Wednesday 31 July 2019

Boris Johnson Silent on the Lambs.

There may wel have been a very god reason Wales’ media e been barred from asking Prime Minister Boris Johnson any questions on camera in that he might have been  subjected to real questions about the fate of Wales Post Brexit after a  NO-Deal exit
Nation Cynru tells us that
"Journalists from ITV, BBC Wales, Heart Wales and the South Wales Argus complained that they were only allowed to ask questions without recording the answers for TV or radio.
They were also cooped up in a “tin shed” and not allowed to accompany the Prime Minister on a tour of a farm in St Brides Wentlooge near Newport.
The newly appointed PM was visiting Wales for the first time since securing the top job.
“On Boris Johnson’s first visit to Wales as PM, BBC Wales News and ITV Wales are refused the opportunity to ask him a single question on camera,” BBC journalist Felicity Evans said.
ITV Wales political editor Adrian Masters said that he had refused to ask Boris Johnson a question because he was not allowed to film the exchange.
“For the record then: on the Prime Minister’s first visit to Wales the national news outlets of Wales ITV Wales, BBC Wales and WalesOnline weren’t allowed interviews,” he said. “We were offered chance to ask questions but not to film them.
“Also for the record, I refused this offer. I hate to have turned down the chance to challenge Boris Johnson but I wouldn’t have been able to broadcast any of it. I’d have had to read quotes to the audience tonight.
“I do think it’s a strange way to begin for a new Prime Minister who says he wants to strengthen the union to treat the main national news outlets this way.”

Prehaps the Prime Minister did not want to face The Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns, has been blasted after a “car crash interview” on Radio 4’s Today programme this morning
This from the BBC
Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns was asked on BBC Radio 4's Today programme to explain what he would say to Welsh sheep farmers who are worried that they could face tariffs (taxes on imports) of around 40% on the lamb they export to the European Union, if there is a no-deal Brexit.He said he'd point to a "significant new market" in Japan.
An agreement for Japan to open its market to imports of UK lamb and beef was signed in January this year during the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
It was not part of any negotiations on post-Brexit trade arrangements. Imports of lamb and beef from the UK had been banned since the BSE crisis in the 1990s.
Japan does not charge tariffs on the import of lamb from any country, so the agreement is obviously good news for UK lamb producers. It will continue in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
When it was signed in January, the government said it could be worth roughly £52m over the first five years of access - so about £10.4m per year.
The National Farmers' Union says current UK lamb exports to the European Union are worth £389m per year.
So if the Japanese agreement performs as well as expected, it could account for 2.67% of current exports to the EU.
Perhaps the representatives of the  Media would have asked that if the Japanese wanted to import Lanb Meat , they would be buying it from New Zealand, that compared to Wales is almost next door.

Welsh Lamb sales have been competing with imports from New Zealand ever since the the first successful shipment of frozen meat to Britain in 1882.
I would love to see Welsh Lamb exported throughout the world , but to suggest that somehow this would be increases after the UK leaves the EU (and much of its markets ) is ludicrous.

Tuesday 30 July 2019

Plaid lead for first time in Assembly polls but not enough.

The latest Welsh Polls have thrown up a possibly interesting (to say the least)  result.

The poll shows Plaid Cymru on 24%, while Labour falls to 21% and the Conservatives are on 19%.  given Plaid the The poll was carried out by ITV and YouGov.
Fir the the constituency vote 
  • Plaid Cymru 24% (no change)
  • Labour 21% (-4)
  • Conservatives 19% (+2)
  • Brexit Party 19% (+2)
  • Liberal Democrats 12% (+3)
  • Greens 4% (-1)
  • Others 2% (-1)
The regional vote is given as
  • Plaid Cymru 23% (+1)
  • Labour 19% (-2)
  • Conservatives 18% (+6)
  • Brexit Party 17% (-6)
  • Liberal Democrats 12% (+5)
  • Greens 4% (-4)
  • Others 7% (no change)
Professor Roger Awan-Scully writes 

