May 162015
 

DAVIES THE DENIER

Reading the Daily Post a couple of days ago I saw that the new MP for Vale of Clwyd, Dr James Davies, campaigned hard on “the decline of Rhyl” and “the NHS”. Which got me wondering . . . how could an anti-devolution Tory possibly benefit from concentrating on these two issues?

The decline of Rhyl is attributable to the growth in cheap, overseas package holidays leading to ‘bucket and spade’ resorts like Rhyl losing their popularity. But this still need not have resulted in the town being surrendered to slum landlords and cross-border agencies to use as a dumping ground for criminals, drug addicts and other undesirables. Such people obviously put a greater strain on local health resources than those who enjoy a less ‘hectic’ lifestyle.DrJamesDavies

Another reason that the health service is under pressure is because large numbers of elderly people move – or are moved by relatives – to Wales. In the area where I live, the coastal stretch between Barmouth and Aberdyfi (including both communities), the 2011 census told us that two-thirds of the population in the 65+ age bracket (which makes up 30.1% of the total population locally) was born in England. (Click here for details.)

A third component becoming ever more apparent is the thousands of people with ‘learning difficulties’ or permanent medical conditions that are being relocated to Wales. This can be attributed to various charities, social housing providers and private landlords lured by the lucre paid by English local authorities and others to take on these vulnerable people, with the burden obviously falling on local services such as health that see none of that money. (This recent piece from Private Eye provides an insight into how councils “package up their vulnerable elderly or disabled people . . . and put them up for online tender”, which can involve moving to another area.)

Given that all these issues put strain on the Welsh NHS, especially in the Vale of Clwyd constituency, and given that all these issues are attributable to our colonial relationship with England, how could an anti-devolution Tory capitalise on them? Who or what did he blame for the problems? The EU? Little green men?

Open your mind to this unbeatable example of surrealist irony: Rhyl drug dealers and the English wrinklies of Prestatyn storming the polling booths to vote for James Davies because they’re angry – bloody angry! – at the decline of Rhyl and the state of the NHS. Only in Wales!

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STAYING IN RHYL

The title to this section does not mean that I’m suggesting people actually stay inKevin John Norman the town (good God!) it just means that this piece is about Rhyl and, in a sense, carries on from the previous section.

I have decided to bow to public demand and compile a new photo collection for my sidebar, to be entitled ‘Residents of Rhyl’. Here’s a specimen who’s been in the news recently for “pleasuring himself” in a public place and will most definitely figure in the new album. (And to think that only last year he was a contender for the ‘Best Dressed Man in Rhyl’ crown.)

For younger readers, ‘pleasuring oneself’ is a rather archaic way of referring to masturbation. Though some sentimentalists may find it rather nice to see these terms of yesteryear being revived.

In his defence, he may have misunderstood the sign for the ‘Pleasure Beach’, perhaps thinking that the ‘Self-‘ bit had fallen off in the wind. And even if it hadn’t, Rhyl and Pleasure in the same sentence would be enough to confuse anyone.

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A PLAGUE OF DAVIESES

Observant readers will have noticed that the three new Tory MPs elected last week are all named Davies. In addition to Jimbo (above) there was Byron in Gower and Chris in Brecon & Radnor. There was already David Davies as MP for Monmouth, and of course there’s Glyn Davies in Montgomeryshire. Which means that five out of the eleven Tory MPs elected in 2015 are named Davies. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the leader of the Conservatives in the Assembly is Andrew R T Davies! And who’s the Deputy Leader – Paul Davies!!

This is not good. I mean, having so many Tory politicians in Wales is bad for a start, but that so many of the buggers are called Davies takes us into the scary realm of premonition and plagues. For I seem to recall that there’s an obscure Nostradamus quatrain that predicts all sorts of disasters befalling the land when this happens. I’ll try to dig it out for you.

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STAYING WITH BUGGERS

The late and unlamented George Thomas, Lord Tonypandy, is still making the news. The most recent allegation to surface is that he inappropriately touched a young man on a London to Aberystwyth train many years ago. Well, you’ve got to do something to while away the time, train journeys can be sooo boring.

