Thursday, 6 September 2007

Every Alan needs a Johnny

…. to seriously misquote Maggie Thatcher. When I first started seeing comments from AlaninDyfed, and then read his website, I have to admit that I briefly wondered whether we was for real or not. Much if what he wrote seemed to be such an extreme characterisation of a particular perception of Nationalism that I thought that it might be a wind-up. But no, he’s for real.

His threads are often worth reading though – as much for the comments as for the initial postings. I have to admit that I’ve oft enjoyed the banter between him and Johnny Foreigner, (who seems to be everyone’s participatory pal except mine).

Now, Johnny too has launched a web site all of his own, and, as Normal Mouth was quick to point out, consensus is far from being the order of the day. In his very first, anything but tentative, posting, Johnny’s managed to attract a certain amount of opprobrium, to put it mildly. Again, I have to admit that I did, briefly, wonder whether he in turn might be a spoof of some sort, because it seemed to be such a characterisation of everything that nationalists love to hate. I have concluded, however, that he too is for real.

The debate between the two – insofar as two people speaking such different languages, from such different standpoints, can be said to be holding a debate at all – remains worth reading, not least to brighten up a dull moment. As a serial thread troll (his word, not mine), Johnny has been forthright in asking questions and challenging others' views; something which I personally enjoy. Challenging opinions and statements encourages others to justify them and the rationale behind them, and that can surely never be a bad thing.

However, now that he has branched out, and started to state his own opinions rather than merely challenging those of others, it already looks as though he may end up looking as immoderate as his chief verbal opponent, albeit from the other end of the Welsh spectrum. Still, as opposites are said to attract, the sparks of this beautiful relationship will, hopefully, continue to fly. It will help to justify the continued existence of Alan – after all, every Johnny needs an Alan too.

39 comments:

Y Barnwr said...

Why don't you just let others read Alan's blog and Johny's too and make up their own minds instead of rather arrogantly swiping at them yourself. Your post presupposes that you are the voice of reason.....I think it displays your arrogant intolerance.

Aran said...

Well, I quite enjoyed this summary, Mr Barnwr ffroenuchel.

y barnwr said...

aran,
do you mean Ceredig's ffroenuchel summary?

Aran said...

Nope. His summary falls sadly short of your comment in that department.

y barnwr said...

hmmmm....

Christopher Glamorgan said...

When I first read your heading, 'Every Alan needs a Johnny' I had thought that you meant 'to avoid reproduction'... if only! ;>D

johnny foreigner said...

Ceredig:

I'm afraid the party's over.

I've been banned from Alan's blog, forthwith.

I made a somewhat robust response to his latest assertion that Welsh soldiers in the British Army are "mercenaries".

He has since removed the offending word and offers some semantic drivel as an excuse.

Nevertheless, he stands by his assertion and prides himself on the controversy that he has caused.

I must confess that I was somewhat scathing in my response, and, to my shame, included two heavily asterisked words. The management of my anger was, at the time, less than perfect. I would offer my apologies to any offended persons, Alan excepted.

I note your comments regarding my recent entry to this interesting world of bloggery and take on board your indication that I may end up as immoderate as the aforesaid Alan.

I will attempt to moderate my postings but nevertheless will continue to challenge Nationalistic viewpoints in my particular manner.

As a new blogger I am prepared to learn.

I have recently been informed that not all Welsh speakers are Nationalists, by your pal aran, but from his latest response to me it would appear that Cymuned has taken on the role of the Welsh Thought Police and self appointed guardians of Welsh Morality. This causes me some concern. Am I to be confined to Room 101 for my views?

For your continued amusement and in order to continue my discourse with Alan I may adopt a more vernacular mode of expression and get myself another alter-ego in order to slip under Alan's radar.

Tell me, is there an award for the troll who is banned from the most blogs as I seem to be quite a strong contender for the title.

To date, I have been banned from Odourousvindictivus, Welsh Independence and now Alan's.

What is it with these Nationalists? They certainly don't like contrary opinion and seem to be more interested in massaging each other's egos and spouting their Nationalistic demands which we monoglots are expected to accept without question. My questioning will continue nevertheless.

Thanks for your observations regarding my blog and kindly drop by if you so wish. No moderation with me. I learned long ago that you have to be able to 'take it ' before you can 'give it'.

