Monday, 21 April 2014

Welsh Green Leader maybe needs to note yhr Welsh bit.

 Thw Wasting Mule has at least given  the Leader of the   "Welsh" Greens, some space to air her  Party's views and she is  refreshingly open  though of course we must take into account it's the Mule here so it may be the slant of their  Senedd Correspondent Graham Henry we might be largely saying

Ms  Bartolotti,  her guns - full throttle - on a party that does expect to be electing at least one Welsh MEP, the UK Independence Party, labelling them racist, xenophobic and a “bunch of bankers”, referring angrily to the pound sign in the party’s logo as evidence of its marriage to exploitative economics.
She said: 

They [Ukip] appeal to an older generation of people who feel that politics isn’t working along the way that they think. A lot of older people...are racist.
“They don’t mean to be, they aren’t going out of their way to be, but they are, because that whole generation is. And this is the generation that gets out and votes. So, it is a bit of an issue in that sense.”

Since  Pippa Bartolotti, is the same age as me (60) so her argument may fall somewhat flat and there may be a number of Ulip voters especially in the Euro Elections who are simply voting against the EU . There may be even  some  people who would vote for them if they didn't have a racist element .

But she may be right in that she like Plaid really do not  at least does not have to woo them even for a protest vote and that Ukip voters are lost to them.Asked how the party tackles that problem to win such voters round, Ms Bartolotti is similarly uncompromising...conceding that while Ukip voters are often “good recyclers”, otherwise there was “very little [they] can do” as a party to turn them Green.

 We can’t. There’s no need for us to,” she said. “I think it’s David Cameron’s problem, actually. Because those are his voters. They’re not our voters. There is no direct competition, only is as much as those that will go out and vote, who might feel strongly for Ukip, could tip the balance.
“If someone is out and out xenophobic, they’re not really going to have an inkling about what the Green Party is about.

Intrestingly as Graham Henry points , Ms Bartolotti and Nigel  Farage seem to take a similar view on the developing situation in Russia and the handling of the Western world of post-Soviet politics though perhaps from different directions

.Mr Farage had attracted vociferous criticism for his admission he “admired” Russian president Vladimir Putin and accused the West of having “blood on its hands” for its handling of the Ukraine crisis.


But Farage accuses Nato - which has taken in a tranche of former Soviet countries or satellites since the empire’s break-up in 1991 - of pursuing an “aggressive” and “expansionist policy”. 

Though this may well be Farage not wanting another East European country joining the EU  and horror of horrors Ukrainians coming to live and work here.

 Ms Bartolotti said 

“We have to try and see it from Russia’s point of view. As another nation state falls to the Euro, if you like, so the implications for Nato nuclear armed weapons to be pointing closer to Moscow rise.
“You can see that Putin, particularly, probably with his KGB mentality, is actually feeling quite threatened by the Ukraine turning towards Europe.
“Why it wants to turn towards Europe, I’m not absolutely sure...because we’re going to fast-track them for all the wrong reasons and it could really make Europe wobble big time.”


She is refreshingly open about drug legalisation and the  Greens’ policy on cannabis, with Ms Bartolotti renewing her call for legalisation of the drug in the past month.Indeed, she says that use of cannabis is so widespread - “there are drug dealers outside the school gates of every comprehensive school” - that the policy should be to choke off the use of cannabis as a gateway dealers use to get people on to more lucrative drugs.
And she said Colorado-style cannabis cafes - illegal in the UK - are already “all over Wales”, likening the situation to the prohibition-era United States.
“There are cannabis cafes all over Wales, there’s one in Newport actually. I think there’s one in North Wales which is the most popular of all,” she said.
“The issue here is having a good quality product and a defined licensed product. The issue is to be able to sell it openly, for boys and girls and men and women and old age pensioners...and anybody who’s somehow touched by this market, can openly go and buy what they want, pay the tax on it. Colorado made $2m (£1.2m) in tax in the first month of opening.

Well as I said refreshingly open But i do wonder as the Liberals (at least before the LibDems) used to find there may be grassroots  support for this policy but when you start making advances in the polls the leadership get cold feet.

Still its nice to see someone so open as I said .

