Labour: The End is Nigh

The past few weeks have been perhaps the most turbulent period I can recall in over fifty years of following politics on this island. This goes some way to explaining why the most recent posts have avoided contemporary politics – things have been changing daily. But now that things have settled down a bit, with Mrs May in No 10, BoJo set to charm Johnnie Foreigner, and the battle-lines drawn in the Labour Party leadership election, it should be safe to resume commenting.

I wish to focus on the Labour Party, partly because many commentators are suggesting Labour might not be with us for much longer, or certainly not in the form we have come to know and love. (There! I’ve said it.) Another reason is that Labour remains the largest party in Wales plus the fact that one of the contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party represents a Welsh constituency.

For as I’ve mentioned, there is currently a struggle going on inside Labour for control of the party that will determine its future direction. A struggle between present leader Jeremy Corbyn and his allies on the one hand, and most of the MPs (and indeed AMs) on the other, represented by the two challengers, Angela Eagle and our very own Owen Smith.

The divide seems to be between what might be described as the Blairite rump of the party pitted against assorted varieties of the Hard Left that joined to elect Corbyn and will, if they are allowed, deselect most of the Labour MPs opposing the leader, plus remnants of Old Labour. Or to put it another way, unprincipled careerists versus unrealistic ideologues and those who’ve been left behind.

OWEN SMITH

Now Owen Smith is a man with quite an interesting background and past. He is the son of Dr Dai Smith, self-appointed chronicler of the Welsh working class. One of those Labour historians who believes Welsh history begins with the Industrial Revolution. Prior to this, Wales was a rural wasteland of Welsh-speaking peasants preyed upon by equally Welsh-speaking warlords and bandit chiefs. In fact, it was a Welsh-speaking hell from which we were saved by industrialisation and then the creation of the Labour Party.

Dr Dai was an academic but also served a stint as “Editor BBC Radio Wales and Head of Programmes (English language) at BBC Wales from 1992 to 2001”, and while at the Beeb he recruited young Owen. Though Owen left in 2002 to become a spad for Paul Murphy, then Secretary of State for Wales.

smith carp1

After failing to win the Blaenau Gwent by-election in 2006, against Independent Dai Davies, he continued with his job as a well-paid lobbyist for Pfizer, before moving on to Amgen, another pharmaceutical company, in 2008.

(By one of those quirks that are almost inescapable when looking into the backgrounds of Labour politicians, Owen Smith, while still at the BBC, recruited a young Lee Waters, who is now the Assembly Member for Llanelli. But Waters has assured me that they were unknown to each other when Smith recruited him. And I believe him. Oh yes.)

Around the time of the by-election Owen Smith gave an interview to WalesOnline in which he appeared to support the Iraq war and favour privatisation in the NHS. Read the interview here. He has since distanced himself from these remarks.

From what I’ve read in the past couple of days it would seem that many people who know him consider Owen Smith to be a bit . . . well, slippery, and perhaps he’s not what he wants us to believe he is. This piece by former ambassador Craig Murray says it all in the title – The Entirely Fake Owen Smith.

Owen Smith is one of New Labour’s chameleon-like smoothies who can change his position on anything at the blink of an eye. What you see is unlikely to be what you get because there are no principles to maintain, no constants . . . other than looking out for Number One. Exemplified by something I found on Twitter.

Owen Smith expenses

THE KINNOCK FAMILY AND FRIENDS

Friday saw the funeral of Jo Cox, the MP murdered a week before the EU referendum. As she was apparently killed by a right wing extremist expressing anti-immigration views many thought her death might swing the referendum in favour of Remain. That it did not tells us that the margin of victory for the Leave vote could have been even greater without this tragedy.

After the killing we heard both Neil Kinnock, former Labour leader, and his son Stephen, now MP for Aberavon (Port Talbot), tell us how well they knew Jo Cox and what a wonderful woman she was. Kinnock senior even likened the sad episode to “a death in the family”. But how did the Kinnocks know her so well?

(Another who spoke warmly of his friendship with Jo Cox, and having worked with her at Oxfam, was Stephen Doughty, the Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth. Many believe that Doughty owes his safe seat to family links with his powerful predecessor Alun Michael, now Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales Police.

Michael recruited as his deputy PCC Labour councillor [and daughter of Labour councillor] Sophie Howe, who’d served as a spad to first ministers Rhodri Morgan and Carwyn Jones. When Ms Howe failed to secure a safe seat for the 2015 UK general election the spurious post of Future Generations Commissioner was created for her as a consolation prize.)

It seems that the connection between the Kinnocks and Jo Cox began in the late 1990s when Glenys Kinnock was an MEP (1994 – 2009) and Cox served as her adviser for two years before moving on to Oxfam and Oxfam International. Later she was also involved with the Save the Children Fund, and immediately before becoming an MP was with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. After becoming an MP she shared an office with Stephen Kinnock.

Her husband Brendan also worked for the Save the Children Fund, but had to leave in rather unpleasant circumstances. His boss at the Fund, who also left under something of a cloud, was Justin Forsyth. Both Cox and Forsyth had been advisers to prime minister Gordon Brown, and both arrived at the charity in 2010, soon after Brown lost the general election. Forsyth had also been an adviser to Brown’s predecessor Tony Blair.

Many argue that Forsyth and Cox subverted the charity into ‘Save the Labour Party’ through regular attacks on the coalition and then the Conservative governments. In 2014 the charity – or rather, Forsyth – engineered a Global Legacy Award for Tony Blair, a decision opposed by many, even within the Save the Children Fund.

When Forsyth became a father, it was no surprise to see him congratulated by Baroness Kinnock.

Glenys Kinnock tweet

Her title is quite interesting. Perhaps in a show of socialist or feminist sentimentality Glenys Kinnock refused to call herself Lady Kinnock when hubby Neil was ennobled in January 2005 . . . holding out for her own peerage, which duly arrived in 2009. The Kinnocks are one of the few couples to both be peers.

Forsyth is now Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF.

To conclude this section it only remains to tell you who is now running the Save the Children Fund on an annual salary of $344,887. It’s Helle Thorning-Schmidt, former Prime Minister of Denmark and taker of the infamous selfie with David Cameron and Barack Obama at Nelson Mandela’s funeral. She is also known as Mrs Stephen Kinnock, but apparently there’s no room to mention that fact on her Save the Children bio.

Mrs Kinnock StCF bio

LABOUR AND THE ‘WELSH’ MEDIA

As I’ve mentioned, and as most of you reading this already knew anyway, Stephen Kinnock is now the MP for Aberavon, the Port Talbot constituency. He was selected as the Labour candidate in early March 2014 by, I believe, a single vote, perhaps 106 – 105. Around the time of his selection questions were asked about his children’s education – were they receiving private education?

In this Llais y Sais article by Martin Shipton, from February 2014, Kinnock explains the situation by telling us that his elder daughter, Johanna, 16, had attended a local school in Copenhagen which is mainly state funded but where parents are expected to contribute, in the Kinnocks’ case, it’s around £80 a month. (In a subsequent article, on St David’s Day, and just days before the Aberavon selection committee met, Kinnock confessed he had “unintentionally misled the Western Mail”, in fact, the fees were closer to £160 a month.)

From that local school with its modest fees, Shippo tells us, “Johanna went on to the equivalent of a sixth-form college in Denmark which is wholly state-funded”. We are being told this, remember, in February 2014 . . . yet Johanna Kinnock became a student at Atlantic College in September 2013!

Johanna Kinnock Atlantic College

How do we explain this? Here we have the son of Wales’ most famous political dynasty coming home to rescue us from the wicked Tories, to save Port Talbot steelworks, so surely we’d have loved to hear that the grand-daughter of Lord Kinnock and Baroness Kinnock was also here among us, at the famous Atlantic College.

Why then are we lied to and told she’s at a sixth-forth college in Copenhagen? Could the reluctance to tell us the truth have anything to do with the fact that fees at Atlantic College are £28,600 a year?

Obviously, in February and March 2014 Stephen Kinnock knew that his daughter was in her second term at Atlantic College, and he lied, knowing that to admit she was at an expensive school might cost him the nomination for Aberavon, as it almost certainly would have, given the closeness of the vote.

But what of the Fat Man, and other ‘journalists’ in Wales? Were they genuinely unaware that Johanna Kinnock was at Atlantic College, or did they choose to keep it from us – and perhaps worse, give her father a platform to mislead us – in order to help Stephen Kinnock gain the Aberavon nomination?

People in Denmark certainly knew, as this article from December 2013 confirms. Google Translate charmingly renders it: “Thus, father and daughter be united in the British country where also Michael Laudrup competes as coach in Swansea. Helle Thorning-Schmidt in an interview with Billed-Bladet reported on his farewell with his daughter at the airport: – ‘It was terrible to say goodbye to her. We stood and tudbrølede’, the Prime Minister explained in a double interview with her and her husband”.

Johanna Kinnock Graduation

Johanna Kinnock graduated from prestigious, and expensive, Atlantic College in May 2015 . . . with few of us in Wales ever knowing she was there! No doubt the ‘Welsh’ media will insist it kept quiet to guarantee her privacy . . . but we know the truth.

UPDATE 23.07.2016: Stephen Kinnock has ‘responded’ on his blog to what I’ve written. Read it here. I think ‘evasive’ is the word I’m looking for.

My questions centred on Atlantic College, yet Stephen Kinnock claims that he was only asked about his daughter’s past education in Copenhagen, and this is why he made no mention of Atlantic College. Very convenient. And we must accept that no questioner wondered where the girl was at the time?

The questions were being asked to establish whether Kinnock’s children were at fee-paying schools, an issue that would have embarrassed him, and possibly cost him the Aberavon nomination. The response he gives on his blog is clever, but it’s no answer.

After telling us about the bursaries and scholarships on offer at Atlantic College he has this to say of his daughter, “Johanna’s time at AC was partly funded by a standard Danish state scholarship for students studying abroad.” “Partly funded”, so where did the rest of her £28,600 a year fees (plus other expenses) come from?

There is no doubt in my mind that Johanna Kinnock’s presence at Atlantic College was kept from us – by both her father and the ‘Welsh’ media – in order to help him secure the Labour nomination for Aberavon.

UPDATE 26.07.2016: Here’s a report that just appeared on the BBC Wales website. Maybe this story has legs.

THE DOWN HOME ANALOGY

The great advantage Tory grandees have over Labour politicians is that they don’t have to act, they have no problem saying, ‘Grandfather was a banker and I’m a banker’. But so many in the Labour Party feel the need to play a part in the hope of connecting with those they want to vote for them. Whenever I consider this it brings to mind a somewhat bizarre analogy.

I’m a great fan of Country music, the more authentic the better; I can listen to Hank Williams all night (and often do). The songs he wrote and sang were influenced by his marital difficulties, his drinking, the pain he suffered with his back and the drugs that helped, and all delivered in that haunting, penetrating voice. He’s not singing about anybody else, this is a young man baring his soul, and poor Southern whites in the late 1940s and early 1950s knew it.

We are now up to Hank Williams III, and talented though the grandson may be, he’s too far from his grand-pappy’s upbringing in Alabama. The authenticity of the rural South that gave birth to Country music is, inevitably, missing. It’s gone forever, and to pretend that it can be recreated in a studio or by a PR agency is just self-delusion.

Hank Williams

“My grandfather was a miner” insists Stephen Kinnock. Fine, so was mine, for a while, after coming back from the War (the one to end all wars). But you aren’t asking people to vote for your grandfather, you’re asking them to vote for you, so tell us, Kinnock, who and what are you? And while you’re at it, tell us where your daughter went to school.

This generational disconnect is inevitable, in politics as in other spheres, but it affects the Labour Party worse than other parties because Labour was founded to represent a single class, and now it’s arrived at a situation where the likes of Stephen Kinnock and Owen Smith, the children of peers and academics, have to dig up grandparents in the hope of connecting with that class they don’t really understand. Trying to be what you’re not rarely works.

And worse, the ‘Welsh’ media, knowing who’s in charge, and who pays, with adverts and official notices, to keep Shippo’s ‘paper afloat, play along, doing Labour’s bidding, and failing us.

BANANA REPUBLIC SANS BANANAS

A century of Labour enjoying almost unchallenged power has given us a system of favouritism, nepotism and blatant corruption that is unknown elsewhere in Europe. To all intents and purposes, Wales is a one-party state. Combine the corruption with our relative poverty and Wales deserves to be considered a third world country.

Yet there are those in Wales who do very well for themselves, that’s the whole point of ‘Welsh’ Labour’. Keep Wales poor, blame somebody else, reap the electoral benefits, then divvy up the seats, the sinecures and the funding.

This corruption is known to those at UK level who should intervene but is tolerated because a) there’s little chance of the Tories overtaking Labour and b) those that might overtake Labour are unacceptable. So London turns a blind eye to institutionalised corruption, and allows Labour politicians and thousands of hangers-on to fill their boots.

Those I’m discussing here make up what is often called ‘the liberal elite’, flitting between Public Relations, charity / third sector work, and political office, while preaching at the rest of us and condemning right of centre politicians for securing good jobs in the worlds of finance and business.

