29/05/2015

Superfast Rip-off!


I was excited by the Welsh Government / EU proposal to give Superfast Broadband to Welsh Rural Communities.

Superfast Cymru will transform the broadband landscape in Wales and promote economic growth and sustainable jobs in Wales. It's been estimated that up to 2,500 further full times jobs could be created throughout the Welsh economy over time. The project will ensure Wales is at the forefront of the global digital economy and will help to champion Wales as a great place to live, work, invest and visit.

When I heard that Llansanffraid Glan Conwy would be connected to the superfast network this week I was overjoyed, so I asked, SKY, my internet provider, to sign me up. I was shocked to find that a service promoted as one subsidised by the EU, Westminster and the Government of Wales would cost me £2 a month more, but I bit the bullet and signed up anyway. My superfast broadband was activated at 3pm on 27th May 2015 .

On 28th May at 11:48 PM I had a message from Sky:

You've gone over your Sky broadband usage allowance
We're just letting you know that you've gone over your Sky Fibre 25GB monthly usage allowance.
The good news is that we won't do anything this time as it may be a one off. However, if you go over your allowance again in the next five months, we'll automatically switch you to Sky Fibre Unlimited, as it has an unlimited usage allowance.
Sky Fibre Unlimited is just £20 a month and gives you the same great speed, but with the added peace of mind of totally unlimited usage.

In a period of 36 hours, when I have only been online for about 4 hours, read my e-mails, looked at my Twitter and Facebook pages, watched a few "Maiden Speeches" on YouTube (in low definition) I have exceeded my monthly allowance and have to pay an extra £22 more to access the internet over a connection provided by taxpayers' money!

I feel ripped off, I can't afford the extra payment!

This is absolutely disgusting, a rip off on the back of public money by a private company. Rather than enabling internet access, SKY's abuse of the service and the fact that I can't afford a locked in contract for £22 a month means that I will probably be forced to abandon the internet for the next 18 months.

This might be the last post on this site for some time; but before I am forced to log off I hope that AM's MP's MEPs and journalists question this abuse of a public funded project and make the abusers account for their rip off.

27/05/2015

Miserable Old Fart: 2016 - The Very Last chance to Vote for Wales!

Miserable Old Fart: 2016 - The Very Last chance to Vote for Wales!: The main story of the UK General Election 2015 is that Britain elected an English Nationalist Government out of fear of what the SNP could...

2016 - The Very Last chance to Vote for Wales!

The main story of the UK General Election 2015 is that Britain elected an English Nationalist Government out of fear of what the SNP could do to Britain if it had the balance of power.

A couple of Welsh seats fell to the Tories because of the same narrative; this worries me, why should Wales fear the SNP?

Because of demographic change the 2016 Assembly elections could be the very last in which the majority of voters in Wales are Welsh people rather than "the people of Wales".

We can accept, what appears to be the inevitable, that despite 1000+ years of resistance to being assimilated into England, that the battle is now lost; by continuing to vote for what have become the English Nationalist Labour party or English Nationalist Tory Party, or we can make, (what might be the very last stand for the future existence of Wales) and vote en-mass for Plaid Cymru in 2016 to secure a future for our Nation by having a government that puts Wales First!

If we vote English Nationalist Labour or English Nationalist Tory or Ultra English Nationalist UKIP in 2016, or even decide not to vote at all we may as well accept that Wales has ceased to exist and get use to the revival of the old adage For Wales - see England

10/05/2015

Plaid 2016 Election

It is interesting that the Conservatives have won the GE on less than 37% of those registered to vote and fewer than 25% of those entitled to vote, but yet the Campaign seemed to be one of trying to swing voters from one party to another, whilst the "spare vote" was obviously elsewhere! With both Labour and Tories being advised by US "election gurus" who believe in both restricting the vote and making policy on what focus groups believe and becoming a choice of two sames, neither turnout nor result is surprising.

If I was a party advisor I would charge Billions of pounds for this simple advice to any party, forget gaining votes from other parties, I'm voting Plaid and nothing will change my mind, chase the disaffected, register the unregistered, that nonvoting part of the electorate is what will give you a solid majority.

And therein lies a problem, Plaid does better in Assembly Elections because fewer vote.

