Friday, 19 November 2010

The Druid Revealed

As ‘The Druid’ I have been commenting on the current affairs and politics of Anglesey since January this year when I set up this blog. I decided to start writing because it was plain to see that Ynys Môn was in decline: both economically and politically. Companies like Anglesey Aluminium, Eaton Electric, Menai Electrical, Peboc, and so on which had been operating on Ynys Môn for a generation were closing. On the other hand, Anglesey County Council had just been slammed by the Welsh Audit Office for a total breakdown in communications between councillors and officers, and then effectively taken into special measures by the Assembly Government. I didn’t want to just sit idly by so I started writing -- and for whatever reason it seems that what I wrote somehow struck a chord with other Ynys Môn residents. Before long the blog went from having zero comments, to perhaps one or two per post, to suddenly hundreds and hundreds of comments daily. It was an overwhelming experience, but it also proved to me -- and everyone else -- that there were literally hundreds of other Anglesey residents who were just as dismayed as I was with what was happening to our Island.

Of course not everyone agreed with my analyses and prescriptions, but everyone was happy to engage in mostly good humoured debates about topical issues concerning our Island. And, most importantly, people didn’t want to just criticise, they also wanted to propose solutions. Readers submitted intelligent and well thought out ideas in their hundreds to improve the Island, and it was these which ended up forming the core of the crowd-sourced ‘People’s Manifesto for Ynys Môn’ -- a labour of love for many of us. I can honestly say that my proudest moment since setting up ‘The Druid’ was not the day it was named as ‘Best Political Blog’ at the Wales Blog Awards, but the day I emailed the People’s Manifesto to Ieuan Wyn Jones, Albert Owen, and our 40 county councillors.

In addition to the People’s Manifesto there have also been a number of other key moments, and here is just a flavour:


...and many more.

You might wonder why there are two Albert Owen stories above, but none about Ieuan Wyn Jones? The reason is this: for whatever his faults Albert is at least committed to Anglesey and engages with residents openly and quickly. Indeed when I sent out the People’s Manifesto, the very first reply I received was from Albert. In contrast I never heard anything back from Ieuan Wyn Jones -- and this is also true whenever I have looked to write about him on this blog: there’s literally nothing to write because his engagement with his own constituency is so slight. And that is not just my opinion -- I have now heard the same sentiments repeated to me by many, many Islanders. As we all know, Ieuan Wyn currently has four jobs:

  • Deputy First Minister,
  • Minister for Economy and Transport
  • Leader of Plaid Cymru, and
  • AM for Ynys Môn

There is no doubt in my mind that he prioritises his attention and energies on his ministerial and Plaid Cymru responsibilities at the expense of his most important job: being our AM. As officially the poorest place in the UK, I believe that Ynys Môn can no longer afford the luxury of an AM who's first priority is not looking after his own constituency.

Anyone who has read this blog for any period of time will know that my political views are quite clearly conservative - something I have never tried to hide. Accordingly, and after a great deal of thought, I decided that I would put myself forward for selection as the Conservative candidate for next May’s Assembly elections -- not because I particularly want to be a politician, but because I have a passion for my home Island and want to do something to help halt the decline. I’m happy to announce that last night I was selected as the Welsh Conservative candidate for Ynys Môn and will take on Ieuan Wyn Jones in next year’s Welsh Assembly elections.

Paul Williams
a.k.a. "The Druid"
Therefore it is now time to cast aside my cloak and reveal my identity. My name is Paul Williams and I was born, brought up, and educated on Ynys Môn. My family have farmed the Island for centuries and I spent my younger life on the family farm just outside Llangefni (before we converted it into the very successful Tafarn Y Rhos pub). I attended Ysgol Gyfun Llangefni and my first paid job was in the Welsh Country Foods abattoir in Gaerwen. Like many of my peers I left Anglesey to attend University and picked up two degrees including a Masters in Japanese, which I now speak fluently. I went on to have considerable international business experience: I spent six years working in Tokyo, Japan, and a further six years in Frankfurt, Germany, where I was appointed to a very senior European marketing position for one of the World’s largest consumer electronics firms. I also however have experience of business on a smaller scale: three years ago, just before the credit crunch, I decided to set up my own small consultancy firm and therefore weathered the storm of the recession as a small businessman and learned intimately the problems and pressures facing small businesses all over the UK but particularly here in Anglesey. I currently live in Rhostrehwfa with my longterm girlfriend.

