Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Lib Dems leadership - why it has to be Tim

Nominations have now closed for the Lib Dem leadership.  Of course the pool of candidates was fairly limited because the constitution says that the federal leader must be an MP but Tim Farron would surely have been the front runner regardless of how many we had to choose from.

Coming off the back of a disastrous general election across the UK the party has a major task ahead to drag itself up by the boots and fight back.  It is a task that members are more than up to - the mood within the party has been quite amazing and nobody should make the mistake of thinking we have gone away, in RCT or anywhere else.

Nick Clegg was right to resign.  The problems have certainly not been all of his making, and in government he made a solid contribution to the coalition and putting the country back on track economically.  We achieved some excellent gains and that should not be forgotten.  We were right to go into coalition.

Yet the party suffered as a result and Nick was the one at the helm. It was inconceivable that he could carry on.  As a result we now have the opportunity to select a new leader who will hopefully forge a new identity for the Liberal Democrats and lead us to future success.

Norman Lamb was a good Minister and is an excellent MP. He is a Lib Dem through and through and would no doubt make an ok leader.   But we need more than that.   We need someone who really stands apart from the Camerons and Milibands and indeed Cleggs.  We need someone with the human touch, a people person.  We need someone who understands the party and respects its members. We need a  campaigner.

We of course need someone who understands devolution, who appreciates that we do things differently in Wales, who has respect for the Welsh party.  Only one of the contenders matches up. We need Tim.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Keeping Pontypridd RFC fans in their place - or not!

It seems that within the WRU set up money and nepotism will buy you anything.
Merthyr RFC is reportedly to receive a substantial injection of cash to improve their ground and buy in players and good luck to them.   The money comes from multi-millionaire Sir Stan Thomas whose plans – if the media are to be believed - include an artificial pitch and the buying in of several past internationals. Sir Stan is the brother of Peter Thomas who is, of course, the chairman of the Cardiff Blues.
This is where it starts to get interesting.  It appears from comments that have been made that one of the reasons behind this is a desire to somehow get one over on Pontypridd RFC.
He is quoted as saying that “Cardiff Blues give them (Pontypridd) a number of players and then you get all this disrespect in the papers…… Why are they so against Cardiff?”
Just a few days later we read that there are plans afoot to increase the number of teams in the Premiership from 12 to 16, and lo and behold one of the teams benefitting from not having to qualify is Merthyr.
This move comes on the back of an announcement that the regions have decided they don’t want any of these pesky Premiership teams playing in the British Irish Cup but instead want to field Regional A teams. This has caused anger at Pontypridd who have an impressive record thus far in that competition.
As Pontypridd fans we are often accused of being bitter and of failing to embrace the joys of regional rugby.  Is it really any wonder why?  It appears there are concerted efforts by the Blues region and indeed the WRU to put us back in what they see as our place, subservient to Cardiff. If they think that somehow this is going to make us realise the error of our ways and start backing the regional team then they really have not been paying attention.