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99.5 Red Balloons

Betsan Powys | 18:44 UK time, Friday, 16 April 2010

_46864971_balloons_darpa.jpgFor the past few days I've been starting my day in Good Morning Wales' Manifesto Corner - a snug hideaway downstairs in the canteen where the coffee is, sadly, rather weak. Too early for the proper, strong stuff we're told.

Still, it hasn't held back the two who've been sharing their impressions of the parties' Welsh manifestoes: Jonathan Deacon, a senior lecturer in marketing and entrepreneurship at Newport Business School and Emma Taylor, head of Christ College Brecon, the first female head in its 400-odd year history.

Let's put it like this - they're no push-overs. Broad brushes are for wimps. These two have an eye for detail.

The head, who a few days ago winced at the grammar of 'Think different, think Plaid' was on form again this morning. She'd been through Labour's 100 promises for Wales like a dose of salts and spotted a bit of a doubler.

21. Roll out our new plans for a 'People's Bank' using the Post Office network to rural areas.

37. Create a People's Bank at the Post Office and a Universal Service Obligation on banks to serve every community.

More like 99.5 promises we decided.

Emma Taylor: 1

Welsh Labour: 0

At a guess the pupils of Christ College Brecon get away with very little.


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  • 1. At 10:30pm on 16 Apr 2010, Monwynsyn wrote:

    Where have all the faithful gone? Have they been grounded by the Ash Clouds. Have they finally seen the light or are they too busy moonlighting ? It's like having a noisy neighbour you get worried when its quiet.

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  • 2. At 10:57pm on 16 Apr 2010, MH at Syniadau wrote:

    I had spotted that too, and a couple more:

    33) A new £40 a week Better Off in Work Guarantee.

    35) Ensure that everyone is at least £40 a week better off in work than on welfare.


    34) Increase the National Minimum Wage at least in line with average earnings over the period to 2015.

    41) Help 50,000 Welsh workers on the National Minimum Wage.

    Obviously the stronger coffee is the critical factor ... I need two double espressos before I can even focus. But what the person who wrote the Labour manifesto was on is anyone's guess. These are just examples of double counting to pad out the numbers. More appalling are the blatant lies and misinformation in it, the most obvious of which I mentioned here.

    MH @ Syniadau

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  • 3. At 03:55am on 17 Apr 2010, gonoph wrote:

    Betsan said............

    ".......where the coffee is, sadly, rather weak. Too early for the proper, strong stuff we're told."

    Gadzooks! Is there no limit to the power and dominion over our lives that this ridiculous Assembly would have?

    Whatever next? Cod Liver Oil and Orange at break time?

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  • 4. At 09:13am on 17 Apr 2010, alfsplace1986 wrote:

    And this.

    It is going to affect everyone who is genuinely chronically ill AND THEIR CARERS. It is already happening, EVERY one of the chronically ill and disabled people are being forced by the Government (and the Conservatives are planning more stringent policies on it) into going on to Employment Support Allowance from Incapacity benefit. To look for jobs that aren’t there and with no way that anyone is going to employ them because of their illnesses.

    All benefits are then taken off them and they are left with absolutely nothing to live on or support and no one is doing anything to stop it.

    Charitable organisations who should be fighting for these people have blindly signed up to this. But are now starting to realise the bomb crater they have dropped themselves into, now that it is too late.

    Remember these are the genuinely sick people with real medical problems.

    They now want to add the following to it.

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  • 5. At 11:39am on 17 Apr 2010, AVBK wrote:

    Manifesto Corner has missed out on the best manifesto. It has 98 proposals. These are my favourites:
    6. Set up a Court of Human Lefts.
    23. Make Weeding an Olympic Sport and thus save Manor Gardens Allotments, East London from demolition by the 2010 Games.
    24. Isle of Man to become Isle of Men, Women, Children and some Animals, Isle of Wight also to be changed (no.30)
    28. 3 lions symbol to change to 3 badgers (this one is devolved sadly, so does not apply to us!)
    34. On education - bright pupils to be provided with dimmer switches.
    There are 3 candidates standing for the Monster Raving Loony Party in Wales, in Cardiff Central, in Pontypridd and in Brecon and Radnor.

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  • 6. At 09:57am on 19 Apr 2010, Bryn_Teilo wrote:

    Talking of manifestos, I've just listened to Cameron's press conference this morning (Monday) and NEVER in my life have I heard a political leader so lacking in substance.

    I also watched part of the Welsh 'leaders' debate from the Coal Exchange ('Cole') on Sky News yesterday morning.

    It was interesting to note the two main unionist parties' idea of what constitutes a Welsh leader. For the Labour in the Capetown corner of Wales was none other than Labour's SoS, Peter Hain, who was parachuted into Wales from on high in a career move. In the Amersham corner of Wales we had Cheryl Gillan, the Tories' Shadow SoS, who hopefully will not end up the next in the long line of Tory MPs from English constituencies to become Wales' spokesperson in the Cabinet, taking strategic decisions for our country when she doesn't even live in it. Such is the British concept of democracy and accountability that regrettably its a real possibility.

    Ieuan Wyn Jones for Plaid and Kirsty Williams for the LibDems both gave creditable performances.

    The vital importance of media coverage has been demonstrated in a striking way by the success of Nick Clegg in the first of the unionist leaders' debates.

    The decision to exclude Plaid and the SNP from the debates is nothing less than a travesty. This is particularly so in the case of Scotland, where all three debates will be televised and where the Tories have only ONE MP. The exclusion of the SNP is a denial of political reality and of the changed political landscape post-devolution, not to mention being thoroughly undemocratic.

    The BBC shares in the guilt as the primary publicly-funded broadcaster. It has shown itself to be under the thumbs of the Pinky and Perky parties which take it in turn to govern the UK extremely badly, and which control the BBC's funding arrangements.

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