Saturday 2 May 2015

Whispers, rumours and a prediction or two (updated)

It is anyone's guess what the political map will look like a week from now, but in Ceredigion the Ukip candidate, Gethin James, recently told a friend that Mike Parker will win, based on what he is hearing on the doorstep. His goal now is to beat Labour's Huw Tippex Thomas and take third place.

Nick Robinson was pontificating on the BBC the other day that this is the most localised general election in living memory, with very different scenarios being played out in different parts of Britain.

What Robinson could not have imagined when he said that was that Ukip in Ceredigion would take localism to undreamed of levels, with Gethin James using a general election campaign to bang on at length about public conveniences during a recent hustings in Aberystwyth.

With five days to go, the postman has delivered only Plaid and Labour leaflets, and only Plaid has been round knocking doors in this part of Carmarthen East and Dinefwr. Nothing at all from the Tories, the LibDems or Ukip, who are also standing.

Junk mail

Actually, that's not quite true, because the run-away winner in terms of paper shoved through the letterbox here is Mark Williams, the LibDem candidate over in Ceredigion. To date we have received two leaflets and two LibDem "newspapers" in the last fortnight.

The newspapers, which claim among other things that Mark Williams is standing up for Ceredigion, were printed in Barnsley, and it turns out that they bear an uncanny resemblance to LibDem newspapers being dished out in Brecon and Radnor and Montgomeryshire.

Right down to identical quotes attributed to different people.

"The work that [insert name of candidate] is doing for our area is really amazing, and it's why I'm backing him/her [delete as appropriate] on 7th May", said Mrs K Williams/Jamie from Aberystwyth/Frank from Welshpool [delete as appropriate].

But there is life outside the general election campaign.

The miners strike

More rumours are coming in that knives are being sharpened for a bloodletting in the Carmarthenshire Labour Party once the diversion of the general election is out of the way, with Kevin Madge facing a war on two fronts.

The names to watch are Cllr Jeff Edmunds for the Llanelli wing and Cllr Anthony Jones for the Ammanford tendency.

Men in suits

Meanwhile one recently recruited senior officer is said to have concluded that Carmarthenshire County Council is a shambles and is off to pastures new after just a couple of months in the job. This early departure would help restore the natural order of things in the senior ranks as a preserve for men in suits.


Anonymous said...

Well to be honest it's about time that Carmarthenshire Labour Party had a major shake down.

As a Labour voter I feel quite depressed about the way things have gone over the last few years. The party seems to have morphed into a pale caricature of the party. Just look at what has happened.

We are an office led authority. It is so blindingly obvious that this is the case. I don't understand why someone should stand for election and then not exercise power themselves but allow non elected officers to run things.

The unlawful,payments scandal was for me the last straw. I can't think of anything more against the principles of socialism than this and when I read about it I get quite embarrassed.

Watching the debacle of the last council meeting when the Llanelli Labour group tried to stop the free parking debate was absolutely disgusting.

Councillors must now realise that as the debates are filmed they must at least be in a position to deliver a decent speech. Some of the contributions I have heard are absolutely diabolical and you have to wonder why these people stood and also whey they were elected.

Because of what has happened in recent years on CCC I am going to lend my vote to Plaid In the hope that Carmarthenshire Labour pull themselves together. I never thought I would ever say that but there we are.

Anonymous said...

I also am a Labour voter but as our MP can do nothing about the CCC I will vote Labour. Nia has helped me in regards to my CCC supporting union the GMB. She has also, I feel, done her best to support her constituents where she can and have heard nothing to the contrary.

Now when we cast our vote for an AM, who does have the right to use his influence to try and sort out this wayward Council, that will be different story. I have found Keith to have little concern as to the CCC's wrongdoing and by doing nothing protects it from being held to account. I doubt a different Labour AM would act any differently. The party's self interest will always come before the public interest in matters such as this.

I will vote for someone who will be independent and not beholden to any party that puts itself before the public interest.

Jennifer Brown (whistleblower)

Wavell said...

