Friday, 31 March 2017

A Tory Brexit with Tory Laws?

If I trusted the Tory Government  then  maybe the Great  Reform Bill  would be the quickest way to "return powers" to the UK, IF. 

A line by line scrutiny by both parliaments of each clause would take ages and clog up other legislation,

But tjis os the Tories we are talking about and it may be that they use the opportunity to ditch legislation they are not happy with , without parliament having a say

We could wake up the day after the UK finally after leaves, to find we have lost much of the legislation that protects our democratic and human rights/

We could even wake up without a Welsh Assembly or Scottish Parliament  or see their powers diminished  

As Peter Black points out

Over on Twitter, former Assembly Minister, Leighton Andrews poses an interesting question. He suggests that chapter four of the Brexit Great Repeal White Paper suggests unravelling all the devolution settlements.

4.4 To provide the greatest level of legal and administrative certainty upon leaving the EU, and consistent with the approach adopted more generally in legislating for the point of departure, the Government intends to replicate the current frameworks provided by EU rules through UK legislation. In parallel we will begin intensive discussions with the devolved administrations to identify where common frameworks need to be retained in the future, what these should be, and where common frameworks covering the UK are not necessary. Whilst these discussions are taking place with devolved administrations we will seek to minimise any changes to these frameworks. We will work closely with the devolved administrations to deliver an approach that works for the whole and each part of the UK.  
4.5 This will be an opportunity to determine the level best placed to take decisions on these issues, ensuring power sits closer to the people of the UK than ever before. It is the expectation of the Government that the outcome of this process will be a significant increase in the decision making power of each devolved administration.
4.6 Legislation that is within the competence of the devolved legislatures or ministers giving effect to EU law will also need to be amended as we leave the EU. We therefore propose that the Bill also gives the devolved ministers a power to amend devolved legislation to correct law that will no longer operate appropriately, in line with the power we propose should be held by UK ministers. 

At first glance  the governments claim that this could mean more powers for the devolved powers  has merit . But it also means that .the principal of "power devolved is power detained " goes out the Window and Westminster decides that any laws "repatriated" from Europe to Westminster that affects devolved issues should mean that these should no longer be devolved issues.

If the experience so far is anything to go by then the Bills promise that  "We will work closely with the devolved administrations to deliver an approach that works for the whole and each part of the UK".  Is meaningless. As our First Ministers have largely been kept in the dark and their concerns ignored.

It will take someone cleverer than me to unpick the hidden intentions in the wording of this Bill but even I can see that it gives the government and one Party the power to avoid scrutiny and leave us with a Brexit that in effect leaves us with a Tory Brexit and Tory Laws.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Neil Hamilton sums up the attitude of BREXIT backers

In someways Neil Hamilton summed up the whole attitude of Leave supporters after Brexit

Hamilton was reprimanded in the Senedd by the Presiding Officer for making a comment about "suicide" as Eluned Morgan addressed AMs.

Ukip's Assembly leader Mr Hamilton could be heard saying "suicide is an option" as Baroness Morgan told AMs that it was "a profoundly said day for the nation".

She said:
"Today is a profoundly sad day for the nation and also for our children and our children's children. Of course, those who will pay the highest price for Article 50 will be those who can least afford it."

A wave of disquiet was then heard among AMs who called on Presiding Officer Elin Jones to make Mr Hamilton apologise.
Neil Hamilton

Presiding Officer Elin Jones repeatedly asked Mr Hamilton to say sorry for the remark.

However such is the Smarmy Gits nature, he doesn't see he had done nothing wrong
"What is there to apologise for?"

"What was unparliamentary about the remark?"

"What was unparliamentary about the remark?"

Eluned Morgan said that she would have liked an apology as well but the Presiding Office ruled that she had accepted Neil Hamilton's apology on her behalf.
You can see see the  incident here 

Hamilton attitude has been all to common on those who supported Leave/

It has been

"You lost get over it"

"It's the will of the people"

From Prime Minister  Theresa  May down  (and remember she backed REMAIN) it has been we are going through with this and if you still have concerns.

There has been no attempt to reach out to the  48.1% (almost half of those who voted) in the UK  who voted REMAIN .

Despite promises the governments and legislatures  devolved Nations (and Scotland  voted 625 REMAIN) have been kept in the dark.

The whole BREXIT campaign has allowed the Racist bullies and right wing British Nationalists  to vent their spleen.

For years in these Islands just as in Trumps America the bigots who have been seething over years of equality progress are crawling out of the woodwork.