Best wishes.

Your particularly polarized yet participatory pal.

johnny.

alanindyfed said...

Nice post, Ceredig. I must admit I feel a sense of relief at having finally got Jingo Johnny off my back, and now that I am no longer his participatory pal. I'm sure Sanddef (Ordo) will concur.
Believe it or not, I am not as immoderate as you appear to think, though I am certainly for real and have very definite views which I am prepared to defend to the death. You state that my views are extreme, but you may have noted from my posting that I am very much in favour of bringing people together for the sake of Welsh unity and cohesion as well as the regeneration of communities and Welsh community values. I do not seek to promote discord but I have to stand for the truth and the restoration of justice for Wales. You see, for nationalists it is Wales that comes first, above everything, and these people, Johnny included, who persist in attacking or scorning Welsh culture, language and traditions need to be put in their place, and shown that they in no way represent the fundamental ethos of Wales.
Ideological considerations are secondary and our eventual goal is independence and freedom. Take a boat ride to Ireland and you will see its fruits. What appears extreme to some now will appear the normal condition to their children and grandchildren. Think about it.

Keir Hardly said...

Alun,

You BANNED him from your blog for having different views to you, likewise Ordowhatever, there is no real defence of that. Thats no an issue of politics, but of free speech and you not wanting a debate.

Grow up.

Ceredig,

Good post, but i think whereas Johnny F knows he is offering more polemic fare, and taking a position to tackle some of the lazy and entrenched nationalist positions that have permeated our civic society, i think Alun genuinely and naively believes in his very one sided views and refuses to accept any other views offered. Johnny F's view appear to me to be a response to nationalism, which he seeks to challenge, Alun doesnt even recognise people may feel different to him and retreats to a lazy and often offensive stereotype.

Johnny F, although i dont agree with parts of what he says, is do the welsh blogosphere a service if you ask me.

johnny foreigner said...

Well, Alan, you've certainly failed to get me of your back.

You carry on spouting your senseless drivel about cohesion and at the same time attempt to eliminate robust argument by banning me from your blog.

Face? Bovvered? Not really.

Your description of yourself as a patriot causes me some puzzlement.

My Oxford Concise Dictionary defines the word 'patriot' thus:

"A person who vigourously supports their country and is prepared to defend it."

Well, that lets you out for a start.

You are English born after all.

There's nothing in the definition about apostate proselytes, such as you, adopting other countries.

You are certainly no patriot to England, although you are quite welcome to live in MY country and speak as you wish. Just don't try and tell me, a native born Welshman, what I should and should not think.

I thank you.

Your permanent (whether you like it or not) pal.

johnny.

alanindyfed said...

As I have mentioned ad finitum, it's a matter of allegiance not where you happen to be born, and your allegiance is sadly lacking, johnny come lately. You cannot convince me that you have allegiance to Wales. It is to mythical Britain. Remember it is you and others like you who are the mythmakers and you live in a historical abstraction known as Britain. It is I who is in touch with reality and who lives in the real world, the world of Wales reborn.

johnny foreigner. said...

Patriotism dear boy, patriotism.

Allegiance is an entirely different matter.

At no time have I suggested that I have no allegience to Wales.

My allegiance, as stated, also ad infinitum, in fact, ad nauseum, is to the UK as a whole. Wales so happens to be part of that same UK therefore, again, my particular allegiance is primarily to the UK.

You are clearly unable to distinguish between myth and legend and actuality. The Wales that you seek is clearly mythical and a figment of your rather lurid imagination, whereas the UK is a matter of fact. Live with it, or should I say live in it.

Don't despair Alan I am not seeking to convince you of anything. I am merely showing the futility and the facile nature of your viewpoint.

I have been called jingo johnny and now johnny come lately by you, to my enduring amusement.

I, as you well know, have spent the better part of my life in the uniformed service of the UK, Wales included, and take some exception to being called johnny come lately by such as you.

I've got my medals and I've done my duty, what about you?

Ah, yes, an Englishman who spent twenty years out of the country allegedly teaching English who now decides to set up in Wales and push the locals around.

You've picked on the wrong one here, pal.

