Assembly Elections 2016

This is the post I promised in which I shall tell you who I’m voting for on Thursday and why.

CONSTITUENCY SEAT

I live in the Dwyfor Meirionnydd constituency and my Assembly Member is Dafydd Elis Thomas, or Lord Elis Thomas if you prefer. I’ve known him for many years, and when I arrived home last Friday afternoon, there he was, large as life, talking to my missus at the front gate. When I got out of the car we had a little chat.

Now I don’t dislike Dafydd, but obviously we don’t see eye to eye on much . . . if anything. Even so, I’ve usually voted for him; but this time round I’m changing. It’s not a single utterance or deed that accounts for this decision, more a build-up of little things with nothing to maintain balance – hence my arrival at the tipping point.

Many of these little disaffections can be grouped under DET’s fondness for the Labour Party. His liking, even preference, for Labour surfaced again a week or so ago when he urged Plaid, Tory and Liberal Democrat supporters to give their second vote in the North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner election to the Labour candidate David Taylor. (Here’s a link to information on all five candidates.)

The explanation he gave at my front gate last Friday was the same he gave to the media – it was a calculated attempt to stop the UKIP candidate being elected on the second ballot.

In PCC elections, as in the Assembly elections, we get two votes, and if no candidate gets a majority first time round then the two with the most votes go into the second round, in which the second preferences of the eliminated candidates are allocated. I shall return to the PCC elections, and young Mr Taylor, later.

My Choice

So who am I voting for? (Drum roll!) Well the answer is that my vote will go to a shy, retiring local councillor with whom I have enjoyed many a profound political discourse in the aisles of Tywyn Co-op. I’m referring to Louise Hughes, who is standing as a (genuine) Independent.

Louise Hughes

Some may condemn me for ‘wasting’ my vote and arguing that, even if elected, Louse will be unable to achieve anything down Cardiff docks. I disagree.

What we have down Cardiff docks is a branch office of the London government, run by civil servants answering to their London masters. The politicians we elect may strut and puff, but apart from being allowed ‘gimmick’ legislation every now and again, they have little real control over anything. Much of the legislation the ‘Welsh’ Government claims as its own is nothing but English legislation with ‘(Wales)’ squeezed into the name. Perhaps their only real power is being able to dish out the lolly.

Yet far too much of this funding goes to Labour’s allies in the Third Sector in blatant patronage and cronyism, or else is ‘invested’ – ‘for the good of Wales’ – in Cardiff. One of the most disappointing results of devolved politics is how AMs of all parties end up following the party line and squandering money on Third Sector spongers like these.

Click on the link I’ve provided, scroll down to the second section, and ask yourself who, apart from Jill Tatman and her gang of colons, benefits from all the money they’ve been given? Or to put it another way, would Llandovery be any poorer, any more deprived, if she and her co-conspirators had been denied public funding?

I’m voting for Louise Hughes because if she is elected, and even if she is ignored, she’ll still be speaking for those that elected her. Though take my word for it, Louise can make herself very difficult to ignore.

Finally, and perhaps decisively, there is the dishonesty in Plaid Cymru asking the voters of Dwyfor Meirionnydd to vote for a candidate who could have the Plaid Cymru whip withdrawn if re-elected, and who might be in the Labour Party a few months down the line.

THE REGIONAL LIST

An Assembly Member who has received favourable mention in this blog is William Powell, the Liberal Democrat AM for the Mid and West Wales region. (That I’ve been complimentary to any AM may surprise a number of you.)

There are two reasons for this. First, Powell turns up at Cilmeri for the annual December commemoration of the slaying of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd (Y Llyw Olaf). You could argue that as a local AM he is obliged to attend. He’s not obliged to attend at all; I believe he comes because he shares some of the sentiments of those, like me, who have been going to Cilmeri for longer than we care to remember.

Perhaps William Powell should be an example to Plaid Cymru politicians whose enthusiasm for Cilmeri tends to waver, and can perhaps even be influenced by ‘Shippo’ down at the Wasting Mule. (Which is what he, his mate Phil Parry, and their Labour cronies would like to believe.)

My second reason for choosing Powell is his response to a petition I submitted to the Assembly a few months ago, and how his response contrasted with that of the Assembly’s Petitions Committee. I dealt with it back in January, in Local Democracy Endangered, here’s a brief summary.

Petitions Committee

I submitted a petition asking the ‘Welsh’ Government to consider intervening when it became clear that a chief executive, acting alone or in concert with others, was subverting the democratic process by acting beyond his powers and / or without consulting the elected councillors.

When my petition was discussed on January 19th the Petitions Committee consisted of Joyce Watson, the Labour AM for Mid and West Wales, and Elin Jones, the Plaid AM for Ceredigion. This is how I reported their ‘consideration’ of my petition:

Watson Elin Jones

I would expect no better from a Labour time-server like Watson, but against my better judgement I still thought Elin Jones might have had a contribution to make.

William Powell clearly understood what my petition was about, and tried to get a discussion going with, “It (the petition) does raise some very serious issues”. To no avail. Mesdames Watson and Jones had no intention of discussing anything that might have discomforted Mark James or embarrassed the ‘Welsh’ Government.

So for these and other reasons, and secure in the knowledge that the Liberal Democrats are very unlikely to gain more than a single list seat in Mid and West Wales, I shall be giving my second vote, my regional list vote, to the Liberal Democrats. Though had anyone other than William Powell topped the list my vote would have gone to another party, or I might not have used my second vote at all.

THE PCC ELECTION

Quite frankly, and despite what Dafydd El professes to fear, I believe the chances of UKIP winning in the second round of the North Wales PCC election are slim, and simply exposes again his Labour leanings. But even if there was a threat from UKIP I cannot see how anyone outside of Labour could possibly be attracted to David Taylor.

Taylor first came to the attention of an incredulous public as an acne-plagued hobbledehoy living somewhere near Rhuthun. This was in 2004, when he set up a website to “undermine Labour rebel Clare Short”. Note that the Daily Post account I’ve linked to tells us that 18-year-old Taylor was already secretary of the Clwyd West constituency party and also sat on Labour’s ‘Welsh’ executive.

The boy was obviously destined for greatness, and it duly arrived when he became advisor to Leighton Andrews AM in 2005. Though he soon embarrassed his party with another childish, and similarly unsavoury stunt, this time the infamous Aneurin Glyndŵr website. Around the same time he tweeted what might have been interpreted as a distasteful reference to the Hillsborough disaster.

Taylor also spent a short period as Special Advisor to Peter Hain, when the Man of Tan was briefly Governor-General, a post he lost in the 2010 general election. But Taylor seems to have stayed on in London as a ‘Senior Political Adviser’ to the Labour Party.

David Taylor canvassing

Since 2012, according to his Linkedin profile, he has been a director of a company called Leckwith, which has undergone a few changes of both name and address. It was originally known as Albacore Associates before morphing, in July 2012, into Westgate Strategy Ltd, before changing again, just a month later, to Leckwith Ltd. There were also physical moves from Cardiff to Newport to London. (Here’s the website.)

It’s reasonable to assume that this PR company was set up to capitalise on Taylor’s proven talent in the field of influencing people and also to exploit his contacts in the Labour Party. Though to judge by the accounts Leckwith has been slow to take off.

Taylor is also a non-executive director of Westgate Cyber Security Ltd of Newport, formerly London. This company also was incorporated in August 2012, but this is not a one-man band, for Taylor has a co-director, one David Wyn Jones, whose business background can be seen by clicking on his name under the ‘Officers’ tab. (Here’s the website.)

Having mentioned Leighton Andrews, I am indebted to ‘STaN‘ of Neath Ferret fame for reminding me that Andrews came quite late to the party, having been a leading light in the Liberal Democrats until just over a decade ago. Here’s a piece by Michael Meadowcroft lamenting Leighton Andrews’ departure. (I kid you not!)

I’ve also mentioned Peter Hain, and for information on the bête noire of the Boers, STaN‘s yer man.

David Taylor is a Labour insider of the worst kind. The type who joins the party before he starts shaving and spends the rest of his life in a cocoon, while determining what’s best for people of whose feelings and aspirations he knows nothing. He is exactly the kind of person – the professional politician – that either turns people off politics or else drives them towards more ‘colourful’ politicians.

