Successful first day at Glamorgan Summer School

The first day of the Glamorgan Summer School 2016 was a huge success.

Young people came together in Treforest to learn about the history of the Pontypridd and Ynysybwl & Coed-y-Cwm communities and to express those ideas through collages.

One of the participants said the workshops were an eye opener to things she had not been taught at school. “I liked looking at the Davy Lamp and learning how miners kept safe,” said Seren Jenkins. “I am looking forward to the next session.

Participants in the Pontypridd, Ysysybwl and Coed-y-Cwm workshop of the Glamorgan Summer School.
ART ACTION: Participants in the Pontypridd, Ysysybwl and Coed-y-Cwm workshop of the Glamorgan Summer School. Courtesy: Jonathan Bishop Limited.

Another participant, Cerys Jenkins, said that she liked how friendly the class was. “I liked that everyone got along,” she said. “Everyone had a good time and I learned new things.

The next session of the Emotivate Project is at 10AM on Tuesday 16 August 2016 at pel Farm Community Resource Centre in Tonyrefail. Further information can be found on the project’s website at www.emotivate.org.uk or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gblemotivate/

Owen Smith ‘introduced’ to BBC by own father

Owen Smith’s job at the BBC was as a result of being introduced to the corporation by his father, it has been alleged by Press Gang.

Criticisms were levied at the BBC that claims Owen Smith got a job there and his father Dai Smith did the same year implied that he got the job before his father did, when that was not the case as his father was already established at the corporation.

It has been alleged that Owen Smith was introduced to the BBC by his father, Dai Smith.
LOOK MAM I’M ON TV: It has been alleged that Owen Smith was introduced to the BBC by his father, Dai Smith. Courtesy: Obtained from YouTube.

The Press Gang website raised concerns with the BBC asking for them to change the statement on their website, because in their view Owen Smith only got the job at the BBC due to nepotism. They also alleged that he had not been a member of the Labour Party for 30 years as he claimed, because in their view he only started getting interested in politics in his 30s.

Press Gang have now demanded that Owen Smith answer the following three questions:

  1. If he’s ever been a member of the National Union of Journalists;
  2. If he’s been a member of the Labour Party continuously since he joined at the age of 16; and
  3. If he will, as Jeremy Corbyn has done, make his tax returns public.

Owen Smith got election data from delayed project

Owen Smith has attempted to discredit Jeremy Corbyn’s claim that Labour was ahead in the polls until the attempts to oust him began – by using aggregated data from a voluntary project, which two years behind schedule.

In a debate with Jeremy Corbyn, Owen Smith quoted data from Britain Elects, which on their own website admit they are not as up-to-date as planned. It says on their website:

Our site, two years behind schedule, is currently under construction, but progress is being made! Slowly. It will hopefully be live within the next few months, although please don’t put that in your diary. If you wish to get in touch in the meantime, be it data, media or somesuch requests you can contact us on Twitter or throw us on email on queries@britainelects.com. We’ll aim to get back to you as soon as possible, but as we’re currently an entirely voluntary service, expect a delay by up to a few days.

Edward Parker, a supporter of Owen Smith, attempted to justify Owen Smith’s choice of data. “[I]t’s the average poll of polls, put together by Britain Elects,” he said. “[A]lso we haven’t been ahead in an opinion poll since April.

Owen Smith uses aggregated data from delayed project to attempt to discredit Jeremy Corbyn.
WHAT WAS STAT AGAIN?: Owen Smith uses aggregated data from delayed project to attempt to discredit Jeremy Corbyn. Courtesy: Obtained from britainelects.com

Jonathan Bishop, a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, says the method used by Britain Elects is suspect. “In simplest terms, a thousand flies does not make dog crap good,” he said. “Crocels Research predicted the Welsh Assembly results accurately by using a linear regression of the past performance of the parties when they contested elections against each other.
Aggregating different polls does nothing to help improve the statistical significance of the data, so if this is the only way Owen Smith can attempt to discredit Jeremy Corbyn then we should be asking whether his £200bn New Deal figures add up also.
At Crocels Base we have been looking into what Owen Smith has said in the past and what he is saying now, and whilst he has a good record of announcing big budget projects, he has never been in a position to actual implement them.

