Thursday, 14 October 2010

++ Fighting, and Winning, for Anglesey ++

The Druid: Best Political Blog
in Wales
I have just learned that this blog was named as the Best Political Blog at tonight's inaugural Wales Blog Awards in Cardiff. I am both delighted and somewhat surprised -- little did I think ten short months ago when I started penning my thoughts about the problems facing Ynys Môn that 'The Druid' would end up attracting either the following that it has, or winning such an award as this.

As I believe is traditional on occasions like this, I send my congratulations to all the other blogs which were shortlisted for this category, in particular Syniadau -- I may not often agree with MH's conclusions, but am always in awe of the depth of his knowledge and his passion for the nationalist cause (not to mention the length of some of his posts!). Using this chance I would also like to highlight and thank some other political blogs which inspired me to start writing, such as Dylan Jones-Evans, Valley's Mam, A Change of Personnel, Blog Menai, and also Borthlas, John Dixon's blog. Between them they represent a veritable panorama of political views -- and are always well written, informative and entertaining.

How I intend to celebrate
If this blog had a founding ethos then it would probably be that "Sunlight is the best disinfectant". I have always thought that if enough light was shone onto the goings-on in the murky gloom of the Council Chamber in Llangefni then it could only have a beneficial effect on the behaviour of some of our county councillors. From that point of view I can only welcome the extra publicity (and, hopefully, light) that this award may bring. However just being critical is not enough - through this blog I have also tried to marshall the combined wisdom of literally hundreds of Anglesey residents who contributed to the writing of the People's Manifesto for Ynys Môn. I believe it contains a plethora of good ideas and policies which could help turn around both the economic and political fortunes of this Island -- I hope that this award will now give it added impetus.

Anyway, must dash, its almost midnight and I have to knock up a wicker-man to burn in celebration...

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Druid! Light a fat one on me. Wicker man, of course!

Between the Lines said...

Nice one Druid!
No more Energy Island
'tis Bloggers Island from now on!

TVR said...

Llongyfarchiadau.

A well deserved award, your blog is well written and very informative.
Streets ahead of the other bloggers in north Wales.

confused said...

Congratulations Druid, keep up the good work and enjoy the moment

Prometheuswrites said...

Congratulations.

Onwards and Upwards.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Druid and thank you.

G. Pierce

Nooka said...

Well done! Keep up the good work.

Nooka the Delighted

Blin o Fon said...

Congratulations Druid...it does not surprise me, very well deserved.
Keep up the spotlight, its paying dividends.
But, don't rest on any laurels, there's more work to do, and most people are right behind you.

TGC said...

Warm congratulations, Druid.

What a real kick in the teeth for those who, earlier in its history and clearly writing from a Council perspective, tried to rubbish this blog. What a kick in the teeth for those rubbish councillors with their fingers in so many juicy pies.

It is a shame indeed that, so far as I know, none of the 'Recovery Board' members have expressed any interest or spoken in favour of the crucial and central importance of freedom of expression available through this and other blogs. In a democracy, that is both surprising and worrying. Perhaps the challenge of new media is too much for them? Perhaps they wished they could flick a Chinese-like censorship switch?

When the Recovery Board has gone and the council returns to its age-old behaviour, this blog will stand as the last remaining, real change brought to Anglesey in the recent past. Long may it last, and long may it encourage greater interest in and scrutiny of local government.

Very soon, 'Wales This Week' will return to Anglesey; I feel sure the Druid may feature, albeit in silhouette and with a masked voice!

Anonymous said...

Hah! How I remember the bad old days, just 18 months ago, when the local councillors of northern Anglesey managed to censor and eventually shut-down Amlwch.net not just once but twice, because they felt "the comments put Amlwch in a very bad light". Trouble is, comments were about the councillors (Town and County), not Amlwch.

Says a lot, really, when a democratically-elected group of councillors and others come to think of themselves as having the right to shut people up.

Even a senior officer of the Councilgot annoyed and, through his friend (suspended) Cllr. Morris Jones (Lib. Dem.) printed, then circulated what can best be described as rantings, from Amlwch.net as *official* papers in a meeting at Llangefni in the knowledge that one of the contributors was attending that meeting. That's how petty and vindictive Anglesey Council is. And yes, I do have all this documented and it is all true. Wales This Week are up today, and yes, I will be telling them about it.

Anonymous said...

9.27....good, and they want an appointment with the pipe-puffer, but they can't find him, we hear !

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

09:27, interesting! Guess we'll have to take Paddy French's quality reporting at face value, without comment from Cllr. Pipe-Puffer, then. I'm happy with that. How about the rest of you?

Shell Fund Scutineer said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Great Councillini said...

Interesting that a fully-documented account of a senior officer at IoACC reading, printing and circulating as official papers in a meeting (which anyone can obtain under FoIA), has been censored on this blog. There are unsubstantiated allegations, and then there are facts.

