Tuesday, 22 May 2018

US Congressman blames climate change on falling rocks.

It seems to me that climate change sceptics resemble car drivers who deliberately ignore car engine warning lights, not because they don't believe there is something wrong but because they are trying to avoid the cost of fixing it.

But there are  some sceptics who are clearly bonkers 

North Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks is making headlines again for blaming sea level rise on rocks falling into the ocean and silt washing from major rivers.
Brooks was one of several Republican lawmakers sparring with a climate scientist at a Wednesday hearing of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.
Included in the arguing were Republicans Lamar Smith of Texas, the committee's chairman, and California's Dana Rohrabacher, but the websites for  Science and Esquire used Brooks' picture to illustrate their coverage.

 Brooks was quoted saying, 

"Every time you have that soil or rock or whatever it is that is deposited into the seas, that forces the sea levels to rise, because now you have less space in those oceans, because the bottom is moving up." He referred to erosion on the California coastline and England's White Cliffs of Dover and silt from the Mississippi and Nile rivers.
Brooks also said Antarctic ice is growing, not shrinking, and that statement was challenged by Philip Duffy, president of the Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts and former senior adviser to the U.S. Global Change Research Program. Duffy cited NASA as one of his sources, and Brooks replied that,

 "I've got a NASA base in my district and, apparently, they're telling you one thing and me a different thing."

Brooks spoke at greater length Thursday afternoon between votes on the House floor. 

"But if you're talking a shorter historical time span," Brooks said, "you're going to have great fluctuations up and down due to the quantities of ice that exist on a planet." In an ice age, sea levels drop significantly, he said.
The oceans "are always rising," Brooks said, except during times of ice buildup that offset erosion. Look at the "huge alluvial planes that exist around the great rivers like the Mississippi, the Amazon, the Mekong, the Danube, the Yangtze and you'll see these huge alluvial planes made up entirely of erosion,". 
Brooks disagreed with Duffy during the hearing about whether Antarctic ice is growing or shrinking. Duffy said satellite records "clearly" show shrinkage and a speedup of that shrinkage.

Brooks questioned Duffy's data, and Duffy said it came from the National Snow and Ice Data Center and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration." That's when Brooks mentioned the NASA base in his district and said it was telling him something different.
"You've got to make sure you're careful in terminology," Brooks said later Thursday. "I'm talking ice quantity. He's talking about surface area. Two entirely different things."
Brooks said the

"total ice quantity, which is what affects sea levels, has been increasing. The Antarctica sea ice varies from year to year and from decade to decade." The ice is growing in quantity on the interior of Antarctica, he said. 
"I never said anything about Antarctic sea ice, but that's the comparison they make," Brooks said of the press. "I'm talking about Antarctica ice, which is both the sea ice and the interior of Antarctica. And the interior is where the vast majority of ice is."
"I've never been skeptical of climate change," Brooks said. "The climate is always changing. The planet is always either heating up or cooling down. It is very rarely constant."
Brooks was asked about the theory that current warming is a threat and human activity is part of its cause. 

"In the late '60s and early '70s, the climate scare was cooling, that we're going to enter into a new ice age...," Brooks said. "They turned out to be wrong."
"What I'm trying to establish is that a lot of these climatologists have no idea what they're really talking about," Brooks said, "and it's because we have not had a long enough period time with exact scientific measurement to know what the climate's going to be like 50 years from now or 100 years from now."
Brooks said studies and projections made in the 1990s by "these so-called climatologists" were almost all wrong "on the hot side as to where we would be in 2018." Over 90 percent were wrong, he said.
The bottom line
"The bottom line is nobody is smart enough to know with the evidence we have and the relatively small time frame we have - 50 years in the history of the planet. That's just not enough information with which to make accurate predictions."
So what is motivating scientists to say the Earth is dangerously warming?

"Money," Brooks said. "Money to invest in a certain kind of resources where you might have a financial interest. There's also politics as you're trying to cobble together the votes to win an election, that's probably part of it, too."

Ok we have more than our fair share of climate change deniers on these islands only recently
the broadcasting watchdog has ruled. that the BBC Radio 4 broke accuracy rules by failing to sufficiently challenge the climate change denier Nigel Lawson’s controversial claims in an interview, the broadcasting watchdog has ruled. Lord Lawson appeared on a Radio 4 programme last summer denying the concept of climate change, which prompted complaints from the Green party and the prominent scientists Brian Cox and Jim Al-Khalili, who said it was “irresponsible and highly misleading” to imply there was still a debate around the science supporting it.