But its intrestin there seems nowhere in this interview for Ms  Bartolotti to express her Party's views on the future of devolution.

The Scottish Greens which have to MSP's and a number of councillors there are backing a YES vote in September and if I lived in Scotland I might well vote for them rather than the SNP.

But Ms Bartolotti is the leader of the "Welsh" Greens in a Party that dubs itself the Green Party of England and Wales and any cricket fan familiar with The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) s the governing body of cricket in England and Wales. will know the Wales part does not really count.

It is possible that the Greens here are too small to be viable possibly because the sort of person who would be backing them tend to be already in Plaid. But they really need to emulate their Scottsh sister Party.

But if Ms Bartolotti really wants to take her party forward then she needs to tell us what her vision of a devolved Wales is or does it permanent lie as a second string to England?


But hen this applies to Labour,Tories and even the Fedral LibDems.

If this Blog does not appear Tomorrow it will be because I will be in Hospital undergoing surgery and I will be back in a week or so. But nothing guaranteed  that there will be a bed available so I may well be back sooner than I expected.





Sunday, 20 April 2014

Is this the standard of Labour campaigning?

Pontypridd Labour Party posted a campaign newspaper through my door yesterday and Boy was it full of misleading rubbish which makes the Mule look like an exemplary news outlet

I've only puled a few little gems for you to view but believe me from front to last page its full of absolute tosh.

The first is this piece on volunteering which looks like giving  full support for Cameron's Big Society. But the worst part, is the deliberate attempt to claim credit by Labour for the achievements of these groups.

But one piece is particularly gallin.

There is only one reason why a Beddau Community group are aiming to run the local Library. It is because the Labour, run Rhondda Cynon Taf (R.C.T.) are closing it at the end on May

There may well be Labour members and supporters in the group and the Labour controlled  Llantrisant community Council  have given support.

But it is Labour who are responsible for closing our Library,  and it disgusting they are attempting to claim credit for any moves to take it over and keep it open.



Then there's a piece on the RCT cuts Actually one can agree with the headlines but it is the manner of the curs which is disturbing people .

One of these is to close the MUNIi Art centre in Pontypridd. So it a bit of a surprise  to see a Muscians Union log below this article which seems to indicate approval for RCT's cuts in the Artsand presumably the MUNI.

The Newspaper is peppered with such Union logos the GMB whose members are being made redundant by RCT but whose loyalty to the Labour Part comes first and who give office space to MP Owen Smith and AM Mick Antoniw. also seem to give their approval of Labour handling of the cuts, as does CWU and USDAW. Their support probably paid for this rubbish  As well as future elections including those for local government.

So once again we will see Unions who prime objective should be to represent their member seem to believe it is to back a party that it destroying their Jobs

Does anyone really believe the story would be any different if Labour had won in 2010 and they too would have cut from the bottom and not the top?

There one final piece I will share here . It would not be a Labour leaflet if it did not attack Plaid but since Plaid's recent record has been to support those who are most vulnerable including much stronger opposition to the cuts than  Labour they turn to the proposal to change the rules over allowing  candidates to stand in both the constituency and regional seat . Which Labour disallowed in wales but not in Scotland where it suited them.

Of course this is aimed at Plaid leader Leanne Wood in the Rhondda..

They claim that this is being done without a mandate but . Where was Labour mandate  when they abolished this practise which their also candidates used.

Their argument that "Plaids support for this is undemocratic and principled is hollow and hypocritical.


An there's much more of this blame the Tories /Libdems for the cuts . Take credit for others achievements from a Party that has chosen in councils throughout Wales that they are prepared to cut jobs of the poorest paid  but make no attempt to control the excessive salaries at the top.

Its time Wales woke up and stopped putting their faith in a Party that has betrayed those who have loyal voted for them both in power in Westminster and in Cardiff Bay and whose actions even when not in power is not to support those working people in their seats they hold but to court  that mythical Middle England voter in seats they don't





Saturday, 19 April 2014

Welsh Media move to negativity over Scottish Independence.

