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!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Summer Fete

I just walked out of my office building to grab a coffee - its a Friday afternoon, I'm flagging and need caffeine - only to stumble across a Summer Fete in full swing in what is usually the smokers corner. Its so random, especially since members are in their constituencies and most staff have also already disappeared for the weekend. There's a coconut throwing stand, a tombola and even a maypole. Oh, and orange squash of course - gallons of it. I even saw one lonesome Morris dancer! Unofortunately/fortunately, I've had to return to my office as I have quite a few things to do. Its just strange to see a part of parliament transformed into a little English village. There's even authentic hay bales for people to sit on!

Friday Song

Well, its nearly the weekend. No wedding or partying planned this weekend - just a nice chilled out time as I'm still not feeling a hundred per cent. Plus I need to pack as I'm moving home to Wales for the summer at the end of next week. Yay!
Here's my cheesy song of the week to get you through your day at work. As my dearest friends know, it is, for some reason, my favourite karaoke song. I think its just because I like the story. One warning though: If you're a fan of high-brow music, its better if you don't click on the link...


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Finding somewhere to live in London is a nightmare, unless you have a lot of money to spend. In Wales, I'd be able to rent a really nice two or three bedroom house all to myself for the same amount as I'm paying for a nice bedroom in a nice flat in a dodgy part of London. It takes me an hour to get into work in the mornings - sometimes longer - on a bus then tube. Its far from ideal, but its the best I could find when I first moved here.

Its no way to live though. A few months ago, I was mugged right outside my house and I've been nervous about walking home at night since then and try my best to avoid it. Also, there's been at least four murders in my area since the beginning of the year - one in the local Matalan, and three on nearby streets. All knife crimes. All male victims as well, which is actually slightly comforting if you're female. However, seeing police tape and those white tents that are used to cover a body one street away from your front door shouldn't be common place. And yet it is. I've passed by the sites of some very high profile stabbings whilst walking around the city as well, where flowers are still placed by the families to mark the spot where their beloved ones have died. Its so tragic. Often, these victims are incredibly young with their whole lives in front of them. Its senseless that they should lose their lives in such a way.

The Government says its going to crack down on knife crime, and unveiled some 'tough' measures this week. However, I'm not sure how effective they will be. They don't go to the root of the problem. What we need are things for teenagers to do, and ensure that parents actually ensure that their fourteen and fifteen year old children aren't out wondering the streets late at night. We need to listen to young people, and find out why they feel the need to carry knives and act accordingly. If they felt safe, if they felt happy and if they had a purpose in life then surely, we'd see an improvement in things? Media scaremongering is only making the situation worse. What we need are realistic and long term solutions, and not just ones that the Sun and the Daily Mail will welcome with open arms. Getting their seal of approval isn't something that usually motivates Plaid Cymru, which is another reason why I'm a Plaid rather than a Labour or Tory supporter!

I was sitting next to a spotty teenager on the bus last night, and I noticed that he had a knife quite visably hanging out of his pocket. It really scared me, as he honestly didn't look that threatening. Ok, maybe he'll never use that to harm anyone. But you can't be sure can you? My answer was to move to another seat, which felt very cowardly but I didn't know how else to react.

My Mother would have a heart attack if she read this, and I'm sure she's glad I'm moving out of my flat and back to Wales for the summer. To be honest, I can't wait. Yes, London is great. Its exciting, dynamic and has everything you could possibly want. And I do love it. But Wales is better. I'll be able to walk to work, breathe in some good Snowdonia air and be surrounded by friends and family. Maybe you have to go away sometimes to appreciate what you have on your own doorstep... Does unman yn debyg i gartref.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Blackberry

Dwi ofn mod i'n mynd yn gaeth i fy 'Blackberry'. Mond ers dechrau fy swydd gyda Plaid Cymru dwi wedi cael un, a rwan fedrai ddim dychmygu bod oddi wrtho am fwy na pum munud. Oce, ella dau funud os dwi'n onest.

Y munud mae'r golau coch yn fflachio i ddangos bod gen i neges, mae fy nghalon i'n neidio. Weithia, mae na neges holl bwysig neu ddifyr yn cyrraedd. Ond, gan amlaf, pethau dibwys ydyn nhw. Fel 'notifications' Facebook, neu neges yn trio gwerthu Viagra imi. Hmm... Pethau, mewn geiriau eraill, y medrai yn sicr wneud hebddyn nhw!

