Swansea Labour: The Farce Continues

AND THEN THERE WERE NONE

Over the years the Swansea Labour Party has been a reliable source of (relatively) harmless amusement for the toiling masses of the Jack metropolis and beyond, and so it continues. For more tales reach me of back-stabbing and various other self-destructive practices that can only be attributed to utter desperation, possibly anomie. But before the fun starts, I have some sad news.

I have written many times of the party’s student councillors on the west side, fresh-faced yoofs straight out of Swansea Uni, who know little of the city, and don’t care to learn because they’re just using Swansea council as the first rung on the ladder of their political careers. It seems like only yesterday the Uplands ward was blessed with two of them: ‘California Girl’ Pearleen Sangha, and John, ‘John Boy’ Bayliss, while nearby Cockett ward (covering Waunarlwydd and Fforestfach) had Mitchell ‘Mitch’ Theaker.

First Sangha left, to take up a post with the party in Cardiff . . . but pretended she was still in Swansea. Next to go, towards the end of 2014, was Mitch Theaker, taking a job in the United Arab Emirates recruiting for Sheffield University’s International College. Finally, it was John Boy’s turn, though as with the others, there was confusion over exactly when he left to take up his job in Bristol, and whether he was really still serving his constituents back in Swansea. The tale is recounted here in The Case of the Disappearing Councillor

What hastened the departure of all three was probably the casting down, in August 2014, of their patron, council leader, David ‘Il Duce’ Phillips. And even though the newBenito Phillips, Il Duce Abertawe regime was glad to see them go, it still didn’t want them announcing their departures in a way, and at a time, difficult for the Labour Party. By-elections must be carefully timed and orchestrated.

So who’s been selected as the Labour candidate for the by-election caused by John Boy’s departure? Well, it’s ‘Miss Lily Summers’, a trans-sexual of uncertain background, which offers a kind of continuity, for Bayliss and Theaker spent a great deal of their time promoting LGBT causes. So sod the Uplands ward, sod Swansea, Summers will be just another Labour councillor riding a hobby horse.

Don’t get me wrong, an individual’s sexuality and preferences (within reason) don’t bother me one bit. I just object to people making a career out of the hand they were dealt, demanding that I pay them attention, accord them ‘rights’. Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

Before moving on from Swansea West I hear that the word on the street is that Julie James, the Assembly Member, was instrumental in de-selecting two of the sitting Labour councillors in Cockett, Ann Cook and Andrew Jones. They have been replaced, in time for the 2017 council elections, with a member of her staff and someone who works for Geraint Davies, the Swansea West MP.

In a show of solidarity with his ousted colleagues a third Cockett councillor, Geraint Owens, will not be seeking re-election next May.

While just a hop and a skip away, in the Penyrheol ward, David Cole, the Labour councillor was also airbrushed de-selected for defending his community against the council’s plans to build a new school on a local park. He now sits as an Independent.

UPLANDS UPDATE: While ‘Miss Lily Summers’ of Stoke on Trent (but no fixed abode in Swansea), is lined up to replace John Boy, I neglected to mention that another Uplands councillor has drifted away, this one is Neil Woollard, of whom I wrote here (scroll down). He’s gone to work on the Cardiff Bay tidal lagoon project, which may be undermining the similar scheme for Swansea. He moved from Swansea a while ago and just turns up for the odd meeting to keep getting his £13,000 allowance and avoid a by-election, cos Labour lost the by-election following Sangha’s departure.

With Bayliss and Woollard gone, the balding Summers in, I’ll now give you the other Labour hopefuls for next May. One is the sitting councillor, Nick Davies, who had hoped to inherit the Castle ward seat of Il Duce when it was believed the new regime was giving Phillips the heave-ho, but that was overturned at Labour HQ and so Davies has had to come scurrying back to Uplands. Though he may no longer live in the ward.

Then there’s James White, a retired teacher and something of an unknown quantity. On the plus side, he claims to be “a Swansea boy” and lives in the Uplands ward. (An almost unheard of combination for Labour.) The list is completed with Uzo Iwobi OBE. A Nigerian woman who now lives in Swansea, but not in the Uplands ward. In fact, she’s been asking people to show her around Uplands and ‘introduce’ her to people. Iwobi works in the Third Sector which, as we know, is just another name for ‘Welsh’ Labour.

Read about them all here.

Uplands 4

MOVING ON OVER

Even though the Uplands and Cockett wards are in the Swansea West constituency, and Penyrheol in Gower, things in that neck of the woods are otherwise fairly quiet, certainly when compared to the real action over in Swansea East. Where to start? Why not with the MP, Carolyn Harris?

I wrote a post a few months ago in which Carolyn Harris figured prominently. Read it here. But of course, since then, things have really moved on. So to bring you quickly up to date . . . On July 4th there was a Jeremy Corbyn fund-raiser in the Brangwyn Hall, and in attendance was Carolyn Harris, there to pledge her undying loyalty to Comrade Corbyn, which is no less than we’d expect from a member of his shadow cabinet.

