Sunday 31 March 2019

Wings Over Scotland has a problem with Cymraeg as well as Gàidhlig

This Blog has always admired and envied Wings Over Scotland , it is the foremost Blog supporting Scottish Independence (though I prefer MUNGUIN'S NEW REPUBLIC) and has played a considerable role in the cause for Scottish Independence.

Though I have always been disturbed with Wing's somewhat negative attitude to Gaelic (Gàidhlig)

Back in 2015 he wrote

"Let’s start off by losing some more friends. This site has no time for the Gaelic lobby. The obsolete language spoken by just 0.9% of Scotland’s population might be part of the nation’s “cultural heritage”, but so were burning witches and replacing Highlanders with sheep and we don’t do those any more either.Being multilingual is an excellent thing, but the significant amount of time and effort taken to learn a literally-pointless second language (because everyone you can talk to in Gaelic already understood English) would be vastly better directed to picking up one that was actually of some use, and every extra fraction of a second spent scanning a road sign trying to find the bit you can read is a fraction of a second spent with your eyes off the road.Non-primary native languages are a tool whose main utility in practice is at best the exclusion of outsiders, and at worst an expression of dodgy blood-and-soil ethnic nationalism. They’re a barrier to communication and an irritation to the vast majority of the population, who are made to feel like uncultured aliens in their own land.But we’d still rather put up with Gaelic than complete idiots making our laws".

It seems that he has a similar problem with Cymraeg as well. His last post a astute ctitique  of tourist tat in Edinburgh

The dark foreboding fear of the ugly Britain of the imminent future is especially striking somewhere like Edinburgh, if less so in places like Bathgate (where I normally stay when I come home, unlike this week). But Brexit will wreak damage everywhere, in profound ways that people don’t yet have an inkling of.Edinburgh itself has changed very noticeably in the last few years, something that’s perhaps much more easily apparent if you only see it once every year or two. Since the indyref campaign it’s become a lot more reminiscent of the Welsh capital Cardiff which I visited this month, itself just an amplification of the rest of Wales.Every other shop in central Edinburgh is now a tartan-tourist-tat emporium hawking an ancient Harry Lauder stereotype of kilts and shortbread and Nessie and Jimmy hats and (more incongrously) red London buses and phone boxes.

But he then makes this comparison with out own capitol  

"It smacks a lot of what you see in Wales, less in tacky souvenir shops (though those are still very much present) but in the defensively chippy prominence of the Welsh language – an overcompensatory assertion of difference and faux nationality to cover up the fact that neither country has the courage to actually be a nation".
The position of Cymraeg is huge part of Indenity in Wales , and many monoglot English speakers like myself support the aim making Wales a fully bilingual nation,

There may be a debate in Scotland of the position of Gàidhlig in parts of Scotland where it may or may not have held sway. But Cymraeg is a truly national language and in many ways  in the absence of a separate legal systems the glue that has held us together.

Oh and why not make Gàidhlig  (and Scots) equal to English anyway?

The Reverend Stu may live in Bath, but that is no excuse, for displaying the same sort of ignorance and prejudices  of some of that cities prejudices.

Saturday 30 March 2019

Revoke, Remain and Reform.should now be our watchwords.

