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Levelling Up
at 12:44 9 Jun 2024

Here's something I wasn't aware of from the Budget in March.

The general belief, as far as i'm aware, was that levelling up funding was designed to help bridge the chasm in wealth between London and the rest of the UK.

What a surprise to find that that rundown Northern community Canary Wharf (population apparently 18,000) was awarded £242 million while Wales (population 3,100,000) was awarded £170 million.

Thoughts anyone ?
Israel/Hamas ceasefire
at 18:08 6 May 2024

Just saw this headline 'Hamas announces it has accepted a ceasefire proposal to halt war with Israel'.

True ?
Russell Quirk
at 18:06 4 May 2024

I've never liked the bloke and he regularly comes out with rubbish, in my opinion.

But he absolutely excelled himself a couple of days ago. His latest fantasy (I can't think of a better word for it) is that when Keir Starmer becomes PM after 6 months or so he'll step aside to allow Jeremy Corbyn have the keys to number 10.

So KS has spent five years repairing the damage Corbyn caused to the Labour party and whatever you may think of Keir personally, having started from such an incredibly low base he's done a remarkable job.

But it's been a ploy people. A cunning plan as Baldrick would say.

Did you just laugh out loud at the stupidity of it ?
at 12:48 14 Apr 2024

Opinions please from people who listen/watch ?
Female commentators
at 10:10 3 Mar 2024

I watched MOTD this morning and there was a female commentator covering the Newcastle game. She was dreadful as are all the others.

To do any other job in football - refereeing/linesman/pundit on Football Focus etc - what is needed is knowledge gained from watching, supporting or playing football. Women can do those jobs as well as men. But when commentating on an actual game, when something exciting happens I want to hear a loud voice, a roar similar to when all your mates around you shout at an actual game. What we get with women commentators is a squeak.

IMO they are just there because of political correctness, diversity or whatever not because they are good at the job..

Two more nails in the Tory coffin
at 09:17 17 Feb 2024

Brilliant results on Thursday. Roll on the GE where the Tories will be annihilated
Irish Unification Referendum
at 18:34 7 Feb 2024

When there is a unification referendum a very strange occurrence could take place.

In the 2019 GE a huge number of natural Labour voters in the Red Wall seats voted Conservative for the very first (and hopefully last) time. And they did that in order to ‘Get Brexit Done’. They ‘lent’ the Conservatives their vote for the one specific purpose. Because they had voted for Brexit.

In Northern Ireland, in the 2016 referendum, the vote was 58% to remain. Which means that a substantial number of unionists voted for remain. So, when the Unification referendum happens it’s quite possible that a similar thing will happen as per the 2019 GE. Except in reverse.

The Red Wall voters voted Tory to get Brexit done. In NI unionists may vote for the Nationalists unification argument (lend them their vote for the one specific purpose) in order to rejoin the EU. Because they had voted remain.

An interesting thought.
Cardiff Airport
at 10:18 13 Jan 2024

I know you're all desperate to use and support our Welsh airport based in RHOOSE.

So here is the list of flights available for your delectation and delight in the coming year.

Ryanair ✈️
4 flights a week to Dublin 🇮🇪
3 flights a week to Malaga 🇪🇸
3 flights a week to Alicante 🇪🇸
1 flight a week to Tenerife 🇪🇸
2 flights a week to Faro 🇵🇹
Vueling ✈️
3 flights a week to Alicante 🇪🇸
2 flights a week to Malaga 🇪🇸
KLM ✈️
3 flights a day to Amsterdam 🇳🇱
Loganair ✈️
6 flights a week to Edinburgh 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
Aer Lingus ✈️
Daily flights to Belfast City ☘️
Balkan Holidays ✈️
Saturday flights to Bulgaria 🇧🇬
TUI ✈️
6 flights a week to Palma 🇪🇸
3 flights a week to Dalaman 🇹🇷
3 flights a week to Antalya 🇹🇷
3 flights a week to Tenerife 🇪🇸
2 flights a week to Larnaca 🇨🇾
2 flights a week to Tunisia 🇹🇳
2 flights a week to Lanzarote 🇪🇸
2 flights a week to Paphos 🇨🇾
2 flights a week to Ibiza 🇪🇸
2 flights a week to Corfu 🇬🇷
2 flights a week to Alicante 🇪🇸
2 flights a week to Rhodes 🇬🇷
2 flights a week to Malaga 🇪🇸
2 flights a week to Menorca 🇪🇸
2 flights a week to Zante 🇬🇷
2 flights a week to Bulgaria 🇧🇬
2 flights a week to Kos 🇬🇷
1 flight a week to Dubrovnik 🇭🇷
1 flight a week to Kefalonia 🇬🇷
1 flight a week to Reus 🇪🇸
1 fight a week to Crete 🇬🇷
1 flight a week to Gran Canaria 🇪🇸