In 2003 I was asked, by Plaid, to take down a Plaid supporting poster from my window because it might alert others to the election and my wife and I were the only committed Plaid voters on our estate. Since adopting that strategy Plaid's share of the vote has declined year after year. The ONLY way #Plaid16 can win is by going out to gain votes, getting non voters TO vote and registering potential voters. The policy of shushing and hoping for a low turnout is past its sell by date.

Plaid got a fair vote in many constituencies in the Westminster GE, hoping it turns out in secret next year is not an electoral strategy! Plaid really needs to persuade non voters, and as yet unregistered voters, to vote Plaid in 2016 and make a song and dance about how fantastic it's campaign is, rather than hoping that only committed nashies vote in a pathetically low turnout!

08/05/2015

Disappointed with Plaid

I am very disappointed with Plaid Cymru's lack of success tonight, I was quietly confident that Plaid would have won 5, 6, even 7 seats in this election scarping to keep 3 out of 40 seats is bitterly disappointing, especially whilst the English nationalist Conservatives made gains in Wales and ultra English nationalist UKIP gained more votes than Plaid.

That UKIP can argue about "Immigration" in constituencies with fewer than 5% non British born residents like Aberconwy, but Plaid is too frightened to mention the 30% English Immigrants is counter-productive.

I Read Mike Parker's Comments and Hugh Thomas comments when they were first made – I agreed with both, there is a problem with English Immigrants invading Wales – Plaid must accept this fact –or accept that the future is that so many English move into Wales that Wales becomes an White Flight English county.

Leanne mentioned during the campaign that Plaid needs to be more "naughty" – that naughtiness must include being much more fundamentally nationalist and opposing the colonisation of Wales!

21/04/2015

Election Launch Site?

Whatever you think about the party, its policies or it's personalities, hardly anyone can disagree that the SNP is the winner of the battle to make a manifesto launch in the most stunning location.


The Edinburgh International Climbing Arena, has had millions of pounds worth of free publicity by the world's media gathering there to report on what's included in the SNP Manifesto. That makes me wonder why the Welsh parties didn't have a similar vision?

Think of the impact that Leanne could have had by publishing her policies at 100 MPH in Zip World, imagine Carwyn bouncing Labour policies in Bounce Below, or Andrew RT publishing his policies in the fitting setting of the Dinosaurs of Tan yr Ogof, or Nick Clegg launching his party's manifesto in an iconic Welsh venue that might be big enough to hold next year's LibDem conference:

10/04/2015

Mud Slinging Labour Hypocrits

The information I gain from Social Media is biased, about 80% of the people I follow on Twitter are members / supporters of Plaid Cymru , the SNP or Mebyon Kernow. I have a bias towards family and "real" friends on Facebook but many of those are political too.

When the Daily Mail made it's disgusting slur about Ed Miliband, his father and his wider family in 2013, most of my nationalist friends / followers supported Miliband and expressed their revulsion at the way he had been unfairly treated by the extreme right wing press.

On Wednesday, when a very dodgy report about a Plaid Cymru Candidate, who is an English born and bred incomer to Wales was stigmatised for opposing BNP white flight incomers to Wales as "calling all English in Wales Nazis" Labour members and supporters jumped on the bandwagon to vilify him.

Today's very odd slur against Mr Miliband in the Daily Mail which seems to amount to an accusation that "a young man had many girlfriends – shock horror" has been almost universally condemned on my social media timelines by nationalist friends.

That is an important difference between Plaid Cymru and Labour - Plaid is opposed to mudslinging in any direction

Labour just opposes mud thrown in it's direction but is always happy to throw it back!

Hypocrits!

31/03/2015

GE2015 - a Simple Choice

A number of media commentators are claiming that the 2015 General Election is going to be one of the most complicated elections in generations. I disagree Welsh voters have a very simple choice:

25/03/2015

The End for Community Councils?


A lot of discussion has been had on the need to reduce the number of County Councils in Wales, with some consensus that there need to be fewer than the current 22 (although there is little consensus on the shape of such councils). One element of the White Paper Democracy, Devolution and Delivery - Local Government Reform: Power to the People on the reform of Local Councils that hase received little attention are the sections on the reform of town and community councils. This causes me a great deal of concern as a member of a community council. The suggestion is that a council is only "qualified" to continue as a community council if it has a budget of over £ 250,000 a year. The community council I am a member of collects around £ 40K a year and spends around £35K a year.

