Time To Get Real

Yesterday I tried to submit a petition to the Notional Assembly asking it to dissolve itself, seeing as it serves no useful purpose. My petition was refused, “As the Assembly does not have the power to dissolve itself, and matters relating to the devolution settlement in Wales remain the responsibility of the UK Government and Westminster, your petition is inadmissible.” The civil servant dealing with my petition went on to suggest that I might wish to submit a similar petition to the UK government. Though when I checked the relevant website I found someone had beaten me to it. PetitionWhile this petition also calls for the Assembly to be “abolished” I suspect the petitioner (see left, click to enlarge) is coming from the opposite direction to me. For my thwarted petition to the Assembly said: It is now clear that devolution has failed to improve the lives of the vast majority of Welsh people. Wales is becoming poorer year on year. In addition, successive Welsh Governments have done nothing to end the exploitation of Wales or challenge the colonisation programme. We therefore call on the Welsh Government to approach the UK government with a view to putting an end to the National Assembly for Wales.”

So why would I want to do away with the Assembly? First off, it’s obviously a waste of space and money, not least because it takes its orders from London. So it hardly matters that it is filled with drunks, deadbeats and dilettantes. This results in Wales now being a worse place for the Welsh than in the days before devolution: We are poorer, more marginalised, more heavily colonised, more exploited, even insulted with more vitriol and ridiculed with greater frequency than before. Yet, because the Assembly exists, it lulls too many into believing Wales is a better place because we have control over our own affairs! Only by removing the Assembly will the stark reality of our position become clear.

Of course there will be those, even those who should know better, who will argue that having an Assembly – even one run by Labour – is better than no devolution at all. Is it? These people tend to be on the Left, often Plaid members and supporters, dreaming of the day when Plaid will again be in coalition with Labour, acting as a restraining, Welshifying influence. (Yes, just think Clegg and his gang.) The harsh truth is that the next UK elections in May 2015 may return a Labour government, which will still be enjoying its ‘honeymoon period’ when the Assembly elections are held a year later. Result: a Labour ‘government’ in Cardiff. Alternatively, if the coalition gets returned in 2015, or the Tories win an outright majority, this scenario will see Welsh voters urged to ‘send a message’ to the Tories in London (by voting Labour in Assembly elections). Too many of us will. Result: a Labour ‘government’ in Cardiff. So, and assuming that Assembly elections return to their four-year term, the earliest chance of Plaid Cymru even getting into coalition with Labour down Cardiff docks is May 2020. Now ain’t that something to look forward to?

So we are lumbered with a Labour ‘Welsh Government’ until at least 2020 and a ‘national’ party that has no ambition beyond being a very junior partner in coalition with Labour. Further, this ‘national’ party is unable to accept – due to some twisted variant of socialist solidarity – that the Labour Party is the real obstacle to its progress and the well-being of this nation, preferring to conjure up all sorts of demons rather than think badly of fellow socialists.

‘But wait’ I hear you cry, ‘what about the influence of the Scottish referendum?’ Well, what about it? Our beloved and energetic First Minister has made a number of recent pronouncements on this very subject. Bizarrely arguing that if Scotland votes for independence in 2014 England might leave the Union! (That’s how I read it anyhow.) But whatever Carwyn Jones says, be assured of one thing: his – and his party’s – reaction to the Scottish referendum will be influenced by what is in the best interests of the Labour Party, not Wales. Also remember that with Scotland gone the Englandandwales Labour Party will need Welsh MPs more than ever. So forget any wet dreams about the party of George Thomas and Neil Kinnock, Don Touhig and Llew Smith, putting Welsh interests first.

Not only is the Assembly discredited but also, and by inevitable extension, so is the confidence trick of electoral politics. For we Welsh live in a one-party State that relies on the most deracinated and poorly educated members of the nation, and the most deprived areas of the country, to guarantee Labour’s hegemony – and they do it from fear of something worse!  ‘Uncle Joe’ would have been in awe of such brain-washing. I’m not sure how to describe this system, but it is not democracy. So it’s time we stopped pretending to believe it is democracy.

