Tuesday, 31 January 2017

New proposals for Welsh councils thin on detail?

The Wasting Mule report that the the  vote would be extended to 16 and 17-year-olds in council elections and local authorities would be able to choose their own voting systems under proposals published today by the Welsh Government.
A White Paper, launched by Local Government Secretary Mark Drakeford, also sets out how councils will deliver some of their services together.
The White Paper, which is out for consultation until the beginning of April, is the result of months of discussions between the Welsh Government, local authorities and others on how to strengthen council services in the face of future challenges.
It seeks views on proposals to make councils work together on a regional basis to deliver a range of services, address workforce issues, and implement electoral reform including allowing voting at 16.
I am not sure if allowing councils to choose their own voting system is right , is Mr Drakeford proposing we have different systems in Gwynedd and Merthyr?
 it seems that it will be used by some councils particularity Labour run ones to preserve their hegemony and the only move is when  they temporally lose power and a different party take the opportunity  to change the rules.
What happens if councils merge and they operated two different electoral systems ?
Of course yo could have referendums when it comes to change , but it looks like a recipe for Gerrymandering.
Apart from this the white paper seems to have some reasonable proposals although the details seem a bit sparse.
 It o calls on members of the public to become active participants in local democracy and in the design and delivery of services.
Under the proposals new regional bodies would be set up to promote economic development.
They would also cover certain planning functions and transport.
Councils would have some flexibility over how they share responsibility for other mandatory services including education improvement, social services, additional learning needs, public protection and promotion of the Welsh language.
Councillors would make up the membership of new, enhanced joint committees which would oversee these services and make decisions on behalf of their respective councils. 
But it seems rather thin and even if councillors make up these bodies. I wonder if especially under the seeming proposed electoral system , could see  areas where one Party has a predominance of councillors dominating these joint committees?

Monday, 30 January 2017

We must be all standing up to Trump .

I like 894729 people so far have signed the petition that 

Donald Trump should be allowed to enter the UK in his capacity as head of the US Government, but he should not be invited to make an official State Visit because it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen.

You too can sign it here ,

Note that this is not a Petition to ban Trump from visiting the UK as leader of another country , but that it should not be a state visit

 State visits are considered to be the highest expression of friendly bilateral relations between two sovereign states, and are in general characterised by an emphasis on official public ceremonies.

Less formal visits than a state visit to another country with a lesser emphasis on ceremonial events, by either a head of state or a head of government, can be classified (in descending order of magnitude) as either an official visit, a working visit, or a private visit.

When I placed it on my Facebook page some questioned whether it was worth it and I can understand  the cynicism after all despite the claim that

Parliament considers all petitions that get more than 100,000 signatures for a debate
There is no  guarantee that this will happen.

However apart from helping us to feel that we are not alone , it does send a message and together rime Minister Theresa May came under fire for not condemning the order earlier., has already forced the UK government to take some action.

She initially said it was up to the US to decide its policy on refugees but No 10 later issued a statement saying she did "not agree with this kind of approach and it is not one we will be taking".

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson earlier contacted US officials for clarification over the 90-day ban on visa holders from the seven countries ordered by President Trump.

Now officials say the US border clampdown should not affect UK nationals travelling to the US, even if they were born in one of the countries on which restrictions have been placed, officials say.

But new guidance says those with dual nationality travelling from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen could face extra border checks.

The first days of the Trump administration  indicated dark days ahead , and as he consolidates power and with  the Republican in control pf both the Senate and House of Representatives  and possibly getting a right wing  appointee  the vacant position on the supreme court which carry in favour of the right. We can see that any of the US Separation of Powers may not act as a break on the US descending  into right wing attack on all the liberal rulings on Women Rights , Civil Rights , that Trump made part of his Presidential campaign.

We must express our opposition to this via every peaceful challenge left open to us.
I finish on a quote of The White Rose (Germandie Weiße Rose) s a non-violentintellectual resistance group in Nazi Germany led by a group of students and a professor at the University of Munich. The group conducted an anonymous leaflet and graffiti campaign which called for active opposition against the Nazi regime. Their activities started in Munich on June 27th, 1942, and ended with the arrest of the core group by the Gestapo on February 18th, 1943.[1] They, as well as other members and supporters of the group who carried on distributing the pamphlets, faced unjust trials by the Nazi People's Court (Volksgerichtshof), and many were sentenced to death or imprisonmen

And we must challenge those who claim to be "Not a Racisit But" to say how far they think the Brexit/Ukip argument really represents their views.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Assembly Minister Alun Davies still treats his fellow AM with distain.

