Thursday, 30 June 2011

... in Wales, shame ...

... on you teachers.

... and the governance in Wales, they will not cross a picket line, so they stopped governing.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

When Alex Salmond said "the rocks will melt with the sun" ...

... many British taxpayers missed the context, he continued, "before he would bring in tuition fees for Scots."

He could have added, let the England and Northern Ireland and Wales pick up the tab, and if students from these countries that subsidise our Universities wish to come to our universities, they can pay through the nose; but if you come from outwith the UK, Salmond will subsidise your education through the largess of the taxpayers of England and Northern Ireland and Wales.

In Wales, or more to the point, "of Wales", Peter Hain is bumping his gums again, but rather than being concerned with his Neath constituency and Wales he is worried about the future face of "British Politics" where the Labour Party might never be able to govern again, "good news week" for many observers.

It is the call for an "English Parliament", or at least a Parliament that MP's from devolved regions would not vote on issues that were devolved, it seems fair to me but Hain thinks otherwise, he sees the issue as the thin end of the wedge, the eve of destruction for the Union.  Where has he been these last 10 years or more, the Union as he knows it is well and truly over, it has been for a decade.

From Jamaica an interesting proposition, "... most islanders believe the country would have been better off if it had remained a British colony."  In Wales the nationalists consider our relationship within the United Kingdom to be colonial, bullshit of course, ours is an artificial divide, the only way fourth division politics can achieve any semblance of power, parish councillors who would govern our lives ...... except for sport, Wales does grow exceedingly good sportsmen and women at times.

And over the pond that is the Atlantic, the good people of Canada have come to love the monarchy ... whilst in Wales, well I written about it before, a sad world ...

... and my walking stick, well it's not a sexy as  Beyoncé, and not as useful as a Sheleighly, the Celtic word for a club or type of hand weapon, referred to in Ireland lore as the mighty protector “ ...

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

... can teachers be right to strike when ...

... the Head Master explained to John Humphrys that 84% of those who came to him, presumably last year, cannot read properly, in other words only 16 children in every hundred can read properly for their age.  Some 12 year-olds have a reading age of a four year-old.

Under the stewardship of the Welsh Assembly Government, and the supervision and scrutiny of every Welsh Assembly member since its inception during 1998, a whole generation of children have left or are leaving school ill-equipped for life beyond the boundaries of childhood, these young people do not realise how damaged our education system in Wales has made them, many are unemployable except as production labourers in a country that has little need for people unable to read, write and calculate.

We languish beneath England, NI and Scotland when tested, we in Wales languish well below the average for the developed world for reading, even lower for maths, and our politicians bleat to the electorate, we hear this characteristic cry of a goat as the Welsh Assembly education minister Leighton Andrews attempts to shift blame to the teachers ...

... and who do the teachers blame, the parents of course, and what exactly are teachers saying " ... many parents believe that education is something only for school", and it is, we cannot compete with the anarchy of learning through play, when children arrive at home parents are equipped to continue with a literacy or numeracy hour, sitting at a table with their children reading or writing or calculating an area, but learning through play ...

... this is educational bullshit.  Children need to know exactly where they are going, not where they might arrive.

It is time to set an agenda, turn the clock back to when Wales had two exports, "coal" and "teachers", to the days when parents wanted good schools.  We don't need experiments Minister, just good education that we all understand, desks, pens, paper, books, and someone out front who wants to teach our children, and the difficult children? ... you might find the structured approach is a little like a "comforter", something both children and teachers find .......... comfortable, less difficult.

And testing, schools, teachers, and children need testing, how else can we approve of our children's development .................... how else can we know things are working.

As for schools, our schools should all be like this one, each and every one, you have wasted so much money minister ............ you and your fellow Assembly Members and Teachers.

Back to Thursday, go on strike teachers and show the public exactly what you are ........ better at heckling than educating our children.

Monday, 27 June 2011

I have bought my first ...

... walking stick, not because I am old, but because of an injury gained setting standards for young people.  My knee will mend in time, but will my pride recover from the indignity of the "old man's walk" ....

... maybe I should cast caution to the wind and purchase a "Tippling Cane" or "Tippler," with hollowed-out compartments near the top where flasks or vials of alcohol could be hidden and sprung out on demand, I might deaden the pain of embarrassment in a haze of a good malt.

Back in Edinburgh " ... rising costs were "a small glitch"... ", that little gem by Council leader Jenny Dawe makes my bad knee seem as insignificant as a case of dandruff.
It comes after figures showed it would cost £750m to cancel the project or £770m to run the line from Edinburgh Airport to St Andrew Square, against an original budget of £545m.
A small glitch might be £545 rising to £750 when the plumber discovers lead pipe where it shouldn't be, manageable.  If a house priced at £545,000 rose to £750,000 it would be madness to pursue it, but in no stretch of the imagination can an increase from £545,000,000 to £750,000,000 be described as a small glitch ..... unless of course you are spending the taxpayers money.

The local politicians responsible for this scandalous overspend should be sent to Inchcolm Island in the Firth of Forth, for ever and a day .........

Sunday, 26 June 2011

I didn't realise how corrupt ...

... Greek society is, how incomprehensible, and the sheer Greek cheek expecting the poor of Britain to subsidise its debts that have been used for ...
  • ... children who inherit dead parents pensions.
  • ... MPs paid 16 monthly salaries each year.
  • ... bonuses paid to civil servants who wash their hands.
  • ... university professors who use research funds to buy card and houses.
  • ... luxury holidays for state employees.
  • ... €8 billion paid to power workers pension fund.
  • ... ministries where only half the staff turn up for work.
... and it goes on and on and on ...

The Greek deputy prime minister Theodros Pangalos, who recently said the people are as much to blame as the government for the country's €350 billion debt when he said "We ate the money together"....

.... and they continue to eat the money together, people retire at 40 but have to turn up in person at the bank once a year in order to prove they were still alive; the children of thousands of dead Greeks had been receiving their parents pensions for decades.

Chemists in Greece earn €35 for every €100 worth of drugs provided, in Germany it is €3.80, there are 4 times the number of teachers per pupil than in Finland which allegedly have the premier European education system.

