Saturday, June 20, 2009

Importance of keeping promises.

One way of restoring respect to our Parliament would be for our Government to keep the promises it makes to us. Today, I've espied three news reports that relate to promises, one of which has been broken and two of which will be kept.

First up is the announcement by the Irish Prime Minister that in October the people of Ireland are going to be given another go at coming up with the 'right result' on the Lisbon Treaty. This is the same treaty that was rejected by Irish voters in a referendum last year. Its also a similar treaty to that which all mainstream parties in the UK promised would not be signed up to by Britain without approval in a referendum, a promise that only the Conservatives have stood by - though I should point out that the apologists for this dishonourable act claim that the Lisbon Treaty is sufficiently different from the 'constitutional' treaty it replaced to provide cover for reneging. What it looks as if we are witnessing is a stitch-up between the Irish and British Governments (plus the European Union) to ensure that the Lisbon Treaty becomes law before a General Election is held - because it sure wouldn't be without a referendum if David Cameron became Prime Minister first. This broken promise has caused great harm to our democracy. Its no wonder that Ukip did so well in the recent Euro elections - or that British people are so disillusioned with politicians.

The second promise relates to the ban on hunting with dogs. William Hague has given an assurance that a Conservative Government will give Parliament the opportunity to repeal the Hunting Act on a free vote in Government time. This is a controversial issue - but its a longstanding promise made by David Cameron. Personally, I believe the ban to be intolerant and very bad law. But more importantly it was a promise, and it should be kept.

And the third promise in the news today relates to the threshold at which Inheritance Tax becomes payable. In a very significant speech at the Conservative Party Conference in 2007, widely thought to have frightened Gordon Brown from holding a General Election, the Shadow Chancellor promised that a Conservative Government would raise the threshold to £1,000,000. Because of the changed state of public finances, many voices are calling for this promise to be dropped. But George Osborne has today reaffirmed his promise. Personally, I agree with this tax change. But again and more importantly it was a promise, and it should be honoured.


alanindyfed said...

Is it a promise that when elected the Conservative government will keep its promises, as opposed to Labour to whom a promise is a sop to the masses?

Born in Cardiff said...

Frankly there is only one promise that really counts and that is a promise to deliver JOBS.

I notice that there is a big song and dance going on over a future innovation/knowledge campus that might be built on the east side of Swansea. 11,000 jobs, x number of billions will be pumped into the local economy.

What is wrong with this? It's another sound bite to make us think the WAG is finally going to do something to boost innovation/R&D in Wales.

Billions for how many jobs - 11,000 - that right? What does that work out per job 'created'?

What of the "little people" in Wales who have fantastic ideas but next to zip support - does anyone for a moment think Google took three billion or 11,000 people to start-up?

There's a foreign university with a couple of guys playing around with relatively simple computer simulations of recharging - yep, these few guys discovered that lithium ion batteries, with a few simple changes in the manufacturing process, will recharge in seconds verses minutes. What does this mean? Well, a person could recharge a digital device like a cell phone in about 30 seconds..

The cost of making this very patentable invention? The number of people employed to make this invention? Not 11,000 and probably just a few thousand dollars.

What is this invention worth in terms of jobs and wealth creation? Put it this way, every manufacturer of rechargeable batteries for electric cars, cell phones, iPhones, iPods/clones - will want that technology.

So a handful of guys (I think it was just two guys) have come up with an invention that will revolutionize the way we use our gadgets, cars...

Did I mention that the new recharging technology will mean smaller batteries? Or same size batteries that last longer. Electric cars that recharge in minutes and won't need daily recharges.

Two guys, an invention/discovery worth billions upon billions.

Ordinary Welsh folks have the brain power, but c/o WAG can't do much with it. It is time WAG had faith in Welsh people and supported innovation at garden-shed level.

A few guys came up with modem technology, a few guys working in their garage/basement. They generated wealth and jobs.

How many Welsh people are aware that the first fuel-cell (generates electricity from oxygen and hydrogen) was invented and built by a Welsh guy with little previous experience of such technology, his ideas and prototype influenced the thinking of one Michael Faraday.

We need invention competitions aimed at the little-guys, with the promise that those picked will receive a few thousand to file for patent protection (best place being the USA because the USA offers a 12 month grace period wherein an invention can be shown to the whole world, but can still be filed as a patent up to 12 months after the disclosure - not so in the UK.

How many little guys are there in Wales?

They have the capacity to become economic dynamos for Wales, and it will not cost billions, just a few hundred thousand to set up and run, and with patented technology comes investor interested, it's not IP until it is protected.

Wales has world class universities, but Wales’s remains at the bottom of the economic pile - anyone viewed the latest OECD stats?

Something is fundamentally wrong, how can Wales have universities the envy of much of the world and yet be at the bottom of the economic table?

The answer is staring us in the face: we have a Welsh government that doesn't believe in Welsh people, we have a Welsh government that thinks the best way to create jobs is by spending billions on projects linked to certain technologies, when in fact we don't know what the next break-through technology will be.

Wales should not concentrate the majority of its resources on big projects - WAG should support the little people, the Welsh people. Have FAITH in Welsh people. Unleash their potential on the world. They have the power to change the face of Wales and the World.


for-Pool-Quay said...

Promises apply also to publishing comments

Glyn Davies said...

For Pool Quay - Why do you comment thus? I approve all comments, unless they are libellous, or gratuitously offensive. I particularly welcome comments which disagree with what I have written. I look on my blog as being a discussion forum. However, since I visit my computer maybe only twice a day there can be a quite a delay. Normally, I approve comments at breakfast or after supper.