Wales, Where Democracy Came To Die

If the title strikes you as over-stated, just hold your judgement until you’ve read what I have to say. And if you still disagree with me, then you can claim your refund from the Reimbursements Unit of the Finance Department at Jac Towers.

Seeing as last week’s offering was a little long, at over 3,000 words (and there were complaints!), I’ll try to make up for my previous verbosity with this shorter piece.


Last year Labour celebrated a century of being the political party sending the most MPs from Wales to Westminster.

Since the advent of devolved government in 1999 it’s been a similar picture in the Senedd (formerly Assembly), with Labour always the largest party.

According to Professor Richard Wyn Jones of Cardiff University this makes Labour in Wales “the most successful party in the democratic world”. But he can only be right if ‘success’ is judged solely on electoral victories.

Because if we gauge success by making life better for people, or by improving a country, then it’s a different story.

Because since we’ve had devolution Wales has fallen behind the other countries of the UK in economic performance and in education; our health service is falling apart, and our standing-room-only, no refreshments, blocked toilets trains would shame a third world country.

On top of which, money is diverted to lunatic schemes while essential services suffer.

At the most recent elections, in May 2021, Labour won 30 of the 60 Senedd seats, all of them in the south and the north east, with 39.9% of the vote, an increase of 5.2% points on 2016.

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But that was from a turnout of just 46.6% (which was still an increase of 1.2% on 2021.) In 2003 the turnout went as low as 38.2%, and in 2011 it was just 42.2%

Which means that in the 2021 Senedd elections Labour gained the support 18.6% of those eligible to vote. But thanks to an electoral system favouring the largest party Labour took half the seats, and further strengthened its grip through an alliance with Plaid Cymru, a party that has become almost a Labour subsidiary.

A control that Labour now intends to make permanent. Partly through taking over national institutions and other bodies, partly through introducing a new electoral system that will favour Labour even more.

More on the first tactic in the next section, more on the vote rigging later.


Over the years I’ve explained how Labour holds onto power through the use of lobbyists, a tame media, opposition parties incapable of mounting effective opposition, crony-run third sector organisations and other bodies the ‘Welsh Government’ funds to tell it what it wants to hear.

Recently, I published ‘Wales: Ruled By Pressure Groups‘ (12.06.2023) in which I gave examples of the influence exerted over our tribunes by outfits like Extinction Rebellion, 20’s Plenty for Us, WWF, Friends of the Earth and Sustrans.

The advantage of this relationship for the ‘Welsh Government’ is that it can quote these organisations as “experts“, in order to push on with plans and projects that had already been mutually agreed.

These groups are international in nature, or just English. But they send somebody down to Cardiff, rent a cupboard, stick ‘Cymru’ in the name, and pretend to be Welsh – with our best interests at heart!

I followed up that piece on pressure groups with ‘Taking Control, Of Everything‘ (19.06.2023) where I outlined my observations that the ‘Welsh Government’ also seems to be taking over a number of national institutions and other bodies.

Referring to recent events at the Welsh Rugby Union I wrote:

After creating what was reported by a loyal media as “turmoil” in our sporting bodies the ‘Welsh Government’, with the help of certain individuals ‘on the inside’, was able to engineer a situation that saw people parachuted in who are dependent on ‘Welsh Government’ patronage.

If I had to link the two pieces I would say that this is straight out of the World Economic Forum playbook. The WEF invents or exacerbates problems in order to capitalise on them and offer solutions; then, through this deception, exercise control.

The big WEF threat of recent decades has of course been climate hysteria which, because it’s global, can be used in attempts to control human behaviour around the world. Of course, there is no climate crisis. But it serves its purpose.

When you realise that the WEF grew out of the Club of Rome then this section from a 1991 CoR publication, ‘The First Global Revolution‘, makes perfect sense.

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Other than partnerships with pressure groups and taking over national bodies the ‘Welsh Government’ tries to extend its reach and enhance its credibility in other ways, too many to list here.

We’ve seen how the ‘Welsh Government’ pretends it’s been ‘advised by pressure groups and other bodies it’s in cahoots with, but this deception extends to bodies it has itself created, such as the Welsh Youth Parliament.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against listening to kids, I’ve got teenage grandchildren. But how much weight are we supposed to give to the views of children with no experience of life, who’ve been brainwashed by an education system influenced nowadays by people some of whom are unsavoury and some of whom are positively dangerous?

Again, it’s a case of, “I’m listening . . . but only if you tell me what I want to hear”.

