Sunday, 26 October 2008

Voting for Change - Peter Grant and Barack Obama

Two significant elections will shortly be held, in Scotland (Glenrothes) and America (USA) and the significance of both cannot be underestimated. Both elections, in their own way, could result in great changes in Britain and America which may hold the seed of world transformation. The importance of Glenrothes to the Labour government is highlighted by the fact that Gordon Brown is actively campaigning in the constituency in a vain attempt to prevent a devastating win for the SNP.
An SNP win will set the seal for unionist Labour's demise in Scottish politics, and will point towards the government's ultimate defeat at the next General Election.

As usual Independence Cymru predicts the outcome:
a victory for change and progressive politics - a win for Peter Grant and the SNP, further bolstering the Scottish Party's bid for independence, and a win for Barack Obama and his positive and dynamic realism towards the economic problems and international crises which embroil America, Europe and the world.


Fife is traditionally a stronghold for the Labour Party. McDougall had held Glenrothes and its forerunner, Central Fife, since 2001, when he succeeded Henry McLeish. Willie Hamilton had previously represented the area, which has elected Labour MPs since Hamilton won West Fife from the Communist Party of Great Britain in 1950.

The poll follows a run of poor by-election results for the Labour Party, which have included a loss to the Scottish National Party (SNP) in Glasgow East, formerly the party's twenty-fifth safest seat in Britain. Glenrothes has a considerably smaller Labour majority than Glasgow East had.

According to the Financial Times, Labour have privately admitted that they expect to lose Glenrothes to the SNP. The Guardian describes the constituency's main town, Glenrothes, as a "core area" for the SNP. The SNP were in second place in the seat in the 2005 General Election and won the nearest equivalent seat in the 2007 Scottish Parliament election.

The SNP also run Fife Council, which covers the constituency, in coalition with the Scottish Liberal Democrats. The Scottish Liberal Democrats won the last by-election to be held in Fife from Labour on a swing of 16%.

The Labour Party have claimed that the SNP have been campaigning in Glenrothes ahead of MacDougall's death, but the SNP claim that their local Member of the Scottish Parliament, Tricia Marwick, has simply been working in the area in her elected role.

The seat adjoins that of the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, and it is possible that as a result he will be under pressure to actively campaign in the by-election, something Prime Ministers generally avoid.


Thursday, 23 October 2008

EU proposals 'good for Welsh students and universities'

From Jill Evans MEP Plaid Cymru

Plans to extend the European Union's Erasmus student exchange programme have been described as good news for Welsh students and universities by Plaid MEP Jill Evans.

MEPs in Strasbourg this week approved proposals which would see more scholarships for European students and an increase in the number of students coming to study from outside the EU.

It's hoped the plans will be an important boost for Welsh universities who will be able to attract some of the best foreign students and academics. There will also be funding available to promote links between Welsh universities and those outside Europe.

In 2007/08 a total of 458 Welsh students studied overseas thanks to Erasmus, mostly in France, Spain and Italy, with Finland and Norway also popular destinations, and all Welsh universities take part. The European Commission proposes to make 950 million euros available for the Erasmus Mundus II programme in 2009-13.

Speaking from Strasbourg after the vote, the Plaid MEP, who represents the whole of Wales in the European Parliament, said:

"The aim of this multi million pound scheme is to help our universities attract the best foreign students and academics, forge links with institutions abroad and make it easier for our students to study abroad.

"Already, the scheme has proved extremely popular in Wales with hundreds of Welsh students studying overseas every year thanks to Erasmus, and hundreds of overseas students coming here to study.

"I am pleased to give these plans my full support, and I hope our Welsh universities will take full advantage of the new funding available."

Fellow Plaid European candidate Natasha Asghar, who spent time on work experience at Jill's office in Brussels when a student, commented:

"Working in Europe was an amazing experience and was a major influence on my career path.

"The political buzz and the opportunity to meet new people abroad was a fantastic experience that I shall cherish forever and I highly recommend it to everyone."

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Further Closures Pending

Following the massive closures of post offices in the countries of (Great) Britain the next closures to be made are :
The public are advised to make their own arrangements depending on their needs.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

At the Feet of the Master

Alex Salmond's speech to the SNP Conference

Friends – one of the delegates was asking me for the details of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge that we launched the other day.

