Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Corbyn has responsibility without power

The election of Jeremy Corbyn may well not lead to a new dawn for the left . Inded the indications are beginning to prove that he has responsibility without power

For instance in his Conference speech speech he said

“I don’t believe that £100bn spent on a new generation of nuclear weapons taking away a quarter of our defence budget is the right way forward.” 

However the  conference  denied
a debate being aired on Trident. a debate that activist  might well have won . But in not having a debate it appears Labour are not to change it stance anytime soon.

When it comes to Iraq  he said

“It didn’t help our national security when we went to war with Iraq in defiance of the United Nations on a false prospectus. It didn’t help our national security to endure the loss of hundreds of brave British soldiers in that war while making no proper preparation for what to do after the fall of that regime.”

Not really the apology that was trailed in the media before his speech, but is this an indication that he  will be prepared to do so in the future or that he is already watering down his approach.

and he has not ben helped by his shadow chancellor John McDonnell saying

Labour MPs should be given a free vote on military action in Syria, shadow chancellor John McDonnell has said.

Mr McDonnell told a meeting hosted by The Guardian at the Labour conference that Syria and the renewal of Trident were issues on which he did not expect consensus within the party.

He said he believed a vote on military action in Syria should be made "on the basis of conscience".

 This could lead to Corbyn walking through the No corridoe with more SNP,Plaid Green and some Northern Ireland MPs than his own. 

McDonnel had the previous day  turned on the SNP, and told conference: 

 “Let’s be clear the SNP has now voted against the living wage, against capping rent levels and just last week voted against fair taxes in Scotland to spend on schools.
“So, here is my message to the people of Scotland – Labour is now the only anti-austerity party. For those in Scotland who want to campaign against austerity, now is the time to come home – come home to Labour.”
 Which is an appaling twisting of the facts

However, the SNP hit back and said McDonnell had offered Scotland nothing new from Labour, and had continued to commit the party to voting for Chancellor George Osborne’s austerity plans.

Deputy leader Stewart Hosie said:

 “Mr McDonnell’s comments confirm that when it comes to Scotland Labour haven’t changed.

“Rather than learning from their mistakes and setting out a positive vision for the country, they are repeating the same negative and ill-informed rhetoric that saw them all but wiped out in Scotland at the last election. They may have changed the messengers but it’s the same tired old message.

“Labour’s economic plans are all over the place. While the SNP went into May’s election opposing austerity and campaigning for a real terms increase in public spending, Labour ran scared of the Tories and backed their draconian cuts and welfare reforms.”

He added: “While the SNP remain firmly opposed to George Osborne’s pro-austerity fiscal charter, John McDonnell just last week mandated Labour MPs to troop through the lobbies with the Tories yet again to back the plans, just as they did when they voted for £30bn of cuts in the last parliament.

“Labour have now lost all credibility and no one will take these claims remotely seriously.”

The problem for those who are rushing towards Labour  because they have elected a Progressive Left leader and who people like myself admire  is that  the majority of Labour MPs  are miles away from him  and even those on the Left like Mcdonnell are not wiling to work with others on an agenda that could  see not only a Anti-austerity campaign ( Mcdonnell  claim that Labour are now the only Austerity party being nonsense) but a move to working towards more peaceful solutions.'

THe sad thing is that Corbyn may well become  a prisoner  not only of the Blarite and other Red Tories in his Parliamentary Party but of Dinosaur of the left who see other parties with left leaning views as a threat.

I hope I am wrong but its not looking good.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Polls make gloomy reading for progresive parties.

The latest Poll for the Assembly Election shows continuing disappointment  for Plaid whilst Ukip  seem yo be holding ytier vote in Wales despite falling dramatically  in the last poll UK poll

For the Welsh Assembly  the polls for the Constituency shows

Labour: 39% (+4)
Conservatives: 23% (no change)
Plaid Cymru: 18% (-2)
UKIP: 13% (-1)
Liberal Democrats: 6% (+1)
Others: 2% (-1)
The changes are from  the last poll was conducted in June.and show what may be a Corbyn bounce.

