Nostalgia isn't what it use to be!

I was chatting with some other old fogies in the pub the other night about the things that we have seen, done, etc that our children haven't.

The old favourite, of course, was stepping into white dog shit. (For my younger readers, dogs use to chew on real animals bones - which use to make them produce white, dry poo; rather than the wet brown stuff that comes from canned dog food).

Breath patterns on window panes on a cold and frosty morning! They use to look like ferns or paisley dress patterns - extremely beautiful - but no longer seen in these days of central heating, double glazing and lagging.

The cuckoo, sings in April, the cuckoo sings in May, the cuckoo sings for half of June and then it flies away. I haven't heard a cuckoo sing in north Wales for the past 30 years - my kids have never heard the cuckoo's song!

The other thing that our kids don't have to experience is the doctor's party.

When a child contracted Chickenpox, German Measles, Measles, Mumps etc, the local doctor use to organise a tea party for all the kids in that age group, so that they all caught the illness at the same time and the epidemic was dealt with quickly.

The first time a kid had an invite to a doctor's party it was exiting, something to look forward to. But it resulted in having to suffer a horrible illness. Some school friends would be left severely disabled, some might die. Nobody looked forward to a second invite to the doctor's party.

I can't imagine what it must have been like for a parent to send a kid to such a party.

Thankfully, even when I was a kid, my parents didn't have to worry about the scourges of their childhood - TB and Polio. I was vaccinated against them.

My kids will probably never see white dog poo, frosted windows or ever hear the cuckoo herald the beginning of spring. If they mix in the right circles they may be invited to a GP's party - but not in order to catch a contagious illness!

Unfortunately they might experience the sadness of seeing their school buddies becoming disabled or dieing from those old childhood illnesses that should be preventable. Gareth Aubury, quite rightly, puts the blame for this where it truly belongs - on politicians past and present putting their personal, unfounded, family fears into the public domain.


The BNP and the Oxygen of Publicity

There is an illogical editorial comment in today's Independent relating to the call by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York for people not to vote for the BNP:

... sincere though their intentions undoubtedly are, the content of the latest statement from the two archbishops of Canterbury and York, warning people not to vote for the far-right British National Party (BNP) in next month's European and local elections, must be counted a mistake.

Dr Rowan Williams and Dr John Sentamu are playing directly into the hands of the BNP by whipping up yet more brouhaha over what is likely to remain a marginal force in Britain's political life. Quite inadvertently, they are feeding the party with the oxygen of publicity to a degree that must be delighting the party's leader

Fine advice to give to their graces in private, perhaps, but isn't publishing that advice in a major newspaper doing the exact same thing that it is criticising the Archbishops for doing - giving the BNP the oxygen of publicity?

The hypocracy of the editorial is added to by the fact that the paper not only has a lead comment about the BNP, and coverage of the Archbishops' comments but also two other stories both of which relate to the fascists apparent high rankings on the internet. These two stories actually highlight the danger of the dont give them the oxygen of publicity argument. If Archbishops, humanists, newspapers, mainstream politicians and bloggers don't expose the BNP for the foul and hateful organisation that it is, for fear of giving it publicity, the only source of information that people are left with is the fascists' own self-generated propaganda.

I wish that the BNP didn't exist, but I have to face the reality that it does exist. Ignoring it in the hope that it goes away isn't going to work. The only way to deal with it is to confront it and tell people loud and clear why it is evil and why it is not worthy of any decent person's support. I am glad that Rowan Williams and John Sentamu have done so.


Aye We Can - A song for Europe

This is Scottish blogger Aye We Can's song for the European election. I enjoyed it I hope that you do too!


Western Mail Cartoons are a Joke

This isn't really a current affairs post because it relates to something that has been pissing me of for a few years now. The Far Side Cartoons in the Western Mail. They are not funny they are not relevant and they are a complete waste of space.

