BBC BLOGS - Betsan's Blog
« Previous | Main | Next »

It's a No.

Betsan Powys | 22:55 UK time, Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Yes, we have a No campaign.

The group calls itself "True Wales" because "members felt that those who support Wales' presence in the United Kingdom have been for too long unfairly categorised as "anti-Welsh". True Wales aims to represent the true feelings of the huge majority of people in Wales who wish to remain in the United Kingdom".

Who are its members?

They describe themselves as "Labour, Conservative and Independent politicians and activists who believe that further law-making powers for the Assembly would lead the people of Wales down the slippery slope to independence".

There are two Davids involved: one, David Rees is a Labour councillor from Risca - a man who has argued the case against further devolution in the past and having met him more than once, I can guarantee that this David never imagined he'd be lining up alongside the other one: the Conservative MP for Monmouth.

David TC Davies MP announced his own intention of forming a No campaign a few weeks ago and fear of "Soviet style poverty" for Wales has persuaded him to throw in his lot with 'True Wales'.

"I want Wales to remain an integral part of the United Kingdom and I shall be pleased to be working with Socialists, Liberals and Independents who share that commitment. Whatever our political differences on other issues, I believe that we can represent the views of the majority of people in Wales".

What do they want? A referendum.

When do they want it? Soon.

Ditch the All Wales Convention and its fact-sharing, fact-gathering mission is the message. No need for a "propaganda campaign undertaken with the full might of the machinery of government. The people of Wales are astute enough to know the answer to the question is either "yes" or "no".

On Tuesday the First Minister and his Deputy made it clear that they have absolutely no intention of counter-launching a Yes campaign.

Let's see if 'True Wales' makes its mark - more of a mark than many in Cardiff Bay seem to be anticipating.

Comments

or register to comment.

  • 1. At 06:39am on 25 Sep 2008, John Henry wrote:


    British Welsh is how I feel.

    I see an illusion of a great wrong perpetrated by people from the past on the people of Wales, in fact, any great wrong was felt by all the people of Britain, perpetrated by a ruling elite, an elite that changes through time, but nonetheless, an elite that remains with us today.

    Less government would be welcome, but for everyone in the United Kingdom.

    Complain about this comment

  • 2. At 09:08am on 25 Sep 2008, dai7900 wrote:

    Wow!! Sounds amazingly high powered. They even managed to get a Labour councillor from Risca to be in charge

    Complain about this comment

  • 3. At 10:48am on 25 Sep 2008, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    About time too !! And I hope [actually insist..] that the BBC Wales political department will give full coverage to this movement, and be impartial in its viewpoint about moves toward further devolution, and maintain neutrality over the pros and cons of the current devolution settlement.

    The current announcement about ITV Wales shows that the current set-up is doing nothing to solve such issues, and so there is no guarantee that a 'beefed-up' assembly would do anything either.

    Let us get the current arrangement working properly, or scrap it, before worrying about hoovering up yet more taxpayer funding.

    Complain about this comment

  • 4. At 11:59am on 25 Sep 2008, Benedek wrote:

    dai7900 really reflects the dangerous arrogance of those who believe that more powers for the Assembly is an inevitabilty. They should remember that the no campaign in 1997 operated on a shoe string and nearly won. In 1997 many Labour voters voted for and campaigned for the assembly for two reasons. It was a reaction against the years of Tory rule in westminster and because it was part of Labour's manifesto. There was no real enthusiasm for devolution. In the real world outside the Cardiff bay bubble there is still very little enthusiasm for the Assembly or devolution. Hardly surprising given the calibre of the Welsh political elite and their almost complete failure to argue the case for more powers. In the present anti politics environment the argument against more powers will be very persuasive with many voters. Dai7900 and his friends could be in for a nasty shock if they don't take the message to voters of how their lives will be improved by more law making powers in Cardiff Bay.

    Complain about this comment

  • 5. At 12:44pm on 25 Sep 2008, CymroCoch wrote:

    True democracy is to in bring power nearer to the people. This is what devolved power is all about - DEMOCRACY!

    What we have here are a bunch of English nationalists of Gwent who will allow the people of England to decide who runs Wales not the people of Wales. Remember the Thatcher years? Wales voted Labour, England voted Tory, and the tories ruled Wales as well.

    The young people of Wales of the 1930's lost their lives fighting for democracy, in both Spain and during WW2.

    These people are dangerous and anti democratic, which, in my book, reminds me of Franco, Hitler and the BNP. they should be kicked out of politics so as the rest of us can go on with our lives through the democratic process.

    "True Wales" = NO RIGHT TO FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY.


    Complain about this comment

  • 6. At 1:28pm on 25 Sep 2008, dylanrees88 wrote:

    Something you might expect from an english-born man, well guess what we have Brown on our side, and also Murphy, who back the idea of a Welsh Parliament!
    Davies is only scared, "soviet style poverty" dont make me laugh Davies....isn't that what the tories would do if they come to power....
    these unionist who say wales will end up in poverty if Wales has a bit more power ...grow up!
    simply shows they dont know how to run the country with out a help from london,
    a step towards independence....well its not really....its a step towards giving Wales more of an identity....

    Complain about this comment

  • 7. At 1:46pm on 25 Sep 2008, dylanrees88 wrote:

    in the interest of the people of Wales?
    its in the interest of anti-welsh groups, and english unionists living in Wales that Wales should remain a part of england.

