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  • in reply to: Countess of Chester #166438


    I don’t know the details of the dispute between Wales & the Countess of Chester hospital over funding, but my first reaction is that Wales/ Betsi Cadwaladr should pay their fair share.

    I do think an awful lot of money is ‘wasted’ on free prescriptions in Wales (and on free bus travel for pensioners, but that’s a different issue). It’s a lovely idea/ gesture to give everyone free prescriptions, but in a time of austerity it seems profligate to me. I don’t approve of free prescriptions for everyone. I think certain groups should get them for free (e.g. unemployed, children, pregnant women, students, those with chronic ailments that necessitate many different medications and /or wound dressings, etc.). I work and I could afford to pay the same charge as in England. When I lived in England there was a card you could buy for a year that cost the equivalent of one prescription per month. I got mine following an operation when I discovered in my local pharmacy to my complete surprise and horror that dressings, bandages, saline etc were charged for as prescriptions. My district nurse told me about the card and I was able to buy it and even backdate it so that I could claim back the then £60+ I’d just spent on dressings – I took the form and the receipts for dressings into the post office and was reimbursed then and there. I thought it was a fantastic deal and I think a system something like that still exists in England.

    I’m not flush with cash but I could afford to pay for, say, a monthly prescription and the odd extra one – and there must be plenty of people who are wealthy and for whom paying would be next to nothing. If a person finds themselves in need of lots of prescriptions (like I did when I was living in England after my operation) then the card scheme (as it was then) seems to me to be a very fair way to reduce the financial burden considerably.

    Incidentally, I know someone who was treated in the Walton Centre in Liverpool. I was incredibly touched to see that it had bilingual (Welsh & English) signs in the unit, which I thought was a lovely consideration for patients whose first language is Welsh. After some time in the Walton Centre my friend was moved to the orthopaedic hospital in Gobowen for several months – i.e. despite being from Denbighshire he didn’t spend any time in a hospital in Wales. He received excellent care. It would be an incredible disappointment to me if I discovered that Wales/ Betsi Cadwaladr was being irresponsible by taking advantage of the particular areas of expertise these hospitals in England provide and failing to adequately reimburse those hospitals.

    in reply to: Wrexham MP votes… #166260


    shitshow from the getgo.

    Isn’t that the title of the latest LP by Theresa May & The Grand Wizards?

    I’ve found the album cover here:

    Hahaha. It would make a good album title!

    Maybe for one of the tracks she could produce a cover of Nick Clegg’s song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUDjRZ30SNo

    in reply to: Wrexham MP votes… #166256


    MP1953 – Obviously we both know that the referendum was not based on the first-past-the-post parliamentary constituency basis that general elections use, but I thought your point earlier was interesting about whether MPs should vote the way their constituencies voted.

    So I tried to find out how the referendum results were distributed across parliamentary constituencies. To my surprise, it’s not actually possible. According to the House of Commons Library, results were published by “counting area” (this seems to have been NUTS 1 level) and “local authorities weren’t ever required to publish the results by Parliamentary constituency or by ward”. Results that have been published by parlcon (e.g. on Wikipedia) are generally based on ESTIMATES produced by an academic (Dr Chris Hanretty). The BBC later wrote to all local authorities asking for specific counts by ward where available and the result is that of the 650 parlcons in the UK, we only KNOW the referendum results for 169 of these (26% of the parlcons). The largest difference between Dr Hanretty’s estimates and the known result for a parlcon is Hall Green in Birmingham – he estimated that 43.3% there voted leave, when in fact 33.6% actually did. Other discrepancies were much smaller – and he got the leave/remain result the wrong way around in 6 constituencies – but we still only know the discrepancies for those 169 parlcons the BBC obtained the actual results for.

