I'm the Hen Ferchetan. This is my take on the world through the eyes of Wales. While mostly about Welsh politics (that most famous of dour topics!) I try to scatter some humour around, but I doubt anyone but me will find it funny! Have a read, and if it bores you then feel free to never come back!

Thursday, 31 January 2008

The Telegraph's Version of Britain

O'Neill pointed me towards a part of the Telegraph's site today that would be scary if it wasn't so funny.

Call Yourself British is the Daily Telegraph's attempt to make us all stop calling ourself Welsh (or Scottish or English or Irish) and bask in our Britshness. This follows on from Gordie's attempts last year to wrap himself in Britishness and call for a "British Day".

The site is covered with the Union Jack (and by the way, it is called the Union Jack not the Union Flag - incorrect pedantic fools!), Big Ben, British Bulldogs, the Queen and a British passport. It looks like a proper propoganda machine. But once you look at it closely, it falls apart pretty quickly.

First is their all important poll, headlined "Most of us feel British - for now ", "Only 37pc of us see ourselves as British" and "We are better off British - and proud of it". You'd assume that, in a website devoted to "rally the people of Great Britain around the 1707 Acts of Union", "us" would mean British people. Read the text of the articles and you quickly realise that they only carried out their poll in England - hardly a good example of uniting the UK!

Even better is, at the bottom of the front page, the pictures of the Assembly, Scottish and NI Parliament and the Commons. I'll reproduce it here and will give plenty of kudos to the first person to point out how not in touch with the world outside England the Telegraph is! (Remember that building on the left?)

Then there is their "Journey to the Heart of The Union" - passing through Glasgow, Edinburgh, Hadrian's Wall, The Midlands and into London (I guess Wales and Northern Ireland are just not important enough to be the heart!)

To cap off the whole doomed project (no new articles since December 2007) is the advert on the left for the Telegraph Family Activity Planner. Here it is......

I guess that's a good map of the United Kingdom as the Daily Telegraph sees it!

I'll Protect You Boyos

Here we all were, thinking that a cut (or is that a cull?) in the ranks of Welsh MP's was a forgone conclusion if a referendum was won. We considered Scotland, who maturely accepted in 1997 that there was much less work for their MP's now and that it would be quite unfair for them to continue to be overepresented at Westminster. They duly carried out their cull with a minimum of fuss.

But our new Mr Secretary has shown all these assumptions to be wrong. By carefully looking at each argument and thoroughly discrediting them with slick advocacy and intellectual pondering he has made us all realise that we need all those MP's desperately.

Well, his actual words were that it would be "bonkers" to reduce the number of Welsh MP's - but we must assume that he had done the thinking, slick advocacy and intellectual pondering alone in the shower.


Neath Port Talbot Council has installed a few Wii systems at their elderly care homes. Apparently it helps keep the residents healthy, both mentally and physically. We're all used to the funny smell of old people's home, now there will be the added aroma of Wii caused sweat - If I ever get old, please shoot me!

So It's Goodbye From Them

Let's all give a big round of applause to ex New York mayor Rudy Guiliani for the shortest presidential challenge I can recall - one caucus in Florida was enough to see him quit! The self styled 9/11 saviour had ignored all the early contests so that he could win Florida and go on from there. He got third. With 15%. 21% behind McCain! Guiliani only had one campaign tactic, say 9/11 as often as possible, no matter what the debate is about. Let's just say I'm not sad to see him go!

Also gone is Democratic Candidate John Edwards. He, along with pretty much everyone else, knew he was onto a loser taking on the potential first Woman President and potential first Black President. It will be very interesting to see if he throws his weight behind either candidate. he seemed to be closing up to Obama, and his support would be a big boost for Barack, but we'll have to wait and see.

The final farwell is to the legens that was Jeremy Beadle. Everyone of a certain age will have been brought up in front of Beadle's About and You've Been Framed (well before it was redone with that annoying freak of Emmerdale). He died of pneumonia. (I tried my best but just couldn't find anywhere to fit in a joke about his small hand!)

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

So Close Now!

Wales team to thrash England:

WALES: Lee Byrne; Shane Williams, Sonny Parker, Gavin Henson, Mark Jones; James Hook, Mike Phillips; Duncan Jones, Huw Bennett, Adam Jones, Ian Gough, Alun-Wyn Jones, Jonathan Thomas, Martyn Williams, Ryan Jones ©.
REPLACEMENTS: Matthew Rees, Gethin Jenkins, Ian Evans, Alix Popham, Gareth Cooper, Stephen Jones, Tom Shanklin

Guess we'll all be osprey fans on Saturday!

Monday, 28 January 2008

Deja Vu?

Paul Murphy, October 2000

Paul Murphy warned that voters want better public services ahead of further constitutional change.

Paul Murphy, January 2008

"No [I will not be banging the drum for more powers], I will be trying to ensure good services for the people of Wales."

Just hours into the job and he's already dusted down his "how to answer questions about more poers" book!

Secretaries, Lords, Pigs and Corridors

Having ignored the blog for a couple of days (hey, even a Hen Ferchetan has a life you know!) let's do a quick roundup of what I've missed.

Paul Murphy

The new Welsh Secretary - lots of people are a little uncomfortable with Murphy's (re)appointment. He is known to be a devo-sceptic and was very much against the One Wales government. A lot of people down Cardiff way have told us of their worries that Murphy will try and stick an oar into extra powers for the Assembly, both by blocking LCO's and by meddling with preparations for a referendum. I disagree.

While Murphy may well be less of a supporter of devolution than Mr Permatan was, he is a man who will do his job with the least amount of confrontation possible. While Hain jumped at the chance to try and rule the Assembly, I don't see Murphy sticking his oar in too often. People forget that he was the Welsh Secretary when the Assembly came to life in 1999, there was no indication then that he was trying his best to hamper things.

The anti-devolution Labour MP's will be a little weaker with Murphy at the helm. Hain pretty much always followed the Labour MP's will, but he tried to colour things differently. He denied that the GoW2006 was pandering to them when it blatantly was. He denied that the ban on sitting in seats and on list was a sop to them when it blatantly was. We also seem to have all forgotten that Peter Hain was very much not a fan of the One Wales government. Remember his firm assurance before the election that Labour would never go into government with Plaid?

While I won't say I'm delighted with the appointment of Murphy, I can't say I'm devastated either. He'll do his job and he won't try to be the Governor General of Wales.