In yesterdays paper there was a cartoon about mobile phones and cows, first published in America in 1988! Mobile phone technology has MOOved (sorry) on a bit in the last 21 years. There is little comparison between USA cow ranches and Welsh hill sheep smallholdings. The cartoon is not only dated but is completely irrelevant to the readers of the so called National Newspaper of Wales.

To think that the Western Mail was once the home of that great Welsh cartoonist Grenfell "Gren" Jones and nurtured the talents of Mal Mumph Humphreys!

If they must publish 21 year old cartoons a 21 year old Gren, would still be funnier than a current Far Side.

Come on Western Mail! The people of Wales deserve a better laugh from our National Newspaper than a 20+ year old American cartoons can give us.

Publishing this crap makes the paper the joke!

It must be Lembit.....!

Cash in the Attic is a UK television show on the BBC. In the show, the presenter visits a family's house to find out what they need to raise money for. They then explore the house and its surroundings, finding antiques and valuing them, with the help of experts.

The finds are taken to auction in order to raise money.

Given that the good people of these islands seem to be totally pissed off at the moment with MP's filling their houses with unneeded valuables at the taxpayers expense, one would think that this is the last programme on earth that any MP would wish to appear on, given the present climate.

Not So according to Glyn's blog!


Pub Quiz

What do:

Peter Walker MP for Worcester
David Hunt MP for The Wirral
William Hauge MP for Richmond, Yorkshire
John Redwood MP for Wokingham

have in common with Cheryl Gililan MP for Chesham and Amersham?

I would like the Labour team to think very hard before answering this question - they might get it wrong.

Some members of the Labour team think that Ron Davies was the architect of devolution. Bollocks, he was just the builder. The Architect was Mrs Thatcher and her series of English Secretary's of State for Wales who couldn't give a fiddlers' fart about Wales.

The polls and the Tory choice for Welsh Secretary suggest that we are going back to the same old days. Welsh Labour could, if they were minded to, do something about it - amend the Government of Wales Act (2006) to get rid of the needles referendum clause!

Come on, Welsh Labour, be brave, do what's needed to earn a bonus point for your team!


MP's hold PM to account shock horror

The front page of today's Daily Post is a further example of the expenses scandal getting out of hand. Wanting to get their bit of the action the Daily Post has "exclusively" discovered that the three Plaid MPs used some of their incidental expenses allowance to pay for legal advice regarding the Iraq war.

The Daily Post seems to think that this is wrong, because it means that "Labour supporters forked out" to fund a campaign to oust the Prime Minister. Rather a pathetic claim to make. As all tax payers pay towards all MP's costs, Plaid supporters will pay a damned site more per head to Labour Tory and Lib Dem MP's than than any taxpayer pays for the cost of Plaid MPs. And all of the MP's expenses put together will be chickenfeed in comparison to the billions that opponents of the illegal war have had to fork out to finance the military campaign.

What ever one's opinion of Plaid Cymru, Tony Blair or the war in Iraq, it should be clear to any unbiased observer that getting legal advice about the activities of the government of the day is a legitimate way for oppositions politicians to hold the government to account.

This is a non story and is more of an embarrassment to the Daily Post for reporting it than it is for the three MP's concerned.

A Vendetta Against Democracy

I live in the Aberconwy Constituency. Whilst Wales is part governed by Westminster I want an MP to represent Aberconwy in Westminster whilst being available to me in my constituency.

My MP can not commute between London and Conwy on a daily basis. If I want her to be available "at home" to me on occasions and to represent me in Westminster at other times, I have to accept that the "job" involves her having to have two places for her to rest her head. I have to accept, as a tax payer and a democrat, that I have to foot the bill for her so called "second home" in London through common taxation.

My MP is a common working class woman. Before she was elected she was a social worker who probably struggled to keep one home going. She desperately needed the allowance help to set up her "second home" in London, and deserved all the help that she has been given in order to make it possible for a person from her background to represent people like me as an MP.

She hasn't been mentioned in the Telegraph, but she had been tarred by the same brush! This is an affront to democracy.