But last Sunday, in Pontypridd, Owen Smith launched his leadership challenge to Jeremy Corbyn and there was Carolyn Harris, dementedly clapping and hollerin’! Watch the video for yourself. Can anyone identify the Valkyrie giving him the ‘Ah, poor dab!‘ look? (Or maybe she’s spotted something interesting behind his right ear.)

Smith and friends

Though perhaps Harris’ switch is understandable when we remember that there are moves to de-select her by hard left Corbyn supporters, which might also account for her surprising vote against Trident in the July 19th debate. Surprising because as she tells us on her Facebook page, “this was not my intention when I walked into the chamber”! We shall return to the hard left anon, but a little digression first.

One thing that ‘Welsh’ Labour has always been very good at is keeping public money within ‘the Labour family’. Examples abound, and in the case of Carolyn Harris one of the best examples is the £1,654.00 a month paid to Whiterock Consulting for “professional services”. So who or what is Whiterock? Answer: Lawrence Bailey, and this is what I wrote about him in my earlier post on Carolyn Harris:

Lawrence Bailey

(Here’s the link to ‘indecent images’ story.)

In my previous post I gave the impression that Harris was paying Bailey for his professional services, maybe PR work, because that’s what I thought at the time. Now I learn that Bailey actually works for Carolyn Harris, and until quite recently he was based for much of the time in the constituency office on Brynhyfryd Square. (Through the mist I see schoolboys smoking Woodbines in the stinking public lavatory on ‘the Square’ as they wait for the bus to Penlan School. Ah, happy days!)

If Lawrence ‘Libido’ Bailey is an employee of Swansea East Constituency Labour Party, or its MP, why isn’t he on the books, instead of being paid through Whiterock? I think we can all hazard a guess. Though if Whiterock is a contractor or consultant, should Bailey be given the run of the constituency office, and allowed to use facilities, equipment and consumables paid for from the public purse for the MP and her staff?

FULL OF EASTERN PROMISE

As I just hinted, the hard left is out to get Harris, and they don’t come harder or lefter than Bob Clay, former Labour MP for Sunderland North who washed up in Swansea a few years ago. His wife Uta is Austrian and both these confirmed Trots serve as councillors for the Llansamlet ward.

The Clays are actively plotting to remove Carolyn Harris. How do we know this? Because Bob Clay was considerate enough to set it out in a document in January this year. It is headed, ‘To oblige CH to retire’ and contains section headings, ‘Preferred Methodology’, ‘Preparing the Way’, ‘Scope’, and ‘End Games’. In that final section we can read, “The overriding objective is to see the back of CH. However, this would be far easier to achieve if the risk of a scandal did not occur before the Assembly elections” (in May).

I have redacted the names and signatures of two other persons who might be seen as Clay’s co-conspirators, but I prefer to view them as the dupes of an experienced and manipulative politician, a man who learnt his politics in smoke-filled rooms. (God, I miss them!)

Clays

You’ll see that the third sheet is in the form of a letter to ‘David’, who I’m told is Dave Hagendyk, yet another political professional who’s never done a real job. After leaving Cardiff University in 1999 he became a researcher for husband and wife AM team Huw Lewis and Lynne Neagle. Next, in January 2004, he became Head of Policy at ‘Welsh’ Labour. By February 2009 it was time to move on again, this time to become Political Liaison Officer (Wales) with the University and College Union. He was appointed General Secretary of ‘Welsh’ Labour in November 2010, the position he holds to this day.

It would appear from the letter that Clay bore no grudge against Hagendyk despite the latter suspending Uta Clay in 2012. Suspension or worse might now await Bob Clay, for representations have been made to London to have him thrown out of the party. Among the instigators of this move we find, unsurprisingly, Carolyn Harris. This is interesting for a number of reasons.

If, as I’m told, moves are afoot that have “gone way past Hagendyk”, what does this say about the independence of ‘Welsh’ Labour? Also, given that Clay is a Corbynista, and Harris, as we’ve seen, has lined up with Dai Smith’s boy, I suspect that who gets slung out in Swansea East depends a lot on who is leader of the UK Labour Party at the end of September, after the leadership contest.

The secretary of the Swansea East Constituency Labour Party was Ryland Doyle . . . until the beginning of June, when he resigned. The e-mail in which he informed party members of his decision is quite remarkable in its honesty, and what it tells us about the Labour Party.

Ryland Doyle

Though I have to take issue with Ryland Doyle when he writes “Bullies prevail because people do not stand up to them”. Clearly, he did not stand up to the bully Bob Lloyd. So who is Bob Lloyd? In short, he is the Constituency Labour Party treasurer for Swansea East, but his influence goes beyond that.

Bob Lloyd, an ex-councillor, is one of three brothers, the others being Alan, now retired but who may have served as much as 40 years on the council, and David, who was Carolyn Harris’ agent in 2015 and now works in the constituency office. Bob Lloyd’s wife Val was AM for Swansea East from 2001 (by-election) until 2011. Alan Lloyd’s son, Clive, is currently a councillor for the St Thomas ward, (though he lives a few miles away). To describe the Lloyds as a Labour family would be an understatement. They supported Carolyn Harris in her campaign to become MP, were rewarded, and she now relies on them to protect her from those seeking to deselect her.

