Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Couple have Baby shock

Couple have Baby shock

I am completely indifferent over Mr and Mrs Windsor and the birth of their first son . I don’t know them and although I hope that as I would with any couple that their son is healthy and will thrive, I do not join in the vomit inducing sycophancy from our media and politicians.

A Woman gives birth and its treated as a unique event  and there appears to be no other news on the BBC this morning including BBC Wales and Welsh Secretary David Jones has no right to claim that the “whole od Wales “ wished  them well on a joyous occasion” .  H e doesn’t speak for me and indifference absence of malice does not mean we are all tugging our forelocks .

But it does mean that when our MPs and AMs next swear the oath of allegiance their will be including this baby, as their will be swearing allegiance to this yet unnamed child as the oath is to “The current monarch and his/her heirs”.

Luckily giving the longevity of the Windsor’s I will probably not se this child’s coronation but I hope that  I will realise my hope  that he will never become “Prince of Wales”

It may be that we will be forced to see his father inheriting the claim when his father ascends the English throne: But hopefully he will be the last pretender and by then Wales will be on its way to becoming an Independent Republic.

If the last few days have shown as anything it is the whole idea that someone is Royal and therefore superior in some ways to us through birth or marriage is absolutely contrary to the idea that we are all equal.

How can a Nation claim to be a democracy when it gives preference to people by reasons of birth and marriage and expect us to bow or curtsy to them and refer to them as your Royal whatnot?

It’s the 21st century for Gods sake and yet we treat the birth of this baby as if it is a wondrous event . I have a number of young Great- Nephews and Nieces all of who are special to me but  I don’t expect people outside the family to regard them as special.

The last days have shown that we really need to grow up and realise al men and women are equal and the idea that some are born with some divine quality that makes them “Royal” is an  outdated  and is plainly ridiculous

Friday, 12 July 2013

Bethan Jenkin could she jump ship before being pushed.

According to Wales Online Plaid Cymru are in s turmoil over AM Bethan Jenkins' Rihanna hotel bill

In article by Martin  Shipton who seems to have it in for the errant AM after it emerged that the South Wales AM’s decision to make a hotel expenses claim after attending last month’s Rihanna pop concert in Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium has caused a huge headache for the party.

Shipton goes on
Ms Jenkins, who represents South Wales West,  rejected her leader’s suggestion, saying  she had done nothing wrong and that the party should not be pursuing the matter at a time when it was fighting a crucial by-election in Ynys Mðn.
A senior Plaid source told the Echo: “At Westminster MPs refer themselves to the Standards Commissioner when it is suggested they may have broken the rules. By refusing to do so, she has put the party leader into a very difficult position.”
The source said Ms Jenkins was being backed by Carmarthen East & Dinefwr AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas, and there was a concern that he might leave the Plaid group if the party sought to discipline Ms Jenkins. He will be retiring from the Assembly at the next election in 2016.
The consequences to Plaid of Ms Jenkins or Mr Thomas leaving its Assembly group would be serious. Plaid currently has 10 AMs, which will go back up to 11 if, as expected, the party wins the Ynys Mðn by-election on August.
But if for any reason the number of AMs drops permanently to 10 or less, the party will lose many thousands of pounds in public funding and could potentially be forced to make staff redundant
But hang on a moment  the report which originated in the South Wales Echo  goes on to say 
Yesterday morning Plaid issued a press statement which said: “Bethan Jenkins has told the leader of Plaid Cymru and the Assembly Commission that her overnight stay was needed because she was working in the Assembly the following morning.
“The Commission has accepted this explanation and will not be referring the matter to standards.”

So it seems that theres no real turmoil here . Maybe a sigh a vewy sighs af annoyance that Ms Jenkins has got herself into the media for the wrong reasons again but "Turmoil"

And that whould have vbeen my argument,but  Ms Jenkins clearly believes that ther may be a internal party campaign against her.

