Bigotry,respect and All That.

There’s a fascinating coming together around a number of articles on this web site over the past days and months.

A ‘Josh’ guided me to the July Blog by the Editors. They focus on my use of a number of words including bigot. ‘Jo’ in the current page makes her case for not respecting people who use such words about readers and the Editors. 

I am well aware that there are some who, erroneously, see the use of the word bigot as almost being fouled mouthed. In fact, however, it is a word with a simple meaning and function in the English language. 
The dictionary defines it as :- a bigot is “one who regards, treats the members of a group with hatred and intolerance”. Readers will know that Our Stanley has openly admitted to a pathological hatred of Labour and on a daily basis he will construct any excuse to pour his vile hatred on Local and National Labour Politicians. Now, that’s a bigot, sensu stricto!

One of his recent gems was his manipulation of statistics on the notification of rats control in the community. He chose to use the figures enter an attack (once again) to describe Peter Hain and Derek Vaughan as vermin.

Then of course there are Editors. Another Group of faceless wonders.
I have long considered them intellectually challenged and, worse of all, politically biased. They have openly promoted Our Stanley’s hate filled articles. 
In the July Blog, for about the third time, they turn their hate on me. 
In a most revealing article, although not named, I am described as a bully, I make life a misery for others, make myself feel superior, obnoxious etc.etc. 
Now in all fairness, at first, I thought they were referring to Our Stanley - the description was a perfect fit. 
But the Blog gets better. The clowns even redefine the word bigot.
They say, that it is I who “are the bigot, because a bigot does not see himself as others do”. I doubt if there’s any person on the planet that does not see himself as others do - bigot or otherwise. What bunch of numpties? Absolutely priceless!

Those who may have read my few articles over the last 6 months will have noted my deploring the hate fuelled themes of the regular writers. 
The Editor’s concluding lines on this theme are priceless. They offer some thoughts on love and hate - “ ‘love is stronger than hate’,   and then conclude with the following - “and often we must put down the attitude of obnoxious people to their inferior mental make-up - or perhaps their genes.” . I’m confused, is that love or hate? Priceless!
A more gentle aside on the Editors…. They made much of a holiday that I had recently on Easter Island. During the down time during daily tropical storms I had penned a few articles and sent them to the Ferret by email/internet. The headline of their pathetic article was - “There’s no Internet on Easter Island” Priceless - you can’t make this up.’

I think that’s game set and match.

In Jo’s article she clearly set her stall out on ‘respect’ over use of certain words. I would be interested to know how she feels about respect for a person who publicly describes another on these pages in the following way:- an ignoramus, flippant and rambling reply, I have no knowledge “about ethics and ethical behaviour full stop”; he's just a dumbass; I am described as a ‘White Welsh geriatric”.
And, of course, that’s in addition to those loverly Editors with their ‘inferior mental make up’.

Hilariously, Stanley’s full page response was a reply to my simple 5 liner. In all fairness it did provide him with an opportunity to show off - what’s new? 
A couple of points on his article. Firstly, I will not take lessons on ethics from a grade one bigot. Secondly, well spotted the their/they’re matter. For the record you’ve missed at least three in the last nine months.

Posted by David lewis on 06 August 2017


Blind Hatred

BLIND HATRED - the new Disease.

On the 5th June ‘Charlie’ through his post on The Labour Gravy Train, expresses shock and anger having read Our Stanley’s latest piece on the local Labour Party.  

Stanley's article was probably the saddest and clearest demonstration of his ‘self proclaimed’ Pathological Hatred of the Labour Party. 
Blind hate and irrational judgement - the same fuel that motivates terrorists! 

Charlie concludes that Stanley provides ‘in black and white’ clear evidence of corruption. But, Charlie didn't you read Our Stanley’s conclusion - “Now, I'm not suggesting anything illegal has taken place here”?
As an aside, any normal person having spent hours researching that twaddle and coming up with that conclusion would have called it a day. But Hey, why let the truth get in the way of your hate fuelled rant?

