Thursday 28 February 2019

UK Government have failed us over Brexit negotiations and must admit it.

Former Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies has said.Labour and Tory MPs pushing for a delay to Brexit or another EU referendum are showing a disloyalty to voters, is a ridiculous  statement 
Even Theresa May has offered MPs a chance to delay Brexit for a short time if her deal cannot pass the Commons, but its time she and the likes of Andrew R T Davies faced the fact that the Conservative Government  have completely failed in their negotiations and Article  50 

"Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty sets out how an EU country might voluntarily leave the union. The wording is vague, almost as if the drafters thought it unlikely it would ever come into play. Now, it is the subject of a dispute between EU leaders desperate for certainty in the wake of the Brexit vote, and Brexiters in the UK playing for time.
Article 50 says: “Any member state may decide to withdraw from the union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.”

When the commons voted to evoke Article 50 over two years ago although many were sceptical over the time limit, few realised how incompetent the Prime Minister and her Ministers would prove to be.
With only a few weeks until we leave the European Union , there seems no prospect of a deal which the EU would accept and Mrs May actual "deal" even if its passed seems to guarantee nothing.
She had been under pressure from members of her own cabinet.
Mr Davies said MPs were putting "personal ambitions ahead of their responsibility to voters".
Mr Davies, who campaigned for a leave vote in the 2016 referendum, said the two main parties at Westminster stood on pro-Brexit manifestos in the 2017 general election.
The Conservative AM for the Vale of Glamorgan supports leaving the EU with a deal on 29 March.
"Every MP had their instructions, now ," Mr Davies said.
He added: "I'm deeply disappointed… that so many MPs are unpicking the commitments of the 2017 general election."
Mr Davies is not stupid so he must realise that we are not ready to crash out of the EU in a months time, and it make sense that we should not do so with not only an agreement with the EU but a credible trading agreement with Brussels.
Although I support a confirmation vote by the UK public in a referendum, argument for extending Article  50, is not about creating one  (though it probably makes it more likely) but about at least have an agreement that is not catastrophic  as would be if we wake up on March 30 to find us cut of from  not only the EU but the rest of the world.
The problem is even if Mrs May realises it , she  faces humiliation if she agrees an extension of Article  50, because it would lead to proof that she has completely failed in two years of Brexit negotiations.
Andrew R. T. Davies  is right about  "people putting personal ambitions ahead of their responsibility to voters" but it is those who  are not prepared to admit that we face in a months time a chaotic and exit  in a months time, because  those  who were elected to carry it out, have completely failed as a government and will rather see the UK burn rather than admit it.

Wednesday 27 February 2019

Adam Price most most popular leader, but a long way to go.

oProfessor Roger Awan-Scully second trance of the Welsh Political Barometer poll provides us with a fuhrer insight into the standing of the Parties in Wales this time of the Party leaders

Professor Roger Awan-Scully writes

..Among the things covered in the new Barometer poll are public ratings of the main UK and Welsh party leaders – asked using our now customary 0-10 scale. I have written a piece for the New Statesman, summarising what I think are the problematic implications for Welsh Labour of some of these findings.
As I have commented on before, these leader ratings questions generally contain two useful pieces of information. The first is the percentage of respondents who feel unable to give a rating, and simply choose Don’t Know. This is a reasonable approximation for the public visibility of a leader. Here are the percentage of people who listed Don’t Know as their response for each of the party leaders asked about in the latest Barometer poll. (Please note: as well as the main UK and Welsh party leaders, we also included two recent Welsh party leaders, Carwyn Jones and Leanne Wood):
Don't Know
Theresa May: 9%
Jeremy Corbyn: 10%
Vince Cable: 30%
Gerard Batten: 73%
Carwyn Jones: 27%
Mark Drakeford: 56%
Paul Davies: 74%
Leanne Wood: 32%
Adam Price: 72%
Jane Dodds: 76%
Gareth Bennett: 76%
Leanne Wood of course , certainly increased he profile when she was included in among the other Party leaders in the TV debates for the last  number of UK General Elections, The question is would Adam Price match this if he was given the same opportunity?
Professor Roger Awan-Scully writes...