The Brilliant Welsh NHS
at 18:28 6 Jan 2024

There's a perfectly good reason for the title. I know there are plenty of problems with the NHS in Wales. BUT. All I see are criticisms. So i'll give my opinion.

We have a brilliant GP practice. The 8 o'clock race for an appointment is a pain but when we get through we always get an appointment whether over the phone or in person.

We have a brilliant NHS dentist. If it's not an urgent problem then we have to wait. But if it's urgent we get an apptointment very quickly.

I've had a foot problem for a few years now so around November 22 I put in for treatment. Since then i've had two appointments in Central clinic with a podiatrist and then a few weeks ago an appointment in PT/Baglan hospital with a consultant who was brilliant. I'm now on the waiting list for a minor op. She told me I will get the op within the next 12 months. No problem as it's not exactly life or death.

She said i'd get it done within 12 months because i'd already been on the waiting list for 12 months. So being on the waiting list doesn't mean that you're not getting treated, it means the treatment isn't completed. I hadn't realised that.

My wife had a problem recently when we had to go to A&E at Morriston. It was busy but she was seen within about 40 minutes, had an ECG, back out, waited for another ten minutes or so at which point the doctor came out into A and E and spent five minutes or so speaking to her before saying she could go. Brilliant service.

I could give other examples. But my main point is that we are quick to criticise when things go wrong but don't give praise when things go right.

at 13:01 1 Jan 2024

You usually find in the football section of Walesonline that the main article is about the team playing at home that day whether it be the Swans or Cardiff.

The exception to this rule appears to be when Cardiff are playing away.
A Brexit Benefit
at 18:02 27 Dec 2023

I voted remain in the Brexit referendum but this to me appears to be an example of an enormous potential benefit to the UK of leaving the EU which I hadn’t thought of. Or rather an enormous potential benefit to working people in the UK of leaving the EU.

For the last fifty years or so businesses and governments have benefited enormously from access to cheap labour from the EU, mainly Eastern Europeans. Businesses didn’t have to bother particularly about recruitment and retention and training of UK workers because they could take the easy option of bringing in people who were already trained and who would work for less. Which means those businesses were more profitable.

Governments have taken the same attitude. Why spend a fortune training doctors for example when we can get them from other countries. Those countries will have borne the cost of the training and the UK could easily pay them more than their home countries. Everyone’s a winner.

Everyone except of course the other poorer countries who then had to spend more to train more doctors to replace the ones we’d stolen. Everyone also except the British people who may have wanted to train as doctors but found there were no training places for them. The government would have argued that because they were able to cut back on training places for our own doctors (because we’d imported foreign ones) that meant that there was more money available to spend elsewhere.

The problem is that eventually these things come back to bite you on the bum. And the problem has become so much worse over the last thirteen years. About a year ago a Health Trust in Cumbria asked for permission to train an extra thirty doctors that they desperately needed. The answer they got back from the NHS was that if they allowed them to do that they (the NHS) would have to cut thirty places elsewhere in the system. Because the government had cut back on investment in doctor training. This in the middle of a crisis in the numbers of doctors within the NHS.

