Feb 252013
 

Following on from the previous post I have now written to the Welsh Government asking that the Mynydd y Gwair project be ‘called in’ due to the many irregularities attaching to the February 7th vote and other, linked issues.

For if the Council’s legal officers strongly advised Councillor Ioan Richard (of the affected ward) to absent himself from the debate then there were a number on the other side as obviously predetermined to vote in favour as Councillor Richard was to vote against, so were they given the same advice? And if so, why were they allowed to ignore that advice? All explained in the letter here. A further copy, with a covering letter, has been sent to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales.

Looking at the wider picture, the Mynydd y Gwair case, and what I’ve learnt about the state of the Swansea Labour Party in the past couple of weeks, it fits in with a wider picture of the Labour Party in Wales. It is a party increasingly reliant upon a regular influx of non-Welsh candidates in order to keep up the appearance of strength. What’s interesting, is how it achieves and maintains that influx.

I began this series of posts with a fit of nostalgia by recalling the Labour Party I knew back in Swansea when I was growing up there in the 1950s and 1960s. Few of our local councillors and activists impressed me in a positive way, but at least I knew them. I knew who they were. Or if I didn’t, then the chances were that my father knew them, or worked with one of the Brother’s brothers. Most Labour councillors of that era started their political careers in the trade unions, blue collar trade unions catering for the working classes.

Despite their many shortcomings no one could argue that our local councillors did not know their patch, and did not want the best for Swansea. Looking back to those days, the Labour Party I knew back then was, through the trade unions and other activities, part and parcel of the lives and experiences of those who supported the party. Not so today.

THE ‘PAINTED SHELL’ PARTY

I have chosen this metaphor because the more I think of today’s Labour Party the more I see an empty but cleverly decorated shell where once there had been something less attractively adorned but with more content. A party today still able to rely on the ‘donkey’ vote, but with the problem that ‘donkey’ voters rarely join the party, let alone become candidates. Thus leaving Labour dependent on other avenues for many of its representatives.

One route for that supply, obvious when we consider Swansea, is higher education. With two universities and a few other colleges the higher education sector is a valuable source of council candidates for Labour in Swansea. This applies elsewhere in Wales and may go some way to explaining why the ‘Welsh’ Government is so keen on giving Wales a higher education sector grotesquely and damagingly in excess of what a small country needs.

Then, when we look at another route, the Third Sector, and strip away all the political correctness and touchy-feely nonsense, what we see is naked politics. An overlarge Third Sector such as we suffer in Wales attracts a steady inflow of individuals to take advantage of sinecures, jobs and funding handed out by the party they belong to or support.

Making the Third Sector a system of political patronage, plain and simple. Nothing more than a party in power with money to disburse rewarding its friends and supporters. This kind of mild corruption is found all over the world, but it’s rare to find it practised so blatantly in Protestant Europe. In return for this largesse the Labour Party has a ready supply of candidates.

Which means that since the first round of EU Objective One funding in 2000 the Welsh economy and the welfare of our people have taken a back seat to the Labour Party’s ‘patronage-results-in-candidates’ system. That’s bad enough, but understandable in a selfish kind of way. What’s unforgivable is that both the Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru have supported this corruption . . . and being the unprincipled chancers or deluded ‘socialists’ they are, would do so again, tomorrow, given the opportunity.

Something else that struck me as I trawled through the available information on Swansea’s new intake of Labour councillors was how many of them belonged to trade unions. Or rather, a single trade union, Unite. And how many are members of the Co-operative party. Which provides another stark contrast with the days of my youth.

For I recall horny-handed sons of toil (unless of course they were shop stewards) who belonged to the TGWU or the NUR, and who drank in the Dockers Club. But today’s skinny latte Labour Party, to maintain the pretence of a link with the hoi-polloi, has union representation from a white collar union that has as members people who’ve never done what most people would regard as work! Somehow I can’t see their names being stitched onto the union banner by candlelight prior to the dawn assault on the bastions of capitalist oppression.