Lawson, a former chancellor of the exchequer in Margaret Thatcher’s government, made claims including that “all the experts say there hasn’t been” an increase in extreme weather events. He said the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change “concedes” this, and that, according to official figures, “during this past 10 years … average world temperature has slightly declined”.
Ofcom received two complaints that the interview broke the UK broadcasting rule 5.1, which states that “news, in whatever form, must be reported with due accuracy and presented with due impartiality”.
“Neither statement was correct, or sufficiently challenged during the interview or subsequently during the programme,” said the Ofcom ruling.
The BBC said it had publicly acknowledged that “some of Lord Lawson’s statements went beyond the intended scope of the interview and he was allowed to make inaccurate assertions which should have been challenged”.
Ofcom was not impressed that a previous appearance on the Today programme in 2014 by Lawson, who founded the Global Warming Policy Foundation, resulted in an internal BBC investigation and ruling that found the same failure to properly challenge his views.

“We found that statements made about the science of climate change were not challenged sufficiently during this interview, which meant the programme was not duly accurate,” said a spokeswoman for Ofcom. “We’ve told the BBC we are concerned that this was the second incident of this

How much longer will the Red  Warning Light on the earths dashboard, before we start listing to the experts and not polticians with crackpot theories.

Monday, 21 May 2018

At least one new peer shows why we need to scrap Lords.

In some ways the House of Lords should resemble a Phd examiner who sees the first draft of a project, thesis or dissertation often consisting of a body of original academic research and decide it not good enough send it back with suggestions for improvements .

It should not be rejected  if it contradicted the examiners bias however and the argument over subjective and objective history may well occur,

Now  of course  after The House of Lords inflicted a series  embarrassing defeat on Theresa May’s government on Wednesday, challenging her refusal to remain in a customs union with the EU after Brexit the Tories  want to make sure the  "examiners" will pass tier submission no mater how il thought out it is.

A remedy against affection for the House of Lords is to try explaining it to foreigners. Like a senate, you say, but the members are mostly appointed by party leaders. (Your listener’s eyes narrow with suspicion). Except some still inherit seats in lines of aristocratic succession. (The eyes now widen in astonishment). Oh, and the bishops.
How long is a term? A lifetime. But when new members are added, doesn’t that mean the chamber just gets bigger and bigger? Yes. Yes, it does.
Today, we learn that Theresa May intends to shovel a few more Tory bodies into the upper house because it isn’t doing what she wants it to do over Brexit. And because she can. Try that one on a puzzled outsider: the head of a UK government, facing obstruction in parliament, can rearrange the allocation of seats with a stroke of her pen. (Opposition is bought off by letting Labour appoint a few peers, too. So what would be a wild affront to democracy tilts towards bipartisan stitch-up.)

There are two defences for such preposterous arrangements in the 21st century. One is that it works in spite of the anachronism and the other is that it works because of the anachronism. Peers have a healthy detachment from the partisan frenzy of modern politics, but awareness of their tenuous mandate also provides healthy deference to the Commons. By some mysterious alchemical process of culture and history, elements that should combine to make a sulphurous undemocratic stench make, instead, legislative gold.
The persistent liberal itch to reform or scrap the place subsides when peers perform what look like noble public services. So it has been with the EU withdrawal bill. Remainers cheered as the Lords rewrote statutes so they now instruct the government to seek a much softer Brexit. Hardline Eurosceptics are appalled. A caravan of political ironies troops past: pro-EU Liberal Democrats who tried and failed to reform the Lords now cherish it as civilisation’s backstop. Reactionary Tories who thwarted change to the upper house now denounce it as democracy’s nemesis.

Theresa May has now nominated nine new Tory peers, including the former cabinet ministers Sir Eric Pickles and Peter Lilley and handed one to Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist party as she tries to bolster her party’s fragile position in the House of Lords.

The full list of Tories includes Sir Edward Garnier, Sir John Randall, Sir Alan Haselhurst and Andrew Tyrie, all former MPs. May’s other nominees are Diana Barran, Catherine Meyer, the founder of Action Against Abduction who is married to former US ambassador Sir Christopher Meyer, and Amanda Sater, a former party deputy chair.

 Labour was granted three nominations, and Jeremy Corbyn put forward the former party general secretary Iain McNicol and the race equality campaigner Martha Osamor, the mother of the MP Kate Osamor, as had been expected. The third nominee is Pauline Bryan, a Scottish campaigner and editor of What Would Keir Hardie Say?, a collection of essays once given by Corbyn to Barack Obama.