In a blog posted yesterday Ms Jenkins said:

 "I  am pleased  that my explanation has satisfied the Chief  Executive of  the Assembly  Commission  and that she has  deemed it  unnecessary to  refer the matter  to the Standards Commissioner.
“I would of course prefer that  discussions between myself and the Chief Executive  remain private.
“However, if press reports  are  to be believed it appears I have been the subject of potentially  damaging anonymous briefings to journalists.
“On this occasion, I therefore  feel I have no choice butto  make discussions between myself and the Chief Executive  known.
“I entered politics to make a   difference, not to make money.
“I am disappointed by the  anonymous briefing against me.”

So  it seems that not only does Mr Shipton have Bethan in his sights there may be elements within the party briefing against her  .

Of course this makes it harder for Bethan Jenkins to get the nunber 1 spot on Plaid's regional list for the next Asembly elections but there may be a fear that if she fails to do so she might quit the party before the election and then Plaid might find itself in turmoil.

Clearly it is Ms Jenkins fault that she got herself in another mess but those who seem to have thier knives out for her will also be responsible if this sets back progress because of thier internal squabbles.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

A Rod for Ukips back?

The Welsh Political World has been shattered (well we have noticed) with the news that the mighty Rod Richards has joined Ukip

Rod a modest a manhas a varried and largely disapointing for him political career.

Hpwever his record as a candidate is not one one of success

1987 contest Carmarthen in a seat where the Conservatives came close to wining in 1983 however even though he kept Plaid in third place loses by 4317 votes.

1989 stands for the Conservatives in the Vale of Glamorgan By Election , a seat that the previous Tory had held since 15i when it was called Barry.

1992 Another seat this time with success ( Clwyd North West) and looks like he may be in for a fair number of years

1997 Alas a casualty of the Blair landslide and in a seat now named Clwyd West and with boundary changes which should have favoured him loses to Labours Gareth Thomas and his brief parliamentary career appears over.

1999 He stood for the Clwyd West consituancy in 1999 although defeated in his constituency seat during the he was elected to the new body as lead candidate on the Conservatives' regional top-up list. He was elected the Conservative party leader in the Welsh Assembly in a ballot of Welsh party members defeating Nick Bourne,[who was then widely known in the media to be William Hague's first choice for the job. Richards stood down as leader after he was accused of assaulting a young woman. Bourne was then appointed leader by Hague. Richards was cleared of assault in June 2000.

He then had the party whip withdrawn from him following his decision to abstain rather than vote with his fellow Conservatives against the Assembly's budget at the end of 1999. He continued to sit in the Assembly, as an 'Independent Conservative' until 2002 when he resigned as an Assembly Member (AM), saying he was leaving the assembly immediately in the interests of his health.

And that seemed to be thwe end of Rod political carrer.
But with  Ukip  sole welash MEP John Bufton standibng down you be wise to put a bet on Rod toping the Ukip list and being elected.

But then what wil he be able to stay out of the headlines for all the wrong regions. Nigel Farage has enough mavericks in his Euro group as it is . how long before Rod falls out with him as he did with Nick Bourne at the assembly. Wil such a ambitious poltician as Rod be content to be just an ordinary MEP or will he seek promotion in the Ukip ranks?

With bated breath I can only wait.

Monday, 8 July 2013

I may be offline for a while.

I’m afraid this Blog may have to takr a enforced break for a week or so, as my computer  modem has packed up and I need to replace it.

Since the computer I use is over 12 years Old and although I have enhanced it . I have decided that I should finally seek a newer version.

So it may be a while before these ranting appear and you will be spared of trying to make sense of my wenglish grammar and typo errors.

I will be relying on my local Library for a bit and may try to make some posting via their resources.or be in lick and find  my computer is not playing up.

It’s a pity that this has happened just as we are approaching the Ynys Mon byelection. But I hope to get things working properly before August Ist.

So I aim to be up and running before then.

Till then I will try my best to keep up an Blog

Friday, 5 July 2013

Ann Clwyd must admit who have been running the NHS in Wales.

