Jun 292017
 

But first . . .

A LESSON FROM HISTORY

Following victories over the Persians at Salamis (480 BC) and Plataea (479 BC), and with mainland Greece liberated, the Spartans withdrew from their leadership of the wartime alliance. Athens seized the opportunity and in 478 BC created the Delian League.

Athenian greed and heavy-handedness soon made the other city-states realise that what they’d thought was an alliance of equals was nothing of the kind. Everything now flowed to Athens and the other city-states were little more than colonies. The League’s treasury was used to enhance and glorify Athens, funding prestige projects such as the Parthenon.

Courtesy of Ancient History Encyclopedia

Eventually, the other city-states could take no more and rebelled. They appealed to Sparta for help and so began the Peloponnesian War, which ran, in three phases, from 431 BC to 404 BC. At the end of the war Athens was defeated and ruined, Thebes and Corinth even wanted to destroy the city and enslave its citizens, but Sparta said no.

The Peloponnesian War was bloody and destructive. Due to Athenian selfishness the other Greek states were even prepared to seek Persian help in bringing her down and ending the golden age of Greece.

Two news items this week have reminded me of Athens and the Delian League.

BACK TO THE 1960s

The first was that the ‘Welsh’ Government will not back the Circuit of Wales in Ebbw Vale. This is something most of us knew weeks ago, it’s why announcing the decision was postponed until after the general election.

But don’t worry! Economy and Infrastructure Secretary, Ken Skates, softened the blow with: “The Welsh Government is therefore today committing to building a new automotive technology business park in Ebbw Vale, with funding of £100million over 10 years, with the potential to support 1,500 new FTE jobs. We will begin this work with the delivery of 40,000 sq ft of manufacturing space on land currently in public ownership.”

So the ‘Welsh’ Government kills off the Circuit of Wales yet still plans to build an ‘automotive technology park’ in Ebbw Vale. Apart from Ferrari’s Cafe what links does Ebbw Vale now have with the automotive industry? Or to put it another way, after 18 years of devolution and ‘Welsh’ Labour rule we’ve gone back to the 1960s with depressed areas offered nothing better than industrial parks. God Almighty!

But this saga may not be finished, for what if the scheme’s backers are able to find full private funding for the venture, will the ‘Welsh’ Government then support the Circuit of Wales or continue to be obstructive? I know where my money would go.

Let’s be absolutely clear: The Circuit of Wales was not supported by the ‘Welsh’ Government because Ebbw Vale is too far from Cardiff and the project didn’t offer enough benefits to Cardiff.

MAJOR TRAUMA

The nearest major trauma centres to Wales are in Liverpool, Stoke, Birmingham and Bristol. Some time ago the decision was taken that south Wales should have its own trauma centre. The two candidate sites were Morriston Hospital in Swansea and the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.

On Wednesday we learnt that some anonymous panel had recommended that the MTC  should be located in Cardiff . . . despite Cardiff being so near to the existing centre in Bristol.

The centres in England are located where they are for the very good reason that patients suffering serious injury or sudden and serious debilitation benefit greatly from being treated within the first hour; in fact, it’s a matter of life or death. This period is referred to as the ‘golden hour’.

The maps (kindly supplied by BBC Wales) below show the ‘golden hour’ distances from those Major Trauma Centres closest to Wales together with the predicted ‘golden hour’ ranges for MTCs located in Cardiff and Swansea.

The first map, for existing MTCs, tells us that Cardiff and Newport are already within the ‘golden hour’ for the Bristol MTC, while anywhere west of Bridgend is not covered.

Turning to the second map, the Cardiff option, we see a slight improvement, in that Swansea Bay is now covered by the ‘golden hour’, but not western Gower, nor, I suspect, Llanelli. What’s more, rather than complementing the Bristol MTC to form a network of coverage – as we see in England – a Cardiff MTC would almost be in competition with Bristol. The overlap is huge.

The Swansea option, however, provides a real improvement, with the ‘golden hour’ now extending deep into Pembrokeshire and reaching the Cardigan Bay coastline. The ranges of the Swansea and Bristol MTCs overlap around Cardiff and Newport, but they don’t duplicate each other to anything like the same extent as the Cardiff option. Swansea and Bristol would complement each other perfectly.

Of course it’s being argued that, ‘Cardiff has this, and Cardiff has that’, to justify a MTC, but anything can be built or transferred. What cannot be changed is geography, and the critical and determining criterion for locating the Major Trauma Centre should be saving lives in the ‘golden hour’. You cannot emphasise the golden hour all the way through the process and then ignore it in order to locate the MTC in Cardiff.

To put a large area of the south west outside the ‘golden hour’ through handing Cardiff yet another prestige project – for that’s how it’s viewed in Cardiff – will be a difficult decision for politicians to defend.

The role of the ‘Welsh’ media in this debate has been somewhat bizarre, though predictable. On Wednesday WalesOnline ran this story. Putting the case for Swansea was Rob Stewart, leader of Swansea council. (Though the story was quickly updated and for some reason Stewart was replaced with Clive Lloyd, his deputy!)

Putting the case for Cardiff – which is what I assume he was doing – was a ‘speed flyer’ named Niall McCann. (Though by the time the story appeared this morning in Llais y Sais McCann’s contribution had disappeared.)

click to enlarge

McCann had shattered his spine speed flying off Pen y Fan and it had been put together by the University Hospital of Wales. McCann opined, “I’m 100% on board with anything that will improve the NHS services on offer. We are a capital city and we should be leading the way in Wales.”

So in the expert opinion of Niall McCann of Cardiff the new MTC should be in Cardiff, ‘Cos Cardiff’s the capital, innit?’ For reasons best known to itself WalesOnline even included in the article a video of McCann speed flying to remind us of the unnecessary risks he takes.

Perhaps the message we were expected to glean from this article was that having injured himself on the Beacons McCann would have been dead or crippled ere the donkey carrying him could have reached an MTC based at Morriston Hospital. If not, then I have no idea what purpose Trinity Mirror thought it was serving by including McCann’s cameo.

Then on Thursday, the BBC rubbed it in with a story headlined “Swansea ’10 to 15 years behind Cardiff’, think tank says”. Obviously unsuited to have a Major Trauma Centre.

TIME TO RETRACE OUR STEPS

But the problems of Wales today go beyond putting all the nation’s eggs in the Cardiff basket, they reach into every corner of our national life. Just look around you and ask what 18 years of devolution have achieved. Go on, and be honest!

Wales is poorer relative to other parts of the state, and other parts of Europe, than she was before we voted for devolution. Outside of Cardiff our urban and post-industrial areas are suffering managed decline, while our rural and coastal areas serve as recreation and retirement areas for England, with the Welsh population, and their identity, marginalised in both situations.

