Sunday, December 30, 2007
Saturday, December 29, 2007
In truth much of the football was workmanlike but the goal strikes by Philips (2), Gera and Beattie were quite spectacular. Watch it Sunday morning (ITV) to see some of the best strikes of the day.
Anyway as it involved the Hawthorns here I am at the Astle gates. I am sure Tom Bodden of the Daily Post will recall Jeff Astle with joy (1968 and all that !)
Friday, December 28, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Ground 3 will hopefully be the home of fine football for the visit of Scunthorpe.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
I know now it has little to do with town planning as such but it was one local event which sparked an awareness of the local environment and via various means I ended up on the Planning course at Birmingham Polytechnic (what them ?).
One little bit of Eryri's splendour and a career in planning - until that is the people have the good sense to overthrow their evil Plaid Cymru dictatorship for a caring face of Labour.....
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I also recall the distress caused to UK citizens from floods and associated events. They should also get our attention this Christmas.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Yet in truth it seems everyone has problems (various) and I believe everyone would benefit from a burst of sunshine.
Better check what's been happening in my CLP in case a few millionaires have passed by unnoticed !
Monday, December 17, 2007
Rumour is he broke in and some cleaner said "oh its just the chief being daft again" !
Saturday, December 15, 2007
We are top of the League
As I recover from the works Christmas Party the glorious Baggies run in 4 against Charlton. Good entertainment but interesting to see we still play football when others team would try and kill the game.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Gwynedd Council has decided (they had little choice I suspect) to commence formal consultations about school restructuring.
The pattern of much political debate in many communities across Gwynedd, from now until next May, has been set. It is unclear where it will all lead but a number of prominent Plaid Cymru figures will be working hard to save their political skins. While "leaders" may speak for their troops from their high chairs and "portfolio" positions in the Chamber, I suspect it will be a harder sell for the troops as they canvas the doorsteps of many a village.
For my part I feel that "new" schools will generally prove to be attractive propositions (has the capital been secured?), but still I search for some evidence that the widespread federalisation proposed in this paper has a track record on which people can depend.
Please enlighten me if you know better.
ps for any student of politics I think this is a period of debate that is worth recording in detail as, alongside Plaid's entry in to the One Wales government, it is potentially a fault line of historic change in nationalism.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Well on cue this week's letters page in the Herald contains a letter from Dafydd Wigley of Bontnewydd that states:
"May I commend the words of Cllr Richard Parry Hughes, leader of Gwynedd Council when he said that - in debating the future of our primary school network, only one thing counts - fulfilling the educational needs of the pupils. Not the convenience of parents; not the interest of teachers; not the demands of communities; not the electoral ambition of councillors, candidates or political parties".
Councillors, parents, teachers and ratepayers are asked to "step back and ponder"
I assume Dafydd means it is important to "ponder" until some time after next May when their happens to be council elections which look increasingly difficult for Plaid in their heartland.
Friday, December 07, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Hywel Williams was found to have breached more rules than Adam Price and Elfyn Llwyd as he included a survey within the advert and did not clear the final material with the relevant authorities. There were also doubts that taxpayers monies should be used to pay for large Plaid Cymru logos in the press.
At the time I claimed the adverts broke the rules.
What I can now share with any reader of this blog is that the claim, now upheld, about the misuse of public funds lead to Hywel Williams threatening to sue me !
You will find his letter sent from his home address to my home address on the 26th April above. In spite of his threatened legal action I have extended Hywel the courtesy of blanking out his home address (I'm in the phone book anyway).
What nonsense this proved to be. Indeed what a bully boy tactic that when an opponent claims the rules were broken the response is not debate, but a threat of legal action.
Anyway I feel it is time to share this information. The adverts broke the rules. The Parliamentary Commissioner investigated, and the Committee on Privileges reported.
What a happy way to start our respective campaigns for the next Westminster election - and yes I am writing asking for an apology from Hywel Williams as an unwarranted threat of legal action is not the news a family like to hear during a democratic campaign for an election. Please join me in writing for a public apology if you feel like it.
It seems some councils are campaigning hard for a bigger slice of the cake.
Yet in Gwynedd it is relatively peaceful. So I wonder what has happened compared to previous years ?
Perhaps the constant ring of "not enough money" has to become more palatable when your own team - One Wales government - is helping to carve up the cake ?.
