Christmas in Wales, Past, Present and Future

Yes, I know, it’s Christmas, the season of goodwill to all men, but it’s only a temporary distraction from the realities of life in Wales. And that life is, quite simply, colonial.

The gullible among us believe that devolution has made things better. I’m at a loss to understand why anyone should believe that. We are poorer today – relative to other parts of this scepter’d isle – than we were in 1999. Devolution is a complete sham in which a bunch of appalling mediocrities, denizens of an outlandish building down Cardiff docks, are unwilling to admit, or too stupid to see, that their ‘advisors’ are nothing but conduits for policy directives from London.

If the directives don’t come via civil servants then we often hear about them by other means. We know that the Conservative regime wants to roll back the devolution process, just in case, at some future date, someone might decide to ignore the ‘advisors’ and use the powers gained for the benefit of Wales. So after thinking about it for a moment it was no real surprise to hear a man no one has heard of, representing a body no one knows about, suggest co-opting MPs into the ‘Welsh’ Government.

This was such an insane, anti-democratic suggestion, that it took many people by surprise. My first response was, ‘Who the fuck is Martin Warren, and what does the governance of Wales have to do with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales?’ Then my cynical mind started turning and I realised that a professional body like this will almost certainly have ‘links’ with the Conservative and Unionist Party. What if they’re being used as a cat’s paw?

What I mean is that now the idea’s been publicly mooted, who’s to say that some time next year the Crabb won’t come out with, ‘Suggestions have been made . . . ‘ or ‘After considering proposals to include MPs . . . ‘ and use it to parachute a few Tory MPs into Carwyn’s multi-talented cabinet.

Santa complete copy

But note the organisation coming out with this bollocks, particularly note that it’s yet another Englandandwales outfit . . . the accountants have obviously taken no account of devolution. (Like hundreds of other bodies.) As we approach the seventeenth year of devolution Wales is more firmly integrated with England than ever before. And being integrated further every year, while Scotland – even without independence – pulls further away, in order to serve her own interests rather than England’s.

Next year sees the Assembly elections. Despite the lack of a Welsh media, increasing numbers of our people are finally waking up to the harsh reality that voting Labour achieves nothing. It only makes things worse. Plaid Cymru should be the major beneficiary of this new awareness (even if not to the same degree as the SNP). But if Ukip and Tories, Lib Dems and Greens benefit from this disillusionment more than – or even as much as – Plaid Cymru, then the time will have arrived to consider new means by which the nation’s interests are to be defended. 2016 must be Plaid Cymru’s last chance.

Some readers will consider my Christmas montage a little harsh, even unseasonal, but the realities don’t change because of some fat guy in a Coca Cola outfit. I shall return next year, refreshed and sobered up, loins girded, restocked with vitriol, ready to launch yet more trenchant attacks on the colonial system destroying our homeland.

In the meantime, and to prove that I’m not a complete and utter Scrooge . . .

Nadolig Llawen

 

14 thoughts on “Christmas in Wales, Past, Present and Future

  1. There’s been some discussion in Scotland on how to use the list vote in the coming devolved election. Constituency support for the SNP is running close to 60% and shows no sign of slacking off (despite endless ‘SNP BAD!’ stories in the media) which means that they might win almost every constituency seat. So it’s been suggested by some that voting SNP on the list would be a wasted vote given how the system works. Others however are adamant that anything other than giving the SNP both the constituency and list vote might risk them losing their current majority.

    I’m not sure how all this works out in the much more diverse (confused?) Welsh situation, or if similar issues have been raised. Part of the problem is I think that hardly anyone really understands how seats are allocated under the list system.

    Interesting times …

    http://whatscotlandthinks.org/questions/how-would-you-use-your-constituency-vote-in-a-scottish-parliament-election#line

    http://whatscotlandthinks.org/questions/how-would-you-be-likely-to-use-your-regional-vote-in-a-scottish-parliament-elec#line

    1. Gareth

      The idea of tactical voting on the list in Scotland (and Wales, since we have the same system abeit with fewer total members) has been debunked by James Kelly of Scot Goes POP! http://scotgoespop.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=tactical and Rev. Stuart Campbell of Wings over Scotland http://wingsoverscotland.com/ams-for-lazy-people/

      As Rev. Campbell put it – ‘So now we have to deal with the tactical-voting issue. The whole point of AMS is that by redressing the unfairness that tends to result from FPTP, it’s designed to make tactical voting both unnecessary and pointless. Indeed, because you can’t know the constituency results in advance, it’s basically impossible.’

