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Let's Take Back Control
at 18:42 10 Aug 2017

Letter just sent to the Evening Post
Dear Sir/Madam,

An article in The Telegraph on Monday the 7th August admits that, if the current levels of immigration continue, we will be in a minority in our own country within about seventy years.

Bearing that in mind, even though I voted remain in the EU referendum I now believe that we really should take back control of our borders. Also we should not be sending billions of our money to support a Union which takes but gives very little back. Think about what all that money could do to improve our NHS.

If you don't believe me search out the article in the Telegraph that confirms the immigration figures into Wales from other parts of the UK, 95% of which is from England.

And if/when Chris Grayling gives the go ahead for Crossrail 2 in London that's where another £1.5 billion of our money will go.

Bearing all that in mind I believe we should start a debate NOW on demanding a referendum on independence for Wales.

Cardiff Option for Major Trauma Centre
at 07:13 28 Jun 2017

I checked out the 'Labour WAG sh!T on the valleys again' thread, clicked on the link and scrolled down and found this.

I don't know enough about the finances of the COW project to comment to be honest but this one stinks. It's not a done deal yet but I think we can all see where this is going. The same way as neurology centralisation.

It's a scandal. If you voted Labour in the Assembly election read this and ask yourself why.
at 09:25 16 May 2017

This is the letter I had published in the Evening Post on Saturday night.


Wales or West Anglia

In the not too distant future it’s quite likely that Scotland will be independent. It’s also possible that Northern Ireland may have become part of a united Ireland. If that happens the Welsh voice in the remaining ‘union’ will be almost non-existent. Wales would become a sort of West Anglia, just another region of England.

As that possible situation begins to emerge talk of a Welsh Independence referendum will inevitably start.

When faced with that question most people say we can’t afford it. And when you ask them why they believe that they say we have a large fiscal deficit, £15 billion at the last time of measuring. And that’s it. The most important question that could be asked of the Welsh people for centuries and most people look at two numbers as fed to us by the media, Welsh revenue and Welsh expenditure, and say it won’t work. And they don’t ask even the most blatantly obvious question, how are the two numbers calculated.

Welsh revenue means Welsh taxes. But not all Welsh taxes are paid in Wales so are not included in the total. Many companies with HQ’s outside Wales, which is the majority of large companies, pay their VAT and Corporation Tax where their HQ’s are based. So Tesco, for example, pay theirs in Hertfordshire. If you allow for all the other companies doing the same thing the amount to be added to the ‘Welsh Taxes’ figure would be huge.

Welsh Expenditure, you would probably imagine, would mean money spent in Wales. But it includes a huge amount that is not spent in Wales. If the UK government decides to spend on what they describe as a ‘UK’ project 5% is automatically allocated as Welsh expenditure, even though it’s not spent in Wales. For example, when Trident is built approximately £6 billion will be added to Welsh Expenditure (based on population percentage of the UK) even though that money will not be spent in Wales. Then there’s the High Speed rail projects, Crossrail etc etc. Even the Olympics cost us £500 million in Welsh Expenditure. And the benefit to Wales of all these projects was/is/will be minimal. As an independent country Wales would not be liable for these enormous costs.

Also consider what money a Welsh government would not spend. The Welsh ‘share’ of the cost of defence is around £2.3 billion. If Wales was independent our government would probably spend a fairly similar amount to Ireland. That would be about £500 million, an immediate saving of around £1.8 billion. And defence is just one example.

The truth is that the real deficit is far smaller than the £15 billion quoted. And, even though the REAL figure will be a large amount it’s a fact that just about every country in the World runs a fiscal deficit. Wales, as an independent country, would be no different.


Thoughts ?
Petition to Relocate the Assembly
at 18:12 3 Apr 2017

Some of you may be interested in signing this petition on the Jac O' the North Blog.

We the undersigned call for the National Assembly be moved from Cardiff to Aberystwyth to begin 'rebalancing' the national life and economy of Wales.
Cardiff is prospering, and growing at an exponential rate, while most parts of Wales stagnate, which makes it clear that the current Cardiff/Wales model of economic development does not work for eighty per cent of the country.

Cardiff getting the lion’s share of investment and jobs impacts adversely on the rest of the country, and while this trend was observable in earlier decades it has gained greater momentum and become even more damaging for the national good since the National Assembly for Wales first sat in 1999.

