Sunday 31 August 2014

Paul (Give Ireland back to the Irish) McCartney backs Union.

The London  Media  has rather predictably responded with glee that "Sir" (Tells it all really " Paul McCartney has become the latest celebrity to call for Scotland to stay part of the UK ahead of the independence referendum.

The former Beatle who wrote Mull Of Kintyre in tribute to the remote part of Scotland where he owns a farm  (so I guess he has a vote)– has signed an open letter calling on voters to choose No in next month's referendum.
He made the  the declaration as the Let's Stay Together campaign sought support in Liverpool.

The wisdom of a Unionist campaign  holding such an event in Liverpool a city which still has a residue of its sectarian past must be questioned 

Indeed it is the city of   T . P. O'Connor elected as an Irish Nation list  for  Liverpool Scotland constituencies, in 1885 which had a large Irish population; l, and represented that constituency in the House of Commons from 1885 until his death in 1929. This was the only constituency outside the island of Ireland ever to return an Irish Nationalist Party MP. Remarkably, O'Connor continued to be re-elected in Liverpool under this label unopposed in the 1918, 1922, 1923, 1924 and 1929 general elections.
The campaign said about 50,000 people, including celebrities like Sir Paul and Sir Mick Jagger, have put their names to an open letter to voters.
A spokesman for Yes Scotland said the case for "Yes" was a democratic one.
Sir Paul added his name to an open letter to voters which says: "The decision on whether to leave our shared country is, of course, absolutely yours alone.
"Nevertheless, that decision will have a huge effect on all of us in the rest of the United Kingdom.
"We want to let you know how very much we value our bonds of citizenship with you, and to express our hope that you will vote to renew them.
"What unites us is much greater than what divides us. Let's stay together."
He was not always such an establishment figure of course 
Give Ireland Back to the Irish" is a song written by Paul and Linda McCartney in response to the events of Bloody Sunday in Northern Ireland on 30 January 1972 Recorded on 1 February 1972 .

It was not a particularly brilliant song 

Give Ireland back to the Irish
Don't make them have to take it away
Give Ireland back to the Irish
Make Ireland Irish today

Great Britain, you are tremendous
And nobody knows like me
But really, what are we doing?
In the land across the sea

Tell me, how would you like it?
If on your way to work
You were stopped by Irish soldiers
Would you lie down, do nothing?

Would you give in?
Go berserk
Give Ireland back

Great Britain and all the people
Said that people must be free
And meanwhile, back in Ireland
There's a man who looks like me

And he dreams of God and country
And he's feeling really down
And he's sitting in a prison

Should he lie down, do nothing?
Should he behave like a man?
Give Ireland back

Read more: Paul McCartney - Give Ireland Back To The Irish Lyrics | MetroLyrics 

 it was released as Wings' debut single on 25 February 1972 

The Media were not so enthusiastic about Paul then it  was completely banned from media exposure in the United Kingdom, being banned by the BBC, Radio Luxembourg and the Independent Television Authority.

TV historian Dan Snow, one of the campaign co-ordinators for Let's Stay Together, said:
 "Sir Paul is one of Britain and the world's most respected musicians. We are humbled that he has signed the letter.
"Sir Paul's signature, alongside Sir Mick Jagger's and those of tens of thousands of people from all over the country, shows that English, Welsh and Northern Irish people hope passionately that the Scottish vote to renew their bonds of citizenship with us.
"The decision is for the Scottish voters alone. Let's Stay Together simply want them to know that we hope that they will stay part of our shared country.
The campaign in fact has only managed to raise  50,000 people, including celebrities like Sir Paul and "Sir" Yes (Tells it all again)" Mick Jagger, have put their names to an open letter to for a much hyped media campaign 

Saturday 30 August 2014

Jim Murphy over eggs it.

Poor Labour MP Jim Murphy has suspended his much vaunted sparsely-attended tour of 100 Scottish street corners a pro-union speaking tour of Scotland for 72 hours because of "escalating intimidation" the Better Together campaign claims comes from Yes Scotland groups.
"What is happening is that the yes campaign is now organising to create a mob atmosphere at our street meetings. It's co-ordinated, it's determined and it's increasingly aggressive," Murphy said."What started as individual passionate nationalists having their say has changed into angry mobs of nation
One of the most active senior pro-union campaigners, Labour's former Scottish secretary and MP for East Renfrewshire has swapped the traditional soap box for a stack of Irn Bru crates which he has been setting up in high streets and town squares across the country. Initially the response to his appearances was curious and good-humoured.
But Murphy said that something fundamental had changed since the first television debate on the referendum. At a press conference on Friday, Murphy screened YouTube footage of ugly scenes at recent meetings in Wishaw, Dundee and Motherwell. The films show him being called a "quisling", "traitor", "war criminal" and an apologist for apartheid by independence supporters. Murphy was pelted with eggs on Thursday at an event in Kirkcaldy town centre.
"This isn't about half a dozen eggs," Murphy insisted. "That's part of the sometimes messy pantomine of politics

Whilst deploring such behaviour Mr Murphy appears to be over egging  his case .

