Saturday, August 21, 2010


This is a momentous day for all Welsh and conspiracy theorists, not to mention the free people of Australia. For in that mulleted land on the outer edge of the earthly disc has the fearsome Welsh Lobby faced its sternest task.

Readers of this web blog will be aware of the sheer slate power of the Elders of Capel Seion, the cabal of chapel-goers, eisteddfod adjudicators, thirsty sopranos and plum-faced newsreaders who have screwed up every English political endeavour since the Battle of Morfa Rhuddlan.

No Good Boyo's new friend, the moderate Scotchman Hyperbore, has recently drawn the attention of a world struck mute with horror to Wales's internationalist mission to spread political misery where ever English and other non-Welsh languages are spoken.

He notes that the WikiLeaks revelations that civilians die in wars in Afghanistan just as elsewhere stem from one Bradley Manning. Although a US citizen born to English parents, young Bradley spent his youth in Wales - long enough to be recruited as a sleeper agent.

He joined the US Marines, gathered his documents and, when the moment came to sabotage the Anglo-American plot to impose social democracy on the happy helots of Herat, Bradley unbuckled his belt.

What other evidence is there of Cambrian confusion abroad? Consider the following:

1. The Confederate States of America had everything going for them. Easily defensible territory, a cautious US Congress, excellent military leaders and the tacit support of much of Europe. So who did they choose as their one and only president? Jefferson Davis, whose family hailed from Glamorgan.

The South might as well have burned down Atlanta itself and saved everyone three years of having their balls blown off.

2. Somalia had the makings of a successful state, believe it not. Unlike much of Africa it has an homogeneous population, convenient location on modern trading routes, decent ports, a proper alphabet and a thriving market in the export of glamorous models. The plucky Somalis even managed to oust their dictator Siad Barre all by themselves.

Then along came General Hersi Morgan, who combined the military efficiency of his father-in-law Barre with a devotion to famine and pestilence to rival that of any Horseman of the Apocalypse. The Somalis have not managed to hold a government together since, too preoccupied are they with avoiding al-Qaeda, the Ethiopian Army, pirates, Ridley Scott and one another.

3. Staying in Africa, take a look at Zimbabwe. Comrade Bob is no Welshman, as far as I know, but our ways are more subtle than that. Knowing what it's like, we assumed the International Community would press President Mugabe to cut a deal with the opposition rather than send in the brace of French paratroopers it would take to topple him.

Enter Morgan Tsvangirai and the rather obvious Welshman Ncube. Don't expect Mr Mugabe to be retiring any time soon.

4. Indeed, you could say that Africa's entire ghastly colonial experience came down to a Welsh. Dr Livingstone was as lost as a fisherman in Fortnum's and faced certain death by Mau Mau when he was rescued by Henry Morton Stanley, a hack from Denbigh who specialised in being a literal bastard on three continents.

The ensuing publicity stoked the Scramble for Africa, blighted the place with Bibles, and gave Stanley the chance to resume the career of killing black people that his capture and defection from the Confederate side had cut short during the American Civil War. His sole act of humility was to cede to King Leopold II of the Belgians not only the whole Congo but also the title of Worst White Man of the 19th Century.

Wales has tried to compensate Africa by adopting Lesotho, the only case of one country twinning with another, but we still get Christmas cards addressed to Mr Kurtz.

5. We have not neglected the lesser continents, either. South America seems relatively Waliserrein, apart from the agrarian simpletons of the Chubut Valley in Argentina. These religious pastoralists resented the way science, the telegraph and life-long teeth were ruining their traditional ways in Bala, and so set off for what they thought would be a verdant Eden in the Pampas.

They managed to turn the shrieking rocks and numbing desert that Buenos Ayres had sold them into a fair copy of Cardiganshire, but hopes of autonomy met the same fate as any attempt to rule Latin America that didn't involve ridiculous peaked caps and misuse of the power supply.

The Welsh of the Wladfa, as we call the Chubut colony, avenged themselves on the grim gauchos, though but. The Argentine junta's last gamble was the Falklands grab of 1982, a debacle that led to the election of Raul Alfonsín (a Welsh Foulkes on his mother's side) as president.

