Thursday, August 31, 2006

A wee snigger

A recent post compared JPs commnets about Bush, with Bush's own ability to drop clangers. However there can be little doubt about what some people said while Bush spoke to mark the year since the disaster of New Orleans.

Pwllheli marina - chapter 265

For those not able to reach a Dily Post today's letter says

"Dear editor,

The Pwllheli Chamber of Trade are of course right to remind us of the massive error of judgement made by the Party of Wales in Gwynedd when they refused to approve plans for an expansion of Pwllheli marina. How often do we hear Plaid Cymru complain about a lack of economic opportunity in this area but when the time for brave decisions arrives they run and hide. We await to hear of Plaid Cymru's alternative plans for the Pwllheli area but I must contrast their failure with the action of Labour's Assembly Government in promoting new investment in Caernarfon's Victoria Dock, Parc Cegin near Bangor and at Bangor University."

Martin Eaglestone
Prospective Assembly Candiidate
Labour Party

All quiet over there !

Thanks to the friends who rang to say my blog was quiet about the Sunderland result. Well I was on holiday and sort of missed it .........

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Plaid all at sea !

This article in the Daily Post reminds us all of the farcical decision made by Plaid Cymru lead Gwynedd not to expand Pwllheli marina. Every time you hear anyone from Plaid Cymru talk about a lack of economic opportunity simply reply - Pwllheli marina. All moans and no action is a neat summary of our problems with the Party of Wales.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Stop the Traffik

Well back from a weekend break and the title is not a cry of anguish about the M6 but a campapign I spent some time considring at the Greenbelt festival. Have a read and let us consider what part we can play in the lead up to March 2007.

Also spent some time at Greenbelt listening to Jim Wallis a thought provoking speaker from the States, who had a number of nice things to say about Gordon Brown and some stern words about Iraq. To paraphrase one striking thought that I carried from the talks - the challenge is not just whether we move left or right, but to go deeper.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Bank holiday - enjoy

Well its time for a long bank holiday weekend. Tidy 3-0 for the Baggies and nice to see Nicholson (England squad in 3 years ?) on the score sheet.

As`for the weekend - time with family at Greenbelt amongst other things.

See you next week.

Bank holiday - enjoy

Well its time for a long bank holiday weekend. Tidy 3-0 for the Baggies and nice to see Nicholson (England squad in 3 years ?) on the score sheet.

As`for the weekend - time with family at Greenbelt amongst other things.

See you next week.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Philips and Koumas - keeps squad strong

Well I must admit to an element of (pleasant) surprise that Kevin Philips chose us above the Black Cats and will therefore stick a few away for the Baggies, rather than be a returning hero on Wearside. Well done Robbo. And with today's news that Jason Koumas has now signed a new 3 year contract it bodes well for the squad in the long season ahead. (might even give us a cushion if 1 or 2 move on!)

Party of Wales - they just don't get it

I see the Party of Wales have suddenly decided that the election of May 2007 should be "clean" by which they mean some strange commitment to only using money from Wales.They just don't understand the way in which many parties are part of a bigger whole, and strength is drawn from the inter relationships of the many parts. They probably don't want to understand in their blinkered little world.

Of course I might ask whether this "clean" campaign would include Plaid Cymru refusing to use money raised from property sales in England, as was the case in a recent will that donated property proceeds to the Party of Wales, or perhaps their sister party in Scotland not accepting money from Sean Connery (who wears his Scots badge proudly -from abroad!).

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Sustainable in Plaid Cymru ???

The Labour Assembly Government are working hard to make us face the condequences of our unsustainable lifestyle. Plaid Cymru often try to shoult louder about their sustainability credentials, but some of us have noted the suuden about turn by Rhodri Glyn Tomos when it comes to flood risk in his own patch.

As I earn my bread and butter as a planning officer I understand the challenges set by the policy on flood risk. In North Wales places like Conwy and Denbighsire face huge issues as do some parts of Arfon. In the coming years, and if we are to plan to mitigate the effects of climate change, we could see wide spread patterns of new development. Certainly food for thought and I wonder what the Autumn and Winter stoms will bring ? Meanwhile Rhodri should present his evidence to the Environment Agency so they csan review their advice.

Wylfa - have your say

Although in the neighbouring constituency of Ynys Mon there is little doubt that the closure of Wylfa nuclear power station in 2010 is significant beyond Anglesey's boundaries. Having discovered Anglesey-Today at the Anglesey Show I see it know has a contract to run a poll seeking opinions about Wylfa.

Whether pro or anti Wylfa here is a constructive chance to contribute views to an importabt debate, and you might also offer views on economic alternatives for the area.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Public health message spreads !