....As has been seen on many previous occasions, there is a stark gap in public awareness of the two main UK party leaders and just about all other figures. But none of the new party leaders in Wales, including the new First Minister, have yet managed to approach the levels of public visibility achieved by Carwyn Jones or Leanne Wood.
Here are the average ratings out of ten for each leader (or ex-leader), among those respondents who felt able to rate each of them – with, in brackets, the change on the last Barometer poll to ask this question, published in early December):

Theresa May: 3.5 (-0.4)
Jeremy Corbyn: 3.2 (-0.7)
Vince Cable: 3.8 (-0.1)
Gerard Batten: 2.8 (-0.3)
Carwyn Jones: 4.5 (unchanged)
Mark Drakeford: 3.9 (-0.1)
Paul Davies: 3.5 (-0.2)
Leanne Wood: 4.5 (+0.1)
Adam Price: 4.6 (+0.3)
Jane Dodds: 4.0 (+0.2)
Gareth Bennett: 3.1 (+0.1)
As has so often been the case in the past, the overall message here is probably one of the unpopularity of politicians – none of them can even manage a ratings of five out of ten. But it is also striking to see the decline in evaluations of the main UK party leaders. The Prime Minister’s ratings have fallen again, and are now at a very low level. Yet astonishingly – and in Wales, Labour’s ultimate electoral bastion – Jeremy Corbyn has fallen substantially further in public esteem and is now polling even worse than Theresa May. Indeed, Corbyn’s average rating with the Welsh public is now barely above that of UKIP’s Welsh Assembly leader, Gareth Bennett.Among the Welsh-level politicians, it is notable that Mark Drakeford continues to poll quite poorly among those willing to offer a view on him. This continues something noted during the Welsh labour leadership contest: although the new First Minister was clearly rated highly by many of his colleagues, he has not yet been able to make the same impression on the Welsh public. There is some encouraging new for Plaid Cymru. Although most of the Welsh public do net yet appear to know who Adam Price is, among those who are aware of him his ratings have risen – indeed, he is (very marginally) the most highly-rated of all the politicians questioned about in the latest poll. The clear challenge for Mr Price, and his party, will be for him to cut through to a much larger proportion of the Welsh electorate.
 Of course the fact that  no leader has reached higher than 5 (50%) could be an indication of the general mistrust amongst the Welsh Electorate .

However it does appear comparing Adam Price to the other Welsh leaders it seems that when he does register with voters he has  had an impact.

Because of the  lamentable amount of political coverage of Welsh Politics , it may ironically take a UK election for Adam Price to register with more of the public and in doing so receive a positive reaction.

Indeed I could well see a scenario after a leaders debate for the next UK elections (if the rest are still in place), voters in England asking why they have the choice of Corbyn, May , or Cable as leaders and Wales and Scotland  in Price and Sturgeon seem to be streets ahead.

Tuesday 26 February 2019

Plaid need to win an Assembly Majority, or face disastrous coalitions.

