Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Politicalbetting manipulating their own Data? I hope not.

I remember n 1997 telling a Friend in London who was a bit of a compulsive gambler that Michael Portillio would lose his Enfield seat.

He replied that with his luck the bastard would win so he was not going to make my advice.

As we all know Portillo's defeat became the highlight of the election night.

Personally I wouldn't   recommend any one placing a bet on the election outcome

Still I often look at solely out of interest.

However I sometimes question at least their analysis if not Impartiality.

Recently for instance they wrote

The SNP’s been issuing lots of data from its latest Panelbase poll but no GE15 voting intentions. Why?

Could it be that the lead over LAB is fading?

Above is a table with all the Scottish GE15 voting intention polls that have been published since June and I was hoping this morning that a final survey could be added to the list.
Over the last three nights the SNP has been emailing me detailed findings from its latest Panelbase poll on things like Devomax – which have all reinforced its position. The latest email was headed “POLL – LAST FINDING, DEVO MAX” doesn’t include any voting figures which seems very odd.
It is hard to believe that a poll that was commissioned by the party did not seek to find out how Scottish voters were currently thinking about the May 7th general election just four and a bit months away.
Doing well in that election has become a key objective following the party’s double digit defeat in the IndyRef. Yet there is no information about GE15.
If the numbers had shown that the party was maintaining its lead then I’ve little doubt that this would have been published.
The Panelbase survey is a private poll and the SNP is free to issue whatever it likes.
Draw your own conclusions.

The conclusion it would seem that the SNP had discovered a fall in their vote and sought to conceal it.

Some might ask why the SNP were wasting money on polling for the GE2015 when others were doing it for them as the table shows.

It seems they weren't doing so and  it was a poll to see voters views on the extent of devolution they wanted in order to tailor the SNP's GE2015 campaign

The author  pf the politicalbetting article was forced into a humiliating climbdown.

Well at least admit his error .

Mike Smithson @MSmithsonPB

Both the SNP and Panelbase have confirmed to me that there were no GE15 voting intention questions in their poll

10:02 AM - 30 Dec 2

I would not go so far as accuse the site of trying to manipulate the odds but it seems that if you wanted to look at the Scottish political scene you would be better of looking elsewhere.

Monday, 29 December 2014

Are votes at 16 the limit of Welsh Devolution?

I really despair of some of our Welsh politician

Take former LibDem AM Jenny Randerson now Baroness Randerson and coalition Welsh Minister who writes on Subordinate Central in a post entitled "Let’s get on with using Wales’ powers."

Who would have guessed at the start of 2014 that it would turn out to be the year when devolution and constitutional change were suddenly topics for discussion in pubs and living rooms across Britain and no longer the preserve of the political classes.
Well anyone who paid attention to the fact that there was going to be a Scottish Independence referendum for a start.  

But how does this senior member of the LibDems who claim to be a Federal Party thinks this affects Wales?
As a Liberal Democrat I am an enthusiast for devolution and I have found the last three months invigorating because I am now knocking at an open door on many issues which have previously been off the agenda for Wales.
I am working as part of the Wales Office Ministerial Team to ensure we have a firm set of plans to announce on St David’s Day: plans on which there is a consensus to build a framework for a stronger model of devolution.
However, beyond St David’s Day there is the General Election and all parties in Wales will surely include their vision for the future of the Assembly in their manifestos.
It is time to move on from the shopping list approach to devolution and for parties to start to explain what they want to do with the new powers they demand. It is not enough to say “we want powers over policing” for example.
Electors need to know why those powers are needed and what each party would do with them if they are devolved. Only then will voters be able to judge the contrasting vision of Wales offered by politicians.
So what is on my wish list for 2015? Above all we need to reinvigorate our democracy and I believe one important step to that would be to give sixteen year olds the vote in Assembly elections.
I was delighted to introduce a Government amendment to the Wales Bill giving the Assembly the power to decide on the voting age for the income tax referendum they can now hold.
That is a useful start but the Scottish Referendum showed us that young people can be inspired by politics and are just as able to make reasoned decisions on how to vote as their older relatives.
I have campaigned for votes at sixteen over many decades and I have always been worried by the lack of self-confidence some young people show on the issue. Many are fearful of making a mistake – as if older people always get it right. Or they think the actual voting process is complex. All these fears can be easily overcome with a modicum of political education.
So is that what we can expect from the LibDems reducing the voting Age to 16 something I agree with but if we are to do so lets give the 16+ electors something to vote for.Note that she doesn't seem to think any idea of parity with Scotland should be given to Wales.

"It is time to move on from the shopping list approach to devolution and for parties to start to explain what they want to do with the new powers they demand. It is not enough to say “we want powers over policing” for example."