The Telegraph has been feeding on this story for two weeks. In that two weeks it has mentioned about 80 MPs out of 650, few of whom are really guilty of any sort of misbehaviour.

Lets look at just the Welsh victims:

Paul Murphy asked for a boiler, condemned by a CORGI advisor, to be replaced. (Some Welsh bloggers / prats think that he should have ignored that expert advice).

Sian James is exposed for NOT claiming for a chocolate Santa, despite the HO HO HO's and the Ha Ha Ha's.

Lembit is condemned for a plasma TV that the Commons authorities refused to pay for.

So the Telegraph has found nothing against 90% of MP's. The faults it claims to have found against 5% of MP's have proved to be shit, and the minor corruption that it claims to have found against about 1% of MP's has dominated the headlines for 2 weeks whilst unemployment is rising and the economy is going down the pan.

And who benefits from this assault on democracy? The fascists in UKIP and the BNP!

The Telegraph editors and their supporters need to stand back for a minute and consider what they are doing.

This has gone beyond exposing a few bad apples. It has now become a vendetta against democracy. It is time that it stopped!

Odd Poll

A poll on ITN news tonight claimed that 54% of the electorate believe that a General Election should be held immediately. Only 45% said that they would vote in a General Election if held. Does this mean that 9% of the good citizens of these islands want an election in order to make a point of not voting in it?


Quote of the day

Ennis Hughes has just said on CF99 that her party, the BNP is opposed to the Eu because they believe:

That the European Union is a Fascist state

Pull the other one Ennis - if the EU was Fascit your Fascit party would be 100% behind it.

Syr Siôn Trefor

Michael Martin Is the first House of Commons speaker to be given the boot since the days of Sir John Trevor in the 17th century.

Which leaves the question on every body's lips: Who was Syr Siôn Trefor?

This is the answer from The Dictionary of Welsh Biography
Sir JOHN TREVOR (1638 - 1717), speaker and judge, was the second son of John Trevor (d. c. 1643). His father dying in his early boyhood, he was befriended by his uncle Arthur Trevor, who prepared him for entry to the Inner Temple (Nov. 1654), whence he was called to the Bar in May 1661.

Six years later he accompanied his kinsman and namesake, Sir J. Trevor ‘III’ of Trevalun, on an embassy to France, was knighted on 29 Jan. 1671, and in 1673 entered Parliament, sitting for English pocket boroughs till 1681, and failing to secure election for Montgomery in 1679.

He combined a fulsome support of the royal prerogative and single handed defence of his unpopular cousin and patron Jeffreys with an aggressive Protestantism, resulting in his chairmanship of committees like those on the growth of popery (29 April 1678) — inspired by John Arnold, and issuing in the martyrdom of David Lewis and other South Wales catholics — and on the impeachment of Powis and the other popish lords.

Living mainly in London, he acquired a country house at Pulford, lower down the Dee than the family seat, until the death of his elder brother made him heir to the latter, probably before the violent county election of March 1681, when he revived the old family feud by capturing Denbighshire from the Whiggish but territorially far more powerful Myddeltons, who challenged him to a duel for calling the Roundhead Sir Thomas a traitor.

He became mayor of Holt next year, and in 1684 was put on a commission of enquiry into concealed crown lands in Denbighshire.

On James II's accession, Beaufort, as President of Wales , intervened, at the prompting of the king and Jeffreys, to heal the feud, with the result that Myddelton was returned unopposed for the county and Trevor for the borough, of which he was promptly made a burgess. Trevor had his revenge when a quarter of a century later he helped to ruin the Edisbury'sclients of the Myddeltons, by foreclosing on their Erddig estate, of which he was a principal mortgagee.

In 1685 he was elected Speaker of the House (19 May), and appointed Master of the Rolls (20 Oct.), and added to the privy council , with two Dissenters to offset his stiff Anglicanism , on 6 July 1688; he was also given the joint constableship of Flint castle (1687) and the office of ‘ custos rotulorum ’ of Flintshire (Dec. 1688), remaining true to James even after his first flight. He therefore lost his offices at the Revolution , but was again returned to parliament for an English pocket borough and resumed his speakership (May 1690).