Worse, there is growing evidence of corruption; the kind of corruption that is inevitable when those with political influence and control of the public purse regularly meet, in social and other contexts, those seeking to take advantage of such contacts.

We believe that in the short term the easiest way to remedy this unsustainable and growing imbalance, and the increasing threat of corruption, is to move the Welsh Assembly and its assorted departments and agencies out of Cardiff.

Aberystwyth would be an ideal and central location for the Assembly and its support staff, other agencies could be located around the country, for in the era of the internet and video conferencing civil servants and others do not need to work next door to each other.

The benefits accruing to some of the more neglected parts of Wales would soon make up for the initial costs involved in the relocations. To continue with the current arrangement is to condemn Wales to a future as a city state, with all benefits accruing to Cardiff. This is not the future we want for our country.

I was a bit surprised when I read the Aberystwyth suggestion but interesting ideas none the less.
Major Trauma Centre
at 09:18 30 Mar 2017

A debate has started to make the decision as to whether the Major Trauma Centre for South Wales should be based at Morriston or the Heath.

This will be well worth keeping an eye on because it's a decision that could affect the health of any of us or members of our families. The question about spread of investment by the WAG doesn't just mean new roads and jobs.
at 09:51 28 Mar 2017

It stands for Cardiff City Cricket Club.

It's pretty well certain isn't it. With the advent of the City v City idea put forward by the EWCB I don't imagine it would be SCCC.

And that gives the WAG the perfect opportunity to invest more of our money in the white elephant they helped create in Sophia Gardens.

Oh happy days to live in such an enlightened country.
at 18:18 19 Mar 2017

If we assume that 36 points will be enough, simply because the Swans would need 3 wins to get there, and then we assume that the bottom 6 Clubs will lose any games they play against the top 6 this is what they'll need.

Swans - 3 wins from 7.
S'land - 5 wins and a draw from 7
M'boro - 4 wins and 2 draws from 6
Hull - 4 wins from 7
Palace - 2 wins and 2 draws from 5
Leicester - 2 wins from 8

Add to that the Swans have 2 games against others in the bottom 6, Boro have 2, Hull have 3, Palace have 2 and Leicester have 2.

All that shows that S'land and Boro are in very deep doo doo. Hull's 3 at the bottom are are S'land, Boro and Palace. And Palace's run in is awful with Chelsea, Arsenal, L'pool, Man City and Man U.

Just trying to cheer myself up and put our current situation into perspective
Labour/Lib Dem supplementary budget for 2016/17
at 10:02 12 Mar 2017

Another example of Plaid trying to work for the whole of Wales, not just Cardiff

Plaid AMs votes against supplement to Labour/Lib Dem 2016 Budget

Plaid Cymru Assembly Members have voted against the Welsh Government's supplementary budget today, calling on Labour Ministers to bring forward a budget that demonstrates it is committed to investing in the whole of Wales.

Plaid Cymru's Shadow Economy Secretary, Adam Price told AMs that a staggering 95% of the identifiable projects in the Supplementary Budget were based in Cardiff or the South-East.

"There may well be projects for North Wales and Mid and West Wales, but we simply don't know due to the lack of information and lack of transparency in this budget", Adam Price said.

He added that Plaid Cymru "welcomes increased investment for the south-east. We need our capital region to thrive alongside an equitable distribution of investment for every region."

The Supplementary Budget adjusts the current 2016/17 Labour-Lib Dem budget which was passed by the last Assembly in March 2016. Plaid Cymru Assembly Members opposed the budget at the time.

The Assembly's Cross-Party Finance Committee today also expressed disappointment by the lack of transparency in the government's budget documentation.

Speaking ahead of the vote, Plaid Cymru's Adam Price said:

"Once again this Labour Government has arrogantly come to the Assembly Chamber believing it can railroad through millions of pounds of public spending changes without giving Assembly Members or indeed members of the public sufficient information.

"Labour should learn by now that Plaid Cymru AMs have the audacity to scrutinise, and the willingness to oppose if they do not meet the standards that taxpayers deserve when their money is spent. Our votes should never be taken for granted.

"Plaid Cymru will do what is can to ensure the nation has an all-Wales Government which delivers a Wales-wide budget."

Yet another example of a government that seems to believe that they can simply do what they want, a government that just doesn't care.
Leanne on the Daily Politics show today
at 18:55 3 Mar 2017

I found this incredible.

