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The view from Westminster

Betsan Powys | 20:18 UK time, Sunday, 23 January 2011

Does the Welsh Assembly need greater powers?

Is the referendum on March 3rd a tidying-up exercise?

Or is it a big step in creating a more powerful Assembly?

The Westminster Hour asks the questions tonight at 10pm on Radio 4.

Comments

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  • 1. At 9:24pm on 23 Jan 2011, Richard_Corso wrote:

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

  • 2. At 10:58pm on 23 Jan 2011, Dave wrote:

    I think the current focus should be on saving money. How much is this referendum costing the tax payer?

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  • 3. At 10:58pm on 23 Jan 2011, Jack_Wilkinson wrote:

    I listened to the program, it just made me more convinced that a nationalistic Llafur/Plaid elite, completely dominate the Welsh media and political establishment.

    And, don't forget that Plaid, in its honesty, thinks that a 'yes' vote is a vote for a fully fledged Welsh Parliament.

    How's about some honesty, Llafur?

    http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/welsh-politics/welsh-politics-news/2010/08/19/plaid-cymru-to-establish-clear-green-water-with-labour-91466-27091839/

    Ms Evans, a regional AM for Mid and West Wales, said the party needed to move into a new phase, with fresh ideas for a fully-fledged Welsh Parliament which will come into existence if the referendum on primary lawmaking powers is won next year.

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  • 4. At 11:49pm on 23 Jan 2011, lionelair wrote:

    So Richard Corse from his learned "business" perspective (probably as an Avon Represntative) has seen first hand how WAG has failed. Fabulous. I too have seen first hand how the WG (Westminster Government) have failed also and wish therefore to see a lessening in their power. Sorry I am confusing the UK Parliament with the UK Government. What I mean is that due to the current and previous UK government's systematic ruination of the UK economy, I should like to see someone else have a go. Be this Europe or on a REGIONAL level. Nevertheless, the UK level's performance is a true reflection of failure. Since the institution itself cannot be dissolved, I would advocate a cancellation of the government. No can't do that either, again I am confusing the two. How about what we did in 1997 and 2010. We stuck with an irreversible system and changed the government. Exactly what we should do it Cardiff this year.
    Finally, I would rather not be ethnically or linguistically cleansed from my native Newport as a result of my Welsh language skills thank you. My welsh speaking Newport-based taxes pay your pension I should imagine

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  • 5. At 00:13am on 24 Jan 2011, Jack_Wilkinson wrote:

    Well said lionelair, the Labour party whilst in control of Westminster, totally ruined the British economy, didn't they?

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  • 6. At 00:19am on 24 Jan 2011, Nospin wrote:

    West Wales wrote ( in the a comment on the previous article)

    If we are part of the UK we have rights, privileges and protections under a legislative and Constitutional system with precedents and hard won freedoms dating back a thousand years - you are asking that we should forgo those rights and protections.
    --------------------------------------------------------
    Just what happens when we make Welsh laws, surely as part of the UK we can appeal to a higher court which could over rule the Welsh law, especially if it cuts across a UK law, just as happens with the UK laws and the EU.

    If that is the case it would seem stupid to remove the scrutiny by the Welsh MP's committee and the various legal elements in the parliamentary civil service.

    Even if it is not the case it is still stupid to bypass the pool of experience in favour of the lack of experience in and around the assembly.

    Look at the badger episode, a plan announced for two trial areas a bill introduced for the whole of Wales, the assembly lost in court and it cost £57,600 (including £20,000 towards the otherside's costs).

    I should imagine the biggest supporters of a yes vote are lawyers - they are going to have a field day and get very rich.

    Nospin

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  • 7. At 06:50am on 24 Jan 2011, John Henry wrote:

    The LCO system reflects a wish to remain close to our neighbours.

    The most recent idea to come from the Assembly is the question of presumed consent, do you gift your "cadaver with its organs for donation" by default unless you explicitly say no, this proposal comes from politicians with the knowledge that such legislation will not raise organ donation even marginally...

    Spain had the system for a decade without increasing donation rates. What made a difference was when, in 1989, it began to develop a transplant co-ordination network.


    ... but with the knowledge that such legislation will drive a distinct boundary between England and Wales, in law England and Wales will become separate legislative lands by sleight of hand, a conjurers trick.

    Scope is therefore a requirement if the public wish to remain as part of a united Britain as it has for almost a thousand years. There is no need for speed, there is every need for good legislation that does not drive wedges between England and Wales because of political expediency.

    Scope is the fundamental part of the LCO process, we do not want to separate from the United Kingdom by mistake, a Yes vote removes scope, thus the Assembly becomes even more powerful than Westminster within the 20 devolved areas, at Westminster the government needs approval of two debating chambers, WAG just needs a simple majority in the Assembly.

    So remove scope and you remove the democratic process called scrutiny, we will lose democracy.

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  • 8. At 08:35am on 24 Jan 2011, Lyn David Thomas wrote:

    Can we get something right, there is no scrutiny at the moment at Westminster of Assembly Measures - that is a fact. Assembly Measures go through 4 stages in the National Assembly, they are thoroughly scrutinised, including allowing the public to comment. Many other legislatures are unicameral, Sweden, Denmark, New Zealand and Norway spring to mind. I do not think anyone would suggest that these are not democratic nations. How would we separate from the United Kingdom by mistake? Incidentally prior to Royal Assent all Assembly Measures (and if the referendum says yes, Acts of the Assembly) are subject to a waiting period when they can be referred to the Supreme Court to see if they are within the competence of the National Assembly.

    Stonewall Can you get your history right too, the UK has existed in its present form since 1922/1923 - hardly 1000 years. Maybe England has been unified for 1000 years but not the UK.

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  • 9. At 09:15am on 24 Jan 2011, SEDWOT wrote:

    4 Lionelliar.

    "Finally, I would rather not be ethnically or linguistically cleansed from my native Newport as a result of my Welsh language skills thank you"

    What is this "Ethnic and Linguistic cleansing" of which you speak? Yes, I know that Cymuned coined the term in the early part of the decade as a nice emotive catch phrase, but in what way are native Welsh speakers being cleansed?

    The truth of the matter is that it is non Welsh speakers who are the ones who are
    "Economically Cleansed" from Wales, particularly from the Welsh speaking part of Wales.

    The Welsh Language Board did research on migration to England and found that, disproportionately, non-Welsh speakers were economic migrants from Wales.
    And Within Wales?
    48% of Welsh speakers work in the public sector. Since the public sector puts duties on next step agencies to follow "Welsh Language policies" even more Welsh speakers are employed in the third sector. And now? A new Language act means that even more jobs are available for Welsh speakers in the private sector.
    Save me from your poor-me bleeding heart victimhood Lionelliar.

    The Welsh Language board also keeps track of the financial well-being of its chosen-children;

    Proportion by which Welsh speakers earn more than non-Welsh speakers 8-10% depending on level of fluency. So, on average, we can assume that a Newport Native Welsh speaker will be 10% better off than a Newport Non Welsh speaker.

