Vaughan Gething AM

A Day of Mixed Emotions

Gained a First Minister, but lost a hero. Congratulations Mark. RIP Pete.

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The following Blog is taken from Skwawkbox. To view the original article, please click here. 

Left-wing candidate Mark Drakeford has just been elected as leader of the Welsh Labour Party – and therefore as First Minister – with a 53.9% share of the vote.

Wales at last has a leader from the left – and the UK-wide party benefits as well, a Drakeford will be eligible either to sit on the National Executive Committee in place of Carwyn Jones, or to appoint a trusted representative.

As the SKWAWKBOX showed in an exclusive two-part interview, Drakeford is a long-standing supporter of party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The SKWAWKBOX congratulates him on a resounding victory – and Welsh Labour left on an excellent result.

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The following article originally appeared on the BBC online. To view the original article, please click here.

Buzzcocks lead singer Pete Shelley has died at 63 of a suspected heart attack.

The punk band are best known for their hit, Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve).

Their management told the BBC that Shelley died on Thursday in Estonia where he was living.

BBC music correspondent Lizo Mzimba said Buzzcocks, who formed in Bolton in the 1970s, were regarded as more polished, but musically no less influential, than the Sex Pistols.

The band have tweeted saying Shelley was “one of the UK’s most influential and prolific songwriters and co-founder of the seminal original punk band Buzzcocks”.

His music inspired generations of musicians over a five-decade career with his band and as a solo artist, they said.

The Charlatans’ singer Tim Burgess said Shelley’s “perfect three-minute pop songs” were “the soundtrack to being a teenager”.

Music critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine said Buzzcocks were one of the most influential bands to emerge in the initial wave of punk rock, with echoes of their music in everyone from Hüsker Dü to Nirvana.

“The Buzzcocks were inspired by the Sex Pistols’ energy, yet they didn’t copy the Pistols’ angry political stance,” he wrote in AllMusic.

“Instead, they brought that intense, brilliant energy to the three-minute pop song. Shelley’s alternately funny and anguished lyrics about adolescence and love were some of the best and smartest of his era.”

 

QUESTIONS OVER GETHING CAMPAIGN AS ‘RESEARCH COMPANY’ GATHERING WELSH MEMBER DATA

The following article appears on the excellent Skwawkbox blog.

Questions have been raised about the campaign of Welsh Labour leadership candidate Vaughan Gething after the activities of a ‘research company’ came to light.

The company has been calling Welsh Labour members and identifying itself as Vaughan Gethin’s ‘team’ and would not identify itself, but when challenged has admitted it is an ‘independent company’ ‘gathering research’ for him.

When asked where the call is coming from, one caller told a member he was in the north-east, but the call showed a Cardiff ‘029’ prefix.

The company is asking members whether they have voted, intend to vote or have decided which candidate they will vote for – and is then asking members for their email addresses, claiming – if challenged – that it needs an address to ‘cross-match’ with Labour’s records and to keep in touch but will be passing the data, along with its ‘research’, to Gething and not retaining it.

The SKWAWKBOX contacted Vaughan Gething early yesterday to ask:

You have apparently employed a company to call Welsh Labour members about their voting intentions in the leadership ballot. The company has been telling members that it’s calling from the north-east, even though calling from a Cardiff number and has been asking members for their email addresses, claiming that this is for ‘cross-matching’, and has said such data will not be retained by the company but passed onto you.

Please provide the following by return:

– which company is involved?
– why are they asking for members’ email addresses when the Labour Party will already have them?
– why do you intend to retain the data?
– who is funding the company’s activities on your behalf and what is the cost?
– how confident are you that their activities will not spill over into paid canvassing?

The spending limit in the Welsh leadership contest is £1 per member – a little over £24,000 in total, including donations in kind and any type of resource:

welsh spend limit

The Tories were at the centre of controversy when they used a Welsh-based company for ‘research’, which the Information Commissioner ruled had in fact been paid marketing or canvassing.

Gething has also set up a company to retain data gathered during the campaign:

gething data.png

One Welsh Labour member who had been contacted told the SKWAWKBOX:

I already had concerns about the campaign and the candidate. Vaughan’s campaign manager is a Progress supporter, he’s supported by Owen Smith and has accepted campaign contributions from a company convicted for illegal dumping, which his register of interests confirms. But it’s extremely worrying that he’s now paying a company that won’t identify itself to gather data he intends to keep even after the election.

There are serious questions to answer but will he answer them? How is this allowed and who is paying?

Vaughan Gething had not responded to the SKWAWKBOX’s request for comment by the time of publication.

The following article appears on the excellent Skwawkbox blog.

Get Involved: Send an Email to Leadership Candidates #SaveWILG

I am asking all my loyal readers and comrades to spare 3 minutes of their time and send the following postcard picture and message to the 3 Welsh Labour leadership candidates, plus other important figures who will be able to influence Welsh Government thinking with regard to the Welsh Independent Living Grant.

