Round and round the boundaries

 

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog entry asking a question: just how dead are David Cameron's plans to change parliamentary boundaries? Are they restin' or bleedin demised?

I was asking because a well-placed and usually very well-informed source had suggested that Mr Cameron hadn't given up on his plans - not just yet. With the Lib Dems no longer on side, came the suggestion, the Prime Minister was trying to stitch together a deal amongst the smaller parties.

He'd started with the SNP and ... then, last week, came this blog entry from my colleague Mark d'Arcy in Westminster. He put a lot more meat on the bones and from the possible role of the DUP in Northern Ireland to Plaid Cymru, he raised a whole lot of questions:

"Their support would not automatically bring their Plaid Cymru allies on board, not least because the review seems likely to cost them one of their three seats, and cut Welsh representation in Westminster by a quarter. But maybe an offer of greater powers for Cardiff might persuade them, plus the offer of a couple more Plaid peers to maintain their voice in Westminster? "

Yesterday ITV's Adrian Masters tweeted that he'd "heard speculation in W'minster today at govt/SNP/DUP/deal on parliamentary boundaries. Not sure re maths but intriguing it's being said".

"News to me" tweeted Jonathan Edwards MP in response, adding that Plaid "would require a significant transfer of powers for our votes".

By today, David Williamson reports in the the Western Mail that Plaid are "laying down a challenge to Mr Cameron on boundary changes." They're up for the discussion with Number 10 but only if there is a "a major, major" transfer of powers to the National Assembly.

Tomorrow, we find out the revised plans for redrawing the boundaries following a public consultation on the initial proposals issued in January.

Round and round we go.

The significant bit, of course, is just where we end up.

 
Betsan Powys, Political editor, Wales Article written by Betsan Powys Betsan Powys Former political editor, Wales

A big day for health in Wales

A day of big health stories in Wales is capped with a potentially very significant announcement.

Read full article

Comments

This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
 
  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 59.

    what is this i am reading about people in wales speaking welsh? what an outrage! the next thing you know there will be people in germany speaking german and people in france speaking french. if we are not careful they will be making welsh legal, except of course that welsh already is a 'legal' language and people have a legal right to speak welsh in wales! not to mention centuries of tradition!

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 58.

    You walk into a very small pub, on your own. You look around with a pint in your hand, and the other three inhabitants turn their backs on you. That's body language.

    My point, back at #49 was Alf said he was yet to experience Welsh speakers in service industries. Which is odd, because the rest of us have met Welsh-speaking barmen.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 57.

    Re 56

    'Body language'?!

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 56.

    #53 Curiously, you have made an assumption that I said something that I didn't. Nowhere in my piece did I say, nor did I assume, that they switched into Welsh to talk about me. I merely assume, because of the switch and the body language, that they switched to Welsh to exclude me. Mind you, much the same thing can happen in a Norfolk pub. Locals can be remarkably clannish.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 55.

    I have learned Welsh but Welsh speakers I have known for years and I speak Welsh to them can not speak to me in Welsh. My wife is one. Because she thinks in English with me. Our children are the same they are Welsh speaking but can't speak Welsh to me. Simply because they can't think in Welsh with me. It seems odd but it isn't when you think about it. If you want to of course.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 54.

    Why can't you understand the language you naturally think in with people you speak to in the language you always have with them. It is impossible to think and speak in any other language with them. Try asking French people who naturally speak to others in French. They will tell you the same thing. Oddly it s only English speaking people who can't understand it.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 53.

    Re 49

    Not that you had much, but now you have officially lost all credibility.

    Why some people think they are important or interesting enough for others to switch into another language simply to talk about them can only be described as inhabiting the colonial realms of paranoia.

    By the way, how much Welsh did you manage to pick up?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 52.

    49:
    Maybe it's the accent. Londoners were never popular outside of London the whole country over.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 51.

    ' Does not the same thing happen in other countries.?'
    Doesn't even happen in all of Wales, Alf. When I met up with my professional colleagues, the Welsh-speaking members naturally got together and spoke (and presumably thought) in Welsh.
    If you wanted a word you approached, spoke to one of them in English, they smiled and replied in English, quite naturally. You then quietly withdrew.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 50.

    Now it is you being silly Boxer. Very silly as we have spent years of holidays down that area. That is one of the most ridiculous statements that comes out of the mouths of the Ant Welsh people. If people think in a language with each other naturally then it impossible to communicate in any other language naturally. Does not the same thing happen in other countries.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 49.

    #47 'yet to experience Welsh speakers in Service industries.'

    Try going into a pub in North Pembrokeshire in October and requesting a pint in English with a London accent. Suddenly everyone is monoglot Welsh, including the Collie in front of the fire.
    Makes you nostalgic for the legendary welcome to English tourists of French hotels in the 1960s.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 48.

    Never mind all the deals which may or may not happen to get these through, but they just don't make sense. I mean, e.g. linking Aberdare to Rhondda is just daft and an exercise in mechanics rather than democracy. In the past, these reviews were about figures but also community and common boundaries. This is about getting out a set square and abacus saying looks close enough - let's do it!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 47.

    DJohn and the amount of times we have had holidays in Wales we have yet to experience Welsh speakers in Service industries. As for boundary changes it is not going to happen. The Conservatives have already selected their candidates for 2015. As for digging no one has answered my ..how can the vast majority of English speakers be pushed out by a 'minority' of Welsh speakers. It doesn't add up.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 46.

    Alf - there is an old saying - it might be Welsh, English or Chinese - and it goes like this. When you are in a hole stop digging. The only error in the post 38 is the figure quoted for English speakers. Having worked in Gwynedd for 2 years and Ceredigion for 1 year I can say without fear of contradiction - that I did not meet anyone who culd not speak English.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 45.

    If a large organisation in an area with 80% english monoglot speakers has an enquiries team of 12 bilingual speakers and seeks to expand, I would have said the a requirement for the new employee to speak welsh was Wednesbury unreasonable and subject to judicial review.
    All we need is a test case and a TU willing to fund it. Don't hold your breath.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 44.

    Brilliant Alfsplace you have used the key word ‘Legality’ and perhaps soon we’ll all find out how legal is the Bilingual Nation!!?? We should not upset Betsan this blog is about Welsh BOUNDARIES and I did deal with that subject earlier, just to keep Betsan Happy!!

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 43.

    They are getting away with it by saying fluency in Welsh is a critical job requirement for all employees who meet the public, and essentially saying all employees deal with the public. This is so that the member-of-public can speak in language of choice.
    Occasionally, if they need a specialist, they employ the best qualified, but insist that they promise to learn Welsh (like the PC head).

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 42.

    41 Ah! Council employees, right. Seeing as the Westminster Government passed a law saying Welsh is equal to English then I suppose they have to abide by the law of the land. I still can't believe the statistic about very few English speakers though. Seeing as you say they are in the majority. Surely that is illegal. How are they getting away with it. I am surprised you haven't all brought action.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 41.

    With all due respect Alfsplace you are talking nonsense – The figures I have posted are based on full time Council employees in each County - Official Statistics and FACTS!!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 40.

    38. Now lets have the figures for all of Wales. seeing as many English speaking people in North Wales come in from across the Border to work on a daily basis, figures are easly skewed. Also most employment is on a casual basis especialy in rural and holiday areas with temporary jobs. Again skewed. Eastern Europians another factor. Statistics can mean anything without facts.

 

Page 1 of 3

 

Features

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.