    What is British?
    Apart from Wales,Scotland and Northern Ireland being ruled by a government in England?
    how can you

    I am not anglo-phobic, or have anything against england, I feel sorry for many sensible democratic english people who wish england was independent and had its own Parliament!

    davies and he's so called unionist friends can try hard, but there is already a high amount of YES campaign through out Wales, not only by Plaid, but by its supporters threw social networking and leaflets, and its major youth group

    Its time Wales has a government of its own, and all the anti-welsh who think they no best to disapear, not the true Welsh!

    yes ITV wales will have to limit its regional broadcast.....but have you heared of ITV Cymru? the new Welsh language channel set to be broadcast......according to ITV
    ...plans to create more welsh language channels by 2010

    Wales is better off looking by itself, its in the interest of the people of Wales that they can represent themselves as Welsh and living in a country called Wales....

    Complain about this comment

  • 8. At 2:51pm on 25 Sep 2008, Cardiffian2008 wrote:

    I see the Plaid Cymru activists have been overly busy here leaving comments trying to make their minority view look representative of what the rest of us in Wales want. I realise Dafydd Iwan has been telling you all to target websites and blogs like this and Facebook.... but it is a bit cringeworthy here.

    I'm afraid you wont get many posts here from the vast majority of us Welsh people as we're busy going about our daily lives... but we'll be there to stop you taking Wales back to the dark ages and dividing us come referendum day :)

    Complain about this comment

  • 9. At 4:02pm on 25 Sep 2008, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    "These people are dangerous and anti democratic, which, in my book, reminds me of Franco, Hitler and the BNP. they should be kicked out of politics so as the rest of us can go on with our lives through the democratic process."

    Matey, don't judge other people by your own standards. A load of fatuous hyperbole does not equate to a powerful argument.

    Complain about this comment

  • 10. At 4:07pm on 25 Sep 2008, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    dylanrees88 - I'm not going to insinuate that that is your IQ, but really - if we had a huge pool of oil in Cardigan Bay the argument would have some mileage...

    Your plan would mean the Barnett Formula being shut off, and then where would we be ?

    The fact is that Scotland has its own legal system and 'Scottish Law'. We in Wales have 'English Law' and therefore all the benefits that, say, Hong Kong has because business there is also governed by 'English Law'.

    That may upset some narrow-minded people, but my Welsh identity and heritage is strong enough not to need some facile isolationism to re-inforce it. If you are really interested in 'devolution' you should invest your time in the movement to get the UK to stop giving powers away to the real anti-democratic monolith that is the EU.

    Arguments about London vs Cardiff fade into complete insignificance against that.

    Hwyl fawr..

    BG

    Complain about this comment

  • 11. At 5:39pm on 25 Sep 2008, John Henry wrote:


    CymroCoch wrote ..... "they should be kicked out of politics so as the rest of us can go on with our lives through the democratic process."

    I am guessing this is the undemocratic 10%'s version of democracy being wished on the 85% majority that doesn't want Independence from the United Kingdom.

    dylanrees88 wrote ..... "Its time Wales has a government of its own, and all the anti-welsh who think they no best to disappear, not the true Welsh!"

    Just a small point, I try not to repeat myself, but the majority do not want your vision of the future. It is now time for you to ask the majority to mend the things you consider broken, so that you might live with the majority in peace.

    Complain about this comment

  • 12. At 7:52pm on 25 Sep 2008, dylanrees88 wrote:

    just because a poll showing 10% whant independence doesn't mean you must rely on that, there are more people who have not taken the poll who would say yes to independence....
    although Wales is not yet ready for independence, it needs the power of its own government to give it a try to stand alone first......

    the majority of Welsh people hate the anti-welsh, the majority of Welsh people want Wales to be recognise as a nation not a region, which stonemason and tory boy Davies would like....

    It is not up to some unionist politician to make rubbish up about Wales not being able to govern by itself,
    has he got proof?? no!

    Wales can benefit by full powers, we have the economy, we have the recources,
    we have a massive tourism, we have international and national trade...
    saying wales cannot benefit from a bit more powers with out proof is simply idiotic and the majority of Welsh people class themselves as Welsh, thats why we have a party called plaid cymru, because they are a group of them.... its now time that the people of Wales see a government of Wales with its ideas doing the best for the people of Wales.

    with the 70% and more than that saying yes to more powers to cardiff.....this idiot davies and his mates are wasting there time, probably only people who are clueless or uneducated would listen to them, and of course other unionists.....

    Complain about this comment

  • 13. At 8:40pm on 25 Sep 2008, bochgoch wrote:

    It's a pity that contributors dominating this blog attack each other from extreme positions.

    The Assembly has responsibility for limited self government of areas of domestic policy which are relevant to our daily lives.

    Relinquishing that responsibility is no longer an option. We must make the best of it.

    Sometimes the Assembly is good, sometimes it's bad and occasionally it's a down right embarrassment - much like the Westminster I suppose.

    Expecting the Assembly to formulate its own policies yet denying it the power to fully implement those policies without first seeking approval through another parliament is not a practical solution.

    It's not about Wales v. England, it's not about unionist v. nationalist, it's not about a slippery slope or an uphill march to freedom. It's about the Assembly's future and giving it the tools to do a better job - just like other parliaments. I want a better Assembly. Nothing wrong with that.