The UK may not have been the most liberal state in the EU  but the indications are that those who support progressive ideals may have to spend our time defending what we won rather pushing them forward.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Pretty Tame Rebel really.

A Welsh Labour MP has used her autobiography to launch a furious attack on the Welsh Government.
Ms Clwyd has been an outspoken critic of the Labour-led Welsh Government’s management of the NHS in Wales ever since she was appalled at the care her husband received in the University of Wales Hospital Cardiff before his death.
In her memoirs, entitled Rebel With a Cause, she writes that has been “bitterly disappointed” by her own party’s performance in government since the National Assembly was launched in 1999.

Ms Clwyd, who represents Cynon Valley, writes: 

“To say the reality of a Welsh Assembly did not live up to my expectations is understating the case. I feel bitterly disappointed and let down by an institution I campaigned so passionately for.
“No one is prouder of their Welsh heritage than I am, but I can recognise our weaknesses as well as our strengths.
“One of our greatest weaknesses as a nation is the giant chip that we carry on our shoulder, a symptom of the centuries of being a poor relation to England.
Our weakness is accepting this position and not seeking to end the Union  and becoming  an Independent Nation.

She continues.
 “As a result, we view any criticism, even the constructive kind, as an attack and immediately pull up the drawbridge.“Translated into institutional behaviour this becomes dangerous as it means organisations do not learn from their mistakes or the experience of others.

Ms Clwyd however seems to be confusing the failure of her Party to run the devolved legislature with Assembly Itself.

If the Assembly has failed to live up to expectations then it is the fault of her Party who have been running it since it first sat with the institution itself.

Or does she?

She continues

Given that my party has been in power at the Assembly, either outright or in coalition, since its inception, it pains me to observe that it has a poor track record. In health, education and other areas we are lagging behind the rest of Britain.
“Meanwhile the Welsh Assembly government refuses to accept people’s concerns, spending more time defending the indefensible rather than fixing what is wrong. What makes it worse is that people who genuinely care about what is happening, and speak out, are accused of betrayal if we dare to voice any
concern or criticism. ‘Go back to Westminster and leave us alone’ is the subtext.”
There is still a core of Labour's hegemony  thinking here . If Labour have failed isn't it time  for someone else to take over?

In 2012 Ms Clwyd launched an attack on the treatment of her dying husband, former TV journalist Owen Roberts, in the University of Wales Hospital in Cardiff.
Two months after his death she said her biggest regret was that she didn’t “stand in the hospital corridor and scream” in protest at the “almost callous lack of care” with which nurses treated her husband as he lay dying.
She said she feared a “normalisation of cruelty” was rife among NHS nurses and that she had chosen to speak out because this had become “commonplace”.
She described how her 6ft 2in husband lay crushed “like a battery hen” against the bars of his hospital bed with an oxygen mask so small it cut into his face and pumped cold air into his infected eye.
At the time I pointed out that in her regular surgeries Ms Clwyd must have received other harrowing stories about the running of the Welsh Assembly in Wales. I have nothing but sympathy  for her experience . But it is an experience shared by thousands of people yearly throughout the UK including the years 1999-2010 when Labour were in power in Westminster 
IMs Clwyd's book is called Rebel with a Cause I wonder of we will find what she has rebelled against  and what exactly her cause has been?
Ms Clwyd’s credentials  are tarnished , by the endorsement  of  former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who appointed her a Middle East envoy, Who said: 

“Ann is a long-standing and committed humanitarian, and one of the most compassionate and respected public servants ever to grace the House of Commons. Her tireless support of equal rights, both at home and abroad, is revealed in this lucid account of an outstanding parliamentarian and of a campaigner resolute in her values.”
Blarites and New-Labour as a form of rebellion now that's a new thought.

Ms Clwyd  represents much of what is wrong with
 Wales  a failure to realise that the Union will keep us as poor West Britons and we need to know it and her Parties Hegenomy which infiltrates all aspects of Non- Government Organisations as well as the instruments  of power here must end.  

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Welsh concerns are "tiresome" according to Tories.

