Thursday, 31 July 2014

LibDems have saved the economy. Hurrah!

Recently at Subordinate Central LibDen AM made a valiant attempt   to claim credit for her party in the news that figures published last week show that the UK’s economy is now 0.2% ahead of the level it was before the 2008 financial crash.
When the Liberal Democrats helped form the Coalition Government, our number one objective was to get our economy back on track. Now, because of the Liberal Democrats, the UK economy is the fastest growing in the western world.
No-one can deny that the Coalition Government inherited a complete disaster of an economy. The Liberal Democrats recognised that tough decisions had to be made to fix our economy and to cut the UK’s mammoth deficit, but we also appreciate that this must be done in a fair way. That is why, for instance, we have ensured that over 150,000 of the lowest paid workers in Wales will no longer pay a single penny of Income Tax.
Our economy is on the right track, but of course that is no excuse for complacency. There is still a long way to go and the Liberal Democrats will continue to work to build an even stronger economy and ensure the UK’s dramatic growth continues.]
So that's it financial crisis over LibDems have saved us 

Except that the reality is somewhat different and we have yet to face the consequences of the savage ideological cuts imposed on us  by the Tory/LibDem coalition something Ms Parrot is unlikely to admit her Party's responsibility for.

Today's wasting Mule reports that 
  worsening financial climate for Wales’ as  councils will see services disappear across the country as local government continues its swingeing cuts, a former council leader has warned.It comes after Newport council said it will have to find £13m in cuts next year – some £8m more it had previously expected.
The authority’s deputy leader Ray Truman said the authority will have to stop providing some services that it has traditionally performed, but can no longer pay for.
Newport’s announcement comes in the wake of a letter from Local Government Minister Lesley Griffiths earlier this year, warning that councils should be ready for cuts of up to 4.5%.
Cardiff council has said it is working on the assumption it would have to save up to £45.4m during 2015-16, with calls from the authority for the Welsh Government to give the city greater recognition as Wales’ capital by letting it keep more of the business rates collected locally.
Local government consultant  (again I ask what is that) and former leader of Bridgend council Jeff Jones said:
 “It’s a disaster waiting to happen. I can’t see how they can continue to protect school budgets, who have to take a hit. Leisure you can forget about. It’s real dire stuff.“The Welsh Government is putting all their eggs into the National Health Service budget. I don’t think people really understand what the fallout will be in the long term, where people will look on in astonishment at services that are no longer there.”

Never-mind the cliche the true extent of how the Tory/Lib Dems cuts will ruin our societies will not be fully  seen until well after the election.

Which might see the LibDems in coalition with Labour  which may se them condeming policies they voted for since 2010.

Oh hanf on they already started with the Bedroom Tax.

Having a view that you can measure a Government success on such dubious economic measures is simplistic.

John Dixon at Borthlas   recently pointed out that in relation to the Welsh economy 

The Tories point to every failure in economic policy as being down to the Welsh government and claim the latest news as a success for UK policy; whilst Labour point to every failure as being the fault of the UK government, and claim the news as a success for their policies.
They can’t both be right of course – but that doesn’t mean that they can’t both be wrong. I don’t simply mean that the policy pursued by the UK government would have been much the same if Labour were in power (although it would have been) or even the same thing in reverse in Cardiff Bay (although it’s easier to conceive of a Labour UK government than of a Tory Welsh government). I mean rather that economic policies pursued by governments at both ends of the M4 might actually have had a negligible impact on the outcome. Governments like to pretend they’re in control when things are going well, and pretend that things are out of their hands when things are going badly. I suspect they’re right on the latter, but simply deliberately understate the applicability of that conclusion.

But of course as Eluned Parrot can do is claim credit for good news   and blame bad news on their predecessors or events.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The Son Also Rises.

