Sunday, 28 August 2016

Do Labour and Tories want Wales taken back to 1535 status?

Before I begin  i will remind you of the pertinent  part of the Act of Union of 1535

The Act declared King Henry's intentions, that because of differences in law and language:[1]
 some rude and ignorant People have made Distinction and Diversity between the King's Subjects of this Realm, and his Subjects of the said Dominion and Principality of Wales, whereby great Discord, Variance, Debate, Division, Murmur and Sedition hath grown between his said Subjects;) His Highness therefore of a singular Zeal, Love and Favour that he beareth towards his Subjects of his said Dominion of Wales, minding and intending to reduce them to the perfect Order, Notice and Knowledge of his Laws of this Realm, and utterly to extirp all and singular the sinister Usages and Customs differing from the same, and to bring the said Subjects of this his Realm, and of his said Dominion of Wales, to an amicable Concord and Unity..."
- and therefore:
"That his said Country or Dominion of Wales shall be, stand and continue for ever from henceforth incorporated, united and annexed to and with this his Realm of England;"
In other words after after 1535 Wales as a Nation ceased to exist 

Is there a concerted move by Labour and Conservative  in Wales to build a momentum  scrap the Welsh Assembly and take us back to that status?

I don't think so ,but the actions of some AM would lead you to be forgiven for thinking so.
Jeremy Miles, AM for Neath, said the institution should be on its "guard".
His colleague Lee Waters also suggested "complacency" could change the public's support for the assembly.
Welsh voters backed devolution in two referendums in 1997 and 2011, but rejected calls from Labour, Plaid Cymru and the Lib Dems to back EU membership.
Leave campaigner Mark Reckless, a UKIP AM, said it was more conceivable now that the "consensus on devolution" may not continue to attract the support of a "plurality of people".
The comments come after David Taylor, a former aide to ex-Labour cabinet minister Lord Hain, said devolution was under threat if politicians did not change attitudes over Brexit.


Mr Miles said:
 "People will have formed a view that coming out of the EU is the answer to a lot of what they are angry or concerned about."
But he said that "is not going to be the case".
"So the disillusionment we've obviously seen with politicians in some sense, coming out of the Brexit decision, I think could be quite a lot worse in five years' time,
it could easily be that we face challenge within that sort of time frame".
He said it was a "threat to the continued existence" of the institution.
"I am not saying in five years' time people will say they will want to get rid of the assembly but over time that could be the result of continued disillusionment."
 Lee Waters, Labour AM for Llanelli, said that public support for devolution had grown since the assembly was established.
"But the populist backlash towards everything resembling the establishment that has been unleashed by austerity is an unpredictable force," he said.
"To date the assembly has been seen to be on the right side of public opinion, but complacency could change that."
"Despite continued efforts, on that test it has so far failed to fulfil its potential," he said.
"We need to fight like the future of devolution depends upon it, and come together - cross-party - to agree an economic plan that can silence the doubters and deliver on devolution's promise."
 Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies has warned that he believes a referendum on abolishing the Welsh Assembly would succeed if it was held now.
While stressing in an article for the Sunday Times that he remains a supporter of devolution, and does not himself advocate scrapping it, he thinks that in a turbulent political era that delivered a Leave vote in June’s referendum on EU membership, it would be difficult to get backing for the Assembly as an institution.
Mr Davies, who supported Brexit, states: “The result of the EU referendum has thrown the Welsh political establishment into a tailspin.
“Last week a fellow farmer asked me if I thought a referendum on devolution could be won in the new post-Brexit landscape, or if the contagion would spread beyond Brussels and engulf Cardiff Bay if voters were asked to have their say again.
“The fact of the matter is that I don’t think that such a campaign could be won today. The result was tight in 1997, but if the question were put to the people tomorrow I believe that they would vote to abolish the National Assembly.
“I say that with no pleasure. Having initially opposed devolution, I have become a passionate but pragmatic advocate. I take huge pride in the role I have been elected to serve, even if I don’t believe that the Welsh Government has made the best use of the tools at its disposal to deliver for Welsh communities - and that’s why the reaction of the Welsh Government to the referendum has been so frustrating.”
 “We also need to ensure that communities across Wales feel that the Welsh Government is representative, not distant and remote.
“Sadly, instead of seeking to reflect the will of the people they represent, the Welsh Government is effectively seeking to subvert the result of the referendum. It is taking up a position of constant obstruction, and refusing to engage with people who campaigned for the ‘other side’.
“But they shouldn’t forget that in five Assembly elections, turnout has never exceeded 50%, and while the public may support the principle of local decision-making there is very little evidence to suggest any great affection for the Assembly itself.
“Frankly, if an institution as embedded as the European Union can be swept aside by the prevailing wind of public opinion, then it’s crazy to think that the Welsh Assembly would withstand it.”
It is interesting that  Brexit  has been raised by those warning about the threat to the  Assembly .