Leanne was interviewed by Andrew Neil this morning and she was asked about the new Welsh Revenue Authority (this is the Welsh mini version of HMRC which is NOT going to be sited in Cardiff. Hooray. It's going to be sited in Treforest. All of 10 miles from Cardiff. So that's okay then).

Anyway, she explained what Carwyn Jones said to her when she asked about the WRA. They were talking about the jobs (40 to start but more in the future) and he told her 'We don't have the skills in Wales to fill the posts. We'll be looking to recruit expertise from London'.

The WAG has been arguing for more powers for I don't know how long. And tax raising powers has always been, as far as I know, one of the areas they've been desperate to have devolved. And yet, now that it's happening he's admitting that they didn't have the foresight to think about training people to do the jobs when they come.

And what does that say to the people in London who the WAG approaches ? They'll be able to demand whatever they want. it'll cost us a fortune. And all because they didn't plan ahead.

I can't believe it. Am I overreacting or what ? Is there something i'm not aware of ?
at 09:55 3 Mar 2017

Wales is unequal and people outside Cardiff feel neglected, says Leanne Wood in pledge to 'rebalance' country'

This is the first headline in Walesonline today. I haven't even read it yet (just about to) but thought i'd prompt anyone interested to check it out.
Cardiff Metro - an open cheque ?
at 10:20 31 Jan 2017

I was wondering if anyone would post this. But no-one did so I will.

Since they started talking about the Metro the only reference i've seen as to the cost is £2 billion. Then, all of a sudden last week Walesonline started referring to it as the £5 billion Metro. Estimates of developments like this invariably end up costing far more than originally suggested so any bets as to the eventual cost of this almost purely Cardiff benefiting scheme ? I'll start the ball rolling and suggest double ie £10 billion.

And, on a slightly smaller scale, were any of you aware that the WAG was in the process of getting a Welsh ICC (International Convention Centre) built ? Given that it's virtually impossible to get WAG funding for developments in Swansea (a measly £20 million toward what is going to be the biggest redevelopment of Swansea for 70 years - if it happens at all that is) aren't you amazed, proud even, that our WAG is going to have a 50% stake in this development by investing £42 million of our money in this single scheme at Celtic Manor.

Isn't it amazing that, given the pace at which things happen in Swansea, this Welsh ICC is not going to happen next year or 2019 or 2020 but is actually going start next month.

at 17:25 22 Jan 2017

Chelsea 1 up.
Neil McEvoy - Plaid AM for South Wales Central
at 18:29 13 Jan 2017

An interesting response from Mr McEvoy in a response to Jac O'The North's latest blog subject.

In him we have a Plaid AM, formerly a Labour member, who is also looking to become leader of Cardiff Council and who says this -

Of course I was a Labour member! More and more people in our country are going through the same journey I went through. Nothing wrong with that.I enjoy guiding people along; it is my duty.

It is also well known I want root and branch restructure of Cardiff Council. A Plaid run Cardiff will investigate all land deals with the Welsh Government. We will do so openly, line by line in public. I want the Council end of the equation on RIFW and I want to know who knew what, how and when. I want the Lisvane land deal broken open again.There are other deals and contracts on our Cardiff Plaid radar also.

I am standing for re-election to the Council, as I know the organisation inside out. I will not profit personally from any extra money off the Council, should I be successful.

We have a vision of a Council for the Capital of Wales. A prosperous Capital wanting to share the wealth around Wales, not suck it up into one over developed, polluted mess.

I think the last para is worded wonderfully.
HMRC in Cardiff
at 18:54 2 Dec 2016

It was bad enough the WAG decided to steal 350 jobs from Swansea and another 350 from Wrexham and give them to their City State of Cardiff. Now we find that they are planning to move them from the current Llanishen site close to the motorway into a new £100 million pound building in Central Square between the station and the Mill Stad.

So, not only have they stolen well paid jobs from places that need them far more, especially Wrexham, they've decided to rent a building in the most expensive place for office rent in the country.

Coincidentally, in today's Evening Post Chris Holley says that what Swansea City Centre needs to give it a boost is well paid jobs. But, those jobs are going to the place that needs them the least. And not only have they stolen those 700 jobs there'll be an extra 1000 jobs created.

All in our beloved Capital City.

at 18:13 30 Nov 2016

When MP's argue that the government should explain to them what their plan is going to be in the Brexit negotiations and that there should be a debate about the plan in parliament and also that the country should have a say on whether to accept the final deal, what do you think their intentions are ?