The Wasting Mule reports with apparent g lee that 

a huge majority of Welsh people do not want Scotland to vote for independence and think it would be bad for Wales, t

The results of the YouGov survey, which questioned more than 1,000 Welsh adults on how they would vote, found that 62% answered No when asked if Scotland should be independent, with just 16% saying Yes
.
The results also showed nearly three-quarters either thought the decision would be bad for Wales (32%) or neither good or bad (41%), with just 10% saying it would be good for the principality.

Perhaps referring to our Nation as "the principality"  show something of the mindset at the Mule even the Beeb have stopped that.

They claim that

 " remarkably, 41% of Plaid Cymru voters at the last Westminster elections would say no to Scotland becoming independent, with 48% would be in favour.
 Maybe this reflects ab opinion that Wales will be left to the wolves of a Tory dominated Westminster  if Scotland were to leave the Unions

The Mule's appear  results contradict previous polling which suggested people in England and Wales were indifferent

Further poll details revealed only 12% support for Wales becoming independent, with nearly three-quarters polled (74%) against, while only 9% believed Wales would be economically better-off if independent, compared to 69% who believed Wales would be worse-off.

Which is curious in that a BBC Poll only two Months ago put the number on in favour of Welsh Independence  12 %

It could be as   Professor Roger Scully, from the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University, aid the support seemed higher, but said it could be down to the Yes/No choices of the question.

He said: “I don’t think that this means that support for Welsh independence is really increasing.

& increase He may well be correct but a  7% seems rather a lot

Ther eseems to be an increase in Welsh Media attitudes  towards Scottish  Independence .

Click on Wales has  David Torrance  a columnist with the Scottish Herald  ( A paper which is part of project fear to some minds)  writing n the curious case of the SNP’s shift from ethnic to civic nationalism which is in fact a attempt to  accuse the SNP of revering to crude ethnic Nationalism in the run up to September

..Although these developments are positive, in reality modern Scottish Nationalism is neither wholly ethnic nor wholly civic, but rather a mixture of the two. This is clear to anyone who regularly attends Nationalist gatherings. Although conferences are tamer affairs (they often resembled clan gatherings in the 1970s), last September’s pro-independence rally on Calton Hill in Edinburgh was ostentatiously ethnic, with a plethora of kilts, face paint, frayed banners and unsavoury characters from fringe European secessionist movements (this year’s event has been quietly shelved).
 He gores om..

The same goes for recent Scottish Government policy. As a 2012 survey of SNP policy documents and speeches by the academic Andrew Mycock demonstrated, the party’s shift from ethnic-based nationalism had “not been absolute”, with its framing of modern Scottish Nationalism drawing heavily on historical imagery that “explicitly recognizes the ethnicised foundations of the Scottish nation and state”.
SNP ministers, for example, had sought to “embed Scottish history, culture and heritage” in a range of policy areas, while “indigenous” languages such as Gaelic and Scots (previously “suppressed and oppressed”) had been promoted. This year’s Homecoming will again invite “blood Scots” to return to the mother country and, strikingly, the First Minister’s Holyrood office is dominated by a painting featuring a massive Saltire.
Talk of Scottish “values” is generally more inclusive but it still hints at an ethnic set of cultural (even moral) values that, of course, differ (usually in unspecified ways) from the “English” variety. This is a clever repackaging of cruder anti-Englishness and one Unionist parties such as Labour have been willing since the 1980s to buy into.

If you want a proper analysis
 read

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Nationalism  on the  Bellacallodonia  Blog in which Robin Mcalpine demolish Torrances argument Including

"A simple guide for people who want to write about nationalism:

Ethnic Nationalism: is the belief that the nation is based (wholly or in large part) on people from the same ethnic background. For example ‘Serbs out’.
Cultural Nationalism: is the belief that the nation is based (wholly or in large part) on historical and cultural characteristic that make it different from its neighbours. For example, every nation state everywhere in the world.
Civic Nationalism: the belief that the nation is a territorially-defined entity with a democratic right to self-determination. For example: European Union nation states
The first defines citizenship in genetic (or very occasionally religious) terms. The latter two define citizenship in democratic, residential terms. Therefore an ethnic nationalist does not believe that someone from a different ethnic background (Pakistani, English) is a part of the nation. This form of nationalism is closely associated with fascism and apartheid".

