Friday, 31 January 2014

Pembrokeshire Labour condem thier council for doing what Labour did in Carmarthen

The news that  the Wales Audit Office says. Carmarthenhire  and Prmbrokeshire councils acted unlawfully by letting chief executives opt out of a pension scheme to avoid potential tax payments, hardly comes as a surprise

Carmarthenshire's Mark James and Pembrokeshire's Bryn Parry Jones had been given cash payments in lieu of employer pension contributions.
Dyfed-Powys Police said the force was in discussions with the auditors.
Carmarthenshire council said it was pleased the auditor did not rule its pension policy as unlawful.

If the link doest work go here
Perhaps the oddest reaction comes from Paul Millar leader of the Labour gtoup of 9 on Pembrokeshire council  , Who seems to be condemning his own council for doing exactly the same thing as Carmarthen in which his Labour colleagues were complicit .

Interestedly in the shortened report on the 10:30 news Miller was the only opposition member to be quoted.   Maybe the Beeb want to be balanced but it gives the impression that Labour are standing up to the misdeeds   when it carmarthen they are one of the Guilty parties

Paul Miller is the Labour Candidate for Preseli in the next General Election if he can continue to keep a strait face in this manner he wil go far.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

BoE Governor's doesn'r rule out an jount currency after Scottish Independence.

Before the - Bank of England Governor Mark Carney speech yesterday it was speculated that by the No side and the media in general  he would pour cold water on Scotland keeping the pound after Independence.

But hey were clearly wrong.

However he merely stated what is plainly obvious that an independent Scotland that keeps the pound would have to give up some national sovereignty or risk the kind of problems exposed by the euro zone crisis.

Carney, speaking in detail for the first time on issues related to September's independence referendum, took care to avoid taking sides in the increasingly heated campaign.

In a speech to Scottish business leaders, he delivered a sobering message, stressing that a breakaway Scotland and the rest of the "United Kingdom" would have to secure complex agreements on "tight fiscal rules" and a banking union, or face "clear risks" that could threaten a currency union.

"Those risks have been demonstrated clearly in the euro area over recent years," Carney said. "In short, a durable, successful currency union requires some ceding of national sovereignty."

What he seems to have failed to emphasise is that this applies  to both an Independent Scotland and the Rump that remains and Scotland will be an equal in any "currency union".

 UK ministers have said such a deal would result in Scotland effectively having to hand over control of interest rates and borrowing levels to a foreign country.

The problem with the NO camp is that they are like someone whose partner seeks a divorce thinks that they will be entitled to keep everything from the marriage.

It is obvious that an Indepmdent Scotland will have some way in this currency union.

 But the Governor  instead made it explicitly clear that the Bank of England will implement the agreements reached between the Scottish and Westminster Governments.

So maybe its tine the NO camp at least acknowledge that it is in the interest of both sides to  accept a currency union after a YES voting more likely after recent polls rather than dismiss it.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Another Mule attempt to fuel Ani- Welsh Sentiments?

The Mule continues with its rather clever agenda of presenting what is actually a pathetic a Non- Story to attack the Welsh Language by publishing a load of tosh on the claims by eccentric Tory MP Michael Fabricant 

During a discussion about school standards on the BBC Radio 4 programme Any Questions, Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant agreed with presenter Jonathan Dimbleby that there was “too much emphasis on the Welsh language”.
He added: “The Welsh for neutron is neutron.
“It’s difficult enough to find in England people who are good maths and physics and chemistry teachers. To ask them to be bilingual as well is a nonsense.”

The Mule then gives space to Llanelli Labour AM Keith Davies who said

“Michael Fabricant’s views were from another age and the Welsh Conservatives need to clear this up – do they agree with the Lichfield MP, and do they think Welsh-medium education is a I've bee runing  bad thing for our school children?
“The sum total of Mr Fabricant’s evidence that Welsh isn’t needed in the classroom is that the ‘Welsh for neutron is neutron’. This is just a silly attack from an MP who doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
“It was clear from the remarks he made that he didn’t even know the difference between bilingual schools and Welsh–medium schools.
“He went so far as to say that it was a nonsense to expect maths and science teachers to also be fluent in Welsh – well five of my children went to Welsh-medium schools and they had no problem whatsoever being taught those subjects.
“I know plenty of teachers who would be pretty shocked at Mr Fabricant’s level of ignorance.It is up to Andrew RT Davies to either apologise for Mr Fabricant’s offencive remarks or back them up with evidence.”
Fair enough but is the Mule's intention by covering this "story" to expose the views of someone like Fabricant just trying to stoke the fire of Ani- Welsh Sentiment ?

