No Cymru…

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The extraordinary blocking on social media by controversial Welsh independence organisation YesCymru (YC) of a group supporting Wales as part of the United Kingdom (UK), highlights the fact that The Eye have shown how an unbelievable civil war has been underway in its ranks.

Wales for a United Kingdom (which is classed as a ‘community’ on the internet), have posted: “We are now officially blocked by (hashtag) YesCymru on Facebook for challenging falsehoods that they posted online and claimed as genuine facts but were entirely false (OK, Welsh and Union flags emojis).

But YC have rarely been far from the news.

The ENTIRE governing committee resigned amid complaints of harassment, and a sexist advert for the movement had to be hurriedly withdrawn, with one journalist in Wales, who is a keen observer of these incredible events telling us: “The barmy cult is collapsing”.

Gwern Gwynfil was told that his services were ‘no longer required’

Meanwhile the leader of YC was abruptly sacked earlier this year, and other astonishing events have also been publicised. Gwern Gwynfil was appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of YC in September 2022, and was responsible for the day to day running of the group, as well as for its campaign strategy. Mr Gwynfil has claimed that he was sacked by email, and the correspondence was sent by the Chair of YC, Barry Parkin, who stated the CEO position was “no longer required”.

There have been extraordinary events inside YesCymru

In another email there was a frank admission that members had been exposed to intolerable harassment which “went far beyond social media posts”. It went on: “The members of the Central Committee of YesCymru have collectively resigned and stood down from their roles with immediate effect…The announcement comes with the opportunity to enable a new Central Committee to be elected at a forthcoming Extraordinary General Meeting.

The outgoing chair said they needed a ‘clean break’

After a long delay the astounding development of the mass resignations in YC was reported beyond the nationalist ‘family’, and was published in the Newport-based South Wales Argus which stated that: “The outgoing Chair of the Central Committee, Sarah Rees, said: “This decision has been taken in the best interests of the organisation and its members. It enables a totally clean break from the past and provides a clean start for the newly-elected Central Committee in the autumn, while protecting all the good that has been created”.

Even before the WHOLE YC committee quit, in an incendiary ‘opinion’ piece, the founder and former Editor of the website, Nation.Cymru (NC) (which has Welsh Government [WG] backing) nationalist Ifan Morgan Jones, finally acknowledged the huge problems they were facing, seeming to blame the row over transgenderism for prompting the unexpected resignation of the then head of YC, Sion Jobbins (another apparent casualty).

Mr Jones wrote: “The resignation of YesCymru Chair, Siôn Jobbins, won’t have come as a complete surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to the increasingly hostile debate at the heart of the movement over the past few months”.

YC also released a sexist video promoting Welsh independence which featured a pair of cartoon women’s legs in stockings, and one critic on social media said: “fire the pig that designed it”. The video displayed the cartoon of a woman wearing stockings and red arms, with a map of Wales for her body and screaming “YEEEEEEEEEEES!” in the caption below.

Sion Jobbins questioned the fight against Hitler

There have also been earlier challenges for YC which were only reported by The Eye. The Twitter (now X) account of a controversial YC message announced that at one point it had 487 ‘likes’ and 187 ‘retweets’, yet when these were counted the figures were actually just 45 and 70 respectively.

We have disclosed, too, how Mr Jobbins publicly proclaimed he wished Germany had won World War One, ironically stated “Stalin had no choice”, and questioned the fight against Hitler. In another remark on Twitter/X, Mr Jobbins queried the Kindertransport which helped 10,000 children escape the Nazis, and said: “… it wasn’t some amazing act of humanity”. A further message was: “Why was it good for UK to fight against being colonised by Hitler..?”.

A member of YC, called Kerry-Anne Mendoza of the left-wing website ‘The Canary’ (who has appeared more than once on the state-backed television channel Russia Today [RT]), shared a contentious message saying that Zionism was racist, from former Labour MP Chris Williamson. Yet despite this, YC labelled Ms Mendoza a “rock star” in a tweet which was ‘liked’ numerous times by several vocal and high-profile activists. The organisation she joined declared in a tweet which has now been deleted that “Open assaults on Welsh democracy have led to (its) remarkable growth”, linking the comment to an article in the Herald.Wales by the disgraced MP for Carmarthen East and DinefwrJonathan Edwards, who accepted a police caution after attacking his wife.

But critics were unamused and one declared online:  “It’s infuriating. Yes Cymru are doing so much very well, then they just undermine all the good stuff with unnecessary stupidity/lack of sensitivity. They have the money to hire people now to do a better job”. Another announced: “I’ve got very mixed feelings about the MP in question but the timing of YC is absolutely mad. Are they thick? Why do they keep making mistakes like these? They need to start having people who know what they’re doing”.

This, though, is not the first time YC has hit the headlines for the wrong reasons.

A disillusioned member of YC said in the short-lived Welsh newspaper The National (TN) that he was watching “with increasing horror as the welsh independence movement has been embroiled in a bitter debate over the issues of transgender rights” the concerned member or ex-member, also wrote: “As a non-binary person, logging onto social media everyday, to witness my rights be debated with such bitterness and contempt, to questions of whether transgender people should be welcomed, embraced and supported by the independence movement has been draining and dehumanising.

