If you were wondering whatever happened to Rachel Banner the main spokesperson for the No campaign (True Wales) during last year’s referendum on direct law-making power in Wales. She has turned up on the Blog Open Unionism
She writes .
The referendum turnout figure of 35% left us all struck by how the Welsh people are decidedly not deliriously excited about the brave new era of public engagement we were promised a Yes vote would bring. This should prompt serious debate about how devolution should involve more democracy and accountability at local level, rather than the imposition of new taxes on the people of Wales.The fact that there is no democratic mandate for the far-reaching changes that are to take place is of no concern to the politicians. After all, isn’t that what politicians are expected to do – get what they want at almost any cost, even if it makes a farce of democracy? We in Wales will never be able to say that there was a full and open debate on the devolution journey.
Ms Banner neglects to mention her part in the 35% when True Wales the group calling for a No vote in the March referendum on further powers for the Welsh Assembly,announced that it did not want official status as a lead campaign comes as no surprise.
Thisl meant n that the Electoral commission , the watchdog overlooking the referendum decided it it couldn't appoint lead campaigners for the "No" side by which meant that it could nor give funds to each side of the campaign and therefore no side received funding
It was widely believed that True Wales hoped that it would result in fewer people taking an interest in the referendum and this would result in a lower turnout and if it was close the argument about no mandate would have been stronger.
However the result was decisive With only one Welsh Unitary authority Monmouth voting NO. (Which is probably why she failed to mention it ).
|Yes or no||Votes||Percentage|
|Invalid or blank votes||1,116||0.14%|
In truth I suspect many like myself will agree with Ms Banner when she writes.
What we have now is a Whitehall-in-the-Bay model, dutifully reflected by the Welsh media. There is no effort to explore any devolution models other than transferring yet more power to the Assembly. Apparently, that is ipso facto democratic.
Bur she offers no alternative and as a comment by DaveDare pointed out it is
She offers no alternative from her real aim of abolition of the Assembly altogether.
Smoke and mirrors coming from someone who doesn’t support devolution at all.
She then goes on to address the West Lothian Question without realising that most consider it to be the English Question
To be fair she makes a reasonable argument about the problems of MPs from outside England voting on English matters. But offers no real solution.
Apparently this is only Part One . I look forward to her coming up with an alternative rather than criticism in Part Two .
Bur I'm not holding f my breath.