We have a self-styled Labour ‘Government’ in Cardiff docks that refuses to use even the limited powers it has for fear of upsetting anyone in London – including its own MPs and peers! Competing with Labour we have a Conservative Party currently in league with the Orange Order and the UDA, and a ‘national party’ that is, as Martin Shipton described it this morning, “a pressure group”. (And it’s not often I agree with Shippo!) Though it’s questionable whether Plaid Cymru really is challenging Labour.

‘Ah, but we’ve got devolution now, it’s something to build on’, I hear, from those who are in reality satisfied with this simulacrum of self-government, where free suppositories or some such nonsense qualify as radical initiatives. So who’s going to do the ‘building’? We know it won’t be Labour. It will never be the Conservative and Unionist Party. And there’s not a hope in hell of it being the pressure group.

Devolution has delivered a comfortable and undemanding level for ambitious councillors. To serve these politicians we now have a burgeoning and expensive bureaucracy. Because the party in control is Labour devolution has resulted in a vast and corrupt Third Sector sucking up billions of pounds to keep otherwise unemployable Labour supporters in jobs.

Yet we have no media to hold this juggernaut to account. (Though it’s debatable which is worse – the absence of a Welsh media or the constant bigotry exposed in the English media.) There is no real oversight or control of expenditure, and no justice for anyone wronged by this system. Yet if you investigate ‘devolution’ in any depth you soon realise what a sham it is.

For example, the ‘Welsh’ Government pretends it has its own Planning Inspectorate. The truth is that the Planning Inspectorate for Englandandwales answers to the Department for Communities and Local Government in London, it merely has a branch office in Cardiff. Which means that the Local Development Plans for Welsh local authorities are determined in London . . . and the ‘Welsh’ Government goes along with the charade!

P.S. Soon after publishing this post my attention was drawn to a perfect example of the ‘Welsh’ Government’s relationship with the Planning Inspectorate. This development at Llay is part of a wider strategy to turn our north east into commuter territory for north west England. And Carwyn Jones knows it.

The ‘Welsh’ Government and the whole apparatus of devolution soaks up money that could be better spent in Wales, and might be better spent if the useless edifice was swept away. Which is why I plan to start a petition to the UK Parliament asking for a referendum to be held to determine whether we should keep the Welsh Assembly and all that goes with it. (This will be done once a new Petitions Committee is formed.)

Yes, I know such a petition will attract Kippers and other BritNats, but I don’t care, there are bigger issues at stake. On almost every issue that matters we are still ruled from London anyway – so what do we stand to lose? Devolution is used to hide this fact, and to make us believe that we control our own affairs. It acts like some national dose of Prozac.

When you’ve taken a wrong turning you have two choices: either plod on until you fall off a cliff or sink in a bog, or else admit you made a mistake, retrace your steps, and next time make sure you know where you want to go.

Devolution was a wrong turning.

♦ end ♦

  74 Responses to “Devolution as Prozac”

  1.  

    Um shouldn’t you be creating a petition to abolish Westminster instead Jac? After all Wales has been ruled from westminster for most of its history and it’s westminster government policies which bear most responsibility for wales poverty relative to much of the rest of the uk. It’s not devolution which is to blame for the matters you raise – it is a welsh labour party which has ruled wales since the first elections to the Assembly in 1999.

    And it wont be the kippers your petition will attract, the kippers having long since dropped their opposition to devolution for Wales. It will be the dregs of ukip who departed to create the Abolish the Welsh Assembly party and the former members of the south wales national front they accepted into their ranks.

    They say politics makes strange bedfellows but you working hand in tandem with every wales hating little englanders to abolish the limited degree of self rule wales has defies belief.

    •  

      I take the view that we are sleep-walking towards national oblivion, and the existence of the Assembly simply disguises that fact. It is acting as – and being used as – a kind of placebo. Remove it and there’ll be no confusion over who does what, and the stark reality of English rule will be revealed.

      •  

        The majority in Cymru – made up of Brit-Nat immigrants & a huge swathe of our own people who walk around in blissful ignorance, couldn’t care a monkey’s fuck about the reality of English rule being revealed. In fact they wouldn’t understand what the hell you were talking about, choosing instead to clap and hoot at the fact that we are all British and part of the UK. Proof of which would be the fact that we gave away our parliament, or indeed in the case of your petition, demanded that it be taken away.

        At least with a semblance of a parliament building (albeit totally useless – for the time being), there is a message being sent out.

        Take it away and what you do is destroy the castle, because of it’s wrong occupants.

        I think you’ve got this one very wrong Jac.

    •  

      I agree entirely Mr. Weaver.

  2.  

    Many thanks for picking up on Trauma Unit issue and how our laughingly called ‘National Media’ are dealing with it. Those maps you are showing up are truly shocking. To set the damn thing up in Cardiff hardly gives any improvement on coverage whereas the Swansea option pulls in coverage as far as the Irish sea!!
    In Swansea we are very used to Cardiff centric policies from Welsh Labour but the bastards are playing with lives every time they centralise health in the Capital as the bloody thing is geographically entirely unsiutable and fully covered by sodding Bristol anyway. We think we have it bad but look at the poor sods in Mid and vast swathes of N wales!!
    Who are the bloody ‘experts’ coming up with the this recommendation of madness?

    •  

      In some ways the Major Trauma Centre is a re-run of the children’s hospital scandal. Geography and accessibility should be the criterion used, but as we know, in Wales it’s quite acceptable to lose lives just so Cardiff can claim to have this, that, and everything and to compare itself with big English cities. And now the children’s hospital, in the wrong place, is being used to justify putting the MTC in the wrong place, to lose more lives.

    •  

      The decision hasn’t been finalised so, a campaign, focusing on why locating the new MTC in Swansea is the better option, is vital.
      I read, the other day, that only 5% of adults bother to read about local and regional news in Wales so campaigners will need to think carefully on how to connect with people.

    •  

      Virtually the same arguments were made when the decision was made to centralise neurological services (Morriston better access, better coverage re the treatment time window and so on) and still they opted for the Heath.

      And, in the process made future arguments like this more likely to go their way because, surprise surprise, neurology is based there.

      •  

        Exactly. One mistake is used to justify another, and on it goes until we have everything in Cardiff and nothing anywhere else.

    •  

      It should be noted that the air responder to Niall McCann’s accident on Pen y Fan was the Wales Air Ambulance, which is based near Llanelli. It’s based there for within 20mins coverage of 85% of population. Triangulating to Cardiff was a diversion for this shout, Morriston being in line of return route. Had there been a contiguous or multiple shout for the South Wales chopper at the time of the incident, the McCann diversion would have put other major trauma patients at risk.

