Thursday, 30 November 2017

"By their Friends Shall Ye Know them:" Trump and the Far Right.

   It is clear that the British Government should withdraw its invitation to US President Donald Trump?

The President retweeted three anti-Muslim videos from the account of Britain First deputy leader Jayda Fransen early Wednesday to his nearly 44 million followers.

As we know  and the President of the USA should have realised Britain First is a UK-based far-right ultranationalist political party that is vehemently anti-immigration. Its campaigns include to ban the BBC from “discriminating against white Britons”, to stop the expansion of mosques and to prevent the “persecution” of leaders Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen. Ms Fransen was convicted last year of religiously aggravated harassment after abusing a woman wearing a hijab.

At least one of the videos Mr Trump retweeted, which has the caption “Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches”, has been proven fake.
Dutch blog GeenStijl reports that “the perpetrator was not a Muslim, let alone a migrant, but simply a Dutchman”. A spokesman for the Dutch public prosecution confirmed the suspect was “born and raised in the Netherlands”.
In the video, one teen in a park places his arm around the other before punching him and kicking him on the ground. As a result of the video, first published in May, two local teens were arrested.

But in many ways it what followed was the most disgraceful 
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended the President, saying it didn’t matter if the videos were real or not.

 “I think you’re focusing on the wrong thing. The threat is real and that’s what the President is talking about, is the need for national security, the need for military spending and those are very real things; there’s nothing fake about that,” she told reporters on Wednesday.

By their Friends Shall Ye Know them:

The response clearly sees the Trump administration  allying themselves with Far Right groups.

 This is not a simple mistake by the President it reflects his own world view/

Far from clarifying or even apologising   Donald Trump has told UK Prime Minister Theresa May to focus on "terrorism" in the UK after she criticised his sharing of far-right videos
"Don't focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom," Mr Trump tweeted.

Mrs May's spokesman said it was "wrong for the president to have done this".
The US and the UK are close allies and often described as having a "special relationship". Theresa May was the first foreign leader to visit the Trump White House.

., don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!
 Anthony Zurcher, the BBC North America reporter 

It's clear at this point that Donald Trump won't let a perceived slight or criticism go unanswered - even if it's from a supposed friend. Even if it's from the leader of the president's closest international ally.
So shock isn't exactly the right word to describe the reaction to Mr Trump's initially botched attempt to tell Theresa May to, in effect, mind her own business. This is just another example of the US president's self-described "modern-day presidential" use of social media, where Twitter is a cudgel for score-settling no matter the diplomatic cost.

One of the effects of Brexit  will undoubtedly  see the UK coming under increases  influence of the US as Trump's presidency seeks trade deals with May or her successor that will benefit US interest.

How much longer should people use the term "Leader of the Free World" to describe the role of the US president?

Trump is certainly not my leader and he represents a world view I want no part of.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Chancellor's £300 million a year for Wales pays for 5 miles of road.

As I wrote earlier it's only after further reading that Chancellor Phillip Hammond has said the Welsh Government will get an extra £1.2bn over four years as a result of his Budget. 
The money will come to Wales because of extra spending on projects in England - under the so-called Barnett formula.

To put this in context  the  fourth section of the A465 Heads of the Valleys road in south east Wales be turned into a dual carriageway. has resulted in a review has been ordered into what is Wales largest current road building scheme, amid concerns it is running over budget and is behind schedule.

Economy Secretary Ken Skates wants a "comprehensive" look at the £220m project to dual the eastern section of the A465 Heads of the Valleys road.

Work on the 5 mile (8km) stretch between Gilwern, Abergavenny, and Brynmawr is expected to start at the end of the year.
It will involve widening the existing road which passes through Clydach Gorge alongside the River Clydach.

Yes that's right  5 some say 4 miles costs £220m the equivalent of one year of the extra funding  the Chancellors so graciously granted us  in the budget to equal extra spending on projects in England.

Now clearly this was as a a Welsh Government a  challenging project.

So much that it is almost £51m over budget, the Welsh Government has said.
Ministers are in dispute with the contractor upgrading the road, Costain, in an effort to pay the firm only what it is contractually entitled to.
Completion of the section is now delayed until the autumn of 2019.
Costain said it continues to work "closely with the Welsh Government to deliver this complex project".