I haven't been well  lately and have been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes  but its possible I may have a recurrence of the Acromegaly I suffered from twenty years ago where a tumour on my  pituitary gland produces excess growth hormone that time giving me Type 1 Diabetes which was cured after a operation.

I was living in London at the time sand received excellent and very swift healthcare.and operated on in less than a month after being diagnosed 

Though it may have been that the operation was pushed forward to see if it would  cure the diabetes which was the happy result.

So I have more than a passing interest twenty years later in the State of the NHS in Wales 

Making doctors appointments have been horrendous. The staff at my local practise have done their very best   but are clearly overwhelmed and it can take up to two weeks to make an appointment if you wish to see the doctor you saw last time.

So its interesting that according to the Wasting Mule patients from Wales have given evidence in Westminster about the way the way the NHS has handled their complaints.

In March   Cynon Valley Labour MP Ann Clwyd was appointed by David Cameron to chair a major review of the way the NHS deals with complaints from patients and their relatives.

Although the review specifically relates to the NHS in England, Ms Clwyd took the view that it would be worth hearing from Welsh patients about their experiences too.

Ms Clwyd said:

 “It was an amazing session. There were 10 people from England and 10 people from Wales and many of the experiences they spoke about were very similar.
“They spoke of a lack of care and a lack of compassion, and of letters they had received from complaints departments that were insulting. Sometimes the language used by NHS officials responding to complaints is simply not understood by lay people. There’s a need for plain English.
I wanted to have people from Wales present because around 25% of the 2,500 letters and emails I’ve received since going public with my concerns have come from Wales
Which is fair enough
Western Mail 4th July 2013 

Which seems fair enough but it may give the impression that problems with the NHS in Wales lies with the Westminster Government and not under the Labour administration in the Welsh Assembly. Who have been in charge of our health here for 14 years.

Will Ann  Clwyd criticise the Assembly Government as well as the Westminster one in her report.?

Indeed  Ann  Clwyd seems to have only become aware  after seeing  the  "almost callous lack of care" with which nurses treated her husband as he lay dying in the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.

She has ben a MP since 1984 surely she must have had hundreds of correspondence and Surgeries when constituents have complained about their own experience of the NHS.

I have nothing but sympathy for her experience as she saw the horrendous treatment of a loved one . But why has she spoken out for the hundreds of constituents who have had similar experiences before?

I wish her well in her enquiry but I hope she points blame to the right places and the right people and I hope all our elected representatives do not take up  causes only after they had experienced  poor treatment  and listen to that of their constituents and raise these issues even when it may embarrass  the governing party which they well may be a member. 

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Caerphilly Council Loses (at least temporarily) Two Chief Executives.

An Independent Councillor has called for  for the Welsh Government to take over the running of Caerphilly council following the arrest of its two top officials on suspicion of fraud and misconduct in public office.

Chief executive Anthony O’Sullivan, who was suspended on full pay in March, and his acting successor Nigel Barnett were released from police custody late on Tuesday after being in custody for most of the day at an undisclosed location. They have been bailed by Avon & Somerset Police to a later date.

The arrests come as part of an investigation being undertaken by Avon & Somerset Police into huge secret pay rises awarded to 21 senior officers of the council last year.

The rises followed recommendations made in a report written by Mr O’Sullivan. Subsequently, his own salary rose from £132,000 to £158,000 after the increases were approved by a committee of one Plaid Cymru and four Labour councillors.

A further 20 senior managers including Mr Barnett also received a substantial pay rise, but the bulk of the council’s staff were on the third year of a pay freeze.

The council said its director of education, Sandra Aspinall, would take charge of its administration. She has been acting as its deputy chief executive since Mr O’Sullivan was suspended.

Now But Independent councillor Anne Blackman have called for the Welsh Assembly Government to take action.

