Of course I sympathise with Ann in her loss, I met her late husband Owen on a few occasions and I would be horrified to think that his last days were blighted by lack of care in Wales' flagship hospital, but I'm sorry Ann, I doubt that it is true.
Because professional health care workers expect to be at the butt end of anger as an expression of grief, being insouciant about such attacks is an element of being a caring health care worker.
When my eldest son was a little boy, about 4 years old, he was rushed into hospital with a very severe ear infection. A doctor told me that if the infection spread to his brain that he would die and that the severity of his condition suggested that that was the most likely outcome, his chances of survival were very low indeed!
I hated that doctor with a level of hatred that you cannot imagine – I wanted to do worse than "shoot the messenger".
I see him occasionally in the aisles of the local Tesco store and every time I see him I feel my stomach churning 12 years after the event! Did he break the news gently and with compassion or was he brusk and clinical? I don't know. All I can remember of the event is the horror of some ****** telling me that my lovely little baby was likely to die. Thankfully my son survived, but I still hate that doctor despite the fact that he saved my son's life.
When our loved ones are in hospital it is difficult to be rational, they are the most important people in the world to us we are very emotionally involved with their care, anybody who shows less emotion in such a crisis can appear "callous". But the nurse on that ward may have thirty other patients to deal with s/he has other relatives and friends who are as demanding of her / his attention for their loved ones as I am for mine. S/he can only give one thirtieth of the time that I feel my nearest and dearest deserves, because s/he has to care for the other 29 patients too.
Having a child, a parent, a spouse a grandparent in hospital coming to the end of their lives is probably one of the most traumatic experiences any of us can have. Dealing with the expression of that trauma is an everyday occurrence for health care professionals; If they become emotionally involved they will burn out! A caring professional must be able to share professional empathy with all patients and clients but they cannot give personal sympathy (which is what most of us want from them) and carry on working.
Indeed professional standards and even basic empathy can often conflict. Refuse to tell an 82 year old granny how her granddaughter and prospective great-grandchild are doing and you will be accused of being a callous "jobs worth"; give that information, unintentionally, to hacks and you have breached patient confidentiality and are the butt of a radio hoax and at the arse end of a Professional Conduct Enquiry!
What annoys me most about Ann's intervention on this issue is that she, as a Labour MP, has allowed Jeremy Cunt to respond to her grief by claiming that nursing has descended into the normalisation of cruelty! A means of blaming nurses, rather than government, for failings in the NHS
Ann - Is that sick lie about dedicated public servants what you want Owen to be remembered for?
Whenever there is a news item about people who live with a disability a representative pops up on the telly to speak on their behalf!
Where do these representatives come from?
Who elects them?
Who selects them?
I am very hard of hearing and I have up to 50 absence epileptic fits a day, but I have never, ever, been approached by any organisation purporting to represent my disabilities before they give evidence on my behalf to the National Assembly or Westminster Committees. When I see these people representing me on BBC Democracy Live I wonder how on earth they were selected to speak for me because they haven't got a fucking clue about the realities of living with hearing loss or epilepsy in rural north Wales.
Who are Epilepsy Wales/Epilepsi Cymru? I have lived with epilepsy for 40 years without this organisation ever aproaching me or asking my opinion about epeleptic issues! Apparently Wales Council for the Deaf is a lead organistaion in informing the Assembly about hearing loss issues - sorry for the pun, but as a deaf person, I've never heard from them!
Today's news about the closure of another two Remploy factories in Wales is apparently supported by SCOPE a charity that has grand ideas about some disability utopia, but doesn't have a realistic clue about the realities of living with a disability!
How many people who live with a disability voted for the Scope Representative to "speak for them" in support of a Tory attack on real people whose only chance of a job is in a Remploy factory?
I agree with IDS, most people with a disability can work! Disabled people should have work. Working is a good therapy, but the idea that I can compete in an open jobs market is a total fallacy. Be honest – given the choice of employing a healthy young 17 year old or 50+ deaf epileptic – who would you give the job to?
Sorry SCOPE, but your trendy lefty lovey attitude towards disability doesn't help me!