You could still ask the question "What does Westminster want the powers for ? 

If support for lowering the voting age is all we can expect from the "Federal" Liberal Democrats and the  refrain "Let’s get on with using Wales’ powers." then I can see no reason for anyone who wants to see the Assembly making a difference. supporting them.

Or are we so pathetic a nation that believes devolution is about raising our own Taxes but still have to turn to our older and wiser masters in London who believe we can't be trusted to have the same powers as Scotland?

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Rhodri forgets his own failures.

How lucky we are to have an ex first Minister like Rhodri Morgan who continues to give us the benefits of his wisdom that he displayed when he was running the Welsh Assembly and transforming Wales into the Utopian Nation it is today.
Writing in the Wasting Mule on line  he has praise for current Welsh secretary   Stephen Crabb  who he says deserved his “gong” as Welsh Politician of the Year for 2014 because he has been a breath of fresh air.
Unlike his predecessor David Jones, he has seemed to be engaged.
However Rhodri seems to move on pretty quick because writes 
Stephen Crabb’s heart must have been sinking into his boots, though, as he saw the financial special package Northern Ireland had achieved from David Cameron last week – an extra £2bn over the next six years.
This giant Christmas present from the normally Scrooge-like Treasury was divvied up to break the impasse between the five “partners”, the governing parties that run the devolved Assembly in Northern Ireland.

Whoever in Northern Ireland decided to have an “impasse” last September, deserves a clap on the back – that was the most profitable little impasse ever! Perhaps we should have an impasse or two in Wales!
An extra £2bn in Northern Ireland implies an extra £3bn for Wales, given the relative size.
And £3bn wouldn’t go amiss in Wales, would it?
 Yes, and if you had fought for it from the Blair Government Rhodri we might well have it now.

As you explain....
It would certainly make all the difference to the issue of when to press the button over the income tax referendum, so dear to Stephen Crabb’s heart.
Can he deliver it? That’s the acid test, and it’s in the run-up to the election.
Has he got any pull with Cameron and George Osborne, the Chancellor? This isn’t just about the extra £300m a year that Carwyn has been asking for.
Picture yourself as running a Welsh business. You’re paying 21% Corporation Tax from 2016. Your opposite number in Northern Ireland will almost certainly be paying 12.5%. Is that fair?
Officially the Northern Ireland Executive will have to pay for this concession itself.
Forgoing the 21% tax take in favour of 12.5% is estimated to reduce government revenues in Northern Ireland by £300m a year.
Again officially the Westminster Government is not allowed to make up the difference.
But hey, if Westminster is giving you an extra £2bn over six years, how is anyone going to check that none of that extra money is going to cover the reduced revenue from halving Corporation Tax?
We know why reducing Corporation Tax down to 12.5% is such a massive issue for devolution in Northern Ireland?
It’s because that’s the tax rate in the Irish Republic.
Attracting footloose multinationals to Ireland has been transformed in the era of the high tech low transport cost company such as Google and Microsoft.
These kind of high profit companies don’t want grants.
They want low (or preferably no) corporation tax.
Ireland has got almost a monopoly on pulling in these American companies when they want a European HQ.
Wales will be even more hobbled than it’s been hitherto in trying to get a share.
We will be trying to compete for that kind of investment with two hands tied behind our backs against Ireland north and south.
Scotland and Wales are going to need some boost to the economy to keep us competitive.
Have a word with Carwyn and  wake him up Rhodri  if you cab.

Rhodri also has a opinion on why Scotland are appearing to dump Labour in the wake of the Scottish referendum

In the end nobody seceded but has anybody succeeded? Well that’s the strange thing. It looks like the SNP.They did not win the referendum. It wasn’t that close even in the end.But the SNP is rampant politically right across Scotland, West Coast and East.Their support is now twice Labour’s.One theory is that the huge Catholic segment of the population of Western Scotland, Glasgow and the surrounds – what I would call the natural Celtic supporters – have made the mental switch from Labour to the SNP.The theory goes that in the stresses and strains of the Scottish Referendum campaign, that tranche of traditionally rock-solid Labour supporting Scots suddenly saw the battle for Scottish independence in 2014 as a rerun of the battle for Irish independence a century ago!
That's a good idea, Raise the spectre of sectarianism , always a good move for a part desperate to find answers .

And Rhodri  also sees some hope for Labour due to  the collapse of the oil price.