Thanks to Kevin's stupidity and control by the master puppeteer I agree 100% with 13:15.

As a past Labour supporter I really hope they get a real thrashing , the "big boys" may then wake up.
Not Labour this time - for me anyway.

Anonymous said...

Is it Christina Harrhy the Director of Environment who is off to pastures new? She is the only recent recruit I can think of. I think she would have found it difficult to properly carry out her duties as she'd need to work with a planning department which suffers from much (documented) maladministration as does the corporate complaints department. I hope someone will put me right if my deduction is wrong. If she is leaving for pastures new I wish her luck; to stay and argue against what is going on in the CCC would not be a very wise move. (I'd hate to think she would succumb to pressure and decide to follow the "If you can't beat them join them" brigade.)

Jennifer Brown (whistleblower)

Anonymous said...

Interesting,the speedy departure of a senior officer.Maybe it is in planning!

Anonymous said...

I have heard today in Carmarthen that the Director of Environment (Who has been in post for just four months) has left for a new post in Caerphilly.

Anonymous said...

Re. The officer "Off to pastures new". I don't blame him, but if all decent officers with principles,abandon the ship, it will unfortunately 'Never Sink'.
We need a team of 'real' monitors (from outside Carmarthenshire) to be spread throughout The C.C.
There appears to be plenty of evidence which could be acted against, if only anyone in power had the will? Perhaps we should be asking the real biggie, as to why does no one seem to have the will? We can blame The C.C.C. until we are blue in the face.
Unfortunately there appears to be a deafening silence from those who might actually have the power to alter the entrenched distorted attitude here. Those are the voices we need to hear!

Redhead said...

Why do councillors allow officers to lead? Because they are not very bright but they are very greedy. And their mates can line their pockets.

Anonymous said...

So, poor old Kevin gets the elbow, Jeff Edmunds steps into his shoes, Anthony Jones gets Jeff's job and Terry Davies becomes Chair of Planning. And while they're rearranging the deckchairs, guess what's happening to the Labour Titanic?

Anonymous said...

Shame on Christina Harrhy for deserting her people after promising them a brighter and better future. But perhaps she realised quickly that she was no match for the men in suits.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the departure of the director of environment is anything to do with the bull-dozing of the protected SSSI/SAC site. It has been widely covered on this blog and I have heared that the planning department is being vigorously pursued for answers as to why such a large site has been excavated levelled and a road laid because a footpath existed in 1881.Incidentally the footpath is nowhere near the new road.All this incredibly without permission.
In light of this would not any Director of the Environment want to be as far away as possible from such blatant disregard for the countryside and environmental law?

Matthew Paul said...

Cneifiwr, Disappointed that you have not received my election address, which should have been delivered to every household in the constituency. Wherever I have been, from Ferryside through Pencader, and Cynghordy to Newcastle Emlyn, I have been told that I am the only candidate who has bothered to knock on their door. I know we can't all get around every house, but let me know where you are and I can still stop by for a chat. You may join the many hundreds of former Plaid voters who are turned off by Plaid's 'anti-austerity' rhetoric and appalled by Leanne's offer to be kingmaker to Miliband. Keep up the good work, Matthew

Anonymous said...

Bizarrely, Cneifiwr, you report as fact what is, by your own admission, nothing but a hearsay account of the UKIP Ceredigion candidate saying to one of your party friends that he believes the Plaid Cymru candidate is going to defeat the incumbent and win the election.

Plaid Cymru being 'your' party, and this, one of your many recent examples on the general election theme of discrediting opposition parties rather than promoting your own.

This is quite a serious and significant claim to make. And, if you disagree, then, it was clearly serious and significant enough for you to have felt the desire to publish it in the public domain.

You should just be careful, Cneifiwr. If this specific claim which you report as fact is untrue or is something that you cannot prove (that a candidate in the election said who he thought would win) then your actions, as author and publisher of the blog, could possibly be unlawful. Certainly they could be open to challenge.

Brush up on the Representation of the People Act 1983.

