which have very little to do with my local arguments in Butetown - save that I have here been reduced to a minority of one and have had to calmly stand my ground against Cardiff City County Council for 30 years : now if there is any Republican in Wales who has good excuse to go mad and chuck bombs around it must surely be me - have I done so ? No. Instead I make my pilgrimage every year now to Cilmeri to argue it out with our " pantomime paramilitaries."

I choose to suppose that you will take my word for the above : this is the flavour or essence of Republicanism in Wales and it really is a very wonderful tradition which differs from every other version that I know of and I have read a fair bit about it in political literature which spans five centuries of Wales and the World. If you were to go into the libraries of the political and historical departments of the various universities of Wales you would find there hundreds of texts on the subject both modern and ancient : academics have no problem discussing the Republicanisms of Wales and the World and politicians actually give them public funds to do so - so why can not they and we not discuss it other than behind closed doors ? The fact is that Republicanism is the parent political theory of the western world and as far as I am concerned all other political theories have been derived from it and and I agree with John Ralston Saul collectively dubbing them " Voltaire's Bastards."

Republicanism in Wales has historically been humane, peaceable and compassionate and we should be extremely proud of it - but more importantly it is the political theory which deals in how to construct viable political systems and therefore to have excluded it from our national political discourse is a disaster, as evidenced by the constitutional mess of Devolution. There is no point in Carwyn Jones talking of " the Social Contract " or Leanne Wood of " the Separation of Powers " or Andrew Davies of " the Public Interest " or Kirsty Williams of " our Human Rights " if these concepts are being ripped from their original context, in which case they are nothing more than vaguely defined, misunderstood and therefore inevitably meaningless catchphrases. I do not think that we need a " Republican Party in Wales " as such but a " Republicanism in Wales' Democratic Parties " in Y Senedd in order to create a collective ethos to guide the further development of our political system. In other words, what Republicans in Wales dearly want to see at the moment is some nice, normal, steady, conventional constitutional measures and frankly a bit more adult behaviour from our elected representatives.

How on earth have we ended up with - and after all of that effort of which most of it was put into creating - this mess ?

By excluding Republicanism in Wales from the public discourse about constitutional matters to the point of suppressing it.

Regards

David B. Lawrence,
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 11:45 pm    Post subject: Section 3 of the Treason Felony Act 1848 REPEALED ? Reply with quote

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/you-can-still-be-jailed-for-being-a-republican-government-confirms-and-it-remains-illegal-to-even-imagine-overthrowing-the-queen-9004176.html

From:
Subject: The Treason Felony Act 1848 MIGHT get repealed finally - if this EPETITION succeeds !
Date: Sun, 15 Dec 2013 01:46:36 +0000

Dear Friends of the People,

( and also people who are just friends, of course )

PLEASE TRUST ME AND GET EVERYBODY TO SIGN THIS NEW PETITION - http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/52840

Remember " Yr Ardystiad " and Repwblic.org's campaign against the remaining shambles of the Treason Felony Act 1848 ?

http://repwblic.informe.com/viewtopic.php?t=438 [ PLEASE NOTE THAT THE REPWBLIC.ORG PAGE HAS A DNS PROBLEM ]

Well according to the following page on Republic.org.uk section 3 has finally been repealed - ( I have corrected their spellos ! ) - but whilst it appears under one of their " CAMPAIGN UPDATES " web pages I am not aware that Republic.org.uk WERE campaigning on the Treasony Felony Act 1848 : there is no word on their website of any such campaign - and they were as far as I remember bewildered by " Yr Ardystiad " when they saw us perform it in 2011 and at that time apparently had no understanding of the relevance of the Campaign Against the Treason Felony Act 1848 to their anti-monarchical activities. Whilst Repwblic.org started this campaign against an arbitrary law reserved for nefarious purposes it is - unlike Republic.org.uk - not even particularly concerned with the need to get rid of the Royal Family because there have historically been plenty of " crowned republics." This is because the central idea of any proper Republicanism is that the sovereignty is located in the law not in the crown or in parliament or in people or in anything else. In order to make good laws which obtain their sovereignty by virtue of their being consented to by the people they govern, because of the justice which they contain, we must have an unconstrained freedom to debate any matter - including the roles of the Royal Family.

http://www.republic.org.uk/updates/?p=1179

Republic welcomes repeal of treason law
Campaign group Republic has welcomed the news that a law banning public calls for the abolition of the monarchy has been scrapped.
Section 3 of the Treason Felony Act was repealed very quietly earlier this year and only just revealed as part of a routine notice from the Home Office.