What the council does with this £25 per year per household precept is extremely important to the community; indeed it is a major factor in ensuring that our parish is not a dormer village - just a place for people who work and shop outside the area to sleep. We ensure that public footpaths remain accessible for locals and visitors, we organize community activities to keep the village tidy, a support group promoting the continuation of the Welsh language in the community, we support two drama groups, we provide funding to youth groups such as the Urdd and Scouts; we support a football team and a Sports Association, we support historical societies, help with the maintenance of public halls, organize community events for the elderly and loads of other things that create a close community life in a community that could be in danger of becoming nothing but a "bed room" without our input.

To raise more than a quarter million of funding per annum in order to be part of an "eligible" council, we have 3 choices:

1 Increase the precept from £25 per home to £600 per home per year

2. Merger with adjacent larger communities such as Llandudno, Colwyn Bay or Conwy and become nothing more than a pimple on the more important town's arse

3 Merger with other small councils in the area to create a "community" of over 600 square miles

All / any of these choices would result in a huge loss to our village!

Glan Conwy Community Council is so disgusted with the arrangements mentioned in the white paper that we have reacted angrily to the consultation and have organized a public meeting in order to encourage members of the community to express their opposition to the proposed changes too.

I'm surprised that I have not heard an angry response from members and supporters of other community councils in Wales to the preposterous intention of the National Assembly Government to more than decimate our community councils

13/02/2015

Vote Labour - Vote England

I have had an interest in electoral politics since the 1970s. I can't believe that was 45 years ago! Doesn't time fly when you are enjoying your elections?

During the whole of that time I cannot remember a single general election (or other election) where the Labour party hasn't tried to blackmail the electors with the same old mantra Vote Liberal get Tory, Vote SDP get Tory, Vote SNP get Tory, Vote Plaid get Tory etc.

Electoral statistics show that to get a majority Labour needs to win in England, it doesn't depend on the Welsh and Scottish vote. In 1951, 1955, 1959, 1970, 1979, 1983, 1987 and 1992 Wales gave massive support to the Labour Party, but still got a Tory government. If Wales had voted for 40 Monster Raving Loony MP's in 1997, 2001 and 2005 we would still have suffered Tony Blair's Labour Government.

If you are a Labour supporter don't waste your time canvassing in Wales, English marginals are more important to your cause / gravy train.

The sad thing about the Vote SNP get Tory, Vote Plaid get Tory crap, isn't the historical inaccuracy or the slogan, but the full stop! Plaid and the SNP stand to get the best for Scotland and Wales. If Labour went further than the full stop and explained how Scotland and Wales would benefit from voting Labour they would lose votes in England and absolutely scupper their ability to form a government – voting Labour is not in Wales' or Scotland's best interest.

The Labour deal seems to be please vote Labour so we can win in England -for England's beneft. Labour offers nothing for Wales!

04/02/2015

Vote PC and MK to kick the SNP 's Arse!

YouGov, Ashcroft and other polling companies are predicting that most, if not all, Scottish seats will be won by the SNP in the next Westminster General Election, well done the SNP!

Welsh Nationalists and Cornish Nationalists are expected to applaud this advance, but I wonder if we should do unquestionably? Because the SNP has proved, on many occasions, to be a very selfish party, it expects Celtic support, but very rarely offers it.

Every time I see Leanne Wood and Dick Cole on TV or hear them on the radio they mention Scotland's right to self determination, but it is rarely reciprocated by SNP reps!

If the SNP was to hold the balance of power in the next UK Parliament would it insist on a Cornish Assembly as part of the deal or enhanced powers for the National Assembly of Wales? I doubt it.

The only way that Wales and Cornwall can ensure that our needs are met is by ensuring that there are enough PC and MK members of parliament in the wider nationalist group to remind the SNP that they are NOT just there in Scotland's interest!