Can it mean that there is a feeling in some quarters that Brexit represented a protest from those who feel marginalised  and discontented  and this is a can be tapped into other campaigns which whilst claiming to be anti-establishment  are quite the opposite and will secure power in the corridors of power and permanent Tory Government.

Will we be seeing a campaign to undermine the Assembly by making it seem to ineffectual  and a waste of money.

Mind you that's what I thought Carwyn Jones  has been doing since he became First Minister,

I believe there is a threat to the Assembly  but it is not by standing by and allowing Westminster to rubber stamp the Brexit negotiations on our behalf.

The threat from Brexit and indeed Scotland leaving the Union could lead to the end of Wales as Nation.

Both I believe are inevitable and the latter hoped for , But rather than seeding the weeds of an Abolish the Assembly campaign, all the Parties in Wales should rally around building a Welsh legislature that works and fighting any reversal that  could lead us back to 1535.





Saturday, 27 August 2016

Never mind Labour leader Smith is not fit to be my MP.

Whatever you think about Traingate ans whether it was a silly stunt that was exposed or that it was an organised attempt to smear Jeremy Corbyn it is surely as nothing compared to his contender Owen Smith ludicrous claim this week that schools in his area are under pressure due to migration.

According to the New Statesman , "Smith noted that his wife is a school teacher and that schools in their local area are under pressure from 'significant numbers into South Wales of people fleeing the Middle East'".

Lets make it clear he's referring to  his constituency Pontypridd not where he lives in London whilst Parliament his sitting (but even then  it would be misleading).

Even the Wasting Mule is sceptical about Smith's claims. pointing out that 

We've dug up the figures for school applications in Rhondda Cynon Taf - which the Pontypridd constituency sits within - and they are actually struggling to fill their places.
Last year, there were:
  • 476 surplus places in RCT primary schools
  • And 715 surplus places in RCT secondary schools
  • Hardly any pupils didn't get their first choice school
Neither has there been significant immigration into the area
  • Just 2.1% of Rhondda Cynon Taf's residents were born outside the UK
  • The number of foreign nationals living in the area is actually falling
  • Between April and June this year, Home Office figures show RCT settled just 18 Syrian refugees

Plaid lesder accused Smith of  of 'pandering to people's fears'

Ms Wood said:
 “The refugee debate to date has been driven by scaremongering and misinformation.“To hear one of the contenders for Labour’s leadership, a potential Labour leader, joining in by misleading is pandering to people’s fears on this question and is concerning.“Official figures show that RCT has accepted 18 refugees fleeing from war-torn Syria to the area, but the MP for Pontypridd claims there are ‘significant numbers’ of people from the Middle East across the south of Wales.“Misleading comments of this nature have a damaging effect on our communities. I condemn politicians from all parties who use inflammatory rhetoric which seeks to divide and pander to politics of the far right.“What we hear from extremists in Ukip should not become the language of mainstream politics.”
After Traingate some used this to claim right or wrong it proved a Jeremy Corbyn led Labour Party is equipped to endure the white heat of a six week general election campaign, I would venture to suggest Smith use if the "Migrants Card" makes him not only infit to lead labour it makes him unfit to be my MP in Pontypridd.

