Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Why I will be voting 'Yes' on March 3rd.

As it is St David's Day, today its a pretty good opportunity to explain how I will be voting at the Extra Powers for Wales referendum this Thursday, March 3rd, and why.

I will be voting 'yes' for four main reasons:

  1. No matter which party (or parties) are in power in Westminster, UK-wide one-size-fits-all legislation will by definition not be equally optimum for all parts of the United Kingdom. Accordingly the Welsh Assembly is the ideal vehicle for developing and implementing differentiated policies which are specific to the needs of Wales alone. The referendum on March 3rd merely allows for the Assembly to be able to pass laws in the areas it already has competence quicker.
  2. I fully subscribe to the principle that laws which exclusively apply to one region should be decided exclusively within that region. During the previous Labour administration in Westminster we all became accustomed to the sight of legislation which exclusively affected England (and in some cases England and Wales) only being passed due to the support of Scottish Labour MPs representing constituencies which would be entirely unaffected by said legislation. Known as the West Lothian Question, it remains a constitutional abomination. Although the situation whereby Measures passed in the Assembly are scrutinised by MPs and Peers in Westminster is not a direct parallel to the West Lothian Question, the principle of those unaffected by the law in question being removed entirely from the lawmaking process is sound.
  3. A yes vote on Thursday will merely put Wales on almost equal footing with the other devolved governments in Scotland and Northern Ireland, which already do not need to have their laws scrutinised by Westminster. As a proud Welshman I personally have never seen any good reason why Wales should be treated any differently from Scotland or Northern Ireland.
  4. I instinctively believe in Localism. Political decisions which affect us all, should be taken as closely as possible to us -- not by some overlarge central top-down bureaucracy. This, for example, is why I am so keen to preserve the integrity of Anglesey County Council and not see it submerged within a Greater Gwynedd.

As a final footnote: I personally don't believe that the current Plaid Cymru and Labour coalition in Cardiff Bay has done a particularly good job. Indeed in crucial areas -- Education and Economic Development being just two -- they have failed abysmally and let Wales down. However none of this undermines the case for the Welsh Assembly itself -- it merely underlines the lack of competence and vision of the current crop of AMs from the ruling parties. I fully believe that the nation of Wales' future economic and social success rests entirely upon the Welsh Assembly developing unique and radical policies which differentiate Wales positively from the rest of the UK as both a place to live, work and invest.

65 comments:

Groundhog Day said...

If the WAG had been an unqualified success since its inception then I would agree with you Paul but IMHO it has been a disaster in many areas. We have a far inferior health service to the rest of the UK and our education has gone to the dogs to name just two areas of concern.Yes it is a long-winded way of doing things by having to have our legislation rubber-stamped at Westminster but as far as I am concerned the more checks and balances we impose on those inept clowns in the Senedd the better. No doubt I will be in the minority when I put my cross next to the NO box but regretably we Welsh have always been like lambs to the slaugher where the WAG is concerned. Devolution has been a disaster for Wales but soon we will be on an even slippier slope to nationalism.

Anonymous said...

I will be voting No, the Welsh Assembly has proven to be a failure, succesful for the money grabbing allowance chasing clowns, but a failure when it comes to the real issues, unemployment, housing and health, we feel as if we have become a poor relation, in this United Kingdom.

Anonymous said...

I will be voting No, because the divide between the South and the North has created a chasm, the Yes want nationalism and more power to the Politicians, on the pretence of helping the people, while we the real victims will always be ignored, our best strenght is being treated equally, something that hasn't happened since we had the Welsh Assembly. I will be voting No, because I want an equal Wales, not a rich South and poor North.

Anonymous said...

Why I will vote No, to stop the monkeys having the keys to the Zoo.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I can't agree with your decision to vote "Yes" on Thursday. Free prescriptions and OAP bus-passes are all very well - but not much of a sweetener for those living in poverty. Given that we don't have that many bush-fires here - I don't think making sprinklers compulsory in all new houses is such a good idea either - particularly given the increase in flooding claims caused by burst pipes this last winter.
I hope things do improve if some like you are elected in the May elections - but this week, mine will be a "NO" vote of no-confidence - and there is nothing anyone can say that will change that.

Anonymous said...

