Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Dal i gredu...

Dydi pethau heb dawelu yma o gwbwl eto. Joe dal yn yr ysbyty, a rwan mae Mam yn sal yn ei gwely sydd felly'n gadael fi yng nghofal popeth!

O'n i'n meddwl bod gweithio'n San Steffan yn brysur a llawn stress, ond dydi o ddim byd i gymharu gyda bod adref dros y Nadolig. Yn wir, dwi bron yn edrych ymlaen i fynd nol i Lundain jest er mwyn cael dal fyny ar fy nghwsg! Ac ymlacio chydig...
Ganddo ni barti yn y Castle nos 'fory, felly dwi 'di bod yn coginio heddiw. Tair cacen - dwy sioceled a guinness ac un baileys a siocled - a pethau savory 'di'r gweddill. Gesh i damad o gig Eidion godidog gan Dafydd Bwtch (cigydd lleol) a mae hwnn'n marinadio mewn saws horseradish, port a rhosmari - ysu i'w drio! Biti na bwyd i rhywun arall ydio'i gyd, ond siawns ga'i ddwyn tamad neu ddau wrth baratoi. Wel, fydd rhaid fi wneud siwr bod o'i gyd yn blasu'n iawn yn bydd?!


Dwi hefyd wedi bod yn arbrofi gyda coctels newydd, gan orfodi pobl eraill i'w trio rhag ofn bod rhaid mi yrru i'r ysbyty yn fyr rybudd. Wna'i ddim hyd yn oed cymeryd un diod os dwi'n bwriadu gyrru - dydi o jest ddim werth o nac ydi? Ar y funud, y ffefryn ydi vocka gyda mafon a passion fruit, gyda siampaen neu cava. Ella ga'i drio un nos Calan, ond cawn weld.


Rhwng hyn i gyd, dwi'm 'di cael fawr o gyfle i feddwl am wleidyddiaeth ers cwpwl o ddyddiau. Mae'n echrydus be sy'n digwydd yn Gaza - anodd coelio bod gymaint wedi cael eu lladd erbyn hyn. Ond fel arall, duw a wyr beth sydd wedi bod yn digwydd. Dyna pam dwi'n mynd i dreulio bore 'fory yn dal fyny gyda digwyddiadau'r byd. Ella bydd gen i fwy i'w drafod wedyn yn lle jest mwydro am fwyd a diod!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas 2008 - not quite a Silent Night!

My friend Annie often tells me that if my life was a soap opera, nobody would ever believe it. Crazy thigs always seem to happen, and by now I've realised that it's best just to take everything in my stride. This Christmas was no exception. It could easily have been featured on Coronation Street. Worst of all, we still have New Year's Eve to come!

Christmas two years ago is remembered by my whole family because my cousin opened up a window on our the third floor of our house and it somehow came off in her hand and flew into the roof of the kitchen.

This year was always going to be a different to usual christmas, with mum running her pub for the first time. We were prepared for it to be busy. Manic even. For the first time ever, I was in charge of Christmas. I did the decorating, all the shopping, all the baking (I am the mince pie Queen by now having baked hundreds this Christmas!) and most if not all of the cooking. Nain and Joe were coming to stay, as well as my Uncle Rich and my partner in crime, cousin Emma. It was going to be fun.

We knew things were going to be crazy when my cousin arrived having somehow managing to lose her suitcase somewhere between getting off the train and getting into my car at Bangor station. Luckily, after a lot of drama, it was found in Bangor the following day and we picked it up on the way to collect the turkey from my cousin's farm in Pen Llyn.

Then Nain and Joe were late arriving. Very late in fact. Then they arrived in an AA van having crashed on the way. Luckily they weren't injured, but they were very shaken up. On top of that, Joe obviously wasn't well and we were worried about him...

Christmas morning came, and when we came downstairs we realised the car alarm had been going off ALL night long. Our neighbours were not impressed, as you can imagine, and worse of all, there was no way for us to switch it off without disconnecting the battery. None of our spanners fitted so we couldn't do it ourselves. All we could do in the end was ring AA, and a very kind man came to help us...

Joe in the meantime was getting worse and we decided to call a Dr. Now, since it was christmas day, we had to ring up Meddygon Menai and had to answer what seemed like a million questions before they agreed to send someone over. I had to laugh when ten minuted into the conversation, the assessor asked me if he was actually breathing. I would have thought that would have been one of the first questions, and I did point out that I would have rung 999 if I thought he wasn't and not just calmly spoken to the lady for all that time! Finally the Dr came and she decided that he had to go to hospital. We then had to wait for an ambulance, as he wasn't well enough to travel in the car.

As the ambulance was going to take two hours, we decided to carry on with Christmas lunch. Looking back, it's all a bit of a blur. We rushed to get lunch ready, and we all sat down pulling crackers, eating and joking whilst also checking on Joe every now and then. It was surreal to say the least and a miracle that nothing was ruined given that we'd had to switch the meal on and off about four times.

Oh, and whilst all this was going on, the wachine machine also flooded the utility room. Whilst the ambulance men were here I was in an apron mopping up the floor. I think they thought we were a bit of a crazy family!

After being at the hospital and everything, we finally started opening our presents at around 7pm. I feel so guilty that I didn't ring my friends and family as I usually do to say merry christmas and to say thank you for the wonderful gifts. I hope they understand that it just wasn't a typical christmas.

Luckily, things have calmed down by now. Joe is still in hospital, but he does seem to be getting stronger by the day. Unfortunately my cousin has gone back to Cardiff today, and I miss her so much already. She kept me sane even though she managed to poke me in the eye and hit me with her elbow a few times! Despite Christmas being disasterous in many ways, I've never laughed so much. Well, it was the only was to cope! Plus we got to watch Mamma Mia and the Sex and the City film and drink some Black Velvet and baileys and vodka and chat until 4 in the morning. Not a bad life...

What this Christmas has taught me more than anything is that you can cope with anything as long as you have your loved ones with you. It's not about making everything perfect, but making the best out of every situation. And looking at the bright side of life even when all seems to go wrong. In that sense, it was one the most memorable Christmases ever and apart from my grandfather/ Joe being poorly, I wouldn't have changed it for the world...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

All go...

Its been hectic recently, so apologies for not taking the time to up-date my blog. Between the PBR, the Queen's Speech, Christmas shopping, a few parties and just basically life, I haven't had much time to sit down and write. But having had many messages sent to me, I feel duty bound to report some Lembit news. As you may have read elsewhere, since its all over the blogs, Mr Opik has started writing a weekly column for the Daily Sport.

Now, I'm all for making politics more relevant and trying different ways to get political news across to people. But, honestly now, how many people actually read and take notice of what's said in the Daily Sport? I thought its main appeal was its crazy stories and nude pictures. Please correct me if I'm wrong. If he truly wanted to influence people, then the best tabloid to go for would of course be the Sun.

Personally, I think he really needs to take good hard look at himself and re-think the way he's operating within the media. He needs to think why he was defeated in the recent internal Presidential race. He also needs to think why his constituents are turning against him if he really is that great at connecting with 'real people'.

The truth is, Lembit Opik is totally out of touch with people. Yes, he's high profile but for all the wrong reasons. He's not doing himself or even politics itself any favours in the way he conducts himself as a public figure. Will the people of Montgomeryshire be glad that their MP is writing for the Daily Sport? I doubt it. They are the people he should be thinking of and putting first. Its a shame for them that he seems to prefer promoting himself rather than them.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Nooo....

I am so disappointed. John Sargeant has quite Strictly Come Dancing! I think that's so unecessary. After all, its an entertainment show. There shouldn't have been an outcry that he was staying in whilst better and far blander dancers were eliminated. So what? Its hardly scadulous is it!

At least he will give us one final dance this Saturday night. I'll definitely be cheering him on, but I am sad to see him go. His dancing definitely brought a smile to my face! I always think its far more entertaining when you have a few bad dancers in it. Julian Clarey was hilarious a few years ago and there's wasn't such a fuss made then. People have to stop taking life and television so seriously and need to lighten up. Why get so het up over something like this? Pathetic is the word that springs to mind... Though some might call me pathetic for watching the show in the first place!

Lle mae Cymru?


Dwi ddim yn disgwyl bod nifer o ddarllenwyr fy mlog yn prynnu'r Telegraph yn ddyddiol, felly meddwl y byddwn yn tynnu eich sylw at stori sydd gan Elfyn Llwyd ynddo heddiw. Cyn clicio arni, edrychwch ar y logo ar y dudalen yma. Fedrwch chi weld beth sydd i fod i gynrychioli Cymru? Da chi dipyn fwy praff na fi os fedrwch chi! Neu da chi wedi twyllo a wedi clywed am y stori eisioes...

Mae'r Telegraph bach yn OTT, yn dweud bo ni fel cenedlaetholwyr yn outraged. Siomedig fyddai'r gair priodol. Ond dio'm fel bod o'n sioc. Da ni 'di hen arfer do'n anffodus gweld Cymru'n cael ei hepgor gan sefydliadau Prydeinig.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ouch: Kirsty Williams - "worse than dentistry without an anasthetic"

Reading through the introduction to the book published yesterday by the Institute of Welsh Affairs, Politics in 21st Century Wales, I felt a sense of relief that I don't work for the Liberal Democrats, and in particular Kirsty Williams. Whilst the author of the introduction, Anthony Barnett, praised the contributions made by the other contributors - Rhodri Morgan, Nick Bourne and Plaid Cymru's very own Adam Price - he didn't hold back on his analysis of Williams' chapter. Indeed, it's painful to read what he says about her and if I was Kirsty, I'd be feeling mortified. After all, Barnett admits that he's close to Liberal Democrat politics. You'd expect him, therefore, to at least be a little bit kind towards her. But he's not. Read and cringe for yourselves:

"Williams' account of what has happened over the past year and how she wants to see the Lib Dems proceed is a muddle of personal statements and rhetorical cliches. "I came into politics to change things", she tells us, and yes it is a cliche; and worse, in this context it is uninteresting. "The inalienable stakes we have in each other must become a tool to drive forward our individual, community and national potential", she explains, only what does it mean apart from sounding worse than dentistry without an anaesthetic? There is tough talk about "deal breakers" and unpleasant references to opponents. "I want some people to be quaking in their boots at the prospect of Welsh Liberal Democrats in government". Those "some" people presumably know who they are!"

