Monday 30 August 2010

What’s the Opposite of a Pyrrhic Victory and was 2010 one for Plaid?

Not even the most optimistic Plaid supporter would claim that the result of 2010 General Election ,was anything but a bitter disappointment for the Party.

The failure to win any of the hoped for seats of Ynys Mon, Ceredigion Aberconwy or even Llanelli , meant that the Party seemed to have hit a brick wall when it comes to increasing thier number to Westminster.

I am not sure what the opposite of a Pyrrhic Victory is but it is possible that Plaid may this time next year be thinking that they had in fact been lucky to not have made thier hoped for gains.

I have a precedent for this argument.

In 1997 the only seat that Plaid could really hope to gain was Carmarthen East and Dinefwr. In a year when Tony Blair's New Labour won the General Election by landslide  and ended years of Toy government. The loss of the Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, seat would have probably resulted great resentment towards Plaid by Labour members in Wales.

17,907 voted for Labour in the seat in 1997. Now if we take into account the Yes majority in the Assembly referendum  for Wales as a whole was 6721 we can see that the majority of 22,996 in Carmarthen was vital and although it was dramatic the fact that it was last to declare is irrelevant in this case.

Would all of those Labour voters who voted Yes had done so if they had lost the seat in this County. It is possible they would not have and this resentment may also have spilled over to large past of Wales.

So I am proposing that it is highly possible that Plaids failure to advance in the election of 1997 resulted in a Yes vote a few months later.

Now move forward to the 2010 election if Plaid had one just two Labour seats in Wales (Ynys Mon and Llanelli) then this would certainly put a strain on Plaid -Labour relations and possibly damaged the One Wales Agenda. Disunity in the Welsh Assembly government resulting in a No vote in 2011.

If there was a No vote then Plaid would in no doubt suffer in the  later May Assembly Elections.
However Plaid with a Yes vote behind could  easily make seat gains, and place themselves in a strong position not only for the One Wales Agenda to continue but to argue for a greater say in it.

And that’s my hypothesis I am sure some may reject it outright but  I think it should be considered .

Saturday 28 August 2010

Who Agrees with Nick now? Not Welsh voters it seems.

During the so called leaders debate leaders debate one phrase was prominent and that was of course

“I agree with Nick”

But it was not long before it was Nick saying

“I agree with Dave”

The Lib-Dems chose to enter I coalition with the Tories and proceeded to drop or water down many of the proposals that people were agreeing with Nick on that Subordinate Central were able to boast that opinion polls just weeks before the general election put them on 29% in Wales,

There seems to be no mention of the recent Yougov Poll on intentions at the Welsh Assembly Elections (lets call it the Senedd if we win the referendum) which puts them on 10% on the Constituency vote and 9% on the regional vote.

But it is in Mid Wales that they vote has collapsed in 2007 the vote were

Mid and West Wales

            Constituency      Region
Lab… 19.2%               18 .4%

Con …23.1%              22.9%

Plaid…35.7%             31.0%

LD…..20.1 %           13.3%

Others 1.9%                14.4%

Latest Yougov Poll
            Constituency   Region
Lab….31%              34%

Con …21%             23%

LD ….9%              6%

Plaid ...34%            31%

Others .6%              6%

ere must be concern by the Liberal Democrats they won Two of the eight constituency seats last time (Montgomery and Brecon and Radnorshire) and hold two of these seats (Ceredigion and Brecon and Radnorshire) at Westminster) on this poll even La Pasionaria‘s majority of 5,354 (18.6%) looks dodgy.
Of course this is one Poll and there a long way to go but it does explain the silence at Subordinate Central and perhaps the silence over the Institute of Fiscal Studies report that the last Budget was regressive.

Peter Black yesterday made a spirited defence (or perhaps laughable) of his government position But he concentrated like his leader on the aspiration of reducing unemployment through trickle down economics. But have a read anyway he has worked hard at it.
But Let me ask you all a question.Do you agree with Nick now?

Thursday 26 August 2010

Clegg and Lib-Dems backed regressive budget

Liberal Democrat leader whose “not in charge” of the country when David Cameron mind is understandably elsewhere after the birth of his new child, has defended the coalition government's analysis of the Budget.

Mr Clegg said a report by the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS), which said the Budget has hit poorest families the hardest, was "by definition partial".

