Saturday, 11 September 2010

IWJ hasn't changed Ynys Môn for the better - can he really change Wales for the better?

In a remarkable snub to their leader, Ieuan Wyn Jones, delegates at the Plaid Cymru conference yesterday voted decisively against subsidies for the North-South air link between Anglesey and Cardiff (a.k.a. IeuanAir). Now I'm not a particular supporter of subsidies myself, but surely its extraordinary that IWJ is unable to even get his own party to support one of his flagship policies?

Or is it..? The truth is that this is yet another policy issue where Ieuan Wyn Jones has been unable to lead his party to the direct detriment of the constituency he represents:

  • Despite Ieuan Wyn Jones apparently being in favour of nuclear power (in Anglesey anyway), Plaid Cymru is steadfastly against any nuclear installations in Wales.
  • Despite RAF Valley being one of the last remaining large employers on Anglesey, Ieuan Wyn Jones declined to slap down or even respond to Plaid MP Elfyn Llwyd's calls to ban the RAF from conducting low-flying training in Snowdonia -- the very raison d'etre of RAF Valley.

Has there ever been such a weak party leader?

Furthermore, in his speech to conference yesterday, Ieuan Wyn Jones made the following bold claims:

"Managing Wales may be what other parties are about, but for Plaid putting up with things as they are, just doesn't feel right ... I didn't come into politics to manage Wales. I came into politics because I wanted to change Wales, and change Wales for the better"

Its just as well he doesn't want to "manage" Wales because, as we have just seen, he can't even effectively manage his own party.

Secondly, with regards to Ieuan's claim to want "to change Wales, and change Wales for the better", I invite all readers to examine his record here on Anglesey - a constituency he has represented as either MP or AM for the past 25 years:

  • Anglesey is the poorest sub-region in the United Kingdom with the lowest Gross Value Added (GVA) per head in the United Kingdom. At £10,998 per head, Anglesey’s GVA is just 55.1 per cent of the UK’s average. When you are officially the poorest place in the UK things by definition can't have been any worse - or at least have not improved under 25 years of IWJ.
  • Anglesey is poorer than some of the poorest parts of rural Poland according to the 2009 OECD Factbook.
  • Data for full-time employees show that average earnings in Anglesey were approx. £396 per week in 2007, compared with £415 per week in Wales and £456 per week in the UK. It should be noted that gross average earnings on the Island were distorted by wages paid to employees at Wylfa and Anglesey Aluminium, which are substantially higher than other wages in the area.
  • However we don't have to worry about Anglesey Aluminium distorting average earnings on the Island anymore because it was forced to close in 2009 wiping out at least 450 direct jobs and an estimated further 240 jobs through indirect and induced effects.
  • In addition Anglesey has also lost Octel in Amlwch, Eaton Electric in Holyhead (240 jobs), Peboc in Llangefni (100 jobs), Menai Electrical in Gaerwen (50 jobs), Readileads (35 jobs) and Vion/Welsh Country Foods has restructured in Llangefni and Gaerwen (191 jobs). These are on top of the countless other jobs lost at small businesses throughout the Island which aren’t reported in the local press. 
  • In fact, according to research by the University of Wales, since 2001 there has been a decrease of 2,100 jobs in private sector employment on Anglesey and the proportion of those employed in the private sector has decreased from 74 per cent to 67 per cent.
  • Anglesey is currently suffering from an employment ‘triple whammy’, with the lowest level of employment coupled with the highest rates of job-seekers claimants and economic inactivity in North Wales.
  • Remarkably farming in North Wales has fared even worse than business. During the period 1997 to 2007, the economic contribution of agriculture to the North Wales and Anglesey economy fell by a staggering 67 per cent compared to an overall UK decline of just 7 per cent.
  • On top of all this, Anglesey County Council is poorly managed, riven with infighting, and planning on raising Council Tax by 15% over three years.

Now you may say that it is unfair to blame IWJ for all of this - and you'd be right. As Anglesey residents, the best we can say for him is that he has made exactly zero difference whatsoever to the constituency he has represented for the past quarter of a century. "Putting up with things as they are" is actually exactly what he has done here on Ynys Môn -- hardly a record to inspire confidence in his ability to transform Wales for the better.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Too true ! And what pray does he earn from the public purse for his feeble efforts, do tell us ?

The Red Flag said...

IWJ isn't the problem - it's the complete and total lack of anyone form any party of any use to replace him that's the problem.

Glyn Pritchard-Jones said...

I brought a major project to Anglesey in September 2009 and IWJ has not been able to "come up with the goods."

The project would have been clan tech manufacturing in Holyhead on WAG Ty Mawr land with 200 plus jobs created.

