Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Time To Say Goodbye

Well it's been a fun-filled fortnight for me. Not often does politics bring such laughter but Aneurin Glyndwr managed to do just that for this old gal. But all good things must come to an end and my time writing this blog is over. As any ex-readers of Amlwch to Magor know I am no longer living in Wales, at least not until this winter. My month back with friends and family clashed with Aneurin Glyndwr's launch and enabled me to have this bit of fun, but I'm flying back to the husband and kids for Easter and will not be able to give Owain Bevan, or the world of Welsh politics, the attention they need from abroad.

My brief return to the Welsh blogosphere has been entertaining. Many of the blogs I regularly read just months ago have disappeared, but the majority remains and there's even a couple of new ones showing the evolution of our blogosphere. With only one national newspaper there is a huge gap in reporting of politics in Wales. While practically no-one reads blogs in the wider world it's still important to ensure a vibrant blogoshere. I hope that when I return next year I'll find all my favorite bogs still working hard.

The amateurness of the Aneurin Glyndwr project is beyond belief and I've found myself wondering on so many occasions just what exactly Peter Hain, Eluned Morgan and co were thinking? How could they have possibly, even for a fleeting moment, thought that this was a good idea I don't know.

Organised attack politics is a format perfected in the USA but still relatively rare in the UK. Yes our politicians will often spend time slagging off their opponents but American-style attack politics is different. If you're going to dip your hand in such things then you have to be very careful. The first rule is to try and have some degree of separation between party and attacker. An attack campaign openly promoted by a political party is nearly always destined to fail. People will either write it off as "politician slagging each other off" or simply highlight the hypocrisy when the attacking party are open to the exact same attack. The second rule, in the UK at least, is to tone it down. Blatant constant attacks will do nothing to convince the electorate. You need a bit of subtlety and some wit to pull off a good attack site. Aneurin Glyndwr failed both these tests, and that's why it became the national joke it did.

What's bizarre is that Welsh Labour KNOW this. After all they have history in such matters. This is the third time Welsh Labour, or their supporters, have tried the attacking route. We all know the history of Natwatch (that's the website David Taylor had nothing to do with...) whose brief, ugly appearance led to the sacking of two public workers. The website managed little else, it didn't win Labour any vote and didn't cost the other parties any votes. The probable reason for this is that it failed the second test, it was simply too nasty and petty to be taken seriously.

The one successful attempt at attack politics made by New Labour was the Welsh Mirror. Through their puppet Paul Starling, Labour successfully managed to shake off their troubles of 1999 and turn Plaid's image in some parts of Wales into that of a demon. They tried, and for a while succeeded, to turn English speaking Wales against Welsh speaking Wales. It got them electoral gain in 2003 but its legacy has not been good for Labour. We all now of Rhodri Morgan's concerns about Labour being wiped out of Welsh-speaking Wales in 2007 - the reasons for that wipeout are numerous, but it can all be traced back to the Welsh Mirror.

Having brought embarrassment to their party, and having faced the wrath of their leading politicians (Peter Hain thankfully no longer qualifying as a leading politician) and seeing their pet project disowned by the First Minister it can't have been a good fortnight for Peter, Eluned, Alun and David. Plaid supporters in particular have seized on the moment and have had a few good laughs out of the whole thing. Eluned Morgan's chances of becoming the next First Minister are probably over, how easy would it be for any opponent (Labour or otherwise) to stick the knife in by recalling Delilah! So I guess all I can tell Peter and his crew is "better luck next time".

Although I won't be here to keep Aneurin in check, I hope the rest of the Welsh blogs will continue to do the same with whatever Welsh Labour's next attempt to "seize" the Internet will be. As for me, I'll fly off happy that Labour's amateurish attempt at Internet domination has been "taken apart" by little old Owain (Thanks Martin Shipton!)

See you soon.


Simple Maths

Aneurin's new Platform is off to a wonderful start, while trying to mock the Deputy First Minister for knocking the banks they claim that Banks create money - here's how apparently:
Someone - let's call them Ieuan Wyn – gets £1000. He puts it in the bank. Someone else, let's call them Plaid Cymru, wants to borrow £500, the bank lends them the £500. Plaid Cymru then give Ieuan Wyn £500 to set up his office. Iuean Wyns pays £200 to his mate Elfyn, who promptly puts it in the bank, and sticks the other £300 in the bank. So the bank now has now turned that initial £1000 into a £2000 balance sheet – in other words it has created £1000. Just like that.
Does Aneurin and his friends know what a balance sheet is? The answer is not-so-subtly included in the name. The clue is in the word balance. Think that paragraph through and it makes no sense.

