The Chairman of a controversial new Welsh nationalist independence party whose right wing founder posted a picture on the internet of a paramilitary leader holding a gun, described Wales as a “dumping ground for (English) misfits” and was forced to resign from Plaid Cymru’s (PC) ruling body, The Eye can reveal.
Gwilym ab Ioan chairs Ein Gwlad (Our Country/Land) (EG) which held a ‘manifesto conference’ at the weekend, but the party has had a difficult start after a hotel cancelled the booking following our revelations about the post of Cayo Evans pointing a pistol at the camera.
Mr Evans was the leader of 1960s paramilitary group Free Wales Army (FWA) and 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.
But Royston Jones who founded EG has praised him as a “friend” and “comrade”.
It is extraordinarily difficult to find out where the meetings are held of EG as these are not widely published, but the ‘manifesto’ was posted on social media on February 17 and Gandhi is quoted extensively. It also states: “Exposing the wrong doings of the colonial establishment will eventually wake people up in a colony – which is what Wales still is”.
Mainstream political parties in Wales, such as Labour, are heavily criticised in the ‘manifesto’ which adds: “The Conservatives and the Lib Dems followed suite (suit?), prefixing their names with ‘Welsh’, although in reality they are England based parties operating as foreign parties on our soil”.
Yet as well as Mr Jones’ and his new party, the details of Mr ab Ioan’s history also reveal a colourful past.
Almost 18 years ago he was at the centre of a huge controversy over English inward migration into Welsh-speaking communities, and said Wales was “a dumping ground for oddballs and misfits”. Mr ab Ioan had to resign from PC’s National Executive after the row erupted at the National Eisteddfod in the Summer of 2001.
He was, though, unrepentant about his comments, stating in a letter to the Western Mail: “(I) have no intention of making a retraction
EG was finally unveiled at Llanellli later last year and another nationalist blog had ‘reported’ earlier that a first ‘conference’ was to be held before the end of the year.
Apart from posting on his contentious right wing blog ‘Jac o’ the North’, the picture of Mr Evans holding a gun, we have shown how Mr Jones has celebrated his youthful links to the FWA. In his published picture others look on laughing as Mr Evans holds the pistol.
Mr Jones’ ‘right of centre nationalist’ blog fiercely attacks English ‘incomers’.
His new party 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 EG proclaimed: “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”.
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 the party’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 EG had been mired in controversy even before its ‘launch’. Another backer has stated publicly: “When the day for the official launch arrives, we’ll be fully kitted and armed”. A supporter also said before the ‘launch’: “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, and it seemed our Editor had become something of an irritant. 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”.