OK, sorry, but it’s so easy to take the piss, a closet homosexual who gave the game away with his love of the leggings, wigs and all the other nonsense he got to wear as Speaker of the House of Commons and a peer. (Not for nothing was he known as ‘The Danny La Rue of the Rhondda’.) Then there was his truly odious fawning over young Charles Saxe-Coburg-GothaGeorge Thomas during the Investiture period. (Though I bet they never left him alone with the boy!) What’s not so funny is that this bastard was a very influential politician, who had powerful friends and allies, both within Wales and beyond.

When considering cases like Thomas we must remember that all MPs are investigated by the intelligence services. Ostensibly done as security checks this process also uncovers an individual’s likes and dislikes, peccadilloes and weaknesses. Once a weakness is identified, and the embarrassing evidence is gathered, then whoever holds that information has great power over the politician concerned. I think we can be certain that George Thomas’ liking for boys and young men would have come to the attention of such people very early in his political career.

But you mustn’t think that this is a one-sided arrangement, for the ‘victim’ in this situation does not have to worry about being publicly exposed as long as he plays ball. Also, any attempts at blackmailing him will be dealt with. Documents and files can be ‘lost’. People like George Thomas are then free to carry on abusing.

Such arrangements help explain how judges, high-ranking military men, top civil servants, MPs and others could meet regularly for orgies at which young boys were abused and even killed. It was because those involved almost certainly enjoyed the protection of a certain agency and in return did what they were told when those running this agency wanted the favour returned. A practice perhaps developed in Northern Ireland, at the infamous Kincora Boys Home, used for decades as a honey trap.

The United Kingdom is a sick, corrupt and increasingly unequal state. The sooner we get out of it the better.

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REVOLVING DOORS

I am indebted to ‘Stan’ of the Neath Ferret site for this latest news from within the Labour Party on the east side of Swansea Bay. Councillor Ms Cari Morgans, who represents the Tonna ward on Neath Port Talbot council, was the office manager for outgoing Neath MP Peter Hain. She is now office manager for Stephen Kinnock, the newly-elected MP for Aberavon. Seeing as we are dealing here with the Labour Party this switch in masters could only have been effected after a full and open selection process . . . a very speedy selection process indeed.

UPDATE 17.05.2015: I am now informed that jobs for new MPs’ staff should be advertised. (Read this.) This is unlikely to have been done in this case because Ms Morgans registered her interest (as Kinnock’s office manager) with Neath Port Talbot council very soon after Kinnock was elected. Which would have allowed no time for advertising the post and selecting the successful candidate after May 7th. Which suggests that any ‘selection process’ was probably completed before Stephen Kinnock was elected MP for Aberavon, or else there was no advertisement and no selection process at all. Which would almost certainly be wrong, if not illegal.

An MP’s office manager, working outside of London, is paid in the range £26,000 – £38,121. But then, I suppose it’s fair in a way that Ms Morgans gets this salary, because I doubt if Port Talbot will see any more of Stephen Kinnock than the Islwyn constituency saw of his father.

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THE INLAND RHYL?

When I first visited Blaenau Ffestiniog back in the 1960s it was quite unnerving. ‘This can’t be north Wales’, I told myself, ‘with its rows of terraced houses and enormous slag heaps this place belongs in the Valleys’. It was my introduction to the slate-quarrying region of the north west, or what, even by that time, had become the former slate-quarrying region.

The slate industry has all but gone, Blaenau’s population has halved, while successive governments in London and Cardiff have done nothing to halt the decline. One result of that decline is thaCN Brennant Blaenau Ffestiniog now has some of the cheapest, if not the cheapest housing to found in Wales outside of the Heads of the Valleys. Cheap property – as in Rhyl – attracts buyers who have no intention of living in Blaenau themselves but are adept at finding tenants of the kind that local authorities and other agencies over the border will pay a lot of money to get rid of. ‘Out of sight, out of mind . . . and somebody else’s problem’. (So look out Heads of the Valleys!)

