Monday, October 30, 2006

Rugby, Aberavon and those damn homosexuals.

An entertaining weekend consisiting of two annual dinners and more interesting chit chat than a catch up in the group office. Friday was the much heralded Aberavon Annual dinner which I attended with Paul. We were as far back from the main table as was possible but we had some delightful company in the shape of Greg and Tammy, who were just fantastic. David Philipps was also very good company.

Andrew Davies AM rocked the house with a good speech but the most amusing moment came from an elderly couple sitting to our right who were bemoaning Labour. (this was a party dinner!!).
Paul rightly asked what issue was causing the demise of the party, Iraq? Blair? Percieved privitisation of public services? No "it was those damn homosexuals taking over the party". Brilliant. Genuinely the funniest moment of the night, Paul looked mortified then was hysterical with laughter, I giggled and went up to dance to S Club 7 .

Following a rather hungover morning I arrived in Birmingham in readiness for the Woodrush 40th annual dinner. I have to say I was dreading it but Dad was great company and the speakers including the chair of the RFU Bob Rogers and especially Lions winger John Bentley were superb. His crack about comiung from Yorkshire and sitting amongst the cast of Last of the Summer Wine was especially funny - and true. A good night.

I read with interest the 'green debate' is there a consensus from the main parties on how to proceed with 'green taxes' unlikely but interesting to watch nevertheless..

R.I.P. Alan Baker

Some sad news this week Labour Party member Alan Baker passed away this weekend after a short illness.
The GC meetings will be significantly less entertaining without Alan. Cantankerous, sexist and his dislike for Blair was absolute, nevertheless nearly all who knew him held him in great affection and despite the party troubles and his venom for New Labour he never once considered leaving.

Alan you'll be missed and Tony Blair's ears won't burn quite so brightly without you around.

Friday, October 27, 2006

TFI Peter and Andrew

An unusually long working week this one perhaps more so because the 'da boss' has been away ill. Peter Hain has become immersed in a debate about creating 2 tiers of AMs. The first past the post AM and proportional rep (of sorts) AM.

The latter would have less allowances as they would not have to run specific constituency offices and organise specific constituency business. I can see Peter's point, my only concern however is that following next May AMs will all have to work harder and if you start targeting AMs in regional seats, inevitably the focus will fall on those AMs who are directly elected and do nothing. We all know they exist in every party, they see the Assembly as a glorified Council and operate as though it's a town council. - having re-read that last sentence perhaps the attention on these AMs might spur them into action? Actually Mr Hain on reflection I think your completely correct.

So off to the Aberavon annual dinner tonight, I can hardly wait. The guest speaker will I'm sure be good and charasmatic :-)
Although having watched Dragon's eye last night I thought he had a glimmer of real promotion about him? This week he has been far more than a safe pair of hands, he's everywhere and as I was recently told by the editor of a Welsh newspaper - AD is going places he's one of the only professional politicians currently in Wales.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Budget blues

So we lost the Government budget by 1 vote as the opposition parties voted it down. Not unexpected but nevertheless Trish Law should be ashamed of herself for supporting the Tories over Labour. She represents a traditional Labour heartland that was decimated by the Conservatives during the 1980's, she is however more than happy to agree with them. Nye Bevan would be turning in his grave.

As expected West Brom were soundly beaten by Arsenal, although it still hurts that the gunners were a second team squad and we looked poor at best. Good to note Villa see off Leicester as well - they'll do well this season.

My house mate took a break from the grunting and puffing to come for dinner with me, the conversation was good, the wine excellent, the food magnificent and the company as always intelligent. Although I did learn some thing about A.L. that shocked me... I never realised she had such an open mind (amongst other things).

I have the excitement of a Labour student visiting me this afternnon IR is by far the most enthusiastic lad I know, need more of them in the party, a real credit. He's the only person who would come for a tour of the Assembly as a birthday treat.

I read today with interest what Canon Kenyon Wright said

English people have a "sovereign right" to a Parliament of their own if they want one, an architect of Scottish devolution has said.
Canon Kenyon Wright said it was "undemocratic" that Scottish MPs could vote on England-only issues but not vice versa.
He said he wanted to see "a strong English Parliament" and a strengthened
Welsh legislature.
Opponents say they fear the break-up of the United Kingdom.
But Canon Wright said creating an English Parliament would strengthen the union and "may well save it".
He said he had changed his mind on the issue after English regional assemblies - originally planned to correct the alleged power deficit created by Welsh and Scottish devolution - had been overwhelmingly rejected by voters in the North East.
"I have become convinced that England has a growing sense of national identity, every bit as strong as ours, and there should be an English parliament if people want it.
"It is as much our right as it is yours," he told a meeting of the English Constitutional Convention (ECC) in Westminster.

I personally find the idea of an English Parliament pointless, the idea of devoltution was to spread the wealth a little ,allow a small country like wales to thrive, to shine the spotlight on areas or regions that are forgotten or dismissed by Westminster. However not for the first time this year I find myself in the unenviable position of agreeing with the Tories on one issue. I don't think it can be fair that Scottish and welsh MP's can vote on legislation that will have absolutely no impact on ther own constituencies. I find it unsettling and I'm sure a lot of swing voters see it as an injustice as the Labour Party having their cake and eating it to.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Big Day in the West Wing of Wales.

Big day in the West Wing of Wales (WWW) as it's budget day. The excitement is palpable (no really) and it all seem to hinge on whether John Marek will be allowed to vote or whether he will be forced to act in his role as Deputy Presiding officer.

I hear on the grapevine that a cetain Swansea Lib-dem councillor recently took his children and wife to a theme park and insisted that his son pretend to be disabled in order to obtain a wheelchair, so they could push to the front of all the lines for the rides. Next he'll be cannabalising council letters and calling his son satan... wait a moment.

The supposed feud between councillors and cnadidates selected has been once again been whipped up by the opposition. Pointless, pointless, sigh, politics happens people get pissed off. Live with it.

My rather loud housemate (she likes to give herself and bed a good work out) are going out this evening for her birthday. Good food and wine assured.

the big game tonight Arsenal vs WBA at Hawthorns, we beat them last year under Robsen lets see whether Mowbray can pull the same trick. On current gunners form I reckon they'll beat us 3 -1.

Final thought for the day - no matter my age i always get suckered in by players especially good looking players. Sometimes I'm dumb as a bag of hammers.

Monday, October 23, 2006

First post

Well this is my first post so be gentle.. it seems everybody has an opinion at the moment and I thought I'd share mine on everything from the latest Scorcese - the Departed, (magnificient by the way) to politics and the futility of the Lib-dem cause.

So begins the open diary of a former Sandwell boy in the second city of Wales.....