The only way that I can get a job is if I can get an employer that discriminates in my favour – like Remploy!
The only way that I can be represented is if I am consulted as a disabled person -rather than be represented by the wheelchair pusher who is asked does he take sugar and answers, wrongly, on my behalf - like Scope!
Disabled People Against Cuts Caerdydd and supporters will gather at the Aneurin Bevan Statue, Queen Street at 5 pm on Monday 3rd December. The event will include the lighting of 1000 candles to remember welsh disabled and sick people who died last year shortly after being told that they were fit for work and having benefits cut by an Atos 'work capability assessment. It may also include 'direct action' such as blocking roads.
The National Day of Remembrance for those killed by ATOS has been supported by disability campaigning organisations including Disabled People Against Cuts, Black Triangle and others. 29 MPs signed an Early Day Motion in support off the day including Welsh MPs, Martin Caton, Anne Clwyd, Jonathan Edwards and Albert Owen.
According to an FOI (Freedom of Information) response publicised by the Daily Mail journalist Sonia Poulton on October 7, the current weekly average Atos/DWP death toll of people found fit for work after an ESA work capability assessment now stands at 73 people per week.
A FOI in April revealed in 2011 an average of 32 dying a week after failing test for new incapacity benefit. More than a thousand sickness benefit claimants died last year after being told to get a job.
There have been numerous horror stories in the media of people with terminal illnesses (in one infamous case even someone in a coma) being declared fit for work by ATOS and having their benefits cut.
'A GRIEVING boy of 13 has accused Atos of killing his disabled dad. Kieran McArdle told the Daily Record in a harrowing letter how his father Brian, 57, collapsed and died the day after his disability benefits were stopped. He had been assessed by Atos and deemed “fit for work”'
'A cancer sufferer, who had her benefits cut by government officials who said she was fit to work, has died'.
'I sought this debate in order to raise the case of one of my constituents, Colin Traynor, who was epileptic. He was assessed as fit for work, yet died less than four months later' (Michael Meacher MP)
One of the arguments made by Plaid Cymru in favour of campaigning for enhanced devolution rather than ought right independence is that if devolution works well for Wales, then the people of Wales will embrace the process and demand more and more powers for Wales. Opinion Polls suggest that there is an element of truth to Plaid's theory and as time has gone by support for devolution has increased substantially, but every attempt to move the process of devolution on is stymied by the same old opponents of Welsh self determination – the Labour Party.
In the four years prior to the 2011 referendum all of the talk was about parity with Scotland which seemed to have massive support amongst the electorate. It was only in the statuary period three weeks before the vote, that honesty entered the campaign and we were told that the actual referendum would be on a cosmetic issue!
The first volume of the Silk Report suggests another referendum on another cosmetic issue that won't be held for at least another 10 years, I'm sure that the second volume will contain even further obstacles to attaining what many thought they were voting for a year and a half ago.
In the meantime the Labour Government in Cardiff is doing what the cynics of 1979 were predicting: Ruling Wales poorly in order to prove that Wales can't run its own affairs. We have had a Labour Government since the beginning of Devolution and in that time it has lowered Wales' economic performance, worsened the health of the nation, inflicted poorer education on our kids and encouraged maximum immigration of non Welsh speakers into the Welsh Language Heartlands.
Broadcasting has been administratively devolved to Wales since the 1950's. Before the creation of the Assembly we had Teledu Cymru, TWW, HTV Wales, BBC Wales, BBC Cymru, The Welsh Light Programme, Radio Wales, Radio Cymru, S4C and a number of regional broadcasters. Local broadcasting within Wales is likely to expand over the next few years. As the media has been practically devolved for so many years, one would think that the governance of broadcasting should naturally be devolved – but Labour is opposed to devolving broadcasting!
Some have laughed at the unfortunate timing of the Welsh Labour Government asking to pull an episode of a soap opera on the day that Lord Levison published his report on statutory control of the press. I don't think it's funny, unfortunate nor an accident. It is another case of the Labour Party deliberately creating a situation which proves that Wales shouldn't have broadcasting devolved, because Wales can't be trusted, even in the case of the editorial independence of Soap Operas. Labour attitude through and through.
