Sunday, 23 April 2017

I am not celebrating St George's Day, Even if its a Bank Holiday .

Listening to the BBC news this morning  I thought there's a mistake here surely?
Because they  claim
A Labour government would seek to create four new UK-wide bank holidays,
The holidays would be on each nation's patron saint day - St David's Day on 1 March, St Patrick's Day on 17 March, St George's Day on 23 April and St Andrew's Day on 30 November.
Mr Corbyn believes the move will "celebrate the national cultures of our proud nations".
The impression here that we will be celebrating the four patrons saints with a Bank Holiday throughput the UK.
Under the policy, the devolved administrations would have the final say on whether to approve the extra bank holidays.
The BBC points out that Creating bank holidays is a devolved power in Scotland.
Whereas England has no devolved administration so it will be up to Westminster and under the English votes for English laws rule.
Can we really expect Wales to celebrate ST Andrews Day, Scotland St George day and England St David's day,
Mind you many of us join in the Craic on St Paddy's day as they do throughout the world.
So it seems to me that what is intended is four separate Bank Holidays as each part has a unique day off.
Otherwise we will be having a Bank Holiday on March 1st and tehn on March 2nd
Labour says the UK has fewer bank holidays than other G20 countries.
Normally, England and Wales have eight bank holidays a year, Scotland nine, and Northern Ireland 10.
Labour says the average for G20 countries is 12. 
So have the BBC got this wrong?
Normally, England and Wales have eight bank holidays a year, Scotland nine, and Northern Ireland 10.
Labour says the average for G20 countries is 12. 
Mr Corbyn will say in a speech on Sunday:

"The four nations that make up our great country have rarely been more divided due to the damaging and divisive policies of this Conservative government.
"But where Theresa May divides, Labour will unite our four nations.
"A Labour government will make St George's Day - England's national day and Shakespeare's birthday - a public holiday, along with St David's Day, St Andrew's Day and St Patrick's Day.
"These holidays will be a chance for workers to spend time with their families, in their communities and with their friends.
"But they will also be a chance to celebrate the national cultures of our proud nations."
Certainly you can interpretate this has being us having the holidays on a UK wide basis, and maybe it is a part of Mr Corbyn Unionist thinking that which may be less of the Tories Empire 2.0 which some Brexiters seem to be hoping for and more of we are all together don't spoil it attitude and the bafflement of my English friends who can't understand why I don't automatically support their side when they qualify for the World Cup.

Lets face expecting us to  celebrating St George's Day  is an insult  and unless Labour may it clearer will be met with derision.


Saturday, 22 April 2017

We are not voting for a President on June 8th

Of the last six Prime Ministers Thatcher, Major ,Blair ,Brown,Cameron, and May. Three were first given the Job without a General Election.

True we a not as bad as Australia where ,Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard was ousted by rival Kevin Rudd in a leadership vote in June 2013 - months before a general election won by Tony Abbott's Liberal Party and its coalition partners the National Party.
Ms Gillard herself had ousted Mr Rudd as prime minister in 2010.
Then in 2015 Tony Abbott was ousted as leader of the centre-right Liberal Party by Malcolm Turnbull.

But it is a truth that we are not electing a Prime Minister  in the manner of a Presidential Election .

I like a lot about Jeremy Corbyn despite he seems to a poor grasp of devolution and wonder if I really see him as a true progressive, and a left wing centrist .

He does not seem to be much of an advocate for Proportional Representation either.

But even if he was to become Prime Minister , I wonder how long before the Parliamentary Labour Party still consisting of Red Tories would seek to undermine and replace him ?

Mrs May even with a huge majority, will still lead a party that is divided over Europe and if she is seem as dithering over a true "Hard Brexit" face a coup.

Certainly if she looses a Second Scottish Independence  Referendum she is will 

be dead in the water

Unfortunate there is not going to be a progressive alliance for this election, which promises major constitutional change which introduces Proportional Representation , which means that every vote counts.


