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  • in reply to: Lucas is a Gonner #171347


    Good insights MP1953 and IMHO – even though I don’t strictly agree with your positions on Brexit I do enjoy discussing it with you. I’m more interested in the what, who and how? of the whole Brexit situation than the petty name calling – as I’m sure you both are – along with the majority of other people wanting to discuss things like adults.

    I believe that Farage is a good orator and influencer and highly capable at galvanising people around the singular issue of Leaving the EU – hence why people flocked to the newly formed Brexit Party this year.

    He certainly has been a heavy influence and thorn in the side of the Conservatives (mainly) and to some extent Labour – he basically forced Cameron to call for a Brexit referendum in order to satisfy the Eurosceptics in his party and the Eurosceptics being ebbed away to UKIP from his core voterbase.

    Of course Cameron did it as a massive gamble as he was still crowing from his Indyref victory in Scotland that he thought he’d win. He had no plan or intention to actually take the UK through Brexit after losing and the strategy and plans that have come forth since have also been piss poor and rejected – we got a Crush the Saboteurs from May – which backfired, Brexit Means Brexit that produced a piss poor deal that nobody could agree on and now she’s gone. Torch to be passed on shortly.

    I question Farage’s actual leadership or conviction as a politician though (I’ve praised him on what he’s good at). He quit UKIP because he believed delivering the Brexit vote victory was enough and he thought he’d not actually have to lift a finger to make it happen.

    Now he’s had to create a single issue – Respect the Referendum Result Party to actually cajole the powers that be into going through with Brexit. Here’s how this works – he can’t do anything whilst Brexit Party have no MPs. The only way he can have major influence is through a General Election and help change the Parliamentary Arithmetic and increase the number of Brexiteer – No Dealers into the numbers. Brexit Party wouldn’t ever secure enough seats to form a majority government (if they do I will personally say WTF is going on and congratulate because that would be quite some feat) because they don’t have any other policies and I’m not sure they’re too keen to actually generate any that would create enough traction amongst the wider public. Their scope of voters is always going to be limited to 52% of the whole voter pie, that they also have to share with Conservatives, Some Labour Leave Regions and UKIP.

    They’d have to prop up a coalition led by the Tories – whittled down to the European Research Group members and they’d have had to have ousted a number of Tory Remainer seats OR Labour Remainer seats to beat the deadlock in the arithmetic. If current opinion polls stand correct – there is expected to be a surge in Lib Dem seats (all Remainer MPs) and SNP are expected to hold steady.

    So I would consider a very successful Brexit party campaign at an election for them to take around 30 seats, but equally I expect Lib Dems to increase their current numbers up from 12 to about 40+. So they’d basically cancel each other out and keep the MP Leave/Remainer ratio in its current deadlock and Brexit Impasse will continue.
    The trouble is that all of the voter shifting is happening at the extreme polar fringes of Brexit – so all the Hard Brexiteers are filtering into a resounding Brexit Party voting bloc and the Pro-Remain at all cost (Remoaners? haha) are filtering into a Lib Dems voting bloc. There are no seismic changes in the main ground.

    Even though things have been very rocky the last few years, we are still very much in conventional mainstream business as usual politics. For something to actually change drastically there would have to be a complete catastrophic collapse in either the Conservative vote or the Labour vote – to create some kind of power vacuum in this 2 party system – but there is very much a contingency of hardcore supporters in both camps holding their ground. I’m also expecting Johnson to actually bounce support back up for the Tories a number of percentage points because he’s certainly more popular than May – he can talk the talk (even if his Bikes still probably need training wheels).

    I couldn’t tell you where a Lab led government (majority or in coalition) because they are currently still in all out civil war between the various wings of the party. So it’s very much more uncertainty ahead.

    in reply to: Green Bin Tax on the Agenda Again. #171319


    As Wrexham are introducing a charge Trafford Council are reverting to a free service again. Wonder what their reasons are behind this decision, obviously it wasn’t a roaring success!

    Perhaps it’s a strategic ploy to get those in Wrexham to be so low on the uptake that the green bin collection becomes unviable and they decide to knock it on the head completely without looking environmentally unsound.

    Some councils actually provide free composters for the garden for garden waste. Perhaps they should look into something like that.

    in reply to: Lucas is a Gonner #171295


    Interesting development today – 17 Tories backed the opposition parties to pass through the vote to block any potential attempts for Johnson to prorogue Parliament and force through a hard Brexit without a vote.

    So when he inevitably becomes PM he’ll be the first one to lose a vote before even being sworn in. Also strong rumours of other Tories rebelling and ministers resigning from Government when he gets in.

