May 082017
 

COUNCIL ELECTIONS

THOSE WE HAVE KNOWN

Before starting any analysis let’s look at a few individuals who have appeared on this blog recently.

First, Gary @poumista Jones in Llangennech. Gary was heavily involved with the school dispute, siding with those who would like to kill off the Welsh language. He came top of the poll, but the fact that his running mate, Jacqueline Seward, came third, some distance behind the leading Plaid Cymru candidate in this two-seat ward (see here), suggests that there was not an ‘overwhelming majority’, as claimed, supporting the position espoused by Michaela Beddows, Rosemary Emery and others trying to disguise bigotry as ‘choice’.

Ergo Gary’s victory must have contained a considerable personal vote unconnected with the school dispute, which can only be attributed to the free publicity I’ve given him. I therefore expect a few bottles of best quality Argentine Malbec to be delivered in the very near future.

Though many observers fear that Gary’s political career may not prosper, for not only can he do joined-up writing, it is even rumoured that he has read a book! Intellectual snobbery like that is frowned upon in the Llanelli Labour Party.

In Tywyn, there were incredible scenes as Mike Stevens – aka George M Stevens – was carried shoulder-high along the High Street to cries of, “Good old wassisname!” and “Where’s the free beer we were promised, you bastard?” after romping home with 29% of the vote.

Here in the Bryncrug / Llanfihangel ward that man of mystery Royston Hammond will remain an unknown quantity after losing, though given that hardly anybody knew him to begin with 22% of the vote in a two-horse race may be regarded as quite acceptable.

In a nutshell, the local government picture in Wales now is a patchwork, shown well in these excellent maps by Siôn Gwilym (@siongwilym) that take the election results down to ward level. They show us that all parties have their areas of strength but that with just a few outposts elsewhere ‘Welsh’ Labour is largely confined to the south and the north east.

click to enlarge

Now let’s take a quick tour of the country.

ALL ABOARD THE CHARABANC!

In Carmarthenshire there was a split between Llanelli and the rest of the county where Plaid Cymru dominates. Llanelli voted like Swansea, where Labour actually gained a councillor, partly due to Plaid Cymru being almost absent from the city. On the other side of the Bay things were not so good for Labour, with Plaid Cymru gaining seven seats, Independents gaining one seat, and even the Lib Dems gaining a seat in Neath Port Talbot.

Digression: Staying in this area, Labour hanging on in Llanelli throws up, or regurgitates, an interesting possibility for whenever the ‘Welsh’ Government finally gets around to tackling the local government reorganisation Wales so badly needs. Let me explain.

It is taken as read that Swansea and Neath Port Talbot will combine, if only for the obvious reason that they already form a contiguous urban-industrial-commercial entity with the linkages being strengthened all the time. For example, Amazon’s massive ‘Swansea Fulfilment Centre‘ is in fact in Neath Port Talbot, and Swansea University’s new campus is also over the line. But what of Llanelli, the westerly component of this conurbation, separated from Swansea only by Afon Llwchwr?

Obviously Llanelli is not a unitary authority, but when local government reorganisation was discussed a few years back Swansea council’s preferred option (2 1 (i)) was a merger with NPT and Llanelli. I discussed it in Councils of Despair in December 2014. What’s more, this seemed to be the preferred option of the Labour Party in Llanelli. Given the clear dissonance in voting patterns between the town and the rest of the county it’s reasonable to assume that this remains Labour’s favoured option locally, and perhaps nationally.

For it would give ‘Welsh’ Labour a new authority of roughly half a million people, some sixth of Wales’ population, and with a guaranteed Labour majority in the new council chamber. With Labour taking hits and losing seats almost everywhere else this ‘Greater Swansea’ authority could provide it with a new base from which to fight back.