When Welsh  FM Carwyn Meets Theresa May he might not have the threat of Wales leaving the Union as Nicola Sturgeon had yesterday  but he needs to decide whether he should warn the Prime Minister that there are others who are prepared  to put that argument and it will grow unless the very rel fears of the people of Wales are not addressed.
As it is Wales stands to lose more than any other part of the United Kingdom as a result of Brexit, a leading think tank has warned.
An new analysis by Demos sounds the alarm bell about the consequences for Wales of leaving the EU.
Researchers have flagged up the dangers posed by Wales’ reliance on EU funding and high level of exports to the EU.
Ironically considering that immigration was a major factor  in the reason why Wales voted for Brexit it ironic that the only risk we seem not to face is the loss of EU workers.
A spokesman for Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies said:
 "According to project fear we should be holed up in a post-apocalyptic wasteland in threadbare clothes eating tinned food by now.
"Instead of a wave of job cuts, plunging property prices and economic chaos, we've seen very clear evidence that Britain remains economically competitive and consumer confidence is high.
: "These reports are tiresome. We need our best and brightest working constructively with the prime prime minister to secure a brighter future for the UK."
The problem is Mr Davies that the Prime Minister  has shown that she is not prepared to work with anybody who doesn't   follow her Hard Brexit path.

It is time that all Polticians in Wales decide whether our interest lies in the Union which ignores our plight and needs and follow Scotland  not just  threats of lecing that Union but seeing that our future lies elsewhwre.

Monday, 27 March 2017

How many of their AM think that its time to leave UKip?

The news that Ukip’s only member of parliament, Douglas Carswell, has quit the party to become an independent MP, prompting a backlash from within Ukip and among its supporters. has led to some commentators to question whether the media should give so much air-time to the party.
Prehaps so but before we gloat we must take into account that Ukip now has no MPs in the house of commons  despite gaining 12.6 vote.
I loathe Ukip but that is clearly unfair that a party had had roughly a third of the vote of the Conservatives  elected only one MP to the latter's 331
I accept that if the Greens for instance had the same access to the news media  as UKip to the extent that I wondered if Nigel Farage had been given his own Parking Space by the BBC,
Carswell, who defected from the Conservative party to Ukip in August 2014, said he was leaving “amicably, cheerfully and in the knowledge that we won”.
He said he would not be standing down before the next general election, and claimed there was no need for a byelection because he was not joining another party. Ukip, he added, had achieved its founding aims with the vote to leave the EU. “After 24 years, we have done it. Brexit is in good hands,” he said.
Shortly after the announcement on Saturday, the Ukip leader, Paul Nuttall, said the party had not “benefited financially or organisationally from having Douglas in Westminster”.
He said
“With this in mind, his departure will make no difference to my ability or focus on delivering the reforms I promised when elected as leader.” 
Not entirely As Peter Black points out this put the other ex Conservative MP who defected to UKIP seems to work for Mr Carswell.
I am particularly intrigued as to where this leaves UKIP AM, Mark Reckless. As the Welsh Assembly's website points out, Reckless declares amongst his interests that he is a 'Part-time Director (not a company director) and Company Secretary, UKIP Parliamentary Resource Unit Limited (SO 4.3 - Band 2 - Between 5 hours and 20 hours per week). Company in receipt of House of Commons 'short money'.
Prehaps Mr Reckless own time with Ukip is limited however

A committee looking at the future of the Welsh farming sector, chaired ny  him, has said  rural communities must not lose out as a result of Brexit and access to the European single market is a "critical priority" once Britain leaves.
The recommendations of the National Assembly for Wales committee report has been 'broadly welcomed' by farmers.
Mark Reckless,as chairman of the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee, has been looking at the potential impact leaving the EU will have on the sector.
In the report Mr Reckless says: 

“For over four decades, the way in which agricultural produce is farmed, sold and financially supported has been decided primarily at a European level.“Following the referendum outcome last June, Wales now has a chance to mould those policies closer to home.“But we can only take advantage of this opportunity to reinvigorate our rural communities by ensuring that we, in Wales, do not lose out as a result of the vote to leave.“In the shorter term we have heard clear evidence that access to the Single Market place, continuation of financial support and assurances over migrant labour are critical priorities.”
 Without his seeming lucrative arrangement with Douglass Carswell, and a seeming retaliation that Mrs May's Hard Brexit  is going to be disastrous for rural communities is Mr Rekless really going to carry on line exile in Wales as an AM for a party he might find himself In agreement with  the MP he works for?