Hurley Minister for Lifelong Learning and Welsh Language minster should have learned his lesson about his past relationship with fellow AM?
In 2013 he was criticised by the cross-party Environment and Sustainability Committee for being evasive during a question session and giving contradictory answers:["In a letter to the Finance Committee about the Natural Resources department's budget, the AMs said: "We are disappointed with the timeliness of information provided by the minister, and the oral evidence session, where a number of questions were evaded or contradictory information provided."We believe that this is an indicator of problems at the heart of financial management and planning of this department and we will continue to keep a very close eye on these issues both in-year and at future budget rounds."We believe the department's approach to financial management hinders general transparency. We are therefore unable to assess whether the budget is appropriately prioritised and is providing value for money."
On 10 June 2014, the First Minister announced an investigation into a letter Davies wrote to Natural Resources Wales (NRW) re environmental concerns with the proposed development of the Circuit of Wales race track in his own constituency. As well as making up part of his ministerial portfolio, NRW had expressed concerns re the race tracks development.[6] In an investigation undertaken by Permanent Secretary Sir Derek Jones CMG, his report published on 1 July 2014 concluded that Davies had breached the Ministerial Code.[7] The report noted that in March 2013, Davies had been advised by his own department not to lobby even as the AM in the case of the race track, but had ignored this advice and had then written to NRW as the affected AM.[7] The report also revealed that the First Minister had contacted Davies in August 2013, after Davies had expressed support for the circuit openly in quote to the Western Mail newspaper Davies faced no punishment by the First Minister, but endured sustained calls for him to resign due to his behaviour
On 8 July 2014 he was sacked by First Minister Carwyn Jones following his repeated written requests to his civil servants for the private details of Common Agricultural Policy payments made to opposition members, including: Andrew RT Davies (Leader, Welsh Conservatives); Antoinette Sandbach (Conservative); Kirsty Williams (Leader, Welsh Liberal Democrats); William Powell (Welsh Liberal Democrats); and Llyr Gruffydd (Plaid Cymru).[
Now the education committee, , has expressed criticism over a lack of answers from Alun Davies on changes to funding for the Council for Wales of Voluntary Youth Services.

It would have been better if a minister gave "straight answers" over funding for a youth work charity, Labour AM Lynne Neagle has said.
The BBC say
Questions were asked after it emerged funding was to stop from March.The Welsh Government confirmed that it will now continue into 2017-18.Council for Wales of Voluntary Youth Services (CWVYS) represents and provides training to the youth work sector.Letters published on the assembly website show that last November Ms Neagle, in her capacity as chair, expressed "serious concerns" to Mr Davies, who is lifelong learning minister, after the charity discovered its grant would end in March.The decision came despite the minister having previously told the committee he would speak to a group representing organisations in the sector and others before making a decision on a future model for youth work.The letter asked a series of questions, including when the decision for CWVYS not to receive funding was made, and on what evidence was the decision based.
Ms Neagle wrote again in November, saying his response did not address all the questions asked and requested answers over CWVYS again.Mr Davies responded saying there was ongoing dialogue with the charity.But the committee chairwoman wrote again to express the committee's disappointment that not all their queries were dealt with.
At the last Assembly election  it seemed it was not only his fellow AMs (including those in his own party) that were fed up with Mr Davies. 
Welsh Assembly Election 2016: Blaenau Gwent
LabourThomas Alun Rhys Davies8,44239.7−24.3
Plaid CymruNigel Copner7,79236.6+31.2
UKIPKevin Boucher3,42316.1+16.1
ConservativeTracey West1,3346.3+1
Liberal DemocratsBrendan D'Cruz3001.4−0.4
Labour holdSwing−28.0

Why does First Minister Carwyn Jones keep appointing  him to post, where Mr Davies treats his fellow AMs with disdain?

I know they were in Aberystwyth together where Mr Davies was then a active Plaid member but how much should he rewarded for defecting to Labour? 

Is there any more arrogant politician in Wales (and its  long list).?

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Anybody want to be Shadow Welsh Secretary?

