Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Albert Owen and the 'Lesser Spotted Brown'

BBC Newsnight reporter, Michael Crick, has been leading a nationwide hunt for the extremely rare 'Lesser Spotted Brown' - in other words, a Labour constituency leaflet with a photo of Gordon Brown on it. So far he has only found three examples: one in Cambridge, one in Bournemouth West and one in the Prime Minister's own constituency of Kirkcaldy! It appears that Labour candidates standing in the remaining 600+ constituencies believe that associating themselves with Gordon Brown is so toxic to their election chances that they have studiously avoided having any image of their Leader on their leaflets.

Rejoice therefore as the Druid has discovered another sighting of the 'Lesser Spotted Brown' on our own Anglesey. Albert Owen's leaflet - delivered throughout the Island this week - has a photo of both Gordon Brown and Albert grinning inanely whilst visting RAF Valley. Does Albert really think that associating himself with Gordon Brown will shore up his extremely precarious electoral position on Ynys Mon? Is Albert right and the other 600+ Labour candidates wrong? 

P.S. I have a much more substantial story about Albert Owen for tomorrow. Watch this space...


Anonymous said...

My family took part whole heartedly, on Ynys Mon, as patriotic homecomers , in the Plaid triumph of 199?
I came home to Ynys Mon in 2004 ,and found myself unable to continue to work, because the UK Pensions Service regulations penalized me for working,
Plaid ignored my request for advice and help to continue to work
Albert Owen clarified my situation and established my right to continue to work,.
Later , he assisted to establish my entitlement in private tenancy to the same rights as in ownership or council tenancy
Plaid now has the cheek to claim interest in pensioners' rights on the basis of one meeting in Aberffraw
On the other hand, Albert Owen argues. as his first priority , the re -establishment t of nuclear power on Ynys Mon . he asks s to vote this, within ten days of the anniversary of Chenobyl.
People died to give me the right to vote - so what to do? Spoil my paper/

Anonymous said...

"...of which only Fast Jet training is actually operated from RAF Valley."

That's not correct, Druid. Rotary training also takes place there, as do many other forms of training. The range of training is likely to increase over the next few years as Valley expands.

A. Pilot.

The Druid of Anglesey said...

A. Pilot - thanks for this info. If you are based at Valley can you let me know if the rest of my post is accurate? Particularly with relation to how much of £635 million will be invested at RAF Valley.

A. Pilot said...


I'm not a Valley man, but do fly. Reading the article again, it raises very interesting questions about who is getting this contract: "a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and VT Group". There's plenty of controversy there, if you care to dig a bit.

Also note the continuing daftness of the public/private partnership, which means the government gets new toys and some kudos today, at the expense of the hard-flogged taxpayer tomorrow, who has to additionally stump-up much more money that had the public sector alone implemented the contract. But why do that when you can enmesh yourself in lining shareholder's pockets?

As for the £635 million, if you take the jargonese wording at face value, what it seems to say is that this amount is for the initial, first part of the contract, and is explicit that other elements will be added to the contract. Usefully, the Lockheed Martin site takes you to a 'under construction' page if you try to find out more, as they suggest readers do. Why bother when money just flows your way?

"Ascent has been appointed as the Training System Partner to work with the Ministry of Defence to incrementally procure and deliver flying training capability, the first part of which is a Ground Based Training Environment, funded under a private finance initiative, for the Advanced Jet Trainer, Hawk 128.

It is intended that other elements of flying training will be added to the contract in due course so that all flying training is brought within a single training architecture"

A. Pilot said...

I should have added that, it seems very unlikely indeed that much of the £635 million will reach Valley. It's clear that this is an integrated training programme for all three forces. Quite what you get for this kind of money is very unclear. Maybe a nice american man in some tortoiseshell glasses giving a 'group hug' session over some coffee and biscuits (mineral water and fruit optional)?

The Druid of Anglesey said...

A.Pilot - Thanks again for your insight. You are certainly right about the often dubious taxpayer value from PFI schemes. As for the £635 million, I'm glad that you can confirm my original premise that Valley will see very. very little of this is correct.