As the Welsh Conservative candidate, in addition to being guided by the People's Manifesto, I will be focussing on the following key points:

  • championing a private sector led economic recovery on Anglesey. Over a relatively short period of time Ynys Môn has seen the closure of several of its largest firms and the loss of over 2,100 private-sector jobs, according to a study by the University of Wales. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are the biggest job-creators in our economy, yet Ieuan Wyn Jones’s Economic Renewal Programme has slashed the amount of support available to these smaller firms. I will champion and support our SMEs to set-up and expand by recognising the value of these embryonic companies and their potential to grow and create employment.
  • Support a smarter ‘Energy Island’ concept. I will provide full and unequivocal support for the development of Wylfa B. However for the ‘Energy Island’ concept to fully benefit Anglesey we need to be more than just a ‘site’ for nuclear reactors and water turbines. As such I will champion the creation of an Energy Technology Park on the Island and ensure that the skilled workforce needed for the power station and its construction are sourced locally.
  • Support the recovery of Anglesey County Council. The political problems at Anglesey County Council have created an environment of instability and indecision which is not conducive for business investment or development – particularly due to the absence of a clear planning policy framework.
  • Champion Agriculture and Tourism on Ynys Môn. Between 1997 and 2007, the economic contribution of agriculture to the North Wales economy fell by 67 percent, compared to an overall UK decline of just 7 percent. Equally, in terms of tourism, Anglesey does not suffer from a dearth of places to visit, it suffers from a lack of imagination in marketing itself. I will champion and support both agriculture and tourism on Ynys Môn.
  • Defend Anglesey from disproportionate cuts. I recognise the need for the government to reduce the structural deficit, however I will defend Anglesey from any disproportionate or unfair cuts to policing, health, education and other frontline public services.
  • To be a dedicated AM for Ynys Môn. It is clear that the Ieuan Wyn Jones’s Leadership of Plaid Cymru and ministerial duties are compromising his ability to give Anglesey residents a much needed and dedicated voice in Cardiff Bay. I pledge to be an excellent and dedicated AM for Ynys Môn.

As for this blog: it will continue. As far as I am concerned nothing has changed -- I am still the same person I was before becoming a candidate -- and I will continue to write about matters which effect both Ynys Môn and Wales as a whole. Like you I want to see what's best for this Island.

Paul Williams / The Druid

P.S. Some of you may have noticed that someone called Alwyn Rowlands, apparently the Chair of the Anglesey Labour Party, has recently taken to writing angry letters to the Daily Post and Anglesey & Holyhead Mail demanding that "if [the Druid] wants to become involved in politics, then come out and debate it out in the open with the rest of us". Well, Alwyn, here I am.

68 comments:

Blin o Fon said...

Well, well Druid....what a very pleasant surprise !
I for one think you have already amply shown the positive and numerous credentials necessary to stand and be elected as our AM for Ynys Mon.....your CV here ans local connections only reinforce your claim.
You have shown concern and positive committment to the Anglesey cause over the past 12 months that many people I'm sure will support your attempt to be our next AM.
You deserve to win...wish you well.

Anonymous said...

This is fantastic news for us Anglesey residents! Another triumph for the Druid. I am very happy that you have been given the chance to put theory into practice. Well done, the hard work starts from here, continue to keep up the good work!

The Great Councillini said...

Llongyfarchiadau/Congratulations to you, Paul!

Your approach to challenging the failures on Anglesey whilst also advancing sensible, workable ideas for the future is commendable indeed.

Good luck to you in your efforts. Nobody has achieved more for the voice of local people on Anglesey than this blog and your insightful analysis of the truly dire economic situation.

I, for one, will be supporting you wholeheartedly. I hope others will follow suit and back someone who can make a real difference to this battered island.

Prometheuswrites said...

Congratulations on your selection.

Onwards and Upwards.

The local blogosphere will certainly be interesting for the next six months.


Bit of a dilemma though for those who may wish to support the man but not the party. ;)

voice on the street said...

Boo. idiot

TVR said...

Dear Paul/The Druid,

I have enjoyed reading your (very) well written blog over the last year and am delighted that you have revealed yourself especially as a conservative.
Llongyfarchiadau mawr eto, a rhoi flag yn hi!
Not in your patch so cannot vote for you-a great shame.

