Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Modern Nursery Rhyme.

I had a Magic Money Tree
But nothing would it bear
No money for the nurses
or the rest to share;

The DUP's leader 
Said she'e vote with me
So I found an extra Billion
On my Magic Money Tree.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Owen Jones , Just another Left-Unionist?

If Owen Jones is any example then those of us who promoted a Progressive Alliance are are in for a appointment.

He has been seem as a fresh and vital alternative , offering a progressive viewpoint , from the usual crap of  Left pr Right  Labour Unionism.

Bur he has raised ire  when he recently tweeted this 

EDINBURGH! Labour can win the next election - but only if we campaign. Join me, this Thursday. Spread the word!: https://www.facebook.com/events/1698648200163215/ 

Mr Jones seems surprised that  a number of Independence supporters  disagreed with him.
What particularly riled my antagonists was Munro’s reference to “SNP and Tory austerity”. This is an argument made repeatedly by Jeremy Corbyn himself. “Scots have a choice in this election,” said Corbyn in May. “A Labour government which will govern for the many not the few, or the continuation of Tory and SNP austerity.”
The reason Corbyn’s Labour make this argument is that the SNP refuse to use their tax-raising powers to reverse Tory cuts: their argument that it would cause the rich to flee is the standard right-wing objection to progressive taxation. Furthermore, they enforced a council tax freeze for many years that caused cuts to services in Scotland.
As  Colin Alexander Storrier points out in an excellent response 

This is not without consequence. Scotland’s budget has been brutally axed since 2010 to the tune of around £3 billion; severely undermining the ability of the Scottish Government to deliver our vital public services. It’s in this context that the SNP should be applauded for its efforts to mitigate the worst of the Conservative government’s heartless agenda. I ask you this, had the SNP not mitigated the Conservative Party’s austerity measures, then would as many people in the South and North East of Scotland voted Tory in June?
 “the SNP should be applaudedfor their efforts to mitigate theworst of the Conservativegovernment’s heartless agenda”
 And Owen Jones' defense  was   completely shot down by Plaid Leader Leanne Wood  

   Jun 20MoreLeanneWood Retweeted Owen Jones
So Owen, how do you fancy joining to campaign against Labour austerity in ?
Jones however seems to be intent on getting those of us who see Progress as bring a bit more than getting Jeremy Corbyn  as Prime Minister.
....The SNP would be more reliable allies of Corbyn, I’m repeatedly told. Odd, again, given Munro — who I was campaigning for — is a Corbyn supporter. Odd, too, given Nicola Sturgeon’s own publicly expressed view is that  Corbyn’s Labour is “pitifully ineffective.” Odd, also, given the SNP wishes Scotland to leave a country potentially led by Corbyn.In the coming months, I’ll be campaigning in Tory-held seats in England: Labour can take constituencies held by the likes of Iain Duncan-Smith and Boris Johnson. But I’m glad to have combined a visit to my parents with a campaign in a nearby marginal. That’s because I want Labour to win with left-wing candidates in Scotland, England and Wales so that we can have a left-wing Labour government — maybe even by the end of the year.

So basically  is telling us who favour Progressive  politics to put our faith in  Corbyn and a Labour Government,

But Corbyn and his allies have not so far expressed anything  on really reforming our electoral system or expanding devolution  in the current legislatures and perhaps vitally Englamd.

In the 1980's i like many others  would march with other Non- Labour supporters at CND rallies , where we would be constantly tole by the likes of Neil Bannock that only a Labour Government could  remove Trident and we should rely on him and his party.
OK Corbyn is not Kinnock ; but placing out faith in one man will lead to disaster for the Progressive left.

That worked didn't it.

At the last election Labour Candidates yes Candidates were telling voter Scottish marginals to voters Tory if they wanted to remove the SNP.

Owen Jones would be better off looking into this and arguing for a Tory fre Scotland rather than attacking a party that has done its best to mitigate Tory austerity  unlike the Labour Government here in Wales.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Every "Patriot" should know the story of the White Rose

Am I a Patriot , I suspect its a bit of a case that if I was to call myself one it would probably;y mean that I was not

Most are aware of Samual Johnsons 

"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel".
 And  Andrea Leadsom's call for 'patriotic' Brexit coverage has  prompted anger