"It does not include the things we want to do to get people off benefits and into work,"

If the government plans were to create millions of jobs. Clegg, would in any case be talking about an aspiration surely? No government plans could guarantee they would bring employment unless they created jobs by a form of Roosevelt’s New Deal (as opposed to the last governments version in the UK which was just a slogan and little more than an attempt to put a plaster on a gaping wound.).

Indeed it is interesting that in The Orange Book: Reclaiming Liberalism (Liberator) 2004 that (Four of the contributors of which are now part of the coalition government). Clegg argued that the freeemarket was the solution to our social problems. As opposed to the original “Orange book” “We can conquer Unemployment (1929) in which The Liberals under David Lloyd George had campaigned on a comprehensive programme of public works. Not to dissimilar to the New Deal, and in many ways more imaginative that Labours position at the time.

The main thrust of the current coalition government is to" help people back to work" by cutting benefits which is somewhat in tune with the ideas of the latter Orange book . The fact that there are very few jobs for people forced of benefit and the reluctance of employers to take on the long term unemployed eludes them.

Clegg was a cheerleader for the last budget, and you don’t have to be an economic expert to realise who would be the real victims of George Osborne policies then and the IFS report confirm our suspicions..

Can those on the Left of the Lib-Dems who were opposed to the latest Orange book and have still have some vestige of believe in social liberalism and honesty such as those in the Beveridge Group. really carry on in a Party that is becoming indistinguishable  from its coalition partners?

Wednesday 25 August 2010

GCSE in Wales the Today programm get a B

The Today programme yesterday when reporting on the GCSE results, chose to spend some time on the fact that figures show 66.4% of pupils in Wales received A* to C grades, compared to 69.1% for all of the UK. (In which they mean England and Northern Ireland).

They then dispatched a reporter to Port Talbot who interviewed a Head master who suggested that social deprivation or la funding gap could be responsible for this 2.7% difference.

Now I don’t have any problem with the facts are they are, but am I’m being paranoid in thinking that the BBC news in London ,and the Today programme in particular have a informal policy of only portraying Wales negatively?

This often seems to be the case can anyone point to any positive reporting on Wales coming from the Today programme.

But to go back to this Gap in grades why not ask the obvious question.

Are examinations in Wales harder?

There are 5 Exam boards conducting GCSE






Scotland of course (at least I realise it unlike the BBC and Today programme) has a different system and Exam Board

Of the of 5 however  the WJEC is by far the largest in Wales and there it could easily be possible that their standards are higher certainly within a 3% margin.

Perversely I admit  of course they could have lower standards and the gap could be actually larger.

However I do not know what the truth is, but surely this should be considered when looking at the figures and a few simple questions could be asked.including

Why do schools choose different exam boards? Could it because some have a better pass rate? Thereby increasing the schools own stats?

Do Universities take into account the Exam Board when judging applications based on their interpretation  on the degree of hardness of the curriculum of the different boards?

It would be interesting to see if there were any studies of this.
I leave you with another thought.

Looking at all the reports and pictures of pupils receiving their results. It seems that only attractive people get high marks. I received only 3 O’levels from Pontypridd Boys Grammar School clearly the reason was not my own lethargy or lack of learning but I was an (and still am) ugly sod.

Monday 23 August 2010

A Labour-SNP coalition in 2011?

I’m not sure if this is just a case of The Scotsman or the Labour Party bring mischievous. The paper claims that.

A source close to Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray told The Scotsman a tentative approach has been made to one of his aides over whether he would be willing to strike a deal in a "post-Alex Salmond era".

I always take the term “a source” or a “senior party figure” with a pinch of salt, as I believe that this is usually cover for a correspondents extrapolation of an interview, or even merely speculation.

Anyway the SNP have pointed to recent opinion poles which show they are closing the gap on Labour, and that next years Holyrood elections have it all to play for.