He goes on:

"For Kirsty Williams, "Successful parties are made up of successful people... These are the alpha people... strong leaders are crucial as the party gets bigger". Imagine if such phrases had been uttered by a Tory such as Mrs Thatcher. The fact that such appeals to power through strength are written by a Liberal does not make them well meaning, even if she herself means well. She explains that "...we will need to enthuse people. But passion is irresistible." Sincerity and authenticity are important qualities of contemporary democracy. But surely not "irresistible"! This is liberalism laced with authoritarianism."

Ouch. Contrast this with what is said about Adam:

"...the essay by Adam Price a star MP at Westminster for Plaid Cymru, whose essay fizzes with ideas and addresses some of the key strategic issues about the future of politics in Wales".

It certainly makes me feel relieved not to be a Lib Dem. If I were, (and what a frightening thought), then I'd be praying that Williams won't be elected in the forthcoming Welsh Lib Dem Leadership Race.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Strcitly Mandelson?

So Peter Mandelson would go on Strictly Come Dancing if he was offered the chance? What has John Sergeant started? Whilst I find it quite amusing to see the portly Sergeant dance, especially during the Latin weeks, I hardly think we need to see Mandelson in sequins shaking his booty. Damn. Now I'm going to have that disturbing image in my head everytime I see him on television.

It was also reported that Gordon Brown had written to all of the X factor contestants to thank them for their work on the single 'Heroes', but that he'd personalised one of them - to Daniel of all people. The worst contender this year by far. Hmm, Brown really doesn't know how to back a winner does he? At least he's not tempted to dress up in lycra and dance in front of the nation. That's another image I really don't want in my head...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Baby P

For the past few days, I've read with horror as details about the Baby P case have emerged in the press. It was made all the more real when pictures of him taken a few days before his death were published. Don't you just wish that you could have taken him in your arms, and just cuddled and cared for him so that he'd still be alive today? It's heartbreaking to think how much that poor child suffered. I just can't believe someone could treat him so appallingly. It really is beyond comprehension

Whilst I can understand why the press have responded so strongly to this story, it does worry me that they're targeting the individual social workers involved in the case to the point that some of them are feeling suicidal. Surely we shouldn't be conducting such a public witch-hunt. Its the parents that are ultimately at fault. They were obviously very good at covering their tracks, even smearing chocolate over his face.

Yes, lessons needs to be learnt and people should be disciplined if they led to his death, but what we should be focusing on is learning lessons from this. Unfortunately, its too late to help baby P but there are children out there today who are suffering terrible abuse. We can help and protect them, and I wish this outrage could be turned into something worthwhile and positive so that those children are saved. That's the only positive thing that could come out of this terrible tragedy.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Winter Campaign

Plaid Cymru launched its winter campaign today, in order to raise awareness about fuel poverty. It's worrying to think that 25% of households in Wales are in fuel poverty - which is classified as spending 10 per cent or more of your annual income on heating your home - and many other are at the very least fuel poor. Many are struggling and dreading seeing the bills arrive through the letterbox. I'm personally shocked at how expensive my gas and electricity bills are. Indeed, to compensate I'm taking the bus rather than the tube to work. It only adds ten minutes to my journey in the morning, and yet I save two pounds a day. So at least I can afford to keep warm this winter!

Other people aren't as lucky, and there are many families facing tough decisions this winter - either to heat their homes or put food on the table. People will have to go into debt just to cover basic expenses or suffer from the effects of inadequate heating.

Whilst researching this issue, it angered me to realise that prepaid meter customers pay higher rates than direct debit customers. Surely, this is unfair, especially as its usually the poorest within our society who have to pay with prepaid credit. Why should they therefore be faced with paying more than those who can afford to pay by direct debit? I'd definitely like to see this outlawed.

Similarly, it seems unjust that energy companies to continue to raise their prices whilst at the same time recording major profits. Surely a windfall tax on their profits would be a common sense approach? The money collected could go towards helping our most vulnerable - the elderly, the disabled, cancer patients, people with long term illnesses, and families with disabled and young children.

Gordon Brown needs to take action so that people don't suffer this winter. Please show your support for our campaign by signing the petition. It doesn't matter which political party you support. Our approach is a common sense one, that could make a real difference to people's lives.

Age Concern estimates that 1500 or more people could die in Wales this winter because of inadequate heating. That's a sobering thought, and yet another reason why action is needed now. This campaign isn't about scoring political points. Rather, its about helping our most vulnerable.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

So much to say!

Sorry I haven't written in ages. I've just been too busy, and then too ill. Still in the midst of a nasty chest infection, so will keep this brief and elaborate once I'm better but what a week and a half its been! Here's a quick re-cap and a brief reaction:

1) Obama - wow! What a historic victory. And what a relief. He really does have his work cut out now, but at least he acknowledges that. Can't wait for Bush to leave office now so that Obama can just get on with the job. It will be such a relief to have an intelligent President after eight years of stupidity!

2) Tories report on devolution - what a joke. Firstly, the timing of it - published the day after the American election. What an insult to the people of Wales. And worst of all, what about its content? They'll decide their policy on devolution with another review AFTER the next general election. So they expect people in Wales to vote for them without telling them the truth about their views about devolution. What cowards. I'd be very disappointed with this report if I thought of myself as a pro-devolution Tory like Guto Bebb or Glyn Davies. Indeed, I'd be giving my party a hard time and pressing them to re-think this issue before the next election if I were them and if the party refused to do so, I'd be considering breaking away from them. After all, the more Tory MPs that are elected in the next election, the more devestating it could be for democracy in Wales.

The Tories have to be up-front with the electorate. The report suggests the Tories may even do-away with devolution. Surely, we need clarification on this and pronto.

3) SNP managed to increase their vote in Glenrothes but failed to capture the seat from Labour. Such a shame, but they still did brilliantly.

4) Mum's birthday party. We had a great night on Friday, except for one thing. Me being ill and I couldn't join in when everyone was singing karaoke. Nothing would come out - not even a squeak. It was the most frustrating hour of my life, sitting there in silence (something which is pretty rare for me) whilst everyone else had fun singing. I was not happy... But at least Mum was having the time of her life. And she loved her birthday cake luckily, so all was good. Think the vodca and tonic jelly helped as well...

5) Lembit lost his Presidential bid. And by a huge majority. Even his own party think he's an idiot. Having followed his campaign, and the fact he thought his 'celebrity status' was a plus rather than an obvious minus, I think I'm totally justified in thinking he's a total lembo/ prat. He really is totally dillusional. Let's hope voters in Montgomeryshire show the same sense as his party at the next General Election.

6) Calzaghe winning yet another fight! The Welsh wonder keeps on delivering... Wonder if it really was his last fight? I doubt it...

Anyway, this is all I can muster for now. I really do want to elaborate on so many things but my bed beckons. Don't worry, I'll be back and fighting fit within the next few days, giving my opinions about everything as usual. It would be interesting to hear your comments on the above though if you feel like sharing them...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Brand a Ross - am lol


Oes yna rhywun arall yn meddwl bod yr holl fusnes Russel Brand a Jonathon Ross wedi mynd lot rhy bell? Pam ddiawl mae'r peth yn cael ei drafod yn y Senedd, a gan hyd yn oed y Prif Weinidog, Gordon Brown? Dyma ni enghraifft o wleidyddion yn trio bod yn trendi a phoblogaidd unwaith eto. Fysa lot gwell gen i weld nhw'n rhoi pwyslais ar betha pwysicach. Da chi byth yn gweld gwleidyddion Prydeinig yn ymateb mor gadarn neu cyflym i rhywbeth sy'n digwydd yng Nghymru. Mae'r peth yn hurt.

Fedra'i ddim coelio chwaith bod hon yn brif stori newyddion, pan mae na bethau llawer mwy haeddianol sy'n haeddu sylw. Na, ddyla nhw ddim bod wedi gwneud be wnaetho nhw ond pam bod isho mynd mor OTT am y peth. Mae'n fy ngwneud i mor flin. Gobeithio wneith pobl ddechra cau eu cegau am y peth yn fuan. Fysa lot gwell gen i glywed am yr etholiadau yn America. Neu'r sefyllfa economaidd. Rhywbeth ond y rwtsh yma. Mae nhw wedi ymddiheuro, does yna neb wedi marw. Grrr...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ex-servicemen in Prison

Elfyn had a Westminster Hall debate on this issue on Tuesday, and also raised it as a PMQ yesterday. The response to this story has been amazing, and shows that he's truly touched on an important issue which affects people in every corner of the UK, and not just in Wales.

In case you haven't heard the story, Elfyn, along with Harry Fletcher from NAPO (National Association of Probation Officers) uncovered new evidence which suggests that at least 10 per cent of the current prison population are ex-servicemen - 8,500 people to be precise. We are really concerned about this figure, as it could turn out to be even higher. Indeed, the MOD and the MOJ haven't disputed these figures which suggest to us that we are right in thinking so. Many of these prisoners are suffering from PTSD or Gulf War syndrome which had been undiagnosed before the committed these offences. Many also suffer from serious drink and drug addictions, and don't even know why they committed the offences which have left them in prison.

Elfyn has made a very valid argument. Since we train soldiers for weeks and months before they are sent to war, we should also spend weeks de-briefing and helping them to adjust to life back at home. After all, we can only imagine what these people have been through. I certainly don't know how I'd cope if I'd seen a war zone and seen my friends killed.

What currently happens, from what we understand, that soldiers spend three or four days in Cyprus getting drunk before being flown home. They're asked in front of one another if anyone has any problems before being discharged. Do you honestly think that a macho soldier is going to admit in front of everyone that he's in need of help? Or even, that he'll realise himself that he needs help?

Support should be given so that ex-servicemen have easy access to counselling, and also support in terms of finding new employment and even somewhere to live. Many of them find it very difficult to adjust to life at home, and this is perfectly understandable. But just think of the impact this has on them, and also their families? Surely if we train them for war we should train them to cope with life afterwords?

Some people have said this week that its strange that Plaid Cymru is concerned about soldiers, given that we were against the war in Iraq. But that's completely unfair. We totally one hundred per cent support those soldiers who have been sent to fight, and want to see them treated properly. After all, in many areas in Wales, a career in the Army is the only option for many young men. Obviously, we'd like to see that change so that they have other choice and opportunities. But we're realistic as well. The UK government has a duty to look after the people who risk their lives on its behalf. Its an insult to all of them that they are not being treated fairly and I'm glad to see Elfyn speaking out on their behalf. Its about time someone did.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fun Friday

Its been a while since I've posted a cheesy song up on this blog on a Friday, so to lighten the mood after yesterday's post, here's one for you. This song was released whilst I was in my first year in College and I still love it. Just reminds me of fun night out and lots of crazy dancing! Have a good weekend, whatever you all get up to...


