Saturday, 7 May 2011

No regrets.

How coming second looks like:
IWJ's votes on the left, mine second from right (click to enlarge)
Many, many thanks to each and every one of the 7,032 Anglesonians who cast their vote for me on Thursday. I'd also like to express my gratitude to everyone who has supported and helped out in the campaign — it has been particularly moving to discover that some of the greatest support during the campaign came from some of the most unexpected quarters...

I gave it my best shot and have no regrets.


Anonymous said...

YOU should have no regrets- avoiding parties you were the best candidate hands down, and would have pressurised the Assembly to do something to Anglesey! (and this is coming from a Plaid man- though I voted for you on the 1st vote, and Plaid on the 2nd vote). The one thing I would say is that the Conservative policy on maintaining spending on the NHS was a bit odd (but I can't remember if you put that on the leaflets?).

But unfortunately YOU were a victim of what is happening in LONDON. Had this election been a year ago you would now be shopping for a flat in the bay and preparing for the oath.

When things have cooled down in London, please run again. Anglesey needs a voice like you in one of our legislatures.

Maes Llwyn said...

Paul, as a strong supporter of you, I say, in politics the best man does not always win.....but there is certainly a political future for you in Anglesey.
You should now reflect on that political future ?

kp said...

'I gave it my best shot and have no regrets' ... but what about all the people who voted for you?

I bet they have regrets!

Anonymous said...

I hope you realise Paul, that in our eyes, your a hero, you have stood up and faced the unwanted. You stood firm in the face of clowns who ridiculed your efforts, I for one, and I am speaking on behalf of the voters who voted for you, think, that you are a remarkable man, special, brave and a credit to your family.

Never, before has someone come from nowhere, and given Plaid Cymru such a scare, your day will come Paul. We will support your endevours to turn this Island around, long may you continue with your blog site, it's the best in Wales.

I'm not interested in other blog sites, this is the one that matters to all of us, we need you to gather strength, hope and determination to carry on, and we will all be behind you. Righting the wrongs, uncovering bad behaviour, naming and shaming the deceivours, keep it up Paul, I know you won't feel like smiling, but that row of votes would make me smile. Those are your supporters, those are the people who have voted for change. Those voters all think your the best, not second best, the champion of the people.

Anonymous said...

I have decided to write to you all, all the readers and bloggers, that in my humble opinion, we have been dealt a very, very bad hand. The man who won, is NOT the man we want to represent us in Anglesey.

For all of you who think the same, we must ensure that we support Paul in these hard times.

Anonymous said...

Well done Paul. I also voted for you but not out of any party allegiance I don’t have any. I’m part of the awkward squad a floating voter. I support the man/party the suits me at the time. I was hoping for some blogs from inside the WAG but it seems that it won’t happen for the present. I also voted for the referendum as I see it the lies and exaggeration by the politicians were completely out of proportion for such a minor change. Carry one the good work!

Anonymous said...

"7,032 Anglesonians"
I would honestly estimate that the majority of these were not originally from Anglesey.

Anonymous said...

KP, get out of this site

Anonymous said...

Paul - over 7000 people pledged their support by voting for you. They demonstrated their total faith in your ability to bring change to the Island. I sincerely hope that this is only the beginning of your political career and that you will continue to follow your beliefs and those of all who supported you.

Anonymous said...

Where will they count the votes once the Tory cuts have closed down all the sports centres?

Anonymous said...

Where will they count the votes once the Tory cuts have closed down all the sports centres?

Live your life with your head up your ass, ignore your credit card bills....even better subsidy from others. Live in the real world pal.

Anonymous said...

it was a tragedy the incumbent could not be dislodged. Do you think a football manager would still be retained if he took the club from the Premiership to the blue square league?

Maes Llwyn said...

After his most undeserved win, we can be sure that IWJ's every move, utterance and indiscretions (!) will be forensically scrutined now for the next 4 years.
We shall hold him to account.

Richard Sletzer said...

Yes, MAES LLWYN, but IWJ is in and home and dry. ...And another four years is a long time for an island that hasn't got four years to spare to turn itself around.

So - if we have the heart to continue the fight - we need to know why 9,969 "Anglesonians" voted Plaid and 6,307 voted Labour.

What on earth did they think they were doing? Did these people stop and think for a moment what their vote would do for their own future and the future of the island as a whole?