The announcement by Economy Secretary Ken Skates follows a review of the project, originally budgeted at £220m.

According to Mr Skates Costain has found the project - which involves widening the Heads of the Valleys Road through the Clydach Gorge 

- "far more difficult to deliver than they originally envisaged" due to the "topography" and "complex ground conditions".
 "The scheme is currently projected to be delivered 23% over the approved budget.
"I am very disappointed by this but my officials are actively managing this overspend to identify ways of mitigating the project position.
"As part of this work, Welsh Government is currently in dispute with Costain on a number of matters around the allocation of risk in the contract to ensure they are only paid what they are contractually entitled to.
"I understand that this news will be concerning for those living and working in the area and I am very grateful for their continued patience and understanding while we deliver the scheme."
 With the Newport Relief Road budgeted at £1 billion even if was to come in on budget (and does that count compensation payments) we can see that the Chancellors £1.2bn over four years makes it  very unlikely there will be no other major infrastracture  projects for at least five years .

How much longer can we keep begging for crumbs off the Westminster Table of spending on major infrastructure projects in England?

Monday, 27 November 2017

NHS watchdog staff 'told not to criticise' Welsh Government

 BBC Wales claim that 

Staff working for Wales' community health councils have been told by senior colleagues not to criticise or embarrass the Welsh Government over plans to scrap the independent watchdogs, BBC Wales has learned.
Ministers have consulted on replacing CHCs with one organisation.
One CHC member told BBC's Sunday Politics Wales their council's response to the consultation was "toned down".

CHCs are independent bodies representing the interests of patients.
There are seven in Wales - one for each of the health boards which run NHS services. They were scrapped in England in 2003 and in Scotland in 2005.

BBC Wales has learned staff working for CHCs across Wales have been asked by senior colleagues not to overly-criticise or embarrass the government over the proposals.

Mutale Merrill, chairwoman of the Board of Community Health Councils, which represents and sets standards for the organisations, said:

 "It's not true".
"I know my staff and members have worked really hard during the consultation period and I just think it's unfair and irresponsible for this rumour to be circulating."
Is Ms Merrill a Labour Insider as it has been claimed?

I don't know but there are two many cases of Labour supporters being placed on Welsh quangos m making it harder for criticism of the Welsh Government  to  come from  them.

It reflects   Labour's Hegemony in Wales  and should be a concern for all of us.

Plaid Cymru AM Llyr Gruffydd said: "To suggest that people should not embarrass the government I think is a total dereliction of duty."
Mr Gruffydd also criticised the government's plans.

"The CHC in north Wales is genuinely seen as the guardian of patients' interests,"
"To lose that kind of integrity in terms of the voice of the patient I think would be an unmitigated disaster and to move from an organisation that's deeply rooted in the community to what could potentially be a very remote national body, no doubt based in Cardiff, would be a terrible, terrible loss."
One CHC member, speaking anonymously, said that was why their CHC's response to the consultation was "toned down".

The Welsh Government has previously said its aim "is to strengthen citizen engagement across health and social care".
A spokesman said:

 "We firmly believe people should be free to comment openly and honestly on any consultation process, especially one that potentially affects the future of their organisation."
He added it was considering the "large number" of responses received to the consultation.

Surely the representation of patients interest should be as close to them as possible?

But even so any attempt to gag those who are going to be affected  by any change should be resisted.

Even more so when it appears that it appears to be for reasons to prevent  embarrassment  the  Welsh Labour Government


Sunday, 26 November 2017

The Sun may well have saved the Fine Gael government,

The Republic of Ireland may be faced with a General Election in which the UK and Brexit may play the major  role.

The government led by Taoiseach Leo Varadkarhas   been gripped by political turmoil with the country's deputy prime minister facing a no confidence vote, which could bring down the entire government.

Fianna Fail, which is in a supply and confidence agreement with the Fine Gael-led Irish government, has proposed a confidence motion to be debated next Tuesday.

If the government loses that vote, as expected, an election would be called, which could be held possibly before Christmas.

The motion of confidence is based on concerns over the Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald's handling of a whistleblower controversy involving a police officer, from when she was justice minister.

But, on Thursday night, Fine Gael passed a motion in support of Ms Fitzgerald, with  Taoiseach  Varadkar saying he would not sacrifice his deputy on what he branded a trumped-up charge.