The Evolution of Devolution project has failed, and failed miserably, it's high time that all of us who support the National Cause - Left or Right- In Plaid or anti-Plaid – Cultural, Political, Economic and every other sort of Nationalist to give up on the Devo project and go four square for independence, because at the current rate Wales will become extinct before it evolves or devolves much further.
The story is headlined Welsh Not a myth to stir up prejudice against the British Government!
In the article David T C Davies MP claims that, an infamous 19th century school punishment handed out to children for speaking Welsh in class is largely a myth used to stir up anti-English prejudice. He Justifies this statement by claiming that:
Until the 1870 Education Act, the state had no involvement at all in schools, so whatever was observed by the inspectors who wrote the Blue Books had nothing to do with the Government.“The teachers who imposed the Welsh Not were Welsh and its imposition would have been done with the agreement of parents.“ Of course I have no sympathy with the Welsh Not, but it’s important to recognize that it wasn’t imposed by the British Government.”
The article is then followed by over 200 comments made by anti- Welsh trolls, many of whom are probably one individual posting under numerous monikers. Although, in fairness, some of those opposing the trolls also show a degree of ignorance about the truth about the Welsh Not and make unfounded remarks about Mr Davies himself.
Let's start with David Davies, himself. Mr Davies is a fairly fluent Welsh speaker, he is not an anti Welsh blow-in to Welsh politics or a stranger to Welsh culture. Indeed David's great, great, great grandfather the Rev Peter Williams, was the author of what is probably the most famous Welsh song in the world, Guide me o thou Great Redeemer (better known to rugby followers as Bread of Heaven) so David has every right to comment on Welsh culture. Secondly much of what the MP sid about the Welsh Not is factually correct.
As Mr Davies says the Welsh Not was never imposed by the British state on Welsh Schools. The person responsible for creating the myth of the Welsh Not, Sir O. M. Edwards, notes that some of those who thrashed him in Day School for speaking English were the same teachers who taught him how to read and write in Welsh in Sunday School, and recounts an incident when one of those who beat the English language into him admonished for speaking English, rather than Welsh, when they met on a train. The Welsh Not was used as a means of teaching English, rather than one of oppressing Welsh.
Where David Davies' argument fails is in his claim that the Welsh Not was never endorsed by the British state, because Until the 1870 Education Act, the state had no involvement at all in schools" which, with all respect is a load of tosh! Before 1870 schools were run by the Church – The Church of England was an integral part of the State at that time.
The Not punishment was invented by the Church, it was first used in monasteries to discourage the use of any native language in favour of the use of Latin. The origin of the Welsh Not also included an English Not!
After the dissoloution Anglican and then nonconformist missionaries used the practice throughout the Empire against hundreds of languages – many of which have become extinct because of Language Not practice as endorsed by the British Government.
I suspect that David Davies is not responsible for the Newspaper's headline Welsh Not a myth to stir up prejudice against the British Government because there is nothing in the article that suggests that David said anything like that, but the headline writer is way off the mark.
The Myth of the Welsh Not came from a True Brit who was a Liberal MP, His Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools and a Knight of the Realm – not quite the typical Radical Welsh Nat Extremist, but a person who was at the heart of the Brit Establishment and a confidant of the British Government, a person who would hardly stir up prejudice against the British Government!
That the Welsh Not, The Gaelic Not, The Afrikaans Not and hundreds of other Nots were used throughout the Empire in order to promote the use of English is not a myth!
We pay our politicians good money to represent us, for that money they should bloody well do the job, rather than jib out of the job every so often and ask for a "referendum" to cover their fears of making a decision.
There is something patently ridiculous in the idea of needing a referendum to make a decision - when the referendum can only be called when those who have the power to make the decision, without a referendum, feel that the vote will go their way.
If the last need for a devolution referendum is anything to go by, we won't even have a debate about the issue of tax varying powers for the next goodness knows how many years, we will just have a convoluted debate about the best time to decide about discussing the issue!