It seems that Greece has one of the worse investment climates in the world, 96th place between Papua New Guinea and the Dominican Republic; if a Greek island were put on the market there is the issue of 2500 official licences and permits needed to conclude the sale.

It seems that every 6th Greek pays "fakelaki", "small envelopes", the slang for bribes to the tune of €1500 for each household, a total of €1 billion annually.  This is the country that wants the poor of Anglesey to subsidise its corruption.

Investors ask the question "Is there any point in investing", and then walk away, and so should the governments of Europe, walk away and don't look back ...

... unless you can give the honest taxpayers of Europe a good enough reason to continue the bailout of corruption.  I cannot think of a single good reason to bankroll this country.

In Wales our Assembly Government only wasted £100 million on business that generated no business, I think it is small thanks to their ineptitude, it could have been a £1 billion if they had really tried hard.  But we probably have a government neck to match the Greeks, our home grown Hart refuses to speak to our Westminster Government.  Is there something nasty in the Assembly Woodshed I wonder ...

... could it be for Wales read Greece.

... Sargeant's spite, Stalin would be proud ...

... of Local Government Minister Carl Sargeant, yet unlike Stalin he is looking towards the Gulag for the bureaucrats, the Local Authority commissars, the BBC take on the story is here.

Sargeant demonstrates an uncanny lack of intelect and judgement when he says ...
The staffing structure at the 22 councils was outdated, with too many of them independently hiring chief executives over the last year without looking at other options.
... has he forgotten his halcyon days working at the chemical factory, he would remember the company sharing CEO's with neighbouring companies, it didn't happen did it Carl, we all know that an organisation needs a leader, in a LA we call him or her a chief executive.

Now the crux of the matter, he continued ...
"I am expecting much more progress in this area. If I do not see it, I will have to consider other more directive options to force the pace."
I will attempt an interpretation ...

"... do as I say and remember Anglesey, he did it his way to miss-quote Frank Sinatra ..."

... there is a very real problem at Cardiff Bay, there exists a democratic dictatorship, which at times is not very democratic.

Many political pundits agree that there are too many local authorities in Wales, the original county structure was very representative and should be reintroduced as soon as possible.  This would not be rolling back the clock for the sake of it, it makes sense to have less government, particularly with the additional layer at the Assembly.

And one last point .... news from the Assembly .... certain AM's are accused of 'breaching trust' by employing their relatives, including Carl Sargeant, Labour, Alyn and Deeside who supliments the family income by empolying his wife as a constituency assistant, working 12 hours per week, on salary band 1, £21,548 – £30,635 (full time equivalent annual pay)

Stalin had one rule for himself and another rule made up as he went along for everyone else ... so for local politicians everywhere, remember the immortal words ...

... before you mess with the Sargeant, aka Mack the fish-knife..

Friday, 24 June 2011

Nuclear it is then, at ...

... Wylfa in Anglesey.
Charles Hendry, Minister of State for Energy said: “Around a quarter of the UK’s generating capacity is due to close by the end of this decade. We need to replace this with secure, low carbon, affordable energy. This will require over £100bn worth of investment in electricity generation alone.
The response from the Welsh Assembly Government and Welsh Assembly members as individuals will put a stamp of approval not just on how power should be generated, but on the future of the United Kingdom.  If the Welsh Assembly Government oppose the plans to be part of a UK wide electricity generation programme, to secure the future for our grandchildren, then the signal being sent is we want no part in the future of the UK;  Welsh Assembly members the same.

With the ability to generate power in response to demand is far preferable to the occasional wind blowing or unproven technology, technology yet to be developed;  why exactly did the Severn Barrage not get approval, it would have generated 6% of UK wide electricity needs, lets not worry to much politics has given us windmills to tilt.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Carl Sargeant, and politicians like him are ...

... the reason democracy needs a system of recall, the ballot box is to far away in terms of time.

Our home grown democratic dictatorship demonstrates why we need to insist that politicians such as Plaid Cymru's, that was difficult to write, Leanne Wood, even more difficult to write, are given the tools to demand public opinion when government is judged to have gone beyond the political pale.

Is it time to present the petition ....

We call upon the National Assembly for Wales to urge the Welsh Government to petition the UK government to modify the Government of Wales Act 2006 to include the following Legislative Recall and Referendum option.

Where a Bill has been passed by the Welsh Assembly, one-third of the members of the Welsh Assembly may, within five weekdays from the final passing of the Bill, request of the Plenary Chair that the Bill be submitted to a referendum. Such request shall be made in writing and signed by the members making the request.

At the referendum votes shall be cast for or against the Bill. For the Bill to be rejected, a majority of the electors who vote, and not less than thirty per cent of all persons who are entitled to vote, shall have voted against the Bill.

Finance Bills, Salaries and Pensions Bills, Taxation (Direct and Indirect) Bills, UK and European Union government Bills, as well as Bills for the purpose of discharging existing treaty obligations shall not be submitted to decision by referendum.

Would the likes of Peter Black, Leanne Wood or a Conservative radical be able to use such a tool to democratise our democracy I wonder.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

... from Bangor to Bognor (with Alice possibly), ...

... an expression used this morning on the radio.

The expression wasn't ...
From Bangor to Bognor we need Wales water to drink.  
From Bangor to Bognor we need Wales power to survive the 21st century. 
From Bangor to Bognor we need to exploit someone ...
What I heard was an expression of inclusion.

On the other hand we have the separatist mentality that shouts aloud ...

This means that fighting for energy to be devolved to Wales .............. Surely that's a win-win situation for everybody in Wales ................. From [a] report yesterday, it looks like it won't be easy to win this responsibility in the face of an intransigent Westminster government that is much more concerned about Wales supplying electricity to England than Wales' own energy needs.
... you might read the complete post by the separatist MH here.

... a sad reflection on the introspective values of the nationalists in Wales.