It used to be the Tories who were seen as split over Europe but at the moment  it appears to be to Labour that is tearing itself apart.
Jo Stevens has resigned as shadow Welsh secretary in protest at an instruction that Labour MPs must back the bill to trigger Brexit.
She told Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn she had been urged by her constituents to vote against the Article 50 bill.
This does not seem to be another coup against Labour's leadership but a principled stand however.
Ms Stevens said leaving the EU will be a "terrible mistake" and it was "wrong" to back steps that make it inevitable.
Mr Corbyn said it was "right that the Labour Party respects the outcome of the referendum".
The Cardiff Central MP is the second Labour front-bencher to have quit over the vote.
Mr Corbyn is ordering Labour MPs to back the bill, despite their misgivings, to avoid accusations of trying to overturn the result of the referendum.
The city of Cardiff as a whole voted 60% Remain to 40% for Leave at the EU referendum.
In a letter to Mr Corbyn, Ms Stevens said: 
"I accept the referendum result is to leave.
"I also accept that the parliamentary numbers are such that Article 50 will be triggered and we will leave the EU.
"But I believe that leaving is a terrible mistake and I cannot reconcile my overwhelming view that to endorse the step that will make exit inevitable, is wrong.
"I expect this to be the most important vote I will ever cast as an MP and for me it is a clear issue of principle and conscience.
"When I vote I will be representing my constituents, a great many of whom, including a great many Labour Party members and voters, have strongly urged me to vote in this way.
"That is why, in Shadow Cabinet, I argued against the imposition of a three line whip."

But where does this leave Labour in Wales Ms Stevens the first person to quit the shadow cabinet over the bill -was the fourth MP to serve as Labour's shadow Welsh secretary since the May 2015 general election.

That means an average tenure of less than six months.. Labour have 28 Welsh MPs if this continues by the next election 20 of them would have served as  Shadow Welsh secretary..

As Wales faces the biggest crisis it has seen for years the Labour Party leave us with no coherent representation in Westminster .

Plaid with just three MP's are putting up a bigger fight and opposition than all the Welsh Labour MP's  put together.

Meanwhile former cabinet member who last year challenged Jeremy Corbyn seems to be trying to portray himself as a martyr  

Owen Smith  has been in the news  claiming or himself the title of  ‘remoaner-in-chief’ with article 50 opposition, which seems to me to be a rather cynical move to seize the title of leader of the Anti- Corbyn factor rather than a principled stand.

Surely his failed leadership challenge should have shown him he is not of the material for such a role even of a minority of Labour members?

Although Ms Stevens does seem to be making a principled stand  its a pity she didn't claim that part of the reason for her resigning was that the Article 50 bill was bad for Wales in particular.

But when as any Labour  MP resigned because their leadership are pushing forward  or backing a Bill that was ban for Wales.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Does Brexit mean UK becoming a client state of the USA?

I have in this log argued that although I backed REMAIN and still think that Brexit was a great error I couldn't argue against  the "Will of the People " and we should accept the Referendum result.
This did not mean we should accept  that the way it was implemented but we had no choice to accept the democratic vote/
However I was basing this argument before it became cleat that the price of Brexit will be to make the UK  a subservient state of the USA under the Presidency of the USA  under a Quasi- Fascist Donald Trump who appears to think that only his agenda will be on the table when meeting fellow world leaders.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Thursday canceled a meeting with US President Donald Trump that had been set for next week after renewed tensions erupted over Trump's plan to build a wall on the border.
"This morning we have informed the White House that I will not attend the meeting scheduled for next Tuesday with the POTUS," Peña Nieto tweeted.
    Earlier Thursday morning, Trump had tweeted that it would be better to skip the meeting if Peña Nieto continued to insist Mexico would not pay for the wall -- something the Mexican leader had said as recently as Wednesday evening.
    "If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting," Trump tweeted and in an earlier tweet he noted the US's trade deficit with Mexico and what he said were the American job losses caused by NAFTA.
    So when British Prime Minister makes her first visit to the US under the Trump presidency in the hope that she can get some kind of Trade deal thet is better than any current one with the EU I doubt very much if she has  any cards to deal with and any deal will be far worse than the one we currently have with the EU. Where at least we have some say.
    Indeed Theresa May has left the door open for the greater involvement of US corporations in British healthcare as she arrives in America to lay the groundwork for a future trade deal.
    Ms May would only say that she was committed to a health service that is free at the point of delivery, but made no comment on whether the NHS would be off the table in any future talks.
    Asked whether health services might form a part of a potential deal, she said:
     “We're at the start of the process of talking about a trade deal. We're both very clear that we want a trade deal.
    “It will be in the interests of the UK from my point of view, that's what I'm going to be taking in, into the trade discussions that take place in due course.
    “Obviously he will have the interests of the US. I believe we can come to an agreement that is in the interests of both.”
    A number on the Left argued that we should leave the EU because the threat of the 

    The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal; with the US. and there were considerable argument that this deal could threaten the NHS/

    But this will be nothing to what the Tories under My will be prepared to sacrifice  for any deal, with an administration who argue that any deal they make must be primarily to the advantage of the US.