County Councillor Barrie Durkin said...

Congratulations Paul on being selected as the Welsh Conservative Candidate for Ynys Mon.
Can't think of a better Choice by far, Good luck

Barrie Durkin.

the outsider said...

Godd Luck, anyone with your intelligence, dedication and insight will be a great asset to the island.
I agree with your list of key points, may I suggest that you add 'improving broadband services' to the list.

Anonymous said...

Not wishing to go off subject.

But can anyone confirm that the Ombudsman has overturned his decision not to investigate the alleged Housing grant fraud scandal under orders from the Welsh Assembly?

A . G said...

well done to paul / druid ,
i have read this blog with much interst over the last few months ,
you wll have my vote as long as you campaign to to sort the crooked ioac

The Red Flag said...

Well I have to say I would vote for you as you but not as a tory. I always vote and I am severly disheartened with the alternatives so I woill probably vote for you because you I believe will put the Island first and not your party.

Congratulations.

TGC said...

"because you I believe will put the Island first and not your party."

Yes, that is the way I am looking at it, too. Paul has set-out his stall very clearly here, and will fully expect us to hold him to account.

I was a Lib. Dem. supporter, but they have lost all credibility now. If you support Labour, where has 13 years of Albert Owen given us? Just a watching brief as the local economy fell about our ears. And Plaid? Well, I need hardly spell out the non-event they have been over the years.

Give Paul a good chance - he knows the place well, has business acumen, plenty upstairs and can't hide behind an undeclared manifesto.

Anonymous said...

Well, what a pleasant surprise, a face to the name. For months I have actively contributed to your pages, some trivial and absurd comments, but they have all come from the heart, and the heart of this Island had been ripped out, but tonight, I can feel a beat, a beat of the people fighting back and supporting you.

The least you can do is send me that druid penny, for all my stories, the hot air balloon company, Ieuan's van, I just know you'll wing it in the post for me. Diolch yn fawr, Paul, diolch am rhoi golau yn tywyllwch!

Glyn Pritchard-Jones said...

Paul,

It's been great fun behind the scenes....

Now the cloak of secrecy is lifted, I am also delighted to learn you were selected by the Conservatives and I confirm you have my absolute and full support in your campaign!

Cofion gorau

Glyn

Anonymous said...

I'm with Red Flag here. Don't like much of what your party's doing on a national level (or even in my local council, which is not Anglesey, so why am I here anyways :)) but if I had chance I'd still vote for you on a personal level based on what I've read. And if Barrie D thinks you're the right choice, who are any of us to disagree?

Best of luck, especially with the Energy Island stuff. Please, give some serious thought to seeing whether there are opportunities for being inspired by, or even working with, Machynlleth's Centre for Alternative Technology, www.cat.org.uk - they've been there, done that, since long before it was fashionable (CAT born 1973, so I guess they've been around roughly as long as you have?).

You might also want to see if there's value to be had in "rural broadband" schemes; there seems to be money available, Anglesey Connected could have led the way a long time ago but then BT came and spoiled it, but some rural areas are having another go at using non-BT connectivity to help bring jobs in. Warning: here be dragons, and not always friendly Welsh ones.

Again, best of luck.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful news, at last we know who you are ? Even better knowing that you are a true "Un o Fon" who come home to fight for his island Ynys Mon.
I wish you well, and every success in getting rid of the "Lost Mountain Sheep" politics and bring us all back into clover.
There is a belief that a true Welshman has to vote for "Plaid" and that being a "Tory" is a dirty word. The truth is that a Welshman can be a "Tory" who cares and develops his country.
Llongyfarchiadau a bob lwc !!!!

Un o Fon

Prometheuswrites said...

Getting Connected to Broadband:
see: http://www.fibrespeed.co.uk/en/wireless-coverage-map.html

Wireless broadband? - maybe a bit thin towards the East coast ... suspect it's at the 'kicking idea's about bit' - question as always - how much cost to end user?

Good idea though.

Anonymous said...

Maybe, just maybe, if you and Jason Weyman represent us, not only will North Wales have the beginnings of a credible voice, but people may begin believe to that they have political representatives that listen, care and represent them.

It's just to much to hope for.

Richard

the outsider said...

