Sunday, 23 September 2018

Jeremy Corbyn should tell us what is stance on Brexit really is.

For left Wing Remainers in the Labour party it must be very Jeremy Corbyn's stance or rather lack of one over Brexit is frankly depressing, finding themselves, agreeing with Arch Blarite  Lord Adonis after years of opposing the right wing shift under former leader Tony Blair must seem odd.

The news this morning that Labour's leader and deputy leader say they would be ready to back another EU referendum if party members want one.
Leader Jeremy Corbyn told the Sunday Mirror he was not calling for a new vote but would "adhere to" any decision made at this week's party conference.
And deputy leader Tom Watson, speaking to the Observer, said the view of party members must be respected.
It comes as a poll for the newspaper suggests 86% of members want a vote on the outcome of Brexit negotiations.
The party has never formally rejected the option of a further vote but both Mr Corbyn and Mr Watson have indicated they would prefer the issue to be resolved by a general election.
and only a few hours earlier  shadow chancellor John McDonnell Labour's leadership will resist grassroots pressure to commit to a second referendum .
Speaking on the eve of the party's annual conference in Liverpool, Mr McDonnell warned of the risk that a re-run vote could stoke far-right populism and xenophobia.
'I'm desperately trying to avoid any rise of xenophobia that happened last time around, I'm desperately trying to avoid giving any opportunity to Ukip or the far right. I think there's the real risk of that.'We're not ruling out a people's vote, but there's a real risk, and I think people need to take that into account when we're arguing for one.'
And according to BBC Wales Jeremy Corbyn has rejected a call by First Minister Carwyn Jones to decide Labour's position on a further Brexit referendum by November at the latest.
On Wednesday, Mr Jones said there needs to be a "very established position on a referendum by October or November".
Responding to Mr Jones's comments, Mr Corbyn told the BBC's Sunday Politics Wales programme: 
"I'm not quite sure why November at the earliest has been brought in to his calculations, but what I would say is we have set our six tests out.
"We will vote in Parliament accordingly on those six tests and hold the government to account on it. The government are the ones who are supposed to be undertaking the negotiations but they're facing both ways.
"Deregulation with Donald Trump or some kind of semi-deal with the European Union? We want something much more comprehensive and far more serious."
Mr Corbyn added: "No referendum is being offered, no questions are being put. The issue is of negotiations."
Confused?  You should be.
So I am still unclear on what Labour are proposing if they take the General Election route, whould they be calling for a end to Brexi and revoking Article 50 or a softer Brexit

Article 50 by which the UK singled it was withdrawing  from the EU does not spell out whether Member States can rescind their notification of their intention to withdraw during the negotiation period while their country is still a Member of the European Union. However, the President of the European Council said to the European Parliament on 24 October 2017 that “deal, no deal or no Brexit” is up to Britain. Indeed, the prevailing legal opinion among EU law experts and the EU institutions themselves is that a member state intending to leave may change its mind, as an “intention” is not yet a deed and intentions can change before the deed is done.  The issue is untested in court.

Sp would a Peoples vote have more power than a General Election result, bearing in mind it seems likely that the latter would naturally follow in the wake of a remain vote.

But where would Jeremy Corbyn stand on the question of leaving Europe is he just as Hard Brexiter as the likes of Boris Johnson or William Rees-Mogg, or what.

It would be the ultimate tragedy of the Labour Party , that after decades of waiting for a real socialist leader , the poor and dispossessed who have endured Thatcherism, Blair's Neo-Liberalism and Cameron/Clegg/ May's austerity , to find them selves betrayed by a leader who is to prepared to sacrifice them by backing a Left-Brexit  and a dream of a Socialist Utopia outside the EU.

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Irish Boarder: May needs end her colonial imagery.

The authors of 1066 and All That was a hugely successful parody of school history textbooks first published serially in Punch but later in book form in 1930 authors were W. C. Sellar (1898–1951) and R. J. Yeatman (1897–1968),  some how summed up the British attitude to Ireland over 80 years ago
The Scots (originally Irish, but by now Scotch) were at this time inhabiting Ireland, having driven the Irish (Picts) out of Scotland; while the Picts (originally Scots) were now Irish (living in brackets) and vice versa. It is essential to keep these distinctions clearly in mind (and verce visa).