    How many Brexiters  including Nigel Farage who argued for UK independence from the European Union only to sell us to be little more than a client state of Trump's Quasi- Fascist US?

    Thursday, 26 January 2017

    Have Rhondda Cynon Taf something against my village community?

    We in the village of Beddau and Tynant  are asking ourselves whether Rhondda Cynon Taf Council have a particular animosity to our twin villages

    We have already seen them close  Beddau and Tynant Library and the local Day Centre by the Labour controlled R.CT. and now the local Rugny Club os coming under threat.

    Before I continue I must issue an apology at the time of the closure of the Library I wrote on this Blog,

    I am afraid I can't be part of this  . To me  it  could create a dangerous precedent where it could be argued  that all such amenities should be run on a voluntary basis in the Big Society of David Cameron.
    I know I am in danger of being accused "Of cutting of my nose to spite my face" but its where I stand.
    I now  admit I was wrong and since then can only expires my admiration to those  who worked so hard in giving their time raising the funds to reopen it .

    It's reopening as Beddau and Tynant Community Library has seen it not only reissuing books but conducting a large number of social activities.

    Indeed I am now giving a few hours a week volunteering there ,

    Now alad we may find ourselves faced with another threat to our community.

     Rhondda Cynon Taf council says there are "a number of issues" surrounding Beddau RFC's Club Premises Certificate - which is now being reviewed - and the findings of an investigation will be put before its licensing sub-committee.
    Such a certificate is needed by clubs or organisations to sell alcohol - or to provide entertainment like music performances of film screenings - to members or guests.
    The club argues it "happens all across South Wales every Saturday" when, for instance, away teams are invited back to the host team's clubhouse after a match.
    An online petition, entitled "Save Beddau Rugby Club" , claims the council is "challenging our status", and its author claims to have "never been asked for a membership card in any of the rugby clubs I have visited in 47-and-a-half years".
    On Friday, a council-issued notice was put up at the clubhouse, off Castellau Road.
    It says: "The licensing authority seeks to apply for the review of the Club Premises Certificate (CPC) of Beddau RFC, on the basis that the club has been operating in breach of its CPC and has failed to promote the licensing objectives."
    Gareth Jenkins, the club's treasurer, said: 
    "It's been an ongoing thing for about two years now - they [the council] have a few issues with us but the main one is about serving [alcohol to] non-members of the club.
    "I've spoken to the council about this - for instance, when away teams come back to the club, we serve them drinks but they are not members of the club.
    "It happens all across South Wales every Saturday. That is the issue, not anything like under-age drinking.
    "We can't understand what they have against us. There's never trouble here - the police are never here."There is a strong feeling about this - we put up a petition on Sunday night and by Monday morning 1,400 people had signed it.
    Mr Jenkins added that the club is of huge importance to the local area.

    "There's nothing in Beddau - no astro turf, no sports centre.
    "We run our senior rugby teams, you also have the Welsh League football club Cwm Welfare run from here, as well as mini rugby and mini football, and also a cycling club
    Indeed Beddau RFC is the second most successful club in the Rhondda Cynon Taf area after Pontypridd RFC
     Today, Beddau RFC plays in the WRU Championship. In the 2006-07 season, Beddau RFC won the Division One East League, but were denied promotion to the Premier League as their grounds were deemed not to meet WRU criteria. This ruling was upheld at an EGM by 67% of members.[4] The Club was entered into the inaugural Swalec Championship and had several good seasons in the second WRU league tier before being relegated in 2013/14. In 2014/15 With new coaches Lee Davies and Ben Daniels at the helm the Green and Golds led by Glenn Slater bounced back immediately to the Championship winning the Division One East Central title in emphatic fashion, winning 21 out of their 22 fixtures and going unbeaten at home. Winning the league meant a Play-off game for promotion to the Championship against Penalta RFC which Beddau won .