Plaid's Lords

So Wigley got the top spot on the wannabe Plaid Lords list. I'd like it on record that I beat CNN, FOX and all other news agencies in calling that result! Joining him on the list is Eurfyl ap Gwilym - again I have no surprise - and ex-AM Janet Davies. I don't know enough about the women of Plaid to say whether Davies was the expected result or the right result, but I think they got the men spot on.

It's up to number 10 to decide whether these three become Lords of course, but I suspect they will pretty soon. What's important, both for Plaid and for Wales, is that everyone sent to London as Lords take up their positions pretty much full time. Wales needs people actively speaking for us in the Lords, we don't want anyone wasting a seat there by rarely showing up.

Pig Builders

Now I'm not one to jump on the anti PC brigade, in fact I despise nothing more than the words "PC Gone Mad", but one story this weekend tickled me quite a bit. The "government banned three little pigs for offense to Muslim" story barely had me batting an eyelid. What did make me smile was the awards panel's other criticism of the reworked version of the story (called "Three Little Cowboy Builders). According to the awards panel comparing Builders to pigs was offensive to the workmen. I bet the pigs wouldn't be too happy with the comparison either!

Welsh Facts

icWales gives us a list of the weird and wonderful facts of Wales. My personal favorites is the longest corridor in Europe in Llandough Hospital, Cardiff and that New Zealand is one of the few countries in the World where "everyone knows of Wales.".

Call my cynical but has someone really asked EVERY person in New Zealand? And who was the poor sod who got the job of measuring every corridor in Europe!

Friday, 25 January 2008

The Final Curtain

So one last look at Peter Hain then, before we finally get to move on and start finding reasons for Murphy to quit!

The "tributes" to Hain keep on flooding in. Politicians are reserved, with the word Honourable mentioned 10 billion times by every Labour politician (Honourable would have been resigning once he realised his cock up, hanging on until the cops are called is far from honourable). The blogland is a little less diplomatic...

1. You should have done the 'honourable' thing right from the start you self-serving tangerine TWAT.

2. If there is one person I would cheerfully not lift a finger to help under any circumstances, it is Peter Hain

3. So farewell Peter Hain. Today British politics is a little cleaner without him

4. Let’s be fair, the bloke is a bit of a twat, a non-entity that has never really done anything of note.

Yes, this is the internet and you can find quotes saying absolutely anything if you look hard enough (Elvis is alive!), but I still think that my earlier analysis was right - the biggest reason for Hain's sudden career collapse has quite a lot to do with the fact that, whatever kind of person he is personally, is simply not liked by anyone watching him.

The general feeling down the pub today was the same, i.e. thank god the sell out prat is gone

Thursday, 24 January 2008

What's in a Date?

Tomorrow is Santes Dwynwen Day, the Welsh "version" of St Valentine. it is a happy day, at least for those in a relationship - hardly happy for the Hen Ferchetan.

That makes today Santes Dwynwen Eve. January 24th. It lands slap bang in the middle of what so called scientist label the "saddest week of the year".

This is especially true if you happen to be a Cabinet Minister. Peter Hain, Peter Mandelson and Leon Brittan. Three high flying ministers, three resignations, one date, 24th January (2008, 2001, 1986).

Come next Santes Dwynwen Eve, the One Wales government should better hope there's no scandals lying about!

Update: (Add to that list Mr Prodi as well!)

Defence Rests

The Counsel for the Defence stays faithful to the last...

I believe this is the result of a nasty, vindictive witch-hunt against a decent, honourable politician. I believe this has been gone over in great detail, and there's not a speck of sleaze found in the affair.

What he's guilty of is being dilatory in making what are perfectly legal contributions.
And of course Clause 12, Schedule 7 Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 - but what's a crime between friends eh?!

Goodbye Mr H.

Peter Hain hs resigned his Cabinet jobs following the Electoral Commission's announcement that they were referring his "indiscretions" to the Police.

Gordie has accepted the resignation, saying that he understood Hain's desire to clear his name.

Game Over Mr Permatan. Now let's get on with proper politics.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Information is Never Free

It looks like we will finally found out whether it was the London government or the BBC who was really sexing up as we went to the war with Iraq.

The Information Tribunal has ruled that an early draft of the infamous "dodgy dossier" has to be released. The government has refused to do so since the early days of this mess, now it's time for the world to see. Or maybe not, the government are bound to appeal to the High Court, then the Court of Appeal, then the House of Lords.

Even if the dossier is released, we still won't get the full story. Two people wrote notes on the dossier, we can assume one is Foreign Office press chief John Williams (the dossier's author). Whoever the other writer is can sleep safely, the tribunal have decided that his comments must be wiped off before the dossier is released.

A quick look into the granted/refusal statitics tell their own story:

During the third quater of 2007, of all requests which could be answered (i.e. not impossible questions or ones too complicated) 42% were refused.

How were we ever so naive to think that Freedom of Information actually meant information beign freed?

There's Dogs, and then there's Dogs!

Great headline of the day: "Dog leash goths 'hounded off bus' "

Apparently some people in West Yorkshire enjoy being taken for walks by their fiances, collar and lead and all!
Rhodri Morgan better be carefull if he ever goes to West Yorshire!

Ringing Endorsment

A wonderful post by Dylan Jones-Evans today where he thanks Hain for quoting him in his own defence....

"She should applaud the statement that, 'the business sector in Wales seems to be going from strength to strength.' It was made by Professor Dylan Jones-Evans, the director of the national entrepreneurship observatory for Wales and Conservative candidate for Clwyd West in last year’s Assembly elections"
As the ex-candidate for Aberconwy points out, he never stood in Clwyd West! The best part though, is how Hain conviniently left out the rest of the article containing that quote:

"We have seen economic statistics which have yet again cemented our position at the bottom of the prosperity league table. Only two weeks ago, we found out that Wales now has its lowest ever prosperity level, at 77% of the UK average.“This dire economic statistic is compounded by the fact that we have the lowest mean gross weekly earnings for full-time adults in the UK and that the gap with the UK is growing"

Hardly ringing endorsment of Mr Permatan is it?!

Monday, 21 January 2008

Beware Suspicious Packages

Kudos to the China Post for finding a scoop that all of the London papers somehow missed.

A suspicious vibrating package in a Swedish parking lot brought in the bomb squad. A police spokesman later explained the facts behind Sweden's terrorist scare:

"There were no explosives. Just a sex toy"

Who Won Again?

While researching the last post I came across Llanelli MP Nia Griffith's website.