There are only two honest ways of dealing with this issue, one is for the elected to accept / reject Silk's recommendations without a referendum and accept the consequences of their decision. The other is to put the matter to a referendum as soon as is practically possible – next May - perhaps. Procrastinating about the best time will be dishonest, duplicitous and a disservice to Wales
If we have to have another bloody referendum I will, of course, make another application to lead the No campaign on a NO! Not Good Enough platform :-)
I have received a number of press releases from organizations who are concerned about the democratic deficit caused by so few voting in the Thursday's Police Commissioner Elections. I could use them to fill the void in my recent blogging activity, but I won't because personally I am very, very pleased that so few voted.
Unlike other regional elections, such as the Regional Assembly Lists and the All Wales European Election List – the Commissioner vote has been a vote for an individual rather than for a list member.
As an individual, despite a miserly 15% turnout, Winston Roddick's 35K vote is three times the personal vote won by any constituency AM in North Wales and twice the personal vote of any MP elected in North Wales.
Despite the limitations of his job, despite the lack of confidence in the vote, despite the pathetic turnout numbers Winston Roddick is currently, by far, the individual elected with the largest personal mandate in the whole of North Wales - and that's the danger of these elections! Imagine the moral authority the person elected to the post would have if 70 or 80% of us had cast a vote!
I hope that the low turnout will result in the abolition of these elections – because the danger of just one individual Police Boss having more electoral clout than any MP or AM in North Wales frightens me.
It is that sort of power that leads to the creation of a Police State.
I stand by my claim that the Labour Part is Standing up for Wales against the Tories by intentionally scuppering Welsh Laws by making them laws that will inevitably be challenged by The Secretary of State for Wales, the Counsel General almost admitted so in the Assembly yesterday!
Those who have claimed that the SoS for Wales is at fault are being naive. If the SoS doesn't challenge the laws when there are obvious doubts about them; they are open to challenge from any Tom, Dick and Harry – a challenge from the SoS that is rejected / upheld will actually strengthen the validity of any Welsh Law.
By seeing the flaw in the Official Languages Bill, David Jones MP might be doing a favour to the language (which he speaks fluently) by asking the Supreme Court to validate the bill. If validated by the Supreme Court the Bill is legally sound! If the Supreme Court says No, it will say why and a more sound bill can be passed by the Assembly based on its judgement.
On the other hand David can ignore the bill's current failings and allow any Tom, Dic and Harri to oppose it in hundreds of courts of law.
If I was a Hairy Arsed Tory Anti Welsh Monster, I would have ignored the problems that the Bill raises and would have waited for the proverbial to hit the fan.
By flagging the problems and attempting to resolve them David Jones isn't quite the "Monster" that Labour would have us believe. He is a good friend of Wales who is trying to sort out a mess in the best interest of Wales!
Of course the main problem is the pathetic Devolution settlement that Wales suffers – a settlement that many voted for enthusiastically! Last year - I tried to organise a No! Not Good Enough Campaign – but I had little support.
It appears that it wasn't good enough
I TOLD YOU SO!
Having listened to broadcasts from other party conferences, where nothing was debated, where no policy was decided, where the party hierarchy was not held to account, I thought that the NATO debate at the SNP conference was a breath of fresh air.
A party conference where delegates were allowed to argue passionately for and against what they believe to be the best policy followed by a knife edge vote, where the arguments presented to conference made the difference to the outcome of the vote - that is what party conferences use to be for should be for!
How many other Governing parties, in the so called Democratic West, would allow such a debate and such a vote? Very few!
Agree or disagree with Conference's decision (I disagree) it was fantastic to have such an open, honest and hard hitting debate – decided by ordinary party members.
The fact that UK Party Conferences have become nothing more than staged managed rallies rather than a place to argue policy and that Scotland still has a party where debate is open and free - should, in-itself, be an argument for independence and a reason to vote YES in 2014!
Gideon Osborne wants to cut back on benefits in order to do what he wants to do with the economy.
