Saturday, 8 August 2020

We are all tourists at some time , but we need to consider our own impact.

 Were ever we are from, we nearly all at some stage and at least once a year usually , end up being tourists and we far to often  do not consider the effect we have on the area we are visiting.

Since the Corona virus the impact of tourism  and indeed  the benefits it  may bring  have been brought into question .

The impact on local amenities  can  be dramatic and in parts of Wales and the rest of the UK  a great strain on our Health services for which the  local Health Boards must often beat the costs.


The news that Gwynedd for example is being overwhelmed by tourists, politicians have warned the first minister is not unexpected.


The BBC reports that 

Areas like Abersoch and Barmouth have been particularly busy since lockdown eased.

Plaid Cymru has written to Mark Drakeford to express concern and locals say "tensions are building" as they try to maintain social distancing measures.

The Welsh Government said it was working with local authorities to ensure everyone's safety.

"We expect everyone to fully comply with the coronavirus regulations in place in Wales," a spokeswoman added.

Businesses have argued visitors are needed to recoup lockdown losses.

A letter to Mr Drakeford, signed by four politicians as well as the leader and deputy leader of Gwynedd Council, said "unprecedented numbers" of visitors were making it difficult to observe social distancing in seaside towns and beaches.

"Unfortunately, the numbers flocking here are more than can be dealt with, which leads to a situation beyond the ability of the authorities to maintain order," said the letter from Helen Mary Jones MS, which was signed by Siân Gwenllian MS, Hywel Williams MP, Liz Saville Roberts MP and council leaders Dyfrig Siencyn and Dafydd Meurig.

"There were so many people... that the social distancing rule could not be observed."

They called on Mr Drakeford to "consider what measures you can put in place to control the numbers travelling here to guard against the spread of coronavirus".

 

Speaking to BBC Radio Wales, Gwynedd GP Dr Eilir Hughes said: "Tensions are building and patience is start to run low now.


"It's very palpable in the community. People are finding it difficult to understand the rules."

But Ffion Jones, who owns the Pwyth Pistyll gift shop in Pwllheli, said businesses need the extra visitors after lockdown.

"It's very busy. The last days have been the busiest I've had since opening six years ago," she said.

"I think it's needed especially after the whole lockdown situation because we're not going to have an economy if it carries on."

She added it was shopkeepers' responsibility to remind both locals and visitors about social distancing rules.

"I've seen so many posts on social media about 'us and them' and I don't think that's right," she said.

"Shops, little shops especially, need business. They want to grow, they want to boost the economy, they want staff. We have to adapt to it and grow. "

It is obviously  as it always been a difficult  balance.

How do you encourage Tourism but in a manner that does not ruin the very area that they are visiting and where dependency on tourism does not have in the end have a negative impact on the economy.

The issue of Second Homes is a prominent one as local people ironically , have to leave thier area because they cmmot afford to live there.


Siân Gwenllian, Member of Senedd for Arfon, and Plaid’s Deputy Leader for Party Policy, says that the proliferation of second homes has escalated to such an extent in some areas of Wales that a large proportion of locals are now priced out of the area, whilst the local demand for social housing outstrips supply. Ms Gwenllian has called for package of measures to give control over an area that she says “Welsh Government does not yet have a handle on, nor shows the political will to tackle.”

Councillor Craig ab Iago, Housing Leader in Gwynedd Council, says that 60% of Gwynedd's residents cannot afford to buy a house in the county, whilst figures recently published by Welsh Revenue Authority for March 2019-April 2020 show that almost 40% of properties sold in Gwynedd were purchased as second homes – the highest in Wales. Cllr ab Iago says that properties in his ward are often marketed solely as second home opportunities by estate agents, and it is akin to “rubbing salt on a wound.”

According to data from Gwynedd Council's housing department, an additional 811 houses are required each year in Gwynedd to meet current local demand, but with 830 houses “lost” as second homes, this creates a shortfall of 1,641 houses each year.


Ms Gwenllian points out that this isn’t just a rural issue. Swansea City Council data estimates around 1800 properties in the City are second homes, with the Gower, Swansea West and the Marina areas of the City being most affected. The majority of people owning such properties within Swansea have their normal home outside of the city area.

However as I said we are all potential tourists  and we should not readily condemn others for what we do.

What we need is a Tourist Tax that could be  together  ending the  legal loophole which allows second home owners to avoid paying council tax is costing North Wales local authorities millions in lost revenue give local authorities the chance to help local people find suitable housing in the place where they live.

But they also need jobs and not just in the (seasonal) tourists industry .

How e do this should be a priority for the next Senedd.


Friday, 7 August 2020

"English" Government need to answer questions over contracts given during virus.