Notwithstanding being banned from your blog, have no fear I'm on your case and will pop up, as and when, to put your viewpoint to the test. Subject of course, to the enduring and patient hospitality of our esteemed hosts Caredig, and anyone else who has yet to ban me.

It has been said "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country".

Well Alan, I can only thank you, on behalf of the British Nation for your twenty year absence spreading the beautiful language worldwide.

I now beseech you to carry on this invaluable service.

You country needs you Alan. Heed the call.

Your palpable pal.

johnny.

P.S. Have you found your frogs yet? If not, try down the throat of one of your false prophecies.

Ceredig said...

Y Barnwr,

Would you possibly perchance be the same Y Barnwr whose blog proudly declares “Mae gwefannau personol yn tueddu at fod yn hunan-bwysig hyd yr eitha'... Dyw'r safle hwn ddim yn eithriad...” ?

If you are, then the words pot and kettle immediately spring to mind; however if there are two judges to be found, then I can only say that I will bear your comments carefully in mind in future.

Your Grace Mr Glamorgan,

(I do hope that I’ve got the form of address correct, I know that others have been lacking in this respect). I am humbled by the presence of such nobility. You did indeed spot the double meaning in the headline. In the case of Alan and Johnny, I tend to feel that one of each adds a certain interest and spice to life, but many more than that might be considered by some to be an imposition. But then, they probably feel the same about me…

Alan,

I suppose that I'm a little surprised that, having banned Mr F from your site, you should pursue him to another to continue the debate, but I’m more than happy to enjoy the verbal tussles, provided that you both behave like gentlemen. There are only four things likely to get moderated on this blog – bad language, libel, excessively personal insults, and spammers; and of the four, I personally feel that spamming is the worst offence. Who wants a Portuguese T-shirt anyway?

Mr Hardly,

You may be right about Mr F., then again you may not. I have asked some difficult questions of my friend in Dyfed in the past, and I shall be asking some difficult questions of Johnny as well. I'll decide whether I agree with you or not on the basis of his responses.

Ceredig said...

Johnny,

I'm not aware of any prizes for being banned from blogs, I'm afraid - and I certainly have no intention of assisting you or anyone else to win such a prestigious award. I think that Welsh blog awards are the province or a certain Mr Ordovicius, and I suspect that fact may be enough to immediately disqualify your entry, in any category.

I do remain, however, curious about your precise viewpoint. There is, I think, much that we could usefully discuss, but it would help tremendously if we could identify at whom exactly your ire is directed.

There are really two entirely separate arguments which seem to be getting confused – one is about whether Wales should be Independent or not, and the other is about the role of the Welsh language.

The phrase you often use is “Nationalists”, but on reading some of your comments on a variety of threads, I fear that this may be a rather imprecise term, not least because, on occasions, I have the impression that you see Nationalists, Welsh-speakers, and those who argue for more 'rights' for the language as one and the same. My good friend Aran has already pointed out that not all Welsh-speakers are Nationalists; the converse is also true, in that not all Nationalists are Welsh-speakers.

To further complicate matters, not all Nationalists would agree with further legislation on the Welsh language, and not all of those who want further legislation on the language are Nationalists. Indeed, some are members of parties such as the Labour Party, or even the Tories, in my experience – people who would run a mile from the idea of an Independent Wales.

So, would I be correct in assuming that your main issue is around the question of ‘rights’ for the Welsh language, particularly where there is a pecuniary implication, rather than about the question of nationalism per se?

Your ‘fuddled friend.

johnny foreigner said...

Ceredig:

Firstly my apologies for the misspelling of your name with an 'a'.

I have read your rules and will abide by them. In fact I have put a red dot on the asterisk key, just in case.

On the question of awards, I am afraid that any award system based on the personal tastes and prejudices of the award operator has no value whatsoever. Maybe I'll just give myself an award anyway. It's that cheap and worthless.

On the matter of my particular issues to do with the Governance of Wales and the use of it's Language, I would say that as a Welshman born and bred I find that there is a minority of Welsh Nationalists and speakers who seek to interfere with the quiet enjoyment of my life in Wales in order for them to gain something for themselves.

They even seek to threaten the majority of us with Legal Sanctions if we do not comply with their selfish wishes.

I am currently in conversation with your mate, aran, on my blog, wherein the fact that Welsh speakers are not necessarily nationalists and conversely all Nationalists are not Welsh speakers etc. has become increasingly apparent to me.