The website is still active, with News and Events posted as recently as last week. Clearly Nia is working hard in London representing her constituents (and the Labour party). In fact, she's been working so hard for the past 8 months or so that she hasn't quite noticed that her party lost Llanelli in the Assembly elections last may. Here's her website's description of the Llanelli constituency:

"The Llanelli constituency is located in south west Wales. The constituency extends from Hendy in the east down to the coast and then along the coast to Kidwelly in the west. It reaches up the Gwendraeth valley to Tumble and across to Tycroes. There are approximately 60,000 people living in the constituency. They are represented by the Labour Party - Nia Griffith MP in Parliament and Catherine Thomas AM in the Welsh Assembly. Carmarthenshire County Council is the local authority for the Llanelli constituency."
I'm sure Helen Mary Jones would have something to say about that!

Money Talks (Doesn't it?)

Money is the political topic of the year so far, mainly due to Hain following on from Harriet Harman and Wendy Alexander in breaking donation laws. Many people, most notably today Adam Price in the Western Mail, are lamenting about the "Americanisation" of UK politics. What they mean by this is that they fear that raising (and spending) money is getting more important than anything else in elections. The worry is that the person (or party) who has cash to spend will always win the day.

The Hen Ferchetan thought she'd have a look at just how Americanised our politics really is. Do we Welsh people really end up voting for the person who spends most? I'll be honest here and say that I expected the answer to be a big fat yes. There's a reason for my confidence in that hypothesis that goes further than "Money Talks". When looking at spending in different constituencies it is important to remember that parties spend more where they think they will win. Where they know they won't win they spend much less. So it should make sense for the big spending to be done by the winner.

A detailed look at spending in the 2007 Assembly Election however suggests otherwise. In 20 of the 40 constituencies, the winner did not spend the most money. Losers in Carmarthen West & penbrokshire (Plaid and Labour), Carmarthen East & Dinefwr (Labour), Cardiff West (Lib Dem), Cardiff South & Penarth (LD), Cardiff North (Labour and Lib Dem), Bridgend (Tory), Blaenau Gwent (Labour), Arfon (Labour), (Vale of Glamorgan (Tory), Vale of Clwyd (Tory), Torfaen (Lib Dem), Rhondda (Plaid), Preseli (Labour), Newport West (Lib Dem), Newport East (Lib Dem), Montgomeryshire (Tory), Islwyn (Plaid), gower (Tory) and Delyn (Tory) all spent more than the current AM's.

As you'll note from that list, in two seats, Carmarthen & Pembrokshire and Cardiff North, the winning candidate was actually the THIRD highest spenders!

One interesting bunch of figures come from Llanelli. It's no surprise to see that Labour and Plaid spent pretty much the same amounts in a hard fought race, what is interesting is the spending by the Lib Dems. On election night you will remember Nia Griffith, Labour MP for Llanelli, saying that people had "ganged up" on Labour in Llanelli. I remember people pointing to the Lib Dems poor showing, saying that they had not campaigned much, leaving the anti-Labour vote to Helen Mary Jones. Financial figures suggests that Nia was not just paranoid. The Lib Dem spending in Llanelli in 2007 was...wait for it...£0!

Other figures which raised an eyebrow for me was Lord Dafydd (the current one not the soon to be one) spending £10,304 in the ultra-safe Plaid seat of Dwyfor Meirionydd (more than fellow Plaid AM Gareth Jones did in the hard fought battle in Aberconwy) and Chrstine Chapman in ultra-safe Cynnon Valley spending £8,787 to everyone else's combined total of £1,843!

Money Thoughts

Two questions regarding the whole Peter Hain mess,
Firstly, what happened to this story. Surely if it's true that two people who's money was given to Hain by the no thinking and tankless thinktank did not know about it until Hain reported to the Electoral Commission months later then that should be as big a disgrace as all of the other things he's done (or, more to the point, not done) .
The fact that both men later said they didn't mind the money going to Mr Permatan changes nothing, it was way too late, you're supposed to ask someone before you take their money.
Anyway, I suspect that I must be missing something here, has this BBC story been discredited since it was published? Have the two men said that actually, they were informed? Please let me know!
The second point is just something that's been bothering me regarding the whole donations saga we've had for the past 3months or so:
Hain's Deputy Leader Campaign Expenditure : £200,000
Welsh labour Assembly Campaign Expenditure: £254,447
How the hell is an internal party election worth nearly as much as the National Assembly elections?

London Rules OK

Rhodri Morgan, on today's Politics Show, revealed that the message he had gotten, loud and clear, from London was that unless the LCO on Child Protection expressly ruled out a smacking ban, London would torpedo the whole thing, giving Wales no additional control over that area.

This is like the bully in the playground not only demanding a penalty for a non-existent foul, but also insisting that there should not be a keeper when he takes it. Unless the keeper agrees to give him an open goal, he'll take his ball home.

This is the second stage of a hardening of London's attitude towards the brand spanking new LCO's. Before last week there had been some tension between AM's and MP's, most notably the MP's complaints that both ends of the M4 should be reviewing potential LCO's at the same time instead of the Assembly passing judgement before London. The Child smacking/abuse threat this weekend comes hot on the heels of a Welsh Office "warning" last week that the Assembly should not "overpromise" the number of laws it would deliver.

The new message from London is quite clear then:

1. We'll give you enough so that we are be able to say there's no need for a referendum, but don't think of asking for much more.
2. If London don't like, Cardiff can bugger off.

A Man and his Dog

Apparently someone found this blog yesterday by googling "Rhodri Morgan Dog". If I wasn't such an avid reader of Popbitch I would be VERY scared!

Media Dictionary

Obsession: (pron: əb-sěsh'ən, ŏb) an unhealthy and compulsive preoccupation with something or someone.
With thanks to the Daily Express / Sunday Express!
(After ages of researching, copying and pasting, bloody Blogger makes the final image nearly unreadable! I hope it's clear enough!)
Update: Click on the picture to see it better

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Angharad Mair the Speedster

Seeing as how Peter Black took the Obama post a little too seriously, I thought I'd give him my support on one of his recent posts.

This post about the Prif Copyn is one i wholeheartedly agree on. If you get caught by the cops for speeding, you can have no complaints on. Speeding is a crime, yes we all do it but we do it in the hope of not getting caught. If we get caught breaking the law, we should face our punishment without complaint. (Now where have I said that recently!)

The Sunday Funnies

In The News

Archbishop Williams rejects claims that paedophilia is rife in the Anglican Church

Website of the Week

I've got a bunch of question, and I want them answered immediately.

