South Wales Evening Post

Sep 212013
 

As you know, I’ve been home in Swansea for a few days. I was actually staying in Llanelli but the new roads make getting to Swansea a doddle. The problems start once you get to Fforestfach, and all the out-of-town stores. From there on, through Fforestfach Cross, on to Sketty Cross, past Singleton Hospital and on to Mumbles seems to be one long traffic jam. In addition, the major east-west route down town is undergoing ‘work’ that’s causing a lot of disruption and anger. Among those mightily pissed off is former Wales rugby skipper Colin Charvis.

Add to that the near permanent road works on the Jersey Marine (the main artery from the M4 into the city centre from the east), the shambles at the river bridges, and the extra pressure on that stretch of road from the new university campus, the SA1 development and other projects filling the gap between Swansea and Neath Port Talbot, and you can understand why some people start twitching nervously when they read ‘Swansea city council’ and ‘major development’ in the same paragraph. In short, with it’s dying city centre, traffic chaos, drug problem, reliance on the public sector for jobs, Swansea is a shambles, and a terrible indictment of Benito Phillips, Il Duce Abertawesuccessive councils.

But Thursday’s issue of the Evening Post carried what I assume is a regular column by the present leader of the council, David Phillips, a scouser who drifted into Swansea via Pembrokeshire a few years ago. It can be found here, and merits comment. The article is accompanied by a photograph of Phillips at the Swans’ new training facilities, reminding us of the old political rule – if you’ve run out of ideas get yourself photographed with children, animals, a worthy cause, or else try to associate yourself with some local success story that in reality has nothing to do with you. Second, according to Phillips the biggPhillips commentsest problem in Swansea is litter. Reminding us of yet another old political rule: give yourself some breathing space by finding an issue – like litter – that nobody will argue against. A final observation: at the time of checking this story on the Evening Post website – some 48 hours after it was posted – there had been not a single comment or recommendation. Which says a lot about the political vision and spellbinding prose of David Phillips.

Elsewhere in Thursday’s Post I stumbled across another familiar face, Councillor Mitchell Theaker, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People. (Click to enlarge.) Theaker is one of the ex-students from God knows where that help keep the Labour Party in power in Swansea. The report begins: “TheakerYoungsters are urging Swansea Council to support plans to make the city the UK capital of children’s rights”. It goes on to quote a 10-year-old saying, “We need rights to help us learn, get along and have a safer life. It will make Swansea a better place for children”. Have you ever read such bollocks! The Labour Party appoints a gimmicky cabinet post for children and young people that can only be justified by indoctrinating and exploiting kids, giving them silly titles and putting words in their mouths they have no way of understanding. Which reminds us of another important political lesson. If you hear the waters of Shit Creek lapping in the near distance, and find yourself bereft of any mode of propulsion, then gimmicks can be a useful smokescreen . . . especially if they involve children, etc., etc.

Swansea at present is suffering under a Labour administration made up of people from somewhere else who do not know Swansea, and don’t really care. All that seems to matter is that Labour is in power, stopping somebody else being in power – it’s just a political game with little or no relevance to the people of Swansea. This could be proven in the coming months if, as some predict, Phillips’ position is threatened by the recently elected former MP and public school Trotskyite, Bob Clay, another Englishman who knows sod all about Swansea but, like all the others, wants to be on the council to play silly games.

As if that wasn’t enough coverage of the local Labour Party, the Post had yet more, in the dispiriting form of Mike Hedges, former council leader and now AM for Swansea East. (Click to enlarge.) Unusually for today’s Swansea Labour Party, Hedges is actually from the city, Plasmarl, to be exact. I say that because earlier this year in an exchaHedgesnge on Twitter he suggested that I didn’t like him because he was from Plasmarl. I had to inform him that my late father, Idwal Jones, was born and bred in Plasmarl (played for Cwm Albion). The reason I don’t like Hedges is because he’s a Labour machine man who failed Swansea as council leader and is now failing her as an AM; a man with the charisma of a week-old lettuce, a hang-dog expression and a George Thomas voice, who puts loyalty to his gang of carpetbaggers above loyalty to his city and his country. But I digress.