By the  way I've been running Neutron through a Google translate.


Welsh - niwtron

Basque - neutroi
Catalan - neutró 
 Dutch - neutron
Irish - neodróin
Estonian - neutron
French - neutron 
Greek - -νετρόνιο
German - neutron
Swedish - neutrón
 Hindi -न्यूट्रॉन
Japanese- நியூட்ரான்

In fact it more or less universal and differences  appear to be mainly due to that country's alphabet. and maybe the pronunciation is roughly the same  such is the Laziness at the Mule they can't even point this out.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Euro Elections Intentions SNP on 43% Ukip 7% who gets the headlines?

On Saturday I commented that the Cowdenbeath bylection for the Scottish Parliament should not be taken as indication of intentions in the forthcoming Independence referendum

 a new IndyRef poll in Scotland on Sunday from ICM – the pollster that got the 2011 AV referendum most right predicting the final result to within a small fraction of a percent.

The figures saw YES up 5% and NO down 5% compared with the last in September.
The initial split in the poll was 54-46 but that closed to 53-47 when those sampled were pressed further for a view. 

You may look in vain on Left Foot Forward for this as it seems to only report when the polls reflect negatively for the YES campaign.

There has been an even more interesting poll for intentions on voting for the European Parliament 

You may have to work hard to find the real story in the Scotsman that who leas with the news that
THE Liberal Democrats have slumped to fifth place in Scotland ahead of this year’s European elections, with the party trailing the anti-EU Ukip, an exclusive new poll shows.
Nick Clegg’s Lib Dems would lose their only MEP north of the Border and finish behind Ukip, led by Nigel Farage, for the first time ever in a Scottish national election, the survey of those who intend to vote .

If you read the article however  you will find that the SNP have seen a surge of support for the European elections. But its so devastating to the Scotsman they can't produce them

Change on 2009 European election in brackets

SNP 43% (+14)
Labour 24% (+3)
Conservative 14% (-3)
UKIP 7% (+2)
Lib Dems 6% (-6)
Greens 4% (-3)

The poll also shows that people in Scotland reject leaving the European Union by a substantial margin of 46 per cent to 33 per cent.. Which the Scotsman also lashes on to to somehow suggest that Scots share the Ani-European Union views of their neighbours South of the Boarder..

So there you have it a surge in support for Independence and for the SNP in voting intentions for the next election there.

And yet its portrayed as a swing to UKip who are on 7 yes 7% no matter what the Scotsman would wish.

But Scotland leading "Quality Newspaper" thinks the main point to spin  is that Ukip are on 7%..

I was going to say that the Scotsman was their equivalent of the Wasting Mule but they have a whole stable of unionist papers who claim to be Scottish  to read there .

Monday, 27 January 2014

Six reasons to love the LibDems. I think not.

Subordinate  Central  have latched on to Jane Merrick’s column in the Independent this morning admitting  it might to cheer themselves up after a few traumatic weeks.

1 It is an open, democratic party. Yes, doing everything by committee and not allowing the leader much power over internal discipline has been a disaster. But it is a thing to celebrate that, generally, members and activists have a say in how their party is run – they are a true grassroots movement. The Lib Dems have also followed due process – this is important.

Well Openand Democratic to the extent that the Membership are ignored when they vote for something that might embarrass those elected like the legalisation pf cannabis. No different than any other party in fact.

2 They are not in hock to all-powerful union leaders or wealthy donors who want to buy influence. OK, so the downside of this is they don’t have much money, and their biggest donor, Michael Brown, turned out to be a wrong ’un – but that was years ago. Today, the Lib Dems can operate without fear or favour. Isn’t that refreshing, and an example of the “new politics” that was promised after the expenses scandal?
Except  Convicted fraudster and former Liberal Democrat donor Michael Brown was sentenced to a seven-year jail sentence,in 2012
 Brown donated about £2.4 million to the Lib Dems ahead of the 2005 general election, its largest donation to date.They have constantly refused to return the money.

