Jan 262015
 

Despite having spent most of my adult life away from Swansea my dreams still tend to be set there, sometimes they’re about people, and in places, the waking me has all but forgotten. A contributing factor must be that I take a keen interest in my home town, and in recent years I have despaired at the Labour-controlled council, with its – now deposed – leader and his wife, the refugee English and Austrian Trots, and of course the students recruited to the council straight from the grant-processing plant down on the Mumbles Road. (For other posts on this subject just type ‘Swansea Council’ or ‘Swansea Labour Party’ into the Search box atop the sidebar.)

The erstwhile leader, David Phillips, now sulks like Napoleon on St. Helena, cursing those who toppled him (also rueing the massive drop in household income since him and the missus were given the old heave-ho). Let’s hope this gruesome twosome fade from politics and leave Swansea altogether. The Trotskyists, Bob and Uta Clay, are hanging on in there, still dreaming of writing Swansea’s name in the annals of glorious revolution, but as relevant to contemporary politics as Plaid Cymru is to the cause of Welsh independence. But it’s the students I want to discuss here; those bright young things who brought their joie de vivre (or something) to the drab world of Swansea council life.

     *

First, Pearleen Sangha, Californian councillor for the Uplands ward. It was known for almost a year that Cllr. Sangha was not attending council meetings and perhaps not even living in SPearleen Sangha party girlwansea, but that was OK because she was in Cardiff working for the Labour Party. Obviously, rumours circulated and her position became untenable when, towards the end of September last year, even the Labour-supporting Evening Post began to ask awkward questions. (Click here and scroll down.) She seemed to panic, saying she’d told “the leadership” back in July that she was resigning as a councillor, and assuring us that she had not received her councillor’s allowance since then. Which might have been more convincing if her Twitter account in late September didn’t still describe her as a councillor, or if her council e-mail account wasn’t still open; or if she wasn’t still shown on the council’s own website Pearleen Sangha Californiaas a Labour councillor for the Uplands ward.

When she wasn’t in Cardiff she was back home in California, or campaigning for a No vote in the Scottish referendum, or just gadding about having a good time. I recall voicing my concerns about a US citizen of Indian ancestry and English birth having the temerity to go to Scotland – a country of which she knows nothing – and tell the Scots how to vote. But it didn’t end there, because the other tweet I’vSangha tweete used suggests that her sister Chenisha, presumably also from California, was helping in the Ynys Môn Assembly by-election of August 2013. She knows even less about Ynys Môn than her sister does about Scotland! Ignorance and arrogance aside, whatever else she was doing Pearleen Sangha was not serving as a councillor for the Uplands ward, and while she may not have claimed her allowance after July 2014 she went missing a long time before that.

Chenisha SanghaHaving mentioned Chenisha Sangha, it should come as no surprise to learn that she also tweets. Though I have no idea who Salt Water Taffy is, I can only assume that he is a seafaring gent from one of our coastal districts. Nor do I have any idea as to why she should have thought him disgusting, but I’m glad he won her over. Picture the scene: an invitation to board his lugger, a few jars of grog by candlelight, maybe a softly crooned shanty then, before you know it, she realises that his barque is worse than his bight and starts taking an interest in his tackle. I wish them well.

*

More recently, two more of Swansea Labour’s student councillors have departed . . . or at least, announced their departure. First, was Mitchell Theaker, of Cockett ward, who is moving to Dubai where he’ll recruit rich Arab students for Sheffield University. Although he announced his resignation the week before last it doesn’t officially take effect Theaker tweet Dubai, Jan 2015until March 20th – even though he’s already left Swansea to take up his new job in the Gulf! Surely he won’t be claiming anything from Swansea council between the date of leaving and the official resignation date?

Theaker’s card was probably marked last August following the overthrow of his patron, when he unwisely tweeted: “Lots of people devastated to hear David Phillips has stepped down as leader of Swansea Council. A principled and distinguished giant of a man.” Mmm. And although he was councillor for Cockett (which lies between Sketty and Fforestach), he never actually lived in the ward. He was last reported to be living with his boyfriend down the Maritime Quarter.

Another who has announced he’s going but, again, not officially until March 20th, is Nick Bradley, of Townhill ward. He too is off to foreign climes. According to the Evening Post he’s taking up a job in “the US and middle east”. Bradley, a lifelong supporter of West Bromwich Albion, was on the board running Swansea’s Liberty Stadium. The by-elections to replace Theaker and Bradley will both be held on May 7, the day of the UK General Election. The reason for this, according to Bradley, is that it “will save time, money and effort at a point when all focus has to be on the budget and the future of our city”. Which is absolute bollocks.