Massively good news for the ordinary consumer. Double-edged sword in Scotland.
If the Scots had voted for independence, would the voters now be demanding a rerun?
All those SNP promises of milk and honey flowing all over Scotland were based on high oil prices and high oil taxation flowing into their Government coffers.
No longer shared with the English, the Welsh and Northern Irish.
I fear though that if Jim Murphy went around Scotland right now, pointing the “I told you so” finger of blame at all the SNP oil-fuelled promises, it would be seen as unpatriotic.
Yes, eventually the penny will drop as the oil price has dropped but will that happen before May’s General Election?
The whole outcome of that unbelievably unpredictable election of 2015 might well depend on it!

Maybe the Scots will wake up to the fact into what happened to its Oil revenue and look around and see that like unlike Independent Norway  it wasn't invested wisely.

So that's what our former Ex-minister message is 

Ignore his own failures in getting the powers we needed d ti make our Assembly actually work for the benefit for the people of Wales

Explain the collapse in the labour vote through a crude theory of sectarian politics.

And gleefully use the fall in oil revenue to suggest  that this will force the Scottish electorate back into the arms of those who wasted the benefits of that revenue .

We are so lucky that Carwyn Jones  who succeeded him is such  a man of vision.

Maybe we in Wales should wake up to the fact that Labour is not the answer as thousands of people in Scotland are now doing.


Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Crabb warns Boss "don't diss the Welsh NHS".

The Wasting Mule  Martin Shipton  who sometimes seems be almost quoting Labour press releases verbatim seems to have a new liking for Tory  Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb 

Shipton reports  how he has warned Cabinet colleagues to be careful in their use of language when criticising the Welsh NHS.

He writes

Earlier this year, at the Welsh Conservative conference, David Cameron described Offa’s Dyke, the historic boundary between England and Wales, as a line “between life and death”.
The comment was made during a speech in which the Prime Minister was highly critical of the Welsh Government’s decision not to establish a designated fund for cancer drugs.
More recently the Conservative-supporting Daily Mail has launched repeated attacks on the Welsh NHS, claiming it provides poorer services to patients than the health service in England.
 Mr Crabb's comments follow his earlier attack on Labour leader Ed Miliband, in which he argued the Labour leader "didn't give a toss" about Wales.Asked in an exclusive interview whether comments such as that by Mr Cameron could damage Wales’ reputation and the prospect of inward investment,
 Mr Crabb said:

“He was saying that with a very specific meaning, which was the absence of a cancer drugs fund.“Almost 100,000 people in Wales have recently signed a petition for a cancer drugs fund, the point being that if you’re someone in Wales with a form of cancer and can’t access one of these drugs when a few miles away across the border somebody with a similar condition can, then the border between England and Wales could feel like a border between life and death.“Strong language – but for people feeling that, it’s reflecting their views.“All of us politicians in Wales understand that – and Labour politicians as well, because some of them will tell you confidentially this is the number one issue on the doorstep. [Welsh Labour MP] Ann Clwyd is a brave woman putting her head above the parapet and being willing to speak up for the people of Wales.”“When the Prime Minister has been asked questions about health in Wales at PMQs [Prime Minister’s Questions], he’s gone out of his way to praise nurses, doctors, midwives and staff in the front line.“He’s been quite careful never to imply criticism of them but to bring it back to political choices made by Welsh ministers – cutting the health budget when it didn’t happen in Scotland, Northern Ireland or Westminster.“Resource was there to protect the health budget and they chose not to. And I happen to feel very strongly that the Welsh Government hasn’t properly been held to account for that decision that they made at a difficult time to slash the health budget. So we shouldn’t shy away from having those robust arguments.“In terms of the language though, and I’ve been very clear with my Cabinet colleagues since I’ve become Secretary of State, I want them to take care how they speak about health services in Wales, and to make a clear distinction between political decisions of ministers in Cardiff and the heroic performance of doctors and nurses and midwives and all the other professions on the front line.“We know them personally, we see what they do, our families rely on them, those of us who are rooted in Wales, and we value them.“We’ve got to take care that we don’t imply any devaluing of the professionals who work so hard. I’ve been clear with my Cabinet colleagues about that.“I don’t want to hear anyone talking about a second class NHS in Wales.
It seems that Mr Crabb and realises that  such attacks that go down well with "Middle England" may haver a negative affect in Wales

The problem for the Tories in Wales is that wheras Mr Crabb was right in that  whilst is argument that Ed Miliband, "didn't give a toss" about Wales. is true it equally can be applied to hs own leader David Cameron.

The Tory attacks on the Welsh NHS are not for our benefit but marginal seats in England attempting to show Labour can't tell be trusted to run the NHS.

Cameron may take the loss of a few Welsh votes and seats as acceptable if it means he wins in marginal English seats.

Keep an eye on Prime Minister Question Time as English MPs  sometime reading from a written Text by the Tory's whips office read of some stastic on the Welsh NHS.