Ms Leadsom's, the leader of the House of Commons, has come under fire for calling on broadcasters to be “a bit patriotic” in their Brexit coverage.
The outgoing Liberal Democrat leader, Tim Farron, described Leadsom, who stood for the leadership of the Conservative party last year, as “sinister” for her comments on the BBC’s Newsnight.
Ms Leadsom said:
 “It would be helpful if broadcasters were willing to be a bit patriotic. The country took a decision, this government is determined to deliver on that decision.”
Emily Maitlis, who was presenting the show, asked Leadsom if she was accusing broadcasters of being unpatriotic .
“Are you accusing me of being unpatriotic for questioning how negotiations are going, questioning whether you have the position of strength that she said she wanted?” 
Leadsom replied: 
“I’m not accusing you of anything, Emily. I’m simply saying we all need to pull together as a country. We took a decision a year ago today to leave the European Union, we have a very strong hand and we are very well prepared for the negotiations.”
Farron said: 
“This is a sinister threat to the free media. How dare Andrea Leadsom tell the press what they should think. This isn’t a George Orwell book. She needs to apologise for these comments and realise what she said was frankly stupid.”
The Cambridge Dictionary describes Patrioisn  as the feeling of loving your country more than any others and being proud of it

It is being proud thats the problem you can love your country and being discusted  by its actions.

Every  February 22nd wear a White Rose in memory of the young members of the White Rose movement  who executed buy the Nazi on that day in  1943.

The White Rose (Germandie Weiße Rose) was a non-violentintellectual resistance group in Nazi Germany led by a group of students and a professor at the University of Munich. The group conducted an anonymous leaflet and graffiti campaign which called for active opposition against the Nazi regime. Their activities started in Munich on June 27th, 1942, and ended with the arrest of the core group by the Gestapo on February 18th, 1943.[1] They, as well as other members and supporters of the group who carried on distributing the pamphlets, faced show trials by the Nazi People's Court (Volksgerichtshof), and many were sentenced to death or imprisonment.

Tke most famous members were  Hans and Sophie Scholl, often referred to in German as die Geschwister Scholl (literally: the Scholl siblings), were a brother and sister who were members of the White Rose, a student group in Munich that was active in the non-violentresistance movement in Nazi Germany, especially in distributing flyers against the war and the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler. In post-war Germany, Hans and Sophie Scholl are recognized as symbols of the Christian German resistance movement against the totalitarian Nazi regime.

This is an example of young people who loved tier country so much that they  stood up to  one of the most evil government  in rhe world .

Who were the Patriots in Nazi Germany ?

Here are some of their leaflets. which led to their arrests and execution

"Isn n't it true that every honest German is ashamed of his government these days? Who among us has any conception of the dimensions of shame that will befall us and our children when one day the veil has fallen from our eyes and the most horrible of crimes– crimes that infinitely outdistance every human measure– reach the light of day? ”
— 1st leaflet of the White Rose
“ Since the conquest of Poland, 300,000 Jews have been murdered in this country in the most bestial way ... The German people slumber on in dull, stupid sleep and encourage the fascist criminals. Each wants to be exonerated of guilt, each one continues on his way with the most placid, calm conscience. But he cannot be exonerated; he is guilty, guilty, guilty! ”
— 2nd leaflet of the White Rose.

“ Why do you allow these men who are in power to rob you step by step, openly and in secret, of one domain of your rights after another, until one day nothing, nothing at all will be left but a mechanised state system presided over by criminals and drunks? Is your spirit already so crushed by abuse that you forget it is your right - or rather, your moral duty - to eliminate this system? ”
— 3rd leaflet of the White Rose
 Those who believe that Patriotism is about your country right or wrong are no such thing.

For me it is loving your country but also admitting its wrongs and indeed being ashamed when its government and yes its people break the law or degenerate  and abuse other Peoples and Nations

Governments  and the Media who accuse those   who criticise   their failings of  "not being Patriotic" are  on dangerous ground .

Saturday, 24 June 2017

The wishes of the Islanders are paramount,

The government spent more than a £1bn and suffered the loss of British and Argentinian lives in the Falklands war, because it said that the wishes of the islanders were paramount, and that they should not be "betrayed". 
For many this was a case of rank  hypocrisy  when it came to the case of the Chagos Islands;  
Now after many years one of  the UK most recent crimes may at last see Justice finally  carried our
The BBC reported that 
 A dispute between the UK and Mauritius over disputed island territory in the Indian Ocean is to be referred to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The UN General Assembly voted by 94 countries to 15 that The Hague should examine the legal status of the Chagos Islands.
The former British colony used to be part of Mauritius but was detached in 1965 and is now home to a US airbase.The Foreign Office said it would be an "inappropriate" use of the ICJ."This is a disappointing outcome," a Foreign Office spokesman said: "Sovereignty of the British Indian Ocean Territory is clearly a matter for the UK and Mauritius to resolve ourselves."Taking this dispute to the International Court of Justice is an inappropriate use of the ICJ mechanism."Mauritius, which gained independence from Britain in 1968, argues that the UK broke international law when it separated off the islands before granting Mauritius its independence.