Then of course there Charlie’s attempt at humour - ‘Labour People’ and the ‘Money Tree’. 
Of course, such a route is understandable being based on Our Stanley’s article which focuses on the salaries/allowances paid to politicians. Oops, sorry, that should have read ‘Labour Politicians’. 

The convenient bias of the bigot! 

Had Stanley wished to raise this matter of allowances across the piece, he should have included, for balance, the allowances claimed by :-
the two local Regional Plaid Cymru Assembly Members each of whom operate from their individual offices, claiming the legitimate expenses that goes with their Office.
The fifteen NPT Plaid Cymru Councillors who will qualify for the same allowances in exactly the same way as the named Labour Councillors. 
Amongst the fifteen PC Councillors, there are several who will qualify for the same additional responsibility allowances as Chairs of Committees and Leader of their Group. 
His one-eyed research missed, or did he chose not to mention, that as with the Labour MP and AM, the PC AM’s offices are staffed by individuals who are PC supporters, employed under the same conditions. 
In the recent Council elections there were at least three PC candidates who were, or have been, support staff to PC Assembly Members. You know, two salaries out of the ‘public purse’. The same ‘nepotism’ and ‘cronyism’!
All of it coming out of the same ‘Money Tree’ or ‘trough’ as all elected representatives at these levels.

Finally, and again for balance, Our Stanley, in all of his (and others) daily/weekly rants against Labour politicians, has hardly ever (if ever) mentioned the effectiveness and functionality of Bethan Jenkins AM, who operates out of an office down the road. 
‘Unelected’ Regional Members, now thats another story.

Following the referendum Frankie Boyle, the well known comedian, offered the following comment:- 
“Still, it's been good to see an election where we've focussed on what unites us, which, sadly, is hatred”. 
Hate certainly unites the majority of the anti Labour Readers on the Neath Ferret.  
What a sad reflection of Neath Society as portrayed on these pages!

Posted by DAVID LEWIS  on 07 June 2017


Apologies to the Editor on the length of this piece but I write in the hope that It might help Stanley understand ..........

Oh Stanley, it’s interesting that you should lay down this challenge about my attendance. I bet you've been itching to use them for months. Childish ,but I know you can't help it.
However, you might like to know that this is the second similar(ish) such challenge I have faced in the last month.
I ventured into the domain of Jac O’the North with a series of comments about malpractice in NPT Education Directorate over the last three years. Cranks Corner in the Ferret may be one thing, but they are small beer compared with the Morons United of that site. 
Inevitably there was another “goldfish feeding frenzy”. There were some measured, reasonable comments including one from a constituent in Alltwen - good well informed debate.
Then there were the others - WOW.  
One basket case would only consider the contents of my posts if I would answer four questions first.”
They were all deeply personal - “have I got any children; who do I vote for;” and do I support the Nationalist independence dream? Bonkers. 
In fact Stanley he resorted to a couple of your favourite charming views of myself ‘skulking away” etc. I have always reflected on the irony of such comments coming from you - Wink Wink, know what I mean?
I have to say that I applauded your coming out; you know admitting to psychological problems……PATHOLOGIC hatred etc... This is something I had suggested to you some years ago. The signs were there then.
It did occur to me that you might be seeking professional medical advice to manage your problem. You know, the 6 monthly visit to the consultant psychiatrist to help control your hatred! It's obvious your daily fix on the Ferret isn't sufficient with the symptoms you show). Further, I wondered if during exciting times such as these you increase your medication dosage. 
However rest assured I would never lower myself to asking such questions as a precondition to responding to your questions/posts etc. Such cheep stupid shots I will leave to the Mid Wales morons.

I have noticed your pathological hounding of certain members over their attendance at Council/Committee Meetings. Understandably, you clearly attach great importance to these matters as they are great stats for you to hound people with. 

Might I point out, in my limited experience, I have always attached greater importance to my engagement with my ward constituents than the religious routine turning up for a meeting where the business of the day might not benefit from my presence at all. 
For some balance in this matter might I point out there are Councillors, both Labour and Plaid, who have brilliant attendance, but rarely speak/contribute/challenge from one year to the next. They will rank high on your table, but on the ground are a waste of space. You praise one of them on a regular basis!