This final observation (no, not the candlelight stitching) brings me to the ugly reality of professional politicians; which is where academe, Third Sector and white collar unions inexorably takes us. To the realisation that we now have a class of people – especially within the Labour Party – who got involved in student politics then, on leaving university became an ‘adviser’ to an MP or AM, or worked for a trade union or a grant-guzzling Third Sector body and, then, without venturing into the ‘real world’ inhabited by un-networked mortals like thee and me, go on to ‘represent’ us in our local authority, or else in Cardiff, London or Brussels.

Throw in the loose canon or crank who nevertheless knows how to play the selection process and you can understand how the Labour Party on Swansea City Council is what it is today: a repulsive collection of carpetbaggers, trendies, oddballs and single-issue obsessives exploiting the indigenous ‘donkey’ vote in order to serve constituencies such as the GLBT community.

I leave you all to consider this. Due to the assorted machinations listed above it could be that the Conservative Party is today, for the first time ever, more representative of the Welsh nation than the Labour Party.

 

UPDATE 27.02.2013: More information has come to light that has resulted in me making another complaint to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales. To explain.

Just before Christmas all Swansea’s councillors received a copy of a book, The Wind Farm Scam, by Dr. John Etherington. The book was sent by the organisation leading the resistance to the Mynydd y Gwair wind turbines, SOCME (Save Our Common Mountain Environment).

One councillor, young John Charles Bayliss (who has cropped up here quite often of late!) was mightily unimpressed with this Yuletide gift. So unimpressed that he was moved to tweet. My interpretation of this tweet is as follows. The Bayliss, coalreference to “coal” I take to mean that the book should be burned. “#Scientificallyilliterate” is probably his opinion of those who sent the book, or possibly Dr. Etherington. While “#BuggerOff” can only be his response to those who kindly sent him the book. Such ingratitude! (The picture referred to in the tweet is simply the front cover of the book with the SOCME complimentary slip.)

This tweet for me is proof positive that as early as December 11th (and almost certainly long before) Bayliss was predetermined to vote in favour of wind turbines on Mynydd y Gwair. That being so, John Charles Bayliss is another councillor who should not have voted on February 7th.

Leave a Reply

9 Comments on "Swansea Council, etc., etc., Part the Fourth"

Notify of
avatar
Sort by:   newest | oldest
Elena_Handkaart
Guest

The Wind Farm Scam, by Dr. John Etherington.
With a foreword written by an arts graduate who thinks that tobacco smoke isn’t dangerous, BSE (mad cow disease) is no danger to humans, ‘intelligent design’ is real, uses ‘evidence’ from someone who was convicted under the UK’s Trade Descriptions Act of making false claims, wrote a libellous statement about a senior member of the IPCC (the newspaper issued an apology and is reputed to have paid a 6 figure settlement), and states that white asbestos is as harmless as talcum powder.

Big Gee
Admin

WHAT????
Talk about being mixed up. Do I take it that you think Dr. John Etherington is a crank? Or are you suggesting that he thinks there is scaremongering going on? I’m a bit confused with your post.

As a retired consultant electronics engineer I DO know that:

1. Over 30% dependancy on intermittent energy generation makes the electricity supply grid unstable with wildly fluctuating frequency shifts. This inevitably produces “brown outs” across the grid (FACT). Wait for it to happen.

2. Wind generated energy requires back-up (for calm weather no wind conditions), usually fuelled by so called fossil fuelled power stations. As you can’t shut fossil fuelled power stations off and on they have to remain in situ burning fossil fuel in case of a required emergency back-up.

3. The wind energy sector has successfully lobbied politicians who know next to nothing about technology (most being pimply faced career politicians with no real world experience, solicitors/ barristers, ex-teachers and a few inherited money millionaires) to believe that they MUST support wind turbine developments to cut down on carbon emissions and thereby save the planet, which is a nonsense.

4. The whole exercise is rightly labelled as a scam, and a very successful one. The aim is to make money not save the planet.

5. Joe in the street knows about as much on this subject as my pet dog. So the General Public are scared stiff that their planet will collapse due to the scaremongering of the ignorant, and the propaganda of greedy industrialists.

