Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Wales has no influence over Brexit .

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies has  call for a  Brexit minister to  be appointed to put Wales' interests "at the centre" of negotiations is one that I agree with.
But coming from someone who seems to be sidelined but by his party at Westminster whilst his equivalent Ruth Davidson in Scotland has been feted  at Westminster and even sitting in on Cabinet meetings it seems a bit ridiculous  for him to criticise others.
Mr Davies said the first minister could not handle the "biggest constitutional challenge of our time" alone.
He said the Welsh Government should be reconfigured to give "strong and constructive representation" to UK ministers on EU negotiations.
The Welsh Government said Carwyn Jones was "best placed to lead on Brexit".
Mr Davies pointed to an assembly committee report criticising the Welsh Government for a lack of contact with Irish ministers to discuss the likely impact of Brexit on ports.
He said,
"More than 400 days after Wales voted to leave the EU, Wales remains without a Brexit ministry, unlike its counterparts in Scotland and Westminster,"
"In order to ensure that Wales' national interests stay at the centre of Brexit negotiations, we need a department led by an experienced minister solely dedicated to this process.
"It's a job too big for one man alone and there's a real danger that in trying to juggle domestic issues with the biggest constitutional challenge of our time, the first minister will allow one or both of these responsibilities to flounder.
"A Welsh minister for Brexit could deliver strong and constructive representation to the UK government and facilitate better working with the devolved nations - not barrack idly from the sidelines as the first minister has so far contented himself to do."
A Welsh goverment claimed the "main barrier" to effective joint working was the "unwillingness" of the UK government to call any meetings of the JMC since February or "consult properly with us on key issues".
The spokesman urged Mr Davies to stop "barracking at the Welsh Government from the sidelines" and put pressure on his Conservative colleagues in Westminster to "live up to their undertaking to agree their approach to the Brexit negotiations with the devolved administrations".
With the Conservatives all at sea with their  negotiations calling for a  to establish a "temporary customs union" after it leaves the EU in March 2019. During this period it would also expect to be able to negotiate its own international trade deals, which it cannot currently do as a customs union member.
Labour don't seem to have any real plans of their own , with party leader Jeremy Corbyn favouring Mrs May Hard Brexit, the major parties are leading us down a Blind Alley where the likes of Donald Trump are waiting to mug us.
The Liberal Democrats seem to be relying on a call for a second referendum to stop Brexit altogether and hoping that this will result in a rise in the polls.

Plaid and the SNP may be campaigning for a much softer Brexit with a Custom Union  and Free movement  but unless there's a major break in the Tory and Labour ranks  then the result will be a Hard Brexit  with Europe tiring of the Tories attempt to have their cake it and eat it and saying "there's the door close it after you".

The truth is that we in Wales have no influence on the Tories/Labour Hard Brexit but surely we need leadership in Wales over our future after Brexit and how we can at least lessen the economic catastrophe that awaits us.

For me it will be a speedy move to Independence and Wales alongside Scotland rejoining  the EU.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

BBC-Ukip Shit Stirring?

The other day I posed the questions
"You wonder at times whether the Media try and create a bandwagon especially when it comes to politics."
There certainly  seems to be a move to give credence to speculation which seems to have started in the Llandaff Studios

Why for instance have the Beeb  given space to a ridiculous call Plaid Cymru should "come together" with UKIP to "take Wales forward", according to Neil Hamilton.
UKIP's assembly group leader accused Plaid of not being a real opposition party but "Labour's lapdog".
 Mr Hamilton called for Plaid to appoint a leader willing to work with UKIP.
The AM for Mid and West Wales said he was responding to suggestions by Plaid's Rhun ap Iorwerth that it would go into coalition with Labour in the future if circumstances allowed.
Mr ap Iorwerth said on Tuesday he would consider standing as Plaid leader, if Leanne Wood were to step down.

