Bits & Pieces 13.10.2015: Assembly 2016, Reputations, Vattenfall, Cardigan Castle

REVISED PREDICTION FOR 2016 ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS

A few months ago, in my post Vote Plaid Cymru – Get Labour I made a prediction for the outcome of the 2016 Assembly elections in which I suggested that the likeliest result would be a Labour-Plaid Cymru coalition. For a number of reasons I think it may be wise to revise my prediction.

One major change since I wrote that piece in June has been the election of Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of the UK Labour Party. At first I thought this might help the Labour Party in Wales, seeing as it is forever banging on about being more to the left than the UK party, but now I’m not so sure. Because things are starting to get nasty up in Westminster with civil war breaking out among the Labour MPs.

If Corbyn is no longer leader come next May then Labour will be hors de combat, still licking the wounds received in a bloody civil war to remove him and his right-hand man, John McDonnell. If Corbyn is still there then of course the civil war will be ongoing. What will add to the damage is that the conflict will not be confined to the House of Commons, for a few hundred thousand people – overwhelmingly leftists – joined the Labour Party during the election campaign. Attempts to remove their reason for joining Labour will be resisted, by de-selecting MPs and in other ways defending their heroes. The party might even split. However it pans out, a party so hopelessly divided will not be an attractive proposition to the great majority of voters in Wales.

Of course, Carwyn Jones and his gang will try to stay aloof, arguing that it’s, ‘Nothing to do with us, this is all happening up in London / England’, but too many Welsh voters get news from London sources, and what they’ll see is a party tearing itself apart. This is bound to affect their perceptions of what is after all only a branch of the UK Labour Party. Worse, thousands of those new members joined in Wales, so that’s another reason ‘Welsh’ Labour can not escape collateral damage.

Let’s move on to Plaid Cymru.

To begin with, Leanne Wood is not proving to be the inspirational leader many had hoped, her appeal seems limited to elements within the party and then the rag-bag left. She is making little if any impression on those voters Plaid needs if it is to gain seats, and she’s not going down much better with those voters Plaid needs if it’s to hold on to what it’s got. WhenGwynedd SW Wards merged I listen to her all I hear is socialism in Wales, rather than anything specifically Welsh. I think she’d be happier in a Labour Party led by Corbyn than any patriot should be in a party led by her.

An example of putting socialist ideology before Welsh interests is the recent announcement by the party that if it achieved power it would abolish care charges for everyone over the age of 65. This, according to Elin Jones AM, would cost – over two terms of a Plaid Cymru government (don’t laugh!) – £226m. No it wouldn’t, it would cost a hell of a lot more! Let me explain it slowly, so that even a Plaid Cymru politician can understand.

We have a problem in our rural and coastal areas with large numbers of elderly people moving from England, or moving in middle age after taking early retirement. To the point where in south Meirionnydd, where I live, two-thirds of the over 65s were born in England. A similar situation is found in many other areas, with the result that our NHS and social services are already under strain. Consequently, any measures introduced that make Wales more attractive for the elderly than England will unleash an unprecedented spate of granny dumping, and this will cost one hell of a lot more than £226m.

But this hare-brained scheme is so typically Plaid Cymru. Always looking for a pat on the head from the English Left-Green lobby rather than prioritising – or even considering – Welsh interests.

Things are no better at a local level. You may be aware that there was a recent change in Carmarthen’s shire hall. The council has for a number of years been run by the chief executive, Mark James, who regards democracy as a dangerous and unnecessary threat to his rule. The Labour-Independent coalition fronting his dictatorship broke up in May and a new coalition was agreed between the Independent Party and Plaid Cymru.

Great hopes were raised that with Plaid Cymru as the larger party Mark James might be challenged, and there might be an outbreak of democracy in Carmarthenshire, but Plaid has kow-towed to Mark James in the most cowardly manner, and it can’t all be attributed to council leader Emlyn Dole’s barn problems. (Don’t you think Emlyn Dole could pass for the mayor of a small French town? There’s even a passing resemblance to President Hollande.)

