Thursday, November 15, 2007

Dragon's Eye

I think it was a bit unfair to put a kindly looking idealist named Arfon Rhys, speaking for Plaid Cymru up against Chris Bryant, the articulate Labour MP for the Rhondda on tonight's programme. OK, so Jill Evans MEP had put forward (apparently in all seriousness) the most idiotic proposal to scrap the Wales' membership of Nato and put all of our Welsh troops at the disposal of the United Nations. Plaid Cymru, very wisely decided to hide under the desk and leave poor old Arfon to it. But it does make you wonder what sort of a country Wales would be if Plaid Cymru were to be in charge. I have a message for all those Plaid supporters who must have been holding their heads in despair as Rhun ap Iorwerth was reading out the garbage that their only MEP had written, and watching with disbelief as Arfon made a bad position worse. I've said it before. Take a serious look at joining the Conservatives. You know it makes sense.


Normal Mouth said...

AIUI the Jill Evans proposal was leaked, hence it is perhaps not fair to ask her to speak to it. And, since the paper was not yet before PC, I suppose no-one from the party could be expected to speak to it, either.

But agree with you, it was bit like watching a fawn being devoured by a ravenous wolf.

Glyn Davies said...

I wonder how Plaid Cymru are going to deal with this now that we all know about it. They'll be desperate to keep the lid on any public discussion.In the meantime, the UN must be looking forwards to having control over a 'national army for the first time.

Anonymous said...

At least they haven't decided to buy an old US or UK battleship which used to be the norm in South American countries in the past to show that they had arrived on the international scene. I thought the guy's comment about Switzerland was brilliant. Although if Wales adopted the Swiss defence model it might improve the roads. Swiss roads are designed to take fighter planes from the Swiss Air Force in the event of war. Who knows perhaps Jill Evans is destined to become the La Passionara of the Welsh Revolution. What next? Plaid's policy for a colony on Mars seems a good idea.Today Laptops tomorrow the world

Anonymous said...

It's just a shame that the Western mail in the guise of Martin Shipton takes these idiots so seriously. Adam Price's comments on Afghanistan showed that student politics can have no place within the grown up real world. Just ask the women of Afghanistan what life was like under the Taleban.

Glyn Davies said...

anon - this blog has a high regard for Martin Shipton. Adam Price is one of these very clever people who are sometimes right (Mittal) but so often manage to be spectacularly wrong - like Arthur Scargill and Tony Benn. Great journalistic copy - as long as they never get near the levers of power.

Martin Eaglestone said...

and how will Ieuan respond when he has to sign off the cheques to help deliver 10,000 jobs at St Athen ?

Anonymous said...

I think Plaid made a major mistake in not commenting
That poor guy -mind smart arse Bryant just comes over as so smug
it was a bit of a yawn
You would surprised how many people dont want the St Athan project.
Quite a few bloggers are not fans.

what price freedom to speak these days I wonder.

anne greagsby said...

The programme editors didn't do their homework and are misleading people allowing Bryant to go lying about 6,000 jobs!
Jill is the only politician in Wales with the courage to challenge the privatisation and concentration of military training at St Athan to be delivered by a consortium which includes arms dealers Raytheon associated with the delivery of cluster bombs.
Where did this figure of 5,000 even 6,000 jobs come from? That is pure spin at best or deliberate falsehood! The BBC, Peter Black, Huw Lewis and Bryant are all quoting 5/6,000 jobs at St Athan when they know that most are to be transferred in to St Athan? It will be 1,100 and nothing like near 5,000 jobs promised and that Emperor Rhodri Morgan was drinking champagne to celebrate! Most of the ‘high skill’ jobs been transferred in are for instructional officers who are in the main ex-forces with additional training of 5 years on top of that. Not many of those going to Barry job centre will have those qualifications.

PCS, the union that represents many MOD staff says that the number of jobs in scope of package 1 has dropped from 1500 to 1100. These 400 posts are those not directly linked to training delivery. Package 2 has been dumped by the government as it is too expensive.

Time for some honesty from our politicians!!

This contract will be the largest PFI/PPP project ever undertaken by the Ministry of Defence and will be the largest partnering arrangement ever undertaken in the UK. A Private Finance Initiative (PFI) for DTR in simplistic terms means that the winning consortia will effectively own all of the real estate and services for training for the next 25 years. For this they will be paid an annual sum and must, by law, make a profit for their shareholders. The contract is worth £19 billion.

They couldn't make a privatised railway work so it is pretty unbelievable that we even suggest privatising military training never mind applauding it especially when it is to be delivered by private arms companies that are excluded from any ethical investing country, bank or charity.

In a recent press release PCS, (Union) welcomed the MoD U-turn on training privatisation and the announcement by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to halt the privatisation of approximately 4,000 staff who train the armed forces in driving armoured vehicles, lorries and jeeps as well as languages. The union hailed the decision to keep one half of defence training in the public sector as a victory for common sense which would ensure world class training for the armed forces whilst providing value for money for the taxpayer.

PCS called on the MoD to see sense and halt the privatisation of the other half of defence training which includes technical and mechanical training. The union warned that pushing ahead with remaining half of defence training would represent poor value for money and lead to a loss of knowledge and experience as staff would refuse to relocate to the new training base in South Wales….

For more information See http://www.cynefinywerin see also our blog

our briefings on:Qinetiq -

Raytheon -

and our cluster bombs press release -

Anne Greagsby
co-coordinator of the campaign against St Athan

Glyn Davies said...

Anne - Jill is not alone in being opposed to the St Athen development - see Valley's Mam comment. And others have told me of their opposition as well - on principle and because it will divert so much resourse to SE Wales. I disagree with her - but I do respect her considerable courage to oppose the development.

In passing, I did not mention 6,000 in my post - mainly because I'm very sceptical of the truth of these announcements.

My main disagreement with Jill is what seems to me the idea that Wales armed forces should be under the direction of the UN. I also believe that it would be most unwise to withdraw from Nato. It will be interesting if Plaid Cymru support this.

Anonymous said...

I think Jill's comments on the UN have been misinterpreted somewhat. I believe that what she is trying to say is that if we do take part in any International operations, that this should be spearheaded by the UN, and that decisions should be taken via the UN- much like Plaid argued, and the Lib dems, when we were going to enter the Iraq war.
It is far too easy to dismiss this as being idealistic, but after all, we are competiting with the status quo here, which is to enter conflicts right left and centre without any regard as to what is happening on the ground.

It is not idealistic, it is an attempt to change the current agressive British military stance, and this should be seen as a forward looking initiative, not as an immature action from an established MEP.

Glyn Davies said...

anon - decent try. Perhaps you should offer to write her next paper for her.