The News that Fifty million masks that were meant to be used by the NHS now cannot be worn by staff because of safety issues, the government has admitted  is disturbing for obvious reasons , but also because those reporting it fail to clarify that this is in England and Wales and England sourced Masks from elsewhere.


For instance the Independent  reports that

The FFP2 masks ordered by the government have ear loops instead of head loops, meaning there is a risk they would not be secure enough.


The masks were supplied by Ayanda Capital, which was awarded a £252m contract to supply personal protective equipment (PPE). The government is now being sued by EveryDoctor and Good Law Project over its decision to award the private family fund the contract.
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It was also revealed in a legal document, sent to EveryDoctor and Good Law Project by the government, that the deal was arranged by Andrew Mills, an adviser to the Board of Trade in the Department for International Trade, on behalf of Tim Horlick, CEO of Ayanda Capital.


Mr Horlick said Mr Mills was a business associate and he was aand his experience in international business and sales”.sked to help the firm “given his relationship with the Department for Interna 

Mr Mills previously held senior leadership positions in businesses including Samsung, IBM, HP and KPMG, said the document.

The government insisted that “appropriate due diligence” was undertaken on Ayanda Capital and the Chinese factories it used to manufacture the PPE, and “the company’s track record indicated it would be capable of fulfilling a large order of medical masks”.

Jolyon Maugham, director of Good Law Project, said the organisation wrote to the government regarding three contracts, each worth over £100m, awarded to a pest control company, a confectioner and Ayanda Capital.

“Each of those contracts has revealed a real cause for alarm – including, on Ayanda, that around £150m was spent on unusable masks. What other failures remain undiscovered?” she said.

No where in this report does it mention this is in England the English NHS and the English (in this case) government 



Julia Patterson, founder of EveryDoctor, added: “It is horrifying that during the worst criss in the NHS’s history, the government entrusted large sums of public money in the hands of companies with no experience in producing safe PPE for healthcare workers.

“I run a network of 25,000 UK doctors. Many were fearful for their lives between March and June ... We cannot allow bad decision-making to jeopardise the lives of healthcare workers and the public.
Watch more


“The government must be answerable to their decisions regarding these PPE contracts.”

The government said in a statement: “Throughout this global pandemic, we have been working tirelessly to deliver PPE to protect people on the frontline.

“Over 2.3 billion items have been delivered, and more than 30 billion have been ordered from UK-based manufacturers and international partners to provide a continuous supply which meets the needs of health and social care staff both now and in the future.

“There is a robust process in place to ensure orders are of high quality and meet strict safety standards, with the necessary due diligence undertaken on all government contracts.”

There is a growing concern that in in England in particular   there  are questions about cronyism and profiteering , that the Tory Government ar favouring their friends in awarding contracts that are not met or as in the above case delivering unsuitable product and especially links to those awarded  contracts met or not 

Indeed it is proving a moment of sheer hypocricy from the Tories that   that in Scotland Profits made by the SNP from controversial branded face masks will go to charity, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Scottish Tory deputy leader Annie Wells branded it a “tasteless venture” and also wrote to SNP chief executive Peter Murrell, who is also the First Minister’s husband.

In her letter, Ms Wells urged the party to donate any money made from the coverings to “causes fighting coronavirus”.

he claimed profits were being made by the SNP over a public health measure put in place by Ms Sturgeon, which mandated the wearing of face coverings in shops and on public transport.

On the SNP official website, the party has been selling face masks for £8 and face coverings for £14, branded with SNP logos and saltires.

After her statement at Holyrood on Thursday when she announced the reopening of schools, the First Minister was challenged by Scottish Tory leader Jackson Carlaw over the practice during a heated exchange over the politicisation of the pandemic.

In a row over the efficacy of statistics used by the First Minister, Mr Carlaw said: “I think the First Minister has to be very careful when she talks about playing politics, when she as the leader and the chief executive of her party (Mr Murrell) profiteer from coronavirus by producing party political face masks to raise funds for the SNP

In response, the First Minister said: “I will continue to do everything to persuade people to wear face coverings and in terms of my party, every penny of profit made will go to charity, actually.”

It is not known which charity will receive the donations from the SNP.

In her letter to Mr Murrell, Ms Wells said: “I’m sure you are aware that by selling these face masks you stand to profit, both financially and politically, from a public health measure imposed by your own party.

“I would therefore urge you to stop this immediately, and as a gesture of good will, donate the proceeds to causes fighting coronavirus.”

A spokesman for the SNP said: “Like all those with similar products, we’re encouraging our supporters to wear a face covering and to help suppress the virus.

“As the First Minister has made clear, all profits will go to charity.”



Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Financial Time and Observer insult Wales with crass and inaccurate articles.

