Saturday, 30 April 2011

Liberal Desperatecrats.

.They Claim that the best things come to those that wait . But not in this case. I received this Royal Mail delivered LibDen Election Communication today. It one of the most negative leaflets they have ever produced.

It supposed to be for the South Wales Central regional seats but you would find it be hard to work that out.

Completely monolingual (So much for equality for the Welsh Language) printed in Sheffield (So much for supporting Welsh Industry)  it only barely mentions any candidates standing on the list, but is full of photos of La Pasionaria who although the party leader and I admit photogenic is not a candidate here.

Says virtually nothing on what the Libdems would introduce in the next Assembly but simply concentrates on attacking the previous governments record mainly on Education and Health . Which quite frankly no one one will ever be happy with .

But there is one clear example of the way this Party works . There is a photoshop of Airplane with th logo Labour Air claiming millions have been spent on flight subsides . Anyone  familiar with Libdem Blogs in Wales   woyld know that they have always sneered as this as being "Ieuam Air" to claim that the flight from North Wales to South was solely there to accommodate the Plaid leader.

Of course its likely there will be No Libdems AM's  from North Wales so they will not be using i after May.

Clearly they think there are more votes in this if they associate this with Labour in this region, I wonder if there are examples of  a similar  leaflet with but  the logo  showing Ieaun Air in other parts of Wales.

This  leaflet shows how desperate this Party is and why they deserve to lose not only Cardiff Central but fail to gain a Regional seat in South wales Central, Give you second vote to either Plaid or the Greens and not these opportunist.
This negative misleading leaflet shows just what a Nasty Party the Libdems are 0/10

Friday, 29 April 2011

I'm a Repuplican get me out of here.

I'm off to the hills walking today to avoid the forelock tugging rubbish on the Television. My only fear is that it will not be a case of  solitary complementation as there probably be hundreds doing the so thing. It will be worth it to avoid Huw Edwards what would Hywel Tefi have thought of his son mouthing such sycophantic claptrap?

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Election Communications?

With a week to go, I have yet to receive all the  Election Communications I would have expected delivered by Royal Mail  from the Parties standing in the Pontypridd Constituency and the South Wales Central Region with only are only three delivery days left. With most Postal Votes now completed.Unless the parties have made a special arrangement to see that their leaflets have been delivered earlier to those opting for a Postal Vote then these people may not see these communications until after they have voted. Perhaps the Parties should inquire from people when they have received the campaign leaflets. I would have thought most would have liked to get they message out  at least 14 days before the election date

Mind you what I have received hasn't been very inspiring.

Constituency Candidates Leaflet: English only says virtually nothing . Candidate looks like typical Tory Boy 2/10
Regional Leaflet:  Bilingual bit sometimes different messages I Welsh and English  Names candidates but seems to concentrate on their charity work. Shows Photoshop of Cameron with candidates and not leader Nick Bourne 4/10.
Constituency Candidate: Fully Bilingual somewhat uninspiring but makes some policy statements but no real plans for future legislation (Which is what we backed a few months ago) easy to read  6/10.
Regional Leaflet:   No leaflet by Royal Mail to date
Lib Dem,
Constituency Candidates Leaflet: Packed with very aggressive and  negative politics Many Photos of candidate one of
which was on his Leaflet for the General Election last year 6/10 (would have been more if bilingual).
Regional Leaflet: .No leaflet by Royal Mail to date.
Constituency Candidate: No leaflet by Royal Mail to date.
Regional Leaflet::Fully Bilingual but only shows leader Carwyn Jones. Does not show or name candidates 5/10
Other: English only Newspaper delivered by Party supporters early in campaign. Doesn't actually say much about future policy ; 5/10
Canvassing: English only small leaflet 4/10.
No Constituency Candidates:
Regional Leaflet: English only . No candidates named concentrates on Anti-immigration Policy makes absolutely no contribution to future Assembly policies . 2/10.
No Constituency candidates:
Regional Leaflet: Fully Bilingual ,concentrates on lead candidate but convincing: 7.5/10.
It seems that the referendum last March hasn’t really inspired our Political Parties to come up with imaginative Legislation for the Next Assembly which will be for 5 years  and if Labour get a overall majority far from putting clear red water between the Senedd and Westminster will be ordered to keep legislation moderate and not be another GLC during the Thatcher years and a target for the right wing press. From Plaid’s rather bland campaign they to need to come up with fresh and imaginative ideas.

