SmashEDO film showing in Newport this Saturday

This Saturday 4th October members of the Smash EDO campaign will be coming to Newport, to promote the next upcoming SHUT ITT! mass demo. Their film On the Verge came to Newport and Cardiff in April, then in June South Wales Anarchists were present at the Carnival against the Arms Trade in Brighton. This time they will be showing Batons ‘n’ Bombs the story of what happened on what has been dubbed ‘Red Wednesday’.

The film showing will take place at 4pm at TJs, entry is free. Before the film showing at 2pm there is a protest against ID cards outside the Passport office. Afterwards there will be the second day of the No Border Fest, also at Tjs. Please come to all three.

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Road to perdition

Greedy pigs

Three South Wales Valleys councils (Rhondda Cynon Taf, Bridgend and Merthyr Tydfil) have recently struck a £75 million deal to manage road and other civil engineering projects with Capita, one of the UK’s most notorious outsourcing companies. Graham Cogswell, Crapita’s managing director said:

“We have a proven track record of improving services and job creation through local authority partnerships across the UK and Wales in particular.”

Improving services? We wonder what planet Mr Cogswell has been on for the last decade. Despite winning contracts worth hundreds of millions of pounds of our money, Crapita and its vast network of subsidiaries are bywords for incompetence and, in some cases, corruption. They’ve botched staff administration services at Leicester Hospitals NHS Trust and the BBC where staff details were lost. Crapita was awarded the contract to run Individual Learning Accounts (ILAs), the government adult skills policy, which collapsed after fraudulent claims resulted in a £60 million overspend. In 2002 the company failed to provide adequate computer systems to the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) causing lengthy delays in the provision of police checks for people wanting to work with children. And to cap it all, Capita Financial Administration was fined £300,000 in 2004 by the Financial Services Authority after some of its staff helped to defraud customers.

So why does Crapita carry on winning lucrative government contracts? Could it possibly be because its former chairman, Rod Aldridge, made a secret loan of £1 million to Crapita’s New Labour pay masters before the last elections?

Clearly councillors in RCT, Merthyr and Bridgend have every confidence in the new partnership. South Wales Anarchists, however, do not and we deplore the way public services are being hived off to private sector cowboys. Watch out for the pot holes!

Lording it over the anti-fascists

Anti-fascist? Dont make us laugh!

Anti-fascist? Don't make us laugh!

What on earth has prompted anti-fascist campaigners Searchlight Cymru to make Dafydd Elis-Thomas their honorary president? Don’t they know that Elis-Thomas epitomises the very worst characteristics of many professional politicians: hypocrisy, greed and arrogance to name but three?

Once upon a time Elis-Thomas was a self-confessed Marxist who moved the writ in parliament for Bobby Sands’ election in 1981. Yet within two decades he dumped any pretense at being a democrat to become a member of the house of lords, taking the title of lord Elis-Thomas of Nant Conwy.

Unworried by the charge of ‘traitor’, the good lord has continued to exploit his powerful position, especially with the ladies. Marjorie Thompson claims she and her purse were taken to the cleaner’s by the former Plaid Cymru leader in their nine-year relationship. Mind you, his “lordship” does speak sense from time to time: in 2003 he slammed the Welsh assembly, saying he wouldn’t bother to vote if he wasn’t a politician. So why is he still the presiding officer? Err, could it be anything to do with the big fat salary he gets on top of all the allowances? Or perhaps it’s the chance to vote himself an 8.3% bung when other public servants are scraping by on below-inflation pay settlements. Then, again, it might be because he gets to be the chair of a number of well-paying quangos, including the Welsh Language Board – seen in Welsh-Speaking Wales as not only toothless but in many ways sustaining the status quo that condemns the language to client status.

Wise up Searchlight! If you want to maintain your credibility get rid of this pompous ass. He does the anti-fascist cause no favours. Quite the opposite – ordinary people are increasingly turning to the BNP because they’re fed up seeing members of the political establishment pursuing political careers for personal gain. If the BNP get a foothold in Wales, it’s down to nobs like Dafydd Elis-Thomas.

Next SWA meeting: Monday 22 Sept, Model Inn

The next meeting of South Wales Anarchists will take place on Monday 22 Sept, at 7:30pm, upstairs in the Model Inn, Quay Street, Cardiff. See you there.  And watch here for subsequent minutes.