3 They can be proud of their record in government. Clegg and his ministers can claim credit for the following: the pupil premium, where £2.5bn has gone to fund schools with poorer children, a big Lib Dem demand; free school meals for all infant pupils from next September; cutting taxes for all earners by raising the income tax threshold to £10,000 was a Lib Dem policy; and maintaining policies on tackling climate change

Firstly there's no evidence that poorer children are directly benefiting from this money and mainlining what policy on climate change exactly?

4 They have acted as a check to Conservative excesses. The Lib Dems in coalition have blocked the following: plans to allow employers to fire at will; permitting schools to be run for profit; a £270,000 inheritance tax cut for the richest householders; an expensive replacement for Trident; a two-tier exam system and old-style O-levels; relaxed quotas for childcare; the “snoopers’ charter”; and plans to axe the Human Rights Act.

 But balanced of the decimating attack on the poorest members of our communities including the Bedroom Tax  it hardly washes away their sins in largely agreeing to a Tory agenda. I wonder if after the next General Elections and if they are then in coalition with Ed Miliband's Labour what policies they might vote to abolish that they voted for in this government?

5 It is a party of renewal. Yes, the Lib Dems spent too long dealing with allegations about Rennard and Hancock, were far too secretive about Charles Kennedy’s drinking, and have a dreadful record on getting women into Parliament. This might be because of size – in a larger party the problematic individuals would be less prominent, and there would be more women. But it can renew and refresh quickly – Clegg became an MP only in 2005, and was leader two years later. And it has a record of dispensing with leaders – and troublesome MPs – mercilessly and quickly.

Hm poor Ming Campbell was dumped because he was regarded by the media as too old. What record are we talking about could we have a few examples?
6 Because the party is small, it is pragmatic. Opponents may see this as opportunism, pretending to be one thing in Constituency A and another in Constituency B. Clegg was accused of hypocrisy over tuition fees. But he did apologise. And one person’s opportunism is another’s moderation – a balance against the polarised positions of the Conservatives and Labour. In a era of coalition government,
  this ability to negotiate and compromise is a good thing.

This actually answers itself  the Libdems not only promise one thing Constituency A and another in Constituency B. But within a constituency but also door to door 

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Wiliam Powell joins Lib Dem shame list.

 Its beginning to look like the  Liberal Democrats are having a particular problem with their elected members.

After Mike Hancock, the MP for Portsmouth South, had his membership suspended after a leaked report into his conduct found "compelling" evidence of "serious and unwelcome sexual behaviour" towards a woman constituent and the continuing row over Lord Rennard  comes the news that  Lib Dem AM William Powell has been given a formal written warning after a young activist complained of his inappropriate behaviour, it has emerged.

The woman, now 21, alleged that in 2011 he gave her and two other women the strong alcoholic drink absinthe, touched her leg and put his hands round their waists.

They only need a MSP  and MEP to get a full set

I suppose some say that  this sort of  behaviour is relatively harmless.and the equivalent of bottom pinching  but of course they will be Men and are not the recipients.

Unwanted sexual advances are unacceptable from Males and also Females we all need to learn this

What if not acceptable 20 years ago was taken as part of life experience   is no longer the case and even then young girls would be warned by colleagues about a male who had a reputation as a "groper".

In fact the only reason it was not acted on more vigorously  was because the "groper" was often in a position of power and their complaints were not taken seriously or it was not worthwhile pursing it.

I doubt that the Lib Dems are alone having members with "wandering Hands" but they are in the spotlight.

What all parties and indeed beyond must do is make clear such behaviour is unacceptable and it will be dealt with vigorously a defence that its no worse than Italian bottom pinching is not acceptable  and offenders can expect more than a rap on the knuckles.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Cowdenbeat Labour win on Bread and Butter Issues?

How much we can take from the Cowdenbeath  byelection for the Sottish parliament  on the result of the forthcoming  Independence Election is open to question.