Where do you fit into this picture?

Before you reply do check out this web-page: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200708/ldselect/ldeconaf/195/195we28.htm

Elena_Handkaart
Guest

Do I accuse Dr. Etherington of anything?

Royal Dutch Shell reviewed the current situation regarding fossil fuel usage, reserves, costs of future extraction etc., and produced a report.
RDS reckoned that one of two scenarios will happen.
1. World governments will realise that current reliance on fossil fuels is unsustainable and they will take steps to use alternative energy production.
Or
2. Shambles.
RDS think that shambles is much more likely.

Where do I fit in?
Well, I was born into a world that is not of my making.
When I became a teenager, I thought that the world was over-populated (approx 3bn).
I have no children.
I do not fly anywhere.
I do not waste energy on pointless travel.
I look at the anti-wind farm groups who think that wind energy is a finance scam and then look at the cost of cleaning up Sellafield (£67.5bn and rising).
I look at the wind farm protestors who complain about turbines spoiling the view of road signs, railway lines, electricity pylons, and then look at oil spillage disasters, poison air, water and soil at the tar sands of Alberta and the shale gas fracking in the USA.
I look at people who buy large 4×4 wank tanks because they feel safer in them when they drive to the newsagent and buy a copy of the Daily Mail.
I’m in a land of mugs.

Big Gee
Admin

Well done you. Now I suggest you take off the blinkers and stop assuming what others like myself think – read the lines not what you think is between them.

Your argument about the state of the world and it’s dependence and over exploitation of non renewable resources is quite accurate. I concur wholeheartedly.

I also am seriously concerned about these matters. HOWEVER, my point is that the wind farm lobby is taking advantage of ignorance with their hidden money making agendas. The companies who are involved in turbines don’t care a hoot about the environment or the consequences of ANY exploitation. They see this turbine erection “flavour of the month” as an opportunity to exploit and make big bucks.

Enron – who was one of the biggest players in this issue (before they got sloppy and tripped up) were out of one corner of their mouth, bleating their concerns about the evils of resource exploitation and resultant CO2 emissions, whilst trying to persuade dumb politicians in the UK that the ONLY way forward was to erect thousands of inefficient and subsidised wind turbines across Wales – real reason? Money making opportunitism. Whilst out of the other corner of their mouth they were actively encouraging the Indian & Chinese governments to expand their fossil fuel programmes. Why? Because they were also supplying those fossil fuel power stations to those countries. get the drift?

Now, whose interests do you think the petro-chemical Royal Dutch Shell giants have at heart? Their bank accounts or your yet unborn great grandchildren? Don’t take too long – it’s not rocket science.

Can I give you some heartfelt and sincere advice? Please wake up and smell the coffee.

There is ample opportunity to create clean renewable and free energy without playing with low tech., infficient and crude wind turbines. The destruction of the beauty of the scenery in wales is a seperate argument – I’m not arguing from that standpoint, I’ll leave it to the tree-huggers and beauty specialists. I’m an electronics engineer and argue purely from a technical point of view (although it sickens me to see our beautiful mountains covered with these monstrous white elephants.

Read up on Nikola Tesla and realise what could be achieved. The late J P Morgan & other similar financiers and the Enrons & Shell companies of this world would prefer to have you believe that you can save the world with child technology – scaled up windmills that children play with on the beach, which are just as useless.

Check out this link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMhAIdqH0Cs
(stick with it – it has a slow introduction). If you watch it through you may have a different viewpoint when it comes to wind turbine electricity generation. You’ll also realise how naive the general public are when it comes to being hood-winked by billionaire financiers and and opportunist industrial sharks – who worship the same god – MONEY.

Elena_Handkaart
Guest

Big Gee
You asked me to state where I fit in. Please tell me where in my response do I assume what you think.
So, are you objecting to capitalism and a de-regulated energy market?
Do you think that the rich want a solution? At least Shell was being realistic in their appraisal.
Do you think that the rich will let the masses burn all of the oil, petrol and kerosene? – They won’t have anything to power their exec jets, power boats, and high-performance cars.
btw: CDOs were created by rocket scientists who went from JPL (Pasadena) to Wall Street and I prefer to wake up and smell the Glengettie.

