A fierce backlash was prompted in the extreme nationalist community by our disclosure that a controversial Welsh independence party launched this week was backed by a right wing pensioner who supports a paramilitary group and had posted a picture on his blog of its leader holding a gun.
The contentious party Ein Gwlad (Our Land/Country/Nation) was unveiled at Llanellli on Tuesday, and another nationalist blog had ‘reported’ earlier that a first ‘conference’ was to be held before the end of the year.
The Eye and our Editor, Phil Parry, faced furious condemnation on Facebook and Twitter after the facts were revealed.
One commentator supported the ‘native’ language and said we are not like Germans, another attacked our style of writing.
Others suggested that we were wrong to raise the past of a key backer of Ein Gwlad, the pensioner Royston Jones.
On Mr Jones’ blog ‘Jac o’ the North’ he has celebrated his support for the 1960s organisation Free Wales Army, and posted a photograph of the group’s leader pointing a gun at the camera.
In his picture others look on laughing as Cayo Evans holds the hand gun, and Mr Jones has praised him as a “friend”and “comrade”.
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 Ein Gwlad proclaims: “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”.
Yet after we published details on The Eye, one disparaging attack on us said they could have been summed up in a tweet and that the story was ‘boring’.
Another critic said in an insulting way that the basics were not right.
But journalists on The Eye have become used to abusive messages on the internet after stories about Jac o’ the North or Royston Jones.
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”.
Three days later he wrote: “Following Phil Parry’s latest attack on me I asked for the right to reply (there has been no such request), but he hasn’t responded. I’d prefer to ignore the irritating little git but he is now making serious and misleading allegations that have to be answered”.
Mr Jones may have blamed our Editor in the past, but he has used ‘lies’ before in describing him.
More than three years ago he called Mr Parry “a lying bastard” and dubbed him “vermin”.
This infuriated his child, Gruff, and he sent him a tweet saying he was “sonofvermin”.
Mr Jones said on Jac o’ the North: “That lying bastard Phil Parry never misses an opportunity to twist or invent ‘facts'” and continued: “He’s a mouthpiece for the Labour Party (many of The Eye articles have been about the misdeeds of Labour politicians) and often ‘trails’ stories for Llais y Sais (we never write ‘trails’ for other organisations)“.