Would anyone care to explain why facts are censored here?

Avatar said...

Druid, what you have shown is that honest debate, through reasoned and well thought out arguments, is far more important than today’s main stream media fascination with the cult of the celebrity.

We may not agree on everything, but at least you allow a debate on the important issues, you have given all of us a chance to express your opinions that unlike the old days the bully cannot stamp out.

A simple thank you therefore, and keep up the good work!!.

The Druid of Anglesey said...

TGC: the post you refer to is still there - see Anon 09:27. The two posts I did remove were sailing too close to the wind. I'm not trying to censor, but I always try to err on the side of caution when specific people are named -- if only to avoid the unfairly abusive comments that can sometimes follow when people are named.

The Great Councillini said...

http://isleofanglesey.maximaasp.com/TROVEPROGS/TroveAMDocument.aspx?/IS=459651786/LI=Isle+of+Anglesey/ID=40/OS=32/DI=935/DS=935/LO=0/XD=870/RW=1680/RH=1050/CD=24/TC=1/VD=Aglsey/WV=6/ST=ac/AC=AP/FI=165/AM=1/HU=http:++www.anglesey.gov.uk+doc.asp?doc=2422&cat=2456

Shows the Council's take on things. If anyone would like to request all the papers under FoIA, you'll see Amwlch.net postings were circulated as official papers for the meeting.

Facts. Not wild allegations.

Anonymous said...

"this should be a cause of concern for HSBC Investments and the Isle of Anglesey Charitable Trust as to what some of these companies are involved in. The Treasurer noted that this Committee deals with the investment of the Trust and receives documentation from the Fund Managers on a quarterly basis. "

That must mean that, for every quarter, nobody has found any cause for alarm with the types of companies invested in. The response is clearly: we want to make as much money as possible, not take any notice of namby-pamby ethical standards, and if there are any issues, HSBC can deal with them.

Amlwch.net said...

Oh yes! The Shell Fund. Here is the list of investments they held about a year or so ago.

http://static.zooomr.com/images/8684870_71e90eab72_b.jpg

Some good names there - BAe Systems, as one example:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8501655.stm

British American Tobacco:

http://www.burmacampaign.org.uk/reports/BAT_report.html

But it's OK: HSBC and Anglesey are together 'engaging' with these companies.

another anon and me said...

Aren’t we rather diverting from the original post by the Druid. Well done the Druid!!!

The regulations that governs the Trust which manages the money given by Shell are very tight. Above all, they must maximise the return of any investment in the interest of the trust.

Not that I agree with the investments made, but you cannot blame the trust for compiling with the law and regulations as it stands.

Anonymous said...

"but you cannot blame the trust for compiling with the law and regulations as it stands."

No, the question is not of breaking any laws. The trust can invest in 'ethical' or 'non ethical' funds equally lawfully; the choice is one of policy and, as you rightly say, balancing other factors.

The trouble with arguing 'maximum returns' is that no right-minded person would want to see members of their families work in sweatshops for 23p a day, or indeed miners go down unregulated mines in the pursuit of cheap metals for European customers. Yes to maximising returns, but not by turning a blind eye to others' suffering.

Yes, congratulations Druid!

A Change of Personnel said...

Congratulations Druid its well deserved,

I reckon every Welsh local authority needs a Druid, shining a light on the comfortable and rather cosy world of Local Government.

keep up the good work!

TGC said...

RE: Breaking laws (or not)

Slavery was legal for a couple of hundred years. Being a Nazi and doing all they did was also legal.

Not all laws are what we could call morally defensible, and they tend to reflect society at a fixed period. Maybe one day, ploughing money into arms and sweatshops will be seen as morally repugnant as slavery now is?

Another anon and me said...

Sorry did you just say that..

"Being a Nazi and doing all they did was also legal."

I think you will find it was not legal, which to remind you - it was not legal to discriminate because of religion, but especially it was not legal to kill a race because of religion.

Bloody hell, have we not learnt anything, seems not, you have crossed a line you cannot cross, shame on you.

Anonymous said...

Just like Anglesey County Council, continually crossing the line, why ?
Because we continue to let them get away with it.

another anon and me said...

Anon 18:24

What !!!!!! enough said

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
TGC said...

"I think you will find it was not legal"

I think you'll find you are wrong. The mistake you are making is the exact point I was demonstrating - that moral values are not always reflected in a state's laws, and sometimes become diametrically opposed to them - such as in socialist Germany.

You are also making the mistake of casting shame on someone for telling you something you find distasteful, yet true. That is not a reasonable response.

Hitler's Germany 'legalised' within his country the persecution and killing of Jews, amongst many other groups of the unfavoured. That, certainly is more than a shame. Because international law was yet to develop, you couldn't even say at that point that he was acting against any law at all - other than moral 'law'.

