Friday, 31 July 2015

Poor Mark, not invited to Tim's Party

Welsh Liberal Democrat Mark Williams  may feel like the only pupil in his class not to get an invite to the most popular students birthday party as it emerges that  he  is the only one of the party's eight MPs to be left out of a 'cabinet' named by new leader Tim Farron.
Poor Mark was not invited

Mark Williams may well have  benefited in not holding a ministerial position in the coalition government but to be left out of a "cabinet" in which many have more than one roll despite Six of its 22 members are not being MPs or peers. 

Its starting to look like he is not considered good enough . Which may think why do the LibDems think hes god enough to serve the constituents of Ceredigion.

He has not even been given the job of Welsh Spokesperson  considered a pretty lowly job in Westminster instead this goes to Kirsty Williams, Lib Dem leader in the assembly, succeeding Roger Williams, who lost his seat at the general election.

Ex-Wales Office minister Baroness Randerson will speak on transport.

A Lib Dem source claimed  that Williams does have a role. It just wasn’t on the list. they said 

Mark Williams will be part of a special “campaign team”, to be announced later this summer. These teams are expected to focus on certain areas of policy, such as the Human Rights Act.The source insisted that Farron, who was elected leader earlier this month, had not snubbed Williams. “They are very very close, everything’s fine. There’s no way that Mark won’t have a role.”
That's nice of them . We will wait and see what this is but you might have thought he would have at least one spokesperson role.

Mark Williams, who is now the Lib Dems' only MP in Wales, had backed Mr Farron over rival Norman Lamb in the battle to succeed Nick Clegg.

So he has not even been rewarded for that 

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Has Dafydd Elis Thomas had a gagging order?

According to the Wasting Mule online

 Dafydd Elis-Thomas has been told he can not make public statements on Plaid Cymru’s policy and strategy without agreeing them with his constituency first, it has emerged.

Initial reports from a private constituency meeting in Porthmadog on Tuesday suggested that the constituency party had given his backing to Lord Elis-Thomas remaining a candidate for the Assembly.
But a source within Plaid says that the meeting also agreed that the former leader should not speak out on substantive party issues without talking to the local party beforehand.

“The meeting basically agreed that if he makes public statements they have to be agreed by the local constituency,” the source said.
“It was agreed that he should continue as a candidate, but there was anger that he kept undermining the party.
“He was held to account.
“He can talk to the press, but he has to do it in a way that is a representative of the party, rather than just giving out his own opinion.”
We can wonder  what the response from the constituency  will be  to this leak  and what "basically" can really mean

There was some speculation that D.E.T.   AM for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, is known for being one of the most outspoken members of the Assembly and his party. and often gives his views  sometimes refreshingly honest for a politician but ther has been speculation that  he had the threat of de-selection hanging over his head after he publicly criticised the party's general election campaign in a manner that many felt was unjustified and plain wrong.

It has led to a problem for Plaid in that it could be seen as draconian if it takes  action against action D.E.T. and weak if it does not.

There will be hope that in the months leading up to the Assembly Election  D.E.T.does not rock the boat. But lets face it he not the person who wil kep quiet for long.

He is in a powerful position in that if he was deselected or expelled  then he would probably stand as an Independent almost certainly seeing the Party lose its safest seat.

It may make for interesting politics but I wonder if Plaid realy devre this problem .

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Cameron set to Gerrymander both Lords and Commons.

It is sometimes forgotten that Members of the House of Lords are also Members of Parliament and what we refer to as MPs  should in fact be caled Member of the House of Commons (MHCs)

The recent scandal over Lord Sewel has thrown the Upper House into focus with renewed calls for reform but it is clear that Prime Minister David Cameron is prepared to stuff

 he prime minister said he regretted that the coalition failed in its bid to reform the unelected chamber during the last parliament after a Tory backbench rebellion. But speaking in Singapore during a trade and diplomacy tour, Cameron said there was no point trying to introduce reforms again as he signalled that he would press ahead with plans to appoint more Tory peers.

“It is important the House of Lords in some way reflects the situation in the House of Commons. At the moment it is well away from that. I’m not proposing to get there in one go. [But] it is important to make sure the House of Lords more accurately reflects the situation in the House of Commons. 