Picture of the Week

Online Game of the Week

Jet Slalom

Newscliping of the Week

Video of the Week

Dai Vadar Attacks

Obama Wins Vital Votes

The Western Mail have exclusively revealed that if Cardiff Bay was accepted as the 51st state of America, Obama would get a few more delegates for the Democratic Convention!

Apparently the vast majority of AM's surveyed would vote for Obama. Labour's Rosemary Butler, Alun Davies, Irene James and Val Lloyd would go for Hillary, while Tory Andrew Davies is the only Republican fan in the Senedd.

Liberal Democrats Peter Black, Eleanor Burnham and Jenny Randerson seems to have gotten the Democratic nomination confused with the Liberal Democrats leadership mess, none of the three were able to pick a candidate to lead!

What's Feeding the Media?

I thought it may be time to have a look at the media's contribution to Mr Permatan's continued vulnerability for the chop.

I have no doubt that Peter Hain should have resigned days ago. If the Labour government has done one thing to make my blood boil it is their recent (i.e. last 5 years) complete removal of the idea of ministerial and the acceptance that a minister (or Prime Minister) is justified in doing everything he can to hold on to office. Who remembers the days of Ron Davies, where the resignation letter was handed in before the media even knew there was a story!

Peter Hain is the latest minister to participate in this straw-clutching desperation, but what is quite surprising is the way the media have decided not to let him get away with it. While Harriet Harman and Wendy Alexander managed to clutch the straw just long enough for the media to lose interest, this time they just won't let go of Mr Permatan. Hain is now on his 11th day of bad headlines, and there is no doubt that they will continue for some time to come. The question has to be asked, why?

Some have said that Gordie's washing of hands is to blame. Gordon Brown, while declaring full support for Hain, has said that his fate is the hands of the different enquiries. A pretty bizarre stance for the Prime Minister to say, but there we go, it gave the media a big sniff of a scalp. The argument is that it is due to the Prime Minister failing to give his 100% backing that Hain continues to be in trouble. This argument doesn't quite hold water when you remember the headlines when Harman was in trouble. Brown didn't give her his unequivocal backing either, saying that the donations to her could not be justified in any way.

So what other explanation can there be, because remember, Harriet Harman and Wendy Alexander had both broken the law as well, Hain is not unique in the criminality of his (in)actions. I see two plausible explanations.

The first reason is that the media is being fed by admissions from Labourites that Hain's time is up. Some MP's are public about it, many are not. The reason for this is that there was a wide assumption before this scandal erupted that Hain was for the chop soon anyway. The consent seemed to have been that in the next Cabinet reshuffle, expected in the first quarter of the year, Hain would find himself either out of a job or seriously demoted (I assume that in the London media view, seriously demoted would mean "just" being the Welsh Secretary).
This puts Peter Hain in a very different position to Harman and Alexander. Unlike those two, Hain is expendable to Labour. Harman is the recently elected party deputy, Alexander is the recently elected leader in Scotland. Both replaced unpopular predecessors. If they resigned in shame, it would have thrown the party into turmoil. You will remember the feeling at the time that Labour was falling apart at the cracks. Hain's resignation would not leave the same hole, and Labour MP's know this. After all the turmoil and scandal both sides of the New Year, there must be a feeling within Labour that giving the media a scalp would put a line under the whole business and allow Brown to re-start his Premiership.

So yes, the media are being fed a bit more than with Harman, but that can't be the sole reason for their persistence. The other reason seems to be the simple fact that Hain is just not that likable. While many in Wales would have stronger words about him, both good and bad, on an UK level Hain, while not totally dis-liked, is certainly not liked. The numerous jokes about his Permatan shows that there has always been a feeling that Hain is, for some reason, not that popular. The reason most often given is his arrogance and aloofness.
An often-used example of this is his speech to the Welsh politician awards late last year when colleagues and media alike were disgusted by his attitude. But some of the jokes he said at that ceremony were both funny and often used in political circles anyway. I for one have used "Ieuan-Air" many times to describe the North-South Air link. Hain's problem was not his choice of jokes, but his choice of venue. The awards was a cross party event with political differences put aside for the night. Hain did not conform to this, and preferred to be very party political. And for me, that's the worst thing about Hain. He puts himself and Labour first, Wales second. He, like Brynle did the other day, prefers political point scoring to actually helping people. That's a political "quality" that goes down very poorly with both the media and the public.

And that seems to be Hain's downfall. his inevitable resignation/sacking/demotion, it is as much the fault of his £100,000 "memory lapse" as it is Labour's apparent acceptance to offer him as a sacrifice and the general feeling that Hain just isn't that nice a politician.

Update: Want an example of the arrogance that Hain is often accused of, here's a Hain quote from yesterday:

"I have a record in government second to none"
Move over Lloyd George, Churchill and Aneurin Bevan, King Peter is here!

Friday, 18 January 2008

Smack Away

The Welsh Office announced yesterday that Wales was not allowed to ban the smacking of children, even though the Assembly want to do so. Apparently it goes beyond the Assembly's powers.

Child smacking has always confused me - why on earth is it legal to hit the people least able to defend themselves or hit back? If i smack a 25 stone, bald headed, tattooed maniac not only will I expect a proper beating back from the leather wearing biker, I would also be arrested for assault and brought before a court. But if I hit a 5 year old crying child I'm fully within the law!

Defenders of assaulting children (which is what it is) say that "it's the only language they understand". Well my dog would probably understand my anger with him for pissing on the carpet better if I gave him a kick instead of just saying "No! Bad dog!" but if I did that the RSPCA would be all over me. Same thing with my Nain, she's gone a bit batty in her old age and never understands me, a good smack and she'd know damn well that i was trying to tell her not to dribble on the sofa but I doubt the child smackers would applaud me for that.

So what we're left with is a situation that child abuse will remain legal in Wales for the simple reason that England don't like the idea. I'm glad to see that the Western Mail accompanied their article on this subject with a call from Welsh police chiefs to devolve the justice system to Wales. After all, Labour AM's have themselves acknowledged that criminal justice will inevitably be devolved - the longer Hain and his palls in Westminster hold back, the longer Welsh children will continue to be beaten. (now that a good slogan for a Yes vote in 2011 - "Vote Yes or Kids Will Be Beaten"!)

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Deported Ghanian Receives Anonomous Donation

The Western Mail reports that Ama Sumani, the terminally ill ghanian woman deported from the UK last week is now receiveing medical care in her home county thanks to a £2,400 donation from an anonomous person.