    Then the WLB also tracks economic activity for the Chosen Ones.
    "Economic Activity;
    Economically active 2004 2009
    % of Welsh speakers 76.6 78.0 +1.4 percentage points
    % of non-Welsh speakers 74.4 74.3 -0.1 percentage points
    Difference (percentage points) +2.2 +3.7
    Explanatory note: The statistics above are included on the assumption that there is a relationship
    between the economic status of the language and the economic status of those who speak it."

    For someone who is a fluent Welsh speaker I can tell you that if you send your child to A Welsh Medium Secondary school you will be in affluent company;

    Throughout Wales the average percentage of children on Free school Meals in Welsh Medium Secondary Schools is 11%
    For English Medium it is 20%

    85.4% of Children in WM secondaries are in schools with less than 15% FSMs
    43.5% of Chldren in EM secondaries are in schools with less than 15% FSMs.
    A clear Indication of how the Language Laws have constructed an artificial Economic Elite of Welsh speakers.

    I Know, I know the next post will be "Why don't you all learn Welsh then?"

    Well here again all is not straight forward. Only 9% of children who have no Welsh speaking parent ever learn Welsh in Wales even though they go through school having lessons from the age of 5 to 15.

    On the other hand 82% of Children with Welsh speaking parents speak Welsh.

    This is our very un-equal society, endorsed by all political parties, If you are blessed with Welsh speaking Parents you are on the road to economic affluence.

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  • 10. At 09:19am on 24 Jan 2011, cleverelliejo wrote:

    Answers:
    NO
    NO
    YES
    It stands out a mile that one of the results of having the Assembly has been to drive a huge wedge between Welsh and English (only) speakers.
    The hatred & loathing directed to those lesser beings is quite frightening, We have a version of Apartheid that wouldn't be tolerated in the rest of the UK. But because it is "saving the language" then it is welsh government sponsored.
    And as for their idea of organs beings harvested, would it be a case of welsh speakers first in the queue? They are for every thing else.

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  • 11. At 09:25am on 24 Jan 2011, sid_ts63 wrote:

    morning , the referendum is about do you wish to remain a county of England or maybe West Britain OR are you really a Nation State.

    the English political classes are more than happy to take everything from your country and give nothing in return.

    (despite what the london based papers would like us to believe)

    they obviously think they have it all wrapped up. you would not even get a sniff at a referendum if the English thought there was a chance they might lose. So go on surprise them TAKE THE FIRST STEP!
    Sid

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  • 12. At 09:49am on 24 Jan 2011, comeoffit wrote:

    @ #4

    A native Newport Welsh speaker... are you the only one?

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  • 13. At 09:56am on 24 Jan 2011, John Henry wrote:

    8 ...

    ... by setting the scope of an LCO scrutiny has been applied, imperfect possibly, but it is far better than the "Nill Scrutiny" that would be applied if additional powers were gained by the Assembly.

    You may bluster as much as you like, but when two thirds of the Assembly membership are comprised of WAG and its political groups scrutiny becomes ephemeral, markedly short-lived.

    If you are unable to use my pen-name correctly just refer to the comment number, you are insulting, also may I recommend the current BBC4 programme "The Normans", it reinforces my view that whilst I might be adrift by a few decades, small change in historical terms, The Irish were amalgamated following an invitation by an Irish King to the Marcher Lords to join him in the suppression of his own people[s], whilst the Scots became Norman in nature through adoption and marriage, Wales was a little different, when the princes stopped fighting amongst themselves it was to late, the landed gentry became assimilated much as the Scots. Humour me, the BBC have produced an excellent view of an important part of the history of Britain.

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  • 14. At 11:27am on 24 Jan 2011, Bryn_Teilo wrote:

    #7
    Simplistic comments abound here.

    ‘England and Wales will become separate legislative lands by sleight of hand’

    That is incorrect and untrue.

    The English judicial and legal system was imposed on Wales in 1542, in one of a series of Acts designed to assimilate Wales into England and to wipe out the language of its people. Those Acts failed on both counts. Wales has remained a separate entity and is recognised as a nation. Its Language, though weakened and in a precarious position, has survived. However, a high degree of legal uniformity was created.

    The Welsh Assembly is an institution subject to the sovereignty of the Westminster Parliament. The Act which created it can be repealed in London at any time, with a majority of one, though in practical terms it would almost certainly require a referendum.

    Acts of Parliament which only apply in and to Wales have been on the statute book since the 1880s. There is already a body of Welsh law (created in both London and Cardiff) which reflects the fact that Wales is a distinctive entity within the UK. This body of law will increase as the years pass regardless of the outcome of the referendum. It does not create a separate legal or judicial system. The measures, or acts (post a successful Yes vote), passed by the Assembly will be subject to the same courts and legal processes as exist at present.

    It follows that, just as in any other sphere of law, specialisms will develop. Lawyers will specialise in areas of law applying only to Wales, but they will practice in the same courts, subject to the courts of appeal and the Supreme Court in London (and the ECHR). Political and legal systems EVOLVE – it is a necessity.

    ‘..part of a united Britain as it has for almost a thousand years’.

    These islands have a long and complex history which has evolved and is evolving – like it or not. It is not set in STONE... Stonemason.

    The United Kingdom (of England and Scotland) was created in 1707. Ireland lost its Parliament in 1801 and was brought under the direct control of Westminster in that year. In 1922 most of Ireland, after an armed struggle, left.

    During the last 50 years (longer in Scotland) there has been a gradual devolution of administrative powers from London to Edinburgh and Cardiff. In 1999 the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly were created. In 2006 primary legislative powers were devolved to Cardiff on an incremental basis. More powers will be devolved to Holyrood – that is a given. I don’t see what your problem is with change. That is the nature of this world.

    ‘...we do not want to separate from the United Kingdom by mistake’.

    How can it happen by ‘mistake’? What a silly remark. The modest proposals of 1997 and those of Part 4 of GoWA 2006 required the assent of the people of Wales. Separation isn’t on the agenda.

    Legislative devolution has the support of the leaders of the four main parties in Wales. Three of the parties are opposed to separation on principle – they are unionists. Plaid Cymru has, as it’s only too often pointed out by its opponents here, minority support.

    The real question is do the people of Wales want laws which only affect Wales to be created by their elected representative IN Wales without having to ask for permission from Westminster in a lengthy, cumbersome, and expensive process? The political parties are agreed that it would be a good thing.

    I agree that the issues need to be openly debated. TW’s refusal to apply for official status as the No campaign has the undemocratic effect of denying the people of Wales the opportunity of having the level of informed debate necessary.

    A cynic might question its motives for so doing as an attempt to weaken the legitimacy of the outcome. However, that is a short-sighted policy, as its leaders could themselves be accused of having been responsible for reducing the legitimacy of the referendum, and therefore would have no cause to complain.