But many of those they condemn create jobs and wealth, but the liberal elite is almost entirely decorative, and superfluous, almost a price we’re prepared to pay to make us feel better about ourselves. All sustained by the public purse, either in direct, governmental funding or else donations to charities and foundations. They’re parasitical hypocrites.

It is these, and their control – until recently – of the Labour Party that has led to voters deserting the party, and explains why the post-industrial areas of Englandandwales voted as they did in the EU referendum. Brexit was the disenfranchised of the post-industrial wastelands saying to the liberal elite, ‘Fuck off, you selfish, lying bastards!’

Labour’s control of its traditional followers is now, as I said at the start, greatly weakened. With Labour in real danger of falling apart. Either Corbyn stays at the helm, which probably makes Labour unelectable (because the media and ‘others’ will destroy him), or else Labour will have as leader the uninspiring Eagle or ‘Slippery’ Smith. Corbyn, Eagle, Smith, none will connect with the areas that voted Brexit.

text box

Here in Wales Labour seems marginally more united, but if Labour in England splits, or maybe disintegrates, then there is no way that ‘Welsh’ Labour can escape the consequences. (How many Welsh will vote Labour if there’s no party in England to form the UK government, or even vote Labour in Assembly elections?) As some Russian tsar said of the Ottoman empire in the nineteenth century, ‘We have a sick man on our hands’. Keeping him alive artificially would be unkind.

We are a nation badly served in almost every conceivable way, and it’s our fault – nobody else’s – because we’ve accepted it for so long, and elected vermin more concerned with self-advancement than with serving Wales. Nothing will change until we make it clear that we aren’t taking it any more. It’s time to start getting ‘awkward’, and any attempt to limit this awkwardness to the narrow sphere of electoral politics would be the height of folly.

Because from now on all ideologies should be made irrelevant, all that matters is the national interest, because this is the only way to serve the Welsh people. For example, control over our natural resources is obviously in the national interest, so let’s demand that we have that control. And if politicians say, ‘Oh, it can’t be done’ or, ‘But what about England?’ the answer must be –

‘You and your parties do not represent the Welsh national interest, you have never represented the Welsh national interest; so step aside, for we are throwing off you parasites to decide our future for ourselves’.

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112 thoughts on “Labour: The End is Nigh

  1. Rob morgan

    Enlightening. But to think that Wales could control their resources without as you say some parasite lining their own pockets would be naive

    1. Control of our resources could benefit the nation, I see no reason why it should allow parasites to line their pockets. It’s the UK system that encourages and protects the kind of parasites I’ve described here.

      1. Colin

        I know sod all about laws etc but Severn Trent water have a contract for another God knows how many years and the option to renew for another God knows how many years. Would we in the event of a split from the UK be able to renegotiate contracts of this sort or are we screwed yet again?

        1. Western oil companies had similar arrangements with their puppet regimes in the Middle East and the Gulf, but such arrangements only work as long as you have puppet regimes. That’s why Mossadeq had to be brought down. But once the puppet regimes – like ‘Welsh’ Labour – are brought down these arrangements become worthless.

  2. Big Gee

    A very good assessment Jac – I can’t pick anything wrong with that, it’s pretty much spot-on.

    It jogged my memory to recall what someone once relayed to me about Aneurin Bevan – the darling of the ‘working classes’ in south Wales who represented Ebbw Vale for 31 years. He was the Minister for Health in the post-war Attlee government from 1945 to 1951, and of course as the hero who brought us the NHS – for that reason alone he is still held in God-like awe by many, so much so that no one dares say otherwise. However there was a different side to ‘Nye’ Bevan apparently.

    Not only were his tactics in acquiring support on his way up the greasy pole to becoming elected as a Labour MP extremely dirty and underhanded, using ‘bully boy’ tactics against his opposition in his own party, but it seems (if this story is true) a streak in him at an early stage that is perhaps the same streak as we see in those you touched on in your post Jac.

    It seems that he had two sides to his public image. When he visited his constituency in Ebbw Vale, he would be driven down by his private chauffeur in his luxury car, the car that was his mode of transport in London, along with the trappings that we have come so used to amongst modern day MPs. However, when at a safe distance from the eyes of his constituents, Bevan would swap his luxury mode of transport & ditch his private chauffeur, and personally take to the wheel of a very modest Ford Popular (a Ford Pop), the epitome of the mode of transport for the working class man who could afford a small family car in that period. He would then drive around his constituency in his Ford Pop whilst he was mingling with his poor working class constituents. After the visit, the Ford Pop would be ‘moth-balled’ again, whilst Mr. Bevan was reunited with his ‘other’ motor and his chauffeur for the journey back to London, and it’s luxury trappings..

    Can anyone verify this story? If it IS true, then to me it is the classic example of a pink Tory, disguising his true self from the people he is supposed to represent. Just like the Owen Smiths & Stephen Kinnocks of 2016.

    1. Ian Perryman

      I’ve heard the story about Bevan before.
      In the version I heard he was picked up at Newport and driven about in a Morris Minor belonging to his agent.
      Not sure if it’s true or not.

      The Westminster government was never designed to bring power to the people.
      It has evolved from a system where the established inner circle decided the direction of government and the land owning gentry were allowed a few concessions to make sure the serfs did as they were told.

      In modern times the land owning gentry have been partially replaced by the Labour party.
      Leaders of the party are essentially bribed into being obsequious servants of the establishment with the offer of seats in the House of Lords, well paid jobs with the Tories friends in banking and other industries and other sinecures.

      The most obvious example of this is Neil Kinnock, who ranted and raved about the injustices of the House of Lords and was opposed to joining Europe. Then took well paid jobs in both.

      You will often find that this establishment largesse is also dolloped out generously to other members of the family and associates who are prepared to ditch their principles in order to get their snouts in the trough.

      The problem that these people have, as Jac pointed out above, is that they then get isolated from the working classes they claim to represent.

      They are then reduced to making plaintive pleas about grandparents etc, who once did a proper job and suffered real hardship, while they try to hide the fact that neither they nor their parents have never lifted anything heavier than a fountain pen and have never had a single financial problem.

      This is why you now have the split in the Labour Party. You have those who would sell their granny for fertiliser if it would get them elected (so they can join the gravy train) and those with socialist principles.

      Corruption by sinecure exists throughout the Westminster system, including the Welsh Assembly Government.

      The ruling classes in Westminster will do nothing about it because it serves the establishment system so well.

    2. Brychan

      On the expenses graphic displayed above, I find it’s as expected.

      Corbyn is the MP for Islington and qualifies by age for a ‘London Freedom Pass’ so he would have no travel expenses for his constituency work or for commuting to the Westminster House.

      I do an annual examination of the three MPs in RCT and unlike Anne Clwyd (Cynon but doesn’t live in her constituency) who has some well dodgy expense claims including curtains for her third home in Abergynolwyn, and Chris Bryant (who swaps his home address to maximise expense income claiming it’s because he’s gay), the claims of Owen Smith is perfect. In fact too perfect. Maximum under the rules. Even the train fare expenses to London coincide with the cheaper off-peak late train dates with the £30 mini-cab run up from Cardiff.

      Owen claims for every sandwich and mug of tea allowed under the rules, someone evidently trained trade union rule perks and slimy sales rep for Pfizer. He uses the same travel agency to book his ‘unplanned’ travel as Unite, and although his staff are sometimes accommodated at the well-appointed Park Plaza Hotel when in London, it’s at rates well below rack rate. The only anomaly is an expense for 271 miles of travel for staff within his own constituency. It’s not Powys, so it just means they are using the Llantrisant time-distance continuum to conduct constituent business. It just happens to coincide with the local authority elections.

      One thing that’s significant, is that water bills in Lambeth are considerably cheaper than Pontyclun, which only goes to show that it doesn’t depend on rainfall. It does show, however, it takes a very diligent claim regime to put in a chit for every sandwich, squash and newspaper. Slippery one indeed.

      1. Stan

        Wow, that’s a pretty forensic examination of those expenses, Brychan. I do a similar follow of a few MPs near Neath and I’d say Kinnock falls very much into the Smith mould. He actually submitted an individual invoice for 27 pence for 0.6 miles in his car recently. Paid, naturally – you don’t think he’d cheat, do you? Still, every penny is important when you have to find school fees of over £28K a year.

        With the spotlight on how MPs now behave I don’t think the story referred to by Big Gee about Nye Bevan could be covered up but I have noticed MPs employ more subtle methods to show their “working class” credentials. Hain was quite an expert in becoming a member, patron or president of God knows how many rugby, soccer and cricket clubs – though curiously not a golf club to my knowledge, because obviously golf is still considered a bit posh in the valleys. Kinnock is keen on trying to prove his machismo by running 5K and 10K local races and swim events – following in the footsteps of his doppelganger Vladimir Putin a bit – seemingly taking every chance to get his kit off (or on as the case may be). Expect the inevitable triathlon soon – a must for any middle class poseur trying to adopt a working class persona. Then we have more earthy, less sexy means of selling the myth of working class solidarity – the attendance at collections for food banks, the litter pick, even the odd tweet you’ve been shopping to Tesco. The truth is that most of these imposters have as much in common with the people they are supposed to represent as my dog has to next door’s fucking parrot. And the reason for Corbyn’s popularity is that people are fast waking up to all this sham and pretence and they are turned on to conviction politicians, not politicians who should be convicts.

        1. Brychan

          Your observation about the Labour Party parachutes latching on to a local cause (often a sports club) rings true. After the WRU regions stitch-up, Pontypridd lost it’s top flight rugby, and Owen smith latched onto the cause. This is despite, when he was a candidate in Blaenau Gwent supporting the Dragons playing the odd game at Ebbw Vale. Also, the official Labour policy is also to pour public money into Parc y Scarlets. Along with the WRU mates have effectively killed off the game in the valleys, so Owen Smiths’ interest in Sardis Road is pure opportunism.

          I was up the dump at Nant y Caws (Carmarthenshire recycling facility) quite recently, having a chat to the lads on the bins. They also do ‘shouts’ where they have to take a flatbed and binbags to clean up any streets which have been trashed, like when seagulls raid bins or some special event results in loads of street rubbish. They keep getting called down to Llanelli because Mr Waters AM, along with the Llanelli Star are on a ‘clean up the streets campaign’. However, when the street cleansing response team arrive, they find the offending rubbish is the bin compound at the back of Poundland or overflowing bins in Morrisons car-park. Private land, not the responsibility of the council. This does not stop Mr Waters having his his photo-op with litter picker in hand “doing his bit for the community’, and blaming a Plaid led council. It’s manufactured spin, pure opportunism. He should just tell the owner of the land to clean up their patch and not waste the resources of the council for his personal photo-ops.

  3. jeffrey davies

    spot on but the sons wife left denmark under a cloud this family has proved they aint to trusted windy by name windy by nature but blair has brought so much damage to labour party can that man jc bring back any vintage of honesty hmmm jeff3

  4. Stan

    Is that fish bigger than Owen Bach or is it my imagination? Informative and entertaining as always, Jac. I can see where you’re coming from describing the Corbynites as “assorted varieties of the Hard Left” but think you have fallen into the trap the Murdoch press and indeed the Parliamentary Labour Party have set for us. I accept that Corbyn has a lifetime history of meeting that description and his remaining PLP support also. But not necessarily the masses of people who have signed up to support him. I think a lot of his support comes from those who are fed up to the teeth with the other sort of politics/politicians you refer to in your article. The slick, media savvy, ambitious, weathervane politicians, reincarnations of skincrawling types like Blair and Mandelson – and I’ll happily put Owen Smith and Stephen Kinnock there as well. Loads of “old Labour” types are now marching with Corbyn and these people are not the rebellious Trots under the bed that Corbyn’s opponents would have us believe but people enthused by a man in politics who actually appears to have principles that he stands by and has lived his life by them. That’s why the Tory press and the Tories themselves are so keen to ridicule and get rid of him – it’s what the Corbyn movement might become. I don’t think he can win the Labour Party power at the next election. In fact I don’t think Labour will win outright power in Westminster ever again and the best they can hope for is coalition government. But on the other hand I honestly believe that if they stuck with him he could take them closer than any of the odious, self-serving, treacherous bastards that have tried to undermine him. I wish him luck even though I have no wish to see a future Labour Government – at least not until the types I have mention have been purged (some hope).

    This thing about the education of the Kinnocks’ elder daughter is very interesting indeed. You are correct that the vote for his Labour candidacy was as close as it could get, 106/105. And it’s obvious that at the time Boyo (Stephen) and his backers were very concerned about the potential adverse impact of the private education of his children coming out. You can still find many internet references from that time, besides Shipton’s article, where this was being discussed within weeks of the final Aberavon vote in March 2014. Guido Fawkes was running with it as well so it had national prominence. In my opinion, if this business about the daughter being in Atlantic College at that very time had become public knowledge, then at least one of those votes that carried him across the line would have been lost and Aberavon would now be represented by Jeremy Miles, whom they consoled by giving the Neath constituency where he is now the AM. Boyo would not necessarily have lost because of the education issue per se, but because he was not open about it which is even worse. The tragedy of this is that by burying the truth he has got his reward, thereby encouraging similar subterfuge in the future. Your article raises another very important point – did our wonderful investigative media (Martin Shipton) know about it and bury it? Good on you for bringing it all out.

