Monday, December 29, 2008

Who have Plaid Cymru selected to fight Segway Man?

As we enter what I believe will be General Election year, I need to take stock of who my opponents will be in Montgomeryshire. This morning I was talking to a 'noise' in local Plaid Cymru who told me that their candidate has now been selected, but strangely, wouldn't give me a name. Interesting tactic I thought. Perhaps it will be a shadowy Guido-like figure with no name - until he was eventually exposed. I'd been expecting David Thomas to run again. I'd like that because he's a thoroughly good man. I suppose David Senior could have another go. David is also a good man, but not speaking Welsh is a huge disadvantage - particularly since one of his opponents has gone to the trouble of learning. Maybe they've gone for someone just starting out - like Heledd Fychan, who works for Elfyn Llwyd and has strong Montgomeryshire roots. I don't know her, but I check up on her blog. She's one to watch I think. And then there have been rumours that Sian Lloyd will go for it. That would put the fox amongst the chickens, and guarantee that little ol' Montgomeryshire becomes a media-fest. Anyway if anyone knows who the Plaid mystery person is, comment anonymously so that I can assist a little with name recognition.

I've met the Labour candidate once, and he seemed an OK fellow, but he'll have to make a bit more effort to make himself known. Bruce Lawson will be surely be flying the flag for Ukip again. He's good company as well. Now you can see that there's not going to be too much ill feeling in Montgomeryshire on Election Day. Unless things are stirred up a bit by the BNP or an anti-Assembly 'independent'. All I'm doing is reporting the rumours.

And of course there's the incumbent, Lembit Opik, standing for the Lib Dems - though I keep hearing stories of him being deselected, or retiring to pursue a media career. Personally, I don't believe any of these rumours. In yesterday's Wales on Sunday, Martin Shipton ran a two-page spread under the heading 'Opik primed to bite back'. Apparently, he's decided that perhaps the distinctive way he does politics is 'frightening the horses', but he claims that its his way of 'creating a political stampede'. Anyway the report goes on to tell us that he's keen on a debate about legalisation of hard drugs, engaging with international terrorists (I should make clear that this in no way implies any support for terrorism. He threatened to sue Martin just for asking a question about the subject) and he wants the Liberal Democrats to stop sending out mixed messages on the economy. There was no mention of his latest part time employment as Political columnist for the Daily Sport. Whatever, he will be the man to beat come election time - which could be soon. So Plaid Cymru had best get its skates on and tell us who they have chosen if they are going to have any chance of catching the man on the Segway.


Anonymous said...

I'm afraid Lembit will romp home, Glyn. Tories will stay away in droves.

Thank goodness, your experience won't be repeated across the rest of Wales, where the Conservatives will do very well.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone give a toss who Plaid select to stand?

They have shown themselves incompetent in the Parish Council on the Bay.

How many MPs have they got? Four.

...and didn't Dafydd Iwan loose his council seat to someone who chucks potatoes into hot lard for a living?

Glyn Davies said...

Sorry but had to reject two comments - imlications of illegal behaviour.

Anon 1 - I hope you're not right about this.

Anon 2 - Plaid Cymru have 3 MPs at present. I don't know what Dafydd Iwan's successor does for a living, but I don't see making chips as being an occupation worthy of mockery.

Anonymous said...

If the Lib Dems seriously want to keep their seat in Montgomeryshire, then they will really have to look at deselecting Lembit. He has become a laughing stock here and BTW what exactly does he do for his constituents? I never hear anything about what he's done, other than pose for photographs to feed his insatiable hunger for publicity.
Mick Bates would do well to distance himself from him too, otherwise he will be looking at losing his own seat next WAG elections.
It would be nice to see a bit of dignity returning to politics in Montgomeryshire.

Anonymous said...

I'd be interested to know how important you think the individual candidate is compared to party loyalty in rural Wales? One guesses that it counts more than in urban areas yet seats like Conwy and the two Pembrokeshire seats seem to have gone more or less with the national swing in recent years. My guess is that the quality of candidate matters a bit more in Assembly election than Westminster ones. How much difference can a good/poor candidate make is somewhere like Maldwyn- 1,000-2,000 votes or more?

Anonymous said...

All three of the Plaid Candidates you've mentioned Glyn are indeed worthy opponents.

Whoever has got the job will have the task of mobbing up all those self respecting former Lib Dem voters who simply couldn't bring themselves to vote for the current MP again.

And of course, all those self respecting people who don't want to see Cameron as Prime Minister.

You may need to vote Plaid yourself Glyn.

