Thursday, 21 August 2014

Vote Calum Higgins for Dog Catcher!

I make no apology to posting a story already covered by Y Cneifwr    and Welsh Not British because it needs as much coverage as possible

Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate  for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr Callum Higgins, has given his name to a leaflet which  simply invites  criticism

 Firstly  there's that statement

If you chose to vote Labour, you'll be voting for Labour representation who will fight to protect the facilities and services that you and this community value ,we will push back against the Tory?Plaid cuts that are hurting families and get the best deal for you.
Tory/Plaid  cuts maybe its a misprint and should be  Tory/Lib Dem but I doubt it but for the record maybe a PPC should know what the power structure is

Westminster has a Tory/Lid Dem coalition with a Labour opposition which has publicly stated it will not reverse  the cuts

:"I'm not heading into this expecting popularity. Quite the opposite.
"We won't be able to undo the cuts that the have been felt in recent years, and I know this will be disappointing for many people."
: "A more limited pot of money will have to be spent on a smaller number of priorities. Lower priorities will get less."
 Chris Leslie, shadow chief secretary to the ­Treasury, May 2014

The National Assembly Government is of course Labour but they are not of course responsible for anything 

Carmarthen Council is a Labour led Coalition with the Independents but they of which Calum is a member are not responsible for any cuts there.

A number Community Councils some of which are Plaid controled or Plaid led.
Labour desperately point to a vote by Llanelli council  to defer a motion by labour councilors to defer the Fire Authority from cutting the number of Fire fighter working at Llanelli fire Station.

Only this was made after the leaflet went out.

The other worrying aspect is which makes Labour's latest leaflet drop in Carmarthen East and Dinefwr something of a mystery, with Calum s telling readers that he is contacting them because "if you wanted to vote at any election, you couldn't - because you are not on the electoral register", before going on to reassure them that he can help.

This is misleading as if you are already on the register you will remain there.

Calum's  offer of help  would only apply to new voters and as we now move individual registration Politicians have a duty not to abuse the process .

There's nothing to suggest corrupt practises on the alleged Tower Hamlets scale but we must be ever watchful and that includes Calum Higgins who I am sure would be appalled by such practises.

But telling people they are not registers to vote when they are and providing them with forms that most may not need potentially causing unnecessary work forr his hard up council is irresponsible

But one thing is clear the sheer ignorance of this leaflet points to him being unsuitable for the role as a MP .

Indeed one wonders what political position is suitable for?

In the USA were they vote for many public positions they might say Dog Catcher,

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Should the Welsh Greens seek Independence for themselves?

I may be wrong  but the Green Party may be the only Party in the UK (apart from Plaid and Mebyon Kernow  to come out for a YES vote in Scotland.

In a meeting in Camden Town Hall Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, said given that the political framework had hardly changed in a century since women got the vote, independence provided the opportunity to push for a written constitution enshrining personal rights.

“We support our Scottish colleagues, who chose independence for themselves in 1990, in their strong and effective push to build a new model of society on our isles, one where the economy works for the common good, not just for the few, and the vulnerable are protected and supported,” she said
“And we look towards the exciting possibilities of real change for England and Wales that Scottish independence would bring.”

Scottish Green Party co-convener Patrick Harvie, who has Played a vital role in the YES campaign teoargued that independence will not mean Scotland turning its back on its neighbours.

He told an Camden Town Hall the 
Some commentators and No campaigners have lazily portrayed a Yes vote as Scotland cutting friends adrift, when in fact it’s an opportunity to lead the way and show that there is an alternative to the unfair austerity, social division and international aggression pursued by Westminster,” Mr Harvie said.
“Greens the world over believe in bringing power closer to the people, and for equality to be at the centre of decision-making.
“There’s an opportunity to be seized in Scotland on September 18 and if we use our new powers wisely we can only spur on our colleagues elsewhere to keep pushing for fairness, democracy and peace.”
Some reading this Blog  may weli ask What about Wales and Cornwall? and why there is no separate  Welsh Green Party ?

The Parties website 

Does refer to Wales as like Scotland and Northern Ireland as having a Sister party.