 Read the whole of Torrance's article and McAlpine reply  and ask why is Click on Wales participating in this slur including the heading   

Scottish nationalism’s sense of blood and belonging


Maybe they should give an alternative analysis I suggest McAlpines tomorrow or have they simply shifted completely to the Unionist Camp.














Friday, 18 April 2014

Mule reaches new level of sycophantic drivel.

 
The Wasting Mule must be desperate for a story over the weekend.

For they tell us and you can read it here but have a sick bag ready.


A royal chair which formed part of the Prince of Wales’ historic investiture ceremony in Caernarfon Castle in 1969 has travelled hundreds of miles back home to its place of origin in North Wales.


Did a Royal Arse sit on this ? Who cares


Now highly collectable, the Investiture Chair designed by Lord Snowdon and used by royals and celebrities to witness Prince Charles accepting his Prince of Wales title, now has pride of place at the Imperial Hotel, Llandudno.
The Imperial’s General Manager Geoff Lofthouse always wanted an Investiture Chair but didn’t think there were any left for sale as overseas royal enthusiasts from Australia to the USA have snapped them up over the past 45 years.
But Geoff’s brother-in-law spotted one for sale by chance when visiting a London auction house last month and he bought it as a gift for Geoff who has now placed it within the reception area of the Imperial ( Appropriate name) for all to see.
Well place of Origin were they made on "North Wales"

But may be the forelock tugging Mule destroys its own  argument  when they wrote   "royal enthusiasts from Australia to the USA  snapped them up"

Oh and its one of hundreds   and we don't know whose arse sat on it but probably not *as the Mule seems to claim)  a "Royal".

The people of Wales do not seem to have been enthusiastic over buying any for posterity. and who would want such a ugly thing even without  Charlie Windsor's  feathers on it
Apparently the author of this drivel is  Alison Saunders and a quick click on Wales Online tells us
Alison is a senior news reporter covering the Cardiff wards of Lisvane, Roath, Cyncoed, Cathays and Penylan. She also helps health correspondent Julia McWatt with the weekly health supplement in the Western Mail and the quarterly publication Health Check Wales.
Draw your own conclusion 
But the biggest load of bollocks  comes right at the end when she tells us 


The Investiture was watched by millions on television both outside and inside the ceremony and is now a significant date in Welsh heritage and history.

A"significant date in Welsh heritage and history "?

Well to a few Royalist  and Pub Quizzers 

Even  those  of us  who opposed the Bun Fight at Caernavon Castle have largely put it aside and moved on unless reminded by the Mule  reporting on a publicity stunt for Landdudno Hotel.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Kettle Boils over

 Martin Kettle  in the Guardian may well be pointing to a scenario of Britannia Waving the Rules that I warned about in a recent post.
He seems to be suggesting that if Scotland were to vote Yes in September, the Union may raise the spectre of the Silent Majority.
But there is a second thing to be clearer about too. If Scotland votes yes, the consequences could be messier and nastier for longer than most of us have allowed ourselves to consider. That is partly because there is a conspiracy of decorum surrounding the referendum campaign. The no campaign doesn't want to attack the nationalists too hard because that plays to the nationalist message of bullying and victimhood. But the yes campaign is equally bland about pretending that every problem triggered by independence will be sorted pragmatically, amicably and quickly.
 Apart from the fact that Kettle seems to disregard Project Fear which saw amongst other things,

  •  George Robertson   claiming  Independence would rob the West of a major anchor of stability and solidarity at a difficult time
  •  George  Galloway  and the claims of  Catholic persecution in an Independent Scotla
  •  and Labour joining with the Tories and LibDems to say Scotland will not be allowed to keep the pound

There's much more but the list is too long to quote on this post.

Kettle then evokes the possibility that Labour might even use a victory in the 2016 General Election to delay Independence

 If a yes victory is declared, how will the British Labour party, meeting for its party conference on the following day in Manchester, react? By promptly agreeing to expedite Scotland's departure? Dream on. A yes vote would explode into the UK party conference season. All the main parties would be destabilised in major ways.
 So what is Kettle suggesting  that the Labour -Unionist may claim (Unless there's a SNP Landslide) the result as second referendum and that the Scots didn't really want Independence?