The Horizontal Prime minister (Three knockouts in a row), seems to be sp punch drunk she is considering another bout.
According to the BBC
Theresa May and her cabinet are looking for ways to bring her EU withdrawal agreement back to the Commons for a fourth attempt at winning MPs' backing.
The PM said the UK would need "an alternative way forward" after her plan was defeated by 58 votes on Friday.
MPs from all parties will test support for other options during a second round of "indicative votes" on Monday.
But government sources have not ruled out a run-off between whichever proves most popular and the PM's Brexit plan.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called on Mrs May to change her deal or resign immediately, while Northern Ireland's DUP - which has propped up Mrs May's minority government - also continues to oppose the deal.
The government has so far failed to win over 34 Conservative rebels, including both Remainers and Tory Brexiteers who say the deal still leaves the UK too closely aligned to Europe.
 A Downing Street spokesman highlighted the fact that May’s margin of defeat, 58, was smaller than the 149 majority she lost by earlier this month, and the crushing 230-strong defeat in the first meaningful vote in January. “We are at least going in the right direction,” the spokesman said.
No 10 sources also pointed out that her deal had won more supporters than any of the eight options considered by MPs in Wednesday’s indicative votes, in which the most popular, a referendum, received the backing of 268 MPs.
So basically the message is, we will continue bring forward the proposal until you vote for it 
Plaid's Westminster Leader who has been one of the outstanding  opposition MPs has written in left Forward  how we are now facing a troubled future.
Another day, another defeat on the Government’s botched Brexit deal. We warned the Prime Minister that separating the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration would solve nothing. So here we are again.The British state is beset with a Tory Westminster government behaving like Olympian gods, as though our constituents, many of whom have livelihoods which depend on our relationship with Europe, as though they – we – were mere pawns in their chess game.They insist on bringing meaningful and meaningless votes after votes, knowing they produce absolutely nothing, but pretending as if they are doing something.This is nothing more than deceit, duplicity and deception from a Government in desperation. And then the Prime Minister has the audacity to go on national television and blame us, Members of this House, for her failure, as Head of State, to govern.We are ensnared in procedural minutiae, in twists and turns of Byzantine complexity, a six volume Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the British empire, played out in painfully tedious slow motion in what used to be respected as the mother of parliaments.We cannot discuss the failure of this House without turning to the benches on this side. We were so helpfully reminded this week, “Labour is not a remain party” – and don’t we know it.If the Labour Party had done its sole job and opposed any of the disastrous moves by this government, and had not simply closed its eyes and wished upon its negotiation-free Brexit, we would now have a clear way forward and we would not be clinging on to the whims of the ERG and the DUP.Alas, for as long as we stick to this archaic, dysfunctional Westminster system, we are stuck with Her Majesty’s Opposition as useless as Her Majesty’s Government.If Wales leaves Europe because of Labour Members, Labour fiefdom in Wales is at an end. If Labour abandons the interests of Wales, Wales will abandon Labour.This House, at the behest of both the Brexiteering unionist parties has so far failed to make any decisions about our future relationship with the European Union. The blame is at their door.We have suggested ways forward to marshal decision-making, with Plaid Cymru leader Jonathan Edwards suggesting indicative votes using an Alternative Voting system to decide how we proceed.This was first raised weeks upon weeks ago, way back when this Government lost its first meaningful vote. If the Prime Minister had pulled her fingers out of her ears and listened to anyone other than the privileged elite of the ERG and the DUP – the elite of the Brexiteers – we could have used the last two and a half months to make some progress, decide on what the House thinks is the best way to move forward, and simply get on with it.It cannot be said often enough: how often is the Prime Minister going to game democracy for her own purpose? How many ERGers will switch their votes and their previous principles on the most spurious of thin reasons? Will they not open their eyes and see that representative parliamentary democracy in this place has stalled?If it’s good enough for the Tories to have multiple shots, how do they have the nerve to argue that the people are somehow unworthy of a final say referendum? Bring on a People’s Vote: our salvation in public democracy.We are where we are because of this tin-eared, time-wasting, timorous British Government, hell-bent on putting its own interests before the interests of farmers, factory workers and families across the UK. If this is the best the Commons can cobble together, we are in serious trouble.Britain is broke, and Westminster is simply not working. The people of Wales deserve better than this failed empire of a union. The timbers of this ship of state are rotten. We must look to Europe and to ourselves for salvation. 

I concur  but  a People Vote must offer something to those leavers who did not vote for Brexit  for let's face it racist reasons.

There must be no pandering to Anti-Immigration rhetoric. It was this which got us into this mess in the first place.

Instead all those arguing for staying in the European Union must argue for Revoke, Remain and Reform.

Many of us who voted Remain last time did so not with any love for the EU as an institution, but rightly predicted that Brexit would be a disaster.

The UK if it still exist or the future Independent Nations of Scotland and hopefully Wales must seek allies in Europe who share that vision.

The alternative is to surrender to (ironically)  foreign or absentee media barons , who have been spreading their vile racism on our their front pages for decades.

When you see Leave supporters arguing about sovereignty and  EU unaccountably, it time to ask why they bow to the prejudices  of an US citizen like Rupert Murdoch?

Friday 29 March 2019

Déjà vu in a Newport by-election?

Daran Hill over at the Wasting Mule makes an interesting  point that there could be a case of a Newport by election , resulting in the fall of a UK government .