Yes we need to try and unite against the Tories , but that does not mean that this simply involves voting for Labour if that Party's incumbent or challenger of a marginal seat  is little more than Red-Tory Blarite  . who doesn't support the party leader and may even seek to either replace him or form a new party.

We must remind ourselves on June 8th we are not voting foe Jeremy Corbyn  or Theressa May to become Prime Minister but for a member of Parliament

For those of us in Scotland , Wales and indeed Cornwall if the polls are right Labour can't win anyway is it not time we sought to get out of the Tories clutches through voting for Parties that seek Independence?. 



Friday, 21 April 2017

May's meets the people or rather her own people.

I once read that during a General Election Campaign in the 1950'sthe then Labour Prime Minister Clement Atllee would visit Constituencies in a car driven by his wife stopping on verges for a picnic.

Times of course have changed the danger of terrorism means that senior politician need extensive protection and the murder of Jo Cox reminds us that even ordinary candidates are facing danger.

But does this mean that the likes of Theresa May does not met the public and her tours will be only photo shoots with Party members some of whom will not even be local but bussed in by the Party/

As Craig Murray points out a taxi driver was the only member of the public who managed to get anywhere near Theresa May on her much publicised “meet the people” election visit to Bolton on Tuesday




Mr Murray writes
Visiting Bolton on Tuesday , May arrived by helicopter, was whisked through town in an armoured convoy, spoke to a tiny audience of vetted conservatives, refused to answer any questions, and was whisked out again. In a precise example of what we have to expect in the next six weeks the BBC reported she had been to “meet the people”, and then gave us a series of vox pops from Labour voters in Bolton who were switching to Conservative.
The media picture with which we are presented is not just a distortion, it is the polar opposite of the reality. It was not a “meet the people” visit, it was an “avoid the people” visit. With not even other members of the political establishment being allowed to question her in debate, this is an Uzbek style election in the UK
That May’s police escort see it as their job to prevent any expression of dissent says everything about the kind of Britain she is creating. It goes along with her failure, twice, to accept Angus Robertson’s invitation to distance herself from the Daily Mail’s “Crush the Saboteurs” headline.
Disciplinary action should be taken against the policeman for the harassment of that driver – who it should be noted had already been forced to halt and pull aside for a period of time to let May’s convoy pass, and had complied. That we have a police force who think you are not allowed to show dissent to the Prime Minister is deeply troubling.

I do not believe that Politicians  should face being assaulted by members of the public , But surely they should actually face criticism and questioning ,

One thing about Mrs May is clear from Prime Ministers Questions is that she cannot face scrutiny and maybe that is why she wants to avoid a Leaders debate.

Vast sums of Tax payers money is being paid to protect Mrs May it should not be used to protect her from facing those who her polcies have harmed ,


Thursday, 20 April 2017

Should Leanne stand in the Rhondda?

Is Leanne Wood  seriously considering putting herself forward for the parliamentary seat of Rhondda, Plaid Cymru sources  as BBC Wales.
They say 
Speculation is mounting the leader of Plaid will stand against Labour's Chris Bryant in the general election in June.
She has not ruled out the move, which would trigger both an assembly by-election and a leadership contest if she won.
Potential rival Mr Bryant did not want to comment.
Ms Wood took the seat of Rhondda from Labour in the 2016 assembly election when she beat Leighton Andrews, a former Welsh Government minister.
The party leader refused to tell BBC Radio Wales in an interview if she wanted to be on the ballot paper.
She said she had "not ruled anything in or anything out".

So should she? 

Pros

  • It would lead to much needed coverage for Plaid as they are likely to be sidelined.
  • Plaid could claim the Rhondda is their Govan the seat which was  the springboard for them in Labour's Scottish heartlands.
  • It would increase the number of Target seats for Plaid.
  • If she was to win then Plaid would probably retain the Assembly seat in the Rhondda which may be held on the same day,
  • It might galvanize the Plaid vote in the South Wales Valleys and have a ripple effect.
  • She  if the election is closer than predicted find her self part of Progressive Coalition government that can deliver real democratic change.
  • It could make a election that looks to be gloomy for Non-Tories interesting.

