Friday, 30 March 2012

Galloway wins in one of the biggest By-election shocks in history.

George Galloway has pulled of one of the biggest political shocks in history  winning the Bradford West by-election with a majority of 10,140.

Bradford West by-election, 2012[11]
RespectGeorge Galloway18,34155.9+52.8
LabourImran Hussain8,20125.0-20.3
ConservativeJackie Whiteley2,7468.4-22.7
Liberal DemocratJeanette Sunderland1,5054.6-7.1
UKIPSonja McNally1,0853.3+1.3
GreenDawud Islam4811.5-0.8
Democratic NationalistsNeil Craig3411.0-0.1
Monster Raving LoonyHowling Laud Hope1110.3N/A

General Election 2012
ElectionPolitical resultCandidatePartyVotes%±%
General Election 2010 [12][13]
New boundaries
Turnout: 40,576 (64.9%) +8.9
Labour hold
Majority: 5,763 (14.2%)
Swing: +2.9% from Con to Lab
Marsha SinghLabour18,40145.3+5.6
Zahid IqbalConservative12,63831.1−0.2
David Hall-MatthewsLiberal Democrat4,73211.7−7.4
Jenny SampsonBNP1,3703.4−3.5
Arshad AliRespect1,2453.1+3.1
David FordGreen9402.3−0.7
Jason SmithUKIP8122.0+2.0
Neil CraigDemocratic Nationalists4381.1+1.

This was not just a bad night for Labour it was also one for the other main parties and it can't just be shown (as it will by the media) as general disillusionment  by the large Moslem component of the constitutive. 

Indeed the Guardian  states
 It appeared that the seat's Muslim immigrant community had decamped from Labour en masse to Galloway's fundamentalist call for an immediate British troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and a fightback against the job crisis.

But I imagine many of those voting may be second or third generation and they are not immigrants. Shame on the Guardian for making this all they had to use was Muslim Community.

Clearly for want of a major analysis from journalist on the ground Galloways call for withdrawal from Afghanistan had some resonance . But Labour failure to stand up for the poorest members of our society was also a factor.In some ways this result resembles Jim Sillars  1988  Glasgow Govan by-election victory.Where the Poll tax and Labours lukewarm opposition was an issue.

Labour were hopping to win big in the UK in the May elections. It just be that where there another alternative to the other main parties those who feel that they have been let down by all three may just chose another.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Labour Malicious or Incompetent on the Budget Opposition vote?

Labour have failed to back the first vote by the opposition parties against the ConLib budget.

In the Debate last week ED Balls give the impression that Labour would be taking he lead on this

Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation

Debate resumed (Order, 21 March).

On the Cut in the 50p Tax rate

Ed Balls: There will be a vote next week, and we will vote against the 50p change. It is the wrong tax cut at the wrong time. I have always said that no tax rate is set in stone, but how can anyone believe it is right to take tax credits from working families, child benefit from middle-income families and more tax from pensioners, but give £10,000, on average, to every top rate taxpayer in the country? If there were a general election tomorrow, our manifesto would state clearly that we would reverse it. That is the clearest answer I will give.
On the Granny Tax

Ed Balls: I will make it absolutely clear: we will vote against the change in the Budget debates and I hope that he will join us in the Lobby. We will vote against it, but the Chancellor knows very well that I will not go through every tax rate, relief, allowance or spending commitment and make commitments for three years’ time. But if the election were called tomorrow, our manifesto would be clear—we would rescind the measure and the Government would go ahead with it. That is the difference.

But when it came to the vote on a Plaid-SNP motion opposing the budget Measures Labour apart for two MPs were nowhere to be seen.

Those voting against the ConLib goverment's budget were...


Gregory Campbell - East Londonderry
Jeffrey Donaldson - Lagan Valley
Nigel Dodds - Belfast North
William McCrea - South Antrim
Ian Paisley, Jr. - North Antrim
Jim Shannon - Strangford
David Simpson - Upper Bann
Sammy Wilson - East Antrim
Mark Durkan - Foyle
Alasdair McDonnell - Belfast South
Margaret Ritchie -South Down
Indpemdent (N.I)
Sylvia Eileen Hermon, - North Down
Caroline Lucus – Brighton Pavilion
Stewart Hosie - Dundee East