This is the latest Homecoming event – the final stage of one the world’s great rally events coming to Scotland next November – the first stage of the same event is the Monte Carlo rally! It will attract a MINIMUM of 40,000 people to Stirlingshire and Perthshire next year and stow out just about every guest house and hotel.

Now I launched this on Tuesday with Provost John Hulbert of SNP led Perth and Kinross Council and Provost Fergus Wood of eech at the SNP ConferenceNP led Stirling Council. I said to them that’s a fair number of folk – you know 40,000 people - this is like having 20 SNP Conferences in a single year – so which would you rather have - conferences or rally?

They – John and Fergus - being loyal Party members, totally unflinching in their dedication to the national cause, both immediately said – we’ll have the rally!

Delegates, Homecoming Scotland – the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns - something which by definition only happens once every 250 years – will be a marvellous celebration of all things Scottish – Burns himself, golf whisky, music and dance and Scottish scientific advance and innovation.

AND let us acknowledge that Sandi Thom has dedicated her forthcoming tour to Scotland’s Year of Homecoming.

Sandi comes from Banff in my constituency, and her Homecoming Tour will visit her home town - I merely mention this to secure my ticket!

Delegates, I am delighted that Sandi will be providing the sound track to the 2009 celebrations – with her own version of my favourite song – Dougie McLean’s Caledonia.

And let’s not forget the FITBA, with the Homecoming Scottish Cup. Forty countries will be tuning in when I present the trophy to Heart of Midlothian next year – ok not all of that sentence is absolutely certain to happen!

Scotland’s Year of Homecoming is a chance for Scotland’s international family, and all who feel an affinity with our nation, to come back and reconnect with our heritage while also learning what being Scottish in the 21st century means.

And with a really spectacular programme of 160 national events I am positive that our year long Homecoming celebrations will turn a threatened tourism downturn into a visitor boom.

Let the message ring out from this conference to all of Scotland. Get behind homecoming and make 2009 a year to remember for Scotland.

And so we intend to turn a feared tourist bust into a visitor boom.

Of course I would never be daft enough to proclaim an end to “boom and bust”

And yet that is what the Prime Minister claimed so many, many times. Or as he clarified when tackled on this boast last Saturday, apparently his pledge was not to end “boom and bust” but just to end “Tory boom and bust”.

Ah well that’s all right then. Now we understand. Tory boom and bust is bad but Labour boom and bust is ok?

Delegates maybe we should just describe it as London’s boom and bust.

Delegates, Brown’s Labour bust threatens to break records – and has almost broken our banks.

Under his watch our greatest company has had to be rescued and saddled with 12 per cent preference shares. And our oldest Bank is threatened with disappearing as an independent force.

And the Prime Minister thinks this is an advert for the Union?

I would have thought that the condition of the economy, the fears of our people, the state of the financial sector, are a staggering condemnation of the state of the United Kingdom.

Delegates during the period of financial chaos over the last few weeks we willingly responded to the call to put political differences aside in a national emergency. We did so because we thought it was the right thing to do.

And how did the Prime Minister respond? At his very first opportunity last Tuesday he launched an attack on independence and the SNP.

You know delegates. It is almost as if there was something at the back of his mind, something worrying him – I wonder what that could be – perhaps a by election beginning with G ?

Two days ago in another interview he said he knows how people feel. He feels our pain.

That much is true. He is certainly making a connection. Last month he was frightened of losing his job. Now tens of thousands of people are frightened of losing their jobs.

There was a time when unionists in Scotland concentrated on running down our own country. Now in order to make their case they are forced to run down other countries as well.

Now we are expected to believe that because of the manifest problems of Iceland that Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark are all going bust.

Well delegates I have here the latest growth forecasts of the International Monetary Fund published last week. Ireland is in recession but it is and will remain almost 40 per cent per head more prosperous than the UK.

And what do Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland have in common? They are among the few countries in Europe still forecast to escape recession.

And as for the UK – the country which had eliminated boom and bust? It is expected to tumble into the economic mire.

Wouldn’t you expect a Prime Minister who is presiding over the biggest economic reverse for a generation to be a little careful about his attacks on the economic records of other countries?

Well conference I say that we should be grateful to the Prime Minister.

It allows us the chance to speak our mind.

