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A controversial Welsh independence party which promotes a tax system attacked for favouring the rich, has finally been launched, backed by a right wing pensioner who supports a paramilitary group and posted a picture of its leader holding a gun on his nationalist blog, it has emerged.
The contentious party Ein Gwlad (Our Land/Country/Nation) was unveiled at Llanellli on Tuesday, and another nationalist blog had ‘reported’ earlier that a first ‘conference’ was to be held before the end of the year. The man behind it, Royston Jones, celebrates his links to the 1960s paramilitary organisation Free Wales Army (FWA) and published a photograph of the group’s leader pointing a gun at the camera.
In his picture others look on laughing as Cayo Evans holds the hand gun, and Mr Jones has praised him as a “friend”and “comrade”.
Mr Jones writes a ‘right of centre nationalist’ blog under the psedonym ‘Jac o’ the North’ that fiercely attacks English ‘incomers’.
His new party, Ein Gwlad, is committed to a ‘flat rate of tax’ which was floated by the right wing think tank The Adam Smith Institute whose report does not adequately explain how the flat tax would not just be a tax break for the rich. But the party proclaims: “By adopting a flat rate of tax with appropriate allowance and rate, lower and medium earners would be better off, while higher earners would pay slightly more but not excessively so”.
[amazon_link asins=’1784758248′ template=’ProductAd’ store=’thebridgegall-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’d88d9d34-aad7-11e8-9a45-c102fd4a9571′]Despite this, officials at the party’s launch said: “Ein Gwlad is unequivocally committed to achieving a fair and prosperous independent Wales, in the shortest practical timescale”. One supporter said Ein Gwlad’s policies would raise Wales “from under the crushing heel of unionist repressive policies that have with held the country from achieving its full potential”.
Yet the party has been mired in controversy even before its launch this week. Another backer has stated publicly: “When the day for the official launch arrives, we’ll be fully kitted and armed”. A supporter said in November: “Jac o’ the North says that following a successful first meeting the details of a new Welsh political party should be revealed in March 2018 once they are ironed out”.
Meanwhile Mr Jones’ support for the FWA and previous statements have been questioned.
It has been reported that the Official IRA (OIRA) gave or sold, most of its weapons to the organisation as part of its turn away from political violence in the 1960s. We showed how he pledged to create the new Welsh independence party by earlier this year, with an Annual General Meeting (AGM) penciled in for March 3, but nothing happened.
The original Aberystwyth hotel where he was to hold his first meeting in November, cancelled the booking after we uncovered the details, before he found another venue, yet he seemed unhappy about our reporting of it. Mr Jones had booked a room for 50-60 people at the Belle Vue Royal Hotel, on Marine Terrace in Aberystwyth for 1pm, November 4 for his original event founding the new independence party.
It seemed our Editor had become something of an irritant and on November 19 Mr Jones had written on his blog: “The meeting yesterday went very, very well. I was delighted with the turnout and with the enthusiasm shown…perhaps the one disappointment – given the interest he’s shown in the new party – was that Phil Parry of The Eye wasn’t there. You could have had a scoop, Parry – ‘Shock! Horror! irritating little git thrown out of meeting”.
On November 22 he wrote after an earlier article on The Eye: “Following Phil Parry’s latest attack on me I asked for the right to reply (there has been no such request), but he hasn’t responded. I’d prefer to ignore the irritating little git but he is now making serious and misleading allegations that have to be answered”.
Mr Jones may have blamed our Editor in the past, but he has used ‘lies’ before in describing him. More than three years ago he called Mr Parry “a lying bastard” and dubbed him “vermin”. This infuriated his child, Gruff, and he sent him a tweet saying he was “sonofvermin”.
Mr Jones said on Jac o’ the North: “That lying bastard Phil Parry never misses an opportunity to twist or invent ‘facts’”. He continued: “He’s a mouthpiece for the Labour Party (many of The Eye articles have been about the misdeeds of Labour politicians) and often ‘trails’ stories for Llais y Sais (we never write ‘trails’ for other organisations)“.
The equal treatment of disabled people is viewed by commentators as a progressive mark of civilised countries, and it is seen as important to address debilitating illnesses, but it seems Mr Jones does not agree. One of the lines by him on Jac o’ the North which caused particular offence was: “Am I alone in thinking there’s an element of a Victorian freak show in the Paralympics?”.
Mr Jones also promoted a petition calling for social housing only for people from Wales. Families from London who took homes from a Welsh housing association were heavily criticised, and they were called perverts.