Saturday, 1 August 2015

Plaid Leader makes humantarian case for refugge crisis.

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood call for a humanitarian response to the refugee crisis at Calais 9n Thursday is mostly welcome

The reaction of both Politician and Medias has been xenophobic. Even the supposedly balanced BBC has failed to exam the and  report on what causes the crisis and insist on referring to to the refugees as migrants.

Leanne said that more fences and police will amount to little more than papering over ever bigger cracks. 

The disturbing and increasingly desperate situation at Calais is the result of instability in the Middle East for which the UK should recognise its part in creating.

“As things stand, southern European countries are bearing the brunt of the crisis and thousands of desperate people are losing their lives and thousands more are risking theirs as they flee war in their homelands.

“Action is needed now to prevent the crisis getting worse at Calais. This must involve all EU states - including the UK - accommodating a fair share of refugees as soon as they enter the EU, rather than standing aside until there's a crisis at the UK border.

"Current UK refugee policies are failing and it is suspected that the UK government will fail to fill its current, modest refugee quota.

"Plaid Cymru proposes increasing UK refugee quotas and setting specific quotas for each of the nations of the UK, in partnership with devolved governments. We further propose UK agreement with states such as Italy and Greece to accommodate refugees on entry to the EU.

"Whilst Plaid Cymru supports sensible measures to secure the Channel Tunnel for safety reasons, more fences and police will amount to little more than papering over the cracks.
"Humanitarian action is needed at Calais immediately, alongside an EU-wide effort, with the UK meeting its full obligations."
 With the current state of hysteria from the Media being reflected by the public a headline in the Wasting Mule that

"Wales should accept a quota of refugees in bid to address the Calais crisis, Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood urges"

 is not going to gather many votes and many of the comments I have sen have been very negative but with the other Parties kowtowing  to the Media headlines it is refreshing that a leading politician is prepared to take a stand on humanitarian grounds.

the current crisis originated in a French Industrial dispute and was the prime reason for the difficulties in crossing the channel but it is barely mentioned.

Instead we blame desperate people many who have  genocide in places like Syria and Afghanistan and endured great hardship in getting to Calais and to the UK which they are heading for mainly because they speak English.

 If we turn our backs on this problem we will be responsible for an even greater crisis.

 Its time other leaders in the UK spoke out for an humantarian response to the refuges in Calais rather than folow the lead of the Sun, Daily Mail Express and alads the BBC.

Friday, 31 July 2015

Poor Mark, not invited to Tim's Party

Welsh Liberal Democrat Mark Williams  may feel like the only pupil in his class not to get an invite to the most popular students birthday party as it emerges that  he  is the only one of the party's eight MPs to be left out of a 'cabinet' named by new leader Tim Farron.
Poor Mark was not invited

Mark Williams may well have  benefited in not holding a ministerial position in the coalition government but to be left out of a "cabinet" in which many have more than one roll despite Six of its 22 members are not being MPs or peers. 

Its starting to look like he is not considered good enough . Which may think why do the LibDems think hes god enough to serve the constituents of Ceredigion.

He has not even been given the job of Welsh Spokesperson  considered a pretty lowly job in Westminster instead this goes to Kirsty Williams, Lib Dem leader in the assembly, succeeding Roger Williams, who lost his seat at the general election.

Ex-Wales Office minister Baroness Randerson will speak on transport.

A Lib Dem source claimed  that Williams does have a role. It just wasn’t on the list. they said 

Mark Williams will be part of a special “campaign team”, to be announced later this summer. These teams are expected to focus on certain areas of policy, such as the Human Rights Act.The source insisted that Farron, who was elected leader earlier this month, had not snubbed Williams. “They are very very close, everything’s fine. There’s no way that Mark won’t have a role.”
That's nice of them . We will wait and see what this is but you might have thought he would have at least one spokesperson role.

Mark Williams, who is now the Lib Dems' only MP in Wales, had backed Mr Farron over rival Norman Lamb in the battle to succeed Nick Clegg.

So he has not even been rewarded for that 

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Has Dafydd Elis Thomas had a gagging order?

