Brexit Impact On Security Policy Development

The Committee for Exiting the European Union examined the impact of Brexit on security policy, it heard from Camino Mortera-Martinez, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for European Reform and Sir Rob Wainwright, former Executive Director, Europol. I asked about and EEA-based Brexit, extradition and access to the EU justice and home affairs databases Continue reading

Westminster Must Not Use Brexit And The End Of The EU’s Regional Funding As An Opportunity To Short-Change The Poorest Parts Of The UK

In a Westminster Hall debate on the Shared Prosperity Fund and Wales I spoke about how this cannot be a financial or a power grab and the work of the APPG on post-Brexit funding for nations, regions and local areas. Continue reading

Shared Policy Fund Decisions Should Be Devolved

Intervening in the Westminster Hall debate on the Shared Prosperity fund, I called for decisions to be devolved, empowering local authorities, local stakeholders and practitioners who know what works best in their communities. Continue reading

Women's Equality Network Wales Mentoring Reception

It was great to meet Kate Ellis from Baglan at the Women's Equality Network Wales reception in Parliament. Kate was one of the twenty-six aspirational women who are part of WEN Wales' mentoring programme to get more women, and more diverse women, into public and political life. WEN Wales has done fantastic work championing equality for women in politics and public life.  Continue reading

Russia-West Relations In The Age Of Fragmentation

The world is arguably more fragmented and polarised than it has been at any time since the end of the Cold War. The wave of optimism and internationalism that swept all before it in the 1990s has given way to a rising tide of nationalism. The seemingly unstoppable forward march of liberal democracy has been halted in its tracks and forced to retreat, leaving a vacuum that has been filled by the forces of tribalism, nativism and authoritarianism. Putinist Russia is at the vanguard of the zero-sum game mind-set that has come to define this age of fragmentation that has driven the rise of Trump, Orban, Le Pen, Salvini, Bolsonaro, the Brextremists, and a plethora of nationalist parties such as the AfD and the Sweden Democrats. Disdain for multilateralism and international organisations is the red thread that runs through and between every one of these individuals and the movements that they lead. To them, compromise, moderation and pragmatism are dirty words. Continue reading

Remembrance Sunday 2018

It was an honour to lay wreaths at the Taibach and Briton Ferry cenotaphs, in memory of the thousands who gave their lives to protect the values that we hold dear. We will remember them. 

Skewen First World War Memorial Unveiling

It was an honour and a privilege to attend the unveiling of the new cenotaph in Skewen, which now has a list of the 86 Skewen boys who made the ultimate sacrifice in the Great War. Continue reading

Cymer Afan Library Annual General Meeting

It was great to attend the Cymer Afan Community Library Annual General Meeting. Since being taken over and run by the community in 2014, the library has gone from strength to strength, developing facilities and adding services. With increased usage their opening hours have also increased.  Continue reading

Tree Planting Sandfields Primary

I managed to dodge the rain to plant trees provided by the Woodland Trust with pupils from Sandfields Primary School, as part of the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy.  Continue reading

Pride And Paranoia – The Putin Influence

Progress ‘What’s the definition of the Soviet Union?’ ‘Well, it’s where the workers pretend to work, and the bosses pretend to pay them.’ Of all the many jokes about the Soviet times that I heard during the three years that I lived in St Petersburg, this was probably my favourite. Why? Because that one short punch line tells you all you need to know about why so many Russians are so deeply cynical about rules, systems and institutions. Continue reading