    Complain about this comment

  • 14. At 8:51pm on 25 Sep 2008, osian wrote:

    Um sotnemason regaerding post no. 11, where has 5% of the population disappeared to?! And I think that your 85% is slightly optimistic? According to the latest poll I think it's closer to 50%? No?

    The arguments that we should get the current system to work is ridiculous as the current system is one of the main reasons we need futher devolution. Politicians in Wales have realised they can do nothing while they are bogged down with waiting for MPs in Westminster to give the nod to every signle decision.

    And as to the comments about the 'true' monster, the EU! Then at least the EU haven't invaded us, occupied the country and generally oppressed us for the last 700 years. And look one again at the good the EU has done to Ireland and the power it has given Ireland eg their 'no' vote. A referendum which was lost due to the uncertainty regarding the treaty. Which is the purpose of the All Wales Convention - to make it clear to the poeple of Wales what the situation is now and what the situation could be.

    I would also like to thank the no campaign for their support of a referendum for further powers for the assembly. Plaid have been quite clever here in now ensuring that everyone supports a referendum! Next all they need to do is persuade people to vote yes.

    A question to Betsan as I can't seem to find the answer, how many councillors are there in Wales exactly? Quite a few I should imagine, and the No campaign now has a Labour councillor and an MP who doesn't have the best reputation as their main supporters. The campaign is as good as won!

    Devolution a step towards independence? Sorry but take a look at the latest poll once again and you'll realise that many more support further devolution compared to independence. So what exactly is your argument? And besides the figure supporting independece is so pitifully small that independence can nly be a long term goal. And who said independence would be a bad thing? If you argue that further devolution is a step towards independence then it would be unrelated and you would be jumping to far ahead as this is a referendum on further powers we're talking about. You'll have to wait to use the arguments against independence for the correct referendum (and you might be waiting for an awfully long time). So with that argument out the window, what is your argument?

    Complain about this comment

  • 15. At 9:20pm on 25 Sep 2008, John Henry wrote:

    Who are the "anti-welsh" of dylanrees88?

    Could they be the 85% majority who did not say "Yes" to Independence.

    Now the opinion poll is faulty, lets have that referendum then, but ask the question honestly, ask the people ........

    "Do you want Independence Now?"

    ..... and when they give a resounding "No", give it rest ........ forever.

    Complain about this comment

  • 16. At 10:08pm on 25 Sep 2008, dylanrees88 wrote:

    this is not about independence?
    what are you talking about? (laughing out loud)

    i did not say we want independence now, of course if you re-read my comment....Wales is not ready yet,

    independence will come in the future....dont worry

    and no, the anti-welsh are the people like you
    know who wink ... who dont wish to see Wales as a nation...

    or even have a government with a bit more law making powers,

    the anti welsh are like david davies and he's gang who would rather see Wales being fully governed by a government in london...

    85%?? where did you get that fact from?

    70% of the people in Wales back full law making powers.

    and a high amount of people who did not take part in the servey would also back full law making powers to Wales...

    it is in the interest of the people of Wales that they have a parliament which spends there tax money more on Wales like education police health etc.
    instead of spending it all on westminster's needs.......

    there are more than 10% who would back independence in the future....but lets not look at that...as you can see.....this blog is nothing to do with independence okay!

    devolution on giving Wales more power is not a step towards independence.....
    its far from that....
    its a step towards a government in Wales getting a bit more power over its country.... in things that matter to us like health education the economy and so on......

    even Gordon Brown backs the idea!
    its about having a government system similar to Scotland...

    Complain about this comment

  • 17. At 07:05am on 26 Sep 2008, -Drachenfyre- wrote:

    Debate is always welcome in a democracy, so too should the 'No campaign' to oppose the 'Yes campaign'. You can not deny opposing viewpoints their voice, and legitimate media outlets should cover news impartially and with professionalism.

    Personally, I will never understand how 'some people' would willingly submit to another nation when their needs are not equally represented and are not constitutionally guarenteed.

    I think that much of the issue will really be settled with who ever wins the next UK general election. According to Professor John Davies, whenever Labour is out of power in Westminister traditionally they suport greater home rule in Wales and Scotland. Whenever they are in power in Westminister, they tend to delay and complicate the issue of home rule and expouse "Union, union, union".

    Look for key phrases abusers like to use such as "You can't handle it on your own!" and "You'll never be successful" and "I'm warning you... you're no good on your own! Stick with me and I'll take care of you!" and "You can't afford to take care of your-self! We have a good relationship here, why do you want to ruin it?"

    But healthy debate is always welcome.



    Complain about this comment

  • 18. At 10:19am on 26 Sep 2008, BLUESNIK wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 19. At 10:27am on 26 Sep 2008, daverodway wrote:

    Peopel voted No in 1979 amid a generalised and largely anti-Welsh paranoia, led by Neil Kinnock. Later that year Wales got Thatcher, whom we never elected, and 18 years of Tory rule which did unparalleled damage to our country.
    That's enough for me. The fact that Laboru has done nothing to reverse that damage , and that Welsh Labour MPs are more interested in their jobs and salaries than Welsh democracy, makes the complicit in that outrage.
    As Scotland shows its mettle, there are still some in Wales who are content with less power than a small Belgian region! The vote is not about Independence (however much the anti-Welsh and anti-Assembly lobby pretend), it is about self-government within a UK context.
    Remember too this irony: The Assembly gave Welsh Toryism a lifeline after its utter decimation. Now they want to abolish it! Sheer hypocrisy - and Davies himself used the Assembly to get himself up the greasy pole of politics.
    'True Wales' - what an unpleasant name. Sounds fascist to me. Does that mean those of us who disagree with them are not 'true' Welsh people? What a nasty implication.

