Tuesday 30 June 2015

Leanne Wood most recognised Welsh Poltician

Plaid leader Leanne Wood  profile in the General Election has not yet transferred into  votes but it has has given her party a Ppatform into which to launch an assault on the Assembly Elections.
Leanne is more now widely recognised than Wales’ First Minister Carwyn Jones, a new opinion poll has suggested.
Her appearances on the UK-wide debates before the General Election appear to have paid off for Rhondda AM Ms Wood as her recognition levels have shot up in the latest Wales’ Political Barometer Polll
Plaid leader Leanne Wood had a higher recognition level in the latest Wales Political Barometer than First Minister Carwyn Jones

The Other Leaders LibDen Kirsty Wilams 59%  Tory Andrew RT Davies  52%  Ukip's Nathan Gilll 38% and Green's Pipa Bartolotti: 39 fared less well 
MS Wood matched Carwyn Jones in approval ratings out of ten 
Jones: 4.8 (-0.2)
Wood: 4.8 (no change)
Williams: 4.4 (no change)
Davies: 3.7 (+0.3)
Gill: 3.4 (+0.4)
Bartolotti: 3.7 (+0.4)
Though none manages to get a positive result it probably reflects the cynicism of the Welsh Public when to comes to Politics.
However Leanne's rise in profile has not  yet resulted in Plaid gaining votes however

Though this may still reflect the residue of the General Election campaign

Prof Roger Scully suggested that, if there was a uniform swing from 2011 across Wales, Labour could get 28 seats, the Tories 12, Plaid 10, Ukip eight, and the Lib Dems two

So any even if Leanne Wood had not ruled out a coalition with the Tories it locks like the prospect of an Anti-Labour  alliance taking power in the Assembly that need Ukip looks a ridiculous  argument.

However as Yesterdays post by Dr Sculy pointed out Welsh dissatisfaction with the running of the NHS here is higher than over the border which may have something to do with Cameron and the London Media targeting the Welsh NHS as a means to deflect the Tories running of it in England.

To what extent, if at all, do you trust the NHS in Wales to provide a high quality service?”

Trust a great deal1217
Trust a fair amount4957
Do not trust very much2717
Do not trust at all94
Don’t Know36
Labour will face an onslaught from as sides on their handling of the Welsh NHS .which worked for the "Welsh Tories in May even when this was a devolved matter It will remain to be sen if any single Party will profit from this

Monday 29 June 2015

Peter Hain and Paul Murphy failed Wales as it was short changed

The News that Andy Burnham, frontrunner for the Labour leadership, said he knew Wales was getting an unfairly low share of UK spending while he was a Treasury minister eight years ago. is hardly surprising . He would have not been very god at his job if he didn't 
He told BBC Wales when questioned on the Barnett formula
"I think it gives a rough deal to Wales if I'm honest. I was chief secretary to the treasury and I remember looking in detail at the BF and I do think Wales gets short-changed by it.
"So I think it needs to be looked at and it's one of the reasons I've asked Carwyn Jones to chair a UK constitutional convention so that we can look not just at the balance of powers between the UK centrally and Wales but also financial questions and how we get fairness across the UK in terms of the distribution of finance. So all of these questions are on the table and rightly so because I don't think Wales has had a fair deal out of the current financial settlement."
Asked why he rejected calls to change the formula while in office, he said: "That was the government line at the time, and obviously I wasn't in a position to over-rule that.
"I wasn't number one at the Treasury, I was number two [to Chancellor Alistair Darling
So thats alright then 

Maybe the real story is not that Andy Burnham knew that Wales was being short changed  but the then Sectaries of State Peter Hain and Paul Murphy appear to have done nothing .

Peter Hain was Welsh Secretary between the Period 2002 - 20p8 and Paul Murphy 2008-2009 with Hain back 2009-2010
Paul Murphy back in 2007 from the back benches knew something was wrong .
Mr Paul Murphy: 
"To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he plans to review the Barnett formula for allocating the block grant for Wales."
Andy Burnham: "The Government have no plans to review the Barnett formula."
So why when back in the Job didn't Murphy do something? Why did Peter Hain when he was in the Job fail to back Wales's  Interest.
The answer is is simple the job of Welsh Secretary is not to represent the interest of Wales in the Cabinet  it is to represent the interests of the Cabinet in Wales.
But that  does not mean Paul Murphy and  Peter Hain in particular should not be answering how they could let Wales be short changed for so many years under their Watch.