Jess Phillips criticises selection of mayoral candidates on merit because they are men

The selection of Labour’s candidates for the 2017 mayoral elections has been criticised by Jess Phillips MP, because they are filled by prominent local politicians who happen to be men.

Jess Phillips was not her constituency’s first choice of parliamentary candidate, as she only got selected for Birmingham Yardley because an all-women shortlist was imposed on local members.

Jess Phillips MP
ALTERNATE: Jess Phillips MP only became an MP because men were barred from standing for nomination as Labour candidates. Courtesy: Birmingham Mail.

Now Jess Phillips is criticising Jeremy Corbyn for not allowing other incompetent people to have the same chances she has had to get elected for the only reason being that they are women. “He told me he was a feminist. I suppose feminism is out of the window when your brothers in arms want the jobs,” she raged about Jeremy Corbyn. “The Labour party is becoming a movement of words not deeds,” she said in anger about the fact that preferred candidates were being chosen on merit rather than alternates like herself being imposed.

The Liverpool mayoral candidate is Steve Rotheram, who is a former Lord Mayor of Liverpool and current Member of Parliament for Liverpool Walton. Andy Burnham is the Member of Parliament for Leigh in Manchester with a distinguished ministerial career in government and opposition, and will be Labour’s candidate for mayor of Greater Manchester.

The Labour Party has used all-women-shortlists as a crude way to get more women into public office. This has meant that women who lack the ability to perform in public office have got in by the back door. Some have questioned Labour’s approach, especially following the appointment of Theresa May as the second woman prime minister, chosen on merit by her fellow MPs after a distinguished career in both opposition and government. Theresa May is a Conservative, meaning the only women Prime Ministers in the United Kingdom have been members of the Conservative Party, with the first being Margaret Thatcher.

Hedge fund strategist heading Owen Smith’s campaign

A hedge fund strategist is the man behind Owen Smith’s bid to become leader of the Labour Party it has been revealed.

Alex Barros-Curtis is the only director of Owen2016 Campaign Limited, which is the corporation organising the Pontypridd MP’s campaign to oust Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Leader.

Alex Barros-Curtis is the director of Owen2016 Campaign Limited.
HEDGING HIS BETS: Alex Barros-Curtis is the director of Owen2016 Campaign Limited. Courtesy: Obtained from Twitter

During the period following Owen Smith moving from Surrey to Llantrisant when he became MP for Pontypridd and mounting his re-election bid for the Pontypridd constituency, Alex Barros-Curtis worked in the financial services industry for Allen & Overy. Alex Barros-Curtis describes his experience as follows:

Associate in the Derivatives and Structured Finance (DSF) Department at Allen & Overy, advising buy-side and sell-side market participants on a wide range of derivatives and structured finance matters. During my time in the DSF Department, I worked on a broad range of transactions, including interest rate and FX transactions and the hedging of complex secured financing arrangements. I also advised on the regulatory requirements arising in the context of such transactions, in particular those requirements relating to the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR). Alongside transactional matters, I advised a range of institutions on the impact of EMIR and associated regulations, with a particular focus on the implementation of procedures to comply with risk mitigation and reporting obligations.

Alex Barros-Curtis claims his skills as “limited proficiency” in French, capital markets, structured finance, hedging, interest rate hedging, and legal writing.

Musicians Union backlash over Owen Smith endorsement

The Executive Committee of the Musicians Union is facing a backlash over its decision to support Owen Smith to be leader of the Labour Party without consulting members.

A letter of petition organised by musician, Dr Dave Camlin of Workington in Cumbria, has the support of 22 members. The proposed motion reads:

We, the undersigned members of the MU, move that the decision by the Musicians’ Union Executive Committee on 5th August 2016 to endorse Owen Smith MP in the contest for leader of the Labour Party is not necessarily representative of the views of MU members. Owing to the strength of feeling among the membership on this issue, we therefore propose that support for Owen Smith be withdrawn immediately, and the decision on who to support in the contest for leader of the Labour Party be suspended until such time as a ballot of all MU members’ views on the subject can be undertaken.