The email can be copied and pasted from below. It should include an inline image of the postcard to maximise impact. The end of WILG is imminent and we MUST keep up the pressure and show those in power that we are not going anywhere. We will continue to protest and defend the rights of disabled people with high care and support needs across Wales.

Help us do this by sending the email below. Thanks, as ever, for your support.

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SUBJECT: Save the Welsh Independent Living Grant (#SaveWILG) 
 
Message to Mark Drakeford AM, Eluned Morgan AM, Vaughan Gething AM (Delete as appropriate
 
This is a crucial time for the future of Social Care in Wales. The SSWBA is an excellent piece of legislation, but it will take many years to come to fruition. 
 
In the meantime, WILG recipients will be at the mercy of local authorities who are unprepared for this Act and are already threatening substantial cuts in the care and support services that recipients need to function as a part of their local communities.
 
We are calling on the Welsh Government to reconsider the decision to end WILG as of April 2019 and fully explore the alternative options while listening to recipients and party members who voted overwhelmingly for a motion to save WILG  at the Welsh Labour conference in April 2018.
 
Our campaign to save WILG  has won cross party support, two motions have been passed, a number of MP’s and AM’s have lent their support including Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell. We have also had the backing of Unions and celebrities such as Ken Loach who all agree that the Freedom of Information work that we have done provides glaring evidence that disabled people with high care and support needs require and are entitled to third party support from an independent body.

The 3 candidates can be emailed at the following addresses:

Mark Drakeford AM: Mark.Drakeford@assembly.wales

Eluned Morgan AM: Eluned.Morgan@assembly.wales

Vaughan Gething AM: Vaughan.Gething@gov.wales

While you are at it the same message could also be sent to the Minister for Older People, Children and Social Care Huw Irranca-Davies who is currently responsible for WILG. He can be contacted at Huw.Irranca-Davies@assembly.wales

It is also important that we continue to put pressure on the Petitions Committee who need to realise that NOW is the time to write a report on WILG to help preserve disabled peoples rights in Wales and force the Welsh Government to take the necessary steps and #SaveWILG.

David Rowlands: DavidJ.Rowlands@assembly.wales

Janet Finch Saunders: Janet.Finch-Saunders@Assembly.Wales

Mike Hedges: Mike.Hedges@assembly.wales

Rhun Ap Iopwerth: rhun.apiorwerth@assembly.wales

Neil McEvoy: Neil.McEvoy@assembly.wales

Any help and support you can give would be much appreciated. Together we can make a difference…

Your Chance to Contribute to the #SaveWILG Campaign

You can donate by visiting our JustGiving Crowdfunding page. 

The election for the next leader of the Labour Party in Wales is now upon us. The candidates will aim to become the new party leader and, subsequently, the First Minister.

The Save the Welsh Independent Living Grant (#SaveWILG) campaign intends to make sure the importance of Welsh Independent Living Grant is made crystal clear to all three candidates (Mark Drakeford, Vaughan Gething and Eluned Morgan). The policy of the Labour Party in Wales is determined at the Welsh annual conference and the decision there to back the #SaveWILG campaign is one that should be honoured by the next Leader of the Labour Party in Wales.

In order to raise our concerns, over the next two months, of the campaign, we need to raise some funds.  Our target is a modest £160. We aim to raise this through donations by sympathetic political party branches and trade unions.

We are appealing to readers of this blog, who are in a position to do so, to donate £5 each. A mere thirty odd donations of a fiver would help us reach our goal and allow the immediate purchase of more campaign materials.

You can donate by visiting our JustGiving Crowdfunding page. 

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It is our intention to keep raising this issue in every possible forum, both formal and informal. The picture shows campaign supporters pressing leadership candidate Vaughan Gething on our concerns. 

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New Badges and Easter Memes #SaveWILG

I am pleased to announce that the new WILG badges have arrived and are plastered with our new slogan: Where there’s a WILG, there’s a way. I hope you will agree that the badges look really good and it is an excellent slogan dreamed up by myself and my PA when we were messing about with ideas.

These badges are available for £1 each with all profits going directly towards the #SaveWILG campaign. You can simply get in touch with me and I will be able to send you some in the post or deliver it in person at one of our many campaigning events that we have planned for the coming months.



We also have green badges available and these can be obtained along with the red badges for £1 each.


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During the Easter period, we are encouraging people to share our newly produced memes across social media. In particular, we are targeting Welsh AM’s from all parties, but especially a few influential figures in Welsh Labour such as First Minister Carwyn Jones (@fmwales), Minister for Children and Social Care, Huw Irranca-Davies (@huw4ogmore) and Minister for Health and Social Services Vaughan Gething (@wgcs_health).

I have even written a tweet for you to copy and paste into Twitter and send to those suggested above. I can’t make it any easier for you. This will help you to do something positive over the long weekend and alleviate your guilt for stuffing your face with chocolate.

Suggested tweet:

@fmwales @huw4ogmore @wgcs_health Protect disabled people and their families #SaveWILG. 

You can also share on Facebook as all three AM’s have their own pages. If there are any other influential AM’s or Councillors that you can contact that would be great.