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Unnerved...

I'm pretty relaxed about accepting friend requests on facebook. If someone is Welsh or Irish, I tend to assume that I somehow know them. Or if they're members of Plaid, I'll say yes. After all, they can't be that crazy if they hold the same beliefs as I do! I refuse ones who I obviously have no idea where they're from, or if we have no friends in common. Mainly, bacause I'm scared of all the identity theft stories you hear about. There's so much personal details up on my page, and though I don't have my address and so on up there and I have all the privacy settings set up, I still don't trust it 100%. Plus I don't want everyone to see my pictures!

My blog is a different matter. Its up on the web for everyone and anyone to see. I don't in any way try to hide who I am, or what I think or what I'm doing. I thought that I might as well be open and honest, and then there would be no speculation about who might be writing and so on. It would be pretty obvious that it was me anyway. Well, I'm Plaid's only press officer in parliament plus I think the only Plaid press officer in the party who has a bit of a karaoke obsession...

What I didn't anticipate when I embraced modern technology was how vulnerable it makes you. People you've never met think they know you, when really, you only put on a blog or a facebook profile what you want people to see. Though you may get a glimpse of the real me, its only my close friends and family who truly know me and all my quirks.

I had quite an upsetting incident last night, which I won't go into, but it has made me question how wise it is to put yourself out there as openly as I have. And I now find myself in a dilemma. Do I stop blogging and delete my facebook account just because someone does something which upsets me? Or do I just accept that its part and parcel of being involved in politics, and just be far more careful who I accept as friends from now on. After all, and this is no secret, I do hope to be a politician myself one day. If I'm lucky enough to ever be elected, then I will be contactable and public property anyway...

Its no wonder there are so few women bloggers or female politicians if its typical to get these kind of reactions. Just because you're young and opinionated, some men think its fair game to contact you and make comments about things other than your viewpoints. That's not the case. Its very intimidating and worse than that, it makes even strong characters like myself feel vulnerable. I love getting reactions to what I've written - don't get me wrong there. Its great to see people responding to my views, and engaging in proper debate, especially when they strongly disagree with me. Its also nice to receive the odd few compliment, and you also accept that you will be criticised as well. When I was a student union officer in Ireland, people posted some nasty things about my weight on websites and it didn't bother me. But when people cross that line it makes you question why you should make yourself so available? Yes, male politicians get crank calls and crazy letters as well. I'm fully aware of that. But females are subjected to worse things, and far more personal criticisms. Its no wonder then that so many, therefore, choose not to put themselves forward to be subjected in such a manner.

I'm not the sort of woman who'd ever accuse a man of anything just to get attention, or be too sensitive about comments. Indeed, I hate women like that and have, in the past, stood up for men that I know have been falsely accused of things. I think its terrible how people's reputations can be ruined by lies, and would never do that to anyone. Indeed, if I feel a man is being inappropriate I prefer dealing with it myself and just telling him how I feel without involving anyone else in the matter. That usually works.

I don't know what the solution for this kind of thing is. I guess the only thing you can do is put things like this down to experience and accept that they will happen. Its just such a shame. I love writing this blog, and I love being able to keep in touch with my friends via facebook. But if I decide to disappear, you'll know why...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

42 days...

Parliament is a strange old place. When the issue of 42 days detention came before the House of Commons, Plaid Cymru MPs lobbied and argued against this change. Elfyn Llwyd even went on the committee of the Counter-Terrorism Bill, and a lot of work went into preparing arguments, trying to build up support for our views etc. But, as you may recall, when it came to voting on the issue, the Government won. We were all very disappointed, and I certainly ranted in a previous post about how dangerous this attack on our civil liberties was and how cowardly Labour MPs were in voting in favour of it.

Then, this week, the issue went before the House of Lords. And what did they do? Reject the proposal by a majority of 191 votes. Just like that, and it was over. Amazing. I still don't get how that happens sometimes. Though I'm delighted it worked in our favour this time, it does seem quite a bizarre system. Especially since the majority of Lords, if not all, haven't been elected democratically. They aren't accountable to any electorate, and yet, they can put a stop to legislation, even if MPs are in favour of it.

Sometimes I think that the problem with politics and political systems is that common sense seems to be absent. Indeed, that can be the problem with politicians on the whole. MPs should follow their heads and electorate when it comes to voting on issues, and not just blindly follow their party, come what may. As an individual, you can't agree with every single thing your party believes in and stands for and if your electorate know that you will put their needs first and foremost, then I think they'd resepct you far more than if you just followed whatever the party whip tells yo to do. Also, the political system isn't transparent. People don't understand it, and this issue of 42 days is a perfect example of how confusing things are. No wonder people don't want to engage in politics or think its a waste of time if they can't fathom what exactly is going on. I get confused sometimes and have to ask a lot of questions - and I work here!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Grr...

My laptop needed a kiss of life recently - both the battery and the battery charger died. I was worried. I hadn't backed up anything that was on it (stupid, stupid me), plus its my main form of entertainment at night. It has all my music, I play DVDs on it, blog, write, email, surf the web - all the usual things, but when there's little else in the house and my flatmates are hogging the tv to look at total trash, its my escapism.

So I imagine my frustration when three weeks after this has happened, I still don't have a battery charger. And who's fault is that? A company called Partmaster, which a local computer shop (a big chain) told me to use. First of all, they sent me a battery but no charger. Then, after a lot of complaining, they sent me a charger but the wrong one. Both times when I've rung them to complain, they have been so rude. No apology. Just rude. Even when I asked why they couldn't even say sorry, the person said nothing. And here's the worst bit. I have had to pay for this charger twice now, and still haven't been reimbursed for it. To make matters worse, the wrong one I received wasn't even a proper Dell charger, just a cheap imitation. I wish the computer store had told me this.

I will never use Partmaster again. They are ineffeicient, rude and most of all, overpriced given that you're not even getting genuine parts.

So what did I do in the end? Well, what I should have done in the first place. Went onto Dell's website and ordered a proper one. And the cost? 30 pounds cheaper than Partmaster, and will deliver within two days. I only ordered last night, but somehow, I don't think there will be any problems this time.. Well, hopefully not anyway!

Sorry for the rant, but just wanted to warn you in case you are ever directed to this company. I very rarely send official complaints but this time, I am taking this further until I get an apology from them. And my money back for the invisible charger.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Blog Newydd Hywel Williams

Hoffwn groesawu Hywel i fyd y blogwyr. Fe gafodd y blog, fydd yn uniaith Gymraeg, ei lawnsio y bore 'ma - http://hywelwilliams.blogspot.com/

Cofiwch gymeryd golwg arno - mae'n bwriadu rhoi colofn fyny yn wythnosol er mwyn adrodd ei hanes yn y Senedd.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Diwedd cyfnod arall...

Fush i yn angladd fy hen fodryb heddiw, Anti Annie. Dim ond chydig fisoedd nol yr o'n i'n blogio am farwolaeth ei brawd, Yncl George, ac mae'n od meddwl bod y genhedlaeth yna o berthnasau yn raddol farw allan. Mae Nain, sef chwaer y ddau ohonynt, dal yn fyw ac yn llawn bywyd - a dal i chwarae triciau a tynnu arna'i drwy'r adeg - ond mae rhywun yn dod i sylweddoli bod amser yn brin bellach, a bod eisiau gwneud yr ymdrech i fynd i'w gweld a cadw mewn cysylltiad.

Yn Lingfield yn Surrey 'roedd Anti Annie wedi bod yn byw am y rhan helaeth o'i bywyd ar ol priodi Yncl Ffred, oedd yn dod o'r ardal. Ond wnaeth hi erioed anghofio ei gwreiddiau, ac roedd hi'n siarad Cymraeg cystal a tasa hi wedi aros yng Nghymru. Yn wir, yn well na'r rhan fwya o bobl sydd erioed wedi gadael! Roedd crefydd yn bwysig iawn iddi, ynghyd a barddoniaeth a cherddoriaeth Gymreig. Roedd hi'n cofio gymaint o benillion a cherddi a caneuon ar ei chof - yn well na mi o lawer - a fydd hi'n od iawn hebddi. Gafodd hi fywyd hir - roedd hi'n 91 yn marw - ond, dal, mae rhywun yn mynd i'w cholli. O leiaf mae ganddo ni ddigon o atgofion melys a ambell i lun boncyrs i'w chadw yn fyw yn ein cof fel teulu!

Mi fydd yna wasanaeth yn hwyrach yn y flwyddyn yn Bont Dolgadfan yn Sir Drefaldwyn, a bydd ei llwch yn cael ei wasgaru yno. Yn Maldwyn oedd ei chalon hi, a iawn felly mai yno y bydd hi'n dychwelyd ar y diwedd fel hyn.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Nol yn Llundain..

Wel, mae'r Senedd wedi ail-agor heddiw - o'r diwedd! Er mod i wir wedi mwynhau fy amser yn gweithio nol yn yr etholaethau, mae hi'n braf bod yng nghanol pethau eto. Gewch chi ddisgwyl llai o flogio ynglyn a carioci a ffilmiau cheesy rwan, a mwy o ganolbwyntio ar bethau gwleidyddol. Wel, tan Dolig beth bynnag...

Rhaid mi gyfaddef, mae 'na rwbath reit braf bod nol mewn rhyw fath o 'routine' rwan. Dwi wedi gaddo i fi fy hun mod i'n mynd i fynd i'r gym mwy neu lai bob bore rwan cyn gwaith, a dwi am ddechrau dysgu Eidaleg. Yn wir, gen i darged fy mod am golli pwysau a cael llawer mwy ffit rhwng rwan a mis Mawrth. Dwi am redeg ras 10k adeg hynny, felly well imi fod yn barod ar ei gyfer. Na'i adael chi wybod sut mae pethau'n mynd!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Boring... Time for change!!!

Now that's the word I'd use to describe David Cameron's big conference speech. I can't believe how bad it was. Seriously, who the hell are his speech writers? If he wants to be taken seriously as a future Prime Minister than he needs to change them pronto. Maybe Boris will lend him Guto Harri for a while? Though, maybe its good for us that he was so dull and uninspiring...