Sorry, Dafydd, this is another wrong call. And if it was a straight fight between David Taylor and the UKIP candidate for North Wales PCC, and if I was forced to vote, then I couldn’t promise that I wouldn’t vote UKIP.

My Choice

I shall be voting for Arfon Jones as our PCC. As coppers, or ex-coppers, go, Arfon’s not bad, he was our village bobby for a while. And he’s never been afraid to speak out and question his former employer, something we encounter all too rarely.

Arfon leaflet 1

In addition, having served and lived in Gwynedd, and also having spent many years on the other side of the region, Arfon knows the north from Holyhead to Bangor-on-Dee a lot better than most.

He’s also a sociable individual, going for the occasional drink at the Saith Seren, with which he has been long involved, and following Wrexham football club home and away, while not neglecting the rugby. He’s married, with children and grandchildren, in Wales and Scotland, so I wouldn’t hesitate to describe him as a ’rounded’, mature individual of many interests . . . unlike, I fear, David Taylor.

CONCLUSION

Looking at the wider picture, my reluctance to vote for Plaid Cymru at this election (over and above my longstanding criticisms) can be summed up in one word – Labour. And I’m not referring now to Lord Elis Thomas’ as yet unconsummated attraction.

It seems very likely that Labour and Plaid will be in coalition after Thursday’s election. That’s unless Plaid’s nightmare scenario materialises in which Labour can cobble together a coalition with two or three Lib Dem AMs, and possibly even a Green.

Now my views on the Labour Party generally, and ‘Welsh’ Labour in particular, are well known. A clue may be found in the title of my post, Why I Detest The ‘Welsh’ Labour Party. I urge you to read it.

What Wales desperately needs is wealth creators, visionaries prepared to take risks and by so doing create jobs and a wealthier country. But such people are frowned on by socialist parties like Labour and Plaid Cymru, for they cannot be controlled like a publicly-funded client class masquerading as an ‘economy’.

So generous is this system now that its fame has spread; spongers and leftie bandwagon-riders flock to Wales to take advantage of ‘our’ generosity. And the funding given to alleviate Wales’ poverty, to educate and train us, to build infrastructure, achieves nothing because it is squandered on a Third Sector the greater part of which achieves nothing beyond generous salaries and pensions for the charlatans involved.

Wales needs radical change; a new national mindset. None of the parties involved in this election provide anything other than tired and discredited ideas dressed up and repackaged. Consequently it matters little what emerges after Thursday.

The Welsh people deserve better. They just need to realise it. Who’s going to make them realise it? And how?

~ ~ ~ END ~ ~ ~

 

94 thoughts on “Assembly Elections 2016

  1. Red Flag

    You missed another thing about David Taylor – he mocked the Hillsboro victims by using the phrase ‘You’ll ever walk again’ . A play in the words of the famous song.

      1. Red Flag

        I see from the ‘chubby boy’ group photo Mary Wimbury of Tal Michael fame. A pair of failures if ever there was one. The fact that she’s somehow number 1 on the Labour ‘list’ for North Wales is staggering and illustrates the pure lack of quality within Labour Wales these days.

          1. Red Flag

            She’s his missus. Tal is son of Alun Michael. Tal stood for PCC North Wales (and lost) the same time his dad stood for PCC South Wales. he’s also stood for AM on Ynys Mon in the by-Election a couple of years ago (the Labour vote collapsed – many in the local Labour party but the blame for that on his total lack of personaility and the fact he looks like a tramp). Mary in turn has had a dibble at various things including standing for Parliament for Aberconwy I think.

      1. dafis

        at least she appears to have been working towards an objective just a bit slower than we might wish. You can deal with people like that – it’s those c**ts who reject change and steadfastly refuse to shift at all that need a good rifling !

        1. In her defence I would just say that Louise belonged to Llais Gwynedd, which used to oppose Cyngor Gwynedd / Plaid Cymru on just about everything. It could be that she didn’t understand that there are some issues on which LG did not attack the council. (Though I’m not sure if she was still a member of LlG at that time.)

          Also, her husband, Gwyn, is a local, first-language Welsh speaker, so I doubt very much if she’s hostile to the language. More likely to be a case of a desire for publicity running away with her.

          Or perhaps she was badly advised, a problem that can be remedied by taking me on as her special advisor when she gets elected. (I’ll do it for £70,000 pa + expenses.)

  2. dafis

    Excellent piece. O.K I’ve got slightly different factors confronting me here in glorious Bridgend, as good an example of a WelshLiebor rotten borough as you is ever likely to find !! Wish we had a Louise down here.

    Looking at the bigger picture nation wide we are again confronted by that which you so succinctly describe as “public funded client class masquerading as an economy” with its sick making population of grant grabbers and associated spongers/political chancers.

    Even our community of “real businesses” now contains a large segment of leaders who can’t think straight unless there’s a grant or some kind of handout/subsidy on the table. Now some of these payments are serving a real valuable purpose in priming the pump to get a venture up, running and creating jobs, taxable earnings etc etc. However our Labour leaders don’t have much form in picking winners having pissed a large dollop of public capital down the drain at regular intervals supporting ( usually) smart young men spouting business school bullshit about rolling back the frontiers of new technology as part of transforming Wales into the world class knowledge economy ! ( God, I nearly shot my load writing that ! )

    Earlier today I had some arse giving me grief about me being critical of Plaid. I had chipped about their focus on out-lefting the Labour party rather than tackling real issues. The guy was typical of the sort that ensures we stay in the dependency rut because lots of people like it that way, yet moan at length about our second class status.

    The prospects for Wales are grim if we don’t shift from this structured top down corporatist conspiracy based on groupthink and patronage. Earlier this week, or last, we saw someone mentioned as “Mab Darogan “, well he better shift himself cos the way I see it he’s more like “Same ole, same ole, same ole”. Get a grip or better still loosen that grip and use real enterprise rather than political gangsterism to give the country the lift it needs.

    1. I made no mention of Carnell (never heard of him). The suggestion came in a comment. Even so, the facts either way have yet to be established. Can you provide proof that you never worked or co-operated in any capacity with Carnell?

      As for the Liverpool reference, I wrote, “Around the same time he tweeted a distasteful reference to the Hillsborough disaster.” I linked to the BBC report. Have you complained to the BBC? Any reference to Liverpool fans not walking again is bound to be linked in the mind of the average person with the Hillsborough disaster.

      Even so, and in the spirit of compromise for which I am rightly famed, and taking into account that you did not specifically mention Hillsborough, I have now changed the post to read, ” . . . he tweeted what might have been interpreted as a distasteful reference to the Hillsborough disaster.”

      And that’s about it. I appreciate that the past few days must have been very testing for you. What with you losing the North Wales PCC election and your former boss managing to lose the Rhondda, so I’ll be gentle with you.

      Now go away and stop bothering me.

  3. Ian Perryman

    It says in the article to which you link that Louise Hughes is a member of Llais Gwynedd.
    So why is she standing as an independent?

    1. I’m not sure she still is. I thought LLG had fallen apart last year with defections to Plaid Cymru. I’ll have to check with her. But even if she is still a member, Llais Gwynedd only contests council elections.

  4. The Earthshaker

    Good on you for telling everyone how’ll you’ll vote, at the moment I’m gonna spoil my ballots I can’t find a single candidate worth voting for and I’m bored ridged of the election.

    As for Dafydd El I reckon his latest intervention is him looking to curry favour with Labour hoping to be the next Presiding Officer, what with Labour’s Rosemary Butler standing down and Tory David Melding not certain of being re-elected on the list in South East Wales because of UKIP’s rise, Dafydd could be the only one left standing with experience to do the job.

    And good to see a demolition job of David Taylor, his type is everything that’s wrong with politics, especially Labour in Wales, sly, devious, a proven liar, smug, loyal, not very bright but well connected and safe in the knowledge he can say and do anything and never be held to account.

    As for Plaid Cymru and Leanne Wood what can you say, if the latest UNISON farce doesn’t kick their Trade Union section into action to become a proper registered trade union that campaigns for Welsh workers right, holds rallies, etc I don’t know what will. You never know it might even attract voters to the party, now there’s a novel thought.