      The response patch is here…
      http://www.walesairambulance.com/admin/resources/may-2017-infographic-01-1-w800.jpg

      I also fail to see how the ‘congestion’ on the eastern section of the M4 makes Bristol further away from Cardiff. The helicopter does not fly through the Brynglas tunnels; it can fly direct, over the sea. There is already a reciprocal arrangement with Bristol MTC for Gwent.

      The “anonymous panel” who made this decision were evidently not clinicians. Just politicians bolstering their ‘Capital City Career Status’, a decision not based on the best way of saving lives.

  3.  

    The problem is not devolution per sey Jac, it’s having Welsh Labour camped in power down the docks in Kerdiff. Building a little London in the south east of Cymru.

    What we should be concentrating on is building a true Nationalist party that can evict the rat in he cheese larder. The ‘Hide Behind The Sofa’ party (which, as has rightly been pointed out, is now little more than a dog in the manger pressure group), has neither the power nor the inclination to have a go at driving the rat out – in fact, it’s made a pet of it.

    Getting rid of a devolved parliament in Cymru would be a retrospective step in the wrong direction. It’s taken centuries to get this close to something that resembles self rule. We ALL know it’s a shambles, we all know that the idea is right, it’s the implementation that’s wrong.

    So I would advise not throwing the baby out with the bath water. If you slowly climb up a ladder with your eyes on an eventual prize – through centuries of struggling – you don’t want to saw off the rungs below you, just because you can’t reach the top at the latest attempt.

    If you did reverse devolution, and got rid of Y Senedd, where does that leave you when it comes to the road to independence of your nation? Up shit creek without a paddle.

    I’d think very hard before kicking off a petition of that kind – just be careful of what you wish for . . . it would be honey on the fingertips of our enemies.

    Think of it this way. If you bought a new car, but put the wrong fuel in it – who would you blame when it wouldn’t go? Would your logic dictate that you scrapped the car?

    •  

      I’m with big gee on this one.

      So many times on Swans forums I’ve said to people, it’s not the institution that you get rid of, it’s the people that are running it.

      Easy to say I know.

      •  

        And how do we do that?

        •  

          Parties that are fit for purpose do not magically appear out of thin air. They are formed by people. If the people are too ignorant or lethargic to get on with the task, then who’s fault is it?

          It’s the old conundrum. We know what’s needed – a party to GENUINELY represent all the people of Cymru (and forget this illusionary crap about ‘left’, ‘right’ or ‘middle ground’ no such things exist in the real world, it only exists in fantasy worlds created by the media and the establishment politicians).

          What Y Senedd needs is a proper party governing it. with the well-being of the whole nation at it’s heart. Demolishing this embryonic establishment is suicide for the cause of the people and their individual national identity.

          Sure, in the short term you might find that resources are spread out a little more evenly if you destroyed Y Senedd and you get a proper rubbish collection in Abercwmswt in darkest north Wales – but is that really what independence and freedom requires? No, it’s proper representation for the people of the whole of our country, governing it from our parliament.

          Ever heard of cutting off your own nose to spite your face Jac?

          •  

            No new party is going to rise, we’ve been there, tried it – remember? A nationalist takeover of Plaid Cymru might happen, but I’m not holding my breath.

            You are advocating hanging on to the Assembly because it’s some kind of national status symbol that might, one day, evolve into something wonderful serving the whole of Wales. I don’t think it ever will. And in the meantime we are stuck with a provincial parliament, run by BritNat Labour, and favouring one small corner of the country.

            As for cutting off my nose . . . there is no conceivable way that I, my family, my community, my home city, or 80% of Wales could be worse off if the Assembly was abolished tomorrow.

            •  

              I know, I know, both of us have tried it in the past & failed. But you should never say never.

              Remember the Berlin wall coming down & Germany becoming unified again? Something that most people thought would never happen. Birgitta Jónsdóttir’s Pirate party in Iceland? Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche (eighteen months from launch to getting a president and a majority in the government – although that’s cheating a bit, it was actually the French establishment that was the architect of that little drama, to save the EU) Alexis Tsipras and the Syriza party in Greece? And it goes on, in this age we are living in. It’s an exciting and volatile political environment all of a sudden! Anything is possible. One thing those new parties have in common, they’ve destroyed the old political mold & picked up support across the boundaries of the antiquated ‘right’, ‘left’ & ‘middle’ model.

              After becoming disillusioned with Plaid, helping to form Cymuned, getting involved with the Independent Wales Party in it’s infancy, then forming Llais Ceredigion, and finally watching over a million people turn out on the streets of London to demonstrate against Bliar and his illegal Iraq war – only to be totally ignored – I hit a low point.

              I became convinced that the show was futile – over, and there was no point in hitting my head against a wall anymore. Wasn’t it Einstein that said “the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result.” I thought I was doing just that and by extension acting insanely. I even expressed that view to others (including you Jac) that I thought the struggle was over, and the chances of changing anything by demonstration was past.

              Now I’m starting to change my mind again, because nothing stands still, everything is fluid and in politics, things can change beyond recognition in a very short time. I believe that the times have changed, and now is the time to start up again (not me personally, because the years have caught up with me). However there is hope that something could come out of the woodwork and actually work. But it has to be the product of lateral thinking – something totally new.

              So don’t give up just yet, the Ferrari is in the garage, it’s ready to race, but it’s got a tankful of shit in it. All it needs is the right fuel to race. We need to provide that fuel and not scrap the car, before it’s started!

              •  

                But the examples you quote, Gwilym, all needed a ‘spark’. In Iceland it was the banking collapse, in France it was the rise of the Front National and the people losing faith in established parties, in Greece it was economic collapse.

                Where is the ‘spark’ in Wales? I’ve compared us Welsh before with mushrooms – kept in the dark and fed shit. Which explains why we are so complacent, so bovine in our responses. It’ll take an earthquake to get the kind of response in Wales that you’ve quoted from elsewhere.

                But it’s not going to happen. We are on the slow but inexorable slide towards assimilation and merger with England, even if the pretence of devolution, ‘national’ sporting teams and other meaningless symbols are maintained. And if we can’t see it, then believe me, our masters see it, because they are engineering it.

        •  

          Fair question. Until someone comes up (even me) with some brilliant idea or plan all I can do is post my thoughts in threads on various sites making my points in a way which may persuade Labour voters to change, write letters to the EP with the same idea in mind. Also simply speaking to friends and family and attempting to take them with you.