As he says 
"The dominant party in Wales had been the Liberals for over half a century, but the Liberals were fatally flawed.
The wartime coalition had seen them ripped in two, with separate parties existing in most of the UK reflecting the factions of former Prime Minister Herbert Asquith and Welsh wizard David Lloyd George, who had succeeded him. The biggest question in 1922 politics was whether that coalition government should continue.
However, Newport was one of the areas where the local party had not split wide open so there was a peculiar oasis there which created the circumstances for an enormously fractious by-election.
It was not the Liberals that were factionalising, it was the Conservatives. In Newport they had selected as a candidate a civil engineer called Reginald Clarry who was pledged to remove the Conservatives from the national coalition running the UK and headed by Lloyd George.
This was also very much the feeling of local Conservatives, who had resented being represented by a Liberal and wanted an end to a wartime coalition that had, they believed, outlived its purpose by four years.
The combustibility of the situation increased when not only did the Conservatives and Liberals both contest the seat, but the Liberals chose as their candidate William Lynden Moore, who ran on the slogan of “reunited Liberalism”, implying opposition to the coalition too.
Therefore, neither Lloyd George nor his Conservative associate Austen Chamberlain could actively support candidates from either of their parties, since both opposed the official party stances relating to the continuation of the coalition government, and Chamberlain was pretty explicit that Conservative Central Office should not support Clarry’s candidature.
Added in to the mix was the growing potency of the Labour Party, who had picked up a number of south Wales seats in 1918 and were seen as a coming force.
Their candidate, John William Bowen, was a post office trade unionist and had previously contested the seat in the 1918 General Election. Many in traditional politics assumed and feared that he would be the eventual winner of the Newport by election, since he might be able to capitalise on the disarray in the two governing parties.
When the result of the by-election came on the early hours of October 19, 1922, it was seismic.
Clarry had won with 13,515 votes, some 40% of the total, with the Liberals taking second place on 11,425 and Labour trailing third on 8,841.
Later that same day Clarry reached Westminster and joined a meeting of the Conservatives taking place at the Carlton Club.
The actions of that day are still reflected in the name of the 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs in Parliament.
The meeting, spurred on by the result in Newport, resolved that the Conservative Party leave the coalition government.
Austen Chamberlain resigned immediately as leader, and Lloyd George was forced to resign as Prime Minister on that very day.
A new Conservative only administration was formed and the new Prime Minister Bonar Law called a General Election, receiving an impressive mandate to continue governing2".
Probably due to lack of space, Daran  does not mention that there was a particular  Welsh aspect to the byelection however.

This from Wikipedia 

"Locally Conservatives in Wales despised the coalition and regarded the electoral pact as valid for one election only. They were further enraged when Haslam did not give support for Conservative measures despite their support. The key breach came over the 1921 Licensing Bill which raised the question of whether Monmouthshirewas part of Wales or England. This had become a particularly significant local issue, with the Liberals tending to the former position and the Conservatives to the latter. The Bill included Monmouthshire with Wales and so threatened early closing, whilst Haslam's support for the temperance movement provoked further hostility. Consequently the local Conservatives moved to adopt an official candidate of their own for the next general election, choosing Reginald Clarry on 26 July 1922. He received backing from the anti-Coalition wing of the Conservative Party, including endorsements in the Morning Post. His candidature was not well received by the Conservative leadership at Westminster, with Austen Chamberlain, leader of the Conservative MPs, requesting that Conservative Central Office should not aid Clarry's campaign, but crucially Clarry was still the official party nominee for the seat and it would be dangerous for any leader of the party to provoke a row by repudiating the official nominee".
  The 1881 Sunday  Closing  Act the first UK law to be applied solely to Wales  did not apply to Monmouthshire, but was extended over that county in 1915 under wartime legislation which was reaffirmed in 1921.

So we  see , that in part the 1922 by-election as a landmark in Welsh politics, in that a solely Welsh law   was a major influence.

Could it be that the issue of where Wales stands in relation to the rest of the UK  could mark a change in Welsh politics , where the electorate of Newport West may indicate that they may be considering abandoning the two dominant UK parties.

Thursday 28 March 2019

If there is a UK General Election bet in an Assembly election in Bridgend.

So where does former First Minister Carwyn Jones now stand after
the High Court ruled he unlawfully interfered with the independent Carl Sargeant inquiry?