    Sadly, that is no way for a democracy to function or for any mature sensible political organisation to behave.

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  • 15. At 11:28am on 24 Jan 2011, TellingmewhatIknowalready wrote:

    9 SEDWOT. Thanks for providing such detailed and factual information which only confirms what a lot of people have suspected for years.I could "understand" this drift towards welshification if the people of wales had voted into power Plaid Cymru (Splitters Party),and by implication the policies we are currently seeing. The reverse is the FACT as other than for small "heartland" areas they are irrelevance,and nay despised by most english speaking welsh people. How the vast majority of english only speaking welsh people have allowed a bunch of interllectual snobs/elitists to gather all this power over our education system is a mystery. Except it aint as the welsh language fanatics have only one aim which is to continue the long march of establishing
    welsh speaking as the MAIN language for employment in public sector in wales,and before long in the private sector by "quotas". The move for "more powers" is simply part of the "plank" of PC,and their secret supporters to internalise politics in wales to their advantage. These people have to be STOPPED before we are fully "marginalised" into a ghetto of impotence. Where is Lord Kinnock when one needs him,and Dr.Kim Howells as well!!

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  • 16. At 12:35pm on 24 Jan 2011, geoff drake wrote:

    Obfuscation continues (a good word,one I first learnt from Neil Kinnock another great Welsh confuser).
    Replies to earlier blogs seem to have confirmed that the referendum should not be taken as a measure of the effectivness of the Assembly but should mearly be seen as tidying up administrative procedures by removing the need to ask permission before enacting stupid policies.Convenient way of ducking reposibility for failing
    As 10 years of rule from Cardiff have shown a decline in every area of Public service that it has had the power to influence what reassurance do i have that increased powers wont simply mean a greater rate of decline in our economy with Cardiff demostrating even less ability to manage a new and more complex range of powers.
    Surely its time we stoppd worrying about 1000 year old injustices or even whether the Welsh language is getting preference.Remember the adage "its the economy stupid"

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  • 17. At 12:49pm on 24 Jan 2011, FoDafydd wrote:

    Re 15

    Oh dear! This and many of the other comments above - including Stonemsaon's continuously inaccurate understanding of the LCO system, and his view that all British history is glorious, until, shall we say, twenty years ago!!!!!!! - is all proof that we are not going to get a proper debate leading up to the referendun from the No to Wales cabal. Official or not.

    It isn't about reason and intellectual rigour, it all just slips back to where they all seem happiest, showing their hatred by attacking the Welsh language and any who dare to speak it.

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  • 18. At 1:38pm on 24 Jan 2011, Bryn_Teilo wrote:

    #16

    On first reading you appear to make some valid points.

    What you disregard is that Wales - the Assembly Government - is significantly underfunded. Wales has structural problems which have existed for generations. The underfunding has accelerated (relatively) since the creation of the Assembly. Bear in mind that for almost all the eleven years since its inception that it only possessed administrative powers - the powers to spend the pot of money it received from the UK Treasury - when those funds were insufficient to address the serious underlying problems.

    It’s true, that post referendum, if there is a Yes vote, it will still lack the fiscal and monetary powers to address the structural issues. Blaming it for a relative deterioration in services is like blaming the local council for cutting services when its grant from central government has been cut and its ability to raise council tax capped.

    I believe that the way the UK is structured is responsible for many of the disparities between its various regions and nations. Devolution is one method of addressing those issues. The level of devolution apportioned to Wales has been dictated by unionist parties. You wouldn’t blame the gas fitter if he couldn’t fix the boiler simply because the company he worked for hadn’t provided him with the requisite tools to do the job or if the boiler was on its last legs for lack of maintenance and neglect down the years.

    As for ‘ducking responsibility’, it can be argued that legislative powers will make the Assembly more accountable to the people of Wales, as there will be fewer excuses for lack of performance.

    It will also give the Government of Wales more clout when it comes to negotiation with Westminster, as has been the case in Scotland.

    UK governments have not adequately addressed the structural inequalities – it’s arguable that they have made little attempt to do so in the post-war era, despite having had the wherewithal. Many of its resources have been squandered on expensive projects, inefficiency and wars – we could discuss those at great length. It doesn’t look hopeful for the future either.

    Only today two of Wales’ cities (Swansea and Newport) are said to be in the top five most vulnerable cities in the UK in the post recession period. The study says that funding to address that is required from central government. This is symptomatic of Wales’ structural problems, having twice been designated for Objective One funding from the EU, as one of Europe’s poorest regions.

    Your comment about having ‘even less ability’ has echoes of the old unionist mantra fed to us in the smaller nations of the UK for centuries that Wales is, ‘too small, too weak, too stupid’ to be able to manage its own affairs. Oddly enough Wales is larger in population terms than over one-third of the members of the UN.

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  • 19. At 2:20pm on 24 Jan 2011, Nospin wrote:

    No 18
    The assembly is underfunded???
    What are you on about, the grant from 1997 to 2009 more than doubled and that is after taking out extra money for new transfers etc, ie it is like for like.
    Problem is they wasted loads of it on overseas offices, new buildings, re-organisations which were then reversed, and massive projects of social engineering and "nation building".
    Even the much vaunted bus passes and prescriptions were a mess up, they failed to realise that once free they would cost a lot more, so now they are struggling with the budgets for them, no doubt in my mind some time during the new assembly term both will suffer restrictions and possible "mininmum charges" being introduced.
    Back at the start they should have concentrated on the main services, economy / prosperity, health and education. As for transport and infrastrucure from the economy standpoint the east west "trade" routes should be the absolute priority ( in the north and south) but IWJ keeps banging on about better north south transport.
    Had they concentrated on the economy 1st and succeeded (which is doubtful) they would have then been able to launch into all these other projects without robbing budgets of the vital services.
    WAG starts all these ideas with good itenet but failsto follow up, measure and correct as time goes on, the economy plan produced an annual report for the first few years then it was quietly droppe, as was any progress .
    The 10 year plan to improve the economy had a budget of £15billion, the plan failed, where did the money go?

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  • 20. At 2:27pm on 24 Jan 2011, Fitzmark2 wrote:

    Re #4

    I came across a native Welsh speaker in Newport recently. And I must say he was a very compassionate individual. It might have been you.

    So upset was he by the material state of the English medium school in his local community that he went straight into B&Q, bought a pot of paint and helped the volunteers paint the classrooms.

    He further told me that there was only one criterion on which to base his vote at the forthcoming referendum, and that was to take into consideration the position of the Welsh economy (bottom) in relation to the other regions of Britain. Absolutely I said.

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  • 21. At 2:35pm on 24 Jan 2011, Nospin wrote:

    I see reports this morning on the forums that Janet Heyward has resigned or is it "has had to resign", presumably something to do with allowing the school and children to be used for the Yes launch.

    Strange how none of the media seems to be reporting this.

