Wednesday 12 March 2014

Out of control drone shot down by Ellen ap Gwynn

Update 13 March

The Tivyside Advertiser reports that Cllr James has now resigned from the Independent group as well as being sacked from the council's cabinet.


Unlike the BBC where they never seem to be off air, Nigel Farage and UKIP have never made an appearance on this blog. That has probably got something to with the fact that Carmarthenshire is blissfully a UKIP-free zone unless, as is quite possible, there are some closet UKIP supporters in the grizzled ranks of Pam Palmer's "Independents". There are after all several known Tories and at least one card-carrying member of the Labour Party on the Independent benches in County Hall.

Just over the border in Ceredigion one councillor elected as an Independent has just outed himself as a member of UKIP, and Ellen ap Gwynn, the Plaid leader of the council, wasted no time in giving Cllr Gethin James the boot from her cabinet. According to the BBC, she has gone a step further and warned the Independent group of which he is a part that she will end the coalition agreement with them unless they throw him out of their group.

To its credit, the best account of what has happened was carried by the Tivyside Advertiser which looks into Ellen's reasons for sacking Cllr James:

"Ceredigion council is committed to making the most of opportunities offered by European Union funds to strengthen our economy. EU structural funds have already been crucial in building the coastal path which brings so much revenue to tourism businesses, to transport improvements in the county, and to investment in our universities.

The agreed joint work programme of the coalition, signed by the groups represented in the cabinet, explicitly commits us to using EU funds to strengthen Ceredigion’s economy and society. 

I want this Council to be seen as outward looking, open for business and tourists and working hard to get the maximum possible out of Europe for businesses and farmers in Ceredigion.” 

Between 2007 and 2013 Wales received a fraction under £2 billion in EU funds to support projects. Together with match funding from other sources, that meant a total project investment of £3.7bn, and much of that funding has gone to areas of high deprivation.

In the next round of funding covering the period 2014-2020 West Wales and the Valleys have been marked out for the highest levels of support under the EU's structural funds.

The EU is crucially important to Wales as a whole, and for this part of Wales in particular, in terms of trade, business and tourism, and not just because of the structural funds.

As many readers may have noticed in recent years, we are getting more and more visitors every summer from mainland Europe, and unlike the traditional down-market tourism places like Aberporth and Newquay have attracted with their caravan parks, the Europeans come here for the scenery, the environment and culture.

They have a lot of spending power, are often genuinely interested in Welsh culture and the fact that we are not an outlying part of Cameron's little England.

Unlike Cllr James, Ellen ap Gwynn is smart enough to realise that developing trading links and tourism with the EU offers this region a much more exciting future than building more bungalows for retired couples from Brum and caravan parks for their offspring. Sorry Birmingham.

But back to UKIP.

UKIP has almost no presence in Scotland and barely registers in Wales. In Northern Ireland it has a single assembly member who was elected as an Ulster Unionist. It should more accurately be called the England Independence Party.

Apart from Cllr James in Aberporth, the party claims four other councillors in Wales, and two of those are in Colwyn Bay.

It has no Assembly Members, no MPs, and just one MEP in Wales, John Bufton. Bufton was elected to the European Parliament in 2009 and is standing down at this year's election. Unlike a good many of his colleagues, Bufton can at least claim that he made it through the full term of the parliament without resigning, defecting or being expelled. Neither did he end up in jail as did Tom Wise, a UKIP MEP convicted in 2009 of what the judge described as "deliberate and blatant dishonesty" for systematically embezzling European Parliament expenses.

Back in Aberporth, Cllr James has been a notable supporter of developing and testing unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, despite strong opposition from many local people.

Congratulations to Ellen for shooting this particular drone out of the skies.


Anonymous said...

Hmm one can now see why WEFO are stalling the investigation.

Anonymous said...

Aha anonymous 15.54.Cunning plan.!!

Owen said...

It would be wrong to write off UKIP, Cneifiwr.

UKIP have a small presence in Bridgend and elsewhere. Although they're primarily disgruntled ex-Tories, UKIP could hoover up what I would call "sod the lot of them" voters - people who aren't that interested in the ins and outs of politics but know that they don't like politicians.

They're almost certainly going to do well in May, and are currently nailed on to win Assembly seats in 2016. Their problem is that they have a small core vote in Wales and those who sympathise with them have never turned out in big numbers.

And they do have a presence in Northern Ireland, albeit a single MLA. ;)

Sentinel said...

All politicians are much the same - yes even those from Plaid Cymru.

My wise late Grandfather from Pontygwaith, in the Rhondda, told me, "Politicians are like bananas; they come in green, turn yellow and are never straight."