Let us start with the TSB Lloyds takeover of HBOS. Four weeks ago it was the only game in town as it was either merger or oblivion and I have not and will not make any criticism of the actions of Lloyds TSB. They have acted perfectly honourably as far as I can see.

But circumstances have changed and now – right now - there are questions to answer. These questions were placed pointedly this week - fairly and directly by some of Scotland’s major business figures.

The Bank recapitalisation gives the UK government a share and a big say in the future of the joint company – as much as 40%.

So let the Prime Minister and the Chancellor answer the questions that have been legitimately put to them.

Before THEY put OUR money into THIS bailout we want to be sure that it is in the public interest and in the interests of jobs and decision making in Scotland.

Is the re-capitalisation available to both banks independently? If not, then why not?

If the future of HBOS has been secured then are we not entitled to ensure that any merger is in the public interest – that the public won’t end up paying for the merger, paying for lost jobs and then paying for the restriction of competition.

Until these questions are satisfactorily answered then there must be no merger.

The Bank of Scotland has been around for 300 years. It is hard wired into the social and economic fabric of Scotland. It does not deserve to be just cast aside as a consequence of the AGE OF IRRESPONSIBILITY.

Of course the Age of Irresponsibility is the Prime Minister’s own phrase - produced as if he had nothing whatsoever to do with it!

Calgacus said of the Romans. They create a desert and call it peace. Gordon Brown has co-authored a calamity and called it a triumph.

Where did this age of irresponsibility come from? Who broke down the barriers in the financial sector? Who presided over the inflation of asset values? Who allowed the spivs and speculators of the £40 TRILLION derivatives markets – the financial weapons of mass destruction - to be totally unregulated? It might just have had something to do with the occupant of 10 and 11 Downing Street over these last eleven years.

And in a wider sense of the age of irresponsibility?

I believe the age of irresponsibility is the proposal to spend £40 billion on building new weapons of mass destruction in Scotland.

I believe the age of irresponsibility is the off balance sheet, credit card finance of the PFI.

I believe the age of irresponsibility is financing and keeping troops in an illegal war in Iraq even after the Iraqi government asks us to leave.

Let the message ring out from this conference. We should have an end to the age of irresponsibility – not just in the financial sector but also in the governance of the country.

Sub prime? More like sub Prime Minister.

Delegates, what we need is a new age – an age of responsibility.

A new time for our nation – when we reap our own harvest and ring our own till.

And what is our role in this new age of responsibility? Our role as a Government and our responsibility as a nation?


July was a highlight month for Scotland – a highlight for obvious reasons in Glasgow East with the election of John Mason, the man who has developed an entire new trademark from the thumbs up sign!

But there was another highlight even more important. Unemployment on the International Labour Organisation measurement reached its lowest ever level in Scotland – 4 per cent.

But behind the figures there was worrying news from the business surveys suggesting the credit crunch was about to bite and that has since happened – and big time.

That is why over the summer the Government set its mind to the action we could take within our current responsibilities to maximise jobs and investment.

We accelerated £100 million of capital spending to provide a much needed boost to our housebuilders this year and next.

Fast-tracked investment to add to the billions being spent today across Scotland on capital projects, big and small, – including new schools in Falkirk, Lanarkshire and West Lothian. Projects the length and breadth of Scotland already approved by this government as part of 250 new and refurbished schools we WILL deliver in our first term.

And hospitals. Coming soon the new Southern General Hospital – the largest project in the history of the Scottish health service. To be built, I am proud to say, every single penny with direct public finance.

What a fitting tribute to the sixtieth anniversary year of our health service.

As Scotland’s government our responsibility is to act now and invest for our future.

That is why today work is underway on a crucial part of our successful Commonwealth Games bid, the SNP delivering after 50 years of talking, the completion of the M74 – bringing 1000 welcome jobs at its peak.

And why we are investing to bring our transport infrastructure into the 21st century – the SNP electrifying the rail network across central Scotland; cutting journey times through this fair city of Perth from Edinburgh and Glasgow to Aberdeen and Inverness; £200 million of new rolling stock to transform capacity and comfort on the railways.

Record capital investment, delivering jobs in Scotland today and well into the future. And after the excess of PFI, real value for money through the Scottish Futures Trust.

The right choice for today, and wise choices for our future.

