February 26, 2009

Opinion Poll

I am pleased that the BBC has published its latest opinion poll findings, and subject to my misgivings which I published a few days ago, I am reasonably happy with the results.

Apart from the headline figure which says that a referendum would achieve a 52% Yes - 39% No vote, I was more pleased with the alternative "Preferendum" question which asked how Wales should be run -

This found that the combined vote of those preferring more powers (up to and including independence) was 57% - those preferring the status quo 21% - while those wanting abolition are 19%.

Or to put it another way, those wanting further powers outnumber the abolitionists by 3-1.

I suspect that this wont be quite enough of a lead for the politicians to risk a referendum, but as I said before - until we start to have a proper debate, we wont find out the true result.

Lets get things started.

February 25, 2009

Wales First - Public Meeting

With two new opinion polls in the offing, and St. David's Day around the corner, now seems as good a time as any to announce a public meeting making the case for full law-making powers for the Welsh Assembly. Hopefully this meeting will mark the beginning of a "Progressive Alliance" for change amongst those who accept that the current set-up is unsustainable.

As a Liberal Democrat, Peter Black has been a consistent advocate of further law-making powers for a long time, while Bethan Jenkins should be commended for taking a more forthright stance within the Plaid group in the Welsh Assembly, and actively arguing the case for a Yes campaign now. Amen to that.

A Nation No More

The BBC has a deserved reputation for getting its facts right, so is this just an error, or are we now officially a Region ????? and has Rhodri been demoted?


Just in case it gets pulled - see the text below:

Ministers meet Brown over economy

The talks at Downing Street lasted for five hours
Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness are to meet the prime minister in London later to discuss the economy.
The first and deputy first ministers are also expected to raise the plight of members of the Presbyterian Mutual Society who face losing their savings.
Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and the Welsh minister Rhodri Morgan will also be at the talks.
The meeting is at Downing Street's request and comes as the regions are facing increasing financial pressure.
The Treasury is seeing £5bn in cuts across the regions, which Northern Ireland Finance Minister Nigel Dodds has pledged to resist.
The meeting is expected to last about an hour.

February 24, 2009


Later this week we should find out the details from the latest BBC opinion poll on our attitudes to Devolution. I dont know the detailed wording of their questions, let alone the answers, but I assume that there will be a question relating to whether or not a referndum on law-making powers could be won.

But the problem is that this poll will be meaningless in isolation as there has been no real debate on the subject. People already have their opinions and nothing has happened to change these.

Well almost nothing - there has been a small but vocal 'No' campaign, which will have influenced some waverers by their scaremongering and outright lies -while on the other side the All-Wales Convention has tried to influence and educate people, but in reality they are only speaking to the political classes who have mostly made theire minds up in any case.

And this is the problem - most voters dont like politicians and the political establishment and will jump at the chance to punish them. The opinion poll results will largely reflect the public's views on politicians not devolution, and so therefore has little real meaning at this stage, before any debate.

For a 'Yes' campaign to succeed it must challenge the political establishment and the status quo - not be seen to be part of it.

February 13, 2009

Wales First Hits The Streets

With the news that EJP may be off the Bosnia, many people are speculating as to whether the All Wales Convention is essentially now a dead duck. Asides from the fact that speculation is just that - speculation - the Convention is more than just Sir Emyr Jones Parry and draws from a wide spectrum of Welsh civil society. The likelier scenario is that - assuming he does take up the position - he will simply be replaced by another high profile figure.

Lord Ivor Richard comes to mind, but we all know how his original recommendations were brushed aside because it told Labour something it didn't want to hear...

From Wales First point of view - none of this makes any difference whatsoever. A commitment to a referendum and a "Yes" vote has been made by the One Wales Government, and we will aim to hold them to it. To this end, a leaflet (image above)has now been produced, and members have begun printing them off and distributing them across Wales. Full size copies - in Cymraeg and English - can be obtained by e-mailing rampant_dragon@graffiti.net.

An excellent, and more in-depth information leaflet has also been produced by our allies in Tomorrow's Wales which can be viewed here. It may be premature to say that there is a formal alliance between our two groups, but a positive working relationship is certainly in the process of developing, and reflects the simple reality that support for full law-making powers is something that is gradually attracting an ever-broader cross-section of support across Welsh society.

February 11, 2009

The Balkanisation of Wales

According to Betsan Powys Emyr Jones Parry could soon be leaving Wales for Bosnia.

Some people will of course claim that this means further devolution is dead, but to be honest I am not unhappy with his alledged departure.

Despite his original high profile appointment, he was almost invisible for months, then when he did start up his public consultations in Port Talbot it was a farce. I dont think he has been particularly succesful in his role, and I think that to appoint an international politician in this role was never going to work, with or without a Satnav.....

We need someone who can relate to the public and can communicate the message at the right level. If only Ray Gravell was still with us.