Cons
  • She will have to resign her Assembly seat on as I understand
  • There is no guarantee that the UK (and ("Welsh") media will increase as a result of her standing.
  • She might win but  Plaid lose the Assembly seat
  • She might lose and Plaid lose the Assembly seat
  • She will diminish the Assembly and put foward the idea that it is better to have small number of MPs in Westminster than being the opposition in Cardiff or even being the Government.
  • This will be the last battle for the Rhondda constituency for the UK Parliament  as it will be abolished by the  Tories as they reduce the number of MPs
  • With a potential huge Tory majority its going to be even more frustrating  and she not going to ring any concessions out of May as she has out of Carwyn Jones.

On balance it does not look that she will run. But she is a courage politician who might have been the only one who really believed she could win the Assembly seat.
 

I believe that if she stood she could win , but does she really want to be a small fish in a large pond, rather than what she is now?









Wednesday, 19 April 2017

May's reason for calling an election is a dishonest ploy,

We are supposed to have fixed years Parliaments   so why is Theresa Nay calling an early election which will takes place Two years after the last one and just 4 weeks after the local government elections,

Forget the guff about strengthening the governments Brexit  position. After all despite the Poll lead , this can change and , I will be surprised  that it will change EU negotiators attitude one iota

The truth is Mrs May knows that she would be facing loosing her Majority and poll lead if Conservative MPs accused of breaking election spending rules at the last election face the possibility of being prosecuted and (resigning their seats )by the Crown 

Channel 4 News reported on Tuesday evening that the CPS is considering prosecutions  against over 30 individuals with regards to 2015 election expenses.

A decision has to be made by the CPS by late May or early June, meaning that any charges will land during at least the long election campaign period, and possibly even the short campaign.

Police forces who have sent files to the CPS relating to the spending allegations include Avon & Somerset, Cumbria, Derbyshire, Devon & Cornwall, Gloucestershire, Greater Manchester, Lincolnshire, the Metropolitan, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and West Yorkshire.

The Canary points out  that given the mainstream media’s reluctance to report the issue, we need to ensure it is kept firmly on the agenda and the allegations  around the ‘battle bus’ campaign, and associated expenses such as hotel rooms. 

Many argue that the campaign promoted prospective local MPs in key seats. Under election law, any expenditure which promotes a local candidate should be covered locally. But the ‘battle bus’ and associated costs were declared nationally. Each constituency has a fixed amount of money it can spend locally. And including the ‘battle bus’ expenditure would have meant many candidates overspent.

Two dozen Conservatives are understood to be under investigation over claims that they did not include battle bus spending in their local campaign returns. The Electoral Commission is also investigating the allegations in parallel to the police.

Since by the very fact the Tories sent their Battle Bus to these constituencies means these were marginal seats the Tories faced loosing everyone if the MP resigned and there were a series of  byelections.

Mrs May may be hoping that calling a General Election will result in any persecutions fall by the wayside  or that she will win a landslide and this will mitigate any future losses as those MPs who have been reelected resign after being prosecuted. 

Since its clear that the UK media are going to try and keep this "Spiked" its up to the ordinary user of Social Media to expose the real reason why May is  lacing a snap election.




Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Turkey Dictatorship means Dictatorship. Get over it

BBC and Other UK Media


Scottish Referendum Result Yes 44.70 No 55.30 

Overwhelming  Victory for No. Issue settled for a Generation


Brexit Vote Leave 51.89 Remain 48.11 

Decisive Victory for Leave Brexit means Brexit


Turkish Referendum Yes 51.41 No 48.59

Narrow Victory Turkey divided

Despite saying that the voting day was "well administered", the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe criticised the referendum campaign, saying:
  • It was an "unlevel playing field" and the two sides of the campaign "did not have equal opportunities"
  • It was unbalanced due to the active involvement of the president and several senior officials
  • It was tarnished by a number of officials equating No supporters with terrorist sympathisers
  • State resources were misused
  • Under the state of emergency, essential fundamental freedoms were curtailed
  • Despite some measures, the legal framework remained inadequate for a genuinely democratic referendum

Of course in the Scottish Referendum  was a level playing field with an unbiased media given both sides of the question   fairly .

