October 19, 2008

Back To The Future

Of the many myths bandied about by the True Wales group, one of the most pernicious is the accusation that the "All Wales Convention" is nothing more than a "Yes" campaign, funded by "£2.5 million" of public money.

It seems that True Wales' Councillor David Rees, as a good Socialist, objects to the use of taxpayers money for "Propaganda" purposes, when it would be far better spent on essential things like hospitals, schools, foreign invasions and bankers...

So let's say we take Councillor Rees' point on board and scrap the convention. That's £2.5 million saved. (In fact the budgeted figure is £1.5 million, but let's not let the facts get in the way for a minute). Amazingly, we can still have a public consultation which engages widely with all sections of Welsh society and delivers a recommendation for more powers. And all without spending a penny extra of public money.


Simple. It's called the Richard Commission.

The basic fact of the matter is that we have already had a public consultation. We had it four years ago. It was wide-ranging in scope, and made a number of radical recommendations, including the creation of a Parliament with Tax-raising as well as lawmaking powers. It was a democratic exercise, commissioned by the previous Labour administration under Rhodri Morgan.

And by True Wales logic, it was a de-facto "Yes" campaign, undertaken by Councillor Rees' own Party!

So why don't we compromise? The naysayers save their public money, and we have a referendum on a law-making and tax-raising parliament, with a fairer voting system, based on the Single Transferable Vote. All recommendations made by Richard.

Question is - are "True Wales" really interested in Compromise? Do they genuinely want to save public money and give the people of Wales what they've already asked for - or do they have another agenda?

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