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A bundle of noughts

Betsan Powys | 17:00 UK time, Thursday, 5 March 2009

cathays.jpgIt may be that we've become inured to noughts.

This week 300 jobs go at Indesit in Denbighshire, while 440 got at Novelis in Newport and 124 at Musashi Auto Parts in Blackwood.

In February the number of those unemployed in Wales went that extra nought and broke the 100,000 mark.

The union, Unite, is talking in terms of "industrial devastation" in Wales.

Last Wednesday Rhodri Morgan, in the company of his fellow First Ministers met the Prime Minister to spell out - pretty robustly as the meeting went on I gather - how painful it would be to cut £500million from the Welsh budget, to ask why Welsh patients and the Welsh health budget should lose out to the tune of £75,000,000, or £75million because of underspending by the NHS in England? Efficiency savings implemented by the UK government are one thing. A failure by hospitals in England to spend money, another.

Today Ieuan Wyn Jones, wearing his hat as Plaid leader (the one that's come in for quite a bashing this week) calls for a £3,000,000,000, or £3billion stimulus package from the UK government to create jobs in Wales and lead the country on "The Road from Recession". Wearing the same hat he calls for high earners, those earning five noughts and more, to pay 50% tax. His point is that everything that can be thought of must be done to help those facing redundancy, to help companies survive, to help Wales emerge in one piece from the recession.

Aren't all politicians agreed? Everything possible must now be done to help those who face redundancy, who face 'choices' between staying home and getting half their total wage packet or clocking on and taking home a basic wage, without any extra shift payments.

All of which gives the news that the Assembly Government is planning to spend £41.8 million on modernising its headquarters in Cathays Park the stench of dreadful timing, the appearance of a government that is planning to refurbish its ivory tower. After all it's our money. It all comes from the core budget and "shouldn't they spend it on opening a new school or hospital?" (A pound for each time visitors to the £70million Senedd have asked me that and the noughts would be adding up nicely by now).

Nick Bourne's accusation that the government is spending our money on "feathering its own nest" will bring back echoes of those couple of noughts on that iPod and will lose some of its sting. There's not much doubt that the government operates from a "dispersed and imperfect estate" as it puts it and it seems feasible enough that plans to spend £41.8m now could save £5m a year and increase energy efficiency in the future. It's unlikely you'll care much about the "diminished image to people visiting" the ageing offices but then again, 3000 civil servants deserve to work in a safe environment.

If you're queuing up to slam a single penny spent on housing a devolved government, then it probably matters little to you how many noughts we're talking here. But to local councillors who are busy tightening their belts, to struggling manufacturers and workforces it's hard to see how it won't matter - and rankle - a lot.

Dragon's Eye will have more tonight at 2235.


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  • 1. At 5:21pm on 05 Mar 2009, john voisey wrote:

    So let me get this straight.

    Once upon a time there was a "Welsh Office". I know because my wife worked in it. Then there was a Welsh Assembly Government and a hot air pit in Cardiff Bay with a leaky roof, built at how much expense was it now ? And now, they want to refurbish and return to the building they abandoned.

    It's madness. But then again so is chucking millions down the drain at the "Millennium Centre" and the "national Botanical Garden"

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  • 2. At 5:24pm on 05 Mar 2009, mapexx wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 3. At 7:17pm on 05 Mar 2009, Llyn wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 4. At 7:32pm on 05 Mar 2009, John Henry wrote:

    42 million pounds, a mere bagatelle for our Assembly government, a little like a wedding where the confetti becomes our hard earned taxes, .

    We must be fair to Rhodri, he has only spent £100,000 so far, plans and plans and things, nothing substantial as yet, was he hoping for retirement before the stink hit the fan I wonder.

    Don't worry, an Assembly spokesman tells us everything is OK because the buildings are reaching the end of their economic life, it happens to every building at some time. I wonder if Leanne Wood (she has an interest) will calculate how many social housing units can be refurbished for this wad of cash, I'll help you Woody, divide 42 million by 8 thousand for houses fit for the people of Wales, it's about 5000 nearly new homes.

    The same Assembly spokesman apparently wishes to assure the cash strapped taxpayers that a sound business case will be made, more smoke and mirrors, need to be green, it'll save money in the long term etc ...........

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  • 5. At 7:35pm on 05 Mar 2009, Crossroads wrote:

    It becomes increasingly obvious that this sorry bunch of second-raters called an assembly, haven't got a bloody clue.

    They are arrogant and stupid at the same time. Just look back at the long list of buildings and failed enterprises that these assembly buffoons have dreamt up.

    The by now, totally discredited Rodri (formerly Rodney)Morgan's departure is long overdue. He has totally capitulated to the power crazed Plaid Cymru element.

    We all know now that their sole ambition in spending OUR money on these allegedly prestigious monstrosities was an underhand attempt at persuading all and sundry that Wales is capable of going it alone.They were "symbol" buildings, neither needed nor wanted. Erected purely for effect.

    They assumed that the people of Wales, upon seeing some buildings being erected would somehow think that this was proof of Wales strength. They used our money in a pathetic attempt to fool us.

    Well "assembly" you have failed dismally. You can pay for daft telephone polls until the cows come home. They mean nothing, only one poll matters doesn't it, and when it takes place your entire shaky,grubby, little empire will collapse.

    Knowing all this you give yourselves yet another expensive have the gall to propose spending £42,000,000 doing up yet another of your "headquarters" in Cathays Park.

    Once again I am ashamed to be Welsh. Ashamed to have such arrogant, thoughtless, supercilious, creeps in government over us.

    As long as this assembly of clowns exists, Wales is wasting time. The quicker the whole damn bunch of troughers is done away with, the quicker Wales will prosper.

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  • 6. At 8:12pm on 05 Mar 2009, Snoutsintrough wrote:

    Clearly all those jobs are going (witha lot more to follow) in the private sector which produces the surplus wealth to fund the public sector in wales.As we know the public sector is reliant for up to 70% of gnp in wales which is staggeringly high and unsupportable,particularly as a large percentage of it is currently subsidies from england and europe. There must come a time where real cuts to expenditures in the public sector take place in administration/management and divert that money to capital projects which will employ different sorts of people but actually contribute to increased productivity/wealth.Perhaps IWJ should look at the "subsidies" given to airlines which fly VIPS from North Wales to Cardiff,WLB, and lots of other marginal bodies that get tax payers hard earned cash. The Government (real one in London) has been giving Banks a good "kicking" for its spending policies,however our WAG has also been shovelling subsidies into loss making "prestige projects"which in this recession must now be seeing major reductions in income. Our Deputy First Minister is obviously now playing "left wing" politics in wanting 50% taxation which if it comes about would mean real tax of 61% after NI taken into account. I think it was Tony Crosland who famously told the Labour Party in late 1970's that the "parties over" and history is repeating itself once again. Its all very well for our Rhodri to be complaining about further major cuts but the sheer fact is that the money's gone and without some financial responsibility the "markets" will destroy sterling. Our current debts are so bad that the insurance needed to cover government borrowing is one of the huighest in world. What a legacy to leave our grandchildren who will be paying for this (the ones who work) after 12 years of new labour. No more Boom and Bust as GB said and "hubris" has come home to roost.The wonder is that all this seems to have come as a shock to WAG,however really "sharp" observes like Jeff Randall of Telegraph/SKY have been forecasting this for about a year. Sorry I forgot that any Telegraph reader would be frowned upon by WAG as being "off message".

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  • 7. At 10:50pm on 05 Mar 2009, legendaryavocet wrote:

    Only last week, stroke services in Wales were described as ‘scandalously bad’ by eminent stroke care assessor, Dr Tony Rudd, who suggested that ‘Welsh politicians should be ashamed of themselves’.
    Today's news bulletin featured a small boy who has to wait two years for the wheelchair that he needs.
    Councils are turning off street-lighting to save money.
    Across the country people are losing jobs and homes are being repossessed.
    The so-called politicians are now continuing with their nation-building programme spending £42m on another of their own palaces. They should not be calling for primary law-making powers for themdelves, instead they should do the honourable thing and resign. They are all thoroughly discredited.

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  • 8. At 11:04pm on 05 Mar 2009, Lyn David Thomas wrote:

    As usual the dreary voices are out, not once mentioning things like the cost of Portcullis House etc. I agree the sum is huge, perhaps that is the cost of keeping the building and moving elsewhere would be more (and I can't imagine the site would be worth demolishing, certainly not the Grade II listed part of it). To the person who said the building had been abandoned, well it hadn't been - it had always been the home of the civil service. I gather from the Dragon's Eye program that it was the largest office building in Europe at one time, that scale suggests renewal isn't cheap. Now remind me just how much the House of Lords cost to clean and repair a few years ago? When you consider the EU summit in Cardiff City Hall some 10 years ago cost the best part of 3 million just to upgrade the IT equipment and refurbish the rates hall in the building then it puts costs into prospective.

    Now I don't know if 42 million is justified, but I am willing to bet that a building of that size and that age would cost a fair bit to be brought up to modern standards. The question is, is that the right amount?

    Perhaps we need some more data, how much was spent refurbishing a similar sized government building in London?

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  • 9. At 06:10am on 06 Mar 2009, -Drachenfyre- wrote:

    re: 8 Lyn Thomas

    "Now I don't know if 42 million is justified, but I am willing to bed that a building of that size and that age would coast a fair bit to be brought up to modern standards. The question is, is that the right amount"

    Perhaps we need some more date, how was spent refurbishing a simular sized government building in London."

    I agree with the idea that old almost 100 year old office buildings should be referbished to update them.

    But this is bad timing.

    There is teeth in what Nick Bourne said. The Welsh Government is "feathering its own nest" in this instance. Cathays Park is the seat of the Welsh Assembly Government while Cardiff Bay is the seat of the Assembly. The Welsh Assembly Government reuses many of the old buildings there.

    Many people dont realize the difference.

    At any rate, I think it would be better form if Plaid and Labour transfer that money to help out in the recession. Prehaps only upgrade the absolute basics, what is absolutely necessary to maintain government. But the vast amount of those funds could go elsewhere during these economic times.

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  • 10. At 06:11am on 06 Mar 2009, John Henry wrote:


    As a proportion it represents approximately 13 percent of the administration costs of 365 million pounds (annual). Not such a large amount, except where we consider where else the money might be used, to mitigate social deprivation possibly?

    The same goes for all government spending, Westminster included.

    your .....

    "As usual the dreary voices are out"

    ..... it's called freedom of speech.

    If Betsan were to discuss "Portcullis House etc" in her blog I am sure many words would be written, but we write of Wales and its governance.

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  • 11. At 08:19am on 06 Mar 2009, Lyn David Thomas wrote:

    Point taken Stonemason but yet again people are calling for the abolition of the National Assembly based on this, yet if the Assembly was abolished then the refurbishment would still come up but this time under the central government budget. Yes we need to see if this expenditure is justified and proportionate, does it have to be done now, and if not when? We also need to look at the context and if similar sums are being/have been spent on such buildings in England by the UK government. Its the knee jerk reaction of some here that annoys most. Frankly I don't have the information that would enable me to make an informed decision on this.