Republic’s spokesperson Graham Smith said today:
“We must be one of the last countries in Europe that has until this year had a law on the books that banned advocacy of greater democracy. If only for symbolic reasons, we have long called for the repeal of this law and we are pleased that parliament now formally acknowledges that republicanism is a legitimate and mainstream point of view.”

“This is a law that should never have been put on the statute books, that should have been repealed decades ago. Although it has had no legal force for some time it is good to finally see it scrapped.”

“Of course the republican campaign has been growing fast over recent years and this law has never been an obstacle – we have repeatedly publicly and unequivocally called for the abolition of the monarchy without any legal threat.”

Posted on: 13 Dec 2013


- BUT - Republic.org.uk seem to have celebrated too soon ... and I only casually found out about the above the following day i.e. today ... so let us take a look at the news as reported by others ... the Wikipedia page has already been updated thus -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treason_Felony_Act_1848

On 13 December 2013, it was reported that Section 3 of the Act, which had made it an offence punishable by life imprisonment to print, or otherwise "by any overt act or deed" to support the abolition of the monarchy or to "imagine, invent, devise, or intend to deprive or depose" the monarch, had been repealed earlier in the year, without publicity.[4] However, the Government later stated that the announcement that it had been repealed was wrong, and that it was still in force.[5]


[4] http://news.uk.msn.com/monarchy-law-repealed-165-years-on

GOVERNMENT GAFFE OVER MONARCHY LAW

" ... The Government has admitted mistakenly including a law that threatens to jail for life anyone who has called for the abolition of the monarchy on a list of recently repealed offences.

Section three of the Treason Felony Act 1848, which has not been used to prosecute anyone since 1879, was included on a list of 309 offences to be repealed in the year to May, published by the Ministry of Justice.
But in an embarrassing blunder, the Government department has admitted the offence was included on the list in error.

A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said: "Section three of the Treason Felony Act 1848 has not been repealed. The Ministry of Justice has removed this publication and is reviewing its contents."
That means in theory it is still punishable by life imprisonment to "imagine" overthrowing the Crown or waging war against the Queen, as the wording of the Act describes. ...

... In full, section three of the Treason Felony Act 1848 reads:
If any person whatsoever shall, within the United Kingdom or without, compass, imagine, invent, devise, or intend to deprive or depose our Most Gracious Lady the Queen, from the style, honour, or royal name of the imperial crown of the United Kingdom, or of any other of her Majesty's dominions and countries, or to levy war against her Majesty, within any part of the United Kingdom, in order by force or constraint to compel her to change her measures or counsels, or in order to put any force or constraint upon or in order to intimidate or overawe both Houses or either House of Parliament, or to move or stir any foreigner or stranger with force to invade the United Kingdom or any other of her Majesty's dominions or countries under the obeisance of her Majesty, and such compassings, imaginations, inventions, devices, or intentions, or any of them, shall express, utter, or declare, by publishing any printing or writing ... or by any overt act or deed, every person so offending shall be guilty of felony, and being convicted thereof shall be liable ... to be transported beyond the seas for the term of his or her natural life."


[5] http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/dec/13/calling-abolition-monarchy-illegal-uk-justice-ministry
http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/52840
CALLING FOR ABOLITION OF THE MONARCHY IS STILL ILLEGAL, UK JUSTICE MINISTRY ADMITS

Department wrongly announced that section of law threatening people with life imprisonment had been repealed

Owen Bowcott, legal affairs correspondent

A 165-year-old law that threatens anyone calling for the abolition of the monarchy with life imprisonment is technically still in force – after the Ministry of Justice admitted wrongly announcing that it had been repealed.
The Treason Felony Act 1848 has been the subject of repeated legal confusion this century. It was the subject of a high court challenge by the Guardian in 2003. This week, in a footnote to a list of new offences, the MoJ said the powers in section 3 of the Act had finally been swept away in a belated, legislative pruning of unwanted laws.
The act – which makes it a criminal offence, punishable by life imprisonment, to advocate abolition of the monarchy in print, even by peaceful means – has not been deployed in a prosecution since 1879.
The Ministry of Justice said: "Section 3 of the Treason Felony Act 1848 has not been repealed. The Ministry of Justice has removed this publication and is reviewing its contents."

