Saturday, 27 February 2010

Labour Tells it as it is Not

WELSH must NOT vote Labour....

Labour's strategy is to tell the people of Wales that they should vote Labour to keep the Tories out.

This is a false premise. The Tories will win in England and the Welsh vote will not make a difference to a Tory victory. Therefore, the Conservatives will rule for Wales after they form the government.

The people of Wales would do better by voting for Plaid Cymru, a radical and progressive party which has only the interests of the people of Wales at heart. The fact is that Plaid is the Party of Wales, whilst the other parties represent unionist interests. They seek to deny Wales the right of independence by standing for the preservation of the Union of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.


From the blog of Jonathan Edwards...

Vote Labour and you get Tory policies.
Since 1997 when New Labour promised ‘things can only get better’:
• Regional and individual wealth polarisation has increased
• 2.3 million children are in poverty
• A million of our young people are unemployed
• There is £1.4 trillion of personal debt circulating in the economy leaving many households debt ridden
• A quarter of all Welsh households live in fuel poverty
• Disposable income amongst the poorest income groups is lower than during the Thatcher area according to the JRF
• The policy response to financial crisis has meant wealth redistribution from the poor and the middle classes to the super rich at an unimaginable scale
For Peter Hain to try and claim the progressive political tradition is about as credible as the investment bankers of the City of London claiming that they deserve their bonuses!

Friday, 26 February 2010

A Country, a Government but no National Holiday?

Declare St.David's Day a public holiday

» Sign this petition
» View signatures
Declare St.David's Day a public holiday. Raise Wales' profile as a nation. A national holiday on St David's Day would be an opportunity through events both national and communal to make Wales presence felt on a world stage. Recognition of our patron saint on March 1st will encourage ex-patriots around the globe to celebrate their origins. Emulate the Irish achievement with St.Patrick's Day. The National Assembly can be a medium for the expression and formation of our national aspirations, and take a major role in campaigning for St,David's Day as a public holiday.
That St. David's Day is declared an official national holiday.
The Assembly has no power to introduce an additional public holiday, instead it will have to lobby the Government through The Secretary of State for Wales, Paul Murphy.
This campaign will be ongoing until there is real change in legislation, or until the momentum of the petition ceases. Support us with your signature, we can make a difference.
To sign the petition, click the green button below and fill in the basic details listed - your name will then be added to the petition within 2 days (7 maximum). If you want more information about this petition you can contact:-

» Sign this petition

Displaying 1 to 100 of 134   [12    Next 34 signatures - (101 to 134) 

......a flag, an anthem, a language, a culture, a nation, a people, a country, a government and no national holiday?

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Irreligious Politicians and a Taste of Hell

Cardinal Keith O'Brien

"Any recognition of the role played by faith and religion in society is to be welcomed. However, a tangible example by the government over the last decade that it acknowledged or endorsed religious values would also have been welcomed. Instead we have witnessed this government undertake a systematic and unrelenting attack on family values."

It is debatable whether religious leaders should comment on political and social affairs but should they stand aside and watch British society founder as it takes the road to ruin? The Cardinal expressed the hope that the Pope would " give Labour Hell"  during his visit to Britain. Labour has opened the gates of Hell to the British public during a decade of catastrophe, a decade of decadence brought on by the government's lack of care and responsibility and inaction in the face of mass immigration and deteriorating health care and urban decline. Further, the class divisions have widened between the rich and the poor while politicians and bankers have enriched themselves at the expense of the taxpayer. It will be interesting to hear whether the Pope has the courage to condemn.

See: -

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

YES - the only answer for Wales

  47 WINGFIELD ROAD  CAERDYDD CF14 1NJ                                                                             029 20 623275


      There now seems an increasing possibility that the promised referendum on the additional powers for the National Assembly may take place this year. It is not too soon to be thinking about how the grass roots campaign for a ”Yes” vote is to be mobilised.

                  To be successful, it is important that it is not confined to politicians who might be thought to have a vested interest but should be widely representative of all walks of life and all political opinions.  The Parliament for Wales Campaign, though small in numbers, could be a starting point for the compilation of a longer list of supporters to campaign together during the referendum campaign.