          It’s all just bits and pieces I know but every little bit helps.

    •  

      You may be right, maybe the problem is the Labour Party, but when there’s no one to challenge the Labour Party then the problem is permanent. And the problem is facilitated by devolution. Ergo, get rid of devolution and there’s more chance of other parts of the country getting a fair deal.

      This recent story perfectly encapsulates the problem. Ken Skates, Labour AM from the Wrecsam area, can seriously argue that Cardiff needs a THIRD arena, one with a capacity of 15,000. How many auditoriums are there on his home patch? Or in Swansea, Newport . . . ?

      Yesterday, the ‘Welsh’ Government officially announced that it had pulled the plug on the Circuit of Wales. Local AM Alun Davies, mumbled a bit but accepted the decision. (Haven’t heard anything from the MP!) It will be the same with the Labour politicos from Swansea Bay, and maybe further west. They’ll speak up for their patch until the decision is announced (it’s already been made) to locate the MTC in Cardiff, and then they’ll fall silent.

      And people continue to vote Labour even when the party is doing their areas down year on year. What the fuck is wrong with them?

      So what about the local media? Well, the Evening Post and Llanelli Star are now owned by Trinity Mirror, and are written in Cardiff, from a Cardiff perspective.

      Our people need a shock to wake them from their lethargy because we are sleep-walking to oblivion. The status quo of Labour-controlled devolution operating in the interest of Cardiff alone is not an option, because we can easily predict where it ends.

      •  

        I mentioned in my post of 7:00am that hardly anyone in Wales bothers with print editions of local and Wales newspapers. It’s rare to see someone on a Swansea street with a copy of The Beans (rhyming slang) and that’s no surprise considering that The Metro is free to pick up on buses. The online editions of The Beans and Scar are no more.
        You ask “What the fuck is wrong with them?”* and later state that Plaid Cymru is useless and there’s no hope of forming a successful alternative.
        Okay, Jac, are you saying we should be supporting the Tories as well as dismantling the Assembly? What will happen when those two moves fail to give people a decent way of life?

        * English and Scottish blogs are asking the same question but they’re referring to people who’d vote for a pile of dog shit if it had a Tory rosette on it.

        •  

          Just because I detest Labour and long ago gave up on Plaid it doesn’t automatically follow that I’m advocating support for the Conservatives. I am suffering a bout of anomie and I see no solution to the problems facing Wales other than the kind of radical change that no one is capable of producing. Worse, everyone seems to advocate muddling along in the hope something turns up. This Micawber approach to politics is what has got us into this mess, and it sure as hell ain’t gonna get us out.

  4.  

    The general tone of comments thus far are supportive of the idea of having a devolved Cynulliad, advancing with a further accumulation of powers to full Senedd which in due course would be the governing institution of an independent nation. Where it’s all gone pear shaped thus far is that the Labour Party has succeeded in hijacking the institution by gaining a sufficient electoral support – occasionally supplemented by highly pliable “opposition” parties who have little or no ambition other than personal reward and “5 minutes on the telly”.

    Without reaching anything remotely like a final conclusion on this I suggest that a library should be built as a record of poor governance and maladminstration, particularly misdirection of funds, improper collusion with party “pals” in 3rd sector, investment decision making skewed by political considerations,and any other new scams that might turn up during the next year or two. That information could then be provided to the public and all the opposition groups to see who makes the best use of it and it should be that party, or parties, that attracts support at the next Election. No doubt Labour will be unable to stop behaving as they have done for the last 20 years so it won’t be long before the case studies are bulging with evidence.

    If at the end of all that the nation remains wedded to CJ and his cronies then we have to decide whether to throw in the towel or find a guy willing to wear a dodgy waistcoat !!!!!

    •  

      As I’ve said elsewhere, the size of the donkey vote in the general election should have been enough to make anyone despair.

      Oh, yes, and you’d need a fucking big library. With a section dedicated to the Circuit of Wales, which looks like it’s going to run and run.

      •  

        Big, Jac? The library would have to be fucking enormous. And a whole wing would have to be devoted entirely to the utter joke that is ‘health and social care’ in north Wales – and the manner in which EVERYONE has colluded with what has gone on. Because we can’t possibly admit how badly the medical establishment has screwed up whilst politicians have thrown so much money at it.

      •  

        Funny that. I wasn’t thinking of a library building, although I acknowledge that my English scribble is open to ambiguity charges. No, I was thinking of a “Digital Jac” supported by all sorts of other digital folk(so that all the incriminating evidence is not held in one place).
        And you confirm my point that it could become a huge pile of smelly stuff which is all well and good because it can be spread regularly across the online media, into the letters pages of the hard copy rags (presumably there is a residual readership in those especially the locals e.g the Gazette in South Wales, run by Trinity, and the Herald and Journal in Carmarthen). Where those publications object to selected material it makes a good story to feed some of the papers outside of Wales especially in Scotland and Ireland where they are partial to a bit of dirt on the old Empire and its quislings. However on line is the important front for information dissemination and stories can go along way by bouncing from one site to another.

    •  

      Dafis

      A while ago I asked the question of Jac about the idea of a repository (or library) for all things Independence, the idea being that if all info is collected in one place then it would be far easier for people to access and, if it’s easier it’s far more likely to have an effect. A record of Labour’s poor governance and maladministration would appear to be part of that.

      I emailed a guy named Hedd at YesCymru who said this ‘That’s a great idea. We’d be more than happy to include a page on our site with links to papers / research such as this. Could you do the research and supply us with the links / pdf documents and then I’ll be able to create the page.’

      I then went back to him after contacting oggy and getting his permission for Hedd to access links on his site. I sent the mail on 25/04 but haven’t had a reply.

      I’ll chase him again. Does this link in with what you were thinking ?

  5.  

    MAJOR TRAUMA CENTRE
    This seems to be an exercise in reducing the costs of running the MTC at Bristol. Reduced costs for NHS (England).
    TIME TO RETRACE OUR STEPS
    Wow ! What little that we’ve managed to get, you want to throw away on account of the fact that we don’t control it all?
    Well, there’s nothing to stop you organising a petition, Jac, but do you think it’s the right time when looking at May, Davis, Johnson, Gove et al. and the omnishambles they create every time they act of something?

    •  

      Bloody hell! and I thought I was cynical. I suppose it will reduce costs for Bristol, but it undeniably provides a valuable service for southern Wales.

      “What little that we’ve managed to get, you want to throw away on account of the fact that we don’t control it all?”

      Why don’t you explain what devolution has given us that is worth saving irrespective of who controlled it?