Angus MacNeil - Na h-Eileanan an Iar
Angus Robertson -Moray
Eilidh Whiteford - Banff and Buchan
Michael Weir- Angus (Teller) 
Peter Wishart - Perth and North Perthshire (Teller)
Plaid Cymru

Jonathan Edwards - Carmarthen East and Dinefwr
Hywel Williams-Arfon
Paul Flynn - Newport West 
Dennis Skinner - Bolsover 

Some interesting fact   comes from them in the NO lobby

Apart from the 5 absentee Sinn Fein MPs and Plaids's Elfyn Llwyd (Who must have a reason to be absent) . Every single Opposition MP outside Labour voted against the budget.
Only two MPs's from English Constituencies   Dennis Skinner and  Caroline Lucus  voted No. The only true opposition to the Government coming from those Parties who so not fight English seats (Except the Greens) and one would suspect UKIP would vote with the government .

So why did Labour abstain

According  to an advisor to Ed Balls, the Shadow Chancellor,  Labour had made a "screw-up" by not voting with the rest of the opposition against the Con Lib plans to cut the top rate of tax for the highest earners.

I think that it was simply due to the fact that Labour expect to take the lead in all opposition votes and will not countenance supporting an amendment made by any other party . They at first hoped the vote will go unnoticed and and when it became clear tried the screw up excuse preferring to appear incompetent rather than malicious.

If the DUP and SDLP can walk through the same Lobby on this its pathetic that the so called official opposition . Why  couldn't Labour?

Ed Balls and his Whips must answer the Question

Where Labour MPs Advised/Ordered not to vote with the rest of the opposition Parties?
If not . Are Labour MPs so Lazy they can't vote without being informed by the Whips that a vote has been called?
What would their reaction had been if they had proposed the No vote and  Plaid and SNP MPs had enbloc failed to vote with them.?

Monday, 26 March 2012

Party Donations and Expenditure.

The argument over the news that Conservative Party co-treasurer Peter Cruddas has resigned after secretly filmed footage showed him apparently offering access to the prime minister for a donation of £250,000 a year continues.

Peter Black , once again typically self rightous in pointing out that Labour also had problems of a similar Nature.

Not so long ago he was of on the same subject . However when I commented on his blog.

Great Timing Peter on the day that.
Multi-millionaire fraudster and Liberal Democrat donor Michael Brown has been arrested in the Dominican RHe donated about £2.4 million to the Lib Dems ahead of the 2005 general election - its largest donation to date.
Which your Party have refused to pay back.

Would.t that be the right action considering what you've just commented on.
# posted by glynbeddau : 3:03 PM
Peters answer was 
Yes, because successive investigations by the Electoral Commission and the Police have found that the party acted properly at all times and did no wrong. Furthermore, nothing was ever offered to Michael Brown in return for his money. The standards commissioner's remarks therefore do not apply either. The link made by yourself and the Telegraph is totally superfluous and irrelevant.

And before any other LibDem starts on the Peter Cruddas. I think they should make absolutely sure that they haven't been compromised in a similar situation sonce joining the coalition and getting some access to power.

The argument has led to the call to drastically reduce the ammount that Individuals or organisation can can donations to Political and/or State funding of Political Parties.

The problem with State funding is that if it is based on the number votes cast (and I can't see any other system) It will favour the bigger Parties and be self perpetuating. Which will make it even harder for samller Parties to break through.

The solution should start by making Parties cut expenditure on elections and particually look how parties shift resources to Individual consituancies by concentrating monies on them.

In the Last General Election in Wales there were some amazing disparities.

Spent over £24,0000 for a 4th place in Aberconwy
Were the Highest spender in Cardiff West £9,204,47 and received 7% of the vote whilst the Liberal Democrats spent £636.93 and received 17.5% of the vote.
Liberal Democrats
Spent over £20,000 than the winning Labour Candidate in Merthyr Tydfil and Newport East.
Spent 1,520.93 (18.3% of Vote) in Swansea East and 22,701.65 in Swansea West (33.2%)and £30.617.11 Newport East (37%) and £1,349.35(16.6) in Newport West .
Spent £190.00 (13.8)% n the Cynon Valley
Spent £585.69 (585.69(7.5% of the vote) in Merthyr Tydfil

When you look at the figures it is hard to see to what extent expenditure makes a difference but it is clear in marginal constituencies you have to spend big.