                  It is not our intention, as the Parliament for Wales Campaign, to assume a lead role in this campaign – we see our selves more as a catalyst to help bring together the much broader alliance that is needed to win the vote. But, in the absence of any other organisation taking the initiative, we have agreed to convene a meeting of potentially interested organisations (churches, trade unions, political parties, business leaders, voluntary organisations etc.)   to take place shortly after the General Election unless, of course a broadly – based organisation already has been created by then. Between now and the General Election we shall be endeavouring to persuade others to set up such an organisation.

                  At this stage we wish to compile a list of everyone and anyone who is willing and likely to be available to take an active part in the referendum campaign.  Contact PFWC  47 Wingfield Rd  Cardiff CF14 1NJ

                  Our perspective is to make all these confirmed names and addresses available to the new broadly – based campaign to set up local campaigns in every constituency. It will be very helpful to have these lists ready before the referendum date is known.
 Alan Jobbins

General Secretary 

The End of the Party

At the End of the Party - Britain is in a sorry state. There are broken windows, upturned furniture, drinks spilled on the floor, graffiti on the walls, torn furnishings, broken glass lying around,  food trodden into the carpets, doors swinging on their hinges and the lights left on...This is the legacy of Labour after 13 years of misrule, squander and extravagance. It will take some time to organise the clean-up operations and restore this "united country". this "sceptred isle" to anythig like its former condition.

There is a way, and that is to allow its constituent nations to forge their own destiny and take over control of their separate affairs. By so doing they will restore a sense of pride and identity among their peoples. It will create a new impetus and strengthen democracy by giving the people the power to govern themselves, rather than be obliged to conform to the dictates of those who are not fit to govern..


SNP MP and Westminster campaign co-ordinator, Stewart Hosie, said continuing revelations over strained relations within Downing Street were symptomatic of the dysfunction at the heart of the Labour Government. 
Amid continuing allegations of bullying and suggestions at the weekend that Jack Straw – one of the most senior figures in Brown’s Government – plotted against him, Chancellor Alistair Darling has now claimed that “the forces of hell” were unleashed against him over his assessment of the recession by Gordon Brown’s advisers. 
Commenting, Mr Hosie said:
“These revelations are symptomatic of dysfunction at the very heart of the UK Government.
“While they should have been fighting for the UK economy, the highest levels of the Labour Party were fighting each other. 
“It is inconceivable that Gordon Brown did not know what was going on. The Prime Minister needs to put his house in order and investigate the Chancellor’s claims without delay. 
“If he doesn’t already know, he should find out exactly what his advisers were saying – and who told them to say it. 
“With a Prime Minister living on borrowed time, and with Cabinet Members speaking out against him, this Government has lost its last shred of credibility.
“It is time for the public to have its say. Gordon Brown must get on with it, call the election and allow voters to decide whether they want a Government obsessed with itself or SNP MPs committed to working hard for local communities.”

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Scotland Distrusts Westminster (with good reason)

Plans for special body to run independence referendum

saltire blowing in the wind
Scotland's future is part of an ongoing constitutional debate
The Scottish government plans to set up a special body to run a future referendum on independence.
Ministers do not want to use the Electoral Commission which oversees Westminster elections.
The plan was revealed in minutes of meetings which were obtained by the BBC under Freedom of Information.
The draft bill on the independence referendum - which could take place as soon as 30 November - is expected to be published on Friday.
Extracts from correspondence between the Electoral Commission and Scottish government officials

