I have gone through the True-Wales Mission & Vision Statements in detail and I find myself agreeing with a lot of what they say – with a few obvious exceptions. Take a look:
True Wales is a cross-party, cross-sector body opposed to devolution of full law-making powers to the National Assembly for Wales.
Ok – that bit is clear, although I am not sure cross-party is very accurate.
Its aims are:
to allow the Welsh public the opportunity to hear the case against autonomy for the National Assembly for Wales
Ok – first lie – the referendum is not about autonomy – it is simply about achieving primary law making powers.
and to facilitate democratic participation in a full debate about our constitutional future.
Excellent idea – lets have a full debate about our constructional future – but lets not confuse it with the campaigns for and against the proposed referendum – which is only whether to stick with the current Assembly, or to give it more law-making powers.
to lobby both the Welsh Assembly and United Kingdom governments to hold a referendum, duly supervised by the Electoral Commission,
No problem with this bit……….
regardless of the findings and recommendations of the ‘All-Wales Convention’
A bit arrogant here – the Conservatives want to ignore the findings of the independent body established to gauge public opinion, to ignore its careful deliberations and objective evidence, and to ride roughshod over the wishes of the people of Wales. Just like before with the Kilbrandon Report and the Richards Commission……….
Our Wales is a beautiful, diverse country which belongs to all who live here. There are many versions of 'Welshness', all to be respected and celebrated. We believe in equality and fairness for all citizens, regardless of linguistic preference, ethnicity, faith, political persuasion or gender.
There is no place in our Wales for discrimination or prejudice against any group or country. We value all the settlers who have contributed to our cultural diversity and our shared heritage within the United Kingdom
OK - Agree with all of that, although unusual choice of word with Settlers.
True Wales advocates :
spending priorities that reflect the needs of all the people
What has this to do with the proposed referendum? Such decisions are currently made by the democratically elected Assembly and would continue in the same manner with or without law-making powers.
restoration of a cohesive, tolerant society
When did we lose the one we have, and what has this to do with law-making powers
no increase in the current number of AMs and MPs
OK – I don’t agree with this point, but at least it is clear. Personally I would keep the combined total the same – We will need 20 more AMs and I am happy to scrap 20 MPs to cover the cost.
keeping the Secretary of State for Wales
Am I missing something? This position may very well be abolished in any case under the current Assembly, irrespective of law-making powers.
the maintenance of a strong position within the United Kingdom
I would suggest that a stronger assembly would give us a stronger position in the Union!!
that any application to draw down Legislative Competence Orders from the United Kingdom Government should reflect the wishes of the majority of the Welsh people
Uh?? The wishes of the majority of the Welsh people are already reflected in the makeup of the democratically elected Assembly. Or are True Wales suggesting a referendum on every proposed LCO??
CLUNK (sound of large penny dropping).
The Real Agenda:
True Wales real agenda is the abolition of the Assembly and replacing it with an all-powerful Secretary of State who would have full executive power over Wales, including spending our budget.
And David Davies wants to be that Secretary of State in the next Conservative government, and he just wants to make sure that there is a big enough trough there for him to put his snout in.
(Update - check out Hen's comments: http://amlwchmagor.blogspot.com/2008/10/give-me-h.html )
And to hell with democracy!