Sunday, 28 July 2013

Our AM election -Thursday 1 August

It goes without saying that there is only one candidate we on Ynys Mon should vote for this Thursday.....

And that would be Rhun ap Iorweth, he of Plaid Cymru and an Anglesey lad through and through

You know it makes sense.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Right-Wing Push For Austerity Based On Excel Spreadsheet Error

Do you remember the justifications given for the austerity we are all now facing?

George Osborne said in February, 2010 said:

So while private sector debt was the cause of this crisis, public sector debt is likely to be the cause of the next one. As Ken Rogoff himself puts it, “there’s no question that the most significant vulnerability as we emerge from recession is the soaring government debt. It’s very likely that will trigger the next crisis as governments have been stretched so wide.”

The latest research suggests that once debt reaches more than about 90% of GDP the risks of a large negative impact on long term growth become highly significant. If off-balance sheet liabilities such as public sector pensions are included we are already well beyond that. And even on official internationally comparable measures of debt, we are forecast to break through 90% of GDP in just two years time…

To entrench economic stability for the long term, we need fundamental reform of our fiscal policy framework….As I have made clear, our aim will be to eliminate the bulk of the structural current budget deficit over a Parliament.

The key phrase above, is one used by right wing politicians all over the world as justification for their austerity and its:

"The latest research suggests that once debt reaches more than about 90% of GDP the risks of a large negative impact on long term growth become highly significant."

And that research was carried out by economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff. But there's a problem they got it wrong.

The New Yorker Blog has an excellent summary of where they went wrong.

"To sum up, there may well be a threshold at which high levels of public debt tend to be associated with very bad growth outcomes and financial crises, but it isn’t ninety per cent of G.D.P., or even a hundred per cent. Maybe it’s a hundred and twenty per cent, although that figure isn’t a firm one, either".

And Chris Hayes explains further in this following video:

Friday, 26 April 2013

The current model is broken - bring back the committee.

Ask yourself what is the core function of a Council?

I would reply to deliver high standard services which aspire to meet the expectations of the local ratepayer. And to deliver those services, be they i.e Planning Control or Education you need to employ professional people that know what they are doing.

In other words the day to day running of the Council should be left to those employed to do so, at the head of which would be a Chief Executive and a Board of Directors.

I have always thought the idea of a Council being run by a 'Cabinet' of Councillors was flawed. After all democracy isn't really that good at choosing suitable candidates to be given such powers. If you believe in democracy you must also accept that sometimes we will make the wrong choice.

And if you want a good example of where it has not worked,  that would here on Ynys Môn. You see when you start paying the leader of the Council £45,000 then it becomes something worth fighting for, it's a good earner. So you start asking questions as whom do I need as allies, and what would I have to promise them for their support....etc etc - and you can see already how this can quickly descend to political infighting. After all if you hadn't been chosen as leader, you'd be upset right?'d want to show that they'd made the wrong choice.

And as we know at Ynys Môn this is worse when the Council has no one in overall control, by which I mean, of the main political parties. And you are left with small groups of independents attempting to form coalitions whilst at the same time trying to promote whomever the leader of their small group is, whilst also attempting to discredit any perceived threat. Of course it's then important to be in the winning group of independents, so we have the hoping frog syndrome, after all if you support the new leader he might give you a nice paid cabinet post.

And history records the house of cards soon falls down - as I said the current model is broken, time to bring back the committee.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

March - a busy month for emergency calls.

I see once again the Welsh Conservatives and their buddies, the Liberal Democrats, are "disgusted" that in March the Welsh Ambulance service failed to reach it's all Wales target of reaching 65% life threatening emergency calls withing 8 minutes. According to the BBC Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams accused Welsh ministers of failing to address the issue calling the figures an "absolute disgrace".

I've posted in the past that I think the statistics collected are a bit worthless see 999 responce times and pointless statistics.

And we all know what the Conservative led Coalition in England want to do with the NHS - privatise it completely. See BBC House of Lords to debate NHS 'privatisation'

But back to March 2013 - when fast swathes of Wales was covered in deep snow, whilst the rest of us shivered in bitter cold winds, it was not surprising that the number of emergency calls in March where up by 2,069 compared to March 2012.  In fact March 2013 had the highest monthly number of Category A calls since the service classification changes introduced in December 2011.

