Thursday 30 April 2020

Gordon Brown , to help with Welsh recovery, God Help us.

Just  what  is Gordon Brown's remit to "help the Welsh Government lead the country's recovery from the coronavirus crisis" going to be?

We are told that.
The Labour prime minster, who led the UK between 2007 and 2010, has agreed to be part of an advisory group from outside Wales.
It will advise ministers on how services such as schools, transport and the NHS could operate once the lockdown restrictions have eased.
But the Tories said Mr Brown was the "last thing that people in Wales need".
Counsel General Jeremy Miles has been tasked with leading the recovery.
He will also help plan for Wales' post-pandemic future.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said it was "the biggest challenge" the devolved government has faced.
The Welsh Government said he will not be paid.
 Full membership of the advisory group is still being finalised, though other members include Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and Dr Rebecca Heaton, of the UK Committee on Climate Change.Mr Miles is expected to give more details about the panel in a press conference on Wednesday.

The Welsh Government confirmed the former prime minister had offered his services for free, with his first session likely to be on Monday, on the economy.
Mr Brown has previously warned the United Kingdom is at breaking point and could end unless the nations and regions get a real "voice" in decision-making.

Speaking in his daily Welsh Government press conference, Mr Miles said Brown

"was prime minister at a time of difficulty in relation to the financial crisis, and so will bring a number of reflections from that first-hand experience".
 That went well didn't it ,

Arguably Mr Brown introduced the whole concept of Austerity, and did his best to ito support a No vote in the Scottish Independence Referendum.

Will he look at and compare the powers the current Scottish Parliament has and used during the pandemic and how it intends using them in the recovery  , with Wales and how the Westminster Government response was and its response likely another bout of Austerity once again under the cover of the "We are all in it together" mantra.

Conservative assembly member Darren  Darren Millar accused the Welsh Government of "politicising its Covid-19 recovery group".
"The last thing that people in Wales need during this time of unprecedented crisis is another dose of Gordon Brown," Mr Millar said.
Plaid Cymru's Delyth Jewell said:

"While I welcome the fact that the Welsh Government is already starting the work of post-Covid re-building, I hope they will reflect on what the road ahead requires, which is a complete and unambiguous dedication to forging the best possible future for Wales.
"Gordon Brown's experience may have a part to play in this, but I would urge Mr Miles to tell him to leave his ideological baggage at the front door and to brush up on his knowledge of Wales, so that we can sure it's the interests of Welsh citizens that are being served by his inclusion, not Mr Brown's well-known unionist  mission."

Ms Jewell is spot on but even if Mr Brown was to take her advice and was to come up with idea that any Welsh recovery , will be dependent on the powers the Senedd (as it will be called by the time he and his "commision reports" will  end up in the dustbin alongside like the  Richard Commision (2002) and Silk (2011) 

Prehaps YES Cymru should consider setting up a mirror group, to that let by Gordon Brown to approach the whole issue from another angle not that of one a ardent defender of the Union.  

Wednesday 29 April 2020

PPE: "Welsh" Tories seem to not see we are being shafted by Westminster.

Are the "Welsh" Conservatives  prepared to criticise the Westminster Government for shafting Wales when it come to supplying PPE equipment.
BBC Cymru/Wales reports 
Opposition parties say hundreds of ventilators meant to have been made available to the Welsh NHS by the UK government have not yet arrived.
On 6 April, Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething, said 1,035 had been bought through UK arrangements.
But, in a written answer to the Conservatives, he said only 171 had been distributed, with 60 in reserve.

  • Speaking at a news briefing on Tuesday, Mr Gething said "we have enough and we're going to have enough"

Suzy Davies, Conservative Mid and West Wales AM, said: "I have to ask where are our missing 700 ventilators?
Yes where are they Suzy perhaps you should also ask your London bosses and why is your former boss Andrew RT Davies , semmingly not tweetinfg on this?
"It is lucky for the Welsh Government that these ventilators have so far not been needed, but it could have been a completely different story."
Ms Davies said it was "shocking" that "vital equipment seems to have been forgotten by the Welsh Government and that according to the Welsh Government health minister they do not keep track of the timings or allocation of the ventilators they are expecting to receive".
"It beggar's belief and smacks again of incompetence that this has been allowed to happen," she said.