Perhaps oddly the interesting result may have been Torfaen

Green 438 Votes £37. Spent.
Labour 16847 Votes £2,96255.Spent.
Con 7541 Votes £148.20 Spent.
Independent 607 Votes £1.756.00 Spent.
BNP 1657 Votes £400.00 Spent.
Lib-Dem 6264 Votes £589.00 Spent .
Independent 1419 Votes £600.00 Spent.
UKIP 862 Votes £1100.00 Spent.
Plaid 2005 votes £1,497.00 Spent.

As I argued at the Time the turnout in Torfaen was 61.5% where it was 67.2 Where Plaid spent £24,386,Libdems £6,991, Labour £7689 and the Tories (who won $23,022
Where the people of Torfaen any more remote from the Election than those in Aberconwy?

And yet expenditure must have some influence on the result in Marginal Constituancies. or the parties would't do it.

With the propose equalisation of the number of constituents and Constituencies (about 70,000). Would it not be a good idea to restrict Parties to paying no more than an average of £5000 per constituency and a similar cap on expenditure based on the rest of the campaign based on seats fought?

We are heading for a similar situation as the USA where Big donations from Lobby Interest means only those backed by the two main Parties can afford to be elected and enormous amounts of Cash at all levels of elections are spent just to be nominated by your Party, and only in the state of Vermont where the Vermont Progressive Party have some local success back Independent Senator Bernie Sanders (the only socialist in Congress ) to the Democrats and Republicans is there an alternative.

We must not continue on a similar road here. Having raised money from Lobby Interest the amount a Party has to spend on elections should not influence the outcome.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

I'd rather waste my vote Than ignore my beliefs.

There's under two weeks to go before nominations close for candidates intending to stand in the council elections in May.

I had my first canvass over two weeks ago from Labour  where a supporter handed me a leaflet and asked me to support their candidate.

When I said that I usually voted Plaid. I was given the line "They can't win here".

He was visibly shocked when I stated that the fact that the party you support "can't win" was no reason not to vote for them.

Actually I might vote for the Labour candidate he puts in the work nursing the ward and hopefully if elected would bring the same energy as a Councillor

Another factor would be if there was no Plaid candidate or they lived well outside the Beddau area. The Labour candidate lives in the next Ward which is OK . The current councillor, an Independent lives a few miles away and has been largely invisible.

I also don't think that National Politics should always come in to play when voting locally and the record of your council and councillor should play a part in who you vote for .

Indeed I have some sympathy for those hard working decent LibDem Councillors throughout Wales who will probably join their colleagues in the rest of the UK in a very bad night on May 3rd.

But they were probably elected partly due to a National swing. So they  previously  benefited from the system so they can't really complain.

Nevertheless there will be swathes o f people who voted for a Party on May 3rd who find that there is not one councillor from that Party in their local Authority.

I may be a bit out of date  But

There are only 4 Labour councillors and no Tories on Gwynesdd council  out of a 75
There's 1 Tory and 3 Libdems on Rhondda Cynon Taf out of 75
There's no Tory and 1 Labour on Ceredigion out of 42
There's no Plaid No Tory and 2 Libdems on Blaneau Gwent.out of 42
There's no Libdem on Vale of Glamorgan out of 47
There's only 1 Plaid on Flintshire out of 70

This despite the clear support the Parties have in these areas and we must ask . How democratic is this?

Is it not about time we copy Scotland and introduce the Single Traversable Vote (STV) to Local Authority elections .

We should have wards of an average of 4 councillors elected by STV.

The situation in Scotland has  clearly resulted in a much broader political spectrum than previously.

There are now only a few councils that one Party has an overhaul Majority which some may not relish but itt has meant  that in comparison to  1995 under the previous First Past the Post system in Glasgow there were  77 Labour, 1 SNP , 3 Tories and 1 LibDem on the council   .  The current Make up before a spat of Labour resignations and expulsions saw 47 Labour, 21 SNP, 5 Libdem ,5 Green and 1 Tory  ( There have been changes in the Labour make up and they have lost their overheat majority (but this was not due to elections).

The Scottish Council make up is more diverse an has resulted in some strange coalitions but it does mean people  have  a greater chance of having a councillor closer to their viewpoint.

You can see a slightly out of date list for both Wales and Scotland here

The May elections in Wales will undoubtedly see Labour regain control of a number of Welsh councils but as a result thousands of people will be disenfranchised  even to the extent that there will be no councillor on their local authority from the Party they support.