Wales Online report that,...
....Lord Justice Haddon-Cave and Mr Justice Swift upheld a legal challenge by Mr Sargeant's widow to the way the rules had been set for the inquiry - which would have denied the family's lawyers the right to cross-examine witnesses.

Carwyn Jones told WalesOnline that while the decision is "disappointing", his main priority is protecting the complainants in the case.
The inquiry, led by senior barrister Paul Bowen QC, has been on hold pending the outcome of Mrs Sargeant's legal challenge.
The rules for the inquiry into Mr Jones' actions after sacking Mr Sargeant as Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children four days before his death will now have to be reviewed.
Mr Sargeant is believed to have taken his own life at his home in Connah's Quay in November 2017 while facing unspecified allegations of sexual harassment.

His family have said he was not told the details of what he was accused of and was unable to properly defend himself.
In their ruling, the judges said it was "unfair" that Carwyn Jones had announced that the inquiry would be independent but then tried to have control of the process.
They said
:“It would – in layman’s terms – be unfair for the First Minister both to retain the political capital of the announcement that the work necessary to establish the Investigation would be undertaken independently from his office, and to retain the power to decide what the arrangements for the investigation should be."
They said that because Mr Jones had put out a press statement saying that the inquiry would be done "separately from his office", it was unlawful that the civil servant setting up the inquiry, Permanent Secretary Dame Shan Morgan, "had her hands tied" by the First Minister.
They said:
"In our view, because of the 10th November 2017 Press Statement, it was also unlawful for him to do this. On this ground alone, we allow the Claimant’s application for judicial review."They concluded: "We consider that the alterations made to the OP [operational protocol for the inquiry] at that time should be quashed."This will affect paragraphs 30 and 32 of the Operational Protocol. We will receive submissions from Counsel as to the precise nature of the relief that should be ordered."
At a hearing in Cardiff in January, the family's barrister Lesley Thomas QC had argued that Mr Jones was "involved in setting the operational protocol in a clear breach of natural justice and was acting as a judge in his own court".
Cathryn McGahey QC, representing Mr Jones, had said the former first minister's actions were entirely lawful and that he was responsible for setting the parameters of the investigation by law.
In their ruling, the judges said that had Mr Jones not claimed to be allowing the terms of the inquiry to be set independently of his office, there would have been no legal problem with the way the inquiry was set up.
They said that hearing evidence in private - and for there to be no cross-examination - was not in itself unfair to Mrs Sargeant or any other of the participants in the inquiry.

As always it is difficult  for we lay people to completely follow legal rulings but it seems that the is ruling is clear and that it was unfair for Carwyn Jones to claim the inquiry was Independent and then  to retain the power to decide what the arrangements for the investigation should be.

Mr Jones reputation has been severely damaged if he hadn't already stepped down as First Minster, he would surely face calls for him to do so.

But he is continuing as an AM until the 2021 election, if the predictions that there will be a UK General Election sooner or later come later , whats the chance that there will be a byelection for the Bridgend Assembly seat on the same day?

Wednesday 27 March 2019

Latest WA Waka-Jumper is of course from Ukip.

It was only last Friday , that this Blog announced my aim to get the term
Waka-Jumping into Welsh Poltics to describe AM particularly those elected on the regional list who leave their party.

So we se the first case of me naming a Waka-Jumbper as news comes UKIP's team in the Welsh Assembly has shrunk to just three after one of its AMs quit the party, calling the Senedd group a sexist boys' club.

