Wyn Jones ..What happened to the party of Lewis, Valentine and Williams?

Sue Fortune Member no 77615 Ruabon Branch, Clwyd South

Dear Mr Wyn Jones

Twice now I have written to you, both in Caerdydd and at your own address, about the grave concern Plaid’s public welcome to the St Athan military training centre has caused me and many others. You have not bothered to reply. Perhaps you have more important correspondents than rank-and-file party members, who are only good for shoving leaflets through doors on rainy weekends just before elections, and putting tenners in the hat at conference after the rousing feel-good session on Friday afternoon.

Perhaps letters from people whose family have been English-speakers for three generations are at the bottom of the in-tray – although I notice no words of Cymraeg on cheques and banknotes, and they seem to move quickly enough. Perhaps someone whose membership of the Party is based purely on political conviction, and not family, chapel or business connections is simply too naïve to be worth a reply.

But naïve or not, I have a few points I’d like you to address, and as you don’t choose to do so, perhaps they’d form the basis of a diverting discussion in public.

Plaid has joined with Labour in welcoming the plans for a military training establishment (please don’t let’s dignify it with the misnomer “academy”; we are talking here about training hired killers, not philosophers) at St Athan. For a while it displayed this welcome on its website, as if it was something to be proud of.

It will cost £14,000,000,000 of public money. Taxpayers’ money.

It will be run in conjunction with Metrix, a consortium of arms manufacturers including the notorious Raytheon, a company famed for its cluster bombs (condemned by the UN and the EU), “bunker-busters (like the ones responsible for the massacres of civilians at Qana and Baghdad), the “Silent Guardian” heat ray weapon (whose potential for use in torture has alarmed Amnesty International and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture) and depleted uranium missiles (have you seen the child victims dying of leukaemia years after such bombs explode? They are pitiful).

And among the indispensible public services it will offer are training for the crews of Trident and its replacement, as well as armed forces from around the world, many with appalling human rights records.

So much for Plaid’s environmental, human rights and anti-nuclear commitments.

But what about all the jobs, I hear you reply. Well, I haven’t got a job, and, as I’m expected to live on £20 a week, naturally I’d like one. But you propose to spend £14,000,000,000 to “create” (and we’ll come to that in a minute) 5,000 jobs, at most. That’s £2,800,000 per job. Well, you give me a tenth of that, and even if I put it in the bank and do nothing but buy new shoes and good wine, I’ll generate plenty of economic growth, without going to the trouble of mass murder and nuclear aggression.

But “create” jobs? We’re told (loudly) that all sorts of skilled technicians will be working at St Athan for meatily high wages (rejoice!) – and then (more quietly) that actually these peole are already doing these jobs, for these wages, in England. They’ll move to St Athan, handsomely kitted out with generous relocation allowances which they’ll spend on local properties, thus inflating house prices ever further beyond the reach of local people. Is lining the pockets of a few Caerdydd estate agents really such a priority for a responsible and principled party? Meanwhile the jobs paradise will consist of the chance to fry chips, clean toilets and serve pints to hordes of squaddies, for the minimum wage. Rather a contrast to the £270,792.67 in expenses alone claimed by a certain AM!

And why are we arguing the toss about the “jobs bonanza” anyway? I’m sure building Auschwitz created many jobs, but surely that didn’t make it right?

I joined Plaid because I wanted to be a member of a principled organisation that was committed to making a change for the better and was unafraid to speak up for what was right. A party that wouldn’t have its head turned by a taste of power in the Assembly; that would be mature and responsible enough to resist the snouts-in-trough blandishments of vested interests. Naïve indeed to think so, I fear. Sure, there was a flutter of embarrassment last autumn, when Jill Evans tried to discuss what was wrong about St Athan. But although a placatory form of words was found, it seemed to make as much difference as Clare Short MP’s opposition to the Iraq war.

What happened to the Party of Lewis, Valentine and Williams?

Many a young lady has had to open her legs from dire necessity, and it’s understandable if deplorable that this in certain cases becomes a habit of rather less than last resort. I’ve no illusions about the whorish propensities of the country I love. I can forgive without condoning.