    The title of your piece, referring to the End is Nigh, is surely spot on for the Labour Party. It must split, surely, then we’ll have further bloodletting when the two factions argue about who keeps the name, but more important – who has the Party machinery, infrastructure etc.? Interesting times.

    1. Colin

      I think you could draw similarities between Corbyn’s appointment to party leader and the Brexit vote, people have had enough of those that pretend to be representative of the working class are no different to the greedy alternatives or as Jac puts it ‘Fuck off, you selfish, lying bastards!’

      1. dafis

        So what if Labour dies ? Politics and how people are represented has to evolve to meet the needs of the prevailing social condition. Labour got it wrong when it modernised itself into tune a mythical view of society that had been created by Maggie and her cohorts. Now that view may have suited her purposes but why on earth did those suckers follow suit – perhaps because it suited them also ! They had come to the conclusion that they merited something “better” and spun the myth that everybody could have a piece of it. Now the bubble has burst and they need to evolve, shrivel or shut down.

        What fills the gap ? Well the media would love another round of middle of the road social democracy, the vanilla of ice cream politics or the magnolia of paintbox politics. Either will be more of the same and won’t cut it. Unless of course the unthinking great unwashed masses enjoy a bit of a surge in economic activity and get distracted once again by thoughts of holidays, consumer goods and other distractions of the deeply metaphysical !

        At UK and Wales levels of the issue there are serious grounds for concern. UKIP was a noteable rebel call, yet strikes me as wholly superficial. That it delivered Brexit is a huge redeeming feature but I don’t see much there that offers positive future prospects. With the Tories – well you know what you are in for from them, no matter how it’s dressed up, while all the others wallow in some kind of slurry pit of wishy washy 3rd sector interventionist “activity” that just costs a lot and yields next to nothing ( other than for the senior participants ) .

        It makes me wonder whether this evolution will actually lead us to something new – it should. As mentioned by Jac in previous posts we might get better representation if regional parties evolved for Senedd elections. That alone might start to shift the focus away from Cardiff and its capacity for guzzling up as much of the national cake as it can shove into its greedy mouth. Indeed vested interests at all levels are the enemy of the common people and the vast majority of the present party alignments are wedded to the protection of those interests. So seeing one party going down the tubes or fragmenting is to be welcomed in the hope that others will follow suit rapidly and offer scope for a new shape for the future.

      2. Big Gee

        IF Labour dies in Cymru – who the hell is in the breach as a replacement? As you and many others have pointed out on here in the past. This would appear to be a case of a train arriving at the station, but it will be missed and will pull out again, possibly not to return for a long time.

        Trouble is the party in the breach should have been in place a long time ago, but as we know they were too busy keeping their heads down behind the sofa. It’s too much of a rush now at this late hour. Another missed opportunity I fear. An unfilled vacuum that many voters yearn to have filled, so they splinter off and follow anything else that passes – like little ducks that follow the first thing that moves when they hatch out. Including English nationalist parties like UKIP.

  5. Great article Jac. Puts our own Welsh media to shame( as well as highlighting the way that some individuals have overly ingratiated themselves with the Labour establishment here in Wales, thus completely compromising their journalistic integrity).

    As you say, a hundred years of Labour dominance here in Wales and what do we have to show for that: an industrial wasteland, poverty, despair, high levels of drink, drug and gambling problems in our communities, lack of opportunities for young people leading to a huge brain-drain from our country compounded by a wave of unlimited English migration into our nation which is decimating our Welsh-speaking areas and crippling our health service. And a puppet government in Cardiff, completely in thrall to its Westminster overlords. And worse, an enduring sense of fatalism that there is nothing we can do about all of this.

    And to add insult to Welsh injury, we have the likes of Stephen Kinnock and Owen Smith riding the gravy train of the family name with an over-inflated sense of their own importance and their career prospects in Westminster as their only guiding principles in life. “For Wales, see England” indeed. Both embody what Labour has become over the years: a home for identikit media land/ managerial visionless clones who only have their own naked interests at heart.

    Jeremy Corbyn stands out a mile from these type of politicians because he has integrity and actually believes in something apart from his own personal advancement. But even though I hope he can see off the nest of vipers in his own party, I would agree with your assessment that he has no chance of actually becoming PM. I think that the type of activists he has assembled around him are just as disconnnected with your ordinary Labour voter as these New Labour clones like Smith and Kinnock. In effect, there are three Labour parties in existence; the activists, the MP’s, and labour voters- all completely out of kilter with each other. As the saying goes, it’s a complete cluster***.

    The Tories, scenting blood in a way that only they can, have brought forward the Trident vote tomorrow in order to deepen the Labour divides, and no doubt that will be the case. But, I wonder are the Tories being too clever for their own good here for two reasons.

    Firstly, Theresa May has just been up to Edinburgh, pledging to “respect” Scotland. At least 56 of the 59 Scottish MP’s will vote against Trident tomorrow, but yet the people of Scotland will be powerless to stop Westminster from renewing Trident and the ever-present danger of hosting nuclear weapons on their own soil, only 35 miles away from one of their densely-populated areas( Glasgow). Some respect. That can only play into the hands of the SNP, and even embolden them to call a second independent referendum sooner than anyone anticipates.

    Secondly, in the present febrile political atmosphere, isn’t is possible that there will be a wave of protests in the rest of the UK against spending over £200 billion on Britain’s outdated status symbol? With the attack in Nice fresh in people’s minds, more and more are coming to realise that Trident is completely useless in dealing with the kind of terrorist threats that are blighting Europe at present.

    For me, the vote seems to encapsulate Westminster’s arrogance that it’s back to “business as usual”, and that the Brexit vote was some kind of public aberration- oblivious to Brexit’s central message that people have called time on their political masters and that a new kind of politics and democracy is needed here on these islands.

    1. While I am greatly enjoying Labour’s miseries my real worry is that any collapse in England might not be replicated fully in Wales, for two main reasons. 1/ Labour here seems more ‘solid’ and united (and anti-Corbyn). 2/ There’s no party poised to take advantage. My fear therefore is that with no one to apply the releasing pillow ‘Welsh’ labour might provide us with the painful sight of a lingering death.

      1. Big Gee

        Ah! We passed in cyberspace Jac.

        You could well be right – that would be a mess, but it would provide Welsh Nationalists (preferably armed with a new nationalist party) a bit of breathing space. However on what do you base your assumption that the Labourites in Wales are anti-Corbyn? We all know that the establishment Labour figures are most definitely aligned to the ‘Blairite Gravy Train mob’, but do you think that includes the voting Labourite on the street?

        1. I’ve read in a few places that Labour in Wales did not attract the new members that supported Corbyn in anything like the numbers seen in parts of England. Labour in Wales seems to be made up of many Blairites at the top, with Old Labour at a lower level, but Old Labour in the sense of being old Valleys Labour – look out for No 1 – rather than socialists who support Corbyn. While Labour voters have always voted for the party because they believe Labour will look after them better than the Tories, it’s self-interest, they have few if any socialist convictions, as we saw with the recent drift to UKIP.

          But to exploit these differences, and take advantage of the Labour Party in England disintegrating, we need a new party or movement in Wales. NOT the party whose leader suggested immediately after Brexit a Labour-Plaid alliance!

          1. Big Gee

            NOT the party whose leader suggested immediately after Brexit a Labour-Plaid alliance!” ABSOLUTELY not! That party is an illusion – a hologram – it’s not real.

            However, as you and I know, growing a new party is not an easy business, although there is more of a chance now with a bit of excitement in the air. The only way I could see it developing is if a bit of ‘scion’ wood, that’s healthy and has a ready made following is cut from the existing half dead tree and grafted elsewhere. In that process you have two huge obstacles.

            a) The ‘hide behind the sofa’ hologram party would strangle it at birth
            b) I can’t see any ‘scion’ wood in the existing party that can be used as a graft.

            We’ll have to see how things pan out after the political scene settles down a bit and we can see where things are headed.

            You say it seems that the new found Corbyn-Labour membership was weaker in Wales than elsewhere in the UK. Where do those figures come from?

  6. dafis

    The oily Mr Smith confirmed his arrogance earlier today when talking down to us all pronouncing that Brexit was reversible. Hasn’t yet realised that in June the people exercised their democratic will to a greater extent than they had for years, but of course they are thick and deluded and need re-educating. Well the boy needs a good whipping, lessons in humility. Could start with being sidelined by the Eagle, or later thumped by Corbyn and pre 2020 deselected by his constituency on any grounds they care to choose. He can then relocate to some suburban setting where he can share his dull bland world view with all his chums at the salon.

    1. Big Gee

      I watched the Andrew Marr show today as well & the bits that involved Smith & Eagle reminded me of the film ‘Dumb & Dumber’. What a pair! Especially the last bit where they had a mock hustings. TOTALLY pathetic.

      If any of you missed it then you can see it on iPlayer:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b07lp37j/the-andrew-marr-show-17072016

      The ‘Punch & Judy show is at 20 & around 50 minutes in. There was also a very interesting interview with Ms. Sturgeon in between – now, as you’d expect – she didn’t come over as an extra from the ‘Dumb & Dumber’ film.

      Yes very interesting, the ‘Weepy & Slimey’ show was very revealing, although Eagle didn’t blub this time (but she always looks as if she’s ready to reach for the Kleenex). Slimey was as slippery and slimey as ever – the lad has a big disadvantage, he is not only slimey but thick as a short plank. This is the guy that said he voted to retain Trident but wants ALL nuclear weapons disarmed –

      1. Colin

        Well it was worth a watch, actually no it wasn’t but then again….

        Can you imagine any of those two running the country or hosting PMQs? I know it will never happen but bloody hell all the same, I bet their mums are proud of them, hell someone has to be. The absolute worst thing about it is they must be the best of the bunch and they have supporters, the pride of the PLP! Speechless.

        Well it’s going to be an interesting few weeks again but it doesn’t look good for Labour at all does it, I did think this morning Jac had perhaps added a bit of wishful thinking into his post but now I think perhaps he has got it right (again). It will also be interesting to see if the future lord Kinnock will jump ship if JC wins, it would be even more interesting to see him loose his seat in a general if one is called (which I doubt but you know my political foresight!). Somehow I can see Lord Neil stepping in there and stopping him potentially committing hari-kari with his career.

  7. Stan

    Well Jac your title of this piece may come to pass quicker that we all thought. The Mail on Sunday has an article today about Boyo Kinnock having already been in discussion with Lord Paddy Pantsdown with a view to forming a centre ground Party should Corbyn win. The tipped leader for this party – none other than Boyo himself – as “we need a persuader not a protestor”. If this comes to pass wouldn’t it be interesting to see how many of these Labour turncoats hang on to a seat at the next General Election.

    1. That’s been in the air for a while, though whether it would ever happen is another matter. It might just be a threat to detach a few of the less committed Corbynistas. But a centre party and a rump Labour Party would be great news for the Tories. And which way would Carwyn and his gang jump? Might they form a genuinely independent Welsh Labour Party?

      1. dafis

        not bloody likely ! more likely to freeze like rabbits in the lights and wait to see who comes along with a decent offer ! They’d all join UKIP if they thought it would protect their jobs.

      2. Big Gee

        Oh! You mean a centrist political party, like he SDP that was founded thirty five years ago by four senior Labour Party ‘moderates’, dubbed the ‘Gang of Four’ with their Limehouse Declaration. Extremely successful that. So much so that they still have a huge legacy in the form of EIGHT MPs in the House of Commons at present.

        The main difference from the situation now being that Roy Jenkins, David Owen, Bill Rodgers and Shirley Williams were quite distinguished senior Labour members (unlike ‘Boyo’ Kinnock & Co.). The common thing is that the Gang of Four argued that a new type of political force was needed to challenge the Conservative Party (that sounds familiar). They also declared that at the time the increasing prominence within the party of Tony Benn was a problem (enter Corbyn – Benn’s prodige). Apart from Owen and Rodgers, and to a lesser extent Maclennan and Mabon, none were front-rank figures in the Labour Party, and most were undistinguished backbenchers in danger of deselection (nothing new there then!).

        On which side will Carwyn ‘y Crwban’ (the tortoise) land? Well he’s far too slow, timid and boring to go with a new group. He’ll probably play up the old Rhodri Morgan line of getting clear red water between his gang and Westminster. However in his heart he is nothing of the sort. Ideologically he is totally anti-Corbyn (he’s gone on record as saying so) but he’ll hide under the shadow of whichever side of his bread the butter is on, whilst trying to cast the line that Labour in Wales is different. He is just as steeped in cronyism as the rest of the crooked Labourites all over the UK. Form a new ‘genuinely independent Welsh Labour partty’? Not on your nelly – not our exciting & radical Carwyn!

  8. Red Flag

    John Mann ‏@JohnMannMP Jul 13
    I was approached six months ago to back Owen Smith to be Labour leader. I politely declined the offer.