For these and other reasons I can’t see Plaid Cymru getting more than 6 seats. And a blood-spattered Labour Party will be lucky to win 20 seats. Then, given that by May 2016 the debate over EU negotiations and the impending referendum will be getting so much news coverage, the beneficiaries of that are bound to be Ukip. So here’s my original prediction from May alongside my updated prediction. Get ready for a Tory-Ukip-Lib Dem coalition!

Prediction

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REPUTATIONS

On Friday night last I had a Twitter exchange with someone who’s hoping to be among the new Assembly intake, an aspiring Conservative politician named Matthew Paul, the candidate for Carmarthen East & Dinefwr. If the name sounds familiar, that may be because Paul stood for the same seat in this year’s Westminster elections, when he came third with some 21% of the vote.

It all began with him responding to a tweet I put out drawing attention to yet more flat pack chalets being ponced up to the status of ‘luxury resort’, and even more strain put on the bullshit generator by claiming that 200 such chalets will bring 200 full-time jobs! As with similar projects I’ve mentioned, the only thing Welsh about the Corran Resort and Spa is its location in Laugharne. Pure coloniotourism. His response was, “And what economic activity do you want in #Laugharne? A steelworks?”

Not knowing who I was dealing with – other than someone ignorant of the parlous state of the European steel industry – I decided to humour him. We exchanged a few quips before I brought up the case of a farm called Faerdre Fach being re-named Happy Donkey Hill. He responded with, “As a matter of taste, I deplore it, but would defend their right to call it whatever they want”. Maybe he thought he was sounding noble by adapting the quote wrongly attributed to Voltaire . . . if so, it didn’t work; it just made him sound like yet another Tory willing to accept the anglicisation of Wales. Or rather, refusing to confront it, choosing to retreat behind sophistry and disingenuous arguments about ‘freedom’.

Donkey Hill

Matthew Paul is a privately educated, Oxford graduate, lawyer. Have you ever wondered why so many lawyers enter politics? It’s said that it’s because of the training they receive in marshalling their arguments and presenting a case, their ability to persuade a jury to believe what they’re saying. Which a cynic might argue is just another way of saying that lawyers are good liars, which then makes them ideal politicians.

It’s always seemed to me that in reputational terms a lawyer becoming a politician is not a lot different to ‘Honest John’ from the ‘pre-loved’ cars lot branching out into double glazing. No sensible individual completely trusts anyone selling second-hand cars or double glazing, so why are we so credulous when it comes to lawyer-politicians?

*

VATTENFALL OF MONEY

I am indebted to regular contributor Brychan for bringing to my attention a rare job opportunity in the Heads of the Valleys, one paying £300 a day. Read all about it here.

As you can see, this largesse is connected with the Pen y Cymoedd wind farm, a project being undertaken by Vattenfall, a state-owned Swedish ‘company’ which is putting up lots and lots of wind turbines for no other reason than an altruistic desire to save the planet. And because they are such altruists, and philanthropists to boot, they’re giving the run-down communities in the shadow of Pen y Cymoedd wind farm £1.8m every year ’til a’ the seas gang dry. Now Vattenfall is looking for Board Members to oversee the distribution of the bribe . . . though the Board meetings will be held in Cardiff, so more money will be leaving the Valleys.

You will also note from the link provided that recruitment of these Board Members is not being done by Vattenfall itself, for the job has been contracted out to Empower. When I found the website for ‘Empower-Support for the Voluntary Sector Ltd‘, and saw that it’s address was in the Cynon Valley, and then read Empower’s Facebook page, I got that sinking feeling that comes over me when Bafetimbi Gomis is repeatedly caught offside, or I realise that I’m dealing with the Third Sector. In this instance there was no sign of an offside French striker.

Empower etc is run by a Beverly Elizabeth Garside, a highly qualified woman who turned her back on London to move to Wales. Why? The short answer is that despite the obvious deprivation, there’s a hell of a lot of money sloshing around in the Valleys . . . you just need to know how to get your hands on it. The secret is ‘social enterprises’ and other Third Sector rackets that create jobs for Labour cronies and give civil servants something to lie about on EU questionnaires. Then, feeding on the publicly-funded Third Sector, we have companies like Empower. A case of, ‘Big fleas have little fleas . . .’.