Kettle goes on 
Salmond talks as though the negotiations following a yes vote would be straightforward, respectful and informed by mutual trust. Why should that be so? They would more likely be devious, antagonistic and riddled with mutual suspicion, as well as largely meaningless until after the 2015 general election.
Whether Salmond was negotiating with Cameron or Ed Miliband (and it is worth remembering that if Labour wins in the UK in 2015 and then wins in Scotland in 2016, Labour could in fact be negotiating with itself), the process would be likely to be prolonged. The UK government would have every possible incentive to drive a hard bargain with Scotland, as Hammond made clear in the defence context this week, and it would be backed by public opinion.
AH there's the Silent majority again, or is it English Nationalism Kettle is referring to  the worrying thin is he seems to be approving this scenario.
Meanwhile, what about the public mood? Views will not remain frozen unchangingly once the result is in. Nor will they inevitably remain benign and peaceful. Nationalist opinion could become more militant if the talks become bogged down.
Even acts of violence are not inconceivable in certain circumstances or places, as anyone with a smattering of knowledge of the Irish treaty of 1921 will grasp.”
As far as I can see the Irish Civil War that followed the 1921 treaty was between those who wanted a Irish republic outside the British Empire (as it was then) and those who accepted an Irish Free State which seems to be similar to what the SNP are offering Scotland .

Those negotiating for Independence will have a clear mandate the idea that some will accept a form of Devo-Max  splitting the group seems far fetched.
 
 So that's it Kettle may be right about this but as I said the worrying thing is he seems  Kettle seems to approve .

But is this an argument against voting YES as Kettle appears to be arguing. Democracy should not take place because others particularly the current regime will not in the end accept it.

Talking of Kettle it is said that the Irish Land league  leader   Michael Davitt once introduced his colleague Andrew Kettle  to a crowd with the words

The name of Kettle is known in every house in Ireland
Maybe the name of  Marin Kettle of the Guardian should be known in every house in Scotland not for his doom laden, prophesy but because it expose the old adage cut a British Liberal and you get the same Unionist blood as ardent Tory.

As a potential scenario Kettle may be right and I raised a similar fear in a previous blog  but that's no reason to vote NO

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

A Parliament by any other name.


Peter Black may be desperately seeking a split in the Welsh Conservatives when he turns to an article in the today's South Wales Argus by Andrew RT Davies's  leadership rival, Nick Ramsey but you can't real call a poo pooing  of a call for the renaming of the Welsh Assembly as  a split.. Though maybe Peter on firmer ground when it comes to Ramsay's  attitude to tax powers

Ramsey writes ...
"It seems the political silly season has started earlier than usual this year with the re-emergence of old calls to rebrand the Assembly as the Welsh Parliament - and we wonder why the public are disillusioned with politics!
I wish politicians would get on with the job of sorting out the very real day to day problems facing the country rather than wasting time on issues which primarily interest the political “bubble” class. I certainly won’t be supporting any unnecessary and costly changes to the Assembly’s name or any leap towards unrestricted income tax powers".

Ramsey was considered to the more Pro-assembly member in his leadership contest with Andrew RT Davies so one wonders about his current attitude.

Maybe he's looking at a new challenge and building up support from those grassroots Tories who still don't like the idea of Devolution  .


On the subject of the renaming of the Assembly as a Parliament John Dixon was on his usual  tip form last Week when he pointed out
"Clearly, it’s important for any nationalist that Wales has a ‘proper’ parliament; but when I talk about a ‘proper’ parliament, I mean one with proper powers, not just a proper name.  The name is ultimately an irrelevance; what matters is what it can do, and the very fact that we have Welsh politicians beseeching London politicians to change the name merely serves to underline that lack of power.  I rather suspect that, if and when the Assembly has the power to decide for itself what it should be called as part of a more wholesale transfer of power, the name would be seen as the irrelevance which it is.
Besides, there’s nothing wrong with ‘National Assembly’.  A quick look at the names given to national legislatures across the world reveals that it’s actually a very common name.  Only a blinkered UK-centric view would lead anyone to the conclusion that there is any significant difference between a parliament and an assembly".