Reply to Red Flag at 18.42. That's the spirit, people are often more important than parties...as long as they have some good ideas.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your selection - outside your patch so can't vote for you, but very best of luck in the forthcoming election.

If you win, I'm sure you'll find there's a world of difference between opposition (even positive opposition) and government, but from everything you've written here over the last year or so, I would say you're just the sort of member our Assembly needs. Pob lwc!

Anonymous said...

SHEEP !

Anonymous said...

congratulations on your selection, i'm pleased that someone has finally stood up to challenge IWJ, i was starting to think no one was as there are just 6 months to go till election day.

If the rhosneigr result is anything to go by there is much work for the Conservatives to do to come close to winning the island seat.

But you are clearly an articulate and intelligent candidate with private sector experience so i do hope you make a real fight of it

Prometheuswrites said...

One of the problems of modern politics is that there can be more variation within the parties than between the parties.

A browse of Wikipedia’s page on the ‘Conservative Party UK’ under the section ‘Party Factions’ outlines three main factions:
One Nation
Free Market
Traditionalist

Druid/Paul could you say where you position yourself within these differing perspectives?

My question above is prompted as there may be situations where your personal views and position differs from that of the Local Conservative Party, (Not that I know what the position of the Local Conservative Party is). Personally, while I have a good flavour of your personal views, from your posts on the blog, I'm unsure where you stand politically with respect to the above factions.

I remember that Peter Rogers was deselected as a party candidate due to differences of opinion/policy (again I’m ignorant of the details), so I’m assuming that the Local Party can be fairly rigorous in its expectations of the candidate with respect to party policy.

While I feel ambiguous towards the Conservatives, disliking some (but not all) of their actions and strategies at a national level, I realise that the key quality of representation is that of the person doing the representing and not necessarily that of the political flag under which they stand.

I think that standing using the ‘People’s Manifesto’ is an excellent idea. Whilst it may be argued (and probably will be), that it was drawn from a limited source, (the blog readership), that readership is hardly partisan and many of the contributors came from widely differing political persuasions, giving grounds to argue that the Manifesto is representative of the broad views of the local people.

I look forward with great interest to your future postings on political matters; and although I’m sure you will weather a fair share of ‘fringe’ postings, that the established serious critical commentators will continue to robustly engage you in debate where warranted.

A better training ground than most for honing your debating skills methinks.

Holyheader said...

Laughable... this guy has pushed the tory angle from day one and now, surprise surprise he's come out as a tory. People desperate for a change from the shite running the council won't be impressed cos this Druid hasn't been straight with people.
Another false dawn.

Prometheuswrites said...

"cos this Druid hasn't been straight with people."

I think the Druid has been very open about his right-of-center leaning since the inception of the blog.

As for when he decided to stand for candidacy, I'm sure he will tell us if we ask.

Paul, when did you decide to stand for candidacy?

Paul Williams said...

Promo - I finally made up my mind to definitely put myself forward for Anglesey just over a month ago.

TGC said...

Hot (true) news! IWJ was in Asda on Thursday. He had an industrial pack of sponge scourers and a pack of black bin liners.

Perhaps he is preparing to clear his AM's desk already? Still, he's got a few other desks to go yet...

Anonymous said...

This is Albert's comment on the Druid -Anglesey Labour MP, Albert Owen said: “I am not surprised that the Druid is a Tory, who used the Druid website to hoodwink the public that it was an independent caring voice, when it was really a local Tory party mouthpiece all along.

“I am a little surprised the local Conservatives have chosen someone who operated in such an underhanded manner.

Common on Albert already starting to throw insults, is that the best you can do ? Worried now that you have a local man who knows what he talking about. Now we will see who has been "Hoodwinking" who ?? Don't ever forget that it was Alberts's party that got us into the mess and it always takes a Tory to get us out of It !!!

Un o Fon

Mrs Hughes, Holyhead said...

I'm not a Tory far from it, but I shall be voting for this man.

Anonymous said...

A month ago?! Now that's funny!

Congratulations on being selected - as a local candidate you're a good choice, certainly better than Ridge Newman.