Whilst his felow coup are ent purge anyone whose social media profile indicate they may be backing Corbyn including apparently someone who posted her love of rock band Foo Fighters on Facebook. Smith seems to be making attacks on Corbyn that would surely match any criteria used by those urging the ranks.

At a rally on Tuesday evening, Smith described Jeremy Corbyn as a “lunatic” with no “coherent narrative about what’s wrong with Britain.

Why wasn't this and what looks like an attempt to pander to the Ukip agenda given the same in depth analysis as Traingate on at least the BBC . I think we all know the answer. 


Friday, 26 August 2016

Wales online decry Ministers attending Euro 2016. Why?

Its going to be strange  but I am not appalled by the Wasting Mule reporting that 
Thousands of Wales fans travelled to France to watch Euro 2016 – and thousands of pounds of Welsh taxpayers’ money was spent allowing our politicians to join them.
Figures released after a freedom of information request showed Welsh Governmentministers and a private secretary attended each of our first five tournament matches in an official capacity.
But political opponents said the money spent was “wasteful” – while questions have also been raised about what the trips actually achieved.
Health, well-being and sport secretary Vaughan Gething went to the group game against Slovakia in Bordeaux at a cost to the public purse of £1,775.
 Ken Skates , the economy and infrastructure secretary, attended Wales’ clash with Northern Ireland in Paris, with the bill for the visit totalling £1,606.25.Mr Skates had earlier been to Toulouse for the group game against Russia – a trip which he combined with an official visit to the nearby factory of Airbus, which is a major employer in Flintshire. That visit cost £3,087.79.
Conservative UK Government ministers were also at tournament, including Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns, but the cost of their trips was not part of this FOI request.( Wonder why)
Come on  Euro 2016 was the biggest ever showcase for Wales as a Nation and if the First Minister had not gone or been represented then the cry from the Mule would have been .
Where's the First Minister?
Asking how could we miss the opportunity of the goodwill won not only by the team itself but the incredible support of out Fans as well.
We are entitled to ask to what extent Carwyn and other Ministers used this opportunity  to promote Wales when they attended these games , But if it simply  created awkwardness that Wales has its own Government  which was open for business then a few thousand could have ben well worth it.
Such occasions as Euro 2016 was a rare opportunity for Wales to promote itself as a Nation rather submerged in the Unionist Team GB propogans.
There are so many reasons  for the Wasting Mule to attack the incompetent  and lethargic (it amazing you can mix the two) Welsh Labour Government.
But the Mule constantly fails to do this, Choosing instead to select a story which seems to show the whole Assembly in a bad light .
We can only wonder why they do this?

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Tories copy LibDem misleading campaign leaflets.

I must admit I've missed the occasional leaflets from the LIbDems delivered in the lull between elections in which a candidate is portrayed    among a number of backdrops in the local ward or constituency  culminating  of course in the "Little Bargraphs"  in which they claimed only the LibDems can beat Labour.

Not to worry because it appears here in Beddau  we are going to have the pleasure of a Tory candidate  sanding in the ward in next years council elections.

I don't think that the LibDems can accuse our local Tories of plagiarism ,but if you changed the colour of the leaflet  and substituted Liberal Democrat for Conservative then you would not be surprised by its context,

So here we are

It of course contains the obligatory picture of the candidate with the sign welcoming people to our vilage

I'm not sure is aspirant Sam Trask is aware of the cost of Road Maintenance  but £360,000 seems to be a very small amount  in the overall expenditure.

I don't know who has experienced  "anger and bemusement" over but it is however very strange that  the leaflet was delivered  on the period that the main road to Llantrisant has been closed for weeks as a much called for footpath is being built.

It is being built however because the council want to transfer Llantisant pupils from Y Pant in Talbot Green to Bryn Celynnog school in Beddau and not for those of us who have taken their life in thier hands over the years walking between Beddau and Llan.



Then we come to the "Little Bargraph"and it would make the local Lib Dems Blush.