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  • 12. At 09:20am on 06 Mar 2009, legendaryavocet wrote:

    Lyn Thomas' comment about 'dreary voices' etc., indicates how bitter proponents of greater bureaucracy in Wales really are, that others should have the audacity to to express a different view from themselves.
    Clearly, spending excesses at Westminster should not be condoned either, but it is just not good enough to answer justifiable criticisms of the Assembly by quoting failures in London/England.
    The salient point here is that WAG are spending £42m of public money feathering their own nest and, yet again, showing a breathtaking disregard for Welsh people who are suffering genuine hardship in challenging economic times.

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  • 13. At 09:24am on 06 Mar 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 11.....

    No, it does not need to be done, if the Assembly was done away with, ALL the current functions of the Assembly WAG could, and can, be taken on by the local authorities.

    Time out of number we have been asking WHY we need a third tier of governance, this new revelation on squandering in the Bay community, is yet another example of why do NOT need the whole sorry mess of 'pretend' government, that we are at present faced with.

    It is unnecessary, wasteful and an insult to the intelligence of the people of Wales.

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  • 14. At 10:00am on 06 Mar 2009, BLUESNIK wrote:

    I have heard that Edwina has now offered to come in on weekends and completely re-wire the place at "trade prices". (She's a dab hand with the Black and Decker). With Rhodri's paint and decorating business (Morgan's Premier Emulsions of Canton) and Jane Hutt's busy plastering...what's NOT to like?

    Betsan...NO whistling at Nick Bourne's and Little Alan Cairn's "builders bums" pleeeeze...WE are bulding the NEW Wales here. It's the 2009 "project".

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  • 15. At 11:55am on 06 Mar 2009, West-Wales wrote:

    More here than the Civil Servant quarters at Cathays.

    The UK Government tax receipts are in free fall - they are having to borrow eye watering amounts to keep the banks viable, because without the banks it all collapses.

    There simply is no more money in the pot for Wales - we have to cut our cloth accordingly.

    Ieuan Wyn Jones call for 3 billion is stupidity, or more likely political posturing.
    He knows that an Independent Wales could not match the income from the current handout from Westminster, he also knows that neither the IMF or Europe would bail us out at anything more than subsistence levels.

    We cannot depend on Government spending to get us through this economic down turn, the money isn't there - to maintain quality of life and a reasonable standard of living for our people we have to make Welsh business and the private economy work and grow.

    That means the NAW has to maintain spending in those areas that support that aspiration.
    ProAct & ReAct are useful but limited there is simply not enough money to do every thing.
    Business has to effectively go it alone.

    WAG should be looking at;
    Infrastructure, Sympathetic Regulation, Reducing Business Rates & regulatory costs, EDUCATION, and of course the NHS (in hard times health support is vital)

    Cutting costs in those areas while maintaing and increasing spending on things that are simply nice to have's is criminal.

    Central Government looks after benefits, but social services will be needed.

    NAW needs to review its spending - it must cut costs and downsize - time for those feeding at the Golden Trough to earn their keep - get their hands dirty, ditch some pet projects.

    Forget the LCO,s and calls for more powers - they only add expense, the NAW should focus on the job, not what the AM's would like the job to be.

    Anyway the AM's have enough to do and adequate tools to do it already.
    Are they up to it?

    The current set up and spending plan needs to be gone through in detail, we need a frugal government focused on delivering value for money.

    Stop throwing money at pet schemes and nonsense projects that fail to deliver.
    The way the Objective One money was wasted demonstrates what not to do, what not to waste money on.

    We need to downsize our Cultural Engineering Projects bigtime.
    The gross cost to the Welsh economy is at least 1 billion and possibly 2 billion.
    Those displaced can move from being parasites to wealth generators.

    Our NAW and WAG needs to stop politicking and start delivering.

    It worries me that there doesn't seem to be anybody there with the knowledge, ability and skills to do it - the place is full of second rate activists with childish agenda's.

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  • 16. At 12:38pm on 06 Mar 2009, MH at Syniadau wrote:

    In the absence of any personal knowlege about the condition of the buildings, I don't know what degree of reburbishment is necessary, but I can read what's in the document Betsan linked to.

    What's proposed is a six year programme to modernize not just the two main buildings (though these are by far the biggest) but a total of 19 properties in and around Cardiff. The cost savings resulting from the refurbishment (which will primarily be the energy costs) are estimated at GBP5m per year. In other words the refurbishment will pay for itself in a few years, and MORE than pay for itself in the longer term.

    I wonder if critics would take the same attitude if it were a hospital that was being refurbished, or a series of schools. And in the private sector, who would criticize if a factory was being ferfurbished, or if more efficient production processes were being introduced?

    In a time of recession, it would seem perverse NOT to spend this money now. The Westminster government is pouring in billions upon billions of public money to try and keep the banks going, and has promised to bring forward capital expenditure projects in order to keep the ecomomy going. So why shouldn't the Welsh Government do the same? Borrowing costs are at rock bottom, tendering costs are at their lowest. It's a no brainer.

    What we should be talking about is making similar investments in infrastructure throughout Wales. In transport, in buildings, in power, in communications. If some sort of Barnett formula operated in the field of bailouts and borrowing, Wales would be entitled to its 5% share of the billions poured into the failed and failing financial institutions of London and Edinburgh. We should be pressing the case for the ability to borrow (the base rate is now only 0.5%, for heaven's sake) to make the sort of investments that will pay for themselves in the longer term. Why print cheap money to give to the banks in the HOPE that they will start lending at commercial rates? Put that same money directly out to publicly accountable bodies which can commission these infrastructure works.


    Mapexx [#13] is completely wrong to say that this represents an unecessary tier of government. If local authorities had to do the job, then he must EQUALLY argue that government departments in Whitehall (or elsewhere) should be scrapped and run by local authorities in England. Take Health as an example. He complains loudly enough about there being separate National Health Services for the different countries of the UK ... but if all health services were run at LA level there would be more than a hundred different Local Health Services in the UK.

    As everywhere else in the world, some degree of control at a national level is needed. The jobs that these people do were necessary before devolution, and would still be necessary if Wales returned to direct rule from London. If the jobs were not in Wales, they would be somewhere else in the UK. People in Birmingham, Manchester or Bristol would be glad to get the work. I'm sure these cities would jump at the chance of attracting more jobs, and would pay whatever was necessary to find suitable buildings in which to house them.

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  • 17. At 2:20pm on 06 Mar 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 16,....


    Mapex made no such comment about health services.

    I accept that the work would have to be done by somebody, yes, but those somebodies would be LOCAL, locally elected, and therefore directly accountable to the local electorate.

    You cannot seem to grasp the economic argument, never mind the demographic one.

    I do not know just how many local authorities there are in Wales, but for the sake of the discussion, I will take 40 as the total.

    Now I am sure that if all were taken as being of equal size in area, infrastructure, population etc, they would all somehow manage to find a very good use for one fortieth of the admin costs of the Cardiff Bay enterprise, without the need to have a expansive, expensive, and ever expanding
    property portfolio, which will perpetually cost the taxpayer ever burgeoning funds being thrown at it to keep it both 'up to date' and properly maintained.

    That is, therefore,. based on the admin costs of the Cardiff Bay establishment, as publicised recently £40 millions to each council. PER ANNUM, based on todays figures.

    However, not all councils are equally sized, in respect of the parameters mentioned, so funding to the 'larger' authorities would be proportionally larger.

    No matter what the Assembly/WAG currently has to cover, it can, and could, be handled at local levels, and without any necessity to make calls on Westminster, to any greater degree than does the North west, the south east, or any other region of the UK.

    As I asked before, just what the hell is so special about Wales?

    Discount the language, another unnecessary burden on the tax regime, and what is left to fuss over?

    In regards the health services, there are already a hundred, if not more, regional health authorities, with their sub departments, transport, finance, hospitals, clinics, general practices and trusts and so etc across the UK. And, who are NOT subjected to a regional regime, as is the case, here in Wales.

    That there are a few in Wales under the beneficial, (doubtful that)wing of the Assembly/WAG is irrelevant therefore.

    They would operate just as well as they did before the Cardiff Bay lot became their taskmasters, I would go as far as to say , probably better for being taken back from the Assembly, they have certainly not substantially benefited from it's tutelage as far as I am aware.

    They have been constantly interferred with, innumerable 'reorganisations' have been set in motion, all at higher and higher costs to the NHS., to the detriment of patients and staff alike.

    Even now, there are disputes on the boil, where none existed before, take a look at the borders authorities complaints regarding the use of English hospital facilities by the Assembly driven demand for access, whilst it refuses access to English patients to Welsh facilities, on an equal basis.

    Back to the Assembly/WAG....

    Third tier is what it is, third rate is what it also is, and third rate efforts are it's benchmark.

    Carried to it's logical conclusion, it would create a third world country out of Wales.

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  • 18. At 2:32pm on 06 Mar 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Whether or not this is a good idea, they're certainly being very open about all this aren't they? Another example of how open government is what we have in Wales now. Very different to Westminster.

    Has mapexx (who still isn't answering my questions by the way) noticed, by the way, that the directly elected mayor of Stoke on Trent has been arrested for alleged corruption?

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  • 19. At 3:03pm on 06 Mar 2009, Ian wrote:

    No, Local Govt could not do the job as it has never done any of these roles before. Devolution passed down power and not the other way.
    It is a lot of money and the timing stinks. Ignoring some of the usual trolls who tarnish this blog, there needs to a be a clearer explanation for this proposed expenditure. It is a massive building, the biggest office building in Wales and the biggest in the UK when it was constructed. There are thousands of employees there, yet no-one complains when tens of millions have and will be spent in Aberystwyth, Llandudno Junction and Merthyr on new WAG offices, de-centralising many jobs from Cardiff.
    This is where I think the problem lies, in that the money is being spent in the Capital. On top of the usual anti-devolution comments, there is also an anti-Cardiff thing going on here.
    I know enough to know that £42m would cover more than H&S, re-wiring and new air-con but in all honesty, it's a very expensive building to run.
    Perhaps the question should be asked about another site or sites, taking this as another opportunity to further de-centralise around Wales the benefits of WAG jobs?

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  • 20. At 3:21pm on 06 Mar 2009, mapexx wrote:


    Numbers fool, numbers..

    As for the Mayor of Stoke on Trent, Yes I have noticed, what?

    His fellow councillor has also been taken in, he's aTory.

    What has it to do with me?

    I belong to neither political group, so what are you waffling on about?

    That nose getting too heavy for your face?

    Yes, the WAG/Assembly may be very open about their mismanagement, but that is either stupidity on their part, or a very decent amount of bad publicity for it, or a very good amount of the same publicity for those wishing to see the whole mess off.

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  • 21. At 3:39pm on 06 Mar 2009, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    johnvoisey - Ah, but these eejits don't live in the 'real world' of a market economy - they think everything can be solved by taking dosh out of a taxpayer's left hand pocket to enable most of it to be 'redistributed' to their right hand pocket, after having taken their cut, and then 'compelling' the poor person to spend their own money to 'reflate' an economy which THEY screwed up and allowed to go to the wall..