This week’s Cambrian News (no, I didn’t buy it) carried the latest story about a thug who’s been dumped in Blaenau Ffestiniog. Read it for yourself by clicking to enlarge the image on the right. In addition to what the report tells us Carl Martin Brennan has stabbed a local boy with a bottle, mugged an alcoholic (though not charged), and beat up his girlfriend. Not a welcome addition to any community, so how did he get to Blaenau Ffestiniog, who ‘encouraged’ him to move from Birmingham?

Last year two local men were jailed for over three years each following a vigilante attack on Brennan. Commenting after their trial Detective Sergeant Gerwyn Thomas of North Wales Police said: “I welcome the sentence and hope it will provide the victim and local community with reassurance that North Wales Police will relentlessly pursue those individuals who commit offences of this nature which fortunately are not common in the area”. Which is not how people in Blaenau see it. They want protection against Brennan, not against local lads who were doing the police’s job in protecting them.

In fact, the people of the town are becoming increasingly angry at the charmed life Brennan leads, they wonder who’s protecting him, and how he manages to stay out of prison. They also wonder what sort of system we live under when two young fathers from their community are languishing in prison while Brennan is still strutting the streets of Blaenau, bullying and intimidating people.

Before this saga causes any more misery maybe North Wales Police should start doing its job by looking out for the people it’s supposed to protect rather than baby-sitting a dangerous and violent criminal, for reasons that can only be guessed at. And maybe it’s also time for Cyngor Gwynedd to stop Blaenau turning into a housing benefit sink-hole full of relocated misfits and criminals. Perhaps the newly-elected MP might have something to say on the matter. I certainly don’t pay my council tax to keep the likes of Carl Martin Brennan in a town where no one wants him.

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‘DON’T AFFECT US ROUND ‘ERE’

What I’ve written about Rhyl and Blaenau Ffestiniog is of course not confined to these towns, the problem of undesirables being shunted from England can be found in Colwyn Bay, Barmouth, Holyhead, Fishguard and countless other communities that have seen better days. As for the influx of elderly people this tends to take place in the more agreeable towns and the countryside, though those that move directly into retirement homes can be found anywhere.

People living elsewhere in Wales, particularly city dwellers, might take the view that this doesn’t affect them a) because they’ve already got enough of their own criminals and b) few people retire to Swansea or Cardiff. Wrong. The NHS could almost certainly be providing a better service in Cardiff, Swansea and other major centres if so much of Wales’ NHS funding was not being diverted to hospitals and services in the west, the centre and the north to treat people, many of whom weren’t even living in Wales 10 years ago. It all comes out of one pot.

Another drain on Welsh funding is housing benefit, that bonus for greedy and unscrupulous private landlords. A few figures extracted from this table I used in my recent post To Those That Have Shall Be Given – Housing Benefit! will explain the problem. Powys has a population (mid-year est. 2013) of 132,705, Conwy’s population is 115,835. Yet last year Powys paid out just £8.66m to private landlords in housing benefit while Conwy coughed up £18.11m. Why the difference? Because Conwy contains Llandudno and other coastal towns. Even starker is the difference between Monmouthshire (92,100 & £6.16m) and Denbighshire (94,510 & £17.65m). What’s the difference here? Rhyl is in Denbighshire. But the whole of Wales is paying for Rhyl and similar towns because the ‘Welsh’ Government has to give more in grants to areas being inundated with undesirables from England and this means less for other councils.

On top of which, there is the endless funding poured into Rhyl and other towns for ‘regeneration’ schemes. And those who’ve been brought over the border and dumped in some slum in Holyhead or Denbigh can then jump the housing queue ahead of locals! Which means that Registered Social Landlords such as housing associations are, in many areas, building far more new properties than the local population needs. And who pays for this? YOU DO, no matter where you might be living in Wales. Because of course the ‘Welsh’ Government gives out Social Housing Grant. In the six years 2008 to 2013 the figure was £692m.

This is colonialism of the crudest and most offensive kind. A large country dumps its criminals, its elderly and other dependent groups on a small neighbour – and then gets the neighbour to pay for all this out its own stretched resources! The dumped-on neighbour is too afraid to speak out for fear of being called ‘unwelcoming’, or ‘racist’. (Though it must be said that there are many who welcome this cross-border trafficking as an anglicising strategy; in addition, there are many doing well out of it, not least ‘Welsh’ Labour’s client class in the Third Sector.)