Uplands by-electionThe reason these by-elections are being held on the same day as the General Election is because Labour’s donkey vote will be out in force and it’s hoped they’ll unthinkingly vote Labour in the council by-elections too. An important consideration when we remember the result in the by-election held in November to replace Pearleen Sangha. (Click to enlarge.) This was won by Independent Peter May, who had formerly held the seat, and lost it, as a Lib Dem. In 2010 he had even been the Lib Dem candidate for Swansea West (which contains the Uplands ward), and came within 504 votes of the winning Labour candidate. With its hold on Swansea West weakening it’s understandable that Labour is taking no chances with its council seats.

*

With Sangha, Bradley and Theaker gone, it seems the only ex-student know-nothing (of Swansea) councillor left is John Charles Bayliss, who also represents the Uplands ward. John Boy must be feeling lonely right now, and perhaps vulnerable. Though one rumour I’ve heard Bayliss Twitter picsuggests that he has chanced his arm by asking to be given the council role vacated by Theaker on a Cabinet Advisory Committee, which if true, suggests that he’s counting on his party being desperate to avoid another Uplands by-election after May 7th.

Or maybe it’s a ‘What the hell have I got to lose?’ gambit due to John Boy planning to follow Theaker and Bradley to the Gulf, because before Christmas he was in Dubai with them. His Twitter bio shows them together (Bradley left). Shouldn’t Gays boycott countries where homosexuality is illegal, or go there to protest? They also drink, quite a lot, something else disapproved of by the bearded ones. These three – and Sangha – also bang on about the environment, they all supported further enriching the Duke of Beaufort with wind turbines on Mynydd y Gwair, but they don’t give a toss about their own carbon footprint when they’re jetting off here and there. There is something very superficial and hypocritical about these people. Their ‘principles’ are for flaunting, not for defending, certainly not if such defence might interfere with their own hedonistic lifestyles.

Thankfully, they’re slowly disappearing from the scene, yet it could have been a lot worse. To become leader of the council after the May 2012 elections David Phillips needed the support of these students and others because he was never sure of Labour’s local stalwarts. Fortunately, his wife, Sybil Crouch, fellow councillor and (inevitably) cabinet member, worked in the university, and so must have been helpful in finding potential candidates. Just think, If Phillips hadn’t been removed when he was he and his missus could have recruited from the university and eventually made his position impregnable.

*

This episode in the history of the Swansea Labour Party is symptomatic of a wider malaise within ‘Welsh’ Labour. Basically, the party can no longer find local recruits of a high enough calibre to be candidates, even at council level. Which results in it falling prey to drifters, chancers, entryists, arrivistes, parachutists, and single-issue obsessives such as Bayliss, for whom Gay issues are more important than anything that could improve the lives of my fellow Jacks. Leading to the Labour vote SI Exifbeing very ‘brittle’ in many parts of Wales, as we saw in the Euro elections last May. (Click here for results.)

Yet around the Bay, the bruvvers in Aberavon have had imposed on them the scion of the House of Kinnock. Contrary to what most people reading this may think, if the people of Port Talbot elect Stephen Kinnock in May it will be a splendid result for Labour, for it will confirm that the ‘donkey’ vote is holding firm. But it should also remind us that the priorities of the Labour Party and the best interests of Wales are diverging fast. Wales is currently lumbered with a dominant party devoid of ideas and reduced to what can only be described as dog in a manger politics.

So where are the alternatives? The Ukip surge of last May will not be replicated in a ‘serious’ election such as the UK General Election this coming May, though unless the party implodes before then (entirely possible) Ukip will gain seats in the 2016 Assembly elections. The Lib Dems struggle on and will do well to hold Brecon and Radnor in May. The Green Party of Englandandwales can be written off in most regards other than its potential to take student and other votes in marginals. Plaid Cymru failed to capitalise on Labour’s weaknesses last May and will fail to do so again this May; it’s one hope may be Ukip taking enough Labour votes to let it sneak in, Llanelli comes to mind. Which leaves the Conservatives, amazingly, the party most likely to gain in the medium term from the unconscionably slow death of ‘Welsh’ Labour.

I’m glad I was able to write this post, glad to be able to report that three of those who had somehow found their way onto Swansea council, but had nothing to contribute to the wellbeing of my belovéd city, have now left. This episode could be interpreted as locals retaking control from a gang of ‘We-know-best’ interlopers, something we should encourage all over Wales. It would be nice to think that this would be the end of the story; but given the zombie-like nature of ‘Welsh’ Labour it’s almost guaranteed to happen again, if not in Swansea, then somewhere else. Maybe it’ll be your local council . . . unless it’s already happening.