Election results

Cowdenbeath by-election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes % ±%

Labour Alex Rowley 11,192 55.78 +9.28

SNP Natalie McGarry 5,704 28.43 -13.17

Conservative Dave Dempsey 1,893 9.44 +2.44

UKIP Denise Baykal 610 3.04 N/A

Liberal Democrats Jade Holden 425 2.12 -1.78

The Victims Final Right Stuart Graham 187 0.93 N/A

SDA James Trolland 51 0.25 N/A
Majority 5,488 27.35 +22.45
Turnout 20,062 38.41 -8.49

2011: Cowdenbeath
Party Candidate Votes % ±%

Labour Helen Eadie 11,926 46.5 +3.4

SNP Ian Chisholm 10,679 41.6 +13.1

Conservative Belinda Don 1,792 7.0 −7.2

Liberal Democrats Keith Legg 997 3.9 −10.3

Land Party Mick Heenan 276 1.1 n/a
Majority 1,247 4.9
Turnout 25,670 46.9

Labour hold Swing −4.8%

Clearly Labour were the winners but even they seem to think that it was other factors which were of importance,
“This is about a bigger vision for Scotland, a bigger vision than simply independence.
“It’s about full employment for every young person to get the opportunities that they deserve from their lifetime.
“It’s about elderly people living in Fife with dignity, and making sure when they need services those services are available.
“I will spend every day working hard to ensure that we do that.”
Picking up on the issue of the bedroom tax, which Labour seem to have successfully placed on the SNP shoulders. and which they seem to have the support of Tory papers like the Scotsman
“Finally, the message has got to go out in the Scottish Parliament right now that we can mitigate the bedroom tax.
“We can give people jobs, we can give people opportunities, we can do that with a strong, devolved Scottish Parliament working within the UK.
 It seems that Labour have managed to use The Bedroom Tax against the SNP government in Edinburgh rather than Westminster which is a curious though successful means of campaigning.

Perhaps real interest should be diverted to the 2007 Notional result (as Cowdenbeath was a new seat because it shows that Scottish Politics seems to a polarised between the SNP and Labour

2007 Notional Result: Cowdenbeath
Party Candidate Votes % ±%

11,349 43.0

7,510 28.5

3,751 14.2

Liberal Democrats
3,739 14.2

32 0.1
Majority 3,839 14.6


So the SNP has fallen back to roughly the same percentage before their unprecedented 2011 landslide The Liberal Democrats seem to disappearing from the Scottish Map Ukip are having little impact  the Conservatives seem to be making a small recovery.


Perhaps    the lesson for the SNP is that they need to concentrate more on Bread and Butter issues as well as Independence but with much of the media in Labour pocket and the fact they can enjoy the luxury of being the opposition when it comes to by-elections  probably means . No matter what they do or say they will be held reasonable  by a disgruntled electorate

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Zulu may have ben a great film but the actual history is not something to praise.

Wales Online have a piece on the 50th anniversary of the movie Zulu,”

 It a reasonable piece which points which points out some of the films historical inaccuracies  Including the fact that take the British regiment who’d actually fought against the Zulus – the 24th (The 2nd Warwickshire) Regiment of Foot – and rename them the South Wales Borderers – despite the fact that platoon would not actually come in to being until 1881.
The truth also went awry in the scene where one new recruit to the garrison is told, “This is a Welsh regiment, although there are some foreigners in it, mind”, the homegrown infantry in the 24th regiment having actually been outstripped 49 to 32 by the English.
A film over the defence of British Colonialism?

 I've blogged about this before but I think its worth while repeating myself.

Of the soldiers present at Roakes Drift , 49 were English, 32 Welsh, 16 Irish and 22 others of indeterminate nationality

 Breakdown of British and colonial casualties:
1st/24th Foot: 4 killed or mortally wounded in action; 2 wounded
2nd/24th Foot: 9 killed or mortally wounded in action; 9 wounded
Commissariat and Transport Department: 1 killed in action; 1 wounded
Natal Mounted Police: 1 killed in action; 1 wounded
1st/3rd NNC: 1 killed in action
2nd/3rd NNC: 2 wounded
 Three hundred and fifty-one Zulu bodies were counted after the battle, Something Wales Online  seem to miss missed.and  it has been estimated that at least 500 wounded and captured Zulus might have been massacred.