We start with £1,000, which Ieuan has and puts in bank
That gives the Bank £1,000 in assets and £1,000 in liabilities. Ieuan is owed £1,000 by bank
Bank loans £500 to Plaid
That gives Bank £500 in assets, £1,000 in liabilities and £500 owing to them. Plaid has £500
Plaid give their £500 to Ieuan, Ieuan gives £200 to Elfyn
That gives Bank £500 in assets, £1,000 in liabilities, £500 owed by Plaid. Ieuan has £300, Elfyn £500
Ieuan and Elfyn puts money into bank

We end up with the Bank having £1,000 in assets, they owe £1,300 to Ieuan and £200 to Elfyn (plus interest). Plaid owe £500 to the bank (plus interest).

So on the Bank's credit side they have £1,000 assets and £500 owed plus interest on the £500. On their debit side is £1,500 plus interest on Ieuan and Elfyn's savings.

So the bank's balance sheet is the difference between the interest owed by Plaid and owed to Ieuan and Elfyn (i.e. pennies)

So, um, where's this additional thousand they're supposed to have created on their balance sheet? And these people are supposed to be in charge of our economy?

A Thousand And One Reasons

So in the fortnight or so that Aneurin Glyndwr has been up it has had 10,000 hits according to their latest post.

Didn't Paul Flynn tell us they'd had 9,000 in the first day? Only a thousand more in 12 days is, well, dissapointing shall we say?

Talk Is Cheap

Aneurin has decided to open up for some comments. Of course it's not quite that simple, the comments are only allowed on a separate part of the site and will only be displayed after moderation.

So let's see how much free speech Welsh Labour will allow into their world of Spin. This is the moderation "policy" as stated by Aneurin Glyndwr:

We operate a liberal comment moderation policy and while we encourage passion and the voicing of strong opinion, if your contribution is deemed by us to be offensive, or untrue, or not fair comment, it will be removed completely.
That's a pretty fair policy, but will Labour stick to it or will they delete posts that they struggle to reply to (a la Paul Flynn MP). Let's find out shall we!

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

We Can't Just Let Them Talk!

What Labour say in public

That this House notes with concern the limited way in which new technology is used to involve members of the public in its work; notes that the use of technology in the recent American presidential campaign has significantly raised the bar; welcomes the proposals in the recent Orange Future of Politics report to improve the use of technology in the activities of this House, in hon. Members' interaction with their constituents and in engaging citizens with the process of government; and calls on all interested parties to use new technology, techniques and skills to help reverse the declining levels of public participation in the democratic process.
Early Day Motion brought by Labour AM Andrew Miller

What Labour say in private

We had a splendid, well-informed pep talk on the use of hi-tech communications by MPs. The advice was don’t blog or use twitter. Blogs provides hostages to fortune and tweeting is for idiots.
Paul Flynn

Who said New Labour's control freakness was dead?

Tory Calls Plaid Too Left Wing Shocker

Apparently the fact that Iain Dale, a Tory, thinks Plaid is too left wing is a surprise - what a weird world Aneurin Glyndwr lives in!

Friday, 3 April 2009

Top Stories

Aneurin goes from deluded to certifiable today - attacking Plaid's conference for not being the top story on the BBC Wales Politics page he seems to believe that his website and labour "dominates the news agenda".

Position of top Plaid related story - 2nd
Position of top Tory related story - 5th
Position of top One Wales government related story - 6th
Position of top Labour related story - um....well.......oh no wait, I just found it, skip past the headlines and the Top Stories section and go all the way below the fold to the "More politics" section - there's two stories there about Rhodri Morgan lying to try and distance himself and the Labour party from Aneurin!

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Selective Hearing

Latest Aneurin post:

Internal Plaid poll

SAYS "Labour's vote in Wales is holding up surprisingly well".


Also says Plaid gain more than Labour - Doh!

Don't Look Back in Anger

When you design a new website, not everything makes the cut. Some things you thought were good ideas in the planning stage seem foolish by launch time. Every webpage editor has a panic moment when he realises some part or other of his website is a mistake.

Which makes it so much fun for the rest of us to find these strips of the cutting room floor and try and work out why they were dropped.

How about this for example. It seems that Aneurin Glyndwr had big plans to, wait for it, let us comment on his website! Maybe this is what they meant by "Aneurin Glyndwr is a forum designed as a platform for lively debate.". Of course, even this "Platform" wasn't really a place to discuss and comment - all it was supposed to be was a way for the website to post up some fan mail. So what happened? Did the website not get any fan mail to put up? Answers on a postcard.