    Conspiracy of silence?

    Closing the ranks ?

    Or perhaps the "report" is wrong?

    Nospin

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  • 22. At 2:43pm on 24 Jan 2011, Stuart wrote:

    #14 Bryn

    Thanks for the status briefing, but there's one critical ambiguity. When you refer to Wales as a separate entity, it may be true emotionally but it certainly isn't true legally. Wales is legally established as 'a collection of English counties'.

    Clearly evidenced by the fact that English law applies in Wales or that on company letterheads the words 'and Wales' in the licensing statement are optional, it would help discussions if we understand the foundations that we are all trying to build on.

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  • 23. At 3:15pm on 24 Jan 2011, Nospin wrote:

    No 14 wrote
    I agree that the issues need to be openly debated. TW’s refusal to apply for official status as the No campaign has the undemocratic effect of denying the people of Wales the opportunity of having the level of informed debate necessary.
    ----------------------------------------------------
    What issues would that be then?
    Your comment on TW stiffling the debate is way off the mark going by dragon's eye last week.
    Roger Lewis was emphatic the only issue was the law making one, flat refused to discuss anything to do with the failed perfomance of WAG, or the concerns of the people.
    Now is that because
    1) That is what he has been instructed to do
    2) He knows nothing about the other issues and concerns of the people
    3) Or like Rhodri he has no opinion on these issue.

    Nospin

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  • 24. At 3:38pm on 24 Jan 2011, Bryn_Teilo wrote:

    #22

    "'Wales is legally established as 'a collection of English counties'."

    Hehe... what can one say to that other than its incorrect.

    It may have been the case.

    You may be confusing two issues, law and political status.

    As I mentioned above the English legal and judicial system was applied to Wales by the 1542 Act. An earlier Act of the English Parliament had abolished Welsh laws. The Wales and Berwick Act 1746 stated that all future laws that applied to England would apply to Wales (& Berwick-upon-Tweed) unless the law explicitly said otherwise. Sections of the 1746 Act pertaining to Wales were repealed in 1967 by the Welsh Language Act.

    I quote from Wikipedia:

    ‘The Local Government Act 1972 which came into force on 1 April 1974, explicitly stated that in future legislation "England" would consist of the 46 metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties established by the Act (which included Berwick), and that "Wales" would consist of the eight Welsh counties established by the Act. This also had the effect of excluding Monmouthshire from the definition of England, and including it in Wales.’

    [My understanding is that the 1972 Act did not have retrospective effect on laws passed before 1972 – it would have created too many problems to disentangle]

    Wales’ distinctive identity has re-emerged centuries after the attempts at assimilation which date back to 1536. For example, the National Museum and National Library of Wales were created partially by government grants in 1912. The Anglican Church in Wales was disestablished in 1920 – by statute. No bishop of the Church in Wales has a seat in the Lords. The Wales Gas Board was created in 1947, the Welsh Regional Hospitals Board in 1948. In 1955 Cardiff was recognised as the capital of Wales, which was de facto a recognition of Wales as a nation.

    After the LGA 1972 statutes and government documents have generally used the term ‘England and Wales’, whereas they formerly referred to ‘England’. Cross-border bodies have titles such as the Law Commission for England and Wales, or the England and Wales Cricket Board etc.

    Finally, of course, the creation of the National Assembly of Wales removed any doubt, if ever there was by then, of Wales’ status, legally or otherwise, as merely ‘a collection of English counties’, but as a 'nation'.

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  • 25. At 4:08pm on 24 Jan 2011, penddu wrote:

    24 There is so much inaccuracy and ignorance regarding Welsh history and the legal status of Wales it is staggering!!!

    The Acts of Union of 1535 & 1542 while annexing Wales did not abolish it.

    It was only the Wales and Berwick Act of 1742 (? need to check exact date) that abolished Wales as a separate legal entity. However that distinction was restored in 1966 when the Wales & Berwick Act was abolished (as far as it related to Wales).

    The significance of the Local Government Acts of 1972 were only to tidy up the border enclaves like Welsh Bicknor and to confirm the county of Gwent/Monmouthshire as being categorically part of Wales.

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  • 26. At 4:35pm on 24 Jan 2011, Bryn_Teilo wrote:

    #23

    The referendum is a single issue. Is the National Assembly to have legislative powers in the twenty devolved areas (more or less immediately) or is the present unsatisfactory ‘salami slicing’ of individual legislative capacities to continue?

    All political parties in the Assembly are agreed that the present Part 3 system is not working well. For them it is not a political issue. It is a structural and constitutional issue concerning the effectiveness of the institution, as opposed to a political entity, called the ‘government’.

    Note that the opposition parties in Wales, which cannot be blamed for a government’s shortcomings or praised for its successes, are in favour of a Yes vote. Their perception is that the powers are required for the institutions of government and Assembly to better and more effectively perform for the people of Wales, regardless of whichever party or parties are in power there.

    The perceived successes or failures of a government – one party predominantly has been in government since the Assembly’s inception - is neither here nor there. Its performance for better or worse is a party-political issue. The referendum is not.

    Party political issues are a matter for an election. This is a constitutional issue. They should be kept separate. TW’s attempts to blur the issue and limit the scope of both campaigns to take the debate to the people of Wales is imo to subvert the democratic process which relies heavily on informed debate. That's why the Electoral Commission exists.

    I’m sure that TW’s leaders are only too well aware that some of their arguments are not relevant to the issue, which is probably why they fight shy of facing the people with them. The ‘slippery slope’ being the daftest of them all – easily demolished in any open debate.

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  • 27. At 4:40pm on 24 Jan 2011, comeoffit wrote:

    # 24 wrote

    "I quote from Wikipedia"

    I don't whether to laugh or cry... laugh I think :)

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  • 28. At 6:17pm on 24 Jan 2011, Nospin wrote:

    N023 Bryn_Telio
    in No14 you criticised TW for stiffling discussion, now you defend Roger "the issue dodger" and say there is nothing to debate.
    This referendum is the 1st since 1997, and as many political correspondents will tell you referenda are often not voted on by the issue at hand but a chance to voice an opinion, and many people believe WAG to be a failure, they believe in the adage
    DO NOT REWARD FAILURE.
    Is there not a case that those issues should be openly debated to sway those people, don't you want to try and show them they are wrong, or do you know just how right they are and therefore prefer to avoid the issues.

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  • 29. At 6:39pm on 24 Jan 2011, Bryn_Teilo wrote:

    #28

    Nothing stopping you voicing your opinion.

    I've made my point which is that TW has frustrated the purpose of the law regarding referenda campaigns, which is there to ensure that there is as full a public debate as possible. It is in the public interest that that happens. Your interest and mine, even though we approach the issue(s) from different and opposing standpoints.

    The people of Wales, including you and your point of view, are being denied that right. If you are confident of the validity of your arguments, then ask TW for their rationale in effectively making a mockery of the process.