It seems the difference between "a narrow Victory and a Decisive vote is 0.47%. when referring to Brexit, and Turkey 

Does "Dictatorship mean Dictatorship " do those in Turkey  who value democratic freedoms now have to "Get over it".

 Progressive forces   have been dealt another blow especially after Trump who actually had fewer votes than Clinton  won by 46.4% to her 48.5  but he won more getting more electoral college votes.

Only in Scotland where the reaction of the looser was to rally and see a huge surge of membership of the pro independence party and a SNP  landslide in Scotland in the UK General Election  and the prospect of reversing the vote in another referendum.

There will be no prospect for the Kurds in Turkey who will face a quasi fascist  President  and who may be violently suppressed as  Erdogan manufactures reasons to ban thier political parties and try to eradicate thier national idnity.



Monday, 17 April 2017

What is Holyrood For? "What is Cardiff Bay For?

There was one of the most important Blogs on what we can expect from Devolution on the Scottish Blog Bella Caledonia

Entitled "What is Holyrood For" it pointed out that those who believe that they can isolate themselves from the Harsh Winter coming from a Tory run Westminster are living with false hope and has a equally disturbing  future here in Wales

Kimbereley Carden writes

One positive to take out of the last few days – and indeed it’s been a deeply disappointing few days, culminating in Ruth Davidson telling women who have had children as a result of rape not only that they don’t deserve dignity, privacy or compassion, but that their suffering is just a political football to her and nothing more – is the penny finally dropping that the Scottish government cannot be expected to mitigate Tory cuts. This is not the same as to say that the government shouldn’t try to do so where they reasonably can – and indeed the SNP government is already spending £400 million per year mitigating Tory welfare cuts in Scotland. But it is to say that the Scottish government – and whichever party/parties constitute this – cannot be expected to and -indeed mustn’t be.
The reason for this is two-fold: firstly having the competence doesn’t equate to having the capability. The cuts the Tories are making to tax credits and disability benefits alone are huge. It would be impossible for the Scottish government – with a fixed block grant and minimal tax raising powers – to raise and move cash to cover our share of the welfare cuts that we’re told are saving the UK treasury £12 billion, without this being hugely detrimental to Scotland.
We are in a situation where the block grant has already been massively cut as a result of UK spending cuts and this in turn is leading to a diminishing budget for Scotland: Since 2010 there has been a real terms cut in funding to the Scottish parliament of £2.9 billion and the Fraser of Allander Institute has said that we are looking at another £800 million to £1.6 billion in real terms cuts by 2020. Add to this that the Scottish government’s tax changes don’t even bring in enough to cover what they are already spending annually on mitigating welfare cuts and we begin to see the issue.
I wrote at the time that the issues for Tax Raising powers was a Trojan Horse designed to force a already underfunded Welsh Government 

It is a tactic based on the argument

"You don't want these cuts , then You raise Taxes to pay for it".

It is exemplified toby Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson reaction her who has been under attack from the SNP and Labour over the issue, “rape clause” introduced by the UK Government’s child tax credit reforms.

 The Tory leader said the Scottish Parliament has the power to create a new Scottish-only benefit, following the passage of the Scotland Act, and called on the SNP and Scottish Labour to set out their position.
She added: 
“We support the exemptions which the UK Government has put in place on restrictions to child tax credits, and we want to see the UK Government implement them in the most compassionate way possible. That work is on-going.“The SNP has said it opposes the two-child policy on tax credits, so it now has a choice to make.“At Holyrood, we now have the power to create new benefits. So the Scottish Government could, if it wanted, propose a new benefit to provide funding for families with more than two children.“Of course this would have to be paid for, but if the SNP Government believes this to be of such importance, then it can act.

I suppose such arguments could be valid except that the Tories  are using the attack on the welfare state to pay for Tax cuts for their  well off backers.

Neither Wales or Scotland can decide not to contribute to the billions that will be spent on Trident  and other Westminster projects that are of no benefit to us.