However the article does point out to a potential dilemma in Scotland, because it is highly unlikely that either Party will have an overall majority, and this leads to some interesting scenarios

  • The largest Party could as SNP have done quite successfully rule alone on a vote by vote situation where only a vote of no confidence could bring them down.
  • They could form a coalition with the Greens, Independents or socialist parties but this would be depending on the numbers.
  • They could form a coalition with the Lib-Dems, but could Labour (or the SNP) enter coalition with a Party which at the same time is in hock to the Tories in Westminster I doubt it.
  • I think we can leave out a coalition between either Party and the Tories.
So that leaves:
  • A coalition between Labour and the SNP. However this would depend on Labour being the largest Party because there is no way at the moment that Labour would be junior partners taking orders from Alex Salmond or any leader of another party.
 Because of the arithmetic of the Holyrood elections however I suspect there may be some informal discussion between Parties on the possible outcome of the next election to the Scottish parliament, and I think the SNP should make it clear that if Labour are not prepared to be junior partners in a coalition (or equal partners ) with a SNP leader then they would not be junior partners to Labour.

Labour often behaves like a boy who threatens to take the ball away if he’s not allowed to have a glamorous role in a game of football. They need reminding its not their ball but the people of Scotlands

Saturday 21 August 2010

How many Welsh Labour Cabinet members have there been?

I ask this question because Syniadau reports that Diane Abbot has carried her Labour leadership campaign to Scotland and will spend over a week there.

She is reported as saying.

“I have not spent a week and a half in Wales. I genuinely think the Scottish Labour party has always had a very fundamental role in British Labour politics. In a way the Scottish Labour movement is the keeper of the flame when it comes to socialism. I think whoever wins (in Scotland) deserves to win overall.”

Interesting! Does this mean that Wales is of no importance to Abbot, and to Labour as a whole apart for supplying lobby fodder for Labour machine?

Well Yes.

In every election since 1923 .The largest number of MPs from Wales were from the Labour Party, and for most of the period after it provided the vast majority of Welsh MPs. Even in 1931 when Labour were almost wiped out in the rest of Britain when Ramsey McDonald formed the National Government., of the 52 reaming seats 15 were from Wales.

And yet what has been the “Welsh” influence on Labour?

Well you can point to Aneurin Bevan, and without a doubt his experience of the South Wales Miners Federation welfare programme influenced his thinking on the National Health Service and Bevan's name is still invoked by Labour MPs (who then betray his legacy) throughout the UK; But how many  other Welsh MP’s have been placed in a position of power in a Labour Cabinet?

Precious few.

If we were to exclude the Secretary of State for Wales.Very few members of Labour Cabinets were from Wales and if we were to  further exclude those who were born outside Wales then you would be hard pressed indeed to find them.

Both James Callaghan and Michael Foot only represented Welsh constituencies as a means to enter Parliament and abandoned them to retire to their farm in East Sussex (Callaghan) and house in Hamstead (London).

I’ve no idea what Peter Hain intends to when he ceases to represent Neath but I suspect he to will leave the area..

Compare this with Scotland and the members from that country who have found places in Labour Cabinets over the years, and of course in the last one Both Prime Minister and Chancellor were Scots who represented Scottish Constituencies amongst others who were in prominent positions.

So I can understand Abbots reluctance to canvass for votes in Wales because in her  mind (and to the rest of the Labour party). Wales is irrelevant.

I remember when I first started having an interest in Politics. The saying

“They’d vote for a Donkey if it was Labour”.

Or the rumour that a Welsh Labour MP had only spoken once in a Commons debate and that was to call for the Windows to be opened because of the heat.

My view over the years has changed somewhat, I believe we have sent some very capable Labour members to Westminster but they have been met discrimination and have been affected by a form of “Cultural Cringe”. Where they believed that someone who went to Oxbidge had had a refined accent were somehow more able than them and deferred to them.

Of course there will be Welsh MP’s elected to the “Shadow Cabinet” in the future as there nearly always have been but when it comes to the real job what happens?

They are dropped PDQ.

Some of the Labour Leadership contenders have indicated that they would prefer to appoint members which on past experience will mean fewer Welsh members. After 70 years perhaps it’s time for Labour Party members in Wales to stop seeking to be “a big fish in a small pond” and look to using their talents to serve Wales and not the Part machine that only grids them up.

Thursday 19 August 2010

Freedom or Subordinate Central

 About a month ago Insidious Produced this brilliant critique
 of Subordinate Central. I hope they don't mind if I reproduce it because it needs a further airing because of recent events.
Insidious' Guide to Subordinate Central
 A recent posting on the Subordinate Centre Blog entitled.
"Minister rebuffed on Alcohol" which was a comment  on Wales Office Minister David Jones intervention to rule out  a transfer of powers over the the licensing of alcohol has led to a number of comments from other bloggers including  BorthlasSyniadaujaxxland and Ramblings.