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price said Wales had again been "short changed" by "Westminster's broken promises and the Welsh Government's repeated failure to demand better for Wales".
"We cannot discount the very real possibility of a second spike and Wales needs every piece of life saving equipment promised to us in order to be fully prepared," he said.
"The UK and Welsh Governments must explain the gulf between promise and delivery without delay".
In response, Mr Gething said the ventilator numbers were not up to date but emphasised the NHS in Wales had sufficient capacity for current demands and more machines were on the way, in tranches.
He said: "More are coming into the system each week, so if the point is, do we have enough?
"The answer is yes. If the point is, are we going to get the full thousand? The answer is yes."

Clearly the Welsh Government needs to answer for its own failings  

As Nation Cymru reported 

As  UK Government failed to buy crucial protective equipment to cope with a pandemic.There were no gowns, visors, swabs or body bags in the government’s pandemic stockpile when Covid-19 reached the UK.
NHS staff say they are being put at risk because of the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price said that the Welsh Government should now reveal how much PPE they had in their pandemic stockpile prior the Coronavirus crisis and whether they were prepared or not.
“The negligence of the Westminster government has been laid bare for all to see,” he said.
“They failed to prepare properly for an inevitable pandemic and this failure has put the lives of front line health and care workers needlessly at risk.
“Morriston hospital in Swansea was included in the BBC’s Panorama investigation as one of the hospitals who suffered due to a lack of PPE. In light of these revelations, the Welsh Government must urgently tell us how much PPE they had in their pandemic stockpile prior to the Coronavirus crisis. Were they at all prepared for the pandemic?
“And do they have enough PPE now to meet the demand and to protect our health and care staff?”
The investigation by BBC Panorama found that vital items were left out of the UK Government’s stockpile when it was set up in 2009 and that the government subsequently ignored a warning from its own advisers to buy missing equipment.
UK Government minister Victoria Atkins told BBC Breakfast she was “very, very sorry to hear” of the Panorama report.
“Like every other country in the world, [the virus] is unprecedented and the requirements for PPE have risen exponentially and we are doing our absolute best to address those needs and will continue to do so throughout this crisis,” she said.

Failed by own goverment  in Wales shafted by Westminster it is vital that we should ignore accusations of playing politics when exposing this.

But hypocrisy from the Tories in Wales and Scotland , when it comes to critcising  the devolved legislatures , and Labour criticising Nicola Sturgeons government in Scotland , when it has been leading these Islands in the response to the pandemic is not welcome when  Mark Drakeford the Welsh First Minister  seems intent on following the failing lead of Westminster  that seems determined to short change us in the supply of PPE, whilst being slow to arrange our own sources .

The constant response  from the media , that seems to resemble Word War 2 propaganda , and the expectation that we should get behind "Boris" is frighting.

This will be rapped up next week with the VE celebrations and attempt to link it to the current crisis.

We need more exposures and a swift investigation into the response from all our legislatures to the crisis  when it is over and not self congratulatory, back slapping  , from those who have failed us.

Tuesday 28 April 2020

Just how many cases (and deaths) , have there been?

