Economics and similar, for the sleep-deprived

A subtle change has been made to the comments links, so they no longer pop up. Does this in any way help with the problem about comments not appearing on permalinked posts, readers?

Update: seemingly not

Update: Oh yeah!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Friday Secret Society Blogging - The Lost Lands League

I promised I'd do a bit of this in the New Year, although to be honest, every Thursday is going to be a bit of a stretch. This week, one that isn't actually in the Encyclopedia of Secret Societies, the "Lost Lands League".

The Lost Lands League were a fringe Welsh nationalist movement of the 1960s. They arose after the Free Wales Army had all but imploded after an unfortunate incident in which they showed up talking tough at a Sinn Fein rally in Dublin and as a result were donated the gift of a dozen Thompson submachine guns. Since they were for the most part farmers who enjoyed dressing up and marching about with shotguns and starter pistols, they were frankly fucking terrified of this proper, dangerous military hardware and they ended up dumping the lot in a bog. However, in doing this they set in train the course of events that ended up getting all the leaders collared[1] and the whole movement fell apart as the cadres tried, unsuccessfully, to convince the judge that they were just a drinking society and it was all a big joke.

A normal reaction might be to calm down on the dreams of independence for a while. But the Welsh have this way of increasing their ambitions even in the face of clear evidence that the original plan was wildly overambitious, and so the Lost Lands League was formed.

As the name suggests, the aim of the Lost Lands League was to recapture the ancestral Welsh lands which had been awarded to England in the fourteenth century. This might have had some basis in the case of places like Monmouthshire, Oswestry or even Shrewsbury. But the LLL also laid claim to the towns of Kidderminster, Tranmere and even Bristol and Crewe. Cynics with access to the sports pages of the Western Mail noted that there was an uncanny overlap between the territorial claims of the LLL and the fixture list for the Welsh Cup, which at the time was open to a number of English football clubs.

My source for this is Ian Bone's autobiography "Bash the Rich", in which he recounts having been invited along to a meeting of the LLL where they were planning an armed disturbance, despite being a Londoner. The assembled troops listened to a speaker who outlined the plan to symbolically occupy the town centre of a border town for a few hours in the middle of the day. He had set out maps, showing that the police presence was small and manageable, while the nearest Army barracks were forty miles away. It was only toward the end of the meeting when the blood oaths were being prepared that Bone found himself in the uncomfortable position of having to break the news to a comrade that the town in question was Hereford, and that both the maps and the plan appear to have omitted the fact that Hereford is the home town of the SAS. Half an hour later, they were all back in the pub.

[1] Dramatic license. Actually, the demise of the FWA was a rather more complicated story than that, but this post isn't about the FWA, it's about the LLL.
3 comments this item posted by the management 2/02/2007 08:01:00 AM

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