Friday, June 29, 2007

Its horse shit not bull shit

I must admit that I find some of the stances taken by everyone's favourite Chief Constable controversial but understandable. While he is a leader I think he could sometimes benefit from thinking twice before leaping for media coverage of his latest big idea.

However I am left scratching my head on the logic of prioritisng four horses in Wrexham above other demands on the Police resources. It seems many members of the Police Authority agree, but not quite enough to stop the project.

I am sure the people of Arfon and Dwyfor will be pleased to call for the Police horses should their community resources be reduced, perhaps keeping a bale of hay in the front garden will bring the extra attention required.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

2 leaders on the line ?

So a few personal thoughts on the Red-Green deal as I suspect we face a week of somewhat tense debate as both parties prepare for wider endorsement (or not as the case may be).

A few weeks ago I feared the Rainbow was a done deal and felt angry that the Tories would be allowed back in with no signifcant mandate from the people. I suppose my own feelings are reference to that possible event.

I was amongst those who said "No Tory coalition" and given the uncertain verdict of the people of Wales on May 3rd then it is a reality that we have to make some arrangement for more effective government.

As the Lib Dems have gone AWOL for some undetermined period (until Mike German goe ?) then we are left with one other Party standing.

The One Wales agreement contain smuch to commend it, and some necessary give and take to deliver a joint platform. That is the effect of PR. I think laptops is a silly gimmick and grants for home buyers a waste of resources as it is a supply side problem.

So I will back Rhodri in this agreement and see what results from the Red-Green work.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Tec still in the hot seat

My election agent of recent times, and Welsh Labour chair Tecwyn Thomas is in the hot seat as Red-Green moves forward :

Welsh Labour Chair Tecwyn Thomas said:

"Welsh Labour is acutely aware of its responsibilities to the people of Wales. "We believe that the programme as set out in the One Wales document offers an opportunity for stable government for Wales. It will form the basis of an agenda to build a fairer, safer and more prosperous Wales. "

The choice is between Labour in government with Plaid Cymru, or the horrific prospect of the Tories back in charge of key public services. "Therefore the Welsh Executive Committee has voted to endorse the agreement between the National Assembly Labour Party and Plaid Cymru Assembly group to form a coalition in the National Assembly for Wales."

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The calm before the storm ?

It is easy at such close quarters to over emphasise the importance of any series of political events but I struggle to remember anytime when the arrival of a new Prime Minister, and the potential for agreement on a new government for Wales, both falling on the same day opened up such new political territory.

I still feel Brown's arrival could lead to more change then is currently anticipated (whether feel or hope I must ponder further!!?) . Meanwhile in spite of some severe grumblings in several quarters about Plaid leading or following we edge towards the Red-Green option, although given the obvious tensions I do not hide from the fact things could go pear shaped if anyone takes their bat and ball home.

Any way I look forward to an interesting Wednesday, new Cabinets and Red-Green issues.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

A character recalled

Just saw this on Sky News web site and can recall the character that was Derek Dougan - one of those players I recall from the 70's. The Baggies had Jeff Astle "The King" while Wolves had Dougan. Rest in peace and perhaps Jeff and Doug are now playing keepie uppie in heaven.

Blog land surprised

A quick look around blog land suggests many are surprised by Harriet's narrow win and even the "big" names of blogging seem to have lost a few quid !

Congratulations Harriet and I am pleased to sit here and hear Gordon promoting Housing to the Cabinet table. We know that when he brings his focus to a topic then it can bring change in its wake. I hope it is no different with housing.

Never a dul (Lib Dem) moment

Lembit Opik landed his plane long enough to tell the Politics Show that Plaid had become a little "unpredictable" lately. You really couldn't write his script.......

I assume he will now take off agian before leceturing us on the Lib Dems green policies.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

"Dewis" have not lost their marbles

Well we await some blogging news about Ieaun's visit to meet Plaid members at Plas Menai last night but it is a little harsh of Welsh Ramblings to question Dafydd Wigley's marbles. Whilst it seems I may (?) have no lead in my pencil I have always been clear that DW was a driving force in the group Dewis and, in spite of his apparent broad church appeal, will happily settle in alongside the Tories. DW, Cynog Dafis etc are the post 60's group who I feel will see the chance to push Plaid in to power as a major attraction.

Friday, June 22, 2007

We all face pressures

Ieuan was in Plas Menai ( just a stone's throw from my house) to consult his members but I resisted the temptation to launch another "No Tory Coalition" stunt and instead I went off to Arfon Labour's monthly meeting to see how local members are respinding to the ongoing debate.

There were mixed views - so no surprise there !

Blog world would suggest that nationalists have similar issues.

Delegates were elected for the special conference, and so we await an outcome from negotiations to see what is on offer by Friday July 6th.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The date people want to avoid ??