Jonathan-RobertsHedges’ half-page of wit and wisdom told us that in his considered opinion Swansea does not need a mayor. Really! Are we expected to believe that Swansea would be a worse place if run by an individual with ability, vision and energy; someone who knows and cares about the city; someone unwilling to play silly political games? It seems Hedges wants us believe that Swansea should aspire to nothing better than the incompetence of the shower we now see in County Hall. Proving what I said just now; his loyalty is to The Labour Party, not to Swansea, not to Wales.

Clearly Swansea Labour Party needs all the help it can get. For it would struggle to organise an evening of merriment in a building for the manufacture of beer. What passes for Labour’s ‘strategy’ to improve the city can be summed up thus: employ gimmicks and distractions; hope that the success of the Swans and the Ospreys results – somehow, anyhow! – in spin-off investment (then claim the credit); pray for good weather to bring tourists to Mumbles and Gower. With such a brilliant, proactive strategy the bruvvers must have been delighted when Jonathan Roberts took over as editor of the Beans on Toast, to give them the kind of uncritical support the Communist Party of the Soviet Union used to enjoy from Pravda. Something I predicted back in April, but I take no pleasure in being proved right.

Jul 302013
 

A lot has been written about Carmarthenshire council in recent years. Little of it complimentary. I have more than once referred to the Labour-Independent coalition running the council as a ‘Nazi-Soviet pact’. Though in fairness to both, the council is actually controlled and run by one of its employees, the chief executive, Mark James. This despot has a penchant for litigation, so I’d better be careful what I say . . .

Another regular complaint has been over the way the council has been cosying up to an evangelical church – the Towy Community Church – lavishing upon this crew funding, property and, most worryingly of all, responsibility for delivering certain services . . . to the vulnerable, the desperate . . . that’s right! – those most likely to succumb to proselytising. Just the way Green Pastures and so many other religious ‘charities’ operate. The Towy Community Church also keeps bad company, being linked with Mercy Ministries, who believe in demonic possession and other ‘evils’ that would have been familiar to the Inquisition or the citizens of Salem, Massachusetts. One reason suggested for this odd linkage is the fact that Mark James himself belongs to yet another happy clappy, hunt-the-demons assembly, Living Word Church, and he often pops in for services at the TCC.

Living Word

What is it with the Labour Party, the secular and ‘progressive’ party that I grew up with, the Labour Party that promised us the sunlit uplands of rationality and progress, that it now associates with ranters wanting to drag us back to the Middle Ages? Anyway, moving on to the reason for this post.

Discover Carmarthenshire, the tourism arm of the council, recently put out a “video” (video!) advertising Llanelli to potential visitors. Then, “As part of the department’s research, the draft was sent to a family member of one of the members of staff, who works as a civil servant in Sheffield. She shared it with 10 of her colleagues”, reported the Evening Post today. The response from the Yorkshire audience was that the young boy doing the voiceover was “too Welsh”. Oh dear! So Discover Carmarthenshire found someone else, less Welsh, to do the voiceover.

Before considering the issues involved here it might be worth stating that as the story circulated on social media and in other ways the Evening Post seemed to hurriedly re-write it, with the council adding that the reason the boy was difficult to understand was because he had lost his front teeth . . . in which case, why use him in the first place? As the day went on the Evening Post also slipped in a quote from Plaid Cymru. At 3pm the Evening Post online Jonathan-Robertsversion stopped taking comments. At this point it might be worth reminding ourselves that the editor of the Evening Post is now Jonathan Roberts, former editor of what became Carmarthenshire Council’s out-house rag, the Carmarthen Journal.

Our first thought has to be for the boy involved. One minute the lad gets his moment of glory, the next he’s told, ‘Piss off, you’re too Welsh’. Or how was it explained to him? And what effect will it have on him, and his self-confidence? Here’s a young Welsh boy, in his own country, his own town, and he’s being told that it doesn’t pay to sound – or to be? – Welsh.

Someone in England doesn’t like the sound of a Welsh boy’s voice, so a Welsh local authority cravenly surrenders to that bigotry. If it was a Welsh person who took that decision then they should be ashamed of themselves. If, as seems likely, it was an English person, then what right have you to pass judgement on how we speak? Whose country is this? But whoever made the decision, it was an insult to all of us who speak with Welsh accents. Most especially, to the people of Llanelli.