In a post on his website and an email to his constituents, Carswell said: 
It has been an extraordinary achievement. Ukip, my party, which was founded in 1993 in order to get Britain out of the European Union, has now achieved what we were established to do.
“Like many of you, I switched to Ukip because I desperately wanted us to leave the EU. Now we can be certain that that is going to happen, I have decided that I will be leaving Ukip.
So where foes this leave the rest of Ukip elected representatives? 
There are now only seven UKip members in UK legislatures,  all in Wales and where we have already seen Gill subsequently leave  the UKIP group in the assembly to sit as an independent, citing much infighting and distractions. though bizarrely  He remains a member of the party.
Just how many UKIP AMs are still in the Assembly group at the next election is a big question.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

A Federal UK would be blocked by England.

The Labour Party in Wales may be looking at what appears to be the demise of the Party in Scotland and realising that it could face a similar fate.

Neath AM has said that The time has come to lay the foundations for a “distinctly Welsh Labour party in a changing UK”, arguing the party cannot afford to ignore the challenges a Scottish exit would pose.

Mr  Miles  apparently wants Welsh Labour’s constitution updated so it is “fit for the future”.

In an article setting out his hopes for change, he said: 
“We need a debate within the party – members, local parties, trade unions, affiliates, elected representatives – to agree how we can reframe our purposes and objectives as a distinctly Welsh Labour party in a changing UK.”

“We should also reaffirm that the Welsh Labour party is not the party of the Assembly, but is also the party of our members, our councillors, and our Parliamentarians – that our MPs are in part, the custodians of the Welsh national interest in the House of Commons. And whether or not there is a distinctly Welsh view on matters of policy isn’t governed by whether that policy area happens to be devolved – it is the product of the political values of the labour movement in Wales.
“So we should also develop policy on a Welsh Labour-wide basis not just for currently devolved matters, but also on trade union rights and employment, on tax, on justice.
“A Labour Party reimagined in this way will help us secure the kind of United Kingdom we aspire to be – radically decentralised, redistributive, and strengthened in its unity as a result.”

“To state the obvious, if enough Scottish voters want Scotland to leave the United Kingdom, it will happen sooner or, more likely, later. What once seemed fanciful seems now entirely possible.
“Let’s be clear: this would be bad for the United Kingdom. Scotland makes an enormous contribution to the UK and is a strong ally in democratising the way the UK works.”

“I have long argued for a federal United Kingdom and a federal Labour party. I have always been strongly supportive of the call by Welsh labour leader Carwyn Jones for a constitutional convention.
“And it is absolutely clear, not just in the context of Brexit but also the wider debate about devolution – including devolution within England – that we need a full constitutional discussion on where power and decision-making authority should lie within the United Kingdom, including not just the responsibilities of devolved parliaments and assemblies but also looking at, for example, the composition of the House of Lords and the role of the courts in adjudicating disputes between different levels of government.
“I think we should be looking much more closely at Canadian or Australian models of federalism rather than the piecemeal and complex process of devolution to date.”
“I’m all for the f-word... This is the way that politics is going, the way that devolution has one and the parties should follow the logic [and] have a system that is as federal as possible...
“Clearly, there are differences in the four countries and the more we move towards a federal state the better.”
I do not complacently dismiss  Mr Mills thoughts any move that sees our AMs and MPs of any Political Party  expressing  a distinct Welsh is welcomed.

Of course whether the likes of Owen Smith and Nia Griffiths have believe that there is a distinct  Welsh view  beyond  who they want to win the Six Nations Championship  is a moot point.

Probably the last time virtually every Welsh MP expressed  a "Welsh View" was  In 1956, when a private bill sponsored by Liverpool City Council was brought before Parliament to develop a water reservoir from the Tryweryn Valley. The development  include dthe flooding of the village Capel Celyn. 
By obtaining authority via an Act of Parliament, Liverpool City Council did require planning consent from the relevant Welsh local authorities. This, together with the fact that the village was one of the last Welsh-only speaking communities, ensured that the proposals became deeply controversial. Thirty-five out of thirty-six Welsh Members of Parliament (MPs) opposed the bill (the other did not vote),

Over fifty years on, the views of Welsh Members of Parliament  in a Federal Parliament ,would still not count as English MPs could still outvote them.

You could have a system where at the very least the combined number of Welsh Scottish and Northern Irish MPs equalled that of English ones. Which lets face is never going to be accepted over the boarder.

You could have devolved English Regions in a Federal UK but would that also make us merely another Region akin to Yorkshire?

The problem of any Federal solution  as a response to Scotland (in particular) leaving the Union is England and I really do not see "The English Question" being answered.

I do not believe you can reform either a Unionist Party like Labour or the UK as a whole by federalism , because we would never be treated as equal partners.

