"The arms that you wield now are not such as your forefathers wielded; but they are infinitely more effective, and infinitely more irresistable" ~ Cymru Fydd leaflet, 1890

Wednesday 15 January 2014

Salting the earth

Halen Môn (Anglesey Sea Salt) has just been awarded EU regional protection. In a nutshell it means that no one else can produce it unless they are using salt from the sea around Ynys Môn. Wales needs all the protection it can get from exploitation and I really hope that this new status along with the recent protection of Pembrokeshire early potatoes is the start of a fresh wave of Welsh products that are recognised and afforded the added protection and brand recognition they deserve.

But there is a delicious irony in this sea salt shanty and that is that the sea around Wales is not owned by the people of Wales, it is owned by our old enemy The Crown Estate. And as such that means that anyone who wants to remove natural resources from the sea around Wales has to pay The Crown Estate. Whether this is sea water as in the case of Halen Môn or dredging in The Bristol Channel it doesn't matter.

To recap, Halen Môn has its brand protected from exploitation but the only raw material used, Welsh sea water, is an exploited resource. And it's worth mentioning why it is still an exploited resource once again.

Those who salt the earth of Wales are in red. Share via twitter | facebook
Back in January 2011, MP Jonathan Edwards brought a bill before parliament calling for energy and (the Welsh assets of) The Crown Estate to be devolved to Wales. Naturally, as we have recently seen with our water, we in Wales have a dangerous fascination with electing traitors. I can think of no more fitting a word to describe these people. Anyone who would rather sell the people they are meant to represent down the river for a pat on the back is a traitor to Wales and its people, no matter where those people are from.

If the people from Halen Môn read this then I don't want them to think this is an attack on them, it's not. I wish them well in flying the flag for Cymru and hopefully encouraging more Welsh firms to seek EU protection. This is about educating people as to the exploitation that occurs every single day. Some people think colonialism is something that happened in the past and whilst that is true it's also happening right now in every corner of our country. However much they are paying to The Crown Estate isn't important, the important thing is that either that money should be coming to the people of Wales or it could even be scrapped which would save the company a little bit of money.

The map above is based on votes that were cast three years ago so it'd be quite interesting how much these MPs might have changed in that time. Thankfully the MPs gave us a perfect account of how much they have changed in the recent vote on fully devolving water.

It's worse than above, the sole green Labour constituency is red, all the Lib Dem's are red and so the only three green constituencies are those with Plaid Cymru MPs. You can see it here.

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