There is one really pathetic state benefit that he should tackle if he is serious about boosting the economy. The Christmas Bonus.The Christmas Bonus is £10 that is paid to all benefit recipients in late November, it was first paid in the 1970's; I can't recall if it was Mr Heath or Mr Wilson's government who introduced it, but I can remember my Grandmother being thrilled to bits because the £10 enabled her to buy a pair of socks for all of her descendants – the first time she had been able to buy all her kids and grandkids a Christmas present. The Christmas Bonus is still £10 forty years later – it probably costs more than £10 to distribute it and in this day and age ten quid is hardly a bonus of any real value to the recipient. Abolishing the Christmas Bonus would be a sensible saving if one just wants to cut the benefits bill. Let's be honest a tenner at Christmas isn't really a benefit anymore! Ditching the payment and the cost of paying it would make serious inroads into the benefits bill! On the other hand – the best way of boosting the UK economy in the run-up to the important Christmas quarter would be to update the Christmas bonus to a sum that enabled grannies to buy gifts for all their descendents again! Giving every scrounging bastard, older person, tax credit parent, disabled individual, single mum etc a £2K Christmas bonus - that will be spent rather than saved will result in a HUGE boost to the economy! And therein lies the problem of the Tory attitude to solving the economic downturn in these islands' prosperity – the idea that the economy is top down as it use to be 200 years ago, that the "poor" depend on those higher up the financial / social scale is wrong in this day and age. It isn't so now! The way that the mass economy works is that the things that sell best are the things that we ALL must have – if we are on the dole or on a £5K per week – for the economy to grow we must enable the poorest to buy! In a mass international market – the mass is the key to economic success, not the elite – The Cameron / Gideon axis doesn't get this modern truism and is, therefore, bound to fail.
Let's suppose that my cynicism about the reason why the first two Assembly Bills have been subjected to judicial review is wrong (as nationalist and socialist commentators alike suggest in response to yesterdays blog post).
Let's suppose that the fact that at least one and possibly two other Bills are in line for judicial review has nothing to do with the Assembly Government / the Labour Party deliberately picking a fight with Westminster, what happens next?
The Supreme Court will not make its decision on the validity of these contentious bills on the morality of the Assembly being able to pass them; they will just look at the dry bones of law and the law will unequivocally find against the Assembly.
If, after it finds against the Assembly, we all condemn the law for being an ass and we complain that such laws are morally indefensible even if legally sound, what happens next?
Will the Labour Party mount a vigorous campaign for a more robust devolution settlement? Will the Conservatives and the Lib Dems admit that there is a flaw in the Government of Wales Act and insist that it is rectified by their colleagues in Westminster? Will even Plaid say that the Campaign for Devo Max / Independence starts today?
Sorry! I'm still a cynic - the answer to all of those questions is No! No! No!
Creating Bills that will be challenged in law has everything to do with the right to moan it's not fair but absolutely nothing to do with creating a system that is fair!
What happens next? – The answer is nothing other than the traditional Labour Evil Tory hissy fit rant.
I think that my cynicism is well founded!
The fate of the National Assembly's first attempt at passing a law under the new powers it gained following last year's referendum is currently being considered by the Supreme Court following a complaint from the Wales Office that it is without the competence of the Assembly. Apparently the Assembly Government had been warned by Whitehall sources that there were problems with the Local Government Byelaws (Wales) Bill before the bill had gone through the Assembly's processes but the Assembly Government chose to carry on regardless.
Yesterday it was announced that a second bill, The Official Languages Bill is about to face a similar fate because the bill deals with both the devolved Welsh Language and the non-devolved English Language. I am not at all surprised by this move; back in 2010 when the Assembly was discussing the Welsh Language LCO I noted on this blog that "There is a failure in the devolution settlement. The Assembly has the right to legislate on the Welsh Language, but not on the Languages of Wales. A measure that says that English and Welsh are both official languages would be illegal;" I made this statement, not because I have superior knowledge of the law, but because that was the feedback that those of us who raised the issue of Official Status got from Assembly Members and Civil Servants. So the Assembly appears to have passed the Official Languages Bill knowing full well that that there were elements in the Bill which were not within the Assembly's current competence.