STV will still enable people to punish a Party for its National politics but still vote for popular and hard working councillor from that Party.

Unfortunately the Welsh Assembly does not have the powers to change the voting system in Wales . Though as we have seen in Anglesey they can interfere in the demographic as they enforce Ward changes and and a delay in this elections on the Island.

Perhaps the delay could be used  as experiment to introduce STV on the Island for elections next year, that might just benefit us all in the future. At least It will mean that people will not be told that their wasting my vote because the Part they intend to support "Can't win here"..

Thursday, 22 March 2012

How LibDems politics work in Wales.

If you want to see the Welsh LibDems take on the Budget you can see La Pasinaria's trying to grab at Straws on  Freedom Central here.

But Basically as with most LibDems they will be trying to salvage something from "The Rich Man's Budget"

and so..

Picking one measure that we all can agree on  Whilst Ignoring the 50p cut for Millionaires, The threat of Pay cuts in areas like the DVLC through regional pay and the appalling stealth tax on pensions won't work. 

And isn't the problem Low Wages rather than Income Tax?. Crowing that 

"Income  tax cut will benefit thousands of low and middle income workers in Wales".  Is just an admission  that we are a country of low paid workers which will increase if the Con/LibDems have their way with regional pay . Unless the Welsh Assembly can control it.
La Pasionaria  and the rest of the LibDems can't cherry pick polices coming from the Coalition Government at Westminster and claim that they are backing the poorest in Wales.

Of course as the Leader of a federated Party she could maybe in theory order her three Welsh MP's to vote against the Budget but then her Leadership and influence stops at the border.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Regional Pay = Regional Poverty.

The biggest threat to the general wealth of people in Wales and the economy here  is coming from proposals of the Con/Libdem  government  at Westminster. As they seem hellbent on introducing Regional payin the UK.

Plans to affect introduce local pay rates starting with 160,000 civil servants working in Jobcentres, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), and border guards at ports and airports, are expected to be announced in this week's Budget. Though this could well go on to affect Teachers and eventually the whole public sector.

The Con/LibDem  have begin this with a misleading statistic aimed at Wales in particular.

For, the  Treasury says public sector pay in Wales is up to 18% higher than the private sector.

Its not that Wales is being singled out however.Local pay rates affecting up to six million public sector workers  in the UK could be rolled out from next year.

In one of the more interesting interventions on this debate, the Incomes Data Services have produced a report looking at the use of regional and local pay by the private sector. They find that the only real regional pay variations that exist are between London and the South East and the rest of the country.

Indeed if we look at the Treasury claim  public sector pay in Wales is up to 18% higher than the private sector. (Which the BBC so slavishly left unquestioned.) We must act why this is.

It is not because the public centre is to large.Its because the the private sector is to small . The eighties saw the decimation of or Heavy and Manufacturing Industries in Wales and  successive Tory and Labour Governments have completely  failed to redress the Balance.

The question we must ask is

What is the ratio of Public sector workers to private sector workers in "The Regions" . (I do not accept Wales is a Region even though some Unions seem to think so.) per head of  if the  population?

Is Wales for instance employing more people per capita than the South East of England ? Taking into account the centralist nature of the UK and the amount of Civil service jobs concentrated in the South east. amount
Taking into account there a virtual moratorium on recruitment in the public sector.

And yet  the Con/Libdem coalition claim the private sector will offset this yet there is no evidence that the private sector are seeing to increase recruitment 

Try looking at your own Local Authority to see the jobs they are offering or the NHS Jobs website where more often than not you will see the caveat on the lines of INTERNAL TO NHS STAFF ONLY.

Welsh public sector workers have already suffered next to no pay rise for the last 3 years and now face up to 18% pay cut affecting  of thousands of Welsh Men and Women.

How is this going to help the Welsh economy?. When the money flow is actually cut which will see job losses in the very private sector that the Government claim  this proposal is to supposed to help? Clearly if you cut peoples pay there will be an immediate treat to the retail sector.

We already have an unemployment rate of 9.1%, which compares with a UK average of 8.4%.

Whilst I accept that parts of London have a every high unemployment rate as shown in today's Independent where they report that the latest unemployment data showed that 46 of the 202 local authorities in England, Wales and Scotland have more than 10 dole claimants for every available job vacancy and A study by the TUC found more than nine claimants for every vacancy in the North East, compared with around four in the South East and South West.