So while there may be a temptation to dismiss what’s being done to Rhyl, Blaenau Ffestiniog and other places as someone else’s problem, it’s not. It’s YOUR problem because it’s happening in YOUR country and one way or another YOU are paying for it, no matter where in Wales you live.

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‘HA, HA, HA, THEY DON’T HAVE THESE IN AUCHTERMUCHTY!’

To end on a lighter note . . . or is it? Judge for yourselves. We all know that the BBC is now thoroughly discredited as an impartial conveyor of news. Its bias was plain for all to see in the Scottish referendum campaign last summer, not so much party political as thoroughly English and Unionist. Well, it was at it again this week, the culprit being Newsnight, and again, it was having a go at the SNP . . . but hoping to get away with it due to its ‘humorous’ approach.

Newsnight on Monday May 11th ran a piece about the new intake of MPs, but then concentrated entirely on the SNP contingent, and had a laugh showing them struggling with complicated things like revolving doors and ticket machines on the Tube. See it here for yourself on BBC iPlayer and start at 43:20. This strikes me as the twenty-first century equivalent of old Punch cartoons showing African chiefs with bones through their noses visiting the imperial capital and being overawed by English superiority and white man’s magic.

Newsnight SNP

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56 Comments on "Odds and Sods (emphasis on the latter)"

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Llewelyn
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The problems you stated about Rhyl is also occurring in Caerphilly.
When in the hell are the Welsh public are going to wake up?

John Tyler
Guest

I live in Caerphilly Llewelyn and don’t recognise Jack’s colourful description of Rhyl.

Red Flag
Guest

John, I live in Holyhead and have family in Prestatyn and have seen the decline of Rhyl over the years and Jac’s description of it is very real. It’s crawling with resettled junkies from Merseyside and Greater Manchester, moved there by third sector organisations as part of their ‘re-hab’ and then literally dumped.

Welsh not British (@welshnotbritish)
Guest

I think he means that he doesn’t recognise Jac’s description of Rhyl as also applying to Caerphilly.

John Tyler
Guest

Hi Red Flag, I was trying to say I don’t recognise the description of Rhyl in Caerphilly, I would be interested if Llewelyn could expand his comment !

Llewellyn
Guest

I meant “are” occurring and not “is” occuring!

Daley Gleephart
Guest

A PLAGUE OF DAVIESES
Look what happened in Rock Ridge when the Johnsons took over.
REVOLVING DOORS
MPs choose and employ their own staff. See: http://parliamentarystandards.org.uk/IPSAMPs/Pages/Employing-Staff.aspx
THE INLAND RHYL?
You approve of vigilantes? Going by the report that you linked, it’s hardly surprising that the two were jailed.

Stan
Guest
Plod and the justice system have always taken a grim view of anyone taking the law into their own hands. A cynic (me?) might say this is because it sometimes shows the law for what it is – an ass – that it can so miserably fail to protect its innocent citizens from the behaviour of people who should really be locked up for a long spell. In the case… Read more »
Brychan
Guest
Stan, as you know, election agents of political parties are provided with the un-edited version of the electoral register. This includes a list of all those names and addresses registered to vote in every ward. This does not include (a) those who have not registered by intent, previously a criminal offence, but now a civil misdemeanour actionable by the local authority, these are usually bad-debtors, (b) those who have not… Read more »
KIDCARDIFF
Guest
Regarding George Thomas, the former Labour MP (Cardiff Central, and later Cardiff West), Secretary of State for Wales (1968-1970), Speaker of the Commons (1976-83), who was given a peerage in 1983 as Viscount Tonypandy. More information has emerged about Thomas’s sexual abuse of boys in recent months. He is known to have invited young teenage boys in Cardiff to his flat in London. One particular incident has come to light… Read more »
Stan
Guest
I should have spotted this sooner so apologies. I’ve been looking at Jac’s link to Rhyl’s best dressed man, one Kevin John Norman. I see there is a criminal behaviour order imposed on him, including “preventing him from masturbating or exposing his genitals in a public place”. My understanding, and I’m not a lawyer or legally trained, is that these criminal behaviour orders replaced the old ASBOs. As such, surely… Read more »
Brychan
Guest
Regarding your Kevin John Norman comments, it depends on the time and place. Anyone who goes night fishing at secluded spots at Llwyn-Onn or Upper Nedd-Fechan will be only too aware of men with long poles who have travelled up the valley and are very much exposing themselves by seeking pleasure from some old trout of the non-fish variety. It is anti-social depending on your moral compass, but it only… Read more »
Stan
Guest