Just because you're not a candidate it doesn't mean you can't fall foul of the rules.

I hope you publish this comment. If you don't believe my comment has any weight then you will have no problem in approving it, will you? I'll wait with bated breath!

Cneifiwr said...

Anon@2.38 You can stop holding your breath. I am trying to get my head around the logic of your argument.

I reported it as fact because my friend is someone I have known for a long time, and I have no reason to think he was making it up.

I am sure he would be happy to make a witness statement on oath.

Cneifiwr said...

Thank you Matthew. I have not received anything from you (or the LibDems, Ukip or the Greens).

Did you see David Cameron being interviewed last night? As Nick Robinson pointed out, he is committed to a negotiation which may well be unsuccessful and to putting the results of that unknown quantity to a referendum which could well see us leave the EU.

Irresponsible and potentially disastrous, isn't it? If you feel like dropping by, I will do my best to convince you to vote for Jonathan Edwards.

Blodwen said...

I've just spent some time trying to work out what Anon @ 2.38 is attempting to say. So, can you please point out where you have said that the UKIP candidate spoke to one of your "party" friends? And can you also please tell me how giving an opinion about the likely outcome of the election in one area differs in any way from all the polls that have been filling the pages of newspapers for the last few weeks? These, surely, are also only opinions? Do they, too, contravene the Representation of the People Act (or whatever)?

m1books said...

I live slap bang in the middle of Newcastle Emlyn, right next to a convenient car park, no long path to negotiate, and not a single candidate of any party has knocked my door. But then as with many issues/meetings, it seems once again that as a far north corner of Carms people cannot be bothered to venture out to this bit of the wild west. But as noted elsewhere loads of leaflets for Mark Williams, so his helpers are working (even if they don't know the constituency boundaries!)

Anonymous said...

What I was saying re the Representation of the People Act is more of a warning about claims made in the run-up to an election that could influence the way people vote.

The claim that a candidate has effectively given up on his effort and had pronounced that candidate x is going to win, could clearly be argued as an influential statement.

Nothing wrong with reporting it if it's true and can be proven to be true, but that's what my point was - sorry you can't understand that.

Think about it, who else speaks with as much influence in an election than a candidate? If the candidate who the claim is made against is believed by the public to have given up on his campaign, they why WOULD anybody vote for him or her? That's the point, or you wouldn't have published.

The principle is that, untrue statements at an election, even if they don't affect the outcome (for there is no way of knowing) can leave the election result open to challenge.

I'm sure the friend who told you this story (which is the hearsay) is a good friend, but unless you can prove that the UKIP candidate said what you report he did (and not prove that your friend told you, which is completely different, surely you're not naive enough to be unable to discern the difference) then it leaves you open to the accusation that you reported a false claim in an effort to influence the outcome of an election.

Influencing the outcome of the election is your game, and that's exactly why you published what you did, isn't it, Cneifiwr?

If not, then why else would you blog: "the Ukip candidate, Gethin James, recently told a friend that Mike Parker will win, based on what he is hearing on the doorstep. His goal now is to beat Labour's Huw Tippex Thomas and take third place."

You could have reported that your friend believes that the Plaid Cymru candidate will win, but you chose to report it as being the words of an opposing candidate.

Cneifiwr said...

Anon@23.41 - You really do sound a little sinister. Readers of this blog are capable of making up their own minds.

Interestingly, someone else on Twitter was claiming yesterday that Gethin James had told them that the LibDems would win, and in his Twitter timeline he was recently predicting that Plaid was on course to win its lowest ever share of the vote in Ceredigion.

As this blog has noted before, Cllr James is an out of control drone.

DDD said...

Pob parch iti Cneifiwr !!! But With regards to influencing the outcome of the election in Ceredigion ... I don't think Cnifiwr is the Mail, Sun or even Cambrian News is he? Do you think that the population of ceredigion will rush to this blog - then run around waving torches and enforcing a block Mike Parker vote ?

Cneifiwr said...

Llygad de le fel arfer, Gaynor.