Officially part of the British Indian Ocean Territory, the Chagos were home to the Chagossians, a Bourbonnais Creole speaking people, for more than a century and a half until the United Kingdom evicted them between 1967 and 1973 to allow the United States to build a military base on Diego Garcia, the largest of the Chagos Islands. Since 1971, only the atoll of Diego Garcia is inhabited, and only by military and civilian contracted personnel.
Chagos map.PNG
On November 16, 2016, the UK Foreign Office maintained their ban on resettlement of the islands.] In response to this decision, the Prime Minister of Mauritius expressed his country's plan to advance the sovereignty dispute to the International Court of Justice.] The British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has sought Indian assistance for resolving the dispute involving UK, USA and Mauritius. India has maintained considerable influence in Mauritius through deep cultural and economic ties. While India has maintained that the matter of whether or not to proceed with the UN General Assembly move is a decision for the Mauritian government to make.
On 23 June 2017, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) voted in favour of referring the territorial dispute between Mauritius and the UK to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in order to clarify the legal status of the Chagos Islands archipelago in the Indian Ocean. The motion was approved by a majority vote with 94 voting for and 15 against.

The Foreign Office said it did not recognise Mauritius's claim to sovereignty over the islands - but that it would return the islands when they were no longer needed for defence.
"We have committed to cede them to Mauritius when the territory is no longer required for defence purposes," the spokesman said."At present it plays an important role in regional and global security, helping to keep the UK, US and other allies, including Mauritius, safe."
Safe from whom?
The government said it would "robustly defend" its position ahead of the ICJ's decision, which would not be legally binding.
During the Blair=Brown years there was a small hope that justice for the Islanders would be met , but to no avail.
It would be encouraging if Labour were to back the case of the Islanders now,
Most EU countries abstained from the vote, which BBC diplomatic correspondent James Landale described as an "embarrassing diplomatic defeat" for the UK.
He said it signalled that Britain's diplomatic clout had waned after the vote for Brexit.
In 2015, the UK Supreme Court denied a legal challenge by former islanders to return to Chagos after being removed more than 40 years ago.
The court rejected claims that islanders suffered a "significant injustice" by being forcibly removed from their homeland.which seems to me one of the most ridiculous directions ever made  .
 What other reason can we find in these two treatments  of the Falk;amfs and Chargos other than one group is brown-skinned and the other white settlers?

Friday, 23 June 2017

Tories may have broken electoral expenses law again.

A Channel 4 News investigation has found. The Conservative Party contracted a secretive call centre during the election campaign which may have broken data protection and election laws,

An undercover reporter working for Channel 4 News secured work at Blue Telecoms, a firm in Neath, South Wales.

The report says

In an area plagued by unemployment and low wages, the call centre hired up to a hundred people on zero-hours contracts. For weeks, they contacted thousands of potential voters in marginal seats across the UK.
The investigation has uncovered what appear to be underhand and potentially unlawful practices at the centre, in calls made on behalf of the Conservative Party. These allegations include:● Paid canvassing on behalf of Conservative election candidates – banned under election law.● Political cold calling to prohibited numbers● Misleading calls claiming to be from an ‘independent market research company’ which does not apparently exist

Channel 4 News obtained evidence that at least ten key marginal seats were targeted by the call centre on election day. Calls were placed to voters in Caerphilly, Camarthen East, Ceredigion, Pontypridd, Torfaen, Newport West, Bridgend, Gower, Clywd South and Wrexham.

During election day, on the 8th of June, callers at Blue Telecoms were told that they would spend the day making calls on behalf of named Conservative parliamentary candidates in Wales.

Guidance from the Electoral Commission for candidates and agents says: ‘During the campaign, you must not…pay canvassers. Canvassing means trying to persuade an elector to vote for or against a particular candidate or party’

The candidates were named during the calls and, again, floating voters were subjected to key Conservative messages.