  • Chapter 2
Gladstone...spent his declining years trying to guess the answer to the Irish Question; unfortunately, whenever he was getting warm, the Irish secretly changed the Question[.]
  • Chapter 57.
Of course its not so much the the Irish secretly changing  the Question, but Westminster drfining the question in its own imperialistic and colonists  terms.
Only a few weeks ago the Secretary of State has said she initially did not understand that nationalists did not vote for unionist parties during elections.
Karen Bradley said she did not comprehend that campaigns are generally fought within each part of the community.
She told The House magazine that it was "a very different world from the world I came from".
Mrs Bradley was appointed in January to replace James Brokenshire.
"I didn't understand things like when elections are fought for example in Northern Ireland - people who are nationalists don't vote for unionist parties and vice-versa," Mrs Bradley told House magazine, a weekly publication for the Houses of Parliament."So, the parties fight for election within their own community.
"Actually, the unionist parties fight the elections against each other in unionist communities and nationalists in nationalist communities," she added.
Such an admission of ignorance could possibly be seen as refreshing but as it comes at a time when the Irish Boarder comes to prominence during Brexit negotiations it begs the question  Does the UK goverment really recognise that the Republic of Ireland is now an Independent country and not the equivalent of a child who has left the  family home , where the matriarch believes he or she should still obey house rules and her influence?

Indeed as Britain walks out of the EU club one suspects they looked over their shoulder expecting Ireland to follow behind them.

But Ireland didn't and not only that has grown up and made many new friends who stand behind her as Mrs May thinks she can bully Ireland and are shocked to find that Taoiseach

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has the audacity to regard himself as her equal, and 

Mr Varadkar said he won’t accept the return of a hard border on the island of Ireland after Brexit even if Britain crashes out of the European Union without a deal on its future relationship with the bloc.
Varadkar said he couldn’t countenance the re-emergence of border infrastructure and checks between the south and north of Ireland following Brexit.

Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

“The UK has said they won’t do it,” Varadkar said i“And I’ve made it very clear to other European prime ministers and presidents that’s something Ireland will never do.
 “There is a small possibility that we could end up with no deal in October, and therefore a hard Brexit next March,” he said, adding he was still “very confident” of an accord in October,“But in a ‘no deal’ scenario, at least until there is a deal - and sooner or later there will have to be a deal - we won’t be installing a hard border between the island of Ireland and everyone knows that,”
 Varadkar raised the possibility that EU leaders could schedule extra meetings in September, October or November in an effort to seal an accord with Britain.
But you’ll know that there are a number of different scenarios that could arise if we’re in a ‘no deal’ situation. For example, it is possible to extend Article 50, to allow more time for negotiations to take place,” he said. “There is the possibility of an interim deal, or a transition period, pending an outcome or final negotiations around the transition period.”

What ever your views over Brexit. it would be helpful if Westminster began regarding the Rpublic of Ireland in the same way , they would any other Independent nation and not as they clearly do of a former colony that they still believe they can somehow still control.

Friday, 21 September 2018

Adam Price's supporters must end "Y Mab Darogan" label.

One of the things that it is clear from the Plaid leadership election, is that all three candidates is that all three are capable of leading the party and for those members who are voting in the next few days it is a difficult choice.

All have had supporters highlighting their preferred choice qualities.

I am however concerned with some of the repeated claims over Adam Price which equate him as some form of messianic figure who will lead us to a New Wales.