What were the results in 2015 and 2016

Well the Tories did come second in  the 2045 Ge've eral Election so they use that

for their graph

General Election 2015: Pontypridd [8][9][10]
PartyCandidateVotes%±
LabourOwen Smith15,55441.1+2.3
ConservativeAnn-Marie Mason6,56917.3+1.1
UKIPAndrew Tomkinson[11]5,08513.4+10.0
Liberal DemocratMike Powell[12]4,90412.9−18.3
Plaid CymruOsian Lewis4,34811.5+4.2
GreenKaty Clay[13]9922.6+1.6
Socialist LabourDamien Biggs[14]3320.9−0.3
TUSCEsther Pearson980.3N/A
Majority8,98523.7+16.1
Turnout37,88264.3+1.3
Labour holdSwing−0.1

However  last May the came third

Welsh Assembly Election 2016: Pontypridd[1]
PartyCandidateVotes%±
LabourMick Antoniw9,98639.4−11.4
Plaid CymruChad Rickard4,65918.4+4.9
ConservativeJoel James3,88415.3−0.4
UKIPEdwin Allen3,32213.1+13.1
Liberal DemocratsMike Powell2,97911.8−6.1
GreenKen Barker5082.0+2.0
Majority5,328
Turnout43.5+4.6
Labour holdSwing
It is interesting  that the leaflet is promoted  by the sole Tory on RHondda Cynon Taf council Joel James the same Joel James who came third in 2016.

Still why not omit the actual facts if they do not suit your argument . Something the Tories seem to be doing from the Prime Minister to a no hope candidate in my village.


Wednesday, 24 August 2016

The Train at Platform 3 is the 8:15 to Smearsville.

Stunt or Smear we can wonder about Traingate with 
Jeremy Corbyn coming under fire  under fire after CCTV images appeared to show seats were available on a train after he claimed he was forced to sit on the floor.

A video shows the Labour leader sitting on the floor of the Virgin service from London King’s Cross to Newcastle on August 11.

He used the clip as an opportunity to call for public ownership of the railways.

But Virgin released CCTV today denying his claims.

"CCTV footage taken from the train on August 11 shows Mr Corbyn and his team walked past empty, unreserved seats in coach H before walking through the rest of the train to the far end, where his team sat on the floor and started filming.
"The same footage then shows Mr Corbyn returning to coach H and taking a seat there, with the help of the onboard crew, around 45 minutes into the journey and over two hours before the train reached Newcastle. Mr Corbyn’s team carried out their filming around 30 minutes into the journey.
"There were also additional empty seats on the train (the 11am departure from King’s Cross) which appear from CCTV to have been reserved but not taken, so they were also available for other passengers to sit on."



As a result a lot of people started laying into Corbyn but others have now come to his defence.

Keren Harrison was on the train with the Labour leader and tweeted a picture of the two of them sat on the floor.
‘Me & @jeremycorbyn! Fact: he got seat about 45 mins in when staff started shuffling ppl around!,’ she wrote.
She confirmed the train was packed despite the footage seemingly showing there were seats available.
Harrison added Corbyn and his party had been seated together, which could explain why he had decided to wait for more spaces to become available.it is 
Everybody know that our Trains are overcrowded and that and that people may reserve  seats which may not be taken up for a fer stops .

But lets face it ii would be pretty embarrassing to use yhje seat and then have to give it up after a few stops  to the person who booked it and then have to sit inn the aisles.

Asked if it was true that the train wasn’t full, a spokesperson for Corbyn’s campaign told BuzzFeed News:
 “That’s a lie. It was full and he gave his seat up so a woman could sit down. Others were sat in the aisles too!”
A Corbyn campaign spokesman later added: "When Jeremy boarded the train he was unable to find unreserved seats, so he sat with other passengers in the corridor who were also unable to find a seat.
"Later in the journey, seats became available after a family were upgraded to first class.
"And Jeremy and the team he was travelling with were offered the seats by a very helpful member of staff."
It may be  somewhat ironic that there wil be passengers being forced to sit in the isles (many of them Tory voters) as they commute to work  to bereadin FRONT Page headlines like this,

Telegraph front page

Of the Pictures of Corbyn sitting in the Aisles was a stunt , but was it dishonest .