Hen Ferchetan wonders whether Labour MP's John Mann and Kevan Jones hwill report Miss Sumani to the Electoral Commission and whether Paul Flynn will be the first to dub the anonomous donation "Ghana-Gate".

The Pupils of Paul

Remember my post earlier this week about Paul Flynn's tactic of throwing as much muck around to try and protect Mr Permatan? He's clearly been passing on his spin advice to his colleagues. Two Labour MP's have complained to the Electoral Commission about financial irregularities by 80 Tory MP's! Apparently the complaints concerns unincorporated associations (i.e. unofficial party groups) raising money for the party. Guess who else uses unincorporated associations? (Hint: John Mann and Kevan Jones are both MP's for this party)

Is there an Electoral Commission equivalent to wasting police time?

Ok, I Failed

An interesting rumour doing the rounds concerning Rhodri Morgan: While happy enough to give his undying support to Mr Permatan in Welsh for the BBC, he apparently steadfastly refused to do the same in English. Is this a sign of the First Minister's new attitude towards the Welsh language following his tour of Welsh Wales? Or has the First Minister just realised along with everyone else that no-one watches Newyddion so he can say what he likes, while having to watch his step when talking to the English language media?

(Yes, i failed to refrain from talking about Hain for the day!)

Tender Truth About My Sheep

Today is what I can only describe as a crap news day. When the BBC have to resort to drink-drive figures going down as their top story, while icWales manage to link the one hour detention of the son of Hypocrite Kinnock by Russian police to the Diagnosis Murder-style killing of Alexander Litvinenko! EVen The Onion's top story today, detailing Jessica Simpson's plan to bring down the Dallas Cowboys, stinks of a page filler.

Even Fox News, always ready with a new scandal with a lack of accuracy and shovel of bias that would put the Daily Mail to shame, lead with the astonishing fact that OJ Simpson is still not in jail! And since I wanted to give Hain the rest for today I'm reduced to trawling Google News for an interesting read. One article which I've given a wide berth is the New Statesman intriguingly titled Tender truth about my sheep!

So, trying to avoid mentioning Mr Permatan for a day at least, I took the opportunity to look at the headlines a few days back reporting on Rhodri Morgan's tour of Welsh speaking Wales. The First Minister was at least honest in admitting that this was a desperate attempt at vote gathering, but what appalled me was the fact that this was even news. "First Minister of Wales leaves Cardiff" shouldn't be on page 11, let alone front page news, but sadly it is. There's many people in the South West and the North who, rightly or wrongly, don't feel the Assembly works for them, having the First Minister make such a big deal of a three day trip to the wild west is hardly going to reassure them.

A lesson for bloggers today comes from the blog of ex parliamentary candidate and ex-Assembly candidate (i.e. habitual loser) for Arfon Mr Martin Eaglestone. His entry for Rhodri's visit to the Royal Town is headed Rhodri Listening, and yet his very next entry is a video where Rhodri Morgan, after his visit was interrupted by a Cymdeithas protest, confirms that he is not, and will not, consider a new Welsh Language Act. Should that first entry be re-titled "Rhodri Listening Only To those who Like Him"?

No discussion of Rhodri Morgan and the Welsh language can end without quoting these wise words from a young(er) Mr Morgan when he was an MP in 1993

"The Government calls this a Welsh Language Bill, but it would be better described as a Welsh Language Quango Bill. What one could call a Quango for the lingo ...... We shall be abstaining tonight because we hope to have the opportunity before long to do the job properly. That will be done when we revisit the question of a Welsh language measure when we are in Government"
Oh how things (and principles) have changed!

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Bitter Brynle

With perfect timing, just a day before the Assembly has a Tory scheduled debate on red-tape for farmers, Elin Jones announces a review into...you guessed it...red-tape for farmers.

I'm not a farmer and I won't pretend I know anything about the amount of effect of red-tape for farmers, but two things tickled me about this announcement. The first was the timing of this announcement, the second is the Tories' response.

On the radio today the spokesman for the Tories, Mr Brynle "I am a Politician Honest" Williams AM, denounced the move as stealing the Tories' ideas. Fair enough, he clearly is right, but Brynle was gutted that the government had done this. Surely, as Agricultural spokesman, he should have been delighted that something which his party thinks is beneficial to farmers is being implemented?

It seems that, for Brynle at least, the purpose of tomorrow's debate was not to convince the government to help farmers, but to try and stick a knife into the government in front of the powerful farmer's lobby. He'd clearly rather score political points than see red-tape cut for farmers.

Whatever happened to consensus politics?
Update: Brynle on BBC News tonight saying that it "is very sad" to see the government do what he wanted them to do. I assume that what' so sad for him is seeing them do it without first letting him call them ugly names for not doing it.

Bangle Bandwagon

I see that the Bangle Girl Bandwagon has hit the Bay today, with a crowd of 5 (ok, maybe a few more!) demanding that Aberdare Girls' School allow one of their pupils to ware a sacred bangle to school, despite their no jewellery policy.

Joining the protest today were the well known student activists/Plaid AM's Leanne Wood and Bethan Jenkins. While icWales claims that the protest had "cross-party support" they're the only two who's names I've seen so far.

Leanne said:

"I’m still astounded that the school has not been prepared to reconsider their
original decision"
Personally I couldn't disagree more. If the school has decided to ban all jewellery, then that means all jewellery, be it for religious purposes or to look slutty. The whole point of school uniforms is, surprisingly enough, to keep people uniform (the clue is in the name!). If Leanne wants to allow special exemptions to religion, what about the girl who turn up at school next month with a French flag pin, insisting that her national heritage is just as important to her as Sarika's religion?

To state that this is an issue of human rights, as Dr Rachhpal Singh Randhawa of the Valleys Race Equality, has, is ludicrous. Do we have a human right to wear whatever we want where ever we want? Tell that to the thousands of non-religious kids who hate their blazers, or to those working behind the counters at McDonalds!

Even if you do feel that religion should be granted "special status", there's still something not quite right about this bandwagon. The protesters, who are taking the school to court, insist that the bangle is an integral part of their religion and must be worn at all time. A brief look at Sikhism confirms that they are correct, the Kara is one of the five K's which must be worn at all times. So surely if wearing this bangle is such an issue of human rights, the 14 year old girl would always be in possession of the other 4 as well, right?

1. The uncut hair (Kesh) - although I haven't seen any pictures of the girl in question I have no doubt that her hair is uncut and that in it she has...

