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.

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To coin a phrase .. what an omnishambles

It’s been an incredibly long time since I’ve written anything on here, due to various things (mainly – having a baby, moving house and getting a new job), but I’ve been catching up on my reading and listening to podcasts recently and I was struck by a thought .. what an absolute mess the Labour Party is in.

I should say that I am not a member of the Labour Party, nor have I voted for them. My political leanings can be discerned from previous writings on this blog.

So what kind of shambles? An omnishambles in my view.

Ok they had a bad election night. A really bad election night. But it appears to me that the Labour Party can’t even get introspective navel gazing right! Seemed right to me that Ed Miliband went after the party’s defeat, but the Conservatives have capitalised brilliantly on the lack of opposition and are making the most of the fact that Labour are (or at least, appear to be) a rudderless and leaderless rabble, totally consumed by a leadership contest which hilariously looks like it might be won by someone that apparently few who nominated wanted to see in in the first place!

For an outsider, the contest reached new levels of ridiculousness, with well known warmongering pseudo Tory Tony Blair making an unwelcome return to UK domestic politics and the brilliant bluff and bluster of Lord (?!?) Prescott adding his considerable weight to the fracas. It is now hilarious to me that Labour MPs helped Corbyn “get over the line” in terms of nominations, in order to broaden the debate, are running as far away from Corbyn as possible.
Similarly, has anyone else cottoned on to the hilarity of a traditionally left or dare I say it, socialist, political party terrified of selecting an avowed left-leaning candidate?
This segues nicely onto my thoughts about the leadership candidates.
  • Andy Burnham – a flip flopper who seems that he would just deliver more of the same, or at least change his mind so often just so everyone is really unsure about what he really thinks
  • Yvette Cooper – comes across as bland and more of the same
  • Liz Kendall – fair play, she’s said a few things that she believes, but I suspect she’ll run afoul of the great labelling machine (a Blairite or a Tory .. not sure which is more damaging)

And then finally, the man of the moment, Comrade Corbyn.

A man who (certainly this is my take on him), says what he believes and believes what he says. Now, on Any Questions (Radio 4) a few weeks ago, Chuka Umuna got quite agitated about the suggestion that the left of his party appear to have a monopoly on passion. Ironically he got quite passionate about it. But (and this is what I shouted at the radio) .. he’s not running for the leadership and I don’t think that the left of any party has a monopoly on passion – it’s just we haven’t heard any passion from any of the other candidates.

So Jeremy Corbyn, the candidate who has got the left of the party, and plenty of Unions and new entrants to politics excited. and that is no bad thing. I was also interested to see that in contrast to one of the central criticisms of Corbyn (that he would make the Labour Party unelectable), the Indy and YouGov published some data showing the majorities of people who agreed with some of his policies.

Also – it has been suggested in some quarters that he would be the candidate the Tories would most like to win. I would dispute that. My gut tells me that Cameron going up a genuine thinker, a passionate leftwinger – he’d have his hands full.

I think that part of Corbyn’s apparent popularity is down to his a) ability to appear to rise above the personal attacks and petty squabbling of his rivals (reminiscent somewhat of Blair/Brown/Mandy?) and b) to his passion – he says what he thinks and believes what he says and he is genuine.

Now, do I think he would be Prime Minister – no I don’t think so. However, could he be the leader that the Labour Party needs at the moment? I actually think he might be.

I just hope that if he does win, he injects some passion into the Welsh Labour Party.

Finally – if you got through my ramblings about the Labour party, sit back and enjoy something else that is missing from the National Assembly for Wales – great oratorical skill (and yes, a bit of passion too)