And of course he largely correct  but as one commentator pointed out 
".... is that while the term "National Assembly" is common throughout the world, it appears to have been deliberately chosen in the context of Wales to denote a different (ie lower) status than that enjoyed by the Scottish Parliament and the 'proper' parliament in Westminster".

And should we not be looking  for a Welsh word for our legisture 
The Oireachtassometimes referred to as Oireachtas Éireann, is the legislature of Ireland.[2] 

The Oireachtas consists of:
  • The President of Ireland
The two Houses of the Oireachtas:
  • Dáil Éireann (Lower house)
  • Seanad Éireann (Upper house)
Of course the current Assembly is a unicameral chamber and the head of State is the Queen of England  bur maybe we should look back into our history.

A dáil means an assembly or parliament, so a literal translation of Dáil Éireann is "Assembly of Ireland"
  
Owain Glyn Dwr summoned a parliament at Machynlleth  in 1404 what exactly did he call it ?

A distinctive name in our own language may male the members just little prouder and committed .

I've often wondered why there's hasn't been a welsh Scholar who hasn't come up with a old name for a welsh parliament

So any ideas.




Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Nigel Evans may well be Innocent; But he is guilty of hypocrisy.



There's a saying  in the USA 
"That a Conservative is a Liberal whose just got mugged".

"Whilst a Liberal is a Conservative whose been wrongly arrested".

Nigel Evans, who is £130,000 out of pocket after being cleared of sexual assault, has s said he  regrets his previous support for cutting legal aid. seemingly  fits in to the category.

Well only to the extent of his own self interest that is.

The Ribble Valley MP had previously condemned the rising cost of legal aid and admitted he would probably have voted for the last round of cuts in 2011 had he not been Deputy Speaker at the time.

He said he was stunned to learn he would have to pay his legal fees even if he was acquitted – plus value added tax. Mr Evans, whose life savings have been wiped out, has pledged to campaign on the issue after his return to the Commons.

His solicitor, Daniel Burke, said the CPS’s decision to instruct Senior Treasury Counsel, Mark Heywood QC, was above and beyond what would happen in normal cases where the defendant was not in the public eye.
He said had Mr Evans relied on legal aid to fund his defence case, he would not have had the sort of representation to challenge the prosecution team on an equal footing.
Mr Burke suggested the decision had been based on Mr Evans’s profile rather than the requirements of the case. 

It is however  believed that Mr Evans had the opportunity to receive legal aid where he would have to make a contribution too but which would probably have been returned to him in the wake of a not guilty.

The Nigel Evans decision to forgo a legal aid consul  which is common in such cases despite the defendants  resources it is argued because the  Crown Prosecution Service’s “disproportionate” decision to use a top barrister in the case against him.

From what I have read about the case it does look that  Mr Evans may have behaved like a complete prat in is relationship but it the evidence against him looked slim and not enough for a conviction.

But maybe Mr Evans  should reflect on the fact that he could afford a top class defence and if he he had relied on legal aid the outcome may (despite his innocence) My have not been favourable.

There some debate  about which Judge  said

"In England, justice is open to all - like the Ritz Hotel".

But maybe Nigel Evans and his friends should reflect on this.

 Just like the Plebgate affair  concerns an altercation between Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell, the Government Chief Whip at the time (who later resigned because of the incident), and the police, which took place on 19 September 2012. Which  gained notoriety initially for the conduct claimed of Mitchell  in that he was said to have called the Police Plebs  and again two months later when, subsequent to Mitchell's resignation, CCTV and other evidence was revealed which appeared to call into question some of the evidence against Mitchell. there  was strong  support  for Mitchell amongst Tories when one of their number may be the victim of
 false accusation by the police.

When the police lie about ordinary member of the public or someone is imprisoned because of trawling investigation or the many victims of injustice partly because they can't afford a proper defence they are ignored.

Indeed with the cuts to legal aid their plight will get worse .

Nigel Evan's eyes may be opened now because of his experience but maybe he should answer why it took this to see what his Con/Lidems have been doing to the cause of justice of the ordinary M.an and Women