One of the most irritating aspects of the London Media  anti Cymraeg  aricles  is that they seem to find critics who are either anonymous   or who can't be identified so the validity  of what they claim can be questioned,

The Financial Time is the latest and the fact that it has  edited an article to remove anonymous anti-Welsh language comments after  complaints has further led many to question the truth part  of the article.

As Nation Cymru  report

"The original article (Firewalll) entitled ‘Staycation nation: turf wars in the UK’s holiday hotspots’ included comments by ‘Megan’, “who did not want to give her real name for fear of retribution”.

‘Megan,’ “a Welsh speaker who grew up in Wales” but “now lives in England” claimed that Welsh speakers spoke the language in order to exclude and insult tourists.

“These tensions have led the Welsh to weaponise their ancient Celtic language against tourists,” the article claimed. Words to look out for were “Saesneg” and “mochyn” (‘the English language’ and ‘pig’).

However, in the latest version of the online article, Megan’s comments have been removed and a note appended to the article saying that it was amended “to reflect more fairly the relationship between Welsh speakers and English tourists”.

In other words we made it up.

In did  not take much investigation  to  see that they did 

 The use of ‘Saesneg’ gives the game away,” Iestyn Hughes said. “Someone (wonder who) has looked up ‘English’ in a dictionary thinking ‘the English’ – but ‘Saesneg is the word for the English language, not for English people.

An article  that could have investigated the concerns  of local people (including those who have moved in  being worried out the swarms of visitors , whilst they are still easing lockdown was turned into another , (They speak Welsh to annoy us)  cliché,


Locals (and people in Wales in general) in a popular North Wales village were left angered after a national newspaper dubbed it 'Cheshire-by-the Sea'.

The picturesque coastal village of Abersoch on the Llyn Penninsula was described as such in a travel piece in the Observe a supposedly  like r, as a reflection of the area's popularity with visitors from Cheshire.

However, according to North Wales Live, the people of Abersoch have reacted with disdain at the term, accusing the newspaper of erasing Welsh culture and heritage.

The article on the best coastal hotels in the UK named Abersoch's Porth Tocyn Hotel and Portmeirion among its top spots.

It said: "Known as Cheshire-by-Sea, this village on the Llyn peninsula spreads on to beaches that range from the gently curving sheltered main beach to surfy Porth Neigwl (Hell’s Mouth), plus a small harbour, posh boutiques and surf shops."

 
It is all to reminiscent of the erosion of placenames in Cymraeg being replaced by English omes.

In another article in Nation Cymru Sian Gwenllian MS, Plaid Cymru Shadow Minister for Culture and the Welsh Language argued 

Are Ynys Lawd, Llyn Bochlwyd or Clogwyn y Geifr names you’re familiar with? If not, you’re unlikely to learn of them from modern maps, guide books or websites, in which they’re being replaced with anglicised names such as ‘South Stack’, ‘Lake Australia’, and ‘Devil’s Appendix’.

These are not isolated cases, nor are place names and places of natural beauty the only victims of the loss of their Welsh names, with a petition calling for legislation to prevent people from changing Welsh house names gathering almost 18,000 signatures, signifying the magnitude and significance of the issue.

Comedian Tudur Owen recently spoke out about the issue, highlighting the prevalence of the loss of Welsh names, and describing how “history is lost when place names are changed”.

This is a notion that I fear is true.


The Observer is like its sister paper The Guardian supposedly a Liberal and Progressive paper and it all to soon , seems blind to the feelings of the people of Wales  whilst often supporting  the fight of indigenous  people elsewhere , faced wit their language and culture being eroded.


Whilst it can be educational see how others see us it seems that it all to often a crass and inaccurate  view. to The need  for an Independent Welsh Media , that we can turn to daily in the time of a seeming national Awaking has never ben more necessary.
 

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Accused MP should not be named til charged (but should not be protected)

The news that a Tory MP  A leading Tory MP has been  arrested on suspicion of raping and sexually assaulting a Commons researcher in the latest abuse scandal to hit the Government.

As the former Minister was being held in custody in an East London police station, his accuser – a woman in her 20s – was being interviewed by Scotland Yard officers yesterday at a separate location. may have sparked speculation but unless or when he is charged believe if it is possible his name should be not discloses.

It is of course a difficult decision disclosure could ruin an innocent man political career , whilst the alleged victim  accusation must be taken seriously and not at all dismissed or see her face a combined  effort  by the establishment to protect one of their own,


For this reason I reluctantly  feel that the  decision not to suspend the accused rapist is the right one  as to do so would fd facto name him.


Not that the Tories have handled it well seemingly seeking protect one of thier own.

 The Mail reports that 

The claims have caused consternation in the party, with one senior Conservative politician said to have been 'close to tears' after being informed of the allegations.

It is likely to increase pressure on Tory Chief Whip Mark Spencer, who failed to take action against the MP, who cannot be named for legal reasons, when he was told about the allegations a month ago. 