The picture for Wales is that Labour did well in the southern cities, but less well beyond those cities, where Plaid, Independents, and even the Cynon Valley Party won. The north east was another curate’s egg. In the northern metropolis of Wrexham, Labour now holds just 12 out of 52 seats in a town the party once dominated, but gained 3 seats in neighbouring Flintshire to remain the largest party, though without an overall majority. In Denbighshire Labour lost 6 seats and the Independents lost 4, the winners being the Conservatives (+8) and Plaid (+2).

Coming back to the south, it would appear that the further north one went, away from the glitz of Cardiff, the more likely electors were to be pissed off with how that glitz contrasts with the deprivation around them. Two former ‘Donkey Labour’ councils – Merthyr and Blaenau Gwent – will now be run by Independents, with even the council leader losing his seat in Merthyr. (Though due to the death of a candidate the Merthyr voting is not yet finished.)

One reason Labour did so well in Cardiff was that by and large the expected city-wide threats from Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats did not materialise. Certainly, Neil McEvoy topped the poll in Fairwater, and the other Plaid Candidates in this three-seat ward also got elected. In fact, in the Cardiff West constituency, of which Fairwater is part, Plaid got 23,832 votes compared with Labour’s 25,890, but for some reason the party hierarchy has decided that Cardiff West is not a target seat! Maybe this is further punishment for McEvoy, or maybe it’s another example of Plaid Cymru sabotaging any threat of success.

The only council where Plaid Cymru will have a majority of councillors is, as before, Gwynedd. But Plaid will be the largest party in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Ynys Môn, having increased its number of councillors on all three authorities. Plaid even gained another seat in Pembrokeshire, but Independents of various hues still hold 35 of the 60 seats. Which leaves just Powys and Monmouthshire.

In Harri Webb’s Green Desert the ruling Independents took a bit of a hiding, losing 17 of their 47 seats and overall control of the council, with just about everybody feasting on the downed beast, including the Greens, who now have a councillor in Wales. Though the new Green councillor confirms that the Green Party of Englandandwales is about as Welsh as UKIP (probably less so). Moving down to eastern Gwent we see that the Tories won a further 6 seats and now control the council.

To believe some mainstream media outlets the Tories swept the board in Wales, but the truth is that they control just one Welsh council, out of 22, and have fewer councillors than Plaid Cymru, or the Independents, a label that covers everything from Odessa sleepers to the Country Landowners’ Association. Though this being Wales, porkies also had to be told about Labour’s performance.

The headline to the picture below taken from the BBC Wales website – apparently supplied by the man who lost to Corbyn in the leadership contest – suggests that Labour swept the board in the Rhondda. The truth is that Plaid Cymru got more votes and more seats.

(I’ve asked this before, but who is the valkyrie hovering over Smiffy?)

One final thing – Wales is now a UKIP-free zone. The party held two seats, apparently, one of them in Ceredigion where Gethin James represented Aberporth. He must have known the game was up because he stood last week as an Independent – and still lost! Who the other one was I neither know nor care.

SCOTLAND

In Scotland, the Tories swept the board, crushing the SNP in the process . . . in the dreams of the mainstream media. Let’s look at the facts. The SNP is the largest party in Scotland’s four biggest cities, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee. Allowing for re-drawn boundaries, the SNP now has more councillors than at the last local elections in 2012 (says BBC Scotland’s Brian Taylor).

The truth might be that the SNP is at a ‘plateau’ of support from which it’s difficult to make further progress, but the party’s support certainly isn’t collapsing as some would have us believe.

Yes, the Tories made gains, so let me give my interpretation of why that happened. And the bigger picture of the political realignment I see taking place in Scotland. If I’m right, then what’s happening is further proof of the strength of the SNP. First, a trip down memory lane.

When I was a much younger man, barely out of my teens, I worked for a construction firm for a while, first at the Mond Nickel refinery in Clydach, later building a gas plant in north west England. The site boss was a Protestant from Belfast and almost all his supervisors were either from his background, or else they were Scots.