Some interesting things to note about you and your blog though -
You have consistently claimed to be independent, when you were very obviously nothing of the sort and now we know. Having consistently damned the council for lack of transperancy, this is worrying.
You have failed to concemn the waste of money spent by Tory Ams on thie jolly to Aber, claiming it was an irrelevent point on your blog. Maybe you fancy joining them for their next one.
You openly backed a Tory candidate in Rhosneigr - a traditional Tory area - and he was thumped. Bad judgement.
You characterised the Rhosneigr by-election as old politics v new. And by your analysis, old politics won. Very few listened to the Druid. Let's hope you don't make a habit of that one.
By claiming old v new you painted the guy who won - independent candidate Dew - as old style politics. I know nothing about him, but he surely doesn't deserve to be tarred with the same brush that you've been attacking other councillors with - esp those you hint are corrupt. He was well within his legal and democratic rights to stand as an indie and there was no need at all for him to pander to this blog by sending you his manifesto. All he needed to do was canvass Rhosneigr and share his ideas with them. This he obviously did and won. An apology is surely called for.
On your blog you and your commentators have been gunning for the council for a long time. You obviously attract some pretty weird followers if the number of times you have to delete comments is anything to go by. More importantly, nothing has changed. No one has left the council.
Serious allegations have been made on your blog about named council people. Is this going to be your style now you are out in the open?

While some are happy about what you've been writing about on your blog and have taken the opportunity to vent their bitter spleen, many find it distasteful. In fact, you've probably cheesed off many inlfuential people on the island. Not a good start to a political career. Not on Anglesey certainly.

Old Mona said...

Paul you have managed to gain support from all shades of the political spectrum all we need to do is persude a few thousand more and IWJ will be packing his bags and have plenty of time to reflect on his failure to represent Ynys Mon.

These coming elections will be the most important for years if we are to get Anglesey back to prosperity and I think you are the man to do it

Paul Williams said...

The below following comment was left by 'Groundhog Day'. I felt I needed to delete one section but I hope he/she will understand why.

"Groundhog Day said...
Holyheader..... What a predictable post from someone who really has been hoodwinked by the ineffective and bland Albert Owen during his tenure when the island has been haemorrhaging jobs and industries. Albert was never up to the job and neither was the numpty IWJ. In addition you in Holyhead have had the misfortune of [deleted]. Now we have the Druid putting himself forward to represent us in Cardiff Bay. He has never tried to pretend that he is anything other than a Tory and has, with good nature, batted away some of the leftist comments aimed at him on this blog. Finally I believe that we have in Paul someone who will truly represent this island and who will fight the ills that have beset the council over the years which is more than can be said for either our MP nor in particular our AM. Good luck to our Druid, I do believe I shall be voting for a Tory for the first time in my life! "

Valleys Mam said...

Hi Paul
Congratulations ,I wish you all the votes you need to get into the "bubble". We need young feisty AMs with good commercial experience who also think more of representing democracy and their constituency than a a party.
I also think we would get much better governance if people voted for the quality of the candidate rather than a party.
Keep the Faith

Anonymous said...

Llongyfarchiadau gwresog, Paul.

I hope that you put IWJ to flight next May. Goodness only knows he's been a mediocre AM for Ynys Môn over the past 12 years.

Time for the change which your clear thinking approach can bring. Ynys Môn doesn't need wizardry, only sound leadership.

Anonymous said...

Re Prometheus @ 21:15 Fri: "how much [broadband] cost to end user?"

Yes, Fibrespeed has interesting possibilities, I hope it works out.

This topic may not be the time/place for that particular discussion, though I'd be happy to see it separately elsewhere at some stage.

On the other hand this may be the time/place to say that earlier this year IWJ announced a £2M (initial) WA scheme to provide a subsidy of up to £1000 per premises to support access to broadband in areas where it would otherwise not happen:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10490147

Relevant to Anglesey? Yes. Important to Anglesey? Potentially.

Being promoted and happening on Anglesey? Who knows.

Someone should be making sure it happens on Anglesey. But who :)

Anonymous said...

Hearty congratulations Paul.

Your Grandfather and Father served me well over many years and it seems you are in the same tradition.

Good luck and here's my support.

Anglesey Islander

Brawd o Amlwch said...

Paul,
Llongyfarchiadau mawr i ti.
I have followed your blog for months and have from time to time commented constructively on a number of matters, and constructively I hope.
I have no doubt from what I have read, and from what I now read of your CV, that you are not just the man of the moment, but the man for the forseeable future of Ynys Mon, your positiveness, intelligent insight, and your committment and concern for Anglesey issues are all clear to see, whatever "party" you may belong to.
Anglesey needs a radical change from whats been.
I am a local, a Cymro, and I trust there are many people like me who will support you.

