Llansamlet By-Election: Runners And Riders

Following the death of councillor Dennis James a by-election will be held for one of the seats in the Llansamlet ward of Swansea council. As dealt with here, Trotskyite Bob Clay, former Labour MP for Sunderland North, will be standing for Labour. While he may have been selected by the local branch there is still some confusion over whether the selection has been ratified, or welcomed, by the brothers and sisters higher up the greasy pole.

The other candidates announced before last Friday’s deadline were, for the Conservatives, James Peter Hatton, from Morriston. For the Liberal Democrats, Samuel Rees, from Brynmill. And for the Official National Front, Claire Thomas, of Townhill. So of the four candidates, only one – Bob Clay – actually lives in the ward, and he moved to Llansamlet less than a year ago! Of the others, one is at least from neighbouring Morriston, while the other two are from across town; the National Front candidate from the ‘troubled’ Townhill estate, the Lib Dem from an area given over to accommodation for students and other transients.

There is no Plaid Cymru candidate, because the party is all but dead in Swansea. (Sad, seeing as I can recall Llansamlet being Plaid’s first council seat in Swansea when it was won by my old friend John Ball back in the ’70s.) Surprisingly, the Independents were also unable to field a candidate due, it is suggested, to the favoured hopeful being away on holiday! So there you have it. Another example of non-local local politics in Swansea. Another example of how turned off the vast majority of local people are with their councils. Another example of how this disengagement makes it easier for political adventurers and extremists to grab the limelight, to expound their views, and perhaps even to get elected.

Putting this together with all the other local government problems – the Carmarthenshire dictatorship, the Caerphilly stitch-up, the incompetent authorities stripped of various responsibilities, local authorities increasingly run by senior officers – there are no arguments left for not reforming Welsh local government. And for not making a start tomorrow. Democracy is suffering under the present system.

Eight new authorities modelled on the pre-1996 counties would be ideal. (See above left, click to enlarge.) With no more than thirty or forty councillors each, representing ten to thirteen three-member wards in each authority; or possibly, smaller, single-member wards, for multi-member wards rarely deliver the promised ‘variety’, especially if the party popular locally puts up a full slate of candidates mercifully free of halitosis and capable of holding a short conversation without covering the listener in spittle.

P.S. In an earlier post I dealt with Swansea Labour’s ex-student councillors and their vacuous tweetings. Well, as I reported even more recently, John Boy Bayliss has now closed his Twitter account, @JohnCBayliss, on orders from above. His colleague, the California beach girl, Pearleen Sangha @PearleenSangha was, you may recall, home in March for a wedding. Well, here we are three months on, and whaddya know – she’s back in California! No doubt she’s there on important Labour Party business! Lucky, lucky Swansea!

UPDATE 12.06.2013: For using a picture of the Official National Front candidate for LSion Owenslansamlet in this post – since removed! – I was threatened with legal action by the South Wales National Front Organiser, Sion Owens. (See Comments to this post.) Mr Owens, of neighbouring Bonymaen, was a candidate himself not so long ago, in the council elections of 2012. Although he stood for the Official National Front last year (is there a Provisional National Front?) back in 2011 Mr Owens was a leading light in the BNP, and a candidate for the National Assembly. But he was cynically denied victory by a “politically motivated” arrest for burning a copy of the Koran.

Or at least, that’s how the BNP reported it. This is how ITV’s Wales Tonight covered it. You’ll note that the WT report mentions that Owens has also been in the ‘Welsh’ Defence League. So it looks like he’s moved between different organisations . . . but only if you believe that the BNP, NF (Official or otherwise), and the W/EDL are separate organisations. Sion Owens 2In case anyone thinks I’m taking this too seriously, just take a look at some of those we’re discussing – booze, bellies and Burberry. Who is going to vote for people like these, even in a suit and a (pre-knotted) tie? But be thankful for that. Because in many continental countries fascism has in recent decades produced charismatic leaders, it has gained sympathy from official quarters, including Christian churches. On this island all we have is an embittered section of the white underclass reacting blindly – but always reacting! – to forces it does not understand and, because it does not understand, it has no hope of directing or controlling.

And finally, remember, these are the people so proud to be “WELSH” that when they go watch the Swans they wave a flag that doesn’t even acknowledge the existence of Wales!

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Paul Elliott

Are you aware that bob clay and professor adrian sugar who works at the morriston hospital were both members of the trotskyist organisation the international socialists? I know, I was also a member. Both were and maybe are conviction politicians, like mrs. T.

Paul Johnston

Actually, the plural of photo’s is actually photo’s as photo’ is an abbreviation of the word photograph thus an apostrophe is used in place of the omitted letters to show the reader the word has been abbreviated.


But as photo is an accepted abbreviation and a word in its own right – as in photo call, photo finish, etc., – the plural is photos.

Jac, check this out.

Don’t know who did it but I’d take it as a compliment.


Fame at last! (Is there money in it?)


I do have a strange kind of respect for you like I respect an Eastender who’s turned to the BNP but the situation in Wales is nowhere near as bad as you make out. My comments are addressed to you and not the “knuckle draggers” you try to stir up so not posting them is besides the point because being the sort of chap you are I know you will always look at them. That said you are right that I have nothing to contribute on a far right blog so it’s adios for now.