According to the Wasting Mule online

 Dafydd Elis-Thomas has been told he can not make public statements on Plaid Cymru’s policy and strategy without agreeing them with his constituency first, it has emerged.

Initial reports from a private constituency meeting in Porthmadog on Tuesday suggested that the constituency party had given his backing to Lord Elis-Thomas remaining a candidate for the Assembly.
But a source within Plaid says that the meeting also agreed that the former leader should not speak out on substantive party issues without talking to the local party beforehand.

“The meeting basically agreed that if he makes public statements they have to be agreed by the local constituency,” the source said.
“It was agreed that he should continue as a candidate, but there was anger that he kept undermining the party.
“He was held to account.
“He can talk to the press, but he has to do it in a way that is a representative of the party, rather than just giving out his own opinion.”
We can wonder  what the response from the constituency  will be  to this leak  and what "basically" can really mean

There was some speculation that D.E.T.   AM for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, is known for being one of the most outspoken members of the Assembly and his party. and often gives his views  sometimes refreshingly honest for a politician but ther has been speculation that  he had the threat of de-selection hanging over his head after he publicly criticised the party's general election campaign in a manner that many felt was unjustified and plain wrong.

It has led to a problem for Plaid in that it could be seen as draconian if it takes  action against action D.E.T. and weak if it does not.

There will be hope that in the months leading up to the Assembly Election  D.E.T.does not rock the boat. But lets face it he not the person who wil kep quiet for long.

He is in a powerful position in that if he was deselected or expelled  then he would probably stand as an Independent almost certainly seeing the Party lose its safest seat.

It may make for interesting politics but I wonder if Plaid realy devre this problem .

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Cameron set to Gerrymander both Lords and Commons.

It is sometimes forgotten that Members of the House of Lords are also Members of Parliament and what we refer to as MPs  should in fact be caled Member of the House of Commons (MHCs)

The recent scandal over Lord Sewel has thrown the Upper House into focus with renewed calls for reform but it is clear that Prime Minister David Cameron is prepared to stuff

 he prime minister said he regretted that the coalition failed in its bid to reform the unelected chamber during the last parliament after a Tory backbench rebellion. But speaking in Singapore during a trade and diplomacy tour, Cameron said there was no point trying to introduce reforms again as he signalled that he would press ahead with plans to appoint more Tory peers.

“It is important the House of Lords in some way reflects the situation in the House of Commons. At the moment it is well away from that. I’m not proposing to get there in one go. [But] it is important to make sure the House of Lords more accurately reflects the situation in the House of Commons. 

The current composition is

HM Government
HM Opposition
So if Cameron wants to "Reflect the Current commons hes going to have to greatly increase the number of Tories there by something like 200 it is suggested

The Prime Minister also proposes   to slash the size of the Commons from 650 MPs to 600 saying it was the  the "right approach".

Cameron is Planing to greatly increase the numbers in the Unelected Chamber  maybe making it close to a Thousand with mainly his party members whilst cutting the numbers of the elected members in the Commons which wil also favour his party.

The Tories won an overall majority with just 37% of the vote and now seem hell bent on Gerrymandering the system so they can have a permanent majority in both  houses.

There is no case for keeping the House of Lords as it is in a modern Democracy and whilst the argument for cutting seats in the Commons have some validity it should only come with the introduction of some kind of proportional representation 

If a directly House of Lords under the same electoral system  would be deemed to be to political and simply mirrored the Commons ten maybe we should look at the Irish Senate 

Seanad Éireann consists of sixty senators:
  • Eleven appointed by the Taoiseach (prime minister).
  • Six elected by the graduates of certain Irish universities:
  • 43 elected from five special panels of nominees (known as Vocational Panels) by an electorate consisting of TDs (member of Dáil Éireann), senators and local councillors. Nomination is restrictive for the panel seats with only Oireachtas members and designated 'nominating bodies' entitled to nominate. Each of the five panels consists, in theory, of individuals possessing special knowledge of, or experience in, one of five specific fields. In practice the nominees are party members, often, though not always, failed or aspiring Dáil candidates:
 Or in the Union then a Upper House of the  Nations in which Wales,Scotland and Northern Ireland  have a grater role and enough members to out vote English Members.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Parties should always listen but not always obey,

There were two Blogs which appeared on my Dashboard Yesterday about the same the time 
The first entitled 

Are British voters really primed for Corbyn? By Robert Pries on Left Foot Forward   CLFlaimed

"We should be wary of any claim that the British public is instinctively left-wing "

He writes

According to a widely-shared article, the British electorate privately supports solidly left-wing policies such as railway renationalisation and the abolition of tuition fees, even though right-wing governments get elected.
Should we, then, assume that voters would seize the opportunity to have their instincts represented at elections by a Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn?