Now you could argue  that We are the usual suspects in our criticism of "Subordinate Central" but the extraordinary thing is the reaction of Peter Black.

In a number of the Blogs he has posted the same comment.which I will save him some time in repeating below.

 "What is bizarre is how the neutral reporting of a story by an independent though Lib Dem inclined blog is taken as a sign of party policy. Official Lib Dem policy is to devolve justice powers to the Assembly along with administrative control of police and prisons. Licensing would be included in that package. We cannot do Edwina's bidding via an LCO as she well know because licensing falls outwith the 22 areas of competence in the 2006 Act".

Strangely (Perhaps because it is a Plaid Blog and in a similar position) Rambling somewhat accepts Peter's claim that Subordinate Centre is "Independent Blog".
But you only have to look at it, to realise that the main contributors are the Lib-Dem Am's (all 5 of them). Only yesterday there was a post by La Passionaria  on the first 100 days of the coalition.and as I pointed out in my post on Welsh Party Websites it seems at times  to have more official  press releases than the official Welsh Lib-Dem website.

But for a supposedly  for a Independent blog can anybody tell me when a Lib-Dem supporter posted a a piece contrary to  the party leadership?.

If Subordinate Center caries on in its present guise then I'm afraid that Peter Black and the rest of the Lib-Dems must take some responsibility for the posts and the criticism that goes with it.

Tuesday 17 August 2010

Tony Blair meets St Peter.

Tony Blair at the Pearly Gates.
St. Peter is manning the Pearly Gates and is on the phone to God.

St Peter: “Lord, I’ve got Tony Blair outside he wants to come in”.

God: “Blair! Of course he can’t come in. He’s responsible for thousands of deaths and brought misery to millions”.

St Peter: “But Lord, He says he gave the royalties of his memoirs to the British Legion. It was a great deal of money Lord”.

God: “Look we don’t do and never have done indulgences. You can’t buy your way in here”. Sighs “OK give him a check for six million pounds and tell him to go to Hell.

Tony Blair's eventual destination

Monday 16 August 2010

Merthyr Tydfil needs Innovation not criticism and derision

Merthyr Tydfil comes in for a lot of stick as reports That it tops the league in UK Blackspots. And we get the usual criticism that there are layabouts living of the dole.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling claimed too many healthy adults in 'unemployment blackspots' were treating benefit dependency as a way of life.

Strangely the most informed information comes from Jeff Randall ina n article in the Telegraph in lieu of a programme to be presented by him on Sky News at 7.30pm on Tuesday September 7.

If I am a wrong then I apologise to Randal but I suspect the programme will contain the usual edited Vox Pop  concentrating on the few people who are abusing the system and not those who genuinely are seeking work but cant find any.

Because in his article he like every other commentator appears to blame the unemployed themselves.

All the commentators seem to make the claim that there are plenty of jobs if the unemployed are willing to travel
Randal claims that.

““They bemoaned Merthyr's lack of opportunities and facilities, yet refused to consider a 45-minute train ride to Cardiff. "Wouldn't know how to get there," one said.””

He does not mention that under Employment rules those seeking jobseekers allowance must look for work that is within a 3 hour round trip area.

Now if you have access to a car then this whilst daunting  this is possible, but in a area like Merthyr would involve using often more than two forms of transport.

What employer is going to risk employing someone who has to rely on three different modes of public transport in order to get to work?

Even if they did , the idea that  Randal gives that just outside Methyr are hundreds of jobs awaiting them is ludicrous but of course the media the current and previous governments cant see this.

But anyone can find someone on the Dole sitting on their backside but they are a  small minority.
What about those who have been seeking work for years and are constantly rejected how many have been asked if they ever are invited to an interview ?

“How are you going to get to work on time if you can’t drive?”

How many are rejected by those at Human Resourced simply by the fact that they are long term unemployed or by they address.

Even if they has taken steps by improving their skills through further education. I suspect they would still discriminated against.

I have no problem with the argument that many people are on incapacity benefit who should not be; But this a result of people being encouraged by the government employment agencies over the years to do so in order to hide the true cost of unemployment.
No amount of welfare reform is going to create jobs. What we need in Merthyr and other Blackspots is the creation of imaginative schemes to create business ventures involving local people.