I was shocked to see so many similarities between his speech and Browns'. Both tried to mention everything without really saying anything of worth in the end. Cameron also focused far too much on Brown's statement that this was no time for a 'novice'. He didn't need to argue the case to such an extent. He simply needed to be visionary and inspiring. In this he failed miserably.

Also, If I was a Welsh Tory, I'd be bitterly disappointed by his complete lack of vision for Wales. Despite claiming that he wanted to be Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and not just England, nothing in his speech suggested that he cared or understood anything about Northern Ireland, Wales or Scotland. He failed to mention the changing political climate and the impact devolution was having on the UK. Indeed, at the very beginning of his speech when he listed all the various elected people within the party, he didn't mention members of the Welsh Assembly once. Further, all the references he made throughout the speech were to England and in particular, Middle England. He didn't acknowledge that the NHS or education system was different in the various countries even. So why the hell does he want to be Prime Minister of the whole of the UK if he has such disregard for any country which isn't England?

And this is where my problem lies with the Tories in Wales. How can they still look up to and respect a party which doesn't respect them? If I were a Tory, and one that was pro-devolution (as some claim to be), I would seriously be considering forming a new right wing party in Wales now and breaking away from the London centric Conservative Party. Cameron doesn't care about Wales, and certainly seems to know nothing about the country. Why don't we just let him get on with what he really wants to do deep down and just be Prime Minister of England? Why don't the Welsh Tories break away from him and form something different? I'd certainly respect them far more if they did. Though I'd still disagree with many of their principles, at least then I'd know that they would always put Wales first and that they weren't in any way tied by their London masters. They could achieve a hell of a lot more for Wales by doing that, and I hope some of the more forward thinking members are seriously considering such a move.

And why not? Wales is changing politically. The referendum will be won, and more powers for Wales are inevitable. Our political system needs to change to reflect that, and therefore we need new political parties. Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems in Wales need to seriously think about this and think how they should move forward in the future. Indeed, once Wales achieves self-governance, we may well see a party being formed to challenge Plaid Cymru which also has socialist and nationalist principles, or even replace it. After all, won't all the parties then be Welsh ones?

Its time for people to be brave and bold, and not just go along with the status quo. Labour and the Tories have continously failed Wales and that, I fear, will never change. For members of both parties who truly love and care for Wales but could never be Plaid Cymru members, I would urge them to think about what I've said. After all, in the words of Sheryl Crow, a change would do you good...

Incidentally, just as I did after Brown's speech last week, I went to the cinema tonight. It was such a good film - Righteous Kill. You have to go see it. It was just so fantastic with Pacino and De Niro staring in it. And no, it wasn't cheesy in any way. I can watch serious stuff sometimes I'll have you know!

Celebrity Big Brother

According to The Sun today, Lembo Opick has signed up for the next Celebrity Big Brother. Seriously, why is this man still a politician? Does he not remember the negative impact the programme had on Geroge Galloway? I'm still scarred from his cat impression... So disturbing.

I had vowed not to put anything about Lembit on my blog for a while, but he just keeps doing idiotic things. When will he understand that he is not a celebrity? He is an MP and has some serious responsibilities. Plus he wants to be President of his party. This media whoring is not a vote winning strategy.

He will undoubtedly do himself even more damage if he really does go ahead with this show. I'm beginning to think that he actually wants to lose in the next General Election! Well, why else would he keep signing up for such programmes? It really shows no resepct for the people of Montgomeryshire. Idiot...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lembit...eto...

Am rhyw bum eiliad prynhawn yma, ro'n i'n meddwl bod Lembit Opik yn mynd i roi'r gorau iddi fel Aelod Seneddol. Ro'n i'n gwylio Sky News, ac ar waelod y sgrin fe ddaeth y geiriau: Liberal Democrat Mp Lembit Opik Resigns as...Housing Spokesman.

Damia... Ond o leia mae o'n un ffordd i'r Lib Dems gael gwared ohono yn raddol. Ydi o wir yn meddwl bod nhw isho fo fel Llywydd?!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mamma Mia!

I was so mad after listening to Brown's speech that I decided to go and unwind in the cinema. And what a good idea that was! I must be one of the last people in the world to see Mamma Mia, and I know now that it won't be the last time I watch it. It was brilliant! A perfect combination of cheese, romance and just good old fashioned fun. Everyone was leaving the cinema smiling and singing along to the songs - myself included!

I went by myself, something I haven't done in a while. I really don't mind going alone to a film or play to be honest. It means no one's whispering in my ear and interferring with my personal enjoyment - especially if they're trying to guess what the ending will be! Aargh! Plus, I don't embarass anyone if I laugh out loud, cry (like I did watching Sex and the City - still no idea why) or in the case of tonight's film, sing along...

So if you haven't seen it yet, I really think you should. Even the most serious of you will secretly want to dance and sing along, and you'd be suprised how many Abba songs you actually know. I can't wait for the next karaoke night now - just a matter of choosing which Abba song I'll sing first now... Any suggestions?

Brown's speech part 2

So I'm less annoyed now that the constant clapping is but a distant memory and ready to analyse properly. Well, what did you make of it? Convinced? Impressed? Don't care?

I'm a bit indifferent to be honest. It was definitely the best I've heard him and also I think the best he could have done. BUT. It still wasn't great. I think he promised too many things to impress people rather than tackling the problems within the economy head on. Plus I don't think he did enough to inspire confidence in his ability to get us out of this hole. Sure, he mentioned things that will be popular such as free prescriptions for cancer sufferers but should he have done that in this particular speech?

In my view, no he shouldn't have. The relevant Ministers should have been unveiling all the things he promised, and he should have shown what he will do as Prime Minister. Instead, he gave the impression that he was helping every Minister with every brief and that he was incapable of delegating any responsibility. We need a leader as Prime Minister, not an interfering boss - and that was his main weakness in my view. He should be able to take a step back and let his Cabinet take charge of their portfolios but he obviously can't. No wonder he looks so tired and stressed. Being a Prime Minister is more than enough work, without trying to be Chancellor, Education Minister and Health Minister as well!

Some of the personal things he said were quite effective, but he did seem uncomfortable saying them. It definitely didn't come naturally to him, and though he seemed quite genuine, his body language was awful. I think he needs more lessons in that... He just seemed so defeatist, and even though some of the right words were coming out of his mouth, he didn't seem to mean them.

The cut-aways to Milliband during Brown's speech were hilarious though - his cheeks must be hurting by now from all of his incredibly strained smiling. How awkward must his conversations with Brown be at the moment! He, he, he...

Will ordinary people, and not political nerds, even notice that Brown gave a speech today? Most probably not. It will hardly go down as one of the most impressive speeches in history. And will it sway any voters? I doubt it. There was very little in it, and on the whole, it was just dull.

Its too little too late... I bet David Cameron is all smiles having heard that, and is feeling pretty good about himself right now. Indeed, it will be interesting to see what he has to say for himself next week, when its his turn to address his own conference. I don't expect much substance from him either. I just hope the Tories will at least listen and let him speak rather than just constantly clap like Labour supporters did today... At least we don't do that in Plaid Cymru or my blood pressure would have gone through the room at our conference!

Just like Seals...

O my god. I'm on a week's holiday from work, and being very nerdy by watching the Labour party conference. Brown's speech is on now. Why do they have to clap at least every 20 seconds? They're like seals, all of them. I can hardly follow what he's saying as he keeps getting interrupted. Aargh!

Nice but transparent touch at the start as well - getting his wife to introduce him. It was all done a bit half-hearedly though, and could have created far more of an impact. Its a shame that a poltical first in British politics wasn't done in a far more gutsy manner. Not that I wanted her to shed a tear whilst introducing him, but she could have said something a bit more defiant. Or something strong. It was just so forgettable..

I'll analyse the contents later once I can read the text. But up to now, I'm not impressed... Though it is interesting to see him promising to get families online. I seem to recall Labour laughing at Plaid Cymru plans to give children laptops? It can't have been that much of a crazy idea if they've decided to steal it and adapt it for their own purposes on a British level. I thought it was only the Tories who did things like that (Fuel Duty Regulator being the most recent example). Hmmm...

They're still clapping and I'm still getting annoyed. And now we have a personal sob story from Brown.. I think his speech writers have definitely been reading the hip political book, The Political Brain. I just wish they were clever enough not to make it quite so obvious what they're trying to do, and just got on with the job of running a government properly rather than pretending they are by putting a constant spin on things... Then, and only then, would Brown deserve a round of applause.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Happy Birthday...to me!

Well, I'm finally 28. A great age I think as you're still young enough to have dreams and ambitions, and yet you've matured a hell of a lot and learnt from life's lessons.

I recently came across a list I'd written when I was eighteen of all the things I hoped to achieve before I was 28. It really brought a smile to my face. I was obviously very ambitious and idealistic then, and though I don't think I've totally lost those traits, a far more pragmatic and realistic side of my character has emerged since then. I won't list everything, but here were the top ones:

1. Be an MP
2. Publish at least one book
3. Have a PhD in Politics
4. Be married, but no kids until later
5. Be slimmer and fitter

Well, I only managed one of those - number five. I used to be extremely overweight until my early twenties, and though I'm no stick insect now, I'm so much happier and healthier and will never to return to how I was. As for the rest.. Well, I'm a little behind on all of them!

Ok, so as for number one, at least I'm working for three MPs and still hope to have a political career myself in the future. Luckily I didn't write this list when I was fifteen as my ambition then was to be a famous actress in Hollywood! That was never likely to come true.. And number two? Well, I am working on two different novels. Not that they're very good at the moment, but at least I am putting pen to paper. Number three is problematic. If I do ever finish the PhD I started then its in Medieval History! Number four - well, I've no children but no husband either. Its weird that at eighteen you think that 28 is really old and that everyone will be married by then. You also have a very simplistic view of love. Its only as you grow older that you realise that you can't have a timetable or plan for love. It either happens or it doesn't... Though I do have a pact to marry one of my closest male friends if we're both still single (or even divorced!) at 40. Damn FRIENDS for putting that idea into our heads...

So there you have it. I'm a year older, and no wiser - well, not yet anyway. I'm really looking forward to catching up with friends today and celebrating in mum's pub with a lot of the locals. They've all promised to come along from 4pm onwards for some karaoke, plus a slice of birthday cake which I myself have made! So if you happen to be in Caernarfon today, the Castle is the place to be... See you there!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I disagree...