But that's not the only thing cut out before the website went live - Aneurin scrapped some posts he had written in February, one with the interesting title of "Opposition's Taste For Speeding". Having looked at the old post there's nothing of value in it - something about a Tory saying that police should be less fixated on speeding. What is interesting however is what Aneurin's Blogroll looked like back then.

While his current blogroll starts with such heavyweights as Alistair Campbell and Comment is Free (oh the irony!) the original version was much shorter. While some (Labourlist) survived the pre-launch cull others weren't as fortunate.

Brother Tecwyn was there originally, even though the blog has shut down. Same goes for Luke Young (last post December) and Nick Bradley (last post September!). More interesting is "Don't trip up". This blog is still live so why was it in the original line up and then dropped? Maybe something to do with this post which asked the following questions:

Why is Labour so out of touch?
Why is Labour so defensive?
Why has Labour become so conservative?

Not quite the party line Aneurin wants to follow then!

One last note on the old bloglist, seems that the infamous Martin Eaglestone managed to grab a spot in the original but was dropped while Leighton will be delighted by the fact that, even though he was omitted from the first draft, Aneurin eventually decided to be one of the few blogs that do link to him!

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Going Slightly Mad

I think Leighton Andrews may be losing it. After his crazy blog post this morning Peter Black is now reporting that in a reply to a Leanne Wood e-mail asking for remembrance of the Welsh volunteers who died fighting the Spanish Civil War and fascism Leighton has replied:


Forgive me, but 70 years ago weren’t Plaid Cymru’s leaders supporting Franco?



Yes Leighton, about the same time Tory Churchill called Mussolini "the greatest lawgiver among men" and Liberal Lloyd George called Hitler "the greatest living German". 70 years ago was a very long time ago Leighton.

But tell me, wasn't George Galloway still a Labour MP when he saluted Saddam's courage, strength and indefatigability?

Now, who was it that derided bitchy politics this morning? Time to take your own advice maybe Leighton?

Thank You

As the video says: Thank You Peter, Thank You Eluned, Thank You Alun, Thank You David for providing us all with such entertainment and for boosting the support for the Tories and Plaid.

In a Parallel World

Former Welsh Minister John Redwood has shocked the Cardiff Bay political bubble today with the announcement that he intends to stand in the next Welsh Assembly elections. Mr Redwood will run as an Independent candidate in Ceredigion. Explaining the reasoning behind this shock return to politics Mr Redwood stated:
"To be honest I thought that my career was over, especially in Wales. After being hounded for handing back £100m to Westminster and being ridiculed for my attempts to sing the National Anthem I thought that the whole country was laughing at me. But my political agent has convinced me otherwise. According to my agent the fact that the video of me singing the anthem has 45,000 hits just goes to show how popular I am. He says that each and everyone of those 45,000 people are guaranteed to vote for me now. I'm not an expert on these technological things but according to my agent if 45,000 look at a video of me embarrassing myself then this means that I'm popular. Labour have fallen right into the trap of mentioning me over and over and now I am on course to be the next Welsh First Minister"
Anyone willing and able to assist Mr Redwood's campaign should contact his agent: Mr Paul Flynn MP, Newport

Nobody Likes Me And I Don't Care

I considered making a lengthy comment on David Taylor's employer Leighton Andrews' self-indulgent outburst today, but thought that there was nothing I could add that would make his post more laughable than it already is so I decided to just quote it in full - enjoy!

Since becoming a Minister nearly 2 years ago, I have pretty much stopped reading Welsh blogs - even Glyn's, which I used to enjoy for the wit, independence and honesty. There simply isn't time.

And, let's face it, none of them matter. Most of the Welsh blogs talk to or about themselves. Particularly the ones written by Nats, which means - er - most of them.

The hundreds of daily referrals to my own weblog rarely come from other Welsh blogs. Occasionally there are some from Peter Black's or from Glyn's. But over the last 24 hours, for example, there have been more referrals from Norman Geras's blog than all Welsh blogs put together.

But most visitors to my site come because they have gone through a search engine, looking for my site or for something about the Rhondda. Occasionally because they share my frustrations about Windows Vista and have found this post, or because they looking up anything on the last episode of the Sopranos and have found this post, or they are fellow City fans.

I look at blogs and websites written by Labour colleagues when I have time, and sometimes at Vaughan's blog and those by other journalists I have time for, and atAdam Higgitt's site very occasionally.