He goes on to say 


Most pressing for the Left is the big picture: the proportion of people in favour of higher taxation and spending has collapsed from 63 per cent to just 37 per cent in the ten years from 2004 to 2014. Support for welfare spending has plummeted. Those who remember Blair-era clichés about a ‘social-democratic majority’ should consider whether they still stand up to scrutiny.
Stating the obvious, the reason we have polling data on most of these positions – fees, tax, Syria – is that Ed Miliband’s Labour Party explicitly represented them. When it came to a large poll of the electorate – a General Election with the highest turnout since 1997 – 49.5 per cent of voters plumped for the Tories or UKIP while 46.5 per cent went for a broad ‘left’ of Labour/SNP/Lib Dem/Green (39.0 per cent if you exclude the ambiguous Lib Dems).
This does not mean we should jettison all Ed’s policies, but it makes clear that being on the right side of public opinion on a basket of issues yields limited rewards.
The most important point is this: sharing some of voters’ positions does not mean you share their overall priorities. Labour’s position on Trident or railway ownership should always be debated but will not swing elections. While it is impossible to disaggregate all the reasons behind Labour’s electoral defeat, TUC-commissioned polling suggested many voters who considered voting Labour ultimately chose not to because of their perceived lack of economic competence.
This is the stubborn frame for policy discussions. It means that even when a policy like the 50 per cent tax rate polls well, many will not trust Labour with the decision. Meanwhile Osborne gets away with unpopular measures like abolishing student grants because – like it or not – people usually think his budgets are fair overall.
Even those who do not agree with the reasonable strategic case for making concessions on austerity should be wary of any claim that the British public is instinctively left-wing and sceptical about cherry-picking policy positions from opinion polls. Remember that UKIP can easily do exactly the same thing on immigration, overseas aid or inheritance tax. Most people are surely to the left of the Conservative frontbench on many issues, but Cameron can rule from the right as long as Labour keeps losing

In contrast Wings over Scotland  provides data which seems to to point to people being more  in line with the Anti Austerity message than we are led to believe

But whichever  you find the most convincing why should such polls it influence the policy of Labour or any Political Parties to change thier long held beliefs?

Political Parties should compose of people with similar views and attempt to influence others to share them eventually getting enough support to form a government and implement them.

They should look at such polls  not to try and see what the public support  but to see the extent they have to go in order to convince those who do not share their vision to change.

Similarly   they should not bee influenced  by Media Moguls Indeed they point out the undemocratic nature of a political system where the day after a General Election  we get 

If Corbyn wins or even does well in the Labour Leadership contest  they will face an increasing hostile media but that is not a reason not to elect him.

Nor indeed is it that the Majority those outside his Party do not share his vision  or even if they do.

When Andy Burnham argued that the Party Comes First and was shot down by Liz Kendall Er, the country always comes first”… it was the former who was right in the sense that the Party (whichever) should tell the nation what they believe not what they think the Nation believes. 
They should always listen but not always obey,