After what seems  an age where polling in Wales has seen an almost static result  has crunched the figures  of the latest Welsh Political Barometer poll  and we may be seeing a shift in Welsh voters allegiances.
Professor  Awan-Scully  writes
First, Westminster. Sampling for the new Barometer poll took place during a period of considerable instability in British politics, with both Labour and Conservative MPs defecting from their parties. Has all the instability, and uncertainty around Brexit, had any impact on party preferences – which have generally been strikingly stable since the general election? Here is what YouGov found (with changes form the previous Barometer poll, published in early December, in brackets):Labour: 35% (-8)Conservative: 29% (-2)Plaid Cymru: 14% (+1)Liberal Democrats: 8% (+2)UKIP: 6% (+3)Others: 8% (+4)Clearly, the long period of near-stagnation in the Welsh polls seems to be over. These figures show a large fall in Labour’s support. Specifically, this poll gives the lowest levels of Labour support for Westminster since early May 2017 (the second 2017 campaign poll). Although their support is only down a couple of points, the poll also gives the lowest level of Conservative Westminster support in Wales % since January 2017. And although their support has only edged up by a single point, the Plaid Cymru figure represents their best Westminster showing since July 2016.Using our customary method for projecting electoral results from poll figures – uniform national swings since the last general election – the figures from this new poll suggest that five seats would change hands at a general election. Given Labour’s current domination of Welsh parliamentary representation, and the large fall in their support suggested by this poll, it is no surprise that the five projected changes are all Labour losses: with Cardiff North, Gower, Vale of Clwyd and Wrexham all projected to be gained by the Conservatives, and Ynys Mon by Plaid Cymru. That would give the following overall outcome in terms of seats:Labour: 23 seatsConservatives: 12 seatsPlaid Cymru: 5 seats

Though Ynys Mon  has a history of sticking with its sitting MP and the seat changing hands when the incumbent steps down  and the news that Brecon and Radnorn Tory MP Christopher Davies has been charged over allegations he falsified two invoices in support of Parliamentary expenses claims may see a resurgence of the Liberal Democrats in the Westminster seat taking into account they currently hold the Assembly seat

What about voting intentions for the National Assembly? YouGov .

The Professor  tells us that
 ...once again asked about voting intentions for both the constituency and the regional list ballots in a devolved election. Here are their findings for the constituency ballot (with changes from the December Barometer poll once again in brackets)Labour: 32% (-8)Conservatives: 26% (+1)Plaid Cymru: 23% (+3)Liberal Democrats: 8% (+1)UKIP: 7% (+2)Others: 5% (+2)Here again we see a substantial fall in Labour support: to their lowest level for this ballot in any poll since April 2017. Conservative support remains solid, while Plaid Cymru edge up – once more to their highest level in any Barometer poll since July 2016.Once more using the assumption of uniform national swings since the last election, this poll would project seven constituencies to change hands. As with Westminster, all the projected changes are seats currently held by Labour: the Conservatives are projected to gain Gower, the Vale of Clwyd, Vale of Glamorgan, and Wrexham. Plaid Cymru are projected to pick up Blaenau Gwent, Cardiff West and Llanelli. Labour’s projected twenty constituency seats would be by far their worst performance at a National Assembly election.
Though I suspect with different candidates Plaid would struggle  in Blaneau Gwent and Cardiff West but could be compensated with an extra regional seat 

..For the regional list vote for the National Assembly, YouGov generated the following results (with changes from December’s Barometer poll once again in brackets):Labour: 29% (-7)Conservatives: 24% (no change)Plaid Cymru: 23% (+3)Liberal Democrats: 6% (+2)UKIP: 6% (+2)Greens: 4% (no change)Abolish the Assembly: 4% (-1)Others: 4% (+2)These results appear to confirm the sharp fall in Labour support, and a more modest uptick in Plaid Cymru’s ratings. YouGov do not find as high a level of support for the Abolish the Assembly party as the Sky Data poll did in December. Our new poll does, though, suggest that Liberal Democrat and UKIP support may have edged up a little.Allowing for the constituency results already projected, and once more assuming uniform national swings since 2016, our new poll projects the following overall results for the Assembly’s regional list seats:North Wales: 2 Plaid, 1 Labour, 1 UKIPMid & West Wales: 2 Labour, 1 Plaid, 1 ConservativeSouth Wales West: 2 Conservative, 2 PlaidSouth Wales Central: 2 Conservative, 1 Plaid, 1 Lib-DemSouth Wales East: 2 Conservative, 1 Plaid, 1 UKIPThese figures therefore generate the following overall result for the National Assembly:Labour: 23 seats (20 constituency, 3 regional)Conservatives: 17 seats (10, 7 regional)Plaid Cymru: 16 seats (9 constituency, 7 regional)Liberal Democrats: 2 seats (1 constituency, 1 regional)UKIP: 2 seats (2 regional)

Prehaps the problem for Plaid in this event would oddly be the hardest they could

Prop up a minority Labour Government on a supply and demand basis

Form a coalition with Labour in which they would demand a fair number of senior cabinet posts , which Labour will be reluctant  to do.