Indeed  Mr Murphy's biggest problem seems that he has only been attracting space crowd of YES supporters 

Mr Murphy indeed seems to be relishing conflict but the rant he embarks on when asked a question by a lady in the crowd about Gordon Brown’s "disgraceful lies over organ transplants" was hardly the response of s Statesman 

And whilst it is ridiculous to suggest that the egg throwing was a Unionist set up. It increasingly looks like  Mr Murphy has set himself  as bait, in order that  Better Together  reeling after Alistair Darlings drubbing in the last TV debate  and gleefully revise the whole Cybernats  controversy.

Indeed it looks like  The Daily Mal have been priming themselves for this with

This includes an attack on Wings Over Scotland Blogger Stuart Campbell who has made a major contribution to the debate but can hardly be accused of crossing the line.

What we have here is singling out  Trolls who use the Net to abuse people and calling some of them "Cybernats" whilst ignoring equally abusive behaviour on the other side.

But it seems from here that Murphy

Either deliberately set out o encourage such a reaction from the "Nats"
Was shocked to find the lack of support on the ground from the Unionist NO side
or was severely shocked with the reaction to his Irn Bru box oratory  and feared for his safety.

Maybe he will claim that  the news that  Controversial Respect MP George Galloway has been taken to hospital for treatment to a suspected broken jaw after he was attacked in the street justifies his decision to call suspend his street corner tour?

Mr Galloway, who has also suffered a suspected broken rib and severe bruising to his face and head, was posing for pictures with people in Golborne Road, Notting Hill, west London, when a man shouted a comment about the Holocaust and attacked him, according to the spokesman.

Indeed  maybe there should be a prize for the first "Better Together"  spokesman to connect the two?

Update  thanks to  Y Cneifiwr I have ben directed  written account of one of Jim Murphy's soapbox sessions by Ray MacRobbie on his blog Still Raining, Still Dreaming. which may help you with deciding on Murphy actions.

Friday 29 August 2014

Swansea Labour politbureau remove leader.

It seems that Civil war i\is breaking out over Labour led council with the news  that Swansea council leader David Phillips has resigned from his post.seem
Mr Phillips said the decision was to focus on building Swansea's regional and national profile although details of his new role are not yet known.
It comes a week after he was told to expect a leadership challenge after sacking two cabinet members in a reshuffle but he would not comment on whether his departure was linked.
Though few would be surprised if he hadn't jumped before he was  pushed 
Mr Phillips led the council's Labour group for 10 years.but The Labour group has been in power at the authority for the last two years.
The selection process to find a new leader begins on Monday.
He said from the back benches he will continue to give his
 "complete support to the new cabinet and the group as we work to continue to deliver on our manifesto commitments for the good of the people of Swansea and the wider region".
Labour group chairman Robert Francis Davies said: "David Phillips has made an enormous contribution to Swansea and to Labour and will continue to do so in the future. We want to keep his talents working for our city."

IN February Cardiff Council leader Heather Joyce steps down

Cllr Joyce, who will continue to represent the city's the Llanrumney ward, cited a desire to spend more time to her family and her unwell husband.
Though Daily Wales took this with a pinch of salt
Politically, it was always clear she was a caretaker Leader who could not command her group. Heather was very badly treated by her own colleagues and constantly undermined. Last year’s challenge to her was bitter and the city suffered. The intrigue and personal agendas are ruining the biggest employer in Wales. It’s time for Labour to be honest and appoint the man who has called the shots for a long time, Russell Goodway. Everything will be out in the open then.”
So Daily Wales was as shocked as the rest of us when  Complete unknown Phil Bale was elected leader only elected in 2012 
According to that Blog.

His presence online is very minimal but it looks as though his political career really started in 2010, when he unsuccessfully stood as an independent candidate in a local election in Peckham, London.When explaining his decision to stand Cllr Bale declared “I decided to stand after one of Peckham’s Labour Councillors was de-selected for her poor attendance and voting record – only to be selected as a candidate by the Liberal Democrats! If residents want to make Peckham an even better place to live we need dedicated local councillors to do it.  It is time for a candidate who would stand up for Peckham and champion all the good work that goes on here!”We know that Cllr Bale was born in Cardiff but just four years ago he was a dedicated local resident of Peckham who was standing against Labour. Now he’s about to be the Leader of the capital of Wales as a Labour Councillor. Quite a turnaround.
So will Swansea new leader  be a fresh face? One of the motley crew who have only been living in our second city for a short time.

