Monday, 9 August 2010

IWJ, Ieuan Air and the passenger-less Ministerial Car

An interesting snippet in yesterday's Wales on Sunday throwing some light on IWJ's usage of the North-South Airlink (a.k.a. Ieuan Air):

"It’s belt- tightening time all around – and that includes the Assembly Government, which has joined everybody else in cutting back on the profligate expenses.
That doesn’t explain, though, the response to a Freedom of Information request published last week, asking how many times ministerial cars were travelling between Cardiff and Anglesey without a passenger (that missing passenger being, presumably, Deputy First Minister and Anglesey AM Ieuan Wyn Jones.)
The answer: 32 times in the past two years: 13 times in 2008, 17 times last year and twice so far this year.
“These journeys were made to provide ministers with official transportation from Anglesey to other destinations,” explained the Assembly Government, thus cutting out the need for Mr Jones to chunder down the A55 in a normal car like everybody else."

Doubtless the Wales on Sunday means the A470, but I digress. So Ieuan Wyn Jones flies up and down on the Airlink but presumably sends his chauffer-driven ministerial car back and forth between Anglesey and Cardiff to set him down at one airport and pick him up at the other. Anyone who's ever tried to find a taxi at Anglesey Airport will recognise how handy that could be  however, with the the North-South Airlink already costing Welsh taxpayers £800,000 a year, Ieuan Wyn Jones might want to look up the number of local minicab company next time.

Incidentally, last week's Holyhead and Anglesey Mail carried an advert from IWJ saying that he will be at the Plaid Cymru tent throughout this week's Anglesey show. Presumably therefore he is up here on Plaid rather than Welsh Assembly business and will not require his chauffer-driven WAG car. However you never know – so here's a little competition for all readers: I will donate an Anglesey Druid's Head Penny as a prize to anyone who manages to spot and take a snapshot of IWJ's chauffer-driven ministerial car this week!*

* Obviously the photo must show the car in Anglesey - not Cardiff! First photo wins.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've always been a bit sceptical as to the Cardiff Air Link. The whole thing is subsidised (which means we pay for it), an awful lot of the passengers are on government payroll so their tickets are paid for by us and despite that, it seems it cannot actually make money.

There is no reason why government employees cannot travel by train. It's just that the wretches think they are entitled to swan around at our expense.

And I have to say that during these austere times (and anyone who knows anything abiout economics will tell you it's going to get a whole lot worse yet), I fail to see why the air link gets any subsidy at all.

Legal said...

If military top brass nowadays have to travel second class on public transport.....????

Anonymous said...

Well I always thought that the lost mountain sheep was wondering lost grazing the hills of Wales, as we have all been under IWJ twenty five years of miss rule !!!

Un o Fôn

Anonymous said...

An empty car pulled up at the Assembly in Cardiff, and out stepped IWJ ??

The Great Councillini said...

"One afternoon in late February a warm, rich, appetising scent, such as the animals had never smelt before, wafted itself across the yard from the little brew-house,
which had been disused in Jones's time, and which stood beyond the
kitchen. Someone said it was the smell of cooking barley. The animals sniffed the air hungrily and wondered whether a warm mash was being prepared for their supper. But no warm mash appeared, and on the following Sunday it was announced that from now onwards all barley would be reserved for the pigs. The field beyond the orchard had already been sown with
barley. And the news soon leaked out that every pig was now receiving a ration of a pint of beer daily, with half a gallon for Napoleon himself, which was always served to him in the Crown Derby soup tureen."

'Animal Farm' by George Orwell, 1945.

How things never change...

The Druid of Anglesey said...

11:07 LOL!

Anonymous said...

This is a great island with a tin pot Welsh Assembly Member. Inept, clueless, disingenuous, ineffective and a TRAITOR to Anglesey because he delivered "nothing"

David Morris Jones Blog said...

I won't hear a word said against Ieuan Wyn Jones's pioneering Cardiff/Anglesey airlink.

Wales is the poorest country in the UK and, in turn, Anglesey is the poorest county in Wales. The island needs all the help it can get.

Let's face it, no Government could ever afford to built a North/South Wales motorway. No Government could ever afford to build a direct rail line either. But an airlink by-passes the need for such huge infrastructure investments. It IS affordable.