Ydi, mae nhw'n declynau handi ar y diawl. Ond eto, ydw i wir angen bod ar gael 24 awr y dydd i ddarllen ebyst ac ateb fy ffon? Fysa'r byd yn dod i ben taswn i, shock horror, yn ei ddiffodd am ddiwrnod cyfan? Wel, na fydda siwr. Ond mi fysa gen i domen o waith i ddal fyny gyda fo os na fyswn i yng nghlwm iddo. Ar ol wythnos yng Nghiwba, lle na wnesh i fedru edrych ar ebyst o gwbwl, roedd gen i 1600 o negeseuon ebyst i'w darllen. Wir. O'r rhai hynny, fe wnesh i orfod ateb oddeutu 300. Ac roedd honno'n wythnos gymharol dawel o ran gwaith gan bod y Senedd a'r Cynulliad ar gau!

Does yna ddim troi nol i mi rwan. Dwi'n gaeth a dyna ni. Ond, ichi sydd yn ystyried cael Blackberry, dydi hi ddim yn rhy hwyr i wrthsefyll y temptasiwn a dweud na! O leia fysa ganddo chi ddim golau coch yn rheoli'ch bywyd chi wedyn!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Cynical...

So, Lembit and his cheeky girl may be in the process of splitting up. How sad. Tragic even. If it is true, then fair play to her for bringing things to an end. Maybe, just maybe, Lembit will have time now to be an MP and start represeting his constituents properly? Either that, or he'll find another Z list 'celebrity' girlfriend, maybe a former Big Brother contestant, and continue along the same path.

However, I'm not quite sure to believe the rumours about a split. After all, the cheeky girls are promoting their living tv programme at the moment. And what better way to do that than to hit the tabloids? Hmmm...

I'd actually place a bet on the fact that Lembit and her will be in Hello or Ok magazine in the next week or two declaring that they're back together and even more in love. Cynical? Yes... But I bet you that's what will happen. They're hardly going to miss out on getting paid for a wedding spread are they? Watch this space.

Oh, and just in case some of you aren't familiar with the cheeky girls and their 'music', check this out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7AFZXgjrgg

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Oh Happy Day....

Tonight, I'm off to a dinner in Cardiff to celebrate the anniversary of Plaid Cymru's first year in government and the One Wales agreement. I have my dress ready, and I'm looking forward to hearing Ieuan Wyn Jones' speech. What a year its been!

Its amazing to think how much we've evolved as a party over the past twelve months. We've had to adapt and learn quickly how to be part of a Government. It was very easy in the past for Plaid to be able to promise our supporters everything and anything. Indeed, we didn't even have to have a policy on some issues when we only had an England based parliament governing us. Now, we have Ministers! We even have a Deputy Prime Minister of Wales! Its just mind blowing. Hopefully it won't be too long until we have a Prime Minister and a majority government. Just think what we'll be able to achieve then!

Whilst its been a steep learning curve for our elected members, its also been tough on our supporters. Yes, we've gained new ones but some of our traditional members have been disappointed by a few decisions taken. That, however, is the reality of being in Government. Ministers have to take tough and sometimes unpopular decisions. Indeed, we should be proud that our Ministers have shown the courage to be able to do that! Our members therefore have to mature with the party and accept that this is the case. Plaid won't ever become a party for the whole of Wales by pleasing everybody - it just can't be done. And Plaid may well sometimes make one or two mistakes along the way - every party does that. But, we are listening and we are delivering. Those of us who doubted how wise it was to go into coalition with Labour, myself included, have been forced to admit that we were wrong. Plaid is definitely having a positive influence on the Welsh Assembly. No wonder the party is gaining support, whilst Labour rapidly falls apart...

Don Touhig's comments were certainly an interesting read this morning. Plaid has had a lot of influence on key decisions over the past year. Indeed, Plaid really is leading the way and winning the vast majority of battles during Ministerial meetings as is obvious from what has been achieved. Finally, people are realising that and giving Plaid credit for being a strong coalition partner.
Some people still love to talk about Plaid in derogative ways. They need to grow up and realise that Plaid has matured as a party in response to the political changes in Wales. We are the only party who have the interests of Wales at our very core.

I'm glad that we're celebrating this occasion. Its a huge achievement, and I'm proud to have been a Plaid Cymru member during this transition period. Onwards and upwards as they say!

Calling Dr Who


Quick one this. On last week's episode, a phone number was shown as mankind attempted to contact the Doctor. Supposedly, around 2,500 people tried to ring it before it was announced it was fake. Angry fans have been expressing their disappointment that nothing special happened when they called it. What did they expect? David Tennant himself? Or maybe a Dalek?