Listening to the boss and his inner circle was quite an education. For example, I learnt about the links between the shipyards in Belfast and those on the Clyde. Those shipyards where foremen wore bowler hats. Those shipyards where it could be so difficult for a Catholic to get a job. I could hear this talk and then buy the Connolly Association’s Irish Democrat being hawked around the site by Irishmen of a different persuasion.

This was my introduction to the complex interplay between Ireland and Scotland, Protestant and Catholic, Unionist and Republican/Nationalist. I soon realised that anyone who thought the rivalry between Celtic and Rangers was just about football knew nothing. It also made me understand why Conservative candidates in Scotland stood as Unionists, and it had nothing to do with the SNP.

There has always been a strand of Unionism in Scotland that is indigenous but also linked to Ireland, through Orange Lodges, Glasgow Rangers Football Club, the Presbyterian Church and other elements. Unlike Wales where what passes for Unionism is little more than a passive acceptance of English superiority and an excuse for street parties.

The power and influence of this tradition is partly due to so many Scots viewing the Union as a partnership of equals that began in 1603 when James VI rode south to become king of England. It has been reinforced over the centuries by the position of Scots in Ulster threatened by Irish nationalism, and in the nineteenth century from the disproportionate role played by Scots in building the British empire.

Those Scots who have now decided that independence would be the best option are therefore not ‘breaking away’, nor are they ‘separatists’ (deliberately offensive terms), many of them see it as dissolving a business partnership that no longer serves Scotland’s best interests.

Yet the residual power of this Unionist sentiment and the prospect of a second independence referendum explains why working class or unemployed Unionists/Rangers supporters living on some shitty housing scheme are now prepared to vote Conservative. It’s because the Tories are the Unionist party. Anyone who tries to read more into the growth of Conservative support in Scotland is wrong.

The Conservative Party in Scotland is now assuming the role of the Unionist parties in the Six Counties. It therefore needs to be very careful that it doesn’t also become the mouthpiece for the kind of prejudice and hatred we saw when BritNat Nazis rioted in George Square on 19 September 2014 following the independence referendum.

This realignment means that Scottish politics is being stripped of considerations of class and ideology and forming around the simple question, ‘Do you want independence?’ Those who do will support the SNP, an increasing number of those who do not will support the Conservative Party.

This tells us how the SNP has transformed Scottish politics, and how the new, bipolar configuration leaves little space for the Labour Party; a party further damaged because few believe it can provide ‘progressive’ politics within an increasingly regressive state.

‘LADY’ KATE CLAMP

Another way in which Wales differs from Scotland is that we have so few aristocrats living here, which means that I rarely get the opportunity to report on one. So where would I be without ‘Lady’ Kate Clamp, who has graced this blog before. She is the proprietrix of Happy Donkey Hill, formerly and for centuries known as Faerdre Fach.

Those who have yet to encounter this woman may care to watch her in glorious colour and surround sound. I’m not sure which Swiss finishing school she attended, but the signs of good breeding and education abound in this monologue.

The reason I’m writing about her again is that I hear she’s been hiring local workers, promising them cash in hand, and then refusing to pay. One excuse she’s used is that the payments have to go up to London to be authorised – so why advertise cash in hand? These aristocrats, eh!

As I’ve pointed out previously, her father, Michael D Gooley, major donor to the Conservative Party (£500,000 in the final quarter of 2014), is the owner of Faerdre Fach not her, and he has recently bought another property nearby. Dol Llan being a substantial old house just outside Llandysul which ‘Lady’ Clamp is again claiming to be hers, to the extent of trying to make a few quid by selling off bits of it.

If you’ve recovered from the monologue I linked to above you might care to visit her Facebook page, which is where I found it. There you’ll experience more of the same, for it seems no one ever meets ‘Lady’ Kate’s exacting standards . . . which I suppose is her excuse for not paying.

Though if I was Derrick Hughes I might consider having a word with my solicitor after having my professional reputation damaged on Facebook. I wonder if he got paid?

