A Bingo lesson in politics by emotional marketing and sleight of hand from Wales

This is just too good to bury in a tweet. For Click on Wales Richard Wyn Jones, Director of the Wales Governance Centre, brilliantly sends up the vacuousness of politics by ineffective legislation in six clauses, in Let’s All Play Welsh Legislation Bingo! Simply score 10 points for every one of the following observed: Government announces intention to legislate accompanied by rhetoric including the phrases ‘world leading’, ‘international best practice’ and ‘new rights’. Government subsequently publishes Bill that is vague, non-committal … Read more

The Western Mail reverts to an old old type…

The Western Mail, Wales’s National Newspaper, has lost the plot. A front page editorial states: AN EXTRAORDINARY recommendation has been made by eight AMs that would see up to £400,000-a-year spent on translating the written record of every meeting held at the National Assembly into Welsh. We say that at a time when budgets are squeezed and public services are being cut, this is a luxury we cannot afford And: We fully support the right of AMs and others to … Read more

Budget Deadlock in Cardiff Bay – What happens next?

The BBC reports on the tied Budget vote in Wales here. Adrian Masters on ITV reports on Labour’s reluctance to deal with the Tories here. The Welsh Government has ruled out doing a budget deal with the Conservatives and will from now on only talk to Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats. It’s no surprise that a Labour government would find it difficult to reach any such agreement with the Conservatives, but it’s still a significant step to rule it … Read more

The Economist – finger on the pulse.

I’ve subscribed to the Economist for twenty years. It’s wonderful on the Kurds in Turkey, the latest PNV election results in the Basque Country and anything happening in Quebec. Yesterday it gave us the honour of an article: The double act continues. You get: “In elections for the Northern Ireland Assembly on May 5th, the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Fein consolidated their positions as the biggest unionist and nationalist party respectively. The DUP’s Peter Robinson (left) and Sinn Fein’s … Read more

Ieuan Wyn to quit as Plaid leader…

The BBC reports on Plaid leader Ieuan Wyn Jones’ decision to quit as leader (for the second time) sometime in the next two and a half years. From Ieuan: “I have also witnessed many historic and momentous events during that period, not least leading the party into government for the first time in its 86-year history and the referendum on law-making powers,” Also: “The party obviously needs time to reflect on the results, look long and hard at our message, … Read more

Some comfort for everyone in Wales…

The results from the BBC are here. along with the usual colourful map. Complicated little country are we not? So it’s: Labour 30 (+4) Conservative 14 (+2) Plaid Cymru 11 (-4) Liberal Democrat 5 (-1) I’ve refrained from posting on Wales for the last few weeks as I had a growing feeling of impending doom from a Plaid perspective. A few reasons. 1) The top up list system is theoretically proportional but in practice (as with your 6th seats in … Read more

Tories can be nice people…?

Hasn’t the world changed recently. According to my Mam this lot used to eat Miners’ babies for breakfast…. Welsh Tory manifesto. Wales is blessed with a vibrant heritage, two national languages and an outstanding sporting tradition. Our national community was among the first to emerge in Europe. We have a literary tradition that dates back to the sixth century. Yet while devolution has brought renewed self-confidence to Wales, successive Labour-led WAGs have failed to take enough pride in Welsh cultural … Read more

Plaid (of all people) mix up our poets…

Plaid launch our manifesto (of which more later)…. Plaid’s vision for what it describes as the next decade of delivery is reflected in the title of the document “Ambition is Critical”. As Wales prepares in 2014 to mark a centenary since the birth of Dylan Thomas, his words have been adopted by Plaid as their guiding principle for both the manifesto and the next Welsh government. Except..wrong poet…introducing David Hughes… Oh well, the slogan is good and all publicity….. DewiWelsh … Read more

Strange Tale from Wales…

Chris Bryant, MP for the Rhondda, raised this strange business at Westminster. Here’s the BBC report.: (it’s worth watching the video for a Bercow put-down…) Labour and Plaid Cymru are locked in a row about dirty tricks over an assembly election campaign leaflet. The leaflet, which attacks shadow Welsh Secretary Peter Hain, has been posted on the internet. It calls on voters to deny Labour a majority and accuses Mr Hain of plotting behind the back of Welsh Labour leader … Read more

I’m the leader of the Welsh Labour Party….no you ain’t!

As the euphoria of the referendum result pales so the pre-election rows commence. Your friend and ours, Peter Hain, plays the attack dog (from the BBC). Shadow Welsh Secretary Peter Hain has branded Plaid Cymru leader Ieuan Wyn Jones, Deputy First Minister in the assembly government, “ineffective”. And…Carwyn Jones, first Minister replies: “Those are Peter’s comments. These are not comments that are issued by the government….. Ieuan and I know that over the next few weeks we will have to … Read more

Home Rule for Wales

I’m still a bit stunned at the referendum result: Yes: 517,132 No: 297,380. That’s 63.5% in favour of streamlining the Welsh lawmaking process. Some remarkable results, especially in the North East where both Wrexham and Flintshire voted resoundingly in favour with stunning swings from 1997. Here’s the results and the BBC’s analysis. And Carwyn says: “An old nation came of age” I’m very lucky to live in these times – the first real Home Rule for Wales since Glyndŵr.. Cool … Read more

Welsh Referendum – “Yes” have the big Mo….

Been away for the weekend so have only just seen Saturday’s Western Mail Poll on voters’ intentions in next March’s referendum. 60% of voters said Yes, 28% No. Of those certain to vote (a meagre 39% of the sample) a stunning 73% said Yes v 23% No. Over the last month the gap seems to have widened considerably. How? Here’s John Osmond from the Institute of Welsh Affairs on Labour’s plan for a seamless run in to Referendum and then … Read more