Saturday, 30 May 2009

Ar Benblwydd eich Priodas, Mrs Meccanopsis

Just completed my first 4 year term as an MP (married person)...and no expenses scandal - hope Mrs Meccanopsis will re-elect me.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Care to exercise a little freedom?

“So long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannise will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men.” ~ Voltaire

It might seem odd to some for a religious person to quote Voltaire, but then I put his views of religion in the context of his time and place in Europe. The modern observer may also quite rightly point out that religion is still being hijacked by tyrants and terrorists. Anway, I consider the above statement true regardless of any other views the person held, and highly relevant today. In the context of the approaching European Elections (and as Europeans we have had our fair share of tyrants) it would be irresponsible of us, no matter how angry we are with the high percentage of politicians who have let us down, to reward tomorrow's tyrants with our apathy today.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

If Gurkhas wore Burkhas...?

Listening to Welsh men and women commenting on a BBC Radio Wales phone-in regarding Joanna of Arc, confirmed to me that the public mood is fully behind the decision on the Gurkhas and the efforts of the patron saint of their campaign. It is also clear that concerns over issues like immigration or the right of individuals to live anywhere in the British Isles has nothing to do with race, colour, culture or religion. The Gurkhas share neither the race, colour, culture nor religion of the majority of the population, in fact I am not sure how well many of them even speak English, but their commitment to Britain and their sacrifices in defence of the nation’s interests has earned them a place in our history, our hearts and our homeland. Perhaps this is the acid test for who belongs here and who doesn’t - rather than the cosmetic stuff.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

True Wails (sic)

I have being suffering from a bit of a ‘blogging drought’ the past couple of weeks despite the politicians giving us enough material to water the blogosphere with! I don’t know how the regular bloggers can fit in the time to manage such a high output of posts. Anyway, it was True Wales who poured just enough extra water to bring this plant back to life even if it was in the form of their salty tears :)

I've just returned from Monmouth having attended the latest All Wales Convention public meeting. I was just an observer at the back having already voted at the Swansea meeting back in March, but with Adam Price and David Davies on the panel I couldn’t really miss the ‘rumble in the jungle’ that was promised by putting these two in a room together. An Adam Price on top form didn’t disappoint. The meeting could have been an unpleasant affair, heated with a lot of nasty sniping from members of the polar opposite ends of the debate. In reality it turned out to be a dignified and illuminating debate and the panelists should be congratulated on the way they conducted themselves.

Alongside the serious points were plenty of periods of levity and if we were scoring the panelists on how many laughs they could raise, Adam Price was a clear winner. He seemed to connect more with the audience and it would also appear that those who occupied the middle, undecided ground in the debate were clearly swayed as the evening progressed. I will leave other observers I saw in attendance like Betsan Powys to give you the real politico insights into what transpired tonight but in my opinion, and without giving away the actual percentages for or against getting all the current powers to the Assembly at once, the evening was a disaster for ‘True Wales’ especially on David of Monmouth’s home turf.

One of the biggest laughs of the evening:

An 86 year old gentleman got up, very frail in body if not in voice and with support from a person either side of him praised what he felt were the benefits that the National Assembly had brought to older people in Wales and amongst his several points he mentioned that Wales were the first in the world to establish an Older Persons’ Commissioner.

Rachel Banner (True Wales), “The Commissioner is not even an elderly person. “

Adam Price, “Well it may come as a surprise to you but the Children’s Commissioner is not a child either.” Cue raucous laughter.


Time for a new spokesperson perhaps?

Friday, 1 May 2009

The CO$T of removing a dictator

179. It seems like a small figure given that we have been involved in a war for 6 years, though I don’t suppose it will seem like a small figure to the families and friends of those young men and women who gave their lives for their country.

By comparison, the Americans who clearly saw far more ‘action’ did not fare nearly so well and given that they are going to be hanging around in the 50 degree heat for a while longer there are sure to be more grieving American families until their final bugle call. 4000 US deaths and 60,000 injured to date (‘injured’ obviously includes the countless amputees). Total cost to the US tax payer? $3 Trillion(US). Even at one per second it would take over 100,000 years to even think of a trillion better ways to spend that money, but I don’t doubt that there are.

And for what? We are told it was to topple Saddam (how the goalposts changed as those elusive WMDs failed to materialise). A murderous dictator was indeed removed – but is this how much it costs to remove a dictator these days? No wonder another ‘coalition of the willing’ hasn’t been formed to topple all the remaining tyrants that continue to terrorise their populations.

Nearly 100,000 Iraqi civilian deaths, not to mention their wounded, and the collapsed infrastructure of bombed-out and bullet riddled towns and cities. We must measure the cost of this war in their human suffering as well, not just our own. It’s enough to make Iraqis positively nostalgic about life under Saddam.

But surely the British legacy in Iraq can’t be all bad? Well from what I saw of the BBC coverage last night pretty much the only thing we left behind in our patch in the south was 'lakes of sewage'. I wonder what new monsters will emerge from that fetid swamp.

The only thing to be happy about is that at least our soldiers are out of there. May their lives never be thrown away so carelessly again.