Back in April 2016 when  Adam Price, standing in Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, for the Assembly Elections was one of the most outstanding  politicians  in Wales  and if elected will undoubtedly make a contribution to the Assembly which sometimes seems lacking in Talent,
When he to left the House of Commons  and spent some time n the United States on a Fulbright scholarship, referred to him for a while  as the Pri(n)ce over the Water.
I thought that at the time it probably reflected the feeling that Plaid were in the doldrums and needed one of his Star players back
But this was surely OTT 
 Text of the leaflet
Y Mab Darogan ("The Destined/Prophesised Son" or "Son of Destiny" is a messianic figure from Welsh folklore, said to be destined to drive the English out of Britain.
Written by Adams replacement as the constituency MP Jonathan Edwards  it maybe didn't need the Messianic connection.  
Conservative rival Matthew Paul said it was "possibly the most sycophantic thing" he had ever seen.
Senior Plaid politicians are literally crawling over each other to pay tribute to their returning 'son of Wales', Adam Price.
"Fortunately he is also pretty good at talking himself up, and [Plaid leader] Leanne Wood will surely now know that the knives are sharpening."
Plaid Cymru claimed he was "bitter" and the Tories were becoming "desperate".
Responding on Twitter  the author of this leaflet doesn't seem worried about the criticism

 When Adam left the House of Commons  and spent some time in the United States on a Fulbright scholarship, I starting referring  to him for a while  as the Pri(n)ce over the Water.
I thought that at the time it probably reflected the feeling within Plaid that the party was in the doldrums and needed one of their star players back.
Only  Yesterday Nation Cymru has an article by John Osmond is a former Director of the Institute for Welsh Affairs
For Adam Price his whole life has been a preparation for this moment.His winning record speaks for itself. In 2001 he took Carmarthen East, among only a handful of seats across the UK that Labour lost. One critic has described his standing down from the seat in 2010 and then spending time as a Fulbright scholar at Harvard as ‘difficult to fathom’.To the contrary, it was part of Adam’s long-term leadership goal. He wanted to get into the Assembly and meanwhile he wanted to broaden his horizons and thinking.
"his whole life has been a preparation for this moment" am I alone in thinking that this worrying.
It is maybe ironic that in the "Life of Brian" two of those who did not see Brian as the Messiah were his Mother and Judith, both played by Welsh actors.

Even if Adam was to deny the Mab Darogan label, it could lead to  justified derision from his enemies,

But far worse, against his will and to his horror it could lead to something very sinister.

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Liz Saville-Roberts or Caroline Lucas for Prime Minister?

Clearly Prime Minister Theresa May telling rebels in her divided party that if they torpedoed her Brexit deal then the United Kingdom would leave the EU without any agreement, is an attempt by someone who is fast loosing authority that she is still in charge.

Of course she isn't and it may be that the UK Prime Minister is "First among equals", but she is not a constitutionally elected president , and can be removed by her party by s simple vote.

Remember Margaret Thatcher was replaced with John Major , without the Tories going to their membership , never-mind going to the country in a General Election,

Anyway it is of course, the head of state Mrs Windsor AKA Elizabeth 11 and not us who appoints the Prime Minister.

That is why even if a party wins an overall majority , he or she must still ask the queen to form a government

It is a situation that the Comedian Chris Addison understands but not apparently,  broadcaster and newspaper columns Julia Hartley-Brewer

 I was reminded of this as Sky News has urged, n independent body should be set up to run television general election debates,, amid fears that broadcasters could be cut out of the process entirely in the event of a snap post-Brexit vote

Though SKy seem to be pushing for it to be restricted to the leaders of the Tories and Labour.

John Ryley, the head of Sky News, said:
 “This is all about doing what’s best for the voting public. Sky News, along with the other broadcasters, changed the political landscape in this country by creating the first leaders’ debates eight years ago. Sadly it stands as an exception rather than the watershed it should have been.
“Political manoeuvring and failings by the broadcasters has allowed that momentum to be lost. Sky News believes an independent commission should set the terms for debates in future, to inform and engage the voting public with a head-to-head debate between the two political leaders battling it out for No 10.”

But as I wrote earlier, it is not a presidential election and it does not mean that either of the two leaders becomes leader.

It is not very unlikely that in the event of a hung parliament , neither Mrs May  or Mr Corbyn can go to the palace and inform the Queen that she or he can form a government.

It would be controversial  but not unconstitutional that  Labour, Lib Dems, Greens, the SNP and Plaid Cymru, could agrre to form a government that would in parliament would reform the electoral system, the devolution settlement into a Federal UK and in the wake of Brexit se us joining a Single Market and or Customs Union.