Mr Spencer last night said the woman had reported 'abusive behaviour and threats', but he does not believe there was any mention of sexual assault during the discussion.

If that is case then the MP  should have been suspended  because of the  claims of abusive behaviour anyway 

The Mail also says
 

 The latest potential sex scandal to hit Westminster will thrust Mark Spencer, Boris Johnson's little-known Chief Whip, reluctantly into the spotlight.

The job traditionally requires a mixture of charm, aggression and a complete command of the dark arts – skills displayed to varying degrees by recent occupants of the post such as Michael Gove and Gavin Williamson

But the job – memorably immortalised in the fictional form of Francis Urquhart in the House Of Cards novels and television series – also requires the holder to be the political equivalent of a bomb disposal expert.

So there is likely to be dismay in Downing Street if another sex scandal has not been properly dealt with by the Whips Office.

Mr Spencer is not a natural Urquhart: a former dairy farmer who first entered the Commons in 2010, he has been described as 'one of the nicest people in the parliamentary Conservative party' – usually a disqualification for the post.

Mr Spencer backed Remain in the 2016 EU referendum, before switching tactically to backing Brexit under Theresa May and Boris Johnson.

Mr Spencer, who lives with his wife and children in Nottinghamshire, has played in goal for the Commons football team.

But if the rape investigation leads to another Tory MP losing the whip – or even his liberty – Mr Spencer could lose his slightly dull reputation as a safe pair of hands.


As I pointed out above  Mr Spencer could and should have suspended  the MP over  the claims of abusive behaviour  and any rape investigation left to the police   the suspended MP may still be protected from full disclosure unless he is charged.

Both the accused and accuser deserve  that the process of justice be adhered due.
It will not be helped by the immediate naming of the accused  (however an unpleasant an individual he is) until any charges named.

However the accuser needs to know that her accusation are taken seriously by both the police and the Tory party and whoever her alleged abuser is it should not  be a consideration to protect him or his parties reputation.

Monday, 3 August 2020

It is 2020 and the UK does not have Universal Suffrage in electing Parliment

In many ways the latest batch of 36 Ex MPs , Brexit Supporters and Party Donners elevated to the House of Lords


Even the Daily Mail was somewhat shocked at the blazen way Prime  Minster Johnson has behaved
Simon Walters writes


For days Boris Johnson has been warning that a 'second wave' is about to hit Britain.

I don't blame him for the second wave of coronavirus that led him to slow down the easing of Covid lockdown measures.

But I do hold him responsible for the second wave of Boris cronies handed peerages yesterday, including the likes of City tycoon and Tory donor Michael Spencer, his own brother, ex-MP Jo Johnson, and newspaper owner Evgeny Lebedev.
With reports of a third wave of Conservative peerages coming in the autumn, there must be a risk of a shortage of ermine to line the cloaks they will wear when they take their places on the Lords red leather benches.

The first wave of Boris barons came just seven days after the general election.

Millionaire Tory MP Zac Goldsmith, a close friend of Mr Johnson and his partner Carrie Symonds, had lost his Commons seat but was conveniently given one in the Lords instead and allowed to carry on as Environment Minister as though nothing had happened.

He even had the nerve to give himself the title Baron Goldsmith of Richmond Park, the constituency that had just democratically rejected him for the second time in three years.

The argument against Prime Ministers being able to pack the Lords with personal and political mates was made forcefully in 2003 when Tony Blair announced plans to appoint more peers.

Blair's proposal was denounced as 'disgusting' by one critic who said: 'Think of the lunches; the hackery; the behind-the-scenes schmoozing and fixing; the quiet words from the Government Chief Whip; the winking, the nose-tapping, the soft belching in the Savoy Grill Room, or Glyndebourne, or Ascot.'

That critic was Boris Johnson.

can't help thinking of all the winking and hackery the Prime Minister must have enjoyed with his brother Jo, also a journalist, over the years.

Or the nose-tapping and soft belches at lunches he has enjoyed with billionaire wine connoisseur Mr Spencer, who has given £5million to Conservative coffers, at restaurants such as the Savoy Grill.

Or the behind-the-scenes schmoozing and fixing at high society soirees hosted by Russian-born culture vulture Evgeny Lebedev, proprietor of London's Evening Standard newspaper.

Lebedev even owned a wolf called Boris.

Twenty four hours after winning the general election Mr Johnson and Miss Symonds attended Mr Lebedev's Christmas party, along with Sir Mick Jagger, Princess Beatrice, David Walliams, actor Matt Smith and David Cameron.