SWANSEA, LABOUR IN MICROCOSM 

Here ends the latest chapter in the ongoing saga of Swansea Labour Party, the gift that keeps on giving. And I hear that Swansea is in such a mess that there are some who look back longingly to the days when there was order, when the trains ran on time – and dream of restoring David ‘Il Duce’ Phillips to power. Avanti!

If you want to know what’s wrong with the Labour Party then you need look no further than Swansea, it’s all here: nepotism; bullying; back-stabbing and de-selections; selfish careerists and immature conspirators; brown envelope Old Labour, hypocritical New Labour and antediluvian hard left; not forgetting the mis-use of public funds plus dilettantes allowed to use the party to promote their pet subject . . . and all packaged up with utter contempt for the people they’re supposed to be serving.

These people are running the wonderful city of Swansea because there’s just no opposition. Things aren’t much better on the national level. When you look at ‘Welsh’ Labour you realise that a half-decent opposition party could have swept the buggers away years ago, as happened in Scotland.

We get the politicians we deserve. And because of that, ‘Welsh’ Labour is a terrible indictment of our nation. 

*

Thanks to ‘Stan’ of Neath Ferret fame, and others whose names I obviously cannot divulge, for helping me prepare this piece. Any more information on the Swansea Labour Party will be most welcome.

 

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52 thoughts on “Swansea Labour: The Farce Continues

    1. But it goes to show how desperately short of decent candidates ‘Welsh’ labour is. And then, you have to ask how can she serve a community she knows nothing about?

  1. Apart from being a bit perplexed over the issue of young people in Llandudno, (are there any such there?) I’m beginning to think that perhaps it’s time for us to start making noises about political parties fielding candidates who have absolutely no local connection. Perhaps a residential qualification, say having had to live in a ward for a period of not less than five years, and also a stipulation that no one can represent a constituency they don’t live in – after all, it’s a bit of a farce that people can be ‘represented’ by someone who doesn’t have the first clue about the area they have duty of political care for.

    It’d certainly put a huge spanner in the works of Labour, and would also have dealt nicely with the total absurdity we have with Neil Hamilton, who not only doesn’t live in the constituency he represents, but lives in an entirely different country!

    I’m sure it would make for difficulties for many political parties, but I’m a firm believer that you need to know your area, and the people living in it extremely well in order to be able to properly represent it and them.

    For most of these young Labour people elected to these positions it’s merely their starter for ten up the greasy pole of Labour politics, as you have alluded to in your post.

    1. Brychan

      In an article in a Scottish newspaper called the Daily Record there’s an article entitled ‘Who is Owen Smith?’. The Daily Record, is of course the Trinity Mirror mouthpiece of the Labour Party and is a sister paper of the Wasting Mule. It also published the story, word for word, apart from the made up parts of Owen Smiths’ CV, presumably removed because Welsh readers may be more familiar with the truth.

      One sentence did catch my eye, it said…

      “If Owen Smith becomes leader of the Labour Party he could be the first Welsh prime minister since David Lloyd George.”

      A rather strange claim, as the longest serving MP for Cardiff South was James Callaghan, who became Prime Minister in the late 1970s. Of course, as with most Labour MPs in Wales, Callaghan wasn’t actually born in Wales, but in Portsmouth. But hang on a minute, this cannot be the definition of ‘Welshness’ because Owen Smith was also not born in Wales. He was born in Lancashire.

      I suppose it could be argued that Smith qualifies as being ‘Welsh’ because he spent a number of his early years working for the BBC in Cardiff, which Callaghan did not. Callaghan was too busy serving in the Royal Navy, mainly on the Atlantic convoys in WW2 prior to a career in Welsh politics thus disqualifies him as ‘Welsh’ according to Labour.

      A third explanation for the Labour Party definition of ‘Welshness’ is that of blood-line, as Owen is the son of someone who was actually born in Wales, Dai Smith. This definition of ‘Welsh’ might come as a surprise to the many ethnically diverse residents of Wales who are now defined by the Labour Party as nationality by parentage. Those second generation offspring from Jamaica, India, Italy, and Poland, not Welsh people according to Labour.

      The reality is that Owen Smith would rather be seen in the footsteps of a Liberal Prime Minister of the Edwardian era, rather than a Labour Prime Minister of his own lifetime. A figure sharing the same ‘Welsh’ qualification as Owen himself. Strange he should whip out the race card to give himself credibility, and gloss over a somewhat lack-lustre former Labour Prime Minister representing Cardiff.

      1. Stan

        Owen has those other “essential” Welsh qualities of having a grandfather who was a coal miner (same as Stephen Kinnock), playing rugby at school, being a Labour Party member (allegedly), being of below average height (a shortarse), not being able to speak Welsh so easily understood by all, and being perfectly normal with a wife and three kids. He is the stereotypical Welshman, the sort of chap Max Boyce has made a fortune out of.