Mr Hamilton blasted Mr ap Iorwerth and Ms Wood, saying:

 "Plaid will never progress under these faint hearts.
"They need a red-blooded leader like Adam Price or Neil McEvoy, both of whom are very effective AMs, hungry to break the cosy Cardiff Bay consensus."
Mr Hamilton added that
 "as a real nationalist party", UKIP would be "pleased to work with Plaid Cymru to take Wales forward".
Ukip is an English Nationalist Party for Christ sake  it has not  eally accepted Welsh Devolution and would happily see Wales absorbed into England its values are nothing like the Civic Nationalism of Plaid or the SNP 
He said Mr McEvoy recognised Labour had 
"failed Wales' working class".
"Real opposition means more than timid tub-thumping," he added.
"Opposition parties should come together to smash the tired and corrupt consensus which has turned Wales into the poorest part of the UK."
Former Tory MP Hamilton has never had the interest  of either the Welsh Working Class or Wales in general, his Party have no interest in the future of Wales as a Nation and will disappear after the next Welsh Election.

In response, Ms Wood tweeted
"Plaid Cymru is the home for all who are fed up with Labour misrule and want change".
She described Mr Hamilton's comments as a "dead cat deflection" from his own party's ongoing leadership issues.
There may be times when Plaid will vote with Ukip after all the latter is a populist party and who will come up with polices that will read well with the electorate even if they don't actually believe in it.
Expect Ukip to call for strengthen the Welsh Language Commission in the future.
But to oppose a government for the sake of opposition rather than scrutiny  is not the answer , It is the policy of Labour in Scotland who sometimes oppose the Scottish Government policy on Tuition fees and free prescription charges just because they are not in government.
Maybe its a mistake for me to give Legs to what is a BBC Wales-Ukip shit stirring exercise, but we need to ask why the BBC in Llandaff seem intent on creating speculation on the future of the Plaid Leader , they are there to report on the News not making it.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Trump and Farage have let the Nazi Genie out of the bottle.

Nigel Farage was among those giving his opinion on a far-right rally in the US city of Charlottesville - but his tweet did not exactly go down well.

The rally descended into violence after neo-Nazis, white supremacists and members of the Ku Klux Klan clashed with anti-fascist protestors.

Cannot believe we're seeing Nazi salutes in 21st century America.

I cannot believe that you can try to disassociate yourself from something you had such a strong hand in. Your rhetoric has contributed.

Others also saw through Farage's hypoctisy 

Replying to

Are you f*cking kidding me? This must be a joke, surely.

Left: Nigel Farage Right: Nigel Farage It doesn't start with Nazi salutes.

It follows criticism of the  the US President he President was criticised in the wake of deadly violence at a far-right rally for blaming "many sides" for the unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia, and not explicitly condemning the white extremist groups.

The president said he condemned “hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides” on Saturday. He then repeated the phrase “on many sides” for emphasis

The rally was held to condemn a decision by the city to remove a statue of General Robert E Lee, a Confederate commander during the Civil War.
It was met by counter-protesters and events quickly turned ugly, with mass brawls breaking out between them and anti-fascists.
The violence left one person dead and dozens more injured.

Democrats and Republicans said the President should denounce hate groups by name.
The city's mayor, Democrat Mike Signer, said he blamed Mr Trump for inflaming racial prejudices during his successful campaign for the White House, while Colorado Republican senator Cory Gardner said the President "must call evil by its name".
The critical voices included former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, who told ABC News Mr Trump should have been "much harsher" in his response to the violence.
In response to the criticism, the White House said in a statement: "The President said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry, and hatred, and of course that includes white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazi, and all extremist groups."He called for national unity and bringing all Americans together.

The truth is that both Farage and Trump received support from the Neo Nazi in  Charlottesville.

Just as in the US where Trump rhetoric has led to these White-Separatists  to beleive  that their Man is in the White house. The sought of campaign over immigration  that resulted in Farage standing in front of the above voters has led to a beleif in the UK that racisist are now free not only to express their opinions  and to attack people.

Both heleped letting the Genie out of the bottle Farage's disbelif in the use of Nazi salutes from some the sort of people who cheered him when he endorsed Trump during the Presidential campaign  his either hypocritical or naive and  who could ever call Nigel naive?

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Julian Ruck is an "Author" but does anybody read him?

This Blog has never made a claim for Literary  Genius and has accepted criticism of the numerous typos , spelling mistakes and shall we say curios Grammar.

So perhaps its not for me to Anti-Cymraeg campaigner Julian Ruck claim to be an author of merit.

But from this example I'm sure others will make a judgement

His literary genius seemed to have bypassed uses of Amazon  whom seem to be offering his works for less than a penny

Indeed one wonder if Julian Jewels critique of Mr Ruck's work makes more money for Amazon rather than the works of the great man himself.