If an election  is called then the UK government and media attitude to Irish concerns over the Land Boarder may well strengthen Mr Varadkar hand .

The Irish government wants a written guarantee that there will be no hard border with Northern Ireland, something Dublin believes can only be achieved, in effect, by keeping the region within the single market and customs union
Standing up to Britain has never been a vote loser in the Republic and Mr Varadkar could very well play on this .

It is doubtful if any of the opposition parties  will have any sympathy for the UK position, but  Irish voters may well think such headlines as   the Sun's
"Ireland's naive young prime minister should shut his gob on Brexit and grow up".
May well have the effect of voters backing Mr Varadkar.

Indeed he may well win a vote of confidence as TD's  

Support for his  party Fine Gael may have dropped  Mr Varadkar dropped two points to 27 percent in the Sunday Business Post/Red C poll, only marginally ahead of the 25.5 percent it achieved at last year's election and its worst performance in recent opinion polls.
Fellow centre-right party Fianna Fail rose to 26 percent from 25 percent a month ago and leftwing opposition Sinn Fein were up two points to 16 percent, both also marginally higher than the last election.
The survey was taken between November 20 and 24, the day the crisis escalated rapidly and suggested the parties would struggle to form anything but another minority administration.

But opposition party strategist may well take into account the whole a vote against  Mr Varadkar is a vote for the Bullying  Brits.

Meanwhile Ireland’s European commissioner has urged Theresa May to change her Brexit plans dramatically to prevent a mounting crisis over the Irish border from derailing her hopes of an EU trade deal.
The threat of a hard Irish border has emerged as the major obstacle to the UK prime minister’s aim of securing the green light for Brexit trade talks at a crucial summit only weeks away. She has effectively been handed just days to give stronger guarantees over the issue.

Phil Hogan, the EU’s agriculture commissioner, told the Observer that it was a “very simple fact” that remaining inside the single market and customs union, or allowing Northern Ireland to do so, would end the standoff.

Hogan warned there was “blind faith” from some UK ministers that Britain would secure a comprehensive Brexit free trade deal. He warned that Ireland would “continue to play tough to the end” over its threat to veto trade talks until it had guarantees over the border.

“If the UK or Northern Ireland remained in the EU customs union, or better still the single market, there would be no border issue,” he said. “That’s a very simple fact. I continue to be amazed at the blind faith that some in London place in theoretical future free trade agreements. First, the best possible FTA with the EU will fall far short of the benefits of being in the single market. This fact is simply not understood in the UK. Most real costs to cross-border business today are not tariffs – they are about standards, about customs procedures, about red tape. These are solved by the single market, but not in an FTA.”

The vote in the Dail may well lead to a Irish General Election but I doubt even a change of government will move Ireland's opposition to a  hard boarder one iota.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Plaid hold Bryncoch South Seat seat in time of static polls,

Plaid are celebrating holding the Bryncoch South Seat  seat on Neath Port Talbot Council on the sad death of highly popular councillor Janice Dudley.

County Borough Council By-Election
Bryncoch South - results
Election Candidate Party Votes %
Jo Hale Plaid Cymru- The Party of Wales 525 49% Elected
Emma Jane Denholm-Hall Welsh Labour / Llafur Cymru 306 29% Not elected
Peter Damian Crocker-Jaques Welsh Conservatives / Ceidwadwyr Cymreig 105 10% Not elected
Sheila Mary Kingston-Jones Welsh Liberal Democrats / Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol Cymru 92 9% Not elected
Darren Thomas UKIP Wales / UKIP Cymru 33 3% Not elected
Voting Summary
Details Number
Seats 1
Total votes 1061
Electorate 4494
Number of ballot papers issued 1063
Number of ballot papers rejected 2
Turnout 24%

Although a much lower poll the result was still a comfatable Plaid victiry

Bryncoch South - results
Election Candidate Party Votes %
Janice Dudley Plaid Cymru- The Party of Wales 848 25% Elected
Chris Williams Plaid Cymru- The Party of Wales 808 24% Elected
Emma Jane Denholm-Hall Welsh Labour / Llafur Cymru 460 14% Not elected
Alex Sims Welsh Labour / Llafur Cymru 393 12% Not elected
Richard James Minshull Welsh Conservatives / Ceidwadwyr Cymreig 366 11% Not elected
Shadanna Courtney Leigh Wycherley Welsh Conservatives / Ceidwadwyr Cymreig 290 9% Not elected
Catrin Louise Brock Wales Green Party / Plaid Werdd Cymru 110 3% Not elected
Frank Little Welsh Liberal Democrats / Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol Cymru 102 3% Not elected
Voting Summary
Details Number
Seats 2
Total votes 3377
Electorate 4473
Number of ballot papers issued 1810
Number of ballot papers rejected 8
Turnout 40%