The other  disappointing  issue was the lack of Bilingualism(apart for Plaid) in the Individual Candidates leaflets . Strange they all supported the last Welsh Language act The Tories make a claim to
“Work towards one million Welsh speakers by 2031 and 1.5 million by 2051 in a truly bilingual Wales.” and  produce English only leaflets (Manifesto 2011). 
and similarly haw can La Pasionaria call  official status for the Welsh Language and still allow her Part to have English only campaign literature?

When I was a student in Aberystwyth all candidate for NUS posts had to have bilingual communications or be exclude from the poll .Perhaps the next Welsh Assembly  can use its new powers to encourage parties to do so in Welsh elections though I would much prefer if they voluntary action and set an example for the rest of Wales.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

So it's a referendum on the Con/Lib government then?

referendum As I've said in past post. I do not think AV is the answer and is no better than the current First Past the Post system and I intend to write a S in the Yes box to show my support for STV.

My views have not been changed by the actions of both the Yes and No camps .

Yesterday I received the NO leaflet (I still have not received the Yes one). ( I will be commenting on the delivery of election leaflets tomorrow)

As you can see part of the No campaign is an attack on the Libdems and the issue of Tuition fees.Despite the fact that the Tories would have implemented these fees if they had received a overall majority last May.

What they are apparently  saying is "Punish Nick Clegg by voting NO.

But the Yes side are just as bad Yesterday Peter Mandelson Claimed that a   Vote yes for AV would put David Cameron out of a job.

Mandelson added:
  "What I'm saying to my party is, think strategically. How is it best to collapse the coalition?"

So both sides are saying , "Ignore the  merits of either AV or FPTP and vote to embarrass thr Politician you most dislike".

Is this the way to run a democratic debate? Forget that this is a referendum on our electoral system and lets have one on the Party leaders.

Of course the same could be said of the Welsh Assembly elections where Labour are trying and succeeding in transforming it into a  vote on the Con/Libdem coalition  at Westminster.

The same will be true of the Local Council elections in England  but it looks like Scotland will vote mainly on Scottish issues.

One of the reasons I support STV is that occasionally  I feel sorry for good hardworking councilors of parties I would not normally vote for  who lose their seats because the electorate want to give the government of the day a good kicking
Through STV Voters can have the opportunity to save those who despite their party affiliations have served their community and electorate by giving them a high ranking  .

It would be a good idea if the next assembly look at the  election system in Wales a start would be to introduce STV at local elections as has been done in Scotland.

Monday, 25 April 2011

That will teach me to misquote Harold Wilson.

Only a hour  after I last posted on the Welsh Assembly campaign for the Pontypriddd Constituency (below). I was amased to see that  Libdem candidate Mike (Bandwagon Powell ) ,had bees arrested and bailed, and his computer equipment and a mobile phone have been taken by police.

According to the BBC website.this is over alleged  harassment of aides to the local MP Labour Owen Smith  The report claims that.
"Welsh Labour confirmed that Allen Bevan and Gareth Mantle - aides to Labour MP Owen Smith - had complained to police, but said that they were not the only complainants".
It is understood one allegation centres around video footage of individuals being posted on the internet..
Lib Dems claimed there had been "malicious" complaints about Mr Powell, who declined to comment.

One can only  wonder if this makes any change to the intentions of the voting public it probably depends on how much it covered and one suspects that Sub judice will mean those involved will not be communicating much more on this and what play either Party makes of it.