Super-rich Mr Lebedev, son of former KGB agent Alexander Lebedev, is so close to Mr Johnson he was a guest at the fateful dinner at Mr Johnson's London home in February 2016 when Michael Gove finally persuaded him to lead the Brexit campaign. In 2018 Mr Johnson flew to the Lebedevs' villa in Perugia, Italy.

The then foreign secretary was spotted at the airport returning home, dishevelled and hungover.

It is only fair to point out that Mr Johnson has also elevated some of his Tory critics to the Upper House including pro-Remain former Chancellors Philip Hammond and Ken Clarke.

But there is a distinct air of snobbery about some of the Conservative peerages.

In an obscure Commons career spanning four decades, Sir Henry Bellingham has neither said nor done anything of note. Would he have got a peerage had he not gone to Eton like Boris? Of course not. 

 
Here's  the Full list

Political Peerages 2020

Nominations from the Leader of the Conservative Party

1. Lorraine Fullbrook – former Member of Parliament for South Ribble.

2. Sir Edward Udny-Lister – Chief Strategic Adviser to the Prime Minister and former Deputy Mayor of London.

3. Daniel Moylan – Chairman, Urban Design London and former member of Kensington and Chelsea Council.

4. Andrew Sharpe OBE – Chairman of the National Conservative Convention and ViceChair of Policy Forum.

5. Michael Spencer – Chairman of IPGL (Holdings) Ltd and Centre for Policy Studies.

6. Veronica Wadley CBE – Chair of the Expert Panel for Model Music Curriculum and former editor of the Evening Standard.

7. James Wharton – former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development and Member of Parliament for Stockton South.

8. Dame Helena Morrissey – Former CEO of Newton Investment Management and founder of the 30 Per Cent Club.

9. Neil Mendoza – Provost of Oriel College and Non-Executive Board Member of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Nominations from the former Leader of the Labour Party

10. Susan Hayman – lately Member of Parliament for Workington.

11. Prem Sikka – Professor of Accounting at the University of Sheffield.

12. Anthony Woodley – formerly Joint-General Secretary of Unite.

Nominations for non-affiliated Peerages

13. Claire Fox – Director and founder of the Institute of Ideas.

14. Charles Moore – journalist and biographer.

Nominations for Crossbench Peerages

15. Sir Ian Botham – Cricket commentator and Chairman of Durham County Cricket Club.

16. Dame Louise Casey – Former Civil Servant, Visiting Professor King's College London and Cofounder and Chair, Institute of Global Homelessness.

17. Evgeny Lebedev – Owner of The Independent, The Evening Standard and London Live and patron of Space for Giants.

18. Dame Nemat (Minouche) Shafik, Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science



Dissolution Peerages 2019

Nominations from the Leader of the Conservative Party

1. Sir Henry Bellingham – lately Member of Parliament for North West Norfolk and former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.

2. Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke CH QC – lately Member of Parliament for Rushcliffe and former Chancellor of the Exchequer.

3. Rt Hon Ruth Davidson MSP – Member of the Scottish Parliament for Edinburgh Central and former Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party.

4. Rt Hon Philip Hammond – lately Member of Parliament for Runnymede and Weybridge and former Chancellor of the Exchequer.

5. Rt Hon Nicholas Herbert CBE – lately Member of Parliament for Arundel and South Downs and former Minister of State for Policing and Criminal Justice.

6. Rt Hon Joseph Johnson – lately Member of Parliament for Orpington and Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation.

7. Colonel Rt Hon John Mark Lancaster TD VR – lately Member of Parliament for North East Milton Keynes and Minister for the Armed Forces.

8. Rt Hon Sir Patrick McLoughlin CH – lately Member of Parliament for Derbyshire Dales, former Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Chairman of the Conservative Party.

9. Aamer Sarfraz – Conservative Party Treasurer and Venture Partner at Draper Associates.

10. Rt Hon Edward Vaizey – lately Member of Parliament for Wantage and former Minister of State for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries.

Nominations for the Leader of the Labour Party

11. Kathryn Clark – former Member of Parliament for North Ayrshire and Arran.

12. Brinley Davies – Director of Union Pension Services Ltd.

Nominations for the Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party

13. Rt Hon Nigel Dodds OBE – lately Member of Parliament for North Belfast and Deputy Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party.

Nominations for non-affiliated Peerages

14. Rt Hon Frank Field – lately Member of Parliament for Birkenhead and Chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee.

15. Catharine Hoey – lately Member of Parliament for Vauxhall and former Chair of the Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee.

16. Ian Austin – lately Member of Parliament for Dudley North and former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

17. Rt Hon Gisela Stuart – Chair of Wilton Park and former Member of Parliament for Birmingham Edgbaston.

18. John Woodcock – UK Special Envoy for Countering Violent Extremism and formerMember of Parliament for Barrow and Furness.




Philip May. For political service.

