Jeremy Corbyn et al

Rigged economy, the socially disadvantaged losing out, raising taxes etc etc. Tell us something we don’t know? But and here’s a big ‘but’, does it play to the voting inclinations of a broad section of the electorate? And apart from this, how times have changed over the past 40 odd years. There’s more courses, more ways to set yourself up and more degrees, than anyone with even a bold imagination could have foreseen all those years ago. At least it’s an improvement. 

Jeremy Corbyn needs to take a lesson from Tony Blair (the son of Thatcher and who took on the whole electorate) if he is to be successful in his bid for Prime Ministerial power – and Marxist John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor. Personally, I don’t think that anyone in his right mind can counter this, least of all Corbyn. Politics is an unpredictable business, but on this occasion it is possible to anticipate the course of events in the pending General Election.

Jeremy Corbyn is out. Full stop.

One can predict in the most charming of ways, how decent and honourable a man he is, but he is non-electable. A Shadow Cabinet full of faceless individuals, non-starters and witless comments on what might be in the perfect world of Corbynmania. Well it all makes delightful reading at bedtime, whilst one is gurgling on a cup of hot chocolate and gradually dropping off into a deep and hazy sleep.

You watch these people from the Shadow Cabinet and wonder where in blue blazes they have come from? Where are all the Labourites of the past? The people who can argue and deliberate, the front runners? Nowhere to be seen and why is that?

You can answer this question yourself, it doesn’t need me to tell you.

The new Mayor of Greater Manchester (I have a certain respect for the gentleman), Labour’s Andy Burnham, was nowhere to be seen when Corbyn took a trip up there to wish him all the best. Labour won the seat on the individual’s personality. Strong and decisive. Two characteristics of a man who wishes to lead. Sadly, not two personality traits that is in Corbyn’s lexicon!

Labour has a few short weeks to sort itself out. It is an impossible task. It has taken a road of 70’s left of left delusion. It failed then and it will fail once again. It must elect a new leader and get rid of the Membership vote. If it doesn’t then it will enter into the history books of political failure.

I do not wish this. Get yourselves sorted out and be a responsible Opposition once and for all – who knows, this might lead to real power. Hold the Tories to account and show where they are going wrong.

Do it and be a successful political party – and give the Tories a thrashing while you are about it!            

Diane Abbott

Diane Abbott has certainly got her facts wrong – not for the first time it has to be said. Unaware of the cost of policing in the United Kingdom seems to be the latest Labour blunder to hit our ear holes. I’m astonished that being the Shadow Home Secretary she is so blatantly ignorant of the amount of money that 10,000 more police officers will cost the country. It is remarkable. More to the point, it is another example of how disjointed the Labour party is when it comes to policy. Some say this, some say that and in between all the political commentators and scientists (that’s a good one!) say something else. All a mishmash of comment that sets out to confuse us all.

Daily Politics and Newsnight, all make it their raison d’etre to exercise a barrage of political confoundedness – well, good on them even if they are a little beyond the pale. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting fed up with hearing the same old swan songs. Brexit or bust, financial bankruptcy or well- being blah de blah. Voting tactically is becoming the norm and so on. As far as I’m concerned this last tactical manoeuvre is utter nonsense. Vote for whom you want in power and that’s it, otherwise what’s the point in having a democratic vote in the first place?

You know, I’m getting thoroughly tired of hearing the same thing. We’re all aware of the implications of leaving the European Union. We know that health, education, social services and the police to name but a few, are under stress. We know that we are being hit in our pockets but what is the solution to all this?

“Poverty’ is a relative term. We don’t have the misery of Africa or India to contend with, although it must be said that those who live in a state of nothing must be cared for. But how will this be addressed by a left-wing Government? It won’t. It will just leave us skint and with nowhere to go.

It is better to have a strong Government to deal with it than a weak one. It is in our interest to fight from a position of national unity. Don’t forget the financial crash of 2007, its still with us. There is still a debt to pay. No wonder there is a push for “austerity”, we have forgotten all this in recent times.

Think long and hard about it, while you scribble your name on a sheet of paper. You will be signing away you children’s life and your grandchildren’s. Don’t be emasculated by promises of trust and goodwill. Look at the facts and draw your own conclusions, it will probably be better that the politicians in any event!               