However from this Bloggers stance it shows that I was exaggeration when I said "a year was along time in Politics" and even Harold Wilsons "A week is along time in politics" seems mild after my post yesterday it seems, Just a hour is a long time in politics,

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Sun appears to be shining on Labour in Ponty at least.

Pontypridd has as always been  safe Labour seat.Well up till  last year when the Libdem candidate Mike (Bandwagon) Powell  ran them close.

 General Election 2010:   Pontypridd
Party         Candidate             Votes        %        ±%
Labur        Owen Smith         14,220     38.8    -15.4
Lib            Mike Powell        11 ,435    31.2    +11.2
Cone        Lee Gonzalez        5,932      16.2     +4.6
 Plaid        Ioan Bellin            2,673      7.3      -3.7
UKIP       David Bevan         1,229       3.4       +0.8
SLP          Simon Parsons      456         1.2       +1.2
Christian   Donald Watson     365         1.0       +1.0
Green       John Matthews      361         1.0    
Majority  2,785 7.6
Turnout  36,671 63.0% -0.2
 Labour  hold Swing -13.

This was an impressive performance by the Libdems and Bandwagon in particular who has been nursing the constituency fo a long time  and increased his pressure on Labour from the 2007 Assembly Election making Pontpridd a marginal seat

Party       Candidate         Votes   %
 Labr      Jane Davidson    9,836  41.8
 Lib        Mike Powell       6,489  27.6
 Plaid     Richard Grigg     4,181  17.8
 Cons    Janice Charles     3,035  12.9
Majority 3,347 14.2
Turnout 23,541 41 %

But the signs are that "Bandwagon" is not going to repeat his onslaught . Labour have got their act together and as you can se in thee stronghold of Beddau have been getting their supporters showing their colours something they manifestly failed to do in the last two elections.

It's slightly deceptive, they seem to have concentrated on the main route through the Village and these are after all traditional Labour voters  but these are also people who may well have failed to vote last time.

But it looks as if Labour "We can protect you from the Con/Libdem cuts is working.though it prehaps shows a weakness in that  their attraction is that that they are not the Con/Libdem coalition.

What of the other Parties the Tories have never really campaigned in the Consistency and Plaid have somehow lost a deal of it influence here.

But they both may well actually Bbnefit from the perceived increase in Labour support.; Because if votrs find as I do Mike Bamdwagon's negative campaigning distasteful you might have been tempted to vote Labour to keep him out.

Have look on his take on the constituency on  Subordinate Central where he attacks the Labour candidate but not his Polcies and makes the usual claim that he is an outsider.whilst also making a veiled attack on Mick Antoniw's integrity.

Bamdwagon is also responsible for one of the most dubious Bar charts ever produced by the LIbdems his campaign last year.

So I expect Labour to win comfortably and the only real interest is who will came second. A year is certainly a long time in politics.

Assembly Election 2011: Pontypridd
Party        Candidate
Labour    Mick Antoniw
Libdem    Mike Powell
 Cons      Joel James
 Plaid      Ioan Bellin
 Ind        Ken Owens

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Greens show why we should have STV in Wales.

The Greens have produced their best (or worst) leaflet I've seen from them for the Assembly Election..

Best because it's professional and Bilingual (I suppose the Welsh is accurate) and well laid out.

Worst because they resort to negatice campaigning.


As you can see they are pointing out  that Labour because of the amount pf constituencies they will win in South Wales Central they are unlikely to win a "Top Up" on the Regional List and  the Greens then claim that it is a wasted vote. They can't claim this of the other "main" parties as Plaid, Conservatives and Libdem will all probably need a "Top up".

Hang on a minute! I was under the impression that the reason for the Regional  list,was to Top up the vote of Parties that have fought constituencies and have not received the number of seats that the percentage of votes under PR  would have entitled them.

So although I would welcome the election of a Green AM, it seems to me wrong that a Party that does not contest Constituencies  should only stand in the regional list and then argue for another Parties top up votes  in the way the Greens are doing .

