Ukuleles, Cornflakes and Wanabe Chancellors

I know I said that I would start blogging on a regular basis again when the Referendum on new powers for the Assembly was triggered or when a General Election was imminent, but so far both campaigns have left me bored rigid, and I'm a political anorak!

If the chancellor's debate last night was a taster for the forthcoming PM's debates. I think that I will give them a miss. Four and a half hours of such sterile boring exchanges, no thanks! Perhaps Plaid, the SNP and UKIP should be grateful that they have been excluded from such a borefest!

In the absence of anything of interest on the political front I can do the the blog traditionals, by telling you what I had for breakfast or what I did last night:

Cornflakes for breakfast, and the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain last night

NB Get pissed, destroy responsibly!


Other Candidates

For those interested in who is standing where

There is a list of UKIP prospective candidates in Welsh Westminster constituencies on their Websiste. If I have counted correctly they have candidates selected in 24 out of the 40 Welsh Constituencies.

The Green's confirmed candidates are listed on an UK wide list and appear to have 11 in Wales.

The Welsh Christian Party don't appear to have selected any candidates yet.


A response to Guto

Guto Bebb said...

A rather odd posting Alwyn.
Three postings back your view was 'love him or loath him Guto Bebb always raises interesting points'. Now, a few days later, I have become a Cameroon through and through.
So when did my transformation occur? Or does it relate to the growing dismay in the Plaid camp at the collapse of their campaign in Aberconwy?
As I have said before Alwyn - you were much more interesting whne you were less partisan

Guto, between Maes-e, Cai's blog, my blog and your own blog we have been engaged in debate for the past five years or so. Sometimes we agree and sometimes we disagree. If I didn't think that you had raised interesting points worthy of debate, quite frankly, I wouldn't have bothered.

I don't know where you get the idea from that I am more or less partisan now than I was in the past. As you know, from numerous exchanges, I am not a member of any political party.

I voted Conservative in 1992, mainly because Colin Shepherd the Conservative candidate in Hereford's Mam was a friend and neighbour, partially because Colin's opponent was Gwynoro (the man who beat Gwynfor in 1979) and because I was voting in England so had no Plaid candidate to support. However, with this one exception, I have always voted for the Plaid Candidate, when one has stood in my electoral division.

I have not been a member of Plaid Cymru for over 10 years, not since Dafydd Wigley said The party has never ever espoused independence. I am an unashamed Welsh Nationalist, I believe in the espousal of independence.

I am also critical of Plaid Cymru's support for socialism. Socialism is based on reliance on the state, the only state that Wales can rely on at the moment is the British state, so reliance on the British state through Socialism is incompatible with Welsh Nationalism.

Having said all that, the only Welsh nationalist party that I can vote for at the moment is Plaid Cymru. I wish that it wasn't. I would love to be a member of a Welsh (one nation) Conservative Party, but such a beast doesn't exist.

I have not changed, Guto, I stand where I stood 30 years ago.

But you have changed, and changed a lot recently.

You use to be a Nationalist, a stalwart of Plaid Cymru, but when you fell out with Plaid you fell out with Cymru too, and you have become more and more opposed to Wales since.

The truth is, Guto, that I have stood my ground as a right wing nationalist, whilst you are moving closer and closer to David Davies, Stephen Crabb and David Jones. If you are elected there is little doubt that you will be anything other than Tory lobby fodder. You'r recent form has suggested that you wont even be a Sir Wyn or a Geraint Morgan.

During the last week I heard you on Hacio, supporting, in a roundabout way, the True Wales lie that the GoW act referendum will be about independence.

On Radio Cymru on Friday you bigged up the Labour Party's campaign in Aberconwy, in order to keep to the British story that the 2010 election race is a Tory v Labour one, despite the fact that you have accepted, for the past two years, that the real battle in Aberconw is between you and Phil!

I am not a member of the Plad camp, but your increasing anti Welsh desperation suggests that it is not their campaign that is the one collapsing in Aberconwy, but it is your own and that you are going for ever inceasing desperate measures in order to shore it up, and betraying Wales and Aberconwy with every step.

In 2003 I spent some time in the polling booth considering whether to vote for you as a possible new voice that could become a bridge between conservative policy and nationalist sentiment. In the end I voted for the incumbent as the best bet. When the result came through my vote wouldn't have made a difference anyway. But I don't think that you are the bridge between nationalism and conservatism that you were 7 years ago, you are now just a dyed-in-the-wool Brit Tory.

Again It is you who has changed Guto, not me!


A Voice for Aberconwy or a Cameron Whipping Boy?

The They Work for You website notes that Elfyn Llwyd Hardly ever rebeled against his party in this parliament. Not surprising really, as he is both the Leader and Chief Whip of a party of just three MPs.