Mr Mills and others are welcome to try and if given a choice over the Status Quo I would vote for it . but the only real solution is Independence,

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Why is Wales so slow in getting a distinct legal system?

Let me begin by saying I have very limited knowledge of Legal issues but I wonder why so few have?

When I was working for Customs and Excise in London in the early 90's the Library there had a copy of Robyn Lewis Welsh Legal Terms (Gomer Press 
As far as I know there has been (despite devolution) very little to expand this beyond a free dictionary on the Welsh Assembly website).

If you tried to look up Welsh Law  on the internet you will probably be directed  to English and Welsh Law and find this 

"Although devolution has accorded some degree of politicalautonomy to Wales in the National Assembly for Wales, it didnot have sovereign law-making powers until after the 2007Welsh general election when the Government of Wales Act 2006 granted powers to the Welsh Government to enact someprimary legislation. The legal system administered throughboth civil and criminal courts remains unified throughoutEngland and Wales. This is different from the situation ofNorthern Ireland, for example, which did not cease to be adistinct jurisdiction when its legislature was suspended (seeNorthern Ireland (Temporary Provisions) Act 1972).A major difference is also the use of the Welsh language, aslaws concerning it apply in Wales and not in the rest of theUnited Kingdom. The Welsh Language Act 1993 is an Act ofthe Parliament of the United Kingdom, which put the Welshlanguage on an equal footing with the English language inWales with regard to the public sector. Welsh may also bespoken in Welsh courts.Since 1967 most lawyers have referred to the legal system ofEngland and Wales as "the Laws of England and Wales"following the Welsh Language Act 1967 as may be seen bylooking at the applicable law section of most commercialagreements from these countries. Before, from 1746–1967 thiswas not necessary (see below) but may have been done quite often nonetheless".

I wonder what other devolved power has so litte control over its law and criminal justice?

The Wasting Mule reports that 

New calls have been made for the recognition of a distinct Welsh legal jurisdiction as the UK prepares for the challenges of Brexit.

The Welsh Government argues that withdrawal from the EU will “accelerate” the development of a growing body of Welsh law.

The call comes as a major report from the Commons Justice committee on the implications of Brexit is launched. It warns that cooperation on criminal justice with the EU is so important that this is “too precious to be left vulnerable to tactical bargaining” in the upcoming negotiations.

Plaid Cymru argues that the case for a “separate legal jurisdiction” is “already overwhelming” and Welsh and English law will become more divergent if the Assembly gains powers today held by Brussels.

Liz Saville Roberts, Plaid’s constitutional affairs spokeswoman, said:

 “There is a crucial difference between working together cooperatively and maturely, and imposing a one-size-fits-all, ‘England and Wales’ shackle to important and intricate legal matters. Welsh democracy has developed over the last two decades to a point where Wales now has its own body of law that is increasingly distinct to that of England.
“We are the only country in the world that has a full law-making legislature operating without a corresponding legal jurisdiction. It is unsustainable and it is time that Westminster accepted that the UK is now a partnership of countries, working together maturely, rather than imposing its own archaic structures on all parts of the UK.”

A Welsh Government spokesman said:

 “A distinct Welsh legal jurisdiction is already developing with the growing body of Welsh law; the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will accelerate this development. There is no doubt that formal recognition of a distinct legal jurisdiction, moving in the direction of Scotland and Northern Ireland, would clarify powers and responsibilities to everyone’s benefit.”
As I said I have very little knowledge of legal issues, but I find it extraordinary  that in the since 1999 when the Assembly was established so little has been done to meet the changes that devolution has brought.

It almost as if that Labour and have deliberately avoided the issue Carwyn Jones in particular would seem to be highly placed to have pushed this

He  graduated from Aberystwyth University with an LLB (Bachelor of Laws) degree in 1988 and went on to the Inns of Court School of Law in London to train as a barrister. He was called to the Bar at Gray's Inn in 1989 and subsequently spent a further year in Cardiff in pupillage followed by ten years in practice at Gower Chambers, Swansea – specialising in Family, Criminal and Personal Injury law.[ He left the Swansea legal practice to become a tutor at Cardiff University for two years on the Bar Vocational Course.

In the Assembly was appointed Counsel General for Wales and Leader of the House on 2007.before  becoming Labour Leader and First Minister in 2009

Is it a symbol of his Laissez-faire  style of government or is it part of a deliberate policy that there has ben very little move to create a separate Welsh Legal jurisdiction?