The most recent example of controlling the narrative was the announcement that the ‘Welsh Government’ will fund a journalist to cover proceedings in the Senedd. This reporter will of course be totally independent.

Are we really expected to believe that?

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It’s as if those who inhabit the Bay bubble have become so self-engrossed, and so dismissive of opinions outside their little world, that they’ve lost all sense of reality.


Since the inception of devolution in 1999 we’ve heard politicians say that with just 60 members the Assembly / Senedd is too small to do its job properly. An argument not without merit.

These voices have got louder as Corruption Bay gained more powers, which admittedly makes the case stronger for having more members.

Things are now coming to a head.

Before I start explaining this, let me say that I can only hope I’ve got all the details right, because the subject is not easy to follow on the ‘Welsh Government’ website, and I don’t think the media has given it the attention it deserves.

I’m referring to the plan to increase the number of Senedd Members, but more importantly, the way it’s proposed this should be done.

Let’s start May 10 last year, with the announcement that first minister Mark Drakeford and Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price had agreed on major changes. These were . . .

The Senedd should have 96 members. Elected from 16 constituencies, these achieved by ‘pairing’ the 32 new Westminster seats; with each one electing 6 MSs by the “closed proportional lists” system. These changes should in place for the 2026 Senedd elections.

The 32 new Westminster constituencies that it’s proposed to ‘pair’ for the 2026 Senedd elections. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

This may have been agreed by Drakeford and Price, but few others were in favour.

For example, even before publication of the report by the Special Purpose Committee on Senedd Reform the body had lost one member in Tory Robin Millar, who’d resigned. As you’ll read, he wasn’t the only one unhappy with what Labour and Plaid had come up with.

The report itself concedes (page 37 [86]) . . .

The Expert Panel previously noted that higher district magnitudes create greater potential for proportionality, and that if constituencies become too big, it can result in ‘hyperproportionality.’35 Hyperproportionality describes the circumstance whereby a party that gained a very low level of public support nevertheless secures seats in the legislature- and thereby the legitimacy of elected platform

But these misgivings were dismissed. Of course they were!

The Electoral Reform Society commented:

While there are positive elements of this deal, there are also those that require further thought . . . concerns remain about the use of closed lists due to the lack of choice voters will have. This system was rejected by the Expert Panel on Assembly Electoral Reform who said it left “No choice for voters between individual candidates” and “No accountability for individual Members directly to voters”.

The decision to use the D’Hondt method of allocating votes also threatens the proportionality of this new system, by creating a high bar for smaller parties to reach to ensure representation and see members elected. The use of D’Hondt is likely to make the end result only as proportional or even slightly less than the current system.

And, finally, Professor Laura McAllister, who is co-chair of the Independent Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales, and previously chaired the Assembly Expert Panel on Electoral Reform, referred to above.

Her piece on The Constitution Unit Blog was headlined: ‘Wales needs a larger Senedd, but a closed list system is not the best way to achieve it‘.

The concerns are over the “closed proportional lists“, which are not proportional. In each of the 16 mega-constituencies voters will be offered a list of six candidates for each party. You will vote for the party, and get all six candidates.

The Electoral Reform Society warned that the proposed system is, “likely to make the end result only as proportional or even slightly less than the current system”. What this means in practice is that Labour could win a majority of the seats with an even smaller percentage of the vote than it achieved in the 2021 Senedd elections.

A combination of clever pairing coupled with the loss of regional seats could see the Conservatives almost wiped out.

Let’s call it what it is – it’s a stitch-up. I can understand Labour doing it, because this is how Labour has always operated; but Plaid Cymru have done themselves serious damage by going along with this corruption.

I’m dealing with it now because the Senedd is scheduled to vote on the proposals some time between now and September.

UPDATE 08.07.2023: This may be more complicated than I thought. But still designed to benefit Labour. A comment suggests that the six seats can be divided between different parties. Which means that a party winning 50% of the vote would get 3 seats. But what it also means is that there is a 16.6% threshold before a party can win a single seat. Which will of course rule out smaller parties.

UPDATE 09.07.2023: A further comment tells us there is to be an element of proportionality in the proposed system, “Within the super constituency, whichever party tops the poll gets the first seat, their vote then halved and whichever party is then top gets the second etc etc until all six are allocated”.

I begin to understand why we’ve had so little discussion – there may be few people who understand what’s being proposed. (I’m certainly sorry I started down this road.)


Devolution was sold to us as “bringing democracy closer to the people of Wales“. And indeed it could have done exactly that. But the Labour party in Wales is not very good at democracy; it never has been.