        1. Brychan

          The ‘spouse and three kids makes me normal’ pitch doesn’t work in the Conservative Party, as I’m sure Theresa May be able to testify. It’s interesting for this to now be a good ol apple pie script of a Labour leadership contender. Trouble is, you scrape the surface of a fake, and you get this…

          https://twitter.com/twcuddleston/

          It would be “normal” for a balding middle aged man to steer well clear of a semi-pubescent teenage girl with a man-crush for Miliband, then Burnham, and now Oily Smith. Certainly not bussed in from Lancashire, accommodated, and booked to organise the choreography for a leadership launch in Nant Garw.

          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/11772854/Milifandom-girl-Abby-Tomlinson-backs-Andy-Burnham-for-Labour-leader.html

          Creepy.

          Doesn’t the Labour Party have any Welsh ‘young people’ of it’s own to do the media backdrop?

          1. Stan

            Good spot there, Brychan. I thought she looked familiar. As you say, a bit creepy all these man-crushes on labour’s finest.

            Lily Jayne Summers would have been ideal to introduce the launch and would have gained Smith God knows how many more column inches. And she could have shared a car with Carolyn Harris to save on global warming. Surely she would be Welsh enough for Owen? Standing for Labour in Swansea is Welsh enough. And what a first for Owen that would have been – how many PC Brownie points could he have had there? Missed the boat there, Owen, me old chum.

            1. Thinking about ‘Miss Lily Summers’ . . . Obviously it’s a bloke. So has he legally changed his name, or will Len – or whatever he’s called – be standing under a false name next May, something I’m pretty sure is a criminal offence?

            2. dafis

              Perhaps he’/she has undergone the necessary realignments ( like the choice of up to date wording ? ) that enable him/her to use the chosen name. Nothing hanging down either trouser leg !

  2. Bruce Jones

    Thank you so much for this information, Jac. This makes for interesting reading, indeed. I know the whole system is corrupt but did not realise how bad it is. I suspect the majority of constituents are also in the dark. So, thank you for throwing some light on it for us.

    So, what can the ordinary voter do? My MP is Geraint Davies. I have written to him to tell him what I think of him and his turncoat ways. I want to help deselect him, although I hear he is retiring. I want to ensure that his replacement is working WITH Jeremy Corbyn and not against him and the people.

    I have now received my Labour Party ballot.So, out of the names on the ballot sheets, who is the best person to vote for so that we can get somebody decent (and who supports Corbyn fully)? Do you recommend anybody in particular? Bruce.

    1. Sorry, Bruce, I’d like to help because you seem genuine, but I’m not the man to ask about the Labour Party. All I will say is that if the choice is between Corbyn and Smith, and if you a bit of honesty in politics, then it’s got to be Corbyn.

      1. Bruce Jones

        Thanks for your reply, Jac. Appreciated. I am a Corbynite, so will do a bit of digging to see what I can find out about the names of the ballot paper. Bruce

  3. Troi

    Think Uplands by-election is down to Neil Woolard who doesn’t have an address in Swansea at all anymore – Bayliss still does i’m told …

    1. I wrote about Woollard last November http://j.mp/1NYUVjS As for John Boy’s having an address in Swansea, I wouldn’t put too much store by that. After taking the job in Bristol he was for a while giving as his address Theaker’s old pad in Cambrian Place. Reported here. Later, he was giving an address in Llangyfelach, scroll down on this post.

      Bayliss has not lived in Swansea for a couple of years, but he makes it back to a few meetings because his employer is working for those who want to ruin Mynydd y Gwair with wind turbines. They recruited him for no other reason than that he’s a Swansea councillor.

      I shall have to check which of them is lined up to be replaced by Lily Summers. My guess is they’re both going. Though it’s another black mark against Labour that these councillors are allowed to take jobs away from Swansea and yet the pretence is maintained that they’re still living in the city and doing their duty as councillors.

  4. Anthony Roper

    You seem to have left out ex Labour Councillor for Townhill Nick Bradley who if you check never attended any committee meetings at all for a full year….he also left to recruit university students abroad?

    1. Yes, I know, but Bradley was a few years older than the ones I’m talking about. Though he again was an ex-student. I often wondered if Sybil Crouch, Il Duce’s wife, who worked in the Uni, had a hand in recruiting students to her husband’s cause.

      Here’s an old picBayliss Twitter from John Boy’s Twitter account showing him centre with Theaker on his left and Bradley to his right.

      I seem to recall the three of them visiting the Gulf prior to Theaker taking up his new job. A risky thing to do, I thought.

  5. Llyr

    Such a similar story to Cardiff and Wrexham where Labour got ousted by Lib Dems, but then came back, unchanged. Just wait for the challengers to start infighting or mess up.
    Plaid of course has never had any significant success in any city, except for a brief period in Cardiff . My loyalties are to hope that the party comes back there, but surely Swansea is “Welsh” enough for Plaid to do better than the capital? I know you are not in Plaid jac but why do you never hear of any party activists being from Swansea except for dai lloyd?

    1. When I lived in Swansea the party was quite active. We had branches across the city and I stood for the city council and West Glamorgan county council. An old mate of mine, John Ball, was elected in the Llansamlet ward. We used to hold regular social evenings and a I recall arranging coach trips to Cilmeri and elsewhere. Things were looking good.