Wales Online and the South Wales Echo report that RCT council’s controversial plans to give senior officers pay rises in order to make wider savings for the local authority have been deferred.
In a confidential report put before Rhondda Cynon Taf council last week, three of the authority’s most senior members of staff were recommended to receive a 15% pay increase – to coincide with the deletion of four chief officer posts which would save the council £250,000.
RCT Council says the pay rises were warranted because of the increase in responsibilities of the officers, brought about to cover the responsibilities of the deleted roles.
But, although it is claimed that would save the authority close to a quarter of a million pounds, the move to give increases to senior staff members amid RCT Council’s current financial crisis was lambasted, with RCT Welsh Liberal Democrat campaign manager Karen Roberts who seems to have the ear of the Echo reporter credited   with leading the criticism 
The matter was discussed at a press and public-exempt item at last Wednesday’s full council meeting, and it is understood many councillors raised their objections to the proposals.

An RCT Council spokesman said: 
“On Tuesday, July 22, the Council’s Appointments Committee supported the recommendations of the Chief Executive and Director of Human Resources, which proposed achieving savings of almost a quarter of a million pounds through the deletion of four Chief Officer posts by spreading these responsibilities across three existing officers.“The matter was then referred to Council for further consideration and ratification.“Following news that a further Group Director post will become vacant, the Leader of the Council moved deferment of the Appointments Committee’s recommendations to allow the opportunity for an expanded review of the Council’s senior management structures.
“The Council Leader confirmed he wished to seek more significant savings and reductions in Chief Officer numbers by spreading remaining responsibilities across other posts.”
Christian Hanagan who in 2004 stood for a Labour election councillor  and was appointed in 2008 without an Interview  is  currently the head of strategy and public relations is  the son of cabinet member for education and lifelong learning Eudine Hanagan, was one of the three senior officers in line for a pay rise.
The spectre of Labour's nepotism looms large once again

So as head of public relations it looks like Hanagan junior is responsible for putting the current cabinet  and his own mother in a good light.
Indeed his department is responsible for the copy of "Pravda on the Rates  also known as Oulooknews  pushed through my door this week
If Labour were to lose control of RCT what would the position be . Would this rag of a propaganda sheet be less loyal to the ruling group with a opposition councilors son and party supporter in charge of it?
Of course its not Christian Hanagan's fault he is his mother son and he may have been the best person for the job but as I said, having been appointed without a interview we have no way of knotting.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Bringing the Commonwealth Games to a closed Wales.

There's a certain irony in Swimmer Jazz Carlin wining Gold s in for Glasgow 2014 when she took gold in the 800m freestyle.

She is the first Welsh woman to win Commonwealth Games gold in the pool for 40 years.

This comes with the the future of leisure centres and swimming pools in RCT will be put on the line this week after cuts to Rhondda Cynon Taff’s leisure service have been reassessed.

On May 14, six of the seven Phase Two service change proposals were rubber-stamped by RCT Council – but a decision on the future of leisure services was deferred by then cabinet portfolio holder Councillor Robert Bevan.

And more than two months on, cabinet will meet on Thursday, July 31, to discuss a report on leisure service provision undertaken by the corporate management team. There are expected to be changes from the initial proposals.

Phase Two’s proposed £1.2m per year saving sought to rearrange the service around three core centres – Llantrisant Leisure Centre, Rhondda Sports Centre and Michael Sobell Sports Centre including Aberdare Swimming Pool.

It proposed reducing the opening hours of Abercynon Sports Centre, Tonyrefail Sports Centre, Hawthorn Leisure Centre and Rhondda Fach Sports Centre, whileBronwydd Pool in Porth and Llantwit Fardre Leisure Centre faced the axe.

Hawthorn Swimming Pool would close to the public and transfer to the local secondary school.

If this is replecated throughout Wales then it may be more than 40 years fr wales to win a swimming Gold

Yesterday First Minister Carwyn Jones admitted that there would be no guarantee Wales will bid to host a future Commonwealth Games, says First Minister Carwyn Jones.

On a visit to Glasgow, he said it would be great in principle to host the Games, but the costs are high, with the Glasgow Games costing about £500m.