Sunday 28 June 2015

Englishman to write Ukip's Welsh Manifesto.

If this was an Englishman living in Wales well no real problem but It seems that the Englishman in question is  former UKIP MP Mark Reckless  wh  was elected as the Conservative member of parliament for Rochester and Strood in the 2010 general election, joined UKIP in September 2014 won re-election as a UKIP member in November 2014, but lost his seat to the Conservatives in the May 2015 UK general election. is to take on a leading role in the party's campaign to win seats in the National Assembly for Wales.
He's been appointed Director of Policy Development for UKIP Wales, a role that will see him writing the party's manifesto for next year's Welsh election.
Mark Reckless occupies the post within the party at a UK level but at a meeting of UKIP General Election candidates in Port Talbot he told me that Wales will be his priority with him spending part of each week here and working with a full time policy development officer.As 

ItV 's Adrian Masters points our

 The 2016 Welsh election presents UKIP with its best-ever chance of winning seats at a national level.A sharp rise in the number of votes UKIP won in May saw the party placed third in Wales. It came second in 2014's European Parliamentary election, narrowly missing out on beating Labour into first place.
That level of support and the proportional nature of the regional list system means that it stands a very good chance of returning a handful of AMs to the Senedd. Mark Reckless told me that that prospect increases the sense of responsibility.
 The Last Poll  for the Assembly Elections showed they could win a fair number of seats
Labour: 28 seats (26 constituency seats + 2 list seats)
Conservatives: 12 seats (6 constituency seats + 6 list seats)
Plaid Cymru: 11 seats (6 constituency seats + 5 list seats)
UKIP: 7 seats (7 list seats)
Liberal Democrats: 2 seats (2 constituency seats)

With Europe and Immigration dominating probably dominating the news and with a right wing London media Ukip could potentially reach this target without hardly campaigning on the Streets.

You never know Mark Reckless might a positive manifesto calling for Wales to be given the same powers as Scotland but then Nigel Farage may give up the Pints and Fags.

However having a former English MP who writing their Weslh Manifesto as a reward for loosing his seat in May and who seems to have absolutely no Welsh connection looks like Ukip are treating Wales with contempt.

It as if they saying Wales as a Nation does not exist and we will treat it as part of England.

Expect the other parties to highlight this though careful not to appear to be using Anti-English, rhetoric,

Saturday 27 June 2015

Plaid rule out coalition with Tories in the Assembly

Today's Wasting Mule Online Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has formally ruled out any coalition deal with the Conservatives after next year’s National Assembly election.
They  say 
While the left-winger’s statement comes as no surprise, it contrasts with the position adopted by the party at earlier Assembly elections.
In 2007 Plaid nearly entered a coalition with the Tories and the Liberal Democrats, and in 2011 then party leader Ieuan Wyn Jones’ refusal to rule out a deal with the Conservatives probably resulted in Plaid’s then deputy leader Helen Mary Jones losing her Llanelli seat
Not sure about the last bit  Llaneli was probably lost as a general swing to Labour  of 10'1%

Ms Wood told us: 
“Plaid Cymru’s vision for Wales sees a fairer distribution of wealth, a strengthening of our public services, and ensuring that everyone is able to reach their potential.
“Since they came to power in 2010, as well as historically, the Tories have proven that they do not share these values.
“They have shown that they are intent on pursuing policies that hit people in the middle and lowest income brackets the hardest while offering the best deal for those with the most. People in Wales have always rejected Tory politics.
"I reject their politics, and so does Plaid Cymru. There is no way that I would lead Plaid Cymru into coalition with the Conservatives.”
It does limit Plaid's maneuverability but I think it would be suicide to go into coalition with the Tories