The case seems unarguable if we are to compare ourselves with the other devolved  legislatures  (and legislatures is a key word here) , Why has it taken so long.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Baglan and Botany Bays symbols of colonism

 Apparently there a nw version of an old Folksong

Farewell to Old England forever
Farewell to my rum culls as well
Farewell to the well known Old Bailee
Where I used for to cut such a swell


Singing toorali-orali-addity
Singing toorali-oolari-ai
Singing toorali-ollari-addity
We're bound for Baglan Bay

The Normans built Castles in Wales first ro subdue the Welsh and then to remind us whose in charge,

Ir seems that the symbol of the latter is now prisons.

Plans for a new prison to be built in Port Talbot will be  as the government announces the locations of four new jails.
A publicly-owned site in Baglan will be home to a category C prison as the Government steps up its drive to reform the crisis-hit jail system.
Justice Secretary Liz Truss  also announced new jails will be built at three existing prison sites – Full Sutton in Yorkshire, Hindley in Wigan, Rochester in Kent – as part of a pledge to create up to 10,000 modern prison places by 2020.
The Baglan site is expected to create 200 new long-term jobs once it has been completed while the construction will lead to around 1,000 jobs.
The Ministry of Justice said final decisions on the new jails would be subject to planning approval, value for money and affordability.
The announcement is the latest step in a £1.3bn revamp of the estate first launched under Ms Truss’s predecessor, Michael Gove, amid concerns a number of facilities were overcrowded and run-down.
As part of the modernisation drive £250m ‘super-prison’ HMP Berwyn in Wrexham, which can hold more than 2,000 inmates, opened earlier this year.
Berwyn of course was not built to server the need of Wales but of England (masquerading as the UK) Unionist politicians gave the plans a cautious welcome, with Aberavon MP Stephen Kinnock saying:
 “The building of a prison in Port Talbot would bring much-needed construction work to the local area and in the long term would mean more jobs for the day-to-day running of the prison.“However we will need to look very closely at the planning application to ensure that it is sited in a suitable location, that local people and skills are utilised, and that local materials are central to the construction of the site.
“The Ministry of Justice must provide further information because the community must be on board. The onus is on the government to reach out and engage with us.
“But if these necessary safeguards are in place, and the community is part of the decision-making and construction process, then this is something that should be welcomed because the project could be a welcome boost for the local community and economy.”
Such is the poverty under their  of Wales that Unionist Politicians here will tug thier forelocks and accept anything that provides a few jobs 

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said: 
"I am delighted that Port Talbot has been selected as a preferred location for one of the four newest additions to the UK's prisons estate.
"Berwyn prison has already had a positive impact on the regional economy of North Wales.
"A new South Wales prison will bring its own economic opportunities - including new jobs and contracts for local suppliers, and will significantly accelerate the government’s aim of replacing old, uneconomic prisons with modern, more cost-effective facilities.
“I am pleased that Wales is leading the way in providing facilities designed with rehabilitation in mind as well as the traditional security which the public rightly expects.”
If it was the case as in Scotland  where we the Welsh Assembly were in charge of Prisons  then we would not have built Berwyn nor the proposed Baglan Prison but worked out our own policy

But Labout and Tory Unionist have resisted the devolution of Criminal Justice happy to see Wales treated as a Colony.

  Mar 22MoreWestminster lobby journo just asked me "are they (British Government) turning Wales into a penal colony?"

Plaid Cymru AM for South Wales West, Bethan Jenkins at least  said: 
"Building a new prison in isolation to looking at new ways of helping to ensure people do not re-offend and to realise the error of their actions, and addressing why so many people with mental health problems are in prison, is a sign of bad government and poor strategy from the Tories.
"We need to look at prison reform, not just build new prisons and assume that it is the only answer. So I cannot warmly welcome this news today.
"Plaid Cymru has been calling for the devolution of these matters for some time. Decisions about Wales, for Welsh prisoners, should be made in Wales.
"The Ministry of Justice must answer key questions on this scheme. It's vital that the safety of the local community will not be compromised by this plan.
There is a new super school in Baglan, and a new Welsh Language School is yet to be developed there.
"The area already has huge traffic problems that the Council are failing to deal with. What will throwing a prison in the mix mean?'
"Plaid Cymru has been critical of the HMP Berwyn superprison in Wrexham due its disproportionately large size and in particular, the pressure the huge number of inmates may put on the local NHS and other services.
"If this is to go ahead, assurances are needed on private sector involvement in the proposed Port Talbot prison. Evidence shows that when private companies are contracted to be responsible for prison security, the safety of both staff and inmates is compromised. This must not be allowed to happen.
"In the long run, Plaid Cymru remains committed to the devolution of the prison estate alongside the wider justice system."
New data released yesterday (Wednesday 22 March 2017) by Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre shows that opening a new ‘super’ prison in Port Talbot will lead to Wales having a surplus of prison places.
These new figures published today follow the announcement of plans to build a new Category C prison in Port Talbot for up to 1,600 prisoners, as reported by BBC Wales News online.
The analysis by the Wales Governance Centre show that based on the current use of Welsh prisons against the total number of Welsh prisoners currently in the prison system, Wales will have a surplus of almost 2400 places (2387) once the Port Talbot prison is fully operational.
The data shows that even if HMP Cardiff closed as a result of the UK Government’s announcement, Wales would still have a prison place surplus of over 1600 places based on the current use of the prison estate in Wales against the total number of Welsh prisoners.
Its time we said no to this plan are we so subdued and lacking in vision that we accept this insult.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Westminster Attack.