In 2016, UKIP broke through from nothing to win seven seats on the Welsh Assembly. Coming just a month before the EU referendum, it proved a shock to the system – including for UKIP, it seems.Nearly three years on, UKIP are down to just three members on the Assembly.
In April 2017, Mark Reckless quit the UKIP group to sit as a Conservative AM, though oddly, without being a party member. He left on a ‘positive’ note (his words). But things rapidly went downhill when the struggling party took a lurch to the far-right to boost its numbers.
In January 2018, UKIP Wales announced that Mandy Jones (who had replaced the resigned ex-Kipper Nathan Gill) would not be joining the UKIP group in the Assembly, as she employed members of other parties in her office. Jones refused to budge, describing the UKIP group as ‘toxic’. Her party membership was suspended. It was a taste of things to come.
In September 2018, Caroline Jones, a former leader of the Assembly group, resigned as a party member and from UKIP’s group. She was concerned that UKIP leader Gerard Batten moving the party to the far right – e.g. appointing Tommy Robinson as an adviser.
Now another Assembly Member has jumped ship. Michelle Brown AM – who faced calls for deselection after being recorded calling Chuka Umunna a ‘f*cking coconut’ in 2017 – believes the party is becoming too right-wing.
In a brutal resignation letter, she writes:
“When UKIP should have been holding Westminster to account for trying to thwart the referendum result, the party has been instead discussing individual politicians’ pet projects such as attacking Islam and abolishing the Welsh Assembly. Gareth Bennett, Neil Hamilton and Gerrard Batten are letting the people of Britain down.
“Longstanding members worked exceptionally hard and made many personal sacrifices in the fight to free the UK from the EU, only to have an unelected leader try to hand UKIP’s megaphone to the likes of Tommy Robinson and then become his spokesman and prominent advocate. 
“While it is clear that the UK needs a plan to defeat extremism and fundamentalism in all its forms and identities, I fear that the current UKIP leadership believes the best way to do that is to incubate and cultivate a rival fundamentalism.  All sensible people know that route can never lead to the calm and peaceful nation we all want.”

“I can safely say that Gareth hasn’t tried to have a conversation with me since last August, just after he became group leader.  He made no effort to keep Caroline Jones in the group and was a key player in Mandy Jones’s exclusion from it.
“The group does not function as a group but as a boys’ club – it is not by chance that the group no longer has any female members.  It does nothing that is in the wider interest of party members or Welsh residents and seems to serve only to further the interests of certain group members.
“For a party that prides itself on its democratic, libertarian ideals and respect for freedom of speech, it is ironic that behind closed doors, its leaders become autocrats as soon as they take up their positions.

Interesting  use of the term "Welsh Residents" rather than the "People pf Wales", its almost as if Ms Brown seems to think Wales is not a Nation and the Assembly nothing more than a glorified English County Council.

Of course if the polls continue as they do and Ukip struggle to win more than two seats in the next Assembly elections then the four Ukip Waka-Jumpers may have a problem getting reelected and so realise their days in the Senedd are numbered and they have nothing to lose.

Still whilst we may be amused at the disarray of Welsh-Ukip (an oxymoron in a way), it does raise the whole issue of Waka-Jumpers, who change allegiances  and cannot legitimise their actions by fighting a  byelection  as a constituency AM Waka-Jumper could and should do.

Tuesday 26 March 2019

Recall election in in Brecon and Radnorshire and Revoke Article 50.

Wales could be facing another Byelection  as aTory MP convicted for making a false expenses claim is facing a petition that could see him lose his seat.
The BBC report that Commons speaker John Bercow will ask officials to open a recall petition once Chris Davies is sentenced, with a by-election to be held if 10% of the MP's constituents sign it.
The MP was convicted last Friday.
Davies, 51, admitted to two charges relating to creating false invoices for £700 worth of photographs.
The politician could have made the claim legitimately under a different process. His case was adjourned for sentencing at a future date at Southwark Crown Court.
The figure needed to trigger a by-election is yet to be confirmed but it is thought around 5,300 names would be required.
Davies had admitted to one charge of providing false or misleading information for allowances claims, and one of attempting to do so.
A spokeswoman for the Speaker's Office said: "As soon as the court has formally informed Mr Speaker that sentencing has taken place, procedures under the Recall of MPs Act 2015 require him to write to the returning officer in Mr Davies' Brecon and Radnorshire constituency.
"Once the letter has been sent, Mr Davies is subject to the recall petition process and it will be for the returning officer to make the arrangements for the petition.
"The recall petition will be open for signing for six weeks," the spokeswoman added.
"If at least 10% of the electorate in the constituency sign the petition, the MP will lose his seat and a by-election will be triggered."
Once called, a recall petition should be available to be signed at up to ten locations open from Monday to Friday between 0900 and 1700, with "reasonable provision" given for signing at other times.
The Liberal Democrats who hold the Assembly seat (on the same boarders) will be chomping at the bit especially as they have no Welsh seats in the UK parliament and the seat has been a two party fight since 1997
General Election 2017: Brecon and Radnorshire[8]
ConservativeChristopher Davies20,08148.6+7.5
Liberal DemocratJames Gibson-Watt12,04329.1+0.8
LabourDan Lodge7,33517.7+3.0
Plaid CymruKate Heneghan1,2993.1-1.3
UKIPPeter Gilbert5761.4-6.9
Registered electors56,010
Conservative holdSwing+3.4

