The Budget – and all who sail them in! EP

The Budget? It’s all about criticism from the Left and what a good day from the Right. Nothing changes. What a world we live in! Come next week it will be forgotten and everybody will be carrying on the able fight again. It’s all about ‘productivity’ you see, in other words the British worker isn’t doing enough and so on. Unlike our German neighbours (don’t you just like the euphemisms politicians use?) who have a productive lifestyle second to none – their trains do run on time, I’ll have to give them that!

Chancellor Hammond didn’t have much room to manoeuvre, no room at the roof top but he did give a little and take a little – common parlance at Westminster. All in all, he didn’t slip up – like the last job, where he tried to sting the self-employed! He’d put his fists up (with a bit of comedy thrown in) and gave the politicians a right winger. Good for him, they’ll have to think of another blunder to accuse him of. It’s all a rich confusion of arrogance and stupidly, but what do we care, we are only the voters after all.

According to the news, if the EU had given David Cameron (the ex-Prime Minister) all that he had asked for there wouldn’t be a split. Well, politics is full of ifs and buts but the report does have some credibility. Every German regrets the departing of the UK (I wonder why?) and ponders the rejection of Cameron’s wishes but there we are, that’s politics for you.

The Institute of Fiscal Studies has forewarned of a wage crisis not seen since heaven knows when (one wonders how they can posit a non-political standpoint?) and the Tories are saying the opposite. Who does one believe? The wage crush is apparent for all to see but is this the price of austerity because this is going to go on for a good few years yet.

Austerity, this is a word that is on everyone’s lips. Can we change it? No. It is with us like it or not. We can go with the Left and end up skint, or we can go with the Right, the same thing. Who knows?

Politics is an unknown game. We cannot foresee a future beyond the moment. It is a game of chance and deliberation. What one will win is beyond the mental capacity of all who indulge in it. One can play, one can assume but one can never say with certainty what the outcome will be.

It’s a bet, and one simply does not know where the ball will stop on the roulette table. That’s if it stop’s at all – you can keep on guessing!~   

 

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American News

I’ve been thinking recently of an article I wrote that got picked up by the American press.

Its true you know, “Welsh writing does suck.”

And has it ever occurred to you, how many Welsh people you meet abroad – or in this country (UK)? 3-3.5 million against a population of 65 million, hardly surprising that the BBC (apart from BBC Wales) showed little interest. 

A moment to cogitate, I think.

A Nobility?

Now, I’m really going to go off the column line here. No political and no general discourse on the noble art of writing – well, forget ‘noble’ just indulge me. This time its art – with a flow or picture of what you like best? I don’t know so much about this, art is always in the mind so experts tell me. Anyway, I was sitting down in my study the other day when this email came flowing through the pipelines toward me. ‘Hello’ I thought, ‘what’s this?’ You never think anything else about the internet do you? An invention in pure confusion but there we are.

Back to what’s this. An email that caught my attention. Ships or boats, depending on how au fait you are with sea monstering leviathans. But just look at them, see and wonder what their stories are? The Pride of Wales, Zeta (Catherine Zeta Jones pinched this name!) and Mimosa. Where are they going to and where are they coming from? All figments of the past, all eaten up by contusions of history. Fascinating. The waves cast my mind back to other times, not so cautious as my existence now. There was more trial and tribulation – more fun though!

The artist, John Richardson, had better watch out for his sea captains hat! He’d better make sure there are no Welsh villains hanging around his harbour. They’ll pinch his painting and hat and not give a damn about the fag hanging out of his mouth. Truthfully, these works of art are worth a detailed scrutiny. They are larger than life. They express a time gone by, a lonelier, maybe even a happier grip of passing minutes. They fly into a part of the world unknown to us all, they are finite. Impossible to achieve.

Congratulations to John Richardson. He’s lambasted me to another place, another time. A distant figment of my imagination.

Isn’t this what an artist is supposed to do? To take us on a journey of self-awareness? Ducking from the triangles of living and the pointed fingers of moral certitude? Sitting or standing, brush in hand and deliberation on what life is or what you would like it to be?

The artist. Using a wrist to paint what he sees as his – in a Welsh context.

What a life!

One can concur on looking at this painting that life is more unsettled when one is young. More reactive, more shouting about the wrongs in society. Perhaps the young ‘uns should absorb more art, it would make then think more deeply but this would be a fatalism on their intention.             