It seems the Assembly's commitment to public health is gathering pace and the Gaurdian tells us that some of the cartoons on our tv will now be healthier to watch

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Sunday thoughts

For some of us, although not all health and shop workers, Sunday can be taken at a different pace and provide some space for thought and reflection. One thought provoking site that I came across was Generous which seems to be addressing a number of the environmental and social concerns in our society.

Music provides a relaxing outlet while reading the Sunday papers and for anyone who enjoys singer/songwriters can I recommend you listen to one of Wales finest Martyn Joseph.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

It's three points that count

As I said the other week - home wins and away draws will do. Colchester at home may not be The Gunners or Red Devils but it keeps up the momentum. 4 games unbeaten - that will do.

Diverting attention ?

Was I alone in thinking that the sudden appearance of Ryanair complaining about the security restrictions at airports was a nice distraction from the potential dispute at Stanstead ? (a key Ryanair departure point).

Meanwhile can I strongly recommend the web sites of UNISON and TGWU for keeping up with news on pensions, PFI and other debates we hear about in the news.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Forget Glyn - what about Jason ?

Well Blaenau is getting in to Glyn fever but for Baggies fans we cannot fail to notice the news about Jason Koumas coming back to training and Cardiff ending their interest (until the next twist in the story!).As I have said before I think such a talented player needs to sort out his head and focus on delivering action on, not off, the field. Perhaps the noises about his international career may have helped but whatever comes next I can only think a fit Jason will enhance Albion's Championship season. Whether that happens we wait and see. Sorry Leighton Andrews for the disapointment.

Some things make me smile

Thankfully amongst the serious international issues there are some aspects of the news which can make you smile. These are serious issues for the goats, but items like the attached make me realise the jargon about partnership working can sometimes sound a little strange. Step forward the members of the "mutli agency goat committee".

Thursday, August 17, 2006

In private moments - it seems not

Many of us had a little smile when JP was alleged to have made a comment about Bush. Perhaps it was a comment about the road map rather than the man, or maybe no comment at all. It is just a pity that denials of many descriptions are required so as not to offend the UK/US relationship. But surely a robust relationship could survive the occassioanl plain remarks ?. Mr Bush himself has made enough over the years.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Cameron - please save us !

Having seen the snippet about Cameron's comments on the recent security situation I thought I would follow up his views. E-politix has supplied a copy of his speech and I reach the view the man is a pillock !

Many of us will have a real interest in what is shortly revealed about those recently arrested, but given his many months at the dispatch box where were David's thoughts and concerns prior to the recent airport inconveniences. Perhaps David thought the inconvenience could be turned against the government but much of the comment I have seen suggest people are very tolerant if their personal safety is the issue. I would only fear that tolerance wearing thin if the intillegence behind the raids (and inconvenience) proves uncertain.

Bulls, horses and rain

An enjoyable afternoon at what seemed a very busy Anglesey Show. Nice to see Albert Owen and Jonathon Austin the recently selected Assembly candidate for Ynys Mon. The show is an annual opportunity to see the best of local agriculture and I was glad those prize bulls were firmly tethered. Took an interest in the Anglesey-Today website which seems to be making a good job of promoting the island's attractions. Must now decide whether to join Albert Owen next week during his walk around the 125 miles of Anglesey coastline.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

So much to read ... so little time

Well here I am, a few days in to the blogging and what a pleasure to join the lists of bloggers4labour. But how can we cope, with so many varied and interesting views to read but so little time in the day ?

The Sunday papers are challenging, but with the news of the Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Al Qaeda links and so on I am reminded that my recent summer holiday reading (can it really only be 2 weeks ago) was John Simpson's "A mad world, my masters". An entertaining read but in my 2001 edition it covered John's experience - do we learn from history ? - in Lebanon, Iraq and Iran etc.

The Observer today quotes John as being an example of a culturally innaccurate reporter. Perhaps true, although I note he is not directly mentioned in the comments attributed to the BBC, but he is a reporter whose life experiences bring a significant value to news we receive.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

What a long season !

Well the Baggies remain unbeaten (0-0 at Southampton) which is a situation others might enjoy (hello Sunderland fans!) but early signals are that Albion will need to win our home games and grind out these draws away from home. Oh well the hype of the Premiership will now kick off, that's the league where money not football counts.

How do you measure quality of life ?

This morning's Guardian has one of those articles that can lead to interesting conversation over a morning coffee. The Halifax has complied a list based on measures of an area's quality of life. I know that this type of measure has become a very common pattern across local authorities as we try to assess the quality of our communities on issues apart from the pound in the pocket. It seems Elmbridge, Surrey is the place to be - no thanks - it seems very nice here on the banks of the Menai Strait at the foot of Snowdon.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Brazil and Wales in London !