Whichever way you look at her – and I wouldn’t advise looking for too long! – this woman is a phoney. She claims to own property that is in fact owned by her multi-millionaire daddy. She plays the role of the country lady while looking for excuses to cheat people out of money she owes. Her monologues betray her as a foul-mouthed, self-pitying drunk. No wonder no one who knows her has a good word to say for her. Her only ‘friends’ appear be on the internet.

What a tragedy it is that people like this are taking over our country and behaving like a colonialist elite, changing old names and wrecking properties that for centuries have played a role in Welsh communities. It’s surely time for us to stop being so polite, and welcoming. A judiciously delivered ‘Fuck off!’ can avoid so many misunderstandings.

♦ end ♦

  38 Responses to “Council Elections & Colonialism”

  1.  

    Is it not the case that in terms of vote share across Wales in these locals ‘Independent’ was bigger than any of the parties?

    I believe (or so I have been told by a number-cruncher in Plaid) that most of the people that vote ‘Independent’ at council level, vote Tory at national level by a ratio of about 4:1. If true, then in 4 weeks time large swathes of Wales will be going ‘blue’. (Labour-held Ynys Mon looks like it will be a knife edge between Plaid and Tory)

    •  

      I doubt if Independents get more votes than any party because, by and large, they are a rural phenomenon, where the electors per ward figure is much smaller than for seats in cities and towns.

      Nor do I see how anyone can calculate where Independent votes go at Welsh Assembly and Westminster elections because many people vote Independent for negative as well as positive reasons. And for purely personal reasons.

      And the same thing applies at these higher levels. You must know that on Anglesey, if it looks like Plaid might win, then some Tories will vote Labour to keep Plaid out, or Labour supporters might vote Tory. It’s the same in Ceredigion. Similarly in other seats where other parties are involved.

      Though I concede that, in a county like Carmarthenshire, where Conservatives have rarely stood in council elections, Tory voters will invariably vote Independent in the hope of keeping out Labour and Plaid Cymru

      •  

        Theres virtually no tory candidates at council level on Ynys Mon and no councillors, hence why the independent vote is so high.

        I found the figures. In 2012 Labour had the highest number of actual votes with Independents in second place. In 2017, Labour still got the highest number of votes with Independents still in second place but having closed the gap between them and Labour quite significantly.

  2.  

    Great blog Jac. I think that Plaid did pretty well across Wales, except in the cities. Your assertion that Plaid beat Labour in Cardiff West is wrong, I’m sorry to say. In the wards of Caerau, Canton, Creigiau, Ely, Fairwater, Llandaf, Pentyrch, Radyr and Riverside Labour got 25890 votes, Plaid got 23178 votes and the Tories got 11953 votes, which equate to shares of 40%, 36% and 18% respectively. A good showing by Plaid but not double Labour’s vote. You can check the figures for yourself http://cardiff.moderngov.co.uk/mgElectionElectionAreaResults.aspx?EID=37&RPID=1001719449&LLL=0

    •  

      The figure I’ve seen for the 9 wards of the Cardiff West constituency say that Plaid got 10,014 votes and Labour 9.962.

      The mistake I made was in saying that Plaid got double the Labour vote (I was looking at the wrong column).

      P.S. Where did you get those figures, they’re higher than the figures for GE2015?

      •  

        I got those figures by adding up all of the votes for each of the candidates for each of the parties. The data is at the link I provided.
        Some wards were three member, some two and some one. Labour ended up with eleven councillors, the Tories five and Plaid three.
        I see that you got the figures you quoted from Neil McEvoy’s twitter. I’ve no idea how he ended up with those numbers but they are misleading. As the saying goes there are lies, damned lies and statistics. If one is desperate enough statistics can be manipulated to give the required headline but it doesn’t say much for Mr McEvoy’s maths (or sense of sportsmanship) that he has to tweet some obviously massaged numbers to kid either himself or the electorate that Plaid outscored Labour in Cardiff West. Plaid did well in terms of votes, he doesn’t need to embellish that fact with obvious lies.

        •  

          If I get a chance I’ll do my own checking.