    1. Sibrydionmawr

      Wales certainly needs a general union for workers, especially Welsh speaking workers as no union actually provides a Welsh language service, and the best that can be hoped for is the usual insulting tokenism lest it upset the serious ‘class warrior’ who, as we know, all speak English. It’s not as if such a union isn’t needed, as it seems to me that Welsh workers in general are being shafted, and Welsh speaking workers particularly so.

  5. Craig

    The can is purple for a reason Jac.

    All UKIP politicians shoot from the hip, that’s one of the tricks they use to persuade people they’re honest, salt of the earth, “proper chaps”.

    I wonder why she’s no longer a member of Llais Gwynedd?

    Get that you dont like Plaid or DET, but how have you turned into one of those people you write about so often? You’ll be opening a donkey sanctuary next.

  6. Anonymous

    Hello Ian ~ I haven’t been a member of Llais Gwynedd for several years now, I just wish the press would check their facts before publishing. Just for the record, I wholeheartedly support the democratic right to vote for the candidate of your choice – it’s your vote, not mine. I also think there’s no such thing as the perfect candidate, because nobody has all the answers and if they say they do, then they’re lying. I’m not perfect by any means, in fact sometimes I’m a right, royal pain in the ****! – but I am not someone who panders to voters by changing my stance on issues to match public opinion. My campaign is about the issues people are concerned about, not me. I don’t support TTIP, I don’t support fracking and I definitely don’t support egotistical politicians who don’t listen to anyone but their own cronies. To me politics is about people, not political parties who trot out the same empty rhetoric year after year. I’ll get off my soapbox now. Oh, and Jac … put your CV in the post! ????

  7. Louise Hughes

    Good grief … UKIP?!! Not on your nelly! Neil Hamilton came up to me after the hustings in Fairbourne and said “Ooh, you’re very good, I’d vote for you! Can I seduce you into UKIP?” (I half expected him to say “ding, dong!”), to which I replied “you couldn’t seduce me into anything Mr Hamilton!”. He looked rather nonplussed and asked “why not?”, to which my dear friend Andrew Roberts-Evans responded “because you’re full of shit!!”. By the way, the can is purple because I like the colour, not for some ulterior reason and I left Llais Gwynedd because I got tired of all the back stabbing, usually mine!

    1. Good enough for me. You’ve got my vote. I’d like a response from those who’ve accused you of being in UKIP.

  8. Big Gee

    Sounds interesting up north Jac – you know what they say “it’s always grim up north!”

    My vote on this occasion goes to an old friend that I’ve known for a number of years and worked with on the Llais Ceredigion campaign trail (a long time before Llais Gwynedd came out of the woodwork – I like to think we started the trend here in Cardiland.) and before that we toiled together on the the Mayor for Ceredigion campaign.

    I’m voting for him personally, as I did with Mike Parker as a thank you gesture for their genuine support and sound friendships in the past – both by the way are very ‘healthy’ when it comes to Welsh patriotism. Mike is not a typical Plaidie any more than the person I’m voting for is not a typical Tory.

    So who is it? Well good ol’ Dr. Felix Aubel, who is first and foremost a shrewd and dedicated Welsh Nationalist of the RIGHT kind. He’s a right of centre nationalist who has for years, in my humble opinion, only been able to find a home amongst the Welsh Conservatives (and people like Jac & I who are the lepers amongst the nationalist). Like of course other disillusioned nationalists like Guto Bebb, and a closet Conservative like Seimon Brooks.- who never really brought himself around to admitting it in public. All good friends from the past – bless them all. I hear on the grapevine that Seimon is now back in the Plaid fold – the parable that explains “a dog that returns to his vomit” springs to mind – but that’s for another day.

    Why not Plaid? Because I’d prefer to vote for a bunch of spineless, unprincipled nest of vipers, most of whom should be in the Labour party. Give me someone like Felix any day of the week, who is a nationalist first and a Tory second. Far better and sterner stuff than that Triban Coch mob who are socialists first and nationalists second. The middle class ‘crachach’ mostly made up of the sons of the manse, and before someone picks up on the fact that Felix Aubel is an ‘Annibynnwr’ pulpit thumper, he’s a first generation minister, he certainly isn’t a ‘son of the manse’!

    Besides, the two faced Lib Dems need to be kept out in Ceredigion, and votes for Felix could possibly come from that camp. No doubt that would help Elin Jones get in for another term of zombie sleep-walking, but at least my conscience will be clean that I didn’t vote for her directly.

    As a footnote, let me put it on the record, that I HATE the English (posh boys) Tory party with a vengeance, and all they stand for, when it comes to their dogma. I’m from what I like to think of as the first educated (piss-pot poor) working class, and proud of it. However, we need more ‘Felix Aubels’ in Cymru. The odd Fidel Castro wouldn’t go amiss either! God bless his cotton socks as well – I hope he makes it to 100 at least.

    What has a Welsh Tory and Fidel Castro have in common? They both love their country and their people with a passion, and are not afraid to say so – come what may.

    1. I ran into Felix Aubel in Carmarthen last year, in W H Smith. He was returning something for his partner. I just stood there and listened . . . like everybody else.

  9. Ian Perryman

    Hello Louise.
    I assume it was you posting originally under the title anonymous?

    When you say “….but I am not someone who panders to voters by changing my stance on issues to match public opinion.”

    Doesn’t that imply that you will not be representing the views of your constituents?

    1. Yes, come on, Louise, if I’m going to be your £70k a year Special Adviser I must advise you not to tie yourself down with statements like that. Someone is bound to use it against you. Someone like Young Ian, who is one of them leftie Plaidist types, drinks with a notorious crew of malcontents down in Cardiff . . . so I’ve been told . . . allegedly . . . it is rumoured.

      1. dafis

        leftie Plaidist types don’t go out drinking any more, especially with malcontents, that’s part of their problem. They tend to gather in their salons in the Bay or leafy suburbs of Kairdiff and sip posh wines and nibble on veggie delicacies. Debates about carving up the national “cake” are intense with so many calls on it, but discussing how to get round to baking it are avoided because it involves depth of thought. Most nights are rounded off with twitter fests about nothing in particular !

        1. In fairness, Huw, the ones I’m talking about are – like me – leftovers from the 60s. Back when they would have been drinking and raising hell with Cayo and the boys. All they can do now is raise a pint.

          1. dafis

            Apologies, I was writing about the leftie Plaidist types and their feeble introvert metropolitan lifestyles. As for malcontents, long may they thrive, especially the breed you referred to, though most of them have probably moved out of our sedate capital to enjoy a more real life experience elsewhere in Wales ! Happy days !.

        2. Brychan

          Dafis, I can assure you that the Ivor Hael in Llwynypia not Cardiff. The meat pies being served do not appear as “veggie delicacies”. I can also confirm that copious quantities of alcoholic beverage will be consumed tomorrow night, but some will be Dark in colour from Cardiff (sorry Jac). It will be purveyed in pint glasses (jugs available). You are right about the leafy salons. It’s probably where Leanne gets that strange hair-do and last time I checked it was in Treorchy.

          1. dafis

            Now your are talking real venues ! A “tafarn” in the true sense, at least it was when I last stopped for a top up some years ago. Even in Cardiff you can find decent places where you can get back in the real world but have to stay away from the Bay with its plastic faux everything and those other bits which are tainted by media, pseudo-politics, and other deviant “communities”. It’s a moving target mind, cos these odd types do drift around and previously good places get taken over by the bastards, for a while, and then they move on again. Bit like the Bedouin, but without their social attributes.

          2. I can remember four pubs in Swansea called the Ivorites. One was in town, one in Fforestfach, one in Mumbles and the other in Plasmarl. The first two closed many years ago, though I believe the others may still be open. The Plasmarl Ivorites was always known as Y Cwrcyn. (Though no one knew why.)

            There are few today who know why those pubs were so named, and even fewer who’ve heard of Ifor Hael, because how many of our kids are even taught their own history?

            Maybe the reason we know so little of the Ivorites is that they were to some extent proto-nationalists (certainly in the cultural sphere) and may have been regarded as a challenge to the Labour party and its trade unions, with their anglicising mission.

