Labour highlight cost of bilingual ballot papers row

L-R: Labour MPs Wayne David, David Hanson and Owen Smith L-R: Labour MPs Wayne David, David Hanson and Owen Smith

The debates may be over, but the arguments continue. MPs will tonight rubber-stamp a change in the law to ensure Welsh voters receive bilingual ballot papers in next month's elections for police and crime commissioners.

The delay comes at a price - the cost is up to £350,000. It also means that more than two million ballot papers will need to be destroyed.

Labour have issued their own publicity photo to make a point about waste. It probably doesn't need a caption but the three MPs are - from left to right - Wayne David (constitutional affairs spokesman), David Hanson (policing spokesman) and Shadow Welsh Secretary Owen Smith.

Just one thing: shouldn't the writing on the paper appear in both languages? I hesitate to let the facts get in the way of a half-decent joke but Labour fairly point out that it is only the English ballot papers that will be "disposed of securely".

David Cornock Article written by David Cornock David Cornock Parliamentary correspondent, Wales

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  • rate this

    Comment number 24.

    So the Language Bill is not going to be challenged by the Government in the high court then. Shows they were wrong and just being their usual Prima Donnas.

  • rate this

    Comment number 23.

    # 'when it is legally abiding on the Westminster Government '
    What is the point in the country having equal respect for both languages when some of the population have an uncertain grasp of both ??
    Possibly 'binding' was meant.
    BTW If the law says that both languages are of equal status, it means a document written in either is valid. It does not mean that both have to be used.

  • rate this

    Comment number 22.

    John Tyler re 11 and 12
    ",,,unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of the truth."
    "...Nothing is more destructive of respect for government and the law of the land, than passing laws that cannot be enforced.

  • rate this

    Comment number 21.

    John lucky were not a double act hey. We wouldn't make much money.

  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    ... that was the problem alf, you thought I was asking a question when in fact I was quoting Jools Holland.

    ... lost in translation !

  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    John you asked if the moon was made of cheese and 'who cares' my tounge in cheek answer about milk was to that. Not much of a sense of humour have you. Or perhaps it was a bit over your head..

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    ... unfortunately its not true alf, when we "run out of milk" we will have to switch to water.

    On politics and politicians, I see little fundamental difference between any of the systems of "Rule"; from ancient times to the present, there exist those who create the rules, and the rest who are obliged to obey or suffer consequences.

    A few brief times where the oppressed became oppressors.

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    John we will all care if we run out of milk. But you are right of course. They actually look pathetic like smug schoolchildren. Perhaps you can now see my point about Politicians.

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    ... as a fan of Jools Holland,

    catch up on BBC iPlayer at

    I tuned in to BBC2 last night, his introduction as he walked into the studio was ...

    "Is the moon made of cheese ?"

    "Who cares !"

    ... this pretty much sums up the overwhelming majority reaction to the three wise men above !

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    So more gonads and incompetence that we pay so much for.

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    Unfortunately, for those of us damned to live here, it wont't be until the last hospital and last school in Wales have shut down that someone in power will say "why are we wasting all this time & money on the welsh language nonsense ?" But as with many things then it will be too late. Like the dualling of the A465...

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    John a rare emerald can be of immense value to the person who has it. The true value is only known when it has gone. Why can we not accept and appreciate the value of the language. It is a part of the great melting pot of human kind. Would you say we say the same for the White Tigers or any other animal that is being destroyed because we don't like it or think it is useless. It is unique.

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    ... respect is an earned quality.

    Westminster has the rights of it by not having an official language, in Wales language has no value except "political", it lost any value it held when it was lost to the hearth .........

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    The police should serve no government but the people. Wales is a bilingual nation, respect for both languages requires both languages to be used on official documents, its a shame that people do not respect that.

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    ... but its a good idea, it would dispel those myths.

    ... and as for the Law, occasionally laws are bad, dispelling the myths might demonstrate the law is a good law, you wouldn't be afraid of the experiment would you alf ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    Not an agenda John. The Law

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    ... if the politicians had sense they might have:

    1. printed another set in Welsh.
    2. not destroyed the English set.
    3. distributed the two sets to the correct locations.

    Of course those with an agenda might object to the simple solution, others might suggest, in addition ...

    4. call in all the unused ballot papers.
    5. count the returned papers.

    ... reality would ensue.

    Who might object ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    Cost doesn't come into it when it is legally abiding on the Westminster Government who implemented it to have to use it by Law. So shouldn't the Equalities Commission look into it and prosecute them. Whether you like it or not it has legal equality with English and must therefore be used. If it was incompetency to blame then what can you expect. It is a regular thing from up there.

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    If I can't have one of the English-only ballot papers then I will spoil the bi-lingual paper. It's worth going just to make the point that the majority are being treated with contempt on a continuous basis.

    In North Wales the Police have a Welsh flag on their uniforms but not a Union flag. The Police have already been politicised - so which government do they actually serve?

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Well there you have it Cythraul ...

    ... nobody cares, they just don't give a hoot !

    ... and just like the Chicken Licken fable the sky is bound to fall on their heads, what nonsense .....

    ... they obviously have too much time on their hands !


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