A spokesman for the Welsh Conservatives said: “This is just fantasy politics.
“Leanne Wood isn’t even confident of winning a constituency seat, which is why she’s opted for the parachute of a place on the regional list as well.“Just six weeks ago the Welsh Conservatives polled 407,000 votes in the general election in Wales – more than Labour polled in 2011, which was enough for them to form a government then.
Er whose producing fantasy now ?  In the consituency section in the Assembly in 2011 Labour polled  349,935 votes to the Tories 213,773 .
Ok if every Tory who voted in May did again next year  and if Labour supporters failed to do the same then the Tories could win in Wales next year but really. 
“Under Leanne Wood’s leadership Plaid Cymru have slipped into fourth place, having tried, but failed, to win people over to what Dafydd Elis-Thomas called a ‘narrow, sectarian’ agenda.
 The former Assembly presiding officer had actually  said Plaid had no special pleading that it is more Welsh than other parties, and that to say so was arrogant and a “bit sectarian”.
“Its not about complaining on behalf of Wales now, its about running the country,” .
Actual DET's commentary was his own analysis of Plaid campaign  which in the light of Plaid failing to make a break through 

“Clearly the campaign did not seem to be focused on an argument about where Wales needs to be going in terms of powers and its future development, and it tended to concentrate mainly on drawing comparisons with Scotland,” s
“Scotland is another country, in all senses. Its politically different. The people of Wales understand that. The people of Wales have supported the development of the National Assembly and the Welsh Government here and seem to be in favour of more powers and more responsibility because they think it can be made to work.
“But I don’t think its helpful to demand that Wales be treated like Scotland when in fact Scotland has been over resourced in comparative terms in the UK.”
With the strategy to negotiate for funding for Wales in a hung parliament not having been successful, Lord Elis-Thomas said: ”You have to have a plan B or C.”
“The reason to vote for a political party is so people can have better representation in government,” he argued.
“We achieved that, or continued to achieve it in my part of the world, but we also have to always think in terms of the succeeding election, the Assembly elections, and how we position ourselves for that.”
But he said: “We can’t say different things in different elections so close from each other
However surely DET  realised that Scotland should be the standard we set our goals by is he saying that Wales should accept Devo Dipyn Bach for ever.

Plaid must set out a agenda that rejects the sort of  the muddled and confused way devolution is being handled by Westminster.Professor Richard Wyn Jones has warned about
He has raised concerns about the increasing problems caused by the UK Government’s attempt to maintain a single England and Wales legislative system
Rather than increasing powers for Wales, he believes that the fine detail contained in the proposals could lead to reduced control in order to preserve the integrity of ‘England and Wales’ legislation
Its all well to criticise but if DET can offer a plan B or C maybe he should tel us what they are.?

Friday 26 June 2015

Powel/'Gregory Ogmore Dynasty Set To Continue.

The constituency of Ogmore  may well prove to be the embodiment pf Political Dynasty  with speculation of its long term future of long term AM Janice Gregory 
The Wasting Mule Online  reports   Ms Gregory, Labour’s chief whip at the National Assembly, has refused to comment on speculation that she may stand down from the National Assembly next year.
Mrs Gregory has represented Ogmore since the Assembly was established in 1999.
A Welsh Labour source (I love the use of anonymous sources")  in the Ogmore constituency said: “
There is talk that Janice Gregory may not be intending to stand for re-election, but will only make an announcement to that effect in March next year.“That would give very little time for the constituency party to select a new candidate, and the party’s Welsh Executive Committee might have to draw up a shortlist. The speculation is that Janice’s daughter Kirstie, who works for her, could be in line to succeed her.”
Mrs Gregory’s father was the late Sir Ray Powell, who was MP for Ogmore Parliamentary seat from 1979 until his death in 2001. So Ms Gregory would probably had succeed her father if the Assembly Job had not come up. ironic since Ray was also an opponent of the National Assembly for Wales
Ray Powell treated Ogmore as a personal fiefdom and ran it with a rod if iron

The anonymous source would have so be found in Ray's day and suffer the consequences of voicing any decent .

But maybe the old days of the Powell Control  of the constituency are over and the news have come with a leak from a Jacobin group not willing to see another coronation of the Powell/Gregory clan.

On the subject of Dynasties  Plaid may be seeing a new Wrigley enter politics

 Hywel Wigley (Son of Dafydd) is the Plaid Cymru candidate for the Pentyrch by-election.  next Tuesday (Yes Tuesday) and although winning  it looks remote  at least Hywel is seeking his own route.