Something both the BBC "Ambulance delays: Wales targets missed in every area." and the Daily Post  "Ambulance Service misses 999 response time target for most serious calls for tenth month in a row" think not important to point out.

But why let the facts get in the way of a good story or some political point scoring.

For "latest National Statistics produced by the Welsh Government were released on 24 April 2013 according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority" see Ambulance services, March 2013.

When asked people of Ynys Môn overall quite happy.

The BBC has an interesting report today on the well-being survey - What are the top five happiest parts of the UK?

It is a digest of the recently published Measuring National Well-being - Where we Live, 2012 by the ONS.

When asked "Overall, how happy did you feel yesterday":

Monday, 15 April 2013

Rescue at Sea - RNLI Peterhead Tamar Lifeboat in action.

The old and the new
It was good to read that the new lifeboat station at Moelfre has finally been given planning permission. See Daily Post - New Moelfre lifeboat station gets green light.

It will house the new Tamar class Lifeboat, named Kiwi, which replaces the old Mersey class lifeboat named Robert & Violet.

You can find out more about the Moelfre Lifeboat at:  RNLI Moelfre Lifeboat Station.

The video below shows the Peterhead Tamar Lifeboat 'The Misses Roberston of Kintail' in action from 2009 and it was the RNLI film of the year.  The little yaught rudder control had become stuck and she could only go in a straight line.

One of the other ships seen in the video is the Far Supporter, and is there in support and to stop large waves from crashing onto the yacht.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Leanne Wood - a natural welsh speaker.

When Plaid Cymru announced whom had won the contest to be the new leader of the party following our Ieuan, I was initially concerned that Leanne Wood's first language was not welsh.

However, judging by the following video, you'd be hard pressed to even know she was a welsh learner, coming across may I add far better in welsh than she does in the english version. In fact her spoken welsh is far better these day than many other so called welsh politician.

FIDEO: Plaid Cymru - Y bont sy'n arwain at ddyfodol gwell.

So da iawn Leanne for showing it's possible to learn and be fluent in welsh.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Dewis Doeth - Choose Well

On Friday the Daily Post ran a report about the A&E at Ysbyty Gwynedd being overloaded one night.

We've all watched Casualty and know it happens sometimes.

In the first place I think it's important to recognise the A&E at Ysbyty Gwynedd is showing its age and is in urgent need of modernisation. And plans to do this are well on the cards: Emergency Department - Refurbishment and New Build (pdf)

Not sure at what stage this vital work is in terms of approval, but it seems Betsi Cadwaladr has submitted the £8.5 million scheme to the Welsh Government for approval.

See Wales Online - £8.5m casualty upgrade planned at Ysbyty Gwynedd

Lets hope these vital works can start soon.

Anyway back to the queuing problem, the Daily Post report quotes Health Board spokeswoman as saying "It is also important to remember that by Choosing Well for the right treatment, patients can help us free up emergency medical care for those facing life threatening illnesses or injuries."

Choosing Well is about all of us taking some responsibility for how we look after ourselves, and if we feel unwell or have an accident that we make the right choice and just don't panic and rush off to A&E :

The Choose Well Website is there to help you make the right decision, their is even an app you can download to your mobile phone.

See also: Betsi Cadwaladr Website

Friday, 1 March 2013

Plaid Cymru and the Living Wage

Plaid Cymru are today holding their Spring Conference at Biwmares, Ynys Môn.

They are also here to launch there campaign for the up and coming May elections at Ynys Môn Council.

According to their website - Plaid Cymru will put transforming the Welsh economy at the heart of its Spring Conference as voters were urged to make Anglesey proud at May’s council elections.

Ieuan Wyn Jones AM said "This is a very important year for Anglesey and for Plaid Cymru as we look forward to the county council elections here in May. Plaid Cymru is taking this election very seriously. It is time for a fresh start on Anglesey Council." 