Basically Westminster is saying we are going to destroy the welfare state in England in order to keep our rich backers happy and to preserve the myth that the UK is a world power. You have the right and maybe the powers to pay for it but we are reducing the base income that you already receive.

We can then claim that your people are the most highly taxed in the UK and with the support of the Unionist Media see our Branch Offices in Hollyrood and Cardiff Bay winning power.

Ending the whole devolution project and having a Union that is not only unbreakable but where the Tories are in power for ever apart from the occasional Blue-Labour government whose policies will be almost identical.

The only solution is not further devolution  which the Tories can exploit "You want it , You pay for it scenario"

The only way for Wales and Scotland to escape the clutches of Cold , Callous Toryism is Independence/


Sunday, 16 April 2017

Welsh Councils given "Final. Final Warning" over recycling.

The BBC reports that three local authorities which missed a recycling target last year are to avoid fines of more than £600,000.
Newport, Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen all missed a target to recycle 58% of waste by 2015/16.
Ministers have set tough targets for the amount of waste authorities should recycle, reuse or compost, with the threat of fines to those councils that do not meet them.
In 2015/16 the target was set at 58%, which 19 of Wales' 22 councils met or exceeded, with Wales as a whole recycling 60.2% of waste.
But Newport and Torfaen both fell just short at 57% each, while Blaenau Gwent's performance was the lowest at 49%.
Based on a penalty of £200 per tonne that the target was missed by, Blaenau Gwent council said it would have been fined £573,000 while Torfaen council said its fine would have been £49,800.
Newport council could not provide a figure at this time.
Coincidentally Blaneau Gwent and Torfaen are the two councils most likely to remain under Labour control after May's election.
It would not look good if a Welsh Labour Government fined a Labour controlled council before May election.
However it seems  the Welsh Government has now decided not to penalise them, saying it expects their performance to improve.
What we used to call in the workplace their "Final Final Warning".
Opposition AMs criticised ministers, however, with one suggesting the credibility of the government's strategy has been "lost".
The Welsh Government - which set the first statutory recycling targets in the UK - said 
"significant improvements" are expected for the authorities' recycling performance in 2016/17.
"As such, a decision was taken not to issue penalties on this occasion," a spokeswoman said, adding fines could still be imposed in future if local authorities continue to miss targets.
It is not the first time the Welsh Government has decided not to fine authorities for missing recycling targets. 
In 2015, it waived penalties for Cardiff and Rhondda Cynon Taf.

Another two Labour controlled councils  (Newport run by the Tories and LibDems may be lucky here).

But Simon Thomas, Plaid Cymru environment spokesman, said: 

"It seems to me that the credibility of what the Welsh Government is trying to achieve is clearly lost when you go through two cycles of target setting and two cycles of failure by certain authorities, and you just don't follow through on it."

 UKIP local government spokesman Gareth Bennett, said the policy was "ill-conceived" and that the imposition of fines "would only serve to hit local authorities and council tax payers in the pocket".

True but as Conservative environment spokesman David Melding points out
"There must be an incentive for the underperforming councils to improve recycling rates,"  "and the Welsh Government is in danger of appearing to be all bark and no bite".
A Welsh Liberal Democrat spokesman ( since their only AM is part of the government in "Not a Coalition" said:
 "The Welsh Government cannot possibly hope to meet recycling targets if councils know they'll get away with missing their recycling targets by sweet talking the government."
In forthcoming years, the targets will get tougher to meet - with authorities expected to recycle 64% of waste in 2020 and 70% in 2025.

During this time a number of Welsh Councils may cease to be under Labour Control . It will be interesting to see if the Welsh Government  start getting tough.

Going back to  Gareth Bennett;s point  that fines "hit  council tax payers in the pocket".I wonder if the councils meeting the targets are already increasing resources  when it comes to recycling  and costing council tax payers more.

Prehaps we should see figures on what councils are spending on recycling per head of population  along with their success rate?