Well the first thing to note is that Owen Bowcott does not know that the definition of " imagine " is the medieval one not the modern one, it means something akin to " making an image " i.e. not merely thinking about it and Treason Felony is not merely to talk about it in print, nor is it about overthrowing the monarchy but about depriving the monarch of title e.g. in " Passport to Pimlico " the rebels argued that the British crown did not have title on the basis of arguing that the Duke of Burgundy did because they had found a document declaring it so : Most of the people prosecuted for Treason Felony have been conscientious objectors to military conscription not murderous conspirators.


What else is around ?

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/52840 --- YET ANOTHER PETITION : I GOT TO BE THE SECOND SIGNATORY !

Please stick links to this epetition on your Facebook, Twitter etc and if possible talk it up and really get it going ...

David B. Lawrence,


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:37 am    Post subject: Letter to UK PM David Cameron & CC'd to other party lead Reply with quote

I decided that I simply have to seize the opportunity presented by this 2013 ' accidental repeal ' of the Treason Felony Act 1848 and wrote the following letter to David Cameron and copied it out to other ' Friends of the People ' near and far, and to people who are just friends of course !

From:
Subject: FW: AS SENT ON PAPER ( #2 ) A Proposal for a Better Law ( Re : Yr Ardystiad - Campaign Against The Treason Felony Act 1848 )
Date: Mon, 16 Dec 2013

Dear Friends of the People etc

I hope that you all understand and approve of this - I have sent a copy to Owen Bowcott of The Guardian newspaper too

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/dec/13/calling-abolition-monarchy-illegal-uk-justice-ministry

David B. Lawrence

From:
To:
Subject: A Proposal for a Better Law ( Re : Yr Ardystiad - Campaign Against The Treason Felony Act 1848 )
Date: Mon, 16 Dec 2013

REPWBLIC.org - Conversations with Republicans in Wales

David B Lawrence ( "dai" ) [ Secretary / Administrator of Repwblic.org ]

David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, London SW1A 2AA

Dear David,

I have in an on-off sort of way been campaigning against the Treason Felony Act 1848 for several years and I am intrigued by having the opportunity afforded by the events reported last week to make a constructive suggestion to you as to what to do. I would like to propose that you re-frame the problem in terms of the debates about Devolution, European Subsidiarity and our participation in other international legal situations where the current ideas of wherein the sovereignty of the United Kingdom lies are beginning to fail. I want to recommend that the Treason Felony Act 1848 be entirely replaced by something better : a law which states the obvious - that our sovereignty resides in those laws which crown the monarch.

Other Republicans are appalled by my being of the opinion that you did the right thing but for the wrong reasons : it certainly appears to me that having been made aware of the proposal to remove Section 3 you played to your own Conservative constituency in withdrawing that proposal, but perhaps without properly understanding that this part of the Treason Felony Act 1848 has effectively already been declared invalid by Lord Stein in the House of Lord's Appellate Committee's Judgement in the Cause Regina v. Her Majesty's Attorney General (Appellant) ex parte Rusbridger and another (Respondent). Because the United Kingdom does not have a republican constitution the House of Lords could not strike this bad law off the statute book.

Since I administer the bulletin board http://repwblic.informe.com I am thinking about the problems presented by the Treason Felony Act 1848 on a daily basis because I believe that people should be allowed to write upon this in any way that they please provided that their behaviour is not intended to sabotage its purpose which is supposed to be a free and easy debate. There is a ' quarantine ' into which to transfer anybody's writings which offend that purpose, but in theory that would not protect me from prosecution under the Treason Felony Act 1848 if for example Prince Charles were to contribute a piece to Repwblic.informe.com about his wish to change his coronation oath in order to declare himself the " Defender of Faith " instead of the " Defender of the Faith." I hope that you will take note of Charles' desire to change the title of the monarch having been made a criminal offence.