Others may not see it, but I believe here is another example of the tone of politics changing here in North West Wales following last May''s election results.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Monday, December 03, 2007
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Happy to receive your suggestions.....
Then again after another round of phone calls and e-mails what will e hear next and from whom ? Perhaps it is even time for the great Wigley to step forward and speak for the fortress nation of Gwynedd ?
BBC reflects GBs view of reform and I hope the Tories have some answers ready on their third party funders (even if legal at present).
Sky hint more towards the Abrahams and Mendehlson spat which formed no part of the NPF but is part of the outfall that gives the situation an unknown element.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Dafydd El on tv telling the people of Meirion-Dwyfor about the benefits of the Gwynedd scheme and now Dafydd Iwan in Barn -see translation here -and in the Caernarfon Herald.
In the Herald letters page Dafydd gets star treatment - i.e. his letter is in a box and he says
"I look forward to a period of well-informed and creative debate as we work together....".
Horses and stable doors come to mind !
Meanwhile the Herald reports another defection from Plaid to Llais y Bobl, that being Alwyn Gruffydd of Porthmadog. (40 years Plaid membership). There is a common theme in many statements - people have not voted Plaid for these years for this outcome.
As I have said before it is the hypocrisy that is doing for Plaid in this debate- even Dafydd Iwan in the Barn piece has to cover his back on his contribution over Ysgol Bryncroes many years ago - see here. The only question is whether they bottle it in the full council, and then what ?
Meanwhile the Herald has created a treasure trove of resources on the issue at
so you can follow the evolving nationalist crisis.
(in honesty at least for some of us its a distraction from Labour's evolving funding crisis !)
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Thanks - keep any comments coming.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
David Williams captured some significant journalism and I am sure could not believe the whole biker issue that blew up during filming. All of that that is well known and in the public domain.
What I also found quite remarakable however was the agreement to allow filming of the Friday afternoon rant. After an initial smile at their apparent hurt, I found the ranting about elected representatives quite disturbing, even ranting about them being from England and parachuting in to Wales. I found such ranting by a Chief Constable quite extraordinary. (I also found his theory on Cymuned/Cymdeithas interesting)
I somehow feel the clearly political element of the programme may give Brunstrom more trouble as I am not all sure it is the role of the Chief and his Deputy to sit around, like Derek and Clive (aka Peter Cook and Dudley Moore) ranting in such a way. We wait to see. What does his code say about such matters ?
With my team doing its best to inflict self harm who knows where it is all heading. Cameron must be feeling rather pleased at doing very little and gaining so much. However polls come and polls go.
Monday, November 26, 2007
I was going to blog about the Lord/General who last week spoke out and then this week re appears fronting a Cameron task group - not clever. I'm not sure its worth it just now !
Sunday, November 25, 2007
My own interest comes via daughters who have competed for several years, including a fractured wrist a few years ago.
A great tribute to the coaches and voluntary helpers and congratulations to everyone concerned..
Saturday, November 24, 2007
However today was one of those days and what a good choice. 7-1.
The last time I saw a score like this (in professional football) was when WBA stuffed Coventry 7-1 at the Hawthorns back in 1980 (?).
Anyway today's game was enjoyable although the match was aided by Sunderland trying to play football and just shut the door - if not very well at times - and their inability to defend an occasional route one ball.
Arteta is a gem of a player and his touch and skill at times suggests Everton should fear a move from a big (Spanish) club at some point. However I'm told he doesn't make the Spanish team so his face must not fit with someone.
Enjoyable and Everton looked a solid team with good edge.
Anyway lets hope this good luck runs off on the Baggies tomorrow as we take on our old rivals Wolves.
Friday, November 23, 2007
However as always the small print reveals the real prize for this company - "Calls cost £1.50 per minute from a BT landline. Max time 6 min 55secs, calls from other networks may vary".
So a simple suggestion for the use of new Assembly powers for any AM happening to pass by this blog - how about an Order to prevent such activities here in Wales. It is not unlawful at present and there may be so many it is difficult, but do we have to expose people to what, in my opinion, are scams.
At Westminster level I will be taking up the issue to see who is keeping an eye on such premium rate activity.
On 'Dragon's Eye' Don continued his, calm, rant about sat navs and devolution. By the time of 'Waterfront' Sir Emyr is qouting his experience of Iraq resolutions in defence of his role in the Wales convention.