Empower

One mystery though is why, on her Linkedin profile, Bev tells us that she has been director of Empower since January 2001, yet Companies House tells us that Empower was not Incorporated as a company until February 18th 2004. So what form did it take in the intervening three years? Perhaps it too was a sucking-directly-on-the-public-funding-teat Third Sector outfit? Whatever the answer, it’s no coincidence that Bev Garside set up Empower in 2001, the same year the EU Objective One money started flowing into the Valleys. This funding was the honey-pot that encouraged her – and so many like her – to move to Wales.

Although the Empower office is in Mountain Ash, in the heart of the deprived Valleys that give Empower its income, Bev herself chooses to live in the agreeable and prosperous little village of Bwlch, near Talybont-on-Usk. More fitting for a woman who has Common Purpose running through her like ‘Barmouth’ through a stick of rock.

P.S. Vattenfall is Swedish for waterfall, and believed to be a reference to the rate at which money pours into the Swedish State’s coffers from exploiting third world communities like the Heads of the Valleys . . . with the help of economic migrants like Beverly Elizabeth Garside.

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CARDIGAN CASTLE

Late last Saturday night I received a Facebook message telling me that Sue ‘English!‘ Lewis had been made to step down from her post as Facilities Officer or Director at the Castle because it was proving difficult to recruit trustees while she was in place. (Fortunately I was up late on Saturday night doing my bit for the Argentine economy, again.)

This news has yet to be confirmed but I have learnt today that a £40,000 a year vacancy has been advertised at the Castle, and also that Sue ‘English!‘ Lewis is notable by her absence from the old pile. Further, I am told that Equinox, the Castle’s Cardiff PR outfit, has had enough, and refuses to represent Lady Tucker and her gang any longer.

I suspect that changes are now being implemented at the Castle, maybe these changes have been enforced, by funders, or the Charity Commission, and there may be attempts to save face by keeping the news from the baying mob. Which is why I would welcome any further information.

43 thoughts on “Bits & Pieces 13.10.2015: Assembly 2016, Reputations, Vattenfall, Cardigan Castle

  1. Brychan

    The issues you raise relating to ‘granny dumping’ arising from free social care for the elderly became evident in Scotland when the SNP government introduced it.

    It was tackled using the Public Bodies (Joint Working) Scotland Act 2014, essentially this is ‘bridging law’. Excuse the pun. It put the right as a ‘health’ issue but put the access test as a ‘local government’ administration. This results in local councils applying a ‘normal residency test’ and applies the standard five-year eligibility standard. For Plaid Cymru to apply the policy in Wales it would also need to amend local government legislation. This could see pre-booked taxis queuing outside Glan Clwyd Hospital to take English granny back to the local authority where she has a longstanding familial connection.

    Before anyone shouts that’s not acceptable, this is how the English NHS treats patients with a familial connection to Wales…
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-34520513

    The difference is that Wales would not routinely contract private ambulances, all Welsh ambulances have a Mot, and Welsh Police forces would apply some discretion in taking English granny back from Tywyn to Wolverhampton. I also suggest the same principle should apply to ‘social housing’ tourists who use seaside towns like Rhyl to benefit it up on the coast. When they apply, the ‘longstanding residency rule’ or ‘familial connection rule’ should apply before the council can draw down the social care cash.

    1. I agree. A residency qualification would be essential to stop such generosity being abused. But in its suggestion Plaid Cymru makes no reference to a residency qualification. Fortunately, Plaid Cymru will never be in power.

      1. Your “PC will never be in power” along with Lianne’s “We’re too poor to be independent” makes me wonder just what kind of future you see for Wales. You constantly rail against colonisation in all it’s subtle and more blatant forms, yet what else can be the outcome without a strong and determined nationalist party? There is no separate Welsh ‘Labour’ Party, not even a home-grown Welsh Green Party. And now people seem to be voting UKIP. What on earth does that signify in a Welsh context? Or has Wales already been successfully colonised to the extent that there no longer is a ‘Welsh context’?