...Maybe (and this is my personal opinion) they were mostly Anglesey people yoked to state benefits or public sector salaries - hoping that the nasty national deficit would just go away if they cling on to nurse and carry on living off other people's taxes.

We may shake our heads in disbelief but the Plaid Cymru vote went up for heaven's sake.

Our task (should we choose to accept it) is the massive job of re-educating the island's voters.After all, it is they who are responsible for the result ....but it is all of us who must bear the consequences of their folly.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to correct the last two honorable comments, but we have five more years of IWJ. Yes, five more years of going nowhere !!

Un o Fon

Anonymous said...

You put up a fair fight and you did well. You have accepted the result with some humility which is more than can be said for some of your supporters.This is a democracy the people of Anglesey have spoken they have shown faith in IWJ they have accepted that he has served his community and his constituents and want him to remain.

Anonymous said...

Does anyoneknow whether William and Kate voted. Are they on the elecoral role ?

Anonymous said...

One important lesson for all in politics never insult your electorate and never take them for granted.

Politics is about persuassion not imposing your will. It would be wise for some of the above contributors to remember that.

Paul Williams said...

For the record I fully agree with Anon 21:31.

Richard Sletzer said...

ANONYMOUS 21:31 - No one is suggesting "insulting" the electorate - and certainly not "taking them for granted".

Politics is indeed about "persuasion". Like it or not, politics is as much about advertising and marketing as it is about policies. ....And, if you don't think so, look at the billions Obama pumped into winning the presidency and the sophisticated techniques his team used to put him in the White House.

The business of winning elections is all about gaining public profile. Paul's achievement was absolutely astonishing. Just look at what he had to do:-

The Conservative challenge in Anglesey was to come from nowhere to beat the incumbent Assembly member who is also the well-established national leader of his party. IWJ is actually quite a pleasant bloke when you meet him face to face - and people do recognise that face. By virtue of being Deputy First Minister he has very high recognition factor indeed. He has far more airtime and column inches than all his rivals put together. IWJ, for all his faults, is seen in Anglesey as a "hewn from the rock", Welsh-speaking, native "Anglesonian" (if we really have to use that term). Try trawling his Google entries and the number of times his name comes up on BBC News. His tv performances may be lamentable - but at least he was there, on the screen, every damn day. ....And his rivals weren't.

In the privacy of the polling booth IWJ was the only candidate with a name that most people could put a face to. Plaid and Labour voters - particularly those worried about their benefits and their public sector jobs, gave him the benefit of the doubt.

It is those voters who - over the next (okay) five years need to become aware that their votes not only count - but have consequences.
They need to know that the reason their children can't read or add-up in school is because of the way they voted. They need to know the reason they have to wait so much longer than in England for hospital treatment is because of the way they voted. They need to know that the reason Anglesey is the poorest part of the UK is because of the way they voted.

..Eventually they will get the message. And there's no reason for us to feel in the least apologetic about delivering it.

Anonymous said...

Richard Seltzer @ 07:45

Speaking from a semi-personal and semi-professional view-point, I'm not convinced IWJ is as pro-public sector as some here imply/think.

He was made aware that a certain dept of the public sector (I can't say which part to preserve my anonymity) was facing financial crisis early last year (i.e. early 2010), and also that the parent organisation of this "certain dept" were themselves inflicting cuts, which worsened the situation. He did next-to-nothing

I sent a letter to him late last year to give my viewpoint, because he'd said something on TV which (maybe unintentionally, to be fair) gave a misleading impression to the public, in my own humble opinion. I heard nothing.

He's not so pro-public sector as many think, again in my own humble opinion.

Anonymous said...

Something clearly went wrong with your campaign.

In 2007 Rogers and Roach (conservative) combined achieved 9741 votes on a turnout of 26,820.

In 2011 Williams (conservative, and including the Rogers vote) only managed 7,032 votes, albeit on a reduced turnout of 24,067.

Quite a significant decline.

Anonymous said...

Re Anonymous 10.02..... I would suggest that something was seriously wrong with IWJ's campaign to have such a narrow majority, given this was Paul's first foray in politics. Surely this is a clear indication that IWJ is not a shining light for Anglesey!!!

Anonymous said...

RIP Sir Ronald Waterhouse

Anonymous said...

The anti Plaid and Labour comments on here make me smile. Why do Anglesey people vote Plaid and Labour............ Well some of us will remember the havock that Thatcher and her disciples caused during their term of mayhem. Wasn't it the Tories who destroyed our Council Housing etc etc etc.

