Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Plaid hypocrites ? Never .....

"But many electors feel threatened by vandalism, anti social behaviour and petty crime. Politicians have a duty to address this issue..."

"Ond mae llawer o etholwyr yn dal i deimlo dan fygythiad oherwydd fandaliaeth ,ymddwyn gwrth-gymdeithasol a man droseddu. Mae gan wleidyddion ddyletswydd i fynd i'r afael ar hyn ".

Fine words from Plaid Cymru candidate Alun Ffred Jones in his new leaflet now being delivered in Arfon.

He must therefore be really upset by the arrest of three people in Bangor for criminal damage. Exactly the type of mindless damage which absorbs Police resources and he has "a duty to address".

Yet when we visit the Cymdeithas yr Iaith web/Welsh Language Society web site what do we find ? Yes here are Plaid Cymru's elected representaives whipping up the crowd (???) before the criminal acts took place.

Clearly we can expect a press release from Alun Ffred condemning his colleagues and CYI? After all he has "a duty to address this issue".

Hypocrisy ?

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Blamerbell Briefs has a Big Brother moment - apology please !

Blamerbell briefs has been posting some interestimng thoughts in recent weeks and I have linked several times to points of interest. However it seems to have been struck by a CH4 and S4C moment in this posting ! "Probably because the locals are always nicking stuff!!!"

The Indonesian may have been looked at, but Blamerbell goes for a full bloooded smear against the Cofis (perhaps with tongue in cheek). Anyway an apology may be necesary to help clarify any misunderstanding !

Politics Show ?

After a busy week of offering various political observations on BBC Cymru (Welsh language media) I hope to make an appearance on the Politics Show at lunchtime today. BBC have been taking a closer look at the role of Welsh Language Impact Assessments as part of the town planning process and the control of new development . I contributed to this debate and judging by the web site may get a few words in.

"Things are certainly moving in Town"

You can't deny progress when you see physical expressions of Labour's new investment. My old friends on Caernarfon Online have now identified a number of projects, many funded in full or part by Labour investment, which are now progressing around Caernarfon.

To this list we can add the work on Communities First projects in Maes Barcer, the new school for Ysgol Pendalar and in spite of current funding pressures extra Community Support Officers and Community Beat Officers in the town. We have the ongoing restoration of the Welsh Highland Light Railway and exciting events like Merlin's Magical Quest - son et luminere.

Lots more to do, but we can see the renewal of our town under Labour's proactive policies.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The benefits of blog land and the cost of indepedence

It may be an obvious point but the blogging world is once again showing its strength through the debate which is developing about "independence" and the associated costs. The issue may never be properly resolved, but I have always found it strange that on the simple fact that Wales is a net beneficiary of tax revenue, and nationalists seek independence, they call for an increase in the Barnett formula (tax benefits compared to England). Surely they should campaign for the end of the barnett formula to ensure we become more self sufficient ?

There are several interesting contributions some prompted by this posting on Blamerbell Briefs and noting some of the related postings : seren and ted jones.

There are several more out there. I have always felt Plaid get away with too much. For example when their Llwydd/President talks about removing UK military presence from Wales (RAF Valley, St Athen etc = loss revenue) and creating a new civil force (= more expenditure).

It's a small world

Wel the weather was dry in Arfon and who should end up in the same streets of Bangor but the Labour and Plaid Cymru teams. The people of Hirael may not have been in, but we were all out there trying to hunt them down !

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Informative bit - climate change

I thought a link to the Assembly info on climate change might be of interest.

Bosib bod gwybodaeth o safle we y Cynuliad ar newid hinsawdd o diddordeb.

Olympic football team ?

A small contribution this lunchtime to Taro Post - Welsh language news discussion - on whether Britain might enter a football team in the 2012 Olympics. Apparently Gordon Brown said it as one of his "Britishness" debates.

As a football fan I find the idea attractive, and would look forward to Jason Koumas lifting the Olympic trophy for Wales and Britain.

However I know the reality of football politics may make this opportunity difficult to grasp - a pity given the interest in football in the UK.

Fuasai tim Olympaidd mor drwg a hnny ?. Yn goleuni ysbryd y Gemau, a diddordeb mor fywiog yn peldroed, fuasai tim yn peth diddorol yw dilyn. Os bosib gael dealltwriaeth am gemau Olymapidd hed effeithio'r Cymdeithasau unigol ? Ysbryd o deallwtriaeth sydd ei angen.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Postie is a kind person

Mae'r system post frenhinol wedi bod yn ffind iawn ac rwan mae gen i gyfle i ddarllen geiriau cynnes Dafydd Iwan wrth iddo trio symud Dafydd El i Aberconwy a Alun Ffred i etholaeth newydd Dwyfor-Meirion, nid Arfon. Gawn weld beth yw'r darnau gorau i trafod ar y blog dros y dyddiau nesaf.