It was with interest that I read the Western Mail today, and in particular the article detailing predictions made by Dr Denis Balsom about the next General Election results. I just can't agree with some of them, and having gone through the past few years' results for every seat, and considering things carefully, I really think things will be different. Once a general election is called, I will put my predictions up on this blog - I promise. And not the Plaid spin on things, but my own personal view. But for now, here are the seats I think Plaid will definitely win:


Aberconwy (though it will take a lot of work)
Arfon
Ceredigion
Dwyfor Meirionnydd
Dwyrain Caerfyrddin a Dinefwr
Llanelli
Ynys Mon (it will require a lot of work, but we will do it. And no Denis, Albert doesn't have a huge core support in Caergybi. Just look at the local election results there)

I also think I'll be adding to that list as it gets closer to the election.Undoubtedly, it will be our best ever result. Indeed, I think it could be extraordinary.. After all, a lot of people still remember what happened to Wales under the last Tory government...

I truly and honestly believe that Plaid Cymru is the only party who can offer the people of Wales what they need and what they deserve, and that in this election, people in non-traditional Plaid areas will be persuaded to change their allegiances. People used to think that a vote for Plaid in a general election was a wasted one, as they could never form a UK government even if they won every seat in Wales. That attitude is changing, and people know that if Wales is to ever gain greater legislating power, we need a strong Plaid team at Westminster to deliver that. A vote for Plaid Cymru will be a vote for the only party who puts the people of Wales first. Every other party is tied to its London bosses, and will always be overshadowed and dominated by that. We're free from such shackles and can offer a different and better Wales to the electorate. And that's why we'll win those seats. Simple.

Magical Mystery Tour

Wel, na doedd fy nhrip heddiw ddim yn un dirgel ond ro'n i'n teimlo fel mod i'n trafeilio o gwmpas byd lledrithiol. Ro'n i'n gadael Caernarfon am hanner awr wedi saith bore ma i fynd i gyfarfod yng Nghanolbarth Cymru. Roedd yna gyfuniad perffaith o niwl, tarth a haul oedd yn gwneud i bobman edrych yn rhyfeddol, yn enwedig Clywedog. Ro'n i bron yn teimlo fel mod i mewn antur hud a lledrith, neu ar set ffilmiau, yn arbennig felly gan nad oedd dim ceir eraill ar y ffordd.

Dwi wastad yn teimlo reit emosiynol yn gyrru dros Clywedog oherwydd cysylltiadau teuluol ac ati. Gesh i siwrne dda iawn felly roedd gen i amser i stopio bore ma a mynd i'r fynwent yn Staylittle lle mae nifer o fy nheulu wedi eu claddu. Roedd hi mor dawel yno, a phobman mor brydferth. Dwi wedi crybwyll y lle o'r blaen ar y blog yma, a dwi ddim eisiau bod yn morbid ond wir mae'n le heddychlon iawn.

Nesh i wedyn stopio i edrych lawr ar lyn Clywedog. Mae'n anhygoel meddwl bod yna ffermydd wedi bod yn yr union fan lle mae'r llyn erbyn hyn. Mae o bron yn edrych fel tasa fo wastad wedi bod yno, ond mae'n bwysig cofio'r hanes a cofio mai cael ei foddi gan y Saeson wnaeth o. Ond a'i ddim i brygethu rwan - mae'n siwr y gwna'i hynny eto rhyw dro...

Roedd y cyfarfod yn un hynod o fuddiol heddiw, gyda staff eraill sy'n gweithio ar ochr y wasg i'r Blaid. Mae rhywun yn medru teimlo'n eithaf ynysig weithiau yn gweithio yn Llundain, ac er bod ebost a ffon yn ein caniatau i gadw mewn cysylltiad, does dim yn curo cael sgwrs wyneb yn wyneb weithiau. A cael cyfnewid syniadau a sgandals wrth gwrs!

Fydd hi'n od dychwelyd i'r Senedd pan fydd pethau'n ail-agor rwan. Dwi wir wedi mwynhau gweithio yn yr etholaethau dros yr haf, ond eto bydd yn gyffrous bod nol yng nghanol bwrlwm San Steffan hefyd. Er bod yr oriau'n hir, dwi wrth fy modd gan nad yda chi byth yn gwbod be sy'n mynd i ddigwydd o ddydd i ddydd, na hyd yn oed o awr i awr. Dwi yn benderfynol fodd bynnag mod i'n mynd i wneud amser i fynd i'r gym dipyn fwy aml unwaith fyddai nol. Dwi eisiau bod yn fighting fit erbyn mis Mawrth er mwyn rhedeg ras. A finna wedi dweud hynny yn gyhoeddus rwan, sgen i ddim dewis ond sticio at fy adduned!

Best Button Ever!

I made an amazing discovery the other evening, a life changing one to be honest. There I was, playing with the karaoke machine in mum's pub and I came across a magic button. One that changes the pitch, so you can play a song at a pitch that suits your voice. No more straining to hit the high notes - now I can sing along to ALL my favourites. My repertoire just got bigger - there'll be no stopping me now! And luckily, I found it just in time for my birthday on Saturday night. Look out Caernarfon - you won't know what's hit you once I and my friends start singing!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Mwy o gadarnhad bod Lembit yn Lembo

Diolch i Vaughan Roderick yn ei flog am dynnu ein sylw ni oll at bôl piniwn sydd wedi bod yn cael ei gynnal ar flog y "Liberal Democrt Voice", yn edrych ar aelodau mwyaf a lleiaf effeithol cabinet y Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol.

Vince Cable gafodd y sgor orau gyda +96.9% a prin fyddai unrhyw un yn anghytuno gyda hynny. Dwi'n siwr fyddai ben yn anghytuno chwaith gyda pwy sydd ar y gwaelod gyda sgor o 35.4%... yr hen Lembit Opik. A cofiwch, mae hyn ymysg ei blaid ei hun! Mae nhw hyd yn oed yn medru gweld drwyddo. Gobeithio bydd etholwyr Maldwyn yr un mor gall pan ddaw yr Etholiad Cyffredinol nesaf!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Go Adam Go!

Some might not take what I'm going to say seriously given that I work as a Press and Political Officer for the Plaid Cymru group at Westminster, therefore Adam contributes towards my wages, but wow, that was some speech he gave at Conference this morning!

He's always a very engaging speaker, and is fortunate enough to be able to make it all seem effortless. Not only is he charismatic in his speeches, but he also incorporates a perfect mix of substance, history, controversy and references to popular culture whilst also tugging at our (the members') nationalist heart strings. In other words, there's something in any speech he gives that will appeal to all members. Even if they don't always agree with everything he says, they react and dissect and discuss his speech. And there lies the key to why he's such a successful politician, and why he's so well respected.

Adam is undoubtedly a character, but more than that, he also has the ability, drive, and vision to actually make a difference to Wales and not just talk about the possibility of making a difference one day. When he says we can be independent, you know that he means it and more than that, you believe him. He's not afraid of saying what he thinks, even if, sometimes, it goes against party lines. He's not afraid of pushing the boundaries, or thinking about issues differently to others. He's not afraid to be ambitious for Wales, and more important than that even, he's not afraid to share his ambitions even if he knows they're not necesserily always going to be that popular initially.

Politicians like Adam Price are rare, and though we could do with a few more of those type of national figures within every party in Wales, you'll never have more than a handful in every generation. Very few people are born with a natural ability to lead, inspire and actually implement change. To make a mark, not only in their own constituency, but in every corner of our country.

In many ways, Adam Price is our very own Obama - but even better because he has substance to his ideas and vision.

I know this post may come across slightly OTT, but you can't help but to have an emotive reaction to any speech made by Adam. He's one of the good guys in politics and we in Plaid are lucky that he's one of us. I certainly wouldn't want him as a political enemy!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Cynhadledd

Nodyn bach sydyn gan bod hi'n brysur yma yn Aberystwyth! Wel, fe aeth diwrnod cyntaf y gynhadledd yn dda. Mae yna hyder anhygoel yma - ymysg aelodau arferol y blaid a'r rhai etholedig - a mae yna hefyd gyffro. Does yna ddim ymffrostio gwirion ond mae yna falchder amlwg - balchder yn y ffaith bod ganddo ni Weinidogion yn y Cynulliad ac yn fwy na hynny, eu bod nhw'n cyflawni ar ran pobl Cymru.

Aeth holl areithiau ddoe lawr yn dda. Yn amlwg, un Elfyn oedd y pwysicaf o ran fy ngwaith i ac roeddwn yn falch ei fod wedi cael ymateb da iddi. Ei brif neges oedd bod y grwp seneddol yn barod am yr Etholiad Cyffredinol nesaf ac ei fod yn hyderus y byddem yn cynyddu ein nifer o Aelodau Seneddol. Hefyd, fe bwysleisiodd yr angen i greu cenedlaetholwyr ac ymgyrchwyr newydd - pobl fyddai yn helpu Plaid Cymru i ffynnu a hyd yn oed ei harwain yn y dyfodol.

Fe gawson ni gyd hefyd goblyn o noson hwyliog neithiwr yn y Cwps a drefnwyd gan Cymru X. Roedd yna bedwar o feirdd yn canu mawl i wleidyddion amrywiol Plaid Cymru. Roedda nhw i gyd yn wych, ac roedd pawb yn rowlio chwerthin.

Well imi fynd am rwan, ond mi dria'i sgwennu mwy yn hwyrach! Hwyl am y tro...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bron yma!

Wel, mae Cynhadledd Plaid Cymru yn cychwyn yfory yn Aberystwyth - fy nghynhadledd fawr gyntaf i'n gweithio i'r Blaid. Dwi wir yn edrych ymlaen, ac mae'n argoeli i fod yn lot o hwyl gyda nifer o ddadleuon difyr.

Dyma ail gynhadledd Plaid ers Cymru'n Un. Roedd hi'n rhy gynnar i'n Gweinidogion fod wedi eu profi eu hunain yn ormodol y llynnedd, ond eleni mi fydd ganddyn nhw lwyth o bethau i'w adrodd yn ol. Mae nhw wedi cael nifer o lwyddianau, a mi fydd y gynhadledd yn lwyfan gwych iddynt gael dweud amdanynt wrth yr aelodau.

Mi dria'i gael yr amser i roi rhai o hanesion y gynhadledd fyny ar fy mlog dros y dyddiau nesaf yma, felly cadwch lygaid allan amdanynt. Ac ar y newyddion wrth gwrs, neu dewch draw yma am dro eich hunain!