This unfortunately  cannot be said an indication of a major change in the Welsh political spectrum. Indeed it reflects  a rather static  position in local government an area where there is often a protest vote against the  Westminster Government and an area which has seen the Liberal Democrats and latterly Ukip make almost weekly gains.

 The Tories lhave lost t16th council by-election defence since June’s general election but considering  their problems lately we should expect mush more, 

Last Thursday saw  nine   UK by elections    all except one held by the sitting party.

The exception was a spectacular win for the grens in Herefordshire

Bishop’s Frome and Cradley on Herefordshire (Con defence)
Result: Con 299 (29% -40% on last time), Lab 19 (2% no candidate last time), Lib Dem 251 (24% no candidate last time), Green 471 (45% +14% on last time)
Green GAIN from Conservative with a majority of 172 (16%) on a swing of 27% from Con to Green

 In May 2015, the Tories won the seat in a straight fight with the Greens by 1331 votes to 610.

It looks like we are in for a period  of two-party politics  where  Labour however can't make a  breakaway from the Tories and look to repeating anything like thier 1997 preformance.

For those of us who take a keen interest in elections  its not a very exciting time..

Friday, 24 November 2017

Treating Irish as equals in Brexit would be a start.

You get the impression that England never really accepted that Ireland (even part of it) became an Independent country not even joining the Commonwealth

Like  an eldest daughter who has left home to raise her own family, she is still expected to listen to her mother's advice and behave accordingly.

It reflects the attitude to the Republic wanting to ave a say in the boarder between it and the North resulting in the appalling this
  The UK  (it was absent from t Irish issue) version of The Sun newspaper, which has used choice phrases to criticise Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
In an editorial, the paper uses the headline: "Ireland's naive young prime minister should shut his gob on Brexit and grow up".
It then offers "some advice", suggesting Mr Varadkar "needs to accept" that Britain is leaving the European Union.
It says:
"His priority should not be picking holes in our position.
"It should be helping make Brexit work for millions of his citizens and ours, including by engaging constructively on a border solution.
"He is too busy disrespecting 17.4 million voters of a country whose billions stopped Ireland going bust as recently as 2010",
It also claims that Mr Varadkar's "rookie diplomacy, puerile insults and threats to veto trade negotiations" are moving a 'hard Brexit' closer.
The  held a meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday, calling for written assurances before the next phase of Brexit talks begin.

The attitude seems to also reflected in Westminster where the Taoiseach's predecessor Edna Kenny seems to have been regarded  as a little more than a 
junior minister resulting in this.

We can wonder if the knowledge  of our  Brexit team is so bad that that they may even had thought that Kenny was the Taoiseach's first name?

As we negotiate Brexi,t it is those English Nationalist who should realise that if we are to have a boarder solution with the Republic of Ireland then the latter needs to be treated as an equal. Though the Republic is not on its own and has powerful allies  in the rest of the EU.

Clearly the UK government seem to have taken a long time to realise that Brexit will have a profound affect on our relationship with the only country we share a land boarder with.

Its part of a colonial attitude  that must be dropped to make sure that Brexit will not see a hard boarder between the Republic and Northern Ireland or custom barriers between Ireland and the rest of the UK. 

This is particularly important for Cymru as the port of Holyhead's future may well depend on a working solution.

Surely treating  the Irish Government as equal and referring to the Taoiseach's by his or her's proper title.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Should there be a seperate "English" budget?

When David Cameron introduced English Votes for English laws he may have unwittingly  set a precedent that may in future  lead to there being to Budgets in the House of Commons

A UK budget followed by a Budget  for England  only.

  When the BBC announces  a

Budget gives extra £1.2bn to Wales and promises growth deals

Its only after further readin that Chancellor Phillip Hammond has said the Welsh Government will get an extra £1.2bn over four years as a result of his Budget.
The money will come to Wales because of extra spending on projects in England - under the so-called Barnett formula.