It all means that they can fight relatively cheap elections and if they do not include the name of candidates on the leaflets can print them weeks before the election (probably cheaper) and not worry that a candidate may die or resign before the election nominations are in.

But although they are more professional they seem to have  joined in the Bar Graph "we can win here" game although they seem to have mixed up the labels on the small.Bar Graph they show above .

The reality is that if a Green or UKIP member is elected to the Assembly it will not be in the true spirit of the idea of the "Top Up" and is another argument that as in Northern Ireland elections for the assembly should be under STV, in which  the Greens can win seats on a more legitimate basis.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Peter Black meets Alex Ferguson.

It sometimes seems professional politicians are like Football managers, they always see fouls and offsides by the opposing side, but never see those of their own side. Or if the video evidence its obvious, then they claim the oppositions tactics are worse.

In my last Post I accused Peter Black of having the " effrontery to use a column . in the Wales on Sunday to attack Labour for Negative campaigning".

Peter commented on this  that he was referring to  Labour's Hypocrisy in denying that they took part in Negative campaigning.

So in his latest blog in which he points us to a very dubious Tory leaflet, in which they produce a Bar Chart that is so misleading they would be accused of false advertising if they were a commercial company,  he covers himself from a similar charge by writing...
"I am more than content to admit that one or two Liberal Democrat bar charts have been a bit suspect in the past but even I was shocked by this one. It has appeared on a Conservative leaflet in Swansea West. This is especially so after receiving a lecture via twitter from the former Welsh Conservative AM for South Wales Central, Andrew R.T. Davies about how awful my party is in this regard. It seems that we cannot compete with the Welsh Tories".

Almost a year ago to this day ,one of my first Blogs was on "Those Little Libdem Bar Charts"  with a reference to one that  the Libdems placed on a leaflet for the UK General Election for  Pontypridd  based on a Community Council By-election result in which only 614 people had voted.

I'm afraid.That if the Tories are producing "Dodgy Bar charts" (An clearly they are in Swansea West) they still are learning from their new coalition partners.

Pointing out that someone else  has done wrong by trying to say "It's worse than what we did "  does not excuse you.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Watching the watchers,

The good people at Subordinate Centre have been entertaining us on a regular basis by their waste watchers column they are now on day 13 One can only wonder how long they can keep it up and relevant with out getting to the level of questioning the number of paper clips used at the Assembly?.

To be fair they haveat times  actually a exposed a lot of waste at  the Assembly but much of it is small in comparison with Westminster Departments and one one wonders if the good people at Subordinate Centre can turn their eyes to these departments perhaps even ones run by their LIbdem Westminster colleagues in the coalition.

The disclosure do show that the Libdems in the Assembly probably have the best research department in the assembly and certainly this has helped La Pasionaria over the last difficult year , with her successful attacks on the way the NHS is run in Wales and it could be argued that it would be a pity to lose such a team if the Libdems do exceptionally badly in the forthcoming poll in Wales.

The trouble is that the Subordinate Centre revelations  reek of desperation of a Party that for the first time in memory finds its own roll in power of a legislature being criticised ,and its one thing for "a much vaunted " research group to come up with statistics to criticise the Welsh assembly government but its another to come up with policies  which will see us through the austerity measures that their colleagues at Westminster are imposing on us,

So in reality  all Subordinate centre can do is criticise (and rightly so) government waste. Though the seldom offer coherent solutions and when not commenting on waste are reduced largely to looking for the occasional  small victory granted to Nick Clegg by his Tory master

Meanwhile Peter Black has the effrontery to use a column . in the Wales on Sunday to attack Labour for Negative campaigning.

Perhaps the loss of some pretty useful researches  will be worth it, if it reduces a hypocritical, dishonest party to the numbers it really deserves to have say 3.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Labour defend "lower and middle" earning individuals and families.Not in RCT

Yesterday Leaflet was from Labour in the form of a faux Newspaper entitled Labour Herald promoting their candidate for the Pontypridd Constituency. Of course it makes great play of the Tory/Lib Dem cuts and rightly points out that these are.....