I do not really want the likes of the occupants of the Welsh Assembly to have too much control over my life as, quite frankly, I would not employ any of them to shovel the avian ordure from within the confines of my cuckoo clock.

I have stated previously that the only thing the Assembly has done for me is to double my Poll Tax. They have immersed their undeserving snouts in the Public Trough and spent massive amounts of my money on their own comfort and security whilst the people of Wales have to suffer numerous failures and lack of Public Service. Independence for Wales would surely bring more of the same in spades. Not for me thanks.

With regard to the matter of linguistic 'rights' I would say that I have no problem with anyone speaking whichever language they please but when it comes down to a minority of Welsh speakers demanding that I embrace Welsh and its 'culture' and use it. Why should I when I don't wish to?

They then harp on about Welsh 'culture'. They are refering to a culture of many years ago and at a specific time. What's wrong with hearkening back to the days when we all grunted and lived in trees. It's still part of our culture.

Culture is an evolutionary concept.

I would venture to suggest that in some parts of Wales this involves people in white robes asking if there is Peace whilst partially unsheathing a whopping great sword. Hardly cultural. It's a downright implied threat. Bring it on pal.

There's little peace in the blogmosphere at the moment, yet my sword remains sheathed, although my keyboard has been unleashed to the detriment of certain less than peaceful individuals.

Further examples of Welsh 'culture' may be found centred around the crack pipe, the bong, Red Rizla and cans of Special Brew in copious amounts. All part of our rich and varied 'culture'.

If you could further enlighten me as to to nature of this Welsh 'culture' that I am being exhorted to embrace then I would be most grateful.

One of my particular gripes regarding the increased use of Welsh in 'officialdom' is the utter waste of translation when it is clearly not needed or even asked for. Dafydd Elis-Thomas is on record as saying that translation at the Assembly costs around £4,000,000 a year for documents that are not read and are just archived. Further, much is lost in these translations which can only add to the confusion.

50% of the official blurb that arrives at my door goes straight in the bin. The carbon cost is simply not worth it if it means that it adds to the phenomenon of Global Warming.

Given the choice between Welsh and our continued existence on this planet I know what your choice would be.

It is particularly irksome to be expected to fund this waste when our quite limited funds could be spent on matters that would benefit us all and not just a self-interested few.

I do hope that these comments make you more aware of my viewpoint. I would gladly expand on any of the specifics should you so wish.

I will be away on the weekend immersing myself in the 'culture' of the Ukulele but will return on Sunday night to hopefully continue this discussion.

In the meantime, thank you for your gracious hospitality and would invite you over to yourpaljohnny.blogspot any time you are passing.

For now, I would just say:

Aloha mahalo nui loa Aloha.

Your palm-fronded pal.

johnny.

alanindyfed said...

What a load of ...........(b/s)

johnny foreigner said...

The false prophet has spoken.

Anyone seen his frogs?

Your faraway friend.

johnny.

Anonymous said...

Ceredig, K Hardly, et al,

Lets hope our region plays well against Canada tomorrow eh!

alanindyfed said...

Only adherents of falsehood regard Wales as a region.

Anonymous said...

The worst Welsh blogger is Ordovicious. he's always making snide remarks about his comment posters and then deleting their witty come-backs.

johnny foreigner said...

johnny says....

He's deleted enough of mine I can assure you.

Nevertheless, he's most welcome over at my blog wherein he can make witty remarks to his heart's content, and so can I.

Unfortunately, he only seems to want his opinion heard and seeks to silence contrary opinion.

Let's see what he's made of.

COMING TO A PC OR LAPTOP NEAR YOU.

A CHALLENGE.

ORDOVICIUS 'V' JOHNNY FOREIGNER

FOR THE TITLE OF

WITTIEST REMARK MAKER OF THE WEEK.

Of course, due to Ordo's snide propensity he would have be allowed the occasional snide remark, just to keep his hand in.

Are you up for it Ordo?

You know what they say about "all work and no play...." having a detrimental effect on one's dullness of boyhood.

I would respectfully suggest that our esteemed and venerable host be asked if he would consider being adjudicator.

We could alternatively host it at your place or mine. No rules, except those concerning common decency.

You never know, this may even degenerate into a 'Big Conversation'.