For the "Top Up" Regional  voted
Labour: 34% (+2)
Conservatives: 24% (+2)
Plaid Cymru: 18% (-2)
UKIP: 14% (no change)
Liberal Democrats: 5% (no change)
Greens: 4% (no change)
Others: 2% (-1)
According to Professor Roger Scully of the Wales Governance Centre it would result in the following outcome.
Labour: 29 seats (27 constituency seats + 2 list seats)
Conservatives: 12 seats (6 constituency seats + 6 list seats)
Plaid Cymru: 10 seats (6 constituency seats + 4 list seats)
UKIP: 8 seats (8 list seats)
Liberal Democrats: 1 seats (1 constituency seat)

It will be intresting what wil hapen to the Ukip vote if the select g high profile figures from outside Wales to stand in 2016 in the most winnable regional seats

For  Progressive Parties like Plaid, LibDems ( who may be joining) and Greens if they do not start to increase in the  Polls soon May be a very big  disappointment.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Catalunya make a huge step towards Independence.

The result of the  Catalunya elections  sees the Pro independence parties gaining  enough of a majority to claim to push  for an Independence election in eighteen months

The figures below are confusing because it reflects a new alliance  and coalition

The former Convergence and Union (Catalan: Convergència i Unió, CiU; IPA:  was a Catalan nationalist electoral alliance in Catalonia, Spain. It was a federation of two constituent parties, the larger Democratic Convergence of Catalonia (CDC) and its smaller counterpart, the Democratic Union of Catalonia (UDC). Up until its dissolution in June 17, 2015, it was led by Artur Mas, who is also the current President of the Catalan Government.

The new coalition of CDC,ERC and  MES  (JxSí) will be supported by the left Candidatura d'Unitat Popular (CUP) Popular Unity Candidatures

It will remain to be sen how the Spanish Central Government will react to what has amounted to a Plebiscite  and the Democratic will of the Catalan People.
 If you take the votes of the Parties  the Pro independence Parties fel short of the 50% mark but  you could probably  count a number of the who voted for parties who are ambiguous.

1.952.482 vots
JxSí 1.616.962
CUP 335.520
Parties who neither fully support Independence or the Status quo
467.417 vots
CSQP 364.823
UDC 102.594
1.599.527 vots
C's 732.147
PSC 520.022
PP 347.358
45.493 vots

Party                                                               - Preliminary results (97%) -20152012
Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya (CDC)
Democratic Convergence of Catalonia

Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC)
Republican Left of Catalonia
Social democracy 
Moviment d'Esquerres (MES)
Movement of the Left
Social democracy   

Demòcrates de Catalunya (DC)
Democrats of Catalonia
Christian democracy 

Ciutadans - Partido de la Ciudadanía (C's)
Citizens - Party of the Citizenry


Partit dels Socialistes de Catalunya (PSC-PSOE)
Socialists' Party of Catalonia
Social democracy
Podem (PODEM)
We Can
Direct democracy
Democratic socialism

Iniciativa per Catalunya Verds (ICV)
Initiative for Catalonia Greens
Green politics
Esquerra Unida i Alternativa (EUiA)
United and Alternative Left
Partit Popular (PP)
People's Party
Christian democracy 
Candidatura d'Unitat Popular (CUP)
Popular Unity Candidatures

Unió Democràtica de Catalunya (UDC)
Democratic Union of Catalonia
Christian democracy 

Convergència i Unió (CiU)
Convergence and Union



Sunday, 27 September 2015

Winning at Rugby is not the sum total of our National Identity

Don't get me wrong I am still  overwhelmed by Yesterdays Victory for Wales against England in the Rugby World Cup.

But is this the total amount of ambition for us as a Nation . Just identifying ourselves with a Rugby victory?