Anonymous said...


Maybe Anon 2 above is the 'Abolish the Assembly' nutter you mentioned in your post.

Remeber now, if he stands - you'll lose lots of Tory voters!!

Jane said...

Does it matter who Plaid have selected?

Lembit is really showing himself to be a shall we say thorn in the side of the lib dem party, daily sport is nothing more than a soft porn tabloid not worth the paper it is written on.

Glyn, it seems to almost anyone you talk to that the Lib Dems particularly in Powys or on a downward spiral particulalry in Local Government, didn't the conservative group take the seats of the lib dem leader and chief whip (james gibson watt and david peter) during the local elections.

I'm sure the person who took James Gibson Watts seat throws potatoes into hot lard in a chip shop in Hay.

Glyn Davies said...

Anon 1 - The only act that offended me was his decision to write for the Daily Sport. I am ashamed that Montgomeryshire's MP is doing this. But reality is that Anon 2 has got a point, and does pose the question whether enough voters will either know about this, or be offended by it. A joy of politics is that none of us will know until the votes are counted.

Anon 2 - A fair assessment I think.

Anon 3 - I suppose if he or she 'mops up' enough of them, it could be helpful to me!!

Anon 4 - I didn't refer to an 'Abolish the Assembly' candidate as a 'nutter'. Its an entirely legitimate opinion to hold - even if I think its unrealistic. If he or she does stand, votes will be taken from all parties to an unknown extent. Also, it may be that these voters will already be supporting Ukip, which has supported the 'abolition' option for some time.

Jane - I think you are right about the way things are going. Over recent years our aim has been to develop a respect for the Conservative Party in Montgomeryshire (and beyond) through being accessible, straight forward, repectful of those who disagree with us and working hard. The result at May's Council election when we won six seats in Montgomeryshire was better than we could have hoped for, and surprised everyone. Whether it translates into a General Election or Assembly victory is for the future. Whatever, we will just carry on doing what we've been doing. We were also very pleased to have won three Council seats in Brecon and Radnorshire.

Anonymous said...

That someone has a successful business in the form of a fish n chip shop should be commended. It is not easy running a small business. There are times when owning and running a small business can keep one up all night so wound up worried about some aspect of the business. The stress is on a totally different level compared with a regular salary job with a regular paycheck.

With a fish/chip shop the cash flow is probably less of an issue given that people pay up-front for their chips/saveloys/pies/pasties/etc.

But for many small businesses cash flow can be a big headache particularly if customers go bust, pay late, etc. That's where the stress really comes in - the small business might have a healthy sales ledger, but if customers pay irregularly and the small business is dependent on a small customer base this can mean difficulty-meeting bills like rent, workers payments. With banks less willing to give overdrafts to small businesses otherwise sound businesses will be driven to the wall for failure to meet payroll because of cash flow/bank credit issues.

One only has to look at British high streets to see the stress many large retail enterprises are under trying to meet their shop rents. Many will not have enough cash in the bank to pay their rent and that is when many will fall over and go into administration/bankruptcy proceedings.

It is puzzling looking at hoards of shoppers delaying big shops for deep discounts. The shops they buy from may not be making enough money from such sales. Once they pay their rent will they have enough money to replenish their stocks? Will their suppliers ask for cash up front?

When shops close down it is bad for everyone/a blight on the local community. With fewer shops will mean less competition, more retail power in fewer hands.

Just when u thought it couldn't get worse ... said...

"Just to cheer everyone up", further to my previous posting (re: "That someone has a successful business in the form of a fish n chip shop should be commended...") ...

Anyways/Milliways ... watch out for rumblings from Yellowstone National Park - that baby (super-volcano) is due to blow its pressure cooker lid off anytime now ... and global COOLING might be the order of the day.

Some calculations put the ultimate death toll at a billion or so - the debris thrown up in the air will be so huge that skies world-wide will go dark. Sunlight penetration will be compromised and crop failures and food famine will be just down the road, turn left at fish and chip shop at Connah’s Quay.

Seriously, if this baby blows those chucking "potatoes into hot lard for a living" might find their social status climbing at rates so exotic that ladders in Victoria Secret tights can't keep pace with.

In "Cold War" jargon: "We don't want a fish n chip gap".

Less seriously, our saviour could be in microbiology - STRs set up to produce SCP from, e.g., methane from e.g., cows! Or the North Sea (what's left of it). Russia could feed the world from its stocks.

SCP->cattle feed->human consumption or
oSTP->SCP->raw material for human food manufacture->human consumption

Soya Green based on SCP.