Your playful yet pertinent pal.

johnny.

alanindyfed said...

Big egos are not a part of Welsh tradition. It's likely that he has Saxon genes.

Anonymous said...

"Big egos are not a part of Welsh tradition. It's likely that he has Saxon genes."

What are you talking about??? YOU ARE NOT WELSH!!

alanindyfed said...

I am Welsh and you are Anonymous.
High time you got an identity.

johnny foreigner said...

You are not Welsh, Alan, by your own admission. You are English.

Notwithstanding your continued protestations to the contrary, you are, remain and always will be English. Deal with it for goodness sake.

Your loyalties and allegiances are irrelevant. You are English by birth and there's nowt that you can do about it.

Whilst you continually seek to deny the significance of your birthplace you are doing yourself no good at all.

I am truly trying to help you to wrestle with your own demons.

Please check my blog for further examples of your seemingly blinkered viewpoint.

Your pastoral pal.

johnny.

alanindyfed said...

Location, location, location applies to properties - not to allegiance.
You have always to be reminded!

Ceredig said...

Alan,

There you go again, just when you’re trying to convince me how reasonable you really are. “Adherents of falsehood” as a description of anyone who might take a different view sounds like the sort of phrase I’d expect to hear on a tape from Bin Laden. And is about as useful as an input to a debate.

Anon,

If you are suggesting that I view Wales as a region rather than as a nation, I fear that you may have misread what I have said. I have not suggested that Wales is other than a nation - but I certainly have asked questions about the basis on which anyone can say that Wales is a nation but Britain is not - or why it is not possible to belong to two overlapping nations at once, given that a majority of the population of Wales seem to believe that they are in precisely that situation.

I’m quite comfortable belonging to the Welsh nation, despite being of mixed background like most of the rest of Wales. And I'm quite happy supporting and promoting Wales. I’m also relaxed about the idea that there might be another overlapping nationality called British, and don't see why the two have to be so mutually exclusive.

But I’m not happy about telling the majority of my fellow Welsh people, as I think Alan would have us do, that there is no such thing as British, that British = English, and that they therefore have to choose between being Welsh or English, and are deluded or brainwashed if they can’t see that for themselves. That just doesn’t seem to me like being a good starting point for persuading others of anything.

Alan and Johnny both, along with one of the Anons,

Does it really matter whether Alan is or isn’t Welsh? He lives in Wales, he chooses to support and promote Wales – sometime mores enthusiastically, if I may put it in such euphemistic terms, than those of us who were born here.

As for the nonsense about Saxon genes – well really, Alan! Come off it! The genetic make-up of the English and Welsh is remarkably similar, and there’s been such intermingling over the centuries anyway that there can be few of us left who are not of mixed descent. I can find plenty of better ways of defining differences between England and Wales than looking at genes.

Ceredig said...

Johnny,

No need at all to apologise for mis-spelling my name as Caredig – I thought you were just being kind.

I very much doubt that Ordo will rise to your challenge, I’m afraid – it really doesn’t seem like his style to me.

Back on to more substantive issues, I wonder if we can’t narrow things down a little – you seem to be attacking on all fronts simultaneously, something which surprises me from an ex military man.

I’m not really sure why you blame the National Assembly for doubling your council tax; I’m afraid that I take the view that council tax would be more or less the same as it is today with or without the National Assembly. But even if the Assembly were to blame, what has that to do with the Nationalists? The Assembly was set up by, and has been run by, the Labour Party – sometimes alone, sometimes in coalition.

I think the point you raise about the whole idea of ‘moral rights’ is an interesting one, and I shall be exploring that in a new post later today.

Your filosophical friend.

johnny foreigner said...

Ceredig:

Thanks for your thought provoking response.

The "all fronts" attack that you describe is merely part of the Phase One initial artillery barrage, intended to alert the enemy of my presence and the power of my 'weaponry'. It also serves to 'soften 'em up a bit'.

Phase two involves the use of more precisely guided 'weapons' to pick off survivors and to prevent their escape, prior to the Third Phase of 'mopping up'. Tactics dear boy, tactics.

Despite coming from a military background, I have never actually described myself as an ex-military person, having never taken the Queen's shilling, but have provided allied and sterling uniformed service which has been recognised as such. Her Majesty owns many uniforms.