      But there was always an element within the party in Swansea more interested in matters cultural, a rather middle class element that I thought had difficulty connecting with the very people we were asking to support us. These tended to put off your average Jack who didn’t really want to know about Waldo Williams.

      Then all sorts of things happened. I left; Ray Williams, who’d stood for the council with me, died of cancer; a very active member and close friend, Phil Henry – who I believe had been chairman of Plaid Youth – also tragically died; others lost interest, or moved, and things seemed to fall flat. Plaid has never really recovered. Even Dr John Ball, the regular candidate for Swansea East, eventually gave up on Plaid. Then there’s another old mate of mine going back to the ’60s, who is still a member, but prefers to campaign in Llanelli! Swansea needs someone local, who knows the city and its people, to get things moving. A Jack Neil McEvoy.

      1. dafis

        no harm in people wanting to share an interest in Waldo Williams. He was a man who had an interesting mix of experience in a variety of communities, Anglo and Welsh. However there were, and to this day we have, clusters of people with an irritating habit of “showing off ” a deep and oddly passionate knowledge of such influential people. This leads to a sad inward looking behaviour when often the subjects themselves, like Waldo, RSThomas, DJWilliams and others were outward looking thinkers and visionaries who interacted with “Y Gymru” warts and all and thought deeply about what they saw and heard. In our modern era we are left with sound bite thinkers, processing small bites of dubious information because that is all their fuckin’ addled brains can cope with.

  6. Blossom

    To answer your question re
    Recruiting students from Swansea University – yes your assumption is right!! Was Bayliss working for the Turbine Org when he voted in favour of them being installed at Mynydd Y Gwair? If he was then he did not declare an interest!!!

    1. Brychan

      I would also like to know if Bayliss followed UK foreign office advise when applying for a visa for lucrative work and residency in UAE/Qatar where a death penalty exists for homosexuality. Is it possible that Bayliss is not as gay as he made out when seeking support from the LGBT community in Swansea and that was all just a usery sham to wangle his way onto the council for personal gain?

  7. Big Gee

    The problem is not the party that selects foreigners to the area as candidates, but the people who vote for them. I also blame a lack of decent candidates from other parties. Even ‘Independents’ would be more acceptable – as long as they were local candidates. Although – God help us – we’ve seen enough of those sort as well, both here in Ceredigion and other places like Ynys Môn in the past. It doesn’t help in these areas when parties like Plaid side up with the Independents, for fear of letting other regional parties (like Llais Ceredigion previously) gain candidates that would show them up for their incompetence. The trick played by the Independents here was to exploit the phenomenon of putting someone up unopposed, because the voters here, and still are to a greater extent, stuck in the feudal mind-set of the middle ages, when the top-dog, or local landowner was not challenged for fear of reprisals against individual voters.

    Labour have obviously detected a niche they can exploit in certain pockets – like Llandudno and Swansea, by using students, where there’s probably sufficient strength of Labour voter support to allow anything that’s put up, including children from across the border, and apathy amongst other party supporters. It’s something they’ve exploited for years in the Valleys – hence the old saying about selecting a cabbage calling it Labour and people vote for it.

    It’s difficult to shame them as well, because they couldn’t care a stuff about what the likes of us draw attention to, as long as they get their required head count. They have no principles, and therefore no shame for their actions.

    The process has to be scotched by making statutory changes to the rules regarding candidates, and by educating the public that they, in the long run, are the ones who will suffer for these actions, but that’s easier said than done; because their blind loyalty to the Labour ‘movement’ is greater than their social conscience. You only have to study what’s been going on for about a hundred years in areas like the Rhondda to realise the rot that people won’t address – even when they see their area falling down around their ears, thanks to cronyism, exploitation and fraudulent practices at local government level. In a word it stinks. But there again didn’t someone once say that voters get the representatives that they deserve?

    1. Troi

      A lot to Big Gee’s analysis. Especially in big multi-member wards like Sketty or Morriston it’s very tough for any independent however competent and committed to win against the parties.
      In Swansea West the wards are all semi-competitive between the party slates bar Townhill. Established councillors gravitate toward the safer seats. All the parties aim to select candidates in their target seats who have the time, enthusiasm and commitment to wear their knuckles and shoe leather out canvassing voters. The University is a recruiting ground for all of them. In 2012 the Labour Students essentially thumped the Lib Dem ones in Cockett and Uplands.
      In Gower thanks to the Lliw Valley legacy, wards are exclusively 1 or 2 member so Independents stand a chance and they regularly emerge through the community councils. However one expects the Tories to ensure no ward in Gower is left uncontested next year and this may lead to Indies in wards like Gowerton finding themselves between the hammer and the anvil.
      Cwmbrwla aside Swansea East is a single party controlled monolith; but that party is being swelled and re-shaped by the Corbyn disciples and with selections for 2017 coinciding with the civil war in Westminster it is entertaining to see once staid and respectable sitting councillors desperately trying to pretend they are all for Corbyn despite semi-realising that by pandering to the newly dominant hard-left they are in fact helping accelerating the avalanche going on as their core vote slides away beneath them! Internicine warfare is par for the course in Swansea East as winning byzantine internal political struggles is the only thing that’s relevant to getting ones hands on the sinecure that is a seat in, say, Penderry.