I suppose a game against Brazil puts anyone on the world map for a short period, particularly after the Brazilian boys failed to shine so brightly in Germany. Of course for many fans in North Wales there is the irony that they can probably travel more quickly to this game than a "home" game in Cardiff - but it is a pity Brazil are not in the Millenium stadium.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Growing interest in "coalition" queries

A Tory from Llanfairfechan is the latest to join the coalition debate. A Arsthall tells the Caernarfon Herald that no less a person than Plaid's "most senior stalwart" Dafydd Wigley thinks a Plaid - Labour coalition is possible, if Labour wishes to rule after May 2007. Now it strikes me that there is one clear difference the voters can see between Labour and the opposition parties. Labour has every opportunity of winning enough seats in May 2007 to implement an election manifesto. No other party that is preparing for next May can realistically make that claim, and they can all be legitimately questioned about what Peter Black AM calls the opposition plots and sub plots in Cardiff Bay.

My view is that Labour can win the election and deliver a manifesto. If the people of Wales choose not to give us that mandate then, as on a previous occassion, Labour can seek a partner to provide stable government. Given that my first priority is to get elected, to help form Labour's majority, then it is not my task to judge who that partner might be.

Of course by voting Eaglestone-Labour in the new Arfon constituency people can make sure the debate is academic and Labour gains the seats that will allow Rhodri Morgan to continue his excellent work as First Minister.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Going public

Having experimented for a few days it is time to go public. The blog will be launched to the press tomorrow - although it seems Leighton Andrews AM has started to spread the word already.

Good to see Peter Black AM picking up on the Daily Post material and I am happy to confirm that I am the one of the two named who pays a regular visit to his entertaining blog - a good example I feel of how blogging can help open up politics.

Let us hope this admission of flirting with the Lib Dems does not end my blogging career before it starts.

Mae'n amser mynd yn cyhoeddus. Ar ol cyfnod o dysgu am sut mae'r drefn yn weithio fydd datganiad/hysbys yn mynd i'r wasg yfory. Ond mae Leighton Andrews wedi dechra'r gwaith yn barod. Hefyd roedd yn diddorol gweld Peter Black AC yn trafod cynnwys y llythurau o'r Daily Post.

Campaign for "big prize" goes on as Baggies take point at Cardiff

Well the mighty Baggies easily took a point from Cardiff (1-1 at Ninian Park) and in spite of press reports, and the comments of Leighton Andrews AM, I am sure it was easy pickings without having to break into a sweat !

Meanwhile at home in Arfon the Assembly campaign went on and the team had a successful, if slightly damp night, in the town of Caernarfon. Doorstep evidence suggests that both Plaid and ourselves are working hard - a clear indication that we realise a big prize is up for grabs given the new boundaries in Arfon for May 2007.

Noson digon llwyddiannus yng Nhaernarfon gyda'r tim yn gweithio'n galed i dosbarthu pamffledi. O'r sylwadau ar y drws mae'n amlwg bod y Party of Wales a Llafur yn gweithio'n galed gyda'r ffaith bod y ffiniau newydd yn rhoi gwobr mawr i ni ddau yn Mai 2007.

(Why a Baggies fan ? Well I was born there, although my family moved to Wales when I was seven. But by then the King Jeff Astle had won my heart (and then came the 1968 cup final and all that).

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Coalition talk stirs the waters

For several weeks I have been using the letters page of local papers, and the Daily Post, to suggest that one issue for the voters to consider as we run towards May 2007 is the possibility of a Plaid/Tory coalition in the Assembly in the Assembly to dislodge Rhodri Morgan and Welsh Labour. The Party of Wales had been keeping quiet about all this until today, when Mark David Jones in the Vale of Clwyd decided to break cover, and raise the issue of Dafydd Wigley on the letters page of the 8th August.

On the same page we have Lee Waters comments on Ieuan Wyn Jones recent walk about Wales. Lee's column starts "It ended as it began: with a bit of whimper" and "all the gripes about his lack of charisma and cautious leadership style" and even Lee raises the "Wigley factor".

Well my comment to the Daily Post letters page is as follows :

"The Party of Wales seem a little irritated that I dare turn my mind to what might happen after May 2007 should a coalition of opposition parties seek to take power from Labour. They suggest we might talk about Mr Wigley instead. So fair enough let us consider the proposition sugested by the Party of Wales. Many political observers consider that the only way in which Mr Wigley can return to the Assembly, remembering that he is second on the North Wales list, is if Plaid loose ground in the constituencies like Arfon and Ynys Mon.