            1. dafis

              Ivor Hael, I believe , was a local chieftain in the Caerphilly to Newport stretch, lower Rhymney valley to Ebbw Valley and a big player in sponsoring poets, minstrels etc Dafydd ap Gwilym was one of his beneficiaries.

              It seems that there has been a sustained attack on the history of people like him in an attempt to gently rub out any sense of history of Cymru. Remove any evidence of leadership and there is more scope for reducing them to servility. When I was young I was able to recite in rough order about 20 kings and queens from Will the Conq to Liz the 1st, roughly the period when the original damage was done, Everything since 1603 has been about reducing evidence of what went before – if Welsh leaders hadn’t existed then there was no need for the English to feel guilty about exterminating or absorbing them. Simples !

  10. dafis

    Thus the man has a “working knowledge” of crime, along with thousands of others ! plus of course Labour party member which makes him seriously admirable

  11. Stan

    Great article and comments.

    I may have said it before but just to confirm, I’m very much a new kid on the block to all the thought provoking stuff that appears on here. So the Aneurin Glyndwr website was something I’d not read. I see that the link Jac provides takes us back to 2009 but doesn’t allow us to see that highly embarrassing video that is referred to, the link suggesting it’s been taken down. However, it is still available if you look in the right spot. It’s included in this link: http://www.devilskitchen.me.uk/2009_03_01_archive.html You’ll need to scroll down a bit.

    An outside observer would find it incomprehensible that a man (or is it man child) that produced this video would, just seven years later, think they might be suitable material as a PCC. We’ve all done things that I guess make ourselves blush now and again but what on earth was going through this guy’s mind when he made it? Or, for that matter, the minds of the other Labour Party hierarchy who supported the Aneurin Glyndwr site? And now he wants to oversee North Wales’ policeforce. Incredible. It could surely only happen in the UK’s equivalent of a bananas republic.

    As Jac points out, he wasn’t banished to Siberia for this faux pas but was actually rewarded by being appointed a Labour Party SPAD in Westminster 2010-2012, where I note he worked for Peter Hain again. Of particular interest to me is that his appointment is noted at that time in the Register of Members’ Secretaries and Research Assistants, as it needs to be, and it records his Directorships in Westgate Cyber Security Ltd and Leckwith Ltd. And listed as a client of the latter, we have Hafren Power Ltd (the consortium for construction of Severn Barrage), something your readers will recall was also strongly supported by Mr and Mrs Hain. Wheels within bloody wheels – the more you dig the dirtier you feel.

    Finally, on a lighter note to end, if you’ll indulge me. In Hain’s memoirs Outside In he refers to David Taylor a couple of times. I’m particularly fond of the time Labour lose the 2010 GE (who wouldn’t be?) and Hain recounts how he rushed to London after the result, accompanied by Taylor. Hain is speaking of how he tries to forge links with the Lib Dems and writes:

    “I pondered reactivating our “back channel”. David Taylor nudged me towards the leading Liberal, David Laws, also doing interviews, but he wasn’t interested in chatting…..”

    I’m not sure that Laws would have appreciated being referred to as the “back channel” of the Lib Dems, but as they say, hindsight is 20/20 vision.

    1. More good information, STaN. The fact that after three major embarrassments (four if we include the porn upload) inflicted on his party Labour still thinks so highly of Taylor suggests two things: Either they think he’s done nothing wrong or else they’ve got nobody better to replace him with.

      1. Brychan

        David Taylor also stars in this video shouting “You can hear the fucking heckling on Sky News. Shut them up, or take them out.”

    1. Perhaps Brychan would care to respond? But of course you must have known Carnell, so the only question is, I suppose, how well?

      And stop demanding that I remove the whole post just because you’re a bit pissed off. If you’re referring to a specific comment, make that clear.

      1. Stan

        Agree 100%. I listened today to the interview linked via your Twitter account, the one where Neil McEvoy refers to the dirty tactics employed by Cardiff Labour against him and his family. It appears that the epithet “Nasty Tories” no longer applies in Wales and it should actually be “Nasty, Bullying, Threatening Labour”. It sounds as though Mr McEvoy did extremely well to keep his self control in the circumstances. I’ve made this point on our local site, the Neath Ferret, precisely because sometime before this election I was made aware of another person who ruffled the Labour Establishment feathers here in Neath and suffered intimidation and veiled threats. Absolutely disgusting behaviour.

  12. Not-A-Donkey-Voter

    My prediction(s)? This upcoming election will be ‘the-missing-vote(rs)-election’ that will hit one political party particularly hard? That party will be Labour. Since the last one quite a few of Labour’s ever declining ‘donkey-voting’ older generation have passed away and its numbers have never been replenished significantly enough by an upcoming younger generation.

    I guess the yoooooooff and ballot boxes do not exactly mix nowadays i.e. they much prefer to vote for some anonymous waste of space i.e. a Big Brother or X-Factor etc contestant.

    Another thing? I get the vibe that there is going to be mass apathy from the (typical Labour voting!) working class outside of the more affluent SE Wales/Cardiff bubble. Many now perceive the Welsh Assembly to be nothing more than what it exactly is i.e. ‘a-Cardiff-thing’ that’s only concern is three things?…..Cardiff!……Cardiff!…..Cardiff! So why bother to vote for it?

    A significant loss of the individual vote count for Labour will IMO be a major post-election talking point for the media/political pundits? Sorry to sound like Mystic Meg!

    1. There’s no question that Labour’s ‘donkey vote’ is dying off, literally, but the problem is that with the Assembly electoral system being as it is Labour can haemorrhage support but still only lose a couple of seats. And if this unfair system remains in place then it could two or three Assembly elections before Labour’s eroding support is properly and fairly reflected in a loss of seats.

      1. Not-A-Donkey-Voter

        I agree with everything you say! I think the loss of the individual vote will be more of a psychological thing after this election but will further erode party morale and create more serious concern for the future? The erosion of core supporting loyalists is absolutely disastrous for Labour.

        One day, a few elections from now the ‘donkey-vote’ will fall and hit a critical tipping-point for a good few seats/constituencies. The die-hard donkey voting loyalists e.g. ex-miners and steel workers of bygone nationalised industry etc, will at some stage become completely extinct and what a loss of their ‘guaranteed’ vote for Labour that would be?

        Seats that used to be ‘rock-solid’ will either be lost or become vulnerable marginal’s where the major competing party/rival will plough serious financial resources, effort and manpower into the fray. Take Gower? A once rock solid seat that became ‘winnable’ and saw the Tories (never seemed to do before!) plough in substantial resources, effort and manpower to win…………….They did!

        Once upon a time I remember Labour having to make next to no effort whatsoever to win Gower. I never once saw the likes of Ivor Davies door-stepping and only used to get the occasional leaflet. So far in Gower myself and other fellow constituents households have received approx six election leaflets, three phone calls and even a doorstepping visit from Carwyn himself. How times have changed? Once upon a time they only had to weigh the vote down here!

  13. dafis

    I’ve been on here dozens of times criticising Plaid, and Leanne Wood in particular. This morning I am pleased as punch to come on here to congratulate her on defeating that nasty anti Welsh pompous bastard in the Rhondda. Job done, well done. Having showed us that she has a capacity for challenges she can now go on to reshape Plaid, get rid of some of that woolly baggage, give it a hard edge and who knows what might be achieved, because nationally what’s on offer now doesn’t really cut it !

    1. I agree that it’s good to see the substantial back of Mr Piggy but I would urge caution. Take out the one-off, personality-driven result in the Rhondda, and what has Plaid to cheer about? Other than Rhondda Plaid made no real progress. (Apart from good votes in Cardiff West and a few other seats.) Labour can form a coalition with Kirsty Williams leaving Plaid in opposition with Tories and UKIP.

      When you consider that Welsh elections are determined on UK influences due to the lack of a comprehensive Welsh media, and given the current problems for Tories and Labour – steel crisis, anti-Semitism, offshore accounts, Jeremy Corbyn – this should have been Plaid’s best opportunity. So why couldn’t they capitalise? I believe Plaid has reached its high water mark.

      The only comfort Plaid can draw is that this is the high water mark for UKIP as well. This election could not have come at a better time for UKIP than just weeks ahead of the EU referendum. But how many UKIP votes will Plaid pick up next time round?