Labour in Wales has always been about power, patronage, and corruption. And because Labour has controlled devolved politics since 1999 not only have we seen our economy decline, our educational standards drop, and our NHS collapse, we’ve also seen a gradual erosion of democracy and accountability.

Despite what you’ve read some might still think I’m over-egging it by linking the World Economic Form with the Labour party, Extinction Rebellion and the rest, but hear me out.

What we see increasingly in Wales, at every level, and also across the globe, is the implementation of agendas without a democratic mandate or, in most cases, even public consultation.

After decades of grooming and influencing political leaders from across the Western world the WEF may be the most influential body on Earth. But do you remember ever voting for Klaus Schwab and the rest?

Similarly with the World Heath Organisation, an unelected body that has taken on itself the power to impose lock-downs and travel restrictions on individual countries, or the entire world. And this can be done for political as much as health reasons.

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The ‘Welsh Government’ has an unconvincing mandate at the moment, but it wants to introduce an electoral system that is clearly intended to give the Labour party more power with even less support.

And then we complete the circle with the Green-Woke-Left pressure groups, most of them now funded by leading players at the WEF to ensure administrations follow the WEF agenda.

Where do you figure in all this? Where and when are your views asked for?

For Wales to be a prosperous, healthy country, and progressive in the true sense of the word, the people must have faith in those running the country, and the processes that put them in power, while also believing that the interests of Wales are being served, not those of swivel-eyed strangers imposing their damaging agendas.

That dream can never be realised as long as Labour uses a corrupt electoral system and other tactics to pursue what begins to look like a form of totalitarian control.

♦ end ♦

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David Smith
David Smith
21/07/2023 04:21

Jac, on the mobile site the comments are appearing, ironically enough, far left, to the point that it’s not producing a nice viewing experience. Just a heads up mon amis.

David Smith
David Smith
22/07/2023 12:29
Reply to  Jac

Still the same. I don’t know if you edit the actual CSS in WordPress but it’ll be something like padding-left or margin-left.

David Smith
David Smith
22/07/2023 13:45
Reply to  Jac

The text in the comments section not butted right up to the left side of the screen?

David Smith
David Smith
22/07/2023 18:09
Reply to  Jac

For reply comments that’s what I see, but for ‘main thread’ entries the text is like Welsh politics: far left and in the gutter. Every comment also triggers an email along the lines of “Thanks for subscribing!”, not sure if that’s a desired functionality or not.

David Smith
David Smith
22/07/2023 20:27
Reply to  Jac

Same. Do you have a WYSIWYG editor as part of it?

David Smith
David Smith
22/07/2023 21:06
Reply to  Jac

Hmm. Problem is I’m neither a hand at WordPress nor really a web layout guy. It’s nothing major anyway despite my whinging, ha.

David Smith
David Smith
23/07/2023 18:59
Reply to  Jac

Perhaps put out the question on Twitter to see what people say, then post a job on PeoplePerHour or some other freelance site to get a web dev to have a look?

16/07/2023 11:10

That 96 strong model for future Wales Gov is a real fraudsters’ fantasy. It would be less of a dog’s dinner if they elected 1 for every third share of each new Westminster constituency. Given those “mini-constituencies” would all be modest sizes it would mean that the local electorate would have a better chance of knowing who was standing in an election and if they didn’t know him/her/it they could ignore that candidate on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence of ability to represent. It would improve the possibility of a local “force” such as McEvoy in Cardiff’s western communities getting voted in while likes of Hedd and other sane A.S’s would survive quite nicely. Parachuted party loyalists would be at risk !

Jon Coles
Jon Coles
14/07/2023 20:53

As I wrote for The Herald’s Politics section this week:
Welsh Labour’s plans to carve up an expanded Senedd with a rigged electoral system that will serve only its interests are well-known. And if they’re not, they should be.
With the willing assistance of useful idiots in Plaid Cymru, who sold out their manifesto to ensure they always had a meagre toehold in power, Labour plans to ensure that voters have no say in their representative’s identity.
Suppose the Welsh Government gets its way, and it’s unlikely enough Plaid MSs will develop a spine and halt them. In that case, your representative will be whoever an unelected and unelectable party officer decides it will be after the next election. The link between constituent and representative will disappear overnight.
Do you think contacting your MS about a troublesome issue is hard? Please wait until sixteen of them represent a bundle of six constituencies.
It’s a shameless rook. Backbench Labour MSs and Plaid Cymru know it’s a rook. And none of them has the guts to do anything about it. Wales might need more members in its National Parliament, but “improving” the Senedd this way comes at democracy’s expense.
Engagement at Welsh elections is pitifully low. Separating the people from their representatives by bureaucratic whim and quotas will hardly reignite the public’s interest.
It’s a given that in a one-party system, the party in control will never surrender control over the process that ensures its rule continues.
Suppose Adam Price’s call for compulsory voting became Welsh law. How many MSs would lose to “None of the Above”? In seats where turnout is lowest (around a third in some safe Labour seats), the prospect of Labour MSs being defeated by a protest vote might focus Cardiff Bay Labour’s attention on dealing with Wales as it is rather than the one it imagines.
You can read the whole paper free here:

15/07/2023 09:16
Reply to  Jon Coles

Thanks for the link to Pembrokeshire Herald Jon. After reading the article relating to NRW new regulatory fees I have today submitted a FOI request to Welsh Government. Copy below. Awaiting reply.

Freedom of Information Officer
Information Rights Unit
Welsh Government
Cathays Park
CF10 3NQ

My Ref:               NCC/WJ/67
Your Ref:    
Date:                           15 July 2023


Dear Freedom of Information Officer

Subject: NRW new regulatory fees and charging regime introduced 1 July 2023

I attach hereto article published by “Pembrokeshire Herald” 14 July 2023 entitled “NRW introduces eye-watering price hike for farmers“. The content should be self-explanatory.

An investigation has been initiated to establish the facts relating to the new charging regime. To inform the investigation, I would be grateful if you could arrange to provide me with the following information from Welsh Government records; as NRW is a Welsh Government sponsored body.

I would be pleased to receive copy of correspondence between NRW and Welsh Government specifically relating to the new regulatory fees and charging regime introduced 1 July 2023.

I look forward to receiving the information at your convenience pursuant to FOI Act 2000 / EIR 2004. If you consider it necessary any personal data – contained within the correspondence – can be redacted to comply with the data management principles set out in the UK GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018. Thank you.

Yours sincerely

Ioan Richard
13/07/2023 09:15

A long term contact of mine worked all his life as a Blast Furnace Man at the giant Port Talbot Integrated Steelworks. Like myself he was into Local Politics – that’s how I got to know him. I myself also worked fourteen years on Cold Steel Mills at Felindre and Trostre, so we had something in common. That common link was, we had both worked many years for the Steel Company of Wales SCOW whereas many of today’s politicians have never had “real world jobs”!
My contact is worried for the future of Port Talbot Steelworks, and for the town generally, due to the obsession many of the Wales Senedd Members have with rushing headlong into Zero Carbon that may force the closure of the Port Talbot Blast Furnaces – that are the “pumping red heart” of the giant works there. 
If the Blast Furnaces go, losing jobs will not end there, so will all the jobs on the deep harbour that handle the furnace’s Coking Coal and the Iron Orel that would then be unwanted. So will many more jobs all go in the Coking Plant and the Sinter Plant. It will be the end of a fully integrated steelworks for Wales forever and a big loss of many highly paid internal and external supply and service jobs. In simple words – the heart of the works will be ripped out.
Port Talbot Steel Works currently operates two huge Blast Furnaces (No.4&5) with a max capacity of 92,000 Tonnes a week – generally about 75,000 Tonnes average per week [but at the time of writing this I do not have the current output figures].
Let’s take the normal weekly average of 75,000 Tonnes a week of Iron / Steel that by a ratio of 1.7 to 1 will produce a weekly output of 44,200 Tonnes of Carbon Dioxide or nearly 2,300,000 Tonnes a year of Carbon Dioxide. The non scientific Politicians offer a few mad nonsense ideas of (a) Capturing it and pumping it down into local old coal mines that are all currently full of stinking water or (b) transporting it overseas at enormous cost to pump down old Oil Wells or (c) liquidation of it from the heat of 1,500 Degrees plus Centigrade to minus 60 Degrees and pumping it out into the Bristol Channel to form freezing carbonic acid or (d) bubbling it through Caustic Soda baths to scrub and capture it as a solid Carbonate. I’ve heard all of these nonsensical ideas. The only nonsense they’ve not suggested yet is to send it up in a rocket to the moon. We are talking here of over two million tonnes a year of very high temperature Carbon Dioxide gas not a capsule full!
There is glib talk by politicians of replacing Coke (carbon) with Hydrogen Reductant. Hydrogen obtained by electrolysing Water with masses of green electricity using hundreds of offshore erratic wind turbines. There is more glib talk by politicians of using electric arc furnaces with more masses of green electricity from many many more Wind Turbines in the hills behind. The local MP’s wife is by coincidence a paid Director (since 2019) of the big Vestas Danish business that makes Wind Turbines.
Some limited “green steel” may be made that way by using hybrid furnaces, but the main use of the electric arc process is to recycle scrap steel and iron not to create it. If the steel works wobbles to a sad end, or reduced output, the present market for its produce will be swallowed up immediately by overseas foreign steel makers and their markets who will continue to use Blast Furnaces with similar global emissions. 
On 16th December 2022 TATA STEEL issued an un-noticed Press Release to say TATA had negotiated with National Grid to “pause production” at critical times at its Trostre Cold Mills to “load shed” high energy consumption when renewable electric sources were not performing well e.g. the wind not blowing. It is disruptive for production to do this, but less disruptive on a cold mill than a hot mill – that’s TATA’s logic – for which they will get substantial financial compensation by the Grid and we then pay for the Grid.