 Maybe the Government should consider asking for powers to impose a wage freeze on Chief Executives and senior Councillors , If it was their pockets that were affected they might just try harder.
 

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Tory candidate an" Accident waiting to happen".



Yesterday I wrote that...
"Those of us who have the honour of a Tory (or one pretending to be an Independent) standing in their area will have or soon receive leaflets from them in which they don't call for cuts but will be calling for more expenditure on their Ward"

Here is one example the Tory standing in my Ward Sam Trusk calling for a development and bemoaning that expenditure goes elsewhere 




I am not claiming that candidates should not fight for their Ward all candidates especially those challenge incumbents will be doing so.


But, when you are standing for a political party which has imposed cuts from Central Government that has been passed down via the Assembly to your council, How can you have candidates in a Local Authority demanding expenditure in their patch?


You could argue that this is the case for voting as an Independent but they often work like a political Party as they work as a group both in opposition and in power.


Indeed how many "Independents" are  subject to some kind of "Whip" just look how they operate on Carmarthen an Pembrokeshire councils.


Too what extent are they organised under a leadership and candidates already agree to some group policies even before they are elected.


If you look at the above image you will see that under the Photo of Mr Trusk are the words an 

"Accident waiting to happen".
Condemned  in his own words you might say

Friday, 14 April 2017

Tories "open to the people", but only their own.



At their Local Government  campaign launch, Tory "Welsh" Leader  Mr Davies said councils should be more open to the people they served.
"Time and time again, whether it be the planning system, whether it be exorbitant council tax increases that people have had to face, they believe that Labour-run councils - along with Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats - haven't been listening to them," he told BBC Wales.
"Welsh Conservatives promise to listen, promise to deliver, and above all will make sure that we're held to account when we get into county halls across the length and breadth of Wales."

The Tories always talk about councils being open to people they severe but only if the people agree with them

Ken Livingstone’s high-spend socialist policies put the GLC into direct conflict with Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government.when Livingstone soon became a thorn in the side of the sitting Conservative government. He antagonised Thatcher through a series of actions (including posting a billboard of London’s rising unemployment figures on the side of County Hall, directly opposite Parliament); a Fares Fair policy of reducing Tube and bus fares using government subsidies;

By 1983, the government argued for the abolition of the GLC, claiming that it was inefficient and unnecessary, and that its functions could be carried out more efficiently by the boroughs. The arguments for this case which were detailed in the White Paper Streamlining the cities. Critics of this position argued that the GLC’s abolition (as with that of the Metropolitan County Councils) was politically motivated, claiming that it had become a powerful vehicle for opposition to Margaret Thatcher’s government. Ken Livingstone and 3 other Labour councillors resigned in protest, and won back their seats easily in the September 1984 by-elections because the Conservatives refused to stand.

The point is despite the GLC facing a hostile press the Tories could not risk it going to a election and Livingstone winning on a Left  Mandate completely opposite to Thatcherite thinking

Earlier, he told the BBC's Good Morning Wales programme that high pay in local government "drove people around the bend", and questioned why some officials in county halls were paid more than the prime minister.

The Tories only run Monmouth with the help of the Liberal Democrats. I wonder what officials in the many county halls in England are paid?

The party's local government spokeswoman Janet Finch-Saunders said 

Labour and Plaid Cymru-led councils
 "continue to hold back our communities with a complacency that has seen our high streets deteriorate, picturesque green spaces diminish, and council tax bills spiralling out of control".
Those of us who have the honour of a Tory (or one pretending to be an Independent) standing  in their area will have or soon receive leaflets from them in which they don't call for cuts but will be calling for more expenditure on their Ward.


At no time will they mention the Westminster led cuts to Local Governments finances which has led to the closure of Libraries and other social amenities.

Don't be fooled by the Tories waving the flag of Democracy they  have no interest in the views of ordinary people, They call for openness is a lie, they seek only to serve  a a minority of people who resent  the welfare state  and would rather they paid no taxes at all.

Why should anybody vote for a Party that  has tried to use an economic  crisis to attack the poor and dispossessed rather than the bankers who caused it and who will seek to extend it to your Town Halls.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Rape clause needs to be condemned by all.



