Thursday, 27 April 2017

"Don't vote Plaid get ignored and be left defenceless"

Politics is as they say "A Funny Old Game" and  it could be that there could be a few shocks results on June 8th .

It is sadly clear that the Tories are likely to win and if the polls are correct win in Wales .

If that is the case maybe it is vital that Plaid make advances throughout Wales and its quick response , with only Plaid can defend wales may reach some parts where it has struggled in the past to get a significant share of the vote.

After all preserving a labour MP  who wil spend at least three months  deposing their leader  and finding themselves alienated from much of the electorate will hardly see any defence.

And if the last parliament was anything to go buy  virtually all the real opposition is going to be from the SNP group and it vital that we have MPs from Wales who can provide the same sought of opposition as our friends in the SNP.

However this will probably lead to the Labour  Mantra of 

"Vote Plaid Get Tories"
Plaid response should be 

"Don't vote Plaid get ignored and be left defenceless" 

One of the strange ironies of this election may be that Plaid in their Target seats  Ynys Mon, Ceredigion and Llanelli have not had time to select a candidate to nurse  the constituencies.

If you know that a General Election will almost be on a certain date then you have time to select a candidate who can spend months trudging the seats with his or her backers trying to get their name known.

I sometimes wonder how effective this is . Yes in marginal seats it may win you the necessary vote but is there any real evidence?

In Ceredigion Plaid have selected  Oxford Graduate Ben Lake

Currently a researcher for Plaid Cymru in the National Assembly for Wales, concentrating on education, finance, and transport policy. Ben may well have been groomed to replace current AM Elin Jones when she decides to call it a day.

If Plaid can hold its vote and there  a swing of Lib Dem  voters to the Tories , He may well be studying the Aberystwyth - London Time Table.

In somewhat of a polar move Plaid have selected former MP, AM  and Party leader Ieuan Wyn Jones  in its top target seat of Ynys Mon.
 The opinion polls suggest that   as a three way fight between Plaid, Labour, who hold the seat, and the Conservatives.
Again if the Plaid vote holds then Mr Jones may well make history  in the longest gap  between  leave the house and returning (17 years).
Who knows? What most expect to be the most practicable election in years may throw up a few surprises.
For the sake of all of Wales I hope so.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Do all "Leavers" want a Brexit based on xenophobia?

Unfortunately I have come to the conclusion that we are not going to stop Brexit and the sort of campaign the Lib Dems are campaigning  on yjt a vote for them is a vote to Remain.

But that does not mean that we should give the Tories a Free hand in the negotiations and they  and they allies should not be allowed to turn it into a Xenophobic Little Englander on the rest of the Eu,

It is clear that Theressa May is intent on using the General Election as a endorsement referendum on Brexit

In her speech in Bridgend yesterday she said

In 44 days, voters in Wales have a fresh chance to reject this kind of ‘politics as usual’. The General Election is a chance for them to turn their backs on the politicians who have turned their backs on them, and to embrace a new approach that is right for Wales and right for Britain.
Scotland voted to Remain  but Mrs May claims to speak for them , but beside that when has Tory policies ever been good for Scotland bit especially Wales
For this election is not about the kind of tribal politics that has held sway in Wales and elsewhere for many years. It is not about calling in old favours or relying on past allegiance. It is about the future.It is an opportunity to provide this United Kingdom with the strong and stable leadership it needs to see us through Brexit and beyond. It is a chance to lock in the economic progress we have made together over the past seven years.
How many ordinary people who have seen their Pay not meet inflation, or those who have sen their benefits slashed  or those who have been forced into Food Banks in echo of Victorian so called philanthropy have seen any economic progress?

But lets look at May on Brexit
And it is your chance to strengthen Britain’s hand as we negotiate with Europe to ensure we get the right deal for ordinary working people everywhere. A deal that will help us build a stronger Wales, as part of a more secure Britain.Securing that deal is my priority and we have the plan to do it. A plan to regain control of our own money, our own laws and our own borders, and to be free to strike trade deals with old friends and new partners all around the world.Yet our Labour, LibDem and Nationalist opponents – Plaid Cymru here in Wales and Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP in Scotland – are already seeking to disrupt our negotiations, even as 27 other European countries line up to oppose us.
For a start Mes May hand has not been weakened one iota in the House of Commons, she has lost not one Brexot vote .