You may just then get a shot of our Welsh Secretary wincing on the government front benches.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Will we see the LibDems "Little Bar-Charts next year?

I was wondering if in the run up to the Next General Election we will see the Liberal Democrats  once again inundate us with their Little Bar-charts.

After al they are languish in the polls so their  "Only the LibDems can stop Labour. Tories, Ukip, Plaid or the SNP. will hardly look authentic,

Seems not if.  the Gordon Constituency is going to be an example.

Of course Gordon is a special case as the likely SNP candidate is likely to be Alex Salmond.

But the LibDems are going to have a go at persuading people who have no interest in voting for them.
Nevertheless in order to stop Salmond

A recent leaflet uses that theme

And of course ther's the Little Bar-Chart


Clear only the LibDems can beat salmon.

Well not really taken into account the LibDem slump Gordon could be seen as a 4 way marginal

And the Labour  and candidate is also making  Only we can stop Salmon (as wil the Tory).

Mind you if the Scottish parliament  Constituency pf  Aberdeenshire East which consist of much of Gordon  even all the other Party voted will not help them

Scottish Parliament election, 2011: Aberdeenshire East
SNPGreen tick Alex Salmond19,53364.50+19.8317,79558.74
Liberal DemocratsAlison McInnes4,23813.99-16.583,16910.46
ConservativeGeordie Burnett Stuart4,21113.90-1.884,25513.95
LabourPeter Smyth2,3047.61-0.442,2097.29
Scottish Green 1,3744.54

But the LibDems  reach a new low when to  make even more sure they Stop Salmond they go for the Ukip vote as well


Will we see such shameless twisting of the reality from the LibDems here in Wales.

You bet .

For years the LibDems have portrayed themselves as the clean party but in reality they often fight the most misleading campaigns

They deserve to lose for that reason alone.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Carwyn proposes a Welsh Free State?

Boy Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones has really lost the plot

Speaking to BBC Radio Wales' Sunday Supplement programme, Mr Jones said:

 "We know there is a right of secession from the UK, (but) the people of Wales don't want that, and I'm pretty sure that of that - they want to remain part of the UK.
"If you look at the Irish Free state and its establishment in the 1920, that power was there. Scotland was offered the chance to leave. It didn't, thankfully.
"There is an offer for the people of Wales theoretically, although I am confident - and nor would I ever support the idea of Wales being an independent country - we are quite happy being a strong nation with a strong identity as part of the UK framework.
"But we are not there in terms of the UK framework.
The Irish Free State ? Probably the worst example you could think off.

The Irish Free State  lasted 15 years 6 December 1922 – 29 December and resulted in a brutal and bloody civil war which saw old Comrades fighting against  each other 
Precise figures for the dead and wounded have yet to be calculated. The pro-treaty forces may have suffered between 540–800 fatalities, and the anti-treaty forces appear to have received considerably heavier losses. There is, as yet, no figure for civilian deaths. A minimum figure of 1,000 and a maximum figure of 4,000 deaths (including both combatant sides and civilians) have been suggested.[64]
The use of execution by the Irish Free State in the Civil War was relatively harsh compared to the recent British record. In contrast with 77 official executions by the Irish Free State government, the British had executed only 24 IRA volunteers and the IRA had condemned to death a few dozen enemies during the 1919–21 War of Independence
This  led to bitterness that continues today in the two *current main parties) Fine Gael the inheritors of those who supported the treaty and Fianna Fáil  tthe heirs of those who opposed it
 The King in Ireland was  represented by a Governor-General of the Irish Free State. The office replaced the previous Lord Lieutenant, who had headed English and British administrations in Ireland since the Middle Ages. Governors-General were appointed by the King initially on the advice of the British Government, but with the consent of the Irish Government. From 1927 the Irish Government alone had the power to advise the King whom to appoint

The Queen's Governor Generals do not usually dress up in such finery these days so Carwyn might be disappointed
Maybe Carwyn Sees himself in that\t role
The Free State came to an end in 1937, when the citizens voted by referendum to replace the 1922 constitution. It was succeeded by the sovereign and current state of Ireland.
Of all the examples our beloved First Minister  the Irish Free State is not an ideal one

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Owen Smith catches a Crabb

For a brief moment I thought my current illness  had led me to amnesia and I had missed Christmas and three months and it was April 1st
Both the BBC and Wasting Mule on line give space to the news that 
"Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb has launched a strong personal attack on Labour leader Ed Miliband, claiming he “doesn’t give a toss about Wales”.In a wide-ranging interview with WalesOnline, the Preseli Pembrokeshire Tory MP accused Mr Miliband of having a “blind spot” about Wales, and of turning Labour into an “elitist metropolitan party” that was increasingly out of touch with ordinary voters.Mr Crabb contrasted Mr Miliband’s supposed indifference with what he described as David Cameron’s “fantastic record of being pro-Wales”.
He said