But never, never, never will I join in with those who pimp for her. And that, Mr Wyn Jones, is what Plaid and its adherents will become, if they lack the guts to to stick to their principles and oppose the disgrace of St Athan..

I won’t be out in the rain pushing Plaid leaflets through voters’ doors this time. Nor will I be voting. And my membership card will be returning to you in the post.

Yours in shame and sorrow

Sue Fortune
Member no 77615
Ruabon Branch, Clwyd South


No savings on st athan??? Big Brother fit?

Parliamentary Question on DTR Recently Mark Pritchard MP asked a parliamentary question on behalf of PCS:21 April 2008 : Parliamentary Question
Armed Forces: Training
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of likely savings as a result of the Defence training review over the next 25 years.

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The broad projection of the through life (30 years) savings of the DTR Package 1 project is approximately £400 million, although this continues to be subject to development of the Metrix solution. As previously announced, the way ahead for Package 2 is the subject of further work and therefore no specific estimate of the likely savings can yet be made.

FIT in Cardiff By Really Fit(FIT Watch) Pictures with numbers and where possible names of FIT and Evidence gatherers always welcome. Mail defycops@yahoo.co.uk. These pics are from a demo against a military academy at St Athans (nr Cardiff) which took place on the 26th April. ...Fit watch - http://fitwatch.blogspot.com/

What's the story?By David(David) Plaid Cymru, following on from their St Athan Military Academy confusion (on one hand welcoming it, on the other reiterates Plaid Cymru’s opposition to privatisation, including that of military training) it seems they're at it again. ...The Cynical Dragon - ttp://thecynicaldragon.blogspot.com/

Demonstration Against the St Athan Military Academy By Cheryl The demonstration was against the proposed St Athan Military Academy, which would mean enforced relocation or loss of jobs for many PCS members. From the PCS point of view there are several issues; risk to the front line, loss of skills ...PCS Shropshire Area - http://www.pcsshropshire.selfip.org/newspage

Questions at university over military academy By Greg Lewis(Greg Lewis) Protesters say they’ve found the first chinks in the armour of the arms and defence consortium behind the new St Athan training academy. Much is being made about the educational courses which will be on offer at the massive base – and ...What Is Wales And What Is It For? - http://whatiswales.blogspot.com/


Big brother hassles Anti-metrix - St Athan protesters

http://www.cynefinywerin.org.uk/ Anti-Metrix protest march to demonstrate opposition against the St Athan privatised military academy. PCS where there to support the staff whose jobs are threatened and show opposition to the protest - Cynefin y Werin members - CND Cymru and CAAT supporters, Cymdeithas y Cymod and Church, Chapel and other faith representatives. Along with Green Party protestors and speakers Jill Evans Plaid MEP, Davy McAuley of the Raytheon 9 and stop the war.

In an attempt to silence the protesters they were banned from marching through Cardiff city centre as police used the the public order act to suppress opposition and the human right to protest in public. The MOD spend huge sums of money on propaganda and publications especially in the vale of glamorgan and John smith has thousands of pounds to promote the academy and even go in to schools with unbalanced material in favour of the academy. Recently we saw the NUT protest at the MOD & government lies to school children regarding Iraq.

Yesterday - the huge police presence was totally disproportionate and a waste of tax payers money. Police photographers where busy taking pictures and videos - to what purpose - the real criminals and evan murders are the arms dealers Ratheon and serco and the new labour politcans like John smith & rhodri morgan who supported or voted a policy of going to war and this academy to train people to kill.

Yet they want to stop http://www.cynefinywerin.org.uk/ and its suscribing member organisations and supporters like PCS - there defending its members jobs and the public protesting at their expensive failed PFI policy being applied to MILITARY TRAINING.

We don't want a school for mercenaries in Cardiff - we don't need it - we want sustainable jobs to benefit the community not mercenary soldiers to terrorise them and put our young people at risk of rape and worse.