    Given that there are no actual referendum results by parlcon for 74% of parlcons (and this includes Wrexham), it would be difficult for an MP to vote according to the referendum wishes of their own constituents. To be fair to MPs, another difficulty for them in knowing how best to interpret the wishes of their constituents is that since the referendum we’ve had a general election. Despite his stance on Brexit being at odds with the result of the “counting area” of “Wales”, Ian Lucas was voted in again, with 49% of the vote. This is a marked improvement for him on the 2015 general election result where he got 37% – but perhaps this is at least in part due to the fact that UKIP, which got 16% of Wrexham’s vote in 2015, managed to make a pig’s ear of their registration in the 2017 election and so did not field a candidate.

    Wikipedia gives various distributions including “major cities” – in Wales, Cardiff voted remain and Swansea voted leave. The ward level data obtained by the BBC is available to download and does not appear to include any ward level results for Wales.

    I think it’s easy to pick an approach that an MP could adopt to base their decision on. Ian Lucas could use the results from the counting area of Wales, or the fact that he was elected after the referendum despite his views being contrary to the referendum result. My own opinion is that Wrexham voted leave – but it is only my opinion based on anecdotal evidence and I could well be wrong. There is a wealth of information out there; but nothing is clear cut or directly comparable and everything is open to interpretation. How Ian Lucas interprets things may be different to you and I. I do find it astounding actually that disaggregated data on referendum results was not collated as standard. But I think that whether a person is pro-leave or pro-remain, the one thing we can surely all agree on is that this process has been a shitshow from the getgo.

    in reply to: Wrexham MP votes… #166175


    I agree mainly with BenjaminM. I’m no particular fan of Ian Lucas and generally take a dim view of most politicians, but our MPs are elected to make decisions on our behalf, not to do as we say. No MP can carry out the will of all of his/her constituents since their constituents have so many different opinions to each other. Even amongst people who voted for Brexit, opinions differ. Ian Lucas cannot please everybody so perhaps he’s doing what he thinks is in the best interests of his constituency and the UK.

    in reply to: A5/A483 #166024


    Maybe something could be done similar to the A525 and A5104 roads around Llandegla and Bryneglwys. Efforts have been made to force drivers to drive more slowly. Those roads now have reduced speed limits, average speed cameras, and big sobering road signs that say things like “5 fatalities in 2 years” or “40 serious accidents in 5 years” (I don’t remember the specific numbers quoted). I don’t know whether it’s helped – it may be a few years before a proper comparison can be made of number of accidents before and after the changes were made. I’m quite surprised at how much effort has been put into trying to make those roads safer. Maybe this is done on lots of roads now, though these are the only ones I’ve seen it on.

    in reply to: BREXIT Street Party #165354


    You just don’t get it Matt, We can both trot out statistics that support our psoitions but as someone who genuinely loves this country for all of its faults, I’m always left with a few questions.

    If it’s so awful here, why do people cross seas and mountains, travel through civilised countries and live rough in Northern France ot get here?

    Why do people who have grown up and clearly despise the country and particulaly living here never leave?

    I’ve travelled, lived and worked in other countries and this remains one of the very best in the world.

    Being critical of right wing views or groups in the UK does not mean that people despise the UK. The UK has all sorts of positive qualities but that doesn’t mean that unpleasant things don’t exist here too. I don’t understand why the existence of such groups and views in the UK should not be pointed out and why anyone would want to deny that they exist here.

    in reply to: BREXIT Street Party #165321


    A lynching is still called a party in some countries.

    Oh lovely. I realise even with some of the characters we have on this forum we can jest about this sort of thing.

    But it reminds me of the nice chap on Twitter earlier who was being told where he could purchase a hi-viz yellow jacket for £3 regardless of the outcome for 29th March. He replied ‘Give me an AK47 instead’.

    What interesting times we live in.

    Ah yes, Twitter. I was just on there looking at what is being claimed to be the first page of the “manifesto” of the Christchurch shooter – and feeling distinctly uncomfortable about much of what he’s said. Because the same xenophobic rhetoric is often employed by others and seems to have become more commonplace in recent years and more tolerated.