We my well wonder  that if a health board failed to report daily coronavirus death figures because it used a different reporting system to one set-up for the Welsh NHS, that there may be many discrepancies in other boards  and before any easing of the lockdown we need a full and clear  and accurate picture throughout Wales as well as a close eye on the rest of the UK  and inded the world.
The BBC report that
Dr Frank Atherton said the "glitch" at Betsi Cadwaladr health board had been corrected.
The north Wales NHS organisation chose not to use an electronic system set up by Public Health Wales, he said.
The health board said the issue had been over how the data had been shared.
An investigation into the error was launched last week.
First Minister Mark Drakeford is due to receive a report on the incident later.
Opposition parties have called for him to publish the document - he told the daily Welsh Government press conference he would release the conclusions.
He said he expects the discrepancy to be "put right".
Betsi Cadwaladr has been under special measures - close Welsh Government supervision - since 2015.
 On Friday, the number of deaths reported by Public Health Wales (PHW) rose by 110, taking the total to 751.The sudden increase, compared to 17 reported the day before, was because 84 deaths were confirmed between 20 March and 22 April within the Betsi Cadwal

Plaid Cymru said an "urgent explanation" was needed, while the Welsh Conservatives said it "smacks of incompetence of the highest level".
Speaking to BBC Radio Wales Breakfast, Dr Atherton said: "When the epidemic first started earlier this year, Public Health Wales put in place a new electronic reporting system for health boards to use.

"That was to pull together the numbers so that we had an accurate figure.
"Betsi Cadwaladr decided not to use that system and used a different system. That's why there has been a glitch in the process which has now been corrected."

He said the health board has "assured us they will submit the figures everyday. Public Health Wales will be looking across the system to make sure there are no other issues elsewhere."
Pushed on why it was not noticed until last week, he added: "The epidemic was moving east to west and south to north, we did expect to see a small number of deaths and cases up in the north.

"It's just that the trend was bigger than expected and that's what triggered the question as to whether reporting was being accurately done which has lead to this review."
'Figures could be higher'

PHW has repeatedly warned the number of deaths could be higher than figures showed, as they only included the deaths formally reported to them, those who died in hospitals, and some care homes, and whose tests were analysed in a lab.
Later, Mr Drakeford said the report was "likely, as we've heard from the chief medical officer, to point to the fact that not all parts of Wales are using the same reporting mechanism. I will expect that to be put right".
'People won't buy this'

Clwyd West Conservative Assembly Member Darren Millar said on Twitter: "People in north Wales won't buy this explanation. Do they take us for mugs? As a health board in special measures, if there's any NHS organisation that should be getting things right when reporting to Welsh Government, it's Betsi."

Plaid Cymru's Sian Gwenllian asked:

"Why did it take a month before Welsh Government and Public Health Wales realised something was wrong?"

Blaenau Gwent Labour AM Alun Davies said the error was "completely unacceptable and follows in a long line of mistakes from that health board".

Simon Dean, interim chief executive of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said

 "Details of the number of deaths in North Wales were reported in public for the first time on Friday.
"Due to issues identified in our reporting system, Friday's update included an accumulation of cases where a patient has died while also testing positive for Covid-19.
"All data on cases of Covid-19 and deaths have been recorded correctly, and the issue identified relates to how this data is shared. This issue has now been resolved."

We are constantly being told that the virus is easing , but if we are not informed of the full number of cases how can anyone from experts , to goverment ministers, and in the the general public make a decision to ease the lockdowm.

Monday 27 April 2020

Test , Isolate,contain and Inform.

As we try and work out just what the true extent of Covid as reached Wales. we are all extremely grateful to Lloyd and his daily updated, it is a truly remarkable feat for a sixteen year old.


Living in Rhondda Cynon Taf , the expectation  that we will now pass the 1000 mark in our area in the next few days,is a particular cause for concern.

but do we need even more precise geographical dedails@

As far as i know i am not aware of anybody I know who has contracted the virus, but as it seems the number s do not include those who have had not been teste,hospitalised , or died it is very likely that the numbers are higher and we really need a broader picture.

We particularly need to know , whether there is a policy of  Test, Isolate,  and contain  in any cluster.

I am not advocating painting Red Crosses on the doors of anyone effected , but people in areas where there are clusters (if they exisit) should be advised to take extra precautions.