Note to Ieuan Wyn Jones though.....its Ynys Môn, got it.....Ynys Môn.... not difficult most people can say it, repeat after me it's Ynys Môn. The title of this blog being ironic of course.

Also to be honest with you, I'd take Plaid Cymru a bit more seriously if they asked Bob Parry to retire gracefully, he has far too much baggage for my liking.

One thing for sure Plaid Cymru is right, for it goes without saying improving the welsh economy should be a priority - which brings me to a 'Living Wage' which Plaid Cymru do support and campaign for.

Iain Duncan Smith keeps waffling on about making work more rewarding than being on the dole, but then fails to see that one way of achieving this would be a living wage. And it need not be imposed by government by regulation, the more companies join in and pay a living wage, the better it would be for all of us.

Because the more people we take out of poverty, the less the welfare bill will be, the more disposable income people have the better for the economy it will be.

So that is why I think we should all support the 'Living Wage Campaign' and should you get a prospective candidate knocking on your door on Ynys Môn seeking your support in May, do ask them what their position on the living wage is.

Together we can make a differences

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

NHS in Wales

Aneurin Bevan
Yesterday, Judith Phillips in the Daily Post was all gloom and doom about the NHS in Wales. She does say and I quote "but it seems we have now reached a crisis point where public confidence in those running the NHS in North Wales is at an all time low."

What utter bullshit - yes complete and utter drivel....

Now what do you mean I hear you ask - well lets start with her conclusion and I quote again "but throwing the responsibility for the level of care given by community hospitals onto families and county council social services departments, is in my opinion going to open up yet another can of worms."

Which does rather show she has no clue what she is talking about, that she does not realise that the family and the local council was an integral part of our care system as envisaged when the NHS was established in the very first place.

We should be proud of the NHS, of what it has achieved, but we need also to recognise that in changing times what was the remedy of yesteryear may not be the best use of the 'limited' resources available to us now.

And in reaching those decision as to the future shape of the NHS within Wales they should be based on clear cut clinical opinion, made in the best interest of all of us. Not may I add the straw sample of a deluded correspondent of the Daily Post.

Take community hospitals....lets be honest they have had their day, they are not really the answer to our needs. Let me go further.....the moment someone comes a patient at a community hospital is in reality a sign of failure somewhere else.

We should be truly proud of the welfare system this country has, think....we are all living longer thanks to welfare, we have less infant deaths thanks to welfare.....and just on the simple fact there are more of us, will mean welfare costs will go up.

Which brings me to being old.

Think about....if put simply you have the countries GDP and from that you need to pay for children, adults and pensioners. Are we really in a society that as children demanded to be feed, then when working moaned that everyone else wanted to be fed and in our retirement demand that we are fed again?

Personal responsibility, the ability to plan and care for oneself - that is the aim we all should have. And the majority of us will live full and independent lives.

But sometime along the road we may need assistance, and sometimes we may need care, and sometimes we might even need acute care as we wait for death. Death is inevitable, but it need not be in pain.

We have plenty of care homes, the private sector in the most provide a very good service, and sometimes for some people whom cannot look after themselves that is the best place for them to be.

However what of those with acute needs - such as dementia or alzheimers, what they need is specialised palliative care in purpose built nursing homes. And that is one thing we lack, sufficient nursing homes to care for those who need specialised care, even if just means providing respite for the caring family.

Nursing homes built with the dignity of the patient in mind, with single rooms and trained staff, where someone comes to die because we cared and not because we pushed them aside.

So here in part is my prescription for the NHS:
  • We need local doctor surgeries to be in modern buildings that offer a greater range of services to their patients.
  • We need more district nurses.
  • We need more paramedics.
  • We need more pharmacists, and a consulting room in every pharmacy.
  • We need more doctors
  • We need more palliative care nurses
Now up to now I hope you will see my list is mostly more people not more buildings, if we get the prevention right we would need less buildings so to speak.

But if we need to decide as to priorities in brick and mortar then that would be the need for more acute care nursing homes, to complement and build on the excellent work done by charities such as Marie Curie.

Now I know it wont be popular, but let's be clear beating about the bush...

......Community Hospitals are not the answer. know do try an keep up....