The European Union has already indicated that an increased Tory majority will make no difference  in the negotiations from one side.

It will however if Mrs May riding on a Landslide thinks that she can bully the EU into agreeing all her terms.

It will do the opposite and the EU will look at the xenophobic rhetoric coming from the UK which will damage future relations,

Even Mrs May's hope that the US will ride to our rescue has bern shattered with Trump indicating its Europe he wants to work out Trade agreements with.

The Scottish Referendum always was base on "We want to leave as friends" the UK seems intent on leaving the EU as enemies .

Leaver or Remainer do you really want this. Do you want Brexit to leave a legacy of hostility with out fellow Europeans.

We are going to need friends in Europe not only with the likes of Norway but with EU members , May's attitude will leave us with none.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Wales set to vote itself out of existence,

It's not as if if we haven't seen it coming . but the latest Welsh opinion poll still come as a shock, pointing as it does to a Tory landslide

Conservatives: 40% (+12)
Labour: 30% (-3)
Plaid Cymru: 13% (no change)
Liberal Democrats: 8% (-1)
UKIP: 6% (-7)
Others: 3% (-1)
As Roger Scully points out 
Following the standard method of projecting poll results into seat outcomes – that is, assuming uniform national swings from the 2015 general election – our latest poll implies the following overall result. (Projected changes from the 2015 result are in brackets):
Conservatives: 21 seats (+10)
Labour: 15 seats (-10)
Plaid Cymru: 3 seats (no change)
Liberal Democrats: 1 seat (no change
A  full ten seats are projected to be gained by the Conservatives from Labour. The ten seats are: Alyn and Deeside, Bridgend, Cardiff South and Penarth, Cardiff West, Clwyd South, Delyn, Newport East, Newport West, Wrexham, and worryingly for Plaid Ynys Mon,
One of the first things to note that the idea of a Ukip vote was an anti-establishment protest is a myth,
The Ukip vote appears to have collapsed and seemingly transferred en bloc to the Tories.
It also reflects the whole Brexit phenomena where Wales=England and the idea that we were somewhat different  more tolerant , less xenophobic and left wing seems to be untrue.
With 40% of the vote in Wales it is clear that many of those around us , friends ,family and and associates are prepared to vote for a arty intent on privatising the NHS and destroying the Welfare state.
Even in Scotland the Tories riding on a  purely Unionist look to take seats
It seems unlikely now that we can have a progressive alliance . Labour in particular seem intent on suicide rather than surrender its position as the major opposition even with just 176 seats, rather than unite against what will be a viscous right wing goverment  that will keep itself in power  by Gerrymandering seats and making sure there is no alternative media (God help Channel 4 News).
The position in Wales is stalk, Only a vote for Plaid Cymru will preserve not only a Welsh  Political Identity, but (however outnumbered)  some  defence against the Tories.
Unless threre is a sea change the above map will be starring at us, It might despite Tory gains make the cause of Scottish Independence inevitable.
However it may be that on June 8th Wales may have voted to end its existence and become nothing more than  an appendege of England
The one day patriots who support Wales in the six nations  may be content with this but unless we start waking up it will be all we got.

Monday, 24 April 2017

So what is Leanne's plan? (Updated)

I wonder what Plaid Strategist are thinking over Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood apparently saying  she is actively considering standing as a General Election candidate in the Rhondda, after apparently ruling it out earlier.

As the Wasting Mule reports

In a round of interviews she told BBC Wales she had discarded the idea and said on the Andrew Marr show she did not want to give up leadership of her party - which she would have to do if she stood as an MP.
Later, she told BBC One’s Sunday Politics she was “actively considering” standing because Wales needs a strong voice in Westminster.
“We need a strong team in Westminster. That’s why I am actively considering it But also, we need a strong team in Cardiff Bay,” she told the programme during a debate of the four party leaders in Wales.
She said the Labour MP for Rhondda, Chris Bryant, is in "a very vulnerable situation", saying he had "consistently attacked his leader" and criticising his expenses record.
“I think we are in for a very interesting election in Wales, not least in the South Wales Valleys where people are desperate for change.”
 In a previous Blog  is stated some Pros and Cons on whether  Leanne should stand and came out on the Con side.