Winning the favour of William III by his success in ‘managing’ the Tories, he was restored to the privy council (1 Jan. 1691), made first commissioner of the Great Seal during the vacancy of 1690-93 , and re-appointed Master of the Rolls on 13 Jan. 1693, but in 1695 he was deposed from the speakership (12 Mar.) and expelled the House (16 Mar) for bribery, only a few weeks after he had been within sight of the woolsack.

His Welsh offices were restored in 1705 . He d. in London , 20 May 1717 , leaving a reputation for legal knowledge and judicial impartiality in sharp contrast with his political venality. He was a benefactor of many county charities , including Denbigh grammar school . His portrait is preserved at Brynkynallt. He m. Jane , daughter of Sir Roger Mostyn and widow of Roger Puleston of Emral . With the death, in 1762, of his eldest son, who unsuccessfully contested Dnbigh boroughs in the Tory interest in 1741, the male line came to an end

Hm! A Welsh man was the last speaker to feel the parliamentary boot up his backside, a Scot is the latest recipient. I feel an anti Celtic minorities rant brewing!!!!

Why I Blog - Welsh Bloggers

My lame excuse for trying to win friends and influence people by blogging can be found here.

I am thinking about contributing a My Favourite Blogs post soon. If you want a mention be kind, very kind, in the comments section :-)


Mebyon Kernow PPB

There was a time, before the average bolg reader was born, when the SNP and Plaid Cymru were not allowed to make Party Political Broadcasts because they didn't represent the whole of the United Kingdom. Both parties overcame the ban by illegaly intercepting official BBC radio broadcasts in order to broadcast themselves. The Beeb, parliament and the public got so peeved by the interceptions that they eventualy allowed both parties the right to make official PPB's.

In England no party is alowed to make an European Party Political Broadcast, unles it stands candidates in at least nine UK constituencies. A situation that causes difficulties for Cornish Nationalists, who dont even have one national representative in the EU parliament, but have to share representation with the south west of England and Gibralta.

MK has made its first ever PPB. It wont be broadcast on the telly because of the racist anti-Cornish rules, but it can be seen on YouTube:


Golwg and Blogs

When the Plaid Driven (Labour Sat Nav) Government crashed into the bridge that promised a Welsh Language Newspaper they backtracked into a compromise lane that gave the Welsh language mag Golwg loads of money for an on-line internet presence.

It should be available today at www.golwg360.com
I am still getting a page error result at every attempt to access it - but it's early morning - let's hope for better later!

The hard copy of the periodical use to have a weekly column from former blogger Normal Mouth. Normal Mouth and I rarely agreed with each other, but I always found his arguments worth reading and worth thinking about. Normal continued to post a weekly column to Golwg long after he stopped posting on his own site. I was disappointed that Normal's rants seem to have been ditched by Golwg this week. I hope that this is just a temporary hiatus and that Normal will be restored to his former glory on the on-line edition.

There is a new column in the mag today called Byd y Blogiau (The Blogging World), which starts with the strap line Blogs are Influential - This Is What They Say. I am pleased to note that mine is one of the influential blogs noted, along with the offerings of Paul Flynn MP, Cynical Welshman (sic) and The Prof.

Looking forward to Normal and links on-line!


Huw's Anti-Welsh Insult

On Tuesday Huw Lewis AM posted on his blog a review of a Fabian Society pamphlet The Change We Need. This pamphlet looks at the lessons that the Labour Party in Britain might learn from the successes of the Obama campaign in the USA last year.

Huw goes on to explain the way that Labour in Wales can adapt the pamphlets' message to its own campaigns. As part of his explanation he says:

As the Democrats made a mockery of the “un-American” taunts of the right, so Labour should make a mockery of the “anti-Welsh” taunts of the cultural right here at home.