With Cardiff seeing a number of rhe 2012 Siobhan Corria  resigned her  Llandaf North seat and it  it will mean a costly by-election will have to be held in her ward – the fourth in the city in a year, after Labour councillors resigned in Splott, Riverside and Canton

It is probably a sign of Labour continuing hegemony in wales that they have so far held every seat but maybe they luck is about to run out. 

After Aai in 2012 people voted Labour in Town Halls all over Wales o the back of the toxin Co/Lib Dem coalition in Westminster . But even so the electorate expected them to run the council not carry out Soviet style coups within their ranks.

At least David Philips will not face a show trial ( probably) and be erased from Swansea Council History but then you never know with Calamity Hall.

Thursday 28 August 2014

The woman who won Scottish Independence?

The Better Together campaign seem to have shot themselves in the foot with their advert seemingly aimed at persuading undecided female voters to reject Scottish independence

It  has drawn derision  from across the political spectrum, with critics describing it as "sexist" and "patronising" and some even saying it has convinced them to vote yes.

The advert, broadcast by the pro-union Better Together campaign, was first launched on Tuesday. Called The Woman Who Made Up Her Mind, the short film depicts a working mother talking in her kitchen about the referendum. She says that her husband, Paul, "will not leave off about it", while there are "only so many hours in the day" to make a decision. She refers to Alex Salmond as "that guy off the telly", whose promises about currency and oil wealth seem to her to be "too good to be true", before concluding that she will vote no to independence on 18 September.
View image on Twitter

Launching the video , Better Together campaign director Blair McDougall said: 

"The key factor for people isn't the love of our country - as both Yes and No voters love Scotland. The key factor is the love of our families."
He added: "
The words spoken in the film are taken verbatim from conversations on doorsteps with undecided women voters and from the opinion of women in dozens of focus groups around the country.
"With so many unanswered questions, more and more of us are coming to the decision that it is just too big a risk to take with our kids' future."
It seems that it hasn't worked

Sandra Grieve, former convener of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, told the Guardian that the advert had finally convinced her to vote yes.
"It was the straw that broke the camel's back. I was a very clear no," said Grieve, who was a member of the Scottish Constitutional Convention which developed the framework for devolution, "but I've been increasingly uncomfortable with what I experience as a condescending smugness from Better Together."
The Blog BELLACALEDONIA sums it up wonderfully.

  • a slightly knackered looking, busy working mother and wife who has spent the last year or so avoiding any form of political discussion with your husband / friend / relation / colleague / doctor / librarian / bus driver / neighbour / inner self (by living in a hole maybe?).
  • a woman so aware of the importance of voting the right way that it has rendered her incapable of looking for any information about it – on the internet, in newspapers, pamphlets and leaflets. Hell, she’s certainly not going to listen to her partner’s view – and definitely not first thing in the morning. That would just be disgusting behaviour.
  • a woman in her forties who has spent much (if not all) her adult life living in Scotland yet still unable to work out Alex Salmond’s name.
  • a woman who is so mired in confusion about ‘uncertainty’ and ‘unanswered questions’ that she will decide over a quick cup of coffee (I don’t even think there was coffee in that cup) 3 minutes before going to work that everything she has sort-of and sort-of not picked up must be too good to be true and therefore rendered irrelevant.
  • a woman who thinks that the idea of a country governing itself is such a bonkers idea it can’t possibly have been thought out properly (I mean, what other country governs itself? That’s just mad, that is)
  • a woman who loves her children – and her children’s children’s children’s next door neighbour’s children – so much that she is not about to risk anything at all to even think about a different and / or better future for them. And she certainly wouldn’t bother herself to look for any facts about it. No way. That’s a gamble in itself. Putting on the internet might make her head explode or something. What would I know? I’m just a woman, too you know!
It would be highly ironic that  if there's a YES vote the actress employed  in this advert may go down in History as the woman who won Scottish Independence,

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Wales needs its own legal system if it is to make laws.

The Wasting Mule reports that the Welsh Government had to amend a law to remove the terms “half-blood” and “illegitimate” when referring to families in a law regulating mobile home sites – after they put them in themselves.