    Tories continue at epic failure in power and means the only pathway to resolve Brexit any time soon is through a General Election as Johnson will keep kicking the Brexit deadline into the long grass the same way May did as he will be unable to achieve anything.

    in reply to: Are our Young People getting the best education? #171261


    Was unable to view the video or corresponding angry comments – so I am guessing quite sensibly it has been taken down.

    Whilst it is great that anyone can create video evidence of apparent incidents that may need further intervention by the appropriate authorities on their mobile phones.

    You have to question the integrity of those who instead of handing the video over to the police or the school who are equipped to deal with issues sensibly – they decide to slap it up on Facebook to generate some kind of outrage-storm. People take glee and delight in sharing such things and getting a reaction even though it can be very distressing for everyone concerned.

    For starters there is a safeguarding issue that a child is involved and therefore won’t have given permission for their images to be shared publicly online. Duty of care by Facebook should have meant the video should have been taken down faster than they do. Also if there is some kind of matter for the police involved then they need to decide if it is a criminal matter or not. Not everyone’s friends, mums, dads, aunties and uncles and grandparents – the local window cleaner, the candlestick maker and nosy Jim to start pointing fingers.

    There is a child’s future reputation at stake as well as perhaps some of the teachers. I’m certain that in some ways it’s highly distressful if an already bad situation is going on and the first thing people think to do is gawp and film like voyeurs.

    It’s total pathetic bullshit – the very worst example of human nature – everyone loves a bit of someone else’s business even if it means zero consideration or respect for those involved.

    in reply to: Are our Young People getting the best education? #171186


    The problems have been highlighted for a long time but no solution has been forthcoming from either schools , Council or parents. How do you solve the problem of low attainment? Children need to want to succeed, have high aspirations and support to achieve them. Attendance is the responsibility of the parents as is acceptable behaviour. Stimulating and interesting teaching is down to the school and funding the Council. So where does Wrexham fail ?

    Parents are responsible for the behaviour of their children at home and to make sure they get through the door into school – once that happens then the responsibility is passed over to the schools and the teachers. If this wasn’t the case then schools and teachers would have no right or permission to issue any kind of disciplinary measures (admittedly very tame versus back in the day) when behaviour becomes unacceptable. Ultimately the responsibility then falls back on the parents if the child is that disruptive or non cooperative or fails to attend and this is where failings lie.

    If parents were actually competent enough to educate and teach values needed for the world of work then there’d be a much higher level of homeschooling and a greater success rate that way. It would become a trend. But this isn’t the case so we have to rely on schools to guide our kids to some level of academic success.

    You have to ask what becomes the metric of acceptable levels of school performance – where people are happy with how the school is running?

    I feel like there will always be an upper and lower level of children for whom the general path of education won’t be affected by the quality of the school they go to. Lower level children just won’t play ball regardless of how good the school is as they are just not interested and just won’t attend or cooperate. Equally there are ‘gifted’ (school’s words) children who would expect to succeed even in a really poor school because they have a high level of aptitude and ability for self study.

    So you’d have to exclude these 2 types of extremes (or create completely different specialist pathways for them – how do you teach the unteachable? How do you accelerate the learning of the highly capable?). Then focus on the average pupil – how do you create a good educational environment for those who can be expected to attain say Grades D-B and then push their overall average scores higher by the end of their 5 years in Secondary School.

    You also need to look at updating the curriculum themselves, which really struggle to stay relevant and up to date. Whilst it’s great that we are going to push through the next level of scientists etc… When are we just going to accept that not everyone is academic and instead of making them take Physics, Chemistry and Biology for 2 years at GCSE (a huge chunk of the learning time) – why not let them do some kind of skilled trade instead? You only need to look at how successful apprenticeships are at getting people to do a decent job. If you started people at 14 on an apprenticeship style pathway – we’d have a lot more skilled mechanics, plumbers, electricians etc… give them work placements. It’s the same with History and Geography – do pupils really need to spend a term on World War 2 or Tudor England at a GCSE level? Likewise who is going to need to explain Oxbow lakes or label Glaciers?

    Nobody is saying knock these all on the head – it’s just outside of essential literacy and numeracy, which everyone should be doing – they need to broaden the curriculum and better match pupils to their actual real skills and interests and push them in a direction that might help them attain a job – rather than label them a failure because they can’t label a heart or memorise the periodic table when they want to do something completely different but useful like become a driving instructor or a chef.

    in reply to: Lucas is a Gonner #171174


    Brexit/No-Brexit, like or dislike – I’d actually put money on Ian Lucas getting re-elected whenever any upcoming General Election comes up.

    He can count on a combination of middle class centrist voters who would have voted Tory if they were the other side of the border but because they are Welsh cannot on principle and will vote Labour going back to the Blairite years. They also think Lucas is a safe pair of hands.

    There’s also a massive number of working class voters who will vote Labour on principle as they hate the Government and the Tories more than they care about the single issue of Brexit.