    Owen Smith MP
    I had no intention of running 6 months or even 6 weeks ago. John should name whoever he claims approached him.

    John Mann ‏@JohnMannMP 18h
    Claims approached him eh? So Owen Smith is calling me a liar. I will have to publish more details then.

  9. Not-A-Donkey-Voter

    Here’s a suggestion? The son of that Lord and Baroness Kinnock whom seems to be rather pissed off with the Labour Party and its grassroots membership at present? Why doesn’t he just resign from his seat IMMEDIATELY and fight a by-election as an independent? That’s what someone with morals, principles,and conviction would do surely?……. Obviously he’ll have to win because a loss would mean he would undoubtedly end up right in shit creek without a paddle….. You know?…..What with that Kinnock dynasty, its kids, grandchildren and great grandchildren all being denied a future free seat on the multimillionaire making ‘EU’ gravy train.

  10. Good article Jac. Most illuminating. Having worked in the past for a BigPharma corporation like Pfizer (but bigger!) and maybe possessing (so I’m told) some of the same poisonous attributes displayed so obviously by Mr.Smith (be one to know one?) and that are so necessary to survive in a satanic global corporation, I can safely say that there is no way on Earth or any other planetary body, in this or any other galaxy far far away that I would vote for him.
    He also appears to wear the same spectacle frames from Specsavers that I do – another most serious black mark!

    1. Big Gee

      Please don’t get me started on BigPharna! “Satanic global corporation” says it all. In it up to their necks and beyond in the global conspiracy. Those who survive in that coven are a type, those who can move to the upper echelons are something else! Maybe some other time . . .

      Mr. Smith just oozes “do not touch with a barge pole” doesn’t he?

      1. Not with a fishing pole either!
        The picture of him carp fishing seems to be yet another example of trying to display ‘working class’ credentials. Many of my Labour voting fishing pals (from the Valleys and beyond in Y Fro) are excellent fly fishermen (and women) – there aren’t that many coarse fisheries in Wales and I can’t think of one in the Valleys. The lake cooling the Port Talbot steel works is an excellent trout fishery supported and maintained by the workforce. Not a carp in sight. In fact, the only dedicated carp fishery I can think of ( although I stand to be corrected) is in the poshest part of Pembrokeshire run by an Englishman.

        1. Stan

          Well I have it on good authority that once he’d had that photo taken with the goldfish it was placed straight back into the plastic bag and returned to the darts stall in the fair.

  11. Brychan

    People still ask me how did Leanne Wood win the Rhondda seat off Leighton Andrews in the elections in May with a huge swing and a 3500 majority. The reason is quite simple, social media, on-the-ground campaigning, no bullshit and she’s the genuine article (even if you disagree with her). Despite the professional ‘spin’ machine of Labour and having the Wasting Mule and the English papers against her, the voters saw through it. No longer can the electorate be manipulated by spin doctors, or by newspaper trashing, or by slick media manipulation. Voters, particularly young ones, dismiss the official media and take more notice on what their friends are saying on FaceTwit and text messaging.

    I also think it’s the same reason why a boring flannel suited pensioner like Corbyn (even if you dissagee with him) won the last leadership contest for leader of the Labour Party. He just by-passed the official spin machine of the Labour establishment because he’s the genuine article, and people ignore the trashing and lies about him in the ‘official media’. The likes of the ‘Blair’ spin doctoring no longer works. Voters are more connected by electronic media, and see through bullshit much easier. It’s also the reason why, despite the official spin machines of the main political parties failed to get a Remain vote in the referendum with scare tactics and spin. Poor white trash now have i-phones.

    I actually think that it the Labour Party is a bigger threat to Plaid Cymru if it’s led by Corbyn. If a slippery shit like Owen Smith becomes their leader, no matter how slick this PR machine is, people will rapidly see through the mirage. It’s also a warning for Plaid Cymu. Candidates must be the genuine article to win elections, warts and all. We need more Leannes and McEvoys as candidates. No bullshit, grounded in the community, taking straight, and no fakes, the genuine article.

    1. Colin

      I’m not convinced by Leanne Wood, she seems to miss the proactive strength of Nicola Sturgeon. The public declaration of a possible alliance with Welsh labour met with equally public anger from some AMs who obviously thought that it should have been dies used first, she seems sometimes to lack leadership skills. I have no doubt her heart is in the right place but not leadership material. McEvoy I think would be a better bet to lead and maybe even bring welcome changes to the party that might be better suited to our future. Just my thoughts really but in the situation we are in with no alternative party out there…. What can we realistically get?

      1. Brychan

        To go into a TV interview seeking to make the point that Plaid Cymru will join with Labour to condemn racist attacks post Brexit, and then the journalist bends the question from ‘cooperate with Labour’ into the possibility of a ‘coalition with Labour’ is a trap which Leanne fell for. It does show lack of experience. Nicola Sturgeon has the benefit of being in government and setting the agenda for interviews. The press still interview Leanne as the ‘naive girlie from the valleys’ which she needs to overcome, and not be bullied by the hacks.

        An example is when the ‘panel’ is in the prep-room before Question Time. Dimblebys assistant checks on the panellists and discusses with Sturgeon what’s likely to come up, but with Leanne she’s just complemented on her ‘lilt’ and asked to mutter something in Welsh, and she smiles coyly. On the radio she gets treated with more respect and stature as a female politician and what she stands for by LBC in London than by Jason Mohamed on BBC Wales in Cardiff. How does she overcome this?

        I find the best response when an Englishman asks me to say something in Welsh (as if I’m a circus performer or a curious native from the colonies) is to deliver a punch in the face. Thing is, McEvoy would probably follow my example.

        1. Colin

          I didn’t realise the circumstances of the way the story of the “coalition” came about, I just saw the backlash from Plaid AMs on twitter and took it at face value that it was an intentional statement. In that case I think it fair to forgive her that as we all know what the press are like at the best of times. I also take your point about being interviewed as the the little girlie from the valley and that’s how she comes over to me sometimes, so you’re right is that she does need to overcome that if she is to be seen as a serious politician. Branching off, Maggie Thatcher had to redesign herself after becoming PM in a wholesale manner, she changed just about everything about herself, clothes, stature, voice, the list goes on. Not trying to be sexist but it seem that to take charge of a bunch of men a woman does need to go to greater lengths than a man would keep control, maybe Leanne would be wise to take a leaf out of Thatchers book?

          Neil McEvoy on the other hand is or seems to be a tough guy, he certainly seems to stand up and take no crap from anyone (on social media at least). I honestly think if Leanne Wood can’t grasp the nettle then she should step aside and let him have a crack

          1. dafis

            growing a mustache and stop shaving her legs might help though nowadays some of them dykes might see that as a policy shift in their direction, especially after attending that wimmin’s do in Cardiff some weeks ago !!!

            Seriously though she is a bit naïve despite being bright ( bit of a conundrum that ! ) whereas some of us are seen as being a bit dim but never naive, too wordly wise perhaps. I have become increasingly convinced that she keeps bad company and a changing of the guard around her might just do the trick. Oh, and ditch the urge to imitate Sturgeon – that’s a different personality, different environment best stick to developing Wood themes for Wales and leave flaky imitation to O Smith &Co.

            Now this heat is getting to me I’m starting to really see all sorts of challenges coming from that Turkish demagogue. Now that’s a class A snake in the grass who could give master classes to young Smith ( and Kinnock jnr ) ! The little shit is cavorting with his Islamist population while pretending to value a relationship with EU and being a key player in NATO. The sooner we stand aside and let old Vlad smack him in the puss over some ages old dispute in the Black Sea, or better still on account of his double dealing with the Saudis and IS and the unwarranted aggression towards the Kurds. Of course the good ole USA won’t allow that, so EU will be made to swallow whatever the old Turk chooses to shove down its throat in return for his shady act as “bulwark” against all things nasty oozing out of Syria and the Middle East.

            The big lie grows and grows

    2. Big Gee

      I think that’s a very shrewd observation Brychan, and it seems to stand the test. You’re probably right. It does stack up. It was of course Obama that highlighted this phenomenon when he got elected to his first term in office. It’s well known that the clever use of social media and mass mail outs via e-mail basically won it for him. The same seems to have emerged in other campaigns – especially the Leanne Wood victory.

      However I agree with Colin that Leanne, nice girl as she is, she is not the best leader of Plaid, but beggars can’t be choosers can they? Although I also agree that McEvoy seems to be the stand out alternative at present.

      Brychan’s theory would also explain why Labour, as a parliamentary part, is falling apart – the grass roots membership no longer react to the age old (insult to intelligence) method of spinning and lying. Also when you consider the decline in newspaper circulation, then their influence is also greatly diminished.

  12. Myfanwy

    Blair set the precedent for the slippery, duplicious, smarmy, media politician and many Labour voters, fell for the spin and insincerity, because they thought, that there would be ‘real change’ with a Socialist Government after the Thatcher years. New Labour, was of course, a real sham, just Tory Lite, you only have to look at Blair’s own, multi million property portfolio, to understand his real Tory values and Cameron thought Blair was so successful, in the smarm department, that he and the rest of the Blarites, like Owen Smith, have copied him.

    In this light, Corbyn is seen as a refreshing change, to all that spin, the real deal, in the traditional, Tony Benn, Old Labour Party way, (apart from his potential, Islington, Margaret Hodge kind of legacy), not the Hilary Benn, slippery fish, blarite, New Labour nonsence, that voters have now woken up to. The Labour party needs to split and so does the Conservative party, if they are to be in any way authentic.

    There have always been many slippery fishes in politics and a multitude of politicians pretending to be representing, something that they are not. To mention Victor Rothschild again, well he was a Labour Peer, the ultimate ‘Champagne Socialist’, however, he worked for, the Heath and the Thatcher Government and advised on security issues!! The real problem is the corrupt establishment system, the expenses are just one area, where, politicians have been allowed to police themselves. It suites the establishment to maintain this status quo, so power stays in the same hands.

    This John Pilger article discusses many of the issues you discuss Jac, the disaffected voters who have fallen off the radar, who are extremely angry and so sick of the corrupt system and the Metropolitan elite, that they voted for Brexit, in a roar of protest, but the establishment is, so out of touch, they still don´t get it.

    http://johnpilger.com/articles/why-the-british-said-no-to-europe

    Wales needs to have a strong Independent party, as many have discussed here, there is now a huge vaccum, which the Labour Party doesn’t fill anymore. It is important that the corrupt political system, is changed and truly represents us and not self serving, nepotistic, fake politicians, who are full of spin.

    1. Big Gee

      Excellent couple of links there Myfanwy! I rate John Pilger very highly. If all journalists were as awake & truthful as him it would be a totally different ball game. It’s also why I like Corbyn. I’m no fan of the Labour party and especially what they have morphed their ‘New Labour’ brand of socialism into. Corbyn is honest, an old warrior that doesn’t get phased, and like Pilger he does not conform to the artificial crap that’s served up to the people by the self promoting career politicians that the media so love.

      I only wish he was a Welsh Nationalist. If he was, he’d make a brilliant team working in tandem with that little darling from north of the border!

  13. dafis

    Well Myfanwy, it looks like the nepotistic wing of Blair’s Labour legacy is still alive and kicking although the boy is carping on about his serious Left wing credentials like he’s been one all his life !
    Will be interesting to see whether Corbyn launches a crushing campaign with Corbyn backers making speeches dismantling Smith’s alleged pedigree or will they just ignore him, marshal the rank &file troops and deliver a membership majority on the day. Still the boy thinks he’s going all the way to Prime Minister, nothing like unrestrained ambition.

      1. Colin

        Hubris, what a wonderful word, it’s used by Tommy Lee Jones in “The client” to great effect

        Myfanwy, as always a great read. The thing that worries me is with labour and the probable demise of, this vacuum that was once called the opposition, what are we going to be left with? If ever we have needed a strong independent party in Wales it is now but we don’t have one. The only other Welsh party I know of other than PC are Plaid Glyndwr which is very small at present and hardly organised to grow, sadly (I am a member) but until a realistic party evolves either Welsh labour or Plaid Cymru will walk all over the interests of our country taking us into an ever decreasing chance of ever getting our independence from the crown of England in the hope of getting a few scraps from the table at Westminster

          1. dafis

            wrong there, if we have a gwladfa at all we’ll head south away from the big chill. I reckon that places like Padstow and Fowey would benefit greatly from an influx of Welsh migrants fetching in their coarse language and idioms. Native Kernyw could rejoice at having old links renewed with ethnic cousins. And who knows if it caught on we could absorb the nice bits of Devon from Dartmoor right up to the Bristol Channel coast . I’d be tempted to move down there lock stock and both barrels.

            Right, back to the real world ……………..

            1. If you´re looking for warmer climes why not go the whole hog? I have it on good authority that the food and booze is far better across in Breizh. Used to hear lots of tales from the Kernewegoryon of ¨cultural visits¨, the rest you can I´m sure imagine.