Email from the Scottish government, 13 march, 2009 - "We are now looking at what the question in an independence referendum might be and at some point will need to show we have properly assessed it for intelligibility, neutrality, etc."
Electoral Commission minute, 22 September, 2009 - "Scottish government officials confirmed... that there was currently no provision to consult any organisation as to the intelligibility of the referendum question."
Electoral Commission minutes, 6 November, 2009 - "There seems little regard to the remit and role of what the Scottish Referendum Commission would actually do."
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The Electoral Commission has a statutory role to run referenda called by Westminster, but has no formal role in those called by the Scottish Parliament.
In the minutes obtained by BBC One's Politics Show, civil servants told the commission they planned to set up a new body - the Scottish Referendum Commission - to run the election.
The paperwork also revealed the concerns of the Westminster commission over the wording of the questions and that the timescale towards the poll was too short.
A minute from September last year said: "Scottish Government officials ... confirmed that there was currently no provision to consult any organisation as to the intelligibility of the referendum question".
No Scottish minister would comment on the FOI minutes, however, a spokesperson said that Scottish voters already had quite recent experience of a multi-option constitutional referendum.
The Electoral Commission said that when the government sets out the referendum on full independence, it would "consider it and submit a response" using experience of planning for referendums in the UK.
'Waste of time'
It added: "We are not able to comment until this public consultation is opened."
Commenting on the revelations, Scotland's Tory leader, Annabel Goldie, said First Minister Alex Salmond's "separation bill" was a "monumental waste of taxpayers' money and would fail".
She added: "Instead of dreaming up new ways to rig a referendum, Alex Salmond should get on with what he was elected to do."
Scottish Labour's Pauline McNeill said the "revelations expose how the SNP is trying to rig a referendum by getting round the rules".
She added: "While the rest of the world is trying to get people back into work and create jobs, Alex Salmond is wasting time and money on a doomed referendum plan.
"The Electoral Commission is there to be the neutral referee.
"By ordering the referee off the pitch, Alex Salmond is trying to avoid the scrutiny."

A National Holiday for Wales?

New St Davids Day Bank Holiday Campa

Submitted by Luke O'Mahony on 19th Feb 2010 13:59:40

A fresh campaign to make St. David's Day a bank holiday is being supported by Welsh Whisky distiller Penderyn.

The campaign, which includes a Facebook group, Twitter page and a Downing Street petition, is aimed at changing government legislation to allow for a public holiday on the 1st of March, remembering St David, the Patron Saint of Wales.

A poll conducted by the BBC in 2006 found that 87% of Welsh people wanted St Davids Day to be a bank holiday, and many support a holiday on St Davids Day even if it would mean a holiday was lost from another day. However no government petition has ever been ratified.

Penderyn spokesperson Stephen Davies commented: There is overwhelming support in Wales for St Davids Day to be a public holiday, and the time is ripe for people to demonstrate their support for this. Other countries such as Ireland honour their patron saints with a public holiday which is entwined in their culture, and we see this as a great opportunity to bring the country together and celebrate Waless unique culture and history.

Must Wales wait for Independence before St David's Day is declared a National Holiday?

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Friday, 19 February 2010

Dydd Genedlaethol Cymru

St.David's Day Parade 
The National Saint David's Day Parade, staged in Cardiff on Wales' patron saint's day, March 1st, grows in colour and delight year by year.The civilian parade last year was supported by over six thousand walkers including performing bands, jumping stiltsters and groups in traditional Welsh costumes carrying the banners of Wales and Saint David.
The city is expecting the crowds to come out once again to line the streets and there is a welcome for all who want to join in the celebrations and or just cheer on the lunchtime parade.
2010 Parade:
This year's route is shorter:
Muster from 11.30  King Edward VII Avenue, alongside the City Hall and the Law Courts
Moving off at 12.30, past Cardiff Castle, along the High Street and on towards the brand new Library and St David's2 centre, to finish in the historic Hayes (final route subject to confirmation).
Performances on stage are planned to continue for a while after the parade arrives in the Hayes.
Bands, dance parties and schools and community groups should register their interest in taking part in the parade by immediately contacting the coordinator on 029 2021 3629 or 
Join our communities on:

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

And Then There Were Four.....

Alex Salmond closes in on Sky election debate

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by David Allen
It looks as if there could be another politician standing up to ask questions during the promised general election TV debates.
Up until now the leader of the SNP, Alex Salmond, has been kept away from the debates, leaving only the big three party leaders up there to take centre stage.
But the satellite TV provider BSkyB, has been sympathetic to the SNP leader’s case that he should be up there too, considering his position as Scotland’s First Minister.
The issue for the other parties is that Alex Salmond could not become Prime Minister of the UK at this election and therefore should be satisfied with the Scottish version of the election debates.
Now it looks as if BSkyB is willing to allow the SNP Leader to ask one question on each subject as well as giving his views.
Could this be the deal breaker that sees the election debates cancelled entirely?