Regarding power generation in Wales, if it were devolved I would suggest candles as a backup, because when the separatist sandal brigade got involved the Welsh Assembly Government would revert to the characters found in Alice's ( Alice's Adventures in Wonderland ) tea party along with the March Hare, the Hatter, and a sleeping Dormouse who remains asleep for most of the story, who in government might be the Dormouse I wonder ?

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Carwyn Jones came out of the closet ...

... when he said "... having the UK government decide on future wind farm plans is a 'slap in the face' for Wales", that would be the "Nationalist closet".

The First Minister also has a spokesman who is reported as saying "... it was ridiculous that the people of Wales cannot decide on such matters", presumably the same person said "The statement by DECC is a slap in the face for the people of Wales", in addition the "presumably unelected separatist" said "It's a ridiculous state of affairs that the people of Wales cannot decide on such matters. Why are the UK Government so afraid of Welsh people having control over their own energy resources, like they do in Scotland?"

The next question for the First Minister would be "when do you officially become anointed with the separatist mantel, or crown possibly".

No longer is it "England and Wales", it is officially "England" and "Wales".

What next ........... for this "Welsh Assembly Government".

Monday, 20 June 2011

Carwyn Jones et al, an interesting message ...

... left yesterday.
This is a man who won't cross the picket lines of those trying to derail the necessary reorganisation of Public Services.
The comment refers to the First Minister Carwyn Jones, it is a big problem, the man needs to cross the picket line to demonstrate his strength of character, to demonstrate to the public that his role is governance in the public interest even where he might find it simpler to be elsewhere on the day.

Opening a fund-raising event will not be good enough, needs must that on the day he crosses the line.

... and of course it applies to those others who have been democratically elected to govern, not just to govern on behalf of a minority group, on the day each and every Assembly Member will need to attend their office at Cardiff Bay, if they fail this test they fail the test of leadership.

The First Minister will need to demonstrate courage not cowardice.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

It's all GRΣΣK to me, ...

... or is it Greece and Ireland and Portugal and Spain and Italy and Belgium, because each country is top heavy with debt.

In each case we are discussing the debts accumulated by the political leadership of each country, seemingly acting in isolation this past decade, but in fact following a "big government" agenda so often found amongst left leaning administrations that wish to push buttons in all areas of life, but each button costs a great deal of money.

Acting much like children in a candy (sweet) store, the politicians were acting out the Dutch "Tulip mania" of the early 1600's, the first recorded economic bubble, the politicians were certain that economic growth in their respective countries would outstrip government spending.  Unfortunately the intrinsic values of the asset base of each country in question, had been compromised by a herd mentality where politicians had become herd members, a herd that believed that prices (taxation) can only rise.

Today the countries in question are finding it difficult to sell probity to their respective populations, people riot in the face of austerity, whilst the politicians look for wriggle room from countries not in the same situation.  The people of Britain are being asked to fund the activities of the countries in question, even the poorest of the poorest part of Britain will be asked to bail out the governments of indebted lands.

The upshot is the prudent countries can either support the spendthrifts or let them sink in their ponds of indebtedness, I say let them sink soonest so as to rise like a phoenix in a few years time much as Russia did following its default in 1998.

Bye, bye GRΣΣCΣ, welcome back Athens.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Salmond takes the biscuit with his latest nonsense ...

 ... that creates a law
Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Bill
specific to football.
1 Offensive behaviour at regulated football matches
... (1) A person commits an offence if, in relation to a regulated football match—
........ (a) the person engages in behaviour of a kind described in subsection (2), and
........ (b) the behaviour—
............ (i) is likely to incite public disorder, or
............ (ii) would be likely to incite public disorder.
If there is a social problem (or might it be another example of knee jerk politics of the inept) of the magnitude implied, it should not be restricted to a single sporting event, does it mean that behaviour that would attract sanctions watching football would not attract sanctions were they applied to "water polo", such legislation would be needed across the spectrum of Scottish society.

Sectarianism in Scotland is nothing new, it is an historic method of subjugation, the MacGregors were formally banished in 1603 by King James VI who made it a capital offence to bear the MacGregor name.  So Salmond carries on the grand tradition of oppressive Scots Law, and here is the butt of it, Jowles Salmond also intends to apply his perverse oppression upon the remainder of Britain, the law includes the expression ...
As well as applying to anything done in Scotland, sections 1(1) and 5(1) also apply to
anything done outside Scotland by—

... (a) a British citizen,
Two points, British Law has sufficient legislation to counter "Football Hooliganism" no-matter where it occurs, "Hate" offences are also catered for, it seems the only problem is poor policing in Scotland.

This is another example of Salmond digging a moat across the southern border of Scotland, the court jester at work.

The Scottish Bill going through Westminster needs the clause to force an independence referendum within 4 months of its passing, we really do not need this man and his party generating distractions, this is another example of why Scotland needs cutting free, not by the Scots, but by the remainder.

Friday, 17 June 2011

We will not ...

... create legislation for the sake of it; the words of Wales First Minister, the words that the electorate have been waiting for, wise words in fact.

Carwyn in fact is sending a message to the other political groups at the Assembly that there needs to be a real need for laws before considering new legislation, and of course, there needs to be the support of the electorate.
The Conservatives' assembly leader, Paul Davies, said: "It is disappointing that after weeks of dithering, ministers have yet to bring forward a coherent programme for government.
Disappointing words from a politician who is little more than a caretaker Conservative, better if he had asked if there was anything the Conservatives in Cardiff Bay could do to help.
Plaid Cymru leader Ieuan Wyn Jones said he was disappointed by the content of the first minister's statement and that it seemed likely AMs would not debate the government's programme before the summer recess.
What's there to debate, you lost the election big time, you will either support or oppose legislation, if a new law needs modification because of a flaw missed by the legislators then speak up, that's what you are paid for, that's what the electorate expect.  The content belongs to the election winners, not the also ran.
Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams said: "I am not clear why the government is being as coy as they are with regards their legislative programme for the forthcoming five years. ... I guess we are where we are and the government will keep us waiting a little bit longer before we have some meat on the bones with regard to how we will use the new powers that the people have bestowed upon us and it's somewhat disappointing that our initial response to those powers is the statement we have before us this afternoon."
Just because you can doesn't mean there is a need for new laws, be patient and give to legislation the qualities the electorate expect from your liberal tradition.