Our role must also be to support Scotland’s wealth creators – the people and the companies that will form the core of our recovery and economic resillience.

Delegates, as a party we have long supported the thousands of small Scottish businesses that form the life blood of our economy.

This year tens of thousands of Scottish business saw their rates bill slashed by the SNP. Next year we will extend it further boosting the high streets and main streets of Scotland.

And we will do more.

Big contracts should not just be for big companies.

We have been determined to open up access to government contracts to our small and medium sized businesses.

This summer we developed an online contracts portal to enable this to happen.

I can now tell conference that no less than 10,000 suppliers have registered and we have advertised £1.5 billion of contracts to date.

The Scottish government - now open for Scotland’s small businesses.

Delegates, this is a government that works with the people and for the people. A government and party that is on Scotland’s side.

We are working to ensure our economy is best placed to weather the financial storm and well positioned for recovery.

And we are also working to protect households across Scotland.

We are the party of the home and the high street.

Already we have, with our local authority partners, delivered a freeze in the Council Tax this year and we are phasing out prescription charges.

Two measures that leave more money in the pockets of families in all parts of our country.

And we are doing more.

John Swinney has confirmed that resources will be available to freeze the Council Tax for the next two years – a measure that will ease the pressure on family budgets on the way to the abolition of the hated council tax.

And today, I can announce new help for hard-pressed homeowners, with an extension of our shared equity scheme for first time buyers. And to allow us to give more young Scots the opportunity of a new, affordable home, we plan to increase the money available for this important initiative by 150% from £24 million to £60 million.

This will help, not only first-time buyers, but also families currently struggling to sell their homes.

It will provide much needed demand in our housing market, jobs, homes and hope.

And, for next year, we will expand the scheme from the current 10 Scottish local authority areas to cover the whole country – bringing in towns and cities from Glasgow and Dundee to Stranraer, Falkirk and Glenrothes.

It is the action of the party of the home and the high street - ready able and willing to help where we can – SNP on your side.

And as Scotland’s party we will continue to demand that Scotland gets the fair deal to which we are entitled.

We have identified £1 billion of Scotland’s money that should be released right now to invest in services and jobs in our country.

A billion pound is a lot of cash, a big number – so let us examine just one part of it - the £120 million of Scottish money from the Fossil Fuel Levy.

Today, this £120 million sits, untouched and untouchable, in an Ofgem bank account in London. Lost investment because of daft accounting rules.

Earlier this week I visited Tullis Russell in Glenrothes, where they will be soon building a new bio-mass plant – an energy source for the company itself, but also a plant that could power every home in Fife. That plant will reduce Scotland’s carbon emissions by some 250,000 tonnes a year AND it will give Tullis Russell a competitive edge in terms of energy supply and energy cost. It is a project that creates new jobs and secures 550. It is a great company, 200 years old, Trust owned and profit shared.

It is exactly this sort of win win win that the Scottish Government is focused on creating across Scotland and we are supporting that project to the tune of £8 million.

The concept of renewable energy applied to major industrial plants is an example of how we can harness the great resources of Scotland to power the future.

We could help finance 15 projects on the scale of Tullis Russell across Scotland from the Ofgem money – giving Scottish companies energy security, a competitive edge, making and protecting jobs and cutting our CO2 emissions.

And this win, win, win for Scotland has been met thus far by a no, no, no from the London exchequer.

Delegates, the reason that the SNP is trusted by the people is that they know in good times and in tough times Scotland’s party puts Scotland first and will not take no for an answer.

We accept our responsibilities and we fight for Scotland’s rights.

But let us be clear what is needed right now from the government in London to avoid our nation being dragged into a deep recession – action from those who currently have responsibility for economic management.

We demand further and deep cuts in interest rates

Lower tax on energy bills over this winter

And a programme of capital investment in expanded public works

Three clear steps – action that if taken today will save families from greater economic pain tomorrow.

And as we cast an eye to the years ahead we have strong foundations here in Scotland to build on.

We have great strengths and many advantages.

As the storm clouds clear – and they will – there is the prospect of a much brighter future.

A summer of uncertainty in the markets was matched by a summer of success for Scotland’s renewables industry – with investment worth £1 billion in the last three months alone.

If this is what we can do in a time of global slowdown, just think what more we can achieve in the months and years to come.