It is somewhat typical of the political climate that much of the media concentrates on he proposed elevation of Osamor was immediately criticised by a Jewish campaign group after it emerged that she was one of several signatories to a 2016 letter complaining about the suspension of Ken Livingstone and others over antisemitism. Arguing that the suspensions were McCarthyite, the letter said the charges of antisemitism were being used to “silence criticisms of Israel … and undermine Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn”.

Less as been made of the news that the DUP will nominate the former MP William McCrea,

McCrea was a member of the Shankill Defence Association and in 1971 he was convicted of riotous behaviour in Dungiven. In 1975 he led a prayer service at the paramilitary funerals of Wesley Somerville and Harris Boyle. The two terrorists were part of the Glenanne gang which carried out the Miami Showband killings and were accidentally blown up when the bomb they were planting in the band's minibus went off prematurely, killing them instantly.[8] McCrea was the target of a parcel bomb to his home on 9 August 1988, when a package sent by the Irish People's Liberation Organisation was disarmed. McCrea had become suspicious when he noticed the package had a Dublin postmark
McCrea was criticised when he appeared on a platform at a Portadown rally in support of the senior Ulster loyalist paramilitary Billy Wright, who had been threatened by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) leadership, in September 1996.[Wright was the founder and leader of the Loyalist Volunteer Force (which had broken away from the UVF), and had been threatened after he broke the UVF ceasefire by ordering the death of Catholic civilian Michael McGoldrick.

A Northern Ireland Office memo released under the thirty-year rule in December 2014 revealed that McCrea had called for the Royal Air Force to carry out "strikes against Dundalk, Drogheda, Crossmaglen and Carrickmore" at the DUP's annual conference in April 1986.

Of course since the start of the The Good Friday Agreement (GFA) many of those involved directly or indirectly in parliamentary violence have rejected their past and worked for the peace process. So if anyone has evidence that McCrea has done so let me know,

However this appointment alone  should convince anyone who thinks that the Lords in its Brexit defeat of the government  preforms a useful service and that it should not be reformed root and branch are living in a dream world,

Sunday, 20 May 2018

A Plaid-Tory government would be disastrous for devolution.

 The idea that there could be Plaid-Tory government in the future is an intriguing one  and it's no surprise to see this.

Opposition politicians should work with Conservatives to form a future non-Labour Welsh Government, the Tory leader in Wales has said.

Andrew RT Davies issued the challenge at the Welsh Conservative conference in Ffos Las, Carmarthenshire.

He said the opposition's failure to cooperate so far stopped them "unlocking progress and prosperity".

Neither Party can be happy with Labour's hegemony in Wales and it seems that they are faced by being in permanent opposition.

On Friday, Mr Davies told the conference: "Beyond our own Conservative benches, there are immensely talented individuals with whom, looking ahead to the next assembly elections, I stand ready to work with to deliver the change in government Wales needs."
He said there were "only two roadblocks that I believe stop us unlocking this progress to prosperity that Wales needs".
"One is removing the Labour Party itself, and the other is those who acknowledge that Labour are the problem - but just can't bring themselves to work with the Tories to do anything about it."
Mr Davies added that it was 

"all well and good talking about what change in Wales you would want, but if you haven't got a route to get there, you're simply shouting from the sidelines".

With a third rate legislature (compared to Scotland) then I suppose it is possible a left leaning Independence Party and a Right leaning Unionist Party could work together running the NHS and Education  and making a better job of it.

But in reality to make real change we would need more powers in line with Scotland .

However with its limited powers the Tories seem to think we should simnply copy England.

As was made clear by Theressa May in her speech to the Welsh Conservative conference 

Theresa May told the Welsh Conservative conference Welsh ministers had "betrayed a generation of children".
She urged the Welsh Government to follow England's example by setting schools free of council control.
"We know about Labour's failures on the NHS, but their record on education is just as bad," she said.
She said Wales scored the lowest of the UK nation in the international PISA education tests, and was the only UK nation to score below the OECD average in reading.
"Let's not mince words," she said. "Labour have betrayed a generation of Welsh children."
Mrs May said the UK government had adopted some policies first introduced in Wales, such as a charge on the use of plastic bags and the presumed consent system for organ donations.
But she urged Mr Jones's successor to "take a look at what Conservatives have achieved in school reform".
"Look at the new curriculum which has driven up standards - with England now scoring higher in international studies," she said.
"Look at the free schools and academies that are bringing in diverse providers to create more excellent school places and getting some of the best results at GCSE.
"Look at the transformation in technical education that we are now leading - with high-quality T-levels and new Institutes for Technology - prestigious institutions that will offer technical education and training to young people and to those already in employment."