Anonymous said...

Very disappointed to learn who you are. More so because you are a con-lib artist. This blog is about to follow where others have gone........down the drain

the outsider said...

Promo 01.34: I hope this candidate will stand above factions within his party. What is important is that a representative of the people listens, learns and takes action, sometimes with courage as well as diplomacy, in the service of the people and place that he/she passionately cares about.

Holyheader 01.38 - if things in this world are going to improve then sometimes its important to listen to the arguments put forward from all perspectives. Politics and political parties, like anything else, are capable of being improved.

Anon 10.48
The Council did not mention any scheme offering £1,000 per premises
to me. So maybe it was just an idea being put forward?
The EU has in the recent past been a source of funding for broadband upgrades and services in other parts of the UK.

Robert Godfrey said...

Druid

Thank you for revealing your identity. I have enjoyed your blog since I heard about it in March.
You are obviously a very honest and dedicated man and I wish you luck in the May elections. I was Holyhead born and now live in Hawarden, Flintshire and I disassociate myself completely from the childish comments of Holyheader.
Robert G

Benllech said...

11:54
Stuff the Politic's
Feel the fresh air of change.

Menai said...

Down the drain?
Doesn't look like it to me. Maybe just wishful thinking from another negative?

Pat Llanbedrgoch said...

This is tremendous news for Anglesey
Could anyone Imagine having Paul as our AM and someone like Barrie Durkin as our next MP. What a transformation there would be, I can happen, It needs to happen.
In any event, congratulations, hearts and spirit's are lifting already.

Anonymous said...

[Does this broadband stuff belong here, now?]

@theoutsider: Start at www.wales.gov.uk/broadband

"Press Release" announcing 265 applications since IWJ launched the scheme in July:

http://wales.gov.uk/newsroom/businessandeconomy/2010/101026bss/?lang=en

Communities can pool funds if it will lead to a better result than individual applications.

Application Form (English):
http://wales.gov.uk/docs/det/policy/100720applicationformen.pdf


Why the Council didn't mention this? Who knows. Did they mention the WA/BT RIBS scheme?

Will that do for now? If you need more info, not specifically relating to this scheme, a good place to ask might be the General or Notspot forums at www.thinkbroadband.com - see you there? Don't forget to mention Anglesey.

Janet Finch-Saunders said...

Congratulation's Paul and the very best of luck.

Janet.

Prometheuswrites said...

The Outsider:

I agree entirely that the calibre of the man is the key quality.

However Paul has not decided to stand as an independent and has now firmly pinned his colours to the mast. The fact is when you 'get onboard the ship' you become subject to the captain's orders - remember Peter Rogers' keel-hauling.

Given what has happened in Westminster with the coalition government and the U-turn of the LibDems on several/many of their pre-election pledges there will comments aplenty on here about integrity, openness and transparency.

I'm sure that Paul will rise to the challenge of answering the inevitable charges that the blog has been a straw man.

I do think the issue of factions is important as it will help illuminate for us what Paul's relationship with the party is likely to be; and what approach to political issues he will advocate.

Personally, I like the cut of his jib and see his use of this blog as an exercise in ‘open democracy’, though it should be acknowledged that by revealing not just his identity but also his political aspirations that the fundamental nature of the blog has shifted.
I note that comments are now to be moderated and that the opening declaration ‘return of the druid to fight political incompetence and corruption’ has changed. Whilst I understand that as candidate for election to the Assembly that the Druid’s more radical aspects will be moderated, I hope that the blog will continue to provide a forum for radical comments.

TGC said...

I have to agree with Prometheus that, whilst probably well-advised during the 'unveiling', continued screening of comments when there has previously been none will inevitably see this blog collapse in time. I think that would be a great shame - and a 'win' for those that Paul and the rest of us have opposed for so long.

Anonymous said...

"continued screening of comments when there has previously been none will inevitably see this blog collapse in time"

Quite. Which would be a shame. But there aren't enough hours in a day for Mr Williams to do the AM's job (as well as his current day job?) and also moderate comments in something close to real time. Hopefully he's got a few reliable helpers with a little "spare" time that can help with the moderation?