    Complain about this comment

  • 20. At 12:04pm on 26 Sep 2008, northeasterner1 wrote:

    1. Who wants to be independent like Ireland anyway.
    Their economy has just gone into recessions despite being subsidised massively by the EU to the tune of billions of pounds a year. The country is effectively a right wing conservtive tax haven with far more child poverty than in the UK.

    2. If democracy is about making politics local can we in the North East have an opt out since Cardiff is certainly not part of our locality (even though I know it's a nice place visit). We haven't got anything against our southern neighbours but your too far away and there is very little in common between us apart from social class factors.

    Complain about this comment

  • 21. At 12:26pm on 26 Sep 2008, daverodway wrote:

    Northeasterner: Irish child poverty is considerably lower than in Wales, which has the highest child poverty in the UK, and indeed the highest poverty rates in the UK. That, I'm afraid, is a fact. So I fail to see how being in the UK helps us with that, or indeed how the irish example is negative.
    Ireland is in recession, yes. But then again Ireland had extraoridnary growth, moving from being poorer than Wales to one of the richest and most influential European nations.
    If that's something be afraid of, then I'm ready to be afraid, very afraid...
    PS - 'right-wing tax haven'? Have you actually live din the UK in the last 20 years? We're the lowest taxed country in Europe. We also have the worst public transport, the worst health service and the most congested cities and towns.
    Believe me, if you're ill, or if you want to get from one city to another, then you're better off in Ireland.
    The anti-Asselbly powers will have to do a whole lot better than the politics of fear. It might also stop trying to smear the Irish for having the guts and the nouse to go it alone. These are desperate tactics.

    Complain about this comment

  • 22. At 12:44pm on 26 Sep 2008, -Drachenfyre- wrote:

    An interesting idea Northeasterner1. The Balkanization of Wales verses the Scandanavian-zation of Britain, thats an interesting idea.

    What if principal areas could op out of the UK on their own, like Northern Ireland did when Ireland became independent? What if the Gwynedd and Ceredigion principal areas decided to become independent?

    That their councils voted on independence? Would not those two regions deserve to become independent under northeasterner1's proposal. If Luxemboug, Mann, and Monaco could be independent small countries, why not an independent Gwynedd and Ceredigion? What would be wrong with an independent Gwynedd?

    Complain about this comment

  • 23. At 12:58pm on 26 Sep 2008, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    "
    What if principal areas could op out of the UK on their own, like Northern Ireland did when Ireland became independent? "

    When did this happen then ? I thought NI was part of the UK ? Or are we talking about when we had to send the troops in to keep peace among those with sharply diverging views of the future of Northern Ireland. That was a rip roaring success...

    Complain about this comment

  • 24. At 1:21pm on 26 Sep 2008, -Drachenfyre- wrote:

    LordBeddGelert,

    I didnt express it correctly. What I ment to express... as Ireland became independent and Northern Ireland decided to stay with the UK, why could not Gwynedd and Ceredigion... and any other principle area... op to become independent like Ireland did. Decide on the regional level.

    Complain about this comment

  • 25. At 5:13pm on 26 Sep 2008, John Henry wrote:

    daverodway, comment No 19 wrote....

    "The vote is not about Independence (however much the anti-Welsh and anti-Assembly lobby pretend), it is about self-government within a UK context."

    I respond with .....

    The "No" lobby is about democratising an undemocratic process and agreement, between Labour and Plaid. The process and agreement I refer to is the "Agreement between the Labour and Plaid Cymru Groups in the National Assembly" dated 27th June 2007, a copy of which you may download from .....

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    pay particular attention to page 6 which reads .....

    "There will be a joint commitment to use the Government of Wales Act 2006 provisions to the full under Part III and to proceed to a successful outcome of a referendum for full law-making powers under Part IV as soon as practicable, at or before the end of the Assembly term.
    Both parties agree in good faith to campaign for a successful outcome to such a referendum."

    Labour and Plaid are intent in promoting this agreement with little discussion, "No discussion" equals "No democracy".

    If you wish to test the democratic process offered by the Assembly in the form of "All Wales Convention", try "Having your say" at their website .....

    When daverodway writes .....
    "'True Wales' - what an unpleasant name. Sounds fascist to me. Does that mean those of us who disagree with them are not 'true' Welsh people? What a nasty implication."

    You might like to read the news item at .....

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/wales_politics/7635488.stm

    ..... where it reads .....

    "True Wales members chose the name because they believe those wanting Wales to remain a full part of the United Kingdom have been "unfairly categorised as anti-Welsh"".