One other cause for concer  is that  Catching Covid-19 once may not protect you from getting it again, according to the World Health Organization, a finding that could jeopardize efforts to allow people to return to work after recovering from the virus.
“There is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from Covid-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection,” the United Nations agency said in an April 24 

The WHO guidance came after some governments suggested that people who have antibodies to the coronavirus could be issued an “immunity passport” or “risk-free certificate” that would allow them to travel or return to work, based on the assumption that they were safe from re-infection, according to the statement. People issued such a certificate could ignore public-health guidance, increasing the risk of the disease spreading further.
It certainly seems to put an end to the Herd Immunity , argument originally   put forward by  UK prime Minister Boris Johnson and his creepy advisor Dominic Cummings.

Both have contacted the virus , but may still not be immune, though whether they have learned any lessons (including Mr Johnson's "Brush withe Death" seems unlikely.

Perhaps we should add Inform , to the Test , Isolate, and contain mantra.

Saturday 25 April 2020

2020 the year of the dementia presidential election.

The latest outburst from US President Donald  Trump went on national TV at his daily coronavirus briefing at the White House on Thursday and promoted the idea that disinfectant could be used as a treatment for the virus. To the astonishment of medical experts, the US president said that disinfectant “knocks it out in a minute. One minute!”. Should really put pay to his November re-election.

He went on to say: “Is there a way we can do something, by an injection inside or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it’d be interesting to check that.”

There are  claims Trump is suffering from a form of dementia

The problem for the Democrats  is that Trump's likely opponent  has  also seen accusation of dementia as he stumbles over his words and seems confused 
The Washington Post reports that
There is plenty of cause for concern. Biden recently announced “I think we can win back the House” and promised to ban the “AR-14.” He mistook Super Tuesday for “Super Thursday,” and forgot the words of the Declaration of Independence, saying “We hold these truths to be self-evident. All men and women are created, by the, you know, you know the thing.” In South Carolina, he misstated what office he was running for, declaring “My name’s Joe Biden. I’m a Democratic candidate for the United States Senate.” On three occasions last month, Biden declared he was arrested in South Africa trying to visit Nelson Mandela in prison — an incident his campaign later admitted never happened. He earlier described meeting a Navy captain in Afghanistan, but The Post reported that “almost every detail in the story appears to be incorrect.” He claimed to have worked with Chinese leader “Deng Xiaoping” on the Paris Climate Accord (Deng died in 1997)/. He claimed during a debate that “150 million people have been killed [by guns] since 2007” (which would be nearly half the U.S. population). He said he met with Parkland victims while he was vice president even though the shooting took place after he left office. He has declared that Democrats should "choose truth over facts” and that “poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.” He pledged to use biofuels to power “steamships.” He repeatedly gets confused about what state he is in; called “Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace “Chuck”; said his late son Beau “was the attorney general of the United States”; and confused former British prime minister Theresa May with the late British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

Biden is 76  and Trump 73 , they will be the oldest candidates and if elected oldest president in US history. so it may  be that the electors may pay more intention to their running mat than usual.

Assuming Trump   picks Mike Pence to be his running mate (and who knows what he will do) , then In 2016, Pence could succed him if he is remove from office described as being staunchly conservative on fiscal and social issues, with his political views strongly shaped by his Christian faith and by the conservative political theorist Russell Kirk.[1] As Vice President, Pence defended debt- and deficit-spending as a measure to stimulate economic growth.[260] During his acceptance speech for the nomination of Republican vice presidential candidate at the 2016 Republican National Convention he said, "I'm a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order."[261] As one commentator put it, "Pence doesn't simply wear his faith on his sleeve—he wears the entire Jesus jersey."

