Democracy, Stealth Writing and Capital Punishment by Vince Nolan


My Dear Chums,

It’s Election Time again and I have a number of comments to make.  So let’s start with our recent Assembly Elections?  I should emphasise at this point that I have no particular political affiliation but I have a number of overseas clients and trying to explain to them the outcome of the Election made me look at what really happened in a more critical way.

The turnout was 45% of those entitled to vote.  This meant that (wait for it) 1.2m couldn’t be bothered to vote. Of those who managed to stumble a few short yards (or metres if we are still in the EU) to their Polling Station, 34% voted Labour making 336,000 in total from a voting population numbering some 2.2m. Scary stuff, but it doesn’t end there. Plaid Cymru then decided that although they had secured only 6 out of 60 seats against Labours’ 29 it entitled their Leader to stand as First Minister, as she had quietly won thesupport of the Tories and UKIP despite having said previously that her party would not work with the other “right-wing” parties in the event of a hung Senedd. Until of course, there was a hung Senedd.

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Fear not, Dear Voter, the problem was catching.  UKIP managed not to win a single Constituency Seat but racked up 7 new ones under our quasi-proportional representation arrangements. Rather than celebrate what was being seen in many quarters by political analysts as a new dawn for Welsh politics, the new incumbent AM for Mid and West Wales, Neil Hamilton, quickly forgetting his public fall from the Conservative Party in the Cash for Questions scandal, (which he always strenuously denied of course), decided to carry out a coup against his own Leader in Wales whilst simultaneously sacking the campaign team which sent 7 new faces including his own fizzog to Cardiff Bay for the first time. And all of this carried out from his HQ and home in the West Country!

Not to be outdone, the EU Election then reared its’ ugly head too (at the time of writing it is pre-election). If ever you have wondered about the honesty and integrity of some of our politicians you need only have watched in increasing awe the direct and indirect affects that staying or leaving the EU would have on you and your as yet unborn great-grandchildren. There were some lighter moments though. A leaflet we all were sent claimed to give us all the UK and EU facts.  At last I thought, until I read it. Within the same short document it claimed that:

  • Over a year the UK contribution to the EU is enough to pay for 38 state-of-the-art hospitals
  • If we left the EU it would save us enough money to pay for 35 NHS hospitals (not state-of-the-art apparently)
  • The EU costs us £350m a week which is enough to build a new hospital every week, (which I calculate to be 52 of them) but not sure which type.

Confused?  That was the idea.

Anyway, returning to all things domestic and Welsh, She Who Must Be Obeyed asked me if I was having an affair with a woman from Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyllllantysiliogogogoch.

I said: “How can you say such a thing?” I offered an apology of sorts for making her doubt me. I wrote it in dots and dashes. It was Remorse Code.

I would describe myself as an avid reader which amounts to many books per year. The trouble with this is that it becomes increasingly easy to see when the writer has had enough because the book peters out quickly after a promising start.  Another trend I have both read about of late and noticed for myself, is where successful writers of numerous bestsellers syndicate their work to a team of hopefuls in order to produce more bestsellers more quickly, or “Stealth Writing” as I call it.  The trouble with this of course is that plots become thinner and accuracy and believability go out of the window, door and up the chimney.  Picture if you will, my latest detective read featuring a “British Bobby” and set in “London, England”.  Already my back is up and I know I have been conned with the “author” never having left downtown Biloxi.  One of the characters tells his Lieutenant (a rank we do not have in our Police Forces), that his suspicions “don’t amount to a hill of beans,” whatever that is.  Anyway, the plot develops and a body is discovered.  Our Bobby tells his Lieutenant “It looks like we have got us a Jane Doe.”  Oh please.  Next up we see our intrepid hero following a lead when he says “I was driving the boondocks in London.”  (No idea).  Finally on making an arrest he says of the accused “He is one whole meatball.”Long live our special relationship with our chums across The Pond!

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Staying with law and order, I don’t know if you were aware that the President-Elect of the Philippines has said that he wants to bring back hanging for the worst offences. Whilst this certainly discourages repeat offending, there can be miscarriages of justice and many object to the barbarity of execution in so called civilised societies. Whatever your stance on the subject, President-Elect Roderigo Duterte (pictured below) wants to take this to a whole new level and is reported as saying that those convicted of more than one capital crime should be hung twice.  The first execution would kill them and the second “ceremony” as he calls it, would decapitate them.  Senor Duterte, please do not give Presidents-Elect any more crazy ideas. Oh, and Roderigo, if you are going to kill somebody try putting the magazine which holds the bullets into your gun like Mr Trump has.

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Finally, I saw an advert saying “Hairpieces from £5”. I thought, “That’s a small price toupee”. How does the man in the moon cut his hair? Eclipse it.

And finally…………Is lambo phobia the fear of small sheep?

Bye for now.