    Currently the club is lying fourth in the second tier  WRU Championship.

    Why is a club being singled out by the council , when it appears that they are using what is common practise for virtually every Rugby club in Wales ?

    I have never be asked for my membership card in my few visits to Pontypridd RFC nor have I seen any visitor challenged.

    If the Licencing Authority are going to enforce the letter of the Law in Beddau then it must do elsewhere.

    Such a move could have dire consequences  for all such venues through not just the council area but the whole of Wales

    Remember all the Club House profits go back in to running the successful Teams it is not going to some Pub Chain.

    Wednesday, 25 January 2017

    The idea of a Federal UK died yesterday.

    I was always of the my opinion that  no matter what the result of the European Referendum the UK Parliament should have an input in how in the result of a LEAVE vote should be implemented  and have the final say on triggering Article 50.

     I did not understand why the Government did not do this and when it was challenged not to have accepted the ruling of the English High Court when they said this should be the case

    Instead  they went to the supreme court and the inevitable decision.

    So despite the howling of the right wing media, I don't see that this will really effect the fact that the UK will leave the EU only that the scrutiny will take a bit longer and might make some tweaks to a hard Brexit.

    After all Mrs May could always trigger a vote of no confidence and call an General Election which probably  see a host of new Xenophobic Tories/Ukip MPs  being returned to Westminster.

    In the long term however  the judgement on Tuesday, that

    "On the devolution issues, the court unanimously rules that UK ministers are not legally compelled to consult the devolved legislatures before triggering Article 50.
    "The devolution statutes were enacted on the assumption that the UK would be a member of the EU, but they do not require it.
    "Relations with the EU are a matter for the UK government."
    May well prove to be more historic

    The ruling said the assembly and other devolved legislatures had no veto.

    This means that the concept of "A union of equals" is a complete lie.

    It also means that the elected Legislatures may have no say in Brexit but the unelected members of the House of Lords.

    Despite Scotland voting against Brexit  and doing so I believe largely because they did not think it would be in "their" Nations interest to do so,, Scotland has apart  for the single Tory MP from  Scotland no say in the Brexit negotiations.

    Tony Blair once received t Banner headlines  comparing  Holy-rood to a parish council .

    I accept that Wales voted for Brexit , but even if we had in overwhelming numbers for us to Remain our views would count for nothing so long as Wales , Scotland and Northern Ireland were concerned if voters in England outnumbered them  the other way.

    That is why I question the Federalist argument , it would have to have legislation giving each member nation a veto . Something which I believe would never be accepted in England.

    God forbid the reaction of the Sun,Mail , or Telegraph if this was ever to occur.

    Yesterdays ruling may well have buried "Union of Equals Argument" but the Federalist argument as well.

    It may well have made Scottish Independence almost inevitable.

    But what of Wales how long can we as Nation see our will vetoed by English MPs and even more absurdly Members of the House of Lords.

    Tuesday, 24 January 2017

    Plaid.Welsh Government proposals could be blueprint for Westminster .

    Whether  you agree First Minister Carwyn Jones and Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood's  proposals for Brexit with a push to keep the UK trading in the single market by taking a new approach to freedom of movement it is an interesting one

    Prime Minister Theresa May has argued that staying in the single market would mean “not leaving the EU at all” because countries have to accept the free movement of people.

    The Welsh Government white paper launched by the pair makes the case for a new approach where there is a direct link between free movement and employment could be the first white paper launched by a government and the official opposition.

    According to the Plaid website

    The joint White Paper will subsequently form the Welsh negotiating position at JMC-EN.
    Our key principles throughout this process have been:
    • To prioritise the needs of the Welsh economy and Welsh workers.
    • To keep as many links open with the European Union as possible.
    • To get as many of our Special Conference Motion points into the official Welsh position as possible, which include protections for workers' rights and the environment.
    • To ensure that there is as much of a united front as possible between Wales, Scotland and northern Ireland.
    As a result of this, the White Paper establishes that:
    • Wales should continue to participate in the Single Market, either as members of EEA and/or EFTA, or with an unprecedented deal.
    • The Welsh Government should develop a comprehensive new international policy.
    • Wales should develop comprehensive links with Ireland.
    • The constitution of the UK must be remodelled and no agreements should be made without the consent of Wales and of our National Assembly.
    • Our agricultural producers and farmers must be protected from any tariffs or threats to their livelihoods.
    • That Wales itself should legislate to keep vital European environmental standards and regulations, if the Conservatives to decide to throw them out of the window.
    • That European migrants in Wales are not “bargaining chips”, are contributors to our society, and that the principle of freedom of movement should be implemented in a way that is consistent with the Single Market, as is the case in Norway.
    So counting the Lib Dems thre of the Parties in the Assembly have agreed on a joint platform and although Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies said he would have tried to reach a wider cross-party agreement but claimed the first minister had not invited him.as he is on record on supporting an Hard Brexit  we can only wonder what he or his Ukip allies on a Hard Brexit could make?