How many unemployed are there on Anglesey at the moment with time on their hands? 4% unemployment says the Post? http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/2010/10/29/jobs-market-in-north-wales-performing-best-55578-27563044/ but the original source is uncredited, presumably it's the ONS bulletin, which says the national rate is 7.7% ? http://www.statistics.gov.uk/statbase/Product.asp?vlnk=1944

doctorhuw said...

Congratulations Druid for having the courage to take your activism to the next level. Most bloggers only carp from the sidelines - like me! I wish you well in your campaign for the Assembly.

halen mon said...

Good luck. YOu'll need it if the best picture you can muster is a Crimewatch identikit one. Didnt you rob that post office last month?!

Anonymous said...

I wish you all the very best Paul, please feel free to contact me if you want my picture on your blog.

Anonymous said...

The Samurai has landed..

Anonymous said...

Noswaith Dda Paul,
Got to say, I am a regular reader of your blog, and have never sent a comment on anything up to now. Your blog is by far excellent, informative and shows that the politicans in Ynys Mon have failed the residents. I will disagree with your politics every now and then, and that is a good thing, as I do with Plaid and Labour's policies sometimes. As a councillor in Gwynedd, I thought that the problems in Cyngor Mon were bad until I saw what was happening over the water.
Keep up the work of blogging, as i shall be a regular visitor.

the outsider said...

Promo: I can't say I blame The Druid for wanting the support of a parties foot soldiers to help run his campaign. If he wins the seat he may also get more support for the island from the party in Westminster, especially in the run up to the 2015 General election, and that will be during a critical period for advancing the development at Wylfa.

I agree the nature of this blog has changed, I'm sad about that. While I hope it continues, possibly a contributor to the Valleys Mam blog could take up a more 'independent' political torch?

Anon at 13.41. Thanks for the info.
www.thinkbroadband.com is v.useful. It shows Pentraeth has a current speed of about 0.22Mbps.
As yet not been able to get the application form as site will not be found! but I'll keep trying and I promise I won't mention this on this thread again!

The Red Flag said...

outsider - I am still awaiting answers from the geologocal bods regarding thorium.

As for the Druid, I intend to vote for him even though I am not and never will be a tory. I beleive he will put the island above his party in all and every matter and that is where the problem lies. Shouldhe not do that just once then he will be out of office at the next opportunity. This is no longer tory land Druid land it might become, but not tory.

Paul Williams said...

Anon 08:33

"You have consistently claimed to be independent, when you were very obviously nothing of the sort and now we know. Having consistently damned the council for lack of transperancy, this is worrying."

I and many others (including the WAG appointed Recovery Board) have requested Independent councillors to have more 'policy transparency', i.e. to make it clear to voters what they stand for. I don't believe I have ever been ambiguous about what policies I support or don't support.

"By claiming old v new you painted the guy who won - independent candidate Dew - as old style politics. I know nothing about him, but he surely doesn't deserve to be tarred with the same brush that you've been attacking other councillors with - esp those you hint are corrupt. He was well within his legal and democratic rights to stand as an indie and there was no need at all for him to pander to this blog by sending you his manifesto. All he needed to do was canvass Rhosneigr and share his ideas with them. This he obviously did and won. An apology is surely called for."

Firstly I have never hinted or accused anyone of corruption. In fact I have gone to great lengths for a long time to delete any comments which hint any such thing.

Secondly, you deliberately misread my post. I characterised the Rhosneigr byelection as 'new vs old' in terms of 'policy transparency'. Only one candidate was entirely open about his policies and which grouping he would join if elected. As this is something this blog has long campaigned for I stand by what I wrote and will continue to push for Independents to be more open during elections about what they want to achieve if elected.

Paul Williams said...

Promo - I am happy to answer any questions you want to ask me.

TGC said...

Red Flag: I share the discomfort about supporting the Tory party, but in reality, like any party, there are endless shades of representatives.

From what I've seen and heard of Paul, he is what I might call a 'moderate' Conservative, sensitive to people's needs as well as encouraging us to improve things for ourselves. If he were to ever become one of the 'nastier' core of the party, then that probably wouldn't wash with people here, especially after we start getting a flavour of what a spending 'review' means for real people on real streets.

Anonymous said...

[if readers and the Druid would kindly indulge me one last time??]

