Monday, August 04, 2008

Red Mist.

Too cross to blog. Should really leave it and go to bed. I learnt from my rugby career that when the red mist descends, its best to take time out to cool off. Normally, I really couldn't give a **** what bloggers or commenter's write about me, but for some reason, I've just read an anonymous comment on another blog which instigated thoughts of violence - an almost teenage resort to aggressive thought that throughout my life I've worked hard to conquer.

And what can have caused this. An idiotic anonymous accusation that I am a separatist - together with one or two black clouds crossing my personal sky. For many years I've watched as a Labour Government forced through constitutional change which created the idiotic system of government which currently applies in Wales, my nation. The current Government of Wales Act is a constitutional crisis waiting to happen - a creation of such instability that it threatens the unity of the United Kingdom - a stupid arrangement of such epic proportions that it can neither deliver or be understood. Now, I hear some opinions that totally ignore the reality of where we are - opinions formed on the basis of where they would currently like us to be. Well, that's OK if the intention is just to feed a prejudice, but not if the aim is serious commentary on the future of how Wales should be governed.

The National Assembly for Wales was established after a Wales-wide referendum voted in favour of it in 1997. I tried to persuade people to vote No at the time - but I was on the losing side. That's the reality. There is not the slightest chance of going back. All the evidence tells us otherwise. And then another constitution came into being in May 2007, which facilitates the transfer of law making power to the National Assembly via a system that never looked as if it would work, and which only a student of politics can understand. All I do is look at the evidence before my eyes, which tells me that the only sensible way forward is for law making powers to be given to the National Assembly in those policy areas that have been devolved. This is nothing whatsoever to do with support for separatism. Its about trying to make sense of a constitution that a self serving Labour Party has imposed on Wales (and Britain) with no regard to the long term stability of the union. Disagree with my analysis by all means - but don't call me a seperatist. I daresay that the red mist will have lifted by morning.

14 comments:

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Glyn> Let the 'red mist' turn into a blue one come national election time! And I say that as a one time Labour Party member - Labour sucks right now, they have lost the ball, plot, way, even breakfast at Tiffany's.

mystified said...

Breakfast at Tiffany's?

Glyn Davies said...

I'm a bit mysified myself.

Cayo Arms regular said...

But what happens if the voters don't agree to more lawmaking powers? In many ways a rejection of lawmaking powers in a referendum could also trigger a crisis.The probelm with this whole debate is that for a nationalist arguing for lawmaking powers is an easy option because you believe that Wales should be independent and QED independent countries make their own laws. Perhaps Glyn you could explain why a village in Montgomeryshire should have different laws to one in Shropshire when the border is an artificial one linked more to local government boundaries and events in the Dark Ages than any recognition in international law. What if villages and towns on the border area actually asked to move to England in the event of the Assembly gaining full lawmakimng powers. After all no one has actually asked anyone whether or not they want to be part of something called Wales. Even today no one has really answered the question posed by Gwyn Alf Williams of 'When was Wales'. For most people what is happening at the moment in Pontacanna Fields is a total irrelevance and as alien to their way of life as a folk festival in Slovakia. Most of South wale shas absolutely nothing in common with the North or Mid Wales.In the real world most voters have no real interst in events in the Assembly. Look at the compelete lack of interst even in Scotland in the race to becoem the next Leader of the Scottish Liberals. Excactly the same boredom will occur when Labour decides to elect not its Welsh leader but the leader of the Assembly group in 2009.

Glyn Davies said...

Cayo Regular - Good points. The issue is whether law making powers is transferred via this bit by bit process of Legislative Competence Orders where there is constant potential for argument, or whether law making powers in devolved matters are transferred all in one go. There is a seperate argument about whether more matters (particularly criminal justice) should also be devolved, as they are in Scotland.