Well if if you accept her figures of course, but even if you did it would seem strange to have an assembly that simply rubber stamps Westminster's policy in England.

For some reason most of the media seemed to miss this part of May's speech

“We cannot let lines on a map stop us from acting in the best interests of our country” says

Apart from the sheer hypocrisy of Brexit in which Mes May wants to restablish lines  on a map, it is a chilling warning that Westminster Tories will seek to impse thier policies in Wales even where they are devolved.

Even if Plaid and the Tories did form an assembly government  and did make improvements , then they would lose heavily in the next election (especially Plaid) and Labour would increase thier stanglehold.

The lesson of Nick Clegg in taking his party into coalition with the Tories should not be lost .

Is it worth five years of sitting on the government for decades of obscurity?

A Plaid-Tory government  would result  in the National movement being put into reverse.

What Plaid should adopt is to support policies of benefit to Wales and its people and  a policy of demanding a commitment to parity with Scotland .

That could be achieved  from a minority Labour government.

I can't see what can be achieved  from going into a coalition with a right wing Unionist party which wants us to simply rubber stamp policies they have already imposed in England.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Will I at 65 face my future nightmare of a coronation?

Despite a YouGov survey found 66 percent of British people were uninterested in the upcoming nuptials -- with around a third "not interested at all". Republicans like myself should be wary hoping that this signifies  a major change in attitude
The poll, commissioned by anti-monarchy campaign group Republic, questioned 1,615 Britons over two days late last week.
Its release comes just four days before Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle tie the knot at St George's Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle in a pomp-filled occasion.
The survey found just nine percent of Britons were "very interested" in the wedding, with only around a quarter (27 percent) planning to watch or listen to parts of the ceremony live on TV, radio or online.
The poll also suggested dissatisfaction at public expenditure on the wedding.
More than half of the respondents said the royals should "pay for the entire wedding" and three-quarters reported not wanting any taxes to be used for the event.

However  we are approaching the time when we are going to have to witness two Royal Funerals and a coronation.

The Queen is 92 and her husband 96 and clearly ailing and if e goes first then she may decide to abdicate.

So we may have to face a coronation in a very short time and I wonder if Nicola Sturgeon is considering this  when faced with calls for a Second Independence Referendum .

If the BBC coverage leading  up to today is anything to go by then we will be faced with a year of  royalist and de facto unionist propaganda. Holding Indy2 would be hard under these circumstances.

How much licence payers money has been spent on this can we acall for am audit

I have probably seen my last Pro14 match on a Friday night as the BBC lose their contract. Could the BBC's sycophantic weeks of this bloody wedding have paid for them t keep the Pro14?

On a personal note whilst I will have to put up with this, it may be that I will avoid  my nightmare.

I am five years younger than Charles  so I may avoid this nightmare  which involves me being in a nursing home unable to speak and having a union flag thrust into my hand

Will at I 65 face and a republican face my future  nightmare of a coronation? Ending up like this 

 Charles is very likely to live longer than me and as  George is now 4 and not likely to marry until he 30 , so I may avoid another Royal Wedding albite by death.

So a glimmer of hope there .

Friday, 18 May 2018

Neil Hamilton ousted as UKIP leader in the Welsh Assembly

Neil Hamilton has been ousted as UKIP group leader in the Welsh Assembly.
The former Conservative MP has been replaced by Caroline Jones.
It comes after a day of wrangling over the Mid and West Wales AM's future at the helm of the group, and after reports of a heated meeting of the party's AMs on Wednesday.
Mr Hamilton became leader of the group after he ousted Nathan Gill following the 2016 assembly election.
Speaking to BBC Wales, Ms Jones confirmed she had won a majority vote of the group, which was taken on Thursday afternoon.
"I'm honoured they've put their trust in me to lead them in the Senedd and to bring us forward," she said.
"Neil has done a good job, a very good job. He's an accomplished politician. It will be difficult to follow his lead, really."

The South Wales West AM would not confirm who had voted for her - although it is understood that she has been backed by UKIP colleagues Michelle Brown and David Rowlands.

Considering that Mandy Jones has been sitting as an Independent oy ,rams that Caroline Jones   only has to vote for herself as well to win 3:2.

Can it be just over two years when Ukip won 7 seats in the Welsh Assembly elections?

What's happened to the 7 since those heady days?