      •  

        What did Ron (Badger) Davies say on the morning of the devolution referendum result? “Devolution is a Process not an Event”.

        The mistake that is being made here is that ‘devolution’ and Y Senedd are seen as the problem and not the people in control of it. People seem to view devolution as some sort of living breathing thing – it’s not. It’s a vehicle for use by the government within it. It’s silly to say ‘what has devolution done for you’, when the question should be ‘what have the people running devolution done for you’. A slightly different question isn’t it? And still you want to get rid of the vehicle and not the bad driver?

        A shame old Ron couldn’t keep his urges to himself (although his demise was carefully planned by Mr. Bliar & Co. they all knew his weakness, were aware of it and kept it as a secret weapon for the appropriate time). In their eyes he was a huge danger in Y Senedd, and likely to forge on and actually do something, and he might have been there for a long time, thanks to the donkey Labour vote. DANGER!! Get rid of him for good and see what he’s been replaced with? Simple innit?

        •  

          Yes, it’s very curious how Davies was outed at the time and not all the other MP’s!

          •  

            Long before Ron Davies’ behaviour became public it was known about in certain circles. For a start, it’s part of MI5’s job to monitor MPs, partly for their own safety. This meant that Ron Davies was susceptible to pressure. And pressure came in 1998 when it looked as if the Assembly might go to Swansea.

            If you recall, it was always assumed that the Assembly would be housed in Cardiff City Hall. But a spat was contrived by a very senior civil servant with Russell Goodway, then leader of Cardiff council. The civil servant alleging that Cardiff council was asking too much for City Hall. So Ron Davies held a competition to find another home for the new institution. Bids came in from all over Wales, but the winner, on price, availability and other factors was Swansea Guildhall.

            But instead of the Assembly going to Swansea, Ron Davies, came under pressure from Nick Edwards, former Tory MP for Pembrokeshire, later Lord Crickhowell. Edwards was chairman of Associated British Ports, which owned Cardiff docks, and had been receiving millions in public money via the Cardiff Bay Regeneration Scheme or whatever it was called, run by Edwards’ mate, Geoffrey Inkin.

            Ron Davies then ignored the result of the ‘competition’ he himself had organised to say that the Assembly had to go to Cardiff, otherwise Cardiff’s status as capital would be undermined, etc. (So why hold a bloody contest?) So the Assembly was going to Cardiff – even though there was no site agreed!

            I am convinced that the senior civil servant was in league with Edwards and ABP. The spat over city hall was, as I’ve said, contrived to manoeuvre Davies into eventually agreeing to locate the Assembly in Cardiff Bay, on land owned by ABP. Before the new building went up the ‘Welsh’ Government agreed to lease Crickhowell House from ABP at a minimum of £2m a year. I think that lease still has 20 or more years to run.

            There was plenty of office space available in Cardiff far cheaper than Crickhowell House . . . but of course that wouldn’t have benefited Nick Edwards and his gang.

            The story of devolution is one of lies, coercion, corruption and waste of public funding from Day 1. That’s why Nicholas Edwards and his mates, who had opposed devolution, were the greatest beneficiaries.

            •  

              Jac – I know that your forte is exposing corruption is business and that you’ve done that very nicely re Nicholas Edwards and Corruption Bay, but Edwards’s name sends shivers down my spine for a different reason. Edwards was Secretary of State for Wales whilst the paedophile ring that operated in north Wales in the 70s, 80s and 80s was in full swing. One group of people concealing that ring were the mental health services in north Wales. I caught them out red handed re serious criminal activity in 1986/87. I later obtained documentary evidence that the Welsh Office employed a crooked lawyer, Andrew Park, who colluded with the mental health services in an attempt to frame me when I refused to shut up about what was going on up there. That paedophile gang operated on Edwards’s watch – the Welsh Office knew damn well that all was not well in north Wales. I won’t clutter up your blog with this, because the details are all available on my own blog, but Edwards raking in millions from dodgy business deals is nothing compared to the suffering, misery and deaths that occurred as a result of the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal.

            •  

              I’ve little doubt that you are correct about the Assembly siting fiasco. It became a serious and unexpected problem when the Swansea Guildhall bid was both achievable and costed. It was by far on paper the best bid and would in all likelihood have come in as close to budget as the public sector can manage. That wasn’t supposed to happen. As you say, it was to displace City Hall in favour of the Docks. When he made the announcement , Davies had the look of a man firmly sat upon. His credibility was shot.

              •  

                There’s no question that when Ron Davies rejected Cardiff City Hall and launched the ‘contest’ it was a charade to eventually give the Assembly to Associated British Ports. What I forgot to mention was that for Cardiff Bay the centrepiece was supposed to be the new opera house designed by the late Zaha Hadid, but when that was rejected in favour of the new stadium then Nick Edwards and his mates had to get a replacement.

                What showed it up to be a charade was that Swansea Guildhall clearly won the ‘contest’ – but was then rejected!

                •  

                  Of course, had the Assembly been sited in City Hall as expected, there would have been no controversy at all- indeed, something approaching cheerful acceptance. Instead the institution was poisoned from inception as far as many were concerned.

                  •  

                    It had to go to the Bay as the ‘consolation prize’ for Nick Edwards and ABP ‘losing’ the opera house. But that could never be stated, which is why it all got so messy and confusing.

      •  

        MTC
        If the MTC for Wales is located in Cardiff, there will be less demand on the Bristol MTCs. Watch how the Tory SpAds spin it.
        Devolution
        Defend the Assembly but ignore who controlled Y Senedd and Westminster? You don’t ask much do you? I’ll wait until I see your petition.
        btw and off subject
        Tonia Antoniazzi gave her maiden speech to the House of Commons yesterday and tabled three questions. Three important questions. Makes a change from the previous MP for Gower. Byron Davies’ last questions were requests for the RAF to donate spare single-engine aircraft for use by enthusiasts wanting to form aerial Neighborhood Watch schemes.
        Byron Davies – Dastardly or Muttley? You decide.

        •  

          Just to correct you, Daily Telegraph. The question Byron Davies asked was “To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to use general aviation airfields and volunteer pilots to enhance emergency supply chains during natural disasters such as floods.” Seems a straight forward sensible question to me.

          When ‘persons fell off a ferry’ searches are done in the Celtic and Irish sea they are often glad to get assistance from such volunteer planes and pilots from Gower, Killowen and Haverfordwest. These volunteers are allocated sections of search pattern.

          The last question Tonia Antoniazzi asked was about the role of ice cream parlours in bringing café culture to Gower and took issue over fair trade coffee beans. Perhaps she’s having flashbacks to her personal and fake ‘foodbank needs’ she used during the election campaign?

