Huw Lewis

Jun 192014
 
MEWN: ANOTHER THIRD SECTOR EMBARRASSMENT FOR ‘WELSH’ LABOUR

Another Swansea-based ethnic minorities charity is being investigated by police. This one is Mewn, the Minority Ethnic Womens Network. Funded mainly by EU money dished out by the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) this charity is now in liquidation. As it is a charity (No. 1082587) there are a number of documents available on the Charity Commission website. Where we learn, among other things, that the most recent accounts were received on May 6, 95 days late, and that the MEWN secretary is Yvonne Jardine, a Labour councillor in Swansea. UPDATE JUNE 20: Within 24 hours of the original post I learnt that another Labour councillor, Erika Kirchner, resigned as director on May 6. Lucky Erika! Not there when the excrement came into contact with the air-circulatory appliance! Update ends. In fact, there seems to have been a rather curious relationship altogether between the Labour council in Swansea and MEWN.

For example, and I quote now from a document issued by Swansea council: “MEWN have had their Payroll run through the Council for a number of years. The arrangement is that the Council pays their staff through our Payroll system, and MEWN reimburse the Council. Therefore due to MEWN going into administration the Council is now one of the Creditors.” How common is such an arrangement? MEWN is also registered with Companies House, Number 03965481. From a ‘Welsh’ Government letter to AMs we learn that MEWN was gazetted on June 16th, but there is no word on who initiated the liquidation.

Mewn Staff CostsOne entry in the accounts that caught my eye was the piece about staff costs (panel, click to enlarge). You will see that between 2012 and 2013 staff costs increased from £129,479 to £235,570. I suppose this massive increase in workload is attributable to the Swansea race riots and the subsequent pogroms (which went largely unreported outside the city).

UPDATE JUNE 20: Things are becoming a little clearer, though no clearer on what exactly happened to bring about the downfall of MEWN Swansea. What I’ve now learnt is that until last year there was another outfit, based in Cardiff, called Minority Ethnic Womens Network Cymru (Mewn Cymru) which operated “throughout Wales” . . . as did, according to the Charity Commission, the Swansea-based outfit. Were they in competition?Mewn Cardiff

According to the Companies House website (click on panel to enlarge), the Cardiff crew was dissolved on January 14 this year. But it was in reasonable financial health so I assume that what happened was that someone pointed out that having two organisations with the same name, doing the same work, was a pretty obvious example of the kind of duplication for which the Third Sector is rightly condemned, and so some time last year the two merged. This would account for the increase in staff and associated costs of MEWN Swansea. Update ends.

The fate of MEWN will inevitably bring back memories of AWEMA, another Swansea-based, Labour-linked outfit in the business of milking EU funding promoting ethnic minorities. It may be worth starting the long trawl through what I’ve written on AWEMA from this post of November 2012, which mentions MEWN. I should warn you that these posts come from my old Google blog, and may be incomplete due to Google denying me access to transfer them to my new blog.

I earlier mentioned Councillor Yvonne Jardine, a Labour councillor for Morriston. Councillor Jardine is a BME activist of Afro-Caribbean origin, and yet another Labour councillor with no local roots. I have written many times about Swansea’s non-local Labour Party councillors . . . the Scouse leader (and his wife); the students; the English ex-MP Trotskyite and his Austrian wife; the West Brom fan with responsibility for the Swans’ Liberty Stadium, and many others. (Just type ‘Swansea council’ into Search at the top of the sidebar.) There will come a time in the not-too-distant future, when the veterans of the genuinely local Labour Party, Byron Owen, Robert Francis Davies et al, will have retired and Swansea Labour Party will be just a weird and dangerous collection of drifters, chancers, political opportunists, entryists, kids fresh out of college and single-issue nutters – running a city they know nothing about! My city!

I tell you, boys and girls, the Labour Party in Wales is an empty shell waiting to be cracked. It cannot find local candidates in Swansea and other areas; it relies for votes on folk memory and convincing the stupid that everything wrong with Wales is the fault of the Tories; many of its heartland seats almost went to Ukip in the recent Euro elections . . . all we need to crack the shell is a nationalist party more loyal to Wales than some laughable belief in socialist solidarity . . . or environmental agendas . . . or keeping Wales GM free . . . or sucking up to the metropolitan left-liberal-Green ‘consensus’ . . . In other words, a party nothing like Plaid Cymru.

THE OXBRIDGE CHIMERA
Huw Lewis

(No, that is not a statue of Huw Lewis at Oxford or Cambridge. That’s just how it came out in the still from the BBC clip)

I see that another non-issue has been revived by the ‘Welsh’ media and the ‘Welsh’ Labour Party (in many respects, one and the same). This time it’s the national shame of so few Welsh youngsters going to Oxford and Cambridge. Read all about it here in this load of bollocks on the BBC Wales website telling us that Paul Murphy MP and one-time Secretary of State to Wales was appointed our ‘Oxbridge Ambassador’ by the ‘Welsh’ Government. Did you know Wales has an Oxbridge ambassador? Nor me. Sad, isn’t it; really sad.

What we have here is yet another example of what Labour does so well – telling us that ‘Everything’s better in England’. (Which of course it is, with Labour running Wales.) Designed to make us see everything English as superior . . . thereby making anyone wanting to put distance between Wales and England a complete fool. In order to amplify this blatantly political message the ‘Welsh’ Government is prepared to subsidise a brain drain while ignoring 99% of Welsh youngsters. It reminds me of my schooldays, when the headmasters of certain local schools were in competition to see who could get the most pupils to Oxbridge every year, as if the rest of their charges were unimportant. God knows I’m no socialist, but there was something distasteful about that back in the ’60s, and ‘Welsh’ Labour promoting the same exclusivity today is equally distasteful. Shame on you!