UPDATE: I have just received this telling me that Councillor John Boy Bayliss has been reported to the council, again. Among his many blind spots is the belief that any shyster who can spin a line containing the words ‘eco’, ‘green’, ‘organic’ or ‘environmentally friendly’ (or any combination thereof) must be given planning permission. Preferably carte blanche to save the poor fellowBayliss fracking having to go through the tiresome planning procedure all over again. Worse, anyone who expresses contrary views must be barred from voting on the matter . . . yet he and his (thankfully departing) friends can be quite open about their predetermination and still be allowed to vote! The panel is an example of what I’m talking about. I’ve already used the word ‘hypocrite’ to describe these buggers, and I have no hesitation in using it again.

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33 Comments on "Swansea Labour Party 10: And Then There Was One!"

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Cherry Hinton
Guest

Endorse everything you have stated Jac – these students plucked by Il Duce from obscurity and mediocrity were aiming to become career politicians – wiping their feet on Swansea and it’s Residents so they could Walk the Corridors of Power.!!
Dubai is not the Conventional Islamic State we all think it is – The Three Musketeers who recently visited there would have been welcomed and made to feel at home!!

Daley Gleephart
Guest

SWT (Not South Wales Transport): Take Opal Fruits and add salt. Yum!!!

“To clarify, I won’t be taking any further pay from the end of this month, but until my formal resignation I will still do all the work I can to represent my residents.” Mitch Theaker 14 January 2015 South Wales Evening Post.

Cherry Hinton
Guest

Turn a blind eye comes to mind especially when it concerns the higher eschelons!!!

dafis
Guest

I deviate off the theme (again ! )

This load of old oarlocks turned up on line at Llais y Sais this morning.

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/website-organising-welsh-homes-welsh-8521416
Website organising “Welsh homes for Welsh people” petition reported to police – Wales Online

It’s obvious that you have touched somebody’s nerve ! That Wales Eye blogger should change its name to Blind Eye because the natural conclusion to be drawn from his/her stance is that Welsh social housing is open to all comers with locals always at the back of the queue.

Now I suggest that he/she should stand on a street corner in one of our more deprived communities and preach the virtues of that stance to all those people living nearby or in the next village/town in a shitty rented home which goes nowhere near meeting their needs. Is Wales Eye scribbler on a backhander for doing P.R for these defective social housing organisations ?

dafis
Guest

just noticed your exchange with the lard ass from Llais y Sais. Come to expect lazy journalism from that waste of space. He’s living proof that the paper does no research , goes into print/online with minimal regard for facts. Indeed would regard bothering to check what goes on in some of our 3rd sector entities as radical mischief, not part of its agenda.

dafis
Guest

just popped this quip onto some lazy dreg’s column at the online Llais y sais , silly bastard placed Pontypool in mid Wales just cos the company was called ” Mid Wales …….something ! Probably rushing off for his midday fix or fizz !

“when did Pontypool move to mid Wales ? Your headline shows how lazy you are – rushing off for a liquid lunch ?. Just like that other pinhead Shipton who can’t tell facts from frogspawn. National paper of Wales – god help us ! Feed us a tissue of lies and poorly researched, factually slack content and you think we’re happy. Lay off the booze and substances and you might see reality once in a while. Bloody shocking.”

or do you think I went a bit soft on them ?

Welsh Political Observer
Guest
Welsh Political Observer

Ironic that Phil Parry at Wales Eye and Martin Shipton two of many welsh journalists a few short weeks ago who were extremely vocal and very staunch in their support of free speech and defense of Charlie Hebdo’s right to publish anything they wanted are now continuing the campaign to discredit you and shut down your blog.

Your last post asking for solicitor clearly hit a nerve and Phil Parry is trying to deflect attention by running to South Wales police because you had the cheek to fight back. And for all his bluster he still needed Shipton’s help to get the ‘story’ of the welsh housing petitions being referred to the police to a wider audience because the Wales Eye website is behind a pay wall read by one man and his dog, your blog is widely read by folk in all parties and none in contrast.