“I do have a strange kind of respect for you like I respect an Eastender who’s turned to the BNP but the situation in Wales is nowhere near as bad as you make out.” By “nowhere near as bad” you can only mean that there are few non-whites here in Wales. Which confirms my view of you. Adios, indeed.


Ha Ha Ha, bigots trying to out bigot one another..pure comedy, at least the NF don’t demonize other British people for living in their own country.


I think this comment tells us where you’re coming from. Though it also suggests you’ve been missing the point. Nobody’s ever been “demonized” on this blog for living in their own country.


Im certainly no lefty Royston there’s a lot we agree on but the only difference between you and the NF is the skin colour of the people you target.


Again, you miss the point. I don’t “target” people because of their skin colour or their nationality. What I target is a colonialist system that is exploiting and destroying my country. A system that sees Wales now poorer than Slovakia. A system that makes it difficult for Welsh people to buy a home in their own country. This system is controlled from England, and those colonising my country also come from England. Only a fool goes hunting badgers when his chickens are being killed by foxes. But even then, the target is always the system.

But of course enemies of the Welsh, like yourself, will defend this system, and fall back on simplistic and slanderous arguments in the hope of silencing opposition to the colonialist system that, when exposed, is indefensible. Easier to do that than to address the specific issues I raise. For to believe people like you, we Welsh have never had it so good, and would starve were it not for ‘generous’ England.

I have previously told you to go away because you have nothing to contribute. Take my advice. This is the last comment you’ll have posted. Interesting e-mail address you use, though.

D Morris

The Official National Front, BNP, English Democrats & UKIP, anyone know the difference between them, if any?


Could Sion please point out where on the Union flag is the Welsh flag represented? I know a few Owens in the west. You are not a credit to them.

C Mibabijive

Siôn Owens
Please sort out the possible damages likely to be incurred as a result of publishing a photo of Claire Thomas on a website and list them along with an indication of the sums of money involved for each item.
btw: The photo of you in the SWEP (12 April 2011) reminds me of Mahmud Nasir.

Sion Owens

Oh uneducated? Coming from the man who cant read a disclaimer….priceless! And you really need to get your facts straight I am swansea born and bred along with our candidate, and you call people who want to put their nations people before immigrants racist when you are clearly a racist yourself with your comment about the English.

Slide back under your rock you traiitor.

The Red Flag

It’s Swansea – not swansea. And in your post above it’s sought – not sort.

Shame you’re not standing – you’re an ideal candidate. Far to thick to cook the books.

Sion Owens

Dear Sir.
I write to inform you that you have taken and used property belonging to the NF without consent. The picture of our candidate Claire Thomas is our property and on our web page (that you have directed a link to via this article ) it clearly stated that copyright is owned to the NF and it can not be taken and used without our written consent.

I formally request that this picture is removed at once, failure to do this will lead to legal proceedings being take with damages sort and any legal fees also sort against yourself.

I hope that this will not have to take place, as long as the picture is removed immediately this will be an end to the matter.

Sion Owens South Wales National Front Organiser


Picture and link removed, with pleasure. By the way, the plural of photo is photos, not – as you have it on your website – “photo’s”. You remain the pathetic bunch of uneducated bigots that can only – thankfully – appeal to others like yourselves. It saddens me to see English fascists like you using my national flag. You are an insult to Wales.

Big Gee

Owens – your talent for writing and the grammar you use reminds me of that other fictitious low-life bigot created for mirth – Alf Garnet. Your slant on politics and your level of intellect (not least your understanding of the nation you unfortunately reside within) also seem to fit the bill. You were obviously out bashing brown skins when you should have been at school.

“Sort” is what we do with letters – or in the case of “sorting out” what we do with imperialist traitors in Wales who haven’t got the marbles to understand what British (English) colonialism is about.

The word that was dodging your sparse neurons was “sought” the past tense and past participle of “seek“. Even if you had SOUGHT legal recourse I doubt if you would have found it, even if you tripped over it.

Perhaps you could start by providing the evidence that you have firstly officially SOUGHT copyright approval for your material – just saying it isn’t enough proof that you have rights to the material – you have to prove it.

If your rant & antics weren’t so seriously pathetic it would all be so laughable. Not exactly impressive are you? Any brighter ones in your thin ranks?


Ah, sought!

John Davies

This article’s worth a read on whether multi-member or single member wards are preferable http://penartharbyd.wordpress.com/2012/09/03/the-anti-democratic-local-government-boundary-review/


It’s a tricky one, with the pros and cons varying from urban to rural areas. In cities and other urban areas four- and five-member wards obviously favour party machines. This effect could be minimised with smaller, single-member wards. But smaller, single-member wards are the reason rural areas are cursed with landowner / Masonic / Tory ‘Independents’.

Given that I am arguing for far fewer local authorities and many fewer councillors, I suppose this must lead us to large, single-member wards, with perhaps 5,000 people in rural areas, and 10,000 in urban areas. Obviously, that’s a big ward for a genuine independent or a small party to manage, but by reducing the number of councillors I envisage them becoming almost full-time, which should improve the quality by weeding out the back-scratchers and the party time-servers.

I was interested to read the recommendation of the Sunderland Commission (which I’d forgotten about), but there’s not a snowball in hell’s chance of the Labour Party in Wales adopting STV for local government elections, or any other system that would damage Labour’s chances of winning seats and councils with a third or less of the votes. This explains why the Sunderland Commission’s recommendations have fallen to a bueaucratic black hole.