So, here's a message to Welsh Labour bloggers. Most of the Welsh blogs around don't matter in the slightest. None has ever influenced a voter or made a difference to politics. So, don't bother with them. Concentrate on building a strong Welsh Labour presence on the web, which speaks to the future and to real people, that sets out a debate about where our party is going and what it is doing in government at UK and Welsh levels, and sets out our dividing lines with the other parties.

In particular, ignore the nasty, bitchy, irrelevant world of the self-opinionated nat bloggers.

(As opposed to the nasty, bitchy and irrelevant Leighton Andrews and Aneurin Glyndwr.)

By the way Leighton, the reason no-one's coming to your blog from other Welsh blog is that no-one's linking to you. Go figure.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Liar Liars

Hmm.....the more one ponders Rhodri's denunciation the more questions it raises.

Is Rhodri telling us that the website is lying in saying that he and Paul Murphy endorsed it? If so then are we to assume that Peter Hain, Eluned Morgan, Alun Davies and David Taylor will admit to this lie or is Rhodri just hoping that we won't ask that question?

On the other hand did Rhodri, as I suggested in the previous post, give his approval to this nonsense without checking what it actually was? In that case is the First Minister lying to us by saying he didn't recommend it?

I'm struggling to find a way out of this without believing that Rhodri is lying to us or the motley crew have lied to us - any suggestions?

Disowned Disaster

So Rhodri Morgan has decided to "do a Bourne" and disown Peter Hain, Eluned Morgan, Alun Davies, David Taylor and the Aneuringlyndwr website and video. Anyone who dares suggest that he had recommended the website were being "naughty" apparently. He had not seen it and had not heard of it until the press got it.

You know what, for one of the first times ever, I actually believe him. It was clear from the moment he refused to comment in a radio interview that Rhodri had not seen the website pre-release. What is not so believable however is his claim that only mischievous media and bloggers would believe that he had approved of it. Clearly he had approved it - but there's a big difference between approving and actually knowing what you approve.

As the website itself says:

"This brand new political website is definitely one to watch!"
- Rt Hon Rhodri Morgan AM, First Minister for Wales

You can see how it happened now:

Peter calls Rhodri up - "Rhodri darling, I've got a new website going up. Gonna be great, it'll make a big impact. You know how I got so pissed off with Plaid's Walescan nonsense and you said we needed to copy them, well this is it! Eluned's helped me do it, she's so excited. Between you and me now, if this thing works then Eluned's gonna be huge - could solve your lack of replacement problem in a heartbeat! We're doing an Obama here, Rhoderz, gonna be huge with the kids and all! We're going to time it's release so that it's all over the news, Dragon's Eye and everything - might even get a Mule front page out of it! OK if I put up a quote from you saying how exciting it all is?"

Rhodri: "Yeah sure Peter, whatever, go for it. Got to go now, having supper with with my autobiography's ghostwriter"

So now that Rhodri has denounced this laughable own goal, will he ask Peter Hain, Eluned Morgan, Alun Davies and David Taylor to apologise to Bourne and Ieuan - just like Bourne apologised to him? A Labour politician apologising - yeah, right!


I can't believe it - the Hen Ferchetan is gutted! I didn't realise on the first reading of Aneuringlyndwr's retraction of the Delilah video but when I read it again it became so obvious!

Aneurin has cut out my very favorite part of the song! Remember the beautiful sentence:
"we need to stop them making the people more poor"?
This is what I had to say about it previously:
"The highlight of the lyrics for me! Ever heard of the word "poorer" Eluned? It means "more poor" but is, well, grammatically correct! Ah but you needed something to rhyme with "more" right? And clearly "poorer" doesn't rhyme with "more", but "poor" does, doesn't it?"
The transcript of the song Aneurin has so helpfully put up on his website (no copyright issues in just putting up the transcript see!) has a different sentence though! It now reads:
"we need to stop them making the people poor"
That just takes away the fun! The original, grammatically stupid, version was much better! Of course the new version has lost a word and therefore doesn't fit the music at all (and still doesn't rhyme with "more"!), but Aneurin doesn't have to care about that because he isn't allowed to sing it out loud anymore!

Don't worry though, I've preserved the original for you - such poetic brilliance needs to be saved for the appraisal of history!

Kids in Glass Houses

Glyndwr - 28th March

BREAKING NEWS: Top Tory donor defects to UKIP

The Telegraph - 6th February 2009

Labour's financial backer defects to Tories

Bye Bye Bye Labi

So after a grand total of four days Eluned's masterpiece has been taken down. The video is no longer on YouTube - how sad!