    He’s just a “regular White man”, “taking a stand to ensure a future for my people”, trying to “show the invaders that our lands will never be their lands”, aiming “to directly reduce immigration rates to European lands by intimidating and physically removing the invaders themselves”.

    I do not recognise the “invasion” he speaks of and so it does not strike fear into me. I am, however, very concerned about people like him. His sort of beliefs are truly scary.

    I read something early last year about how right wing organisations are gaining a particular foothold in Wales. I don’t remember specifically where I read it but a quick Google suggests it’s still a concern to some people at least.


    Fears about the rise of right-wing extremism in Wales

    in reply to: International Women's Day #164994


    MP1953, on the face of it, I agree with you. However, this is a discussion forum. People disagree. WreX-iT started this thread by posting deliberately provocative opinions that, like it or not, are akin to those held by misogynists, the KKK and others. He volunteered these views, I then volunteered mine, he then called me a prick. He couldn’t even see the irony in this post of his: “Do they have groups for pricks who live in a vacuum and lambast people who happen to have an opinion that differs from their own?”.

    He went on to allege that I’m “pant wetting”, “not allowed” to read a newspaper and that I’m the “sort of prick” who gets upset about Amber Rudd’s use of the term “coloured”. In fact, according to WreX-iT, I’m the one with the small mind and it’s the fault of people like me that the country is in such a state. You shared that post and made a comment about spelling.

    He posted provocative views, I responded in kind and then he got all bent out of shape. I recall him doing the same with someone on his Brexit street party thread when they said Brexit would never happen (even though he’d already suggested as much himself). If WreX-iT can’t cope with people disagreeing with him, then perhaps a discussion forum is not the place for him; he might be better suited to an echo chamber.

    I don’t see you concerned when people deliberately insult me – or others like me (i.e. those who don’t share your opinions). I even had a thread made about me – I just checked and you commented on it – but the fact I was singled out in that way didn’t seem to bother you at all. So perhaps you’ll understand why I find your claim [that you think people should be able to state their views without being called a prick or the like] somewhat disingenuous. I’m inclined to think that the reason it bothers you now is because the opinions I mocked are ones you possibly happen to agree with. Or because WreX-iT tried to insinuate that “people like [me]” are why the UK voted for Brexit.

    It seems to me that WreX-iT is someone who needs his Brexit buddies to validate his views and help fight his corner against someone so heinous he likens her to Mary Poppins. I don’t need anyone else to agree with me or fight my corner and I’m not going to be intimidated into silence or off this forum by his angry ranting when I touch a nerve. As far as I’m concerned he came across as a bitter little man put out because there was an international day for someone other than him. If he wants a straight white male day then why not set one up himself? Why is it someone else’s responsibility to do that? And how does he get from that to calling me pant wetting and blaming people like me for the state of the country? Poor WreX-iT, it must be terrible for him living in a world that’s everyone else’s fault.

    I’m sorry if this is not the conciliatory tone you were hoping for, MP1953, but I’m not a fan of double standards or of massaging the egos of sensitive souls like WreX-iT.

    in reply to: International Women's Day #164984


    My word, WreX-iT, you’re a very easily triggered little snowflake, aren’t you. And I thought you’d cheer up when you learned there was a special day for men too. Do you even feel neglected by International Men’s Day? Why? Are you insecure in your masculinity or are your feelings hurt because the real men didn’t tell you about it and invite you to join in?

    Is the problem the fact that it was a woman who told you about it? That you made yourself look like a dick because it didn’t occur to you to do a quick Google to find out about International Men’s Day or to learn that your opinions align so closely with the KKK. And yet you sounded so proud, so smug, of your views when you started this thread. And then so immediately outraged when I dared to disagree with you.

    Are you going to reply with another GIF? Go on, poppet, that’ll show me what a real man you are I’m sure.

    in reply to: International Women's Day #164958


    You mean pricks like you? I thought that was obvious but I appear to have credited you with too much intelligence. It’s the groups I pointed you towards. They’re nothing but pricks. Just your kind of people.

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