Dick Trick
Dick Trick
12/07/2023 19:40

WOKEISM disputed – in Scotland – but could easily be Cardiff Bay

12/07/2023 15:02

Meanwhile away from the Wales’ political swamp signs of a cooling off in enthusiasm for Ukraine’s valiant efforts against the evil hordes from the East.

  • Ben Wallace said Ukraine needs to be more publicly thankful for western help. He revealed at Nato that when he was presented with a list of weapons by the Ukrainian government last year, he reminded them that he was ‘not Amazon

That’s the first time I’ve seen any of the UK’s leadership team utter anything other than sympathetic cliches when mentioning Eastern Europe’s second nastiest regime. Perhaps NATO bigwigs are now satisfied that for the time being they have calmed any fears that Putin could lead a gallop across Europe and arrive near the Channel ports within weeks.

He’d never get into those ports anyway because they are jammed full with assorted migrants, refugees and economic chancers looking to dip into the UK’s sack of goodies while dipping their wicks into some nice white girls rumored to be good for a spot of fun if you ply them with a bit of dope, fags,booze and pizza. Perhaps we should be redirecting the unattached males to Russia so they can test themselves in a seriously challenging economic and social environment

12/07/2023 12:58

Lee Waters recently tweeted (can’t find it now annoyingly) that if his position on implementing his policies costs him his constituency seat, he won’t care as he will have done his bit for climate change.

What this tells me is that he’s more interested in serving the whims of campaign and pressure groups regardless of the wider concerns and sentiments of those in his community.

We’re in the middle of the Senedd term at the moment where Welsh Labour will deliver the most batshit crazy elements of its Programme for Government objectives like the 20mph limit with the hope that by the end of the term, the storm will have passed and they will scrape through at the ballot box once again.

With activists like Waters at the helm, I think the 20mph implementation is going to backfire in spectacular fashion in some of Wales’s most hardened Labour voting areas. With TfW continuing to underperform, this policy will have a profound effect on all. Local authorities fear making exceptions due to the risk of being sued if the worst happens on a road that is 30 and could have been 20. Waters has passed all the risk of his policy onto them.

It will go one of two ways. Either the passive public will suck it up and Waters will be First Minister by 2030, or it will be the end of Labour’s dominance and Waters, a la Sophie Howe, will disappear into the ether of the third sector to play with his climate toys.

I am very much hoping for the latter.

Last edited 2 months ago by JS
12/07/2023 18:05
Reply to  Jac

Scrape through ! The way things are going they will be waltzing in on a wave of indifference/apathy, tribal loyalty of the thickest kind, and the tacit approval of Plaid Cymru the dumbest political party ever seen in my time. Plaid has contrived to throw away its position where it was poised to challenge and is now seen by most of the electorate ( the bit that’s awake and aware)as a bunch of juvenile ishoo obsessed morons.

Gruff Williams
Gruff Williams
16/07/2023 11:15
Reply to  Dafis

“a bunch of juvenile ishoo obsessed morons.” Harsh, but true.