What of Biden choice. Political betting write

The one certainty is that Biden will choose a woman because he has made that commitment. The top three in the betting – Harris, Klobuchar and Warren – are all senators and would have to replaced if they got elected in November. It is this which could cause a problem.Cuurently 53 of the 100 Senate seats are held by Republicans. If, say, Harris was on the ticket and won that woudn’t cause a problem in the Democratic party stronghold of California. But what if its Warren who has been rising in the betting? Her successor as one of the Senators for Massachusetts would be chosen by the state governor who is a Republican. So Warren being on the ticket could make the party’s Senate hopes much harder to achieve.The problem here is that its argued that Warren on the ticket with Biden would make it easier for the Dems to win back the White House. Warren is seen as being best able to pick up the backing of enthusiastic Bernie supporters a signficant slab of whom voted against Hillary at WH2016. Warren also would bring over an accomplished fundraisng operation which is badly needed by the Biden team.

If this was any other country a third candidate might appear and be swept in because he or she is not Trum or Biden, but alas that is almost impossible.

Friday 24 April 2020

Who would want Vaughan Gething's Job at this time .

Plaid Cymru's leader call for the sacking/resignation of health minister Vaughan Gething is not because of him being caught out using the "F" word  whilst still connected to his microphone during  a Senedd video conference session.

It is because they accuse Mr Gething of deliberately avoiding scrutiny.

In his letter Mr Price said

 “There is no question that the Health Minister’s use of derogatory language during a live-streamed meeting of Plenary was a clear breach of the provisions of paragraphs 1.1 and 1.2 of the Ministerial Code requiring Ministers to uphold the highest standards of propriety and professionalism, treating all those with whom they come into contact with consideration and respect.
“The use of an expletive could possibly be explained, given the immense pressure that any Minister leading the governmental response to the current crisis would understandably be under. However, the aggressive tone of the attack by the Health Minister on a Member of his own party who was raising wholly legitimate concerns is representative of the Health Minister’s resistance to scrutiny and accountability in general.”....
.....“We have previously raised concerns about the Health Minister’s performance and called for his resignation in light of the catastrophic failings of maternity services at Cwm Taf. We remain of the view that the Health Minister is not the right person to lead the NHS. Yesterday’s events underline why that is particularly the case now – at a time when openness and empathy is critical and when scrutiny, accountability and an ability to engage constructively with criticism are crucial in ensuring that everything possible is being done to save lives.
“In order to restore public trust and confidence in your government’s response to the Coronavirus, I ask that you relieve Vaughan Gething of his duties with immediate effect.”
Ironically it may be Mr Gething's potty mouth that may save him as Plaid and the Tories could be seen as being vindictive and opportunist  in their criticism rather than seeking to get someone else , in the position who could be more effective.

Some may argue that changing the Health Minister  in the middle of the crisis , even if he or sheis preforming poorly would make things worse, but of course a minister main job is to make decisions under experts advice .

Mind you I doubt many Labour senedd members would relish taking the job seeing it as a career destroying move.

Vaughan Gething has been seen as a potential next "Welsh" Labour leader and First Minister  when Mark Drakeford stands down. I would put any money on that now.


Thursday 23 April 2020

Vaughan Gething caught using the "F word" to describe Labour colleague.

To some extent , I have sympathy for Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething.

Even in normal times his portfolio is the hardest in the Welsh Labour Government's something that is shared with his counterparts in all the UK Legislatures.

However his handling of the coronavirus crisis is not exactly exemplary and  there  are signs it is getting to him.