Welsh Assembly Election 2016: Brecon and Radnorshire[1]
Liberal DemocratsKirsty Williams15,89852.4+9.3
ConservativeGary Price7,72825.4−7.9
LabourAlex Thomas2,7038.9−8.0
UKIPThomas Turton2,1617.1+7.1
Plaid CymruFreddy Greaves1,1803.9−2.8
GreenGrenville Ham6972.3+2.3
Liberal Democrats holdSwing+8.6
Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds has already been selected to be the party's Westminster candidate for Brecon & Radnorshire.

Though there is no guarantee that there  will be enough electors in the constituency  to actually sign it.
North Antrim DUP MP Ian Paisley survived a recall petition in September when it failed to get the numbers required to trigger a by-election.
He had been suspended from Westminster for failing to declare two holidays paid for by the Sri Lankan government.
A recall petition process is currently underway in Peterborough against former Labour MP Fiona Onasanya - now sitting as an independent - who was jailed for perverting the course of justice.
It is interesting to note that with the revoke article 50 petition  approaching nearly 6 million some constituencies have passed the  10% mark

You can see the interactive map  here but of interest Brecon and Radorshire is currently  at 8.29%
Of course it's not open to the same verification as a recall petition , but attempts to question the legitimacy of the Revoke petition, have failed to come up with any tangible evidence 
Ach Brexiteer Julia Hartley-Brewer has taken to Twitter to cast doubts on the credibility of the petition.
Oh, this is going to be a fun afternoon. You can sign any name you want to the Revoke Article 50 petition and use the same email address repeatedly. Let the games begin!

8,895 people are talking about this

Though Hartley-Brewer’s intervention, as is so often the case, isn’t based in the world of facts.

Firstly, no email address can be used repeatedly.
For your name to be counted, each person has to click a verification e-mail link, which can only be used once.
If you sign it twice, you get an email like the one below
Clearly it is not the same as a recall position , but the sure numbers even if there were some discrepancy  can't be ignored.

Monday 25 March 2019

A Bridge too far away.

A poster for a by-election hustings has come under criticism after it used an American landmark to represent Newport , though those responsible are probably quite pleased that it has given them some much needed publicity 

Renew is a centrist political party in the United Kingdom. The party was set up to provide an alternative for moderate voters following the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum in 2016. The party describes itself as wanting to reform existing political structures, and does not identify with either left or right ideology.The party is actively welcoming candidates and members from non-political backgrounds.
One of its main positions is to advocate remaining part of the European Union, though the party also emphasises investment in education, sustainable development and environmental protection as key values. The party had three leaders: Annabel Mullin, James Torrance and James Clarke; latterly, Mullin has been described as leader,with the party's website describing Torrance and Clarke as deputy leaders.
According to Wales Online 
... the Renew Party has been left red-faced after their artwork to promote the event that they organised showed the Claiborne Pell Bridge - commonly known as the Newport Bridge - in Rhode Island, USA.
Conservative campaigner Michael Enea, who spotted the image on social media, said:
"Being that the parliamentary election is for Newport in Wales you’d like think they would surely know that the bridge featured in their advert (as local landmark) is not from Newport.
"It is actually located 3,199 miles away.

He added: 
"I get the impression that someone has been using Google search? I suspect they've typed in 'Newport landmark' and it's thrown back an image of a bridge in Newport, USA.
"It really makes you wonder who’s running the campaign for the Renew Party? Surely their candidate should've spotted this?"
The artwork has since been changed, and now features an image of Newport's iconic Transporter Bridge.

Renew's communications officer, James Dilley, said: "I must apologise on behalf of the Renew Party for this error.
"It's obviously a busy time at the moment getting everything ready for the by-election and in the rush to organise the hustings, I signed off on the wrong image for the advert.

"The image has since been changed, but I apologise for any offence caused."
The by-election in Newport West is being held following Labour MP Paul Flynn's death last month.
The Newport Transporter Bridge is of course Iconic and the gaffe and , does show that Renew may not be entirely familiar with the constituency , but since the electorate in Newport West are as probably in as much of the dark , those responsible may well be actually quite pleased they got the publicity.