The priority from now on must be the defence of the nation from the obvious and increasing threats, not least colonisation and explotation. Make life as uncomfortable as possible for those who claim to run Wales, and for those who actually run Wales. Make Wales difficult to govern. Do this well enough and then, a few years down the line, we will be in a position to achieve far more than from a political game increasingly rigged against us. As great-aunt Gwladys used to say (drunk or sober): Politicians! boy bach – have nothing to do with the bastards unless you’ve got your hand on your wallet and your foot on their neck.

God bless you, great-aunt Gwladys. For you understood that politics is about power and influence, however exerted. Elections are for little people; silly little people who believe that elections change things.

13 thoughts on “Time To Get Real

  1. Leigh Richards

    im sorry jac but you are deeply mistaken if you think that abolishing the only democratic national political body the welsh people have ever had will benefit the welsh nation in any way – it is also deeply sad to see your new blog lining up with the facist english defence league and the lunatic wales haters of true wales in wanting to end welsh devolution. Even ukip no longer now favours the abolition of the senedd….thats an illustration of how far on the spectrum you appear to have moved in your apparent hostility to welsh devolution

    Whatever the shortcomingos of the current devolution settlement for wales the fact remains that it has come about as a result of the consent of the welsh people…indeed only two years ago you were waxing lyrical on your blog about the scale of the yes vote in the lawmaking powers referendum………the concerns you highlight are not a consequence of devolution itself…more the fact that we still dont have enough powers in wales and that too many decisions affecting wales are still being taken by the british government at westminister..But the way to address the shortcomings you raise is to build on what we have and -.through the consent of the welsh people – bring more powers to wales. I fail to see how returning wales to the days when every decision affecting our country was taken outside wales by politicians in london would be of any benefit to the welsh nation.

    An important part of the development of any nation – indeed surely a test of whether it is a nation at all – is when its people start to take some responsibilities for themselves as to how their own nation is governed…and in wales in the last 13 years we have at least started to do this…..we stil have some way to go but clearly after centuries of effectively being little more than a part of england the kind of political change we would all like to see in wales is not going to happen overnite……..

    so i hope jac that you will reconsider your position on this matter and that the next petition you submit to the senedd will call for it to have further powers and not for its abolition….

    1. Jac

      Leigh, yes, I was happy with the scale of the Yes vote in the 2011 referendum, but you make it sound as if I’ve changed my mind. I haven’t. The problem remains what it has been since 1999: the people want a Welsh government to do the best for Wales yet suffer Labour governments that want to do as little as possible from fear of exciting nationalistic emotions.

      This situation is further worsened by dumbos in the most deprived areas continuing to vote Labour, and a ‘national’ party that, instead of providing opposition by exposing and capitaling on Labour’s calculated ineptitude, wants to cwtch up to the buggers. I see no way out of this national death-spiral other than shock tactics. Get rid of devolution, form a radical and uncompromising nationalist party, or else resort to direct action.

      But let me make it absolutely clear to anyone who might be reading this that Jac o’ the North does not advocate the third of those options, and would be very sad if it became the only option.

  2. EmlynUwchCych

    Good to see you back in the blogosphere, Jac. I guess your old blog must have been pulled because it was drawing the wrong sort of attention?

    Anyway, due to the miracles of technology, all your old posts are sitting on my blog reader (sans comments, alas) in case the security services need some evidence in the future.

    The Assembly has become too much like a comfort blanket, I agree. Toss it away and Wales will quickly have to stand on its own two feet. Plaid Cymru needs to learn from the SNP, grow a pair, and start socking it to British Labour.

    1. Jac

      The situation is that I have access to my blogs (sans comments) via RSSOwl and the kindness of Stuart Evans (Welsh Not British). Though I’m not sure how to transfer to my new blog, or even if this can be done.

      On the Google front, I have written an air mailed letter to their California HQ explaining the situation and asking for access to my intellectual property. If they give it, then there is a WP tool to transfer from Google Blogger.

      All advice welcome, but I will probably wait until I hear from Google. If I get nowhere with Google then I shall look to transfer from RSSOwl.

      1. EmlynUwchCych

        Ignore any advice I might give: I find these blog thingies to be quite a mystery. I suspect that if you get no joy from Google HQ, you might just want to repost a selection of your favourite blog posts from the past few years. Otherwise, manually reposting them all by cut-and-paste from your RSS engine might be a job for a bored grandson or great nephew?