However the link does not work  and directs you to and although the web addresss  is given as the  Welsh Greens the page is not that of Wales Green Party which in itself is a disappointment in that it appears not to contain any use of the Welsh Language..and when you click on the Policy link it seems that there are no unique Welsh Policies
It may be that the Greens here are to small in number to really organise as a separate identity.
Which is a pity .

I don't want to be over critical  of the Greens here. They are are  progressive allies after all, and if I was  living in Scotland or England or Northern Ireland I would have  no qualms about voting for them (MK in Cornwall though)

But surely it is in the interest of the Greens in Wales to forge a separate Welsh Identity

I really can't see them progressing here unless they become like the Scottish Greens a Political party in favour of Independence which offers challenges not only the UK parties, but  also Plaid Cymru when it fails to live up to its own Green and progressive  rhetoric.

I hope this will occur,  Wales needs a Green Party that has its own identity and the Scottish example shows how vital that is.  

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

US Senator shames Blue Labour's pathetic defence against Tory/Lib Dem cuts.

I came across this recently 

Its by Elizabeth Warren ,
 Warren declared her intention to run for the Democratic nomination for the 2012 election in Massachusetts for the United States Senate. The seat had been won by Republican Scott Brown in a 2010 special election after the death of Ted Kennedy] 
A week later, a video of Warren speaking in Andover became popular on the internet. In it, Warren replies to the charge that asking the rich to pay more taxes is "class warfare," pointing out that no one grew rich in America without depending on infrastructure paid for by the rest of society, stating:
There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. ... You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn't have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea. God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is, you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.
Once elected  in n May 2013, Warren introduced her first bill, the Bank on Student Loans Fairness Act, which would allow students to take out government education loans at the same rate that banks such as Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Chase pay to borrow from the federal government. Suggesting that students should get "the same great deal that banks get," Warren proposed that new student borrowers be able to take out a federally subsidised loan at 0.75%, the rate paid by banks, compared with the current 3.4% student loan rate.

] Endorsing her bill days after its introduction, Independent Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders the only US senator who could be called a Socialist  stated: "the only thing wrong with this bill is that [she] thought of it and I didn’t" 

The sad thing is that I can't see any senior Labour Party leader  making such a speech.

Instead we get Ed Miliband squirming when Cameron accuses Labour of being the "Welfare Party"  

He should take this as compliment and defend the Welfare State and ask Cameron what is so wrong in being a party that backs it.

Except Labour is not doing so. Indeed they are only putting up token resistance to the Con/LibDem attack on the welfare state .

As UK politics moves to copy the US in that there is very little real difference between the major parties and some on the left support the Democrats or Labour because they are a little bit more sympathetic to the dispossessed . We in Wales  as in Scotland have an option to end this.

But it can only come through Independence for both Nations.

Or being Better Together under the Tories or a Labour Party who wield the same axe but mutter words of sympathy what we want.

Monday, 18 August 2014

The Kurds Have Oil The Palestinians Nothing . What Does That Tell Us?

As the cal for action by the UN to protect the Palestinians who have been under seize in Gaza some on the Left  Foot Forward have tried to divert attention to Iraq and the plight from minority groups including members of the Christian, Shia, Sufi and Yezidi communities in Iraq who are  fleeing  for their lives following advances by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (now renamed Islamic State) fighters.

It is a view hard to dispute  and yet there are difference  Gaza is under siege from what is clearly a Nation (Israel) that s an ally of the West  and there is no talk of any form of action including sanctions  against Israel.

The situation in  Iraq is different . True the western powers hold responsibility for both crisis but the recent intervention in Iraq by the Bush-Blair alliance  clearly led to the crisis .