Some time ago Llanelli town councillors discussed the possibility of the town breaking away from the county, it may now be time to re-visit that option. This insult should be used by all political parties claiming to represent Llanelli to force the ‘Welsh’ Government into ringing down the curtain on the insulting farce that is Carmarthenshire County Council.

Apr 272013
 

It pains me to admit that, hitherto, I may have treated the Labour regime in Swansea with a certain levity unbecoming the seriousness of the situation. For the latest news paints a picture of democracy under a growing threat in the land of the Jacks. Among the information sent me was a copy of a letter submitted to the Evening Post by a Swansea councillor. (Click to EP letterenlarge.) The councillor in his letter talks of the “far left” and the behaviour he describes can only be compared to the rabble-rousers used by oppressive regimes to intimidate opponents.

For it would now appear that gangs of unkempt malcontents are roaming the city at the behest of the interlopers’ regime, terrorising opponents and interfering with people going about their lawful occasions. The letter clearly states that these ‘Marxist’ irregulars only target non-Labour politicians and events. Of course, the regime will deny any responsibility for these hirelings. That’s the attraction of using ‘deniables’.

Jonathan-Roberts-e1341226049641Perhaps more worrying is the fact that this letter was not published by the Beans on Toast. Which is odd, for local rags are always looking for letters, quotes and other pearls from local tribunes . . . if only in the hope they’ll say something stupid, or contentious. So why was this letter, from a Swansea councillor, not published in Swansea’s daily paper?

Because, I suggest, it was critical of the Labour Party, and made a link between Labour and the ‘Marxist’ rabble-rousers. Why do I say that? Because the new editor of the Beans is Jonathan Roberts, former editor of the Carmarthen Journal. Under his leadership the CJ became the out-house publication for the Nazi-Soviet pact on Goal Hill controlled by Mark James. Seeing as the Journal Roberts left is little more than James’ mouthpiece it’s worth asking if he’s been installed in Swansea to carry out a similar role on behalf of Swansea Labour Party? Cos the boy got form when it comes to censorship and sucking up to Labour.

Leaving Swansea for a minute (always painful, I know), what we see there, and in Carmarthenshire, is part of a wider trend of Labour control resulting in corruption and censorship, and a general contempt for those outside of Labour circles, something I commented on in my previous post. Even Glyn Davies, the easy-going MP for Montgomeryshire, was moved to tweet this week about Wales being a one-party state. Read it here. Then there was the amazing case of the Labour councillor in Llandudno who threatened to have a publican’s license taken away because heBenito Phillips, Il Duce Abertawe refused to serve her after hours. What I find really worrying in this incident is that the woman even wrote to Carwyn Jones slagging off the publican . . . yet the First Minister, or his advisers, did not regard this vendetta as reason to remove a clearly vindictive woman obviously unsuited to be a political representative. That nothing was done suggests Labour accepts behaviour like this. (Which of course, those of us d’un age know only too well.)

In his unpublished letter the Swansea councillor refers to a genie, but I suggest that what’s happening in Swansea has passed beyond pantomime. It is currently on the fringes of farce, heading inexorably towards tragedy. There is still time to avert this disaster but outside intervention is needed. So will Labour HQ investigate links between certain members of Swansea Labour Party and law-breaking extremists? (The stick Labour has used to beat Plaid Cymru for 50 or 60 years.) Or can Labour rely on the ‘Welsh’ media to keep a lid on everything?

UPDATE 29.04.13: More information regarding the Evening Post and the suspected political bias of its new editor, Jonathan Roberts. First, Labour councillor John Bayliss had a particularly bitchy letter published recently in which he made a personal attack on a non-Labour councillor. At least four of the vilified councillor’s constituents wrote to the Post in his defence. Not one of the letters was published.

Moving round the Bay to Neath Port Talbot, a non-Labour councillor there has recently submitted two letters for publication, both critical of the NPT Labour administration, neither of them was published. The first time this has ever happened to this councillor.

The evidence is stacking up that the Beans on Toast is now a Labour-supporting newspaper. Which it’s perfectly entitled to be. What is not acceptable, when it’s an area’s only daily newspaper, is that the editor should suppress other opinions and criticism of the Labour Party. This is censorship. But then, Roberts would have had a good grounding in censorship techniques in Carmarthen.