Form a coalition with the Tories  the First Minister to be from either the largest of the two (in this case the Tories)  or to be rotate over the Assemblies term.

Such a move would be highly unpopular among both Plaid supporters  and many of their voters.

Of course we may not see anything like this predicted turn out , but for Plaid in particular any surge in support , because of the structure of Assembly election even if they were the largest Party.

Indeed  it would be remarkable if  they could avoid this by emulating the SNP and being a majority party or finding non-unionist partners.

But in reality that is what they need to aim for , anything else could lead to disastrous coalitions.

Monday 25 February 2019

We need to address our A.B.E attitude.

There was no Blog yesterday because I was celebrating all day Saturday after the epic win over England  in the Six Nations.

I watched it one of my locals and it was a great atmosphere, marred by one idiot attacking the one English Fan in the pub who bravely cheered  hi side on in a sea of red amongst good humoured banter and had rendered us with a verse  of "I can shove my £^&*ing  Chariot up my arse".

But as he was leaving as I said one idiot had a go at him but he was swiftly held back and there was no real physical contact.

That is as maybe, but it does perhaps warn us that the "As long as we beat the English we don't care" and Anyone But England (A.B.E.). to far.

For a start it does indicate a lack of ambition as a nation in that it is often cried by those who on Saturday found in themselves  a 80 minute patriotism  that they deny for the rest of the year.

I can't guarantee it but I suspect that Saturday's Pub Idiot who expressed an Anti-English racism,  also has disdain for independence and would never vote Plaid.

Indeed I have probably met more people  who are opposed to Independence and the use of Cymraeg  (apart from singing the anthem) than from Welsh "Nationalist"  and certainly not from those of us who prefer the able themselves  Independista.

Whether Plaid , Ein Gwlad or the broader YES CYMRU  movement , this no place for Anti-English racism even  the 80 minute Welshmen and Women.

There is nothing wrong in wanting to beat England at any sport , but it mist be met with an understanding that it is as far as it goes.

As the late Gwyn Alf Williams  used to say "It's the Bloody Welsh who are the problem" and we must blame ourselves not England or the English if we do not have the courage to  seek our own destiny.

England should remain as our major sporting rivals, but  personalty I would accept a defeat in the Six Nations for the chance o beat New Zealand especially on their own turf.

I am not arguing for the end of the "As long as we beat the English we don't care".   Anyone but England banter , but there must come a time when we are confident enough to widen our rivalry  , beyond the boarder  and prehaps  as an Independent Nation even cheer on our friends in White shirts wearing a Red Rose or Three Lions.

Saturday 23 February 2019

There is a huge Caveat in Plaid's latest by-election win.

For Plaid Cymru their unexpected victory in the Ely ward of Cardiff council . may be a boost to the party but it also comes with a problem.

Because as the Wasting Mule points out

"While Andrea Gibson is the new Plaid Cymru councillor, she would not have won without the help of her de facto campaign manager Neil McEvoy.
For Labour and, to a large extent, Plaid, Mr McEvoy is unwanted.
He often provokes jeers of disdain from his opponents in the Senedd and the council chamber when he makes an angry intervention.
But for many on his home patch, he takes their concerns seriously in a way they believe other politicians do not.
In March last year, Mr McEvoy was expelled from Plaid for 18 months for breaching a series of party rules. The judgement referred to his behaviour at the party's spring conference in 2017, soon after a panel found him guilty of making a bullyiing remark to a council official involved in evicting a female council tenant from her home".
Of  course  it could be that Mr McEvoy social media exposure over emphasised his role but the Mule's Martin Simpson has a point.

