I used to think ..

This was written in the immediate aftermath of the vote on 23.6.16 and so therefore doesn’t take into account the events surrounding the Labour Party or the Conservative party.

I used to think that I was angry when working class and unemployed were blamed for the banking crash.
I used to think that I was angry when the Liberal Democrats propped up a UK Conservative Government.

I used to think I was angry when the UK elected a second Conservative Government and the harshest welfare cuts were brought into place that I can remember – or certainly of my life time.

I thought I was angry when the UK Government failed to bring about a decent piece of legislation to support the future of Wales.

I thought I was angry when the entire media and political world became paralysed and polarised by the EU Referendum debate.

I thought I was angry when Wales returned 7 (yes that’s correct) UKIP Assembly Members to the National Assembly for Wales in May.

I thought I was angry when I got my first taste of what UKIP would behave like in the Assembly.

At that point I was not only fearful for Wales and the future of the Assembly, but I thought I had reached peak anger, disappointment and frustration.

Then 23 June happened.

When I went to sleep at around 10:00 (don’t judge – I have a 4 week old baby), there were some tentative signs that Remain might edge it. A “close of polling” poll indicated that camp was ever so slightly in the lead.

At around 01:00 when I woke up, there was even a Huffington Post update reporting that Farage (rhymes with same sex marriage) had conceded that Remain might edge it. My son had his milk and I went back to sleep, quietly pleased that that was that.

Waking up again at 04:00 there was another Huffington Post. This time it said that Farage was on the verge of announcing his success and the triumph of the Leave campaign.

It honestly felt like a punch to the gut.

By the time I had woken up properly, the hits just kept on coming – not only was Farage gloating everywhere, but Wales had overwhelmingly voted to Leave and the value of the pound was going the wrong way over a cliff. There was no good news as a result of the decision of the UK electorate to vote themselves out of the EU.

Now, at the time of writing, David Cameron is a lame duck, Osborne is desperately clinging on to the door at the Treasury with all his might and the Labour Party has turned in on itself in what must be the best example of a circular firing squad in modern political history.

There is no plan for Brexit.

Some of the Leave campaigners have been waiting for this for 40 years, but they finally get what they want and they haven’t even got a plan for what to do next.

Not only that, it has since emerged that there were a number of “factual inaccuracies” (lies) included in the Leave campaigns materials:

  • £350mn into the NHS (nope)
  • controlling our borders (nope)
  • reform of freedom of movement (nope)
  • getting the most value for your pension (nope)
  • no continued access to EU funding (nope)
  • the UK will stay together (nope)

There is no plan for Brexit. 

Let’s be clear, Boris Johnson and the rest of the Leave mob are playing for time because they don’t know what they want or how to get it. The idea that now having left, or voted to Leave, that we can now negotiate a sweet deal with the EU is pie in the sky thinking. 

Wales will be worse off. Perversely, the areas which most vociferously voted for Leave will be some of the worst hit. We in Wales now have to rely on the UK Conservative party to pick a new Prime Minister, who we will have to rely on to make the best possible fist of this clusterf&€k that they can.

There. Is. No. Plan. For. Brexit.

And living in Wales, with two small children? I feel broken by the decision taken by Wales and England (outside of London).

There. Is. No. Plan. For. Brexit.

I am genuinely scared about what that means for me, for my family and for Wales.

What should we do?

KBO – Keep Buggering On (and hope for the best).

Something tells me I may well be returning to this topic.


thinking out loud today

so today i tried to get excited and interested in the budget. sad i know, however it is important and so i tried. and failed. i think i’ll end up reading the papers and associated materials and comment all of tomorrow and the consider myself informed.

however what did strike me today was listening to the comment after the chancellor had made his noises. the contribution from ed miliband was somewhat … um. can’t think of how to describe it. whilst the first part of his response appeared to based around snow (yes I know that Georgey Boy’s excuses as witnessed here are quite poor) he spent the rest of his contribution (still don’t understand why the balls man didnt reply to george but that ship has sailed) bitching and moaning that it wasn’t good enough.

now, before i continue i’m not in the habit of defending the Conservative party – that’s what iain dale is for – but it is important to remember the economic context in which the chancellor is operating – he’s got it tough. now that’s not to say that what he is doing is right, indeed i would have gone about things very differently, HOWEVER labour did leave a mess, there’s no money, recession, international economic crash etc etc.

right, got that sorted now onto labour. listening to miliband and then john denham (who i usually like quite a lot – talks quite a lot sense) i was struck by the sheer political tribalism of the two of them. the budget announced today was by no means perfect, it had nothing in particularly that i would want to see (however i might end up a little better off so that’s quite nice) and i’m not convinced that 1p reduction in the price of fuel is going to make any difference because the reduction in people’s wages as a result of prices going up will pretty much wipe that out and the tax on the oil companies might result in the prices being jacked up by more than 1p – but what i was struck by was how they were so unwilling to even countenance the fact that he might have some good ideas.

as i said i’m not going to now launch into defending the Conservative party, however he did ok i reckon. however listening to denham on PM on radio 4 (i know, i’m super cool) on the way home from work today even on things like helping first time buyers, addressing the horrendously complex planning system and removing the tax exemption from private jets – some of the few semi good things in the budget. would not even begin to dream of even thinking about supporting any of them – “we’ll consider” … “well actually that’s going to mean this” …

bringing things back to a Wales level for a moment i think that the tribalism of the labour party in this country is beginning to show as well. now those in the WAG are still having to work with their coalition partners for at least a few more days so they are largely keep their mouths shut, but those on backbenches and those outside the NAfW are beginning to sound off – rubbishing ideas almost even for the sake of it, not willing to even consider ideas proposed by different parties because they are not proposed by labour.

now one might think that here is a great opportunity to segue into talking about plaid’s infrastructure fund proposals and how it was rubbished by labour even though it appears the WAG finance minister is having meetings with the treasury about something quite similar. betsan powys covers it much better than me so read for yourself.

but i havent really been paying attention to all the back and forth so i’m not going to. no, what i’m talking about is how the labour party appears to view any proposal that is not one of theirs with complete disdain and doesn’t appear to even want to talk about it. i’m not completely politically naive and i know that they have to oppose things or be seen to oppose things that the other parties do because the other side will crow and gloat etc but i would have thought that in Wales in particular, with the latest polling indicating a very very slim labour majority (possibly) i really do think that at least over the next few weeks labour in Wales need to start thinking about potential coalition partners and essentially not piss them off too much.

fair enough i see how a coalition with the welsh lib dems could be somewhat difficult given the bashing the FM et al give the UK Government and their Welsh colleagues every week and the same pretty much goes for the Conservatives in Wales, however i suppose the question is, will the apparent tribalism of people like peter hain end up pushing plaid too far, meaning that labour will have to make some concessions to get them back in the fold? or will plaid be so desperate to return to government now that they’ve had a taste of it that they won’t care? and besides they might have a new leader anyway?

told you that this wasn’t going to be about the budget. sort of.