Hand that your dealt

UKIP logo

Many people have been wondering what kind of election campaign UKIP would be running.

Critics had claimed that well documented problems over some of their candidates would continue to plague them.

It's early stages but so far in Wales at least it has followed that script.

Rows over the selection of candidates have continued to bubble away and the entire local branch committee in Brecon and Radnorshire was suspended by UKIP Wales.

And now the national organiser has stepped down just as we head into the campaign. The significance of the timing will be lost on no-one.

Hand that your dealt

Read full article Hand that your dealt

Plaid's manifesto

There are no shortage of sweeteners for Wales in Plaid Cymru's glossy 64 page manifesto.

The biggest one of the lot, an extra £1.2bn for Wales, isn't even mentioned but implied when it talks about Wales receiving the same level of funding per head as Scotland.

Read full article Plaid's manifesto

Plaid and resources to Scotland

Plaid Cymru have published a press release which talks about the importance of Wales being represented at Parliament by as many of their MPs as possible.

No surprises there, it's exactly what you'd expect on the eve of their campaign launch.

Read full article Plaid and resources to Scotland

A bit of everything

So how would you sum up prospects for the general election in Wales?

I was asked by Jeremy Vine to sell the election earlier during his Radio 2 broadcast from Cardiff as he travelled the UK ahead of the vote.

Read full article A bit of everything

Budget day two

It's now clear that if the Conservatives win the general election then the lion's share of their spending cuts will be in welfare.

And as is so often the case, the arguments over welfare reform will be more visible in Wales than just about anywhere else because of the dependency on benefits in so many former industrial communities.

Read full article Budget day two

Tolls, city deals and austerity

Second Severn Crossing
Could Severn crossing tolls become a general election issue?

We knew that VAT on the Severn crossing tolls was going to be scrapped when they return to public ownership in 2018 but this goes further.

The reduction for cars in 2018 from £6.50 to £5.40 is the result of that VAT cut but the big step is to bring the cost for vans, now at £13.10, down to the same level as cars.

Read full article Tolls, city deals and austerity

First Minister at film studios

It was appropriate that Carwyn Jones held his monthly news conference at the new Pinewood studios on an industrial stretch of the Gwent levels between Cardiff and Newport.

For those who know the area, it's on the site of the large wind turbine that can be seen for miles around.

Read full article First Minister at film studios

Fantasy politics 2

I wrote a blog earlier in the week called fantasy politics in relation to Plaid but I'm going to stick with the theme as it seems the perfect headline for a speech by the Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb in Aberystwyth on Wednesday night.

He spoke about the need for a three-way coalition between the Conservatives, Plaid and the Lib Dems to provide a "fresh effective" alternative to Labour.

Read full article Fantasy politics 2

Health commission a non-starter

There's no real surprise at the assembly that talks to set up a cross party commission on the future of the NHS have collapsed before getting off the ground.

It shows how difficult it was always going to be to try to remove party politics from the NHS so soon before the general election and with the assembly election on the horizon.

Read full article Health commission a non-starter

Fantasy politics?

Is it fantasy politics to claim that Plaid could hold the balance of power after the general election?

Plaid's MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr Jonathan Edwards told me they came up with this message in 2010 but no-one believed them.

Read full article Fantasy politics?