Friday, November 28, 2008

Exploring political ideas

Huw Lewis AM has posted some interesting thoughts based on his speech to the Institute for Political Affairs. See here.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Wide ranging measures

I suppose it is a fact of life that Alistair Darling has a rhetorical style that alllows him to deliver such a significant financial statement in a calm delibeate manner. By all accounts this package is significant and even commentators like Wil Hutton acknowledge the issues involved.

So the pattern is clear the scale of the issues enveloping us all are seen to be so large that some old fashioned recipes are required including spend now, tax later and raising a few more quid off those (2% of tax payers it seems) earning more. Some shortt erm money for low earners, child allowance and pensioners and a VAT reduction all round.

The last measure (VAT) leaves me a little cold but I suppose it is meant to be effective as spending is stimulated. I wait to see.

Anyway in the classic battles of modern politics the "lines" are drawn and Labour is committed to investing/spending out of the crisis, while I remain alittle unclear what the Tories will do - apart from disagree with Labour.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


There is clear disintegration in the extreme right and the leaking of membership names is the latest chapter in tensions that will see some rearranging of power - it has happened before and will happen again.

However the response made by Hazel Blear's is interesting as it comes from a person who has been influencing policies at the centre for some years and therefore bears some responsibility for the problem she describes. Those who have been active in the trade union wing of the Labour movement have not ignored the issues around the far right. For example UNISON have been vigilant and invested significant sums in campaigns against the far right.

So yes Hazel let us bring our Party, our representatives and our movement back in to concerted effort in taking a message and the ideological battle to the BNP and their like.

Oh dear

I must reject a suggestion that the low number of postings reflects the lowly position of my football team! but in reality just a bit busy, and less frequent access to my on line laptop.

But a few stories to pick up over the weekend, after recovering from this bottom of the pile feeling.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tesco loyalty card - that's alright then!

I understand that George Osborne is a wealthy man but as the Tories shadow Chancellor he clearly wants to stress his common touch. So forget the Bullingdon club this is the man who tells the Times "I have a Tesco loyalty card in my wallet"!!.

Well done George, that makes you as normal as the rest of us then.

I suppose an inquisitive journalist would ask to see the record of transactions on the card and see how often George shops at Tesco's and for what products?

So George how about going on tv and opening up our Tesco purchasing records to the nation. Mine includes too much wine for my own good, CDs, socks pants and food. George's card?

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Sky high - help the cause please

For a reason that is beyond me (probably youth and excitement) my son Gareth and his mate Barry are going to sky dive and raise a few quid for a good cause.

If you want to help them reach their target then see here :

and give these young men a few quid for their chosen cause.

Setting the States alight!

Its not just Obama making the headlines in the States this week but the great progress being made by Shan Jones of Y Felinheli, Gwynedd. This week's great news includes her recognition as "Freshman" (??) of the year and recognition for a record setting pace in the goal scoring section.

To quote:

"Jones was honored as the conference freshman of the year as well as being named to the Sun Belt All-First Team. The talented forward ranks 55th in the nation in goals per game and 96th in points per game. Jones leads the Blue Raiders in goals scored, points, shooting percentage, shots on goal, shots-on-goal percentage and game-winning goals.

Despite being in just her first season of collegiate soccer, the Gwynedd, Wales native sits in eighth place in school history for most goals scored in a season and already finds herself in fifth place in school history for most game-winning goals in a career".

Da iawn Shan ymlaen a ti.

Is Tosh watching .........................

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Scottish satisfaction

After another break I return with a strange sense of smugness. Not the fact that Obama won (well) and has given one of those occasional, and much neeeded, lifts to the tone of poltics but events in Scotland.

For some strange reason Salmond is one of those politicians who riles me. He projects a smugness that, combined with his nationalist politics, makes me pleased to see some better perspective on the cause of Scottish independence. I supect some focus on day to day challenges may now occupy his mind more than a drive to areferendums.

Then again perhaps now is the time to renew the call once made by Wendy Alexander and demand the independence referendum. As I have said before we live in inter-dependent times, not independent times.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Obama dreaming

Experience of 1997 tells me that not too much faith should be placed in one political figure but it is hard not to get the same feeling of excitement watching and reading the US election coverage. The sight of people queueing for hours to use their vote, many to overcome previous democratic travesties, is a sign to warm the heart. Obama dreaming.

This could indeed be one of those genuine 'historic' moments should the prevailing impression of the media prove true when the votes are counted.