He also said Cardiff might not be the only city to be considered as a host.

Mr Jones suggested it could be somewhere that needed to be regenerated, but was also accessible.
It would be nice to see what we can do to move to the next step
In 2012, the Welsh government said it was working with Cardiff council and others on a feasibility study looking at hosting the event in 2026.

In January, the council said no decision will be made until after the Glasgow Games and last week sports minister John Griffiths said it would be "entirely fitting" for Wales to host the Commonwealth Games - and a bid may be considered after reviewing Glasgow 2014.

For Wales to host the Commonwealth Games would not only require Wales to increase the infrastructure for a two week event . But to build a team that would do us proud as the host nation as Scotland currently shows .

We heard so much about the Olympic legacy but that looks bleak at least in Rhondda Cynon Taf.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Edwina Hart a symbol of a weak government.

You well know that I'm not a big fan of LibDem Blog Subordinate Central but I give a hat tip to them  for  carrying the BBC report the Welsh Government have taken the decision not to publish decision not to publish a document on the conclusions of a consultation on the planned M4 relief road".
Edwina Hart not strong but weak.
Ministers approved the paper last week before announcing they backed plans for the new road, south of Newport.
Cabinet agendas and papers normally appear on the Welsh government website six weeks after each cabinet meeting.
Liberal Democrats said the decision was "outrageous". Ministers have been asked to comment on the criticism.
The business case for the £1bn road - put forward by the engineering firm Arup who carried out the consultation - has been published.
Transport Minister Edwina Hart has already been heavily criticised for the way she took the decision to build the road.
She announced her decision in the Senedd last Wednesday, the day before the end of term, and a week before an assembly committee was due to publish a report on the subject.
The minister insisted she was "getting on with governing", and that her decision was correct.
Hart has form on this she   controversially ruled out a review of NHS spending in Wales on 12 November 2009, declining Liberal Democrat Kirsty Williams (La Pasionaria) request to review how £1 billion has been spent on NHS services, following evidence to the Welsh Assembly's Finance Committee that claimed £1 billion was 'wasted' in the Welsh NHS each year

She is often reluctant to justify her decisions to the media and in announcing the plans for the Relief Road just before the Assembly broke up for its long summer break also seems reluctant to address the Legislature that she is responsible to.

When she  was appointed Minister for Health and Social Services in 2007). I may not have been alone in thinking that we may have has a Minister who could make tough decisions.such was the impression Hart  gave.

But it is clear whilst she can make decisions she is not prepared to back them up or answer to her critics and that is sigh of weakness.

And its weakness not contempt  for her critics that Hart has .

She is a weak politician and because of it she makes the wrong decision and knows she can't justify it so refuses to do so with clarity.

In many ways she is the symbol of Welsh Labour  taking the easy option ,unable to listen to critics,and a almost  divine belief that they and they alone should run Wales.

It is the story of the Assembly so far. Second rate politicians from a party whose  hegemony over Wales has gone on to long .and whose letargy lack of ambition are a danger to the whole devolution process.

There are community councils inn Wales with more ambition.

We need to replace them sooner rather than later.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

The Aberaman North Byelection

The Aberaman North Byelection  on Rhondda, Cynon, Taff (Lab Defence) was held by Labour but with much reduce majority.


Sheryl Evans Labour 356 (39% -42%), 
Andrew Thoma Independent 276 (31%), 
Hylie Willaims Plaid Cymru 228 (25% +6%)
Mia Hosling  TUSC 23 (3%)
Lewis Israel  Conservatives 20 (2%)

Labour HOLD with a majority of 80 (8%) on a swing of 36.5% from Labour to Independent

Despite this it reflected a major drop in the Labour vote fro 2012

ANTHONY CHRISTOPHER Welsh Labour 900 Elected
LINDA DE VET Welsh Labour 781 Elected
WAYNE LLOYD Plaid Cymru 396  

There has  be speculation  that if there had been a straight fight  particularly between  the  Independent Andrew Thomas and Labour then the former would have won  . This was mooted on the Abedare Online Blog which Andrew is involved in.