The opportunity is as big as our ambition.

We are proud to have the support of National Geographic on the Saltire Prize – the world’s largest innovation prize for marine renewables.

And when we launched the Saltire Prize at National Geographic’s headquarters in Washington, they hailed it as a prime example of how “a small country can make a big impact on a global challenge.”

We will be setting out the details of the challenge as part of this year’s celebration of St Andrew’s Day, but I am delighted to announce today that Professor Rajendra Pachauri, the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has agreed to join the Saltire Prize Committee.

Delegates, Professor Pachauri is a hugely significant figure in the international battle to tackle climate change, and along with the other members of the IPPC, a Nobel Prize winner.

It is an honour that he is part of this nation’s efforts to deliver a step change in renewable energy generation from the waves and the tides, for the benefit of the whole world

We can lead the world in marine renewable energy and not only lead the world but lead IN the world.

As part of our partnership with the nation and people of Malawi, we will be supporting the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute with a £340,000 grant as they work to promote sustainable communities, including the use of ethical bio-fuels.

By supporting the development of renewable energy in Malawi, we are contributing to the wider global battle to tackle climate change and doing so in a way that protects, rather than threatens, people’s food security.

It is in these ways that Scotland can step up to meet the many challenges that face our planet.

In our new Scotland, gone will be the old ways of illegal wars and weapons of mass destruction.

And in its place our new age of responsibility – at home and abroad.

A nation that takes responsibility for our own success and our own future.

And as a nation, our strength is not only in our renewables sector. In the past 6 months Scottish manufacturing companies have won £1.2 billion of major contracts.

In engineering and electronics – aerospace and pharmaceuticals. Companies like Aberdeen’s Wood Group, or Galashiel’s Pro-Strakan, Clyde Blowers or Alexander Dennis – winning contracts in America, Norway, Italy, Ireland, the Gulf and many more.

Scottish companies with global reach and, even in these difficult times, global success stories.

Companies building on Scotland’s comparative advantages.

In life sciences Scottish research is opening up the prospect of cures for even the worst of diseases. In the last three months announced from Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh, breakthroughs in Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes.

Our Universities are co-operating to provide the critical mass of graduates to attract the mightiest pharmaceutical companies in the world and your Government is facilitating the rapid growth of the sector.

Delegates it is said that Scotland “invented the modern world” – not said by a Scot but by the American Arthur Herman in the book of that name – the innovation that we celebrate in Homecoming.

I am not and have never been a ‘wha’s like us’ sort of person. I am well aware of our nation’s faults and shortcomings – and this administration is tackling one or two of them.

But equally I am well aware of the nation’s abilities, strengths and capacity to imagine the future.

And I will not have this country’s potential traduced by unionist political self interest. People who would sell their country short.

Their position is that the nation which invented the modern world is incapable of governing itself successfully. It is a ludicrous demeaning proposition – out of date and out of time.

Delegates, prosperity will come when we make the most of all these national strengths and assets.

Something the London Government will never do or even allow us to do.

So, in this age of global uncertainty we know where the correct path for Scotland lies.

Across Scotland we see a more confident nation – a nation that is ready to face any challenge.

A nation whose destiny is independence.

The new age of responsibility will usher in that new Scotland.

Monday, 20 October 2008

More Madness from Government & Co.

Doctors are to be given high incentives for NOT recommending their patients to go to hospital.

Please feel free to comment and list other government directives which appear to you as insane.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

What if?

The collapse of the banking system has called into question the issue of independence for Wales and for Scotland. With the problems mounting on the government of Iceland and the downturn of the Irish economy has come the questioning of independence as a valid and legitimate goal. How, they say, would Scotland, or Wales, have prospered if it wasn´t for the British government to come to the rescue?
What would have happened without Gordon Brown and his trusted Chancellor?
Well, what do you think?

Monday, 13 October 2008

Lest We Forget

You may wish to add a new blog to your collection : ANTI-METRIX

Campaign to oppose St Athan privatised military academy - biggest PFI/PPP ever, with arms dealers Raytheon Serco. M Hayle, chief exec Metrix 'Our aim is that by 2013 if you travelled anywhere in the world and talked about military training, people would say that St Athan was the only place to go. John Pilger "a British "School of the Americas" is to be built in Wales, where British soldiers will train killers from all corners of the American empire in the name of "global security".