Cllr Raymond Puddifoot MBE. For services to the London Borough of Hillingdon.


The appointment of former Brexit party Euro MP Claire Fox To the House of Lords hae caused widespread anger following her refusal to condemn the IRA bomb attack on Warrington.

Labour’s Warrington North MP Charlotte Nichols has hit out at the appointment while Warrington South Conservative MP Andy Carter says she should apologise to the families affected.
Her nomination by the Brexit Party for a peerage has created a storm of controversy in Warrington due to her links with the Revolutionary Communist Party.
Following the IRA bomb attack in 1993 which claimed the lives of 12-year-old Tim Parry and three-year-old Johnathan Ball, the Revolutionary Communist Party’s official newsletter defended ‘the right of the Irish people to take whatever measures necessary in their struggle for freedom’.
She was also a member of the Irish Freedom Movement, which backed dissident republicanism.
Why this has not seemed to have incurred the sought of wrath from the Tabloids we have experienced in the past reflects the current state of politics where MS Fox and her former RCP members have achived political influence they only dreamed about but ironically prehaps among the far right.


Fox joined the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) as a student at the University of Warwick.[6] For the next twenty years, she was one of the RCP's core activists and organisers. She became co-publisher of its magazine Living Marxism, which closed in 2000 after the courts found it had falsely accused Independent Television News (ITN) of faking evidence of the Bosnian genocide.In 2018, Fox refused to apologise for suggesting evidence of the genocide was faked.


However the RCP was never a marxist Party indeed not since Hitler's National Socialist German Workers' Party has a political movement been so misneamed.

Fox stayed with her ex-RCP members when the group transformed itself in the early 2000s into a network around the web magazine Spiked Online and the Institute of Ideas, both based in the former RCP offices and both promoting libertarianism.[9][10] Author and environmental activist George Monbiot has argued these groups are part of the "pro-corporate libertarian right".

Although I have singled out Fox it is because it has not created outrage , the rest of the bunch hardly

Surley this is the opportunity  for Labour leader  to announce that the next Labour Government  wil abolish the House of Lords and replace it with a second chamber.

Indeed he should be pointing out the hypocrisy of the Tories reducing the number of Commons seats  which are democratically elected  and yet continue to raise the number of the unelected House of Lords  to over 800.

Indeed  he should seek to form a cross-Party group  that will come up with a united plan for a new second chamber bases on  universal suffrage.

The fact that I have  had to use the word "universal suffrage" in the 21st century to refer to a IK legislature  show the appalling state of UK democracy.

Saturday, 1 August 2020

New version of Macbeth (Starring Ruth Davidson) as Carlow deposed.

The first part of a new version of Shakespeare Macbeth premiered on the BBC last night


Cast

  • Duncan –  Tory leader in Scotland - Jackson Carlow
  • Macbeth – a general in the army of Duncan; originally MP  for Moray   later Leader of the Tories in the Scottish Parliament - Douglass Ross 
  • Lady Macbeth – Macbeth's wife,- Ruth (Lady)Davidson
  • Banquo – Macbeth's friend and  Secretary of State for Scotland  Alister Jack
  • First Witch- Boris Johnson
  • Second Witch - Dominic Cummings
  • Third  Witch- Vladimir Putin



The play opens amid thunder and lightning, and the Three Witches decide that their next meeting will be with Macbeth. In the following scene, the Witches tell Macbeth ( Ross) that he will be leader of the Tories i Scotland  when he asks if it means he will lso become first Minister he's told not to be ridiculous.

Macbeth sends a message ahead to his wife, Lady Macbeth (Davidson ), telling her about the witches' prophecies. Lady Macbeth suffers none of her husband's uncertainty and wishes him to dispose of o Duncan (Carlow)in order to obtain  leadership hip. When Macbeth arrives at Inverness, she overrides all of her husband's objections by challenging his manhood and successfully persuades him to  take over  that very night. 


They Plan that Lady Macbeth stand in for her husband , whilst he finds a seat in the Scottish Parliament her reward being a seat in the House of Lords  (actually becoming a Lady)


Meanwhile the Secretary of State for Scotland (Jack)  hasn't a clue what's going on and there's speculation Lady Macbeth will take over from him in the Lords.


It is likely the plot will diverge from Shakespeare in the rest of the series as Macbeth whilst becoming a MSP, finds himself the leader of a much reduced party. and faces the wrath of Lady Macbeth and the Witches. 



Verdict

This one will run and run as the Tories will be seeking another new leader in May  and will finally come to an end with Scottish Independence.


Friday, 31 July 2020

Victory for Language Campaigners in Pontypridd School shake up

There appears to have been a major legal precedent made on Welsh Language Education   after a  £37m schools reorganisation in the south Wales valleys has been quashed after a judicial review.