Monday, 15 February 2010

The People's Democracy - An Elected House of Lords

From Peter Facey - Unlock Democracy

The 2005-2010 Parliament has been beset with scandal but the first big outrage was over 'cash for honours' when the full extent with which political parties were rewarding their donors with seats in the House of Lords was. Since then the House of Lords appointments process has been in tatters and in some ways has got worse, with people like Digby Jones being given a life peerage for taking up a government post, only to resign from the government a few months later.  Numerous peers have been embroiled in expenses scandals and controversy surrounding their work as paid lobbyists, yet they are completely unaccountable.

It is absurd that one of our Houses of Parliament continues to consist of political appointments.  It is high time we ditched our feudal past and had a UK democracy that is worthy of the name.  Throwing out the majority of hereditary peers has made the House of Lords a much more effective chamber for scrutinising and amending legislation - mainly because no single political party has a majority in it. But it continues to lack legitimacy; we need to finish the job.

In 2007, the House of Commons voted for replacing the Lords with a fully elected second chamber by a clear majority. Since then however, the pace of reform has been frustratingly slow. The Labour government have still not published their proposals for Lords reform while the Conservatives are pledging merely to "build a consensus for a mainly elected second chamber"; of the main parties only the Liberal Democrats are currently fully committed to actual reform.

2011 will mark the 100th anniversary of the Parliament Act which begins with the words ''it is intended to substitute for the House of Lords as it at present exists a Second Chamber constituted on a popular instead of hereditary basis, but such substitution cannot be immediately brought into operation".  We believe that it is time we fulfilled this promise.  Ensuring Lords reform is included in the POWER2010 pledge is one way you can put pressure on the politicians to make this happen.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Blogging Back to the Holy Ground

We will sail the salt seas over
And then return for shore
And still I live in hope to see
The Holy Ground once more.
[Fine Girl You Are]

You're the girl that I adore,
And still I live in hope to see
the Holy Ground once more.
[Fine Girl You Are]

Frae one Scot tae Anither

An accurate picture or is it an accurate picture? The choice is yours!

Friday, 12 February 2010

Plaid Cymru Dinner and Ron Davies as Speaker

On Saturday the 20th, the Conference Dinner will be held at the Swalec Stadium with guest speaker Ron Davies. Tickets Text Box:  are £35 per head (including a wine reception and three-course meal – tomato and mozzarella soup, Honey glazed Lamb Shank with champ mash and  roasted vegetables and a Chocolate and Walnut brownie served with chocolate Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream.

Book your ticket by 12.00pm on Monday by e-mailing 472272.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Wales and the Recession

Find it HERE



Idiotic comment of the month: 
"Compared with Ruanda .........Wales is still a wealthy country." Peter Hain MP.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Three Musketeers have Labour in their Sights

The Sketch: Plaid Cymru's fearsome threesome pack quite a punch

Simon Carr

What a relief to see Elfyn Llwyd in the House yesterday, still alive and asking questions. He's always more interesting than he looks. Tiny Plaid Cymru are a great parliamentary asset. Blair and Mittal's £2m, that was them. They kicked off Cash for Honours. The Blair Impeachment project, they did that too. Llwyd and Adam Price (they are two-thirds of their party) have probably had more effect on Parliament than the entire Liberal Democrats.
He was suggesting to Jack Straw that half the women in prison shouldn't be there (did you know women have gone to jail for not paying their television licence?). Leave aside his imprisoned women, Elfyn has another fish on the line.Four years ago, he received a document – top secret, unsigned. From whom? I don't know. Why did he get it? Don't know that either.
What's in it? Ah yes, it details, he says, our leader's conversation at the famous Crawford meeting a year before the Iraq war started. It is, he tells me, "evidence of a done deal between Bush and Blair" and shows that in the light of Blair's subsequent answers on the subject that "the depth of the deceit is astonishing".
The Independent

Scotland's Independence Gains Momentum

Gordon Brown hints at U-turn over Scottish independence referendum

Gordon Brown has performed a U-turn by saying he may authorise a referendum on Scottish independence after the recession is over.