I tried to sum it up like this

"A Man goes into a bar which has a already rough representation and starts a fight with the locals which he wins . He then leaves and the locals start fighting among themselves particularly picking on the weakest pub goers. Then the original man re-enters claiming to be a Policeman.PC U.S President then claims to be astonished at the mess the Pub is in and announces he's going to protect the poor victims. Of course Americans don't understand Irony do they"?
The bleating of Politicians  over the plight of a people from a brutal armed militia would hold more water if the sheer hypocrisy wasn't so evident

And of course there's the sudden  discovery of the rights of the Kurds who have been denied their homeland when Britain redrew the map of  the middle east after the first world war.
From then on the claims of the Kurds for the creation of their own Independent Nation has been ignored. by the Western Powers 

And now the Kurds are the heroes  we get reports of 

In the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan, the battle-hardened Peshmerga fighters have struggled to defend themselves and hold back waves of IS fighters who are advancing rapidly across the plains towards them.

So why the sudden concern for the Kurds maybe this Reuters report lends a clue

"- Iraqi Kurdistan has delivered its third major cargo of crude oil out of a Turkish port and a fourth is sailing to Croatia, showing the autonomous region is finding more buyers despite legal pressure from Baghdad and setbacks in the United States.
The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), whose peshmerga forces are being supported by U.S. airstrikes in their battle against the radical Sunni militants of Islamic State, has been in a long constitutional fight with Baghdad over independent oil sales.
But while some shipments have been tied up by diplomatic and legal pressure from Baghdad, an increasing number are now finding buyers. Around $350 million in oil sales have been completed or are under way from shipments sent via the KRG's new pipeline toTurkey, a Reuters analysis of satellite tracking data shows. The first vessel of pipeline crude sailed in May.
"The sales process is standardising and our order book is growing," a senior official in the Kurdistan Regional Government said when asked about the sales.
"While we are fighting a war with the Islamic State we're also facing an economic war from Baghdad."
Of course the greatest support for the Kurds would be for the Western Powers recognise the d creation of a Kurdish Nation  ,

But that will not happen they will not recognise Kurdistan and support will only go so far.

Clearly it  will be hard to oppose any western intervention against the "Islamic State " who are a brutal organisation .

But the legacy of the Bush-Blair intervention in both Iraq and Afghanistan will go on for decades .

Asked about the historical effect of the 1789 French Revolution, Chinese Premier Chou En-lai replied 

"it's soon to tell".

Eleven Years after the Bush-Blair invasion of Iraq cheered on by the likes of Ann Clwyd 
who served as Special Envoy on Human Rights in Iraq  and who kept talking about the green roots of democracy  growing in Iraq now now describes  the scale of the humanitarian crisis now unfolding in the country as only part of the problem
“People are already dying and the situation could very well get worse.”
She warned that terrorist group Isis was “only one part of a larger revolt that has been years in the making”.
Ms Clwyd said the Iraq Government had “reneged” on promises to build an inclusive administration and called on the international community to support a process to establish a unity government.
But I suspect she wil never admit her failure and responsibility for this crisis.
Clearly the Islamic State militia must be resisted but lets have no talk about defending people from those who bear a lot of responsibility for the crisis.

Update Jac has gone into this in more detail and far more eloquently than myself so i advise you to  follow this link. for a worthwhile eread.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Is the Assembly the biggest impediment to a Fairer Independent Nation.