    And then expect US to worship them and be beholden to them for helping us out of the problem which they themselves helped to create..

    Gee, thanks guys...

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  • 22. At 4:47pm on 06 Mar 2009, West-Wales wrote:

    The problem with spending money on government offices is that there is no wealth generation from the product.
    OK while the work is in progress jobs are created, once complete your left with offices.
    And no more jobs for the workers.

    A great deal of Objective One money was spent in this way, for a short time there was work - the buildings are now mostly empty, no back up funding to support the grandiose schemes.
    Certainly no wealth creation for the people of Wales.

    As we crawl out of this recession probably toward the end of 2011, the UK debt is going to mean that for decades to come Government spending will have to be curtailed - the spendthrift days are over.

    If we are going to spend - spend on projects that will enable us to compete and generate income.

    Education is a great example, we are going to need tradesmen, but also the brains (engineers and research scientists) to help us compete.
    Our 6th forms and universities are vital, as is the research that should be being done.
    We need the technicians as well as the brains, but we also need the ideas and knowledge for tomorrow.

    Transport is another problem for Wales - as pointed out before since Beeching the west and mid Wales are effectively out of reach of commercial activity, there is no effective North South link.

    Investment in this sort of area will drive the future prosperity of Wales.

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  • 23. At 4:58pm on 06 Mar 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 19....

    Surely it must cross your mind, that if these jobs were never done before, they must have been deliberately 'INVENTED' to give some sort of credence to the mess in the Bay.

    Or did that not cross your mind?

    Think it through, if there were no such 'jobs' before why would local authorities need to be able to do them after the 'jobs', along with the Bay gang, and set up, has been removed from Welsh politics and general life.

    Believe me, I am not seeking an argument with you, as you then go on to question other, and just as expensive operations, that have been put on the menu since the devolution thing came in.

    But when such 'control' and admin was not there before, why is it now not only there, but being allowed to expand almost exponentially week on week. as far as the squandering of our taxes is concerned?

    Maybe you can understand where I am coming from on this subject..

    Look at it from your own family point of view...

    You, the wife and two kids live in your house, you pay your council twenty quid a week to do all that councils do, empty bins, clean the street, paint the fences, put new bulbs in the street lights etc etc.

    The council also co operates with your local surgery, and the NHS in your area, and across a swathe of other local matters.

    Suddenly comes along a chappie who informs you that from the first of next month you will have to deal with him if you wish to talk to your council, as all those services they were running are now to be run by him.

    To cover the costs involved your council tax will rise somewhat.
    Is it beyond reason that you would ask just why this chap has come on to the scene.
    What is he going to actually do that the council was not doing or could do in the future?

    Then after it is all up and running you find he no longer works on his own, but has taken possession of, or built himself, a nice big office block, which, by natural growth has become filled with his helpers and aides. All of whom have to be paid, your tax rises interminably ever upwards to cover this.
    The jobs the council cannot now do, were not available previously, they have been scooped up out of thin air, so this guy and his ever rising admin staff can have something to do.
    Take away the guy, his staff, and his very expensive office block, what remains is what you had before, which the council can once again manage to do very well in most cases.,

    A simple scenario, yes, but exactly the function of the Assembly WAG, a third tier of governance, self perpetuating and ever more expansive and expensive, for which you and I are being fleeced, so it can function in the manner it was designed to do.

    To sop up Cymraeg speaking staff and squander valuable funds, that could,and should, be used for the benefit of the Welsh population.

    But without real and genuine benefit to those who are being made to pay twice for the privilege of having it lord it over us.

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  • 24. At 5:14pm on 06 Mar 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 20

    A typical mindless insult.

    Perhaps you have forgotten already that YOUR answer to all of our nation's problems, as very recently explained on this blog was to have an elected mayor!!

    Why this obsession with noses and numbers? I've given you actual examples, but you lack the moral courage to answer them. Of course, it is quite clear that you can't. But I must be an 'idiot' (as you have told me - because I speak that 'antique' language) even to imagine that you would have the courtesy to answer.

    The only consolation I have is that I know that as long as your messages here include nothing but insults, that you also know that you've lost the argument.

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  • 25. At 5:50pm on 06 Mar 2009, Ian wrote:

    Before devolution, there were still thousands of Civil Servants working in the Welsh office. Following your line of argument, all such jobs or services should be centralised in a London Government.

    WAG actually deals with all-Wales issues and I still do not see how Councils could take on a such a role. They would do so by repeating roles no less than 22 times. Surely that would be a huge waste of money?

    The only way that WAG services could be managed if you had your way with devolution, would be for everything to be centralised through London control.
    The actual cost of running the WAG and NAW administration is very small when compared to the overall budget.

    I do not agree with but recognise some people's wish to be run wholly from London for all current UK and WAG responsibilities, but find the argument that Councils could take WAG responsibilities as bizarre and meaningless-unless of course you want 22 little WAGs!

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  • 26. At 7:01pm on 06 Mar 2009, Snoutsintrough wrote:

    +When our Deputy First Minister talks about raising £300 Billion to fund works/employment when he aint got the responsibility of justifying the same to the electorate looks like Grandstanting to me. I never thought I'd agree with Peter Hain but in todays Western Mail (I didnt pay for it) but he stated that IWJ needs to control his party and that PC should understand the responsibilities of power.. I think we should start at the grass roots and empower local community councils to take charge of street cleaning,grass cutting,maintenance of green public areas etc etc and by public tender get local contractors(who would have vested interest as they live in area ) to carry out work. Everybody(including mendicants who are perfectly cabable of work) should be required to make pro rata contribution. I live in a "supposedly middle class village" but the One Wales agreement has certainly worked as it now looks like a bog standard "social housing" estate where virtually nobody actually pays the rent through hard work. Nows thats DEVOLUTION as it affect ordinary people like myself rather than that earnest and ever so well meaning political pygmies in Bay of Pigs. When IWJ talks about taxing highly educated/hard working people at 61% to fund idle and useless lifestyles of people who have had no intention of working and will do so in future then god help us. I was recently told that a CARETAKER in local comprehensive was from POLAND it said it all really.If the politicians dont start to get it right with requiring equality of effort from everybody then as in the 1930's "great men" will appear and then god help us all!!.

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  • 27. At 7:09pm on 06 Mar 2009, John Henry wrote:


    The option of an elected mayor was originally raised by myself on a different thread, it was as valid a question then as now. The question was

    "Is the WAG necessary when a comparison is made with the mayor of London, London with a very complex population of approximately 8million people, Wales having approximately 3 million people without the complex multicultural issues".

    To use the arrest of the mayor of Stoke on Trent, on suspicion of corruption, as an argument against having a mayor as a WAG replacement is not a logical argument.

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  • 28. At 7:24pm on 06 Mar 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 24...

    1st point, I do not forget anything, I am mindful of the fact that on these blogs all messages are available to be pulled at any time, by anyone.
    You, prat as you are, included.

    You cannot catch me out no matter how many attempts you try.

    Take not of this you mindless prat, you threw the matter of Stoke at me for some bizaar reason best known only to yourself, I responded by telling you it was of no concern to me, you also carried on with your inane and childish responses about things that you steadfastly and ignorantly refuse to respond to when challenged.

    So, if you do not mind, please do not point any more of your messages at me, do not respond to anything THAT I WRITE, and I will return the compliment by not responding to anything you write.

    Now unless you are prepared to put up the numbers of messages that you lyingly state I have written certain remarks in, keep off my back.

    You are harassing me, and I shall be forced to take it up with the supervising moderator at the BBC.

    The ordinary mods have refused to take action against you, but I shall go over the heads of those and take it far higher.

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  • 29. At 7:35pm on 06 Mar 2009, brynt41 wrote:

    There are and always will be costs associated with government.

    This topic begins with the job losses taking place in Wales - always hardest hit in a downturn or a recession. Wales has never been prosperous. Many small nations are prosperous. I think its because Wales is part of the UK, with its abysmally awful constitution and system of government. Its a system dominated by England. We have an English monarchy, an English parliament, including an unelected English House of Lords. Everything is geared towards the prosperity of England, particularly of London and the south east. Wales gets forgotten.

    What we need is fewer layers of government. Wales can do without Westminster and Whitehall. Its a system that's done nothing for Wales down the centuries.

    The vociferous minority here who run down Wales and everything Welsh, want a return to direct government from Downing Street, or to English governor-generals like Redwood. They have nothing to offer us except a return to more misery. They are also small-minded dinosaurs taken in by the propaganda handed down to us here that we are incapable of running our own affairs.

    We need a proper parliament, or better still a sovereign parliament, democratically elected by the Welsh people, without all the aristocratic hangers on so typical of the governing class over the border.

    Here's to a better Wales!

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  • 30. At 7:51pm on 06 Mar 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 25....

    Why should you think that?

    There are thousands working direct for the state here in Wales, where the WAG/Assembly have marginal input or influence.

    For example the DVLA, the ONS, the NHS, and probably many more outsourced but not as well known offices.

    If they can be working quietly along with no problems , why not a overseeing Westminster directed Welsh Office.

    All that is needed is for the 'Office for Wales', (my new name for it) to be kept abreast of the needs of Wales, via the local authorities, for it to both function, and succeed.

    Why is it found necessary to have a special and specific regional 'false' government, no other region of Britain has such.

    I discount Scotland, which is a historically recognised nation in it's own right, and Northern Ireland which is a peculiarity in
    any one's book, when considering the situation over there.

    If you say we have 22 councils in Wales, I take your word for the number, I see nothing wrong in those 22 individually marrying up to a New Welsh office, or indeed an all Wales, Mayoral headed council for that matter.

    But as a further question to you, what would be so wrong in having it centralised in London.
    Don't you like the idea that it would then put a final nail in the coffin of the sought for independence?

    What you must take on board is, that is exactly what I, and many, others seek to come about.
    It is what we are working towards, no matter what takes it's place, just as long as we get shot of that fools paradise down in the Bay.

    That our taxes be restrained from further
    wastage, on such as the amounts spent in refurbishing an office block, at enormous cost, whilst people are being deprived of the basics of life, for which the whole British tax base is paying.

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  • 31. At 8:00pm on 06 Mar 2009, John Henry wrote:

    More self-pity from brynt41 .....

    French sociologist "Pierre Mannoni" wrote extensively about "le miserablisme" (accented first e) in his book called "Social Bad Luck", the condition can prevent a person from succeeding, I hope you have not been spreading your dour observations on the Welsh people, we need success in the UK, it's a happier condition.


    You must have the record for being .....

    "referred to the moderators"

    ..... lol .....

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  • 32. At 8:19pm on 06 Mar 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 29...

    Another classic brynt41.

    "What we need is fewer layers of government. Wales can do without Westminster and Whitehall. Its a system that's done nothing for Wales down the centuries."

    Exactly our argument, who needs a third tier of government?

    One that Wales can certainly do without. The experience of the last ten years shows that, for sure.

    I tend to agree about some of your comments re the Westminster set up, especially the unelected Lords Chamber, I would be quite happy to see that become truly democratic, by it's members, even if still the same one's, being elected by the general populace.

