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.

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

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Elena_Handkaart
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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… Read more »
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… Read more »
Elena_Handkaart
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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… Read more »
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… Read more »
Elena_Handkaart
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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… Read more »
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… Read more »
Elena_Handkaart
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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… Read more »
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… Read more »
Elena_Handkaart
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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.

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