"Too much too soon and that they ’re disproportionately hitting lower and middle earning individuals and families".
Coincidentally I received my latest copy of Private Eye and in it “Rotten Boroughs"  has column points out just how much Labour in Wales are resisting the cuts.
They report on how RCT council of which Pontypridd is a part reducing the incomes of home care and nursing staff by up to 40%

In fact thousands of workers were threatened with the sack if they refused to t sign new contracts and when some did. In a gross parody of Neil Kinnock's speech

"and you end in the grotesque chaos of a Labour council – a Labour council! – hiring taxis to scuttle round a city handing out redundancy notices to its own workers".
RCT sent HR of officers late at night in order to bully reluctant staff to sign new contracts .

Meanwhile Chief Executive Keith Griffiths took home £180000 pay and expenses in the year 2009-2010 a 6% increase .
And Labour Leader Russell Roberts Received

£56,619 Plus for his role and

$20,092 Plus for Chairing the South Wales Police Authority and

$42,282 Plus as interim chair of Cwm Taf Health trust.

A similar story of Labour defending “hitting lower and middle earning individuals and families”. Can be told of the other Labour controlled council in Wales Neath Port Talbot.

This is the Party who main message this election is "Let us run the Assembly and we will fight for you against the Con/Libdem government in Westminster" despite the evidence of RCT and Neath Port Talbot.

At a recent rally in Pontypridd against the cuts Union members condemned RCT council. But the only political figure allowed to address the rally was Mick Antoniw . Nowhere in his speech did he condemn the actions of RCT council.The Unions still show loyality to Labour even when they are condming them. The idea that they can seperate the Part at local council level and National Assembly is not on.

From ther the Unions tat the rally he rhetoric was there but I can’t help thinking that if RCT was still a Plaid controlled council and they had tried to issue such cuts in the condition of the workers  unions like the GMB would be more aggressive.

And perhaps this shown that the address of Pontypridd Constituency party is GMB house Morgan street Pontypridd.

The actions of Labour in RCT show that their claims to fight for Wales and Welsh workers is just smoke. They do not deserve our support and they do not deserve to get our votes just  because we despise the Con/Lib cuts.

Conservative Libdem and Labour are all the same. They only cae for "Middle England" and the rest of us can go hang.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

UKIP go for White vote

Two leaflets for the South Wales Central Regional list Today .

First UKIP.

Like Labour no list of candidates and can the emphasis on voting  the "White" ballot paper from a party that makes a strong anti-immigration stance on the leaflet be intentional? If it is its sick.

Apart from a few sentences in Welsh , English only . Makes very few specific policy on Welsh matters but what do you expect.

Then there's the Conservatives  complete list of candidates Photo fitted around David Cameron so no place for Nick Bourne

Although it has some Welsh Language on it its not bilingual as the Welsh part deals with different polices Do they think Welsh speakers will approve of something Monoglot English speakers wouldn't?
The part on the NHS shows a remarkable gumption though but the rest of the leaflet has very little to do with future Assembly policies and more with  promoting the fact that the candidates have done something for charities. I suppose its Cameron's Big Society

So two leaflets with little emphasis on Policy for the Assembly  one trying  for the disgruntled vote and one saying vote for us because we play in a charity football team.Not much vision here.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Where are the LibDem votes going?

It seems that the Libdems and Wales Home may be working on the Julian Calendar because this article by LibDem candidate Ed Towesend should have gone out on April 1st.

Nice try Ed but it is much more likely  that the Libdem are in for a hammering on May 5th, and it also seems that the majority of voters lost  will be  returning to Labour . In this we seem to have a similar repeat of  1987 and 1992  UK elections with the demise of the Lib-SDP alliance where the majority of votes lost in 1983 returned to Labour.