Note this story today Police in court over pictures at arms protest Politics The ...
This article appeared in the Observer on Sunday April 27 2008 on p6 of the ... Arms campaigner Andrew Wood from Oxford claims that his human rights were ...
The power of the police to mount surveillance operations at peaceful protests will be challenged in court this week. In a case seen as opposing Britain's move towards a Big Brother-style society, the High Court will determine if police are legally entitled to take photographs and compile information on protesters even if they do not break the law www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/apr/27/police.humanrights -

More Videos of the protest can be found here
Videos of protest Police crahttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZ7WfAG0VxU&eurl=http://cardiffpr.wordpress.com/video/ck down hard as St Athan demo finally awakens mass media
OU out of metrix & St Athan military academy
No2 privatised military academy at St Athan -anti-metrix
Jill evans 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkrqpPxG_Bo
Jill Evans 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFm3oTxx8Rk

St Athan protest with Davy McAuley 1
St Athan protest with Davy McAuley 2


march to stop the military academy

Mass demonstration called by Stop the St Athan Military Academy Campaign
Supported by UK Stop the War Coalition
Assemble 1.30 pm, Cathays Park
(opposite Museum/City Hall, Cardiff Saturday 26 April

Anti-metrix protest, Bring placards, banners, drums, people etc

In the summer of 2006, hundreds of people protested in Cardiff against the war on Lebanon. The Israeli military dropped half-a-million cluster bombs on Lebanon supplied by arms companies like Raytheon. Now Raytheon has been invited to Wales by the Welsh Assembly Government to help run a huge, privatised military academy near Cardiff. It's time to get back onto the streets! Anything we can do in Wales to prevent the State waging war on its terms can only be of help to those resisting in the frontline in the Middle East and beyond.

Stop the St Athan Military Academy Campaign supporters include:
Aberystwyth Peace & Justice Network, Bangor Peace & Justice GroupCaernarfon Peace & Justice Group, Cardiff Anarchist Network, Cardiff Justice & Peace Group, Cardiff RESPECT/Left Party, Church Action Against Poverty, CND Cymru, CND (Swansea), Communist Party of Wales, Cymdeithas y Cymod (Fellowship of Reconciliation Wales), Cymdeithas yr Iaith (Welsh Language Society), Cynefin y Werin, Green Party (Wales), Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign, Penarth Justice & Peace Group, Permanent Revolution, Quakers (Caerleon), RESPECT/Left Party, Socialist Labour Party (Wales), South Wales Anarchists, Stop the War Coalition (UK), Stop the War (Bristol)Stop the War (Cardiff), Stop the War (Swindon), Stop the War (Wrekin), Women in Black (Abergavenny), Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Wrexham Peace & Justice Centre

To add your name or organisation to the list of supporters or for more information about the campaign, email: no2militaryacademy@inbox.com
Imagine a world in which the armed forces are trained by arms dealers.And we subsidise their profits.

That world will become reality unless we stop the proposed school of death at St Athan.The creation of a military super-academy at St Athan, between Cardiff and Swansea, was announced as a done deal in January 2007. Despite the fact this represented the biggest PFI in history, involving £14 billion of taxpayers' money, there had been no debate in either Westminster or the Welsh Assembly (Senedd). A promise of 5500 local jobs was trumpeted loudly by an uncritical news media and presented as a great victory for Wales.

No wonder the politicians didn't want any debate. The new super-academy, replacing many smaller centres, means that military training will now be in the hands of shameless profiteers.The winning bidders for the project were the Metrix consortium. This consortium includes Qinetiq, the privatised research and development wing of the MoD. Qinetiq was recently the subject of intense criticism by the National Audit Office. Its privatisation was proposed by MoD managers – who then saw their shares rise 10,000% on the day of the sale! 33.8% of Qinetiq was also bought by the US-based Carlyle Group, a sinister lash-up of politicians and arms dealers with a vested interest in promoting war.Former members of its board include one George W. Bush.