Who'd be watching Dr Who with a pen and paper just in case a number came up? Or even worse, who'd watch it back and press pause just in order to get a fake number? There's only word to describe those oddballs: saddos! Get a life and stop complaining about a fictional programme! They did not deceive you and they didn't con you... Seriously, its worrying that people react far more to television programmes than they do to real life at times!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Being Eleven

As I mentioned on Friday, I went to a wedding in Ireland last weekend. It was amazing - just perfect - and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. However, I must admit that the highlight of it all was chatting to my friend's eleven year old cousin. Its such a magical age. You're just on the cusp on becoming a bratty teenager and yet you're still quite innocent and child-like. I'd forgotten what some of they questions and queries were at that age, and thought I'd share with you some of the classics I was asked:

What time do you go to bed at?
How many teeth have you lost?
How many fillings do you have?
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Can you twist your tongue?
Can you touch your nose with your tongue?
What's your favourite high school musical song?

It was so cute! I really felt that I was disappointing here though when I had to admit that I have never seen high school musical and that Grease was more my thing... Though she was jealous that I usually don't sleep until 1am! Guess there are some benefits to getting older after all... Even if it does mean losing all your teeth and realising its about time you knew what you wanted to do with your life!

Friday, July 4, 2008

That Friday Feeling

Its a Friday, and I'm off to a wedding in Ireland over the weekend. I can't wait! To get me in the party mood, I've been listening to some cheesy tunes in my office this morning whilst doing my work. The MPs are back in their local constituencies so at least no one can hear my attempts to sing along. I guarantee that you'll smile if you click the link below. The picture may give you a clue as to which song it is!

All together now...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzuXeGLCtZw

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Some answers...

I've received quite a few questions this week, in particular about why I have such an interest in Lembit. So I thought I'd give some answers. Here goes...

No, I don't fancy him. I can categorically state that it isn't a love-hate thing for Lembit that I have going on. Promise.

There are two reasons why I (a Plaid Cymru supporter from Ynys Mon) tend to keep an eye on the world of Lembit Opik. Firstly, a general interest in Welsh politics and he's quite an obvious character within that world. And, secondly, and most importantly, my mothers side of the family hail from Montgomeryshire or Maldwyn. Indeed, I still have a lot of a family in Mid Wales - my Grandmother lives in Newtown, and there are other relatives in Llanbrynmair, Clywedog and Bont Dolgadfan. I feel a deep connection to the place, and even want to be buried at the family graveyard in Staylittle when I die which hopefully won't be for a few decades!

The elder generations within my family are mainly Old Style Liberals, though there are a few Tories thrown into the mix as well. My grandfather was a councillor until recently on Powys county council, and as a result, politics has always been discussed within the family. As you may have guessed, I'm Plaid Cymru through and through. However, that doesn't stop me from appreciating good and effective politicians from other parties. I don't hate someone automatically just because they're a Tory, Lib Dem or even a Labour supporter! If Lembit was fulfilling his obligations to the people of Maldwyn, then I wouldn't have a problem with him. But he's not. And that's why I've been speaking out...

Lembit started off well as a politician. He created an impact and seemed geeky enough to do a good job of it. HOWEVER. Things rapidly changed. I don't think I need to go into details, but here are a few key words which led to his downfall: Sian Lloyd, Cheeky Girl, Mr and Mrs, Hello Magazine, I want a cheeky baby, Celebrity Apprentice, Celebrity Who Wants to be a Millionaire.... I think you get the picture!

I love eccentric politicians. I like people who are different. But Lembit is just a lembo (idiot). He's become obsessed with becoming a Z list celebrity, to the detriment of his constituents. His contributions in parliament are embarrassing to watch when he just jumps in to the chamber to make stupid interventions, and he parades around the place with such arrogance. Indeed, many Lib Dems I know won't be voting for him next time and are talking about de-selecting him as a candidate. That's how bad things have become...

However. To answer another question I've been asked... would I rather see a Tory as an MP in Montgomeryshire? Well, obviously, no but I wouldn't be ranting to the same extent if he was at least a good MP. Personally, I'd like to see Plaid Cymru put up a hell of a fight for the seat. I truly believe that it is a winnable seat for us in the future and want us to build up our support there. Many of our policies resonate with the constituents, and now that we have evolved as a party, I think we have a lot to offer them. Plus we have a lot of support there, if only we tapped into it. Some people think I'm naive to think this. Others have suggested it could take at least twenty years to make a breakthrough there. I think we could do it before then. Ok, so the next general election would be a tad unrealistic (though stranger things have happened). But, if we worked hard enough, I can't see why we wouldn't attract new support. I'm sure to rant further on this in the future,,,

And finally - to the last question. Would Wales be dull without Lembit? My answer: God, no!! I'm sure we'd see even more of him in the press if he ceased to be an MP. He'd be on celebrity Big Brother, I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here (well, he did try and persuade other politicians to take part in 'I'm an mp, get me out of here' in the past - true story I promise you. Everyone in parliament declined) or other such crap television programmes. Plus, he'd probably have a weekly column in a tabloid. And no doubt, something like that would suit him better.