"Once again, the voting intention figures break all previous records. Plaid Cymru have never previously been in first place in a National Assembly poll on the regional list vote. Nor has any Welsh poll ever previously shown Labour support below twenty percent. The figures for this vote also show a significant rise in Conservative support which exactly matches a fall since our last poll for the Brexit party. And, as with the other voting intention results, there is a notable increase in support for the Liberal Democrats.
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 Brexit, 1 Liberal Democrat, 1 Plaid
Mid & West Wales: 2 Brexit, 1 Labour, 1 Liberal Democrat
South Wales West: 2 Brexit, 1 Plaid, 1 Liberal Democrat
South Wales Central: 2 Brexit, 1 Plaid, 1 Liberal Democrat
South Wales East: 2 Brexit, 1 Conservative, 1 Liberal Democrat
These figures therefore generate the following overall projected result for the National Assembly:
Labour: 17 seats (16 constituency, 1 regional)
Plaid Cymru: 15 seats (12 constituency, 3 regional)
Conservatives: 11 seats (10 constituency, 1 regional)
Brexit Party: 10 seats (10 regional)
Liberal Democrats: 7 seats (2 constituency, 5 regional)

Plaid Cymru are projected to gain Aberconwy, Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Cardiff West, Llanelli and Neath, with Labour losing 11 seats.
The Conservatives are projected to gain Cardiff North, Gower, Vale of Clwyd, Vale of Glamorgan and Wrexham. The Liberal Democrats are projected to gain Cardiff Central"..

So in a supposed proportional electoral system    Plaid  are set to have fewer seats than Labour even though they would have had a 3/4% lead over Labour.

It is important to note that Plaid's lead is however due to the fal in votes of Labour and Tories and really need to start taking more votes from other parties.

What this means for ta future Welsh Government which need 30 seats for a working majority is anyone's guess.

  • The surest outcome would be a Labour/Plaid, Plaid/Labour coalition  32 seats but it could well mean that the post of First Minister would swap halfway through the assembly. Whilst Plaid may be happy with this , Labour may well feel that a period of being  the main opposition party would give them a chance to recharge their batteries.
  • There could be a Plaid/ Lib Dem 22 seats or Labour/Lib Dem 24 minority government.
  • A Plaid/Con 26 seats  or a Lab/Con 28 seats minority government the former seems to be Improbable  and the latter impossible 
  • A Plaid /Lib/Dem /Con  36 seats a scenario that has been suggested before , but it would have to have a fundamentally radical agenda for change and both Plaid and Lib/Dems would be wary of a toxic relationship with the Tories.
  • A Con /Brexit Party 21 seats,  minority government 
  • At no point canIsse any other Party working with the Brexit Party in a government.
The role of the Presiding Officer will be vital and Neither Plaid or Labour would sem likely to seek it for one of their number.

A future Welsh Assembly apart from a Plaid/Labour Labour/Plaid coalition would seem unworkable, but bloody interesting.

Monday 29 July 2019

PM Johnson may well be preparing for an Orgreave response.

It could well be that one of PM Johnson first  pledges to deliver 20,000 new police officers is just a populist gimmick.

He has done it before as Lord Mayor of London but although there are claims he can't be trusted to deliver his promised 20,000 new police officers there may be a more sinister agenda from the Prime Minister as his No Deal Brexit  threatens an economic disaster and civil unrest

Shadow Police minister Louise Haigh said Mr Johnson had made similar promises while he was Mayor of London - but force numbers fell on his watch.
Ms Haigh said: 
"When it comes to policing, Boris Johnson simply cannot be trusted. He served in a government which promised to protect the police, then voted for brutal real-terms cuts."As mayor of London, he vowed to recruit thousands of officers, but police numbers fell on his watch."The damage caused by these broken promises and brutal cuts cannot be reversed and the know-how that thousands of experienced bobbies brought to the job is gone for good - at a time when we've never needed it more."

However Johnson  Johnson as London Mayor  t the crowd-control vehicles from the German police in 2014, in anticipation of social unrest, without checking whether they could be used on London’s streets. In one of his most humiliating episodes as mayor, the then home secretary, Theresa May, banned them from use anywhere in England and Wales. It left the capital’s taxpayers with three expensive white elephants.
The current mayor, Sadiq Khan, pledged to claw back as much money as possible on the redundant vehicles by selling them. But after almost two years the mayor’s office admitted defeat in its attempt to find a reputable buyer.
It announced  last year that it had agreed to sell the vehicles for just £11,025 to Reclamations Ollerton, a scrap metal yard in Newark, Nottinghamshire.
The fee recoups 3.4% of the £322,834.71 spent on the vehicles since 2014.
The 25-year-old vehicles cost £85,022 in 2014, but they were found to be riddled with faults and required expensive modification to make them roadworthy. This included £32,000 to comply with the city’s low emission zone, and almost £1,000 on new stereos.
So Johnson's ( I am not going to cal him Boris)has an iron hand response to public disorder and may well seek torespond with, state violence much in the way Thatcher responded to the miners strike resulting in the he Battle of Orgreave  a violent confrontation on 18 June 1984 between police and pickets at a British Steel Corporation (BSC) coking plant in Orgreave