The Link seems to be down at the moment so you might want to try the Twitter page and link there.

Few council seats are a straight fight these days. Indeed we have despite the paltry vote a Conservative candidate. in Aberaman North .

But if there is a situation where there are campaigners who may be have worked together and who come from different political (or none) and such a vacancy and opportunity arises en maybe the should consider some agreement.

One other thing this Blog has come despite the piss poor information on the RCT website  which should try and make things more accessible . 

It is shameful that Harry Hayfield at political betting anfd ALDC website are more informative than the council that run the election.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Coming to your village a toxic nuclear dump.

Wales has long suffered d from the scars of its industrial past from the Slag heaps of the South Wales coalfield and  the pollution from the pollution from the Phurnacite Abercwmboi plant to the mountains of slate in places like Blaneau Ffestiniog the legacy blights out landscape and will remain for years but maybe we had a Welsh Government plan to clear the landscapes

Now we have the possibility Communities could be handed £40m 'bribe' just to consider a nuclear waste dump seven times larger than the Albert Hall being built beneath them 

According to the Daily Mail....

Villages and towns could be paid more than £40million just to talk about allowing nuclear waste to be buried deep below their land.The no-strings offer was announced yesterday as Ministers search for a site to build a bunker for all the nuclear waste ever produced in England and Wales.Officials say the dump should be sited in a position where it is fully accepted by local people, but admit the best way to do so is to include a financial incentive.

LibDem Energy Secretary Ed Davey  once a vocal anti-nuclaer campaigner said the area that eventually hosts the bunker will benefit from significant investment and hundreds of new jobs will be created.

At what cost who is going to bring employment to are with a massive nuclear dump and even if it benefits one community   what about neighbouring towns and villages?  They will suffer from this .

How many mile away would you like to be living or working from a Nuclear Waste Dump?

We always have proponents of Nuclear Power  like those in favour of a new Wylfa plant pointing to the employment advantages.

But what about the long term negative affect of having a Nuclear Power station as people are put off  investing in a company next to such a station and the weighing the risks involved.

The thought that future generations will suffer for short term financial gains (however lucrative).

Once again this seems to apply only to England and Wales and it shows our legislative poverty compared with Scotland in that it seems the Welsh Assembly Government may have no say in this.

But with Plaid stand on Nuclear Power confusing to say the least just ask Mike at Syniadau.

But let's be honest the problem is the creation of Nuclear waste not the disposal . 

How can we ask others to take our own polluted waste .

hat would the reaction be on Ynys Mon if the people there were told that if they wanted  a new Wylfa  plant they should be prepared to accept the waste that goes with it.


Thursday, 24 July 2014

Ann Clwyd about to do a U-Turn?

The Wasting Mule reports that...
"Veteran Welsh Labour MP and health campaigner Ann Clwyd is considering retracting her decision to stand down at next year’s general election, we can reveal".
Ms Clwyd's possible U-Turn may be due to  the possibility that in  in the wake of a row between her constituency party and Labour’s national executive committee (NEC), which has decided her successor should be selected by means of an all-women shortlist.
Grassroots party members in Cynon Valley have overwhelmingly said they want to select who they regard as the best candidate, regardless of gender.
The Mule claim they  contacted Ms Clwyd after being tipped off that she may be reconsidering her position. She told them:

 “Yes, I have received many letters from people asking me to stand again and I am thinking about it. The NEC hasn’t moved to select a new candidate yet and I can’t see them doing so in August.
“The wards [local party branches in Cynon Valley] were consulted and members said they wanted to choose the best candidate. They said they’d select a woman if she was the best candidate but they don’t want an all-women shortlist.
“I’m considering the requests that I stand again but haven’t contacted the party centrally at this stage.”
 There are concerns that imposition may lead to  a rerun of Baneau Gwent 505  general election campaign where  Blaenau Gwent AM Peter Law won a sensational general election victory in 2005 after breaking with Labour and when he died a year later the seat was held in the ensuing by-election by his agent and former constituency party official Dai Davies.