The Council Tax matter has been discussed at length elsewhere and the it seems clear that Council Tax rises are as a result of Assembly instruction to reduce public spending or lose services.

I can hardly think of any advantage that the Assembly gives us that could not be achieved via Westminster. The Assembly's record speaks for itself.

When the Assembly was first instituted and Christine Gwyther, a vegetarian for goodness sake, was made Minster for Agriculture, my worst fears were confirmed. Just a bunch of amateurs.

The matter of 'moral guardianship' that I have posed seems to me to be typical of the attitudes that Plaid assume.

One way or the other they seek to impose their will on the majority of folk and brook no dissent.

My old pal Alan has shown today, further indications of the true ethos of Plaid, as may be seen on my blog. Quite disturbing if you ask me.

It further transpires that Alan is a Press Officer for Plaid and this indicates to me that Plaid are fully supportive of his skewed viewpoint. It naturally follows that they would not wish him to cease his activities.

Further, now I know why your pal Aran has made no further comment on my blog addressing my rather skillfully worded answers to his 'loaded' questions.

Mohandas Ghandi sums it up:

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

I have yet to embrace the Mahatma's pacifism.

This heartens me somewhat as I have now discovered a cache of unused 'ammunition' which will serve me well.

I wonder if Plaid's opposing parties are aware of the nature of their Press Officer's outrageous blogging activity. I'm pretty sure that this will hearten them around election time.

I do not wish to live in the Wales that Plaid espouses. I will resist.

Your patrial pal.

johnny.

alanindyfed said...

So JF is now dusting off his bazooka and retiring to his dugout?

Resistance to the truth is futile my friend.

johnny foreigner said...

"Resistance to the truth is futile my friend."

...the dyfedian said, with a maniacal cackle, froth drooling and twitching eye.

johnny foreigner, tied up with his legs parted and observing the ever approaching circular saw, laconically raised his left eyebrow and fixed the dyfedian with a steely glare and said:

"You'd better be careful, old chap, there's a mouse behind you".

The dyfedian, being of limited courage and intellect, looked to the rear.

Immediately, foreigner, by the simple expedient of flexing his muscles, caused the bonds to break asunder and in a single movement leaped from the saw table and grasped the dyfedian by his left ear.

The dyfedian, realising that all was lost, called upon johnny to at least consider his 'rights'.

"As you wish" johnny replied.

With a deft yet lightning-fast movement, johnny swung around and firmly grasped the right ear of the dyfedian.

"Are you happy now?" johnny enquired.

"Bwaaaahhh" was the only reply that the crestfallen dyfedian could muster.


OK folks, tune in next week for a further 'gripping' episode of this long awaited thriller.

Note to parents:

Please note that no dyfedians were actually hurt during the making of this production, although a few egos may have been dented.


......and now a word from our sponsors......


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Its brightly coloured logo will be clearly visible to your family, friends and neighbours as a constant reminder of the suffering that you have endured.

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That's all folks!

Copyright: foreigner productions.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see that people are staying away from Alan in Dyfed's blog, or at least not commenting on his new posts. He now has about four new posts that have no comments, and if people want to have their say, they are using the old posts.

Ceredig said...

Johnny,

I’m sorry for assuming that you were a military man; but I think it was an easy mistake to make, given the terminology you use. I enjoyed your little thriller – have you thought about becoming a professional wordsmith? Or perhaps you already are.

I note your challenge to the senior officers of Plaid, Cymuned, Cymdeithas etc.; but I wonder whether a blog is the right medium for such a challenge. I find it hard to believe that such people read the scribblings of the likes of Alan and myself, or even your particularly finely-worded prose.

Your faithful friend.

alanindyfed said...

The man's mad!
How can you pander to him?

johnny foreigner said...

Resistance to the truth is futile, my red-eared little friend.

Your powerfully pinching pal.

johnny.

alanindyfed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
alanindyfed said...

You forgot!

"Independence Cymru" is the domain of Truth.

Anonymous said...

Both seem to need to calm down a bit.
Politically ive sympathy with Alans viewpoint-i think hes letting Johnny wind him up
Johnnys rants are verging on BNP territory

Ceredig said...

Anon,

Indeed so. But he's really so very easy to wind up.....