The current composition is

HM Government
HM Opposition
So if Cameron wants to "Reflect the Current commons hes going to have to greatly increase the number of Tories there by something like 200 it is suggested

The Prime Minister also proposes   to slash the size of the Commons from 650 MPs to 600 saying it was the  the "right approach".

Cameron is Planing to greatly increase the numbers in the Unelected Chamber  maybe making it close to a Thousand with mainly his party members whilst cutting the numbers of the elected members in the Commons which wil also favour his party.

The Tories won an overall majority with just 37% of the vote and now seem hell bent on Gerrymandering the system so they can have a permanent majority in both  houses.

There is no case for keeping the House of Lords as it is in a modern Democracy and whilst the argument for cutting seats in the Commons have some validity it should only come with the introduction of some kind of proportional representation 

If a directly House of Lords under the same electoral system  would be deemed to be to political and simply mirrored the Commons ten maybe we should look at the Irish Senate 

Seanad Éireann consists of sixty senators:
  • Eleven appointed by the Taoiseach (prime minister).
  • Six elected by the graduates of certain Irish universities:
  • 43 elected from five special panels of nominees (known as Vocational Panels) by an electorate consisting of TDs (member of Dáil Éireann), senators and local councillors. Nomination is restrictive for the panel seats with only Oireachtas members and designated 'nominating bodies' entitled to nominate. Each of the five panels consists, in theory, of individuals possessing special knowledge of, or experience in, one of five specific fields. In practice the nominees are party members, often, though not always, failed or aspiring Dáil candidates:
 Or in the Union then a Upper House of the  Nations in which Wales,Scotland and Northern Ireland  have a grater role and enough members to out vote English Members.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Parties should always listen but not always obey,

There were two Blogs which appeared on my Dashboard Yesterday about the same the time 
The first entitled 

Are British voters really primed for Corbyn? By Robert Pries on Left Foot Forward   CLFlaimed

"We should be wary of any claim that the British public is instinctively left-wing "

He writes

According to a widely-shared article, the British electorate privately supports solidly left-wing policies such as railway renationalisation and the abolition of tuition fees, even though right-wing governments get elected.
Should we, then, assume that voters would seize the opportunity to have their instincts represented at elections by a Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn?

He goes on to say 


Most pressing for the Left is the big picture: the proportion of people in favour of higher taxation and spending has collapsed from 63 per cent to just 37 per cent in the ten years from 2004 to 2014. Support for welfare spending has plummeted. Those who remember Blair-era clichés about a ‘social-democratic majority’ should consider whether they still stand up to scrutiny.
Stating the obvious, the reason we have polling data on most of these positions – fees, tax, Syria – is that Ed Miliband’s Labour Party explicitly represented them. When it came to a large poll of the electorate – a General Election with the highest turnout since 1997 – 49.5 per cent of voters plumped for the Tories or UKIP while 46.5 per cent went for a broad ‘left’ of Labour/SNP/Lib Dem/Green (39.0 per cent if you exclude the ambiguous Lib Dems).
This does not mean we should jettison all Ed’s policies, but it makes clear that being on the right side of public opinion on a basket of issues yields limited rewards.
The most important point is this: sharing some of voters’ positions does not mean you share their overall priorities. Labour’s position on Trident or railway ownership should always be debated but will not swing elections. While it is impossible to disaggregate all the reasons behind Labour’s electoral defeat, TUC-commissioned polling suggested many voters who considered voting Labour ultimately chose not to because of their perceived lack of economic competence.
This is the stubborn frame for policy discussions. It means that even when a policy like the 50 per cent tax rate polls well, many will not trust Labour with the decision. Meanwhile Osborne gets away with unpopular measures like abolishing student grants because – like it or not – people usually think his budgets are fair overall.
Even those who do not agree with the reasonable strategic case for making concessions on austerity should be wary of any claim that the British public is instinctively left-wing and sceptical about cherry-picking policy positions from opinion polls. Remember that UKIP can easily do exactly the same thing on immigration, overseas aid or inheritance tax. Most people are surely to the left of the Conservative frontbench on many issues, but Cameron can rule from the right as long as Labour keeps losing

In contrast Wings over Scotland  provides data which seems to to point to people being more  in line with the Anti Austerity message than we are led to believe

But whichever  you find the most convincing why should such polls it influence the policy of Labour or any Political Parties to change thier long held beliefs?