Good show, you might say, democracy and all that. Except that Alfonsín, in blazing a trail for the free market and constitutional rule, set up the liberal movements throughout the continent for a fall. Their European sensibility and advocacy of civil society clearly rankled with the Latin soul, as the voters whom they had freed soon ousted them in favour of lunatics, rabble-rousers and mini Castros.

Hell, even the Sandinistas made a comeback.

6. Our impact on Asia seems slight, but consider the heroic work of Agent Anna Leonowens (née Edwards). She encouraged the King of Siam to reform his country to such an extent that he was honoured with a musical, no doubt to the delight of the ladyboys of his elegantly debauched realm.

Again, what's not to like? But Anna's target was not the fragrant Thais, but the neighbouring British and French empires in India and Indochina. A strong Siam frustrated their efforts at expansion. Britain would have ruined their cuisine and the French their womenfolk. Instead they had to make do with Burma and Cambodia, countries renowned for their beastly food, absurd languages and razor-toothed, truculent beldames. In these respects they were a little reminder that Wales is never far away.

7. Even Europe is not immune. Literacy, the Code Napoléon and any sort of plumbing has kept the Welsh out of Charlemagne's patrimony, but the lost lands of Byzantium and the Third Rome are ripe for wrongdoing.

So far we've managed one success. The Orange Revolution in Ukraine was always going to be a disappointment, given the mediocrity of President Yushchenko and the mendacity of his prime-ministerial nemesis, Madame Tymoshenko, but its solid achievement of a free press, democratic process and the rule of law ought to have outlived it.

Not with President Viktor Yanukovych in power, I'm afraid. This carp-brained golem would have been nothing without the backing of the colliery oligarchs of Donetsk - a city and industry founded by, and once named for, Welsh coal baron John Hughes. Soon the proud Cossacks will envy their Belarussians neighbours to the north, with their abundant swamps, radiation and carefree inbreeding.

8. Which brings us back to Australia. This model of sturdy democracy and constitutional progress was dragged in and out of war by Billy Hughes, an Antipodean Lloyd George who cast parties and policies in his wake like teeth on a rugby pitch. The only parliamentary group he didn't wreck in his endless political career was the Country Party, which he could count on to continue his cussedness long after he had descended cackling into Annwn.

The Australians are a generous folk, and their Labor Party decided to give Wales another chance when it chose Julia Gillard, a russet Kinnockette from Barry, as its leader all of two months ago.

The result of Saturday's snap election, as Hyperbore further wrote, shows that she turned a ten-point poll lead into a double defeat - not only are Labor in second place behind the Liberal Party, but with no overall majority it looks like Australia will be run, Israeli-style, at the whim of nutjob independents.

Shall we weep, like Alexander, with no more worlds to conquer? Not while Antarctica lies untaffed, and possibly English planets wink in the Welsh sky. Mae'r Anghenfil yn y Lloer.


Francis Sedgemore said...

We are become Seionysts, the Destroyers of Worlds!

Oh, and Antarctica is already within reach, what with all the under- and over-cover Welshes who pretend to do science and stuff at Halley Bay and other bases on the continent.

No Good Boyo said...

All their pengwyns is ours.

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

You forgot Lech Wałęsa -- yes that means Welsh in Polish -- who ruined 50 years of good Soviet organisation. Now look at the place - shopping malls, motorways, President of the European Parliament - as Stalin said, civilizing Poland is like trying to saddle a cow.

I am puzzled by your phrase "moderate Scotchman".

Gorilla Bananas said...

I just knew the outgoing Aussie PM had to be a Welsh. There was something about her face and the unusually large number of words she used in her sentences (for an Australian). Reading this blog has given me a Welsh detector. I feel like one of those witch-smellers of medieval England.

Alec said...

God, I hate the Welsh.

Any Spanish readers here? Could they tell us about Gallicians?

Unknown said...

Ni fyddech yn dweud os ydych yn gwrando ar y merched sy'n Gweithio yn Tesco!

Gareth Williams said...