I think we all need to calm down !
Yes, in Labour there are a wide variety of views about devolution. As I have said before Labour probably reflects the people of Wales in that respect. Although I don't quite think we are at Iraq resolution levels !
Thursday, November 22, 2007
The teams not making Europe is one thing but surely this is a step too far .........
A good chance for reflection and interesting times for those involved with this sector.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
ps its tongue in cheek !
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Glyn Davies headlines the issue in a hard way,
Ordovicus is a little more factual, but little sympathy,
Peter Black thinks they were caught out- "Guilty as charged"
Paul Flynn lets fly !
Elfyn Llwyd meanwhile is as arrogant as a Lord - perhaps a sign of things to come ? However some clarification is required :
LABOUR today demanded that the parliamentary leader of Plaid Cymru immediately clarify his position over the use of public money to promote Plaid Cymru at the Assembly election. On last night's BBC Good Evening Wales radio programme, Elfyn Llwyd stated that the parliamentary authorities had seen the Plaid Cymru adverts in full before they were published.
But the official report published by the cross-party Committee on Standards and Privileges, the Commons' Director of Operations states that of the three nationalist MPs, only Adam Price submitted the full advert for inspection. Labour whip and MP for Caerphilly Wayne David, in a letter to Elfyn Llwyd this morning, demanded that Plaid Cymru clarified its position.
WAYNE DAVID said: "Plaid Cymru has shown a great deal of arrogance and contempt towards the electorate in its reaction to the report published yesterday by the respected Committee on Standards and Privileges. "Rather than doing the right thing, which was to apologise to the House of Commons and the people of Wales, you have chosen to react in an intemperate way towards anyone who has questioned your use of public money for the purposes of party political campaigning.
"Yesterday evening on BBC Wales' flagship radio programme Good Evening Wales, you stated that Plaid Cymru had submitted its complete adverts to the House of Commons authorities for approval. But yesterday's standards report states clearly that you did not. In fact it quotes the Director of Operations of the House of Commons as saying that you did not. "Moreover, the Report clearly states that you did not indicate to the fees office that the advertisement was going to be placed in a newspaper which circulates well beyond your constituency and that it was to be placed one week before the Assembly election.
"The people of your constituency and other areas of Wales, who will feel rightly aggrieved at your attempt to use their money to fund party political campaigning for Plaid Cymru, will demand to know the truth.
"Who is telling the truth on this matter?"
Monday, November 19, 2007
It seems that some want to narrow down the crisis to now naming a few people including the Party President !
An interesting strategy.
It seems that some want to narrow down the crisis to now naming a few people including the Party President !
An interesting strategy.
Very few people had any doubt that the adverts were a breach of public spending rules and the months of twisting and turning did not help their cause.
What now happens to Plaid's election spending, as the adverts are a declarable cost, we will wait and see.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Well the Caernarfon Herald reports firstly that Plaid councillors met in closed session last Monday and are sworn to secrecy.
However it then reports that Richard Parry Hughes blinked in a meeting with Porthmadog Town council on Tuesday when he suggested "big changes" would be made to the report on schools reorganisation.
But we then learn that the "big changes" may be an inaccurate description of the changes, and the emphasis perhaps lies in extending the timetable (guess what -beyond May 2008 !!).
However is it too late ?
People deserting Plaid's sinking ship and reactions in the Daily Post getting personal and bitter. The letters page of the Post and Herald are equally entertaining.
Meanwhile an absolute silence from Hywel Williams MP who seems to be strangely quiet about the crisis. Of course it is now very inconvenient that all this can't be blamed on Labour : did Plaid see this coming when they signed up to One Wales ?
Others suggest I am "dribbling" in my posts on this matter - perhaps as in football I am dribbling towards an open goal........
Thursday, November 15, 2007
There was shock and gloom at work today at such a loss. Everyone's thoughts are with his family.
Firstly I think the schools debate is simply the tipping point. The tension in Plaid has been running for some time and I firmly beleive the roots of this split go back to at least the rise of Cymuned and the debacle over Pwllheli marina. While some people's paths have seperated since Cymuned was formed, the cultural v moderniser divide was evident. Isaid so at thetime, although Plaid rushed to deny it.
Will Plaid be worried ?.
