Thursday, 15 April 2010

Assassination threats, old photos and other dirty tactics (updated)

An attendee of Peter Rogers' campaign launch tonight kindly phoned the Druid to report on the events of the evening. Apparently the meeting was well attended by over 60 or more people and served up some interesting revelations:

  • It was revealed that the reason why Peter Rogers is being investigated by the Public Services Ombudsman is because an unnamed County Councillor has apparently baselessly accused Peter Rogers of threatening to "assassinate" him
  • Peter believes that the news of this investigation was purposely leaked to the media by "political opponents" in order to undermine him
  • A local newspaper (the Daily Post?) will apparently carry a letter tomorrow from Plaid Cymru's candidate, Dylan Rees, demanding that the Ombudsman adjudicates on the complaints against Peter Rogers prior to the election in the hope that he (Peter Rogers) will be disqualified from standing
  • On top of all this - and perhaps the most underhand - is the relevation that apparently Plaid Cymru have complained to the BBC that the photo they have of Peter Rogers is too old and that a new one should be used - presumably in the hope that a post heart-op Peter Rogers will look more infirm in the photo

Firstly, the Druid personally finds it hard to believe that a 70 year old man recently out of hospital following a serious heart operation would "threaten to assassinate" anyone. I wonder how much money is being wasted by both the Police and Public Services Ombudsman investigating this allegation?

Secondly, judging by Peter's reported remarks this evening, Plaid Cymru are trying to make as much political capital out of this as possible. For instance we already know from yesterday's news reports that whilst all other political parties contesting Anglesey in the general election declined to comment on the news, only Plaid Cymru felt the need to put the boot in. Here's an extract:

"John Wyn Jones, press officer for Plaid Cymru Ynys Môn, speaking on behalf of the party's parliamentary candidate Dylan Rees, said "Mr Rogers has proved to be a politician who is unable to work with other people, whether it be the Conservative party or his colleagues in local government. This isolation means that he is unable to deliver for the people he represents."

Perhaps this is to be expected in the rough and tumble of a general election - however to my mind its very, very dirty indeed to purposefully complain to the media that they must update the photo they have of a candidate recently released from hospital following a heart operation. If it is true Plaid Cymru should be totally ashamed of themselves.
UPDATE: My informant who attended the above event may have gotten hold of the wrong end of the stick. A comment by Cllr Barrie Durkin on this blog states:

"Peter Rogers was only at the police station, in support of the arrested person who made the threats, as he was one one of Peter Rogers constituents. 
The Complaint by the Police Authority about Peter relates solely to his alleged behaviour whilst at the Police Station. and nothing else.
Any suggestion that he made any sort of threat to assassinate anyone is untrue."

If this is the case, the Druid is happy to put the record straight.  


The Rock said...

You have to remember the Plaid candidate is an ex-copper who probably sees a potential 'job' in every situation. Personally I think it is a shame that Peter Rogers, as much in his own interests as the potential adverse effect on what should be a three party marginal result, is standing but agree with The Druid that this attack by Plaid is below the belt.

Anonymous said...

Dirty tactics indeed, but lets not be surprised !I would not vote Plaid in a month of Sundays.
They are nothing but an ugly kind of introvert Welsh Mafia and anti-outsiders, and as more incisive commentators to this blog than me have said many times, they have done nothing of note for Anglesey.
I am Welsh to the core, and proud of my roots, but my vote goes elsewhere !

Anonymous said...

From Daily Post

Tory AM election scuffle

Apr 18 2003 By Eryl Crump, Daily Post

AN outspoken North Wales AM was barred from a hustings meeting after wrestling with a rival candidate.

Eyewitnesses said Tory AM Peter Rogers had to be physically restrained by officials after heated exchanges with Liberal Demo-crat Nick Bennett.

One said: "Peter Rogers appeared to lunge at Nick Bennett. He behaved in a threatening and violent manner and seemed to be trying to make contact with him."

But firebrand Anglesey farmer Mr Rogers sought to play down the affair saying later: "There is no truth that I am the warm-up act for Frank Bruno and Audley Harrison."

The spat broke out at Ysgol Gyfun Llangefni before a Wednesday night meeting arranged by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

No one was injured and police were not called.

Dennis Morris, the chairman of the Anglesey branch of the FSB, said Mr Rogers "behaved appallingly".