"What happened in Ely on Thursday is much more than an unexpected by-election result that will follow the usual pattern of being a nine-day wonder.
Plaid’s victory occurred in the Cardiff West seat held by First Minister Mark Drakeford, who was run close by Mr McEvoy at the last Assembly election in 2016.
With Mr McEvoy as Plaid’s candidate in 2021, the party would have a real chance of ousting the leader of Welsh Labour and getting into a position where its leader Adam Price could be elected First Minister – an outcome that would revolutionise Welsh politics.
While Ms Gibson undoubtedly worked hard for her victory, it was Mr McEvoy’s strategy that propelled her into the council chamber.
He is a highly astute user of social media, and during the campaign made countless videos showing empty council homes in Ely with gardens full of rubbish.
It’s easy to parody his style, which invariably sees him beckoning the viewer to follow him into a waste-strewn area and watch as the camera pans while Mr McEvoy rants about the shocking indifference of Cardiff’s Labour-controlled council.
Yet his invective is effective. It tells residents of a neglected neighbourhood that in him they have a champion. On Thursday enough of them were sufficiently enthused by his message to vote for Ms Gibson, his protégé2"

Of course Ms  Gibson could (and I suspect she will) prove to be her own woman.
Certainly she has made her mark

Ely - results
Election CandidatePartyVotes%
 Andrea Emily GibsonCardiff Plaid - Plaid Cymru Caerdydd83143%Elected
 Irene May HumphreysWelsh Labour / Llafur Cymru77940%Not elected
 Gavin BrookmanWelsh Conservative Party Candidate / Ymgeisydd Plaid Geidwadol Cymru27114%Not elected
 Richard JerrettWelsh Liberal Democrats / Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol Cymru462%Not elected
This is quite a change from the 2017 election
Ely - results
Election CandidatePartyVotes%
 Irene Susan GoddardWelsh Labour / Llafur Cymru147219%Elected
 James William MurphyWelsh Labour / Llafur Cymru138018%Elected
 Russell Vivian GoodwayWelsh Labour / Llafur Cymru126916%Elected
 Lowri BrownCardiff Plaid - Plaid Cymru Caerdydd78610%Not elected
 Christopher Neil NewthCardiff Plaid - Plaid Cymru Caerdydd74510%Not elected
 Andrea Emily GibsonCardiff Plaid - Plaid Cymru Caerdydd6228%Not elected
 Owen Rhys RobbinsWelsh Conservative Party Candidate / Ymgeisydd Plaid Geidwadol Cymru5097%Not elected
 Leighton McEwanWelsh Conservative Party Candidate / Ymgeisydd Plaid Geidwadol Cymru5076%Not elected
 Linda Margaret AmossWelsh Liberal Democrats / Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol Cymru2673%Not elected
 Michael ReesWelsh Liberal Democrats / Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol Cymru971%Not elected
 Matthew HemsleyWelsh Liberal Democrats / Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol Cymru841%Not elected
 Richard Michael EdwardsTrade Unionist and Socialist Coalition641%Not elected

I have often been a critic of Neil McEvoy Populist  style of politic , but there is doubt that it is effective..

It is also true that highlighting the problems of wards like Ely and as Martin Simpson points out
Mr McEvoy rants about the shocking indifference of Cardiff’s Labour-controlled council.
Yet his invective is effective. It tells residents of a neglected neighbourhood that in him they have a champion".
Yet his invective is effective. It tells residents of a neglected neighbourhood that in him they have a champion".

The problem with Neil McEvoy is that  he  often uses a bazooka  on a target and 
a does not seem to worry whose in the way.