Today in Catalunya there is an election that is a defacto plebiscite over Independence 

The plan to hold an election in 2015 was announced on January 15, 2015 by President Artur Mas. President Mas said that it was his intention to turn the election into an alternative vote on the independence of ,Catalunya with pro-independence parties including the independence process in their respective programs, due to the inability of holding a legal referendum on the issue.[1]
It will take place as a result of the Catalunya independence movement, and will be the third Catalan election in only five years, after the 2010 and 2012 elections. It will be the first regional Catalonian election in which Democratic Convergence of  Catalunya (CDC) and Democratic Union of Catalunya UDC) run separately, after the dissolution of the Convergence and Union (CiU) in June 2015. It will be the first time this has happened in any kind of election since the 1977 general election. Instead, UDC will run on its own, while CDC will run together with Republican Left of  (Catalunya ERC), Democrats of  (Catalunya DC) and Left Movement (MES) under the Together for Yes (JxSí) platform, with support from members of the pro-independence Catalan National Assembly (ANC), Òmnium and the Municipalities' Association for Independence (AMI), with Artur Mas as the agreed presidential candidate.

There is no  reason for us not to link our fee;imgs of a Nation through sport .

For many Catalans through their beloved Barca sees an expression of that at ever Barcelona Home game

In keeping with the team's history, Barcelona's Camp Nou stadium has become a hub for supporters of self-rule. "At 17 minutes and 14 seconds into each half, the fans start chanting 'independence'," Marina said. The timing relates to the year when Catalonia first became part of Spain. 

Below they sing the join in the famous chant as the clock reaches 1714 .

 Will we ever see a chant for Independence at the Millennium Stadium when the  clock reaches 15:36 (1282 won't obviously work) when Welsh law, which continued to be used in Wales after the conquest, was fully replaced by English law, under what would become known as the Act of Union?

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Labour clearly have no future plans for Wales to move foward.

 I have no problem with the Wasting Mule giving a huge amount of space solely devoted to Labour on the eve of their UK conference.

I do however have a problem with them not giving room for political opponents to comment on the bullshit that comes out of the "Welsh Labour leadership.

With First Minister Carwyn Jones giving space to claim that Welsh Labour can honour Keir Hardie's legacy by winning power as he calls for unity ahead of conference

The first minister warned:

 “Without power, all we can do with Hardie’s legacy is discuss it – to truly honour his legacy we must govern, we must drive change in society. The fact that we have moved with the people in Wales, and stayed at the helm over 16 years has been no mean achievement, and we should never, ever take that for granted.”
Mr Jones argued former Merthyr Tydfil MP Hardie was 

“a deal-maker and strategist” who decided against adding “Socialist” to the title of the party “because he thought the label too divisive and that it might narrow the appeal.”
 True  but nowhere does Carwyn seem to mention that Kier Hardie was also a passionate supporter for Home Rule and that coexisted with the formation of Party whose intentions were to represent Workingmen.

Labour are no longer the inheritors of Kier Hardie  and while I would not argue that Plaid or thew SNP are . Kier Hardie may have been a litle more comfortable with these parties than at least before Corbyn  Labour.

Space is also given to Labour's Shadow Governor General Secretary of State for Wales  Nia (who) Griffiths.

The Mule claim

Nia Griffith pledges to pursue the 'best settlement for Wales' as she prepares for conference debut as Shadow Welsh Secretary

Ms Griffiths said: 

“What matters more than anything it is should be easy to understand [so] that we have absolute clarity about what the Welsh Government can and cannot do. Anything less than that is not good enough...
“These people are experts in the field and if they are raising considerable concerns then that’s really got to be taken seriously, otherwise you could end up back in the situation of going to court over this, that and the other.”
 Her priority as Shadow Welsh Secretary it seems  is to secure the “best settlement for Wales” – both in terms of devolution and funding. She fears “savage cuts” are heading Wales’ way.

So is that Labour ambition ? Tidy up the legalise .  Nothing from both politicians that can really see Wales moving forward and if the Tories are offering "devodipynbach" then all you can say is that you work for the best settlement from it.

She is also apparently  concerned by the Conservative manifesto commitment to give English MPs a de facto veto on legislation deemed England-only, describing the pledge as a “quick, short-term fix so the Conservatives stop losing votes to Ukip” made “without necessarily thinking through the consequences of what they are actually doing.”

So that the two Welsh Labour leader one  evoking the spirit of a leader who would not recognise the party he created today including its commitment to the Union in its present form and another who ses her job not to come up with any call for Wales to get similar powers to Scotland but to try and "tidy up" the Tories current plans .

