Saturday 31 May 2014

So we can watch late England games in the Pub Wo

Pubs in Wales will be able to stay open late for England World Cup matches.
Welsh pubs were not originally included in the legislation but, following complaints, the Home Office now says licensing hours can be extended.
Regulations have been laid to allow premises to apply for a temporary event notice for England's World Cup games.
Ministers have the power to relax the rules to mark an occasion of "exceptional international, national or local significance".
The extension could be used by pubs in Wales for England's opening game against Italy on Saturday, 14 June, which is due to kick off at 23:00 BST.
Crime prevention minister Norman Baker said: "We want everyone to get behind the England football team this summer.

The assumption given here is that Welsh Fans wanted to see England play and indeed.
My MP does and thinks he speaks for the whole of our Nation as he twitterd

  8hFor all nationalists getting exercised tonight, let's be clear: I, along with most Welsh people, will wish England well in the World Cup 1/2
Indeed he seems to claim credit for this 

Shame it took my writing to the PM for the Tories to realise we might be interested in the World Cup in Wales as well as England

Well Mr Smith, I suppose I would like to watch the England Games in my local but that does not mean I necessarily am supporting them and I am joined by many Welsh people in this, not all of them Welsh Nationalist and I don't think we are entirely the minority.

And Owen , later to be covering himself  just in case we noticed.

However point of writing to the PM was to say even if we want to watch Eng lose (perhaps on pens v Ger) we shld b able 2 do so in the pub!

So maybe he gets it that we are not all backing England

Indeed the whole Idea that premises can apply for the licence for free from Friday at first seems a good one but it will only apply to matches involving England and this seems to be ridiculous .

Indeed I imagine that there will be a number  Pubs in Cities throughout the UK where Immigrant and visiting   communities  will gather to watch their home nation play.

But unless its England they will be denied the opportunity.

I suppose to have a blanket opening hour so Pubs which have  such a gathering would upset Nigel Farage but sod him.

I don't yet know which side I will be backing in thee World cup but ABE (Anyone But England) apply.

Its not that I'm anti-English but it is the sheer arrogance that we in Wales are expected to support them puts me in the ABE bracket.

I doubt if Germans would expect the people in the Netherlands  (Who are their great rivals not England) to support them  if the later failed to qualify.

Of course the likes of Owen Smith in a Unionist Party could not actually say ABE though  from the last Tweet he may wel think it but he has no right to claim he speaks for the majority..

Friday 30 May 2014

Peter Black Clegg Loyalist or Plotter?

 After only a few days ago when Peter Black attacked  Nick Clegg after the party’s dismal Euro election night - describing him as a “major negative” on the doorsteps and saying voters don’t trust him.  Peter  seems now to be moved into expressing Loyalty

The Regional Assembly Member for South Wales West since 1999, compared the party’s pro-EU campaign message to a Monty Python sketch and said Mr Clegg’s performance in TV debates with Nigel Farage led to the party having “no credibility”.

It comes amid mounting pressure on Mr Clegg to stand down as leader after the disastrous elections, which saw the party lose hundreds of councillors in the local elections and suffer a wipeout of all-but-one of its 11 MEPs, as it slipped to sixth behind the Greens.

Writing in his Blog on May 27th , Mr Black said that while the debates being seen as a “masterstroke” at the time, Clegg was over-prepared and appeared “wooden and uneasy” and lacked spontaneity, leaving him open to attacks from Eurosceptic press.

“After this the Liberal Democrats poll ratings started to deteriorate and we had no credibility on doorsteps as a party who were standing up for people’s economic interests,”.
He added: “Clegg had taken on popularism with facts and cold logic. It was inevitable that this would fail, especially when the execution was so poor, and the party suffered as a result.”

But only a few days later  he seems keen to express his Loyalty to his beleaguered  leader

Lord Oakshott has done the Liberal Democrats more than one disservice. His cack-handed focus on displacing Nick Clegg as leader has led to furore in the media, but more importantly it has enabled those responsible for our lame and ineffective European campaign to regroup and close ranks around the leadership. The chances of having a proper debate about that campaign so as to bring about change have diminished as a result.