          I assume you represent the Labour Party. Why does the mere thought of Neil McEvoy get you so agitated? He’s really got under your skin.

          •  

            I checked the figures on the source you supplied. I agree with the figure you gave for Labour, 25,890 votes, but by my calculation you underestimated the Plaid vote, which I make 23,832, not the 23,178 you say. Thank you for drawing my attention to this.

            •  

              I don’t think it’s very helpful to simply add votes for each party, Oyaax and Royston, because in local elections people have as many votes as there are councillors to be elected, and this differs ward by ward.

              In order to equalize the worth of the vote across different wards, in my opinion it’s better to think that someone in a three seat ward like Canton has three “third votes”, someone in a two seat ward like Caerau has two “half votes”, and someone in a single seat ward like Pentyrch has one “whole vote”. That means every voter has one equal vote. I’ll leave someone else to do the maths.

              •  

                Yes, you’re probably right.

                •  

                  The discrepancy between your and my figures for Plaid is because I was using the figure of 401 votes for Richard Garner Williams in Riverside Ward, which was corrected yesterday on the council’s website. His actual number of votes was 1054; the correction came after Neil McEvoy tweeted the erroneous figure and asked the council to fix it on their database.

                  •  

                    Fair enough.

                    •  

                      I’m the treasurer of Plaid Cymru in Cardiff West, and I prepared the figures quoted by Neil McEvoy. They are derived from dividing the total number of votes received by each party’s candidates in each ward by the number of seats in that ward, to give the average party vote in each ward. (The four main parties each ran a full slate of candidates in each ward.) The ward totals were then added up to give a total average vote for the whole constituency.

                      Here are the figures for the main parties:

                      Plaid Cymru 10,014 (5,644 in 2012)
                      Labour 9,962 (10,393 in 2012)
                      Conservative 8,632 (5,840 in 2012)
                      Lib Dem 3,615 (5,786 in 2012)

                    •  

                      I’ve got to be honest, I’m getting a wee bit confused now. Is the system you used widely accepted? (I’m trying to sound like I know what I’m talking about!)

  3.  

    I’ve just watched the Donkey woman on the link you provided; it was a truly gruesome experience and not for the faint-hearted or weak-stomached. Who is this dreadful woman? From under which particular stone has she crawled to desecrate our beautiful country? Lady??? I think not.

  4.  

    not that anyone will care… but the other UKIP Councillor your mentioned as ‘Who the other one was I neither know nor care’ was in Sully, Vale of Glamorgan. He was elected in the last Council election as UKIP, but went ‘independent’ about a year ago after he didn’t get the list nomination for UKIP in Welsh Assembly (When they were parachuting in the English Tories). Got re-elected last week as an ‘independent’ but I’m told is still a Kipper at heart.

    •  

      Ah, yes, I remember him now. He made a few comments to a post I did in March 2016 on the gang of fascists that can be found down the Liberty supporting the Swans and showing the Union flag. He made some ludicrous claims about the flag belonging to a perfectly nice family from Bristol, and then wrote, “I don’t particularly like seeing even the one Union jack down the ground by the way and don’t really understand why anyone would display one at the home of a Welsh club”. This from a Kipper!

      He tried to tell me that he born in Swansea, choosing an area that I know well. He didn’t convince me, I got the impression his knowledge of Swansea came from a map. I also got the impression he was a bullshitter.

      Anyway, you can read the comments here.

      •  

        Well maybe or maybe not but certainly a better informed bull**itter than yourself or Mr Banjo, Royston.

        Just to help you both along along and cover the gaps in your ignorance of the Welsh political scene UKIP won two seats at the last local elections in Wales .myself and the much missed Jock Greer in Merthyr. Gethin James never declared as a UKIP councillor and I’m delighted that he has lost his seat.

        Jock unfortunately has passed away and I in contrast to Mr Banjo’s uninformed sources have had nothing to do with UKIP for the last 16 months, and knowing Jock Greer I can say with some confidence that he would have taken the same stance as myself 16 months ago.