In fact that  whilIe can't deny the heroism of those involved the  defence .The 11 Victoria Crosses were  largely a public relation and moral boosting exercise  after the disaster of  Battle of Isandlwana  where the Zulu's had killed 1300 troop

An early form of spin doctring in fact

One aspect that is often ignored by Wales Online and most reviewers  is that the film   Zulu was actually  based on the Western  Apache Drums  where a group of Welsh Settlers sing it as a response when trapped in a Barn and surrounded  Apache chanting in the manner of the Zulus by launching into ' Men of Harlech and in Welsh this time.

I agree that Zulu was a great film but  is it not time we asked the question 2Why Welshmen or even others were in a far away country fighting people who were defending theirs.

Prehaps we ned a film from the Zulu viewpoint and how they in order to defend thier land from foreign invasion charged superior fire-power and died in their hundreds.

Is colonialism anything to be proud of ?

Is it not also something of a shame that this historical  inaccurate  film raises such identification  amongst the people of Wales . When our own history is largely ignored by them edia.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Wiliam's Commision proposals face a rocky road.

It is beginning to look like The Commission, led by former Welsh NHS chief Sir Paul Williams, recommending slashing the number of councils from 22 to between 10 and 12. is not going to happen ,

The report  see mergers of existing authorities, rather than redrawing council boundaries from scratch, to a maximum of 12 authorities, with options for two further mergers involving Swansea and the recreation of Dyfed. The only authority left untouched under any of the scenarios would be Powys.

The commission has not helped its case  by insisting that must agree the programme arrangements for mergers by Easter 2014(April 20th) at the latest.

This does not leave much time taking in the fact that Labour do not have an overall majority they will find it hard to push this through.

But his chances of a united position  look unlikely as  after both Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats both support reform of the voting system to Single Transferable Vote (STV) as is the current state in Scotland local government.

This of course will face opposition from Labour Councillors, who are more likely to lose out under STV

Clearly the argument that if we are to reorganise local Government it must be done in a manner that we do not have to revisit it in 10 years.

The commissions merger solution looking increasingky  like a "Cut and Paste" job which may easily established, But is this seriously the best way to do this .

We do not want to be revisiting this in 10 years when it becomes clear that there is no tangible the performance of our councils.

In the mean time we may see existing councils thinking again about their budgets.

If the council that you are going to be merged with decides rather than cut Libraries  dip into their reserves then some councils are going to find that they may have to carry a virtually  bankrupt incorporated area.

Clearly Ceredigion's cabinet also decision  to raid £900,000 from its war chest to ease public service cuts in the county.has nothing to do with the Williams commissions proposals .

But other councils may if it becomes the proposals are going through.

What's to stop Merthyr who are likely to be swallowed  by Rhondda Cynon Taf seeing that they will have most of theirfacilities largely intact on the day the new council comes into force? 

Its beginning to look like  the Williams commission failure to be bold will cause us to be back at the table by 2025.

Monday, 20 January 2014

The Unions new friend. That great democrat Vladimir Putin.

Its begining to look like the Unionist are  starting to get desperate  (despite)the polls ) in finding alies for the NO side in the Scottish referendun

Thier new hero is Russian President Vladimir Putin   who has  has said the issue of Scottish independence is not a matter for Russia but is solely for the UK - while emphasising the benefits of being part of a "single, strong state".

But it looks like their wanted him to go further as the he Russian president was speaking to the BBC amid claims Downing Street had tried to encourage Moscow to oppose ­Scottish independence - which Number 10 has denied.
Putin said 

 "One should not forget being part of a single, strong state has some advantages and one should not overlook this. It's a choice for each and every people according to their circumstances." 
It's the choice the three Baltic states Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania made in 1991 and I have never heard anyone say it was the wrong one.

Itar-Tass, the Russian state news agency, said over Christmas

 "Great Britain is extremely interested in the support of Russia, as holder of the G8 presidency, in two vital areas in 2014: the Afghan pull-out and the Scottish independence referendum.