The nastiest thing about the Treason Felony Act 1848 is that it has mostly been used against those who conscientiously objected to military conscription, and the hundreth anniversary of those last hanged for it in the First World War is now approaching. It would be very nice to commemorate their deaths by burying the law which killed them for their consciences. This law was the last of that series of brutal laws against tender political consciences which began with The Treason Trials and Gagging Acts of the 1790s, in fact only recently have I visited John Thelwall's grave in Bath and I personally grieve deeply that due to those political events we now have this legacy of ignorance, prejudice and bigotry towards Republicanism : how could anybody with their heads screwed on contempt the memory of those who persistently argued for correct behaviour ?

Since sovereignty is such an abstract issue it would be great fun for the rest of us if you were to enable a free debate in the House of Commons upon the continuing existence of the Treason Felony Act 1848 and the problems which it causes, a festive occasion for high and heady politics no less ... if you would like me to make a more formal submission of my thoughts, I can do that for you and appear before a committee if you wish - but I wished to be treated with respect please : I do not want to end up arguing about the supposed criminal nature of Republicanism, as I did before the All Wales Convention. If I take the trouble to sit down and try to suppress the wish to ridicule the United Kingdom and write a scholarly argument, I most certainly do not want the fact of my making a contribution deliberately concealed from public view as the Silk Commission on Devolution in Wales did to me : I demand that this constant petty harassing of Republicans in Wales be stopped - for ever.

Yours Sincerely

David B Lawrence ( "dai" )

CC’’d to

Nick Clegg
Ed Miliband
Elfyn Lloyd
Nigel Farage


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am just having a little lootle around the interweb to see what recent events may have stirred up in conversations around Britain ... apathy by the looks of it ... this made me smile though - please excuse me " State-Property " for lifting the whole of your piece which started off this thread :

http://tpuc.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=312388

Legal challenge to the TREASON FELONY Act 1848 --- Post by State-Property » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:54 pm

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Vic ... 2/contents

According to the rule of law - and by abiding by due process - all Acts of Parliament can be challenged in court and their legitimacy/legality tested by judicial review.

It is because of the above I would like to ask (Legaleagle??) HOW could the Treason Felony Act 1848 be challenged at a judicial review?

Sec 3 of the act states "If any person whatsoever shall, within the United Kingdom or without, compass, imagine, invent, devise, or intend to deprive or depose our Most Gracious Lady the Queen, from the style, honour, or royal name of the imperial crown of the United Kingdom, or of any other of her Majesty’s dominions and countries, or to levy war against her Majesty, within any part of the United Kingdom, in order by force or constraint to compel her to change her measures or counsels, or in order to put any force or constraint upon or in order to intimidate or overawe both Houses or either House of Parliament, or to move or stir any foreigner or stranger with force to invade the United Kingdom or any other of her Majesty’s dominions or countries under the obeisance of her Majesty, and such compassings, imaginations, inventions, devices, or intentions, or any of them, shall express, utter, or declare, by publishing any printing or writing or by any overt act or deed, every person so offending shall be guilty of felony, and being convicted thereof shall be liable to be transported beyond the seas for the term or his or her natural life . . . . . ."

To apply a judicial review of this act would be prima facie evidence of Treason in accordance with S3 of the Act - because to SUCCESSFULLY challenge the legitimacy of the Act would "deprive or depose our Most Gracious Lady the Queen, from the style, honour, or royal name of the imperial crown of the United Kingdom" AND "compel her to change her measures or counsels"!

Question No law can be legitimate if it prevents itself from being challenged!!!!! Question

In fact, Sec 8 of the act states "In the case of every felony punishable under this Act, every principal in the second degree and every accessory before the fact shall be punishable in the same manner as the principal in the first degree is by this Act punishable; and every accessory after the fact to any such felony shall on conviction be liable to be imprisoned for any term not exceeding two years."

So, by asking this question, I am (allegedly) committing treason? Surely that can't be legal.....???

HOW, in accordance with LAW, could this act be challenged ?