... and to the BBC a small reminder, you are not a democratically elected body, try reporting the news rather than making it.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

The peoples choice is ...

... a portrait of an academic and writer, an Australian citizen of some note.

Adam Chang's portrait of John Coeztee is selected as the peoples favourite from this year's Archibald Prize entries at the Art Gallery of News South Wales, Sydney.

An intriging man ...
Coetzee is a man of almost monkish self-discipline and dedication. He does not drink, smoke or eat meat. He cycles vast distances to keep fit and spends at least an hour at his writing-desk each morning, seven days a week. A colleague who has worked with him for more than a decade claims to have seen him laugh just once. An acquaintance has attended several dinner parties where Coetzee has uttered not a single word.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Will the First Minister and Leanne Wood become the unwilling bedmates ...

... this Summer and Autumn, can we look forward to the spectacle of our Odysseus of Wales (Carwyn) as unwilling bedmate of Kalypso (Wood), in the up and coming national spate between those that govern (Westminster) and those that wish to govern (trade unions).

Of interest to the public will be whether Carwyn will continue to govern during a strike of Public Sector workers or will he join Leanne Wood on a picket line outside the government buildings in Wales.  As reported 24 March 2010, "First Minister Carwyn Jones said Labour and Plaid members "would be very concerned" about crossing picket lines of striking PCS union members." The full BBC report can be read here.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka has warned that up to 750,000 public-sector workers in total could be taking coordinated strike action on 30 June, the biggest outbreak of industrial unrest in the public sector for many years.
All Assembly members should be expected at their desks on the 30th June as a demonstration to the public that their job is to govern not acquiesce to any interest group, to give confidence to the public there should be a very public show by all AM's crossing the picket lines.

Interested readers might remember last year when Labour AM for Caerphilly Jeff Cuthbert said when speaking of the Lib Dems ...
"They know as well as anyone that Labour AMs will be working tomorrow, as we did during the previous strike action, but we will not be crossing the picket line."
It's not good enough, cross the lines and demonstrate the ability to govern in all circumstances, not just take the easy options ....

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

... Leanne Wood bumps her gums, I say there's plenty of time Carwyn, ...

... you have five years, all bar the shouting, to govern;  take your time to develop a programme of governance that Wales deserves.

Like most Plaid members and pundits, Wood is desperate to have a topic that will divert attention from her separatist party and its woes.  She said "... when nobody takes responsibility... things do not happen", well maybe its a case of "σπεῦδε βραδέως", things will happen, but without Plaid in the nest.  

Woody would like the First Minister  "... to drive things forward", unfortunately any direction that this particular politician might like to go is hardly the first choice of the First Minister, the last four years would be enough to last a lifetime.

The sky isn't about to fall on our heads, the schools still teach, the hospitals still heal, "Slow Food" is preferable to the greasy spoon takeaway advocated by the Welsh Assembly losers.

"Hasten slowly".

... another crackpot idea...

...  writes someone called Ray Davies of Bedwas in the borough of Caerphilly.

The idea disparaged by the writer in the Western Mail today can be read here in fair detail, the letter in question can be read here, it is the penultimate letter to the editor.

So what's it all about ...
The drinks company Diageo is to pay for 10,000 midwives in England and Wales to be trained to offer advice on the dangers of alcohol during pregnancy.
And the primary objection ...
The British Medical Association has expressed concern about the drinks industry funding such a scheme.
And who is going to train the midwives ...
The training programme will be run by the National Organisation for Foetal Alcohol Syndrome UK (Nofas-UK).  Susan Fleisher, from the charity, said the scheme would have have huge benefits.

Vivienne Nathanson from BMA said there were concerns over the scheme.
"I think the issue for us would be if money is given by the industry, it must be given to an honest broker, a third party."
I wonder why Vivienne doesn't think the National Organisation for Foetal Alcohol Syndrome UK is an honest broker, does she and the BMA have evidence I wonder, or is it sour grapes the money wasn't given to them to disburse as it saw fit.  If you search the BMA website for "Foetal Alcohol Syndrome" you get .... nothing, only "Sorry no results were found for your search."

Which brings me back to Ray Davies the letter writer of Bedwas .......... thank goodness he is not in politics, or is he ...............

Monday, 13 June 2011

... does Westminster think the £12 billion will be enough for the Scots, and ...

... who exactly will be underwriting this largess, not the Scots, but the British taxpayers as a whole.  It is time our MP's had their bumps felt, had a chat to a psychiatrist in a darkened room; do they think for a moment that Salmond will stop at the £12 billion, what next will this corpulent through the looking glass character demand ?

Not a difficult question to answer, Salmond said: "Let's welcome the element of concession today as a down-payment on what Scotland needs .....", he continued "I doubt if it's of the scale and the size that the Scottish Parliament is looking for ..............".

Down-payment on what exactly .... well for a start "... control of corporation tax and the Crown Estate revenue", there is this perception that low corporation tax will give an advantage to Scotland over the South East / Eastern regions where most wealth is generated, the poor fools, it is modern innovation and invention that makes this part of Britain a magnet for investment.

The Crown Estate revenue is probably a dose of Salmond's "blue smoke and mirrors", the poor Scots public probably think it includes revenues from gas and oil, both are excluded, but both are in the nationalist wish list, when the public discover the exclusion I am sure that Salmond will stoke up a fire of indignation, followed by the strut of a petty dictator, cue a constitutional argument Westminster will be unable to counter with logic in the face of the "mars bar in batter" public of Glasgow.

Whichever way you look at the Scots demand, Scots win whilst the rest of us pay up one way or another ...

... enough should be enough.

...Plaid's Ieuan Wyn Jones must hang in there ...

... otherwise the leadership plans laid down three years ago would come to nothing.

The young turks of nationalist Wales are calling for immediate change at the top, unwittingly the foot soldiers who are desperate for a charge towards independent Wales are preventing Plaid Cymru leadership from controlling the process of change.