Following the confrontation, 71 pickets were charged with riot and 24 with violent disorder. At the time, riot was punishable by life imprisonment. The trials collapsed when the evidence given by the police was deemed "unreliable".] Gareth Peirce, who acted as solicitor for some of the men, said that the charge of riot had been used "to make a public example of people, as a device to assist in breaking the strike", while Mansfield called it "the worst example of a mass frame-up in this country this century".[15][16] In June 1991, South Yorkshire Police paid £425,000 in compensation to 39 miners for assaultwrongful arrestunlawful detention and malicious prosecution.[13][17][18][19]
In 2015, the Independent Police Complaints Commission reported that there was "evidence of excessive violence by police officers, a false narrative from police exaggerating violence by miners, perjury by officers giving evidence to prosecute the arrested men, and an apparent cover-up of that perjury by senior officers". Alan Billings, the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, admitted thahe police had been "dangerously close to being used as an instrument of state".

Sunday 28 July 2019

Feeding the Beast.

Yesterday;s Blog, on the vile behaviour of Neil Hamilton got an above average readership.

Of course in doing so i am feeding the beast,  publicity is exactly what Hamilton wants. He may appeal to a small minority of people but that is all he needs,

I know that in covering Hamilton's behaviour i am doing exactly what he wants  publicity it is an quandary.

His claim that "My mandate derives from the Welsh people"Is a ridiculous  one.

He is a member of the Welsh Assembly because of the Additional list system in which his party scrapped a top up seat

2016 Welsh Assembly election additional members[edit]

PartyConstituency SeatsList Votes (vote %)D'Hondt EntitlementAdditional Members ElectedTotal Members ElectedDeviation from D'Hondt Entitlement
Plaid Cymru356,754 (26.3%)4140
Conservative344,461 (20.6%)3030
Labour141,975 (19.4%)3230
UKIP025,042 (11.6%)1110
Liberal Democrats123,554 (10.9%)1010
Abolish the Welsh Assembly010,707 (5.0%)0000
Green08,222 (3.8%)0000
He did try for a constituency seat but was roundly rejected, however receiving almost exactly the same percentage of votes that got him elected to the region.

Elections in the 2010s[edit]

Welsh Assembly Election 2016: Carmarthen East and Dinefwr[1]
Plaid CymruAdam Price14,42748.5Increase 3.6
LabourSteve Jeacock5,72719.2Decrease 10.8
ConservativeMatthew Paul4,48915.1Decrease 5.2
UKIPNeil Hamilton3,47411.7Increase 11.7
Liberal DemocratsWilliam Powell8372.8Decrease 2
GreenFreya Amsbury7972.7Decrease 2.7
Turnout53.7Increase 2.4
Plaid Cymru holdSwingIncrease 7.2

Since then he has not moved from his English home in Wiltshire and reports of sightings in his Mid and West Wales constituency are rarer than that of an escaped  cougar.

But this doesn't worry the likes of Hamilton, his notoriety pays off  and he only needs about 12% of the vote to give him the mandate he claims.

It is however a mandate from bigots and whilst not all of those who voted  Ikip in Mid and West Wales  and throughout our nation are racists, most actual racists did.  

Perhaps the worse thing about Hamilton is not that he is an AM , that there are people in Wales who respond favourably  to a man who was labelled this by a Judge.

Hopefully we will see the last of Hamilton after the 2021 Assembly Elections, but there are plenty more bigots in Wales to replace him and sadly many of them  will be our own people.

Saturday 27 July 2019

Neil Hamilton hits a new low.

I suspect Neil Hamilton, realising  that Ukip has lost the right wing LEAVE ground to the Brexit Party (Though you can't rule our a merger or cosidering the direction of his former)party rejoining the Tories) has decided that publicity could be the only way he can defend his seat in the next Welsh Assembly Elections is by making outrages statements.

What else is behind his "personal attack" on Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg.