What we need is the creation of a Merthyr cooperative agency using the Mondragon  in the Basque country that seeks to create jobs and have the finances to do so. These businesses  will be based on local needs and skills and have the resources to create new skills.

After an initial set up which will be costly. Then these cooperative schemes could be self-financing.

Referring to people as layabouts and constantly emphasising the negative will not help the unemployed who genuinely seeking work ( the vast majority) one iota and increase and futher mean that  Human Resources wiil refer  to the post code when making decisions, and concentrating on a mythical belief that all we have to do is reform the welfare system will lead nowhere.

But in the face of a right wing media who will constantly oppose progressive socialist ideas as bringing jobs in the way I have suggested above .Who amongst the mainstream parties will have the courage to take it up?

Saturday 14 August 2010

Is your journey really necessary? TrwawsCambria and Devolution.

In the 80’s as a mature student, I often used the TrawsCambria bus to get to Aberystwyth University. Today I would make the journey on the X40 and change to the X32 to carry on to Bangor and North Wales.
It linked what was then all the University towns in Wales and was a useful if frustrating link for students with their homes
You can see from the map that there are no direct routes and you would not want to follow it by car.

I have began to look at the journey as an analogy for devolution.

The first part of the journey Cardiff-Swansea was long and frustrating clearly my attention was to go North bur the Bus seemed to be making no progress in that direction.

This can be seen as the period from the election of the Plaid MP’s to the second Devolution referendum. The journey had begun (Though the bus had broken down in 1979) and it had become clear that we cold go further.

The Second part Swansea-Carmarthen. . Was a sign of real progress and you could feel the passengers spirits lift as they began to feel they were finally heading for they destination.

This can be seen the election of the first Assembly (Ironic that this would be Carmarthen after the referendum). Some felt the journey was over but others were now used to the difficulties of along journey and wished to go on.

The Third part Carmarthen-Lampeter was seen as some as unnecessary as they wished to go strait on to Aber. Buy some of the passengers wanted to stop there.

This is where we are at the moment some progress made but clearly this was not the end.

The forth part Lampeter- Aberystwyth was a real spurt for those heading to Aber there was a clear anticipation that their long journey would soon be over.

This will be the result if the 2010 referendum is successful. For many it will seem unnecessary to travel any further.

For many the Fifth part Aberystwyth-Portmadog was in reality be a new journey bur Portmadog has many attractions and give you access to a Wales they had longed to see.

This will be the creation of a Welsh Parliament with full law making and Tax raising powers the final stage for some.

The final part of the journey Portmadog-Bangor would have been taken by hardy soles some of who may have already broken their journey in Aberystwyth say. But you can imagine the joy they will feel when they see the outskirts of Bangor and realise the long journey.

This will see an independent Wales taking its place in Europe and the rest of the World the destination of a minority but perhaps some would like to do so when they realise it is achievable..

But what of the drivers and Passengers?

Carwyn: The Labour driver would like to go to Aber he’s not sure how many of his passengers want to but the indication is that even some who were reluctant to take the journey now wish to.

Nick: The Tory driver is not sure where he wants to go and knows that most of his passengers never wanted to be on the bus in the first place but he to will probably like to stop at Aber.

Kirsty: The Lib-Dem driver indicates that she would like to go on to Portmadog but finds that some of her passengers wish to stay in Carmarthen and has been distracted that her bosses are behaving rather oddly.

Ieaun: The Plaid driver would dearly love to go all the way to Bangor but feels he must concentrate on getting to Aber first. This is frustrating some of his passengers who would like to bypass all the stop.

You too can make this journey and get off the bus when and where you like and have a look around. Get back on again and continue. But remember there is no return ticket.
Is the journey necessary?
Yes but it will be a long one.

Thursday 12 August 2010

"Welsh" Party websites.

I have been looking at the main Party websites and to found some interesting issues. Use the link to form your own opinion.