The great man may actually have enjoyed a boost as with the recent publicity people may consider buying one of the many books he churns out to see just what contribution to English literature , he is making.

On the basis of the above which Caroline Hitt of Wales online  provided a sample on Twitter , i don't think I bother.

Indeed my sympathy is with her if in the course of her work she was forced to actually read such rot.


Saturday, 12 August 2017

Why doesn't Brexit affect how we vote?

UK Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable may well be right in saying that Labour is directly contradicting Welsh Labour on Brexit, but does it register with voters?
Visiting Cardiff as part of a tour meeting party members, he said First Minister Carwyn Jones and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn "are effectively in different parties" on the issue.
Sir Vince told BBC Wales:
 "At a UK level Jeremy Corbyn is working hands and glove with the May government in order to secure a hard Brexit, not just a Brexit but leaving the customs union, single market, all of those very good things."I'm aware that the Welsh Labour party is singing from a completely different tune but that is seriously dissonant. People are looking for some consistency."They know that the Liberal Democrats in Wales and at a UK level are completely clear and consistent that our future lies with Europe and minimising the damage from the Brexit."He said Welsh Labour's position "may make sense internally within their own group but at a UK level their own party is directly contradicting what they are doing."Carwyn Jones can distance himself as far as he likes from Jeremy Corbyn but they are effectively in different parties and I think the public can see through that
But it is clear if they do then they  don't seem to care.

Indeed Brexit doesn't seem to be affecting how people vote 

The Welsh Liberal Democrats along with the rest of the UK party had campaigned for Remain at the EU referendum, where Wales voted to leave the EU and have had high hopes as portraying themselves as the still Pro EU would see Remainers rallying around them

But they didn't they lost their last Welsh MP in may despite this tactic of claiming Plaid were in favour of Hard Brexit in a leaflet delivered in Ceridigion. 

A Tactic that backfired as they were exposed as being dishonest.

Indeed although the Tories hoped that May's election would be all about Brexit that to backfired and it seems other issues  were in peoples minds as they entered the polling Booths.

I am not saying this a good thing far from it and it may be that Labour failure to  vigorously fight a Hard Brexit has contributed  to the seeming acceptance no matter how reluctant of a Hard Brexit as inevitable.

To what extent Jeremy Corbyn is actually collaborating with the Tories to ensure a Hard Brexit is uncertain.

I suspect he is merely stifling the Remainers in his Parliamentary party who unfortunately suffer from being labelled as Blarites   and thinks that he will be swept into power as  the Tories are seen to be increasingly incompetent.

I honestly think Brexit and a hard one at that is inevitable and whilst I don't think we should give up the fight . We should be preparing for a future  of a Wales outside the EU frighting as it seems.

Some may think this will make the case for Independence clearer but i suspect it will give even more credence that Wales is too poor for Independence.

An argument I have always rejected but who listens to me.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Newsnight Anti-Cymraeg crap condemned throughout Wales/

The BBC has said it "regrets" an item on its Newsnight programme that asked whether the Welsh language was a "help or hindrance to the nation".
The broadcaster had been urged to apologise after Wednesday's programme.
Welsh Language Minister Alun Davies said the BBC had a "cultural problem" in London and a "serious question" needed to be asked.
Campaigners want an independent review to look at all BBC content containing a reference to the Welsh language.
A BBC spokesman said:
 "Whilst different perspectives were included in this item on the Welsh language, the discussion of such an important subject would have benefited from more thorough analysis and debate."We regret that, but believe it was important to look at this topic and we will do so again in the future."
When the Wasting Mule points pit the inadequacy of the program you know how bad it is