The cash amounts to a rise of around 2% in the Welsh Government's budget.
Welsh ministers said the additional cash would "do little to ease the pressure" on public services struggling after "successive cuts to our budget".

It has long been said that Wales benefits from the Barnet t formula  and is being subsidised by England .
But is this really true.

As Mabon ap Gwynfor points out
Hammond boasts that they have the two largest infrastructure projects in Europe: Crossrail and HS2, neither of which benefits Wales, both of which benefits London, yet we pay for them.
 But is that also not indicative of the whole UK budget? 

If Hammond or any English Chancellor  wishes to spend more money on the NHS he can raise money by raising taxes or national insurance payments , but he can also cut other services .

Unlike Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland  this includes such thingd in the defence budget   but also in many more areas that are not devolved,

Even if Wales   receives  an increase in its Barnett formula allocation as a result of the Chancellor increasing NHS spending  in England they may have to spend it elsewhere  in areas like Education.

If there was an English Budget we  would get a clear  indication on how infrastructure  projects are  being allocated and how this is going to be paid for for?

Even when it is clear that  Crossrail and HS2,are of no intermediate benefit to Wales t is part of UK spending and we have little say in it.

If we had a clear separation of a UK budget from one that is solely for the benefit of English voters  we may have more of an idea whether Wales is really  being subsidised s by England or starved of investment.

Of course we will still have the argument that what benefits the City of London benefits  the rest of the UK.

But an "English" budget  would not only allow the devolved governments  to see where the money is going, but also those in England in areas outside London and  the South East  a chance to note how they are also being left out.



Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Answer the Question Carwyn.

I tend to agree with Vaughan Roderick's verdict of   Welsh First Minister's Questions that Poor questioning and a missed opportunity for the opposition parties over allegations of bullying in the Welsh Government, says the BBC's Welsh Affairs editor Vaughan Roderick.

 Though  I an not sure we would have got any more derails from the evasive First Minister.

He was asked by Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood to say what issues exactly were raised with him in 2014 and what he had done about them.
He responded: 

“There were issues of competing priorities, of people feeling that some people were listened to more than others. They are feelings of people feeling that they want to see you as First Minister to explain their position.
“These are all the normal processes of Cabinet, and it would be very odd if any Cabinet was in place where nobody ever disagreed, it would be very odd if a Cabinet was in place where people were in a position where they didn’t feel they wanted to make their views known in a particular way to the First Minister.
“Yes, there are always tensions in any Cabinet, and surely any party leader will recognise that. What’s hugely important is that the tensions don’t get in the way of good governance – and they haven’t got in the way of good governance.”
  "People were sometimes unhappy with the way things happened.
"Were there competing priorities and complaints of that nature - of course there were.
"Did people sometimes feel others were more favoured - of course they did. That happens in any organisation.
"In politics, where these matters are even felt more intensely than in most other places, and people are very passionate about what they believe in, then that will be the situation.
"At the heart of our democracy is the notion of competition. There will always be tension - everyone in this chamber will recognise that, particularly my fellow party leaders."
Asked by Andrew RT Davies whether issues of bullying had been raised specifically with him in 2014, Mr Jones said:

 “I am aware of comments that have been made to the Press.
“All I can say about those comments is that no specific allegation of bullying was ever presented to me in relation to those comments either formally or informally.”
Mr Davies asked the First Minister whether the Labour group would be supporting the Tory motion that he should be subjected to a detailed scrutiny session by AMs.

Mr Jones responded:

 “There are a number of ways in which this issue can be dealt with. We reserve our position in terms of the vote next week. It will be studied carefully, of course. I do accept that this is an issue that will need further scrutiny.
“I’m not afraid of that scrutiny. I think it’s a question of finding out what is the most effective way for that scrutiny to be exercised.”
So Carwyn's defence now seems to be that  because there was apparently no use of the word bullying when these accusation were made then he  did not mislead the Siambr .

This was not god enough for Plaid Am Simon Thomas

Speaking to journalists, Mr Thomas,  said:

“The First Minister lied either in 2014 or last week.

"In 2014, in response to a written question, he said no allegations had been received. Last week he said those issues were dealt with at the time ... The two positions are incompatible.