Musicians Union members organise an emergency motion to reverse the decision of its Executive Committee to support Owen Smith.
MC HAMMERED: Musicians Union members organise an emergency motion to reverse the decision of its Executive Committee to support Owen Smith. Courtesy: Obtained from Independent.co.uk

Dr Camlin explained his reasons for organising the emergency motion. “Many MU members were disappointed by the MU Executive Committee’s decision to endorse Owen Smith in the Labour leadership contest, as they didn’t feel they had been consulted on the matter, and many support Jeremy Corbyn,” he said. “The strength of feeling was evident by the huge number of critical posts on the MU Facebook page. However, because the MU is also a democratic institution, a number of members united to propose a motion to the EC to reverse the decision.
Hopefully this is a case of democracy in action – we hope that the EC will recognise the controversial and unrepresentative nature of their decision, and will want to withdraw support for Owen Smith immediately until they’ve had a chance to properly consult their members on the matter.
The ball is in their court, and we hope they do the right thing.

Prominent Musicians Union Member, Pontypridd Assembly Member Mick Antoniw, who shares the same constituency boundary as Owen Smith, has refused to confirm who he is backing in the race, but is known to have supported Jeremy Corbyn previously.

University to take no action over ‘racism’ against academic

A university’s police department has said it will be taking no action following what is believed to be one of its former students posting racist remarks using an email address associated with the university.

California State University Long Beach is at the centre of a racism row following Corporal Christopher Brown justifying racism against a white academic as free speech.
RACISM ROW: California State University Long Beach is at the centre of a racism row following Corporal Christopher Brown justifying racism against a white academic as free speech. Courtesy: Wikimedia Foundation.

Corporal Christopher Brown of the California State University Long Beach’s Police Department said that the racist remarks describing a white academic as “White trash” did not break the law by someone pertaining to be former student Eric Fisher. “I would agree his comment is disparaging, but I detect no threat or violation of law,” said Corporal Christopher Brown. “Mr. Fisher, if that is his real name, has the freedom under the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution to express his views.
Since he is not affiliated with the University itself, there is no recourse for student conduct and discipline.

Improving international relations ‘is not charitable’ court says

Taking steps to improve international relations is not charitable, a court in the United Kingdom has said.

Crocels Community Media Group sued the Charity Commission for England and Wales when it refused to allow it to establish a charitable arm that would allow its members to contribute their surplus for charitable purposes.

The Charity Commission rejected Crocels’s application, saying that objectives relating to reducing or abolishing standing armies, promoting peace and encouraging fraternity between nations were political as they required a change in UK Government policy. The First Tier Tribunal for Charities agreed.

Undeterred, the Chief Executive Officer of Crocels, Jonathan Bishop, has said the organisation intends to appeal the decision to the Upper Tribunal for Charities. “Crocels will be appealing the decision on the grounds that achieving these does not require change in UK Government policy,” he said. “Other reasons include Article 1 of Protocol 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights means that the member companies of Crocels should be able to dispose of their surplus for charitable purposes,” he continued. “Article 10 of the Convention means that Crocels Research has a right to provide ideas to the UK Government and the Charity Commision and the UK Courts should not inhibit this academic freedom.
Jonathan Bishop Limited should not be preventing from licensing its IP for charitable purposes as per Article 1 of Protocol 1 of the Convention.
And finally that Crocels Cooperators Party should not be prevented from seeking to promote the ideas of Crocels and its member companies in elected bodies.

Welsh Government refuse to confirm Internet trolling policy

The Welsh Government has refused to confirm under which circumstances it is willing to prevent access to student support in terms of Internet trolling carried out by students wishing to claim such funding from Student Finance Wales or the Student Loans Company.

Courtesy: Rachel Johnson
TO TROLL OR NOT TO TROLL: The Welsh Government refuses to confirm under what circumstances it will penalise a student for Internet trolling. Courtesy: Rachel Johnson

The Welsh Government was asked by Crocels News under which circumstances it would “unfit” (i.e. declare ineligible) students who carry out Internet trolling of its staff. “If a member of the public asks for information, you only have to provide information you already have in recorded form,” said Steve Nicholls of its Higher Education Division. “You do not have to create new information or find the answer to a question from staff who may happen to know it.