 Interestingly in some of these marginal seats Carmarthen East for example if the "Canvassers" stuck to the Corbyn script and not mentioned Plaid they may encouraged voters to vote Labour

Indeed as the result proved the Labour and Tory vote rose in nearly every constituency as Plaid was squeegeed.

The Tories may have wasted their money but they did manage to push the Two Party sytem, which would please the two Unionist parties.
Will this revelation make a difference ?

Well the Tories failed to win any of thee above seats but even if they did the Electoral Commission and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) have proved to be toothless over the Tories in particular when it comes to breaking electoral rules.

One Question remains is the Welsh example , the only one or have call centres in other parts of the UK? and ave other parties also done this?

I suspect that because all parties sail close to the wind when it comes to electoral expenses, they are not going to pour over opponents declarations and highlight irregularities.

But is it not time somebody did and we had a proper audit after the election ,

Canada has the same electoral system as us and Wikipedia supply s similar results page for each constituency .

But with one  stark difference as becomes cleat when we lok at Prime Ministers Trudeau result
LiberalJustin Trudeau26,39151.98+14.05$129,821.55
New DemocraticAnne Lagacé Dowson13,13225.87-3.6$111,652.95
Bloc QuébécoisMaxime Claveau6,18212.18-12.71$19,007.27
ConservativeYvon Vadnais2,3904.71-0.33$5,649.91
GreenDanny Polifroni1,4432.84+0.95$82.71
IndependentChris Lloyd5050.99$5,759.41
RhinocerosTommy Gaudet3230.64
IndependentKim Waldron1590.31$2,101.20
Marxist–LeninistPeter Macrisopoulos1420.28-0.25
No affiliationBeverly Bernardo1030.2
Total valid votes/Expense limit50,770100.0$213,091.49
Total rejected ballots698
Eligible voters78,64

As you can see the candidates "declared" expenditure is included
how accurate this is may be open to question  but it would be useful to see a similar  practise for UK results.

At least we would have some idea just how much a Parties expenditure affects the result.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Labour Lexiters and On Off Welsh Nationalism.

It may be that the Queens Speech was somewhat light on proposed Bill because of the lack of a Conservative majority or Brexit  but  it does seem that ot was rather cruel to get ab 91 year old Women to read out this crap in the middle  of a Heat Wave.

  1. A Civil Liability Bill, designed to address the "compensation culture" around motoring insurance claims
  2. A Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill, establishing a Domestic Violence and Abuse Commissioner to stand up for victims and survivors and monitor the response of the authorities
  3. A Tenant's Fees Bill, banning landlords from charging "letting fees"
  4. A High-Speed Two Bill to authorise the second leg of the rail link from Birmingham to Crewe
  5. A Data Protection Bill to strengthen individuals' rights and introduce a "right to be forgotten".
  6. An Armed Forces Bill allowing people to serve on a part-time and flexible basis
Of course the devil is in the detail  but I wonder how much position there will be to the above.

Which makes me wonder if ther are has been a Tacit agreement with those (including Jeremy Corbyn) who have not exactly voiced opposition to a hard Brexit and who have been accused of being Lexiters (Left leavers)

As far as Wales is concerned Labour has accused Theresa May of treating Wales with “disrespect and disregard” in setting out her legislative programme in the Queen’s Speech.

Shadow Welsh Secretary Christina Rees claimed the Conservatives had “no mandate” in Wales, where the tally of Tory MPs fell from 11 out of 40 to just eight.
Neath MP Ms Rees said
: “This Queen’s speech is the latest example of the disrespect and disregard that Theresa May’s Tories have for Wales... There is no vision and no agenda for Wales – which is perhaps unsurprising from a Tory PM with no mandate here in Wales.”
Ho a member of a UK Unionist  party can claim another Unionist party has 2No mandate in part of that Union is beyond me.

You can't be a Welsh or Scottish Nationalist when it suits your party.