2. The wooden comb (Kanga)

3. This is the Kara, the banned bangle

4. Cotton underwear (Kacchera) - This is a 14 year old girl we're talking about - I'm not even going to hypothesis on whether she wears the Kacchera!

5. The sword (Kirpan), Yes, that's right, SWORD. I wonder if this girl carried a sword to school with her everyday? Now, as I understand things, many modern Sikh's carry a small dagger style Kirpan since carrying swords has become a bit of a faux pas. Others have compromised further and carry a ceremonial Kirpan, not dangerous in anyway. It wouldn't surprise me to find out that this is what this girl carries. I call it a compromise because the Kirpan is supposed to be for a Sikh's self-defence, clearly a ceremonial non-dangerous version is no use in the face of an attacker.

If Sarika had attended school with a full blown sword along with her bangle this whole affair would seem a bit more sincere, as it is I just have that niggling feeling that this is a fight people like Liberty, the Race Equality groups and the Student Activist AM's were looking for well before Aberdare Girls' School made their decision.

Discussions on whether the School were right or wrong may be moot however, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council have withdrawn their backing for the school and will not assist them further. With legal fees mounting there's a real possibility the school will have to back down to save money.

That would be a travesty. If it happens then I'd advise all the girls pf Aberdare to go to school wearing whichever clothes they want, be it short skirts or pink fleeces. If the school admonish you for it, simply attribute it to your personal religion - who are they to say that Sikhism is more important than whatever God you decide to follow (The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is a personal favorite)

Representing the Defence...

Paul Flynn MP, the man I'd usually describe as the sane wing of Welsh Labour, has rushed to the Welsh Secretary's defence. In the usual manner of those with little to back them up, he's decided to throw mud at all the other parties instead of actually giving reasons why Mr Permatan should stay. He brings up Welsh Labour's favorite subject, the adverts of the Plaid MP's along with the financial irregularity history of the other two parties.

The most intriguing part of this staunch defence though is this question:

Still no answer to my plea on what crime Peter has committed

On January 12th he took the same line, saying:

This time, Peter Hain will be found guilty of concentrating more on his jobs in Northern Ireland and Wales than on his personal affairs. He is also guilty of not keeping a firm check that others were doing their jobs properly. And that’s it.

And on January 11th

Please tell me who has been harmed, robbed, deceived, bribed, and corrupted by anything that Peter has done or not done? It is a hideous cock-up by others for which Peter must take the ultimate responsibility.

And on January 10th

I still do not know what dreadful crime he has committed

Well, since Mr Flynn is clearly too busy to check up himself, I'll save him the time. Let me introduce you to the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.

Schedule 7 of this long-winded and direly boring Act deals with donations to individuals who are members of registered parties (e.g. Peter Hain) who engage in political activities such as
"promoting or procuring the election of any person to any position in, or to any committee of, the party" (e.g. internal election for Deputy leader) and any "controlled donations" they may receive to boost their political activities (e.g. £103,000).

The important part for Mr Flynn to read is clause 12 of the Schedule. To save him the time to go search himself, I'll quote it here:

(1) Where a report required to be delivered to the Commission under paragraph 10(1) or 11(1) is not delivered by the end of the period of 30 days mentioned in that provision...the regulated donee...is guilty of an offence.
So there you go Mr Flynn, the answer to all your questions. Whether Hain was careless, reckless, lazy, ignorant, incompetent or a sleazy corrupt liar it makes no difference, he has committed a crime - he is guilty of a criminal offence.
While I'm sure Mr Flynn will revert to his other tactic of late, the mud throwing at what he (hilariously) refers to as Plaid-gate or Osbourne's half a million, there is one (very) big difference. Both the Plaid MP's and George Osbourne asked for the advice of the Common's officers. Plaid were given permission to run the ads (although they should have known better even with that permission), Osbourne waited for advice on whether his money needed to be registered twice or just the once (which they had done).

Hain did not come out openly with this. The information was dragged out by the media, if it wasn't for Harriet and Wendy's indiscretions we would probably never have heard of this 100 grand. There's also the fact that neither Osbourne nor the plaid MP's committed a criminal offence, Hain did. And that's a BIG difference.

To end this piece on Mr Permatan, here's a wonderful quote from Peter Hain MP from 2005, when Plaid attacked him for having two Cabinet posts:

"If you look at what has been delivered over the last couple of years... nobody has been able to say any single duty or responsibility or procedure I haven't carried out,"
You know what Peter, I think we just found one!

More Pain for Hain

Hen Ferchetan has found damning evidence of further crimes committed by Mr Permatan himself. Even though his money mischiefs seem likely to end up as a police investigation, Hain is determined to build up the best (criminal) record he can. Here he is blatently ignoring the law on using a mobile while driving (fine, it's a bike, but who cares, still a funy photograph).

What happened? Did he try to copy Chamelion Dave in riding on his bike to work each day? Did he get lost? Who is he asking for directions?

What makes the photograph so great is that it is one of the most obvious set up of a photo I've ever seen. Are we really to believe that a photographer just happened to come across the Welsh Secretary working hard on his mobile, on a bike, in a forest, in a bloody suit!

The Guardian's leader is calling for Hain's head this morning while the Daily Express don't even come close to holding back . (Loving the Express' oh-so modest tagline "The World's Greatest Newspaper" - bollocks is it!). I did think Hain would survive until the investigations report back or Gordie has a reshuffle - now I'm not so sure. Betsan's odds of 11-8 on him going looks more and more attractive.

When the time comes for Hain to explain himself in front of the Electoral Commission, I'd suggest he takes this photo along as proof that he was working so hard he couldn't even go mountain biking in a suit without stopping to answer calls, let alone fill in a 7 page donations declaration form!

The Wing of Sanity

Glyn Davies, the ex-Assembly member and soon to be MP, wrote from the Caribbean yesterday with support for Wigley's candidacy to become a M'Lord. He describes Wigley as being

"from the 'sane' wing of Plaid Cymru"
While that could be read as a snide attack on the rest of Plaid, it probably just means "not a socialist". While it would be nice for Wigley to return the compliment and say that Glyn is from the sane wing of his party, it would probably be more accurate to say that Glyn IS the sane wing of the Tories!

Monday, 14 January 2008

Y Prif Copyn

North Wales Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom has come in for a lot of flack recently following his ecstacy/asprin comments. Since most of that flack has been thrown by the Daily Mail and Rent-a-Quote MP Chris Bryant I wouldn't think it has hurt his feelings too much.