However and try not to take this personally you’ll always be a target for the likes of Parry and Shipton to generate click bait for the rags they write for, you’re a better investigative journalist than both to start with, but mainly because despite the excellent expose on UKIP in Wales, third sector corruption, the goings on at Welsh housing associations and the shenanigans in Swansea Council’s Labour group that they wouldn’t touch with a barge poll, you have some very hard line political views that are easily used against you by your opponents and those who don’t want change in Wales.

dafis
Guest

On the Serb – I don’t recall him piping up when his “tribe” went berserk in the Balkans claiming turf from all & sundry, imposing their language and culture on anyone & anything that stood in their way, all in the name of providing a “bulwark” against the Islamic invasion of Europe ! Only 20-25 years ago ! Yet here he is, our Mr Protitch, attempting to impose his adopted Anglo Brit culture & values in exactly the same way ( must be in his genes ! ) with active collaboration of some clapped out scribblers at a loose end. Bring it on ! Might even bring him to the attention of some friendly mullahs down town.

Keith Parry
Guest

If the Western Mail was run by people with any spark of how to run a newspaper it would have sales of over half a million copies and be read by almost every one in Wales. It would be our New York Times. Sadly it is run by Trinity Mirror who have not a clue. It is staffed by people who print this tosh planted by Protoplank the arch anti-Welsh biggot.

Jobovitch
Guest

“To become leader of the council after the May 2012 elections David Phillips needed the support of these students and others because he was never sure of Labour’s local stalwarts.” By ‘stalwarts’ do you mean the Councillors who elected him Leader of Swansea Labour before some years before?

Cherry Hinton
Guest

Jac – respectively ask if we can return to the subject heading your blog- we in Swansea are weary of being a kindergarden for student politicians – Especially as they are parachuted in from outside Wales when we have perfectly suitable local people able to fulfill the role- these students would fill our hillsides with Wind Turbines and our fields with solar panels –

Jobovitch
Guest

Trying to get suitable local candidates to stand in Council elections is difficult not because there aren’t people who wish to work for the good of the community but because they cannot get time off from work.

Why do some people write “We in [insert place] are weary of [insert personal gripe]” when they do not have the support of the entire population?

Cherry Hinton
Guest

Why do you use a ‘user name’ when I am quite happy to use my name!!!! I do know how the people in these Wards feel and the majority of them are totally disillusioned and angry and Feel guilty that they voted for candidates who couldn’t even finish their term of office. The subject of my contribution is the important thing not how I expressed it.

Jobovitch
Guest

You’re free to use a pseudonym or a real name. Does using your real name on here make you feel superior to others? Do you feel justified in having a go at someone who uses a cipher?

The people you label as ‘totally disillusioned’, ‘angry’ and ‘guilty’ have got Peter May back but he’s not wearing the Lib Dem label anymore. Cllr May wasted no time in returning to the photo opportunity routine and the Evening Post was happy to reproduce pictures of him saving the Mansion House outer wall from collapse by personally propping it up and taking part in a ‘Rod Hull & Emu’ tribute with his daughter. http://www.southwales-eveningpost.co.uk/Swansea-Council-save-thousands-able-spend-penny/story-25797957-detail/story.html There has been no announcement from the Council about public toilets but, what the heck, that doesn’t stop May jumping on another bandwagon.

I find the hysteria over windmills and solar panels puzzling. Can anyone explain why renewable energy, with a lower in-the-open government subsidy than other sources that get open and hidden subsidies, has some frothing at the mouth? Why do some people (the majority according to agitators) demand that we continue burning fossil fuel?
Watch ‘Bitter Lake’ on iPlayer, see the horrors that oil peddlers inflict on others and note that it’s being done in your name.

Cherry Hinton
Guest

No as a person nearer 80 than 70 I do not feel superior – I have spent a great deal of my life helping people less fortunate than me. Do you feel justified in ‘having a go at me?’ Calling a young girl an Emu shows what a vindictive person you are – Peter May was elected by the people of the Uplands Ward it’s called democracy!!!the student Cllrs did not give value for money to Us as Taxpayers in Swansea.
I wonder how you would feel if a host of massive Wind Turbines were erected in front of your home or Sonar Panels covered fields opposite your house? Especially as their contribution to our Grid is minimal and fails to provide the level required by WAG.
My views differ from yours but good manners and non vindictive criticism are universal.
Obviously by commenting on Jac’s blog makes me an Aunt Sally – constructive criticism is not a problem to me,but biting sarcasm leads me to end my involvement on the site.

Jobovitch
Guest

“Why do some people write “We in [insert place] are weary of [insert personal gripe]” when they do not have the support of the entire population?” – Not a personal attack.
“… taking part in a ‘Rod Hull & Emu’ tribute with his daughter” – Not calling a young girl an emu.
“I wonder how you would feel if a host of massive Wind Turbines were erected in front of your home or Sonar Panels covered fields opposite your house?” – Baffled.