Your question about Montgomeryshire and Shropshire villages was more relevent befor ethe referendum in 1997 (I could well have asked it myself) and even more so during the run up to the 2006 Government of Wales Act, which granted law making powers. I'm interested i how we deal with the consequences. If the people don't vote for law making powers in a referendum, we would have to continue transferring power by the existing process, which I consider to be a recipe for conflict.

You are also right about Wales being a rather loose arrangement of areas, which could be said about most nations I suppose - but it is what it is. Where I live most of our daily outlook is towards Shropshire and the West Midlands - a situation I want to continue. My most important reason for wanting to be a Member of Parliament is to do what I can to ensure that the advent of devolution does not create some great barrier along Offa's Dyke which leads to poorer access to services for Mid Wales people. Thanks for engaging with this debate, which non-devolutionists are usualy very unwilling to do.

griff said...

I think you have to come to terms with the fact that the assembly is very unpopular in a lot of Wales. Conservatives in particular can't see how it helps the union of the kingdom to hand more power to Labour and Plaid Cymru.

A lot of us were very upset indeed when Nick Bourne tried to go into coalition with Plaid - a party that has nothing whatever in common with us, and actually wants to destroy our country. That was VERY bad PR.

Thankfully, we will have a lot more Conservatives in parliament after the next general election. Power will swing back in favour of Westminster and that should restore some sanity.

Benny Austwick said...

I hate the fact that if someone can speak Welsh fluently then they must be a separatist. You can be a proud nationalist without being a separatist.

Anonymous said...

Wales gets back significantly more than it pays in collected tax revenues. While this is the case why on earth would the common sense people of Wales want an independent Wales - how can it be independent when the Welsh economy is at the bottom of the stack c/o the Welsh Assembly Government?

Anonymous said...

Wasn't there a big-wig Labour party supporter who bid for, but didn't get, the Breakfast at Tiffany's dress?

Anonymous said...

(a) you ARE a separatist and (b) you can't spell "separatist"

Glyn Davies said...

Griff - I suppose it boils down to whether you're in politics to make a diference. I do not want to see Labour forming the Government in Cardiff Bay for ever, and I'd like to see the Conservatives in power - as it now is in some of our local councils. Under the Assembly proportional representation system, the only way to prevent this is if the Conservatives are willing to enter coalition with Plaid - and them with us. My view was that this could have been done while the Assembly did not have the power to persue an 'Independence' agenda. It may be that the same opportunity will not arise again. One thing you seem to be ignoring is that since May '07, law making powers are being transferred from Westminster to the Assembly - and there will be no greater threat to the 'union' that rows about how this process operates.

Benny - spot on.

anon - Two points. Firstly, since Wales is one of the poorest parts of the United Kingdom, higher per capita Government spending will be directed in our direction no matter what the system of resources distribution. Secondly, I believe that there is only a very small proportion of the Welsh electorate want 'Independence'. And I would not expect this to change unless there is some silly constitutional argument about Wales being unfairly treated.

Anonymous said...

Good point Glyn. I want an independent Wales but it's not practical. Wales gets more from London than it collects in taxes. If Wales went independent it would be in deep financial trouble from the get go.

Joseff said...

This is not true - Welsh people buy things from Tesco etc then Tesco pays tax in London and we are all told we can't pay our way .

Anonymous said...

All those who think that Wales should not be independent and have the right to decide our own future and destiny should just move to England if you feel the way you do, we dont want people like you here. I class people like you as traitors to your own people and country. It is our god given right to rule ourselves and not be controlled or dominated by a larger, neighbouring country.

If you think that independence would be a bad idea for Wales try telling that to all the other small nations around the world who have gained independence and have been doing very well since, try telling the Americans it was a bad idea for them to break from Britian in 1776, I'm sure they would say that your way of thinking is archaic and belongs in the past. Where does your loyalties belong, to Wales (your own country) or to England (Britain) which is a remnant of Imperialism. Wanting independence for Wales and being able to decide our own future is not the same as isolationism, Wales can moved forward along with other successful independent nations of the world.