    The Yes for Wales campaign were up for a full and open public debate on the Electoral Commission's statutory terms. Its not up to you, or anyone else, to dictate to them (or to me) how to put their case to the people.

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  • 30. At 7:17pm on 24 Jan 2011, FoDafydd wrote:

    Re 28 - Nospin

    That is a wholly nonsensical argument! We have a referendum, but we should discuss everything but the question on the paper - the price of beer, the weather, the colour of grass - and of course blame it all on the National Assembly and WAG!

    And then after the event, blame a poor turn-out and complain vehemently that the Welsh nation (twp as we are, according to the No to Wales cabal)didn't even understand what we were actually voting for.

    The arguments become stranger and less coherent every day.

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  • 31. At 8:08pm on 24 Jan 2011, Jack_Wilkinson wrote:

    BBC Wales news at 6.30, Newport and Swansea have just been named as two of the UK's cities least able to recover from the recession. The main reason given was the poorly educated work force, yep we got three cities and two are in the bottom five!!!

    Llafur will say....'So What? At least even our poorest pupils can speak a smattering our 'Mother tongue!!!!!

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  • 32. At 8:10pm on 24 Jan 2011, Fitzmark2 wrote:

    #24
    That post is nothing but spin.

    Here's my spin which is more plauasible than the spin in #24.

    If you reasd the The Anglo Saxon Chronicles you will find that the Welsh tribes in the 9th century were subdued by Alfred the Great.

    In the 11th century Harold Godwinson continued the conquest in the 11th century, establishing a hunting lodge in Monmouthshire, which is a sure indication that the countryside in what is now known as south east Wales was pacified and in the hands of the “filthy English”.

    Edward 111 began a legal process in the 13th century (The Statute of Rhuddlan) that culminated the 16th century with the "Laws in Wales Act" and from that time on Monmouthshire and Wales have shared a common legal identity with England. And those laws have served us well.

    Up until devolution the Welsh economy held a very respectable position on any table of economical well being you care to name, but since the inception of devolution the Welsh economy is now the least competitive of the regions of Britain. And the economic gap is widening between Wales and the rest of the regions of Britain.

    This referendum is an opportunity to show those inept and partisan AMs in Cardiff Bay that this nonsense of nationalism/devolutiuon which has driven the Welsh economy to the bottom of the table of social and economic well being, will not be tolerated. Enough is enough.

    I hope the people of Wales will shrug off the apathy that seems endemic in Wales and get out there and vote No. You know it makes sense.

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  • 33. At 10:07pm on 24 Jan 2011, Lyn David Thomas wrote:

    Stonemason, my apologies for carelessly typing your name, it was not intentional.

    Fitzmark2, yes the Anglo Saxons had conquered, temporarily parts of Wales and yes some Welsh princes gave homage to Athenian, but that is not to say that Wales became part of England. Claims that the UK is a thousand years old is spurious.

    Back to the issue at hand, currently the ability of the National Assembly to legislate is fragmented. The lack of the ability to legislate across the 20 subject areas creates delays and prevents intelligent cross cutting legislation. Its inefficient and confusing to the public. A yes vote increases transparency and makes for more coherent government.

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  • 34. At 10:21pm on 24 Jan 2011, Bryn_Teilo wrote:

    #32

    Spin away. It was predictable that you would respond to my #24.

    It does help to get the facts correct though, otherwise your version of spin, is just that:

    'Edward 111 began a legal process in the 13th century (The Statute of Rhuddlan)...'

    The Statute of Rhuddlan (1284) was the work of Edward I.. who subsequently instituted his baby son as the first 'English' Prince of Wales, after the killing by Edward's men of the last Welsh Prince of Wales, Llywelyn.

    It is the tradition maintained to the present day in the person of Charles, the eldest son of the English monarch. He is accorded the title first bestowed by a brutal foreign conqueror.

    I can agree with you on part of your final statement...

    in that... 'I hope the people of Wales will shrug off the apathy that seems endemic in Wales and get out there and vote...' after of course listening and weighing up the arguments on both sides.

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  • 35. At 10:35pm on 24 Jan 2011, Jack_Wilkinson wrote:

    Under British law Monmouthshire was English, the political machinations that ceded the county to Wales were done in secret.

    Llafur MPs, somehow convinced Westminster that a county overwhelmingly English speaking, and, where English surnames massively outnumbered Welsh names, craved to be Welsh!!!!!

    Monmouthshire was deemed to be in England and no other place, by the 1535 Act that created five Shires. It was 'made more plainly clear' in the 1542 Act –Wales divide into twelve shires. TWELVE shires, Monmouthshire would have made it THIRTEEN.

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  • 36. At 11:37pm on 24 Jan 2011, Fitzmark2 wrote:

    #33
    Firstly Alfred was not Anglo Saxon (another bête noir of the Welsh) he was a Saxon, king of Wessex who had designs on Mercia and an aspiration which was not attained, to unify the island of Britain. And like the Romans before him Alfred got a lot further west than south east Wales.

    And the last thirteen years of economic misrule has seen the social services in Wales go steadily downhill in relation to the other regions of Britain, shouts loudly that all Assembly policies should be carefully scrutinised by Westminster.

    Give the Assembly more law making powers? Their record suggests that they wouldn't be capable of running a fresh fish stall in Newport market.

    #34

    And it wasn't the English who persecuted the Welsh, it was the nasty Normans who mistreated the English, the Irish, the Scots and the Welsh. So vent your Welsh spleen on the Scandinavians and leave us English alone.

    I do apologise for pressing too hard on the 1 key.

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  • 37. At 00:17am on 25 Jan 2011, Nospin wrote:

    I have pointed out the annual grant more than doubled in real terms between 1997 and 2009, so there was loads of money.

    i have mentioned Janet Hayward the head mistress of the school where the Yes campaign was launched has resigned from the campaign.

    No debateable responses.

    All you guys do is argue over ancient history and the language.

    GOD HELP WALES.- PLEASE!!!!!

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  • 38. At 00:41am on 25 Jan 2011, Jack_Wilkinson wrote:

    Hmm? Shall we look askance at those who have assumed themselves to be an Irish-Welsh Celtic elite? In once English Monmouthshire?

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  • 39. At 00:44am on 25 Jan 2011, FoDafydd wrote:

    Re 36

    Fitz,

    "So vent your Welsh spleen on the Scandinavians and leave us English alone."

    - I wouldn't dream of telling the English what they should believe and how they should act, what makes you so superior?!

    Re 37

    Nospin,

    I'm afraid it's the No to Wales cabal who like to go on re-writing Welsh history (ancient and modern!!!) and spreading their hateful poison about the language...

    We have tried to get them to talk about Part 4 - but will they? What do you think? And as you clearly wish to discuss specifics, why do you think that is?







