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...