              The corner of N. Devon up around Hartland might be good though, anywhere in fact that´s been heavily penetrated by ¨emmets¨ (lit. ¨ants¨ cus they swarm in the warm weather), places where there´s bugger all native culture to damage. The Camborne/Kammbronn — Redruth/Rezrydh patch is your familiar ex-mining ex-industrial depressed mess, while Truro tries to be a minuscule Caerdydd. Out of the EU all the funding will dry up so yes, looked at logically you´d be best off in Brittany. Scotland may yet escape the UK, but Wales and Cornwall (along with almost the whole SW) both voted Leave so they´ll be fUK-ed along with the Saeson by the look of things.

              On which note, here are some interesting maps I was just looking at :

              http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Cn5BzWBWIAE5Ism.jpg

              While Scotland is pretty well unified in its choices, Wales comes over as divided into what looks very much like the Bro Gymraeg, the anglicised East, Powis etc. indistinguishable from the English W. Midlands, and then Cardiff and the Valleys. Anyway I´ll leave you to figure it all out.

            2. dafis

              interesting maps, but the idea of shifting everything to Brittany is not attractive other than in an entirely hypothetical case where the French have been shoved out. There is a big majority of pro EU beneficiaries in France and they know a good scam when they see one.

              But as I said it’s the real world that matters and all this chat about funding drying up in UK is fashionable, cataclysmic doomsday stuff but points in the wrong direction of diagnosis . Some segments of the economy/society may lose out but that was on the cards anyway even in the EU’S tender care.
              Brexit may be used as a pretext for setting loose the free market “thought leaders” who will justify, hypothetically, anything. NHS, State Pensions, Education, may all be reconfigured around the market and our future generations will pay through the nose to learn and to just stay alive and healthy. Indeed this is part of the Big Plan ( known to some contributors on here as the NWO ) where corporations take over functions hitherto managed and provided by governments. The nation state and national identities are under attack, and that will intensify. The attackers are global corporates, a large matrix of alliances which will eventually run everything unless people act to derail the whole racket.
              The EU is merely a pseudo government which is discreetly operated by these large corporates, and their long term agenda is clearly to shift as much “work” as possible into the free market, for profit sector. These corporates are not phased by Brexit. They will shuffle their position slightly and a post Brexit regime in UK will be the obedient servants of the corporates just as they were pre 23/06/2016.
              The EU may fragment further, so what ? It is a tool, a passing phase, NATO may prove to be the more robust vehicle for the long haul so countries might leave the EU but remain within NATO. Within that umbrella if the concept of an European Army is a non starter there will be scope for further growth of the private military contractor sector, a racket which received a massive boost from the Bush Blair antics and has thrived ever since.
              My point with all this is that it makes little difference whether we are in or out of EU. Economies may suffer a bit of aftershock, but the real quakes will be felt when these corporates start to drive their change programmes. Rest assured being in the EU will not help one iota when the changes start to roll out. Indeed it is arguable that the EU will be an instrument of such changes and will do nothing to stop the worst excesses of things like TTIP. Similarly a May led Tory government will collude with the global corporates so our focus should be to accelerate its demise as soon as possible.

              Government behaviour over the recent TATA fiasco is a good example. They knew that the Indians were engaged in “conversations” with Thyssen Krupp to carve up the EU steel production map to fit with their global scheme. UK steel capacity would have been sacrificed to enable that new relationship to “flourish”, and most of our politicians couldn’t find the will to stand up and turn nasty on the issue because they have spent too long sucking up to these corporates.

              Now you may find all this very entertaining and are happy to fall in line, revoke any Brexit vote and let the London/EU mob look after you. Well don’t nod off too deeply because they do not give a shit for your welfare, or our collective welfare. They will take away whenever it suits them and give it to whatever they fancy at any given time. And the corruption will only get worse.

            3. You could well be right Dafis in which case the outlook is entirely bleak. My own feeling is that Wales and indeed the UK in general stands a better chance inside the EU than outside, but if you´re right and the EU is simply just another tool of Our Hidden Masters, then we´re all pretty well f***ed anyway. Might as well get gloriously drunk and sing heartily as the ship goes down?

              Do you have a constructive solution?

            4. dafis

              get the ale in before they start slapping even more tax on it !

              As for the EU it looks ominously like chaos may visit there before popping across the Channel to visit UK. All depends on the priorities and preferences of those hidden schemers as they are definitely working on rigging everything that’s within the scope of EU but have some opertional difficulty with all these Islamers that they invited along for the ride. Dissenting 2nd tier nations will be the next thorny problem and then it gets to look even more flaky. You can only spin so many plates before you get a lot of broken crocks.

    1. Stan

      Oh, our working class Owen loves himself alright. Was it one of his own MPs said he had an ego the size of a planet? Better change that to a galaxy right now. He’s as narcissistic as any I’ve seen in a long time – I’d have to go back to Mandelson to match him.

      Coming through very strongly in the comments on Jac’s article is the message about the electorate (particularly Labour supporters) being sick to death of the old ways, the nepotism, jobs for the boys, Westminster elite, professional politician types. I can’t see how Owen can offer anything substantially different to countless clones that have gone before. Surely his past as a BBC producer whilst his old man was there, then that period of chasing the money and lobbying for Pfizer should do for him come the vote. And if that didn’t, the fact he was clearly angling for support for a leadership bid 6 months ago, then held back for the Eagle to put her head above the parapet – then that would definitely turn me away from him if I was a floating Labour voter in the leadership election.

      Look out if he does win. I’d really look forward to him going in to the next election on the platform of a second referendum on the details of the Brexit withdrawal. Try selling that to the remaining Labour Brexit vores who haven’t yet jumped ship to UKIP.

    2. If this was a novel, ‘The Smith Identity’, then there would have been a top secret meeting at Pfizer at which ‘young gun’ Smith would have received his orders as a ‘sleeper’ agent.
      Your mission Smith, should you choose to accept it, is to penetrate the ranks of the labour party and await your order to wake. You will be ‘activated’ at a time when arrangements have been made for you gain control of the Parliamentary Labour Party. How you do this is up to you and no mention must be made henceforth about Pfizer-ever.
      You must assume the role of a working class socialist politician. I know this will be difficult for you but we will provide you with the best trainers in the business- some of whom are locally based in the constituency we have chosen for you in a deprived area of Englandinwales.
      Your objective will be no less than the hostile’ takeover’ of the Labour party and ensure that our NHS targets are implemented. If you succeed in this then we will ensure your speedy extraction and elevation to our New York HQ in a senior director role. If you fail, well, we all know what happens don’t we? Hanging upside down by one leg from a bridge over the the River Taf awaits.
      This message is set to destruct in 30 seconds. 29..28..27..26……

  14. dafis

    Just read that c.250 jobs are being lost due to closure of Fairwood Fabrications, part of the Tata supply chain. Company failure attributable to the climate of indecision surrounding the Steel industry. Our feeble political class, who can’t tell shit from chocolate, have devoted lots of time to kissing the ass of the global Tata corporation without doing a fuckin’ thing to prepare for the inevitable shock wave which will travel down the supply chain. Now it’s hitting hard and they dither about whether they can shove enough money into Tata’s chunky coffers while native businesses drain cash and jobs are destroyed. Who’s the pinhead brain sitting on top of this ?

    There were expressions of interest in acquisition from various parties yet the governments in Cardiff and London let out an audible sigh of relief when Tata appeared to decide not sell ( just now, but maybe later ). Well if this is the knock on effect of keeping Tata in ownership ( for how long ? ) I think they should be told to fuck off back to India and those in government should pull the assorted bidders together and help one or more of them to meet the working capital requirements. Already Brexit is being cited as an “excuse/reason” for this shitstorm well that’s grade A political bollocks for starters.

    Fingers out in Cardiff and London would be a good start, we don’t want to see any more good businesses caving in due to the indifference and incompetence of a toxic combination of government and global business interests. Less chasing P.R and photoshoot opportunities and more hard graft and focus on the challenge.

    1. Stan

      You’re right Dafis, this doesn’t seem to have been getting the attention it should have. MPs and AMs of all sides seem to in a state of paralysis since the May elections, but their jobs, complete with 5 figure payrises this year are safe as the Bank of England. I made a point of checking Stephen Kinnock’s social media because he’s usually beating the drum on steel but nothing on this particular issue. Plenty on there about supporting Angela. Then commiserating with her. Then straight into Owen’s bed with a tube of lubricant before Angela knew he’d climbed off her. Sorry for the crudity but this guy has no credibility whatsoever. I reckon if Corbyn would offer him Shadow Chancellor he’d be his agent for the leadership battle. Waste of good air.

      1. dafis

        Been out of the picture today but what little I’ve heard sounds like more of the classic “post mortem” recrimination so typical of our political class. If they had never realised some of the more obvious possible ( no, likely) outcomes of dithering then they should not be in those jobs. If their senior flunkies in the civil service had not flagged any of this up on some kind of routine risk assessment, then those powder puffs should be marched out of the service, dismissed without golden parachutes and the usual featherbedding. But none of this will happen. All their energies will go into a further round of bleating and blame – fuckin’ useless ship of fools, no 2 ships, 1 here and 1 in London.

        Of all those with any alleged “interest” only Bethan Jenkins can claim any credit for being remotely in touch. Now I don’t normally give this lady much credit for anything but she has howled long and hard about the extensive negative ripples that spread from any bad news at Port Talbot. Warnings from the boss at Fairwood have been ignored, yet when some shyster turns up with a shiny new “investment prospect” the politicians and their servants are out in force stroking feathers ( or worse ) .

  15. Ian Perryman

    You can forget Brexit.
    It isn’t going to happen.
    At least not the all singing, all dancing version proposed by Gove and his company of songsters warbling about brave little Britain going alone.

    Brexit is now in the hands of our MPs. Three quarters of whom did not want to leave Europe.

    The remaining quarter, almost all Tories, were mainly interested in getting rid of Cameron and Osborne, which they have now achieved. Most of these will not want to put their careers further at risk by embarrassing the new government, so will accept whatever Teresa May can conjure up.

    Saint Teresa will take the Brexit result and fudge it.
    She has already been to Germany and France, told them she has been lumbered with a vote she didn’t want, and will do everything possible to minimise the impact. Hence the favourable response by Merkel and Hollande.

    The Right Horrible Boris has also been doing his bit, telling everybody that the UK wants to be out of the EU but not out of Europe.

    So what will you get?
    A Norway style deal has already been tentatively offered by Europe as the only option on the table. What you’ll probably get is something called Norway-plus, which will be virtually indistinguishable to what we have now, except we will have no members in the European Parliament.

    After allowing for rebates and grants we will pay exactly the same amount to Europe as we do now, there will be free movement of people (rebranded as labour – with a small ‘l’) and European law will take precedence.

    All this will be trumpeted by the Tories as a great victory for democracy and a great achievement for the party.

    It will be triumphantly welcomed by the London press as brave little Britain forcing those nasty foreigners to see sense and proclaimed as a regaining of sovereignty.

    None of this, of course, will be true. But truth and politics, as we all know, make inconvenient bedfellows.

    It will, however, unite the Tories (except for the few jingoistic nutters who really believed all that guff about brave little Britain going alone) and put them centre stage in the media for months, possibly years, to come.

    It will dent UKIP’s appeal by removing the cornerstone of its policies and cast Labour into the shadows as the party who opposed this “magnificent achievement” for Britain.

    It is possible that UKIP will try to re-invent itself as a protest party, but without having Europe to blame for everything, and without Toad of Toad Hall (aka Farage) their days are probably numbered.

    So, at long last, we return to the topic and ask what’s to become of the Labour Party?

    Even if they can get funding it is unlikely that a large numbers of MPs would split from the party. Getting funding is one thing, getting grass root workers out onto the streets and getting reselected is something entirely different.

    So if Corbyn wins re-election the majority of Labour MPs will bend the knee and do as they are told, because the most important thing for them is not high principles, but hanging on to their seats. (This will be called “party unity”).

    If Corbyn loses it is likely that the Labour vote will be crippled for years to come, as its active membership will either turn elsewhere or simply not bother to turn up at elections.

    In Wales it might be the beginning of the end for the Cardiff branch of the London Labour Party.
    Labour are not the dominant force in Wales that they once were. They are barely clinging on to power in Cardiff.
    A number of seats previously regarded as safe Labour are now marginal.

    A damaged Labour Party in England may well drag down their cronies in Cardiff Bay with them.

    If Plaid can present an effective opposition in the Assembly their time may come a lot sooner than people think.

    1. In my previous post I wrote: “Brexit was the disenfranchised of the post-industrial wastelands saying to the liberal elite, ‘Fuck off, you selfish, lying bastards!'”

      For May and her pro-EU friends to betray those who voted Brexit by ignoring the referendum result would be further confirmation that the elite doesn’t give a fuck about them. That would be a dangerous signal to send to an already alienated section of the population.

      1. Anonymous

        You base your observations on a singular point in time – dated 23rd June 2016. Things change and people change their minds. I think you will find pollsters are going to start tracking the Bregret Vote! (and all future elections will track the progress of Brexit politicians – eg how many gains has UKIP made in the local council elections etc).

