Llanwrtyd’s bear ban shows Labour’s nanny-state instincts at their worst

Spot the difference? A Eurasian Brown bear (right, picture by Rami Radwan CC BY-SA 3.0) and Llanwrtyd’s bear statue (left). Picture by Wogan Jones/Twitter.

Benjiman L. Angwin

Wales’ largest party since 1922 has just told Wales’ smallest town what is best for it, despite locals saying no.

A 10 ft. tall Canadian grizzly bear has guarded the roadside into Llanwrtyd for over 15 years.

However, Labour nanny-state safety chiefs have said it must be removed for safety reasons, after a woman drove off the road and struck a sign-post complained to highway-officials that she thought it was real.

Let’s leave to one side for one moment the fact that there hasn’t been a wild bear in Wales for near 1,000 years, and that anyone alarmed by this not particularly lifelike wooden statue probably shouldn’t be on the road.

Her complaint was passed onto the Labour-run Welsh Government which have now decided that the bear should be moved out of view.

Councillor and Llanwrtyd Mayor Peter James says, ‘They’ve not discussed removing him with the town council or local people’.

A government spokesman has said that if the grizzly is not removed by locals than the Labour government will remove it forcibly.

‘Safety’

This is of course nothing new, and reminiscent of Labour’s dismissive treatment of the people of Pen y Lan in Cardiff through Natural Resources Wales, of which I wrote on earlier in the year.

Labour MP Hannah Blythyn refused to meet local people; Labour has obviously not learned anything about local democracy.

Another local Llanwrtyd resident, wishing not to be named said, ‘He (the grizzly bear) has become a bit of a landmark but if that’s what the powers that be have decided we don’t really have much say in it’.

After 100 years, this is what Labour has become in our country: ‘the powers that be’ that can decide anything without people having a say.

Removing the grizzly for ‘safety’ is a father knows best approach, the idea that the State is right and not the people. But it is more than that, because this has deep historical echoes.

Wales is used to being told what is best for it and having to lump it.

Before disestablishment in the 1920s, the Church of England would bring bishops and administrators into Wales from England in order to rule over the Welsh in a master-servant relationship.

The Welsh Assembly is the new Established Church in Wales, an outpost to keep an eye on us. Labour are carrying on this model of ecclesiastical English rule today.

Their job is not to represent Welsh people, but to prevent Welsh people from making decisions for themselves.

Independence of thought, after 100 years of dominance, can only lead to Labour losing power in Wales.

Removing a grizzly bear at the side of the road may not seem like a big deal, but it is a good metaphor for the struggle for the soul of this country.

Do we want a safety-first Labour-led approach, the reassurance of predictability and a larger state to protect us from the sinful boogeyman of the Tories, or do we have the courage to choose liberty for ourselves?

This is at its heart a struggle between the people and a state which cares nothing for individual free choice and liberty.

Attack

Benjamin Franklin said, ‘Those who can give up a little liberty to obtain temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.’

We in Wales have made this trade for too long, and it’s time we chose liberty over safety by throwing out these modern era Church of England bishops ruling over Wales.

Here in Wales, we have a deeply entrenched habit of dependence upon a State which has belittled and attacked Welsh culture for centuries.

It will take fights like this, and winning them, to get our sense of individualist liberty back. David Lloyd-George was spot on when he said liberty ‘is a habit to be acquired’.

Liberty is a habit that we in Wales have lost through identifying with Labour ideas and ideology, and self-righteousness too.

I say we should stand with Peter James and defend Llanwrtyd against Labour’s Big Brother approach as I helped those individuals defending Pen y Lan’s Waterloo Gardens against Labour earlier this year.

The Established Church used to say they ruled Wales by divine right. Well,  Labour may be the official church of the Welsh State, but Labour is not God.

They have no divine right to rule. Individual people like Llanwrtyd’s mayor Peter James deserve to be listened to.

If we keep fighting these small battles for individual liberties, Labour will lose an election one day.

The individual people who make up Llanwrtyd have decided they want their grizzly bear to stay by leaving it there for over 15 years without complaint from a single local.

Llanwrtyd knows whats best for itself and has made a decision which is not being respected.

They are fighting a Labour tyranny, and we should stand with them to declare the freedom of individual choice is higher than that of the power of the State.

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