Well having blogged about the Western Mail story on my Party of Wales opponent, Alun Ffred Jones, actually being recommended for theDwyfor Meirion seat, not Arfon, the postie has indeed been kind !

I am currently consuming the kind words of praise that "Llywydd" (President) Dafydd Iwan offered in his letter addressed to Lord Dafydd Elis Thomas at his Dolgellau office - before trying to push him on to the Aberconwy seat. No doubt we can blog about a few of the gems in this letter over the coming days. It reminds me of an old fashioned centre half who smiles as he brings his elbow in to the tackle.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Own goal ?

Nationalist funding hypocrisy exposed

Nationalists in Wales faced ridicule today after it was revealed that they were receiving the majority of its money for the Assembly campaign from England. The revelation came within minutes of Plaid Cymru calling on Welsh political parties to fight the Assembly campaign "using only finance, staff and resources from Wales". Plaid Cymru was left a legacy of £330,000 by Howel Vaughan Lewis, of south London, which it will use to bankroll its Assembly campaign.

Labour Mid and West Wales candidate ALUN DAVIES said: "Labour is proud to be a British party. We believe in the strength of the union and that Wales works best as part of the United Kingdom. "Plaid Cymru's hypocrisy has been exposed by this latest cheap publicity stunt. Before issuing press releases challenging political parties to use money directly from Wales, it should check the sources of its own funds. "The nationalists face ridicule for this stunt. It is dishonest behaviour from a party trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the people of Wales. "If Plaid Cymru feels so strongly about Welsh-raised finance then it should not have accepted the money it received from Mr Lewis."

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Thinking of the Baggies

Well our third victory against Leeds puts us in very good shape for the closing phase of the season. Clearly we are amongst the most attractive, and high scoring, teams in this league but there will be much work to do should we be promoted.

As we can now expect to add some away wins to our home victories then automatic promotion must be the target. As February approaches the second automatic place is my hope. I fear to say Brum promoted as Champions.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Comments from the heart ?

Blammerbell briefs points to the growing number of nationalists who want to campaign for "independence". A fring voice ? I think not, but a reflection of those who remember what Plaid were created for and who must find the new "vision" disapointing.

Laptops for your kids (or some of them at least - who replaces those nicked or broken ?) but don't talk about independence.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Dafydd ar llwbyr ei hun ?

Oedd yn anodd cadw i fynny gyda'r nifer o weithiau oedd Dafydd Wigley ddim yn cefnogi nifer o prif polisiau Plaid Cymru ar 'Pawb ai Farn' heno. I ddechra oedd o'n amlwg o bliad ynni niwcler, a Ieuan druan yn rhedeg ar polisi gwrth niwclear. Yn ael cytunodd gyda J Chorlton bod angen amser cyn fydd Cymru yn barod am newid cyfansoddiadol - pam gael polisi am referendwm yn 2011 felly ? Rhyddfedd iawn !!

I had difficulty keeping up with Dafydd Wigley's attempts to disown Plaid policy on 'Pawb A'i Farn' (Welsh language Question Time). He was clearly in favour of nuclear power, with poor old Ieuan running on an anti nuclear stance. Secondly he agreed with J Chorlton that Wales needed time before being ready for constitutional change - so why have a policy for a referendum in 2011 ? Very strange !!

AFJ i Dwyfor ?

Mae'n sylw wedi ei tynnu at erthygl yn y Western Mail oedd yn awgrymu bod Llwydd Plaid wedi argymhell AFJ ar gyfer etholaeth newydd Dwyfor-Meirion, nid Arfon. os yw rhywun eisio gyrru copi o'r llythr ymlaen fuaswn help i egluo'r ffeithiau.

Alun Ffred for Dwyfor-Meirion

My attention has been drawn to this article in the Western Mail in which Plaid's President, who happens to be the brother of Mr Alun Ffred Jones, seemingly suggested that Ffred should contest the new Dwyfor-Meirion seat - not Arfon.

We must get to the bottom of this - a copy of the alleged letter would be greatly appreciated to help verify the facts. Then again the Western Mail was not challenged so I assume it must be true.