Vaughan Gething caught on live broadcast asking 'what the f*** is the matter' with fellow Labour AM
The health minister has been caught swearing about a Labour colleague in a virtual Welsh Assembly session after he left his microphone on by mistake.
Vaughan Gething made the comment about Cardiff Central AM Jenny Rathbone.
 Gething answered her questions calmly enough while knowing he was on screen but, having done so, his demeanour changed and he embarked on a tirade against Ms Rathbone, seemingly furious or frustrated with her for her questions. But his microphone was still on and his comments continued to be broadcast.
He is heard to say: " I tell you what, I know Jenny is regularly [inaudible] but... what the f*** is the matter with her?"
The llywedd can then be heard trying to speak over him which makes the rest of what he says inaudible except for a few words. The session was then delayed while the "technical problems" were sorted out.
He has since apologised to Ms Rathbone. She had been asking questions about the Welsh Government's coronavirus response.They included questions on PPE and testing, in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.
Some were fairly critical of the Welsh Government saying that "some of my constituents who are care workers have had huge difficulty getting tested".
Opposition leaders have called for Mr Gething to be sacked by the First Minister Mark Drakeford.
Mr Gething tweeted: "I'm obviously embarrassed about my comments at the end of questions today. I've sent a message apologising and offered to speak to Jenny Rathbone if she wishes to do so.
Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price called on the First Minister to relieve Mr Gething of his responsibilities “with immediate effect”.
Mr Price said: "He has not only failed over the last month several times, he has failed to acknowledge that he has failed and aggressively attacks even those within his own party who question him. He does not have the right attitude, skills or temperament to lead the government's response to the coronavirus pandemic. To maintain public confidence the First Minister needs to relieve him of these responsibilities with immediate effect.
“There are experienced members on the First Minister’s backbenchers who could be brought into government to fill any vacuum."

The incident reminds me of the time the then Irish Green TD Pail Gogarty  swore in the Dáil
At the time Gogarty was had been a highly popular TD but had foumd Following the Green Party's entry to Fianna Fáil government in 2007, Gogarty had being appointed Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Education and Science, 
 On 11 December 2009, during his contribution to a debate in the  on the Social Welfare bill of the 2010 budget, Gogarty said to Labour Party TD Emmet Stagg: "With all due respect, in the most unparliamentary language, fuck you Deputy Stagg! Fuck you!"[He immediately apologised to the House for his use of unparliamentary language, which was criticised by Deputy Lucinda Creighton, who demanded his suspension.[The incident was referred to a sitting of the Dáil committee on procedure and privileges, when it emerged that "fuck" is not included among the list of forbidden words set out in the Salient Rulings of the Chair, the document which regulates the behaviour and conduct of TDs. Gogarty later clarified that the outburst was totally unintentional and not premeditated as some had suggested. He also said that the outburst had to be taken in the context of his contribution during the debate that day[as well as a very turbulent and heated debate the previous night.
 Fianna Fáil was swept from power in the worst defeat of a sitting government since the formation of the Irish state in 1922.[11] The party lost more than half of its first-preference vote from 2007, and garnered only 20 seats. it's former partners Gogrty's Greend lost all of their six seats.
I wonder if the Senedd and the Llywydd Elin Jones  will find that  like the Dáil committee  Mr Gething may have not actually used a forbidden word because no one ever thought we would here one .
Lip readers however my have another view ,and this is more commom place  than we think.

Wednesday 22 April 2020

Carl Sargent inquiry has been abandoned , but the WG should now have new rules.

The independent inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the sacking of Carl Sargeant has been called off which may be understandable but it seems we will never get to the ful truth

The BBC reports that 
The Welsh Government will also pay the outstanding legal costs of the Sergeant family, following the inquest into the late AMs death.
Mr Sargeant was sacked from the cabinet by the then first minister Carwyn Jones in November 2017, over allegations of inappropriate behaviour with women.
The Alyn and Deeside AM took his own life days later.
The decision by the First Minister Mark Drakeford was welcomed by Mr Sargeant's family. "We must draw a line under everything and let our grieving process begin," they said.
Carwyn Jones had called the inquiry, and appointed barrister Paul Bowen to chair it, following the death of Mr Sargeant. The inquiry was to look into Mr Jones' actions before and after the dismissal.
It never got off the ground. The work stalled after the family of Mr Sargeant, unhappy at the format, began legal action. A High Court judge found it was unlawful that Mr Jones took decisions on the probe.
The coroner at Mr Sargeant's inquest later said that sacked ministers should be given more support.
According to the Wasting Mule

