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November 9, 2017

SOME of us have been there …. someone has alleged that we’ve done something stupid and offensive at work. The boss tells us that regretfully he has no option but to sack us so off we go with our tail between our legs to lick our wounds then decide what to do next….

What we do not expect then is for that boss to go out in front of the national media and tell them that it happened because a number of women made allegations of sexual misconduct against us without telling us exactly what the allegations were or who had made them. That would be twisting the knife in an open wound and could very well prejudice a future inquiry into your actions at work. It would also leave you hopelessly isolated and vulnerable and frantic with worry.

Welsh first minister Carwyn Jones today said he had no option but to sack his communities and children secretary Carl Sergeant – who later took his own life after his sacking – and told his audience that he tried to do it “by the book”.

If that is how he operates “by the book” then how on earth does he operate when he is off the book?

Let us take him at his word that he had no choice but to dismiss Mr Sargeant, but why oh why did he have to refer to allegations of sexual misconduct publicly when by all accounts they were neither criminal nor at the serious end of the scale?

Mr Jones broke his silence on AM Carl Sargeant’s suicide (requests for him to speak to the BBC have been repeatedly declined by him and Welsh Labour) by giving a prepared statement while standing at a presidential lectern in front of an impressive Welsh slate circular seal in the old Welsh Office when we wanted him outside on the steps of the Sennedd – meant to be a glass beacon of transparency and openness – answering our urgent questions about how he handled the sacking.

He tried to look presidential and reverend but he was unable to maintain firm eye contact with his audience, instead concentrating on the words on the prepared statement he was reading out, and he was swiftly shuffled out of the building with a minder at his side after his much too brief statement to ensure that journalists eager for answers and desperate to get the facts were unable to question him (I would have shouted a question to him as he was being led out).

He even claimed that there had been “inaccuracies in the press” – maintaining that false moral outrage and indignation about the activities of the press (particularly the London-based press) which is so beloved of this shabby and totally discredited Welsh  Labour party and positioning himself as the final arbiter of what is true or untrue.

Very significantly, he offered nothing to correct these “inaccuracies” and completely refused to engage in open questioning or debate.









November 9, 2017

“No member of the Party shall engage in conduct which in the opinion of the NEC is prejudicial, or in any act which in the opinion of the NEC is grossly detrimental to the Party. The NEC shall take account of any codes of conduct currently in force and shall regard any incident which in their view might reasonably be seen to demonstrate hostility or prejudice based on age; disability; gender reassignment or identity; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; or sexual orientation as conduct prejudicial to the Party: these shall include but not be limited to incidents involving racism, anti-semitism, Islamophobia or otherwise racist language, sentiments, stereotypes or actions, sexual harassment, bullying or any form of intimidation towards another person on the basis of a protected characteristic as determined by the NEC, wherever it occurs, as conduct prejudicial to the Party. “

THIS is the Stalinist language of the radical, feminist left and this is the language which sealed the fate of suicide AM Carl Sargeant. He had done wrong because under the terms of this, a wide variety of things could be considered to be wrong. In fact, take your pick.

Free speech, healthy interaction between people and open communication is totally impossible under these draconian rules.

Instead, we have tragic stories like Mr Sargeant’s, a good man with good intentions who devoted his time to help others but was hounded out by the very political party he proudly served and represented.

This kind of diversity, inclusivity and multicultural militant and zealous policing of language, expression and behaviour  – growing menacingly in our universities, particularly in the NUS, and spreading ever further into British society like a cancer – is now having hugely adverse effects on the mental health of vulnerable and isolated people who may have, often unwittingly, transgressed these rules.

Solicitors acting for Mr Sargeant received letters from the Labour Party with this frightening diktat from high command which could have been written by Stalin himself with a threatening warning if you break the rules from his hitman Beria.

We then had the unedifying situation of Labour shadow cabinet member dithering Dawn Butler first stating that Mr Sargeant had not been dealt with fairly and agreeing that an independent inquiry was now necessary then changing her mind when the Labour high command “re-educated” her.

Welsh Labour has stayed ominously silent on the matter though first minister Carwyn Jones, who faces calls to resign, will today face journalists and p0liticians in Cardiff Bay who will press him for an explanation of why he went public on accusations made against Mr Sargeant.




November 8, 2017

MAX Moseley doggedly persists in adopting a ludicrously self-righteous and almost self-congratulatory position over his outing in the News of the World in 2008 for indulging in sado-masochistic sex orgies.

Max still doesn’t get it and now he wants to further clamp down on journalists and researchers and protect what he sees as the privacy of others to prevent them from all shame and embarrassment for past misdemeanours. He has tried to ban photographs taken at the orgy from the internet. He wants all kinds of information banned and destroyed and he wants to censor and control expression.

It’s a bit like a family history researcher finding out that one of their relatives indulged in some dodgy behaviour and then they do everything in their power to make sure that that is expunged from all the records and completely destroyed so nobody else can find out about it.

He stubbornly refuses to believe that deceiving those closest to you, including his wife, and living a sadomasochistic secret life is wrong.