Unfortunately Huw Lewis fails to see the irony that it is statements like this that make many feel that the Labour party is institutionally anti Welsh.

The use of the word cultural in the quote here is clearly meant to be disparaging. It is part of an insult. Huw is using peoples' support for Welsh culture as a way of insulting them.

Huw's suggestion by coupling the word cultural with the word right is that all supporters of Welsh culture are also right wing in their politics. Some of us are but many are not. Huw's use of the term cultural right suggests that he dosn't belive that there is a cultural left, or if he does, that the cultured left could possibly accuse Labour of being "anti-Welsh". Now we all know that Huw doesn't like what he perceives to be the right, by coupling the world cultural with the word right he is telling us that he doesn't like the supporters of Welsh culture either.

So in his attempt to change the perception that Labour is anti Welsh, poor Huw is actually making the case.


101 Reasons for not voting Labour - #81-90

Despite portraying itself as the Peoples Party, the Labour Party has always betrayed the working class and gone after big money.

Here are reasons 81 to 90 for NOT VOTING LABOUR

80] Cash for Honours

81] Cash for Bath plugs

82] The Bernie Ecclestone Affair

83] The PFI Scandal

84] Wendy Alexander's not Scottish, not British financial donations

85] Closing Remploy factories and denying over 1000 people with a disability work opportunities

86] Closing Job Centers in Wales and centralising facilities whilst unemployment is rising

87] The secretary of State for Wales, the man responsible for the Welsh budget, can't organise his own finances.

88] London Labour refuses to match Welsh EU funding, so match funding comes out of essential services, or EU money has to be sent back unspent.

98] Labour invest heavily in London infrastructure - e.g. High speed rail, Heathrow, etc but call it "British" rather than English, and don't give Wales equivalent funding for Welsh Infrastructure.

90] Labour sees the London Olympics and all the benefits that London, England will gain from hosting the games in London as a "British affair". Wales loses out on Barnet Consequential funding and Lottery funding.

101 Reasons for not voting Labour #91-101

The political party that I dislike most of all is the Labour Party. It is a party that has offered so much to Wales, and has received so much support from Wales over the past eight decades, but has failed miserably to deliver. It is the party that Wales trusted, and the party that betrayed that trust.

I hate the Labour party and I can think of a million and one reasons for not voting Labour. During the run up to the Euro elections I will mention just 101 of them!

101 Reasons for not voting Labour #91-101

91] Labour Raising taxes and calling them Green taxes or Health Improvement Taxes, but not spending the proceeds on either health or the environment.

92] Massive election frauds. Make sure you use your vote to vote against Labour lest the steal it and use it in a way which (according to a judge) would Disgrace a Banana republic.

93] Labour MP's voting to close hundreds of Welsh Post Offices whilst campaigning locally to keep them open

94] Labour supporting the lifestyles of the "wealthy and privileged" rather than hard-working families.

95] Reduced funding for Wales

96] Denise Idris Jones - the most ineffective AM ever.

97] They believe that the tax that we pay isn't OUR money, not even Government money but Labour Money


I could, probably write a 101 anti Kinnock comments but here are just a few to end off the list

99] Glenys Kinnock's lies about Welsh Language Education

100] Neil Kinnocks anti Welsh Devolution Campaign in 1979

101] The Kinnocks on the European Gravy Train

Meibion y Teligraff

There was a time, apparently, when Welsh Nationalists burned down second homes. On Palm Sunday 1980 I, amongst others, was arrested for being one of the perpetrators!

At the time the Daily Telegraph hated our guts, and couldn't see that there was a human rights issue in the fact that a person could be arrested just for being a Welsh Nationalist - we were all guilty by association. Burning down Second homes was a crime against humanity.

How things have changed. The Telegraph's campaign against MP's second homes is much more vociferous and damaging than anything Meibion Glyndwr ever achived!

I can understand the public anger at some of the excesses of MP's expenses but Meibion y Teligraff have gone overboard in their anti second homes campaign!