The controversial government  decision to ask new mothers who have been raped for verification if they wish to claim tax credits for more than two children has become law without any debate or vote in parliament.

The so-called rape clause, which will be applied as part of new restrictions on tax credit entitlement, was added to legislation l


Alison Thewliss, the SNP MP who first highlighted the issue of the clause, has led a furious response, saying it was an “underhand parliamentary tactic” to introduce the measure without proper scrutiny.


Alison Thewliss SNP MP for Glasgow Central.

She also described as “frankly astonishing” the fact that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP ) had introduced the scheme apparently without having trained any of the people who will judge whether someone claiming the exemption has been raped.

The regulations, announced in the 2015 budget by the then chancellor, George Osborne, were put into law through a statutory instrument, a form of legislation that allows laws to be amended without parliament’s approval.

The policy came into force on 6 April restricts tax credit entitlement for new claimants to a maximum of two children, with exceptions for multiple births and for women who could show that their third or subsequent child was conceived as a result of rape.

Those seeking to claim the exemption for rape must be assessed by what the government has described in a consultation as a “professional third party”, which could include health workers, police, social workers or rape charities.

Ms Thewliss said she had tabled a motion of prayer for annulment, a somewhat arcane version of the early day motion, in which a group of MPs sign a paper calling for a statutory instrument to be scrapped.With the regulation about to come into force, however, there is no indication of how a woman who has been raped could begin the process of claiming the tax credit exemption, or whether any of the third parties have been trained.


One appalling aspect of this I can see is that of  a child finding out from a third party who knows  because their mother is receiving extra Tax credits.
that they were conceived as a result of rape 

Ms Thewliss received parise Scottish Labour Kezia Dugdale urged the Scottish Conservative leader to condemn the “horrifically cruel and uncaring policy”, and praised SNP MP Alison Thewliss for campaigning against it.

She wrote:

“Alison Thewliss has led a powerful campaign against the heartless Tory Government on this crucial issue, and has secured cross-party support. I have nothing but praise for her tireless campaigning, and she has and will continue to receive the support of Labour MSPs and MPs in the hope of forcing the Tories into a U-turn.

Such is the  nature of the anger that has unfolded that Labour praise a SNP  MP.


But also once again shows that it is the SNP that is providing the major opposition to this callous and cruel government

In Scotland Questions have been asked about Ruth Davidson, Not a Politician known for her reticence , the Scottish Tory leader, has maintained her silence in the face of increasing demand by opposition politicians and rights campaigners to explain her position and reasoning for supporting the controversial rape clause brought into effect by her UK party.

The same can be said of the Welsh Tory Leader Andrew RT Davies surely  this was a n opportunity  for both these  "Branch Managers" to show their Independence  and condemn this.

Indeed all Tories in the Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliament should speak out or it points to the Government whip being extended  from the chambers in Westminster to those in Edinburgh and Cardiff.


Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Charity begins at home.

Pontypridd Labour MP  was busy yesterday promoting an event he and his AM counterpart was organising.



He asked a number of organisation to retweet an event he and his AM counterpart was organising


Are you looking for funding for your community group in ? Join us on 21 April

These are just a few of his follow ups,



The Event aim's to provide community groups with information on funding



It all looks very worthy. but I wonder about the timing just two weeks before the Council Elections on May 4th and I think i can be forgiven for thinking that  maybe this may have a secondary intention in boosting Labour's image before we go to the polls to elect a new bunch of councilors.

The venue is St Catherine's Church almost directly opposite Plaid's Council Campaign HQ and where  Heledd Fychan one of Plaid's "Star Candidates" is standing in the Town Ward.

Care has been made not to mention Labour in any of the promotions so I suspect any electoral "Purdah" rules have not been broken.

But the inclusion of the  Rhondda Cynon Taf logo is a bit telling and maybe it would have been wiser if Mr Smith and Mick Antoniw had waited t a few weeks to avoid any charges of seeking electoral cadvantagerather  than be congratulated on what may be a useful initiative.