The question of whether ectacy is or isn't safer than asprin is a question for someone else, what intrigues me is the debate on whether or not Y Prif Copyn had any place making a stand.

Dylan Jones-Evans clearly thinks he did not. According to the ex-Assembly Candidate for Aberconwy:

"As far as his job as Chief Constable is concerned, this is not a philosophical issue, no matter how much he likes to make it so. It is a matter of applying the law as it currently stands and, more importantly, not to undermine the laws of the land through such comments, no matter how much he disagrees with current legislation."
His second point deserves far more contemplation than his first. Surely Mr Jones-Evans isn't suggesting that North Wales Police are not applying the Misuse of Drugs Act. There seems to be no evidence whatsoever to show that the coppers up North turn a blind eye to the ecstacy dealers. The question therefore is whether the Chief Constable is "undermining the laws of the land". Dylan Jones-Evans goes on to say:

"How does he think drug dealers will react to such comments? Will they now think, rightly or wrongly, that North Wales is a soft touch on illegal drugs?"
You will note that he doesn't try and answer the question himself, just leaves it hanging there. Of course any politician will tell you that asking such a question without answering pretty much means "I want you to think this is true but I can't prove it". But is it true? Who knows, I'm not a drug dealer myself so who am I to say. What I do know though is that "professional" drug dealers don't give two damns whether an area is a "soft touch" or not. They will sell their drugs wherever there is a market for them. They think that they are above the law and too clever for the cops. Their businesses won't increase or decrease one jot due to Brunstrom's remarks. Saying otherwise is scaremongering, something we're used to from the London gutter press and 2 or 3 specific Labour MP's, but which you'd have hoped the ex-candidate for Aberconwy would be above.
Personally I think the Prif Copyn had every right making his case. If I want to know where the law is faulty, I'd rather a police officer told me than a politician. Just as if I wanted to know the problems within the NHS I'd ask a nurse and if I wanted to know the problems within any company I'd ask the staff. While some of Brunstrom's antics raises an eyebrow (e.g. breaking into his own HQ!) I think he's perfectly placed to suggest amendments to the law.

One other question while we're on the topic of the Prif Copyn. A lot of my old University friends are from the North West and I've had reason to drive there on plenty of occassions. I can't for the life of me think of one fixed speed camera in Gwynedd or Ynys Mon, and I do not know anyone who have been caught speeding there. How the hell did he get his "Traffic Taliban" nickname?

(I'll be back to the topic of the Prif Copyn soon, his antics, and the media's response, deserves a longer look)

Arise Lord Wigley

So Wigley's announced he'll stand for a place on Plaid's Lords nomination list. Wow, what a suprise! Who could have predicted that one! The National Council votes on January 26th, and who knows which way that vote will go!
Having been watching the results of the early primaries of the US elections and being both amazed and confused at the speed with which CNN and FOX call the election for the winning party, I'll trump them.

With no precincts yet reporting, and no person yet voting, I'm calling this election for Dafydd Wigley! Anyone willing to challenge that bet?

Sunday, 13 January 2008

The Sunday Funnies

It's Sunday and I'm bored. Sunday's not a day to talk politics, so count this as a just as unfunny equivilant of the cartoon stiprs in the middle of the Sun.

In the News

EasyJet deny that new seating arrangements is taking cost-cutting too far

Online Game of the Week

Stick Cricket - Warning: Don't click on this link unless you have at least two hours to spare!

Picture of the Week

Bad Taste Joke of the Week

Two Iraqis walk into a bar - boom boom

Video of the Week

Some people are unlucky, some people are accident prone, others are.....well....stupid

Saturday, 12 January 2008

The Wonders of Welsh

Just a quick lesson for any of the 6 or so people reading this blog who lives outside Wales about the wonders of the Welsh language. It is unique in the languages of this world.

If you suddenly felt the urge to learn French, Italian, Mandarin or Yoruba (the 49th most spoken language in the world!) you'd find a teacher, buy some textbooks or pay £200 or so on a set of Pimsleur tapes. Welsh cannot be learnt this way. Welsh cannot be taught in a classroom with a teacher, Welsh cannot be learnt by reading books or listening to tapes.

Don't believe me? I can prove it. Try using the very useful website Googlefight. All it does is comparte two phraes and see which one comes up most often on the net.

Welsh taught in classroom = 97,500
Welsh forced down throat = 551,000

Seems the letters page of the Western Mail and the ramblings of English-speaking Welsh on internet forums are telling the truth, the only way to learn Welsh is through the ingestion of a rather large pill -forced down your throat!

Premature Celebrations in Obama Camp

Yr Hen Ferchetan can confirm that there is no link between the following two news headlines - anyone who would find any source of humour in linking the two is sick!

"Hillary Dies, aged 88"

"Obama supporters celebrate historic victory"

Permatan's Achievments

Back to my favorite subject of the Day, Mr Permatan himself. The clouds seem to be gathering darker and darker, so let's have a quick round up of his charge sheet:

1. Failed to disclose over a £100k worth of donations (more than half his total donations). Only did reveal them after the Labour donation scandals came to light.

2. To not even register donations he got from his own campaign manager, how do you forget that!

3. Took longer to find these 17 or so donations than it takes a top 100 company to make its annual accounts!

4. Took money from some obscure think tank that no-one has ever heard of, who don't have a website, who have never done any thinking or tanking and who were set up just in time for Hain's leadership bid.

5. To receive money from that think tank which came from people unaware that their money were going to Peter Hain.

6. To accept money from a man he knew to have once been in charge of a big drugs company which is currently being tried for a massive defrauding of the NHS to the tune of millions (the alleged fraud occurred on this guy's watch)

I still can't see Hain as a brazen criminal, but the level of incompetence there is pretty staggering. How does he still have a job?

Henson Gets The All Clear

So Gavin Henson won't be charged by Police for what the Western Mail, in their usual subtle manner, described as his "Drunken Train Shame". Hardly a suprise, the evidence against him never really stood up - one witness said

"One of the blokes nearest the window wanted to go to the toilet and was told just pee there and then. He went to pee on the floor and had a bottle ready to do so"

Well make your mind up man! Did he piss on the floor or did he have a bottle handy? Anyone who's been on a Wales rugby trip can tell you that carrying an empty milk bottle for bladder relief is standard practice. If pissing into a bottle was a criminal offence then the only people watching Wales in Dublin this year will be those bloody kids with the annoying horns- every other fan would be sitting in a jail cell!