Why Why Why I hear you ask? (OK, must stop with these Delilah lines now!). Well according to Aneuringlyndwr it's because "some Nats and Tories had complained". Makes it sound like Peter Hain and his friends had received bags of mail from Plaidis (it WILL catch on, let's do it for Eluned!) and Tories crying and begging the video to be taken down. As we all know though that's not what's happened - any tears streaming down the face of the Conservatives and Pleidwyr have been tears of laughter.

No, the video has been taken down for two reasons. Firstly Aneurin and Peter Hain did receive a lot of complaints and demands that it be taken down - not from their political opponents but from Labour members horrified at the embarrassment caused to their party. More importantly perhaps was the fact that the video used copyrighted material that Labour hadn't obtained permission for - i.e. copyright theft!

It's an interesting case because the vast majority of viral videos use copyrighted material without permission. These are the videos made by regular people which spread around the world. I remember one with Bush and Blair singing love songs to each other a few years back as a good example. But the reason this video has suffered for the crime many others commit is that, as much as Labour originally tried to deny it, this was a video made by them - i.e. an official body, a political party even. While mere bloggers and geeks can get away with the odd copyrighted image or song, official bodies should have a bit of common sense and know better - but then we are talking about Welsh Labour aren't we!

Now if Plaid Cymru and the Tories had any sense they will apply for permission to use the copyright of the song and images so that they can broadcast the video over and over! Don't worry though, where Labour fails, Welsh bloggers deliver - the video can still be seen here

Anytime the world gets you down - go have a look at the video, it will improve your mood tenfold!

Monday, 30 March 2009

Mr Defence Bores Us All Over Again

Paul Flynn has a historical habit of going to bizarre lengths to defend Peter Hain. During Peter Hain's illegal failure to register £100,000 of donations Paul Flynn was one of the only people in the country defending the then cabinet minister. And, shock horror, he's at it again.

Apparently the cringworthy embarrassment of aneuringlyndwr and the video was not a stunning gaffe by Peter and his friends but a wonderful bit of PR. The video apparently was a "loss-leader" with Labour taking the hit of embarrassment to get more people to look at their video...

Hm...really? I could just about nearly believe such nonsense if the website was of any use to Labour - but it's not, it's just as bad as the video. As I mentioned before it has no mention of Labour, no mention of Labour's policies, no mention of Labour politicians, no mention of Labour ideology. All it has is hypocritic attacks on the Tories and Plaid (more hypocricies coming soon!), and they are presented in such an immature way they pander only to the die-hard Labour voter. I doubt a single swing voter will turn Labour's way because of it.

On the other hand I can see, and have spoken to, many swing voters turning away from Labour because of it. Now as we all know the general public don't pay much (any?) attention to the world of Welsh political blogging, so even a website as laughable as this would have little effect if pretty much no-one saw it. But thankfully the press, the Tories and Plaid have had a field day highlighting it to make sure as many people as possible get a look.

So when Paul smugly tells us that
"The new Aneurin Glyndwr website is off to a triumphant start with 9,000 hits in the first day."
he is trying to convince us that it's a good thing for Labour. Firstly Paul I can assure you that about 2,000 of those hits are from me (everytime I feel a bit down I pop over for a little pick me up!), secondly the other 7,000 are now having a right old laugh, and it's at Labour's expense.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Money Money Money

But then he (Bourne) did spend over £5000 of tax payers money on 'essential work' to his bathroom.
But the Plaid spokesmen for all and sundry repaid £1,500 to the House of Commons after sending out post that broke parliamentary rules.

Aneuringlyndwr - March 2009
Good start, dodgy and improper use of expenses! Bad Bourne with his bathroom and iPod and bad Plaid MP's with their (originally approved) use of expenses to advertise during election times.

Thank God we have Labour eh, they would never waste our public money with dodgy expenses would they!

Labour's Brian Gibbons AM - didn't want to spend his own cash on a Remembrance Sunday wreath so claimed our money instead (bet he nicks the pennies from the Penny In Penny Out boxes in petrol stations too!)

Labour's Jaqui Smith, Home Secretary - claimed for two pornographic films watched by her husband

Labour's Lesley Griffiths AM- £2,000 on a sofa (didn't she know DFS had a sale on?)

Labour's Margaret Moran MP claiming nearly £90,000 in expenses while a fellow MP living on the same street in Luton has claimed less than £9,000

Labour's Lynne Neagle AM - Couldn't bare parting with £2 for a Pyrex bowl so decided to use our cash - same as she did for her £4 salt and pepper shake and her £400 curtains and her £317.57 book shelves (Never heard of Ikea love?)