Dyn Gwyrdd
12/07/2023 17:55
Reply to  JS

I’ve been caught speeding twice in recent years having held a clean license for over sixty years. Both offences were just 5% over limit – one in a 20mph limit the other in a 30mph limit on quiet days.
I took one course to avoid points. For the second, I now have 3 points and higher insurance. I’m sure this 20 mph will see many people accumulating enough points to get banned for quite low speeds. With such a poor Wales transport system these banned drivers will have to give up jobs, not only driving jobs, but any job that involves commuting to awkward work places.
These uncaring idiots in the Cardiff Asylum are determined to push these 20mph limits everywhere. We cannot stop their blinkered idiocy.
The only compromise saviour would be to have a lower penalty point system on a sliding scale of one point for 5% over and two points for 10% over and the usual three points for anything higher and keep the fines as they are. Unless this is done a lot of people, like commuters and drivers and rural dwellers and those doing school runs, they will start losing licenses and the ability to work. Of course people like Drakeford and Lee Waters in Welsh Labour could not care less about families losing bread winners with consequences of children going hungry and mortgage repossessions for a new workless people. It is a very serious future for families facing such draconian penalties from these cruel XYZs in Wales Labour Government. Everyone needs to get on really angrily to all five of their individual Senedd Members especially their labour ones.

13/07/2023 10:17
Reply to  Dyn Gwyrdd

Justification for 20 mph speed limit presented by Welsh Government to Welsh Parliament available at link below for those who wish to examine the document in detail.

David Smith
David Smith
13/07/2023 18:15
Reply to  Dyn Gwyrdd

What about the fact that that for all the decades the 30mph limit has been in effect, cars, and more pertinently their braking systems, are safer now than they have ever been? How about the existing practice, whereby councils already enforce 20mph limits or have speedbumps to effectively impose it as a limit on an elective basis where needed, near schools and in housing developments with lots of families? Consider also the jerkier ride having to stick in 3rd gear will bring.

David Smith
David Smith
11/07/2023 20:12

Local rag has upcoming indy march in Bangor on front page, with no ‘opposing voices’ whinging about ‘divisiveness’ or some other such shite in the article itself. I believe this is noteworthy, possibly a first in terms of coverage prominence and editorial sentiment.

Frank Little
Frank Little
11/07/2023 08:32

Red Flag has a point. With so many more MSs than work for them to do, they are virtually certain to encroach on the powers of local authorities. The desire to micro-manage has been a consistent disease of members of parliament. It will no longer be held in check in Cardiff Bay as idle hands are free to make mischief. Local democracy is in danger.

10/07/2023 17:05

I could substitute “SNP”, for Welsh Labour, and your (as usual, excellent) article would be an almost exact story here in Jokeland

10/07/2023 11:38

Like the new header photo on your blog Jac. Is that you in the boat fiddling with the outboard motor !

10/07/2023 14:58
Reply to  Wynne

That’s Jac’s new family business fetching in bearded children who wish to “enjoy” the Uk’s diverse pleasures. Unfortunately (for them) Jac has a habit of opening the trap door and letting them sink to the bottom. Still, it offers the fish a more diverse diet !

Desperate Dan
Desperate Dan
10/07/2023 10:28

Hypocrisy is rife in Welsh Labour. It has just excelled itself in the new Neath / Swansea East Constituency in the selection process for its MP at the next general election. They claim to have barred Christine Rees (sitting Neath MP) because of her alleged bullying of her staff. They then go on to select (sitting Swansea East MP) Carolyn Harris for the seat after she allegedly had a physical fight with a member of her staff. Of course its all alleged, so what’s the difference? The best answer would have been to bar both of them, or pension off both, and parachute in some public sector ethnic person of unusual sexual orientation from Cardiff. Their rules might say it has to be a woman, so why not a Cardiff Bay woman with a penis? There is one other option of course – why don’t the people of Neath / Swansea East just stop voting like blind donkeys for Labour?

Nosey Parker
Nosey Parker
10/07/2023 11:48
Reply to  Desperate Dan

Well put Desperate Dan. Can anyone up date us readers as to what’s happening in the tussle of ‘musical chairs’ for the one seat left between Gower and Swansea West? If it was not for the single seat tussle, the Bruther and Sister insiders would not have leaked the recent alleged dirt on Grunt. The Llanelli Scarlet girl in Gower is quite confident for Gower, as her rival detractors allege she is spending her time outside the Stradey Park Hotel protesting against Asylum Seekers, and whilst doing so, stepping all over Nia Griffiths’ shoes. Et tu Brute? Maybe she would like to cross back over Bont Llwchwr to her roots. Yes Welsh Labour is rife with hypocrisy. There is only one option as desperate Dan says – do not donkey vote Labour!