Ceredig posts some thoughts on the new Tories and I take the view that the silence on the part of the Welsh Tories is probably a reflection of the fact that they can't believe their luck at having a possible shot in government - when lots of people can't stand what they have done in Wales. As our CLP Treasurer told the local paper if he had wanted Tory he would have voted Tory - not ask Plaid to deliver them via the back door.

One part of my brain says this is what will eventuualy drive some deal between Labour and another party, but another bit of my brain has always told me that Ieuan Wyn and Alun Ffred's generation of nationalists (what I might call the post 1960's group) will find Ministerial power a strong pull. There is an element in many politicians (except the LIb Dems at the moment it seems?) who recognise that you go in to politics to make a difference, and the levers of power are how to do it. That was the lesson Labour had to learn after the long years in opposition, and what I feel should shape our need for a deal now.

On the other hand it might all fall apart and the minority government inch along promoting all party votes - until a budget, or other, crisis hits.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Exciting times ahead ?

Some do not wish to blog on Brown but it sort of strikes me that, if we manage to think beyond Red-Green and/or Rainbow, we might (???) just be about to enter a relatively exciting time for British politics.

We shouldn't ignore the need for a new Leader to make some impact and I suspect - without any great inside knowledge - that some fresh/different territory will be required.

I find it quite exciting, if unclear on where it might go......

Life in circles .....

I didn't follow the whole match but caught up with England's penalty shoot out against Holland - was it 301 to 300 ? Stuart Pearce must have seen life going in circles.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Caernarfon at the heart of the action

Statement on behalf of the Welsh Labour executive committee Welsh Labour Chair TECWYN THOMAS, speaking on behalf of the executive, said:

"This is a momentous point in the history of Welsh Labour and the politics of Wales. As representatives of the party membership in Wales, we all realise the responsibility that has been placed upon us to act responsibly in the interests of the people of Wales.

"With such a major and vital decision facing the Labour Party and Wales, the executive feels it is right and proper that the wider party be consulted in the fairest and most open way possible. "We have therefore decided that should a party decision be required on Labour entering a coalition in the National Assembly for Wales, then a special conference will be called to allow the membership of our party and party affiliates to have their say."

Notes: ·The special conference will take place on Friday July 6 ·
The executive committee will meet on a date before July 6 to make a recommendation to the special conference Ends.

Yes our Tecwyn of Caernarfon finds himself in the "hot seat" as the negotiations twist and turn as each week passes by.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Time away - a dolphin a day

A nice trip across Wales for a weddiing and taking in the dolphins at Cei Newydd on Friday and Sunday. A great example of eco-tourism with genuine joy amongst young and old with the "show" given to us by a pod of about 6 dolphin on Friday evening just off the harbour. 2 on the way home with Sunday morning coffee.

Did not listen to the radio all weekend, and so I have come home to see what all the blogs are saying about the Red-Green, Rainbow and other deliberastions.

Also arrived home in Felin and found the flags up - the annual Gwyl/Festival is approaching and anyone in the area could do worse than call by for what is one of the best village festivals in Wales.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Nice story

Some of you may know about the TGWU dispute and former Friction Dynamics workers in Caernarfon who have taken a positive attitude to life after the pain of fighting against their unlawful sacking from a local factory.

Well a lovely story this week is the opening by some of the workers of their new karting venture in Caernarfon and I will not be alone in wishing them every success. Various google links can be found on the background.
Bob llwyddiant i'r fenter newydd.

Turf Moor here we come !

Non footballing people probably find the year round addiction to football (under 21 tournament,La Liga's big weekend and then Copa America) all a bit baffling but I am pleased to also read about the Baggies new season fixtures -even if not in the league I anticipated !

Watch out Burnley - are Martin Dobson,Ralph Coates, Keith Newton and Willy Morgan stil playing for them ??

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Something different - but amazing

I enjoyed these pictures in Guardian online and they make a change from coalition speculation.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Red-Green politics

For me red-green politics has so far meant engaging in ideas promoted by SERA as there is a need to engage the social, economic and environmental justice for the future of our societies.

Now politics in Wales may take a new turn on Red-Green with IWJ taking some time to engage with Labour ideas as well as the ideas on the Rainbow.

I must admit I am a little unsure whether this is to appease internal unease at the Rainbow before making the move to a Rainbow after July's national council or a clear move to see Red-Green politics in Wales.

So after weeks of contemplation I suppose I should offer my own thoughts on all this, although they are only those of a former candidate, not anyone at the heart of the action.

My first feeling is that I will show loyalty to Rhodri Morgan and what direction he recommends for Labour in Wales. I have always found much common ground with views he expresses and see no reason to doubt him on this. That is why we elect leaders.

Secondly I said t'other day that Adam Price's blog was worth some coffee time - let that now turn in to negotiating time. Although we have seen plenty of blog talk against Adam's views.

Thirdly I am relaxed about the constitutional referendum - we need to tidy it up quickly or people will turn against the idea due to Assembly uncertainty.

Fourthly as the major party Labour's policies will need to hold significant, but not any absolute ,sway.