[ I had better send State-Property a note ... TPUC seems to have a variety of stuff on it but my eye fell upon this thread which has exactly the kind of wordy semi-mystical verbiage on it that I tended to like once upon a time ... http://www.tpuc.org/the-power-of-morality/ ... ]


No, I have not sussed TPUC's messaging system but left you guys this - " Dear TPUC - please see http://repwblic.informe.com/viewtopic.php?p=1877#1877 - took intro from http://tpuc.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=312388 - to encourage people to read your bulletin board - would you be so kind as to pass this info to State-Property and tell him to take whatever he pleases from mine - Ta ! - please excuse me from not signing up but I have to concentrate my efforts in one place - Repwblic [ PS - you will probably not know the fate of Republicanism in 19c England ? Try - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rise-British-Republican-Clubs-1871-1874/dp/1897856083 ] "

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For those of you whose heads are stuffed full of the United Kingdom's past propaganda against Republicanism ( which was mostly to do with fighting to maintain the British Empire which for some reason to do with its murderous exploitation of people in other countries led them to want to be republics ) or who think that the Treason Felony Act 1848 actually made Republicanism illegal, I suggest that you find a copy of the book referred to above since I can not find mine this evening amongst all of this middle-aged muddled-male mounded-up-mess ...

" The Rise and Fall of British Republican Clubs 1871 - 1874 " by Christopher J Rumsey tells the story of the last and all-too-brief rise of Republicanism in England which resulted from a combination of several circumstances. The reason why they died away again was not just because their members were put under a great deal of pressure by the authorities and by their employers, but because of the rise of an increasingly organised Labour Representation movement which began to bear fruit in the 1880's and which split the Liberal Party and led to the foundation of the modern Labour Party in the 1900s. Whilst Republicanism had fostered the growth of cooperatives and trade unions which had often been craft based, the rise of factory production using unskilled labour led to the large scale trade unions and cooperatives which we know today and these in turn fostered the rise of Socialism as an ideology because of their urgent concern to oppose the consequences of the mass society created by industrialisation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Carlile http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Black_Dwarf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Cobbett http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_Register

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Franklin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poor_Richard%27s_Almanack

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feargus_O%27Connor http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Star_(chartist_newspaper)


Another factor in the decline of Republicanism in favour of Socialism was the growth of mass literacy and of popular newspapers pandering to sensationalism : in the heady days of Republicanism in the early 19c British newspapers were ponderously didactic and determined to justify their right not to be censored by censoring themselves and being very worthy. The radical newspapers were often published by the journalists who wrote them such as Carlile, Cobbett and Reynolds who emulated their hero Franklin and believed that newspapers like O'Connor's The Northern Star could change the world. Their readers actually expected them to and took such newspapers to local venues and read them to the illiterate in order to foster political debate, which is why the United Kingdom tried to suppress cheap newspapers by imposing taxes upon them which was why they were often printed in secret ( NOT because they were instigating any insurrections ! )

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_W._M._Reynolds http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reynolds_Weekly_Newspaper

The development of stagecoaches and then trains and then postage stamps and the lack of national newsagencies led journalists to copy the news from any other newspapers that they could lay their hands on thus creating a sense of unity and outrage and resistance across not only the United Kingdom but the whole British Empire which deeply disturbed those who controlled it and depended upon their crimes such as slavery being kept from public knowledge. As ordinary people deprived of democratic rights within the United Kingdom began to make common cause with those native peoples struggling against a whole series of barbaric colonialisms sanctioned by the government which oppressed them, the danger for the political establishment benefiting from these crimes lay in public demonstrations against British Imperialism being mounted on the very doorstep of the Houses of Parliament. Public demonstrations were increasing because journalists like Reynolds were not only writing against the government and reading out what they wrote, they were making speeches to large crowds whose means to live was constantly being eroded by industrialisation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Peel

And then it happened : Reynolds was making a speech at a peaceable open air meeting in Trafalgar Square, a new open space which at that moment was under construction but accessible to the public and close to Westminster. The Second French Republic had just been declared and he had warmly acclaimed their noble aspirations - and a new sort of organisation was stood watching, determined to assert its authority over those who should know their place and only recently founded for the purpose of keeping public order and apprehending criminals by Sir Robert Peel - the " Peelers " who were to become the London Metropolitan Police Force. At a signal, they marched into the crowd with truncheons drawn to disperse them and make a firm demonstration to the world that obedience to the authority of the crown was what the parliament which had created them required of those they ruled. Pretty stupid really in anybody's book : the crowd fought the " Peelers " off and then retreated in the only direction available to them. The police force sworn to keep the peace and defend the crown and parliament thereafter had to explain to Sir Robert Peel and also presumeably many others why they had not only broken the peace and started a riot which went on for three days but had driven an angry mob down Pall Mall in the direction of Buckingham Palace armed with stones and timbers robbed from the construction site which they had chosen to drive them through.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peelian_Principles