The hustings

The actual  hustings  seemed to place on Thursday, March 21 , and expected to finish at 10pm.
Candidates apparently a at the hustings included: 
  • Renew - June Davies
  • Lib Dem -  Ryan Jones
  • Green - Amelia Womack
  • Plaid Cymru - Jonathan T Clark
  • For Britain - Hugh Nicklin
  • Abolish the Welsh Assembly - Richard Suchorzewski
  • Democrats and Veterans - An agent will be in attendance
A Labour spokesperson said:
 "We would welcome invites to hustings from community organisations but it would be unreasonable to expect candidates to turn up to an event organised and run by a rival
party in the by-election.
"Ruth [Jones, Labour candidate] will be attending a community event this evening
It is very odd for a party standing in an election to invite other parties to an hustings  and it could be that some who agreed were not entirely  aware , who was running it .

If you attested the hustings let me know who turned up.

Sunday 24 March 2019

If we face a Brexit apocalypse, May should not be the scapegoat.

The idea that Theresa May could gain support for her Brexit deal if she promises to stand down as PM, as senior Conservatives reportedly have told the BBC is bizarre.

Rhey seem to be gearing up to give her a victory in passing her "Deal " whilst making her a scapegoat  for any post-brexit backlash.
The BBC (If you can believe them)report that ....
"....MPs in the party have said they might reluctantly back the agreement if they know she will not be in charge of the next stage of negotiations with the EU.
It comes as newspaper reports claim cabinet ministers are plotting a coup against her.
No 10 has dismissed reports that Mrs May could be persuaded to stand aside.
The prime minister has come under growing pressure to quit following a week in which she was forced to ask the EU for an extension to Article 50, and criticised for blaming the delay to Brexit on MPs.
It remains unclear whether she will bring her withdrawal agreement back to the Commons for a third vote next week, after she wrote to MPs saying she would only do so if there was "sufficient support" for it.
According to reports in some of the Sunday papers, cabinet ministers are planning to oust Mrs May as prime minister and replace her with a "caretaker leader" until a proper leadership contest is held later in the year.
But there were differing accounts of who the preferred candidate is, with the Brexiteer and Remain wings of the party said to favour different interim leaders.
The Sunday Times reported that Mrs May's defacto deputy, David Lidington, who voted Remain, was being lined up to replace her, while the Mail on Sunday said the Brexiteer Environment Secretary Michael Gove was the "consensus choice".
But one senior backbencher told the BBC's Iain Watson that even standing aside would not be enough for her deal to be voted through - having twice been defeated by large margins - and that Mrs May might as well "dig in".
No 10 dismissed suggestions that Mrs May could be persuaded to stand aside, or that she would agree a "job share" arrangement where senior ministers would be given extra responsibilities.
The BBC's political editor, Laura Kuenssberg said d there was "serious manoeuvring"
It comes ahead of a week where the PM is expected to lose further control over the Brexit process.
A cross-party group of MPs will press for alternatives to her deal to be debated on Wednesday - something government sources expect to happen.
In the coming days, as many as six other options, in addition to Mrs May's deal, could be voted on, in order to see which are most popular. They are:
  • Revoking Article 50 and cancelling Brexit
  • Another referendum
  • The PM's deal plus a customs union
  • The PM's deal plus both a customs union and single market access
  • A Canada-style free trade agreement
  • Leaving the EU without a deal"
It appears to me to resemble those in the German Resistance who believed that if they could remove Hitler from power , then they could negotiate a peace deal.
However it was felt amongst the allies (especially Russia) that their could be negotiations and Germany would have to surrender unconditionally.
While the main goal of the plotters was to remove Hitler from power by assassination , they did so for various reasons. The majority of the group behind the 20 July plot were conservative nationalists and did not necessarily believe in democratic ideas. Martin Borschat writes that the plot was mainly done by conservative elites who were initially integrated by the Nazi government but during the war lost their influence and were concerned about regaining it.
Of course comparing removal of May to the July Plot is extreme and leaves me ocomparing he Night of the Long Knives (as a purge that took place in Nazi Germany from June 30 to July 2, 1934, when Adolf Hitler, urged on by Hermann Göring and Heinrich Himmler, carried out a series of political extrajudicial executions intended to consolidate his hold on power in Germany, to other moves in British and other Politics.
If we leave the EU then those who took us down the road and who knew full well it would be disastrous  should not be allowed to escape the blame , by offering Mrs May as a Scapegoat.