trying to start again

So … After a somewhat abortive attempt at blogging late last year and stealing some content from elsewhere (it was mine it wasn’t plagerism) I’m going to try and start this thing up again.

I think for the most part I’m going to try and do commebt and hopefully say some interesting things about what’s going on from my point of view. Some politics no doubt some book reviewing maybe and maybe some gaming. Its a busy time for me professionally and personally so we’ll see how things shake out … Also haven’t quite got the hang of blogging on the phone.

Watch this space and see what happens …

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still struggling

its been a while since i have written on here, mainly because I am still struggling to work out what I want this to be for (and due to the inconvenient pressures of you know, a job). I still am not linking or promoting it elsewhere … Do I for instance start linking this to be my Twitter? This would obviously mean that it would no longer be anonymous. Is this a problem?

so politically (and personally but i’ll try and leave that out for now) its been incredibly busy,both in a UK level and in Wales. I for one was at the Welsh Liberal Democrats conference in Brecon – catching up with people, meeting new people and drinking too much wine. It was a long weekend and the mood was a strange one (see below for more considered ramblings as penned whilst away in Brecon):

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Being in Government in Westminster meant that this year’s autumn conference was always going to be tricky for the Welsh Liberal Democrats, especially given the recent publication of the Browne Review (which later in the conference prompted a topical motion from the youth wing of the party) and the then imminent publication of the Comprehensive Spending Review. Indeed, the cuts and the UK financial crisis were never far from delegates’ minds all weekend, with practically every speaker and contributor prefacing their remarks with references to Labour’s ‘mismanagement’ of the economy or the actions of the ‘reckless bankers’. Despite the dour financial backdrop for the conference, most activists seemed in good spirits, given their Federal party is in coalition in Westminster, but keen to make sure that the Welsh party displayed its difference – a theme that the party leader, Kirsty Williams AM, spoke on at length at the end of the first day.

Being only one of two Welsh parties which continues to debate and discuss policy at its annual meetings, much of the floor time was taken up by the discussions of motions which may eventually find their way into the party’s manifesto for 2011. The Chair of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Policy Committee led a ‘consultative session’ on the manifesto development and noted that he was keen to take information from experts, party insiders and external organisations as they work to finalise their Assembly manifesto for next year’s elections.

Whilst the conference was lacking some of the party’s more colourful characters (Lembit Öpik was deposed by Glyn Davies MP in the 2010 General Election and Mick Bates AM was formally suspended from the party as a result of his impending court case for alleged assault), it did benefit from some lively fringe debates on sustainable housing and skills development in Wales, and contributions from party activists and candidates for some of the party’s target seats next year. One of the most striking remarks from the leader’s speech this autumn was that, aside from disparaging the Leader of the Welsh Conservatives’ role in the 1997 ‘No’ campaign, the focus of her attacks was on “Labour’s cuts” and the failings of Labour, both Old and New; that being said, Ms. Williams was clear that there was going to be no electoral pact with Nick Bourne’s party in 2011.

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So apparently there was a spending review at Westminster and the short version for Wales – we are getting screwed with our pants on as some of our Colonial cousins across the pond would say. Wales is losing out and whilst i am not one to swallow whole the line fed by Labour and Plaid in Cardiff Bay, they do have a point. Wales is missing out on investment left right and centre (no that wasnt a clever political joke) and places are closing all over Wales as a result. Wales is going to adversely effected by the reduction in the public sector given that 1 in 3 people work in the public sector in Wales.

its tough times for wales and politically that does make it interesting. despite a better start than many (including myself) thought she would have, Cheryl Gillan is really going to struggle now tro defend the calls that she is impotent at Cabinet – clearly (again unfortunately another line from Labour/Plaid) she is not fighting for Wales (S4C, Newport passport office, Severn Barrage, no electrificiation of the mainline), or even worse in politics, if she is fighting for Wales she is not making enough of a splash about it – perception is everything. either she really does need to be talking for Wales at Cabinet, or she needs to be on every news outlet saying what she is doing and spinning out the line about how she is doing her best despite the mess that Labour left

typically i’m not in the habit of defending Conservative MPs but that needed to be said. i thought she was going to be crap at first, she at least developed the perception that she wasnt but now she is.

no doubt more ramblings due to follow but one really must start one’s day of work!

opening the door

So this is hopefully going to be my first blogpost on this blog if the app for my blackberry works ok. Haven’t really decided what kind of blog this is going to be at the moment: probably a bit of everything, but in the words of Antonio Carluccio I hope it will be MOFMOF.