The Children's Commissioner for Wales has criticised a UKIP AM for making a "personal attack" Ms  Thunberg.
Sally Holland said she was "mortified" by Neil Hamilton's tweet that included a picture mocking the 16-year-old.
Ms Holland has written to him expressing "disappointment" that Mr Hamilton could make an "attack on a child on social media in this manner".
But he said it would be preposterous if Ms Thunberg was immune from criticism.
Ms Thunberg, whose solo protest outside the Swedish Parliament inspired the school climate strike movement, has been lauded for her emotive speeches to politicians.
Responding on Twitter, Sally Holland said: "I am mortified that a politician in Wales could make a personal attack on a child on social media in this manner.
"I have written to Mr Hamilton today expressing my disappointment in his failure to uphold high standards of public conduct."
On Tuesday, the teen activist lashed out at French lawmakers for mocking her in a speech to parliament that was boycotted by far-right politicians.
In her speech, Ms Thunberg responded to her critics and restated her demands for urgent action from governments to curb carbon emissions.
She said children like her have become "the bad guys" for daring to tell politicians "uncomfortable things" about climate change.

Reacting to Ms Holland's criticism, Mr Hamilton, who is AM for the Mid and West Wales region, said Greta Thunberg had "very publicly entered the adult realm of political controversy".

"If cabinet ministers such as Michael Gove take the opinions of this 16-year-old seriously then public criticism of her should be fair game," he said.
"Miss Thunberg is currently pushing for policies estimated to cost the UK taxpayer £1 trillion which will hit the poorest the hardest."
The UKIP AM said the "Greta-inspired 'Extinction Rebellion'" had also been responsible for nationwide disruption and the notion she "should be immune from criticism after all this is preposterous".
"If cabinet ministers such as Michael Gove take the opinions of this 16-year-old seriously then public criticism of her should be fair game," he said.
"Miss Thunberg is currently pushing for policies estimated to cost the UK taxpayer £1 trillion which will hit the poorest the hardest."
The UKIP AM said the "Greta-inspired 'Extinction Rebellion'" had also been responsible for nationwide disruption and the notion she "should be immune from criticism after all this is preposterous".
Why is a leftie Quangocrat paid nearly £100,000 by the Welsh taxpayer seeking to censor the legitimate opinions of an elected representative of the people?
"My mandate derives from the Welsh people. Where does Ms Holland derive her mandate from?
"The post of children’s commissioner should be abolished and money wasted on the position should be diverted to the crumbling Welsh NHS."
What a Pathetic little man  is Neil Hamilton and we can only hope that after the 2021 , he is sent back to the "Reality" show circus.
But as we have the most right wing iK cabinet in living memory and a Limited Company posing as political party under Nigel Farage who seem to have acquired a great deal of money from god knows where , his successor his probably going to be as vile.
We are entering a disturbing period of both UK and Welsh politics and with or without Neil Hamilton I fear for the Liberal Social policies we have established .

Friday 26 July 2019

How long will our free press criticise the new Government.

The appointment  of Boris Johnson as Prime Minister has no yet met overwhelming support for our media , but the Guardian seem to be particularly negative.#

Snakes, stupidity and sycophants: the horror of the Johnson cabinet

Another day, another horror. The new cabinet has met for the first time. Oh, and Boris Johnson has made his Commons debut as prime minister. Horrors plural, then. We’re living in a Hammerfilm, my friends, but one looped over and over, where the protagonist enunciates only using vowel sounds and stuttering, and the plot is him wreaking revenge on a nation because he once lost a game of fives and has never gotten over it.
Here is all the action from the day. I am so, so sorry.

cabinet meeting
 Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA

I swear to God this looks like the most awful dinner party of all time. This looks like a dinner party one would be personally offended to be invited to. The Guido Fawkes Twitter account described it as a “fantasy cabinet”, which pretty much tells you everything.
I’m not saying this is a good practice – because it isn’t – but you know how schools scheme to get all their lowest achieving students kicked out so that their table position isn’t affected? This would be the lot that you’d round up and drive off the premises without even opening the gates. This is a cabinet thicker than the bubbling tar on today’s roasting roads. This is a cabinet thiccer than Nicki Minaj.

boris johnson and savid javid in cabinet meeting
 Photograph: Aaron Chown/AFP/Getty Images

I hope Sajid Javid AKA Spock wearing a swimming cap is proud of himself. I hope the working-class, state-school boy is proud that he’s now chancellor of an administration pledging to make things easier for the wealthiest and most comfortable in society. I hope he thinks about his choices in life. I hope he’s thinking about them right now.

close up of sajid javid
 Photograph: Aaron Chown/AFP/Getty Images

Sajid Javid thinking about his life choices right now.