With regard to my own attendance and interaction with members and officers over the last three years (not two) it is dramatically reduced from my previous decades as I have I have been thrown off every other committee but one. My attendance at the one committee - a minor committee - would be a waste of my time as I have been consistently blocked from speaking when challenging issues.

I have restricted my attendance to Committees and Council dealing with issues directly affecting my ward or the performance of the Council across the piece. 
I have to seek the permission of the respective Chairs to speak at these committees.

I’m well aware of the length this post being way beyond the Editors preferences, but I feel it might help you better understand the relevance of meeting attendance in my case in particular

There have been four or five planning meetings with a direct impact on my ward. In each one, the Chairman, Cllr Rob Jones, has with obvious irritation consented to my presence. And then in one way or another ruled me out of order….stopped me from speaking during the meeting.  
To explain I will refer to one of these meetings.
It involved a decision to Grant Planning for 50ish houses in Alltwen. The application had been in the department for over 12 months. For 11 of those twelve months the application had been recommended for dismissal, because a significant part of the site was outside the “village envelope” - an important legal planning term. I was on holiday in Arctic Norway when I was telephoned tp be told it was going to committee next week for approval.
I immediately cried foul and asked that it be delayed to the next meeting when I would be present. The firm reply was NO and approval was granted the next week. Redrow came up with a sweetener of £270,000 for affordable housing.
On my return and clearly unhappy I attended the next meeting to challenge the £270,000 “affordable housing sweetener”. 
Under the legal terms surrounding Planning Applications I couldn't challenge the planning decision, but I could speak to £270,000 sweetener. Oh by the way, the money was not for Alltwen, nor was there any opportunity to ask for some of that money to be qualify as community benefit in Alltwen. The Chairman by a procedural slight of hand prevented me speaking to the item.

I have attended a number of Council Meetings. Each one carefully chosen to speak to or challenge elements in reports or through Council Protocols ask Cabinet members such as Cllr Peter Ablert Rees to explain racially a discriminatory policy being pursued by the Education Department. 

Oh by the way, my activities on this latter issue on behalf of parents with children in Cwmtawe has covered close to three years of malpractice by the Education Directorate. Malpractice “covered up” by the Chief Executive, the three senior Education officers, the Cabinet Member Peter Ablert Rees and that doyenne of the Bolinger, Cllr A Lockyer. 

The there is the OMBUDSMAN. 

Firstly, there is my support for families affected by the unauthorised actions of the Director of Education himself. 
The matter was pursued over a two year period with the Ombudsman. It started with a summary dismissal in months one and two, then through a year of writing letter after letter answering various questions, which culminated in another dismissal of the case - “based on the evidence from the Council “(sic). 
That decision was subjected to an immediate appeal on the grounds that the evidence provided by the family had been ignored. 
A Senior Officer then reinvestigated the case and 6 months later found against the Council and for the Complainant. The Council was fined £300 and told to do its job properly. 
Oh, secondly and finally, my activities in pursuing the case through the Council since August 2014 were rewarded with a number of complaints to the Ombudsman and a serious challenge from the Chairman/Secretary of the local Branch of Unison. All amounted to claims of bullying and harassment of the Director of Education.
The funniest one was from Unison. Written by Mark Fischer, it set out claims of bullying, harassment etc etc against it’s member Mr Aled Evans, The Director of Education. The letter demanded an immediate apology.
In reply I asked if he would be kind enough to explain how my actions - statements in open meetings and in open letters to members - constituted bullying etc etc.. No reply! 
Following the sending of a reminder I received a reply which quite simply said 
“we are not going to answer your questions”. Hilarious.!
One of the complaints to the Ombudsman was submitted by the Director of Education. Compliant rejected - (my words) grow up and earn your £100,000!

