Breakfast Time in The Bay

The Electoral Commission will be launching its statutory report on the referendum on the law-making powers of the National Assembly for Wales at 8:00am on Wednesday 13 July 2011 in Conference Room 24 in Tŷ Hywel, the National Assembly for Wales.

The event, which is sponsored by the Deputy Presiding Officer, David Melding AM, will be an opportunity for the Chief Counting Officer, Jenny Watson, to outline the Commission’s main findings about what they learnt in the process of running the referendum.

Breakfast will be provided!

As one of those registered to campaign in the referendum I have been invited to the do! Great! Thanks for the invitation!

I would love to meet the Electoral Commissioners to discuss how successful (or not) the Commission was in running the referendum. It is clear from my blogs and my campaign during the referendum that I was unhappy with the way that the referendum was run, so an opportunity to voice those concerns with the Commissioners would be very welcome.

However the practical problems of getting to Cardiff from Llandudno for a breakfast meeting at eight o'clock in the morning, with all respect, is so absurd as to make such a meeting part of the problem.

Discussing the way in which the referendum was run over bacon eggs and lava bread first thing in the morning at a venue that it is impossible for all but the few "within the bubble" to attend shows just how out of touch with needs of ordinary campaigners for Welsh Democracy the Electoral Commission is!

The time and place is worse than just Cardiff Centric, having looked at the timetables, even if I decided to go down to Cardiff the day before and spend the night with my sister in St Mellons, a few miles away from the Bay, it would still be difficult for me to get to Tŷ Hywel for 8am by public transport.

If the Electoral Commission is really interested in engaging with all stakeholders in the referendum process I call on it to cancel this totally ridiculous breakfast meeting and to arrange a meeting at a sensible time in a sensible place that would give access to the many rather than the select few!

Using Welsh by Blogging

The latest addition to my Blog List is Everyday Welsh. I will let the blogger explain what the blog is for:

Right, to begin, I would like firstly to explain (briefly) my intentions for this blog.

This blog should NOT be used as your PRIMARY source for learning Welsh.

I assume, that any visitors here have already delved somewhat into the beautiful language and know at least some basics. My goal is to IMMERSE you in modern/essential Welsh culture, current Welsh culture! Therefore, I have decided to aid all of your learning by teaching aspects of the language through Videos/Music etc. Short, engaging clips that you SHOULD watch OVER & OVER... and with my help you WILL come to UNDERSTAND their meanings.

I set the idea out, knowing that this EXPOSURE to Welsh IS very beneficial. Studies have been conducted PROVING that exposure to the target language (i.e. Welsh in this case) improves language acquisition, or, the rate it will take you to grasp the language. Although incomprehensible initially, YOU WILL start to know the media clips on this site WELL. You therefore will have a REPOSITORY or a WELL of available vocab etc. you can SQUEEZE into your conversations!!

One point I would like to stress.... ENJOY the clips! Have fun! Don't worry if you don't understand at first... YOU WILL BE ABLE TO. Good, so... relaxed?

I wish all the best to "Everyday Welsh". It is an interesting addition to Welsh learning facilities and I hope that it succeeds in its mission.


In defence of Vincent Bailey

If the internet existed when I was in my late teens and early twenties and I had had a web presence on it, my profile would undoubtedly have declared that I was an Adonis, a Lothario and a more successful serial shager than either Casanova or Nick Clegg; I'm sure that it would have declared that I was brave and cool and had done all sorts of things that were seen as "manly" and against the rules including drug taking and violence.

The truth is that I was 22 before I had my first fumblingly disappointing sexual conquest, I have never taken an illegal drug in my life and if anybody had threatened me with violence I would have run home to my Mam as my primary way of confronting the threat; as would the vast majority of the lads in my peer group. If I had been truthful I would have been drummed out of my peer group by friends who were as virginal, clean living and frightened as I was – but afraid to admit it. Young lads lie about sex and their social equivalent of drugs and rock'n roll; always have done and always will do!

When I was a young lad those lies were unimportant, unrecorded and are now only remembered by those of a similar age who know that we all lied together for the same reason. Because my teenage fantasies and bravado were never written down, they can't come back to haunt me now, should I decide to stand for election or decide to give support to a candidate for election.

Vincent Bailey, isn't a bad person who has no place in Welsh politics. When he was doing what I did at his age he was caught up in a new technological system without realising its consequences for his future, something I didn't need to worry about!

I suspect that every possible future politician, political aid or political supporter under 35 could find themselves in the same boat as Vincent. Any young person who shows an interest in his or her country's politics may be threatened and dissuaded from becoming politically active because a silly tweet or a profile or a blog comment might come back to haunt him or her forever! That is bad, very bad, for democracy!

The villain in this story is not Mr Bailey, but the person who decided to trawl through Mr Bailey's internet history in order to embarrass him and in order to embarrass Andrew RT Davies' campaign to lead the Welsh Conservative Party!

Dirty Dave, should be ashamed of himself as should his cronies at Trinity Mirror / Western Mail for regurgitating his dirt digging in the ancient history of a political opponents' puerile web presence!

And if Andrew wants to show some leadership skills he should stand four square with the now (hopefully) mature Mr Bailey, rather than throwing him out as a sacrifice to Dave's dirty tricks!