High value fraudster jailed

A scheming and calculated fraudster who conned people and businesses out of hundreds of thousands of pounds has been jailed for nine-and-a-half years following an investigation by Northumbria Police.

Christopher Heayns, who is 34 and from Blyth was arrested in August 2015 on suspicion of a number of fraud offences.

The arrest came after a call to police in May 2015 from his ex-girlfriend who Heayns owed hundreds of thousands of pounds to. She told detectives that she had met Heayns on a dating site in August 2013 and they started a relationship together. He told her that his name was Christopher Smith and that he was a high flying legal barrister with a property portfolio of around £6,000,000 and a number of investments and capital at his disposal.

He claimed to have multiple successful businesses and gave the impression he was a very wealthy and successful man. Early on in the relationship he persuaded her to help him find somewhere to live in the area and got her to take out a tenancy agreement in her name at the grade two listed manor building Sandoe Hall, in Hexham. He managed to ensure that the £2,400 monthly payments were coming from her bank account and that it was all in her name.

While living at the property he arranged to have building and renovation work done to allow him to set up new business ventures from home and racked up more than £100,000 in building work costs.

He persuaded his then girlfriend-at-the-time to cover the costs, promising her that a £250,000 investment due to mature would allow him to pay her back. The borrowing continued with him using the woman’s credit cards to borrow large amounts of money and also taking bank loans out in her name. He even convinced the woman to borrow around £125,0000 from her parents to help him pay for different business ventures and his spending.

In December 2013 something happened that caused his partner to become suspicious of Heayns. One of the builders who was doing work on the Sandoe Hall saw a Christmas card at the property addressed to Christopher Poulton. He became suspicious when the name didn’t match and googled it.

He found a series of news articles from 2008 about a con-man who had been jailed for fraud offences. He flagged this up with Heayns partner and she confronted him about it. Again he sold her a string of lies about his past and said that he had been accused of the offences by a rival barrister but cleared on appeal.

He stressed that he wouldn’t be able to be working as a barrister now if he was a criminal – and he went to great lengths to convince the woman of this lie about being a barrister – even getting her to drop him off at various court locations across the country where he said he was working. In early 2014 the couple eventually split and Heayns promised the woman he would repay all of the money owed. After months and months of excuses about why he couldn’t pay her back she, in May 2015, reported him to police.

The investigation was launched into Heayns and the more officers dug into his past the more evidence of fraudulent behaviour, deceit and lying they found.

On August 15, 2015, he was charged with 14 fraud related offences and remanded in custody. Heayns appeared at Newcastle Crown Court on February 8 where pleaded not guilty and after a two week trial he was found guilty of four counts of fraud offences and seven counts of Insolvency Act offences.

On Wednesday, July 20, he was sentenced to nine-and-a-half years prison.

Detective Constable Tony Hellyer led the investigation into Heayns. “Heayns is one of the most manipulative, scheming and dishonest people that I have ever investigated,” he said. “The nature, audacity and sheer scale of the lies he told and the stories he fabricated in order to extort money from people, companies and businesses is astounding.
People may question how people fell for his lies but I can’t stress enough just how manipulative Heayns is.
He used many different aliases and back stories.
He managed to deceive business owners, banks and reputable companies into believing his lies and handing over hundreds of thousands of pounds.
He created a very convincing fake identity and persona and played on the emotional relationship between him and his ex-girlfriend to con her and her family out of hundreds of thousands of pounds.
He lied and cheated his way to enjoying a millionaires’ lifestyle at the expense of others and has left a substantial trail of destruction behind him and a number of peoples’ lives in tatters.
“He continued his deceit right until the very end by pleading not guilty to the offences and forcing his victims to have to relive the whole experience during the court case.
Heayns was summed up perfectly when the judge described him as being the most dishonest person that he had ever come across in 40 years of practising law.