I am glad to say that night fishing has never been a hobby of mine so I have thankfully avoided these distressing sights. Thank you for enlightening me. I suppose your comments explain why you don’t see people hauled before the magistrates for that increasingly popular (so I am told) activity of dogging – whatever that is.

Daley Gleephart
Guest

@Jac 16/05/2015 at 22:14
There is no space or means to reply directly below your response to my comment of 16/05/2015 at 22:02.
Note that I do not think that Carl Brennan is of unblemished character.
Note also that I regard Robert Williams and Craig Jones as thugs who deserve long prison sentences.

Daley Gleephart
Guest

REVOLVING DOORS
Your update about MPs employing staff without advertising the ‘vacancy’. MPs choose their staff and they employ their staff. I do not think that there is a legal obligation on the part of MPs to advertise for any of the jobs that political assistants undertake. There are some vacancies advertised here: http://www.w4mpjobs.org/SearchJobs.aspx?search=alljobs

Stan
Guest
OK, can accept that. But unfortunately despite IPSA changing various MP rules substantially since 2010, MPs can still drive a coach and horses through the rules as they did before 2010 when IPSA was set up. You only have to look at the number of retiring MPs such as Peter Hain that suddenly had computer and iphone failures in September 2014 – just weeks before the IPSA deadline on renewing… Read more »
Daley Gleephart
Guest
Thanks Stan. MPs from all political parties are very wary about who they employ and tend to offer work to party members, with an excellent track record, in preference to alternative methods of filling roles. There are exceptions. If there was an obligation to openly advertise and interview, the Work 4 MP website (see my previous comment) would be chock a block with new vacancies at the moment. Grant Shapps… Read more »
Albert Hill
Guest

Wonder if your persistent Telegraph reader was hoping you’d make a slip so that he/she/it could report you to the appropriate authorities?

Heaven knows what will happen if Mrs von May ever gets her fascist nonsense into law, will we even be able to discuss Wales without Plod feeling patriotic collars?

Cleddyf Arian
Guest
Huw Edwards mentions the Elephant in the Room… http://www.bbc.co.uk/cymrufyw/32781015 “Beirniadwyd Carwyn Jones a Rhodri Morgan (gan ambell Lafurwr o’r Cymoedd) am iddynt awgrymu bod angen delwedd a brand sy’n fwy ‘Cymreig’ ar Lafur Cymru. Sail y feirniadaeth yw bod etholwyr Cymru yn fwyfwy canolbleidiol (centrist) a bod Llafur wedi camddehongli dyheadau Cymry heddiw. Delwedd llai Cymreig yw’r ateb, yn eu tyb nhw, gan bod dyheadau etholwyr Cymru yn debyg iawn… Read more »
Carnabwth
Guest

He seems to be suggesting that it should be discussed for (to translate his words), ‘the figures are absolutely staggering!’

Carnabwth
Guest
Here is my rough translatation: “Carwyn Jones and Rhodri Morgan have been criticized (by some Valleys Labourites) for suggesting that Welsh Labour need an image and a brand which is more Welsh. The basis of the criticism is that voters in Wales are becoming increasingly centrist and that Labour has mis-interpreted present day Welsh aspirations. A less Welsh image is the answer according to these critics, since the aspirations of… Read more »
Carnabwth
Guest

Oh hear…..apparently Huw Edwards has a piece in the Golwg magazine where he himself says that Labour in Wales need to be less Welsh in order to appeal to the 20% of settlers.

Anonymous
Guest

Get rid of all those unwanted trouble makers foisted on a unsuspecting North Wales population. Send em to somewhere in England where they belong, dont contaminate our society with these

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