Nathan Gill

In the 2016 Assembly election Gill won a seat representing the North Wales region. He was beaten to the post of leader of the UKIP group in the National Assembly for Wales by former Conservative MP Neil Hamilton, in a move which Gill described as "bizarre".Farage described the move as an "unjust act of deep ingratitude"  resulting in Hamilton dismissing Farage as simply an "MEP for South East England whose opinions were "irrelevant".[19] Gill subsequently left the UKIP group in the assembly to sit as an independent, citing much infighting and distractions.He remained a member of the party and its leader in Wales, until Neil Hamilton was made Wales leader in September 2016.[21] He resigned as an AM in December 2017.

 Michelle Margaret Freda Brown

 In the 2016 Assembly election Brown won a seat representing the North Wales region.n February 2017 Future Inns, a hotel in Cardiff Bay accused Brown of smoking "recreational drugs" in her hotel room. The hotel stated the room could not be used for 24 hours and issued a £250 bill to Brown for the cleaning cost
In July 2017, a recording of a telephone conversation emerged, in which Brown was heard describing the Labour MP for Streatham, Chuka Umunna as a "fucking coconut". The call was recorded in May 2016 to her then senior adviser Nigel Williams, who she sacked later that month. Brown said her language was "inappropriate" and apologised, although also staying that she "was using language that friends and colleagues often do when chatting to each other". However, Brown stated that she stood by her comments that Umunna "as much understanding of an ordinary black man’s experience as I have". Brown was also recorded referring to Tristram Hunt, who was then Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central as a twat. Brown's comments have been referred to the assembly's standards commissioner and Labour, Conservative and Plaid Cymru members called for Brown to be sanctioned. Nathan Gill UKIP MEP for Wales has called on the party to expel her for the comments. Neil Hamilton then leader of the UKIP AM group in the assembly refused to comment.

Mark Reckless

On 27 September 2014, Reckless then a Conservative MP for  Rochester and Strood defected to the UK Independence Party at its party conference in Doncaster, and announced his resignation in order to seek re-election at a by-election. He became the second Conservative MP in the space of a month to defect to UKIP, the first being Douglas Carswell. In a speech delivered to the conference, Reckless claimed that the Conservative leadership was 'not serious about real change on Europe', and that 'Britain could be better'.[3]
Although he won the by-election on 20 November 2014 as a UKIP candidate, in the May 2015 general election Reckless lost his seat to the Conservative candidate, Kelly Tolhurst.

In June 2015, Reckless was made Director of Policy Development by UKIP.
In March 2016, Reckless was announced as UKIP's lead candidate for the Welsh Assembly Election region of South Wales East. He was elected on 5 May 2016.

On 6 April 2017, Reckless left UKIP to join the Conservative Group in the Welsh Assembly, however, he did not rejoin the Conservative party. This move made the Conservative group the second largest in the Welsh Assembly. Upon leaving, he said, "I leave UKIP positively, having achieved our joint aim, a successful referendum to leave the EU".

David J. Rowlands 

Became a  (UKIP) Member of the National Assembly for Wales for South Wales East region since the National Assembly for Wales election, 2016.[1]

Rowlands has contested numerous seats for UKIP in general, Assembly and European elections.
He contested Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney in the 2016 assembly election, he won 4,277 votes finishing second to Welsh Labour's Dawn Bowden.

 In 2017 Rowlands stood again for the Parliamentary constituency, he came fourth with 1,484 votes, a reduction in vote share of 14.2%. One of the least controversial Ukip AM but that may be that he has little to say.

Caroline  Jones

Who is leader of UKIP in the Welsh Assembly. She has been a UK Independence Party Member of the National Assembly for Wales for South Wales West since the National Assembly for Wales election, 2016.[1]

Like many within UKIP, Jones originally stood for the Conservative Party. She stood for South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner and later defected to UKIP, by 2015 standing for them in the General Election for the constituency of Bridgend.
Jones voted for Neil Hamilton to be leader of UKIP in the Welsh Assembly.
After Nigel Farage declared his intention to stand down she wrote a letter along with other members of the assembly urging Paul Nuttall to stand in the first UK Independence Party leadership election, 2016.

Jones replaced Hamilton as leader of UKIP in the National Assembly on the 17 May 2018 following a vote by the UKIP group but  will lead an already devided party.