In this scenario, it would not be automatic that the Labour Party leader would become Prime Minister and it would be not impossible that  a minor party leader in the coalition could be the nomination to be Prime Minster ,

The sight of the Green's Caroline Lucas or Plaid's Liz Savile Roberts going to the palace to ask the permission of Mrs Windsor to form a government would send the likes of Julia Hartley-Brewer, rendered  into a state of Apoplexy , would be worth the licence fee alone.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Should there be a moratorium on "Nuclear Mud" dumping?

As I have previously stated.

This blog is no fan of maverick currently expelled former Plaid AM Neil McEvoy  and his populists politics and admit that my reaction to his  early campaign against plans to dump mud off the south Wales coast that has been dredged from near the Hinkley Point nuclear sites was just that populist scaremongering  and publicity seeking.
Nevertheless  those involved in the campaign and those with even minor worries have not been assured with news from the BBC that 

Developers must clarify whether dumping mud from near a nuclear plant is covered by an environmental impact assessment (EIA), a judge has said.Judge Milwyn Jarman said EDF's evidence was "not accurate on a very important point" on whether material dredged from the seabed near Hinkley Point C site in Somerset was included in the EIA.
They go on to say,
Campaigners want an injunction to halt the dumping that began last week.
A High Court hearing in Cardiff has been adjourned for seven days.
About 300,000 tonnes is to be dredged from the seabed near the building site and deposited in the Cardiff Grounds, a mile off the coast of the Welsh capital.
Energy firm EDF, which is behind the £19.6bn plan to build the nuclear plant, argued the mud dump was addressed in a main environment statement that formed part of the main planning application for Hinkley Point C and was approved by the UK Government.
But the judge said that was not clear from a witness statement the company had submitted to court.
 The firm's barrister James McClelland accepted the wording could have been made clearer.
Legal action is being brought by the Campaign Against Hinkley Mud Dumping, which includes Super Furry Animals keyboard player Cian Ciaran.
The application for an injunction has been brought in the name of rock star Cian Ciaran, the keyboard player with Super Furry Animals. The case has been brought with the help of a successful crowdfunding appeal.
Jonathan Edwards, the barrister representing Mr Ciaran, opened his case by saying that the EDF subsidiary was claiming his client had no legal right to apply for an injunction simply because he was a citizen living in Wales. He said that was disputed.
Mr Edwards explained that the protesters’ case hinged on the fact that no EIA had been undertaken when it should have been.
Mr McClelland told the court that an environmental statement was contained in the original application for Hinkley Point C which made several references to the company’s intention to dump mud in the disposal site in the Severn Estuary known as Cardiff Grounds. The document was said to run to more than 2,000 pages.
Questioned by Judge Milward Jarman QC about the apparent discrepancy between his statements in court and what was said in a written submission, Mr McClelland conceded that the document could have been phrased better and that as it stood was inaccurate. He blamed the shortness of time the company and legal team had had to respond to the application.
The judge adjourned the case for a week so the contents of the Hinkley Point C application could be scrutinised by both parties to see if it amounted to an EIA in the terms of the European regulations.
No application was made to stop further dumping, which began last week . The company could potentially seek huge damages from Mr Ciaran if he ultimately loses the case and the dumping contract had been disrupted.
The hearing came after protesters wearing gas mask and seagull costumes gathered outside the court, some holding banners and signs condemning the dumping.
Campaigners asked for a temporary injunction to be imposed until the next hearing, but the request was turned down., which is unfortunate as mud id already being dumped, and there must be a concern that there might be a reluctance from legislatures whether the courts or elected bodies to open a can worms if the campaigner fears were even partly realised. .

Neil McEvoy AM said campaigners were planning to organise a blockade in an effort to halt the dumping.
He said:
 "Unfortunately the judge adjourned for seven days without an interim injunction.
"So what we're going to do now is ask people with any available boats to blockade the dumping ground - which can be done lawfully."
A barge made its first trip to dump mud last Monday evening despite hundreds of people protesting against the plan.
It is clear that this has not been handled well and there surely should be a monetorium on the dumping.