Mid and West Wales Labour AM Eluned Morgan warned of a potential Westminster “power grab” when powers today held by Brussels in devolved areas are returned.
She said:
“There is an assumption in the Queen’s Speech that when powers over agriculture and fisheries return from the EU, that a UK framework will be established. Whilst this at first might look like common sense, this statement represents a power grab by the UK Government of Welsh Government powers.
“This is an unacceptable and we in Wales should resist this onslaught of the devolution settlement at every step. The fact that there was almost no reference to Wales at all in the rest of the Queens speech, simply rubs salt in the wound.”
Plaid Cymru Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts – whose group has increased in number from three to four – pledged to try and amend the Queen’s Speech, saying: 
“The Prime Minister’s legislative programme is focused far more on soundbites than substance. It is a deficient plan for defining times.
“The UK Government has been completely exposed as having no majority, no mandate and now no plan. The UK Government has neglected its duty to present a legislative programme for all four countries in the UK.
“Despite a vague reference to working with devolved parliaments to build consensus, there was not a single commitment to deliver for Wales. Warm words will not protect the Welsh economy.
“Plaid Cymru will seek to significantly strengthen this legislative programme by placing a series of amendments, including on policing, national finances and fuel poverty, with the Welsh national interest at their heart and to ensure that the legislative programme reflects the challenges facing the whole of the UK.”
It seems to me that the Tories have put forward just enough Non-Brexit  legislation  to avoid a commons defeat.

Just to what extent Jeremy Corbyn and his fellow Lexiters will allow the Tories a free hand is open to question ?

Could it be that any perceive  enthusiasm for a Second General Election is only Hot air?

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

The Guardian is no different from the Telegraph .when it comes to Welsh.

Readers of this Blog , will know that I have been advocating a "Progressive Alliance" for a number of years now.

I suppose for some it outside mainstream politics would consist of Guardian readers types, that being seen as the most liberal minded  paper as opposed to most of the rest of the media except for the Mirror but the latter is is hardly a progressive paper.I do not expect for other progressives to share my views on Welsh Independence, but i do expect an  acceptance of devolution  and reconsecration  of Wales as an identity and Nation.

So when the Guardian publishes such utter Drivel  as Yesterdays   
‘We’re told we’re anti-Welsh bigots and fascists’ – the storm over Welsh-only schools
I become more than a little annoyed  

For some reason the Gruniard digs up the Llangennech  row and gors all Telegtaph on it..

You know it not going to be a balanced article when  it starts.

“We’ve been told we are anti-Welsh bigots and even fascists,” says Alice Morgan in her soft Welsh accent. The comments she is talking about began when she and other parents raised objections to a plan to turn their primary school in the village of Llangennech into one that teaches only in Welsh. They are worried that some children used to being taught in English won’t cope.
 The mention of a "Soft Welsh accent" should  have pointed me to the London Centric   attitude of the authors.

Ur goes on.
Feelings are running high. On one side are those who want to increase the number of Welsh speakers in the country. On the other are campaigners who say the evidence shows this method is futile and that children’s education is being sacrificed for politics.

Further along  after failing to mention that those opposing the changes were photographed with Ukips Neil Hamilton and his odious wife

the Guardian makes the audacious  claim that

There is debate among educationists as to whether the “immersion” method of language teaching is effective or the opposite: for some children, being plunged into a classroom where they are unable to communicate or comprehend can be a terrifying, isolating and miserable experience.
According to Save the Children, which works in multilingual contexts across the world, “adults often have powerful reasons for choosing a school language that children do not know. Nevertheless, it has been shown that if the school language is different from the language children use at home, this is a major cause of educational failure.”
Despite efforts to bolster the Welsh language over the past two decades, its use is in decline. The 2011 census found that the number of Welsh speakers had fallen from 21% of the population to 19% over the previous 10 years. In Carmarthenshire, the drop was steeper – from 50% to 44%. The Welsh government is trying to double the number of Welsh speakers to a million by 2050. In Carmarthenshire, led by Plaid Cymru, it is the council’s intention “to move every primary and secondary school along the language continuum” – meaning that schools will teach only in Welsh.
Save the Children  Cymru have said that they have been taken out of context .

The whole article is riddled with  misleading assertions,

So lets be clear

  1. Most academics agree that bilingual education is a benefit for all children.
  2. No child educated in  Welsh Medium School comes out of it unable to speak English . Indeed their grammar is often better than those in Monoglot English Schools
  3. The plans to end dual stream teaching where some pupils are educated through the medium of Welsh  and others English, Show can anybody think this is a good system
  4. Travelling 3 miles to a school is not uncommon in rural areas and people in other parts of Wales who want Welsh Medium Education have to travel much further.
  5. The plans for Llangennech was drawn up under the previous Labour led council.
  6. It is also inline with the plans of the Welsh Labour Government.

Twitter has exploded with criticism  and rebuttals of the Guardian  article .

But we need to ask" how this  came to be written and more importantly why."

We have very few friends in the English Media but we would expect the Guardian  not to be an enemy .

It reminds me of the old adage 

"Scratch a British Liberal and you will draw the same imperialist blood as an English Tory"