Monday, 27 July 2015

Its not the Hard Left backingr Corbyn its the Left Behind

Such is the panic within the elite leadership of the Labour Party  that Jermny Cotbyn could win the leadership contest  at least  one MP has suggested  it should be suspended because it's being 'infiltrated' by hard-left activists, 
Bassetlaw MP John Mann says an the process has been warped by an influx of new members, many of whom have signed up just to back Jeremy Corbyn.
There is speculation that 140,000 more activists could be eligible to vote than before the general election.
The Communist Party of Great Britain is among the groups that have urged supporters to join Labour and endorse the Islington North MP. Under new rules, they can pay just £3 and take part in the 
I must wonder if there ere anything like 140,000 hard left activist in the whole of the UK
In the General Election the highest "Hard Left" Party TUSC  only managed a total vote of  36,327 throughout the UL
Backbencher Mann told the Sunday Times the contest was "totally out of control", and insisted acting leader Mrs Harman should step in so that proper checks can be conducted.
"It should be halted," he said. "It is becoming a farce with long-standing members ... in danger of getting trumped by people who have opposed the Labour Party and want to break it up, expressly want to break it up - some of it is the Militant Tendency types coming back in."
This looks an attempt by Labour MPs who can not accept that a great deal of their Membership are opposed to the right wing drift of the Leadership in which they supported the Tories Austerity Program and Attacks on Welfare.

They have voted loyal for the party held their noses when they voted and watched in despair as the MPs  abstained rather than fight the Budgets welfare cuts and as the below (Which I've nicked from Welsh not British brilliant piece. I hope he doesn't mind)

 These are not "Hard Left Members" but the sort of Labour member you would meet  at a CND or protest in the  80's  earnest but still faithful to a party that was already abandoning them and who were using the threat of Militant to shift to the right. 

 The problem for these members who still carry the flame of socialism  is that he will lead a Labour Party that is already plotting to replace him.

Unfortunately for Plaid the majority of Corbyn's backer will be still Unionist at heart but as the SNP showed in May attitudes can change.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Women's Equality Party to field candidates in assembly elections

Part of me that wishes to see an end to discrimination against Women welcomes the news that the new leader of the UK's first feminist political party has said she expects to be fielding candidates in next year's Welsh assembly elections.

After all as the Plaid AM Bethan Jenkin wrote in  wrote in 2013 there has been frustration  even from among those  in Parties that have some "Gender Equality polices" in place"

Since the National Assembly for Wales was created in 1999, it’s fair to say that as many more women have been elected at a National level, mostly due to positive action measures within some Welsh parties, this has often given the false impression that gender equality within Welsh politics is no longer an issue. I recall going on radio shows of various European countries to talk about the rise in profile of Welsh women in public life as a result of at one stage there being almost 50% representation of women at the National Assembly for Wales. This clearly impressed other countries aspiring to encourage more women in to politics. But have we really been the success story that we have built ourselves up to be in this regard? Well, Labour and Plaid Cymru have since watered down their positive action policies, impacting directly on the number of women now elected to our National Institution, and there are many issues still rumbling under the surface.

Sophie Walker took up her post with the Women's Equality Party this week.

The party was set up by broadcaster Sandi Toksvig and journalist Catherine Mayer four months ago and is said to be Britain's fastest-growing party.

Ms Walker told BBC Radio Wales' Sunday Supplement the party would be taking a non-partisan approach to elections.
"We've picked the perfect time to launch a political party because of the number of proportional representation elections coming up in the spring," she said.
"We are going to field candidates and we think we stand a good chance and we think that will form a very good basis going forward to 2020 and, given the state of various political parties right now, who knows what the political field is going to look like in 2020."

She added: 

"We will work with other political parties where they want to work with us and, where we see that other political parties are adopting our goals and taking on our agenda, then we would consider joint candidacies with them.

Ms Walker said the party was at the "very early stages of deciding how to go forward".
"We will be undertaking consultations with our members  and deciding which seats to target," she added.
I note that Ms Walker has not indicated whether the new party will fight individual constituencies or just the list seats or both.

I can fully understand  the frustration that Women must feel after all it is over nearly 100 years since Constance Markievicz was elected to Westminster for Sinn Féin in 1918 and Nancy Astor taking her seat in 1919 and we are still well short of having like a equal amount of MPs from each sex.

I fear that at the moment the only way we will have any real Gender Equality among our Legislators would be if we elected one male and one female for each constituency.

I am not going to dismiss their chances In the Northern Ireland Assembly election, 1998,  the W omens Coalition won two seats  though they were never t repeat it.

So maybe the Equality Party will shake things up a bit and that might  be worth seeing.