Please consider this:

I am not Welsh but I rarely hear any politician in Wales talk about the people of Wales (apart from Plaid Cymru). Rather, they always talk about the Welsh, Welsh pride and Welsh 'proudness'.

Such concepts are alien to me. I have no idea what it means to be Welsh and nor do I care.

This election is clearly only for the Welsh. It effects the powers that the WAG can have on the Welsh people (assumedly only when in Wales).

As a non-Welsh I am unwilling to accept that WAG can have any effect on me or my family, nor can it ever be allowed to have such.

In this regard, I have my GP in England so that I can go to any UK hospital of the GP's choice. Yes, I pay for my prescriptions and I pay to park my car when I attend a hospital outside of Wales. Same for all my family.

My kids are educated in Scotland and two of them will be attending English universities later on this year (with any luck). Yes, it is expensive but I have earned the money and this is how I choose to spend it.

The family home is in Wales, but it is not a Welsh home, it is the home of my family, and the language of our home is English.

I work from home and employ over 60 people throughout the UK. I do not employ Welsh people any more than I employ English, Scots, Irish or Polish. I employ people who want to work and work in the way that I want them to work. I do not receive any grants or any favours from anyone. If I make a profit it is mine, if I make a loss it is mine.

If Wales ever manages to become an independent nation it will quickly have to realise that the Welsh in Wales are the least important people in this country.

Access to European money comes with serious strings. Wales will have to behave like any normal European country. And that means accepting anyone from anywhere throughout Europe, not trying to 'Welshify' them or even imagine that they want to know anything about Wales, its history, 'Welshism' or the Welsh.

If you are not prepared to accept this, vote NO on Thursday.

Anonymous said...

Have to agree with previous postings. It's a no vote for me. They can't run what they already have.

Anonymous said...

The two comments directly above speak a thousand words aboput the kind of people who follow this blog and support its author - anti-Welsh right-wing xenophobes.

I don't care how you vote on Thursday, you're views are abhorent.

Anonymous said...

Nothing xenophobic about me, I am German and therefore considered to be the foreigner.

As for being anti-Welsh I am no more anti-Welsh than I am anti-anything else. But, unlike you, I think I am pro-people, people from wherever!

I suspect you are worried about job creation for 'locals'. Well, you are right to worry, there will be no jobs for locals unless those locals match up to the expectations of the employer.

Tough call buddy, I think you should go travelling.

Anonymous said...

I can't see how you see this blog and/or it's author as being Anti-Welsh; Druid, aka Mr Williams, is very proud to be Welsh!

Also if you care to read the blog and the heading this comment box relates to, you will notice that the two comments above say they will vote "NO", whereas Mr Williams is supporting the "YES" vote!

We are not right-wing xenophobes, and we are most certainly not Anti-Welsh!

The Red Flag said...

I'm voting yes because I believe the WAG needs to change and a No vote (or an abstention) is a vote to keep it as it is now.

Anonymous said...

And don't forget they are abolishing "carrier bags" big deal, far more pressing issues to be thinking about, health, education etc. It's a definate no from me but I have a horrible feeling I'll be in the minority

Anonymous said...

And don't forget they are abolishing "carrier bags" big deal, far more pressing issues to be thinking about, health, education etc. It's a definate no from me but I have a horrible feeling I'll be in the minority

And if you vote No then it will go ahead anyway. A No vote is a status quo vote.

You cannot vote against the WAG - the option is not there. Nor will it ever be. The WAG is here to stay. Voting No is not an anti-WAG vote and only a fool would think otherwise.

Photon said...

God will be voting 'yes', too.

Now do as I commandeth.

Roydavidp said...

I will be voting NO.

I firmly believe that the less power they have in the Welsh Aseembly the better, it has not been a success story as the politicians want us to believe, my mind was made up after being introduced to the cesspit in Cardiff.

I wrote to them about concerns we have as an Island Community, my letter was polite and informative, it was about the corrupt power mad Council we have here.

My letter was passed from pillar to post and I felt as if my concerns were not being treated seriously or fairly. We are all tax payers and decent law abiding citizens, yet they treat us as if we are all dumbwits.

