Needed –an independent Devo Sceptic Tory Monkey for Aberconwy!

Assembly opponents amongst Aberconwy's Conservatives are so disappointed by the Assembly candidate chosen for their party in an open primary that they are threatening to put up an alternative candidate to oppose her.

Inspired by Hartlepool's election of H'Angus the Monkey, they are threatening to set up a Facerbook campaign to try and find a similar candidate for Aberconwy. Although I agree that Janet Finch-Saunders isn't the best candidate to represent the Conservative interest in Aberconwy I hadn't considered her to be particularly supportive of Welsh devolution.

If disaffected Conservatives want to find an independent devo-sceptic monkey to split the Conservative vote in Aberconwy, good luck to them in their quest – it can only help Gareth Jones' chances of re-election!


Plaid's Living Wage should be supported by both Right and Left!

During the last election Plaid Cymru proposed two policies that I would have expected every decent person to support. The first was for a fair pension, the second was for a living wage rather than a minimum wage. Both policies were opposed and ridiculed, not because they were bad policies, but because they were policies suggested by the wrong party.

I don't understand what the Labour Party has against the idea of a living wage. Surely such an idea should be a core Labour principal!

I don't understand why a Conservative should oppose such an idea either.

If an employee has less than a living wage s/he becomes a burden on the state, and has to have topup benefits out of the state's purse to give her/him a wage – his/her job is subsidies by the tax payer in the same way as his/her unemployment would be subsidised – what's the difference?.

If a person works his or her guts off for 60 hours a week but still needs state benefits to make ends meet, who is the scrounger? The mean employer, or the hard working employee?

There is nothing Conservative in underpaying an employee because you know that the benefit cheque will take up the slack in the wage bill.

The benefits bill needs to be reduced, without a doubt, but it needs to be reduced in a way that looks at the full picture.

I can't see a Socialist or Conservative value that should oppose Plaid's living wage, idea, so why don't both parties welcome Plaid's suggestion as part of the answer to a very big problem, rather than opposing it for opposition's sake just because it is a Plaid proposal?


How a pee could save millions!

This is weird but true!

Before the days of S4C, Eric Dafydd, my cousin in law worked for the BBC and on a couple of occasions, when I was in Cardiff, I went to the BBC Club with him for a pint.

In early August 1978, I had had a few pints in the club and went to relive myself; when a member of the news team, who was standing by my side, said Sad about the Pope isn't it? I hadn't heard the news, but Pope Paul VI had died.

A couple of weeks later I was in Cardiff again. I went to the BBC Club toilet again, and the very same reporter peed next to me and said Sad about the Pope isn't it? JP I had died – Spooky!

Because Eric left the BBC on the establishment of S4C I never went to the BBC club again until I was asked to take part in a programme for the Beeb in 2005.

I was having a pee, when a member of the news team who was standing by my side said Sad about the Pope isn't it? I hadn't heard the news, but John Paul II had died!!

Valleys Mam, Welsh Agenda and Aeron Jones object to the state visit of the Pope, because of its cost to the public purse.

They have an easy way of stopping it! Put some pints in for me behind the bar of the BBC club Llandaf. If they put enough pints in to make me pee - the visit might have a major problem!


Reforming the Benefits System

Ian Duncan Smith has suggested that the Benefits System needs to be simplified. He has said that there are far too many benefits, that the system is complicated and that it puts too many claimants in a benefits trap where it isn't worth their while looking for jobs, because gaining a job will make them worse off!

The knee jerk reaction of the left wing is to moan that Mr Smith just wants to demonise those not in work in order to cut their benefits and save money!

I don't believe that this is so.

There is no doubt that some tabloids do demonise the out of work in a counterproductive way. The Daily Hate Mail thinks that anybody who is on Incapacity Benefit is a scrounger, a shirker and a cheat and takes every opportunity to vilify them. This makes it harder for a beneficiary of Incapacity Benefit to gain employment! Would you offer a job to a scrounger, a shirker and a cheat?

Demonization of those not in work is bad, and the Tories should encourage their supporters in the press to desist from it. Likewise the left should resist from condemning all benefit changes as an attack on the poor, because there is little doubt that the current benefits system is a complicated mess, that is a hindrance to the poor gaining meaningful employment!

With a coalition Tory government that depends on Liberal attitudes to benefits, and which may depend on the votes of sensible people from the opposition benches to offset Neanderthal views from its own benches the benefit system has never had a better chance to be dragged up to date. I hope that it is.

To save the there are no jobs to be had commentators from keyboard fatigue – I believe that the benefits system is in desperate need of reform whether the unemployment numbers go up, down or remain the same!

Making the system fair is as important as taking people out of the system, Plaid, SNP and sensible Labour MP's should seize the chance, to work with Mr Duncan Smith in order to create a benefits system that is worthy of today's circumstances!