          •  

            Thank you, Brychan, very revealing.
            I referred to last questions, one of which was: –
            To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if the Government will assess the potential merits of donating a fleet of 10 single piston-engine, high-wing aircraft to the UK Civil Air Patrol on the condition that they provide support to emergency services on a voluntary basis.
            If I had stated ‘last question’ it would have been referring to asking the Prime Minister for her engagements that day. Byron Davies followed through with a load of guff about ‘strong and stable’.

            Here’s Tonia Antoniazzi as recorded by They Work For You.
            I note ‘Written Answers — Department for International Development: Fairtrade Initiative (29 Jun 2017)
            Tonia Antoniazzi: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what the Government’s policy is on Fairtrade certification.’

            As I said, very revealing.

  6.  

    On devolution- to campaign for abolition would be about as destructive an own-goal as possible. It would play into the hands of all the people you rightly expose!

    Like you, I despise elements of Labour and Plaid too.

    I had so much hope for a cross-party YesCymru movement but I despair as it is looking like the same old hippie, green, feminist Plaid types.

    Why not try something constructive (Im really trying not to sound condescending- and probably failing!)

    Why not try and wrestle some space for people on the right within YesCymru? Set up a fringe event or chapter even.

    As a young(ish), centre-right nationalist, it can be a lonely place in Wales.

    •  

      I’ve been told that YesCymru has already fallen to an internal Left wing coup. Which always happens because the Left can’t co-operate with anyone, they have to take over.

      Believe me, you aren’t as lonely as you think. We just need to get organised. Organised into a group that sets out its stall from the start, and makes it absolutely clear that Lefties can fuck off . . . to avoid any future misunderstandings.

      •  

        Is that remark with tongue in cheek?
        From the YesCymru website homepage: “People were asked to rate their support for independence between zero and ten. Of those polled, 26% favoured independence, another 16% were neither in favour or against and 47% were against. Those most supportive of independence were Labour voters, Plaid Cymru voters and the 18-49 age group, with Conservative and UKIP voters being least supportive.”

        •  

          What do you mean, tongue in cheek?

        •  

          Didn’t like the way they displayed those results. Took a while for them to give over the data behind it and was a 1-10 scale which gave them some wriggle room as to interpretation. I’d go into detail but I’ve had a few… data is around somewhere and you can see what I mean.

          Just needed definite questions with definite answers.

          •  

            Why do you say it took them a while to give over the data behind it? It was done on commission by YouGov, and was published by them own the normal way. I didn’t like the fact the second question referred to the Conservative party, which seems to take a partisan side – seemed to be looking for data with which to attack the Tories, which was a bit odd for a non party political organisation, but the data was published as with all YouGov polls. Yes, the scale and question did not lead to a clear answer on who would vote for independence (and shouldn’t have been used so – it was, to my mind, quite an interesting survey on the attitudes towards independence itself) – but the data was clearly available.

            •  

              Question 2 was: And please now assume that the
              Conservatives win an increased majority in
              the UK general election.
              In this instance, on a scale of 0-10 where 10
              is very strongly in favour and 0 is very
              strongly against, how do you feel about
              Welsh Independence?

      •  

        “I’ve been told that YesCymru has already fallen to an internal Left wing coup.” Could I ask what you have heard? Here out in Swansea we haven’t been party to any coups, or been kept informed about them – can you give any further information about this? It would be really useful if we could find out more about this, then do something about it or pull out. We’ve been very careful about trying to reach out to people not on the left, people who voted out in the EU referendum etc ourselves, but groups aren’t centrally run- that’s a main thing about them. There were certainly a few odd “on the hoof” announcements by someone who was described as a “spokesperson for Yes Cymru” (which came as a bit of a surprise to us, but the decentralised way YesCymru is run means we aren’t always kept fully in the loop) which I was surprised at at the time, and did my little bit to speak out against, but that ‘title’ seemed to disappear almost immediately along with the announcements on the hoof, so I thought that seemed to have been faced down as far as I could see. Any chance of you saying more about what you’ve been told?

        •  

          OK, here’s how it was explained to me. I think the concerns I’ve heard may centre around the ‘on the hoof’ announcements you refer to. These were designed to enlarge the central committee(?) so as to accommodate a group of left-wingers who had decided beforehand to exert their influence.

          Having said that, I’ve spoken with a friend who was at the meeting and he tells me he saw nothing suspicious. But then, if you’re not looking for it, and if you don’t know those involved, and their motives, then you’re not going to recognise it.

          •  

            Thanks.
            I was at the meeting, and was a bit more concerned at the fact that a “fifty/fifty” woman/man balance for the committee was suddenly incorporated at someone’s announcement without any going through the normal channels. It was encouragement rather than a rule, but being announced by someone with no official position and the chair not saying anything against it seemed a bit – odd. I’m not necessarily against the idea, but the way it was introduced was odd. I’m not sure it was enlarged to allow left – wingers in – not because I wouldn’t put it past anyone (I know a few people there in a limited way) but because the prospective committee members were left wing heavy anyway. (Yes, the movement is heavily composed of people on the left and who voted remain, and we have to remain open to and encourage people off all opinions. I think we are doing it round here.) It did really just seem to me that they were not prepared for so many people putting their names forward, and the number of people on the central committee was pretty arbitrary – by far the majority were “without portfolio” positions to begin with, and the idea is to have a committee member from as many branches as possible, which have been growing in number recently. (And I’m quite cynical, and have had my suspicions about the whole thing, as I do about everything. That’s what I saw there though.) Thankfully we’ll get reports back from the committee meetings from one of our own who was voted in, and isn’t a stooge for any party! So thanks for the information, stuff like that is certainly something to watch out for.

            •  

              The 50/50 split was part of the plan, as was the larger than anticipated number of prospective committee members, and it was all arranged beforehand and sprung on the meeting to facilitate the leftist takeover. That’s how it was explained to me.