Phil Bale - the self serving leader of Cardiff Council
at 18:32 25 Nov 2016

After the Autumn statement he's disappointed that the UK government didn't see fit to invest £300 million in development of Cardiff central Station. According to this prat this money is DESPERATELY needed bla bla bla (wales online).

What a complete cretin.
HTV Wales
at 18:26 25 Nov 2016

Amazing. It just happened again.

This pathetic joke of a so called National TV broadcaster just spent a couple of minutes talking about CC away to Aston Villa tomorrow with not a mention of Wales' only Premier League Club.

Is Cardiff a good capital city for Wales?
at 17:08 12 Nov 2016

While checking out the walesonline link in the 'Welsh Language' thread I noticed another article titled 'Is Cardiff a good capital city for Wales?

I've commented, not favourably as you'd expect. Perhaps a few of you would also like to contribute.
BREXIT - the Immigration question
at 17:29 3 Nov 2016

People voted to leave the EU in the referendum for a variety of reasons but the most contentious was the issue of immigration.

When the subject was talked about during the campaign various brexiteers put the issue in the context of the population of a city the size of Cardiff coming to the UK every year. The actual figure from memory was 330,000.

A lot of MP's are arguing at the moment that they should be involved/consulted/informed about the governments negotiations so they can have an input. This would mean them having an opinion on what the immigration numbers should be.

So my question to anyone who voted leave, or anyone else with an opinion for that matter, is what do you think the level should be in numbers ?

Swansea - Judicial Capital of Wales
at 17:15 3 Nov 2016

From memory there was 100% support on this board for the suggestion in another thread that the WAG should 'Invest in The Whole of Wales, Not Just Cardiff'. And a large part of that thread was about investment in Swansea. Hardly surprising. What are your thoughts on the following.

First off is the email I sent to Dai Lloyd (AM) followed by his response.
Dear Mr Lloyd,

You spoke some time ago about the above subject and suggested that, if/when a Welsh judiciary is set up it should be based in Swansea. As the question of devolving more powers to Wales is discussed this is one of the areas regularly mentioned.

I would like Plaid to adopt a policy of Swansea being made the judicial Capital of Wales (That, I seem to remember, is also the way you worded your idea at the time).

If a Welsh based supreme court is established, along with all the trappings associated with it, it would provide an enormous boost to the area where it is based. There would not only be a huge investment in an appropriate building, a Welsh Old Bailey if you like, but also a large number of well paid jobs and also the prestige of being the Judicial Capital. A totally disproportionate amount of governmental development has already gone to Cardiff and it would be a travesty of justice, no pun intended, if this and all other devolved functions continue to be based in Cardiff. I hope no one says, yet again, that this sort of thing benefits all of Wales because it’s a lie. It benefits Cardiff and Cardiff alone. I’ve said many times that Labour in the Assembly put Project Cardiff ahead of Project Wales. Each time one of these major decisions is made in Cardiff’s favour it just reinforces that fact.

There are complaints on a daily basis that the infrastructure around Cardiff is creaking and everyone argues that the M4 relief road is desperately needed along with the Metro. It’s hardly surprising when everyone is funnelled into Cardiff because that is where the vast majority of the well paid jobs are. It’s also where successive governments have colluded to ensure all the major sporting and entertainment events happen. Those same governments (Labour every time) have also ensured that Cardiff is the only place in Wales with decent, 21st century shopping facilities. It can’t be a coincidence that all the exciting plans for redevelopment of Swansea City Centre never get past the drawings stage. I’ll believe the latest plan is going to happen when the work actually starts and not before.

If all the facilities and developments continue to go to Cardiff MORE and MORE people will use the trains and buses to get there and then, in a few years time there’ll be another clamour for infrastructure investment in the South East. If more development was to happen in the West then people using the M4 this side of Cardiff would have to turn West rather than East thus easing the pressure on Cardiff.

Plaid is in a position of strength at the moment. We should use it.
Dear Mr. Young,

Thank you for your detailed analysis and I agree with you , naturally. This is also Plaid’s policy position from some years ago. Discussions are ongoing with the new Wales Bill about the judiciary and further devolution,- we await events there. Our policy work is developing to best take advantage of any new powers. Thank you for your view , and I shall feed it into our policy network in Plaid Cymru.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Dai Lloyd AM

Thoughts ?
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