    Complain about this comment

  • 26. At 8:09pm on 26 Sep 2008, northeasterner1 wrote:

    Dear Dave Rodway

    1. Child poverty is too high in Wales, I agree. The 2006 figure was 29% - BUT in Ireland it was 34%. Both figures are based on the same measure of poverty - 60% average income.
    2. Ireland has been receiving billions and billions and billions of pounds from the EU since it joined. It is not an independent country econonomically. It has depended on the economies of other nations for it's economic growth over the last 20 years. (mainly Germany).
    3. Wales has the worst health service in Britain because it is run the Welsh Assembly. We have the longest waiting lists, the highest infection rates and the worst after hours provision in Britain. If you don't believe me ask Betsan.

    Complain about this comment

  • 27. At 8:24pm on 26 Sep 2008, dylanrees88 wrote:

    i live in Gwynedd a real nice place....we have a verry good tourism here and our economy according to the north-wales news paper is one of the best largest in Wales....
    gwynedd and ceredigion independnent??
    wont work......
    the people of gwynedd ceredigion and ynys mon are welsh....they class themselves as Welsh.....
    they speak Welsh ..... and they would'nt want to be independent from the rest of Wales, it just wouldn't sound right.....
    since they are all welsh..
    if it was cornwall then thats different....if they had the ability, the strength to go alone they would....cornwall was a celtic nation once....and its quite a strong little county..

    the difference between the south Wales people and the gwynedd and ceredigion people is the accent and the way they speak....its still the same language and they are still the same people....
    Wales had prince's in the past, a prince for every country, llywelyn of Gwynedd was the head.....Wales has been a country before the romans...

    the difference between northern irealand and the UK, is that the people there are irish, and british settlers....northern irealnd...well if it ever went independent...it could work, but they would struggle more than Wales and Scotland.... northern ireland are a group of counties given to the UK.....they are helped by the british government....
    but time go's on and they are getting wealthier and more businesses are starting up there...so maybe they would....if not, they can still go back to ireland.....by right northern ireland should belong to the republic of irealand.....

    Complain about this comment

  • 28. At 8:41pm on 26 Sep 2008, dylanrees88 wrote:

    i agree with northeastner, child poverty is high in Wales...according to daily post 1 in four....
    the welsh assembly government have no real control, labour party are appalling, although the waiting list has reduced a bit this year....i dont feel the welsh labour are doing enough!! even though they keep promising ....

    Wales at the moment is suffering like the rest of europe from the credit crunch....
    although....
    tourism has gone excedingly well!
    agriculture products...esp. meat...has gone high because of high-demand...
    Wales is the FIRST free trade nation!
    and businesses have been funded by the minister of economy...
    the Welsh economy before the credit crunch was excellent, despite the bad weather last year....
    this year in July the royal welsh agriculture show had made millions in proffit, and the tourism industry has gone high!
    even now....you go driving up to Caernarfon or down to Aberystwyth or to Bala.....the place is pact with people, and the campsites are full....
    more brits and irish are coming here to Wales.....tourism is a big role in the welsh economy.....

    and so is national and local trade...

    and yes international trade....did you know UAE sell welsh lamb and Welsh beef?
    so do ireland, parts of the UK and Iceland....

    bleunau ffestiniog slate quary sends slates over to england and ireland....and the Cambrian news for our area says they might need to open the old slate quarry near our town Dolgellau-Tywyn area because of more demand....
    electric company EDF is taking over Wylfa in Ynys Môn....more jobs again....
    Wales has been hit by the credit crunch....but fuel has gone down now...more help on our electric bills to keep them down.....
    and life in Wales isn't really that bad....

    Complain about this comment

  • 29. At 9:15pm on 26 Sep 2008, daverodway wrote:

    Dear Norteasterner,
    No country is independent economically, and the notion is nonsensical. As we are discovering re the US stock markets etc.
    So what if they got money from the EU. So has Wales, so has Portugal, Spain, Greece , etc etc .
    We have the longest waiting lists, infection rates and after hours treatment in the UK in Wales NOT because of the Assembly at all - they were as bad before, and in many cases worse. Can you recall the valleys before 1997? or what Bethesda and Caernarfon was like? I remember Wrecxham in the early 90s and it was hardly an advert for the benefits of London rule!
    We also have a history of ill-health that precedes the Assembly's existence by decades and for which there are unique socioeconomical-industrial reasons
    The Assembly is responsible for very little of Wales's disadvantage - we have in fact been dealing with child poverty faster under the Assembly than the UK average (i.e it is going down faster than elsewhere, though still scandalously high).
    Thanks to Assembly policies (some of them opposed by the UK government), my elderly parents get free bus travel, and they don't have to pay exorbitant parking fees for their frequent hospital visits.
    Free breakfasts have done huge good to the atmosphere and achievement in school s(I know - I teach in one), and it makes me proud, frankly, that even with its limited power the Assembly has shown an alternative route to the Neo-Con Westminster agenda, where the only votes any party wants is the votes of the rich south east of England.
    If you're worried about low-tax right-wing social policies, then you'd better get pretty worried about New Labour and the Tories have in mind...