 

 

Corbyn

“Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour are clearly in meltdown. Having proven them serves the worse opposition in history Labour are on a course to hand the Tories the majority they need to take Britain down a dangerous path.

The options in this election are clear, the hard and divisive Tories or the Liberal Democrats………………Only the Liberal Democrats can provide the opposition this country needs to put the brakes on Theresa May and her disastrous plan for Britain.” So says Mark Williams MP.

Well now, this all sounds rather fine in a political can do situation but what the Liberal Democrats are lonely voices in a very sparse wilderness – one in the Assembly and 8 in the Commons, not likely to be force for good are they?

In the Assembly only Kirsty Williams is pushing the Democrat line and the Commons is highlighted on a good day by the Christian and no doubt charming Tim Farron – his smile gets a bit annoying but there we are. That’s politicians for you, you would think they get a few rumbustious ones now and again but so be it.

Believe it not, I have a soft spot for the Liberal Democrats but as far as I am concerned they are not in the running, simple as that. The General Election is about two parties scrapping it out – Tory and Labour.

I will leave it to you which one you choose but I have a remote feeling that on this one the Tories are going to win and see off Labour in Wales and England. There are going to be no draws or penalty shoot outs, it’s just going be lose or win and you can take your pick. Europe back away or we’ll stay in Europe, that’s if the Liberal Democrats have their way or Labour come to think of it.

It’s a them or us game. It will become far more frightful and insulting as the Election proceeds. The politicians will hurl grenades around and just see where it gets them – no harm in that, its democracy after all. Where it will all end I’m not so sure, but I do know that the people want out of Europe come hell or high water and no matter what the holier than thou in Parliament say, that is what they will vote for.

Take note all you politicos, the writing is on the wall and you had better watch all for all those who have wanted stay in but who have changed their minds.

Still, this is one election that one can predict, “holier than thou” it may be!       

Free prescription?-Evening Post

It can’t be easy reading all this political commentary. Everywhere you look, there’s the same old comments to be fired at you: The country is heading for the knackers yard; you can’t give up etc etc All in the name of Brexit, God help me! But and here’s the thing, there are many expenses that the Welsh Government can do without:

NHS can “no longer be used as buffet cart”, says AM, as universal free prescription policy reaches 10-year milestone 

On the day the Welsh Government’s universal free prescriptions policy reaches its 10th anniversary, Welsh Conservatives are calling on Labour Ministers to move towards a more “just and affordable” model.

Commenting, Angela Burns AM, Welsh Conservative Shadow Health Secretary, said:

“Universal free prescriptions is a good and noble idea if you have a bottomless well of cash, but clearly this just isn’t the case for the Welsh NHS. Last year the health service in Wales spent a record-breaking £593.7m on free prescriptions – that’s a mammoth 45% rise on when the policy was first introduced by the Welsh Labour Government in 2000.

Well isn’t that stating the obvious?

Wales is skint, just like Scotland and for all this we are giving away money as if it’s going out of fashion. Why prescriptions aren’t mean tested? I can afford to pay for them and I’m sure many of you can afford it too. To hell with the beer and fags (I don’t have much choice where these two highlights of life are concerned, more is the pity) and nights out on the town: Pay for the prescription and to hell with it – never mind the paracetamol you can get it over the counter!

Angela Burns goes on:

“Put simply, people who can afford to pay for their medicine should pay, while those who cannot afford to pay, or live with long-term chronic conditions, should still be able to benefit from free medicine. The NHS can no longer be treated like a buffet cart.”

It’s a buffet cart alright, like just about every else in Wales. The principality is never going to pull itself out of this financial maelstrom come what may. The Labour Government must get a grip on things. otherwise it’s all going to be doom and gloom for everybody – and not forgetting the children and grandchildren. Where is the spirit of the 1940’s, where is the courage of its industrial might?

Up the spout, like everything else.

The Welsh must show its true colours, and fight to win. This way the expulsion of the European Union will mean absolutely nothing. We’ll eat the leeks and daffodils again, no matter what the European trauma throws at us!     

 

 

We’re skint!