Calls from certain activists not long out of nappies (napkins, diaper's) are putting forward Leanne "left of Lenin in the march towards a red sunset" Wood, read all about her here, what a coup for all things Unionist, can you imagine her giving her best at Plaid Cymru conference, her 19th century politics of the left coupled with separation ... bring it on Woody.

So what are the leadership plans, look towards the man who said :

"..... So let’s today salute them: dissenters, the mavericks and heretics, pioneers and prime movers."
...... the man who meant :
As long as the "dissenters, the mavericks and heretics, pioneers and prime movers" agree with his narrow and perverse view of our world.
... Adam Price.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Cheryl Gillan steps up to the plate ...

... and challenges the government's "landmark" high speed rail project.  Now whether her stance is because the route cuts through her constituency of Chesham and Amersham or because she sees the futility of such a project in the face of marginal benefits and huge costs (£33 billion) during chastened times is up for debate.

On record as saying "If the project goes ahead, I would resign the whip ... " adding " ... unless the PM tells me he would allow me to vote against it", there are not a few this side of the Severn who would advocate the obscene expenditure to remove her as Secretary of State for Wales.

The Labour MP Susan Elan Jones has differing views, she has stated that "... either she (Cheryl Gillan) starts putting the interests of Wales first or she makes way for someone who can", a study by the University of Glamorgan claims the High Speed route to Birmingham would benefit the economies of North and Mid Wales.

Over to you Cheryl, I always thought there were other projects more appropriate to hard times.

Benefits slashed to £26,000 a year tax free, and freedom from work for ...

... the work-shy,  there are a good few taxpayers who would like such largess without the obligation to work; there are exceptions to the plans, exceptions that the taxpayers fully support, in particular those with special needs.

In Wales there are 77,000 people in Wales who have been claiming out-of-work benefits for 10 years or more, for those earning the basic minimum wage in the Rhondda living cheek by jowl with the undeserving it must be devastating; howdo you convince your children that it is important to work and contribute when, even at a young age, they are able to discern those that take advantage of the system set up to protect those with real needs.

So, should we welcome the government's new work scheme, with ministers promising it will give 2.4 million unemployed people help to find jobs over the next five years, many of our 77,000 should begin a second life that includes work ...

... the Work Foundation research group has warned the programme would do little to improve job prospects for people living in economically weaker areas of the UK, in Wales this would include towns such as Merthyr Tydfil where industry has shrunk these past decades, I wonder how our Cardiff Bay administration will fit into this new way of thinking, particularly in terms of growing the private sector whilst the public sector shrinks.

It takes only one person, but only if it's the right person, ...

... being the right person meant that people listened, paid attention to the words and deeds.  Only a very few people are able to command that sort of attention.

Mohamed Bouazizi, by his actions, set alight North Africa and the Middle East, a conflagration that continues, the conditions that led to his anger and subsequent action, he asked his government for justice.  It took just over a month for the President of corrupt Tunisia to flee with his family to Saudi Arabia, ever the ..... democratic deficit, the country will not allow half the population to drive because they are ................ women.

His need for justice flew across borders much like tumbleweed in old western films,it jumped a country into Egypt with similar consequences, Egypt's president didn't escape, he awaits trial with his family.

In Libya the fighting continues as it does in Syria, leaders of both countries without the legitimacy of democratic elections, but in both case, too far away in time from the martyrdom of Mohamed Bouaziz, there is no-one that fits the bill of "the right person" to drive a wedge into the tyranny.

In the Middle East there is a deficit of democracy, in Saudi Arabia there is a democratic deficit, a country that helps Bahrain suppress the voice of democracy, Sport might just galvanise this small kingdom into progress towards granting those  freedoms we take for granted.

At home we have only one "right person" at present, and he has created the conditions for a constitutional crisis, in the green grass of home we have the technocrat who will do exactly what the majority of people want, very little change, at the heels of this man will be the rabid voices of radical nationalism, a distraction only, Carwyn Jones has a good five years ahead, but only if he is able to ignore the tumbleweed that is nationalist politics (MH takes the biscuit with this little gem), less is more just now, radical can wait a year or two.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

... Alan Trench writes of the Scottish options, read ...

... the full article here, plausible.

He finishes with ...
"... if the Unionist parties want to challenge them, they need to offer a credible alternative."
The Scottish Unionists might wish to challenge the assumptions highlighted by Mr. Trench, I think that while some UK politicians might enjoy the horse trading that the "Trench Game" offers, others, the more realistic, the pragmatists amongst the electorate, see the political gamesmanship of Salmond and the SNP as something to finish soon.

How can our government meet the 21st century challenge to create a fair society, when the Salmond effect prances around the periphery, how does the Prime Minister explain the the electorate the Scots must be made a special financial case, when he tells us we need extra prudence today in England and Wales.

I remember Hans Christian Anderson's "The Steadfast Tin Soldier", the plot below is taken from wiki ...
"On his birthday, a boy receives a set of 25 toy soldiers and arrays them on a table top. One soldier stands on a single leg, having been the last one cast from an old tin spoon. Nearby, he spies a paper ballerina with a spangle on her sash. She too is standing on one leg and the soldier falls in love. That night, a troll among the toys angrily warns the soldier to take his eyes off the ballerina, but the soldier ignores him. The next day, the soldier falls from a windowsill (presumably the work of the troll) and lands in the street. Two boys find the soldier, place him in a paper boat, and set him sailing in the gutter. The boat and its passenger wash into a storm drain, where a rat demands the soldier pay a toll. Sailing on, the boat is washed into a canal, where the tin soldier is swallowed by a fish. When the fish is caught and cut open, the tin soldier finds himself once again on the table top before the ballerina. Inexplicably, a boy throws the tin soldier into the fire. A wind blows the ballerina into the fire with him; she is consumed at once but her spangle remains. The tin soldier melts into the shape of a heart."
This tin soldier is the UK, and whilst our country will melt down and reconfigure itself eventually, probably in the shape of England and Wales, it can do without the journey, it can do without the actions of the Scots grown Troll (Separatist Salmond) ...