    "We have a disorganised message coming from Wales," Europe also needed to respond on the issue of immigration.
    "When the single market was created and the tenets that underpin the single market, this mass movement of people around Europe wasn't a consideration,"
    "It is a consideration today."

    One of the interesting outcomes  of today's  Supreme Court  ruling if it agrees that The EU referendum result does not give ministers the power to trigger Brexit without consulting Parliament is that it may result in Welsh Labour MPs supporting an entirely different approach.

    Indeed  such is the lack of any consensus in the Parliamentary Labour Party I wonder if there will be Labour MPs putting forward a similar approach to the Plaid/Labour agreement.

    Indeed I assume that the sole Welsh Liberal Democrat Kirsty Williams who is a minister in the "not a coalition" Welsh Government

    The Liberal Democrats have taken the line of opposing Brexit entirely .

    Also how many Tories fuly support a Hard Brexit.

    Former Welsh Lib Dem Peter Black has commented on "the apparent lack of unity within the Parliamentary Party. "

    We may well be seeing Brexit delayed if it now comes under parliamentary scrutiny and with the possibility that the Hard Brexiters are not in a majority it may be that a compromise will be reached.

    Has Wales given them a blueprint.?

    Monday, 23 January 2017

    Lesson to Trump team from UK PM just don't answer the question.

    I have many objections to the deployment of Trident  but it seems I can now add that the bloody thing does not work
    A test firing of an unarmed British nuclear Trident missile from a submarine malfunctioned last June, the Sunday Times reported, prompting questions about why Prime Minister Theresa May did not tell parliament ahead of a vote on renewing the submarines.
    The paper quoted an unnamed senior naval source as saying the missile may have veered off in the wrong direction towards the American mainland when it was fired off the coast of Florida.
    It was the only test firing of a British nuclear missile in four years and came shortly before May became prime minister in the wake of Britain's vote last June to leave the European Union,

    It said May had omitted any mention of the failed test when she persuaded parliament to spend 40 billion pounds ($49.5 billion) on new Trident submarines in her first major speech to parliament as prime minister last July.
    Asked four times during a BBC television interview on Sunday whether she knew about the misfire before she made that speech, May repeatedly declined to answer directly.

    "I have absolute faith in our Trident missiles. When I made that speech
    in the House of Commons what we were talking about was whether or not we should renew our Trident, whether or not we should have Trident missiles," 
    I am reminded of Yes Prime minister which was first broadcast 1986-7)
    Sir Humphrey: "With Trident we could obliterate the whole of Eastern Europe."
    Jim Hacker: "I don't want to obliterate the whole of Eastern Europe."
    Sir Humphrey: "It's a deterrent."
    Jim Hacker: "It's a bluff. I probably wouldn't use it."
    Sir Humphrey: "Yes, but they don't know that you probably wouldn't."
    Jim Hacker: "They probably do."
    Sir Humphrey: "Yes, they probably know that you probably wouldn't. But they can't certainly know."
    Jim Hacker: "They probably certainly know that I probably wouldn't."
    Sir Humphrey: "Yes, but even though they probably certainly know that you probably wouldn't, they don't certainly know that, although you probably wouldn't, there is no probability that you certainly would."
    Bernard Woolley: "That is why that torpedo landed on Sandwich Golf Course."
    Jim Hacker: "Sandwich Golf Course? I didn't read that in the paper."
    Bernard Woolley: "No, of course not: there was a cover-up. The members just found a new bunker on the 7th fairway the next day.
    3o years on we are having exactly the same argument from the government and apparently the same coverus 
    Meanwhile  the new Trump administration  believe they can answer questions bt redefining a lie

    In a scenario reminiscent of Orwell 1984 Kellyanne Conway, counsellor to the president, told NBC's Meet the Press that the flap over crowd sizes at the inauguration symbolise what she called negative coverage of the new president.