Political Parties should compose of people with similar views and attempt to influence others to share them eventually getting enough support to form a government and implement them.

They should look at such polls  not to try and see what the public support  but to see the extent they have to go in order to convince those who do not share their vision to change.

Similarly   they should not bee influenced  by Media Moguls Indeed they point out the undemocratic nature of a political system where the day after a General Election  we get 

If Corbyn wins or even does well in the Labour Leadership contest  they will face an increasing hostile media but that is not a reason not to elect him.

Nor indeed is it that the Majority those outside his Party do not share his vision  or even if they do.

When Andy Burnham argued that the Party Comes First and was shot down by Liz Kendall Er, the country always comes first”… it was the former who was right in the sense that the Party (whichever) should tell the nation what they believe not what they think the Nation believes. 
They should always listen but not always obey,


Monday, 27 July 2015

Its not the Hard Left backingr Corbyn its the Left Behind

Such is the panic within the elite leadership of the Labour Party  that Jermny Cotbyn could win the leadership contest  at least  one MP has suggested  it should be suspended because it's being 'infiltrated' by hard-left activists, 
Bassetlaw MP John Mann says an the process has been warped by an influx of new members, many of whom have signed up just to back Jeremy Corbyn.
There is speculation that 140,000 more activists could be eligible to vote than before the general election.
The Communist Party of Great Britain is among the groups that have urged supporters to join Labour and endorse the Islington North MP. Under new rules, they can pay just £3 and take part in the 
I must wonder if there ere anything like 140,000 hard left activist in the whole of the UK
In the General Election the highest "Hard Left" Party TUSC  only managed a total vote of  36,327 throughout the UL
Backbencher Mann told the Sunday Times the contest was "totally out of control", and insisted acting leader Mrs Harman should step in so that proper checks can be conducted.
"It should be halted," he said. "It is becoming a farce with long-standing members ... in danger of getting trumped by people who have opposed the Labour Party and want to break it up, expressly want to break it up - some of it is the Militant Tendency types coming back in."
This looks an attempt by Labour MPs who can not accept that a great deal of their Membership are opposed to the right wing drift of the Leadership in which they supported the Tories Austerity Program and Attacks on Welfare.

They have voted loyal for the party held their noses when they voted and watched in despair as the MPs  abstained rather than fight the Budgets welfare cuts and as the below (Which I've nicked from Welsh not British brilliant piece. I hope he doesn't mind)

 These are not "Hard Left Members" but the sort of Labour member you would meet  at a CND or protest in the  80's  earnest but still faithful to a party that was already abandoning them and who were using the threat of Militant to shift to the right. 

 The problem for these members who still carry the flame of socialism  is that he will lead a Labour Party that is already plotting to replace him.

Unfortunately for Plaid the majority of Corbyn's backer will be still Unionist at heart but as the SNP showed in May attitudes can change.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Women's Equality Party to field candidates in assembly elections

Part of me that wishes to see an end to discrimination against Women welcomes the news that the new leader of the UK's first feminist political party has said she expects to be fielding candidates in next year's Welsh assembly elections.

After all as the Plaid AM Bethan Jenkin wrote in  wrote in 2013 there has been frustration  even from among those  in Parties that have some "Gender Equality polices" in place"

Since the National Assembly for Wales was created in 1999, it’s fair to say that as many more women have been elected at a National level, mostly due to positive action measures within some Welsh parties, this has often given the false impression that gender equality within Welsh politics is no longer an issue. I recall going on radio shows of various European countries to talk about the rise in profile of Welsh women in public life as a result of at one stage there being almost 50% representation of women at the National Assembly for Wales. This clearly impressed other countries aspiring to encourage more women in to politics. But have we really been the success story that we have built ourselves up to be in this regard? Well, Labour and Plaid Cymru have since watered down their positive action policies, impacting directly on the number of women now elected to our National Institution, and there are many issues still rumbling under the surface.

Sophie Walker took up her post with the Women's Equality Party this week.