Firstly lets see what happens in Gwynedd council betwen now and Christmas. Final consultation reports are yet to be signed off, and this is a council with a track record of back tracking when the pressure is on. But could they really back down now ? My guess is no -unless of course another council leader is to resign. In addition the de selection, and resignation, of longstanding members like Richard "Moi" Jones was already shifting the sands
Then clearly the council elections of May 2008 are now a real battle ground. Even the prospect of elections in places that may have forgotten what it is like to have a choice of candidates in their county election !
As to any wider implications ? Well Labour knows better than most what happens once the internal concensus is broken, and a rebellion follows. All sorts of consequences can be felt by MPs, AMs and others.
This will keep running......
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
To be fair a rubbish first half but they got their heads together for the second half and ran out worthy winners.
In politics there was a stupid idea that caught my eye and it escapes me how this system would work in reality. Indeed how would people feel having voted against an increase only to see it happen for 12 months - is another ballot held for the following 12 months. I see recipe for chaos and administrative disaster. Stupid idea.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Monday, November 05, 2007
"Rhodri Morgan to set out the Government's position - as expected. But then it was over to Alun Ffed Jones for what seemed like a response - which took the biggest chunk of the remaining time. For all the world as if he was representing the 'opposition'. Has the news that Plaid Cymru are now in Government reached the Bangor studio yet?"
Well Glyn knows that Ffred is tied in to the budget, and it will be interesting to hear how his colleagues in Gwynedd Council react over the next few weeks.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Friday, November 02, 2007
Anyway it promises to be an interesting few months. Hywel Williams seems to have gone to ground in spite of the schools debate his Party have generated in Gwynedd . On the political front does Hywel think Seimon Glyn should resign from the Plaid Cymru group on Gwynedd council but remain a Party member ? How exactly does that work if a political party is to have any cohesive credibility ?
What does Hywel think about Cymad and the issues around management of the company ? Again he seems very quiet ?
Anyway lets see what happens tomorrow.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I will watch with interest where this goes, especially given the emphasis in the One Wales agreement on affordable housing.
However all over the UK I feel we will need to also harness, influence and cajole the private sector to deliver more affordable products in addition to more traditional measures involving council housing and housing associations.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
As from last week we know there is much detailed work to be completed in preparing the ground for any poterntial referendum and people should keep calm heads and focus on that work in the period ahead. That there will be opposition in some quarters to further devolution is not news and part of a mature response will be to get the home work finished in time.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
It proves to me why the Americans can keep this game (I registered for tickets - what a lucky escape !) and why it will not replace "soccer", having just enjoyed the action of L'Pool - Arsenal a few minutes ago.
Anyway wins for the Baggies, Caernarfon Town and Bangor City. Albion go to Watford next week for a top of the table clash.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
It is the stench of hypocrisy that will drive much of the anger that will be vented at Plaid in the coming weeks and months.
Having previously 'persuaded' people on to the Plaid ticket for council elections I wonder how many will suddenly find independence an attractive option before May 2008 ?
Friday, October 26, 2007
Therefore it is a vital few years as decisions are made on future educational patterns.
Of course parts of Gwynedd made a major change many years ago when Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor replaced sixth forms in the more rural areas of Gwynedd. So does this prove change can happen and deliver - or have I missed something important about a decline in post sixteen education in south Gwynedd ?
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
"Thursday, October 11, 2007
Just had a look at the House of Lords' expenses for 2005/06.Assembly Presiding Officer Lord Elis-Thomas attended 21 times and claimed £10,861."
Saturday, October 20, 2007
To what extent this is the role of a Chief Constable may be debatable and his style is not that of a traditional public servant. Where I think Richard lets himself down in his attitude to those who may hold different views - his blog refers to them as "flat earthers and ostriches". Labelling a significant cross section of the population in this way does not seem language suited to such an important debate, indeed it is a tone of language unbecoming of his role and status. I assume the people he describes as such may include some of his own employees, other chief constables (judging by ACPO reaction) and other folk across our communities. What scope for internal dissent and debate if the boss has already stated publicly he considers you a "flat earther"?. That could be unhealthy for any organisation.
It might include me, but I will consider his evidence without the need to resort to language of such a tone.