We all think that Politics is a dirty business, it only gets that way when we as a Nation feel ignored. We are only a small voice in a small Country, yet we are constantly silenced.

Not long ago Paul Williams spoke up and introduced himself as a Conservative Candidate for Anglesey.

Does he belive that a Yes vote will clean up Politics in Anglesey? I don't think it will, a Yes vote will give more power to the greedy power mad Assembly, a No vote will give them a shock, it's time for the Cariff Assembly to realise that they are there to represent us all, but the amount of assistance and co-operation we have had from them in the past twelve months is dismal. We have alarge Council that is being allowed to continue when it's failing us all, we have bickering on a scale that makes us all feel uneasy, about our future and our children's future. We have constant failure to produce a trustworthy and honest Democracy here on Anglesey, we have to blame these failings on the doorstep of the Welsh Assembly, and our No vote, will wake them all up, and make them realise that not only have thay failed us, they have failed too, failed as an Assembly and failed as a means to listen to the voice of the people.

We the people should come first, the politicians should come last, in Wales, it's politicians first and people last. Vote NO!

Anonymous said...

I think it's a question of giving ourselves the power to legislate fully in the devolved areas. Then it's fully our responsibility to make sure the Assembly works properly. Equally, it will only be our fault if it doesn't work in favour of the public.

Make no mistake, ain't nobody give a monkey's about Wales in Westminster (unless it suits a political game, as currently).

Anonymous said...

The only assets we have in Wales to give us any Political gain in Westminster are what exactly?

Jac o' the North said...

You seem a decent man, Paul, and a good Welshman, but unfortunately many of those you hope will vote for you in May are more in tune with Ukip's xenophobic approach to politics.

A problem - for the Conservative Party - I deal with in my latest posting. http://jacothenorth.blogspot.com/2011/03/pantomime-horse-party.html

Maes Llwyn said...

I have already voted NO.
The current age-old legislative process at Westminster is not perfect, but its the best we have got. At least it has ample scrutiny and checks and balances.
The Yes/No vote for NAW is about TRUST.
Politicians always want more , and yet more, power.
The real question is - Can we trust our 60 AM's in Cardiff to get our laws right and balanced....could we trust our 40 inept councillors in Anglesey with such power.....they are not unalike ?

Lack of info said...

I want to know about the money.
1. If we say yes does that mean the UK Parliament will distribute more of ther funds to Wales, because they have less to do.
2. If we say yes, we have been told on the referendum debate the other night that there would be no new AMs and no additional allowances.
But then Carwyn said that the allowances are set by an Independent Remuneration Panel, which I'm sure will say AM "deserve" more money (this was the advice given last time)
3. How many more Civil servants will be employed to do this extra work. How much will this cost.

Anonymous said...

Well said Maes Llwyn at least you have faith in your convictions and your instinct, but here on Anglesey we have always been lied to by people we thought were there to help us. At the end of the day, the idea of Politicians having even more power to control and possibly destroy us, legally, doesn't not make me happy. The victims should vote No!

Anonymous said...

Lack of Info, don't worry about the money, the Assembly will have plenty, and the people will have none.

Anonymous said...

I will vote NO and agree with all of the foregoing reasons for so doing.

David Phillips said...

As someone living on Anglesey, I think the main reason for voting Yes tomorrow is to make the law making process in Wales more efficient.

After all, the purpose of politicians is to make law intended to make life better for all the people.

A Yes vote will ensure the Welsh Assembly can bring into force laws much sooner than has been the case to date.

One example is the Legislative Competence Order (LCO) introduced by Ann Jones AM. This has taken the best part of 3 years, way too long.

On other important areas such as mental health, a Yes vote will give the Assembly the tools to pass laws in months not years.

Assuming the intended law is beneficial to society, that has to be something worth aiming for.

So, a Yes vote is best for Wales tomorrow.

"Ie dros Cymru"

David Phillips
Labour Prospective North Wales Regional Candidate

Anonymous said...

The only assets we have in Wales to give us any Political gain in Westminster are what exactly?