        1. I have made it clear over and over that I believe Plaid Cymru must die before we can have “a strong and determined nationalist party”. By consistently exposing the shortcomings of Plaid Cymru while also highlighting the slide towards national oblivion I believe I am helping prepare the ground for the desired outcome.

          By the way, you never did comment on the picture I took in Edinburgh last month. Does it look familiar? Though not Cornish, is it? rconatrix, Edinburgh

          1. Colin

            Questions not opinions:

            Could a strong nationalist party ever gain power in Cymru with the amount of incomers and other limp wristed types eligible to vote here?

            Would Cymru not be better off settling with Plaid Cymru to lead us into some form of genuine devolution then other parties coming to the fore to form initially an opposition other than labour etc? Unite for the greater good

            1. Plaid Cymru refuses to speak up for the Welsh yet the immigrants regard it as ‘the Welsh Nationalist Party’! Plaid Cymru no longer has any obvious power base other than Welsh speakers. But even this support is being lost as one Welsh-speaking community after another is over-run while Plaid Cymru stays silent on colonisation.

              Best thing for the Welsh would be for Plaid Cymru to crash and burn and a phoenix party to arise out of the ashes.

            2. Colin

              I can agree with that but colonisation is never going to stop as long as it’s made the cheap and easy option it is now and while Westminster (England) controls our law making powers it will continue surely? I just don’t see the mainstream parties ever breaking away from their mother parties strings. The longer it’s left the worse it will become, it just seems to me that we have to put our faith in someone and maybe Plaid are the lesser of two evils?

            3. Big Gee

              “Best thing for the Welsh would be for Plaid Cymru to crash and burn and a phoenix party to arise out of the ashes”.

              I couldn’t agree more with you. That’s the only way to achieve a proper Nationalist party in Cymru.

              At present the lingering dead and inadequate PC stands in the path of the emergence of a true party of the people of Wales. Currently PC is in a “dog in the manger” role. It’s totally inadequate itself, but still has the power to scupper the emergence and development of a new and more appropriate party – as we’ve witnessed in the past, where PC is prepared to side up with anyone to choke the emergence of a new Nationalist party.

              We experienced this some years ago in Ceredigion, when PC sucked up to the Independents (unbadged Tories & old Cardiganshire Liberals) to defeat Llais Ceredigion, a regional Nationalist party, even though they were vying with the Independents for control. They did that just to kill off the new party, even though they had been offered a deal where Llais Ceredigion would not put up a candidate for council elections in wards with existing PC candidates, and we were prepared to form a coalition with PC afterwards.

              Dogs in the manger who are prepared to cut off their own nose to spite their face. They deserve to collapse and burn for good. One of the results of their actions was to lose Simon Thomas as an MP following the Council elections fiasco. It served them right. The core voters who had been betrayed by their actions simply didn’t turn up for the Westminster elections, leaving the Lib Dems to retake Ceredigion – they’ve been here ever since. Wise politics? No classic look no further than the tip of your nose amateurish politics from Plaid.

            4. Colin

              So for now you’re saying we’re better off with Westminster, that way Plaid would lose it’s ability to kill off a new party from emerging?

            5. Big Gee

              I said nothing of the kind Colin – and you know it.

              What I said was:
              “. . . . the emergence of a true party of the people of Wales. Currently PC is in a “dog in the manger” role. It’s totally inadequate itself, but still has the power to scupper the emergence and development of a new and more appropriate party”

              I said nothing about being better off with Westminster. Where did you get that from?

              However anyone that thinks that PC are capable of wrestling power from Westminster and ruling Cymru with a majority in the Senedd are deluding themselves.

              It’s only a hard core well supported nationalist party (and Plaid is the very antithesis of that) that could at least fight what is happening – with anything other than a wet flannel.Trouble is PC would snuff it out just as it hatches – just like a cuckoo does with other eggs in it’s nest.

            6. Colin

              Sorry Gwilym I’m not trying twist or to put words in your mouth, I’m trying to get some rational thoughts into my own head, I’m not a politically minded person or one that follows the subject with much interest. You and I probably both want the same thing, I understand your thoughts on Plaid, I know Plaid won’t get a majority in the Senedd and I’ll have to accept you’re right on their dog in a manger role. I don’t want to be ruled by Westminster in any shape or form but who the hell should we be voting for next May?