Subsidised air services are common all over the world - even the USA has several state and federal air services serving hard-to-reach communities.

The Cardiff/Anglesey service isn't a "AM taxi". Anyone can fly on it. The fare is £10 cheaper than the train and it's six times faster and a lot "greener" than going by road or rail.

Ieuan Wyn Jones can, no doubt, be criticised for many things - but his dogged support for the air-link deserves nothing but praise.

The Great Councillini said...

"a lot "greener" than going by road or rail."

Really? Can you present the carbon calculations for that?

According to a respected online carbon calculator, based on a journey from Anglesey to Cardiff (Bangor to Cardiff for rail), you get the following:

Air: 100kg CO2
Rail: 40kg
1.4-2L petrol car: 60kg.

You need a taxi or bus from the airport to Cardiff Bay, so that's another 10kg CO2 to the air travel.

I think we can conclude that, even with some uncertainty in the calculations, air is hardly "a lot greener than road or rail"; it's less than half as green as rail.

Anonymous said...

Re David Morris Jones Air - Link

The pioneering seemed to be more Albert Owen than IWJ.

Albert chaired the steering committee meetings and it was from that dynamic we got the Air - Link.

I agree we should have this link and more. Looking at so many other countries
with a long geographiocal 'stretch' and indented coastline plus absolutely rubbish road connections N - S, the obvious means of travel is by Air. So lets see praise where it is due and let's hope Mr IWJ actually does something really worthwhile for Anglesey Exporters
instead of suppressing them.

Prometheuswrites said...

Re: Carbon Emmissions:

It's not an either/or situation.

The train runs regardless of whether the planes are in the air and vice-versa.

So it's the carbon footprint of the train PLUS that of the plane.

Not going by car is the only option for saving on carbon emmissions.

David Morris Jones Blog said...

I'm sorry if I should also have included Albert Owen as sharing the honours for the airlink and am happy to "include him in" as Eisenhower might have said.

Oh dear. I hoped we were not going to get into "green" arguments - which are entirely superfluous to the central issue. Indeed I wish I hadn't mentioned it at all!

However, the train from Cardiff to Holyhead will burn 2282 gallons of diesel fuel.(8.77 gallons per passenger) The plane burns less than 70 gallons of kerosene.(3.6 galls per passenger).

What really matters however is that Anglesey is now within a realistic travelling time from Cardiff.

Groundhog Day said...

David Morris Jones said..."What really matters however is that Anglesey is now within a realistic travelling time from Cardiff."

As far as I am concerned the further we are from Cardiff and that gin palace of a talking shop with inferior politicians like IWJ the better. We were fine without the air link and with a subsidy of £800k per anum then the sooner we close that the better. Cardiff does nothing for us here in the north, if we need medical care other that the basic care supplied in Ysbyty Gwynedd then we go to Liverpool and Manchester and thank the lord for those fine cities.

Anonymous said...

The only way to make it popular and making money is to add new destinations, is it compulsory that it only flies to Cardiff. I'm sure there would be great demand if other destinations were on offer

The Great Councillini said...

"The train runs regardless of whether the planes are in the air"

True, but no train or plane would ever run if they were consistently empty. You've got a point, though, as there should be some correction factor for average passenger numbers; I suspect this is already fudged-in, but perhaps not.

But, I do agree that Wales should have a good air service; from a car, the Wales of 4-and-a-half hours looks a desperately large and difficult place to negotiate. From the air, it's a pleasant one hour from end to end, and you start to get a feel of togetherness between north and south. That has to be be worth encouraging, especially as we can always offset the carbon with some native tree planting or something.

Anonymous said...

Great Councillini, I think part of the argument is that if it's as popular as is made out, it can withstand a price-hike to at least a break-even point.

If it can't, then it's an albatross.

david morris jones said...

Perhaps I can pick up a couple of points here made by ANONYMOUS - although I have to ask what's so wrong about using our real names here?.....Oh, I see, "Druid" isn't Druid's real name either - OK, touche!

Anyway, back to the discussion. ANONYMOUS makes the point that there could be more destinations offered from Anglesey Airport - and he (she?) is absolutely right. In fact Manx2.com have now a twice-weekly service from Anglesey to the Isle of Man so residents of either island can spend the weekend "overseas" as it were. And that service is NOT subsidised.