I'm beginning to understand why the obviously sane parts of the American Right are so panicked about the prospect of terror babies that they want to repeal the 14th Amendment. It's all those homesick Welshes failing to emigrate but spawning US citizens during their extended holidays. Sleepers programmed to return to the US once trained up. Mabinogian Candidates, sort of.

Alec said...

Borach, fyll rhrs llallallallalla nyrgh hrll?

Francis Sedgemore said...

Look what the cat's dragged in. It's the Dour Doric himself, Mr Hyperbore.

Alec – once we've finished fecking over Oz, we'll be heading north and turning our attention to the land of the Scotch. Our Nordic allies in Orkney and Shetland have already remotely activated the chips we implanted decades ago in the brains of Fish-Heid McMoonface and his scaly chums.

All is going perfectly to plan.

No Good Boyo said...

Stalin is right up our Cymru Rouge cul-de-sac, as you can imagine, Daphne. By sending in Comrade Wałęsa - real name Llew Watkins - we honoured both the Poles and the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (original release, without the extra tracks) by rendering Poland no unappetizing that not even Chancellor Kohl would want to snaffle it up.

Hyperbore is as Scotch as a BBC reporter, but shows an interest in other, non-Scotch but not necessarily anti-English, matters. This I think makes him a moderate. Rather like a Belgian who puts mayo on his frites but not on his moules.

GB, the price of freedom is the eternal hounding of plain yet saucy spinsters. Go to it. Ms Gillard looks a lot like Allison Pearson, another Welsh who missed her trajectory. We had aimed her at BBC2, but she landed somewhere in the middle of the Daily Mail and vanished without a trace.

Alec, welcome! During my celebrated visit to Madrid:

my local barman insisted that I join a backroom "full of Welsh football fans" one evening. I could not possibly reject such an invitation, and soon found myself in a crowd of cheerily drunk Galicians celebraring Coruna's win over Madrid or something suitably soccerish. They had no idea who I was or why, but filled me with wine and applauded my performance of "Oes gafr eto".

They are not to be confused with Ukrainian Galicians, who are scurvy Morlocks with back-bacon breath.

Now that's an idea, Gaw. If enough fat birds from Carmarthen sprog in Vermont "simultaneously and at the same time", as Kinnock might put it, the state will be ours in 2030. It's a beginning.

Borah, diolch am gyflwyno dy flog diddan. Pa ferched o Tesco wyt ti'n son amdanyn nhw? Y Pyjama Girls, tybed?

Alec said...

Frynchs, I watched 28 Weeks Later for the first time last night... I welcome fire-bombs on Princes Street, nerve gas on Rose Street and machine-gunning along Castle Street.

(And, I mean Thurso, not Edinburgh.)

No Good Boyo said...

Apologies to Alec for omitting the link to my tale of Spanish misunderstandings. Here it is;

The Google search "Madrid brothel" still brings a remarkable number of visitors my way. I like to think they come for the filth and stay for the fury.

And apologies to Daphne too: that, and so much else, should be "so unappetizing".

Funny you should mention them, Francis, but I once received a complaint from an Orcadian at work about something I'd written. I sent him one approved reply and kept the other for myself. I'll blog it if I can find it. It began "Dear Mock Jock" and ended "Shut up and keep taking the subsidies".

Crule but fair.

Francis Sedgemore said...

My dear Comrade Boyo, an "Orcadian at work" is an oxymoron.

Alec said...

>> "Dear Mock Jock"

~*wyphs cyffhh frym scrhhn*~

No Good Boyo said...

A bi of lazy writing by me there, Francis. I was at work, not by definition the Orcadian.

Alec, I think a Shetlander is more likely to say "frá þóðrir höfðáður dvaliðtím bundiðá næstu öldum fluttilandnámsöld".

Jon in France said...

I'm not so sure that the Welsh have failed to make inroads into the nation of Charlemagne.

For a start, the current Prime Minister of France, Mr Fillon, is married to one Penelope, née Clarke of Llanover near Abergavenny.

And his brother later married her sister.