"You can’t say you dealt with issues in 2014 and then say there were no allegations. Clearly – this is detective work, but it’s pretty obvious, isn’t it?, the allegations in 2014 were the ones that Leighton Andrews made.
"Leighton Andrews has gone on record and has publicly stated that he informally reported bullying allegations to the First Minister in 2014, and they were in relation to Carl Sargeant.
“He denied that at the time and then last week tried to obfuscate his way in a QC-ly way out of that position.”

Never heard the word QC-ly before  but like the UK Prime Minister (and those before her) those who watch both farces of FMQ's and PMQ's  may wel find themselves at time  shouting  at the TV  "answer the bloody question"

We are clearly not going to find answers in the Siambr and only a full enquiry  will tell us the facts and even exonerate the First Minister.

The heart of democracy that the First Minister described above demands full scrutiny  from such an enquiry and full answers from our  evasive  First Minister,

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Tory MP uses same excuse as Salmond.

The sheer hypocrisy  over former  MP and SNP leader Alex Salmond has been exposed with news that A number of prominent British MPs have defended receiving hefty pay checks for speaking appearances on the broadcaster RT, formerly Russia Today, which some believe is a biased propaganda outlet that exists to regurgitate Kremlin talking points.
At least 10 members of parliament have been paid up to £1,000 an hour for appearing on various RT shows, The Guardian newspaper reported Saturday (18 November).
The government's register of interests showed that a number of MPs including Welsh Conservative MP David Davies, Labour's David Lammy and outspoken Respect MP George Galloway are all well-funded for working with the controversial news outlet.
David Davies, the Tory MP for Monmouth, who was paid £750 an hour plus travel costs for four appearances between last December and September, said he had no regrets about appearing on one of the channel’s shows, Sam Delaney’s News Thing.
“The News Thing has given me a fair chance to explain my opinions on Brexit immigration and transgender issues, for which I am grateful,” Davies said. “Sadly, I have not received the same courtesy from the British Broadcasting Corporation. Instead, on several occasions, its highly paid presenters have criticised me by name without giving me a right of response.”
So it appears David Davies  excuse  is exactly the same as Salmond's in that t gave him an opportunity  to express views that may not be heared on the mainstream media.

Whether Mr Davies  believes that it is OK for him to use RT as a platform for his reactionary  opinions but  that should not apply to a progressive like Alex Salmond  is a moot  point.

Though I expect that the Unionist from both the Left and Right  real objection is giving a Scottish Nationalist  air time.

Other have taken "Moscow Gold",

According to the Guardian

 Mike Freer, now an assistant government whip, who was paid £1,000 an hour for two appearances in January and April last year, told the Jewish Chronicle: “I appeared on Sam Delaney’s News Thing, an independent production that is satirical in nature. I went on to poke fun at [Vladimir] Putin, which I did.”
However, Labour’s David Lammy, who, according to his register of members interests was paid £1,000 for two hours of his time on two occasions, is understood to have ruled out further appearances, despite being asked on an almost weekly basis.Many MPs appeared reluctant to discuss their appearances, including Labour newcomer Rosie Duffield, who was paid £500 for three hours for her appearance on the channel; Tory MP Johnny Mercer, a former soldier, who received £1,000 for three hours of his time on two separate occasions; and the former deputy speaker, Tory MP Nigel Evans, who was paid £750 an hour on two occasions.Duffield defended her appearance on Twitter. Last month she tweeted: “Worked on Sam Delaney’s show in July, paid by production company, not RT.”The biggest earner was the former Respect MP George Galloway, who, between November 2013 and February 2015, was paid more than £100,000 to front his own show on RT. It is unclear how much the former first minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, now hosting a talkshow on the channel, will earn.
I suspect many more MPs would have appeared on RT if they believed  that t had a wider audience  and  (probably more likely) paid more.

The objection over Alex Salmond show on RT has really been fuelled by Unionist not wanting a  Scottish Nationalist  to have any platform.
They are content to see Nigel Farage  seemingly having a parking place  at the BBC news HQ, Though it appears that William Rees-Mogg has seemingly replaced him as Right Wing Nut Job.
Mind you suspect the canny Mr Salmond  will not be to worried about the Unionist negative publicity as it undoubtedly increase those tuning in to his RT show.