Whatever happens under Corbyn in Westminster it is clear thet Welsh Labour no longer have Plans for former First Minister  Rhodri Morgan's "clear red water" between  their counterparts over  the boarder but for a polluted stream.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Ukip Carpetbaggers on the way to Welsh Assembly.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has insisted the Welsh party will help decide key candidates for the assembly election.

Former UKIP candidates have warned against allowing high profile figures from outside Wales to stand in 2016 in the most winnable seats
Mr Farage said representatives from the "national party and from Wales" would pick the regional list candidates. 

He was speaking to BBC Wales before the start of UKIP's annual conference, in Doncaster, on Friday.

Among  the carpetbaggers are 

  • Neil Hamilton disgraced ex Tory  was born in Bedwellty and grew up in Carmarthenshire. Though to here him speak you would  surprised He served as Conservative MP for Tatton from 1983 to 1997. He joined UKIP in 2011 and is currently its deputy chairman. Back in 2006 He and his "battle axe wife  put forward a recorded  supporting England for the football world cup

Warning have a bucket ready you may want to vomit.

  • Mark Reckless defected from the Conservatives to UKIP in 2014 but lost his Rochester and Strood seat at the general election. He is head of policy development for UKIP Wales. It would be an embarrassment  therefore if the man running the campaign in Wales was to fail to be selected

  • Alexandra Phillips is a former ITV Wales journalist who worked for former UKIP Wales MEP John Bufton before becoming Nigel Farage's head of press.

The names on those lists - UKIP's best chance of winning its first-ever seats in Cardiff Bay - will be picked by a central committee, rather than local UKIP branches

Ken Beswick, UKIP's general election candidate in Torfae has criticised the procedure he said:

They're being brought in from the outside with little knowledge of the area or the people, or the customs, or the assembly for that matter - you need local people.
"UKIP is going to have a hard enough time anyway fighting the Conservatives and Labour and to have candidates coming from the outside that no-one knows, and they're not Welsh, is not going to go down well.
"The autonomy the party should have in Wales isn't there - they're being dictated to by head office."

But Mr Farage said: "We've got representatives from the national party and from Wales making those selections.

"We're much newer; you know, the Labour Party have been standing for over a century, they know their people before they make the selections. We're very much newer
"Five years ago in Wales UKIP hardly existed; now we've got a whole load of new people, and what we've chosen to do is go through a proper, professional vetting process, so we can put people before the electorate that we know will be good representatives."
Not that New but it loks like Ukip in England have litle faith in the quality of candidates here 
He said any UKIP AMs elected in May would offer "constructive criticism" and would try to "break up a consensus, a very cosy consensus" in Cardiff Bay.
it would be "ridiculous" to discuss any possible post-election deals with other parties with polling day still several months away. "There are Catalans in Madrid, there are UKIPers in Strasbourg, there are SNP types at Westminster who do not believe in the existence of those chambers at all.
"We do believe that Wales needs the right devolved settlement and yes, we will play our constructive part."

 Can a Party in the Assembly consisting of AM from outside Wales really be constructive part of the Assembly or will they be wreckers .

I would venture to suggest that they will probably be like their MEPs in Strasbourg whose attendance at the European Parliament is appalling and we may well see empty seats in the Senedd Chamber when we get the weekly broadcast from the BBC  

Thursday, 24 September 2015

"Stalinists",Trotskyites and Labour

It is somewhat ironic that an a warning that a bunch of old Trotskyites are not going win political power.” comes from someone called Kim.


Not however from KimJong-un supreme leader of the last Stalinist outpost  Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) but our own Kim Howells  who of course before joining Labour and becoming a Blairite MP was a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain and probably had at times had to put up with the accusation of "Stalinist" from other far left fractions

But  it is clear it is from his Blairite stance  that Kim Howells  claimed Civil war within the Labour Party is “inevitable” following the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader, 

Mr Howells, who represented Pontypridd between 1989 and 2010 and was a long-serving minister under Tony Blair, told last nights  BBC Wales Week In Week Out programme that the party needs to reconcile its divisions as soon as possible if it is to have a chance of winning the general election in 2020.