Glynrhonwy - let private sector unleash the potential

Today's Caernarfon Herald carries my story about the Glynrhonwy slate quarry near Llanberis (near the foot of Snowdon for those reading from afar). The site is owned by the local authority and has been marketed by the council for redevelopment. In spite of receiving ideas for multi million pound projects our Plaid Cymru lead council has decided not to pursue development opportunities.

I suggest that the council sell the quarry and let the private sector take on board any risks associated with the site. It will raise some much needed cash for the council and end the fruitless search for a specific, somewhat mystical formula that pleases the council - a search now dating back some 15 years ?

Plaid Cymru always tell us about a lack of investment in our area but given the chance turn their back. I believe Arfon has to be "open for business" to help generate the active communities people tak about, that requires a change of attitude in this council. As I recently said the council hold the aces but decided to lay a joker.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Banks big question as 'vision' is independence free

David banks in the Daily Post loves to stir us all with challenging views. Today his piece concludes :

"Plaid are not the bogey men Peter Hain would have you believe, but without that ethos of independence running through what they do, its hard to see what they are at all".

A commentators words on the very day that Plaid publish a vision that seems to have ignored their constitutional mission and rationale.

Poll "Newsnight"

Yw'r gwahanieth rhwng ymateb yn Yr Alban a Cymru yn dangos pam mae cefnogaeth i Plaid Cymru byth yn symud tu hwnt i'r lefelau rydym wedi gweld dros cyfnod hir ? Yw anibyniaeth yn rhyw term romantis, yw defynddio gan pobl fel Dafydd Iwan, i cadw'r cefnogwyr craidd yn hapus. Ond mewn realiti ('read the polls') yn mor bell o pobl ei bod heb cysylltiad ar byd go iawn ?.

Mae wedi taro fi erioed bod cyn gymaint o pobl yn symud rhwng Cymru a Lloegr bob diwrnod (e.e Sir Fflint/Wrecsam a caer neu De Cymru a Briste) fod y syniad o wahannu yn syniad gwallgo.

The poll in full

As well as the headlines (and rather childish debates like I saw on BBC Breakfast) I thought people might find the full findings on the bottom of the attached page of interest.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Limits to a journey ?

One of Labour's big acheivements is to recognise the diversity which exists within the UK and to introduce some elements of constitutional change that seem unrivalled in centuries. Peter Hain is suggesting that the journey has some limits and, if unchecked, some dnagers. I somehow think the Welsh media and Welsh language media will love this debate !

I pick up a few links to see what is said :

Western Mail

Wales Elects 2007

Blamerbell briefs - (a new regular read for me)

I await local correspondents reactions.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Rise up and claim your code of practise

I see Blamerbell briefs has posted on Nick Bourne's ideas for May and the overwhelming demand we hear from the people of Wales that we must rise up and deliver 'a code of practise'.

I never realised that life in a Tory lead Assembly Government could be that exciting -are Plaid prepared ?

Saturday, January 13, 2007


Dwi wedi dal i fynny gyda blog Gwennu dan Fysiau sydd yn gwneud y pwnt, digon teg, am diffyg Cymraeg ar y blog (trwy cyferiad at posting gynnar a wnaethwyd ar aelod o staff o Cyngor Gwynedd a'r iaith Cymraeg). Ond mae'r ffaith bod 'Gwennu' yn pwysleisio yr angen am bod yn manwl gywir yn y iaith efallai'n esbonio pam mae rhywun yn defnyddio Saesneg. (I can't square that circle as blogs give quick - not officially translated responses).

Ar safon 'Gwennu' fuasai'n gwell i mi aros yn y Saesneg - yr union mater oedd aelod staff o Cyngor Gwynedd wedi ymdrechio i dod drosof.

Ond rwyf yn derbyn yn hollol bod hyn yn barn dysgwr, yn erbyn rhywun sydd yn disgwyl gwasanaeth diggonol.

Back to the Seasneg - although my typing and grammer can be c**p in that language as well.

(the above blog explains a criticism by 'Gwennu dan fysiau' that as the candidate in Arfon I make insufficient use of Welsh. Yet my original blog criticised Gwynedd for highlighting a member of staff who had written in Welsh, but not to a good enough standard. Well as a learner that is a problem for me as well, so should I onlyblog in English ?. I do point out that my English can be c**p as well while blogging).

Friday, January 12, 2007

Glyn's over the rainbow again

Glyn Davies AM follows up his piece in the Western Mail with additional comment on his blog. As someone who has enjoyed challenging Plaid over this "rainbow" speculation even I think we should all now focus on gathering the votes that will produce the actual result, rather than speculating about events after the poll.