From what I can see it was not . It looks like  that if he had taken one of the reserved seats may well have had to vacate it sooner rather that later.

He could have of course used his position to upgrade to first class but then he would have had to abandon his staff.

Over at political betting there appears to be a claim that it was Corbyn's  PR staff that let him down

I don’t want to go into the rights and wrongs here because I just don’t know. As a very regular traveller on that line I have a lot of sympathy for the Labour leader. Services can get packed and finding seats can be difficult which is why it is always wise, and much better value, to book ahead of time. That way you get a reserved seat.The problem was he’d used his experience on the trip to make a political point on the ownership of the railways. When you do that your PR team has to take into account the possibility that the claims you make might be unpicked.Team JC make a big point of saying that there is a media bias against them. Maybe. But Corbyn has to ensure that he gets the best possible PR advice and support in what is a critical part of his job – how things he does and say are portrayed. I don’t believe that under Seamus Milne he is being well enough served. Milne had never had a PR role before taking on the Corbyn job and it shows.
One can only wonder what even the best PR team in the world can do  in the wake of a  right wing media that is hostile to your man  or woman.

OH i know do what Blair did become indistinguishable from  the Tories with regards policy and rely on portraying the image of a Fresh Faced  alternative  to a tired regime.

Clearly this was a stunt but whether it was misleading is another  matter . It seems to me  that Corbyn's  account of the journey was basically true and represented  what many face every day .


Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Rio a shameless exposure of Union propaganda?

The Rio Olympics has seen a rash of different  approaches of how the medal tables would look

We Have the official Table


One based on the European Union
medal

Which Brought out he response from  Tory MP Heather Wheeler





We have our own version sorry its not up to date



Or one based population




What it does prove is that the Olympics have become a potent political weapon . The BBC coverage of team GB has resembled a Soviet style broadcast where could have more chance of knowing the name "British" Athlete who just lost out on a Bronze than who won the Gold.

It has become a shameless promotion pf the Union where we are expected to get behind Team GB a. With   Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies even ordering  a party press release  attacking the Football Association of Wales and its counterparts in Scotland and Northern Ireland for “petty nationalism” in opposing the Team GB women’s football side. Davies claimed  the three had “blocked” a Team GB entry in the women’s football competition, “in a huge blow to the development of the game”.

But has been pointed out 

But Davies, the BBC announcer and an increasing number of ill-informed commentators seem to have overlooked the fact Great Britain hadn’t even taken part in the Olympic qualifying process.England would have qualified for the Olympics if it had a National Olympic Committee, but like Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland it doesn’t and probably isn’t eligible for International Olympic Committee recognition. But it seems the third place finish the England Women’s team achieved at last year’s World Cup is what has reignited Davies’ passion for a Great Britain.
..... How would the other teams at the Olympics react to find rather than playing the qualifiers, England in 2016 – perhaps Wales in 2020 -, they must instead compete against Great Britain? A team drawn from a squad good enough to qualify as of right and improved by the best players from neighbouring countries.
Even if the ‘home nations’ could reach agreement they are just four of 211 member nations in FIFA, world football’s governing body. While Davies and the English FA can’t persuade three associations to support a Team GB – the danger is a majority of the other 207 associations may well back a Great Britain football team but not the continuation of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – who all basically compete internationally under grandfather rights – as independent football nations.
It is a prime example of Unionist who see  “petty nationalism” in those like myself who would have liked to see Wales and Scotland represented as individual nations in the Olympics and who think participating is the point of being a Nation not how many medals you win.

I did not get behind Team GB but I celebrated Individual achievements from  many of the athletes from these Islands  but then I always wanted Usain Bolt to win as well.

Are we really going to get the Olympics used as a means of pr emoting the Union every four years rather than a simple pride in the achievements of our athletes who did their best winners and losers.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Co-Operative party to see Blairite entryism ?