Curiously the Mule claims that  
The blunder emerged after the Presiding Officer Dame Rosemary Butler criticised “unfortunate terminology” used in the Mobile Homes (Wales) Act, which was passed last year, which saw the offensive terms inserted when defining family members covered by the law.
But later write that 
 The government only deleted the terms when Plaid Cymru AM Jocelyn Davies raised “grave concerns” about their use in a modern law, which Mr Black acknowledged during a scrutiny hearing was “not really acceptable in this day and age”
So who gets the credit.

The section itself read

 “Any relationship by marriage or civil partnership as a relationship by blood, any relationship of the half blood as a relationship of the whole blood and the stepchild of any person as the person’s child”, while it added in a separate clause: “an illegitimate person as the legitimate child of the person’s mother and reputed father”.

And that's the problem  unless you have legal training how can you understand the language used .

The law was a Private Member’s Bill brought forward by Liberal Democrat Assembly Member Peter Black, but was essentially brought under the resources of the Welsh Government from the second stage of its passage, which it introduced a raft of amend

Despite this Blogs reputation as a "Peter Black Basher". I can't really blame Peter here like most AM he  come up with a idea which even if all the Assembly Members agree relies on other to word it in the legalise needed to ensure there no constant drift to the courts to ward of challenges.

Mr Black said it used the Caravan Sites Act of 1968 as a template, importing the outdated terms in definitions. The Welsh Government said it regretted the error.

Dame Rosemary cited it as an example of “poor practice” and “points of concern” in a submission to an Assembly inquiry into how laws are being drafted.
She also argued that there was a “reliance” on UK legislation as a model for Wales, adding: 
“For example, the Agricultural Sector (Wales) Bill was very closely based on a 60-year-old Act and imported weaknesses from that legislation including problematic definitions”, while she complained too much time in the chamber was taken up correcting translation and drafting errors that could be solved in the drafting process.
So this is not really a failure of the Assembly  but a failure of Wales not having its own legal system having to rely on archaic Westminster legislation.

If out Assembly are to make laws then we need a separate legal system able to interperate   laws with a specific Welsh twist.

But maybe we also use this to create a fresh approach to the use of legal language. Making it clearer .

Whilst I was working for HMCE in London I was delighted to see that they had a copy of Robyn Lewis "Welsh Legal Terms". J D Lewis & Sons Ltd; 1st edition (12 Jun 1972)

Clearly we need a root and branch approach approach to Welsh Laws if we are going to have a modern legislature in Cardiff Bay if we are not face similar problems as wee start making welsh Laws for Welsh People.

Tuesday 26 August 2014

Carwyn Jones Y dyn pwysig

About the same time Carwyn Jones government  was being indecisive and dithering” in decision-making. he was giving  the people of Scotland the benefit of his wise leadership

Writing in the Daily Record  he tried to appear to be as a major player in British Politics

He wrote.
For me politics has always been a choice – whether you believe in solidarity and community or whether you think we are all just individuals trying to do the best for ourselves alone.I firmly believe in people working together. I believe there is such a thing as society and we all have a duty to make it fairer and that society has a responsibility to make individuals lives better.That doesn’t compete with my sense of identity as a Welshman. Indeed it is a sense of community which marks out my nation and it is an instinct we share with most Scots.But the difference I have with nationalists is that I do not believe that community has to stop at a border.It is why I believe in the United Kingdom.When we look at the difficulties that the European Union has as it tries to build a single currency and the single political and economic structures which are needed to make it work, it is remarkable to think that we on these islands started building our political, economic and social union more than five hundred years ago.What we have built together is truly unique – the most successful partnership of nations in the world.Despite the huge differences in size Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland have built a country where national identities, far from being suppressed, have thrived.We pool and share resources - although I would argue Wales should get a better deal than we do now.We have built great institutions which are greater than the sum of their parts.The National Health Service, the social security system and the BBC are all unique.
And as the UK we have built one of the most stable currencies in the world in sterling.

"We on these islands started building our political, economic and social union more than five hundred years ago".

So I presume Carwyn is writing about the Act of Union 1535–1542 which was intended to end the whole concept of a Welsh Nation 

Most would argue that .

 "While the Welsh gentry embraced the Acts and quickly attempted to merge themselves into English aristocracy, the majority of the population could have found themselves adrift amid a legal and economic system whose language and focus were unfamiliar to them."

The Social Economic Union Carwyn praise effectively banned the Welsh Language for nearly all of these 500 hundred years.

It was a Union that no Welsh people had a say in .

We did not have any choice in the matter . We were are conquered Nation absorbed into another.

So maybe Carwyn was refering ti the 1707 Act of Union whre Scotland 's Parliament  agreed to merge with that of England ( There was no mention of Wales because it had legally ceased to exist).