        In Wales the Bregret vote is now positive ie in favour of Remain. And the YouGov Poll was done before the recent PMI survey which shows the UK heading for recession ( http://blogs.cardiff.ac.uk/electionsinwales/2016/07/05/the-eu-referendum-afterthoughts-and-consequences/) and the negotiations have not even begun, that took less than a month to overturn a what – 6% majority?

        France and Germany(not to mention Ireland and the Netherlands) are NOT going to allow the City of London to have passporting rights, access to the single market and curbs on immigration when their financial centers have much to gain from London losing these rights.

        The Tory Govt has already indicated it will not honour the subsidies from Brussels, and if you think England are going to keep subsidizing the Welsh after you voted Brexit take a look at the comments in this Guardian article (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jul/22/wales-booming-brexit-derail-unemployment-investment-eu) What happens if Westminster cuts Wales funding due to the Brexit induced economic recession, complaints from Welsh politicians, response from large sections of the English public particularly those that voted remain – you voted for Brexit, obviously you did not want Brussels funding so why am I funding you. Go fund yourself! Create your own jobs stop relying on the English taxpayer. In essence cutting Welsh funding will NOT be an electorate loser in England – which is where all elections are decided! By voting Brexit Wales lost her leverage – Wales has no leverage in Brussels they way Scotland has and has no leverage in Westminster. (You don’t have oil, nuclear subs, or the weight in electoral numbers to swing elections). Wales lost her clout in one fell swoop!

        Every time job losses or transfers are made people will take note. When university departments are already being frozen out from Horizon 2020 etc All it takes is for the UK economy to drop by 0.6 – 1% GDP for any savings from the EU to be wiped out. We’re almost there with the oncoming recession. That will be the minor economic adjustment that was forecasted by useless experts, how deep and how long is anyone’s guess. By the time the negotiations have run their course lets make that 2 – 5 years time, the chill of the recession would have set in and there will be another referendum vote – on The Terms of the new EU Deal – this time it will not be a straightforward yes/no it might be do you want to stay in the EU or do you prefer this alternative option our Brave Sunny Uplander Brexiteers have negotiated (which will be by far alot worse than the option the UK currently has) and then lets see what the vote will be like then!

        Don’t you find it bizarre the speed with which Daniel Hannan MEP (Chief Strategist for Vote Leave – I think) said we brexiteers never said anything about limits on immigration. We always said immigration numbers would stay the same or rise, nobody voted Brexit because of immigrants! Paving the way for the Norwegian deal! A pity for all those in South Wales voting out because of all the mythical immigrants stealing all of their jobs. The second referendum will be important because Nicola Sturgeon has said if Scotland wants to maintain its place in Europe a referendum will have to be held before the UK exits. So expect Westminster to be extremely kind to the Scots and ask them to kindly defer their second referendum until the UK has voted on the Terms of Brexit! Which lets be honest is the Democratic thing to do, don’t you think!(Cough, Cough) And which way do you think the vote will sway – especially if the vote is very handly held right in the middle of a deep long brexit induced recession! Lets see how many will believe the talk about sunny uplands la la la …….

        There is also the matter of the electoral timetable – if article 50 is triggered in 2017 a 2 year negotiation timetable ends 2019 a year before the general election and the direction the polls point to will have an impact on the terms. It will be impossible to delineate the next general election from the hand the Tories choose to play in Brussels. And the Tories and Labour will be hoping a Brexit recession and new EU terms will simply rout UKIP and get rid of them once and for all like the BNP. Isn’t it a bit weird that Aaron Banks is talking about a new UKIP party what’s wrong with the old one? and why did Farage resign – you are the VICTOR! Victors don’t resign!

        Brexit was a Pyrrhic victory!

        And don’t worry UKIP voters in South Wales will go back to voting Labour – that is if the party is still around or simply cease to vote. The DID NOT VOTE party has won every election in the UK since 1997. So presumably their ranks need swelling!

        1. To begin with, you seem to be confusing Brexit with UKIP. I voted Brexit but could never vote for those clowns. I see them for what they are, and I see them better than most on the left. Read what I’ve written.

          UKIP being what it is goes some way to explaining why Aaron Banks is talking of a new UKIP. The old one was a single-issue party of saloon bar demagogues that most will think has achieved its objective. Consequently, he believes that the UK / England needs a new party of the right, that might attract a few Tories, within a wider re-alignment that sees Labour breaking up.

          I agree with you that May will seek to thwart Scottish independence, and use any recession to frighten people into going back on Brexit. But she’s dealing with forces beyond her control, especially in the economic sphere.

          And whatever May does to thwart Brexit will be motivated by a desire to protect the City, defend the economy of south east England, and maintain the Union with Scotland. Which will do what exactly for Hull and Lincolnshire, Portsmouth and Wolverhampton? And of course, the Valleys.

          Because how much of a threat – even a game-changer – do you believe an economic recession really is? You sound like those members of the elite who were wringing their hands at the stupidity of the Brexiters – they were damaging their pensions and their investments! When you’ve got fuck all to lose you’ve got fuck all to lose.

          I honestly don’t think you understand the underlying passions and their import. The more I look at it the more I see the EU / Brexit as the modern equivalent of Ireland in 19th and early 20th century British politics. Just as Irish Home Rule split Gladstone’s Liberal Party in 1886 Brexit has the power to split the Conservative Party today. (Which I suspect is what Aaron Banks hopes.) And then we have a Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn hoping to reconnect with those areas that voted Leave. Corbyn, a man who refuses to even discuss immigration.

          We are heading into a time of political chaos and economic uncertainty, but I welcome it. Because if those of us who put Wales first can organise ourselves then we can achieve a lot. But it won’t be done with Plaid Cymru, a socialist party that has nothing to say to those Welsh who voted for Brexit, and little to say to those Welsh who voted to Remain.

          Plaid Cymru must be another of the casualties.

          1. Anonymous

            What pension, I’m a freelancer, I should be so lucky. My generation will probably have to work until the day we die!

            Economic Misery is not a game changer! Wow okay, if you say so!

            People have fuck all to lose? – Wow – Wales is NOT Somalia, the UK has a welfare state, you receive benefits, free public services and a roof over your heads and as the Worlds 24th largest economy your stock is alot better than the other 170+ of countries in the world.

            You DO have something to lose, benefits, whats left of them, they might be negligible to you but atleast it IS something; when these get cut back even further no point in complaining.

            And remember no government has dared to touch pensioner benefits. We are all in this together now – pensioners voted OUT you can take your benefit cuts don’t expect any remorse from anyone. And that is the new social dynamic we have entered. Tories say pensioner benefits are being cut people howl its not fair, everybody else says you voted out, brought an economic recession feel the pain. Tories say we’re cutting Wales funding response you voted out there’s an economic recession feel the pain. Generations have been pitted against one another, university educated against non university educated etc. That is the value of the Brexit vote never mind the cost.

            How do you plan on funding schools, hospitals(with an ageing population) with a reduced tax take since MONEY is not a game changer – That is what you have to lose. The basic fabric of society. Never mind the jobs NONE is coming to Wales if you don’t have access to the EU. And you can argue that none were coming before the vote. Well if your sitting in Carmarthenshire with coding skills and suddenly have a brain wave of an idea for a company – and your idea suddenly picked up a bit of traction are you going to stay in Wales of course not, if your business relies on accessing the EU you go to dublin or silicon valley. Just hop unto that one way ticket. So what does that do for economic regeneration of West Wales? Sod all. And then you complain about English immigration and the tourism industry.

            If economics is not a game changer – list the potential competitive industries that can take root in West Wales and compete on a global scale that would create sustainable well paying jobs now that the UK is outside the EU? Go on name them!

            I think your in for a rude shock about the Welsh organising themselves for Independence (since money doesn’t matter – who will fund this organisation, who is the rich sugar daddy backing this!), Wales is more likely to gain default Independence from England because England is sick of paying subsidies to Wales and NI now that Scotland has gone and they have lost the City and the economy is sinking like a tombstone. That at the moment is the only feasible route to Independence for Wales and even then one should not underestimate the tenacity of Imperial English men to cling on to what little is left of their empire. As Theresa May said we are the Conservative and UNIONIST PARTY!

            If the other scenario your hoping for is the next referendum produces a remain victory and this is a catalyst for a nouveau Rebecca Uprising – I mean how does that even work – my head hurts! Okay England had riots in 2011 so you can always pencil in a new set. But I really can’t see a bunch of pensioners running around town burning buildings down. Most young people were for remain. One could argue by the time the next referendum vote comes round anyone with decent skills will probably have already left the UK. If you are a Doctor what are you doing in the UK – australia, new zealand and canada are calling, better pay and conditions. If you are an engineer heard of a country called Germany. Do you know how many apprenticeship vacancies they have, a Guardian article just stated how they are hoping with Brexit eastern european workers will leave the UK and take up those vacancies in Germany.

            But hey ho, money is not a game changer.

            It used to be an army marches on its stomach, its the economy stupid, but evidently these dictums don’t work any more just take back control.

            Speaking of armies how is the UK going to afford trident with a worsening economy without severe cuts to the welfare state! The only solution is an independent scotland by default unilaterally decommissiong the UK as the rUK cannot find anywhere to locate Trident. But then again Carwyn Jones of the we believe in multilateral disarmament party offered Milford Haven. Alas there you go!

            1. Big Gee

              Oh bloody hell, pluck a duck – not another of those wet behind the ears ‘child’ politicians. ‘A’ level or two in school, three years in some college studying politics & possibly history. Graduates, gets a job with some politician as a ‘researcher’ or a junior official in some union, then migrates to being a Labour councillor, finally lands up as an elected politician. Still wet behind the ears and still smelling of nappies.

              THAT Neath based career politician Derek Vaughan is a classic example. MEP isn’t he? Not that anyone notices – except his bank manager I suppose. Frigging ‘child’ politicians who don’t know their arse from their elbows, hasn’t even tasted the REAL world and then lands up giving us lectures on why we should stay in Europe.

              If I had my way anyone who wants to teach should be compulsorily forced to work at some menial task in the real world for two years before being allowed near a classroom. Budding ‘career politicians’ should be forced to do the same, but for five years.

              Bloody system opportunists who don’t give a fig about anything except their career. They need to be purged from our governing establishments. The only thing they’re clued up about is the brotherhood of cronies.

          2. Big Gee

            With the exception of your comment Jac I find the above to be the product of an overly active fiction fuelled mind.

            The whole debate is peppered with assumptions and ‘what ifs’. It’s also being overcomplicated by prophets of doom who are really just smarting over the Brexit outcome.

            NO – the sky is not going to fall on your head, your wives are not going to become barren, your children won’t all grow up deformed or become criminal psychopaths. What is being spouted – especially by ‘anonymous’ – is the result of the propaganda and scaremongering crap we’ve all been exposed to, but in the case of some, it has found fertile soil in which to grow. You’ve been fed brainwashing nonsense by the media (nothing new there), who in turn are dictated to by the policies of their owners OR their masters in government, and I include the state media mouthpiece there – the BBC. How many times do you need to have it proven to you that you are being manipulated – before you wake up and stop swallowing the lies and rubbish you are being spoon-fed?

            Stick to the facts and realities as they present themselves – don’t go off on tangents with your propaganda numbed brain in full flight due to fear.

            Both Corbyn and May were lukewarm ‘remainers’, both reluctantly chose to meekly support the ‘remain’ line. Both kept their heads well below the parapet. They had both historically been opposed to EU membership. Both were just displaying a bit of pragmatism. May is often referred to as a pragmatist; Corbyn, following the years he has spent in his campaigning apprenticeship and in the political circles of his choice, knows full well when to open his mouth and when not to. He is very good at keeping his powder dry. His manoeuvring of the situation in his party shows how adept he is at it – not many would have the ability to fight the tidal wave of opposition he has endured, and the outcome will be that he gets an even bigger mandate and will eventually purge his party to reform it in the shape he wants. He has managed to turn his opponents’ guns on themselves. He is probably the most underestimated politician of the day – he will, quietly and determinedly get what he wants in the end. He alone in recent times has managed to get the ones that matter – the voting public – on his side, because he has proved he can be trusted.

            Teresa May has got what she wants – an exit from the EU, albeit veiled in the guise of following Cameron’s ‘remain’ line. I have no doubt that she will attempt (I say ‘attempt’ because whilst being pragmatic, she’s not the sharpest tool in the toolbox) to steer us to as good a separation as she can.

            The key comment made by Jac: “I see the EU / Brexit as the modern equivalent of Ireland in 19th and early 20th century British politics” is bang on the money. Anyone who has a smidgen of historical knowledge should also see the similarities there. And that brings me back to the point I made regarding sticking to the facts and realities as they present themselves, not just assumptions and what ‘ifs’. The other true reality is historic parallels, we know the way things panned out in historic terms, we need to use that as our measuring stick, and not some fanciful crystal ball gazing, influenced by our own smarted feelings and propaganda based prophesies.