It can’t be easy reading all this political commentary. Everywhere you look, there’s the same old comments to be fired at you: The country is heading for the knackers yard; you can’t give up etc etc All in the name of Brexit, God help me! But and here’s the thing, there are many expenses that the Welsh Government can do without:

NHS can “no longer be used as buffet cart”, says AM, as universal free prescription policy reaches 10-year milestone 

On the day the Welsh Government’s universal free prescriptions policy reaches its 10th anniversary, Welsh Conservatives are calling on Labour Ministers to move towards a more “just and affordable” model.

Commenting, Angela Burns AM, Welsh Conservative Shadow Health Secretary, said:

“Universal free prescriptions is a good and noble idea if you have a bottomless well of cash, but clearly this just isn’t the case for the Welsh NHS. Last year the health service in Wales spent a record-breaking £593.7m on free prescriptions – that’s a mammoth 45% rise on when the policy was first introduced by the Welsh Labour Government in 2000.

Well isn’t that stating the obvious?

Wales is skint, just like Scotland and for all this we are giving away money as if it’s going out of fashion. Why prescriptions aren’t mean tested? I can afford to pay for them and I’m sure many of you can afford it too. To hell with the beer and fags (I don’t have much choice where these two highlights of life are concerned, more is the pity) and nights out on the town: Pay for the prescription and to hell with it – never mind the paracetamol you can get it over the counter!

Angela Burns goes on:

“Put simply, people who can afford to pay for their medicine should pay, while those who cannot afford to pay, or live with long-term chronic conditions, should still be able to benefit from free medicine. The NHS can no longer be treated like a buffet cart.”

It’s a buffet cart alright, like just about every else in Wales. The principality is never going to pull itself out of this financial maelstrom come what may. The Labour Government must get a grip on things. otherwise it’s all going to be doom and gloom for everybody – and not forgetting the children and grandchildren. Where is the spirit of the 1940’s, where is the courage of its industrial might?

Up the spout, like everything else.

The Welsh must show its true colours, and fight to win. This way the expulsion of the European Union will mean absolutely nothing. We’ll eat the leeks and daffodils again, no matter what the European trauma throws at us!     

 

 

Andrew RT Davies

The Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies, had this to say as part of his speech at the Spring Forum of the Welsh Conference:

“The Leader of the Scottish Nationalists Union wants to tear that union apart. With each passing day she wants and sounds more and more like the man she reviles the most. She wants to rebuild Hadrian’s Wall…….and sadly the Scottish people who pay for it. Well I’ve got the message for the SNP and other separatists across our isles. The United Kingdom that we cherish is not a thing of the past. It remains- as ever-the world’s greatest family of nations

Nicola Sturgeon, take note: This Union is here to stay.”

Well now, is this a sparkle of hope? Of optimism? In all the chaos and retribution that pass us by on a daily basis? Or is it a misreading of the true intention of Nicola Sturgeon? Could it be that since she was 15, independence has been the only real political intent that she can rally around?

As far as Sturgeon is concerned, now is the time to swipe this conspiracy theory come hell or high water. It’s time to thump May where it really hurts.

She is going against the popular vote (that’s if you believe all the London commentators) and against the will of the Scottish people…..but so what. She wants an independent Scotland so let her have it. Duff economy and all – what about the Health Service, the economy, education etc etc, All in a trifle mess. I don’t know what you readers think, but I am getting fed up with hearing the ‘independent’ clichés on a daily basis regardless of whether one is pro or against the Brexit argument. Its population is about 5.3 million, so let the Scots to get on with it and see what happens.

As if you need to be told this.15 billion is already the Scottish debt, so what next? I’ll leave this to you.

The Prime Minister has no choice but to wait until the negotiations for a leaving of the European Union are finished. Sturgeon might be flying high (and taking a huge risk) in the pilot’s seat but wait and see – Teresa May might well be doing the same thing. It’s all about something or anything but we shall just have to wait, just like Donald Trump across the deep blue sea – and it really is deep too!

The politicians are clueless and so are we, not much to hope for is there?

And Plaid Cymru is asking for Wales to have a say on things too. Being British is a complicated thing, isn’t it just!   

   

  

A Singer

I want to tell you a story. It’s a true tale, with plenty of vivid excitement along the way – I’m not joking, I’m serious. So don’t laugh!

It was in 1937, a gentle time with the wizards of dance and music and the popping of champagne corks – well, for some anyway. Everyone was enjoying themselves and people just glanced at a war that was never going to happen to them. Hitler was churning up discord in a foreign land and that was that. Good for him.