Whilst I live in the United Kingdom, I WANT somebody for my patch to represent me in Westminster. She or He can't commute to London on a daily basis, so it is only fair that she / he has a London home paid for through the cost of democracy.

Meibion y Teligraff trying to burn down my MP's Second home is an affront to democratic representation for my little part of this Kingdom!

A Much worse crime than my non existant role in Meibion Glyndwr ever was!

So why haven't they been arrested?


Cheryl's poodle

Was Cheryl Gillian's expenses claim for dog food made so she could feed her lap dog?

Put your differences behind you - Vote Plaid

I can understand why people voted for Llais Gwynedd and for Peoples Voice in last May's council elections. I can understand why they are disappointed with Plaid Cymru.

I know, more than most, how cruel Plaid can be to ex supporters, but at the end of the day there is only one way to secure a voice for Wales in Europe and that is by voting Plaid Cymru on June 4th.

Gwylym, Gethin, Seimon, Alwyn - please don't throw the baby out with the bath water, encourage your supporters to go out and vote Plaid, rather than stay in and allow the anti Welsh to win!



The efficiency of devolution

Listening to those who still oppose devolution complaining during this weeks decennial celebrations, it has been interesting to note that most of them have based their complaints, not on standards, but on how much per head is spent on Welsh school children, Welsh patients etc.

Because of my health problems I am a heavy user of the NHS in Wales. My experience is that the NHS in Wales is much, much better now than it was ten years ago. English friends who live with hearing loss and epilepsy tell me that my service use experiences are much better than theirs.

As a parent of two children in secondary education I couldn't wish for a better education experience than that offered to my sprogs. English friends are amazed at the range of subjects, extra curricular activities and educational opportunities that my kids have in comparison to what their kids are offered. They can't believe that my children are not just given the range of experiences but that they can access them through a choice of languages!

The funny thing is that those who complain about the Assembly's per capita spending are also the rent-a-gobs who the press can always depend upon to give a quote about efficiency and the need for cutting public expenditure.

Which raises the question: Is the fact that less per head is spent on Welsh Education and Health than is spent on English Education and Health a sign that these services are worse in Wales or a sign that they are more efficient in Wales?

Its only anecdotal evidence, but my experience is that Wales is more efficient, providing more for less.

Responsible Blogging?

As a parent of teenage children I am very aware of the dark side of the internet, and try my best to encourage my boys to be safe on line.

As Safe Teens On Line says

The most important thing to remember is that when you’re online in any kind of a public forum, you’re out in public and anyone can read whatever you post. You should never post anything on the Internet that you wouldn’t want known to the public at large. You should also remember that people you meet in cyberspace might not be who they seem to be. If you’re in any type of public forum, avoid giving out your full name, your mailing address, your telephone number, the name of your school, or any other information that could help someone determine your actual identity. The same applies to your family and friends. Never reveal anything about other people that could possibly get them into trouble. The biggest danger to your safety is if you get together with someone you “meet” online. Remember, you never know for certain if people you meet online are who they say they are. If you do feel it’s appropriate make sure the meeting is in a public place and bring people with you.

I don't want to be a party pooper. I am sure that all those who turn up will be nice blokes and blokesses, but I'm not sure if my making a point of going all the way to Cardiff to meet with strangers in the Vulcan would give a very good example to my boys. So sorry I won't be there!


A Debate on Euro Legislation?

A debate on Euro legislation. HT Ordo:

Seal products from indigenous hunts are exempt from the ruling, permitted only where they result from hunts conducted in a traditional manner and which contribute to the subsistence of indigenous hunters - ie the Inuit.

So the Inuit can continue to practice their quaint little customs as a museum nation, but can't use their natural expertise to create a sustainable international business? Typical imperialist attitude from the Neo Holy Roman Empire.

Why shouldn't the Inuit be able to promote their natural produce in the same way as we promote Welsh Lamb?

Like the fox hunting ban, the whale hunting ban and the anti vivisection campaigns, its all part of the trend to force extremist vegetarian ideology onto the masses.