  8. To be fair Jac, the demise of Scottish Labour was a long time coming, even if at a parliamentary level it was quite dramatic when it came. Chickens … home … roost.

  9. A. Williams

    To use a maritime metaphor, Labour in Wales is a large ship with its bow pointed towards London, and there are many willing rats that jump on board for easy pickings. Wales as a national entity is not important to the crew that runs this ship, so the vessel has to be sunk, and the in-fighting in the English LP will ultimately provide the rocks on which the vessel founders.
    Corbyn has a clear vision-to destroy the myth that Westminster parliamentary democracy works in favour of the people. But he is at heart a British nationalist, not particularly interested in Wales.
    Plaid must, through forceful and confident leadership, exploit the death throes of Labour in Wales; to do what the SNP has done in Scotland. Plaid must plant in the minds of Labour voters that our salvation lays in controlling our own destiny.
    Complicated political arguments won’t register in voters’ minds. A good start would be a street campaign on control of our own natural resources.

    1. Big Gee

      I agree wholeheartedly with most of what you say there A. Williams. However on the subject of Corbyn, I can’t see how you can label him as a British Nationalist. His past track record, more especially his contact with Gerry Adams and his support for the Republican Movement in Ireland would suggest otherwise. In fact he has been dragged over the coals by English/British nationalists for that contact – including many in his own party. It would appear that this facet of his make-up contributes greatly to the disdain shown towards him that is apparent in the PLP. He sympathises, supports and plays with nationalists – a thing REALLY frowned upon by the Westminster Bubble of all parties, except the SNP & possibly Plaid!

      Whilst as a Labour drenched supporter, he most probably has a tendency towards ‘lumping together’ socialists of all nations (workers of the World unite and all that). Nevertheless his natural instinct towards fairness and justice seems to show in his attitude towards the wrongness of the way the ‘satellite’ Celtic nations of the UK have been traditionally treated by the English.

      I would suggest that we should stick the boot into the Owen Smith section of Labour, and take advantage of them whilst they are on the canvass. However, when it comes to Corbyn, I have a gut feeling we should resort to a more pragmatic approach. Given what I’ve seen of him and read about him, I would suggest that if confronted with a fair argument, that shows the wrongfulness of the way we are treated with regard to our natural resources, he is more likely to listen from a principled point of view than any other English party minister that I can think of in Westminster.

        1. Big Gee

          It was you who said: [quote] “A good start would be a street campaign on control of our own natural resources“.

          I don’t think it needs a lot of pondering to come to the conclusion that our country is one of the richest in mineral and natural resources on the British Isles (possibly with the exception of Scotland), along with wind, copper, coal to gold, water, off shore oil etc. etc. Looking wider afield you then have the blatant past exploitation of our iron, coal and agricultural industries, which have been calculatedly closed down, but not exhausted.

          Take your pick – the key thing is that without exploitation by another power, who has been constantly draining our resources for centuries in order to enrich themselves, our country would not be the empty shell – post exploitation – that it is today.

          This is the reason why it’s so laughable when the more ignorant amongst us (thanks to perpetual brainwashing) say that we are too small to govern ourselves. Oh really? So we are being cared for out of the kindness of the heart of the English government? Bollocks, it’s all about how precious a source of wealth we are for their treasury. That is the core principle of any colonial power. It’s about exploitation and blind robbery for the benefit of the coloniser. At the same time they tell us we ‘can’t go it alone’ without mother England – think Scottish referendum arguments. Scaremongering works – but thankfully it’s getting weaker, as we’ve witnessed during the Brexit referendum. “You can fool some of the people some of the time . . . . . . . you can’t fool all of the people all of the time”.

          Now don’t get me started on political exploitation for the gain of political (especially Labour) cronies in our country.

          1. Andy Williams

            Thank you for your reply Big Gee. There are reasons why our mineral resources industries have closed. In some cases exhaustion of viable resources but mainly because they can be found more abundantly and therefore be more cheaply recovered in other parts of the world. Wind energy? Well we’ve seen that without subsidy the onshore wind energy sector is dead. We have a beautiful country but we destroy it with worthless windfarms which make fat cats and their sycophants rich whilst ‘milking’ us consumers. Removing the subsidy for wind was about the only thing the Tories did right.

            A hundred years ago when ‘coal was king’ we may have been able to do it but not now.
            How would we fund all the non jobs of today?

  10. dafis

    well done Jac. I see that Guido Fawkes has picked up on the Kinnock saga and it’s received the usual rabid response from his middle of the road followers ! 290 when I looked in, all spitting all sorts of bile.

    1. The best thing Kinnock could have done was ignore what I posted. He thought he’d kill the story, put an end to the rumours, but now it’s out of control. Waiting now to see if, and how, Shipton deals with the story.