Labour did win Blaneau Gwent back in 2010 and there does seemto be no leading Male dissident in the mold of Peter Law.

However Plaid have in the past had a fairly strong presence in the Cynon Valley and a win there with a divided Labour Party is not impossible.

General Election 2010: Cynon Valley[3][4]
LabourAnn Clwyd15,68152.5−10.5
Plaid CymruDafydd Davies6,06420.3+6.8
Liberal DemocratLee Thacker4,12013.8+1.6
ConservativeJuliette Ash3,01010.1+2.1
UKIPFrank Hughes1,0013.4+0.7
Labour holdSwing−8.6
Perhaps the most interesting piece in the Mule's article is that 
 An all-women shortlist was not used to select a new candidate in Pontypridd when Kim Howells stood down in 2010, for example, and the seat is now held by high-flying Shadow Welsh Secretary Owen Smith. Equally Stephen Kinnock, son of Neil and Glenys, the new candidate in Aberavon to succeed Hywel Francis at next year’s general election, was selected from an open shortlist.
Can it be that Labour only want all women shortlists if they don't have a favourite son place?

Ms Clwyd, who is 77, responded positively when we asked if she was in good health and energetic. Paul Flynn, who is two years older than Ms Clwyd, has confirmed he will be seeking re-election in the Newport seat he has held since 1987.

And age should be no barrier If sh up to the job then there's no reason why sh and Paul Flynn should not carry on.

Indeed Paul Flynn appears to be more  active than most Welsh Labour MPs.

Still one wonders if a U-Turn by Ms Clwyd rather than geting Labour out of a Hole  may give Labour a bigger headache .


Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Labour stooge on Leanne speaking to Scottish Left.

The ever faithful BBC have allowed space on their red button to give space to a Labour accusation  that Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood of making an error of judgement by speaking at a left-wing Scottish independence group's event.
The Radical Independence Campaign (RIC) opposes some key policies of Plaid's Cymru's sister party the SNP.
RIC backs abolition of the monarchy and economic and social policies to the left of the mainstream parties.
Which I believe is Ms Woods position
Plaid said the speech showed people from different political persuasions were supporting Scottish independence.
The SNP's vision of independence includes keeping the Queen, the pound and EU membership.
Labour has questioned why Ms Wood chose to make a speech on Tuesday evening, outlining her view that an independent Scotland could act as a "beacon of social justice", at a RIC function.
Labour AM Ann Jones  (Who She?) said: 
"The Radical Independence Campaign are vehemently opposed to Plaid Cymru's sister party, the SNP - accusing them of following Thatcherite economic policy and undermining their arguments on the economy, currency and North Sea oil.
"Leanne Wood needs to make clear whether she agrees with RIC's criticisms of the SNP and is making a principled stand, or whether this was a huge political gaffe.
"Not least we need to understand what the new Plaid position on the currency union is - do they want separate currencies for Scotland, and Wales?"
 But Plaid Cymru said the Yes campaign in Scotland was a grassroots movement not tied to any single political party.

A party spokeswoman said: 
"It's great to see people from several different political persuasions working together towards a common goal of building a better future for Scotland.
"Leanne will be using her speech in Glasgow tonight to highlight how through becoming an independent nation, Scotland could be a beacon of social justice, showing that there is an alternative to the austerity agenda."
Maybe Ann Jpnes (again who is she) can explain how Labour are cap in glove with the Tories in the Unionist Better Together campaign including Labour MPs at Westminster during Prime Minister Question Time acting as a stooge for David Cameron feeding him lines.

What is interesting is that  there are elements of the Radical Left in Scotland who are prepared to support the YES campaign maybe because they can see a better future for Scots not being run from Westminster by the Tories or Blue Labour.