A third bill, dealing with organ donations is, almost inevitably, going to face a similar challenge, but yet again it appears that the Welsh Labour Government is going to press ahead with that bill regardless of any legal warnings too. When the Government of Wales Acts were passed such legal challenges were expected to be very rare, but they seem to be the defining trait of the current Assembly. So the question has to be asked "Why?"
From a nationalist point of view one could see these legal challenges as a way of highlighting the deficiencies in the Welsh devolution settlement and making the case for more devolution, but that is not what the Welsh Labour Government is doing; Welsh Labour, on the whole, is lukewarm about giving the Assembly further powers.
The Labour government in Cardiff is basically having a pissing competition with the Con-Dem government in London in order to prove that they are "standing up to the Tories". They are allowing the governance of Wales to stagnate in silly legal challenges. Rather than using the limited powers that we voted to give the Assembly in the referendum for the benefit of Wales, Labour is abusing that mandate by bogging the right to pass Welsh laws down in petty party politicking and point scoring. Yet again - the Labour Party is putting what's best for Labour before what is best for Wales!
It wasn't an unfortunate oversight; the warnings about excluding people with epilepsy were made way back in 2007 when preparations for the games were beginning! I'm almost glad that my disability isn't deemed good enough for a fortnights worth of unionjakery!
Given the severity of custodial sentences meted out by the English Judiciary to people who stole a 30p bottle of water or made silly comments on Facebook and Twitter last August, could a punk rock band invading the sanctity of St Pauls Cathedral expect less than two years from an English court?
If Pussy Riot had performed illegally in York Minster would William Hague condemn the judge and the legal system that imprisoned them? Not bloody likely!
Of course the members of the group shouldn't have been imprisoned for making a valid political point, but there is something sickening in the British Establishment jumping on the bandwagon of Pussy Riot supporters when there is overwhelming evidence that Pussy Riot couldn't have expected better from a British court of law.
As the Bible says:
How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
I live with epilepsy and a severe hearing loss. Neither disability means that I am incapable of any sort of work.
I have known about my hearing difficulties since the late 1960's and my epilepsy since the late 1970's neither were a job problem in my prime. I have had some fairly important jobs despite those disabilities. I have been a Senior Nursing Officer in the NHS; a Company Director in private health care and an education and training advisor in the University sector.
Until 1997, neither of my disabilities had stopped me from working. In 1997 I crashed a car that I was driving into a neighbour's car in the car park outside my house because I had an epileptic fit whilst driving. It was in a car park, I was reversing slowly into a parking space, but putting my foot on the gas during the fit wrote off both cars!
I had two baby children at the time, the thought that the fit could have happened on the A55 with the babies in the car was sickening, I haven't driven since and I never ever want to drive again.
Even if I wanted to drive again, once the DVLA discovered that I had a fit whilst driving they cancelled my driving licence anyway! Because I lost my driving licence I lost my job!
The Government decided that I could receive "incapacity benefit" as a result of losing my job.
As a lip reader I thought that I could train to be a lip-reading teacher,(they are few and far between in Wales. At the time none of them could teach lip-reading in Welsh), but I was told NO – I would have to pay for my training and lose all benefits because training would prove that I am not "incapable" of working.
So I remain, a scrounger, a sponger, a ne'r do well, a person left on the scrap heap, because I was useful as one incapable by the last government to hide true job seeker numbers but one deserving of opprobrium by the current government as a scapegoat for the burden on the public purse.
But not considered by either as a person living with a disability who can make a positive contribution to society.
It opened with William Blake's delusional claim that Jesus paid a visit to England's Green and Pleasant Land (Jesus didn't and Blake made the claim whilst suffering from serious mental health issues). Almost as a whoops moment, the ceremony realised that it was a "British" rather than an English games, so Jerusalem had a brake for Danny Boy, Flower of Scotland and Cwm Rhonddao to be included before reverting to Jerusalem. Almost as if to say that the north of Ireland, Scotland and Wales were included in England's green and pleasant land.
The next scene was another Blakism. England's Green and pleasant land was transformed into the "dark satanic mills". In a form of reverse racism some of the industrialists were black. There is no doubt that black men and women were employed in the mills, mines and docks during the industrial revolution and that their labours added to the wealth of the industrial barons, but suggesting that black men were amongst the top hatted barons of industry was a "politically correct" lie.