Asked how he would respond to recent events if he were a Labour MP now, Mr Howells, whose last appointment before stepping down from the Commons was as chairman of the intelligence and security committee, said:

“I’d be bitterly opposed to the current leadership of the Labour Party.
“I’d be saying things that I believe about the need to win political power and a bunch of old Trotskyites are not going win political power.”

To win, he says the party has 

“to start speaking in a language people can understand and convince the electorate”.
“There is going to be a civil war inside the Parliamentary Labour Party. It’s nothing new, it’s happened in the past and it’s happening right now.”
Asked if he thinks civil war is inevitable, he says: 

"I think it is inevitable.”
 “It’s not good enough to say that the party is resilient, it will come back again. It could be decades before it comes back again. So the party’s got to make its mind up.
“Does it really think it’s going to win again in the future, with Corbyn as the leader? I don’t think so.”
 Mr Howells could have at least accepted  that Jeremy Corbyn was elected with the support of the vast majority of party supporters  and that it is clear that  even if you removed all the "Trostkyite"  won.

Normally as a supporter of Welsh Independence the prospect of Labour tearing itself apart  would probably appear to benefit this cause as Plaid gains support.

But I'm not sure that Plaid or the Greens or even the Lib Dems will benefit from a Civil War  within Labour and that the true winners will be the Tories as usual

Before we dance around the Bonfire we must make sure  it does not end up with us getting burnt to the ground as well.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Kezia Dugdale visits Wales to praise Labour here (God help us).

It seems that the new Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale  ( God knows whose going to be there after next mMay) has visited Wales to learn from Welsh Labour's election success 

 The Wasting Mule gives space to what is probably spin for Welsh Labour than for electors in Scotland.

She said:
“The Labour Party here has been doing something that we don’t do in Scotland, and that’s win elections. It’s been a joy to be here to learn from my colleagues in Wales about their record of putting Wales first.
“There are particular strengths around education: closing the gap between the richest kids and the rest is a priority for the Welsh Labour Government here in a way I wish it was a priority for the SNP Government in Scotland.
“Over the past few years in Scotland we’ve had a Government focused on the independence debate, with a two and a half year campaign that ended last September and who’ve spent the year since that referendum mourning the referendum result instead of delivering for the people of Scotland.
"It’s nice to be in a part of the country where people are being put first and progressing their hopes and opportunities in the number one priority.”

The Wasting Mule Martin Shipton  claims that Ms Dugdale comes across as a level-headed politician, not easy to ruffle. 

No comment on her amazing gaffe on good Evening Wales” yesterday. (Good Evening Wales, BBC Radio Wales, 21 September 2015) which was picked up by Wings Over Scotland where you can here the immortal words'. from the Scottish Leader untill May.

“Wales and Scotland are so much smaller in size than the rest of the… the rest of England.”

As the Rev says

 "The impressive bit is that that’s what she said AFTER she paused for thought".

At least the Mule Shipton points out (probably with glee)leaving aside the obvious point that Plaid Cymru is not the SNP, she believes that Welsh Labour policies have been popular with the electorate.

When it was put to Ms Dugdale that the SNP remained immensely popular according to the polls, she said: 

“There’s huge support for Nicola Sturgeon, there’s no doubt about that.
"But when you dig into the details of the polls and it comes to their record on health, education and justice, just a third of people in Scotland think they’re doing a good job when it comes to those issues.

"So one politician’s popularity in contrast with one Government’s record creates a space for the Labour Party to say: ‘what about your kids’ chances in school, what about your mam and dad’s health and the social care they need when they get older, what about the police?’
“We’ve seen big problems in the police in Scotland with the creation of one national force – 2,000 backroom staff lost, a sense that the police just aren’t there when you need them.”
When it was put to Ms Dugdale that the SNP remained immensely popular according to the polls, she said: “There’s huge support for Nicola Sturgeon, there’s no doubt about that.
"But when you dig into the details of the polls and it comes to their record on health, education and justice, just a third of people in Scotland think they’re doing a good job when it comes to those issues. 