Friday, October 19, 2007
There is also the tactic of making a big splah expecting a smaller return.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Some interesting debate on last night's news progammes including those questioning whether we have reached the stage where the shelf life of a public service broadcaster has passed - time eating away at another public sector principle. Reform or die ?
I don't think it can be seen in such simple terms and the details of the announcement may tell us more about where public service broadcasting is heading.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Members will be aware that proposals for service reconfiguration in North Wales have proved controversial across the whole of the area. My approach has been to identify the underlying difficulties which have caused such public disquiet, and to put in place new procedures which, I hope, will allow us to take local populations with us in shaping new , and better services, for North Wales.
Today I want to bring together four strands in that approach, so that Members can be aware of the full picture, as it currently stands.
Firstly, Members will already know, from my oral statement of 25th September , that Michael Williams, then Acting Chair of the Swansea NHS Trust, has been commissioned to undertake a review of consultation processes adopted in relation to service reconfigurations at Prestatyn and Blaenau Ffestiniog. I remain convinced that we have to find new ways of ensuring that consultations are fair, open and thorough and that they are perceived to be so by local patients and clinicians. The Williams report will be with me in December , and I intend to study it carefully, not only for what it will tell us about what took place in Prestatyn and Blaenau Ffestiniog, but for any more general lessons on consultation it may contain. In the same statement I set out new arrangements for consultation on proposals in relation to Llandudno Hospital, making it clear that no services changes should proceed until that new consultation has been completed. That work is now underway, with the CHC in the lead role.
Secondly, I have concluded that in North Wales, as in the South, one of the key reasons why secondary care proposals have run into difficulty, is that plans for developing primary and community health services had been under-developed and under-described. I have therefore asked Dr Christopher Jones, RCT LHB Chair and a General Practitioner himself, to undertake a review of current plans in North Wales for community services and to provide me with a report on their appropriateness for the communities they serve. I want to ensure that primary and community services in North Wales are as strong and as forward-thinking as we can make them. The report which Dr Jones has agreed to produce by December 2007 will help make that happen and, in the process, give confidence to patients that services are being strengthened, rather than diminished.
Thirdly, in reviewing reports of what has taken place so far, and in meeting individuals and groups across North Wales, I have become additionally aware of the importance which clinical governance issues play in some of the decisions which come forward about individual sites and services. The proposed closure of Abergele Hospital, for example, turned, to a large extent, on clinical governance considerations. I have agreed to meet local representatives from Abergele in the near future to hear their views on these proposals, but I have to say today that I cannot ignore the considerable governance concerns about the current services which have been expressed by local clinicians. Presiding Officer, Abergele is only one place in North Wales where these issues have come to the fore. I have decided, as part of my general effort to secure, and bolster, public confidence in bringing about change in the Health Service, to obtain an independent view of those clinical governance issues which are already a matter of public debate from the Academy of Royal Colleges in Wales, and to continue to do so, as and when such matters arise in the future.
Finally, and in order to complete the picture of outstanding work, I turn to a somewhat different issue which has arise in relation to the structural integrity of a major block within Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. While I am pleased to be able to confirm to Members that the building remains safe for its current use, my concerns are that the design of the block is not capable of supporting the improvements in services which will be necessary in the future. I have therefore asked my officials to commission a review into the structural issues in the context of the changes that are proposed for Glan Clwyd hospital and report back to me in December.
Taken together, the four different reports which I have outlined this afternoon will provide vital pieces in the jigsaw of service development which I want to see taking place in North Wales. By January of next year I shall be in a position to take a view on the results of the work I have commissioned and I shall provide members with a further statement at that time.
In the meantime, I repeat the principle which I set out in relation to South Wales services last week. Where there is sound local endorsement of proposals to reform services I do not intend to stand in the way of those reforms proceeding. The completion of the new Porthmadog community hospital and the closure of Bronygarth hospital will go ahead, as will completion of the new hospital at Holywell and the closure of Lluesty and the existing Holywell hospitals, to cite just two examples of developments which are proceeding. Where there is no local agreement, however, as for example at Blaenau Ffestiniog or Flint, then no further change will take place until the work identified earlier has come to fruition.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Anyway those not wanting to support Plaid's Gwynedd leadership have to face the hard truth that in Dwyor and Meirionnydd there are major school issues, surplus places, that need to be addressed.
Plaid's problem I feel is that they have spent so long going round the issues and the options, that they have lost people's confidence and the ability to act. I suspect it could prove very damaging to them. When it is time to act it is often better to get on with it - ask Ming !