But the main problem with Plaid in such politics  can be that whilst the people of  Ely  voted "Cardiff" Plaid , unless this also results in belief in Independence in such then such tactics could be only temporary as there is no real change in their environment.

In Glasgow the SNP  have seen that mixing campaigning on local issues has seen support for Independence grow.

The question we need to ask is whether the likes of Neil McEvoy  is the right person to carry of both in our capitol.

He seams to alienate as many people he wins over and this could prove disastrous  in the long term for Plaid.

Friday 22 February 2019

Jeremy Corbyn is right on Shamima Begum,

There are times when politicians must not bow to the mob and it is to Jeremy Corbyn credit that he has not done so by stating that  Shamima Begum, who left the UK to join the Islamic State group in Syria aged 15, has a "right to return to Britain",
Ms Begum has had her UK citizenship revoked by Home Secretary Sajid Javid - a move Mr Corbyn said was "extreme".
The leader of the opposition told ITV News the 19-year-old should return to the UK to face questioning.
Ms Begum told Sky News on Thursday she was "willing to change" and called for "mercy" from British politicians.
UK nationals can only have their citizenship revoked if they are eligible for citizenship elsewhere.
It is thought Ms Begum could be a Bangladeshi citizen because her mother is believed to be one.
However, Bangladesh's ministry of foreign affairs has said Ms Begum is not a Bangladeshi citizen and there was "no question" of her being allowed into the country.
Mr Corbyn, who is currently in Brussels to discuss his Brexit proposals, said: "She obviously has, in my view, a right to return to Britain.
"On that return she must obviously face a lot of questions about everything she has done and at that point any action may or may not be taken.
"But I think the idea of stripping somebody of their citizenship when they were born in Britain is a very extreme manoeuvre indeed.
"Indeed, I questioned the right of the home secretary to have these powers when the original law was brought in by Theresa May when she was home secretary.
Mr Javid has defended the move, which followed a debate over whether the teenager should be able to return to the UK after she was found in a Syrian refugee camp.
Ms Begum, who left east London in 2015, said she never sought to be an IS "poster girl" and now simply wished to raise her child quietly in the UK.
The home secretary said he would not leave an individual stateless, which is illegal under international law.
Predictably there was a response illustrated by former Tory leader  in the Welsh Assembly Andrew R. T Davies

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn sides with a terrorist - what's new?!

This is a disgraceful smear on a man who simply  wants the UK to obey International Law  and Plaid Cymtu's Westminster Leader summed it up
s Feb 19MoreIf the rights of this British citizen are at the disposal of populist politicians,
only one question remains:-
‘Who next?’

A Fifteen year old was some how influenced to join two friends ( who are now dead) to go and join a murderous cult and the British government do not take responsibility for her actions.

Much has been made of  Ms Begum's  apparent lack of remorse , but perhaps we should take into account her current circumstances , where she is in a refugee camp sou rounded by possible ISIS supporters .

Indeed the first act of the UK government should have been to move her to a safe space , so that she is not at the mercy of fanatics.

The opportunity to bring Ms Bergum back and after being interviewed and possible prosecuted , should be taken to explain to others the consequences of listening to extremist speakers.

As this Tweet states
  1. I’m British, born in Birmingham to a family that has worked for the British Army in 3 continents & I have worked tirelessly to keep my fellow citizens safe Is my citizenship conditional? When the torchbearers & pitchforks come for me, who will protect me?
  2. My View: She is OUR problem & like tons of alleged criminals WE deliver justice to them Even extremists later protect us in deradicalising others It’s probably illegal 100s of others have returned - where is consistency? Pres Assad’s wife still has her British citizenshipazir afzal added,
Shamima Begum is our responsibility we cannot walk away from it . Indeed we  should look at ways to deradiclise  her and others.

This is not the case of forgiving Shamima Begum or any others who went to join ISSIS no matter how young.

But if we want to stop it in the future then we should not resort to crude racism as we have seen from part of the UK Media , Politicians and its Citizens,