To a certain extent the worst possible scenario for Wales and Cornwall is one where our needs are sidelined by a Westminster obsessed with Scotland, whilst the SNP forget that Wales and Cornwall exist! The only answer is to make sure that there are enough Plaid and MK MP's there to remind the SNP that there are other interests at stake!

21/11/2014

Labour's Problem with the Patriotic English Working Class

In the days when the Lord Chamberlain's office use to have to censor the morality of stage productions one of the ways in which the Music Hall, in particular, and other production companies use to avoid censorship was by the use of the double entendre A phrase, saying or sentence that can be interpreted in two different ways. One of which is usually dirty. A classic example would be the Mari Lloyd song She Sits Among the Cabbages and Peas a song which is clearly about a lady gardener. If you can see a less innocent meaning to the words it is because you have got a dirty and corrupted mind, and if you have a dirty and corrupted mind you are not fit to be an arbiter of public morality.

And therein lays a problem with the Labour response to Emily Thornberry's controversial tweet:



The picture IS just an Image from Rochester, that the Labour Party, as a whole, can see a double entendre in the picture - that is so damaging that it has lead to Thornberry's registration / sacking, revels a great deal about Labour's corporate thinking about those who live in terraced houses, work in white van jobs, are proud to be English – that they saw the "joke" reveals as much about the rest of the Labour party's thinking as it does about Ms Thornberry's.

30/09/2014

Time to Stop the Stink


The sewage treatment plant built at Y Ganol (next to the Black Cat petrol station near Glan Conwy and Llandudno Junction) in 1999 at a cost of £ 45 million was intended to create a plant that would ensure that sewage from the greater part of Conwy County was treated in a way that was odourless and environmentally friendly.

Unfortunately the plant has never worked properly! Mainly because the system that was built at y Ganol proved to be dangerous just before it was opened.

Because of the risks some of the sewage is stored in skips and then is transferred to cac lorries for treatment elsewhere.

The skips stink continuously when they are closed; when they are opened to transfer their content to the lorries the smell is enough to make one gag.

The smell is only part of the problem; research has shown that the gasses coming from such places also contain pathogens that cause Asthma and E-Coli.

The Conwy Valley is an area that attracts visitors from all over the world; their initial welcome to the head of the Valley is the smell of shit - some welcome!

Millions of pounds have been invested into making the Junction into one of the best places to buy a car throughout the UK. If you want to buy a fancy expensive car or a cheap old banger, the smell of shit whilst considering a purchase will not be a big selling point!

Those of us who live in the area have had enough of Dŵr Cymru's excuses, denials of the extent of the problem and false assurances that the issue is just temporary.

Fifteen years of stink, health worries and economic disadvantage is more than "more than enough"!

A protest will be held near the plant on 4th October 2014 at 11am. Come in droves to join our protest - but bring a mask to protect yourself from the abject stench!

29/09/2014

RIP UK

What a silly article on the Herald site Labour fears English votes plan will halt new powers. These ill thought out plans will not halt Scottish self determination they will enhance them!

English Votes for English Laws in the House of Commons is unworkable.

85% of the representation in the House of Commons is already English. England can outvote Scotland, Wales Cornwall and Northern Ireland together; at over 5 to 1 under the current system, restricting the voting rights of "Celtic" MPs doesn't redress a balance it enhances the current imbalance. You cannot save the Union by giving a minority of MPs an even more minor role in the Union's Parliament whilst promoting the vast majority to a more superior role!

Some Scottish only or Welsh only issues are still reserved by Westminster, so under EVoEL rules would voting on SVoSL and WVoWL rules also exist? Broadcasting is not devolved, so S4C and BBC Alba are still UK issues, would English MPs be forced to abstain on such issues? If not they must be devolved, if they aren't WVoWL gives Wales "double devolution" on S4C and doesn't address the ubiquitous West Lothian Question!

Westminster is a bicameral parliament how would EVoEL work in the House of Lords?

The fact is that when 45% of an "Union" registers its dissatisfaction with that union, there is no compromise that can appease those who are dissatisfied.

There are only two responses to the referendum and the "Vow", renege on the Vow and let Scotland know that it was cheated out of Independence or stick by the Vow and let Scotland know that the Vow was a mirage.

The Union was put on life support on September 18th 2014, it is just a matter of time for those grieving to accept the death of the Union and for the nearest and dearest to decide when and how to flick the switch!