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  • 40. At 11:52am on 25 Jan 2011, Nospin wrote:

    No to Wales Cabal re-writing history eh, best effort I have seen there was from the aber lot in the 1850's (ish) trying to invent a creditable background and turn OG into a hero. - utter mendacious rubbish.
    Anyway what is this so say No to Wales cabal?
    Re referendum. The grant more than doubled in 10 years in real terms, where did the money go, why has our economy fallen in relation to the rest of the UK, why is our education system failing so badly, and when are the bay AMateurs going to put these things right.
    Remember they did all those things without LCO powers for the first half of the 10 year plan, they don't need LCO's or direct law making powers to sort out those problems.
    THEY SIMPLY NEED TO MAKE SENSIBLE BUDGETARY PRIORITISING DECISIONS, and stop robbing money for essential services to play at being a real government.
    THEY HAD THE FUNDS AND DECIDED TO WASTE THEM - on social engineering, "nation building" and jobs for the boys.
    Until they put the economy , education and health right, why should they have a new toy to play with.

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  • 41. At 3:37pm on 25 Jan 2011, Fitzmark2 wrote:

    So pointing out the truth about thirteen years of misrule from Cardiff Bay and the constant nonsense of blaming England for the internecine wars of the distant past is being "superior" is it?

    I think the dictionary you are using is the same one used by Lewis Carrol's Humpty Dumpty. He was of the opinion that words mean exactly what he wanted them to mean – neither more or less.

    And your presence is noticeably absent when your compatriots level childish abuse at posters for typos, poor spelling or grammatical solecisms.

    And your constant complaint that people are not addressing the essence of the forth coming referendum is laughable.

    I and others have addressed the essential point about this referendum which is extremely important to the man and woman in the street: the thirteen years of appalling stewardship from Cardiff Bay and the consequent widening economic gap between Wales and the other regions of Britain.

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  • 42. At 3:39pm on 25 Jan 2011, Cilmyn wrote:

    Re 20 & 32: Is it so bad on the No to responsibility Campaign (or the nO.A.P’s as one person described them after the hilarious TV ‘launch’ recently) that you have to again question the validity of Wales being a country?

    This is always raised it seems when any argument is being lost by the No brigade and pals.

    So here then, again, is the first line of the 1536 Act of Union (Laws in Wales Act 1536 – repealed 21.12.93):

    “Albeit the Domynyon Principalitie and Countrey of Wales justly and rightuouslye is and ever hath ben incorporated annexed united and subjecte to & under the Imperiall Crowne of this Realme, as a verrye membre and joynte of the same.”

    The first of these Acts was passed by a Parliament that had no representatives from Wales, and its effect was to extend English law into the Marches which had not been governed by it before.
    These Acts also had the following effects on the administration of Wales:

    (This is from Wiki - that’s a web-based encyclopedia that’s a collaborative effort open to public contribution rather than the old Britannica I’m afraid)

    • "the marcher lordships were abolished as political units and five new counties (Monmouthshire, Brecknockshire, Radnorshire, Montgomeryshire and Denbighshire) were established, thus creating a Wales of 13 counties;
    • the borders of Wales for administrative/government purposes were established and have remained the same since; this was unintentional as Wales was to be incorporated fully into England, but the status of Monmouthshire was still ambiguous until 1974; (It should be noted however that for Ecclesiastical (i.e. Church of England) purposes, several areas in what was otherwise England were part of Welsh dioceses until disestablishment of the Church in Wales in 1920. The area around Oswestry, Shropshire, being the largest of those areas (part of St Asaph diocese). Those parishes falling wholly within England were transferred to English Dioceses in 1920, though parishes partly in England and partly in Wales were allowed to elect either to remain in the Church in England or join the newly-disestablished Church in Wales.)"

    An early town charter from 1189 granted by Richard I of England describes Hereford as "Hereford in Wales"; and in January 1234 Llywelyn ap Iorwerth, ie ‘the Great’ (and it seems that the first person to give Llywelyn the title "the Great" was his near-contemporary, the English chronicler Matthew Paris) seized Shrewsbury – from the quote above you could also say that Oswestry and most of Shropshire and many tracts of the Marches were still regarded as being a part of Wales rather than England because until the Acts of Union they had never been a part of England in any legal and meaningful way. It would appear that the border between the two countries has been more fluid that is generally acknowledged on this blog.

    However what’s good for the goose it seems isn’t always good for the gander.

    Re: 38 & 36 :

    Surnames are strange things and you can see from this survey published in the Observer 15/04/2007 of the most common surnames in the UK:
    1.SMITH
    2. JONES
    3. WILLIAMS
    4. BROWN
    5. TAYLOR
    6. DAVIES
    7. WILSON
    8. EVANS
    9. THOMAS
    10. ROBERTS

    You’ll see that 6 out of the 10 are Welsh names – this is across the whole UK (and Wilkinson for instance don’t make it into the top 50 whereas Fitz is a Norman prefix that signifies an illegitimate son by the way). It would seem therefore that the typically ‘Welsh’ surname is vastly more popular than any Germanic-Norman name that might be used in the UK. ‘English’ surnames don’t seem to be the dominant ones in Monmouthshire or Wales – or even England by the look of things. So why not give us your definition of an ‘English’ name so that we can settle the matter once and for all.

    As to the large number of Irish surnames in Gwent, such as Touhig, Murphy, or Donnelly for instance, this can explain some of it (taken from the The Quantitative Analysis of Family Names by Webber in 2004):

    “When Irish names are analysed according to GB postal area with the highest concentration, it is possible to obtain an understanding of the entry ports through which people with different Irish names entered Britain. Nearly three quarters of Irish names have their GB heartlands in one of four regions, Liverpool and
    Manchester, the Clyde Valley, Cardiff and Newport and London.”

    Maybe what Fitz and Wilkinson are always getting at is that they think that these Irish in-migrants who have enriched the UK over the centuries should be sent back?

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  • 43. At 3:41pm on 25 Jan 2011, Fitzmark2 wrote:

    The above post should have been addresed to #39.

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  • 44. At 4:41pm on 25 Jan 2011, Fitzmark2 wrote:

    Cilmyn I have addressed and refuted the points that you've again dragged down from Wikipedia some time ago, don't you remember. I'm not going to repeat myself. I have made it plain that I couldn't care less now what you call the county of Monmouthshire.

    The important point in the immediate future is the record of the unnecessary and extra tier of government in Cardiff Bay over the past thirteen years. How anybody, other than economically inept nationalists who have a vested interest in a winning the referendum, can champion that appalling record and still keep a straight face is beyond me.

    And tell me kind sir when have I ever written a post on the subject of "names"? I'm not sure what you are getting at here old son? And by the way, the prefix Fitz is a corruption of the French fils (son of). Similar to the "von" in German or the "van" in Dutch or I believe, the "ap" in Welsh. If in your Humpty Dumpty dictionary Fitz means illegitimate, then "ap" also means illegitimate.