    2. Big Gee

      Kinnock Jnr in hot water – thanks to Jac – & Kinnock’s own arrogant stupidity. Dear Stephen doesn’t seem to be the brightest bulb in the room does he?

      Another interesting photo I saw shows a half empty venue for ‘Slimy Smith’s’ leadership campaign rally – despite the fact that they tried to crop it to give the impression that it was full. Oh dear! He seems to have tripped over his own laces right at the start of his campaign, and in true Blairite ‘spin’ fashion – first he refuses to apologise for the May gaff, by trying to spin his way out, then promptly gets someone else to repeal what he said. Silly boy, the media loves forcing someone into a trap and then watching him chew his own paw off to try and escape from it. The throw away comment was only a stupid thing to say in order to make himself sound like a tough boy from the Valleys, hardly worth a second glance, but it was a grain of sand that the hounds could make a mountain of. Like Kinnock, his arrogance then fuelled the whole silly and childish story.

      I think he’s finding that being a slick and slimy Pfizer (one of the largest American big pharma companies) lobbyist may be easier than coming face to face with reality on a podium campaigning against a guy who’s whole reputation is based on the exact opposite to what Slimy Smith is about.

      1. Colin

        Anyone would think you didn’t like the man!

        I was delighted to come across the article in the BBC website the other night, I saw the title and thought “there’s a coincidence” then when I read it I was over the moon to see the story source. I sometimes feel the amount of research and the words written here might fall on deaf ears but no, it seems. If the fall out from Brexit wasn’t enough to lighten my heart, then this has certainly put the icing on the cake and cheered me up no end at a spectacularly shite time

        1. Big Gee

          [quote] “Anyone would think you didn’t like the man!”

          Who me? No I love him to bits – as you can tell . . . .

        1. Stan

          I’m delighted that Jac has got recognition in the nationals for the Kinnock piece. He has consistently taken on really good stories that our mainstream media choose to ignore, and as we have seen recently, he has come under direct threat from those with the power and money whom he dares to expose. I did note that whereas most of the tabloids and broadsheets that ran the Kinnock story actually named “Jac” I don’t think the blogger Guido Fawkes did, which I thought was a bit petty though I do love the outrageous comments on Guido – they are almost as good as on here!

          I write a much more localised blog than Jac, but have run into the same sort of problems as Jac occasionally (not threatened with being sued yet though ha, ha). Over Peter Hain’s last few years of tenure I turned up some really interesting stuff about how he’d benefited from the expenses’ system – all legal – but eye opening nonetheless. But did the local media ever pick up on any of it? No way, because they are probably in the bloody Labour Party’s pocket. They used to run a pro-Hain article just about every week, so what did I expect?

          To conclude, I doubt there is a more widely read and informative, anti-Estabishment blog in Wales than Jac, and I’d bet that like me there are probably hundreds out there waiting for our next fix like Gazza waiting for Booze Direct to open. But we’ve all got a vested interest in keeping Jac productive for as long as possible so if the price of Malbec starts to creep up too much we’d better organise a whip round to keep him “oiled” – but never “Oily”.

          1. Thank you, Stan, and thanks for the lead to Kinnock. In fairness to Guido, at the bottom of the piece it says, ‘H/T jacothenorth’, with a link incorporated.

            Someone has been in touch tonight who made enquiries about how much a Danish student abroad might get in grants, expressing his disappointment that none of the reports followed up this angle. A few days ago he told me, quoting from Wikipedia:

            “Not only are students charged no tuition fees, but all Danish citizens (and many others meeting certain criteria) are offered monthly financial aid, known as “SU” (Statens Uddannelsesstøtte, meaning State Educational Support), amounting for each student to about DKK 2,728 monthly if the student lives with his/her parents or guardians, and about DKK 5,486 monthly if the student lives away from his/her parents or guardians.[11] Students can supplement the SU with low-interest government loans amounting to DKK 2,807 per month, which must be paid back upon the completion of their education.[12] DKK 5486 per month equates to something a little over £600″.

            If Ms Kinnock received this funding, and given that Atlantic College charges £28,600 a year, that leaves over twenty grand to come from somewhere else.

            Also tonight, another regular contact has been in touch . . . and admitted that he can read Danish (also Swedish and Norwegian)! He had this to say:

            “I am now kicking myself because I saw a reference in one of the Danish papers to his daughter going to what I assumed was a university in London, with some warbling to the effect that father and daughter were now reunited. Bugger!

            The Danish press was a lot more interested in the Aberavon election than the UK press, and they also picked up on Kinnock’s very narrow selection. Now that his wife is no longer PM, interest has gone off the boil slightly, but I’m sure they’re still watching closely.

            Just before the UK general election there was a bit of a kerfuffle in the Danish press about a balls-up Kinnock made in his previous job working for a Norwegian-owned environmental consultancy called Xynteo.