Water for Birmingham, Liverpool etc, easy and short ferry crossings for lorry freight moving back and to between UK & Ireland and likewise tourism moving from England to Ireland and vice versa, discreet out of the public eye for nuclear power stations that will generate largely to benefit England, better conditions for wind farms than those of the Cumbrian coast, the dumping ground of Rhyl for England's failing drugs rehabilitation programme. Marina's and weekend homes for England's 'professional' class (I put professional in indices because I still fail to see how anyone can call investment bankers, stockbrokers and financial experts professional unless they are referring to onanism)

And that's just off the top of my head.

Anonymous said...

11.37 Who are you David Phillips, never heard of you ? Another aspiring politician, a representative of the People, supposedly. Very well, we'll listen to you, but do not expect us to trust you.
You see, the good people of Anglesey have lost all trust in their representatives, why should we trust those in NAW by giving them more powers.
No.

Anonymous said...

edits Anglesey Today, prolific letter writer to the Anglesey Mail, part of the Labour Party set-up on the Island (Policy Officer), close to Albert Owen (possibly climbing the greasey poll to be his eventual successor)

Mochyn Mon Ar Wasgar said...

WAG is imperfect I agree,too much power is vested in the hands of South Wales Labour machine politicians,and the perception that the north does badly by comparison is strongly held and has some basis in fact when you look at the big differences in infrastrucutre developments between the two regions for example, but it is our own unique voice distinct from the London/Home Counties-centric bias of various Westminster parties over the years.Paul, I'm not doubting your pro-Welsh credentials but I'm yet to be convinved that your party has experienced a Damascene type conversion about all things Wales and Welsh and I'm sure many of my generation share the same views. However I do not wish to sound mealy-mouhed so I give you credit for coming out in support of the "Yes" vote.

Puck said...

http://rctcbcmalice.blogspot.com/

Quotes of Gandi

And I didn't think Gandi had been to Ynys Mon, though he might have been to Cardiff ... on the strength of these quotes he wouldn't have voted 'Yes'.

Anonymous said...

David Phillips are you party of Albert's crew? any jobs going anywhere? can we get a job if we vote yes?

Prometheuswrites said...

David Phillips:

"... I think the main reason for voting Yes tomorrow is to make the law making process in Wales more efficient.

A Yes vote will ensure the Welsh Assembly can bring into force laws much sooner than has been the case to date.

Assuming the intended law is beneficial to society, that has to be something worth aiming for".

Assumptions are dangerous things.
(Assume = Ass out of U and me) trad.

I'd rather take my time and make sure the laws are good, than rush into making ones that aren't so good that will require revisiting and redrafting (a longer process overall).

As many of the posts on this thread have pointed out we aren't attracting looks of admiration from the other devolved regions for our laws and practices regarding Health, education and economic and business development, all of which rate badly in the official stats. And it's not as though there hasn't been enough time since the Assembly came into being to process LCO's relating to these areas several times over.



David Phillips:
"After all, the purpose of politicians is to make law intended to make life better for all the people."

In a manner of speaking yes; however laws are there to deliniate and define what things people shouldn't do, not what people should do. This is why there's so much critisism of the 'nanny state'

;) said...

In modern politics with the privatisation of public services it seems that the role of politicians is more to do with deciding who will get the lucrative service contracts than with actually running the services themselves.

And I'd put my money on those private companies who make contributions to the political party funding.

The Red Flag said...

;) said...
In modern politics with the privatisation of public services it seems that the role of politicians is more to do with deciding who will get the lucrative service contracts than with actually running the services themselves.

Good story from today's 'Indie' regarding the PFI company that owns London's Foire Engines and leases them to the Brogades on the verge of bankruptcy.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/managers-of-londons-fire-engines-face-financial-meltdown-2229614.html

;) said...

Red Flag:
Thank you for the link.

'He pointed to a £120m contract secured by a joint venture involving the company from the United Arab Emirates armed forces'.

What was that old Genesis song? - 'Selling England by the Pound'

Maes Llwyn said...

Not sure if everyone understands the distinction between WAG and NAW, here.
WAG is the Executive, the cabinet so to speak, whereas NAW is the assembled 60 AMs.
The vote tomorrow is to give power (or not) to the 60.
Can we TRUST these people to legislate and regulate our lives ??

Anonymous said...

In a nutshell Maes Llwyn the answer is No. Trust is a word that is missing in the vocabulary of all of the Politicians who are based in the Welsh Assembly.