I still stick to this but am reminded of the quotations of two former Prime Ministers

When the artful prime minister of Britain, Harold Macmillan, was asked what he considered the greatest threat a statesman might face, he replied, 
"Events, dear boy, events".

The apparent possibility that the Tories will have a Landslide could change the game in Wales . Suddenly Labour are in retreat from the Tories , whether that means they could be possibly in retreat from Plaid in the South Wales Valleys is a mute point, In all likelihood Plaid will find it similar to the 1850's despite being the heaviest campaigner in a number of family seats.they will lose out to the sort of Tory candidate who hardly visits the constituency but turns up to the count and finding that they have come second,

However to quote my second Prome Minister Harold Wilson
"A week is a long time in politics".
Or rather in this case under a fortnight.

If Plaid make gains in particularly in the Rhondda in May 4ths council elections then Leanne would (no pun intended) have a very platform to start a run.

However she may have to make her mind up before then. 

Update 10.OO AM; Latest Tweet from Leanne seems to putthis to rest

  13 hours ago13 hours agoMoreAfter much consideration, I'm not standing as MP for the Rhondda. Confident that will have very strong candidate

Sunday, 23 April 2017

I am not celebrating St George's Day, Even if its a Bank Holiday .

Listening to the BBC news this morning  I thought there's a mistake here surely?
Because they  claim
A Labour government would seek to create four new UK-wide bank holidays,
The holidays would be on each nation's patron saint day - St David's Day on 1 March, St Patrick's Day on 17 March, St George's Day on 23 April and St Andrew's Day on 30 November.
Mr Corbyn believes the move will "celebrate the national cultures of our proud nations".
The impression here that we will be celebrating the four patrons saints with a Bank Holiday throughput the UK.
Under the policy, the devolved administrations would have the final say on whether to approve the extra bank holidays.
The BBC points out that Creating bank holidays is a devolved power in Scotland.
Whereas England has no devolved administration so it will be up to Westminster and under the English votes for English laws rule.
Can we really expect Wales to celebrate ST Andrews Day, Scotland St George day and England St David's day,
Mind you many of us join in the Craic on St Paddy's day as they do throughout the world.
So it seems to me that what is intended is four separate Bank Holidays as each part has a unique day off.
Otherwise we will be having a Bank Holiday on March 1st and tehn on March 2nd
Labour says the UK has fewer bank holidays than other G20 countries.
Normally, England and Wales have eight bank holidays a year, Scotland nine, and Northern Ireland 10.
Labour says the average for G20 countries is 12. 
So have the BBC got this wrong?
Normally, England and Wales have eight bank holidays a year, Scotland nine, and Northern Ireland 10.
Labour says the average for G20 countries is 12. 
Mr Corbyn will say in a speech on Sunday:

"The four nations that make up our great country have rarely been more divided due to the damaging and divisive policies of this Conservative government.
"But where Theresa May divides, Labour will unite our four nations.
"A Labour government will make St George's Day - England's national day and Shakespeare's birthday - a public holiday, along with St David's Day, St Andrew's Day and St Patrick's Day.
"These holidays will be a chance for workers to spend time with their families, in their communities and with their friends.
"But they will also be a chance to celebrate the national cultures of our proud nations."
Certainly you can interpretate this has being us having the holidays on a UK wide basis, and maybe it is a part of Mr Corbyn Unionist thinking that which may be less of the Tories Empire 2.0 which some Brexiters seem to be hoping for and more of we are all together don't spoil it attitude and the bafflement of my English friends who can't understand why I don't automatically support their side when they qualify for the World Cup.

Lets face expecting us to  celebrating St George's Day  is an insult  and unless Labour may it clearer will be met with derision.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

We are not voting for a President on June 8th

Of the last six Prime Ministers Thatcher, Major ,Blair ,Brown,Cameron, and May. Three were first given the Job without a General Election.