Saturday, 11 October 2008

A Digital Television Network for Scotland

Scotland now benefits from BBC Alba, much of which is in the native language of Alba - Gaelic. It is an entertaining channel and I recommend that you tune in. A debate has just recently taken place in the Scottish Parliament on the creation of an independent digital television network for Scotland and cross-party consensus has been achieved for this highly important service, which will assist in
further promoting the economic and cultural life of the nation. It is encouraging to note that, while many Scots are not (yet) nationalists, they recognise their distinctive heritage and are Scots patriots who have the best interests of their nation at heart. The next goal on the agenda should be to promote the Gaelic language and set up schools for the Gaeltacht areas of Alba, as there are relatively few Gaelic speakers in comparison with the 500,000 in Wales who speak their nation's language.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

The Age of Materialism

Does not this economic and financial calamity - the biggest since 1929 - only go to show that mankind has got its priorities of life utterly wrong, and that the world is dominated by greed, ignorance, fear and the lust for power, fame, affluence and self-aggrandisement? Mankind is destroying itself along with its environment through its self-induced separation from nature and spirituality.

The economic melt-down serves as a warning for mankind to change its ways, or perish.
It is not money that is the root of all evil. It is our extravagance and imprudence. It is to do with our whole philosophical attitude to life and its purpose. It is to do with the divided self which is expressed in a divided and fragmented society and an abused and exploited world. Man creates his own heaven and his own hell. It is here and now, not in some fantasy dimension.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

A Letter from a Cornish Patriot

The Cornish Fighting Fund, promoting local cultural diversity

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to bring your attention to a new campaign by Cornwall 2000 to get the Cornish and our culture some legal recognition within the UK and EU. The purpose of the fund is to pay much of the costs involved in pursuing a legal action against the UK Government. The action is necessary after government’s constant, dogmatic and wholly irrational, refusal to include the Cornish within an international treaty designed to, among other things, introduce educational pluralism in their traditional homeland and thus bring to an end the forced assimilation of the Cornish people. That treaty is the Council of Europe Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. Please study this short summary of the situation and help us take the steps necessary to secure, among other things, equal educational opportunity for all pupils in Cornish schools. The website for the fund can be found here: Please help and please do feel free to forward this e-mail to any you think might be interested. I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have or alternatively you can contact the campaign via the website.

Oll an gwella

Philip Hosking

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Republican Reactionary Regressives

Republicans in America are the equivalent of the "Yesterday's Men" of British politics, and typically resort to gutter tactics by throwing sleazy allegations at their opponents when they see that they are losing support in the race for the White House. Their childish tactics only serve to make Barack Obama appear more statesmanlike in contast. Let us hope that the somewhat gullible American public see them for what they are - opportunists and reactionaries.

Whatever It Takes

I would like to point out that we will do "whatever it takes" to ensure that Wales and Scotland achieve their independence in the shortest possible time. Have no fear, we promise to do "everything in our power" to work towards this end, in the interests of the people of Wales and the people of Scotland. We will do " whatever is necessary" to bring about social and economic regeneration for the people of these nations, which are stuck in an invidious position as part of a bureaucratic and highly regulated British state presided over by a government of diminished responsibility.

We look forward to the forthcoming by-election at Glenrothes, to be held on November 6th, and anticipate a big win for the SNP and the People of Scotland.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

A Strange Predisposition

David Cameron likes Wales, we are told, and is well disposed towards the Welsh nation.
If this is true let him declare his support for the establishment of a Welsh Parliament with full powers for legilation, unhampered by the restrictions imposed by the British government. Furthermore, he could lend his support to thye Scottish parliament to free itself from restriction which prevent the Scottish government from fully managing its own affairs.
Until the Conservative policy-makers have a change in attitude towards the national interests of the Celtic fringe this party will make little or no headway in the constituencies of these nations. They may well win the next election but they will not take Wales and Scotland into their fold!

Friday, 3 October 2008

Emulating the Dragon!

It appears that David Cameron is seeking to revive the policies of Thatcherite Conservatism in his bid to win power in Britain. In his Convention speech he made references to the change which Margaret Thatcher brought to British politics. He also stated that his policy was conservative, not libertarian. While this Labour government is in dire need of being replaced owing to Labour´s inept and incompetent, arrogant and bureaucratic, ten years in office, with a great increase in social injustice and mismanagement of public funds the policies envisioned by David Cameron will not endear him to the Welsh electorate.