But hold on Defii John, hardly ever is not quite the same as never, never ever. On occasions Elfyn has voted differently to his two colleagues because he has voted for what he believes is in the best interest of his constituents, despite the fact that Hywel and Adam, have disagreed with him.

Ieuan Wyn Jones is often criticised for his support for Wylfa B, despite the fact that the party that he leads is opposed to nuclear power.

There is something odd here!

In both Westminster and Cardiff Bay, the Leader of Plaid Cymru occasionally rebels against party policy and stands up for his constituents in opposition to party policy.

In other parties both Ieuan and Elfyn would be sidelined for not toeing the party line, even deselected, but in Plaid they are enabled to lead the party despite not agreeing with the party on every issue.

Despite the Leadership Debates that go with the lie that we are electing a Prime Minister, we will actually be electing Knights of the Shire in this years' Westminster Election – people who should be the hero for our communities' needs.

In my constituency I have to consider whether I want to elect a Lobby Fodder Candidate who will vote the way that his whips tell him to vote, or for a candidate who will support the best interest of the constituency first, even if or after s/he is elevated to important roles in the party's hierarchy.

I know that Phil Edwards, if elected, will put Aberconwy first and party allegiance second. Sadly I've seen Guto Bebb morph from right of centre nationalist into Pure Tory Lobby Fodder without an independent thought that isn't owned and copyrighted by the Tory Party.

I'm going to vote for a Free Voice for Aberconwy, not for a whipped voice for Cameron!


Could Elfyn Llwyd Become Prime Minister?

I'm sure that Elfyn neither covets the job nor expects to have the job, but Could Elfyn Llwyd Become Prime Minister? is an interesting academic question. Because the BBC, apparently has a cunning plan to exclude Plaid, SNP, UKIP and other parties from the Leaders' Debates in the lead-up to the Westminster elections:

Michael Crick, the totally neutral (of course) BBC Newsnight Political Editor notes (with unadulterated non partisan glee) that Plaid and the SNP will be excluded because The Debates are going to be renamed.:

I can report that the "Leaders' Debates" at the forthcoming election have now been cancelled.

Instead, over the past 2-3 weeks they've been quietly replaced with "Prime Ministerial Debates".

It's a cunning manoeuvre, agreed by the three main broadcasters (the BBC, ITV and Sky) and the three main parties, to exclude the SNP and Plaid Cymru leaders from the debates.

Since the SNP will only be fighting the 59 Scottish seats then Alex Salmond can't possibly become prime minister (nor Plaid's Elfyn Llwyd), so both are thereby disqualified from the TV debates.

I'd love to know who dreamt up this clever wheeze. A politician or a broadcaster? The latter, I bet.

Clever wheeze or not it doesn't actually hold water!

By allowing Nick Clegg to be part of the equation, the BBC has allowed the debate to go from psephology to possibility. So the question isn't is it likely that Elfyn Llwyd will be the next PM?, but is it remotely possible that Elfyn could be the next PM? And the answer to that question is Yes! it is possible (even if very, very , very, unlikely).

Let's start with the electoral arithmetic. Celtic Nationalists will be standing in 23% of the UK constituencies in the next General Election, it is unlikely – but "Lib Dem type possible" that they will win every seat that they contest. Every seat in England will be contested by four or five parties, so again we have a "possibility", although not likelihood that the Celtic Nationalist block COULD return more MPs than any other party, and make Elfyn PM. Bloody hell we could even throw a few English Nationalist MP's into the mix to muddy the waters further!

If Labour / Conservative is the biggest party, but not big enough to form a government, the potential coalition partners might say yes to a partnership with Labour / Conservative, but only if Elfyn has the post of PM!

Again I will reiterate this is highly unlikely to happen, if it was probable neither Elfyn nor Plaid would want it to happen, all I am saying that it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that it COULD happen, and if it could happen the BBC's wheeze to exclude Plaid, the SNP or others from a debate about democracy is flawed!


No Devolution to Islwyn

There is something quite hilarious in Betsan Powys' story that the arch anti-devolutionist and True Wales stalwart, Cllr Dave Rees is to stand as an independent candidate in the Westminster election because he believes that the Labour candidate for Islwyn has been appointed centrally from London rather than Labour allowing the selection process to be devolved to the local party.

Leek Soup

18 small new potatoes
1.5L chicken stock
3 leeks, chopped
50g butter
500ml milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation method
Place potatoes into a large saucepan with water to cover. Bring to the boil and cook until tender. Meanwhile, saute leeks in butter until translucent.
When potatoes are done, skin them while they are still hot and cut them into bite sized pieces. Place potatoes into a stock pot with chicken stock and leeks. season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat until simmering, then remove from heat and stir in milk. Serve immediately.

From St David's Day Recipes

Happy St David's Day