Labour's Tony McNulty MP - £60k to pay for his parents' house

Labour's Huw Lewis and Lynne Neagle AM's - £22,298 including mortgage for a second home - now where exactly is their first home? I'm sure it's miles and miles from Cardiff right?

Labour's Jaqui Smith, Home Secretary - £116,000 for her "second home" in the West Midlands, claiming that her "first home" was her sister's property in London

Labour's Leighton Andrews AM - charging us to pay for his second home in the Rhondda - although he already lived in Cardiff before he even got elected

Now, what's that saying about glass houses?

The (Many) Hypocrisies of Aneurin

OK, so there's more to poor Aneurin than that video, he also has a whole host of posts to peruse and enjoy. He also has a whole pile of endorsements and defensive remarks by top Labour politicians. I was going to look at a few in this post but there's so many of them to highlight and giggle at I might as well do them one by one, so here goes...!

Aneurin Tells The Truth!

Brand new posting for us to enjoy on aneuringlyndwr:
"A mainstream political party in Wales has never made such a fool of itself with an ill-thought out video."
I think they're talking about some video the Tories showed yesterday, but the joke is so obvious I won't waste my time or your time in making it!

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Love In Debate!

So according to Alun Davies, Labour AM and one of the brilliant four behind aneuringlyndwr, the website is:
"an opportunity to create a positive and constructive debate about the future of Wales"
Skipping past the fact that the website doesn't allow comments and the YouTube video moderates comments (good way to create a debate that!) I guess we'd better check out his claim. Is this an attempt to create a debate? Is it positive instead of negative and attacking?

Let's have a look..

- Mentions of "Toff Dave", pics of Cameron in a top hat or calling Tories "chums"= 10

- Words used to describe Tories: juvenile, vacuous, ugly, embarrassment, cronies, nasty, gaffe-prone, disastrous

- Words used to describe Plaidis (hey, it's catching on Eluned!): hopeless, self-serving, arrogant, navel-gazing, brittle, wrong, stalinist, unthinking

- Number of times Labour is mentioned = 3 (none of which mentioned Labour policies, initiatives or actions)

What a wonderfully positive website Alun!

Extra: A wonderful old quote from David Taylor himself, showing how committed he is to promoting positive debate in Welsh politics:

"I hate Liberal Democrats more and more every day.

I used to be slightly sympathetic towards them. I used to think they meant well and that the Tories where the real enemy.

But their recent campaign tactics, materminded by "wizz kid" Lord Rennard means I now hate them just as much as the Tories, which as almost as much as the Nationalists."

Give Us a Song!

Viral videos have been all the rage for a while now. Anyone seen those farmers and sheepdogs making a giant sheep on the Welsh hillside, brilliant wasn't it! And who else failed to see that man in a gorilla suit between the ball game?

And who doesn't like a song parody? BBC Radio 1 seems to play a new one everyday on their breakfast show!

So congratulations to Aneuringlyndwr for leading the way (or is that jumping on the bandwagon?) with their wonderful rendition of Delilah! With lyrics written by Eluned Morgan, tipped as Labour's next Welsh leader, and the best special effects this side of Waterworld it is work of art. Hopefully Eluned will see constructive criticism instead of mock when an old lady tries to give some advice on the next big video:

1. Get a singer to sing it. I can't stress this point enough - a catchy election song and viral parody needs to be, well, in tune!
2. Get permission before you use (murder?) use someone else's tune
3. You're not allowed to make up words just to get that elusive rhyme (Plaidi?)
4. Using schoolchildren to sing in songs is very risky, it can ruin a song as often as it completes it. But if you choose to use schoolchildren to make the cut and paste video to your song then aim for secondary school pupils next time instead of nursery school.

So let's go through this wonderful song bit by bit shall we?

"I saw the wastelands the Tories they shoved on the valleys" - OK, not the best start Eluned dear. That's not even a proper sentence. I know you have to make sure the sentence fits the rhythm but if the sentence you wanted doesn't fit you're not allowed to just add in a random word in a random place ("they!)

"I saw the end of the coalmines, the steel and the farm" - OK, better grammar this time - well done. Word of warning though, when you use examples to attack a government we had 15 years ago make sure the exact same attacks can't be made against your government. More coal mines closed under a Labour government than a Tory one and you'll struggle to find a farmer who believes their industry has gotten better under Labour!