You, Maes Llwyn and the people you live and work with know what trust is, it's being able to confide in someone, would you trust your local Councillor or AM to help you, as far as we are concerned we would trust them as far as we could throw them.

The Masonic connection is another avenue that has not been looked at in the Yes vote campaign, these are the real people that control politics in Anglesey as well as the Assembly, so the next time obscene political or local decisions upset you Maes Llwyn look for the Masonic Connection, then join the dots and you will find the big picture, eventually. The biggest rule in the lodge is that on eason may not be a witness against another mason, so things go unreported, and these are the people who rule us now, do you trust your local Mason? well, he is your local, and national politician. Vote No and stop the Masons taking over Wales.

Anonymous said...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/1260071.stm

Masons and the WAG

Anonymous said...

in case you still think Yes vote is good http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAoorwJCZhs

The masons===dragons eye programme

Maes Llwyn said...

IACC.
The Minister wants the Anglesey problem out of the way before the May Election.
The Commissioners will be installed this month, to manage the Council until the local election of May 2012 !
Fact.

Photon said...

Maes Llwyn: we may all want to vote 'yes' for that!

Anonymous said...

Pack it in with the Masons. It's not the Masons that are corrupt - it's some of the people that are in it and subverting to their own ends. I dare say some members of the AA are corrupt - doesn't mean the AA are. And look at political parties and the antics of the Westminster trash.

There are corrupt people who bestow grace-and-favour on friends and family in all walks of life. Just treat them publicly for what they are - thieves.

I'm not a Mason by the way, I have no interest in being in a glorified big boys gang but if people want to walk around in an apron with a trouser leg rolled up and then be expected to be taken seriously, it's a free world. You'll see stranger things in Manchester's Northern Quarter of a saturday night.

Photon said...

"it's not the Masons that are corrupt - it's some of the people that are in it and subverting to their own ends"

I agree. You can be a member of a chapel and use your contacts there to personal advantage.

Paul: is it strictly correct to allow comments on the referendum on the day it is being conducted?

Groundhog Day said...

"Paul: is it strictly correct to allow comments on the referendum on the day it is being conducted?"

I cannot see why not Photon. Newspapers and other media comment right up to and including the day of elections. And it is not as though comments already posted on this blog are going to disappear just because today is the day of the referendum. Therefore I cannot see the point of locking this particular thread just because voting is taking place today.

PrometheusW said...

I thought that it was not allowed to campaign or petition within the premises of the polling stations.

Anywhere else is fine.

Anonymous said...

Off Topic, Bodffordd Again !
There is a motion on the full Council's agenda next Tuesday to waive the Council's legal bill (about £5k) for defending against JAJ's challengeing by judicial review its planning decision approving the Biodigester plant.
We recall that the challenge was bound to fail, and did fail, the Judge holding that the planning decision was sound in law, and principle.
Now, who in his right mind would propose that the ratepayers of Anglesey should foot the bill for JAJ's foolish crusade to Cardiff ?

Anonymous said...

Re: Masons

I think the Masons are more active than people think; I've got no absolute concrete proof, but what happened to me at my last job beggars belief!

Anonymous said...

Anyone else notice the simalarity in the terms of engagement and the rule of masons not to tell on about another mason?

Someone should complain to the grand lodge about a rogue cell operating here dragging the repetation of the masons into the dirt

But this would be pissing into the wind

Anonymous said...

Masons are egotistical little social climbers with only self advancement in mind, wearing cheap black suits and white gloves and a small poutch to carry their man-aprons, skulking to their silly little meetings always after dark, with dodgy sweaty handshakes and curled up trouser legs, prancing around their lodge in ancient boy scout rituals and chants of so mote it be dear worshipful master, and all his his aunts and uncles and Councillors and solicitors and wankers and everyone else who can benefit them.
Weird lot !

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Bang on 16.48 Trearddur Bay Lodge.

Wyrdtimes said...

As an English nationalist I wish the Yes camp the best of luck :) And roll on independence for all.

Cymro ! said...

18.42.....and you know where you should go, where the sun don't shine, my mochyn friend ?

Anonymous said...