michael gove
 Photograph: Parliament live

Michael Gove here, who judging by the redness of his face is either defecting to Labour or has been sitting in the garden in the searing heat. Be your sunburnt best. Cute though, that he and James Cleverly are holding hands, if only so that their affair can be uncovered and Sarah Vine can write her “most personal and explosive column yet”, which she writes literally every single week.
I can just imagine lots of heartrending pieces about her teen son, but not about the time the couple left him in a hotel room, a bit like when David Cameron left his daughter in a pub. That’s the thing about Tories: their kids are like their morals, in that they’re disposable.
Anyway, I’m not saying the past three years haven’t been bad for all of us, but specifically bad for me, who had the indignity of being nominated for a prestigious Press Award, losing, and watching Vine win in a different category. It felt a bit like being punched in the face by excruciating prose.

jacob rees-mogg and amber rudd
 Photograph: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

What this is is when you bump into a colleague that you hate leaving the office at the same time, and have to exchange a polite hello. You’re both going the same way, but under no circumstances can you bear to spend another second in their company. So you are Amber Rudd, and you lie to Jacob Rees-Mogg that you forgot something and will have to pop back to your desk.

boris johnson behind railings
 Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA

A vision of a future that could have been, had Johnson not avoided criminal prosecution over his £350m Vote Leave bus. I would recommend this clip of Ian Hislop on Have I Got News for You, talking about that particular case: “At the moment we’re just at the preliminary stage about whether when he was a public official he was telling lies and therefore abusing his office. It’s very similar to putting the Pope on trial and saying are you a Catholic? I would like him to have a fair trial, with a desirable result with him being imprisoned forever.” But now he lives in No 10. Truly; this country.

nicki morgan
 Photograph: Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images

This is actually a really nice photo of Nicki Morgan, isn’t it? It looks like the picture from a Chelsea flower show brochure. Or the promotional material showing off the communal gardens of a new development of flats. And by “communal” I mean only for the private owners and not the affordable tenancy holders, who are allowed to play with nearby drainpipes and I guess maybe the odd bollard. But really they should stay indoors, curtains closed.

jacob rees-mogg
 Photograph: Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images

Here we have something with a garbage raison d’être and a street sweeping cart, in a joke that was far too easy to make.

andrea leadsom
 Photograph: Will Oliver/EPA

Andrea Leadsom here, auditioning for a role in a female remake of Ocean’s Eleven, seemingly unaware that it was already made last year, and Cate Blanchett played a blinder. She looks great though. For a mother.

priti patel
 Photograph: Frank Augstein/AP

This is how Priti Patel should always be photographed, to portray the fact that she is Voldemort in a boxy jacket. A Priti name with an ugly ideology. A woman whose hobbies and interests on her Tinder profile are listed as: building Lego models of immigration dentention centres; cosy nights in chatting about reinstating the death penalty; and working holidays to Israel. As home secretary, Patel will be attending Cobra meetings, which is appropriate, cos she’s a snake.

dominic raab
 Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Other papers have been more supportive,  but the London and Edinburgh  Editors seem to disaree


Of course newspapers like to believe they lead public opinion and they may either turn against Johnson or suddenly find that he is a shrewd politician leading us into a new Golden age.

It's nothing new (though this may be Allegorical

The French newspapers which, in 1815, were subject to the censor, announced the departure of Bonaparte from Elbahis progress through France, and his entry into Paris in the following ingenious manner:
— 9th March, the Anthropophagus has quitted his den
— 10th, the Corsican Ogre has landed at Cape Juan
— 11th, the Tiger has arrived at Gap
— 12th, the Monster slept at Grenoble
— 13th, the Tyrant has passed through Lyons
— 14th, the Usurper is directing his steps towards Dijon, but the brave and loyal Burgundians have risen en masse and surrounded him on all sides
— 18th, Bonaparte is only sixty leagues from the capital; he has been fortunate enough to escape the hands of his pursuers
— 19th, Bonaparte is advancing with rapid steps, but he will never enter Paris
— 20th, Napoleon will, tomorrow, be under our ramparts
— 21st, the Emperor is at Fontainbleau
— 22nd, His Imperial and Royal Majesty, yesterday evening, arrived at the Tuileries, amidst the joyful acclamations of his devoted and faithful subjects.

With the most right wing Cabinet in recent years and with the possibility that a Post-Brexit Britain scrapping the Human Rights Act, I m not sure that even The Guardian will not change its tune.