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Month: July 2017

Careful Where You Park Your Car in Our Colonised Country – Dangers Lurk!

A GUEST POST BY GWILYM AB IOAN  On the 28th of March 2007, I was arrested by the police in broad daylight, and in full view of the public. I was handcuffed, bundled into the back of a  patrol car and whisked away to Aberystwyth Police Station – just like all other nasty and dangerous common criminals. The arresting officer, an immigrant from the Midlands, called PC MICHAEL ROBERT WESTBURY – who, according to a detective inspector friend of mine, whom I had a conversation with some time later, said that Westbury (he apparently also has a cousin, or similar relative, in the police force here – so there’s two of them) is one of a small army of lazy policemen, (in fact I think the words he used were “a lazy prick who’s a pain in the arse of the local force”), transfer in to quiet backwaters like Aberystwyth, from places like Birmingham, because it’s easy work in sleepy mid Wales – offering a quiet risk free working life up to retirement age in scenic surroundings; but they also have an overwhelming need to show the ‘native woolly back’ policemen how the job should be done properly, as they (apparently) have been used to doing it in the big cities, before they transferred here. I personally think that a lot of them are also white flight racist dross that...

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Taking a Break

This blog – or rather, its writer – is taking a break for a week or 10 days. I shall return to the keyboard before then if ‘Welsh’ Labour does something of benefit to Wales, if Plaid Cymru wakes up to the fact that being Welsh is its sole selling point, or if some Third Sector crook has his/her collar felt. As none of these possibilities is likely to materialise in the next 10 days, or indeed the next 10 years, I feel confident that I can enjoy my break, and the wife and I can get away for a few days. While away I shall not be answering e-mails, so anyone wishing to contact me has the option of Twitter DM @jacothenorth or else being patient until I return. But if it’s really, really, really important then e-mail Big Gee on and he’ll give you my mobile number....

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Seminar on the 2017 General Election

On the morning of 5th July, the Wales Governance Centre (@WalesGovernance) organised an analysis seminar on the 2017 general election. The seminar was chaired with much aplomb by Catrin Haf Jones of ITV Cymru-Wales (@CatrinPenlan) – diolch yn fawr iawn iddi hi! It featured a presentation by me, and then a Q&A session with my colleague and friend Prof Laura McAllister (@LauraMcAllister). A PDF copy of the slides used is available here. A video of the event is available here: [embedded content] Share...

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Darwin Gray becomes first Welsh Law firm to achieve Living Wage Accreditation

Darwin Gray becomes first Welsh Law firm to achieve Living Wage Accreditation Darwin Gray is the first Welsh law firm to be accredited as a Living Wage employer by The Living Wage Foundation. Their Living Wage commitment will see everyone working at Darwin Gray, regardless of whether they are direct employees or third-party contracted staff; receive a minimum hourly wage of £8.45. Significantly higher rates than the statutory minimum for over 25s of £7.50 per hour introduced in April 2017. The real Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. The Living Wage is calculated according to the real costs of living. Fflur Jones, Partner and Head of Employment and HR at Darwin Gray, said, “We are delighted to have received our Living Wage accreditation to recognise Darwin Gray’s commitment to our employees, and very proud to be the first Welsh law firm to do so” Katherine Chapman, Director, Living Wage Foundation said: “We welcome Darwin Gray to the Living Wage movement as an accredited employer. Responsible businesses across the UK are voluntarily signing up to pay the real Living Wage now. The real Living Wage rate is annually calculated to reflect the real costs of living. We are a movement of over 3000 UK employers who together want to go further than the government minimum to make sure all their staff earn enough to live...

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Respecting Snowdon

RESPECT WANTED Tourism is a subject I’ve written about more than once, and so I think my views are pretty well known. But in case anyone’s failed to get the message . . . tourism in Wales is exploitive, tasteless, disruptive, damaging to Welsh identity and culture, destructive of our physical environment, and far too little of the wealth it generates reaches Welsh people. Tourism in Wales is one of the more obvious manifestations of colonialism. Which is why I was encouraged to read this morning about Eryri in future being treated with “respect”. Remarkably, this is the very word I have used in my previous criticisms of the damage being done to the area by crude and exploitive tourism. The word was used by Helen Pye, the Snowdonia National Park’s former head warden for Snowdon who is now manager of the Snowdon Partnership, a group representing various interests that has produced a draft plan for the area which invites comments. It’s a fascinating document and I urge you all to read it, and to submit your comments before Friday’s deadline. The document tells us, for example, that Snowdon is a “national asset” . . . without stating which nation is being referred to. But as it goes on to say, ” . . . the most visited mountain in the UK.” it’s reasonable to assume that we are...

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