Neil Hamilton

Mostyn Neil Hamilton (born 9 March 1949) is a British politician, non-practising barrister, and former teacher. He has served as a UK Independence Party (UKIP) Member of the National Assembly for Wales for the Mid and West Wales region since 2016; he was previously Conservative MP for the Tatton constituency from 1983 to 1997.
After being implicated in the cash-for-questions affair, Hamilton became widely associated with sleaze; he was defeated in the 1997 general election, and subsequently left politics. His wife Christine and he went on to become media celebrities. He left the Conservative Party in 2002, and joined UKIP. He was elected to the National Executive Committee of UKIP in 2011, and elected UKIP Group Leader in 2016 following his election to the National Assembly for Wals

In September 2011, Hamilton attended the annual conference of the UK Independence Party. The party's leader Nigel Farage pledged to support him in the election for the National Executive Committee. Hamilton was elected to the committee on 1 November 2011. He later become deputy chairman of the party.[30] Hamilton was demoted from his role as campaign director in April 2014.[31]
In the elections for the National Assembly for Wales on 5 May 2016, he was elected as a Member of the National Assembly for Wales for the Mid and West Wales Region, one of seven UKIP candidates to win a seat through the Regional List system. On 10 May 2016, UKIP's AMs voted him their leader in the Welsh Assembly, defeating Nathan Gill. The UKIP leader, Nigel Farage, criticised the move as an "unjust act of deep ingratitude" Hamilton dismissed Farage's criticism as "irrelevant",] accused him of "throwing toys out of pram" and referred to him as "the MEP for the South East of England".[ In leaked emails, he was accused by UKIP's biggest donor, Arron Banks, of being a "corrupt old Tory". Nathan Gill subsequently left the UKIP group in the assembly to sit as an independent, resulting in Neil Hamilton becoming UKIP's Leader in Wales in September 2016] Hamilton was ousted as leader of UKIP in the National Assembly on the 17 May 2018 and was replaced by Caroline Jones.[41]

Following his maiden speech in the Welsh Assembly, he was accused of making sexist remarks towards female politicians after referring to Kirsty Williams and Leanne Wood as "concubines" in a "harem".

Hamilton caused further controversy during a debate on the effects of Brexit in Wales. When Eluned Morgan, was explaining that the economic consequences of Brexit would be hardest for those who could least afford it, Hamilton remarked that "suicide's an option". He was instructed by the presiding officer to apologise for the remark. Hamilton initially refused, saying, "What is there to apologise for?" and "What was unparliamentary about the remark?" He did eventually apologise, saying "I apologise for whatever remark I am supposed to have made."

In April 2018, Hamilton caused controversy by claiming that "the idea that Enoch Powell was some kind of uniquely racist villain is absolute nonsense". Hamilton went on to claim that Powell had been "proved right by events" in terms of social change if not violence. In response, the leader of Plaid Cymru, Leanne Wood, accused Hamilton of "keeping Powell's racist rhetoric going". Labour AM Hefin David described Hamilton's comments as "outrageous".

Gareth Bennett

In the 2016 Assembly election Gill won a seat representing the South Wales Central regional Seat

Politically, Bennett began on the left, joining the Workers Revolutionary Party (WRP) at the age of 16. He left after six months. He was later active in the Labour Party (1992–96), before eventually abandoning the left – and even the centre-left – due to their policies on perceived mass immigration.

This led to Bennett joining UKIP in 2014. He campaigned in the 2014 European election, and was then agent for UKIP candidate Brian Morris in Cardiff West at the 2015 general election. He became secretary, and then chairman, of the Cardiff UKIP branch, and then joined the UKIP Wales regional committee.
In March 2016, it was reported that Bennett had topped the poll in the South Wales Central region in a ballot of all UKIP party members in Wales to select Welsh Assembly candidates. He was almost immediately caught up in a media storm over controversial remarks regarding rubbish problems in Cardiff's City Road area, which Bennett blamed on students and – controversially – Eastern European immigrants and was nicknamed the Donald Trump of Wales by the media.[8]
This led to senior UKIP party leaders, like Nigel Farage and Immigration spokesman Steven Woolfe, publicly distancing themselves from Bennett.[9] A petition containing the names of 16 other UKIP Assembly candidates opposing Bennett's candidacy was presented to the party's National Executive Committee (NEC) – which promptly re-selected him as lead candidate. He was duly elected to the Assembly on 5 May 2016.
This furore also involved the resignation from the list of the number two UKIP candidate in South Wales Central. This was Alexandra Phillips, former personal aide to Nigel Farage, whom Bennett alleged was plotting to get rid of him in her role as Assembly campaign media officer.
In the Assembly UKIP group, he backed Neil Hamilton for leader over Nathan Gill, whom he held responsible for the deselection campaign against him. After Hamilton became leader of the group, Bennett was appointed as UKIP Assembly spokesman for Local Government, Housing and Sport.
He is a member of the Equalities, Local Government and Communities Committee and the Petitions Committee.
Bennett was selected to lead UKIP's regional party list in South Wales Central in March 2016. This was a surprise to many within the party who were unhappy about it. He was interviewed by the press including ITV news.
In 2018 it emerged that Bennett had claimed £9,972 within the first year of being an AM attempting to seat up an office in the town of Pontypridd in his South Wales Central seat. The office never opened a move which Bennett described as being "highly regrettable," he also confirmed that he spend £4,500 of his own money to terminate the five year lease he had signed on the office. There was no suggestion that any public funds had been misused.