How different from Wales where we stil have elements of the I'm not a Nationalist but an Internationalist crap from those who prefer to be run by the Toriesa and Blue Labour than support Independence here.  

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

BBC Wales or BBC West Britain?

Wales Online report that "More people are watching BBC Wales television programmes despite fewer of them being made, the broadcaster’s annual report has revealed".
But it shows that in recent years there has been a decline in the annual programme hours made by BBC Wales.
In 2013-14 there were 603 hours of programmes, against 614 the previous year and 698 in 2011-12. In 2007 there were 766 hours of English language programmes made.
Yet in terms of audience reach, the numbers have been rising. In 2011-12, an average of 940,000 people per week watched programmes on BBC Wales, rising to 945,000 in 2012-13 and 970,000 in 2013-14.

BBC Wales director Rhodri Talfan Davies said the increase in viewers had been achieved by more people watching popular series like Hinterland and Indian Doctor.
Writing in this year’s Annual Review – which covers the period 2013/14 – Mr Talfan Davies says the speed of change in Wales poses the biggest creative challenge of all.
He said: 
“Our job must be to reflect and explore contemporary Wales as it really is today – not how it might once have been, or how we might want it to be. And over the last year, I believe BBC Wales has made major strides in capturing the new realities.
Hinterland, The Country Midwives and The Hill Farm have all reflected an authentic bilingual Wales that has too often in the past been missing from our screens.
 “Our special season looking at health and obesity in Wales – Live Longer Wales – attracted more than 1.1m viewers. And The Call Centre on BBC Three provided an entertaining but important insight into young lives and concerns in contemporary Wales.”

So far so good  but them wales Online thren goes on to say 
the review also captures a record-breaking year for BBC Wales including the highest audiences in a decade for BBC Wales programming on BBC One Wales and BBC Two Wales – with almost 1m viewers tuning in each week; a 30% growth in online usage, driven by mobile and tablet devices, with almost 3.7m unique browsers now accessing BBC Wales’ interactive services each week; the global success of the Doctor Who anniversary and the return of Sherlock, which attracted the biggest audience for a BBC drama in over a decade; and a 13% increase in weekly audiences for Radio Cymru – and Radio Wales continuing to attract almost 500,000 listeners each week.

Once again we get an emphasis on Dr Who and Sherlock which are programmes "Made In Wales" but have no Welsh impart.

True when  Russell T Davies brought Dr Who back there were a number of episodes based in Cardiff and the spin of Torchwood  storyline  was based  a the capital.

But whilst Dr Who, Sherlock and other programmes  are made in Wales they are not "Welsh Programmes"

They do benefit Welsh television by employment and presumably result in yougn Welsh Talent being used in thier making.

But then one of the benefits that S4C brought to Wales was that it provided a source  for welsh Talent off screen as well as on.  maybe mote so

Something the BBC is benefiting from now. Maybe its timethe BBC in Cardif acknowledge this and part of th suces of Dr Who is due to those nutured by S4C,

Lets be honest in the pitifull of the list of successful programmes   which are Welsh in contest given by BBC Wales only Hinterland can be seen as a quality programme and even that was not given a prime time slot on the UK network.

It seems that we will continue to see BBC Wales expand in programme making but producing paradoxically  making less about the country they are based in.

Is it not time we had a good hard lok in broadcasting in Wales and how we can improve English language output that is about us and our lives.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Scotland, The EU and Donald Rumsfeld.

One of the important issues of the Independence Referendum in Scotland is whether after a YES vote Scotland will have to apply for readmission into the European Union .

No questions have been asked about the position of the rump ofd the UK that will remain although its criteria will have drastically changed especially with the loss of oil revenue.

Of course the NO side aided by the media have seized on every negative bit of news to come out of Europe to suggest that common sense will not prevail and Scotland will not automatically carry (but as a full member) of the EU.

