Wednesday 31 March 2010

Wallandar and Wales

I am a big fan of Henning Mankell’s Kurt Wallander novels and really enjoy the BBC seies starring Kenneth Branagh. However I personaly prefer the Swedish version with Krister Henriksson who gives a more realistic preformance of the angst ris detective. I do see a paradox in that if the BBC had not spent the reported £6 milion on the first series alone we probably would not have been atracted to the Swedish Version.

Maybe it’s partially due to the fact that I am an English speaking Welshman who is well used to watching subtitles on S4C that I am comfatable with watching subtitled programes in other languages.

Two of my favorite films are Amelie with th brilliantAudrey Tatou and Sophie Scholl a film about one of the courageous youn girls in history.

This brings me to my point Swedidh television have also produced the Van Veeteren stories by Håkan Nesser, Based on the Wallander series it sprobably worth seeing.

Could’t S$C buy this and subtile it in Welsh and English itcould raise S4C profile and male Welsh more Intenational It could even attract viewers fron outside the UK. Is this agood idea or doesi go contra to S4C’s remit.

Monday 29 March 2010

John Marek

The news that John Marek has joined the Tories comes as a bit of a shock. However to those of us who are cynical about politics, it could it shows that ambition to the political classes is more important than actual belief or integrity.

My own disillusion with mainstream politics began in the late 80.s, when I was a mature student at Aber. At the time I was a member of Plaid but I’m afraid my experience of Student Polices led me to somewhat drift away from the party.

What I saw was students of all the parties including Plaid putting their own party above that of the Union and this meant that everybody stood on party ticket and this was to result in the position that although a candidate from another party was clearly the best for the union, we were expected to campaign for our own candidate.

In my first year the best candidate was actually a member of the then SDP (not one of my favourite parties) and Plaid formed a pact with Labour partly I remember because a leading Plaid member fancied the Labour candidate.

One of the leading Plaid members was Alun Davis who I saw at the time was very ambitious and who whilst I sure was sincere in his belief was also a political animal and it was this that mostly drove him. Of course he is now a Labour member of the Welsh assembly.

People can change their views we are supposed to get more right wing as we get older (not in my case quite the reverse) but In both John Marek, Alun Davis and Mohammad Asghar their ambition or the actual chance to sit ( as what they see ) at the top table seems to be the main impetus.

We here a lot about the need for integrity in politics perhaps it should start with us all listing what we truly believe in and stand for.

Saturday 27 March 2010

Heledd in the Sun

Heledd Fychan's blog Pendroni calls Albert Owen, a Snob because he calls for the Sun to be banned and she then makes a bizarre defence of the paper based on the fact that a large number of people read it. I would support Heledd if she accused Albert Owen and the Labour party of hypocrisy as they had basked in the Sun’s support (no pun intended” after Tony Blair had done a deal with Murdoch in 1997 and we still not sure what was promised or given and neither do we know what Cameron has offered Murdoch but there is an inkling in the Tories plans for the BBC.

Heledd, the Sun is a nasty paper which whilst I can’t call it racist it gives succour to racists and panders to people’s basic instincts.

It tells lies and half truths in the safe knowledge that it is safe from prosecution or censure because both the PPC and the political establishment are afraid of News International.

If you want to see what will happen to our news after the election look at Fox in the USA. If the Tories win the next election we will in no doubt be seeing Sky news emulating Fox.

If you think celebrity gossip and the hurt it can do to some people, with its half truths and sensationalism then I only hope it doesn’t happen to you.

In fact it probably won’t but if you had made a spirited attack on the Sun and News International you may well have found yourself on the wrong end of a Sun attack in wouldn’t matter if you have no skeletons in your closet they will only make it.

Please think about this again Helydd and ask yourself what is the Sun for?

Sunday 21 March 2010

A progressive Alliance?

The SNP managed to gain some publicity over Alex Salmond’s claim that a hung parliament would be good for Scotland (and by implication Wales). There may be a danger in this as the London Media as already shown by the Today programme will be portraying the Welsh and Scots as greedy Nats and so encouraging those in England to vote for either the Tories or Labour.

There is a possible solution to this. The Plaid and SNP can show themselves as protectors of the vulnerable throughout Britain: but in this they should stress that they need allies.

I have met people in England who bemoan that they do not have a progressive left party as we in Wales in Scotland have to vote for. However the option to vote Green is there and I am sure many Plaid and SNP will be hoping for a Green victory in Brighton and Norwich.

It is too late for a Nationalist Green Pact; but there is the opportunity stress how the parities cooperate in the European Parliament and that they would form a similar ad informal grouping in the next Parliament.

I must ask. Is it not time the SDLP in Northern Ireland join the Celtic block instead of sitting on the Government benches with a Unionist party?

Friday 19 March 2010

One of the more interesting results in the next General Election will be Montgomeryshire as I believe Lembit Opik is in serious trouble from the Conservative candidate. For once in my life I am not particularly worried if Glyn Davies the Tory candidate wins he was a decent AM and not a raving right winger. In many ways this may help the Plaid Candidate Hellydd Fychan as she can benefit from this. The Lib Dems can and will argue that a vote for Plaid or Labour will let the Tories in; but if in the view of supporters of both these Parties is that even a Tory is preferable to Lembit they may well plump for the most impressive candidate and that may well be Helydd.

Wednesday 17 March 2010

St Patrick's Day

I have many fond memories of my time living in Camden, London. The highlight of the year was St Patrick’s Day. I must admit I over indulged on the Black Stuff but the real experience was the Craic (which is one of those words like Hwyl which if you can explain it in English you don’t know what it means.). The only thing that spoiled the day was that we Welsh couldn’t do the same on St David's day. The fact that it's not a national holiday doesn't help: but since the inception of the Assembly the whole Idea of Welsh identity has grown. We will never match the truly International flavour of St Patrick’s Day but perhaps one day we will be able to hold our heads high as we join our cousins across the sea.

Monday 15 March 2010

Where I stand.

  • I am a Socialist: In that I believe that everyone should have an equal opununity in life and that the gap between the rich and poor is obscene.
  • I am a Libertarian: In that I believe that individual Human Rights are irrevocable and this does not clash with the above. Socialism means more freedom not less.
  • I am a Nationalist: In that I believe Wales should take its place in the World in the same way countries such as Latvia and Lithuania have.

  • I am an Internationalist: In that I support the surrendering of some measures of sovereignty to both the EU and UN in the hope that this will promote greater cooperation between nations.

  • I am a Republican: I find the Idea of Hereditary titles and the idea that I should call someone in the 21st Century, your Majesty, Lord, Lady, Sir or Dame is abhorrent abolish the lot.

  • I am Green: We must all work together to save our Planet. However the solution is not living in a small holding in West Wales we all can’t do this.

  • I support the Welsh Language: Although a moonlit English speaker I believe it should have official status and equality in Wales.

  • I believe in Peace: And reject violence whether by terrorism or nation states. Although I did not always agree with him. Gwynfor Evans’ pamphlet “Non-Violent Nationalism” which was published by the Fellowship of Reconciliation is one of the biggest Influences on my life.

    I hope over time to expand on these and join in the debate.

Sunday 14 March 2010

This is what I hope will be a regular contribution. I will be attempting to contribute from a Progressive left viewpoint on issues of which Welsh politics will probably play a major part.
I hope that I will not fall into the trap of being controversial for the sake of it and make a small contribution to this exciting new media. We will be having a General Election soon and I admit that I will probably be supporting Plaid but hope to be in a position to criticise them as well as all the other Parties. Hope this will be the first of many Blogs.