For the first time, the Prime Minister said it was a “possibility” a future Labour Government would stage a vote on breaking up Britain, albeit not in the short term.
But he attacked the SNP by arguing that politicians should focus on dragging the country out of the economic mire instead of obsessing about the constitution.

Comment: but can we trust them? 
Read more here and here

From the SNP:

SNP Constitutional Affairs Spokesperson, Pete Wishart MP, has called on the Labour Party in Scotland to make their position on holding a Scottish referendum clear after their colleagues in the UK Parliament and Welsh Assembly backed two other referenda in the space of 12 hours.
Senior members of the Labour party have consistently claimed it is inappropriate to discuss a holding a referendum on Scotland's constitutional future during an economic downturn.
Commenting Mr Wishart said: "The hypocrisy of the Labour Party is stunning. In one day, they backed two separate referenda in the House of Commons and the Welsh Assembly and in doing so blew their own argument against a referendum on Scotland's constitutional future out the water.
"Iain Gray needs to be clear. Will the Labour Party in the Scottish Parliament continue to oppose a referendum on Scotland's future or will they join the clear majority and back an independence poll?
"The people of Scotland must have their say over their constitutional future. Labour cannot run scared any longer."

If and when Scotland gains independence:
Scotland would keep the monarchy
Scotland would join the EU
Scotland would not join NATO
Scotland would probably join the eurozone
Scotland would change its name to Alba
Scotland would take over its oil and gas reserves
Scotland would make its own laws without interference

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Support from Independence-minded Scots

From Richard Thomson

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

A 'Yes' for Wales

Some important news from Wales which you almost certainly won't have seen on our glorious British 'national' news. This evening, the Senedd passed a motion which triggers the process for a referendum to be held on transferring legislative powers to the institution from Westminster. The motion, which required the support of at least 40 AMs, succeeded in garnering the support of 53 in the end, with no abstentions or votes against.

And so begins a process which will see First Minister Carwyn Jones write to Secretary of State, Peter Hain, informing him of the result. The Secretary of State then has 120 days in which to consider the request, and lay a draft order for the referendum, or to respond in the negative explaining why a vote can't go ahead.

A rejection seems highly unlikely. Hain has already said this evening that he looks forward to “beginning the preparatory work”. His Conservative shadow, Cheryl Gillan, has also made it clear that the Tories, should they win the general election in the meantime, will not stand in the way of a referendum. Plaid Cymru, as you would expect, are in favour, while for the Lib Dems, Kirsty Williams has argued that the present settlement is “unsustainable”.

There's no doubting the progress that the self-government argument has made in Wales since the knife edge referendum result in 1997. I stayed up to watch the results coming in that evening, and went to bed in the wee small hours, despondent that the 'No' campaign looked to have won the day. In the event, it took the final declaration from Carmarthenshire to swing it. Seldom has a student hangover disappeared quite so quickly!

The argument for the transfer of legislative powers ought to be unanswerable. The current system whereby Legislative Competence Motions have to be passed in order to give the Senedd powers to legislate on particular matters, is clunky and cumbersome. However, the challenge, at a time of cynicism about politics and politicians, is to set this in a context and narrative which resonates with people. Done properly, and with the cross party support already in evidence, it can give the Senedd, and indeed the whole idea of self-government for Wales, the emphatic legitimising endorsement that so many loud voices have always sought to deny the institution.

While I wish my many Welsh friends and colleagues likely to be involved in the 'Yes' campaign all the best, it's hard not to draw a parallel with Scotland. Here, we're told by our regional franchises of Labour, the Conservatives and the Lib Dems that a referendum on the constitution is no-go. Thanks to this evening's vote in the Commons on electoral reform, that's two referendums which now have the go-ahead to take place during an economic downturn, when people's minds are focused on [insert own self-serving excuse here].

It really shouldn't need to be pointed out, but the legitimacy of our political processes and their ability to respond to people's concerns has arguably never been more important. It's not just about who governs or how they govern, but also the ability we have to influence how we ourselves are governed. Here's to a successful referendum in Wales, and to a similarly successful vote on Independence in the not too distant future.