    While aerial photos showed that Trump drew a smaller crowd to his inaugural address than President Obama did, White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters Saturday: "This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period — both in person and around the globe."

    When Meet the Press host Chuck Todd described that claim as a "falsehood," Conway said: "You're saying it's a falsehood and Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that."

    Todd shot back, however: "Alternative facts are not facts. They are falsehoods."

    our Prime Minister simply refuses to answer the Question.

    So is blatantly lying but redefining the lie  worse than not answering the question?

    Well maybe when it applies to journalist intent on tripping a politician , but Mrs May will probably evade the question when answering questions from opposition members.

    It is time particularly in our legislatures than Ministers patriotically in Prime Minister or First Ministers answered the question , rather than waffle or attack the opposition polices wholesale.

    Sunday, 22 January 2017

    Alas Corbyn seems to be yet another Unionist rather than a Progressive.

    I wonder how many of those new members of the Labour party who flocked to Jeremy Corbyn and helped elect him leader , will be disappointed that he seems  to speaking the same Unionist rhetoric as the Tories by claiming Scotland could not afford to become independent.
    Corbyn told an audience of Scottish Labour MSPs and activists in Glasgow that independence would be a serious mistake, and would lead to “turbocharged austerity and a glaring hole in the money required to fund essential services”.
    Referring to Scotland’s alleged  £15bn public spending deficit after the collapse in oil prices, Corbyn said on Friday the first minister was surrendering to Tory tax cuts and big business by refusing to raise Scottish income tax rates while cutting council funding.
    I was un aware that Scotland received this Oil revenue directly and that it went to Westminster instead.
    But maybe he is claiming Oil prices will not rise before Scotland becomes independent.
    What does Corbyn think Labour in Wales have been doing?

    There has been no fight from Labour in the Assembly only  acceptance and lethargic government .
    Corbyn added that while Scotland had “the talent and ability to run its own affairs”, it would be financially calamitous, since so much economic power rested outside Scotland. He said its best option was to fight for overall reforms of the UK economy and constitution.
    and yet he added that while Scotland had “the talent and ability to run its own affairs”, it would be financially calamitous, since so much economic power rested outside Scotland. He said its best option was to fight for overall reforms of the UK economy and constitution.
    He even in addressing Scotland who voted to Remain  he claimed that
    “Brexit provides us with the chance [to] fix a rigged system that doesn’t work for the majority of people. It is pointless to repatriate powers and resources from so-called faceless bureaucrats in Brussels if they are locked away in Downing Street,” .
    which sounds  like he wanted to pass powers from the EU directly to Scotland (though  I wonder what he would so for Wales). But at the moment Independence looks far more likely that Corbyn ousting the Tories in the next General Election and the Tories may well bei n power for a Generation.

    So his  contention
    “Labour’s mission in the 20th century was to redistribute wealth and reduce inequality. Our mission in the 21st century must build on that by also redistributing power, wealth and opportunity to every part of our regions and nations.”
    looks like wishful thinking.

    There were signs of a split between Dugdale and Corbyn over the scale of that constitutional reform when earlier this month he failed to endorse her calls for a new “Act of Union” – a reference to the 1707 statute which merged the Scottish and English parliaments at Westminster.
    Corbyn brushed off a question on whether they were at odds and insisted it was a difference of language. They both agreed that Labour would set up a UK-wide “people’s convention” to investigate constitutional reform.
    “If you’re looking to report some fight between Kez and me, you better look somewhere else. You won’t find one here this morning,” 
    Well your not going to disagree on a shared platform , but nothing I have sen in Corbyn career has  convinced me that Corbyn was an enthusiast for devolution, 
    Indeed if you can be Apolitical then I would describe Corbyn as Adevolutionsonary (have created a new word?)
    There is much in Corbyn I admire but in turning his guns on the SNP  over  the Independence question  whilst using a peashooter on the Tories over Brexit , he seems to be one of those on the Left who use to tell me 

    "I'm not a Nation list , I'm a Internationalist"

    And those on the left who think leaving  the "Capitalist" EU, is part of the "Road to British Socialism" rather than the Tories turning the UK into a low tax , low income, and no NHS nations that they seemed to have planned.

    I hope I'm  wrong but  I wonder is there anybody on the left of the Labour Party who is prepared to consider admitting the Union is doomed and think of a new approach,