Incidentally  he is married to Catrin Finch so it looks like Hywel shares not only his fathers Politics but  also as his mother is the international harpist Elinor Bennett. has a thing about the Welsh National Instrument  or rather who plays it.

Thursday 25 June 2015

Mr Crabb tells Welsh Branch Office you can't have more responsibility.

Carwyn has been running the branch office of a UK company for a number of years  now. He's  quite happy in his job even when the Head Office was taken over by, the new management  and who since they ditched their previous partners, have been making swinging cuts that affect his customers deeply.

Some of Carwyn's workmates have been arguing that they should  have more responsibility even the same as the Sottish Branch where Nicola and Alex have been running a successful business for a number of years  .

So successful in fact  that last November, Ales had put out feelers to the  Customers about setting up as an Independent company, Although many customers were enthusiastic a small majority poured cold water on the plan.

Though they recently appear to regret this and Nicola may well be the head of a new company sooner or later'

Yesterday Mr Crabb from Head Office in London came to the Welsh Branch and told the staff that they didn't really deserve more responsibility as they haven't proved they could run the  curent office.

He claimed that he hadn't heard a single Welsh customer wanting to deal more with the Welsh Branch rather than the London Main office .Carwyn;s  was offered a bit more responsibility but he would have to take more responsibility for its financing .

Carwyn is suspicious of this as he thinks the plan is to force the Branch to put up prices in Wales so Mr Crabb's bosses can raise customer concerns to sack him and replace him with Mr Davies who is more in the London's Office style of management.
Meanwhile the fiery Ms Wood has been contacting customers pointing out she is friends  with Nicola in Scotland  and she would make a better manager than Carwyn.

And a rumour has started that a Mr Gil and friends will be seeking employment in the Welsh Branch next year with the aim of renaming it  the West Britain Office  passing responsibilities back to the London Office  and cutting ties with the arrangement it has European companies..

The betting is Carwyn will remain as manager of the Welsh Branch next May and carry on as before basically doing nothing and hoping the customers will remain happy for him to carry on and on offering no new services whilst tinkering with his current responsibilities .

Wednesday 24 June 2015

24.5 and 36.9% two numbers which show up our rotten electoral system.

The argument for a fairer electoral system has bee n highlighted by the Result last may and one Constituency in particular where the SDP's Alistair  McDonald one with less than 25% of the vote.

General Election 2015: Belfast South [2][3]
SDLPAlasdair McDonnell9,56024.5-16.5
DUPJonathan Bell[4]8,65422.2-1.5
AlliancePaula Bradshaw6,71117.2+2.3
Sinn FéinMáirtín Ó Muilleoir5,40213.9+13.9
UUPRodney McCune3,5499.1-8.2
Green (NI)Clare Bailey[5]2,2385.7+2.7
UKIPBob Stoker1,9004.9+4.9
NI ConservativesBen Manton5821.5+1.5
Workers' PartyLily Kerr3610.9+0.9
SDLP holdSwing
This  narrowly beats tthe 26% that Russel Johnson scraped home with in 1992

General Election 1992: Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber[3]
Liberal DemocratSir David Russell Johnston13,25826.0−10.8
LabourDavid John Stewart12,80025.1−0.2
SNPFergus Stewart Ewing12,56224.7+9.9
ConservativeJohn Scott11,51722.6−0.4
GreenJohn Martin7661.5N/A
Liberal Democrat holdSwing−5.3

Though maybe Johnson victory was even more controversial in that 3 parties were in a whisker of taking the seat off him

Bearing in mind that the Conservatives have an absolute majority of just 36.9% how can anyone still argue that First Past the Post is a fair system?.

Supposing there had been a hung parliament and Alistair  McDonald   vote turned out to be vital in who formed the next Parliament . He would have gone with Labour and the Tory press would be wailing.

Is it not time Labour promised STV as a means of reforming our voting system and should it not be a major question put forward to the leadership contenders.