Monday, September 8, 2008

A dyna ni hynny drosodd!

Dydi hi ddim cyfrinach fy mod i dros yr haf wedi bod yn helpu Elfyn Llwyd gyda'i ymgyrch ar gyfer Llywyddiaeth Plaid Cymru. Fel gwyr pawb bellach, Dafydd Iwan enillodd ac wrth lwc mae'r cyfan drosodd.

Yn bersonol, dwi'n falch fod yna gystadleuaeth wedi bod am y swydd. Da ni gyd wedi gweld sut mae pethau wedi dymchwel i Brown ers iddo gael ei wneud yn Brif Weinidog heb unrhyw fath o ornest. Drwy orfod mynd drwy hystings a pleidliais fe fuodd yn rhaid i Dafydd Iwan ac Elfyn feddwl ynglyn a pam oeddwn nhw eisiau gwneud y rol a'r hyn y bydden nhw'n ei gyflawni tasa nhw'n ennill. Fe ddaeth nifer o syniadau da allan o hynny - yn arbennig felly gan Elfyn (ond mi fyswn i'n deud hynny!) - a dwi'n gobeithio rwan y caiff rhain eu gweithredu dros y ddwy flynedd nesaf. Dwi'n gwybod bydd Elfyn yn fwy na pharod i weithio gyda Dafydd ar rai o'r pethau hyn. Wedi'r cyfan, Plaid Cymru ydi'r peth pwysicaf yn hyn i gyd a'r aelodau. Gobeithio felly y gwnawn nhw elwa o hyn.

Mae rol y Llywydd yn un od o fewn y Blaid, ac a bod yn berffaith onest, roeddwn yn siomedig na wnaeth mwy o bobl fynd amdani. Byddai wedi braf gweld rhywun ifanc (neu iau), neu ferch, neu rhywun o rywle heblaw i Ogledd Cymru yn mynd am y swydd. Er bod nhw'n bersonoliaethau tra gwahanol, roedd yna debygrwydd mawr rhwng DI ac Elfyn a teimlai nifer o bobl y byddent yn hoffi hefyd gweld rhywun tra gwahanol yn sefyll yn erbyn y ddau ohonyt.

Ond dyna ni, wnaeth na neb a rwan mae'r cyfan drosodd. Mi fydd hi'n ddifyr clywed areithiau'r ddau yn y gynhadledd wythnos yma, a gweld yr hyn fydd gan y ddau i gynnig, DI fel Llywydd ac Elfyn fel Arweinydd Seneddol. O leia does yr un o'r ddau yn dal dig - roedda nhw'n siarad yn iawn gyda'u gilydd yn ystod ac wedi'r cyfrif. Dim ond gobeithio fydd yr un peth yn wir am eu cefnogwyr!

Maesbury Part Two

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Maesbury Boat Rally. Even though it rained and many of the organisers plans had to be abandoned because of some evil mud, we had a fantastic time and spirits were high. I managed to open the rally without any major hitches and got a beautiful gift for fulfilling my duties - flowers in a narrowboat shaped ceramic ornament. Plus a plaque to commemorate Monty 08! I also judged the best dressed boat category, which was great fun. People had gone to so much effort, but the winner truly deserved it. They had decorated their narrowboat on a theme - Bob the Builder. The kids loved it, as they could interact with it so it had to win! Luckily others who were far more qualified than me to judge agreed with my choice so I feel happy with the choice I made.

Canal Central
, where the festival took place, was an amazing centre and I urge everyone to visit it some time. There's a beautiful apartment for visitors to stay in upstairs and downstairs consists of a post office, shop and tearoom - all beautifully and tastefully done. Even though its a new building the community love it, and have really taken to the place. It really seems to have revived the village, and gives everyone a place to come together and exchange news and gossip!

Alas, I think the boat rally signalled the beginning and end of my boat judging career but it certainly was fun whilst it lasted. Back to the day job from now on!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Amser am gan fach...

Dwi wedi bod yn paratoi at ein cynhadledd flynyddol ni sydd wythnos nesa drwy'r dydd heddiw, a mae'n mhen i yn slwj erbyn rwan. Wedi dechrau ymlacio drwy wylio un o fy holl ffilimiau - Once. Os da chi heb ei gweld, mae hi wir werth edrych arni. Mae'n od imi ei gwylio gan ein bod wedi ei lleoli yn Nulyn, a mae gymaint o lefydd yn gyfarwydd imi. Dyma'r brif gan o'r ffilm. Gobeithio y gwnewch chi ei mwynhau. Wel, mi roi'i ddwy i fyny yma fel bod chi'n cael blas beth bynnag...




Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Maesbury Boat Rally

I'm doing two things I've never done before this Saturday coming. Unless I've already told you what they are, I doubt you'll guess... If you click on this link, then click on Maesbury rally then general information, you'll see it actually is true and I'm not just a fantasist!

So what am I doing? Well, I'm opening a boat rally at Maesbury. And then I'm judging the best dressed boat competition. Does anybody have any hints for either as I don't actually know what's involved. But I am looking forward to it and feel very honoured to have been asked. Should be fun!

And if you're confused as to why I was asked, well let's just say I was involved in a very unexpected project last year - before being employed by Plaid Cymru - and co-presented a TV series called Waterworld (not to be confused with the Kevin Costner film!), which explored the history of canals in Wales and the Midlands. I was a historian at one point, hence why I was asked to participate. It really was so much fun, and I learnt a hell of a lot about Wales and canals and saw some beautiful places. Alas, I still haven't been on a boating holiday but hope to sometime soon. Maybe I'll be inspired to book one after Saturday!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Electric Picnic


I am back in Wales after an amazing few days over in Ireland at the Electric Picnic. It was a three day Art and Musical, almost like a funkier Eisteddfod minus all the competing. And Druids! Though there were plenty of strangely dressed people around in a wide variety of costumes.

My friends know that I am not a big lover of camping. Indeed, I'd also camped for two nights in the whole of my life before this. And do you know what? I didn't mind it all! Luckily my friend Katie had thought of everything and got us a super tent, along with air mattresses and a whole variety of goodies. Plus she knew how to put up a tent! There was even a shop where you could buy newspapers. Heaven! The only minus point was that I had to park ages away from our camping spot, and boy, our bags were heavy. You should have seen us trying to navigate our things yesterday through the mud in a wheelbarrow we'd rented there. Its the best workout I've done in ages and my arms are killing me today!

So about the festival.. it was just so much fun. There were over 32,000 people there, and when you walked in, it looked like a cross between an Eisteddfod and a giant fairy tale theme park. There was such a variety of things to do there, and it was impossible not to find something that appealed. Here are some of my personal highlights, though there were far more things I could list!

This might sound cheesy but one of the highlights was seeing so many of my Irish friends and catching up with them. I haven't had a weekend with Katie for ages, and my friend Beth was over from Australia. It was so good to see both of them, and it made me really reminisce about our time in college. I loved randomly bumping into others I knew, and hearing all about what they were up to and admiring those who have chosen to follow their dreams. Far too many people reach their late twenties and forget their ambitions - I'm always glad to see people doing what they've always said they would, be that travelling, volunteering or pursuing their dream job.

I didn't however just spend my time chatting, I also saw a huge variety of acts. I loved seeing Duffy, the Dublin Gospel Choir, Lisa Hannigan but the best had to be a band that I randomly saw instead of Sinead O'Connor at the Body and Soul Stage at 9pm on the Sunday night. If anyone knows who they were please let me know! I'd greatly appreciate it as I'd love to buy their album. That's how good they were!

I also loved the Comedy Tent (all my favourite comedians from the International Comedy Club in Dublin) , the Cinema, the Singstar tent (yes, I sang a Britney Spears classic with Katie!) and most of all the Silent Disco. If you've never heard about it, a silent disco is a disco with a difference. Everyone is given headphones and you choose what music to listen to and at what volume. Its so funny. You see people dancing and singing along to different songs. Different but a lot of fun! Another big bonus was the food. Waw. Even my favourite restaurant Mao had a stand. Not quite the same as the stalls I'm used to seeing at the Eisteddfod!

Another unusual feature was that their was a hair salon at the festival where you could get your hair and make up done. I went for the rock chick look and loved it! Well, I couldn't go around with messy and dirty hair for three days. Not my style..

There's so many other things I could list but you'll just have to take my word for it that it was truly amazing and check it out for yourself next year! Tickets were quite dear - 240 euro each - but it really was worth every penny. Plus it was lovely to be off work for a few days and feel young again!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Addicted!

Well, if anyone wants to see me this weekend I'll mostly be behind the bar in the Castle Hotel in Caernarfon. Better than being the other side drinking away for three whole days! For those of you who don't know this, my Mother is now running the place and has been doing so since January. So, whenever I'm not working for Plaid Cymru I can be seen in the pub, helping out. Or baking cakes to sell there!

Talking to the locals about a variety of different issues is far more beneficial to my work than any organised focus group could be. Take for instance the issue of a prison in the area. No one here in the bar knows that I'm involved in researching the plus and minuses of the proposal, so we just chat in general about it. The arguments put forward here have really helped me think about the issue, and realise what people's fears are about it. Also, interestingly, most seem to be in favour of having a prison here. They see the benefits a prison could bring in terms of jobs and so on... Indeed, the only ones I've heard who've been strongly opposed to it are those who live next to the site though they do admit that they weren't happy when there was a factory there either!

But to return to the pub. It has fueled two addictions this summer. No, not alcohol. But the quiz machine and also karaoke. I have reached the point now where I don't care if I'm stone cold sober and singing in front of the whole pub be it morning, noon or night. Amy Winehouse is my current favourite and the best thing ever is that because my Mother owns the place, I can practice when no one else is here and suss out which songs are within my range or not. I know that's cheating slightly, but that's my perfectionist streak for you! And the quiz machine? Well, I've found the puzzler game on it which even has a sudoku option. Fatal. In terms of the machine's ranking, I'm placed from numbers 1 -30. That's how addicted I am!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Me a Tory? Never!

As I mentioned yesterday, I was at a wedding at the weekend. I met some new and interesting people, many of them barristers or solicitors since the groom was a partner in a law firm. As you'd expect, when I mentioned my job, politics became a topic of conversation. There was one person in particular who questioned me on a lot of my core beliefs when it comes to economic policy, the future of education in Wales and criminal justice. Me being me, I had an answer to all his questions and may have ever so slightly gone into ranting/ preaching mode. I wasn't really following party lines, but rather giving my own view on how I see Wales developing in the future. It was good fun to be honest, and it was nice to be able to discuss things and speak on behalf of myself rather than Plaid Cymru, which is what I usually do since I'm paid to do so!