 And there is also

Mandy Jones

Jones stood for UKIP in the Clwyd South constituency at the 2015 General Election.[4] She also stood for UKIP in Clwyd South at the 2016 Welsh Assembly election, coming fourth behind Labour, the Conservatives and Plaid Cymru.[5] As the third UKIP candidate on the North Wales regional list, she failed to secure a National Assembly for Wales seat
Following the resignation in December 2017 of former UKIP Assembly Member (AM), Nathan Gill, Jones (as the next available UKIP candidate on the regional list) was confirmed on 27 December as the replacement AM.] She was due to actively take up her duties following an oath swearing ceremony, which took place on 29 December at the Welsh Assembly's Colwyn Bay buildings.
On 9 January 2018, UKIP Wales announced that she would not be joining the UKIP group in the Assembly, due to employing members of other parties in her office.Jones refused to change her staff and described the UKIP group as "toxic". She describes herself as a Faragist and claims former UKIP leader Nigel Farage supports her actions
Newly elected UKIP assembly leader Caroline Jones is inviting Mandy Jones to join the team of five.if she is interested.

Could the final act see Caroline Jones or Neil Hamilton  leading their fraction into the Conservative group.

Would they be welcome. Probably not as they would be bringing their toxic legacy with them but  the 100.000 plus votes they won in 2016.

There is a real prospect  that in 2021 Ukip will be wiped out in the assembly elections , it remains a question however which party if any will be the major beneficiary.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Calls for Boycott of Eurovision should be heeded,

I wonder how much support  Dublin Mayor Micheal Mac Donnchacall on Tuesday  for Ireland to boycott the Eurovision Song Contest in 2019.

The 2019 contest will be held in Israel after Netta won the 2018 contest this past Saturday night.

Joana Ramiro  a reporter for Left Foot Forward. has pointed out that Ms Barzilai far from a victory for diversity , was a cynical political ploy

She writes
....But political scrutiny does not seem to apply as rigorously to Israel, where pinkwashing strategies have been widely used since at least 2005. And pinkwashing – the use of the gay rights movement to distract from or totally obscure all sorts of oppressive or corrupt policies – has been a highly successful in rebranding Israel as a idyllic holiday destination, an LGBTQ party haven. For every time Palestinian right’s campaigners cried out against human rights abuses in Israel, or the WesJoana Ramiro  a reporter for Left Foot Forward. t Bank, or Gaza, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been able to claim that, on the contrary, his country is the only true democracy in the Middle East, you just have to look at Israel’s thriving gay scene.

Speaking to the Dublin Live news website, Mac Donncha said Ireland should show solidarity with the Palestinian people by refusing to enter next year’s contest.

"I would support that, I don't think we should send a representative. I think the horrific ordeal of the Palestinian people needs to be highlighted. There needs to be solidarity just as there was with the people of South Africa with the apartheid regime," he said.
"The Irish-Palestine solidarity campaign has collected the names of 500 artists who have said they would not work in the state of Israel, that they would boycott it in the protest and the treatment of the Palestinian people," continued Mac Donncha.
The opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem  following the decision taken by President Trump saw the most violent day in Gaza for four years, with over 2,000 protesters being injured, including over 1,000 protesters injured by live ammunition.

Plaid Cymru’s Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, Jonathan Edwards MP highlighted the actions of the South African and Irish Governments in response to the conflict, with South Africa recalling their ambassador to Israel and Ireland summoning the Israeli ambassador. Responding in the urgent debate, Jonathan Edwards MP asked: “Is the British Government considering either diplomatic route?”

Commenting after the debate, Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP, Jonathan Edwards said:

“Our thoughts are with all of those Palestinians whose family and friends have been killed and injured.

“Palestinian people have a fundamental right to demonstrate without being shot at with live ammunition. As the occupying power, it is the Israeli Government’s duty to respect the human rights of civilians.