Now in this realm of peace and quiet, a boy of thirteen stood in front of a crowd that was polite and it could be said, expectant. He stood there, straight backed and proud, his vocal glory about to dismiss any snorts of insult and wanton despair – he was the Silver Songster, a master of contralto genius.

The music played, it’s bounced around the pillars of acting deliverance looking for somewhere to hide, somewhere to hang its head in shame. The boy reached into a place that only God knew, and let the sound that made angels chuckle and seraphim’s reach for mercy at God’s right hand. It was shameless, it was beautiful. It made the crowd stand still and wish they could stay here forever.

The young lad finished Bishop’s ‘Lo! Hear the gentle lark’ and remained still. There was a silence and suddenly the theatre exploded in clapping and “Bravoing!” Britain’s Greatest Boy Soprano had done it again, he had silenced the audience with a voice that could not be stopped. It was wonderful. It was bold and the whispers from other times screamed out of the shadows.

He raised his small arms in supplication and gratitude to the audience who loved him so much. His smallness suddenly grew to a mighty force, a singing charisma. He had won.

The Welsh Boy who was billed at the London Palladium as ‘Britain’s Greatest Boy Soprano’, is alive and well today. Living in his own home, he still remembers the fame of his early days.

My father-in-law is active and still had has a rare comment to make, all unknown to the younger generation. Sometimes the things we have experienced are realised just by ourselves, perhaps that’s the way it should be.

Perhaps.

Memories get more sensitive or a trifle sterner and as we grow older, a bad or a good thing? No one yet has been able to answer this.

        

 

 

The Welsh language

Plaid Cymru Assembly Member and Chair of the Assembly’s Culture Welsh Language and Communications Committee, Bethan Jenkins, has demanded equality for Wales from the BBC following the Corporation’s decision to award a large increase in funding for BBC Scotland, including the creation of a new Scottish based TV channel.

The funding announcement for Scotland comes a day after the BBC announced extra money for BBC Wales, but far less than the recommended £30 million per year. Bethan Jenkins AM said:

“Today’s announcement once again goes to show that the BBC treats Wales very differently. Although extra money was announced yesterday for BBC Wales, it was significantly less than what was recommended by our committee, by Welsh Government, and the Institute for Welsh Affairs. 

Bit of a sticky wicket here, wouldn’t you say?

Wales has its own Welsh language radio station, its own TV channel and everything else written in Welsh as well as English.

So, what’s all the fuss about?

The Welsh language has been poetical, written and snapped up in a delicate script for 2000 years, no doubt it will go on and good luck to them – unfortunately, I don’t speak a word of the Brythonic tongue but there we are. We can’t all be multi-lingual experts in so many tongue twisting languages!

Plaid doesn’t do itself any good at all by hailing the Welsh language flag – there are enough ‘flags’ being raised at the moment eg Gt Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, France etc. Let people come to the language by their own free will. I am positive that by using this method they would arrive at a conclusion that is far better for everyone concerned.

The Welsh Government and the Institute for Welsh Affairs (I’ve written an article for this bastion of Welsh deliberation, didn’t go down too well come to think of it!), need to try an exercise of gentle persuasion to bring the Welsh language to those who are resistant to it, let’s see where it will get them? It would take the fire out of mischievous mockery wouldn’t it?

There is also the sense of history, economy and population to think of. Scotland has its own unique history, an economy and is more than twice the size of Wales. TV channels are all very well, but only as pictures jumping up and down on a screen. Some call it a great demand on the eyes of a population, just as internet foolery is another – I’ll not get into mobile phones, they upset me too much.

Being a standoffish sort of fellow, at least I speak to a few people. I wonder if the members of political parties and institutions manage a detailed conversation on the likes or dislikes of the Welsh language.

I don’t think so somehow.         

  

 

Women!

You know, I reckon there are plenty of women out there who could be first class operatives in the murky world of national security, particularly when it comes to interrogation. Take my wife for example. Every time I go out to meet a friend, of the masculine variety God forbid, upon my return, it’s:

‘How is he? How is his wife? How are the children? Did they enjoy their holidays? Etc etc

Now, sorry to disappoint girls (actually, I’m not) but men’s brains just don’t operate along the same lines as women’s. If I started asking a pal all these questions, he’d think I’d lost the plot once and for all.