There is undoubtedly the need for change, as Britain increasingly falls into the type of society as described in "Animal Farm" and "1984", but we should be careful that the changes proposed by David Cameron and others do not mean a reversion to Thatcherism.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Who do the People of Wales Trust?

The people of Wales cannot trust the British parties whatever their policies or their hue. The simple reason is that they all believe in the Union, and in keeping the "country" (Britain) united. Despite the policy of "devolution" which they advocate they fear the one thing which will free the nations of Britain from the bureaucratic enslavement of the British establishment - Independence. They cannot accept, let alone visualise, the day when the nations of these islands become self-governing entities within the umbrella of the European Union, using a common currency and subscribing to a common philosophy based on the rule of law and the principles of the French Revolution - liberty, equality and brotherhood. A truly united Europe can only become a fact when the nations of Europe are free, self-governing and interdependent.

Plaid was always Committed to Independence

Plaid commits to independence (BBC News)

Dafydd Iwan's ended decades of debate on the issue
Plaid Cymru has committed itself for the first time to wanting an independent Wales.
Delegates at the Plaid Cymru conference in Cardiff voted unanimously on Saturday to affirm the party's long-term aim to secure independence for Wales within the European Union.

The commitment ends decades of debate about the party's official line on the subject.

Delegates voted to drop the term "full national status" and declare the party's constitutional aim as "independence" - a word it has been avoiding until now, for fear of alienating some voters.

The party will also aim to achieve a seat as a full member of the United Nations.

Plaid Cymru' s assembly group leader, Ieuan Wyn Jones was not on the conference floor to take part in the historic vote.

His aides said he was finalising his conference speech and that he was "relaxed about the outcome of the vote". They denied any attempt to avoid involvement in the debate.

Ieuan Wyn Jones wants a Welsh parliament
He had earlier refused to reveal how he would vote, saying he would make up his mind after listening to the debate.

Welsh Secretary Peter Hain said, after the vote : "Now everybody in Wales knows what Plaid Cymru is about - full blooded separation and independence, which would bankrupt Wales and make us an international laughing stock."

When Mr Jones took to the stage, he avoided using the word "independence".

Instead he described Plaid's vision as "self-government" for Wales.

Referring to the leadership battle and admitting he had had a "bruising" summer, he told delegates it was now time to unite.

The party now had to become a more "modern, professional" machine, he said, and he promised a new approach in the assembly.

Plaid had tried to make the assembly work, but it now realised it could not deliver for the people of Wales without extra powers.

The party had to be at the forefront of a new campaign for a "proper parliament", he said.

On Friday Iwan flexed his political muscle for the first time
"Without it there is no way we can fulfil our destiny as a nation," he added.

"Wales has all the attributes of being a fully-fledged nation, apart from one: It does not have its own government. It cannot settle its own destiny."

Labour came under severe attack from Mr Jones. He branded it the "Not me, guv" Government for allegedly refusing to take responsibility for its failings.

He said the Labour administration wanted to take credit for everything, but disappeared when things went wrong.

Education Minister Jane Davidson, he said, had refused to take the blame for the problems of education quango Elwa, and Health Minister Jane Hutt refused to take responsibility for spiralling hospital waiting lists and an NHS in crisis.

'Claiming credit'

And he attacked First Minister Rhodri Morgan for not doing more to help the thousands of workers who lost their jobs with steel giant Corus.

"New Labour wants to claim credit for everything and responsibility for nothing," he said.

"They are the 'Not me guv' administration. That is the Labour Party we have to face. But Plaid Cymru will be putting them on the rack in the National Assembly."

On Friday, new president Dafydd Iwan delivered a dramatic speech in which he said Wales must emerge from England's shadow and take its place among the world's nations.

On Friday, Mr Iwan underlined his aim of achieving full independence for Wales.

"Self-government, self-determination, autonomy, home-rule, freedom, independence, full national status - call it what we will," he told delegates at Cardiff's St David's Hall.

"We know what it means."

It was the first time party members - who chose the local councillor above former AM Cynog Dafis as president in a summer vote - had a chance to see the strength of Mr Iwan's politics.