      1. dafis

        as the mad Maggie once said about something completely different … “rejoice, rejoice …”that nasty piece of work has been ousted.

        I agree with you totally that the rest of the outcomes were mainly a real disappointment, a holding operation, hence my comment about getting rid of the soft woolly baggage, quit aping Labour and acquiring a harder edge. Shame that McEvoy couldn’t get that extra bit of swing against Drakeford, maybe he should be transplanted into a constituency that offers an even better chance of him winning although he may just be building up that long term platform in CF West that will see him take it eventually. Some talking head this a.m. commented that Leanne “is nearer to Corbyn ( than CJ ) ..” which is an unintended putdown if there ever was one.

        If Labour binds with Kirsty that should free Plaid of any obligation to “be nice” as Labour are neither socialist nor competent !. Also Kirsty could be a tough cookie in that situation and quite capable of pushing for hard deals, which the Labour wonks will dress up as collaborative and flexible.

        Finally Plaid will take next to nothing from UKIP if the latter goes flakey. Kippers are primarily Unionist and very few of them see Plaid, despite its limp stance on independence, as anything other than “against the UK”. If UKIP crumbles there will be a return to ConLabLibDem , a dropping out ( again ) from bothering to vote, and some of the dregs will wander off to form yet another BNP/NF/ neo Nazi rump. However I think they will endure for a while especially if they succeed in exposing some of the Assembly’s incompetence.

        1. dafis

          McEvoy is in ! and it blindsided me until a few minutes ago. Now this win really means something, there will be a real assertive presence on the Plaid bench that will go in with well prepared arguments and unwilling to be fobbed off with the usual mealy mouthed garbage. In many ways this is Plaid’s most significant score.

  14. Jennifer Brown (@JenGwenBrown)

    I made a comment which has vanished into the ether did a boo! boo! pressed the tweet sign stead of pressing comment as my details were already in place. I mentioned your petition which I’d supported and compared your choice with Cllr Sian Caiach the AM candidate for Llanelli (People First) my choice. No time to redo other comment now but’ll just will say she did pretty well for a fledgling movement and we still have her in place to continue being a thorn in the Carmarthenshire County Council and it’s CEO’s side.

  15. dafis

    sad thing about those 7 UKIP Assembly members is that they can be replaced by more Kippers if any of the originals are slung out as a result of being prosecuted for criminal acts. However that should not deter any of us from digging out the dirt, some of which Jac has already accumulated, and let nature take its course !

  16. gwil williams

    Great to see McEvoy elected. He will piss off a lot of the people who most certainly require a good pissing off. Adam price is a welcome addition. Rhondda could be of long-term significance and, anyway, great to see the back of that obnoxious git. What the hell happened in Blaenau Gwent?
    Generally depressing: Skates, Gething and the Young Conservative in Llanelli ready, willing and able to take up the mantle of subservience bequeathed to them. FIVE years until the next election FIVE!!! Carwyn will try to withdraw into his comfortable shell of sloth and we have the likes of Hamilton and Bennett associated with Wales.
    Greens: what a waste of time, space and energy.

    1. I agree. Neil is sound on the Third Sector and how Labour wastes money on its cronies, let’s hope the other Plaid AMs see the light.

      The Greens have been making so many confident noises in the past couple of years I though they’d do well, might even get a regional seat. But once again they’re exposed as a bunch of dreamers with no real support. And yet, there are still people in Plaid Cymru who think there are advantages to doing a deal with these buggers!

  17. Stan

    Despite a massive canvassing campaign here in Neath, if the Labour Twitter accounts and photos are to be believed, the vote for the Labour candidate Jeremy Miles fell to 9,468 from the 12,736 for Gwenda Thomas in 2011. However it is still 2,923 votes ahead of the runner-up, Plaid Cymru, not UKIP here. The Labour vote share has fallen from 53% to about 37%.

    I appreciate that the donkey vote may be dying out but it’s not fast enough for me – at this rate the donkeys will see me out. I fear that short of some inspiring local performance for Plaid along the lines of Leanne’s Rhondda campaign, places like Neath will be the last bastion of the Labour Empire. I look at the energy of that Rhondda campaign and Neil McEvoy’s Cardiff effort and wish we here could have had this attention lavished on our electorate. It would have come to nought in terms of the seat but being content with your second spot every five years won’t cut it for me.

    As an aside, I awoke this morning to Breakfast TV on BBC Wales and was shaken out of my morning lethargy by Carolyn Harris sprawled on the sofa like Jabba the Hutt. I have never seen her interviewed before so am drawing my conclusions based on the one performance, but is she really as thick as she comes across? Little wonder she spends all that money on consultants to advise her but I fear it is good public money down the drain. If she is representative of the quality of Labour Westminster MPs (and AMs in Cardiff Bay) then little wonder the Party is in terminal decline. Plaid should be running rings round plodders like these.

    1. As I suggested in my post on Swansea East, or maybe some other post, Labour has a dilemma – either parachute in people of reasonable ability and piss off the local time-servers, or keep said time-servers happy by promoting a few of them above their ability. Either option exposes what is in very short supply – local candidates of ability.

    2. treforus

      Labour’s biggest problem is that it is no longer a mass movement and is now more like a family business. And the biggest weakness of a family business is not allowing any outsider to take control if he or she is not a family member, however talented he or she may be. Poor Swansea East- to be represented by two such epic duffers as Carolyn Harris and Mike Hedges, both nurtured in the incestuous system of the local Labour party.

      1. Bill Chapman

        Labour no longer a mass movement? Don’t you believe it. Welsh Labour remains the larget mass movement in Wales – far, far larger than any other. The constituency parties have huge numbers of members, reaching thousands in some constituencies. It can pull large numbers of people together – 500+ to hear Jeremy Corbyn in Llandudno, for example. If you want to oppose Labour, at least start by acknowledging how deep its roots are in the Welsh people.

        1. You’ve been warned before about coming on this blog and making silly claims about the strength of the Labour Party.

        2. Stan

          Depends on your definition of mass movement I suppose, which is an imprecise definition. What is precise are these figures:

          Neath Parliamentary Constituency:
          1997 election (Labour’s halycon days) 73.5% vote share, 30,324 votes
          Vote numbers have fallen EVERY election since (people are pissed off with politicians across the board), but more significantly their share of the vote has fallen every election as well.
          2015 election, 43.8% vote share, 16,270 votes.
          They have somehow lost over 14,000 votes in an electorate of about 55,000.

          Now that IS a mass movement for you. Seems like a hell of a lot of donkeys have ended up in petfood in the last decade and a half.

        3. treforus

          Sorry but I can remember Labour as a mass movement centred on the trades unions. Those industrial giants have all but disappeared outside the public sector . I’m surprised that you seem to deny the patently obvious which was apparent to Blair over two decades ago which was why he attempted to reinvent the party (so successfully he won three General Elections). I’m delighted that you have retreated to the comfort blanket of the past. I have no wish to see you back in power for the rest of my lifetime.

  18. The Earthshaker

    So Labour wins again with the majority of Welsh voters opting for 5 more years of self harm while Carwyn & Co go back to sleep.

    And it would be churlish not to congratulate Leanne Wood on her excellent victory in the Rhondda, seeing Leighton’s face when he lost was a picture, but unless serious lessons are learned (targeting Blaenau Gwent or Caerphilly instead of Llanelli for example) it’ll be yet another false dawn for Plaid Cymru – the Valleys don’t need more false hope they need jobs, houses and a future.

    It’s worth asking if the Welsh Assembly should even be Plaid Cymru’s top priority, with good campaigners like Neil McEvoy, Adam Price, andLeanne Wood should the focus be building on or up local grassroots campaign ready for future battles perhaps?

    And lucky us we got 7 UKIP AM’s elected but you’d swear it was all 60 the way the media are carrying on. Good to know the knuckle dragging troglodytes now speak for Wales a country they don’t think exists and that they’ll add the sum total of FA to welsh politics, Welsh democracy for you!

    1. Big Gee

      I’m also pleased for Leanne Wood – she needed that little boost. However as I predicted way, way back, nothing has really changed. Labour is still in power with only one seat less, Plaid Cymru is static with just one seat more, the Lib Dems have been superseeded by the Kippers and the Tories are about the same – no earthquakes – did anyone expect one? A great electoral system we have, designed by Labour for Labour – hence the reason everyone is still in shock that the Jocks managed to screw up their little scheme. We’re light years away from doing anything similar here.

