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|Johnson and PM'squestions|
at 09:39 4 Jun 2020
I don't normally bother watching it but did yesterday because Politics Live was back on.
How incredibly embarrassing. Keir Starmer asked him a number of pointed questions which included facts and figures. BJ's answers were essentially 'how dare the leader of the opposition denigrate the efforts of millions of people around the country blah blah blah'. He didn't answer any of the actual questions.
Then Jeremy Hunt asked a question which included numbers re testing. The first part of BJ's again embarrassing response was to say, now why couldn't we have had forensic questions like that a few moments ago. Who in their right mind would attempt to make a humorous comment like that having just avoided answering the 'forensic' questions KS had asked?
It is shameful that we have a PM with such limited capabilities. A great argument for the Abolish Westminster party.
|WALES HAS NO VOICE IN WESTMINSTER|
at 09:54 25 Feb 2020
This is a letter I sent to the EP on Sunday.
Welsh votes count for almost nothing. It doesn’t matter how we vote, the Westminster government will be decided by voters in England. With just 40 MP’s Wales is represented in Westminster by just 6% of MP’s. If the boundary commission proposals are implemented and the 40 is reduced to 29 we’ll have just 4.5%.
In Assembly elections voters in Wales have TOTAL control over who runs the Welsh parliament. I’m no fan of Labour but the fact is that it was voters in Wales who elected them. And if we think they are doing a bad job we have the ability to vote them out. It’s our choice.
So I find it incredibly strange that some people want to abolish the Assembly and pass all their powers back to Westminster. To what end ? When Labour are in power in Westminster then, in theory, Wales IS represented. But that’s only because this coincides with what voters in England want. They decide who governs by having 533 MP’s to vote in. But even then, if England decides to vote Labour into government, the 40/29 Welsh Labour MP’s would still be just a small fraction of the 330 or so Labour MP’s in parliament. Their voice will still be minute.
Over the last 100 years there have been 28 General Elections. In that time Wales has NEVER voted for a Tory government but has had to endure being governed by the Torys after 20 of those elections.
So I’ll ask the question again. If Wales almost never gets the government it wants at Westminster what on earth is the logic in saying we should scrap the Welsh government and give what little control we have back to Westminster ?
|Wales' Brexit Vote|
at 17:24 2 Feb 2020
Here's some interesting info in an article published by professor Danny Dorling of Oxford University recently.
“If you look at the more genuinely Welsh areas, especially the Welsh-speaking ones, they did not want to leave the EU,” Dorling told the Sunday Times. “Wales was made to look like a Brexit-supporting nation by its English settlers.”
About 21% (650,000) of people living in Wales were born in England, with nearly a quarter aged over 65. The country voted for Brexit by a majority of just 82,000.
Border towns and areas of central Wales with large English communities, such as Wrexham and Powys, recorded a higher proportion of leave votes, whereas Welsh-speaking areas such as Gwynedd and Ceredigion had high remain votes.
So Welsh people did not after all vote for Brexit.
|On a positive note|
at 16:53 19 Jan 2020
Many pundits often say that a team that win things is a team that wins games while playing badly.
Yesterday's performance was disorganised and disjointed with loads of misplaced passes. And yet we're 5th in the table. I wonder what will happen if they start playing as a team.
As I say. A positive note.
at 09:59 24 Nov 2019
Labour to make one-off payment to compensate Waspi women for their disgraceful treatment re the State Pension.
Brilliant. Vote Labour.
at 18:05 17 Nov 2019
The Club's legacy from the PL years, apart from the kudos of being the ONLY Welsh Club to EVER stay in the PL for seven years, has been to end up with a PL quality training facility and a first class Academy.
The training facility has helped, and will help the Club for a long time to come, to attract players who otherwise may not have signed for us. It also helps the manager get the very best he can from the players at his disposal which is certain to help the Club prosper in the future.
Then there's the Academy. It was very difficult for players who were playing U23 standard to step up to the PL so, whenever there was a need for a player in a particular position the Club had to fork out a lot of money on transfer fees and contracts. In the Championship we are now seeing many players from the U23's being able to step up. And when they step up we see the real value of the Academy when some of them move on for large fees.
From the start, last time, the board said they were going to invest in the TF and Academy which eventually cost the Club in excess of £20 million.
So my question is, what will be the Club's legacy from our next stint in the PL ? If we were to get promoted this year our income will rise back to around £120 million compared with this seasons £50/55 million. So what do we do with that money ? Do we go back to buying expensive players to try to maintain PL status ? Or do we invest some of it ?
The only infrastructure left that we could improve on is Stadium capacity. There's always a big verbal punch up about this every time the subject is raised but if people disagree with doing this what would you suggest ? DO you want to lump it all on big players again ? Bony and Ayew types for example ? Or would you want the Club to be left with something tangible the next time we're relegated ?
Here's a suggestion. The plans as they were showed a 32,000 stadium (roughly). But it showed two stages, the first stage taking the capacity to about 27,000. There's no doubt that 20,900 was not enough in the PL. The only debate was about the full extension. Whether 32,000 was needed. Which is a reasonable question. But stage one would make sense to me and if the crowds settled at 23/24/25,000 then that would be the end of it. No need for stage 2. That would cost about £10 million.