    Complain about this comment

  • 30. At 10:03pm on 26 Sep 2008, dylanrees88 wrote:

    has the policy of giving under16 free buses come yet? it was a policy by Plaid...i think that would be successfull
    i like the idea for a welsh bacculate.....have you heared of it daverodway?

    life in Wales isn't as bad as life in England....
    ireland had to get more european funds...because life wasn't as economically great in the past as it is now, if you learnt irish history you'll know why....but
    ..we are already reciving funds from europe and our economy alone, is quite stable..... the UK economy is 0!! i'm quite happy with plaid's performance even tho they are not the best government in Wales....our economy alone is not excellent but "good"
    and we are tackling child poverty,
    OAP's get help with the bills in winter...
    if wales gets more power, our tax money can be used on Welsh needs....scrap council tax, and bring in the local tax....its cheaper and more effective to local communities.... meaning more help for local schools like they do in Scotland.....


    once this big mess is over, we will still carry on....and get better...the irish economy going down to recession is a one off one fault is too much borrowing! another is the world economy

    anyway to davies' idea of the no campaign....who thinks it will work?

    the Lib dems are backing the yes vote...murphy says he'll say yes....simply coz brown says he would say yes...
    once davey cameron gets he's hands on number10....most of the labour would probly campaign there supporters to say yes...
    how many counties are under tories?
    plaid cymru although they lost some council seats are the second largest party in Wales....

    and there is little fans of the tories here anyway as they have let us all down in the past....

    david davies and he's gang are simply anti-democratic.....and really anti-welsh

    Complain about this comment

  • 31. At 10:05pm on 26 Sep 2008, John Henry wrote:


    daverodway, your .....

    "So what if they got money from the EU. So has Wales, so has Portugal, Spain, Greece , etc etc . "

    A small point, this money you refer to, it originates with the taxpayer, and the UK is close to neutral in terms of the EU payment's / receipt's.

    Wales, as do the other UK regions, receives money from its UK taxpayers via the EU. Reading your comment No 29 one would assume the UK government singles out Wales to be treated in a less than fair manner, this of course is disingenuous.

    The Assembly has shown little in the way of alternative government, if it had this debate would be quite different.

    Complain about this comment

  • 32. At 10:32pm on 26 Sep 2008, dylanrees88 wrote:

    Scotland gets most of its tax money from the people of Scotland and a bit from the UK and EU by the way.....

    who pays agriculture funds?? the british public? no everyone in the EU! they only get 10% of the tax money from UK public.....from what i've heared from my teacher in the past...

    the UK aswell as greece france spain malta get a fund from the EU .....all our tax money is sent to london, they send a bit to the devolved nations of the UK, on the amount of power they have.....(according to a welsh assembly e-mail)Please not i did not get that from Plaid Cymru but from a Labour AM...
    Scotland gets more than us, simply because there government are more devolved... the money of the scottish people is spent on Scotland...now SNP are in power they are trying not to depend on UK funding like the other parties were doing.....

    we in Wales need the westminster government's approval first before we pass certain laws....
    our tax money is not controlled like in Scotland.....it is london who controls our tax money not Cardiff.....

    some of our tax money is also sent to the EU parliament....which the EU spends on funding us and other states...
    the EU do not control our tax money it is the UK government, it is the UK government that sends some of our tax money to the EU it is the EU that controls how much tax money UK government should pay them....


    Complain about this comment

  • 33. At 00:10am on 27 Sep 2008, oldnat wrote:

    #32 dylanrees

    "Scotland gets most of its tax money from the people of Scotland and a bit from the UK and EU by the way"
    It's a little more complicated than that. All Scotland's taxes go to London, and we get a block grant back under the Barnett formula as you do. Of course, since we elected a Nationalist Government, London doesn't pass on the additional revenue for extra English spend that they should.

    Complain about this comment

  • 34. At 06:11am on 27 Sep 2008, John Henry wrote:

    oldnat , your .....

    "since we elected a Nationalist Government, London doesn't pass ...... "

    Are you implying the British Government victimises region's because of their voting pattern's?

    Complain about this comment

  • 35. At 11:19am on 27 Sep 2008, Lyn David Thomas wrote:

    Back to the real debate, the no campaign as championed by David Davies said that a vote yes would be a step towards independence and Soviet style poverty.

    Well independence is not on offer, just a full realisation of the assembly's powers without having to use the cumbersome, time wasting and expensive LCO route. So that eliminates that argument. Independence will only come when the people of Wales vote for it, its not on offer so end of that argument.

    Second argument deployed is that the current route of LCOs gives greater scrutiny - I am not sure this is the case, what it does mean is that MPs try to second guess what ever legislation might be produced as a result of giving limited legislative competence to the National Assembly. This is really an attempt to claw back powers by MPs - ultimately something that I think would help convince people that we need the powers here. Or would people rather have David Davies decide what the shape of our laws should be?

    Third argument is that the quality of scrutiny is better at Westminster than in Butetown....
    This is highly debatable. Are they saying that the quality of Welsh MPs are better than those of AMs? Or that their procedures are better than those of the assembly. Now while I can think of some truly awful Assembly members I can also think of some awful MPs, so you take you pick there. But in terms of quality of scrutiny, I think the National Assembly has that covered... with prelegislative reports, open committees taking evidence from the public and people who know the area ie 60 Welsh members vs 600 or so who know little about Wales, who are informed by their constituents, give me the National Assembly anytime. Or does David Davies feel he has a unique position? I didn't hear much from him requesting that matters be referred to our betters at Westminster when he was in the National Assembly....

    Complain about this comment

  • 36. At 11:42am on 27 Sep 2008, bochgoch wrote:



    This blog has been taken over by headbangers.

    Thank you Lyn Thomas. Well said, lets get back to the real debate.