      HOWEVER I am encouraged by the inclusion of Adam Price & Neil McEvoy. They could start punching their weight if they team up together. The REALLY good news is that the sons of the manse are being slowly shoved to the back seat, along with the zombies who hang on to their coat tails (no need to mention names, but the word ‘zombie’ should be the clue) – thank God for that. The sooner we say goodbye to the spineless and dim witted ‘crachach’ the better. We are now turning back slightly to the Dafydd Wigley types who really don’t suit the ‘crachach’, hence the reason poor Wigley discovered daggers in his back – stupid, short-sighted bastards as they were.

  19. Prof Richard Wyn Jones said basically the same as you Jac; not a very good night for Plaid since they didn’t make massive gains with Labour and Tories lacking unity. Nice to see Leanne win but it may mean she’ll have another term as leader which I don’t think she’s up to. Excellent that McEvoy will now be there.

    Was listening to the Lib Dem Goronwy Owen I think he said on Radio Cymru that Welsh politics was changing due to the number of people from next door settling here. He was cut off by the presenter Dylan Jones who didn’t want to discuss the elephant in the room. Probably BBC policy.

    Thinking to myself that Welsh progressive left of center ideology is allowing our country to become Brit right wing. I would laugh if it wasn’t so desperately sad.

    1. There are parts of Wales where Plaid has no chance of winning because these areas are no longer Welsh. This problem has been building up for 30 or 40 years and Plaid Cymru has turned away and pretended it wasn’t happening. Or rather, in order to accommodate the changing demographic profiles Plaid has watered down its message, its principles, in a pathetic, yet typical ‘Welsh cringe’ response.

      Which is not to say that Plaid can’t win in the Valleys. But you have to remember that this region has been losing its brightest and best for generations, many of those who remain have low expectations for themselves, their communities, and their children, which explains why they vote Labour. No one believing they deserve something better votes for the party that has overseen a century of decline.

      Leanne Wood’s victory was a one-off and a very personal thing, local girl and all that, plus unlovable Labour incumbent. Of more significance was the progress made by Neil McEvoy in Cardiff West. If Plaid is to have any hope it needs more Neil McEvoys and fewer sons of the manse, fewer of those entryists who’ve used Plaid to promote socialism, environmentalism, or the politics of perceived sexual oppression and all the other minority interest bollocks.

      Speak to the people about their concerns, speak for the people and their concerns, and tell the rag-bag special interest groups only interested in using and exploiting Plaid Cymru to fuck off. Plaid Cymru needs to ‘de-intellectualise’ itself and stop worrying what Guardian readers think about the party.

      And most important of all, Plaid must stop deluding itself that it can appeal to everybody – it can’t, no political party can. Plaid Cymru’s support and potential support lies overwhelmingly within that element of the population that regards itself as Welsh. Appeal to this population, appeal to their patriotism, play on grievances (real or perceived), and don’t hesitate to blame ‘England’.

      This approach may lose Plaid the Guardian readers, but the rewards will be more than worth it.

      1. Llyr

        You’re setting out a false choice Jac. You do this alot to be honest. Voting for Louise Hughes, Felix Aubel etc…people on this blog are often just dicking around to be honest.

        Leanne is politically different to you. She reads the Guardian and likes the environment but she is an absolute hard worker and appeals strongly to Welsh identifying people. She is showing the way for other Plaid campaigners. It’s not a choice between “Guardian readers” and “Welsh” people. Read Plaid’s website and manifesto. There’s socialist and environment stuff because that’s what we believe in. But the majority of it is about putting the Welsh nation first.

        This was an election where only Plaid Cymru and UKIP gained anything. Plaid has retaken second place in the Assembly. Elin Jones who you slagged off because she didn’t care about your petition held her seat comfortably.

        An alternative, rival Welsh nationalist party, on the right wing or whatever, would not have won second place.

        1. What you call “dicking around” is called democracy. But let’s look at Plaid “putting the Welsh nation first”.

          The village in which I live was overwhelmingly Welsh when I first met my wife over forty years ago. Now we belong to the Welsh minority in this village. And this is happening all over rural, and perhaps especially coastal areas. Soon Welsh will be dead as a community language and villages such as Aberdyfi – of which I’m very fond – will be no-go areas to Welsh people due to the property prices.

          And many of those who move in are pretty ugly specimens, making no bones about the attractiveness of ‘white’ Wales. Their attitudes to things Welsh are little better.

          Yet while all this has been going on, over 40 years or more, Plaid Cymru has said nothing – even shouted down as ‘fascists’ those who have dared raise the subject. I recall DET calling R S Thomas “the Jean Marie le Pen of Wales”. So tell us, is Plaid Cymru going to start speaking out against the colonisation of Wales?

          Until it does, don’t come here talking about “putting the Welsh Nation first”. Plaid doesn’t believe in the Welsh nation. Plaid never mentions the Welsh nation. It’s always the mealy-mouthed ‘Wales’.

          Wales needs a party that cares about what makes Wales Welsh, and prioritises its survival. That party is not, and never will be, Green, socialist, Guardian-reading Plaid Cymru.

          1. Anonymous

            I’m often irritated by the attitudes and actions of many “goodlifers” who choose to move to Cymru even the sincere ones never mind the hypocrites. However they are not the inventors of “green” or sustainable ideas and practices any more than these ideas are the sole preserve of them.

            Also the principle that a country should not be exploited by another for it’s bargain scenery and property is as valid a “green” tenet as the wrongness of its exploitation for minerals, water, and other resources including people.

            There are opportunities for those across the political spectrum to use “Green” to convince voters that independence from England is a better option. It’s not a “weapon” that should be left in the sole hands of any adversary.

        2. Big Gee

          Let me straighten a few things out for you Llyr – as it’s evident that you need another visit to the opticians to sort out those rose tinted glasses of yours.

          You seem to be rather confused between who is who on here as well. It was me who mentioned Felix Aubel Jac mentioned Louise Hughes, and as he has said in his reply to your post, voting for someone who doesn’t suit you is not ‘dicking around’ it’s called free democratic choice.

          It is not Jac who has (in your words) been ‘slagging off’ Elin Jones. The petition you refer to is, I assume, the one that dates back to the early noughties (nothing to do with Jac), when Seimon Brooks, Emyr Hywel, Felix Aubel and I along with many others, a large number of whom were from the ranks of the more principled members of Plaid, (including supporters like Mike Parker) and of course it was fully supported by Cymuned, which itself – as the name implies – was born out of real concern, even back then, for the future of our traditional Welsh communities. At the time Plaid were running around like chickens with their heads chopped off in a blind panic that Cymuned might be the start of a rival nationalist party that contained swathes of true nationalist Plaid members (like Seimon Glyn).

          Our sole intention through the petition was to trigger a referendum on whether the electorate of Ceredigion wanted a Mayor for the county, instead of the long term dictatorial leader of the Independents (a by word for Cardiganshire Liberals, old school rural Conservatives and a sprinkling of old fashioned feudal baron families who lived in the hills and ran the county). It was led by Dai Lloyd Evans – who later was investigated for eighteen months by the Fraud Squad (that was also triggered by us), culminating in a file being forwarded to the Crime Prosecution Service, who in turn made a pragmatic decision not to prosecute as they did not feel they had above a 60% chance of succeeding – but there’s no smoke without fire, otherwise the file would not have been forwarded by the Fraud Squad. He later stepped down as leader and never stood in any other election, so we succeeded in our goal to get rid of him. The guys in the dark suits in the back rooms probably gave him a Samurai Hara Kiri option. Where was Plaid? Cowering in a dark corner, whimpering and sucking it’s thumb behind the sofa.

          We needed over 8,000 signatures to trigger a referendum, we obtained over 11,000 if my memory serves me right (an impossible task in most people’s eyes) Seimon Brooks and I delivered it to Owen Watkins the then chief executive of the council. Plaid did not raise a finger to help. The referendum was triggered but unfortunately we lost, mainly because Plaid decided to campaign on the side of Dai Lloyd Evans and his cronie’s ‘no’ camp to keep the status quo.