“With the United States abdicating all responsibility for leading peace efforts, the rest of the international community must quickly determine how to fill the void otherwise violence could quickly spiral into a more prolonged and open conflict.

“The UK Government cannot continue to simply remain silent on the systematic abuses in the occupied Palestinian territories. Bold diplomatic action is required urgently.

“The British Government has a range of options at its disposal. Along with recalling the UK Ambassador to Israel and summoning the Israeli Ambassador to the UK, this government must push for a UN resolution calling for a full, independent investigation into the conflict. This is the very least the UK Government can do.

“Most importantly, this government must suspend the sale of arms to Israel with immediate effect. It is no use issuing statements condemning violence whilst simultaneously supplying the weapons to facilitate this.
“Whilst the UK-based arms companies continue to ammunition to Israel, the British Government shamelessly profits from the mass murder of Palestinians.”
Indeed certainly if any other country that entered  Eurovision and had just killed more than 50 demonstrators in a day then the call for a boycott would be growing fast

The  New York Times  claims that

‘ Eurovision Win Is Seen as a Diplomatic Victory, Too.

The win by Netta Barzilai for her #MeToo-themed hit, “Toy,” seemed to ease, at least for now, deep-seated Israeli fears of cultural boycott and isolation. When the votes came in from around the world and Ms. Barzilai’s performance beat songs by rivals from nations like Austria, Cyprus and Sweden, many Israelis hailed it as a diplomatic victory and national vindication.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was among the first to get in on the celebrations, echoing Ms. Barzilai’s words as he exulted on his Facebook page: “Next year in Jerusalem!”

Now we must not take  “Next year in Jerusalem!” as a call for the contest to be held in that city rather than Tel Aviv  literally 

They  traditionally end the Passover Seder with the wish, “Next Year in Jerusalem!

 Would Israel buoyed up with Trump's moving the US Embassy actually also move the contest to  in Jerusalem!” it would be a dangerous and ploy  and lead to more tragedy?

A Boycott would lead to calls of anti-Semitism and maybe homophobia, but how can we give a green light to a country that is killing civilians in the manner that happened last week?

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Where are the Welsh Liberal Democrats over Power Grab?

Yesterday as Wales let our Scottish friends down by voting for the Westminster power grab, nothing was more telling than some tweets from Rhun ap Iorwerth

  1. 14h14 hours ago
    Drakeford says no contributions to debate (except Simon Thomas)were serious. Tough gig for us standing up to Lab Tory UKIP joining forces, laughing, ridiculing, patronising. Whatever. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿💪 Now Minister is talking about anti-bullying policy.
  2. In need of romance? Fancy a love story? Check out the love-in between Labour, the Conservatives and UKIP in the National Assembly for . When it comes to negotiations with UK to protect Wales post-, don't just give in... give your whole heart. ❤️🌹😍😘
  3. Lab Tories UKIP join forces to attack Welsh nationalism over our opposition to Withdrawal Bill. NASHnulism, they spit. With venom. My nationalism simply says Wales is my context. My starting point. My international building block. Yours is UK. Just makes you UK nats, guys. Relax.

 Are "Scottish" Labour, Scottish Liberal Democrats and Scottish Greens guilty of NASHnulism? as they voted with the SNP against the power grab ? Leaving the "Scottish" Tories isolated.

The reverse was true in Wales of course asn teh Unionist Parties united together , to shame our Assembly and our Nation

But there is one omission here 

the vote
the vote
the vote


Did the sole Liberal Democrat in the Assembly vote with the Unholy Alliance?
She is of course a government minister in the "Not a coalition" , but what about the party in Wales.

A quick look at their website shows no  shows  no mention of this (actually there's bugger all there of interest) and a Google of their leader Jane (Who) Dodds leads to statement, and everybody's favourite  Welsh Liberal Democrat recent blogger  makes no mention and today concentrates  on the Labour leader ruling  out Norway option. 

No opinion from Peter on one of the most controversial votes in the Siambr ever!

You may have noticed that I put  "" when referring to the  Welsh and Scottish  branches of both Labour and Tories  and not the Liberal Democrats . 

That is because the Lib Dems are supposed to be a Federal Party and therefore it seems that it is up to the Party there to vote under their Welsh and Scottish leader.

Bur who is there any leadership of the Liberal Democrats in Wales?

It seems to be dictated by Labour's tame Lib Dem in their Welsh Assembly Government.

At least the Liberal Democrats n the Cameron-Clegg coalition were to some extent visible are they hoping that the Labour, Tory, Ukip love in yesterday will not include them in any backlash from Welsh voters.