Shipton doesn't seem to have pointed out to MsDugdale state of the Welsh NHS and Education under the Tenure of Welsh Labour nor our higher unemployment rateto Ms

It says much for the electability of Scottish Labour that they  think they can learn from Welsh Labour the only place in the UK where the Party has any power.

The reason for this is that Wales has been kept in a straitjacket when it comes to powers people still place most of the responsibility still on the Westminster Government and Labour van get away by blaming the Tories.

This is why "Welsh Labour" are opposed to parity of powers with Scotland to do so would show their inadequacies when it comes to fitness to govern Wales.


Tuesday, 22 September 2015

A bunch of Has Beens try to reform the Act of Union.

The Wasting Mule Online reports that the tanned one  AKA the former Labour Welsh Secretary Peter Hain has joined up with former Liberal Democrat leader Menzies Campbell and leading Tory peer the Marquess of Salisbury to form a group that will campaign for a new Act of Union in the UK. 

It goes on to tell us.
The ex-Neath MP, who like Sir Menzies is shortly to join the House of Lords, says the Constitution Reform Group will argue that the current Union is unsustainable in a context where the SNP is calling for another referendum on Scottish independence and the UK Government is seeking to ban MPs from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland from voting on laws that only affect England.
Mr Hain (soon Lord) said: “

What is new and striking about the new cross-party group to reform the relationship between the nations and regions of the UK is that it was initiated by leading Conservatives.

“Until now, the pressure for reform has come from Labour, Liberals, Green and radical constitutionalists.
“But when I was approached to join the steering committee of the new group, I discovered that the main motivation was born out of a belief by serious and influential Conservatives that, without wide-ranging constitutional reform, the very future of the UK is imperilled, not least by the still real threat of Scottish secession
 A cynic may think that  the purpose of this group is to dangle the prospect of constitutional reform without actually doing anything and keep it going for years in the hope the demands of Scotland will die down

“The analysis we have collectively agreed without any rancour is compelling. Namely that the constitutional status quo cannot remain except at the cost of dismembering Britain and leaving all of its constituent nations and regions immeasurably weaker in a world of much bigger and much more powerful nations and blocs.
“We have identified important areas for reform and suggested different options. These include addressing the asymmetrical devolution that has left England with an understandable grievance (and not just on the political right) as the most centralised and therefore disenfranchised part of the UK (London excepted).

“On the House of Lords, my own view is that a Senate or House of Lords should be at the very least majority-elected on the same day as a general election, ideally by a list system of proportional representation on the same boundaries as apply to European elections.
“That would enable each of the nations and regions within the United Kingdom to be properly represented, helping bind us back together again in a way that both Houses of Parliament have palpably failed to do.
“Such a reformed institution will give a proper voice to the whole of the UK and act as an effective complement to a House of Commons which – because of first-past-the-post voting procedure – does not fairly represent all our citizens.”
One wonder why Mr (Soon Lord) had not come to the conclusion 

Again a cynic might think that this is a desperate attempt by a retired poltician desperate for a role that might keep him in the public eye. 

As i said you  might also come to the conclusion that this is more about stopping Scotland leaving the Union rather than any constitutional change  and like the infamous "Vow" will peter out if it becomes clear it is not going to happen in the near future (though it doesn't look like it).
Add caption

Whilst I would welcome constitutional reform I doubt it will come from this bunch of has-beens.

They after all have had years serving in the UK parliament  and have hardly raised the question including the LibDems who claim to want a Federal Britain but have never to my mind  placed it on the top of the Agenda

They could have placed such a constitutional change at the heart of their coalition agreement instead they were suckered into having a referendum on AV as a form of proportional representation and joined Better Together in the Scottish Referendum offering no real alternative  to the Labour-Tory consensus.

Monday, 21 September 2015

A Party of the Centre and Principle?

 The LibDems are cockahoop over a real Left wing Labour leader believing they can attract not only Labour voters but Labour members  notwithstanding the later were the sort they fought against during the Blair/Brown Red Tory years. 

They are they believe back in the centre of UK politics again however as the centre keeps moving  so do they.

The Labour Party move to the right under Blair - The Liberal Democrats are the true  radicals and oppose the Tory-Labour con census come and join us disgruntled Labour Party Members.