Todays Observer may indicate that the YES campaign may well be winning the intellectual Battle in Scotland.
In an exclusive interview,  One of  Scotland's leading historian has delivered a major boost to the campaign for Scottish independence with the announcement that he will be voting yes in the forthcoming referendum.
The eagerly awaited announcement, made in an interview with the Observer, will provide much-needed support to the pro-independence campaign, which has seen support for a yes vote stall in recent weeks. Devine said that at the outset of the campaign he had been a firm no supporter, though he had favoured a "devo-max" arrangement with extra powers devolved to Holyrood. He had been persuaded by what he believes has been a flowering of the Scottish economy in a more confident political and cultural landscape. "This has been quite a long journey for me and I've only come to a yes conclusion over the last fortnight," he said.
And its the  running of the Scottish Parliament that seems to have persuaded him.Post 
"The Scottish parliament has demonstrated competent government and it represents a Scottish people who are wedded to a social democratic agenda and the kind of political values which sustained and were embedded in the welfare state of the late 1940s and 1950s.
"It is the Scots who have succeeded most in preserving the British idea of fairness and compassion in terms of state support and intervention. Ironically, it is England, since the 1980s, which has embarked on a separate journey."
 "It is the Scots who have succeeded most in preserving the British idea of fairness and compassion in terms of state support and intervention. Ironically, it is England, since the 1980s, which has embarked on a separate journey."
He also analysed the progress of the Union since its birth in 1707 and the reasons why it had worked for both countries, but why he believes it is coming to a natural end. "The union of England and Scotland was not a marriage based on love. It was a marriage of convenience. It was pragmatic. From the 1750s down to the 1980s there was stability in the relationship. Now, all the primary foundations of that stability have gone or been massively diluted."
We can only wonder what damage to the cause for welsh independence has been made with Labours running of the Welsh Assembly Inept and Lethargic are two words that come to mind.
And that may be a long term problem for Wales 
After the Scottish vote even a NO vote the Unionist parties especially the Tories and Labour will seek to make sure such a vote never happens here .
This will mean making sure the Assembly never has the powers to make difference that will encourage people in Wales to reject Westminster with the Tories  and Blue Labour both working to dismantle the Welfare state and the NHS  probably by stealth by the latter.
At any rate sadly under the present Assembly we can hardly expect ot current Assembly run by Labour to be sen as an example of the Wales we would like to se as an Independent Nation
 Former Labour First Minister of Wales (2000–2009) Rhodri Morgan, once labelled the United Kingdom’s devolved bodies “laboratories” for the formulation of new ideas to be subsequently shared and learnt from across the Union.
In this in 2002  he called for Clear Red Water  in an address to the Socialist Health association to separate Wales from even the Blair Agenda.
But there has been  not even a trickle of vaguely pink. water since.
It is beginning to look like Labour have an agenda to make sure that no Welsh Movement will be allowed to point to a different future for Wales, beyond  a right of centre Westminster Government whether Tory, |Labour with or without Lib Dem bag carriers.
It is imperative that we find a Welsh Assembly Government with a vision for Wales .
In that Plaid Cymru must be bold and avoid short term polices but offer us some alternative to demolishishment  of the Welfare State and become a "True Party of Wale"s and in that it must replace Labour in the hears and Minds of the people of Wales. W

Saturday, 16 August 2014

The Scottish referendum should not be decided by economists for or against.

There was once a conference  of Economist  with over a thousand delegates among st them was someone one totally had the answer to everything Macro and Micro economic, Who had a plan that ended boom and bust for ever end unemployment  resolved  world debt within a year.

Unfortunately no one knew who among st the delegates this genius was.

The problem with economics is that its not really a science . People tend to start from a political beleif and shape thier theory round that.

Yesterday Peter Black gleefuly under the title 

The economic illiteracy of the SNP's proposals for independence
posted that

The Guardian reports on the view by one of of the world's top economists that an independent Scotland's economy would crash within seven years if it tried to use sterling.

They quote Professor Ronald MacDonald , a currency expert who advises the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank, who believes that the Scottish government's plans to use sterling after a yes vote are fundamentally flawed, even if Alex Salmond's proposals for a currency union were accepted by the UK. He believes that in these circumstances, the Scottish economy would shrink by up to £100bn by 2023:
Former UK government adviser Sir Donald Mackay said there was "nothing to stop" an independent Scotland using sterling without a currency union.
This Ronald McDonald may just as well be a top economist for all we know.
 In a damning critique of  proposals, MacDonald said that independence would immediately mean that Scotland became a petro-economy. That would leave it heavily exposed to higher prices in shops, wage rises, a significant trade deficit and increasingly expensive exports.
Using IMF methodology, MacDonald said Scotland would face an annual deficit of 7% and would cut Scotland's economic output by at least £30bn in a best case scenario, or up to £100bn in a more likely worst case scenario by about 2023. "Clearly this is very, very bad news," he added.
It would greatly increase pressure for public spending cuts and tax rises, with a future Scottish government forced to impose a punishing austerity regime to balance the books, or face the prospects of an IMF bail-out, similar to the ECB's rescue of the Irish and Greek economies.

