From the gloom of Trump and Brexit, yesterday I joyously ventured into an oasis of hope.
The senior pupils of Duffryn Junior School delighted with a series of vital debates. The teachers had kindly divided the children into two phalanxs facing each other-Commons style. I sat in the middle and played the Speaker barking out ‘Order, Order” and encouraging braying noises instead of applause.
The children chose the subjects for debate. Two volunteers spoke for the subjects, two against, followed by contributions from the floor. Then the vital votes. Yesterday the votes went in favour of keeping the House of Lords, adopting a maximum wage (to help low wage earners) and supporting essential animal experiments. They voted strongly against pollution and bullying and declared that Homer Simpson is not a good father. They thought the voteless Newport Chartists were a tad restrained in 1839 for not killing their vote-rich oppressor Lord Tredegar. Generally they approved of a retired steelworker being an MP rather than a millionaire aristocrat.
The speeches were all relevant, insightful, intelligent and powerful. There was a reassuring kindness and compassion in all the comments. It was refreshing to excape the stale platitudes of Westminster and rejoice in the simplicity and virtue of the young minds.
Diolch o'r galon plant Duffryn am y Croeso cynnes. I left with a song in my heart. With children and teachers like these, a safe Newport future is assured.
From Today's Guardian.
Veteran Labour MP Paul Flynn, who sits on the public administration select committee, said that Osborne and other former ministers were “making money out of their ministerial experience [is] dragging the reputation of politicians deeper into the gutter”.
He added: “We need a powerful watchdog to stop former ministers from prostituting their insider knowledge by selling it to the highest bidder,” he said. “Acoba is not a watchdog, it is a pussycat without teeth or claws. All it can do is give advice but former ministers ignore it with impunity.”
On the international speech-making circuit Osborne can command more than £50,000-an-hour for some events, as well as free first-class or private jet travel and luxury accommodation.
In just one week in November he earned £187,474 giving speeches to banks and hedge funds in London and New York, including £34,109 for a speech at BlackRock’s HQ in Midtown Manhattan.
From Today's South Wales Argus.
We cannot turn lies into the truth by carving them on war memorials or by putting them into the mouths of dignitaries. When can we face up to the truth about the Helmand disaster by having an inquiry?