" It cited an anonymous source in the office of Prime Minister David Cameron as the basis of its report.
Its report, which follows claims Cameron and his Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy have forged an "anti-separatist pact", sparked criticism last night from Alex Salmond.
The First Minister said:

 "This report from Russia raises serious questions about the UK Government's underhand tactics. If this is accurate, then Westminster has been caught red-handed trying to stir up hostility to Scotland instead of representing Scotland's interests - it seems the No Campaign's self-named 'Project Fear' has now gone global."
So there we have it I doubt if this Referendum  was to be held in the 1970 Unionist would have turned to the old Soviet Union or Franco quassi fascist regime  for support But it has no problem with its heirs maybe Russia embracing Capitalism whilst still having dubious democratic credentials is enough.



Sunday, 19 January 2014

UKip OK with "Gay marriages causing floods " councilor.

A UK Independence Party (Ukip) councillor has blamed recent storms and floods on the Government’s decision to legalise gay marriage.

David Silvester, who defected from the Tories in protest at David Cameron’s support for same-sex unions, claimed he had warned the Prime Minister that the legislation would result in “disasters”.

The Henley-on-Thames  town councillor said that the country had been “beset by storms” since the passage of the new law on gay marriage because Mr Cameron had acted “arrogantly against the Gospel”.

In a letter to the Henley Standard Mr Silvester who has a  er colourful history he wrote: 

 “The scriptures make it abundantly clear that a Christian nation that abandons its faith and acts contrary to the Gospel (and in naked breach of a coronation oath) will be beset by natural disasters such as storms, disease, pestilence and war.

“I wrote to David Cameron in April 2012 to warn him that disasters would accompany the passage of his same-sex marriage bill.
“But he went ahead despite a 600,000-signature petition by concerned Christians and more than half of his own parliamentary party saying that he should not do so.”
Blaming the Prime Minister for the bad weather, he added: “It is his fault that large swathes of the nation have been afflicted by storms and floods.
“He has arrogantly acted against the Gospel that once made Britain ‘great’ and the lesson surely to be learned is that no man or men, however powerful, can mess with Almighty God with impunity and get away with it for everything a nation does is weighed on the scaled of divine approval or disapproval.”

 You may think that this would be an embarrassment  to Ukip

Apparently not
Ukip said the views expressed by Mr Silvester were “not the party’s belief” but defended his right to state his opinions.
A party spokeswoman said:

 “If the media are expecting Ukip to either condemn or condone someone’s personal religious views they will get absolutely no response. Whether Jain or Sikh or Buddhist or Sufi or Zoroastrian or Jewish or Muslim or Baptist or Hindu or Catholic or Baha’i or Animist or any other mainstream or minor religion or movement, we are taught as a tolerant society to accept a diversity of ideologies.
“Freedom to individual thought and expression is a central tenet of any open-minded and democratic country. It is quite evident that this is not the party’s belief but the councillor’s own and he is more than entitled to express independent thought despite whether or not other people may deem it standard or correct.
“That is what makes the United Kingdom such a wonderful, proud, diverse and free country.”

So basically Ukip are saying "You are welcome in our party no matter how loopy or offensive your views are

it beginning to look like that. Tory MP Kenneth Clarke was bang on last year when he said

He said:

 "They of course have not been able to vet their candidates. Fringe right parties do tend to collect a number of waifs and strays...
"Some of them are saying quite different things now they are in politics than their actual views."
Asked whether he agreed with David Cameron's 2006 claim that UKIP was made up of "fruitcakes and closet racists", Mr Clarke replied:

 "I have met people who satisfy both those descriptions in UKIP.
"Indeed, some of the people who have assured me they are going to vote UKIP I would put in that category. I rather suspect they have never voted for me."'Angry people'
"most of the UKIP people are perfectly nice when they are having a drink".

"The trouble with UKIP really is it is just a protest party.

"It is against the political class, it is against foreigners, it is against immigrants. But it does not have any very positive policies. They do not know what they are for."
He added: "The temptation to ordinary voters to UKIP is these are very difficult times, the political classes are regarded as having got us into a mess.
"It is very tempting to vote for a collection of clowns or indignant, angry people, who promise that somehow they will allow us to take your revenge on people who caused it."

The trouble is once these people are elected it is to late .

In September 1930 after the financial   Germany saw a surge of support for a party that "that somehow they will allow us to take your revenge on people who caused it."

Maybe Ukip are not the Nazi's but they are dangerous and we should worry about just whose being elected their ticket.