The idea that the games were forged in the steel of the industrial revolution was another lie. The first time the Games were held in London in 1908 it was deemed inappropriate for "working class people" to take part in such a gentlemen's event.
I liked the bit where the Queen was escorted to the games by James Bond. It was funny, but was spoiled by the Queen looking so miserable when the cameras shot to the "real live HMQ" – she was not amused!
The singing of God Save Betty was apparently sung by a deaf children's choir, but the BBC didn't show any close up's of them signing the song – which rather defeated the object!
When Team GB entered the stadium HM was picking at her cuticles and looking entirely bored by the whole event, so all in all a very poor show from our so called head of state..
I watched the show on the TV, and I was bored stiff. It was clear that most of the show was "made for tv". Those in the ground couldn't see the half of the production. OK those who paid £2012 to watch the show aren't going to admit that they were ripped off – but they were!
At the end of the show it was interesting to note that the President of the IOC thanked the public servants and the volunteers for their contribution, thanking the plebs hadn't crossed Lord Coe's mind.
After all the hype, and Huw Edwards and the Beeb trying to big it up – I would give the Olympic Opening Ceremony, at best one out of ten. That 1 is for the lighting of the coldron – which was inspiring – but as for the rest it was a coldron full of shit!
The tax avoidance problem isn't caused by billionaires fiddling their accounts –it's caused by me giving a fiver to a mate for helping me out when my car don't work according to government minister David GaukeI am also part of the rotten core of corruption by paying the window cleaner £4:00 in cash every month, without ever asking for a VAT receipt, or even checking that the windows have been cleaned; the basket could be secreting thousands of £4s a month into a secret bank account in the Cayman Islands and bankrupting the British economy in the process - because of fools like me!
Those who are committed to protesting against tax avoidance must stop protesting against the likes of Sir Phillip Green immediately – he is just an innocent bystander in a much more corrupt cabal headed by none other than John the Window from north west Wales!
Shocking! - Shouldn't be allowed
I don't do book reviews on this blog, mainly because I don't know how to do them.
Despite having a Twitter account I don't particularly like Twitter; - I don't see the point of saying something in 140 characters that one could stretch into a 3 hour sermon!
If I was to join both of these failings together I would probably tweet Wow what a great read or What a croc of sh**; as a response to most of the books that I have read.I have been offered a free copy of a book to review on this blog. I won't take the offer up, if I did I would be obliged to say something more than wow/croc about it; but as the publishers were so kind as to make the offer and the subject is my many times great grandfather I'll give it a free plug!
How the murder of Wales’ Greatest king transformed the history of Britain on the eve of the Battle of Hastings
Gruffudd ap Llywelyn is one of those relatively unknown figures that deserves a lot more recognition in the annals of history. Born in northern-Wales in the early part of the eleventh century, Gruffudd would go on to seize an unprecedented amount of influence in a ruthless ascent to power. After forcibly unifying all of Wales and claiming the title of ‘king’, Gruffudd successfully attacked the English with the help of a Viking contingent. Gruffudd would get as far as Hereford before burning the city and returning home. These acts forced King Edward the Confessor to seek peace.
Harold, earl of Wessex (later King Harold I) would later take the fight to Gruffudd and in 1063 forced the King to flee his homeland. He was later betrayed and beheaded by his own men, forebears of the princes who have entered history as Wales’ national heroes. The Welsh were left in chaos on the eve of the arrival of the Normans. The death of the last king of Wales would nevertheless also lead to the downfall at Hastings of England’s last Anglo-Saxon king, Harold II.
• The first popular account of the only king to rule all of Wales as a single country and also the last king of the ancient Britons
• Provides a fresh perspective on the events that lead to the Norman Conquest
• Contains original research and little-known illustrations
Michael and Sean Davies each hold a PhD in mediaeval history, and both have published books and articles on Welsh history. Michael runs a company which gives historical tours of Wales and Sean is a writer and editor for the BBC in Cardiff. They both live in Wales.