Votes in Wales for General Election

Party   1983                 1987                     1992
Lab      39.5                  45.1                       49.5
Con      31.0                 29.5                       28.6
Lib/All   23.2                17.9                      12.4
Plaid      7.8                  7.3                         9.0

It does seem that when people change from Labour to Libdem then they eventually go back and other parties do not benefit.  Indeed it seems for party like Plaid it the core working class  Labour vote that they must seek to attract and the idea that those who deserted Labour in Pontypridd, Methyr, Wrexham and Newport East  for instance are left leaning people with a conscious may well be mistaken and that they are more likely to be those who are swayed by the media attacks on that Party. For if they were so wooried about Labours swing to the right  then they would have surely done so in the Blair years.

What ever the case it does seem from the opinion poll in Cerdigion run by Aber students   that the Libdem  swing vote seems to be going almost wholly to Labour .However  Plaid's Elin Jones should benefit from this.

 Nevertheless the campaign has only just official started and Plaid should receive a boost from the fact that people will realise this is a Welsh electin and not for Westminster. As happened in 2007 where the first ITV poll showed Plaid well behind the Tories.

Monday, 11 April 2011

So Who's Standing?

First Leaflet I had for the Assembly campaign .as you can see it's for Labours South Wales Central regional list.

First thing to say is that it's fully Bilingua,l so congratulations there.

The context is rather sparse on proposals (We did vote for Law making powers last Month so where are they?

And there is the "We will stand up for Wales against the Tory cuts (No mention of possible Lib-dem coalition  partners though).

But the most curious thing about the leaflet is he absence of the names of the candidates on the South Wales Central regional list.
As the names of the candidates will not be displayed on the ballot paper surely the parties should should let us now on their Literature?

Labour are unlikely to need the "Top Up" from the South Wales Central list but it's a poor show.

 For your information heres the list according to the Welsh Labour website. which has to its credit again has greatly improved it's Bilingual presence).

South Wales Central #1
Jayne Brencher

South Wales Central #2
Craig Jones

South Wales Central #3
Alex Thomas

South Wales Central #4
John Drysdale

Friday, 8 April 2011

Can a NO vote save the NHS in England?

It seems the Conlib  (Oh alright  Tory) proposals for the NHS in England are in trouble firstly the Libdems voice considerable opposition at their Spring conference and Nick Clegg has expressed that he would like to reform the proposals , which would see primary care trusts abolished and GP's handed responsibility for commissioning health services.

This has led to to Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary announcing that the  NHS are to be delayed to allow "more time for consultation",.

Of course we in Wales are not immediately threated by these "reforms" but be in no doubt that if they go through then Westminster due to the fact that they control the purse strings will put pressure on the governments in the devolved legislatures to copy these measures.

However I believe Lansley plans may change somewhat after May.

There can be no doubt that the Libdems are in for a drubbing on May 5th  in the local elections in England and Welsh and Scottish votes .

So there will be much disgruntlement amongst members of the Party after that date, and calls to quit the coalition. but if the AV referendum was lost then one of the main reasons for joining the Tories in Government will be removed.

So David Cameron will need to throw Nick Clegg a bone  and that could well be scrapping the controversial plans for NHS changes in England  thereby given Clegg a  popular victory.

I am not advocating a NO vote (the loss of Libdem seats may well be enough) I advocate a different method which you can see on the right.  but these proposals are a idealogical step to privatising the NHS throughout the UK and if they are scrapped after May 5th then Nick Clegg can have his moment of  glory and public appreciation  he certainly will not get many in  the next four years.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011


 L. Cassius ille quem populus Romanus verissimum et sapientissimum iudicem putabat identidem in causis quaerere solebat 'cui bono' fuisset.
The famous Lucius Cassius, whom the Roman people used to regard as a very honest and wise judge, was in the habit of asking, time and again, 'To whose benefit?
 Marcus Tullius Cicero,

Cui bono (Who Benefits)  is a Latin adage that is used either to suggest a hidden motive or to indicate that the party responsible for something may not be who it appears at first to be. It seems that this question should be asked over the "Dirty Tricks" argument over the Internet leaflet that seems tp have first appeared on the excellent Blogmenai Though he was not responsible for it and only commented. He gives a full explanation on how he obtained this on a latter Blog Though if like me your Welsh is not up to this you may need google translate.