@the outsider: Please, do pop over to the thinkbroadband forums and continue there (it's a little bit geeky and a little bit cliquey, but that's the Internet). Or name somewhere else if you'd prefer.

Anyway, the 0.22Mbit number you quote for Pentraeth is a bit weird. The longer the phone line between you and the exchange, the slower the speed. The Pentraeth exchange is behind The Square (LL75 8YD). The Panton Arms on The Square should see the maximum line speed available from Pentraeth, almost 8Mbit. Somewhere like The Ship Inn, (perhaps about as far from the exchange as you can get and still say you're in Pentraeth???), should still get ~5Mbit according to the phone number guesstimators. See also www.samknows.com and their UK Broadband Availability page.

Thank you; that is (fingers crossed) all from me on this subject. More elsewhere if you wish.

Anonymous said...

"that is (fingers crossed) all from me on this subject. More elsewhere if you wish."

No, thanks.

Glyn Pritchard-Jones said...

S L O W...Broadband: IoACC with WAG is seriously looking at a WIMAX "wireless" solution for Anglesey. I know this from the company that put Penrhyndeudraeth on the net as the first wifi village in the UK. We need Anglesey better served. I suggest you all write to Ann Benyon (originally from Pen-y-Groes, Caernarfon) who is the Cardiff based director of BT Wales to encourage BT to throw more money at Anglesey. No point having WIREMAX when the existing BT infrastructure and contention ratios are prehistoric!

Bluenote said...

Paul,

Congratulations and all the very best for the election next May. Earlier in the year I used to comment on your blog as 'The Rock' and made comparison with my home isle, Thanet, way down in the South East.

We successfully ousted our Labour MP last May so let's hope that is a favourable sign for you.

Anyway, just popped on when hearing you had been selected and coughed to being the Druid.

May your God go with you, or the sun or whatever.

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Anonymous said...

The longer the phone line between you and the exchange, the slower the speed. The Pentraeth exchange is behind The Square (LL75 8YD). The Panton Arms on The Square should see the maximum line speed available from Pentraeth, almost 8Mbit. Somewhere like The Ship Inn, (perhaps about as far from the exchange as you can get and still say you're in Pentraeth???), should still get ~5Mbit according to the phone number guesstimators. See also www.samknows.com and their UK Broadband Availability page.

Is this not also dependent on the number of people on each 'node'? The maximum beiong 16 hook-ups so in effect if you can get 8Mb that is if it's just you. If 2 are on that node then its 4 each and so on. so at peak periods if there are 16 on an 8Mb nod they get 500Kb each. Then if you are further away and the speed is say 1Mb, divide that by 16 at peak and you are crawling.

Anonymous said...

"Is this not also dependent on the number of people on each 'node'?"

As the man on TV says, "it doesn't work (quite) like that" - there are some bandwidth sharing effects but at a more distant level, typically involving many more people, than your description, and not normally enough to go down to anywhere near the 0.22Mbit/s reported earlier (which, frankly, sounds more like a fault).

I'm not going to attempt to explain it here; plenty of other places already do that (and I had promised to keep quiet on this subject). There is a great amount of detail (maybe too much?) at http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/equip.htm or at http://www.thinkbroadband.com/guide/howitworks/

Meanwhile, a little further south, in Cornwall, BT and the EU have announced the first 8 subprojects in an overall £100M+ project for enhanced broadband in rural areas (the EU contribution amounts to £100 per person in the region, who says the UK gets nothing back from the EU)?

So who's going to make sure Anglesey gets its share of BT/EU payback next time round? What has Cornwall got that Anglesey hasn't (besides £130M+ inward investment)?

Welsh Ramblings said...

"Defend Anglesey from disproportionate cuts. I recognise the need for the government to reduce the structural deficit, however I will defend Anglesey from any disproportionate or unfair cuts to policing, health, education and other frontline public services."

There we go then. There's the disclaimer. You're perfectly suited for the Welsh Tories- they are anxious to cut the deficit but don't want to actually support ANY cuts in Wales. Tough talking on austerity but then going AWOL when it comes to responsibility. Perhaps you will be different, but I don't hold out much hope!

Anonymous said...

Lovely picture, nice to know that we are dealing with a decent and down to earth human being, instead of a moron.

Anonymous said...

Please could we have a competition to design a logo for your campaign? i,e one that your readers will recognise?