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  • 45. At 7:05pm on 25 Jan 2011, MH at Syniadau wrote:

    Although it didn't have much to do with the topic at hand, it's always amusing to see our favourite poster lie about the figures for those who speak Welsh. Over the years he has learned not to lie about everything, but to mix up his lies with a few accurate figures. The reason he is so reluctant to provide links to the source of the figures he quotes is to make it harder for people to tell which are the lies.

    So let's look again at what he said in comment #9:

    I Know, I know the next post will be "Why don't you all learn Welsh then?"

    Well here again all is not straight forward. Only 9% of children who have no Welsh speaking parent ever learn Welsh in Wales even though they go through school having lessons from the age of 5 to 15.

    On the other hand 82% of children with Welsh speaking parents speak Welsh.

    This is our very un-equal society, endorsed by all political parties. If you are blessed with Welsh speaking parents you are on the road to economic affluence.


    His figures are taken from a table on page 6 of The Vitality of Welsh: A Statistical Balance Sheet which can be downloaded from here:

    http://www.byig-wlb.org.uk/English/publications/Publications/The%20Vitality%20of%20Welsh%20A%20Statistical%20Balance%20Sheet%20August%202010.pdf

    The 82% is the language transmission rate for children aged 3-4 with both adults speaking Welsh. But note how he misrepresents this as "ever learn Welsh". If anything, I'm surprised that the figure is so low. But it does improve to 92% when children aged 3-15 are taken into account. This must mean that nearly all children form homes where two adults speak Welsh learn to speak Welsh.

    His 9% figure (8.8% to be precise) is the transmission rate for the same 3-4 age group. So when he says "even though they go through school having lessons from the age of 5 to 15" he telling a blatant lie. Again, I am a little surprised by this figure, because 8.8% seems high for children who have not yet started school. It would show the success of mother and toddler and nursery groups, or perhaps grandparents when one generation has lost the language.

    We don't have figures for those who are able to speak Welsh after twelve years at school, but from the table on page 4 we can see that 40.6% of children aged 5-14 speak Welsh. As the equivalent figure for those aged 3-4 is only 18.8%, this would mean that more than half of all children in Wales can speak Welsh by the time they reach 15, since learning a language (particularly when taught as a second language) is a process spread over a number of years.

    These are all 2001 Census figures. A different but more recent set of figures for 2008/09 shows that 36.0% of those in primary school and 51.8% of those in secondary school speak Welsh. The source and county-by-county breakdown is here. These figures also distinguish those who speak Welsh fluently and those who speak Welsh, but not fluently.

    Although it's impossible to make a direct correlation, the figures for those that are fluent seem to match those who go to Welsh-medium schools. Now of course children who have parents that can speak both Welsh and English will be at an advantage when it comes to learning both Welsh and English themselves, that goes without saying. But it is obvious to anyone who looks at these figures that the key factor is not whether children are "blessed with Welsh speaking parents" but whether their parents, Welsh speaking or not, have the foresight to send them to a Welsh-medium school.

    MH @ Syniadau

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  • 46. At 7:42pm on 25 Jan 2011, Jack_Wilkinson wrote:

    English surnames hugely outnumber Welsh surnames in Monmouthshire. The thing you must understand, is that enormous numbers of Welsh folk share names from a small name base.. The English name base is absolutely massive.

    Take Newport, top 3 names Davies Lewis and Thomas, but then English names come fast and furious, you won't need a calculator to see how right I am.

    On the link go to OVERVIEW By county. After checking Newport, you might have some surprises with Blaenau Gwent, Monmouthshire and Torfaen. Caerphilly wasn't in the pre-1972 Monmouthshire, still worth a look though.
    http://surname.sofeminine.co.uk/w/surnames/most-common-surnames-by-county.html

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  • 47. At 9:13pm on 25 Jan 2011, Jack_Wilkinson wrote:

    http://owain.vaughan.com/1535c26/

    Re 42.
    In the 1535 Act that created five new shires, Monmouthshire was deemed to be in the realm of England.

    Whilst Brecknock, Radnor, Montgomery and Denbigh, were deemed to be in in the Country or Dominion of Wales. Do you need me to point out pertinent sections?

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  • 48. At 9:56pm on 25 Jan 2011, Llyn wrote:

    Reading the bizarre crazed rants by far-right nationalists and True Wales supporters like Jack Wilkinson I know that, if a Yes vote or No vote in March, that in voting Yes I am voting for hope, liberalism and democracy and against the forces of prejudice and hate.

    Thank you Jack for strengthening my convictions.

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  • 49. At 10:00pm on 25 Jan 2011, FoDafydd wrote:

    Re 46

    "English surnames hugely outnumber Welsh surnames in Monmouthshire. The thing you must understand, is that enormous numbers of Welsh folk share names from a small name base.. The English name base is absolutely massive."

    - as fetishes go, Jac, yours really must rank as one of the strangest!!!



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  • 50. At 10:18pm on 25 Jan 2011, Jack_Wilkinson wrote:

    - as fetishes go, Jac, yours really must rank as one of the strangest!!!

    D'you mean I've got a fetish for truth and honesty? You're right, I have.




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  • 51. At 10:39pm on 25 Jan 2011, comeoffit wrote:

    @ no.45 'MH'

    Well after I'd cut through the arrogance, self-importance and patronising tone, I was drawn to this absolute klanger:

    "more than half of all children in Wales can speak Welsh by the time they reach 15"

    err... I think you need to spend a bit less time in your basement writing on your blog MH! Your manipulation of 'facts and figures' is at severe odds with reality. Hardly surprising for someone who seems to think that anybody, anywhere or at any time who in anyway criticises the over promotion and politicisation of the Welsh language is the same person... or 'favourite person' as you refer to them.

    Yep you've got it MH!! there is only one person in the 80% of us who dont speak Welsh in the whole of Wales who is confused by the promotion of a language at the cost of all else... including health and education

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  • 52. At 10:56pm on 25 Jan 2011, Jack_Wilkinson wrote:

    Re 48.
    Harri, do you understand the terminology of ranting? Perhaps you could point out any rantings in my posts?

    Kind regards, Jack

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  • 53. At 11:24pm on 25 Jan 2011, Fitzmark2 wrote:

    The economic gap between Wales and the other regions of Britain is widening by the day, and still the far left supporters of the Yes campaign are seemingly blind to the verifiable fact that the Welsh economy is the least competitive of all the regions of Britain.

    Oh I forgot the Welsh economy is in such a parlous state because of the Westminster Parliament; and the Barnett Formula of course is unfavourable to Wales - all whinging nonsense of course.

    All the economic evidence of the past thirteen years points directly at the Assembly in Cardiff Bay.

    Give them more powers!!! It's the economic equivalent of giving a loaded gun to a lunatic. Vote NO and stop the rot, for reason's sake.

