Been trying to get a handle on the rally organised in Cardiff last Saturday about S4C. Still not quite sure what it was about. As a statement of support for the continuation of S4C as a Welsh Language channel, it was fine, but as far as I know, no-one with influence has anything but committed support for the channel. Seems there were two secondary issues - a call for an assurance about the future 'independence' of S4C, and its long term funding. Again, all those with influence agree that these two issues have to be addressed, and its part of a continuing debate. It's what Welsh Coalition MPs are engaged in. Its a pity so much publicity was given to the non-payment of the licence fee though. This sort of talk makes the lives of political friends of S4C more challenging.
Watched the Politics Show today, when Alun Cairns, my fellow MP, was in excellent form. Alun has been terrific on this issue, along with other Welsh Coalition MPs. Ieuan Wyn Jones, in the studio, and a speaker at the rally, was reduced to criticising Alun for something he didn't actually say. One thing that occurred to me as Ieuan was speaking was why doesn't the Assembly Government put in some money, if it believes the current agreement is not a sustainable budget. All party leaders in the Assembly seem to agree that S4C should be devolved. I suppose they might not be allowed to! And in passing, I was interested in David Williamson's Q & A piece in today's Wales on Sunday. When he was informing viewers about how Welsh politicians have responded to the new funding arrangements for S4C, he referred to the four party leaders in the Assembly (who do not have any direct responsibility for S4C) and completely ignored the Welsh MPs who have. I can inform readers of this site that without the determination and guile of Welsh Coalition MPs, the future would have looked rather more bleak. But this will have to await the memoirs.
Intending to visit the Assembly on Tuesday, just as a visitor to the public gallery, for the 'powers' referendum debates. This is one of the final pieces to be put in place to allow the referendum to go ahead on March 3rd. Hoping to hear some inspirational stuff to 'fire up' the Welsh nation. Hard to believe its only 4 months away - including Xmas and New Year. As time goes on, I increasingly fear a low turn-out.