British homophobe ‘donkeyphobe’ running for UKIP leadership


This video from Britain says about itself:

Ukip hopeful John Rees-Evans on the ‘gay donkey’ who tried to ‘rape’ his horse

24 October 2016

After a Polish right-wing politicians attacked a ‘gay’ elephant and the fictional bear Winnie the Pooh, now a British right-wing politician attacking a ‘gay’ donkey.

By Conrad Landin in Britain:

Ukip politician who claimed gay donkey raped his horse stands for leader

Tuesday 25th October 2016

A UKIP politician who once claimed that “a homosexual donkey raped my horse” announced his intention to seek his party’s leadership yesterday.

John Rees-Evans said he was standing for the top job because “significant changes to the culture of politics in Britain are long overdue.”

But the former parliamentary candidate immediately faced questions about embarrassing comments exclusively exposed by the Morning Star in December 2014.

Then standing in the Welsh valley seat of Cardiff South and Penarth, Mr Rees-Evans was one of a clutch of Ukip activists who confronted anti-racist protesters outside the party’s Merthyr Tydfil offices.

He was asked to explain comments made by other Ukip activists, including former Ukip branch chair Julia Gasper’s remark that “some homosexuals prefer sex with animals.”

Mr Rees-Evans responded: “Actually I’ve witnessed that … a homosexual donkey raped my horse.

“I was personally quite amazed, I’ve got a horse, it was in the fields … a donkey came up which is male and, I’m afraid, tried to rape my horse.”

When contacted by the Star at the time, Mr Rees-Evans defended the remarks …

But he appeared to be frustrated when he was quizzed about the incident on BBC2’s Daily Politics programme yesterday.

“It was a bit of playful banter with a mischievous activist,” he said. “I’m sorry if I offended anyone in doing that.

“I concede it was a mistake to be playful with an activist in a street. The fact is I’m not a politician. The guy was just asking me questions in the street. It was an error of judgement.”

Mr Rees-Evans, an ex-soldier who migrated to Bulgaria but says he moved back to Wales before last year’s general election, also disputed reports he carried a handgun in Ikea to fend off terrorists.

A Vice News article also reported that his planned “fortress” in the country would incorporate a church, a leisure complex, an underground bunker, a firing range, and a panic room and a watchtower.

His opponents in the race include MEP Suzanne Evans, deputy leader Paul Nuttall and “alt-right” activist Raheem Kassam.

Earlier this year, Mr Kassam tweeted: “Can someone just like … tape Nicola Sturgeon’s mouth shut? And her legs, so she can’t reproduce. Thanks.”

Wales to football semi-finals, celebration with birds


This video is called Wales vs Belgium 3 – 1 FULL Highlights HD ~ EURO 30/6/2016.

Tonight, Wales beat Belgium at the European football championships in France.
Wales will play in the semi-finals against Portugal.

To celebrate, three videos about birds in Wales.

This video is called Puffins – Skomer/Skokholm – Dale Sailing.

This video is called Skomer Island (Wales) Puffins, Guillemots, Razorbills.

This video is called Male Manx shearwater responding to recording of another male bird as part of census work on Ramsey Island (off duty sheepdog helping out!)

Wales beats Russia, football championship group winners


This video is called Wales 3-0 Russia (EURO 2016) – All Goals & Highlights [HD] 20/06/2016.

It ended 3-0 for Wales.

Wales has won Group B of the Euro 2016 football championship.

To celebrate, three videos, one for each goal, about birds in Wales.

This video is about barn swallows in Wales.

This video is about a jackdaw and herring gulls in Wales.

This video is called Rookery of Nesting Rooks at Harlech Castle, Wales.

Welsh herring gull becomes spice gull


Welsh orange gull

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Gull turns orange after falling into vat of tikka masala

Today, 16:48

In Wales, a seagull [herring gull] has become all orange after a fall into a vat of curry tikka masala in a food factory. It has by now been so thoroughly washed that it is off white again, but it still smells like curry.

The animal flew on Monday into the factory and fell into the curry vat when it tried to grab a piece of meat. Employees saved the bird, which was then picked up by an employee of an animal hospital in Gloucestershire.

There the gull was thoroughly washed until it was no more orange, but the curry smell continued. “The smell surprised us most, he smelled really nice,” said an employee to The Guardian. If the gull will have recovered and its feathers after all the washing will be waterproof again, it will be released.

European football championship, Wales and rock music


This music video says about itself:

Manic Street Preachers – Together Stronger (C’mon Wales) [Official Video]

12 May 2016

The Manics‘ Wales Euro 2016 anthem ‘Together Stronger (C’mon Wales)’s is out now.

By James Walsh in Britain:

Naff, but catchy

Tuesday 24th May 2016

It’s Euro football championship time again and, true to past form, anthems are being penned that are so bad they’re good, writes James Walsh

THE MANIC Street Preachers have written a song about the EU referendum. A soaring, anthemic number, interspersed with audio of the band’s favourite Jacques Delors’ speeches, which they hope will inspire voters to turn out and keep Wales in the European Union.