ANONYMOUS also notes possible head-room for a price-hike. Well here I think we have to listen to the operators who are the experts in where to pitch the price. I believe however that the actual seat-price is set by WAG (but I could be wrong about that). It;'s worth making the point that the hop to Anglesey from Cardiff already costs £49.50 (one-way) which is a lot more than you would pay on Ryanair or BMIBABY domestic routes where fares are much lower. However Manx2's fares actually do include all airport taxes etc. You do need to pay extra for baggage though.

I should also point out that you also get a free barley-sugar handed to you by the captain of the plane on Manx. You won't get that on Ryanair!

Groundhog Day said...

Where does this idea that having other destinations from Anglesey would be feasible? Just consider the following, the current air link to Cardiff is, I would suggest, used mainly by island peole. How many would anyone guess come from the mainland to use the link? Very few if any in my opinion. As for destinations further afield, does anyone really believe that people along the North Wales coast would use Valley as a departure airport when there are two major airports in Manchester and Liverpool within a couple of hours driving distance away? Come down from your clouds up there in cuckoo land, the whole airport issue is a dead one and would never make money which would then call for even more subsidies than now from we the taxpayers. This mooted route between the IOM and Anglesey will fall flat on its face, who would want to spend time commuting from one wind-swept island to another for pleasure?

TGC said...

"if it's as popular as is made out, it can withstand a price-hike to at least a break-even point.

If it can't, then it's an albatross."

Agreed. But, then, if auditors and the like, who do use the service a bit (I once met one, and shook his hand, inviting him to visit more often), save the best part of a whole working day in car/rail travel, then I suppose you have to factor this in as a better use of public resources. Get to Anglesey from Cardiff by mid-morning, find some irregularity in the books, and then get back to the kids in time for their bed.

Not everything yields to purely business-like analysis.

Anonymous said...

I claim your penny, I saw him in Cafe Gaerwn listening to Tony ac Aloma, crooning with Dafydd Iwan about "yma o hyd", when he went to the ministeral car, he found the car on bricks and someone had pinched the car tax disc, I didn't take a photo as I was rolling with laughter, I did offer him a lift on my tractor, but he was too upset.

A short while later, Dafydd Iwan came out and after crying on his shoulder, he went back to the cafe for a bag of chips, I swear I never told a soul till now, so where's my penny?

Anonymous said...

I claim the penny, I saw IWJ sat in the back seat of his ministeral car in the layby by the Pilot Boat in Dulas, he was wearing red high heeled shoes, stockings and a red silk bra and knickers, when I asked him what he was doing there, he told me he was getting changed for a night out, in the Marquis later.
I swear I never told a soul till now. Where's my penny?

Anonymous said...

I was met at Cardiff Airport by IWJ's ministeral car, a Fiat, driven by his beautiful boyish assistant, as we sped through the thick fog he played" you spin me right round" at full volume as we sped through the streets of Cardiff, our police outridrers struggling to keep pace.

How we made it, I'll never know. It was the most intensley power mad IWJ moment I ever had. Do I get a penny?

Anonymous said...

I saw the ministeral car in the hangar at Mona Airfield, it's a 1967 morris 1000 van with the reg number A1 IWJ.

I peeped inside, it has got a full leather interior, green reclining seats with a red dragon embossed on the back.

The engine runs sweetly and very quick it is too off the mark, with it's low rider suspension and wide alloys. I have seen Ieuan hit 40 mph when he was in a rush to get to the chip shop before it closed, he nearly ran me over, but luckily enough, the noise from his side pipes gave me ample warning, to dive into the hedge, as he flew past.

It's a credit to him, this is his run around when he's back on the block, on his turf. The back bumper has a sticker on it, DYLAN FOR MON, some wag has defaced it and it now reads DYLAN FOR MONGS.

The back doors are blacked out, the side indicators which are on the door pillar, have been pimped to read IEUAN RULES when they pop out, when he's indicating.

I saw a file on the passenger seat, something to do with Ieuan's Manifesto, the druid's Manifesto, it was originally, but he's scratched out Druid and wrote Ieuan's instead there's large writing on it, for DYLAN'S EYES ONLY.