"Thaaaaaaaaatcher was the woman" - Oh my god, the flatness of the singer on this line sends shivers down my back!

"Then she sent Redwood - she thought he could do no harm" - ah yes, Thatcher's most famous appointment in Wales, John Redwood, who she sent to torture Wales between 1993-1995. Amazing woman that Thatcher, being able to appoint Redwood as Welsh Minister a full three years after John Major became Prime Minister!

"Why, why, why Vote Tory" - accompanied by a picture of David Cameron looking like a toff and Nick Bourne as Dracula flanked by a huge mansion. OK, first of all Eluned, Michael Howard was the vampire not Nick Bourne, remember? Secondly haven't Labour tried this Tory Toff thing before only to see it backfire dramatically? Remember Edward Timpson and Crewe and Nantwich? Finally showing a huge house is a risky attack tactic when we all have such fresh memories of a certain Labour AM couple's second home claims!

"We cried cried cried oh Tory, I could see that Maggie was no good for me" - Maggie Thatcher was last Prime Minister in 1990. Nearly twenty years ago now. Time to move on Welsh Labour?

"Labour came in and set the Welsh people free" - Illustrated by a picture of Tony Blair walking into Downing Street - just the man to make us Welsh giddy with excitement right! And "set people free?" Aren't Labour the people who are now spying on our Facebook, listening to our phone calls, detaining us without charge, using terrorist laws to check our rubbish bins and want to force us all to carry ID cards?

"oh what a mess we needed to rebuild our nation" - so the first thing they did was spend our money on the Millennium Dome. And now the Olympics. Oh and Trident, and Iraq of course - way to go!

"lets go to Brussels and ask for a little donation" - Great idea. All that Objective One funding, let's leave it in the capable hands of Welsh Labour Leader Alun Michael...

"Jill stood there shouting" - A very brave move showing a clip of Plaid's Jill Evans saying "Wales lost a.." - notice how they've cut the video just before we get to hear exactly how much European money Wales have lost out on because of Labour.

"You won't get the money that's what she was hoping" - so Jill didn't want Wales to have European money? Really, if that's true then we need to vote her out! Vote Jill out now, vote Jill out now! Oh wait a sec, shouldn't we check that you're telling the truth first, when did Jill tell us this...?

"Why why why vote Plaidi?" - Is Plaidi a word now? I've heard of Welshie and Nashie but Plaidi? Eluned, you can't make up words just to get that rhyme right. I know Pheobe does it on Friends but the whole point of her character doing that is to show how bad she is at writing songs!

"They seem very shoddy" - unlike this song and video you mean?

"so before they break the Union up more" - Devolution, brought to you by Labour. English regional parliaments brought to you (or not since you didn't want them!) by Labour. The Government of Wales Act 2006 brought to you by Labour. Sorry I forgot - Devolution was supposed to "strengthen the Union" right? (copyright Labour 1997)

"we need to stop them making the people more poor" - The highlight of the lyrics for me! Ever heard of the word "poorer" Eluned? It means "more poor" but is, well, grammatically correct! Ah but you needed something to rhyme with "more" right? And clearly "poorer" doesn't rhyme with "more", but "poor" does, doesn't it?

"over to Brussels we went with a map and a bucket" - Would that be the map of Europe the EU statistics company uses? You know, the one they deleted Wales off?

"We got the cash and the Plaidis they said oh **** it" - great! We got the cash! Now let's mismanage it, fail to get match funding for it and send a ton of it back! Oh and Eluned, no matter how often you use the word "Plaidi" it's still a made up word that no-one has ever used!

"we stood there laughing" - glad to see you're taking our economy so seriously, some of us are crying instead of laughing but you have your giggle.

"to rebuild our land the EU gave us a hand" - cue Alun Michael

"why why why vote Tory, why why why vote Plaidi" - even your made up word doesn't rhyme with Tory Eluned!

"get out to vote in the Euros or we'll all be sore" - notice the "we'll" all be sore not "you'll" all be sore. So she wants us to vote Labour so Labour doesn't feel sore? How about what's best for Wales, or is just what's best for Labour that's important (again!)

"we all know that Labour delivers much more...comedy value"

Good luck on the Pop career love!

Exciting Young Team!

So as we've now worked out aneuringlyndwr is the brainchild of everyone's favorite researcher David Taylor. Apparently he was asked to do so by Mr Permatan himself. But wait a sec....

1. Who was this student Eluned Morgan credited the project to? Or the exiting young team Hain told us was behind it? Was he talking about himself and David Taylor? You may be many things Peter, but exiting and young are hardly the words I'd use!