              Please don’t see this as taking the piss and the above doesn’t read well but I’m genuinely sat here thinking what choices do I have (next May) and where does Wales go from here?

            7. Anonymous

              ” “dog in the manger” suggests something that has the guts to take up the space even though it annoys the hell out of everyone else. Plaid is more a case of a “corpse in your chair”, can’t shift itself and others afraid to touch it in case they catch something or get blamed for its demise !

            8. Big Gee

              I know what you’re saying Colin, and yes I do think that we’re both singing from the same hymn sheet.

              I also understand your frustrations. Following Plaid’s treachery in in Ceredigion in the early part of this century I stopped voting altogether. I can’t bring myself around to voting for a Westminster party – of any colour, but I coudn’t reward Plaid with a vote for their treachery and incompetence. So I know very well how the frustration feels my friend!

              I made an exception this year for the first time in thirteen years – but that was the repayment of a favour to Mike Parker – so the vote I cast was for him and not Plaid.

              It’s a difficult situation to be in, however if another truly charismatic National party should emerge and have the balls to take up the fight properly, then I would happily vote for them – I’d even campaign for them, assuming I can still find the energy!

              At present we don’t have a party to represent us – so again I say the quicker the death of Plaid in it’s present form the better, so that the decks can be cleared for something better.

            9. Colin

              It makes me feel a lot better to hear someone else say that Gwilym. I’ve been trying to convince myself that voting for Plaid in the short term might be for the greater good but all I see are conflicts in their policy which has been worrying me. I’ve always felt it was wrong not to vote but I think I too might give it a miss next year.

              The road ahead looks longer every day but there must be a bend in it somewhere

            10. Big Gee

              I liken Plaid to the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) in Northern Ireland. The SDLP party platform advocates Irish unification, and the further devolution of powers while Northern Ireland remains part of the United Kingdom.

              During the freedom struggle, the SDLP was enjoying the role of being the most popular Irish nationalist party in Northern Ireland. However they were getting nowhere (just like Plaid), but since 1994 it has lost ground to the left-wing republican party Sinn Féin, which in 2001 became the more popular of the two parties for the first time. A significant difference between the two parties was the SDLP’s rejection of violence, in contrast to Sinn Féin’s support for the Provisional IRA and physical force republicanism. The SDLP has fraternal links with other European social-democratic parties, including the Irish Labour Party and British Labour Party (neither of which contest elections in Northern Ireland), and is affiliated to the Socialist International and Party of European Socialists.

              Sounds familiar (albeit here in a more peaceful setting). The same applies here though. We either support the “corpse in our chair” (I loved that analogy above) or we seek out a Sinn Fein style party to stop the rot. The BIG problem is Sinn Féin is the oldest political movement in Ireland. It takes its name from the Irish Gaelic expression for “We Ourselves”. Since being founded in 1905, Irish Republicans have worked for the right of Irish people as a whole to attain national self-determination. Here in Cymru we’ve been sucking our thumb and watching Plaid farting about – just like the SDLP.

            11. Colin

              So what’s the answer? The amount of people who feel the way we do is relatively small, the rest are either apathetic, ignorant, spineless or incomers. Plaid could take a long time to die if they even do. Getting a new party off the ground I imagine would be a hell of a task, expensive too.

              To me it would seem better do do something rather than sit here waiting. I don’t expect to see independence in my lifetime but it would be nice to see us move in the right direction. Emyr Llewelyn said the other day that Cymru is as impotent now as it was 50 years ago, that is true but there was a time in the middle when the dragon roared if only quietly. The point there being is that we are going backwards, at the rate we’re going in another 50 years (apart from being long since dead) I’ll be in Rosnieger on sea, Angleseyshire

          1. And here’s another thought. If Sue Edwards is working at the Castle, when, where and how was her job advertised?

    1. Anonymous

      If Sue Lewis has been “made” to stand down, then I am sure the gang if five would make a new job for their friend.

  2. “However it pans out, a party so hopelessly divided will not be an attractive proposition to the great majority of voters in Wales.”

