Avoid being hijacked by visiting opposition to Stradey Park

The headline does not refer to the halcyon days when teams like Neath or Swansea made their way down the M4 or covertly across the Loughor bridge. I’m guessing one or two fans found themselves travelling back east on a bus willingly or unwillingly.

Llanelli has become the focus of attention in some of the Welsh media  with the plans to accommodate approximately 300 asylum seekers at the Stradey Park Hotel a hot topic, after Phil Schofield of course. The plans are all but final but could face a legal challenge if the county council have the will and the money and wish to take that direction and risk. Other councils have tried and failed.

One has to ask why opposition to the plans is so strong and why is it gathering pace and attracting the far right mob.


Following the announcement that asylum seekers were to be accommodated at the hotel a meeting was held at the Selwyn Samuel Centre. Hundreds of people turned up and some aired their views. The anger was not directed at asylum seekers. It was directed at the politicians for not communicating with the public sooner.

There was no hate speech, no far right rhetoric. There were questions. Why, who, what can be done, what will you do etc?

Fast forward to the protest outside Stradey Park Hotel on Sunday (June 4) and enter Voice of Wales or for want of a better phrase, a minority ugly Voice of Wales. This mob ask loaded questions and put them to innocent Llanelli people placing them in front of the camera and in effect reinforcing their agenda. It is not a balanced way of reporting on an issue, especially one so highly charged as this.  The  approach appears to be to give an example of the number of homeless people, or people waiting for an NHS appointment or a house from the council and then ask if it is right that the boogey man asylum seekers, immigrants get priority. One of the reporters had to ask if there was a hospital in Llanelli. A fan of local research obvs.

Their Twitter account https://twitter.com/VoWalesOfficial has a modest 4,165 followers. Hardly the voice of the  Welsh population. They assert they are the ‘only opposition in Wales’ Opposition to what and to whom? Their Twitter account is full of what you would expect from the far right angle. The followers also have strong opinions as you can see from the Twitter posts and replies.

“Voice Of Wales @VoWalesOfficial May 28
Good morning to all the white, straight, sane Dinosaurs out there. Not everyone wants your extinction.”

Last time I looked there was no poll for the whole of Wales on the Nation of Sanctuary project #fakenews.

Their website https://www.voiceofwales.com/meet-the-team/ is not much better. Incomplete and a mix of articles and rants against anyone who happens to belong to a group with views akin to being a tolerant and kind hearted human being.

These are not local people, they are not embedded in the community and will cut and run as soon as the action is over. They are not people who are genuinely seeking an alternative, perhaps a smaller scale integration within the wider community. We know from recent years that Llanelli offers a welcome, a shelter and help for those fleeing conflict. We know there are numerous organisations in Llanelli dedicated to providing aid here and abroad for those in such dire circumstances. The Voice of Wales has a mantra it uses when interviewing the innocent Llanelli folk. ‘Charity Begins at Home’.

Indeed it does and the people of Llanelli also dip their hands into their pockets to support local charities and local people. The town has a rich history of generosity.

The people of Llanelli would do well to avoid entering into the arena with people with such an obvious far right agenda. Ask yourselves, why are they in Llanelli? Where are they from? Have they suggested that they welcome the alternative of dispersing the asylum seekers or are they insisting Britain for the British?

Those who align themselves with the generous, the kind, the compassionate, the understanding and the desire to find a humanitarian alternative should think twice before answering the loaded questions put to them on camera and added to the drive to turn communities against immigrants.

Before you speak, ask who they are, where they are from and what their agenda is and what their views and beliefs are? Don’t allow yourself to be hijacked by the mob, whichever mob that may be.

If you wish to report racists material you can do so here https://www.dyfed-powys.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/af/how-to-report-a-crime/ or phone police on 101.



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