His bitter and deeply dangerous crusade for privacy using his Impress press regulation body to control and censor stories persists and he persists in crusading for ever more draconian and prohibitive rules which would stop independent investigation and the free exchange of facts and information on the internet.

He failed in the European Court of Human Rights and he failed when he took on Google because, thankfully, free speech and freedom of expression is still much more important than his wounded ego and pride.


November 8, 2017

IN AN earlier post on this blog, I referred to two police special constables who told me about the Data Protection Act when I spoke to them recently in my neighbourhood.

Today, I discovered that frightening changes are being considered to the Data Protection Act which would prevent open and robust investigative journalism and protect wrongdoers.

The two special constables were using this act as a way of ensuring that there was no free-flow of information and I was told nothing, again.

The Catholic church did much the same thing in Boston when the Boston Globe started investigating paedophile priests. The film Spotlight brilliantly captured the way the great and the good actively tried to prevent us from knowing about the scandal by restricting information to journalists and the public.

Now the House of Lords is considering doing the same thing by further expanding draconian laws which prevent us from asking questions, establishing facts and probing the rich and powerful. We need to fight these proposals.





November 7, 2017

I WROTE my last post immediately I heard about Labour politician Carl Sergeant’s dismissal as communities and children secretary at the Welsh Assembly Government. I thought then that matters were taking a sinister and deeply disturbing Kafkaesque turn.

I learnt today that Mr Sergeant has taken his own life, no doubt frantic with worry over allegations which – it appears – were not disclosed to him but which must have had frightening implications for him and his family.

The questions I would ask are these:

1, Why was he not told exactly what these allegations were and, come to think of it, why weren’t we? What is the point of referring to allegations generally but not giving any details?

2, Why was he dismissed from the party in the way he was?

3, Did he receive any help, support or counselling from Welsh Labour when he was summarily dismissed or immediately afterwards when he must have been isolated and vulnerable?

4, What will now be done to ensure that this never happens again?





November 3, 2017

CARL Sergeant, Welsh Labour’s communities and children secretary, is the latest to resign over allegations made about his conduct.

My understanding of the law was that when allegations were made of misconduct of any kind, they were properly investigated privately and both the complainant and the alleged perpetrator remained anonymous while the investigation was carried out because releasing any names ahead of a fair and balanced investigation or trial would prejudice the process and would cause unfair embarrassment and defame someone who may be totally innocent and the allegations may have been made up.

If the allegation proved to be true and the conduct was either criminal or anti-social, the person would then be named and face the consequences of their actions. Government ministers, for instance, would have to resign.

What seems to be happening now, however, is Kafkaesque and seems to me to go against these basic principles of law.

Allegations, mainly of sexual misconduct, are being made and the names of those being complained about are being publicised immediately and political parties seem to be immediately summarily dismissing these people or withdrawing the whip from them solely on the basis that an allegation has been made when they should be doing this only if and when the allegations are proved to be true.

Anybody can make any allegation about anybody but they mean nothing until they are proved true.



November 3, 2017

THE National Archives is still considering a freedom of information request I made in July, 2017 to see material and photographs of an explosion in North Wales in 1969 which killed two men and was thought to be the work of paramilitary fighters for an independent Wales, the Free Wales Army.

A bomb exploded in Abergele on the eve of the Prince of Wales’ Investiture at Caernarfon Castle on July 1, 1969, killing local men Alwyn Jones, 22, and George Taylor, 37, who have since been called “the Abergele martyrs” as there is some dispute over their involvement and their true intention in planting the bomb.

At the time, the suggestion was that they were trying to destroy the railway line which would take Charles, then aged 21, and other members of the royal family from Buckingham Palace to Caernarfon, though this has been denied.

In a post entitled “Meet the burning, bombing dragons” on this blog in August, I referred to two books, Freedom Fighters: Wales’ Forgotten “War” 1963 – 1993 by former Western Mail editor John Humphries and To Dream of Freedom, The story of MAC and the Free Wales Army by Roy Clews.

Both chronicle the bitter and violent struggle against English rule by a paramilitary fighting force which had links to the IRA, bombed public buildings and later set fire to holiday homes owned by English immigrants to Wales but did not win the support and backing of Plaid Cymru either then or now.

The issue of Catalonia winning independence from Spain is now uppermost with bitter disputes and protests on the streets as the Spanish government has taken charge in Barcelona ahead of regional elections in December.

The world’s worst air disaster before 9/11 – when two aeroplanes collided on the runway in Tenerife in 1975, killing 583 people – came about because terrorists fighting for Canarian independence from Spain had planted a bomb at Gran Canaria airport, injuring one person, preventing the two planes from landing there and diverting them to a foggy Tenerife north Airport.

The National Archives have to decide whether or not it is in the public interest for people to be able to view this document as it is covered by a qualified exemption under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 under Section 38, where releasing information could endanger the physical or mental health or safety of an individual.

Some of the information within the document is also covered under Section 40, which could break the terms of the Data Protection Act DPA (1998).

They hope to have made a decision by November 20th.