So if we decided to spend £20 million again my suggestion is this. When the owners were looking to cut costs after relegation they thought for a while of dropping the Academy to Cat 2 or Cat 3 which, in my opinion, would have been a dreadful idea. So, what if the other £10 million was set aside to ensure that when we were relegated again that money would be used to ensure the Club could afford the ongoing cost of maintaining the Academy at Cat 1.
at 18:55 14 Nov 2019
The Conservatives have chosen the Chair of Kensington, Chelsea and Fulham Conservatives to stand in the Ynys Môn constituency.
Incredible. No regard for Wales at all. What a condescending bunch of cretins.
at 18:07 22 Sep 2019
This question came up numerous times when we were in the PL and every time people argued that, rather than spending £15 million on the extension we should spend the money on strengthening the squad to avoid relegation. That's what we tried in Jan 2018 and we got relegated anyway.
So my question is this. We signed Ayew for £18 million or so and are paying him £4 million a year. Which means he will have cost us around £30 million by the end of his contract. So far, with what we've paid West Ham and his wages we've paid out let's say £15 million with another £15 million to go.
If we'd gone for the stadium expansion that would be in place now. And we'd have saved £15 million on our outgoings for the next few years. Meaning there could possibly have been more money available to spend in January if we're still doing well. And if we did manage to get promoted again we'd have a 30,000 stadium capable of holding all the people who couldn't get tickets last time. And then we COULD spend whatever we had on players because the stadium would be complete.
The spend on the Academy and the Fairwood training base have both proved well worth the money. And they will be there for the benefit of the Club for a very long time as would an expanded stadium.
Sensible spending on infrastructure has to be a good thing. It can't always be spend it on a new player and hope for the best which is what we did with Ayew and Bony.
|Cricket World Cup|
at 14:05 22 Jun 2019
I watched the start of the game between the England and Wales cricket team and Sri Lanka yesterday. Wasn't it great to see the team standing there proudly with ENGLAND emblazoned across their shirts and singing God Save The Queen. And wasn't it then even better when the camera cut away to show the Cross of St George fluttering in the breeze.
Makes you proud to be Welsh doesn't it.
|F**k em all|
at 14:12 19 May 2019
F**k the owners, f**k Graham Potter and f**k Swansea City Football Club.
|Charities and Asylum Seekers|
at 17:57 19 Dec 2018
Over the last twenty years the Heritage Lottery fund has put more (£1.9 billion) into just three London boroughs than in the whole of Wales (£1.4 billion). That works out at £4,500 per head in those three boroughs compared with £460 per head in Wales.
They asked some spokesperson why and I thought, here we go, maybe there'll be a reasonable explanation. The person said that one of the reasons is that many charities are London based as are many National Institutions.
So, they're saying the reason is that we've already invested enormous amounts of money in London so that means we have to spend even more. That's London, the richest region in Europe compared with Wales, the poorest.
Asylum seekers - for the last however many years there's been a policy to spread asylum seekers round the country, for the whole of the UK to take the strain of absorbing them into their communities.
But there's been a few problems. Firstly 300 councils refused to take any. Secondly, the government gave the contract for organising this to a private company and said £x is the amount you can spend in doing it.
The trouble is that, when this company was looking for accommodation for the asylum seekers they found that they, unsurprisingly, couldn't afford to buy many properties in London and the South East (in fact the whole of Southern England including the West Country, the South East, London and East Anglia).
So they end up buying properties in areas where property prices are lower. And, surprise, surprise one of those places is Swansea. So, the result is that London and the South East (population 8.5 million) has taken in just 481 asylum seekers whereas Swansea (population 250,000) has taken in more. They didn't quote how many. Lots of Northern England places are affected the same way.
We know that the Government is going to screw Wales because they've been doing it for decades. But now even charities are doing it.
at 14:49 16 Aug 2018
Heard this on Tuesday. The person who told me had heard it elsewhere, from a few people from the way he said it.
The owners are looking to claw back their money via the parachute payments and will then sell the Club back to our beloved HJ and MM.
at 10:21 8 Jul 2018
Does anyone on here live in a Park Home or know someone who does ? What are the pros and cons of buying and owning one ?
A family member is thinking of buying one so would be very interested in any info.
|People of Wales, why do we allow ourselves to be kicked in the teeth.|
at 12:42 3 Jun 2018
The latest article on the Nation Cymru website.
‘For the UK Government, Wales is just not important,’ First Minister Carwyn Jones said in response to the revelation that Westminster had just pulled the plug on Swansea’s proposed Tidal Lagoon.
This belated realisation has come after a string of disappointments, including the decision to scrap the electrification of the railroad to Swansea.
Wales has long believed that if it shows its loyalty to Westminster, it will be rewarded. Like an eager dog, it keeps coming back for another kicking.
Of course, this belief flies directly in the face of reality. Compare and contrast how Westminster deal with the SNP Government in Scotland compared to the Labour government in Wales.