I am not sure if Mr McEvoy will ever be satisfied, but it is the people in the area that really matter and its they who matter.   

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Could a Baroness be next Third Rate Minister in Welsh Assembly?

If you think the Plaid Cymru leadership election has been going on for an age then then race to succeed the current  leader and Third Rate Minster in the Assembly seems to be going at a Snail's pace.
It was back in April that Carwyn Jones announced his intention to stand down and we still haven't who will join the starting line up.
"Welsh Labour"  has at least agreed last week end to l use the one-member-one-vote system - like the one used to elect Jeremy Corbyn - to choose its next leader.
Delegates at a Cardiff conference voted two-to-one in favour of the change.
The decision, following months of wrangling, means the votes of all party members will now carry equal weight.
One-member-one-vote system, or Omov, is the system used by Labour in the rest of Britain and was the one the party's UK leader Mr Corbyn was elected under.
It means all party members - and members of unions and affiliated groups - get an equal vote.
A rejected alternative option was to reform Welsh Labour's electoral college, giving half the vote to party members and half to affiliated members.
There has been significant criticism over how some of the biggest unions took the decision to back Carolyn Harris without consulting their membership.
It is understood that Unite Wales' decision was taken by "just three or four people".

Mrs Morgan said her vote as an AM is worth 400 times that of a member.
She won the members vote, but lost the trade unions and parliamentarian vote.
Her team have calculated she had more than 65% of the members vote.

Labour's deputy leadership result

How the votes added up:
Carolyn Harris - 20.14%
Julie Morgan - 13.19%
Carolyn Harris - 11.61%
Julie Morgan - 21.73%
MPs, AMs and MEPs:
Carolyn Harris - 19.75%
Julie Morgan - 13.58%
Carolyn Harris - 51.5%
Julie Morgan - 48.5%
Mrs Morgan spoke of her frustration she lost out to the same system which saw her late husband Rhodri lose out as leader.
Meanwhile Two Welsh Labour leadership hopefuls  who have failed to get the necessary nominations have pulled out of the race in order to back Eluned Morgan.
Huw Irranca-Davies and Alun Davies have announced they will back the Mid & West Wales AM's bid to replace Carwyn Jones.
Ms Morgan also has the support of David Rees and Dawn Bowden but still needs backing from one more AM before she can get her name on the ballot paper.
The confirmed contenders for the Welsh Labour leadership are Mark Drakeford and Vaughan Gething.
It what limits the number of hopefuls Candidates need five other AMs to support them so unless one of Mr Drakeford's declared supporters decides to change their nomination, she will not get on the ballot paper.
The four Labour AMs backing the Welsh language minister said they were supporting her candidacy to ensure a "healthy debate" with "a choice of candidates".
"We are putting deeds not words in to action," they said in a statement.
"It is a responsibility we must meet so the membership of our party can choose from amongst candidates who reflect the diverse nature of the communities we seek to represent".
I am sure Eluned Morgan is as capable of replacing Carwyn Jones as the other two candidates and it seems ridiculous that we do not have a Woman candidate for the leadership.

Also there seems to be a case of "Get your Nomination in first" and candidates can wait to long to weigh up thier options only to see the fiels full,

But this move and the acceptance of OMOV, may lead to some of the Labour hierarchy to recall that Mr Corbyn, who is on course to become Labour leader according to the first public poll of those eligible to vote, scraped onto the ballot paper by winning the backing of 35 MPs - the minimum number of nominations needed to enter the race.
Some admitted nominating Mr Corbyn to ensure the contest represented the full spectrum of voices in the party and hoped members would dismiss the crazy views of the left in favour of a more mainstream candidate.
That went well didn't it?
Ms Morgan is also  Baroness Morgan of Ely , so could be the first peer since the Marquis Salisbury in 1902 to head an elected legislature  in the UK and the first to sit in two the Assembly and House of Lords. 
The prospect of the First Minister in Wales going to the Lords to vote on a UK Parliamentary Bill, bill is intriguing and would through Constitutional commentators into a frenzy.
Amusing as it sounds, it does beg the question of whether you should be members of more than one legislative assembly.
It will be interesting  if Ms Morgan states to make headway who will be first amongst the candidates supporters to point this out.