Sex – again and again! EP

The politicos are in a mess again. Will they ever get out of trouble? It’s all about sex this time – as if it is about anything else? Sex on the phone, sex in messages and sex at a glance, you name it.

Now, sex can be harassment, physical violation and terror. Any of these things, no go Joe and quite right too. But a sly glance, even of a cursory inclination, an accidental touch (or even a meaningful touch in the right circumstances) or a sloppy email is acceptable. Anything else is just not on.

I’ve had to run away on many occasions in order to defend my integrity and honour. I couldn’t help it and all that, good looks (when I was young etc) and a flash smile – ignore the fanciful compliment, just figments of my imagination!

It’s all about a few men, not the many. It’s all about political correctness, and what one should be doing is correct and a steadfast version of what is proper. You mustn’t do this, you mustn’t do that, on and on it goes. Well for me, it’s all about being decent and thoughtful and I don’t need a government body to tell me how to do this. It’s all about power. The power men exercise over women.

Women have been doing well over the past few years. They have increased their deliverance and good luck to them – I’m all for it, but they do need to do more.

Scandals are at the forefront of the political landscape – they always are and the media are quick to pick this up. Too quick. Instead of a measured debate or a sensible argument, they climb all over the character of an individual and destroy it. Rape is not to be tolerated, sexual abuse is not to be accepted but should we have all this hyperbole over a nonsensical text message or rape by words? If it’s this last sentence then I should be worried by all the words I’ve written on sexual exploitation in print.

The internet is in the firing line as well (well, I have no argument with this!). I wonder if the exaggeration and fantastic ‘scandal’ would have appeared if it wasn’t in existence. The internet has a lot to answer for and there will be many such stories to arouse personal grabbing tactics in the years to come. Politicians have a right to privacy but this privacy must be challenged when it is questionable.

Questionable is the right word to use here.     

 

 

 

Leanne Wood

Let’s be honest here, Leanna Wood is a genuine soul and sincere, the trouble is she’s too far left. Leaving this aside, let’s just take her party conference. A speech made from her heart and with a good lump of determined Plaid endeavour. Nothing wrong with this, it’s what political parties are all about. Whist I disagree with her on a number of points, I have to give her full marks – and to hell with the rumbles of discontent amongst her party. She will be at the electoral hustings next time, whenever that is!

Leanne Wood is at the Community stage, all citizens of Wales should be involved in their local community. This is fine but I’m still trying to work out what a ‘community’ is, but this is my problem, so don’t any of you get your pants in a twist. As for a second referendum? A misinterpretation of the EU debacle in all its glory.

Reading between the lines, that bulk of the speech was about ‘hope’. Hope for a better future and hope for a standalone Wales. Now this bothered me. Was she embarking on independence or not? An independent Wales or something else?

Well, Plaid hasn’t dropped its Wales can go it alone, has it? Independence? In your dreams.

The Welsh Assembly has had 20 years of power and they haven’t done much with it. Education, NHS, Social Services and the economy are all down. Plaid has 4 MP’s and 10 AM’s, not much you can do with this is there? Nevertheless, you have to give them this:

They are, with Leanne Wood as their Leader, a resilient lot, you have to give them that, but I have to hand it to them, they are a force to be reckoned with. Who knows, they might achieve a certain media attention if they carry on in this vein, politics is in a right mess at the moment so who knows.

Like all the political parties, I wish them well in their individual endeavours. It’s not the trumped up politicos that need to worry, it’s we the people that need to concern ourselves. Who is serving us, and this is the key word ‘serving’.

They are there to do our bidding, not the other way around. And the sooner the political class realises this the better.

‘Hope’ is a strange word. It can mean many things to many different people. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed that it has some meaning to those in the institutions that govern us. If it doesn’t, then we are in a fine pickle.

Leanne Wood was right to go on about ‘hope’, and working on a till in front of loads of people, is the best way to start a political career. She knows about the common good.

I don’t like some of her policies, but I respect her.

ITV/S4C

I did an interview on the above – two days of exchanging malcontent! Anyway, the staff were kind and considerate.

Alun Davies (the Welsh Assembly Minister for Welsh Affairs) was, shall I say, slow to answer my questions but there we are.

You can watch the interview on Tuesday night. Observe Ruck being  sown up like a kipper!