My vision and policies are based on pragmatic but socialist principles. No shock there. Much are based on the experiences I gained during my time in Ireland, and in particular, the time I spent representing Ireland on various European committees. I won't go into them here, but imagine my shock when the person I was talking to at the wedding asked if I'd ever considered running as a candidate in England as my policies were so marketable. In particular, he asked me to consider running for the Conservative party! Imagine my reaction to that...

It got me thinking that there might be something seriously wrong with my ideas. So I checked them with some of my really left wing friends, and they on the whole agreed with me. That was a relief! So then I started thinking how lost the Conservative party must be if one of its members thought my policies and ideas made sense, and might be transferred to their party? I much preferred the Tories when they were firmly right wing and proud of it. At least then, I knew what they stood for and knew why I hated them. This soft and moderate approach is just so creepy... Not only will they be hugging those in hoodies now, but also handing out teddy bears to all the electorate before the next general election.

I can safely say that I will never do a 'Guto Bebb' and change my allegiances from Plaid Cymru to the Tories. I just couldn't do it. I remember what the 80s were like under them, and I hate the Euro sceptic nature of the party. There are tons of other reasons, and no doubt I will rant about those in future posts. But for now, let me just firmly state that you will never see me running as a Tory candidate in England. Or anywhere else for that matter! If I do, you have my full permission to have me sectioned as there's no way I'd even consider doing so unless I was having some kind of serious mental breakdown. Not that I'm saying that you have to be insane to be a Tory of course... honest!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Pleidleisiwch/ Vote Glanaethwy!

Wel, yda chi 'di bod yn gwylio Last Choir Standing? Os felly, gobeithio bo chi'n cefnogi Glanaethwy. Doedda nhw'n anhygoel neithiwr? Waw. Dwi wir gobeithio awn nhw ymlaen i ennill y gystadleuaeth!

Oce, dwi chydig yn biased. O'n i'n arfer bod yn aelod o'r cor am flynyddoedd, a dwi'n siomedig iawn nad ydw i dal yn aelod ar ol gweld y perfformiadau. Mae nhw i'w gweld yn cael coblyn o lot o hwyl yn cymeryd rhan yn y rhaglen. Gesh i rai o brofiadau gorau fy mywyd tra'n aelod o ysgol ddrama Glanaethwy. Roedd Cefin a Rhian yn anhygoel gyda ni, a mae nhw'n haeddu cael cydnabyddiaeth am eu gwaith caled. Felly, cmon pawb. Codwch y ffon nos Sadwrn nesaf a pleidleisio i Glanaethwy!!!

{Vote for Glanaethwy on Last Choir Standing! They were by far the best choir last night and they definitely deserve to win. Ok. I admit I'm biased. I used to be a member of the choir! But they are brilliant, so please, pick up the phone next Saturday and keep them in}.

Counting my blessings!

Yesterday, I went to a wedding. It was a perfect day in many ways. My friend Gwenan and her now husband Sion had been planning the big day for over two years, and it went exactly to plan. Gwenan's dress was stunning, and both looked extremely happy. Even the weather stayed dry for the pictures, which was a miracle given what the forecast had been saying all week. Thank god the weather men and women were wrong!

The ceremony was held in Benllech, with the reception at Portmeirion. Its a stunning place, and so unusual. If you've never been, you really should make the effort. It really is a little piece of Italy in Wales, especially when the sun in shining. Though it is expensive to stay there, its certainly worth it. The view from my bedroom was breathtaking - I really wish I could have stayed in bed all day looking out onto the water whilst reading the Sunday papers. That really would have been heaven!

Weddings always tend to get someone thinking about their own romantic situation - well, it can't be helped really since a lot of the guests did ask the dreaded question: "And are you married?" before then going on to ask, "Why not?" with a look of pity on their faces. Given that I'd also been asked this at a Bryn Fon gig last Wednesday by countless people I thought it was time to address the issue...

The truth is I'm delighted that I'm not married or engaged. Had I married any of my serious ex boyfriends, I know that the marriage would never have lasted and worse of all, that I'd have been miserable with them. Yes, I would have had my big day but it would have been the biggest mistake of my life. None of them were right for me and its only with the benefit of hindsight that I can appreciate that. I'm sure they're all thinking the same as well!

If I ever marry, I never want there to be any doubt in my mind that I'm doing the right thing. I never want to commit to someone just because I think the time is right, or that I'm scared I won't get a better offer. I know there are no guarantees that anything will last forever, but on that day and on that point, I want to be marrying for love. I want to believe every word of the vows and look into my husbands eyes knowing that he feels exactly the same way. And if I can't do that, then I'll never marry. Simple as.

So people can look at me with pity in their eyes, but they really shouldn't. I'm only 27, and I honestly don't care that I'm not at that stage in my life yet. Love can't be planned to a definite schedule, and I'm happy to let other things take centre stage in my life at the moment, like my job, helping in mum's pub and my friendships... Ask me in ten years though, and I might have a different answer for you!

Welsh Blog Index Awards

I've been a bit slow posting this up, but nominations are currently open for the second Welsh Blog Index Awards.

These are the categories:

Best Politicians Blog:

Best Media Blog:

Best Other Political Blog:

Best Welsh Language Blog:

Best Newcomer (for blogs that were established after the last awards of August 15th 2007):

Most Improved Blog:

Nominations will close at 12.00pm on August 31st with the winners announced on September 1st.

Nominations should be sent to: welshblogindex@hotmail.co.uk

I'm having trouble deciding who to vote for at the moment - far too many blogs that I enjoy for different reasons...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Gigio a heneiddio

Fush i yn Nhafarn y Gors ym Mhentre Berw (Sir Fon) neithiwr gyda tair o'm ffrindiau Ysgol Gynradd. Mynd i gig Frizbee a Bryn Fon wnaetho ni, fel rhan o ddathliadau Sioe Mon. Mewn beudy yn Nhafarn y Rhos oedd gigs pan oedda ni'n genod ysgol, ond bellach yma mewn Marquee neis mae'r gigs mawr yn cael eu cynnal. Ac am sioc! O'n i'n teimlo'n hen ar y diawl o'r eiliad y gwnesh i gyrraedd yno sydd yn syndod mewn gig Bryn Fon. Oedd, roedd na rai hyn na ni yno ond roedd y mwyafrif unai yn un-ar-bymtheg neu iau. Oedd o fwy od i ddwy o'n ffrindia i, a hwythau'n athrawon ar rai ohonynt! Diolch i'r nefoedd nad dyna'r yrfa wnesh i ddewis.. Fyswn i'n casau hynny!

Cofiwch, o'n i'n mynd i gigs yn Nhafarn y Rhos pan oeddwn i'n bedair-ar-ddeg, felly ddylwn i ddim cwyno. Roedda nhw'n rai o ddyddiau gorau fy mywyd yn dawnsio i ganeuon y Moniars (ia, sad iawn dwi'n gwybod!) a Ffandango!

Y peth oedd yn gwneud imi deimlo waetha oedd bod y mwyafrif o bobl fy oed i yno unai yn briod, ar fin priodi neu mewn perthynas tymor hir. Cwestiwn pawb oedd: wyt ti wedi priodi? sgen ti rywun yn dy fywyd? - cyn iddynt wedyn wneud hwyl ar fy mhen am fod yn 'career girl' tua Llundain bell. Oedd rhai yn chwerthin braidd o fy ngweld mewn gig Bryn Fon, ac yn gwneud jocs fy mod yn 'slumming it' ac ati.

Y gwir ydi fodd bynnag, dwi wrth fy modd bod adra a dwi wrth fy modd mynd i betha fel steddfod, sioe mon a gigs mewn pentrefi cefn gwlad sir fon. Dwi wrth fy modd gweld fy ffrindiau sydd wedi fy nabod ers dwi'n bedair. Fedrith hynny i gyd byth guro Llundain sydd yn medru bod yn ddiawl o le unig. Oes, mae yna betha anhygoel yno. Ond mae na betha gret adra hefyd. A mae'n bwysig cofio hynny!

Oedd Bryn Fon yn gret fel arfer, a pawb yn morio a sgrechian canu i'r holl glasuron. Mae ei ddawnsio fo yr un mor 'cringe' ac arfer ond eto, da chi'n disgwyl dim arall nacdach? Dwi dal wrth fy modd pan mae o'n canu 'Mardi Gras ym Mangor Uchaf'... Dal i fod yn ffefryn ar ol yr holl flynyddoedd yma. Newidith hynny byth bellach dwi'n siwr.

Un peth nesh i anghofio amdano oedd nad ydi hi'n syniad da iawn gwisgo sodlau i gig mewn marquee - mae nhw'n suddo mewn i'r gwair yn syth bin a do'n i methu dawnsio o gwbwl gan fy mod yn mynd yn sownd bob munud! Trainers neu sgidiau fflat amdani tro nesa - wedyn ga'i ddawnsio a neidio fel ffwl fel roeddwn i bron a marw isho bod yn gwneud!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Virtual Campaigning

Facebook continues to dominate the lives of the majority of people under thirty these days. Its used to exchange gossip, organise night outs as well as to 'poke' people in a flirty manner. I have noticed recently though that there's been a huge increase in the number of middle-aged (or older!) men who've been joining. Especially politicians. Not that I'm ageist - honest. Its just that it seems a little unnatural. Many of these men aren't that into email to start with. So why do they feel the need to try and connect with younger voters by having facebook profiles? To me, it all just looks a little bit sad and pathetic.

Facebook is now seen as the ultimate campaign tool when it comes to connecting to young people, especially during election time. I don't agree, and think there are far better ways to get people's attention. Like talking to them. And listening to them. Or having good websites, where people can ask questions and find out all the information they need. Personally, I'm fed up of all the messages I get from people on Facebook wanting me to join various groups, or take notice of different things. I much prefer looking at a website on my own accord if I'm interested in an issue or a campaign. I don't want to be forced to immediately join a group or show my support without considering an issue fully and thoroughly.

I'm not anti new media in any way. Indeed, I think initiatives like Plaid TV are great. Its just that I think many political parties worry too much now about what blogs are saying, or what's the latest on facebook rather than focusing on fundraising so that more can be done to campaign out on the streets. Also, the time they waste on facebook or checking out blogs could be better spent up-dating websites so that they contain more information which is up-dated regularly.