Martin Shipton writes

BBC’s Newsnight programme is much diminished since the departure of Jeremy Paxman, but its item on the Welsh language may have been a new nadir.
Instead of a nuanced debate about a culturally sensitive subject, the debate on Wednesday night's programme was a wholly inadequate and insensitive offering that fell below the standard we have a right to expect from the national broadcaster.
Presenter Evan Davis was unsure of his ground, and failed to challenge the anti-Welsh-language novelist Julian Ruck who has ranted against the language on his website and in newspaper columns for years.
He should have been picked up when he appeared to suggest that private sector companies currently have a legal obligation to spend vast sums of money promoting the language (they don’t).
Ruck was also allowed to suggest that pupils leaving Welsh-medium schools were unable to speak Welsh. This is simply not true
He was also unchallenged by Davis when he argued crassly that paying for the NHS is more important than the Welsh language, as if there aren’t Welsh speakers who want to be treated through the medium of Welsh.
It was also unfair to make a non-Welsh speaker defend the language. Ruth Dawson, the Wales editor of The Conversation website, is not best equipped to explain the cultural importance of Welsh, and lacked authority in seeking to do so.
 Astonishingly, it seems that the Newsnight team did not even bother to contact BBC Wales for advice on how to do the item. If they had done so, they may have had a grasp of the subject and avoided making fools of themselves.It’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that what was broadcast was an example of arrogant, England-based programme-makers showing an enormous lack of respect to Wales and its language.
Shame on them – and let’s hope the BBC hierarchy makes sure nothing like this happens again.
 There is even unprecedented criticism from within the BBC

BBC Wales arts and media correspondent Huw Thomas wrote 

How Wales is portrayed by the BBC was already a hot topic before Newsnight aired its contentious debate.
In the hours before its broadcast, a panel of industry experts at the National Eisteddfod had debated the need to improve the way Wales and the Welsh language is covered by UK-wide television programmes.
But while the focus had been on the positive steps being taken by the BBC to improve its coverage, much of the goodwill seemed to unravel when the Newsnight titles rolled.
The social media reaction has been furious, a petition is fast gathering signatures, and politicians are calling for apologies.
But many questions remain, among them: Why begin with a headline that talked of the "hindrance" of the language? Why cast two guests who do not speak Welsh to debate the merits of the language?
And with the BBC currently operating its largest outside broadcast after Wimbledon and Glastonbury at the eisteddfod, why did Newsnight not use this platform and its resources to conduct a more considered discussion?

Possibly the best contribution came from Professor Laura McAllister Wales Governance Centre, you can read it in the whole here.

On reflection, and from personal experience, I’ve concluded that most coverage can be traced back to one of two imperatives. The first, a “need” to do something on Wales (probably originating in some W1A style nations and regions memo along the lines, “Rupert, apparently there’s some wacky festival going on in that place the size of Wales where they dress up in nightgowns and brandish swords whilst dancing in clogs. Get one of our juniors to ring my pal, Geraint in Cardiff who was at Oxford with me and ask him to say something vaguely interesting and short in say, 30 secs max. Don’t put much energy into it obvs as no one really gives a ff” ).
The second is much more insidious and, at times, downright nasty, spiteful and even bullying. I experienced this directly in that fabulous summer of football last year when Wales reached the semi finals of the UEFA European Championships, in doing so defying pre-tournament predictions and, of progressing furthest of all of the home nations and the Republic of Ireland. Admittedly, I have a pretty wide selection to chose from in terms of the most patronising bids that came my way from network broadcasters. One (who shall remain nameless) asked how people in Wales could possibly afford to get to France for the semi final. Another asked how football had managed to thrive in Wales given everyone-yes, everyone- plays rugby. One asked if any of our players was a “nationalist”. Meanwhile, the bile of the press focused on the fact that some of Wales’s Euros stars like captain Ashley Williams, Hal Robson Kanu and Sam Vokes, had been born in England. This one is an interesting one as it captures a dominant theme that was also reflected in last night’s Newsnight piece, namely that Wales, and things Welsh, only matter in relation to England and its own interests and identity.

I would like to  say that maybe  Newsnight  may have done us a favour in uniting much of Wales against such inept coverage.

Alas I doubt it the "Ruperts " that Ms McAllister refers to exist throughout the London Media and even in our own Welsh Media .

If only the Welsh Government could appoint some sort of Commissioner  who could respond to attacks on the Welsh Language? Oh wait!

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Are the BBC trying to select a Plaid leader?

You wonder at times whether the Media try and create a bandwagon especially when it comes to politics

On Tuesday the BBC  reported that Ynys Mon AM Rhun ap Iorwerth said he would consider standing for the party's leadership if Leanne Wood were to step down.

 He made the comments during a Radio Cymru discussion at the National Eisteddfod on Anglesey.