Of course I know that the Plaid Cymru voters in Arfon can consider the added value of voting for Eaglestone - Labour in the Arfon constituency, and Plaid on the North Wales regional list, thus giving Mr Wigley his best chance of returning to the Assembly.

In respect of hospitals I am willing to defend Labour's overall record. Labour has made a record investment in health, and we can see new hospitals being built in places like Porthmadog and new facilities in places like Bangor. I say that would not have happened under any opposition coalition.There is however a move to community services and I happen to believe that trend will continue whoever has control after May 2007. Changes are now being suggested in the role of other hospitals and, in a democracy, I respect the right of all communuities to campign for what they value. In many cases however we must remember that the hospitals will remain open but asked to deliver different services, and we know that change is never easy to deliver".

Vote Eaglestone - get Wigley. A different sort of campaign slogan.

Honours even in Welsh Labour football camp

Well the Baggies (WBA) have been to Cardiff and Leighton Andrews AM must be very releived to escape with a point from this season's champions ! Who knows having got the game out of the way there might be a way of resolving the Koumas dilemna. As John Toshack has reminded Jason, in his press comments today, this needs resolving for his own good. What a fine footballer wasting some good talent. Good luck Cardiff - ownards and upwards the Baggies.

Monday, August 07, 2006

"Ferodo" site back in the news

It is site that has significant interest to the local comunity, an economic role going back decades and has dominated several chapters of local trade union history - where else but the fomer Ferodo / Friction Dynamics /Dynamex Friction factory on the shores of the Menai Straits east of Caernarfon. The site is back in the news, not just because of Americal owner Craig Smith, but because it is up for sale.

It would seem a sale is intended over the next 18 months. Yet who will buy the site ? It is a large and industrial site with a history in asbestos. One would think a range of range of technical and safety issues would arise with any redevelopment. Certainly I do not feel it sensible for the Assembly Government to rush in and buy the site as has been suggested to the BBC by Hywel Williams MP (Party of Wales) - a little more thought may be necessary before leaping on this one.

Anyway Radio Cymru want to cover the story (Post Cyntaf Tuesday 8th August) so lets see what a bit of radio coverage can give to air the situation.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Baggies Glory

Well the weekend plans went a little wrong. On Friday the plan was to travel to the Eistedfod in Swansea via the Baggies big kick kick off in the Championship (WBA v Hull at the Hawthorns on Saturday 5th).

Labour - Union link derailed by faulty clutch !

Part one of the plan started to go wrong when the clutch decided to give up on the M6 near Walsall. What is wrong the old Espace has only done 230,000 miles ! Thankfully got enough gear grip (is that a mechanical term ?) to get off the motorway and made a quick decision to park car in a local street and grab a taxi to the ground. Made the Baggies in time for the kick off, but had to text Welsh Labour at half time warning that an appearance in Swansea on Sunday was very unlikely.

On Sunday morning kind RAC man adjusted the clutch enough to get me on the road (but advised me to head back home) so the speaking contribution in Swansea was lost. Apologies to all concerned. The main points were going to be in summary (a) Link is good for Labour and unions (b) still much work to deliver (c) next focus is the manifesto for May 2007. Vote Labour !

On the positive side at least Hartson brought his experience to bear on the football, and he already looks a good tip for the Championship's leading scorer this season. Watch out Leighton Andrews AM its Cardiff next for the Baggies steamroller.......

Gobieithiaf fod yr Eisteddfod yn llwyddiant ond mae cynlluniau yr Ymgeisydd yma wedi ei gorffen gan cyflwr y car. Ymddiheuriad am methu'r sesiwn prynhawn Sul.

Friday, August 04, 2006

A few minutes later

So we are up and running and can see the need to check spelling (that Gwynedd thing again !) and take time to construct our thoughts.
Well having spent many months reading other political blogs, offering them a few observations and being occassionally entertained I have decided to join blogggers world. With some 9 month to the elections for the National Assembly for Wales perhaps we can promote a few thoughts, generate small bits of debate and in moments of creativity off load some thoughts about where our efforts are heading. Tonight I offered Iain Dale the thought that if the Tories had elected David Davies as leader they might have had fewer headlines but more substance. In addition I have writtent to the Daily Post suggesting that the staff member at Gwynedd Council who has been instructed to attend Welsh language lessons is to be congratulated, well done for making the effort in the first place. The language will survive by encouragement and use - not a victim culture.

Dwi am ymdrechu cyfrannu yn y Cymraeg o dro i dro - ond ella bod rhai o staff Gwynedd ddim ar ben eu hunain gyda safon ei Cymraeg ysgrifenedig. Ond heb ymdrechu a ceisio pa obaith am wella ?