If politicians want to connect with young people, then they should go into schools and youth clubs and actually talk to them. They should listen and hear what they have to sa. People are kidding themselves if they think old fashioned campaigning is second best to things like facebook. Done properly, yes, networking sites can be of some benefit. But they are not the be all and end all. People would do well to remember that.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dwi nol...

Ddrwg gen i am fod yn dawel yn ddiweddar. Mae pethau wedi bod yn syndod o brysur ers imi symud nol i Gymru. Wrth gwrs, roedd yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol wythnos 'dwytha. Gesh i goblyn o wythnos dda a mwynhau yn arw, er roedd yn flinedig iawn gweithio i Plaid Cymru a trio rhedeg stonding hefyd. Ond mi wnesh i o, er doeddwn i fawr o gwmni i fy ffrindiau pan oeddwn allan mewn gigs gwahanol. Roeddwn yn cysgu'n drwm erbyn hanner awr wedi hanner nos ar y noson olaf, a prin medru llunio brawddeg erbyn hynny gan fy mod mor flinedig. Mae'n rhaid fy mod yn mynd yn hen!

Rhaid mi ddechrau meddwl am bynciau i sgwennu amdanyn nhw rwan, gan adael llonydd i'r hen Lembit am debyg. Watch this space o fory ymlaen!

Can fach syml...

Dwi'n cael noson o wrando ar gerddoriaeth, a meddwl oeddwn bod hi'n werth rhanu'r gan fach syml yma gan y Beatles gyda'r rhai ohonoch sydd erioed wedi ei chlywed. Mwynhewch!


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Prison for Caernarfon

Two of the MPs I work for, Hywel and Elfyn, have both campaigned for years now for a prison in North Wales. Though both think that the prison system is flawed in itself and should be drastically reformed, they see that there is still a need for a prison to serve the local population. This is particularly important in terms of Welsh language provision for prisoners, as well as meaning that prisoners would be held closer to their families which is particularly important for women and young offenders.

Out of the four possible sites for a new prison in Wales announced by David Hanson yesterday, Caernarfon seems to be the only logical choice. With the new court now being built in Caernarfon, it would make sense to also have a prison there and make it the centre for law in North Wales. This may even attract a chamber for barristers in Caernarfon, which would be a huge boost to the local economy. The prison would also create a number of jobs for local people - something which is definitely needed in North Wales. The Ferodo site would be ideal for a prison - its high time something was built there - and I truly hope that people will support the proposal.

Local people may well be wary of having a prison built in Caernarfon, but the truth is that crime rates tend to fall in an area which has a prison as it serves as a form of deterrent.

Personally, I feel that its essential this prison comes to Caernarfon. Being closer to home would make it easier to implement rehabilitation schemes for those prisoners, as well as providing a boost to the local economy in terms of jobs etc. Yes, I can understand why people are wary but the benefits outweight the negatives in my opinion. That's why I will be supporting any campaign for this prison, hand in hand with supporting a campaign to reform the prison and probation service as a whole. Building new prisons do not solve the fundamental problems within our society....

Friday, July 25, 2008

Dwi 'adra...

Wel, dwi nol yng Nghymru tan fis Hydref rwan a dwi wrth fy modd. Nesh i yrru o Lundain i Gaernarfon heddiw am y tro cyntaf erioed, a nesh i'm mynd ar goll unwaith. A hynny heb Sat Nav. Da 'de, hyd yn oed os ydw i'n deud fy hun!

Fel ddedish i'n ddiweddar yma, does unman yn debyg i gartref. Dwi 'di bod allan am swper gyda fy rhieni heno, ac 'roedd hi'n hyfryd eu gweld a fyddai'n gweld ffrindiau dros y penwythnos. Rhaid cyfaddef hefyd fod hi'n braf bod yn nhafarn Mam heno yn ganol Cymry Cymraeg, jest yn mwydro am bopeth dan haul tra'n gwrando ar gerddoriaeth wych. Wel, mae hi'n noson 60au a 70au yn y Castell heno! Dwi'n gwybod y geiriau i bob can hyd yma - diolch byth dydi hi ddim yn noson Carioci neu beryg fyswn i fyny'n canu o flaen pawb.

Dwi fel arfer yn postio linc i gan yma ar ddydd Gwener, felly rhag eich siomi, dyma fy newis wythnos yma. Mae hi braidd yn soppy, ond dwi'n hoff o honni ac roedd hi'n chwarae ar y radio heddiw gryn dipyn. Mae well gan Mam a Dad y fersiwn gwreiddiol, ond hon ydi fy ffefryn i. Mwynhewch!

Wow, wow, wow!

I wanted to post this at 2am this morning, but my computer kept crashing. How amazing was the SNP victory in Glasgow East in the early hours of this morning? I am so delighted for them - it was such a stunning victory. Or, as the SNP themselves were calling it, it was a "political earthquake". And who can disagree with that?

Gordon Brown must be quaking in his boots. As the media has been saying, if we saw the same swing in the next general election, Labour would be left with only 1 seat in Scotland and the SNP would have 37!!! I doubt Scottish Independence would be far off if that happened. And it is an actual possibility after this result. Just think if the swing towards the nationalists was repeated in Wales, even on a smaller scale! It would just be mind-blowing...

From a personal perspective, it will be fantastic to have another MP as part of our nationalist team at Westminster. For those of you who aren't aware, I should explain that Plaid Cymru and the SNP form a group at Westminster and we work closely together, staff and members alike. We meet up weekly, and though we might differ on some issues, we on the whole have very similar policies and outlooks so it works extremely well. Since we're such a small group, having one more member will make a huge difference. That's why many Plaid Cymru staff members and members went up to Glasgow to help with the campaign. I would have loved to have gone myself, but personal finances stopped me unfortunately.

The SNP have every right to be celebrating today. Very few people believed they would actually succeed when the by-election was first announced, but they really worked for it. There's a lesson for us all there. The SNP worked hard for every vote, and didn't take any support for granted. Maybe people would have more faith in politicians and politics on the whole if this was the case in every election... Well, I can dream can't I?!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Gweinidog Newydd Plaid Cymru

Dwi'n hynod o falch mai Alun Ffred Jones yw'r Gweinidog Treftadaeth newydd. Mi oeddwn i'n synnu flwyddyn yn ol nad y fo gafodd y swydd yn y lle cyntaf, a dwi'n falch ei fod o'r diwedd yn cael cyfle i chwarae rhan flaenllaw fel aelod o Lywodraeth y Cynulliad. Dwi'n siwr y bydd o'n wych yn y swydd. Mae ganddo fo brofiad yn y maes - bu'n newyddiadurwr, cynhyrchydd, awdur a chyfarwyddwr - ac mae'n wleidydd gwych.

Dyma'r dyn, ynghyd a Mei Jones, ddaeth a Cmon Midffild i'n bywydau sef y gyfres gomedi orau fuodd erioed yn y Gymraeg. Er bydd ei gyfraniad i'r Llywodraeth yn dra gwahanol, dwi'n siwr y gwnaiff gryn argraff. Edrychaf ymlaen i weld beth fydd o'n gyflawni gyda'r swydd, ac rwyf yn dymuno'r gorau iddo.

Hustings/ Hystings

Here are the dates, locations and times for the hustings in the Plaid Cymru Presidential race between Elfyn Llwyd and Dafydd Iwan. All members have a postal vote, but if you have a question for either candidates, the hustings will be your opportunity to grill both of them!

Dyma'r dyddiadau, lleoliadau a'r amseroedd ar gyfer hystings Plaid Cymru ar gyfer ras y Llywyddiaeth rhwng Elfyn Llwyd a Dafydd Iwan. Mae gan bob aelod bleidlais bost, ond os oes gennych gwestiwn ar gyfer y ddau ohonynt, yr hystings fydd eich cyfle i'w gofyn!

BANGOR
Neuadd Powis, Prifysgol Bangor
28.07.08
7.30pm-8.30pm

WRECSAM
Ystafell Glanyrafon, Y Stiwt – Rhos
29.07.08
7.30pm-8.30pm

ABERYSTWYTH
Gwesty’r Marine
30.07.08
7.30pm-8.30pm

SIR BENFRO
Gwesty Nantyffin, Llandysilio
01.08.08
7.30pm-8.30pm

CAERDYDD
Ystafell Taf, Athrofa Chwaraeon Cymru (Gerddi Sophia)
02.08.08
10.30am-11.30am

LLANELLI
Ystafell Llieidi, (ger Canolfan Selwyn Samuel)
19.08.08
7.30pm-8.30pm

BLAENAU FFESTINIOG
Neuadd Chwaraeon, Heol Wyn
2o.08.08
7.30pm-8.30pm

Lembit...

Quick one this. I wasn't going to post anything about Lembit for a while in case people thought I was obsessed, but he just keeps on giving. It would be rude not to point this out...
During a debate on the Housing and Regeneration Bill last night, Mr Iain Wright MP concluded his speech by wishing his six year old daughter a happy birthday. The members responded with a supportive "hear hear".

Lembit was next to speak and concluded his speech with the following: "In conclusion, let me wish my godfather Kalju Niit a happy birthday as well—and thank you for your patience, Mr. Deputy Speaker." There was no response from the members.

Can't he see that there's a huge difference between wishing your six year old daughter a happy birthday and wishing your godfather? The former is sweet and thoughtful. The latter just sounded idiotic. As I've said before, and will now repeat: Lembit Opik= idiot.

School's Out!

Well, almost... Parliament closes for the summer today and goes into recess. Whilst most people think this means that MPs and their staff do nothing until parliament re-opens in October, that's most definitely not the case. Yes, we'll all be taking time off at various times just like everyone else. But we will be working otherwise. Honest. Not sure if that is true about every MP but it certainly is of the Plaid Cymru ones!

As I've mentioned before, I'll be moving back to Wales for the summer to work in Elfyn and Hywel's constituencies. There's not much I can do from London so it makes far more sense to work from where they're working, and help out in the various offices. Plus it means I get to see my friends and family. I can't wait!

Its amazing how many things I've managed to accumulate here since moving to London. I arrived last November with two suitcases - now I have to hire a car to take everything back. My Mother's side of the family - the Anwyl's - are notorious for not being able to travel lightly so in my defence, its obviously a family trait. Or maybe just a female thing. Either way, I'm just hoping the hire car will be big enough!