I went to a well-attended local party meeting last night, who unanimously agreed to back Nick Clegg as leader. I supported that position but we also agreed that there were problems with the campaign the party fought, that we need to debate what went wrong and that we need to get out and campaign as a party from the grassroots up.

I would expect the party leadership to be leading that internal debate, and indeed to be out and about in the country telling people what we have achieved in government and what we want to do in the next one. Instead all I can see is retrenchment behind the leader in the face of a bungled hostile take-over.
 It seems rather odd when someone  who describes his Party leader as a “major negative” on the doorsteps and saying voters don’t trust him.Now claims that there is no Leadership crisis.,

Peter makes a major attack on not only his Party's electoral campaign but how his leader preformed and then denies there's a crisis?

 Is it just me or has this the whiff of a failed coop attempt  where those who may have supported it if it seemed likely to succeed rush to voice their support for the leader when it becomes clear that it it has failed.

Of course the problem for the LibDems is that a change in leader  is unlikely to make much difference and indeed  split the party even more.

Even Vince Cable who was once one of the most popular MPs looks tarnished a nd if the polls are correct it would be hard to find a new leader who is guaranteed to hold his or hers seat.

So for now Peter seems to be back in the Clegg Loyalist camp, but whether  this is because he fully supports his leader or can see no other option seems unclear.

Thursday 29 May 2014

Are more people in Wales more racially prejudiced than the rest of the UK?

The BBC suggest that more people in Wales admit to being racially prejudiced than in the UK as a whole, research has suggested Data obtained by The Guardian newspaper suggests 34% people in Wales admit to being "very prejudiced" or "a little prejudiced".
It is a rise of 14 percentage points since 2000, drawn from figures for theBritish Social Attitudes (BSA) survey.
However  the Beeb dos eventually as the caveat that while the study surveyed more than 5,000 people over two years across Britain, the sample size in Wales was less than 300 - making definitive conclusions difficult.
Data obtained by The Guardian newspaper suggests 34% people in Wales admit to being "very prejudiced" or "a little prejudiced".
It is a rise of 14 percentage points since 2000, drawn from figures for tho British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey.
I suppose there should be no surprise .
We would be living in a dean world if we thought that Wales, was immune from the growing hysteria over Immigration from the UK media;
And the Ukip vote in Wales can't be dismissed  as that of English people voting for a Non-Welsh party . Just look at Ukips vote in the South wales Valleys?

However we must not get over worried.
The rise may well be that people are more aware that their views are in fact racist rather, than the "I'm not racist but... claim from those  who support Ukip and then come out with a statement which sounds pretty racist

Adding together the "very" (3%) and "a little" (27%) figures from this year's survey produces a total of 30% - up from last year (26%) but well below the year before (38%).

So the vast majority actual figures show the  majority admit to a little prejudiced, which whilst not being complacent  looks like the sort of number I would expect if people are being honest.
It seems that this survey may have hit the headlines because of the recent surge in Ukip vote. But it may not mean there was surge in racism.
Although the numbers are far to high, but quite frankly I would be more disturbed if it there was a claim that racial prejudiced was much lower in the UK and especially Wales and we "liberals" walked around  believing that everyone shares our views. and we lived in a racial tolerant society.
Ignoring the rise of racism or pretending its not a Welsh problem would be a mistake but assuming that the 27% who claimed to be a little prejudiced are automatically  lost to the far right woulds also be a mistake.
But with a media including the BBC blasting out  negative Immigration and Anti-Islamic stories our task will be very difficult.  

Wednesday 28 May 2014

STV may be more democratic but it needs electronic counting.