It will not be easy for anyone but there could be advantages. Given the combined seat numbers then at least there would be stability and potentially some space for Ministers to be on government business and not just focussed on votes in the Chamber. I think the new powers need that space.

I think it is time to see my AM at his surgery for a chat about these important issues.

Could it reflect some longer term realignments in welsh politics ?- well I think we can all agree it is one step at a time for now. Step one contains enough potential pain and bumpy roads.

Use the market against them

Thomas Cook have made arses of themselves but as they depend on customers for survival then my simple advice is to use other travel agents for the services offered.

That will make them realise they are stupid, unlawful and rather inept.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

A little bit of knowledge ....

I have been following blog debate and commentary about Adam Price and Edwina's recent contributions on partnership work but find that the disection of Adam's thoughts by Ordivicius remind me of the words that a little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing. What I think is most difficult in this is that Adam is not in the Bay so he cannot call the shots compared to Ieaun.

I am composing my thoughts on the red-green agenda and will return to it shortly.

Post election lager !

So Arfon CLP gathered tonight in Bangor with some friends from Ynys Mon and Aberconwy to hold our "win, loose or draw party". A chance to reflect on May 3rd, share discussion, say thanks to the agent, candidate (thankfully) and socialise !

Interestingly views remain varied on the various permutations facing the Assembly - I am sure we are not alone in this - with some seeing mileage in the red-green deal and others wary of Plaid.

Enjoyable and interesing. Our respective leaders face some significant debates.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Assembly web site reinforces voting unease

While the content remains a little limited as we await progress of the 3rd Assembly term, I decided to look around Member profiles etc as there are some new faces I admit to being unfamiliar with. However I naturally started with Arfon to see what info Alun Ffred had posted.

Yet on searching under Arfon I am given a far wider range of contacts as the site also identifies the list members for North Wales. Now I am not sure that is fair on Alun Ffred as he is the AM for Arfon and I am not sure whether it is right to link the others in the same way ?

But having been linked to the others it reminds me of my previously expressed unease that Labour voters in Arfon (who helped stack up 51,000 second votes across North Wales) have no party link to the Assembly representatives. That link is reserved for Lib Dems, Plaid and Tory supporters.

Leaves me a little uneasy.

Grid lock by road blocks.

Rhodri is seeking to negotiate his way out of some post election road blocks and it will be interesting to see what space the road blockers open up on our political roads to allow things to move forward.

While health is seen as the "big" road block there are any number of wicked issues that Wales must face if it is to meet the targets set in the terminology that we often and easily use : leading/cutting edge/ world leader.

Will all these wicked issues lead to more road blocks, and will the journey then become so slow that Wales cannot meet its own aspirations ?. Can the political sat nav cope, and at what point does it break down, or send us up dead ends ?.

No matter who runs the show the issues are wicked - and I don't think Labour should just sit in the Ministerial chairs to see Wales reach gridlock by road blocks.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Worth some debate

Thanks to Blamerbell for flagging up Adam Price's blog. I find the posting interesting and worth exploration. I don't think anyone can demand pre conditions but things may be worth a chat over a coffee or two - but he's not in the Assembly causing a slight problem (nor am I !).

Of course Adam failed to sign the anti-Tory pledge but Wales survived the stunt and life goes on !

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

You are all "amateurs" !

Just saw the debate on Newnight suggesting that we are all ruining the future of civilisation - or something similar. Damn this new form of democracy -in all its impure, nonsensical glory.

Economic futures

The BBC covered this story from India and it is this scale of economic change that will shape global and environmental futures.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Back to my future

For people around a certain age (35+ ?) the headlines involving Russia in recent days seem liike waking from a long period of sleep - perhaps it is the fault of that blooke from Poland - and finding the same stories. Time for Bond, a new Ronald Reagan and other unnerving memories.

But Russia now seems more powerful given energy resources and perhaps there is more risk as the old power structure is threatened bylloigarchs etc.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Somewhat `lucky

The story on page 21 of the Oberver made me realise that we are relatively fortunate in Wales/UK blog land as we can slag off leaders/cabinets/governments etc etc.

Blogger Ali Sayid al Shihabi was less fortunate in Syria but the story also shows how technology can play a part in highlighting injustice.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Bye bye Koumas

Having read the "Now come and get me" headline on the back page of the Daily Post, today's game against the Czechs probably summed up the Koumas question that now faces those holding Premier league cheque books. Moments of skill which can transform games (the precious Koumas) with periods of relative invisibility (the frustrating Koumas).

Well worth a Premiership squad - perhaps Mark Hughes at Blackburn to replace play maker Tugay ? (or does mark know too much ?)

"Darfur Don't look away"

New Intrernationalist features harrowing and striking infromation about Darfur this month under the sub title "Don't look away".

While the ins and outs, and ups and downs, of the Bay may be of interest we should perhaps not forget the bigger picture that will need tackling irrespective of which leaders came and which leaders go.