Being neutral to party politics but being very tuned in to the political habits of Anglezonians, we have in Albert and Ieuan two people who people can approach and seek help with personal problems. One might add that this should be the task of County councillors - but need I say more?!!
Most people recognise that whoever party represents Anglesey in London or Cardiff, the impact of the local member in any of these bodies will be very minimal. People therefore tend to vote for the person and not the party, and this appears to vary depending on it being a Cardiff or Westminster election.
I was surprised that Rogers' vote did not tip the balance in this election.
In my humble opinion, Paul, you need to carve your apprentiship in the Council HQ to show us what you can or cannot do. That would stand you in a better position for the next General Election.

The Red Flag said...

Richard, you insult te people who voted Plaid/IWJ. The fact IWJ won and not Paul has got no bearing on all that much really.

Labour now run the Assembly and all thing devolved will be run according to their diktat irrespective of who won on Anglesey. Plaid held some sway up until last week by virtue of their being in partnership with them. Now Labour rule alone and don't need to bother with what other parties think.

They have won half the seats. As soon as the Speaker is confirmed (and is from the oppostion) they will have their majority by virtue of the Speaker being non voting.

I'm afraid because of this fact whoever won and lost on Anglesey has no relevance anymore.

Our MP may have some sway by virtue of the fact he is Labour (probably more sway with Cardiff than IWJ or if he'd won, Paul, however he has to follow Labour's London line whereas Labour Wales has different beliefs and objectives in several areas (for example Labour Wales is less than sympathetic to Nuclear Power) - so you could end up with the outrightruling party in Cardiff being anti-nuclear AND being avb;e to rdefinately rely and the Lib Dems support in that area AND possibly Plaid - around 70% of the Assembly. Luckily nuclear and/or power generation that is above 50MW is decided in London and is not devolved for strategic reasons.

But you get the drift. In all probability favours will be bestowed on North East Wales, south Wales and the valleys and areas where Labour fancy their chances.

kp said...

To be honest, I don't think Richard insults anyone.

He is just giving his opinion as I like to give mine and you like to give yours.

In time we will find common ground and that common ground should yield benefits.

The Red Flag said...

KP, the suggestion from him and others is that people who voted Plaid weren't really sure what they were doing nor the effects it would have.

To be brutally frank given the result across the Principality it's a more arguable position that by not voting Labour the island is now completely irrelevant.

What hamstrung Paul is a tory government in Westminster. It will be another 20-30 years before what Thatcher did to Wales, Scotland and north west England is forgotten. A Tory Westminster is poison to the provinces.

the outsider said...

Anon @ 19.34 and some of us are old enough to remember that it was New Labour who were "relaxed" about the projected increase in the British population to around 70 million by 2020, (mainly as a result of high levels of net inward migration,) because it was a source of cheap labour, despite more housing and welfare provision being required as well as other incidentals such as language translation and legal aid etc .
Some of us remember that it was New Labour who reckoned the contribution that the City and Financial services made to the economy could replace the loss of manufacturing, science and technology industries that their policies helped bring about.
Some of us remember New Labour's Prime Minister telling Parliament that Sadam had weapons of mass destruction that could be unleashed on us with only 40 minutes warning, and that this was the reason for going to war.
Some of us remember that New Labour's Chancellor (who was such a brilliant economist according to his spin doctors) took oversight of the Banks away from the Bank of England and set up the FSA to ensure consumer protection in Financial services, and yet despite warnings allowed the flow of risky mortgages and other credit to many people who could not hope to repay the debt without years of anxiety and worse.
Some of us remember that it was New Labour who doubled the national debt of this country and have yet to tell us how New Labour would go about paying back the money they borrowed on our behalf!

The Red Flag said...

Well outsider, that's what people get for voting for a free-market neo-liberal economics party (which is essentially what Thatcherism, Blairism and Brownisn were).

There is absolutly nothing that has happened over the last 30 years that wasn't the fault of voters thinking that politicians promising that property was speculative investment as opposed to somewhere to live was a good idea, and that we could basically do what we wanted in word affairs.

I am naturally 'left'. I wouldn't piss on Blair if he was burning. Or Thatcher.

Since I've been voting (1976) the best to PMs we've had were Major and Callaghan.

Richard Sletzer said...