  3. Jac, your post is a good and fair comment and one I find to be fairly researched. I take mild issue with you terming my idea crass however; the simple fact is that regardless of any honour that I wish to bestow upon a native born Welshman, money talks and the economy matters. If a statue manages to honour Henry Tudor whilst bringing in any kind of tourism then surely that is something that can only benefit our struggling nation?

    1. Jac

      OK, maybe ‘crass’ was a bit strong, but I stand by what I said about the reasons for erecting statues . . . and pulling in tourists should way down the list.

  4. Full agreement. Trouble is so many of the PC AMs are Labour socialists with a nationalist flavour. They feel very at home cuddled up to Labour bed-mates.

    You should have expected that when Leanne Wood (Dafydd Ellis Thomas’ blue eyed girl) got voted leader. Leanne would be more at home in the Socialist Workers Party – she’s basically a trade unionist that happens to love things Welsh – she knows nothing else being brought up in Penygraig!

    The writing was on the wall when Y Triban Coch appeared on the scene, but the rot originally set in with Gwynfor Evans a long time ago. The left has been in charge of PC ever since.

  5. Up in Scotland their nationalist party recognised Labour was the enemy and provided a real alternative to them. Down here our “nationalist” party has once again put independence on the “back burner” and is busy working with Labour behind the scenes.

    The only notable complaints from Plaid towards the Labour Government are from their MPs, not their AMs!

    Until Plaid pulls it’s head out of it’s arse, starts campaigning for independence, educates the electorate (not just the voters but the majority who do not vote) then we are in for more of the same because the people of Wales simply have no alternative. They either vote Labour or vote for a party that supports Labour.

  6. Jac

    HoR, We don’t have a nationalist party. Without a nationalist party the political game is a waste of time. So I’m advocating taking the struggle outside the party political arena. Let’s focus people’s attention on those issues politicians and media would prefer we ignored. Do this well and we’ll be preparing the ground for a nationalist party.

    David, Henry VII is a complicated character in Welsh history. His son may have annexed Wales but his grandfather had fought with Glyndwr. Henry himself was born in Pembroke and spent his early life in France and Brittany. He certainly didn’t regard himself as English. And when he landed at Milford Haven in 1485 it was to raise a Welsh army to march into England, where they won at Bosworth. Most Welsh saw him as ‘Y Mab Darogan’, and interpreted his victory over Richard III as the ‘retaking’ of England, the fulfillment of the old prophecies.

    Like I say, a very complicated figure. All depends on how he is interpreted. Though, having looked at the petition, I doubt if its originator knows much about Henry’s ancestry. He wants a statue because it might attract visitors. Which is crass. We should erect statues to great people because they deserve the honour, not because it might attract gawping ninnies who’ll spend a bob or two.

  7. David

    A little off topic but what do you think of the petition going in front of the assembly petitions committee today which is to ask for a statue of Henry 7th in Pembroke? From my understanding of history, he did nothing for the Welsh cause and his son Henry 8th inflicted enormous damage on our being as a separate nation. Therefore, the Assembly will surely be supportive of the petitioner and it’s signatories.

    Good to see your blog back up.

  8. I do like yourself believe in independence, and I suppose through that the necessity of devolution as a forerunner to it, however I truly despair that devolution seems to have given us an eternal Labour government – albeit of various purity – which is the absolutely worst thing possible for Wales. And you are right, things have got worse in Wales since devolution, but to be fair that’s because of Welsh Labour, which is EASILY the most incompetent, unimaginative and ineffective government seen in Western Europe over the past decade if not more.

    As for Plaid Cymru I can’t but help feel that they just aren’t serious about being in government. Every time Labour is in trouble – such as on the budget – Plaid come in and help them out! The SNP wouldn’t even contemplate that, they’d go for the jugular and THAT’S why they’re in government and Plaid are stagnating. People like to point out that there are differences between Welsh and Scottish politics – that’s true. But PC don’t need to emulate the SNP policy-wise, just attitude-wise.

    I tend to vote Plaid Cymru out of habit – the best of a bad bunch I suppose (I cancelled my membership a few months ago, for the second time, and didn’t enjoy doing so at all). But if they’re willing to enter a coalition with Labour (as a junior partner) I won’t vote for them in 2016. Labour has to go. Plaid Cymru are the only ones who can achieve that, but they have to be serious about dumping Labour, not supporting/influencing them in government.

    I’m not at all convinced that they are.

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