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Perhaps the main lesson is that people are not as sure in their views as they were 10 years ago (no major surprise) and the next General Election will therefore be a different sort of election to those in 2001 and 2005.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
ps was it ever going to be a 'snap' election when people had spent over a month deabting it ?
Friday, October 12, 2007
Anyway we all know of Cardiff's economic boom and the dramatic increase in house building levels (they have built more in one year than Anglsey builds in ten yers) but it seems many of Cardiff's completions are in apartments in the Bay.
That is of little use to local families and not aimed at need - this all sounds a little familiar.
Also much debate amongst housing and planning officers on the coach on how we will all feel in 20 years time about the new apartment blocks that have been put up ?
Anyway worthwhile and always lessons that can be transferred in spite of rural-urban differences.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
I understand the big picture politics of it all, but it seems to suggest that to those who have we can give more while those in real need, without adequate homes or the homeless, don't get a sniff. But as a society we may reap what we sow. I note Will Hutton outlined some reasons for our recent predicament in last Sunday's Observer.
Monday, October 08, 2007
However I left feeling we have enough advice and pointers to good practise. Barring some unforeseen change in the political culture of our nation I feel we have to get down to the daily, solid work of Councils using our housing and planning powers to produce more affordable housing although any extra spending which might emerge from the Spending Review and the so called consequentials would be welcome to local authorities.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Well it seems from here and here that I was not alone. It will be interesting to see how this evolves.
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Having told a Radio Cymru phone in some days ago that I thought the wise decision was not too go, I was still a little unsure whether to buy some new walking shoes over the weekend. Well now i know the answer and can buy a new CD instead ! Foo Fighters here I come....
Well done Cardiff and Swansea and great to see Wrexham getting a win.
And wherever people sit on their nationality I thought the rugby win was an immense tactical victory for that team which beat the Aussies - but the All Blacks will take it all to an extra level.
Friday, October 05, 2007
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Here I am checking out the CAST sentre in Parc Menai, Bangor a sign of progress and the new economy in Arfon after the Objective One investment.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
However with the Comprehensive Spending Review due Gordon has his ducks lined up.
Over to you Gordon - ?.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Sustainable funding streams are often vital to the long term future of Lottery funded projects and integration with mainstrem services is a way of acheiving this.
Monday, October 01, 2007
As I have argued before it is possible that this cozy relationship is more strained after the One Wales agreement. This is one element of the additional interest in the Westminster election when it arrives. Welsh Tories clearly see some potential ground to exploit. With Plaid's grip on fortress Gwynedd facing a challenge on several fronts it will be an interesting few weeks/months/years.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
It is the absence of these forces that must make an election very attractive for Gordon Brown.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
It started badly with Llanelli scoring inside 30 seconds at the Oval before, to most people's surprise, Caernarfon bounced back to lead 3-2 at half time. The entertainment was increased by the number of errors, but Llanelli made fewer in the second half to run out 4-3 winners.
Then I come home to see Wales blow my £12 in the office sweep.
I have some feeling that Fiji were my second team out of the sweep so we are all, unfortunately, Fijians now.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Clearly the circumstances of the next Assembly elections will be different by 2011 and we will have completed several more sets of elections before that time (Westminster, councils and Europe) but the need for a clear programme of work and activities is made in the report.
The report may well feed a short frenzy of speculation but mature responses will realise that it is valuable for a Party like Labour to reflect, learn and move forward. While Gordon's poll ratings give us a valuable short term boost we must continue to adapt our work to evolving situations.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Blogs offer coverage here, here, here amongst others.
Paul Flynn takes an upbeat view.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Sunday, September 23, 2007
I spoke to one man who was completing his circa 250th marathon - Madness on two legs...?
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Today I sat in the company of an IRA bomber and the daughter of a Tory MP.
It was a priviledge because the people concerned were Jo Berry and Patrick Magee who spoke at the All Wales Peace Festival at Y Galeri in Caernarfon. "A step in the dark" was a phrase used by Prof Nick Wheeler at the event to describe that moment when people take a step the consequence of which they cannot be sure, but which can open the door to peace and reconciliation.