The party was set up by broadcaster Sandi Toksvig and journalist Catherine Mayer four months ago and is said to be Britain's fastest-growing party.

Ms Walker told BBC Radio Wales' Sunday Supplement the party would be taking a non-partisan approach to elections.
"We've picked the perfect time to launch a political party because of the number of proportional representation elections coming up in the spring," she said.
"We are going to field candidates and we think we stand a good chance and we think that will form a very good basis going forward to 2020 and, given the state of various political parties right now, who knows what the political field is going to look like in 2020."

She added: 

"We will work with other political parties where they want to work with us and, where we see that other political parties are adopting our goals and taking on our agenda, then we would consider joint candidacies with them.

Ms Walker said the party was at the "very early stages of deciding how to go forward".
"We will be undertaking consultations with our members  and deciding which seats to target," she added.
I note that Ms Walker has not indicated whether the new party will fight individual constituencies or just the list seats or both.

I can fully understand  the frustration that Women must feel after all it is over nearly 100 years since Constance Markievicz was elected to Westminster for Sinn Féin in 1918 and Nancy Astor taking her seat in 1919 and we are still well short of having like a equal amount of MPs from each sex.

I fear that at the moment the only way we will have any real Gender Equality among our Legislators would be if we elected one male and one female for each constituency.

I am not going to dismiss their chances In the Northern Ireland Assembly election, 1998,  the W omens Coalition won two seats  though they were never t repeat it.

So maybe the Equality Party will shake things up a bit and that might  be worth seeing.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Spooks are free to spy on MSPs and AMs

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon is seeking "urgent" assurance from David Cameron that members of Scotland's parliament are not being spied on following new snooping revelations on Friday (24 July).
Early on Friday, Scotland's Daily Record newspaper revealed documents showing Britain's intelligence services were cleared in March to target Holyrood MSP
The Daily Record  claimed
.SPOOKS have changed top-secret rules so they are free to spy on MSPs, t
Explosive documents show that the UK’s electronic eavesdropping agency last month dumped guidelines which had constrained spies from tapping MSPs’ phones or hacking their emails.
The revelations about GCHQ will spark fury at Holyrood and reignite conspiracy theories about the role of the security services in fighting the growth of pro-independence feeling.
They are also likely to bolster fears the intelligence community were monitoring politicians’ and activists’ communications during the referendum campaign.
Nicola Sturgeon's letter to Cameron read
Dear Prime Minister,
 I am sure you will agree with me that, excepting truly exceptional circumstances involving national security, the confidentiality of communications between parliamentarians and their constituents is of the utmost importance. I am sure you will also agree that it is just as important for MSPs as it is for MPs. This principle of confidentiality is what the ‘Wilson doctrine’ was introduced to protect.You will therefore understand my concern at suggestions in the Daily Record and elsewhere – reportedly supported by documentation shown to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal – that, while GCHQ had been applying the Wilson doctrine to the communications of MSPs, that is no longer the case. The Scottish Government has not been consulted on any such matter. I would therefore be grateful for urgent responses to the following questions: 1. Are these reports correct in stating that there has been a change of policy and that GCHQ has ceased to apply the Wilson doctrine to the communications of MSPs? 2. If so, why was this decision taken, when and by whom was it taken, and was there any ministerial knowledge or approval?3. Has there in fact been any interception of MSP communications? 4. Will you give an immediate assurance that this policy change by GCHQ will be reversed and that the Wilson doctrine will again be applied to MSP communications, and indeed to the communications of other devolved Parliamentarians and Assembly members? 5. Will you give an assurance that, with respect to the Wilson doctrine, MSPs will in future be treated equally to MPs by all of the intelligence agencies? 6. Francis Maude, MP, then Minister for the Cabinet Office, made a commitment in the House of Commons on 12 March 2014 to look at policy in relation to the Wilson Doctrine, along with the Home Secretary and yourself. Can you confirm what progress has been made in that work and whether its scope has included consideration of the position of Scottish parliamentarians?I am copying this letter to the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Presiding Officer.