              •  

                Interesting.
                Myself, when the notification of the election of the committee came through by post to every member – part of a pack of information – I thought they didn’t want too many candidates. Only a couple of days was given for people who had actually seen the notification (it wasn’t hidden, but it wasn’t announced with blaring trumpets) to think of people they wanted to nominate, get in touch with them to see if they wanted to be nominated and then allow them to think about it and get back in touch.
                It seemed very tight – and seemed to give an advantage to anyone in the know before hand – (I assumed “central” and anyone in with them, as it were) and I immediately thought “Hallo! Looks like they have everyone they want and don’t want any more.” People in our branch thought I was being my normally overly cynical self, and that it was probably down to just lack of organisation and suddenly growing on the part of Yes Cymru.
                Anyway, I thought that any stitch up would be down to a lack of candidates, not an excessive number.
                I remember and saw at the time there was a bit of a rush (because of the deadline) of people getting in touch with each other, seeing if they wanted to stand, not standing if someone else was standing and things like that – but the few ‘extra’ candidates I saw getting involved were very far from being part of a left wing coup – but not being part of any clique I cant speak for others, of course. It would be really good to know the details.
                I have been approaching this whole thing being wary of people wanting to control a group, and assuming that the problem would be a clique from central trying to control everyone else, or stamp their vision on everyone else, or use everyone else as fuel for their influence. I hadn’t really thought of a struggle within that itself, as it were. Saying that, I do remember when a YesCymru rally was organised in Cardiff, and someone said to me on Twitter “not a particularly inclusive event” which surprised me. He was unwilling to explain further, other than saying “some more equal than others” when someone (the one who had take over organising the event) said that everyone was welcome. Well, the one organising the event is the one who said about the 50/50 thing in the meeting, and the other party in that conversation is (and perhaps was) someone with an important official position in Yes Cymru, which I didn’t know at the time. I didn’t know what on earth it was all about at the time, and I still don’t know. (And I hasten to add no such accusations were made about the one we organised in Swansea!)
                The problem is, that all this stuff seems to go on behind the scenes, between cliquey people playing games. Without further info, impossible to say. But then “central” haven’t had much (any) input into telling us what to do. We just get on with whatever meetings, events and fund raising we are doing round here ourselves. (We have had help from other individuals in other groups, and are trying to help other nearby groups, but have had minimal contact with the central group, as it were. Which is a good thing, I think.)
                The reason I am willing to work in Yes Cymru is that we can continue to run our group without hindrance or help from such people. I’ll continue to help out here, and I know that our group will be quick and enthusiastic in stopping any attempted side tracking of the group in Swansea to any political party lines or left wing (or whatever wing) hijacks. Food for thought there from what you say though (though I’d really like to know details and names, that’s unlikely to happen.)

    •  

      “I had so much hope for a cross-party YesCymru movement but I despair as it is looking like the same old hippie, green, feminist Plaid types.” Is it? Not round here it’s not.
      “Why not try and wrestle some space for people on the right within YesCymru? Set up a fringe event or chapter even.”
      That was something I considered doing – or rather for people pro leaving Europe round here. But as it happened, people who are pro leave have come along to the groups, and we have a thankfully large range of political opinions, so it will hopefully continue to happen naturally. The groups do tend to be set up on geographical lines – and there’s an argument for saying a Yes Cymru group for right wingers would be missing the point as much as a Yes Cymru group for left-wingers or liberals or remainers. (Not saying no one should. Actually in my view, the more groups the better.)

  7.  

    The course of action must surely be to change Plaid. But I can see now that there would be a civil war. As Jac says, the left cannot cooperate with anyone. Plaid has pretty much been taken over by them.

  8.  

    Labour or “Welsh Labour” will be in power in perpetuity in Wales (or as long as democracy and/or universal suffrage lasts). They are universally popular in the industrial/ex-industrial valleys and the middle classes in the public/3rd sector of the cities.
    It’s probably time to accept failure.

    •  

      I’m not sure that popularity necessarily accounts for Labour’s continuing success. If we look at the 2014 Euro elections and the 2016 Assembly elections we see substantial votes for UKIP in Labour heartlands, and then there was the referendum, which saw ‘Welsh’ Labour urging its supporters to vote Remain while a substantial majority of them voted Leave. So it’s not a rock-solid Labour vote, it can be detached, and has been very recently.

      Certainly there’s a lingering and traditional loyalty, often due to nothing more than, ‘My old man voted Labour . . . ‘. But if you add the fear of the Conservatives – which the Labour Party and its workers are so good at whipping up – and then remember that there’s no party really threatening Labour, certainly not since UKIP folded, then Labour landslides become easier to understand and explain.

      Though you have to wonder at the intelligence of people living in Europe’s equivalent of South American barrios voting time after time for the party that created those barrios. There’s a temptation to think, ‘These morons deserve all they get’.

      But if we look to Scotland, we see a similar picture of post industrial decline in many areas, yet the SNP used that decline to supplant Labour. So the question we come back to time and again is – Why is Plaid Cymru so unattractive to so many Welsh voters?

      •  

        Still seen as Welsh language party by people who don’t take much interest which is most people in the areas Plaid are not making progress.

        •  

          That’s definitely part of the answer, but not the complete answer. Plaid won Merthyr council back in the 80s(?) And won Rhondda and Islwyn in the 1999 Assembly elections.

          •  

            Don’t know much about the 80s politics wise. I’d imagine Unions had more money and better access to working class peoples especially as the Mines were closing. Was just bad luck at that point – Valleys folks found it easier to associate with other working class than a party that represented a language most did not speak or had very little grasp of.

            As for the Assembly… it gave Plaid exposure and brought it more centre stage in Welsh politics. There were more voices… but as people who grew up through the 80s became voting adults… well as a Valleys person I can say hatred of Tories is literally ingrained in my way of thinking. The logic is always the same with people “Vote Labour to keep the Tories out!” and of course that is what Welsh Labour now banks on.

            I could be wrong on that last bit but when I was younger I always thought the party that can keep the Tories out is better than the party that I was unable to relate too. Just the vitriol around the entire situation left an impact when I was a kid i guess.

            •  

              Of course, in 1999 Plaid had its best ever election under its most effective ever leader, Dafydd Wigley . . . who was then removed in a place coup. You have to ask yourself what kind of a party does that. And why. And the true motives of those who organised Wigley’s removal.

      •  

        “There’s a temptation to think, ‘These morons deserve all they get’.”
        I know what you mean. But unfortunately, they’re taking the rest of us down with them.

  9.  

    I had a discussion with a Plaid Cymru candidate during the election about the ‘Ebbw Vale racetrack folly’. I pointed out that proper jobs are needed not dodgy projects where locals flip burgers on the minimum wage. The key to Ebbw Vale is its industrial heritage, access to energy, vast amounts of cheap land for industrial development and an abundant and experienced workforce.