Meanwhile as seen above In a major boost to the campaign for a Yes vote for independence, f
In an extensive article, published on the day before Peter Black "economic illiteracy charge was made" Former UK government adviser Sir Donald Mackay said there was "nothing to stop" an independent Scotland using sterling without a currency union

.Professor Mackay analyses the substantial benefits of Scotland controlling its own resources, especially offshore revenue.He builds on previously criticism that the UK Government is ignoring “a mountain of black gold” in this sector, revenue that would of course go to an independent Scotland. Reports at Investors Chronicle suggested that the Westminster politicians were doing so to undermine the case for independence.Alongside Professor Mackay’s financial analysis, he confirmed on BBC Radio Scotland that morning that Scotland would be in a stronger financial position than the UK going forward. This is a highly significant intervention from a figure with considerable experience in enterprise and economic researchSo there you have So two conflicting statements almost at the same time from economists..Though Peter Black has apparently only seen one.

So it leads me to argue that maybe the future economy of Scotland should not be the basis of a YES or NO vote.

Maybe the issue should be on what kind of future the two sides offer whether Better Together who seem to think Scotland future lies wit a Westminster Government even a Tory one ideologically intent destroying the Welfare State and privatising the NHS or an Independent Scotland which still hold these values.

So yes I am saying people in Scotland should vote with their hears and not their heads because there is no clear scientific way to foresee the economic future.

Friday, 15 August 2014

ABH (Anyone But Havard)

Daily Wales have used the latest used the latest Tool  from Wales Online  which gives some indication of how active out MPs are to focus on Merthyr  and Rhymney MP Dai Havard.

Of course such figures are  not always clear at first glance. but as   Y Cneifiwr  points out

What gets the Western Mail really excited, however, is that Chris Bryant (Lab., Rhondda) is top of the pops, appearing in more debates and speaking more often than any of his colleagues.
The problem with that of course is the difference between quality and quantity, and Bryant has made some notably disastrous appearances. Here is the Labour supporting New Statesman with a example of Bryant at work.

But as Daily Wales says Methyr's Dai Havard does not come out well

....., he has spoken in just thirteen debates in the last year, mainly on foreign affairs. His record is one of the worst of any Welsh Labour MP.Mr Havard voted against holding an inquiry into the Iraq War. He opposed any reform of the House of Lords but voted in favour of ID cards and the military covenant. Last week, Mr Havard took a tour of war graves which was paid for by a group linked to arms manufacturers. Keir Hardie, on the other hand, was a pacifist who vehemently opposed the UK’s entry into the First World War.Given all the problems that the communities in his constituency face, it would make sense for Mr Havard to work hard to allow Wales to gain the powers needed to fix those problems.
 At the last election Mr Havard saw the largest swing against an incumbent in Wales


General Election 2010: Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney[3][4]
LabourDai Havard14,00743.7-16.8
Liberal DemocratAmy Kitcher9,95131.0+17.0
ConservativeMaria Hill2,4127.5-1.4
IndependentClive Tovey1,8455.8N/A
Plaid CymruGlyndwr Jones1,6215.1-4.9
BNPRichard Barnes1,1733.7N/A
UKIPAdam Brown8722.7+0.4
Socialist LabourAlan Cowdell1950.6-0.3
Labour holdSwing

If the Lib Dems weren't so toxic after becoming the Tories Bag Carriers in the coalition government then this would be a clear target seat for them.

Indeed  Amy Kitcher  may have won some Plaid votes  by calling for Lib Dems to back Jill Evans  in the recent Euro Elections.
Plaid Cymru leaflet
However it is unlikely the Lib Dems will manage to put up such a strong challenge next time .

Nor alas will anyone else so Mr Havard will continue to be the MP for Merthyr and Rhymney earning his sallery and with the knowledge he doesn't  haven't to work hard in his constituency to get reelected.

Still  maybe consideration should for an  Anyone But Havard Candidate in 2016 .Surely the people of Merthyr and Rhymnet deserve someone better regardless of their Party colour?