Although the contributions from Sangha, Bradley and Theaker were small, they were contributions and wholly unlike the damage caused by the Lib Dems, including Peter May, during their reign of blunder.

Ashley Wakeling
Guest

Why must Wales Green Party be written off? I have approached Plaid Cymru regarding standing anti-austerity joint tickets for these countless by-elections and they have been VERY unapproachable despite all of the good work Swansea Green Party and Swansea Youth Plaid do together, it’s a desperate shame that they won’t co-opt with us. Other than that, i agree that Welsh labour are in trouble. BIG TIME

Brychan
Guest

The reason why Plaid Cymru should not consider ANY co-operation with the Greens, other than in the European parliament, is because (a) they are not a registered political party in Wales, (b) they have a token leader in Wales who is anti-Semitic and made her money from the landfill of nuclear waste, and (b) are completely opposed to the actions of the Green party in local government like cutting the wages of binmen in Brighton.

AnneGre
Guest

seems it is the other way around as Natalie Bennett Green party leader snubs Plaid Cymru http://gu.com/p/45av5/stw

green dragon
Guest

What the wales green party actually says about wales http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/pippa-bartolotti/labour-green-party_b_6268632.html

And maybe these progressive policies are some of the reasons why the greens are now being predicted to win 3 seats in the senedd in 2016. The leader of the wales green party is certainly not anti semitic but she is – like many people in wales – an unashamed supporter of the brutally oppressed palestinian people. In fact theres a long and proud history of solidarity with the cause of the palestinians in wales.

Brychan’s other wild allegations about nuclear waste are very ironic given the welsh greens are the only party in wales to consistently oppose the proposed wylfa b nuclear reactor…among its reasons for doing so being the matter of the dumping in wales of the high grade radioactive waste wylfa b will generate. Local plaid AM Rhun ap Iorwerth has been an enthusiastic supporter of the proposed new nuclear reactor on ynys mon, and even the plaid group in the sened disappointingly abstained when a motion on wylfa b was placed before the senedd in 2013
http://www.caeraugreens.com/2013/04/ndm5212-dadl-y-ceidwadwyr-cymreig.html

Oh and in brighton the Greens have halted the so called right to buy ie the cheap sale of council houses…..a move which the welsh government is set to follow. While last week they defied the condem coalition at westminister by refusing to set a ‘cut’s budget’.

Anthony Roper
Guest

I think that Jac has done a wonderful job of exposing Theaker and co for what they are…And from what I have read in the past Jac would put just as much effort into exposing any one never mind what political persuasion they are…Although I have never met the lady… I must agree with Cheery Hinton’s comments on hiding behind a none deplume… et surge, et reputabitur (stand up and be counted) I stand by all I say publicly, and if on the rare occasion I am wrong…I will stand corrected, and unreservedly apologise…My name is Anthony Roper from Townhill, Swansea…I support UKIP and I am proud of it…Jac when you get around to exposing the City & County of Swansea for their failure in running inter alia… a not fit for purpose Social Services and Housing Department…when you need evidence of a catalog of inexperience and complacent incompetence throughout departments…give me a ring or send me an email.

Anthony Roper
Townhill.

Jobovitch
Guest

Wow ! A Kipper. http://www.southwales-eveningpost.co.uk/support-Ukip/story-25875029-detail/story.html Love the Farage is Xenomorph post.

Well, Kipper, Swansea Council’s Social Services was a shining light until the Lib Dems gained control and turned in into a basket case. The new Administration, following the defeat of Holley’s Wallies, has turned the department back on track.
Housing see this http://www.southwales-eveningpost.co.uk/Keeping-Swansea-s-demand-council-homes/story-25964226-detail/story.html and others.
Bear in mind that all Councils are having to put up with austerity measures engineered by the Tory / Lib Dem Alliance for the benefit of their Party donors and future employers.

As for you, A Roper, your allegiance to a leader who’s there to polish his over-inflated ego and make piles of dosh for the rich, in accordance with neo-capitalist ideology of the Tea Party, makes you one of the most ill-informed berks in Townhill.

Swanzeeboyo
Guest

JonBoy’s Twitter has this to say today:-

Swansea Council @SwanseaCouncil ·
Budget proposals going to Cabinet for approval on Feb 10

Surely he means “discussion and debate” not “approval”. If it is just “approval” then why should everyone and anyone bother to turn up. Just print out the papers and let the Chief Executive or the Leader sign them out now. He is the same in his pre-determination of various planning applications. He is walking a dodgy path there, but then does the Welsh Labour Party believe in democracy?

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