We don’t need their Tories or Toffs
Limited law-making powers for the Welsh Assembly were given a resounding ‘Yes’ in the 3 March 2011 referendum. 21 of the 22 counties voting in favour. However even after the vote, and despite the fancy office buildings and army of bureaucrats, the Welsh Assembly can only hope to tinker with the status quo. We are still ruled from Westminster by Tory free-marketeers who consider Wales to be enemy territory.
As the Western Mail’s Martin Shipton wrote on the eve of the poll: “…the people of Wales take part in a referendum that will give the National Assembly the opportunity to make laws in the same way as every other legislature in the world without the need to seek permission from politicians in a neighbouring country.
Put like that, it seems astonishing that anybody could think seriously about voting No. But there remains what we hope will turn out to be a minority of people living in Wales who cannot come to terms with the idea …
With as many Oxbridge types, millionaires and aristocrats in the Con/Dem Cabinet in London today as 50 years ago little can be gained by still going cap in hand to a political elite with such opposing self-interests. Most London based media failed to offer a scrap of coverage in the lead up to the poll underlining the Westminster political machine’s irrelevance to Wales.
Assembly still just a talking shop
In his victory speech following the announcement of the landslide ‘Yes’, Assembly leader Carwyn Jones optimistically said “We can now do things rather than just talking about doing things”. Enthusiastic campaigns for devolution have resulted in overblown claims being made for the Assembly.
We were promised an economic powerhouse that would quickly transform Wales but the Assembly still has few powers and is will be destined to be just a poor mans parliament until it gets them.
No more Colonial Governors
Hopefully Cheryl Gillan (Millionaire Conservative MP for super-affluent Chesham and Amersham) will be the last ever London based and London appointed Secretary of State for Wales. As the Western Mail article stated: “A succession of Tory MPs from England held the Secretary of State role and ran the Welsh Office, making crucial decisions about health, education and other important policy areas without any kind of democratic accountability within Wales. They were dubbed colonial governor generals a description that stuck.
Taking orders or taking over?
The natural resources and hard work of the people of Wales have created huge wealth throughout history. Had the people of Wales had control over our own affairs Wales could have developed into one of the most affluent areas in Europe. 20 of the states of the USA have a population less than Wales, and 10 are smaller in size – but they all have far more self government, as part of a real federal system, than has Wales’ symbolic and bureaucratic Assembly. 100 of the world’s fully independent counties are smaller in size than Wales.
The resounding Yes vote is a clear sign that, at long last, our lack of self-confidence is coming to an end.
Contact: Welsh Republic.com
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