On the floor of the van, is a packet of cheese and onion crisps, a half drunk bottle of oasis, some peanuts, pork pie from Morrisons with a bite taken out of it, some apple cores and a crumpled up Holyhead Mail. A card from Albert Owen and an invitation to Merched Y Wawr in Llangefni, are tucked behind the sunvisor, all in all, he's a bit of a scruff, or is it his driver?

Failing to keep his ministeral van in a prim and proper fashion should be a crime.

His car in Cardiff is a Fiat Punto. I should get a penny, if I don't then there will be more car type postings..

The Druid of Anglesey said...

LOL!
Good spotting!
You need photos to claim your penny though...!

Anonymous said...

Pesky Druid, I was looking forward to his next sighting!

The Druid of Anglesey said...

18:38 - Me too. Keep 'em coming anyway!

Anonymous said...

Plans for a hot air balloon passenger service to be operated by Plaid Leader Ieuan Wyn Jones are up in air- after Ieuan's maiden flight landed him in hot water.

Anglesey's"Super Plaid Cymru" leader planned to take a leaf out of airline boss Richard Branson's book by becoming a balloon operator. But Jones's maiden voyage from Mona to Cardiff was a disaster and left his first customers furious and demanding their money back.

David Bowles and Clive Mcgregor saw Jones's advert in the Anglesey herald offering return flights to Cardiff for only twenty pounds. They rang Jones and were told to meet him in a field near Mona early the following day. When they arrived they were surprised to find former solicitor on his own, struggling to unravel the balloon which had become entangled on nearby bushes.

When the balloon was eventually inflated Jones told the couple to join him in the small basket.

"There was barely enough room for Ieuan Wyn, never mind the two of us" said Mr Bowles yesterday. Eventually the balloon got off the ground, but as he struggled with the controls Jones repeatedly caught Mr Bowles on the ear with his elbow."It was bruised for several days afterwards", he told me.

Within ten minutes it became obvious to Mr Jones that the balloon was travelling in the wrong direction.

" I pointed out to Mr Jones that we had crossed the island and we were heading towards Cemaes, in the opposite direction to Cardiff. He didn't seems to have a clue what he was doing"

Shortly afterwards Jones announced that he was stopping for lunch, and made a precarious landing near mynydd bodafon, during which McGregor hurt his elbow, Jones then wandered off, leaving the two passengers to fend for themselves in a field.

After three hours he had not returned, and after walking four miles, Bowles and McGregor eventually flagged down a taxi and returned to their offices at a further cost of £48.50.

When we rang Jones he told us that his balloon service has been suspended due to " technical difficulties". Later when pressed, he admitted that he had been unable to steer the ballooon in the right direction." I didn't realise that so much depends on the wind" he told us "It's not like a van or tractor, when you just turn a wheel and go anywhere you want".

"Balloons have a mind of their own, and they just go anywhere they please" He added that he was considering operating a revised service from Holyhead to Llangefni, but had no dates yet.

When we rang the Welsh Assembly they informed us that they were unaware of his ballooning activity, it has no bearing on his constant hard work for the people of Anglesey and the balloon industry of Wales. They hung up on me, to Mr Jones we wish him well, up, up in the air in his beautiful balloon.

Anonymous said...

Plans for a hot air balloon passenger service to be operated by Plaid Leader Ieuan Wyn Jones are up in air- after Ieuan's maiden flight landed him in hot water.

Anglesey's"Super Plaid Cymru" leader planned to take a leaf out of airline boss Richard Branson's book by becoming a balloon operator. But Jones's maiden voyage from Mona to Cardiff was a disaster and left his first customers furious and demanding their money back.

David Bowles and Clive Mcgregor saw Jones's advert in the Anglesey herald offering return flights to Cardiff for only twenty pounds. They rang Jones and were told to meet him in a field near Mona early the following day. When they arrived they were surprised to find former solicitor on his own, struggling to unravel the balloon which had become entangled on nearby bushes.

When the balloon was eventually inflated Jones told the couple to join him in the small basket.

"There was barely enough room for Ieuan Wyn, never mind the two of us" said Mr Bowles yesterday. Eventually the balloon got off the ground, but as he struggled with the controls Jones repeatedly caught Mr Bowles on the ear with his elbow."It was bruised for several days afterwards", he told me.