Here’s an alternative strategy. Improve the higher education sector in Wales; start promoting quality rather than quantity. Treat our universities as places to educate the future of the nation rather than businesses, making loot from piling high third-rate English students and flogging degrees in Asia to anyone with the requisite folding.

NATHAN GILL MEP

Unless you’ve been asleep for the past few weeks you will be aware that our new Ukip MEP has been making the news. (Scroll down to recent posts.) This publicity has generated much interest and prompted a few people to start their own enquiries, I’m glad to say.

Kigston Care graph

Click to Enlarge

Among these is someone who was as intrigued as I was by Gill’s company, Burgill Ltd, having a planning application approved by Hull city council on May 6, 2009 when the company’s petition for liquidation was heard on November 26 the previous year, and the liquidation registered by Companies House on February 12. He suspects laws may have been broken if a) Hull city council was not informed that Burgill had been liquidated or b) if someone was still trading with a liquidated company.

Another mystery for which I would appreciate clarification is the fire on November 5, 2001 (also reported in the posts below). The fire – described by my informant as “suspicious” – was at the disused (possibly converted) Plane Street Methodist Church off Anlaby Road in west Hull. The Hull Daily Mail account describes Nathan Gill as having responsibility for the building in his capacity as “general manager of Kingston Care, based in Holderness Road, east Hull”.

There was certainly a company called Kingston Care extant at that time, but based in York, not Hull. It was in the business of providing ‘lodgings’, and seems to have been run, from their home, by a middle-aged couple named Morris with no other business involvement. Which is odd, because people with a bent for business usually have more than one company to their name; some fail, some succeed. Kingston Care had liabilities of £211,938 in September 2001 which had reduced to just £4,981.00 by August 30, 2002. An insurance pay-out, perhaps?

There cannot be two companies with the same name trading at any one time. So Nathan Gill was either working for the middle-aged couple in York, or else Kingston Care was his (or his family’s) company and the Morrises were allowing themselves to be used as a front. What’s the story?

Jan 142013
 

We all like to have a go at the Wasting Mule; we ridicule its falling circulation, its Cardiff-centricity, its anti-Welsh position on most issues, but in addition to these and other conscious faults the problems may also be due to the simple and fundamental fact that it’s a poorly produced newspaper. This thought was brought home to me with a few pieces in today’s issue.

I’ll gloss over the fact that Huw Lewis, the Welsh Management’s ‘Housing Minister’, was given the front page and two inside pages for blatant party political propaganda. Or that columnist Caroline Hitt tried to get serious with a whole page of politics . . . well, not really, more, sort of, about politicians. (Though nothing Welsh, of course). Instead I’ll focus on two items that bear out what a bloody awful paper the Mule has become.

  • First piece of evidence for the prosecution is the story on page 14, where one Graham Henry, billed as the ‘Senedd Correspondent’, wondered whether the decline in water-retaining upland peat bogs might not have contributed to the recent flooding. Amazingly, this half-page piece managed to deal with the decline in upland peat bogs – even mentioning the villages north of Aberystwyth so badly affected by flooding last year – without touching on wind turbines, each of which needs a concrete base the size of a football pitch, plus access roads to each turbine, often at the expense of peat bog. Which makes pretending to deal with upland peat bog loss and the resultant flooding, yet without mentioning wind turbines, a bit like discussing the Titanic without mentioning the iceberg!
  • Turning to the sports pages, our old friend Paul Abbandonato came up trumps again. This time in a curious, rambling piece about Real Madrid fans making Swans’ boss Michael Laudrup their third favourite to replace manager Jose Mourinho, when ‘The Special One’ leaves the Bernabeu in the summer. After commending the Dane on the job he’s doing at the Liberty Stadium Abbo went in with studs showing and, “Every week you sense the Swans are going to blow up . . .”. Er, no, I don’t. Nor do thousands of other Swans fans; a host being boosted weekly by neutrals who think the Swans are a fairly good side. As a Cardiff fan, possibly jealous of the Swans’ success, you may be hoping the Swans ‘blow up’, but that’s entirely different. Can’t the Mule find a Swans’ fan, or a neutral, to write about the club, rather than this man who obviously finds it difficult to be positive or fair about the biggest rival to the club he supports? (Unfortunately the “blow up” part of the article does not appear in the online version.)

After all that, the obvious question – and I hear it rise from a thousand devices! – ‘Why buy the bloody rag, then?’ Good question. I regularly ask it of myself. But as I have explained before, if I want my daily fix of Welsh football and rugby, with a dose of Welsh news – however prejudiced and badly written – then there is no alternative. I suspect that most Mule readers are like me: patriotically Welsh, interested in sport, therefore a captive audience. Which might make the Mule unique, in being a ‘paper that knowingly takes a different political line to the one shared by most of its readers.

Which in turn should be a recipe for a publication’s demise. But the Wasting Mule gets away with antagonising its diminishing readership because of the generous payments received from serving as the Welsh Mangement’s in-house publication, not just for ‘news’ but also for public notices and advertisements. Though with the Mule’s falling circulation and ageing readership, how much longer can Carwyn’s gang justify this generosity?