 This is what Chris Bryant MP was referring to when he used . Parliamentary protection to make a attack k on the Plaid leader,  Ieuan WynJones Claiming that the leaflet originated in his office. This as led to counter accusations from Plaid that it is Labour who playing dirty tricks and that they are trying to lump Plaid with the unpopular (In Wales anyway) Conlibdem coalition . So who are the culprits? Cui Bono Who Benefits?

Unlikely. to be  Plaid there is no sense in them being even remotely associated with the ConLibdem Coalition  and would they really  be promoting  people to vote Conservatives in Clwyd West?  a seat they have at least some sight on. And surely Plaid would not be too unhappy to see the Libdems reduced in the Assembly and reducing competition from disenchanted Labour supporters.

Similarly the Tories would surely not  be advocating voting Plaid in Conwy or Carmarthen West or Libdem in Maldwyn  and Brecon and Radnor?. seats they would love to win.

So the only Party who would seem to Benefit from such a tactic advocated in the online leaflet and the United Welsh website (which does not seem to exist anymore)here coupled with Labour and Plaid throwing accusations at each other would be the Libdems who will are desperate to avoid meltdown in Wales.

But of course they are the most decent and Honest party in Wales and to never descend to the Political tricks of other parties so it couldn't be them could it?.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Back to "The English Problem". (The case of Team GB)

I have recently  written on this Blog on the "The English Problem" ,and how I believe this should replace the term the "West Lothian Question" when looking at the effects of Devolution, and the natural feeling amongst people in England, that they are suffering from a democratic deficit, in thatthe Celts can make laws for Wales,Scotland &Northern Ireland in their legislatures and still vote on laws which only affect England.

This a problem which must be addressed:But if it the solution as some propose  an "English Parliament"  then those backing it must realise that will be a partner in the UK and not the sole voice.

In an article in todays Independent on Sunday (IOS) Paul Newman writes an article entitled "Celts fail to embrace spirit of the Games"  inadvertently shows us the difficulties of Federal Union of Equals.

In this he attacks the F A's  of   Wales,Scotland and Northern Ireland for not supporting the creation of a combined GB for the under 23 soccer  team for the 2012 Olympics. To his credit he does write that.

"Maybe football should not be a part of the Games – a personal view is that they should feature only those sports for which the Olympics is the pinnacle – but at least football has come up with a format that differentiates it from other competitions, even if the presence of three over-age players in a tournament for under-23 players somewhat defeats the object". 

So he is not guilty of misleading people by omission (as many of his London colleagues have ) in that this would be international competition.  and we would see the International Stars playing. (and how many other Olympic sports have an age limit?) but he fails to appreciate real problem that such a precedent  could lead to . He may dismisss the notion that the sides would eventually  be forced by FIFA to combine permanently at all levels and he cant see the arrogance of the English FA in saying they will provide a side regardless of the views of the other Home Nations.

And that is the real problem the English FA clearly feel that the other governing bodies are not their equals and that they can make such a decision to side an English side as Team GB  and invite players from the other countries to play in their so called GB side regardless of the stance of their governing bodies.

And this is the problem with Federalism. It would only work if an English Parliament were to acknowledge it was on the same par as the other devolved powers which may happen but would take time and the English FA example shows that there would be reluctance. Though perhaps the very nature of creating a English parliament might leds to an acceptance of such a position

Perhaps the answer would beto devolve power within England, but. Is sense the mood in England is more towards  a Parliament. (Except in Cornwall of course).

But as Newman has shown whether the rights or wrongs of a Team GB under 23 team for 2012 the voice of England whilst it must be heard is not the only one that should be listen to.