          Not content with leaving it at that, we then formed ‘Llais Ceredigion’ a regional party formed to fight in the council elections. Plaid went into another huge fit of neurotic panic behind their sofa, falsely accusing us of undermining their chances of getting a majority on the council. What they didn’t divulge was that we had met with Elin Jones & Co. and offered them a deal where we would group with them in the council after the election, if our combined efforts managed to return enough councilors. Not ONLY that, but we also said that we would not put forward a candidate in wards where there was a Plaid candidate already standing. She obviously failed to take in the full import of what was being offered, and with a glazed look refused the offer – probably because of what the ‘red fox’ (“Cynog y Cadno” the primary suspect in the Dafydd Wigley ‘et tu brute’ fiasco) was whispering in her ear. Ironically we had even suggested that we would endorse Cynog Dafis as a candidate for the earlier mayoral election – if we had won the referendum. Don’t talk to me about being dim-witted and short-sighted! They were still smarting over my comments about Wales becoming a dumping ground for “oddballs, social misfits and society dropouts’ from England, during my time on their National Executive whilst I was a vice president in the party. Their cowardly response to that was to turn on the ones telling the truth. That’s when I left – FOR GOOD. Don’t you dare suggest to me that Plaid is “putting the Welsh nation first”.

          On the night of the council election nearly 15 years ago, I still have that vision in my head of Ellen ap Gwynne (surprise, surprise – the current leader of the council in Ceredigion) purring like a cat around Dai Lloyd Evans’ legs at the count, they were virtually joined at the hip, all smiles and cheer. Pathetic. And the fall-out? Simon Thomas MP lost his parliamentary seat to the Lib Dems in the next Westminster election. Well done Plaid – the jelly fish party.

          I make no excuses for the comments i have made on here about Elin Jones – I stand by them. And it is me who has made the comments and not Jac.

          Leanne I have more time for. She has a brain, is fair minded and is genuine (to the point of being too nice to everyone), albeit rather misguided, due I guess to her Labour socialist contamination when she was being brought up in the Rhondda. Having lived there for thirteen years, during Geraint Davies’ pre assembly era, I can understand that, better than I can understand Plaid snuggling up to the Independents on Ceredigion’s County Council.

          Plaid “putting the Welsh nation first”? Llyr you’ve missed your vocation my friend – you should be a script writer for a stand-up comedy act somewhere!

  20. adarynefoedd

    A different take would be that Labour (I am a member) did better than expected despite dreadful attacks on the record, and before you say NHS most serious researchers would reject the Tory attacks on our record. We won in Llanelli, the Gower and the Vale, I would have expected Llanelli to go to PC and the Gower and the Vale went Tory in the General Election.

    There seem to be some better Assembly Members in the Labour Group, I have high hopes of Eluned Morgan, Hugh Irranca and maybe Carwyn and out together a better Cabinet.

    The real sorrows are the virtual death of the Lib Dems, no Greens and the rise of UKIP. The rise of UKIP reflects the wholesale abandonment of working class voters by all Parties, and somebody has to do something to improve things, I think Jac you said ‘jobs’ in a long not forgotten post and this is the area whoever running the show has to address. I cannot see the point of commissioning all the blue colour / manual jobs out and then paying the workers benefits surely better to directly employ them?

    The other thing I would like to see is much more attention to areas not in the South such as ours (Radnorshire) where everything is imploding. Addressing the near collapse of our education services and creating more jobs would be a start, I noticed the other day on the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation that our education performance is as bad as some of the Valleys. Yet we cannot get EU funding, there are no ‘projects’ or help. There are young people travelling 2 – 3 hours each day to get to the (English) 6th Form and then have to do 2 hours homework when they get home. Many drop out or under achieve in their A Levels.

    I guess where you live many similar things are said, but if these issues are not addressed, UKIP will continue its steady march.

  21. Llyr

    Ok Jac, my tone was too boisterous.

    The thing about demographic change is that you attribute it to Plaid Cymru. I am a Welsh speaker and the people who are keeping the language alive, by publishing books, writing them, participating in culture, are overwhelmingly supportive of Plaid Cymru. Indeed they are part of Plaid Cymru. The party is in fact one of the only areas of Welsh life where you can conduct any political activity in the medium of Welsh.

    Welshness isn’t something being eroded by Plaid Cymru. The party is one of the few remaining bastions of Welshness in the country.

    1. Your response is a non-sequitur from start to finish. I asked what Plaid Cymru is doing to confront the colonisation of Wales. You have failed to answer.

      You’ve just given out a spiel about how Plaid members are committed to the language. True no doubt, but they’re like fish caught in a pool fast ‘drying out’. At the current rate of colonisation and the decline of Welsh as a community language your language defenders will soon be on a par with their Manx and Cornish brethren, pursuing an obscure minority interest.

      Then again, I suppose your non-answer, your refusal to answer, says it all.

      And this is only one area where Plaid Cymru is failing the Welsh people. What about the billions that have been wasted on Labour’s cronies in the Third Sector? But of course, many of these spongers are socialists, and environmentalists, and ethnic minorities, etc., etc., so it’s OK for them to impoverish this country.

      1. Red Flag

        There is nothing Plaid can do to stop it – in fact of they tried to make a political issue of it they would run a real risk of being prosecuted. Even if they won every council seat, every Welsh Assembly seat, every Parliamentary seat and every European seat in ales there would still be nothing they (or anyone else for that matter) could do. While Wales is in the UK then that is all there is to it.

        The bottom line is independence has got to come first before anything can be done and until people start to not only realise but accept that voting for parties controlled by London effectively means voting to keep things as they are then no amount of theorising or navel gazing is going to solve anything.

        There is the way things are and the way we would like them to be. Until we deal with the way things are, the way we would like them to be is irrelevant.

        1. Bill Chapman

          You lucky man, Stan. However, you must be mistaken. For unaccountable reasons Jac does not believe that Labour is a huge and popular party which wins in Wales.. I have a Labour county councillor, a Labour town councillor and a Labour MEP, but a Tory MP and a Plaid Police and Crime Commissioner.

          1. I don’t deny the obvious – that Labour keeps getting elected. What I refute is your suggestion that these MPs, AMs and councillors represent a mass movement. They are the products of a machine, one that has run smoothly for a hundred years but is now showing its age.

            1. Red Flag

              You are right Jac. The Labour machine is showing it’s age. It’s dying. Not as fast as we would prefer. Not as fast as Scotland but faster than England (where it is also slowly dying).

              It needs re-branding – perhaps a more accurate name for starters such as The Chattering Class & Benefits Party as opposed to the Labour Party – a name which gives the wrong impression that it’s something to do with workers.

    2. Big Gee

      I hate to seem to be picking on you Llyr – I’m not – however you have to think a bit more laterally, “out of the box” I believe is the modern term.

      If you are the Llyr I think you are (although I may be wrong), then you’re not a ‘son of the manse’. However you’re talking just like one of them. You are a “Welsh speaker and the people who are keeping the language alive, by publishing books, writing them, participating in culture” – good nothing wrong with that, but it’s not the solution, all you are doing is painting the funnels a pretty colour on the Titanic as it’s sinking. A futile task if ever there was one – I think you’ll agree.

      In the essay I wrote back (in 2002 I think) – I said something like “It’s no good trying to save the leaves that are withering on a tree, if the tree is being poisoned at it’s roots”.

      http://sccambria.com/erthyglau/erth-add_cymraeg.htm
      http://sccambria.com/essays/erth-add_saesneg.htm

      Plaid is NOT the bastion of Welshness any more – in it’s early days it was. The academics and producers of literature in Welsh “are overwhelmingly supportive of Plaid Cymru . . . ” simply because they have nowhere else to go. It is the reason I seldom vote, because I have no one to vote for, except friends as a personal token of appreciation for their support in the past, regardless of their party. What’s even more sinister is that Plaid will not allow any other choice. If anyone makes any noises that can be interporated as a threat they are slaughtered at birth – perhaps they should be called the ‘Herod’ party! You need to redirect that venom into halting colonisation. No point supporting independence (at last – remember that fiasco?) when the first step is to stop the rot. I firmly believe that the Kipper support in Wales is in part a reaction by certain people to the fear that colonisation brings. Even the Rhondda is starting to feel the modern colonisation threat.