Then there was the more serious complaint lodged by the Chief Executive himself. The greater part of it was a more detailed account of the bullying issue with the Director. Deeply malicious comments by him against me based on procedural matters beggar belief. They too were eventually dismissed.
There was one further complaint concerning events in a meeting of CYPE on 11th February 2016. The report before the committee contained at least four components of the core issue (Home to School Transport) which, at last, offered the opportunity to clear up the matter which had gone on for close to two years of ducking and diving.
Under the joint Chairmanship of Cllr Alan Lockyer and his support officer we proceed through the item. Early on, questions posed by other members to the Director produced answers which were challengeable on their accuracy (truthfulness?) When challenged he maintained his stance. Subsequently, he was reminded of a conversation with a fellow officer some weeks before where he had directed her to make the changes referred to by the member. He mumbled something that ‘sort of’ amounted to a denial.
The meeting exploded, with Cllr Lockyer and his officer clearly out of control.
The officer proceeded, repeatedly, and clearly within my earshot) to prompt the Chairman to rule me out of order and eject me from the meeting. 
In no uncertain terms I challenged her actions as being totally out of order. She was an advisor of subject content of reports not de facto the alternative Chair. My challenge was seen as bullying. 

Before the meeting had started the same officer had instructed me as to what elements of the report would be scrutinised. They were essentially “cover up” 
points to the Directorate’s actions - not the four I wanted to speak to.
Mine included a fundamental false claim in one item;
an acknowledgement after two years of denial by The Director and our Peter Ablert Rees that the Director had in fact targeted four schools with threats of loss of statutory free transport if they switched from Welsh Medium to English medium Education;
An advisory letter from the Welsh Gov with a clear side swipe at the department for having delayed matters for eighteen months on an irrelevance.
And finally the “formal report of the Ombudsman” on the case criticising the department on four separate accounts - including the £300 fine. I say formal report because prior to the meeting this is what the Director had promised. The report as presented contained none of the contentious items — £300 fine etc.
When I exposed the false claim in the first item the Officer was clearly uncomfortable at being caught out. The Chair and the support officer slipped into overdrive, ruling me out of order and demanding that I finish my piece. 
I had just started. 
The support officer was continuing to direct the Chair to rule me out of order, even eject me from the meeting etc. 
When I was eventually allowed to continue I proceeded to the next item and congratulated the officer on at last giving us the true picture over the Director’s unauthorised targeting of families in four schools ….after two years of denial by the Director and Cllr Peter Ablert Rees.

The Chairman and his support officer didn't want to hear anymore. They adjourned the meeting. 
There were the two critical ‘legal’ items still to go.
We never got to discus/scrutinise them. The Chairman closed the meeting. 
So, they started not wanting to discus these items and succeeded in not discussing toward a half out of the four. I reckon they won with the cover up more or less complete.

So Stanley, assuming your still awake, Im not really interested in you pathetic use of attendance figures whatever they may be. Throughout this time my ward and the wider community have not seen me shirk my responsibilities in serving them.
Now that I have stepped down after 38 years of serving this community and the two Councils I have served, I am left pondering the future.

One thing I will not do is turn into some faceless t..t (one of your favourite terms ) spending all day searching the internet for information to peddle hatred on other decent people going about their legal duties.

PS. You have obviously chosen not to reflect on the operation of Plaid Cymru out of the Bethan Jenkins office and her team of supporters (Cronies in your Labour Speak). Oh, and of course, the two Plaid Candidates who ‘work’ in offices of two ‘local’ Plaid AMs. 
They function exactly like any other political party, you know a group of friends together!

Or is this blind hate! 
Whatever, I feel sorry for you - keep taking the tablets.
Posted by DAVID LEWIS [] on 03 May 2017


May 4 Editorial and Blog

Have your say on 4th May 
The notice titled “think before you vote etc”., with its various guide points I assume is the sole responsibility of that think tank known as the Editors.
Well, the collective stupidity of the points raised is in keeping with their long history of anti labour prompts.

Taking the last one first :-

1…..Vote for councillors who listen to the views of those who write to THE NEATH FERRET. 
Surely that a advice straight out of the loony bin? A field of 5-10 “readers
have dominated this site for years, all of them grade one bigots.
I use the word according to the dictionary definition, not the usual interpretation of the said Ferret Bigots.