    My alternative vision is based on the Alstom project. This train manufacturer has just introduced the hydrogen powered “Coradia” trains on Buxtehude–Bremervörde–Bremerhaven–Cuxhaven route. The choice of location in Germany was determined by ‘valley type geography’. Production of hydrogen using the amorphous cobalt oxide electrolytic splitting of water method. Requires abundant water, easy access to electricity (Ebbw Vale is situated on the main 400Kv electricity grid) and a 300m ‘rising stack’ mountainside for hydrogen purification and storage. Ebbw Vale also has a railway line for the pioneer application.

    https://www.industryleadersmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/Hydrogen-powered-train-e1478250543993.jpg

    The thing is if a £300m government punt on a racetrack goes belly-up you have a useless white elephant. If a punt such as Hydrail doesn’t work out you have invested in infrastructure that can apply to other uses, the intellectual property of up-skilling a workforce. It’s that is not easily exported to low wage economies. The expertise could be ‘sold’ to China rather than ‘moved’ to China.

    Trouble with ‘politicians’ from the third sector who claim fake international business experience is that they see the economy through coffee shops and poverty subsidies and ‘look down’ on industrial processes. We have the energy, we have the water, we have the geography and we have the workforce. Surely taking the energy from all those wind turbines that have been planted around the heads of the valleys and investing in ground breaking advanced technology, permanent and indiginous. Surely this is ‘sustainable’? But they never listen to the engineers.

    What part of the ‘Future Generations Bill’ will be inserted into the Welsh railway franchise? Answers on a postcard Mr Skates. Mari Arthur, go back to the Cardiff skinny latte. Step forward Nigel Copner.

    •  

      It sounds a great idea, but can you imagine ‘Welsh’ Labour, or the civil servants who pull their strings, agreeing to such a thing?

      I love this: “Trouble with ‘politicians’ from the third sector who claim fake international business experience is that they see the economy through coffee shops and poverty subsidies and ‘look down’ on industrial processes.”

      •  

        Since 1979, and maybe even earlier, Welsh and UK politics have been riddled with jokers who think/thought of industry – manufacturing, extractive,even advanced engineering – as dirty and beneath them. That mindset reached its crazy “peak” when Bliar and his cohorts spawned a vision of the “service economy”, later described by some wag as a place where we all go round cutting each other’s hair and counting each other’s money !
        You may think I’m joking, well think back and name me a politician who advocated the nations of UK should get a grip on modernising their industrial activity. There have been a few who could give you long speeches on defensive funding, bailing out lame ducks and dying dogs, but getting to grips with planning and delivering the transition from backward C20th to competitive class leading C21st was beyond them. You might say “well it’s not the politicians’ job to do that”, and I might agree, instead let business leaders take us forward with selective injections of funding where as Brychan points out there is scope for some real progress. But our politicians have thrived on a diet of interventions, or interference as I prefer to call it, stepping in where they should not and either failing to intervene where needed or applying support in the wrong way i.e failing to grasp the real needs of a given situation.

        Unfortunately, the present regime is closely identified with the burger flipper situation as evidenced by its affection for tourism and “hospitality” as a default position. Cornering the market or at least growing our presence in really innovative engineering/technologies is a touch more demanding on the old grey matter and that is a resource that is alarmingly lacking down the Bay.

        •  

          Well, you got the year right but the wrong PM.
          There’s still manufacturing in the UK but far too much of it is supplying goods that governments want rather than what people want. Hi tech weaponry at ultra high prices with sales to dodgy regimes recouping a small part of the costs put into development and build.
          There are exceptions: Raspberry Pi anyone?

          •  

            Perhaps it is those exceptions that prove my point. Sony, owned by Japanese but managed locally by seriously committed talented guys confronted the passing of CRT TV’s by migrating into other products. Some of those were already part of the global Sony portfolio but needed a centre of excellence for manufacturing. And in steps the Pencoed plant which had plenty more capacity on tap. Rather than curl up and mope they set out to attract 3rd party products offering a world class manufacturing resource where others might struggle to ever get to that standard. Y Cynulliad have helped with investment support where appropriate but the brand name was already big enough so risk didn’t enter the debate. You and I would have sussed that one so no big credit to the dummies down the Bay.

        •  

          Absolutely right dafis:

          That mindset reached its crazy “peak” when Bliar and his cohorts spawned a vision of the “service economy”, later described by some wag as a place where we all go round cutting each other’s hair and counting each other’s money !

          It started with the Reagan/ Thatcher period with a vision of service industries taking over from manufacturing industries(in the UK mostly centralised in London). Enter unregulated banking and associated businesses like the stock exchange and things like insurance companies given freedom to do as they please, without being answerable to anyone. We all know the fall-out by now, but only after Bliar/ Brown picked up the baton from the Thatcher era and consecutive governments have kept the ball rolling.

          The result? Rust Belts in the US and demolished industries in Cymru, the English Midlands, north West and north East England. BIG MESS – millions impoverished and a veneer of elites at the top with all the wealth. Nice one, and all part of the destabilising and deconstruction of the world as we know it, all planned in advance by those who guide these morons from the shadows. Makes you shiver.

        •  

          The mistake is to try entice firms. Sony built wide screen tube TVs in Bridgend soon eclipsed by LCD flat screen technology. Remember Parrot floppy disks, and LG in Newport? The R&D departments of these firms remained elsewhere, so the next innovation of these technologies was elsewhere and the investments became obsolete, and the manufacturing plants closed.

          The key is not to entice firms, but to entice opportunity of process. Then the firms will come if only to prevent the competition exploiting an opportunity. In my example above, you just invent an investment in a process, if Alstom don’t come to Glyn Ebwy, then Hitachi or Siemans-Krupp will. Once on-site you make a no-brainer business climate indigenous. This can be anything from tax breaks for R&D, cheap energy (like AA-Wylfa), or intellectual property licensing to universities in return for brainpower, international access to Universities, work visas.

          The Welsh Government need to innovate now, as part of the Brexit process. Here is my list.

          (a) Establish an Industrial Bank in Merthyr Tydfil with a reciprocal agreement for tariff free financial passporting for commercial investments with Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, or another.
          (b) Establish a trading floor for petrochemicals at Milford Haven for futures exchange with Qatar or Aramco.
          (c) Establish, in my example, a Hydrogen Zone, in the eastern valleys, with parallel investment in infrastructure.
          (d) Legislate against development plans for new housing like the LDP in Cardiff, and replace it with a retro-fitting eco-programme for existing housing stock, like the Malmo initiatives.
          (e) Underwrite capital bonds in stuff like Pesda Hydroelectric and conversely tax land values on stuff like the Bodelewyddan expansion.

          It is important, however, to remove the ‘spiv culture’ from government bodies that was evident with the WDA. This can be prevented by a Welsh parliamentary committee oversight by honest politicians in the Bae (more McEvoy than Kinnockio). Unfortunately, comments like this fall on too many deaf ears within Plaid Cymru as they still think I’m a thick valley boy with coal dust under my fingernails.

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