No they haven’t, I’m being silly. Instead, their song is about the Welsh football team, who are playing in the European Championships.

A soaring, anthemic number, interspersed with commentary of the team’s past sporting failures, which they hope will inspire the team to glory this summer.

The song is called Together Stronger (C’mon Wales), so you can see where the confusion came from.

It is extremely naff but quite catchy. With this, the Manics join a proud tradition of indie bands writing football songs destined to become strange curiosities to culture-miners of the future.

Who could forget Echo & The Bunny Men teaming up with Space, Ocean Colour Scene and the Spice Girls for 1998’s (How Does It Feel To Be) On Top Of The World? Well, Space singer Tommy, for one, who didn’t turn up to the recording but does appear in the video.

Or Scotland’s Del Dmitri, with the self-fulfilling prophecy of calling their tournament song Don’t Come Home Too Soon?

True to tradition, Scotland departed after the group stages.

Embrace’s official England song from 2006, World At Your Feet, was so bad the FA declined to have an official song for the following World Cup.

The only band to get it right was New Order, because they’re New Order. World In Motion is a wonderful tune even with the involvement of Keith Allen, John Barnes rapping and the line “We’re playing for England. We’re playing the song.”

Ten years ago, the London-based radio station XFM launched a competition for listeners to write their official song for Euro 2004.

The winner was a sub-Oasis lady anthem with the slightly sinister, Skippy title of Born in England, which would have come as a surprise to the team’s midfielder Owen Hargreaves, who was born in Canada.

Much more intriguing was the rejected song with the sensible name, European Championships 2004, which was a Streets-style lo-fi rap with the brilliant chorus: “The England fans and the England team abiding by the law.”

Which sure beats The Lightning Seeds.

England haven’t announced an official song for this summer at the time of writing but the bookies are bandying around terrifying names like Fabians and The Kaiser Chiefs, the latter once memorably described as being “like a shit Blur in hats.”

Meanwhile the Welsh are overflowing with talent. As well as the Manics’ cheesy official number, fans can also enjoy the return of the Super Furry Animals.

The band, who once sponsored Cardiff City, have released a football-themed song as their first single in seven years “to bring colour and hope to Europe’s footballing, and semi- or non-footballing, nations,” according to the press release.

“Sing Bong isn’t a song of victory or defeat but a beacon of faith to return to when your best centre-forward gets sent off, or it rains at your festival. Keep it in a safe place for a time when you will need it.”

I’ve stuck my copy behind glass and will break it in an emergency, such as Boris Johnson becoming prime minister. It’s a strangely hypnotic communal disco number, with lyrics to the minimum, and in Welsh.

In the video, the band are shown eternally looped playing pick-me-up. It is nonsensical, profound and warmly internationalist.

Perhaps it’s secretly about the EU referendum.

New opera on World War I butchery


This video series from Wales is about the new opera In Parenthesis.

By David Nicholson in Britain:

Superb commemoration of Somme slaughter

Thursday 19th May 2016

In Parenthesis
Millennium Centre, Cardiff
4/5

NEW operas are rare events and even rarer are ones that are as good as In Parenthesis.

Eagerly anticipated, it’s being staged both to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Welsh National Opera and mark the centenary of the slaughter at the Battle of the Somme.

Iain Bell’s moving and visceral new opera about the great war, based on Welsh poet David Jones’s epic poem, is an ambitious project, with WNO director David Pountney, Emma Jenkins and David Antrobus’s libretto combining to brilliant effect with Bell’s music.

Through the eyes of tenor Andrew Bidlack’s Private John Ball, we watch a band of Welsh soldiers embark for France, journey to the horror of the trenches and perish in the final bloody battle at Mametz Wood.

Under the assured direction of David Pountney, aided by set designer Robert Innes Hopkins, this is a brilliantly staged production that captures the terror and claustrophobic atmosphere of a troop ship and the trenches of northern France.

But, as ever with the WNO, it is the sublime choral singing that pulls all the strands together. They are a perfect match for the drama of the reckless death of young men, in which Mark Le Brocq as a convincingly gruff sergeant and George Humphreys as a sensitive and caring young lieutenant take the acting honours.

The cafe scene before the men move off to the Somme is a thrilling highlight as the brilliant Welsh song Sosban Fach is sung with all the power at the disposal of the WNO.

The mythic return to the earth of the slaughtered band of Royal Welsh Fusiliers is touchingly realised by the nymphs who haunt Mametz Wood.

It’s a superb rendition by the women’s chorus who, dressed in an abundance of foliage and twigs, return the torn and bloodied bodies of Ball’s fallen comrades to the earth. Their heavenly singing moved many of the opening night audience to tears.

In Parenthesis ticks every box when it comes to music, acting and production values, though whether Bell’s opera will still be performed in years to come is the real acid test.

But this is a production to go and see now. As a sensitive, moving and visceral portrayal of the horror of war, it is a superb evening of pure theatre.

At the Millennium Centre until June 3, then tours until July 1, box office: wno.org.uk.