After Yesterday's attack in Westminster I think it not a day for my usual polemics

My thoughts are with the families of those who died and that of the injured and those who experiences  a trauma that will affect them for a long time,

It is to early to speculate  on the reasons behind this attack but I share the statement of the Muslim Council of Britain,
Image may contain: text
It is poignant that this came a few days after the death of Martin McGuinness someone who had rejected the terrorism of the past and who fully embraced the peace progress and tellingly achieved more for his goal in a United Ireland by doing so,

No matter what our political views we must all stand together  and not be cowed by such attacks and we should reject those who will see this as a excuse to promote their own bigoted agenda against innocent people , who are not responsible for the action of small number of extremists or deranged individuals 

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Labour finally sign Death Warrant for Pontypridd as a retail centre.

I've got to hand it to Labour in RCT they have managed to spin years of failure to modernise Pontypridd Town Centre bu making an announcement  just before the May election

Pontypridd used to be a major retail centre with thousand descending on the town on Wednesday's and Saturdays to visit the Market and shops.

Alas the outdoor market is a shadow of its former self and many of retail outlets are now Charity shops.

The final blow came When Marx and Spencer's closed.

The initial idea was to demolish the unloved and under occupied  Taff Vale Precinct  and replace it with a modern shopping complex.

Initial Plans meant that it may have looked like this

However having failed to get investors however the council were left with a building site and nothing to place on it.

So they have come up with a solution in which they will fill it with council buildings and replace what was a hideous monstrosity with another one

Library And Leisure Hub To Form Part Of Taff Vale Project

We are told a new Fitness Centre and Library are set to be created as part of the redevelopment of the former Taff Vale site in Pontypridd. 

The Council has already allocated more than £3.5m in revitalising the strategic site in Pontypridd since it became the outright owner in April 2015 and is committed to delivering an office-led project. It will be delivered in three buildings – including a statement building at the entrance to Pontypridd. This building will house a new fitness facility and a new 21st Century library for the town. Pontypridd One4All Centre, which is currently located in Sardis House, will also be relocated to this facility. Visible progress has been made by contractors since they started demolishing the old precinct site in January, and the demolition process is due to be completed by the end of March 2017. To support the relocation of Pontypridd Library to the new development, scheduled to complete in 2019, the Council has submitted an application for capital funding of £300,000 to the Welsh Government’s Museums, Archives and Libraries Division.

The Council have been helped by the Welsh Labour Government with the announcement

Economy Secretary Ken Skate said 
Hundreds of new jobs are set to come to Pontypridd as the town will be home to the new headquarters for Transport for Wales.Transport for Wales, the next rail franchise and South Wales Metro operator, will be located at the Taff Vale building in the town, 
I wonder if we managed to have something like the previous plans how many jobs would have been created probably more than a few hundred. 
So after years of failure the council have decided to more or leaa put its own building comprising of a new library despite  closing a number of libraries in county and a fitness centre which might put some  leisure centres under threat.
The local Labour MP Owen Smith and MP Mick Antoniw have tried to present this as a triumph but in reality it has ensured the end of Pontypridd Town centre as a retail centre .