Only last week the Torygraph was  claiming that it was hammer blow to Alex Salmond and the YES campaign.
Alex Salmond’s claims an independent Scotland would start life in the EU have appeared to suffer a major blow after the European Commission’s new president said no new states would be admitted for the next five years.
Speaking shortly before he was formally appointed to the powerful role, Jean-Claude Juncker said the EU would “mark a pause” in its enlargement and “consolidate” with 28 member states.
The intervention has potentially major ramifications for the independence debate as Mr Salmond has argued Scotland’s membership would be negotiated in the 18 months between a Yes vote in September and leaving the UK in March 2016.
But Mr Juncker’s statement suggests Scotland would be outside the EU for at least three-and-a-half years after its independence day.
Although admitting a separate Scotland would not involve a geographical expansion of the EU’s boundaries, it would mean increasing the number of member states above Mr Juncker’s cap of 28.
Pro-UK campaigners seized on the president's remarks, claiming they made it clear that a Yes vote the referendum would also be a vote to leave the EU.
But the BBC has reported that Mr Juncker's spokeswoman said he was not referring to Scotland in his comments.
Deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon said the No camp had "willfully twisted" Mr Juncker's words and demanded an apology.
She said:
 “This blatant act of dishonesty is a major blow to the credibility of the No campaign.
"In their desperation to talk Scotland down and spread fears and smears, the No camp have wilfully twisted what Mr Juncker said. They said that Mr Juncker was talking about Scotland and his spokeswoman has confirmed that he was not. Their claims now lie in tatters.
"The No campaign are guilty of distorting remarks by the newly-elected president of the European Commission, which is an extremely serious matter. They must withdraw their bogus assertions as a matter of urgency and issue a public apology."
There will be  no surprise the when Scotland on Sunday reports that 

New European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker is “sympathetic” to an independent Scotland joining the EU due to his experience as a politician from a small member state, it emerged last night.
The revelation came after No campaign leaders claimed remarks by Juncker that the 28-member-EU needed “a break from enlargement” showed that Scotland would be kept out in the event of a Yes vote.
However, Scotland on Sunday has learned that the hierarchy in Brussels would be unlikely to exclude an independent Scotland from the EU as it is already signed-up to “core EU requirements” for candidate member states on gender equality and workers’ rights.
An independent Scotland’s potential membership would be treated as a “special and separate case” to nations wanting to join from regions such as the Balkans that have yet to satisfy all the rules, a senior EU source stated.

Compered to "The Hammer Blow" of a week ago the silence from the British Media has been deafening,

 Indeed the BBC simply state that 

The European Commission has declined to comment on reports its president would be "sympathetic" to an independent Scotland's membership of the EU. and tried to downplay the issue by concentrating on that Scotland on Sunday quoted an unnamed EU official as saying Jean-Claude Juncker would not want Scotland to be kept out.
What seems to be the case is that as far as the European Union is concerned   they seem to be taken    the former  US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Defence Department briefing, at heart 

"We know there are known knowns: there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns: that is to say we know there are things we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don't know we don't know." 
Only the EU could make this  look like a policy on Scottish Independence .

Bit in reality it just a case of Common Sense . Scotland will not become an Independent Nation overnight and it will take at least a year and  there's no reason the position can be resolved by the EU in that period.

Scotland on voting YES will become a member of the EU on the day it becomes a member of the UN .

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Drip vote shows the need for a "Progressive Alliance" at Westminster.

This week’s use of fear tactics to force through the DRIP snooping laws has led to question on who stands up for democracy and civil liberates

This was  important legislation, affecting all of our lives, being shoved through using an Orwellian nightmare masquerading as a state ‘emergency’. 

As Mike Harris in the Independent put it

The official line from the three party leaders is the emergency legislation to be pushed through by the Executive with the collaboration of Her Majesty's Opposition next week, is merely the continuation of the “status quo” on surveillance. No new measures, they say, and some new safeguards too. What we are being led to believe is that a brave Nick Clegg faced down calls for a new Communications Data Bill (the Snooper's Charter) and this legislation is merely a tidying up exercise.