 She said:
 “I have every admiration for Sandra Aspinall, but don’t think she should have to bear the responsibility of running the council.
“Our two top officials have been arrested and I believe the Welsh Government should put the authority in special measures, sending in commissioners to run it, as they did with Anglesey Council. I’ve e-mailed [First Minister] Carwyn Jones, telling him that’s what should happen.
“We’re being told nothing. I find it quite bizarre that we haven’t even been informed officially that Mr O’Sullivan and Mr Barnett have been arrested, and only know thanks to the Western Mail 
Certainly not from the Councils webpage
To paraphrase Lady Bracknell  who may have admonished Labour leader Harry Andrews ....
"To have  one Chief Executive arrested  , Mr Andrews  may be regarded as a misfortune; to have  both looks like that your council is in serious trouble"
It may be that it is to early for the  Welsh Government to send in Commissioners to run the council indeed it might be interesting to see   if the second acting chief executive Sandra Aspinal fairs and No one has been found guilty of anything

It might well be that she copes with the situation which may beg the question does the Council need that many highly paid executives.

But lets be clear if this had happened to any council than a Labour led one the Welsh Government would be considering  appropriate measures .

If this case  ends up being prolonged in the courts then the Welsh Government is going but  to have to consider its responsibility over the running of the council

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Leanne calls for a progressive -left English Party.

Leanne Wood could be in danger of burnout as she appears not over all of Wales but  also in Catalonia and now in Manchester. She is really staring to look as not only as a party leader but a national leader.

Popping up in  Manchester yesterday she ,  claimed England lacked the progressive voice that her party provided in Wales.

She said she often gets messages from English people who wish Plaid operated on their side of the border and suggested that the film-maker Ken Loach's proposal for a new party of the left could be a launch pad for a new movement.
"England outside the overheating centre needs a voice, and the left needs a party," Wood said. "In Wales we do have an alternative voice, we have a fourth party that vies for power with Labour and, at the very least, keeps it honest."
Guardian 2nd July 2013 

Leanne  said Plaid would like to work with activists in England who wanted to redress the balance of power.

The speech will cause some raised eyebrows. It is relatively rare for a Plaid leader to make a speech in England – and the party's ultimate aim is an independent Wales.

But at an event hosted by the Institute of Public Policy Research North in Manchester, she  said:
 "I get comments regularly on Facebook and Twitter saying 'I wish Plaid stood in England'."Plaid Cymru genuinely wants to support those of you in England who want to rebalance political and economic power. We are not sectarian by nature. We are not consumed by any antipathy to … England.

Before some Nationalists start claiming Leanne shouldn't  be speaking about England and seeking links there The Party have been there b

 The Common Wealth Party (CW) was a socialist political party in the United Kingdom in the Second World War. Thereafter, it continued in being, essentially as a pressure group, until 1993

According  to Wikipedia
Founded in July 1942, during World War II, by the alliance of two left wing groups, the 1941 Committee – a think tank brought together by Picture Post owner Edward G. Hulton, and their 'star' writers J.B. Priestley and Tom Wintringham – and the neo-Christian Forward March movement led by Liberal Party Member of Parliament (MP) Richard Acland, along with independents and former Liberals who believed that party had no direction. It appealed to the egalitarian sentiments of the English populace and hence aimed to be more appealing to Labour's potential voters, rather than voters leaning Conservative. Led by Sir Richard Acland, Vernon Bartlett, J. B. Priestley, and Tom Wintringham the group called for common ownership, "vital democracy" and morality in politics. Its programme of common ownership echoed that of the Labour Party but stemmed from a more idealistic perspective, later termed "libertarian socialist". It came to reject the State-dominated form of socialism adopted by Labour under the influence of Sidney and Beatrice Webb, increasingly aligning itself instead with co-operative, syndicalist and guild socialist traditions. One party proposal was that all incomes should be subjected to an absolute upper limit..