Monday, 17 September 2018

I really don't miss the dishonest Liberal Democrats.

Do you miss the Liberal Democrats?
Well I certainly don't miss their dishonesty, for instance claiming they are the only party opposing Brexit . whee both the SNP and Plaid have put up a more vigorous defence against it t and while Brecon and Radnorshire Lib Dem AM Kirsty Williams exerts some iinfluence on the future of Wales as the Welsh Government Education Secretary, she joined with Labour, Tories and Ukip n voting to hand powers back to Westminster,
Maybe voters who are going to hear Labour claiming that Plaid will go into a coalition government with the Tories and Lib Dems  as an Assembly Government should consider that?
I don't miss their misleading "Little Bar Charts" and only the Liberal Democrats. can beat the Tories,Labour, Plaid,SNP ahd God knows who else .
Mind you they have very few seats where based on the last election where they came second.
In last year’s  General Election they won just 4.5% of the Welsh vote and not a single MP was elected.
Jane Dodds, the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, is neither an AM nor an MP but she  claimswants to see the party not just delivering a clear message on Brexit but leading the fight to tackle the modern “scourge” of loneliness.
The Lib Dems struggle to do better than 10% in UK polls but she argues her party is a natural home for pro-EU voters.
She said:
 “If I’m honest, I don’t understand why all Labour voters who are remainers aren’t abandoning Labour because they really are siding with the Brexiteers.”
So they are pinning their hopes on a Brexit backlash but as I have already  pointed out in Wales Plaid oppose Brexit

This did not stop the Lib Dems  in the last election producing Facebook advertisements and leaflets that claimed Plaid was seeking a “hard Brexit”.

In the Facebook advert, the Liberal Democrats said they were the only party “fighting to keep Britain in the Single Market at this election”.
The advert went on to say that “Plaid Cymru are backing an extreme Brexit, along with Labour, the Tories and Ukip”.
In fact, Plaid wanted the UK to retain unfettered access to the European Single Market after Brexit occurs in 2019.
The previous election in Ceredigion saw a smear against the then Plaid candidate which many believe cost him the election.

The party won just one MP in 2015 when Mark Williams held onto Ceredigion, but he was ousted last year by Plaid Cymru’s Ben Lake with a majority of just 104.
Boundary changes mean the number of MPs in Wales may be cut from 40 to 29, but Ms Dodds is determined to once again see this West Wales heartland painted yellow.
She said: 
“We are going to be fighting we hope all 40 seats – or whatever there’ll be – but we are prioritising Ceredigion. It’s the second most winnable seat in the whole of the UK...
“We’re really hopeful that Mark Williams will get back in there and so we are absolutely doing everything we can to plan for that.”
The electors in Ceredigion could see  another round of dirty tricks from the Lib Dems and smears on Plaid  Ben Lake who is proving to be a very efficient MP.

But I leave Jane Dodds to make one of the silliest attempts to mislead voters for along time and try toturn a negative into a positive.

 UK leader Vince Cable has suggested the party could be led by a non-MP.
Ms Dodds points out that Wales has already blazed this trail, and hopes that such a move could lead to greater diversity at the top of the UK party.
She said: 
“Look at us in the Welsh Liberal Democrats. We’ve already got the model of electing somebody who’s not an MP or a Welsh Assembly Member. I think that’s really positive...
"In the federal Liberal Democrats, we’ve never had a female leader, like Labour... We’ve never had a black leader so there’s potential there for greater diversity and I think that’s really exciting and energising.”
The reason the Lib Dems in Wales don't have  a leader  whose an AM  or MPis because they have only one of the former whose in "not a coalition" with Labour in the Senedd and don't have any MPs

They had to change the rules not to widen the pool of candidates , but otherwise they would not have a leader at all.

If and its a big If the Lib Dems in Wales won any seat in the next General Election he or she would soon become leader, condemning Jane Dodds to even more obscurity than exists now.