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  • 54. At 11:46pm on 25 Jan 2011, lionelair wrote:

    Look, as I said way earlier. The UK parliament has failed us now for a number of years. Let's abolish it or at least lessen its powers, as it is clearly incompetent. Look at the GDP figures out today. If that's not failure then what is?
    Perhaps Angela Merkel and Hermann Van Rumpoy could have a go. Germany seem far more capable.

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  • 55. At 00:07am on 26 Jan 2011, MH at Syniadau wrote:

    Others can do the maths if even if our favourite poster can't. The average percentage of children between 5 and 14 who could speak Welsh was 40.6% in 2001. At the young end of that range the figure was around 20%, so at the older end it must be have been a good deal greater than 40.6%.

    And if he refuses to believe the Census figures, the figures on StatsWales I linked to present exactly the same picture ... except that the figures are a few percentage points higher, which is what we'd expect a few years further on.

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  • 56. At 00:14am on 26 Jan 2011, FoDafydd wrote:

    Re 53

    Fitz,

    Strange how Germany, even though it also had 'bad weather' in December performed far better than the UK did under the stewardship of the extreme right economic ideology of the millionaire Osborne. A double dip is still not impossible, yet he (and the other millionaire toff, Cameron) won't even consider having another plan - just in case.

    So what is it that makes them so superior then, Fitz?!

    Roll on the referendum...

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  • 57. At 06:18am on 26 Jan 2011, John Henry wrote:

    As JK Galbraith so rightly said ....

    ... the only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.

    So the moral is to take all data – including yesterday’s – with a large pinch of salt.

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  • 58. At 06:27am on 26 Jan 2011, John Henry wrote:

    ... what the broadcasters didn't tell you yesterday.

    1. Erratic GDP swings are common when recovering from a recession.
    2. The GDP data doesn't square with the many other indicators of economic recovery.
    3. The cuts haven't started yet.
    4. The ONS itself has slapped a major health warning on these figures.
    5. Forecasts for 2011 are all of steady economic growth.

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  • 59. At 06:46am on 26 Jan 2011, John Henry wrote:

    ... and just before I go, from Peter Black AM ...

    The amendments are being introduced at stage two of the Measure after evidence has already been taken on its provisions and the consultation has closed. They substantially change the thrust of the Measure but will not receive the same level of scrutiny as the rest of it..

    Peter Black, one of the few Assembly Members to consistently hold WAG to account, confirms an administration out of control.

    The Assembly and WAG doesn't need further powers, it needs constitutional rules to prevent such excesses of power. Well said Mr. Black, champion of democracy in Wales.

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  • 60. At 09:53am on 26 Jan 2011, comeoffit wrote:

    still with the 'favourite poster' conspiracy theory MH?!? You lose the credibility which you work so tirelessly to get whenever you start that nonsense.

    Also, with me you just lost even more credibility, because anybody who thinks that over 50% of 15 year olds in the whole of Wales can speak Welsh... well I just cant take them seriously. I will be startled if anybody here supports you on that one!

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  • 61. At 10:17am on 26 Jan 2011, Cilmyn wrote:


    43/44/46: That website you link into is farcical.

    Welsh surnames far, far outnumber the English ones in all of Wales, Monmouthshire included. Do your homework.
    (You still have not given a definition of an 'English' surname either).

    You’ll also see that Fitz comes from the Norman and originally meant 'son of' and used as a prefix like 'ap' indeed and unlike 'son' in English which is of course a suffix.

    It developed after the conquest of England in 1066 to mean in general the illegitimate son, of a noble man usually.

    Have a look at the third point of the act:

    (3) and that all the Residue of the said Lordships Marchers within the said Country or Dominion of Wales, shall be severed and divided into certain particular Counties or Shires, that is to say, the County or Shire of Monmouth, the County or Shire of Brecknock, the County or Shire of Radnor, the County or Shire of Montgomery, the County or Shire of Denbigh;

    This is a clear statement that Monmouthshire is Welsh. This part of the act describes the mechanism by which large parts of Wales and the Marches were annexed - i.e. Illegally swallowed up by England.

    Thanks for the link.

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  • 62. At 12:22pm on 26 Jan 2011, Bryn_Teilo wrote:

    #59 wrote:

    'The Assembly and WAG doesn't need further powers, it needs constitutional rules to prevent such excesses of power. Well said Mr. Black, champion of democracy in Wales.'

    My understanding is that Mr Black is very much in favour of legislative devolution and a Yes vote on March 3.



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  • 63. At 5:08pm on 26 Jan 2011, Fitzmark2 wrote:

    With regard to the economic position of Wales in relation to the other regions of Britain the Yes campaign's representatives on this blog have no other arguments other than to point the finger at Parliament #54 or give the fatuous comparison with West German economy #56 that has been the power house of the E U for decades. Absolutely pathetic.

    They and the other members of the Yes campaign strike me as characters straight out of George Orwell's Animal Farm (The Pigs). Like the Pigs the Yes campaigners on this blog in pursuance of more power are using the same tactics of demonising the ancient regime and attempting to convince people that the way of life in Wales is better than what went before. Well it is definitly so for the Welsh elite as it was in the book for the Pigs.

    We live in a parliamentary democracy where elections are called every four years or so, and if the government's economic record is seen to be wanting they can be kicked out. The ruling elite in Wales have been in power for thirteen years and their economic record is appalling, crying out to be changed or kicked out. And this referendum has been called in the hope of perpetuating their grip on power and nothing more.

    And FoDafydd your repetitive use of superiority in relation to individuals and countries suggests that you have an inferiority complex as big as that self serving Assembly in Cardiff Bay.

    #61 Climny old pal the way you are harping on about the prefix Fitz is just a disingenuous way of insulting someone. And the way you are attempting to conflate Jack Wilkinson and me smacks strongly of paranoia. Beware the men in white coats old son.

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  • 64. At 5:44pm on 26 Jan 2011, justapunter wrote:

    justapunter

    45 MH

    Of all those who said that they could speak Welsh in the 2001 Census, 39% were in the age group 3-19. What is concerning the Welsh-language supporters is that 98,444 born-and-bred, life-long, fluent Welsh-speakers were in the age group 65+. Come the 2011 Census, the "Welsh-speaking communities" will be seriously depleted.

    "The Welsh language is in danger of becoming a mere symbol rather than a living language, say campaigners" (read Welsh Language Society). Report in BBC News North West Wales, 15January 2011.
    A dose of reality at long last.

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  • 65. At 8:33pm on 26 Jan 2011, Jack_Wilkinson wrote:

    Re 61.
    The BBC are strict about only allowing links to reputable publications, deny it all you like but English surnames greatly outnumber Welsh names.

    Picking out a paragraph from the Act doesn't make you look clever. Intelligent folk can read the whole of the Act, and, make up their own minds about the actual Act that made Monmouthshire English,

    Another reputable link to names--

    http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/tm_objectid=17734421&method=full&siteid=50082&headline=why-the-people-of-shrewsbury-are--more-welsh--than-cardiff-name_page.html

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