The late Alyn and Deeside AM's family have agreed to the probe being dropped after a mediation process that also recommended the Welsh Government should meet their £220,000 legal costs....
..... First Minister Mark Drakeford had asked Sir Brendan Barber to mediate between the family of Carl Sargeant and Carwyn Jones to plan a way forward.
Following discussions Sir Brendon advised that the inquiry be "terminated".In a letter to the First Minister he said that the Sargeant family "have been through a traumatic two years and questions inevitably remain to which answers may never be found", but they feel "that now is the time to seek some form of closure".His second recommendation is that the family's outstanding legal costs be paid by the Welsh Government. This would add up to £220,000.
Mr Jones' expenses were paid by the Welsh Government as they derived from actions during his time in office as First Minister.
In a written statement issued today (April 21), Mark Drakeford accepted the recommendations from Sir Brendan, the head of mediation body Acas.
He said: "In my written statement of 11 July last year, following the conclusion of the coroner’s inquest into the tragic death of Carl Sargeant, I told members that I thought it was right that there should be a period of reflection and that I would assess what further steps should be taken, in consultation with the Sargeant family and other interested parties.
"I subsequently invited the chair of Acas Sir Brendan Barber, acting in a personal capacity, to speak with the parties to see if an agreed way forward could be found. I am most grateful to Sir Brendan for agreeing to undertake this work. I am also grateful to the family of the late Carl Sargeant and to the former First Minister Carwyn Jones for their constructive engagement.
"As a result of his discussions Sir Brendan has made two recommendations to me. First that the independent investigation should not proceed, and second that the Welsh Government should meet the reasonable outstanding legal costs of the Sargeant family. I have decided to accept and to implement both. I am attaching with this statement copies of the exchange of letters between Sir Brendan and myself, which set out the results of his discussions and his recommendations, together with my response.
"I know that all parties involved now share a wish to bring an end to the public controversy in relation to the tragic death of Carl, allowing us all to remember him as the valued husband, father, colleague and friend that he was."
It is fully understandable that  circumstances , have led to this case being terminated . However considering Carwyn Jone's Mr Jones' expenses were paid by the Welsh Government i wonder if this was the main factor as costs would escalate and it's not the Welsh Goverment that would pay for it but the taxpayer in the end.

At least we should make sure that the method of Mr  Sargeant dismissal should lead to a change in the behavior of the Government and perhaps a set of rules drawn up to make sure this very sad business , does not happen again.


Tuesday 21 April 2020

Welsh Government said we would be on 5.000 tests a day. Its actually 1,300

and that's capacity not tests 

There seems to be some confusion on ho exactly to blame for the news that the Welsh Government has fallen woefully short of the coronavirus testing target it had hoped to reach by now.
On Friday, April 3, First Minister Mark Drakeford said there would be 5,000 tests a day by the middle of the month and 9,000 a day by the end of the month.

Almost two weeks on and there were only 770 tests carried out in Wales on Easter Monday - well short of the 5,000 promised.
Health Secretary Vaughan Gething blamed the shortfall on a lack of referrals for frontline workers to have tests, but admitted the daily capacity was 1,300 a day.
Mr Gething said he was frustrated the “maximum capacity” for testing was not being used.
Speaking at press conference today (Tuesday), he said: "We need to do much more to maximise the capacity that exists. It is really frustrating for me that we haven't maximised that capacity.
"We both need to increase our capacity and make use of it. It is both, not one or the other."

So is he blaming Local Authorities.

 He pointed to the fact that 10 local authorities had not referred their social care workers for tests."Every part of the system needs to refer their staff to make sure the capacity is used," Mr Gething said.
"I know for example that 12 local authorities have referred in their social care workers to have tests. But actually every local authority can make use of that and we have the capacity to test over 100 social care workers each day. That means those referrals need to be made.
"My frustration is, I am sure, borne out and multiplied by frontline staff who are waiting and self-isolating at home who think if they had a test they would understand they are Covid free and return to work."
He added they would start expanding the range of people who could be referred for tests.
He said: "The challenge is making sure enough referrals are made because the drive in centres we are making are for frontline workers by appointment.
"We think we will be able to expand that to a broader group of workers whether that be police, prisons, firefighter or members of armed forces who are been redeployed to combat the national Covid-19 effort."
 After adding having spare capacity "just isn't acceptable", Mr Gething was quizzed on why capacity was just over 20% of where the Welsh Government hoped it would be by now.He said that "the current capacity a day is 1,300" and that they would be announcing about increases "later this week"