09/07/2023 15:08

Adam Price ( remember him?) recently advocated making voting at various levels of elections a “civic duty”. As an abstract hypothetical concept I would not disagree with it but when one takes into account the perverse inclinations of people who are compelled to do something there are all sorts of unintended consequences.
Even more worrying are the “closed proportional lists” which I understand to be centrally appointed candidates for each region/constituency denying local party members the chance to pick those who they think will serve the electorate best. Of course all this centralised decision making is straight out of the book of preferred methods as adopted by Labour and Plaid. Not only do they dislike opposing parties but they are seriously fixated about those who may strike a dissenting note within their own party! Yet another reason for not voting when the system is so rigged in favour of the Politburo and its allies.

Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
09/07/2023 13:23


I commented as soon as this piece appeared – it seems to have disappeared?

09/07/2023 08:38

When devolution was mooted, the main argument of those against was that it would be “the old Glamorgan Council on stilts”. It’s turned out not to have been the worst prediction in the world and it’s reflected in the turnout being far closer to Council rather than Westminster elections. I doubt if more than one in twenty people will have any knowledge of these electoral systems and will not notice the changes at all other than a slightly different ballot paper naming parties not candidates when they make their cross. It’s the total disconnect and apathy that’s so dispiriting. A closed list as opposed to individual candidates will only make it worse. The Assembly is so irrelevant here in Swansea that I doubt if many people think of it at all.

10/07/2023 10:10
Reply to  Jac

Apathy is a major factor in Labour’s retention of the dominant position. Combine that with the surviving strain of tribalism and the new strain of eccentric ishoos and you get the less than heady mix of what keeps the likes of Drakeford in a job. It’s shocking and to see Plaid cwtching up to this slime is even more revolting.

David Smith
David Smith
15/07/2023 22:00
Reply to  Jac

The negative space of inertia and apathy is politics at its worst.

Red Flag
08/07/2023 17:36

And when you throw in the number of MPs, the number of Local Authority councillors, public sector workers etc, is there anyone ileft in Wales to do normal jobs?

Desperate Dan
Desperate Dan
09/07/2023 13:51
Reply to  Red Flag

Red Flag there are very few real jobs left in the Swansea area. Most disappeared one by one many years go e.g. Tir John Power Station; Bryn Lliw Colliery; Felindre Steel and Tinplate Works. 3Ms Gorseinon; BP Llandarcy; Mettoys; Berlie; Abernant Colliery; Tick Tock and Fords together with lots of contractor jobs that fed off these giants and once a real working Docks.Most of these paid solid steady wages. Real family farms were in the rural outer parts now struggle being penalised for rewilding. The biggest politically deliberate future loss ever could come when the pseudo Greens in WAG close the Blast Furnaces up the road for their carbon zero obsessions. To top it all will be thirty six more fools in Cardiff who don’t know how to push a chamber voting button imposing a new voting system for themselves that nobody in the wales electorate will understand.

09/07/2023 17:42
Reply to  Desperate Dan

My late father once wondered why the local unemployment figures were so low given that there was hardly a big employer left. And you are correct to mention the myriad small local businesses that acted as suppliers or contractors to the giants and whose profits tended to remain in the area. They’ve largely disappeared.

Red Flag
08/07/2023 17:34

As far as I am aware, the proposal for the new system also includes vote-counting by the D’Hondt method

Red Flag
08/07/2023 19:37
Reply to  Jac

Within the super constituency, whichever party tops the poll gets the first seat, their vote then halved and whichever party is then top gets the second etc etc until all six are allocated Standard D’Hondt method but using the party vote as the base as opposed to a candidate.

Bit similar to how they allocate th seats on the regional list now but closer to how they were allocated in the EU elections when we were members.

Red Flag
08/07/2023 19:40
Reply to  Jac

Then the parties allocate the seats to whoever is on their party lists based on how many of the seats they got.

The public will have no say in candidates. Party appointed Delgates as oopposed to people appointed Representatives.

Red Flag
09/07/2023 19:47
Reply to  Jac

One good proposal is that no candidate is allowed to be on the list for more than one ‘super constituency’ and no candidate is allowed to be in another elcted position (MP, councillor etc etc).

Red Flag
10/07/2023 07:46
Reply to  Jac

In the current system, a candidate can stand for a Senedd constituency AND be on lists for the egional top -ups as a ‘banker’. In this new one they can’t.

Likewise they can stand for the Senedd currently, while they are already in another post (most must resign if they win the Senedd seat). But in this new system they will have to resign BEFORE they can be on the list for just one super constituency, Which adds a nice bit of sudden death. Make the wrong call and they end up unemployed.