  2. Sian Caiach

    When as a sweet young thing I spent a great deal of effort in setting up the all party campaign for the Sennedd {Plaid, of which I was a member at the time did not want devolution until they won a majority of Westminster seats and I felt I might well die before that happened – 30 yrs on still a real possibility} What I never planned for was the poisonous effect of Labour constantly playing the “B” team as our “Government” with the result that unlike Scotland and Northern Ireland, we’ve done very little with the power we are supposed to have and which the UK has decided to pile up on us safe in the knowledge that bugger all will change. Health, Education, Strategic Infrastructure, Economic Planning and General Governance have all been the victims of our sad Sennedd, a merry go round of ministers and random decisions. Rather than the hegemony of Labour being finally destroyed in May, it seems that Plaid will be tempted into propping them up again. A proper minority government would do everyone the world of good and some of us are old enough to remember the few days of public excitement about the rainbow coalition in 2007 and disappointment when Plaid gave up the opportunity of actually doing something in favour of keeping the Labour Party in charge. Hopefully not to be repeated next year?
    Keep up the good work,Jac and best wishes to everyone for 2016

    Sian Caiach

    1. I agree, unless Labour and Plaid both do worse than anticipated it’s likely to be another coalition. Partly because Labour would be very cheeky to try a minority government with just 25 or 26 seats, which is what they secretly expect to get. But if Labour and Plaid do badly, with not enough seats combined to make it to 30, then of course there’s always the Lib Dems, and this time, perhaps a Green AM or two. However it pans out, we can predict that Labour will be in charge again.

      Thanks for your good wishes and the very best to you for 2016. And of course, should you bump into Mark James, Meryl Gravell, Robin Cammish or any of the others I’ve written about, please remind them that they are ever in my thoughts.

      1. Why would Labour be cheeky to risk a minority government with 26 seats? The LibDems have voted through their budget this year, even though the biggest losers local authority-wise are the Lib Dem heartlands of Ceredigion and Powys (Demanding a 2% limit on cuts for the councils would have cost about £7m out of a budget of £1bn+), Plaid seem to demand “more carrrots for corgis”, or “An extra £1 for pensioners with surnames staring with x in years with a single 9 in” as their price for supporting Labour votes. And with UKiP getting 7 or 8 seats next year, neither Plaid nor the Lib Dems will want to be seen as “siding with the Tory / UKiP coalition”, so they’ll be even more enthusiastic about supporting everything that the Labour Government suggest. I don;t see any hope for a Welsh-supporting senedd after the next electrions. Anyone a bit more up-beat?

  3. Colin

    The idea of letting MPs into the Senedd is a disgrace, just a way of ensuring that we don’t gain an inch even if we do get a better deal. Not that it will make a blind bit of difference, I honestly doubt that Plaid can make any ground although I personally would like to see them have a go despite the “dog in a manger” comparisons, though a “snake in a rats nest” might well be appropriate. Whoever is in control it will be at Westminster’s bidding one way or another, either through direct control or pillow talk.

    As for the season of goodwill, I hope you all have a great time with your families and haven’t sent all your hard earned cash over the border to English companies.

    Scrooge? Never believe it Mr J!

    Hwyl

  4. Dai Dom Da

    I’ve just returned from a very sobering visit to the local Co-op where what looked like a paramilitary group was trying to extort donations from the shoppers. A rather overweight Cockney Dad’s Army type and his young charges, aged 12-14, were kitted out in black army boots, combat fatigues and black berets. Army cadets, apparently, collecting money for a military charity.

    The next time someone claims to be outraged at the sight of some black and white photos of young men wearing military uniforms in the 60s, ask them how they feel about putting kids (including at least one who I happen to know is autistic and fostered by a couple of Ukippers, poor sod) into military uniform and parading them around to celebrate Christmas. Nid yn fy enw i.

    Nadolig llawen, ac ar y ddaear tangnefedd.

  5. The Earthshaker

    Good way to end the year reminding everyone of the pitiful plight of our country.

    2016 could well be a make or break year for the Welsh Assembly, the real anti Assembly, anti Wales and welsh language lobby will get their first seats via UKIP and unless we see a change from their poor attendance record in the European Parliament, infighting and candidates resigning for fraud etc, their election will reduce the opposition parties effectiveness against the Labour government, but the Assembly will get the blame, the BBC, ITV, Fail and other ‘welsh’ media will see to that and support for abolishing it will rise and be portrayed as main stream opinion you watch.

    But it’s not all bad news from a nationalist point of view if Plaid Cymru goes in to Coalition with Labour (the most likely outcome) it will destroy Plaid, making them irrelevant for generation at least and in the medium term will make room for an alternative nationalist voice, how that comes about I’m not sure but even that’s probably too late to save Wales.

    And on that happy note, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  6. A little while ago the leader of plaid cymru said on question time that the next assembly election would not be about independence. Then could she tell us what the hell is it about!

      1. dafis

        just occured to me that the Plaid leadeship are very good at propping up, so maybe they can coach the next generation of Welsh front row forwards !!!

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