The question Henson really needs to be asked is this. How unlucky the poor sod must be to obtain a mysterious hand injury just before he was due to play a drinking game where he got to punch whoever lost in the face!

Beware Fruit Salad Bearing Scouts

Apparently it is not enough for the modern Scout to be able to tie a knot and build a fire, the Scout Association is introducing a whole host of new badges for their eager Beavers to aim for. Being able to whip up a cracking fruit salad will get you your badge in Healthy Eating while also included in the new list is Imagination, Creative Arts and, most bizzarely of all, Public Relations.

Now I've never been a scout myself, but don't those three sound a little bit like awards for the kids who have failed miserably in reading a map? "Don't worry kiddo, yes you'd get lost in a 24 hour Spar, but that's just because you get lost in your own imagination - have a badge!". Creative Arts and Public Relations are barely rocket science either. Don't worry though, there's also a new badge for Astronautics - now that actually IS rocket cience!

Super SNP

Daily Mail TV Listings:

BBC: Climate Change: Britain under threat. (Not in Scotland)

Now I know the SNP and Salmond are good, but THAT good?

(Kudos to O'Neill for spotting it)

Ha Ha Hain!

First of all, let's get the easy part out of the way. Peter Hain is now a criminal. I struggle to say those words without a bit of a giggle, but it's true. It may well have been an administrative error by his minions, it makes no difference. It's Hain's duty to register donations, and by not doing so he's broken the law.

Legal definitions aside though, is Hain a criminal or just totally incompetent? I'd suggest the latter. While I may be giving Hain the benefit of the doubt because he's a thoroughly likeable fellow who's charmed me into seeing him in a good light, but I suspect that my trust in his incompetence over criminality has more to do with the fact that I just can't see a single benefit for him in hiding them....well, apart from one.

One of his donors was the boss of Picture The Loans, he gave five grand. You all know Picture right, that annoying Geordie Mam screaming at her kids about some scooter and that fat prat's wife screaming out "ABOUT FOOTBALL" in that annoying high pitched voice! Now tell me, if you know a candidate was being supported by the person responsible for those nightmare-causing horrors of adverts would you vote for him? Of course not! Maybe Hain was saving his campaign by hiding the donations, if the world knew that Picture was behind him he'd have been embarrassed in the poll, coming behind people nobody had ever heard of before......oh wait a sec!

A quick look at Picture's website gives you a big smiling picture of Permatan, telling us how great Picture is - I would have loved to be a fly on the wall when Picture called Hain.

"How much money do you want Peter?"

"Oh I didn't think about that, wait a sec"
(whisper to wife) "How much? £5,000?"
"Yeah, five grand will do please"

As a friend said the other day, there's a satire sketch in there somewhere, all it needs is someone to write it who, unlike me, actually can do humour! -
"Peter, Dad's found your donations!"

(a good footnote to all this, the scootah advert for picture is now banned due to it trying to portray getting a loan as an everyday event - big cheer for the ASA!)

Where does all this end? Hopefully in the resignation of Hain. While everyone commenting on his decline has to give the nod to his anti-apartheid times, that isn't the Hain of today. Today's Hain sells out to whatever cause he thinks gets him the vote. He also gives a big sop to his fellow Welsh MP's scared of losing their job to the expense of Wales. Hain isn't the voice of Wales in the cabinet, he's the voice of the cabinet in Wales.

That's why I want him sacked, doesn't quite explain why he should be sacked though. The answer to that is clear. The next time a guy gets brought to court for not declaring the fact that he had a job while claiming benefits, what's to stop him taking "the Hain Defence" and saying it was just an administrative error! Hain blames all this on concentrating too hard on his cabinet job. What a man eh! Cares so much for us, he doesn’t notice a £100k slipping down the back of the sofa!

Quick tip or you Peter, if you can't juggle more than one ball, don't join the circus.

Hain Who?

Where does someone start writing a blog? This is my first blog so the honest answer is I don't know. But I guess I should start with a bit of colour - how does orange suit you?

If you do not recognise Mr Permatan above, then I suggest you switch blogs, I doubt you'll find this one interesting enough - I hear there's an endless supply of blogs regarding the Rhydian vote controversy for you to pore over.

Yes, this is Peter Hain, the (unless already sacked/resigned) Secretary of State for Wales and chief of the Department of Works and Pensions. Not only does this guy run a whole country (or at least, thinks he runs a whole country) he also has control of the biggest budget around. Big job. Big responsibility - but not enough for Mr Permatan. He wanted a bigger job, he wanted to be Gordie Brown's second in command. Unfortunately for him, to get that job he had to have people vote for him. Needless to say, he didn't get it. In fact he came 5th, out of 6!

That should have been the end of this story. Mr Orange lives happily ever after, his burning ambition for power being fulfilled by cabinet roles of ever increasing responsibility. Unluckily for Hain, his Labour friends got stuck in some sticky waters regarding illegal donations.

Hain was a side story in the whole pre-Christmas fracas - his minor failure to register a £5,000 donation hardly registering when compared to Wendy Alexander and Harriet Harman. By now though, it seems that what Hain explains as administrative errors amounts to a bit more than £5,000 - the full sum was actually £103,156.75.

Seeing as how the amount he HAD legally registered was about £80,000, the extra £100k is a pretty big omission! What's more, two of the guys who were listed as donating to Hain didn't actually know they'd donated! They'd given their cash to some think tank (one that no-one knows about and mysteriously appeared just in time for Hain's campaign!) and had no idea it eventually went to Hain.

So, what the hell is going on?


Welcome to Amlwch to Magor. If you wish to know the significance of the name of this blog, go dig out that AA Road Atlas you haven't looked at since TomTom came along - to narrow your search a bit I'll give you a hint - ignore the pages on England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

I'm Yr Hen Ferchetan. Please, no jokes about losing my lover, it remains a sore discussion point for a single gal, and it doesn't help to have a jolly song written about the moment your heart got ripped out of your chest!

Now I cannot imagine what you could possible have typed into Google to reach here, but if you were looking for the next tea evening in Magor, the latest crime figures for Amlwch or a good deal on satellite navigation equipment I suggest you look elsewhere.

This blog, if it survives more than the two weeks or so most blog survive for, is mainly about politics, mainly Welsh politics. Whether I'll be bothered enough and interesting enough to maintain a blog on that for any length of time is anyone's guess. So please, have a good read. If, to my eternal surprise, you find it interesting, then feel free to comment. If you find it more boring than a combination of the Daily Mail and Daily Post then feel free to bugger off and never return!