Evening Post – An Israeli Adventure

What about a change of circumstance? There’s nothing like a breather from the EU and politics in general – there are times when I get a tad bored with it but there we are. I’m thinking more about telling you lovely people about the antics I had while travelling the world – I mean it too, I’ll tell you I’ve done some boot legging in my time, not the nonsense of student travel! All booze, drugs and nothing seen or nowhere to go. Well, the booze…….?

It’s was about 35 odd years ago – showing my age now aren’t I? I was showing considerable interest in some Israeli artefacts in Tel Aviv, I can hear some of you shouting ‘as if’ etc etc but bear with me. It was a fine day as I remember, all sun and tanned bodies running around everywhere. I was at peace with the world – probably the bottle of Arak I had hidden in a pocket had something to do with this, what was I saying about the booze?

After a couple of swigs of God’s nectar, I sat down on a park bench and considered the situation I was in. Far from home and skint, not a shekel to my miserable name. Nothing but me and a bottle of Arak. Well, there was no hope for me was there? And apart from anything else I was hungry, my stomach was shouting for some grub. So I sat there and wondered what I could do about this sorry mess I was in. Religion was out of the question, God was not going to help this insult to the human race!

Time dragged on and so did the bottle – the only salvation ready to open its arms to me. I got up, I grumbled and started to make my way to the bars, restaurants and some deliverance. Heaven knows what I was going to do but there was a chance, you never know and all that.

I passed a restaurant and saw some lamb chops staring at me. The surly lumps of meat made my tummy jump. I had to have some……now! I sat at down at a table and ordered those lamb chops and a salad. It came, I saw, I conquered, Julius Caesar time but forgive me. I’d gone to Heaven with a bottle of Arak, what a way to go.

It was time to pay. I didn’t and shot off down an alleyway and mingled with the crowd. Job done, as they say.

After half an hour I felt hungry again – I’m not joking here. And what did I do? Found a restaurant and did the same thing again – tried to anyway. Next thing a fancy jeep pulls up alongside my table. Some soldiers leapt out and shoved me in the back of the jeep. I’d gone back to the same place as  I’d done a runner from. That’s Arak for you!

Well, this is it I thought. Now, you might be thinking this is the end of Ruck but here’s the thing. The officer in charge was an old Cambridge student. I explained my desperation and he sympathised, bought me a packet of fags too.

Israel is a fine place, be in no doubt about it. An Arab gave me some shekels too, to get some food.

There’s a moral in here somewhere.         

 

 

Labour

The polls are now showing a clear lead in the election – Corbyn is in! Now I know this will address the Labour Party concerns, trials and tribulations etc but will it happen? The Polls have been wrong so many times before that I don’t see any point in relying on them – take 1000 people and show which way they will exercise their political angst is anybody’s guess!

No, the polls aren’t worth a light.

Labour is promising all kinds of handouts. Money for this, money for that and all paid for by the Corporations. Well, guess what’s going happen? Once the tax bill is on the table, the Companies will take off and that’s that. It’s easy enough to do these days and we don’t even know what the EU is going to look like.

So what are we going to do with this black hole? Borrow is one way out and Labour is all for borrowing – it’s what has got us into this mess in the first place, look at Browns no more borrowing or busting that didn’t get us very far did it? In fairness to Brown and Blair they didn’t go as far left as the Marxist Labour Party. Look at McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor no less? If there’s a run on the pound we’ll see to it. Oh they’ll see to it alright, the country will be skint again!

What’s happened to all the main players of the Labour Party, that was? In the Party Conference I didn’t see any of them sitting beside Corbyn. He’s has wiped them out. All those with the experience and judgement of office, have gone. There was a time when I used to be impressed by Blair (or Brown) but now? The Labour Party has gone so far to the left that they remind me of a Party in utter chaos.

And people want to vote for them.

Call me a Blairite, but and here’s the thing, we didn’t go bust over him. Corbyn will lead us down a path of social delusion, Marxist prevarication and a Communist free state – British style. Vote for him by all means, but don’t moan when it all goes wrong. If he manages to become Prime Minister I’m off, and so will a hell of lot of other people – although I have been that for some time, pastures new again etc etc.

Wales might well be Labour to its core but there are limits and Corbyn has reached this limit. Now is the time for sensible Labour voters to stand up and be counted…..that’s if their fathers don’t get in the way! Where we would be without the political thinking of the Welsh!

Where indeed.