 People in Wales particularly businesses say to me all the time – we hear this from the business community all the time – we don’t want to see the two administrations at loggerheads.“Hopefully one of my contributions has been in the last five months getting my colleagues to understand that and the Welsh Government to understand that, getting to a place where we don’t shy away from the political arguments – those are going to loom large in the next few months as we get towards the election.
“But, meanwhile, we roll up our sleeves behind closed doors and we do deals where we can.
“We negotiate and we try to secure good outcomes for the people of Wales, and that’s what I’ve been focusing on.

Maybe Mr Crabb was making a late bis for most ridiculous statement of the year

His Labour Owen Smith MP for Pontypridd counterpart made a valiant attempt to win the prize back

But Mr Smith defended his leader.

He said:
"Coming from a man who has the loneliest job in politics - a Tory secretary of state for Labour-voting Wales - these comments are particularly amusing. Perhaps this is the pressures of the new job beginning to show, so I hope he enjoys his much-needed Christmas break."The truth is Ed Miliband is absolutely focused on the most important issue affecting Wales and the rest of the UK, which is the cost-of-living crisis - caused by this cut-price Tory government."That's why Labour is committed to scrapping the bedroom tax, increasing the minimum wage, freezing energy prices and banning exploitative zero-hour contracts."By contrast, what is Stephen Crabb offering Wales: a £1.7 billion cut to the Welsh budget and now the prospect of reduced Welsh influence at Westminster. That is his legacy to Wales, as the Welsh people will remind him in May."
The Trouble with Mr Smiths approach is that he gives the impression   that there is nothing specific for  Wales being offerd from Labour at Westminster .

He could if he wanted to or was allowed have said that Ed Milliband was committed to give the Welsh Assembly gaining  parity with Scotland.

But no. what we get is  "We will not be as bad as the Tories". guff.

We do not need a Blue- Labour government that maybe just maybe are not as viscious as the last .

We need one that abandons the whole Austerity Agenda  and gives the Welsh Government the powers to address this. 

The tragedy is that for most of the Welsh Electorate its a choice between Tweedledum and Tweedledee . Neither of which gives a dam about us as long as we vote for either and give them seats in Westminster where the MPs will be loyal and abandon any Idea that they might just represent the interests of their constituents let alone their Nation. 

Friday, 19 December 2014

How the Anti-Austerity Parties can beat Media exclusion.

Although the Greens, the Scottish National party and Plaid Cymru in November  joined forces to ask the BBC to rethink its plans to exclude them from the main TV leaders’ debates in next year’s general election.

Although the BBC has launched a public consultation on its election guidelines, but not specifically on its plans for the leader debates.

The BBC and other broadcasters have proposed that the UK Independence party (Ukip) join the Liberal Democrats, Labour and Conservatives in one nationwide debate, followed by a discussion between the three main Westminster parties, culminating in a head-to-head debate between the prime minister, David Cameron, and the opposition Labour leader, Ed Miliband.

Green, SNP and Plaid leaders

A real Alternative that deserved to be heard

ON Monday First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood and leader of the Green party in England and Wales Natalie Bennett have stated that all three parties will unite whenever possible to battle the Westminster parties’ obsession with austerity.

During a meeting at Westminster tthe three party leaders said that with no end yet in sight to the failed austerity agenda of the Westminster parties, the General Election next May is an opportunity to change UK politics for the better.

A medsage that needs to be put out .

If the media exclusion does not change. I would like to suggest an alternative.

After the 4 Grey Men have had their say on the mainstream media . The three Anti-Austerity leaders should hold a joint debate (probably in London ) ,where they answer the most relevant questions proposed   to the four who will al be on the right and offer no .alternative to the Austerity programme.

It should be recorded live and then it will be up to those of us to stream it on the Social Media making it clear that these are the answers the establishment  did not want you to here . 

On Facebook  when it comes to Likes. Plaid have 11285 SNP 178,419 and the Green party in England and Wales 120,638 likes

If everyone who used this media and "liked" one or more of the above passed this on we could reach a huge amount of people.

After the First debate in the last general election Plaid saw its share in the vote  fall and it could well be argued they were heading to win Ynys Mon and Llanelli before all the publicity went to the three main parties and Clegg media.

There is an alternative out there,

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

EVEL English Votes For English ( and Welsh) laws.