            The patterns are obvious – if you accept that there is an agenda being followed that is the product of those who are not the public faces of our political set-up, but are the machinations of the hidden hand you’ll see it clearly. The Brexit result was a hiccup for them, but they’ll work hard to pick up the pieces and carry on with their ancient plan. That’s another reason I am supportive of Corbyn, because I truly believe he is not tainted by those powers. How long he is allowed to piss on their parade is anyone’s guess, but the heartening thing is that more and more people are waking up – not just here but across Europe and globally. That is the main reason why that big mouthed, pea brained idiot Trump is the Republican candidate for the presidency in the US.

            Do you recognise these two?


            Mr Corbyn and Mr Adams at a Sands/ Connolly event – the man in question is very healthy from a nationalist point of view, either in Ireland, Wales or Scotland. He supports our cause.

            If he continues to gain support at the rate he is doing, and eventually does become prime minister, we nationalists could work with him. There is more than one way of drowning a cat. If we are defeated by being unable to take the direct route under our own steam through the front door, then quite possibly by going through the back door via someone like Corbyn we could, quite feasibly arrive at our goal another way. “Os nad wyt gryf, bydd gyfrwys”.

            It is not beyond the realms of possibility that the SNP can work with him and maybe many in the ranks of the ‘hide behind the sofa’ party could turn their heads in a different direction.

            Truly exciting times . . . .

        2. dafis

          written with an entirely Unionist, Remainer mindset. It is already acknowledged that Remainers with access to levers of power and influence will do almost anything to cause maximum damage to the economy as a spiteful reminder that “no good would ever come of this decision, and we told you so ” Yesterday’s outburst was based on a straw poll survey, that most discredited of techniques so loved by spinners and other assorted bullshitters. As Jac said, the disenfranchised classes in the UK including Wales have sent a clear message to the ruling elites. Now will those ruling elites come back with a clear plan to right so many wrongs as quid pro quo for ignoring the Brexit mandate ? Not on your fuckin’ nelly, their “best” stance is one that says something like …” if you don’t carry on doing what we say is good for you, you will feel more pain …” and the good folks are now saying that they don’t want more bullshit from any fancy politicians and their P.R cohorts. Perhaps the next reckoning will come when the country goes to the polls which could be good for UKIP if it repositions slightly hitting Labour for a big 6, while loads of Tories with safe-ish seats might also move across if they come to see that the witch Mother Theresa is a bit of a pro EU con.

          With all the loot being wasted across various government departments, the old nonsense about withdrawal of key funds is yet another page out of the bully boy handbook. Ignoring it won’t make it go away but every opportunity to remind politicians that they are our servants must be taken. No sucking up, just pointed reminders that we pay them for their services and we don’t seem to be getting much for it at the moment. Bit like the EU really.

  16. Stan

    Re your update 23.07.16
    This bloke Kinnock is even thicker than his old man it seems. He has 11,200 Twitter followers and has drawn attention to your story on it, Jac. So all these followers now potentially know. And since loads of his followers are anti-Kinnock he might as well have stuck six bullets into the chamber and played Russian Roulette. He hasn’t actually answered the issues you raised at all but thrown up a smokescreen instead. What does it matter if the Danish system chipped in towards the costs? It’s the principle and the silence on it that damns him. You have surely thoroughly embarrassed him with this. Let’s be honest here – how often would you find a national figure responding thus to a North Wales blogger (sorry Jac, but you get my drift)? He’s crapping himself now this is out and belatedly trying to cover his arse. Well done and please keep up the pressure on him and his ilk.

      1. dafis

        pressure from some quarter ? When you inherit the hide of a rhino ( mum , not dad ! ) these things become mere irritants. Kinnock jnr won’t suffer unduly whichever way this current bout of internal fisticuffs works out at Labour. He may confront a further 5 years in Opposition whether it’s Corbyn or Smith at the wheel, but for him that will merely provide more time to spout top quality “Opposition stuff” sniping relentlessly at whoever sits in No 10. Sometime post 2020 there may be a realignment, or reshaping of UK Labour, and then the manipulators will move him into place and, bingo, inheritance secured !
        By then those plotters and schemers will be closing in on their end vision for W Europe, the Middle East will still be a total mess and Africa will still be Africa ( an even more tragic mess, because those people never ever had a proper chance to dig them selves out of a hole ). The big Q ? mark is how the US will pan out, especially if Trump upsets the cart this year, and will the plotters and schemers reconcile with Putin or will he carry on as outsider and general delinquent ?

  17. Stan

    Re: the Kinnock education update 26.07.16

    Let’s be honest, we all know that the issue about alleged private schooling for Boyo Kinnock’s daughter was not really about what happened in Denmark. It was the principle of private education. Even the Denmark case he tried to play down, greatly underestimating the fees that parents had to find and only ‘fessing up when the truth was uncovered. But now he’s been caught bang to rights and those in Labour who opposed his candidacy for Aberavon have a big stick to beat him with. Who’d have thought there’d be Labour Party members grateful to Jac? Paddy Power would have given long odds on that. I’m enjoying the fact he’s already been forced to play down the story on his website, and that the BBC News has just run it. Shippo must be crying into his Chinese takeaways that he missed this one. Me personally – I’ve no quarrel with people buying their kids’ education if that’s what they want. But on the other hand I’m not a prospective Labour MP, nor a hypocrite I hope, so would have no qualms admitting it. Incidentally – both my kids went to state comprehensives and had a great education.

  18. The Earthshaker

    Fantastic direct hit on Kinnock Jr, take a bow.

    You even got BBC Wales involved, it’s like AWEMA all over again. You set ‘em up and the fag end of the welsh press finally does what It’s supposed to do. Investigate and report news. (Stan’s right Shipton will be furious he missed this).

    I’m still not sure about the end of Labour, I reckon they’ll muddle through somehow, but this Kinnock business and seeing his fellow Welsh Labour MP’s who’d normally ignore you and your blog, lashing out in all directions is giving me hope. Their arrogance and poor judgement is coming back to bite them and its fun to watch.

    The non-appearance in the Chamber of Labour MP’s for the Wales Bill debate in the House of Commons has got the normally unflappable Paul Flynn in a tizzy, Shipton is spinning furiously in the Wasting Mule and It’s fun to remind them that more SNP MP’s voted for Wales than Labour MP’s representing constituencies. It drives them crazy.

    On the wider Labour farce, the NEC’s ruling on no meetings till after the leadership result is causing consternation in local CLP’s, the damage its doing is considerable and it’s the active and thinking Labour members who are getting pissed off and its the ones who might join another party. It’s just a shame none of the above or UKIP is likely to benefit from it in parts of Wales rather than anything that might help Cymru’s cause.

    Anyway keep blogging, these are strange and interesting times.

    1. I hear that some branches are holding ‘gatherings’. Make of that what you will.

      You are right about these being interesting times. It’s impossible to predict what comes next.

  19. A more than decent appraisal of the terrible effects of New Labour and moribund CLPs on Wales and the people of Wales. That though is changing as the Corbyn revolt gathers pace; they have had a free ride since the mid 1980’s but a growing membership and socialist policies rather than humane Tory policies are inspiring a new generation of recruits and disillusioned former supporters. I’d happily say that Welsh Labour needs to be entirely independent of Unionist [uk] Labour if it hopes to survive in the longer term but the Corbyn revolt makes it appealing across the board and probably not a priority. If Corbyn added a commitment to creating a federal republic many of the grievances of Welsh Nat’s will disappear

    1. dafis

      ……………and we’ll have glut of flying pigs so bad we’ll be eating pork for ever !! Still that might keep out those whose beliefs/prejudices prevent them from enjoying a bacon butty . Much as I like his effect on the internal manouvres of Labour I suspect that Corbyn’s idea of a Federal republic is one where the Labour party rules the roost in every province. Progress ?

    2. However Corbyn appears to be an old-style Socialist internationalist, which alas makes him a Unionist in the UK context. It´s perfectly clear for example that he doesn´t understand the political changes that have taken place in Scotland, and seems determined to back a lame, failed and rejected ´Scottish´ branch of the Labour Party, while opposing a clearly left-of-centre and very popular SNP. I suppose you might claim this as a victory of Principle over Pragmatism, but then isn´t ¨politics the art of the possible¨?

  20. It’s not hyperbole to say that over the last few months I feel like the scales have fallen from my eyes – this article neatly summarises what has taken me ages to piece together. Admittedly my late-coming to this party has been mostly due to my own previous lack of effort to consider, analyse and research. I expect I’m not alone in this inertia.

    I was one of those “vote Labour, because the alternative is Conservative” Welsh people. No more. This article should be sent to every single house in Wales and a test set to ensure everyone understands the contents. If you continue to vote Labour then you should at least be fine with what they actually are, not what they claim they are.

  21. Stan

    I echo much of what “brighty” has said above about an awakening. I’ve a feeling it’s spread across the whole of the political spectrum. Something I’ve never experienced in my lifetime seems to be happening and I can’t exactly put my finger on it but it’s not confined to Right or Left, young or old, or even rich or poor. I wish I had the depth of thinking to fully understand it but I know it’s not just happening to me.

    But before this thread dies, I thought people might appreciate this short clip I found on YouTube where Boyo explains how hard he’s had to fight for every Aberavon vote. Helle is then interviewed, presumably in Danish. She was apparently asked how her daughter’s schooling was going, which brought huge smiles to both their faces because none of the UK reporters present, nor the Aberavon electorate, had a fucking clue the joke was on them, and she was only studying just up the road.

    A longer clip which shows just how presidential “hers and his” lifestyle in Denmark was, is linked to below. Watching this it is almost impossible to imagine that this is the same man who professes a connection to the working class communities of South Wales, and has supposedly made his home in a one bedroom flat in the main street of Cwmavon. Someone’s taking the piss, methinks.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5U3S9iH2IRg

      1. Myfanwy

        Not sure if you got a reply on Twitter Stan and Jac, but in the first clip, where Helle Thorning Schmidt is interviewed with Stephen Kinnock, she reiterates what her husband has already said, that he has worked really hard and that she is proud of him, then she is asked how they will celebrate. There is no mention of their daughter, or about her schooling in the clip.

        I have lived in Denmark during the time Helle Thorning Schmidt was Prime minister and leader of the Social Democrat Party in Denmark, which is the equivalent of Labour in Britain. The argument that was levelled at her at the time by critics in Denmark, is exactly the same ones, levelled at the Blairite section of the Labour Party, that she is a “Champagne Socialist”, she has been called “Gucci Helle” for her penchant for expensive bags, clothes, etc, she is also regarded as a very capable and hardworking, business woman, who is driven by her career.

        The difference in the standard of living in Denmark and in Britain is very noticeable. In Denmark, you never see the levels of poverty that you see in Britain and most people in Denmark would be regarded as middle class. The taxes are high, but the infrastructure is good, education, childcare, health care, etc is of a very high standard and in general, very equal, the epitome of the “Scandinavian, Socialist system”. The Kinnock’s may have sent their Children to private schools in Denmark, but these are not like private schools in Britain, that cost a fortune and mark you out for life, private schools in Denmark are subsidised by the Government, so in general, they are very cheap in comparison. It is the hypocrisy, nepotism and self serving politics in the Blairite section of the Labour party, which is far more extreme, than it’s counter part in Denmark, because of the appalling levels of poverty and the lack of equality that exists in Britain.

        1. Myfanwy

          Just to add, Stephen Kinnock, would be well aware of the marked differences in equality in Denmark and Britain, which makes it all the more hypocritical that he sent his daughter to the exclusive, private school, Atlantic College, while many in his Constituency are struggling. Where are his principles, surely, if you are a true Socialist, you would want everyone to have the same opportunities in life? Kinnock, like all the other Blarites have marked them selves out as untrustworthy, because of their lack of true principles and in the duplicitous way they deceive their electorate.

        2. Stan

          Very interesting explanation of the social differences in the two countries, thank you. The Scandinavian Socialist system sounds attractive in that it’s a lot fairer and more equal society you have there, but watch out that Oily Smith doesn’t get to hear of it or it will be in his policy statement by the time the cock crows.

          1. Myfanwy

            Yes Stan, it is possible to have a fairer more equal Society, but it’s not home and I would love to go home, hireath! It makes me very angry that, New Labour had the opportunity to improve equality in Wales, but they just took the opportunity to line their own pockets and that of their ilk. Many people like myself, have had to move away because of lack of work and as house prices rose way beyond the average income, particularly where my family are from. Just like the Tories, New Labour are so out of touch, they do not realise how disaffected people have become and what a failed project they have been.

        3. Possibly a little OT, but just reading your description of Denmark after watching the interview re. WWII remembrance etc. Now as I recall Denmark resisted Nazi Germany for a few hours only and then presumably spent several years under the jackboot, until eventually the Russians and Americans (mostly) sorted things out. So I´m bound to ask why did we even bother resisting Hitler? Seeing as we´re worse off now than those who didn´t? Hell, even the beastly Gerries seem to be better off than we are, as far as standard of living, health and social services etc. etc. go. Clearly there must be something very rotten indeed in the state, but our state not apparently Denmark.