Within ten minutes it became obvious to Mr Jones that the balloon was travelling in the wrong direction.

" I pointed out to Mr Jones that we had crossed the island and we were heading towards Cemaes, in the opposite direction to Cardiff. He didn't seems to have a clue what he was doing"

Shortly afterwards Jones announced that he was stopping for lunch, and made a precarious landing near mynydd bodafon, during which McGregor hurt his elbow, Jones then wandered off, leaving the two passengers to fend for themselves in a field.

After three hours he had not returned, and after walking four miles, Bowles and McGregor eventually flagged down a taxi and returned to their offices at a further cost of £48.50.

When we rang Jones he told us that his balloon service has been suspended due to " technical difficulties". Later when pressed, he admitted that he had been unable to steer the ballooon in the right direction." I didn't realise that so much depends on the wind" he told us "It's not like a van or tractor, when you just turn a wheel and go anywhere you want".

"Balloons have a mind of their own, and they just go anywhere they please" He added that he was considering operating a revised service from Holyhead to Llangefni, but had no dates yet.

When we rang the Welsh Assembly they informed us that they were unaware of his ballooning activity, it has no bearing on his constant hard work for the people of Anglesey and the balloon industry of Wales. They hung up on me, to Mr Jones we wish him well, up, up in the air in his beautiful balloon.

Anonymous said...

Plans for a hot air balloon passenger service to be operated by Plaid Leader Ieuan Wyn Jones are up in air- after Ieuan's maiden flight landed him in hot water.

Anglesey's"Super Plaid Cymru" leader planned to take a leaf out of airline boss Richard Branson's book by becoming a balloon operator. But Jones's maiden voyage from Mona to Cardiff was a disaster and left his first customers furious and demanding their money back.

David Bowles and Clive Mcgregor saw Jones's advert in the Anglesey herald offering return flights to Cardiff for only twenty pounds. They rang Jones and were told to meet him in a field near Mona early the following day. When they arrived they were surprised to find former solicitor on his own, struggling to unravel the balloon which had become entangled on nearby bushes.

When the balloon was eventually inflated Jones told the couple to join him in the small basket.

"There was barely enough room for Ieuan Wyn, never mind the two of us" said Mr Bowles yesterday. Eventually the balloon got off the ground, but as he struggled with the controls Jones repeatedly caught Mr Bowles on the ear with his elbow."It was bruised for several days afterwards", he told me.

Within ten minutes it became obvious to Mr Jones that the balloon was travelling in the wrong direction.

" I pointed out to Mr Jones that we had crossed the island and we were heading towards Cemaes, in the opposite direction to Cardiff. He didn't seems to have a clue what he was doing"

Shortly afterwards Jones announced that he was stopping for lunch, and made a precarious landing near mynydd bodafon, during which McGregor hurt his elbow, Jones then wandered off, leaving the two passengers to fend for themselves in a field.

After three hours he had not returned, and after walking four miles, Bowles and McGregor eventually flagged down a taxi and returned to their offices at a further cost of £48.50.

When we rang Jones he told us that his balloon service has been suspended due to " technical difficulties". Later when pressed, he admitted that he had been unable to steer the ballooon in the right direction." I didn't realise that so much depends on the wind" he told us "It's not like a van or tractor, when you just turn a wheel and go anywhere you want".

"Balloons have a mind of their own, and they just go anywhere they please" He added that he was considering operating a revised service from Holyhead to Llangefni, but had no dates yet.

When we rang the Welsh Assembly they informed us that they were unaware of his ballooning activity, it has no bearing on his constant hard work for the people of Anglesey and the balloon industry of Wales. They hung up on me, to Mr Jones we wish him well, up, up in the air in his beautiful balloon.

Puck said...

Anon:

I think I'm falling in love with you.

PS. ... in triplicate? You must work for the French.

Anonymous said...

Puck..I asked the Druid to delete two of the balloon trips to mynydd bodafon, he must send me that penny now don't you think? Pesky druid hanging on to his penny.

Huw Terry

Puck said...

Huw
You're worth at least a 'monkey' as Arfer Daley would have said.

Anonymous said...