Then there is the US arms manufacturer Raytheon. Raytheon make the missiles which deliver cluster bombs, the horrendous weapons which are estimated to have killed 100,000 people – 98% of them innocent civilians. The world can also thank Raytheon for the depleted uranium weapons which have led to thousands of horribly deformed babies and large increases in cancers in war zones and beyond.Raytheon, Qinetiq and friends will not just be training UK armed forces at St Athan. They will train any soldiers, sailors and air force personnel that are willing to pay for the privilege. And like all PFIs, the St Athan academy will be subsidised by the taxpayer, and if necessary, bailed out with public money.There has never been a detailed breakdown of the jobs the academy will bring. However, even Metrix admit that many of the military trainers will relocate from elsewhere. Every PFI has secured profits by cutting costs. St Athan will mean less MoD jobs overall, and the poorest pay and conditions for lowskilled workers.

In any case, imagine what else could be done with £14 billion! With hospitals and schools closing throughout Wales and the UK, with a desperate need to improve social facilities, create sustainable sources of energy etc, such public money could be invested in socially useful projects rather than the preparation for future wars of occupation like Iraq.
If this development goes ahead, 21 st century Wales will be become a militarised, security-obsessed nightmare. If you want to stop the war profiteers in their tracks, support the campaign and raise it in your union, student union, workplace and community.


Criminals on the battlefield - keep out of st athan

Double number of ex-cons join the US army --Sex offenders, child abusers, arsonists, terrorists and thieves serving in US army 22 Apr 2008 The US army doubled its use of "moral waivers" for enlisted soldiers last year to cope with the demands of the Iraq war, allowing sex offenders, people convicted of making terrorist threats, and child abusers into the military, new records released yesterday showed. The army gave out 511 moral waivers to soldiers with felony convictions last year. Criminals got 249 army waivers in 2006, a sign that the demand for US forces in Iraq has forced a sharp increase in the number of criminals allowed on the battlefield [not to mention the criminal allowed in the White House, the Commander in Thief]. The felons accepted into the army and marines included 87 soldiers convicted of assault or maiming, 130 convicted of non-cannabis-related drug offences, seven convicted of making terrorist threats, and two convicted of indecent behaviour with a child. Waivers were also granted to 500 burglars and thieves, 19 arsonists and nine sex offenders.


Anti-metrix demo

Stop the War Coalition Online Come to the protest on Saturday April 26 in Cardiff City Centre and say No to St Athan's Military Academy. Private companies Qinetiq and Raytheon will be ...

March to Stop Military Academy at St AthanBy aberdare Called by the Stop the St Athan’s Military Academy Campaign and supported by UK Stop the War Coalition, CND Cymru, Cynefinywerin and many other organisations. People will be coming from all over Wales and beyond. ...Aberdare Blog - http://www.aberdareblog.co.uk

March to stop Military Academy at St AthanBy Al Iguana(Al Iguana) Called by the Stop the St Athan’s Military Academy Campaign and supported by UK Stop the War Coalition, CND Cymru, Cynefinywerin and many other organisations. People will be coming from all over Wales and beyond. ...Up The Valleys - http://marilwyd.blogspot.com/

Europe – news in brief April 2008 Ethical Corporation Magazine - London,UK
Irish bombshell The Irish National Pension Reserve Fund announced that it was looking at ditching its stock in defence companies that play a role in producing cluster bombs.Raytheon, General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin are among the conglomerates that have been subject to divestment on grounds of their involvement in the controversial munitions. The NPRF holds assets valued at €32.7 billion and has signed the UN Principles for Responsible Investment.

Defence in the Media: 14 April 2008By News Team The Sunday Times has reported that Defence Secretary Des Browne appeared to have misled MPs over the safety of the Nimrod planes by saying a QinetiQ report from March 2007 had ruled the aircraft safe to fly. The QinetiQ safety review ...Defence News - http://www.blogs.mod.uk/defence_news/


Raytheon & US Military-Industrial Complex takeover St Athan

Global Gridlock: How the US Military-Industrial Complex Seeks to ...By admin Some of the names of the military contractors involved in this project include Boeing; Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard; IBM; Lockheed Martin; Microsoft; Raytheon; and Sun Microsystems (Weiner, 2004). As part of this complete coverage ...TruthNews.us - http://www.truthnews.us/