Nicola Sturgeon 
Cynics will probably think that the Wilson Doctorine was never realty implemented
The Investigatory Powers Tribunal is hearing a case brought  by parliamentarians on the issue of the Wilson Doctrine yesterday..
Ahead of the hearing, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas said 
"the blanket surveillance of the communications of Parliamentarians could have a deeply chilling effect on our relationship with the public."
She called MPs and peers "a trusted source for whistle-blowers and those wishing to challenge the actions of the government."

Of course  if the abandonment foor the Wilson Doctrine  applies to Holyrood it also applies to the Welsh Assembly but lets face it any Spook prowling the doings of our AMs will probably go mad with boredom.

Still there seems to be response from the likes First Minister  Carwyn Jones  and Plaid Leader Leanne Wood who may be more outraged that they are  not be spied on rather than ignored.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Labour hold New Tredegar on Caerphilly council

Labour easily  held the New Tredegar on Caerphilly council

New Tredegar result 

EVANS Mark Anthony Lab 648
GORMAN  Ian William  Ukip 90
LEA Robert Con  47

No Plaid candidate but Ukip  and Tories put up a challenge Neither  of who give an address in the ward . Ukip gained 20% of the vote in the General Election in the Islwyn Constituency where the ward sits.

So it may be their bubble has burst.

Decent result for Labour and Plaid really need to put up a candidate in such a ward  to reassert their presence on the council.

Result of ward at last election (2012): Emboldened denotes elected

New Tredegar electorate : 3319 turnout : 35.58%
candidate         party                 votes %  
Jones Morgan Independent 362 17.48%  
Jones Gerald Welsh Labour 965 46.6% elected
Rees Les         Welsh Labour 744 35.92% elected

The next by-election on Caerphilly is Cross Keys 

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Potemkin villages in Wales.

The phrase "Potemkin village" (also "Potyomkin village", derived from the RussianПотёмкинские деревниPotyomkinskiye derevni) was originally used to describe a fake portable village, built only to impress. According to the story, Grigory Potemkin erected the fake portable settlement along the banks of the Dnieper River in order to fool Empress Catherine II during her journey to Crimea in 1787. The phrase is now used, typically in politics and economics, to describe any construction (literal or figurative) built solely to deceive others into thinking that some situation is better than it really is. 

According to the  Wasting Mule

 Prime Minister David Cameron will today come to Wales and say there is “real potential” for the Ministry of Defence to give up land at St Athan so the new Aston Martin SUV can be made in the UK.
The Conservative leader will also announce a £390m contract with Oakdale-based General Dynamics to support armoured fighting vehicles, which will bring 250 jobs to South Wales.
Mr Cameron’s push for St Athan, in the Vale of Glamorgan, to become a centre for Aston Martin production comes a half-decade after plans were shelved for a £14bn Defence Technical College at the site.

Mr Cameron said:
 “Here in Wales I think there is real potential to vacate Ministry of Defence land at St Athan and we’re willing to make that available as part of efforts to persuade Aston Martin Lagonda to manufacture their new prestige SUV in the UK.”
Its an interesting development in that the Prime Minister can come to Wales with a vague promise of Jobs  by offering land to a potential employer.
One wonders if his intent is to say "its the Conservatives in Westminster not Labour in the Assembly who are creating jobs in Wales by bringing manufactures here".

Surely if St Athan was to give up land it should be handed over to the Assembly for them to persuade manufactures to move there not for the Prime Minister to get publicity to make claims that there is no real indication that Austin Martin wil open in the Vale of Glamorgan.
 It is also been announced that disused fork-lift truck facility will become a “centre of excellence for engineering” and the industry home for the Scout SV tank.
And Mr Cameron will take  credit  having  announced after last year’s Nato summit at Newport’s Celtic Manor resort that the government would buy 589 of the vehicles.
General Dynamics’ support contract is now extended to 2024, and assembly, integration and testing, which previously took place overseas, will now take place in Wales.
How  many of these jobs will be "created" in Merthyr and how many will move from General Dynamics  is unclear.

But surely it is a worrying  factor that manufactures are only moving (Or appearing ) to because of a policy in Westminster.
We must ask ourselves why is the Welsh Assembly being overshadowed by the vague chance of job creation in South Athens and what may well be  a "Job Transfer" in Merthyr announced on a rare visit by a British Prime Minister.
Are the only new Job announcements only to come on a yearlyvisit from the Prime Minister?
Are 250 jobs a year the best we can hope for?
Whether they materialise  or not is open to question  but just like Potemkin villages they look good  at least for a short time.
If so the potential for jobs creation and growth look rare indeed.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Stephen Kinnock a man to watch.