 It goes on
In the post-war period CW was active in a number of domestic and international campaigns and developed worldwide contacts. In the Middle East, it worked for a two-state solution to the Israel/Palestine issue. At home, it helped to form the Industrial Common Ownership Movement (ICOM) and campaigned with others in its situation for small parties to be allowed to make party political broadcasts. Through the latter campaign it developed close links with Plaid Cymru and the Scottish National Party. Common ground was found with Plaid Cymru's syndicalist tradition. The high point of active collaboration was the joint publication in 1956 of Our Three Nations. This advocated the replacement of the United Kingdom by a 'confraternity' of self-governing states. CW also favoured regional government within England and was sympathetic to Mebyon Kernow. Executive Committee members played an active, at times leading, role in English regionalist movements, especially during the 1980s. Other members were active in the environmental movement, including the Ecology Party which then evolved into the Green party.

So there once was a largely English Part that not only were sympathetic to the cause of Scotland and Wales but also Cornwall. and Leanne call can well be seen as a cal for a new party similar to the Commonwealth Party to be established in England.

One thing is important to note the SNP have benefited from Alex Salmond  being one of the outstanding  politicians in these Islands and Leanne can do herself no harm by raising her profile on a  UK level . 

How often does a Plaid Leader appear in a London based Newspaper?

It would be ironic that History may attribute the foundation of a successful progressive party in England could be partly attributed to the speech of a Welsh Nationalist leader. 

Monday, 1 July 2013

Wales Needs More Independent Political Bloggers.

When I started blogging t,wo of the first to put me on their reading list were Miserable Old Fart and  Syniadau.

It helped  me greatly that  two of the best blogs from Wales included me on their list so early.

They are always good reads and have a Independent streak that distinquish them from Blogs from those like Freedom Central  (Or Subordinate Central as I call it) who are little more than Party press releases.

Alwyn on MOF   has just announced that he has reapplied to join Plaid Cymru and Mike  at Syniadau ,who is a member has recently criticised the selection process for the Ynys Môn  byelection  and  now pans the successful candidate on his ambiguity of Wylfa B.

Which brings me to the problem .I have with blogging  and Independence

How Independent  can a Blog be if its written by a party member who is subject to party discipline.?

Should you blog of your disagreement with the party on a policy if it means it could be seized by political opponents  who will claimof discord within the party.

Mike at Syniadau for instance is arguing that Plaid on Anglesey should follow party rules and stance on nuclear energy. so it is not he who is out of kilter and it refreshing to see someone arguing that that his political party should be open and honest with the electorate .

Alwyn in the past has argued against Plaids  stance on socialism though (and he will probably disagree strongly with me). I have often found that we seem to agree on subjects that I regard as taking a left  position.

But I sincerely hope that if Plaid let him back in in will not change his Blog in anyway and he continues (but more often) in his often educational and humorous musings.

For myself though I still support Plaid I would rather not get involved in the political machine and discipline of the party and feel free to criticise the party when its appropriate.

And Wylfa B is a prime example whilst I hope for the electors of Ynys Môn 's sake  and Plaids future that Rhun ap Iorwerth  wins (and I expect him to won comfortably). I would prefer that he took an open and honest approach of opposing Nuclear Energy and add that Wylda B will not be an asset to the Island  and may in fact deter more jobs than it creates as investors may be reluctant to build near a Nuclear reactor.

Good Luck to Alwyn and Mike in their stance but alas I will not be joining them as a Plaid member if this means that I am open to accusations of enjoying "Power without Responsibility" so be it. ( I know I have no power but you get my meaning).

But one thing is clear to me. With the demise of a number of blogs in the last few years  some openly political like Plaid Pantef and Welsh Ramblings and the Independent Valleys Mam there's a gap in this media that needs filing.

We need more to put a Welsh perspective and not Party Blogs who appear for a few Months before an election then disappear..

Iseldom agree with Jac O The North  but I enjoy his musing  finding it informative  and whilst  I 'm   often shaking my head  it is important that his views are heard.

So lets have more Independently minded Blogs even from  party members. 

If you feel that you have any new blogs that need promotion let me know in the comments section.