            There was a big climate change conference being held in Copenhagen, and Kinnock put a lot of pressure on the Danish Foreign MInistry to get VIP seats for his clients and arrange a special seminar on a project he was working on. He sent the ministry a list of Russian officials and others he wanted invited, and the ministry sent a fairly dusty reply that most of the names had already been invited in different capacities anyway. The project was supposed to transform Tver into Russia’s first “smart city”. He then buggered off on holiday, and while he was away Putin sacked the mayor of Tver and Kinnock’s project evaporated.

            On his return from hols, Kinnock started hassling the ministry again to make sure that the seminar was well attended – he wanted at least 35 people there – even though nobody from Tver turned up.

            In a nice twist, the papers reported that Kinnock, as a delegate, received an official invitation from his wife, who wrote that she was looking forward to seeing him in Copenhagen.”

            I reckon there’s more to learn about Young Kinnock.

            1. Myfanwy

              The big issue that the Danes have had against Stephen Kinnock, was over tax avoidance, particularly because everyone pays a lot into the system to make it work and because the Kinnock’s/Thonning Scmidt’s, would have benefited greatly, with for example, child care, schooling and as you have found out, with generous help through out the University years.

              Stephen Kinnock’s attitude to wealth accumulation and tax avoidance, also puts another question mark by his so called, Socialist principles, why should he be trusted, when he wouldn’t contribute fully to a social system, he is benefiting from and which benefits others?

              http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/denmark/7854836/Lord-Kinnock-son-accused-of-tax-evasion-in-Denmark.html

              http://politiken.dk/indland/politik/ECE1027073/skat-kan-kortlaegge-kinnocks-faerden/

            2. Actually, we aren’t up to the university years yet. Atlantic College is a kind of glorified sixth form college for 16 – 18-year-olds.

            3. Big Gee

              Judging by the information in the links provided by Myfanwy, you may not have to wait until little Johanna is in university!

              It appears the Danish government are hot on Kinnock Jnr’s heels for tax evasion. Whilst he was in his cushy little office in Switzerland, he returned to Denmark enough times to be liable for tax apparently – they are still unravelling his travel habits. If they find that he is due to pay tax in Denmark, and found guilty of deliberate evasion, he could face up to five years behind bars according to Danish Law (that’ll be another little job for Daddy & Mammy – to get him off that hook). No good looking to Mrs. (Thorning-Schmidt) Kinnock for help, because her feet are in hot water as well.

              She is currently being quizzed as to why she (Kinnock) – whose party is apparently a fervent defender of Denmark’s high-tax welfare state – has been declaring herself the sole owner of the couple’s home in order to benefit from tax credits, worth £45,000 over the last six years.

              Mrs Thorning-Schmidt, married Kinnock Jnr. in 1996, but registered their £400,000 Copenhagen home in her name when they bought it in 2004. I guess that can also be put down to sloppy paperwork? Yeah sure, and I’m competing in the synchronised swimming event in the Rio 2016 Olympics!

              Kinnock Jnr. worked and paid (very low rated) tax in Switzerland on a reported income of £110,000 as the World Economic Forum’s director of Europe and Central Asia. Nice work if you can find it! I bet a lot of those unemployed Tata workers down in the Port Talbot steelworks wouldn’t mind a slice of that. Are they actually aware of who is representing them?

              So all this begs the question, why should the little champagne socialist shit want a labour parliamentary seat in Aberafan? Don’t tell me it’s because of a bleeding social conscience!

            4. Stan

              I think, Big Gee, that the tax evasion issue has been investigated and they have been exonerated – I hate that word, I think better to say they couldn’t prove the case against them though that doesn’t mean there was nothing underhand going on.

              With regard to why Boyo wanted the seat in Aberavon, I’m not sure there’s one answer covers it all. His whole life seems to have been about trying to find his own place in the world. He has played a bit part in the lives of both parents, both more successful and famous than him, and has been the partner of one of the most glamorous and talked about female leaders perhaps in the western world. His sister has walked the halls of 10 Downing Street keeping Gordon Brown’s diary or something, then shadowed Ed Miliband as his PA when he was Party leader. He’s held down a few decent posts but seems to have jumped about a lot in recent years. Some would say moving on before the shit hits the fan. That’s my very much amateur psychology view anyway – he’s still growing up, poor boyo.

              Going for MP for Aberavon – when you look at the time he actually went for it, he was already based in this country so no move of country. We now know his daughter was in school here as well. Miliband was leader and there was every prospect of him leading either a Labour government or one just holding on anyway because he said he’d reject a formal coalition. So Stephen would have had every chance of rising through the ranks very quickly. His old man had personally backed Ed, famously hugging him when he was elected leader. Remember “we’ve got our Party back”. Sister would have been in No 10 as Ed’s right hand girl. Mam and Dad would be next door to the Commons every day. The Kinnock destiny would have been almost fulfilled. All that would be needed would be for Ed to have an unfortunate accident one day and who knows?

            5. Big Gee

              Very good Stan. For a self styled ‘amateur psychology’ student, you’ve done exceptionally well I think. For what it’s worth, I personally think you’re probably ‘bang on the money’.

  11. a Friend

    ok but why is this councillor who clams for travel but has a over 60s bus pass and lives in a ward with a high bus route to the civic centre never exposed on this web page

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