I suspect the figures for Wales are similar.

It is clear to me that the Con/Libdem proposals are more about cutting public sector pay rather than redressing the balance between those working in that sector and the private one, and this is a ideological measure not an economic one.

The argument that Private employers in Wales, and indeed everywhere outside the South East of England, cannot recruit staff because of the attraction of high pay in Public sector would hold up if we didn't have a 9.1% unemployment rate or even if there were thousands of unfilled private sector jobs but they aren't there .

Except perhaps in the one "Region" (The South east of England ) which will not be affected by this policy.

What will the Tory and Libdems MPs from  Wales do when they are asked to vote on this? The latter is supposed to be a federated party. How independent are they? Perhaps its time that La Pasionaria (Kirsty Williams) takes control of all aspects of her party and tell her three Welsh MP's to oppose this measure.

Friday, 16 March 2012

More on "Leanne Wins".

The actual number of votes in the Plaid Election are intresting

In the first round of voting, Leanne Wood won 2,879 (47.66% ) votes to Elin Jones's 1,884 31.19% and Dafydd Elis-Thomas's 1,278. 21.15% (Total 6041)

As no candidate had more than half the votes, Lord Elis-Thomas was eliminated and the second-preference votes of his supporters were redistributed, giving Leanne Wood 3,326 55.06% votes and Elin Jones 2,494 41.28% Giving Leanne a majority of 832. (Total 5820) Giving Leanne a majority of 832. . So 221 of D.E.T. supporters made no second preference.

The number of votes cast is not a bad number for a Welsh Leadership election and it reflected it that Plaid seem to have published them.

In the Welsh Conservative elections last year Andrew R.T Davies beat rival Nick Ramsay with 53.1% of the votes in a party election which had a 49% turnout. The victory it seems was 153 votes. Which suggest the number voting was much less than Plaids.

Meanwhile the media. seem to have concentrated on the fact that Leanne was once thrown out of the Senate for calling the Queen of England Mrs Windsor. I thought Betsan Powys was particularly negative when reporting to her London bosses on the mainstream 6 O'clock News. Though her Blog is much better. Whilst Vaughan Roderick on Dragon Eye last night give an excellent analysis particularly in pointing out that Plaid members in areas in Caernafon can be as Left as those in the Rhondda.

The rest of the Media apart for the (Independent and the Guardian ) seem to have ignored the result . 

I was particularly annoyed with this afternoon's  Daily politics . I though for a moment that when presenter Jo Coburn  announced . "There has been a leader ship contest you may have missed" she was going to refer to the Plaid  Leadership but it turned out that it was on the leadership of the Tories in the European Parliament and Plaid's failed to be mentionedat all.

It wasn't as if they were pressed for time . They spent part of the programme discussing whether the public should pay £15 to climb the Big Ben Tower..

Hopefully as Leanne develops her plans they will resonate throughout Wales but through the whole sphere of British poltics. After all with the three main parties based in London trying to out-right each other . Her's may not only be the voice of the Progressive Left in Wales but the only left voice in mainstream British poltics.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Leanne Wins

Congratulations to Leanne . Let us hope she can carry on with the same zeal that she brought to this contest

Hat tip to Syniadau for being first of the Block . It seems Wales Home attempt to Live Blog the result crashed though.

First preferences:
Leanne ... 47.66%
Elin ... 31.19%
Dafydd ... 21.15%

Second preference

Leanne ... 55.06%
Elin ... 41.28%
A emphatic enough victory almost won it on first preference. 

I believe Plaid have made the right choice and we might just be seeing the start of a new exciting era in Welsh Politics

Monday, 12 March 2012

Women Only Shortlists.

Helen Mary Jones Paid Cymru's chair has argued that the party  should consider all-women shortlists for parliamentary elections to ensure women are better represented,. she said  would advocate the party looked "at some sort of affirmative action".

She clarified she was only speaking in a personal capacity and the party was yet to make a decision.