THE RED FLAG: I really enjoyed that last contribution!

I entirely share your views on Blair. I've just struggled through his self-serving biography "The Journey" and had run out of sick-bags by the end.

I'm afraid I can't really agree with you on Major He will always be remembered for Black Wednesday, the Cones Hotline and Edwina Currie.

Callaghan, despite his unflappable public image, was actually a bad-tempered bully (I've had a shouting match with him on the phone myself). He never won an election and, was intellectually totally out of his depth. "Crisis - what crisis?" he said as the dead went unburied, rubbish piled up in the streets and Britain had to go cap-in-hand to the IMF to be bailed out after years of Labour's woeful mismanagement of the economy.

Callaghan's greatest achievement was publicly rubbishing Michael Foot's ridiculous nuclear disarmament policy - delivering Foot a pre-election coup-de-gras.

Don't believe the caricature the left paint of Margaret Thatcher. She is - without doubt - the greatest Prime Minister since Churchill. She saved Britain - and Wales - from total economic collapse. You owe her an enormous debt of gratitude

The Red Flag said...

Richard, I'm in my fifties. I know full well what Thatcher did to the industrial heart of this (no longer) United Kingdom.

For example at the time of the Brighton bombing I was married to a woman from near Burnley. The following night people were celebrating in the pubs round there and many pubs had impromptu 'Irish Nights' with a pub singer singing Irish folk songs. That's how despised she was.

Welsh Labour's election campaign over the last few weeks relied virtually entirely on reminding voters who was in power in London. Labour won Wales. In Scotland Salmond pulled the same trick. Salmond won Scotland. The tories have never recovered north of Birmingham in England. That is Thatcher's political legacy and it will run for another couple of decades at least yet.

As for Callaghan he never said "Crisis What Crisis" - that was a newspaper headline (Sun I think). As for him not being elected, we have never ever elected a Prime Minister into Office in this country and voters do not have that right. We operate a constituency Parliamentary system and as such cannot vote for a PM only an MP. Interestingly, most economists reckon if he had held firm for another 6 months at the start we wouldn't have needed the IMF. The winter of discontent came about because despite inflation at 10% the unions had held wage demands low for 2 years and had seen their member's pay cut in real terms by nearly a fifth over that time. Callaghan was trying to force the unions to accept a third year of pay rises not to exceed 5% - the result of which would at the end of the agreement, see nurses, doctors, teachers etc have had their pay reduced by over a quarter in real terms. Try and devalue workers wages by that amount today and you would probably spark major riots.

John Major was the most popular PM this country has ever seen. The tories under him had the highest share of the popular vote of any PM ever. It was the antics of those around him that did for him. His antics with Currie didn't come to light until after he left Office.

Anonymous said...

Labour going alone.

The Red Flag said...

VOTS - I always thought they would. Even though they only hold 30 of the 60 seats, the Speaker will come from the opposition benches and does not vote ergo they have a majority of one. The LibDem will know which side their bread is buttered and will either vote with Labour or abstain. Therefore they have a majority of at least 10 most of the time and in a straight fight to the death a majority of 1.

Anonymous said...

Red Flag, you are forgetting that the government also have to supply the deputy speaker, who also doesn't vote...bang goes the majority.

Anonymous said...

Not quite as straight forward as that I don't think Anon. The last Assembly the Speaker and Deputy both came from the government benches - Plaid/Labour.

If they can both come from the ruling Administration (albeit from different parties) then there can be no reason why they cannot both come from the Opposition just so long as they aren't from the same party and even that's not set in stone I don't think.

We may be in uncharted territory here.

Druid? What's the ruling on Speakers in the Assembly? I know it's different than Westminster.

Paul Williams said...

Anon 13:14: this post by Peter Black is illuminating:

Anonymous said...

Very illuminating Druid. If the Standing Orders state that one must come from government, one from opposition then I assume the caveat that that however can be overruled with agreement of the Assembly means that in theory they can both come from the opposition.

Is that how both came from government last time out? Or did they box clever last time and appoint Elis-Thomas before Plaid was formally part of the government?

Paul Williams said...

Dafydd El has always been the Presiding Officer. See here:

Anonymous said...

I always thought that these posts had to be 're-approved' at the commencement of each Assembly, therefore although he's been Presiding Officer all this time he has actually been re-appointed each individual time?

Prometheuswrites said...