    Complain about this comment

  • 37. At 12:12pm on 27 Sep 2008, John Henry wrote:

    Lyn_Thomas

    Whatever David Davies faults might be, he cannot be faulted for insisting on debate.

    Prior to the initiation of the "True Wales" "No" debate there was little democracy with regard to the All Wales Convention, the Labour Plaid agreement set out parameters which were to gain a "Yes" in the quest for the next step along the devolution process.

    If the "True Wales" group wish to extend the debate, that is their prerogative, it is democratic debate.

    I am worried about your suggestion that the quality of scrutiny might be better without Westminster. Good or bad, Westminster has the other place for scrutiny in addition to various committee's, are you suggesting Welsh legislators do not need another place (preferably elected) to scrutinise legislation.

    Complain about this comment

  • 38. At 12:41pm on 27 Sep 2008, Old_Miwl wrote:

    At last - discusion on the actual referrendum subject.
    There will be no independence or abolition of the assembly options on the paper. It will be a choice between the present set up of transferring legislative powers on a case by case basis or in one block. Stonemason makes the first argument I've heard in favour of the present arangements.
    If 'True Wales' want to be taken seriously in the debate they need to argue on the issue at hand rather than talking about independence, Soviet style poverty or going back to pre devolution days. If they don't they won't be contributing to democracy but undermining it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 39. At 1:11pm on 27 Sep 2008, osian wrote:

    The idea of an independent Ceredigion and Gwynedd is very interesting - but would not work. Simply because we, the Welsh would be responsible for the splitting of our nation and not even Welsh ambitions of independence from England would cause us to split our nation in two.


    "The Assembly has shown little in the way of alternative government, if it had this debate would be quite different."

    The Assembly has shown that it can govern effectively, with the powers it has already. Which is quite an achievement considering the amount of powers they actually have. The Assembly is seeking more powers to present an alternative government so that a future debate may take place. People have got to realise that this is not a debate on independence, or even on future independence - it is a debate for further devolution. Or the replacing of the current system.

    "If 'True Wales' want to be taken seriously in the debate they need to argue on the issue at hand rather than talking about independence, Soviet style poverty or going back to pre devolution days. If they don't they won't be contributing to democracy but undermining it."

    Hit the nail on the head. Also they might need some more influential support, other than an MP and a councillor, obviously.

    Also the figures quoted by both sides are slightly exaggerated, 70% in favour of further devolution?! 85% against further devolution?! I think it's slighty more even than that. You only discredit your own argument by quoting such ridiculous figures.

    ALSO BETSAN PLEASE ANSWER MY QUESTION! How many councillors are there in Wales?

    Complain about this comment

  • 40. At 1:26pm on 27 Sep 2008, John Henry wrote:


    Wales is very similar to Scotland and Northern Ireland, possibly to the numerous English regions, all are moving forward, at various speeds without a model for devolution, everyone has ideas about what might be the good outcomes from local democracy, but the question of how has been ignored or forgotten.

    And I have a further question, has any consideration been given to how the devolved governments will work at a National level, Taxation, Foreign Affairs and Defence spring to mind as important issues, working together is important in the real world. The LCO route is a working model that demonstrates the strengths and weaknesses of devolved government as part of a larger whole, the UK.

    I am very worried. I do not know David Davies or his motives, but we might come to thank him for slowing down a headlong rush into a very unknown place.

    It might also be time to take stock of the aspirations of the supporters of various political groups, and include the aspirations of the non-aligned people of Wales, they are equally important.

    Complain about this comment

  • 41. At 11:19pm on 27 Sep 2008, JimBargoed wrote:

    Apparently there are over 1200 councillors serving on Wales' 22 local authorities.

    Source: http://www.local.gov.uk

    Complain about this comment

  • 42. At 07:20am on 28 Sep 2008, Benedek wrote:

    If the intellectual content of some of the contributions to this blog is anything to go by then the the campaign for more powers for the assembly is going to have a difficult time convincing a majority of Welsh voters. As for independence I suggest that everyone should read Jim Wallace's article in today's Observer on what the Collapse of HBOS has meant for the idea of independence for Scotland. The problem with devolution is that it should be about better governance. Unfortunately as recent comments from leading Plaid politicians show it is seen in their eyes as a stepping stone to full independence. They got carried away with the so called success of Salmond in Scotland. Unfortunately for them there is no Welsh Salmond. It also looks in the aftermath of the HBOS affair that Salmond is also increasingly being seen as nother King with no clothes on. Those in favour of more powers have to get back to basics and show concrete examples of how law making powers will actually improve the lives of ordinary Welsh men and women wherever they live in Wales. Failure to do so could see a repeat of 1979 no matter what the opinion polls say. Emotional spasms don't win referendum arguments.

    Complain about this comment

  • 43. At 09:25am on 28 Sep 2008, John Henry wrote:

    Well Benedek, item 42 ......

    Reading your first line "If the intellectual content of some ......" is going to do the "No" cause, no help at all.

    This is an admonition; you must not insult anybody, directly or indirectly, if you do, any high ground, moral or political, is going to be lost.

    Your last "Emotional spasms don't win referendum arguments." You need to be careful with such generalities, look to history and you will find many such "emotional episodes", the majority, although short lived had devastating effects on people, and it is the people that matter.