Yes indeed a man to watch as in the space of a week he has flip flopped over Labours response to the Welfare Bill

For sheer duplicity  we need to look no further than Aberavon MP Stephen Kinnock who only last week compares plans to limit child tax credits to two children are reminiscent of Nazi-style social engineering policy eugenics, 

He  joined many others in the Labour party in publicly disagreeing with interim leader Harriet Harman’s support of Tory plans to limit child tax credits to two children.

He told BBC Daily Politics: 

“It’s simply not pragmatic and its awfully reminiscent of some kind of eugenics policy.”

Eugenics is a much-reviled social engineering policy most closely identified with the Nazis, aiming to create lower birth rates among sections of the population deemed "less valuable" to society by those in power.

Even I would have thought twice before making such a comparison .

But with reports suggesting that women who have a third child as a result of rape would be able to claim for child tax credits – prompting concerns from campaigners that such women would have to prove they were raped. I can se the argument.

Mr Kinnock said:
 “If there’s a tragic case of a pregnancy by rape... how is the Tory government going to oversee and implement that.
“Are we going to be asking women to go to the DWP and prove how their pregnancy came about?
“I just think there are massive question marks about the moral and ethical dimension of this policy.”
The Rape clause was frirst brought up by the SNP and reflects the sher uncaring attitude of the Government.

Quizzing the prime minister during PMQs, Angus Robertson challenged Cameron to look again at special exemptions for those affected under plans unveiled in last week's Summer Budget to limit tax credits to families with two children.

In a showdown with the Conservative leader at the dispatch box, Robertson said:

"Rape is a horrific crime and it is abhorred by MPs of all political parties.
"The Department of Work and Pensions and HMRC in the Government's Budget have been asked to 'develop protections for women who have had a third child as a result of rape or other exceptional circumstances under the Prime Minister's plans to restrict child benefit to two children for new parents'. Can the Prime Minister explain how this will work?"

That with Mr Kinnock previous statement should have bee enough for Mr Kinnock him to join the NO Lobby.

 However, yesterday he was defending the “reasoned amendment” Labour put forward to the Welfare Reform and Work Bill and its policy of abstaining on the Bill rather than voting against it.

Mr Kinnock defended his stance saying: 
“What the reasoned amendment does is set out what we can live with and what we can’t and I’m very clear that on the three child policy, that’s not something that we could countenance supporting but when it comes to various other aspects of the Bill, such as an increase in the minimum wage, the levy on companies for apprenticeships, that’s something we can.”

So that's alright then  

 There was no reason even for an ambitious MP to vote NO  on Monday no one was going to lose a Shadow post and with the Leadership up for grabs a rebellion was unlikely unless it was Liz Kendall attract much of a negative from the eventual new  leader.

A number  for Lanour ber of the new intake voted against the Bill

including Caroline Harris, (Swanses East), Jo Stevens (Cardiff Central) and Gerald Jones (Merthyr)

Bernard McEldowney, secretary of Bromsgrove Constituency Labour Party, had warm words for the Aberavon MP, saying: “Mr Kinnock is one to watch. Very impressive.”

Yes Indeed but not  watch in the same way Mr McEldowney means.

Maybe its no suprise that Stephen Kinnock  was not among them . But with the ability to hold a straight face and use such words as "reasoned amendment" to condone his failure to vote against a bil he had only a week ago compared with the policies of the Nazi's he will go far.

Bernard McEldowney, secretary of Bromsgrove Constituency Labour Party, had warm words for the Aberavon MP, saying: “Mr Kinnock is one to watch. Very impressive.”

Yes Indeed but not  watch in the same way Mr McEldowney means

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Labour Oppose By Abstaining. Some Opposition.