Fantastic Poll for Plaid

Politicall Betting has a poll that makes fantastic reading for Plaid Cymru. It is an UK wide poll by Comres for the Independent and gives the parties the following vote share:

CON 37:
LAB 37:
LD 11:
BNP 9%:
SNP 5%:
GRN 4%:

PC 4%:

UKIP 4%:

As Wales makes up just 5% of the UK vote, for Plaid to have 4% of the UK vote it would have to poll about 80% in Wales itself. Should we get the champagne out or just put this down to yet further proof that polls are rubbish?

Primark, the Beeb and Me

Way back in 2008 I made a post about a Panorama programme regarding Primark. Since the programme was broadcast the Beeb has had a spanked bottom for not telling the whole truth in the programme!

Primark have asked me to note the fact that they have been vindicated, to publish a link to their rebuttal and their Youtube on this blog!

As I supported Primark rather than Panorama in my post I am happy to abide with their request!

I hope that all those trendy left blogs that criticised Primark for enabling working class people to get clothes at an affordable price and who fell for the Beeb's propaganda will also show the rebuttal link and video, by way of apology.


This should make me laugh (apparently)

People who send me e-mails, expecting me to plug their blogs, addressed to Al, rather than to Dear Mr ap Huw Humphreys piss me off rather than make me laugh! So I was not amused by this request:
Hi Al
This should cheer you up you miserable old fart, a news blog but it's meant to make you laugh:


When did you Last Vote Plaid Because of its Support for the Queen?

When did you Last Vote Plaid Because of its Support for the Queen?

A silly question asked by a rather drunken friend in response to a boorish Tory in my local tonight!

But a pertinent point!

Absent without leave

I liked this post from Andrew so much, I have decided to pinch it and repost it here:

Thursday, 9 June 2011
Attendance for Welsh Assembly as of Jan 2011

Ieuan Wyn Jones, Plaid Cymru – 78%.

Jane Davidson, Labour – 77%.

Sandy Mewies, Labour – 74%.

Christine Chapman, Labour – 73%.

Carl Sargeant, Labour – 69%.

Carwyn Jones, Labour – 67%

Irene James, Labour – 58%.

Lynne Neagle, Labour – 39% (long illness).

Even Lynne, with her long term illness probably has a better attendance record than most MPs.

This is what the House of Commons looks like most of the time during important debates.

And then the division bell rings and 650 votes are casts, despite the fact that 630 MP's couldn't be arsed to listen to the arguments for or against.


Disrespectful Behaviour by Assembly Members

A number of National Assembly Members behaved in a disgustingly disrespectful way during the Queen of England's visit to the Senedd yesterday.

The vast majority of the members of the Assembly were elected having stood for election as Socialists, Nationalists or Liberal Democrats. Socialists are supposed to believe that everyone is equal, there is no nobility and peasant, that no person is better than another because of accident of birth. Nationalists are supposed to believe that Wales is a nation that sovereignty comes from the people of Wales rather than from the monarch of another country. Democrats are supposed to believe that the head of state should be elected by the people rather than given to us "By the Grace of God" and heredity. By standing for election on such tickets it is totally unreasonable to argue that, having won, elected members should then throw their principals away by cow-towing to a monarchy that their principals suggest that they oppose. But 38 out of 45 of them chose to do so yesterday!

The behaviour of 38 of the Assembly Members who decided to attend the Royal Opening of The Senedd yesterday was extremely disrespectful. It showed a lack of respect to the voters who elected them as Socialists, Democrats and Nationalists, it showed a lack of respect to the principles of Socialism, Nationalism and Democracy, but even worse it showed a distinct lack of self-respect, as the members lowered themselves into doing something that their election tags suggested that they did not wish to do, for the sake of systemic propriety!

Thank goodness for the few who showed a bit of respect for their constituents, their principles and themselves!


The Green Monster

There is an interesting post on the Better Nation Blog that looks at how likely people are to vote Green. To paraphrase and over simplify the post, it claims that more than 50% of us see the Greens as a cuddly nice party who we might vote for in the right circumstances. This confirms my own non-empirical experience of how people across the political spectrum view the Green Party. Pleidwyr, Labourites, Lib Dems and Tories all see the Greens as a party they COULD vote for and a party that they don't fundamentally oppose.

The Greens are seen as a generally progressive, slightly left of centre party, a party with a heart of gold even if some of their policies seem a tad too idealistic, but this impression is wrong. The Greens are not a left of centre moderately progressive party; they are an extremely regressive anti-Welsh party.

Thirty years ago only the rich Jet-setters could afford to board an aeroplane to visit overseas countries at great expense; that wasn't an environmental problem! The problem is caused by us hoi-polloi being able to easy-jet to Spain, or wherever in our thousands.

Forty years ago only the gentry could afford a motor car, no problem. The problem is caused by those of us living in council houses having cars!

Sixty years ago the rich could have a range of good food in all seasons. The poor had to survive on salted meat and vegetables that had grown stringy in frost covered ground (if they were lucky); the environmental problems are caused by the lower classes expecting fresh meat and fresh veg from the supermarket in all seasons.

Wales has poorer road links, poorer air links, and fewer factories than other parts of the UK, because of that Wales has a GDP that is 26% lower than the UK average, but any attempt to build new roads, improve our air service or to re-industrialise our post industrial areas are met with howls of protest from the Green lobby!

And what are we offered by the Greens in exchange for giving up all the advantages that a 21st century economy could give us?- Yr Hen Ffordd Gymreig o Fyw (The Old Welsh way of Country Life)? No chance!

What we get is New Age Colonialist English Hippies who oppose anything to do with Welsh culture.

The Green Party is an anti-working class, anti-business, anti-Welsh abomination, that deserves no support from anyone in Wales.