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. While 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.