The BBC report that 

Several schools in Pontypridd would have been shut and replaced with two "super schools" for children.

Sixth forms would also have closed and concentrated at one school and a further education college.

But a High Court judge ruled that Rhondda Cynon Taf council had failed to take into account the impact of changes on Welsh medium education.

RCT leader Andrew Morgan said the council's overriding objective had been to "positively transform the delivery of education, through the mediums of both Welsh and English".

Earlier this month the council's 

Council leaders had said the reorganisation would improve the quality of education but protesting parents took them to judicial review.

In his judgement, High Court judge Mr Justice Fraser said the council had broken rules by not referring the closure of a sixth form to the Welsh Government and had failed to take into account the impact on the future of Welsh language education.

"The fewer pupils who enjoy a Welsh medium primary education, the fewer are likely to attend Welsh medium secondary education," the judgement said.

"Such pupils are "lost for ever", he added


Last year  Plaid Cymru  

She was joined byyjer   local councillors   Michael Powell of the 

She said the campaign to safeguard Welsh-medium education in north Pontypridd was not opposed to change and it was not to save Ysgol Pont Sion Norton in its current state or oppose the creation of a new school.

But she said there were “concerns that it will lead to a reduction in the number of Welsh-medium schools in Pontypridd”.

She said there is likely to be an increasing demand for places in the area and this proposal would remove Welsh-medium education from north Pontypridd.

“Parents will now choose English-medium education for their children’s education because of the increase in travel time and lack of public transport links,” she added.

She said children in north Pontypridd would have to catch two buses and Estyn had raised concern about travel times.

Lawyers for the campaigners argued that the Welsh language version of the relevant laws were clearer than the English language version about the requirements and responsibilities of the council.Barrister Rhodri Williams QC said: "This is indeed a landmark ruling for the significance of Welsh legislation in Wales.

"Never again will it be sufficient to argue that the English language version of a statute dictates what the meaning of the law is.

"From now on, all those concerned with the proper implementation of legislation in Wales will need to bear in mind both language versions.

"At long last, true equality before the law for Wales's two languages has been established by the courts."

Cathy Lisles, of campaign group Our Children First (Ein Plant Yn Gyntaf), said they were delighted the reorganisation had been squashed.

"This is not just a victory for concerned parents and pupils in Pontypridd but for all in Wales.

"We hope and trust that rather than continue the legal fight, the council will reach out to us and work constructively going forward to improve education for all in RCT."

'An important issue'

Welsh Language Commissioner Aled Roberts, said the case was an "important issue for the future of Welsh-medium education"

"This case makes it clear to councils that in all cases, pupils must be able to continue receiving education with at least equivalent standards and opportunities in their chosen language," he said.

"This is not an option, but mandatory in Wales."It also states clearly that, with any proposals that are going to have an effect on Welsh-medium education, a thorough impact assessment must be carried out. This is not optional either."

The council said it would need to consider the content of the judgment fully, before determining how to respond to the decision.

Mr Morgan said: "Throughout this process the overriding objective of the Council has been to positively transform the delivery of education, through the mediums of both Welsh and English in the Greater Pontypridd area, by delivering significant investment, which would improve the opportunities available to young people."


This may well be a major legal precedent .

For two long Welsh Medium Education  has  found their growth hampered  by having new schools inheriting  former English Language Schools that are old and whilst not  dilapidated do not match up.

This has improved and New Welsh Medium Schools also mean new buildings , but even  then it means that the centre of the catchment area moves and pupils who once had  such a school in their village , find that the new building involves travelling miles to the new building.

Hopefully we have a mandate for change and indeed seek to resolve the issue by making all Schools in Wales Welsh Medium or bilingual.

Thursday, 30 July 2020

Will new Independence Parties in Scotland further or hinder a Indy2 Mandate?

The Free Kirk, the wee kirk the kirk without the steeple.” 
The Auld Kirk, the cauld kirk, the kirk without the people.” 

It's nor really for me  a Welshman to tell fellow 


The history of the  

 

Arguably the situation started with The 

 

The pair of rhyming jibes remain from the time of the heated split of the Disruption in 1843 when about a third

So we have the news tht a new pro-Scottish independence party has been created ahead of the next Holyrood elections.

The Independence for Scotland Party - based at a Glasgow address - was registered as a political party in May.

It's understood the party will be putting regional list candidates forward in a bid to ensure a majority of pro-independence MSPs in Holyrood.

Disability Rights activist Colette Walker has been listed as the leader of the new party.

Speaking to 

Joan McDowall is listed as treasurer with Victoria Johnson described as the nominating officer.

Taking to social media earlier this week, Walker told how it was a "great honour" to be leading the new party.

She wrote: "it’s a great honour to a founder member & leader of this new independence for Scotland party . It’s been a lot of hard work , But to achieve an independent Scotland is well worth it .