    Complain about this comment

  • 44. At 3:02pm on 28 Sep 2008, Crossroads wrote:

    At the recent Plaid Cymru conference, I distinctly heard Squeaky-Boy himself,our very own Ieuen Wyn Jones say . . . "But we would never call any referendum which we stood a chance of losing". . .

    Surely something not quite fair in that statement.

    Betsan was there, surely she must have heard it too/

    Complain about this comment

  • 45. At 6:17pm on 28 Sep 2008, John Henry wrote:


    Well Noah_sembly, that sounds like democracy!

    Complain about this comment

  • 46. At 1:01pm on 29 Sep 2008, whatdudetooksquacco wrote:

    I get very confused with the comments on here. How does granting full law making powers in the style of Scotland equate to Independence? Why does letting our elected representatives decide on a way forward for Wales mean a Balkan style crisis and Soviet style poverty?
    As I see it there are two inescapable facts from a number of surveys. 1) only around 10% of Welsh voters want independence and 2) The vast majority want to retain the Assembly with a majority of those want an increase in it's powers.
    Surely then it is to our benefit to make the Assembly work and that means increasing its ability to legislate effectively and smoothly in accordance with the peoples wishes and that means removing the obstacles and need for parliamentary approval before acting. Why are we wasting time and on occasion lives (smoking ban time lags).
    Just why is it that the no campaigners don't want more powers? Do they really feel that we as a country don't have the people with the abilities to govern ourselves? Are they really that patronising and doubtful of the talents of their fellow Welshmen?
    And why the spectre of Independence? Independence at present is a pipe dream. It may come one day or it may not. But it certainly wont come in my lifetime. Why all the rubbish about convoys of people heading east. Absolute poppycock! If there were independence we would still be on the same island as England and Scotland. We would still have families in each others countries, share many common values and experience. Share the same language, similar cultures and beliefs, and they would be our major trading partners. There are diffrences of course there are but not the sharp ethnic and religious ones that damage relations in the Balkans. In short independence would not be the armageddon that the no brigade paints. But we are/or should not be discussing independence we are discussing law making powers.
    At the moment we have four countries in the UK with four different systems of government. It is a total mess! Anyone wanting to save the Union should grasp the reality that devolution can't be reversed but that the Union can be saved by having the same system in place in all 4 countries which mirrors the Scottish Parliament.
    Holding on to the current position is untenable because the English are getting increasingly disgruntled with it and it is they who will at that rate drive through Welsh indepenendence by default if nothing is done.

    Complain about this comment

  • 47. At 3:01pm on 29 Sep 2008, legendaryavocet wrote:

    Why bother with a publicly-funded convention to 'assess the mood of the Welsh people' with regard to further powers for the Assembly. The 'One Wales' government should have sufficient confidence in the Welsh people to allow them to make their voices heard in an immediate referendum, and to use the £2.5 million that it is spending on the Convention, in the NHS and education instead.

    Complain about this comment

  • 48. At 9:57pm on 29 Sep 2008, osian wrote:

    Comment 46 has a good point. And thanks to jimbargoed, I looked and looked for that on about 6 different websites... is it just me or is government confusing?

    Complain about this comment

  • 49. At 4:16pm on 08 Oct 2008, brynt41 wrote:

    #10 lordbeddgelert

    "We in Wales have 'English Law' and therefore all the benefits that, say, Hong Kong has because business there is also governed by 'English Law'."

    We also know how HK came to be under British control in the first place. It was to force the Chinese to trade in opium.

    We in Wales, as well as English law, also have, a head of state who is Queen of England, an English Prince of Wales, and an Union Flag on which our country is unrepresented. We have no control over how our country is policed or how justice is managed here. We have a Parliament overwhelmingly dominated by English MPs, an unelected House of Lords, again dominated by English members, including 92 hereditary peers, several hundred party hacks (of which only one belongs to PC), and some bishops of the Church of England. This latter unelected chamber has a veto on any area of legislation the Welsh Assembly wishes to make. How more insulting and demeaning can you get? How can you call yourself Welsh and accept this kind of treatment. Of course, it wasn't designed by a Welshman, but by a man who was parachuted into Neath so as to get into Westminster to carve a career for himself.

    Of course, Wales has really flourished economically, socially and culturally under the above regime. It tops the table of European economies, has the highest standard of living, lowest levels of child poverty and unemployment, and a marvellous integrated transport infrastructure. Not to mention the best health service that money can buy.
    Hahahah!!

    This is the regime which has brought the Welsh language to the brink of extinction in just over a century. Most of Wales has been twice designated for EU Objective One funding, as one of the poorest regions in Europe, including the newest entrants.

    Even if Wales gets a Parliament along Scottish lines, it will still have very limited powers, as compared with the individual states in the US, the Canadian provinces, Australian territories, Swiss cantons, and German lander.

    Still, we have two muppets, from both discredited parties which have brought Wales to the present 'wonderful' state that its in, who can come up with nothing better than 'No'. Wales can do without people like this, full of negativity, no foresight or vision.

    We should be saying 'No' to them, and 'Yes' to a better Wales, whose future destiny lies with us, the people of Wales.

    Complain about this comment

  • 50. At 06:21am on 27 Dec 2008, dennisjunior1 wrote:

    Betsan:

    What is the NO Campaign for what problem???

    Since, i have no idea what is being talk about.....

    ~Dennis Junior~

    Complain about this comment

View these comments in RSS

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.