Aren't the police legally required to declare membership of the Masons these days, along with judges and the like? Actually, it turns out Jack Straw, who introduced that rule, withdrew it in 2009 after a decade or so because it was being challenged by the Masons in a very expensive way. I wonder why it was worth so much to the Masons to be able to keep their membership secret. Obviously, you don't need to be on the square to understand why, but you need to be on the square to benefit from it. So mote it be.

Anonymous said...

Why are we elevating our laughable little masonic brethren to a topic worth discussing, pray ?
We never discuss their cousins, the Buffs, or their even closer cousins, Alcoholics Anonymous,or the Klu Klux Klan.....so what's so special about them ?
Nothing...its an illusion.

Anonymous said...

If there's only a 30% turnout and a yes vote is carried will they claim it as a victory for the whole of Wales

Anonymous said...

If there's only a 30% turnout and a yes vote is carried will they claim it as a victory for the whole of Wales

Yes because that's how a voting democracy works. Only the people that bother to vote count. Those that don't bother have opted out of the process.

Anonymous said...

"If there's only a 30% turnout and a yes vote is carried will they claim it as a victory for the whole of Wales"

If the result is a narrow margin - say 60/40 of 30% turnout then that means that 18% of voters will be determining the result.

There is a weighting on the whole process, so that the 'no' vote is less likely to win as it's been put in such a way that voting 'no' means nothing will change.

Most people who bother to vote will vote to change something/anything, not to keep things the same.

Think about it, the incentives to vote not to change anything is underwhelming.
Especially in this case, where the general concensus is that 'something needs to change because what we have isn't working very well' - except that there wasn't a choice to vote for anything else.

Hey! Lets spend loads more money asking people what other things in CArdiff they don't want to change!

I've never been mugged, but now I got an idea of what it must feel like.

Anonymous said...

My mate told me he voted yes to stop the Tories in westminster having a say in what happens in Wales.

And if Labour had been in power in westminster he would have voted no.

Anonymous said...

except that there wasn't a choice to vote for anything else.

There was never a need for any other alternative. The Welsh Assembly is here to stay - Westminster says so and as a result dismantling it is not an option that London will offer so don't even bother thinking about it. Bizarely, the only way the opposition to the Assembly would ever get their wishes of disolution is to keep voting Yes, support independence and once Wales is independent campaign for a Union.

That means the only choices that needed to be asked (and indeed will ever be asked on future referenda) is Yes or No to more power and you can either vote and be part of it or opt out in which case it has nothing to do with you.

Anonymous said...

I never fail to laugh at the odd comments at the odd times I visit this now wholly discredited weblog. Some really bizzare comments about things like not being able to trust politicians at the Welsh Assembly (as part of the Yes/No Referendum vote debate) when the alternative argument is that we can and need to continue to trust politicians at Westminster - even after the whole debacle over allowances, fraud and even lies over the Iraq war. Get real, but most of all be honest, little Englanders, as all you really believe in is the Crown, the British Empire and the Westminster Parliament. Who in their right minds would consciously choose, decide or vote to have less say in decisions that affect their own lives or affairs - that's what the little Englanders want us in Wales to believe and do - and thank God we didn't listen to the majority of contributors to this blog on this historic day.

Anonymous said...

Little Englanders they may well be but we should thank them every day for their daily decision to allow Wales to continue in some shape, form, entity that we Welsh can regard as our own country!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I fail to understand why we should thank anyone (let alone LITTLE ENGLANDERS), and even more so on a daily basis to 'allow' (your terminology) our country to exist. Expand and explain?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, King John, but I thought that we had moved forward from the medieval need for the Welsh Princes to pay homage to and thank the English Crown for their own existence - clearly you have not! Your terminology and wording betrays your true philosophy and political stance - which unfortunately represents and mirrors the view of the majority of the contributors to this blog -and its author.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, King John, but I thought that we had moved forward from the medieval need for the Welsh Princes to pay homage to and thank the English Crown for their own existence

We have. Now they merely proclaim one of their offspring as Prince Of Wales instead.

Anonymous said...

Now we're already on the slippery slope with the comment that the Wales office in Westminster should be abolished, to me that smacks of the idea of independence, a bridge too far, nothing from Scotland or Ireland regarding their Westminster offices