    Maybe on a four yearly cycle, at the half way stage of the Commons general election. So that we get a two year overlap, which could supply a similar braking effect as the Upper House does, at the moment.

    But if we did manage to get shot of much over the border, why should that then imply we should then opt for, what we decry for England, to be set up here in Wales.

    The place is hardly, in total terms, more than a large county anyway. A bit more expansive, but hardly a seething mass, as is the case with most of the major regions of the rest of Britain...Merseyside, Gtr Manchester, the Black Country urban sprawl, et al.
    And of course, London, all of which manage to operate without a 'government', one step below Westminster, to oversee them.

    Thinking it through, on those lines, why would we even need a Welsh Office anyway?

    And most counties seem to manage their own affairs quite well, even if subject to Westminster rules and regulations.

    As asked a few times, what can you rationally say makes Wales any different, (apart from a different language, used by a very small minority) and the rather open distances between urban clusters, north and south, to any other part of the UK.

    Most of our population is Anglicized, either by birth, location, choice, or immigration, why should they be hamstrung with a tier of government that is not the norm for the rest of Britain?

    So far, unless accompanied by a load of waffle about Wales being a Nation, or some other silliness, and containing caustic veiled insults, no rational answer has come back.

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  • 33. At 8:29pm on 06 Mar 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 31,..

    It will cease, as I intend to not give that fool any more leeway to annoy.

    He shall henceforth be ostracised by me.

    Sent to Coventry, Ignored, Disregarded.

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  • 34. At 9:05pm on 06 Mar 2009, brynt41 wrote:

    #31 TheStonemason:

    "... we need success in the UK, it's a happier condition."

    Indeed, one could not agree more. However, the facts bear out the opposite:

    The UK is involved in two illegal or immoral wars, costing the lives of thousands of innocent civilians, and of hundreds of UK forces personnel (several of them from Wales). The war in Afghanistan isn't going to be won... and that's according to our political leaders and the army generals. The best they can do is 'keep a lid' on things there. The more likely outcome is they will have to come to an accommodation with the Taleban and/or get kicked out with their tails between their legs. No-one at the Ministry of Defence or at Westminster will ever admit to their mistakes leading to the massive cost in human lives and in money. It will be rationalised, as countless other cockups have been down the years.

    The UK has a nuclear deterrent called Trident. It is going to be renewed at massive cost.. billions. The UK will continue to have very expensive nuclear submarines patrolling theworlds ocean with nuclear missiles targeted at... well, who knows?

    Two massive new aircraft carriers are going to be constructed, again costing a huge sum of money.

    The UK has significant armed services, and spends a large proportion of its GDP on them. They are mostly used for killing people in the Middle East, or are sitting in Germany or at Basra not doing very much. We are told by our betters that they are amongst the best, if not the best, in the world. I've heard that our close 'ally' the US thinks that the Brits are not doing a very good job. (Of course, Wales wouldn't need a large standing army, a high seas navy or an offensive air capability, saving us billions.. and a lot of lives).

    The UK's economy appears to be in a worse mess than any other, if the state of the pound sterling is anything to go by. It has fallen by a third against the dollar and the euro in recent months. Britain has politicians who won't accept the blame for anything, and will blame anyone or anything for their own mistakes.

    Quantitative easing is about to begin which will lead to massive inflation. All our salaries, wages, pensions and savings will be devalued. Can we trust the useless politicians, civil servants, government advisers and administrators who helped create this unregulated catastrophe to get us out of it? Hardly likely.

    The UK has a pathetic track record, and is arguably in a worse economic mess now that at any point in the last 100 years. Nothing this New Labour government has done so far has worked at all. Nearly all the banks here have gone bust... and we don't know the full story behind those that haven't yet. At best we are going to have huge tax hikes, even if the country doesn't actually go bankrupt. Quantitative easing is taking place because the government has run out of options.. it can't borrow any more money, so its going to print it instead.

    Where will a lot of that 'new' money end up? I can tell you that Wales will be at the end of the queue, but will be expected to make sacrifices in jobs, taxes and public service cuts, whilst the (non-Welsh) bankers and politicians swan off with their inflated pay-offs and pensions.

    The WAG has little or no power to regulate Wales' economy. London is responsible. We need our own government to look after our interests.

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  • 35. At 9:26pm on 06 Mar 2009, Snoutsintrough wrote:

    Why do the Lefties/Nats hate John Redwood so much??He has a first class brain anhis analysis of what's gone wrong with public finance has been pretty accurate. The fact that he speaks economic sense is clearly not acceptable in wales that is so used to other people paying taxes to support a standard of living that we dont earn.The whole devolution "thing" has been driven by NATS and fellow travellers and they will not stop until they get their way. Why the English dont tell us to "sling our hooks" I dont know because all they get for their money is abuse/ingratitude from a sizeable portion of welsh people. If Yorkshire with cities like Leeds.Sheffield, Bradford and huge rural area can manage without a regional assembly then why do we need one. The public services should be managed on a sensible economic basis with North Wales connected to Mersyside, Mid Wales to Birmingham and south wales with Bristol. If it works for TESCO its good enough for humble me,however I dont want to get into the trough on the basis os "saving " wales.

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  • 36. At 9:47pm on 06 Mar 2009, puredrivelagain wrote:


    This would be the same John Redwood that famously returned £100 million to Westminster during his term of office as Welsh Secretary claiming "Wales doesn't need it"...

    Genius is he?

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  • 37. At 10:45pm on 06 Mar 2009, Crossroads wrote:

    Message 36. By Puredrivelagain.

    You really do enjoy living up to your name don't you.

    This bunch of troughers have absolutely no control of spending whatsoever. They are like children with a large tin of Roses, they will gorge themselves to the point of sickness or untill the lid is replaced (Thank God) by an adult. Or in this case the UK Government.

    The cracks have started. . . . .won't be long now !

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  • 38. At 11:33pm on 06 Mar 2009, Ian wrote:

    Where do I start with some of these comments?

    Without falling into the trap of ranting, I am trying to comprehend some of the arguments being put up on this blog.
    Unless I am mistaken about what some of you are trying to communicate (and I'm sure a few will respond in paragraphs of angst): -

    Wales is not a nation but Scotland is.
    N Ireland is also 'different' from Wales, so that's ok for them.
    There is no need for any Welsh Governance.
    The Welsh language is pointless.
    We are effectively a county of England.
    We should be grateful for London governance.
    We are not capable of governing ourselves.

    Assuming that you in question consider yourselves as Welsh, then what is your Wales, what is it for you to be Welsh and if this place is so inferior, why do you choose to live here?

    Please try to keep responses short as long diatribes are rarely read by anyone other than yourselves.

    pob hwyl, ianapharri

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  • 39. At 03:46am on 07 Mar 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 38....

    Lets take them one at a time, and provide the answers you obviously seek....

    1. Wales has never been a nation .
    Scotland has and is.
    It became part of the Union when the United Kindom was agreed upon, that is why it is called the United KINGDOM, because two Kingdoms, ie Nations, coupled together to form a Union.

    2. Northern Ireland is a construct, deliberately created for political reasons, Look up it's history if you do not want a protracted answer in this message.

    3.The current Welsh governence was never required before the nationalist element started fire raising and threatening to strve themselves to death unless they got what they wanted. Wales had effectively been ruling itself but as a region of the UK, in common with all other regions of the UK.

    4. The Welsh language is pointless? you said that , not I, and I believe that is what lies behind the stridency of those who constantly promote it, they fear that to be the case, but what they also fear, probably even more, is that others will also recognise it, and take action in the light of discovering it.
    It's called paranoia, and couldn't be further from the truth. Otherwise why would Westminster tolerate such funding to be spent in promoting it. But what you should ask yourself is, for how much longer will it be tolerated, considering the ever increasing demands being made for it's promotion and extension into the lives of a apparently indifferent majority.

    5.Yes, little more than a county, but with less cohesion, due to the constant division between what is perceived to be some sort of nation//state waiting in the wings of time, and a much greater indifference by and from the overwhelming majority who perceive no such ambitions.
    As well as the region being effectively two separate urbanised entities, with a scarcely defined and less homogenous rural entity, between them.

    6. Considering the vast amounts of funding required to keep us afloat, which Wales is incapable of providing for itself, in totality, yes, we should be very grateful indeed.
    As most are,... it is only the 'little Cymro' element, (and not even all of those) who claim disatisfaction, and feel a need to wish for the reverse to be true. It isn't, and so they must be very grateful. It may not be liked or welcome, but it is a fact. Live with it.

    7. Very true indeed, as the last ten years with what passes for a 'governing' Assembly WAG in Cardiff Bay demonstrates ably, with little assistance from external or internal observation. What chance we had to do so, has been an unmitigated disaster.
    A failure, an experiment in futility, overcostly, a total and utter waste of everyone's time, money, and effort.

    If those remarks appear longer than you like, I apologise, but I kept to your own script, and made the responses as short as possible.

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  • 40. At 09:14am on 07 Mar 2009, Snoutsintrough wrote:

    Good Morning 36 and yes thats the John Redwood. He actually believed that if money allocated to be spent in year was not committed then it should be returned to taxpayer/government reserves. I am sure that he would have done the same in any department and not just welsh office. Its a pity our current government(proper one in London) and WAG had been more cautious in spending/borrowing in last 10 years. There should be an inventory drawn up of white elephants created in wales in past 10 years with capital investment from WAG/plus subsidies from National Lottery which now require extensive public revenue grants to sustain them. There were two mentioned previously i.e. Millenium Centre in Caerdydd (starting to be politically correct) and potting sheds in Carmarthen.

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  • 41. At 10:44am on 07 Mar 2009, Lyn David Thomas wrote:

    As ever the argument has drifted, the central point about the refurbishment of offices seems to have been forgotten.

    Just a recap:
    *this is for 19 offices
    *it is over 6 years not in one year
    *it covers essential health and safety maintainance
    *It will bring the buildings up to more energy efficient standards that will save over 5million a year

    Given that it seems that the opposition is even more knee jerk than usual.

    It is argued that government buildings are non productive, but given that we need to house government it seems pointless to argue that the buildings should not be maintained. To hear people talk it suggest that gold plated furniture is being planned!

    If we are serious about global warming then we have to retrofit buildings to increase their energy efficiency and decrease their energy usage. As this also saves money in the long run this is a good thing.

    So limiting the argument to this refurbishment I'd say the government has an obligation to do this, if nothing else if it can't upgrade its own buildings to the new minimum energy efficiency standards how can it hope that the rest of the population would do the same?

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  • 42. At 11:04am on 07 Mar 2009, BLUESNIK wrote:

    "Today Ieuan Wyn Jones, wearing his hat as Plaid leader (the one that's come in for quite a bashing this week) calls for a £3,000,000,000, or £3billion stimulus package from the UK government to create jobs in Wales and lead the country on "The Road from Recession". ( the disconnect!)

    HEY, WITH IEUAN WYN JONES in charge of our economic future...WHATS THE BEEF!!! He's on the case...he's ahead of the curve...he's got the kids printing press and the INK!!!