Plaid Cymru:
Completely bilingual as you would expect up to date (last release 11th August). Should have a list of assembly candidates up by now though. 8/10

"Welsh” Labour:
Doesn’t seem to be Bilingual there is a site Llafur Cymru which allows you to relocate to the English version but not Vice-versa. The Welsh Language site seems to have not been updated since the General election and the English Language one has no recent news, also they seem to have dropped Welsh Labour from their masthead . Very Poor. 3/10

“Welsh” Conservatives:
Seems to be purely in English only. If there is a Cymraeg button. I couldn’t find it. Up to date and does concentrates on Welsh issues. 4/10

"Welsh" Liberal Democrats:
At first glance Bilingual but on hitting the Welsh Language Button  a Draig Goch  the English language one is the Union flag (I kid you not)  you find mostly the same information in English only with the words “No Translation available”. Seems to be pure tokenism. Up to date but there seem to be more press releases put out 0n Subordinate Central(Why?) 5/10.

The main disappointment with the sites are the lack of (except Plaid’s) easy access to Welsh Language facilities. It is 2010 for god sake every Party must have access to someone who could translate their information and it would be a simple task for their webmaster to paste

How can these Parties argue for a new Welsh language act when their own Website and as I pointed out during the last election their election literature are not fully bilingual.

Perhaps a new Welsh Language Act should enclose a clause compelling political Parties campaigning in Wales to implement a bilingual policy.

Wednesday 11 August 2010

Silence in the Ranks.

Chris Huhne 2006

Plaid Panteg (with a nod to SNP Tactical Voter), has recently posted on Chris Huhne’s latest offering on Nuclear Power.

Chris Huhne 2010
As I commented on Marcus’ blog there has been no response from Peter Black on his Blog or La Pasionaria at Subordinate Centre.

Indeed I looked up a number of Lib-Dem Blogs via Total Politics Home and found there seemed to be very little if any response. What is happing to this Party?

Before the advent of the Greens it was often the Liberals (as they then were) who were portrayed as “bearded sandal wearing hippies” wearing T shirts with slogans like “The only safe fast breeder is a rabbit”

It was meant to mock them, but I often agreed with them on many issues. So where are they now?

Well some remained in the rump Liberal Party who carried on under that name (they have 20 or so councillors).

Some probably joined the Greens.

Some left Party Politics in despair.

But the majority remained and younger members who presumably shared some of these anti nuclear views have joined.

So why so silent?

Every party (except the Greens) are split over Nuclear Energy, but Chris Huhne hypocritical U-turn needs to be argued over. If Lib-dem members do not speak out over this then they are sharing his shme and are little more than cannon fodder for the Party machine.

Monday 9 August 2010

We must remember Social Houses are Homes.

Having just returned from a weeks Holiday. I’ve been perusing my fellow bloggers contribution over the last week and came across this on Steph Ashely’s Dib Lemming Blog.

I must admit that I was surprised at her apparent support for David Cameron suggestion that council houses should no longer be granted "for life" , Claiming that this would make sure those in most need can access accommodation.

It seems that most of her Lib Dem colleagues disagree with her view that This " would clear up Thatcher’s mess.”

Steph Ashley starts of well enough pointing out that effect that Thatcher’s policy off selling Council Houses through the Right to Buy scheme but how can she possibly see Cameron’s policy fixing this?

What Cameron proposal would do is create the idea that social housing is for those who are poor and who will remain poor. It is typical of his Big Society Con.

It will increase the pressure on long term tenants to buy their houses because the alternative would be to be evicted from (and this important) what they regard as their HOMES. Yes their Homes, in which they have lived for perhaps all their married life, brought up their children and made investment in as much as anyone who own their own house in the private sector.

Step says that she would be quite willing to move to smaller accommodation if her circumstances change. But would she feel the same after 10 or 20 years after she has come to regard where she lives as a Home?

She also writes that

“Even the ones who don't buy their council or housing association home to pass on as an inheritance to their kids, will stay in them long after their needs have adjusted without a thought to whether they are affecting someone else's life”

Yes she has a point; But I also know of many cases where young people who have been living in a council house all their lives and on the death of parent have been given just a few weeks to vacate what they have always regarded as they Home. This adds to their already distress and is appalling  unsympathetic treatment.

I don’t know how many people who can afford to purchase their own Homes there are lining due to the Con-lib Dem government's cuts and its failure to address the Bank's loan policy. the numbers will grow much fewer and Cameron’s plans will make things worse and reduce the Social Housing stock.

We actually own some Bank's why not turn Northern Rock into a nationalised bank that provided Mortgages on a reasonable rate to those who are on low income?