22/09/2014

Dafydd y Dug - Rot in Hell

I was raped by Dafydd y Dug as a 16 year old, he held me in a stranglehold whilst he buggered me against my will against the wall of the Theological Collage in Aberystwyth.

He was an evil pederast who got away with his crimes in the same way that Jimmy Seville did; by nobody believing a word against him because he was a nationalist rather than a national hero. I reported his assault to the police and they asked me if I had an erection whilst I was being assaulted, I innocently answered yes and because of that they claimed that I was a willing partner and that I could, myself, be charged with public indecency.

Dafydd y Dug is the main reason why I hate the term homophobia as a general term. I had a genuine reason for my phobia / fear, and dealing with that fear has been a long and painful process. My phobia is not a made up euphemism for general disagreement with the gay rights movement (with whom I tend to agree), but overcoming my genuine fear has been a bloody difficult process.

I'm sorry, but I will not be mourning the death of Dafydd y Dug.

05/09/2014

Scotland's referendum a winner - whatever the result

Over the years I have spent many long and tedious hours sitting in the foyer of village halls acting as a polling agent. Some of my best friends are people I met representing opposing parties who I have spent those hours with chatting about what's on TV, books, life in general; even playing cards with to pass the hours as we wait and wait for a voter, any voter, of any hue, to turn up so we can cross them off the list. I've been in a hustings meeting before an election where there were more candidates on the stage than voters in the audience. Seeing pictures of people queuing up to register to vote; seeing pictures of meetings with standing room only, brings a tear to my eye and makes me feel jealous of Scotland.

As a Welsh nationalist I am obviously an avid supporter of the Yes side, but even if every one of the newly registered missing million votes No and every one of those who have had to stand in the back of the crowded meeting room votes No – this referendum will still be a resounding success because of the way in which it has succeeded to re-engage people with the democratic process. For that, alone, Mr Salmond should be heartily congratulated - whatever the outcome on September 18th.

12/08/2014

Guto and Oscar WTF?

I have followed The Thoughts of Oscar Blog, for the best part of 7 years. I'll be honest; I have rarely agreed with Oscar, I have often thought that his posts are offensive, unfair and sometimes bitter. But that is a feature of democracy. People with whom I passionately disagree are entitled to express their opinions. And the disagreement is often what makes politics vibrant and fun. I would be a hypocrite to defend much of what Oscar has said but I do defend his right to say it.

Despite the fact that I would never vote for him, I have a fair regard for my Constituency MP Guto Bebb. He seems to be a good constituency MP, in the sense that if you complain to him about the drains, he'll do something about the drains – regardless of whether he sees a vote in it or not. I have had very many internet discussions with him and a couple of "live" ones; on each and every occasion he seems well able to defend himself and his point of view with erudition.

I am bitterly disappointed by Guto's decision to take legal action against the Thought's of Oscar Blog, which is ultimately an attempt to close the blog down, because Guto has never before shown himself to be averse to defending himself on the comments pages of blog posts.

The so called "libellous" statements in Oscar's Post An Open Letter to Guto Bebb are actually minutiae – the MP HAS received donations from Russian Oligarch Alexander Temerko that locals might find suspect, whatever the reasons behind the donations!

OK. I accept Guto's defence that the Oligarch didn't pay him for supporting Israel's attack on Gaza; but why was the donation made? In support of Welsh culture, language, agriculture, local entrepreneurship or other things that affect the constituency, or for reasons that are not constituency related? Your constituents should be told not sued Guto!

Our MP HAS appeared to support the Israeli government in its campaign in Gaza, images of which have sickened many of his constituents of all political persuasions. Tell us why you support Israel, Guto. Persuade us to see the righteousness of supporting Israel rather than suing us for having the temerity to disagree with you!

I don't know what sort of reading figures Oscar has. This blog has a couple of thousand on a very, very good day! I suspect Oscar has similar. Guto can respond (as he has done eloquently in the past) to all the readership of a blog in the comments section. He has a better chance of bending the ear of a journalist than Oscar or I have, he can speak in Parliament under privilege; so why does he need to sue a blogger and try to shut him down? There is clearly something in one of Oscar's posts that has touched a very raw nerve! Suing Oscar might shut the blog down – but it may also expose that nerve!