        I know that it often gets extremely tedious correcting the incorrect and ludicrous ramblings of a self professed knowall who unfortunately constantly gets his facts wrong but in referring back to Roystons extensive brief after attending a Swans match once in every 10 years as opposed to my own last 50 years of support and actually going to watch them you have so far proclaimed with absolute certainty.

        1) That I wasn’t born in Swansea which of course is incorrect and not really something that can be disputed due to the annoying for Royston traditional requirement to register births in this country. The birth certification process of course does slightly trump a pompous bloggers ludicrous claims that he apparently knows everything and everyone that has ever lived in my original home area of Manselton where many of my family still live.

        But who cares other than a bitter and twisted knowitall from North Wales?

        2) That you know for certain that that I can’t possibly have ever supported the Swans ( well again who really cares anyway?) but seeing that you are such a stickler for the thorough research that saw you grovelling about and deleting items furiously just last year when you were challenged over the housing association business.

        One might point you in the direction of the Swansea City supporters Trust Board minutes which would enlighten you as to my participation for a number of years as a member of that Board as named in the minutes.

        Oh and BTW, someone actually posted up a picture of the aforementioned family with the Union Jack down the Liberty on a Swansea City message board just the other week and commented that they appeared to be of Asian or middle Eastern appearance which to be fsair they did.

        Yet another gem of ignorance from Mr Royston of North Wales commenting on an area that he has little or nothing to do with.

        A pleasure to exchange dialogue with and educate yourself again Royston.

        Always happy to correct the ignorant and ill-iinformed please do not hestiate to get in touch if I can be of any further help in guiding you through life.

        •  

          Oooh, you are a one! I don’t know where to start in my response . . . so I won’t bother.

          Though I will point out that last year, following letters from Hugh James solicitors, I made a few corrections to a couple of posts about Pembrokeshire Housing and Mill Bay Homes, because I may have got a bit personal, but the thrust of my allegations remains, and is still up on this blog. What’s more, PH and MBH are now being pursued, by others, through other channels.

          As for who was or was not a UKIP councillor, who gives a toss? UKIP provided a few laughs for a while and now the show is over.

        •  

          Kevin.

          Jac has advised you that Pembrokeshire Housing {PH} and their subsidiary Mill Bay Homes {MBH} are being pursued by others. With regard to on-going construction projects by MBH in Pembrokeshire you need to be aware that correspondence is continuing with infrastructure providers and regulators {Welsh Government, Financial Conduct Authority & Public Accounts Committee at National Assembly} to establish:

          • How the proceeds {profit element} from the sale of 60 market dwellings has been used to benefit local communities in accordance with their obligations as a Community Benefit Society registered with, and regulated by, the Financial Conduct Authority under the Cooperative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014.
          • How MBH discharge their obligations as a Social Landlord regulated by Welsh Government under Part 1 of Housing Act 1996.
          • How MBH discharge their legal obligations with regard to adoption of foul and surface water drainage networks under formal agreements with Dwr Cymru Welsh Water, pursuant to S.104 Water Industry Act 1991.
          • How MBH discharge their legal obligations under formal agreements with the Local Planning Authority, pursuant to S.106 Town & Country Planning Act 1990.
          • How MBH discharge their obligations with regard to the adoption of estate roads and associated surface water drainage under agreements with the Local Highway Authority, pursuant to S. 38 Highways Act 1980.
          • How alleged breach of planning control has been investigated by the Local Planning Authority.
          • How local flood risk {defined as the risk from surface water, ground water and ordinary watercourse} is managed and mitigated on MBH development sites in Pembrokeshire.
          • How public funds {over £30 million to date} allocated by Welsh Government on behalf of the taxpayer to PH has been administered within the Group.

          If you have any information / evidence that can assist the on-going investigation I shall be pleased to debate the matter further with you in the public domain on Jac’s blog.

