So after all it wasn’t
the EU or Westminster that was at fault for Brexit but the Welsh Assembly!
knows I have not always been a fan of how successive Welsh Assembly
governments’ have conducted themselves and operated. Nor have I ever been an
admirer of the Assembly’s quality of debates and deliberations both in standard
I can recognise when there is mischief afoot
with some people having malicious intentions towards the Senedd and apparently even
the name offends.
UKIP AM Gareth Bennett has said that the term
should be ‘kicked into the long grass’ and that Welsh-only terms such as the
Urdd are not known outside the Welsh speaking ‘colony’.
Such insults need
stamping out! But then they cohere with similar disparaging attitudes towards
devolution, the Welsh language and the European Union.
In Wales, just over half of the electorate who
voted supported the Leave EU campaign. Of course, it was a very disappointing
outcome for many of us—and there were many reasons for that result which I will
come back to no doubt over coming months. Criticisms are justified.
‘ The Leave vote shows a Wales gripped by a rebellious,
anti-establishment zeitgeist—more so than during any time since the National
Assembly came into being.’
establishment—and, in particular, the Welsh Labour Government and Welsh
nationalists—seem to be in a dangerous state of denial.’
Okay, let’s accept that for now, but then
comes the rub and the real purpose of their musings!
Taylor goes on to comment:
is that Wales is neither particularly pro-devolution nor anti-devolution. There
is chronic disinterest in the entire project.’
‘Since the advent of devolution
politicians have felt a pressing need to develop a soft nationalist building
that is a bad thing to do!
Andrew R T Davies also proclaims—although having
carefully entered the following caveat to disarm people—‘I
say that with no pleasure. Having initially opposed devolution, I have become a
passionate but pragmatic advocate.’
Nevertheless he is of the view that:
referendum on abolishing the Welsh Assembly would succeed if it was held now
….it would be difficult to get backing for the Assembly as an institution…The
fact of the matter is that I don’t think that such a campaign could be won
today. The result was tight in 1997, but if the question were put to the people
tomorrow I believe that they would vote to abolish the National Assembly.’
As the cartoon character
Bugs Bunny used to say in the 70s
I have a fair idea and its time those of us
who believe in a stronger, more confident and self-governing Wales woke up and
spoke up much more vociferously.
Welsh Assembly has been hamstrung from the beginning and has been devoid of the
freedom to act with the effective powers granted the Scottish Parliament.
the way, in the current climate I do not blame Nicola Sturgeon for re-opening the
conversation on support for independence in Scotland nor Gordon Brown
suggesting a federal solution for Scotland in the UK.
as with Brexit, where is Labour’s official voice? Sadly it is dogged by serious
Of course, I understand the current frustration with politics. Many of
the issues have roots further in the past. However, the answer is not to
abolish a relatively new voice in the process (the Assembly)—but to empower it
to be truly representative of all people in Wales.
the Assembly does not need less BUT greater powers. Of course we in Wales could
do a better job of governing ourselves than Westminster does.
the Brexit result I believe that the future lies, at the very least, in a
self-governing Wales within a Federal UK.
argument can be made for going further, even on economic grounds.
Out of 235 countries in the world some 130 of them have populations of around 7 million and under. Of these 100 have populations under 4 million and the vast majority have numbers smaller