Callia Guto!

.

11/08/2014

Great War Nationalist Pish

There is an article on the Scotsman site which is both sick and interesting entitled Great War worst for Scots troops ‘a myth’

The sick part of the article is the way that the body count from the First World War is being used as an argument in the current referendum campaign; whatever the numbers surely both No and Yes campaigners should agree that the answer to the question How many Scots died in WW1? should be Too many and that coming to as accurate a figure as possible should be an academic exercise not a political one.

The interesting point about the article is that I have heard similar claims made about the percentage of Welsh dead in both the First and Second World Wars, and indeed in previous and subsequent wars; and I have heard these claims, as the article suggests, made in the context of Welsh nationalist “myth”; but the Welsh nationalist myth isn't part of the myth of "separation" or "independence"; but the myth that the Welsh / Scottish should be extra proud of being British because they have punched above their weight in Britain. This brings us back to the sick part of the article. For 100 years we are told that we should be extra proud of our nations' contribution to Britain; but as soon as that pride is taken out of a British context we are told, as they say in Scotland, that that proud contribution is just a load of old pish!



(Note the words in the sun!)

05/08/2014

Not Brave Heroes - just ordinary blokes

I bought a book last weekend Dolgellau and the Great War by D T Sheppard which gives details about the 107 people whose names are engraved on the Dolgellau Cenotaph. The introduction to the books makes the important point:

"These people weren't statistics but individuals with their own unique stories"

Many of those mentioned in the book were related to my late Grandparents; most were their friends, neighbours and acquaintances. Although, obviously, too young to have known any of those commemorated in the book, many of the names were familiar to me. Attending the Armistice Parade as a Cub and a Scout in the 1960's and 1970's I got to know the antitheses of Binyon's famous poem – those who HAD grown old, all were ordinary working class people, people like my Dad and my Taids - nothing special!

I've looked up some of the names mentioned on the Cenotaph on the Welsh Newspapers site. Where they are mentioned in pre-war stories their ordinariness is striking: took part as a shepherd in the chapel nativity play, or came third in the seed potato class in the village show, even appeared in court for being drunk on fair night.

A term I heard oft used yesterday was heroes; but those lads remembered on Dolgellau's and other Cenotaphs were NOT heroes; they were just young men with the same fears and aspirations, the same strengths and weaknesses, the same hopes and disappointments as the rest of mankind. To laud them as Brave Heroes doesn't exault them it diminishes them by turning them into comic book characters rather than accepting them as the ordinary blokes that they really were.

There are too many names on cenotaphs that share my family names for me to take some moral outrage at the act of commemorating the Great War, despite my misgivings. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, I will remember them; but I will remember them as the real people that they were not as caricatures of imperial propaganda that too much of the Remembrance Industry has already tried to make of them.

09/07/2014

The Scotsman a TROLL only site!


Cyber bullying is part of the unfortunate nature of the internet. Where there is disagreement on matters sporting, religious, artistic, scientific and, yes, even political here be Trolls. It is not a phenomenon unique to the Scottish independence referendum debate but it does exist on both Yes and No sides of the indyref debate on the internet, just because some of the debate is "on the internet"; for either side to deny that unworthy comments have been made by supporters of both Yes and No is sticking ones head in the sand.

I am an unequivocal supporter of the Yes campaign, but some comments that I have read on Twitter, Facebook and newspaper response sites from YES supporters have turned my stomach, they shouldn’t have been made and should have been condemned by fellow yesers.

Likewise decent supporters of the No side should condemn the vile vitriol that is spewed by too many No supporters on line. If there is one thing that should unite those who are passionate about either side of the argument it should be that the debate should be a good clean fight.

However there is one thing that worries me about the ability to have a good clean fight and that is that a number of us, from both sides of the debate, who use to have respectable discussions on the Scotsman site now get our comments rejected with This comment was left by a user who has been blocked by our staff.

The Scotsman is actively blocking those of us who wish to debate the issues with mutual respect and only allows abusive trolls (from both sides) to comment, whilst publishing leaders condemning abusive comments as a “Cybernat” problem!