    Break open the Cymru Champers you miserable Marxist moaners and cryto cynics..."I have seen the future and it's...ANGLESEY!"

    "Iuean is truly an ecnomic giant" ~ Prof Dai "Milt" Keynes, Dept of Macro Lovespoons and Long Lunches, Univ Central Cwmbran (by the bus station)

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  • 43. At 12:09pm on 07 Mar 2009, puredrivelagain wrote:

    #37, the only drivel i saw was your response which had no relevance to what I wrote. Thanks for the input...

    #40, thanks for the response, i'm sure he could have found way to spend it considering the poverty in parts of Wales. You raise some valid points about the assembly though.

    #39, Wales was annexed to become part of England, the "Act of union" uses this exact phrase. The Act was signed by Henry Tudor and his reward for selling out the welsh people was the throne of the newly created United Kingdom. Conflict of Interest I think!!! The welsh people were never consulted despite the way you phrased your point.

    Self ruling within the confines and parameters dictated by Westminster. That is the crux of the current situation. Even someone like yourself has to admit that there are two types of people in wales - highly angocised unionists like yourself, and people who see themselve as oppressed by a non-welsh government.

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  • 44. At 12:12pm on 07 Mar 2009, muddydwaters wrote:

    Let’s address the comments of Lyn Thomas (No 41). I fully accept that buildings need maintenance and clearly health and safety regulations cannot be ignored. But being a civil servant is hardly in the same in risk management category as a being a construction worker (the most dangerous thing in Cathays Park is Edwina Hart). Indeed are we saying that Cathays park is in a worse condition than for example the fabric and infrastructure of many schools in Wales? I have only ever been in Cathays Park once and it is a horrible office building but the idea that it needs £42m spent on it is absurd.

    Lyn I appreciate your attempt to get the debate back on track from the usual suspects but this does indeed sound gold plated. The government may have an obligation to do this but the cost estimate is grossly inflated and if committed would also probably result in the usual Civil Service “overspends". Similarly if the building does require this much work what condition is it actually in? £42m suggests that you might in fact be spending good money on bad.

    Surely the crucial question is where this £42m comes from and why has this decision beeen prioritised at this time? I have heard Ministers banging on about everyone else tightening their belts and informing us that they alone are doing their bit to tackle the recession in Wales. Not much evidence of that other than the growing "Summit" industry in Wales. But how is it then that these some of money can be found at the drop of a hat and only reach the public gaze through Dragons Eye?

    Indeed I recall another post when Betsan essentially became the PR officer for the new Permanent Secretary justifying the new DG posts in the Assembly at £130k each (nearly all of which have been filled by existing Assembly officials- jobs for the boyo's is alive and well in Cathays Park) where again money just seems to have been found.

    Lyn thank you for introducing a reasoned debate but I am afraid your last post does cast you as a bit of an apologist whose concern to counter some of the wilder claims on this blog has perhaps blunted your critical sensibilities.

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  • 45. At 12:27pm on 07 Mar 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 41....

    Yes, lead by example for sure.

    But is there not a dichotomy in that?

    They have their Senedd building, I have my house.

    I will certainly follow their lead and make my house energy efficient, but why should I do the same for the empty place a few doors away?

    Sorry Lyn, your example of energy efficiency does not do it. your example is the wrong way round, first we do OUR houses up, then we worry about funding the Bay to do the same.

    It is profligacy, following their agenda of filling slots and expanding the empire.

    Neither of which endeavours we need. It has already surpassed the level which people expected it to stop at.

    I spoke to an old lady( actually she was younger than I) a few weeks ago, she was concerned she could not afford to pay her gas bill, and was already keeping her gas heating off, in case she was cut off for not being able to pay.
    I spoke to her inside a public building, where, she wondered to me if she could bring her bed and telly, as it was so lovely and warm in there.

    That is Reality with a capital R.

    When will it stop, or must we wait until the gravy train actually smashes into the buffers?

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  • 46. At 2:24pm on 07 Mar 2009, Lyn David Thomas wrote:

    Well lets look again at what is proposed, an investment in a set of public buildings that will pay for its self within 9 years - that is the whole cost of upgrading to proper standards for health and safety and energy conservation. Now when this expenditure is taken over six years as proposed, this really starts to sound like a prudent investment. We are always bemoaning short sightedness in our politicians, but something that will within 9 years pay for its self and then continue to save 5 million a year sounds to me like something we should be doing with everything. That isn't an apology for some sort of feather bedding that is a statement in favour of sound investment.

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  • 47. At 2:29pm on 07 Mar 2009, Lyn David Thomas wrote:

    I sympathise with the old lady Mapexx, I hope you pointed her in the direction of the grants that will enable her to replace her boiler with a more efficient one, to insulate her home to further reduce her bills and to ensure that she is getting the maximum that the state offers in the form of winter payments. It should also be noted that all the energy companies have an agreement where vulnerable customers are never cut off. All of this is provided by the government in Cardiff and in Westminster in conjunction with all the large energy companies.

    I don't follow your logic with energy efficiencies in the public sector, are you suggesting that there should be no investment in public buildings, that they should switch off their heating? I really don't follow your argument.

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  • 48. At 7:12pm on 07 Mar 2009, legendaryavocet wrote:

    Lyn Thomas, could it be that you have a vested interest in this project? Is this your workplace we're talking about?

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  • 49. At 9:05pm on 07 Mar 2009, Crossroads wrote:

    46. At 2:24pm on 07 Mar 2009, Lyn_Thomas wrote:
    Well lets look again at what is proposed, an investment in a set of public buildings that will pay for its self within 9 years.

    Oh dear Lyn,
    For Gawd's sake grow-up will you. All this talk of "paying for itself within 9 years" makes you sound like a solar-panel salesman.

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  • 50. At 07:26am on 08 Mar 2009, John Henry wrote:

    If there is a real need for new offices there is an option that was not considered during the.....

    "Strategic Delivery and Performance Board Meeting of the 19th December 2008". It is to .....

    Sell off the existing and move it lock stock and barrel to a purpose built office block somewhere else other than Cardiff. With modern technology there is little need for a morning hug session.

    Make the new offices general purpose so they may be redeployed to the private sector in the future.

    There is another option, home office's, the only drawback would be the unannounced office visit by our Rhodri during a leisurely breakfast.

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  • 51. At 11:57am on 08 Mar 2009, Llyn wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 52. At 12:33pm on 08 Mar 2009, MH at Syniadau wrote:

    [#50] Not heard of the Welsh Government's Office in Merthyr, Stonemason?

    ... or of the one in Aberystwyth?

    ... or of the one in Llandudno?

    The Welsh Government is already dispersing its departments around Wales, but it's not unreasonable for some government departments to be kept in Cardiff.

    It's very clever of you to come up with such great new ideas, Stonemason. But the Welsh Government not only thought of them first ... it has also implemented them.

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  • 53. At 12:38pm on 08 Mar 2009, John Henry wrote:


    Just a few minutes ago on the politics show Harriet Harman confirmed Wales as a region when she described various rates of unemployment.

    Wales sat side by side with the English regions, and Scotland was included, foot in mouth or government position.

    Will our nationalist contributors now accept the political status.

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  • 54. At 1:41pm on 08 Mar 2009, John Henry wrote:


    Pass by the Merthyr offices, with its 400 plus civil servants, quite often. I know the others exist.

    Aberystwyth, with 500 plus civil servants.

    Llandudno, planned 600 plus civil servants.

    I thought somewhere near Llantrisant, good motorway link, a cheap functional building of a utility nature, large car park, built over a three year period; then sell off the Cardiff sites and break even, little cost to the overburdened taxpayers.

    What's your point.

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  • 55. At 4:09pm on 08 Mar 2009, mapexx wrote:

    Message 47....

    It happens that I installed a brand new high efficiency Sedbuk rated boiler, for her two years ago, she already has full up to the moment insulation provided via, BG.
    Cavity walls not included, because like my place, her wall are solid stone.

    However her small pension, as a housewife only she worked for only a few years, and paid just the basic stamp, coupled to the extra she gets from her dead husbands, from British Coal, means her total is not enough to qualify her for any top up .

    This leaves her being quite tight in her expenses. That answers your message, in part.

    The other part is a matter of perhaps some uncharitable thoughts.

    As builder all my life, and coming through the system of education where, to have a warm radiator in the classroom in mid winter was a rare event, I am not particularly concerned if public buildings are warmed or not.

    I accept modern working demands should provide a bit of comfort, but...have yo seen the cost of heating a building whose ambient temperature is so high they are compelled, yes I did say compelled top lounge around as thought they are in the Bahamas, in open necked flimsy blouses and the men in shirtsleeves.

    These people tell us "If you are cold turn down your heating a few degrees, and wear an extra jumper. Make your house better insulated and install a nice new energy saving boiler"

    yah yah yah. Blabbity blab!

    More or less what you said in message 47.

    How can someone on a fixed income, which is probably a half, or less, than you take home, afford such luxuries as new boilers, or to turn the heating down.

    When they see all those 'wonderland' office blocks throwing heat into the atmosphere through glass walls, perpetually lit up many for 24/7, and the staff walking about dressed for summer in Barbados, is it any wonder they would like to take bed and breakfast therein?

    (please do not give me the old " it's energy efficient glass drone") Energy efficiency may be far better served with less 'designer' buildings , thrown up for 'prestige, and to make a show, and more cavity walls that can be stuffed with insulation. Far less glass, and a strict control over minimum, rather than maximum, tolerable temperatures.

    Two things can come from that, those in such glass menageries may take their own advice and wear extra clothing, and they may move about a bit, with alacrity, to ensure their bodies keep up personal temperatures.

    Work throughput may then start to approach that in industries where temperature is less of a concern.

    Speedier planning, much more attention to the work in hand, rather than the gossip sessions at the water cooler or coffee machine
    So in future Lyn try to reason out why people outside, look in and complain about what goes on INSIDE such palaces of ease and leisure, before you dish out advice regarding what is available to people.

    We get far too much of that in very wasteful dual language brochures leaflets and unwanted telephone calls, without it being superciliously doled out on blogs, thank you very much.

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  • 56. At 4:29pm on 08 Mar 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 52....

    As I stated in another message, the chap comes and takes away the tasks of the LA, goes and build himself a nice new shiny office block, to slowly fill it with his 'helpers'

    But, as he is on an 'empire building trip' he soon discovers that one block is insufficient to accommodate all those 'lesser empire builders' he has personally employed.

    They, in turn, need yet more office space, so they justify the building of yet more blocks. Not necessarily in the same street as the very first one.

    There is an old poem which the regime reminds me of,

    Dogs have fleas, upon their backs, the Lord put there, for to bite them,

    These fleas have other fleas, and so on Ad Infinitum.

    Very applicable, and descriptive, of what the Assembly/WAG is bent upon doing.

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  • 57. At 4:50pm on 08 Mar 2009, brynt41 wrote:

    Criticism for the sake of criticism. Forty million on refurbishing a building, all because its the WAG doing it.