2. The website itself says that
"Aneurin Glyndwr is published by: D. C. Phillips, Cwmllynfell SA9 2GP."
Whoa there! Who's Mr Phillips now? Is he a new part of this exiting young team of Hain and Taylor? Or just a stooge who agreed to have his name used to hide the real creators of the website (not that Peter Hain would ever use a random person's name to hide the true identity of the person behind it....oh no, wait, damn!).

3. The website also states that:
"We receive no money from the Labour party, or any political party, and are funded by advertising, sponsorship and donations from private individuals."
But isn't David Taylor a Labour employee and therefore, by very definition, paid for by Labour? Oh no they'll say, he was just doing this in his own time, the fact that he is a Labour employee and did this project at the behest of a Labour politician is mere coincidence.
But those posts on the website: Monday 15:46, Tuesday 13:06, Wednesday 15:42, Thursday 15:34 and 16:00 and Friday 11:01 - sound like office hours to me right (unless Mr Taylor was Nick Bourne's researcher of course, because as we all know thanks to Aneuringlyndwr Mr Bourne only comes out at night).
So what's up? Does David Taylor work on Aneuringlyndwr as part of his work, and therefore paid for by Labour? Or has Leighton Andrews just discovered that his top man is bunking off work to play around on the Internet? Maybe Leighton will now sack David for waisting time at work, just like those Natwatch victims were sacked (purely a comparison of course, no direct link!)

4. David Taylor is Leighton Andrews lackey. In the cabinet Leighton Andrews is Ieuan Wyn Jones' lackey. Tip to Mr Taylor, dressing up your boss' boss in a clown outfit is not a great career move!

Interesting times!

Mr Taylor I Presume?

So Eluned Morgan tells us that "a student" is behind Aneurin Glyndwr, while Mr Permatan himself calls the mysterious creators an exiting young team.

Really? Come on now! As small as the Welsh blogosphere is there's two things everyone here knows:

1. There are very few Labour bloggers around
2. There is no-one in Welsh politics able to run a proper "non-serious" website
3. Any blog with Labour's name all over it which attacks the Tories and Plaid over and over is probably ran by a Labour researcher working for some AM, let's hypothetically say Leighton Andrews!

It doesn't take a genius to confirm who the "brains" behind this project is. The site is hosted on the Typepress account of someone called "DT" - ringing a few bells?

Not quite sure yet? Have a look at the Whois database. This is the public database of who owns what Domain name (i.e. those things what start with www and end in .com or whatever!) (along with .org and were registered on January 26th to.............David Taylor (wow, didn't see that one coming did you!). .com and .net were also registered on the same day but no name was given for the person behind them (who could it be!). One of the domain names even gives Mr Taylor's address, just in case you thought it might be another person with the same name!

Just in case you don't know, David Taylor is employed by Labour as a researcher to Leighton Andrews AM. Although the Western Mail tells us that his Internet skills is feared in some quarters you don't need to be too concerned, as far as I know he's never done anything to scare anyone. To be honest I'm not sure where he gained this reputation - you see many many people believed that he was behind the despicable Natwatch website which got two people sacked. But Mr Taylor promises that wasn't him, and is rumoured to have even threatened to sue anyone who dares suggest it was. As a lady of honour I shall take the man at his word, after all why would he lie?

In today's Western Mail Mr Taylor admits that he is the genius behind Aneuringlyndwr. He says "Peter Hain is a huge political figure in Wales, so it was an honour to be asked to work with him on this project."

So there we go, David Taylor created the website on the request of Peter Hain - mystery solved! No students, no young exiting team, just the New Labour media machine at it again. But wait a sec, this raises quite a few new questions does it not....


Hello one and all. When I put Amlwch to Magor on hold while my life took a few twists and turns I hoped that I could keep in touch with the world of Welsh politics and the Welsh blogs. I have to admit I haven't down too good a job of either! But my timing could not be better, a day or so after coming back home to my Green Green Grass of Home (hey look, I can use Tom Jones' songs too!) to see the family and friends for a while I get told of a wonderful new addition to our small, small world!

Aneurin Glyndwr - either a grassroots led Labour-supporting website or Natwatch mark 2 depending on who you believe. I was so very tempted to resurrect Amlwch to Magor for a special post but decided to let the old blog sleep for a while longer. But I still wanted to laugh at poor old Aneurin, especially since it was backed by my best friend in the whole world Mr Permatan!

So here goes, let's try and find every gaffe, lie and amateur hour tactics of this splendid website!