 The Labour Party move to the left under Corbyn- The Liberal Democrats are the face of moderation and are the real alternative to the Tory right

But it goes on as they twist depending on perceived support for other parties positions. 

They are they believe back in the centre of UK politics again however as the centre keeps moving  so do they.

It not only Labour members alarmed at a left switch the Liberal Democrats can adept themselves for perceived disgruntled members ot the Tories, Plaid ,SNP even UKIP,

And that leads to them portraying themselves as a party of principle and not opportunist at all, Oh No.

A Liberal Democrat opposes trident - He/She is commuted to to unilateral disarmament and a peaceful resolutions
Another  Politician is opposed to Trident-They are a threat to the Nations security

A Liberal Democrat  is opposed to Austerity Curs- He/She is fighting for the most badly affected members of Society
Another  Politician is opposed to Austerity Curs - He/She is fighting the old socialist battles of the 80's

 A Liberal Democrat admits to being a Republican- Proves we are a democratic party allowing such views
Another  Politician admits to being a Republican- Proves how far away that party are from the genuine public support for the Monarchy

 A Liberal Democrat  supports equality for the Welsh Language - Out party strongly support the use of Welsh throughout Wales
Another  Politician supports equality for the Welsh Language - They are guilty of sowing diversion and placing an unnecessary burden on business and the Tax Payer.

 A Liberal Democrat supports parity for Wales with  Scotland - We are a party committed to a Federal UK
 Another  Politician supports parity for Wales with  Scotland - We need to make sure the Assembly uses the powers it already has sensible first.

A Liberal Democrat supports Wind Farms - Proves we are the True Green Party
 Another  Politician supports Wind Farms- Not here in my constituency where they are a blot on the landscape.

A Liberal Democrat has a plan for increased spending in the Welsh NHS- We have full costed plans and it is affordable in this area
Another  Politician has a plan for increased spending in the Welsh NHS- They have not worked this out and we must concentrate in making sure current measures are being deployed more effectively.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Corbyn appoints Peer convicted of arson to his frontbench

Jeremy Corbyn has finalised his frontbench line-up, appointing a peer jailed for arson to his education team.

Lord Watson - a former MP and MSP - was given a 16-month jail sentence in 2005 for starting a fire at an Edinburgh hotel. He was suspended from the party, but regained the whip in 2012. 

 Watson was elected to the Parliament of the United Kingdom as Member of Parliament (MP) for Glasgow Central at a by-election in 1989, following the death of Bob McTaggart MP. He was re-elected in the 1992 election and represented that constituency until it was abolished in 1997. He sought the nomination from the Labour party to run for the Govan seat at the 1997 election, but after initially winning the nomination by one vote, he lost a re-run to Mohammad Sarwar.

So in 1997 rewarded him  with a  Life peerage as Baron Watson of Invergowrie, of Invergowrie in Perth and Kinross.

In 1999 Lord Watson was elected to the Scottish Parliament to represent the Glasgow Cathcart constituency and was re-elected in 2003.
Then on  15 November 2004, Lord Watson was charged with two counts of "wilful fire raising" after a private reception at Edinburgh's Prestonfield Hotel following the Scottish Politician of the Year awards on 11 November.

The first alleged that he set fire to a curtain in the hotel's reception, and the second that he set fire to a curtain in the hotel's Yellow Room.

 On being charged, the Labour whip was suspended in the Holyrood and Westminster parliaments.[6] After initially registering not guilty pleas to both charges on 23 August 2005,[6] he changed his plea on 1 September to guilty on the first count, and had a not guilty plea accepted on the second charge.[7]
On the same day that Lord Watson admitted his guilt, he resigned from the Scottish Parliament.

 On 22 September 2005, Lord Watson was sentenced to 16 months' imprisonment.

But now it gets interesting.
It was not possible for a life peer to resign from the House of Lords at that time and there was no provision for peers convicted of criminal offences to be stripped of their titles. Such legislation was last proposed following the conviction of Jeffrey Archer for perjury in 2001, but was then rejected.

In January 2007 Watson was appointed as an Associate Director with Caledonia Consulting, while also attending the House of Lords on a regular basis.