    How about criticising Gordon Brown and Alastair Darling, the arch-unionists, for allowing Fred Goodwin to walk away with sixteen million pounds of our money, and for having caused a monstrous mess of a large bank, costing us hundreds of millions?

    Those avid supporters of the 'Union' haven't got much to argue with. Its a failure. Its a mess. Its struggled along from one crisis to another for a century. Its created a trail of misery across the globe, wherever its left its imperial footprint. It's responsible for at least two virtually unsolvable international problems, and many smaller enduring conflicts.

    Wales became England's first colony 700 years ago. It doesn't have many left - the odd little island here and there. Despite efforts to wipe Wales and its Language off the map, by subjugation, assimilation, and uncontrolled immigration, we're still here. We're Welsh and proud of it.

    We're also getting sick and tired of perpetually having a raw deal, and being told that's more than we deserve. They don't even like us getting free prescriptions. Why don't the English get their largely English Parliament to do likewise?

    This financial crisis will very likely break up the Union. Scotland wants out, and an overwhelmingly English Tory government will persuade them that a decade or more of such rule will be more than they can take.

    What then? What will the remaining rump be called? Engwalni or perhaps, Walengni?

    The non-English representatives in its parliament will have even less say. It'll have a new flag... maybe Wales will be represented on it, or maybe not.

    Hopefully not, because we too will have opted out and will be a proud independent nation.

    We will save billions by not trying to punch above our weight strutting on the world stage, like McBroon thinking he's its saviour. (Now that's a man who lives in cloud-cuckoo land). We'll not get involved in distant neo-imperialistic conflicts resulting in death and carnage. We'll be much better off standing on our own feet, instead of living in someone else's shadow.

    (The Harperson is mentioned above ... pity help Wales if she ever becomes PM, she knows even less about us than Cameron).

    What have the unionists here to offer? More of the same misery Wales has endured down the centuries. Come on, tell us how well Wales has done since 1282! It could be written on a postage stamp.

    Here's to a better future for Wales!

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  • 58. At 5:22pm on 08 Mar 2009, mapexx wrote:

    "The Welsh Government is already dispersing its departments around Wales, but it's not unreasonable for some government departments to be kept in Cardiff."

    Highly commendable......I think? Maybe, Perhaps, or is 'I just a wishful thinkin'?

    But does it mean a pro rata reduction in Cardiff Bay, or is it just another bit of 'empirical expansionism'???

    Those offices in Cardiff, which you reckon need to be reasonably kept, will they be at a level of staffing commensurate with increased staffing at the new office establishments in Merthyr, Aberystwyth,
    et al?

    I have absolutely no idea how many bods swan about the Cardiff showcase, but let's say two hundred, a wildly low guess I expect, so when Merthyr opens, and takes twenty(10% of Cardiff) Aberystwyth, another 10%, will Cardiff drop by 20%?

    Somehow I doubt it.

    In fact I would be not surprised to find Cardiff actually increases by 20%, or more, even.
    Someone has to feed those outstations and keep them employed, and those in the Bay are already fully occupied inventing more than they can handle of 'essential' ( to themselves???), work that cannot then be added to, by them having to keep an eye on the ever increasing number of 'outstation offices'.

    And here we are worrying ourselves silly about the loss of jobs in Alcan and Hoover, there'll be plenty of openings for those who are being laid off... Or will they get in, if they ain't fluent, even partially, in Cymraeg?

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  • 59. At 7:22pm on 08 Mar 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 53


    It's really rather touching that you have so much faith in the statements made by the deputy leader of the Labour Party. I might as well pack up my bags now then.

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  • 60. At 8:40pm on 08 Mar 2009, Lyn David Thomas wrote:

    Legendary - I don't work there, I am not a government employee, however if I was I'd want to work in a place fit for purpose and which conformed to health and safety standards. I don't think this is about luxury - its about refurbishment.

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  • 61. At 8:48pm on 08 Mar 2009, Lyn David Thomas wrote:

    I am not exactly sure what you are saying mapexx, other than you don't think much of heating public buildings, and your little old lady can have complete new central heating if she hits certain benefits and qualifies due to age. It will not cost her anything.

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  • 62. At 9:00pm on 08 Mar 2009, legendaryavocet wrote:

    Brynt, a few points to consider.

    Excesses at Westminster should not be condoned either.

    The people of Wales contribute £9.3 billion less in taxes than they get back in the bloc grant - not exactly a raw deal.

    Wales didn't do very well until about 1850 when our great-grandparents came in from England and Ireland to contribute to the country's wealth.

    Actually, the conquest was Norman, not English - time you studied a bit of history and discarded your victim complex.

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  • 63. At 9:38pm on 08 Mar 2009, John Henry wrote:

    brynt41, your #57

    "how well Wales has done since 1282"

    You must look at how well the United Kingdom has done, the serfs through the ages were equally oppressed by the landowners, factory workers worked in equally poor working conditions no matter where they lived, and the houses were as poor in Manchester as in Swansea.

    The political Union matured into its imperfect government, serfs had disappeared by now, though landowners held sway in the countryside, factories gradually became less vicious as various factory acts were passed by parliament, children were taken out of the workplace, and through enlightenment homes became more habitable as time moved on.

    It is still imperfect, there are still wrongs to be righted, mistakes are still made, but I have a half full glass, am optimistic for the future.

    Most of all I believe that people are not singled out for mischief because of where they live or how they speak, parliament hasn't oppressed Wales as a conquest. The answer lies in cooperation between all the people of the Union, not in its destruction.

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  • 64. At 10:32pm on 08 Mar 2009, papacharlie wrote:

    With the proposed cuts in Education it would be interesting to know how many students have had problems this year trying to claim their ALG (grant) from Student Finance Wales, my daughter has been trying since last August but each time the staff at ALG reply they move the goal post and ask for things which they have already received plus more. Did anyone else know that EMA and ALG use the same telephone number and the same office in GLASGOW and not in Wales? and if you try to trace the address of the Student Finance Wales you will find it does not exist according to the post office. Having written to Rhodri Morgan and Jane Hutt it's like talking to a brick wall. And they want more powers? that £42 million would go a long way to help our students!! I use to support the Assembly but not any more.
    PS I'm an OAP and not a rich banker.

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  • 65. At 11:08pm on 08 Mar 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 57....

    Your last line is a real wowser....

    "Here's to a better Wales",...

    .... we already had one until the advent of that mess in Cardiff Bay, which has screwed it up.

    What should be said is..." here's to a return to the old Wales, where we had plenty of jobs, less taxes to pay, that are now being used to sate the feeding frenzy in the Bay.

    Where there was no language issue, except for a lot of noise from those kids in the political playground, who have now managed to take over the whole school, or better, and far more accurate,
    ... those loonies that have now taken over our very pleasnt asylum, and turned it into a battleground, funded by us, with no early bath to look forward to.

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  • 66. At 11:15pm on 08 Mar 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 60....

    I suggest to you that you do as I ahve suggeted to others, learn to, ot only read English, but to also comprehend it.

    I DID say I HAD installed a new boiler for the old dear. Or did your scanning not pick that out, or indeed, are you following others in DELIBERATELY missing bits out, to suit your antipathy to my messages, because they do not fit in with your cosy view of whatever it is your view is?

    Seems you are attempting to bat at both ends of the wicket, otherwise.
    Which means you get run out on every delivery.

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  • 67. At 11:18pm on 08 Mar 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 64.....

    I think you will find support is leaching like mad Charlie, especially with people having problems like yours.

    I just hope your family, friends, and neighbours, are receiving the message from you over it.

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  • 68. At 11:21pm on 08 Mar 2009, brynt41 wrote:


    Wales did particularly poorly after 1850. Study a bit of social history of the period yourself. It was raw exploitation.. read for example, about the Marquis of Bute and his wealth, and contrast the living standards of the coal miners and metallurgical workers who made him one of the richest men on the planet (both native Welshmen and immigrants). Don't teach your grandfather to suck eggs.

    Wales has always been relatively poor and remains so, and worse is to come.

    Wales has no independent means of developing its economy, so its dependent on 'bloc grants' (ie the Barnett Formula) which are in effect a 'hand-me-down', a bit like state benefits... which encourages a benefit-dependent culture.

    Ask the Irish if they want to return to such a system, or perhaps the Scots, in a decade (or even now) if they want to subsist in that way.

    If Wales and Scotland are such an economic burden to their dominant neighbour, why has the system lasted as long? I can tell you it isn't because of English generosity or largesse. If there wasn't a quid pro quo in their favour they would have cut their smaller neighbours loose ages ago. It boils down to power and domination, as it always has done. Unionists would rather die than hand back territorial gains. They have to be forced to do so.. ask the Irish, or any one of a score of former colonies, and they'll tell you.

    (For those with an interest in History, of which legendaryavocet is ignorant, the Norman Period runs from 1066-1154, the reigns of William I (the Conqueror) to Stephen).

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  • 69. At 00:11am on 09 Mar 2009, mapexx wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 70. At 08:46am on 09 Mar 2009, Llyn wrote:

    message 69 – well done probably the most ignorant and bigoted mail yet on this board and thats going some –

    any reasonable person with any of historical knowledge would understand that Wales had its own language, written laws (before England), poetry (before England), ties with the rest of Europe and centuries of Christian tradition before its colonisation, yet you sadly state that Wales was nothing “but a wild landscape, populated by tribal thugs, with nothing in their favour, except they occasionally managed to do sex, and produce yet more of the same as themselves”.

    Through the last century this sort of language was popular with the extreme right when trying to justify colonisation and exploitation of other peoples not least in Eastern Europe in the 1940s. You should be ashamed of yourself. And if you think that your hero the psychopath Edward I (who made the Jews of England wear stars of David to mark them out – before booting them out of the country) for non-altruistic reasons took over the governance of the region and literally 'civilised' it….” then you must be in a group of one.

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  • 71. At 09:17am on 09 Mar 2009, plaidman wrote:


    You really need to get a good book on Welsh history.

    Your complete ignorance of the history of Wales, or even the British Isles and the origins of the nations wherein, can be forgiven for the moment as you clearly have never read anything other than red-top newspapers.

    Come back in a few months once you've caught up with reality and we'll accept your apologies.

    I have never understood why anyone would seek to denigrate us or our claims to be considered a nation? Why do people like mappex appear to to feel so threatened by the idea of Welsh self-government?

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  • 72. At 09:18am on 09 Mar 2009, Lyn David Thomas wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 73. At 11:00am on 09 Mar 2009, mapexx wrote:

    Messages 70, 71, and 72,....

    You take such stuff from history to justify your present day attitude to anyone who opposes your view that Wales should be something is not, nor never was.

    I have not said that there was no, 'cultural' aspects to the region pre British domination, my reference to thugs was justified for the simple reason that was the way in which the region was ruled, tribal warfare was the natural order. Not some sort of never never land where everyone was nice as pie to each other.

    You read your history books far too generously, which gives you all a rosy picture of the days when the sword and dagger ruled the very land on which our ancestors lived and struggled to live. They never knew when the next tribal chieftain, and his gang, would rape and pillage. Nor did they live under as structured and stable regime, for centuries, until some bigger and more fierce overlord, be it Edward the 1st or 101st first, came to Wales and set up a region wide control mechanism, for ALL to follow.