Red Flag
08/07/2023 19:59
Reply to  Jac

As a crude example, using the North Wales list from the last Senedd elections. We’ll pretend it’s a Super-Constituency of 6 seats. Beforehand each party submits – in order of preference, up to 6 candidates.

The ungrateful & unwashed then vote – either with just one X or numbering from 1 – for their preferred party, down to 6 (similar to NI or Scotland). Whichever is the voting method they finally adopt.  Either produces a slight variation in the result but not by much.

So based on the votes for each party and ‘D’Hondting’ them by the standard method – , it would have been 2 each for Labour, Tory & Plaid. It would probably have been much the same if a numbering system was used although a LDem may have sneaked a seat at the expense of Plaid or the Tories.

All in all, it’s just a job for the boys project at the tax-payers expense. under the portrayal (to the stupid) that it’s more democratic.

Hanging politicians off lampposts is actually the most democratic option but what would I know – I only vote.

A. Pauled
07/07/2023 14:21

I note that Lee Waters voted against Labour three times recently. Has he changed sides? No, he is just dopey and cannot handle pushing a few buttons. Unfortunately Drakeford has not got the bottle to sack him. I wonder what Mrs Rhino Hide told him.

07/07/2023 12:58

Looks like you can now delete the query above. Comment I posted yesterday completely gone and I did not think to copy it either ! Not a good move on my part.

Ivor L'Engine
Ivor L'Engine
07/07/2023 12:38

I’m not sure you’ve properly explained the closed list system. If there are 6 seats in a constituency then Labour would get some, Plaid would get some and perhaps the Tories or Lib-Dems would pickup a seat or two.
As you say this is because you are basically voting for a party and not the individuals on the list. That said how many people in Wales actually vote for an individual, rather than the party, during an election for the Senedd in Wales ?
When I lived in Wales I voted in every election, but I never knew any of the candidates – and I probably wouldn’t have recognised any of them if I saw them in the street or down the pub. I think most people are the same. It’s an unfortunate fact of life, it shouldn’t be this way, but it isn’t going to change any time soon.

Next time I’m in North Wales I will claim my free pint from the “Reimbursements Unit of the Finance Department”. I mean quoting from The Telegraph to prove a point is surely scraping the barrel ?
I agree that some global trends are annoying, but they’re more an example of people jumping on the bandwagon rather than some grand central conspiracy.
It isn’t however all one way traffic, you only have to look at what’s happened to brands like Bud Lite and Disney in the USA when they tried to peddle an ‘agenda’ rather than sell their products.

Red Flag
08/07/2023 20:00
Reply to  Jac

More likely it will close for a diversity awareness traning day.

07/07/2023 10:25

Just checking whether the comments function is now restored

07/07/2023 06:39

Test message Jac, as requested. Let me know if the technical issues have been resolved.

07/07/2023 17:28
Reply to  Jac

Your comments counter still only records 2 comments to this post Jac. Sound like “mega-gremlin” in the works !

Garry W Gibbs
07/07/2023 01:40

Our universities are THE big problem due to totalitarian adherance to Maoist social justice theory dogma and doctrine enforced by anonymous allegations against socially conservative challengers prompting terrifying disciplinary proceedings in a fearful environment where free speech perishes and dies (it is happening now).
The journalist will come from one of these university courses where ideological zealots indoctrinate rather than teach, producing people like Will Hayward, who clearly is entirely aligned and sympathetic, apparently writing propagandistic back patting material with little alternative apart from the blogosphere and social media.
The type of fierce impartiality and independence needed to be able to write your searingly forensic analysis, which accurately captures the low turnout terrorism of Welsh Labour wastefully guaranteeing future expansion entirely at our cost backed slavishly by voting reformers in their pay, appears to be no longer even required of today’s journalists.
These university zealots steeped like tea bags for too long in sour and rancid postmodernist dogma and doctrine are, of course, also now the main active voters.

David Smith
David Smith
05/07/2023 21:10

96 members in the Puppet Parliament compared to 32 in the Imperial one. These cunts are the perfect useful idiots for the Conservative and Unionist Party and its acolytes. Incompetence, cronyism, gerrymandering, and to top it all off, three times as many of that most ubiquitously beloved suckler of the public teat, the politician, to deliver such bounty. They make the case for every gobshite who ever blew hard about how we’re “Better off under Westminster”. Especially since the facile approach (which, let’s face it, is all that is to be expected from the hoi polloi), is to consider devolution as independence-lite. You couldn’t conceive of setups better designed to deter separatism than the devolved administrations of the United Kingdom. Power devolved is indeed power retained.