This remains private and confidential but when I am able I will reveal all about this project and particularly how "the gift" was squanderd.

GPJ

Anonymous said...

GPJ......you must have received political support for it, if not, who was against it ?

mozilla said...

I agree with The Red Flag, the task for those who wish to see Ieuan Wyn Jones loose at the next Assembly election is clear...

Put forward a credible candidate to stand against him - something to date they have obviously failed to do.

Glyn Pritchard Jones has a high opinion of himself, has he every considered standing ?

Glyn Pritchard-Jones said...

Hi

High opinion, pull the other one!

It's about having a flourishing economy and a free and unfettered ability to do business in a "modern" dynamic, growing, vibrant and successful geographic area of the country.....

This is my vision for Anglesey not the nonsense we have here.

I want change yesterday.I want corporate governance, accountability and probity from now on...

It's not about high opinion, just about setting high standards.

Regards

Glyn

Anonymous said...

21:42
Sounds like a sore point has been touched. There's nothing rubbish about wanting to see good governance,accountability and a council run with out corruption or do you prefer it that way?

Anonymous said...

See, ynysmon.com

Is this the start of Anglesey County Council's 9/11? It certainly opens the door to some very serious questions such as.

Did Ian Howse resign from PriceWaterHouse Coopers after receiving threats, because his draught report exposed Senior officers and their unlawful activities.

Is this why the final report was watered down?

Is this why the draught report was withheld from the Leader Phil Fowlie and his Executive?

Was there a "Sherman Tank" Parked on Mr Ian Howes Lawn to pressurise him in to watering down the report?

Where is that draught report now?

We know from Lynn Balls' own report, that the purchase of Graigwen was unlawful. We also know from the same report that the Monitoring Officer Lynn Ball, the Managing Director and the Corporate Director (Environment and Technical Services decided to ignore the law and move forward with the executives unlawful decision to go to auction.

So why did such an honest man, in such a highly regarded position with one of the worlds most prestigious Auditors, resign so quickly? We need to know more.

mozilla said...

And so with the passing of the day, some seek only solice from the past. Determined to dig up once again the shallow ground of their own prejudice.

As we seek hope and certainty for the future, education for our children, care for elderly and jobs for our unemployed, we shall not forget easily those who played loose over a sodden piece of land in Amlwch Town. There one day we will erect a memorial to them and it will read "Here beneath lies the soul of the island, buried by fools who dared call themselves Councillors"

Glyn Pritchard-Jones said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mozilla said...

To Glyn PJ

Thank you for taking my earlier quip in the good humour intended. Nothing wrong with having a high opinion of yourself though, the problem arises when that opinion is deluded. On your successful track record I see no delusion at all.

As all good valuers know - before you can value someone else first you must know the value of yourself.

Sadly though your quick response may have ruled you out as a AM, which as you know follow the principle of not replying at all.

Glyn Pritchard-Jones said...

Hi

We're all business people trying to make an honest buck.

What's that they say about politicians being failed businessmen?

Can't see myself standing against anyone as potential AM, however I have been beating up Robin Millar in an attempt to get him to stand.

Robin would be the ideal candidate against IWJ

(Robin needs sponsorship)

Glyn

Glyn Pritchard-Jones said...

Hi

We're all business people trying to make an honest buck.

What's that they say about politicians being failed businessmen?

Can't see myself standing against anyone as potential AM, however I have been beating up Robin Millar in an attempt to get him to stand.

Robin would be the ideal candidate against IWJ

(Robin needs sponsorship)

Glyn

Anonymous said...

Anon 23.31

Mr Howse was looking into some serious concerns I raised with him in 2007.

I received my last correspondence from him in March 2008, and did not attempt to contact him again till this year. My recent email were unanswered but I had no indication that his email was no longer active. I did not know he had left PWC.

I found him to be an honest, careful and considered man.

I would also be interested in hearing what happened to him.

What was in the final report? and is it possible to see a copy of the draft report for comparision?

Your comments give me pause to wonder whether the concerns I raised were referred to in the draft report.

mozilla said...

Not a conservative myself, but your suggestion of Robin Millar does on paper seem good, as he comes across as a credible candidate.

Hope your search for a sponsor is successful.

Anonymous said...

Glyn - in the general election Robin Millar achieved the lowest pro-Conservative swing of any Tory candidate in North Wales. He was not born on Anglesey nor is he a now a resident. Pitting him against IWJ would achieve nothing. Anglesey needs a local born, Welsh speaking candidate with plenty of business experience if he/she is to beat IWJ. Forget Robin Millar.

Glyn Pritchard-Jones said...

Hi

Perhaps a shortlist of ideal candidates ought to be generated online....like a Druid's wishlist of candidates to fight agaist IWJ?