Mr Morris, who is also a member of the Anglesey Conservative Association, said: "He tried to assault Nick Bennett.

"They were involved in a heated discussion and Peter grabbed him by the lapel. I had to stand between them but Peter still wanted to have a go at him.

"The other candidates decided they did not want him to take part in the event, so he did not. He has clearly not got the temperament to be involved in politics."

Last night Ynys Môn Assembly candi-date Mr Rogers defended his behaviour.

He said: "No punches were thrown. There was just a bit of a scuffle.

"He has been having a go about me and has launched a vindictive campaign against me.

"I went in there and told him what I thought. I don't like Liberal Democrats.

"I would rather stand against the National Front because at least you know what they stand for.

"There was a bit of pushing and a couple of chairs were knocked over but I did not throw any punches."

Speaking about the fracas Mr Bennett said: "Candidates should be able to put their views across without resorting to violence.

"Tactics like this have no place in a democratic system. I shall carry on with a positive campaign focusing on policy.

"Clearly we are having an effective campaign."

A spokesman for Nick Bourne, the Conservative leader in the Assembly, also tried to play down the incident.

"We have not spoken to Peter Rogers about the incident and would need to do so before we make any comment.

"We understand it was started by a negative campaigning by the Liberal Democrats," the spokesman added.

Labour candidate Gerwyn Jones said: "I thought the Conservatives' election slogan was 'fighting for the vulnerable', not 'fighting with the vulnerable'." A spokesman for Plaid Cymru spokesman said: "I understand it was an unsavoury incident but this appears to have become a personal matter between the Conservative and Liberal Democrat candidates."

The fifth candidate present at the meeting, the UKIP's John Walker, said: "This was nothing more than horseplay and it's been blown up out of all proportion.

"I don't think Peter Rogers should have been barred from the meeting."

The meeting started late as a result of the incident.

The Druid of Anglesey said...

I think we can all recognise there is a big difference between a scuffle of that nature and "threatening to assassinate" someone.

Anonymous said...

Daily post

Bourne urges Rogers to drop out of election race on Anglesey

Apr 9 2010 by Owen R Hughes, Daily Post

WELSH Assembly opposition leader Nick Bourne has backed the Conservatives to take back Anglesey – but urged ex-Tory Peter Rogers to drop his bid as an independent candidate.

Mr Bourne was on Anglesey to support Anthony Ridge-Newman’s bid to unseat Labour’s Albert Owen in the key marginal that is also coveted by Plaid Cymru.

He said the candidate would be a “breath of fresh air” for the island and that he could repeat the success of ex-Tory MP Keith Best, who arrived from England to hold the seat from 1979 to 1987.

Mr Bourne also made a final bid to win over former Conservative Mr Rogers.

But farmer and independent councillor Mr Rogers, who polled more than 6,000 votes at the last Welsh Assembly election, said the invitation made him even more determined to stand as an independent.

Mr Bourne, who was in Menai Bridge, said: “I would urge Peter to stand down, I think he has had his turn and it is time he let the Conservatives fight for the island. He is a Conservative and it is a shame he is not backing Anthony.

“But we feel now that people will see that if they want change they have to back Anthony, who has arrived here as a breath of fresh air to many.”

Mr Rogers was elected as a Conservative AM in 1999 but later fell out with the party and stood as an independent in the Parliamentary and Assembly elections of 2005 and 2007.

Mr Rogers said: “I am even more determined to stand, my votes have grown with each election. My record shows I am a serious contender.”

The Druid of Anglesey said...

Anon - not sure what point you are trying to make with your last posting. Nick Bourne made his plea to Rogers openly through the pages of the Daily Post. He did not leak details of the ombudsman's investigation to the press or call for newer photos to be taken. There is a difference.

Anonymous said...

From Daily Post

Peter Rogers ready for Anglesey general election battle

Jun 26 2009 by Andrew Gilpin, Daily Post
Peter Rogers

Peter Rogers

MAVERICK politician Peter Rogers says he is ready to stand in the general election on Anglesey.

The former North Wales AM, who quit the Conservatives in a furious fall-out over candidate selection, said yesterday: “People are telling me, ‘you are a contender’.”

The 69-year-old Brynsiencyn farmer and independent county councillor has failed in past elections to parliament and the Assembly on the island.