Campaigns invented by woolly headed urban liberal prats who have no real experience of the reality of rural life and who don't have a clue about the way that the food chain works.

People who think that canis canis edit and nature red in tooth in claw belong after the watershed, in hovels but not in respectable society.

I can see no difference between promoting a Canadian Seal product market on a par with the New Zealand Lamb product. A strong market force to sell Canadian Seal, as a world wide product, would probably do more to protect the seal than nicey-nicey campaigns to stop it's commercial exploitation (nobody kills the golden goose!).

Enabling the Inuit to succeed in a world market would also enable their indigenous culture to survive in a modern context.

Agree or disagree with my rant on seal products, can you tell me how your party incumbent voted on this issue in the EU parliament or how your party candidate will vote on such issues in future, or how your vote might change the overall parliament attitude on this subject?

The answer is NO!

So where is the accountability?

Where is the purpose of voting?


Not a Kick in the Goolies Vote?

Because I am a political anorak and a bit of a weirdo, I love elections.

Elections warm my bones, boil my blood and do things to me that are unmentionable on a family blog before the watershed.

But I am not very exited at the moment. The Euro elections leave me cold. I am fairly politically astute. I know what a bloody nose a poor Euro election result would give poor Mr Brown in the domestic setting. If Plaid, or goodness forbid, the Tories (or both) had more votes than Labour in Wales it would be seen as yet another historic moment in Welsh politics. Both - either - could happen, but only on a less than a 30% turnout. A superficial result for the winners a tragic result for European and Welsh democracy.

The European election should be as exiting as any other election.

The media is full of stories about what these Euro politicians do to us.

Apparently they decide how many holidays we are entitled to and how strong / sensitive our condoms must be.

They have a say on the European grants that are shared amongst our farmers and industrialists, how many fish we can catch in the sea and they decide how bendy our bananas are and how straight our cucumbers should be!

Important matters. I could give an opinion on any of these issues and generate a heated debate on them in the comments section of this blog.

But could any commentator tell me where any of the incumbents stand on any important EU issue? What is their voting record?

Despite being a political anorak and a weirdo I don't know!

Is Jill for or against bendy bananas? Has Eluned voted for or against fishing quotas? If these issues come up again which way will the new Welsh members vote?

Could anybody advise how I should vote, based on an EU manifesto rather than a Kick Brown in the Goolies Ticket?

No! Thought not!


Poems & Politics - Education for Leisure - Carol Ann Duffy

And here is a copy of the new poet Laureate's banned poem Education for Leisure

Education for Leisure - Carol Ann Duffy

Today I am going to kill something. Anything.
I have had enough of being ignored and today
I am going to play God. It is an ordinary day,
a sort of grey with boredom stirring in the streets.

I squash a fly against the window with my thumb.
We did that at school. Shakespeare. It was in
another language and now the fly is in another language.
I breathe out talent on the glass to write my name.

I am a genius. I could be anything at all, with half
the chance. But today I am going to change the world.
Something’s world. The cat avoids me. The cat
knows I am a genius, and has hidden itself.

I pour the goldfish down the bog. I pull the chain.
I see that it is good. The budgie is panicking.
Once a fortnight, I walk the two miles into town
for signing on. They don’t appreciate my autograph.

There is nothing left to kill. I dial the radio
and tell the man he’s talking to a superstar.
He cuts me off. I get our bread-knife and go out.
The pavements glitter suddenly. I touch your arm.

Poems and Politics - Causa Belli Andrew Motion

Congratulations to Carol Ann Duffy on becoming the first Scottish and first female Poet Laureate.

Here is outgoing Laureate Andrew Motion's controversial poem about the Iraq War;

Causa Belli - Andrew Motion

They read good books, and quote, but never learn

a language other than the scream of rocket-burn.

Our straighter talk is drowned but ironclad:

elections, money, empire, oil and Dad.

If I can find a copy I will post Carol Ann's even more controversial Education for Leisure latter on.