Now the fact that what the police had done was pretty stupid was not lost on the legislators of the time : they did not feel that there was any real threat from peaceable demonstrators however large the numbers or how angry and frustrated they were by their rulers' steadfast refusal to introduce the democratic reforms advocated by the Chartists or Suffragists. Their concern was about the former group which agreed with the latter group on every point to be contended save one - the word " Charter " which was associated with the violence of the French Revolution of 1830. Within the Chartists was a small " black faction " which advocated violence - indeed those opposed to Chartists referred to them as " The Black Man and his Party " because of the black Chartist leader in London William Cuffey who was later convicted of Treason Felony in September 1848, one of the first to be tried under the law once it was passed. The fact that London had many foreigners in it may have been a contributing factor in the passing of the Treason Felony Act in 1848 because one of the things which caused it to be rushed onto the statute book was what happened as that year proceeded : violent revolutions proceeded to break out all over Europe in the ' Springtime of the Peoples." The theme of the Treason Felony Act 1848 was most probably decided upon however by the fact that the demonstrators leaving Trafalgar Square had cheerfully chanted " To the palace ! "

http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1848/mar/07/the-riot-in-trafalgar-square

http://www.chartists.net/Trafalgar-Square-riots-1848.htm


Other factors however militated against banning Republicanism : nearly everybody sitting in the parliament of the United Kingdom at that time had had a public school education followed by a period if not a degree in Oxford or Cambridge. Not only did they all speak Latin and many spoke Greek they had learnt these by reading classical literature like Plato's ' Politea / Republic ' and Cicero's ' Des Res Publica ' and invoked the Roman Empire as the predecessor of the British Empire, as the Americans claimed also - but ! - ah : The Americans, treacherous colonials whose political literature like Tom Paine's ' The Rights of Man ' was banned from sale and like Rousseau's books were suitable only for those fitted for government to read, those sorts of gentlemen who could be trusted to keep that sort of nasty foreign literature like Voltaire and the Marquis de Sade safely under lock and key. To make the discussion of Socrates and Aristotle illegal would simply undermine the public schools system which was the very source of private privilege and political power to be obtained through one's gentleman's club and the connections which it provided to enable one to obtain the favour of the king - oops ! - queen : obviously the thing to do was to protect the good title of Queen Victoria and to not only keep it good but in order to emphasise that she was the source of the right to rule those lands seized by loyal colonials.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_India_Company http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment_of_Warren_Hastings

Hence, to understand how anachronistic the Treason Felony Act 1848 is today, consider how it helped to create the idea of " title " as a kind of sovereignty which sort of recalled a medieval England which people were by then beginning to hark back to in the fashion for all things Gothic ( which really fitted right in with the fashion for things German associated with the substantially Germanic Royal Family.) India was not so much a possession of the British Empire at the time as a business venture which had sort of seriously got out of hand resulting in the East India Company being potentially an independent world power able to stick two fingers up to the United Kingdom which had licensed it to murder millions and overthrow the Mughal Empire in 1858. Realising the huge amount of money to be made out of seizing it, the United Kingdom government nationalised it ... uh ? ... Hang on - surely that happened the wrong way round ? ... Ah ... Well I guess that the opportunity lay in the cost of that war to the company and its need to be bailed out by the tax-payers of the United Kingdom : you know that pattern surely ? When richer people make mistakes then poorer people pay for them : in return for being bailed out of bankruptcy the shareholders of the East India Company agreed to accept one last big fat dividend, and having obtained the title deeds for India parliament declared Queen Victoria to be Empress of India in 1876.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emperor_of_India