Tuesday 23 June 2015

The Wasting Mule on Cymraeg has a whiff of hypocrisy to say the least

The Wasting Mule's Laura Kemp  writing on the Welsh Language issue  makes some interesting points
She writes
Never mind avoiding religion and politics – it’s Cymraeg you’ve got to steer clear of here.
Because, even in the company of those you cherish, within seconds it can tip into Cymrage.
There’s no sense where it’s involved, you only upset someone somewhere. We’re too frightened because it evokes such strength of feeling. In other words, the shouting makes us silent.
Maybe Ms Kemp should trawl back her own Newspapers  and look at the many negative stories in the Wasting Mule  and iys sister papers like the South Wales Echo where columnist Dan ONiel  who wrote in 2008 for example under the byline

Don’t let language loonies ruin our schools

WELSH schools, well, yesterday’s Echo spelt it out.
Some of our schools are closing or being merged to make way for what’s called “Welsh-medium” education.
No, I don’t know why either.
Listen, most of us live in Grangetown, Splott and Canton. This is Cardiff.
Yes, I know we’re the capital of Wales but it seems that we are being bulldozed and bullied into a culture no-one here cares much a damn about. I’d go along with schools teaching Chinese – our kids might need that in years ahead.
But Welsh – I query what will they do with it, apart of course from getting jobs at S4C or Radio Cymru. Oh well, you hear from the parents of Tristram and Joanna, the Welsh schools are so much better.

Ms Kemp is mostly positive however but 

The pro-lobby says you’re not proper Welsh unless you speak it. If you live here, you have a duty to learn it. And the reason the majority don’t use the mother tongue is due to historic English oppression.
I am not a member of an ethic majority but oppose the descrimination against them
I am not a Woman but suport femanist in their fight for equality
I am not Gay but suport their campaign for equality 
and Ia m not a Welsh Speaker but support  the call for Welsh to be granted full equal status throughout Wales

Incidentally you may find articles such as this  by Dan O'Neil being positive about the top three it's only the Welsh Language where he has a blind spot something he shares with al to many people in Wales and the UK in General   who express Progressive Left or Liberal politics

Even  Ms Kemp shows the same sort of thinking by highlighting the recent case of  Gwynedd council’s decision to cancel a parking ticket after not dealing with the motorist’s complaint through the medium of Welsh. and the Welsh Government was ruled to have broken its own Welsh language policy during the appointment of a new Children’s Commissioner when it omitted any reference to Welsh-speaking abilities in the information pack for candidates.

But points to  the story that  Wales and Arsenal player Aaron Ramsey was heckled on Twitter after posting a picture on the first anniversary of his wedding with the Welsh caption “Un flwyddyn heddiw”, or one year ago today.

She writes...
Ignorant idiots came up with the usual predictable and lame insults, accusing him of being drunk and having a seizure at his keyboard. The Caerphilly kid hit back, tweeting: “Proud to speak it and will continue to use it on Twitter!”
In 12 words, Ramsey flipped the depressing and stale debate into an emotional and personal fist-pump. He showed that speaking Welsh is not a black and white issue but one to be celebrated with flexible bilingualism. Mature in attitude but youthful in his outlook, Ramsey scored a goal on behalf of common sense.

But is this not a case of Tokenism on her part,? "Flexible bilingualism" should not stop  at Twitter for god sake but throughout Welsh Life O Fôn i Fynwy .

Maybe Ms Kemp should pop Ive the Echo Office and have a word with a fellow columnist?

Monday 22 June 2015

Wales' Need A Say Not Only In BritExiit But Any EU Reforms

In today's Wasting Mule Online,  Plaid Leader Leanne  Wood says the needs of Wales are different to the rest of the UK but much of the talk around reforms suggests Wales is out of the picture

She says that sections of Welsh economy would struggle if some reforms went ahead, and that the needs of the country are different to the rest of the UK.
She told Mr Cameron: 
“Reform of the EU is needed. I disagree with some of the reforms you are proposing but I agree that it makes sense to try and secure a consensus on any changes.”
She said that as Plaid leader “it is incumbent upon me to ensure that the views of Wales and people here are given full consideration during the discussions on the series of reforms you are seeking.”

Ms Wood said much of the talk surrounding EU reforms suggests Wales is not being considered.