I'm not sure how many sleeper agents they've produced, but should I be expecting the Fifth Republic to collapse in flames in the near future?

Brit said...

Are you sure that Wales and Lesotho are 'twinned'? I understood it was more like a suicide pact.

Francis Sedgemore said...

I have just learned that the "documentary filmmaker" Michael Moore is donating $5,000 to Bradley Manning's defence fund.

This is not part of the Plan.

Dewi said...

Not everything goes to plan. Here's a real failure:

No Good Boyo said...

Jon, we gave the French their insanse counting system and rugby. We feel there's not much more we can do to them.

Brit-lliant! Seeing handmade crypto-Welsh geegaws from Lesotho at the National Eisteddfod is one of the best reasons for going there. That and grinning insanely at the two nervvous gals at the Conservative Party stall.

Francis, Mihangel Mawr is a rogue agent, but an agent nonetheless. We're trying to lure him back for debriefing with a trail of oggies and a winch.

No Good Boyo said...

Ah, Murray the Hump. C'mon, Dewi, he did his best to wreck America with bad Canadian licquor and the Kennedys. David Wigley of all people wrote and presented a very good documentary about his on Radio 4 years ago. If The Hump had led Plaid Cymru...

Julian Meteor said...

Any news?

No Good Boyo said...

Nuclear mullahs
In Iran.

Unknown said...

I moved to Cardiff about a week ago and still know next to nothing about the Welsh - all my knowledge is based on the checkout girls at Tesco's and the ginger gardener I found in my garden Sunday morning. And, thanks to Gorilla Bananas, your blog :D

Do you reckon learning Welsh would be worth it?

No Good Boyo said...

Lucky you, Debbie. There are few moments so enjoyable in life than your first meeting with Welsh people.

Cardiff is a lovely city, and no venue is finer than Clwb Ifor Bach - gig central, where you will meet many sweaty Welsh speakers. Dig it now and always:

Welsh is not so much a language as an unreliable grammatical narrative. It's not as hard to learn as it likes to pretend. I have written the definitive introduction to Welsh here:

There are plenty of courses available in Cardiff. Contact these druids and you'll be expectorating with the best of us:

There's an excellent book by my mate Gareth King called "Colloquial Welsh". Get it with the CDs, it's the business and I get virtual no commission on sales.

I look forward to following your Cambrian adventures. Hwyl!

Ian Plenderleith said...

Just got back from our hols in Lancashire, where one day we took a wrong turn and found ourselves at the Welsh border. We were refused entry, something about our passports not being hewn from slate. We turned the car around and drove away, enjoying in our rear view mirror the sight of an angry pursuant mob wielding naked flame torches and cans of Brains Best. Shame, as I've always fancied mutton and eggs for breakfast.

No Good Boyo said...

You should have mentioned my name, Pop. I'm worshipped as the reincarnation of Michael Owen in the Welsh Marches. Depending on the weather you would have been either anointed with butter and borne aloft through the hallowed bogs, or dressed as Easter bunnies and hunted by night. Either way, a memorable experience.

Sauti Ndogo said...

A Somali once told me that General Hersi "Morgan" got his nickname from a fondness for Captain Morgan rum, itself named after the pirate, who seems to have been a successful Welshman in his chosen profession.

No Good Boyo said...

Fair comment, Ndogi. I'd hitherto considered rum to be a decadent drink for softies, and now recant.

Rum was part of Capt Morgan's campaign to corrupt the Royal Navy into a bunch of inverts, get a pardon and end up as governor of Jamaica - a place worth governing.

It worked. Floreat Cambria!

Sauti Ndogo said...

I've always thought of rum as brandy's down-to-earth brother.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Hmm... competitors, it looks like. Need some sorting out then.

No Good Boyo said...

Take us on in sport and we'll try to win a Nobel Prize sometime.

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Anonymous said...

So far we've managed one success. The Orange Revolution in Ukraine was always going to be a disappointment, given the mediocrity of President Yushchenko and the mendacity of his prime-ministerial nemesis, Madame Tymoshenko, but its solid achievement of a free press, democratic process and the rule of law ought to have outlived it.
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