    Never underestimate the stupidity of the legions of Welsh Labour voters. Sad but true.

    1. The last time Labour was as divided as it is now was probably when Michael Foot was Labour leader, Militant was strong, Thatcher was in power, and in the 1983 General Election the result was: Labour 20 seats, Conservative 14, Lib / SDP 2, PC 2. Labour got just 37.5% of the vote, Tories 31%. And now we’ve also got Ukip to consider. There are many Welsh who, even if they detest Labour, can not bring themselves to vote Tory, but Ukip is viewed as an ‘outsider’ party, and therefore acceptable.

      Obviously next year is a purely Welsh election, but if Labour’s MPs are at each other’s throats, or the party is recovering from a civil war, then it will affect Labour’s Assembly vote.

  3. Albert Hill

    Depressing, depressing, depressing.

    One thing I’ve noticed is that at least Tories and Ukip types will come here and argue the toss, of Plaid ninnies there’s not much sight. Guess they’re too smug and self-satisfied to risk having their views challenged. Party of Wales? Couldn’t they be prosecuted under the Trade description acts?

    Happy Donkey Hill? Seems like a good name for a rebranded Wales, who wouldn’t want to move to here then. As someone told me long ago Wales is a beautiful country, shame about the people. Well there’s fewer and fewer of those awkward, independently minded souls left. Plenty of happy donkeys though.

  4. http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?/topic/184496-welsh-dreamers/

    Some rather revealing and patronising comments on this forum:

    “Pretty much the same with all rural economies, expensive to maintain requiring miles of roads and communication networks for hardly any people; totally reliant on subsidies for farmers, boomers on final salary packages from the public sector and a few crumbs of welfare for the local kids with no jobs off the boomer’s table.

    Visiting places like Ceredigion it is very apparent there is no economic activity, the locals have become accustomed to a slow pace and you get the odd English boomer coming and buying up the odd Welsh mansion which will keep the local pub going with its astronomical lunch deals. I think they work on one English diner paying a £100 bill, and the local youth going in for a pint and singing Nationalistic anthems with a Zionistic zeal.

    It’s all good fun, but the vibe is strange and I think you would need to be born there to fit in.”

  5. Ian Perryman

    “So get ready for a Tory-Ukip-Lib Dem coalition”

    The only excuse for that prediction is that you said you were up very late at night.

    Both the Conservative and Lib-Dem branch offices in Wales will be instructed by party HQs in England to go nowhere near a coalition with UKIP.

    I think you’re also over-estimating support for UKIP based on their performance in the last general election when they benefited from non-stop publicity from the BBC and other English media sources. That won’t happen in the run-up to the Assembly elections.

    1. Are you suggesting that my writing is influenced by alcohol? If so, then you may be confusing me with some of our mutual friends.

      OK, so maybe I egged it up for effect, but I genuinely believe that a Labour Party at war with itself and a Plaid Cymru that has joined the living dead will struggle to get a coalition majority. Where does that leave us? More likely a Lab-PC-LD-Green coalition.

  6. Whilst your prediction of +10 for UKIP might come to pass, I think you are over-estimating their competency.

    Certainly a well-run UKIP campaign could do serious damage, especially in the South Wales Valleys where they were largely in second place in May. But, a well-run UKIP campaign looks less likely now, especially with Lardarse Reckless is directing matters.

    I’d guess UKIP + 5, with most of the gains list seats at the expense of the LibDems and Plaid Cymru.

    I would probably guess the Tories would be up one or two, and Labour down two or three.

    Result: more of the same, Labour minority rule.

    1. CarregCymru

      I can’t see Ukip gaining seats at the expense of Plaid Cymru. The areas where they saw support in the last election were Labour seats.

  7. dafis

    As you may recall I commented on 12 Oct about the farcical “care policy” being launched by Plaid – briefly,

    https://www.partyof.wales/news/2015/10/08/plaid-cymru-to-abolish-social-care-charges/
    Plaid Cymru to abolish social care charges

    This will bring in an assortment of ageing Anglos plus a whole load of other EU freebie hunters ! or will they all have to pay £30k a year in tax and speak fluent Welsh to qualify ? Doesn’t anyone critically appraise a policy proposal before it goes public ? Admirable sentiment but so full of holes that unintended consequences will swamp well meaning intentions.