.She has a Point Wales has a very poor record on Women's representation in the Westminster Parliament

I hope I got this right.
  • Megan Lloyd George (1902-1966) Liberal MP for Anglesey, 1929-1951, and Labour MP for Carmarthen, 1957-66.
  • Dorothy Mary Rees DBE (29 July 1898 – August 1987)  Labour  Member of Parliament for Barry1950 – 1951
  • Eirene White (1909 - 1999) Labour MP for East Flint, 1950-1970. 
  • Ann Clwyd (b. 1937) Labour Party  Elected to Westminster in the Cynon Valley by-election of 1984 having failed in Denbigh in 1970 and Gloucester in 1974.  Current
  • Jackie Lawrence (b. 1948)  Labour MP for Preseli-Penfro in the 1997 General Election stood down in the .2005 general election,
  • Julie Morgan (b. 1944) Contested Cardiff North in 1992 as a Labour Candidate and was elected in 1997.  Defeated in 2010; s won the Cardiff North seat in the Welsh Assembly in the 2011 elections.
  • Betty Williams  (b. 1944) Elected Labour MP for Conwy in 1997. Retired 2010
  • Jessica Elizabeth Morden (born 29 May 1968)  Elected Labour  M for Newport East since 2005 Current.
  • Siân Catherine James (born 24 June 1959)  Elected Labour MP MPfor  Swansea East since 2005 Current .
  • Madeleine Moon MP) Elected Labour MPMP for  Bridgend since 2005, Current.
  • Nia Rhiannon Griffith (born 4 December 1956) Elected Labour MP for for Llanelli since 2005. Current.
  • Jennifer Nancy Willott (born 29 May 1974) Elected Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central 2005 Current.
  • Susan Elan Jones (born 1 June 1968)  Elected Labour MP for Clwyd South 2010 Current 
So in all our Parliamentary History Wales have only returned 13 Women MP's to Westminster. Eleven Labour one Liberal Democrat and One Liberal- Labour (Megan Lloyd George).

Currently there are Seven (out of Forty) Welsh Women MP's (Six Labour one Liberal Democrat).

There have been no Plaid or Tory Welsh Women MP's.

The number of MP's for Wales as a whole is likely to drop to 30 and this could well me an even smaller ratio of Women.

It is ridiculous to waste the talent of some 50% of the population in his way and we must address it.

However when it comes to all Women shortlist I have a problem with a policy I once approved . Because the main success in this has been via the Labour Party which has used a policy to increase equal representation to increase party control of candidates, ensuring that by controlling the selection process, Women are elected who are compliant with the Party Leadership.

I'm not saying that the" Stepford Wives" accusation of those Women MP's elected during the Blair years (many due to Women only shortlis)t is accurate . Many of the Male MP's elected were as appallingly loyal but it does seem what a commendable policy has been twisted to make sure the only "The right candidate is selected".not because she is a Woman but she ids part of the Party machine.

The problem is that, accept for once more arguing for STV . I can't see any other solution than shorlists . But if Plaid were to introduce all Women Shortlist . Which Constituencies of the proposed Five new ones that the Party can realistically hope to win would there be a shortlist? Bearing in mind Three probably will be contested by the current Male MP's. That Leaves Ceredigion and North Pembrokeshire, and Llanelli.

Political expediency rather than a need to address a Democratic Equality short fall may be the order of the day.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Remploy Closures who started them? Er Labour.

You couldn't  help by help but be impressed by Swansea East MP Siân James, doing her Woman of the People act when addressing  the Swansea Remploy  workers who face the clpsure of  Fforestfach facilityon the BBC yesterday.

She said:
The Welfare Reform Bill has been law for just a week, and the Government's first action is to throw hundreds of disabled people straight on the dole.

 Her fellow Swansea MP Swansea West MP Geraint Davies said:

"I will be meeting with trade unions to organise resistance and protest against these proposed closures and raise questions as to whether it makes financial sense at all."There are few jobs in Swansea in manufacturing."The idea that these people can find alternative jobs is ridiculous."The economic evaluation behind the Sayce Review is not sound." 
Remploy employs 52 people in Swansea including 49 who are disabled. and this is part of the ConLib plans to close 36 of its 54 factories in the UK, putting more than 1,700 jobs at risk In Wales.the jobs of 272 workers are at risk as seven factories in Aberdare, Abertillery, Bridgend, Croespenmaen, Merthyr, Swansea and Wrexham are earmarked for closure. So once again Wales is hit particularly hard.

But its good to see that  Labour MPs like Siân James and Geraint Davies are standing up fpr the Disabled.