I agree with Outsider.
One of the advantages of being older is being able to remember things that happened that are no longer in the political 'canon'.

I remember the concerns about the aging demographic about 10 years ago. The problem was going to be full employment as there weren't enough children/young people in the country to fill the expected job vacancies, (this was part of the rationale for accepting increased immigration numbers).

So what happened?

We now have a situation where we have the largest youth unemployment on record, which given the earlier concerns is a damning consequence of the failure to match our vocational education to our economic needs.

I don't believe that there is something inherently lacking in our young people such that they can't be trained vocationally to meet the needs of employers; ergo there's something amiss with the system.

Again the question arises of 'in whose interests is it for things to be as they are'? (& the next question of 'what are the mechanisms of influence that serve these interests'? - [hint - 'follow the money']

It's pointless bewailing problems with the benefits system as these are just symptoms of a deeper malaise. When employment for those with the skills and motivation is lacking the primary concern has to be both job creation and skills aquisition.

I'm not opposed to immigration however it seems unnecessary to me to import labour when we have a surplus labour pool. Surely it's better in the mid-long term to educate, (without burdening people with a level of debt that will deter business start-ups), and re-educate those people already living here; and then move towards full employment, so that we have a balance in our public finances.

(The same as for Anglesey)

The Red Flag said...

I think the uncertainty is caused by the differences between Westminster and Dardiff. In Parliament the Speaker is not challenged in his/her Constituency during General Elections as a sort of gentlemens agreement and is re-elected unopposed.

In the Welsh Assembly however that cannot happen because of the voting system we use.

Richard Sletzer said...

THE RED FLAG: I think this morning we can all unite in being profoundly grateful that Lord Elis Thomas is to be relieved of his responsibilities as Presiding Officer.

The Red Flag said...

Richard, that then means he's now free to vote and as such 'reduces' Plaid's losses by one.

So then, does that mean Labour will push Rosemary Butler to be promoted to PO and will take a tory to be DPO this freeing a potential anti-tory vote (Elis Thomas) and also reducing the tory share by foisting the DPO position on them.

Canny bit of footwork.

Anonymous said...

On another topic; does anyone know what is going on in Ysgol Goronwy Owen Benllech?

The Red Flag said...

Anon is that the business about the teachers pasing a vote of 'No Confidence' in the Head?

Should imagine that it will now deteriorate into meetings and letters between the Governers, the union, the teachers and the council until the Head retires early with a wad. That's the normal run of affairs.

Richard Sletzer said...

THE RED FLAG: I agree. There will be a great deal of fancy footwork going on in the Assembly to cement the Labour advantage, but it's still good that DET is out of the chair.

It seems to me that the essence of the job of Presiding Officer or Llywydd is not only to chair debates impartially but also represent Wales impartially.

His hard-left-wing, pro-CND, pro-Sinn Fein, Nationalist track-record to my mind made it impossible for him ever to be regarded as a true representative of all of Wales.

As an MP in the 1980s at the height of the troubles in Ireland, DET was only too happy to invite the Sinn Fein top brass to Wales and yet, in office as Presiding Officer in the Assembly, he embarrassingly refused point-blank to meet the Israeli Ambassador.

I hold no brief for the Israelis but I don't want the Llywydd of the Assembly deciding off his own bat who is and who is not welcome to visit the Assembly.

the outsider said...

I suggest bloggers read the Bowles letter re IoACC posted on Photon's blog.
Although I could only read as far as page 4.
Photon can you explain how to blog on your site I can't master the technology!

The Red Flag said...

Well at least he's consistent Richard and you know where you are with himan who changes direction every two minutes to pander to the whims of the masses.

As for IRA-Sinn Fein, they're the height of fashion now as Cameron will find out next week when he's glad-handing some of them in Dublin.

Promo said...

Set up a g-mail account (type G-mail into google - "set up a G-mail account") using the name you want to post with ('Outsider' or something close).
Go to the 'google accounts' and create an account with 'blogger' in the same name (you don't have to set up a blog).
When you post you will be asked to sign-in, which you do with your blogger account (using your gmail address and a password you create).
That way you'll remain anonymous.

(At least that's how I did it).

The Red Flag said...

ell Richard at least he's consistent and you know where he stands and what he stands for.

As for IRA-Sinn Fein, they are the height of fashion now as Cameron will find out shortly when he's glad-handing them in Dublin.