    I have not seen anybody offer any comment in support of this zany idea yet, which given Plaid’s claimed volume of support up & down Wales is a bit odd. Perhaps it’s their round about infantile way of acknowledging the unlikelihood of the Party having any role to play in post 2016 government of Wales.

    I think also that you may be getting close to the truth about Ms Wood. If Corbyn and his gang become embedded as the leadership of UK Labour she might just jump ship and tout for a Westminster seat ( or a tatty Bay seat of different colour) as she will be more in tune with the Head Commissar’s thinking than local soft pinkos like Porky Andrews & Alun Davies.

    Bit of instability does you good, but this old cart is shaky as hell at the moment.

    1. Exactly. That’s one implication I neglected to mention. Plaid has for years been selling itself as ‘More socialist than Labour’, ‘More like the party your granddad voted for’ (and a fat lot of good it’s done them!), but with Corbyn at the helm this no longer rings true. And it was always an unconvincing ‘socialism’ when spouted by cultural nationalist sons of the manse representing areas that had never seen a coal mine or a strip mill. Always sickly, patronising, sixth-form ‘socialism’.

      1. Brychan

        By the time Leanne got to the sixth form at Pandy Comp the coal mines had indeed all closed, but should the Labour leader visit to garner the ‘socialist vote’ in the valleys he would first need to seek permission of the MP for the valley who spent his sixth form at Cheltenham School for Boys. The one Corbyn sacked from the shadow cabinet in the Westminster House. More likely, Corbyn will be on tour elsewhere. Places like Delyn where they can tell those froggy plane builders to up-sticks being too EU, or maybe a stroll on the banks of the Cleddau where Carwyn can muse about which bank to plant his nuclear missiles.

        Of course, we have our own Corbyn in Wales . Patronising is the word. The one who Lords it up in Merioneth, clad in tweed suit patting the little girls head and giving lectures about crown and country. You might know him, Jac. The one who says ‘come on in’ to the yoghurt knitting good lifers and wealthy pensioners. Just as long as you keep Cartref as the house name.

        As for Alun Davies, here he is…

        It may help him explain why his colleagues think spending £1billion on a motorway to England is better than keeping the pop-in centre for pensioners in his constituency open.

        1. dafis

          As you work your way through the party team sheets in Wales there is an early realisation that when it comes to mediocrity we have a very competitive offering. My jaundiced sarcasm is only slightly eased by the fact that most political team sheets throughout the UK ( and possibly EU) are laden with lightweights who all share the same ambiguous, bullshit vocabulary which seems to translate easily in most countries/languages.

          Why is this ? Is it because politics has become the haven of choice for jerks who couldn’t cut it as lawyers, crooks, actors or any of the other traditional “homes” for dodgy people? Is it such a good platform from which you can fill your boots, or engage in other deviant behaviours with minimal risk of exposure until you’re well past the age of caring ? Is that why we joined a Common Market and shifted seamlessly over a few decades into a fully fledged EuroSoviet with huge bureaucratic and legislative overburden ? Is that why we are “given” devolution but feel like we just got another copy of Whitehall/Westminster grafted over Cardiff ? Freedom ? Does anyone try to figure out what that might really mean today given all the crap I’ve listed above ?

          All these questions are rhetorical, but I thought I’d get them out of my system before settling down to a weekend of rugby ( source of surrogate violence !!!!) where I expect the Southern Hemisphere to engage in its usual violation of Northern pride, with Ireland possibly providing an honourable exception.

    1. I know that many people have given up on the political process and are thinking the same way . . . but of course I couldn’t possibly endorse such sentiments.

    2. Colin

      Good Lord old boy! You couldn’t possibly do that, it would bring the value of second homes right down and let those darned Welsh chappies back in!

      Pimms anyone?

    3. Brychan

      Is it not illegal to compile lists of English owned second homes in Y Fro Gymraeg and pass the list to migrants (some claiming to be Syrian doctors) that are currently westbound on the Croatia border. It might help to solve the recruitment problems at Ysbyty Gwynedd.