    Then on top of that there’s a few thousand left wingers, mostly younger people who will vote only for Corbyn.

    So you take the Blairites, the traditional Welsh working class and the Corbynistas and it’s a united total – that only has to beat in a first past the post election the winner out of the split right wing vote of the Tories and the Brexit party.

    This will anger and frustrate many, but there were solid chances to beat Lucas in both 2015 and 2017 – but in reality it ended up with Lucas getting his highest ever number of votes in 2017 with 17,153 on a higher than usual turnout. The BBC had the maths set-up that he was 99% certain of losing his seat from their election and polling models (flawed data of course).

    I expect if another General Election occurs then due to the myriad of issues going on with the country at the moment, there will be a higher than usual turnout again.

    In order for the Brexit Party to take on Labour in Wrexham – they need to suck up almost all of the Tory votes and take away a decent enough vote share from the Labour base. Plus get a high number of traditionally non-voters into the booths. There’s lots who talk the talk about wanting Brexit to happen but are too lazy to go and vote when it counts.

    I make this observation as an outside observer as I’ve always had to vote in Clwyd South where Susan Elan Jones goes relatively unchallenged. But I will say well done and fair play if either a Tory or a Brexiteer does beat Lucas but you’re up against what some of you like to mention on here – Donkey’s Law.

    People would vote for a Labour donkey over Tory or Tory-like parties.

    in reply to: Are our Young People getting the best education? #171136


    Just looking at the credentials of the data source – what exact pedigree and expertise do Reach PLC’s local news desks (I saw a similar ranking done for the Liverpool Echo by their in-house team) have for rating schools.

    They’re not exactly even renowned for their due diligence in journalism – so people are expected to take a tabloid equivalent eyes look over data to help them decide which secondary school is best for their children.

    Surely only an Estyn inspection report can give you a real idea of the type of quality education your child is going to get. I know there are a number of years between each inspection, but there are schools certified as Good all round by Estyn who are being ranked low in the hundreds.

    There are well documented problems in secondary schools across Wrexham, which have been discussed in detail in several threads in the past – but I feel like this rating system is like the Tripadvisor version of rankings.

    in reply to: Mold Road redevelopment #170886


    It is also my understanding that Brockway, Ogdenville and North Haverbrook were also mis-sold monorails.


    What I’m concerned by is the constant green light being given to large housing developments that often won’t even be housing local people, they’re out of their price range. Yet the local infrastructure clearly can’t handle it. Obviously there’s growing problems on a national level, but we’re not really doing much to help ourselves at a local level on this.

    Wrexham’s location as a highly desirable commuter base with Chester, Liverpool and Manchester all within commute range means there’s going to be competition for people to live here and therefore a complete shortage of affordable 2 bedroom and 3 bedroom family homes. This also extends to the private rental market and the council and social housing stock. There is a very low level of these houses for people to move into across the board.

    The only solution they know is – build more houses – which obviously exacerbates problems on local services – healthcare and schools, increases congestion and a lot of these affordable houses meant for first time buyers are a very attractive long term investment proposition and get snapped up by those who already own a home and end up letting them out as a second home for rental for income. In turn the shortage continues and house prices get pushed up.


    How an Earth a conversation about local GPs quickly descends into a discussion about Nazism and eugenics is beyond me. If this is the level of political discussion among voters in this area, then no wonder it’s in such a mess.

    Pretty certain that a couple of comments on one singular thread containing less than 0.00001% of the local voter base isn’t the reason why the political landscape in this country is messed up.

    I tell you what I find more highly surprising – the number of people coming across as outraged that Nazism was brought up in the conversational equivalent of cloud cuckoo land (here) than the very real and worrying threat that in less than a decade or so there’s not going to be enough GPs to go round all the people that need seeing in this area.

    That means people are going to die that didn’t need to – perhaps they already are. Others are going to live in serious pain for longer or go undiagnosed with potentially life threatening illnesses.

    Those who can afford to will pay to see a Bupa or other private GP – those who can’t will have to wait months to get an appointment.

    This is a very real issue we are going to have to face in the present and future not something from the past.

    It is clear that even though it’s a public healthcare system – more money needs to be put into it so that more GPS want to seek the opportunity – no doctors are truly altruistic – they all want to make a decent living.

    In a perfect world we could crank the economics and logistics of the doctoring world so that it worked like the supply and demand for certain discount German supermarket chains.

    You get a growing number of houses and population and bam another bloody Aldi pops up to meet the needs of all the consumers. It’s a very crude example – what with it taking significantly longer to train up a GP than a shelf stacker.

    But you look how we’ve structured the country so that it’s really easy to get hold of 50p loaves of bread and 30p tins of beans – no-one will ever be short of these goods – but vital medical services – we seem to have cocked that one up. Perhaps we have our priorities wrong.

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