          •  

            Wynne no point lobbing all those complicated questions at Kevin. He is merely a simple (ex) UKIP councillor who probably hasn’t looked beyond feeding off the base prejudicies of his local community. In line with most other UKIP leaders he is probably quite “relaxed” about assorted chisellers, including 3rd sector, feeding off the tit of the Cynulliad and other public bodies.

  5.  

    > (I’ve asked this before, but who is the valkyrie hovering over Smiffy?)

    I do believe that is the new Tonyrefail West Councillor Alexandra Davies-Jones.

    •  

      I knew somebody would know!

      •  

        That explains it. The previous Labour councillor for Tonyefail West was Eudine Hanagan, a long term cabinet member. Prior to the election, there was a de-selection tussle where Oily Smith’s pet valkyrie, Alexandra Davies-Jones, was slotted into the ward as the Labour candidate. Eudine was sent packing and had to stand for Labour in the neighbouring ward of Tonyrefail East. She lost, to Danny Grehan, who won a seat for Plaid Cymru.

  6.  

    Support our historic traditions and aristocracy! I propose Lady Clamp is given the late Lord Snowdon’s role as master of ceremonies at the upcoming investiture of William Middleton-Windsor (aka “William Wales”) as Prince of Wales. Perhaps she could work her happy donkeys into the pageantry. Her authenticity and respect for the Welsh nation is well matched to this event.

    •  

      Yes, I think she’d fit well in a circus.

    •  

      Don’t you mean William Middleton-Windsor-Saxe-Coburg-Gotha-Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg? Honestly… talking about investiture I hope they have the sense not to do it – though I am curious how the Welsh public will take it.

      That said… I’d be more interested if Plaid pulled a stunt and backed a native. Worst case scenario they get loads of free publicity, their candidate gets ignored and our second class citizenship is revealed to all. I think it was Plaid’s DJ Davies who suggested something along those lines in the 50’s.

  7.  

    Don’t try to draw too many conclusions from local council election results, other than that the majority of folks don’t care enough to vote, don’t pay any attention to councils and their services, but then blow up all indignant when a failure of service, be it bin collection, or holes in roads, or, worse still, teaching kids in the language of their own nation/country.

    Our consumerist society craves instant gratification but can’t get off its fat arse when it has a chance to select or even compete for the seats on its councils up and down the country. When the GE comes around we will see a hard core of genuinely interested players backing their various positions and the rest that bother to vote are as likely to do so in a gesture against something as they are in support of a position or idea. No wonder this representative democracy of ours is going down the pipe, people get the politics they deserve.

  8.  

    Following on from my comment relating to false reporting by the BBC on the election results in Rhondda (see above), the same happened in Scotland. The BBC claimed, both broadcast and online that the SNP lost seats in last week’s council elections. In fact, the SNP increased their number of seats from 425 to 431.

    https://wingsoverscotland.com/a-little-more-certainty/

    As in the BBC/Scully error, this was a BBC/Denver error. It’s where some BBC editor in Manchester or London reports ‘notional estimates’ as ‘factual results’, in other words, getting it wrong. Is the BBC just plain incompetent or are they believing the spin feed from the Labour Party without checking the facts?

  9.  

    My Lord Dafydd Elis Thomas’s name has appeared on Labour Party leaflets in the Fairwater Ward of Cardiff, which Plaid won. endorsing the local Labour MP nonentity.

  10.  

    Re: Cardiff West. On average figures in multi-member wards, we beat Labour 35.1% to 34.8%. The figures are not massaged, but a more accurate reflection of the constituency. It’s the method I have always used to chart progress. Whichever set of figures you use, we increased the vote by 77%. Crucially, we are up on 2016 and Labour are down. Lots of work to do still to throw Labour out first past the post. Labour’s Fairwater campaign was filthy and highly personal, based on a Transport House blue print. It was satisfying to see slander rejected with Plaid up to 56% and Labour down to 28%, in a ward which was 80% not that long ago.

Ok, you’ve read what I think, now what do you have to say?