Caernarfon's Institute - heart of political battle

A CLP meeting in the famous Institute Buildings tonight, adorned with splendid paitings and the trappings of the famour Caernarfon Royal Town Council.

However tonight, as the Assembly battle hots up, both Labour and Plaid Cymru were in residence - on first and second floors. The building survived - and our campaigns go on.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Practical actions reuired

The Daily Post today runs my response to Cymuned. I am really interested in hearing some practical ideas for helping tackle affordable housing problems. Not even during the recent Assembly budget impasse was money for affordable housing made a priority by Plaid, so the pot of money has expanded under Labour - but is set for the coming year.

Ideas please.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Wow !

I do not smoke, and often feel these type of stories are enlightened by the full facts. However the zealous approach taken by Gwynedd Council does lead one to the words - "say that again" ! However there may be good reason so I await further information.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Lib Dems bore themselves !

Lib Dem AM Peter Black uses his blog to admit that taking part in his own party's preparations for the Assembly election are a waste of time. He states :

"In the end I could not work out why I had travelled all the way to Llandrindod Wells yesterday for a party briefing session that effectively just reaffirmed everything I already know about our Assembly campaign. Normally, I would not mind but frankly it would have been much more enjoyable to have got a train to Sheffield instead".

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The politics of protest and the real world

Cymuned have taken the chance to respond to my letter in the Daily Post. I don't recall pledging support for their campaigns, but I am very clear that many nationalsits have wrapped themselves in the 'homes for locals' flag as some symbol of nationhood. In reality there are many people of different political backgrounds working on potential and practical solutions.

Unfortunately I feel their response also reflects unrealistic expectations as I cannot see Wales, or even many people in "Y Fro Gymraeg" signing up wholesale to the 'locals only' approach as is being suggested. Yet, as pointed out in my letter, the national policies we have do now allow a recognition of local problems and the oportunity to take action as a result. In that way the needs of local communities can be addressed alongside wider market issues.

I will be the first to acknowledge that the politics of protest has a vital role in any democracy but those of us choosing to use electoral infleunce have to provide considered responses, and it is my judgement that the market will have a role to play in tackling some of our housing problems.

However this debate will be contiuned in the Post hopefully next week.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Minority parties vitriol

The bile surrounding the opposition groups over the Assembly budget negotiations continues to show through in New Year blogs such as that posted by P Black about Ieuan Wyn Jones.

The message is clear - vote Labour and avoid all this minority party hastle.

Gordon enters New year

The Guardian carries some New Year messages from Gordon Brown that may be of interest.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Ming and the cheeky girls !!

Clearly its all gone wrong for Ming since the Cheeky Girls hit the scene !

Housing - time for action not protest

The Western Mail reports on new housing figures from the Land Registry.

It coincides with a letter to the Daily Post published today which read as follows:

Dear editor,
In spite your reports about Cymuned entering a new phase of campaigning it seems that they are not keeping pace with policy emerging from the Welsh Assembly Government. Some months back the Assembly announced that based on local evidence councils could identify sites for 100% affordable housing, and that other housing sites should incorporate a mix and balance of housing size and types to reflect the needs of local communities. The need for affordable housing is a legitimate planning consideration that can influence decisions on new development. This builds upon the long standing commitment for councils to allow rural exception sites to meet a community's needs for affordable housing. It would seem that rather than being a problem national policy now provides a framework that allows many of the things that Cymuned desire. It does not however allow discrimination in planning decisions on language grounds. We should all be pushing our local councils for more innovative action using these policies. I hope it is not too great a shock to Aran Jones if we find some common cause in seeking to increase the supply of affordable homes, but we all need to accept the need for more housebuilding if that objective is to be met. In Gwynedd for example we know that in recent years the Plaid Cymru lead council has now failed to spend over six million pounds allocated to it for affordable housing schemes. What a difference that money would have made to many communities in "Y Fro Gymraeg".
I just have a feling that housing has become a game of protest, and lacks enough bold actions using existing powers. I told Glyn Davies AM something similar on his blog on Jan 2nd (see comments).

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Postals given extra work

The Western mail reports on one peice of electoral legislation that means each party in wales faces extra organisational work to ensure postal voters use their rights this May. In essence every single postal voter will need to sign up again and make sure their signature and date of birth are provided.

In parts of the new Arfon there never seems to have been a major postal vote push by any party so any associated organisational pain may split between us all. We wait to see.

Monday, January 01, 2007


Blwyddyn Newydd dda i chwi gyd.

A Happy New Year to you all.