The whole business of declaring Victoria to be Empress of India was to do with a deliberate campaign to popularise the Royal Family after the Prince of Wales was caught up in a public scandal by being forced into a court room to be questioned in a divorce case which involved a woman he associated with in an intimate manner. Queen Victoria had disappeared from public view after the death of Priince Albert and had to be coaxed back into the spotlight because of the rise of the Republican Clubs ... hang on ! ... Why had not the Treason Felony Act 1848 dispatched those people who wanted to get rid of the monarchy, or at least made them meet in the sewers and cess-pits where they belonged ? Because the idea that Republicanism is about getting rid of the Royal Family comes out of the propaganda made against it by the United Kingdom : Republicanism is by and large indifferent to the existence of Royal Families - it criticises monarchy which is the concentration of political power in the hands of a single community. True, in medieval times these things were indeed one and the same - but Republicanism is not a creed of violence justified by hatred for particular people, nor is it amoral and anti-religious : it is a political analysis originating in the writings of classical Greek and Roman authors who wrote about their own practical problems and how to solve them. When these manuscripts began to come to light c1450 they triggered off a more abstract philosophising about politics which gives rise to the sort of writings which you find here upon Repwblic. The connotations of the word " Repwbligwyr " in Welsh carry exactly that sort of association - of airy abstract speculations and earnestly debated political aesthetics.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crowned_republic http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliamentary_republic

That is how Republicanism in Wales survived the Treason Felony Act 1848 -but a terrible price was paid as people negotiated their way around it and essentially it has split up into multiple factions because that act lends credence to the idea that we are essentially criminals. That is why we need to be rid of it and reclaim our right to openly participate in the political life of Wales without having to constantly justify our right to do so. Republicanism in Wales has never been illegal whatever anybody tells you, yet the same people who incite hatred against Republicans in Wales would throw a fit if they read the stuff that I write about Israel and Palestine and claim that I am inciting anti-Jewish sentiment ( personally I feel that I am defending Judaism against it being coopted by Zionists who play upon Jewish identity - by meta-ideologically subsuming the religious ideology of Judaism and using it against them.) I feel that this is not just a matter of asserting my private freedom by invoking the European Human Rights Act 1998 to abrogate the Treason Felony Act 1848, the public freedom to be derived from a properly conducted political system is at stake : the process of devolution has left Wales with the worst constitutional arrangements in Europe - it is a mess. Whilst many may see in Republicanism nothing but airy speculations, the fact is that this is the political tradition which contains the ideas necessary to the sorting out of that mess - it consists of nothing but common sense !

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Sense_(pamphlet) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republicanism

So why is the common sense to be found here that Republicanism in Wales is abnormal, deviant and dangerous ? There are many reasons, a lot of them to do with what happened to Republicanism in Ireland, but prominent amongst all of them is how the idea of Republicanism in Wales was portrayed to the people by the media. " It is foreign ! " The g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-grandfather of Republicanism in Wales was the scholarly writer William Thomas - hung, drawn & quartered 18th May 1554 - a contemporary of the English scholarly writer Thomas More g*grandfather of Republicanism in England - sentenced to be hung, drawn & quartered 6th July 1535 : both convicted under the Treasons Acts 1534 & 1553 for " will or desire by words or writing .. to deprive them of any of their dignity, title or name of their royal estates " - so as you can see, treason is wrapped up with the notion of sovereignty. Republicanism has been used as a way analysing political situations ever since : Thomas More used it to advise Henry VIII and, as an authority upon amongst other authors Machiavelli, William Thomas was appointed to teach Edward VI to use it. Mary I was depicted in a masque saving her kingdom as ' Respublica ' restoring reason and Roman Catholicism to England and Wales, and ... look - there were thousands of them, OK ? The ' Welsh Party ' in the House of Commons circa 1550 - 1650 were making Republican arguments - that is why they laboured so hard to stay out of the English Civil War and joined in so enthusiastically with Cromwell's Commonwealth : Henry Lawrence MP for Caernarvon was the President of the United Republic of the Three Kingdoms for five years ... and - if you ever wondered why the Commonwealth failed - he tried to do so by consulting with angels : so he was NOT a Republican.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_More http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utopia_(book)