          1. Myfanwy

            Britain is the 5th richest ‘Nation’ in the world, but the richest 1 percent own the same amount of wealth as the poorest 55 percent of the population. The inequalities in Britain, are to do with the very unequal, distribution of wealth, not as a consequence of resisting Hitler!

            http://orcap.co.uk/uk-is-fifth-richest-country-in-total-wealth-survey/

            /www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/may/15/britains-richest-1-percent-own-same-as-bottom-55-population

            http://poverty.org.uk/09/index.shtml

            There is clearly something very ‘rotten’ and this can clearly be seen when considering where the poorest areas are in Northern Europe and where the richest area is, 9 out of the 10 poorest areas are in the UK, with West Wales being the poorest, the richest area is of course, being London. The same inequalities don’t exist in Denmark and the other Country you mention, Germany, because of very considered, Government social policies after WWII.

            http://inequalitybriefing.org/graphics/43_poor_North_Europe_700.png

            http://inequalitybriefing.org/brief/briefing-43-the-poorest-regions-of-the-uk-are-the-poorest-in-northern-

            1. Well I´m old enough to know that we had social policies in the UK after WWII, really up until Thatcher to a large extent. The question is why it all went wrong in the UK which continues to promote itself as the champion of freedom etc. (e..g. all the fake ´patriotism´, royalty worship, WWII remembrance, faded imperial trappings …) while on the continent, countries that created and/or submitted to blatant oppression, outright genocide and so forth have, you say, continued to promote social equality and something approaching a classless society. I mean they had their lords and ladies, their industrial magnets and so forth in the past, so how come they didn´t revert to type after a few decades just like the UK? Serious question btw, I´m not just arguing for the sake of it, if we understood this difference maybe (just maybe!) we´d be in a better position to do something about it.

              And of course Wales, as you say a poor region of the UK, voted with England to leave the EU, what kind of insanity is that?

            2. Myfanwy

              If you look at, for example one fundamental area, such as Housing policies, from the time of Thatcher to the present day, it explains in multiple ways, why there is growing inequality in Britain.

              The banking crisis, the ‘boom and bust’ that happened on Gordon Brown’s watch, in the UK, was brought about, in great part by the massive, inflation of house prices, through sub prime mortgage, loose credit, artificially low interest rates, cheap tax credit and the deregulation of the Bank of England and through greed! The banks were never held to account for playing roulette with one of our basic needs, housing. The housing bubble was never allowed to deflate, as ‘Quantitative easing’ otherwise known as printing money, was introduced to bail out the banks and devalue the pound, while inflating the cost of living and creating a huge deficit. A measure that the poorest are now paying for, through ‘austerity measures’, totally unjust and we certainly are not, ‘all in it together’.

              Gordon Brown also removed pension provision, so a generation of people who already owned their own home, started investing in property. This was made more attractive by special buy to let mortgages, low interest rates, tax breaks, easy supply of credit etc. Politicians also had a vested interest in BTL, as many of them have milked the system, to buy multiple properties, so few of them would have had a desire to change the regulations and tax system on housing policy, when they were/are making a fortune out of it. Meanwhile, nobody was considering the effect of all this wealth accumulation, by one set of people from one generation, on the next generation, who have also been handed a huge bill for University eduction etc, which the former generation, had for free.

              Another significant factor in the rise in House prices, has been supply and demand. Immigration increased massively under the Blair Government and was still rising under the Cameron Government, there is a vested interest in importing cheap labour, which has the effect of driving down the wages of the poorest, whilst putting pressure on housing and services. At the same time, very limited numbers of social housing etc have been built in response to this increased demand, no doubt to keep houses at artificially high prices. The ‘right to buy’ policy, brought in by Margaret Thatcher and continued under Labour, has compounded this situation, as the old social housing stock was sold off and not replaced. A whole generation, of monied individuals, have done very well over the last 30 years, with the help of Government polices, at the expense of others in Society.

              Another significant aspect to the housing boom, has been foreign investment, much of this money laundered in London, could be coming from any corrupt regime from around the World. The knock on effect, as the prices of London property booms, is that those who have done very well, just by buying their house, by good luck, at the right time, are now able to sell and buy a place in areas such as Cornwall or Wales, with the obvious impact of inflating prices there. Measures could have been brought in, at any time to stop this obvious effect, but still haven’t. In contrast, the Danish Government don’t allow external foreign investment in property, you have to live and work in Denmark for a number of years before you can buy property. This is a thought out policy, to stop house prices inflating, at the expense of the populace.

              In Wales, the housing crisis has another dimension, as wealthy english retirees and multiple, holiday let owners, buy up the housing stock and increase prices, way over the traditional, x3 mortgage average for the local earner. If the Welsh Government were serious about dealing with the Housing Crisis and the migration of Welsh people and Culture, they would have brought in measures to deal with it years ago! The folk in St Ives Cornwall have at last, brought in measures to deal with the BTL plague, but really, it’s the epitome of shutting the door after the horse has already bolted!

              https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/aug/02/homing-in-on-the-housing-crisis-where-did-it-all-start-to-go-wrong

              https://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/apr/28/uk-housing-crisis-in-breach-of-human-rights

              http://england.shelter.org.uk/campaigns_/why_we_campaign/the_housing_crisis

              http://home.bt.com/lifestyle/money/mortgages-bills/opinion-st-ives-reserving-homes-for-locals-should-be-copied-by-more-councils-11364059923244

            3. Myfanwy

              Just to add, as I understand the Law in Denmark, you are not allowed to own a property, without having somebody live in it and you are not allowed to make a profit out of renting your property, plus you have to be a tax paying resident in Denmark to buy property. The obvious effect of this in contrast to Britain, is that people invest their money else where. Denmark did however, have the same problems with the banks and loose lending, but a major bank was allowed to go bust and the housing market was allowed to correct.

            4. ¨as I understand the Law in Denmark, you are not allowed to own a property, without having somebody live in it and you are not allowed to make a profit out of renting your property¨

              So if someone for example inherits property in Denmark, say on the death of a parent, that would leave the house empty. What happens then, does the government seize it? Bit draconian for country that takes pride in its liberal reputation? Also if you can´t make even a modest profit on renting property there would be no incentive to let and therefore no private rental accommodation. I don´t believe that the world should be profit-driven, but .letting property can involve hassle and risks, so without some ´compensation´ why even bother? Better simply to let the house fall down or convert it to some other use.

              Anyway this is all very interesting, if only to show that there are other ways that no doubt appear entirely normal and reasonable to those involved. Do you ever get the feeling you´re living in the wrong country?

            5. Myfanwy

              You can cover your expenses for a property in Denmark, and this would include mortgage, maintenance, improvements, etc, but the State will set what rent you can charge on a property, so there is a fair rental system and this will limit what profit can be made, this also has the effect of keeping house prices more stable. If Danes want to buy a second home, most opt for a Summer house, which are in designated areas and are generally used as a pension option with certain tax breaks etc. These houses can only be lived in during the summer for the first 9 years of ownership and are under a separate housing status, in different areas to the main housing stock, so do not impact on the local community who live in the area on a permanent basis.

              Draconian perhaps, but look at the mess that is the unregulated housing system in Britain. It’s more important to use houses for living in, than for pension schemes and more positive for economic growth in Wales to encourage making other investment choices, in the wider economy.

            6. Thank you for that. I agree that house prices are ridiculous and the root of many wider social problems. Unfortunately many of those who have benefited are not on the whole evil or scheming individuals but simply got swept up the process. You obviously understand the multiple causes far better than most of us. Conspiracy or Cock-up?

              TBH I was expecting house prices to crash years ago, and yet somehow they have just continued to soar into the stratosphere without the expected corrective forces kicking in. Another question, even if there was ever the political will to correct matters, how could it be done fairly and painlessly?

            7. Myfanwy

              Of course the many people who benefited are not all ‘evil’ schemers but the unregulated system, created an environment for greed at the expense of others, which of course, has led to deepening inequality. Greed is a fact of life, the Government would be well aware of this and instead of implementing laws to rein in, this human instinct, they in fact stoked the fire, no doubt to benefit from taxes, on higher house prices etc.

              The Government’s interference in bailing out the banks and supporting the housing bubble, can be seen as a form of State Capitalism, benefiting poor economic judgement of the few, at the expense of the wider population, particularly those that had the sense to see that it was a bubble, it certainly doesn’t represent, free market forces etc.

              How can the correction be made ”fairly’ or ‘painlessly’ as you say, well what is the the old adage that the banks wheel out, ‘your investment, may go up, as well as down’, everyone should have been aware of the risks of investing in an inflating housing market, where was the logic that house prices could only go up, when this doesn’t apply to any other investment? Besides, a housing bubble did burst under the John Major Government, an event that would be in living memory of many of those who have bought multiple properties, this time around, why should they be treated with Kid gloves?

            8. Thank you for those links btw. In looking into this a bit further I came across these maps. They rate Gwynedd as having the lowest wages in the UK (with Ceredigion as a close second), lower even than in the Outer Hebrides (move the cursor over the places you´re interested in) :

              http://www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/HTMLDocs/dvc126/

              Also the UK seems to regularly fall behind Ireland on the various lists of GDP per capita and so on. And yet somehow we still think of Ireland as poor country full of ragged barefoot kids etc. All a bit of a shock really when you get in ¨in your face¨. Clearly in my case, and I doubt I´m entirely alone, unconscious attitudes lag behind factual knowledge.

  22. Congrats to the whistleblowers. Kinnock’s disingenuous ducking and diving concerning his daughter’s Atlantic College sojourn made the Daily Mail/Mail Online yesterday (27th July) and resulted in an outpouring of (deserved) ridicule for the MP for Aberavon, who wouldn’t have been selected had the selection committee known about his daughter’s private education.

    1. Yes, I saw that this blog got a mention in the Daily Mail print edition today (Thursday 28th), which carries the Stephen Kinnock story.

      So in February 2014, the Labour Aberavon hopeful criticises reports that he and his wife sent their daughter to a “private” school as “highly misleading”, but omits to point out that she has already been attending a private £28,600 a year school for the previous six months, since August 2013. And now Kinnock suggests that because the bloggers were not aware of her private education in Wales, then somehow that doesn’t count, and it’s as if it never happened.

      The only objective conclusion is that Stephen Kinnock is being highly misleading. His response has only helped to publicise his hypocrisy and evasiveness.

      1. What worries me is that Kinnock was asked about his daughter’s education in Denmark by a Labour-supporting journalist who almost certainly knew the girl had been at Atlantic College for six months. It was an attempt to kill the subject stone dead by deliberately asking the wrong question.

    1. Remarkably, and despite this Welsh story making all the London dailies, nothing appeared in the Wasting Mule. Why, I wonder?

      Correction: There was this piece on the 27th, though not by Martin Shipton. And the writer does not address the issue of his colleague misinforming us by telling us that Johanna Kinnock was at “the equivalent of a sixth form college in Denmark” when both he and her father knew she was in her second term at Atlantic College. This was deliberately suppressed in order for Kinnock to gain the Aberavon nomination, perhaps a favour by Labour-supporting Trinity Mirror for the girl’s grandparents.

  23. dafis

    the Anglo Brit political class and its media allies have been reaching for yet another comfort blanket today. Perhaps realising that the Brexit whinge is losing traction they are now wheeling out the old sauce that there is no appetite for independence in Scotland !

    Curious that according to a single survey ( that’s a new one isn’t it ! ) 53% of assorted Jocks,haggis munchers, kiltie wearers and other folk north of that border wish to remain in the union so they must be treated with respect, whereas in a real poll of some weeks ago 52% of an actual vote said Leave and the same establishment are all out to discredit the process.
    Proof, if ever it was needed, that these cnuts haven’t learned a damn thing from recent experience, they still think that it is their God given right to know what’s good for the rest of us. Sooner we leave that disasterous EU scam and Scotland gets another shot at leaving the equally disasterous UK the better for us all.
    All that’s left for Wales to do is grow a pair and stand on its own 2 feet instead of loitering in the corridors of power flashing a begging bowl.

    1. It looks very much as if this very convenient poll result has been held back to coincide with a massive pro-indy march in Glasgow today. So the pictures of massed crowds in the papers run alongside text saying ¨blow for Sturgeon¨ and suchlike. See for example :

      https://archive.is/TW1W7

      Glasgow and many other local councils in Scotland are still Labour controlled, their day of reckoning won´t come until next year, but given the Westminster and Holyrood results the writing is very much on the wall. Interestingly, just as the mass of protesters began to pour into George Square, the webcam that overlooks the scene, on the Labour controlled city council HQ just happened to go off-line. Funny that, don´t you think?

  24. Captain Sensible

    My first visit to this blog. Very interesting on the Kinnock connections. Its long been known that Brown and Blair flooded the charities with Labour apparatchiks and we have seen their overtly political propaganda in most of the national and international charities “policies”. The Oxfam advertising campaign of a few years ago resulted in censure from the charity regulator, but I did like the response from one blogger…

    “Donate just £3 to Oxfam, so that our middle class managers can live in Islington and not be forced to suffer in Croydon”.

    I don’t really want to say anything about the hypocrisy of the Labour left in general and the Kinnocks in particular as I’ll be writing for days and you said it so well anyway. Anyone who votes Labour expecting them to anything for the population at large is sadly mistaken. And of course you wont see anything like these tales appearing on Al Beeb or the Graun.

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