Westminster rewards dissent, they reward countries that stand up for themselves. Loyalty, meanwhile, is taken as a signal to treat you like a doormat.
One would hope that the First Minister’s realisation marks a turning point in Wales’ relationship with the UK establishment, which has been characterised by unending loyalty on one side and neglect on the other for the best part of 500 years.
However, his likely successor, Mark Drakeford, gave in to Westminster’s ‘power grab’ on the basis that defending the union was his most important consideration!
If you are in a neglectful and abusive marriage, the last thing you should do is say: ‘However you treat me, our marriage is the most important thing.’
What you do say is: ‘Start treating me right or I’m going to leave you.’
We need to take for granted that Westminster does not care about Wales. That needs to be the starting point for Wales in all our considerations.
And why would they? If I was UK Prime Minister, docile old Wales would be the last thing on my mind too, unless I was planning a walking holiday.
The current UK Government is, in effect, a London and South-East England nationalist party.
Their idea of a ‘union’ is not to strengthen all parts of the UK equally, but to draw cultural, economic and political power slowly and surely into one corner of Britain.
Some politicians and media would like to treat ‘Welsh nationalism’ as an expletive, but all it means in practice is standing up for ourselves and saying that this is unfair.
The people of Wales need to wake up to this. There is no good reason why much of Wales is the poorest part of western Europe, while just down the road we have, in London, the richest part of Western Europe.
There is nothing natural about this concentration of wealth. It’s because the Government sprays money at London and centralises power there, while giving as little as it can to Wales.
The Government spends £2,700 per head on transport in London. The figure in Wales is closer to £100. London is getting Crossrail, HS2, Crossrail 2 and who knows what else will be in the pipeline.
Meanwhile, their only major contribution to Wales’ infrastructure recently has been to rename a bridge, something the majority of people in Wales were against anyway.
So, Wales needs to ask itself a few questions: Why do we allow ourselves to be kicked in the teeth over and over?
Why do we allow people who don’t represent us – why have no understanding of Wales and its people – to make decisions at Westminster without taking our needs into consideration at all?
Think about the contribution Wales makes, and has made, to the UK.
The UK was built on the iron and coal made in Wales. But even then Wales was treated like a colony, trillions of pounds worth of goods exported, while the majority of our people lived in destitution.
Today, the relationship is just as one way. The UK couldn’t survive without the energy, from nuclear, wind and tides, from Wales, and without our vast reservoirs of water England would dry up like a raisin.
Multinational companies with offices in London feed off our cheap labour. Our children are always the first to be signed up for foreign wars. Wales gets no reward for this.
But the greatest resource Wales has is its people. And by denying Wales its fair share, Westminster is robbing us of that resource too.
Our young people want to leave our decaying towns, villages and cities and go to London and England’s South East. And who can blame them for going to where the wealth and opportunity is?
You can’t find a single father in Wales who will say, ‘I can’t wait for my son to join me at the call centre.’
There is no reason why Wales should put up with this. The ordinary working people of Wales have a right to demand a fair share of the UK’s wealth, and that means proper investment.
Wales needs to demand its fair share of investment so that the country has a future. So that our kids have the opportunity to live and study here and not to have to leave our country to find work.
We all love Wales and want to live happy, prosperous lives here, see our children and grandchildren grow up here, we want to retire here, and be buried here.
But that means that we have to fight, because at the moment our country is being sucked dry of all ambition and potential, and left to stagnate.
This isn’t about grievance. This isn’t anyone else’s fault. It’s not England’s fault, it’s not even the Tories’ fault – this is our fault. We have allowed ourselves to be treated this way, by being supine, and electing supine politicians to represent us.
We need to fight for recognition and respect. And we can’t sit around and wait for other people’s permission to do it.
We know the working people of Wales are tired of being treated like this. That is what was behind the Brexit vote, although their faith in charlatans like Farage, Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg was misplaced.
These politicians, who don’t understand Wales, have taken advantage of people’s anger and frustration to further roll back regulation that will leave working people at the mercy of global economic winds.
As it has in Scotland, the change here in Wales will happen when we elected people who will fight for what is best for the people of Wales, not what is best for the already wealthy in London and the South East of England.
And like Scotland, if we come together and demand that we’re treated differently, they will have no choice but to do so.
Under the current circumstances, the Welsh Government’s claim that they’re ‘standing up for Wales’ is a joke.
They’re on their knees, complaining about being kicked in the teeth while thanking Westminster for their benevolence.
If they won’t stand up for Wales, it’s time to elect someone who will. It’s up to us.
|New DWP Headquraters|
at 17:06 2 May 2018
A new DWP headquarters is to be built for DWP staff from various South Wales sites to be accommodated under one roof. There will be 1700 people working there.
Walesonline Business Editor Sion Barry said 'And the project will help counter claims by some, whether fairly or not, that Cardiff gets too much investment'.
The development will be in Pontypridd, 15 miles up the valley from Cardiff.
We should be very grateful don't you know.
|Let's Take Back Control|
at 18:42 10 Aug 2017
Letter just sent to the Evening Post
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.
|WELSH INDEPENDENCE |
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.
|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.
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