Thursday, 4 July 2013

Callum comes over all shy

Carwyn Jones went to Aberystwyth today to address Y Gynhadledd Fawr ('The Big Conference') which he called to discuss the future of the Welsh language. One of the things he said was that the Welsh Government promised to publish a new TAN20 on the language and planning in the autumn.

As readers of this blog will recall, an attempt to get Carmarthenshire County Council to respond to the First Minister's call for views and comment last month was sabotaged by the Labour and Independent groups, who referred the matter back to a cross-party working group which won't report back until after the new TAN has been published.

The amendment which wrecked the only chance the council will have to put its views across was tabled by Callum Higgins (Lab).

Callum Higgins

Young Callum also criticised Plaid for bringing the matter to the council chamber, as he felt it was something which should have been discussed away from the cameras.

Callum was until very recently one of the very few Labour county councillors to have embraced the social media, and he was active on Twitter. Now it seems that it's not just the cameras he is shy of, as his Twitter account has gone dormant.

Dai Thomas

The good news is that Callum still has a few followers who are no doubt waiting eagerly for him to come back out of his shell. They are Dai Thomas, the debonair and immensely intelligent husband of Cneifiwr's favourite Council Chair, an Indonesian company with "great products and services", Ms Rebecca Pittillo, a scantily clad blonde who appears to be marketing something, and another nubile young woman calling herself Zenith Aten, who also appears to be in the business.

A marketing executive


Anonymous said...

What a shame Wales isn't a place where people can hold opposing views without suffering ridicule, politicians or otherwise.

Blogger, Sir, you disgrace the people of Wales. And you and your kind do more to harm to this nation than you may realise.

Think on.

Anonymous said...

Carmarthenshire county council gave their consultation response in 2011. Their response on tan 20 will be that it must be strengthened and clarified, as was passed in the amendment. Technically the Government shouldn't take any consultation response on tan 20 that has passed the deadline, and if they did they would be subject to judicial review.

What I find interesting is that Plaid left their motion until the first meeting with the cameras, I think that is what Cllr Higgins was wound up about. You referred to the cross party group as a token gesture by Labour, it looks like it was actually a token gesture from Plaid. Why hadn't they asked the labour members on the cross party group to support their motion beforehand? I can understand why labour members would be disappointed by Plaid if they've made the effort to work with them and then end up being ignored by a motion to full council without any cross party discussion.

Cneifiwr said...

Anon @01.46 - Thank you for that. I will try to dig out the council's response to the original consultation.

As you know, Carwyn Jones invited responses recently, and if the Welsh Govt has opened itself up to judicial review in so doing, that is not the council's problem (unless the council initiates a judicial review!).

It is unfair to place all the blame on Callum Higgins - the issue was obviously discussed and agreed by Labour and the Independents in the days leading up to the council meeting. Callum was just the willing front man.

There was clearly time for Labour and the Indies to discuss it with Plaid in the week before the meeting.

The back tracking from earlier public statements by the head of planning also suggests that there was a lot of high level arm twisting before the full council meeting.

The argument which has been put forward several times now that Labour was somehow the innocent victim of a trap sprung by Alun Lenny just doesn't wash.

Anonymous said...

I think you will find that the groups had very little time to call in their members and that the Plaid motion was designed for MAXIMUM PUBLICITY .
Some of the plaid members spend more time preening themselves on the national stage than in their own constituency
Look after you patch first !!

Cneifiwr said...

Motions on notice have to be submitted at least 7 working days before a meeting. In practice that will usually mean 7 working days plus 2 weekends = 11 days.

Plenty of time for someone to pick up the phone.

Believe it or not, some people even work at weekends!

Any residents of Cilycwm and Llandovery reading your comment about looking after your own patch have probably choked by now.

Anonymous said...

Read your blog oftenly and usually agree on many aspects but not on this issue. The motion was designed as a show for the cameras. There was no depth to the motion at all. It's ironic that Plaid "Didn't want to bring politics into things" yet decided to put a motion forward in front of the cameras instead of discussing it in the cross party group. Y crapiwr...

Cneifiwr said...

Thank you Anon @9.40. Notices of motion are by default short and to the point. What the motion called for was a strengthening of TAN20, and crucially the setting up of an independent body to assess linguistic impact assessments. I know that a great deal of work and thought has gone into that behind the scenes, and it was something which the head of planning, Eifion Bowen, also called for in a BBC interview.

The main speakers from Plaid were Alun Lenny, Cefin Campbell, Emlyn Dole and Glynog Davies. I have no doubt that they were sincere and were not trying to pull off a publicity stunt.

What they realised was that there was an opportunity here for the council to throw its full weight behind a much better TAN20. I know from dealing with Cefin Campbell on another matter that not only is he a man of integrity, but also someone who tries to avoid allowing the language issue to get tangled up in politics and emotion.

There was a real opportunity for the council to do something here - Carmarthenshire has a very special role to play in determining the future of the language, as the Welsh Government has also expressly recognised.

The official consultation on TAN20 ended two years ago, but the results of the census have helped to focus minds. That is why the Welsh Govt is taking another look at the whole matter.

As I have now said ad nauseam, by kicking the issue into the long grass, the council knowingly passed up an opportunity to influence the policy revision.

Wastraff amser said...

If Carmarthenshire's councillors are supposed to represent the county with the highest number of Welsh speakers, and not even they can agree to put their weight behind this pathetic nonsense, then who really cares about the Welsh language?

Plus, who says Carmarthenshire has any influence over Welsh Government? You're talking as if councillors a few weeks ago during that meeting had the opportunity to pass law, when in reality all it was was a boring opportunity for one tin pot organisation to send another message to the bigger tin pot organisation in Cardiff Bay calling for more to be done to protect the Welsh language, and by your own admission, two years too late!

Well I'm sorry to break it to you all but the Welsh Language is dying a death, so maybe the councillors have recognised that it's a waste of time and effort putting it on 'life support.' I can't see the relevance to planning in any case, but that's not the issue here really.

The 'Landsker Line' has been creeping northwards and eastwards for donkeys years, and there's nothing anybody can do about it. Move with the times. Remember, nobody speaks Roman in Wales any more!

Anonymous said...

@Wastraff Amser
When did anybody speak 'roman'?

I think you will find that you mean Latin

I think that little faux pas (slip uo to you) speaks volumes about your intellect

Nos Da

Anonymous said...

@wastraff amser. no need to be rude. Only people losing arguments hurl insults.

Wastraff amser said...

I think you meant "slip up", not "slip uo".

I think that little cock-up (that's faux pas to you) speaks volumes about your inability to defend any of the points I raised.

The weakness of your knee-jerk comment pretty much confirms what I said as being true. No substance, just like yourself. Nice one!

Cneifiwr said...

Well, Wastraff Amser (did you intentionally mutate yourself?), your pseudonym is very apt.

Under Rule 27 (c) subsection (iii) of this blog, I declare you to be a troll. Be gone and comment no more.