English MPs would have a veto over any legislation only affecting England, under Tory plans presented today.
William Hague, the Commons leader, said his party’s reform, drawn up following the decision to devolve wide-ranging powers from Whitehall to Scotland, was inspired by a “fundamental issue of fairness for all the people of the United Kingdom”.

He points to four possible options for English Votes for English Laws  (EVEL) at no stage is there mention pf Wales so it seems rather like the England and Wales cricket board  where th national team are only refers to as England in areas where powers are not deferred to the Assembly Welsh MPs are deemed to be English

The Independent tells us that

Option 1 (Con): Exclude Scottish MPs altogether
The most radical option, it would change forever the nature of United Kingdom as we know it. It would exclude Scottish MPs from debating and voting on swathes of legislation (such as health, education and in future taxation) which does not affect Scotland. Scottish MPs would in effect become "second class" Members.

If Scottish MPs are second class members Welsh MPs would be third class . It could mean a Parliament within a parliament . With English MPs having the sane devolved powers as Scottish MSPs .T could lead to a Majority of English MPs being Tories and having no Welsh representation . Welsh MPs will have no real say in the decisions (rather like now).

Option 2 (Con): Give English MPs power over the detail of Bills

This is a slightly watered-down version of the first option, but still amounts to a virtual veto for English MPs.
Only they would vote at the crucial Committee and Report stages of Bills, where legislation can be amended. All MPs could vote at the final Third Reading, where Bills cannot be amended. This option would give English MPs “the decisive say”, the command paper says.
Again there no mention of Welsh (or Northern Irish MPs)will they have imput?
Option 3 (Con): Give English MPs a veto
The committee stage of Bills affecting England would only be taken by an English Grand Committee of MPs in proportion to their parties’ representation in the Commons.
The English Grand Committee could have other powers, including over the allocation of local council finance or police grants. MPs from across the UK would be able to sit at other stages of Bills.
If English Mps have a Veto then surely this should also apply to Welsh MPS  vetoing laws that affect Wales . For instance raising Airport Duties which  is deemed by Cameron and by Labour (or not|) wales is not worthy of having these powers devolved.

Option 4 (Lib Dem): Give English MPs a veto - with proportional representation
Same as option 3, but with the crucial proviso that English MPs voting at committee stage should be selected in proportion to the votes cast in England rather than the number of seats won.
Again What of Welsh MPs? . I Actually it could give  the Tories in Wales more say as if their votes do not match  their seats .

I share with the LidDems the need for PR but really!

This would  effectively means that a the English Parliament  within a parliament   as a form of PR which is not applied in any Western Democracy as far I know)

We can only ponder if Ffion lent over Hague's shoulder as he was drawing up this dog 'breakfast and said . 

You remember you were once Welsh Secretary where do we fit in?

Alas if it happened there was no answer.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Welsh Labour Hypocrisy over Airport Tax.

If you ever doubted that  you can't trust Labour or  the Wasting Mule take the latter reporting that First Minister Carwyn Jones "has warned that the UK Government will be “discriminating” against Wales if it devolves Air Passenger Duty to the Scottish Parliament but not the National Assembly."
The Welsh Labour leader (Well one of them)  met with Prime Minister David Cameron and newly-appointed Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (Who is aLeader)at a session of the Joint Ministerial Committee in Downing Street.
Mr Jones said he was told by the prime minister that “nothing is off the table in terms of discussions regarding more powers for Wales for the future”.
However, he was concerned that he did not receive assurances he wanted about the impact on the NHS of a multi-billion pound US-EU trade which is being negotiated.
Speaking moments after leaving Downing St, Mr Jones restated his demand for Wales to be offered the same package of powers – which include full devolution of income tax and welfare powers – as have been recommended for Scotland by the Smith Commission.
So maybe Carwyn and the Mule can answer why in April  2013 when Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards tabled an amendment to the UK Government’s Finance Bill in a bid to speed up transfer of control of Air Passenger Tax to the Welsh Government.
Pointing out that devolving the airport duty is one of the recommendations of the recent Silk Commission Report. Mr Edwards is urging Labour MPs to support his amendment.
He said
The UK Government-sponsored Silk Commission in its first report recommended the full devolution of minor taxes such as Airport Duty, Aggregates tax, business rates, landfill tax and Stamp Duty, in addition to a tax-sharing arrangement for income tax.
There are three important reasons why the Welsh Government should be empowered with fiscal powers as advocated by the Silk Commission.

So ow many Welsh MPs suppoted the  Amendment ? Welsh not British provided us with the answer 

 Only Four MPs bothered to support this the three Plaid and one Liberal Democrat.

Not one Labour MP in Westminster and now Carwyn "has warned that the UK Government will be “discriminating” against Wales if it devolves Air Passenger Duty to the Scottish Parliament but not the National Assembly."