The best action is to cut short the expedition, shorten the Scots passage of rights, ignore the contemplations of the professional political "experts", constitutional or otherwise, and most important, reject every request that Salmond makes from today in a very public way, but please remember to include the independence referendum in the Scottish Bill.

Bill, Bahrain or Montreal, a question of ...

... ethics or a forlorn gesture.

I don't know anyone in Bahrain, yet the Formula 1 teams and drivers seem old friends.

It's all about freedoms, freedom of association and freedom of speech to name but two, the people of Bahrain are denied these freedoms, yet the FIA who enjoy these freedoms are not prepared as yet to acknowledge the people of Bahrain should also be able to protest injustices.

So this weekend I will sit out the race and watch "Chariots of Fire", sometimes we have to become principled, I cannot get it out of my head the Bahrain authorities put on trial the medics who treated people injured by the state to warn others of the futility of opposing the state.

Closer to home, Bill asked the question ...

"I think though that we need something better than the self serving elitist Westminster bureaucracy we currently have, and England really must have some form of identifiable government, and not just a vacuum like present.

Wales, with its assembly, seems to have taken an interesting turn of late. Could they lead the way?

But what should the format be? I don't know. But I'm open to suggestions."

Bill has opened our political Pandora's box just a little, just a chink, he questions the vacuum that exists in British politics, a vacuum that is home to 50 million plus voices that have no sound, where can Bill get his voice heard above the drone that is the Westminster hive of inactivity ; this same 50 million people who pay the lions share of revenue raised by government, who asks where is England in the great equation we call Britain and British.

I am on record as saying that no individual should expect more than the next person, yet we have a set of circumstances where Scotland receives the lion share of revenue per head of population, some argue that NI has a greater share, but that particular province needs additional help in the fight against terrorism and the effects of terrorism over many decades, although some expenditure goes towards certain people I remember adorning wanted posters .....

So in terms of Bill or Bahrain, Bahrain is a monster of morality, whilst Bill is the monster yet to come in Britain, "who speaks for England", not many I think.....

Friday, 10 June 2011

Michael Caine said education is cheaper than prison ...

... when talking to Chris Evans this morning; he was talking about the kids of London's Elephant & Castle, they had asked him how he got out of the Elephant.  My thoughts turned to our devolved administration and education, and policing, and justice, and the voices of the also ran who are calling for further devolution of these powers to solve the very issue MC spoke about

Unfortunately in Wales the very communities who need the education leg-up are failed, there exists an imbalance of resources, money is denied to the very people who need additional resources, squeezed by the middle class resource hungry parents who in turn have been manipulated by politicians with an agenda beyond the ken of the electorate.

There exists in Wales a voice disproportionate to reality, Plaid Cymru, it has influenced policy in a way that creates division and denies fair allocation of resources to our children.  Try the blogger MH, his is a voice that discriminates against those starved of good education, his peddled nationalism is undermining when considered in the context of the fair governance of Wales, particularly towards education policies.

... just as blithe Spirit haunted  Noël Coward's socialite and novelist Charles Condomine in the play by that name, so the Labour Party in Wales is haunted by the ghost of their annoying and temperamental first wife, my advice to Carwyn Jones is to turn your back on the Separatist Party of Wales and turn your attention to the people who need so much help.

Remember, for every young person entering prison there could be a family dispossessed of hope for the future, and how many neighbours of the young inmate are in a similar position.  Doing your duty towards the prisoner should create a better place to live and work for all, helping those at the bottom of the ladder lifts everyone.

Bad news from Syria, the regime is moving to punish its citizens for dissent, time for the democracies to act, there should be no room for barbarism in this world.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

... when David Melding says England and Wales cannot ...

... survive separated from Scotland, we know the writer has an agenda, this career politician is no political nihilist, he has a single vision for the political future, a federated Britain.  You can read his latest argument here.

Has there ever been a country that has been de-constructed and then reconstructed into a federated political unit, I don't think so, I do know of countries de-constructed into new political units we call countries, the USSR being a recent good example.

One of his arguments seems to be "devolution" is "federalism", but a federalism without dotting the i's and crossing the t's, or as he put it "Devolution divides sovereignty without the girdle of a constitutional settlement."

His arguments, although plausible are fundamentally flawed, Scotland was lost to the Union at devolution, devolution was the lazy politicians answer to unhappy politicians, if you step outside the circle of politicians, and their activists, devolution is irrelevant to daily life, except in Scotland where the SNP consider devolution to be the precursor of independence, and have over many years created a parallel universe North of Hadrian's Wall, today the Scots separatists probably have a critical mass sufficient to carry the day for Scottish independence.

There are two options, fight the separatists for 50 years or help them on their way today so that the remainder of us can get on with life.  There is no benefit from the distraction that separatists bring to our world, a world where we have comfort in stability;  let the Scots go, watch the SNP victory parade that takes them from our shared jurisdiction we call the Union, into the very large arms we call Europe.  For the little people of Scotland there will be little change, for the rest of us the background din of separatist vitriol will diminish to a vague historic murmur.  Let us help them on their way, tell the Scottish people at every opportunity that independence for Scotland is their best option for their future, help Alex Salmond march his people to this new future with Colours flying, drums beating and bayonets fixed.

Back to Melding, he wants to fight Salmond and the SNP to protect the Union as it is just now, he calls for a "Convention for a renewed and federal Union", note the term "federal", the man believes that more hot air is going to quieten the Scots, it is not a renewal we need but an exit ticket for Alex Salmond with a well prepared exit strategy for what will remain ... and remember, if the Union could win the day against separation, Salmond and chums would still be beating their drums creating a distraction only he needs.

... and what would remain following separation with Scotland, 90% of the population who have probably not heard of David Melding nor his ideas for a very shaky future, and a shift southwards for things political.

So for Melding's political epiphany .....


... BULL****.

Let us all raise our glass to Scotland and wish them "bon voyage", and to Salmond and chums, lock the door on your way out please ......

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

... Wood, Jenkins, Gruffydd, Whittle and Wyn Jones, just a ...