It's a nonsense. Our hard-fought-for liberties are being eroded by a cozy consensus not within the political parties, but by Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and David Cameron alone, who, fearing public opinion, are bending over backwards to accommodate the wishes of a clique in the Home Office. Make no mistake, the legislation that will be railroaded through parliament next week is a “diet” Communications Data Billwhich grants the government more power than before to request data from across the globe. None of the safeguards, with the exception of the sunset clause, are actually in the Bill. We have to take the word of the party leaders these safeguards will actually be implemented. It's not even clear if the sunset clause (ending the legislation on 31 December 2016) is worth a jot. It's possible what is called a statutory instrument, a mini amendment, could delete the clause and extend the legislation forever without even a full vote by our parliamentarians.
It is frighting that the three main party leaders can agree to push through such legislation without any form of scrutiny.

Of course their argument is always 

If You Have Nothing to Hide, You Have Nothing to Fear
Well you always have something to fear , especially from people who use the above to back up up their attack on individual liberties.

The 51 MPs who voted against this from Another Angry Voice

Diane Abbott (Labour)Steve Baker (Tory
Clive Betts (Labour)
Brian Binley (Tory
Peter Bone (Tory
NicK Brown (Labour
Jeremy Corbyn (Labour)
Jim Cunningham (Labour)
Philip Davies  (Tory
David Davis (Tory
Nick de Bois (Tory

Nadine Dorries (Tory
Mark Durkan (SDLP)
Jonathan Edwards (Plaid)
Robert Flello (Labour)
Hywel Francis (Labour)
Roger Godsiff (Labour)
Duncan Hames (Lib-Dem)
Dai Havard (Labour)
David Heath (Lib-Dem)
John Hemming (Lib-Dem)
Kate Hoey (Labour
Philip Hollobone (Tory
Kelvin Hopkins (Labour)
Stewart Hosie (SNP)
Ian Lavery (Labour)
Mark Lazarowicz (Labour)
Elfyn Llwyd (Plaid
Naomi Long (Alliance)
Caroline Lucas (Green
Angus MacNeil (SNP)
Alisdair McDonnell (SDLP)
John McDonnell  (Labour
Michael Meacher (Labour)
Nigel Mills (Tory
Grahame Morris (Labour)
George Mudie (Labour)
Linda Riordan (Labour)
Margaret Ritchie (SDLP)
Angus Robertson (SNP)
Adrian Sanders  (Lib-Dem
Dennis Skinner  (Labour
Andrew Smith (Labour)
Andrew Turner (Tory
Tom Watson (Labour)
Mike Weir (SNP)
Eilidh Whiteford (SNP)  
Hywel Williams (Plaid)
Sammy Wilson (DUP)
David Winnick (Labour)
Pete Wishart (SNP)

Paul Flynn seems absent from this list so did he vote Yes?
If we break down this vote by party we can see which the true opposition parties are, and which are the parties of the establishment with just a tiny minority of non-conformist MPs.
The representatives of five parties voted unanimously against these measures. All six SNP MPs voted against, along with all three Plaid Cymru MPs, all three from the SDLP, and the only Alliance MP voted against, as did Caroline Lucas of the Green party, making them the only party which stands representatives in English constituencies to vote against this bill.

Does this not point out that with thew Prospect of a  Hang parliament the Greens ,SNP (if Scotland votes NO) Plaid and the SDLP should seriously consider forming a formal Progressive Alliance.

With over 15 MPs they could  speak together on such Legislation pushing forward a message for those who are being let down by the three major parties.

It is clear that now the LibDems have abandoned all Progressive Ideas in return for siting on the Government front bench  and Ed Miliband clearly in his pursuit of "Middle England" .

This week has shown that after the next General election the Parties who still have a backbone and are prepared to stand up for Human Rights and Civil liberties  will have to get together  to give a voice to those of us who stil value them