SCP (single cell protein); STR (stirred tank reactor); oSTR (STR optimized for SCP production).

Patent Me This said...

Perhaps 'Segway Man' is the 'missing link they're looking for'. Forget "Piltdown Man", it's Segway Man.

Anonymous said...

What about the north atlantic conveyor turning itself off?

forgot about that one - everyone would have their CHIPS

Interesting programme on Discovery in the week, Evolution. Estimated that when the Lake Toba SV went off in Indonesia some 75,000 years ago, it wiped out the entire population of India, except for an estimated SIX HUNDRED people.

Similarly, an estimated 90 - 100,000 years ago, there was a Human Mass extinction event, where there was an estimated 2,000 survivors World Wide.

The Carrying Capacity of the World, is significantly smaller than the current world population of just over six billion.


Anonymous said...

Whilst I believe Lembit Opik is a total embarrassment to Montgomeryshire and believe you will beat him in the polls, I don't think it'll be a walk-over and feel you ought to be a lot more proactive in criticising him and drawing his incredibly stupid attention to the notice of the voters. You mention that you doubt people realise that he writes for that dreadful pornographic rag. Well then, why don't you tell them? The Lib Dums will fight dirty, have no doubt about that, so why don't you at least attempt to point out to voters just how dumb LO is? I am one of may who used to vote Liberal but will never do so in Montgomeryshire as long as LO is standing. But I'm also frustrated at your laissez faire attitude towards our part-time MP. For goodness sake, speak up more and say it like it is as regards this imbecile

Patent For Art Sake said...

Sian Lloyd - if Sian did run, would likely be as an independent, but independent what? Independent Liberal would be great for Glyn ... but Independent Conservative would be bad bad, might let Segway Man win the day

Anonymous said...

I would have thought that the more important issue for you is who the Lib Dems decide to select. If it's Lembit you're home and dry, if AN Other it'll be tough. They don't stand an earthly of winning that seat if Lembit remains their candidate. Just pray that the status quo remains!

Glyn Davies said...

Anon 1 - You are entirely right. As a farmer by trade, I've always been a small businessman. Profit comes from hard work and quickwittedness. Success depends on how one copes when things go wrong. It makes no difference whether you're building houses or making chips.

PMT - (Sorry about the acronym) Any idea how much a Segway costs?

Anon 2 - The 'Carrying Capacity' of the world is impossible to calculate. It depends on what price you think is reasonable to pay. Because I give a high value to the rights of all species, I'm dismayed by population projections for both the world, and for the UK.

Anon 3 - My approach has been a subect of debate in our office, and I concede that not everyone agrees with me. But its how I do politics. I will 'launch in' whenever there is a proper 'political' opportunity, but there are so few today. I just don't do personal attacks. I'm even uncomfortable with some of the comments I allow on this blog. I'm just not prepared to fulfil the role of 'harsh aggressor' that many people seem to expect from the Tories. My campaign is based on a total committment to working for the people of Montgomeryshire as part of a Conservative 'team' of elected representatives at all levels, and through involvement in a range of non-political activities. That makes being a candidate such a satisfying job in itself.

PFAS - I have no reason to think that Sian wants to be a politician - and I do not know what her political sympathies are. I've never asked her, even though I've known her for 20 years. She began her working life with the Development Board for Rural Wales (which I chaired twixt 1989-94). She would be a very good politician I think - so we had all better watch out.

Patent for Art Sake said...