Watson was re-admitted to membership of the Labour Party in July 2012, after a vote of the National Executive Committee.

 Labour said the peer was rehabilitated and it was "right he should be allowed to play a full part in public life".

I have no problem with Mr Watson's rehabilitation   but should he have carried on as a Member of a Legislature .

It is a very bad start for a Labour Leader who may wish to see an elected second chamber  to appoint someone who should have resigned  expelled from that chamber or at the very least cease to attend  to your front bench.

Imagine the howls of outrage from Labour if Cameron had a pointed convicted perjurer  Lord Archer to his front bench?

An SNP spokesman said:

 "This is a bizarre appointment; it reflects how Jeremy Corbyn seems to be scrambling around for people to work with, which in turn is further proof of the deep divisions within the Labour Party 

Maybe but the real issue is that someone can come straight out of Prison and go straight back to their job.

Don't get me wrong I fully support the rehabilitation of offender. But in Mile Watson's case it should start with him standing for election and letting the electorate decide

 I just feel that remaining a Peer after being convicted and imprisoned is a bit to far

Friday, 18 September 2015

Listen to Caroline Lucus and not Ann Clwyd on the Arms Trade.

The UK should stop selling military equipment to "despotic regimes" a Welsh MP has told a Westminster debate.

Cynon Valley Labour MP Ann Clwyd said it was "not possible to promote human rights at the same time as promoting arms exports".

She was speaking as London was hosting the world's biggest arms fair.

Foreign Office Minister Tobias Ellwood said:

"We aim to operate one of the most robust and vigorous and transparent systems" of arms exports.
Mrs Clwyd said that after the 2011 uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East more than 150 licences for arms exports were revoked.
"Revocation of licences can only be of limited effect - for the simple reason that revocation is of no use whatsoever for exports that have already been shipped. 
"These arms can never be recovered."
 Does Ann Clwyd accept any responsibility to the whole mess in the Middle East in a role as Tony Blair Bag carrier . Many of these weapons  have fallen into the arms of Isis through Blair's (and her's) folhardy intervention.

For a decade she has been promising us that "The Green Roots of Democracy" are appearing in Iran and Afghanistan when there is only a wasteland.

Her former Boss Tony Blair has gone on to make his fortune  with the corrupt and despotic Saudi Royal Family. who treatment of Women is as almost as bad as the Taliban and who persecute those who do not share their shade of Islam. 

A previously secret contract with a Saudi oil company headed by a member of the country’s royal family has been leaked showing Mr Blair charging £41,000 a month and 2 per cent commission on any of the multi-million-pound deals he helped broker.
The emergence of the Saudi deal led to new criticism of Mr Blair’s role as a Middle East envoy, but he strongly denied there is a conflict of interest.

 Ms Clwyd does not seem to have benefited from her Middle East Folly at least.

Nor does she include the Saudis in her list of "despotic regimes" or are absolute monarchies   like Saudia Arabia and Bahrain exempt?

I have no doubt that  Ms Clwyd is sincere  but she holds some responsibility for the disastrous state of affairs i the Middle East  particularly in her selective approach to what constitutes despotism.

This looks like a statement intended to catch the eye of the new Labour leader  Jeremy Corbyn perhaps  so she can get a further role in the Middle East.

 But if Mr Corbyn wants to listen to anyone  it should not be Ms Clwyd .
 Indeed he would be better to pay attention to the words of , Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion,  who last week asked David Cameron a somewhat troubling question in light of the refugee crisis.

At prime minister's questions, she asked:
The ongoing harrowing refugee crisis is fuelled by conflict, which in turn is powered in part by the global arms trade.
The UK has supplied the weapons being used in many areas from which people are now fleeing, including Yemen and Libya.
In the week that London will once again host the largest arms fair in the world, is it not time for the Government to recognise the link between arms sales and the terrible tragedy that we see unfolding around us?

Although a supporter of another Party I have no problem  with  listing to the voice of members of other parties and backing them when I agree with them, and I agree with both Ms Clwyd and Ms Lucus but the latter is clearly untainted like the former and it is she who we should pay attention not a failed Labour Politician who has blood on her hands.