The matron even asks me what I had to eat, what the grub was like and so on. What do I say?

‘Fine. Everybody’s fine,’ and then proceed to disappear into my study knowing full well that she is going to seethe with irritation at my total lack of detailed response. Good, isn’t it? You see, we men do have something up of our sleeves after all, when it comes to balancing the scales of female dominion over all things.

And do you think the missus is going to let me get away with this? Not likely. Women always have to have the last word, in fact they’ll fight to the death in order to make sure they do. An hour or so later, in she comes full of steam and fury:

‘You’re so rude, do you know that?! I was only being polite!’

The thing is, when men are on their own being polite isn’t an option. It’s usually all about foul mouthed exchanges of insult and how great it is to be away from the diktats of female tyranny!

That’s men for you.

And another thing, God I’m full of ‘other things’ today! What’s all this fuss about women and equality? As far as I’m concerned, they’ve won the match, game, set and all. Two Prime Ministers, Chief Executives of Companies, Sports Stars, Heads of Organisations, Members of Parliament and any number of senior positions you can think of. Moaning and groaning from the side lines but where does choice come into all this?

Choice to have a brood and bring them up your own way? There’s provision for child maintenance (and the old man has time off as well), provision for this and that, and heaven knows how many other thing come to think of it.

Political thinking is all about the decisions we make. What’s good for us and what’s bad. Surely, women should be allowed to make this choice and good luck to them. There’s nothing to stop a woman from sitting in Parliament, so in which case why doesn’t that Holy of Holies keep its mouth shut and let women decide which direction they want to go in.

I’ll be quiet now!        

 

 

Good cheer!

That’s Christmas and the New Year out of the way. Thank heavens for that! I can’t stand the way we all stretch our pockets until they are empty – my wife has been pushing and pulling mine until they are jangle free of any coins let alone notes. That’s marriage for you.

So, what’s this Christmas all about then? A child being born in a manger, forget the ‘immaculate birth’ and so on, and three strangers turning up with diverse and various presents. All good stuff, particularly for those of a religious inclination. Jesus being born is what Christmas is made of, exactly when is a point that stretches the imagination but who cares?

Now, does anyone think of this when their out spending their cash (or credit) as if tomorrow never comes? The answer must be an unequivocal no. I heard nothing about it in my home and the same goes for the family reunion in Devon – I’ll never do this trip again, seven hours to get back and a right royal mood it has left me in! Next year they can all go, well you know what I mean.

Christmas is a fine excuse to make money, full stop. The shops glitter, stalls blabber with amusement and everybody makes a tidy living – well, not everyone. It’s the one period of the year when everyone can go nuts and spend the following year paying for it. Crazy.

Next year, I’m spending the festive period at home. Being miserable and fed up with it all.

And quite right too! I’ll bet there are some of you out there who feel the same way.

150 Words

Talking of Devon, we arrived in all good humour and happy that it was Christmas – well, I’m good at hiding my feelings, comes from writing you know. Everyone got on well, and my lot didn’t upset anyone. The food filled the belly (no turkey is sight) and believe it or not we played some board games to get shot of the evening hours – forget TV, its all board games and reality shows, why people bother with Sky is beyond me. Come to that, why bother with TV at all?

The Matron cheated, that’s what you’d expect. Needs a close eye does the wife, pulls a stroke before you can say ‘Blackjack’. Anyway, all went well and we left after saying ‘Goodbyes’ and ‘Thank you’. Somehow I can’t see the hosts doing it again, I wonder why?

Think about it.

150 Words

I live in a semi-rural location. I was out for lunch and overheard (I don’t do this often) some lady on the next table saying how horrid the place was. The poverty, the lack of opportunity for the young etc etc. I’ve not found it at all like this but there we are, differing opinions and so on.

I’ve lived from north to south and I can say that on my return to Wales I’ve not been disappointed. My wife can drive 15 miles to work without having stop once and well, the people are friendly and welcoming.

It’s not all that bad, that’s if you ignore education, health and the economy. It’s alright if you’ve got a few quid too – far be it for me to comment on this. After Christmas, well——-no opinion now Julian!