The Media of course is reporting on the fact that 48 Labour Mps voted against the Welfare Bil last night  not that the majority of what is supost to be "Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition" didn't

As expected, the government's welfare bill was passed by a large majority: 308 votes to 124. Labour's decision to abstain on the legislation (its amendment was defeated by 308 to 108) made that inevitable.
More SNP than Labour MPs voted against the Bill which had its first reading in the Commons on Monday, a
Including teller Kelvin Hopkins, the total Labour rebellion stood at 48 of Labour's 232 MPs. The rest of the No votes in the main second reading division were 55 SNP, eight Liberal Democrat, six DUP, three SDLP, three Plaid Cymru and one each from Green and UUP.

The second teller was the SNP's Owen Thompson.
As far as I can make out  7 Welsh MPs voted against the welfare Bill all thre Plaid, The sole Liberal Democrat and Labours An Clwyd , Paul Flynn and Geraint Thomas 

After the result was announced, the SNP's Pete Wishart mockingly asked the Speaker whether the Commons could be rearranged to designate his party as the official opposition.

Labour duplicity we enhanced when Andy Burnham the favorite to win Labour Leadership election published a Facebook post taking an even-stronger stance against the bill. In the key section, he wrote:

 "Whilst we may have lost the vote tonight, that doesn’t mean the battle has to be over. Tonight I am firing the starting gun on Labour's opposition to this Bill. If I am elected leader in September, I am determined that Labour will fight this regressive Bill word by word, line by line. I am clear that if the Government do not make major changes to protect working families, children and the disabled, then, under my Leadership, Labour will oppose this Bill with everything we’ve got when it comes back before MPs later this year."

Mr Burnham you did not lose the vote last night you abstained 
If there was ever a time to show leadership it was last night but you chickened out .

Can we really believe apart from Jeremy Corbyn if any of the three leadership candidates were in charge of the party last night the result would have been any different?
We are facing 5 years of a cruel and malicious government in which more Scottish and MPs will act as an opposition than Labour MPs

And Just 46 MPs from English constituencies  including the Greens Caroline Lucus can claim to oppose the welfare cuts from the start .

Small wonder that  the Guardian have reported  there have been cases of people in England with no real connection to Scotland joining the SNP.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Blarite's hoping a Corbyn leadership will be a disaster?

Could it be that Blarite in  Labour rather than being alarmed that Jeremy Corbyn wining the Labour leadership contest are secretly hoping that such a win will eventually lead to such a poll disaster that they can replace him with one more to their liking/


No more than  the rather strange claim in the Independent that Corbyn's victory would trigger a coup 

They say

The left-wing MP for Islington North has staged a stunning raid on support among constituency labour party (CLP) organisations in the past week, prompting panic among supporters of the three mainstream candidates, Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall. Two internal polls also suggested a surge in support for Mr Corbyn, with one even suggesting he could win on 12 September.
Although this result is still seen as a long shot, MPs said in the event of a Corbyn victory they would immediately start gathering the 47 names needed to trigger a coup. One said: “We cannot just allow our party, a credible party of government, to be hijacked in this summer of madness. There would be no problem in getting names. We could do this before Christmas.”
Another Labour MP said a Corbyn victory would cause deep unhappiness among the current shadow cabinet, and suggested that few would want to serve under him.
Even the most stalwart Blarite would surly realise that such a coup would split the Labour Party permanently'

But with a Labour government in 2020 looks unlikely who ever wins and there might be some Blarites thinking that this would be an opportunity to blame the left .

As Wings over pointed out yesterday 

   Alert readers will have noticed that for the last week or so we’ve been challenging some of the conventional wisdom about Labour’s election victories from 1997-2005. While the right wing of the party and commentariat regularly insists that Tony Blair was its most successful leader ever, we demonstrated that over the course of his leadership he lost Labour over two million votes, whereas Neil Kinnock’s reign had resulted in a GAIN of three million.
In short, New Labour’s victories were primarily the result of the Conservatives being in a catastrophic state during Blair’s rule, exhausted by almost 20 years of power and scandal and infighting about Europe. With William Hague, Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Howard at the head of a shattered opposition, Labour could have won those elections with Piers Morgan or a Teletubby in charge.

But a Coryn victory might not lead to the disaster the Blairites wish for , He might just reconnect with missing votersed up with Austerity and little choice in England  as they already have with the SNP in Scotland

For Wales it may be harder for Plaid or it could be that they could point out that their candidates have more in common with a Prime Minister Corbyn than existing Labour MP's and candidates.