Hey Glyn> I knew Sian at Cardiff University, but she might not remember me, but might remember the boy with the racing bike - who was in Mark's classes. Mark was doing the exact same classes as me at Cardiff University. Sian lived in a first floor flat at Llys Talybont (in the USA we would say 2nd floor as there is no 'ground floor', that's called the first floor; I'm a Bourne Identity - got US and UK citizenship). Anyway, Mark was obviously taken with her and Sian with him. Sadly Mark did not make it to the second year so I lost contact with him. I gathered at the time he was from a posh background, but he could mix with working class boys like me (I lived on Lansbury Park in Caerphilly, then Churchill Park - both council house estates), so I was from a family that was pretty poor. Anways, Sain was a very nice lady, she even went to the trouble of inviting me to have cream topped filtered coffee in her Llys Talybont flat (shared with four other Cardiff uni girls). I never asked Sian what her political affiliations were, I had no idea what mine were! I just knew I hated the communists and left wing middle class idiots that claimed they spoke for all students. Like hell they did. I peferred to spend time with the engineering students - I mixed more with them, salt of the earth, would tell you the difference between a vector and a slide rule, in fact they used those fancy HP calculators with Polish Notation, and they seemed to attract the best girls. Mark and Sian became an item and I met Sian through Mark. I remember she liked to play records and invite people to listen to them in her room, she was very outgoing bubbly person, very sweet and caring person. I remember seeing her on the way back to Llys Talybont one day, and I got off my bike and walked with her, she wanted to hold the bike on a downward slope near the entrance road to Llys Talybont, she was quite surprised at how it felt, but I had panniers on the back for a shopping trip, racing bike that it was, I made it functional for college and hauled books and folders to classes. I didn't see her or Mark (at Talybont) after that because I moved to University Hall because there were too many distractions for me at Llys Talybont (I fell in love with a South African girl, but she fell in love with a mechanical engineering student in my flat - oh, unrequited love, the pain of it!). Also, I got banged-up/hurt in a tumble on Bedwas mountain road (might go by another name) visiting my grandma's brother's family - put me in hospital 'it did', the local police called an ambulance that came all the way from Cardiff. Spent an afternoon at CRI. I remember the doctor there, cause he caused me some pain - but he had to clean out the wounds I got going over the handle-bars at some speed when a front lamp bracket fell into the front wheel. Tore the front wheel up, tore a hole in my wallet too.

Anyways/Milliways, Mark was a good guy; they made such a good couple. I was sorry to hear that they split up many years later.

PMT-MAN et al. said...

Glyn> how much a Segway costs? No idea, probably at least $1,000. But sticker price will depend on model type and how many extras you want. Like I mentioned previously, inter alia, the US postal service use them here, also cops and park employees/rangers. They are magnificent machines.

Anyways/milliways, VOTE GLYN DAVIES!

Paul said...

Anon 12.21

Yet another Anon claiming to be a former Lib Dem voter turned tory from Montgomeryshire.

Glyn you do seem to have a lot of these types posting on your blog yet none of them leave there name. I'm sure I'm not alone in starting to think there made up (all be it not by you).

Glyn Davies said...

Paul - I wouldn't worry about it. I probably have more comments informing me that they are tories who will not vote for me. The first anon on this post is a sort of an example. And anyway, people who read my blog can make their own judgements about anonymous comments.

Graham said...

Doesn't it worry you that Tories are saying they won't vote for you? Why not get out there and fight a bit? You're spending too much time in front of your computer. The electorate of Montgomeryshire don't know enough about you.

Huw Jones said...

Regarding does it make a difference who Plaid choose - yes I would say. Large parts of Montgomeryshire could be regarded as potential target areas for Plaid. Yet they have failed to make the same inroads as they have done in other similar areas. Spot the difference between Dinas Mawddwy and villaghes around Llanbrynmair? In the past this possible Plaid vote has gone to the Liberals, but a good Plaid candidate from deep roots in rural Welsh speaking Powys could make serious inroads damaging Lembit substantially. Could Plaid be the Lib Dems UKIP?

Glyn Davies said...

Graham - I don't know that many Conservatives are saying that they will not support me. I do get some negative comments on my blog saying this, usually anonymous, but no-one has ever said it to my face. I do know that some voters do not agree with my commitment to making a success of devolution, some do not like my scepticism regarding onshore wind farms and there are others who dislike my 'Welshness' or my libertarianism', particularly in relation to country sports. I note your comment about my not being known in Montgomeryshire. Where do you live Graham?

Huw - I hope that you might consider voting for me. Three of the most Welsh wards in Montgomeryshire are now represented by Conservatives - Llanfyllin, Llanwddyn and Llanrhaedr/Llansilin.

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone bother to claim they will vote for you as long as Lembit Opik stands?!
Here we go again then, another Liberal in Mont running scared......Anyone spending even a small amount of time in the area would pick up on the fact that Mr Opik is a huge liability for his party. The only person not picking up on that fact is Mr Opik himself, ever unrepentent and ever arrogant.
And btw Mr Rare Lembit Opik Supporter, I'm a Plaid voter, but will vote Glyn in order to get rid of a sometime MP who has proved so toe-curlingly embarrassing. Many of us use the Anon tag because we work in the public sector, and quite simply don't wish to be identified. No conspiracy on Glyn Davies' blog, just a LOT of people who are totally fed up with LO's lack of judgement and hunger for mindless stunts and publicity at any cost.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't say you're terribly Welsh. You're a border man. You even have a border accent.

Probably the best for Montgomeryshire, which isn't terribly Welsh either, except in areas like Llanbrynmair.