Similar points could be made for nurses and care workers. Plus so many other groups. Remember two years ago when we didn’t have enough HGV drivers ? Again why train our own when we can take them from other countries.

Now we’ve got the strange situation of the government allowing three times as many immigrants into the country as compared with before Brexit in order to fill the gaps. You might ask what was the point of Brexit. And the answer might be that we’ve taken back control of our borders. The government is in control of who comes in which is what brexiteers wanted. Except people don’t want 750,000 immigrants coming in each year even when the government is in control.

So what’s going to happen ? What if we do really ‘take back control’ and the number of immigrants is cut drastically. Who is going to do the jobs that are left ? British people presumably. Except they’ll say no thank you. They’ll say why should I take a job in a care home, for example, at a low wage. Why should I take a job where I don’t get paid enough to live on, where I have to claim benefits just to get by.

And they’d be right to say no. It’s just a couple of years since people working in care homes were lauded as heroes. They were doing a crucial job in looking after the elderly. And many of them died doing that job because of the criminal decisions taken by the government. If it is a crucial job why doesn’t it pay more ?

And what about other jobs also shown to be crucial during Covid – binmen, supermarket workers, delivery drivers and so on. They are all basic jobs you might say but vitally important when it comes to the whole system working.

So, let’s say we stop most immigration. If businesses want to employ people they will have to actually train British workers to do all these jobs. And pay them a decent wage for doing them. And even if a lot of training is not needed for some jobs it’s been shown that those ‘basic’ jobs are so important in a decent society. So they also will have to be paid a decent, proper living wage.

Which all means that finally all British workers could start being paid a decent wage for their efforts. And in the sixth biggest economy in the world you would imagine that that is exactly as it should be.

Pie in the sky a lot of people will say. Maybe. But it appears that a large majority of British people don’t want mass immigration. So if that immigration is cut to the bone it’s either pay British workers a decent wage to do the jobs or the jobs don’t get done.

And the result of all those ‘crucial’ jobs not being done ? Ever bigger NHS waiting lists, less care home beds available etc etc,

We are in for some very interesting times.
Inheritance Tax
at 13:04 18 Nov 2023

There is talk about the possibility that Jeremy Hunt will abolish this in the upcoming Autumn statement.

Can someone please explain to me why this is such a popular idea with so many ordinary people ?
The 2024 General Election
at 14:36 10 Oct 2023

If Labour do win the 2024 General Election they will find themselves in a very strange situation regarding what they are able to achieve, at least in the short term.

People always want big, bold statements regarding huge investments in infrastructure, house building, energy developments to relieve our dependancy on other countries oil/gas and so on.

But I was struck by something Peter Kyle said yesterday. Labour will I’m sure make some major policy announcements but he also said this. Paraphrasing, he said it is shameful but it would be a huge achievement to get to a place where people could get an appointment with their GP, to get their NHS treatment that they’ve been waiting on for X years or to get a dental appointment.

He could have also said it would be an amazing achievement if, when people are mugged or their house is burgled that the police would turn up to investigate.

It’s a dreadful situation for the country to be in that the basic pillars of a civilised society aren’t there any more.

I’ve mentioned health but then there’s education (how many thousands of teachers are needed to fill all the vacancies which means our children’s education is suffering ?). And policing (see above) – the service is 20,000 officers short. No wonder the streets are becoming lawless. Then there’s the Prison Service and the CPS. It is all an utter shambles.

As far as I can see it all of this is down to one thing and that’s the austerity that the Conservatives have imposed on the country since 2010. They cut back massively in all departments in order to ‘bring the countries enormous debt down’. They asked that people accept the need for this pain and go along with it and that there was no other way to achieve the goal.

And after the pain of all that austerity where are we now ? In 2010 the debt was less than £1 trillion. It is now £2.6 trillion.

If they have cut back so enormously on spending, which by extension means that they were also able to cut back on borrowing, could someone explain to me where all this debt has come from ?
at 18:09 18 Sep 2023

There has been huge criticism of all the strikes over the last year or so not only from the Government but also most of the media.

