In the Daily Post article on my 'unmasking' yesterday, Albert Owen MP is quoted as saying that I have "hoodwinked" people into thinking I was a "caring voice". I suppose the inference is that a Conservative candidate could never truly be caring. I hope people will see his comments for what they are: silly and needlessly tribal.
The fact is this: writing this blog, like compiling the People's Manifesto, has been a labour of love for me. Whatever Albert Owen, or other over-excited blogs on the mainland might say, I doubt that anyone can question my commitment to this Island and my desire to find practical solutions to its problems. I hope that I will now be able to use whatever extra influence I have as a candidate in next year's Assembly elections to further much needed change on Ynys Môn.
Finally, as Albert Owen accuses me of having "hoodwinked" people, let me remind him of some of his utterances over the past year:
- In January, Albert wrote this in the letters page of the Holyhead and Anglesey Mail: "David Cameron’s closest energy advisor Zac Goldsmith clearly states that if the party sticks to its existing policy it would never allow the building of a new nuclear power station. Well that rules out Wylfa B under the Tories". What Albert failed to mention was that both Labour and Conservative policy regarding nuclear was identical: supportive as long as there were no subsidies. Anyway within four months of the coalition government taking power Wylfa was indeed granted preferred nuclear build status, thus providing government support for Horizon to proceed.
- In April, Albert wrote on his election leaflets that he had "delivered to: secure new investment (£635 million) in RAF Valley by creating new jobs now and for the future in fast jet training and the Search and Rescue HQ". I revealed on this blog that the £635 million figure was the entire budget, spread across 25 years, for running the UK Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS) across a number of air bases in the UK -- not just for RAF Valley. The press picked up my post and Albert defended himself by merely insisting, "I am comfortable with using this figure". Says it all.
- Albert Owen has been most creative when seeking to find something to blame other than his own Party's policies for the catastrophic closure of Anglesey Aluminium and the loss of 450 jobs. In March he claimed it was down to "Tory hypocrisy", by September it was the fault of the company itself. The real reasons behind Anglesey Aluminium's closure are: (a) EU law which prevents government subsidy of business -- this required Wylfa to stop its cut-price supply of electricity to AAM after being acquired by the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency; (b) Peter Mandelson's removal of import tariffs on Russian aluminium; and (c) the Labour government's pledge to reduce CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050 which makes all primary metallurgical industries increasingly unviable in the UK.
- As it reflects badly on him and 13 years of his government, Albert has repeatedly tried to deny that Ynys Môn is the poorest locale in the UK. This is despite the Office for National Statistics releasing data which proves that it clearly is.
I could go on, but I think the above is sufficient. I am not trying to make a partisan point here -- politicians from all parties tend to be economical with the truth. However the problem I have with Albert's frequent 'distortions' is that they do not help us find solutions for our exceptional problems on Ynys Môn. Unless we accurately identify our problems, and their real causes, then we will never find workable solutions for them. And from now on, as a candidate, thats exactly what I intend to do.
P.S. I wrote yesterday about Ieuan Wyn Jones's lack of engagement with his own constituency. As if to prove my point yesterday's Daily Post article reported that, "Anglesey AM, Ieuan Wyn Jones, was unavailable for comment".