I'm afraid I wasn't arguing to justify the Nazis, only highlight the dangers of thinking that everything that is 'legal' is also 'right'.

Old Mona said...

congratulations Druid. You deserve it. It is one of the best blog I visit. I don't always agree with everything on this blog but it is an opportunity for us mere mortals to have our say and is one of the only ways of holding our elected representatives to account whether Nationally, Regionally or Locally, What a shower!

another anon and me said...

The thing is which you seem to miss is that you do not, and I repeat you do not mention Hitler or the Nazis in any argument about human rights. Yes, refer to them as an example of persecution against mankind, but to put forward an argument that “Being a Nazi and doing all they did was also legal” is wrong, is wrong at all levels, is wrong beyond belief.

I understand what you are trying to say, that some of laws of the past are not acceptable today, but the persecution of the Jews was wrong now as it wrong then as it was ever wrong.

I fully understand that you where not trying to justify the Nazis, but to quote them in support of any argument is poor, is sad, is pathetic. Sorry you can do much better.

Anonymous said...

Anon and me.
Your at it again. We all know what TGC is saying, you just wan't to play semantics at other peoples expense as usual. Behave yourself.

another anon and me said...

"Play semantics at others peoples expense" - no mate I'm just saying use your nonce and stop using stupid racist sayings intentional or not. You see TGC crossed the line which I could not ignore, I at least remember all those who were persecuted by the Nazis, all those who were killed by them, it was not legal then, it was not legal well before then.

It’s rather important to me, it marks who we are and what we are. Maybe not for you, shame on you.

Anonymous said...

Anon and me.
It NOT legal In this Country. But it was Legalised in Germany in the 30's and not to accept that is shame on you.

Anonymous said...

Well done Druid, da iawn !! It's time we had all the sheep back on green pastures, not being lead by the lost mountain sheep party who only finds green pastures for themselves !!!
Llongyfarchiadau - congrats

Un o Fon

jkw24 said...

Congratulations on the well deserved recognition.
BR Jason

TGC said...

"Nazis, but to quote them in support of any argument is poor, is sad, is pathetic"

No, it's objective, fair, balanced and useful.

What you are arguing for is revisionist history. What do you want? For no-one to ever mention the Nazis, because we have nothing to learn from that dark episode of history? Mentioning Nazis doesn't make you a sympathist. That is tabloid media hysteria getting the better of you.

Thankfully, I think readers have undersood the points I've put forward and why.

If you still argue that Germany didn't have laws that made persecution of others legal, please have a look a this, which is issued by the Jews themselves:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Jewish_legislation_in_prewar_Nazi_Germany

another anon and me said...

Ah… TGC seems you have forgotten Godwin’s Law,

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law

Anonymous said...

My last word on whether “Being a Nazi and doing all they did was also legal.”

Take it from me the invasion of Poland was not legal.

The mass genocide of the Jews because of their religion was a crime against humanity. The concept of which was fully understood after the first world war.

In the aftermath of the First World War, the international community constructed a system of protection for national minorities that, inter alia, guaranteed to those groups the ‘right to life’

In Upper Silesai, for example, the Nazis delayed introduction of racist laws because this would have violated the applicable international norms. Jews in the region, protected by a bilateral treaty between Poland and Germany, were sheltered from the Nuremberg laws and continued to enjoy equal rights, at least until the convention’s expiry in 1937.

After the First World War, many pressed for stronger international laws and the establishment of an international court to prosecute crimes against humanity especially by a country or state. However, the international community failed the Jews because they did not take action to protect them.

Because the 'state' passes a law, does not make it legal, especially if those laws contravene international laws or conventions, especially basic human rights which are fundamental to international law’s in the protection of national, racial, ethnic and religious groups from persecution and basis of this law can be traced back to the Peace of Westphalia of 1648.

What the Nazis did in their persecution of the Jews and other minorities without regard to their basic human rights; say religious freedom or more importantly the right to life, was illegal then as it is illegal now. To say otherwise lessens the impact of these heinous crimes, as it implies some sort of legality for their actions, when at any level it cannot be defended.

;) said...

12.09

So what do you think of the American stance, where it appears that USA citizens are afforded a different set of legal rights to the rest of the planet?

The law like history it would seem is the perogative of the winners, (of the wars).

If Germany had won the war then you wouldn't be saying what you are saying as it probably wouldn't be legal to do so, (well in Europe at least).

And I don't see any of our so called 'defender's' of Human Rights (the Western Democracies in the main) standing up for the violation of Human Rights in China, Burma, Zimbabwe, etc. unless of course they've got exploitable sources of oil.

Your point about Godwin is a valid point, but like eveything in life needs to be considered in the context of what is being said and not used as a guillotine.

I'm all for a recognised universal set of laws covering Human Rights as long the application of these laws isn't selective; and where all nation states are involved in the drafting of the law.