"Will keep you all posted with further developments ."

It may not be alone Tommy Sheridan, an Indy activist, socialist and former MSP hinted that he may support the concept of the new Alliance for Independence party but expressed concern about their target for another referendum. Alliance For Independence formally launched with former SNP MSP Dave Thompson at the helm this month.

Part of the argument for another Party than the SNP is that it would maximise rather than split the Independence Mandate after the 2021 elections.

The theory is that with the SNP  winning the vast majority of Constituency seats they will struggle to get the numbers on the Regional lists , and some how by voting for an Independence Party on the Regional lists could see the ISP or AIP securing enough regional seats to give Independence a mandate.

It's an intriguing though dangerous scenario , even if it was to work then  unionists would exploit the split in Independence Parties and seek to promote division.

But of course its up to voters in Scotland to make the choice , but as we see a growth of electoral interference  by outside bodies in the UK and other democracies , it could be that the plan to maximise the Independence mandate with more than one pro party could result in scuppering the whole Independence dream. 


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Wednesday, 29 July 2020

How much does Boris Johnson's response to Covid affect us in Wales?

I took some  stick yesterday (some of it tightly) after i put this on Twitter  and got the sort of reply 
 

Has anybody noticed that Wrexham and Flintshire are close to England with its higher infection and death rate? Could Boris be responsible for part of the Welsh figures?
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Replying to and
This has nothing to do with England. I hope this is a joke? In England local response to outbreaks is working alot better and there is more transparency. This may be difficult for some people in Wales to comprehend.





Some did correct me over  the spike in Wrexham


Replying to and
You can’t blame him. The blame rests purely with Rowan Foods, PHW, HSE and the inept duo of and . Well done to and for shaking them . credit her also. I will be voting for her at the Senedd elections

Nevertheless although in   June, Public Health Wales confirmed that outbreaks of Covid-19 had occurred at two meat processing plants in north Wales.

One was declared at the 2 Sisters factory in Llangefni, Anglesey, while the other was at Rowan Foods on Wrexham Industrial Estate.

To date there have been more than 300 cases identified at Rowan Foods following extensive testing of staff and tracing of their close contacts.

This outbreak was certainty a contributing factor to the Covid-19 stats for Wrexham spiking in June and into July.

Dr Chris Williams, incident director for the coronavirus outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said the testing programme at Rowan Foods had now concluded.

They have done all the tests they were going to do, and my understanding is that there are now 313 positive cases identified there," he said.

"All the cases that we find are transferred into the 'Test, Trace, Protect' programme so that they will find their close contacts, households and otherwise and ask them to isolate for 14 days, and then if they become symptomatic to test them as well."

Dr Williams said that while the outbreak was associated with the plant, the virus was likely to have been brought in by someone in the community.

He said that public health infection teams started noticing a "pattern" of cases associated with Rowan Foods which prompted the need for all employees to be tested.

It is likely that the current high cases in the Wrexham  and Flintishire area are still connected to the packing plant

nevertheless Wales Online report 

Hundreds of drivers were fined for travelling into Wales' tourist hotspots during lockdown - including from England, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.

More than 600 fines were issued to people from England by the four forces.

But the majority of tickets were issued to drivers from within Wales - a total of 1,168.

Most fines were issued by Dyfed Powys Police, which issued 401 tickets to travellers from England.

North Wales Police ticketed 189 drivers from England. It was the only force to fine more English than Welsh drivers.

South Wales Police and Gwent Police ticketed 19 and eight drivers from England respectively.

But only 36 residents of Wales were fined for travelling into England.

The figures, released on Monday by the National Police Chiefs Council, cover the period between 27 March and 25 May.

During this time people were encouraged to not travel further than five miles from home.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics puts the total number of deaths at 2,501, as it includes all registered deaths in care homes and people's homes - and when doctors suspect coronavirus has been a factor.

The PHW figures do not include deaths of residents from Powys in hospitals in England.

Deaths by health board area in Wales, Covid-19
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Chris Williams, PHW's incident director for the pandemic, reminded the public that face coverings are now mandatory on public transport in Wales, and also reiterated the Foreign Office request for all visitors returning from Spain to self-isolate for 14 days.

He also said there was "no significant updates" on outbreaks at food processing sites in Llangefni on Anglesey, Ebbw Vale in Blaenau Gwent, and at plants in Wrexham and Merthyr Tydfil.

 

Officers often reported drivers from England were unaware there were different rules in Wales.


 The BBC Website provide an interactive map cases and deaths in your area? 

I still stand by my main argument that Boris Johnson's early  easing of Lockdown in Wales together with the failure of the mainstream media  to point out that  Wales had not completely and still have not followed suit.
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