They've all questioned the amount of the rises being asked for saying that the country can't afford them as they'd lead to more inflation. When talking about the rail strikes they always quote the fact that the train drivers currently earn around £60K and use that as an argument against the rail unions. All the offers so far to all the unions have been around 5/6/7 % the reasoning being that that is all that can be afforded at this time.

They also state that the strikes are politically motivated and the aim is to bring down the Government.

What do you think ?
at 15:03 25 Aug 2023

Many people are very critical of the BBC. Bearing that in mind what are your thoughts on Talk TV ?
The Coronation
at 17:42 30 Apr 2023

“I swear that I will pay true allegiance to your majesty, and to your heirs and successors according to law. So help me God.”

Seriously. When I heard that The Archbishop of Canterbury was going to 'invite' the whole Nation to swear this oath, at the same time I presume, I couldn't believe it. Are they hoping that we'll all stand in front of our TV's and swear with hand on heart, maybe bowing our heads, perhaps wearing a hat specifically so we can doff it at the same time ?

It would be like being one of 65 million extras on a Blackadder special. It really is that ridiculous.
Something completely different
at 18:46 9 Mar 2023

I just watched a youtube video by a musician from Anglesey named Ren. Do a search using 'Hi Ren'.

It's so different, challenging, heartwarming, brilliant - that'll do. Watch it.
The Conservative Party - what is the point ?
at 10:05 19 Feb 2023

Over the last few days, while Rishi is trying to renegotiate the NI Protocol, there has been much talk on the news platforms that the ERG are up in arms about the new settlement (even though we don't know what it may be) and are threatening a rebellion against it when it's brought to the HOC. In other words they are threatening the government because what they think may be happening doesn't fit with what they want to happen

They (the news platforms) are also reporting that Rishi's position is under threat and that some Tories are looking to bring Boris back.

In a so called democracy it' s a disgrace that these things are happening. And the Conservative party has evolved into a joke. They are actually a bunch of factions knitted together (not very well) each arguing that things should go the way they want but not willing to split away and form their own party because that would mean, heaven forfend, giving up power.

Roll on a GE and their removal.
at 09:44 13 Feb 2023

This is one of the most contentious issues at the moment and has been for years. Many people slag off the system including Immigration lawyers saying that they use the argument of Human Rights to prolong the time it takes for immigrants/asylum seekers to be processed. Some times it takes years. And during this process it costs us millions every day to provide for them. People also slag off the ECHR arguing that that is part of the problem in us trying to get rid of people who have no right to be here.

An Immigration lawyer was interviewed on TV this morning for his opinions. He started out in his job in 2000. He said at that tome there was a fast track system in place which meant people's claims were processed within a week. If they appealed it was stretched to two weeks. And the government were sending back each year around 33,000 immigrants to their home countries with whom we had a repatriation agreement. This all happened while we were part of the ECHR.

The Tories scrapped the Fast Track system.
Brexit-second referendum
at 10:23 9 Feb 2023

I'd forgotten all about this until it was brought up again on Facebook. This is a headlining story from the Daily Mirror from 16th May 2016. I'll cut and paste a few lines.
EXCLUSIVE: Nigel Farage wants second referendum if Remain campaign scrapes narrow win
The Ukip leader speaks to the Mirror’s Associate Editor Kevin Maguire and warns that a '52-48 result would be unfinished business'

Nigel Farage warns today he would fight for a second referendum on Britain in Europe if the remain campaign won by a narrow margin next month.

The Ukip leader said a small defeat for his leave camp would be “unfinished business” and predicted pressure would grow for a re-run of the 23 June ballot.

It's easy to forget these things.

This makes the article in the FT a few days ago about the possibility of a second ref in 2026 a perfectly reasonable one especially when all the polls now show that a large majority of people now believe Brexit was a mistake.

And if that majority which is now around the 58/60% level became say 65% or more over the next few years how can it not be a sensible thing to do.
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