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Another conference week



Carwyn Jones told the Labour Conference that his government was a “living, breathing example” of what Labour could do in power. A bit of a hostage to fortune that one me thinks.

Assembly are back after their long holidays. New boy Rhun ap Iorwerth asks his first question on  Silk. He may be new but the topics never change. And of course the opposition continue to moan about the government’s record especially on health. Times are never achanging in the wolrd of politics.

UKIP have changed their policy on the Welsh Assembly, they no longer want to scrap it. So says Nigel Farage.  Although the UKIP MEP for Wales John Bufton still wants to see it scrapped. Different views in the same party, surely not.

The first Private Member’s Bill introduced in the Assembly was passed. The Mobile Homes (Wales) Bill introduced Liberal Democrat AM, Peter Black. Its purpose is to establish a licensing regime for residential mobile home sites in Wales and giving mobile home residents greater security.

Housing Minister, Carl Sergeant has decided on new building regulations that make existing home owners meet the costs of lowering greenhouse gas emissions in their homes. In future anyone building an extension or renovating their homes will have to meet improved energy standards. Meanwhile he has reduced the obligation on house builders for a 40% reduction on greenhouse emissions to 8% (against 2010 standards) on new homes because of the costs involved. It’s a case of homeowners paying more, and house builders paying less.

 The rest

Labour leader grabbed the headlines by announcing a freeze on gas and electricity prices and breaking up the energy companies. It went down like a cold cup of sick with them. But he also had house builders in his sight. If they were sitting on land and not contributing to the 2000,000 house-building target, he’d see that the land was grabbed back and passed on to someone that would build.  He’d also going to give the vote to all above the age of 16.  Predictably the headlines were back to calling him “Red Ed.” If only. Labour’s strategy for the next election – appeal to core voters and dissatisfied Liberal Democrats and hope that UKIP would damage the Tory vote.  Looking at the polls it’s not a bad strategy.

According to the Guardian newspaper Ministers in the Department of Energy and Climate change met energy companies and their lobby groups a 195 times between the general election and March 2011. In the same period there were 17 meetings with green campaign groups. Little wonder that action on climate change is inadequate and perhaps also a measure of what Miliband will be up against to get his way with these companies.

The UK Treasury has launched a legal challenge against plans by Brussels to cap bankers’ bonuses. The EU intends to limit the bonus to no more than a banker’s salary, although if shareholders agree it could double. It’s the bonus culture that has been blamed for encouraging excessive risk-taking among bankers. It’s not surprising that UK is going to the courts, as it was the only member of the EU to vote against the plan. Another own goal by Osborne, methinks.

Not even the Chancellor, it would seem, can ignore the concerns that his Help to Buy scheme might fuel a property boom. He’s given more powers for the Bank of England(BoE) to intervene if prices get out of hand. The Financial Policy Committee of the BoE will make annual reviews of the scheme starting next September. The scheme to help buyers of new properties provides taxpayer insurance for up to 15% of a mortgage on houses worth up to £600,000, allowing banks to provide up to 95% mortgages at a reduced risk. Now the BoE  can reduce the £600,000 cap and raise the fees paid by lenders for the guarantees.

Scientists are 95% certain that humans are the main causeof global warming since the 1950s. In a report by the UN’s climate panel details the physical evidence behind climate change. To contain things will require “substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions”. So over to you politicians. See (




The Labour lead is at its highest point for three weeks which would suggest that the public have reacted positively to the conference in general and to Miliband’s speech. Interesting that Michael Gove and Tim Yeo saying that energy prices too high. Gove going further  saying that he took claims by the energy companies that the price freeze would lead to blackouts “with a pinch of salt.” Back to the polls, remember the caveat that polling at party conference time can lead to some unusual results. I would expect the Conservatives to have a lift next week  because of their conference. A better picture will emerge in a couple of weeks time.


YouGov/Sun                  CON 32%, LAB 401%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 11%.


YouGov/Sun                  CON 32%, LAB 40%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 12%.

Populus                           CON 33%, LAB 39%, LDEM 14%, UKIP 9%.

TNS BMRB                   CON 29%(+1), LAB 39%(nc), LDEM 9%(-2), UKIP 14%(+1) –


YouGov/STimes         CON 33%, LAB 37%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 11%

ComRes/S.Indy                  CON 28%(nc), LAB 36%(-1), LDEM 10%(+2), UKIP 17%(-2)

Opinium/Observer         CON 29%(-1), LAB 36%(+1), LDEM 7%(nc), UKIP 17%(nc)



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