... disgrace.  Unrepresentative, undistinguished and unbelievably crass, the Plaid five who demonstrated to the peoples of Britain the perversity of nationalism, there is only their way, a very spiteful way, children in a political playground who throw their toys over the wall.  So from Queen a message ...

For those who might like the lyrics alone ...
Buddy you're a boy make a big noise
Playin' in the street gonna be a big man some day
You got mud on yo' face
You big disgrace
Kickin' your can all over the place

We will we will rock you

We will we will rock you

Buddy you're a young man hard man

Shoutin' in the street gonna take on the world some day
You got blood on yo' face
You big disgrace
Wavin' your banner all over the place

We will we will rock you

We will we will rock you

Buddy you're an old man poor man

Pleadin' with your eyes gonna make you some peace some day
You got mud on your face
You big disgrace
Somebody better put you back in your place

We will we will rock you

We will we will rock you
From the rest of us to the political disgrace of Wales, until the majority say otherwise, Queen Elizabeth II is our democratic Head of State .......... 

... and as my daughter added .......... "don't dis my Queen".

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

The hippocratic oath ...

is not difficult to understand, it reads thus ...

I swear to fulfil, to the best of my ability and judgement, this covenant:

I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of over-treatment and therapeutic nihilism.

I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug.

I will not be ashamed to say "I know not," nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient's recovery.

I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given to me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.

I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person's family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.

I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.

If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience 
the joy of healing those who seek my help.

Unfortunately the oath does not apply in Bahrain ...

... where dozens of doctors and nurses who treated injured protesters in Bahrain have appeared in court charged with attempting to topple the monarchy, it is a grotesque miscarriage of human rights to pervert this ancient oath taken by medical staff, it demonstrates a level of barbarism unwanted in this world we live in, don't take my word for it read it here.

Bernie Ecclestone was so wrong when he supported the return of the F1 Bahrain Grand Prix to the racing calender, the Hippocratic Oath would need to become the Hypocritical Oath to satisfy the brutal regime in Bahrain.

Listen to the people of the world Mr Formula One .... we do not want you supporting brutality wherever it exists.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Carwyn and Cameron seem to be team players ...

... building the "Big Society", but do they know they are on the same team.

Settle down Carwyn, it's not such a new idea, the Victorians were doing it without needing David Cameron's label.

In Harlech local people have taken over the local swimming pool because they didn't want to it lost to the community, money came from the lottery, our modern day replacement philanthropist, and ....

... the rest came in the form of a grant from ...... yes you got this one right Carwyn, ...... yourself.

A demonstration that good ideas cross red-blue-yellow-green lines, you just have to think community.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Is Salmond posturing for effect, or ...

... is there a very real breach of protocol, I think posturing, but make your own mind up.

Under Scots law, a person suspected of an offence punishable by prison could be questioned without a lawyer for six hours but a ruling in October found this breached the European Convention on Human Rights

The UK Supreme Court found that Peter Cadder, a 20-year-old, whose assault conviction was based on evidence obtained before he spoke to his lawyer, did not receive a fair trial
The decision did not apply retrospectively but was estimated to potentially affect 3,471 cases already in the Scottish legal system, including 120 suspects awaiting prosecution on serious charges. 
The point I would make is, the issue is concerned with the "European Convention on Human Rights", a condition we are all accorded the same rights, unfortunately Scots Law is slightly askew with European Law.  The UK Supreme Court made a judgement based upon our obligation to the convention, presumably Scots Law would be modified as a result, so what's the point of Salmond's protestations, could it be an oportunity to drive a another illusionary wedge in the fabric of the United Kingdom ...

... Salmond's grand crisis for 2011, it's the way he governs, and he does it quite well, governance by illusion.

Llyr Huws Gruffydd, Bethan Jenkins and Leanne Wood are elected ...

... representatives yet they will not represent the views of those they represent, by their intended actions during the visit by our Queen, the Head of State on Tuesday next.  They are regional members for North Wales, South Wales West and South Wales Central respectively, they are all Plaid Cymru members for whom they sit at the Assembly.  In each case, were they candidates fighting the traditional "First Past The Post" election in their home constituency they would have been beaten by the Labour Party.

Where will this scandalous trio be during the opening ceremony of the National Assembly, not certain for sure, Woods is reported in the South Wales Echo as packing food parcels for the needy, laudable you might think, but remember she is supposed to be representing the constituents of South Wales, she is not employed by the people to pack parcels.

There is another event in Cardiff that day during the evening, "Cardiff Bay Republican Day" taking place at Mischiefs Cafe Bar in James Street in Cardiff Bay, and the trio is reported to be attending to "give allegiance to Wales", silly the rest of us, we all thought that particular allegiance had been taken during the swearing in of Assembly Members.

There is rumour that Lyndsay Whittle, another regional member for Plaid, will be joining the disreputable trio at the Mischiefs Cafe Bar, as yet there is no sign of the event on the Cafe Bar's website, from Caerphilly the message is "well done Lyndsay, run with the rats of Cardiff Bay but remember, you would have lost to Labour in a real election".

... and from Plaid Cymru, the separatist party of Wales, not a murmur, so let us assume the trio, or could it be a quartet, have the tacit approval of the party hierarchy ...

... myself, I think this group of politicians are pathetic in the extreme, if they are off to the bar during the official opening, quaffing Dom Perignon at £119.95 a bottle, or even a Sauvignon at £24.99 a bottle (they have a very good Sancerre "Le Mont Flueuri" on the wine list), can we expect the cost of the day on members expenses, will they be caught on camera singing along in their cups for a photo shoot?

Whatever they do, they will not be at the Assembly representing the electorate of Wales (not sure about Lindsay since Duncan left a comment), but we must be grateful, if this were Bahrain or Persia this disgraceful group would probably be on trial for their dissent, here in Wales the dissenters are free to offend the majority and be paid annually £53,852 it is a shame they do not do their duty as the electorate wish them.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

100,000 news homes every month ...

... being built, unfortunately for those needing a home in Wales, the homes are being built in Shanghai ...