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

A London "City State "intresting

Normally  I would support "devolution all round " but I wonder what the real intention of Labour's David Lammy  London plan to become a city-state if the “hardest of all hard Brexits” goes ahead.
Writing in yesterday's Evening Standard, the MP for Tottenham argued the capital’s future as a thriving economic powerhouse depends on being open to the rest of the world.
He said Scotland’s push for a second independence referendum should inspire Londoners to seek what is best for the capital as well.
He wrote.
“Whitehall has begun the devolution of control over adult skills, criminal justice services and employment support to City Hall, but Brexit changes everything, so it is perfectly rational to consider more radical proposals than piecemeal devolution,”
“Let’s not forget that 60 per cent of Londoners voted to Remain. The referendum result sent a shock wave through the capital, but as the dust begins to settle, London finds itself increasingly constrained by — and at odds with — the policies and priorities of our central Government.
“If Scotland can have another referendum on independence, then why can’t we have a well-overdue debate about London becoming more autonomous and independent from the rest of the country?
“If Brexit was a victory of smalltown conservatism, resurgent nationalism and anti-immigrant sentiment, then London’s status as the financial and cultural capital of Europe depends on resisting these shifts.”

He added 
“What has become clear since June is that the Government will not fight London’s corner in the Brexit negotiations.  London’s status as a “de facto city-state” will become clearer over the next two years of Brexit negotiations.
“The case for a London city-state has never been stronger. As Sturgeon told the SNP conference: we are not powerless, we can still decide which path we take. If you identify with London’s values, it’s time to fight for them.

I wonder  If Mr Lammay's intention  is to make sure that in the aftermath of a Hard Brexit there will be a move of some of London financial and other services may move North of the boarder 

But Mr Lammy's is fighting for hos own patch and maybe it will get us to realise  that unless we change our subservient  attitude then we lose out particuarly after Scotland leaves  and economic power increase in London

London's devolved status and its finances  became a key point when  Jeremmy Paxman was taken to the cleaners by BBC current affairs programme, Newsnight. In the interview Dr ap Gwilym challenged Paxman on a variety of economic figures, particularly Wales was the telling him to "do your homework" when those figures were not readily available. 

Its always worth another look at.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Confused Dotty Con "Scotland is another country)

A Wales Office minister has described Scotland as "another country" after a recent trip to Edinburgh.
Aberconwy MP Guto Bebb said he had left feeling "despondent" because it reminded him of Dublin.
"should be a warning when visiting a city which is a crucial part of the UK", he said.
Mr Bebb, a Conservative party whip, was in the Scottish capital for a British and Irish council meeting
He said
"We have a huge amount in common with citizens of the Irish Republic, as we do Scotland," including similar television programmes, popular music and "in many ways a shared literature".
But he said
"read their papers, listen to talk shows and watch the news and it's clearly another country".
Mr Bebb said leaving Edinburgh made him feel the same way as he does when leaving Dublin. Leaving Dublin.
"For me Dublin is somewhere which is recognisable but very different.""That is fine in the context of the capital of an independent country but it should be a warning when visiting a city which is a crucial part of the UK.
He added: 
"The sense of nationhood in Edinburgh is palpable. For a long time it has been satisfied within the UK.
"Is that changing though? My gut feeling is yes and that should be a cause for regret to all of us."

If readers in Scotland are bemused with the seeming flash of insight from a Tory south of their is as nothing to us in Wales as Bebb is not some dyed in the wool Tory from the English shires is a former Plaid Cymru activist and was chair of the party in Plaid's heartland of Caernarfon. He defected to the Conservatives because of his Eurosceptic views.
Indeed he a member of a old Plaid family being  the grandson of Ambrose Bebb
A co-founder of Plaid Cymru Ambrose Bebb  was inclined towards the sort of right wing nationalism (some would say fascist) influenced of Charles Maurras of the Action Française movement. With the outbreak of the Second World War, Bebb became a vocal proponent of the War Effort against Nazi Germany, and considered Germany's total defeat "essential".In the 1945 General Election Mr Bebb stood for the Plaid Cymru in the seat of Caernafon, and came in third place
Now no one should take responsibility for their Forebears and certainly when he was a member of Plaid Guto wouldn't even find an echo of Grandad's  Ambrose's views.  
But Gutto would have been immersed in the view that Wales was a Nation in in an area which has elected a Plaid MP since  1974 and which is largely Welsh speaking
Perhaps it was the shock of largely monglot English speaking Scots in Edinburgh which left Guto confused .
Or maybe it was akin to Labour MPs who where shocked to find that their late Leader John Smith  supported devolution out of genuine belief rather than political expedience and that Scotland claim to Nationhood is not coming from people alienated from  Westminster but a realisation this is their time to take their place  among the nations of the world.