Take our Trevor (and the Editors), virtually every one of his posts will peddle the myth that Neath is being treated as second class compared to Port Talbot. He/they don't provide a single example, to justify the claim. The claim is total codswallop.
There’s a T Griffiths who is another star of the anti Labour “readers” who recently concludes that the council has “absolutely no vision” when it comes to schooling. 
In true bigot style he ignores the £100 million commitment to a fantastic school rebuilding programme over the next three years. As well as an outstanding service delivery to its thousands of pupils.
A recent post saw the fabulous new school at Baglan being described as “a massive prison” and a “monstrous hideous sight”. 
Surely a “reader” who is with the fairies?
And you want us to listen to this lot before deciding to vote????

While not directly schooling, one of it’s proudest achievements over the last five years was its commitment to support and drive the development of the new University Campus at Fabian Way. 
Unlike Swansea City Council it gave unanimous support to the planning application and worked as principal partners with WG, The University and St Modwens and of course many £millions of EU Money(oops) to deliver an incredible Science and Engineering facility in the County Borough. A development which saw the ranking of the University shoot to the top of the best University in Wales.

2……Are you happy with the Labour administration? 

As an aside the Ferret has been running a survey based on this question. In 7 days 16 people have responded. (EDITORIAL NOTE...... It is clearly stated that the survey is experimental and has NOT been publicsized in our columns.   Any figures shown are only test results).

Anyway the article starts with a focus on Schools. Perhaps above all else this thread is the best demonstration of the stupidity of the bunch that put this together.
No reference to the fact that based on GCSE outcomes over the last five years the Authority is amongst, if not the, top performing Authority in Wales. And bear in mind it serves an area with one of the highest deprivation indices in the UK.
By contrast The Editors ask you to assess school performance based on School Meals. You cant make this up, it’s absolutely Hilarious! 
I will not duck the issue of the Council Tax. It is an embarrassment and has dogged us from the first day it was introduced by the Tory Secretary of State at the Welsh Office. Neath Port Talbot residents contribute, through their Council Tax, approximately 20% of the annual cost of running its services. The remaining 80% comes from WG via the Revenue Support Grant. 
In 1995/6 as we were coming together as a new Unitary Authority the Secretary of State published the new RSGs for each authority. Financing the existing levels of service within the new NPTCBC from the new RSG on offer meant an immediate 40% rise in Council Tax. 
This level of RSG was not unique to NPTCBC. Councils from the other “deprived parts” of the country RCT. Merthyr, Blaenau Gwent etc were treated similarly. There were howls of protest which reduced the impact to a 20% rise - Big Deal! 
A street in Trebannos was split so that one half of it was in NPTCBC and the other was in the City and County of Swansea. Hitherto they had paid the same tax under Lliw Valley. Now, before formally meeting to set budget, the residents of the CCS were aware that their tax was now substantially less than the NPTCBC side of the road. 
In contrast, the Monmouth's and Pembrokeshire’s (both Tory at the time) benefitted from beneficial grants and have enjoyed incredibly low levels of tax ever since. 

Finally, there is the May Blog and the Metro train. 
This is an issue which has gone on Ad nauseam driven by the Editors:- 
I quote “Well The idea of making Neath the main shopping hub for the valley villages is one way of bringing business to Neath and this can be done by a Metro train running from Onilwyn on the existing railway line.    The line runs right past the Lidl food store and the Tesco supermarket at Neath Abbey.”

In response my I offer the following :-
1………Neath is the main shopping Hub for the valley communities - including Alltwen
2……“A metro train would bring business to Neath”. Yes. if it came to Neath, but you want this one to stop at the two out of town supermarkets. This would enhance their take but cause a loss of trade to Neath - BONKERS.
3…..Metro Train service was waiting for “leadership”. No, what it needs is a viability appraisal and then £millions to deliver. This is pie in the sky. 
The Council gets an annual Transport Grant from WG. This is to assist with providing subsidised bus travel to the outlying communities. We all know that this services have been cut because of lack of use and cut backs in the WG Grant. Dream On.

Posted by DAVID LEWIS [] on 02 May 2017