Those of us who support the Single Transferable Vote  may have to argue for the introduction of some form of electronic counting if we are not to have the marathon counts that have  occurred  in both Northern Ireland and the Republic.
In the North were unlike the rest of the UK (and I again ask what other state has a diffrent method within its boarders  The UUP's Jim Nicholson has joined Sinn Féin's Martina Anderson and the DUP's Diane Dodds, as the third Northern Ireland MEP to be elected.
Ms Anderson topped the poll and was elected on Monday.
In a marathon count lasting more than 24 hours, Mr Nicholson got in ahead of the SDLP's Alex Attwood, who was eliminated at the final stage.
Mrs Dodds was elected at the seventh stage. It means the same three parties have been elected as in 2009.
In the Republic one seat out of the eleven contested  remained to be declared . Though as in Island as a whole   Sinn Féin have emerged as a a major player winning 1 Euro seats in North and three in the Republic. .
But a Byelection  in the Republic shows a interesting insight into how the Alternative Vote would have worked.

2014 by-election: Dublin West[5][6]
PartyCandidate % 1st PrefCount 1Count 2Count 3Count 4Count 5Count 6
Socialist PartyRuth Coppinger20.65,9776,1126,7447,3428,80712,334
Fianna FáilDavid McGuinness17.55,0535,1565,6916,7898,1639,237
Sinn FéinPaul Donnelly20.96,0566,1206,2966,5167,028 
IndependentDavid Hall13.13,8034,1334,7835,846  
Fine GaelEamonn Coghlan12.83,7153,7884,693   
Green PartyRoderic O'Gorman6.41,8561,951    
Labour PartyLorraine Mulligan5.21,5051,540    
IndependentSeán Lyons2.2649     
IndependentJohn Kidd0.8228     
Fís NuaDaniel Boyne0.4113     
Electorate: 63,521   Valid: 28,955   Spoilt: 395 (1.4%)   Quota: 14,478   Turnout: 29,350 (46.2%

Sinn Féin candidate topped the poll but saw only  a few transfers  and Socialist Patry's Ruth Coppinger was the eventual winner.

So it seems that whilst  Sinn Féin  are undergoing a fair deal of popularity in the republic the majority of voters may not be prepared to give them their second preference.

But one thing is clear if we are to promote STV we also need tp promote a effective system of counting .

Even if we take into account that Northern Ireland  did not start the count till Monday it  tol 24 hours to fill just three seats.

It does not diminish my support for STV but makes my argument harder.

Tuesday 27 May 2014

BBC Ukip bias clear when you look at coverage of Scottish vote.

There are many who have been amazed over the last few weeks how the supposedly "Independent " BBC  seemed to have moved to being cheerleaders for Ukip

A fine example of this was the news that Ukip won the final seat in the "Scottish Region" which was treated with glee's  by the BBC including David Dimbleby and a curious analysis which suggested that this was a disaster r for the SNP

Scottish National Party389,50328.99 (-0.07)20
Conservative231,33017.22 (0.40)10
UK Independence Party140,53410.46(+5.23)1+1
Green108,3058.06 (0.78)00
Liberal Democrat95,3197.09 (-4.41)0-1
Britain First13,6391.02 (0.00)00
British National Party10,2160.76 (-1.70)00
NO2EU6,4180.48 (-0.40)00

Listening to John Curtice professor of politics at Strathclyde University and  a research consultant for ScotCen Social Research and First Minister Alec Salmond , it looks like  the former has abandoned an academic analysis and  gone for a subjective approach.

Given the UKIP dominance in England  and indeed their vote  in Wales how can 10.46% of the vote be seen as a triumph and game changer in Scotland?

But perhaps the real telling point was when Salmond pointed oit that the BBC has given four times the coverage of Ukip compared to tthe SNP in Scotland and  smug David Dimblebly 's  "all complaints  to BBC Glasgow".

Which Salmond neatly noted that Glasgow didn't have much say in the matter"

We need to ask. Why the BBC has gone out of its way to promote Ukip ?

Is it a Euro Sceptc element in the News/Current Affairs department  or is it simply a desire to make Politics more interesting by creating a story of a new party .breaking the politics mold?

This happened when Roy Jenkins ,David Owen and Shirley Williams formed 
trhe SDP in the 80's and who  where for a time the media darlings

But in Farage and Ukip the BBC may have helped create a Monster no one can control and they may well live to regret their part in it.

We will that's for certain.

There's a call l for an investigation into the BBC for promotion of a political party during a National Election. and you can sign here