“If this persists, Wales will continue to be the on the fringe of the debate on EU reforms despite the fact that this process has many far-reaching consequences for Wales’ future,” she wrote.
 The needs of Wales, in many ways, are different to the UK’s. Immigration levels, for example, are much lower in Wales than other parts of the UK.“Sections of the Welsh economy would struggle if some of the mooted reforms go ahead.
“An example of these differences is highlighted in research which shows that Wales is a net beneficiary of EU membership. An exit would be financially destructive for many Welsh communities that receive much of the EU money in the form of grants.
“It would also be detrimental to much of the trade in Wales. The same is true of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) payments to farmers in Wales as EU funding through the CAP accounts for 80% of farm income in Wales, and supports over 16,000 farmers.
“Some communities in Wales are among the poorest in Western Europe so we can ill-afford even further cuts.”
There is a tendency on the Left  to decry such support for farmers particularly as they often are sen as natural Tory supporters  but maybe its time they reevaluated their position after all Ceredigion was Radical before the Rhondda was Red

And Ceredigion and the Rhondda are some  of the poorest parts of the Europe let alone the  UK

Its time the plight of our Rural communities became a cause for the Left and linked to yhat of the Urban poor

In much of the UK, people's incomes are well below the EU average - in some areas by as much as a third. In the map (above) Britain's poorest regions are highlighted, showing how far below the European average incomes have fallen. The Cornish, for example, are 36 per cent less well-off than the EU norm. Families in Slovenia meanwhile are just 16 per cent poorer - and in Portugal 23 per cent.
In much of the UK, people's incomes are well below the EU average - in some areas by as much as a third. In the map (above) Britain's poorest regions are highlighted, showing how far below the European average incomes have fallen. 

Ms Wood also reiterated her call for votes in each nation of the United Kingdom to be “tallied separately” so a EU exit can only take place with the agreement of Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England together.
If we are a family of nations, as was declared on many occasions in last year’s referendum on Scottish independence, then this is something that should be considered as a matter of course,” 
It is imperative that Wales have  say in whether the UK leaves the EU or not  but also in any concessions   Cameron may  obtain from our EU partners.

The danger is not only tie UK leaving the EU but finding that Cameron has pushed forward "Reforms" that benefit London and the South East to the detriment of the rest of the UK.

Wales may well vote in a very similar way to the majority of  the UK but we need to know what happens if we say NO to a BritExit only to find ourselves  under the worst scenario of a rampant bullying Westminster and City of London who could further beggar us.

Sunday 21 June 2015

Jeremy Corbyn, a Token candidate for the what remains of Labour's Left?

The sad thing about  Jeremy Corbyn Labour's  standing for the leadership contest is not so much he can't win but  that  he only appears to have  scraped  together enough nominations to stand,but he only seemed to have gained the   nominations  by having some "lent" by other candidates 
Even of he was to gain considerable  votes from ordinary members in the ballot he would still not have the support of the vast majority of Labour MPs
As Frankie Boyle put it in a recent Guardian article put it Corbyn looks like 
One of the few decent politicians remaining in the Labour party, he reminds me of those old drinkers you see haunting a new bar because they used to go to the pub that was there before.
Consider how many Left Wingers in Plaid or the SNP who share much of the views of Jeremy Corbyn are quite comfortable within their party and indeed the leaders Leanne Wood and Nicola
Sturgeon  would if you took out Independence would find it hard to get elected to s safe Labour seat in the UK for Labour it shows the state of the Labour party.today where any Progressive Left Voice was eliminated alongside the Militant Tendency .in the nineties.
The analysis was that "We can't win with a Left wing Manifesto2 and we must abandon those who support it whilst hoping they still vote for us,
Labour should learn the lesson from Scotland those who loyally  backed the party in the feint hope that they still spoke for the poor or dispossessed  abandoned the party for the SNP who fought  on an Anti-Austerity Agenda and the removal of Trident  which is very much in line what Corbyn stands for.
I woder how many times in this Parliament will he be wishing to join the SNP,Plaid and Greens when voting.  Having been whipped by his party to support a policy he disagrees with or told to abstain?
There may be some on the so called Hard Left  who may consider entryism as means of win some power within Labour.
But for Progressive Forces there is no chance of Labour ever regaining any of its Radical-Left past and its time people who support such an ideas as Peace,Social Equality and an end to the ideological led attack on the Welfare State in the name of Austerity looked elsewhere.