I don't hate the man. Honestly. But I do hate the fact that he is an MP, and that he isn't doing his best for Montgomeryshire. That's why I want to see the back of him, and that's why I'll continue to post anything else damning about him I come across.

Ffilm 'Friends'?!

Dwi'n gobeithio bod gwirionedd tu ol i'r stori fod yna ffilm o'r gyfres deledu 'Friends' ar y gorwel! Yn ol rhai o'r cylchgronnau trashy dwi'n hoff o ddarllen o dro i dro (wel, mae eisiau brec o hanes a gwleidyddiaeth weithiau yn does!), mae'r holl actorion wedi cytuno i'r egwyddor o ffilm. Mae hyn oherwydd dau beth. Yn gyntaf, llwyddiant ysgubol y ffilm 'Sex and the City'. Ac, yn ail - methiant y chwech ohonynt i fod yn rhan o unrhyw beth mor llwyddianus ers i'r gyfres ddod i ben. Mae nhw braidd yn rhy ifanc i ymddeol!

Ro'n i yn ffan anferthol o'r gyfres o'r cychwyn cyntaf, fel nifer o fy nghyfoedion. Yn wir, dwi a'n ffrindiau yn aml yn cyfeirio at y gyfres a cymharu rhai scenarios gyda pethau sy'n digwydd yn ein bywydau ni. Mae nifer o'r storylines wir yn tarro deuddeg ar adegau, yn enwedig rhai o'u trafferthion yn trio dewis gyrfa iawn neu gariad addas. Fydd hi'n ddifyr iawn gweld beth mae'n cyfeillion yn ei wneud bellach... Dwi bron ac archebu fy nhocyn ar gyfer y sinema rwan!

MEPs Exposed!

My friend Jarlath sent me a link to a German news report which looks at the alleged abuse of attendance expenses at the European Parliament. Don't worry if you don't speak German (I don't either) - there are subtitles!

The report shows a number of MEPs signing an attendance register in order to qualify for a daily allowance at the European Parliament in Strasbourg at 7am in the morning. The vast majority are carrying suitcases and are very obviously in a hurry to reach the airport so that they can fly home.

Its well worth sticking with the video as some MEPs, upon seeing the camera, look just like a rabbit caught in headlights! Some hide their faces or run away. The best has to be the German Green MEP Hilturd Breyer who covers her face and bangs into a wall whilst trying to escape the camera. Classic!

Despite being properly accredited and authorised to film within the parliament, the reporter is escorted from the building by seven security guards which seems quite excessive. Luckily for us in Plaid, Jill Evans is nowhere to be seen! In fact, she's one of the few ones fighting for greater transparency within the parliament... After seeing this report, I have to say that she most definitely has a point!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Fuel Duty Regulator Amendment

Usually, I love working for such a small party at parliament but there are some occasions when it can be disheartening. Take today or tonight for instance. MPs have just been voting on a Plaid Cymru-SNP amendment to the Finance Bill, which proposed the implementation of a Fuel Duty Regulator. It was heavily defeated by 309 to 15 votes. Admittedly, it was a slightly better result than when we proposed the idea in 2005 when the votes then were 351 to 12, but its still a depressing result.

What bothers me the most is that its a good idea. It has a lot of support from ordinary people and not just those who solely exist within the Westminster bubble. Sometimes, just sometimes, I wish MPs would look at the merits of an amendment or a bill rather than solely focus on who's proposing it before deciding if they are voting in favour or against it. This, after all, is supposed to be a democracy. And yet, its not. Its only the small parties, like the SNP or Plaid Cymru, who seem to understand the concept of a free vote. We actually discuss and debate matters on merit before deciding how to vote. Surely, that's how every party and MP should operate? Labour, Tories and Lib Dems are all at fault for operating in such an undemocratic manner when it comes to the matter of voting at parliament. Indeed, I struggle sometimes to understand why we bother having debates or even a parliament at if people have already made up their minds (or at least been told how to vote) before listening and contemplating both sides of the debate?

I live in hope that one day, politics will return to basics. That's why I believe in self-governance for Wales. I think its too late in the day to change the way things operate at Westminster. The undemocratic nature of parliament is far too ingrained by now. But a Welsh parliament could be different. Whilst fighting for greater powers for the Assembly, I believe we, the Welsh, from every political party should keep this in mind and ensure that we build a true democracy where issues are considered on merit. Otherwise, there's no real point to politics. Considering I hope to work in politics for the rest of my life, I truly hope democracy prevails in the future!