Sheer Hypocrisy?

Or the simple fact that Carwyn has no real say in how Labour really wants Wales to be treated equally with Scotland.

Is it not time we had clarity on who leads Labour in Wales, Carwyn Jones or Owen Smith?

How much longer can we have one in Cardiff Bay coming up with one Policy and another in Westminster doing exactly the opposite?

In the meantime, I take every utterance from Labour about Wales being treated equally with Scotland wit a pinch of salt.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Branch Manager Jim Murphy Neo-Liberal Hawk.

Could the election of Jim Murphy the new Branch Manager of labour in Scotland see that Party looking even further right for votes?

Murphy us a member of The Henry Jackson Society a Britishn think tank. named after Henry M. Jackson, the late Democratic Senator and anticommunist defence hawk.i

Originating within the University of Cambridge, the organisation is now based in London. In April 2011 the entire staff of another London think-tank , the Centre for Social Cohesion (which has since been dissolved), joined the Henry Jackson Society. It is a society based on the premise that the best way to preserve democracy is to impose it abroad.

You are hardly likely to se a member of this Society opposing Trident or calling for an investigation into Tony Blair and the dodgy dossier.

Indeed I suspect despite its laudable commitment to Human Rights we will not see much call for an investigation into Britains role in the US torture of Terrorist suspect.

It principles are laid out as

  • Believes that modern liberal democracies set an example to which the rest of the world should aspire.
  • Supports a ‘forward strategy’ – involving diplomatic, economic, cultural, and/or political means -- to assist those countries that are not yet liberal and democratic to become so.
  • Supports the maintenance of a strong military, by the United States, the countries of the European Union and other democratic powers, armed with expeditionary capabilities with a global reach, that can protect our homelands from strategic threats, forestall terrorist attacks, and prevent genocide or massive ethnic cleansing.
  • Supports the necessary furtherance of European military modernisation and integration under British leadership, preferably within NATO.
  • Stresses the importance of unity between the world’s great democracies, represented by institutions such as NATO, the European Union and the OECD, amongst many others.
  • Believes that only modern liberal democratic states are truly legitimate, and that the political or human rights pronouncements of any international or regional organisation which admits undemocratic states lack the legitimacy to which they would be entitled if all their members were democracies.
  • Gives two cheers for capitalism. There are limits to the market, which needs to serve the Democratic Community and should be reconciled to the environment.
  • Accepts that we have to set priorities and that sometimes we have to compromise, but insists that we should never lose sight of our fundamental values. This means that alliances with repressive regimes can only be temporary. It also means a strong commitment to individual and civil liberties in democratic states, even and especially when we are under attack.

It has the support of a number of MPs  some of who Murphy my be embarrassed to be associated with


David Amess MP
Rt Hon James Arbuthnot MP, Chairman of the Defence Committee
Bob Blackman MP
Nick Boles MP
David Burrowes MP
Alistair Burt MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary for the Middle East, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP, Chariman of the Committee of Selection
Damian Collins MP
David Davies MP, Chairman of the Welsh Affairs Committee
Rt Hon David Davis MP, Former Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nadine Dorries MP
Mike Freer MP
James Gray MP
Robert Halfon MP
Stephen Hammond MP
Bernard Jenkin MP, Chairman of the Public Administration Select Committee
Daniel Kawczynski MP
James Morris MP
Sir Richard Ottaway MP, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee
Priti Patel MP
Mark Pritchard MP
Dominic Raab MP
Amber Rudd MP
Robert Walter MP
Julian Lewis MP
Nadhim Zahawi MP
Henry Smith MP

Douglas Carswell MP is the Tory Mp who defected to Ukip one can only wonder  where Stressing  the importance of unity between the world’s great democracies, represented by institutions such as NATO, the European Union and the OECD, amongst many others.

Rt Hon Margaret Beckett MP, Former Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Rt Hon Hazel Blears MP, Former Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
Rt Hon Ben Bradshaw MP, Former Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
Chris Bryant MP, Former Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Dai Havard MP
Khalid Mahmood MP
Meg Munn MP, Former Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Rt Hon Jim Murphy MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
Rt Hon John Spellar MP, Shadow Minister for Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Gisela Stuart MP
Derek Twigg MP, Former Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Ministry of Defence

Liberal Democrat
Dan Rogerson MP
Douglas Carswell MP

 Carswel is  the Tory MP who defected to Ukip one can only wonder  where Stressing  the importance of unity between the world’s great democracies, represented by institutions such as NATO, the European Union and the OECD, amongst many others.