It could be that a Corbyn leadership could rather than as the Blarites may hope see off the Left for good by offering something other than the same thing as the Tories actually inspire  people just as the SNP did in Scotland as Mhari Black so brilliantly pointed out.

 “The SNP did not triumph on a wave of nationalism; in fact nationalism has nothing to do with what happened in Scotland. We triumphed on a wave of hope – hope that there is something better than the Thatcherite neoliberal policies that come from this chamber.”

Of course if the public were to deny the media attacks on Corbyn and the polls started to show he was getting popular with the public. Labour Mps and candidates will be looking in their sock drawers for their old  CND, Cole not Dole and other Badges in an effort to convince us they were with us all along.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Mule digs up thee year old story on Plaid's "Style Guru".

When the Simpson's Mr Burns runs for Governor of Springfield's State against Mary Bailey.  In the episode  Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish.

CampaignteamThe Leader
The Campaign Team
Speech Writer
Joke Writer
Make up Man
Spin Doctor
Personal Trainer
The Investigators
Muck Raker
Character Assassin
Mud Slinger

It was a comment of Politicians appointing a number of people to make sure their best possible image is put forward.

I was reminded of this when the Wasting Mule reported on 

Plaid pays for a 'positivity guru' as an image consultant... but asks for donations to fund election organisers

According to the Mule
A senior Plaid Cymru source has expressed concern about the party’s decision to hire an image consultant after it set up an internet campaign to raise funds for next year’s National Assembly election.
The source – who naturally wish to be named – said Plaid had shown a poor sense of priorities in engaging Claire Howell, a “positivity guru” who advised former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and other SNP politicians.
Plaid is currently running an appeal for donations on the crowd-funding for it to hire organisers for the election.
The Mule goes on to admit  that the story is three years old

The advertisement states:
“It’s time for a fresh start for Wales. The Labour Welsh Government is holding Wales back and is unable to even achieve its own meagre ambitions – Plaid Cymru has the energy, the vision and the ideas to make Wales work.
“Play your part in moving Wales forward by giving a donation that will enable us to work for you and for Wales after May’s election.
“The money raised will be used to fund a number of organisers across the nation, all of whom will play a key part in our success in 2016.
“We’ve already raised £20,000 towards our ‘Organisers Fund’. If we can raise another £10,000 we will be able to make a huge impact – particularly as one generous member has promised to match this with another £10,000. The more we can raise, the more organisers we can fund.”
The anonymous senior Plaid Cymru source told us:
 “If we hadn’t hired Claire Howell at a reputed cost of £60,000, perhaps we wouldn’t have to raise funding for organisers by begging on the internet.
“Quite a few people in the party see hiring Claire Howell to rebrand (Plaid leader) Leanne Wood as a vanity project.”

The mule goes on to sort of admit  that this is an old story
Three years ago we revealed how Plaid had hired Ms Howell, whose Really Effective Development Company (REDco) has described her on its website as an “executive coach to chief executives for personal performance and strategic skills” and says her clients include “high-profile sports people” and “members of the British peerage”.
 Plaid Cymru chief executive Rhuanedd Richards said:

 “I’m not going to reveal how much the party paid Claire Howell, but it was nowhere near the £60,000 figure that has been mentioned."Claire worked with us in 2012 on a consultancy basis, but she has not received any payment from us since then or shortly afterwards. She has become a friend of Leanne’s and a member of the party, and offers informal advice.”
Ms Richards said the crowd-funding exercise was another way of raising money to fight next year’s Assembly election: 
“Unlike other parties we don’t have big corporate or trade union donors. We have to raise funds from the people and communities of Wales.”
So it seems that  the papers intention is to ruin Plaids appeal for donations.
Personalty I am suspicious of such image Gurus but most  most parties use them and with Leanne showing a great deal of improvement during May's election campaign it might be argued that Ms Howell may be having some affect
One wonders if the anonymous source is the same who leaked that Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has narrowly won the right to top her party's regional list for South Wales Central for the 2016 assembly election. 

Is there someone in Plaid's ranks  seeking to undermine the Party.