He polled 5,216 votes (14.7%) in the 2005 general election, finishing third behind Labour’s MP Albert Owen and Plaid Cymru’s Eurig Wyn in the highly marginal Westminster seat. Mr Owen has a slender 1,242 majority.

Mr Rogers increased his vote to 6,241 (23.3%) in the 2007 Assembly elections, finishing second to Plaid Cymru’s Ieuan Wyn Jones, who had a comfortable 4,392 majority.

Mr Rogers said yesterday: “You must never miss an opportunity in life.

“I am still in politics (as a county councillor) and I haven’t changed my role in 10 years, which I enjoy doing.

“After the European elections, when Labour’s vote collapsed, people are saying you have to give it a go. You are a contender.

“It’s a damned hard road in an election and expensive but if it was next month I would be going for it.

“I’ll never walk away from a fight. I have a loyal base of supporters here. I have to take stock and when the time comes be ready for it and make the big decision.”

Mr Rogers has previously taken votes from Conservatives and Plaid Cymru and his decision could have a significant impact in a tight contest.

Labour MP Albert Owen said: “It is no shock to me that he would stand. It’s a democracy.

“The general election is a different ball game, turnout is much higher and people are choosing a Government and your MP, not necessarily a personality.”

Conservative candidate Trefor Jones said: “If he does stand we will look at it at the time. Peter brought me into politics in the first place.

“I met him when he was a candidate for the Assembly first time round.”

Plaid Cymru spokesperson John Wyn Jones said: “We don’t mind how many horses are in the race, our sights are firmly set on making sure it is Dylan Rees who becomes MP for Ynys Môn.

“As we know that Peter Rogers encouraged the Conservative to stand on Ynys Môn we fully expect Mr Rogers to withdraw his candidature just before the election and recommend his supporters vote Conservative. That’s the kind of nonsense that Peter Rogers does.”

Anonymous said...

Plaid Cymru are desperate to get their puppy Dylan to come out of this campaign as a true winner, is this the same yob who plays housing games with his buddy John Arthur Jones, well they did work in the same department in the council of Shame, and his role was to make sure his cronies and their friends were housed accordingly, where as those outside the secret circle were deemed to be lowlifes and as such were told to get on their bikes!

Do you want John Arthur Jones' sidekick, taking himeslf to Westminster, with that cronie pulling the strings with regard to housing in Anglesey behind the scene?

Plaid Cymru, the party of fools, led by fools, and now with another bent fool... it could only happen here in Anglesey.

Bonc Trodyn

Anonymous said...

I and many others simply do not understand how or why Plaid Cymru have allowed Dylan Rees to stand as a candidate for Plaid in this election. Dylan Rees is one of the laziest, most incompetent and cowardly individuals I and others have had the misfortune to have had to work with whilst he was a Police Officer in North Wales Police. He lacks ability or integrity and Plaid may well have shot themselves in the foot by selecting him. Dylan Rees couldn't hack it as a Police Officer and resigned, he did little or nothing whilst serving in Holyhead and is NOT a credible, competent candidate for any party in a general election. I suspect the people of Ynys Mon, especially those who have experience of Mr Rees, are far wiser in terms of their political acumen than Plaid Cymru give them credit for and I suspect they have far more sense than to vote for this Plaid Cymru lame duck.

Councillor Barrie Durkin said...


Having always supported and campaigned for Peter Rogers, until he stated to make nasty and unfounded allegation against me to the Ombudsman, as he did with others, I now fully understand why he has become his own worst enemy.

However I can not, having read your "Assassination Threats" comments, let that go by without putting the record straight.

You say. It was revealed that the reason why Peter Rogers is being Investigated by the Public Service Ombudsman is because, "an unnamed County Councillor has apparently baselessly accused Peter Rogers of threatening to "assassinate" him".

That is utter rubbish, he did nothing of the sort. Peter Rogers was only at the police station, in support of the arrested person who made the threats, as he was one one of Peter Rogers constituents.

The Complaint by the Police Authority about Peter relates solely to his alleged behaviour whilst at the Police Station. and nothing else.

Any suggestion that he made any sort of threat to assassinate anyone is untrue.

County Councillor
Barrie Durkin

The Druid of Anglesey said...

Barrie - thanks for your comment. I have updated this post to reflect your comments.

County Councillor, Barrie Durkin. said...

Thank you for that.

County Councillor
Barrie Durkin.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps we need to be thinking of electing someone a who is a little less tainted with local politics