Yes three Welsh Mps Chris (no surprise here ) Bryant MP for the  Rhondda and  Dai Harvard the invisible MP for Merthyr Tydfil  and of course David Davis MP for Monmouth so right wing he's in danger of falling of the ledge,

A pretty ragbag  what so called socialist could even think about being in the same organisations as Nadine Dorris?

Some time ago some Conservative MSP were pondering  a name change in Scotland to remove the Toxic image of that party there . With Murphy they could probably change it to "New Labou"r there doesn't seem to be much of a difference.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Labour elect new Scottish Branch Manager

The website political betting may lead you to assume that it is there to give a balanced view of the political climate  and analyse polling  for instance to give punters some advice.

But its reaction to the elrction of Jim Murphy as Labours Branch Manager in Scotland might lead some to look elsewhere before placing their cash ,

Mike Smithson the author uses Murphy's first tweet to set the unionist agenda

View image on Twitter

Mike Smithson writes

like the way in his first Tweet Murphy has shaped the battle with the SNP – is the prize a fairer Scotland or Independence. It’s a powerful message but he and his party are a long way behind.Given the polling there’s a huge burden on his shoulders and Labour must be hoping that he can turn the situation round. Every seat that Scottish LAB can claw back reduces the target for the party in England and Wales.Let’s hope there is some new post-Murphy election Scottish polling.
What makes me think he hopes that it will a swing back to Labour.

But on that Tweet Murphy may have already put  himself on dodgy ground.

There is no Indication that Labour in London will reverse the coalition policies. 

The only commitment against asturity comes from Plaid,SNP and Greens.

A fairer Scotland and Wales can only come when we reject the established Westminster Partiesof  whatever colour (Though they all seem to be blue these days ) and seek  Independence not for the sake of it but because its the only wat we can achive it,

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Plaid win in Trelech apathy in Tynant

know most have seen the result for the Trelech byelection by now for those who haven't its here.

Trelech on Carmarthen Council
Jean Lewis (Plaid Cymru) 598

Hugh Phillips (Ind) 181

Selwyn Runnett (LibDem) 96

There was a community council seat on Llantrisant which in Tynant next door to Beddau where Labour's Ron Hunt who on his third attempt this year one easily.

Tynant on Llantrisant Community Councii

Ron Hunt (Labour)209 votes,

Steven Thomas Owen (Plaid) 38

Johnathen  Bishop (Dzôn) (Pluralist Party 20

Apparently there was a rather Bizarre altercation at the count between Dzôn and Mr Hunt over Fox hunting .

 I think I should have paid more attention to what was happening on my doorstep. However the RCT website did not seem to give any details which might reflect on the very low turn out. lower than 5% it appears

For Plaid in Carmarthen the result was encouraging winning the seat that the retiring member who had represented the ward for nearly 50 years to the extent he was known as Dia Trelech and with another by-election coming after the death of Labour councillor George Edwards, Labour councillor for Hengoed ward which occupies the coastal strip between Llanelli and Burry Port, .

Hengoed is a two-member ward, the other councillor being Siân Caiach.

Result 2012

CAIACH, Sian Mair People First - Putting Llanelli First 337 Elected

DAVIES, Martin Vaughan Plaid Cymru - The Party of Wales 315

EDWARDS, George Welsh Labour 338 Elected

EVANS, Mike Plaid Cymru - The Party of Wales 271

JENKINS, Heidi Elizabeth Other 89

JONES, Ken People First - Working For Your Community 261

LEWIS, Sue Welsh Labour 253

ROBERTS, Fred Independent 213

So much might depend on whether Siân Ciach can find someone to stand for People First it may well be a lively event but Plaid leave the year on a high and may well carry on in the new year in the same manner at least in Carmarthen.

Meanwhile The SNP are going from strength to strength

South Kintyre on Argyll and Bute (SNP defence)
Result: SNP 942 (62% +37%), Liberal Democrats 214 (14%, unchanged), Conservative 203 (13% -33%), Labour 156 (10%, no candidate last time)

Result of ward at last election (2012) : Emboldened denotes elected
Conservatives 1,133 (46%)
Scottish National Party 203, 415 (25%)
Independents 63, 138, 167 (15%)
Liberal Democrats 351 (14%)

Elgin City North on Moray (Lab Defence)
Result: SNP 728 (38% -5%), Independent 472 (24% +15%), Labour 287 (15% -15%), Conservative 273 (14% -4%), UKIP 81 (4%, no candidate last time), Green 77 (4%, no candidate last time)

Result of ward at last election (2012): Emboldened denotes elected
Scottish National Party 596, 515 (43%)
Labour 766 (30%)
Conservatives 448 (18%)
Independents 241 (9%)

The result and swings are difficult to work out because Scottish councils use STV but In reality there was a significant swing to the SNP in both seats.