    Yes, it may have been intolerable at the time, but that is no sound reason to hark back to it, and wish it could be reversed.

    However, why you people will insist on calling it a 'colony' when it never was such a thing, shows just how ingrained your ' set in concrete history' is coming to the fore.

    You all opt for the emotive, when factually speaking, emotion is not a consideration in nation building, colonisation or administration by those who rule. And which is all I am concerned with.

    All that, politically, can be considered is rule of might, Wales is a 'region' simply because it was overpowered by a stronger neighbour, a situation that remains today, and it is extremely unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.

    But yet again, your whole concept of argument is, as I have stated before, you cannot put up rational and opposing points of view, within that concept of non emotive debate, so resort to personal insult.

    Never mind, if that is the total capability iof your intelligence, then who am I to go against it?.

    You people cannot read anything, that in any way shape or form, appears to your blinkered minds as, critical of some airy fairy version of an antiquated Wales, without making out others, with a not so cast in stone view, can be allowed to have opposing ideas about the place they live in.

    Such insulting and personal attacks leave me wondering just how you expect Wales to ever survive in the big wide world, as, if ever the region was to enter the world arena, it would immediately get all others backs up, for it's ridiculous self important attitude.
    Wales is not something special, a lesson that will have to be learned, sooner or later.

    Preferably sooner, so we can settle back into some sort of stability, that the present set up has disturbed, for no realistic or sane reason.
    At a cost we cannot afford, either financially or socially.

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  • 74. At 11:37am on 09 Mar 2009, mapexx wrote:

    Message 71.....

    I think you may find far more history of Wales publications on my bookshelves than you could realise, plus, don't forget I have full access to the internet with all that appears on there, re Welsh history.

    Your attitude is similar to many who think that the sun should only shine on ancient ideas for the future of Wales, get this in to your head, some of us have a totally differing notion of how Wales should be governed and it does not embrace the fanciful idea that the region can simply up sticks and become a nation, in any sense of the political meaning of the word.

    I deal in practicalities, not a fairy land, wished for in a dreamscape.

    The way some of you people go on about Wales, one would think you have been taught by Australian Aborigines, they too live in the hopes the 'Dreamtime' will return someday, but the world is an unforgiving place, and such wishes will never be fulfilled in this hard and cruel modern epoch.
    Nor is Wales likley to return to some self governing and internationally viable nation state,.... not that it ever has been one....EVER.

    The more this present Assembly/WAG screws up, the further such ambitions will retreat, so do keep on spending, on wasteful enterprises, and squandering down in the Bay, thet tide will turn soon enough.

    The only unfortunate thing is, when it does, which it certainly will, there will be the potential to take the language down with it.

    Not an acceptable scenario, but pretty well inevitable, I am afraid.

    So get used to the harshness of existence, and opt for the real world, before the damage done takes a worhty if not very useful language down, and out for the count..
    One of the casualties of mixing 'culture' and political ambition, is the demise of the tool used to encourage that political ambition when the ambition is overthrown, which in the case iod Wales is the language.

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  • 75. At 11:51am on 09 Mar 2009, brynt41 wrote:


    Looks as if someone who shall be nameless complained to the mods about your post, Lyn.

    He wants his outrageous and inciteful anti-Wales and anti-Welsh comments to stir up dissension.

    He cannot hide the truth that the majority of people in Wales want a legislative parliament. As a nation we are increasingly waking up to the fact that Wales has a positive future, if its people are able to control their own affairs. The past and the present are teaching us important lessons about the need for self-determination and standing on our own feet to make our way in the world.

    The world's smaller nations have much to offer. They know that 'big is not beautiful' if we consider the carnage caused by the great powers down the years.

    The present economic crisis has been fuelled by greed, generated by the large western powers, particularly the US and the UK. It began here with Thatcher's individualism and stress on the profit motive, and taken to a new level by the New Labour tories, Blair and Brown. Just look where its got us, and the price we will have to pay for their mistakes.

    The sooner we get away from their failed policies the better. These islands will soon have a very different political structure.

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  • 76. At 1:55pm on 09 Mar 2009, BLUESNIK wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 77. At 2:10pm on 09 Mar 2009, plaidman wrote:


    If you have as many books about Wales as you say, then spend some time reading them. Then you might come back with something a little less offensive and a lot more sensible to say.

    I have to pick you up on one specific issue you raise. To quote you;

    "You take such stuff from history to justify your present day attitude to anyone who opposes your view that Wales should be something is not, nor never was."

    I haven't taken any "stuff" from history to justify anything. You are the person who has launched a vitriolic and ill-informed attack on the history of Wales. You have tried to misrepresent our history to justify your bigoted views.

    Frankly, I'm not that bothered about what Wales was, or what Wales is. I am more interested in what Wales could be. The past is the past, we can't change it. But the future is unwritten and offers wonderful opportunities and challenges.

    Our small nation has much to offer our own citizens and the wider world, especially in these days of global depression and fears over climate change. But we will not realise our potential, or live up to our international responsibilities as a nation, until we stop listening to those, such as yourself, who seek only to undermine our confidence and self-belief.

    Go read, comrade. Its the key to personal and national liberation!

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  • 78. At 2:30pm on 09 Mar 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 75....

    I have no worries about complaining.

    I keep my scribblings purely non personal, unless someone gets personal with me first, so whenever that has been the case,and I have responded in like fashion, my messages have been taken down.

    Complaining re insulting messages, one's that also go off thread for the purpose of insulting, I now complain about, so if you wish to remains on the blog, keep on thread, and make damned sure you keep to the straight and narrow of both thread and impersonal commentary.
    Otherwise you to will find YOUR messages disappearing.


    But to respond to your remarks in the latter half of your message.... I hope you are not trying to say that there was no greed by the Welsh.

    Or are you saying the Welsh were as pure as the driven snow, before the banks went belly up? ...because you will be taken down very quickly if you are..

    The Welsh were just as quick to turn a few quid when they sold their houses, quite often to incoming people from elsewhere on the planet, they did not think 'within the box' of national patriotism towards those here in their own localities who were desperate to buy a house, but were priced out, as the vendors, the Welsh themselves, went for top dollar.

    Nor was maintenance of the language very high on their agenda, as they invited those with a Brummie, Scouse or Mancunian accent to move into the house, as they grabbed what they could for it.

    It's all very well castigating people, such as myself who have to face up to the total impracticality of what you people are after, but when we stand and get counted as opposing, all you can say is it's all the fault of those terrible English or Yanks.

    Never blame the Welsh, Oh!o, never do that...or at least those,. who, unlike myself who has have never sold on for profit, and who have taken run down or derelict property and at our own expense, brought it to a very high modern standard, with no thought to deprive an up and coming family of a home, by handing the keys to an outsider.
    As said,... Don't blame the Welsh!

    But even then, if you did think and talk that way, you would be totally in the wrong, because the UK housing market is not closed, as you would, under such terms, appear to have it, it is an open market, and there is freedom of movement across the whole State, that you cannot get away from, or apparently abide, with your talk of greed.
    And perpetually references to how and why this region should be something it never was, or can be.

    On the bottom line, the only thing I can agree with you on is your accurate references to a certain previous Premier and her disgraceful monetarist policy of deregulation. On that you really do hit the target.
    As for the rest, pie in the sky, smoke and mirrors and forlorn hopes.

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  • 79. At 2:42pm on 09 Mar 2009, BLUESNIK wrote:



    It's a vote winner.

    Woops, there goes Iceland...

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  • 80. At 2:54pm on 09 Mar 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 77....

    I would be extremely grateful for examples of where I have been offensive.

    I AM blunt, but what gives you the gall to say I am offensive, I am no more offensive than virtually all who have responded to me, their way being, to go way off thread, and way out of any sort of politeness, by insulting, on a very personal basis.

    Do you wish to go down that route? try it on and see where it gets you.

    Are you saying I cannot comment on what I believe to be the facts re: the Wales of today, or maybe you require me to stay silent, and let you lot just sweep the blogs with diatribes of nationalist propaganda.

    Furthered with all the blather about how wonderful it will be when everyone is forced, sorry persuaded, like it or lump it, to become embroiled in the language to a minimum level at least, whilst they are truly compelled to pay for dual printing of bills etc that invariably get tossed in the bin unread and not understood.
    You will realise that I cannot oblige, you WILL have me going on about whatever I find stupid, wrong, incorrect, and out of line with the Wales I live in, and have to respond to, in my everyday life.

    All of which costs the taxpayer wads of dosh.

    The Wales I live in is on the verge of being stitched up, politically and socially,... commercially it is already in deep mire.

    So what would you prefer, a load of sycophantic nonsense about what happened in the 13thy century, or a pragmatic approach towards the 21st century?.

    You pays your money,(tax) but cannot take your pick.

    Therein lies my platform. Realism, not false patriotism to a non existent 'nation'.

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  • 81. At 2:54pm on 09 Mar 2009, plaidman wrote:

    I find it remarkable, mappex, that you cannot see that your attacks on the very essence of Welsh identity are very personal.

    Personally, I find them wholly offensive. However, I would not complain about you making them, as its most interesting to see how ill-informed and irrational the opponents of Welsh democracy are.

    The more you write the better as far as I'm concerned.

    Lambasting the failings of an entire people must be quite an effort. I hope you won't make yourself ill with rage.

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  • 82. At 3:10pm on 09 Mar 2009, mapexx wrote:

    Message 77...

    ..."who seek only to undermine our confidence and self-belief." ....

    I refer you to my comments in message 78, re the greedy Welsh, and you talk about ME undermining the Welsh.

    A stiff dose of realism is called for in the plaidman household it would seem, or don't Plaid supporters do greed?

    .......'cos if they don't, they certainly wish to restrict the open housing market.

    Or at one time, (and maybe yet again in the future) were elemental in ensuring no one got the cottages, and houses, they torched.

    In the name of Wales? I don't think so. Not the Wales I live in.

    As they deprived, not only incomers with big cash to lay out, but also locals who may have hoped to have done some sort of a deal to buy.

    I, Moi,... doing Wales down?...What comedians you Plaid lot turn out to be at times.

    If you were not so pathetic, you may just be laughable.
    But funny?, never in a month of Sundays.

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  • 83. At 3:44pm on 09 Mar 2009, plaidman wrote:

    Dear, dear mappex,

    Again I have to quote you;

    "Do you wish to go down that route? try it on and see where it gets you."

    I dread to think where it will get me, but I will say that you seem to be linking the existence of a Welsh tier of government with some sort of national character flaw that will lead us to ruin.

    Illogical isn't the word.

    How many small nations in Europe have such a low opinion of their worth? Only those which have so far failed to achieve self-government I suspect, and can be bullied into thinking that any aspirations they may have are foolish dreams.

    You speak the language of the 19th century colonial power my friend.

    Wales IS a nation. Wales has a national future. Those things are certainties in which I delight as I'm old enough to remember the time when they were far from being certain. Cymru am Byth!