I will nail my colours to the mast and say, Nigel Farage has a lot of charisma and puts up some convincing arguments as to why we should leave the E.U. That said, I doubt even he can produce a silver bullet, or panacea to cure all the U.K.'s woes.

I am old enough to remember the referendum on whether or not we should go into the then Common Market. We all know the result, but we didn't expect it morphing into the E.U. as we know it today.

There may or may not be any U.K.I.P. candidates in Carmarthenshire, but there are many who question the value of Wales remaining in the E.U.

Maybe Y Cneifiwr could give a cogent argument and convince us.

Cymru am Byth.

Anonymous said...

Wait till the ground troops get going Cllr James, Ellen ap Gwynn then you find out how out of touch she is

Iestyn said...

I'd love to know whether the Tivyside set out to make Gethin James look like a swivel-eyed loon, but the quotes they use are brilliant. GJ appears to have joined UKIP because of the stringent regulations regarding bats are apparently because of a Europe-wide law aimed at protecting bats in Spain.

Sentinel said...

Don't mention blasted bats. I have them in my farmhouse and Natuaral Resources Wales seem to think they are more important than the welfare of my family.

I wonder if I could mention the dreaded Human Rights Act to them? (Another reason to leave the E.U.)

Cneifiwr said...

Sentinel - bats or no bats, there are lots of reasons why we should remain in the EU. Close to the top of the list is the fact that Wales gets a lot more out of it than it puts in.

Sentinel said...

Cneifiwr - I seem to recall that Wales got a lot of support from the rest of the U.K. before we were in the Common Market. Maybe if the U.K. were to pull out of the E.U., Westminster could afford to put even more into Wales, than the E.U. gives us.

Yes Wales has been receiving funding from the E.U., but what evidence is there that the Welsh government has used that money wisely? It has been reported that our health and education services are failing and our GDP is lower than that in the rest of the U.K.

Wales needs improvements in innovation, manufacturing and technology.

We need to find new ways to improve our GDP - none of the political parties (Labour, Plaid, Conservative or Liberal) have come up with any new ideas.

Leanne Wood comes up with a lot of rhetoric and nice sound bites, but that is all. She fails to convince the majority.

Carwyn Howell Jones is an unmitigated flop, with Labour leading us all even closer to the abyss.

My great hope is that when Rhodri Glyn Thomas retires, Adam Price will take his place. He has a lot of credibility and hopefully new ideas to get Wales out of the rut it is in today. He should take over from Ms. Wood.

P.S could you please make the codes,which help me prove I am not a robot, a bit easier. It's like applying to join Mensa. :-)

Anonymous said...

Fair enough about being in the EU suits Ceredogion.There is a lot of support for UKIP in the old
Industrial areas further east.People have been employed
through agentcies getting jobs local people wanted and
could do,man I know thrown off site two days ago lost job,
Polish man put with him did not know what he was doing
So both had to go,but have worked with Poles and got on
Very well with some. I think UKIP will do alright in

Sentinel said...

U.K.I.P. may do well in the European election, but I don't expect they will have some sort of silver bullet to sort out all this country's woes.

Farage sounds good, but what he would do in the unlikely event he could form a government, is another matter.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the UKIP support would be if people saying they support them were asked the question: "Are you supporting them because you agree with their policies or because the represent "none of the above"?

Those who said: "Because of their policies" would then be asked a supplementary question: "Apart from leaving the EU and banning all immigration what other UKIP policies can you name"?

Draig said...

Well, we've outed the Little Englanders on here now anyway...

But as for the Welsh posters who are naive enough to think that UKIP cares a damn for Wales, think again. They are extreme English nationalists and they are there to look after just one part of the UK, and it's not Wales.

Glad to see this decisive move from Ellen ap Gwynn.

Anonymous said...

S4C moving to Carmarthenshire has be the Largest investment ever in Carmarthenshire.
UKIP would i imagine either asset strip Wales even more or bring in high profit low wage english companies to sneak the money back
to where UKIP has its very deep roots that place is England.
The country with a Red Cross flag not a Dragon.
P.s Does that sacked Cllr get to keep his Pention or not ?

Anonymous said...

Of course they get to keep their pensions! However, come the next election, there will be no more pensions for councillors, not even those who are re-elected. Anothet government saving - one of the few we can be thankful for.

sian caiach said...

sentinel,I advise if you have difficulty with the strange contorted letters do what i do. Pretend you are blind and prss the speaker syndrome and type in the code as read out by emphatic american voices in a girl/boy alternation. Saves your blood pressure