Well this time at least  Geraint Davies was an ex MP looking for a new seat in 2007 but James was a member of the Labour Government when  a closure programme was announced in May 2007, resulting in the closure of 17 factories, including  the one in Treforest Pontypridd . About 2,200 disabled people were affected by the changes to the government-funded company. .

So the Plans are only a continuation of a programme which the previous Labour Government had approved of .

So why is a an announcement by a ConLib minister on the closure of Remploy factories in 2012 any different from the announcement of a Labour Minister on the closure of Remploy factories in 2007?

Well the answers obvious . I suspect Siân James is one of the Labour polticians who is enjoying herself in opposition . Where she act as the champion of the working class and condem the wicked Tories and not worry about the fact that when in power her Party behave in exactly the same way.
The sad thing is that a large number of the Welsh electorate will turn to Labour as they put their cloth caps back on despite the fact that in their hearts they will be betrayed by these Labour MP and candidates once they get their bottoms on the Goverment Benches againthough it seems along way off. 

As I type I can here the Who's Roger Daltry belting out the classic "Won't get fooled again" (but we will of course).

Its not only Labour MP's who are being Hypocritical in Sept 2007 Nick Clegg gave a passionate speech against the closure of a local Remploy factory in Sheffield.

So support Remploy Staff. In Opposition sack them when in Government and Politicians why ask we are so cynical?

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Lembit calls for Clegg's head.

Watching the Politics show yesterday was brilliant. Just to see former Montgomery MP (and failed LIbDem nominee for London Mayor) Lembit Öpik,  promote his new book 'The Alternative View: A Way Back For The Liberal Democrats'. (co-written by Ed Joyce) on the future of the Liberal Democrats in which he s called for the resignation of Nick Clegg.

He said.
"There's no point in pulling our punches. After a year of research, [we] have concluded that Nick cannot realistically lead the party into the next election without incurring an additional contraction in the number of MPs - directly as a result of his leadership," he said.
"We have also identified the lack of a political narrative which was left the party drifting in an identity vacuum while, by contrast, the Conservatives have been remarkably effective at maintaining their focus and image."

Basically Lembit wants Clegg tc continue as Deputy Prime Minister whilst the LibDems elect a new leader to serve concurrently and at the end of the current coalition governed return to Europe as an EU commissioner.

A senior Liberal Democrat source described the book's conclusions as "complete nonsense".
"Like many of Lembit's views, this is not one that's shared by the majority of Liberal Democrats," he said.

Lib Dem MP Duncan Hames said of the book though: "A weighty tome, it's not as laughable at as you might expect."

OK . It looks like the workings of a bitter man and Lembit  Öpik,  is beginning to resemble Harold Davidson, the saviour of London prostitutes,Who apprantley  was found to be saving a few for himself. The defrocked vicar quit the parish became a lion tamer and was subsequently mauled to death by one of his charges in Skegness in 1937

Of course Lembit didn't end his career in disgrace but in humiliation but he seems to be doing anything to attract publicity though at the moment hasn't stuck his head in a Lion's mouth.

Nevertheles I can't help wondering whether Lebit's book might get more attraction after the May elections.

With an Impressive 3078 councilors out of  20,678 throughout Wales,England and Scotland and are a good third..The fear must be that they will be decimated in May, (Though I think decimated will mean more that 1/10 here) as they were in similar contest in 2011.

The problem for the LibDems is that Local government in many ways is more important to them than the Tories and Labour. Who when in power have seen really bad nights where they've lost thousands of councilorsand control of important councils . Only to win the next General Election.

The LibDems in the past have been the beneficiaries  of disillusionment with both  Labour  and Tories Government and combined with an assiduous  use of "pavement politics" can gradually build up a precense in a ward then by "salami tactics" win control of a council for which the well organised Association of Liberal Democratic Councillors  ALDC plays no small part  which is a model for other parties.

So where Labour and the Tories at Westminster can shrug of  huge losses of councils and control of councils. For the LibDems it could result in a major panic, especially since I believe they get a great deal of donations from a "Tithe"on Councillor allowances). This could lead to a huge loss of income and their ability to recover.

So perhaps Nick Clegg should be checking his fellow MPs and Peers bags this summer as they pack for the holidays to ensure that they are not carrying a copy of 'The Alternative View: A Way Back For The Liberal Democrats'. By Lembit Öpik, and giving them a copy the "The Troublesome Priest a biography of Harold Davidson" by Jonathan Tucker (Michael Russell Publishing, 2007) instead