Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Hain and Morgan being stupid - again.

Why do journalists take any notice of really stupid statements by politicians. Don't they realise it only encourages them. Today we have coverage given to comments made by Peter Hain and Rhodri Morgan suggesting that the number of Assembly Members would be cut from 60 to 45 if a Conservative Government is elected at Westminster. This is just plain stupid. Both Peter and Rhodri know its not true. No-one believes it. And yet this stupidity is given top billing. I shouldn't complain though. In the current climate any suggestion that the number of politicians be cut is likely to widely welcomed!

There is an issue about the number of MPs that will represent Welsh constituencies if a Conservative Government were to be elected. David Cameron has suggested that the total number of MPs should be cut by 10% - and that there should be equalisation of the voter/member ratio across the UK. Both suggestions carry a logic. How this would be implemented is genuine basis for a story - except that its been done so often already. It was part of the Conservative manifesto at the last General Election! Again, I'm not sure that many people are going to be upset by any proposed reduction in the number of MPs.

One point of interest to me. This article makes much of the idea that a 'new' constituency in Mid Wales would stretch from "the English borders to Cardigan Bay". I'm not sure that Montgomeryshire does not already do that. I think the 'Cross Wales Walk' was wholly within Montgomeryshire when I last did it. Whatever, its so close that it doesn't make much difference. Hope someone comments to tell us exactly where Cardigan Bay becomes the Dyfi Estuary.


Anonymous said...

....but people believe them!

And unless you have got a vast fortune to persue them through the rather outdated and insular court system in the UK, they will keep telling lies and getting away with it!

Its called "spin"

WM's unofficial correspondent in the USA said...

Well, 'home' politics are glowing bright red with today’s voting in Virginia, New Jersey and the 23rd District in up-state New York. Team Obama are facing wipe out in Virginia where despite panic statement from the Obama camp most Virginians are voting based on Obama's progress, or lack of, to date. NJ is probably too close to call - it's a rigid blue state but who knows, if it becomes a red state there is nothing that team Obama can do that will explain why its not their fault they lost it. Team Obama are flying in Obama and just about every big wig Democrat into NJ to keep the state blue. Then there's that pesky 23rd Congressional District up for grabs - will it be blue or will it be red? Heaven knows until the votes are counted. But it looks like it will be red.

What is clear is that Obama's party is facing a difficult 2010 - they could lose control of the House and will lose their filly-buster proof majority in the Senate (only 1/3rd are up for election in the Senate in 2010 - so any votes against Obama will be tempered by that fact).

Glyn Davies said...

Anon - but when its clearly ridiculous, people don't believe it, and it undermines other comments made at the same time.

Anonymous said...

You mention the possibility of making constituencies with tyhe same amount of electorate?
The boundary commission are starting a review in Powys with suggestions that each ward would have approx 1750 electorate. How do you think this would affect Powys and the wards within Powys? How would it affect the conservative councillors in Powys?
Would you support the efforts to make each ward similer in electorate number?

Glyn Davies said...

anon - A few years ago, I would have opposed this reduction in councillor numbers - but since the positions have become salaried and pensionable, there is no case to have more councillors than needed. I expect the reduction in Powys to be down to around 60. The aspect that I'm totally opposed to is the creation of multi-member wards. This would break the link between voters and the councillors that represent them. Its difficult to know how change will affect the Conservative group. At present, independent councillors are telling me that the Conservative Group is well respected, and I expect us to do well next time, no matter how the boundaries are redrawn.

alanindyfed said...

I thought it was common knowledge that Labour (in this case Hain and Morgan) are adept at delivering scare-mongering tactics.
They are very recognisable and leopards do not change their spots.
They attempt to frighten the public with myths and half-truths.

Gary said...

Glyn, nothing stupid in the reduction of either AMs MPs or even Councillors.

Anonymous said...

Out of interest, why are you opposed to multi-member wards for Powys Council? Don't most other local authorities have them already? I've never heard anyone say they are a problem.

Glyn Davies said...

Alan - You are correct. Whats new is that the people have stopped believing it - even when the media report it.

Gary - I agree ther's nothing stupid in reducing the number of politicians to the minimum needed. That's why I support reducing the number of Councillors. It didn't matter when they were not being paid. And its why I support reducing the number of MPs. Personally, I would go further than the 10% that David Cameron has been talking about. But the position is different in the National Assembly. I do not believe it could function at less than 60 members, and at it may well be that 80 will be needed at some stage in the future - though I suspect this will be a long time hence.

Anon - I dislike multi-member wards for the same reason I dislike proportional representation. The key aim of an aspiring politician becomes the need to grease up to 'party' rather than to campaign amongst the electorate. It transfers power from the voter to the party.