      It used to be the “I” word that sent Plaidies scurrying behind the sofa, now it’s the “C” word as well.

      Plaid needs to find a backbone, stop dreaming and start telling it as it is. You might be surprised at how effective that is. Kippers and the SNP have said things that were perceived as taboo by the establishmen and the media, but it resonates with people who are experiencing the pain that is being ignored.

      Plaid need to stop tip-toeing around the elephant in the middle of the room – pretending it’s not there. It is and it will crush everyone in the room if you’re not careful!

      1. Llyr

        Big Gee, I respect how you answered me and didn’t take any crap from me! Same goes for Jac. I only comment here because it’s a good back-and-forth.

        I like Seimon Brooks! I’d vote for him.

        1. Big Gee

          LOL – there’s hope for you yet then Llyr! Chware têg!

          Middlesex boy come good is our ‘Brwcsyn’! Returned to the land of his fathers with fire in his belly. I’ve spent hours in the past (well months actually) working in his company. A very sharp brain and bags of nervous energy. I often felt like popping a handful of Valium tablets into his tea on many occasions! I’m not sure which one wore me out the most, Felix or Seimon, because Felix is like a Dervish on speed as well – bursting with enthusiasm & energy! We pulled together quite a team from across the political spectrum at one point. A pity it got scuppered – mostly by Plaid. I could forgive the others, because you knew what they were, but to be betrayed is something else. It’s a national weakness that we seem to carry in our genes, we’ve lost more battles over the centuries through betrayal than defeat at the hands of our enemies.

          1. Llyr

            Their choice. I have no clue what the ins and outs were (oops I just admitted I have “no clue”!).

            What’s your take on Elin Jones’ vote remaining strong despite the number of Welsh speakers hoing down in the county? Would you admit she’s a hard worker?

            Seems like the vast majority of the Welsh still support her, and/or she’s picked up new voters? Same is true of Plaid in eastern Carmarthenshire. Think Plaid puts the work in locally much more than it used to.

            1. Big Gee

              “Their choice. I have no clue what the ins and outs were (oops I just admitted I have “no clue”!)”.

              Having ‘no clue’ removes your right to comment on issues that you do not know anything about. You don’t have an excuse anymore though do you?

              “What’s your take on Elin Jones’ vote remaining strong despite the number of Welsh speakers hoing down in the county? Would you admit she’s a hard worker?”

              There are none as blind as those who cannot see. Maybe if you looked at turnout in diffrent areas of the county you’d realise that there is no correlation between who gets elected and who votes. An example for you. In the mayoral referendum for Ceredigion the vast majority were in favour – as witnessed on the doors – in the more densely populated coastal strip of the county (that took in three of the five major towns in the county). Voter turnout on the day? Swyddffynnon (in the hills and stronghold of the feudal ‘baron’ families that have traditionally run the county) – 98%. Penparcau in the largest town in the county 16% – does that tell you something? It does for me, it tells me the tail is wagging the dog.

              Whether she is hard working or not is pretty relative. I can only speak for the time I worked alongside her in Plaid – believe me I was not impressed! One observer who met her on the doors in this last campaign commented to me in a jocular way, that she was being driven by her slave driver who was bossing her around to get her to move – he reckoned it was embarrassing to see (visions of Ellen ap Gwynne in black leather and wielding a whip!)

              “Seems like the vast majority of the Welsh still support her, and/or she’s picked up new voters? Same is true of Plaid in eastern Carmarthenshire. Think Plaid puts the work in locally much more than it used to.”

              You also have to note that when it comes to parliamentary voting Mark Williams of the Lib Dems is secure in Ceredigion. Simon Thomas progressingly hemorrhaged votes until he was wiped out after Plaid’s dirty and stupid mayoral campaign in which he played a major part. A lot of disillusioned Plaid voters there. When it comes to the Assembly elections the hardcore stick with Elin & the remainder is made up of incomers who want to go native for the natives’ Micky Mouse government in Kerdiff.

  22. dafis

    Growth of UKIP and its success on Thursday is now making the Anglo-Brits even more bold. People like Hamilton and Reckless can’t relate to native concerns about English migrants because it’s in that party’s interest to indulge that demographic group at the expense of any native concerns. Sadly a lot of people who consider themselves “Welsh”, even “Cymry” are being drawn to their perverse stance. It’s correct to whine about the torrent of assorted nationalities shipping into the U.K but morally repugnant to question the effects of English and Anglicised immigrants into Wales. Weird, but that’s how it is.

    So Plaid has to make a stand. Ethically so should Labour, but we know all about them and their flexible ethics. Lib Dems might be tempted ( shame they’ve shrunk so badly )and their process of rebuilding might include a visible concern for our traditional rural and small town communities. Concern for the Native culture and identity is almost as non existent as the party itself on the Greens list of priority issues. And the Tories, well they will now engage in a brutal civil war over EU and who knows what will emerge from that ruin. So Plaid has the scope to make life hard for Labour to govern, and inhibit UKIP’s survival and prosperity. It will involve a lot of arguing and sniping but if it serves to arrest the spread of UKIP and neuter Labour’s daft agenda then they could gain some cred with the electorate in those difficult yet key constituencies.

  23. I appreciate what you are saying Big Gee but isn’t it time to move on? Continuall squabbling amongst ourselves has also been a national weakness.

    1. dafis

      Spot on Carnabwth, but I hope that you also address your remarks to those Kommissars who wish to dictate every thought and word uttered about Cymru, its language, culture etc, and its relationships with the world at large, both hostile and benign. Gee was isolated by a cabal of “party line” groupthinkers out of the top drawer of their kind, and look where they’ve taken us. A bit of humility from them would be most welcome, but highly unlikely given the nature of their malaise. We find fault and seek remedies. They seek to deny the fault and bumble on their way.

      Perhaps the time has come for a new assault from within to regain real influence or at least obtain a presence in the debate. Otherwise it becomes inevitable that the nationalistic vote splits between 2 segments and that won’t do much good in the short/medium term. So despite celebrating a key victory I hope Leanne has her “Damascus moment” and orders a review of the effects of groupthink on her party. Perhaps the arrival of Mr McEvoy will help push things along and it also offers Mr Price scope for confirming that his mind is open to a broad mix of challenges and ideas.

    2. Big Gee

      I think Dafis has put it far better than I can “We find fault and seek remedies. They seek to deny the fault and bumble on their way”. We DO squabble, but they who deny the fault are the ones who always want to move on. The ones that seek remedies can’t move on until remedies are found. How many times do you hear the culprits who have not put right their wrongs in the past say “oh that’s history now, we can’t live in the past – WE MUST MOVE ON!”. Moving on requires justice, based on an admission of wrongdoing and genuine repentance on the one hand and forgiveness demonstrated by the aggrieved party on the other hand.

      Betrayal and treachery takes a long time to heal. Until you can cut that trait out, then there will NEVER be a moving forward.

  24. Stan

    Jeez. Just heard that not only do I have a Labour controlled local council, a Labour MEP, a Labour MP and a Labour AM, but I’ve still got a frigging Labour PCC as well. Alun Michael voted in – I can scarcely believe it. At least you guys in the North saw sense and kept out the manchild Taylor. The streets are still full of donkeyshit down here.

    1. dafis

      Stan …… and our esteemed First Minister congratulated Mr Michael and Mr Cuthbert on their success but could not get off his fat arse to extend a similar courtesy to Arfon Jones and D Llewelyn. He’s supposed to lead the nation once appointed but as usual can’t see beyond his own party’s interests. Short on brains, short on courtesy and miles short of any statesmanlike qualities – nothing new ! Cnut !

      1. Stan

        I second everything you say about Commissar Carwyn, particularly your final comment. I read his interview in today’s Sunday Times wherein he is quoted as saying Welsh Labour has “a clear mandate to govern”. FFS, give me a break. Turnout was 45.3% with Labour getting 34.7% within the constituencies. My maths works it out that it means less than 16% of the potential electorate gave him that mandate. Less than 1 in 6 people eligible to vote. And that includes the donkeys who were out in force because their coats wouldn’t get wet last Thursday. It may be a “clear mandate” in CarwynSpeak but in my language it’s further proof that Labour is in dire straits.

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