      Also, towns like Machynlleth might get a dentist instead of sending Cardiff educated Iraqis to France.

      http://www.countytimes.co.uk/news/153750/patients-appalled-as-machynlleth-is-left-without-public-dentist.aspx

      yet on the same day…

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-34555390

      Perhaps Ukip and Labour will continue shouting ‘Welsh Racist’ when they call on North Wales Police to evict people of darker skin from holiday home squats in Aberdaron to let back in the posh white English owners for their weekend by the sea.

      I have noticed that families of migrants in cities like Cardiff and Swansea, who already have a command of more than one language, to be more willing to send their kids to Welsh medium schools. The slogan I chant back at the English Defence League is ‘I’d rather have a Kurd than a Turd’. Perhaps Jac will find that comment too provocative to publish.

  8. Brychan

    Up to 2001, Beverly Elizabeth Garside had a senior management role at the “Feltham First” Single Regeneration Programme in the London Borough of Hounslow. Another company she was a director of was Bg Project Solutions Limited, which was based in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. The other director of Empower who does the appointments for the Vattenfall cash dirstributors in the valleys was a Mr Ian Arthur Hewitt. Both Garside and Hweitt were concurrent directors of Empower and Bg Project solutions. Hewitts home address is 1 Over Hampden, Prestwood, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire.

    Here is a list of Hewitts business interests…
    https://companycheck.co.uk/director/906219002/IAN-ARTHUR-HEWITT/companies

    It includes such gems as Beacon Mortgages, Marlow Health, Stawberry Films, Flitset Properties, CarWash Café, Assured Golf Holiday Club, Shipshape Cleaning and MoneyGate Wealth Management. It is quite evident that Hewitt is something of a small time venture capitalist based on short term get-rich-quick start-ups. The people of Mountain Ash mush be delighted in securing the talents of Garside and Hewitt to run the appointments for the Vattenfall cash.

  9. Big Gee

    I liken Plaid to the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) in Northern Ireland. The SDLP party platform advocates Irish unification, and the further devolution of powers while Northern Ireland remains part of the United Kingdom.

    During the freedom struggle, the SDLP was enjoying the role of being the most popular Irish nationalist party in Northern Ireland. However they were getting nowhere (just like Plaid), but since 1994 it has lost ground to the left-wing republican party Sinn Féin, which in 2001 became the more popular of the two parties for the first time. A significant difference between the two parties was the SDLP’s rejection of violence, in contrast to Sinn Féin’s support for the Provisional IRA and physical force republicanism. The SDLP has fraternal links with other European social-democratic parties, including the Irish Labour Party and British Labour Party (neither of which contest elections in Northern Ireland), and is affiliated to the Socialist International and Party of European Socialists.

    Sounds familiar (albeit here in a more peaceful setting). The same applies here though. We either support the “corpse in our chair” (I loved that analogy above) or we seek out a Sinn Fein style party to stop the rot. The BIG problem is Sinn Féin is the oldest political movement in Ireland. It takes its name from the Irish Gaelic expression for “We Ourselves”. Since being founded in 1905, Irish Republicans have worked for the right of Irish people as a whole to attain national self-determination. Here in Cymru we’ve been sucking our thumb and watching Plaid farting about – just like the SDLP.

  10. Big Gee

    Brychan wrote:
    “I have noticed that families of migrants in cities like Cardiff and Swansea, who already have a command of more than one language, to be more willing to send their kids to Welsh medium schools. The slogan I chant back at the English Defence League is ‘I’d rather have a Kurd than a Turd”.

    That is EXACTLY the point I made in an earlier post when we were discussing Posh Boy Cameron’s ‘master plan’ to allow 20,000 refugees in over a five year period. It has always struck me that migrants into Cymru – especially those from small ethnic groups who have suffered colonialism and swamping and tyranny from a larger nation always seem far more sympathetic to our predicament and are far more willing to integrate, learn the language and send their children into Welsh medium schools. It’s because they view it through the eyes of the vanquished, rather than the victors.

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