Saturday, January 16, 2010

Head to Head in Montgomeryshire.

What I'd really like would be a head-to-head with Lembit Opik before the General Election - somewhere like Theatre Hafren, with a neutral Chairman, and no idea what the questions are beforehand. Two podiums, facing each other, eyeball-to-eyeball, two sword lengths apart. But I can see it wouldn't be fair to two of the other candidates, David Rowlands for UKIP, and Heledd Fychan for Plaid Cymru. I'm not including the Labour candidate, Nick Colbourne, because he seems to be taking no interest whatsoever in the General Election - in Montgomeryshire anyway. Personally, I'm not a fan of the proposed 'Leader's TV Debates'. They'll make the General Election too 'presidential'. I'd prefer the Montgomeryshire election to be about the Montgomeryshire candidates. But I do like the idea of a local debate.

This comes to mind tonight, because I've just returned home after appearing as part of a 'candidate's panel' in Llansantffraid, discussing onshore wind farms with the Montgomeryshire branch of One Voice Wales. Bit early for the General - but the date was not of my choosing. It turned out a lot better than I expected. Heledd came over well, and David's wide knowledge is always so impressive. It wasn't a large meeting - perhaps 20 ish. Well informed audience though. Must admit I find these panels frustrating, particularly on this subject. I don't want to share. I could speak for half an hour on every question myself.

We were all against covering the hills of Montgomeryshire in wind farms, though I thought that I was the most straightforwardly anti. I'm not counting Mick Bates, AM who was also there, and talked about everything else except wind farms. Lot of talk about nuclear power as well. The MP seemed the most keen, but David and I accept that new nuclear generating capacity is inevitable. Heledd was dead against. I thought it courteous not to mention the support of Ieuan Wyn Jones and Lord Elis Thomas for a new power station at Wylfa - but the MP couldn't help but resort to a 'cheap' reference to it. No wonder Zac Goldsmith hates politicians. Also a bit of discussion about the 400 kv cable that needs to be built from Shropshire to West Montgomeryshire, to carry the power to the National Grid. This is really going to cause a row - could be a General Election issue. A Grid representative had telephoned me this afternoon to say the announcement of just where the line is to go has been delayed until April.

But back to the idea of a 'candidate's debate' at Theatre Hafren, sponsored by the County Times perhaps, chaired by local councillor. What about Bob Mills (he's still independent). I reckon it would work. Will suggest it to the CT, and to the others. Might even ask the Labour Candidate as well, unless he's just a myth who doesn't really exist.


Dave said...

Bobby Mills is no independent - we are know he's a Tory in disguise :).

Good idea though - something I would definetly like to see - a debate between you and LO.

Not sure if I fancy your chances though, LO has alot of faluts but he is a great public speaker.

gokavpg said...

Yes ... but as a wee aside ... there's an interesting article in the Guardian on President Obama. People are so disappointed at what he's doing. Ruining what's left of the US economy. ("Interesting article in the Guardian on President Obama. People are so disappointed at what he's doing. Ruining what's left of the US economy"; Guardian Newspaper, "Charles Manson could beat him now").

It's not Obama the person, but his policies that have driven Americans who voted for him against him. Independents are switching off in droves. The upcoming MA Senator election should have been a walk for the Democrats, but it has been nationalised (turning on national rather than state issues) and the obvious choice Democratic contender is suddenly under unexpected pressure and is floundering. Seen as a rubber stamp for the leftwing elite in Washington, DC. Obama's Healthcare is now so trodden under foot by behind closed door deals that average Americans are wondering about it all, and the majority now oppose the proposed changes. The USA desperately needs an overhaul of the health care system - that is a given, but somehow Congress and the White House has perverted the genuine intent to fix health care.

alanindyfed said...

From Plaid Wrecsam's blog commenting on another colourful and expensive leaflet through the door...

"On the front page, you spot the first lie:

"The Lib Dems were the only party to oppose the illegal war in Iraq."

Er, apart from Plaid Cymru, the Greens and various socialist parties."

The truth will out....

alanindyfed said...

America is divided by politics. Partnership is a myth. If Democrats try to reform Healthcare the Republicans are against it, however pressing the need. The same goes for other issues.
Obama does his best but sectarian politics defeat his intentions.

Heledd Fychan said...

I'll take you up on that - a debate just between you and Lembit would be completely undemocratic. Would be fantastic to take both of you on - so if a date is organised, you can count me in.

Anonymous said...

deep beneath the folksy charm, there's a very keen political operator at work here. It's in Glyn's interests, and his alone, to portray it as a two-horse race with Lemsip.
I share his views on the Labour candidate but I suspect he's trying to sideline the others because they're both eating into his vote (from different directions). The right-wing Tory vote is leeching to UKIP while Plaid are giving Montgomery a real option at last.
Shame on you Glyn for being so transparent!

gokavpg said...

Actually Alan the problem is within the Democratic Party - they have enough votes to pass anything in the House of Representatives - yet their own Representatives are wavering.

The Dems have no need for a single Republican vote in the House - in the Senate the Dems have a borderline supermajority so the Republicans there have some leverage - but if the unthinkable happens in the upcoming election in MA (Massachusetts) - then yes, the Dems could lose their supermajority in the Senate, but again, it is in-fighting within the Dems that is holding things up - the Republicans currently don't have the votes to hold things up in the House and can only slow things down in the Senate but only if the Dems don't keep Kennedy's former Senate seat, an unthinkable thing for the Dems as MA is a Democratic state - the fact that the Dems are now facing a fight in MA for Kennedy's old Senate seat again speaks to problems that the Dems are generating themselves.

Independent voters are VERY unhappy with the current version of the Democratic party (it was the Independents that won many of the marginal seats for the Dems in the 2008 election) - the Republicans remain in some disarray, that the Dems are having a hard time is their own doing - they are not listening to the American people - in the summer of '09 Americans voiced their strong concern at the direction the Dems were taking American post 2008 election.

The Dems had a great opportunity to show average slightly right of center Americans that they can be trusted to take the middle path on major issues.

Glyn Davies said...

Dave - What makes you think Bob is a Conservative. I'd like to be there when you tell him!!

gokavpg - What is striking is the fawning sycophancy we see accorded to Obama in the UK press, compared with the huge falling of scales from the eyes in the US.

Alan - What really annoys me is that many of these leaflets in Montgomeryshire are paid for by the taxpayer and I pat tax. I'm being forced to pay for this rubbish.

Its how traditional parliamentary democracy works. Its how the weaknessses in governing party's proposals are tested.

Heledd - Perhaps you can contact the County Times as well as me.

anon - Being describes as folksey and transparent is very compimentary. Perhaps you should check up on your reading glasses though. In what way was I sidelining anyone. I can see no reason whatsoever why Heledd and David should take votes from me rather than the Lib Dems - and was including them in any debate as well.

sazas said...

Heledd> your party is the death of Wales. Your party has, with Welsh Labour, grossly mismanaged the Welsh economy and undermined Welsh universities. Hoping to curry favour your party speaks with opposite voices on major issues. Your party is a disgrace to Wales.

gokavpg said...

Glyn> as typified by the previous First Minister's fawning comments during his speech at the British Embassy in Washington. The majority of Americans now hate the Obama agenda. Independent voters who voted for him are now voting against his far-left policies of bigger government, even bigger borrowing - it is like the Dems are opting for Gordon Brown's policies. The turn-around is staggering - as an article in the British Guardian newspaper suggested this past week, "Charles Manson could beat Barack Obama".