According to politicalbetting 

 The Sunday Times reports the “party within a party” framework will be based on the Socialist Campaign Group of MPs, which counts Mr Corbyn as a member.According to the paper, the rebels will look to sign up more than 100 MPs to join the Co-operative party, Labour’s sister party, and sit on the green benches as “double hatted” MPs.
Since I am not going to pa Murdoch to read one of his newspapers I have relied  on the politicalbetting blog bit it seems


The group will appoint their own whips in parliament to co-ordinate rebellions where they disagree with Mr Corbyn’s policy and look to change the rules to appoint an elected Shadow Cabinet, as previously called for by the party’s deputy leader Tom Watson.It will draw up policies on areas including Brexit and national security, the Sunday Times reports.The rebels apparently prefer the creation of a new group on Labour benches to forming a breakaway party.They argue Mr Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, both members of the Socialist Campaign Group of MPs, would struggle to criticise the move after they voted against the Labour leadership from the backbenches when in power.
 If this true will we be seeing allegation from Co-pop about Blarite entryism!
?

 The Wikipedia article on the Party within a Party tells us that 


Since 1927 the Co-operative Party has had an electoral pact with the Labour Party, with both parties agreeing not to stand candidates against each other. Instead candidates selected by members of both parties contest elections using the description of Labour and Co-operative Party.[1] The Co-operative Party is a legally separate entity from the Labour Party, and is registered as a political party with the Electoral Commission.[2] Co-operative Party members are not permitted to be members of any other political party in the UK apart from the Labour Party and Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) in Northern Ireland.The Co-operative Party is the fourth largest party in the House of Commons with 25 Members of Parliament, as well as representatives in the House of LordsScottish ParliamentWelsh Assembly and local government.
In keeping with its co-operative values and principles, the Co-operative Party does not have a leader like other political parties, instead Gareth Thomas serves as Chair of the National Executive Committee, while Gavin Shuker is Chair of the Co-operative Party Group of Parliamentarians.
As a result of an electoral agreement with the Labour Party,[9] "Labour and Co-operative Party" candidates receive financial help with election expenses from the Co-operative Party, including funding parliamentary candidates. There are other Labour MPs who are Co-operative Party members but are not sponsored. One of these was Gareth Thomas MP, chair of the Co-operative Party since 2001 and of the Co-operative Congress in 2003, who was invited to join the parliamentary group in 2003.
Interestingly  the artivle states that 
Until the 1990s, the number of Labour Co-operative candidates was capped at 30. The party's capacity to support more than the previously agreed number is debatable as the prospects of non-sponsored members are not always unfavourable. The benefits of the agreement are twofold, Labour gaining candidates with lower election costs and the party gaining influence within a Labour movement.
Also 
The Co-operative Party has not registered a logo with the Electoral Commission for use on ballot papers. Following the passing of the Electoral Administration Act 2006, candidates standing under a joint description were unable to use any registered emblem.[10] The law was amended in 2013 to allow the use of an emblem by candidates standing jointly for two parties;[11] this allowed Labour and Co-operative Party candidates to use the registered Labour Party emblem in the United Kingdom general election, 2015.

So it appears that those  members of the PLP who wish to  join the Co-operative party  would need that party to change its rules.



There are There are 25 Labour and Co-operative MPs in the House of Commons, eight Labour and Co-operative MSPs in the Scottish Parliament:and  a staggering  are eleven Labour and Co-operative AMs in the National Assembly for Wales 

I say staggering  because I have seen very little backing the actual setting up of Co-operatives  in Wales coming from the Labour Welsh Government , which suggest that the use of the term Lab-Co-op is about being sponsored  rather than being a actual campaign for a real Co-operative movement.

 The Westminster MPs it is claimed who would  make a mass entry into the Co- O- Party would seek to appoint their own whips an would seek to introduce their own policies 

Maybe the Co-op party would have to change its rules and its ethos

Though that may not be difficult

How much  this would change the Co-op  Party we don't know  but Imagine the new elected members would seek to prevent Corbynists  joining the ordinary membership pf the CO-OP party and also if they wish ti receive election expenses  seek donations perhaps from business leaders to the Co-op party to finance them.

May be the first action of the Party within a Party will be to drop the hyphen and become simply the Cooperative party,