Jo Berry is the daughter of Tory MP Sir Anthony Berry who was killed by Patrick Magee with the Brighton bomb in 1984. They stood together to explain how their journey had taken them to find the human face behind the conflict but I'm not sure any words in a blog can convey the power of being present before such witness.
Friday, September 21, 2007
I also think we need a North West Wales/North Wales bloggers get-together, even though it may prove more risky for a Labour blogger!. However I might get a chance to gather some spectrum of views, over a drink, for my pamphlet on Labour, language and rights.
Let me know what you think ?
Galeri bar ?
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Prior to that point I also recall the atmosphere going a little colder when some of our nationalist friends thought it was slipping to a 'no'. ? But we are all friends now.
If IWJ and other Plaid politicians now find themselves speaking to official stats rather than the former tactic of pursuing people like Andrew Davies then I see that as a benefit if having them in the tent. Their former motives (perhaps just the role of opposition?) can be queried but what do their activists think - surely their world didn;t improve that quickly ? Or is was never too bad in the first place ?
Oh well welcome to Government and a new maturity.
Meanwhile Caernarfon returned to winning ways away at new entrants Llangefni. My place of campaigning against my place of work.
Now as for Mourinio - well I think he'll land on his feet, and suspect the new manager(s) know the rules (i.e Chamions League within two seaosons or out) .
Nice compo cheque I'm sure !
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Keep away you state/politicos as we knows wots best.
Now it seems that state support, and semi nationalsition of debt, (I am sure it is not described as such in our Treasury announcements) is best for all.
In my younger days I would have ranted and raved at such situations but I now just accept that one unwriten rule of our system is that they will at critical times re-write the rules to suit them. And it is probably in all our best intererests that the economy on which we now depend for so much does not throw an even bigger wobble.
No doubt someone has today been cashing in as some investor confidence was restored and share prices increased - will that be handed to us the taxpayers who underwote the cheque called "confidence" ? I somehow suspect not.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Meanwhile the mighty Baggies bang in 4 and I say bring on Trundle, Bristol City and all that tomorrow night.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Saturday, September 15, 2007
At one level the tactic of putting Labour at semi-arm's length is understandable but many people will not be fooled by conference rhetoric. To deliver each element of our Assembly programme we need each other to be supportive, and, as Labour has the whip hand in London then, for the moment at least, I judge they need us more.
So Adam can sabre rattle as he wants, but Elfyn seems to be talking real politik (step forward Lord Wigley of ??), and Ieuan knows that One Wales (and his future?) sinks or swims by joint effort. Blow it and there is no certainty of a sunnier day on the horizon.
Meanwhile we wait to see how the Assembly events influence the Westminster election process - because in reality noone really knows. It will actually be for Wales an election in a unique context.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Needless to say I did not see the Daily Post until a work colleague made a comment about Labour over morning coffee.So if anyone still wishes to post comments (perhaps less likely now??) then I will follow up - it seems I was right to think there may be a debate to iron out.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Meanwhile some issue in the Lib Dems only sneaks on to the bottom of page 11 of the Daily Post - a word no one can currently associate withe LDs: leadership.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
(anyway after an early wobble Wales won and I remian confisent of collecting my office sweep - provided several other nations have a handicap of at least 50 points!).
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
However having been away for the Bank Holiday weekend I have been a bit slow in picking up on more local developments of interest. The Herald has run a story announcing the arrival of a new political party that promises to dislodge Plaid Cymru councillors in the elections of May 2008.
I find it a pity that Labour is not seen as a home for the protests of such people but accept this is unlikely to happen in a Gwynedd context. Perhaps one of Plaid's success since 1996 has been to corale many an "independent" under their banner and subject them to the Plaid whip. As`their influence extended they have become the establishment and show many of the traits associated with those who feel beyond reach.
This is fascinating stuff as my guess is a number of those involved with the new party include many Plaid Cymru stalwarts who know where the bodies lie ! There are a number of voices raised in protest at Plaid's actions in Gwynedd and disillusion at a small cabal who effectively wield power.
So it will still be time to start lining up the wards and the candidiates .... interesting times.
Monday, September 03, 2007
There will be many interesting activities and speakers that should not be missed including Jo Berry and Patrick Magee. Indeed I was looking at an exhibition for Forgiveness project at Greenbelt and it makes one realise the depth of emotional, political and spiritual journey that many people make.
Anyway the Festival deserves our support.