At last we can find a use for him!

I think the Hot Air Baloon idea is fantastic. We could have them going to London, Glasgow, Dublin...all over the place and to keep them topped up all we need is the Magnificent Councillor Twaddle. As long as that councillor keeps spouting hot air they will float forever.

Anonymous said...

Forget Omar Shariff, Rober Redford and George Clooney, it's Ieuan Wyn who get's Anglesey's women frothing at the ballot box.
To the female of the species, the 20- stone joskin's appeal is obvious, but to men it's a little harder to understand. But if Jones's way with the ladies is a mystery, one thing's for certain-every red blooded fella would like to know the secret of his appeal in the hope of recreating his success with the fairer sex!

Hair.

Despite what bald men claim, women love a good head of hair on a man , Jones sports a healthy thatch, in addition his hair is styled to look as though it has been cut by his mam, Phyllis, with the kitchen scissors on a Sunday tea-time. This 'basin-cut' accentuates his air of vulnerability and brings out the mothering instinct in women.

Eyes.

The eyes are the first point of contact between prospective lovers, and when Jones fixes a woman with his watery 'come to bed' gaze, resistance is futile. And the huge dark bags underneath his eyes confirm that once he gets her between the sheets, there'll not be alot of sleep going on!

Voice.

Traditionally, the language of love has been French, Charles Aznavour, Sacha Distel and Maurice Chevalier regularly turned women's knees to jelly with words such as'l'amour' 'ma cherie' and 'he-honh, he-honh, he-honh' all uttered with a romantic Gallic-lilt.

Jones may not be French, but his Anglesey accent, fine tuned in the bars of Cardiff and Llangefni has an emotional honesty that can charm the underwear off any lady.

Chins.

It's a scene familiar from many nature documentaries; the male frogs in a pond inflating their chins to impress a prospective mate. In nature, it's a case of the bigger the chin the more attractive is the male to the female.
Today we may not live in ponds eating flies, but that primeval amphibious instinct remains as stong as ever deep within a woman's psyche.
Jones's chin air bags are a signal to women, unleashing their primitive desires and leaving them like putty in his fingers.

Gut.

Since the dawn of creation, women have looked for mates who could provide security and sustenance for themselves and their offspring. Back in cave-man times, a well filled stomach on Neanderthal man was a sure sign that a prospective mate hag got waht it took to hunt successfully. Today we may buy our food from shops, but the primeval instinct remains as stong as ever deep within a woman's psyche.

Jones's massive bilge tanks are a signal to women, unleasing their primitive desires and leaving them putty in his hands.

Hands.

Anglesey Joskin Jones's hands have been toughened by his early days planting potatoes. Twelve years as a tea boy on the Irish Mail Train from Holyhead to Euston, operating a tea urn and collecting tips has left them strong and powerful enough for him to pilot a balloon on his own, manhandling the ropes and basket.
But these same hands are gentle enough to caress a woman's breast to orgasm, an ability that ensures he is constantly in demand as a lover.

Anonymous said...

Sir, you forgot to mention where his pen is.

Anonymous said...

Pen.

When he's not driving women wild, the dreamy Anglesey Joskin AM and Plaid Cymru leader is most likely found driving around in his famous 1967 Morris 1000 van. And it was while he was behind the the wheel that he met Dot Herpes. The attractive 45 year old divorcee had broken down in a country lane when Jones pulled up in his souped up Morris 1000 van.
" He looked under the bonnet of my car and told me that I had a flat battery." she remembers." He said he would get me started again, and got a pair of jump leads out of the back of the van.He connected one set to my battery, But I couldn't believe what he did with the other end. Instead of fastening the clips onto the battery in his van, he shoved them down the front of his trousers.
"I don't know what he did with them, but my car started immediately! I didn't have to turn the key or anything. He had started my car using sex power alone. In fact, there was so much electricity coming down those wires that the horn on my car started sounding, the electric aerial went up and down and my headlights exploded. It was the sexiest thing I have ever seen"

When I rang the Welsh Assembly they told me thay were unaware of his breakdown activities, it has no bearing on his abilities to work hard for the people of Anglesey and that other breakdown companies are available, they hung up on me. To Ieuan I wish him well for helping damsels in distress on the highways of Wales.