But the Ynys Mon AM insisted he had no immediate ambitions to be leader - and there is currently no vacancy.
The AM added his party should again consider a coalition with Labour in the assembly if circumstances allow.
But he said now was not the right time.
Why this can be sen as a challenge to Leanne is beyond me .
It is the equivalent of a Welsh Rugby International saying he would like to Captain Wales someday.
But of course the Beeb didn't leave it there 
A different Plaid AM, who did not want to be named, said:
 "The party needs a leadership contest.
"The election result under Leanne was disappointing. If we are going to move the party forward its time for Leanne to step down.
"She has lost authority in the group and no longer has any control over what the group does."
I have no respect for anybody  who hasn't the courage to make such a statement  but it is clearly not Plaid Cymru AM  Dai Lloyd who  has denied that the leader of the party has lost the authority of her assembly group.

Mr Lloyd, chair of the Plaid Cymru assembly group, said:

 "The anonymous claim that Leanne Wood has lost the authority of the assembly group is simply not true.
"In the several group meetings since the Westminster election the issue of leadership has not been raised, and the assembly group is clear that she remains the party's candidate for first minister."
Maybe the Anonymous AM is in a group of one.

But lets face it  would any Plaid leader  have  managed to increase the Plaid vote last May considering  the sudden surge in support of Corbyn?

Replacing the leader  with Rhun ap Iorwerth or Adam Price will not change things and could lead to either failing to win in the next Assembly elections and another call for a replacement and probably see them not standing for the assembly again.

Ultimately Plaid Wales could not afford  to lose Leanne, Rhun or Adam  from the Assembly.

We must accept that with little Welsh Media (and what that is hostile)  it is hard to fight the coverage given to the Unionist Parties and their ample war-chests.

I doubt very much if Plaid would have increased their vote in May under a different leader and clearly  Leanne  has probably the highest profile on a UK basis of any Plaid leader ever.

The party certainly shouldn't  let the Unionist Media like the BBC dictate or select  who the leader should be.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Welsh language commissioner role to be scrapped

With some interesting timing the Welsh language minister Alun Davies job of Welsh language commissioner is to be scrapped as ministers try to hit an ambitious target of one million Welsh speakers by 2050.
Ministers are to take over decisions on what language rules, or "standards", apply to which organisations, politicising the role
Mr Davies said he wanted to make the system as efficient as possible.
"We want to refocus our efforts on promotion and make changes to the way the Welsh Language Standards system works to make sure it is as efficient and effective as possible in giving people rights to use Welsh," said Mr Davies.
"I believe the Welsh Language Commission will be a powerhouse for achieving both these aims."
According to the BBC
Instead of a single figure-head, the Welsh Government wants to create a Welsh Language Commission to promote the language.
The commission would remain responsible for policing the system.
The changes are the Welsh Government's preferred options in proposals for new legislation outlined in a White Paper launched at the National Eisteddfod on Wednesday.
Any shake-up would need to be approved by AMs before becoming law.
The changes to the commissioner's role are likely to be amongst the most controversial.
 Manon Elin, from Cymdeithas yr Iaith, said: 

"We cannot allow rights to the language to be weakened, nor the powers available to make sure bodies comply with the standards."Indeed, we would campaign against a new bill if it tried to reduce the feeble powers that currently exist."
 The current commissioner, Meri Huws, has been in post since the job was created in 2012.
Earlier this week she launched an investigation into claims retailer Sports Direct had instructed staff to converse in English only. and this Blog queried  whether she had sufficient powers and  resources to bring about the intentions of the Welsh Language Acts.
Manon Elin, from Cymdeithas yr Iaith, said:
 "We cannot allow rights to the language to be weakened, nor the powers available to make sure bodies comply with the standards.
"Indeed, we would campaign against a new bill if it tried to reduce the feeble powers that currently exist."
The worrying thing is that under the proposed changes , how Welsh Language legislation is interperpetrated and acted on seemingly wil come under the whim of the minister.

Labour in the Assembly have proved to be more friendly to Cymraeg and its use though there still a number hostile within the "Welsh" Party.

It may not always be the case that a Welsh Government will push Welsh Language  legislation  and may event attempt to lessen it.

An Independent Commission is surely  more likely to look at Cymraeg and not be influenced by political views or prejudices.

What we need to do is strengthen the powers of the Commissioner and allow him or her to introduce sanctions and even fines of transgressors like Sports Direct.

I have long hoped that the future of the Welsh Language ceased to a political issue and all realise we are a Bilingual country and the need to expand the use of Cymraeg throughout our nation.

Handing control to Welsh Government Ministers  is not the answer.