“I have been harassed, doxxed (publishing private information about an individual on the internet with malicious intent), and been sent death threats – all because I have refused to remain silent over the treatment of transgender individuals within the movement.” Another alarming announcement from a former member of YC revealed that he had left, but been “branded as a fascist” and that “Members of my family were hounded and contacted at work”. YC was accused on Twitter/X of being “rancid”, and “toxic”.

Another said YC ‘needs to sort it out’. It was disclosed by us that a letter had been sent to members warning of “Organisational and Accountability Failure”, that there has been “No financial oversight”, as well as a “Lack of transparency”.

Along with the resignations and sacking, these comments also highlight an earlier unbelievable statement by YC, headlined “WE WILL NOT TOLERATE INTOLERANCE”, and how for many it is now in complete disarray, with one supporter tweeting that there is “fear for the movement”. The ‘intolerance’ statement by YC announced that: “We on the Central Committee (members of which quit) have been made aware of online behaviour that needed immediate action. As a result, we have reported these instances to the police and to the relevant online platforms while we investigate further”.

These remarks fall into a familiar pattern, as the amazing battle has raged within YC and the wider nationalist ‘family’, with The Eye seeing a growing chorus of furious complaints on Twitter/X and Facebook (FB), apparently showing that these groups are being torn apart.

Battle has been joined

One supporter has written: “…you’ve pulled an EGM and forced the committee out..”, and another proclaimed that there had been a “lack of condemnation for bullying & harassment, etc…”. A critic on one side of the battle wrote: Over the past year I have watched with increasing horror as the welsh independence movement has been embroiled in a bitter debate over the issues of transgender rights”.

There were vacant positions

A member of YC, seemingly on the same side, said online: “Sadly, at least one of those targeted has resigned from the Central Committee. It’s possible there will be an Extraordinary General Meeting, or new elections to replace vacant positions”. A supporter of this critic stated that YC had been “poisoned“, while another detractor replied to him that he was “appalled” by the “narrow-minded and hateful” behaviour of members, and that “Once the CC (Central Committee) have got their house in order then I will subscribe again”.

Worries have also been expressed about the oversight in the group, with another backer of YC announcing online: “So Chair, Secretary and a portfolio  position all VACANT. There is surely no way the CC (Central Committee) can be operating with the correct level of scrutiny. Oh and there’s that other one who said she’s on strike”.

Sion Jobbins said he stepped down because of his health

Mr Jobbins was one of the three founders of YC and took over as Chair in 2018. He claimed he resigned on private grounds, but many commentators refused to believe this, and said that it had left YC ‘in complete chaos’. “I’m stepping down purely for personal reasons – because of my health”, Mr Jobbins told the taxpayer-supported NC.

The Eye have reported how the conflict has blown apart the nationalist and independence factions in Wales, with numerous figures in YC taking to social media to reveal what they have suffered, as the furious row has erupted.

It was claimed that YesCymru may be heading into ‘dangerous waters’

Many have said that they cancelled their membership, and one wrote on Twitter/X“@yescymru are heading into dangerous waters, many of us belong to political parties who have stood with @yescymru on the same platform for independence, and would not desire to be tarnished by association”.

A further critic admitted in one tweet “we are in the middle of a culture war…” and also online wrote: “I have decided to open up about my recent experience on the YesCymru Central Committee. In Jan ‘21, I wrote & presented a document to the CC (Central Committee) on the urgent need to modernise the governance, transparency and oversight of the CC (Central Committee)It is on record & minuted. It was largely ignored”. He added:  “‘I’ve witnessed harassment aimed at high profiled YC members by an interconnected group of ID political activists within YC with links to political organisations outside of YC. “‘Transphobe! TERF! (Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist) Fascist! These are the derogatory words used against decent and YesCymru members’”.

‘I DON’T BELIEVE IT..!’

A backer of Welsh independence, who became aggrieved by his treatment from YC supporters, said on Twitter/X: “Thank you for all your support but the constant hounding by Yes Cymru members and committee members has literally made me fear for my safety, my family’s safety and my mental health. If this is your vision of Wales, then I want no part of it…”.

Ellie Pitt ‘interviewed’ the founder of YesCymru

This bitter dispute which has now exploded into daylight also puts centre stage the treatment of YC in the mainstream media.

For example an anodyne ‘interview’ with the creator of YC, Mr Jobbins, was conducted by an ITV reporter. The ‘report’ by Ellie Pitt began:  ‘Westminster isn’t working for Wales’. These are the five words I have been hearing all week. Over the last few days I have had numerous conversations with recent joiners to the Welsh Independence group YesCymru.”  It went on: “Siôn Jobbins, Chair of YesCymru (says): ‘Wales isn’t poor, there are poor people here, but the country itself isn’t poor’”.

The latest ‘blocking’ of announcements from an organisation supporting Wales in the UK, certainly shows YC in a poor light – coming as it does after all the other controversies…

 

‘BUY MY BOOK!’

Details of our Editor, Welshman Phil Parry’s astonishing decades-long journalistic career (when impartiality was central), as he was gripped by the rare and incurable neurological condition Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), have been released in an important book ‘A GOOD STORY’. Order it now.

Regrettably publication of another book, however, was refused, because it was to have included names.