True we a not as bad as Australia where ,Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard was ousted by rival Kevin Rudd in a leadership vote in June 2013 - months before a general election won by Tony Abbott's Liberal Party and its coalition partners the National Party.
Ms Gillard herself had ousted Mr Rudd as prime minister in 2010.
Then in 2015 Tony Abbott was ousted as leader of the centre-right Liberal Party by Malcolm Turnbull.

But it is a truth that we are not electing a Prime Minister  in the manner of a Presidential Election .

I like a lot about Jeremy Corbyn despite he seems to a poor grasp of devolution and wonder if I really see him as a true progressive, and a left wing centrist .

He does not seem to be much of an advocate for Proportional Representation either.

But even if he was to become Prime Minister , I wonder how long before the Parliamentary Labour Party still consisting of Red Tories would seek to undermine and replace him ?

Mrs May even with a huge majority, will still lead a party that is divided over Europe and if she is seem as dithering over a true "Hard Brexit" face a coup.

Certainly if she looses a Second Scottish Independence  Referendum she is will 

be dead in the water

Unfortunate there is not going to be a progressive alliance for this election, which promises major constitutional change which introduces Proportional Representation , which means that every vote counts.

Yes we need to try and unite against the Tories , but that does not mean that this simply involves voting for Labour if that Party's incumbent or challenger of a marginal seat  is little more than Red-Tory Blarite  . who doesn't support the party leader and may even seek to either replace him or form a new party.

We must remind ourselves on June 8th we are not voting foe Jeremy Corbyn  or Theressa May to become Prime Minister but for a member of Parliament

For those of us in Scotland , Wales and indeed Cornwall if the polls are right Labour can't win anyway is it not time we sought to get out of the Tories clutches through voting for Parties that seek Independence?. 

Friday, 21 April 2017

May's meets the people or rather her own people.

I once read that during a General Election Campaign in the 1950'sthe then Labour Prime Minister Clement Atllee would visit Constituencies in a car driven by his wife stopping on verges for a picnic.

Times of course have changed the danger of terrorism means that senior politician need extensive protection and the murder of Jo Cox reminds us that even ordinary candidates are facing danger.

But does this mean that the likes of Theresa May does not met the public and her tours will be only photo shoots with Party members some of whom will not even be local but bussed in by the Party/

As Craig Murray points out a taxi driver was the only member of the public who managed to get anywhere near Theresa May on her much publicised “meet the people” election visit to Bolton on Tuesday

Mr Murray writes
Visiting Bolton on Tuesday , May arrived by helicopter, was whisked through town in an armoured convoy, spoke to a tiny audience of vetted conservatives, refused to answer any questions, and was whisked out again. In a precise example of what we have to expect in the next six weeks the BBC reported she had been to “meet the people”, and then gave us a series of vox pops from Labour voters in Bolton who were switching to Conservative.
The media picture with which we are presented is not just a distortion, it is the polar opposite of the reality. It was not a “meet the people” visit, it was an “avoid the people” visit. With not even other members of the political establishment being allowed to question her in debate, this is an Uzbek style election in the UK
That May’s police escort see it as their job to prevent any expression of dissent says everything about the kind of Britain she is creating. It goes along with her failure, twice, to accept Angus Robertson’s invitation to distance herself from the Daily Mail’s “Crush the Saboteurs” headline.
Disciplinary action should be taken against the policeman for the harassment of that driver – who it should be noted had already been forced to halt and pull aside for a period of time to let May’s convoy pass, and had complied. That we have a police force who think you are not allowed to show dissent to the Prime Minister is deeply troubling.

I do not believe that Politicians  should face being assaulted by members of the public , But surely they should actually face criticism and questioning ,

One thing about Mrs May is clear from Prime Ministers Questions is that she cannot face scrutiny and maybe that is why she wants to avoid a Leaders debate.

Vast sums of Tax payers money is being paid to protect Mrs May it should not be used to protect her from facing those who her polcies have harmed ,