... I was astonished when Andrew Marr made the announcement in his new series called "Megacities" (if you missed the first episode it is available on the BBC iPlayer), in the series he looks at how people live in five of the world's largest cities of London, Dhaka, Tokyo, Mexico City and Shanghai.

Of course it is much simpler to provide mass housing when you are developing a new city like Shanghai and the government is China, planning is pragmatic, a means to an end; would our politicians at Cardiff Bay emulate the Chinese please, pragmatism please.

Could it be the solution is "build it and they will come", not so much a megacity, more a mega-Cardiff, or mega-Swansea, or "mega-somewhere-with-good-links" to London the megacity of Great Britain.  Might the answer be to join Cardiff with Newport in the East and Bridgend in the West, a massive urban adventure to create the thousands of homes needed; forget the rural idyll of Wales past, it didn't exist, there was only hard graft, poor living and the Chapel on Sundays.  It is time to start building, forget the Plaid model that is preventative, look across Offa's Dyke for HA solutions that work for people of all parts of society, Jephson is a particularly good example of a holistic approach to housing, Shanghai is the proof of the "housing needs" pudding.

Get building Carwyn, and they will come, in their droves with their approval, who needs a damp house in perpetual shade when we have award winning architects and builders aplenty.

I feel lucky, when I get .....

... up in the morning, there is no sound of helicopters engaging military establishments or armed checkpoints.  Can you hear the sounds of thousands protesting against government atrocities, and the sniper fire in the distance, reports of dozens killed.  And it doesn't matter whether I belong to either the Shia or Sunni peoples in Bahrain, I know that I will not be abused by a secret police.

The FIA have stamped on the face of humanity by caving into the wants of the Bahrain government by re-scheduling this years race in the face of the suppression of the people of the country.  "This is welcome news for all of Bahrain," said Zayed Rashid Alzayani, he also said ""As a country we have faced a difficult time, but stability has returned ... ", he didn't mention the secret police attrocities.

... back home in the Caerphilly basin where I live, my Saturdays and Sundays will not include the sounds of Bernie Ecclestone's Formula 1, there are some things more important than two hours of sport ............. not being kidnapped during the night by Bahrain's secret police is one, freedom of association another, and the freedom to protest against injustice is so important to humanity.

Bernie Ecclestone, by re-scheduling the race sends a message to me that secret police kidnapping, preventing free association and preventing protest is OK by him, obviously we have different sets of ethics.

In Wales we have little to protest, soon there will be the official opening of the Assembly in Cardiff, our elected representatives will be there to welcome our Queen, except Leanne Wood the Plaid Cymru member; we have to ignore her behaviour she is allowed bad manners.  We demonstrate the the rest of the world that British democracy accommodates even those who would destroy our world.

Friday, 3 June 2011

A moral dilema for ...

... the FIA.  Shia or Sunni, does it make a difference how people worship their God, apparently so, if you live in Bahrain.

The Sunni have taken to suppression based on the way people follow the teachings of Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullāh, it seems that in Bahrain the Sunni rule whilst the Shia not so much drool but hide away from government abuse, there exists a secret police that perform outrageous acts of humiliation and torture upon the Bahraini people, see today's Times page 31 "Letter from Bahrain", it makes a democrat weep.

... and this is where I feel sick to the bottom of my stomach, I believe every person has a right to a life free of abuse, and in and around Bahrain there are discussions as to whether the cancelled Formula 1 race should go ahead.  In Bahrain, where the government is responsible for the sectarian atrocities against it people, there is no moral case for doing business with the regime, and the race is business.

... as Damon Hill said of Formula 1 and the FIA, "If the bottom line(money) is the only criteria, then it (the criteria) is a bad one".  He continued "You cannot say that anything is for sale regardless of the moral position that contradicts ...".

I for one as a follower of Racing since the days of Graham Hill, Damon's father, will not watch Formula 1 from Bahrain, if the FIA restores Bahrain to the Formula 1 calendar the question I must ask myself is "will I watch other races".

No, I don't think so, because if the FIA return to Bahrain there is a tacit support by the FIA for the suppression of humanity, an unacceptable condition for any business or Government.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

... all the better to see you, said ...

... Little Red Riding Hood, no not Miss Hood, but the public;  not for many a year has so much been spent without proper scrutiny by so few.

What do I refer to, not our Assembly Government, though there are certain cases for the historians to chew over, the current electorate have little chance to examine in detail spending during the last decade, the hot potato is S4C.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said: "The government is committed to the future of Welsh language programming and to the future of S4C as a strong and independent Welsh TV service.
"We fully recognise the iconic status of the channel and the contribution it makes to the cultural and economic life of Wales.
"The S4C model is not sustainable in its present form, which is why government concluded that the best way to secure S4C's future while delivering a better service is through a partnership with the BBC.
"DCMS, S4C and the BBC Trust are working on the governance structure which will ensure that S4C will remain as an independent service, retaining its brand identity and editorial distinctiveness."
The message is simple, it is broken, it's going to get fixed, and in our judgement the BBC offers a way forward based upon excellence.

And the Archbishop of Wales Dr Barry Morgan wades in with ...

When S4C was first established, it was protected by legislation from political interference.
Dr Morgan is of course blinkered by the holy grail that is S4C, this monstrous cash consuming sacred cow of broadcasting is at present using £100 million of taxpayers hard earned salaries,a consumption with very little scrutiny, unless you consider the published viewing figures, statistics that have been consistently ignored by S4C management.

Well the worm has turned, for S4C to continue to exist it needs to reinvent itself so that taxpayers (license fee payers) feel the service contributes to the whole public; no longer should it be seen as Margaret Thatchers cave in to the linguistically marginalised in Wales, but as a public service.

Nationalist are calling for broadcasting to be devolved, including S4C, such a notion is at best regressive, at worst it is an attempt by politicians to gain control over a machine that could be turned to a political advantage, the viewing public have quite a different notion as to what is worth watching, sheep farming, albeit a fine occupation, is no match for the preferred public appetite for the celebrity.

S4C has declined to comment, says it all really.