Glyn

Richard Sletzer said...

Robin Millar suffered from a very late start in the General Election campaign. He might do better now more people have heard of him.

I doubt whether it's wise to restrict candidacy to just "Welsh speakers". Why draw from just a fifth of the population (even if you accept the exaggerated numbers of Welsh speakers claimed by the self-interested Welsh Language Board).

There is a dire lack of entrepreneurs like Glyn Pritchard-Jones in Anglesey. We need far more like him.

What we also need is a Clean-Up-Anglesey Party which will take control of the county council, sweep out the corruption and provide competent WAG and Westminster representation.

Ieuan Wyn Jones may have minus charisma but at least he's established the North/South Wales Airlink but the failure to retain Anglesey Aluminium showed what an incompetent shower runs Anglesey at the moment. It must change.

mozilla said...

From what I read Robin Millar was born in Bangor, that's close enough for me, and has had a successful career.

For those who think he is not a credible candidate, why not suggest your own as GPJ has suggested.

However NO more independents PLEASE!!

The Red Flag said...

Being a Welsh speaker is I would have thought a 'must' for anyone who seeks office in this part of Wales. To not be able to speak it automatically excludes you from eroding most of Plaid's vote for starters.

mozilla said...

As a welsh speaker I agree, it would be desirable to have a welsh speaking candidate.

However to use an analogy -

If you are drowning, the important key skill of the potential life saver, is that they can swim.

Anonymous said...

To earlier posters:

Ian Howse is now working as a
Director at Deloitte,
Cardiff, United Kingdom.

Though he's probably under a confidentiality clause regarding his work PWC and WAG.

Anonymous said...

Where is the Draught report? Where is the threatening letter from Lynn Ball to Ian Howes? Both these items must be available without redaction under the Freedom of Information Act, providing as much else, has not gone missing.

Where is Mr Ian Howes now?

Anonymous said...

The "draught report", is that the cold report, or the real report.....

Me suspect the spelling of a well known councillor, bless him.

Mr Howes is in Cardiff apparently, or is it that Dr House (last seen on Sky)

Anonymous said...

'There is a dire lack of entrepreneurs like Glyn Pritchard-Jones in Anglesey. We need far more like him'

Lets hear all about GPJ results .. its all very well having dreams what counts is delivery .. waiting !!!!!

Anonymous said...

To Anon 21:58

Why, who are you hiding behind an anon to demand anything of anyone.

Crawl back under the rock where you came from!!!

Said an anon to an anon, ironic really....

Anonymous said...

When it comes to politics, particularly Welsh politics, the Social Europe site puts things into eloquent perspective:

"The former Dutch progressive-liberal leader Hans van Mierlo put it this way: ‘We live in a country of pretending. We pretend the government is still in charge of society, while the government has lost its grip on the bureaucracy, and the bureaucracy has lost its grip on reality since a long time.’"

The above is even more true when applied to our contemptible council.

Anonymous said...

No Tory will beat IWJ in the election - they don't even expect it thmeselves which is why their excellent candidate in the General Election, Ridge-Newman, has fled down south for another seat.

As for Robin Millar - who he?

mozilla said...

To Anon 8:26

If think you are correct in what you are saying. What we need is a serious debate about the role of government and how it serves us, be this national or locally.

There is always a danger that politicians and civil servants will see themselves as guardians, rather then the servants of the people.

In the context of this thread and the economy of the island, all I will say is that SME's are and will be critical in the creation of jobs. From what I have been told by others, it would appear IWJ does not agree.

Anonymous said...

Well IWJ doesn't seem to know what his own party stands for, how the hell do they expect to get any votes, if it was up to them we wouldn't get a new wylfa and raf valley would be closed, what a shower
http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/2010/09/13/plaid-leader-says-wylfa-b-nuclear-plant-decision-is-out-of-his-hands-55578-27254308/

Richard Sletzer said...

I am getting confused here. Is there more than one "Anonymous"? If so. could he/she adopt the pseudonym Anonymous2 or 3 or 4 as the case may be?
It would help unravel the flow of the debate.

Groundhog Day said...

I agree antirely with Richard Sletzer. It is sometimes very confusing trying to follow threads when 99% of contributors identify themselves as Anonymous". While I do not think that anyone should be made to identify themselves by name surely to adopt a pseudonym for use in their postings is not rocket science thereby making the threads much more easy to follow with regard to who said what. Druid, how about asking all to use either their own names or to adopt a pseudonym for use on your blog.

Anonymous said...

I agree people should have the courage to choose a pseudonym at least. My name is Mr Anonymous, and I get really upset with all these people using my surname, my wife maiden name was Miss ANother.
She has kept her surname and is now called Mrs Another Anonymous.