 So is it a lack of referrals or capacity or both?
One wonder why local authorities are not making referrals because they are aware of lack of capacity , or nearby test centers 

It's time the Welsh Government stopped shifting the blame and own up to its failures , whilst we should all recognise that they are facing difficult choices and they are also hampered by the lockdown themselves in administrating  their response , it is clear that they have failed to meet their quite low targets.

When this over there must be an inquiry in both the Westminster Government  and  Welsh Labour Government response to this pandemic and it must be open and rigorous.

Monday 20 April 2020

Coronavirus aftermath, Trump reelected, Brexit , what will be the fourth horseman

 When the coranvirus is over , we clearly are going to have to face a period of austerity  as the Westminster Government seeks to refill our coffers , and it will be joe public that will suffer.

There will be no attempt to act on Tax loopholes on those avoiding and evading tax , indeed they will be probably do they best to aid the meg rich.

If only we were part of some kind of Custom Union  that will spread the load and ensue we could get back to trading as soon as possible?

Instead of course in the mist of a  huge  financial crisis we see us exit the European with a No Deal and start looking for new partners like the USA

This could mean of course dealing with Donald Trump if he is reelected and who knows how the clearly unhinged President , will react to whta could be an empty begging bowl from Boris Johnson.

Trump indeed seems intent on burning the USA in order to get reelected by rallying , his far right support

Democratic and Republican governors pushed back Sunday on President Donald Trump's tweets to "liberate" states 
where people protested social distancing measures enacted to slow the spread of the coronavirus

"LIBERATE MINNESOTA!" the president exclaimed in one tweet. "LIBERATE MICHIGAN!" he cried in another. "LIBERATE VIRGINIA! and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!" he wrote in a third. 

Gov. Jay Inslee, D-Wash. – who said Friday that Trump's "unhinged rantings and calls for people to 'liberate' states could also lead to violence" – told ABC News' "This Week" that Trump's tweets were "dangerous" because some might take them as encouragement to ignore stay-at-home orders and other measures intended to stop the spread of the virus, which has killed more than 40,000 Americans. 

"I don't know any other way to characterize it," Inslee said, expressing disbelief at seeing the "president of the United States basically encourage insubordination" against laws "designed to protect people's health." 

"It is dangerous because it can inspire people to ignore things that actually can save their lives," Inslee said. 

Coronavirus live updates: NY to begin nation's most aggressive antibody testing; more cash soon for small businesses

Donald J. Trump

LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!

4:25 PM - Apr 17, 2020
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All three states that Trump called to "liberate" are led by Democratic governors, and all three have experienced protests in recent days demanding a rollback of stay-at-home orders. Demonstrators drove thousands of vehicles to Michigan's state Capitol this week to protest Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's stay-at-home order, for instance. 
It was not clear exactly what Trump meant with the tweets. The only context he offered came with a third "liberate" tweet, directed at Virginia, in which he urged supporters to "save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!" The White House did not immediately respond to a request for further information about the president's intention. 
Critics said the president appeared to be encouraging protests in the states, all three of which are also important for the presidential election.    

We need to think deeply on what sort of world we are going to face in the next  year.

I have very little  faith that if Joe Biden was to win in November it will be a vast change to US policy and we are unlikely to see any change in Boris Johnson approach.

Never before as the necessity for us to consider whether Wales and Scotland should continue with the Union, but there is a very real danger that it could be Westminster decides to end the whole devolution experience.

The fourth Horseman may well be the end of Wales as a Nation.