    And I'm not "trying it on." I'm just freely expressing my opinions. I trust that's OK?

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  • 84. At 3:52pm on 09 Mar 2009, plaidman wrote:

    mappex message 82

    So national abuse turns to personal abuse.

    ".......'cos if they don't, they certainly wish to restrict the open housing market.

    Or at one time, (and maybe yet again in the future) were elemental in ensuring no one got the cottages, and houses, they torched."

    I would like people who live in our communities to have the right to a decent home, in the same way as people in communities all over Britain have an interest in ensuring similar rights. This is a matter that should concern everyone living in Wales at a time when homelessness remains a huge problem and the credit crunch has led to many families having their homes repossessed. If you can only see it in terms of restricting the open housing market, that's your problem, but that isn't my answer, nor (as far as I'm aware) Plaid's answer either.

    As for torching cottages, well, you're making me laugh now. Is that really the best you have to offer? This is like arguing with a Labour stalwart back in the 1980s.

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  • 85. At 4:35pm on 09 Mar 2009, lostmanofgwent wrote:

    Mappex is a Plaid researcer based in Cardiff. All his apparantly daft comments are trolling. I have even managed to find out his real name

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  • 86. At 5:35pm on 09 Mar 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 81, ....

    Now, as it is the norm for the Nat's and nuts to remark that I, me, Mapexx do not speak for the people of Wales, you quite readily assume that mantle of speaking for those same people do you?

    "Lambasting the failings of an entire people must be quite an effort. I hope you won't make yourself ill with rage."

    Those who profess to 'stand up' for this almost fictitious, Wales they are always harping on about, often make that same blunder, thinking I say I am speaking for all of Wales. I do not do so, NOR, by the same token, do the Nat's and nuts.

    There are far fewer of those than there are of those who seem to prefer to have little to do with the agenda as laid out from the Bay. By a factor of about 8 to 1, according to all statistical records.

    I know one thing for certain, and I have expressed it a few times just recently, ...Don't count your chickens before they are hatched.!

    I know of no one on my side of the argument that does it, but in every message from opposing postings, it seems that it is a done deal. At least in their minds.
    Now you appear to have joined those ranks. Or am I wrong to think that?

    In message 83, the comment about 'going down that route' referred to throwing insults rather than rational argument, and as I had just pointed out that I will complain loudly to the moderators every time someone 'goes down that route' I thought you would have picked up the nuance in the message.

    But, Hey Ho! fiddly Dee,, are you another who cannot comprehend written English?

    It is very strange that it is seemingly ONLY the Nat's and nuts who think Wales is a nation. (in the waiting maybe) but for reality, political, and practicality purposes, it is nothing more than a few counties of Britain loosely strung together with a non recognised flag, no more than the Red Rose of Lancashire or the White Rose of Yorkshire, both just as fiercely waved at appropriate times, no political, demographic or internationally established geopolitical borders, except the marine one's to the north, south, and west, with a half liquid border of physical certitude,to the south east.

    It's total claim to any sort of nationhood lies in the fact a very small minority speak an ancient language. Which, more by luck than judgement has survived, due to a few clusters being isolated for a rather longish period, whilst the rest of Wales were readily and greedily jumping into the English bed, whether by some degree of compulsion or simple choice.

    It all comes down to what is being seen as the most sensible thing to do, people have to earn a crust, and Cymraeg was NOT job friendly in a modern context, nor will be, except for those who manage to get into some sort of public employment, or maybe into one of the 'manufactured' jobs in larger business establishments, that possibly may be the result from any LCO that may yet get through Westminster.
    Only possibly mind you, as things are not yet going the way wished, or hoped, for in the BAY.

    Like you, I am freely expressing, but not opinions, as they are invariably based on misconceptions, misunderstandings, and pure blind wishful thinking.

    I go for the facts as I see them.

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  • 87. At 5:54pm on 09 Mar 2009, mapexx wrote:

    Message 85,....

    .... tell me do, I seem to have all sorts of ID conflicts going on.

    I'd really like to know who I am.

    I had one even call me GOD a few days ago.

    Very unflattering for a 72 yr old lifetime atheist.,, I don't think!.

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  • 88. At 8:03pm on 09 Mar 2009, Snoutsintrough wrote:

    I can assure you Mapexx that your views are extremely well put and are supported by everybody I know personally who has lived in south east wales for virtually their whole lifetime. In any society theres going to be about 15% of the population who for whatever reason cannot accept the "status quo" even when it allows them to have a lifestyle/income that they dont generate from economic wealth. The welsh Nats are such people and their continual obsession with the middle ages and wales is of no intererst/relevance to the vast majority of welsh people. We are where we are and any idea that this relatively remote part of the UK with 3million people spread over wildly different cultural/economic/social terrain could provide enough income to sustain itself is surely a joke. I see recent post by BP in that PC is to support campaign for independance as we devolution "sceptics" have been saying for yonks and have been accused of being "welsh haters" because of our perfectly rational views. If our beloved Rhodri had any guts he'd end the "one Wales" farce and have a proper election on basis of PC's avowed aim. Keep going Mapex and I can assure you that if we get a referendum on more powers that will lead to independance there will be plenty of people out on streets to mobilise opposition to all NATS amd fellow travellers and encourage people to use their democratic votes to destroy the concept of independance. Where is Kinnock when he's needed??

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  • 89. At 9:01pm on 09 Mar 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 86

    You said:

    "It is very strange that it is seemingly ONLY the Nat's and nuts who think Wales is a nation."

    It is no surprise of course that nationalists believe Wales is a nation. It might still be a surprise to mapexx, however, that the vast majority of that nation believe it to be a nation! And it therefore follows that mapexx believes 90%+ of the Welsh nation to be nutters. Is that what he calls his neighbours to their faces?

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  • 90. At 9:26pm on 09 Mar 2009, Lyn David Thomas wrote:

    I have no idea why my message was removed. I stated that I believe Mapexx to be a troll, that is in internet terms a person who posts deliberately inflammatory messages with the intent of getting a rise out of people. I suggested that this rendered him a non serious poster and someone who should be sent to coventry. IE ignored. Now I am sorry if this is deemed far too ofensive, but this is what I honestly think he is doing. Anyone who states that the Welsh were a bunch of savages prior to conquest and that the English set out to civilise them, coupled with the continued denial that Wales is or ever has been a nation really does mark him out as a person who is trolling. Now if he objects to this message then I really don't see what is the point in continuing to post here if he is permitted to censor me.

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  • 91. At 10:14am on 10 Mar 2009, brynt41 wrote:

    #88 Snoutsintrough wrote:

    "Where is Kinnock when he's needed??"

    'Baron' Kinnock lives in Tuffnell Park, London. His son is Assistant Director of the British Council in Sierra Leone (Neil is the Chairman of the BC) and his daughter Rachel works in Gordon Brown's Political Office at Number 10.

    Wales has really benefited from the career of the said enobled baron. He wrecked devolution in 1979, and paved the way for the Labour Party to become the New Labour tories. He's now turned his back on Wales.

    Kinnock is not exactly a son of Wales of which we can be proud. He was called the 'Welsh Windbag' by Private Eye and 'Kinocchio' by the Tories. He was unelectable.

    In Wales we need people with intellect, calibre and ability, to build a better future. Regrettably Neil was lacking in all three. One of the worst examples of Labour valleys politicians the party ever produced, and there have been some pretty rotten ones. He gave Wales, undeservedly, a bad name.

    I'm happy for him to be where he belongs - somewhere else.

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  • 92. At 10:18am on 10 Mar 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 90

    I'm afraid it's true, mapexx prefers censorship to debate.

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  • 93. At 11:48am on 10 Mar 2009, mapexx wrote:

    message 91....

    You were complained about because you allowed yourself, either inadvertently or deliberately, as you have now done yet again in 91, resorted to personal attack mode.

    I refuse to consider what you make issue of when you respond to my perfectly legitimate messages in such a personal manner.

    As I have told others, keep to tit for tat impersonal argument, stop this eternal drop into insulting commentary, then you and I will get on very well.

    Having stated that point, re Message 91,
    I will, not therefore, complain about it
    But if you feel you cannot comment, or respond, without a personal attack element in your messages, then your suggestion that you will leave the message blog, is perfectly acceptable to me.
    As I am sure it will be to many others, who also cannot take your dropping into personal insults virtually every time you send in a message just because I/ they have countered your arguments.


    Message 92 is typical of someone who does not know the meaning of the word 'debate'

    So far all that has come from 92 has been sniping and picking up out of context references that have attempted to slew whatever debate or discussion is ongoing, He has submitted nothing of originality on his own behalf, that could seriously be debated, just sat there in his tree, sniping, from a safe distance, at others who do submit original if controversial points.

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  • 94. At 12:53pm on 10 Mar 2009, mapexx wrote:

    A further response to message 90...

    I can understand your compunction to read history through rose tinted specs, but even then you must have some vague idea of the privations and terror that the poor peasant had to contend with, in the dark ages, when the only governance of ANY region in the world, was due to either, gang warfare, or religious intolerance of anything the church could not control.

    Surely you cannot, after all the history education you went through, and with the mass of documentary evidence produced by historical archeology, much of which appears on you TV screen at regular intervals, believe that those living in the Pre British controlled Wales, lived some sort of perpetually peaceful bucolic style of life.

    Get real, ...those people lived much as those in the wilder parts of out flung bits of the world today, ever fearful of their natural enemies, their environment, often barely scratching a living from territory, that could be snatched away from them the next time a thuggish mob of ruffian ' lords;' descended on their little village, to demand food and forced sexual encounters.

    That is why we refer to such a way of life being subjected to RAPE and PILLAGE, neither being the tool of novelists. Hard facts, plain and simple.
    Or, who brought disaster, by using the nice flat surrounding farmland area as a battleground, as they swooping in and onto rival forces, of similar thuggish 'tribal chieftains.

    The peasants could hardly be said to be have been living a life of peace and plenty.

    I accept there may have been periods of relative calm, but no way was it permanent.

    It has only been apparently so since Wales was 'tamed' by a stronger exterior force, taking over, and ensuring that our region became 'tame' by force of arms, thereby, stable.
    Politically we have moved on, however, that has not stopped the attempt, by elitist factions, successors to the tribal leaders of yore, from trying to gain precedence over the ruling group of the day.

    Fortunately they are so messed up, so weak, and incapable of running a ton-tine, we should not be too concerned with their stated ambitions for this region.

    Next time you scan your history books, make a stab at reading between the lines, where you will find a wealth of 'hidden' history, by the simple means of extending thought to what must have been the true way of life, of those, NOT riding about the place robbing and stealing, to give themselves a superiority, that those bully boys felt was their natural right.

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  • 95. At 1:58pm on 10 Mar 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 93

    Then answer my questions!!!!!!!!!!

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  • 96. At 01:23am on 12 Mar 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 93,

    And still a deafening cowardly silence from mapexx. But I suppose that is to be expected on this thread which goes under the title of 'a Bundle of noughts' ...

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  • 97. At 09:01am on 12 Mar 2009, mapexx wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

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