The restored Charles II was less keen on the word ' Commonwealth ' which Puritans tended to prefer as good plain English, he wanted to use the word Res Publica and debated its spelling having been in Catholic France. William & Mary put it on documents, Hanovarian Georges put it on banknotes, but Methodists started putting Fasces around their chapels once they broke with the Church of England and started using the word Commonwealth again. The American Revolution and declaration of a ' Republic ' did not devalue the word to much in the United Kingdom but then ... when the French Revolution broke out it became clear that kings ought to read Cicero not merely play with the title of his book : kings liked Republicanism because they thought it told them why they were rich and powerful and everybody else was poor and miserable. But Republicanism endorses no political system, it promises nobody authority to do anything but instead says that actions have consequences and that whatever the political system proclaims itself to be the facts may prove that it is something else : it just predicts, it does not advocate. It criticises hierarchy, monarchy, aristocracy, democracy and several other kinds of political systems - and states that ideas can not overthrow governments and violence can not cause revolutions to happen.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estates_of_the_realm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifth_Estate

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hierarchy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monarchy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristocracy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy


Hence Edmund Burke the Republican objected to the French ' Revolution ' and correctly predicted its outcome : he was in favour of the proposed political reforms yet the history books published in the United Kingdom portray him as being against them and gloss over his support for the American Revolutionaries or portray his attitude to the French Revolution as him recanting his Republican philosophy or disregarding it in favour of his duty to the king. No. Edmund Burke did not change - the world changed around him : George Orwell fictionalises much the same situation as that of the 1790s when the animals chant " two legs bad, four legs good " and then by the end of the book are chanting " two legs good, four legs bad." Once the arguments of Republicanism fell into the hands of people wanting to criticise a society still based upon feudalism by appealing to the very political philosophy which was conventionally subscribed to by those benefiting from it - then the rich and powerful swiftly changed the conventions and required people to chant them out loud, to drown out those few Republican voices.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_Burke - see Edmund Burke's famous comment upon ' The Press ' - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Estate#The_press


But the Democratic Republicans would not shut up : as war loomed with the French Republic they pleaded for sanity and worked for peace - but in vain. As the wave broke upon of what we now call jingoism, that kind of opportunism that delights in war as a source of quick profiteering at the expense of others, those obstructing those opportunities were soon branded as traitors and the treason trials began. Only nobody had committed treason and the defendants were acquitted and acclaimed and the crown and parliament discredited - so they re-made the treason laws and invented new crimes. Friendly societies which conducted their business by voting were damned as ' Democratic ' and therefore ' dangerous ' and were infiltrated by informants paid and unpaid who simply made things up. Distrust began to spread like wildfire as old scores were settled simply by denouncing other people and leaving them to deal with the consequences. Constables arrived in the night to arrest those overheard making a joke or singing a song or looking foreign or known to be in possession of a book or just the ability to read and write. Out of fear of harassment people fell silent and then those in authority denounced them for plotting conspiracies, and when they spoke out they were arrested and charged with public disorder - and if they tried to argue their case they were denounced as ' Republicans.'

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horne_Tooke#Bids_for_office http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Hardy_(political_reformer) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Thelwall
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Erskine,_1st_Baron_Erskine

Read Iolo Morgannwg's poem about Erskine and Gibbs' defence at the trial - http://repwblic.informe.com/viewtopic.php?p=496#496 - and watch the dramatisation -

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00nvt7z http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garrow%27s_Law#Series_one


Republicans would often simply be beaten and robbed by their neighbours after being labeled this way, told that they had brought it upon themselves by bringing themselves to the attention of the authorities and that their neighbours were after all saving them from the gallows : if their neighbors had not done them this service then the whole village or chapel might have been denounced as Republican for the fact that they had one in their midst - though of course they all knew that the victim was not really a Republican ... The events of February 1797 when the Napoleonic ' Black Legion ' landed near Fishguard did not help this situation : there were sympathisers but not support in the area, but in the imaginations of the United Kingdom government the Welsh were not being as obediently mute as were their English neighbours - the invasion must have been the result of a conspiracy devised through the medium of the Welsh language. Dragged into court rooms and down dark alleys those who could not explain themselves in the English tongue were not believed, and those who could were beaten anyway. This was the beginning of what went on until it was believed that the Treason Felony Act 1848 would be the final coup de grace ... nope ... this nation is not still here for nothing.
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