Even  then t bribery was also said to be a factor.[22] £20,000 (£240,000 Scots) was dispatched to Scotland for distribution by the Earl of Glasgow. James Douglas, 2nd Duke of Queensberry, the Queen's Commissioner in Parliament, received £12,325, more than 60% of the funding. (Some contend that all of this money was properly accounted for as compensation for loss of office, pensions and so forth not outwith the usual run of government.  Robert Burns referred to this:
We're bought and sold for English Gold,Such a Parcel of Rogues in a Nation.

The survival of a Welsh Identity despite the Union and the pondering of a the First Minister happy to little real power and to avoid using those anyway

Carwyn the n tries to convince Scitish readers that he has some power in the UK  when in reality in Westminster eyes he has about as much say as the leader of English Parish Councilil 

As Daily Wales  point out  he then enters  On the subject of the Scots continuing to use the pound, he wrote these fraternal words:
“I would firmly say no to such an arrangement. And bear in mind as the First Minister of a nation in the UK, I would want to have more say on the matter than the First Minister of an independent Scotland

No you wouldn't mate.

One Question Carwyn may answer is why a Welsh Labour Poltician is happy that since 1922 when we Labour gained the largest Number of Welsh seats we have been under the thumb of a Tory government for most of the time.

Why are you happy to be governed by David Cameron rather than lead your owb people is it because you don't want to or can't.

In one of his earlier songs Dafydd wrote about "Y dyn pwysig i bobl bach" an Important man to little people. Sums up Carwyn precisely,      

Monday 25 August 2014

Carwyn what shall we do?; I know, set up a consultation.

Its going to be hard to disagree with  the leader of the Conservative leader in the Assembly  Andrew RT Davies  the Welsh Government has been  “dithering” and of  being paralysed due to nearly 400 consultations that have been launched since the last election.
The Wasting Mule reports that "The Welsh Conservative leader" (is this official?) s said a written answer from First Minister Carwyn Jones – which revealed the government had launched 394 consultations across all departments since May 2011 – was “symptomatic of indecision and dithering” in decision-making.
The answer revealed the environment department was had launched the most, 109, with health and social care also consulting 71 times and the education department 62 times.
But the government said it was an important part of open government
Mr Davies, said
: “It is important that politicians of all parties consult with the public and experts in business and the third sector.“However, Carwyn Jones’ Labour government has issued 400 consultations in just three years, which is symptomatic of indecision and dithering in the face of Wales’ problems.“It is right that people should be consulted about decisions which may affect them, but seemingly endless pen-pushing exercises should not be excuses for government inaction.“It is astonishing that the Labour Party has been in power for 15 years and is still spending so much time setting up talking shops instead of taking decisive action to address the problems in Welsh public services.“Considering the 400 consultations undertaken since 2011, it is a sad irony that so few actually take on board the views of the public as we’ve seen with Labour’s controversial centralisation agenda in the NHS and the downgrades to hospital departments.“Carwyn Jones’ stagnating Labour government must end its dithering and sham consultations and start acting like a government by taking tough decisions to get the Welsh economy and public services back on their feet.”

 A Welsh Government spokeswoman said: ( Why can't the Mule ever find a named minister?)
 “Consultations are an important part of the decision making process of an open government.
“We make no apologies for giving people the opportunity to have their say on issues that affect them. This has nothing to do with ‘dithering’ and everything to do with open and transparent government.”
Even those of us who may have a natural tendency to   hostility to the Tories may look at this and say "Fair Point".

Indeed as one of those  who believe that Labor's Lethargy in the bay is a danger to the Assembly and is its future should be backing Mr Davies.

We should go further and ask to what extent have any of these consultations ever resulted in a major change in direction of Welsh Government policy.

Consultations are seen as giving legitimacy to government proposals even when they are ignored or are set up with people guaranteed to give the right answer.

As Sir Humphrey Appleby may have put it ,,,

 Ah, Prime Minister... It is characteristic of all committee discussions and decisions that every member has a vivid recollection of them and that every member's recollection of them differs violently from every other member's recollection. Consequently we accept the convention that the official decisions are those and only those which have officially recorded in the minutes by the officials, from which it emerges with an elegant inevitability that any decision which has been officially reached will have been officially recorded in the minutes by the officials and any decision which is not recorded in the minutes has not been officially reached even if one or more members believe they can recollect.
"Yes, Prime Minister: Man Overboard (#2.1)" (1987)

One wonders how many , Sir Humphrey clones are working in the bay,

It is nothing more than lethargy and dithering hiding behind a faux democratic process