Big Gee
Admin

You assumed that I oppose wind turbines and in so doing turn a blind eye to the evils of pollution, and exploitation of the environment and furthermore that I support the current status quo of dirty energy generation and unlike you don’t care about the world my grandchildren will inherit.

In fact the exact opposite is the truth, I care deeply about the mismanagement of our resources, the exploitation of our own country and it’s “natives” and the exploitation of all nations globally. I abhor capitalism in its worst greedy and selfish forms – mostly apparent in the western hemisphere. In fact my political hero is and always has been, Fidel Castro (both before and since his revolution). I absolutely hate Labour’s champagne socialists; I deplore the posh boy Tories even more. I’ve fallen out with Plaid Cymru because I think they are spineless & snivelling socialists. The Lib Dems are a trendy mirage of no substance or worth. I’m a patriot, who passionately wants to see our unique nation & culture preserved, and freedom from colonisation & the yoke of the British (English) Empire. I’m also passionate about other people’s rights and freedoms wherever they live. I strongly believe in peace, justice and equality for all peoples. I also like to think I’m a realist.

Now I’m also an engineer who happens to see the wind turbine issue as the epitome of capitalist exploitation and devious underhanded capitalist manipulation and opportunism disguised by lies and misinformation.

Now before you respond, please view the video that the link I posted in my last comment points to, and you’ll see my slant on these things from a technical and optimistic point of view.

The video is very long, but you need to see it through, even though the technical content may bog you down. After viewing it you’ll see why I rant about the pathetic use of toy town windmills. Believe me they are a hoax to drain subsidies and have nothing to do with the saving of the planet.

Elena_Handkaart
Guest

Big Gee:
Show me where I have assumed anything about you.
Also (second attempt) show me where I accuse Dr. Etherington of anything.
If anyone on this website’s current posts is prone to assumptions it’s you. Do you have a Tesla thought camera?
btw: Mawr’s Councillor is called Ioan and some say that the Ward is named after his mouth. – I couldn’t possibly comment as I’ve never met him (Thank goodness).
Have a look at ‘Mynydd y Gwair’ using Google Street View. The siting of wind turbines on that area will improve the vista by a factor of ten.

Big Gee
Admin

I’m not getting drawn into a war of semantics with you. You know full well what you implied.

I’m simply pointing out the ridiculous logic of erecting inefficient turbines using old, crude & outdated technology. Erecting thousands of vista polluting turbines all over the mountains of our country is NOT the answer – it’s a scam. The arguments in favour of their use (on a technical level) are absurd. The primary factor for their use is the money they generate for unscrupulous companies who glean subsidies (from the public’s purse) via daft politicians who want to fulfil empty promises made to employ a percentage of clean renewable energy by certain deadlines. For that purpose turbines tick the boxes for all – period.

Tesla had all the answers to free, clean, renewable and unlimited energy nearly a hundred years ago. His inventions were squashed by big financiers like J. P. Morgan who killed the baby at birth because of his heavy investment in copper mining (for copper cables that would become redundant if Tesla’s inventions were adopted), and his huge fortune that was mostly invested in the coal mining, oil and related industries.

As a famous American politician once said “it’s the economy stupid!” Only in this case it’s MONEY for capitalists in the global company economy.

To pull that off, they need public support. Who better to glean that support from than tree-huggers and technical ignoramuses with a morbid fear of polluting the earth? With the odd land owner and some communities who get star-struck with the opportunity to take advantage of some bribery money thrown their way. It stinks worse than the smoke from the stacks of the fossil burning power plants that will STILL have to be employed to back-up these Mickey Mouse wind-mill scams.

That’s my final comment on the subject in this thread. I repeat “wake up and smell the coffee”.

Elena_Handkaart
Guest

I’d love to see the wireless transmission of electricity across Mynydd y Gwair (from a very safe distance).
Not sure about screwing up the Earth’s magnetic field though.
Bye Bye.

wpDiscuz